|SIYE Time:17:15 on 24th September 2017|
Diamonds and Pearls
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Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Summary: Ginny and Harry celebrate thirty years of marriage.
Hitcount: Story Total: 2981
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
This is set about three years after Christmas with the Potters. It WAS going to be the final instalment, but I think I might give it one more shot after this! Tissues may be needed for this one....
Harry Potter apparated home to find the soon-to-be Minister for Magic in his kitchen, raiding his fridge. He watched, chuckling silently as he drank milk from the carton, before emerging triumphant with a “Yes!” and bringing out half a treacle tart. He turned and froze on seeing Harry watching him.
“Oh, hey Dad. Wanna share?” he said, indicating the tart.
Harry nodded and pulled out two forks, handing one over.
“Where's your Mum?” he asked, worried.
Al sighed inwardly. “She's fine, Dad. Hugo and Lily took her to get her hair done at that new beauty spa. Hugo mentioned something about a mani/pedi something or other. Lily's picking up her new dress. She should be home within the hour.”
“Good,” murmured Harry. “So, why are you here? Did you and Scorpius forget to do the grocery shopping again? Is that why you are raiding our fridge and eating the last of my treacle tart?”
“Ha ha, very funny, Dad. You know that's only happened a couple of times, when we're both so busy at work. We took your advice and hired a house elf. Best thing we ever did, actually. Especially with what's going to happen soon,” beamed Al.
Harry smiled at his son. “Yes, things are about to change for you, that's for sure. Just remember to always make time for your relationship with Scorpius. That is the most important thing.”
Al smiled at the thought of his partner. He looked at his dad. “So, are you all set for tonight, there's nothing I can do for you?” he asked.
Harry shook his head. “No thanks Al. Your mum picked up my suit yesterday, so I'll just need to go and get ready soon. You know, I'd just rather have dinner with Gin, then come back here with the family for coffee and cake. Is all this fuss necessary?”
“Dad, it's your thirtieth wedding anniversary, so yes, all this fuss is necessary. A lot of yours and Mum's friends want to come and see you, to congratulate you. Some of them are coming from far away, you know,” said Al.
“Well, it will be nice to see so many friends again. We haven't seen them since- well, it's been awhile,” said Harry.
A sudden swoosh indicated the floo in the lounge room was activated. Harry glanced over at Al, who nodded.
“I opened the floo for Mum to come through when she's done,” explained Al.
Both he and Harry watched as James came into the kitchen. He raised his eyebrows at seeing Harry and Al there.
“Was there a family meeting of the Potter men called, and I didn't get the owl?” he jokingly asked.
Harry smiled. “Pull up a chair, James, and come and help us finish off this tart. What brings you over? Is Alice okay?” he asked.
James smiled at the mention of his wife. “She's fine, now that the morning sickness has stopped. She gets tired really easily, so I don't know how late we'll stay tonight, Dad,” he said, apologetically.
“It's fine son, hell, maybe your mum and I can sneak out with you. Merlin knows, I'd rather just spend the night with your mum and you guys than have a big party,” said Harry.
James and Al exchanged a look. James tried to cheer his dad up. “Come on Dad, aren't you keen to see all of your old friends again? You know Mum enjoys a good party, she's usually one of the last off the dance floor. And you're going to make the announcement tonight, right?”
Harry nodded. “Yes, I know. It will be good to see everyone for a happy occasion. Luna is coming with her family from Switzerland, and I know Ginny is thrilled about that. As far as I know all the family will be there, except for-”
“Harry, are you home, love?” cried Ginny, coming through the floo.
Harry's face lit up, and he hurried from the kitchen into the lounge to greet his wife. James and Al exchanged another look, as they followed their dad into the lounge.
They saw their parents embrace, as they had so many other times before. Only now, in loving relationships of their own, could they really appreciate how much they loved each other.
“Look at you, Mrs Potter! I'll be fighting the men off with sticks tonight, and a few ex-Harpies too, if memory serves me right! You look gorgeous, Ginny!” said Harry, kissing his wife and embracing her.
