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                                                        Chapter 22: New Arrivals

Expelliarmus!” yelled Cho, and her opponents wand soared gracefully through the air and landed in her hand. Harry was sitting in the stands with the other Aurors in training and they all jumped up to cheer for her. Dean let out a long whistle and she beamed at him. They were in their first day of their Auror exams and the first examination had to do with dueling. There were five duels and if you could overcome your opponent three out of five times you passed. Cho had done exactly that and now she ran back up to the stands to sit down next to Dean with a smile on her face.

“Really well done Cho!” said Harry earnestly.

“Thanks Harry!” she said, “I’m really glad you and Seamus helped me practice throwing off the Imperius Curse.” With that she smiled and turned her attention to the arena so she could cheer on Dean who was going next.

     Harry and Cho had finally reached a somewhat comfortable place, she seemed to have finally gotten over him completely and now was happily going steady with Dean who seemed to absolutely adore her. Dean made it through his dueling test beating his opponent four out of five times. He came back to the stand and re-claimed his seat next to Cho. Then it was Harry’s turn he walked down into the arena feeling slightly nervous. He stood and faced his opponent. It was a younger Auror that he recognized from around the office. She raised her wand a fraction of a second quicker than he did. He felt the Imperius curse take him and he quickly resisted and through it off and then thought the word, stupefy, and the girl went flying backwards and landed on the ground.

“Round one goes to you then Mr. Potter.” She said with a smile, she quickly flicked her wand again but this time Harry was read for her. He shouted Protegio! and created a shield between them that protected him from her jelly-legs jinx.

     The rounds went on like this for the next twenty minutes and by the time they were done, Harry had beaten her a perfect five out of five times. He went back to his seat feeling rather good about his performance.

     He took a seat next to Seamus who had already passed his test. Seamus had seemed particularly quiet that day which was unusual for him.

“You alright Seamus?” said Harry.

“Yeah I’m fine... never better!” he said with slightly too much enthusiasm.

     He and Harry sat and watched as Draco began his duel. He, like Harry, was having no trouble at all. Suddenly Seamus spoke again.

“I broke up with Lavender yesterday.” He said.

“Oh…” said Harry, then a thought came to him, “it wasn’t because of…”

“Nah it wasn’t because of Ron...” Seamus finished for him, “I think she really is finally over him, it just wasn’t right you know? No matter how hard I tried to make it work, she’s just not the one.”

“Yeah….” said Harry and his eyes moved briefly to Cho Chang, “I know how that feels.”

“How did she take it?” Harry added.

“She was ok…I think she’s been feeling the same thing, she just didn’t want to be the one to end it you know?” said Seamus, Harry nodded and they went back to sitting in silence. After a moment Seamus spoke again.

“Harry… how did you know? That Ginny was the girl for you, I mean what tipped you off in the end?” he asked.

     Harry sat there thinking. He wasn’t quite sure how to answer that question. In truth he didn’t think that there really was an answer that would make much sense.

“I don’t know…” he answered truthfully, “but I think… that’s it’s not something that you can pick out, there aren’t clear cut signs or anything. It just….is. I mean I look at Ginny and I couldn’t tell you why but everything inside me from the top of my head to the tips of my feet tells me that she is the only girl I will ever love. I think when you find her, something inside you will just know.”

     Seamus smiled at him and then stared off at nothing for a few moments. He seemed very deeply lost in his thoughts.

“It sounds wonderful…” he said almost wishfully.

“It is…” said Harry earnestly, he patted Seamus on the shoulder, “You’ll get there some day...” he said encouragingly.

“Thanks Harry…” said Seamus with a grin, and they both stood to applaud Malfoy who had just finished his duel.

     Their examiners told them that they would have an hour long break for their lunch before coming back to take the second half of their defensive magic examination.

“Hey why don’t you come have lunch with Ron, Draco, and I?” said Harry.

“Really?” said Seamus enthusiastically, “that’d be great!”

