Look No Further
Look No Further - Dido
Ginny woke again, except this time the room was completely quiet. The bed she lay in was much more comfortable, and a small ray of sunlight was peeking through her window. She sighed and stretched slowly, noting the pain in her abdomen was considerably better than the last time she had attempted this.
"Hi," a low voice whispered. Ginny rolled over to see Harry sitting on the edge of her bed, leaning against the wall. They were in her old room at The Burrow, and he was clean shaven and much less pale than the last time she had seen his face.
Ginny smiled and reached out for him. Harry slid closer to her and interlaced his fingers with hers. "How are you feeling?" he asked quietly.
"Better… I'm not so sore," Ginny replied. "How did I get home?"
"I convinced Kingsley to talk the healers into letting you come home. You still have to take all of those," he explained, indicating a row of potions that lay on her nightstand, "but you can at least be home."
"This feels weird, it's not so much my home anymore," she replied, looking around.
Harry smiled. "Well, for your parents' sake I brought you here. Ron and Hermione are staying here as well. They're both on a similar regimen, because whatever they took is still somewhat active; every now and then they'll lose their thoughts and just go blank. It's a little amusing," he confessed.
Ginny shook her head. "How ridiculous was all that?"
"Ridiculous enough; but it's over," Harry said.
Ginny sighed, and attempted to sit up; wincing as the pain in her abdomen shot through her. Harry assisted her and helped her become seated more comfortably; he moved closer to her and placed his hands against her face, examining her closely.
"I'm so sorry."
"Why are you apologizing? You in no way intended for any of this to happen," she said. "But like you said… it's over," she reminded him, pressing her own palm against his cheek.
Harry leaned in and kissed her lightly on the forehead, then the nose, and finally her lips. His kiss was gentle; she could sense he was trying to be careful with her.
"I'm not breakable," she whispered.
Harry smiled. "Well… until you cease being a potion addict," he teased, "I'm going to be careful with you, like it or not."
Ginny smiled and chuckled lightly. "I'm assuming no Quidditch," she said.
"Nope… you're out for the rest of the season, Gwenog's orders. But she expects you back in the fall," Harry explained.
"Well, that will give us enough time to get away for a while… right? I could use a holiday," she said, laying back against her pillows.
Harry sighed. "There's something I'd actually like to do before that," he said.
"What?" Ginny asked, eyeing him curiously.
Harry grinned and reached into his pocket. He took her hand in his, she felt something very small fall into her palm and then he released her hand and watched her closely.
Ginny opened her hand to see a very small, but very beautiful, ring lying in it. It was simple; the gold band surrounded a small round diamond, offset by two even smaller ones. "Harry… where did you find this?" she whispered, examining it closely.
"It was my mum's," he explained, his voice full of constricted emotion. He pulled out a book and laid it on her lap, opening to a picture of his parents on their wedding day. Ginny looked closely at Lily Potter and could see the same ring upon her finger as she waved from inside the pages.
"How?" Ginny asked incredulously.
Harry shrugged. "I went to McGonagall's office to talk about everything, and Dumbledore told me to check the corners of my vault. There it was; I don't know when it was put in there but… I'm glad someone did," he said with a smile.
"It's very pretty," Ginny whispered.
"So are you," he replied. Ginny looked up and smiled. Harry took her hands in his and knelt down on the floor. "I imagined doing this in a much more extravagant way; but then I remembered when you kissed me on my seventeenth birthday, in this room… and I remember thinking how much being with you is like something from another life," he explained. "I want that life, Ginny."
"Me too," she whispered.
"Marry me?" asked Harry.
Ginny smiled and pressed her lips to his. "Of course," she whispered back.
Six Months Later…
"I'm not so sure this was the best idea any of us have ever had," Hermione said as she laced up the back of Ginny's white gown. It was strapless, covered in beading, and laced up the back like a corset. Ginny's long red hair was curled intricately curled and tumbled loosely around her shoulders.
