Author's Note: Well, here it is, the end. I hope that it lives up to your expectations. I couldn't have done this without my amazing beta, Arnel, who not only is a speedy beta, but she's amazing at talking me through my anxiety. I also thank my cheerleaders HGRHfan35 and MyGinevra who kept me going when I was frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. I thank all you who are reading and those who've taken time to review. It really does make me very happy to see those notes in my email box telling me that I have a new one. My next story: "Ten Ways How Not To Get the Girl of Your Dreams" will begin posting on Feb. 5. It isn't a Harry/Ginny story, but rather a lost time in the lives of Anwen and Sirius. It's also a comedy. Put me on author alert so that you know when it starts. Again, thanks to everyone whose taken time to tell me what you think. Enjoy. Mutt N Feathers.
Parachever (English translation: To perfect)
August 15, 1998
"They look so happy," Ginny gushed as she looked across the room at Draco and Elisabeth dancing together. "They really are made for each other. I've got to be honest, that we were in Draco's wedding is still a little strange to me. I mean, really, who could have predicted that one?" Harry's arms wove even tighter around her midsection as she sat on his lap.
"Yeah, well Draco Malfoy and Draco Black, they're completely different people. They barely even look the same. The kid we knew before, his face was sallow and his eyes were haunted. That man there, he grew up loved and cared for. He's happy and content. That's a big change. I don't think that Malfoy's parents really loved him."
"True, and the one thing that you have to give Anwen and Sirius, there is love written all over them. They've got excess to spread around," Ginny's gaze moved to see the groom's proud parents watching the first dance from the sidelines. They both looked amazing in their dress robes, Sirius in the same deep grey that the bridal party had worn, Anwen in the forest green for her point in the pentagram for the Society Ritual that married the pair. Sirius stood behind her, his hands protectively on her shoulders, his lips against her temple, looking like the epitome of marital bliss even eighteen years into their marriage. Ginny could swear they would be mistaken as the newlyweds.
"Yeah, they're quite an inspiration," Harry agreed. "I hated having to tell Draco about the boy that we knew before, but I understood why Mum and Dad wanted me to. It would have been worse for me to say or do something as a reflex reaction and have him not understand. It was weird telling the guys about our trip though. Bas couldn't believe that we didn't know him at all."
"I don't know what hurt more, him thinking about not having his friends, or his not having his parents. He and his dad are so close and to think that he never knew Sirius. I mean, we lost him, but at least we'd known him. Bas never got the chance."
"Everything was so different Gin, most of it is better here, although I think that Bill was surprised to find out he was married to a part-Veela in his our other life," Harry teased.
"I think he's over it now," Ginny corrected him, watching her oldest brother talking and holding hands with the new Au Pair for the Black family, Petronella. They'd met two weeks ago, and Bill had spent more time at Fair Garden than he had at The Burrow since then. Anwen had teased him that she was going to start charging him room and board. She was hoping that she could at least make it through the school year before she'd have to search for another Au Pair. She was beginning to think that she was sidelining as a matchmaker.
"Charlie is certainly happier," Ginny joked as she watched her brother rub lazy circles on his wife's enlarged abdomen. Eira was due in three weeks, but she looked like she could go into labor at any minute. Her stomach was huge.
"No more dragons in this life," Harry joked back.
"Nope, but I've seen his wife breathe fire, so, it's sort of the same thing," Ginny quipped Harry chuckled and kissed her cheek.
"Is it awful of me to say that I'm having a hard time seeing Remus with Eva, even though we knew her when we went back in time?" Harry asked. "I miss Tonks, she was always good for a laugh."
"No, it's not awful to say it, just as long as we know that he really does love Eva and that Tonks is happy wherever she is. I miss her too, if that makes you feel any better."
"It does, sweetheart," Harry confessed as he kissed her cheek again. "So are we going to have a party this big?" he asked, looking around at the enormous marquee that was set up on the lawns outside of the Black's home in Quimper. There were at least three hundred people present.
"I told you once before, I don't need the fancy clothes and the big party, I just need to be married to you."
"I wish we didn't have to wait," Harry complained. Molly and Arthur Weasley were adamant that Ginny finish her education before they have a wedding ceremony in this life. They were accepting that the couple was already married from their actions in the past, but they were insistent that the pair have another ceremony next year, when Ginny was done with her schooling. Ginny also wanted the chance to go through her Society initiation in this life in February. She wanted to have the full ceremony that they'd just witnessed.
Minerva McGonagall was the Esteemed Elder of the Circle now, and knowing that Draco was planned to be married by the Old Rite, his family had agreed to fill the seats of the star this year. Molly Weasley was yellow, Eva wore the point of blue, Alice Longbottom the fiery red, Lily as the white and his mother was Green. They would all be in place when Harry and Ginny wed early next spring as well.
