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Harry Potter and the Forgotten Enemy. by Marauding hippogriff
Chapter 36 : Epilogue
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 5

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Disclaimer: Anything you recognise belongs to JKR, not me.

 Epilogue: I do.

“You look terrible,” Harry commented.

“Oh thanks Harry, I really needed that to boost my confidence,” Ron snapped in an unusually high voice. “I’m getting married today!” he squeaked. The two of them were stood in Ron’s old room at The Burrow. It was early June, the weather was fantastic. The same couldn’t be said for Ron.

“Remembered have you?” Harry chuckled. “Firewhiskey?” he offered, pouring Ron a shot. Ron made a grab for the bottle. “It’s more than my life’s worth to let you turn up drunk, Hermione’d kill me,” Harry admonished, holding the bottle away from him.

“Well she must be drunk,” said George, walking in unannounced. “No way would she marry Ron sober.”

“George,” sighed Charlie, who was following him. “You’re not helping the poor lad’s confidence. At least praise his love potion making skills.” Ron flushed a deep shade of maroon.

“Why is she marrying me?” he whispered so only Harry could hear. “I’m not good enough for her. I ran out on you,” he added, looking horrified at the memory.

“You came back,” Harry reminded him quietly. “She loves you,” he said bracingly. “George, why are you wearing swimming shorts?” Harry sighed. “Either your mum or Hermione, or Hermione’s mum is going to kill you.”

“Or all three,” Charlie put in cheerfully. “I’d pay to see that.”

“I wore these to my wedding,” George pouted, ignoring Charlie.

“Yes but you got married on a beach in Spain,” Harry reminded him, slapping his hand to his forehead. George was grinning broadly-he was enjoying this.

“Eloping is the way forward, dear boy,” he proclaimed, ruffling Harry’s hair affectionately. “Not having to listen to Mum plan it for months made the moment all the more sweet.”

“And dodging her angrily charmed pans made it so much better?” Charlie asked sarcastically. When George had broken the news to his mother that he and Angelina had got married while on holiday in Spain, to say she had not been happy was the biggest understatement since Mrs Cole said Tom Riddle was a bit of a naughty boy. She’d chased her son down the garden path, using assorted crockery to beat him round the head until he disapparated. George hadn’t returned to The Burrow until that very day.

“Well it did put a downer on things,” admitted George, gingerly rubbing the side of his head. “Oh cheer up Ron,” he snapped as Ron began to slap his own face. “All you have to do is not cock up your vows and you’ll be a married man in…” he checked his watch, “twenty minutes.” Ron gave a frightened squeak.

“That soon?” he yelped. “Merlin’s beard…” Arthur entered the room, squashing in alongside Harry, Charlie and George.

“You look terrible,” Arthur commented, echoing Harry from earlier.

“People need to stop telling me that,” Ron muttered weakly.

“Here,” said Arthur, reaching inside his dress robe pocket and tossing Ron a small vial. “Tonic, for the nerves. I used it when I got married,” he explained, smiling wistfully at the bottle. “Your mother’s already had about four glasses, she might even ignore George’s choice of attire,” he added, giving his son a disapproving look. “You should head out once you’ve drank it,” he added. Ron nodded faintly and swigged the little vial of blue liquid. Arthur ushered Charlie and George out of the room leaving Harry and Ron alone.

“I’m scared,” Ron muttered. Harry wasn’t sure if he’d ever heard Ron say that-so he must’ve been bloody terrified.

“Don’t be,” Harry said in what he hoped was a soothing voice. “She loves you. This is perfect, you both want it.”

“I know,” Ron whispered. “I know. I’m just…being daft.”

“You’ll make a great husband,” Harry told him confidently. Ron was looking at an old photograph. “What’s that?” Wordlessly, Ron showed it to him, and Harry couldn’t help but smile. It was himself, Ron and Hermione in first year. Hermione was in the middle, and both Harry and Ron had their arm around her, grinning broadly. Occasionally, the figures in the photo would engage in a tickle fight, which more often than not ended with Hermione rolling her eyes as Harry and Ron fought to the floor.

“Things used to be so simple,” Ron said quietly.

“They did,” Harry admitted. “Think how much we’ve gone through since then,” he said softly.

