I think I've made you wait long enough...here it is! The last chapter! (play or pretend to hear triumphant music here)
I really can't thank you enough for lasting this long, especially for those brave enough to make their opinions known (it might be anonymous, but it does have an enormous effect on me).
I hope to know if you find the ending to be satisfactory, or demand a sequel, pitch ideas for it, or yell at me for ending it the way I did if you hate it. This is your reality just as much as it is mine.
And now, without further rambles...read away.
You are a better person than I anticipated. Ginny's brain complimented herself, staring herself over in the mirror. Her hair was up, with well thought out curls falling from the twist that dominated the back of her head. Her make up was a bit too pink and happy for her taste, and the dress, well it was…
It was blue, that was for damn sure. A halter back with a skirt that puffed out with the help of a tutu like contraption underneath made it reach her knees. Her feet were confined to strappy gold stilettos that were going to be the death of her, and that was okay.
What was more important than what she was looking at was what she wasn't, all her tattoos, even the sun, were hidden through magic. Her nose and lip rings resting on her bedside table and her ears only holding three gold studs per lobe. She looked, well, pretty.
"You're an idiot." she assured her reflection before going to the other room to help the bride.
Ginny had been doing a very good of not making any eye contact all day long, after the previous nights adventure, and was more than willing to continue this, but as the evening brought on the wedding, she was expected to go into full blown MOH mode.
In her parents bedroom, Hilary already had her sobbing mother helping her, as her grandmother sat off in the corner, taking swigs from Grace's flask. Hermione and Mrs. Weasley were tirelessly fixing the flowers that were to be carried down the aisle, and no one paid any mind to Ginny's arrival. She was just fine with that, it gave her more time to stare at Hilary, who was wearing the biggest, fluffiest, whitest thing she'd ever seen. She looked a bit like a snowball, but lacey.
"Oh, Ginny!" Hilary broke the workers silence as she saw her maid of honor walk in. "You look so good!"
"Uh, yeah, you too, Hil." responded, lying through her teeth. On second thought, she looked more like a cake decoration.
"Ginny, did you get rid of them all?" Hermione asked, shocked.
"Only for tonight," Ginny sighed. Her mother made a noise that sounded a mysterious amount like a swear.
"That is so kind of you!" Hilary sighed, her eyes brimming with tears.
"Yeah, well, hope you like it, it's your wedding present." Ginny told her feet, for she was far too uncomfortable to look at anyone.
"What happened to the fun girl?" Hilary's intoxicated grandmother demanded, "The one that looked like she was just coming from a damn good party!"
"That'd be me," Ginny responded, looking up with a small wave.
"Oh," the old witch frowned, "What happened to yuh?"
"Mother," Hilary's mum, Helen, started, "Ginny looks very nice, much better without those fake tattoos," Hilary gave a nervous little giggle, she had told her parents all of those were fake to keep them from completely flipping out, "and she has been very good to Hilary, we like this look on her."
"I don't think she's as much fun this way." the old woman reiterated, not backing down.
"I'm with you, Henrietta," Ginny said with a small nod, surprised she had remembered the woman's name.
"Enough chatter, back to work!" Grace insisted, even though she hadn't done any work as of yet.
Ginny could see her mother beaming at her out of the corner of her eye, undoubtedly pleased that she looked so much like her daughter again.
"Remember, Harry," Teddy instructed, "even if this is your wedding, if you're mean, I will yell at you." Harry rolled his eyes, for the entire day, Teddy had been warning him against doing anything mean and upsetting Ginny.
"I got it, Teddy." Harry sighed, trying to button his cuff to no avail. Ron had to step in to help him.
"And what do you say when you see her, tattoos and all?" Teddy questioned.
"You look pretty." Harry stated dully.
"Oh, Harry, not on your wedding day!" George bushed as he walked into the room where men were getting ready. "I mean, I know I look good in a tux, but really!"
It felt like just a blink of an eye before everyone was on their way to the actual ceremony, the sun getting ready to set.
"Now, Harry," Hilary's father started, pulling him to the side, "I want you to know, I care very deeply for my little girl." at this time, her brother and cousin also joined in, "And just because I'm not walking her down the aisle, her whole independence thing, doesn't mean the three of us won't make you very sorry if you hurt her."