"It won't be so bad," Ginny placated him. "I've got to revise for my International Standard examinations in December and you've got your training with Kenmare, but we'll still be together at night." Ginny had vetoed the idea of going to Hogwarts in the fall. She realized with all the combined knowledge that she was carrying a full seventh year would be tedious. She would instead revise on her own until the examinations in December. She had no doubt that she would do very well. Harry liked the plan much better than having her locked away in the castle for the next ten months.
"I just worry about all those Quidditch groupies. There's no way I want them touching my man, regardless of how big a heartthrob he becomes," she joked, but Harry didn't find it funny.
"How could you say that, Gin? I mean, I know that I screwed up in this time line that Mum and Dad were telling us about, the one before they fixed things, but I would never. I can't imagine that I had ever acted that way," Harry struggled to make penance for behavior that wasn't his, and yet it was. That he'd whored around and hurt Ginny, it still gave him nightmares. He was thankful that their parents agreed that since they were already technically married they could spend their nights together. James and Lily had offered the pair the small gatehouse on the Potter property for their use, knowing that they really didn't want to hear their oldest son and his wife/girlfriend/whatever she was when they were together. Waking up and having Ginny there to hold him made all his nightmares go away much faster.
"Harry, regardless of what I've been told you did, I don't remember it and you didn't do it. You have always stood by me, treated me with the utmost of respect, held me up when I needed it and pushed me to do better when I felt like giving up. I know that you love me, unconditionally, and that no other girl will ever turn your head enough to make you leave me."
"You're amazing, Gin. I love you so much," he cooed just before he kissed her.
The bride and groom's first dance ended and Draco went over and offered his hand to his mother while Elisabeth went to dance with her father. Sirius, being the consummate gentleman went and asked Elisabeth's mother, Claudette, to dance with him. Anwen beamed at her son while he danced with her.
"Why do you have that silly grin on your face, Mum?"
"It's not silly, it's pride, my dear boy," Anwen gently rebuked. "You had so much you had to overcome in this life, and yet, here you are. You're headed off to get your Master certification in Astronomy. You're married and your wife is a beautiful, compassionate and considerate woman." Anwen choked back some tears. "You could not make me prouder of you. That I was given the privilege of being your Mum...God blessed me ten fold with you my dear boy."
"Oh, Mum," Draco said as he broke the dance hold and instead gave her a hug as they continued to sway back and forth. "I love you, too. You never had to take me in, and yet you did. I'm the lucky one." Draco had been deeply affected when he'd learned about the boy that Harry and Ginny had known in their other life. The idea of him as a Death Eater haunted him. He couldn't imagine the sort of life he had led to make that choice. He held his Mum a moment longer, his large hands rubbing her back. A moment later his Dad was there, gently tapping to cut in. Elisabeth's parents were now dancing together, while Elisabeth waited patiently a few feet away.
"What did you say to her?" Sirius teased his son.
"Nothing, she started talking about how proud she was and then just got all weepy," Draco said with overemphasized innocence. Everyone knew Anwen could cry at the drop of a hat. "I'm going to go dance with my wife." As he made his hasty escape, Sirius pulled Anwen to him.
"You know, this is only the first of our children getting married. If you weep like this at all the weddings..."
"And what if I do," Anwen interrupted. "They're my babies and if I want to cry over how proud of them I am, then that's my right."
"Yes, dear, it is," Sirius placated her, his lips resting on her temple and he gently led her through the waltz that was playing.
When the song ended, the rest of the guests were invited to join the dancing. Harry and Ginny continued to share their chair, much more interested in their sweet conversation and cuddling than anything else. Ginny pointed over to where the youngest of the Black, Potter and Lupin girls were. They were in a circle, spinning around, heads thrown back in laughter. The tempo of the music was lively, and it matched the group's enthusiasm.
"Better them than me," Harry said as he watched them. He reveled in having siblings in this life. He even tolerated when his littlest sister, Brynne, wanted to do his hair. He'd worn the pink and purple barrettes she'd attached to his longer locks for the whole day, earning sniggers from his brother and father. Harry didn't care. That he was able to call this little bundle of energy his sister, something that he'd so longed for before, he'd endure any 'torture' she could come up with.
Harry had also discovered that he enjoyed sitting with Eva-Claire, his second youngest sister. She was quiet and introspective, but very thoughtful and perceptive. She read avidly, and together they discussed Muggle books they'd both read. She was also a romantic at heart, much like his Ginny, and that worried him. He didn't want to see her heart broken as she grew up. He knew that he could follow in the footsteps of the Weasley boys, and let any potential suitors of his sisters know that if they hurt his sister, the boy would have to deal with him.