“Oh, Harry, you know I've only ever had eyes for one man, and I'm looking at him right now,” chuckled Ginny, returning his embrace.
She spotted her sons as she turned, and she left the arms of her husband to embrace them. “James, Al, what are you doing here? Is everything okay? Come in to the kitchen and I'll make you a cup of tea, there's half a treacle tart in the fridge we can share,” she said.
After assuring their mum that everything was fine, both Al and James left, telling their parents they would see them later that night.
Harry sighed. “I suppose it's too late to tell everyone we just want to have a quiet night together.”
Ginny nodded. “I know, love. I keep telling myself it will be nice to see everyone again, but it just won't be the same. Still, we can always pull the 'Auror Emergency' card, if we have to. But promise me you'll try, Harry, please?”
“For you, my Ginny, anything,” said Harry, kissing her again. “Can you believe it's been thirty years?” he asked, hugging her again.
Ginny shook her head. “With the house so empty it feels like the kids are away at Hogwarts, not starting families of their own and living their own lives. As much as I love it being just the two of us, I do miss the crazy chaos that was our little family. We have so many wonderful memories, Harry. We have truly been blessed.”
“Yes we have been, Gin. We also have so many wonderful years ahead of us, love, let's look forward to those. Now, I suppose we should make a start on getting ready? Do you want first shower?” he asked.
“How about we shower together, love. You scrub my back, and I'll scrub yours. Then I'll need some help zipping my dress up, think you can lend a hand with that?” she giggled.
Harry sighed. “It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it, it may as well be me,” he said winking at her. He took her arm and led her up the stairs.
Several hours later, Harry and Ginny mingled with their friends and family. With so many people, Al has procured the use of a ballroom in the Ministry of Magic, and Hugo and Lily had been in charge of the decorating. As the guests arrived, they were given a replica of Harry and Ginny's wedding invitation, which then changed to a current photo of them, thanking their guests for attending their thirtieth wedding anniversary celebrations.
It was an eclectic mix of people. Hogwarts friends and professors mixed with Quidditch players, members of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the Daily Prophet, where Ginny worked casually, reporting on several games during the season.
The Weasley family and their in-laws and offspring made up the majority of the guests. These days, with the family so large, it made get togethers very rare for the whole family. Catching up with nieces and nephews, as well as their partners, took up a lot of their time.
Harry had gone to the bar to request a drink for Ginny, and to have a minute to himself. He was really enjoying himself tonight, to his surprise. He saw Ginny surrounded by friends, and knew she was too. He was quite content to watch his wife for several minutes before he rejoined the party.
“Harry, mate, here you are! Good to see you. Thirty years, hey. I don't know how you've managed to stay with the one woman for thirty years. Still, we all knew you and Ginny had something special! Good on ya mate!” slurred Seamus Finnegan, stumbling away.
Harry chuckled, watching him go. He had not even had to say anything! Seamus was on his third wife. Harry and Ginny had long suspected he had never got over the death of Lavender Brown during the Final Battle.
“Aunt Ginny, darling, you look superb!” cried Hugo, grabbing her arms and twirling her around. “Didn't I tell you that colour would look fabulous on you?”
Ginny laughed, explaining to her friends that Hugo had taken her in hand to shop for the perfect dress. Hugo accepted the compliments from Ginny's friends.
Hugo had returned from his final year at Hogwarts and told his parents he was gay. They weren't as taken aback, as they had got used to Al being gay, but Al wasn't as flamboyant as Hugo. Ron particularly had a hard time accepting his vivacious son and his many 'friends'.
To deter the attention away from Hugo, Rose had confessed to her parents she was seeing Brandon Finnegan, Seamus's eldest son. He wore leather, had tattoos and multiple piercings and rode a motorcycle. Hermione seemed to take this news harder, especially when Rose also confessed she was quitting her studies to become a teacher, and was going to become a curse breaker, as she and Brandon wanted to travel.
This caused quite a rift in that particular Weasley household for some time. Time and tragedy had recently brought them back together.
