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How We Happened
Author's note: Obviously, J.K.R's Harry Potter series inspired this fan-fic. I hope that people will just enjoy how I think Ron and Hermione ultimately ended up with one another. I've never had a relationship of my own, so I think I should credit all my favorite authors.
I watched Harry leave the common room with Kreacher and Ginny, up to his dorm to get a sandwich no doubt, when Ron looked at me, “Well, we won’t be seeing them for a while,” he laughed, “I’m going to go see if any of the house elves are willing to make me some cocoa, want to come?”
“Sure, with all the holes blown through, the castle is pretty drafty”
“You’re cold? Here take my cloak.”
I didn’t have much time to protest though, for Ron had the cloak around me within seconds. He also, without trying to hide it, left an arm around my shoulders. Might as well enjoy it while it lasts, I thought sarcastically, and put my arm around his waist. I still wasn’t so sure about getting back together with Ron; I was going to be on several hit lists. I tried to calm my frantically beating heart, for it gets very excited whenever Ron touches me, for a while until he said, “So… have you thought about what you are doing after all this.” Ron waved his hand at the destruction around him, “Surely you have a plan.”
“No actually, I don’t,” I was dumbfounded at my own stupidity, “Gosh, I never really thought about it!”
“You know you’ve always got a bed and meals at my place.”
“I’ve trespassed on your mum’s hospitality far too much Ron.”
“Come on, you’re like a second daughter to my parents!”
“I know, but I should really find my mum and dad.”
“Not quite sure about that Hermione, there are bound to be death eaters looking for revenge”
I contemplated that, and I knew he was right. The death eaters would try to get to me by capturing and torturing my parents, just one way to avenge their fallen master’s death. Ron, seeing that I had nothing to say, smiled and opened the portrait hole into which the kitchens lie. This part of the castle wasn’t damaged and some of the house elves were just starting to make dinner for anyone left at the school. A house elf came scurrying up to Ron and me with a tray bearing two mugs of hot coca. She looked up and I immediately recognized her. “WINKIE!” I exclaimed. She looked up and seemed to recognize me as well. She spoke, “Miss Granger?”
“How are you Winkie, it’s been a while since I’ve seen you,”
“Winkie is doing well ma’am.” Winkie beamed.
Apparently, Winkie hadn’t found out that Dobby had been killed, I glanced at Ron. It looked like he was thinking the same thing, “Hey, Winkie?”
“Do you have any pumpkin scones already made up? They’d go great with this cocoa!”
“They just came out sir; Winkie will get them for you now sir!” She set down the tray and started yelling for the pumpkin scones to be brought to us at once. Ron chuckled. “She does remind me of Dobby in a weird way, do you think we should get Harry to…” Ron glanced didn’t get to finish his sentence, for Kreacher had just burst into the room. “The Weasleys and friends are too meet at Aunt Muriel’s before noon to get things sorted out, and Mistress Weasley would appreciate if Master Ron would go and dethatch Miss Ginny and Master Harry from each other. Ron was roaring with laughter by the time Kreacher was done, and I was giggling into my hand. “Lead the way Kreacher!” exclaimed Ron, “See you at Aunt Muriel’s Hermione!” Ron called over his shoulder. Winkie came tottering up bearing a tray of scones, “Where is Master Ron going miss?”
“Ron is going ahead and tipping off Harry and Ginny that if they aren’t at Aunt Muriel’s by noon Mrs. Weasley is coming in.”
“Winkie thinks that Mistress Weasley isn’t going to like Master Harry and Miss Ginny together?”
“That or she will like it too much.” I laughed, “Well I’m off, thank you Winkie”
“Miss Granger, may I come with you?” Winkie looked at me hopefully. “It would be like Winkie is not even there.”
“Of course! But remember you’re a free elf and you don’t have to stay…”
“Winkie wants’ to serve Miss Granger so Winkie will!”
“If you must Winkie.” I smiled at her, and we walked out of the castle together.
Winkie and I landed in front of Muriel’s front gate. It was a grand house with three stories made of red brick. It had a very large, and completely gnome free, garden. I walked up to the front gate and was about to open it, when an invisible barrier stopped me. I started to puzzle this, when I heard a scream from inside. It took me second to recognize Ginny’s voice,
“BUT YOU’VE MET HER!”
“IT DOSENT MATTER, IF SHE’S A MUDBLOOD SHE’S NOT WELCOME IN MY HOME!” I could only assume that Ron’s Aunt Muriel and Ginny were having a row. A shiver went down my spine; I knew who they were talking about.
“Muriel, calm down and look at reason,” I recognized Bill’s calm and persuading voice, “you met Hermione at my wedding and you… were able to deal with her. So does it make a difference if she’s a muggle born?”
“DON’T TALK BACK TO ME BILL! AS FOR THE MUDBLOOD, AS LONG AS THERE ARE STILL DEATH EATERS RUNNING AMUCK I’M NOT GOING TO HAVE A MUDBLOOD IN MY HOME!”
“DOES IT REALY MATTER-”
I didn’t need to hear anymore, I turned and walked to the end of the path. “Come on Winkie, apparently we aren’t welcome here right now.”
“We aren’t Miss? Winkie thought that Kreacher said that the Weasleys and friends were to meet at Aunt Muriel’s before noon?”
“Yes, but Muriel apparently has a problem with muggle-borns.”
“Then she is not worthy of Miss’s companionship.”
“Don’t take any mind Winkie, we can see if the Leaky Caldron has any rooms and stay there for a while.”
“Miss, should not be reduced to stay at an inn…” Winkie grumbled, but she knew it was a battle lost.
I was tired and didn’t feel like disapparating. So I stuck out my wand hand, and the three decked purple Night Bus appeared in front of me with a loud bang. “Hello miss!” the new conductor was a cheerful man, with an easy, laid back style, “Where to today?”
“The Leaky Caldron please.” I tried to sound somewhat happy, my confusion and disappointment was making my head spin.
“Of course Miss!” he took my hand and led me onto the bus, “I’m Devin, Devin Curry.” He said it like I should already know, and he flashed me a flirtatious smile. I did not like this guy.
“Hermione?” I turned back to look over my shoulder and, my heart skipped a beat. Ron was staring at me, shock very obvious on his face, “Wha-?”
“Come on miss,” said Devin, “sorry, but we run a tight schedule.” Devin seemed to understand that Ron fancied me. He doesn’t!
“Can’t I just-” I tried to ask for a moment to explain, but Devin seemed intent on leaving, and cut me off.
“Oi,” Devin called out to Ron, “if you’re gonna ride it costs a galleon!” He smiled, he obviously thought Ron didn’t have a galleon, and he was right.
“Come on Hermione, if you’re going to lift the charm on your parents it can be done later.” I started to speak but Devin spoke before I could open my mouth.
“The old hag that lives here doesn’t care much for muggle-borns, she’s got charms all over the place! This girl can’t get any closer!” He exclaimed. Ron looked at me quizzically.
“It’s true,” I whispered, Ron’s face crumpled, “I can’t get past the front gate.”
