Answers to the questions yet unanswered. Wrapped and delivered.
Harry sat up in bed and looked around, clothing, sheets, shoes and at least one lamp littered the floor. All of the pictures on the wall behind the bed were slightly askew. He charmed his morning stubble away and freshened his breath before giving Hermione a light peck on the lips.
"Sweetheart?" he asked
"What was that spell you used last night?"
"Oh, just a little charm to protect our Emma Ginevra in case we wanted to get a little, ah, vigorous last night, remember?"
"Memo to me, move the bed away from the wall. This place looks like an earthquake hit it."
Hermione stretched her body alongside Harry's. "We did move the bed away from the wall, but you, you randy bastard, pounded it back!"
He smiled at the memory, "I don't recall hearing any complaints at the time."
"Hmmmm, and you won't either. Do we need to be up or do we have time for another?"
"Gods, woman, I am not a machine!"
"Could have fooled me, Mister Locomotive."
Laughing, they fell comfortably into each other's arms.
They kissed deeply, soulfully, completely. Hermione felt Harry's arousal and smiled.
Which made them laugh even more.
After an hour of serious 'laughing', two very sated mages sighed into each other's arms.
"Time to go to work." Harry groused.
"Do you want me to come with you?"
"No, sweetheart, it's okay. I'll give you a full report when I come home tonight."
"You'd better. I'd best be getting back to my own office before Elaine, my office manager, completely takes over."
They kissed and dressed and floo-called Andromeda Tonks. Ten-year-old Teddy answered, "Uncle Harry! Auntie Hermione! Are you coming over? Grandmum's making lotsa lunch!"
Harry looked at Hermione who shrugged, "Why not?"
"We'll be right through, squirt!"
The unofficial couple stepped through the fireplace to a chorus of "Daddy, Mummy!" From the three Granger-Weasley-Potters.
"You gotta see what Teddy can do! Show em' Teddy, show em'!"
Teddy smiled as all his hair seemed to disappear into his head leaving him bald except for a single, long ponytail that erupted from his crown.
Andromeda groaned, "It's my fault, I said something about the Krishnas and their unique hair styles and Teddy thought it sounded 'wicked'."
"I'm sure we could find some orange robes around here somewhere." Harry said, with a grin.
"Uh! No orange, never again orange! "Hermione groused.
"Lunch everyone!" Andromeda called.
Sandwiches, milk and fruit juices were laid out on a sideboard. Everyone filled their plates and brought them to the dining table.
Jimmy sat by Teddy, whom he idolized, and Rosie was in her 'limpet' mode with Harry.
"Sweetheart, you can't eat if you don't let go of Daddy." Hermione chided.
Rose, firmly ensconced in Harry's lap, leaned forward and took a bite out of his sandwich as he held it still for her, then smiled triumphantly at her mother.
The meal and the company were excellent. Hermione couldn't remember having eaten as much recently.
"Thank you for looking after our brood, Andie."
"Anytime, Harry. You know that. Teddy? Be a dear and show your cousins the new tadpoles, won't you?"
Children and water, what a combination. Four screaming sprogs ran to out the back door.
Andromeda looked troubled, "Harry, Hermione. I got a summons from the Department of Magical Family Services today; apparently I have to testify in a custody hearing."
"Anyone we know?" Hermione asked.
Andromeda nodded, "Yes, dear. You."
She handed Harry the document.
To determine whether the interests of Rose Lydia Weasley and Baby Weasley, yet to be named, would be best served in the custody of their biological mother, a first generation witch.
Brought before the Wizengamot on this day by Percival Ignatius Weasley, tenth-generation pureblood, petitioner.
Court date to be determined.
R.F. Magisterial Court Ministry of Magic.
Harry and Hermione shared a look, and an understanding.
"Thank you, Andie," Hermione said, reassuringly, "I expected this. I know my summons will come on the day of the hearing, and in such a way that I will likely be late for the proceedings. It's a common practice, one designed to keep 'the mudblood' off balance."
"Daddy, Jimmy pushed me!"
Harry sighed, "Ten, nine, eight, seven, six..."
Both boys instantly stopped shouting and joined their father as he counted down.
"...Five, four, three, two, one."
"Now, Albus, what happened?"
"I was bent over, y'know, leaning into the frog pond and Jimmy tickled me an I fell over inna water!"
"Jimmy, what happened?"
