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Ginny looked at the time and heard Harry’s watch beep 11:30 p.m. She could feel a little throbbing in her head but she hadn’t felt as happy for weeks. For the past few hours, she and Harry had danced and had probably more firewhiskeys than they should have.

Harry came up from behind Ginny and tapped her shoulder. “It’s getting really noisy in here,” he whispered to her. “And I think my head’s about to explode from that mead.”

“I agree,” Ginny said. “Let’s go outside for a few minutes.”

Harry grabbed her hand to lead her outside but immediately let go. He looked at Ginny for a few seconds, embarrassed, until she took his hand and they both went out under the moonlight stars.

The night’s beauty seemed to have emulated that of the pub in every aspect within a few hours. The moon was hidden behind a sheet of thin clouds and glowed brightly against the dark sky. The stars, as always, were twinkling merrily and filled the night with magic.

Ginny felt a twinge against her heart when she remembered staring up into the night that day Draco had left. She had promised to twist any star she may have needed to and alter fate just to meet him. She looked at Harry who seemed to have noticed this sudden realization.

“Do you want to sit down?” he asked her.

“No,” Ginny said dazedly. “Can I say something, Harry?”

“Sure – anything.”

“I miss my family.”

Harry was a little taken aback with Ginny’s words. He’d expected her to say something a bit more…relevant.

Ginny continued, “That night you proposed to me, you told me the best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart. I know what you mean now.”

“Why all of a sudden do you miss your family?” Harry asked lightly.

“I don’t know,” Ginny said. “But there’s moments when I remember Ron’s stupid comments or Mum’s fussing about everything or Dad and the twins fighting, Bill and Fleur snogging in the kitchen and Percy and Charlie talking about things that no one else really understands. I miss them.”

Harry placed his hand on top of Ginny’s and they sat down on the cold stone pavement. “Do you know what the worst way to miss someone is?”

Ginny shook her head as Harry continued. “To be sitting right next to them, and realizing you can’t have them.”

Ginny didn’t respond. She closed her eyes and let the night breeze blow through her hair. She put her arm around Harry’s and rested her head on his shoulder. She could have stayed like that forever had it not been for a loud, barging sound approaching from the distance.

Ginny opened her eyes and saw a long gondola approach them on the canal beside the pub. The gondola itself wasn’t being driven by anyone and Harry guessed that it had been enchanted. It seemed to have noticed the two of them sitting alone and approached them.

“Why is it here?” Harry asked, confused.

“It’s a celebration night. The 1900th year since two of the first wizards here eloped to marry,” Ginny explained. “It’s supposed to be a very romantic night.”

“Oh,” Harry said. “I…I think it wants us to climb aboard.”

Sure enough, the gondola had opened its little entrance and was swaying gently, indicating to Harry and Ginny to climb aboard.

Both of them looked a little confused and then Harry realized a small house elf was climbing out of the gondola to usher them.

“Come in, sir and madam,” it said happily. “Whilhop welcomes you to his gondola!”

Whilhop beamed happily at the sight of Harry and Ginny who had no choice but to climb aboard the boat. “It’s very lovely,” Ginny said sweetly. “Do you drive it?”

“No, madam,” the elf squeaked. “Whilhop must only make sure that the riders are happy. The gondola is enchanted.”

Both Harry and Ginny sat down on the ledge where a dimly lit candle followed them and settled itself on the side, flickering playfully. There was a small tug and the gondola began moving softly against the waves, swaying slightly.

“This city keeps getting prettier every time I see it,” Ginny remarked, admiring the distant colourful lights of Venice.

“I know,” Harry agreed. His head still felt a little dizzy from the drinks but he felt elated and happy to be beside Ginny right now.

At that precise moment, the clock struck midnight. Both Harry and Ginny turned to see the magnificent structure towering over the city and its chimes echoing to a distance.

“It’s said that Merrill and Agda got married at midnight, you know?” Ginny said, looking directly at Harry.

Second Chime

The little elf squeaked from his little seat. “Every hundredth year of their marriage, it is said that those who kiss before the twelfth chime at midnight have a lot of luck and love.”

Third Chime

“Really?” Harry whispered as he edged closer to Ginny. “And it’s their 1900th year, you say?”

Fourth Chime

Ginny nodded, also edging very close to Harry.

Fifth Chime

“But it only works before the twelfth chime,” Ginny repeated.

Sixth Chime

They both leaned in, very slowly and their lips almost touched when a fleeting thought shot into Harry’s head but he dismissed it. He wanted this.

Seventh Chime

Neither of them moved or said anything.

Eight Chime

Ginny whispered, “It must have been very romantic getting married under the stars like that.”

Ninth Chime

“Well love’s not all about kisses and magic,” Harry said, so softly that he could barely hear himself.

Tenth Chime

“What kind of luck do you think people who kiss at this time get?” Harry asked, this time so close that he could feel Ginny’s breath on him.

Eleventh Chime

“I guess it couldn’t hurt to find out,” Ginny murmured.

And they kissed.
***
“Didn’t you go to the festival tonight at the pub?” Narcissa Malfoy asked her son as she entered his room.

“No,” Draco said flatly. “I’m happier staying here alone.”

Narcissa sighed. It’d been so long that she wished he’d just get over her by now. “Are you feeling alright?” Narcissa asked. It was her routine to do this questioning now. She’d come every night and ask Draco if he was alright, hungry or wanted something. He’d usually say no to all those things and she’d leave.

“I’m going to go to the market tomorrow to pick up some new robes,” Narcissa told Draco.

“Alright.”

She sighed once again and left the room. Draco remained seated and continued to read the papers he was working on. Like he said to Sarah, work dulled the pain.
***
Ginny’s head was spinning very slightly from last night. She opened her eyes slowly and saw that they were back at the hotel room. She was in her bed, snugly hidden under the soft sheets.