I couldn’t take standing there and looking at his hurt face and not able to do anything. “I’ll send Winkie to explain later.” I told him. I turned around and boarded the bus. It was filled with big purple arm chairs, and books, I sat down in one in the back. “Here we go!” yelled Devin. Over the loud bang, I could just make out someone crying my name. I knew that voice, and hearing the hurt and panic in it. So, I put my face in my hands, and sobbed the whole way to the Leaky Caldron.
Winkie tried to calm me down, but nobody could feel the pain I felt. It was like my very being needed to see Ron at least smile or for him to know that I was so sorry! But I couldn’t go anywhere near Muriel’s, she probably figured out I had been there and had placed protection charms around her home. I could only hope that Ron would understand and that I would never see that look on his face again. If he’d let me see him.
While I was crying, I was able to look at why I didn’t just get off the Night Bus and disapparate with Ron. It would have made sense, and be a lot less dramatic; I guessed that I couldn’t stay out of embarrassment. But, some sixth sense was telling me otherwise. The conductor must have jinxed you the voice told me, I knew with a jolt that was what must’ve happened. My tears slowed minutely. “Does Miss want a cup of tea?” Winkie asked gently.
“No thank you Winkie, I think I’m fine now.”
“Does Miss want to talk?” Winkie asked sheepishly. I was about to refuse, that I would talk to Ginny later, but Ginny was probably yelling at Muriel, the thought triggered more tears.
“Thank you!” I called over the bang of the disappearing night bus. I walked into the Leaky Caldron, planning to walk straight back to Tom the landlord, who was talking with Winkie. But, I was halted at the door by several cheering people. “Look it’s that Granger girl!” someone yelled over all the noise. That only seemed to excite the crowd more.
“Hermione it’s so good to see you again!” Someone grabbed my hand, and spun me around to face him. It was Cormac McLaggen. Before I could reply, Tom burst through the crowd trying to reach me.
“Let go of her son, she looks really tired.” Tom pulled me out of McLaggen’s grip. “You all right there Miss? Could I offer ye a room?”
“If it’s not too much trouble.” I replied. I needed privacy
“Of course not!” Exclaimed Tom, “Yeh were one of the ones traveling with Potter, so I’ll give yeh a discount.”
“Thank you!” I sighed
“Yehr elf has your keys, and she’ll show you up.” He said with a smile.
“This ways miss.” Winkie called trough the crowd. I followed after her, it seemed she had cleared a path for me the whole way and I was only stopped once. “Hermione!” I turned and saw Bill, “What are you doing here?”
“Your aunt refuses to have me.” I sighed
“Does everyone know you’re here? We’ve all spread out looking for you.” he said.
“No the enchantments literally made me leave as soon as possible.” I explained we talked until we got to my room.
“You’re staying here?” he inquired
“For now.” I sighed
“You know what?” Bill seemed to be deep in thought, “I bet Fleur won’t mind if you stay at our place till you get things straightened out.”
“Really?!” I was elated, “Thanks Bill, I owe you.”
“Let me go double check, blimey, she’s goanna be happy! I’m not a very big help right now.”
“You, the laid back awesome Bill, aren’t much of a help? Don’t make me laugh.” Wow Bill must really want to cheer me up.
“No I’m serious!” pleaded Bill, “Fleur is having a baby, and the baby isn’t, well,” He took a big breath, “normal.”
“What do you mean, ‘not normal’?” I asked.
“We think it’s a metamorphagus, but we aren’t sure.” Bill said hesitantly.
“So why does she need girl help?” I was still confused.
“She needs your help.” Bill explained, “I can’t count how many times Fleur has asked for you, she thinks you’ll have some knowledge of situations similar to ours.”
“Ok, I’ll see what I can do.” I said, thankful to be wanted and needed, “but no promises though.”
“Thank you, Hermione! I’ll come pick you up tomorrow!” Bill turned and walked down the hall.
“Bill,” I called after him, “don’t tell anyone that I’m staying with you, please.”
“Sure thing Hermione!” He called over his shoulder, with a curious look on his face. I went into my room to get some gold, then headed to Gringots. I’m gonna need clothes, I thought to myself.
Wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, Bill, Winkie, and I left the Leaky Caldron to go apparate to Bill and Fleur’s cottage. “Go on ahead,” I told Bill, “I want a word with Winkie.” Bill shrugged and disappeared with a small pop. Winkie’s eyes were swimming, “Is Miss going to dismiss Winkie?”
“No I’m not, but I do have orders for you.” I said trying to look stern.
“Winkie’s duty is to follow them.” Winkie had brightened up visibly, but was still wary.
“I want you to follow any orders that Bill and Fleur give you, and when I leave their cottage, I want you to stay there till I call for you. Understand?”
“Winkie understands miss.”
“Oh, and Winkie?” I can’t believe I almost forgot! “Dobby…”
“Winkie knows Miss”
“ Oh, well then, Dobby’s grave is at the cottage, and you can have all the time you want.”
“Thank you Miss.” Winkie’s eyes were swimming again.
“Come on you two!” Bill called
Fleur was waiting at the door, “Hello Hermione!” she greeted me after she kissed Bill on the cheek, “’Ow are you?”
“Fine,” I said, “Thank you both for letting me stay here.”
“Not a problem Hermione.” Bill said rolling his eyes. I heard a small shriek, I looked over and saw that Winkie had discovered Dobby’s grave. I crouched down and put a comforting hand on her head, “Take as long as you need.” I told her. Winkie just nodded and headed towards Dobby’s final resting place. “Well I’ve got to get off to work, I’ll see you both for dinner.”
“Bye Bill!” I yelled
“Goodbye sweetie.” Fleur yelled
“Well,” Fleur turned to look at me, “before we do anything, we ‘ave to get you new clothes!”
The next month passed in a blur, Fleur had her baby and was sent to Saint Mundo’s for testing (she got a new and unknown disease soon after she gave birth), but otherwise life went on…
I was writing a song, a new hobby for me, for Molly. Fleur was right Molly is a morpher, and loved to keep her hair blonde, unintentionally like her mom. Molly is also a natural singer, and can change her voice just as well as her appearance. Already talking and learning how to sing. She scrambled up on my lap now, “Auntie, are you finished yet?”
“Not yet, Molly. But almost.”
“Anyone home?” we heard Bill call out.
“Nope just robbers!” Molly called back. Bill rounded the corner and scooped her off my lap.
“Well then there are some robbers who look a lot like my daughter and one of my best friends!” He kidded, rubbing his nose against Molly ’s. She was furiously giggling and trying to push him off. “Auntie save me!” I’m like a mom to Molly; Fleur caught an unknown disease shortly after childbirth so I raised her as the loving mother she hasn’t met. I pulled her away from Bill and set her on the couch.
“So what do you two want for dinner?” I called, as I walked away.
“Steak!” Bill called; I could hear Molly cheering in the background. Out of all the things she had inherited from Bill, her love for rare meat was one of them.
“And sweet potatoes!” Molly screeched, still being tickled by her father.
“Ok,” I yelled from the kitchen, “I suppose you’ll want ice cream with that?”
My family can be very funny. I whipped up dinner and we set on the table. Because Winkie had just gotten home from visiting Fleur, I was privileged enough to be able to make dinner. I though t to myself, they are the only family I have now.
