"You're wearing a tiara," Luna said as she entered Ginny's dormitory on
the last day of the term. It was a rainy afternoon and Ginny thought it
the perfect time to sort through her schoolgirl memorabilia before she
packed for her last trip on the Hogwarts Express.
Luna sat next to her on the floor by the open trunk and stared at Ginny's head in fascination.
Muriel sent it when she found out I was engaged." The tiara snagged in
her hair when Ginny took it off and handed it to Luna, who ran her
fingertips over the tarnished points with an expression of awed
"She also sent this book," Ginny continued as Luna carefully balanced the crown on her blonde head. "It's called What Every Witch Should Know, and I think it was written in the middle ages."
let go of the tiara where it wobbled precariously on her head for a
moment and then awkwardly looked over Ginny's shoulder at the book. "It
says it was written in 1924."
Ginny snorted. "Auntie Muriel's heyday."
"What should every witch know?" Luna asked seriously. "I want to make sure I know it."
"Luna! This is a book is about sex – or as the book says, 'marital duties.'"
Luna looked up so quickly that the tiara started to slide. "Sex is a duty?"
"It was in 1924, apparently."
"The witch's duty."
"Oh." Luna cocked her head, so that the tiara hung around her ear. "What's the wizard's duty?"
Ginny tut-tutted. "Show up? In 1924 he didn't have a duty from what I can tell."
"That doesn't seem very fair." Luna frowned. "What else is in the book?"
much, from what I can tell," Ginny answered, now thumbing through the
yellowing pages. "Here's a chapter called 'The Emancipated Witch' –
although I can't see why it's called that since it's full of diagrams
of your insides."
"1924 was all about voting rights for witches," Luna replied.
Ginny still didn't know what that had to do with birth control potions.
always thought the womb looked like a sea creature," Luna said, tracing
the curved fallopian tubes in the diagram. "It's never tethered to
anything in a drawing so it looks like it's just floating around."
Ginny giggled. "Floating around looking for what?"
Luna laughed, too. "Can I see?"
Ginny handed her the book and went back to sorting her trunk.
"Consummation," Luna read. "The act of finishing. So that's what they were calling it in 1924," Luna muttered.
All was quiet except for the rain pattering on the windows and the crinkle of pages turning as Luna scanned the old book.
absently paired and folded socks while she marveled at Luna's uncanny
ability to get to the point. Ginny had also looked through that book
hoping to understand what to do about the feelings she had been having
lately when she was with Harry. Besides the pleasure of kissing and
touching, there was also a terrible hunger underneath that pleasure –
an aching dissatisfaction that worried her. The clinical terms of
consummation described an action that was so straight-forward and
matter-of-fact, that it seemed light years away from her pounding heart
and chapped lips and that melting openness that seemed to take so long
to close and fade away . . .
She sighed. Although she did know
how to rid herself of that ache, it never felt exactly right or
satisfying. Was that normal? Would she always feel this way? The
marital duties chapter didn't acknowledge any feelings a witch – or a
wizard – might have. But there was hope if What Every Witch Should Know at least used a word that acknowledged there was unfinished business that led to the 'marital duty.'
Luna closed the book with a thump. "Well, there's nothing about money in this book either." She sounded decidedly put out.
"Theodore says you can't get married without money," Luna replied. "And I don't get it. A license is only five Galleons."
two are thinking about getting married?" Ginny gasped. Sometimes she
forgot Luna even had a boyfriend, since Theodore Nott was out of
Hogwarts and Luna rarely talked about him.
thinking about it," Luna said with unaccustomed sarcasm. "And that's
about it. Daddy wants me to have one of those Muggle years – you know,
the crevice year or whatever it's called?"
Ginny thought quickly. "Oh! You mean a gap year. Hermione is just finishing hers. She's in Shangri-la."
got Luna's attention. "She is? That's a very dangerous place right now.
They say the Dark Barby Witch is going to take over soon."
Ginny felt her stomach flip. This wasn't one of Luna's stories since
both Harry and Ron had mentioned what an oppressive and isolated place
that country was.
"Is Hermione there officially?"
