Welcome, everyone! You're now standing on the beach at Shell Cottage, ready to see the big day for Harry and Gin. I'd just like to say something before we go into the canopy. I wouldn't put it first, but...well, it's like the opening credits.
The dedication of this last scene is split seven ways.
First, to Evelyn, the reader whom I wish could have seen this story unfold. Miss you, Jelly.
Second, to my mother and father, who have been beaming with pride since I shared my little fanfiction secret with them. Love you guys.
Third, to my twin brother, George (I know, don't even...), who reassured me that I am a huge nerd, then tried to convince me to make money off of this, because "it's not damn bad. Some of it's kinda mushy. But actually, really good writing. Wanna edit this script for me?"
Fourth, to some very devoted readers and reviewers, who have been with me for every single chapter of this story (and some with its twin, "Honestly, Ronald"), pouring their hearts into reviews. (In no particular order) NeverBeenDarkMarked, Inkfire (who also kindly edited the lyrics in this chapter...thank you!), keeptheotherone, HonoraryDAMember, whispered touches, Hermione's Harmony, Lotta Devon, melissaeverlasting, and PetitMoi207. You're rare finds, my dears.
Fifth, to these marvelous characters, whom I have the pleasure of calling my friends, and who have lent themselves so willingly to my imagination.
Sixth, to the future readers of this story. I hope you'll tell me if this story touches you, regardless of the date.
Seventh, finally, and most importantly of all, to you, if you have stuck with Harry (and Ginny) to the very end. -wink-
Thank you so much for reading "Oh, Harry." I would not be doing this if I did not have the love that each and every one of you has shown me by adding this story to your favorites, following it on alert, or reviewing regularly. You have the real magic around here.
And now...on with the wedding. *Puts on dress robes and hurries to sit in the back row, turns back to wave* Enjoy!
30 June 2003—Wedding
Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf.
The words on the old stone were faded by years of sun and salt. A garden of sea lavender sprouted from the small mound. Harry smiled gently and knelt, laying his hand on the stone.
"I know you'd be really excited today," he said quietly. "Hope you're doing well." It seemed like an odd thing to say, but Harry continued. "People like you are the reason I'm still here, Dobby. I'll never be able to thank you enough for what you did."
Harry reached into his pocket and produced a small package. A pair of socks, one bright purple, decorated with tiny sunflowers, and the other a luminescent red, covered with Christmas trees. He tucked them down safely among the roots of the sea lavender and smiled.
"Thanks for everything, Dobby," he said quietly. "I hope you can see this." He straightened up, his robes lifting just enough that if one looked carefully, one could see a single red sock and a single green sock.
Harry turned out to face the ocean, the bright blue-green of the water beneath the brilliant sun dazzling him. The wind lifted his hair, and he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath of salty air.
It was odd how quickly time passed; the first time Harry had ever been to Shell Cottage, he had been marked for death, a bad omen that should never have been taken in, least of all by people he cared about. And suddenly, today, he was getting married here. It was almost surreal.
Harry turned and grinned at Ron, who had five-year-old Teddy firmly attached to his leg. They both wore their lightest, most comfortable robes for the beach wedding.
"Yeah, let's go," Harry said, scooping Teddy up and dangling him over his shoulder, much to the boy's delight.
The three of them made their way down the winding path to the beach, where chairs had been set up under a large canopy made entirely of gossamer netting that allowed the sun to filter through onto the guests and provided a view of the ocean. It was cool inside the tent, thanks to some skillful charm work by Hermione and Audrey. The lacy curtains that were the sides of the tent blew gently in the breeze.
Harry nodded to Arielle Raskin and Jimmy Peakes, two of the Aurors assigned to security at the wedding. Guests were milling everywhere; Harry saw his family-to-be, minus Fleur, Molly, Angelina, Audrey, and Hermione, who were undoubtedly still inside with Ginny.
Bill clapped him on the shoulder, his scarred face warm and smiling as he held nine-month-old Dominique. Harry set Teddy down and turned him over to George, who was corralling the flower girl and ring bearer. Victoire immediately seized Teddy's hand in a death-grip, and Teddy gave Harry a look of horror. Harry chuckled.
