i'm back! nearly a month without a word, and then i churn out this eleven-page document in one day. full of fluff and memories. this was an exhausting story to write, by the way, i'm glad to finally post it!


The day dawned hot, and the sun was red as it made its way from the horizon. It was a perfect day for sleeping late, covers thrown off and windows open to ward away the heat, only to get up at leisure for a glass of water and a dip in the pond.

Alas, no.

The Burrow was awake and bustling. Girls' hair was pulled off their necks, sweaty from exertion and heat, rushing around in mismatched Muggle shirts and shorts. The boys had their shirts unbuttoned as far as Molly Weasley would allow, the sleeves rolled up to their shoulders and their pants to their knees as they banged in and out of doors.

Once again, the matriarch of the Weasley family was a Woman With A Mission. Food covered every surface whether that surface was designed to hold food or not. Charms were put around the property, clothes were being washed, the house was being turned spotless, and the yard was given the work that it always needed.

Ron wondered when this wedding business would be over. This was his second that he had to beat himself up to prepare for, it wasn't his, and it was one too many. Scowling, he watched as his best mate—the kid he was currently breaking his back for—disappeared with his sister yet again. Aside from the fact it was completely disturbing and he had half a mind to barge in and break it up, it was the third time this morning. Was it just him, or was there something unnatural about that? Besides, Harry needed to help him sift through the cramped and stuffy shed to find all the folding chairs they supposedly had.

Grumbling nonsensically about traitorous best friends, Ron turned back to his job, and with a few unenthusiastic waves of his wand some of the Muggle rubbish in the shed cleared way so he could possibly unearth the chairs he was sure they didn't have.

"Ron," said a voice behind him. He peered over his shoulder, and Hermione was standing there, her copious amounts of hair piled sloppily in a bun high off her neck. The fringe of her hairline was damp from sweat, and her cheeks were extremely pink—from sun, he reckoned.

"Yeah?" He grinned at her. He liked the Muggle shorts. A lot. She seemed to sense where his mind was, and rolled her eyes, crossing her arms.

"Your mother wants you," Hermione replied pointedly, a smirk appearing. "Go ahead and be at her beck and call."

Ron's grin turned into a light, annoyed frown. "I'm not," he countered, but nonetheless started to make his way to the house. Anything to get away from that shed. Besides, it wasn't as if his mother was in the best mood right now; he figured he would just go with the flow. He wasn't at her beck and call.

He could hear Hermione laughing behind him, and he resisted the urge to be ultra-childish and turn around to stick out his tongue. It would probably annoy her, though, which would have been a laugh.

His mother was on his case as soon as he walked through the back door.

"Did you get the chairs?" she demanded. Ron resisted the urge to take a few steps backwards; whereas Hermione had still been beautiful in her state of disarray, his mother had the air of a recently-awoken dragon, down to the silver-streaked red hair like flames atop her head.

"Mum, I don't think they're in there."

A dangerous flash in her eyes.

"But I can look again," he added, quickly; it was disturbing, almost the same look in her eye as she battled Bellatrix. But that was years ago.

"Good," she growled. "Now set up those up and afterward I need you to prune the flowerbeds—I set Ginny to do it, I don't know where she's gotten off to..."

Ron ducked out of the kitchen, grumbling to himself. There's another point against those two. Oh, was he going to get them tonight...

-

Hermione, for the majority of the morning since dawn, had been outside with Bill, setting charms around the house to keep out the media that would doubtless try to sneak in to catch some snapshots. Tonight she was managing the guests; it was a smallish wedding, so she knew most of the people coming—just a bunch of friends of Harry and Ginny's, a lot of the old Order, and then anyone with the last name Weasley...

After they made sure that intruders would have a very tough time getting in and ruining everything, Molly had set the woman to making sure the roses snaked up the trellis tastefully. It was very boring work; she just needed to use her wand to direct the potion-laden vines around the small planks of wood.