     Draco usually went home for his lunch break to eat with Pansy but every Monday he would stay at the Ministry to have lunch with Ron and Harry. While Ron and Draco would never become bosom buddies they had fallen into a comfortable routine in which they were more like rivaling brothers than enemies, and they got along just fine. They met Ron in the cafeteria and they had a very enjoyable lunch, they all laughed and talked with each other, and Harry could tell Seamus’s melancholy mood was all but gone. As they were leaving to head back to work Ron pulled Harry aside for a moment. The other two headed back waving goodbye but not before Ron got in a smart remark.

“Oi! Malfoy, have fun waving your wand around and acting like you’re important!” he called, his voice was somewhat derisive but he was smirking.

     Draco turned back to him with the same teasing smile on his face.

“Not like you could go through it Weasley! You might scratch your pretty face, and you’re a celebrity now!” he said and then both he and Seamus laughed and kept walking.

“I’m on the radio you stupid git no one sees my face!” Ron shouted after them, but they just laughed all the harder and waved goodbye to him over their shoulders.

“I’ve got to get back soon too Ron,” said Harry, “What’s up?”

“Oh I was just wondering if you want to come to Diagon Alley with me after work and then we could head home together?” said Ron.

“Sure… what for?” said Harry.

“I’ll tell you after work.” said Ron with a smile.

     Harry met Ron in the Atrium at four o’clock, he was completely exhausted. The second half of their defensive Magic exam had dealt with magical creatures, and he had the luck of the draw to get a dragon, and boggart, and a sphinx. He had passed with flying colors but he was now more tired than he had been in over a year. He also had a large burn on the side of his head that was covered in sticky yellow paste. It no longer hurt but it was starting to itch and it was annoying him. The Healer said he could wash it off after an hour.

“Well you look lovely.” Ron said sarcastically, when Harry showed up, “I think the yellow goes nicely with your black hair you should think about keeping it.”

     Harry punched him in the arm while Ron chuckled at him.

“I HAD to be the one to get chosen to fight a dragon…” he muttered, “So why are we going to Diagon Alley anyway?” he said as they started walking slowly with the crowd towards the fireplaces.

“Well… Hermione’s been feeling lonely with me not at the house…” said Ron, “She’s there all day by herself you know, and even when she starts school next week, her school ends a few hours earlier than work. So I decided maybe we should have a pet, to keep her company.”

“What ever happened to Crookshanks?” said Harry curiously.

     Ron’s face got very somber at this and he looked seriously at Harry.

“Hermione sent him with her parents when she sent them to Australia. She thought he’d be safer there, since she couldn’t bring him on the run with us. When we went to pick them up last summer her Mum told us that he’d died during the year. It wasn’t that surprising, I mean he was pretty old when she got him, but she took it really hard. She really loved that mangy old cat you know?” said Ron.

“Yeah…” said Harry, he was slightly saddened by the news, “he was a pretty cool cat, he was friends with Sirius when he was a dog, and he tried to warn us about Wormtail.”

“Yeah he was quite the old fighter.” said Ron.

“So are you going to get her another cat?” said Harry.

“No I had another idea.” Said Ron, “Come on I’ll show you.” He added.

     They had just reached one of the fireplaces and they stepped in and said, Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, a moment later they were standing in the back of the shop. Ron had apparently informed his brothers that he was coming because they simply waved in greeting as Harry and Ron walked out of the back room, across the shop, and through the front door. They walked across the street to the Magical Menagerie shop where Hermione had first bought Crookshanks. These people also seemed to be expecting Ron.

“Ah Mr. Weasley! How nice to see you we’re all set up for you in the back!” said a kind looking lady who was standing behind the counter.

     She ushered them towards a room door that was behind the counter and as they walked forward Harry gave Ron a questioning look.

“I sent them an owl earlier today letting them know what I was looking for, and they said they’d have them ready at four fifteen so I could choose.” He explained.

“Have what ready?” said Harry, but they had just stepped through the door and his question was immediately answered.