He scanned the room finding the oldest of his sisters talking with Lilyan Black. No surprise there, they were inseparable. Emma had finally just moved all her stuff over to the Black's house last week for a permanent slumber party. She was the hardest of his siblings to like, but only because she was an eleven year old know-it-all. She reminded him a whole lot of Hermione when they'd first met. His first impression of his dear friend hadn't been all that great, but he also knew that she quickly grew on him. He hoped the same would happen with Emma. He then located his brother Evan as well, talking with Bastien and Ethan Black, smiling that they were all as close as they were. He had been working with his brother on his Quidditch skills, and was impressed with the natural talent that he possessed.
"Hey, where were you?" Ginny asked him.
"Just thinking about my family," he told her, his hands gently rubbing along her hip even through the layers of frilly material that made the skirt of her dress. "It's a lot to take in, knowing that I grew up with them here, that I was surrounded by love. A lot different from the cupboard under the stairs."
"That it is, Harry. I'm so happy that you grew up surrounded by people who cared deeply for you. You always deserved so much better than you'd had," she told him before she kissed him gently.
"Yeah, but it was the best that I could be given at the time, living with the Dursleys. There wasn't anywhere else to go. Believe me, having all that in my memory, it makes me appreciate what I have now even more."
"It is so weird to remember all this stuff that we supposedly did, but not really. I'm thankful that most of it is just disappearing. Those first few weeks were bad. I kept getting headaches, like my head was overstuffed and it was all pushing out," he explained.
"Definitely," Ginny answered him. The fast paced song ended and a slower one began. The congress of little girls exited the floor, all charging for their table and the sweets that were there. Fortunately Mrs. Evans was there to keep an eye on them so that they wouldn't overindulge. Ginny watched her brother lead Hermione out to the floor, smiling at the pair.
"So what do you think," she began her question for Harry, "will Ron and Hermione will get married?"
"For his sake, I hope so," Harry said. "Otherwise, he's going to spend his entire life getting himself out of mishaps that his mouth gets him into. She keeps him from leaping without looking." Ginny giggled at that.
"So true." Her gaze went further across the dance floor, until she saw another surprising pair. "Harry is that your brother dancing with Lilyan Black?" Harry followed her line of sight until he saw what she was looking at.
"That indeed he is, huh, not expecting that one."
"Oh, they're cute together," Ginny gushed.
"They're eleven and fourteen, love, no, too young."
"I don't know, that's the age that Sirius met Anwen at. They both felt the pull to one another right away. Maybe it's something in that Black blood?"
"Don't even go there, sweetheart," Harry cautioned her, instead taking her hand in his and spinning her charmed ring on her finger. They'd taken to wearing their wedding rings, but not on their left hands, not just yet. They were instead on their right, but it was enough for now. Harry had gotten an engagement ring for Ginny, a real one, something that he'd never given her before. He was formulating a plan on how to ask her, but he wanted to wait until after Draco and Elisabeth's wedding; today was their day.
Across the way, James and Lily were dancing with one another, but they were both watching their eldest son and his true love.
"It's good to see them happy, isn't it?" Lily sighed into James.
"It is," he smiled. "So much better than the drama we went through before. It was exhausting. I can't believe that lock suggestion worked. We left a hell of a lot to chance there."
"I don't know what Remus told Sirius, but that was a little more than a 'lock' he put on the bike garage. Honestly, a Muggle keypad as well as a wand check to get in, and then a magical hand scan to make the bikes start. Perhaps he went a little overboard," Lily joked. She remembered when he'd put the safety measures in place, thinking that it was overdone. It wasn't until July when she suddenly had the memories of some alternate time line and the disastrous accident that had occurred there did any of them understand why he'd gone to such lengths.
"Yes, well Padfoot was never known for doing things part way. If he's in, he's all the way in," James teased his best mate.
"True," Lily agreed, still watching Harry and Ginny. "Do you think that they're making the best choices for their lives now? They're not technically married and yet we're letting them share the gatehouse. Ginny has decided not to go to Hogwarts in the fall, Harry's playing professional Quidditch instead of having a real career. It all seems a little irresponsible to me." James paused for a moment before speaking.
"As you said, they're not technically married, but they are tied to each other in a way that's deeper than marriage. As for them not being responsible, I get the feeling that at least in Harry's case, he's been so responsible for so long, he just wanted some time to relax. When he's done playing, he wants to go to the Auror academy, but it's better to play pro Quidditch while you're young. Now as for his playing for Kenmare..." James scowled and hung his head as if in shame. "It could have been worse, however; he could have taken the offer from Puddlemere. I just wouldn't have been able to do that."
"Oh, stop it Jamie! Yes, you would have. He's your son and you're proud of him regardless of what he does," Lily rebuked him gently and James relented.
"True, but could you imagine how Sirius would have taken the mickey out of me for that one? The first time I wore his jersey? It would have been awful."
"Well, Kenmare is a neutral team, no one was a fan before, so we won't have to deal with that. I sometimes think that Harry did it just to make your life easier," Lily confessed.
