"Ron. Ron! Bloody hell, Ron! Will you please stop moving?" My hands dropped from where they were attempting to fix my best friend's tie, his fumbling fingers having had no luck with the piece of fabric.
"Sorry, mate, I'm just so…" Ron trailed off and froze. "Harry, I don't even know what I'm feeling! It's all just mixed up in a…in a bumbling beehive down here in my stomach." He began to move again. "It's like I'm happy and know what I'm about to do is right, but then a huge burst of nervousness and, and complete petrification comes and stings the happiness." At this point I was just trying to keep from being hit by Ron's wild gesticulating. It didn't help that he had started up his pacing again.
"Look at me, Ron," I said. "You love Hermione. She loves you. And there isn't a single thing that either of you can do about it." I was trying desperately to convince my best friend that he was getting something he truly wanted and even more truly deserved. It was just a little difficult while Ron was in his current…state of mind. "It's your wedding day. So cheer up, mate. The happiest day of your life and all that."
Unfortunately, my little pep talk didn't seem to pick Ron up any. I sighed and called over my shoulder as I walked out the door, "Let me see if I can send Ginny in." I paused by the door. "And if I don't see you before you go out, well, good luck, mate." I smiled and vanished around the corner and through the Gryffindor common room to the girls' dormitories, the enchantment on the girls' stairs usually keeping me out having been lifted for the wedding.
Ginny met me about halfway up her stairs, her face mirroring my own emotions, looking excited, flustered, a tad frustrated, and completely exhausted.
"Hermione's almost ready, just a little nervous. Maybe you can pep her up some," Ginny said, rushing toward me to the guys' dormitories.
I started to tell her about how that might not be such a great idea, seeing how well talking with Ron went, but she obviously wasn't looking for a response because she continued talking.
"I'm going to go see Ron now and get him all ready, so have fun walking our Hermione down the aisle." She gave me a quick peck on the cheek before dashing down the stairs and calling, "Don't trip!"
Just as she was mounting the boys' stairs, I remembered, "Oh, Ginny, Ron's tie–"
"I've got it!"
I really do love that woman. I stared after her with a slight grin until she darted into Ron's and my old dormitory, then I headed up to Hermione's.
I gave a short knock at the dormitory door before entering to see the girl I had grown to love as a sister (woman, I scolded myself internally, for to me she would always be the sharp-witted, yet gentle child she was when we had met) gazing self-consciously at her reflection in the window. She turned to greet me with a small nervous smile, and the only thought I could think was breathtaking,for that was the only word that even came close to describing her appearance.
Hermione's usually frizzy hair (that I have always found quite lovely, despite the snickers that she would occasionally earn for it) appeared tame, and was twisted back in a fashion that reminded me faintly of her hair during the Yule Ball in fourth year, with wavy strands beginning to peek out, due to the hot weather of the summer's day, I assumed.
Her dress was a picture of elegance and simplicity, with quarter length shear lace sleeves, a graceful v-neck top, and a sleek skirt reaching just below her feet. According to Hermione, I recalled startlingly, it was the same dress Mrs. Weasley had worn when she herself had married, but I quickly shook that mental image from my head with a small, happy laugh.
"Well I'm glad that someone finds all this chaos so amusing," Hermione teased, not unkindly.
"You look beautiful, Hermione," I grinned, and leaned forward to lightly brush my lips against her forehead.
Hermione beamed up at me, slightly flushed at the sincerity of my compliment.
"So do you," she replied kindly, before realizing her error and hurrying to correct herself. "Not beautiful, of course! What I meant to say- beautiful was the wrong word….uh"
But she trailed off abruptly at the humorous look on my face, and simultaneously we both burst out into hysterical laughter, and I clutched the edge of one of the dormitory beds for support.
"Good thing Ron isn't here, he'd never let me hear the end of that one." Hermione proclaimed, when the laughter had subsided.
I was happy to notice the small smile that came over Hermione's mouth when she spoke the name of our goofy, loveable best friend.
"Me neither," I chuckled.
As I was picturing my best mate's reaction to Hermione's mistake ("Why yes, Harry, you do look absolutely beautiful today"), Ginny popped her head in from around the corner.
"Five minutes 'till go time" She announced with a mischievous smile in my direction that left my head spinning as she left.
"Shall we then?" I questioned, collecting myself, turning towards the door.
"Wait, Harry!" I heard Hermione's call from behind me.
"This is going to sound silly," she mumbled as her face turned to the floor.
"No, of course not, what is it?" I was worried, but it was a comfort knowing Hermione wouldn't get cold feet; I knew how much she loved Ron, and how absolutely right all of this was.
"I just want you to promise me," she looked towards me, "promise me that this isn't going to change anything between the three of us."
"Why would it change anything?" I was puzzled, unable to see how anything could change.
"We wouldn't be where we are today without you Harry, you know you mean so much to the both of us. And well, it's going to be a lot different now, with me and Ron living off on our own, and I want you to promise that the friendship between the three of us won't fade."
I smiled, and rested my hand reassuringly on her shoulder. This had to be hard for her; neither of my best friends were particularly good at expressing what they were feeling.
"Relax, Hermione – you won't be able to get rid of me that easily."
She laughed her warm laugh.
"I'll come visit you so often, that it will probably be annoying, actually," I joked. "I don't ever have to leave, I can even sleep in the same room with you two…it's not like there's any reason you two would ever want time alone."
I batted my eyelashes innocently as she slapped me lightly on the shoulder and shoved me out the door.
We proceeded to walk to the entrance right outside the Great Hall, where the ceremony was about to commence. I peered out the doorway to the front of the room where Ron was standing nervously, and where I would join him as his best man after walking Hermione up the aisle to the altar. It was rather unconventional for the man giving the bride away to also be the best man, but Hermione had no other family, and I was honored to have the privilege. Besides, since when had anything regarding Ron and Hermione's relationship been conventional?
I heard organ music begin to echo from the front of the room, and Ginny gave me a quick thumbs up sign as she began her stroll down the aisle first as the maid of honor, followed slowly by Luna (who, being escorted by a rather nervous looking Neville, was gazing around dreamily).
She always did seem like the type who would like weddings, I thought fondly. I was glad that he had convinced Hermione to include her in the wedding: Luna was a kind-hearted girl, and from the way Neville lit up as she lightly gripped his arm as they made their way towards the front of the room, it might not be too long until she got one of her own.
Next in the procession were the Weasley boys (excluding Ron of course. And Fred. One mustn't forget Fred) I swallowed a lump in my throat. No one would ever forget Fred, of this I was sure, and I was happy to see George was actually smiling as he stepped down the aisle.
Next it was our turn. It was the moment. I gently lowered the veil over Hermione's eyes, and I could sense the nervousness in her eyes as she looked up at me with a weak, but fond and excited, smile. I smiled back, with as much confidence as I could muster, hoping to soothe her nerves.
"Are you ready?" I leaned into her to whisper softly.
I saw her smile widen, reaching her eyes. She placed her arm on mine.
And stepped forward.