(1938-11-30) Bridesmaid Dresses
Details for Bridesmaid Dresses
Summary: Phil and Sorcha look at wedding magazines and discuss bridesmaid dresses amongst various other things, including their respective relationships.
Date: 30 November 1938
Location: Sorcha's Room, Loft, MacDiarmarda Apothecary

The small bedroom is cozy, smells from the apothecary below drifting up for better or worse through the thick hardwood floors polished by age. The room still retains much of the building's old character: dark beams peek through the whitewashed ceiling, the wall facing out onto Diagon Alley is the same stone that can be seen from the other side, and small windows face out over the thoroughfare with heavy latches in the center to keep them shut against the elements with their small leaded panes. Past the structure, though, the room is thoroughly modern.

The centerpiece is the white wrought iron bed. Positioned next to the grated hearth, the curls and twists of the white painted iron hold various hair ribbons and ornaments at any given time depending on the fancy of the occupant. The heavy quilt covering the bed is in pastel pinks and greens, its honeycomb pattern made up by scraps of various projects that have ended up in their final stage here between white flour sack trapezoids.

Other than the stone face, the other three walls are covered in wallpaper bearing light brown branches with budgies in a myriad of colors perched across the three sides of the room. And, with the right charm, the budgies can be asked to serenade at any given moment. An old ornate fainting couch that is obviously a hand-me-down has been given new life, the old upholstery replaced with a pink velvet and a variety of green pillows in various shapes from bolster to triangle with fringe. From the ceiling the old lantern style light hangs down on a chain and has been bedecked with pink glass prisms, reflecting around the room at night.

The vanity and wardrobe and ottoman are constantly covered with clothes, letters, postcards, and magazines which at any time could find themselves pinned on the wall next to (or over) a particularly outspoken budgie. If the room were to be given a gallery label it would likely read: Chaos in Pink, artist Sorcha O'Shea.

Wedding plans are getting into full swing for Phil and Thomas now and that means Phil has to make some choices. She turns up at the O'Shea's with an armful of wedding magazines and a need for some girly time with Sorcha. Over the months they have become closer thanks to Phil's continued friendship with Graham. So now that they are pouring over the magazines and seated on the floor of Sorcha's bedroom, Phil with a cup of tea in one hand says to the younger witch, "I would like for you to be a bridesmaid if you think that you'd like to be."

Laying on her stomach on her coverlet on the bed, Sorcha has one of the bridal magazines open in front of herself as well, the wireless playing some music softly of to the side so that they can still talk over it easily and a tea trey with jammie dodgers and all on the side table. She smiles as she looks up, "Of course I'd, love to." She pauses and looks at Phil suspiciously for just a moment, "You're not going to ask me to wear anything in a horid shade of pink, are you? Pink and I aren't always agreeable."

Phil laughs as she reaches for one of the biscuits. "No, no pink. My sister would hate it. I am thinking blue and a soft lilac colour." She takes a bite of the jammie dodger and then dunks it in her tea and takes another bite. "It feels like the wedding is far away but I know it isn't. The dresses will take an age, especially when I cannot decide on a style."

Nodding with a smile, Sorcha says, "Those sound like lovely shades. Did you settle on a date, then?" She laughs a bit and sips her own tea, "I'm sure you'll settle on one when you see the right one. That's the key, isn't it? You shouldn't have to 'settle' at all. It should be the absolutely perfect dress that you adore more than anything else in the world." She leans over a bit to see which one Phil is looking at, "Do you have a style in mind? Are you thinking more modern? Or a classical kind of style?"

She flips through one of the magazines, looking at a couple of dresses. "I can't decide on anything. Not the style, cut or length. At least I know the colours. I have my dress, but it is the same dress every Rowle bride has worn for two hundred years. Part of me wishes I didn't have to wear it, but it is tradition. At least I got them to let me remove those hideous things that made it stick out wide at the hips." Phil shoves the last of her biscuit into her mouth. "I suppose I should have traditional dresses to go with it really shouldn't I?"