"I'm talkin' to Teddy, and Albie falls into the pond and I laughed is all, I promise."
All heads turned to Rose, who looked red faced, about to burst, either in laughter or tears.
She nervously extended her finger and said, "Tickle, tickle, tickle!"
Teddy jerked, holding his side, laughing uncontrollably.
Albus immediately forgot his mad and said, "You can do that? Cool!"
When Rose understood she wasn't in trouble she laughed along with the boys and proudly showed off her newfound talent.
Hermione tried hard not to laugh as she performed the drying charm on Albie's wet clothing and shoes.
"Accidental magic?" Andromeda asked, amazed.
Harry shook his head, "No, controlled, wandless magic. A little something her muggle-born mother taught her."
The three adults exchanged farewell hugs as Harry and Hermione went to their respective offices.
Harry entered the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and Upton was there, as if by magic, pad in hand.
"What did Farkas tell us?"
"I'm not sure Nicholas Farkas is even in there, sir."
Harry looked sideways at the Detective, "Explain."
"Multiple Personality Disorder, sir. Apparently, he's been plugged into the brains for so long that he's become a flesh and blood cog, only without the tentacle, ribbony, things."
"Any dominant personalities?" Harry asked.
Upton shook his head, "No, apparently they all take turns."
They turned the corner to the interview rooms and Harry followed Upton into one of the more comfortable sitting areas.
"Mr. Farkas?" Harry asked.
"No, Tucker, me mates call me tuck, have you seen my dog?"
"Can you describe him?"
"She's a Corgi; all body an no legs to speak of, answers to the name 'Chippie'."
"Don't you like her?"
"She's me best mate, she loves the chips though. We dives the skips an Chippie kin tell when there's chips innem."
Upton assured the old man, "We'll be on the lookout for Chippie, Tuck, don't you worry."
"Who's Tuck? Please, can you tell my husband that I'm here? My name is Wendy, Wendy Moore. I've been waiting ever so long..."
Somewhere, hidden deep within the host - the part of Nicholas Farkas's brain that had been his consciousness - Sasha Karkaroff seethed.
There has to be a way, I know I can beat back all these others, 'eba! Most of these schmatka don't have any magic! My will is stronger - I will be the one in control!
Karkaroff sneered at the insignificant, weak wizard he'd possessed for more than a dozen years.
"Weasley, why aren't you in the queue? Don't you want our precious Hermy to know you're in here?"
Ron shook his head, "No, that wouldn't serve any purpose, I'm dead. Let the dead stay dead."
"So what will you do for the rest of our host's life?"
Ron smiled a most unpleasant smile. "You tortured me for years, worse; you made Hermione's life a living hell."
The Bulgarian shrugged, as if to say, "So?"
Ron pulled his wand from within his auror's robes, "Did you know a memory can cause pain? It can you know, but something just as important, a memory can feel pain."
Karkaroff's eyes grew wide as saucers, "No!"
"Payback time, Sasha, crucio!"
Ron kept Karkaroff under the pain curse until the Bulgarian puppet-master was reduced to a state of catatonia, where he would remain for the rest of the host's life.
Ron left the glassy-eyed, drooling husk curled in a fetal ball on the cold stone floor. He walked until he found a quiet corner, fashioned a chessboard and offered the rest of the multiple personalities within their host a pleasant way to pass the time.
The interview went on for nearly an hour, with no one personality coming to the fore.
As the two aurors left the interview room Harry said, "St. Mungo's, long term care I guess."
Upton nodded, then frowned. "Tucker's body was found in a skip in Chelsea, I have a friend, a constable who works near there."
Harry grinned, "Upton, is there a department anywhere in Britain that you don't have an 'in' with?"
"Well, lets see, there's the Prime Minister's Office, no, I know his OM. Wait, there's... No, my brother's wife works there, ah, I suppose not, sir."
Harry had a thought, "What about the Department of Magical Family Services?"
"I know two of the legal aids in that office, why?"
"One of the Weasley's is trying to take custody of Hermione's daughters."
"I'll get right on it, sir."
"No, Upton, this is personal, I can't authorize the use of department resources for personal reasons."
Detective Stebbins grinned and said, "I think I'll take lunch with two of my mates from DoMFS, I'll be off the clock. That okay with you, sir?"
Harry chuckled and shook his head, "I'm not gonna win this one, am I?"
