Author Notes: Harry and Ginny get married! Things go downhill from there...Will be a much longer story, with Harry/Ginny and eventual Harry/Luna. Probably some Ron/Hermione as well. This chapter takes place December 8, 1999.
Harry James Potter gazed thoughtfully at his reflection. The mirror showed him a smartly dressed young man with green eyes behind wire-rim glasses and black hair that stuck up in the back (he'd used some of Hagrid's greasy gel on it, but even that wasn't enough to tame the hair he'd inherited from his father—it stuck up defiantly). His bangs hid the lightning scar that hadn't so much as twinged in exactly one year, seven months, and six days.
"Am I ready?" he asked his reflection.
The mirror snorted. "Wedding, right?" it asked complacently. "Always the same."
Harry grinned ruefully, wondering if it was that obvious.
"Ready?" his best man asked, strolling casually into the room. Harry frowned. What right had Ron Weasley to act so carefree? His younger sister was marrying his best friend—shouldn't he be stiff and formal, like Bill (who, surprisingly, seemed to be the Weasley brother most affected at the thought of losing his baby sister) or covered in sentimental tears, like Mrs. Weasley, or stricken, like George (although George's stricken expression had little to do with the wedding)?
"As ready as I'll ever be," grinned Harry, making for the door.
"Wait just one moment, Potter," said Ron, blocking his progress. "You're my best mate, but if you hurt her, taking out You-Know-Who will look like child's play. Understand?"
Harry looked back at Ron, wondering when he'd grown up. Was it really eight years since they'd first met, sharing a compartment on the Hogwarts Express? It seemed like only yesterday…"Don't worry," he told Ron. "I'd never hurt her."
Ron stepped aside, and held the door for the groom, thinking, I love Harry, and all, but sometimes he's incredibly dense. Never hurt her? What'd he call it when he broke it off with her before we went hunting for Horcruxes in seventh year? Or all those times he ignored her, when she's loved him as long as I can remember? Never hurt her? He'd better not.
Meanwhile, in another room of the Burrow, three girls clustered around another mirror, talking.
"Oh, these shoes are too beautiful!" one of them, a bushy-haired girl wearing an elegant green dress, exclaimed. "Where did you find them, Luna? They're perfect!"
"Oh," the blonde girl adding the finishing touches to the embroidered hem of the wedding dress said vaguely, "Indira Karishma. The Patil twins have started a fashion revolution, you know. They kindly gave me the shoes at a very low price when they heard who I wanted them for."
"How sweet! They remembered Harry and the DA and everything! And I suppose you knew Padma, anyway, since she was a Ravenclaw. Isn't that just perfect? So they just gave you the shoes?" the bushy-haired girl asked.
"Well, not exactly," said Luna calmly. "And, really, they only did it because they're trying to make it in the design world, and what could be better than the patronage of Mrs. Harry Potter? Or Mrs. Harry Potter in about half an hour, allowing for all the last minute details, anyway."
The bushy-haired girl frowned in annoyance (she preferred the how-sweet-favor-for-the-great-Harry-Potter explanation) but before she could start a quarrel, the bride spoke.
"Hermione, don't. I can't stand another logic versus emotion-slash-reality-slash-Crumple-Horned Snorkacks—really, it's just logic versus Luna—bridesmaid debate right now. Well, girls," asked Ginevra Margaret Weasley, "what do you think? Am I ready?" She turned, holding out her arms and striking a pose.
"Oh, don't you look beautiful! My baby girl's getting married!" cried Molly Weasley, transfixed in the doorway. "I can't believe it!" She rushed over to Ginny and embraced her. "Mrs. Ginny Potter! Oh, sweetheart, this is the happiest day of your life! If only your dear brother were here—" she broke off, sobbing.
Ginny patted her mother on the back consolingly. "I know, Mum," she said, tears glistening in her eyes as well. "I know."
Hermione fidgeted, not sure what to do. Luna bent over her flowers, her long blonde hair forming a curtain around her face, in order to give mother and daughter some privacy.
"Well," said Mrs. Weasley a few minutes later, straightening up and dabbing at her eyes with an already soaked handkerchief. "I'd better be going—checking on the guests, you know, dears. Don't be late, sweetheart!" She hurried out of the room.
Ginny gazed thoughtfully at her Holyhead Harpies poster. Her long red hair, elaborately coiffed, gleamed in the glancing sunlight that showed through her window. "Am I doing the right thing?" she asked quietly.
Hermione looked surprised. "What do you mean?"
"Marrying Harry," Ginny elaborated. At Hermione's even more shocked look, she hastened to add, "I mean, getting married now. Of course, I've always wanted to marry him, but we've barely seen each other for months now. I feel like I haven't gotten him alone since the night he proposed, in July. And now it's December! That's five whole months! We've both been so busy—he has the Ministry, and I have the Harpies, not to mention a wedding to plan! And, before that, we didn't see each other much last year either. Seventh year wasn't exactly a blast. And there he was, writing your special legislation—"
"Ginny, the Anti-Torture Act is very important," reproached Hermione. "And, we just finished it. I mean, it still needs a bit of polishing, and then we've got to get it past the Wizengamot, but we're nearly there, you know? This is what we've been fighting for!"
