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SIYE Time:4:14 on 23rd November 2017


For In Dreams
By Senator of Sorcery

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Category: Pre-OotP, Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, All, Draco Malfoy, Harry/Ginny, Hermione Granger, Minerva McGonagall, Neville Longbottom, Nymphadora Tonks, Other, Remus Lupin, Ron Weasley, Severus Snape, Sirius Black
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, General, Humor, Romance
Warnings: Dark Fiction, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 290
Summary: Harry had never friends, so he imagined one: a red haired girl he kept forgetting to name. Ginny imagined a shy boy with untidy hair and bright eyes, who knew nothing of magic, so she told him. He dreamt of a world of magic and of a girl who wanted to be his friend. She dreamt of a boy who loved to hear her voice, no matter what. Then dreams become a reality when Harry met Ginny.

Rating changed for later chapters.

*Nominated for 2014 November/December DSTA for Best New Story and Best Romance* *Nominated for 2016 January/Feburary DSTA for Best Comedy, Drama, and Romance*
Hitcount: Story Total: 92086; Chapter Total: 518







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Chapter Fifty-Two

Wedding Bells

Ginny

“Ginny, if you keep pacing you’re going to wear a hole through the floor,” Hermione sighed as she put away her lipstick.

Ginny stopped, unfolding her arms and dropping onto her bed. “I don’t know why I’m so nervous,” she groaned.

“Possibly because it’s your wedding day, but I could be wrong,” Hermione said dryly.

Ginny gave her a look of unamusement. “Ha-ha,” she muttered. She pushed her veil out of her face and propped her chin up on her hand. Her legs were shaking, her heart was beating rapidly in her chest, she could barely think. Harry’s mind was just as scrambled, making it hard for them to communicate. She kept thinking about the potion her mother had given her just minutes earlier. “Infertility Draft,” her mother had said quietly. “You’ll only have to take it once a week.” It had tasted like artificial cherries, Ginny recalled, but she hadn’t been focusing on that. Her brain wouldn’t stop reminding her that tonight was her wedding night.

“Ginny?”

Ginny jerked her head up at her father’s voice. He was standing in the doorway, smiling gently at her.

“It’s time,” he said.

Ginny rose from the bed, her knees nearly knocking into each other. Hermione stepped up beside her, linking her arm through Ginny’s.

“It’ll be fine,” Hermione whispered, squeezing her arm gently. Ginny just nodded. Her father held out his arm, and Ginny released Hermione to take it. Dad led her from the room, and at the stairs, Ginny paused to bunch up her skirt so she could see her feet. Her ankles wobbled as she walked down the stairs, in part because of her heels, in part because of her nerves. Hermione carried her train, dropping it only once they had exited the stairwell. Ginny’s mother and Ron were standing near the kitchen door. At the sight of them, Mum clasped her hands together under her chin and let out a happy sigh.

“You’re beautiful,” Mum said, even though she had been in the room while Ginny got ready.

“Thanks, Mum,” Ginny said, letting go of her father’s arm to hug her mother. Mum patted her cheek, then stepped back.

“Hermione, you’ll walk out first when the music starts,” Mum said. “Then Ginny, you and Arthur come after the bridal march starts.”

Ginny gave a nod. Mum had run all this through with them the day before. Mum hugged her again, then it was time for her and Ron to walk outside. Ginny hugged herself tightly, bouncing up and down on the balls of her feet, staring at the kitchen door and waiting anxiously. Hermione smoothed out the soft gold satin of her gown, showing that even she was nervous. Dad checked his watch for the third time.

Soft strains of music seeped into the room. Hermione gave Ginny a grin and a hug, then picked up her bouquet and exited. Ginny turned to her dad, who gave her a warm smile.

“Ready?” he asked.

Ginny just nodded. “I think so,” she murmured. Dad reached out and hugged her, then they heard the first notes of the bridal march and he leaned away.

“Let’s go,” he murmured, reaching up and lifting her veil over her face. Ginny took her bouquet, then linked her arm through his and let him lead her from the kitchen into the yard. A long carpet had been laid out to mark the aisle, starting just outside the marquee and leading into it. Ginny’s heart pounded in her chest as she and her father reached the carpet, then entered the marquee.

Her eyes found Harry’s face instantly. He grinned at her and she felt her lips curving involuntarily back. Her feet moved automatically down the aisle, the music and the soft murmuring from the guests fading from her ears. She heard just her heartbeat.

There was one other sound, however, and as she reached the altar and Harry, she thought that it sounded a lot like a second heartbeat, but then it seemed to either fade or sync with her own, and it slipped her mind.

Her father released her arm and lifted her veil. Then he pressed a kiss to her forehead and held out her hand to Harry, who took it with trembling fingers. Ginny’s father stepped back as Ginny stepped forward to face Harry in front of the officiator.

“Dearly beloved,” said the little man from the Ministry, “we are gathered here today to witness the union between these two, young people.”

Geez , why not make it obvious that we’re teenagers, Ginny thought.

I still think Dumbledore should officiated.

For the last time, I didn’t want our Headmaster officiating our wedding.

“In all the centuries that we wizards have been studying magic, nothing has been so elusive or magnificent as the magic that is the love between two people.”

That is so cheesy you might have written it.

Hey!

Ginny grinned at him as his lips curved in a warm smile.

“Love is the greatest magic. It binds us together, it gives us comfort, it shows us peace. At the very same time, it gives us passion, it brings us immense joy, and it shows us what it is to truly feel alive. To love is to be human, and to be human is to fall in love.”

Harry gave Ginny a smirk. She grinned back.

“Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to bring the love between these two to its highest mark. Marriage is not just a bond, it is a commitment. It is a vow to protect one another, to stay by each other’s side through the darkest of times and to share in all the happiest times. And both Harry and Ginny have sworn to do so for the rest of their lives.”

Well, it’s not like we had much choice, Harry thought.

Yeah, I’ll take your horrible puns for the rest of my life over dying.

Harry had to do his best to not laugh. Ginny grinned.

“Ginny, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to live with him and cherish him, to stand by his side through all trouble and hardship, through sickness and health, through misfortune and wealth, until death do you part?”

“I do,” Ginny murmured.

“Harry, do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to live with her and cherish her, to stand by her side through all trouble and hardship, through sickness and health, through misfortune and wealth, until death do you part?”

“I do,” Harry answered.

You ’d bloody better, Ginny joked.

Duh, if I don’t stand by you, I die or go insane. If I do, I have to stay there until I do die. Either way, I’m dying.

That’s the spirit.

“Do you have the rings?”

Ginny turned and took the ring Hermione was handing her; Harry took his from Ron. They faced each other again, holding up the rings.

“The ring is a symbol of eternity. It goes on and on and never ends, in its infinity, it is a comparison to the vow of love between these two. The bride and groom have chosen to say their own vows of love as a marker to all of this marriage.”

The officiator nodded to Harry, who cleared his throat before speaking. “Ginny,” he said.

Yes? She grinned. The corner of his mouth twitched.

“If someone had told me before we met that this would be the result, I probably would have thought they were crazy,” Harry said. Ginny couldn’t help but laugh. “Because this is honestly the craziest thing I’ve ever done.”

That’s encouraging.

Shut up and let me finish.

“Not only is this crazy, but you’re crazy,” he continued. “Because you, for some reason, decided that you wanted to spend the rest of your life with my craziness. So, I guess, we’re both crazy. But even though it’s crazy and it shouldn’t make sense and we’re young, I know that there’s nothing crazier than the idea that I might not be with you for the rest of my life.”

Aw, you’re so sweet.

“You’re the best thing that could have possibly happened to me. You’re beautiful, and you’re kind, and you make me laugh even when I want to hide away from the whole world. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. You’re everything to me. And I’m so glad that we’re both crazy.”