Charlie was already standing on the altar, chatting with his father, but before Harry and Ron could go up and join them, they were accosted by guests. All of Dumbledore's Army had turned up, with few exceptions. Harry shook hands with Ernie and hugged Susan, and said hello to their children, Maggie and Colin. Katie, Seamus, and their son Neil gave their congratulations. Harry was overwhelmed with the love and affection he felt for all of them.
"Potter," said a familiar voice directly behind him, and he turned to see Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick, Professor Sprout, leaning on her cane, and Hagrid, all smiling broadly at him.
"Professor," Harry said happily, hurrying to embrace her, which seemed surprise her for a moment. Then she patted his back and pulled away.
"Congratulations, Harry," she told him. "Thank you for inviting us."
"Thank you for coming," Harry said happily, shaking hands with Professor Flitwick and giving Professor Sprout a gentle hug.
"Harry," Hagrid said, smiling and opening his arms. Harry gave him a hug as well, grinning. "Jus' so I don' make the same mistake twice," Hagrid said with a chuckle, "where's my seat?"
Harry laughed and pointed to a large chair on the side of the canopy, near the front. Hagrid nodded and patted Harry's shoulder, nearly knocking him to the ground.
"Professor, here, I can show you where you're sitting," Ron said, offering his arm to Professor Sprout. McGonagall squeezed Harry's arm and nodded before following Ron with Flitwick and Slughorn.
Luna, radish earrings swinging and looking lovely in a pale peach-colored gown that matched her father's flaming orange robes, came floating over and gave Harry a hug. Xenophilius shook his hand.
"Are you excited?" Luna asked, smiling as she held his shoulders.
"Yeah," Harry said, nodding.
"I can tell, I don't see any sign of a Wrackspurt," she told him, waving her hand above his head. As was normal for Luna, Harry couldn't tell if she was joking, but grinned anyway. Suddenly, from the very air around them, music swelled.
"Oh!" Luna said, taking Xenophilius' hand. "We'd better find our seats. Good luck, Harry!"
Ron chuckled as he caught up with Harry on the aisle to the altar. "What would a party be without Luna?" he said, and Harry grinned.
"Feeling good, Harry?" Charlie asked as they arrived. Arthur smiled at him.
"Yeah," Harry said, nodding. "Great. Er—" he looked at Mr. Weasley. "Isn't—isn't Ginny here yet?"
Arthur stared at him for a moment, confused. "Merlin's beard!" he cried suddenly, and he practically sprinted up the aisle to Harry, Ron, and Charlie's sniggers.
"Guess he's not used to father-of-the-bride duties," Ron said, laughing.
"Don't worry, Ron, he'll be well-practiced by the time you get married," Charlie said earnestly, and Harry had to fake a coughing fit to cover his laughter.
When he had recovered, Harry looked up and saw Neville Longbottom, Hannah Abbott, Dean Thomas, and Lavender Brown hurrying into seats beside Luna and her father. They all waved enthusiastically, and Harry grinned back. There were less than a hundred guests, including the Weasley family, just as he and Ginny had wanted, and they all seemed to have arrived. He saw Hermione's parents sitting beside Professor McGonagall, Dennis Creevey and Demelza Robins sitting with Justin Finch-Fletchley and the Macmillans, Parvati and Padma with Roger Davies and Michael Corner. Harry couldn't help but beam at all of them.
He felt Ron's hand on his shoulder and glanced at him, grinning.
"Just remember," Ron said reassuringly. "If you mess this up, I'll kill you," he told Harry cheerfully.
"Aww," Harry said. "Don't worry, Ron, you'll always be my first Weasley."
It was Charlie's turn to fake a coughing fit, and Ron turned bright red. He thumped Harry in the back, so hard that Harry's eyes watered.
"Worth it," he said hoarsely, and Ron thumped him again.
The music trilled again, and up the aisle sprinted Molly Weasley, Fleur, a very pregnant Angelina, and Audrey, who all hurried to join their spouses. The guests all stood and faced the cliffside path as the music began to play—Harry realized—from the beautiful, lacy netting of the canopy.
