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The Lost Nineteen Years by Terri West

Format: Novella
Chapters: 17
Word Count: 47,010
Status: WIP

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Fluff, Humor, Romance
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Teddy, Albus, James (II), Lily (II), Hugo, Rose
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Bill/Fleur, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Luna

First Published: 08/22/2007
Last Chapter: 11/13/2010
Last Updated: 11/13/2010

Summary:
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Totally amazing banner by CJ_Black at TDA!

This story is about everything that happens after the big battle of hogwarts. I stick to the facts from the books, and I simply wanted to write about the things that lead up to the chapter :)

44,000 Reads!! Thanks so much for all the support!! Chapter 17 UP!! :D


Chapter 1: Harry in Memoriam
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Harry in Memoriam

Harry reached the top of the many staircases leading up to the Gryffindor tower, and walked down the hall toward the Fat Lady. He hadn’t uttered a single word, but all the same, she swung out towards him, her face beaming. Harry crawled through the portrait hole and collapsed in his favourite armchair by the fire, his mind racing.

The tower, as the first thing he realized, was apparently not damaged, or had repaired itself. There were a couple of overturned chairs, proof of how the students had fled in a hurry before the battle, but other than that, the commonroom was just as cozy as Harry remembered it to be.

For a minute or two, it seemed as if his brain was unable to settle on one of the thoughts speeding through his head. This got annoying, he couldn't think clearly. Finally, one of the thoughts seemed to come into the light, a thought that sent a new cascade of contemplations into his already overflowing mind. It was over. He was finally gone.

He felt relief above anything, he had survived…the elder wand...his final encounter with the wizard who had haunted him for so long...

Dumbledore’s words from the dream (or had it been a dream?) still echoed in his head. The old wizard’s confession, how he had begged Harry to forgive him. Dumbledore- Harry had always thought he had known him, but now that he knew the truth, he felt that he had only scratched the surface of the lined, careworn face… an old man’s mistakes…

He pulled himself out of his dazed state, fiercely attempting to face the reality now crashing down upon him. With a pang he remembered Fred's glossy eyes as his last laugh ebbed from him. With this, he also started remembering all those who had lost their lives fighting with him, protecting him. A series of images now began to show before his eyes: His parents smiling at their wedding, Sirius' dog like laugh before he fell through the veil, Dumbledore being blasted over the battlements, Mad-Eye, with his scarred face, his constant vigilance... Dobby, lying in the grass before him at Shell cottage, the sound of the sea below the cliffs, and now also Remus, Tonks, and Fred. Even Hedwig was gone... they had all been a part of him. Grief came thundering into him at the thought that he would never see or speak to any of them ever again. Tears gleamed in the green eyes that had seen so much, experienced so many horrors…Now it was all over, gone.

Harry must have been sitting in that chair for hours. He realized he was starving, a feeling that felt so strange to him. He found it terrible, yet wonderful that he could still feel hunger. Though, he realized, he could not make himself go down to the Great Hall, where so many feelings still swarmed, where the wounds of the battle must surely take a long time to heal.

Just then, there was a loud CRACK, and a small creature with eyes the size of tennis balls appeared. It took Harry a moment to realize who it was.

“Kreacher?”

“Master Harry Potter!” Squealed the elf and bowed so low that his long pointy nose scraped the floor. “Master defeated the Dark Lord…Master completer Master Regulus’ work! Kreacher does not know what to say. The other house elves are jealous of Kreacher, Master, because Kreacher has the honor to serve he who slayed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”

“Yeah, err, thanks a lot Kreacher, you were brilliant as well!” Harry smiled, slightly amused at the sight of the adoring elf. Kreacher bowed low again.

“But listen,” said Harry, having an idea emerge from his crowded thoughts, “Do you think you could get me something to eat? I don't really want to go down there and I haven't eaten in a long time...” (Hermione would have killed him if she had heard that, he thought) “And if you could, it would be great if you could find Ginny Weasley and ask her to come up here, if she can.” The last part sort of blurted out of him, without any idea of where it came from, but he realized it was Ginny he was most anxious to see.

“Absolutely, sir.” The elf seemed overjoyed at being given new orders, and couldn't seem to respond fast enough. There was another loud CRACK, and he was gone.

Harry got up and started walking around the commonroom. Past the window where, two years before, Hedwig had come to him with an injured wing... Past the fireplace where Sirius’ head had appeared so many times during his fourth and fifth year. Harry thought about the time last year when he had crawled in through the portrait hole and was met by a roar of celebration as they had won the quidditch cup, the time that Ginny had ran at him and kissed him…He found himself surprised at the amount of memories this room held for him. Two hours previously he hadn't thought he would see it again.

His thoughts, then, wandered back to Ginny, as they had done for the past year in the back of his head. He had shut these thoughts out, refused himself to believe that they could ever be together. But now... He hadn't properly considered what would happen if he survived, the possibility had always seemed so far fetched that he hadn't let himself contemplate it. A joy came over him at the thought that Ginny was safe, she was alright, uninjured. Thinking of her had made him, though he did not realize it, smile broadly.'

But then he stopped smiling, as the complexity of the situation hit him. What was he going to say to her? How could he ever explain what he had done? Would she still love him after everything he had put her through this past year? He did not know if she would understand. He found his hand shaking slightly as nervousness took hold of him. She might not want him back... had the past year made her realize what dangers surrounded him, dangers that now, were greatly decreased but some of which might still exist?

He was now sitting again in his chair by the fire, staring into the flames, sadness filling him as he realized that Ginny would most probably be angry with him, much less want to talk to him.

Just as he was thinking this, the portrait hole opened, and Ginny came through, her long red hair gleaming. Harry gazed at her, not quite believing that he was seeing her come toward him. She had that same hard-blazing look on her face as she had that time when she had come running towards him last year, but it also mingled with another, unreadable emotion.

She simply stood and looked at him. “Don’t ever do that to me again.” She said in a low voice. “I didn't even come up here if that bloody house elf of yours hadn't attacked me with broken pieces of crystal balls from the entrance hall.”

Her look was stony, and Harry found himself unable to reply, because he knew exactly why she was angry, and she had every right to be.

“I saw you, Harry, I thought you were dead.” Her eyes filled with tears, she flung her arms helplessly into the air. Harry couldn’t stand seeing her like this, angry and confused, it was breaking his heart to know that he was to blame for her pain, once again.

“What was it you wanted, anyway?” She demanded, fighting to control her tears.

“Ginny I-” Harry stuttered quietly, his mind racing to find the right thing to say, to somehow explain why he had done what he had done. “If you would listen to me... if you would let me explain, I promise, I'll tell you the truth, everything.” He continued, having made his decision.

“Oh yes, because there would be so much to tell, right!” Ginny exclaimed, her voice gleaming with sarcasm.

“Please, if you just give me one chance, I'm not defending what I've done, I just need you to see why I had to do it,” Harry replied, her words stabbing him, taking away his strength and hope.

She seemed to struggle with herself for one moment, and then huffed and flung herself into one of the armchairs facing Harry, her arms crossed. Then she looked at him expectantly.

Taking this as permission to begin talking, he told her about last year, how Dumbledore had taught him about the horcruxes, and how they had gone to find one in the cave, how they had found the fake locket. His eyes were fixed on the flames dancing in front of him, images of these past events seemingly appearing in the flames as he recounted his past year. He told her how he, Ron, and Hermione had gone out in search of the rest of the horcruxes after Dumbledore had died, and how they had destroyed the rest of them. He told her about Snape's memories, and that he had found himself to be Voldemort’s seventh horcrux, and that the only way to destroy this part of Voldemort's soul would be to sacrifice himself. Ginny's expression softened as he told his story. She became gradually more involved in Harry's continuous speech, making soft exclaims of terror as he recounted the events of their hunt for Voldemort's souls.

When he had finished, his face was streaked with tears mixing with the dirt and other debris he realized his face was covered in. Ginny's eyes now only reflected affection, the anger gone from her beautiful features.

There was a new loud CRACK, making them both jump. It had been silent for a while after Harry had finished talking. Kreacher had reappeared, carrying a large tray full of delicious-looking sandwiches. He bowed again, saluted to Ginny, and disapparated. Harry gathered what he thought must be his last strength and went on.

“And I know you are going to ask why I couldn't take you with me to help,” he said, desperate for her to get this point. “It was because I couldn’t bear the though of anything bad happening to you.” He blurted, and then took a deep breath to steady himself. “Because…because…I love you Ginny.”

There, he had said it, and her eyes welled with tears and also, Harry could see, relief. His words seemed to have dumbstruck her, and the only thing she seemed able to do was stand and walk closer to him.

Harry stood too, fearing, perhaps, some hex coming at him, but instead-

“Harry, I'm sorry, I... I didn't know...” She looked uncertain. “I missed you so much, and I felt so lost after you'd left, but then I found some strange power inside me that allowed me to fight, because, well, I was thinking of you, and always hoping you'd- when I saw Hagrid carrying you and it looked like you were, you know... I don't know what I would have done.” She finished, now looking straight into his eyes, and Harry was relieved to know that she wasn't going to hex him into oblivion.

“Ginny, I don't expect you to forgive me right away, you can take your time, there's no rush... not anymore.” Harry said quietly, his eyes once again focused on a piece of carpet. But, instead of backing away, she leant into him and wrapped his arms around his waist, pressing her face to his chest.

His arms tightened around her, embracing her protectively, thinking of how amazing it felt to finally hold her again. Through her touch he also found himself to have acquired quite an amount of bruises and cuts, and looking down at her, he realized her face was scratched and dust covered her tired face.

They stood like this for a long time, until finally Harry realized just how much he needed sleep. He could have time with Ginny tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that...

He led her by the hand up to the boys dormitory to find his four-poster faithfully waiting for him. They both collapsed, exhausted on the bed, and just as Harry's eyelids were closing, she whispered, “Can you promise me one thing, Harry?”

“What?” Harry whispered back.

“That you'll never leave me behind again.” She said.

“I promise, Ginny, I promise,” Harry said, knowing he would never break his word. Ginny sighed, and and they fell asleep, fully clothed, Harry with one arm around her waist.



Chapter 2: Love Finally
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2.Love finally

The morning after the battle, there was a peacefulness about the castle which filled everyone within it. It was a beautiful day, the sun rising brightly above the mountains lighting up the castle with a light that seemed to enter people's hearts. As people awakened, the house elves that were left in the castle dished up with a fantastic feast of a breakfast, allowing all those who hadn't eaten since before the battle to enjoy food at last.

Harry awoke and felt Ginny's presence next to him. Her soft hair, however, seemed tangled, and she still had dirt and bloodstains on her clothes and face. The light that shone through the windows was bright, yet the fresh memories of the night before set a damper to the victorious feeling that would come to spread with time.

Harry's sad eyes looked around him in the tower, where only three of the five four-posters were filled. Neville and Seamus slept soundly in their beds. Ron was probably with his family, and Dean somewhere else, either mourning their losses or joining the great number of people that were now assembling outside to organize the rebuilding of the wounded castle.

Harry touched Ginny's shoulder, and she woke with a pained expression, which quickly softened as she saw Harry there beside her.

“We should probably go down and see if there is anything we can do,” he whispered.

She nodded sleepily and then sat up, rubbing her eyes with her dirty hands.

Harry led the way down to the common room, and out through the portrait hole. Here and there he could now see the damage that had been inflicted upon the castle by the raging tumult of last night. They walked past a statue which was cradling a broken arm, which lay on the floor next to it.

“Reparo!” Said Harry, pointing his phoenix wand at it, making the stone arm reassemble itself and reattach itself to the shoulder of the statue. The stone face smiled at Harry in grateful thanks.

There was an awed silence as Harry and Ginny entered the Great Hall, where they found breakfast was served on the four house tables. There was still the mixture of sadness and happiness filling the air, reflecting Harry's own emotions.

They found the rest of the Weasleys by the Gryffindor table. Mrs. Weasley looked careworn, and her blotchy but dry face showed that she could no longer express her grief through tears. When Harry and Ginny reached them, the members of the family got up to greet them in a melancholy mood, Molly wrapping her arms around the two of them and hugging them to her. They didn't need words to express their feelings at the moment.

All the dead had been placed in white coffins which rested on the grass just below the stone steps. The sun was gleaming and its brightness was reflected in the white of the coffins. A golden tag rested upon the lid of each, all bearing a name. Harry and the others were now also joined by Ron and Hermione who had come down, both looking haggard, but still smiled at the sight of Harry.

The day was spent making repairs, work that was both physically and mentally demanding. This suited Harry very well, just like the time when he had dug Dobby's grave. Making repairs on the castle made everyone feel like they were giving back its dignity, its magnificent towers from which could be read so many chapters of history. Harry could not help but understand Voldemort's affection for the school as he worked alongside his peers to restore the damage that Voldemort and his death eaters had inflicted upon it.

At the end of the day, people were exhausted, but proud of the work they had done. Seeing the castle in all its splendor as the sun set beyond the mountains helped lessen the grief in the hearts of those who had lost their dear ones.

Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys went back to the Burrow that night, taking the white coffin with Fred's name on it with them. They placed him carefully in the garden between the summer flowers that were springing out everywhere, to await the funeral which was decided to be the next day. A warm breeze blew, indicating that summer was almost upon them, reminding everyone that life would go on, new seasons would come, but to move on they needed first to say goodbye.


Two weeks after their return to the Burrow, the warm winds of summer blew across the front lawn. The house was peaceful, and birds chirped from everywhere around them. A wide range of multicolored flowers were sprouting out of the fresh mound of earth which lay under the large willow in the garden. A few of the long branches were gently stroking the white headstone standing by the large trunk. It read:

Fred Weasley, born 18th April, 1978, died at the Battle of Hogwarts, 1997.
Remember him with tears, but let them be tears of laughter.

After Fred’s funeral, everybody had seemed to cheer up slightly, more and more laughter and smiles emerged to combine with the beautiful weather which also seemed to be celebrating. The family were now able to slowly face the fact that Voldemort was really gone. They now accepted the happy stories that appeared in the news with celebration and joy, able to say goodbye to those who were no longer with them, but who would always be remembered.

The family started making plans for what they were going to do in the time forward. Harry felt a joy unlike anything else over having the time, endless time, to enjoy with these people whom he had come to love.

Charlie had invited George to come with him to Romania, to which he was returning the next week. George had accepted, and had been eager to make plans for this upcoming trip. The death of his twin had been hard on him, too hard, but he had finally emerged from his room with a new spirit, saying that Fred would never have wanted him to sit around moping. Mrs. Weasley seemed very grateful that her son had accepted her meals again, and that he could now spend some time away to get his thoughts away from everything that had happened.

Harry was spending all his time with Ginny, Ron, and Hermione, playing quidditch in the garden or simply lounging in the garden, talking. They simply needed to chat, to make up for all the lost time. Even Ron, Hermione, and Harry needed time to talk. They had painfully recounted the story of their past year to the rest of the family, with angry outbursts from Mrs. Weasley when they told her how they had broken into Gringotts; “What were you THINKING? Are you completely out of your minds? And a dragon...” They all seemed awed at the discoveries they had made, and horrified at the truth they had uncovered about Dumbledore's past in the process.

When by themselves, Harry and Ginny had found a very comfortable spot behind the broom shed, where they had a pretty view of the garden pond, but where they were also not in view of the house. Most of the time they just talked, and they had spent quite a lot of time doing this recently, getting closer to each other and forgiving for the time they had spent apart. This was a great hiding place, just until Mrs. Weasley suddenly appeared around the corner to find them, Harry's arm around Ginny's shoulders.and saw them.

“Ginny! Harry!” What are you two- oh.” she began in surprise, but then her face fell into a cheeky sort of smile.

Harry felt blood rush to his face, and quickly attempted to withdraw his arm, but to his surprise, Ginny held him back. She looked completely unaffected by the fact that her mother had finally realized what was going on. She grasped Harry's hand and looked at her mother expectantly.

“Hi mum,” she said casually, grinning at Harry, and then up at Mrs. Weasley.

“Err, yes, well, I was just- oh never mind, dinner is in fifteen minutes, but you two take your time.” She winked at Harry before hustling back to the house. Ginny just continued to smile.

“Haha, not exactly the way I was planning on her finding out but still, look on the bright side, now she might just leave us alone about this, you know, she's been hinting that she's seen you looking at me, well...not just looking, but staring really. She was starting to get on my nerves, so I'm kind of glad she knows.” Ginny said.

Harry was really glad that Mrs. Weasley’s reaction was approval, rather than disappointment or anger. But, he also knew that Ron would still not allow him anywhere near Ginny's room later than seven each night, so Harry would still have some convincing to do.

***

A good thing that came out of Mrs. Weasley knowing, (and now of course also the rest of the family) that Harry and Ginny were together, was that they no longer had to hide. Ginny could finally sit on Harry's lap in the lounge, and this was a great improvement.

Charlie and George left three weeks after the battle, slightly delayed, but all the while, they had left. Bill and Fleur had decided to go to France to visit Fleur’s family, and then return to their home at Shell Cottage.

The evening before they left, Mrs. Weasley dished up a mouth watering meal, with anything anyone would want to eat. They ate outside, as the summer night was warm and clear. Mr. Weasley had bought actual party lights to hang over the table, but since they had no electricity, these had to be lit by magic. The chatter flowed around the table, and right after the main course (roast beef and baked potatoes) there was a tingling sound as Bill tapped his glass with his wand. He stood up, seemingly a little nervous as he smiled at his parents.

“I have an announcement to make,” he said, looking down at his wife, who nodded encouragingly. “Fleur is going to have a baby!” Fleur's face lit up and she beamed around at everyone present. but then said softly.

“It will come around Christmas time,” Bill continued, looking shyly at his parents.

“Oh Bill!” Came a scream from Mrs. Weasley, as she stumbled over Crookshanks on her way over to kiss her son.

“You’re going to be a father, and Arthur, we’ll be grandparents! I would never have thought…Bill, oh how wonderful! And Fleur, my dear, congratulations, I know you will make the brilliant mother.” She hugged Fleur and stood there, beaming at everything and everyone in the vicinity..

“Well, I suppose that means a toast is in order!” Boomed Mr. Weasley, patting his son on the back. “To the parents-to-be!” He exclaimed. Everyone raised their glasses and smiled at Bill and Fleur, and then clapped.

“I’m going to be an uncle,” said Ron. “Uncle Ron, no, Ronney... no that’s too childish. Uncle Ronald! No…” Hermione laughed at him from across the table. He grinned back with a shy look in his eyes.


The following day, Bill and Fleur said their goodbyes and apparated from the front garden. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were going to lunch at the Grangers’ who had now returned from Australia, with some quick wand work from Hermione, and again knew that Hermione existed. Percy had gone off to live with Penelope Clearwater, his girlfriend from Hogwarts. The house seemed unusually empty and quiet.

Ron and Hermione had disappeared into Ron’s room and Harry had not seen them for the past hour. He and Ginny had spent time in the garden, but Ginny had just gotten up and taken Harry’s hand, dragging him into the house.

“Ginny, what-” he stuttered.

“Shh!!” She whispered, pulling him by the arm into her room on the first landing.

Harry had just thought about the fact that the house was completely empty, but Ginny put a muffiliato spell on the room as they entered. Harry was just about to ask why she had done that when she wrapped his arms around him and looked into his eyes, an expression of longing etched between her freckles. Harry was puzzled, for a moment, and at a loss of what to do next, he kissed her.

It was magical the way she could make him forget all his worries at once. Her lips so intoxicating that nothing else mattered. They pulled away only after a long time.

“I’m glad you never gave up on me, Ginny,” He said, running a hand through her gleaming hair. She stroked his back, and he felt goosebumps erupting from beneath her fingers. He had never felt so happy, so intrigued. He wondered how she knew him so well, touching him in just the right way. He felt clumsy, like a child. All he could do was mirror her movements.

Finally, he lay on top of her on the bed, his courage building up. He felt how her t-shirt was so slim, how her pants fitted perfectly around her hips. “You’re beautiful,” he murmured, and rolled over beside her. Her hair all over the pillow, she leaned over and kissed him lightly. “I love you Harry”. That was the first time she had ever said that.

A/N: Hi! Ok, so I edited this chapter from being incredibly short and pointless to what it is now. I really hope you like it, and I would love reviews to tell me what you think! The first chapter also underwent a major edit not long ago, so I hope you like them better now! Thanks for reading!

Terri

Chapter 3: Nobody tells me
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3. Nobody tells me!

Six months later, in the beginning of December...

When George had returned from Romania in early November, Harry had noticed a big change in him. He had matured, but there was still that boyish gleam in his eye, one which had been absent in the time after Fred's death, but which was now restored. He had grown more serious, not so mischievous anymore, but seemed to have had a brilliant time with Charlie and his friends. The fresh air seemed to have done him a ton of good, and he seemed to be able to cope now, even without his twin.

Harry had spent the past months at the Burrow, making up for lost time with Ginny and the family, but also going out to help people who had needed assistance after the battle. In his mind, he was also mulling over the idea of becoming an auror.

The real surprise for everyone came when Angelina Johnson turned up on the doorstep to the Burrow, three days after George had arrived home, and demanded to see him. The moment George showed himself in the doorway, she threw herself at him and kissed him. He responded enthusiastically, to everyone's surprise. Harry, who had come downstairs to see what all the fuss was about, realized that she looked just as tanned as George did.

“My word! Why does nobody tell me anything anymore?” Mrs. Weasley exclaimed after witnessing this more then warm welcome from her son toward the young girl standing in the entranceway.

“Oh yes, mum, I forgot to mention,” came a muffled voice from beside Angelina’s head, “Angelina is my girlfriend, we met at Hogwarts and then she came chasing after me to Romania, not letting me sulk for one moment over Fred.” George grinned cheekily, and laughed at his mother’s stunned face.

“Well, Angelina, you are so welcome dear." Mrs. Weasley stated. "You can stay as long as you like, there's no trouble with room, please feel at home! George I cannot believe you didn't mention her, such a lovely young lady!”

“Thank you so much Mrs. Weasley! It's a pleasure to meet you!” Angelina replied as she was dragged by the hand upstairs with George.

“I just don’t have any control any longer, do I?” Mrs. Weasley said, slightly bemused. “It would not surprise me if Charlie turns up on the doorstep with a young lady wrapped around him as well.” She sighed, turned toward the door, and let out a yelp of surprise.

“Oh don’t worry mother, she’s not that young,” came a male voice from the door.

“Charlie!” Mrs. Weasley shouted, ran past her second son and the woman standing next to him, into the garden, shouting “I give up, this is such a mess, NOBODY TELLS ME ANYTHING!!”

“Leave her be,” Charlie said, grinning. “She'll calm down. Everyone, I want you to meet Jen Night.” He beamed down at her.

The girl beside him seemed to be about his age. She too seemed to have spent a lot of time fighting dragons, but didn't have as many scars as Charlie. She was pretty, with dark, auburn eyes, and long, curly brown hair. In Harry’s eyes, she looked like a ten year older Hermione.

The family gathered in the living room, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione were also there, and George and Angelina came downstairs after a little while too.

After Mrs. Weasley had calmed down a bit, she came back inside and started questioning Jen about herself, what she did, where she came from, how she had met Charlie. Charlie told them that they had had an assignment to bring a baby dragon back to Romania from a breeder's in Scotland. They were leaving back to Romania tonight and he had only wanted to come say hello to George and see how everyone was.

Mrs. Weasley was still in a state of agitation, and was wandering around the house in a sort of trance, murmuring things like “Knew this had to happen one day, but why on earth now, and everyone at the same time, goodness me…” They could also hear her muttering their names in turn, going over who was dating who. “Bill and Fleur, Charlie and Jen, Percy and Penelope, George and Angelina, Ron and Hermione, Ginny and Harry…” She seemed utterly confused, and went to bed early, muttering about this all being a confused dream and that everything would clear up in the morning.

Mr. Weasley seemed highly amused at the thought that all his five sons and one daughter would be running off and be out of the house and getting married and giving him a million grandchildren; the first of which was already on the way.

Angelina had agreed to move into the flat above the joke shop with George, who had decided he wanted to carry on his and his brother’s work. Percy and Penelope had found themselves a nice little flat in central London, close to the ministry where they both worked. The only ones remaining at the Burrow now were Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny. Of course, Mrs. and Mr. Weasley were also there, but it seemed strange for the house to room less than ten people at the time.

Everything seemed so strangely quiet. Harry was, at every moment, half expecting a pain to shoot through his scar, or for some horrid news to cover the front page of the morning paper, but these things never happened. He found himself so genuinely happy that he had never thought he could feel any better.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

December went by with people slowly starting up their lives again. Maybe a little hesitantly at first, because people, like Harry, found it difficult to believe there could be such a thing as a normal life after the period they had just been through.

It was almost Christmas. The Burrow was again full of people, noise, and Wellington boots. The gigantic family had gathered, coming from all over. Mrs. Weasley had refused to celebrate the holiday without her whole family present.

Fleur’s stomach was huge, and she kept complaining that none of her nice clothes fit her, and that she would have nothing to wear for the ball.

Oh yes, the ball. Mrs. Weasley had come out of her trance, and said that they would invite everyone to a Christmas ball, just so everyone could “Tell her” about everything that was going on, and so that she could see all her children be happy together, which was, after all, what she wanted.

Ginny and Hermione had spent a whole day in Diagon Alley buying dresses. They had refused the company of their boyfriends, telling the boys that this was indeed a woman thing, and that it would take twice as long if they were distracted by the boys' drooling as they tried on dresses that would make the boys weak at the knees. And, as Hermione pointed out, if Ron couldn't walk, there was no way she would be able to carry him.

Ron had complained loudly, but had grudgingly agreed to play quidditch in the garden with Bill and Charlie. Fleur wanted to come to, but Mrs. Weasley refused to let her, as she claimed that being highly pregnant with her first grandchild, Fleur should not be allowed anywhere near a broomstick.

Harry and Ron were evenly matched by Bill and Charlie, and spent a great day, while the first snow was starting to fall gently, making it look like they all had a severe problem with dandruff. Harry spent a lot of time imagining what Ginny would wear to the ball, to which he was, of course, escorting her. It ended with him taking the bludger they were playing with to the head, and a gigantic lump rising on his forehead.

“Matches your scar really well, Harry, you could leave it like that,” Ron laughed, as he drew his wand to lessen Harry’s resemblance to a unicorn.

Ginny and Hermione returned that evening, but then refused to show anyone what they had bought. They disappeared into Ginny’s room and stayed there for at least three hours, until Ron couldn't take it much longer.

“Hey! You can use three hours tomorrow to get ready or whatever you have to do, but could you do that tomorrow please? Hermione, please come out, no, I don’t care if you’re only wearing your bra.”

Hermione came out, just pulling a sweater over her head. Ron grabbed onto the arms of the sweater and tied them together so Hermione was trapped. Then he lifted her off her feet and carried her up to his room -

“Ron! Stop! Put me down, no…”-

Harry, grinning, knocked on the door to Ginny’s room and he heard an acknowledging grunt which he understood as permission to enter. It seemed as though she had just taken a shower, she smelt like soap and her hair like silk as he kissed her lightly.