"No sir, don't even try."
"Very well, find out what kind of case Percy Weasley is preparing against Hermione, and let us know when she's going to be summoned to testify, alright?"
With a nod Upton was gone.
Harry went to his desk and picked up the telephone receiver, the DMLE had recently been switch-boarded with the city telephone service. In just a few short weeks everyone in the Minstry had learned not to say "Fellytones."
"Switchboard, London Animal Care Centre, please."
Harry hated attending Geezergamot sessions, but as head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black, he was compelled to attend one meeting per quarter.
'Lord Black', a title bequeathed him by his godfather, and one that Harry would be happy to pass on to his godson, as Teddy Lupin was Orion Black's great-grandson and a pureblood wizard. Harry was literally counting the days until Teddy attained his majority, in seven years.
However, for this meeting, the current Lord Black actually had something to say.
"Do the Lords of the Ancient and Noble Houses have any new business?"
Every head snapped to Harry as he, for the first time ever, stood in his box.
The chief Mugwump managed to stutter out, "The Wizengamot recognizes Lord Black."
"May it please the Geez, um, Wizengamot, I have an honorarium."
"You have the floor Lord Black."
"For the record, madam recorder?"
The recorder nodded her assent.
"Many of you here are familiar with the threat posed by the Cognivores kept, until recently, by the Department of Mysteries. The Cognivores were the end products of horrific experiments performed by a convicted war criminal at the behest of the Dark Lord Gellert Grindelwald. The cogs themselves posed a grave threat to the safety and security of the wizarding world at large. Indeed, if the mind behind the cogs had succeeded, we could very well have seen the next dark lord rising up in our very midsts.
"The threat was quelled by a handful of Aurors from the DMLE, but none of them would have ever survived the ordeal if it hadn't been for a clever, intuitive British citizen, Paul Kemp."
"Paul Kemp was a computer networking engineer, and it was his knowledge of networks that made it possible for us to fight and defeat the threat of the Cognivores."
"For his cool application of skills no wizard yet possesses, I nominate Paul Kemp for the Order of Merlin, posthumously."
The chief Mugwump asked, "Then, Mister Kemp is no longer with us?"
"No, milord, he died fighting the Cognivores."
"Lord Black, it is unprecedented to give a non-magical citizen of Britain the highest honor this august body can award."
"Respectfully, milord, we're not giving Paul anything, he's earned his Order of Merlin."
The inevitable debate and vote ensued, in the end, Paul would not receive Magical Britain's highest honor, but would have his name incised and gilded on the honor wall along with the names of all the magical citizens who had given their lives in defense of the wizarding world - Paul would be the first ever muggle so honored.
Harry smiled; he'd known if he had simply asked for Paul's name to be added to the Wall of Remembrance, his request would have been summarily dismissed, but, by asking for the highest honor the Geezergamot would eventually agree to a lesser one.
God and Goddess he hated politics.
His signaling mirror buzzed within his robes, rather than answer the device in the Wizengamot chambers Harry left his box heading for the nearest exit as soon as the Grand Mugwump gaveled the regular session to conclude, and the judiciary session to commence.
He was almost to the door when he heard the head of the judiciary.
"Has the mother been notified?" Lewis Hunter, the Chief Magistrate of the Wizengamot asked the Petitioner's table.
Harry turned to see Percy Weasley, grinning like a loon, sitting next to Lakshmi Hitesh, the Deputy Director of the Department of Magical Family Services.
Harry groaned inwardly and tapped the protean coin linked to Hermione's, their pre-arraigned signal that the farce they'd been expecting was about to begin.
"Apparently, milord, she doesn't respect this court or your authority."
"That's a bit harsh, don't you think, Perce?"
Every head turned to see Auror Lieutenant Harry James Potter, in full dress robes, the Order of Merlin, First Class gleaming from its place of prominence on his sash.
Hermione Jane Granger-Weasley strode in, her Ministry robes billowing behind her, also emblazoned with the Order of Merlin.
"Milord, I must ask why my summons was not delivered until after this session of the Wizengamot Judiciary was convened. Is this a common practice for the Wizengamot, or has the Department of Magical Family Services simply chosen to ignore procedure?"
Percy stood, "May it please the court, milord, I do apologize to this august body for the unfortunate timing of the Department's summons."