A rose bloomed before her very eyes, red and strong and brilliant. It was a nice effect, she had to admit, setting this trellis directly behind the altar. It would match Ginny's hair if anything. Hopefully the proctor was short and wouldn't block it.

Rose. She pondered the word idly as a vine twirled through the trellis and a small bud opened up, deep red with soft, full petals. It would make a beautiful name.

Once finished ten minutes later, Hermione stood back to admire her work. Molly did know how to plan weddings, she had to give the woman that much. She couldn't wait for this all to be over, though. It was far too stressful to deal with. The wedding was taking place that night, and no doubt they would only be allowed to take showers and get themselves ready at around four.

She made her way across the lawn, slowly, looking wistfully at the pond and wondering if she would get a chance to cool herself off. She hoped so. It was an unusually hot day; thank God the ceremony started when the sun went down, otherwise the guests would be sweating in their clothes and makeup.

The kitchen was even more stifling than the outdoors when she walked in; about four different things were being cooked at once, and every surface was covered in bowls, silverware, buckets, and barrels of food. Hermione was taken aback for a moment, wondering how she was going to move around without knocking a dozen things over.

"Hermione?"

She could barely discern Mrs. Weasley from behind a large pile of tomatoes atop the counter.

"Yes, Mrs. Weasley?"

"Can you pass me the potatoes?"

Hermione craned her neck; Mrs. Weasley was stirring a stew and slicing apples simultaneously. Then she peered around; there weren't any potatoes in sight.

"Erm, Mrs. Weasley? Where are they?" she asked tentatively; she had watched the woman berate Charlie heavily that morning for not kneading the dough the right way.

"Oh!" A smack, as if the woman had hit herself in the forehead a little harder than intended. "Go in the hall; they're atop that old grandfather clock in there, silly me, but, of course, there's not very much room in here..."

Hermione negotiated her way around a precarious stack of plates, feeling relieved once she was out of the way of so many things she could have potentially knocked over.

The bowl of potatoes in question was atop the grandfather clock, as Mrs. Weasley said, but the clock was a lot higher than she had anticipated. Cursing under her breathe, she felt around her pockets for her wand—it wasn't in there. She must have put it down in the kitchen. It was strange—as far as the first three years after the war, Hermione—and Ron and Harry—still felt very threatened and vulnerable if their wands were not within arms length at all times. Now she was getting lax; perhaps she was letting go, finally. At least in her waking moments.

It wasn't that high up. If she reached, perhaps she could get it now...

Stretching her arms, Hermione tried her hardest to lengthen her body to reach the bowl of potatoes. Mrs. Weasley couldn't have found room somewhere else to put these...? She rose herself onto one tip toe, her right leg popping out behind her to keep balance. Her fingers barely touched the glass, but if she could move the bowl just a bit in her direction, perhaps it would allow her to lift if off the clock...

A warmth was suddenly behind her, and a large, freckled hand easily reached up above her own and lifted the bowl with annoying ease. She turned around, glaring, because she could have gotten it herself...

Ron was right behind her, grinning, holding the cursed potatoes in one hand and looking unnecessarily smug. Hermione glared at him, and attempted to take the bowl from him. He wouldn't let her.

"Give it to me."

"No."

She paused, raising her eyebrows threateningly. It didn't have an effect. She didn't expect it to.

"Now."

He was smirking... oh God, Hermione hated him when he did that. It made his blue eyes become alight with mischief, and she never had the mind to make sure that mischief never even started. He was a horrible person to do this to her, now.

He was bending down, but Hermione obstinately stood with her arms crossed, glaring and shaking her head. It didn't deter him. If only she had her wand. She jumped, feeling his fingers ghost at her hip, and he took that moment to kiss her soundly. Hermione waged a war with her body, which wanted to melt into him, but she planted her palms against her chest and pushed so he had to take a step back.