“Hi Ginny,” he said, smiling.

“Did you miss me?” She replied, jokingly.

“To the moon and back a million times.” Harry replied huskily in her ear.

“Why only a million, I’m not sure that’s acceptable." Ginny said, pouting her lower lip. "I demand at least to be missed a million and one times to the moon and back.” She wrapped her arms around him and hugged him.

“Harry? Ginny?” Came Mrs. Weasley’s voice from the hall. “If you want anything to eat tonight you’ll have to come down and make it yourself, and I need help with putting up the decorations outside.”

Harry grabbed Ginny’s hand and they went downstairs together. When they reached the kitchen, they saw Ron, sitting at the table with an odd look on his face, something between having seen a ghost and being clubbed over the head. He might have been in a state of complete shock, had it not been for the fact that what he was staring at was the brunette sitting on his lap. He had a huge smile across his face.

“I have given up getting it out of them. Nobody knows what’s gotten into Ron, and Hermione is refusing to say anything.” Mrs. Weasley said before either Harry or Ginny could comment on the scene. Ron was gently stroking Hermione’s hair, and her head was resting against his chest.

“Alright, then,” Harry began. “We’ll just go outside and put up those decorations." He and Ginny both grabbed a box of party lights, and he pulled Ginny out after him. Then he realized the look on her face.

“Ginny, what-”

“Harry, did you see Hermione’s hand?” She said softly, smiling, excitement shining off her face.

“Her hand? No I…” Harry thought back to the scene in the kitchen, but he had only noticed Ron.

“She was wearing a ring, Harry, and engagement ring!” Ginny whispered urgently.

“WHAT?”



Chapter 4: The Christmas Ball- with a twist
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The Christmas Ball - With a twist

“I wonder why your mum didn’t see it though,” Harry said as they strolled hand in hand into the garden, Ginny almost bouncing up and down with excitement.

“Harry, Ron was covering her hand in his, but when he lifted it to put a strand of hair behind her ear, I spotted it!” Ginny replied, her face oddly flushed, and smiling brightly.

“I can’t believe they didn’t tell me- I mean us!” Harry blurted, an angry look on his face. “Ron’s my best mate, and he didn’t even bother to tell me he was getting ENGAGED!”

“Harry calm down, I’m sure they have their own reasons for not telling us just yet.” She said understandingly.

“But Ginny, they’re only just nineteen!” Harry continued.

“What’s that supposed to mean, are you saying we’re too young?” Came a joking voice from the doorway that Harry and Ginny had just walked through.

Harry and Ginny whirled around to see the highly amused faces of their two best friends. Ron had his arm lightly around Hermione's waist, and Harry wondered how he did that so easily... if he could only inch a little closer to Ginny...

“Hermione, congratulations!” Shouted Ginny, ruining all Harry's plans, and threw her arms around her friends neck. Then, both girls started giggling and squealing uncontrollably, and both finally disappeared inside, admiring Hermione’s ring.

“Wow, mate, well done! Congratulations!” Harry couldn't really find anything else to say, but grasped Ron’s hand. Ron grinned.

“I just thought, you know, I love Hermione, there’s just no other girl I’d rather spend my life with, and she feels the same, and I thought, why not? So yesterday we walked up to the hill, and it sort of just blurted out of me. I got the ring about a month ago, but I’ve wanted it to be right. We want to do the wedding in April. And to reply to your comment about us still being young, I think we have been through enough together to consider ourselves pretty mature, don’t you?”

The next half hour, Harry was being served the one million ways Hermione Granger is perfect.

“Hey, Ron,” Harry said, as Ron paused to breathe. “Would you mind helping me with these decorations, Ginny’s not here anymore so I thought maybe you could…”

“Sure Harry, but have you seen the way she looks at you when she thinks you’ve done something good, I so wonder what she’ll wear tonight, do you remember how beautiful she looked for the Yule Ball four years ago…”

Harry was sincerely glad when a distraction came in the form of Hermione and Ginny, who had obviously spent the last hour going over wedding plans. Ginny walked into Harry’s waiting arms, and Ron had already placed Hermione on the ground and lay on top of her. Ginny seemed to be slightly harassed by the way her brother was treating Hermione, but then Hermione pushed Ron over and now she was on top. Both were laughing.

Harry noticed that snow had begun to fall on them, it had become quite cold, and he noticed how the snowflakes were sticking in Ginny’s hair like pieces of silver, glittering. He grabbed her hand and they walked slowly along the path into the trees beyond the house, leaving behind their two oblivious friends lying on the ground and becoming increasingly soaked by the snow.

Harry had spent the last three nights on this little surprise, and hoped it would make Ginny happy. They walked deeper into the forest, the leaves long since gone.

“Where are we going, Harry?” Ginny said, grabbing harder onto his arm.

“You’ll see, just a bit further.” Harry replied and held her close. “There.”

He pointed into a gigantic tree, its branches stretching almost beyond view. Along the trunk was a rope ladder, stretching up into the tree. Ginny followed the ladder with her eyes, and let out a gasp.

“Harry, it’s beautiful!”
Harry smiled, and they both started climbing the ladder, (which held itself nice and straight due to the handy charm which Harry had gotten from George),up into the cozy tree house that Harry had built between two of the biggest branches.

He opened the door and she entered in front of him. He had furnished it with pillows and blankets, and small torches that would give them light. He had also supplied a small refrigerator which he had proudly charmed so that it would contain whatever one would like to eat or drink. Harry dragged Ginny by the arm and set her down on the cushions that covered the floor. She curled up next to him and looked around her in awe.

He turned his face toward her and nuzzled her neck. She giggled and turned her face toward him so he could meet her lips with his own. Their kiss was deep and passionate, her hands playing with his hair as she leaned into him and kissed him back.

Harry remembered the first time he had ever kissed Ginny. She had been so beautiful, so full of life. Just like now. He felt how his heart beat fast in his chest, he loved her, more than he could ever say.

“Ginny, I love you.” he said seriously and staring deep into her hazel brown eyes. “I want you like this forever. You’re beautiful…” And then she was wrapped around him once again, kissing him as she had never kissed him before (at least as far as he could remember).

Suddenly, she broke free from him smiling. “Harry, the ball starts in two hours, I need to go get ready.” “You need TWO HOURS?” Harry complained, drawing her into yet another kiss. “Yes, actually, I do.” Ginny said, laughing. “I’ll see you later, and I expect you to be there to escort me when it starts!”

Then she was gone, her gorgeous hair (in Harry’s eyes) waving along behind her in the wind that had blown up outside. He decided that he had to control himself strictly tonight, as there would be so many of their family and friends there tonight. He wondered if Ginny wanted him so much as he wanted her… He hoped so.

He followed in the footsteps that his girlfriend had made in the snow that was now falling steadily. He emerged from the forest, and walked into the heat bubble that had been put over the garden so that no snow would fall there. During the time they had spent in the forest, a dazzling dance floor had appeared, quite like the one at Bill and Fleurs wedding…that seemed so long ago. A huge Christmas tree had been decorated and placed at the far end of the floor. Around were tables covered in white linen cloths, and set for what must be two hundred.

Harry hurried inside, and went upstairs and knocked before entering Ron’s room. Ron was standing by his bed, desperately trying to put on his new dress robes. Harry went over to rescue his friend who had managed to get himself completely stuck trying to put his head through one of the arms of the robe. Harry pulled on his own dark green robes and surveyed himself in the mirror. In his own mind, he looked quite respectable, but then he noticed to his horror that his lightning scar was glowing lime green. “What the--?

Ron stood bent double laughing. He had charmed Harry’s scar to change colors, and certainly, as Harry watched, the scar turned blue, then orange, then yellow, then red. Harry glowered at his friend to say the counter curse, but couldn’t keep himself from grinning. When Ron had lessened Harry’s resemblance to a traffic light, they both combed their hair (Harry’s hair, of course, looked no different), then climbed nervously down the stairs to the first landing to where Ginny’s room was.

Harry cleared his throat and said, “Ginny, are you in there?” There came severe giggling from inside the room before the door opened and the boys stepped inside. Harry let out a gasp.

Ginny was wearing a long black, strapless (Harry noticed), dress. It fit her shape perfectly. Her hair was pulled back into a beautiful plait at the back, but still with some small bits of hair in the front. Her small feet were standing in a pair of high-heeled sandals, making her look more grown up than Harry had ever seen her. She was smiling, her teeth white and shimmering. Harry could look at nothing else. He walked toward her and brushed her lips with his own.

“You’re beautiful,” he said shakily, "you look like an angel". He held out his arm so she could place hers through.

Hermione looked wonderful. Her hair was straight, she was wearing it down. She wore a light blue dress that flowed down her body like water. This dress too (as Ron obviously must have noticed) was strapless. Ron was staring at her like she was a goddess (he probably thought she was a goddess, Harry thought to himself). Ron led Hermione out of the room, and Ginny made to follow them, but Harry stopped her.

“Ginny,” he said, “I know it isn’t Christmas day yet, but I want you to have this now. From the pocket of his robe he pulled a little box. He opened it, and inside lay a beautiful necklace. On it was a locket. Inscribed on the locket flased the words, ever changing: ‘I love you Ginny, to the moon and back a million and one times’.

Ginny gasped. She took the necklace and opened the locket. In it was a picture of her and Harry kissing in the common room, back in their sixth year. Harry could see tears in her eyes as she leaned in and kissed him. “I love it, Harry, I love you.” She turned around so that Harry could place it around her neck. The gold went so well with her hair. They held hands as they made their way downstairs.

***

As the guests had already began to arrive, Mrs. Weasley and the family were kept very busy for the next hour or so, finishing the food, and welcoming their family and friends.

Neville Longbottom arrived, to everyones surprise on time and holding the hand of none other that Luna Lovegood. Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas arrived with their girlfriends Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown (Ron immediately pulled Hermione away from the entrance area and out away from them).

Hermione’s parents arrived, and Harry saw Ron’s ears glow bright red when he was introduced by Hermione as ‘My fiancée’. Smiling, Harry turned around and was facing his godson, who had now arrived in the company of his grandmother Andromeda Black. Teddy Lupin looked great in new dress robes, now almost a year old and had just learned to walk. Lupin and Tonks would have been so proud…Harry thought with a rush of sadness. Then he remembered how lucky Teddy was for being in the wizarding world and knowing the truth about his family from a young age. He would never have to live in a cupboard under some stairs.

This reminded Harry that Mrs. Weasley had insisted that they invite the Dursleys. Harry had told her they would never come to a ball attended mainly by wizards, but had, after seeing Mrs. Weasleys look of reprimanding, reluctantly sent them an invitation. He was highly doubting they would show up at all. He had not seen them for a year and a half, but did not expect them to have changed a bit. However, it turned out he was wrong.

Around nine in the evening, the doorbell rang for perhaps the hundredth time, and Harry hurried to open it as he was closest to the door. Ginny had gone to get something to drink and catch up with her cousins. As he opened the door, Harry had to suppress a gasp. Outside stood his cousin. Dudley Dursley.

“Sorry I’m late,” he muttered, looking at Harry as though expecting to be attacked.

Harry snapped out of his daze at the sight of his cousin. “Hi Dudley, great to see you, I wasn’t really expecting--”

“Naw, neither were mum and dad, but I wanted to come. So, where’s the party?” He seemed more comfortable now.

Harry grinned, “In the garden, just follow through, I’ll introduce you.”

What caught Harry as a shock was that Dudley was wearing a suit. AND, it did not look like it would explode any minute. Dudley, it seemed, had changed. He looked healthy now, still overweight, but looked much less like a walrus.

Just then, Ginny appeared back at Harry’s side, glanced at Dudley and gave Harry a questioning look. “Ginny, this is my cousin Dudley Dursley, Dudley this is my girlfriend Ginny Weasley."

“Nice to meet you, Ginny,” said Dudley and surprisingly held out his hand. Ginny shook it, still staring up at Harry. Harry motioned for his cousin to follow. He introduced him to Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, and got him talking to some of Fleur’s cousins, where he seemed quite content.

Ginny nudged Harry’s arm. “What?” he asked.

“I thought you always hated your aunt and uncle?”

“I do," said Harry, “but I no longer hate my cousin. He changed a lot, he was the only one who really understood what was happening last year.”

“Oh,” replied Ginny confusedly, but seemed more at ease now.

“Come dance with me.” Harry said suddenly. Ginny looked taken aback, but agreed, smiling.

They walked onto the dance floor, and Harry placed one hand at her back and took her hand in his other. She rested her head against his chest and they turned slowly to the music. Ron and Hermione slid up next to them, Ron winked at Harry, and Harry grinned back.

Ginny seemed to be enjoying herself, Harry loved holding her like this, feeling her heart against his. All other thoughts seemed just to fly away… His heart felt so light, he felt if it felt any lighter they would lift off the floor. He looked down at her and grinned, cupping her face with his hand. She was perfect in every aspect.

To his utter surprise, he saw Dudley waltzing around with one of the Fleur-cousins. He seemed overly awed by her radiant beauty. Harry nodded toward this comical sight so that Ron’s face also broke into a grin.

It was ten o’clock when Mrs. Weasley announced to the crowd that dinner was served. Everyone scrambled to find their assigned places. Harry found himself happily sitting next to Ginny on his left and Teddy Lupin on his right. Across from him sat George and Percy, with their girlfriends at their respective sides. The food was heavenly, and he found he had probably had a couple of glasses too many of the mead brought by Hagrid. Under the table, he caught Ginny’s hand and placed it on his thigh. He stroked her soft hand lovingly. Then she pulled him up and onto the dance floor where everyone was now enjoying the feeling of being fully fed and in some cases (..cough..Hagrid..cough..) quite drunk.

Harry was having such a good time, he was with all the people he loved, being happy and without worrying about dangers or horrors lurking in the shadows.

A distraction from all the frivolity came in the shape of a muffled scream from somewhere over to the right of the dance floor.

“Bill! Bill, its happening, its coming, oh lala! Mon dieu! Biiiill!!!” Fleur’s screaming wails sounded over the top of the crowd. Everyone crowded around Fleur, who was lying in the center of the circle clutching her stomach, tears of fear streaming down her face. Bill pushed through to care for his wife.

“It’s going to be alright love, you’re ok, let’s get you to St. Mungo’s, everyone give her some room! She’s in labour for heaven’s sake!” Bill’s voice was panicky as he grabbed hold of Fleur’s arm and dissapparated.


Chapter 5: Christmas
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Ok, so before this chapter starts I just want to thank all my reviewers!!! You guys make my day, honestly!!
Thank you so much!! Xoxox love you! So..here is chapter 5..


There seemed to be an uproar of excited conversation between the guests as everyone stared at the spot where the two had just disapparated. It seemed really to cheer up the overall mood around the dance-floor, people started dancing wildly in excitement.

“Do you think she’ll be alright? What if something happens?” Ginny said, a touch of panic in her voice as she held Harry’s hand so tight he thought he might lose his fingers.

“She’ll be alright, Ginny, the healers at St. Mungo are brilliant. And just think of all the muggle women that go through this every day without magic!”

Ginny seemed to relax a little, but still seemed tense. Just then, Ron and Hermione came up to them. Hermione smiled at Ginny.

“You both are going to be aunt and uncle very soon!” She exclaimed pointing at Ron and Ginny.

“I hope it’s a boy, that way I can teach him to play keeper just like me.” Ron said gravely.

“Who said girls can’t play keeper?” Ginny demanded. Ron shrugged.

“Isn’t this exiting?”Hermione said, raising her eyebrow as a warning to Ron.

“I hope everything goes OK…” Ginny still didn’t look convinced.

Harry pulled her into a tight hug and kissed her hair. Then he took her hand and and pulled her onto the dance floor together with everyone else, just as one of the nights few slow songs came on. Harry saw to his amusement Ron kiss Hermione lightly on the lips and take her, too, to the floor, only to step on her toe every minute or so.

After about half an hour of dancing, Ginny said she had to sit down, so Harry followed her to a small table at the outskirts of the dancing. Harry accidentally sat down before Ginny, so she could sit on his lap. She wrapped her arms around his neck and stared deeply into his eyes.

“I’m having one of the best nights of my life, Harry, and I think it’s because I’m here with you. I know that sounds cheesy and stupid, but it’s true.”

“I would never have spent it with anyone else, I love you, you’re the light of my day, Gin.” Harry replied, grinning at the usage of cheesy language.

Harry grinned as she leant in, this was what he had been aiming for…you would have to look long for a more perfect moment to kiss the girl you love…he loved the way she smelt, sweet, like flowers. He held his hand at her waist as her hand found the back of his neck. They stayed like this for what seemed like forever. Everything else going on was far away, as if in another world. Here he was, with his gorgeous lovely girlfriend, willingly snogging him while sitting upon his lap. He grinned into her lips as he thought about what Sirius might have said to this sort of behavior. The rumor was he had been very charming in his youth.

When they finally broke apart, she smiled and got off his lap.

“I’ll go and get us something to drink,” she said, turning so that her long red hair flowed behind her.

Ron came over and sat by Harry. Suddenly Harry understood that Ginny hadn’t gone to get drinks, but run off with Hermione to share some gossip about whatever they might have encountered so far at the ball. “Great,” Harry thought, “I won’t see her for another hour then.”

“Hey, cheer up, it looks like you two just shared a very pleasant twenty minutes,” Ron grinned, just as Neville Longbottom came and sat down, closely followed by Luna Lovegood, Parvati and Padma Patil, Lavender Brown, Seamus Finnigan, and Dean Thomas.

“Just like when we were in the DA isn’t it?” said Luna dreamily, as Cho Chang and Michael Corner also joined them. Harry felt so happy, here were almost all his friends, all the people that had supported him for so long. Ginny and Hermione returned and joined in in the conversation that was now engaging most people at the table.

“Everyone, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Hermione is wearing and engagement ring.” Parvati exclaimed. And then there was a clatter from all the girls’ chairs as they all ran over to Hermione and bombarded her with questions on the upcoming wedding. Ron’s ears had turned bright red (again! Goodness Ron, you’re engaged, get a grip..)

“So, Neville, what’s going on between you and Luna?” Dean asked, grinning over at Neville who now turned a bright shade of scarlet.

“Well…I guess…we’re kind of…you know…sort of…together…in a way…” He stuttered, now looking as red as if trying to lay an ostrich egg.

All the boys’ faces broke into smiles as they all congratulated Neville (“Finally! I KNEW IT!” yelled Seamus, earning him a reproachful look from one of the elderly Weasley aunts).

“Soooo… what are everyone’s plans for the future?” Asked Ron with an all-so-wise look on his face. “I want to become an auror, you know, after I marry Hermione and spent lots of time with her…-”

“Yes, Ron, we know,” Harry elbowed his best friend. “What about you Dean? Seamus?”

“Well I’d quite like a job for the Daily Prophet,” said Dean, looking serious. “I’d like to get it back on track, telling people the truth, rather than just rubbish that will cause more conflict and hatred than there already is.”

Harry remembered all to well how he and Seamus had had a falling out at the beginning of their fifth year, when Rita Skeeter had written an article about Harry being insane and Dumbledore going senile. Harry gave Seamus an approving glance before turning to Dean.

“I think I want to do something envolving muggle contacts, you know, for witches and wizards who are half blood, making sure they are not oppressed or looked down upon. They are just as good as everyone else!”

“Well said, Dean,” said Michael.

“I think you’re right, Dean, after everything that’s happened, many people might have mixed feelings of what to believe of muggle borns.” Neville added, nodding.

Just then, there appeared a shimmering white light and a voice boomed over the noise of the music, just like the time when Shacklebolt had sent his patronus to warn the guests of the wedding that the Death Eaters were coming. Only this time, the news was good, and did not cause panic, but joy.

The birth went well, Fleur is resting now, it’s a girl!! Congratulations mum, dad, you are grandparents of a beautiful child. She is downright gorgeous. We’ll be home tomorrow with baby Victoire! Enjoy the rest of your evenings!

Bill’s voice was slightly higher pitched than usual, and he spoke with pure excitement. Everyone got up and started hugging each other. Neville leant over and kissed Luna right on the mouth. She closed her eyes and kissed him back. Seamus and Dean wolf-whistled.

Mrs. Weasley was so happy she had tears in her eyes while she kept saying “My little Bill is a father! A father! Think of it! A father! I am grandma! AAAHH!!! NOOO!!! Help that made me sound old..hmm but I don’t want to be ‘auntie’ either! How about they call me Mollyma! Yes that works…Mollyma! This means I will have to knit another sweater by tomorrow morning… Oh no I don’t know her eye color or her hair! What if the colors don’t match…”

Ron laughed as he listened to his mother going on about the baby while he hugged Hermione.

“I rather like the sound of the word ‘tree-house’, someone whispered in Harry’s ear. His girlfriend caught him by the hand and pulled him out of the heated bubble and into the snow that covered the garden outside. She used her wand to melt them a small path so they would not get their feet too wet.

When they reached it, Harry put another heating charm on the small house so they would not get cold. They climbed up and sat down on the soft cushions inside.

“This has been an amazing night, Harry…” Ginny whispered, leaning against his shoulder. She looked so tired, her eyes closed. Harry brushed her lips with his and put his arm around her. Soon came slow calm breathing from her, indicating she was asleep. Harry looked down at her, admiring her sleeping form. He stroked her hair, then leant his head on top of hers and sighed lovingly, “You’re so beautiful when you’re asleep”.

Harry awoke the next morning to the smell of bacon and eggs. Yum, that sounds good…yes please he thought groggily, addressing the smell. A small soft hand stroked his cheek, and he heard someone giggle.

“Glad you’re awake, sleepyhead, merry Christmas!” Ginny sat down beside him and handed him a plate with eggs and bacon. He smiled sleepily.

“Thanks, Merry Christmas.” He carefully put his plate down and looked at her. She looked back with a questioning glace.

“Don’t you like the sound of that? ‘Merry‘…marry…”

“Sorry?” Ginny looked puzzled.

“Oh, nothing…” Harry felt himself blushing (oh no, not now). “Did this come from that brilliant fridge of mine then?” He asked, indicating the food, and starting to eat. “No, actually, Mum brought it out here.” Ginny replied with a smile.

“Your Mum brought it?! But…how…why…when?”

“This morning! You sleep a lot I dare say. She must have seen us go out here last night.” she said matter-of-factly.

“Oh. Right.” But with that he put his plate aside and wrapped his arms around her nuzzling her neck.

“Harry, mum said we should be back before 11, that’s when they‘re all having lunch. Bill, Fleur and the new baby are coming tonight, they had to stay in the hospital a little longer, something to do with the baby being an eighth veela.”

“Right,” said Harry, “but according to my watch it’s only nine thirty.” He grinned down at her and she finally gave in and kissed him back.

At ten forty-five, they climbed down the ladder. The scene outside was breathtaking. White snow covered the ground as if a long bridal veil had been stretched between the trees. Ginny stopped for a moment, right in the middle of a small clearing between the trees so the sun could come through. The snow glistened beneath her feet, and Harry thought she looked like an angel.

Come on! Do it now! Perfect moment, Harry, don’t let it go. No, I’m too scared, what if she says no? She WON’T say no! You love her and she loves you back…

Harry’s head was panicking, his heart doing the tango, and his stomach having suddenly learned to break dance. He walked slowly toward her.

“Isn’t it beautiful, Harry?” Ginny said, turning toward him, smiling.

“I know something even more beautiful,” grinned Harry. “Ginny, there’s something I've been wanting to... I mean-”

His hand reached into his pocket where he knew it lay. “I love you so much, Ginny…and I just couldn’t imagine spending another day without you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you, actually.”

What was going on seemed now to dawn on Ginny, she looked mute, staring at him with love in her eyes as he knelt down before her.

“Ginevra Weasley, will you marry me?”

There it was. He had done it, now he looked into her eyes, willing her so badly to say-

“yes." She began, grinning, but seemingly keeping her calm. But then- "YES!! Of course I will! Harry I LOVE YOU!!!” She screamed, eyes streaming, running at him and throwing her arms around him. He kissed her, and knew, finally, that she would be his forever.

“You will?” He stuttered.

“Yes! Tomorrow if you’d like, anytime, as soon as possible…”

Harry pulled out the ring and put it on her finger.

“Ummm Harry? Wrong finger…” Ginny pointed out, smiling.

“Oh..err..right.” said Harry, blushing, placing the ring on her finger. On it was engraved:

Yours forever

They linked hands and walked slowly back toward the Burrow through the trees.

“Harry, can I tell Hermione?” Ginny asked as they entered the garden.

“Yeah, I guess both she and Ron should know, and I don’t see the purpose of hiding it from everyone else either.”
She gave him a kiss on the cheek and literally galloped into the house and up the stairs toward her and Hermione’s room.

Harry walked up the stairs, her words still ringing through his head. Joy streamed through him that made him feel as though he could do anything in the world. As he entered, he could see Ron pulling on a new Weasley sweater, maroon. Harry quickly walked over to his bed and found another pile of presents with his name on them.

“Where’ve you been then? Off snogging my sister?” Ron teased. “You two did seem quite the happy couple yesterday.”

“Ron, we’re getting married.” Harry said quietly as though he could not believe what he was saying. “I’m bloody getting MARRIED!!” He almost shouted with the biggest grin his face had ever sported.

“WHAT?”

“I’m marrying Ginny, Ron, she said yes!”

“Harry, you’ve been dreaming…-”

“It wasn’t a bloody dream, Ron! We slept over in the treehouse and this morning as we were walking back I asked her, and she said yes!”

“Harry! Mate, I would never have thought you were such a romantic! And you don't even have that genius book of mine. Congrats then, I guess, does everyone else know? Isn’t it a great feeling being engaged?”

Just then the door burst open and a large smiling bush of brown curly hair attacked Harry.

“Hermione!” Harry stuttered.

“Harry congratualtions, I can’t believe it! It’s wonderful!”

“Yes, merry Christmas to you to Mione’!” Ron said, slightly bemused from beside the bed.

Hermione left Harry and started kissing Ron, who seemed very content with the response. Ginny approached Harry and smiled as she hugged him. Hermione then came back over and started screaming and giggling with Ginny.

“What on earth is going on up here? People with hangovers don’t usually continue to party the next morning.” Mrs. Weasley came in the door carrying a huge pile of clean socks for Harry and Ron.

“Mum,” Ron said, amused, “Harry and Ginny are engaged.”

Mrs. Weasley dropped all the socks and stared at Harry and Ginny. They both smiled and nodded. Mrs. Weasley screamed in delight and ran back out the door. They could hear her running all the way downstairs. About half a minute later, there were fireworks outside their window, large hearts and stars exploded over the garden. Next, they heard Mrs. Weasley huffing and puffing all the way up the stairs again and enter the room to embrace her only daughter.

“Oh, Ginny! First Ron, and now you, I don’t know what to say, congratulations dear.” Harry put his arm around Ginny’s waist and said “Don’t worry Mrs. Weasley, I’ll take good care of her, I love her.” Then he, too, was pulled into a bone crushing hug.

