(Author's Note: The inspiration for the
before-the-wedding-night talk - and one or two of the misunderstandings
- comes from Terry Pratchett's Lords and Ladies. Originally written for
the H/G ficafest on LiveJournal, I've played with it a little to fit
closer to HBP. Thanks to Aggiebell for betaing!)
Hermione, Ginny and Molly
Hermione and Ginny grinned giddily at one another over the top of
the teapot as Molly Weasley placed it on the table between them.
dears," Molly said, settling into the third chair at the table. "A nice
cup of tea, and then we'll get ready before the others get here."
do think it's nice," Hermione said, tipping half a spoonful of sugar
into her tea. "The hen night should be the night before the wedding. I
know that Lavender's hen night was fun, but it was three weeks
"Lavender's still used to doing things the Muggle
way, though. She doesn't think about sobering charms and hangover
potions," Ginny said. "Seamus isn't much better. His mum's a witch.
You'd think he could have managed something the next day, but Colin
says that he showed up for work with a hangover so bad he had to lock
himself in the dark room until three o'clock."
dear," Molly agreed. "And I agree with Hermione. I think it's nice to
have the wedding start the night before, in a way. It does make sure
that the man and wife are kept apart before the wedding, if nothing
"Oh really, Mum," Ginny flushed. "You act like Harry
and I can't be trusted to spend any time alone together. We have been
going out - continuously, anyway - since I was nineteen, you know. It's
nearly three years now."
"Yes, I know dear. It's all very different to how your father and I did things, of course," she said.
I know," Ginny rolled her eyes, and grinned. "As soon as Dad had a
decent job he Flooed to your parents' place and asked grandad Prewett's
permission... I know you were married the day after you left Hogwarts
and it was the most romantic thing ever to happen to you, but come on,
Mum. If things never changed then we'd still be living in caves, or
stuck in the Middle Ages and you'd have probably had me betrothed to
Draco Malfoy when I was eleven to ensure a pureblood marriage."
Molly laughed. "I know, dear, but I can't help but feel it's a little untruthful..."
blinked. "What's untruthful? Me not marrying Draco Malfoy? Mum, if
you've had some secret fantasy about that all these years, tonight is a
really bad time to own up."
"Oh, don't be silly, Ginny dear. I meant, well, your dress..."
"What about my dress?"
"Well," Molly flushed. "It is white, dear."
"Well, white is... It's the colour of purity, Ginevra Molly Weasley, as well you know."
Hermione stared determinedly at her tea as mother and daughter sought to evade one another's gaze.
a white dress usually just means a new start in the bride's life,
Molly," Hermione said. "I wore one when I married Ron, and..."
was Hermione's turn to avoid the other women's gaze. Ginny recovered
her composure slightly and stood up to make another pot of tea.
"It doesn't matter anyway, Mum," she said. "If you must know, I qualify whatever the tradition is."
was a brief spell of silence, broken only by the splashing of water as
Ginny rinsed the teapot and filled the kettle. Then Hermione spoke up.
Ginny turned and nodded.
"Er, I mean, er..."
"It's no big deal," Ginny said. "Lavender said that she was a virgin on her wedding night."
the sight of the furious blush staining her friend's cheeks, the quick
retort on Hermione's lips died away and she nodded quickly.
"Absolutely. Seamus is a perfect gentleman, and so is Harry."
"Right. Now, I'm going to go get ready while the kettle is boiling. Back in a minute."
Ginny left the room. The door banged behind her and Molly and Hermione stared at one another.
"Well," Molly said.
"I... I had no idea."
"I just assumed that, well..."
"Well..." Hermione flushed as brightly as if she was a born Weasley. "I mean... Ron and I..."
were living together for two years before you married, dear," Molly
said in a practical, no-nonsense tone. "I assumed as well."
"But Harry and Ginny live together as well," Hermione said. "For eighteen months. And they've never..."
think it's very sweet, and I must say I'm glad that Harry is such a
gentleman. Now, I just have to speak to Arthur about something. I
shan't be a moment, dear."
Molly bustled from the kitchen, the
door shutting behind her more quietly than it had behind Ginny.
Hermione stayed in the kitchen, her cup of cold tea hanging forgotten
in her hand.
"Never?" Hermione murmured in the unhearing silence.