Ginny couldn’t help the way her lips curved in a smile or the way her cheeks flushed with pink. For all her joking, Harry’s romantic nature would never cease to amaze her.

“Harry Potter,” she began. “I’m pretty sure I knew we’d end up getting married by the time I turned fourteen. Well, actually I was certain that I’d marry you by the time I turned four, but that was when you were still a fairy tale to me.”

There was a ripple of laughter throughout the crowd. Out of the corner of her eye, Ginny saw her mother wiping tears away.

“I’ve spent ages trying to think of what to say to you in this moment,” she continued, her voice becoming a bit softer. “And I’ve never been able to pin down exactly what I do want to say. I could talk about how good you are to me, or what an amazing person in general you are, or wax poetic for two minutes straight on how much I love you. But there’s too much to say. I can’t put into words what exactly it is to be in love with you, no matter how hard I try. When you were still a fairy tale, I imagined you to be perfect, but now I know that you’re not, and I love you even more for it, because you’re perfect for me.”

And I thought I was a sap.

O h, shut up and kiss me.

Hey, we have to wait for not-Dumbledore to say we can.

Hmph.

“And now for the exchanging of the rings,” said the officiator. “Harry, repeat after me.”

Harry held up Ginny’s ring with a smile.

“With this ring, I take you as my wife.”

“With this ring, I take you as my wife.”

Ginny felt a grin break her face.

“I take you to be mine for eternity.”

Harry lifted her hand. “I take you to be mine for eternity.”

“Let no magic nor evil nor person take this ring nor the promise of this vow from you.”

“Let no magic nor evil nor person take this ring nor the promise of this vow from you,” Harry finished.

He slipped the ring onto her finger, giving her a soft and delighted smile.

“Ginny, repeat after me. With this ring, I take you to be my husband.”

“With this ring,” Ginny murmured. “I take you to be my husband.”

“I take you to be mine for eternity.”

“I take you to be mine for eternity.”

“Let no magic nor evil nor person take this ring nor the promise of this vow from you.”

Ginny lifted Harry’s hand. “Let no magic nor evil nor person take this ring nor the promise of this vow from you.” She slid the ring onto his finger, then pushed her fingers through his.

The officiator drew his wand and set the tip on their clasped hands. “Now that these two have sworn their vows and exchanged their rings, let the magic between them bind them and become one.”

Thin streams of golden light slipped from the wand and began twisting around their hands.

“Let their love flow into their magic and keep them together for all their lives. With this magic, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss.”

With their hands still held together, Harry and Ginny leaned in and pressed their lips together. As their eyes shut, the golden chains linking their hands expanded and turned to a flash of bright light, and though they did not realize it, it was nearly blinding to all those witnessing it.

They parted, and even the officiator was blinking away tears. The man lifted his wand and raised his hands. “All, please rise. I present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Harry James Potter!”

There was cheering and applause; Ginny put her arms around Harry’s waist and hugged him. He pressed a kiss to her hair and grinned at her. The officiator gave a wave of his wand and the chairs cleared, tables appeared; the music began again in earnest and trays of food and champagne appeared on tables by the back. The carpet vanished to be replaced with a dance floor, the walls disappeared to reveal the night outside.

That went well, thought Harry. Ginny kissed him again.

Having never attended a wedding that she could remember, Ginny didn’t know exactly what to expect of a wedding reception. As for the food, Mum had been cooking for days to prepare for the wedding, and it proved to be delicious. Ginny and Harry sat at a table at the front of the marquee with Ron and Hermione to eat, then there were the speeches. Ginny knew Ron was giving one, and Hermione as well, but she wasn’t sure who else would be speaking.

As Ginny had been rather focused on Harry when she entered the marquee, she hadn’t taken the time to look around at the guests. Remus and Sirius were seated at a table nearby with Tonks, Harry’s aunt and grandmother, and her parents. Professor Dumbledore and McGonagall sat at another table with some of Ginny’s relatives. At another table sat the twins with the Gryffindor Quidditch team and Lee Jordan, and she laughed to see that her two brothers and Lee were all wearing tall, sleek top hats. Her mother had invited a lot of the family, so there were at least four tables full of redheaded people. Near the back, she saw Seamus, Dean, Neville, and Luna at another table with two other people that she could not identify from the back.

As dinner came to a close, Ron rose from his chair and tapped his fork against his glass of butterbeer — Mum had refused to serve them champagne, even though it was an extremely special occasion.

“If I could have your attention for just a moment,” Ron called, effectively silencing the guests. He cleared his throat, then set down his fork. “Erm, I’m told that best man speeches are usually meant to both encourage and make fun of the bride and groom, well, mostly the groom.”

There was light laughter. Ginny smiled, looking out at the guests. The two people she had not identified in the back had turned around, giving Ginny a clear view of their faces.

Harry, it’s Krum and Fleur!

They came? Harry leaned in to look as well. They came!

I didn’t know you invited them!

I figured we might as well.

“And while I would love to make fun of Harry and Ginny,” Ron was saying; Ginny glanced back up at him, determined to pay attention, “the two of them are such a perfect couple that there’s very little to make fun of them for. As Hermione once said, they are disgustingly affectionate.”

Th e guests laughed again and Hermione smiled.

“So, here’s to Harry and Ginny,” Ron said. “May you rot all of our teeth for the rest of your lives with your disgustingly affectionate behavior. Cheers!”

“Cheers!” the guests echoed, drinking from their glasses.

“I have a toast as well,” called Hermione as she rose from her seat. “I’ve known Harry and Ginny for about five years now, and throughout those five years, they’ve never failed to surprise me with their antics except once. Back in third year, Harry used to sneak out of the castle to go to Hogsmeade with Ginny, as he’d failed to get permission to attend.”

I forgot about that, Harry thought. That was fun.

“After one afternoon of me questioning him, I think it was in March, Harry decided that the best way of changing the subject was to abruptly kiss Ginny in the middle of dinner,” Hermione said. The guests laughed, giving Hermione pause to breathe. “And the best thing about it was Ron’s reaction, as he had had absolutely no clue they were secretly going out, despite the fact that it had been going on for over a month.”

“I had some clues,” Ron said.

“He had no clue,” Hermione insisted. “I had known for nearly the entire time, however, as Harry wouldn’t stop looking at Ginny with the most embarrassing heart eyes I’ve ever seen. In fact, he hasn’t stopped yet.” Hermione turned to them, raising her glass. “And I hope he never stops. Ginny, you’re very lucky to have gotten such an adoring husband. To Harry and Ginny!”

“To Harry and Ginny!”

“My turn!” said Sirius as he stood up.

“Oh, god,” Remus muttered in a barely audible voice as he covered his eyes.

“Harry, Ginny, I’ll say one thing and one thing only,” Sirius said, completely ignoring Remus. “I never thought I’d see a couple more in love than James and Lily, but you have proven me wrong ten times over. Now, I have said my one thing, let the two of you prove me wrong for years and years to come! To Harry and Ginny!”

Harry lifted his glass, and Ginny picked up hers to clink it against his as the guests echoed the toast. “To us,” Harry murmured.

“To forever,” she said. Harry grinned and they drank.

Then the toasts were over and the music began again. Harry rose from his chair and held out his hand to Ginny.

“May I have this dance?” he asked.

“You may,” Ginny answered, grinning ridiculously broadly.

Harry took her hand and they moved around the table to the golden dance floor. Harry set his hand at her waist, then held up her other hand and they began to sway in time to the music. Ginny grinned up at him.

I’m wearing three-inch heels and you’re still taller than me this is not acceptable.

Harry laughed softly then pressed a kiss to her lips. In your face.

