AN: Well I know you're all mad that this isn't the actual wedding, but good things come to those who wait. (and review… hint… hint) Just kidding, well I am almost there. The wedding is definitely next. I just have a few things we need to get through first. One of my favorite scenes will start off the next chapter.
Thanks again to GinnyLovesHarry1995 for beta'ing both versions of this chapter. I tore this one apart after my first go round!
Anywho, Happy Reading,
Forty-Eight Hours and Counting
The reporters had been camped outside of both Grimmauld Place and the Burrow for the last few days. The date of the wedding had somehow leaked out and the press circus had begun.
All types of rumors were now circulating about the wizarding world's favorite couple. Ginny's least favorite story was that she was forcing Harry to marry her early so that their child would not be born out of wedlock.
The color of her dress was under much debate because in the wizarding world only virgins were able to wear white dresses. Otherwise after the minister read the vows a portion of the brides dress turned a shade of crimson.
O O O
Ginny looked up from her Quidditch magazine when she heard a knock on her bedroom door.
"Ginny dear, can I talk to you for a minute?" asked her mum.
"Sure what's up?" she asked.
"It's about the Prophet article," said Molly delicately.
Ginny's eyes widened. She had known that she would need to speak to her mum about it as soon as Hermione had shown her a copy. "Sure thing mum, I've been meaning to get with you anyway."
Molly looked concerned for a minute.
"Don't worry mum," said Ginny with a grin. "It's not what you think."
Molly sighed and sat on her daughters' bed next to her. "So," she said as she gave Ginny a light squeeze, "Why don't I let you do the talking."
Ginny hugged her back. "Mum I know we have a tendency to butt heads about things but I hope you trust me enough to know that I would have told you if Harry and I had made that final step yet."
"I was counting on that dear, that's why I thought I would come up here and chat with you before your father got a hold of the article. Luckily he doesn't read the Prophet regularly anymore."
Ginny laughed. "I thought that's why I hadn't found Harry hung by his ankles in the barn yet."
"Quite," laughed Molly. "So why don't you tell me about you and Harry, love. We haven't had a decent chat in a while and you will be getting married in a few days. I think we are overdue."
Ginny hugged her favorite pillow and lay back on her bed. "Well I'll tell you one thing. Harry is definitely the responsible one in our relationship. He's actually talked me out of it on several occasions. So yes mum, my dress will remain as white as can be." She felt a bit embarrassed. After all she just admitted that she was the one who had been pressuring Harry to have sex. "Who started that silly tradition anyway?"
Molly laughed, "I believe I asked your grandma that very same questions right before my wedding."
Ginny eyed her suspiciously.
Molly giggled, "But as you can see Ginevra my dress remains as pure white as the day it was made. Grandma told me that the tradition was started hundreds of years ago when wizards practiced arranged marriage. It was a way to ensure that the groom was getting a virgin bride. The dress makers put charms on their fabric so that if the bride was not pure the dress would turn scarlet in certain areas after the minister had read the vows, but before he actually united them."
"Well not that I have to worry but I do know some girls who will need to be pretty creative with their dresses," said Ginny with a deep sigh. "I just can't believe all the hype the magazines have been creating over what color gown I'm going to wear."
"Well Harry is a role model dear" said Molly. "People want to look up to him and the fact that he has old fashioned values is a big plus in today's society."
"We've actually talked about that," said Ginny. "Harry doesn't mind it, but there are certain things he wished they would but out about. He's still just a nineteen year old guy and the papers speculating his virginity kind of bugs him. He says that some things just need to be saved for the sanctity of marriage."
"I agree," said Molly with a broad smile. She was proud of Harry and his morals. It was one of the reasons she trusted him with Ginny. "So it's Harry that's the responsible one?" asked Molly giving her daughter a knowing look.
"Mum, you have seen him haven't you?" Ginny flopped back down on her bed and put her pillow up over her face. "Merlin's beard mum, sometimes when he's out there flying around on his broom playing Quidditch or just the way he looks at me," she sighed. "I JUST CAN'T CONTROLL MYSELF!" she yelled into her pillow then started giggling.
She looked out from under her pillow to see her mum nodding her head and smirking. "Yes, Harry is quite the handsome young man. I remember how I couldn't wait until my wedding night. Your father was so handsome. He would make my insides melt every time he held my hand. I still think he has the cutest little…"
Ginny laughed, "MUM! Too much information, please!" she teased.