"Well, are you permitted to make it your own? Not alter it, of course, but add embellishments perhaps? Maybe that's part of the trouble, you're not feeling that you really have a way of making it yours?" Sorcha offers, turning her page, "But yes, if it's a classical one it'd most likely be best that we do something similar. Or at least of a style." She smiles, "Do you have any portraits with the dress or anything of the like?"

"I can to a point, but not really. My mother has put her foot down. She isn't even a Rowle, she is an Avery but she is making me wear it." Phil flips the page in the magazine. "We have portraits at the house in Northamptonshire of several brides in it. The dress is here in London, at the dress fitters off of Verdic."

"Tell me about it, then?" Sorcha says, "Is it as bad as all that?" She wrinkles her nose a bit and sips her tea again, "Some family traditions are lovely of course but there are also times when it's just even more bother than it seems as though it's worth." She turns the page in her book and then goes another one after with a scan over the pictures, "Are you settled on a day yet? That might help a bit on seasonal elements at least."

Phil nods and tells her the date of the wedding, which puts it at the end of summer. "There is a lot of lace, it is ivory coloured. The dress itself is silk and there is a long train." She leans back on a hand and looks at Sorcha as she describes what her wedding dress looks like.

"That doesn't sound so terrible then." Sorcha says with a reassuring smile, "Just think, it could be one of those horrid things made all of feathers." She sits up and takes another sip of tea, "Well, then we should likely go with something full length… with a fuller skirt, I'd imagine?" She reaches over to the side of her bed and gets a piece of paper and a quill, sketching around on it with a thoughtful expression.

Phil watches with amusement. "Can you draw? I can't for the life of me. Everything looks like sticks." She leans over and sets her cup and saucer aside then lies down on the floor to look at one of the magazines in earnest, searching for something they can take inspiration from. "Just remember that when it comes time for you two to marry I put you in a nice dress you helped select."

"I know you said you got rid of your side bits, but the mention of it made me think something like… this?" Sorcha turns the page towards Phil. It's a rough aproximation of an outline of a dress, but the cardinal bits are all there. A modern style halter top, but a full skirt with a layered look. "It'd be fine in about any color you pick. And we could add lacey bits on there if you like to go with the lace on yours. Or leave it off and just do lace gloves or something with the hats." Because of course there will be hats. "Us two?"

"Goodness you are clever." Phil gets up from the floor and moves to sit on the edge of the bed so she can better see the drawing. "I think it would be nicer without lace but gloves would make a wonderful edition. Elbow length ones." With a nod Phil turns away from the drawing. "You and Graham. Do you not ever think about marriage?"

Smiling as Phil seems to like it, Sorcha picks up her quil again and starts blocking in more detail, adding the lace gloves on the arm of the blank fill in person on the page, adding in a bit more detail on the drape of the fabric, "Then elbow length lace gloves it shall be. Do you want the two of us to wear the same colour? Or have us each in different hues?" When Phil mentions thinking about her and Graham getting married, the ginger girl wrinkles her nose again, "Oh… ah… well… Graham is lovely. I mean, truly. But I don't know that I'm quite in a place where I'm thinking about settling down just yet…"

"I think the gloves would be better in satin. I'll be wearing enough lace for everyone," jokes Phil. She reaches for another biscuit. "There is no hurry to get married, but if you don't think he's someone you feel like you could settle down with you should be honest with him. I think my wedding is starting to give him ideas."

Sorcha starts to recolour the arms so that the gloves look less lacy as she answers, "I think at times I've been a bit too honest with him… He gets a look as though I've just turned over his ice cream on the walkway and then goes quickly on about covering it up with explanations as to how it's all perfectly alright and the ice cream probably is better off on the walk in the first place." She sighs and shrugs her shoulders, "I expected that it might. And really after this space of time it's bound to, normally I've up and lighted off again by now and avoid the whole mess."

