People cry at weddings. Mum is crying now, smiling through her tears. She's been waiting for this day for years, ever since Hermione first visited the Burrow. Polite and smart and beautiful - what more could any mother ask for in a daughter-in-law? I saw her watching Hermione carefully, watching Hermione and Ron, smiling whenever she saw any hint of intimacy between them, waiting for it to become something more. It took a while, of course. It wasn't until seventh year that they finally got together. Before that, I'd never been quite sure whether Ron liked her or not. We don't talk that much, really. I mean, we talk about silly things that don't matter much, and our family, and school, but not the things that really matter.
Hermione was a different story. I knew she was in love with him. I knew even before she told me.
"Ginny, I think I'm in love with Ron," she said in a rush. We were walking around Hogsmeade and it was sunny, for once. I remember because the way the sun caught her hair made it shine. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know how he felt about her. So I asked whether she'd told him.
"No! No, of course not. I couldn't. Not yet."
"I can't believe you're in love with my brother."
"I know. It's Ron. I - I don't know what happened. But he's kind and he's thoughtful and he's just - oh, he's just - Ron!" She laughed, and she looked impossibly happy.
People cry at weddings. Harry is trying not to cry now. I know it's hard for him to see his two best friends joined together in something that he can't be a part of him. And maybe he loves her. I don't know. I know that it's hurting him, right now, to have lost something that he can never have again. They'll have children and be a family, and he'll always be the friend, the outsider, excluded.
He didn't say much when they told him. He put on a smile and pretended to be happy for them, but I watched him later. He just stared miserably at the two of them as they laughed together. I tried to smile at him to make him feel better, but I don't think it helped either of us.
People cry at weddings. Hermione looks like she's about to burst into tears. This is the happiest day of her life and I've never seen her look more beautiful. She looks at Ron and I know that in her mind he is the handsomest man on the planet, the only person for her. They're going to spend the rest of their lives together. They're going to be forever intertwined, no longer two separate pieces but one complete whole.
People cry at weddings. I can feel the tears trickling down my face, now, and I know they're not happy tears like Mum's and Hermione's. But I'll pretend they are, for the moment. Pretend I'm delighted for her, my new sister-in-law, as she marries the man of her dreams. Pretend I'm not hoping that she'll decide that it's all wrong, that he's not the Weasley she wants.
They're being pronounced husband and wife. Beside me, Harry is struggling to stay in control. I reach out and touch his hand. He holds mine tightly as Ron kisses her. She's beautiful. She's amazing. She's his.