Chapter 1 : Time To Let Her Go
| ||Rating: 15+||Chapter Reviews: 83|
Change Background: Change Font color:
The past few years had been hell for him. It was quite literally hell for him. Watching his little Ginevra grow up from a toy broomstick-riding tomboy into a beautiful and intelligent teenage witch was Arthur Weasley’s dream and nightmare. It had become increasingly frightening for him as vast multitudes of hormonal teenage boys took to following her around—Fred, George, and Ron had kindly notified him of this fact the summer after her 4th year at Hogwarts. But nothing in the world could prepare him for the events of tomorrow. Arthur Weasley was to give his precious daughter away.
A better and more honorable man he could not ask for. Harry Potter was the only man he could even consider allowing his only daughter to walk down the aisle with. Arthur had known Harry since he was a small lad; he was practically family already. Molly would exclaim that he had been a member of their family since the day Ron met him on platform 9 3/4. It was face that he happened to become so entertwined with their family. But none of these facts could do anything to lighten the burden that lay heavily on this poor man’s heart. He was still to give away his only daughter. After tomorrow, no more could he peek into her bedroom throughout the night to make sure she was sleeping peacefully. After tomorrow, there would be no more midnight —or even later— discussions about random things when neither of them could sleep. Ginny was the only one of his children that would pracify him by listening to his endless fascinations with Muggle objects. She didn't care about most of them in the slightest, but smiled and nodded like only a good daughter would.
No more could Arthur Weasley hold his little girl into his arms and know that he was her greatest hero. No. From now on that place would be taken by someone else, her husband. With a grim chuckle Arthur realized that that place had been taken many years ago. Most likely since she was eleven years old, and Harry had rescued her for the first time. The dreadful events that had spanned her first year at Hogwarts had completely shaped the rest of her life.
But there was something Arthur had come to realize—startlingly, in fact. His Ginny was no longer a little girl. He had seen her, just like everyone else when she fiercely took on Bellatrix Lestrange with Hermione and Luna. The raw passion he saw in her eyes as she defended her friends changed the way he looked at her. Never again when his eyes fell on her would he think of her as a girl, a child. She was a woman, no doubt about it. Before his eyes his daughter had grown up on him.
However much his heart fought against it, he knew that Ginny and Harry loved each other. He had saw them the day after the battle as she clung to him, and he to her, neither of them talking, just staring into each others’ eyes. And then the funeral. The entire Wizarding World had expected Harry to give some speech, but instead he shared his memories of Fred and what he hoped the future would bring. Though it was hard to see it then, he had hope that happier times would come. The entire time Ginny stood at his side, smiling through her tears, love on her face. Soon, Arthur and the rest of their family found themselves smiling with her. If Ginny believed what Harry was something, as opinionated as she was, then there must be some merit to his words.
Yes, he would have to do it. He would do it for her. He would give away his daughter with a smile on his face. And then, he would come home and sit in her room. No, he wouldn’t let her see the tears. He would wear a smile as he proudly handed her over to the man she loved. The tears would come later, in private with Molly. He owed it to his little Ginevra to not let her see his heart break.
He never thought that it would bother him quite this much. They weren’t as close as they once were, and she certainly didn’t share her every woe and concern with him anymore. But there was still the face that he wasn’t ready for her to be married. She was only 21 for Merlin’s sake! (Fleur had been the same age when they got married, and Fleur had reminded him of such, but that was irrelevant to him.)
When Ginny had first told him she and Harry were to be married, Bill couldn’t be happier. Harry was the perfect sort of fellow for a girl like Ginny. He was nice, charming, loved Quidditch, and knew exactly how to handle Ginny when she got riled up. But as the months quickly went by and the date circled in green on his calendar got closer the peculiar feeling is his gut got stronger.