"No. Not now." There was a quaver in her voice. But she couldn't now. They were busy, she needed to get those potatoes back before Molly came looking, he was being too arrogant, she couldn't reward him for that... oh, it was too hard. Hermione felt a flush come up her neck into her face that had nothing to do with the heat.

"Come on," he argued, quietly. He was like a persistent dog that, when scorned, always came back for more. Within the space of a second, Ron was right up to her again, and his eyes were smoldering like only his could do, and she tried to sidestep him but he had anticipated the move and was right there with her. His head dipped, and his breathe was hot against her neck. Hermione could feel her will disappearing, but not without a fight.

"No, Ron..." Weakly, she tried to push him away, but her limbs felt like rubber as he made his way from her neck back to her mouth. Even after four years, her stomach was in twists and knots from what was happening; sometimes she was unable to believe that Ron was really hers, after five years of waiting, he was here and kissing her and oh it felt so good... all of her will was lost, now, and she hooked her arms around his neck, and felt a leg snake around his, his mouth latched onto hers, kissing... her mind was blissfully numb...

Ron suddenly wasn't there, and she was left hanging; her hair felt messier than she remembered leaving it, and her mouth was open; she blinked, adjusting herself back to the real world, looking around, wondering what had just happened. Ron was glaring reproachfully at someone, rubbing the side of his face; there was a large welt there. Hermione looked to where he was glaring, and Mrs. Weasley was standing there, looking livid.

"No!" Her voice was very high, although she wasn't yet screeching. A blush crept over Hermione's face, and she tried to keep herself from looking at her feet in shame. "We have work to do, and definitely not in the hall!" It used to be Not in my house!, but the woman had given up on that mantra years ago. "Hermione, dear, where are those potatoes?" Her voice was a strained sweetness; Hermione tugged away the potatoes that were still in Ron's hand and gave them over.

As Mrs. Weasley stomped back into the kitchen, Harry and Ginny walked by. They were shaking their heads at the pair, trying hard not to laugh. Ron threw a grin over his shoulder as he started off to do whatever assigned work he had, and she saw him mouth something: Beck and call.

Oh, how she hated her friends.

-

Harry blinked as he stepped outside, trying to get his eyes to adjust to the brightness of the sun. The day was sweltering, and he had to set up the veranda for people to sit under during the ceremony.

The ceremony.
When he was seventeen, the surety of his eventual death didn't allow Harry to think this far. Many of those nights he thought of Ginny, but he thought of her, he didn't fantasize about anything other than being near her. He never thought marriage was going to be a stage in his life; it was unreal.

Tonight, he was going to have a wife. The idea itself was so fantastic that he knew that sometime between now and seven something had to kill him. Life couldn't be peaceful and happy; it had been, these four years, but he kept expecting something to jump out and get him. It was still like that at night; his first night after the Battle, Ginny had tried to wake him, and he would have slammed her across the face if she hadn't moved quickly enough. They were all still jumpy, but getting better, and no one liked to talk about it.

Harry worked on the veranda slowly; the job was punctuated by many rests with Ginny next to him, talking, laughing, kissing the woman who was to become his wife tonight. His happiness seemed to spread over the meadow and the sun; there was a nice breeze, and as time went on the heat became less unbearable.

Eventually, Ron joined them, laughing and saying that Hermione probably won't come up until later; she was a bit peeved at them all. Ginny had him laying down in the grass, his job on the veranda half-done, with his shirt open. Laughing, she had told him that she felt in an artistic mood, and took advantage of their aloneness to use her wand to draw a dragon across his chest. The pair had been laughing, hard, but it had dissolved to Ginny putting an inordinate amount of concentration in her drawing.

"She has you whipped," Ron remarked, watching as Harry's torso became Ginny's personal pallet. Harry didn't admit it, but perhaps Ron had a point.

"So does Hermione," he countered, and Ron's grin had more behind it.