Harry smiled at Percy, "I notice you did not apologize to your sister-in-law."
Percy sat down, frowning.
"Then as the head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black I move for an official reprimand to be placed in the files of Percival Weasley and Deputy..."
Lakshmi Hitesh jumped to her feet, "On behalf of the Department of Magical Family Services, I offer Mrs. Weasley our most humble and official apologies for our lack of foresight and preparation, of course the summons should have been delivered more than twenty-four hours ago."
Deputy Director Hitesh glared at Weasley for what was surely part of his campaign to discredit a decorated war hero.
"I am Hermione Granger-Weasley, Miss Hitesh, to truncate my name shows a lack of respect for my family and heritage, but I will let it pass this time."
The magistrate sighed and directed his attention to the petitioner's table, "Present your argument, Junior Undersecretary Weasley."
Percy stood so quickly the table moved.
"Milord, it is our contention that Mrs. Granger-Weasley is unfit for the role of chief caregiver, responsible for nurturing two full-blood magical children. Further this witch has proven herself to be of questionable moral character."
Magistrate Hunter furrowed his brows and said, "These are serious accusations, Mr. Junior Undersecretary. Are you prepared to provide this magisterial body with proof of your accusations?"
Percy looked smug, "I am, milord."
"Milord," Harry said, in his best command voice, "in accordance with the laws set down in 1066, by the common calendar, I propose this matter be settled on the field of honor."
"Trial by combat?" the Chief Magistrate balked, "That hasn't been done for over four-hundred years."
"Nevertheless, the law is still in full force, is it not, milord?"
"And would you be Mrs. Granger-Weasley's champion?"
"I would if she would allow it, milord, but she insists, as the accused, she must defend herself."
"That's preposterous, Potter, I can't fight a pregnant woman!"
Chief Magistrate Hunter struck his gavel twice, "You will direct all comments to this bench, Junior Undersecretary Weasley, or I will find you in contempt."
Percy paled and bowed his head, "My apologies, milord, but I was provoked."
"If you are so easily provoked, Mr. Weasley, then I suggest you let your legal council speak for you."
Hermione stood, her pregnancy obvious for everyone in the court to see, "Milord, Lieutenant Potter was illustrating that the arcane laws that allow for trial by combat are, in fact, the same laws that Percy Weasley is using to contest custody of my children. My children, milord, one I've given birth to, and another who will be with us soon."
"Not too soon, I hope, Mrs. Granger-Weasley."
Hermione shrugged, "In my experience, babies come when they are ready, milord."
"Then let us move along with alacrity."
Percy raised his voice, "Milord, I call Amber Coulter to the witness box!"
Harry and Hermione were both surprised to see the tanned blonde concierge from the Hawaiian Village Hilton take the stand.
"Miss Coulter, did you or did you not check Mr. Potter and Mrs. Granger-Weasley into your hotel approximately four months ago?"
"Thank you, Miss Coulter, and under what name did they register?"
"And what was the length of their co-habitation?"
"Objection!" Harry yelled.
"Objection!" Hermione yelled simultaneously.
"I object! And I'm the witness here!"Amber said, angrily.
"Your honor, I've been magically summoned from my home in Honolulu - that's a ten hour time difference. My body is telling me that it's two in the morning. Now I'm being brow-beaten by apompous ass who is trying to put words into my mouth. May I give my statement and then go home? I'm very tired, your honor."
"On behalf of my countryman, Iapologize, Miss Coulter. Of course you may offer a statement, as a matter of fact, the Junior Undersecretary knows that the summons was unnecessary and should know that any and all expenses incurred by you on this trip are his financial responsibility. All you were required to do was to provide a written statement."
"Thank you, your honor."
"Just for your information, Miss Coulter, I'm a lord."
"No, that would be a knight; I'm a lord, in this setting I'm addressed as Lord Hunter, or simply, milord."
"I'm very tired my lord, may I give my statement?"
"I see thousands of guests, mundane as well as magical, every year. So it's ludicrous for anyone to expect me to remember two specific guests from four months ago."
"But I remember this couple. How could I not. You get pretty good at reading people in my business. This was a young couple battling grief; one or both of them had lost someone, a spouse, a parent or a child. I don't know, I didn't ask. But I know this, they came to Oahu to heal and before they left, I think the process had started. Yes, I helped them check in, to two separate rooms. To say they were cohabitating is insulting and demeaning. I'm not familiar with your laws, but in the States that would be grounds for a libel suit."
