It couldn’t have been a more beautiful day. But then, August was always beautiful at the Burrow. If one looked carefully, Harry Potter could be seen in the window of the highest bedroom checking his reflection in the mirror. He was no longer the small, underfed, bespectacled boy, hiding in the hydrangea bush; Harry Potter was a man. He turned around and looked at his brand new wizard’s hat; midnight blue with glittering stars that shone back at him. He wasn’t much a fan of this hat, but he picked it up and put it on, examining himself in the mirror as he did so. His bright green eyes stood out against the midnight blue of the silly, shimmering hat and his matching dress robes. Deciding he would ditch the hat at the first opportunity he got, he put it on the table and resumed staring at himself in disbelief in the mirror just as the bedroom door opened.
“Oy, is it all right if I join you?” asked his best man, Ron Weasley. He walked inside and shut the door, clicking the lock. “Mum,” he added rolling his eyes at the ceiling. He plopped himself down on the bed and turned to look at Harry. “So, you ready?” he asked with a smile.
“Yes,” Harry replied, looking back into the mirror. The truth was much more complicated. He was more than sure he was ready to spend the rest of his life with the woman he loved more than anything in the world. What he was not entirely prepared for, was the ceremony. Harry had only ever been to one wedding in his life, and it was not one he remembered too fondly. The days leading up to it had been filled with non-stop chores, an extremely anxious Mrs. Weasley, high tempers, and Dark Magic. No, weddings were definitely not his favorite thing. They made his insides squirm.
“Don’t worry about it, mate,” said Ron. Ron walked over and stood next to Harry, and they both stared at themselves in the mirror. “It’ll be over soon,” he said, clapping Harry on the back. “Actually,” he added looking serious. “Our lives are going to be so much easier when Mum’s no longer breathing fire like a Hungarian Horntail.” He walked back to his bed and flopped down just as there was a knock on the door.
“Harry? Ron?” called a voice outside the door. Ron sat up immediately, straightened his hair, and pointed his wand at the door. It opened and Hermione Granger walked in. It was clear that Ron had expected Mrs. Weasley, because when he saw Hermione, his shoulders relaxed and he leaned back against the pillows. Harry and Ron could see that she was already wearing her pearl blue dress robes and a look of annoyance.
“Lock it behind you, won’t you?” said Ron.
“All right, but you don’t have to worry. Your mum’s downstairs fussing over Ginny’s hair.” With a soft click she locked the door and turned to face them. “Ron, why aren’t you dressed?” she demanded.
“I was just getting there,” Ron replied rolling his eyes again. He walked over to his closet, opened the door, and pulled out a set of midnight blue dress robes. They were the same as Harry’s, except they did not shimmer like Harry’s did. He pulled them over his head in a disheveled sort of way and flung himself back onto the bed, looking worse than before she had walked in. Hermione gave him a sharp look, but turned to Harry instead.
“Harry, I just wanted to check in and bring this to you,” she said, holding up a bottle of Mrs. Harvey’s Hair Tonic. Harry absentmindedly tried to flatten his hair. She smiled a little and said, “Here, let me do it.”
“Thanks Hermione, you’re amazing,” said Harry. He turned his back to her and felt her working the hair gel into his hair. Immediately his head felt hot then very cold as if it had been turned to ice. He had been around magic long enough to not question this bizarre sensation. He looked down at his battered old watch; the stars circling around the face indicated that it was four thirty. Thirty minutes until the most important moment of his life. Harry Potter was getting married.
“Ok, Ron, your turn,” said Hermione, turning to him and holding the bottle threateningly.
“Oh no. I don’t think so,” said Ron, jumping out of the bed and backing into the bedside table with a thud. He hastened to straighten his robes, but discovered to his dismay that they were inside-out. Once his clothes were on properly, he grabbed a comb and began to straighten his hair, eyeing Hermione nervously out of the corner of his eyes.
“Happy?” he asked her. Her answer came in a scowl, and she pointed her wand at him. He gave the tiniest flinch, but she was just removing the dust and wrinkles from his robes. When she finished with Ron’s robes, she turned to Harry, straightened his out a little and said, “Someone will come get you when it’s time to head down.”
“Why can’t I go down now?” Harry asked, eyebrows raised.
“Because Mrs. Weasley and Ginny have taken over the second floor landing and you’re not supposed to see the bride before the wedding,” she answered simply. She then took a few backward steps so she could see them both, and gave a little smile, pleased with her work. When she noticed that Harry and Ron were giving each other confused looks, she said, “Muggles believe that it is bad luck to see the bride before the aisle.”