"Not as of an hour ago."

"What are you saying, Ronald?" Hermione's voice was snippy as she joined them.

"Nothing."

Harry rolled his eyes, then strained his neck to see the progress of the dragon. It was hard to see, at this angle. He watched Hermione bend over him, examining Ginny's work.

"I think its head needs to be a bit bigger," she suggested.

"Really?" Ginny sat back, frowning, as Ron pretended to gag. "Yeah. I think you're right." She moved to correct it.

"Maybe you should ask Charlie." Hermione seemed close to laughing.

"NO," Harry and Ginny said together. Harry wasn't comfortable with his fianceé's brother examining a dragon drawn across his bare chest.

"I think this might be a bit risqué for Charlie," Ginny explained, sniggering. "He still thinks I'm his little baby sister. I don't think we should ruin that just before the wedding."

Talk of the wedding caused Harry's stomach to near flip over; judging by the sun, now a golden yellow, it was time to start getting ready. To be married.

"What are you all doing?" Harry twisted his head, and saw Mrs. Weasley by the door, calling over to them. He was glad she was far enough away to not notice Ginny's ministrations on his chest. He was sure all she saw was four people relaxing—a sin already. That was enough to get her annoyance to a new degree—knowing her daughter was making artwork of his torso might have pushed her across the edge. Harry thought it a bit to risqué for old-fashioned Mrs. Weasley, as well.

The woman started marching over, and Harry wondered how he could cover up without appearing as if he was trying to hide something; however, he needn't have worried, as he watched all of Ginny's hard work become void through a muttered spell of Hermione's.

"What are you four doing? Ron, get that girl off of your lap," she brandished a sauce-covered spoon in his direction, and frowned as if it was all his doing that Hermione had decided to sit in his lap. Hermione jumped up quickly. "And, Harry, what is your shirt doing opened?" She glared suspiciously at Ginny, who looked deceivingly innocent a safe two feet away from him.

"It's hot," he answered.

"And you haven't even finished with the veranda! Now, I know it's your day, but we only have so many hands here, have these three help you finish with it, and afterward I need you all upstairs to get ready, the ceremony is only in a few hours, and I think Arthur has finished cleaning the house, but my stew is..." she kept talking, as if listing to herself, and started to walk on, still muttering.

"I hate stressing out your mother," Harry apologized to Ginny, as they all stood up slowly.

"Don't worry," she dismissed; the sun was now turning orange; Ginny's hair outshone it by far, but the rays made her skin appear golden and her freckles stand out. "She's in her element. She secretly loves it."

Within fifteen minutes (and, admittedly, Hermione did most of the work), the veranda was set up. Ron's chairs were grouped under it, with Hermione's trellis behind the altar. The altar itself was of Ginny and Fleur's design: low to the ground and made of ripened redwood, covered with a soft white rug that matched the trellis.

Unable to believe that he would be married there, he made his way back to the house with Ron, Hermione, and Ginny.

-

Ginny stared at herself in the mirror. Her stomach felt like a piece of balled-up paper. Her face was blank as Fleur enhanced her eyes and the color of her lips and Hermione tugged on her hair.

She had gone from a state of joy earlier that day to her current state of bewilderment. She was marrying Harry Potter. Mrs. Ginevra Potter. Ginny Potter.

Had someone told her this would happen while in her first year, she thought she would have fainted. Or squealed maniacally. Or both. In her first year, and her second year, she dreamed of this day nearly every night. What it would be like to kiss him. What it would be like for him to actually pay attention to her.

Now she knew, and she couldn't believe it.

In her sixth year, her greatest dream was for him to keep himself alive, a far cry from her first year. She never even had thought of marriage afterward until he had asked her. He just found herself lucky that he was still here, unlike so many she knew. Colin Creevey, the Gryffindor from her Year. Fred... Her mind was torn from the present to his funeral, four years before, the day that it rained and refused to stop.