     They were in a large room that was obviously used to let people interact with the animals. In the middle of the room was a huge circular play pen with twenty adorable squirming puppies in it of many different shapes and sizes.

“What were you looking for Mr. Weasley?” said the sales woman.

“Well I don’t want something too small…” said Ron who was playing with a very cute German Sheppard puppy, “because I want my fiancé to feel like our dog could protect her if I wasn’t there, and our family as well, you know… eventually.”

     Harry who had picked up a lovable little dachshund puppy and was petting it, now looked down at the puppy.

“I think Ron’s saying you won’t be intimidating when you grow up.” He said to the puppy with a smile, and the puppy responded by licking his nose, Ron rolled his eyes.

“You know what I mean….” He said, “that little guy is precious, and I know Hermione’d love him, but he’s not going to scare away anyone who might try to hurt her when I’m not around… unless maybe he bit their toes off.” He and Harry both laughed at that.

     The clerk encouraged them to take as long as they liked and play with all the puppies. They had a great time throwing them balls and watching them chase their tales and tackle each other. Ron was completely undecided, he was leaning towards the Irish wolf hound puppy but he worried that it would get too big. He also thought Hermione might think the poodle was sweet but the sales lady told him they were very high maintenance.

     Harry’s eyes suddenly fell on a very fluffy little puppy. It had soft extremely bushy fur that was a dark reddish brown. The reason it had caught his attention is because it’s fur and it’s movement looked extremely similar to Ron’s Patronus.

“What breed is this one?” he asked the lady.

“That’s an Airedale Terrier.” She said, “They have a lot of energy and they like to run around but they’re wonderfully sweet dogs.”

     Ron was now examining the puppy too. He took it from Harry and the puppy immediately snuggle it’s head under Ron’s chin affectionately.

“Hey there little guy….” Said Ron, “Harry doesn’t he kind of look like my…”

“Yeah… that’s why I noticed him.” said Harry with a smile.

“How big will he get?” said Ron.

She will stand somewhere around two feet tall at the shoulders when she’s full grown.” said the lady.

“That’s not a bad size girlie!” said Ron to the puppy, then he turned his attention back to Harry, “you think Hermione will like her?” he said.

“Yeah I think she’ll love her,” said Harry, with a smile.

“I’ll take her.” said Ron to the sales lady.

     Harry and Ron walked out of the shop a few minutes later. Ron was holding a carrying basket with a blanket over it that concealed the little puppy inside. They decided to Apparate home because they didn’t want to take the puppy through the Flu, they Apparated to the end of their street so they could enjoy the walk down it in the warm late summer air. When they got to Ron and Hermione’s house Ron turned to Harry with a smile.

“You wanna come with me to show her the puppy?” he said.

“Yeah alright,” said Harry with a grin.

     They walked up the walk way to the front door and Ron opened it carefully. He set the basket on the floor behind him and checked to see that his robes hid it. Just then Hermione came running down the stairs beaming.

“You’re home!” she said and she ran into his arms, “Hi Harry! What are you doing here?” she said happily as she finished hugging her fiancé.

“He just popped by for a minute before heading home.” said Ron.

“Oh ok…” she said, “Well let's go in the living room.”

“Wait a minute…” said Ron, “I have a surprise for you..”

“Honestly Ron… if you give me anymore surprises I think I might not be able to take it.” teased Hermione with a smirk.

     Ron smiled at her and put his arm around her waist as he continued talking.

“Remember what you were telling me last night before we fell asleep? That you’ve been feeling lonely here everyday while we’re at work? And how you’ve been missing having Crookshanks around?” he said.

“Yes…” she said softly.

     Ron pulled the basket out from behind him and Hermione gasped in excitement.

“It’s not a cat…” he said quickly, Harry could tell he didn’t want her to think it was and then be disappointed, “I thought that I could kill two birds with one stone, and buy you a pet that would keep you company and also help you feel a bit safer when I’m not here…” he explained.