“Winkie is home!” Winkie called from the door
“WINKIE” Yelled Molly and she raced off to meet Winkie. Molly had always liked Winkie and they were very good friends. Winkie came staggering into the kitchen with Molly on her back, looking like a house elf with blonde hair. I heard a loud knock on the door. Bill and I gave each other a quick glance, nobody knew I was here. “Winkie take Molly, and go to George’s.” I said.
“Yes Miss.” And Winkie disappeared, taking with her my somewhat daughter. Bill and I stood up and I put a delusion charm on myself, crouched, and waited. I had told Bill that no one could know that I was here when I had first gotten to shell cottage.
“Hello? Bill? Fleur?” I relaxed a little, because it was Harry, calling out in a careful voice.
“Hermione?!” A different voice called, I knew that voice; I could hear him walking through the house.
“Ron be quiet, what if they’ve been ambushed?” Harry hissed.
“What do you mean what if we’ve been ambushed? What’s going on?” Bill exclaimed and walked to meet them. Harry pointed his wand at Bill’s chest.
“I’m Bill Weasley,” He began, “I was attacked by Greybek the werewolf in his human state, my wife is Fleur Delacour. And my mother doesn’t like my long hair and often threatens to cut it. I also have a one year old daughter.” Bill said proudly, and Harry lowered his wand.
“Blimey Bill, How’d did you manage to keep the fact that you had a daughter from mum?”The other voice said, thumping Bill on the shoulder. I could see them now, Harry slight and green eyed, with black ruffled hair. And, Merlin’s pants, I thought, I must be dreaming. Because Ron couldn’t be standing there, and his blue eyes could not be scanning the house, and it’s impossible for anyone but Ron to look that good. He hadn’t changed much in a year, he was only a little taller and a little bit more muscular…
“Barely, how ya doing Harry?” Bill asked.
“Ok, but we can’t explain right now, not under this circumstance.” Harry explained shaking Bill’s hand.
“Come on Harry, you can tell him,” The delusion of Ron said, “or has auror training made you extra secretive?”
“Fine then,” Bill said ignoring Ron, “so what are you gits here for then?”
“Have you seen or had anything to do with Hermione?” Harry asked, “no one has seen her since the war.” Was it my imagination or did Ron flinch at my name?
“Let’s go outside and talk. I saw her at the Leaky Caldron the night she disappeared. ” Bill said carefully, as he started to walk towards the door. I cursed him inside my head, why did he have to do this to me?
“You go ahead,” Ron said, “I’m goanna scan the house.”I could swear he was looking right at me. I couldn’t breathe; I had made the mistake of looking at his eyes.
“K Ron.” Harry called over his shoulder. Ron hadn’t stopped looking at me, I didn’t breathe. “Humanoid revelous.” Crap, I felt a glowing sense around my body, and Ron had seen it. “Don’t make me lift the charm myself Fleur.” He warned. I clapped my hand over my mouth to keep form giggling, Fleur! I felt Ron lifting the charm, and I put my hand at my side, “shouldn’t I be trying to stop him?” a voice said in the back of my head. I don’t want to I told it, I’m tired if hiding. He either feels the same or he hates me. When Ron had lifted the charm completely, I kept my head bowed, afraid of what I might see.
He didn’t say anything, but I heard something being dropped, and saw his wand roll away. And he just stood there; I could feel his eyes on me. Come on idiot do something, I thought, so I started to raise my eyes to look at him. He didn’t seem patient enough for my slow speed, so he crouched down and put his hand under my chin so he could pull my face up to meet his. We stood up together, and I was relieved to find that he wasn’t looking away, and blue found brown. I saw what I expected, a clear sky blue, with a ring of navy on the outer rim, and felt my bones turning into sponge. But, I was confused to see what else I saw in them, shock, triumph, and something else I couldn’t name. There was no disappointment, or hate, or urge to kill, the distance between us had never felt so small. I started to let the tears that I had held back for a year leak out of the corners of my eyes, and Ron noticed.
I don’t who moved first, but suddenly, I was in his arms, my hands around him, and softly sobbing. I could feel his tears in my hair, his fingers stroking it. Again and again he’d whisper my name. He said it with joy and relief. Now I didn’t care what happened, as long as this dream lasted forever. We stayed like that for a couple of minutes till I mumbled into his chest, “Am I forgiving? You aren’t attacking me with canaries…” That made him laugh, and I looked up at him.
“Wow, didn’t see that coming.” I heard someone, but I didn’t care I just buried my head into Ron’s chest again and tried to block out anything that wasn’t Ron.
“Shut up Harry.” Ron said. He didn’t let go of me, but turned to look at Harry. So I did to.
“Come on Ron,” Harry sighed, “We found her, so we’ve got to get her to a safer place.”
“Fine, I’ll see you later Harry.” Ron said brightly, and whispered to me, “Hold on Hermione.” I tightened my grip on his waist, foolishly lost in thought at how he said my name, and we disappeared.
Ron and I appeared on the doorstep of an red brick town house. Ron opened the door and led me in, I let go of his waist and grasped his hand instead. My first thought was that I was back at hogwarts, in the gryffindor commonroom; but hen I relized that the room only had one very large curved couch, a huge fireplace, and the sword of Godric Gryffindor mounted above it. Ron pulled on my hand to break my trance. “come on this place has three more floors!” Ron said, he seemed very excited about showing me his home.
“Sorry,but…” I was extreamly confused, why would a dream verson of Ron show me a hose that probebly didn’t exist?, “ Why are you showing me your house?”
“ ‘Cause what’s mine is your’s,” Ron said happily, “ as long as you want it that is.”
“But this is all a dream isn’t it?” I asked, “ This couldn’t be real! The real Ron hates me, and would never speak to me if he had the chance, because I left him hanging for a year!” I could feel my controll sliping again. “ I was so stupid not to send Winkie to explaine! I should’ve I- I…” I couldn’t say anything else, because Ron had caught me in a huge hug. I didn’t cry, I had burned out my tear ducts earlier.
“Hypothetically speaking,” Ron said sarcastically, “ If this was a dream, would it be your’s or mine? Because I feel insanely happy, no, elated right now.” He said into my hair.
“Mine; because this could never happen in real life Ron hates me.”
“If you were to wake up in this house tomorrow morning,” Ron asked, “would you believe it’s real?”
“Then I’m willing to hope.” Ron said. “Come on, I want to show you the rest of the house.” I rolled my eyes and twisted out of his hug. He led me up the first flight of spiral stairs and showed me two guest rooms and a guest bathroom.
“Do I get to pick witch room?” I taunted.
“No I have the perfect place picked out for you.” Ron smiled at me. The last flight of stairs led to a room with another slightly smaller couch and fireplace, it also had big double doors that led on to a balcony. I also noticed the stairs leading to another level. I looked questionably at Ron, “Your room’s up there.” He explained. He grabbed my hand and linked his fingers between mine, they still fit as perfectly as they did a year ago, and led me up the stairs. The bedroom was huge, a master bath, and a gigantic bed. I let go of Ron’s hand and stepped closer. The bed had a crimson comforter, with gold and red accent pillows; it was low to the ground and absolutely perfect. I turned and hugged Ron, “nice try.” I told him.