"Oh, Ginny lighten up. Your father and I didn't have seven children by accident you know. He's quite a wolf behind those tortoise shell glasses of his."
Ginny put her pillow back over her head, "I can't believe I'm hearing this."
"Your dad is quite… talented, you know" continued Molly with a giggle.
"EW YUCK MUM! Come on. You're killing me," giggled Ginny.
"Are you and Harry, ok in that department?" asked Molly. "Do you have any questions?"
"Mum!" exclaimed Ginny.
"I'm serious Ginny. This is going to be your first time you know. We have talked about it in the past but I do want you to be prepared," said Molly with just a tad of seriousness to her tone. "But I suppose you and Hermione might have talked already. I just want to be sure."
Ginny was absolutely shocked, "You mean you know that…?"
"Oh please Ginny," laughed Molly. "Your brother is like a bloody rabbit. I don't know who he thinks he's fooling."
"Hermione is going to be so embarrassed mum," said Ginny.
"Well, there is no reason that she needs to know that I know. Ron is so much like your father that I can't blame Hermione. Weasley men can be quite persuasive. Don't get me wrong. I do wish that they had waited but there is no sense crying over a spilled caldron. I'm sure they'll be the next in line to get married. That is if George and Katie don't sneak off in the middle of the night somewhere."
"Mum, I will never underestimate your underground knowledge of this family. I don't even want to think about the things that you know and aren't telling us."
Molly smiled knowingly, "Well, I am sure Hermione can arrange to buy a muggle wedding dress so that she wouldn't have to worry, though I have heard that many dress makers are not even placing the charms on their dresses anymore. It is quite old fashioned. Your dress was made so long ago for your great-grandmother, so of course it still has all of its charms."
"Well yes mum Hermione and I have talked and she cleared up a few things. But honestly I don't know who is going to be more nervous me or Harry. I think he's having some issues with the whole 'man who conquered' thing. That's Hermione's guess anyway."
"Well love, my suggestion would be to take the reason for him to worry away," said Molly with a sly smile.
"Mum are you telling me to take the initiative and attack my new husband?" asked Ginny with a wide grin.
Molly nodded her head, "My thought would be right after the ceremony. That way he's not so nervous during the reception. We want him to have a good time, you know."
"MUM!" exclaimed Ginny, now completely shocked at her mother's forward suggestion.
"Well that is not unheard of you know."
"Mum, don't tell me that you and dad…?"
"Ok, then I won't tell you."
O O O
The wedding was now a mere forty-two hours away.
For the past three days Harry and Ginny hadn't been alone together for more than an hour each day. Ginny was living at the Burrow and Mrs. Weasley was doing a fabulous job keeping them apart. Every time they had tried to escape and find a quiet place to snog, she was right there behind them ushering Harry out on some errand or telling him it was late and time to go home.
This evening they were at the kitchen table organizing the seating chart for the one-hundredth time. Harry's eyes were starting to glaze over. He really didn't care if cousin Millicent couldn't sit next to great aunt Persephone because she had forgotten to invite her to her son's wedding. Or that they needed to keep Uncle Howard seated as far away from the bar as possible or he'd be drunk before the soup course was finished.
Harry was leaning over Ginny and he could smell the light flowery fragrance she always wore. If he looked sideways and downward he could just get a glimpse of her cleavage. It was starting to affect him in a profound way. Under the table he innocently placed his hand upon her thigh and started to slowly move it forward and back.
Ginny shifted in her seat to lean in closer to him, she had visions of him taking her right there on the table amongst the seating the charts. She shook the thought and looked intently at her mother. "You know what mum? I completely trust your opinion on this," she quickly stammered as Harry brushed a highly ticklish spot. She looked at her watch. "It's getting late, why don't I just walk Harry out to the apparition site?"
Harry smiled. He knew Ginny was as frustrated as he was, maybe they could catch a quick snog by the lake?
"Harry's a big boy Ginevra," said Mrs. Weasley as she eyed them both suspiciously. "He's quite capable of walking himself out."
Harry watched the exchange with interest. He was just about to say that he could use the floo when Ginny cut him off.
