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The sun rose to reveal beautiful, clear skies for the wedding day. From his bed, Harry saw the sky begin to lighten and having battled to sleep all night he decided to get up. He pulled on his jeans and a jersey and quietly walked downstairs. The house creaked but was otherwise silent. Harry stepped outside on to the dew soaked lawn. The moisture and the blades of grass soothed his feet as he walked out into the garden.


 


“Morning Harry,” said a voice behind him. Harry turned to see Bill sitting on a bench.



“Morning,” Harry replied and sat next to Bill.



“Couldn’t sleep?” Bill asked. Harry shook his head. “Yeah, me either.”



“You nervous?” Harry asked.



“Yes and no. I’m looking forward to this, but I’m also apprehensive. I guess it’s one of those moments that change your life and you’ve just got to enjoy the change,” Bill said. “I actually have no idea how I’m feeling.”


 


They sat in silence for a few minutes then Bill asked, “And you Harry? I know you’ve got a difficult time ahead.”



“Yeah you could say that,” Harry sighed.



“And Ginny’s not helping.”



“No it’s not that, wait, what?” Harry stuttered.



Bill laughed. “Harry, I’m the oldest brother, I know things, plus I can see it with you two.”



Harry smiled gloomily and shrugged his shoulders. “Relax Harry. One thing I’ve learnt, especially with Fleur, is that this love stuff isn’t complicated unless you make it. You have got one stubborn, hard-headed girl in Ginny, so just let things happen, don’t plan just let fate take its course.



“At this exact stage of our lives with everything that’s to come, live for the now Harry, you deserve some fun. Just not too much, it is my baby sister we are talking about.”



Harry smiled, “Thanks Bill. I must admit I am looking forward to your wedding, it’s just the stuff past the wedding.”

Bill nodded, “Well,” he said patting Harry on the back, “some how we will get through today and the future and then we’ll be back here for Ron and Hermione’s wedding.”



Harry chuckled, “As long as it doesn’t take him as long to propose as it did for him to ask her on a date.”



“I take no responsibility for my young brother,” Bill said as he stood up. “How about some coffee?”



“Yeah, I’ll be there in a second,” Harry said and Bill walked inside.



Harry glanced around the garden in front of him, turned his head to look at The Burrow and looked at the country scene and morning sky that filled the horizon. He sighed and felt a strange mixture of feelings in his heart. Deep sadness, apprehension, fear, and anger, but on top of that, as the scene before him and thoughts of all his friend lifted his spirit, he felt happy in spite of what lay before him, he knew he would never be alone.



* * *


 


“Well, I better get down there and do my usher job,” Ron said as he gave himself one last glance in the mirror. “Does everything look straight?” he asked Harry. Harry cast his eyes over Ron’s midnight blue dress robes.



“Yes, all looks right to me, but you might want to check with your mom,” Harry said as he pulled on his shirt.



“Yeah, good point. I’ll see you down there. Oh Hermione asked if you would wait for her so you two could sit next to each other,” Ron said before disappearing out the door.



Harry finished getting dressed and then glared at his hair in the mirror, who didn’t comment as it finally realised there was no point. Harry pulled his comb through his hair but after a few times, gave up, ran his hands through his hair and headed to the kitchen.



“Oh Harry, dear, you look so handsome,” Mrs Weasley said as he walked into the kitchen. She was bustling around the stove checking on all the food. “There are two seats for you and Hermione in the second row behind us. Well I better smarten myself up and get rid of this apron,” she said and bustled out of the room.



A few minutes later Hermione walked into the kitchen. The sound of heels on the floor made Harry turn and he felt his mouth open. Hermione looked stunning in a strapless blue dress that hugged her body and flared elegantly to her knees. Her hair was straightened and clipped on one side, and she gave Harry a small smile.



“Wow,” Harry said.



“Thanks, I think.” Hermione smiled.



“You are going to knock Ron’s socks off in that outfit,” Harry said as he opened the kitchen door and let Hermione walk out first.



“Your socks won’t be far behind,” she said and gave Harry a knowing smile.



Harry was right about Ron. He couldn’t take his eyes off of Hermione while he was trying to usher but finally he sat down in front of them and had to look forward. With all the guests in their seats, the Weasleys all in theirs and Bill standing at the top of the aisle, the wedding began.



An elegant lady sitting behind a harp began to play a delicate piece of music and the guests turned to watch the bridal company come down the aisle. Gabriel was first wearing a delicate pale blue dress that floated elegantly as she stepped carefully down the aisle. Ginny was next. As Ginny began to walk down the aisle and Hermione turned to look at Harry. His eyes were wide, his eyebrows raised and his jaw would have been touching the floor if it could reach. Hermione leaned back, “I told you,” she whispered.



Ginny seemed to glide down the aisle. Her pale blue dress fit her to perfection. The front of the dress was low cut and led into a halter neck. Ginny passed their row and then Harry saw the back of the dress, or the lack there of. From the halter neck to her hips there was nothing but skin and then material flowed to the floor.



Harry barely noticed Fleur walking up the aisle in a glistening white dress that made her look even more stunning than usual. The ceremony was a blur to Harry who couldn’t take his eyes off of Ginny until she was following the newly wed couple down the aisle and out of his sight.



“Earth to Harry,” Hermione said with a laugh.



“Huh?” Harry said.