“Well, I guess we shall have to arrange a double wedding then, shan’t we?” Mrs. Weasley joked. Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione looked at each other.

“That idea’s not half bad, mum,” Ron said uncertainly, glancing over at Harry.

“Yes, I think that could be really cool!” Ginny exclaimed.

“Yeah,” said Hermione, smiling broadly.

“It’s excellent!” Harry beamed.

Mrs. Weasley looked momentarily confused. “You WANT a double wedding? Two marriages at once?”

“Why not?” said Ron, grinning.

“Well I must say, I’d never have thought…but alright! Was it April you said? That should work, I expect.” She looked at the two couples standing in front of her. Tears of joy and affection came to her eyes. “I’m so happy…I think I need a cup of tea, just wait till I tell everyone, they’ll be so glad…”

Once again they could hear her make her way downstairs, although a little less noisily this time. Ginny and Hermione receded back to Ginny’s room, leaving Ron and Harry to themselves. Harry collapsed on his bed, feeling suddenly exhausted. Ron seemed perfectly at ease, and had picked up a magazine. Harry watched absent-mindedly as Pigwidgeon fluttered around his cage, very excited from all the commotion.

“Hey, Harry, why don’t we take a trip down to Diagon Alley sometime? We could buy ourselves new dress robes and stuff, and I'd like to go to the ministry and see the head of auror office to discuss training and job options. It'd be good, see, because then I’ll have some sort of plan. Without Hogwarts, I don’t really know what to do with myself.” Ron contemplated.

“You’re right…and I think it’s a great idea that we go to Diagon Alley, I’d like to get a new owl as well. It’s been hard after I lost Hedwig, I mean, I miss her, but I do really need an owl.” Harry pulled on his brand new Weasley sweater too, and saw that his had a lightning bolt across the front, the rest of the sweater was dark green.

Hagrid had sent him a box of his home made cookies, which Harry decided not to try just yet. Ginny had made him a scarf that changed color according to what mood he was in (great, now everyone can read my thoughts, Harry thought). Hermione had gotten him all his favorite candies from Honeydukes.

“Here, Harry, open it carefully though…” said Ron. He handed Harry quite a large, oddly shaped package. Harry ripped of the paper, and saw that it was a cage, containing, not an owl, but a-?

“It’s a diricawl, Harry,” Ron said excitedly. [anyone wondering what it is needs to read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!!!]

“A what?” Harry stared at the small feathery thing inside the cage. It was bright blue, with a tiny round beak, and small claws holding onto a stick inside the cage.

“A didicawl, they’re quite rare, from Mauritius actually, they’re quite handy, even though they can’t fly. It can dissappear and reappear anywhere it wants to, sort of like a phoenix. They’re really loyal, and I thought you might like some company, you know…”

“It’s great, Ron! Haha, I didn’t know you were so thoughtful.” Harry said, looking amused at the thing.

“Let’s have a name then!” said Ron, looking relieved that Harry liked his present.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” Harry asked.

“Boy,” Ron replied.

“I think I’ll call him Midget, seeing as he is so small.” Harry concluded, eyeing ‘Midget’ in his little cage. Harry found himself already fond of the little creature, and opened the cage to let it out.

*****

Harry had never had a happier Christmas-day-morning. Breakfast was amazing, seeing as Mrs. Weasley had done her best to make it special for Harry and Ginny. Harry found that Midget was sitting happily on his shoulder all through the meal. After breakfast, Ron and Harry told everyone they were going to Diagon Alley, and that they would be back for dinner. Harry went upstairs and put Midget back in his cage, and pulled on a jacket as he went back downstairs.

In the garden, Harry turned on the spot with Ron and felt his way into nothingness.



Chapter 6: Diagon Alley
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When Harry felt firm ground underneath his feet once again and opened his eyes, he heard and saw hundreds of different things going on around him. Old witches screeching and fighting over the latest article of Witch Weekly, small kids hanging from their parents’ hands begging them to buy them a new broom (‘Just out this month! The Lightning Bolt! Ladies and gentlemen, this new prototype has everything…’), and loud wizards arguing about the best way to fight off dementors. Owls were screeching, and there seemed to be a constant buzz coming from the many shops, as if they were alive and a million bees were wanting to burst out of them.

Actually, a million bees were trying to burst out of one of them. Customers were screaming and running out of the Diagon Alley branch of Honeydukes. It looked like the Fizzing Whizbees had escaped and were now attacking the passers-by.

Ron laughed horribly at this until the point when they walked past the shop and one of the Whizbees flew up his nose and he started sneezing until he turned blue. Finally then, did the Whizbee fly right out of his nostril and disappear in the direction of Gringotts.

“Ruddy effing bees…leave me alone…stay far away from me…” Ron grumbled as they moved along to Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occations.

They entered the shop and a bell rang behind the counter. Countless fabrics and half-made robes hung everywhere.

“Good morning, gentlemen,” said a squeaky voice emerging from a curtain. “What can I help you- Merlin! You’re the Potter boy! My goodness it’s a pleasure to have you here, in my shop, would you like some cea? Or some tookies? I mean some..-”

“Actually, we’re here to buy new dress robes for the both of us.” Ron said, cutting her off and bringing her back to reality.

“Oh, yes of course dears. Was that tea then? Alright, I’ll be right back,” she fussed and disappeared.

“Goodness.. I feel for you mate, going through that every shop you enter,” Ron joked, grinning at Harry, knowing that Harry hated it when people recognized him and fussed over him.

Madam Malkin returned with a tray with tea and cookies, and set to work on measuring dress robes for Ron. This quickly wiped the grin off Ron’s face as Madam Malkin began contemptuously to prick him with pins.

“Will you be a bit careful!” He exclaimed about five minutes later, when Harry was also seated on a stool and with pins all over. Madam Malkin seemed to have developed a liking for multitasking, and the measuring stick was taking Harry’s measurements while the old lady was putting the last pins into Ron’s robes.

An hour later, when they had decided on colors and their robes been hexed with anti-wrinkle charms, they left the shop. Ron was mumbling silently, he had not appreciated Madam Malkins’ constant remarks that the color he had chosen did not match his hair. Next, they headed over to Quality Quidditch Supplies, Ron had said he needed some new keeper’s gloves, and Harry just wanted to go because of the feeling the shop gave him. As they approached the store, Harry remembered in the summer before his third year at Hogwarts, how he had wandered past here every single day glancing longingly at the Firebolt. That was before Voldemort returned, before he met Sirius or Tonks or Lupin…

Like so many times before, they bought large ice creams at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor. Fortescue had returned after the last battle, having been abandoned by his Death Eater guards as they fled when Voldemort died. Fortescue had now named his newest flavour after Harry, and Ron, of course just had to get some, laughing at the little lemon-flavoured lightning bolt shaped sprinkles on top of his ice cream.

Finally, they went to the Magical Menagerie so Harry could buy his new owl. He was not sure, but he had a strange feeling when he entered the shop, he thought about the time when he and Hagrid had come out of there for the first time with Hedwig. He felt a surge of grief, but was cheered by the sounds of the many hooting owls in the cages around the walls.

“So, which one will be Hedwig the second then, Harry?” Ron joked cautiously.

“I really have no idea,” said Harry honestly. There were too many to choose from.

“Can I help you, gentlemen?” Asked a kind looking lady in her late fifties. “My goodness! You’re Harry Potter! Oh and you must be Ron Weasley, oh yes I've heard all about you two!” She exclaimed delightfully at the sight of Harry’s scar. Ron seemed surprised at this acknowledgment but pleased all the same. “My dear, you must be here to get a new owl of course, oh yes it was all over the papers how you lost your owl in the fight against you-know-who, I understand the grief you felt, oh Rita Skeeter always writes about the life stories, the feelings behind-”

“I don’t know what you have read by Rita Skeeter, but I can tell you that none of it includes the slightest trace of truth. I am here to buy an owl, who I am and why I am here is none of your business!” Harry exclaimed angrily, unable to detain himself.

Ron seemed not to be surprised by this reaction. He knew very well that Harry hated to be recognized, to be talked to as though he was some sort of tragic hero who cried at all his loss.

“Yes, of course, forgive me gentlemen, I’m so very sorry. You said you wanted an owl, well I can at least help you with that. What sort of owl were you thinking of then dear? We just received a snowy owl yesterday, and this one here-”

“What about this one?” Harry cut her off, having spotted a large tawny owl perched on a large stump of wood inside its cage. It was beautiful, with large rings of white and brown around its eyes. It was tall and had beautiful feathers of black, brown and white.

“Oh, that’s a tawny owl, she came in a couple of months ago, she is supposedly very well trained. 15 gallons and you’ll get the cage as well!”

“Alright, I’ll take her,” Harry said, having decided on his new pet, he knew it must be this one, she looked beautiful, and did not remind him too much of Hedwig.

They exited the shop, Harry and Ron sharing the load of the cage between them. The owl had plenty of space and was flapping her wings in indignation at this form of transportation.

“So how about Hedwig II?” Ron asked. Harry eyed him and said “no, I don’t think so…she needs a good name, a new name. Any ideas?”

“Errr…you could just call her Tawny…” Ron said uncertainly.

“Oh haha,” Harry replied sarcastically. “I guess I’ll have to read one of those old school books again and look for a new name.”

Next they decided they might as well drop by the ministry, since they were already in town. Harry clutched the cage as they apparated to outside the main entrance.

It had changed drastically since the last time they had been here, the time when they had sneaked in chasing the locket. Harry shuddered at the thought. It was cold, the sun shining but not producing any heat from the clear winter sky. The building housing the ministry had been renovated, and to the general muggle public, it now looked like a large shopping center. (And it probably was one too, Harry thought). Entering through large double doors, it felt as if they walked under a cold, completely dry shower for a second, and then they found themselves in the atrium, without a trace of the glass door behind them.

"That sure beats flushing yourself down a toilet." Ron stated fiercely.

Already familiar with the place, the two made their way to the golden lifts and crammed themselves in between several wizards and witches, their heads surrounded by inter-departmental memos. Harry felt a strange sense of deja-vu, although this time there was no dread over being discovered. For once, he was not here for the wrong reason.

'Level two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including the Improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters and Wizengamot Administration Services.'

The pleasant woman's voice announced into the elevator. Harry and Ron got out.

The walls here had changed, Harry thought with a pang. They were no longer covered with pictures of Sirius, but of those post-death-eaters who were now under surveillance, or regular wanted criminals. They reached the door to the head of office, with the label 'Hestia Jones'. They knocked and entered.

"Mr. Potter! Mr. Weasley! What a pleasant surprise!" Hestia exclaimed as she saw who they were. "What can I do for you?"

"Good afternoon, we're here for some information regarding auror training," Harry explained.

"Auror training, oh I was hoping you'd choose something like this, both of you. I've got pamphlets here... and you'll need to send in a copy of your school records, and also this application form. Just let me remind you, gentlemen, that auror training is highly demanding, and it takes excellent physical and mental skill. It is not only a profession but a lifestyle." She looked stern.

Harry and Ron both nodded seriously.

"Thanks," Ron replied, not quite able to hide his excitement.

"You'll be hearing from us soon then, thanks for your help Ms. Jones," Harry said.

"We'll be expecting you, Mr. Potter, it will be an honor." She replied, looking him straight in the eye.

Their documents in hand, they left the office and made their way out of the ministry, Harry tossing a coin into the newly created 'fountain of equality and peace' which had been created in the atrium.

“Well, that was interesting. Can we please go home now, since I know mum is making a fantastic dinner tonight and I’m hungry.” Ron said, pulling the cage and Harry down the road to the apparition spot of the large room.

They took hold of their bags and Harry held on tightly to the cage before turning in midair and once again feeling his way into nothingness.

***

When Harry and Ron appeared into the kitchen at the Burrow, they were greeted by loud cheers, and a bunch of hands quickly dragged them toward what seemed to be the midpoint of the large mass of people that had crammed into the kitchen. Harry was greatly surprised to see so many people there, until he finally realized who everyone was crowded around. Bill and Fleur stood proudly in the middle of the crowd, and in Fleur’s arms, a tiny being lay wrapped in a blanket. A small hand was clasped around Bill’s finger as he stood and held his other arm around his sobbing, but beaming mother.

From out of nowhere, Ginny appeared beside Harry, grasped his hand, turned him toward her and kissed him right on the mouth. “Oh, Harry! I’m so glad you’re back, Bill and Fleur got here about an hour ago, that’s their new daughter! Victoire! Isn’t she adorable?”

“’Arry! O, I am zo glad you came back. ‘Ere she iz! ‘Er name iz Victoire, you can ‘old ‘er if you like!” Fleur came bustling over to Harry, baby in arms, and kissed him, with some difficulty on both cheeks. Harry felt his face flush as she handed him the tiny girl.

Harry didn’t think he had ever held such a small human being, and she was a true copy of her mother. One could see that the little hair she had was the same silvery blond as Fleur’s, and her little face was flawless, with large blue eyes.

Ginny stood and looked at her little niece. An odd look upon her face, she glanced up at Harry. “She’s so beautiful, congratulations, Fleur!” Harry said, while staring back at Ginny, and handing Victiore back to Fleur. He knew exactly what Ginny was thinking of, and he was thinking too, as he looked at the tiny little hand that did not want to let go of his finger before Fleur had to unattatch the tiny fingers’ grasp.

Harry had set his new things down beside the door, and his owl was earning herself quite a few looks from the many people in the room. “Hey, Ginny, I have to take my new owl upstairs, and the rest of my things. Come with me?”

“Sure Harry, oh no, lets hurry, my aunt Muriel is coming this way!” Harry grabbed her hand and pulled her out into the hall, grasping his things and the huge cage. They climbed up only one flight of stairs before Ginny abruptly caught Harry’s hand again, so that he had to put down everything he had in his hands. She pulled him into her room and closed the door.

Harry looked at his fiance, finding this thought slightly amusing. She closed into him and put her face against his chest. He automatically ran a hand through her hair. Then, without really planning it, he cupped her cheek in his hand and brought her face up toward his. He let his lips slightly touch hers for an instant, before pulling back slightly to see her reaction. It pleased him immensely to see her look back up at him longingly, as if asking him to do it again. This time, he wrapped one arm around her waist, and the other hand, he slipped around her neck. Then he leaned in to cover her lips with his once again, and she put her arms around his neck and before their lips met, she whispered, half exasperatedly, “Harry…”

The mention of his name was what made him keep kissing her for the next half an hour. It was amazing, she fit so perfectly in his arms, and when they were this close, he could feel her heart beating against his own. He loved her so much, and he knew she would make the worlds most fantastic mother if that time came. Her lips tasted so sweet, and he was enchanted by her hands’ touch as they moved through his hair. Finally, when they broke apart, Harry smiled at her. “I think I was supposed to bring my things upstairs,” he murmured. But then she closed in again and he could do nothing but oblige, thinking only of how much she meant to him, how much he loved Ginny Weasley.

“Harry! Oi, mate, come out now will you, Mum needs help from both of you downstairs!” It was Ron.

“How does he know you’re in here?” Ginny whispered.

“Er..all my things are still strewn right outside the door…”

“Oh…”
“I’m coming, Ron ,just a minute.” Harry pulled his shirt, which had mysteriously found its way to the floor beneath him, over his head, and went out the door to the first floor landing. Ron stood there with an all so wise look on his face, grinning slightly when he saw Harry’s hair, which, if it was at all possible, looked even more messy than usual. Harry grinned, but felt his face flush, and quickly grabbed the cage and his new robes and carried them upstairs.

“Dinner!!” Came a call from way beneath, magically enforced, startling him so that he almost got a concussion from banging his head in Ron’s low ceiling.

When Harry entered the kitchen, he was greeted by a kiss from Ginny, and Ron already half way through his steak.

Mrs. Weasley’s cooking was, as usual, fantastic, and after four delicious courses, they all practically rolled into the living room and collapsed on the couches. Many were uttering sounds such as “Aaaaah, ooooo….yummmmm….hmmmmm”. Everyone seemed slightly dazed after the amazing dinner.

Ginny was sitting on Harry’s lap, talking baby talk across the coffee table to Victoire who was lying in her mother’s lap. Hermione was busy telling Ron that his hair had gotten way too long, and Mrs. Weasley was also busy agreeing with Hermione.

“Alright, you lot, its time for bed for everyone I think, and Fleur, please make sure Vicky doesn’t wake everyone during the night,” Mr. Weasley said with a smirk.

“Ah, Dad, don’t worry, ‘Vicky’ doesn’t make noise at night, she never has, have you my little angel?” Bill cooned at his daughter.

“If you say so, son,” Mr. Weasley looked doubtfully at his little granddaughter.

Ginny grabbed Harry’s arm and pulled him out the back door to the garden. The stars were out and the moon was casting a shimmering light over the winter sky. Ginny huddled up close to him and he held her close, kissing her head.

“Either you have to get taller, or I’ll have to shrink,” he murmured jokingly. She looked up at him and he could see the moon reflected in her eyes. He leant down so their lips could meet. Her lips were incredibly soft, her tongue like silk against his.

They stood like this for a long time, until Harry realized that it was actually getting quite cold. “Err, Ginny,” he said, pulling away, “I think we should go inside. You’ll get sick if you stay out here too long.”

They went inside, passed Ron and Hermione on the couch, the only two left in the living room. They went upstairs, and,after another long kiss, parted to each of their rooms. It was not until an hour later that Ron entered the room at the top of the Weasley house, with a distant smile on his face.

“Harry? You know, I really love that girl…” Ron sighed as he put on his maroon pajamas.

“Great, Ron, you know its two in the morning! I will gladly hear about your little pow-wow with Hermione tomorrow, but right now, I would like to sleep if you don’t mind.” Harry grunted from somewhere beneath the blankets.

“Alright, alright, night Harry.” Ron said with a grin on his face.




Chapter 7: Decisions
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7. Decisions

Harry awoke early in the morning of the 20th of March. The spring sun was shining through Ron’s orange curtains, giving the room a golden glow. Harry lay still under the covers and let his thoughts run freely.

Just a week ago, he and Ginny had found a flat in Hogsmeade. It was perfect for the two of them, and had one extra bedroom, which none of them never mentioned, but both had been thinking along the same lines about what that room could be used for in the future.

Ginny had suggested that they find a place near Godric’s Hollow, but Harry did not want to be so close to the place where his nightmare had once started. The house they would now be living in was old, but cozy, and the bathroom was new, as Ginny pointed out, and this was a big plus. Harry was not sure why Ginny was so fixated on the ‘bathrooms must be new and clean’- idea, but he had refrained from asking.

The reason that Harry was at the Burrow was simply that he would not be moving in until the next week once the old residents of their flat left. Ron was snoring in his bed as usual, but Harry noticed something quite unusual. Yes, Ron had armpit hair, yes, it was the same color as the hair on his head, but no, it was not about half a meter in length, brown, and bushy.

Harry now saw Hermione’s head, lying close by Ron’s side sleeping under the covers with him. He held back a snort of laughter. Harry felt happy that his two best friends had finally found each other, after so many years… he had known they fancied each other, and he had never understood why Ron hadn’t just plucked up the courage to ask her out sooner.

Suddenly, bringing his thoughts back to the present, Harry remembered why he had woken up so early. Today he could expect an owl from the ministry telling him whether or not he was accepted for auror training, and Ron as well. He felt a lurch of nervousness in the pit of his stomach and suddenly felt wide awake. He decided to get up, so as to save Hermione any potential embarrassment once they awoke. He pulled on some sweats and made his way downstairs through the house. It was all so quiet. He had no idea what time it must be, probably about seven.

He decided to go outside to get some fresh air. He thought about the owl that was probably coming toward the burrow this instant, hopefully with good news. He had had to take his NEWT exams not so very long ago. The new headmistress of course, was Minerva Mcgonagall. Harry had been very pleased with this appointment, as he had found her a strict, but extremely able teacher. She had sent out owls to all seventh and fifth year students of the year Voldemort fell telling them that their NEWT’s were a required qualification. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had all sat their exams, and Hermione was becoming more and more irritated at the time it was taking for the results to come. Harry knew his results would reach the Auror office before himself, as this is what both he and Ron had asked for, as the CV of all possible auror-hopefuls had to be in by April.

April… Harry felt another lurch of nervousness, but this time also excitement. His wedding was in April… It felt so strange. He and Ron had been busy inviting the guests, there had been so many to invite, and nobody was left out. More good news had also come from Neville Longbottom when they had called to invite him. He would be marrying Luna Lovegood in the summer. All Ron had managed to say at these news was ‘Nargles…’ It had become one of Ron’s favorite expressions after that.

Harry had sat down next to the small lake a bit away from the house, but still in the garden. There was a small rowing boat, and in the center was an island with a single large beech tree on it. Before Harry’s eyes flashed images of a completely different lake…deep in the darkness of a cave…long ago, but still vitally real.

“Harry?” came a voice from a little way behind him. Hermione was walking down toward him.
“What are you doing down here so early?” she asked, looking worried.

“Just thinking,” said Harry, smiling up at her bushy hair, bringing some funny thoughts into his head but he refrained from laughing.

“I wonder if our NEWT results will come today…” Hermione sighed, sitting beside Harry. “I hate it that we have to wait so long for them.”

“Today should be the day when Ron and I get our letters from the Auror office as well.” Said Harry, staring out across the water. He had finally arrived back at the train of thought that he did not want to think about…auror training.

“You will have to leave, won’t you Harry… you’ll have to go somewhere for training…you won‘t be back for a long time…”

“Yes…I guess we will…I hate it Hermione, but there’s nothing I can do. The course takes six months. We should be back by Christmas, that is, if we even get chosen for training.”

Harry could see that these news were hard on Hermione. Her eyes filled with tears. Her hand lifted to her neck, where a golden heart hang in a thin chain. Harry recognized it as Ron’s Christmas present for Hermione.

“He said he would never leave me, Harry, and now he has to go… I don’t know what I’ll do while he’s not here!”

“Hermione stop it! Stop it right now! Ron loves you more than anything, and it is not his fault he will have to go. He wants this job so that he can give you a good life, care for you. Six months will go by fast. Find something to do! Get a job, Hermione you were the best witch in the class, your grades were always the best, if not better. You need to get your life going as well, don’t just waste it all away! Yes, you will miss him, and he will miss you, just as much as I will miss Ginny. But we all have each other, and even though we’ll be apart for awhile doesn’t mean we will have no contact!”

“Oh, Harry, I know you’re right, but it’s just…I really love him Harry.”

Harry put his arm around her shoulder, giving her a sort of sideways hug.

“You’ll be fine, don’t worry. And besides, we don’t even know if we’ll have to go yet! Come on, let’s get back to the house so we can help Mrs. Weasley with breakfast.”

****

“RON!!!” Ron, there are three…four…FIVE owls coming toward the house! Oh my gosh, no, no, I don’t want to know, no, I refuse to open it…” Hermione was panicking. She had been staring out of the kitchen window through all of breakfast, and now she was wailing loudly. Ron had to run over and put his arms calmingly around her before she would be quiet and watch the five birds as they came in through the open window.

Harry and Ron were landed with two letters each, Hermione with one. Her hands were shaking badly as she picked it up from the table. Harry looked at his envelopes. One had an official looking stamp on it, and the other was sealed with the Hogwarts emblem. He decided to open the one from school first, so as to see if the news was bad. He folded out the paper, and it gave him a strange sense of remembering the last time he had done this…all the things he didn’t know then…

He read the paper:
Dear Mr. Potter,
Here are your NEWT results, we hope they are satisfactory.
Hoping you are well,
Best wishes,
Minerva Mcgonnagall, Headmistress.

Potions: Exeeds expectations
Herbology: Exeeds expectations
Charms: Outstanding
Defence agains the dark arts: Outstanding
History of magic: Acceptable
Transfiguration: Exeeds expectations

Harry looked at the letter once again. No, his eyes were not fooling him. He had passed everything, and had gotten two Outsanding NEWT’s! He looked over at Ron, who had a grin on his face as he passed his letter to Harry so they could swap. It read:

Dear Mr. Weasley,
Here are your NEWT result, hoping you are happy with what you have attained.
Hoping you are well,
Regards,
Minerva Mcgonnagall

Potions: Exeeds expectations
Herbology: Exeeds expectations
Charms: Exeeds Expectations
Defence against the dark arts: Outstanding
History of magic: Outstanding
Transfiguration: Exeeds expectations

Harry again thought his eyes were fooling him.

“How on earth did you get an Outstanding in history of magic?” Harry asked, amazed.

“You forget who my fiancée is,” Ron grinned back, “She helped me prepare. “Hermione, let’s see them!” Ron laughed again.

Hermione handed over her letter.

Potions: Outstanding
Herbology: Outstanding
Charms: Outstanding
Defence against the dark arts: Outstanding
History of magic: Outstanding
Transfiguration: Outstanding
Astronomy: Outstanding
Arithmancy: Outstanding
Ancient runes: Outstanding

Hermione gave a tiny smile. “I guess my parents can be proud of me now.” Harry remembered well how Hermione had gone to Australia to get her parents back to normal, lifting the memory charm she had placed on them.

Ron kissed her.
Harry now felt a surge of what might be butterflies in his stomach. Then he realized that Ginny was laughing silently behind his back. She flicked her wand, and the butterflies seemed to vanish.

“Gin! What was that for? I’m already nervous enough as it is!”

“Sorry Harry, couldn’t resist,” she joked.

Harry smiled slightly and turned toward his second owl that was now pecking his arm with its beak to get his attention. He released the letter from the bird’s leg, and opened the letter.

Dear Mr. Potter,
We are very pleased to inform you that it is with great honor that we accept you into auror training in Edinburgh as of May 1. Please arrive on this date as further instruction and information will be given about the course.

Most sincerely,

Hestia Jones, Head of Auror Office

He had made it. He was in auror training. One month and he would be there… one month and he would have to leave Ginny…

Just then, Ron jumped up onto the kitchen table and started jumping madly up and down, much to his startled mother’s dismay. He did not stop either. In his hand was his letter from the auror office. The odd thing was, he was making very high squeaking noises, seemingly coming from somewhere near his chest area.

“Er, Ron?” Harry looked upon his best friend. Great. Ron had finally lost it.

But, Ron jumped down from the table, and lifted Hermione into the air.

“I got in Herms. I made it. I passed. I’m going to Geneva!”

It was hard to determine the expression on Hermione’s face, though she was trying her best to smile at the news, tears were soon filling her eyes. Ron seemed completely oblivious to this, and was shaking Harry’s hand enthusiastically.

“I knew it Harry! We’re both going! Geneva! Think of that!”

“Geneva? Ron, no, you must have gotten the place wrong. I’m going to Edinburgh!”

“WHAT?”

Ron hadn’t noticed until then that Hermione had walked out of the room and into the garden, silent tears streaming down her pained, guilty face. Harry had helplessly watched her go.

“But, Harry…we’re not going to be in the same place? But…” Suddenly the smile was gone from Ron’s face.

“Ron, we got in, that’s what matters isn’t it? I mean we can see each other and stuff…” Harry replied quietly.

“Yeah.. I guess so.” Ron replied awkwardly.