She blinked.

Sunlight streamed into her eyes; golden-brown, making the floor of her room orange in its brilliance. A lot of time had passed since that funeral.

Now it was her wedding, to Harry Potter, and she thought of the naïve little girl with her name that once chased after a train. So much had happened since then. And Harry... with his green eyes still bearing the scars of war, his smile, his mouth, his hands... the imperfections on his face, the scar that wasnow just a healed cut on his forehead... she felt her stomach expand like a balloon, and she blinked herself back into reality.

Her face was all done, and she almost didn't recognize herself. Her hair was twisted in curls, the ends of which bounced around the back of her neck. She was still able to see her freckles through the light, glowing sheen of Fleur's makeup.

Behind her, she could hear Hermione's attempts at taming her hair. Ginny wondered how long she had been lost in thought for everything to have been done. She glanced around, watching Hermione attack her drying hair with a comb.

"Are you alright?" Ginny's best friend asked; Hermione must have noticed her quietness, in contrast with the usual—as Ron so delicately put it—running of her mouth.

Unable to help it, a smile stretched across her face like a rubber band. Her stomach was dancing underneath her dress, as if she had just swallowed a shipment of Chocolate Frogs.

"I'm great."

She stood up. Her wedding dress was simple, not full of flowing skirts and lace; they looked like very fancy dress robes, and were silk to touch, which she thought was perfect in this weather. Hermione was wearing her deep burgundy bridesmaid dress, which would have been hot if it hadn't been made entirely of sheer silk. Ginny thought the off-the-shoulder sleeves and the bodice accented Hermione very nicely—Something Ron will notice as well, Ginny thought, smirking, and walked over to help Hermione.

"I think you should leave your hair curly."

"You're joking."

"No. Ron likes it that way."

Hermione considered.

"Here..."

It took about a half hour, but Ginny had managed to turn Hermione's mane into many soft curls—the girl had more hair than Ginny had realized.

"You look great."

"Not as good as you," Hermione replied, standing up.

"I could continue with the shameless compliments, but I'm supposed to look better than you, so..."

Hermione laughed, and pushed her out the door.

When they got to the bottom of the stairs, Ginny was unable to even put on her shoes for she was attacked by relatives and friends, all crying and cooing. Hermione was laughing at her, the little wretch. After a few minutes, she was able to shake off the well-wishers and convinced her mother to send them off to do other things, except for Hermione and Luna, the other bridesmaid. Luna had thought that the burgundy was much too dark for a wedding but wore it anyway, except it was accented by her trademark sunflower that she had attached in a bracelet around her wrist.

"Is he ready?"

Ginny peered out the window; the sun was a deep red again, reclining itself upon the horizon. She could make out the veranda, lit very softly by lights, and a gathering of people milled around, talking to each other, but she wasn't able to see the altar from here.

As of now, her stomach was flipping and twisting like Myron Wagtail of the Weird Sisters. She was going to be married she was going to be married she was going to be married...

"... Ginny? Ginny?" A voice floated to her ears; her mother. She whirled around. "Are you ready, dear?"

Ginny swallowed, and nodded, and tried to ignore the feeling of her stomach caving in on itself.

She walked in a daze, her eyes saw in tunnel vision—the veranda, the people all sitting down, the altar... she thought she could make out his form... it was a wonder she hadn't tripped in her heels yet...

They reached the end of the aisle; it was a cool night, now, and the aisle was softly lit by lanterns, and she could make out the small dots of flowers in the grass. Three year-old Victoire was making her toward the altar scattering rose petals, holding her nose up in the air as if this wedding was all about her. A burst of bright pink caught her eye—Teddy Lupin, undoubtedly, disgruntled about being stuffed in dress robes, had turned his hair the color of bubble gum. She looked at Hermione, who gave her a wide, genuine smile that showed her teeth, and started walking behind Luna toward the altar. The back of Hermione's dressed trailed along the grass, and Ginny swore she was able to hear the rustlings of the disturbed flowers.