"Yes. She's doing a study of their civil service system."
"Then she should be all right," Luna said decidedly. "It's the ones who are in the country illegally –"
do you know who is in the country illegally?" Ginny asked, wondering if
Luna's father had blundered into some sort of a mess in his quest for a
story for The Quibbler.
"Theodore," Luna answered miserably. "He's shearing Demiguises in the Himalayas."
"But – Demiguises are invisible! They use the yarn for Invisibility Cloaks."
"Wizards have their ways." Luna dismissed this concern. "But it's dangerous to be in that part of the world right now."
seems the type to handle himself," Ginny soothed. She had only talked
to him once, but she had been impressed with the prank he had pulled on
"He wanted to do it because he would be paid
a premium for going to a trouble spot." Luna frowned. "He says that
trouble always has a greater payoff than the easy way."
That sounded reasonable enough.
"Well, that's –"
"I wouldn't mind that he's doing these things except I can't go with him."
Ginny could sympathize with that.
"He's going to Atlantis next," Luna continued. "And I don't know if the tides are going to coincide with my crevice year."
"What do the tides have to do with anything?"
travels with the ocean currents," Luna answered. "The Muggles call it
'Lost Atlantis,' but they don't realize it moves on its own."
Ginny hadn't realized that either. There had probably been an entire
chapter devoted to it in History of Magic, but most of that information
was as lost as Atlantis for her.
"So where is Atlantis now?"
Indian Ocean," Luna said. "If it was the Pacific, then I could meet up
with Theodore. Daddy and I are going to Hawaii this summer to kick off
my crevice year."
"What exactly are you going to do with your crev – I mean, your gap year?"
sending me on several expeditions for the paper," Luna said. "I'm
supposed to do write-ups on my travels." She sighed. "I don't want to."
know," Luna interrupted, unhooking the tiara from her ear. "Not very
many witches have an opportunity to write for an important newspaper."
Ginny wasn't so sure how important The Quibbler
was in the big scheme of things, but it was important to Luna's father
and that was probably the real reason Luna was going along with the
plan. "So…how does your dad like Theodore?"
hesitated. "He likes him." She toyed with the tiara in her lap. "Daddy
visited him seven times on the Isle of Drear, you know. Theodore says
he would have died of loneliness if Daddy hadn't kept showing up."
Ginny smiled at Luna's bent head.
"I think Theodore was being sarcastic," Luna said, looking up.
Ginny giggled. "Probably."
Luna sighed. "Daddy doesn't want to give me up and Theodore doesn't want to take me on."
"What do you want in all of this?" Ginny asked.
"I just want to go with Theodore," Luna said simply. "I could shear a Demiguise if I had a chance to learn."
"I'm sure you could," Ginny murmured, thanking her lucky stars her parents hadn't put up a fuss about Harry.
"You like Theodore," Luna asked, "don't you?"
"I – I don't really know him," Ginny equivocated, "but Harry liked him when he helped with that Horcrux on the Isle of Drear."
really was clever to recognize how the venom from a Quintaped would
destroy Helga Hufflepuff's cup," Luna said proudly. "The Hufflepuffs
are all about getting along in peace and the Quintapeds are
Transfigured wizards who could never get along."
"Is that what happened?" Ginny asked.
"Harry didn't tell you?"
"That was during our crevice year," Ginny answered dryly.
sighed. "You're right, Ginny. A lot of people have to go through
separations. I'm feeling a little sorry for myself today and I
shouldn't. At least Theodore didn't go off and forget about me."
"No." Ginny smiled at Luna fondly. "He couldn't forget about you."
Luna smiled back and then looked at the crown in her hands. "Are you wearing this at your wedding?"
Ginny snorted. "Not on your life."
Luna cocked her head. "No, you're not a tiara kind of a person."
"And it weighs a ton."
"I'll send you a garland of flowers from Hawaii," Luna declared. "By express owl."
can't be at the wedding?" It didn't seem possible that Luna would be
absent – she had just always been there through so many times – good
and bad – in Ginny's life.