     Hermione looked at him quizzically, but at that moment the puppy give a little whimper and stuck her nose out from under the blanket, apparently she had gotten impatient and wanted to see her new surroundings. The minute Hermione saw her she shrieked in happiness and scooped her out of the basket.

“Oh Ron!!!” she gasped, “It’s so beautiful! Is it a boy or a girl?”

“She’s a girl.” He said.

     Hermione held the puppy up so she could look at it. The puppy wiggled all over with excitement and tried to lick her nose. It seemed to like Hermione very much.

“She’s a terrier isn’t she? Oh she’s going to look just like your Patronus when she grows up. She’s so perfect!” said Hermione excitedly, she hugged the puppy tightly and it cuddled against her contentedly.

“Do you know what you’re going to call her?” asked Harry.

“What do you think Ron?” said Hermione immediately.

     Ron shook his head and smiled at her.

“She’s your dog Hermione, I want you to name her.” He said.

“I think I’m going to call her Amelia.” Said Hermione, looking down at the puppy, “My favorite book when I was a child was about a dog named Amelia.”

“Sounds great…” said Harry, “Well I’m going to let you guys introduce your new family member to the house, and I’m gonna go home and see Ginny.” He said and he opened the door.

“Ok Harry! See you soon!” said Hermione cheerfully.

     Harry walked up the road smiling, when he got to his gate he saw Ginny standing in the door way with her arms crossed, and he immediately felt guilty. He had forgotten to tell her he was going to Diagon Alley with Ron.

“You’re late Harry Potter, and what on earth happened to you?” She said accusingly, as he walked up to her.

“I had to fight a dragon in my test today, and I know I’m late….” He said meekly as he wrapped her in his arms. “I’m sorry….” He whispered, as he gave her a long slow kiss.

“So where were you?” said Ginny a few moments later, her voice still held a hint of annoyance but she cuddled against him and smiled.

“Ron asked me to go to Diagon Alley with him to buy a puppy for Hermione, and I forgot to tell you.” Said Harry apologetically, but there was no need. At the mention of the word puppy Ginny’s eyes lit up like sparklers and grew very wide.

“Hermione has a puppy!” she said excitedly, “ooooo when do I get to see it??”

     Harry laughed and kissed her nose.

“We could probably go down and see it after dinner if you like,” he said.

“Oh I can’t wait I love puppies!” she said, and they both went inside to have dinner together.

“Harry will you please go get him ready to go??” said Ginny impatiently.

     It was Saturday afternoon and Ginny and Harry were getting ready to go to Hogwarts to visit Hagrid. At that exact moment Harry was playing with Teddy in the living room, they were playing Teddy’s favorite game which he simply called monster. Harry would hide behind the couch and Teddy would sneak to the edge and peak around it, Harry would roar at him and Teddy would run a way giggling.

“Ok…” said Harry, he got up off his knees and picked up his godson, who was still laughing hysterically.

     Harry trumped up the stairs with Teddy and took him to his room. He pulled out a pair of his little jeans and a red t-shirt. He plopped Teddy down on the floor to change him but before he could catch him Teddy ran across the room to his bed and grabbed his stuffed wolf. Teddy refused to go out of the house without it. Teddy sat down on his bed and looked at the picture next to it.

“Mama a Da-dee?” he said when he looked from the picture to Harry.

“Yes that’s your Mama and Daddy.” said Harry gently as he sat down on the bed next to Teddy.

     They had this conversation at least once a day whenever Teddy was over lately. He was in a very curious stage, and he asked hundreds of questions.

“You’re Mommy and Daddy loved you very much. You were their most special gift.” Harry told the little boy as he began to undress him and put his new outfit on, “they were very brave, and they fought to keep the bad guys from winning, to keep you safe. They are always with you in your heart.” He put the boys hand on his heart as he said this.

“mama a da-dee ii ma hawt?” asked Teddy looking from his heart to Harry.