Their first dance as husband and wife ended and another song began. Other people joined them on the dance floor; Ginny’s parents, Ron and Hermione, Neville and Luna, Tonks with both Sirius and Remus for some reason, Fred with Kate and George with Angelina. The floor filled and Harry and Ginny slipped away, grabbing seats at another table. Ginny grinned at Harry, who grinned back and hugged her. They watched the dancers, sitting together in contented silence. Bill had asked Fleur to dance, and the two of them were in the very center. George was now dancing with Professor McGonagall, and he had given her his top hat, which she wore with pride. The sight of their aging Head of House dancing with her brother and wearing his top hat was a sight to see.

“Mr. and Mrs. Potter.”

They looked up; Krum had walked over to them. “May I join you?” he asked, his voice soft.

“Of course,” Harry said. “Thank you so much for coming.”

“It vas my pleasure,” Krum answered. “I vas very happy to be invited. This is much needed frivolity, considering the times.”

Ginny gave a nod, her gaze dropping involuntarily to Krum’s right arm; the sleeve had been pinned up at the elbow.

“How are you doing?” Harry asked.

“I am vell enough,” Krum answered. He paused, licking his lips as he thought. “I vish to thank you for your quick thinking in the maze, Potter. Had you not done vat you did, I probably vould have bled to death.”

Harry nodded, clenching his jaw slightly. Ginny reached under the table with her hand to clasp his, knowing that his mind was trying to offer up the memory of what had happened. “I just… I wish that never happened,” Harry said.

Krum gave a shrug. “The Dark Lord vas bound to resurface sooner or later,” he said. They looked up sharply, to see Krum smile. “Yes, I know. It was not hard to piece together vat truly happened, despite your Minister denying everything.”

Harr y glanced around. “Nothing’s happened yet,” he said. “Voldemort’s been quiet; that’s why Dumbledore agreed to let the Minister claim everything was an accident.”

“I guessed as much,” Krum replied. Then he leaned forward, asking in a softer voice that barely carried to them. “Vat I could not figure out was vy you were targeted so specifically.”

Ha rry dropped his gaze, then shrugged. He lifted his right arm, pulling up his sleeve to show a thin white scar on his arm. “Voldemort needed blood for his resurrection. He decided to use mine, it — it’s a long story.”

Krum lifted his hand, his eyebrows raising in a subtle but clear request for knowledge. “Ve have time, do ve not?”

Harry let out a short laugh. “Yeah, I guess so. Erm, when — when Voldemort first disappeared, he tried to kill me and failed, you know?”

“Yes, the ‘ole volrd knows,” Krum said. “Even in Bulgaria, ve know.”

“Well, at least this is Dumbledore’s theory, when he tried to kill me, it backfired on him because of my mother’s sacrifice to save me,” Harry said. “That her love put some sort of protection on me that meant he couldn’t touch me.”

“I have heard of similar magics,” Krum murmured. “The officiator vas not bullshitting ven he said love vas a powerful magic.” Ginny laughed; Harry gave a smile. “But vat did that have to do vith your blood?”

Harry hesitated before answering; Krum was someone he trusted, yes, but he wasn’t sure how much he trusted him. He thought about the book Boldblood had found in his vault, The Book of Blood, and his mother’s journals on the subject, about Dumbledore’s instructions to lie low. “I’m not sure,” Harry said finally, as that was the truth; he didn’t know what his mother had done to protect him, even if he had an idea. “But there was something about my mother’s sacrifice that it was in my blood somehow.”

“So, he used your blood in his resurrection?” Krum asked, raising an eyebrow. “And that did something?”

“Broke the protection,” Harry answered, pulling down his sleeve and hiding the mark. “So, that he could kill me.”

“I see,” Krum murmured. He leaned back in his chair, studying Harry with an inquisitive eye. “Then how did you escape?”

“Dumbledore rescued me,” Harry answered. “Got there in the nick of time.”

Krum nodded. “I am sorry for making you think of this on your vedding day,” he said. “I just… I needed to know.” Krum reached over and gripped this arm with his remaining hand, his gaze falling to the table. “It has been… difficult to carry on vith my handicap,” he confessed. “I am no longer able to play Quidditch.”

“I’m sorry,” Harry said. “If there was anything I could do…”

Krum shrugged. “There is magic to replace lost limbs, however, vatever spell that woman used… Efforts to replace my arm have failed.”

“You’re probably still one of the greatest Seekers in the world,” Ginny told him. “Even with only one arm.”

Krum laughed. “You flatter me,” he said. Then he rose from his seat. “If your husband does not mind, might I have a dance vith you?”

Ginny glanced at Harry, who shrugged; she grinned and took his hand. Krum led her onto the dance floor, then set his hand at her waist. Even with one hand, he was an excellent dancer; though, Ginny was certain that she had stepped on his toes several times. At the end of the song, Krum stepped back and bowed to her.

“Your husband is a very lucky man,” he said to her.

“Thank you,” Ginny said, her cheeks flushing.

Ginny tried to go back to her seat, but George grabbed her arm out of nowhere and dragged her into a very fast foxtrot for the next song; she ended up dancing with each of her brothers then, lastly with Bill who asked if she knew if Fleur Delacour was single or not. She didn’t, which he thought was quite unfortunate. After leaving the dance floor, she spotted Harry dancing with his grandmother, so she looked around for somewhere to sit. She saw Seamus and Dean sitting at a table nearby and started towards them.

“Hello,” she said, dropping into a seat.

“Hi, Ginny!” Dean said brightly. “Or, should I say Mrs. Potter?”

Ginny snorted. “You can still call me Ginny.”

Seamus elbowed her. “So, you were a Potter fan as a kid?” For some reason, Dean guffawed.

Ginny gave him a shove as he snorted. “Oh, shut up, all little girls were!”

“So were you, Shay!” Dean accused in a laugh.

Ginny gasped, then laughed while Seamus turned bright red. “His mum told me all about how the story of the great Harry Potter was his favorite bedtime story,” Dean continued. “He even had a doll!”

“I did not!” Seamus protested. “That was a ragdoll that had been in my mam’s family for generations! And — and! I never touched the thing,” Seamus added with a nod, as if that made everything final.

“You still pretended it was Harry Potter,” Dean said.

“Keep talking, Dean, this will embarrass Harry and Seamus,” Ginny said.

“What about your Barbies as a kid, eh, Dean?” Seamus shot back.

Dean shrugged. “My sisters made me play with them, so what? They didn’t have Ken dolls and I had action figures.”

“Those are still dolls!”

“Says the boy who had a ragdoll named Harry Potter as a child.”

“Even I never got a Harry Potter doll,” Ginny said. “And I had our wedding planned by the time I was five.”

“Did it turn out the same?” Dean asked.

“I don’t remember, I was five,” Ginny laughed with a shrug.

“Y’know, Gin, I think you did get yourself a Harry Potter doll,” Seamus said. “And a life size one at that.”

Ginny gave another laugh, leaning on the table for support. “He is a doll, isn’t he?” Ginny said, looking over her shoulder at Harry dancing with his grandmother.

“Adorable,” Dean said dryly.

Ginny snorted, looking back at them. “He is,” she said.

“Alright, none of that sappy newlywed shit,” Seamus said. “Man up, you’re having sex tonight!”

Ginny raised an eyebrow at him. He deflated.

“I shouldn’t have said ‘man up’,” he conceded. “Sorry.”

Ginny gave a satisfied nod as she twitched her skirt to make her position more comfortable, or rather to emphasize the fact that she was wearing one. “Thank you, Seamus.”

“But still, you’re getting some action later,” Seamus continued, elbowing her in the ribs with a grin. “How’s about that, eh?”