"I'm glad you want me there," Luna
said with tears in her eyes. "When Daddy planned this trip I had no
idea…. And we have to go then because of the Perseid meteor showers and
the volcano that's supposed to erupt."
"I understand," Ginny assured her, even though she felt as bad as Luna looked. "Maybe you could visit us in New Zealand?"
Luna perked up at this. "Would you really want me to?"
"Yes." Ginny nodded. "And Harry would, too." She was proud to extend an invitation that didn't involve the Burrow or her mother.
"Thank you," Luna said gravely. "I will write to you once the virgin-throwing ceremony is finished at the volcano."
"What?" Ginny gasped.
what we're supposed to see." Luna shrugged. "I think it's a bit
backwards, but Daddy thinks his readers would love to know about the
"What happens to the witches once they're thrown into the volcano?"
"They fish them out after three days and then they are eligible to marry," Luna answered.
Ginny's eyes widened. "They spend three days in a volcano?"
an ordeal to allow the family to let go of their daughter," Luna
explained. Then her face lit up with excitement. "Maybe Daddy is going
to throw me in the volcano!"
"Luna." Ginny laughed helplessly. "Your dad is not going to throw you in a volcano."
"No." Luna sighed. "He's going make me report the news."
feel bad about the volcano," Ginny said, trying to be serious again. "I
reckon those virgins don't get to choose their husbands."
not sure if they do or not." Luna's eyes widened. "That's a good point.
I think you'd make a better reporter than me, Ginny."
I'm going to do search and rescue with Harry," she said proudly. "We're
finally going to be doing the same thing at the same time." Then she
frowned as she thought of a new worry. "But Harry has to learn to swim.
That's one of the requirements."
"Theodore can swim like a frog."
thought Luna must mean swim like a fish, but she let it go. "Well,
Harry is going to have to swim like something before they'll let him in
the program." She briefly shut her eyes against the image of Harry
sullenly sitting around a dingy flat waiting for her to come home from
an exciting day of search and rescue.
"He will," Luna said serenely. She stood up and stretched. "I should see if my things have returned."
I thought Theodore had put a stop to that with your roommates. And
Miranda Smith is Head Girl this year – she shouldn't let that go on."
I don't think it was my roommates," Luna said. "I was preoccupied when
I was revising for NEWTs and trying to decide what I wanted to do this
summer." She shrugged. "Retrieving all of my things is just unfinished
business from the term."
"It's never been finished with them, has it?" Ginny said sympathetically.
"It will be when we leave tomorrow," Luna said. "Although it hasn't ended the way I wanted it to."
Ginny didn't know what to say to this. Luna didn't deserve such horrible roommates.
the Leaving Feast, one of Luna's horrible roommates, Miranda Smith,
made a bee-line straight from the Ravenclaw table to Ginny. "Um." Her
pale cheeks had ruddy patches and she wrung her hands uneasily. "I just
wanted to say that I'm sorry it was my broom that hit you."
was still feeling sentimental and proud that Gryffindor had won the
House Cup, even though they had lost the Quidditch Cup, so she was able
to answer easily. "It was an accident."
"Yes, well…." Miranda
looked at the Enchanted Ceiling, where the washed-out rain clouds were
now stained pink from the setting sun. "My falling off the broom was an
accident, but I sort of aimed it upwards at the last minute." Her small
blue eyes finally latched on to Ginny's face.
was angry," Miranda continued in a rush. "And I really thought you
would see the broom coming and you would dodge it and that would
disrupt your Porskoff Ploy."
"Oh." Ginny couldn't think of
anything else to say. She had had enemies before, but Miranda had never
been an enemy except for…Quidditch.
"And now you've lost the baby." Miranda's voice trembled.
"You...." Miranda looked hopeful. "You weren't pregnant like the gossip columns reported?"
"I was not!"
"Oh." Miranda smoothed her robes. "But –" She bit her lip. "Can you have children now?"
I can have children now!" Ginny had the belated thought that she
probably shouldn't have said that so loudly, since several people were
obviously straining to hear their conversation. "I'm fine," she said
shortly. "Forget about it."
