A soft knock on the door broke Ginny from her reverie a few minutes later, “Ginny dear, I’ve brought you a cup of tea, it’s time to get up.”
“Oh Mum,” Ginny sighed accepting the steaming mug, “This is it isn’t it?”
Mrs. Weasley sat down on the edge of the bed and smoothed an errant curl away from her face as she replied, “It is, dear, it is. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t the baby anymore. It just means that Harry’s an official member of the family. Not that he hasn’t been for years now, but you get the idea…” she trailed off, gazing at her only daughter, the youngest who was finally leaving the nest and tears formed in her eyes.
“Oh Mum.” Ginny reiterated hugging her mother tightly, “I love you.”
“I love you too, Ginny dear.” She replied hugging back, “Let’s go get you fed. Don’t want to get married on an empty stomach and you most likely won’t stop for the rest of the day.”
Mrs. Weasley’s words came from experience and so Ginny quickly found herself in the Entrance Hall at Hogwarts, inside a tent that had been erected to keep her out of sight. She could hear from the healthy thunder of conversation that filled the air that the Great Hall was full and it was only a matter of time before the wedding started.
Guests looked around in amazement at the elegant roses and white lights that decorated the Great Hall. The wedding started with the seating of the parents by the groomsmen, Neville, Seamus, Dean, Ron, and Bill, all looking especially sharp in their matching dress robes. Bill escorted his mother to her place of honor on the front row as the Mother of the Bride. Remus had objected at first, but Harry had insisted that he was the closest thing that Harry had to family; and so Ron followed behind with Tonks and Remus, to seat them in the place of Harry’s parents.
The three tolls of the bell told the time and the Great Hall went silent. Susan Bones, of Hufflepuff, sang, “Bless the Broken Road” in her strong soprano voice. Guests applauded her and then the lights dimmed, the little fairy lights illuminating the path along the aisle as the processional, “Canon in D” filled the air. The groomsmen filed in wearing tuxedos with gray patterned vests. First Dean came in, then Seamus, Bill, Neville and finally Ron with a vest and tie of a darker gray. An extremely nervous looking Harry was the last to enter, wearing his own tuxedo of the same pattern in black.
The big door at the back of the hall opened and the bridesmaids entered in dresses of sage green each carrying a single white rose. They proceeded down the aisle, first Grace, then Kate, then Nicola, and then Luna. Hermione, the Matron of Honor, came down the aisle wearing a matching dress in emerald green.
Teddy Lupin, Harry’s godson, was the ring bearer. He came down the aisle looking uncomfortable, as little boys are apt to be when dressed up. The serious look on his young face made a rash of laughter break out among the guests as he focused on his important task. He went presented the rings to Ron as he’d been told and his face lit up as he completed his job causing another round of laughter. He raced to his father and sat down as Molly and Marie, Ginny’s twin nieces, in their own little sage green dresses, skipped up the aisle scattering white rose petals in their path. The sweet little girls caused an “Awww!” to escape from the women in the audience. Fleur was forced to drag them to their seats after they ran out of rose petals and began waving at the audience.
Of course, the entrance of the bride was next.
The great door, which had closed as the little ones made their way up the aisle capturing everyone’s attention, now creaked open to reveal Ginny and her father. The old man wore his best new suit and a proud smile as he escorted his only daughter down the aisle. She though, wore her beautiful wedding dress with pride and happiness. It was a strapless full a-line dress with Alençon French lace on the bodice and appliqué work on the skirt. Her deep red hair was styled into an elegant bun adorned with flowers. The bouquet she carried was full of the white roses that were all around, but it also contained the traditional wizarding herbs. The eight herbs in the bouquet were: Amaranth for everlasting love, Dock for patience, Hyacinth for fertility, Sage for health, Edelweiss for courage and devotion, Ivy for fidelity, Marjoram for happiness, and Rue to protect from evil were included in every witch's bouquet.
Talking with Hermione later, Ron found out that at the beginning of the procession, before he saw Ginny, Harry, though pale and tense, was smiling and tearing up just a little bit. When he saw Ginny for the first time in her dress, however, to quote Hermione, “He just lit up. He had a huge smile on his face, and his green eyes just glowed. It was a perfect reaction.”
The lights brightened as Professor McGonagall, who was presiding over the service, asked who gave the bride away to be joined in holy matrimony. Mr. Weasley replied, “Her mother and I”, and with a small kiss, he gave her hand to Harry, and the bride and groom came together for the first time. Professor McGonagall then gave a few thoughts on love, marriage, and what it should be.
The vows were exchanged, and then another emotional moment occurred. Harry was first to pledge, and he made it through wonderfully. He was smiling, but concentrating...you could see that he wanted everything to be perfect, “I, Harry James Potter, do take thee, Ginerva Molly Weasley, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To honor, respect, and to hold thy needs before mine own. To keep you as my one true love as fate has ordained, for all of my life. This day I affirm before all witnesses my undying loyalty and pledge to forsake all others for you. To uphold you in sickness and health, to be your best friend, sharing in our happiness and sorrow, to always have compassion and love without reservation or reward. Though life may be rich or poor, to thee alone will I hold. To you this day before all I pledge this vow.”