     Harry knew he was too young to truly understand yet, but he wanted to make sure that Teddy remembered knowing this from the time he was little. He wanted him to always know how much his parents loved him.

“That’s right buddy.” He said softly.

“Are my boys ready to go?” said Ginny, who had come to the door.

“I think so…” said Harry with a smile, “You ready bud?”

“Yes…” said Teddy, he picked up his wolf and kissed the picture of his parents, then toddled over to his Aunt Ginny who swooped him up in her arms.

     Harry felt very nostalgic in that moment. He marveled at how much Teddy had grown in the past year and a half, he was so grown up now. They all walked out of the room and as they were walking down the stairs Teddy kissed Ginny on the cheek and wrapped his arms around her neck.

“Luff you A Gi-ee” he said.

“Oh I love you too sweetheart.” she said and she hugged him.

     They walked down the road and met Ron and Hermione outside there house. They all turned on the spot and Apparated to the gates of Hogwarts. Teddy was fussing a bit as they walked up the hill, he never liked Apparating. Ginny had gotten him calmed down within a few minutes.

“So any ideas what this big news Luna was talking about is?” said Ron.

“Nope… when we told Hagrid we wanted to come visit him he was annoyingly secretive about it.” said Ginny as she sifted Teddy’s weight from one hip to the other.

     They all came in sight of Hagrid’s house and they stopped dead. The house that they saw before them bore some resemblance to Hagrid’s house but if they hadn’t seen Hogwarts sitting farther up the hill they might have thought they’d Apparated to the wrong place. The house before them was still stone and it still had a thatched roof, but instead of Hagrid’s one room hut, it was a sprawling stone house with at least three large round rooms put together in a honeycomb type pattern and a second story above what seemed to be the original house. They all looked at each other in confusion.

     They walked up to the door, which seemed to be the same, and they knocked. Hagrid opened the door with a big grin.

“Hello you lot!” he said cheerfully, “What do ya think?” he opened the door and motioned around at his new house.

     What had once been Hagrid’s entire house was now a large living room, the fireplace was in the same place but it now was surrounded by an enormous couch and three big chairs made out of unfinished wood with big squishy cushions. It reminded Harry of pictures he’d seen of ski lodges, it was very cozy. There was an archway to the left of the fireplace which seemed to lead into a large kitchen, and an archway to the right that led to a dining room, where Hagrid’s big wooden table sat. There was also a beautiful wooden spiral staircase that ran around the wall of the main room and seemed to lead to the second story.

“Hagrid it’s gorgeous!” breathed Hermione, “Did they give you a bigger house because you’re the head of Gryffindor House now?”

     Hagrid chuckled and ushered them into the house. they all fit easily on his big couch and he walked back into the kitchen to get a tray of tea that he had apparently already made.

“Tha’s part of it…” he said, “I’ll tell ya the rest in a minute. Firs let me have a look at Teddy! Lord look how he’s grown, got a lot of his dad in ‘im doesn’ he?”

     Teddy looked up at the big man in alarm and squirmed closer to Ginny when Hagrid reached out for him. Hagrid’s face fell and Harry quickly jumped in.

“Don’t worry Hagrid, he just doesn’t know you that well, he’ll warm up to you.” He said then he turned his attention to his godson.

“That’s Hagrid Teddy…” he said softly, “He’s your friend; you don’t have to be afraid.”

     Teddy looked warily for a moment from Harry and Hagrid.

“Hagid?” he said questioningly.

“Yes Hagrid, he’s our friend…” said Harry again patiently.

     Teddy seemed to relax and a short while later he was running all over the house chasing Fang the boar hound who seemed to think the little boy was his new best friend.

“I’ll be… he’s grown up fast...” said Hagrid with a smile, “So how are you all? Passed your Auror exams there Harry?”

“Yup, all the new Aurors did actually. Anton said it was the first time in eight years that no one has failed a single section of the exams. The all tried to tell him it was because I trained most of them in Dumbledore’s Army of course, but I think they’re just talented.” said Harry.