"Er, right." Harry croaked, his nerves jumping up about fifty notches at this.
On the other side of the house, Hilary pulled Ginny off to the side, and Ginny braced herself for a very tearful speech.
"Listen, Weasley," Hilary hissed, her voice uncharacteristically angry, "if you do anything to mess up my special day, I swear to Merlin I will rip every pretty red strand of hair out of your head. Got it?"
"Er, right." Ginny managed to get out. She wasn't exactly sure how she felt at this moment.
"Victoire has more flowers than me!" Dominique's young voice broke the silence.
"Only because she keeps spilling hers!" the other flower girl countered.
Hilary let out an airy laugh at this and went off, apparently to assist Fleur with the dueling flower girls. Ginny stood very still, not sure as to exactly what had just happened.
The other bridesmaids all lined up at the door, Hermione first, before Ginny had even realized what she was supposed to do.
"There you are!" Hermione hissed, looking flustered. Her dress was the same as Ginny's and showing more cleavage than she preferred, putting her in a foul mood. The flower girls were already making their way down the aisle, Teddy close behind with the rings as the men all stood up front at the alter. The candles twinkling all around them added to the drama and beauty of it all.
"Where's Hilary?" Grace asked, her eye brow arched.
"What?" Ginny gaped, she had just been there a second ago.
"The bride." Grace sneered.
"Oh, right, I'll go get her." Ginny gulped, turning round to where she'd just come from.
This was not good. The bedroom Hilary had been getting ready in was abandoned, and there was no sign of her in the restroom downstairs.
They're all going to think I've killed her. Ginny decided as she became convinced that the bride had run away. In a last ditch effort, Ginny opened the front door, hoping that the bride had literally run away and that she could catch her. Instead, she found something completely different.
There was Hilary, giant white dress and all, snogging Michael Corner. Unsure of what else to do, Ginny promptly slammed the door shut, her eyes bugging out like they wanted to flee from what she just saw, but her body was too shocked to move.
"Ginny?" Hilary squeaked, the door creaking open, Ginny took a tentative step back."No?" Ginny responded, hoping she'd somehow get away with this.
"I--I don't know what just happened, he just showed up while I was helping with the girls, and we stepped out to talk, he says he got an invitation and decided to come, and I don't know what happened!" Hilary cried out, flinging up her hands in desperation.
"You snogged him, that's what happened!" Ginny pointed out, although secretly relieved that she wasn't the one to ruin this wedding.
"Ginny, he showed up and I realized, I--I still love him, with more passion than I ever loved Harry, and he feels the same way! Ginny, Michael and I are leaving, together. Now."
"You can't do this to me!" Ginny cried out.
"I know, it--wait, you?"
"Yes, me! Do you know how hard I've worked on this bloody wedding?! How much work I've put into it?! And you're ruining everything so much with your refusal to go through with it! Will you please just marry somebody here today, so I can at least get some credit for all this?!" Ginny demanded, hands on her hips
"Uh, Gin, we're leaving now, and I'd really appreciate it if you'd tell everyone for me, I really have to get going. Thanks so much for everything, bye!"
Hilary pulled the door shut behind her, and by the time Ginny opened it again, the bride and Michael were gone.
You can do this, her mind assured her as made her way to the back, where a very large, elaborate wedding was waiting, but I won't blame you if you fall and hit your head and die before having to.
Ginny pushed the back door open and the impatient looking audience all rose.
"Oh, never mind, it's not the bride, it's just my daughter." Mrs. Weasley commanded, and with a group sigh of frustration, everyone sat down. Hannah Abbott-Longbottom looked especially frustrated as it was rather difficult with her very pregnant belly to move around like this.
"Uh, Harry, can I talk to you alone for a minute?" Ginny asked nervously, wobbling on her heels.
"No." Harry stated, narrowing his eyes, "What did you do?"
"I didn't do anything!" Ginny objected. In response, Harry raised his left hand in a fist and put the back of it to his face, the words 'I must not tell lies' still visible in scar form. "It's upside down," Ginny told him, realizing that she was not going to come off as a good person at the end of all this.
