Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and I am not making a profit from this piece.
A/N: This fic was my submission for hg_seasonfest on LJ. Thanks to fbo66 & katwoman_68 for another wonderful exchange. If you haven't done so already, I would recommend checking out the other submissions. Also, thank you to jennyelf for the beta work and to lizzi-mae21 for letting me bounce a couple of ideas around. Your help was invaluable.
My receipiant was deadwoodpecker. She wanted Ron and the other Weasleys involved and their reactions to Harry and Ginny's wedding. It had been awhile (like, a couple of weeks) since I had read the Backwards With a Purpose series, so I went back and reread, for research, of course. This lead to Ron invading my brain, which was pretty awesome until I realized he was just going to sit back and eat all of my food but not offer me much in the way of ideas! We got there in the end (Hermione showed up at the last minute to polish off Ron's gibberish).
Happy wasn't exactly the right word that one would use to describe Molly Weasley's feelings about her daughter's upcoming nuptials. The only thing, in Ron's opinion, that his mum approved of was that Ginny was marrying Harry. Nearly everything else had been criticized.
"You're wearing that, dear? It is far too revealing and, honestly, after what I caught you doing to that boy, do you really think you deserve to wear white? Scarlett might be more appropriate!"
"Twenty is too young! How can you be certain that you want to spend the rest of your life with Harry? Not that we don't approve of you, Harry dear. But how can you be certain she is right for you at this young age?"
"You don't need to go on a honeymoon, for goodness sake! Save your money! The way you two go at it, you'll need it. You'll be pregnant by Christmas and end up with a dozen children!"
"Why can't you use pink for your bridesmaids? It looked so lovely on you for Percy and Audrey's wedding. Or gold, why you looked like a princess at Bill and Fleur's wedding. Or red, that would be a nice tribute to Gryffindor. Blue! Hermione chose such an elegant blue..."
"I don't understand why I can't just do all of the cooking and baking! There's no reason to work that poor elf so much."
"Why must you be married on Halloween? Even before Harry's parents were murdered, it was such a horrible day to be wed, but now? Oh, Ginny, why can't you ever be a normal girl?"
In general, Ron just stayed out of it. He knew that the wedding was set on Halloween and that he needed to show up, dressed in his robes (black, with little orange and gold jack-o-lanterns on the vest and tie) and give a best man's speech. He knew Hermione was wearing a black dress that fit her like a glove. His wife said the hemline was jagged; Ron just liked that the material sort of floated around her calves. She had very sexy legs, after all, and the sexiest shoulder blades he'd ever seen (not that he'd seen many), but no one would be seeing them in this dress. It may have started out with a rather daring open back, but Hermione had changed that right away. Ginny had picked out the dresses because they looked similar to Muggles' ideas of witches. She had planned on her attendants wearing Muggle witch's hats as well, but decided against it when she saw how ridiculous they looked.
Harry and Ginny's wedding was all about Halloween silliness. The band was a group of travelling skeletons (or maybe the band would be dressed as skeletons, Ron really wasn't clear on that point). Orange and black candles would be floating inside the pavilion with Transfigured bats charmed to flit around. Hagrid had grown enormous pumpkins that were in every corner with stalks of corn and Transfigured black cats. On the tables were tiny little jack-o-lanterns, fall leaves and Ginny's favourite white lilies. Harry had insisted that there be small cauldrons filled with all sorts of candy for the kids and Ginny had made sure that everyone who attended would have a small yellow flower of some sort to wear. Luna had been very wary of wearing the black dress to a wedding until his sister had made that decision.
Most of the family was on board with the Halloween wedding and theme. Bill and Charlie, who had spent the most time with Muggleborns and in the Muggle world, thought it was great. They were both pleased with the robes Harry had chosen for them as ushers. Bill's were a dirty, tattered white that looked remarkably like mummy wrappings, while Charlie's were an iridescent scaly green. When he pulled the hood up, his older brother looked like some sort of lizard that had crawled out of a swamp. Fleur, while not a member of the wedding party, was mostly pleased with what she would be wearing as well. Her robes made her look like a medieval princess and matched little Victoire's flower girl robes. Ron privately thought it hilarious that Ginny was able to extract her revenge from their sister-in-law. Torie's robes were off-white with orange ribbons and bows; Fleur's were the exact opposite. Fleur would have refused, he was sure, if it hadn't been Harry asking her to wear the Cannon orange robes. She had a soft spot for Harry.
