Return to Me (Chapter 13: Wedding Preparations)

“Harry?” Hermione asked, setting down one of many bridal magazines she had been perusing over the two weeks that had passed since they had become re engaged.

“Hmm?” Harry said, setting down the file he had been looking over. He had been given a job at the Ministry, an Auror like position. Even though Voldemort was now dead, there were still dark wizards abound, and Harry was determined to catch them, so that no one would ever have to go through something like he and Hermione had.

“Well, you know how last time we got married, we had that tiny wedding, with only my parents, Sirius, and Ron and Lavender?” Harry nodded. “I was thinking this time, we could have a bigger wedding, not something huge, but definitely more elaborate.” Hermione looked at him tentatively.

Harry chuckled and set his file aside. “Anything you want, love, anything at all.” He said, moving over next to her and wrapping his arms around her. She sighed and melted against him, there was nothing more she loved than being in his arms. He kissed the side of her temple, and she turned to meet his lips with hers.

“You know, there is something we haven’t discussed yet.” Harry said. “Where do you want to go for a honeymoon?”

“We don’t really need to go anywhere.” Hermione said.

“Oh yes we do.” Harry said. “I want to be totally and completely alone with you, with no interruptions of any sort. He began to press his lips softly to the side of her neck, and she lolled her head back, enjoying it.

“What did you have in mind?” Hermione asked, her eyes closed.

“A tiny medieval village called Eze, in Monaco.” Harry said, still nudging her with his lips. “It’s built right into the mountains, I hear it’s amazing.”

“I’ve heard of that place.” Hermione said. “Always wanted to go there.”

“Don’t know how much sightseeing we’ll do.” Harry said. He pulled back and looked at her suggestively and she burst out laughing.

“You are hopeless, you know that right?” she said.

“Only around you.” Harry replied. “Have you found a new dress?”

“I was thinking I’d wear my old one, since Ron has a ton of our things stored at the Burrow.” Hermione said.

“No.” Harry said. “I want everything to be new, nothing old.”

Hermione looked like she was going to argue for a moment, then shrugged and smiled sweetly. “Okay, then I get to send you the bill right?”

Harry laughed loudly and pulled her over so she was snuggled down in his arms. He summoned his files over and began working again, Hermione flipped through her magazines once more. Lately, since Harry had taken up working at the Ministry and Hermione worked mornings still at Flourish and Blotts, the evenings were spent together on the couch, just enjoying each other’s presence.

Hermione turned a page of the magazine and came upon a picture of a young bride, with her new husband, and her parents standing in the background. She bit her lip hard as tears swam in her eyes at the happy sight.

“Mione?” Harry heard her sniff and looked over at her. “What’s wrong?”

Hermione shook her head, “I just wish my parents could see us get married again. I miss them a lot, it was hard to remember them being dead.”

Harry hugged her tightly to him and let her cry for a moment. “I know it’s hard, I do.” He said. Hermione’s parents had died just a few short months before Caitlyn had been born, in a horrific car crash. He particularly remembered it because it had nearly caused Hermione to miscarry, which would have been another tragic loss. “Mione, I know how it feels to lose your parents.”

“I know you do.” Hermione pulled away from his embrace and looked straight at him. “I’m tough though, you know that.” She smiled at him through her tears.

“Yes you are.” Harry said, leaning forward and kissing her lightly. “There’s no one I admire more than you, Hermione.” He brought her against him again, hugging her tightly.


“I don’t’ know what kind of dress I want.” Hermione said, flipping through a rack of them at Madam Malkin’s Bridal Shoppe. Grace and Lavender moved beside her, studying the rejected gowns.

“What exactly are you looking for, Hermione?” Lavender asked.

“Something completely different than before.” Hermione replied, tossing aside another dress.

“What was your dress like?” Grace asked.

“Totally simple.” Lavender answered. “Too plain.”

“It was not!” Hermione answered, glaring at Lavender.

“Yes it was!” Lavender insisted. Grace looked between the two and started laughing.

“What did it look like?” Grace asked.

“It was beautiful, off white…” Hermione started to answer when Lavender interrupted.