“Oh, shove off,” Ginny laughed.

“Boys,” Dean sighed.

“I completely agree.” Ginny echoed his sigh. Seamus rolled his eyes.

“If I were you, I’d be itching to get out of here,” Seamus said.

“Seamus when you get married, I’ll repeat that to you, and we’ll see how you feel then,” Ginny told him.

Dean, for some reason, blushed, but snorted and looked away. “That’ll be a sight. Seamus settling down.”

“You never know, he might!” Ginny insisted. “All he has to do is find the right girl!”

Seamus shrugged. “Maybe one day,” he said simply. “She’ll probably be blonde, I bet,” he added with a laugh. Dean abruptly gave him a cross look, but got up and held out his hand to Ginny.

“Want to dance?” he asked.

“Sure,” Ginny answered, taking his hand.

“I hope Harry knows how lucky he is,” Dean said as he set his hand to her waist. “You’re an amazing girl.”

I’M THE LUCKIEST GUY IN THE WORLD!

Harry, chill.

Can’t, I’m too busy drinking up all the lucky.

“Thanks,” Ginny said, glancing down and smiling. “I feel really lucky too.”

“That too,” Dean admitted as they began to sway to the music. “Harry’s quite the catch,” he added with a grin. Ginny laughed and grinned.

“All these compliments are going to overinflate his head,” she said.

“I’m sure you’ll pop it for him,” Dean replied, laughing.

“Oh, most definitely,” Ginny said with a nod.

At the end of the song, they returned to the table where Seamus was still sitting, having been joined by Neville and Luna.

I’m gonna go dance with Aunt Petunia.

You do that, dear.

“Ginny,” Luna cried, jumping up and throwing her arms around her. “The ceremony was so lovely!”

“Thank you,” Ginny sighed as she hugged her friend tightly. “Mum did all of the planning.”

“I suspected as much,” Luna said. “You wouldn’t talk on and on about the magic of love.”

“No, not really,” Ginny said with a laugh. “If I had designed it, it would have been so much simpler.”

“What’s wrong with complex?” asked a sudden voice; they turned to see Sirius standing behind them. “Ginny, I came to ask your favor in a dance,” he added; he held out his hand and bowed low. Ginny giggled and took it, then Harry’s godfather pressed a slightly scratchy kiss to her knuckles and led her back to the dance floor. She waved to her friends, then turned to face the dance floor. She spotted Harry, still dancing, but this time with Remus. She laughed.

I thought you were dancing with your aunt!

So did I, but she and Gram were talking and told me to go away for a minute, and then Remus swooped in.

“Did you put him up to that?” Ginny asked Sirius.

“Of course, I did,” Sirius answered. “Tonks may be acting as mother of the groom, but Remus is still Harry’s mum.”

“Remus is everyone’s mum,” Ginny told him as Sirius took her in his arms. “It’s part of who he is.”

“Remus can’t wait to be a grandmum, though,” Sirius said, winking.

“Yes, I can, and that period of time is until they’ve finished school,” Remus said as he and Harry danced past them.

Ginny gave a snort. “Yeah, neither Remus nor my mum are going to be grandmum’s any time soon.”

“Still, you’ve barely got two years left,” Sirius said. “Won’t be that long until there’ll be a little Harry, Jr.”

“We’re not naming any of our children Harry, Jr.,” Harry shot from the other side of the dance floor. Ginny grinned.

“Damn his hearing,” Sirius sighed. “I really wanted to convince you to name one of them Harry, Jr.”

“Yeah, no,” Ginny sighed. “Maybe after his dad, but not after him.”

“Ah, James, Jr., I’ll accept,” Sirius said.

“James Sirius Potter,” Ginny decided. Sirius looked at her, his eyes widening slightly.

“Really?” he murmured.

“Yeah,” Ginny said with a grin. “You’re just as much of a father figure to Harry as anything.”

Sirius grinned and wiped away an imaginary tear, then his grin fell into something a little sadder but somehow still happy. “If only James were here to see this,” Sirius said quietly. “He would have loved it.”

Ginny’s smile saddened. “I hope so,” Ginny murmured. “I hope that he and Lily would have loved it.”

“They would have loved you,” Sirius promised her. “You and Harry are perfect for each other. Obviously,” he added with a smile.

Ginny returned it. “Obviously,” she murmured.

After that, Sirius and Remus switched, putting Harry as a follow for the second dance in a row. Then Ginny danced with her father, and for a second time with Ron. At the end of those dances, Ginny found Harry once again and they danced one last song before it was time to cut the cake. As per tradition, Ginny smashed a piece into Harry’s face, and Colin managed to capture the perfect image of Harry staring at her with a murderous expression while she licked bits of icing off her fingers with a grin. After the cake mess was vanished, they lined up for pictures; the whole wedding party, just Harry and Ginny, Ginny and Hermione, Ron and Harry, Ginny and her parents, Harry with Sirius, Remus, and Tonks, the two of them with their parents/parental figures. It took nearly twenty minutes for both Colin and Ginny’s mother to be satisfied, then Harry and Ginny grabbed cake and seats. There were still people dancing, Fred and Sirius were doing an elaborate tango that Colin was photographing; Krum was dancing with Tonks, who looked like she was in heaven; Lee and Alicia were swaying out of time to the music, the both of them looking a bit tipsy; George was twirling Demelza Robbins across the floor — until she stumbled into Colin because she got too dizzy.

Remus dropped into a chair at their table with a slice of cake. “How’s the happy couple?” he asked.

“Extremely happy,” Harry answered thickly with his mouth full. “This cake is the best thing I’ve ever eaten.”

Ginny rolled her eyes as Remus chuckled. He looked out at the dancers, smiling as Sirius dipped Fred and George jumped over his twin’s head to avoid tripping. “As far as weddings go, this one was immaculate,” Remus declared as he looked back to them.

“Mum did a great job,” Ginny murmured.

“Yeah, she did,” Harry said, then swallowed. “I’m pretty sure it’s the off-white ivory of the napkins that tied everything together, though.”

Ginny hit Harry gently in the shoulder as he laughed. “Brat,” she muttered. Harry shrugged.

“The napkins are quite lovely,” Remus admitted as he picked one up. Sirius dropped into a seat, grinning at them. He’d stolen Fred’s top hat.

“You look lovely,” Remus said unenthusiastically to Sirius.

“Remus, I just had the most wonderful idea!” Sirius said, slurring just a little. “Let’s move to France.”

“We’re not moving to France.”

“It’d only be six months! Please?”

Remus shook his head. “We are not going to France anytime soon, let alone the six months required to qualify for a marriage certificate.”

Sir ius huffed. “Harry, convince your mum to move with me to France so we can get married.”

Harry almost choked on a bite of cake. Ginny thumped his back while she answered Sirius for him. “I think Remus has a point, Sirius.”

Sirius scowled at her. “You’re not helping!” he said, waving a cross finger at her. His top hat slipped down his brow, and Remus snatched it off his head to keep it from falling into his cake. “Hey!”

Remus dropped the hat onto his own head. “You were wearing it improperly,” Remus told him snootily, then adjusted his tie. “I, on the other hand, suit it much better.”

Sirius sighed, then shrugged. “Fine. You keep it, that’ll mean you’ll have to give it back to Fred or George or whichever twin I stole it from later. I’ve had too much wine to tell which is which.”

“It was Fred,” Ginny said. “He was wearing the blue tie, George’s is green.”

Sirius shrugged his shoulders up and held the position, his hands in the air cluelessly. “I don’t know which is which when I’m sober!” he said, then dropped his arms and leaned on the table. “Anyway, he’ll be looking for his hat any minute now.”

Remus echoed Sirius’s shrug, albeit less dramatically. “Then Fred can have it back when he wants it; it’s his hat.”