Percy wasn't tickled about the wedding. It was more that he felt their jobs too irresponsible than that they weren't suited for each other or too young. He thought that Harry should get a desk job and Ginny should do something other than play Quidditch. After all, Harry could die in the field and leave poor Ginny a widow or Ginny could be injured and then Harry would be left taking care of her. But he had only said his piece once and then supported the couple fully. No one treated Percy like an outsider any longer, but he still seemed to feel that he needed to atone for the sin of abandoning his family so many years ago. Ron wasn't sure if that was why his most fastidious brother had chosen the most outlandish outfit for the wedding or if it was due to his wife. Audrey was surprisingly fun. In fact, Ron would have thought she and George would have been better suited for each other, but Audrey's silly, daring world-view complemented straight-laced Percy perfectly. They would be coming in the most Muggle-like robes: a pirate and a serving wench.
George wouldn't be in anything too special since he was standing up with Ron and Neville. It had taken much back-slapping and throat-clearing to get through Harry asking George to be a groomsman and for George to accept. It was generally believed that Ginny had requested for George to be a groomsman and Harry had requested Hermione. Not so. They had each chosen their own attendants: Hermione and Ginny were close, though not as close as Ginny was to her fellow Harpy Megan Jones who had been a Hufflepuff in Ron's year, apparently. He didn't remember her, but then, he didn't really remember much of his Hogwarts years that weren't related to his adventures with Harry or Hermione.
"It has nothing to do with Ginny," Harry had said, rather irritably when he'd asked George. "You and F-Fred, well, you were always there for me, always on my side. You stuck up for me and tried to cheer me up and, well, I always sort of thought of the two of you as my older brothers."
Thus ensued much throat-clearing and back-slapping before George replied with a chocked, "Sure, mate." He'd been referring to Harry as "Harri-kins" ever since.
Hermione was stringently for the wedding, though she privately thought the Halloween theme was ridiculous. Ron was pleased that his wife and mother had a close relationship, but his mum's opposition and occasional nastiness on this point had set Hermione against Molly. She was the first to point out the double standard. "Ron and I were both twenty last year and you even asked him why we'd waited so long!" Also, anytime Ron's mum criticized the decorations or the food or Ginny's dress, Hermione would remind her of her own words when Mrs. Granger had opposed Hermione's choices.
"It's their wedding. It's our job to support them, but it has to be what they want for their day."
"But it's my little girl's wedding!" Molly had tearfully cried back.
That was really the crux of the matter. Molly Weasley had dreamed about her daughter's wedding the moment she had found out she had a girl. It had been her sugar and spice port in a sea of snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.
Ron's dad, thankfully, was the voice of reason. He convinced Ginny to ask Molly to make their cake and she even agreed to it being a flowery, fluffy confection (that Ron couldn't wait to stick a fork into). He intervened with the mother-of-the bride robes as well. Instead of something similar to what the bridesmaids were wearing (which would have given Ron nightmares of his wife being Transfigured into his mother), they decided to pick something similar to what Victoire and Fleur were wearing. Molly's robes were the same cream colour as Torie's, but her robes had rose coloured ribbons and were less...fluffy.
"Lady Molly," Arthur called her when she modelled the robes. She blushed at that.
Harry chimed in with his two Knuts. "You look like a Queen." Ron's mum beamed at the praise.
"Humph," Ginny grumbled. "Don't encourage her. She already acts like she's the bloody Queen."
With a heavy sigh, Harry turned to his fiancée. "Yeah, well, if you can act like Princess Ginevra, your Mum is entitled to be Queen Molly." Ginny gave a glare that would have had Ron ducking for cover, but his best mate just smirked. "What? You've been acting like a spoiled little princess for months. I like what we're doing for our wedding, but it won't hurt you to give in on a couple of things, especially since you know your mum would have been uncomfortable in that dress you wanted her to wear. Cream and pink look much prettier on her anyway."
Ron surreptitiously pulled out his wand, intent on protecting the Chosen One from his irate little sister. But instead, after a quick, but intense internal debate, Ginny broke into a smile and lunged at Harry, placing a kiss on him that made other occupants of the sitting room a little uncomfortable.
"What should I do with you?" she asked when they finally broke apart for air.
Harry looked a little dazed, and probably was since he responded with, "I don't know. Tie me up?"
Silence followed this and the soon to be wed couple left just minutes after that. Ron stubbornly maintained that it was due to embarrassment and not because his sister and best friend were going to follow through on Harry's suggestion. Harry's flushed face and odd expression were totally due to embarrassment.