“The family want us in some of the photographs. Come on,” Hermione said grabbing Harry’s hand and dragging him towards the far end of the garden where the family was heading.



“Alright let’s start with the Delacour family,” a wizard with fly-away grey hair said as everyone assembled. He began to direct people into position and proceeded to click away. Then it was the Weasley family’s turn, followed by lots of the parents and the bride and groom, then the bridesmaids and groomsmen.



“Any others?” the photographer asked Bill.



“Would you mind taking a few of my brother and sister and their dates?” Bill asked.



“No problem,” he said and immediately began ushering Ron and Hermione into a portrait pose followed by Harry and Ginny joining them and then finally Harry and Ginny by themselves. The photographer needed to change his film so Harry and Ginny stood next to each other nervously.



“Um,” Harry cleared his throat and turned to Ginny. “You – uh – you…look beautiful Gin, not that you don’t always look beautiful, you just look, um, you look – amazing,” Harry eventually managed to say.



Ginny smiled at him. “Thanks,” she said softly.



A soft breeze drifted on to Ginny’s back, blowing a loose strand of hair across her eyes. Without thinking, Harry lifted his hand and gently brushed the hair behind her ear. The click of the camera made them realise there were still other people around.



“That was just a beautiful moment I had to take a picture,” the photographer said as Harry and Ginny both blushed. “Right now let’s have nice smiles. Put your arm around her son. Good, good and put your hand on his waist. Perfect. Right and here we go,” he said and clicked the camera.



Half an hour later everyone was sitting at their designated tables on the lawn listening to Mr Delacour’s speech. “To my beautiful daughter,” he finished and raised his glass.



“Cheers,” echoed the guests.



Bill stood up and took out a few pieces of cardboard to help with his speech. He briefly thanked everyone for all their help, toasted his family, Fleur’s family and Fleur. Then he continued, “I have to just say at this time that I am so glad that you are all here to celebrate this day with us. We are in the middle of a very dark time and to have all our friends and family here on this glorious day amongst these dark times is brilliant.



“The upcoming months are going to be a challenge for everyone and to all of you who, I know, are going to be right in the centre of this fight, who are going to give everything to ensure the You-Know-Who goes down, I salute you, my friends and fellow fighters. Good luck, be safe and be back here next year to celebrate our first anniversary. Cheers,” Bill said as he raised his glass.



The guests echoed his toast, and Harry felt his throat tighten as he couldn’t help but hope with all his heart that he would be back here next year.



The afternoon became evening and time seemed to be racing away from Harry. He watched everyone dancing, chatting, laughing and just generally enjoying themselves.



“Don’t you think you should have some fun too?” Ginny said, handing Harry a Butterbeer.



“Thanks…I’m just…um…I don’t know actually, I guess I just hope this is a scene we get to see again.”



Ginny didn’t know what to say, she knew the possibility that everyone would be back here in a year was very unlikely.



“You need to stop thinking so hard,” Ginny said putting her Butterbeer on the table and taking Harry’s away too. “Let’s go,” she said holding out her hand.



“Where?” Harry asked sceptically.



“You are my date, and I want a dance with my date.”



Harry smiled, took her hand and led her to the dance floor. The song was slow. Harry held Ginny tightly and the swayed to the music. Harry felt his throat tighten. He dropped his head, resting his cheek against Ginny’s temple and closed his eyes. The world disappeared and it was just him with Ginny in his arms.



Then he felt Ginny’s body jerk. He opened his eyes and looked at her. Her cheeks were damp. Harry gently raised her chin and looked into her eyes.



“I love you Ginny,” he whispered.



Through her tears, Ginny smiled. “I love you too Harry.” He kissed her softly and held her tightly.



* * *



The next morning dawned grey, cold and damp. As Harry packed what he needed into a backpack, the weather did little to help his mood.



“Breakfast is ready guys,” Hermione said from the doorway.



“Thanks,” Ron said. “Ready?” he asked Harry.



“Ya, I think so,” Harry said glumly. “The sooner we get this started the better I suppose.”



Ron nodded and patted his friend on the back. “Let’s go,” he said picking up his own bag.



The kitchen was tensely silent as they entered. Only the clatter of knives, forks and the crackling fire stirred the quiet. Lupin, Tonks and Hermione were already eating their eggs and toast and Harry and Ron joined them silently. Harry stared at his food and didn’t lift his head to look at his travelling companions.



“Harry” Tonks said gently. Harry looked up from his half eaten breakfast and noticed that the table was now empty. “Are you okay?” Harry nodded.



“We’re going to leave in a few minutes,” she said softly.



“Okay,” Harry said as he stood up.



“We’ll be in the lounge,” Tonks said. As she left Harry saw Ginny standing in the doorway.



Neither of them said a word. Harry crossed the kitchen in a few steps and embraced her tightly.



“I’ll see you soon, Gin,” Harry said softly.



“Be careful Harry,” she said and kissed him. With one last tight hug, Harry joined the group in the lounge who left the house and walked beyond the protection wards on The Burrow.



Harry turned to look back at The Burrow and saw Ginny and Mrs Weasley standing in the doorway.



“We’ll be back here Harry,” Remus said.



“How can you be sure?” Harry asked, his eyes still on Ginny.



“I can’t Harry, but if you don’t have hope and faith that you will return, your heart won’t fight for it,” Remus said wisely.



“My heart will never stop fighting,” Harry said and with a brief wave to Ginny, he disapparated.

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