Harry watched, hand in hand with Pansy, as the Durmstrang boat set sail to return to its home. The calm waters of the Black Lake parting gently as it took off into the setting sun.
Walking backward into the courtyard, Harry smiled and kissed his fiancée. In just a week, they would be married. Harry really could have been more excited at the thought.
Seeing Fleur and Gabrielle Delacour walk out of the courtyard, heading toward the Beauxbatons carriage, Harry quickly alerted Pansy of his intentions. When no word of rejection or refusal came, Harry called after the two young ladies,
"Fleur!" he shouted, running with Pansy toward them, "Gabby!"
Both of them turned around and looked at him. Gabrielle looked rather shy as she looked up at Harry. She turned slightly and blushed.
Harry and Pansy took it in turns to hug the two sisters.
"I was wondering," began Harry, looking at Fleur, "You know that Pansy and I are getting married, and, well... we'd be honored if you would be willing to be bridesmaids for the wedding."
"We 'ardly know each uzzer." Fleur admitted. "But, with Gabrielle attending 'Ogwarts zees next year, I suppose zat will change."
Gabrielle smiled widely.
"You'll be attending Hogwarts?" asked Harry, leaning down slightly to look into the eleven-year-old's eyes.
She gave a small, shy nod. Harry stood once again, and Fleur wrapped Harry in a caring hug,
"Of 'course we weel 'elp you, when eez eet?"
Gabrielle wrapped her own arms around Harry for a hug as well.
"Next Saturday." said Harry simply. Fleur's eyes bulged as she pulled out of the hug, disappointing her little sister slightly.
"So soon?" she breathed, "But, zee dresses?"
"The designs for the bridesmaids dresses have already been chosen." reassured Pansy, laughing softly, "We'll owl you about you sizes."
Harry kissed Fleur's cheek, much to the jealousy and envy of little Gabrielle. Pansy hugged Fleur and waved her off as she climbed into the carriage.
Luggage in hand, walking beside Pansy and Hermione, followed by Ron, Harry made his way down to Hogsmeade to board the Hogwarts Express.
"Everything is going to change now, isn't it?" whispered Hermione, sighing softly.
"Obviously, yes." Harry laughed, "We're getting married!" he hugged Pansy by the waist and kissed her cheek. Pansy giggled appreciatively.
"I mean... out there." Hermione corrected, staring off into the sky. She looked a little mystified.
Harry thought in silence for a few seconds before responding with a simple,
Hermione breathed and turned her eyes to focus on each Pansy, Harry, and Ron in turn,
"Promise me you'll write this summer, all three of you!"
"Hermione," cackled Pansy, "We won't be gone that long, we'll be seeing you at the wedding next week!" she smiled, "Not to mention probably every day save maybe tomorrow for the preparations!"
Hermione swept both Pansy and Harry into a tight hug,
"I know. But it's just such a long time." she pouted, sounding very much like a small child.
Chuckling heartily, Harry took his first steps onto the train. Next year, he would arrive here a married man. A changed man.
Hogwarts would never be the same. Harry, Pansy, Hermione, even Ron, would never be the same.
They had learned this year, through bonding, friendship, and even a little romance, that sacrificing yourself, whether by giving your life as Krum did, or by enduring one another's burdens as Pansy had, by giving yourself away for the ones you care for, you show through the greatest way possible that you care.
Not one soul could leave Hogwarts this year unchanged. Whether member of Beauxbatons, Durmstrang, or Hogwarts, they would always remember. Always remember that in the end, when all is said and done, the only thing that matters is love.