“Come and dance,” Sirius said to Remus, standing up.

Remus glanced around. “Sirius, I don’t think —”

Sirius grabbed his hand and pulled him up. “I’ve drunk far too much wine to give a damn about how many people are around, and frankly, so has everyone else. Come on!”

Remus heaved a sigh. Then he tipped his hat to them, saying in farewell as Sirius dragged him away, “Milord, milady.” Ginny gave Harry a grin and leaned on his shoulder.

“They should move to France and get married,” she said.

“One day, I expect they will,” Harry replied, picking up her plate of half-eaten cake, as he’d finished his. Ginny rolled her eyes at him, turning her gaze back to the dancers. Colin was still taking photographs, though Demelza was standing next to him holding two glasses of what looked suspiciously like champagne, one of which Ginny guessed to belong to Colin. Tonks seemed to have never left the dance floor, though now she was dancing with Oliver Wood. A red-faced Ron was being dragged along between Alicia and Katie in some imitation of the cancan, both girls holding glasses of champagne and singing along to the music. Ginny wondered if she and Harry would able to sneak glasses of champagne by then; it was their wedding after all. She glanced around, spotting her mother across the marquee talking with Harry’s grandmother, then a tray of champagne floating past their table. She snagged two glasses and handed one to Harry.

“Ooh, are we allowed alcohol now?” Harry asked as he accepted the glass.

“I think so,” Ginny answered. “After all, we’re legally adults because we got married, and it’s our wedding. Cheers,” she added, clinking her glass against his.

“Cheers,” he replied as they both drank. The taste was quite sweet and at the same time refreshing; the alcohol was barely detectable in all the bubbles. Ginny decided she quite liked champagne.

After they drank the first glass of champagne and a second — and Harry had finished her cake —, they went back out to dance again. Ginny felt much lighter all of a sudden, as though the bubbles of the champagne had filled her blood and made her float, or maybe it was the newlywed glow, she wasn’t sure. The Weird Sisters started playing and they ended up in a group of their schoolmates in the center of the dance floor, singing along and dancing with each and every one there. Colin had put away his camera finally and had been roped into a dance with George, so Ginny grabbed Demelza and twirled her around while her friend laughed. She, Demelza, Hermione, and Luna all ended up dancing with each other in a variant of ring around the rosies, Ginny and Luna belting out every word.

But the song ended, and the group dispersed. Neville and Luna had to leave at that point, Charlie offered to show them to the Floo so they could return home once Ginny had finished hugging them. Katie, Angelina, and Alicia and Fred, George, and Lee vanished somewhere during the chorus, Ron and Hermione just after the end of the song, Dean and Seamus returned to the food table, but Harry and Ginny found seats, followed by Demelza and Colin. Demelza grabbed more champagne for the four of them, and they all clinked glasses before drinking.

“This has been the best Christmas ever,” Demelza said, then hiccupped. “Ginny, I am so glad you decided to get married.”

“So am I!” Ginny said, hugging her friend.

“I’m the gladdest,” Harry declared, throwing his arm around Ginny and kissing her cheek. His face was flushed from the alcohol and his hair had been knocked out of the many charms Sirius had used to tame it, returning it to the messy, curly disaster it normally was. Ginny grinned at him and leaned in for a kiss.

“Hold it!” Colin suddenly declared; they froze while Colin pulled out his camera and took a picture. Ginny leaned across the table to see it. She and Harry were grinning as they kissed each other, her veil draped over her shoulder and Harry’s hair sticking up a good two inches above his head.

“Aw, we look so cute,” she cooed.

“The cutest,” Colin agreed. “You look so in love.”

“We are,” Harry said, dropping his head onto her shoulder.

Demelza giggled. “You’re, like, so cute it’s killing me.”

Ginny grinned; she was vaguely aware of Colin taking another picture. “Harry’s the best,” she said.

“He certainly is pretty photogenic,” Colin said, snapping another photo as Harry grinned.

“He’s certainly pretty,” Demelza laughed, making Ginny giggle and Harry blush.

“Gin, Gin, you’d better know how lucky you are,” Colin said suddenly. “Harry’s one of the prettiest boys at Hogwarts.”

“He’s the prettiest,” Ginny corrected him. “There’s none prettier than Harry.”

“He’s in the top three, at least,” Colin admitted.

“The top one!” Ginny insisted.

“Who’s prettier than me?” Harry asked around his glass of champagne. “Other than, Ginny, obviously.”

“Aw, darling, you’re so nice,” Ginny laughed, hugging him.

“Don’t get me started on how many pretty people are at Hogwarts,” Colin sighed. “There’s a million pretty boys in Gryffindor alone, and I’m not even counting teachers, because, honestly, Professor Black is the prettiest person I’ve ever seen.”

“Ew, you have a crush on my godfather,” Harry laughed. “Wait, what?” he added, frowning at what he had just said.

“But who’s prettier than Harry?” Ginny pressed. “No one, that’s who!”

“Oliver Wood,” Colin said, ticking off on his fingers. “Ooh, Eddie Carmichael.”

“Oh, god, Carmichael!” Demelza sighed. “I’d transfer to Ravenclaw if it meant I could see Eddie Carmichael every day.”

“Eddie Carmichael is not prettier than Harry,” Ginny said, sticking her nose in the air. “His eyes are dull.”

“His eyes are the color of hot chocolate, thank you very much!” Demelza insisted.

“Harry’s are the color of emeralds,” Ginny told her.

Demelza faltered. “Fine, Harry’s prettier than Eddie Carmichael.”

“Yeah, and Oliver Wood graduated two years ago,” Ginny said. “Update your list, Colin.”

Colin rolled his eyes as he sipped his champagne.

“Who else is prettier than Harry, though?” Demelza said.

“No one!” Ginny declared. Harry had buried his face in her veil at about the same time Colin mentioned Carmichael, but at that lifted it to kiss her cheek.

“Thank you for defending my honor as the prettiest boy in Hogwarts,” Harry said, slurring a little.

“You’re welcome,” Ginny told him. He pecked her lips and dropped his head onto her shoulder again.

“I think Thomas might be prettier than Harry,” Demelza said. “He’s so tall,” she added in a dreamy voice.

“No, he slouches a lot and he’s always wearing the exact wrong colors for his skin tone,” Colin said. “Sure, he’s pretty, but not prettier than Harry.”

Demelza tapped her nose, then suddenly grinned and nudged Colin. “I know someone that you think is prettier than Harry.”

“Who?” Ginny asked as Colin frowned.

“Everything from his blonde hair to his pale eyes is beautiful in your mind, Colin,” Demelza said, grinning even more evilly.

Colin suddenly turned red. “Mel!” he protested.

“Who is it?” Ginny asked.

“Don’t judge me,” Colin said, then paused, and downed the last of his champagne. “Draco Malfoy.”

“What?” Ginny and Harry both cried.

“I said don’t judge me!” Colin protested.

“He claims it’s from an artistic point of view,” Demelza said, “but I know he just likes that bad boy air Malfoy’s got.”'

"I do not!" Colin insisted.

“You want bad boy you go after Zachariah Smith, or Cormac McLaggen,” Ginny said with a sniff, “but Malfoy? He’s evil!”

“I know!” Colin said. “I never said I liked him, he’s just arguably prettier than Harry!”

“Malfoy is not prettier than me!” Harry insisted. “That is impossible!”

“From an artist’s perspective, yes,” Colin said. “His cheekbones are sharper and his eyes are more piercing, in general, he’s more aesthetically pleasing.”

“I refuse to accept that,” Ginny said. “No one is prettier than Harry.”

“Who’s prettier than Harry?” asked Hermione as she dropped into a chair.

