“Nice to meet you, Betty
Bennington.” Ginny said, chuckling slightly.
“Oh, you are a one.” Betty said. “I wouldn't like to be the subject when you two get into a fight.” she gestured to Ginny and Mrs. Weasley, and Hermione nodded in agreement. “You're just like your mum used to be, you are.”
“She's a little more mouthy then I'd like...”
“Blimey, Molly, what the blooming hell do you expect? She's been raised by seven brothers!”
Hermione expected Mrs. Weasley's lips to tighten in disapproval, but instead she laughed and gave Betty's arm a slight punch. Ginny looked revolted.
“Shall we get started?” Betty asked suddenly.
“Of course.” Mrs. Weasley said, and Betty, after tapping both Hermione and Ginny on the shoulder with her wand, then writing some figures on a piece of paper (the spell felt like a string going up Hermione's dress all the way to her head so she supposed this was Betty's way of getting their measurements), led them into a small, cozy sitting room. As they sat down, Ginny hissed in Hermione's ear,
“Uhlg, my mum had a life!” and Hermione had to let out a small laugh.
The room was very nice, a large fireplace (even though the weather was quite warm as Ginny wanted an August wedding) with four plush purple armchairs placed around it, with a tea table between each of the armchairs. Hermione and Ginny shared one, as they chose the seats closest to the door, and Mrs. Weasley and Betty took the other set, chatting and laughing as they sat down. Hermione caught small stitches of 'oh, merlin, I can't believe my baby girl is finally getting married' and 'plenty more time now that the nest is empty, eh, Molly?'. In response to this, however, Mrs. Weasley shook her head.
“No, not yet. Ron's not married.”
“Engaged?” Betty asked, and Mrs. Weasley once again shook her head.
“Well...” Mrs. Weasley snuck a glance at Hermione and made a little cutting motion beneath her ribcage. “it's complicated.”
Betty nodded knowingly, took out a sketch pad and turned to Ginny.
“So.” she said. “tell me about you and Harry.”
For the next hour, Ginny told Betty about Harry and herself, showing off the ring, a medium sized diamond set between two smaller ones, and adding memories to the pensive to show Betty, and telling the older woman about Harry, herself, and the wedding. Finally, when Ginny had run out of things to say, Betty put her sketch pad down, measured Ginny, and asked them to come back in two hours. The girls set out for the lingerie store, laughing as they planned out Ginny's wedding night. Ginny finally gave up and bought everything she could afford after Hermione tried to prod her into buying a corset that wouldn't come off for anyone but the wearer. Then, she turned to Hermione and said
“You. Pick something out. Now.”
“What! No!” Hermione said, looking shocked.
“Do it. On me.” Ginny said.
“I'm not letting you remain a virgin your whole life!”
“Yeah, but by the time I fall in love again I won't be fit enough to wear this.”
“So do it with Ron.”
“I'm not with him right now, in case you haven't noticed.”
“Then do it with someone you meet at my bacheloret party.” Ginny said.
“Ew. No.” Hermione said.
“This!” Ginny said, picking out a lacy lavender slip dress with a lacy bra and underwear set in dark purple to go under it.
“Why lavender?” Hermione asked helplessly as Ginny stomped up to the counter and paid.
“Because he said on the game show that he likes you in lavender.” Ginny pointed out, grabbing a perfume and sniffing it.
“Mmmm. Smells good. And it's edible.” she got another bottle and paid for both of those too.
“Ginny, how are you affording all this?”
“Hello. Professional Quidditch player here!” Ginny said. “Fiancé of Harry Potter. Need I say more?”
“Well... we don't like the same scents. You take both bottles.”
“Don't worry.” Ginny said. “I got a flowery one for myself and vanilla cinnamon for you. You'll be eating it off of yourself... I wonder if they have matching lip gloss? Merlin, they do!” and Ginny marched back up to the counter, paid for those, shoved a bag in Hermione's hand and led her back to the wedding dress shop.
First, Betty had Hermione try on her dress. Luna had been to the shop a few days earlier to try on hers, and now it was Hermione's turn.
The Maid of Honor dress looked as though Betty had taken a few different pieces of a silky, satin, dark purple ribbon and sewn them on top of each other until the string of ribbons was long enough to reach just above Hermione's knees. In the middle of the dress, Betty had fastened a patine leather belt, thin, but noticeable, just enough to make the dress fancy and to show off Hermione's shape.
