AN- For those who had only read the first post of chapter 39, I went back and fixed the colossal error of Greyback being able to turn people when it wasn't the full moon.

Thanks to Triage the Potterfan for Beta-ing.


Chapter 40



"I never thought I'd be pining for the last bridesmaid's dress I wore, but here I am in burnt orange wishing I could throw that thing back on me," Tonks complained as she pulled at the sides of the dress in the floor length mirror.

Ginny had to agree. Modern times certainly had the bridesmaids looking like trash in comparison to the bride. When the bride had been Fleur, the beautiful quarter-Veela, any bridesmaid would pale in comparison so the two of them had incredibly beautiful dresses for that wedding party.

It used to be that all bridesmaids would be dressed just as nice as the bride so as to confuse any manipulative spirits that wanted to spoil the day.

And yet even though Fleur was standing beside Tonks wearing the same style and color dress, she somehow managed to pull it off. Fleur looked as amazing in burnt orange as she did in everything else, even when she just had a baby. Her body had bounced back overnight after having Victoire.

"You look fine," Ginny assured Tonks. "Maybe change your hair to brunette and have it go shoulder length," she suggested.

Tonks scrunched up her face and her color and style of hair changed. It suited much better. Ginny wondered if she could somehow make her skin a shade more tan, that would suit the dress more as well.

Ginny took a turn looking at herself in the mirror. Her pale skin, freckles and dark ginger hair did not compliment the dress. The baby in her arms covered up most of the dress though and pulled focus. Perhaps if she could manage to carry the baby down the aisle instead of a bouquet no one would look at her too hard.

She could already picture Harry trying not to laugh at her as she attempted to maintain a serious expression while keeping step with the musical procession.

This was the first Sunday in a long while that Ginny had been anywhere other than the hospital.

Ginny's healing touch was well known now by all the staff on the Permanent Spell Damage ward at St. Mungo's. It had been two years since Cheryl Greenfoot, her first patient attempt, had been able to leave the ward and moved in with her mother for support. Cheryl had regained consciousness in stages at first for periods ranging from ten minutes to ten hours after Ginny had left her. The more sessions they had sat together with Ginny holding her hand the more Ginny realized that she could navigate through Cheryl's brain by sensing her feelings when their hands were clasped. After a full year of visiting her once a week instead of once a month Cheryl was waking and sleeping normally. It had felt to Ginny like she was pulling Cheryl out of a dream every time until she simply wasn't needed any more.

After her success with Cheryl, Ginny had gone to Neville and explained what she'd done and what she felt she might be capable of with his parents. He and his Grandmother were willing to try anything at this point since his parents had been essentially lost to them for nearly two decades. The experience with victims of the Cruciatus Curse hadn't been quite as peaceful as the one with Cheryl. Ginny started with Alice and her journey through Alice's mind had not been the pleasant dream-like experience it was with Cheryl. There was a lot of pain and sadness that Alice was dealing with that stemmed from her torture. After the first few minutes of their session Ginny had crumpled to a ball on the floor beside Alice's bed nearly in a catatonic state herself.

She was determined though. Neville was her friend and she didn't want to let him down. Once a week she tried to help Alice and the pain she felt grew easier to deal with each visit until the eighth attempt when Ginny made a breakthrough and Alice said her son's name for the first time.

It had been an excruciating experience for Ginny, and though she was so happy for the patients when they regained their sense of self, she was not making her ability her sole purpose in life. Cheryl Greenfoot, Alice and Frank Longbottom and Tiberius Crane had been brought back to themselves now through Ginny's touch over the span of many visits but it wasn't something Ginny could do every day. It drained her completely every time she went into the hospital to help someone so it couldn't be her only mission in life.

"Merci, Ginny," Fleur said softly as she took Victoire back out of Ginny's arms. The baby had been inconsolable by both of her parents and grandmother. Lucky for them, it was Aunt Ginny to the rescue. Her summer home between sixth and seventh year from Hogwarts Ginny wound up spending more time with Tonks and Teddy than she had with Harry or her family.