“Well you would think that…” said Ron with a smirk, and Hagrid chuckled.

“You ready to start school again Hermione?” Hagrid continued.

“Oh yes,” said Hermione happily, “I start on Monday and I’m so excited. I heard there are twenty Wizards from different places all over the world who are going to be in my class it’s going to be wonderful!”

“It sounds it…” said Hagrid, “How bout you Ginny liking Gringotts?”

“Yeah it’s a hoot…” she said dismissively, and then she gave him a determined look, “So are you going to stop beating around the bush by asking about work and tell us what in the world is going on with your house?” she said pointedly.

     Harry turned slightly red and gave her a guilty shrug. The rest of them looked at him curiously.

“All righ… you caught me Ginny… Somethin kinda big has happened in my life…well not quite yet... but it will very soon.” He said.

“What’s happened Hagrid?” said Harry in interest.

“Well ya see…” he began, “I’m not as young as I once was… and the older I get the more I begin to feel kinda lonely. I’ve never really had anyone else who was like me… then I met Olympe, ya remember… Madam Maxine?”

     They all nodded their heads in remembrance. They had known in their fourth year that Hagrid had a sort of fling with the giant Head mistress of Beauxbatons Academy. But they hadn’t seen her since so they had assumed it had died out.

“Well she an I have kept in touch ever since we met see?” said Hagrid, “An we’ve been talkin lately… bout how we’ve both been feelin rather lonely.”

     Hagrid took a deep breath and looked around at them like he was about to make an announcement.

“So Olympe has resigned as Headmistress at Beauxbatons an she’s gonna move up here with me.” He said happily.

“Oh Hagrid that’s so wonderful!!” said Hermione excitedly and she jumped up to hug him, everyone else followed suit and Hagrid looked around at them happily.

“Are you two going to get married?” asked Ginny.

“Well… we haven’t really talked ‘bout that…” said Hagrid, “I mean I don’t expect we’ll be havin any children cuz we’re both getting on in years, we just know we care ‘bout each other a whole lot, an we wanna be together.” He shrugged in a sort of noncommittal way.

“Well I think that’s wonderful Hagrid.” said Harry with a smile, and Hagrid beamed at him.

     Just then Teddy walked up to Hagrid and reached his hands up to be picked up. Hagrid looked down at him in surprise but picked him up easily with one hand, Teddy pulled on Hagrid long beard and giggled as Hagrid tickled his tummy.

“See, I told you that he would warm up to you Hagrid.” said Harry with a smile.

     They spent another few hours with Hagrid and only after Teddy had fallen asleep with Fang in his basket did they finally tell Hagrid they should be getting home. They said their goodbyes and then walked out of the grounds to Apparate.

“So what do you make of that?” said Ron as they walked, “I definitely didn’t see that one coming.”

“Yeah, but I think it’s really sweet,” said Ginny, “Hagrid deserves to be happy.”

     When they got back to Godric’s Hollow Harry and Ginny parted ways with Ron and Hermione at their house and then walked back up the road towards their own little home, Harry shifted the weight of his sleeping godson and as he did he wrinkled his nose.

“We’re going to have to give Teddy a bath…” he said, “He smells like Fang.”

     Ginny laughed as she opened the door to the house and let Harry through with the sleeping baby.

“We’ll give him one in the morning. I don’t want to wake him he looks so peaceful.” She said as she kissed his little head.

     Harry and Ginny changed Teddy into his pajamas and put him in his bed he sighed and pulled his stuffed wolf close to him as he slept.

“I love you Teddy,” said Harry as he kissed his godson on the head and then left the room.

“Hermione are you sure we’re at the right spot?” said Ron a few days later.

     They were standing on a street in the middle of Muggle London, they were supposed to be meeting Hermione’s mother. She was taking Hermione and Ginny to look at Muggle wedding gowns, because both of them had decided not to wear robes. Harry and Ron had come along because Mrs. Granger had said she wanted to take them all out to lunch later, and they wanted to give their opinions where they were allowed.