Al used his wand to cast the Sonorus charm. “Hello, can everyone hear me? Good. Hi everyone. On behalf of my brother James, my sister Lily and myself, we'd like to thank you for being here to help us celebrate the thirtieth wedding anniversary of our parents Harry and Ginny Potter. Mum, Dad, can you make your way to the front here, please?”
As Harry and Ginny made their way to where Al stood with James and Lily, applause rang out. Harry and Ginny kissed their children on the cheek and turned to face their guests.
Al read out some telegrams from people who hadn't been able to attend. Fleur's sister Gabrielle had sent a telegram, as well as Fleur's elderly parents. Viktor Krum had also sent a telegram; he was now coaching a Quadpot side in the US. Hagrid was travelling with Grawp, and they had been held up somewhere near Greece. Professor McGonagall was unable to attend due to ill health. Harry and Ginny made a mental note to go and visit her soon.
Al went on to give a brief history of Harry and Ginny's relationship, and to mention amusing and embarrassing anecdotes of growing up with them as their parents. Various people came up to share stories: Teddy, George, Luna, Neville, Gwenog Jones, Ginny's first captain then coach of the Harpies, and Kingsley Shacklebolt, out-going Minister for Magic.
Bill Weasley spoke, as did Oliver Wood. Seamus got up and drunkenly announced how much he loved them, before being dragged off stage to hoots and yells; all in good fun.
Finally, it was time for Harry and Ginny to speak. Harry gestured for Ginny to go first.
“Hello everyone. I want to thank you all for being here tonight. It means a lot to Harry and I that you would all be here, and we want to send a special thank you to the ones who travelled far to be here. You are all here because you are special to us, in your own individual way.”
“I want to say a big thank you to our children, and their partners. James and Ali, Albus and Scorpius, Lily and Liam. They have been planning this for a long time now, and your dad and I appreciate all the effort you have put in. James, Al and Lil, I can only tell you how happy and proud you have made us over the years. Your Dad and I wish you all the happiness in the world.”
“I have been truly blessed to have married the man of my dreams. This wonderful man has given me love; together we've created a home and a family. Harry, you have fulfilled your wedding vows; you have supported me in so many ways, we've been through so much together and it has only made us stronger. Harry, I can honestly say I love you more today than yesterday. Thank you for sharing this amazing life with me. To Harry,” said Ginny tearily, raising a glass.
“To Harry!” toasted the guests.
Harry and Ginny shared a tender embrace, Harry wiping the tears from his wife's face. He then stepped forward to more applause.
“Hello everyone. I'm sure you know how I feel about public speaking, and how I usually try to keep it brief. However, I have a lot to get through tonight so please, bear with me.”
Light applause and laughter made their way around the room.
“Firstly, as Ginny said, thank you for being here tonight to help us celebrate. Ginny and I certainly appreciate it, and especially for those who have travelled far.”
“Looking back, from the first time I arrived at the Burrow, I have been accepted into the Weasley family. For me, a kid growing up as I did, this really meant something to me. I was given chores to do, I was told off when Ron and I did something stupid, and Arthur and Molly always looked out for me, as only a parent could. When Molly came to see me in the Tri-Wizard tournament to represent my family, or when Arthur took me the Department of Mysteries for my trial for under-age magic, well, they never hesitated to make me feel like one of their own.”
“You know you were Mum's favourite!” yelled George, good naturedly.
All the Weasley children nodded, and everyone laughed. Harry continued.
“That's why this last year has been so hard. Arthur got sick so quickly, yet it was Molly who left us first, so suddenly. With Molly gone, Arthur lost his will to live, and we lost him soon after Molly. The backbone of the Weasley family had gone, and I know that all their sons and daughter still feel their loss greatly, as we all do. Please raise a glass for Arthur and Molly,” said Harry.
“Arthur and Molly,” toasted the guests. Harry continued again.
“However,with the bad, comes the good. There is also so much to look forward to. My eldest son James and his lovely wife Alice are going to be having their first child in several months time. My only daughter Lily is getting married early next year, to Liam Finnegan. Father of the Bride is one title I am happy to wear,” said Harry, beaming at his daughter proudly.