"Look mum," said Ginny with a knowing glare. "Don't think we don't know what you've been up to these past couple of days. It's quite obvious you don't want us spending too much time together before the wedding."
Mrs. Weasley tried to hide her smile. "I'm just trying to make it special that's all dear, and it's not Harry I'm worried about."
"MUM!" said Ginny as she blushed crimson from the shock of her mothers' candor.
"Well if I promise to behave myself," pouted Ginny. "May I please walk my fiancé out to the apparition site so that we can have at least fifteen minutes alone together before you put us both in isolation tomorrow?"
Mrs. Weasley examined Ginny closely, "All right, but only fifteen minutes. I'll be watching the clock young lady."
Ginny grabbed Harry's hand and practically dragged him out of the house.
"Bloody hell Gin, you are a woman possessed."
Halfway across the yard they donned Harry's invisibility cloak. Just as they made it outside of the fidelity charm Ginny grabbed Harry's arm and spun on the spot. The next thing he saw was the outside of Grimmauld Place and the many reporters that were generally staked outside.
"Gin, I think your mum would be right pissed if you spent the night here" he whispered so that they would not attract attention.
She pulled him into the entrance and quickly shut the door. "I say we have thirty minutes tops before she sends people after us," said Ginny as she hastily started to shed her clothing.
Harry looked clueless for one second then put two and two together. "My God Gin, I can be so thick sometimes."
"Nah, I'm just a bit more devious," she said huskily as she attacked Harry's mouth with her own.
He lifted Ginny and swiftly turned on the spot, apparating them into their bedroom.
"Wow," she managed. "I was going to be happy with the foyer floor."
"Marble," he mumbled against her skin, "much too cold."
Harry pointed his wand at his alarm clock and set it for thirty minutes. He knew she was serious about her mother sending someone after them. No sense tempting fate.
Twenty seven minutes later the couple lay exhausted in each others arms. Ginny was lazily running her fingers through Harry's ever messy hair. "I hope you don't try and fuss with this for the wedding. I love it this way."
He smiled at her and chuckled, "I don't think the 'just snogged like Hippogriffs' look would be a big hit with the family."
She ruffled is hair a bit more, "I happen to love that look. It reminds me of what we've been up to. Besides, thanks to my git brother Ron, my entire family probably knows that we've waited. They should be grateful that it's not the 'just shagged like Hippogriffs' look."
He grimaced, "Don't remind me. You have no idea the ribbing your brothers have been giving me. They love to harass me about being full of 'moral fiber'. They started that one after the second task of the tri-wizard and still have not let it rest."
"I love your moral fiber. It's one of the many things I adore about you." She laughed, "Wouldn't they be shocked to find out that it's been me that they needed to worry about. Mum's already figured that one out. Why do you think she's been watching me like a hawk. You she trusts completely, me she knows just a little too well."
"Who knew that I was the one who would need the protection," he chuckled then looked over at the clock, "Three minutes," he said lazily.
Without an ounce of frustration left in her Ginny languidly kissed her future husband. "You know this is going to have to last us until after the wedding. Mum's not going to let us within fifty feet of each other now. And once that clock strikes five pm tomorrow she'll probably cloak me with a disillusionment charm until just before the ceremony. Molly Weasley takes certain wedding traditions very seriously."
Harry smiled and started tracing the curve of Ginny's hip with his finger. "But just think, after we're married we can do this," he leaned down and passionately kissed her, continuing to run his hand up and down her bare side, "and so much more, any time we want."
Ginny felt her nerves tingle as she thoroughly enjoyed the kiss. In just over a day they would be married and starting a new life together. She couldn't wait to share every part of herself with him.
"Meet me for breakfast tomorrow at the Burrow," she said with a heavy sigh. "I have a feeling that after this little escapade she's not going to let me out of her sight again."
Just then there was a knock on the bedroom door. "Excuse me Master Harry and Mistress Ginny," croaked Kreacher, "you have a visitor. Ronald Weasley is in the parlor."
"Shite!" they exclaimed as they started throwing on clothing. Ginny's was still downstairs in the foyer so she ended up putting on one of Harry's t-shirts.
"Your mum's going to love seeing you in that" teased Harry. "I'll have Kreacher drop your clothes outside the door in a minute."
