HARRY POTTER CONTINUED
Author's note: I was inspired by J.K. Rowling to write this piece.
Paris“Rise and shine, Hermione. Hurry and get dressed. We’re leaving by portkey. It’s leaving in about twenty minutes.”
“Ron…did you plan…” Hermione gazed up at Ron with tenderness and amazement.
“Well, mum helped me with the portkey and dad located your parents.”
“I love you, Ronald Weasley.” Hermione whispered.
“Love you too.” Ron said gruffly, embarrassed.
Hermione quickly changed Ron led her to the portkey. It was a rusted tin can.
“Are you sure we don’t have to say goodbye…?” Hermione said, looking back at the Burrow.
“Yes, yes perfectly sure.” Ron said, impatient. “Grab hold of it…tight…be careful now…people have lost their grip and have ended up in other places.”
“Ron, dear, this isn’t the first time I’ve used a portkey.”
“Just hold on tight, love.”
They arrived on Le Rue Dejuener. There was slight breeze in the air as they landed in front of a large mansion with a huge courtyard in front. Several nice cards lined the immense driveway. Pink balloons were tied to the front fence.
“This is where they live? All the way here in Paris? A mansion? They never had the money to buy a mansion! And all these cars! I wonder what they’re celebrating…” Hermione said, looking at the balloons.
Ron led a faintly dizzy Hermione up to the front steps. They rang the doorbell and a maid ushered them in without looking twice at them or their normal clothes. People were mingling with dainty champagne glasses in hand. Everyone was dressed in their finery.
Several languages filled the room, from Japanese to Italian. Ron saw large banners hanging on the walls saying HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY HENRIETTA! Ron looked at Hermione to see if she saw. But, she was too busy trying to spot her parents.
Suddenly, Hermione pulled Ron forward. “I see them! I see them!” She pushed people aside and Ron saw a nice middle-aged couple.
In the woman’s arms was a smiling baby wearing pink dress.
Hermione’s smile faltered and tears welled up in her eyes. Then, she noticed the large pink birthday cake and the banners on the walls. The couple’s baby received her parent’s adoring looks. Then, the man looked up and caught sight of Hermione and Ron.
His smile melted and a confused. He was seeing Hermione’s eyes, her hair, her features. Hermione looked exactly like her parents. The woman finally looked up and saw Hermione.
Suddenly the world seemed to go in slow motion. They were running towards her. Hermione running away, dragging Ron with her.
“Hermione?” The woman’s voice rang out. Hermione stopped cold. Slowly she turned around. They smiled at her and reached out their arms. Suddenly a blank look overcame them.
“Hello! How did you find your way in here?” They were smiling politely.
“We…uh…like your house…” Ron said awkwardly.
“Why thank you! We are the Grangers by the way. It’s nice to see that someone here speaks English like we do. We came from London, originally. But, over time we felt like there was no need to stay there anymore. And of course we lost our interest in being dentists. ” The woman laughed lightly.
“Nice to meet you…” Hermione said shakily.
“Now, do you need any assistance home? Shall I call a cab?”
“No thank you, we’ll leave.” Ron said hurriedly.
“Goodbye…” Hermione whispered.
“Good bye, young lady. And treasure that man beside you. I see good things in him.” Mrs. Granger said with a smile.
They left the mansion quietly and quickly. Hermione seemed to be in shock, so Ron kept quiet. Once they were safely down the block, Hermione spoke.
“I can’t believe that they moved and they stopped being dentists…and they have a baby. Henrietta. It starts with an H too. Ron…did you hear them say my name?”
“Yeah. I did. But, then they got this blank look on their faces after remember? The spell you used…”
“I didn’t think that they would never remember me. For some reason, I thought that after Voldemort died, the spell would wear off or something…”
“Well, I guess it didn’t…say Hermione you must be hungry. There’s a restaurant. Let’s eat there.” Ron said happily at the thought of food.
“But we haven’t got any money!”
“I brought some…you know, in case we were hungry.”
“Table for two, please.” Hermione said when they arrived.