When Ginny’s turn came to repeat the vows, she started strongly. Professor McGonagall repeated, “To be my lawfully wedded husband” and for a couple of seconds there was a deafening silence. Then, Ginny tearfully spoke perhaps the happiest words she had ever said in her life, “I, Ginerva Molly Weasley, do take thee, Harry James Potter, to be my lawfully wedded husband…”
The emotion charged behind the words was clearly evident; it was not simply a recitation. It was a heart pouring out words that meant more to her than simply speaking them could show. It struck the room most as one of the most powerful moments in the service; power in frailty. It truly was a beautiful thing.
Next, the rings were exchanged. Professor McGonagall again made some comments, this time about how rings were symbolic of eternity because they were circular and was made of precious metal that could never be altered. At this point, she lightened up the mood considerably by telling Harry that if he had “picked a good ring like we all hope you did”, it would not tarnish either.
Mrs. Weasley and Tonks then came up as the lights were dimmed and the song “Because You Loved Me” played in the background, and lit two smaller candles that represented the two families. The couple then took up these smaller candles and lit the unity candle, a huge white taper with pressed flower petals in it. This act was something Hermione and Grace had seen at the muggle weddings that they’d been to with their families.
Then the moment arrived. By the power of her authority as Headmistress and holder of the Order of Merlin 2nd Class, Professor McGonagall pronounced Harry and Ginny husband and wife. Harry kissed his bride, a deep passionate kiss, as the audience cheered and whistled, egging the couple on. Harry broke off the kiss a moment later, grinning sheepishly, as Professor McGonagall announced, “I now present to you: Mr. and Mrs. Harry James Potter”. The newlyweds gave each other identical smiles and then proceeded down the aisle to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole as the Great Hall applauded them raucously.
“To you, Harry and Ginny, may your happiness never cease!” there was a great cheer of agreement as everyone toasted the newlyweds, drinking from a goblet of pumpkin juice.
“Hmmm…” Harry murmured, “Not a bad toast. I was expecting Ron’s speak to be worse than that, you know.”
Ginny smiled devilishly, “Well, I might have threatened his life if he ruined my wedding.”
“You? Never.” Harry went along, chuckling at his mischievous bride.
Strains of music were heard and Ginny grabbed Harry and pulled him towards the dance floor that had been erected in the middle of the Great Hall. The DJ, Lee Jordan, called out, “It’s time for the happy couple’s first dance!” The slow strains of “Greatest Story Ever Told” filled the room as Harry and Ginny made it to the center of the desearted dance floor. They held each other as the lights dimmed again, the spotlight resting firmly on them. No one joined them on the dance floor for this song, instead the guests, friends, and family just watched as the couple stared into each other’s eyes as if no one else was in the room. It was the second most romantic moment of the day.
Soon enough their dance was over and it was time for the Bride’s dance with her father. Giving his daughter a dashing formal bow, Mr. Weasly took Ginny’s hand from Harry and led her back out onto the dance floor. Tears filled Ginny’s eyes as she listened to the song her father had chosen. In true Arthur Weasley fashion, he’d settled on a muggle song called, “I Loved Her First”.
“Daddy,” she began trying to find words.
He smiled, knowing and replied, “I know, Pumpkin. I know.”
Other fathers and their daughters quickly joined in the special dance, smiling with the bond that only a father shares with his daughter.
The last special dance was a complete surprise. Harry nodded at Lee who cued up a new song and announced, “Now it’s time for the Groom’s dance with his mom.” Everyone looked confused except for Ginny who smiled as Harry bowed to her mother and took her hand pointing out, “You’ve always been a mom to me.” They danced slowly to the song that Harry had picked, “Thanks for Being a Perfect Mom”. Needless to say, Mrs. Weasley sobbed happily through the whole thing.
The real dancing got underway after that and Harry and Ginny’s wedding reception turned out to be quite the party. The children had a spot of trouble when Teddy lead Owen and the Twins in trying to open up the huge mountain of gifts that they were convinced belonged to them. Their parents weren’t too thrilled about this, but the only real incidents occurred when they shoved cake in each other’s faces after cutting the beautiful confection made lovingly by Mrs. Weasley and when Fred and George charmed the wedding party to look like chickens when the Chicken dance was played.
“Come on, Mrs. Potter.” Harry said with a grin, “It’s time to make our escape.”
“Oh, Mrs. Potter, doesn’t that sound nice.” Ginny sighed.
Nodding toward the exit hall, he replied, “It sounds just about perfect.”
Hermione caught them trying to edge towards the door and cried out, “Stop right there!” Everyone froze, looking toward Hermione as she carried little Rose, her new daughter, towards the couple, “Don’t think you’re getting away without hugs.” After this of course, everyone had to have a hug from Great Auntie Muriel down to little Teddy Lupin.
As the sun set, Harry and Ginny ran out of the entrance hall as the guests sprayed them with gold sparks instead of the traditional muggle rice. They raced down the front steps into the giant carriage that Madame Maxime had lent as her gift to the couple as family and friends shouted advice and good wishes. The giant winged horses quickly glided away up into the air, bearing them off to their honeymoon and a happy life.
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