Harry, too had also expected them both to be accepted into the same training centers. He looked away from Ron and put his arm around Ginny.

“Congratulations, Harry… well done! I’m really happy for you…” Ginny said in a small voice, a small sad smile on her lips.

Harry knew he had to talk to her. “Ginny, listen, I need to talk to you.” He said taking her by the hand and pulling her out of the house, and into the forest which was now light green with small buds that would soon become thousands of green leaves. They walked in silence toward their tree house.

“Gin,” Harry began once inside. He spoke very slowly, dreading the words that were coming out of his mouth. He had been so happy to get accepted, but he was so anxious for her reaction.

“I’m gonna have to go away, to Edinburgh…training…I mean…I got accepted, and I just don’t think I can let this opportunity pass…”

“Harry, it’s ok…I mean, I’ll…I’ll…miss you.” She said as tears slowly fell to her freckled cheeks. “But six months is just such a long time… I love you so much, and I realize you will have to go… Will I see you?”

“I don’t know how often I’ll be allowed home…” Harry said in a low voice. To see Ginny like this hurt him more than the cruciatus curse ever could. Knives were piercing his heart, seeing the love of his life so sad and lost. He bent to wrap his arms around her but she slowly shook her head and stepped away from him. She left, climbing down the ladder, tears streaming down her cheeks. Harry was left standing in the tree house feeling empty. He did not know what to do. The choice was too difficult. He knew Ginny would be sad, but he had hoped she would be able to respect his decision and help him reach his goal.

***

“So, you just decided to leave, we haven’t even talked about this Ronald! How do you expect me to- How am I supposed to- I mean- Ron I don’t know what to do when I can’t see you!” Hermione was crying, but her anger was also visible as she looked at the man she loved so much. “You’ll just leave me here? Without any plans for what I’ll do? This isn’t just all about you you know! What am I supposed to do? Learn to knit? Well too bad, Ron Weasley, I ALREADY KNOW HOW TO KNIT!”

Hermione stormed away into the house and into her and Ginny’s room. She closed the door behind her and fell on top of her bed.

***

Harry walked slowly up the steps to his room and hour later. He did not know where Ginny had gone. The clear skies of the morning had clouded over and it was starting to rain. Large drops of water were beating against the roof as he reached the topmost room of the tall house. He opened the door and walked inside, shutting the door behind him. But, before he knew it, he was embraced by a redheaded someone who kissed him fiercely. Ginny had been in his room, waiting.

She tangled her hands in his hair, and he, startled at first, gave in to this satisfying treatment and kissed her back.

Finally, as she pulled away, his cheeks were wet from her tears. He held her close.

“Harry, you have to go, alright! Do you understand? This is your life, and we’re engaged aren’t we?” She said, smiling now. “We’ll both have to make sacrifices, and I guess some time apart will just be good right? I mean, nothing will change between us! I’ll be just the same old me when you return… I might even get a job, or study, or something! I’ve got to do something of course, but I know you need to get your life going, and I need to start mine too! So I mean-”

Harry had leaned in once again, breaking into her half laughing, half crying monologue, kissing her lips. Again. He just couldn’t resist.

“I love you Gin, and even though I’ll be gone a while doesn’t mean we’ll have no contact…And hey, we're getting married first aren't we?”

They stood with their arms around each other for a long time, and then both realized they were hungry. Again. They decided they would go downstairs and find out what the others thought of the news, and find Ron and Hermione.

***

Harry and Ginny found Ron sitting on the couch in the living room, being served some hot tea by his worried looking mother.

“What’s the matter?” Ginny asked.

“Harry, I don’t think I can go through with this training thing…” Ron croaked.

But he should NOT have said that.

“RONALD WEASLEY!” (here we go…) “YOU HAVE JUST GOTTEN YOURSELF INTO THAT TRAINING CENTER, AND YOU ARE NOT GETTING OUT! THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT AND YOU KNOW IT. YOU WILL HAVE TO COPE WITH MISSING THOSE YOU LOVE, BUT YOU ARE NOT BACKING OUT!!! NOW GET A GRIP ON YOURSELF AND GO TALK TO HERMIONE! GO. NOW. SHE DESERVES BETTER THAN YOU SITTING HERE NOT KNOWING WHAT TO SAY TO HER!

Mrs. Weasley’s face was red. She seemed to have inflated herself to twice her normal size. She breathed deeply and went into the kitchen.

Harry was sitting on an armchair, slightly taken aback by Molly’s outburst, but regaining his train of thought he began “Ron-”

“Don’t Harry. I’m not going to the training. As my mother said, Hermione deserves better… you go ahead.”

Harry watched his best friend get up from the couch and walk toward the stairs, and mounting to the first landing where they heard him enter Ginny’s room.



A/N: DUN DUN DUN!!!! Haha cliffy I know. I hate writing depressing stuff but I promise it will get better!!! Thank you soooo much to all my reviewers!! I love you all, please leave reviews on this chapter too! Hope you like it, and I promise I’ll update soon… I won’t abandon you all :P
xx

Terri



Chapter 8: Tabe bells and little grangers
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8. Tabe bells and Little Grangers

Harry and Ginny sat silently in the living room. Ron had left them there over half an hour ago to go and talk to Hermione.

“How can Hermione be acting so stupid?” Ginny sighed. “She knew he would have to go! To me she said she was fine with it, they could stay in contact and everything…”

“Yes…It’s not like Hermione, but I guess she’s always been different when it comes to Ron.” Harry replied sadly.

“And Ron can’t let this opportunity go either…he’s been wanting this for such a long time! Did you see his face when he read that letter?” Ginny said in a fed up voice.

***

“Herms?”

Ron stuck his head in through the door to Ginny’s room. Nobody replied, so he entered. The window in the room stood wide open. Hermione’s bed was made, but all her clothes were nowhere to be seen.

“Hermione!” He breathed, running to the window. She was not on the ground below. No, he mustn’t think like that. She was gone. She had left.

His legs gave way and he sunk down on the bed, which still had the slight whiff of his girlfriend. He put his head in his hands. It was all his fault. He should never have applied to the stupid auror training! He had what he wanted with Hermione didn’t he?

There was a flutter and something ruffled beside the window. Ron looked up and saw a small note posted with some spell-o-tape to the window sill. For a while, he just sat there watching it, not daring to get up and look.

The sun was shining in through the window from a clear March sky. The note still hung there innocently.

With shaking hands, he got up and reached for it. He took it, but couldn’t get it off the window sill.

“What the bloody hell is wrong with this,” he murmured. “Oh. Right. Spell-o-tape. Relashio!” He said pulling out his wand. The note un-stuck from the window and he read what it said.

Ron, I need to spend some time on my own. I need some time to sort out my life, I don’t know what I’m doing. I wish I could be happy for you now that you made it to training, but I just can’t manage it because right now you are all I rely on. Ron, please don’t be angry with me.
What I really want to tell you is that I’m so proud of you. You worked so hard and it payed off. Go to training. I’ll be fine, I promise. I hope I’ll see you soon…

I love you.

Hermione

Where was she? He didn’t know. All he knew that she wasn’t here, where she was supposed to be, safely in his arms. She hadn’t even said where she was going. This was his fault, and he was the only one who could set it right again.


***

“Hi Ron! How is Hermione?” Ginny said as she looked up and saw Ron entering the living room where she and Harry sat huddled together on the couch.

“She’s gone. She left. I have to go and find her, tell mum not to worry.”

That was all he said. He left the room and minutes later they could hear the front door slamming.

“I’m going after him.” Harry said, standing up. “I won’t let him do this to himself. Not now.” He ran upstairs and got his Firebolt. He quickly told Ginny he’d be back before dinner and ran out of the door after Ron, who had reached the other side of the field.

Harry mounted his broom, felt the usual surge of happiness through him as his feet left the ground, but he did not waver. He flew fast toward Ron, and landed on the grass right beside his freckled friend.

“Ron!” Harry said loudly. “You’re not going anywhere mate, pull yourself together! Hermione will be FINE.”

“Don’t mess with me Harry. She’s NOT fine! And it’s all because of this stupid training. Look what it’s doing to her! I can’t go Harry, she needs me!” Ron almost shouted, trying to get Harry to let go of his arm.

“She’ll be perfectly ok. You should know more than anyone mate, this girl can take care of herself. Ron, she knows she screwed up your whole plans, she knows her reaction was out of line, because it was! She’ll miss you like hell yes, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t want you to go to training. She just needed a bit of time to sort herself out. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but you’ve had all your plans ready for ages, while we’ve never really heard about what she’s planning to do have we?” Harry spoke in a hectic voice, desperate to get Ron to see sense. “You can’t just go running after her, mate, she needs her time. Just give it to her. She’ll come back soon!”

Silence stretched in the space between them. Harry had let go of Ron’s shirt. Ron was staring at a bunch of trees standing nearby. Spring was showing well as small green buds had began forming on the ends of the tiny branches.

“I guess I’ve just gotten so caught up in all this training stuff…took her for granted…” Ron mumbled silently more to himself than to Harry.

“Come on mate, let’s go play some chess or something. You just have to give her some time.”

“Right,” Ron said, “Hey, Harry, sorry man…I’ve been acting so stupidly lately…”

“It’s fine, really, but let’s get back to the house.”

It turned out Ron’s shoes and feet were soaking from walking (who knew why he hadn’t taken his broom) through the field that was wet with spring rain. So they both sat on Harry’s broom and he flew them safely to dryer land outside the kitchen door of the house.

***

“Harry? You know how you said you wanted a nice couch for our flat? I’ve been looking around, and I’ve found one that will let you change its color at will! How’s that? And I’ve also found the greatest curtains for the bathroom, and some other ones for the living room, now in the bedroom…” Ginny was going on about plans for their apartment, and Harry was only barely listening.
The rest of the family were engaged in all sorts of conversations, Mrs. Weasley apparently brooding over the fact that Ron hadn’t told her that Hermione had left until the day AFTER she had left. Mr. Weasley seemed to be in an argument with Charlie about screwdrivers, Charlie and Jen had come to visit that day. Percy and Penelope had also decided to come, and George was happily behind some bush with Angelina, after vividly exclaiming “Can’t anyone have any privacy here? Gosh!”

They were, indeed, a lot of people, and seeing that it was only March, they could not sit outside. They had (somehow) managed to cram into the kitchen, but only just. Ginny was therefore sitting on Harry’s lap as there had been no more room anywhere. The meal had been heavenly, but it had also lasted a while. Harry finally realized that he no longer had any feeling in his legs due to Ginny sitting on them, and told her he had to get up and get some fresh air.

Hermione had still showed no sign of returning, and neither had she sent any other messages than the one Ron had gotten.

Ron followed Harry and Ginny into the garden after having seen Harry’s facial expression clearly indicating that they were to follow him. Once they got outside, Harry started explaining the idea he had come up with during Ginny’s long speech of ’how to furnish our apartment’. (gosh, why couldn’t she just make him a pamphlet or something…she was just droning on forever that girl was…).

“Ron I have an idea of how we can find out what Hermione is doing! We can send Midget! I only just thought of her!” Harry said.

“It’s a girl now is it? Who said it wasn’t a guy?” Ron replied before quite realizing what Harry had said.

“OOh! Er…ok…I…but… can it really bring a message back to us? The woman in the shop said nothing about-”

“Ron they can’t speak, but I did a bit of research, and it turns out they send some sort of brainwave that can be read by the human mind. Although, it can only be recognized by the owner of the diricawl.” Harry replied quickly. Ginny nodded in hopeful agreement.

“Alright, but don’t let her notice it! I mean, I don’t want her to feel like we’re stalking her…I mean she did say she needed her bloody space…”

They all ran to Harry and Ron’s room where Pig immediately started making an incredible amount of noise, and Harry’s still unnamed Tawny Owl hooted cheerfully. The diricawl was making some strange buzzing and purring noises, followed by a small ’hickup!’ every couple of seconds.

“Er? What’s it doing?”

“No idea.” Harry laughed and picked the little blue creature out of its cage.

“Er…I need you to find Hermione Granger, but don’t show yourself. Come back and tell us how she is. Alright?” Harry wasn’t even sure if it had understood him. It had just struck him how stupid he must look talking to the little creature that had just crawled up to his shoulder.

The little creature responded by nudging Harry’s finger with its tiny beak, then disappeared in a puff of multicolored smoke.

“Well, that was dramatic,” Ron said with a smirk. But the expression vanished almost immediately from his face.

***

Midget did not return for another two hours or so. It appeared on Harry’s shoulder just as he was endorsed in a quite intimate moment with Ginny. It made its buzzing and hickup sounds as before.

Ginny laughed as she pulled away from Harry. “Hey, you, stay away from him! He’s mine.” She said, pretending to push the little creature from Harry's shoulder.

She demonstrated her point by kissing Harry on the mouth while staring mockingly at the diricawl. Harry smirked into Ginny’s hair as he caught the creature and placed it on his shoulder.

It was one of the oddest sensations he thought he had felt before. Midget was sending some sort of sensation into his ear, it was like sound, but at the same time not. It tickled the inside of his ear, and suddenly, a feeling of understanding came through him, and he was able to interpret the strange vibrations the diricawl was letting out.

“Mione Graner look good. Happy, smile with little Graner. Letter on the big flat tabe bell. Says to Won Weslie. Mister Harry happy?”

Harry spoke the words as they materialized in his head.

“What is a Tabe bell?” Ron said, entering his bright orange room where Harry and Ginny were. “Smile with little Graner? What little Graner, Mione doesn’t have any siblings! What do you think it means? At least it said she looks good and is happy…”

“Ron, she’s ok, that’s what you wanted to know right? And she’s saying TABLE, not tabe bell, gosh, Won Wesley, don’t you understand Diricawl?” Ginny laughed, and flicked her long red hair back, away from her face. Harry’s stomach lurched and he felt an extreme desire to snog her senseless, but then he remembered that Ron was in the room. Go away Ron!

“And by the looks of it, she’s also in the process of writing you a letter,” Harry said, edging over to Ginny and sliding his hand up and down her back.

“I just wish she would hurry up and send it, though, she’s driving me insane here!” Ron exclaimed.

***

Ron and Harry spent the rest of the day killing time by playing chess, ending surprisingly with a win for Harry, as Ron was looking hopefully out the window every minute or so. He almost fell off his chair when the doorbell rang, but it turned out only to be Mr. Weasley who had locked himself out when going to feed the chickens.

The clock on the wall struck nine, and still there had been no sign of a letter from Hermione. Ron said he was tired and went upstairs with heavy steps, leaving the rest of the residents of the Burrow in a rather sorrowful mood, as they all felt so sorry for Ron. Fleur went as far as saying that it was all Hermione’s fault, but that idea was immediately cut down by Angelina, sitting on George’s lap.

Harry waited half an hour before finally deciding that Ron might be asleep. He snuck upstairs quietly, and was just about to jump into bed as there was a small tap tap on the window. Harry opened it and saw Hermione’s new owl Orion sitting on the window sill. He was carrying a letter, addressed to Ron Weasley.

Ron was snoring softly beneath the bed sheets, and had not noticed.



Chapter 9: 9. My dreams came true ‘Mione
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9. My dreams came true ‘Mione

Harry looked at the letter the owl was holding. He burned to see what Hermione had written, but then quickly remembered that Ron was his best friend, and would therefore kill Harry if he opened his mail.

He walked over to the bed where Ron was snoring loudly.

“Ron! Wake up! Orion’s here! Oi, mate, get up!” Harry whispered. Ron snored louder. “Ron, honestly, I will not stand here all night. RON! BLOODY HELL, you’ve got to see what she wrote!”

“Grmmmphumfy!” Came a sound from beneath the covers.

“No, not grmmmphumfy! Hermione sent you a letter Ron.” Was Harry’s annoyed reply.

“WHAT?” (finally, Ron, took you long enough) “She sent me a letter?” He said, sitting bolt upright in his bed.

Harry simply pointed at the window.

*** Ron’s point of view ***

He got out of bed, suddenly feeling incredibly nervous. Quickly he opened the window and got the letter from the owl, which now flew away into the night, with a screech, as though it was annoyed that they had taken so long to lessen his burden.

Harry had left the room to use the bathroom, or so he said. Ron was not in doubt that it had something to do with Ginny.

But, that didn’t matter now. With his hands shaking slightly, he opened the letter and began to read.

Dear Ron,

I’m sorry. I bet you are very mad at me right now, and I completely understand if you don’t want to see me. It’s just, when you got that letter, it made me so upset and scared, because my life seemed not to have any set path once you were off to school. I guess it’s just one of these things I can’t stand, not knowing.

I shouldn’t have left, but it has given me some time to think. I miss you, Ron. I love you. So, if you’re not too angry with me, come to my place, Rose Lane 7, London. I just found out that I have a little sister. She was born while my parents were in Australia. Her name is Judy. I was angry at my parents for not telling me sooner but I already love her so much. I want you to meet her, Ron.

Please forgive me.

Yours forever,

Hermione

‘Little graner…’ Midget must have meant Judy. Ron wrote a quick note to Harry explaining where he was going.

Harry, she wants to see me. She has a little sister! I’ll contact you as soon as I can!
Ron.

He quickly turned on the spot, concentrating on the address on the paper, and felt his way into nothingness.

***Harry’s point of view***

Harry returned from the bathroom (to which he had surprisingly gone), and found the empty room, with Ron’s note. He felt happiness rush through him at the sight of it.

Another thought came to mind though. Ron isn’t home…aha…Ginny…oh my mind is so perverted. Must…stop…nope…I am so going down there this instant…

And with that, he slipped out the door and down the stairs to the first landing.

*** Ron’s point of view***

He felt hard ground beneath his feet. Then there came a tiny squeal, and he saw a bush of hair emerging from the pillows of a large bed.

“Ron? Oh my gosh, RON, what are you doing here? It’s the middle of the night!”

Ron looked at her. She was only wearing a small night dress, with spaghetti straps. Her hair was flowing down her shoulders like waves in a waterfall. She took his breath away. All he could do was stand and look at her. He must have looked like an idiot, but, when it came to Hermione, he really was an idiot. His mouth would not let out a word.

“Ron, I…I’m so sorry. I know I should have stayed and talked to you about stuff but I was just so upset and confused, and I just thought I needed some time for myself,”

Tears were now streaming down her face, shining in the moonlight coming in through her half-open curtains. Her eyes were large as she looked at him, the kind of stare that only Hermione could muster.

“I found out I had a little sister as well, and it sort of just topped it all. And I was so scared that you would be mad at me and I-”

Ron had taken three strides with his long legs, crossed the room, scooped her up in his arms and kissed her. Deeply. His hands were in her hair, stroking her back. Her lips tasted so soft, his eyes closed he pressed himself against her and felt her hands behind his neck. She kissed him wantingly back. He had missed this so extremely, that it felt like ages before he managed to pull away from her.

She was finally back where she belonged, in his arms, and he knew he would never let her go again, no matter how hard she tried.

They stared into each other’s eyes for a long time before Hermione whispered,

“Am I dreaming?”

“Don’t you ever do that to me again!” Was Ron’s choked reply.

“ I was so scared I’d lost you, and all just because of my stupid behavior! I don’t know what I was thinking. But after you left it feels like I haven’t been myself…just empty…I need you Hermione…you make all my dreams come true, and I just had to be such a bloody idiot.”

Her face lit up in a bright smile. Her finger traced his long nose, and she leant in to kiss him lightly on the lips. “You will always be an idiot, Ronald, but I love you for it, so don’t even think about changing.”

He climbed into her bed to lie beside her, his arms around her.
She wasn’t mad at him, she loved him! Yaaaaay, partey partey partey! His insides were dancing the conga.

Her breathing steadied, and after a while she was breathing freely, her beautiful hair flowing out on her pillow. Ron didn’t think he could be any happier.

***

Ron awoke, rather unpleasantly from a blow to the head.

“Get out of her bed you nasty! Shoo, don’t you ever touch her! She’s engaged for heaven’s sake! You PERVERT! I will not let anyone do this to my daughter!”

Ron fell out of the bed onto the floor.

“Er, I’m very sorry sir, nothing happened, I just-” Hello? It’s me, Ron, I’m her fiancée for heaven’s sake!

“Dad! It’s Ron! Ron, I’m so sorry! Dad leave him alone!”

Mr. Granger was busy beating Ron with a rather large broom, anywhere he could reach, but, when he heard Hermione’s voice, he abruptly stopped.

Hermione climbed out of bed and helped an even more bewildered Ron up from the floor. He half hid behind her, as though to shield himself from any more unexpected attacks.

“Oh, Ron. Is it you. Well. How nice to see you! I errr…” Mr. Granger spluttered, turning red.

“I’m sorry, son, I really didn’t mean to…”

“It’s alright, sir, no better way to wake up,” Ron cut him off with a smirk, although rubbing his shoulder.

“Dad, he came last night. He really wants to meet Judy!” She passed Ron a warning look, clearly indicating that she had not told her father anything about their little fall-out.

“Yes, of course I do! If she’s as beautiful as Hermione then I definitely have to meet her.” Ron replied, in yet another attempt to make Mr. Granger laugh. He still did not succeed with this mission.

Mr. Granger’s face broke into a smile, and he left the room with a knowing look at his daughter.

It was eleven in the morning before the two finally made their way downstairs. The house was huge, and Ron kept on admiring things like the electricity plugs, the dishwasher, and especially the pictures on the walls that did not move. Of course, some of them did, as Hermione had put up various pictures of Hogwarts, herself, and Harry and Ron.

Ron stared particularly long at a picture of himself and Hermione from the Christmas ball at the Burrow. Hermione looked radiant.

After having greeted Mrs. Granger, who remarked many times how lovely it was to see him, they were served a breakfast worthy of Mrs. Weasley. This, by Ron’s standards, was quite remarkable.

Then, while they were eating (and on Ron’s part digging in to) toast, eggs, bacon, and fruit salad, A small face appeared in the doorway.

“Ron, meet my sister Judy,” Hermione said proudly, as the little girl staggered into the room over to Hermione. She climbed onto her sister’s lap and sat there looking quite suspicious of the newcomer sitting across the table.

“This is Ron, Judy, can you say that? R O N.”

“Mione!” Came a small laugh from Judy, and she looked at Hermione expectantly, as though deserving praise for having said her name.

“No, RON.” Hermione tried again, laughing at her sister.

“Won!!” Judy exclaimed.

“Yes! Good girl! That’s Ron!” She said, pointing at him, laughing.

The little girl was now one and a half, Mr. Granger proudly explained.

She was a true copy of her big sister. She was developing the same bushy brown hair, the same beautiful brown eyes.

She reached out her little arms toward him, and Hermione lifted her around the table and sat her on Ron’s lap. She stared up at him with wide eyes, and seemingly warming up to him, took hold of one of his red locks and pulled. Hard.

“Ow, ow, ow,” Ron said quietly, trying to loosen the tight grip of the little girl smiling innocently from his lap.

“Won!!” She shrieked again, her fingers now closing around his thumb.

Ron sat there silently. He wondered whether his daughter, when that time came would be as beautiful. But, he thought, anything with Hermione’s genes must be gorgeous.

He smiled curiously as he sat her down on the floor where she staggered, half way ran toward her mother.

*** Harry’s point of view ***

“Morning, sleepyhead!” Came a soft voice from somewhere by Harry’s ear.

Ginny was leaning over him, stroking his hair. She was already dressed. Harry looked at her, and saw only a bright light.

That’s odd… Oh, wait, the sun is blinding me. Right.

“You better get up, Harry, mum’s going ballistic downstairs because nobody is up to eat her breakfast.”

“Ok…I’ll be right down, you go ahead.” Harry replied sleepily.

He got out of bed and dressed quickly. Then, there was a knock on the window, and Orion was again outside. He latched open the window and the owl dropped a letter on his head.

You’re gonna have to work on these deliveries, you bloody bird.

He rolled out the piece of parchment and read.

Hi Harry, and Ginny if you’re there.
Hermione and I are ok, and her little sister is adorable. You’ve both been invited here for lunch around 2. Hope you can make it!
See you later (aligator hahahahaha no. just kidding)

Ron you are so weird!

Hey! This is my letter Hermione!

Not anymore, Hi Harry!

Anywaaaaays.

SEE YOU LATER.

Ron.

AND HERMIONE!

Get off the ruddy parchment!

Harry laughed. He felt so happy that Ron had finally gotten back to her. He wasn’t himself without that girl keeping his life in order.

***

It was almost a quarter to two in the afternoon. Harry and Ginny were preparing to go to the Grangers’ and had told the others that they would be back, with Ron and Hermione (as Ginny had had to promise her mother), before dinner.

“All set?” Harry asked, placing one hand at Ginny’s waist.

“Hey! I can apparate on my own thanks! Even though I didn’t do my final year does not mean I’m completely paralyzed. I got top marks on the NEWT’s I took last fall.”

“Woah, calm down, love, I wasn’t saying that…”

“Never mind, lets just leave,” Ginny laughed at how he was totally under her spell. She enjoyed this immensely.

They apparated onto the front porch of the Grangers’ house.

“Well, this is nice,” Harry smirked at Ginny.

They rang the doorbell (several times on Ginny’s part, “How does it make that noise? That is so cool…”).

Mrs. Granger opened the door.

“Hello, loves! Oh, it’s so good to see you two! Come right in!” She kissed them both on the cheek, and started to take their coats.

“Harry! Oh it’s so good to see you!” Hermione came bustling into the hall, wearing the same expression as she had given Ron, strictly telling them not to mention the fight.

“Er, Herms, it’s only been a week,” Ginny laughed from her embrace with Hermione.
Hermione kissed Harry on the cheek, and then turned to pick up a little girl, who, in Harry’s opinion, looked like a true copy of her bigger sister.

“Harry, Ginny, meet Judy! She’s one-and-a-half. She was born in Austra- I mean here in London.” She said.

Mr. and Mrs. Granger took Judy back to the kitchen.

“My parents don’t know about their stay in Australia. The day I went to get them, Judy was still in hospital, with some breathing problems. I caught my parents just as they were both home eating. I never realized they had a daughter. Judy was still in Australia when I took my parents back. But, listen! She must be a witch too! See, because apparently, the next day after they arrived home, Judy seemed to be born to them again, just here at home. At least that is my parent’s impression! But, of course, Judy was already almost a year old, but there must have been some magic that brought her here, and made my parents believe she was born at almost one! I talked to the hospital in Sydney, and they told me all about her birth.” Hermione seemed out of breath when she finished this whispered story.

“But, Hermione, shouldn’t you tell your parents about what really happened?” Harry asked, startled.

“I think they’ll be happier not knowing. But of course I’ve told them about the battle of Hogwarts, but I told them that I didn’t want to worry them at the time. They seemed satisfied with that.” Hermione said.

“Wow, but it must have been something really strong that pulled Judy half way across the world to her parents!” Ginny exclaimed, fascinated.

“I think I have a vague idea, actually,” Hermione said quietly.

“What?” Harry asked.

“The love a mother has for her child creates a bond between them. I think that if mother and child are ever separated, there is still a strong connection, and this bond will do anything to bring the two back together.” She replied. “I think you, Harry, are living proof, and so is my sister.”

