Chapter 25 : Chapter 25 The Wedding
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Fifteen minutes later Harry was standing at the top of the right hand aisle with Neville, he was nervously looking around but not seeing anything. He gave a little start as his best man exclaimed quietly,
“Yes what?” Harry said looking at him.
“I’ve remembered where I left my Remembrall.”
“Well good for you, Neville.” Harry said testily, “Now please shut up.” Suddenly a floating musical melody filled the air, and two wizards in golden robes took their places on the small raised dais. Between and slightly behind them stood the senior officiating wizard. The sound of ‘ooh’s’ and ‘ah’s’ made Harry turn his head.
What he saw left him breathless. Arthur Weasley he recognised easily, but who was that on his arm? He knew of course that it was Ginny, but what a Ginny. Gone were the jeans and jumpers, the long red hair, normally wild and free, was simply yet tastefully dressed, she looked absolutely beautiful in a dress of burnished ivory satin that fell to the floor in swirling waves, on her head was Aunt Muriel’s tiara with a veil that covered her face. She was carrying a spray of matching flowers. In the opposite aisle, Hermione and her father were approaching an astounded looking Ron and George. Hermione was, in Muggle tradition, in white. Close behind her was her bridesmaid Luna Lovegood, more conventionally dressed than anyone had ever seen her, she also looked beautiful. Neville was gazing in amazement at Luna, eyes wide open and enchanted by the change in the girl he had thought couldn’t possibly surprise him anymore.
Harry looked over at Ron and their eyes met. With a smile and a small nod of the head they wished each other well.
As Ginny came close, Harry beamed a huge smile and held out his hand. He got a similar smile in return and felt Ginny’s fingers slide into his. Arthur kissed her other hand and let his daughter go. She and Harry walked a couple of steps to stand before the officiating wizard. They turned to face each other; Ginny gave her flowers to her bridesmaid Katie Bell and lifted her veil. Harry was lost in the vision that he was looking at. As Ginny gazed at the awesome man she loved, she was no less in the zone, she knew that if there was one moment in her life she could choose to last forever, this was it. The senior wizard began to speak of the seriousness of marriage, the duties and responsibilities involved and the legal standing of the contract of wedlock. Time passed in a blur and only the odd phrase broke through into Harry’s consciousness.
“Harry, I believe you have something you wish to say to Ginevra?” Harry looked at his bride; he spoke the words he had practised, some phrases of which they had collaborated on and agreed that they would both use. Just as they both had words planned that the other knew nothing about.
“Ginevra, I will always love you. As I walk through life I want you beside me. Will you walk with me, as equals, wherever life may lead us, in good times and in bad? Will you give me your love and your life as I now give you mine? I will honour you with my body, without fear of betrayal or deceit on either side until death comes between us. I love you.” He kissed the back of her hand.
“Ginevra, do you wish to respond?” She hadn’t taken her eyes off Harry while he was speaking. She locked those eyes on his.
“Harry, I will always love you. I will walk beside you as equals wherever life may lead us, in good times and in bad. I ask only that you fill my soul with your essence, fill my heart with your love, and fill the rest of my life, be it short or long, with the joy that I have come to know. I will honour you with my body, without fear of betrayal or deceit on either side until death comes between us. I love you.” She kissed his hand. The ceremony continued.
“Will you, Ronald Bilius…”
“Will you, Hermione Jean…” He heard from the other side of the ceremony. He took the ring from Neville, placed it on Ginny’s finger and held it there. And then; “Will you, Harry James, take Ginevra Molly to be your wife and life’s partner? Will you love her, keep her and be faithful to her for the rest of your life?”
“I will.” he replied. Ginny took her ring from Katie, slipped it onto Harry’s finger and held it there.
“Will you, Ginevra Molly, take Harry James to be your husband and life’s partner? Will you love him, keep him and be faithful to him for the rest of your life?”
“I will.” replied Ginny, her voice firm and clear.
“Then I declare that you, Harry James and you Ginevra Molly are bonded for life.”
“…bonded for life.” Harry heard from the other side. Moments passed before the senior wizard raised his wand and a shower of gold and silver stars fell over the two couples. Just for a fleeting second an image of Robbie flashed into Hermioneís mind, her stomach churned briefly and her heart ached. She was too preoccupied to wonder what that was all about.
“Gentlemen,” he intoned solemnly, “you may kiss your brides.”
Harry and Ginny leaned towards each other and kissed tenderly. As they parted they both whispered “I love you.” The two junior wizards picked up the heavy books from the tables at the sides of the dais. They opened the books to reveal the registration certificates, and held them to their chests with the page facing outwards. The newly-weds retrieved their wands from Katie and on cue wrote their signatures in the air in front of them. As they wrote, the signatures appeared on the page. Arthur and Molly did the same as witnesses.
Hermione gave her wand to her father. “Here Daddy, try this. Hold it like you hold a pen.” She placed her hand lightly on his forearm. “Now just imagine you are writing your signature in the air.” The wand started to move and Frank Granger felt… something… something he couldn’t describe… flow from his daughter through his arm to his hand. He watched in amazement as his signature appeared on the marriage certificate. Ron did the same with his new mother-in-law.
