Chapter 15- Always and Forever
Harry and Hermione stood before a small audience in the Great Hall of Hogwarts. In the crowd was the entire staff of Hogwarts (even Snape), the Weasleys, Hermione's parents, Sirius and Lupin. The crowd was brimming with happiness and they gazed up on the couple getting "married" again.
Both were wearing the same thing as the first wedding. However, this time Albus Dumbledore was marrying the couple.
When it came to saying their vows, they chose not to go with the prewritten vows this time. Both Harry and Hermione wrote what they were going to say.
Hermione went first, holding a slip of notes that were never used as she was lost staring into Harry's eyes as she spoke, "Harry, when I sat down to write down what I was going to say I found it hard at first, because love is hard to capture in logic. And as everyone knows, I love logic. It makes sense. However, what we have is something that has no rules or guidelines. That was when it came to me. You were one of the first people to truly accept me with my love for books and rules. Back at school, we had our fights but you were the one person that understood me the most. You may have not always agreed with me, or followed in my example, but you left it alone. You knew that it was who I was. No one has every really done that for me. It will never cease to amaze me that you love me with all of my faults and quarks. But, I guess that is what I would do for you, and what I will do for you. No matter what you become, I will love you, always and for forever."
Harry hated to admit it, but he felt tears prick at the corner of his eyes, but he wouldn't let them fall. Not yet.
"Harry, it is your turn," Dumbledore whispered to Harry.
Harry took a deep breath to clear his mind before beginning. "It was hard to write what I was going to say, because to me what I feel for you is so fundamental and simple. Yet, I couldn't put it to words. However, I did think of a way that may help me.
"It was one night, a year or so after we left Hogwarts and we were gaining on Voldemort. We were living in our apartment and one night I had woken screaming and crying from a horrible nightmare. You came running in and you tried to comfort me. However, I was so ashamed that you saw me crying and being what I thought was weak that I became furious with you. I started yelling at you and saying horrible things. But, instead of storming out on me, like I deserved, you stood there taking every word that came out my mouth. Of course I lost my steam and slowly calmed down. Once I stopped yelling, I realized what I did and fell back on my bed, crying again. You stepped forward and held me. You comforted me and stayed with me through the night."
Harry stopped for a moment, having a hard time keeping his emotions in check. He gave into the inevitable and let the tears fall down his face. "I didn't deserve it. I have done some horrible things in my past and treated you in ways that I am ashamed of in the past. Yet somehow, you always forgave me even if it took a couple of years," Harry smiled through his tears.
Hermione was now crying. She remembered that night, and it was one of the worst nights, seeing Harry in such a horrible place and her unable to take away the pain.
"I never deserved you, and I still half wonder if I do now. My life is a better place because of you. I might not even be alive today if it weren't for you. I love you with my entire heart. I love you more than words can even say."
Dumbledore was smiling sweetly as he watched the couple. He spoke the final words of the ceremony and announced, "I now pronounce you man and wife…again." There was a chuckle that went through the room. "You may now kiss the bride."
Harry smiled happily and leant over and kissed Hermione.
The Great Hall was filled with a lot of noise considering how few people were actually in it. They were all enjoying themselves at the "reception". Harry and Hermione were talking to their guests and explaining what their plans were.
"So, are you going to be continuing your work at the ministry from Hogwarts?" Mrs. Weasley asked Hermione.
"No, I have put in my resignation and have accepted the post of Transfiguration professor hear at Hogwarts." Hermione smiled happily at the idea.
Mrs. Weasley clapped her hands excitedly at the prospect. "Oh, that is simply marvelous. You are going to be a great teacher."
"I have no doubts that she will be a fantastic Transfiguration professor." Professor McGonagal came up to the trio and joined the conversation. "Hermione here is one of the best students that have ever graced the halls of Hogwarts and the best Transfiguration student I have had the pleasure to teach."
Hermione blushed at such high praise. "Oh thank you Professor."
McGonagal smiled, "It's Minerva to you now."
Hermione laughed, "I don't know if will be able to call you that. It seems so disrespectful. I will try though."
Harry and Hermione continued walking around talking to people, but were stopped when they saw that Snape and McGonagall were now in a heated argument. They were whispering to each other furiously.
Harry and Hermione stood there watching and then were joined by Dumbledore.
