Part Seven

They looked very nice, she decided, situated as they were with the four other trophies and all the assorted pictures, awards and memorabilia that they had accumulated over their respective careers. His, being several years longer than hers, added more to the display, but she didn’t particularly care, though she did take a small amount of pleasure in the fact that while she had a MVP rookie award and a League title to show for her first year with the Dragons, Draco didn’t have any actual awards from his freshman year.

Even considering his late start and her mere three years as a professional player, it was still an impressive collection of accolades including three consecutive sets of American League Championships, two second place titles and one third place trophy for his years leading up to the final three. The shelves also held four MVP awards, one for her rookie year, one for his third year, when he had been appointed lead Chaser, and one set for their second year playing together when the Dragons’ Chaser line had earned League wide recognition.

In addition, there were also several framed articles written about their team in the national and international press, and even a couple about their personal achievements in statewide magazines and papers. Amongst all these were scattered pictures of the Dragons, in and out of uniform, on and off the pitch, in practice, and at games. All in all, the five-tiered glass display shelf chronicled the years since they had met, so far from their old lives in England. To Ginny, however, it also held their future in the prominently placed photo of her and Draco leaping from their brooms and into each other’s arms the night of their third League victory, only two weeks before.

Her ring wasn’t visible in the picture, but she knew all too well that that was also the night Draco had asked her to become his wife. She could still remember that night. They had all been so excited over the victory, their third in a row, and had partied hard into the late evening hours. After the team party, though, she and her teammate, friend, and fiancÚ, had held their own celebration over a bottle of Golden Fleece champagne. It had been a great night, though it hadn’t exactly made the next morning all that productive.

After a hearty dose of hangover potion, courtesy of Draco’s account at Virgilen’s apothecary, however, they had easily gotten down to the business of post-season meetings and planning. They had spent hours planning the various events necessary for the so-called joyous occasion. Neither was all that sure joyous was the right word. Sure they were looking forward to the big day, they wanted to get married, they just weren’t all that fond of the things that seemed to lead up to it.

First there had been the surprise party that their teammates had thrown for them that had been a little more than they needed. Then there had been all the fuss involved in moving her belongings into his larger flat and canceling her lease. Next, they’d had to figure out how to schedule the wedding, reception, and honeymoon around the next year’s pre-season practices and training. Even with the surprising cooperation of the team’s owner and management, all the details of the ceremony had been overwhelming. Not to mention the craziness that had ensued in the local press and media following the wedding announcement.

That last had led to the current predicament that left her staring at their Quidditch shelves and contemplating their past, present, and future and telling herself that no matter what happened, it was all worth it. She was happy, and would continue to be so regardless of the content of the owl they were waiting to arrive any day now. Despite her sincerity, she almost wished that the issue had never been brought to her attention in the first place.

It was all because of that reporter, she was sure. If it hadn’t been for his article on the upcoming nuptials of two of America’s biggest Quidditch stars, she wouldn’t have been asked the question, never would have had to come up with an answer.

“And the wedding, were will it be?”

“On the Dragons’ pitch outside Death Drop, actually,” she and Draco had told him.

The reporter had raised an eyebrow at that new detail and continued. “Plenty of room there. Will there be many guests?”

Draco had shaken his head. “Not particularly. It’s mostly going to be close friends; the team and a few others. We want to keep it as simple as possible.” He’d refrained from mentioning the spells that would be cast on the area to keep out any unwanted guests, or media. The reporter had, no doubt, already been well aware of the fact that only a single, prearranged photographer would be allowed inside the ceremony.

“Just friends? What about family? Surely your families will be coming over from England to attend the celebrations?”

The man had been practically salivating at the possibility of finally getting some details on the past of the stars. Both of them had always been insistent about only discussing Quidditch related topics in interviews and had never discussed their experiences with the Dark War, despite the public’s interest in the topic.

Having bowed to popular demand and held this interview, however, they had already broken that unwritten rule and the reporter had obviously hoped that meant more details than normal would be given, considering the topic. He’d been right, as the blonde had tightened his hand the slightest bit around his fiancÚ’s and parted with more personal information on his past than he ever had before. After all, Ginny had told him he’d been taken off the wanted lists in England, and it was highly unlikely anyone back there would read California Quidditch Weekly.

“My family died in the War.”

The man’s eyes had dilated, probably picturing his by-line above that morsel of information. Although technically, that much had already been known, it was a first to get it directly from the source. But that hadn’t satisfied him as he’d turned to the redhead and posed the inquiry that had started it all.

“And your family, Miss Weasley? Will they be coming?”

She’d frozen in that moment, having never actually thought about it. She didn’t know, even now, how she had never considered whether or not what was left of her family would come. There were so many reasons why they wouldn’t. First there was the fact that she’d had no contact whatsoever with any of them since she’d left England almost five years before, and then there was the question of whether any of them would want to. Not only had they been in no state to do so the last time she had seen them, but she was also marrying someone they might still see as a Death Eating Slytherin despite Harry’s removal of his name from the lists.

As a result, she’d had no idea what to tell the reporter, and would have probably stuttered embarrassingly had Draco not jumped in and smoothly declared that they hadn’t as yet worked out all the details of the international guest list. With that, the elder Chaser had led the conversation back to more mundane topics for several minutes and then insisted they had a previous engagement they simply couldn’t miss.

She’d held together admirably through the tail end of the interview, answering questions on color schemes and flower arrangements without any noticeable oddities in her voice or manner. When they had returned to their flat, it had been a different story. She’d been an absolute wreck for days as they’d come to the decision to issue formal invitations through the post. Draco had been fantastically supportive through it all, even after he’d seen Harry and Hermione’s names on two of the envelopes.

Now they were just waiting for any possible response to their owls. It was nerve wracking for both of them, and the anxiety often left the redhead with a need of introspection and the reassurance that she had done the right thing in leaving back then, and in initiating contact now. The pictures, memorabilia, and awards sitting in front of her did just that as they reminded her of all the things she had done and accomplished over the last several years, all the happiness she had found that she may never have known if she hadn’t left the war and loss behind her.

Those thoughts were interrupted before they could go too far in the wrong direction, the feel of lips on her throat and his arms wrapping around her from behind pulling her from her contemplations.

“Hello beautiful.”

The guarded look in his grey eyes as she turned to kiss him told her all she needed to know. “They’ve responded?”

He hugged her tighter, resting his chin on her shoulder. “Yeah. They’re on the table.”

She took a deep breath, part of her wanting to simply run away and hide until after the ceremony. She hadn’t been placed in Gryffindor for nothing, though, so she squared her shoulders, grasped Draco’s hand, and marched into their small kitchen. Her face remained blank as he watched her open the first of the letters, making his hands itch to take them all from her and spare his fiancÚ the pain if her family had refused the invitations.

Before he gave in and did exactly that, she looked up with a damp smile as she went from one letter to the next. “They’re coming.”

End Part Seven
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