When Ron saw Harry he started to laugh. "You are so lucky. I arrived just in time mate. Mum was on the warpath and I was able to keep her from coming. She said if I didn't' bring Ginny home in the next ten minutes she's going to come here herself."
"Gin will be down in a second," he said as he flicked his wand and two butter beers appeared.
"Don't say anything else," grimaced Ron as he accepted his. "I don't want any details."
Ginny appeared down stairs a minute later, "Let's go." I can't believe that woman! Treating me like some type of prisoner. What's next, dementors!" She kissed Harry good-bye. "I'll see you tomorrow for breakfast before Mum locks me away. Come on Ron, let's go before mum gets her knickers in a bigger twist," she grabbed Ron's arm and tugged him to the floo.
"You coming back to finish that beer?" asked Harry.
"Hell yah," said Ron with a smile. "Do you think I want to hang around and watch those two get in a row? Anyway isn't there a game on WSN tonight?"
Harry laughed, "Yah, a repeat of a Cannons/United match, should be great. I'll have Kreacher fix the usual."
O O O
The next morning Harry was determined to spend more than an hour with Ginny before the wedding deadline. He apparated over to the Burrow ready to have a chat with Mrs. Weasley hoping to convince her that their wedding would still be special if they spent more than an hour a day together before the wedding. He would make sure that Ginny behaved.
"Good morning Mrs. Weasley," he said as he entered the house and went to wait at the kitchen table for Ginny to come down.
"Good morning dear," she said as she gave him a hug. "Want some breakfast?"
"No, thank you, Kreacher already got me before I could leave."
"Harry dear, before Ginny comes down I have a little question for you. Do you mind?" she asked as she sat down next to him.
"Of course not Mrs. Weasley, ask away."
She took his hand and looked directly at him. "It's about that dear," she said a bit nervously. "Tomorrow you are no longer going to be just Ron's best mate or Ginny's fiancé, you're going to be a member of the family," she paused as if to think twice, then continued, "a son-in-law."
Harry thought he knew where this conversation was headed. He and Ginny had discussed it and they had already come to a decision. He smiled and nodded.
Mrs. Weasley blushed a bit, "Well you see, Arthur and I have been discussing this and we think it would be just wonderful. Well that is if you wanted to. You wouldn't have to call us Mr. and Mrs. Weasley or Arthur and Molly. You could call us," she seemed a bit flustered so Harry decided to help her out.
"Would you like me to call you mum and dad?" he asked giving her shaking hands a squeeze.
She nodded and wiped a tear from her eye.
He reached over and gave her a hug, "Sure thing, mum."
As soon as Harry had uttered the word Molly burst into more tears and hugged Harry even tighter.
Harry wheezed, "Uh, mum," he managed, "I can't breathe."
Molly gave a nervous laugh and let him go. "Sorry dear," she said as she smoothed out the creases in her apron. "Ginny should be down in a moment." She rushed away and busied herself in the kitchen.
Ginny had stopped in the stairwell when she heard Harry and her mum talking. Before she ventured any further, she peeked around the corner to be sure that her mum had let go of Harry and left the dining room.
Harry spotted her looking around the corner, "Hey beautiful," he said with a smile.
Ginny sat down in Harry's lap and put her arms around his neck. "So she finally asked?"
"She did," he said with a grin.
"Good, maybe she'll be a bit more lenient on us," she looked at Harry's watch, "Eight hours and counting."
"Well let's make the most of it. We can't possible have any wedding details to take care of. The marquees were set up yesterday, the caterers and the florists won't be here till tomorrow morning and the house is practically sparkling. Besides, I'm putting everyone up in hotels, so your mum doesn't even have to worry about guest rooms."
"I'm sure she'll find something. The rehearsal is at four so we need to be here by three thirty to get ready. Have you confirmed our honeymoon arrangements?"
"I called the hotel and the resort myself. Are you sure you want to live like a muggle for a full week?"
"It's only a week and we'll have a full week after that in a wizarding resort. I really want to see how the other half lives."
"You sure?" he asked still in shock with Ginny's request.
"You've been telling me about muggle things for years and I am really curious."
"Ok, but if you don't like it we don't have to stay, we can check into the other resort early."
"Deal," and she sealed it with a kiss.
O O O
Harry and Ginny spent the afternoon running some last minute errands and greeting out of town guests.