"Why do you say that?" Ginny asked, as she leaned toward the mirror and finished putting mascara on her eyes. She watched Hermione put on her shoes, which were beige and offset her spring green dress perfectly. Hermione's hair was pulled up into a loose knot at the crown of her head, a few strands hanging loosely around her face.
"I think your poor mother might cry herself to pieces," She had run into Molly early that morning, who was looking at Ginny's dress and tiara, crying said shaking her head.
"My babies, they're j-j-just… all grown up now… it's so happy," she sniffed when Hermione had asked her what was wrong.
Ginny rolled her eyes. "She acts like we're all going to disappear off the face of the Earth just because we're married!"
"Well, there have been a lot of announcements and plans lately. I think she's a bit overwhelmed," Hermione said kindly, watching as Ginny nodded in agreement.
It had been a busy few months. Harry and Ginny had announced their engagement the day she finished taking her potion regimen, to the surprise of no one. "It's about bloody time," Ron teased after hugging Harry and clapping him on the back. February and March had passed, consuming both Hermione and Ginny with wedding plans. In April, Percy and his girlfriend, Audrey, had announced their engagement to a somewhat surprised crowd.
"No sense in waiting when you've found someone perfect," Percy had explained. Mrs. Weasley had hugged them both and everyone cheered and congratulated them. Ginny had been impressed with how well Audrey had handled her rowdy family; she'd only seen them a few times and fit right in with the teasing and raucous atmosphere.
"I get enough at the Ministry; this is nothing," she said with a smile when Ginny asked her about it.
Hermione and Ron exchanged vows in a small ceremony on May nineteenth, choosing to wed at the Burrow since it was so close to where everyone lived. A gazebo had been erected and a canopy draped over the garden, and unbeknownst to them all, George had in his spare time garnered a license and demanded to perform the ceremony. Ron and Hermione said simple vows, both of them varying between tears and laughter as they recited their chosen words of love and commitment.
"I wish I could had the ability to express how extremely overjoyed I am to finally… finally… pronounce you two bonded for life," George said with a grin as he tapped Ron and Hermione's interlaced fingers with his wand. A flicker of sparkles fell from the tip and wrapped themselves around their hands, glowing brightly for a second before fading away. "And kiss her for Merlin's sake; everyone's tired of seeing me blather on," he teased.
Ron and Hermione laughed; she took his face in her hands as he wrapped her arms around her waist and kissed her, lifting her off her feet as the small crowd cheered.
Hermione's dress was simple: spaghetti straps held up the hourglass shaped dress that hugged her curves gently. They criss-crossed down her back until meeting up again with the satin fabric, which was low cut and showed off her shoulders and back nicely. Hermione had asked Ginny, Angelina, and Fleur to stand beside her, complementing Ron's choice of Harry, George and Bill nicely. Harry's toast the beginning of dinner brought laughter to the crowd as well as tears.
"There are several memories I have where I distinctly remember thinking to myself that I would eventually be the third wheel with you two. One was after the Yule ball our fourth year, when you were fighting and Hermione said something along the lines of 'next time ask me before someone else does,' and Ron … you looked like you'd been clubbed in the head," Harry explained with a chuckle while the crowd laughed.
"The second was in sixth year during Herbology, when you were arguing about Slughorn's party and Hermione implied that Ron would rather have her hook up with someone else. There was this uncomfortable silence before Ron said 'no I wouldn't' in which I tried to make as much noise as possible to drown out the conversation. It was then that I thought 'well, it's only a matter of time.'"
"But the moment I fully realized that someday we'd all be sitting here, watching you two exchange vows and kiss again and again, actually came at a completely random moment," Harry said, his voice growing quiet. "We had just escaped from the Ministry, and Ron… you were hurt. We got you back in the tent, and you started asking if someone we had impersonated was going to be okay," he said speaking mostly to Ron at first, but then he turned to Hermione. "And Hermione, you just stared at him… and I'll never forget the expression on your face. We'd been friends since we were eleven, and you've always been kind and sensitive and all those things… but the way you looked at him then… I felt like I had walked in on you professing your love for him," Harry explained, watching as Hermione blushed.