“Harry…” Ron said, looking as though he was struggling to find the right words. “Thanks,” he said simply in the end, looking quite embarrassed. Harry knew there was a lot more behind his words than just thanks.

“Not a problem,” he said bracingly. They embraced, just briefly, knowing that without the other, neither would have made it through the past eight years. “Now let’s go before your mother and your sister come up here and drag us down by our ears.” Ron gave a faint chuckle at this, and followed Harry down the stairs.
“I feel better,” Ron whispered to Harry.

“You pick your moments,” Harry replied, rolling his eyes. They were now standing at the top of the aisle, waiting for Hermione to walk down. Looking around, Harry could see a tremendous amount of familiar face-the entire Auror department, for one-Gawain still looked as stiff as ever. The Hogwarts staff were present, Harry could hear Hagrid sobbing loudly into his enormous hankie. Viktor Krum was there, along with many other members of the Order, old and new alike.
But their number was nothing compared to the sheer number of Weasley relatives. There was enough gingers to stage a full scale invasion. Molly’s side was much smaller-although he could still hear Ron’s Auntie Muriel complaining about George’s shorts.

Then the organ began to play, and Hermione appeared, her arms linked with her father. She was positively glowing-Harry though she looked absolutely beautiful in her fairly simple, shoulderless dress that hugged her figure well. Unsurprisingly, she wasn’t wearing Muriel’s tiara-she said she thought it was over the top, which did not please Muriel in the slightest.
But, judging by the look on his face, that was nothing compared to what Ron was thinking. His mouth was hanging open slightly, his eyes were dazed and unfocused, but fixed on the women he loved with all his heart.

It rather reminded Harry of the way Ron used to look at bacon sandwiches.

“Close your mouth,” Harry hissed. “You’ll droll.” Ron nodded vaguely and clamped his mouth shut. Niall and Hermione reached the wedding arch Molly had designed. Harry looked at Ginny, the chief bridesmaid, and caught her eye. She had tears in her eyes, but still gave him a cheeky wink. Harry beamed at her, thinking about their own, upcoming wedding, in just a few months’ time.
Hermione gave her father a small kiss on the cheek.

“I love you Daddy,” she whispered, her voice choked with emotion.

“I love you too sweetheart,” he replied thickly. He turned to Ron. “Look after her.” Ron swallowed.

“I will sir,” he promised. Niall nodded and went to sit down next to his uncontrollably sobbing wife, who was positively howling into a scrap of lace, unlike Molly Weasley. It seemed like the tonic for her nerves had done her the world of good-she was simply beaming at her youngest son, with as much pride as a mother could ever have for her son.

“Ladies and Gentlemen,” boomed Kingsley Shacklebolt, standing in front of Ron and Hermione. “We are gathered here to celebrate the union of two faithful souls.” He turned to Ron. “Do you, Ronald Bilius Weasley, take Hermione Jean Granger to be your wife, in sickness, in health, through light and dark, so long as you both live?”

“I do,” Ron croaked, shaking slightly. Kingsley turned to Hermione, who was crying now. Harry was surprised to find tears running down his own cheeks-then again, this was the happiest he’d seen either of his friends in all the time he’d known them.

“Do you, Hermione Jean Granger, take Ronald Bilius Weasley to be your husband, in sickness, in health, through light and dark, so long as you both live?”

“I do,” Hermione whispered, barely loud enough for anyone to hear.

“The couples have prepared their own vows, and will now exchange them,” Kingsley explained. Hermione took Ron’s hands in hers.

“Ron, when I met you, I have to admit I thought you were a total arse,” she said, grinning at him. The audience laughed. “But over the years, I’ve come to appreciate everything you do. You may not be perfect, but nobody is, and you’re damn close. I love you with all my heart, and I think that deep down, I always did,” she said softly. The Aw’s ran out throughout the crowd-Harry felt his breath catch in his throat as more tears leaked out.

“In response, Hermione, when I first met you I thought you were an irritating know it all,” Ron replied, and the crowd laughed again. “But I realise now that I was only denying the inevitable. You’re my perfect match, and I couldn’t be happier that you chose me. I love you,” he finished simply. Harry beamed-Ron had written his vows with almost no help from Harry. Harry was quite proud of how his friend had done.