And now the day had come. Bill Weasley was standing in the back yard of the Burrow watching the upstairs window of Ginny’s room as Hermione scurried around getting ready. The entire day things had been in a flutter as Mrs.Weasley and Fleur rushed to get everything perfect. Bill had stood around, pretending to help, as he thought about what he could possibly do to make himself feel better about this arrangement. Somehow, Bill managed to find himself alone with his father, his three old daughter Victorie, and five year old Teddy Lupin two hours before the ceremony started. Arthur and Bill sat in chairs (that had dainty lace ribbons tied around them), as Teddy and Victorie played with toy wands on the concrete that surrounded the garden.
“Dad,” Bill found himself saying to his complete and utter surprise, “how are you handling it…so well?” Arthur smiled: he knew exactly what his oldest son meant.
Arthur didn't beat around the bush. He smiled grimly, and patted Bill on the shoulder. “It’s hard, trust me. Harry’s been my son since he became Ron’s best friend, but at this moment I want to lock Ginny up in the tallest tower I can build and throw away the key.” Bill could only grimace as he shared a knowing look with his father. There was a silence between the two men as they both watched Teddy and Victorie playing.
“I’m lucky I have only the one, though.” Arthur amended with a smile, as an extremely pregnant Fleur approached.
“Victorie’s not dating till she’s thirty, and neither is the unborn baby.” Bill declared sharply, causing both his wife and father to wince.
“Wait and see Bill, my boy. You still have much to learn.” Arthur said softly. He looked up at the enormous banner of Harry and Ginny stretched across the minister’s platform. “You’ll discover that you’ll want to give them anything in the world when they look up at you with those wide, innocent eyes. At first, my son, it seemed like a death sentence to me, but Harry makes her happy. And anything that makes her happy makes me happy.” Bill watched his father’s eyes glaze over at the end, and looked away towards his own daughter.
“I know what you mean.” He whispered. And he did. Bill agreed with everything that his father had said. If Ginny was happy, then he could be happy. As her eldest brother, it was his job to protect her, and if protecting her meant learning how to let go, then that he would do. No matter how much it hurt.
But Victoire would be another story.
Charlie grinned appreciably. Free food. Free music. Loads of interesting people to talk to. What could be a possible setback of his little sister getting married? Truthfully, Charlie Weasley could say that this was one of the happiest days of his life. But it hadn’t started out that way.
Early this morning, Charlie had awoken to a odd feeling of dread like he had never felt before. He tamed dragons for a living, and had never experienced this feeling before. He surely hadn't felt this way when he was the best man at Bill's wedding. No, it musn't be wedding anxiety.
But, no matter who he talked to, whether it was his mum, Ron, or even Ginny herself, Charlie couldn’t help but feel sad. He concluded that his little sister's upcoming nuptials must indeed have something to do with his emotions being so awry. However, all of that was gone once he saw the happiness radiating from his sister in every direction.
Unlike the others who were quite frightened of the reaction, Charlie was the only brother who was willing to tell her how he felt. Before his mum had a chance to wake Ginny up, Charlie was knocking on her door. She answered, still slightly groggy, but brightened instantly. She gave him a quick hug, and he pushed open the door to see her wedding dress propped up in the middle of the room, all the glory focused on it. She saw him looking in the direction of it, and she shot him a sheepish grin before asking cheerfully, “What brings you here this early, Charlie,— I mean I’m glad to see you and all— it's just that Hermione will be here to help me get ready in a bit.” Ginny looked at him curiously.
But Charlie, the rough, tough, and buff dragon tamer, didn’t have the heart to tell her. She looked so happy, happier then he had seen her in years. Suddenly the bad feeling disappeared. And now he could honestly talk to her. “I’m here, my darling little sister, to tell you that I love you and wish you well in your new life.” He declared, swiftly kissing her mane of red hair, as he gathered her into a bear hug.
She laughed, a pleasant sound that made him all the more happier. “And why my dear brother, couldn’t that wait until this evening, during the toasts?” She asked.
“Because I’m afraid, that I, as well as our other dear brothers, will be far too smashed for us to say anything halfway legible, or sensible for that matter.” Charlie watched her face carefully.