"What are they arguing about Professor?" Harry asked Dumbledore.
"I believe they are having a debate over who has won a certain bet about your two's relationship," Dumbledore replied, chuckling softly.
"I thought Snape had won, because he was closest to the date of our first wedding," Hermione wondered out loud.
"Yes, but since that wedding was fake and this one real, Minerva believes she entitled to the money since her date is closest to this wedding." Dumbledore was highly amused by this.
"Really, I thought Professor McGonagall would be above such a thing," Hermione said, disappointed.
"Well, she really could never turn down an opportunity to beat Snape," Dumbledore smiled at the two of them. "I believe I need to go over and settle this.
As Dumbledore left them Harry and Hermione sat down at one of the small tables that were laden down with food in the Great Hall. They were not alone for long. Sirius sat down next down to Harry.
"Well, I must say congratulations," Sirius told him smiling as if he were holding something back.
Harry replied, "Thank you, now go ahead and get it out of your system. I know it is killing you."
Sirius didn't need another invitation. "I TOLD YOU SO!"
Harry laughed shaking his head. "Yes you did."
"And I came over to say something else. Please tell me you will be exercising you rights as a husband," Sirius whispered in an undertone to Harry as Hermione talked to Ron's girlfriend, Zoë.
Harry smiled to Sirius. "Yes, I am not a moron."
Sirius looked relieved. "That's good, it's about time you got some." Harry just shook his head in reply to this. "And, do I need to give you any advice or anything, because in my day I was quite…"
Harry wouldn't let him continue any farther. "Do not speak another word Sirius. I have it all under control."
Sirius seemed to want to argue, but at this point Dumbledore waved his wand and slow music resounded around the hall.
"If you don't mind Sirius, but I am going to dance with my wife during our song." Harry held out a hand to Hermione, "Mrs. Potter."
Hermione took his hand and followed him to an empty space to dance. "Harry…"
Harry looked down at Hermione, "Please tell me that you are taking my name. I love the sound of it."
Hermione smiled up at Harry. "Of course I am. I just wanted to tell you that I love how you say it. Mrs. Potter, Hermione Potter, Mrs. Harry Potter." Hermione sighed and snuggled up close to Harry listening to the too true words of their song.
For once in their lives, both Harry and Hermione didn't feel any discontentment or ill feeling to life. They didn't feel like life wasn't fair or that they wished that things could be better. For once their dreams came true and they would live happily ever after.
At last my love has come along
My lonely days are over
And life is like a song
At last the skies above are blue
My heart was wrapped up in clover
The night I looked at you
I found a dream, that I could speak to
A dream that I can call my own
I found a thrill to press my cheek to
A thrill that I have never known
You smile, you smile oh
And then the spell was cast
And here we are in heaven for you are mine...
A/N There are a couple of things I would like to say.
First-I would like to thank all of you for the overwhelming support for this story and for all of you who have stuck it out and kept with this story, even when I wouldn't write for months. I couldn't have done it without you. I am still shocked that I am on so many favorites list or that I have gotten this many reviews, or the newest shock, this story is apart of 6 C2 communities. OMG! I can't comprehend it. Thanks so much.
Second-I know about the song lyrics thing, but once I chose those lyrics I knew I would end the story with them. I hate that rule and see no point in it and I intend to comply with it in the future, but I had to finish the story with them. Those lyrics are by Etta James-At Last.
Third-I can't believe I have finished this story. It has been a part of my life for over two years. I actually started it not long after the fifth book. I was so furious with that book…I still am. I am rereading it for the second time right now to refresh my memory and I am still not happy with it. But, this story has given me something to do between books, and who knows maybe I will do it again between book 6 and 7.
Fourth-I will be writing more in the future. I have many ideas for one shots. We will see where those play out with the arrival of 6th book. It doesn't mean I won't write them if they don't fit, after all I ignored the 5th book and how Sirius is dead. But, you never know and my stories may fit in even better or I might get better ideas. Also, with college, I don't know how much time…btw, I will be attending Central Washington University. Somebody asked. However, I will not be giving up on writing. Who knows, maybe I will branch off into original work. We will see.
Well, once again thank you all for reading. It has been amazing ride and I have learned a lot and grown a lot as an author. If you haven't already, read my other stories. I have many one shots and another longer story. Thanks again, and I hope to see you soon with another story.