Harry, Remus and the Weasleys
"So there you have it, dear," Molly said, the flames licking against her cheeks as her head hung in the fireplace.
I think I understand what you're telling me, Molly, but I'm not quite
sure what you expect me to do about it," Arthur Weasley replied. "I
mean, I thought that it would be rather a good thing that Ginny and
Harry haven't gone too far before their wedding."
"Oh, it is, but they have been living together for quite some time now."
Arthur stared blankly at his wife.
"Times change, dear," she said. "Young people in this day and age don't live together to split the rent anymore."
Molly watched as realisation slowly dawned on Arthur's face.
he managed, a haunted expression settling on his features. "I suppose
we can be grateful that we've managed to bring Harry and our boys up
correctly, if nothing else. I suppose Ron and I can try and talk to
him, Molly, but this isn't the sort of conversation that I ever
imagined having with Harry, I must be honest."
"Why would you
get Ron involved?" Molly asked. "I would have thought he'd have been
the last of our sons that you'd want with you."
"Well, usually, of course, but he is married, dear. I'm sure he understands all about wedding night nerves."
"I love you Arthur, you know that, don't you?"
"Of course I do. I love you too, Molly."
"I have to go, but ask the other boys first, ok? They may be of more use then you'd think."
"What do you mean? Molly?"
"Was that Mum?"
Arthur turned around and saw Bill standing in the doorway.
"Yes, it was. Where's Harry?"
"He went to the shops with Remus. Something about needing some real drinks for tonight," Bill shrugged.
"Oh? Well, that's a blessing, I suppose. Are your brothers all here?"
"Six Weasley men, present and accounted for," Bill smiled.
"Good. It's time for a family meeting. Gather your brothers, will you?"
"Okay dad. What's the meeting about?"
"The birds and the bees."
and Percy shifted uncomfortably in their seats as Arthur took his place
at the head of the table. The twins had taken seats either side of
their younger brother, while Percy was flanked by Charlie and Bill. It
seemed that the two of them were there only under duress.
"Dad, what's going on?" Ron said. "I was in the bloody shower when these two burst in."
Fred and George were sporting identical grins that seemed to confirm the truth of Ron's statement.
"You should know better than to leave the door unlocked-"
"-unless you're used to someone joining you when you're scrubbing yourself down?"
Arthur said mildly. The twins fell silent, although Fred exchanged a
quick glance with Bill, whose shoulders were shaking silently at the
far end of the table.
"Your mother thought that it might be a
good idea for us to have a talk with Harry," Arthur said, ignoring the
tears streaming down Bill's face. "It appears that he and Ginny have
Arthur stared at the table for a long moment, hoping that one of his sons would pick up on what he was trying to say.
"Haven't what, Dad?" Charlie asked.
er, well... They haven't prepared," Arthur said, feeling rather pleased
with himself for thinking of the phrase. "For, er, after the ceremony."
haven't sorted out any food?" Ron said, aghast, all thoughts of
shower-based embarrassment banished from his mind. "But Dad, the thing
lasts all day!"
"No, that's sorted," Charlie
said. "They had Hermione looking into it. What do you mean, Dad?
Haven't they got the honeymoon sorted? I thought that you were taking
care of it," he added, glaring at the twins. "If you've messed things
"Hey," George held up both hands. "I'll have you know
that they're expected at the Grand Cayman Hotel in exactly," he glanced
at his watch. "Forty-two hours and eighteen minutes. It's the least we
"Well, what then? Is the hall not booked for the reception or something?"
I took care of that," Bill said. "We're using one of the halls at
Gringotts. Griphook and Hagrid have been setting it up all week, and
Fleur's been keeping an eye on them to make sure it'll look alright
"Well, that's everything, isn't it? Reception, food, honeymoon. What else is there?" Fred asked. Percy shook his head.
quite everything," he said, glancing at his father, who seemed to be
fascinated by a bent nail protruding from the table surface. "There's
still the wedding night," he added, thoughtfully. Arthur gave the
tiniest of nods.
"Well? What about it?" Fred asked. "They're coming back here, right?"
Ron said. "Dobby's having some of the Hogwarts elves doing it up during
the day. I saw some of the drawings that Hermione did. It's going to
"Right, well that's taken care of, too,"
Charlie said. "I tell you, Harry's certainly popular, isn't he? He
hasn't had to lift a finger since he proposed."