She gathered her ribbons and good-bye scrolls and all of her other mementos from the last night at Hogwarts.
should have known," Miranda said flatly. "Ginny Weasley's charmed life
continues. You came out of a Quidditch accident smelling like roses and
I was suspended from my Head Girl duties."
Ginny hadn't known
Miranda was in trouble. McGonagall had probably noticed Miranda's broom
had gone haywire and had investigated. Served her right. "I wasn't
lying in a bed of roses at St. Mungo's," she retorted.
Miranda crossed her arms and tossed her hair. "You will be from now on. I've read all of the flattering publicity articles in The Daily Prophet. You'll soon have a rich husband and the world at your feet."
Jealous. This wasn't about Quidditch. Miranda was just jealous.
think it will last, Weasley." Miranda said as she turned to leave. "You
think you're happy now, but the good times won't last. They never do."
It felt like a curse.
Luna was at her elbow. "Don't listen to her, Ginny."
Ginny fought the cold wave of fear turning in her stomach. Was it
possible to be too happy? Then she shook her head against such morbid
thoughts. "No, I won't listen to her."
easily ignored Miranda's warnings for future unhappiness once she
returned to The Burrow and plunged into wedding preparations the very
"I put extra jam on your toast," Mum said as she
set a plate of eggs and bacon in front of Ginny. "You're still a little
thin for my liking."
Ginny ignored that comment and dug into
her breakfast. It was a wonderful luxury to eat as slowly as she liked
and without the ever-present worry of exams.
"Now," Mum said,
sitting at the table and opening what looked suspiciously like one of
Hermione's homework planners. "We have a lot of planning to do this
week. I didn't want to bother you while you were revising, so we'll
have to make some quick decisions now."
your robes. It's too late to order anything from the shops, but
Penelope has graciously offered to weave the fabric and my Witches and
Stitches group has offered to sew them."
"Penelope weaves? I thought she worked in Experimental Charms at the Ministry."
does. But weaving is her hobby," Mum answered. "You should see the rug
she made out of one of Percy's old jumpers for their flat."
"Percy has a purple rug in his flat?"
Mum laughed. "It sounds outrageous, but it looks very nice. Penelope has a knack for homemaking."
"Oh." Ginny wondered if she had a knack for homemaking.
Your father and I would like to hire a tent and a caterer but we
weren't sure of the numbers." Mum unrolled a very long scroll of
parchment. "With the Weasleys and the Prewetts and the Order and your
friends and Harry's, we came up with two hundred."
"Two hundred! Mum. I don't know two hundred people!"
hundred know you." Mum shrugged and ran her quill along the list of
names. "And that's not including the Ministry officials who have been
angling to be invited."
"Mum," Ginny said in an urgent voice. "Harry doesn't want – I don't want – two hundred people here."
"Oh, it couldn't be here with that many people. We were thinking –"
wedding has to be here." Ginny put down her fork with a clatter. "This
is Harry's favorite place in the whole world and it's…." She swallowed
and didn't say 'it's my home,' since she now realized it wasn't going
to be her home after August.
"But if you want to be married
here, then we're going to have to cut this list," Mum said, not looking
up from the scroll. "Some of your Weasley cousins are still miffed
about being excluded from Bill and Fleur's wedding."
"I don't care, Mum," Ginny said sharply. "This is about Harry and me and no one else."
that's not true," Mum scolded. "There are many, many people who have
helped us and Harry during the war. It's rather…churlish…of you to turn
your back on them in your happy moment."
"Mum." Ginny snatched
the list out of Mum's hands. "I don't remember cousin Mafalda helping,
since she ended up hiding at home during the war. And Aunt Edith
doesn't even know who I am. She calls me Georgianna every time she sees
"Aunt Edith gets a little confused in large groups," Mum conceded.
Mum. Something small. Just us and Hermione and the people Harry wants."
Ginny could see Mum relenting. "Charlie and Kathleen won't be here for
very long and you want to be able to spend time with them and –" She
thought quickly. "Fleur's baby is due right about then, so you don't
want anything to overtax her."