“As many of you know, my son Albus is preparing to take over the position of Minister for Magic from Kingsley Shacklebolt. It will be a busy time ahead for him and his life partner Scorpius Malfoy. I'm pleased to announce that they have just found out that their adoption request has been granted, so another Potter grandchild is imminent.”
Loud applause filled the room.
“I look around the room, and I see so many friends. Ginny is right, we are truly blessed. I was blessed to have two of the best friends any one could ask for. They stood by me; we went through hell together, and we emerged triumphant. I saw them fall in love and get married, have two beautiful children. They should have had a long and happy life together.”
Harry took a deep breath.
“Yet, here we are six months later, and I still can't believe that Hermione is gone. From diagnosis to the end, it was just over two months. She was an amazing witch, and a wonderful woman. Her passing has left such a hole in our lives. For Ron, Rose and Hugo, please raise your glasses and drink a toast for Hermione,” said Harry.
“For Hermione,” toasted the guests sadly.
“It is with Hermione's passing in mind that I have an announcement of my own. In the next six months I will be stepping down as head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. I'm pleased to announce that Teddy Lupin will be taking over as head, with James Potter being the deputy head.”
Loud applause and supportive calls were made to Teddy and James, who nodded their thanks.
“What are you going to do, Harry?” called out Seamus, waving a bottle around. It sloshed over one of the guests, causing him to glare at Seamus. His son Brandon took the bottle off him.
“Me? I'm going to take my beautiful wife around the world, and when we're done, we'll do it all again. So for those who live outside England, don't be surprised if we rock up on your door step someday. They tell me there's a big old world out there, and I want Ginny and me to see it together.
“Seamus asked me earlier how I've managed to stay with one woman for thirty years. Well, I can honestly say that Ginny is more than enough woman for me. She's a Quidditch star,” cheers from the Harpies and Quidditch crowd, “she was my beautiful bride, my sexy pregnant wife and then mother of my children. She's fiery and loving; she has stood for me, and she has stood up for me. She's seen me through my darkest times, and she's been there to share my happiest successes. We've been blessed with three great kids, and a lot of that is down to Ginny. She's an amazing mum, as I'm sure any of our kids will tell you. I should say four kids, as we've always counted Teddy as one of our own. Again, Ginny didn't hesitate to step up when it came to Teddy's upbringing. We are as proud of Teddy as we are of our own. He'll make a great head of the Aurors, and he's got his very own Weasley women behind him, in Victoire and little Dora!” said Harry.
“And another one on the way!” shouted out Teddy, beaming. His wife Vicki smiled through the tears at Harry's speech, and little two year old Dora jumped up and down in excitement. More applause rang out, and people close to the couple congratulated them.
People quietened down as Harry prepared to finish his speech.
“We have so much to be thankful for. Our world is at peace, and we have great leaders in place to take us through the next years. Our family is growing, and I'm so happy I've been able to share so much good news with you tonight. I can honestly say that I feel like the luckiest man in the world tonight. My Ginny looks so beautiful tonight, don't you agree? Thanks to Hugo for helping Ginny find her dress, and for pampering her today; she deserves the best,” said Harry.
Hugo was sobbing, and he waved his hands at Harry and blew Ginny a kiss. She'd been supportive of him when he first came out, and she'd intervened a lot with Ron and Hermione as they came to terms with his news. Aunt and nephew shared a special bond.
Harry turned to face Ginny, and he took her hands in his. “My Ginny. My beautiful, fiery, wonderful Ginny. Nobody knows me like you do. I can't imagine this life without you. You have given me so many precious moments. You were the first one to tell me they loved me. You helped me get through those dark days after the war. When I struggled to find my way as head of the Aurors, you listened to me, supported me, cheered me on and booted me in the ass when I needed it. You always believed in me. Together we created three children; you gave me the one thing I always wanted. A home. You're my home, Ginny. Wherever you are, you're my home. I love you, more than I can ever say. I will love you for all eternity, from this life till the next. You are my Ginny, my home, my heart.”