"Yeah," Fred grinned. "Now all he has to do is remember his lines tomorrow morning-
"-and fulfil his duties tomorrow night," George finished.
"Sick," Ron pulled a face. "Like I needed that image in my head."
come on, Ron," Bill said bracingly. "You shared a room with Harry for
seven years. You must have talked about girls before."
"Well, yeah," Ron said. "Once. And not Ginny, for Merlin's sake."
"She's a big girl, Ron. What do you think's been happening in that flat of theirs for the last eighteen months?" Charlie asked.
"Probably a bit before that, too, if Ginny's anything like the rest of us Weasleys," Bill said. "Er, you alright, Dad?"
had erupted into a coughing fit, and was turning red in the face as
each cough became more violent. Charlie leaned forward and slapped his
father hard on the back until the coughing subsided.
"What was that about?"
think we've arrived at the reason for the meeting," Percy said,
studying his father with narrowed eyes. "Father, you do know that
"-have changed since I was your age," Arthur said.
"Yes, thank you Percy. Your mother was kind enough to remind me of that
earlier. However... it appears that no-one has told Harry that."
There was silence for a moment as the six Weasley boys turned this thought over in their minds.
"You mean..." Fred began.
"Never?" George finished.
"But, I mean, that's not possible," Bill said. "He's twenty-three, for Circe's sake."
"Be that as it may," Arthur began, but was interrupted.
"Ron, did you know this?" Fred asked.
"What? No, I didn't. Why would I?"
"You shared a room with the bloke all those years. Didn't it ever come up?"
"No! Harry always talked to Hermione about that stuff."
"You must be wrong, Dad. Harry's been out with other girls, right?"
"Well, yeah," Ron said. "Cho Chang, sort of. Susan Bones and Hannah Abbott, too. And Luna Lovegood as well."
"Right. And since then, well, just Ginny. But I mean..."
"Yeah, right. Could you have waited until you were twenty-three?"
"I didn't wait to leave Hogwarts."
"Me either. Some of us did, right Perce?"
"None of your business."
"As for you, Charles... How old were you again?"
Charlie muttered something that Arthur found himself wilfully ignoring. He decided to bring the conversation back on topic.
"Boys! Now, behave yourselves. You mother wants us to give Harry the Talk."
reactions from his sons were immediate and predictable. Fred, who had
been leaning back on the back legs of his chair, toppled to the ground
with a crash. Percy sprayed a mouthful of tea across the table,
spattering Ron, who didn't even blink as he stared at his father in
horror. Bill sank low in his chair, and seemed to be trying to
disappear under the table, while George tried to make a dash for the
door. Sadly for him, Arthur had had the foresight to place a Locking
Charm on it before taking his seat.
"Dad, please tell me you're joking," Ron said. "I'm not going in there and telling Harry how to shag my sister. That's sick!"
Bill, and George all looked as though they agreed with their youngest
brother. Fred made assenting noises from the floor, where he was trying
to extricate himself from his chair. Only Charlie didn't seem to react
much. He leaned back in his chair and whistled through his teeth, his
gaze meeting his father's without any apparent embarrassment.
going to hate this," Charlie said. "He's always been shy about his
emotions. Those ruddy Muggle relatives of his are to blame, I suppose.
I'll do it, though, Dad. You wouldn't believe the number of apprentices
we get out on the reservation who've barely talked to a girl, let alone
know anything about what to do with one."
"So you give them the benefit of your expertise?" Percy asked, eyeing his brother suspiciously.
"The basics," Charlie allowed. "Some things can't be taught."
"Wasn't that what Sarah Kidman said when you were caught in the Prefects Bathroom in your third year, Charlie?"
There was a moment of silence, and then the conversation continued as though Fred's floor-level comment had never happened.
would appreciate it if you would talk to Harry," Arthur said. "I'm
certain that I'm too old to be giving the Talk. And I'd prefer not to
give it to my future son-in-law."
"Couldn't you have decided that twenty years ago, Dad?" Bill asked.
I'm scarred for life," Ron said. "All that stuff about," he winced.
"Bulbs and wiring and switches. No wonder I never had a real date until
I was nearly eighteen."