Tonks that summer had a newborn on her hands and they realized very quickly then that Ginny's touch was able to sooth little Teddy better than nursing or pain potions. Ginny had spent hours holding on to Teddy while he gurgled happily and his mother passed out on the sofa at her parent's house.

Harry had been keeping himself busy with Potter Manor and Auror Training back then. Now Potter Manor was absolutely beautiful inside and out, and the Stable House had been turned into a guest house, hardly anyone stayed there though due to the three guest rooms inside Potter Manor. Harry had hired Neville to do the landscaping, something Neville had been able to use towards his apprenticeship hours. He had let Neville run with whatever he wanted to do with the grounds and due to that Neville had made it as low maintenance as possible, but still beautiful.

Fleur was the next to be in the family way and it had been the same with Victoire as it had been with Teddy; the baby would cry and scream unrelentingly when she was worked up, but once in the hands of Aunty Ginny she was a calm little angel. Both Fleur and Tonks had given her this look when she used her special touch on their babies that was a cross between appreciation and loathing.

Ginny didn't mind them sending for her when they needed a break from the craziness of parenthood, she liked spending time with the little ones, they helped her realize that she did want kids someday, just not so soon. And she didn't even have to try to focus her energy soothing the little ones, it happened naturally, so it didn't drain her in the slightest.

The plan was still for those imaginary future children of her own to be a mix of messy ginger hair and green eyes, it was the same plan for Harry too, but both of them were in no hurry. Nor were they in a hurry to get married either.

Ron and Hermione hadn't been quite as patient.

Today Harry was standing up as Ron's Best Man, Ginny was Hermione's Maid of Honor

Ginny was happy for her brother and her friend and understood that they were ready for this next step, but to Ginny it meant they were ready to settle down with a family and she and Harry simply weren't there yet.

The two of them were still looking for adventures that sharing matching surnames didn't require. Her year apart from him at school hadn't been as difficult as she'd imagined it would be; she had been so focused on school and Quidditch and her trips to the hospital then that seeing him on the weekends and holidays was all she'd really had time for anyhow, it was likewise for him. They still had the mirror that they used to chat regularly and it had felt like it did for those few months when she had been locked away at Grimmauld and he at Hogwarts.

By the end of her school year though she'd been rather desperate to reconnect with him, so before her NEWT examinations she asked if he wanted to run away with her for a bit, she might have been only half joking at the time, but when he'd said yes they didn't second guess the decision.

For two weeks they had travelled around the continent with no concern for where they were going, simply heading to the station and hopping on whichever train left next. It hadn't been about where they were going, they just needed to be with each other. It had been relaxing and marvelous. They had spent a day here and there not even leaving their hotel room and just laying naked all day ordering in room service and enjoying the city they had wound up in through only their window.

That was three years ago now and Ginny had been playing for the Holyhead Harpies Quidditch Team for two and a half of those years. She was living at Potter Manor, but still had her own room. The majority of her belongings being in a separate room from his wasn't fooling anyone though, they spent every night together.

Sirius was living at Potter Manor as well and was putting some pressure on the two of them to make things official but they knew they'd get there eventually.

"Ladies," called a polite voice from the doorway, "the bride is almost done and I'll need you all together for photos." The man that was in charge of wrangling them gave a pause when he saw Tonks. He must have been paying more attention to their appearances that any of them thought before and it had completely slipped their minds that this was a Muggle ceremony.

Hermione had wanted her whole family to celebrate the day with her and Ron.

"D'you like my wig?" Tonks asked him brightly when she realized their mistake. "Matches the dress way better, yeah?"

"Ah!" the confusion left his face and realization dawned. "Yes, it absolutely does suit better," he gave her a wide smile before closing the door to allow their last minute adjustments.

They all gave a chuckle. Luckily the rest of Hermione's bridesmaids were getting ready in the other guestroom of her parent's house as they were her cousins and all Muggle. It turned out Hermione's parents had quite a large house and grounds which Ginny only learned a few weeks ago since they had always met up at Potter Manor or Ginny's own parents new property called 'The Warren' which was out in the country.