“It was nice, a very off white color, especially since she wasn’t a virgin when they got married…” Lavender gave a sideways glance at Hermione, who was beginning to fume. “No lace, frills, or anything.”

Grace was now staring at Hermione in horror. “Are you serious?”

Hermione stamped her foot. “Honestly, are you two going to help me pick out a dress or rag on me for my old one?” she tossed her hair and flounced to another rack of gowns.

“Ohhh Herm, we’re sorry.” Lavender said, coming up behind Hermione and hugging her. “I just want to help you make this wedding spectacular.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “Then be nice. Or neither of you will be bridesmaids.”

“Have you decided which of us will be your maid of honor?” Grace asked, sidling up to Hermione and casting a conspiratorial wink at Lavender.

“Yes.” Hermione answered smugly.

“WHO?” they both crowed at once.

“Both of you.” She stated. “As if I could decide between you two.”

“Really?” Lavender asked.

“Really really.” Hermione answered. “Honestly, Grace, you’ve taken care of me for nine years, and Lav, you were my best friend before that. So you’re both like my maids of honor.” Hermione paused. “Do you think it’s right to make Caitlyn a junior bridesmaid?”

“Of course it is!” Lavender answered. Grace nodded as well.

“Really?” Hermione asked.

“Yup.” Lavender pushed aside a pile of dresses. “So that means, we need to find four nice dresses that fit Grace, Ginny and I, and one for Caitlyn.”

“And first and foremost, one for you!” Grace interrupted. “What exactly are you looking for?”

Hermione sighed. “Something nice, but not too fancy, perhaps with lace and beads….” She trailed off as her eyes spied something. “Something like this…”

“Ohhh!” Grace and Lavender both sighed as Hermione pulled the dress off the rack. “Go put that on right now!” Grace said, as Lavender spun Hermione around by the shoulders towards the dressing rooms.

Once inside, Hermione quickly stripped herself of her clothing and carefully pulled on the delicate dress. She looked at herself in the mirror.

“Gorgeous, my dear!” the mirror trilled and Hermione smiled widely.

“Thank you.” She said as she stepped out of the dressing room.

“That’s the dress.” Lavender said immediately. Grace nodded her agreement.

“You think so?” Hermione asked. “I like it a lot.”

“If you don’t get it, I’m going to beat some sense into you.” Grace replied.

Hermione laughed. “Well I guess that settles it then.”

Madam Malkin glided over. “Beautiful, my dear, just lovely.” She said. “I don’t’ think we even need to take it in anywhere, it’s like it was made for you.”

Hermione nodded. “I’ll take it.” she said.

Fifteen minutes later, Madam Malkin had the dressed wrapped securely in a box, and Lavender offered to take it home with her.

“You don’t want to take it back to your place, Harry shouldn’t see it till you’re walking down the aisle.” She said.

Hermione agreed, and they left the shop to have a bite to eat. Hopping over to The Leaky Cauldron, they took a table outside, determined to enjoy the sunny day.

Grace leaned back in her chair, letting the sun warm her face. She lifted her hand to push back her hair, and a ring on her left hand glinted in the sun.

Hermione laughed. “I still cannot believe you and Justin Finch Fletchley got married.”

“Oh my God, me either.” Lavender said. “I mean, talk about getting someone to settle down!”

“Hey!” Grace said in defense. “It was on a whim, and I happen to actually enjoy being married.”

“That I can’t believe either.” Hermione snorted and took a sip of her drink. “You, married. That’s something I never thought I’d see.”

Lavender laughed. “Justin, I remember him telling Ron just last month about how nice it was to be a bachelor….”

Grace scowled at both of them. “Hey! Justin happens to be a perfect husband!”

“Awww Grace, I’m sorry.” Hermione said, grinning at her. “It’s just my turn to give you a hard time about something.”

“Har de har har….” Grace said. “That’s so funny I forgot to laugh.” She smirked at Hermione. “Speaking of hard, I could say something about you and Harry right now…”

“Grace!!” Hermione shouted. Lavender stifled her giggles behind her hand as their food arrived, preventing any future retaliation by either party. Hermione grinned good-naturedly at Grace as they all dug into their lunches.

“You know,” Lavender said after a few moments. “I guess this squelches all those rumors that Justin is gay.”