“What do you mean?” He asked, only just faking confusion. I pulled out of the hug and stood in front of him, arms across my chest, trying to look stern.
“This is your room.” I said; I couldn’t believe he had tried to give me his bed, “I’m not taking it.”
“It’s the comfiest bed in the house.” He explained, “Besides, I want you to stay here for a while.”
“Fine but…” Ok, I’m not finishing that sentence.
“What?” Ron seemed amused.
“It’s your bed,” gulp, “and its large enough for two, no not in that sense Ron.” I added when I saw his expression.
“No problem.” Ron smirked. I had to think about it for a second, until I realized; that was his plan the whole time. Try to give me his bed and I would offer to share it. I shook my head, “You are impossible Ron.” I told him, but his smirk turned into a laugh. “You’ll never know if that was my plan or not.” I aimed a punch at his stomach and he caught my hand and pulled me towards him.
This time I felt the sparks when I touched him, skin on skin, the electricity slowly making its way through my body, and my heart race. I took a deep breath and smelled him his scent, a woodsy, mountain spring, and sharp scent. I felt the silent strength his body held, not in muscles, but still there. And I felt the gentleness that he usually kept hidden, but showed through in the way he held me. The sense of belonging and plain understanding between us. I felt a guitar riff in the back of my head, I knew there was more but Ron interrupted me. I hadn’t realized I was humming.
“What are you humming?”
“Nothing.” Ron could not know I wrote songs.
“No,” Ron was stubborn today, “you were humming something.”
“I wrote songs for a friend for a while,” I explained reluctantly, “Parts of songs come at the weirdest times, like now.”
“Write any songs about me?” Ron asked, actually curios.
“Only all the corny love songs.” I joked, none of them were corny but if he would drop the subject…
“You’ll have to sing me one sometime.” He said, he could tell I wouldn’t any anymore on the subject. I suddenly felt tired; the exhaustion of the day hit me. I yawned and relaxed into Ron a little more. He chuckled, “You look dead on your feet, I’ll give you some time to get ready for bed.”
“Thank you,” I said, I kissed him on the cheek, and headed for the enormous bathroom. I pulled out an unfamiliar pair of pajamas, red and pink flannel pinstripe, and an orange tank top. As I brushed my hair the song ran through my head again. I’ll have to ask Ron if he has a guitar. I went down into the littler sitting room under the master bedroom, and found Ron sitting on the couch, waiting for me. I sat down next to him, and he put an arm around my shoulders. “Thought you were tired?” he asked.
“Yea, but I wanted to come down and say goodnight.” I bushed. Ron pulled me closer and kissed me on the cheek.
“Goodnight then.” He didn’t show any sign of letting me go. So I kissed him back.
‘Goodnight.” I got up and looked over my shoulder, “don’t be too long.” I imagined my face looked very flirty. I sat on the bed and though over my position in life: I have some place to live and someone who likes me. I need a job and money, so if I move out, I can find my own place. I pulled the covers over me and turned out the light, well that can all wait till after I figure out that this was a dream, but I knew that it wasn’t. I heard Ron crawl into bed on the other side of the mattress. I pretended to be asleep, and I felt Ron pull me closer. He fiddled with my hair, and put an arm around me. I felt him put his head next to mine and try to fall asleep. Once I thought that he was asleep I tried to wiggle out and go try to sleep in one of the guest rooms. “Not going to happen Hermione.” He whispered into my ear, and he held me tighter. I thought I heard him whisper something, but I couldn’t make it out. Giving up, I pressed closer to him and fell asleep to his scent, and I heard him groan softly. I can’t live without this.
I woke up the next morning to the sunrise, and Ron’s soft snoring. My face was buried in his chest, so I pulled back and looked up. The sun lit Ron’s hair so it looked like fire, and made his freckles look golden. Just as I was admiring his chest under the crimson top he was wearing, Ron stretched and opened his eyes lazily. I quickly closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep, but I didn’t fool him. “Good morning sleepy head,” he told me, “if you don’t want to talk to me I could just leave.”
“No, I just didn’t want you to catch me in my obsessive admiring of your body.” I told the gold accent pillow by my head, Ron laughed.
“Somehow I never thought I’d hear you say that.” He chuckled. I rolled my eyes and sat up, stretching my arms and back, and I felt his eyes on me. “I’m going to go make breakfast,” I told him as I got out of bed, “what do you want?”
“Eggs and bacon.” He answered I had a feeling he wanted more than eggs and bacon; I went down into the kitchen and started to make the eggs. I started the coffee and felt another song coming on, and I don’t know/how it/ gets better than this/ you take my hand and drag me/headfirst/fearless. I continued to hum till Ron came down. “Smells good,” He called as he came down the stairs, “anything I can do to help?” I turned to tell him no, till I realized he didn’t have a shirt on. I was momentarily lost in the way the sun light his chest I turned around and answered, “Nope I’ve got it under control.” Ron came up and sat on the counter next to me. “You sure?” He asked, “I could use the practice.”
“No I’ve got it Ron.”
“Then why are you burning the toast?” Ron smirked. I reached for my wand the same time as Ron reached for the smoking toast.
It was just like one of those times when the hands touched in movies and the love birds kissed, but somehow he had tangled his arm around me. He had to put a hand on the counter to keep himself from falling. It was only when I realized Ron’s shocked face was inches from mine that I could just reach up and kiss him. Before I could take action on the impulse, Ron slid down off the counter and kissed me. Just one soft kiss, so when he pulled away I looked up at him with an eyebrow raised,
“Come on Ron I have seen you snog Lavender.” Wow, I didn’t know I was that brave. Ron touched his lips to mine again, this time he parted my lips, and he softly breathed into my mouth. Oh lord that was amazing, I kissed him back. The electricity raced through my veins, and I pushed my hands up through his sideburns before I linked them around his neck, and pulled myself closer to him. I could feel his hand in my hair, and the other clutching at my waist. I felt him kiss me back and he nuzzled his nose against mine. I giggled something I rarely do. He pulled away, but he kept holding me. “We should probably take care of breakfast before I distract you too much.” Ron smiled. I rolled my eyes and put the eggs and bacon on two plates, and set them on the table. “That’s as far as I’m going at the moment.” I told him. He sat down next to me and ate his eggs. “There’s always the future.” He pointed out.
“I feel sorry for that girl.”
“You might be that girl.”
“Well,” I thought for a moment, “If I’m that girl, I’d hope we were married.”
“That can be arranged.” Ron said, and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“Why did you stay on the night bus?” He asked his eggs. I knew this conversation was coming, I just wished it could have waited till later.
“You underestimate your old git of an Aunt.” I looked at Ron, “The spells she put on her property just intensified my want to leave, and made it a need. I was irrational, and under the influence of spells, plus embarrassed out of my mind.”
“Why didn’t you send Winkie?” Ron asked. I was exasperated at his lack of comprehension.
“I was extremely embarrassed Ron, I am a girl you know. And we’re very irrational when we’re embarrassed.” I looked over to see if the conversation would make anything better.