“Finally, does anyone know any reason why these two cannot be legally wed?” Kingsley asked the crowd.

“RON’S CARRYING MY BABY!” George shouted. The crowd burst out laughing-even Hermione grinned.

“Any serious reasons?” chuckled Kingsley. Nobody replied. “Then it is my pleasure to pronounce you bonded for life,” he said, raising his wand. Two small golden bands appeared on each of their fingers. “You may kiss the bride.” Almost all of Ron’s brothers, excluding Percy, wolf whistled as Ron leaned in. He grinned, and with one swift movement, bent Hermione over backwards, holding her with his arm, and kissed her long and passionately. A great cheer rang out. “Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr and Mrs Ronald Weasley!” Kingsley proclaimed, showering them with magical confetti from the tip of his wand.
The rest of the service went beautifully. Harry danced with Ginny for hours, his feet hurt and he’d lost one of his shoes. He was also quite drunk, which was probably not going to help him when he had to make his best man speech. Ginny elbowed him sharply in the side.

Oh. Apparently, it was now.

He stood up abruptly, knocking over his empty glass.

“Whoops,” he said, and giggled. The crowd chuckled. “Well then, what can I say about these two?” he asked, leaning on the table. “For eight years, they’ve been the best friends I could’ve asked for. They’ve stuck by me thick and thin, no matter what, and I’m eternally grateful to them for that.” He raised his glass to them.
“But you know all the big stuff. It’s the little things that count. I’m privileged to know them both equally, and better than anybody else, I reckon. There’s been plenty of times I didn’t think this would happen, times I thought I’d have to put them both under the imperius curse to make them stop being so bloody stubborn about their obvious feelings for one another,” he laughed, and Ron and Hermione blushed. “I guess they think they don’t know about all the glances they exchanged during sixth year, when they were pretty much undressing each other with their eyes all year, but oh Merlin I did.” He turned to them. “Everyone did,” he added. Ron was now looking like he could strangle Harry. Harry simply winked playfully.
“The truth is, though,” he said, adopting a more serious tone, “is that these two were made for each other. They are utterly perfect for one another, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to see them together, finally,” he finished. “To Ron and Hermione,” he toasted.

“To Ron and Hermione!” the crowd echoed.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------“Dance with me.” It was Hermione. She smelt quite a bit of Firewhiskey.

“With pleasure, Mrs Weasley,” Harry replied cheekily, taking her waist and hand.

“You’ve got better since the time in the tent,” she commented as they slow danced.

“I had too, I was shit,” Harry replied, chuckling.

“I think I was worse,” Hermione replied. She wiped a tear from her eye. “It doesn’t feel…real,” she said softly.

“I think that about life in general these days,” Harry replied in the same soft tone. “It’s nice, not having someone trying to murder me.” Hermione gave a weak giggle, then cupped his cheek.

“I don’t know what I’d have done if you didn’t make it. Me or Ron, for that matter,” she said, tears blossoming in her eyes.

“You have each other,” he reminded her gently.

“We’re always a trio Harry,” she said quietly. “Never forget that.” And she kissed him, for the first time on the lips, before spinning off to dance with Arthur. And Harry felt a warm feeling in his chest, knowing that whatever they went through, they’d always be a trio.
“You look nervous,” Ron said.

“Really?” snapped Harry. “I wonder why? It can’t have anything to do with the fact that I’m about to marry your sister? No, that would be far too normal! Maybe my scars hurting and I think Voldemort’s coming back!”

“Firewhiskey?” Ron offered.

“THANK YOU!” Harry shouted, to nobody in particular, downing the shot in one. “That’s good stuff,” he commented.

“I put some of Dad’s nerve tonic in there,” Ron replied. “I got the impression you needed it.”

“Wherever did you get that idea?” Harry muttered sarcastically. Arthur Weasley popped his head around the door.

“It’s time,” he said simply. It was early October, and once again Harry and Ron were stood in Ron’s old room at The Burrow, this time for what was being billed by the press as “the wedding of the century.”

If media hype surrounding Ron and Hermione’s wedding had been high, and it had been, then the hype surrounding Harry Potter, the chosen one, the boy who lived’s wedding to Ginny Weasley, rookie star of the Quidditch league and already being considered for an England call up, could only be considered astronomical. It was so bad that Arthur had been forced to put a Fidelius charm on The Burrow to prevent any unwanted attention.