Her father offered his arm; automatically, he took it.

And then she saw Harry, in bottle-green robes, standing atop the altar, looking simultaneously nervous and excited. Ginny's stomach dropped out, and she couldn't help but have a smile crawl from one ear to the next. The nervousness she had been feeling ebbed away.

And their eyes met.

-

George was at the table where the important people of the wedding were eating: the bride and groom, obviously, then the family and the groomsmen and the bridesmaids. He was sitting on Ron's right side, and they kept sharing secret smirks. They were the only two that knew about Ron's best man speech, as George had helped him come up with it. He knew that his younger brother was dying to give it, especially after all the grief Harry and Ginny had put him through earlier today. Everyone had wanted to know what it was, but Ron had been unusually canny and had refused to tell anyone what his words were going to be.

All the better.

He turned his head slightly, to hear what Ron was saying as Ron was sitting on his bad side. If pressed, he decided he would admit his relation to his younger brother. He'd become a pretty good bloke, helping him out with the shop after Fred had died. Honestly, he didn't think he would have done it himself, and after closing it temporarily following the war he seriously considered keeping it that way. Britain had changed in those years, but he supposed Ron had changed for the better. He was still Ron, mind, and like Ron he still managed to bugger up a few things.

George took a large gulp of his own wine as Ron stood up, and pushed his own chair back to stand with him. Had Ron been still seventeen, George doubted that he would have been able to give a speech in front of so many people. Now he seemed excited as he talked.

"... I guess I'm s'pposed to give a few words, here, and the ones I've chosen, I think, really are what defines Harry and Ginny... George?"

George, with a flourish, pulled out a piece of paper that they didn't need but were using for show. He sneaked a glance at Ginny, who looked highly suspicious—as well she should have.

Ron cleared his throat. The entire audience waited.

"His eyes are as green as a fresh-pickled toad," they started together. Everyone who understood burst into laughter, all except Ginny, who went extremely red in the face.

"His hair is as dark as a blackboard. I wish he was mine, he's really divine..."

Harry was roaring in laughter, and Hermione was failing horribly at keeping her composure. Ginny's face was buried into her hands, and it was becoming hard to distinguish her skin from her hair. The whole audience was joining in on the laughter; the smarter ones because they were starting to understand the joke, and the stupid ones because everyone else was laughing.

"The hero who conquered the Dark Lord!" George and Ron finished in perfect unison, grinning in spite of themselves. George bowed extravagantly, and sat, finally unable to contain his laughter. That was brilliant, if he did say so himself. He leaned forward to catch sight of Ginny, who was glaring at both him and Ron and shaking her head in a "You two are going to get it" kind of way, but was struggling to hide a smile on her still-red face. George was in too good of a mood to worry about it. Yet.

Him and Fred, years ago, had decided that when Harry and Ginny had gotten married, that was what they were going to say. Ron had come to him a few days ago, stressing about his speech, and George had told him what to write. Then Ron said he wanted George to do it with him, since it was really his idea in the first place. Ron did all right. If it had been Fred, George knew, they could have sung it and alternated lines and whatnot... but Ron, at least, kept a straight face as he read it.

But it wasn't Fred.

George supposed it was high time to get over his brother's death, but—as cheesy as it sounds—when Fred died, he took a part of George with him. It took him a few months to learn to function without having someone to look at, knowing the same exact thought had occurred in their minds at that precise moment.

Funny, because at first Fred and George hadn't even liked each other. It sort of blowed being a twin in a poor family. They shared clothes, toys, a room, time, and their mother couldn't tell them apart, and he and Fred had just gotten sick of it and had avoided each other except at bed and mealtimes. There was many a fight over whose toy was whose that their mother had had to mediate. Only at age eight did they discover the awesomeness at having a twin. Mum had told them to do some sort of chore, and once she turned her back, they both simultaneously started to mock her using the same exact expressions and hand gestures. Then they looked at each other and started to laugh, and no longer were they Fred space and space George; they became Fred and George.