“Thank you Kitten. That was incredible. Be happy my darling girl. I love you.” Frank Granger kissed his daughter.
“So do I.” said Ron, kissing his new wife.
They turned to face their guests. Ginny took her flowers from Katie, slid her arm through Harry’s and they set off back down the aisle. They stopped by Arthur and Molly. Ginny embraced her mother, trying to avoid her sopping wet handkerchief. Arthur and Harry shook hands,
“Ginny is your wife now Harry, but remember what I said before, look after my little girl. Good luck son, good luck.” They reversed roles and Harry kissed his mother-in-law on the cheek.
“Take good care of my baby, Harry.” said Molly quietly.
“I’ll make it my life’s work… Mum.” Harry said smiling.
“Oh Harry, that sounds so good. I’ve waited such a long time to hear you say that.”
Arthur and Molly went across to the other side and embraced Ron and the newest Mrs. Weasley. Minutes later the two couples and their bridesmaids exited into bright sunlight, and turned towards each other. Congratulations were shared all round as the guests exited the marquee behind them. The next few minutes were all handshakes and kisses. The two photographers were busy taking pictures of the newly-weds with anyone who cared to stand next to them, which was just about everyone.
“Well that was easy. Percy was right, I never felt a thing.” said Ron. He shied away from Hermione as though expecting a violent response, which left him totally unprepared for Luna clouting him from behind.
“Nice one Luna.” said Hermione, laughing.
“We’re a team today Hermione, its just teamwork.”
“Harry” said Ron imploringly, “What is it about me that makes women want to slap me?”
“No idea mate, but whatever it is, I’m glad I don’t have any of it.” They all looked up as the sound of a stuttering motor filled the air. A motorcycle carrying a huge, but familiar figure thumped to earth in the garden.
“Hagrid.” yelled Harry. The enormous figure climbed off the bike and lumbered over to join them.
“Sorry Harry, sorry Ron, so sorry I missed it. I had problems with Grawp. First ‘e wanted to come and then ‘e didn’t and by the time I sorted ‘im out… well I was late gettin’ away. Still I’m ‘ere now.” He paused, reaching into a cavernous pocket for his hankie, which was the size of a small tablecloth. “Seems like only yesterday that I met you three off the ‘ogwarts train in yer first year. An’ Ginny just a year later, she was so excited she fell off the boat. Professor McGonagall dried her out before the sorting.”
“Hagrid, you promised me you would never tell about that.” said Ginny reprovingly.
“Oh yeah, so I did. Sorry ‘bout that. But after everything yeh’ve bin through together now look at the four of yeh, all married and everythin’. I wish all four of yeh all the happiness in the world.” He bent and gave Ginny and Hermione a little peck on the cheek. He dabbed his watery eyes and gave Harry a slap on the back that Harry was sure had nearly broken his spine. Ron ducked.
“Thanks Hagrid, that really means a lot. Look, I don’t want to be rude but there is something that Ginny and I have to do, so will you excuse us for a little while?”
“Sure Harry, I know you’re going to be busy, I’ll see you later.”
“Where are you going?” Hermione asked.
“I want to visit Fred.” said Ginny.
“Oh, of course you must,” Hermione exclaimed, “You go now, we’ll go later, won’t we… darling.” Hermione said to Ron whilst winking at Ginny.
“Okay, let’s go… darling.” Ginny said, slipping her arm through Harry’s and winking back at Hermione. Ron and Harry stared at each other, obviously not getting the joke.
Harry and Ginny set off for the quiet, secluded corner of the Burrow’s garden where Fred was buried. As they approached the monument Harry could feel a tremble in Ginny’s hand. They stopped and looked at the stone marker that also contained a picture of Fred, cavorting and generally playing the fool, his insignia of the Order of Merlin had been mounted below his name, magically protected from the elements. Ginny crouched down beside the grave. She was silent for a moment. Then she spoke softly,
“Oh Fred, I wish you could have been here. It feels so wrong for me to be this happy with you lying here. I miss you so much. We all do.”
“He wouldn’t agree with you, you know.” Harry murmured, crouching down beside her.
“I know. He’d say I was being silly.” she gently pulled a single bloom from her spray of flowers, kissed it softly and with a silent tear placed it at the base of the stone. “I love you Fred.” she said quietly. Harry stood suddenly as he felt a sensation he had never expected to feel again. His scar was tingling, not the pain of previous times but more of a mild and not totally unpleasant ache. Ginny rose to stand beside him.
“Harry what’s the matter?”
“Don’t know…” he started, “…my scar, it’s…” He looked around; a shimmering white mist was forming just behind Fred’s monument. Although he was concerned, for some reason he did not feel scared or threatened.
“Harry, what is that?” Ginny gasped, gripping Harry’s arm.
“Can you see it too?” Harry asked.