Phil nibbles on her biscuit. "Do you want to get married? I know your family can be a bit over powering." And Phil hasn't even met half of the O'Sheas. "But what do you actually want for yourself? I used to think I'd never want to get married that I'd resist forever, but then I fell in love with Thomas and it felt right when he asked me." Of course they had been jokingly asking each other for days before his final proposal.

"I…" Sorcha starts, shrugging her shoulders a bit and then laughing with a nod, "Yes. That's a goodly part of it. The idea of going through the entire process that would be involved in even considering marrying anyone is just enough on its own to want to not mess about with the whole affair at all. Especially after seeing how well everything's been going for Nia and Adamantus. And he's a Scott." She shakes her head a bit, "And then there's the whole bit with the priest and… it hasn't shown up lately but I've been known to be a bit flighty from time to time." Just. A bit. Smidgen. Tiny tiny bit.

"I had forgot your family has that Mugglish religion. It seems so alien to me." She takes another bite of her biscuit. "I know you two split up for a bit, but I had thought things were better now," admits Phil. "Are you in love with Graham?"

"We're quite a bit mugglish all the way round, really." Sorcha says with a slight hint of amusement to her pureblood friend. She nods and sips her tea again, "For a bit… I… dunno I suppose. Normally when I fancy myself in love with a boy it's an all consuming thing full of lamenting and awful poetry and sighing and such. And it's certainly not any of that."

Phil hmmms. "There is love and then being in love. I loved Laurence but I wasn't in love with him. The all consuming lamenting and poetry isn't being in love. Being in love is about knowing the other person completes you. Their strengths are your weaknesses. Their weaknesses your strengths."

"Well, we're certainly opposite in many ways…" Sorcha agrees, continuing on her sketch after flicking her quill to activate a spell that changes the hue of the ink. "Graham needs someone who's dependable and all, really. He deserves to have a wife that's going to be able to keep things at home on an even road while he's out finding hexed clocks and the like… which… doesn't seem at all like me, really."

The older witch gently nudges Sorcha, "Then tell him. There is nothing wrong with breaking things off if you aren't happy or think the relationship isn't going where one of you wants it to. Clinging to something which is not meant to be is worse." Phil eats the rest of the jammie dodger. "This if your first adult relationship, his too."

Smirking a bit, Sorcha says, "I did that… and I believe it lasted a week before he essentially said he'd changed his mind and not to worry about it." She sighs and puts her quill back on the side table before flopping back on the bed, "I suppose you're right, though. Despite the fact that he keeps saying everything is fine I should know better than to believe him. Just because I'm quite suited with the way things are, I do think he's hoping that it'll develop into something more than it is now."

Phil reaches over to lift a strand of Sorcha's ginger hair. "You both have to be happy, Sorcha. Changing yourself to make someone happy is never going to make you happy." She sighs a little.

"I know…" Sorcha wrinkles her nose again, "I suppose I keep thinking he'll figure that out… I don't feel as though I've changed all that much where he's concerned, more to do with the shop and all. Which is in itself a change… I suppose I'm still figuring out if it's that I'm just helping my sister with the shop for a bit and I'll move on to something else and back to my old self again, or if I actually am suited to being a shop girl and fiddling about with potions. I expected that Nia and I would've had it out by now and I'd have been off to something else already a bit too."

"You need to give yourself a jolt by the sound of it, Sorcha. Not just some little herb gathering trip but a real one. Go off and find yourself. Find out who you are not who your mum and dad want you to be or who Keenan or Niahm try to keep you as." Phil shakes her head with each name she mentions. "Not who Graham thinks you ought to be. But who you really are. You can't coast through life letting everyone else make choices for you."

"I suppose… It's just all quite a lot to pick from, really. Especially with things as they are now…" She reaches over and gets herself a jammie dodger to nibble around the edges of, "There is something quite comforting about staying in a nice little shop and trying to stay out of trouble. As much as I think it's likely that between my siblings and I one of us will inevitably cause some manner of stir."