"I don't think that. The offer from Kenmare was the best, that's why he took it."
"Perhaps." James spun her around and they passed Anwen dancing with Remus while Sirius had Eva out on the floor. The conversation between Anwen and Remus seemed to be quite intense.
"You know, you're brilliant," he told her. Anwen shook her head at him.
"No, you're the brilliant one, Mr. Professor of the Year by the International Standard Committee on Wizarding Education. I didn't even realize that you'd been nominated until the memo that you'd won came across my desk," she gushed. "I can't wait for the ceremony. It'll be in London and it will be the first act of the England quadrennial of the ICW."
"If I were so brilliant, I would have figured out a way to keep you from being hurt. I tried, I really did," Remus confessed. It was only after his return that Anwen learned that he'd attempted to stop her leg injuries from happening.
"I know you did, and it's the nicest gift that anyone tried to give me, but some things are just written into the tapestry of our lives. Apparently I was destined to lose the use of my leg. Really, I'm okay with it."
"I know you are, but I so badly wanted to have you not need to lose something else. It seemed to me that you'd already sacrificed more than should have ever been expected of you," he said sadly.
"Oh, Remus, what I've gone through as made me who I am. Anyway, I'm so blessed in so many ways, having a poorly working leg is hardly worth complaining about. Lily still thinks that she's getting close to the tissue regeneration potion. Now that Bas is working with her, they're going to be relentless. People don't understand just how dogged my son can be. He's so much like his dad that way."
"Nice pun, Anwen."
"I could have made it worse, called him seriously dogged." Remus groaned at the very bad pun and danced her across the floor, being careful not to hurt her.
As they waltzed, two friends stood talking with each other. Bas was questioning Neville about how things were going at the Auror Academy.
"It's good, tough, but Dad had warned me about that. I can't believe my Mum is teaching there now. Can you imagine if I do poorly in my advanced Herbology and Botanicals class and she's got to fail her own son?"
"Neville, you couldn't do badly in a Herbology class even if you never lifted a book or read a thing. You're brilliant at it. I bet you'll test out of the class," Bas told him. Neville shrugged. "But you're happy, right? This was your choice, not your parents?"
"No, all mine. Mum even tried to talk me out of it, but I wanted to do this. It's important work that the Aurors do, and I want to follow in my parents' footsteps."
"More power to you, mate. The world needs more people like you who are willing to do their part," Bas complimented him. "Look over there... I think that Hannah Abbott is looking at you again. You really should go ask her to dance. She's sweet."
"I don't know, Bas, I'm not good around girls like you are," Neville said dejectedly.
"Bugger off man, I don't want you to ask her to marry you, just go ask to dance. You'll never find out if she likes you by staying way over on this side of the room," his friend pushed.
Just then a little girl in a pale pink dress ran over to Bastien and pulled on his hand. "You promised to dance with me," she reminded him. Bas knelt down so that he was eye to eye with her wide brown orbs.
"That I did, sunshine," he said, using his father's pet name for his little sister. "Come on, Neville was just about to go ask Hannah to dance."
"Oh, good," Sitara Black remarked, "she's got pretty hair." Bastien smiled at his newest sister.
"I think Neville thinks so, too," he sniggered as he gave his mate a little shove and then picked his sister up and began to spin her around while she giggled at the speed. Harry watched his cousin spin Sitara.
"I can't believe they risked her to save us," Harry said, still attempting to get over his shock that Anwen and Sirius risked losing her to make sure that Harry and Ginny were restored.
"They did everything they could before they cast the spell. It was what Sirius called a calculated risk. Thankfully it worked out in their favour. Can you imagine her not being part of the family? She just seems to fit," Ginny mused. "I feel badly for Bas though, he hasn't really dated since he and Susan broke up. I do hope that he will find love."
"Perhaps sweetheart, but it takes time. Not everyone falls in love with the girl they meet on the platform for the train the first day of school. We can't all be that lucky."
"I think that love is out there for him, he just needs to find the right girl. She needs to be extraordinary, just like him," Ginny suggested and it made Harry smile.
"You just want everyone to be in love, don't you?"
"Of course, I'm happy, therefore everyone should be."
"Ginevra Molly Weasley Potter, you are a hopeless romantic," Harry teased his love, kissing the end of her nose to punctuate his sentence.
"Nope, I'm a hopeful romantic." Harry gently pushed Ginny off his lap and set her on her feet before he rose to embrace her.
"We've sat here long enough," he told her, "I think we should show them how it's done." Harry took his love into a proper hold and spun her onto the floor. He'd learned to dance from his Dad and uncles before the Yule Ball his fourth year, it was his and Ginny's first real dancing and he wanted to recreate the memories here. Ginny relaxed into his hold and let him lead. No matter what else they might face, being in Harry's arms made everything right.