Now it was not having his twin anymore that blowed. He'd trade his last ear plus a few more vital limbs to have Fred back; Fred and George were more of an entity than George alone.

George listened idly to Aunt Muriel, now one hundred and eleven and still kicking, as she lectured Ron on what a horrible poem that was, and how back in her day men really knew how to write and talk and say something worthwhile... He suppressed laughter as Ron grew more and more annoyed until Hermione—bless her—sensed an explosion and dragged his brother to the dance floor.

Muriel then turned on him.

Uh-oh.

"George, your ears are still lopsided," she complained, then tottered away.

"Bat," he muttered, and looked at his girlfriend, who was laughing, and he kissed her, resting his hand on her belly.

-

Ron was grinning as he twirled Hermione around, then caught her again and started dancing. At Bill's wedding, Hermione had expressed amazement that Ron actually knew how to dance—which was rubbish, because every Weasley knew how to dance. It was a requirement for growing up in his mother's house, who made sure to teach them as soon as they had some sort of grace. Ron was the lucky one; all his brothers had to learn with each other, and Ron had the younger sister. It had still been awkward, but less so.

Dancing with Hermione was wonderful; she caught up quickly to the steps, and made it fun and challenging. The dress she was wearing was wonderful; it swished around her ankles, trailing on the floor but never tripping her, and every now and then he'd get a glimpse of her slim calf. The dress looked so good on her, in fact, that he'd rather it be on the floor of his flat.

"Did you hear your mother at the dinner table?" Hermione asked, close to laughing, as the song stopped. She was slightly sweaty and panting, and her hair was windswept. Reaching out to play with the curls, he grinned and nodded.

"You mean all those hints that we should be next?"

They smiled knowingly at each other; he reached forward and touched the chain on her chest, which held a ring hidden under her dress.

No one knew that it had happened the week before, a sort of extravagant make up after a huge fight. They were still trying to figure out how to tell everyone. Some people said that being married didn't seem to change anything. Ron begged to differ; every time he looked at Hermione and remembered that she was now his wife, he couldn't help but be proud and amazed that he had managed to snag her and keep her. Being married to her was a wonderful feeling.

They were grinning at each other, secretly, and she pressed herself against him to kiss him on the cheek and whisper, "Lets get out of here."

He happily complied.

-

When Ginny had appeared at the end of that aisle the night before, Harry remembered feeling as if someone had socked him in the gut. He had forgotten to breathe. He didn't think that the woman could have become more beautiful. He wasn't able to believe that the moment had come, that there he was, marrying his best mate's sister, and where was that lightning strike that was supposed to get him now...?

For all of ten hours, his marriage was great. There was nothing to separate them—no looming murderer, no oncoming war, nothing, it was just them, and Greece. The media was gone, there was no Ron to interrupt at inopportune moments and then be a hypocrite and disappear for an hour with Hermione at the wedding...

It was dawn, and light enough that Harry could have counted the freckles on her bare shoulder, if he wanted to. She was sleeping, covered only in a white sheet; her hair was mussed, and he brushed it away from her neck so he could kiss her. He thought she was beautiful in that dress? Harry sure as hell hadn't anticipated this moment.

Slowly, he stood, unable to sleep, and went to the window to look at the unfamiliar Greek landscape. They were right on the sea. White houses dotted the hills. The crags of the mountain on the horizon were black. The air was silent, and still.

Harry looked at the white sun, set against the velvety teal sky—he peered back to Ginny, who had turned over in her sleep, clutching at a pillow—and realized, with a start, that he was starting to live.


by the way... the dragon on the chest scene was inspired by a piece of artwork by mudblood428 at mudblood428(dot)com so props to her. :)