"I know everyone teases you two about fighting like a married couple for years – which you did, don't get me wrong," he continued, pausing while everyone laughed lightly, "but the teasing has only come because I think we've all been waiting for this moment as much as you two have. It's good… and for me there's nothing better than seeing my two best friends so happy. So … love each other the way you always have, and we'll all be there to watch where you take things from here."
Harry raised his glass as everyone followed suit. He clapped Ron on the back and hugged Hermione tightly when she stood and reached for him. Ginny stood to give her toast, wiping her eyes on the back of her hand before speaking.
"Great… I get to follow that; thanks, Harry," she teased with a wink. Ginny cleared her throat and smoothed out her knee length blue gown before picking up her glass.
"Ron; we're eighteen months apart. Most people would guess that we fight the most, but that's not actually the case. Out of any of these guys, you teased me the least; if anything it was the other way around, and I gave you a hard time," Ginny said, grinning when her mother nodded.
"But that was nothing compared to when Hermione came along. I remember being relieved when everyone figured out your crush on her, because they laid off me and my crush on Harry," she said with a laugh. "But I didn't complain, in fact I joined in because the more you cared for her, the more she came around… and the more I finally had someone I could relate to," Ginny said, smiling at Hermione.
"How many times did we stay up way too damn late talking about who knows what? How many times did I run to you for advice on classes, and boys, and how to deal with people? And I know you feel you did the same to me, but I was flattered that you sought me out; that you saw me as a confidant as much as I saw you as one. In a house full of boys, you were my savior, Hermione. And unlike Harry, I'm not going to out all the times I realized you were in love with my brother, I'm just going to say that he got very lucky when you decided there was more to him than the silly red-haired friend who invited you to stay for the summer," she grinned.
"Have a happy life, you two. We'll be there and we'll be part of it… but when were not, make lots of love and lots of happiness so we can share in it the way we always have," Ginny said raising her glass. She hugged Hermione tightly, and gave Ron a tight squeeze when he approached her as well.
Everyone was eager to talk to Ron and Hermione, but as the evening went on the two of them found themselves longing to be alone and only in each other's company.
"I've had enough," Ron whispered against Hermione's bare shoulder. "Are you packed?"
"I've been packed since Thursday," she replied with a grin.
Ron kissed the skin of her neck and hugged her tightly. "Good… let's go," he said hungrily, pressing his lips to hers lightly.
"Shouldn't we say good bye?" Hermione asked, looking at the crowd around them. George, Harry, Bill and Tim were talking loudly; Angelina and Fleur were sitting by Andromeda Tonks and Mrs. Weasley being entertained by Teddy and Victiore. Everyone in the crowd had an activity and seemed distracted, but were they distracted enough to not notice Ron and Hermione sneak off to fetch their trunks before Apparating to Southhampton to take a ferry to Cherbourg, where their secluded cottage awaited them by the sea…
"Ahem," Ginny coughed lowly, causing both Ron and Hermione to jump. "Harry and I took the liberty of sending your trunks to Cherbourg earlier this afternoon; you can thank Tim and his hook up in the Department for Magical Transportation for making it so easy," she said with a grin. "Also, no need to Apparate to Southhampton, just go to Grimmauld Place and take the Floo Network straight to your cottage; we'll shut off the link when we get home."
Hermione grinned broadly while Ron sputtered. "Did you become a legilimens and not tell us?" he asked.
"Go…" she said, shoving them toward The Burrows gates. "I'll cover for you, and we'll see you in two weeks then."
