Chapter 20 : The Chosen One's Wedding
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“Good MORNING!” she sang in alert to Harry that she was there.
She was answered by a loud scream from the bathroom. Hermione picked up speed and burst into the master bedroom. Harry's spot was empty, as was Ginny's. Hermione knocked on the door.
“Ginny?” she said tentatively.
“WHAT!” Ginny yelled back.
“Are you alright?”
“No, I am NOT alright!” Ginny replied.
“Well... what's wrong?” Hermione asked.
“Check the bed.”
Hermione walked over to the bed and looked at the sheets.
“Oh.” she answered, biting her lip. “That's not good.”
“Yah think!” Ginny said, opening the door to the bathroom. “This day was supposed to be perfect! Now I'm just cramping like there's no tomorrow!”
“It's okay, Ginny.” Hermione said soothingly. “Everything will work out.”
“No, it won't!” Ginny screamed. “LOOK!” she pointed to her chin.
“Oh god.” Hermione said, putting a hand to her head. “That thing's the size of the Eiffel tower.”
“I know.” Ginny moaned.
“Okay, it's okay, we'll just get some 10 second pimple vanisher from George.” Hermione reasoned.
“He's closed for the wedding!”
“Ginny, I think he'll grab some pimple vanisher for his little sister's wedding day.”
“Have I ever mentioned to you that I hate nature?” Ginny said, ignoring Hermione's last comment.
“Come on, Ginny, it'll be fine. Make some tea, settle down, and I'll be back in a few minutes. Where's Harry, by the way?”
“He went to the Burrow earlier. Damn it, that was what that look was! He gave me a strange one while he was kissing me goodbye...”
Hermione went into the fireplace and shouted,
The living room was empty. Hermione took a deep breath, then ran all the way up the stairs to Ron's room, taking two steps at a time. She burst into the door to find a peacefully sleeping Ron lying stretched out on his bed.
“GET UP!” Hermione yelled, banging a pillow over him.
“Where's George?” Hermione asked.
“He's in his old room- why?”
“Ginny got her... never mind.”
“Oh.” Ron said, turning green. “Well, what does George has to do with that?”
“Ginny has a pimple the size of Russia.”
“Ahhh.” Ron said. “Well, just to tell you , George is a pretty sound sleeper, so you're going to have a job getting him up.”
But Hermione had already slammed the door shut behind her and was running noisily down the stairs. Ron scrambled out of bed, then followed her, eager to see what she did to George. She burst into George's room and jabbed the sleeping Weasley with her finger.
“George!” she said urgently. “George wake up.”
“GEORGE WAKE THE HELL UP.”
Hermione hit George over the head with a pillow. Still nothing.
“Aqumenti!” Hermione screamed. Ron watched, amazed, as a stream of water emitted from her wand and streamed onto George's sleeping face, then right into his mouth, caught mid-snore.
“Zzzzz... AHHHHHHHHHHH!” George cried. He spat water out of his mouth. “What the HELL, Hermione?”
“You wouldn't get up.” Hermione said, tucking her wand away.
“It's always the quiet ones that're dangerous.” George muttered.
“George, I need you to get me a bottle of 10 second pimple vanisher right now!”
“Why do you think, you prat! Now GO!”
George looked quite alarmed as he tumbled out of bed and apparated to the shop. Hermione stood in his room, arms crossed, foot tapping, eyes on her watch, until he got back.
“One minute and 50 seconds. What's your problem?”
“Are you serious?” George asked, incredulous. “You're just as mad as my sister is, did you know that?”
“I had no idea. Now, will you give me the bottle before Ginny cancels the wedding?”
“Wait-” George held the bottle back. “She'd cancel the wedding for a zit?” he had a gleam in his eye Hermione didn't like. She looked up to see him exchanging knowing looks with Ron.
“Give me that!” Hermione fumed, grabbing the small put from George's hand and running out of the room. She apparated back into Ginny's flat and found Ginny hyperventilating on the couch.
“Here.” Hermione said, all but throwing the vanisher into Ginny's face. “Enjoy.”
Ginny gave the bottle a kiss.
“Mmm, and I'm sure Harry will love lips that taste clay flavored.” Hermione grinned.
“Hermione? Shut up and do my hair.” Ginny said.