"Do you have any questions for the witness, Mrs. Granger-Weasley?"
"You are excused, Miss Coulter, with this magistrates thanks. Have a nice meal before you leave, send the bill to Junior Undersecretary Weasley. If you have the steak at the Ritz, I would suggest the Penfold's Grange Ninety-seven."
"Thank you, your hon - I mean, my lord. I don't eat meat, but I do like a nice glass of Shiraz, they have Penfold's Grange at the Ritz, did you say? I'll be sure to order a bottle."
The magistrate smiled, "See that you do, and if you can wait half an hour I'll be happy to share a glass with you."
"It'll be my treat, my lord."
"No, it will be Mr. Weasley's treat."
Both wine aficionados smiled, a Penfold's Grange Ninty-seven runs about two hundred British Pounds per bottle.
"Mr. Weasley, if the rest of your evidence is as shaky as this, then I suggest you drop this farce immediately. It's already cost you more than you realize, and I don't mean galleons. Your political capital, hard earned in the war against Tom Riddle is nearly spent."
Lakshmi Hitesh sank low in her seat, desperately trying to not be seen with Percy Weasley.
"M-my-milord, I have statements, affidavits, witnesses who have seen her in public displays of affection with him! And where are her widow's weeds? She's not even wearing black! And she has a job; she's working when she should be at home taking care of the children!"
"STOP RIGHT THERE PERCIVAL!"
The entire Wizengamot turned to see a beet-faced Arthur Weasley.
Magistrate Hunter was going to need that drink, "Senior Undersecretary Weasley, approach the bench."
Arthur Weasley strode to the bench.
"Milord, as Percival's head of house I require, no, I demand that he cease and desist."
"You are in contempt Mr. Junior Undersecretary."
At those words Percy was silenced, unable to utter a sound - if he'd so much as tried to clap his hands to get someone's attention it would have made no noise.
"Go on Arthur."
"Milord, Lef' tenant Potter has declared his intention to marry my daughter in law, and adopt my grandchildren - in due consideration for the three outstanding life debts the Weasley family owes him. He's allowing us the courtesy of waiting out the normal period of mourning, one year and one day. This morning, speaking as Hermione's magical heads of house my wife and I have accepted."
"Mrs. Granger-Weasley, Mister Potter, please approach the bench."
They did so and Magistrate Hunter said, "I've heard enough, more than enough. Weasley Minor, I don't know what you were trying to accomplish here but all you've done is embarrass yourself and your family. You've effectively, publicly, pissed away any future you might have had in the political arena. If I were you, I'd get out of politics and find something you're good at."
Percy, his face as red as his hair, nodded.
"Mr. Potter, Mrs. Granger-Weasley, I understand congratulations are in order. You know, in times of war, the traditional mourning period is suspended."
"We know that, milord," Hermione said, "but we're not currently at war."
"Come, come, surely there's a war going on somewhere."
Harry and Hermione looked at Arthur, who shrugged, "Milord, I have no objection."
Harry said, "Wait, milord, I want this, more than you can possibly know. However, I also want us to have a proper wedding, you know, flowers, music, family and friends all round."
"Ahem! May I approach the bench your lord, my lord, oh lord, you know what I mean."
Magistrate Hunter chuckled, and gestured Amber Coulter forward.
"It just so happens, my lord, that I am also a wedding planner, and I know for a fact that these two rate a first class Hawaiian wedding. They made quite an impression when they visited Oahu."
The magistrate smiled, "How about this, I'll pronounce you man and wife, today, and then leave you to the tender mercies of Miss Coulter who will give you a proper ceremony at your convenience."
Lifting his head from the small crowd forming at his bench the magistrate asked, "I don't suppose anyone here has a standard forms form? The one that can be charmed to become any document we might need?"
A tall, thin woman strode down the aisle pulling a rolled piece of parchment from her bag, held in place by a wedding band.
Percy gulped; it was his long-suffering fiance, Penelope Clearwater.
She slipped the ring off the parchment and handed it to Harry, then gave the blank form to the magistrate; then curtsied and asked, "By your leave, milord?"
Puzzled, Louis Hunter nodded.
Penelope slapped Percy hard enough to spin him around.
"This tears it you stuck-up piece of shite. I don't know what I ever thought I saw in you in the first place."