"Now boys, I did my best," Arthur
said. "You should imagine for yourself what my father had to say to me
on the eve of my wedding night. If our Talks put you off trying
anything, no doubt there are some ex-girlfriends of yours out there who
are grateful yet."
"Alright, Dad. No need to get personal,"
Fred said, as he clambered to his feet. "So, we've got to give Harry
the Talk, have we? On reflection, I think we can manage that."
I think that Charlie has the experience to talk to Harry," Arthur said,
narrowing his eyes at his son, who appeared suddenly to be eager to
take on the task. "And I suspect that he wouldn't appreciate your
efforts as much as you would like me to believe."
"But Dad, we've got this book we've been working on for the shop-"
"-Seventy-One Ways To Impress The Ladies-"
"-and if we could give it a trial run on Harry-"
"-maybe get him to endorse it, even-"
boys," Arthur announced. "When Remus and Harry return, Charlie will
give him the Talk, and we'll continue preparing for tonight."
"We'll just have to find someone else to go through the book with," Fred said to George.
"Mmm. Isn't Neville coming along tonight?"
"Old 'Lock-up-your-daughters' Longbottom? That's right. Now there's a man who needs some help..."
"He was saying just the other day-"
front door banged, and the voices of Harry and Remus carried into the
kitchen. Arthur rose from his seat and Unlocked the door with a wave of
"Right, I'll be off into the lion's den," Charlie
said, leaping up with a grin. Arthur had to suppress a smile of his
own, remembering how much he'd dreaded the times Molly had ordered him
to give the Talk to his sons. He wasn't surprised to learn that, in at
least one case, he'd been rather later than perhaps he should have been.
well, boys. Remus will be joining us in a minute - ah, there you are.
Remus, Charlie and Harry will be occupied for a while. Will you help us
- Oh dear. What's wrong?"
Remus staggered into the kitchen
with a large pile of boxes floating along behind him. He had a tortured
look on his face, as though he had just awoken from his very worst
"Did you know," he managed, after he had been
guided into a chair and downed a shot of Ogden's Finest Firewhiskey.
"That Harry is a very, very unique person?"
"We've always known that, Remus," Arthur said.
"Very unique," Remus added. "For a young man, who has gone through such hardship... Well, he's unique."
"Remus, what happened?" Bill asked, pouring another glass of Firewhiskey for the former teacher.
I asked Harry if he was ready for tomorrow. I was joking, mostly. He's
been so calm recently that you can't help but accept that he knows what
"He'd better know what he's doing," Ron snorted.
"If he gets second thoughts now, then Ginny'll probably hex him back to
"Well, I don't think you need have any concerns on
that matter," Remus said, settling down a little as the second drink
followed the first. "The last time that I saw Harry so calm and
relaxed... I don't think that I've ever seen Harry so calm and relaxed."
"So what's wrong?" Fred asked.
"Well, Harry's had rather an... unusual upbringing," Remus said. "I wanted to be sure that he was ready for married life."
"Oh dear," Arthur said, suddenly recognising the look on Remus' face. "Did you try and give him the Talk?"
"Remus, you know that Charlie's in there now, giving it to him as well?"
"Well," Remus said. "I wish him better luck than I had."
"Hey, Harry. Nervous?"
"About tomorrow? Yeah, a bit, I guess. But it's worth it, isn't it?"
what they say," the lifelong bachelor replied, with a grin. "Of course,
some of us haven't been lucky enough to meet the right woman yet."
"I have," Harry said, smiling.
"I know you have," Charlie said. "And Ginny thinks the world of you, as well."
Harry's smile widened.
"I know," he said. "It's amazing. I'm the luckiest wizard alive."
glad you think so. But I wanted a quick word about tomorrow. I just
wanted to make sure that you were prepared for everything and anything,
"I think I am."
"Yeah? Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I keep thinking of Mad-Eye Moody. That puts me in the right frame of mind."
"Hi Bill, is Charlie alright? He ran out of here in a bit of a hurry, I thought."
"Er, yeah. Old dragon injury. It twinges sometimes, I think. He'll be alright. Dad's keeping an eye on him."
"Great," Harry smiled. "I think he wanted to talk to me about something, but I suppose I'll see him later."
"Yeah. Actually, Harry, about that..."