“I think that Harry’s coming.” Ron didn’t give any sign of our recent conversation except for a hint of deep thought. I looked out the window behind me and saw a silver stag; it walked through the wall and said in Harry’s voice, “Coming over to visit, please don’t be snogging.” And the stag disappeared.
I went upstairs and changed into another set of unfamiliar clothes, skirt and a v-neck top, and curled my hair just a little, I remembered all of the girls crowded around the mirrors in the bath room, changing their appearances and primping. I wished that I was back there sitting with Ginny on my four poster and talking about boys.
“Hermione, can you toss me a pair of jeans?” Ron called from the shower. I went into his closet and grabbed a pair of cargo jeans. I chucked them over the shower door. I didn’t even think to feel embarrassed. The doorbell rang downstairs; I rushed down and opened the door. On the doorstep was the entire Weasley family plus Harry.
Ginny squealed and caught me in a hug, “Why didn’t you tell me you were back?” Mrs. Weasley hugged me as soon as Ginny let go, “Don’t you dare do that to me again.” She said.
“Great greeting I got the other day Hermione.” Harry said as he gave me a one armed hug. Before I could be passed on any further, Ron came up and rescued me.
“Come on people give her some air!” He exclaimed, and pulled my by the waist towards the couch. I sat down next to Ron, and looked at my family.
It was only when I heard her scream; “AUNTIE” that I realized Molly was there, along with Fleur. She scrambled out of her mother’s arms and up into my lap, and gave be the biggest and warmest hug of them all. “Molly missed Auntie.” Molly told me accusingly. I saw that Fleur was there
“Hi Fleur,” I greeted her, “when did they let you out?”
“Just yesterday,” Fleur replied, “I’m cured and everything, so I was allowed to come ‘ome!”
“Brilliant!” I exclaimed, now I had no reason to leave Ron’s!
“So, Hermione,” George began, “Why did you leave us is hanging for a bloody year?”
“It’s a long story.” I cautioned.
“I’m up for a good story!” George exclaimed. And so, I told the story of how I came to live at Bill’s for a year and why. It took a good hour of two, because Molly added things from her perspective. “I remember when Auntie wrote me my first song!” She piped in.
“I didn’t write it for you,” I disagreed, “I remembered it from a play and wrote it out for you.” But more than one person was looking at me curiously.
“Since when do you write songs Hermione?” Asked Mr. Weasley.
“Since Molly discovered her amazing voice.” I looked at Molly, “why don’t you sing a few lines for everyone?”
“Ok!” Sam exclaimed, she cleared her thought, “The sun will come out/ tomorrow/bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow/ there’ll be sun./ just thinkin about/ tomorrow/ clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow/till there’s none./when I’m stuck with a day/ that’s gray/ and lonely/ I just pick my chin/ and grin/ and say/ ooohhhhh/ the sun’ll come out tomorrow/ bet your bottom dollor that tomarow/ there’ll be sun/ just thinking about/ tomorrow/ clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow/ come what maayyyy/ tomorrow/tomorrow/ I love ya/ tomorrow/ you’re only a day away/ toomorow/ tomorrow/I love ya/tomorrow/ you’re only a daayyy/ aaaawaaayyyy.”
“She had to have gotten her voice from Fleur,” Ron exclaimed, “Bill can’t sing to save his life.” We all laughed at that comment. There was a chorus of good jobs for Molly, “it’s one of my favorites.” She explained.
“Why?” asked Harry.
“Auntie can explain better than me.” Everyone looked at me.
“Well,” I started, “When she learned that I wasn’t her mum, She asked about Fleur, and I told her about you.” I said to Fleur, I wasn’t really talking to anyone else; this was something I thought she wanted to hear. “I told her you were sick and that she couldn’t see you till you were better. Of course she asked when, and I told her I didn’t know, but I had some advice to make it better. I taught her the song, so she said, ‘she’s coming home tomorrow?’ I told her no, but the sun will always be there even if you can’t see it, like your mum.” Fleur had tears in her eyes, I got up and sat next to her, “I told her that we’ve got to keep hoping she’ll come out so you can see her tomorrow, and if not, I’ll be here for you until she does come out, kind of like a lamp.” There was a moment of silence; I could see Mrs. Weasley softly crying out of the corner of my eye. But before I could say anything else, Fleur had me in a spine breaking hug, and was sobbing into my shoulder. Mrs. Weasley came and helped me comfort her, as well as Ginny. “Molly was always waiting for you to come out of the clouds,” I told Fleur, “waiting for you to bring the sunshine, love, and warmth I could never give her.” Fleur clutched me tighter, “even though she had hardly seen you, she still loved you, and I couldn’t provide half of what she desperately needed.”
“Spoken like a true mother.” Mrs. Weasley said into my ear.
“Auntie is right,” Molly said, right on cue, “I always loved you mummy, and I waited for you, ‘cause somthin’ was always missin’.” Fleur let go of me and cradled her daughter in her arms and they cried together. Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, and I stepped away so Bill could join his wife and daughter. Conversation continued, and gradually, people began to leave. In the end only Harry and Ginny were left. “Hermione, can I ask you something?” Ginny asked after Ron and Harry retreated to the balcony upstairs.
“How did you know exactly what Fleur was worried about?”
“I had seen Molly’s hope whenever Bill came home; she was always hoping he’d bring Fleur home with him.”
“I’m not talking about Molly; I’m talking about earlier, with Fleur. She had asked me for advice and I couldn’t answer her!” Ginny cried, “I can’t be a good mother if I can’t give another mum advice!”
“Oh, Gin. I could only answer the way I did, because I had a brief chance at motherhood. I got the chance to care for a child like it was my own, and be able to connect with it. I knew Fleur would be worried about Molly’s approval. She had missed the first year of her life! I assumed Fleur needed to hear it from me that she was the only mum for Molly, and Molly wanted only her as a mum, that I wasn’t good enough.”
“But did you see Molly’s face when she saw you? She was delighted!”
“Yes because I’m like a backup mum for her, and she knows it. I’m not as important to her as Fleur, but I am important.” I tried to wrap up the conversation because I could hear the guys coming down the stairs, but Ginny didn’t
“What if I can’t connect with kids like you do? Not even my own?” I heard the footsteps stop.
“The point I was trying to make to Fleur earlier is that each child needs their mum, it’s a natural thing to connect with your children, it doesn’t take effort, and they will always want you, even if they disagree at times.” Ginny looked at me, I could tell she was still worried, but she could hear the footsteps now too. The boys came down the stairs and Harry stopped just behind the couch.
“Come on sweetheart,” Harry said as he kissed her cheek from behind the couch, “we should be getting home.” Ginny got up and left with Harry. And I turned to face Ron’s questions that I knew were coming. Ron was just standing at the end of the stairs looking at the door. “Come over here and sit next to me.” I told him. He looked at me for a moment, and then sat down next to me with a sigh. “What’s wrong?” I asked, and I took his hand.
“Harry can be stubborn at times.” Ron said to the ceiling
“You just now figured that out?” I teased, Ron rolled his eyes.
“Harry was worried about Ginny. She didn’t go back last year, because she wanted to help search for you. So she has to go back this year. On top of that, she’s pretty popular at school. She’s even gotten letters from guys she doesn’t know, asking if she wants to meet them at the Three Broomsticks.”
