The Other Side of the Looking Glass
They're practically smothering me! The Weasley brothers take turns fixing my robes, trying to force my hair flat and then ruffling it back up, and offering me advice on how to treat their beloved sister. As if I don't already know.
Despite the poking and prodding, I can't seem to stop smiling. Today is the happiest day of my life! Not only do I get to marry the most amazing witch I've ever known at the first place I ever felt was home, but I gain an enormous family as well. For a man who has spent so much of his life without one, it's the greatest wedding gift I could ask for.
George and Percy keep whispering hints about how to proceed with the wedding night. Hermione has been lecturing me for weeks about it and even gave me a book. I don't have the heart to tell them. Besides, it's fun to watch them get flustered when I remind them it's their sister they're preparing me for. I'm sure we can make it through our first night together without their help.
Mr. Weasley knocks on the door and tells us it's time to go. It's time! My palms are sweaty and my mouth's gone dry. I was calmer the night I had to face Voldemort – and that night I thought I was going to die!
Walking to my designated spot, I think back to the first time I saw her on the platform of 9 3/4. She was just a freckle-faced little girl clutching her mum's hand and watching her brother's climbing on the train. I had no way of knowing then what she would become to me. Her whole family has since become my own.
I almost lost her once. I don't know who the bloke was, but in the end, she chose me. There were times when I wondered if she… but no. Ginny would never… She and I have been destined, I suppose. I wonder if there was a Prophecy for us as well.
The castle doors open and she steps into the sun. Fifty Veela couldn't pull my eyes from her now. She's clutching her father's arm and smiling radiantly. The purpose for my life is suddenly clear; it was never ridding the world of the Dark Lord. It has always been to love her.
She reaches me and my heart nearly leaps from my chest. I can barely concentrate on the exchange of vows as I work to memorize the way she looks right now. We promise to love one another for eternity. I think it's the easiest question I've ever had to answer.
"Mr. and Mrs. Harry Potter!"
The festivities begin immediately. George planned a spectacular fireworks display, reminiscent of the Umbridge days and in honour of Fred. Ginny and Percy seem particularly touched by this.
We cut the cake and pose for photographs. I marvel at the way she scoops up her niece, the way she spins to put an empty goblet on a passing tray, and the way her fingers brush crumbs off the front of Ron's dress robes. Even in these mundane and ordinary movements, she moves with grace.
"Ginny, love, I want to show you something." I whisper in her ear. Her eyes flash at mine as she looks up at me with a familiar smirk. She'd developed that sometime her fifth year. I suspect it's a spin off of Fred and George's we're-up-to-no-good grins.
We manage to sneak off with nothing more than a wink from Percy. He'd loosened up so much after Fred's untimely death. Sometimes I wondered if he felt like he had to make up for the time he'd been away or maybe he felt responsible for his brother's premature death and was trying to compensate for it.
"Where are you taking me?" she asks as I lead her down the dungeon tunnels. Her palms are sweaty. Maybe she thinks I'm looking for a place to consummate the vows we've just exchanged.
"You'll see." I chuckle.
Perhaps I shouldn't do this now, but I can't think of a better opportunity. I want to share this with her. My wife. I want to know what she wants, so I can give it to her. Does she want children? How many? A big house in the country or a small house in London? I don't really know; we never talked about it.
We enter an empty classroom. I pull her to my side and point at the mirror that's standing in the corner. Tears sprang into her eyes as the door closed behind us and are sliding down her cheeks as I explain how I found this mirror so many years ago. I try not to be mesmerized by the cottage I see or the horde of children surrounding us. George and Angelina, Percy and Penelope, Bill and Fleur, Charlie, and Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were also squished up together with us. It looks like a family photo.
"Harry, I'm not sure… I mean, I know what I want." She fidgets for a moment with the ring I've so recently placed on her finger. "I already have it, right?"
I lean down and brush my lips against hers. "Of course, Ginny. Stand here." I pull her gently to the center and step behind her. She gasps and her hand covers her mouth. Does she see what I see?
"Oh my goodness," she cries out. Tears are coursing down her face faster now. I'm crying now too. It feels so good to experience such happiness.
"What do you see?" I ask her gently, running my fingers along the curve of her neck.
She's silent for a long moment, pulling herself together and wiping her eyes. "Two children, a boy and a girl. My handsome and wonderful husband standing behind me and a lovely home tucked away in the hills. It's enormous. Oh Harry, I don't really need that much…" She chokes back more tears and I turn her to face me.
"You can have anything you want. I want to give it all to you and make you the happiest woman in the world."
"I am happy, Harry. I am happy." She rests her head against my chest and I rub her back. I let her cry because I know how she feels. My heart is overflowing with joy too.
When she's gained her composure, she suggests that we go back to the party. Looking over my shoulder, I see our children wave goodbye to me from the mirror. I can't wait to see them face to face.
When we walked into the room, empty except for a large gilded mirror, the tears began. Haven't I dealt with mirrors enough for one day? Why must I be reminded of my earlier actions now?
He starts describing his parents and seeing them behind him in the mirror long ago. "…your heart's greatest desires…" he says.
"Harry, I'm not sure. I mean, I know what I want." I spin the ring he so recently placed on my finger and pray he doesn't ask me to look. "I already have it, right?"
He kisses me quickly and moves me to the center of the mirror. I don't want to look, but I have an overwhelming sense of curiosity. Slowly, I raise my eyes.
There I stand, in modest robes rather than my wedding attire. Two children are running around in circles behind me. They are the perfect compilation of the best attributes their father and I have to offer. My husband – I gasp, choking back a sob. His long, powerful fingers are folded over the small bump of my belly. He's smiling at me through the glass.
"Oh my goodness," I cry. I'm trying not to lose it completely. Harry, behind me, is crying as well; he can't see this can he?
"What do you see?"
No. He can't. Thank Merlin for small miracles. I take a deep breath and describe the scene, in as little detail as I can get away with. I leave out the black gate with the elegant 'M' lock, the luscious gardens behind the Manor, the color of my children's hair and eyes. I don't mention the hands wrapped around the curve of my belly belong not to the man behind me now, but the man I left behind this morning.
"You can have anything you want. I want to give it all to you and make you the happiest woman in the world," he tells me. He can't give me this. I didn't want this! I've been destined to marry Harry since the fateful day Ron became Harry's first friend. My fate was sealed when Harry refused Draco's friendship. I got the better man, right? The hero rather than the coward.
"I am happy, Harry. I am happy." Desperately I remind myself of all the reasons I am here with Harry and all the reasons that Draco and I could never be.
Slowly, I calm myself down. "We should go back to our guests, Harry." He nods and takes my hand.
Looking over my shoulder, I see the children I will never have waving goodbye to me from the other side of the looking glass.
A/N - I thought I was finished with this story. I really did. But when I got all wrapped up in checking out the new and updated stories I've been missing out on the last year, I couldn't help but revisit some of my own. This one demanded Harry's POV and since the story isn't completely demolished by canon, I figured why not.
My view of Malfoy Manor is vastly influenced by the writings of LadyRhiyana ThoughI don't think my writing does it justice at all and I tried not to borrow anything of hers. The Grove aspect was in my head, however, as I wrote it. So I encourage all of you to scamper off and ready anything she's written! It's all fantastic!