“Er- I think it's too small.” Hermione said, looking at her full figure in the mirror.
“Nonsense.” Betty said.
“What makes you say that, dear?” Mrs. Weasley asked.
“Well, one, I can't breathe, and two, it looks too tight.”
“Hermione, live a little.” Ginny said, rolling her eyes. “Now stop being such an attention hog, I love it, it's my wedding and I want to see my dress.”
Hermione took off the dress and gave it back to Betty, then sighed, knowing she was going to be forced into wearing black stiletto heels to match the belt. She was shaken by her thoughts, however, by Ginny letting out a squeal of delight as she disappeared behind a curtain. When she emerged, she was wearing a beautiful white dress.
The dress turned out to be perfect. It was a corset top with beads and flowers embroidered on it, then a skirt that separated into three parts. The two on the edge were the same as the corset, beads, flowers, pure white, not a crease to be found. The middle was layers and layers of white sheen fabric with little beads sewed on, layered so much that you could not see a square inch of Ginny's leg. The top of the dress melded perfectly to Ginny's body; she looked more beautiful then Hermione had ever seen her, her pale skin glowing with anticipation.
“Oh, Ginny, it's beautiful.” Hermione breathed, touching a piece of fabric. For the first time since the wedding was announced, Hermione felt a stab of jealousy, not because Ginny was marrying Harry, but because she had what Hermione wasn't sure she would ever posses.
“Thank you. I know. It is
beautiful.” Ginny said, looking as though she couldn't speak. Mrs. Weasley bustled into the room, burst into tears and started fussing over Ginny's dress. Hermione slunk quietly out of the door, wanting to give them a moment. She hid behind a wall and watched them, her heart in her stomach. She wondered if that would ever be her. If it was, would it be to the right man, or a cover one, one that was second best but would just have to do.
A tap on her shoulder interrupted her from her thoughts.
“Would you like one?” Betty asked quietly. Hermione whirled around.
“One what?” she asked, confused.
“A wedding dress.”
“Yes. Well, someday.” Hermione said.
“I can design you one. Now.” Betty told her. “you love someone, don't you?”
“Yes, but I can't marry him.” Hermione said, sounding a bit like a child.
“I have time.” Betty said simply, setting herself down on a couch and taking her note pad. Hermione reluctantly sat down, sitting ridged and resting on the edge of her chair, unlike the first time, when she'd sunk in to it.
“Who are you?” Betty asked. The question seemed simple enough, but Hermione knew what it meant.
“I am Hermione Jean Granger. I am a lover of books, studies, and freshly mown grass. My shampoo is vanilla and cinnamon scented.” Hermione stomach contracted at the word cinnamon, but she plowed on. “I am rotten at love. I work at the ministry of magic in the law department. I put work in front of relationships and lost the only man I ever loved.” Hermione said the last part angrily, and she resolved herself not to cry. She was sick and tired of crying all the time. It was such a waste.
“Who is he?” Betty asked quietly, sensing her sadness. Her fingers were flying across her sketchpad.
Hermione took a breath.
“Ron Weasley. Red hair, freckles, loopsided smile, my best friend since first year.”
Betty let out a low whistle.
“And here's where the complications start. Tell me about you two.”
“We met on the Hogwarts Express. I was look for a boy's toad, and Ron was trying to do magic, a spell that his mischievous twin brothers had taught him. It was a bad spell, and it didn't work. After that, I did a spell to show him how it was done. I was a bitch, really. A bit of a snob, a know-it-all. All I wanted to do was prove myself worthy, that I was good enough to go to Hogwarts, even though I was muggle born.” Hermione said with a slight gleam in her eye. “But instead, I just made Ron hate me.” she let out a small laugh. “Then, one day after class, he insulted me, and I ran to the girls' toilet. But the problem was, there was a troll loose in the castle. Harry and Ron saved me from it.”
“Harry Potter?” Betty asked, scribbling furiously. Hermione nodded. “Continue, please.” Betty said.
“After that, we became friends. I was too young to realize it, but my friendship with Harry was always more comfortable then it was with Ron. George later said that with Ron there was sexual tension, while Harry was like a brother.” Hermione laughed again, shaking her head. “I don't know about sexual tension, but I do know I was intrigued by Ron. He was different, not like all the other boys, yet still obnoxious. Most of them were. Harry was nice and polite, but that was because he was used to that. He got rather mouthy in 5th year. He was so angry that year...