Everything was just right. Ginny, the lighting, the dress, the ring, the Burrow. Hermione had never been so proud as she took Ron's arm and walked down the aisle. She didn't even mind the stilettos as she smiled at the people in the audience and tried not to smirk at the puppy-dog on Ron's face. Hermione and Ron reached the gazebo, and separated, nodding at each other. Hermione kissed Harry's cheek, then turned to watch Ginny walk gracefully down the aisle. The look on Harry's face was priceless. Hermione grinned, knowing it was her handiwork (as well as Ginny's good figure, she supposed) that put that look on his face. Ginny reached Harry, seeming shocked that she was actually there. Hermione smiled as the preacher started.
The ceremony was beautiful, perfect, even. No one had any objections. Everything went smoothly. Until the vows. Because Hermione always cried at weddings. It was just something she did. And when Harry and Ginny, her best friends, were getting married, she felt that it was impossible not to cry. So the waterworks started. She sobbed and hiccuped quietly. So quietly, in fact, no one noticed. But then, Ron just had to look over at her. And he saw her crying. And he started to laugh. His whole body shook. Harry didn't notice as he said his vows. The audience did. They all were wondering why Ron was laughing. And then came the snort. When Hermione tried to hold in her laughs and sobs at the same time... it didn't work. She snorted, loud and strong, then started wailing, outright. This set off Mrs. Weasley, which set of the hormonal and very pregnant Fleur, which set off McGonagall, which set off just about everybody in the audience. Harry had just finished his vows, and he turned towards the audience, looking puzzled. Ginny looked as if she didn't know whether to laugh at her friends and family or cry at the ruination of her wedding. She did neither. Instead, she turned to the preacher and said,
“Are we married yet?”
He nodded and Harry dipped and kissed a squealing Ginny. The whole audience clapped and erupted into laughter.
“Hello, everybody! It's time for the speeches!” Hermione called down the table. The light chatter immediately stopped, and the crowd turned to Hermione as she started to talk.
“The war was a difficult time for everyone. There was so little hope, echoed by so much loss. But I don't think the war could have been harder for anyone then this couple here. Ginny Weasley had loved Harry Potter since she was just a little girl. Years and years she waited for him to notice her. Unfortunately, she held the title of Ron's one and only little sister, and Harry didn't notice her until 6th year. Ginny didn't recognize it, and Harry never told me, but I knew. I just knew. And I was there the night he first kissed her. He'd gotten into a little trouble in school and had received a detention for the night Ravenclaw played Gryffindor for the house cup. His ex girlfriend was playing his then crush and now wife in a game. Gryffinor won. Ginny was kissed by Harry Potter. She was over the moon that night. Talking about how much she loved him, and how shocked and thrilled she was. But there was one thing she voiced to me, a secret worry that ended up coming true. 'Hermione,' Ginny said, 'He's going to leave me for the battle'. I knew this was true, as well, and I knew it was going to hurt her no matter how much she pretended it didn't.”
Harry, who had been holding Ginny's hand, bit his lip. Ginny shot him a reassuring smile, telling him it was alright.
“When he broke up with her, Ginny wasn't herself for a while. It killed me that I wasn't there to comfort her, but I had the joyous job of hunting horcruxes. When Harry finally had to face Lord Voldemort, I do believe it was Ginny that saved him. And then, after the war, they immediately got back together. It seemed like things were perfect between them. They have been perfect. They talked about it- they can communicate like no other couple I know. And they got together just like that. When Ginny told me she was getting married I blanched at the thought. She just turned 20. But then I realized- why wait? We know they're each other's forever. So, you know that quote that Ginny said when she first got together with Harry? The one about him leaving her for the battle? Well, Ginny, he did once, but in the long run it doesn't matter because you can bet he won't be doing it again.”
The crowd applauded as Hermione stepped back, and Ron stood up, searching his pockets for his note cards. He looked out at the crowd, then turned pale. He took two steps back to Hermione.
“Mione, I don't have my note cards! I left them on my dressing table this morning!”
“Come on Ron, you can do it” Hermione urged quietly, putting her hand on Ron's arm. “I know you can.”
Ron looked into her eyes, then stepped back, still looking at Hermione. Finally, he whirled around to face the crowd.