Harry turned to face his friends and family, with moist eyes. “Please raise your glasses for Ginny.”
“To Ginny!” their guests toasted, also wiping their eyes.
“Time for the cake!” cried Lily.
Hugo and Rose wheeled it out; a big cake placed on a table on wheels. With a wave of his wand, Hugo had all the candles alight, and Al called out. “To Harry and Ginny Potter!”
“Harry and Ginny” cried their guests.
Harry and Ginny blew out their candles, with a bit of help from Dora Lupin, who wanted to help Nana and Grandpa Potter. They then cut the cake, posing for photos like they had done at their wedding, thirty years earlier.
Some people came up to get some cake, and Harry and Ginny returned to mingling with their friends and family. Harry had just spoken with Draco and Astoria when he saw a flash of orange over Draco's shoulder. Excusing himself, he made his way to a dark corner.
“Ron, I didn't think you were coming,” said Harry, hugging him.
“I nearly didn't. It's still hard, you know. People don't know what to say to me, or me to them when they ask how I'm doing. I just knew she'd kick me up the bum if I didn't make it tonight. I heard your speech, it was beautiful,” said Ron softly.
“We would have understood if you didn't make it, but I am glad you're here,” said Harry sincerely. He snagged a couple of beers from a passing waiter, and handed one over.
“There's a bloody lot of people here, guess I should have dressed nicer. Sorry, it was a last minute decision,” said Ron.
Harry shrugged. “Don't worry about it, it was the orange of your Chudley Cannons shirt that gave you away. You know she hated that shirt on you,” smiled Harry.
“I know, which is why I never wore it before, and why I wear it now. Crazy, huh? That was nice what you said, thanking Hugo. Ginny and him, well, she gets on well with him.”
Harry frowned. “I thought things were better with you and the kids. You told Hugo you accepted that was how he was. Have you changed your mind?”
Ron shook his head. “No, after all we've been through the last year, I'm just glad him and Rose are still talking to me. I know I nearly stuffed it up with them, I just wished it didn't take losing Hermione, to make me see what was really important. I still need to work at it though, especially with Hugo. Gin just seems to do it effortlessly,” said Ron.
They took a drink from their beers and pondered the crowd. Some with small children were already preparing to leave. Some of the Harpies and Aurors crowd were hitting the dance floor. Harry looked around for Ginny, getting worried when he couldn't see her.
Ron put a hand on Harry's shoulder. “Go, mate. Go find her. Treasure every minute you have, because you just don't know how long you have together. Damn cancer! I'd give anything for another minute with 'Mione. Just to tell her she was the best thing in my life. So I know how you feel about Gin. Go mate, I'll catch up with you soon. Give Gin my love,” said Ron, retreating back to the shadows.
Harry moved through the crowd of friends. People were stopping him, congratulating him, thanking him for a great party. He faked a smile, all the while looking around for Ginny.
He saw James and Alice talking with Neville and Al. He went up to them. “Where's your mum?” he asked them worriedly.
Al and James exchanged another look. “Dad, she's fine. She's probably in the ladies, or something.”
“I need to find her,” said Harry hurrying off.
Al and James shook their heads. Neville looked concerned. “Is everything okay? Why is Harry so anxious about Ginny?” he asked.
James sighed. “He's been like this since Aunt Hermione passed. You know how bad Uncle Ron's been. Well a week or so after the funeral, Mum told Dad and Uncle Ron to spend some time together to grieve in their own way for her, that nobody knew what the three of them went through, but them. She told them to yell, cry, get drunk or punch something. They were there for five days, then Uncle Ron kicked Dad out. Told him he still had his wife, to go and be with her. I think Dad took it literally. He gets pretty anxious if Mum's not around or he doesn't know where she is. He always wants to be with her, and they're a lot more touchy feely, and for them, that's saying a lot.”
“Yes, they've always been quite a physical couple, always holding hands, or touching in some way. I don't think it's anything to worry about, it's probably just them reacting to the losses they've endured this year. Arthur and Molly, well, you can say that was natural, with their age and all. However, Hermione is the first of our classmates to pass, and not from the war. It would have been a big blow to Ron and Harry; Ginny too,” said Neville.