“Yea, he’s worried that someone’s gonna drug her with a love potion. Or that she’ll find someone else while she’s there.”
“Ginny loves Harry. In the girls dorms all she would talk about was Harry, and how she was worried about him.”
“She was worried about him?”
“Yea, she knew that Harry had to leave to find something to defeat Voldamort. And that she couldn’t come. Of course she was worried for his life. When Harry ended it, she cried for eight hours and slept in my bed with me she was so sad.”
“Wow.” Ron said. “She didn’t beat you though did she?”
“What do you mean?” I cursed Harry in my head. Ron looked at me, his eyes searching mine.
“Harry said that you cried for weeks, probably longer, and you called for me for at least three hours.” I looked away; I knew it would be more romantic if I could say it to his face.
“There was never a night that I didn’t miss you, or hope you would come back in the tent with Harry.”
“I went back and looked for hours, I might have found you but I walked right into a gang of snatchers. You know the story”
“Sorry I attacked you.”
“I thought I did pretty well when I came back,” Ron chuckled, “you didn’t attack me with canaries.”
“Because I didn’t have my wand, and I was going easy with the hawks.”
“Ouch.” Ron said. I laughed, and took my hand out of his, and got up.
“I’m going to take a shower and head to bed.” I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something else Ron wasn’t telling me. I looked over my shoulder, Ron was lying face down on the couch. “Can I have a sign that you are conscious?” I asked. He grunted.
The water felt good, I imagined that all of my worries washed down the drain with my shower jell. I thought about the future I couldn’t quite imagine; I’d get married, have kids and have a supportive job. Every time I thought about a husband, Ron’s face always appeared, and I couldn’t conjure anyone else’s face. Maybe the little voice inside my head told me Ron and you are meant to be. I shook off the thought and put on pajamas, and stepped out into the bedroom. Ron was halfway asleep on the left side of the bed; I crawled in on the right side and tried not to wake him. Cimi conscious, Ron rolled over and flopped and arm towards me. I smiled in spite of myself and slowly fell asleep.
I woke up in the middle of the night, the room washed in pale moon light. My mind search for the reason of my early awakening, but when I opened my eyes, I just saw the pale skin of Ron’s chest. It took me a second to realize my nose was inches away from the hollow of his neck. I pressed my head into it, and what a surprise, it was actually quite comfortable. I heard, and felt, Ron’s soft groan. He tightened his arms around me and pulled me closer. I pressed my hands onto his chest and fell asleep, feeling totally safe.
“Hermione,” Ron whispered into my ear, “Come on Hermione, time to wake up.” He gently shook me into a half awake state. I slapped his hand away.
“Five more minutes.” I demanded, and tried to turn away from him. I just landed on his chest.
“Nope,” He said, “it’s time to get up.” And he tickled me. I squealed and jumped up, and could hear Ron laughing behind me, “I’ve got to save that technique for later.” I rolled my eyes and got up.
“Have you gotten breakfast started?”
“Finished,” Ron got up and stood beside me, “but I guarantee, it won’t be any good.” He flung an arm around my shoulders.
“It will be great because I didn’t have to cook it.” I started downstairs; the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls had always been irresistible to me. I leaned against the island eating, and he was standing next to me. The rolls were perfect, but Ron refused to accept my complements. So I changed the subject. “What we’re you and Harry really talking about last night?”
“What do you mean?” Ron was being cautious.
“You and Harry talked about something else last night, and I want to know what it was.” I unconsciously leaned towards him, “can you please tell me? I’d only assume it’s worse than it really is if you don’t.”
Ron shook his head and sighed, “We were discussing your safety.”
“Your safety,” Ron looked at me, protection clear in his eyes, “believe it or not you’re still on a lot of hit lists. When the remaining death eaters found out that a muggle- born played a key part in Voldamort’s fall, they found out it was you and started hunting. They consider it the highest disgrace that the most powerful full blood wizard’s death was mostly planned by a muggle- born.”
“What about you and Harry? Surely you are in just as much danger as I am.”
“Yes, but you’ve also got a very dedicated fan club.” Ron explained. I looked at him; I had no clue what he was talking about. He explained, “There is a group of wizards who are dedicated to making you theirs’. They’ve even designed a love potion just for that purpose!” I could tell Ron was furious, his ears were red, and he was shaking. I was just confused again.
“Why does the fact that I have a fan club bother you? You got over Harry’s fan club dilemma ages ago,” Ron clenched his hands on the table, “surely you have a fan club too…” I didn’t get to finish.
“Don’t you get it Hermione?” Ron was looking at me with that look again, the one that I couldn’t name “I don’t want those fan club freaks to get you, you wouldn’t be happy. And…” He looked away, and blushed.
“What?” I was relieved that he wasn’t upset by the fact that I had a fan club, but curious about what else he was trying to say.
“I don’t want you to leave,” his hand and eyes found mine, “I love you Hermione, and I don’t want you to chose anybody else.”
I couldn’t move, just kept looking into his eyes. Out of all the times I dreamt of him telling me this, I never ever thought it would be like this. I didn’t say anything; I just held his hand and nodded. That seemed like it was the only signal he needed. He stepped in front of me and braced his hands on the island; he paused, looking for a positive reaction, and I smiled. His lips found mine, and he kissed them gently. I kissed back, just as softly, but I could feel the electricity sparking inside me. When he kissed me again, I could tell that the kiss was building, that this was five years worth of kissing. That he really did love me. I twisted my hands into his shirt and pulled him closer, he locked his fingers in my hair; and as Ginny would have put it, he ate my face. There was never a moment he was to rough, and the electricity broke the surface. I felt the understanding, the adoration, the never dying love, and the pure need that we both shared for each other. I never wanted this to end, but I never got my way when it came to Ron. After a couple more minuets he pulled away and I groaned, Ron looked at me and chuckled, “Don’t worry, there’s more where that came from.” I rolled my eyes and twisted out of the embrace, I knew that my face was probably beet red by now, and I avoided his eyes.
“So what’s on the schedule?” I asked.
“Whatever you want.”
“Can we go to Bill and Fleur’s? I have to get my clothes.”
“I take it that you aren’t satisfied with the clothes here?” Ron was faking grumpiness.
“It’s mostly for Fleur; I can’t tell you how long I spent in dressing rooms while she used me as a human Barbie doll.”
“Oh,” Ron seemed to sense my annoyance, “you must have loved that.” I rolled my eyes and went upstairs to change.
“You took the words right out of my mouth.”
Fleur attacked me as soon as I crossed the threshold, “’Ermione! I was hoping you’d come soon!” I pushed her off; before I could talk, Ron spoke for me.
“We’re just here to nab her clothes Fleur.” I could tell Ron didn’t want to spend a lot of time here.
“Nonsense!” Fleur seemed to be offended, “‘Ermione and I ‘ave so much to talk about! Besides I‘ve already sent her clothes here to charity, we ‘ave to go shopping for more.”
“You gave my clothes to charity?” I was amazed, “Why?”
“Because, you are living with Ron now, no; surely you are at least dating?”