They were again sitting at the dining room table going over the ever annoying seating chart that seemed to be growing exponentially.
"Uh Gin," asked Harry quizzically. "How many out of town guests do we have coming in?"
Ginny looked at the list in front of her, "About eighty."
He looked at the separate list in front of him, "And how many others?"
She looked over at Harry's list, "About eighty." As she said this she did the simple math in her head. Her eyes widened.
Harry looked at the seating chart and started counting. "There are thirty tables of eight on this chart!"
"How did we end up with one hundred and sixty people invited to our small wedding," she said in shock. "And why is there seating for two hundred and forty?"
Harry looked flustered. "How did this happen?" he asked in amazement. "I counted at the most one hundred and ten the other day."
"MUM!" they both shouted at the same time.
Mrs. Weasley poked her head out of the kitchen. "Yes dears," she said melodically, still loving the sound of Harry calling her mum.
Ginny spoke first. "How did our small wedding turn into one hundred and sixty people?" she asked.
Mrs. Weasley looked at them and smiled innocently. "Oh dear that is the old list. Now here let me get the new one." She pointed her wand at the table and new scroll of parchment appeared. This one was even longer.
Harry and Ginny stared at it. "How many people are on this list?" asked Harry in almost a whisper.
"Oh, just two hundred or so," said Molly with a smile. "I just got a few more responses by owl the other day. Luckily I was able to catch the caterer and the marquee people just in time."
"TWO HUNDRED!" they both shouted.
"Or so," said Molly with a shrug.
"Or so!" said Ginny now very frustrated with her mother. "What happened? We only sent out invitations for about one hundred people. Now we have over two hundred coming." She picked up the new list and looked at it. "Mum what did you do?"
"Well I did ask you if I could send out a few more invitations. So I did. I didn't think that they would all say yes. Some of the invites were just courtesies. It shouldn't be a problem. The caterer said that he could be prepared for as many people as we wanted and the marquee people said that they could accommodate up to four hundred."
"Four hundred," said Harry weakly. "Do we even know four hundred people?"
"No," said Ginny. "And we are not going to have four hundred people at our wedding. Are we mum" she demanded.
"No," she said as she innocently looked at the list counting the guests to make sure there weren't actually four hundred people attending.
"No see," she said as she pointed to the list. "There are two hundred and thirty five," and she smiled triumphantly.
"Two hundred and thirty five," they said together in complete shock.
"Are you two just going to sit around and repeat what I say or are you going to finish reviewing that seating chart. The caterer needs it by five so that they can get the place cards ready."
Harry folded his arms and put his head down on the table. "I can't believe our small wedding has turned into over two hundred people. Most of whom I don't even know."
Ginny glared at her mother, "Mum, we've been telling you all along that we wanted a small wedding. What part of small didn't you understand?"
"Ginny, Bill and Fleur had over three hundred people at their wedding," said Molly. "Yours is not nearly as big."
"Mum," said Harry really trying to maintain his temper, "Bill and Fleur didn't have a gaggle of press scrounging around outside. We wanted it small so it wouldn't attract as much attention."
"Harry dear, the press would be here even if you only had twenty people at your wedding. Why don't you go out there and talk to them. I know for a fact that there is a reporter from every wizarding magazine and newspaper out there. Luna knows half of them and she said that most of them are pretty reasonable. Maybe you could convince them to leave you alone."
Ginny looked at him, "She has a point, love. We were planning on talking to them when we got back from our honeymoon. Why don't we see if we could get them to lay off a bit?"
O O O
Harry and Ginny made their way to the fidelity charm barrier. "You ready?" she asked him.
He took her hand and nodded his head, "As I'll ever be. I just hate talking to these people. No matter what I say they are going to say what they want."
Ginny just smiled and took a deep breath. Together they walked through the barrier to face the press.
"HARRY! HARRY! OVER HERE! OVER HERE!" yelled several of he reporters.
Harry held up his hands to quite them down. He stood up on a bench and pulled Ginny up with him. He pointed his wand at his throat, "Can I have everyone's attention please."
Every single one of the reporters and photographers was now facing them with quills at the ready. Several of the photographers started taking pictures.
Harry pointed his wand at them and their cameras stopped working. A few of them started examining their cameras to see what the problem was.