“Right this way.” The waitress guided them to a small table next to a window overlooking the Seine River.
“If I wasn’t so sad about my parents…well this would have been the happiest I’ve felt in a long time.”
“Why is that?”
“Because I’m with you here in Paris. You know, I’ve always wanted to visit Paris…Ron! Isn’t that Ginny and Harry over there?”
“Oh, that’s right! They came here for their honeymoon!” Ron exclaimed.
“Oh, look at Harry. He looks so happy…” There was a slightly wistful look on Hermione’s face that made Ron feel a bit overwhelmed.
“We’re happy too, Hermione.” Ron reminded her.
“Yes…but…ah, never mind…” This made Ron remember his promise to propose. Maybe a twilight river cruise down the Seine and then perhaps a stroll along the restaurants and shops…then maybe we could stay in a hotel room and maybe then I could propose. But, didn’t Hermione say that she didn’t want to think about it at all? Would she be mad if I brought it up again? I do not see why she’s so scared…
“Ron? Earth to Ron!” Hermione said shaking his arm. “Let’s go find Harry and Ginny. I think they went over to the Eiffel Tower!” Hermione pulled Ron to his feet and they left the restaurant.
“I see them! Over there!” Hermione was full on running now. “Harry! Ginny!”
The handsome couple turned and saw Hermione and Ron.
“Hermione!” Ginny squealed. They threw their arms around each other and danced around.
Harry saw Ron’s lovesick face and grinned. “Doing good work lately, Ron?”
“Shut up!” Ron laughed. Then, he got serious ad pulled Harry to the side.
“I need some…advice.” Ron started.
“On how to propose, right?”
Ron’s eyes widened. “How did you know? Have you been using Occlumency on my again?”
“Ron. It’s written all over your face. It’s not that hard to find out.”
“Well? Just propose now. What’re waiting for? Hermione will say yes.”
“No. That’s not the problem. It’s just that just a day ago she said she didn’t want to talk about that stuff. She said she wants to just enjoy life or something.”
“Well, then wait until it’s a very romantic time. She won’t say no.”
“You sure about that?”
“Positive. Do it tonight.”
“Ron everyone has been waiting for your wedding. Did you see your mum? Just before Ginny and I left, she said that she hoped there would be another wedding soon! She meant you, of course. Mate, you’ve got to make your move.”
Ron was nodding his head, deep in thought.
“Yeah. You’re right…make…move…”
Hermione and Ginny came back, laughing and whispering. Hermione immediately took hold of Ron’s arm and Ron looked down at their intertwined arms, smiling happily.
“So…Ginny…I think we should go now.” Harry raised his eyebrows at Hermione and Ron.
“Good idea Harry.” Ginny said loudly, laughing. “Bye Ron, bye Hermione!”
“Bye…” Ron mumbled. He was too preoccupied with the faint pink on Hermione’s cheeks to notice that Harry and Ginny were gone. Hermione was tracing her finger along the curve of Ron’s strong jaw line.
“How about a river cruise down the Seine?” Ron said huskily.
Hermione couldn’t break her gaze. “Sure…”
Aboard the small boat, were violinists, a pianist and several elegant bars.
“Wow, Ron, when you said a cruise, I thought you meant one of those tacky tourists boats. I didn’t expect all this…” She gazed in wonder at the finery. “We’re so out of place.” Hermione giggled self-consciously.
“Yeah…well, I sort of made the maitre de let us in without complaint. I’m a wizard, remember?” Ron said sheepishly.
They stood staring at the starlit sky, with Ron’s arm draped over Hermione protectively.
Ron, this is perfect…you’ve done so much for me-”
“Would you like a flute of France’s finest champagne?” a waiter asked, looking at Hermione with interest.
“Yes please.” Hermione took two flutes and handed one to Ron.
“Miss, if you need anything else, please don’t be afraid to ask.” The young waiter winked and then hurried away before Ron could say anything.
“Calm down, Ron. He was only trying to be nice.”
“Nice? He was flirting with you!”
“You know…” Hermione lowered her voice. “He was kind of nice-looking…” Hermione joked.