I risked a glance at Ron, his face was red. I thought of the kiss we had shared earlier, surely he wouldn’t be embarrassed to say we were dating. “Yeah,” He said looking down at me, eyes sparkling, “I guess we are, right Hermione?” I had momentarily lost all powers of speech so I just nodded. He found my hand and gave it a squeeze.
“Then we ‘ave to get more girlfriend- ish clothes!” Fleur exclaimed, “Please Ron, surely you don’t want her in baggy jeans all the time; and for her to have at least four proper dresses for fancy occasions!”
“Fine Fleur,” Ron was glaring at her, “only if I get to come too.”
“I will see if Bill can come so you two can ‘hang out’ while Hermione and I are in the more girly stores.” Fleur wasn’t discouraged at the least. I noticed Bill walking down the hall, and he motioned for us to be quiet. He snuck up behind Fleur, grabbed her by her waist, and started tickling her.
“What do you want me to do?” Bill asked between laughs, “Maybe I should teach you how to anticipate an attack from behind.”
“Stop it! Stop it!”
“She wants you to distract Ron while she is forcing me into anything with lace and frills.” I laughed. I noticed Ron’s eyes brighten with curiosity.
“Well I imagine I could do that.” Bill winked at me and set Fleur down. “When is the last time you and I just hung out Ron?”
“Who knows? Maybe when you drug me out of my room to complain to mum about something I did.” Ron and Bill both laughed.
“Fine Ron, you get your way this time.” Fleur smiled “Let’s get going, we’re not going to have much time.”
“Ok, ‘Ermione,” Fleur said as we checked her list, “we ‘ave your everyday wardrobe and your dress robes, now we just need some nice dresses incase Ron decides to take you out to dinner!” This was the part Fleur was most excited about; she thought I didn’t have enough fancy dresses.
“Ok, but you know my limits,” I looked at Fleur, “can’t be shorter than my knees, no extreme cleavage, and isn’t see through anywhere.”
“Fine! I know a couple good stores then.” Fleur grabbed my hand and pulled me into a store with a lot of pink. The store had a lot of dresses, all shapes, sizes, and lengths. I remembered that I had to at least have four, and groaned.
“Don’t worry I’ll help you choose!” Fleur pulled me over to a rack full of short black dresses, the term ‘little black dress’ came to mind. As we pawed through Fleur seemed to think that it was the time to talk, “’Ermione?”
“Yes?” I wasn’t really paying attention; I had found a plain, knee length, strapless dress that I liked.
“Thank you, for taking care of Molly when I could not. And I like that dress.”
“You’re welcome; it was least I could do.” I laughed “You gave me so much advice sixth year, when I had to deal with Lavender and Ron.” We both laughed at the memory. It was so weird to think, I had been begging Fleur for advice in sixth year, and now she was helping me pick out date dresses.
“How is this one?” Fleur showed me a very lacy dress.
“To much lace, but that one is nice.” I pointed at the empire waist, with spaghetti straps over her arm. The silk it was made out of seemed to shimmer in the light, and it seemed to end about halfway down my shin. “I think I’ll try on these.” I came out of the dressing room wearing the strapless dress; it was tight at the bust, and then gently billowed out under the bust. I loved it, and Fleur seemed to have the same reaction.
“Oh, ‘Ermione! It is beautiful!”
“Yea Hermione, Ron would have fainted if you had worn that to the Yule Ball.” Ginny was sitting on one of the chairs outside the dressing room. “Good thing I was there, I wouldn’t have wanted to miss that.”
“What are you doing here Ginny?” I gave her a hug, “thought you were spending the day with Harry?”
“He’s looking for wedding dress robes, and I’m here looking for bridesmaid’s gowns. Good thing that my two bridesmaids are here too.” Ginny grinned, while she let that sink in. Fleur squealed “You and ‘Arry are getting married?”
“He asked me the night we left Ron’s place,” Ginny winked at me, “he told me that he had heard me worrying and to stop it, because he thought I’d be a great mother. Then he asked me to marry him.”
“Congratulations Ginny!” I gave her another hug.
“When do we get to go shopping for the dresses?” Fleur asked excitedly, “I’ll have to get Molly a nice gown! But, we might want to wait until closer to the wedding to get my dress, I’m pregnant again.”
“You are? Congratulations!” Ginny cried. “Harry and I are waiting on that little detail. He says I’m so busy with quidditch that he could never get enough time, that I’m his uncatchable snitch.” We all laughed.
“Ginny, are you in here?” I heard Harry call from the front of the store. He walked back, and saw us all sitting together. “You already tell them then?”
“Yep,” Ginny stood up and kissed Harry on the cheek, “did you find robes?”
“Yea,” Harry had spotted me and Fleur, he asked me, “Is Ron around or did Fleur kidnap you?”
“He and Bill are around somewhere,” I looked at Fleur, “do you know where they are?”
“Bill said that they’d meet us for lunch at two,” she consulted the store’s clock, “and it’s one fifty, so we should probably get going. Are you going to buy that ‘Ermione?”
“You know, I think I will.” I went back into the dressing room, and handed the dress back out to Fleur. Your two best friends are getting married that little voice spoke up as I was pulling on my shirt, maybe you should try dropping hints on Ron. I ignored the voice, and stepped out. Ron will marry whoever he wants, whenever he wants. I tried to imagine him at the altar with some girl I didn’t know, and was overcome with jealousy, and felt something similar to a monster growl in my chest, so I dropped it.
With our stomachs full, Harry, Ginny, Ron, and I all sat out in the sun in a park in Diagon Alley. I had gotten myself a guitar while Fleur and I were shopping, and was playing a few chords while sitting on Ron’s lap.
“How about you play a little something Hermione?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, if you can write songs, surely you can sing them too?” Ron nudged me.
“Fine, if you two insist, “ I picked at the guitar string and started singing, feeling the music spread from the guitar and my heart “ There’s something about the sunshine baby/ I’m seeing you in a whole new light/ outta this world for the first time baby/ ohh it’s all right/ now that you’re here (now that you’re here)/ it’s finally clear (it’s finally clear)/ the sun’s commin trough/ I never knew/ whatever I do is better with you/ There’s something about the sunshine baby/ I’m seeing you in a whole new light/ outta this world for the first time baby/ ohh it’s all right.” I glanced around, looking at the dumbstruck faces, “I’m still working on the lyric, that’s all I’ve got so far.” The boy’s faces didn’t change, but Ginny’s lit up.
“You have to play at our wedding Hermione! It would be amazing!” Ginny squealed.
“Yeah Hermione, if you did a present wouldn’t be required.” Harry’s face had turned excited and teasing, “And of course we would be sure to have talent scouts at the wedding so you can get discovered.”
“Shut up Harry,” I threw him an annoyed look, “I know I’m not as good as Molly-”
“Oh, come off it Hermione, Molly is good in her way, and your amazing in yours. So stop moping.” Ron said as he ruffled my hair.
“Nope,” Ron had clamped a hand over my mouth, and turned me so I was facing him, “just drop it Hermione.” Ron gave me a very persuasive look.
“Fine!” I shook my head and got off Ron’s lap and lay down next to him in the grass. “You guys haven’t told me what I’ve missed yet,” I changed the subject, “I’m very curious.”