“Of course this is the right spot Ron, my Mum used to pick me up here all the time.” Said Hermione impatiently, “look here she is now.”

     A pale blue care pulled up beside them and the all hopped in. Ron, Ginny, and Harry got in the back seat and Hermione hopped in the front seat with her Mum.

“Hello all!” said Mrs. Granger brightly, she looked at them in the rear view mirror as she pulled back out into traffic, “nice to see you again Ron and Harry. You must be Ginny, Hermione’s told me so much about you, it’s wonderful to finally meet you.”

“It’s nice to meet you as well Mrs. Granger,” said Ginny.

“Oh please dear you can call me Jean,” said Mrs. Granger, “that goes for you too Harry, and Ron dear you can, of course, call me Mum now.” She said with a smile.

“Thanks… Mum.” said Ron slightly awkwardly but he grinned.

“Now I’m taking the girls to a boutique on Helms street, there’s a game arcade across the street so I thought that would give you boys something to do.” she said.

     Ron leaned over to Harry and quietly asked him what a game arcade was. Harry grinned and said he’d show him when they got there. When they pulled up to the boutique it was a fancy little store that had windows full of lace with large poufy white gowns in them. They went inside and Harry was overwhelmed, he thought they might drown in the sea of white fabric that surrounded them. There were hundreds of dresses on racks, and as soon as they walked through the door a group of women converged on them, they began asking Ginny and Hermione if they were there for wedding dresses, and then they asked who was the bride, when they said they both were brides they each seemed to have a woman assigned to them whose job it was to get them anything they wanted. The women asked if Ron and Harry if they were the grooms, Harry looked at Ron who seemed just as overwhelmed as he was, they cautiously answered yes. The women asked if they were going to be staying to watch the girls try on dresses, and both girls automatically said no.

“What??” said Harry indignantly, he really wanted to watch, he looked over and Ron looked very disappointed as well.

“I don’t want you to see my dress before the wedding I want it to be a surprise.” said Ginny.

“That goes for me too,” said Hermione.

“Then why are we even here?” said Ron grumpily.

“Because we want to have lunch with you, and also because I want your opinion on what kind of dress I should look for.” said Hermione as she put her arms around his neck and kissed him she pulled back and smiled, “so how do you want me to wear my hair? So I can know when I try on veils.” She said with a smile.

“I want you to wear it up.” said Ron immediately, “I love your hair when it’s up, and you have such a pretty neck.”

     Hermione smiled and giggled slightly.

“And as far as your dress, just don’t get anything to frilly; I like you in more simple stuff. Like what you wore to the ball. That dress was really classy, just like you.” Said Ron, and then he kissed her again.

“Hey you, same questions.” said Ginny to Harry with a teasing smile. He put his arms around her waist and kissed her before he answered.

“Wear your hair down…” he said as he ran his hand through it, “I love the way your hair flows, its absolutely breathtaking.”

“and as far as the dress goes, get anything your heart desires I love you no matter what you’re wearing.” He said, and she giggled.

“Thanks a lot Harry that’s very helpful.” She said with a teasing swat to his shoulder, he shrugged guiltily and then turned to face both Ginny and Hermione.

“Right… you two have your money yes?” he said. He had gone to Gringotts and exchanged four hundred galleons which turned out to equal two thousand pounds. He had split this up evenly between the girls to buy their dresses and veils and whatever other wedding things girls bought.

“Yes, and thank you again Harry,” said Hermione, “I can’t believe you’re doing this for me.”

“Consider it a ‘thank you for everything you endured to help me’ gift.” Said Harry with a smile then he turned to Ron, “come on let’s let them do their girl stuff for awhile.” He said and he and Ron walked out the door.