“And why are my dear brothers choosing to get so drunk at my wedding that they won’t even be able to offer their little sister a piece of advice, or congratulations?” Ginny looked simply amused, not angry like he was worried she might.
Charlie’s voice was low and gruff with emotion as he spoke, “Because we don’t want to be sober enough to watch another man take our little sister away.”
Ginny blinked at him for a moment, before launching herself at him, and hugging him tight. “Don’t worry,” she assured him. “I’m always going to be your little sister. I may not be in the house anymore, but I always be within screaming distance of you, and the rest of our brothers.”
“I know. But it’s just had for us to imagine that our wittle Gin-Gin is growing up.” Charlie laughed and hugged her again before leaving. “Have a wonderful wedding day, my beautiful little sister.” He said quietly, closing the door, “May all your dreams come true.”
“They already have.” She whispered quietly, but he was already gone, hastily wiping tears from his eyes before someone saw Charlie, the ‘Macho Man’, crying.
Percy remembered vaguely a time in his life when he despised Harry Potter with all of his being. When he had come back to his family in the end, Harry had been one of the last to accept him. Several days after the Final Battle, Harry had embraced Percy in a slightly awkward brotherly hug, before declaring, “It takes a real man to make a decision as hard as the one you had to make. I’m proud of you, Percy. Welcome back.” Percy had smiled nonchalantly, and proceeded to ask Audrey random questions about their wedding, though it was still months and months away. Even though he didn’t say a word about it, Harry’s approval meant more to him than Harry thought.
Ever since Percy had met Harry, or so it seemed, he had disliked the boy. First of all, he got in way to much trouble. Trouble that usually involved Ron. And, if Ron got in trouble, then that meant that the Weasley name was involved. Percy didn’t like that because it made him look bad. It wasn't like their name didn't already have a bad enough reputation due to Fred and George. Percy and Bill could only do so much to straighten that out. Secondly, his mum seemed to like Harry much better than her own sons. Just because Harry was an orphan Mrs. Weasley went to extra lengths to make Harry comfortable. Harry’s annual Weasley sweater was always made with better material, while Percy and the rest got whatever material was left. And lastly, his own brothers seemed to like Harry better. Percy knew Ginny liked him better. Whenever Harry was at the Burrow, all of his brothers always flocked to wherever Harry was. Even Ginny talked about Harry more than anything else. But that was all in the past.
Now Percy considered Harry a close friend. At least for a few more hours he was. At four o’clock in the evening, Harry Potter would become his brother-in-law. Percy was indeed happy for Harry and Ginny. Harry deserved the best woman in the world, and if that woman was his sister, then good for Harry. But Percy was still her older brother. He wanted to tell Harry if he hurt her then he would have to face a rage worse than Voldemort; six overprotective brothers with Fred in the lead, wrecking havoc from the heavens above. But Percy knew his place in this matter, and he knew that he had no say in whether Ginny married Harry. Like it or not, they were both adults and they could both make decisions for their selves. Percy had missed some of the most important years of Ginny’s life—years in which Ginny grew up faster than they all liked—and he regretted it terribly. Anything he had to say now would only make her hate him again.
Despite his brotherly rage, Percy was terribly happy that he would be able to call Harry Potter his brother-in-law in just a few hours. It would be a grand honour for himself and Audrey. The great Harry Potter would officially be his brother in a few hours. Percy was determined to make sure that the wedding went on was carried out without a hitch. He had clearly and specifically told Ron and George what must and must not happen at their dear sister’s wedding. Not that he thought it would help at all.
Percy glanced over to the table where Bill and their father was talking. He could hear every word our their conversation. It seemed that Bill was far more concerned about Ginny’s well-being than Percy was. It was beyond him why Bill would ever fear that Ginny wouldn’t be happy. Percy was a hundred percent sure that Harry would make her happy. That’s why he wasn’t full of worry at the moment, like the rest of his brothers. No, Percy wasn’t concerned one bit. Actually, he was. Just a tiny bit. Not very much. Okay, fine. Percy was bloody frightened for his little sister to get married. Oh dear. Now all he could think about was Ginny and Harry carrying out a married life. Bad mental pictures. Percy sighed deeply. This was going to be an interesting day indeed.