“Er- hey,” he said. “I'm Ron, Ginny's older brother.”
The crowd snickered. They all knew him.
“Right,” Ron said, cracking a smile. “I know you all, don't I?”
“Yeah, now get on with it, Mate, there's cake to eat, here!” Seamus Finnigan called.
“Okay.” Ron said. “So- I'm the bride's older brother and the groom's best friend. Puts me in a bit of an awkward position, don't you think? Usually, I'd be telling him to shag his girlfriends' pants off, but I had to tell him to keep his hands off of her instead. ”
The crowd laughed appreciatively.
“So.. once upon a time, there was a little girl by the name of Ginny. She was small for her age, loved to talk and she had more freckles then you could count. But the most interesting fact about Ms. Ginny Weasley was the fact that, every night before bed, she requested Harry Potter stories. She wanted to know more, more, more about the boy who lived. She had such a silly crush on him, mum indulged, figuring it'd go away after a while and Ginny would meet a nice, respectable boy at Hogwarts and completely forget about her little crush on Harry Potter. Not bloody likely. Unfortunately, I was silly enough to become best mates with the Harry Potter. I remember what I felt like when I first realized that Harry Potter was on the train and Ginny was asking to see him. Had me befuddled, I'll tell you that right now. I teased the mickey out of her, of course. Until she started dating Michael Corner. I was so frightened. What had happened to the Ginny I knew, the one that was deeply in love with Harry Potter? Why was she now snogging other boys? I'd relied on her childhood crush to keep her pure, untouched in later years. It didn't work.”
Mrs. Weasley had started to cry again. Hermione wasn't that far from it herself.
“Then, in 6th year, everything changed. I started a relationship with Lavender Brown to make my Hermi- I mean, Hermione jealous. I was so absorbed in my own problems-”
“And snogging your girlfriend!” Harry added.
“-I didn't even notice that Harry was returning Ginny's little (now large) crush. When he kissed her after the Quidditch match, I was shocked, although maybe not as shocked as my little sister. She was blown away, and I don't think I've ever seen her so happy- until now, of course. I was just getting used to everything, all the secret smiles and snogging, when Harry broke up with Ginny. I don't think I've ever been so angry. Sure, I was upset when Ginny got together with Harry, but it was nothing like how I felt when he broke it off with her. Seeing my sister depressed and lonely... I was ready to kill Harry. And then the war was over, and they were together again. I was shocked about this. I figured there would be months and months of awkward silences. But no. Harry and Ginny got back together like that. They sat and talked about it, and they were Harry and Ginny again. Harry and Ginny have always been the kind of the couple that can talk. Me and Hermione- we took years to finally admit our feelings for each other. But Harry and Ginny can talk about anything, and that's what makes a great relationship. So, Ginny, I know that you're not the silly little girl that used to have a crush on Harry. And Harry, I now give you full permission to shag my sister silly. Cheers.”
The crowd clapped appreciatively, and Ron sat down looking quite pleased with himself. After cake, however, it was time for the next catastrophe.
“HELLO? HELLO, EVERYONE?” Ginny got up on the stage, grinning. “It's time for me to throw the bouquet, and Harry the garter. For anyone who doesn't know about magical weddings-” (Here she looked pointedly at Dudley Dursley, who had decided to come at the last minute in favor of good wedding cake) “-the garter and bouquet are bewitched so they'll have to tell the truth. Would all the single ladies please go onto the dance floor?”
“Are you coming, Hermione?” Pavarti Patil giggled as she filed onto the dance floor.
“Sure, why not?” Hermione snorted. “who am I going to marry anyway, my 'perfect match'?”
She stepped onto the floor behind Pavarti as Ginny tossed the bouquet over her shoulder. Just her luck, the bouquet came right for her. Hermione, who had been standing on the right side, dived for the left side in a last bid for freedom. The bouquet changed tracks and came towards her again. Lavender Brown shrieked in delight and grabbed the bouquet as it fell into Hermione's arms. She clutched it tightly, but the bouquet sprung up, hitting her on the nose, and going right over to Hermione.
The crowd was silent. No one said anything. Ginny's mouth had fallen open at the proceedings, and Harry was looking stunned as well.