At the opening of the net tent, Hermione appeared. She held a bouquet of wildflowers, and her hair was tied up in a beautiful knot decorated with seashells. Her pale blue dress matched the silver and powder blue of the shell decorations around the canopy, and she was beaming as she shepherded Teddy and little Victoire, who wore a dress similar to her own, up the aisle. Victoire had still not relinquished her grasp on Teddy's hand, and she was therefore having a hard time distributing flower petals. Teddy held a small pillow of blue silk; Harry noted with relief that the rings were still securely attached, and that Teddy (whose hair was now the same shade of black as Harry's) was staring fastidiously at them, as if determined that they would not leave his sight.
Hermione got the children to the altar and shuffled them to Molly and Andromeda, who were waiting with their arms open. Then Hermione took her place on the altar and beamed at Harry and Ron; with a rush of affection, Harry saw tears in her eyes.
He felt Ron nudge him, and Harry turned back out to look up the aisle. In a long, lacy, and flowy white dress, which fluttered lightly around her, was Ginny. She held tight to her father's arm. Her smile was luminous, her simple makeup flawless, and her hair was gently curled, hanging free down her back, held in place by two seashell decorations.
Harry's mouth went dry and he felt weak at the knees. She looked beautiful. He heard Ron make a noise of confusion and surreptitiously jerked his elbow into Ron's ribcage. Ginny saw, and laughed. Arthur winked at Harry.
Just before the altar, Arthur and Ginny stopped. She smiled and kissed her father on the cheek as he murmured something into her ear. She looked shocked for a moment, then threw her arms around his neck, squeezing her eyes shut. Arthur patted Ginny's back and gently prised her from his shoulders, giving her a smile and an earnest nod. He kissed her forehead and turned to Harry.
"You're probably the most important thing that's ever happened to her, Harry, and this is her father speaking," Arthur said quietly, shaking his hand. "Don't forget that."
"Never," Harry said, and Arthur smiled.
"I'm proud of you, Harry," he said, and Harry felt a huge lump fill his throat.
Arthur chuckled, patted Harry's shoulder and walked to where Molly was holding Victoire beside Andromeda. He scooped up Teddy, and Charlie stepped forward, gesturing for everyone to sit down.
"You look amazing," Harry whispered, facing Ginny and taking her hands. The sunlight filtering through the net illuminated her smile.
"What, this old thing?" Ginny whispered back, grinning. Harry could see a tiny bit of wetness in the corners of her eyes, and squeezed her fingers.
"Welcome, everybody," Charlie said, smiling at the assembled guests. "We're here today to celebrate the wedding of my little sister—" there was a round of gentle laughter, and Charlie continued, winking at Ginny. "—Ginevra Molly Weasley, to Harry James Potter. Yes, that Harry Potter," he added, and there was another, slightly louder, laugh. Harry and Ginny chuckled as well.
"Now, personally, I've had a bet with my brothers on these two for the last ten years or so," Charlie said, putting a hand on Ginny's shoulder, which she reached up to pat. "And today I'm very happy to be able to look at my only older brother, Bill, and say, pay up."
Ginny laughed, two tears spilling from her eyes, which she wiped away quickly.
Charlie folded his hands and smiled at the guests. "Harry and Ginny chose today, the thirtieth of June, as their wedding day because it is our parents', Molly and Arthur Weasley's, thirty-fourth anniversary. And," he added, "in Ginny's words, there's no other relationship she would rather try to emulate."
Harry felt Ginny squeeze his fingers and he smiled at her. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Molly close her eyes, wiping her cheeks with a handkerchief.
"Now, before we go on, Harry and Ginny have each prepared something to say," Charlie said, taking a step back.
Harry took a deep breath and smiled at Ginny, still holding her hands. "Ginny," he said. "We've known each other since I was a really strange twelve-year-old, and you were a really strange eleven-year-old." Ginny laughed with the rest of the guests. Harry continued. "Nothing about us growing up together was normal. I mean, for one thing, you're my best mate's sister." Ginny smiled, and Harry knew she had heard everything he wanted to hear.
"Everyone who's here with us today," Harry said, trying to remember everything he wanted to say, "and everyone who isn't, are a part of us. They all share a place in my heart. I've told you before that I'll never forget what the people I love have done for me, or what I owe them. But you…you're the biggest part of all of it. I love you more than even I can believe, sometimes. You've been the best thing in my life, and…and I don't know what I would do if I didn't have you."
Ginny smiled, clinging to his fingers.
"I love you, Ginny, and I always will," Harry finished, no longer smiling as he gazed into Ginny's eyes. "I always will."