There wasn’t a Weasley man out there who knew more about Harry and Ginny’s relationship than Fred did. After all, he could see everything. Well, almost everything. From the moment of his death, Fred had watched his only sister closely, because he knew that only one thing could happen now that Voldemort was gone. Harry was going to propose. And he was right.
As much as he enjoyed watching over his family and being a sort of guardian angel, (Ha! The word angel being used to describe Fred!) not being able to tease the betrothed couple was really a drag. It was only half as fun to watch George do his best to drive them bonkers.
Unlike the others, Fred knew that Ginny could take care of herself. Ginny was one of the strongest people Fred knew—no doubt caused by the events of her first year at Hogwarts. He had known that for many years. That was why Fred and George had confided nearly everything in her. In a lot of ways, she was just like them. She was brave, fiesty, and not afraid to get in trouble. She alone they confided in when they first started their business. And that was the main reason that they brought her with them to Hogwarts, to fight in the Final Battle. They couldn't force her to stay away any more than they could themselves.
It was also why Fred knew that Harry and Ginny would be perfect together. While they were still very young, both of them had to go through tragic events involving Voldemort. There were times when Harry was in a mood that no one could get him out of, yet when Ginny said the simplest soothing word, he was okay. They were so alike. It put Fred’s mind at ease to know that Ginny wasn’t going to be going around with blokes like Corner or Thomas anymore. Ginny deserved someone who understood her, and that’s exactly what she got with Harry. They were a packaged deal, and they had been since Ginny fell in love with him at age ten.
It was clear, in both of their eyes each time they saw each other that they were in love. They completed each other. Fred saw everything that the others missed. He saw how Harry never held her back from anything she wanted. When Ginny had first mentioned trying out for the Holyhead Harpies, he supported her one hundred percent. Harry went to every single game, rain or shine, and cheered as loudly as humanly possible.
Fred saw how Ginny helped Harry get over Voldemort and move on, not by talking, or joking, but just by listening in ways that Ron and Hermione couldn’t. The simplest gesture or touch between the two was more powerful than Fred could have imagined. Fred saw how Ginny tought Harry how to care again, without fearing that those he cared for would get hurt. She supported his passion to become an Auror as much as he did her when she became a Harpie.
However, they did have their ups and downs. Fred had seen them fight before, but they always got over it. They cared about each other far too much to let petty differences or arguments get in the way of their relationship. They weren't a pair to bottle up their feelings for days like Ron and Hermione were (Fred liked watching that couple too, but Ron wasn't as interesting a fellow as Harry was,). Personally, Fred couldn’t wait to see Harry and Ginny's first spat as a married couple. With a witch and wizard as powerful as them, things were bound to get interesting. Fred was positive that Ginny would win. He grinned to himself.
Down below, music started to play and Fred saw Ginny walk up the aisle on the arm of a beaming Arthur Weasley. Fred straightened up when he heard a sniffle, and looked to his left. Seated beside him to watch the wedding were Lily and James Potter, Sirius Black, Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Alastor Moody, Dobby the House-Elf, and countless others. Lily looked at him, sniffling happily as she leaned against James. Sirius mimicked Lily, and leaned into James’s other shoulder, pretending to dramatically sob, “Our wittle Harry’s all grown up!” Lily pretended to glare at Sirius through her tear filled eyes.
As he was watching James smile at Lily it suddenly struck Fred how much Ginny and Harry resembled Lily and James. He grinned to himself. The Marauders looked at him, confused until he explained. “You Potter men really do go for the feisty redheads don’t you?” Everyone around him burst out in laughter.
If there was ever a precise moment that George missed his twin, it would have to be now. Sitting there in dainty white chairs on the perfectly mowed garden grass of the Burrow, George wished that Fred was here to help him wreck harmless havoc at their little sister’s wedding. Sure, their mum would kill them, and Hermione and Fleur as well, but it would be worth it to get the last few chuckles out of Ginny while she was still a Weasley.