Hermione dropped her fork and doubled over in laughter. “Lavender!”

Grace glared at them both. “I don’t find this funny, that you guys thought he was gay. He is NOT gay!” she got up and threw her napkin down. “I’m going to the bathroom.” She marched off in a huff.

Hermione looked after Grace’s retreating figure. “Wow I think she’s actually mad.” She looked over at Lavender. “I think we’d better lay off.”

“Okay.” Lavender agreed. She had only met Grace a few days before; she certainly didn’t want the woman to hate her. At that moment, her Wizarding Wireless phone rang. “Hello?” Hermione looked at her curiously. “Hi! We’re sitting at the Leaky Cauldron, come on over, we’re going to be picking out dresses so we need you here anyways. Okay, see you in a bit.” She hung it up and looked back at Hermione. “Ginny’s meeting us here in a few minutes.”

“Oh great.” Hermione said as Grace came back from the bathroom. “Grace are you all right?”

“I’m fine.” Grace said simply, picking her fork back up.

“We’re sorry.” Hermione said. Lavender nodded.

“We won’t make fun of Justin anymore.”

“Thanks,” Grace said and her lips twitched. “I guess it is sort of funny though.” All three of them were still laughing again as Ginny joined them a few minutes later.

“What did I miss?” she asked, slipping into a chair and setting her bag down.

“Oh nothing.” Lavender said quickly, not wanting to start everything back up again. “We were just finishing lunch, and we’ll go pick out the dresses we need.”

“Sounds good.” Ginny said. She looked over at Hermione. “Herm, when is the date again?”

“Next month.” Hermione answered. “Why?”

Ginny couldn’t help the smile that crossed her face. “Well…” she began. “I’ve been feeling really sick a lot so I went to the doctor, and it turns out I’m two months pregnant!”

“OH M GOD!” Lavender was the first to scream. “I’m going to be an aunt again!”

“Ginny, that’s fantastic.” Hermione said, genuinely happy for her.

“Congratulations.” Grace said.

“Well, I don’t want to be your fat bridesmaid.” Ginny said, smirking at Hermione. “So I’m glad you and Harry aren’t waiting too long to get remarried.”

Hermione rolled her eyes. “I’m so sure you could look fat even when you’re pregnant Ginny.” She leaned forward and hugged her. “I’m really happy for you guys.”

“Thanks you guys.” Ginny said, smiling at each one of them in turn. “You should have seen Seamus when the doctor told us, I thought he was going to have a heart attack, he was so excited.”

“That’s so cute.” Lavender said. “You should see him around Blue, he loves kids.”

“I wonder if Harry and I will have any more?” Hermione mused.

“Well, it’s not for lack of trying, eh?” Grace finally spoke up. She gave Hermione a devilish look.

“Oh, just try to win a battle of wits with this one!” Hermione said.

A few moments later, their bill came and they paid, and then went down the street to another dress shop.

“What sort of color are you looking for?” Lavender asked. Hermione looked thoughtful for a moment.

“Well, nothing light colored, since you and Grace and both blond,” she mused. “And nothing too flashy…how about a nice blue color?”

“I like blue.” Grace said. Ginny nodded.

“Blue goes well with my hair color.” She said. Lavender and Grace both nodded.

“Well, I do have one request, then you guys can pick whatever you want.” Hermione said.

“What?” the other three women turned to look at her.

“That you guys pick out something nice, because my daughter,” Hermione said this part proudly, “Has to wear it as well.”

“Of course.” Lavender said. The rest of that afternoon was spent trying on and rejecting literally hundreds of gowns for the three of them, Hermione doing the most objecting to the strapless numbers they kept sneaking in. After that, they had to find shoes, which took another few hours. By that evening, and late evening at that, Hermione was so relieved to leave all three of them behind she could barely wave goodbye as she let herself into the flat.

“Hey!” Harry said brightly as she stepped, rather fell, into their living room. “Have you been shopping all day?” he asked incredulously.

“Yes, we have.” Hermione said tiredly as she flopped down next to him on the couch. He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her close to him, kissing her on the side of the head.

“Guess what?” Harry sounded strangely excited.

“Hmm?” Hermione asked. “What’s got you so worked up this evening?”