“But Hermione, my mother never-”

“No magic can raise the dead, Harry, at least not to a state where they will be happy to be alive.” Hermione said sadly. “But remember, your mother did leave her mark on you, just in a different way.”

She smiled at him, and he smiled back. Ron was looking utterly bewildered.

“How on earth did you work that out?” He asked.

“Well, I just took Harry’s case, and looked at it closely, and I saw that there might be that kind of connection between all mothers and their children.”

“Ok, love, whatever you say,” Ron smiled, as he gave up even trying to understand his girlfriend.

“Lunch is ready!” Came a call from the kitchen. They all walked hungrily toward the lovely smells emerging from the kitchen door.

A/N: Yes, I know that was kind of short, but it was what Ron and Hermione needed, I think. A reunion. I hope you'll love Judy as much as I do! Thanks for reading and I'm forever grateful for reviews!! (Please? Pretty please review!!)
Terri



Chapter 10: Preparations
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10. Preparations

It was now only two weeks until the wedding. Mrs. Weasley was coming close to going berserk, as she and Mrs. Granger had promised to make the wedding gigantic, seeing as it was double. There was so much food to order, services to hire. Harry was becoming very nervous himself, and Ginny was getting more and more exited.

 

Two days before, Harry and Ginny had finally moved into their new house in Hogsmeade. Since it was spring, the mountains were beautiful, glistening with melting snow, and small green buds appearing everywhere. The owners of the appartment they had been going to buy had suddenly decided they wouldn’t be selling, so Harry and Ginny had had to find another place. It lay at the very edge of the village. It was a small stone-built house, with two floors. It was cozy, but had quite enough room, as Ginny put it when Harry suggested it might be too small. There was a nice newly renovated kitchen, a large living room with a nice fireplace. There was one bathroom downstairs and one upstairs. There were three bedrooms on the upper floor. Harry’s and Ginny’s had a spectacular view, where they could see Hogwarts perched on top of the closest hills.

They had found some great furniture too, a good couch for the living room, on which, they soon discovered, they might be spending quite a lot of time. Their bed was huge. Enough said.

They had also met their new neighbors, who seemed delighted that Harry and Ginny had moved in. They were an elderly couple, witch and wizard, of course. Their names were Mr. and Mrs. Parker. They had lived in Hogsmeade for a very long time, and were able to guide Harry and Ginny to the good shops and where to buy household items. Harry had never really realized that there were actually these kinds of shops in Hogsmeade, he had only ever been to the ones on the main street.

***

As everyone at the Burrow seemed overly exited, Harry and Ginny had stayed home Saturday morning to paint the living room walls white. They had been an ugly sort of greyish brown which they wanted to get rid of.

Painting, Harry stood close to Ginny, then purpously brushing her leg with his hand on his way down to dip his brush in the bucket of paint. Ginny groaned.

‘Harry! If you keep doing that, we will never get anything done!’ She smiled at him exasperatedly.

Harry knew she didn’t really want him to stop, but he pretended to stay as far away as possible, but still somehow managing this time to come up from the bucket and brushing her bum with his paintbrush free hand. He had of course done this on purpose, but when she didn’t react, he put down his brush on newspaper covered floor, went over to her, then wrapped his arms around her stomach, one hand gliding down her arm, forcing her brush out of her grip. He started kissing her neck and nibbling her ear.

The paintbrush dropped to the floor with a splat, making a big white patch on the bare floor. None of them noticed.

Harry pressed her up against one of the unpainted walls. He felt it had been way too long since they had been properly alone together and he had had the chance to snog her senseless. This was exactly what he was now intending to do.

His body was up against hers, his hands roaming the sides of her thighs. She seemed slightly surprised at his movements, but seemed to enjoy this slightly more dearing approach immensely. (Harry had taken some tips from that very handy book Ron had given him the previous year. Twelve ways to charm witches). It did work very well, he thought, kissing her soft lips, and letting his tounge slip into her mouth to meet hers.

Then, in one swift motion, Harry playing on pure intuition, lifted her off her feet and carried him in his arms up the stairs and to the bedroom. Ginny screamed and laughed.

‘Harry! Put me down! What are you doing! Oh my gosh Harry not up the stairs! You’re going to drop me!’

“I couldn’t drop you love, I couldn’t even if I tried”, he whispered in her ear.

He carefully laid her down on the bed. Then, suddenly unsure, he looked down at her to see her reaction. Her eyes were gleaming as she lay there looking at him, her long hair streaming out across the covers. One of his hands slipped to the edge of her sweater and felt his way underneath it. Through his hand he found, to his great pleasure, that she was wearing only a small tank top underneath. He pulled the sweater off her while feeling her slim body beneath his fingers. She was absolutely intoxicating.

He moved his kisses down to her chest, while she grabbed hold of his t-shirt and tugged it over his head.

***Ginny’s POV***

She felt his lips on her skin and it felt like heaven. Oh, how much she had wanted this for the past few years. She saw, when she pulled off his shirt, that his quidditch training had done his body a lot of good… his arms were so strong holding her safely, yet he was being extremely careful.

She thought suddenly of where he must have gotten his skills at this from. She laughed as she looked into those green eyes she loved so much. His father couldn’t have left him completely, she thought, he also had that uncanny knack for flattering a certain red-head.

Then she realized Harry had pulled of his pants, and now lay on top of her only in his boxers. Her tank top was also nowhere in sight. Oh. Darn. Her jeans were gone too.

She felt such an urge to let him have her completely, right now, right here. But then she remembered the promise she had made herself. She couldn’t do this now…not all the way anyways.

“Harry?” She whispered, pulling his face to hers.

“I’m not hurting you am I, love?” He sounded very concerned.

“No, it’s amazing, I never want you to stop…but we can’t let this go all the way…not now…”

Harry kissed her lips hard, and she just wanted to rip off his boxers.

“Harry, no, we can’t! I’ve made myself a promise…and…could we wait? Just until our wedding night? I always promised myself that that would be the time I’d let myself go…”

***Harry’s POV***

Harry felt a surge of disappointment, but quickly stifled this. He had to respect her wishes…of course he had to.

“It’s ok, Gin, really, we can wait,” He said, gazing lovingly at his fiance. “But it’s gonna be very hard to resist…” He added jokingly.

He rolled off her and lay facing her.

“Hey, where do you think you’re going?” She asked with a naughty grin. “Just because I said we can’t go all the way doesn’t mean it stops here! Now get back here and kiss me.”

Harry laughed, but resumed his act, determined to give her every reason to look foreward to their wedding night.

***

The wedding date had been set to the 25th of April. This was in exactly 10 days, as it was now the 15th. Everyone was gathered at the Burrow to help with the wedding preparations. Ginny and Hermione had taken the day to go to Diagon Alley to buy their dresses. Fleur and Bill had come in from Shell Cottage with Victiore, who was just a week away from turning one. Andromeda Black had brought Teddy Lupin over to visit everyone.

Percy had said he would be over around dinner time with Penny, as he was very busy at work with the Law Enforcement Squad.

Teddy had grown so much, as he was now a little over a year old. He showed great interest in little Victoire, with her already long silvery blonde hair and striking blue eyes. Victoire was just learning to sit up, and Teddy had just learnt to walk. The two sat on the floor playing contently with a small ball that would roll around by magic and make little squeaks which the two found incredibly amusing.

Harry and Ron were lazily playing wizard’s chess in the living room, and watching the toddlers at the same time. The whole house was full of people chatting and making decorations or simply sitting around relaxing or (in Ron’s case) also eating.

Suddenly, Mr. Weasley comes darting in the front door, his expression frightened.

“Everyone, there’s been an attack at the Ministry!” he said loudly. “Lucius Malfoy is dead. We don’t know who the culprits were but we think it must have been one of You-Know-Who’s- I mean Voldemort’s old followers. Some of the ones that got away.”

Bill, Harry, and Ron stood up and stared at Mr. Weasley. There was a long silence as people gathered in the living room.

“We’ve got to do something!” Harry said slowly, his heart beating fast.

“No! This is exactly what I have to tell you, Harry!“ Mr. Weasley stared at Harry desperately. “There’s nothing you can do! And it’s none of your business anyways, any of you. But you do need to be careful, Harry, you never know who might come to our doorstep…” He looked out the window to the front garden.

“I believe Lucius was killed because of his betrayal toward Voldemort. His followers can’t be very happy at the moment.” Mr. Weasley finished.

“Who are the Death Eaters that we know are not caught yet, Dad?” Ron asked, looking worried, breaking the staring war that Harry and Mr. Weasley had begun.

“That’s the thing…we don’t know who. There aren’t any lists over death eaters killed at the final Battle, neither of who were Voldemort’s followers in the time before. All the names were too uncertain.”

“And we also know that Lucius Malfoy was just a cowardly old fool who just ended up on the wrong side…” Harry added, staring out the window, thinking about Draco and what he and his mother were doing now. He hadn’t thought there would be any more killings now… it was all supposed to be over…

“What are the ministry doing?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“Well, they moved the body, and made some necessary repairs to surrounding offices to the department of mysteries.”

“The department of mysteries?” Harry said sharply, looking at Mr. Weasley again.

“I think they were after a prophesy…” Mr. Weasley said quietly.

“What?” Ron said. “But I thought the one about Harry got broken!”

“It did. But they made a new copy.” Mr. Weasley said. “It was Scrimgeour that got it done. He thought he was going to find out what it meant so that he could use Harry at the ministry two years ago.“

The words hung over Harry like lead.


…Made another copy…Why had nobody told him?
“But…why would they want a copy of a prophecy that has already been fulfilled?” Harry asked, thoughts racing.

“My worry exactly,” Mr. Weasley replied.

***

Harry and Ginny spent a great deal of time in Hogsmeade over the next few days, as this was the place of refuge that the press had yet to discover. The Burrow was being bombarded with journalists, up to the point where Mr. Weasley put consealement charms over it again just to keep them out.

Harry was doing a lot of thinking. Ginny was taking a different view.

“Harry, we honestly don’t even know if they were after a prophecy! There’s really no point being so worried, I mean, it wouldn’t mean anything if they got it would it? You killed him Harry, he can’t come back!”

“Ginny…I know it could be hard to understand, but hear me out ok?” Harry replied warily.

“What if, by some amazing chance, the remaining death eaters found the resurrection stone after I dropped it in the forest? What if they know what it is? If they know, then they could use it to bring Voldemort back, Ginny.”

“But, Harry, didn’t you say that the people the stone bring back are not happy to be here, they don’t want to come back?”

“Gin, you’re forgetting, we’re talking about Voldemort here! His basic name means ‘flight from death’! If he had the chance to come back, he would, and I have no doubt he would try to take revenge. I think I made a huge mistake when I left that stone in the forest. If Voldemort is back by the power of that stone, he could have wanted to take revenge on Lucius…”

“Harry, what you’re saying is highly unlikely, you know that?” Ginny said, sitting beside him and rubbing his tired shoulders.

“I know, Gin, but what if this means I’m in danger. I’m here, with you, and that means you’re in danger too! I can’t afford any more pain Ginny! I can’t take it!”

Ginny curled up and snuggled next to him, putting her arms tightly around him, stroked his hair.

“We’ll get through this, Harry, we will. Tomorrow, we’re going to go up to school, and back to the forest. All you would have to do is summon it. And I think I know who we can give it to if it’s there.”

***

The next morning, Harry and Ginny walked hand in hand up to the castle. It was quiet, as it was Sunday, and they were met by a smiling Hagrid at the gates.

“Harry, great ter see ya!” He said, looking at them. “But Harry, tell me what my ole’ dragon’s called so I can let you in.”

“It was Norbert, Hagrid, but we gave it to Charlie’s friends in our first year, and we ended up in detention. Now we know it was a girl and they call it Norberta. It was a Norwegian Ridgeback.”

“Alrigh’, alrigh’, that’s enough,” Hagrid laughed.

They walked with him across the grass to his cabin. He was taking his crossbow, and going with them into the forest.

They followed the familiar path into the dark for about twenty minutes, then they stopped and Harry tried his summoning charm.

“Accio Resurrection stone!” He said loudly. It did not come.

“Accio Stone!” He repeated. Still it did not come.

Suddenly there was a voice behind them.

“Harry Potter, greetings. May I be of any assistance?” It was Bane, one of the centaurs.

Harry sighed with relief at the sight of him. But still he was wary. Bane had not been kind towards him the last time they had met.

“Err, hi, yes, actually I’ve come to retrieve something I lost in the forest during the battle last year. It is really important that I get it safely back.” Harry said.

“You are looking for you resurrection stone, boy,” Bane replied simply.

“Yes, I am, how do you know?” Harry asked.

“The stars hold many secrets.”

“Right. Emm, that’s great, but you haven’t seen it have you? My summoning charm isn’t working.”

“The stone is in Firenze’s possession,” said Magorian, whom Harry also recognized from earlier encounters, now emerging from between the trees.

“Where is he?” Harry asked.

“Here,” came another voice through the trees.

“Harry Potter, we meet again. Greetings friend.”

Harry thought for a second before he spoke. “Do you have the resurrection stone? And why couldn’t I summon it from you?”

“Yes, it is in my possession. Your magic does not go beyond that of our species. You cannot simply summon things in our possession.”

“Oh, alright.” Harry thought for a second longer.

“I know you are not often willing to help humans,” He began, “but I really need your help. Your magic is stronger than what I could perform, and therefore I am asking you to do me the favor of keeping that stone safe. In the hands of humans it does no good. If you would keep it, I would be really grateful.” Harry said, choosing his words carefully so as not to offend.

“We will do you this favor Harry Potter, you have done great honor to the school, and the creatures here respect you. The stone is safe here in the forest.” Firenze replied. “Until we meet again.”

The centaurs turned around and galloped away between the surrounding trees. Hagrid, Harry, and Ginny made their way back out of the forest.

“I don’ believe you actually had a decent conversation with’em, Harry, tha’ never happened to me before.”

Harry laughed. At least now the possibility of Voldemort being brought back was ruled out. He decided that after he was done with Auror training, he would seek revenge over whoever it was that had killed Lucius Malfoy.

 

 

 


 




Ok, so there’s chapter 10, finally. I’m sorry it took so long…lots of work these days. I hope you liked it, please review!


Chapter 11: Magical Wedding Day
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Chapter 11 Magical Wedding Day


Harry awoke early Saturday the 25 of April. At first, he could not remember why his stomach was churning, his arms were tingling. He felt overly exited, which was highly unusual for waking up at five in the morning.

Then it all came back to him. It was his wedding day, the day he and Ginny were going to be married. Married. Actually marrying the girl of his dreams. He was getting MARRIED!

He could not bear to lie in bed a minute longer. Ginny was snoring lightly beside him, and he did not want to wake her. He decided he wanted to take a walk up to the school, since the sun was just about to rise and he could watch it.

He put on a coat and went out into the brisk morning. The air was clean, and a few years ago, this would have meant excellent conditions for the day’s quidditch match. As he walked, the sun’s rays trickled down the walls of the castle perched on the hill above him. Being out of the village, he followed the winding path up toward the castle, thinking about the first time he had met Ginny.

It had been at King’s Cross, he had been eleven, and by a complete coincidence he had bumped into the Weasleys on their way to the platform. Ginny had been crying, saying that she wanted to come too, while the twins told her they would send her a toilet seat from Hogwarts. Harry smiled as he remembered that day, that one day that had brought change to that whole I-live-in-a-cupboard life that he had had before.

The following summer, Ginny couldn’t bear even to be in the same room as him, she had been so shy. (That poor butter dish). In his second year, she had sent him a ‘musical’ valentine with one of the small gnomes that Lockhart had hired in for the occasion. He was sure that song might be brought up sometime today by a certain George Weasley.

Not until their sixth year had Harry finally realized she existed. He had been so jealous of Dean Thomas...and then, on that amazing night when they won the quidditch finals, they finally came together.

Then, at Dumbledore’s funeral, Harry had ended it, thinking he would never survive what was to come. But he won the war, and he won Ginny back.

They had so much history together, he thought. He didn’t think anyone understood him as well as Ginny did, and he was totally, completely, utterly, beyond compare in love with her.

The sun was up, and birds were flying freely in the breeze around the trees that stretched down into the valley. He sat on a high rock overseeing the valley and the Hogwarts grounds. He could see by now a small line of people going onto the quidditch pitch. Early morning practice probably.

He sat on the rock for a long time, thinking. It felt good just to relax before the busy day that was coming up. He wondered what Ron would be doing right now. Most probably sleeping. He was sure Hermione would be up as early as he was. The Weasley blood apparently had some sleeping effect, as Ginny and Ron would sleep through almost anything.

From the rock he was sitting on he could see the Whomping Willow. Thinking of Ron, he remembered crashing into that tree. That year had been very interesting with Ron breaking his wand. (An image of Ron lying sprawled on the ground, snails coming out of his mouth…).

It was now slightly past seven, and he thought it might be a good idea to go back to the house and start waking Ginny.

He entered and climbed the stairs to their bedroom. She was there. Her beautiful red hair flowing out on her pillow, with a small gleam of sunlight in her face. In his eyes, she looked like an angel, but prettier. He gently leant over and kissed her cheek. His hand stroked her hair.

She wrinkled her nose. Her sleepy eyes opened slightly and looked at him. She gave him a small contented smile. He smiled back at her.

“I’m taking a shower, alright? Just call me if you need anything.” He said quietly.

“Harry,” she whispered. “We’re getting married today…” she smiled at her own words.

“Yes we are, Gin, yes we are!” He completely forgot that she had just woken up as he laughed, and picked her up in his strong arms.

She became a bundle in his arms with all the bedsheets she was cuddled up in. She wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him for a long time.

“I love you,” she said, nuzzling his neck.

***At Ron and Hermione's***

It turned out Harry had been wrong when assuming that Hermione would be the one up bright and early on the morning of her wedding to Ron. In fact, it was the complete opposite way around.

Ron was sitting on the edge of their bed, staring out of the window at the ocean that stretched out from the beach. Their bedroom had a large floor-to-ceiling window which faced down the hill and toward the ocean. He thought that he and Hermione could not have found a better place to live, it was 'gorgeous' and 'picturesque' as Hermione had put it.

He looked at her. She then started edging toward him, most probably expecting him to be lying there, close to her, ready to put his arms soundly around her so she could carry on sleeping.

He saw her half-sleeping initiative, and lay back down beside her, picking her up and pulling her to him. She sighed with contentement, but then, in the middle of that long sigh, she stopped, and drew a very sharp breath. Her eyes burst open and she looked at him and saw him watching her.

"Hey, Mione', what's wrong?"

"Nothing, I just remembered that we're getting married today. I can't actually believe it came to this you know," she laughed.

"What do you mean you can't believe it?" Ron replied in an indignant voice.

"You and I Ron! I mean, we must be the most unlikely couple ever."

"Is that so?" Ron asked with a smirk. "We'll have to see about that."

He grabbed the hem of the t-shirt she was wearing as pyjamas, and pulled it off her. He was already shirtless and that, he though, was extremely handy.

He lay on top of her, and wrapped his arms around her neck and held her head, bringing it up towards him. He kissed her, tentatively at first, tasting her lips. Her tounge felt so soft between his lips. Then they really started going for it. He kissed her neck, and worked his way down her body.

"Ron!" She exclaimed. "I really don't think this is such a good- mmm... that feels so nice," she sighed. Ron was gently biting her ear.

Then it was her turn. She ran her hands down his sides, slipping off his boxers as she went. She kissed him forcefully as he stroked her back and ruffled her hair. 'Great,' she thought, 'that hair is going to be fun to tame later on'.

This became her last thought of any sense before she completely surrendered to him, knowing that all he wanted was to show how much he loved her, how much he had always loved her.

Half an hour later they lay entwined, staring into each others eyes.

"Do you know what I wish?" Hermione whispered.

"What?" he replied.

"I wish that some day I'd be worth all the love you have for me, Ron."

"Problem with that wish, Mione, is that it's already come true." Ron replied. "You're beautiful, kind, thoughtful, ambitious, smart, and if I can say, slightly naughty. I must have had a bad influence." He said, smiling, then tilting his head so his freckled nose wouldn't get in the way as he kissed her, attempting to convey all his feelings for her in that one kiss.

"Ron, we have to start getting ready, I'm supposed to be at the Burrow at ten and you should be going to Harry's." Hermione sighed after laying cuddled together with Ron for yet a long time.

"We're getting married, Hermione...and you know what? There's no one else in the world that I would rather spend the rest of my life with." Ron stated, as they broke apart and Hermione rose from the bed.

The two got dressed, finding it almost impossible to keep their hands off each other, Ron laughing and tickling her.

"I'll see you later! I love you!" Hermione kissed him and ran out the door. Now the fact that she was getting married was actually dawning on her she was highly exited.

***

It was almost ten o'clock and Harry and Ginny were dressed and eating a quick cereal breakfast in the kitchen.

"I can't wait to see you in your dress robes Harry, you always look so handsome," Ginny sighed looking into his green eyes.

"And you have no idea how much I look foreward to seeing you in your dress, Gin, so sorry if i drool a bit at the ceremony," Harry laughed.

"I need to get going though, bye! I love you Harry!"

She walked out the front door and- gasped. In front of her was their grass lawn. It was covered in flowers of reds and pinks and whites, and they spelled out the words 'I can't wait to marry you!'

"Harry!" She screeched, running back into the house.

She flung her arms around his neck.

"I love you so much, Harry, I never thought I'd be this lucky..." she looked at him and held his gaze until she was again out the door.

***

Harry waited around at his house until the other guys came. Ron had managed to remember to pick up their dress robes at the cleaner's, and he was very proud of this. Bill was Ron's best man, and so he had brought the rings for Ron, and since George was Harry's best man, Bill had his rings as well. Bill had brought Teddy who had been staying with them for the past week. Arthur had come along too, because, as he said, he was afraid of being in his house when his wife's power was multiplied by eight. Too many women, he stated, it couldn't be good for him.

Charlie and Percy were also there to get dressed up for the wedding, and Percy was going on about being so exited to see Penny in her new dress.

"You're excited Perce? What d'you think I am? Man, Mione's going to look beautiful. Bill, if I fall over when I see her, I'm counting on you to catch me!" Ron exclaimed, fighting to make his collar straight, without succeeding.

Charlie hurried over to counter the spell that George had put on his little brother to make his collar curl up.

Harry was pulling on his dress robes realizing that he was feeling extremely nervous. He tried to supress it, but his hands were shaking slightly as he put on his black dress shoes.

When they were ready, Harry thought they all looked very presentable. His hair was, as normal, doing its own thing, but he had put some gel in it to make it at least slightly more stylish. He and Ron had white flowers in their jacket pockets. Bill and George wore matching suits, because, as George pointed out, they were supposed to be doing the same job, and therefore had to match. Bill didn't find the need to argue.

"Alright, men? Ready to go?" George exclaimed excitedly.

"Yes, all done," Bill concluded. "And we have your rings, so no worries. Harry, Ron, good luck! I must say you've picked out two women that couldn't be more of a handful. They're really great, and we love them as much as you do, that's for sure! And Harry, you do know she is our sister, so if you hurt her we are going to have to kill you., but I'm sure there won't be a need for that." They all laughed

The guys shook hands and Ron and Harry hugged each other.

"We've come a long way, man," Ron said to Harry. Nothing more needed to be said.

***

When Ginny and Hermione arrived at the burrow, they were accepted with glee from Mrs. Weasley, Mrs. Granger, Andromeda Black, little Judy, Fleur, Victoire, Penny, and Angelina. Ginny and Hermione were slightly overwhelmed at the eight women bustling around them all exited. They didn't let the girls see the front garden, as this was where the wedding was going to be, and family and friends were out there helping to finalize the decorations.

The two were ushered upstairs to Ginny's room, which had been set up with two large mirrors, and with make-up tables. Their dresses hung neatly suspended in the air, and all their jewlery lay neatly on a side table.

"Oh mum, this is amazing!" Ginny exclaimed.

"Yes, of course it is, dears, I mean, my two girls are getting married aren't they?" Molly replied.

"Excuse me, but one girl happens to be mine!" Mrs. Granger laughed as she ushered the girls over to the chairs and blindfolded them.

"Oh, no! We don't get to see before we're done?" Hermione stuttered. "But-"

"Relax, honey, today's your day, and we will make you look gorgeous." Mrs. Granger said.

"How gorgeous?" Ginny pried with a grin.

"Let's just say that we want those boyfriends of yours to go weak at the knees at the sight, girls! That is, if they aren't already going completely beserk at the mere sight of you already."

"That sounds good I guess, right 'Mione?"

Hermione laughed as Angelina and Fleur helped her up and started getting her into her dress. Andromeda and Penny went over to Ginny to get her into hers.

Judy came over to Hermione and held her hand.

"If Won hurts Herms, I hit him fo' you!" She cried exitedly. Hermione laughed at her little sister. She looked beautiful in her little pink dress, her already bushy hair was pulled back into a beautiful bun at the back of her head and bound together with a string of pink flowers. She wore small white shoes, making her look like a little princess.

"If he hurts me, I'll be sure to let you know, Judy!" She said lovingly. "But, you know, Ron's always been a big prat, but I love him, and he's completely crazy about me, so I think I'll be ok." Hermione said, while her dress was being pulled over her head.

"Pwat! Pwat! Pwat! Won's a Pwat!" Judy cried, running around the room laughing.

"No, honey, don't say that, Ron's not a prat." Mrs. Granger warned.

"Am I supposed to breathe in this?" Ginny asked, as her corset was fixed to hold up her strapless white dress.

"Not really, no," her mother replied ernestly.

Victoire was sitting on the floor, her blue dress shimmering all around her. Her long silvery hair was hanging down her back, having been made into small curls at the end.

"Maman? Hermione, elle est tres belle! Pourquoi je ne peux pas porter une robe comme la sien?" Victoire said in French.

"Dit en englais, chouchou!" Fleur replied.

"Hermione, you look zo beautiful!" Vicky said and smiled at her mother, proud of her English.

"Thank you, Vicky, you look gorgeous too, even though I can't see you right now. If I could only take this-"

"Not happening, dear!" Said Mrs. Weasley as Hermione defeatedly lowered her hands from the knot of the blindfold.

"PWAT!" Judy yelled.

***

It was a gorgeous day. The sun was high in the sky, a light breeze flowing through the trees. It was warm, but not too hot, the spring weather showing itself at its very best. The Burrow was steeming with people. Some were making food, some decorating the seating areas around the garden. The hiered waiters and waitresses were being given instructions by their boss, passed on from Molly. The tent that held the ceremony area was huge, there were so many guests invited. It was almost twelve, and the guests would arrive at twelve thirty. The guys had said they would be there in about ten minutes, while the girls were still upstairs getting ready.

There was an exited feeling in the air, after all, Harry Potter was getting married, and so there was a great turnout of press people at the gate to the garden. Luckily, they couldn't get any further, as Mr. Weasley had put up wards around the house, which could only be passed through by people with an invitation.