"Yes?" Harry cocked his head to one side. "What's the matter?"
"We just wanted to talk about tomorrow. Make sure you're okay, not worried or anything."
fine," Harry replied. He laughed. "I know your family must be sick of
hearing that from me. But this time it's true. I couldn't be happier.
I'm marrying the most wonderful girl I've ever met, and I'll do
everything that I can to make sure she has the best life possible."
Anything in particular that you might want to talk about, Harry? I
mean, tomorrow is full of all sorts of things that you can only do
once, after all. Don't want to get things wrong. It could leave a
lasting impression, if you get what I mean."
"I think so. I
think I'm going to be okay, though. I mean, Ron's going to be there, so
I don't think I'm going to mess things up too badly," he grinned.
Percy stared at his older brothers in despair.
"It cannot be that bad," he said. "Honestly, anyone would think that you'd never had a discussion about sex before."
"He said that Ron was going to be there!" Bill objected.
he misunderstood what you meant," Percy said. "Really, I know that
Harry is marrying our little sister, but she is an adult now, and
therefore we must respect that. Even," Percy shuddered, "when it comes
to aspects of her life that we would all rather be kept quiet. Now, it
has fallen to us to ensure that Harry is prepared for his duties
tomorrow night, and we will not fail either him, or our sister."
listen to yourself. Can you really go in there and tell Harry how he
should go about shagging our little sister? I'm never going to look at
him the same way again. 'Ron's going to be there...' Honestly, you'd
think he'd have the decency to be as hung up about it as we are."
I remind you that Harry faced off against Voldemort on more than
half-a-dozen different occasions?" Percy said. "Yes, this is a very
different challenge, but I imagine that it gives Harry a certain amount
"Moody," Charlie shook his head. "He said he'd be thinking of Moody."
vigilance," Percy sighed. "No doubt he was referring to some aspect of
the wedding ceremony, possibly the likelihood of Ron losing the rings
in the sixty minutes when they'll be his sole responsibility."
"Yeah, but still... Perce, I'm not going back in there."
I suppose it's up to me, then. I can't help but wonder whether I should
have been the first Gryffindor in our generation, though, and not the
"He has a point," Bill said, as Percy walked out of the kitchen.
"Yeah," Charlie admitted. "But do you want to go back in and try and explain anything like that to Harry right now?"
"Nope. Hey, I think Dad had to cast a Cheering Charm on Remus just now."
"Yeah. Wonder if he's got a spare one for me?"
"Ah, cheer up. Perce'll probably figure it out. There's a born Ravenclaw, if ever there was one in our family."
"Harry? Do you have a moment?"
Percy. Of course. I'm just looking at all these presents and cards. And
this is just the people who can't make it tomorrow!"
entered the room and stood beside the younger man, regarding the stack
of gifts that had been arriving at Harry's house over the last several
days. It stretched nearly from floor to ceiling now.
"You're a popular person, Harry, for obvious reasons, and others as well."
Harry glanced at him, and shrugged.
"Sometimes I'm not so sure. I mean, look at tomorrow..."
"Well, I just feel that there's more that I could have done to prepare. So many things that I should have done, but haven't."
"Ah, yes. Now, it was on such a topic that I wanted to talk to you, actually."
"Yes? I'm not sure if I can help. I'm pretty much relying on Hermione to do most of it, to be honest."
meant the ceremony, and the food, and, well, everything about the
wedding itself," Bill explained, handing Percy a large glass of
"I know. I know," Percy said. "But as soon as he said that about Hermione..." Percy shuddered, and sunk deeper into his chair.
is Harry having us on?" Charlie asked. "I know if I go back in there,
all I'll be able to think about is Moody, and that's no state of mind
to be giving the Talk."
"How'd you prepare out in Romania?" Bill asked.
get the kid drunk and have one of the girls out there around to help
out. They were always willing to help educate a young lad."
you thought you could handle giving Harry the Talk?" Bill asked.
"Charlie, he's got a higher tolerance for alcohol then anyone, and as
for bringing in a girl to show him-"
"Hey, I thought that I could make do without," Charlie said. "But it doesn't matter now, does it?"
"Alright, who's next?"