Ron smiled and punched her lightly in the arm; Hermione beamed and hugged her tightly, "Thanks, Ginny. See you soon." Hermione walked inside the tent to grab a small bag she had carried with her, before joining Ron outside and grinning while they walked hand in hand toward the gates. As they passed by the edge of the Marquee, they heard a low whistle and turned to see Harry smirking as they walked off; Ginny had moved next to him and was resting her head on his shoulder watching them step away.
"Catch," Harry said, tossing a flask in Ron's direction. He caught it and gave him a quizzical look. "It's for Hermione, not you… Ginny says you'll need it because you tend to forget…" he said curiously, glancing down at Ginny who biting her lip to refrain from giggling.
Hermione opened the flask and peered inside at the purple liquid, throwing her head back and laughing loudly. "Good call… I did forget. Thanks, Ginny," she said with a smile. She tugged Ron toward the edge of the Burrow and they disappeared from sight.
It was now June ninth; Hermione and Ron had returned from a two week holiday and had jumped right into the reverse roles they had been assigned when Ginny and Harry had become engaged. "What do you think is more overwhelming? Percy becoming engaged, George and Angelina potentially announcing a baby any day, or us having two weddings only three weeks apart?" Ginny asked lightly as she examined her final appearance.
Hermione chuckled. "I'm not so sure about George and Angelina with the baby, but I do think that having weddings three weeks apart might be a bit of a stretch," she said gently, watching as Ginny frowned. "It's fine… I think your Mum is just overjoyed and emotional about the whole thing."
Ginny sighed as Hermione tied the final strip of fabric into place. "Thanks… how is it?" she asked turning in a circle.
"You're beautiful, as usual," Hermione replied with a grin. "I can't get over how excited I am!"
"Neither can I," Ginny teased, smiling as Hermione approached her for a quick hug. Fleur came into the room at that moment with Victiore, who was dressed in an identical version of Ginny's dress to walk down the aisle with Teddy.
"Ginny, you look beautiful!" Fleur gushed, hugging Ginny tightly. Victiore toddled behind her, examining the beading on her dress curiously while the three women began to gush over how cute she and Teddy would be.
Downstairs Harry was having a conversation with Teddy that was testing his ability to refrain from laughing.
"But she's a girl!" the three-year-old was protesting. Ron stood snickering in the corner with George, Bill and Tim while Harry hung his head and bit his lip to keep from chuckling himself. "Why can't I just walk in front of her, or behind her?"
"Teddy," Harry said in a soothing voice. "It's only a few feet, and Victiore can't walk very well so she needs your help getting down the aisle."
"But … but what if someone thinks I like her?"
"You don't like her?" Ron asked.
"She's nice… she's my friend… but she's not a girlfriend like you have," the three-year-old replied with a shudder.
"Well, then help your friend walk and that will be that," Harry said. "Ginny will really like it, and everyone will be so proud of how you helped out."
Teddy sighed. "Okay… okay. But just this once! She's wearing the same dress Ginny is, and I don't want anyone to think we're getting married," he said shaking his head.
Harry lost his resolve and laughed out loud. He patted Teddy on the shoulder and stood up. George offered to take Teddy flying around the Burrow one more time before the wedding started and the little man ran after him excitedly, Bill and Tim following and talking lightly. Harry stood and examined himself in the mirror while Ron watched from the corner.
"Ready?" Ron asked.
Harry smiled and looked at Ron in the mirror. "Ready for the ceremony or your honeymoon advice?"
Ron cringed but laughed lightly. "What about my job to threaten you a few more times since you're marrying my sister?"
Harry grinned. "Threaten away, mate; it's all empty promises."
"True," Ron conceded. "But it's because we don't have to worry about it. You two will be good to each other."
Harry nodded and stared at his shoes before reaching into the pocket of his dress robes and pulling out two rings. He had taken Ginny's affinity charm and his mother's wedding ring to a Goblin Jeweler and had them altered into one piece of jewelry. The bracelet now framed the ring, the image of Harry's patronus still visible on either side of the gold band. Ginny hadn't seen it yet but was aware of what he had done and anxious to see the result. Harry would be moving the ring that was his portion of the Affinity charm to the third finger on his left hand, where it would stay for all eternity.