“No one!” Ginny insisted. Harry’s face turned a darker shade of pink and he dropped his head onto the table.

“Eddie Carmichael,” Demelza said. “I think at least. And, apparently, Malfoy.”

Hermione wrinkled her nose. “No! He’s horrible!”

“You have to admit, he’s very aesthetically pleasing,” Colin said.

Hermione gave a sigh. “He is, and that makes it so much more annoying that he’s a git.”

Colin pointed to Hermione. “Even Granger agrees with me!”

“Ginny, the artist says that Malfoy is prettier than I am,” Harry said, “let it go.”

“I am an artist too!” Ginny said. “And so’s Dean; Dean!”

“Coming!” called back Dean, and a moment later he appeared, holding a plate of mini sausages and with Seamus behind him. “What’s up?” he asked as he grabbed a chair.

“From an artist’s perspective, who’s prettier, Malfoy or Harry?”

Dean blinked. Seamus laughed and dropped into a chair. “Come again?” Dean asked.

“Is Malfoy prettier than Harry?” Demelza asked. “Disregarding the both of their characters, based on physical attractiveness alone.”

“This is a much too logical conversation than I wanted to get into,” Colin sighed.

“Harry,” Dean decided. “Malfoy washes himself out with his pale skin and hair.”

“That just makes him more aesthetically pleasing!” Colin insisted.

Dean raised an eyebrow. “You got something against brown skin?”

Harry straightened up. “Yeah! Although I’m only one-quarter Indian, I think.”

Hermione glanced between Dean and Harry and hastily adopted a stern expression as Dean said to Harry: “That still counts, mate.”

“I have nothing against brownness,” Colin said calmly. “It is also extremely aesthetically pleasing, I was merely saying that the combination of Malfoy’s pale skin, hair, and eyes make him more aesthetically pleasing than Harry.”

“That’s a fat load of bull, Colin, and you know it,” Demelza said. “You think Malfoy’s prettier because Harry went and got himself married.”

“That’s perfectly acceptable,” Hermione said as Colin let out a frustrated groan and dropped his head onto the table. “Right?”

Dean shrugged. “I’ll take it.”

“Excellent, Harry is prettier than Malfoy, case closed,” Ginny said.

“Wait, who on earth tried to say Malfoy was better looking than Harry?” asked Ron as he sat down.

“Oh, hi, Ron,” Ginny said. “Colin did.”

Ron gasped while Colin threw his hands in the air. “I just said that he was more aesthetically pleasing!”

“You can’t like Malfoy!” Ron said. “He’s a prick!”

“I don’t like Malfoy!” Colin insisted. Demelza smirked, and Colin elbowed her. “He is very much a prick, and it’s extremely unfortunate that he’s so pretty because he’s a prick.”

“Enough about Malfoy,” Hermione sighed. “I don’t care how pretty he is, he’s a horrible person.”

“Everyone has opportunity to become good, though,” Colin said to her.

“Theoretically,” Hermione sighed, lifting Ginny’s champagne glass. “Do you mind?”

“Oh, here, have your own,” Ginny said, snatching a glass from a passing tray. Hermione thanked her and took a sip.

“Lovely,” she sighed. “Better than French champagne.”

“Champagne is always French,” Dean said. “If it’s not French, it’s sparkling wine.”

“It’s better than the champagne I had in France the year before last,” Hermione clarified.

Ginny, glad that the subject of Malfoy’s attractiveness had dropped, grinned. “Mum spent ages picking out the champagne and wines,” she said. “Said it was almost more important than the cake.”

“Almost being the important part,” Seamus said through a mouthful of cake.

“Nothing is more important than cake,” Ron agreed.

“I don’t like cake,” Demelza said.

“Really?” Ron said. “Are you even human?”

Hermione hit Ron’s shoulder while Demelza scowled at him. “I’m at least half human,” she said smarmily. “Mum wouldn’t tell me what kind of alien my dad was.”

“What?” Harry said, utterly confused. Demelza rolled her eyes.

“My dad ran off when I was a baby,” she said. “I like to joke that it was because Earth’s gravity didn’t agree with him.”

“Hey, my dad vanished when I was a kid, too,” Dean said.

“Whoo, kids without fathers’ club,” Demelza cheered half-heartedly.

“Well, I’ve got a step-dad,” Dean admitted.

“Traitor,” Demelza responded, waving a finger at him.

“Me dad divorced me mam when I was eight, does that count?” Seamus asked.

Demelza shrugged. “Sure.”

“My dad died,” Harry said.

“That most certainly counts,” Demelza said. “In fact, I’m pretty sure you count as an orphan.”

“Yeah, I think so too,” Harry said. “Though, I’ve got Sirius and Remus.”

“Yeah, but they’re not your parents,” Seamus said. “They’re, what, your godfathers? Wait, why do you have two godfathers?”

“Remus is Harry’s godmother,” Ginny sniggered. Harry snorted, then rolled his eyes.

“I just have two godfathers,” Harry said. “And they’re pretty close to parents.”

“And you’ve got our parents,” Ron said. “Not only that, they’re your parents-in-law.”

“Ah, yes, never thought I’d be on such good terms with my mother-in-law,” Harry said.

Ginny laughed, leaning on his shoulder. “I think you’re her favorite son,” she told him.

“Probably,” Ron chuckled.

“I’m sure Mrs. Weasley doesn’t pick favorites,” Hermione said.

“Be hard to,” Seamus said. “The whole lot of ‘em are wicked cool. Did you see Bill? He’s got a fang earring!”

“Came from a tomb in Egypt,” Ron said.

Seamus’s eyes got wide. “Wow,” he muttered.

Just then, Krum appeared behind them, holding his cloak over his arm and with Fleur behind him, her cloak already drawn over her shoulders. “Potter?”

“Krum, Fleur,” Harry said, quickly standing up. “Are two you leaving?”

“Yes, it is getting late,” Krum said. “Ve are staying in the same hotel.”

“Bonsoir, Madame Potter,” Fleur said, leaning in and kissing Ginny’s cheeks, then Harry’s. “I wish you many ‘appy years.”

“Thank you, Fleur,” Ginny said with a smile. “Thank you for coming.”

Krum shook Harry’s hand, then kissed Ginny’s. “It vas a very enjoyable evening,” he said. “Thank you again for inviting us.”

“Goodbye,” Harry said to them as they left. They stood, watching as their two guests walked out of the marquee and down the old dirt road until they reached the gate and Disapparated.

“I still can’t believe you invited Viktor Krum,” Seamus said as they took their seats. “He nearly beat the Irish national team at the World Cup!

“The Irish still won,” Harry said with a wave of his hand.

Seamus huffed but checked his watch. “Krum had a point,” he said. “It’s nearly midnight.”

“Is it, really?” Ginny asked, looking at Harry’s watch.

“Yeah, Dean, we should get going,” Seamus said.

“Are you two staying in the village?” Hermione asked.

“Nah, we’re staying at me mam’s,” Seamus told her. “Dean’s doesn’t have a Floo connection.”

“You can use our Floo to get back,” Ron told him, standing. “I can show you.”

Seamus nodded, rising from his seat. “Yeah, me mam said we should.”

Dean threw the last of his mini sausages in his mouth. “See you back at Hogwarts,” he said to Harry and Ginny as he stood up. “It was great to be here.”

“Thank you for coming,” Ginny said, getting up to hug him. “It was great to have you,” she added, hugging Seamus.

“I had a swell time,” Seamus said, patting her shoulder. “Best wedding ever.”

“You’ve never been to a wedding before,” Dean said as Ron led them away. Ginny folded her arms over her chest, watching them go. She looked around, seeing that plenty of other people had left when she hadn’t been paying attention, mostly her relatives. She spotted Tonks sitting at a table with her mother, Harry’s aunt, and his grandmother, looking rather morose, and walked over to her.