Instead he sat still like a good boy, and focused on the ceremony before him. Besides, it wasn’t like he wouldn’t get to have any fun. He couldn’t wait until afterwards when he and Ron got to set off their fireworks—specially made for Ginny and Harry‘s wedding. His mum would kill him when she saw the explosions. But he would worry about that later. His mum never seemed to have the heart to scream at him as much, now that Fred was gone. She usually just smiled at him and left him alone. Usually, it would have made him happy, but honestly he missed the sound of her raging voice, shrieking at him for miniscule things.
George never thought the day would come when little Gin-Gin and ickle Harrykins would get married. Ever since that fateful day on platform on nine and three quarters, Ginny had liked Harry. Of course every little girl from the time of birth was fascinated with the mysterious ‘Boy-Who-Lived’. George remembered himself and Fred telling Ginny the sad story of Harry's infancy many years ago. How she had cried when they explained that he was all alone in the world. Even at the tender age of five, she had exclaimed loudly, "I'm going to find him and be his friend! And then I'm going to marry him!"
And then of course, when Harry started spending time at the Burrow, Ginny’s childhood crush became a little more than a crush. And then that horrible—yet fateful—day, when Harry saved her from the Chamber of Secrets—and a horrific death—Ginny truly started to love Harry Potter. Fred and George—unlike Ron, and the rest of their brothers—never stopped to doubt the love that Ginny had for Harry, and Harry for her. They had teased her about it practically every day of her life. (And when it had become too much to bear, they had wiped her tears promised never to tell Ron.) And yet it was still painful to know that Ginny was getting married.
A sharp jab in his ribs—by his Mum, of course—made him realize he wasn’t paying attention. George turned his eyes to the scene before him, to see Ginny’s happy smile as she stared at Harry from the corner of her eyes. George just had to smile, too. Other than preparing his fireworks, George had been planning some serious mischief for the newlyweds when they returned from their honeymoon. But that could wait. Right now he had important business to do. He needed to watch for the perfect moment to set off the fireworks, as Ron was unable to while he performed the duties of Best Man.
George fingered his wand in his hand, slightly anxious. He watched quietly as Harry leaned over to kiss Ginny on the lips, and he knew it was time. Silently—so that his mum wouldn’t hear—he said the spell in his mind. Seconds later, Harry and Ginny were engulfed in a haze of bright light as they pulled out of the kiss. They looked around, bewildered, but grinning. Before they could say a word, there was an explosion about them, and the fireworks started. George slipped away quietly, to watch his work of art, before returning to drink away the night with his brothers.
If only Fred were here.
Bugger, Ron cursed silently to himself, Hermione’s got this blasted Muggle necktie tied too tight. ‘Too tight’, was definitely an understatement. Ron felt like the bloody thing was choking him. He pulled on it once more before finally having the sense to loosen it with a silent spell. A nearly silent hiss came a few feet from him. He looked up. Big mistake.
Hermione was shooting daggers at him. She had obviously seen him fidgeting with his tie. But wait. There had to be another reason for a glare that bad. For some reason, everyone was watching him.
“Ron?” Harry said, in a way that made Ron think he had said his name more than once. Ron looked over at him. Harry looked amused, but Ginny who was to Hermione’s left, looked like she wanted to kill. “The ring?”
Ron felt his face flush. “Oh. Yeah. Of course.” He reached into his pocket, and pulled out the delicate velvet box that contained Ginny’s wedding ring. He handed it over to his best mate. Everyone focused their attention back on Harry and Ginny again, and Ron felt his face return to it’s normal shade of red. He was never going to live this down. But wait. It wasn’t his fault. Hermione had insisted on Muggle attire. And it was Ginny and Harry’s wedding; not his. Sure Harry hadn't messed up at his and Hermione's wedding, but that didn't mean they could blame Ron for one little accident...