“You’re kidding, right? He looked like one of Aunt Muriel’s dogs.”
“Don’t be rude!” Hermione swatted his arm.
They both finished their champagnes and set them down on the tray of a waitress.
“I think I’d fancy firewhiskey more than anything right now. Those muggle drinks are hardly anything compared to that.”
“I don’t want my future husband to be an alcoholic!” Hermione turned bright red then clapped a hand over her mouth.
Ron looked at Hermione with interest.
“What did you say, sweet Hermione?”
Hermione blushed again. “Nothing. I didn’t say anything.”
Ron came behind her, wrapped his arms around her waist, and whispered over her shoulder. “Miss Granger, please repeat what you said. I would trade all the firewhiskey in the world to hear that again.”
“No. I won’t say it.” Hermione coughed. “Let’s change the subject.”
“Ooh! There’s some Bateaux wine! My parents let me try it one time! I absolutely loved it! Ron, you should go try it! You would fancy it!” Hermione rushed to the bar and asked for two large glasses of the Bateaux.
Why is Hermione always afraid of that subject? Does she not want to get married? What is she afraid of?
Hermione came back with the wine and handed one to Ron.
Ron checked them in at a small hotel. He had to carry Hermione back, her cheeks rosy red and her words slurred.
“We’re almost there Hermione. Here lemme-” Ron gently set Hermione against the wall as he fumbled with the key. “Difficult muggle contraptions.” Ron mumbled.
He finally got the door open and put Hermione on the bed. He smoothed her hair and tucked her under the covers. Ron got in the bed and sat for a while, staring at Hermione’s peaceful figure. He let his hands wander and they ended up playing with her soft, brown hair.
She’s so beautiful…so lovely…so soft…she’s all mine. Ron felt a burning desire come over him. He loved kissing her, her warm soft lips and long lashes that brushed his cheek. He wanted to hold her and talk with her. He had never felt so happy in his entire life. He wanted to be able to stay with her until they were old. If only she would accept his proposal…
When the first rays of sunlight pierced through the curtains, Hermione woke up with a very bad headache. She ran to the bathroom, hoping she didn’t look as bad as she felt. Her eyes had faint shadows under them and her hair was tousled. Quickly she conjured a comb and a toothbrush.
She looked at herself. Hermione…just accept. You know that he’s been trying extremely hard to propose. Get off your high horse and just say yes. Think of the happiness…the joy…but her parents had never wanted her to marry so young. Long ago when she was about eight years old, they told her to never marry under the age of twenty-six. She happily agreed and she tried to stick to it. But Ron…
She made a final decision and went back to the bed. Ron had gotten up probably a long time ago. He wasn’t in the room. Hermione jumped back into bed and waited.
A few minutes later, Ron came back with a tray of steaming breakfast. Her stomach growled and Hermione was filled with adoration for someone so thoughtful.
“You got breakfast!”
“I knew you’d be hungry.”
“Ron you are simply amazing.”
After the try was cleared and take away, Ron started to speak nervously.
“Hermione…I was just wondering…do you like children?”
“Children? Why of course like children! They are perfectly charming.” Hermione knew exactly where this conversation was going.
“Well…I’ve been wanting to ask you…” Ron sighed. “Never mind.”
Hermione frowned. I have been waiting for this moment for so long and now he says never mind?
“I heard you talking in your sleep last night…and you said quite a lot.”
Hermione tried to think about what she dreamt about last night. Oh no…oh no…
Hermione had dreamed about children, Ron, and her parents. Of course the combination of all three of them was probably a disaster.
“So your parents don’t want you married until twenty-six?” Ron asked. Hermione noticed that his arms were crossed. Usually he was holding her or touching her hair.
“They did say that when I was eight…” Hermione stated hesitantly.
“And are you going to follow it?” Ron as staring at her intently.
“Um, that’s a very difficult question. I don’t think-”
“So that’s why you’ve been so…so distant on that subject. Every time I bring it up, you quickly change the subject. I know you want to, Hermione, because when you talk in your sleep you’re very truthful.” Ron uncrossed his arms and caressed Hermione’s bare arm.