“You look like you’re having fun,” Ginny said to her, dropping into a seat.

“Oh, Ginny, congrats so much,” Harry’s grandmother said, sounding rather tipsy.

“Oh, yeah, I am,” Tonks said, smiling at her. “It’s just, everyone’s drunk and I can’t have any of the champagne.”

“Why not?” Ginny asked as she frowned.

Tonks sighed and leaned back in her chair, her hands falling on her stomach. “Can’t drink alcohol when you’re pregnant,” she said.

“You’re pregnant?” Ginny gasped.

Tonks is pregnant?

“Don’t shout about it,” Tonks hushed her. “But, yeah, I am.”

“Congratulations,” Ginny said with a grin. “Since when?”

“October,” she answered.

“When you went to America,” Ginny said, nodding.

“Yep,” Tonks sighed. “Totally not planned.”

“Who’s the father, if you don’t mind me asking,” Ginny added hastily.

Tonks gave another sigh. “I don’t mind. You remember the American Auror who was killed that the Prophet wrote about?”

“Yeah,” Ginny answered. “Oh, no, it’s not him, is it?”

Tonks nodded. “It’s just my luck to get pregnant just to have the dad killed the next week.”

“I’m sorry,” Ginny said, touching her shoulder.

Tonks shrugged, giving her a smile. “I’ll make do,” she said. “I’ve decided to carry it to term, though I don’t know whether or not I’ll keep it. I might give it up for adoption.”

“Whatever you do, I’m here for you,” Ginny said.

Tonks’s smile warmed and she laughed. “Normally, it’d be me, the adult, telling you, the teenager, that, but I appreciate it.”

Ginny’s mum looked up and seemed to only just notice her. “Oh, Ginny, there you are,” she said; Ginny fought the urge to laugh, because she was certain that even her mother had had maybe one too many glasses of champagne. “You and Harry are free to go by now, you know,” she said. “We’ve worked it all out, you two are going back to the farm, and his gram and Petunia will stay here so they’re out of your way.”

Ginny felt herself blush. “Oh, okay,” she said.

“Don’t you worry about tomorrow, either, Sirius and Remus have promised to take you to the aero ship plane thing,” Mum mumbled. “I dunno, the Muggle way to your honeymoon.”

“Thanks,” Ginny said, feeling her blush increase. “I’m just going to go…” she got up and walked back to the table where Harry was still sitting with Ron, Hermione, Colin, and Demelza.

“Your mum is so thoughtful,” Harry said as she sat down.

“Oh, shut up,” Ginny said, still blushing. He laughed.

“Why’s she thoughtful?” Demelza asked with a frown.

“Never mind,” Ginny said.

Colin had packed up his camera. “We should go,” he said. “It is really late; you two probably want to leave for your honeymoon thingy so you can sex it up,” he added with a knowing look.

“Oh, yeah, let’s leave before they do,” Demelza said as she got up. “Ron, can you escort me and Colin to the Floo?”

“Colin and I,” Colin corrected her.

“Shush,” Demelza said, waving a hand at him.

“Bye,” Ginny said, opening her arms for a hug; Demelza hugged her and dropped a friendly kiss onto her cheek.

“I can be French, too,” she said, grinning. “I’ll see you at Hogwarts, Gin.”

“Byeee,” Ginny echoed to Colin as she hugged him too. “See you at Hogwarts.”

“This way,” Ron sighed, evidentially tired of escorting people to the Floo.

“Such nice friends,” Ginny sighed, leaning on Harry. “They’re cute together.”

“They’re not dating,” Hermione said.

Ginny waved a hand. “I can dream,” she said. “They’d make cute babies.”

“They would,” Hermione sighed. “Lovely babies with his greeny-bluey eyes and her dark hair.”

“Adorable babies,” Ginny murmured.

“Oh, Colin had a point,” Hermione said. “Get out of here; you’re leaving really early tomorrow, aren’t you?”

“Mhmm,” Ginny murmured. “The flight leaves at eight, we have to be there at six. Oh, Harry, Sirius and Remus are taking us to the airport. Apparition, I think.”

“Okay,” Harry said.

“How long does it take to get there?” Ginny asked.

“Nearly 22 hours,” Harry said, yawning. “We’ll land really early Wednesday morning.”

“Oh, why did we pick Australia?” Ginny mumbled.

“Sirius and Remus did, and because it’s very Muggle,” Harry said. “At least, Sydney is.”

“Right,” Ginny sighed.

Hermione waved her hands. “Whichever. Get going, if you’re leaving at six, you want to get at least a few hours sleep before you go.” She gave them a knowing look.

Ginny giggled. “Yeah, I s’pose. How are we getting to your grandmother’s house?”

Harry shrugged. “Walk?”

Ginny rolled her eyes. “I’m not walking in this,” she said, pointing to her dress.

“I’m Apparating you,” said Remus’s voice. She looked up and waved to Harry’s godfather. He was still wearing Fred’s top hat.

“Thank you, Remus,” Ginny said with a smile. “You’re very kind.”

“But you do have to double check your bags before you leave,” he said. “So, you should go upstairs and make sure that you’re all packed for your honeymoon now so you can go.”

Ginny gave a sigh. “I know I’m packed,” she said.

“I’m mostly packed,” Harry admitted.

Remus shrugged. “Well, go on.”

Ginny rose from her chair and reached over to hug her maid of honor. “Bye, ‘Mione,” she said. “See you when we get back.”

“Bye,” Hermione said, squeezing her gently. “Bring me something nice, yeah?”

“Of course,” Ginny grinned. “Something from a shitty tourist trap gift shop, right?”

Hermione laughed. “That’ll do,” she said. “Have fun.”

Harry gave Hermione a hug as well, then the two of them returned to the house and went up to her room to get their bags. Ginny hadn’t been lying when she said she was completely packed, so as Harry threw the last of his things in his suitcase, she sat on the bed waiting for him. They each had one small suitcase that had been enchanted to expand and hold no extra weight, plus one carry-on bag each; their school bags. Ginny had managed to get all of her freshly acquired lingerie into her suitcase without Harry noticing, except for the best set, which, she recalled as she sat fidgeting with her veil, she was wearing.

“Ready,” Harry said after some fifteen minutes’ work.

Ginny nodded, getting up and tossing her veil down onto the bed. She didn’t need it anymore. She grabbed her school bag and her suitcase, then followed Harry from the room and back to the first floor. Remus was waiting for them in the sitting room, reading a magazine. He looked up and set the magazine aside as they approached.

“Good?” he asked them.

“Yep,” Harry said.

Remus rose from his chair and gestured for them to exit. “I’ll Apparate you to the farmhouse’s gates,” he said. “The wards won’t let me Apparate any closer, of course.”

Ginny started towards the dirt road and the gates, then paused. “Let me say goodbye to my parents,” she said, setting down her bags.

“Of course,” Remus said. Harry set down his bags and followed her back to the marquee. She found her parents sitting at the same table, her father looking tired but happy, her mother still tipsy.

“Goodbye,” Ginny said to them, hugging her mother.

“Goodbye, love,” Mum said as she kissed her cheek. “Have fun.”

“Bye, Daddy,” Ginny said as she hugged her father. “We’ll see you in two weeks.”

“Bye, princess,” her dad said as he smiled at her. “Enjoy yourselves.”

“Do I get a hug too?” Harry’s gram asked.

“Of course,” Ginny said with a laugh, complying. Harry hugged her mother and his gram, then his aunt and they started towards the exit. They found Sirius and Tonks standing with Remus, Tonks looking very tired.

