New Beginnings.
[Harry-Ginny, Ron-Hermione, Dean-Luna & Neville. Set approx. Nov 2000. Harry and Ginny are engaged and preparing for their wedding. Ron and Hermione are hovering in their relationship, neither one sure where it's going. Luna is happily dating George Weasley, oblivious to the fact that Neville likes her. ]

It was a cold and rainy day in Diagon Alley but that didn't prevent shoppers from venturing into the wet to go about their errands. Ginny's red hair was plastered to her face as she attempted to navigate her way through the mass of people but it was proving impossible. She had to pick up her robes from Madam Malkin's if she wanted to get to Hogsmeade in time. As she was a witch it would only take her a few seconds to Apparate, but she was still running late. She shoved her way past a portly man and his unruly children who were fighting over a fake wand to get through the door to Madam Malkin's. Fortunately Madam Malkin was an old friend of the family and had her package ready and waiting.

"Miss Weasley, it is so good to see you," Madam Malkin greeted cheerfully. She immediately spotted the glistening engagement ring on Ginny's finger and her mouth dropped open to form a perfect 'O.' "Congratulations! When's the big day?" she asked eagerly as she handed over the bulky package.

"About three weeks," Ginny replied happily, the diamond in her ring catching the light overhead as she dropped a few fat galleons into Madam Malkin's hand. She quickly said goodbye and turned on the spot. It wasn't a surprise to find that the weather in Hogsmeade was bright and sunny as she slipped into Madam Puddifoot's Tea Shop. Two familiar girls with their brown and blonde hair were sitting at a booth in the corner, already in a deep discussion about their most controversial topic as of late.

"I told you that she's not going to have it at the Burrow. It will be at Hogwarts for sure," Hermione said assuredly. Luna shook her head insistently, her half-moon earrings slightly visible beneath her wave of blonde hair as they dangled back and forth.

"Why would she have it at Hogwarts? Just because they went to school there I doubt that they would see it as an ideal location," Luna said determinedly. Both girls looked up when they saw Ginny approaching and moved over so she could sit down.

"Girls, please stop arguing over wedding details because it's just making me even more stressed," said Ginny, putting her package at her feet and waving over the waitress. Hermione and Luna exchanged a look before responding.

"Of course Ginny, but it's only three weeks away. You need to settle on a location soon so you can send out invitations," Hermione said reasonably. She didn't want to push the issue because any detail about the wedding that hadn't been tied up was pushing Ginny over the edge lately. She ordered three Gillywaters and instead turned to a topic that was guaranteed to put a smile on her best friend's face.

"How is training going?" she asked interestedly. Ginny's face lit up and she started chatting in detail about her new job as Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies. It was keeping her crazily busy so she'd employed Hermione and Luna to help her with wedding arrangements. Harry didn't have much time to help as he was a full-time Auror but whenever he was available he tried to sit down and talk with Ginny about it. Ginny, Hermione and Luna spent the next hour talking over Gillywater before Hermione got called into the Ministry and Luna left in giggles to meet George for dinner at the Leaky Cauldron.

***

When Ginny arrived at Number Twelve Grimmauld Place her fiancée was sitting by the fireplace as usual. She wasn't surprised to see her brother's head in the fames, just slightly annoyed. Harry had promised that they'd spend some time together tonight but here he was working as usual. Ginny didn't mind him being an Auror but wished he'd put her first for once.

"I can try and make it but Ginny has cake tasting or something organized then. I can probably get out of it," Harry said eagerly, unaware that Ginny was listening in from around the corner.

"Must be a drag with all this planning," Ron said.

"Yeah, I can't wait for it to be over with to be honest," Harry said disinterestedly. Ginny hasped, clapping her hand to her mouth and letting her package fall to the ground. She didn't see Harry stand up or Ron's words from the fire. Tears overflowed and spilled down her cheeks as she ran from the room.

"Ginny, wait!" Harry cried, but his distraught bride-to-be had already disappeared out the door and into the pouring rain.

***

Luna giggled as George pushed her against a shelf and a witches hat fell down on her blonde curls. He swept it off and planted his lips on hers. She could smell his cologne, feel his hand in her hair as more products rained down on them. All of a sudden a box of fireworks exploded and began soaring through the air, lighting up the dark room. Luna jumped backwards in surprise and had to Disapparate so she didn't get buried beneath the falling shelf. When she Apparated back in the mess had vanished but fireworks were still exploding everywhere, shining the light on George's face which had turned a deep shade of crimson.

"I better get going. I have to be at an interview early tomorrow morning anyway," said Luna, trying not to laugh. George just nodded as Luna Disapparated, kicking himself for letting his stupid joke shop ruin the moment.

Meanwhile Luna Apparated into Hermione's sitting room. She knew her friend was prone to staying up late and writing reports for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement so when she appeared next to an armchair it wasn't a surprise to find the lights still on.

"Luna! I thought you were out with George?" Hermione asked in surprise. Luna collapsed onto the armchair, her blonde curls bouncing.

"Yeah I was. It was going really well too when his fireworks exploded," Luna said with a sigh. Hermione raised her eyebrows.

"Do you say that metaphorically?" she questioned in confusion. Luna looked up, her eyes wide.

"No, I'm serious. We were in the stock room at his shop and you know, we were doing stuff when fireworks exploded," she said irritably. Hermione dropped her parchment and quill as she clapped her hand to her mouth.

"And then what happened?" Hermione asked interestedly. Luna shook her head, her blonde curls flying every which way.

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I left and I still have no idea what's going on with us," Luna said dejectedly. Hermione moved aside her large pile of parchment to comfort her friend. She suggested they go to the Three Broomsticks and have a drink so they Apparated into the alleyway next door and almost hit someone who was slumped next to the dumpster.

"Oh, sorry" Hermione apologized, but her mouth dropped open when she recognized the familiar head of flaming red hair. Ginny looked up and they could see her pale face was tear-stained and eyes watery.

"Oh my gosh! Ginny, what's going on?" Hermione cried, pulling her best friend to her feet. Ginny wiped her eyes with the sleeve of her jacket.

"I don't know" she gasped, choking on her own words. With Hermione and Luna each on one side of her, the three girls walked into the Three Broomsticks for some Butterbeer and a long conversation.