Ginny closed her eyes and drew a breath, looking to the netted ceiling of the canopy, and smiled softly. "Harry, I've been fairly sure that I was going to marry you since…well, probably since the first time Professor McGonagall sent a letter home about Ron getting in trouble with you." Harry chuckled, and heard the distinct sound of a certain headmistress blowing her nose into an old tartan hanky.
Ginny smiled. "And while I'm sure it was a frame job, and you were both innocent all along," she joked (as Ron laughed and Hermione rolled her eyes), "I'm so grateful that Mum got that letter, because it meant that—that my family was always going to have an extra member. One more person to worry about us, and for us to take care of. And then…suddenly…it was more than that. I had someone to take care of, someone to worry about me. You have a place in my heart that I didn't even know existed until—" she laughed. "Until Gryffindor won that Quidditch Cup. I love you, Harry, but you knew that already. You're always going to be a part of my heart. I love you, Harry Potter, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
And Harry, who had quite forgotten himself at this point and was smiling so much that his face was beginning to hurt, leaned in and kissed her. He heard a few whoops from Lee Jordan and Ritchie Coote, and a bit of applause from the guests, but didn't stop until he felt Charlie's hand on his shoulder.
"All right," Charlie laughed, and Harry and Ginny broke apart, blushing and laughing. He looked as close to being choked up as Harry imagined he would ever see him.
Charlie nodded to a rather tearful Andromeda, who nudged Teddy to bring his pillow to the altar. Teddy grinned up at Harry, who took Ginny's ring and hugged him tightly.
"Thank you, sweetheart," Ginny said, pulling the other ring off, and she kissed his forehead before straightening.
Charlie raised his wand, and Harry took hold of Ginny's hand.
"Do—" Charlie paused, looking down by Harry and Ginny's knees. Victoire had squirmed away from Molly, trotted over to Teddy, and was attempting to drag him by the hand back to their grandmothers, to the amusement of the other guests. Teddy, however, was transfixed by what was happening between Harry and Ginny, and was not moving, simply staring up at his godfather.
Ginny laughed and held out one hand to Victoire, who scurried to her side.
"Come here, Ted," Harry said, and Teddy, suddenly bashful, went to stand by Harry amidst a chorus of "oohs" from the guests.
"I've been replaced!" Harry heard Ron whisper indignantly, and Harry grinned back at him.
Charlie chuckled and looked at Ginny. "Do you, Ginevra Molly Weasley, take Harry James Potter to be your husband? For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, so long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Ginny said, nodding. Harry grinned and took her left hand and slipped the wedding band onto her finger. She was smiling, and Harry distinctly saw a sparkle of tears in her eyes; he couldn't blame her, he was feeling a bit emotional, himself.
"Do you, Harry James Potter, take Ginevra Molly Weasley to be your wife? For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, so long as you both shall live?"
"I do," Harry said. "I definitely do." Ginny smiled.
"Then I do declare you both bonded for life," said Charlie. He lifted his wand into the air, and Harry and Ginny kissed under a shower of golden sparks.
It was midnight. The canopy blew gently in the chill air, but it was warm inside. Infinite stars and a beautiful crescent moon twinkled overhead, and the sound of rushing waves filled the background. Gabrielle Delacour, all of seventeen years old, was rocking gently on the stage with the band, singing the final song of the evening in her beautiful, clear voice.
Qu'on voit danser le long des golfes clairs
A des reflets d'argent
Des reflets changeants
Sous la pluie…
Harry and Ginny swayed in a small circle on the dance floor; all the guests had left, and only the family remained. Andromeda had just taken a very sleepy Teddy and Victoire up to bed in the cottage, where Fleur and Bill were watching baby Dominique. Ginny's head was nestled close to Harry's shoulder, her eyes shut, and his arm was tight around her back. Monsieur and Madame Delacour were a few feet away, twirling to the music.
Percy and Audrey were sitting at the long table, their heads together as they chatted quietly. Hermione was resting her head on her arms atop one of the many round tables that had filled the canopy at the end of the ceremony, and Ron was beside her, his eyes flickering open every few seconds as he rubbed her back. Hermione's parents sat at the table with them, smiling tiredly together. George and Angelina were at the same table, Angelina's feet in George's lap.