Penelope faced the bench again, curtsied again and left.
"Um, well, ah, Harry, will you take Hermione to be your lawful wedded wife?"
"Of course I will."
"Hermione will you take Harry?"
"I will, and gladly."
"Harry, you seem to have a wedding ring in your hand, please place it on the bride's finger."
Harry smiled and placed the simple gold band on the third finger of Hermione's left hand.
Magistrate Hunter grew serious, his expression grave, "It seems that I must, yet again, pronounce sentence. And for these two wonderful people, I'm afraid it's a life sentence."
Harry smiled and stroked Hermione's cheek with the back of his hand, "Do your duty, milord. I'm sure it's no less than what we deserve."
Louis Hunter smiled, "Then, by the power vested in me by the Ministry of Magic and Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, I pronounce you, husband and wife. Mr. Potter, you may kiss Mrs. Potter .. . often!"
They laughed, they kissed, and the whole chamber rose to their feet in thunderous applause, reporters ran to file their copy and the Wizengamot adjourned.
Harry and Hermione Potter stood before the crude headstones at Shell Cottage. Two-month-old Emma Ginevra Potter writhed, insisting that it was mealtime.
Harry summoned a bottle from the ubiquitous 'baby-kit' and reached for his daughter.
"You spoil her you know."
"Emmy Gee is not spoiled." Harry insisted, placing the nipple in her mouth, "she's cherished."
"I just pity the boy who tries to date her."
"Hey, she can date, just as soon as she turns, um, thirty . . . something."
They looked down at the well kept graves.
The grass had grown over the turned earth and small wildflowers were blooming.
"It took me a while but I finally sussed it out."
"What's that, Harry?"
"Why Kreacher did it."
Hermione hugged Harry's arm closer to her, "Why?"
"Because, in his eyes, he'd failed once too often. He failed to protect his beloved master, Regulus, and, just when he was getting over that loss, he failed to protect Ginny, whom he had come to love almost as much. After that he just went through the motions until it ate him up so much that the only way for him to find peace was to perform the beheading ritual.
"It probably never bothered him that he'd killed Ron."
"What?" Hermione asked, aghast.
"Ron was killed with a banishing spell, Ginny didn't do it, it would have shown up on a priori incantatum. You didn't do it, your wand was locked away upstairs. I should have recognized an elfin banishing spell, after all, I'd seen Lucius Malfoy knocked arse over tea kettle by one back in Ninety-two. Kreacher must have come through just as Ron, or rather Karkaroff, killed Ginny. He couldn't protect her, but he could, and did avenge her."
Harry, still holding his daughter, placed a single yellow rose on each of the graves, "I hope he's at peace, wherever he is. I hope they both are."
"Uncle Harry, Auntie Hermione!" Teddy walked up the path from the village leading a squat, short legged dog on aleash. Chippie, the Welsh corgi, had found a home at last. Harry had inquired after a lost Corgi in Chelsea that answered to the name "Chippie" and sure enough, she was there.
Now she and Teddy were inseparable.
"So I'm walking down the footpath, y'know, in front of the beach comber's shop and there's all these girls just tearing through the t-shirts and flip-flops and Chippie decides to run into the street. Well, I lost the leash for just a second and I call out, "Oi!Chippie!" and this whole mob of girls give me a look like I insulted em' or sumthin'. Innit weird?"
It was a small wedding, the wedding party and two dozen guests. The guests sat in white chairs, facing the altar and the participants. Molly was seated next to Helen Granger on the Bride's side. Charley was on the Groom's side with Agusta Longbottom, Hagrid, Olympe Maxime and the Delacours along with a select few Hogwarts alumni.
The only one not yet in place was the bride.
Harry stood in the natural cove formed by the curve of Waikiki Beach and the base of Diamond Head.
To his left stood his best man, Neville Longbottom. The groomsmen were Upton Stebbins, George and Bill Weasley. Teddy Lupin completed the line as junior groomsman. The groom and groomsmen all wore traditional Hawaiian shirts; Harry's was emerald with subtle white flowers stitched in a seemingly random pattern. The groomsmen wore similar shirts, but without the fine embroidery. All the men wore white linen trousers and white canvas shoes.
