I Loved Her First

AN: I fell in love with the song and the story came - I later used part of the story in ADB.

Song: I Loved Her First by Heartland

I stood in the reception hall watching. My little princess looked like a Queen. She was dressed in the white silk and lace wedding dress that she had designed and made from scratch with the help of my wife. It was as she had called it, her perfect dress. It was strapless and cut straight across her bodice for a modest cut, tight fitting on her torso and then flaring out from the waist down. The dress was made of silk with lace flowers and swirls patterned along her breasts, as a belt around her waist, and along the hem of the dress. On top of the lace were tiny glass flowers to match the veil that she wore as well as tiny pearls. Her hair was swept up in a fantastic twist of braids and curls, with a curl dangling down on each side of her face and a few dangling down in the back of her hair.

The groom looked just as handsome of course, so don't think that I'm prejudiced. His hair was as usual sticking up in every which direction, but that was quite normal for him. He wore a black tux with a white dress shirt beneath and a black bow tie. My little princess had picked it out for him when he had decided that he didn't want to wear wizarding robes. Good thing he looked so good really, as Molly wasn't pleased with the plan of non-wizarding robes for the wedding. I would never say so to her of course, but I'm glad that for once my wife didn't get her way – after all, it was my sweetheart's wedding.

She leaned closer to her new husband and I could only sigh. They looked wonderful together, so much in love, yet it still broke my heart. I reached across the table to squeeze my wife's hand; she also had tears in her eyes. They held each other close on the dance floor, swaying to the music as they stared deep into each other's eyes. That was the moment it hit me. She wasn't mine anymore.

Look at the two of you dancing that way
Lost in the moment and each others face
So much in love your alone in this place
Like there's nobody else in the world
I was enough for her not long ago
I was her number one
She told me so
And she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl
Time changes everything
Life must go on
And I'm not gonna stand in your way

I closed my eyes, bringing back to mind the way that she had stood in front of the mirror in her bedroom, surrounded by her bridesmaids of Hermione, Fleur, Luna, Demelza, Lavender, and Parvati. They had dressed her and were only adding what they would consider the finishing touches when I had come up.

I watched all of this from my spot in the doorway trying to ignore the tears that were shining in my eyes. That was my baby girl standing there in that incredible dress. This was her big day. I stepped forward; taking her hands in my own and gave her my brightest smile, even if my tears were still there.

"Merlin, Ginevra, you look beautiful. You look just like a princess. When did my baby grow up so fast on me?"

Ginny smiled warmly at me. "Daddy, I didn't grow up fast at all."

I could only smile at her. If only she could understand that the seventeen years of her life had gone by much too quickly in my mind's eye. "They did for me, sweetheart." I leaned over to kiss her cheek before I pulled out the jewellery box that I had hidden in my cloak. "I want you to wear this today. It belonged to your great-great-grandmother."

Ginny opened the box carefully and gasped as she looked down at the sapphire and rhinestone necklace. "Oh Daddy!"

"It's been passed down in my family for generations. The sapphires are real, but those aren't real diamonds, though they sparkle just the same. Your mother wore it on our wedding day. I'd like you to wear it on yours." I took the necklace from her hands and carefully clipped it around her neck. "Now you look perfect."

Her eyes lit up with joy before she threw her arms around me and hugged me tightly. I could only sigh. "I love you, Daddy."

Those four little words did it for me. My eyes started leaking before I could prevent myself. The last thing anybody needed was for me to be leaky faucet! But how could I stop it. Her scent was so grown up. She smelt of spring flowers and a bit like strawberries, but I missed the scent of childhood, the one that smelt like Molly's kitchen, sweat, and soap. But as I hugged her closer I knew that she wasn't a child any longer. This was my baby girl standing here and she was an adult. She looked so grown up and so incredibly beautiful. "I love you too, sweetheart. Are you ready to go?"

She nodded at me. "Daddy, I've been waiting for this day my entire life."

I only smiled at her and took her arm in mine as I led her out of the room. We watched from the back of the room as her bridesmaids each walked down the aisle in beautiful dresses of emerald green. But Hermione, as the bridesmaid, wore bright blue. Then before I knew it, it was our turn.

My eyes continued to shine with tears as I began the short walk up the aisle. We reached the front and I handed her over with a kiss on each cheek to the dark haired young man that I had already come to love as my own son. And as I stood to the side and I watched them profess their love for one another and as I heard them take their vows I could only marvel on how the tiny miracle that I remembered had grown up into such a beautiful young woman.

Now as I sat at the table, my wife's hand held tightly in my own as I watched them share their first dance as husband and wife, I could only hope that their love would last as long and as pure as mine has with my Molly. I wiped a tear from my eye and I looked over at Harry, his eyes were shining with love for my baby girl. As the song ended and I was awarded with a father-daughter dance, my eyes met that of my son-in-law.

"Congratulations again."

Harry could only grin at me. "I love her, sir, more then anything in the world."

I could only nod as my eyes drifted back over to my beautiful daughter. I knew he loved her.

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it
s still hard to give her away
I loved her first

I took my daughter's hands in my own as we drifted into our dance. She smiled up at me, her eyes glowing with happiness. Those beautiful chocolate brown eyes that I knew she got from me, but at the same time wondered why they looked so much more beautiful in her. I leaned down and kissed her cheek.

"I love you, Ginevra."