"Us! Ooh, ooh, pick us, pick us!"
was bouncing up and down on his chair as though all his Christmases and
birthdays had come early, while George had a grin so wide that he
appeared to be in danger of the top of his head falling off.
trust us," George said, reaching into a bag at his feet and pulling out
a leather-bound book. "We know Harry a lot better than you. We can
"We taught him all he knows, bless him," Fred said. "All the useful stuff, anyway."
we left the boring stuff to Hermione and the teachers. But everything
that that young man knows about fun, we taught him."
"And now it's time," Fred said.
"Yes, dear brother. It's time indeed," George said. "It's time for him to learn all that we know about fun."
may be some time," Fred said. He stood behind George and the two walked
out of the kitchen confidently, George holding the book above his head
like a prize-fighter with his championship belt. A gold '71' gleamed on
its cover as they passed under the light hanging from the centre of the
"Future brother ours!"
"What do you want?" Harry asked suspiciously.
"Harry, we want to give you an early wedding present," George said. "Fred?"
"Harry, when you were thirteen we gave you the Marauders' Map, correct?"
"Well, now, ten years later, it is time to bequeath another part of our legacy to you."
right. Harry, this book contains all the secrets of our success,"
George paused, and gave Harry a significant look. "With the ladies."
"Right..." Harry said. "Er, Fred, George, you do know that I'm getting married tomorrow, right?"
"So, is this some sort of bachelor party present?"
"Well, of a sort. Harry-"
"It's just... Look, I'm a bit nervous about tomorrow. I'll read your book later, okay? Probably when I get back from honeymoon."
Harry took the book from an unresisting George and with a wave of his wand it disappeared.
sent it to the bookcase in the study," Harry said, as he looked at
their shocked faces. "I don't suppose I'll have much time for reading
tomorrow, will I? Well, not unless Ginny decides to leave me at the
He looked at their faces.
"I'm joking! I'm sure she wouldn't do that."
Their expressions didn't change.
"Are you two alright? Is there something going on? Have you spoken to Ginny?"
"What? No, don't worry," George managed to say. "Er, is that Dad calling us? Come on Fred. See you later, Harry."
The twins disappeared from the room as quickly as if they had Disapparated.
"Hello Mist- I mean, Arthur."
"Harry, there's a Talk that we need to have, you and I."
"Is this something to do with the others? Er, they're acting a bit strange, Arthur. Have they started drinking already?"
"All of them except Ron, so far," Arthur noted. "Harry, I wanted to talk to you about after the wedding tomorrow."
care of the food, and Bill, Hagrid and Griphook have set up the hall,
and so on. Yes, Harry, I'm aware of that. No, I wanted to talk to you
about Ginny and yourself."
"Arthur... I'd die for Ginny, you know that?"
"Yes, Harry, and I know you mean that. But that's not what I mean, not this evening."
"Right, sorry. Go on."
"There's the small matter of tomorrow evening, when you return home."
Harry. It's been a long time since I had this discussion, and I never
imagined that I'd give it to a grown man, but there you go. We live and
learn. Harry, I want you to imagine tomorrow when you come home. Once
you carry Ginny across the threshold - you are planning on doing that,
"Of course," Harry smiled.
"Good, good. Harry, I want you to imagine what's going to happen after that."
looked at his future father-in-law with something approaching terror in
his eyes. Arthur felt that he was on the right track.
"Harry, lighting is a wonderful thing."
Harry blinked several times, and seemed to be at a loss for words.
flick a switch, and a light comes on. I've always found that
remarkable. But Harry, I think it's important to remember something
about that process. There's more to it then that, much, much more. And
only by truly understanding how complex the system is can we really
appreciate the light.
"Now, it all begins at the coalface, where the miners dig for the coal that's burnt at the power stations..."
left the room feeling rather proud of himself for remembering the Talk.
Ron had been twelve when he'd last had to give it, and he was pleased
that his obsession with eckeltricity continued to pay off.
"Yes, Ron. I gave Harry the Talk, and I think that everything will be okay."
"You gave Harry the Talk? The same one you gave us?"
Ron pushed past his father and into the room. Arthur turned to Bill, who was just leaving the kitchen.
"Any of that Firewhiskey left, Bill?"
"Ron? Is that everyone now? What's up with your family today?"
"Er, what do you mean?"
all being weird. You come in for five minutes, and then you disappear
off. And apparently the drinking's already started, even though it's
only two o'clock. And your dad..."