“This whole thing is way more complicated than it’s worth,” said Ron, sitting back down on the bed and shaking his head in disbelief. Hermione gave a small laugh and sat down on the bed next to Ron, who took her hand with a worried look. Harry glanced nervously at his watch. Hermione seemed to know what he was thinking, for she stood up and walked over to him, planting a soft kiss on his cheek.
“Relax, Harry. It’s going to be wonderful. Everyone is so–”
But Harry and Ron never found out what everyone was, because she suddenly slapped a hand to her forehead and gasped so loudly that Harry and Ron – both lost in their own thoughts – jumped in surprise.
“I have to go. I just realized that Kreacher is all alone in chaperoning the guests to their places! I’ll see you guys quite soon,” and before Harry and Ron could even register what she had said, she was gone.
For a whole second Harry and Ron stared, bewildered, at the door. Then Ron looked at Harry shaking his head. “She’s never going to give up on ‘spew,’ is she?”
“Not a chance,” replied Harry, grinning, as he thought of Hermione’s desperate attempts in their fourth year to free every Hogwarts house elf. “I warned Kreacher a few days ago that she might try to help him,” he added.
“Wise move,” said Ron with a chuckle. He stood up and walked over to the window. “Blimey, Harry. I didn’t know you’d invited all of England to your wedding!”
Harry rushed over to the window and his mouth fell open. There were way more people than he’d expected. There had to be at least two hundred just standing in the yard. Racking his brain, he tried to remember how many people he and Ginny had invited. When he thought back to it, he remembered the large stack of invitations, but had no idea everyone invited would show up. He expressed this sentiment to Ron, finding his voice a bit higher than usual.
“You’re the Boy Who Lived, mate!” said Ron as he reached for his shoes. “Who would skip that wedding?”
Before Harry could answer with anything more than a sputter, there was a knock at the door. Harry pointed his wand at the door, which swung open. In tumbled four year old Teddy Lupin grinning from ear to ear.
“Uncle Harry!” he squealed and ran at his godfather who caught him and picked him up. “Look what I have!” he squealed, and shoved something so close to Harry’s face he had to cross his eyes to bring it into focus. It was a small plastic ring with a flower on top.
“Now, now, Teddy. Don’t go giving it away before the wedding,” came the voice of Teddy’s grandmother, Andromeda Tonks. Harry looked up, and saw her standing at the door with a smile. She had soft brown hair, dark eyes, and a face that had aged about fifteen years since he had first met her.
“Hey! Did you guys just arrive?” Harry asked as she walked in. He gave her a meaningful hug. Since that fateful day four years ago, they had become family, connected by the little boy squeezed between them.
“Yes, we only got here about ten minutes ago,” she replied, pulling back and looking at him. “You look so smart, Harry! Congratulations!” Harry thanked her and gave her another quick hug, shortened further by the fact that Teddy did not like being squished in their hug.
“Well, Molly caught us in the kitchen and we were having a chat. Teddy wanted to see you, so I told her I’d be back once I’d dropped him with you. You don’t mind if I leave him here for a few minutes while I help Molly with a few things?”
“Not at all. Take your time! He’ll be fine here!” Harry said and she left. Teddy giggled and his sandy blonde hair turned briefly bright pink. His mother’s favorite shade, Harry thought. He put Teddy back on the ground and he immediately skipped over to Ron’s dresser, pointing at Pigwidgeon’s cage. Ron walked over to the dresser and moved the bird to the floor, where Teddy could see him fluttering madly in his cage.
Ron turned to Harry and smiled as he sat down on the bed. “It’s like seeing Remus and Tonks in miniature,” he muttered. Teddy Remus Lupin looked almost exactly like his father except for his ever-changing hair colors; a trait he received from his mother, a Metamorphmagi. Harry couldn’t help but feel a pang of grief as he thought of Remus and Tonks.
“They would be proud,” said Harry with a sad smile, and he and Ron watched Teddy open the latch on Pig’s cage. The minute owl gave a hoot of joy and flew out to flap around Teddy, who was squealing and laughing as he tried to catch it.
“Do you think he knows?” Ron asked Harry quietly.
“Knows what?” said Harry, his eyes still fixed on Teddy.
“About his parents,” said Ron.
“He knows as much as he can at this age,” said Harry with certainty. He looked at Ron. “When Remus and Tonks died, I promised myself I would help to raise Teddy to know who his parents were, why they died, and how much they loved him.” Harry spent the first eleven years of his life asking himself the same questions about his parents, and not knowing the answers. He was determined not to let his godson suffer the same fate. He knew Ron understood.
He walked over to Ron’s bed and sat down next to him. “Someday, I’ll tell him the entire story, but for now, he knows enough.”