"I know, I know," said Ginny hurriedly. "Godric, it's not that. I'm not denigrating the ATA—I think it's a great idea."
"Of course it is," agreed Luna. "Unforgiveable Curses are just the beginning, you know. Or perhaps they're the end. Still…"
"My point is—" began Ginny.
Hermione put her hands on her hips. "It sounds like your actual point is that you're worried about marrying Harry because you, what, don't know him?" She snorted. "And as for not seeing him—well, that's all about to change, isn't it? You are having a proper honeymoon, aren't you?"
"Yes," agreed Ginny, brightening. She twirled a bit in her wedding dress, watching the white material swing gently around her feet. "So…" she began slyly. "What about you and my brother?"
Hermione flushed, then grinned. "It's good…"
"He looks much happier lately. You must be good for him," put in Luna.
"Well, you know Ron," said Hermione ruefully. "He never wants to admit how he really feels."
"Men!" exclaimed Ginny melodramatically, pouting at the mirror, flinging out her arms, and swaying precariously on one foot. She grabbed Hermione's shoulder to keep her balance, and Luna darted out of the way as her high-heel swept an arc across the floor. Luna rose, and Ginny pulled her into a one-armed hug, not letting go of Hermione's shoulder. All three girls gazed joyously at their image in the mirror, and then burst out laughing.
The wedding was well attended, Ernie MacMillan thought. He'd exchanged a word or two with Percy Weasley at the garden gate, and consequently had received confirmation of his theory that everyone who was anyone (from the DA to the Order of the Phoenix to the press) was present. He nodded complacently to Dean Thomas, who was sitting in the back looking uncomfortable, and to Hannah Abbott, who was grinning from ear to ear. He thought he saw Augusta Longbottom, but refrained from attempting to exchange even a nod with her. Whatever anyone said, Ernie was well aware that Neville's grandmother was far more powerful than most people seemed to realize.
A hush fell over the crowd as Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Neville Longbottom rose from their seats in the front row.
Andromeda Tonks watched the bride float down the aisle, white dress shining and long red hair elaborately laced with gold. Her two bridesmaids followed, both stunning in forest green dresses of the same style. Mrs. Tonks watched wistfully, wishing her own daughter could have had such a lovely wedding. It was so unjust—Nymphadora had only just begun in life, a new wife and mother…and her aunt, Andromeda's own sister, had ripped that away. It all came back to Voldemort, Andromeda thought bitterly. He had ruined so many lives…
"…then I declare you bonded for life." Harry and Ginny smiled into one another's eyes, hands clasped together. Andromeda sighed sorrowfully. Teddy Remus Lupin, one-and-a-half and restless, squirmed in her arms, his hair changing from a mild turquoise to an angry red.
"Grandromeda," he complained. "Bored!"
"Hush, Teddy, hush."
Rita Skeeter was not having a good day. Her coffee that morning had been cold, she'd had to fire her assistant before lunch for amateur embezzlement (laughably obvious; no one seemed to have any standards anymore) and the Weasley-Potter wedding was so cheerful and beautiful—the bride and groom glowed, everyone who was supposed to be there was, no one said the wrong name…Disappointing, Rita thought. This sweet-as-sugar affair would never give her much of a headline. And the Weasleys seemed so anti-scandal, too. Even the one who worked with dragons, or the eldest, who was almost a werewolf and had married a Veela. Rita watched the groom dance with the bride's mother, and the bride dance with her father (since, for obvious reasons, the groom's father was deceased), and wondered if this were going to be a complete waste of time.
She spotted bushy-haired Hermione Granger dancing with the youngest Weasley brother, and scowled. The newlywed Potters barely stayed for the toasts (the best man, the youngest Weasley brother, droned on and on about secret love and Potter rescuing the Weasley girl from this, that and the other horrible danger, until Rita was ready to scream) before making good their escape.
"Lovely couple, aren't they?" Muriel told Rita loudly. "And you can quote me on that. Pity Ginevra didn't wear my tiara, though. Younger generation! No respect! Harry Potter's a brave man, you know. We missed him at William's wedding to the French girl. Still—brave man, don't you think?"
"Yes, of course. So do you have any doubts about the marriage? Are they too young, too restless…?" Rita trailed off expectantly, quill poised.
"Too young?" began Muriel.
"Muriel!" shrieked ancient, doddering Elphias Doge. "Come away at once!" He glared at Rita, whose lips curved into an entirely artificial smile.
"Elphias, you're such an old woman!" grumbled Muriel, allowing herself to be led away. Rita sighed in frustration, and looked around for other likely targets to interview.
"Well? What do you think?" asked Harry James Potter, gesturing around at a secluded cabin in a forest glade. "It's pretty empty out here…not much to do…"
"Oh," said Ginny Margaret Weasley Potter, grinning up at him without even bothering to look around, "I'm sure we can find…something…to do…"