Besides, he didn’t even want to be here today. In his opinion, Ginny was entirely to young to be getting married. Sure, he knew for a fact that Harry and Ginny loved each other, but she was barely 21. She still had an entire life to prepare for the commitment that a marriage requires. She could have continuted playing for the Harpies until she was forty. There was no need to stop now. Qudditch players only quit when they wanted to have children, and there was no way in hell that Harry and Ginny were going to be doing that anytime soon!
But then, on the other hand—once he stopped thinking about Harry and Ginny, and Harry and Ginny being together—he was glad that they were getting married. Being married would make it easier for him to see them snog. At least, that’s what he convinced himself. It didn’t repulse him so much as it did when they went out at Hogwarts, but he still didn’t like to be in the room when it happened. Now when they did snog in public at least he wouldn’t have to worry about his sister getting a reputation as a.…well you know.
Ron chanced a look at Hermione. She was smiling, and tears were running down her face. For some reason, unknown to Ron, she had never seen more beautiful to him. She looked up. She smiled, but then looked disapproving when she realized that he wasn’t listening to the Minister speak. Ron once more looked at the Minister and the couple before him.
Harry and Ginny were now holding hands, and they were about to kiss. Ron was about to turn his head politely away but some impulse made him watch them take their first kiss as a married couple. Yep. He was still repulsed but not near as much as before. Now when they kissed…it seemed romantic. Ron banished all related thoughts from his head. He definitely did not want to think those kind of thoughts about his sister and best mate. BOOM. Ron jumped, even though he should have been expecting it. Obviously, George had set off the fireworks.
Ginny and Harry didn’t seem startled in the least about the fireworks. Instead, they walked arm in arm back down the aisle, while the rest oohed and ahhed at the pretty colours. Ron grinned. This had to be George’s best work ever. He knew that there would be hell to pay later for this unexpected and unscheduled act, but it was amazing while it lasted.
A few hours later, Ron found himself standing at the head of the table, getting ready to give his Best Man speech. He was rather proud of himself; he’d only had three Fire Whiskies so far. At first, he’d been quite nervous about what he could say, but now, he was feeling strangely confident. He gave a dry cough before he began.
“Erm…as you probably know, I’m Harry’s best friend, and I’m his Best Man. I’m also Ginny’s older brother. I've known them both for...a long time.” Ron stopped, now that he was done stating the obvious, that nervous feeling was starting to come back. “Uh…I just want to give congratulations to the newlyweds. I’ve known them both a long time…” Ron stopped as he saw Ginny laugh. “...and I just want to say that I think they're perfect together and I know that they're going to be together forever. It makes me beyond happy to introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Harry James Potter. Have a wonderful life.” A loud applause erupted from behind him, where his already drunken brothers swayed in their seats.
The rest of the reception went off without a hitch. There was a lot of drinking, talking, and swapping of tales from when both Harry and Ginny were younger. There was even the occasional firework or two, ignited when one of the drunken Weasley boys pointed their wands at random objects.
At the end of the night Ginny and Harry left the Burrow in a carriage drawn by thestrals, which every attendant could now see as result of the horrific Wizarding War. But even the memories of those deadly decades of time could not mar the happiness from being spread to all who saw the happy couple. As Ginny and Harry left to start their new life together, for the first time in eight hours there was silence at the center table. If any had been looking there rather than the thestral drawn carriage, they would have seen silent tears sliding down the faces of the suddenly sober, Weasley men.
It has always been said that seven was a powerful number. And indeed it is, because it took the power of seven, very powerful Weasley men to let go of one of the most important women in their lives. And now you know the tale, dear reade, of how one by one, each in their own time, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, and Ron Weasley learned to let their little Gin-Gin go. Time has healed the pain they shared during this wonderful and yet horrible event, but they will never truly overcome the loss of losing Ginny Weasley.
I've been AWOL from HPFF for several years now. I'm back, and I've just re-written parts of this to fit more with the canon of stuff JKR has released since this was posted in '07.
I'm hoping to get back into fan fic soon and start some new stories. I'm in my first year of college now, so bear with me!
Comments are lovely, as always! Thanks so much!