Ron nodded in agreement and finished putting on his other shoe. Together they watched little Teddy run around the room trying to catch Pig, squealing with delight all the while. Finally, the owl landed on Teddy’s outstretched arm.
“I got him!” he exclaimed with joy.
“Yes, you did!” said Harry. “Wanna give him an owl treat before we go?” Harry gave him an owl treat and Teddy excitedly gave it to Pig.
“When I’m big, I want to have an owl just like Pig,” he informed Harry and Ron. “But maybe a little bigger. He may get lost.”
“Well now we know what to get you for Christmas!” said Ron, amused.
“Grandma says we will get a new one when Winifred gets too old,” said Teddy. “Maybe when I’m five, Grandma will give me a little owl!” he wondered aloud. Harry laughed.
“Come here, little guy!” he said reaching his arms out for Teddy, who leaped into Harry’s lap. “Are you excited for today?” he asked.
“Yes! I get to carry the rings to you when you get married!” he declared. “Miss Ginny told me what I have to do. She said it’s quite important,” he said very seriously.
Harry chuckled. “Miss Ginny was right. It is important. And you’re also going to show Victoire where to go. Can you do that for me?”
“Yes!” said Teddy excitedly, his hair turning slowly back to it’s sandy brown, making him look more like his father than ever.
Harry and Ginny had decided early on in the wedding process that Teddy would be the Ring Bearer. There was no question; Teddy was the right person. After all, he spent so much time with the Potters, he was like family. In another rite, it was like having Lupin and Tonks at his wedding, and this meant the world to Harry.
At that moment there was a knock at the door. Kreacher, the old house elf Harry had inherited from his godfather walked in, bowing low to the ground.
“It is time to go now, Master Harry and Mister Ron,” he croaked. “The guests have all arrived and the ceremony will be starting.” His eyes darted to Teddy. “Master Lupin can come with Kreacher. Miss Andromeda is waiting in the kitchen.”
“Thanks, Kreacher. I’ll be down in a minute.” Kreacher gave a low bow and backed out of the room, Teddy following close behind. They looked quite ridiculous walking together as they were exactly the same height.
“Blimey, already?” said Ron. “We should probably hurry before Mum explodes.” But Harry wasn’t listening. Was it that time already? His legs felt like they were made of lead, and it took an extra effort to get them moving, but suddenly he found himself in the kitchen with most of the Weasley family and Hermione. Seeing them all together in dress robes made the experience much more real. This thought just made him nervous, so he pushed it out of his mind.
“Harry, we’re running a bit late, but we all wanted to see you before it started. It is going to be wonderful,” said Mrs. Weasley, blushing. Harry walked over to her and hugged her. For almost eleven years she had been like a second mother to him, and in just over an hour, she and the rest of the Weasley family would truly be his family. He knew she was thinking the same thing, for a tear ran down her face as she smiled at him. Once he found his voice, he addressed Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.
“Thank you. Thank you so much. For everything. I really don’t know what else to say. You all have been wonderful to me, treating me like family all these years. You have been my family! How can I possibly put that into words?” he asked them all.
“By getting the hell out there and making it official!” said George. Harry looked over at him, and saw that he was smiling as well. It had been years since he had seen George smile like that, and it was in that smile that Harry knew Fred was here too.
When everyone had filed out of the kitchen except Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Harry turned to his two best friends.
“How do I look?” he asked nervously. His hand darted up to his hair again, but before it could get to it’s destination, Hermione grabbed his wrist.
“Harry, you look wonderful. You have nothing to worry about. I’ve got to go to Ginny, but I wanted to see you first. First off, calm down and breathe. I can see you shaking from ten feet away. Secondly, Ron and I love you and we are going to be right there. Lastly, you know that your parents, Sirius, Remus, and Dumbledore are up there watching, and they are proud of you. So breathe, Harry. It’s going to be amazing,” and with that she kissed him on the cheek again and ran out of the kitchen.
“Listen, mate. She’s right. Just breathe. And honestly, it’ll all be over in a few hours. You just have to push through until then,” said Ron. “I’ll be out there. Come when you’re ready?” Harry nodded, Ron clapped him on the back, and suddenly Harry was alone in the Weasley’s kitchen.
Harry thought of his parents and of Sirius. If only they could be here now. He remembered the letter he had written earlier to them, and pulled it out of his pocket:
Dear Mum, Dad, and Sirius,
I wish you were here right now. Mum, Dad, Sirius, I love you all so much. This is for you, and I know that you will be there with me. Thank you.
Harry folded the letter carefully and put it back in his pocket. It was time to go.