A/N: Well, here you are. This is my story for round two of Penelope Fiction's Competition. I used the theme of the quote "Did my heart love till now? Forswear it sight! For I never saw true beauty till this night!"
Had he ever seen anything so beautiful? No, of course not. There couldn't ever be anything as beautiful as Ginny, especially when she was spinning around the dance floor. Even if she was dancing with Neville, and even if Harry wouldn't remember until they were older. That was the first night he saw true beauty. True beauty came in the form of a thirteen-year-old redhead who had somehow managed to steal his heart right out of his chest without leaving a mark, at least not right away.
If he thought she was beautiful then, it was nothing compared to how lovely she looked running towards him in her Quidditch robes, that determined look in her eyes. She looked even more radiant when his eyes were closed, her lips on his. It didn't matter that he'd kissed someone else before. He hadn't even imagined this kind of beauty. It came in the form of a first kiss, done right this time.
She had never been as beautiful as the day he broke her heart. She was so beautiful he almost couldn't do it. He almost told her that she had to risk her life because he couldn't make it without her. But he made the right decision, and she didn't cry, didn't try to make him change his mind. She understood him more than anyone, and she completely accepted his need to do what was best for others. Beauty comes in the form of understanding, even when it's hard.
Standing in her room, sunlight coming in through her windows and making her hair shine. That was the way he wanted to remember her. She was so lovely right then trying to explain what she was saying around a blush. And when she kissed him, the last kiss he would recieve until he came back—if he ever came back—it was was like heaven, and he could tell she was getting that radiant look again. He hated that this could be putting her in danger. But even after Ron interrupted them, he could still feel beauty radiating from her and it almost made him not care. True beauty is taking risks for love.
He saw her at the wedding. She looked like a princess. Her dress was beautiful, even if it was meant to make her look younger. He thought she looked amazing, especially with her hair flowing down her back. He smiled when she winked at him. And when he saw her dance. It reminded him of a time far too long ago. He wanted so badly to run to her, to say he was sorry and that he didn't want to leave her at all, but he didn't. She already knew, he was sure, even though occasionally throughout the day, she looked like she was contemplating the same thing. But sometimes, true beauty is holding back when you think you can't.
He saw her again during the battle, ready to fight and more than likely die to help her family. She didn't want to be left behind, not when everyone she loved was fighting. That was the Ginny he knew and loved. She had always been so determined and ready to do whatever it took to win a fight. True beauty was a willingness to die for who you loved and what you believed in.
After the battle, she was devastated. Who wouldn't be? She had just lost her brother, not to mention so many friends. Everyone was hurting. But he'd never seen her hurt this much before. No one had ever seen her break down as she was now, in his arms, while he could do nothing to comfort her. She would tell him later that him even being alive was more than enough to comfort her. Either way, it really struck him to see her fall apart. It made him feel normal, comforting a friend. Hopefully still more than a friend. He thought about beauty for real, and looked at the girl crying in his arms. Maybe true beauty was just having feelings.
There had never been a more beautiful bride. Ginny's wedding dress had little symbols of each of her family members tacked onto it, only making it even more lovely. He had always loved that their family could function so well together, despite its size. He loved that all of the boys had been so wary about him dating Ginny again, that they cared about her enough to protect her from a broken heart. That was true beauty, being part of a family.
Looking at her now, old and gray, he thought she looked as if she hadn't aged a day. In fact, she seemed to get even more beautiful every time he saw her. He wondered how he ever could have thought of anyone else as beautiful. Nobody could measure up to Ginny. Not Cho, or Fleur or even any of the Veela he'd seen at the Quidditch World Cup were as beautiful. He hadn't even seen beauty until he had seen her, hadn't known it had different aspects until he had really gotten to know her. And love. He'd thought he knew what love was. He hadn't even begun to understand. And now that he did, and so close to the end of their lives, Harry was just glad he could have experienced it with her. Maybe true beauty was just staying together until the end.
A/N: Well, that's it. Not sure how well I used the "theme", but... Th-th-th-th-th-that's all, folks.