“Ah, there they are,” Remus said. “Sirius and I were just discussing what time we were meant to collect you in the morning.”

“We have to be at the airport at six, right?” Harry said.

“Yes, but it doesn’t take long to Apparate there,” Sirius said. “We wanted to know whether or not you wanted to get food in between.”

Harry gave a shrug. “We can get something at the airport.”

“How about this then, we Apparate to the airport at five thirty,” Remus said. “That way, you have time to eat.”

“Sounds good,” Harry said.

Remus gave a nod and picked up their carry-on bags, handing them to them. “Then let’s get going,” he said. “Shall we?”

They took their bags and started towards the gates. Sirius and Tonks followed them; they would be Apparating back to their flat.

“See you,” Tonks said as she hugged the two of them. “Have a lovely time.”

“Thank you,” Ginny said. “Bye.”

Remus gripped their arms, then he twisted on the spot, and they were sucked into one point to be expulsed onto the yard of Mrs. Evans’s farm.

“I take my leave,” Remus said, bowing to them and sweeping off the top hat he had still not given back to Fred. “I shall see you in the morning.”

Ginny giggled, then Remus Apparated away. Harry looked at Ginny. Her heart was pounding, and she knew his was as well.

“Shall — shall we go in?” he asked.

“Yeah,” she said, shrugging her bag higher up on her shoulder. “Erm, you can carry me over the threshold to our room, you don’t have to carry me all the way up there.”

“Oh, good, I wasn’t sure that I’d be strong enough to carry you up a flight of stairs.”

Ginny unlocked the front door with her wand, then Harry helped her carry her train into the house before he shut the door and locked it again.

“Should we just leave our things here?” Harry asked, gesturing to the bags.

Ginny looked at them, then nodded. “We won’t need them until tomorrow anyway,” she said.

Harry flushed, his gaze falling. “Right,” he said, dropping his bags. “Erm.”

Ginny looked at him, then kicked off her shoes and bunched up her skirt. “Race you to our room!” she called, taking off for the stairs.

“Hey!” Harry shouted after her, but she was already halfway up them; she glanced over her shoulder, laughing, then staggered out of the stairwell. But Harry had caught up to her; he grabbed her arm, and the two of them crashed into a wall.

“Ow,” she mumbled, giggling.

“Sorry,” he said, looking down at her. He was a good four inches taller than her now. Ginny licked her lips, her skirt slipping from her hands. Harry’s eyes were not on hers, but on the neckline of her dress.

His gaze flicked back up to hers, then leaned in and pressed his lips to hers. It started off soft; Harry gently kissing her, but then it deepened. She felt his hands at her waist, then he was pulling her tightly against him and his hands were slipping down to her hips. Ginny pressed her hands against his chest, grabbing onto his tie and pulling him downward, closer to her. His hands slid from her hips to her ass, making her gasp into his mouth. Harry seemed for a second to pull away, then his hands returned and he pressed her into him. Ginny’s heartbeat was going a million miles per hour, and she could feel his heart beating the same against her chest.

Harry pulled his lips back, then quickly bent and scooped her into his arms. Ginny gasped, flinging her arms around his neck.

“Threshold,” he said. “Gotta carry you over the threshold.”

His glasses were lopsided. Ginny fixed them, making Harry smile. “Go on, then,” she said.

Harry walked carefully down the hallway; his arms were shaking almost unnoticeably, but his room wasn’t far. Ginny opened the door with her wand and Harry set her down inside.

She stared at him a moment, feeling the ghosts of his hands on her ass, then she reached up and slipped the sleeve of her dress off her shoulder. Harry stood there, staring at her, his eyes very wide. Ginny glanced at him, then pushed the other shoulder off. Harry stepped closer, his hands lifting to touch her bare shoulders. She sucked in her breath; Harry’s fingers drifted over her collar bone, then downward to the neckline of her gown. The touch, even over the lace of her dress, sent shivers down her spine. Her stomach twisted into knots and she felt something in her like a spark, waiting and needing for more to fuel the fire.

“Go on,” she whispered.

Harry looked up at her. He licked his lips, then he returned his hands to her shoulders and pulled at the sleeves of her dress; slowly, painstakingly, he tugged it downward, until the first hint of lace caught his eye and he froze, staring. Ginny reached up and took his hands, pushing down. Her gown fell to the floor with a soft thump.

Harry’s eyes darted up and down her body, his mouth open. Ginny stepped out from the pile of her dress and reached for his tie. She pulled it loose, then cast it aside. Harry couldn’t take his eyes off of her chest, until she began undoing the buttons on his shirt.

“I can —” he mumbled, raising his hands, but Ginny waved them away.

“I want to do it,” she said. Harry gulped.

Ginny’s fingers trembled as she unbuttoned his shirt, then pushed it and his robe off of his shoulders. She pressed her palms to his arms, then pulled them up, pressing her hands to his chest. Harry’s heart was beating fast beneath her fingers. She looked up at him, her eyes wide.

Harry lifted her into his arms again. She went quietly this time as he carried her from the doorway to the bed. He laid her down gently onto its surface, then just stood there, his eyes drinking her in. Ginny lifted her arms over her head, her legs crossing on their own in response to her body’s shaking. Harry climbed onto the bed, his knees falling on either side of her hips and his hands framing her shoulders.

“You’re beautiful,” was all Harry said.

“So are you,” Ginny answered. “Now kiss me.”

He didn’t need telling twice; his lips all but attacked hers, his arms dropping to his elbows to press against her. Ginny pushed her hands into his hair, her back arching into him. Harry broke his lips from hers to kiss down her chin to her neck, then dragged his lips from her clavicle to her cleavage; she gasped and moaned as he began to suck a hickey into her skin, his lips and tongue driving all thought from her mind. His hands found her back and fumbled with the clasp of her bra, then unhooked it and pulled it away. He lifted up to stare at her, his expression something reserved for the works of Van Gogh or Monet. Then he bent and kissed her again, Ginny murmuring his name under her breath, her mind filled with what his lips were doing and how amazing it felt. She felt his hands at her hips, then moving back up her waist to her chest as he dropped kisses up her shoulder to her neck and caught her lips once more. Ginny pressed her hands to his back, then moved them down to grab his ass and press his hips to hers.

“Those need to come off,” Ginny whispered into his ear as she pushed her fingers past the waistband of his trousers.

“Right,” Harry muttered, lifting up to fumble with his belt. Ginny slipped further up the bed, pulling her whole body onto it. Harry discarded his trousers and hesitated at his boxers. He looked up at her. Ginny bit her lip, her heart pounding. The fire that had started in her stomach had spread to her whole body, lying just under her skin and itching for more.

Harry dropped the boxers onto the floor, then crawled up to her. His hands went to her hips, pulling away her last bit of clothing, leaving them both exposed and bare.

Ginny couldn’t take her eyes off him. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. She reached out, her hand shaking as she touched him. Harry’s eyes squeezed shut, falling to his knees as she sat up and pressed her lips to his, her hand closing on him. She felt his heartbeat, his blood rushing through his ears, his mind overflowing with the sensation. Ginny abruptly released him, then fell back on the bed, her eyes fixed on his. Harry knelt over her, kissing her once more, his hips lining up with hers.

Hermione had been right. It didn’t hurt. Ginny immediately moaned, her back arching and her knees lifting to press against his hips. Harry’s breath was heavy in her ear, her name slipping from his tongue as his escaped her mouth. Her mind filled with colors, bright red and pink and purples that were the only thing she could use to describe the perfection and the delight of what was happening. The colors intensified as did the pleasure, until it mounted so high she couldn’t hold it any longer; then Harry gave and she clutched him to her, her fingers gripping his hair. Her toes curled.

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