"What's going on? Where's my daughter, what have you done to her?" Helen stood up, looking scandalized, people shifted in their seats uncomfortable all around, but no one gave any signs of wanting to leave.
"I haven't done anything!" Ginny insisted.
"Then where is she?" Hilary's father stood up now, showing his anger. "What have you done?!"
"I seriously have not done anything, so if everyone will just calm down for two bloody seconds I'll tell Harry what's going on and we can all--do whatever it is everyone here does!" Ginny snapped, this whole situation was getting on her nerves.
"No." Harry stated once again.
"No what?" Ginny demanded, not caring that she was turning red as everyone watched with morbid curiosity.
"No, I'm not going anywhere. You can say whatever you need to say in front of all of us."
"Are you mad?!"
"No, everyone here is either friend or family and have every right to know."
"Oh, how noble, but really, Harry, I think it'd be best if we went into the house for this."
"No, just tell me!"
"It's just that--"
"You don't even have something to say, do you? You just want to ruin everything like you always do! Always being difficult, always making unnecessary trou-"
"Hilary left!" Ginny finally snapped, not needing to hear a monologue dedicated to why she was a bad person right then.
"What?" Harry asked dumbly, his eyes big. He had a feeling that that was what had happened, but actually hearing it brought a sting he had not expected.
Ginny sighed, as everyone looked to her for more answers. "She left with Michael Corner. He showed up, said he had an invitation," the sudden memory of Luna not having an invitation after having passed it along flooded Ginny's mind, "and the two of them were talking…then snogging…then leaving…"
A very long minute ensued before the crack of Hilary's family apparating away filled the air, along with Grace and a few of the people who didn't know Harry, just Hilary.
"She left me?" Harry asked, completely shocked. "She left me at the altar?"
"You know, Ginny was left at the altar, perhaps you two should go and talk about that…" Molly Weasley gently told Harry, coming over to him from where she'd been sitting in the front aisle.
"My fiancé died you thoughtless, old hag!" Ginny spat, quite insulted. "Not the same thing! Not the same thing at all!"
"Yes, well, the point is you two can comfort each other!" Molly snapped.
In the middle of the crowd, Rolf leaned over to his wife, and quietly whispered, "What exactly just happened?"
"You owe me ten galleons." Luna responded serenely.
"I thought we only bet five!"
"Five for each. Five that Hilary'd leave with Corner, five that Mrs. Weasley would take this as a chance to push her daughter and Harry back together."
"Sometimes I think you're a seer secretly."
"Not a seer, I just pay more attention to the little things."
"You know, Harry," Teddy's voice broke into the crowd, "You're already dressed to get married, you might as well just marry Ginny now!"
"No!" Harry and Ginny chorused at the same time.
"Why not?" Teddy demanded, he didn't really feel like getting dressed up like this again.
"Harry, mate, just calm down," Ron soothed.
"I don't want to calm down! You don't understand, your wife didn't duck out of her wedding early!" Harry snapped. Hermione blushed, although she wasn't quite sure as to why.
"And she left with another man, remember." Ginny added. Several people openly glared at her for that.
"You're obviously upset, Harry, dear," Mrs. Weasley coaxed, "why don't you and Ginny go for dinner and talk about your anger?"
"No!" they chorused together again.
"I'll buy!" George offered, though no one paid any mind.
"What about lunch?" Mrs. Weasley offered.
"I'll buy that, too!"
Harry wavered a bit, but Ginny shook her head no, jaw clenched.
"Coffee, Gin-bug?" Mr. Weasley finally offered. He gave his only daughter a pleading look. A look that said 'don't be an idiot and let this opportunity and slip away and leave me with your broken hearted mother who will obsess on this topic till we're both dead' look.
"I like coffee." Ginny stated begrudgingly.
"Fine, we can get coffee or whatever." Harry stated, just as begrudgingly. He wasn't about to seem happier than she was about this whole situation.
"And after coffee?" Teddy asked, looking hopeful.
"Don't push your luck." Ginny instructed, raising an eyebrow.
"Let them start with coffee." Hermione told the boy, giving him an all knowing look.
Coffee. With Harry. And George paying. Well, it was a start.