Ron had all of his brothers and Harry in his wedding party, so Hermione had to make up the difference with three members of her extended family.

"Where is Luna?" Ginny wondered aloud.

"In the garden," Tonks said looking out the window. "She looks to be getting cozy with one of the waitstaff."

Ginny rushed to the window, eager to get a look at that and was not disappointed. Luna did not have any qualms about public displays of affection nor did she recognize the certain social norms that meant she probably shouldn't be full on snogging someone who was responsible for clearing hers and everyone else's plates all night, particularly when she'd just met him.

There was a full brood of ginger men in the garden just past Luna and the thoroughly disheveled waiter. The men looked to be passing a flask around with a single dark-haired man that looked to be reassuring the groom.

Harry must have felt Ginny's eyes on him, as he looked back over at her and sent her a wink and a smile.

"Gods I love him," Ginny sighed.

"It'll be yours next I suppose," Tonks commented distractedly as she examined her makeup once more in the mirror.

"We'll see," Ginny offered with no commitment.

"Eet 'az been long enough," Fleur said. "I was married by ze time I was your age and 'ad known Beel for less time."

"We aren't exactly in the same rush as the two of you though," Ginny told her.

"Clearly," Tonks and Fleur said together.

Ginny just rolled her eyes. It was the same conversation every time her family was gathered.

The door opened and Luna drifted in. "The photographer is waiting rather impatiently," she said as she adjusted her hair in the mirror and reapplied lipstick that the waiter had removed from her lips.

All through the photo session Tonks and Fleur had whispering to Ginny about what they would like the next wedding they were in to be like and Ginny was growing more irritated with each comment.

As she walked down the aisle after the other girls though, staring at Harry the whole way, it didn't seem like such a terrible idea. He was it for her, she knew that, he knew that. And he really could pull of a suit. He was looking at her as though he was enchanted by her presence and it was an amazing feeling. She finally managed to pull her eyes away from him and toward the bride as the rest of the congregation stood upon Hermione's entrance.

Ginny listened as Ron and Hermione each promised to love and support each other in sickness and in health and all that. She looked at Ron as he promised to listen to Hermione when she told him to stop whatever it was he was doing and think about what might go wrong with his plan and Ginny was immediately reminded of the many times she heard his voice in her head telling her to 'just do it already' when she was stuck down in the Chamber.

She hadn't ever gone down there again and had no intention of going down there again. She barely thought about it anymore and it seemed like another lifetime ago now. No doubt it would look so small to her now, the main Chamber not as grand, and the distance between the slop pile and her bedroom would be so much shorter than it had seemed for those years she was trapped.

It was always Ron's voice telling her to 'just do it' whenever she was scared and it got her through many of her trials.

The twins were the next in the line of groomsmen after Harry. The two of them had their voices in her head egging her on teasingly whenever she'd been getting tired and it had given her strength.

Next was Percy, she and he had reconciled over the years thanks to his efforts and never wavering patience with her keeping him at arm's length. He'd always been the voice that sounded in her mind when repeating the tedious tasks and their importance.

Charlie was there for her when she was dealing with the birds. Whether it had been animal husbandry or killing and plucking the chickens for her meals; it was always Charlie's voice that talked her through the process.

Bill was every time she'd been dealing with the mirrors or learning something new in her Defense texts. He was always so patient with her, probably more owing to the fact that he was around her less than all the others had been when she was growing up because he'd been off to school by the time she could walk. He had been her teacher.

Her mum and dad were proudly dabbing the corner of their eyes from the front row. Every now and then Ginny would catch her mum staring at her as if wondering how Ginny could have possibly turned out how she did after what had happened. It was most likely only because of the Chamber and the years after being mostly confined to Grimmauld Place that Ginny's choices now weren't more scrutinized. She'd simply been forced to grow up fast and learn to figure life out for herself, so her mother allowed that to continue.

