(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 u