As it was a double wedding, the number of guests was insanely high. A lot of them were also planning on sleeping over at the Burrow, and Harry thought, as he and the other men entered the wards, that it would be a tight squeeze that night. Not that it really mattered for him and Ginny...

Harry was taken into a small tent at the side of the large one where he was told to wait. It had been fitted with a nice couch and a small bottle of champagne. He sat down and opened the bottle. His insides seemed to be churning. What if marrying Ginny meant putting her in danger somehow? What if his famous life came to be something that would keep Ginny from doing what she liked... He was afraid to admit it, but he was so scared to take Ginny as his wife, it meant she would be tied to him forever. What if she was having second thoughts?

He got up, downed the glass of champagne and started pacing around the tent. Why do I always get put in tents before something I am so nervous about happens? He thought bitterly to himself. Tents were stupid, because he could hear everything that was going on outside...

The guests had finally arrived and were apparently finding their seats in the large tent around the podium which was where the ceremony would take place. There was exited chatting and laughs as people met up with friends or family. Harry sat back down on the couch.

He couldn't think that she was having second thoughts, because she wouldn't be. She would have told him. He knew now why he was having these thoughts. He was afraid to have someone love him. Another person he could commit to and then lose. But, he thought, it was better to have known all those people, to have loved them, than to never have known them at all.

***

Ginny was sitting outside the ceremony tent with her father. He held her hand. Hermione was sitting next to her with Mr. Granger, who looked with big eyes at the decorations suspended in mid-air.

She couldn't believe that Harry was marrying her. That she was the one he had chosen, when he could have had almost any girl he liked. She felt happier than she had felt since that day he had kissed her in the common room. She couldn't wait to marry him. She knew he must be thinking that she would be in danger somehow, or that she wouldn't like the famous life, but she knew she would love it, and that now she could protect him against these thoughts.

Hermione's hands were shaking. Ginny placed her hand on Hermione's and smiled.

"You look incredible Hermione, honestly, I don't know what a girl like you is doing with a guy like my brother, but oh well...your choice." They laughed.

"Someone has to teach him some manners don't they?" Hermione replied, "and I'd be happy to be the one to do it."

***

Ron had entered the tent where Harry was sitting, lost in his own thoughts.

"Hey Harry," he said, striding over to the couch and sitting down. "Isn't it rude that we've been shoved in here? It's not fair that we don't get to see those girls until everyone is watching... you ok?" Ron continued.

"I'm fine... I just... yes, I'm fine," Harry concluded and looked up at his best friend grinning. He pushed his doubts aside and decided that whatever the outcome, he wanted to enjoy just this one day with Ginny, making her his for as long as he could have her.

Ron sat down beside him, wringing his hands in his lap.

"Why does she always make me so bloody nervous?" Ron said to nobody in particular.

"I know the feeling..." Harry replied, staring vacantly at the door to the tent where at any moment now, Mrs. Weasley would come and get them.

***

"I hope you're ready boys! These girls can't be messed with, that's for sure." Mrs. Weasley stated as she entered the tent looking very agitated. "Come on! We haven't got all day, let's get a move on!" She said urgently to Harry and Ron as they got up from the couch.

"My boys, oh you're so big, look you're all grown up, oh Ronnie!" She started kissing Ron all over his face and then pulled Harry into this big group hug as well. She kept kissing and squeezing them until Ron finally managed to say something.

"Mum, err... mum I think Harry and I better get going so it would be nice if you let us go now."

"Oh my dears, good luck, we love you very much you know," she said as she stared first into Ron's eyes, then into Harry's. "Alright, then, let's go!"

They hurried out of the tent and arrived at the very back of the ceremony area. There was a long isle to walk down, strewn with yellow flowers against a pure white carpet. The guests were all seated, and there must have been at least a hundred of them there.

Harry's stomach lurched at the sight of them. He felt as if he had entered some kind of trance, because, before no time had passed, Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Granger had started walking down the isle and music was being played from the podium. Harry felt someone punch him in the arm.

"Harry! Come on, man, move, let's go!" Ron was tugging at his arm finally managing to yank Harry from his vacant thoughts.

"What? Oh ya..." Harry yelped, and together they walked side by side down the isle. Ron wore black dress robes with a white shirt inside, a yellow flower in his button hole. It seemed he had finally given in to his mother's demands as to cut his hair, as it now looked slightly shorted and was neatly groomed.

Harry's robes were black as well, but his shirt was dark green. His hair was as usual completely unruly, and therefore sticking out everywhere no matter how much he tried to get it to stay down. He too had a yellow flower in his button hole, and now he finally understood why it had to be yellow. It matched all the decorations.

The ceremony tent looked beautiful. Harry had left all the decoration planning to Ginny and Mrs. Weasley, as he had no intention of being murdered because he picked the wrong colours or the wrong fabric. Ginny had chosen the theme to be spring, and the colors were as such chosen to be yellow and light green.

The isle he was walking on was white, and the yellow flowers lay strewn at his feet. Above him was a light yellow canopy, held up by pillars which were decorated with vines with yellow flowers. The podium had been draped with a white linen cloth, and large curtains hung at the front, between the last pillars. These two were yellow, but with strings of flowers falling gracefully along them.

Through the open side walls, Harry could see flowers of all colors in neat beds along the tent, from there, a newly clipped lawn stretched until he could no longer see due to the canopy. The guests were all seated in chairs draped in white and light yellow, and their robes added to the effect with colors every color Harry could think of.

Harry felt his feet stop as he reached the steps to the podium, the steps he and Ginny would take together. He slowly turned to face the crowd and saw Mrs. Weasley beaming up at them from her seat in the first row. Harry let his eyes wander across familiar faces, and with a jolt, he saw, at the very back, a grim-looking aunt Petunia and a much happier-looking Dudley. Harry smiled to himself, and Mrs. Weasley grinned even wider at him, aparently thinking the smile had been for her.

Then, as the whole audience rose, the music started playing again, and at the back of the tent, the curtains opened wide to reveal Ginny and Mr. Weasley, closely followed by Hermione and Mr. Granger.

As they moved into the light, Harry saw only Ginny. She was positively emitting happiness as she smiled at him. She looked absolutely stunning. Harry's head could not find words to describe her, gliding toward him like a beautiful swan on a lake. Well...maybe not a swan, he thought, more like an angel without the wings...well, who says angels have to have wings anyway?

Quit it! Harry told himself strictly as he looked at her walking slowly toward him. Her dress was long and white, strapless. She was wearing a glittering tiara which was decorated with small flowers between the diamonds. Her hair, which was tied loosly back had some long strands hanging down cupping her face. She did not have a veil, as she had said that would just look silly, and would mess up her hair anyways. In her hands she carried a beautiful bouquet of yellow flowers.

Behind Ginny, carrying yet more beautiful flowers walked Victoire, in a blue dress with her long silvery hair making her look exactly like her mother, who was sitting in the second row.

Ron was standing very still, staring at Hermione who was walking beamingly behind Ginny, and silently handing her crying dad a tissue out of nowhere as they walked.

Hermione looked amazing as well. Her dress, also white, had thin straps hugging her shoulders. Her normally bushy hair had been pulled into a bun at the back of her head, and it too had been decorated with yellow flowers. Following Hermione was Judy, in a pink dress and looking slightly confused.

It came as a surprise to Harry how much older these two girls looked, maybe he just hadn't had time to realize that they were quickly growing into adults, leaving a troubled adolescence behind.

The girls and their fathers reached the steps to the podium, and they both handed over their bouquet to them as their dad's kissed their daughters' cheeks and shook the hands of Harry and Ron.

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and of course, the brides and grooms, welcome!" Said a voice, just as Harry and the others turned back toward the podium.

"We are all gathered here today to join this man and this woman, AND this man and this woman in magical marriage. Couples, if you will?" He continued, gesturing to the couples.

Harry took Ginny's hand, and he saw Ron do the same with Hermione, and guided her up the three steps onto the podium where Kingsley Shacklebolt was standing, beaming at them.

"Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to be standing here today. As you all know, these fine people standing in front of me have gone through quite a lot in their young lives. They have shown tremendous courage and shown the wizarding world that as long as there is love, there will be life. It is this, ladies and gentlemen, that we are here to celebrate today. Harry here found his Ginny and was able to love her, even after all he's been through. Now, Ron and Hermione have their own story, it took you a while to realize you actually couldn't live without this clever woman standing here beside you didn't it, Ron?" The crowd laughed and Ron's ears turned red.

"The four people standing in front of me are living proof that love can be found in the darkest of places and times. I ask you now, Harry and Ginny, to present your vows."

Harry took Ginny's hands in his and looked into her eyes.

"Ginny, do you remember back in our second year at Hogwarts, when you sent me that singing valentine with that dwarf that attacked me in the hallway?" He began. Ginny blushed.

"I never actually thanked you. So, well, thanks. But Gin, ever since I met you you've always been there, silently behind me like a positive force, driving me forewards. Through these last few years you've always respected my choices and my responsibilities. You were able to forgive me when I thought nobody would. You are the reason I've managed to keep going through everything I've done."

Silent tears were running down Ginny's cheeks, but she was smiling.

"But, hey, you know, I should also thank you for being so patient. I mean, it took me long enough to realize what my heart had known all along. Ginny, I love you with all my heart, and there's nobody I'd rather spend my life with than you, i promise I'll be with you forever."

Ginny mouthed 'thank you', dried her tears on a small handkerchief, and looked back at Harry.

"Harry, there are no words for what I feel for you. To see you standing here with me is something I dreamed of, but I never thought you, everyone's hero would fall for little me." She smiled and let out a small laugh.

"I watched you do so many things, Harry, but I see the other part of you as well, the part that you don't show the world, people might think that a person that's been through so much wouldn't be able to be normal or have a life, but I know you are. I'm so proud of you Harry, and I'll be forever grateful that you let yourself love me after all you've done and everything you've lost. You're my hero, Harry, I love you, and nothing will ever change that."

Harry felt a clump in his throat. Tears were in his eyes as he looked at her. He thought, at that moment about how his parents must have felt. No matter what happens tomorrow, at least he has been allowed this beautiful moment of peace.

"Then, I ask you, Harry James Potter, do you take Ginevra Weasley to be your magically wedded wife?" Kingsley said, smiling at Harry.

"I do." Harry replied, really wanting to scream it, but that might have seemed a bit rash.

"And do you, Ginevra Weasley, take Harry James Potter to be your magically wed husband?" The minister continued, looking at Ginny.

"I do." Ginny stated, looking straight into Harry's eyes.

"Great, that's that settled then," said Kingsley and the audience laughed. "I now pronounce you husband and wife, congratulations!"

"Now," he continued, turning to Ron and Hermione, "Will you please present your vows?"

Ron looked at Hermione, his ears glowing as red as his hair.

"Hermione, I know I can be a big prat sometimes, and-"

"PWAT!" Judy shouted from where she was sitting with her parents.

"Yes, Judy," Ron laughed, "but if I weren't then you wouldn't have been able to boss me around and be mad at me and give me that 'oh so wise' look. Good thing I'm stupid too, because or else you couldn't have helped me through all this homework and sitting there looking so beautiful. So Hermione, I know that some people see you as some know-it-all, and you are, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that you're the girl that makes me smile, and I really love you, and please don't hit me for saying, but you look damn hot in that dress!" The audience laughed and Hermione blushed deeply.

"PWAT!" Yelled Judy again, and Hermione giggled.

"Well, Ronald, I guess Judy's made it pretty clear what she thinks of you," Hermione began, smiling broadly. "Do you remember that time when you tried out for the school quidditch team and you said Cormac Mclaggen looked confunded? Well...I confunded him. You know why? I love you. I know you've been known by everyone else as Harry Potter's sidekick, and I know you are always comparing yourself to your brothers, and you think you aren't good enough, but I need you to know that in my eyes you are completely perfect. I know I can be very obsessive sometimes and irritating, but I guess it's just been because I've found it so hard to believe that you actually loved me back. So Ron, and no offense to Harry, you are truly my hero, and I promise I'll stay with you forever. "

"Excellent!" Kingsley said. "Then do you, Ronald Weasley take Hermione Jane Granger to be your magically wedded wife?"'

"I really do!" Said Ron enthusiastically.

"And do you, Hermione Jane Granger take Ronald Weasley to be your magically wedded husband?"

"I do." Hermione said happily.

"Well then, I pronounce you husband and wife. Now, couples, you are bound by magical bonds based upon the love you all have for one another. Congratulations! Men, you may kiss your brides!"

Harry looked at Ginny, and she had that blazing look in her eyes. He leaned down toward her, and their lips met. The audience rose and the applause was deafening. The music started, and Harry and Ron took the respective hands of Ginny and Hermione and walked down the isle, well, half way anyways, because Ron decided it would be more fun to carry Hermione who screamed when he swept her off her feet into his arms.

Harry felt so happy he thought his feet would lift off the ground as they walked out of the ceremony tent to the party area.

 

*******

Well, there you are. Wow, this was really long, so I decided to write about the party in the next chapter. Don't worry, it's definitely not over! I hope you liked it, and please review to tell me what you thought.

Terri

Chapter 12: Stars in her eyes
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Disclaimer: As you all know, I am not JKR, so that says it all. It's her ideas, I'm just building on them.
Chapter 12: Stars in her eyes

The wedding party filed disorderly out of the ceremony tent, everyone keen to congratulate the happy couples. It was now almost two thirty in the afternoon, and dinner was going to begin at six. Now was the time for presents and congratulations to the two newly-wed couples.

Harry was holding Ginny's hand and beaming around at everyone in the vicinity. Everything seemed such a blur to him, the only clear thing Ginny's touch as she cupped his cheek and kissed him lightly, to great applause from the onlookers. Harry didn't know where to look or what to do, his heart felt so accelerated, racing beneath the yellow flower in his jacket pocket.

With a pang, it hit him that he dearly wished for his parents to be here with him, for them to see him here, having made it to a point in his life he had never believed he would reach.

Ron and Hermione were approaching Harry and Ginny, beaming. Harry let his right hand slip around Ginny's waist like he saw Ron's around Hermione's. This must be something from that book again, he thought, smiling despite of himself.

Harry and Ron grasped hands and Ron patted Harry on the shoulder. Harry kissed Hermione's cheek, and Ron hugged Ginny. The two girls then flung their arms around each others necks and both started sobbing and laughing hysterically. Harry, who felt at a loss for what to do, turned to Ron, who looked just as lost.

"Hey, Harry, what do you say we go get these girls a drink, eh?" Ron said, waving his hand toward the bar, where Fleur just happened to be standing at that moment. Harry raised his eyebrows at Ron, who laughed at Harry's expression and started making his way over to the champagne.

On their way to get drinks, Harry and Ron were stopped many times by guests, all who seemed to be delighted to be there and wanted to chat for a little longer than Harry and Ron might have wanted.

Two sunlit hours full of laughter and fun passed before Harry's eyes as though he was watching from the outside. It felt as though it was all too good to be true. Most of all he was thinking of his parents and the picture in the album he had. The picture of their wedding where Sirius was laughing in the background.

He wondered while looking at all these happy people, whether something was going to happen again, like the years that had passed where it looked as if nobody could ever be happy again. It felt to Harry that he was feeling happiness for all those people that he had left behind through his past. He finally managed to understand what Dumbledore had meant all those years ago.

"Do you think that the dead that we have loved ever really leave us?...Your father lives in you, Harry..."

He could feel that if only he thought about them, if only there was someone left that would think about them, they would never really die.

Ginny and Hermione appeared after a little while at Harry and Ron's respective sides. They had been so occupied by everyone talking to them that they had not gotten the chance to bring the Champagne to the girls. Harry handed Ginny her glass, but Ron realized that the glass he had for Hermione was now mysteriously empty, so he had to hurry off to get a new one for her.

The 'reception', as Mrs. Weasley called this part of the day went on with several toasts of congratulations to the couples and lots of chattering to old friends. Oliver Wood, who had recently been made permanent keeper for Puddlemere United, was causing quite a stir, especially with the younger generation of Weasley cousins.

Luna Lovegood came to join the group of exited young women now consisting of Hermione, Ginny, Parvati and Padma Patil, Lavender Brown, and Cho Chang. They were all gossiping and giggling like mad. Luna seemed very pleased to announce that it was her belief that now that Harry and Ron were married, it would only be a matter of time before a certain Mr. Longbottom would 'pop the question'.

“I mean,” she said seriously, “He needs to hurry up! Daddy has just introduced me to one of his colleagues, and he's a vampire, see, and he was hinting heavily that he liked my earrings. Neville says he likes my necklace as well, though, so he's still ahead, but I really hope he asks me soon...”

The other girls seemed slightly dumbfounded by this little speech, but quickly resumed chatting and laughing again.

Harry, who incidentally was standing right outside this little group talking to Neville, found himself looking questioningly over at his friend so as to confirm these rumors about plans of engagement. Neville turned an impressive shade of scarlet, grinned at his feet, and mumbled something completely incoherent.

Harry grinned triumphantly just as Ginny came over to him and wound her arm into his.

“Neville,” she said, “Luna wants to see you, she's right over there by the bar...” she pointed, and Neville shot off faster than Harry would have thought he could move.

**

A short while later, Mrs. Weasley's magically magnified voice rang out over the entire garden (everyone jumped).

“Dinner is now served in the large tent, everyone, the seating plan is posted by the door, as well as names by each of the seats! If you would all please make your way there now, it would be lovely, and if Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione could all come into the kitchen for a second! Thank you!”

Harry took Ginny's hand as they walked over to the kitchen door where Mrs. Weasley was waiting for them.

“Hello dears,” she exclaimed, beaming. “Are you enjoying yourselves? Yes? Oh, that's jolly good. I just thought you might like to know that at eleven tonight, your portkeys are destined to your respective destinations, alright? Just so you know. Now, hurry on, my dears, I have to run and check on the kitchen before we serve... I'm just not sure what one of those waiters in there is doing, last time I checked, he thought he was a bee, making buzzzz sounds... the others said they'd straighten him out but I really must go and see...” She rambled on.

“It's alright Mrs. Weasley, take your time,” Hermione said soothingly.

The four of them made their way back to the tent, where people were now confusedly trying to find their seats. There was a certain confusion as to the names on the name tags. Ron found his saying 'Roonil Wazlib'.

“Oh, no!” He laughed. “Don't tell mum, she'll have a fit, this must have been written with one of those spell checking pens of Fred and... I mean, George's! Only they never work properly.”

Ginny looked highly amused as she sat down by the name Vengira Wazlib, and Harry took his seat at Rory Patter, right beside her.

Hermione didn't seem to know whether to laugh or not as she took her place labeled Minnie Hermeg.

Despite of Mrs. Weasley's scandalized looks as she saw the name cards, most of the guests seemed highly amused by trying to figure out where they were sitting.

There was a menu in front of each person, now decorated with blue flowers, as the sky was quickly darkening. The whole tent had been redecorated in blues and silvers with lights glistening under the ceiling like real stars. There small globes of these small specks of light along each of the two long tables that had been set up. The setting gave the impression of sitting right in the middle of a starry sky.

Harry peered down at his menu, and saw that there was quite a variety of choice for each of the seven, seven, courses. He was briefly wondering how he was going to be able to eat seven courses, but was pulled away from this thought by Ginny prodding his arm with her finger.

“What are you having? I really can't decide, I'll just have the same as you.” She said quietly to him. He now realized that most people seemed to be waiting for him and Ron to make their orders first. Harry understood this dinner to work quite like that of the Yule Ball in their fourth year, but before he could say anything, Ron was already plunging into ordering his meal.
“I'll have a little bit of everything on this list of starters, then the onion soup, make that with bread, garlic please, then the small Italian plate, the roast beef as my main, and I'll tell you the rest later.” He stated all of this to his menu, and Hermione looked at him with an amused look on her face.

“Looks like you'll have to take some cooking classes with that one in the house,” Ginny laughed at Hermione, looking over at Ron.

“I guess I do have a lot to live up to after him having grown up here,” Hermione smiled back.

Harry placed his order, mostly copying Ron, but choosing only one of the starters (a bresaola plate with parmesan, whatever that meant). Ginny had caught on too, and was now telling her menu not to overcook the chicken she had wanted as a main course.

The rest of the guests were following suit, placing orders, and now the tent was slowly filling with delicious smells from the various dishes being sent in from the kitchen, appearing on the table.

Mr. Weasley, who was sitting to Harry's left had begun an interrogation about Mr. Dursley's microwave, of which he had heard from Kingsley.

“So all you have to do is turn that little knob and those little numbers in the diplays will show you how long your food will cook? And then press the button with start on it?”

“Err, yes,” Harry replied, highly amused by this lack of common knowledge, but of course not common to everyday wizards. “The numbers in the display will change as you turn the knob.”

“And then it just cooks whatever's inside? Just like that? Ingenious...” Mr. Weasley continued, fascinated.

The food was delicious, and the only interruption of the splendid evening came in the form of one of the waiters walking into the room chanting “I'm a buzzing bee...buzz...buzzzzz.” This was only until Mrs. Weasley had gotten up and ushered him back out, and told of the other workers in the kitchen for not watching him.
At around nine thirty, there was a small tinkle and a crack as Ron beat his fork a little too enthusiastically against his glass. The room went quiet. Ron hastily repaired his glass with a small wand movement and stood up.

“Hey, everyone, I was just wanting to say a few words, you know, just 'cause its my wedding day.” He began, and the crowd laughed.

“So Hermione, you actually married me in the end, didn't you? Haha, I mean, I had the impression you would rather hex me to oblivion than sit here with me today, but here you are, so I guess I must have irresistible charm or something, you know...” He grinned at Hermione, who beamed back.

“You look beautiful Herms, really, I doubt I even know myself how lucky I am to have you. Also, I'd like to say a big congratulations to my sister, who managed to run off with my best mate, I give up, I guess I'll have to approve now he's finally grown up and married her! Harry, I really dunno what to say, mate, just that I wouldn't mind being woken up being dangled by the ankles a few more times... it's grown on me, that spell has! And since I never told you, yes, I love Hermione, and I'm sorry I kept it from you for so long. I want to thank everyone here for coming, I mean who knew I was so popular? Cheers, guys!”

Everyone laughed and raised their glasses with Ron, who sat down, looking very pleased with himself, and even more so when Hermione kissed him on the cheek.

Finally, the final remains of their spectacular meal dispersed from their plates, after delicious deserts (of which Ron had three helpings). Mrs. Weasley stood up and told everyone to stand, and with a whoosh, the tables vanished and were replaced by about thirty smaller tables, surrounding a brilliant dance floor. Harry felt his face flush as a spotlight hit him and Ginny, out of nowhere, and so he offered his hand to her, she took it gracefully, and he brought her out to the dance floor.

Harry remembered the last time he had been made to dance in front of a large group of people. Back then it had just seemed awkward, but now it felt like the only right thing in the world. He lightly held his hand at Ginny's waist, the other grasped her free hand. They turned slowly, in tune with the music which was now being played from the podium. Harry saw Hermione having to drag Ron's hands, which were drifting a bit far south up to her waist, and grinned into Ginny's hair. Now they were being joined by the rest of the guests, who were quickly pairing up and coming out to join the couples.

Suddenly, Ginny dropped Harry's hand and moved both her hands to the back of his head. She placed her forehead against his for a second, saying softly,

“Take me with you, Harry, wherever you go... don't ever leave me again...”

Then she kissed him, and he pulled her closer, wrapping her in his arms, while still turning slowly on the spot to the music.

The evening went on, and Harry danced with Mrs. Weasley, Mrs. Granger, Hermione, Luna (who mysteriously managed not to tread on his feet), but must of the time with Ginny. She would lay her head onto his shoulder and let him stroke her hair. Again and again he reminded himself of how extremely lucky he was to have gotten this far in his life.

Then, as the clock approached eleven, George set off a breathtaking fireworks, a demonstration of his newest creation. The colors were so bright against the clear night sky. Beneath a giant flower that erupted above them, Harry took the liberty to kiss Ginny long and hard, she responding by ruffling his hair and grinning into his lips. He held her close as a giant green clover sprouted out of the sky, or so it seemed. Harry got a glimpse in his mind of a giant green skull with a snake winding out of its mouth...he held Ginny close and looked into her eyes.

All the guests gasped unanimously, everyone enjoying the festivities. Neville seemed to be enjoying them non-verbally with Luna, and Ron and Hermione stood together, Hermione's head against his shoulder.

“Harry, Ginny? Dears, it's time to leave!” Mrs. Weasley appeared by their side, holding two silvery flowers in her hand. “Everyone,” said her now magically enforced voice, “it's time to say goodbye to our special couples for tonight, I know they have appreciated you all being here, and we'll continue to see them further on in their lives, I'm sure! Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, I want you all to know we all love you very much, and we wish you so much luck in your lives together...here, take a flower, both of you hold onto it, it will take you to the next destination this night offers! Enjoy! We love you!”

Harry and Ginny smiled and held onto one of the flowers. Harry suddenly felt the familiar sensation of a hook being fastened behind his navel, and pulling him quickly forward into a whirl of color and sound. This was certainly going to be a night he would never, ever, forget.

A/N: Ok, so here it is, I hope you liked it, I'm sorry for the long wait. I promise the next one will be longer! This was just a chapter to complete the wedding. Please review! Love you all my readers! Almost 15,000 reads! This is great!
Xxx
Terri



Chapter 13: Strange lifts and built-in saunas
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13. Strange lifts and built-in saunas

Harry felt firm ground beneath his feat again and opened his eyes. Since it was late at night, it was dark, but the air was so different than the one they had just left. It felt warm and comfortable, and just behind him, he could hear the sound of gentle waves. He looked at Ginny, and she was looking up at the starry sky above them with amazement. It was as though they were shining three times brighter tonight, just for them.

“Where are we?” Ginny asked as she took the silver rose from Harry's hand and placed it in his button hole with the yellow one that was already there.

Harry shrugged. “No idea...” He couldn't look away from her.

“Mr. Potter?” Said a man's voice a few steps behind them.

“Yes?” Harry turned around and his jaw dropped.

They were standing on a beach, just down from a beautiful building in white which was half hidden behind palm trees. Behind it, Harry saw the towering shape of a small hill covered in thick forest. There were lights shining through the leaves of the palm trees illuminating a small path that led to the building.

“Welcome to the Oahu Magic Resort, if you would follow me?”

Harry and Ginny nodded silently, Harry took her hand, and they followed the man toward the building.

“Oahu! Harry, that's Hawaii!” She smiled brightly.

“Err, right... Hawaii, great!” Harry grinned back, realizing for the first time that this was really happening. This was his honeymoon.

They walked through the trees and stood in front of a bright entrance into what looked like a lobby. As they entered, a woman's voice rang out:

“Mr. And Mrs. Potter, welcome, your honeymoon suite awaits you on floor 18. You have suite number 7. We hope you enjoy your stay.”

Harry felt something mysteriously drop into his left pocket. He pulled it out and saw that it was a small white card with small print in gold.

Your room is locked magically for your own safety. The password to your room is 'Phoenix feather'. Please remember it well, as it is also your access password to the mini-bar and you room's built in sauna.