And her father. He'd been the comforting voice when things were looking so dark and pointless, his voice was the one telling her that sometimes life was hard, but we must carry on, not just for ourselves but for those who loved us.

It was only because of her mum, dad and brothers that she survived down in the Chamber. They'd shown her how to make it, and made her bull headed to the point of being too determined not give up.

Now she had all of them supporting her for real.

She turned her attention back to Ron and Hermione with the Minister, but Harry caught her eye; giving her a wink and mouthing that he loved her.

She couldn't help her silly grin widening at that.

After the announcement that Ron and Hermione were officially husband and wife everyone clapped and cheered, throwing rice and confetti in the air as the two of them made their way back up the aisle. Ginny came forward and linked her arm through Harry's for their own walk back up the aisle.

"What would you think if I moved in with you properly?" she asked him quietly as they followed the other two. "Putting my things in your room and giving up on this whole façade of my sleeping in the other room."

"I'd love it," he told her immediately. "But what do you think your mum would have to say about it? She wasn't keen on Bill and Fleur sharing a bed before they were married."

Ginny knew Harry still worried he would disappoint her parents in some way shape or form, as if that was even possible. It was sweet really.

"She was fine when they were engaged at least," Ginny started, intending to mention about how the two of them had been together much longer than Bill and Fleur had been and it wasn't quite the same thing.

But Harry didn't let her get that far.

"Okay then," he said quickly and pulled something out of his pocket to put it promptly on her left ring finger. "Done."

Her steps faltered then and she came to a complete stop, staring down at her hand that now held a single solitaire diamond on a silver band with a tension setting, the perfect setting for someone who worked with their hands.

He just… had this in his pocket?

She looked back up at him unable to do anything but blink.

"I mean, erm," he squirmed. "We were going to do it eventually, right? This doesn't mean we have to pick a date tomorrow, but…"

"Are you really…is this?" Ginny gaped in shock.

Luna gave her a nudge from behind and Ginny remembered what she was supposed to be doing right then. They were still following the procession after Ron and Hermione with the others trailing behind them. Harry was the first to compose himself and got them walking down the path again.

"I've had that in my pocket for a while now, waiting for the right time," he whispered to her.

She couldn't help snorting. They were in the middle of someone else's wedding, this was hardly the right time. The previous week they'd gone out for a nice steak dinner in the center of London and had a lovely stroll along the Thames, that was the quintessential 'right time to propose'.

"I know," he blushed. "I just couldn't work up the nerve to even start getting the words out."

Ginny started vibrating with laughter then. "So, you figured you'd just shove the ring on my finger and be done with it?" They were both nodding at the guests as they passed and followed in the direction the photographer's assistant was directing them.

"I'm shit with the romance stuff," he sighed. "I'm sorry," he shook his head. "Here, give it back, I'll do it properly another time."

"Whoa, I'm not giving it back," she snatched her hand away from him as he reached up to take the ring off her finger.

Harry's mouth opened and closed a few times. "But then, does that mean…you're keeping it?"

It was Ginny's turn to be at a loss for words. Keeping the ring meant they were engaged. The familiar series of events played out in her head again; Engaged meant they were getting married, married meant babies and she wasn't ready for babies of her own yet. But having the ring meant she was promised to Harry and she liked the picture that painted in her mind.

They could still make their future play out at their own pace with this promise on her finger.

"Keeping it," she decided, a bubble of warmth rising from her belly to her cheeks at that decision.

"Oh, thank Merlin," he hugged her close. "So, I didn't completely butcher that?" he asked hopefully.

"Oh no," she laughed. "It was pretty shit, but I loved it all the same."


The End


Promoting the collaborative works with Deadwoodpecker, K. , TheWordsInMyHead, Smeyers and Arden Wiles with big help from Antosha;

Into The Mystic is available through Amazon, in paperback and kindle.

Soon to be released is our next collaborative work; Into the Forest- Six fantastical fairytales- retellings, reimaginings, remixing that will amuse, delight and entrance.