“Oh bloody hell,” Harry muttered. “I’m getting married.
He’d never seen anyone so beautiful. She was perfect in every way. She seemed to float down the aisle, eclipsing every other woman she passed. And he knew then, that he would never let her go, no matter what they went through. He barely heard Kingsley as he went over the ceremony, only responding with the “I do,” at the prompted moment. He was lost, lost in her deep brown eyes.

“The couple have written their own vows for the service,” announced Kingsley, snapping Harry back to something of a conscious state of mind. Ginny was first.

“From being five years old, I loved your story,” she said softly, squeezing his hands gently. “I always said I’d marry the Boy Who Lived, but I’m not. I’m marrying Harry Potter, not because you’re famous, not because of all the things you’ve done. Because you are the only man in the world for me, because you are the closest thing to perfection I’ve ever had the fortune to come across. I love you,” she finished, her eyes shimmering with tears.

“I can’t even begin to count the reasons I’m marrying you,” Harry replied, trying hard to remember what he’d written. “You are everything I’ve ever wanted, and for the past few years, you’ve been my guiding light. Without you, I’d have given up so long ago. Everything I do, I do thinking of you, knowing that no matter what happens, I’ll be able to crawl in next to you. I love you,” he finished, unable to stop the tears blurring his vision, falling onto his cheeks.
Once again he was unable to hear Kingsley, his mere words meant nothing, hypnotised as he was by Ginny.

“It is my pleasure to pronounce you bonded for life,” Kingsley said, seemingly from a great distance. “You may kiss the bride.”

“With pleasure,” Harry muttered, and they lunged for one another, kissing so enthusiastically he lifted her clean off her feet.

“I present to you, Mr and Mrs Harry James Potter!”
“As Harry’s best friend, I have a right to be interested in his love life,” a rather drunk Ron was saying. His hair was ruffled up in a rather strange way-Harry had a sneaking suspicion he and Hermione had slipped off at some point. “Which is unfortunate, as of the two girls he’s ever snogged, one was a hosepipe and the other was my sister,” he said grumpily, to general laughter. “No guy wants that. Actually, most guys would be happy if their little sister never even looked at a guy in a romantic way, or is that just me?” He shrugged. “Anyway, I’m moving off the point. What I’m trying to say is, even though it’s not ideal that you’re shagging my sister, I’ll forgive you Harry,” he winked, raising his glass. Harry felt like cursing him for that. “Only because I know you’ll treat her good mate. Welcome to the family, even though you’ve been a member for years really,” he winked. “To Harry and Ginny!” he finished.

“To Harry and Ginny,” echoed the crowd.
Later, on the dance floor, Harry was slowly moving through the crowd, saying his goodbyes. George was singing;

“His eyes are as green as a fresh pickled toad, 
His hair is as dark as a blackboard. 
I wish he was mine, he's really divine, 
The hero who conquered the Dark Lord,” on a round with Charlie, despite both being hexed by Ginny more than once.

“How does it feel to be Mrs Potter?” he whispered as they walked towards the edge of the wards.

“Even better than I imagined,” she replied softly. She grabbed him by his tie and pulled him close. “Now take me home and make my wedding night,” she murmured throatily into his ear. He scooped her up into a baby carry.

“As you wish, my darling wife,” he laughed. And as he headed home, with his wife (HIS WIFE!), he thought of everyone who should’ve been there that day-James, Lily, Sirius, Remus, Dumbledore, Tonks, even Dobby, Mad Eye, Fred…yet he knew that they were there with them, even if he couldn’t see them. Because they’d never left…but now he had someone to share his life with, and Harry Potter could finally put the past behind him. 

A/N Well that's it! It's strange to think that after all work, I'll be clicking completed after this validation.
I'd like to thank everyone who's reviewed so far, in particular the brilliant Jimmbo, and also everyone who favourited the story. Big thanks also to Carnal Spiral for the amazing banner, and of course to JK Rowling, for creating the characters for me and everyone else to play with. Look out for the sequel to this, "Harry Potter and the Knights of Mordred," coming soon, as well as a marauders tale. Until then, I will leave you with just a few words of a wise man
Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! 

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