"Thank you," said Harry "your cameras will work again when we leave." The photographers looked both amazed and angry with Harry that he had single handedly disabled all of their cameras.
He started again, "Tomorrow is the most important day of my life, I will be marrying the love of my life Miss Ginny Weasley," he looked down at Ginny and squeezed her hand for support.
"We would greatly appreciate if you would respect our privacy and not try to disrupt our special day or our honeymoon afterwards."
Already several reporters were trying to interrupt Harry with questions, some even producing other cameras, which to their dismay did not work.
Harry ignored them, "I am here to make a proposition. Ginny and I were going to save this next bit of information for when we returned from our honeymoon. We are willing to make the announcement today if and only if you agree to respect our privacy. Those of you who do so will be rewarded with not only this announcement but will be invited to a private press conference on November first where I will be unveiling some exciting news. If you agree to our terms and would like an invitation please sign this parchment with the provided quill. It has been charmed and is a binding magical contract. I am sure I do not need to remind you of the consequences for not honoring it."
Again, some people tried to interrupt. This time Harry pointed his wand at the audience rendering them silent. "I can see that some of you are determined to be obtrusive. Let me just advise you that Minister Shacklebolt is personally overseeing our security. The measures which have been taken to protect the privacy of our wedding and honeymoon are the strongest available. I urge you to heed our advice. Those of you who choose to pursue us will be dealt with accordingly."
Several people disapparated, the rest got in line to sign the contract.
Once everyone had signed Harry addressed the group again. "Thank you all for your compliance. I know it is quite a sacrifice but you will be greatly rewarded." He waved his wand and a Harpies jersey appeared.
"Some of you may have been wondering what Ginny and I have been up to these past few weeks. I am proud to announce that Ginny will be starting as a Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies when we return from our honeymoon. Her first game is October fifteenth. Each of you will be given a special press pass and will be able to sit for a five minute interview with us before or after the game, your choice."
The crowd became very excited, this was indeed big news. Harry Potter never sat for interviews with anyone besides the Quibbler, and that was only because one of his best friends was the editor.
Harry began again. "The pass will also work for the press conference on November first. Those who chose to leave will just have to hear the news from you."
Harry waved his wand again and held up a stack of photographs. "I am holding a copy an engagement photo that we had done for our family. Each of you will be getting a copy as well as an exclusive photo of the entire wedding party after the ceremony. There will be no photos of our honeymoon. I am sure you all understand that we want to keep that private. Wouldn't you?" Everyone laughed. Harry was glad that he seemed to have them on his side for a change.
O O O
After the wedding rehearsal and just before five pm all five of Ginny's brothers surrounded the couple. "Say goodbye Harry," said Ron. "We've been given strict orders that you are not to see Ginny after the stroke of five."
Harry looked up in shock. "What?" he asked.
"You heard us mate. Hurry up and say goodbye so we can take you home. Mum has me, Bill and George staying at your house. Charlie and Percy will be staying here."
"Bloody hell," said Harry "Am I under guard or something?"
"Just kiss her and get it over with Potter," said Charlie.
"But…," started Harry.
"Tick tock," said George as he shoved his watch in Harry's face.
"Fine!" Yelled Harry and just to prove a point he grabbed Ginny and dipped her, kissing her long and hard.
"Uh hello," said Ron. "Can you please stop mauling our sister so we can get going? You'll have two whole weeks of that after tomorrow."
Several long minutes later the couple stood up but stayed entangled in each others arms.
"See you tomorrow Miss Weasley," said Harry in a whisper.
"See you at the alter Mr. Potter," replied Ginny in a breathless sigh.
O O O
Later that night Harry, Ron, Bill, and George were all in Harry's new game room. Amongst the larger items in his parent vault was his dad's old pool table. Harry had the renovation company create a mini pub in his basement just for it and a few more of his fathers things. It had just been delivered the other day and he and his future brothers-in-law were enjoying it thoroughly. So far George had kicked everyone's arse, though Harry had to admit his head really wasn't in the game.
Ron was manning the tap at the bar, "This had got to be the coolest room in this whole house. We need to get another big screen telly down here to watch the games."
"Being delivered next week," said Harry absentmindedly. "Can you hang out here for me and sign for it?"
"Are you kidding mate," said Ron excitedly. "I'll hang out all week if you want. You know, make sure that someone doesn't try to break in."
