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“Don’t worry, Harry.”

“I’m not worried,” said Harry, hastily taking his hands down from his head, where they had been uselessly smoothing his unruly hair. He’d been trying to fix it the whole time they’d been hurrying along the snowy road in Ottery St. Catchpole on the way to the Burrow.

“Honestly, I have no idea why you would be nervous,” Ginny continued, looking at him fondly. “You’ve always been a part of the family anyway, they absolutely adore you, and they do know that we’ve been dating for four years.”

“I know.”

He did know, too. The Weasleys had long since folded him into their family, ever since Mrs. Weasley had fretted over him on Platform 9 ¾ as a first year. He could easily imagine them all being utterly delighted by their news.

Which is why he couldn’t explain to himself why he was very nervous, whatever he told Ginny.

“Ugh, Mum’s going to be completely disgusting.” Ginny grimaced, interrupting Harry’s thoughts. “Can’t you just imagine?”

Pulling their clocks tighter, they quickened their step as the unbalanced silhouette of the Weasley’s home came closer. When they reached the door, Ginny knocked three times, then hastily pulled her hand back into her cloak, rubbing it against the left one to warm it up. They stood there, shivering and waiting for the door to open.

It finally swung open, and Mrs. Weasley’s rosy face and a waft of fire-warmth, music, and Christmas cooking greeted the frozen couple.

“Ginny, dear! And Harry, how are you two? Come in, come in, you look positively frozen.”

They wasted no time in obeying, and allowed Mrs. Weasley to kiss them each in turn. Celestina Warbeck was crooning on the radio by the stove, where pots were simmering with fabulous-smelling food.

“I’m just finishing up in here, dinner will be ready in a few minutes. Everyone else is in the other room, why don’t you go in and say hello.”

Suddenly there was a loud bang like a gunshot, and Harry heard Hermione scream. He and Ginny rushed to the next room to see the rest of the Weasley family and Hermione, who was holding a large book open on her lap, all surrounded by colorful discarded wrapping paper. The book Hermione was holding seemed to now be cackling madly at her.

“Very thoughtful present, George, “Hermione said sarcastically, shutting the book and chucking it on the floor.

“Yes, I thought it was good,” said George, eyes watering with amusement. “One of my more considerate gifts, I thought.”

The twin had gradually lost the look of being disoriented that he picked up in the years after Fred’s death, though it was still rather strange for Harry to see only one of the duo, and he had to stop himself from looking for Fred in the room even now. Percy appeared to already have a few grey hairs, though Harry suspected that being Senior Regulator of International Relations had to be a stressful job, especially for someone who took his job as seriously as Percy did. Charlie looked largely unchanged, with the possible exception of additional burns on his arm. Mr. Weasley too had a lonely patch of grey hair among the ginger, and a few more wrinkles behind his horn-rimmed glasses, especially as his eyes were now crinkled with laughter.

“That’ll be a new joke-shop item, will it?” Ron managed to ask from beside Hermione.

“That’s pretty good, George,” said Harry from the doorway, grinning broadly at the sight of his two best friends and surrogate family.
No one had noticed him and Ginny, but now that he spoke everyone jumped up to greet them.

“How you been, mate?” Ron asked with a smile as Hermione ran to hug Harry.

“Not bad,” Harry replied through Hermione’s hair. “And you? Been having a good break?”

“Yeah, it’s nice not having to be on duty for once, isn’t it? Me and Hermione have been down to Hogsmeade a couple of times…it’s weird, not being there as students.”

“You two ought to have come with us,” said Hermione, going to hug Ginny. “The school looks absolutely beautiful in the snow…I’d forgotten. Oh, and Hagrid says hello, you’ll have to go and see him soon.”

“How is Enforcing? Been busy?” Harry knew that she had, even more than he and Ron had been as Aurors. Between her job as an Enforcer in Magical Law Enforcement and studying Wizarding Law at every spare moment (in true Hermione fashion), it had been weeks since he had seen her.

“Oh Harry, it’s fabulous, but there doesn’t ever seem to be enough time in the day! Ron’s had to cook and do everything for us so I could study.”

“You poor woman,” said Ginny with a smile, going to hug her older brothers.

“Oi!” said Ron indignantly, “I’m getting better, I haven’t burned anything in three days!

“Ickle Ronnikins is providing now, is he?” George asked. “Preparing for being heard of a family, are you, Ronnie?”

At this, Hermione blushed furiously, while Ron opened and closed his mouth several times, clearly at a loss for words, before going even redder than Hermione. Though no one noticed, Harry went slightly pink too. A quick glance at Ginny told him that George’s taunt had embarrassed her too, however unconcerned she had pretended to be.

Mr. Weasley tactfully changed the subject. “Speaking of families, Bill and Fleur send their apologies for not being here, but they wanted to spend Victoire’s first Christmas at the Cottage.”

“How is she?” Harry asked.

“Growing like a Billingus stalk and taking after her mother,” Charlie answered. “Perce and I went to visit them earlier…she’s absolutely gorgeous. Mum’s utterly smitten by her, of course…nd so’s Percy.” He grinned as Percy spluttered.

“Alright, you lot, help me bring dinner to the table,” Mrs. Weasley called from the kitchen.