Charlie sat with his parents, sharing a bottle of mead. As Harry watched, Molly leaned forward and kissed Charlie's hair, then leaned back against Arthur, a sleepy smile on her face.
Au ciel d'ete confond
Ses blancs moutons
Avec les anges si purs
La mer bergère d'azur
"Hey," Harry said softly, and Ginny opened her eyes slowly to smile up at him.
"What?" she asked.
"I just remembered," he said. "What did your dad say to you, back there?" He nodded in the direction of where their altar had been.
Ginny smiled, looking down for a moment, then back up at Harry. "He said, 'Ginny, this is real magic.'" She turned to look at her family, sighing. "'Magic isn't in wands, or spells, or objects. Magic is just moments like this. It's an element of nature that you can only see when you're careful enough to look for it.'" She smiled. "And he's absolutely right."
Harry stared at her, his mouth slightly open. "You amaze me, Mrs. Potter," he said, smiling.
"Merlin's beard, that sounds different," Ginny said with a laugh, slipping her arms around Harry's neck a little more securely. "I don't know…how do you feel about becoming Mr. Harry Weasley?"
Harry laughed and dipped her, so that her hair brushed the dance floor, and she gave a little squeal and giggle of fright.
"All right, all right!" she said, clinging to him. "Ginny Potter!"
Harry chuckled again and pulled her back up. "Anything, so long as it's us," he said, and Ginny kissed him happily. When they broke apart, the band was reaching the song's much more up-tempo, jazzy bridge. Ginny pulled away from Harry and jerked her head over to the table where her parents sat, and Harry nodded, allowing her to lead him over.
"Dad, come and dance," Ginny said, holding her hand out to her father.
"Molly?" Harry asked.
Molly and Arthur looked at each other and laughed.
"All right," Molly said bemusedly, taking Harry's hand and getting up. She patted his cheek. "First dance with my new son-in-law." Harry grinned and twirled her out; she really was an excellent dancer, he thought, as Molly spun neatly back into his arms.
Pres des étangs
Ces grands roseaux mouilles
Ces oiseaux blancs
Et ces maisons rouillées...
He heard a chuckle, and saw Ron and Hermione grinning at him.
"Come on, then," Harry called, and they got up and walked onto the silver dance floor. One by one, George and Angelina, Mr. and Mrs. Granger, and then Percy and Audrey all got up and took places on the floor, swaying and laughing and reaching for one another in a tight knot.
"Hey, Charlie-boy," Molly called from Harry's arms, holding out one hand. "Come out here!" Charlie laughed and got up, just as Bill and Fleur returned to the tent, looking very surprised. Charlie stopped before his sister-in-law and offered his hand, bowing graciously. She smiled and allowed herself to be led onto the floor, Bill hurrying after her.
Gabrielle hit the long, loud, final verse of the song as she smiled down at her parents, her sister's (obviously completely mad) extended family, all of whom were laughing and twirling among new partners.
Les a berces
Le long des golfes clairs
Et d'une chanson d'amour
A berce mon cœur pour la vie...
The song finished, but Gabrielle gave the sign for the band to play on, and hopped off the stage. Charlie seized her hand and spun her beneath Percy and Mrs. Granger's outstretched arms; Mr. Granger dipped Hermione; Harry smiled as Molly twirled out of his arms and into Bill's; Audrey was with Apolline Delacour, of all people, laughing hysterically; Monsieur Delacour kissed his eldest daughter's cheek; George was holding tight to Ron, who was trying to escape; Arthur held onto Angelina, and, directly into Harry's arms, tumbled a barefoot Ginny, both of them laughing as she threw her arms around his neck.
With three long, loud notes, the song ended, but the utterly mad Weasley-Potter-Delacour-Granger knot stayed intact, and Ginny leaned back in Harry's arms, as the laughter of the newly-bonded family echoed upward into the stars.
And somewhere that was not so very far from the beach by Shell Cottage, a red-haired, freckled teenager shook hands with a bespectacled, black-haired man and his wife, who had beautiful green eyes.
"Looks like we're in-laws," said James, and Lily smiled.
"About damn time," said Fred in mock annoyance, shaking his head. "I swear, I did my best with those two."
Oh...it's over. That was quick.
Love you madly, and always.