"I imagine there must be or else you wouldn't be doing it, but it isn't living. Not really. It is existing." Phil nudges Sorcha again and grins, "You need to live, Sorcha. Have adventure. Have fun. Have sex."

"Well, much as I'm certainly not going to mention it to anybody in my conservative family, that last bit I've been doing… which I must admit is quite nice." Sorcha admits with a cheeky grin before she sighs, "I suppose. Alright, I'll go off and find an adventure. Just because you said. And now I must say, Philomena, we have been quite well distracted from our objective." She leans forward and plops the wedding magazine in front of Phil again, "So, it sounds like you're fond of the dress idea at least? That's one bit out of the way. And you have a spot picked for the grand event?"

Phil laughs, "Good! At least that is something." She tucks her hair behind her ear and reaches for the drawing, looking at it again. "You will look stunning in this. A nice blue for you and the other bridesmaids but blue for my sister. Felicity is the matron of honour." Which is only right when one has a sister they are on good terms with. Her nose wrinkles a little. "Thomas' family have disowned him. The service will look so one-sided. I'm hoping my extended family will fill up his side of the hall too." The wedding clearly is not to be in a church from the sounds of it, but then religion is rare in the wizarding world.

"Graham said that he's been asked to be best man, so he'll have him standing up with him at the least. I still haven't had occasion to meet him yet, does he have many friends that are going to be there as well?" Sorcha asks, getting another one of the magazines now that she's passed hers off, "They and your friends could sit on that side, leaving the other for your family and all."

Phil shakes her head a little, "Not many friends no. He is pal-y with Laurence." Which would be awkward. "His brother Mikhale still speaks with him, so I imagine he'll be part of the wedding. He is the only Carrow who does. And I have three brothers so I can get them to stand in." Pad the wedding out with Rowles.

"His brother is the one that runs the travel agency?" Sorcha asks, "We've met on a couple of instances. Not long after a basalisk attack if I remember correctly. That's good, though, that he'll have someone there. I'd imagine that will make him feel a bit more settled at least?" She turns pages, "But yes… I'd imagine Laurence attending would be… odd… Have you talked about that yet? Or at all?"

"Yes, that's him. He's something of a ladies man." Phil grins as she remembers meeting her future brother-in-law. The grin fades swiftly at mention of Laurence. "Laurence knows I am marrying Thomas. I don't think Thomas would mind him being at the wedding so much as my family would find it odd. My sister Felicity doesn't like Laurence."

"I gathered." She smirks a little and reads through a few words on a page before turning for more pictures, "Well, and I can't imagine Laurence would be thrilled to be there?" Sorcha offers, raising her eyebrows a bit, "I suppose at least. But if he was invited he might find it awkward to not attend? It seems a bit of a tricky spot to be in… But if you at least get to talk about it ahead it could make it a bit more smooth… or at least give you a plan on what to expect."

Another magazine draws Phil's attention briefly. "Mmmm, true," she says somewhat absently. "I bet Mikhale would help you make some travel arrangements. Somewhere safe, not the continent. Sounds rather dodgy over there at the moment."

"Ah… yes. He made it plain he'd be happy to before." Sorcha replies, glancing over at Phil a little before turning her attention back to her pictures, "I agree, not to mention cold. If I'm going to travel I might as well go someplace with a nice beach and some sunshine." She looks at a page and holds out a drawing of a flower girl dress, "Are you going to be having any neices or the like in the procession?"

"My cousin is sixteen, she's a bit old to be a flower girl but I might ask her to be a bridesmaid. She is coming to stay with Fel and I for a few days during the holidays." Phil takes the drawing and tucks it safely into a magazine so she doesn't lose it. "My nephews are thirteen and two, but I can perhaps use them."