"Did you find that journal?" Ron asked suddenly in a conspiratorial whisper.
Harry laughed. "Yeah, I did. Thanks for telling me about that. She's going to kill me but it'll be great," he said with a grin, watching as Ron threw his head back and roared with laughter.
Twenty minutes later Harry was standing under the Marquee with Kingsley – who had asked specifically to do the vows – watching the crowd get settled around them. Tim had ushered Ron's Aunt Muriel to her seat and was walking away shaking his head and laughing at her proclamation that American Wizards were considerably shabbier than the British. Lansing was talking animatedly to Andromeda Tonks, who was watching Teddy mess with his dress robes and scowl at the procession.
At the back of the crowd under the tent, Harry could see Neville and Hannah standing hand in hand talking to Luna, who had arrived two days previously and surprised Ginny so much she had started to cry.
"I can't believe you came," Ginny had sniffed, wiping her face with her hands as she hugged Luna tightly. "You were in Romania, weren't you?"
"The Czech Republic actually," Luna said lightly, patting Ginny on the head. "And of course I came back; I couldn't miss your wedding. Besides, Snorkacks can wait a few days."
"Any luck with your research?" Hermione asked when Luna had moved to hug her.
"Nothing so far," Luna sighed. "I'm beginning to wonder if daddy exaggerated a bit, but we'll see."
Hermione had laughed and squeezed Luna tightly before they went inside and continued their discussion of what had happened since she had been abroad.
The music started to play and Bill and Fleur walked up the aisle, followed shortly after by George and Angelina and finally Ron and Hermione. When Mr. and Mrs. Weasley appeared, Harry walked forward to escort her to her seat.
"Harry, dear," said Molly quietly, "I can't even … put into words how happy I am to welcome you into our family," she sniffed hugging him tightly.
"Haven't I always been family?" Harry asked.
Molly chuckled lightly and wiped her eyes. "Of course; but now it's on paper. I'm so happy for you two," she said, patting his shoulder and mopping her eyes.
Harry grinned and hugged her tightly again before stepping back up to the alter as the music changed again. He watched and laughed along with the crowd as Teddy and Victoire walked up the aisle; Teddy holding the little girl's hand as she stumbled along, grinning from ear to ear with her basket of flowers. As soon as they reached the front, Teddy dropped her hand and ran to stand next to Harry while Victiore toddled over to Molly and took a seat on her lap.
"Good job," Harry whispered, giving Teddy a squeeze on the shoulder as he smiled proudly.
The crowd stood and turned toward the back of the tent as Ginny stepped into the aisle, arm in arm with her father and grinning broadly. Harry inhaled and sighed happily; still amazed at how she constantly stunned him with her beauty. Her long red hair was softly curled and laid against her shoulders; and bright brown eyes seemed to glow brighter with every step she took. She and her father were whispering to each other as they approached, and when they reached where Harry stood, she beamed at him as he reached for her hand.
Ginny closed her eyes and hugged her father tightly before he gave her hand to Harry, listening as the latter whispered "thank you," very quietly and her father responded with the same sentiments. Harry grinned and squeezed her hand as she stepped up to the altar with him, her heart fluttering with excitement as the music ceased and Kingsley cleared his throat.
Kingsley said a few sentiments about watching Harry and Ginny grow from teenagers into adults and find each other through all the trials they faced, explaining that their relationship was another example of the power of love withstanding the power of darkness. When it was time for them to say their vows, Ginny chose to go first and blushed brightly before starting to speak.
"One of the most interesting things about you, Harry, is that you were pulled away from all of us for so long, but yet, you managed to become an irreplaceable and wonderful part of all of our lives," she began, looking into Harry's eyes and blushing as he gazed back intensely. "You seem to forget this at times, and that's when you try to pull yourself away from us; but we won't let you.