Luna Lovegood Longbottom stood matron of honor, to her right were Fleur Weasley, Gabriel Delacour, and Lavender Brown. Victoire, the junior bridesmaid, split her attention equally between Harry and his godson. The bride's matrons and maids wore traditional, thin strapped Lei of Aloha long dresses that matched the groomsmen's shirts.
Rose, just so doggone cute in her Muumuu, tossed rose petals on the path that Hermione would take to join Harry at the altar.
All the guests stood as Jake Shimabukuro, Ukulele virtuoso, played the traditional processional. Arthur Weasley and Franklin Granger led Hermione to stand beside Harry. Hermione's wedding dress was a Hawaiian Holoku, the pattern and color of which matched Harry's shirt perfectly.
Priestess Lanikai and Kahuna Kaleo smiled broadly at their hoahanau, their cousins.
The event was a mix of traditional Hawaiian and British customs. Those few who attended all agreed it was the most beautiful ceremony they'd ever experienced.
At the close of the ritual, Lanikai, streaming joyful tears said, "We have had a very special honor here today to witness your love's sacred breath, your aloha. You have exchanged Leis, vows, and rings. Now it my privilege, as one who has been authorized to do so by the State of Hawaii, to pronounce you Husband and Wife. Ho'o-na-ni ka Ma-kua mau? Would you like to seal your vows with a kiss?"
Harry and Hermione nodded.
"You may now kiss the bride!"
Louis Hunter cried out, "Often!"
Harry and Hermione ignored the heckler and kissed deeply, lovingly, completely, to applause, cheers and catcalls.
The reception was a luau that none of the guests were likely to forget and when it came time to toss the bouquet Lavender, Gabrielle and Victoire stood in the front of the scrum, a predatory gleam in each eye.
Hermione tossed the bouquet and you would have thought it was March Madness. The flowers bounced off three sets of straining fingertips, not once, not twice, but three times. On the third attempt Lavender, Gabrielle and Victoire bumped bonces and sat hard upon the(thankfully) forgiving sand.
The errant flowers landed in Rosie's outstretched arms.
"Mummy, does this mean I gotta get married next?"
Rose looked at the battling bridesmaids and carried the bouquet to Lavender.
"Here," she said, "You was closest."
Lav pulled Rosie into a tight hug.
Harry went after the garter next, making a show of, "Just how high is this thing anyway?"
Harry snapped the garter high into the air and the bachelor with the longest reach snagged it on the way down.
"Well done, George, you get to dance with Lavender now."
"Oh, well, mate, no worries there. Miss Brown, may I have the pleasure of this dance?"
Lavender curtsied and took the proffered hand.
"Yeah, Uncle Harry?"
"Don't ignore your date."
Teddy looked panicked, "I got a date?"
Harry nodded solemnly, "Yeah, with Victoire."
Teddy leaned in and whispered, "But, Uncle Harry, she's like, eight."
"She's nine, and you're ten, and believe me when I say one year's difference won't matter at all when you're in your upper forms at Hogwarts. Suck it up kid, and go take that hill!"
Teddy took a deep breath and walked over to where Victoire sat, looking a bit dejected.
"Pardon, Mademoiselle, Danse, s'il vous plait?"
You could have burst every light in Honolulu with the power behind Victoire's smile. And, being both the cause and the recipient of that brilliance, Teddy was hooked, but good. He would never recover from that smile, indeed he would never want to.
Harry and Hermione greeted all the guests and thanked them for coming. The only gift they would accept from their friends, family and co-workers was their presence and their good wishes for a happy future.
The four Granger-Weasley-Potter children were delegated to Auntie Andie and Auntie Fleur's tender care.
Then Harry and Hermione embraced, kissed, and disappeared as the portkey in the bride's lei carried them to their honeymoon cottage and the next chapter of their lives.
A/N: First and foremost, please remember Battered hearts is GuitarGurl's story; I was just the guy who finished telling it. There's a great line from an episode of Firefly, "If you can't run, you walk, if you can't walk, you crawl, and if you can't crawl, well, you get someone to carry you home."
It was my pleasure to carry this story home.
Hope you enjoyed it.
I did script an entire Hawaiian wedding, it took hours to write but, in the end, beautiful as it was, it didn't move the story along. So, just this once, I didn't make my readers suffer for my research. . .
Special thanks to all who read and reviewed, your reviews often help shape the story and this one was no exception.
I love you all, truly.
Brightest Blessings all; Merry Part.