“Here, you can have it.” Hermione muttered to Lavender, face flaming. Lavender took the bouquet, looking quite shocked, but once again it flew out of her arms and over to Hermione.
“Okay, er, time for the garter!” Harry said. He reached up Ginny's leg and snatched the garter down fast as lightning. She leaned down and whispered in his ear,
“We'll try that again later.”
Harry turned red and quickly tossed the garter over his shoulder to get eyes off of his blushing face. And of course, the garter fell into Ron's not-so waiting hands.
“Oh.” Ron said, looking over at Hermione and trying to gauge her reaction.
The crowd was silent. The thing about Harry and Ginny's wedding was that everyone they knew, Hermione and Ron knew as well. Everyone in that room was silently praying for the two to get together. The number of knowing looks exchanged around the room were uncountable as a look of panic crossed Hermione's face. She shook her head, eyes wide, as she walked towards Ron. He stepped out to her, and she squeezed her lids shut before opening them and swallowing hard.
“May I have this dance?” Ron asked tentatively.
Hermione looked up at him, and something in her face changed.
“You may.” Hermione said, and she reached her hand out for him to take.
The music turned on, slowly, and then it stopped. Ginny had leaned into the DJ to make a request. She turned around and looked innocently at Ron and Hermione as “My love, My life” started to play. Hermione grinned slightly despite herself. All of a sudden, she was being dipped and spinned around the dance floor, laughing and enjoying herself. The crowd laughed, shocked and incredulous. Ginny motioned for them to clear off and give Hermione and Ron some space. The crowd turned around and left an oblivious Ron and Hermione on the dance floor.
Then suddenly, Hermione's head was leaning on Ron's chest, inhaling the scent only Ron possessed, and feeling his strong arms around her waist.
“I loved your speech, you know.” she said.
“I liked yours better. It was really good, Mione.”
“No, no. It was on paper. Yours was from the heart, Ron. It was so much better then mine.” Hermione said earnestly.
“You really think so?”
“I know so. And I'm not even jealous. I've always been the kind of person to just write things down on paper and never do anything from the heart. For the first time, I'm glad I haven't rubbed off on you.”
“I'm not. I think if you had I'd be a tad bit cleaner.”
They both laughed, then were silent for a bit as they danced.
“You know that as soon as we walk off this dance floor this moment is going to end.”
“So don't talk about it.” Ron said, leaning down and kissing the top of Hermione's head.
“Okay.” Hermione sighed happily, putting her head back on Ron's chest.
But all too soon the dance was done and Hermione had backed away from Ron, smiling, and was going to bid the bride and groom goodbye. As Ginny stepped on the back of Hagrid's moterbike, fixed up for the occasion, Hermione leaned in to give her one last hug.
“I'm sorry I ruined your perfect wedding, Ginny.” she murmured.
“What do you mean?” Ginny asked, surprised.
“Well, first, I was the one who started the crying. And second, the bouquet part made the whole thing about me and Ron.”
“Not really. Your beautiful speeches were about me and Harry. And anyway, I think the crying slash laughing thing was pretty romantic. It's certainly a wedding no one's going to forget.”
“Thanks, Ginny. Already the wise married woman, are you?”
“Yep. Just better looking then most. Hey, did you really mean the part about me getting Harry through the war?”
“Definitely.” Hermione reassured Ginny. “Hey- er- what are you going to do about tonight?”
“What? Oh, that. Well... Harry will be disappointed, but waiting 7 days will make it better, right?”
“Whatever you say, Ginny.” Hermione grinned. “Have fun.”
“Will do!” Ginny called as the motorbike sped off, the cans placed in back clanking as they moved.
“It was a good wedding, wasn't it?” Ron said proudly as he watched them go.
“Yep. Hey, who's going to clean up the dining room? I call not it!” Hermione shouted, taking off her heels and running back into the building.
A/N: Well, here's chapter 20. I can't believe we're here already! And we still have sooo many chapters to go. I just wanted to say thank you for all the reviews I've been getting on my chapters. I never expected this much feedback, and I feel remarkably lucky. Your wonderful words make me want to write and update faster then life and school can permit. At the end of the story, I'll give a shout out to all my chapterly reviewers, but in the mean time I just wanted to thank you all anonymously. You have no idea how much your kind words brighten my day. Thanks a million! ~writergirl8
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