“Yes I can. What is it?” A warm glow seemed to envelope them and somehow Harry instinctively knew that this was not dangerous and he relaxed. The cloud rippled and started to coalesce into the shapes of several people standing in a line.
“Harry, who are they?” Ginny whispered, and instantly Harry knew.
“It’s our loved ones.” he whispered, as his gaze moved down the line over the faces of Lily and James Potter, Sirius Black, Fred Weasley and Albus Dumbledore on whose arm a large white owl was perched. In the middle of the line was Dobby, a short figure with a long pointed nose and large eyes that blinked nervously. Ginny’s eyes widened,
“Fred is that you?”
“Yup.” the figure of Fred replied. “Well done Li’l Sis. I always knew you would get him in the end. Did George pay up?”
“Yes he did, I gave the money to St. Mungo’s. I really wish you were here Fred.”
“No Ginny don’t do that. Don’t let it spoil your day, it won’t change anything. Good luck to you both. I love you.” He said to Harry, “Look after her mate and be happy. Give my love to the family, will you?”
“You got it Fred, and thanks.” Harry looked at his parents and godfather, not knowing what to say.
“Sweetheart, I’m sure the two of you will be very happy together.” Lily said, “You’re a very lucky man.” Harry put his arm around Ginny’s shoulders,
“I know Mum. I know.” To Ginny she said,
“If he’s anything like his Dad, there will be times when he’s going to try your patience to the limit. So be prepared for that.”
“He’s done that already, once or twice. I’m hoping he’ll grow out of it.”
“You can hope, but I wouldn’t bet on it.” said Lily, smiling.
“Good luck son.” said James, “I don’t know how or why this is happening but I don’t think anything like this will ever happen again, but remember we love you and we are always with you.” To Ginny he said, “Don’t listen to Lily. He’ll be a great husband, just like his Dad. You two be good to each other.”
“Thanks Dad, we will,” Harry said choking slightly, and then he turned to his godfather “Sirius?”
“I never thought to see the two of you together.” Sirius said, “I thought Ginny would have had more sense.” He was grinning. “Anyway I wish you nothing but good. I’m sure the two of you will have a great life. Enjoy it.” Ginny laughed,
“Sirius you’re not to hang around with Fred. He’s having a bad influence on you.” Harry turned to Dobby,
“Hello Dobby, my old friend.”
“Hello Harry Potter and Miss Wheezy. Dobby is very happy for you, that you is wedded now.”
“Thank you Dobby, we miss you a lot, y’know.” said Ginny. The little figure blinked away a tear.
“Professor how is this all happening? How is it that you are here?”
“Are we here Harry, or are you imagining all this?” Dumbledore started, “I can only theorise but I don’t think it is imagination.” The owl gave a couple of soft hoots. Harry blinked the moisture from his eyes.
“Hello Hedwig, it’s great to see you.” He reached out to stroke the bird but couldn’t feel anything. He spoke again to Dumbledore,
“Could it be anything to do with… him?”
“No Harry, it could not. Tom Riddle is gone never to return. Think about him no more. I think it’s more likely to be something that I once told you was more powerful than the strongest magic.”
“Not just love Harry, but pure love. Such as you share with Miss Weasley… oh I’m so sorry… its Mrs. Potter now isn’t it? Clumsy of me.” Ginny gave a little laugh,
“That’s quite alright Professor, actually you are the first to call me that.” Dumbledore chuckled with delight.
“Dead all this time and I can still do something first. Marvellous!” The mist started to disperse and the figures faded,
“Goodbye son, goodbye.” said Lily and James together.
“Goodbye Harry Potter.” Dobby echoed.
“Goodbye.” This from Dumbledore, Sirius and Fred. Hedwig gave another gentle hoot, as his eyes blinked. Somehow Harry knew he would never see them again.
Perhaps it was a good day to draw a line under the past.
Harry and Ginny Potter walked slowly back to the wedding marquee. Harry stopped, and turning to Ginny said,
“I don’t think we should talk about this to anyone just yet, they might think we’ve gone nuts. We’ll tell Ron and Hermione later. What do you think?”
“You’re probably right,” Ginny answered, sounding disappointed, “… but I was looking forward to telling Mum that I’d seen Fred.”
“We’ll tell her at the same time, and soon.” Harry promised, “And by the way Mrs. Potter, I love you.” Ginny smiled a smile of pure happiness, as her husband kissed her.
“I love you too, Mr. Potter, so very much. Let’s get back.”
Hand-in-hand they turned and walked into their future.
Every ending brings a new beginning.
From the Author: There you are dear story. You are finished. You first came into being in 2005, you were 500 words long. My how you have grown. I know only too well that you are not perfect, but I have learned a lot from you. You are on your own now. Good Luck! I’ll drop in to see you from time-to-time, to see how you’re getting along.
I do not own any of the characters in this tale JKR does. Only Robbie and Jason Cobb are mine.
Dear readers, thanks for sticking with it. If you have posted a review, bless you. If you haven’t please do, and keep them coming. As the terminator said, I’ll be back! Till we meet again.
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