“Right this way, sir.” Their escort said, once again urging them to follow him through a pair of great glass doors.

They now came to another large room, but here, the walls were rows of elevator doors. The ceiling was visible, but it seemed to be made of a strange swirling substance that made it impossible to determine how high it really was. Ginny looked up in wonder. The man went to stand in his light-blue uniform by one of the doors, which then opened to reveal a large elevator.

“You may tell the elevator which floor you want, and it will take you there, sir. Breakfast tomorrow is served from eight till eleven. If you would rather stay in your room, you may place your order to the picture of the chef in the entranceway to your room. Good night, sir.” He bowed to them as they entered the elevator.

It was made of glass, and as the doors closed, Harry could see the walls around the elevator become completely transparent. They were now in a glass box with a full view of the beach in front of them, the water reflecting the starry sky, even from where they were standing. Ginny gasped and held herself close to Harry.

“Please state your floor.” Came a pleasant woman's voice which rang from nowhere and everywhere in the elevator.

“Eighteen, please,” replied Harry to nobody in particular.

The two of them stood close to each other as the lift rose up through the air, apparently not supported by anything, and neither did it appear to be approaching anything. It rose and rose until it began to slow down and finally stopped. Then, when the doors slid apart, they did so to reveal a dimly lit hallway with carpeted floors and in front of them were real flowerbeds with orchids.

Harry and Ginny exited the elevator (“We wish you a pleasant night”), and walked onto the carpet to see that they were in the middle of a small corridor, with doors leading off left and right. There were numbers on all of them, and they walked along to the very end where the door said '7'.

Ginny was looking at it with a questioning gaze, as the door had no key hole or doorknob. But she didn't have to wait for long, because Harry, with sudden bravery, slid his arm around her waist and kissed her deeply. At first she seemed surprised by this sudden act of affection, but responded happily by stroking his hair. Harry deepened the kiss, and pushed her up against the door for support, bracing her against him.

After a long time, Harry finally pulled away, with his mouth still only centimetres from her face, and whispered, “Phoenix feather,” in a quiet voice. Her eyes widened slightly in a questioning gesture. He had not told her the password. He just smiled in response.

And with a click, the door slid open to reveal their suite.

Ginny drew an involuntary sharp breath in surprise and wonder. Harry felt his jaw drop at the sight that met them. The door had opened to reveal a large room, dimly lit with candle light. The floor beneath their feet was carpeted in a soft, lush textile which cradled Ginny's tired feet (she had been wearing heels all night). The wall facing the door was all one large window facing the ocean. Once again they could see the gleaming stars reflected in the calm water.

To their right was a wooden door, Harry had a feeling it would be the bathroom, and to their left was another door, which left him confused as to which was really the bathroom. He quickly stopped pondering over this, however, as he looked around the rest of their suite. In the middle of the large room stood a couch and a low table. There was a large bed at one end of the room, and at the other was a mini-bar, a fridge, and, quite inexplicably, a large parcel wrapped in golden paper.

They approached it, and Ginny was the first to discover the note attached to the side.

Dear Harry and Ginny, congratulations on your wedding, we are all so happy for you. We all wish you all the best, and hope you will enjoy your honeymoon here in Oahu.
Lots of love,
Molly (mum) and Arthur (dad), and the rest of the lot who refuse to sign their names because they say you know who they are anyways.

Harry and Ginny laughed together and Ginny opened the parcel. In it was-

“A kitten?” Ginny said, looking stunned into the box. “A kitten!” she exclaimed again, but more excitedly this time, and lifted the small furry animal into her arms.

“Wait, there's more!” Harry said, amusedly looking at their kitten, now purring in Ginny's arms. In the box was also a cook book, a key, and a pile of carefully bound parchment. Around the kitten's neck was also a small note.

Harry, Ginny, Crookshanks had kittens last week. We wanted to surprise you so we didn't say anything. There were six, and we are keeping three. Hope she can keep you company if times get lonely, in the hope that she'll remind you of the friends you know you'll always have. Congratulations again on your wedding!
Lots of love,
Hermione and Ron.

Harry lifted the parcel and sat it down on the small table by the couch. Here they both sat down, and Harry overtook the kitten as Ginny picked up the cookbook.

Ginny, my dear, you looked beautiful tonight. I know you'll be happy and that Harry will be good to you (...right Harry? Yes I know you're reading this too). Just know that you will always be my little girl, and if you ever need anything, we're here for you. We love you so much, and this book could help you on your way to cook for this husband of yours who has a great appetite.

Mum and Dad.

“Hey, I just hope she'll go well with Nyx and Arnold and Midget, we can start a zoo soon...” Harry muttered.

“Nyx? Oh Harry, you named her!” Ginny smiled, acknowledging Harry's choice of name for his new owl.

“She needed a name, and I came across it when I read about ancient Greek curses in one of the books I have to read before I go to training. It means 'night' in Greek.”

But Ginny was not paying attention to what Harry was saying. She had picked up the bunch of parchments and was looking at the writing on the cover.

Harry, I found these among Sirius' possessions after he died. He must have found them in your parents' home after they died. I pass them on to you in the hope that they will give you back some of the past that was lost with your parents. I know your father and Sirius were the best friend I could ever have had.
Best wishes,
Remus Lupin

Harry reread the parchment three times before he understood what it was. Remus had kept these for him, and now that he was gone, they had been found among his possessions. Harry turned the page and found that they were letters, about a hundred of them, each signed by four distinct people... Harry's eyes became flooded as he saw his parents' writing.

“Remus must have planned to give you these before he died...” Ginny whispered and smiled sadly.

“Yeah...” Harry sighed, and placed the pile carefully back into the box, knowing that this might not be the best time to start pursuing them.

The last item in the box was the key. It was small, and Harry's immediate thought was 'Hagrid', although he couldn't explain why,

Again, there was a note:

Hullo Harry and Ginny! I was simply wanting ter give you both sumthing that would be usful. So, I got you your own vault at Gringotts! Harry, your money's been transferred, and also Ginny's. This is your key to the new Potter vault. I hope you like it, and make sure you have some ruddy good fun on this honeymoon of yers.

Hagrid.

So Harry had been right about the connection between this type of key and Hagrid. Hagrid was, after all, the one who had shown Harry his key for the first time.

“Hey, Ginny, that's great, and just remember my gold is yours too now, alright, don't feel like you can't spend it, because I want you to.” Harry said sternly to his feebly smiling wife.

“Ok...” Ginny looked uncertain, but gave Harry a tender kiss on the lips. Harry was abruptly brought back to the reality of their situation. They were silent for a few moments.

“So, this cat,” Harry grinned as he looked at it, half amused at this tiny bit of black fluff, now sitting on the couch by Ginny. She was black, even though her mother had been bright orange, as far as Harry could remember. The kitten had bright green eyes that shone in the candle light. At Ginny's soft touch, it curled up and fell asleep between two cushions.

“Let's explore what these two doors are!” Ginny exclaimed, and got up. The first she tried confirmed Harry's first belief that it was the bathroom. It did, however, have a swimming pool, a giant shower, sinks with no apparent handle, but which he decided to explore later, and a small cubicle which contained a toilet. It was brilliantly lit by large bright bubbles of light that floated just beneath the ceiling.

They crossed the small hallway again and opened the other door. This time, Ginny actually let out a small squeal of delight.

They had come onto a large balcony with a view to the ocean. There were two sun-chairs, and some decorative flowerbeds on the railings. On the wall right beneath the light was a small sign which read:

Dear guest,

This terrace has been fitted with a sauna, table and chairs, parasol, and a changeable view of the island. Please see your room pamphlet for more information on how to activate these.

“I don't see a sauna,” Ginny said questioningly.

“It's probably built in somewhere,” Harry joked, “A built in sauna which can't be seen.”

Ginny giggled and Harry took her hand and urgently dragged her back inside.

He looked at her, straight into her eyes which now contained some sort of longing. He swiftly picked her up, ignoring her squealing protests, and put her down on the other couch which their cat was not currently occupying. She wound her hands around his neck, pulling him down towards her. Their lips met, cautiously at first, Harry tentatively testing which was the best way to proceed, how to make her the most comfortable.

He pulled away and moved his mouth down her jaw and then to her collarbone, which was exposed by her strapless dress. She tugged at his dress jacket and he wiggled out of it, but never letting their touch be broken. She moved on to unbutton his shirt while he recaptured her mouth with his own passionate kiss.

He realized they would have to move to somewhere a little more comfortable than this couch, so he stood up, pulling her with him. She pushed him backwards, kissing him fiercely, shoving him against the wall. He found the zip on the back of her dress and pulled it down.

Her hand found his, and she tentatively pulled him over to the bed where she pulled him down on top of her. He tugged on the covers, letting them under.

Then, he broke away for a brief moment. He looked at her, taking in her intense stare which sent shivers down his back. “Are you ok with this?” He whispered huskily into her ear as his hand stroked her hair.

“Yes, I'm ok with this,” she replied, smiling and pushing herself even closer to him.

“Good,” Harry replied cheekily.

“I love you, Harry.”

Nothing more needed to be said.


Harry opened his eyes and tried to adjust them to the brightness that was now flowing in through the large windows of their room. He looked around and smiled to himself.

“Morning,” came a tingling voice from beside him.

Harry turned his head to see Ginny lying there smiling her gorgeous smile, the one that would have made him weak at the knees if it hadn't been for the fact that he was lying in bed. She was leaning into his shoulder tracing his strong arm muscles with her delicate fingers giving Harry goosebumps. She laughed at this and cuddled closer to him, resting her head on his chest.

“So, Mrs. Potter, should we get some breakfast?” Harry joked, just as Ginny's stomach gave a loud rumble.

“Ok, but let's order up here,” Ginny replied.

There was a loud 'meowwww' from the floor next to Harry's side of the bed, and just as he turned to look, the kitten had already leaped with surprising agility onto the bed.

“Good morning, you,” said Ginny fondly, stroking its tiny head. “She needs a name, though, Harry... we can't just call her 'the cat'.”

“Alright,” said Harry, not able to take his eyes off Ginny as she stroked the kitten. “Any ideas?”

“I was thinking maybe you would have more of your Greek names at hand,” Ginny laughed.

“Hmm, we'll need Hermione for this kind of thing...” Harry said. Hermione would know some Greek names off the top of her head, something he didn't.

“I actually know one, now I come to think of it,” Ginny suddenly said. “Why don't we call her Leto? She was the ancient Greek night goddess.”

“Alright, there we go, Leto it is,” Harry smiled at Ginny and looked at the newly named Leto.

“We should go explore this place later...” Ginny sighed, looking toward the window where they could see a bright blue sky.

The two decided it was time for a shower and some breakfast, and Ginny insisted that Harry go first to the bathroom.

Once in, Harry took a long shower, savouring the warm water and sighing contemptuously. Once he got out, he went to the sinks and looked all over for anything that would turn them on. He wanted to shave his day-old stubble, and needed water to wash his face.

“Oh, just turn on already,” Harry told the sink, getting annoyed.

At these words, water flowed from thin air into the sink.

“Ok, why didn't anyone just SAY that.” Harry said to himself, half amused.

But, when he opened the cupboard where he had placed his toothbrush the night before, it was empty.

“Hey, Ginny, did you take my toothbrush?” Harry said through the door.

“What?” Came her reply.

“My toothbrush. TOOTHBRUSH.” Harry repeated.

As he was talking, he had not noticed two, and now three toothbrushes having appeared by the sink.

“And where's my razor?” Harry continued.

Now a razor also appeared. Harry was quite surprised when he turned to see the sink with what he needed on it. Annoyed with this sudden appearance of his necessities, he suddenly found this quite entertaining.

“Soap,” he said, and it was there, materializing in front of him.
“Harry, are you almost done in there?” Came Ginny's voice some ten minutes later.

“Err, yes, hun, but err, I don't know how to get rid of, errr...”

Ginny entered the bathroom and immediately started laughing. “You didn't read the room pamphlet, it's all in there!” She said, trying to catch her breath. “Here, I'll find it for you.”

The bathroom is voice activated for your comfort and convenience. State clearly what you would like, and the room will yield it.

Ginny looked up after having read this out of the pamphlet. “Ok,” she said, “clean up everything Harry's been using.”

Harry's three toothbrushes, razor, three towels, five different shampoos, hair gel, and toothpaste all disappeared.

“Right. Give me the pamphlet, that is really annoying... could have told me... voice activated...” Harry grumbled as he left the bathroom to Ginny.

Half an hour later, the two were seated on their balcony enjoying their breakfast. Having read the pamphlet, Harry discovered the many benefits included in this room. They had managed to order breakfast from the painting of the chef right by the door, and also found out how to get the table and chairs for the balcony.

The view they had was stunning. A vast blue sky stretched out as far as the horizon, and below was the deep bluish green sea, and hot glistening white sand. There were palm trees surrounding the main building, and behind them was a great hill covered in lush forest. There was no other settlement in view, but Harry knew there were muggle towns here, as it was a very popular holiday location. This hotel was highly modern, with all new features where spells had been cast to make every witch and wizard here as comfortable as possible.

When they had finished their breakfast, the two decided they would go and look at the rest of their hotel, and take a walk on the beach. Harry found his closet to room many nice clothes suited for the warm weather, and he quickly picked out a pair of shorts and a shirt. Ginny found a beautiful beach dress to wear, light yellow, and accentuating her curves, to Harry's pleasure.

After a ride in the lift, they came down to the lobby again, and a voice called;

“Mr. And Mrs. Potter? It has been requested that you join two of our other guests for drinks in our cafe, just outside” It was the receptionist, dressed in white, and pointing through a door to his right.

Ginny looked questioningly at Harry for a second before something seemed to dawn on her. “Are they here too? Ron and Hermione?” Her face broke into a wide smile.

A/N: So there it is, I hope you liked it! I promise I won't take as long for the next one, I've just been really busy lately. Please review and tell me what you think! I'm also in the process of editing the first three chapters of the story, so bear with me! Your reviews make my day! xx

Terri


Chapter 14: 14. Taking an unexpected turn
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Harry led Ginny by the hand out through another pair of giant glass doors into a large bright room, pleasantly air conditioned, with windows facing the beach. The room was filled with small round tables and comfortable couches where witches and wizards, mostly young, lounged lazily. Various trays floated around, delivering drinks and accepting payments. Harry looked around, and a flash of bright red hair, other than the gleaming silk beside him, caught his eye.

There was a squeal, and Hermione came dashing toward them and flung her arms around Ginny's neck. Both girls laughed and then they were squealing and clutching each other even harder.

"Hey, come on, and she says I act scary!" Said Ron, looking bewildered, as he approached Harry and grasped his hand. "Well done on the wedding yesterday, Harry, I think we both got through it all right." He grinned over at Hermione.

"Oh, I was wondering where they would send you two!" Hermione beamed, "I mean, we didn't see each other last night..." she trailed off and blushed. Harry chose not to push the matter.

"So do you guys want to join us for a cup of butterbeer or something, or did you have other plans?" Ron asked Harry.

"I guess we were kind of going to take a walk to explore the beach...but...what do you say, Ginny?" Harry replied, turning toward her.

"How about we meet you here for lunch? Then we all have some time to get to know this place first?" Ginny said, glancing at Hermione.

"Alright, sounds good, guess we'll see you two later then!" Hermione giggled and promptly wrapped her arms around Ron's waist and kissed him on the cheek while she waved to Harry and Ginny, who made their way back out of the sunlit room.

The two of them linked hands and made their way out of the lobby, bowed out by another light-blue-uniformed man. The sun was shining brightly from the clear blue sky, and the scorching heat was comfortably bearable due to the light breeze blowing in from the turquoise sea stretching out where the white beach ended.

A small path led from the hotel, beneath a small alley of palm trees, out onto the beach, where several footless parasols hovered in the air. The scene could have been a muggle one, Harry thought, had it not been for all these constant reminders of magic which popped up all around.

As they walked, more people appeared out of the hotel along the beach. The hotel was really huge, its low buildings just a façade to what really lay within its boundaries.

"Have you heard of this place before?" Harry asked Ginny, curious, as he had never come across the concept of a wizarding hotel before.

"Yes, I've heard about it, or rather, I read about it in the newspaper about four years ago when it opened. I think it's the first like it anywhere." Ginny replied, looking at it in wonder. "We do share Oahu with muggles, so I guess they've made it invisible. Not that these parasols could be seen by them either, i suppose." She speculated.

"Did I mention you're beautiful?" Harry suddenly blurted out, turning to face her, his face serious and loving.

"Err, yes, I believe you did," Ginny giggled. "Did I mention you're ridiculously handsome?" She teased back.

"I believe you did," Harry mimicked her voice.

They stopped walking and Harry wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her to him, still in wonder at how easily she fit into his arms. He lowered his face to hers, allowing his forehead to touch hers, and stared deeply into her eyes.

"You know," he said quietly, "I don't know what I would have done if anything had happened to you."

"Nothing will happen to me, Harry, I'm right here, and it's where I'm planning on staying, and you better stay right here too, at least if you know what's good for you." She replied stubbornly and placed her hands on his neck, pulling his face to hers.

She kissed him tenderly at first, but then he responded a little too enthusiastically and they fell down into the sand, laughing.

Just as they lay there, a huge wave of the turquoise water suddenly washed straight over them. Harry hadn't realized they had been at the water's edge.

Soaking wet and coughing up sand, Harry pulled Ginny up by the hand, but they almost fell down again from laughing. Covered in sand and water, Ginny pulled his face to hers again and kept kissing him.

After a little while, he reluctantly pulled away. Despite the heat, Ginny was shivering slightly from being so wet.

"One moment," he said quietly, pulling out his wand, and then siphoned the water off her dress.

"Aw, Harry, you don't have to, I'll change when we get back inside." She protested, trying to push his wand away.

"You're not going anywhere till you're dry, Mrs. Potter," Harry grinned as he assessed her reaction to the name.

"What's with Potter's and redheads anyway?" Ginny laughed as she leaned against his chest, allowing him to get the sand and water out of her hair.

"Oh, I don't know, I guess they present a challenge, right? What with their temper and all," Harry joked. "Us Potter's are always up for a challenge." He concluded fiercely, and stroked her cheek with his free hand, thinking of his father. He thought of the danger he was actually putting Ginny in by loving her so much... but words that Sirius once said came into his mind: The risk would've been what made it fun for James. For once, Harry decided to take the risk. Just like his father, maybe they had been more alike than Harry liked to think...

"What are you thinking about?" Ginny asked him, looking into his eyes, a hint of worry in her own.

"My dad," Harry replied, smiling. "You reminded me of that redhead who decided to give me this life so that I could give another redhead the love that my father gave her."

"Aw, Harry, they would have been so proud..." Ginny sighed and hugged him against her.

"They would have loved you too, Gin, I know they would have. I still don't see how someone so amazing ended up with me, of all people..." He grinned. "I'm a lucky man".

They walked along the beach, observing the other wizards and witches on holiday, in a place where they didn't have to worry about their everyday lives. It was really beautiful, with the sand pearly white, and Harry noted that he could easily pick out who could pull off a tanning charm and who couldn't. When he pointed this out to Ginny after walking past a particularily scarlet girl, they both fell around laughing, trying to hide this from the girl, who was looking at their innocent faces suspiciously.

***

They had lunch in the large bright room with Ron and Hermione around one o'clock (Harry wasn't sure about the time, because it was so easy to lose track in this place...) Harry noticed that the topic of future plans was carefully avoided by all of them, and he too, saw fit not to mention their parting five days later.

Ron had decided he wanted to check out the pool of the hotel, which had, as he said, a water-slide with its own elevator.

"Honestly, Ron, we've only just eaten!" Hermione exclaimed, "you want to go swimming?"

"Yep," he said happily, "and you're coming with me. Now." And with this, he grabbed her by the hand, pulled her up, and left, towing her, hopelessly resisting, behind him toward the glass doors leading out to the sun-deck. Harry and Ginny laughed, but then Harry's mind grew serious, and he knew his face reflected his thoughts. Ginny looked at him curiously.

"Have you thought about what you're going to do when I go to training, Ginny?" He asked carefully.

"Aw, Harry...can we not talk about this now? Maybe a little later?" She sighed, and looked at him pleadingly.

"Sure... sorry... I guess I'm just worried you know..." Harry muttered.

"Harry, don't worry about me, honestly! I'll be fine." She said. "Now come on, we have the entire afternoon, so why don't we go take a look around the local town or something?"

"OK, that sounds good," Harry smiled at her, and they got up, and he extended his hand so she could take it.

"I know we're on the Makua beach," Ginny said as they walked out the doors of the hotel and into the street outside. "And so our closest town is Makaha, and I also saw on the information board that the Kaena Point is beautiful, we should walk out there one day as well." She continued.

They reached a sign along the path, right before they rounded a bend, which stated:

'You are now leaving the all-magical territory. Please take necessary precautions so as not to breach the National Statute of Secrecy.'

"Do I look decently muggle, then, Harry?" Ginny said, posing in her yellow dress, and placing a pair of sunglasses on her head.

"Perfect." Was all Harry could manage, as he silently wondered how on earth he could ever have looked at another girl when Ginny had been right there.

***

They walked the short way to the village, where there were mostly muggle hotels and resorts, but also a nice market and a small church in the center of a dusty square. Next to the church, there was a small street, which Harry would not have seen if Ginny hadn't pointed it out to him, stating,

"Look, Harry, that's the magical street. It was mentioned in the brochure from the hotel."

"They have a magical street here?" Harry asked, perplexed.

"Looks like it," Ginny replied with a smile, dragging Harry by the hand toward the small alleyway.

Harry felt a sudden premonition that going down the street would not be a good idea, but why did he get that feeling? This was just being stupid and paranoid, and he was sure Ginny would tell him so if he told her. They reached a sign naming the small street as 'Oahu Iogdan', also, a small sign underneath this said 'American Ministry of Magic: Hawaii Branch'.

"Come on Harry, what's wrong?" Ginny asked, smiling excitedly.

"Nothing," Harry assured her, and followed into the surprisingly cool shade of the small street.

It was quiet, and in the shade Harry had the constant feeling that someone was watching them. Ginny seemed yet oblivious to his alertness, now looking excitedly into the windows which featured the newest witch fashions of Hawaii, and various charmed sea-shells.

A sudden gust of wind from behind whirled up dust by their feet. Harry could not help but turn and look behind him. And just as his eyes focused on the corner of the closest house, he caught sight of a flapping cloak before it vanished, as if someone had disapparated. But disapparation usually made a cracking sound.

"Ginny." Harry said, grabbing her hand in his and squeezing it. "I don't like this, something's not right. We need to get out of here. Now."

"Harry? What's wrong?" She had to raise a hand and cup his face before he would look down at her. His eyes were wide.

"Get your wand out." He said simply. "Someone's following us."

"But we don't know where this leads!" Ginny whispered frantically back.

"Let's just go, please," Harry held her close as they moved down the street. He had been completely sure of which direction the sea was when they had entered the street, but now he wasn't so sure. He knew the way they were walking seemed to take them inland, but what if it didn't?

"Ginny, when you looked at the map, was this street marked?" Harry asked.

"Yes, it was, Harry, I know. But I was actually wondering about that. From the map, it didn't look like the street was by the church, it looked like it was further down by the docks.." She looked concerned.

"Then this is not good." Harry mumbled to himself.

A/N: Well, there it is! I know it's short, and you know my cliffies *laughs evilly*, you'll have to wait and see for the continuation, which will not be long in the making I promise! Thanks so much to my awesome reviewers, and a special mention of 'siledubhghlase' with a huuuge cyber hug sent your way for awesome tips on how to improve my writing! Thank you so much!



Chapter 15: Frost in the scorching sun
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15. Frost in the scorching sun

"Are you saying this is a trap?" Ginny whispered. "Harry, what are we going to do?"

Harry didn't reply, as he led her on, through this empty street, which was narrowing, but at the same time also sloping slightly downward. There were no side-streets leading off it until-

"Shh, Gin, be quiet, I see a street leading off this one.." Harry murmured.

The walls on either side of them were at least two storeys high. Above them was a bright blue sky, but the sun was out of sight. They reached the corner where another narrow street led off to the right.

"Which way should we go?" Ginny asked, fear etched in every word.

"Whoever they are will expect us to be getting panicky at this, so they probably think we'll take off down this one, just for a change in direction." Harry reasoned, trying to seem calm so as not to upset Ginny further.

"Let's keep walking down this way; it's sloping down, meaning we might be going in the direction of the ocean, which could help, I guess," He continued.

They slowly made their way past the road leading off to the side, which seemed just as deserted as the one they were on, and continued down the narrow street. Harry was sure this was no ordinary street, no street would have no windows or doors facing it. He was also quite sure that if they tried to climb the walls, they would not get very far. Ginny's hand was gripping his very tightly.

Without warning, the air suddenly went cold. It was as if the blue sky crystallized above them, and the air felt like biting cold fire.

"What's happening?" Ginny exclaimed wearily, her voice low. She held her wand out, but her teeth began to chatter with the cold, a mist of frost appearing rhythmically from her mouth as she breathed.

"Keep walking, we have to get out of here!" Harry said, dragging her after him in a half-run, downward on the narrowing street.

The air was biting cold, and Harry began to seriously worry that if they didn't get out soon, they would actually freeze in the air that had been so warm only minutes ago. The street wound steadily downward until suddenly, there was a complete dead end.

"No! Oh Harry, this is not good! We can't go back, it's too cold up there!" Ginny exclaimed, fighting the panic that was clearly threatening to take her over.

"Ginny, stay still for a minute, will you, I've got to check something," Harry muttered through clenched teeth, fighting the cold.

He walked over to the wall and thought back to the time he and Dumbledore had gone into the cave. Dumbledore had found an opening through simply touching the wall. He said that 'magic always leaves a mark', something Harry had not understood at the time, but, he had a feeling he knew what was to be done.

He gently touched the wall with his fingers, and let his mind wander, mentally willing there to be an opening that would reveal itself at his touch. He walked along, feeling no difference to his fingers, but then, as if the texture of the wall had suddenly changed, his fingers sunk into it, although nothing was revealed through the visible texture of the wall. It looked solid.

"Here," he muttered."Ginny, come here and see if you can walk through this wall."

"What?" She replied, shivering, and looking at him with an incredulous look.

"Just do it! I need to keep it open, so go!" Harry exclaimed, forcing his mind to see the opening in the wall which he could still feel at his fingertips.

Ginny approached the wall doubtfully, but did as Harry said, and leant against it, and finding herself pushing through the solid brick wall as though a tunnel had been built at that very place where Harry's hand resided. He followed her through.

They were on the docks in the village. The docks which could be seen on the map. Ginny uttered a sigh of relief. Harry turned and looked at the solid brick wall behind them. It was much higher than the one they had seemingly just come out through. The air was warm again, and the only sign of the freezing street they had just come out of was the feeling of their clothes melting from their previous unnoticed frozen state.

Harry looked around warily, and then the two of them found a bench beside a large fishing boat and sat down on it, still slightly stunned after the street. Harry had a bad feeling that they had been very, very close to being attacked by some unknown enemy, had it not been for them making the right choices.

