Disclaimer: I do not own, nor am I associated in any with with Harry Potter or Warner Brothers
Ginny's hands trembled slightly as she folded the piece of parchment she'd been reading and tucked it into one of her long, white gloves so Hermione and Luna wouldn't notice it. She smiled slightly at her reflection in the full-length mirror in front of her and a knot began to form in the pit of her stomach. She was truly a vision of loveliness and, despite her nerves, was glad that she had chosen to go with a new, strapless wedding dress as opposed to her mother's old snowstorm of a gown. Molly had been decidedly put out by that decision, but was placated when Ginny agreed to wear the long, but still elegant veil that her mother had worn at her own wedding. Mrs. Weasley had since begun pressuring Hermione to wear the taffeta monstrosity at her wedding in a few weeks instead.
Behind Ginny, Hermione turned and said, "You really do look stunning, Ginny." Hermione winked at her friend and placed a hand on her shoulder. "How are your feet?" she asked, smiling gently.
Ginny smiled back nervously and said, "They might be… a little chilly."
Hermione nodded sagely and said, "Don't worry. I started feeling antsy about my wedding days ago, but every time I look at Ron, I remember what he means to me. You'll get that, too, when you see Harry standing at the end of the aisle, I promise."
Ginny just nodded and tried to imagine Harry's reaction when she made her entrance into the sanctuary of the church. She imagined herself walking down the aisle and smiling to her friends and family on either side of her as Harry watched her approach. She imagined standing across from him and looking into his beautiful green eyes, the smile on his face glowing as he took her hand and… As she imagined it, the eyes faded from a green gems to blue slate.
And then the Wedding March began to play, bringing her back to reality. Ginny looked up from her silent meditation to see Hermione and Luna shuffling out of the room, winking to her as they went.
"You still have exactly four minutes and thirty-seven seconds," Luna said deadpan as she stopped to see Ginny's unsettled expression. "You have plenty of time to be sick if you need to be," she added, drifting out of the room after Hermione.
Ginny grimaced; the butterflies in her stomach were transforming into pterodactyls and she did feel as though she were going to be sick. Slowly, she tugged the piece of folded parchment from inside her glove and turned it over in her hands.
Why fight the tide?
Those were the words that were written on the outside of the parchment and a crazy bubble of impulsivity rose from her stomach to her throat and stayed there. Her hands were shaking again as she unfolded the note carefully, the silk of her gloves slipping a little clumsily over the paper and making it difficult.
The handwriting was the first thing she'd noticed when she'd received the letter. It was impeccable and slightly ornate in its curvatures and loops. The second thing she noticed was her full first name at the top.
No one called her Ginevra except for her mother when she was annoyed at her. It was almost ethereal, the way it looked in the delicate handwriting, as though she were a heroine from another time period receiving a secret letter from a suitor. The thought sent a chill up her spine and down it.
The letter began.
You must be true to your heart, but I must also be true to mine. I would never be able to live a complete life without trying one last time to change your mind. If it isn't enough to convince you, at least I will have tried. If you open your eyes and stop thinking so much, I know your heart will lead you back to me. I understand the pressure you feel and I can set you free from that if you'll just believe in me.
Don't be afraid of what you don't know.
That was it. It hadn't been signed, but Ginny knew who it had come from. There was only one person who could have written it and, despite what the letter said, she was afraid. She was afraid of the looks of disappointment and anger on the faces of her loved ones that she knew she'd have to face if she listened to her still small voice. A wild, freely passionate part of her soul wanted to tear off her mother's veil and leave the church and all of her friends and family behind her. The part of her that didn't want to disappoint anyone was keeping her rooted to the ground.
Outside her dressing room, the Wedding March was progressing toward her entrance and she was vaguely aware of her feet moving her toward the door which Luna had left open. The corridor outside the room was empty. To the right, the hall ended in an atrium with a set of double doors that would lead to the sanctuary where Harry was waiting for her. To the left, it ended in a heavy door with an exit sign above it. She stumbled in the hallway, her surroundings swimming around her unsteadily. It took her a moment to realize that the swimming was because she had actually started to cry.
Her own voice came out in a low whisper that sounded foreign to her, but there was something innately wrong with crying on your wedding day. She began to shake her head slowly, glancing fearfully down the hall to the atrium. She kicked off the high heeled shoes she was wearing and pivoted on one bare foot to propel herself down the hallway in opposite direction. She hit the door with both hands, pushing it bodily outward as she exited the church and began to run across the parking lot, tears in her eyes. She didn't even mind the rocks she stepped on in her attempt to escape.
She froze in the middle of the lot when a blurry figure appeared in her vision, to unclear to make out. She wiped her eyes clear to see who it was, not sure what she would tell them when they asked her why she was running away from the church, but began thinking of possible excuses. Would they buy that she'd left the oven on or that she was terribly ill?
But, it wasn't a wedding guest. It was Draco and he was standing in front of her without his mouth open in surprise. "Ginny?" he asked, his voice rising from disbelief to hope. "I thought… I heard the music and… and you didn't… And I thought that it was…"
"You seem to be far more articulate on paper," Ginny said to him, not moving from where she stood on the pavement. Her tone was almost accusatory.
He opened his mouth to say something, but didn't seem to be able to find any words to offer her.
"I love you," she said evenly. There was no pretense or hesitation in the statement. It wasn't her style. It was straight to the point and honest to a razor sharp edge. It may have taken her until now to realize it, but now that she had admitted it, there was no denying it.
Draco looked at her for a silent moment then stepped forward slowly, wrapping his arms around her.
"I love you," he told her firmly.
Ginny smirked, but there was relief behind her eyes. Wordlessly, she grabbed his collar, tugging him down into a kiss that made more sense than anything she had ever experienced before.