She got up and looked around. “Harry?” she called out but he didn’t respond. Her legs were still hurting very much and the scars on her body hadn’t healed all that well. She vaguely tried to remember how they’d gotten back to the hotel but her memory failed her.

She entered the living room and saw Harry on the sofa with his head on a white pillow. He was still asleep but Ginny could tell that he’d fallen asleep pretty fast – his glasses still hung off his nose, very askew. She reached for them and tugged on them gently to remove them – folding them up very carefully and placing them by his side.

“Hi,” Harry said sort of awkwardly as he woke up.

Ginny could tell that he, like her, could remember every detail from the kiss in the gondola. “Hi,” she responded, with equal clumsiness.

“I…uh…” Harry was at a loss for words. “Did you sleep well?”

“Oh. Yeah. I slept…fine, thanks.”

“Do…do you want some breakfast or something?”

Ginny nodded. “I’ll go get changed and we can go out for breakfast.”

Harry agreed too. “Yeah…I’ll…I’ll go do that.”

As he got up, Ginny felt a rush of embarrassment flood her when she realized that Harry still had lipstick on his face. She immediately turned to make sure that Harry didn’t see her cheeks flush and rushed off to change.

After about twenty minutes, both of them met up in the living room, dressed in casual outfits. “There’s a tiny café right up the street,” Harry suggested. “It’s got good food.”

“Alright,” Ginny said as they both headed out.
***
Ginny and Harry had been sitting in that little café for over 25 minutes and not one of them had brought up the subject of last night.

They had eaten to their hearts’ content and yet neither of them chose to talk about what happened last night or what it meant.

Twiddling her thumbs idly under the table, Ginny glanced awkwardly at Harry. “Do you…do you think maybe we should write to Ron and Hermione? I reckon they’re probably worried sick since we haven’t kept in contact.”

“Yeah…” Harry said. “We’ll do that this evening. Listen, about last nig-

“Ginny!”

Both Harry and Ginny turned around immediately as a tall, thin, blonde woman came running up from behind them, calling out Ginny’s name.

Ginny’s heart skipped a beat as she saw Narcissa Malfoy beam at her, walking across the little café.

“You must be Ginny Weasley!” she said excitedly. “I remember seeing you when I was talking to Draco through your fireplace.”

Ginny couldn’t believe her eyes. “You’re Draco’s mother, right?” she said, still adjusting to the shock.

“Oh I can’t believe out of all these places I’ve found you!”

“You…you were looking for me?”

“Oh Draco will be so glad to see you. He’s…he’s been like a soulless body these past few weeks but now…oh I’m so glad you’re here!”

Narcissa could not contain her happiness and excitement. “I…I was at the market nearby shopping for some robes and then one of my friends came out and started telling me that she thought she saw Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter in here…and I knew that it was meant to be!”

“Is…is Draco here?” Ginny said, her voice cracking as she tried to withhold tears.

“No, he isn’t,” Narcissa responded. “But he’ll be home this evening. I’ll give you my address – he’s going to by dying to see you. But…but I won’t tell him you’re coming. It’ll be a surprise!”

A few tears escaped Ginny’s eyes as Narcissa scribbled her address on a piece of paper, frantically. “Be there at around 7:30,” she said excitedly, though it was obvious that she too was holding back a few tears. “I’ll see you tonight!”

Ginny nodded, unable to say anything. She glanced down at the paper crumbling in her hand and read the address a few times. Narcissa left the café with tears of happiness as Ginny turned back to sit down at her table.

She looked at Harry.

“He lives out in the rural part of the city,” Ginny said chokingly.

Harry nodded without saying a word. He wasn’t even looking at Ginny but rather looking down at his hands under the table. “I’m…I’m going to take a walk,” Harry said quickly. “I’ll be back soon and then…then we- I mean you- can go.”

“Harry, I’m reall-”

“I’ll see you this evening,” Harry said, placing a few galleons on the table and walking out with his hands in his pockets.
***
Ginny looked at herself in the mirror and couldn’t help but feel reminiscent of her wedding day. That day, she had stood in front of a very similar mirror as she was about to walk to Harry. Now, she stood on the eve of the moment that she would walk to Draco. Her hair was let loose, just like Draco liked it. Her outfit was nothing too fancy but she had chosen to wear a summer dress instead of her usual jeans and t-shirt. Her eyes were glittering against the setting sun and twitched every few seconds when she heard something that may have been Harry.

It had been a good eight hours since Harry had left the café and he hadn’t returned yet. Ginny’s eyes wandered over to her right hand where her engagement ring sat peacefully, the diamond on top twinkling playfully as if teasing her and daring her to take it off.

Ginny sighed deeply. Within a few hours, she would no longer be the future Mrs. Harry Potter - but then again she never really had been. She had never really felt for Harry what she had ever felt for Draco and her heart weighed heavily on the guilt set on it.

Then last night came crashing back into her memory. The kiss, the sweet flirtatious conversations –

Ginny’s train of thought was broken by a creak in the door which turned out to be Harry entering. He took a few seconds to take in what Ginny was wearing and then weakly smiled back at her. The attempt, Ginny thought, had been so feeble that it in fact made her feel even worse than she had before.

“We should probably get going,” Harry said immediately, giving Ginny no time to say anything.

“Already?”

“It’s almost 7 o’clock,” Harry noted. “We’ll probably take at least twenty minutes to get here giving us ten minutes to…you’ll get there ten minutes early.”

Ginny nodded immediately and gave herself a quick once before turning back to Harry. “Do I look okay?”

Harry looked at her for a few seconds. “Yes.”
***

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