"Whatever," said Harry. "Just make sure that you don't wreck the place, I'm almost finished with the renovations."
Ron looked over at Bill and George. They had all agreed that Harry was probably going to be a mess tonight. It was decided that Bill should be the one to have 'that talk' with Harry. Mr. Weasley had pulled Bill aside before his wedding and Bill thought that he would be the best qualified to deliver his speech to Harry.
"Fancy a game George?" asked Ron.
"Sure thing," said George.
They headed over to the pool table each giving Bill the 'now or never' look.
Harry was sitting at the bar nursing his beer. Bill went behind the bar and drew himself another. "How ya' feeling mate?" he asked.
"Fine," lied Harry.
"Really," laughed Bill, "You could have fooled me, looks to me like you're a bit nervous about something, either that or your about to hurl."
Harry looked up from his pint. "Take your pick," he said then downed the last of it.
Bill looked over and saw that Ron and George were fully absorbed in their game, "Could it be that you are getting married tomorrow?"
Harry looked up again; he hated to seem this vulnerable but after all that was what was bothering him in the first place. He was in a situation where he needed to meet someone's expectations and he was petrified that he would fall short.
"Let me guess, it's not the wedding, it's what follows?" asked Bill.
Harry was floored, was he that obvious? He looked at Bill, a man he trusted completely. He could talk to him right? Part of him wished he could find the resurrection stone just so that he could talk to his dad.
Bill continued to talk even though Harry had remained silent. He had a feeling he had gotten to the point. "Well, you are not the only bloke who has felt this way, I mean, we all go through it."
Harry just sat and listened, he didn't' even know where to begin. He was the man who conquered Tom Riddle. Wasn't he supposed to be an icon? Everyone's hero! Well he certainly didn't feel like a hero now. He felt clueless. It wasn't like he didn't know what to do or where 'all the pieces fit.' He just wanted it to be perfect for Ginny. She deserved that and so much more. She had brought so much happiness into his dismal life. He wanted tomorrow night to be everything she could ever wish for and more.
Bill chuckled, "Well let me just start off by telling you that perfection is impossible. You're going to be too nervous."
Harry looked at Bill, amazed at what he was admitting.
"Everyone is Harry, anyone who tells you differently is lying. They're usually the ones who've had the worst experiences."
Harry chuckled, Bill was probably right. Most of the guys that he had heard boasting about having sex were jerks. "So you were nervous?"
Bill laughed "Harry, my wife is part Veela. I was a bloody mess. I mean most of the time that part of her didn't affect me too much. But on that occasion, no such luck."
Harry was starting to feel a bit better. Bill was an incredibly cool guy, and if he had been nervous then he shouldn't worry so much."
"Just don't expect too much of yourself that first go round. Dad told me something that I will never forget. It has helped me in plenty of situations in my marriage, not just this particular one. "Be more concerned about your wife than you are for yourself. Remember she's feeling the same way, no matter how tough she appears on the exterior." He laughed, remembering the night before his own wedding, sitting in his old bedroom at the Burrow, nervous as hell. "On a lighter note dad also said; "if they're not happy, you're not happy. It's an infallible rule in life." Dad is a very wise man. That one has always proven itself to be true."
Harry was now feeling a bit more confident. "Thanks Bill, you have no idea how much that helped."
"Oh, yes I do. Don't forget it wasn't too long ago when I was you." He patted Harry on the back, "Come on. Let's go kick their sorry asses in a game of pool."
O O O
The next morning Ginny awoke in her bed at the Burrow as a single woman for the last time. This afternoon she would become a wife to the man of her dreams. A man she has been in love with since she was a young girl sticking her elbow in butter dishes.
"Hermione, you up?" she asked.
"I'm up," she said drowsily as she wiped the sleep from her eyes. She looked over at her best friend. "Ginny, you're getting married today!" she said excitedly.
Ginny looked over and smiled, "I'm getting married today." She sat up in bed. "Come in."
There was a knock at her bedroom door. "Come in," she answered.
"Good morning sweetheart," said Molly as she went over and sat on her daughter's bed. "How are you feeling today?"
"A bit nervous," she said truthfully. "I wonder how Harry is doing."
"Probably hyperventilating," said Hermione and they all laughed.