Ginny smiled up at me. "You know, you're the only person I let get away with calling me that."

I only smiled at her. "I was the one who gave you the nickname of Ginny, sweetheart. But tonight, you look like a Ginevra."

She only smiled warmly at me before she stood on her toes to kiss my cheek and then leaned in closer to cuddle a bit the way she used to when she was a child. "And you look like my Daddy. You smell of cologne and chocolate. Just like when I was a baby."

I tried not to look guilty but I knew that my ears were flaming red. "Chocolate, dear? What are you talking about? I haven't even had any dessert yet."

Ginny only grinned at me. "The chocolates you keep in your coat pocket. Everyone knows they're there." She kissed my cheek again, her eyes twinkling with mischief and it hit me.

Ginevra was a woman. A beautiful woman. My baby girl had left the premises completely. I suddenly felt like an old man. I closed my eyes as I inhaled her scent and I remembered the day that she had been born.

I stood in St. Mungo's, watching in fascination as the healer placed that tiny miracle into my arms. She had been so much smaller then the boys and I remembered how I had been afraid to hold her, almost as if she would break. I placed a kiss on her forehead and promised always to protect her.

Molly smiled warmly at me from the bed. "Let me hold her, Arthur, my baby girl."

I placed her carefully into my wife's arms. "She's so small, Molly. She looks tinier then the boys did."

Molly smiled up at me. "She is smaller. Look at her. Ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. I finally got my baby girl."

I grinned at her. "It only took six tries to succeed. And we got six boys at home."

Molly groaned. "I don't even want to imagine what kind of trouble Fred and George have gotten themselves into for the sitter."

I looked down at the tiny pink bundle in my wife's arms again. "She's definitely going to be a red-head, but what colour do you think her eyes will be?"

Molly smiled. "We'll just have to wait and see. But I think that they might go brown like yours."

"Mine?" I asked in surprise, feeling very proud to think that I would pass my brown eyes down to my daughter. "Really?"

Molly nodded. "I think so. But we'll just have to wait and see. What are we going to name her, Arthur?"

I stared down at the beautiful bundle in my wife's arms. She was my baby girl; the miracle that my wife had prayed for every night after dealing with six boys. "What do you think? I think she should have a special name."

Molly nodded. "I do too. The last book I read the main character's name was Ginevra."

I grinned. "It sounds exotic."

"Do you think she could be Ginevra?"

I smiled warmly at my wife. "Ginevra Molly Weasley; my little Ginny."

Molly smiled. "Ginny. It's perfect."

I leaned down to kiss my wife softly. "So are you. And so is she."

The years only seemed to pass quickly. It became a habit for me to tuck her in at night and she always wanted to hear a story and how could a father resist those big brown eyes and cute freckles. From Merlin to Snow White to Cinderella to Beauty and the Beast and of course, her favourite story of all – The Boy Who Lived, I would sit every night and tell her a story.

I looked down at her now and smiled. My baby girl was all grown up. The dance ended and I kissed her cheeks again before I handed her back over to her husband for another dance. I stood next to my wife and I sighed as I watched them together.

How could that beautiful women with you
Be the same freckle face kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairy tales to
And tucked into bed all those nights
And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time

The first time that I met Harry Potter he had been twelve years old. Our meeting had been cut a little short due to the lecture that I had been receiving from my wife because of a certain flying car in my possession, but he seemed like a nice enough boy. Then my Ginny had come barreling down the stairs, taken one look at Harry and shrieked running back up them. My only thought was – shite! My baby has her first crush.

I could have handled the crush; after all, I knew that she was growing up. But then my respect for Harry grew ten-fold when he rescued my baby from the Chamber of Secrets and saved her from being possessed by You-Know-Who himself – I still shudder when I think about it – that was when I knew that it was trouble. Ginny may have lost that childhood crush but feelings had developed.

The day that she had come home after Dumbledore's funeral, I knew. I can't say how I knew but I just knew that my baby and Harry had started. When Harry came back to the Burrow for my oldest son Bill's wedding I watched them as they watched each other from across the room. There was so much emotion in that gaze that I felt my father's heart roar with anger at the young man for thinking about my baby that way and my father's pride for my daughter for catching such a good man.

Now as I watched them share a second dance only two years from the moment that I knew, I couldn't help but see the love that the two of them shared radiating from them. It showed in the way they moved, in the way they looked at each other, and most of all in the way that they held each other. They were so much in love.

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But its still hard to give her away
I loved her first

The reception really got going once their dance ended and Harry made his way over to me.

"Are you alright, Dad? You've been looking … well, not so good."

I smiled at him. "I'm fine, Harry. It's just … she's my baby."

Harry smiled warmly at me. "I love her, sir. I love her more then anything in this world and I promise that I will take good care of her."

"I know. It's just … I loved her first."

He stared at me quizzically for a moment. "What?"

"I loved her first. From the first time she breathed and when she first smiled at me. And I prayed that she'd find you one day, but it's still hard to give her away because I loved her first."

Harry smiled at me then. "Dad, you're not going to lose her. You're still and always will be the most important man in her life. I could never and I would never try to take that away from you. She's still yours."

I nodded. "If only she still was. Just wait until you have a baby girl and then we'll have this discussion again."

Harry laughed at that. "Alright. I love her too."

I only smiled. "But I loved her first."

From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
Someday you might know what I'm going through
When a miracle smiles up at you
I loved her first