The thirty-first of October arrived on a Tuesday, cold but bright. The tent was erected outside of the Burrow with the chairs set up, complete with black and orange ribbons and Warming Charms. Kreacher had outdone himself with the wedding feast, though Ron felt that the breakfast his mum had whipped up that morning was better. Megan, Luna and Hermione were sequestered up in Ginny's old room, helping the bride get ready while Ron and George showed the musicians and the minister to their places. Neville was concerning himself with placing Preservation Charms on the bouquets and button-holes and making sure the small, yellow lilies were laid out for each of the guests to don.
"I can't understand why Ginevra didn't wear my tiara." Ron looked at George and snickered when he heard the shrill voice of Aunt Muriel. Bill was attempting politeness as he escorted her to a seat near the front. "Of course, with as gaudy as she decided to decorate, I can't say I'm surprised. I should have known that Molly Prewett's daughter would buck tradition as much as she did! Imagine getting married on Halloween! That is almost as disrespectful as Molly insisting on marrying my nephew on the Summer Solstice! I can't believe that Ginevra has been allowed to continue this fantasy of marrying Harry Potter. How did she convince her fiancé to pretend to be the Boy-Who-Lived?" Ron tuned her out after that. It would only be a matter of time before she insulted Hermione or one of his sisters-in-law. It would be best if Bill used his brand of reasoning than if Ron spoke up.
More guests were arriving and Percy got up to assist Charlie and Bill with the seating. George wandered over to where Angelina was sitting with Alicia Spinet and he realized his brother had been keeping a secret. No one had even suspected that George and Angelina might be more than friends, but if they weren't, Ron didn't want to see how Angelina greeted a boyfriend.
With that thought, Ron headed into the house to check on the bride and groom. A quick knock on Ginny's door was rewarding. His sister was beautiful in her wedding robes. They were cream with bits of orange and gold threaded into the skirt. Her hair was caught up on top of her head, definitely more elaborate than anything his tom-boy sister would normally do, but it didn't make her look like someone else.
Hermione, however, took his breath away. Her hair was done up in a riot of curls on top of her head, just like he liked it. He'd been a little worried that his wife would use an entire bottle of Sleekeazy's to make her beautiful curls straight and smooth. It was pretty when she did that, but this...this was dead sexy.
"Can I help you?" his wife smirked as he gaped at her.
Ron cleared his throat. "Well, I just thought I'd check in with you girls. It's nearly time and the guests are arriving."
"I'm ready, Ron." Ginny smiled at him. "Go check on Harry." He gave a quick nod and then ran up the stairs to his old room. The bright orange walls made him nostalgic. Perhaps he could convince Hermione to let him paint the walls of his office orange. That would really set off his official Cannons robes, the signed Quaffle and posters.
"I'm ready," Harry's voice, the nervous lilt barely covered by his strong conviction, broke through Ron's musings. "Is it time?"
"Nearly. I've just been to check on the girls. Ginny's ready. She looks beautiful." Harry's smile strengthened at this. Ron was strongly reminded of his own wedding and how Harry had stayed with him during the hours leading up to the ceremony. He had been insecure then, uncertain why such a perfect woman would consent to marry him. Harry had confessed to similar feelings just last week at his Stag Party, but Ron knew that his friend had needed some quiet time to get his head on straight before the wedding. A knock on the open door behind him startled both of the young men and Ron whipped around to see his father standing in the doorway.
"It's time, son." Harry nodded and the three wizards walked quietly down the stairs. Harry paused outside of Ginny's closed door, but smiled and then continued on his way. Ron nodded at his father and followed his friend down, taking a deep breath when he heard Arthur knock on Ginny's door.
It would be a busy day. Ron would witness his best friend and sister pledge their lives to each other and get a little misty-eyed (though he would blame it on the candle smoke). He'd laugh at three-year-old Torie dragging four-year-old Teddy around the dance floor, the two bobbing up and down to the music. There would be toasts that would entertain and bring up wells of emotion and there would be cheers when Harry put Muriel in her place when he proved that, yes, he really was Harry Potter and that he'd married her great-niece Ginny. Molly would tell Mrs. Diggory that she thought the wedding was lovely and that she should have known Ginny would know what she was doing. When he took a break from the reception, Ron would catch a glimpse of pair of black trousers around Harry's ankles and a pair of freckled legs, but nothing else as Ginny's voluminous robes covered up everything else and he'd leave his old room as quickly as possible though those moans would follow him down the stairs.
But the thing that would stay with him the most from this day would occur as he was standing up next to the man he'd met just over eleven years ago on the train that would take them to Hogwarts. Just before the music started signalling Luna to begin the procession down the aisle, Harry turned to Ron. "I'm so glad Ginny agreed to have our wedding on Halloween." Ron tried not to look startled. He'd assumed it was Ginny's idea. "I lost my family twenty years ago," Harry continued. "And today, I'm starting a new one."