"And you told me once that you see me as a little rock in a world of chaos, but really it's the opposite; aside from having six brothers to make me tough, you taught me to be strong, and to never give up, and to keep fighting for what you want no matter what the costs. You helped me turn into something you can rely on, and I love you for that," she explained, her voice cracking a bit as she spoke.
"I love you for your bravery, and your kindness, and for the fact that you can be completely arrogant one second and then the next minute so humble it takes my breath away. I love you; and I promise to always try to be the little rock that holds you to our world," she said with a grin.
Harry smiled back and squeezed her hands, feeling very small as he stood in front of her. He finally cleared his throat and dug in his pockets for the piece of paper he had torn from her journal that Ron had found amongst her old things.
"I want to read something first, it's something I didn't write," he explained, watching her eye him curiously. He cleared his throat again and began to read.
"January eighteenth nineteen-nintey-four," Harry began.
"No…" Ginny sighed, grinning in spite of herself as she buried her face in her hands; Harry smiled and continued on.
"'It feels strange to do this, considering what happened the last time I wrote in a journal, but here goes… It's official, I love him. I love Harry Potter. Me and about five hundred thousand other girls probably, and all of them are prettier, and more outgoing, and much more fanciable than I could ever hope to be. He says hi to me, and he talks to me every now and then when he's with Ron… but I can't say anything back! As soon as he turns those beautiful eyes on me, I freeze up! It's pathetic,'" Harry read, laughing as Ginny groaned and shook her head.
"'He's so brave, so kind, loyal, and wonderful and amazing and handsome and… AGH! He's perfect… and he'll never see me as anything other than Ron's shy, goofy, obscure sister. I talked to Hermione about it, she says that Harry sees me and tells me to be myself around him. How can I be myself? He's so good and popular and everyone likes him… and I'm just me,'" Harry quoted before folding the piece of paper back in half and sticking it in his pockets. He took Ginny's hands in his and squeezed them, chuckling as she gave him an angry glare.
"First, I don't think there is a single woman out there who is prettier, or more outgoing, or more fanciable than you are; they pale in comparison. Is fanciable a word? If not, it is now… it'll be in the Ginny Weasley dictionary," Harry teased while everyone chuckled lightly.
"Second, you mentioned in this entry that I'd never see you as anything but Ron's little sister. When I finally woke up and realized what I had right in front of me, I was tortured by the fact that you were my best friend's sister… because I didn't think he'd ever let me look at you let alone kiss you the way I wanted to. That was partially the reason I hid it for so long, and I owe all your brothers a huge thank you for not attacking me when it finally did come out how I felt," he explained, watching as she grinned widely and her family laughed.
"And third… that list of things that you think I am: brave, kind, loyal… those aren't descriptions, they're expectations. And Ginny, I promise to try as hard as I can to live up to each and every one of those every single day that we're together. I love you," said Harry, smiling as Ginny pressed her lips together and swallowed, trying to keep the tears that had welled up in her eyes from spilling out onto her cheeks.
Kingsley smiled and motioned for Harry to hand him the rings. He said the traditional vows, after which Ginny and Harry both responded "I will" before slipping the rings onto the other's finger.
"It is a great pleasure and honor to say this," said Kingsley with a smile as Harry and Ginny gripped each other's hands tightly, "I now pronounce you bonded for life. Kiss your wife, Harry."
The crowd chuckled as Ginny stepped into Harry's open arms, pressing her lips to his and holding him tightly. Harry sighed and lifted her off her feet, feeling relief flood through is body as the crowd cheered around him. He was home.
A/N: I've loved the reviews, I love the feedback, and I loved writing this. It brought back so much passion in me. I could continue and continue, and don't be surprised if you see a random outtake or various epilogue to this story ;). But... I'm on to my next project which I'm enjoying also. Thank you Thank you Thank you to Sierra, my invaluable and supportive beta, and to everyone who reviewed and continued to give me feedback. I've taken it all in and hope that my next project will be even better.