"And Great-Aunt Muriel isn't
well at all," Mum added slowly. "I didn't want to upset you, Ginny, but
the Healers told us last week that she isn't expected to live out the
"Oh." Ginny hadn't been expecting that.
"And if Muriel died before your wedding, the Weasleys would expect us to put it off."
if off!" She could feel the tears welling in her eyes – whether they
were for herself or Aunt Muriel she really couldn't tell.
"But if you have a small affair, then they really can't object," Mum soothed.
Ginny drew a deep breath of relief. "Oh, good."
"And wearing that tiara will be the perfect tribute," Mum finished triumphantly.
still wants me to wear that stupid tiara," Ginny complained to Harry
three weeks later. As they had done every fine evening since her
return, they were swimming in the deep pool of the River Otter, which
skirted the edge of the Weasley property.
"Isn't that crown some sort of tradition?" Harry asked. His eyes were slightly unfocused since he had his glasses off.
it isn't a tradition. Only Fleur has worn it," Ginny said, floating on
her back. "Mum and Dad eloped and so did Percy and Penelope."
"We could always elope," Harry said hopefully. "That seems as strong a Weasley tradition as that tiara."
should have brought that up earlier," she said, doing a languid
backstroke toward him. "The wedding ball is rolling and there's no
stopping it. Food has been ordered, cloth is being woven, gardens are
being dug." She swam closer to him. "Harry! You're not treading water –
you're standing on the bottom."
He laughed. "I'm tall enough so I don't need to tread water."
supposed to be practicing," she scolded without heat since his
unguarded eyes were sparkling and there were tantalizing drops of water
on his shoulders that looked like they should be licked off. Once she
reached him she wrapped her legs around his waist. In the slight
current he felt solid and steady, his skin smooth and warm under her
"What am I supposed to be practicing again?" he murmured, kissing her open mouth and holding her with his hands on her hips.
water," she finally answered against his forehead as he kissed his way
down her damp neck. "Harry." He had the straps of her bathing costume
down. "Muggles swim in this spot, too, you know."
He stopped kissing her, but he didn't cover her up. Instead, he pressed her into his bare chest. "You started it."
"I know," she said, hooking her arms around his neck. "And there's no finishing – for today at least."
"Tell me about it." He groaned as she shifted her weight. "I've never seen a witch so well-chaperoned."
know. Mum and Dad here. Ron and Fred and George in London." Fred and
George had offered Harry and Ron 'sanctuary' from Bridezilla and her
wedding plans, which Ginny thought was a very unfair characterization.
She only cared about marrying Harry – not impressing all the guests –
so she had to be forceful.
"And don't forget the newspaper
reporters," Harry said. That was another unforeseen difficulty of their
engagement, since they couldn't go for a walk down Diagon Alley or to a
pub for a meal without their picture ending up in the paper the next
day. So far, no reporter had found this place – probably because it was
on the Muggle part of the river.
"No one is here right now," Harry reminded her, running his hand up the side of her ribs to cup the swell of her breast.
looked into her eyes as he brushed his thumb in a rhythmic pattern…over
and over again…. Ripples of sensation flowed through her until she
gasped. "Enough." She clung to him, trying to quell the overwhelming
ache deep inside of her.
As she hugged him, his breath came in
ragged gasps against her neck. Then he grasped her hips in both hands
and pulled her firmly against him. "God, Ginny." She could feel him
tense and then relax. He loosened his grip, but continued to hold her
in the softly flowing water.
It was starting to get dark; the distant trees no longer cast shadows over the water so the river was a uniform silvery gray.
current flowed around them and Ginny finally felt her overheated skin
cool and she too, could relax – a little. She kissed his forehead,
half-pleased, half-jealous he was looking so content. "We should start
walking back. It must be –"
A twig snapped. Ginny saw a cloaked figure running in the distance. "Harry, was that –?"
"A photographer?" he answered grimly. "Yes, it was."
A/N: For Luna and Theodore's story see The Frog Prince of Slytherin at the Quill or Phoenix Song.
My friend Julu is writing Percy and Penelope's story, which I shamelessly stole.