“Ron and I continued to have a love-hate relationship throughout Hogwarts. I'm not exactly sure when I realized I liked him as more then just a friend, although when I did I knew it had been coming on for a while. I think he realized it in 4th year, when Viktor Krum asked me out. He was jealous, I think. But he didn't do anything about it. Not until 6th year. Ginny told him that I snogged Viktor Krum, and he started going out with a girl named Lavender Brown to make me jealous. It worked. I was angry But then, the next year still, something changed. He started being nicer, sending compliments...”
“That would be because of a book Fred and George gave him, 'Twelve fail-safe ways to Charm Witches'.” somewhere in the middle of Hermione's speech, Ginny and Mrs. Weasley had entered the room and were watching the conversation. Now Ginny spoke again. “He knew he liked you, but he didn't know how to get it started.”
“So then, in the middle of our hunt with Harry...” Hermione paused to see if Betty would ask about the hunt, but instead she continued to sketch on that notepad, humming softly to herself. “in the middle of the hunt Ron left us. I screamed his name but he wouldn't come back. I cried for weeks. When he finally did come back, I was so angry I started to punch him.” Hermione's eyes gleamed mischievously.
“She does have a bad side.” Ginny smirked to her mother. Mrs. Weasley shushed her and went back to listening to Hermione with a dreamy expression across her features and a misty quality to her eyes.
“Our reunion was sort of cut short when we were captured and taken to the Malfoy home. I was tortured for information by Bellatrix Lestrange. I was about to give up, to let the curse kill me, I couldn't stay strong. Then I heard his voice, screaming my name over and over. And I fought. I fought it as hard as I could. I was eventually knocked out, but everyone was shocked I stayed around for so long. All because of his voice.
“Then, the final battle at Hogwarts. He suggested that we tell the house elves to get out of Hogwarts so they wouldn't get killed. And I kissed him. It was our first kiss. It was so amazing, and everything seemed to fall into place. You can't imagine how I felt when I realized he was kissing me back. During the war, I was so afraid of loosing him. I felt as though I wouldn't be able to get out of bed every morning if there was no Ron to yell at or talk to or even be with, to know that he was somewhere in the world, breathing, thinking... alive. I still feel like that sometimes. When we thought Harry was dead, he put his arms around me to steady me, and it felt so good. I think, somewhere inside of me, I knew Harry wasn't dead. But still, the words were just so terrible. Then he was fine, the war was over. Ron and I met up in an empty classroom and we talked the kiss over. Decided it meant something, and that we felt something for each other. We went out for two thrilling years, and then he asked me to move in with him. But when I got the Robinson case at work, I had to stop spending time with him to do research. He started drinking. We fell apart. Then Ginny put us on a game show, and now I'm trying to gather my wits and make sense of things. On live television. And that's that.”
Betty added a few more lines to the drawing. Then, she slowly turned it around. The dress was pure white. In the middle of the skirt, elegantly pulling two sides of the skirt together was a pearl. The skirt fell silkily down Hermione's drawn form, poofing out enough not to be skin tight, and leaving a little shimmering train. The dress had spaghetti straps, and it was so silky it was almost shimmering all the different colors of the rainbow whenever drawn Hermione moved.
“I have it as a pearl right now.” Betty said when she noticed where Hermione's eyes had reached. “But you can change it.”
“A sapphire.” Hermione said quietly. “It's my birthstone. And it matches his eyes.”
No one had to ask who 'he' was. Betty waved her wand and the gemstone changed. She waved it again and another sketch identical to the first appeared in her hand.
“Tell me when you need it.” she said.
“I don't think I ever will.” Hermione said.
“Oh, you will.”Betty replied confidently.
Hello everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season. I know this update is really fast (probably too fast) but I wanted to have a final update before the que closed for Christmas. Sadly, I might have to put a Christmas part (way) later into the story, because right now it's about July and I'm in October or November at the place in the story I'm working on. I'm actually in the middle of writing chapter 29, and I can tell you that in December something big happens. Cyber cookies to anyone who guesses! Just a note, I know it says that Hermione is 20 but she's actually 21. I didn't know Ginny's birthday before, but seeing as she's turning 20 to get married that's the way it actually has to be. I hope you all have a great holiday, and I'll see you all next year (if not before). As always, ~writergirl8