"There's always the ringbearer." Sorcha says, "Do wizarding weddings use rings? That might be a muggle bit, I suppose." And a newer one at that, "I've always thought it an excuse to get little ones dressed up in fancy garb and all. Not that people need much of an excuse, really. But in any case, that would balance things out a bit if there's a younger person on either side."

Phil holds out her left hand so Sorcha can see the glittering marquise cut diamond. "Of course we have rings. What wizard doesn't like flashy fashions?" She grins at her joke. "Rings and cake. Dancing. A reception with a lot of food and people you rarely ever speak to except at weddings or funerals."

Smiling as she sees the ring, she says, "Oh, lovely." Finishing her biscuit she nods, "So other than sitting through mass, fairly the same then." Sorcha says with a smile, "There was a cousin on my mother's side that we went to the wedding of when I was younger but most of the family on that end was already well married by the time I showed up. I don't remember it very clearly." She looks back to the magazine again, "Are you going to be doing a honeymoon?"

"I think we will go somewhere, but I'm not sure where and it depends on work for both of us. Thomas is going to have to do a lot of work to rebuild his business after the trouble he's had with those Grindelwald crazies." Phil clearly isn't a supporter of the wizard who advocates subjugating muggles. "Mikhale has mentioned something about giving us a gift, likely a trip."

Wrinkling her nose at the mention of the riots, Sorcha says, "We were just lucky. I was away and all but I'm sure Nia was in true form the whole time." She sighs and shakes her head a bit, looking down at the next page showing bouquets, "I had rather hoped that the whole thing would blow over but apparently there's no hope of that. It may be an Irish thing, but the best vengeance seems to be to still go on about with your happy times despite all their trouble making."

Grinning Phil says, "Ah yes but we're English. We tut derisively under our breaths and get on with things while pretending nothing happened." She puts the magazines neither of them are reading into a neat pile. "At least things appear to be calming down now. I was worried about him. If I had my way he'd be living with us in Chelsea but Felicity is a pain. She will end up old and living with too many cats."

"Well, have you talked to Graham about it? He has plenty of room at his house, though of course I'm not going to volunteer it for him. But if he needs a place to stay for a bit, he has a whole room just for boxes at the moment, so I'm sure he'd rather make sure his friends are safe?" Sorcha offers, "Just mention it to him if you think it's something to really be worried about. I've got Adamantus here, not to mention Keen and Nia who could probably melt just about anything. Otherwise I'm sure he'd have already said so to me."

Phil shakes her head, "No, I mean yes. I have told Graham I worry about Thomas, but no I haven't suggested he help him. The problem is Rhyeline. Graham and she are very close. Their friendship is different to his and mine. I…I treat him like a brother but I have brothers." Phil struggles to put words to explaining Graham and Rhyeline's cuddling friendship. "I am not speaking to Rhyeline at the moment. We sort of fell out. I think she fancies Thomas or likes trying to have a hold over him and it annoys me. I know how he feels about her and I am not jealous, but it….it just bothers me that she behaves that way. Sometimes I think she likes being ill for all the attention it gives her." As the words come tumbling from her mouth, words Phil has held in for months she seems surprised.

Nodding a little, Sorcha lowers her magazine and listens to Phil as she explains the sitution. She frowns slightly when it comes out that Rhyeline and Phil had a falling out, "I'm sorry to hear that…" When it comes out that the other pureblood might be interested in Thomas, she gets a confused expression, "I thought she was spending her time with Casius Malfoy? Not that I've gotten a lot of updates on what's happening in that direction lately, she's still quite shy around me generally." At the mention of her liking the attention from being ill, Sorcha's eyebrows go up a bit more, pausing a moment, "Felt a bit bottled up there, did we?"