Neville left the brothers and wandered off to find Hannah. He saw her talking to their daughter Alice, who was rubbing her back. As James brushed past him on his way to his wife, Neville stopped him and pointed to the dance floor. Despite it being a disco number playing, Harry and Ginny were swaying slowly together, dancing to music only they could hear.
It took another couple of hours before Harry and Ginny could floo home. Exhausted, they sat on the lounge; Ginny kicked off her shoes. Harry leaned over to grab her feet and he began to rub them. She moaned in ecstasy, causing a voice in the fire to gasp.
“I hope you're not doing what it sounds like you're doing,” cried Lily.
Ginny laughed, and Harry leaned down to look into the fireplace. “What's up, Lil?”
“I just wanted to remind you that we're doing brunch tomorrow. Here at the Burrow. Ten thirty, don't be late. Oh, and your anniversary present is upstairs in your room. Goodnight, love you Mum and Dad,” said Lily.
Lily and Liam had been given the Burrow as an early wedding present from the family. No one had lived there since the loss of Arthur and Molly, yet it was still considered the 'family home'. When Lily had suggested she and Liam were thinking about buying it, it was welcomed by the family.
“Night Lil,” chorused Harry and Ginny.
Ginny stood up, extending her hand to Harry. “”Come on love, let's go unwrap our present,” she said.
Harry took her hand, snagging her shoes with the other. With hands around their waist, they made their way upstairs. A huge wrapped object stood in their bedroom.
“What could it be?” asked Ginny, excited.
“Be my guest,” said Harry, gesturing to her to open it.
Ginny tore the card off and read. “Dear Ginny and Harry, sorry I couldn't make it tonight. This was custom ordered from your family. Congratulations on thirty years of marriage, with many more to come. Best wishes, Dean. Oh Harry, he must have sent us a painting!”
Dean Thomas had left England to go and study art in France and Italy. His paintings had become very popular, and had made him wealthy. He still remained humble and stayed in touch with his Gryffindor dorm mates.
Ginny and Harry unwrapped the painting and looked in amazement. It was a portrait of themselves, taken on their wedding day. In the top left hand corner was James and Lily Potter, and in the right hand corner was Molly and Arthur Weasley. In the bottom left hand corner was a young James and Albus, and in the bottom right hand corner was little Lily Luna.
“Oh Harry, it's perfect,” said Ginny, with tears in her eyes. “Our past, with our parents, us, then the future, with our children. I love it. It's the best gift,” she said, unable to take her eyes off it.
“It is an amazing gift, but I hope you'll like this one too,” said Harry, handing Ginny a small box.
She took it from him and opened it, gasping. Her mother's favourite pearl brooch had been re-set into a necklace, with a diamond in the centre. Harry took it out and put it around her neck.
“Pearls are the traditional wedding gift for the thirtieth wedding anniversary, and diamonds are the modern gift. I decided to combine them. I'm sorry I took the brooch, I know you were worried you had lost it,” explained Harry, fastening it.
He stood behind her as she looked in the mirror. Their eyes met and he put his arms around her waist. “You are so beautiful Gin. I should have given you diamonds before this.”
“Oh hush, I didn't need diamonds. But, oh Harry, it's beautiful, it's a part of Mum, it's a part of you, it's perfect. Thank you so much,” she cried.
He leaned down to kiss her neck. She arched, then pulled away. “Not yet, Mr Potter. Time for your gift,” she said.
She went to the wardrobe and pulled it out. “Here, my love. Happy anniversary, Harry.”
Harry opened it. It was a beautiful watch. It had a pearl sheen for the face, and a small diamond on the twelve and the six. With a dark band it was very masculine, yet quite classic.
“Turn it over,” said Ginny. Harry did.
On the back there was an inscription. 'To Harry, Always Your Ginny'.
With a voice thick with emotion, Harry told Ginny how much he loved it. Then he told her how much he loved her.
Then they spent the rest of the night showing how much they loved each other.
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