“I found our song!” he exclaimed.

Hermione smiled at him. “Did you?” He stood up, pulling her along with him. “What song?”

Harry flipped on the Muggle cd player and the low sounds of a Spanish guitar filled the room.

Hermione’s eyes widened as she recognized the song. “Oh, this is perfect!”

“Really?” Harry seemed happy and relieved she agreed. He gently pulled her into his arms.

“Yes, really.” Hermione answered. She rested her head on Harry’s chest for a moment and let him support her. “I’m so tired.”

“Why don’t you go to bed?” Harry said.

“I think I will.” She said and kissed him. “Will you do me a favor?”

“Sure.” Harry replied.

“Make me some tea and bring it in the bedroom?” she asked.

Harry chuckled. “Of course.” He said, and headed for the kitchen. Hermione went into the bedroom and tossed her shoes in the corner, then fell onto the bed. She was asleep before her head hit the pillow.

Harry carefully carried the steaming mug down the hallway to their bedroom. “Hermione I have your tea.” He stopped as he saw her sleeping form on the bed. Smiling, he set the mug down and cast a charm to keep it warm in case she woke up and wanted it. Harry then gently pulled a blanket up and over her body so she wouldn’t get cold, then kneeled down next to the bed and smoothed her hair back.

“It’s times like this I think I’m the luckiest man in the world.” Harry spoke in a low tone as to not wake her. “There’s no way I’m ever letting anything happen to you again, I love you too much to lose you.” He bent over and kissed her forehead, letting his lips linger on her soft skin for a few moments. “You and Caty are my life, always will be.” He stood back up and went back to the living room to finish his work, and then he’d go to bed himself.

Later that night, Hermione woke up, and tried to stretch, but something was holding her back. Turning her head, she smiled to see Harry lying asleep behind her, and he had spooned her body with his. His arm was hooked across her middle, preventing her from getting up. She looked back on the nightstand and saw the mug of tea he had made for her, and her insides melted when she saw he had cast the warming charm on it. Taking a long sip, she put it back on the nightstand and snuggled back into Harry’s embrace. She pulled the blanket tighter around them and tucked her hand in his.

“I’m so glad you found me Harry…” Hermione spoke softly. She listened to the steady sound of his breathing, and loved him so much in that moment she could hardly bear it. “I’m so happy to be part of something again, having you and Caitlyn is more than I hoped for in these past ten years…” her voice drifted off as she became sleepy again. “I love you…”

The next month and a half passed very quickly for Harry and Hermione. During this time, Harry arranged for their honeymoon in Eze while Hermione took care of many of the preparations. Oliver was nice enough to hold the reception in his club, he even promised to enlarge the space to fit as many people as necessary, and he’d provide the decorations. His DJ also would play the music for them, a good mix of Muggle and Wizard. Harry also took it upon himself to arrange for Caitlyn, Blue, and the rest of the Weasleys at Hogwarts to come home the weekend of the wedding. Hermione met with Grace, Lavender and Ginny often to make any last minute arrangements about the clothing for the wedding. Finally, however, it was the eve before the ceremony.

Harry dropped his workload on the table in the hallway. “Mione?” he called. “Are you home?”

“In the bedroom!” she replied.

“My favorite place to see you in.” Harry quipped, coming into the room and wrapping his arms around her waist. He looked around and saw her packing a bag. “Where are you going?”

“To Ron and Lavender’s.” Hermione replied. “You’re not allowed to see me after midnight, remember?”

“Oh, to hell with tradition.” Harry replied.

Hermione stood up straight and looked him in the eye. “Harry, superstition or not, we don’t need any more bad luck, do we?”

Harry groaned. “I suppose you’re right. But I’m going to be very lonely.”

Hermione smiled at him. “But think, love, tomorrow night, you’ll never be lonely after that.” She raised herself up and kissed him hard on the lips. “That’ll have to last you till you see me walking down the aisle.”

“All right, all right, you’d better go before I tie you up on the bed.” Harry said, grinning.

“Keep that in mind for tomorrow.” Hermione said suggestively, then blew him a kiss and apparated out.

Harry sat down on the bed and looked around the room. He simply could not wait till tomorrow.


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