Phil sighs, her shoulders slumping. "I am trying to keep away from her so as not to make things awkward but I don't think either Graham or Thomas understand it. She got into a big row with Thomas but they patched things up so I am sure he will want her at the wedding." Mention of the Malfoy has her shrugging a shoulder, "I don't know how her courtship is proceeding. He has hired guards to watch over her constantly. They go with her wherever she is and evidently are also in her flat with her."

Nodding a bit, Sorcha says, "Well… do you want me to feel out the situation a bit? I haven't seen her since these last few rounds of being out of town but I can certainly float out the topic of wedding plans and conversation and see if she has any kind of surprising response? Not that Graham's the most observant bloke ever, but if that was the case I think he'd have at least mentioned it?"

"What as in find out if she wants to come or if she fancies dropping a wealthy as Gringotts Malfoy in the hopes of snagging a bookstore owner?" Phil isn't entirely sure what Sorcha is offering. "Graham is sweet but a bit dense unless it is about dark magic."

"As in find out what she thinks." Sorcha offers, "It isn't always as simple as drop a Malfoy for a book owner… we both know that. But it seems, and if I'm overstepping please just tell me to haul off, but you don't seem quite happy with the strain between the two of you? And you have plenty of other things to worry about without adding awkward friends to the mix." She grins a bit and leans in to bump Phil with her shoulder, "Exceptions being made for myself of course."

Phil nods slowly. "It would be helpful to find out what she thinks. Although I suspect her to be a very good liar." She worries her bottom lip. "I don't mind her and I not being friends if it comes to that. I do mind her making doe eyes at my fiance and trying to get him to comfort her when she is the one making herself more ill because she won't listen to your brother."

Nodding, Sorcha says, "Well, I'm not the best lie ferret in the kingdoms, but I have been known on occasion to work around the truth." She smiles, "And she's quite shy, which does make it hard. But, if I have reason to think you're right, then I'll tell you. How's that?" She shakes her head when the fact that she won't listen to Keen comes up, "People, not me of course but other people, would generally do well to just do as he says from the beginning. Saves having to tell him he was right later which he enjoys entirely too much."

"I like your brother, he is a consummate professional. But then I know how it is having a healer for a sibling." Phil's sister just happens to have the social graces of a spoon, so Sorcha wins the better sibling battle on those grounds alone. "Suss her out, see if I am wrong. I'd rather be wrong than right." She leans over and hugs Sorcha. "You are a good friend. Whatever happens with you and Graham I hope we can stay friends."

Returning the hug, Sorcha wraps her arms around the other girl, "Oh, don't be silly. Of course we will. You're English, it's easy enough just to get on with things while pretending nothing happened. If it comes to it I'll keep an ear out for under-breath tutting but that's to be expected." She smiles, "And who knows, maybe I'll find I'm ready to settle down and be grown-up and all. Hopefully the whole Rhyeline bit is just a misunderstanding. You English wizards and your chin-upness sometimes gets in the way of just having a row and settling it so you don't have to worry on it anymore."

As she gathers up the last of the magazines Phil says sardonically, "I imagine whoever does have a blazing row with Rhyeline soon after gets a much cooler visit from Cassius Malfoy and his entourage of personal guards." She rolls up onto her knees and then her feet, taking the pile of magazines with her. "I should get going. Thanks for the tea and the chat. I have an appointment with the seamstress this week so I will give them your drawing. Do you fancy coming to look at fabrics with me on maybe Thursday?"

"Mmm, I actually imagine she can hold her own. There was a girl I was with at school who was quite like her who once she was loud enough people could hear her held her own pretty well." Sorcha says with a grin. She scoots off the bed and stands, following Phil to gather up her things and help her with getting them organized, "Well, don't feel run off but I know you have a lot to do. But of course, if you'd like I would love to come. We can see what they have and pick out something that will drape properly, though I'm sure your seamstress will know all about how to puzzle that out."

"I will send an owl as soon as I know what time." Phil grins, "Thanks again Sorcha. I was really struggling for a dress and your drawing is perfect." She follows the girl out and leaves after giving her a final hug.

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