     Harry saw the arcade that Mrs. Granger had been talking about across the street, they quickly crossed and went inside. Harry saw that the place had a ping pong table, a pool table and a few old arcade style games playing bad tunes. He asked the man behind the counter for a seat of balls and two cue sticks and he spent the better part of the next hour trying to teach Ron how to play pool. Ron was a faster learner and by the time the girls joined them around noon he was already beating Harry consistently.

“Where are your dresses?” Ron asked curiously as they all headed back towards the car.

“Oh Ron, you don’t just walk out of a shop like that with a dress.” said Ginny, “you have to order the one you like and then you pick it up once it comes in.”

“Well sorry…” said Ron, “How was I supposed to know…”

“But you both found dresses you like?” said Harry.

“Oh yes we both found perfect ones,” said Hermione happily, “I know you’re going to love Ginny’s Harry she looks so ravishing in it.”

“I bet she does…” said Harry with a smile.

     Mrs. Granger took them to a restaurant in a near by mall. Apparently this was a place she often took Hermione to eat because they both seemed to know the menu rather well. They had a very good lunch, and both Ginny and Ron were especially good at remembering to be careful what they talked about in the middle of the Muggle restaurant. Ron summoned the salt shaker to himself once out of habit, but the minute it started to move Hermione grabbed it and made it look she might have just bumped it with her elbow. Ron gave her an apologetic look and was much more careful from that point on.

     After they ate Mrs. Granger informed them that she needed to go buy some new ties for her husband, and Hermione told her that she and Ginny had a store they wanted to stop in as well so Mrs. Granger agreed to meet them at the mall entrance in forty five minutes, and they went their separate ways.

“So where exactly are we going?” said Harry as the four of them walked through the mall.

“You’ll see…” said Ginny with an evil grin.

     A few seconds later they stopped outside a colorful shop. Harry looked inside and he felt the color begin to rise in his face. This shop seemed to be entirely devoted skimpy lingerie. Harry glanced over at Ron who was staring at the shop with his eyes bugging out and his mouth hanging open slightly. Harry thought with amusement that the last time he’d seen this look on Ron’s face he’d been looking at a girl who was part veela, apparently the thought of Hermione in some of the things in the window display had the same effect. Harry knew that as far as Ginny was concerned that was the effect it had on him.

“We thought you two might want to help us pick out this aspect of our wedding day attire.” said Ginny as she grinned up at Harry.

     Harry needed no more prompting he took Ginny’s hand and walked quickly into the store with her, and he saw that Ron and Hermione were right behind them. Hermione pulled Ron into one section of the store and Ginny pulled Harry into another. Harry sat down on a bench and watched her with enjoyment. She came back holding two separate things.

“Which one?” she said with a smile.

     The first one was black and there wasn’t much to it except strings and a few carefully positioned pieces of lace. Harry felt his blood pumping in his veins and he shifted eagerly. The second one was a sheer bottle green corset that was accented with lace.

“Definitely the green one…” he breathed.

     Ginny smiled and hung the black outfit back up and then she made to walk to the back of the store.

“Where are you going??” said Harry.

“To try it on…” said Ginny with a mischievous look.

“Don’t I get to come?” he asked.

“Nope…” she said as she grinned evilly again. Harry groaned and flopped back on the bench in disappointment.

“Do you know what you’re doing to me here Ginny?” he said his voice full of frustration.

“Yup…” she said slyly, “and it’s fun.” With that she pranced away.

“Tease!” Harry called after her with a glare, but she simply winked at him and disappeared into a dressing room.

     A few moments later Ginny came out and said she was buying the green outfit. They met Ron and Hermione at the register. Ron was looking particularly pink in the face as the lady put Hermione’s purchase in a bag. Harry caught a glimpse of crimson lace as the store clerk handed it to her. He leaned over to Ron and muttered in his ear.

“Did you get to see it on her?” he asked, Ron grinned from ear to ear and nodded his head.

“Lucky…” said Harry, “You’re sister is the meanest fiancé in the world.”

     Ron shook his head and chuckled appreciatively.

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