Forever Autumn

By alloy

There were a million leaves, each a different colour.

Well Fred said there were a million leaves, but George could safely say that he had known Fred long enough to know when he was exaggerating.

A million leaves perpetually filling the sky, falling from nowhere to nowhere. Brought into existence on this crisp autumn day for the sole purpose of making their brother's wedding a memorable one.

Only a great man like Dumbledore knew magic like this. How fortunate they were that he had insisted on conducting this service and was on hand to provide such ambiance.

George caught Fred's eye and grinned. Angelina stood close to his brother, her tummy a proud signal of fertility. Fred hadn't noticed yet and of course he wouldn't now, but George was rather looking forward to the day he did.

A hand clapped as expected on George's shoulder.

"All going well, Son?" his father asked.

"Everything as planned, Dad."

"No funny tricks now."

"Nothing, Dad, I promise," and he meant it.

"I wouldn't cross your mother today," Arthur said, "Or Hermione," he added.

George laughed. "And Ginny's made some threats, but Fred and I have nothing planned."

"Good, good." Panic flashed across his father's eyes as faint strains of 'Here Comes the Bride' could be heard.

"It's happening," Arthur said, "She's arriving."

The groom's family remained blissfully unaware. His father glanced helplessly at George. "She's arriving," he repeats.

"Ahem." It was the magically amplified voice of Albus Dumbledore, "Ahem."

It seemed to make no difference.

"WEASLEYS!" It was the voice of the Headmaster of Hogwarts.

"The music you are hearing is a rather splendid Muggle tradition signaling the arrival of the bride," he continued, "If everyone could be seated, please."

Arthur rushed to the front row and found his seat alongside his wife.

With the bulk of his family seated, George could see the podium. His brother, the groom, stood nervously assisted by a grinning best man.

They both looked splendid.

As the music grew louder, George strained to catch a glimpse of the bride.

She wore white, another Muggle tradition, and her hair was exactly as he remembered it from a Yule Ball years before.

Her measured pace to the podium was in stark contrast to her normal mode of walking.

Ron held out his hand to Hermione and George felt a lump in his throat.

It was perfect, the whole day was perfect.

"We are gathered here today to witness the joining of two young people….George Weasley and… George!"

"George!"

George started out of the dream, its round matt black cylinder slipping from his grasp and falling off his bed.

Ginny scooped down to retrieve it.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said, "You were in a dream, and now I've ruined it."

"No," he said. "This one repeats."

"Really," she said. "What is it?"

"It's nothing," George said.

"Oh, it's nothing," his sister snorted. "Nothing has you hiding away on your old bed in the Burrow on Christmas Eve."

"Yes," he said, "Nothing."

"It's naughty, isn't it?"

"No, Gin, it's not."

Ginny slapped the cylinder against the palm of her hand. "Cause you know what would happen if Mum caught you making naughty ones?"

"It's not naughty, Gin, it's just….private."

"Oh come on, George!"

There would be no dissuading her, she was as stubborn as all her brothers put together.

"If you must know, it's a Christmas present, for Ron, only we can't give it to him right now."

"Why ever not?"

George sighed. "Hold the spell, Ginny, and pick a season, any season and say it out loud."

"Well I am holding it, George," she sat down on the bed shoving him gentle. "I'll make myself comfortable."

Ginny frowned and opened her mouth.

"Autumn."

George grinned. A million leaves would be falling around her…. perpetually filling the sky falling from nowhere to nowhere…

George watched his sister carefully, trying to judge where in the dream she was.

There were the tears for the ceremony. That was a moment for girls to cry.

There was laughter. How could Weasleys not have laughter?

A giggle, perhaps for Aunt Hilda drinking too much or even for uncle Reg doing that horrible Muggle dance.

A blush for the kiss in the broomshed with Harry.

A gasp for the fireworks and a final cry as the happy couple disappeared down the lane in their father's old Anglia.

He could not mock her for her tears at the end, especially when he felt so close to tears himself.

"Fred and Angelina, huh?" she said.

"Yeah, I reckon he's with her now. It's only a matter of time before he asks her.

"Pregnant?"

"Well no," he grinned. "Fred hasn't seen that part of it yet."

"And the spinach in Phlegm's teeth?"

"Couldn't resist."

Ginny blushed, "And the kiss?"

"Just for you little sister; Fred's idea actually."

"Prats."

Ginny shuffled closer to him, putting an arm around his waist and he put his across her shoulders.

"Are the other seasons different?"

"No, not really, just the background. Snow for winter, of course, with Christmas decorations. Summer is fruity and spring is full of flowers. I like autumn the best."

"You didn't know he was with Lavender?"

George sighed shaking his head. "No. We really can't see him with anybody other than Hermione."

Ginny sniffed. "Me neither, the big prat."

"Bit like Mum and Dad almost…." George let his voice trail off.

Brother and sister sat for a while.

"How do you make the charm repeat when your ordinary daydreams only work once?"

"Trade secret, Gin."

"Is it expensive."

"No. Just a lot of effort."

"How long will it last?" she asked.

"Potentially?" George said. "Forever."

"Potentially?"

"If it really happened, it would last forever."

"Otherwise?"

"A few years at least."

"So you could give it to him next year?"

"Sure, but…"

"You'll give it to him next year." Ginny sniffed hard and climbed off the bed. "I'm sure of it," she said as she exited the room.

George contemplated the spell.

"Next year."

It couldn't be changed, of course. Oh bits and pieces could be tweaked, but the main elements were sealed, finalized with the same element that gave the daydream is longevity.

George wasn't going to make another one, not with that element; neither he nor Fred were prepared to shed blood for Lavender Brown.

'Next year,' Ginny had said.

'Next year.'

They could wait.

"Autumn," he whispered.

There were a million leaves, each a different colour.

A million leaves perpetually filling the sky falling from nowhere to nowhere. Brought into existence on this crisp autumn day for the sole purpose of making their brother's wedding a memorable one…

Fin.

Author's notes:

1. Thanks to Leviathan for suggesting the Title.

2. This is obviously a missing moment from Christmas of our discontent (Half-blood Prince).