"Hello there, Mr. Potter, that wasn't half bad for a first try!" Came a voice right behind them, and Harry felt a hand on his shoulder. He whirled around, and felt Ginny do the same, to look bewildered up at the face of Hestia Jones, accompanied by the minister himself, Kingsley Shacklebolt. What on earth were they doing on Hawaii? Was the first thing Harry thought, stunned silent by this abrupt and completely unexpected meeting.

"Before you say anything, not that you really look up to it, hehe, the street you just passed through to get down here was your first test." Hestia said, smiling.

"My first what?" Harry said, completely bewildered, as Hestia and Kingsley came around to the front of the bench to face the young couple.

"Your first test, Harry. You were recently submitted into auror training, and before your training starts, there is always a test, unknown to you, to assess your general reactions to different stimuli. I must say you acted very well."

"So nobody was really following us? It wasn't an actual trap?" Ginny asked, shivering involuntarily.

"No, it wasn't, and you're quite safe- We're sorry if it caused you a lot of distress, but it is a part of an auror's training to react responsibly, even around loved ones." Kingsley replied kindly.

Harry finally let out a breath of relief, and gathered his thoughts. Hestia smiled at him.

"Looking back, we want you to try to identify the stimuli we exposed you to, and assess your reactions and the thought process which caused you to make the choices you made. This will be your first paper, to be submitted to your professors in Edinburgh upon your arrival." Hestia continued briskly.

"Alright," Harry replied, still quite dazed, but recovering fast.

"We'll see you soon, Harry, I think Molly has invited us all for dinner before you and young Mr. Weasley depart for training."

"Ooo, that sounds nice!" Ginny said, smiling now. "We'll see you then!"

They all shook hands, and Hestia and Kingsley walked nonchalantly down the board-walk until suddenly they both disapparated.

Harry took Ginny's hand and they walked along the sea shore, looking at the boats in silence. As they left the village on the road which led back to the hotel, Harry suddenly stopped.

"Ginny I'm sorry." He said quietly, looking into her eyes.

"Don't be. I'm ok, it'll be fine, honestly. Yes, this scared me. Pretty bad actually, but I'll get over it... I'm really proud of you, to be honest." She said, placing a hand on his cheek and stroking it gently. "I know you're going to feel guilty about this, and it's got to stop, Harry! This is part of who you are, or rather, who you're becoming, and we have to face these challenges together, even though they'll come up unexpectedly like today."

"Ginny, I can't just let myself move toward a future where I could potentially hurt you! I've done that too much already!"

"Stop it! Right now. We are not doing this again. You're my husband, Harry, and I'm going to stick with you and support you in this training, because it's something I know you're going to be good at. Let's go back to the hotel and get some dinner, alright? It'll be better after, and we can talk to Ron and Hermione."

"Ok...but I'm sorry..." Harry replied, hopelessness in his eyes.

"I love you, ok?" Ginny said, getting up on tip-toe and kissing him lightly on the lips.

"That's the problem," Harry sighed and grinned down at her.

Chapter 16: 16. Cats that fall always land on their feet
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16. Cats that fall land on their feet

The sky had decided it would go through all the colours of the rainbow on its way to the horizon that evening. As they left the docks, the sky was a bright yellow, slowly burning into orange. Hand in hand, they strolled along the road, back through the invisible barrier telling them they were in magical territory, and out around the hotel building and onto the beach.

As it was only about seven in the evening, they sat for a while, watching the waves, and being amused at the straw-hat-wearing wizard who was desperately trying to get his pile of beach chairs to fly into a neat pile, frantically whispering "wingardium leviosa!" louder and louder, until he finally gave up and left them all in a complete mess, only about half of them stacked in any visible way.

Harry hadn't quite managed to let go of the creeping feeling of being watched he had felt earlier, even though he knew it had only been a test. He didn't mention the incident again to Ginny, but he still sat thinking about her face in that alley as the frost had settled around them. Was he really right to put her through that? After everything she had already suffered for him? He knew she would scold him for thinking this way, and he respected her maturity in handling these situations... but still...

The sun sunk steadily on its way toward the ocean, stretching on past the horizon. It looked like a burning orb in slow motion toward some distant destruction, but no crash or sound ever came as the flaming ball hit the ocean and descended into its seeming depths. The sky went from a deep orange to a fading pink, the brightness of the day fading and a sudden chill was left in the air as the sun's rays no longer reached them where they sat. A slight breeze was coming in from the sea, and the sky kept darkening, until straight above them was a deep blue and the first stars were appearing, having been blended out by the sun throughout the day. As they began appearing, the darkening sky stretching out behind them, Ron and Hermione decided to make their appearance.

"Hi Hermione!" Said Ginny suddenly, as she saw Hermione and Ron approaching, walking hand in hand, barefooted along the beach which was now being lit by torches in the sand.

"Hi you two! How has your day been?" Replied Hermione, smiling and dragging Ron down to sit next to them.

"Quite eventful actually," Harry replied, and he told them the story of the aurors who had tested him that afternoon.

Their responses were equally shocked, but naturally, Hermione was the first to see sense in the situation and describe the 'logic' behind it all.

"But of course none of them have ever been there to see all those things you've done, Harry! I mean, any teacher at Hogwarts would never have needed to test you in that way, you already have the skills in handling a stressful situation. But it was probably just a formality, that's all, but it's still quite frightening to think they might test Ron too!" She looked at him, a line of worry crossing her forehead.

"Well I guess it's better we're prepared for it now, though, right?" Ron replied, eyeing Harry.

"Depends what they do to you, mate," Harry acknowledged.

Ron's eyes were slightly calculating as they met Harry's then, and Harry knew he was worried, but couldn't see how there was anything they could do about it.

"Any plans for tomorrow, then?" Ron asked, changing the subject.

"Not really," replied Ginny, leaning back to look at the stars now patterning the darkening sky above them. "But that's what I love about being here," she continued, "the fact that we don't really have to care what day it is or what we're doing... it's nice when all we have to worry about is deciding what to eat." She grinned, eyeing Ron.

The day had given Harry quite a lot more than food to worry about, but he decided not to divulge this to the others as their mood was clearly a light and cheerful one, and Ginny seemed quite happy.

"Maybe we should go up and start getting ready for dinner, then we'll meet you both down here in a little while?" Hermione proposed.

"Sure," shrugged Harry, and got up, then took Ginny's hand and pulled her up too.

"Back down in an hour?" Asked Ginny.

"Sounds good," Hermione replied happily.

"You need an entire hour to get ready for dinner?!" Exclaimed Ron frustratedly, but was shut up by the look Hermione sent him.

***

The elevator brought Harry and Ginny back to their floor. Ginny brushed sand off her dress as they made their way along the corridor towards their room, Harry slightly behind her, still thoughtful. He watched her hand brush down her side down to her thigh, frantically trying to get every last speck off. He swallowed. Determined not to think about what happened eariler, he took the opportunity to be distracted, sped up, and caught up with her.

He slid his hand round her waist, grinning impishly, and gave her a push to the side to force her against the wall of the hallway. She let out a pleasantly surprised squeal as he leant against her and his lips found hers. Her hands wound round his neck, pulling him closer.

They remained this way for a while, until Harry realized it might be best if they continued in their room; he forced himself to untangle from her embrace, grab her hand, and pull her swiftly to their room. As they entered, Harry whispered "So this hour.." he grinned down at her.

"Yields some interesting possibilities doesn't it.." Ginny replied, chuckling. "But I think I'd really like to shower; I feel like I have sand everywhere."

"I could probably help with that," Harry replied, highly enjoying the suggestive path their conversation had taken. He kissed the nape of her neck.

"No, Harry, I really think-" he wouldn't let her finish. She gasped. "You know, you could always join me in there."

Harry's sharp intake of breath was all she needed to hear.

***
Dinner that evening was divine, yet Harry made sure to comment that nothing would ever beat Mrs. Weasley's cooking. Hermione and Ginny had both gotten all the time they needed to get ready, so an hour later than planned, the two couples had come down for dinner. None of them, of course, remarking on each other's lateness.

"I officially love all-inclusive," exclaimed Ron, patting his stomach after having devoured almost half the buffet table. Hermione gave him an affectionate glance.

"It is very nice," Ginny agreed, contently looking out toward the sea with dark waves now rolling in with the night breeze. "All this swimming makes me hungry."

"I'm going to pretend that didn't sound the least bit dirty, coming from my sister and all," Ron made a point of looking to the ceiling and pretending to be deaf.

"Hah! You know that's not what I meant!" Ginny exclaimed indignantly, punching her brother's shoulder amicably.

Later, after Ron had had some dessert, the two couples went back down to the beach. The starry sky bright above them. They sat down in the cool sand which felt good after the scorching heat during the day. Ginny sat between Harry's legs and leaned against him.

Hermione gasped as suddenly, across the horizon, flared lightning, lighting up the dark contours of storm clouds in the distance.

"Funny how it can be so peaceful here, and yet so stormy just over there," Ginny commented, looking up at the sky above which was so blisteringly clear and where more stars than they'd ever seen twinkled brightly.

"I see Orion," Ron said proudly. "Hey, at least astronomy was one thing I didn't fail." The other three laughed. Another flash of spectacular lightning lit up across from them.

"It's these moments, you know," Hermione said thoughtfully, "it's these moments that are made so special because you share them with people you love." She smiled over at Harry and Ginny, and Ron bent down and placed a kiss on her cheek.

Ginny sighed, "I know, and it's wonderful the storm is somewhere else for a change." Harry squeezed her against him momentarily and sighed contently.

***

The four did not go back inside until after two in the morning. They whispered their good-nights in the entrance hall, and got on separate elevators. Harry and Ginny quietly let themselves into their room. It was very dark, but as they entered, dim lighting came on in their room, giving it a cozy glow. Harry moved to the bed to remove a pair of black dress pants that had been left there earlier. He picked them up, but let out a yell when the pants let out a tiny squeak and miowed accusingly from the floor where he dropped them.

Ginny laughed at Harry's shocked expression as Leto struggled his way out from under the pile which was the pants. "I didn't see him!" Harry looked worriedly at the little cat.

"He's OK you know, Harry, cats that fall always find a way of landing on their feet. It's a strange survival instinct or something. They'll let themselves fall because they know, at the end of the day, there'll always be someone, or something, there to catch them." She smiled radiantly at Harry, who understood, at that moment, that he didn't need to worry about Ginny. She knew he cared so much about her he would never let her fall. She also knew what she was getting herself into. Nobody knew better than Ginny. Especially not Harry. 



So I finally updated! I'm sorry to all my readers who have waited a long time, but I finally found some renewed inspiration, so here we go again! I hope you liked this one, not very long, but I promise future chapters will be! Thanks for reading and reviewing!

xx Terri


Chapter 17: 17. Echoes
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17. Echoes

            It was the night of their fifth day in Oahu. Harry and Ginny had just bid Ron and Hermione goodnight after yet another delicious dinner, and were getting ready for bed in their dimly lit suite. Harry, who was ready first, had climbed into bed and suddenly caught eye of the pile of letters on the table next to him, the ones Remus had saved from his parents. He reached his hand out curiously and took the pile, feeling oddly nervous, just like the time when he had found Lily's letter in Sirius' old room. He picked the top one out from the string binding them all together and unfolded the old parchment.

            Ginny had just finished brushing her teeth, and after commanding the bathroom to clean the sink and turn off the lights, she crawled in next to Harry and snuggled against him.

            "Do you mind if I read them too?" She asked tentatively.

 

            "No, of course not," Harry smiled at her and kissed the top of her head. "I don't even know what these are all about, but this first one's from my dad to Sirius..."

 

***

 

Padfoot-

            Having some major issues today. Obsession level I would say is about 10/10. I cannot stop thinking about her, and believe me, I tried every single one of your suggestions you sent me yesterday of how to take my mind off her. (Yes, I did paint my room baby blue, but my mother didn't quite approve, so I had to do it over again in what she called 'off-white beige'. I don't think that idea worked because baby-blue is Lily's favorite color, and I managed to leave a small patch in the corner of my room still baby-blue). As for your idea to write you letters to keep me busy, I am currently giving it a go, but seeing as I am writing about her I don't think this is working either.

            So, my day so far (trying really hard here), has consisted mainly of trudging after my mom in the garden. She says I have far too much energy to be hunched up inside, and that I could do the flowers some good by radiating some energy to them. As you can probably tell, my mother has gone back to reading those horrible gardening magazines that teach you about the power of 'energetic and goodwill magic' in making flowerbeds. Great- flowers. We're back to her again.

            Did Andromeda end up coming to visit you today? (See, I can change the subject if I want to). Or are your parents being anal again? Guess you're not getting out of there today either or you would have been here by now. Maybe I should come over there and paint your room as well, so that you don't drive yourself mad with those dull colors. My mother says a change of color can 'give a room a much needed facelift' (this time from a home improvement magazine), and 'completely change the attitude and energy contained within it'. Maybe I should become one of those muggle healers who go around talking to people about their problems and get paid for it. Maybe that would take my mind off my problems...

            So back to my day: once I was dismissed from energizing the garden, I went inside to have some lunch with my dad, then went up to my room because I was too restless to be seen anywhere around the house (always attracts leading questions from my very awkward father who will go on about me 'becoming a man').

            Now I am writing you this letter, so please reply quickly, otherwise I am seriously considering stalking her house.

 

            Prongs.

 

***

 

20 July, 1977

            Jamesiepooh!

            What an incredible amount of time since I heard from you! I must say- four hours is really too much, we simply must get together for tea sometime. (No I have not become my mother overnight, although staying here makes me feel like horrid personalities are being forced upon my poor asphyxiated soul).

            As I said many a time before, Prongs, at least you have the ability to leave your house if you like to go stalk the girl of your dreams or whatever you're calling her today. The fairy? Angel (no wait that was last week...)? Flower? Loveydovey honeypie? Please note the mocking tone of my voice.

            I do very much appreciate the news of your newly repainted bedroom. Off-white beige will have made such a difference to the 'light cream' that was there before. Am I right? Complement your mother on her terrific sense of style in home renovations. Again, note the mocking.

            Andromeda rang the doorbell, but ran screaming when our troll-foot umbrella stand started chasing her (Regulus' work...). I therefore did not get to speak to her, meaning this is my third week in a row without a proper conversation. Still another two to go before there is any chance of going anywhere but up and down these wretched stairs (why is my room on the top floor? I swear my mother thinks I don't exercise..).

            I, my friend, am therefore going to be in need of your 'talking' services (I believe they're called shrinks in the muggle world) when I finally get out of here, because believe me I am going more insane than you.

            Four weeks until we're off on our last year. I can't wait. Moony says he may have found a new way of controlling his anger at us on full moon, so should be cool to check it out right?

            I'll see you soon, mate. I solemnly swear I am up to no good.

 

            Padfoot.

           

***

 

Harry leant back and laughed out loud. It felt so amazing to see this living proof of the bond that had existed between his father and Sirius. He felt a longing so strong in his chest that he with a pang remembered their faces as they had appeared to him in the forbidden forest almost a year ago, but now the longing was a happier one. He thirsted to read more, picked out the next letter, and continued reading.

 

***

 

2 August, 1977

Moony-

            Hope you're doing well these last few weeks of summer, heard last week wasn't too easy for you. I'm sorry we couldn't be there.

            Padfoot decided to do a runner from his imprisonment yesterday and showed up at my doorstep, so I now have a charity case taking up space in my bathroom. Mrs. Black actually attempted to beat him up and threatened to permanently lock his door so he couldn't go back to Hogwarts. My parents are cool with it though, they know what he's been through. So just so you know if you want to reach him he's staying with me for the rest of summer.

            See you soon!

 

            James.

 

***

 

15 August, 1977

Dear Mr. Potter,

            I am very pleased and honoured to inform you that you have been selected as Head Boy for this coming school year. The qualities you show in your work and with your friends are highly valued by the school, and I sincerely hope you can use this position to share with others your genuinely positive attitude and caring character.

            You will move to and live in the Heads dormitory which will be shown to you upon your arrival at school. The head girl is Lily Evans, who was selected for many of the same reasons.

            Wishing you a good end to your summer holidays,

 

            Regards,

            Minerva McGonagall.

 

***

 

30 August, 1977

 

            James-

 

            In response to the letter I received from you a few days ago; no, I am not really looking forward to sharing a dorm with you. Neither am I looking forward to have to deal with you attitude in every aspect of my day. We do, however, have to co-exist this year, and I would really appreciate it if you would at least try to act as though you are seventeen and not four for once. And to answer your last question; NO I will not be offering sexual favours to you now that we are sharing a dorm.

            I guess I will see you on September 1st. I intend to enjoy my last two days of freedom.

           

            Lily.

 

***

 

Ginny laughed out loud at the last letter which was clearly a reply to something James had sent.

"I must say, this girl knew how to blow them off didn't she?" She grinned at Harry.

"Yea... guess sharing a dorm may have helped in changing that though," Harry replied, raising his eyebrows. Ginny giggled and kissed his cheek.

"Give me the next one," she demanded.

 

***

 

1st November, 1977

 

Hi Prongs,

            Everything is set for you to come over this weekend with Padfoot. We'll go to the hills above my town, it's forested and it's more difficult for me to get away if you're there.

            Hope you're both enjoying fall break-- and Padfoot, don't take up all of Prongs' bathroom. He wrote me last week to complain. Just let him in for a shower alright? We both know how smelly he gets if he doesn't get his shower.

            My parents don't know you're coming so try not to show them, they would kill me if they knew what we are up to.  See you soon,

 

            Moony.

 

***

 

James,

            I hope you had an agreeable autumn break, Remus wrote and said he'd seen you, so I'm guessing you spent time with him and Sirius? I'm just reminding you we agreed to work out our new shift schedule on the train back to school, so meet me in the heads compartment when you get there please!

            Lily.

 

***

 

"Different tone now, already," Ginny remarked. "I guess your dad worked his charm cunningly during their first few weeks of school," she punched Harry playfully in the arm.

 

Harry also remembered that Lily hadn't known about Remus' 'furry little problem' while they were still in school. He wondered how she had found out. It was so strange to be given this ticket back into the echoes of his lost family, but he was loving every word.

 

***

 

23 December, 1977

 

            Lily-

            I hope you're enjoying the snow as much as I am. Padfoot and I almost killed each other in a snowball fight yesterday, and my mother called us in saying we were going to die of cold. What she didn't know was that both of us had used warming charms on our coats, so we were both warm and toasty once we got inside, something she failed completely to comprehend.

            It's nice to have Padfoot here for Christmas, almost like the brother I never had. He seems more cheery now he's here though, not like before when he was still living with his family.

            I hope the first week of your vacation has been good, and I'm actually writing this to tell you my parents have invited you over for Christmas lunch tomorrow. I hope you can make it, I miss you.

           

            Love, See you soon,

           

            James.

 

***

 

23 December, 1977

James-

            I would love to come over for lunch tomorrow. Tuney is driving me up the walls. She recently discovered some old tradition for banishing evil spirits and witches, and has woken me up the past three nights performing some sort of weirdo ritual with candles in my room! I swear if she doesn't cut it out soon... her idiot boyfriend Vernon is coming over tomorrow, so you have just saved me from hours on end of hearing about his great ambitions to run a 'drill' company. (It's a tool muggles use to fix things together).

            I guess I will just have to survive Sirius' comments for a day- something I am much more willing to do than stick round here with my nut-case sister.

            I can't wait to see you, and watch out, you might get your ass kicked in a snowball fight with me. (yes, be warned).

 

            Lily.

 

***

 

4th February, 1978    

 

            Dear Ms. Evans,

            We are pleased to inform you that we received and accepted your application to commence Healer training after the completion of your studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Edinburgh School of Healers will be very happy to have you as a student with your very impressive assets and recommendations. Further information will follow on what steps you will need to take now to ensure your accommodation requirements are fulfilled.

            All the best, and see you in September!

           

            Regards,

           

            Gizelle Robins

            Faculty of healing, Edinburgh Wizarding Community.

 

***

 

1st April, 1978

            Dear James,

            Edinburgh is beautiful. We can really feel the spring coming on up here, even though it's almost as far north as Hogwarts! It's been a wonderful experience to see the school here before I start in September. Still gives me a strange feeling that we are not going back to Hogwarts in the fall... My mother loves it here too, and it's nice just being the two of us without Petunia constantly nagging everyone about how 'crazy' I am. We went shopping on the Scottish version of Diagon Alley yesterday, it's a little smaller, but still a good variety of stores. I think you would have loved the Quiddich store we found, they were selling the new shooting star brooms and had a 'design-your-own-uniform' service.

            There's still snow on the hills around us, but in the sun it's really quite warm. We will be back in London for the second week of Easter vacation, so maybe I can come see you in Godric's Hollow?

            I miss you so much- I don't know how I'll manage up here by myself next year...

            Lots of love,

                        Lily.

 

***

 

3rd April, 1978

Moony!

            How is Easter treating you? I'm at Jamesipooh's, and I swear I'm getting fat from the food Mrs. Potter is making us.

            I've spent some time the past week going round London for somewhere to stay, preferably nowhere remotely close to Grimauld Place. I've found a really decent apartment near the ministry, but it's a rent I can't pay by myself. Would you consider living there with me? James is headed north next year to surprise dear Lilyflower, so I thought it would be nice to have someone round in these troubled times! Hope you consider. Just think about it... the fun we could have living in central London.

            HUGS AND KISSES.

                        Padfoot.

 

***

 

Ginny looked sleepily up at Harry, who couldn't believe the amount of insight he had been given into his parents' and friends' lives.

"Must have been hard for Sirius," Harry remarked, looking at the scrawny handwriting, "having run away from home and having to find his own place at 18."

 

"Your grandparents must have been such amazing people, though, to take him in and care for him," Ginny smiled.

 

"Sound familiar?" Harry grinned back and hugged her to him. "Are you tired? We could continue this tomorrow," he asked, looking at her sleepy face. To be honest he didn't want to stop reading, but if she didn't want to then he could pull away for her.

 

"No! I'm so into this now, I want to read more of these... we still have many left!" She sat up straighter, stretched, and held her hand out for the next letter expectantly.

 

"Alright, if you insist," Harry replied happily.

 

***

 

25 May, 1978

 

Dear James,

            We're so happy to hear you've decided to go to Edinburgh with Lily (and yes we know it's a surprise!) Your father has been up there on Ministry business, and took some time to look at the accommodations available and look around the campus. It truly is a beautiful city, and as an outdoors person we really think you'll be happy there.

            When you come home for the summer then, after the commencement ceremonies at Hogwarts have finished, we'd like you to come with us up there to orientate yourself a little. We'll then go to Normandy for a week or two, and it would be lovely if you wanted to invite Sirius and Remus along (and Peter too maybe?). You boys could certainly use some proper sun after spending so much time in those mountains.

            Please let us know if your friends will be joining us in France. We'd like to organize it properly so nobody has to worry (especially after the recent suspicious disappearances involving travellers these days).

            Good luck with your final examinations, and don't do anything your father wouldn't when celebrating the end of your Hogwarts career!

            See you soon,

            Lots of love,

            Mum and Dad.

 

***

 

15 September, 1978

Hey Padfoot,

            She loves me soooo much right now. You should have heard her squeal when I showed up at her dorm. Both because I'm a guy, and us blokes are apparently not allowed in the girl's dorms, but also because she was happy. I hope. She didn't quite get it at first, that I had moved here too, but after some explaining she understood that I had not tricked the janitor of my dorm into thinking I lived there and that I actually do live here. So now she loves me. I'm that good.

            Also, on a more serious note, there were some attacks here not far from where I've moved in two days ago. A young couple were both seriously injured, apparently they were fighters against You-Know-Who... Their name was Longbottom (Mr. and Mrs.), both aurors, I'm not too happy with stuff like that happening right outside my dorm. It was on the muggle news too, but now they've been taken to St. Mungo's but it looks like they'll both recover. Scary how stuff like this is happening more and more frequently, huh?

            Just wanted you to know my plan worked though, and watch out for Moony for me (I cannot yet understand how he can possibly survive living with you).

            See you soon, I hope.

            James.

 

***

 

3rd May, 1979

Dearest Lily,   

            Congratulations on your engagement! We cannot impose upon you how extremely pleased we are to hear! If anyone can make you happy, it's James, and I don't think we have ever seen you happier than when you're around him. As a response to your question, we know you are still very young, and to get married at 19 leaves you with responsibility and requires a certain level of maturity. We know you, however, and we feel that you, with your big heart, are fully capable of assuming the role as James' companion as you explore your futures together.

            I certainly hope you will let me join in on the planning of your day, even though it will most likely be in the magical world. If you'll let us, I'm sure I can team up with Mrs. Potter and we can do this together.

            With love, and again congratulations,

                        Mum and Dad.

 

***

 

10 May, 1979

Dear Sirius,

            We've now informed our families and it's official, I'm getting married! The date's been set to the 2nd of September; we feel we really didn't want to wait until spring. I know you think I am willingly entering into the last remaining form of slavery, but I was wondering whether you'd like to be my best man? Just, you know, make sure I go through this and all? Lily's the one, like I told you last week, I (unlike you) cannot imagine being with anyone else.

            Hope to hear from you soon,

                        James.

 

***

 

11 May, 1979

Prongs.

            "Dear Sirius?" That's very nice and mushy of you. Of course I'll be your best man, someone has to be there to make sure you don't go too far with the flowers and the colour selections (Lily's job, not yours). No, I'll make sure we get some proper partying done in the very limited time you have given me to work with.

            I will see you in two weeks when you've finished exams. Be prepared.

            Padfoot.

 

***

 

Ginny had slid further and further down under the duvet on the silky sheets as they read. Now that they had finished yet a few letters, Harry smiled down at her and gently lifted the pile of the ones they had read from her lap. Her eyes were sleepy as she grinned at him and snuggled against his arm.

“Let’s leave these until tomorrow,” he said softly, “you look exhausted”.

            She sighed.

            “I’m ok, honestly!” She attempted to convince him but he raised his eyebrow knowingly at her and she gave up.

            “Fine, let’s go to sleep,” she grumbled. It wasn’t long after she slid all the way under the covers, pushed herself closer to him, wrapping an arm around his chest, and started snoring softly.

 

Harry smiled to himself, grinning down at this creature he had found had no ability to stay awake later than midnight no matter how much coffee he had forced her to drink. He quickly lifted the pile of unread letters and placed them on his bedside table. He took of his glasses and left them on top of the pile, just in time to feel a soft pressure on his feet as Leto leaped effortlessly onto the bed and curled up to sleep. He moved his foot a tiny bit to give the cat some more room.

 

He kissed Ginny’s head gently, brushing a hand across her forehead, and rested his head on his pillow, his thoughts far away, caught up in the echoes from his forever-lost family.




A/N: Hi! I really hope you liked this-- my little attempt at some James/Lily stories. Did I get personalities through (especially Sirius)? Please review and tell me what you think!! Thanks for reading! 

Terrie


http://www.harrypotterfanfiction.com