“What have I been saying?” Hermione asked.
“Well something about two people named Rose and Hugo…? And you were saying something about me being…erm, adoringly beautiful.” He grinned and Hermione looked a little pink in the face.
“So,” Ron swallowed noisily. “Will you wait till you’re twenty six?”
There was a silence. Hermione took and breathe.
“Ron, honestly, I don’t think I can wait that long.” Hermione whispered and Ron opened his arms wide, letting Hermione settle between them.
“I don’t have the ring yet…but I will soon...”
“Ron, you should know by now that I’m not the kind of girl that cares only about the ring and not about the proposer.” Hermione smiled.
“I know you aren’t.” Ron brought his hand to her cheek and left it there for a few moments. They stared into each other’s eyes and shared a special moment.
“Oh Ron…” Hermione’s voice rang with adoration and true love.
The rest of the afternoon was spent at little boutiques and small cafes. Hand in hand, they strolled across bridges and enjoyed the warmth of the afternoon.
“I can’t imagine not being with you, Hermione. I still remember our first year when I told Harry I didn’t want you in any of my classes.”
“You said that?”
“Well…” Ron began defensively. “You were a bit pratty. A know-it-all.”
“What about now?”
“Still a know-it-all but not a prat. More of a gorgeous woman now.”
“Oh, Ron, stop it.” Hermione said, running into a small shop.
“What? I’m serious!” Ron cried, following her.
Finally night overcame the city of Paris and twinkling stars appeared again in the sky.
Ron, you’ve got to do this now.
Hermione and Ron were sitting on a bench in a small park. They were talking about random things like what they would name their children if they had any, Dumbledore, and Harry and Ginny. Ron confessed that he missed Lupin and Tonks a lot. Hermione missed Fred.
Once they came to break in the conversation, Ron stood up. He took Hermione’s hand and helped her up. He then slowly got down on one knee, his eyes shining bright.
“Will you, Miss Hermione Granger take my hand in marriage?” Hermione’s eyes widened in surprise. Clearly she had not expected it to be this very night.
By then, a small crowd had gathered to witness the event.
“Say yes! Say yes! Say yes!” The crowd chanted in French.
Hermione stopped ad stared. Her eyes widened, then narrowed. She seemed to be lost in thought. Then she lowered her eyes.
“Ron…” Her voice was uncertain, almost hesitant. “I wasn’t expecting…”
“Just say yes.” Ron suggested.
“The truth is…I don’t know. I’m sorry. I need to moment to think…” Hermione turned away and Ron’s smile faltered. The crowd chanted louder, clearly wanting Hermione to say yes.
“WAIT! BE QUIET FOR A MOMENT!” Hermione yelled to the crowd. Immediately, it fell silent, though they did not leave. A tear slowly slid down her cheek. She wiped it away hastily.
Hermione seemed torn. “My parents…my parents…their dying wish…” Hermione mumbled to herself. “Ron…”
Hermione seemed to lose control. Fresh tears spilled over her eyelids and Ron looked bewildered.
Someone in the crowd whispered in a French accent, “I think she doesn’t want to marry you.” Ron turned around and glared at the man with the red beret hat that spoke.
“Would you mind shutting up?” Ron said loudly, his eyes dark. The man lifted his hands as if in guiltiness ad slowly backed away.
Hermione opened and closed her mouth, not able to speak. Her eyes were wild and lost.
Ron huffed a little impatiently. Any day now…any day now…
Finally with tears glistening in her eyes, Hermione turned around and nodded. She couldn’t speak. The crowd cheered and whistled. Ron smiled broadly and waved his wand and a small velvet box appeared in his palm. He gingerly took out a glittering silver ring with a single, delicate diamond resting on top. Ron had put enchantments on it so that it would never dull and get lost.
Slowly but surely, Ron slid the ring over Hermione’s finger. She held it up the moonlight and it sparkled like morning dew.
Ron got up and Hermione kissed him with all the enthusiasm she could muster. Ron kissed her back with passion. So much passion that Hermione was lifted off her feet.