They all settled in around the long table in the Weasley kitchen, chattering happily as they helped themselves to the feast Mrs. Weasley had prepared. Ron was helping Hermione spoon potatoes onto her plate as George snuck something into Percy’s food, and Charlie and Mr. Weasley exclaimed over the dinner to an obviously pleased Mrs. Weasley. As he looked around at the family, Harry realized just how happy he was, surrounded by people he loved. He reached for Ginny’s hand under the table and squeezed it, and felt her lightly squeeze back.

When they all insisted that they would never be able to eat another bite ever again, Mrs. Weasley Summoned the gingerbread cake from the kitchen. As they all began to eat with continued enthusiasm, Charlie cleared his throat and asked Percy, “So, where is Miss Clearwater this Christmas?”

Percy drew himself up with dignity and replied “She is at her sister’s house.”

“You two are still together, right?”

“Of course.”

“Perce, Perce,” Charlie said half-teasingly, shaking his head. “How long have you been seeing this girl? You two ought to be engaged by now, never mind you bringing her home for Christmas.”

At this, Ron became very involved with his cake, while Harry and Ginny looked at each other again.

“Now Charlie, Percy is allowed to take it at his own pace,” said Mr. Weasley easily.

“No, I agree with Charlie, Arthur,” said Mrs. Weasley with a slightly reproachful look at Percy. “It’s been too long since we’ve had a wedding.”

“Which really means that she wants more lovely grandchildren like Victoire,” said George.

“Well, I’m…no, George, don’t be silly, I just want to see Percy settled and happy,” said Mrs. Weasley, looking slightly guilty.

Ron was still attacking his cake determinedly, avoiding eye contact with anyone. Harry felt his heart hammering; surely he and Ginny would have to be brought up soon…

“Well,” said Mr. Weasley, with a wary look at the once-again spluttering Percy, “Err…anyone been paying attention to the Chuddly Can—?”

“Actually,” Ginny said suddenly, interrupting her father and staring at Harry. “Harry, would you like…?”

He stared back at her pink face before giving her a “you’re-really-going-to-make-me-say-it-aren’t-you?” look and clearing his throat nervously. “Well…er…”

All the Weasleys were staring expectantly at him, but Hermione looked positively delighted about something. Harry coughed again before continuing.

“We’re…Ginny and I…er…well,” he said quietly, looking at Mrs. Weasley, “You’ll be getting your wedding soon, Mrs. Weasley.”

There was a split second of silence when Ron had jerked his head up from his cake before both Hermione and Mrs. Weasley let out a squeal of joy.

“Oh Harry, how marvelous! Ginny, oh, I’m so thrilled! My little girl, married! You’ll have to let me help plan the wedding…the wedding! Oh, I’m just so happy!” With tears in her eyes and her hands flapping wildly, she rushed over to kiss them both.

“Congratulations, both of you,” said Mr. Weasley with a happy grin. “This calls for champagne, I think.” He waved his want and a bottle appeared on the table and began tipping itself into the eight flutes that had materialized.

“Harry, how fantastic!” Hermione was saying. “I can’t believe…it’s such good news!”

Ron had shaken off his slightly dazed look, grinned broadly, and kissed his sister and shaken Harry’s hand. “Merlin’s beard, married! I expect you’re going to ask me to be your best mate, then. If you insist, mate…”

“And you’ll have to be my maid of honor,” Ginny said earnestly to Hermione. “You helped us get together, after all.”

“Oh Ginny…are you sure? That’s…that’s such an honor!” said Hermione, tearing up and smiling even more.

“Just make sure that you catch the bouquet afterwards,” Ginny said to her in an undertone, with a pointed look at Ron.

Harry laughed at Hermione’s blush as much as out of relieved happiness as he took up his champagne glass, wrapping his arm around Ginny’s waist and grinning at all their congratulations.

Mr. Weasley raised his glass and the family followed suit. “To my only daughter and our dear friend. May they have long, happy lives together…and may they have wonderful children for my wife to fuss over.”

Everyone laughed, even an embarrassed Harry and an exasperated Ginny.

Really part of the family…Harry felt like laughing out loud. Instead he just kissed his beaming fiancé and drank his champagne with a feeling of warm happiness.


“I told you that you shouldn’t have worried,” said Ginny sleepily, curled under Harry’s arm on the couch. Everyone else had long since gone to bed, but since Mrs. Weasley had put them in separate rooms, (Ginny was sharing her room with Hermione, while Harry was in Ron’s room,) they had lingered downstairs to spend a little time together in front of the dying fire.

“I wasn’t worried,” Harry insisted. He was feeling very drowsy himself, and more than a little dizzy from the second bottle of champagne that Mr. Weasley had insisted on opening. He wasn’t sure he had ever felt this comfortable, or as blissfully happy.

“Whatever you say, love.” Ginny yawned. “Nearly time to go up to sleep, d’you think?”

“No.” He didn’t want to leave this feeling of contentment to try to sleep through Ron’s snoring. “Let’s just stay a little longer.”

“That’s what I was thinking.” Closing her eyes, she snuggled herself in deeper into the crook of his arm and lightly kissed his shoulder.

Harry smiled and closed his eyes too, drawing her warm body in closer to his. He knew that they would probably both be fast asleep in minutes, that they would likely be found like this in the morning. But at that moment, Harry couldn’t care less. At that moment, he wanted nothing more than to fall asleep in front of a fire with his fiancé, with the knowledge that, after twenty-one years, he finally had a true home.

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