Ron winced. "Yes?"
"I thought he was going to talk to me about, well, you know..."
Ron nodded, unable to look his friend in the eye. He could feel the blush covering every inch of his skin.
"But apparently he wanted to talk about how electricity works."
"Your family can't take their drinks, can they?"
Harry shook his head.
"Well, I suppose it gives me something to think about before tomorrow night."
"I'm really nervous, to be honest."
"Yeah, I can imagine."
"Were you nervous on your wedding day?"
"A bit. But, well, I'd done it before," Ron said, staring intently at the floor.
"Really? I don't remember that."
"Well, I suppose you did it in your seventh year, right?"
"Yes," said Ron, blushing still more ferociously. He looked behind him, at the door back into the hallway.
suppose that it's part of being Head Boy, having to speak in public
like this. I never used to have any problems with the DA. Can you give
me any advice? Should I have some jokes? Ron?"
entered the kitchen to find Remus and the Weasleys sat around the
table, animatedly discussing the recent Quidditch European Cup
qualifying match between England and Liechtenstein.
you're a Quidditch man," Fred declared boisterously. "Good with a
broomstick and so on, or so we hope, anyway. Share your wisdom with us."
"Yes," Charlie agreed. "Quaffles and hoops, young Harry. What do you know?"
You've got to get the Quaffle through the hoops," Harry said, sitting
and taking a glass of Firewhiskey from Percy. He looked around the
"Spot on," George nodded. "And the Snitch? Your specialty, I believe."
"Er, well, you need to catch the Snitch to end the game. Usually, if you catch the Snitch, you win."
good. Very important to catch the Snitch, no matter how many times you
get the Quaffle through the hoop. It's worth an awful lot of points,"
Bill said. "Remember that, and you'll probably be fine."
"Harry..." Ron looked at him. "The Quidditch equipment, it has to last a good long time, right?"
"Well, yeah. You want it to last a season, at least. The club can't afford to keep replacing bats and hoops and stuff."
couldn't have put it better myself," Percy nodded sagely. "So even in a
heated match, when you get really excited, blood pumping, sweat pouring
and so on, you're not going to injure-"
"-yes, damage, thank you Ron, the equipment?"
"Well, accidents happen," Harry said. "But no, it's not something I try and do."
There was a thoughtful pause.
"Well, that's good enough for me," Arthur declared. "More drinks!"
Glasses were refilled, and the Weasleys set to them with gusto. Harry leaned across George to talk to Remus.
"What was all that about?"
eyed him speculatively, and then downed the rest of his drink. "Harry,
if you're not sure, then all I can say is that I'm sure you're going to
have fun finding out."
Harry and Hermione
moved across the dance floor as Ginny danced with her slightly
woebegone looking father. They laughed and chatted easily, and finally
Hermione found the courage to ask.
"Harry, are you ready for tonight?"
"No, tonight, Harry."
"Of course," he grinned. "Sirius spent an entire day, the Christmas of our fifth year?"
We talked it through, all of it. He gave me a lot of advice. It took a
while to sink in, I guess, 'cos it didn't help with Cho, but by the
time Ginny and I got together, I knew what to do."
"So you know how to..."
"Oh, yes," Harry laughed.
"Why haven't you and Ginny had sex?"
Harry blinked, but kept dancing with barely a misstep.
just don't think that it's right to have sex outside marriage," he
said. "Even with Ginny, even when I knew we were getting married. I
mean, I did talk about it with her, and she was fine with it, so we
"Ginny was fine with waiting?"
"Yes. I mean, it was difficult sometimes, but it's something Sirius suggested to me, and I think he was right."
"Is something wrong?"
glanced across the dancefloor to where Ron and his brothers had
gathered and were staring abjectly at her dancing partner. Beside them,
Molly was staring anxiously at her only daughter.
She smiled, and decided that she'd tell them the truth. One day.
"So, Sirius was a good teacher, then?"
Harry blushed as deeply as any Weasley.
Her smile widened, and she looked across at Ginny, who was watching her new husband with a satisfied smile on her face.
Hermione had a feeling that it was a look that would be on her friend's face a lot more often from now on.
Note: A Harry/Ginny story with no snogging and no interaction between
our favourite couple? What is the world coming to?)