As Harry sat there, waiting for the fireworks, Ron paced around the garden bench, scarcely pausing for breath. “Can’t believe you’re sitting there like it’s just another bloody Saturday, like we’re waiting for the Quidditch match to come on the wireless. This is a huge change!”
“Of course it is.” Harry looked up at his friend, who had pulled and poked at his dress robes until they were rumpled and askew. “Come on, Ron: you and Hermione got on well enough.”
Ron stopped in his steady transit around the bench long enough to snort. “Like that one gave anyone a blood choice. She had everything timed and tied up in bloody bows before we had anything to do with it.”
Looking down so that Ron wouldn’t see him smile, Harry shrugged. “There you are. It’s not like there’s anything to worry about.”
Ron’s long feet, clad in shoes that shone like black flame, crunched to a halt directly in front of Harry. “Not anything to...? Are you off your bloody nut? This is a wedding! Of course there’s stuff to bloody worry about!”
Before Harry could answer him, another, lighter set of footsteps announced a new arrival behind Harry. Luna had entered their tiny nook in the garden, and Harry’s heart suddenly filled: she looked spectacular, her dress robes flowing, her hair done up in an elaborate style what appeared to show scenes from the Battle of Hogwarts. “Luna.” He reached out his hand.
She took it in hers. “Hullo, Harry. Ron. I hope that you don’t think that it’s bad luck that I see you before the wedding, Harry.”
Ron coughed. “Bad...?”
“Er, no, Luna, no,” said Harry, “I’m sure it will be fine.”
“How nice.” She smiled broadly. “It is terribly pleasant that we’ll be married.”
“Er, yeah.” Harry glanced at Ron, whose face was darkening. “So, is everything ready?”
“Hmm?” Luna cocked her head.
As Ron let out a grunt of strangled exasperation, Harry pressed on. “The guests. Minister Guy?”
“Oh!” Luna said, her face brightening in recognition. “Yes, that’s why I’ve come. Ginny told me to tell you that Lily is waiting for you at the garden entrance. She really does look quite lovely. I think Lysander may faint when you bring her down the aisle.”
Ron snorted again. “If he does, he wouldn’t be the first. This git here nearly keeled over when he and Ginny tied the knot.”
Letting go of Harry’s hand, Luna threaded her silk-clad arm through Ron’s. “I really am glad that our families are getting married, Ron. My family has always been so small, you see. I’ve always wanted to be a part of yours.”
“Luna,” said Harry, standing and taking Luna’s other arm, “you’ve always been part of our family. Now, let’s go and get our kids hitched.”
Standing at the back of the Rose Garden while young Fred and Choi’s daughter Mary scattered flower petals, Harry stared at his daughter’s face. It was set in the same fierce mask of determination that he remembered from her childhood—from Ginny’s childhood: fine chin out, mouth small, brows bowed. “You don’t have to go through with this if you’re feeling nervous,” he said, his own stomach suddenly exploding as it had used to before Quidditch matches or his early Auror missions. “You don’t have to do this if you aren’t ready.”
Lily’s brilliant blue eyes flashed wide, and then she smiled. “You just try to stop me.”
“I know better than that.” He kissed her cheek, and then lowered her veil. “Come on. Let’s go.”
As they strode down toward where Lysander—who really did look as if he might fall over at any moment—was waiting with Lorcan, James and Al by the minister near the fountain at the top of the garden, Harry felt the pyrotechnics in his middle spread through his body. Rolf, his face buried in Luna’s neck. All of their children. All of their friends. Scorpius, his face wet and transported in an expression of wonder that made him look more like a Lovegood than a Malfoy. All of those red heads—so many now. And there, weeping combustibly in the front row: Ginny. Ginny.
Harry and Lily reached the front. Lysander was still upright. Releasing his daughter into her new husband’s care, Harry stepped back toward his own wife, and let the flame consume him.
After the ceremony the two families—now one; married, as Luna had said—gathered above the fountain.
The newlyweds knelt on a mat and, with silver trowels that were a lot nicer than the ones Harry remembered from Professor Sprout’s lessons, planted the spectacular lily that Neville had bred for them—each petal flashed sparks of red and purple that seemed to explode, fade and rise again. As the last bit of dirt was pressed down, the minister waved her wand, and the bronze plaque appeared: With these flowers (lilium ‘fireworks’), in this place, on this day, 19 June, 2029, Lysander Xenophilius Scamander was wed to Lily Luna Potter
The crowd burst into applause. As the families—family—began to press around the couple, Harry pulled his own wife just to the side. She kissed him soundly on the cheek and whispered, “We did it.”
He smiled, his vision still sparkling. “Not much for us to do.”
She squeezed his hand. “Having her. Raising her.”
“Ah.” He looked down at the plaque at his feet: With this plant (ginevralongbottomii), in this place, on this day, 1 June, 2029, Harry James Potter re-pled his troth to Ginevra Molly Weasley Potter. “So... that’s it? We’re done?”
Grinning, she kissed him again—on the lips, this time. “Well, we could always start over again, you know.”
He grinned in spite of himself.
“And then,” she went on, her gaze softening, “there’s always grandchildren.”
“Merlin.” Harry suddenly wasn’t sure that he was ready for all of this. For any of it.
“Come on, Harry. Enjoy it. This is what we fought for. What they all fought for.”
Simultaneous sensations of weight and weightlessness swirled through him. He looked up. There was Teddy, hair a bright turquoise, holding a squealing Lily in the air, while her brothers and Lorcan took turns pounding the grinning groom on the back. George was laughing, talking with an absolutely unstrung Rolf Scamander, while Angie hugged Fred and Choi and little Mary. Rose and her husband. Weasleys and Potters and Scamanders and Malfoys and...
Luna, her black robes resplendent—for all that they looked as if they’d be more appropriate for a funeral than a wedding—was wandering down the rows of flowers, talking to them—to Harry’s ancestors. Welcoming them into her family, perhaps.
“Yeah,” he said, and kissed her back. This is what we fought for. This is what life is. “Come on. We don’t want to miss all the fireworks.”