“Not much, Crookshanks met a girl cat and had kittens,” Ginny held up one finger, “Ron made the Chudley Canons, George is engaged to Angelina Johnson, Charlie is the first wizard to have tamed and become friends with a dragon and able to speak dragon, I’m being forced to go back to Hogwarts, and you, Harry, and Ron have all received the order of Merlin first class. Oh, and Teddy is exactly like his mum, and Harry and I have taken full responsibility for him.” She glanced at Harry, “I think that about sums it up, you agree?”
“Yep, sound about right.” Harry wasn’t really paying attention, a group of boys seemed to have noticed our little group, and every one of them was looking at me. I was able to catch fragments of their conversation, “Should we try it here?”
“Is it really her? I can’t see!”
“No to many people, she’d get confused. The max is ten remember?”
“This might be our only chance though!”
I glanced at Ron to see how he was taking this, remembering the look of protection and fierce determination he had in his face when he told me about my, ‘dedicated fan club’. Ron’s face was red, “Oy!” He called out to the group, startling them, “I’d continue your plotting somewhere more secret, ministry officials might be undercover!” I sat up, and peered around Ron. The boys all looked about sixth year through late twenties, one in particular did not like how Ron was speaking to him.
“Maybe you should keep your nose in your own-” The boy didn’t finish yelling at Ron, cause he had gotten a good look at me. He looked at his friends, “It’s her, now.” They all cried, “stuplify” in union, and rushed at us. Everything seemed to go in slow motion, I felt Ron go stiff beside me, saw Harry and Ginny disapparating, Harry making a wild grab at the both of us; and the boy who had yelled at Ron grab onto my wrist. I did what a year on the run conditioned me to do; I grabbed Ron and disapperated, with the boy still hanging on.
I landed, with a tight grip on Ron, a few feet away from our front door. I shook off the boy and sprinted into the house. Locking the door behind me, I put every magical protection around the house I could think of, and then released Ron. He immediately pulled out his own wand and stepped in front of me, “Stay behind me Hermione.”
“I’ve already put the basics around the house Ron; they shouldn’t be able to get in.”
“I’m not taking any chances.” He growled and he glanced back at me. “Are you all right?” he asked.
“I’ll live; it’s the shock more than anything.” I shuddered. Ron lowered his wand and, to my great surprise, caught me in a big hug.
“I’m sorry; I should have gotten you out of there the moment I suspected them.”
“That only would have made them more suspicious, you did the right thing.” I said and wrapped my arms around him.
“Hermione,” Ron pulled back, still holding my hands, and looked me straight in the eye, “I’m not stupid, and I know he got an eyeful of the house, he’ll bring his buddies back and attack.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Hermione, did you see the look on his face? He was thrilled to find you, he wanted you. Anybody with that kind of determination can do pretty much anything.” Ron looked as if he believed every word he said. I could see the logic in it, and I immediately started to worry, how far would they go to get to me? Ron saw my face fall and misunderstood. “Don’t worry,” Ron hugged me again, “I will not let them get to you.” I looked up at him, his face was just inches from mine, and I could just-. Ron’s stomach just had to choose that moment to complain about its lack of food. I laughed, and pulled out of the hug.
“You just ate, how could you be hungry?” I teased, heading towards the kitchen.
“I’m a growing man Hermione.” he teased from the couch, Daily Prophet in hand. I turned and started to fry some bacon.
“Ridiculous!” Ron exclaimed the next morning over breakfast. No one had come for me in the middle of the night, and he had been in a good mood up until now.
“What is it? Is the Daily Prophet making fun of someone we know?” I asked. Ron threw the paper at me,
Potter - Weasley Wedding?
Rita Skeeter special report
Is a wedding on the horizon for the boy, now man, who lived? Sources say that Harry Potter, age 18, is currently engaged to Ginny Weasley, age 17. “Ginny as far as I know,” says Draco Malfoy, “is going back to Hogwarts this year, as she didn’t attend last year to look for Hermione Granger, a very good friend of hers.” Is Miss. Weasley going to be able to handle being engaged while at school? “She was very popular when it came to boys.” Says former classmate Lavender Brown, “She would keep one boy then move onto the next, completely forgetting the last one. She and Harry started dating in her fifth year, when Gryffindor won the cup. From then on they were always together.” Miss. Weasley will most likely be very popular when going back to school this year, after paying a large part in The Battle of Hogwarts, and a past leader of a teen’s group, Dumbledore’s Army. She will be getting a lot of attention, but who we are really worried about is Potter. After Potter defeated you-know-who, he has attracted even more girls to his multiple fan clubs. Will Potter stay loyal to Weasley, or will the veela get their wish, and have Potter to themselves? Is Potter’s love for Weasley really true, or is it a favor for a friend? “Ginny is the sister of Ron Weasley,” says Lavender Brown, “ I know for a fact that Harry and Ginny broke up in Harry’s sixth year; some people think that Harry did it for Ginny’s safety, but I think he ended it because he was done with her. It’s highly possible that Harry is engaged to Ginny because of his debt to Ron.” So, the questions remain; does Harry really love Ginny? Will Ginny continue to be loyal to Harry at Hogwarts? Does Harry love Ginny at ALL?
I didn’t bother finishing the rest, “Are you done with this then?” I asked Ron.
“Yeah, the rest is rubbish.”
I got up and threw the paper into the fire, and watched the picture of Rita Skeeter burn. I turned back to my breakfast. Why does she have to target my family, and I thought I had stopped her from writing?! What will she do when she figures out I’ve been found? She’s going to have a field day! I groaned and put my face in my hands.
“What’s wrong?” Ron leaned across the table to get a better look at me.
“Skeeter, she’ll love to make a big deal with the news of my return.” I groaned, “Who knows what she’ll write about me!”
“Come on, it doesn’t matter what that cow writes about you. You’d only be giving her the satisfaction of making you miserable.” Ron smiled, but was serious underneath. I just groaned again. I got up to rinse my plate and get dressed when the owl came.
THAT COW! Did you see the daily prophet? Can you believe it? Harry is furious, keeps going on about how this is going to ruin my last year of school! It’s like he doesn’t care about what this is doing to him! I KNOW it’s eating at him, and I want to help! But he keeps denying the fact that it’s bothering him! Can you and Ron PLEASE talk to him? Please, please, please, please! P.S. we’re going dress shopping on Monday.
“What ‘cha got there Hermione?” Ron asked peering over my shoulder.
“Harry and Ginny didn’t like the prophet too much; Ginny wants us to talk to Harry. She can tell something’s nagging at him, but he won’t spill.” I explained, handing him the letter so he could read it.
“Well I guess the only thing to do now is to go and interrogate Harry.” Ron sighed, “Do you reckon he’ll tell us? If he won’t tell Ginny it must be bad…”
“IT might be,” I mused, “but it’s more likely to be embarrassing.” Ron snorted.
“Regardless, we should probably go anyway.”
“Hello Ron, Hermione, come on in!” Ginny gave us each a fleeting hug, and closed the door behind us. Harry’s house was nothing like mine and Ron’s; only two stories and built on the same spot as his parents. “Harry’s upstairs getting ready; you two want some tea while you wait?” I could tell Ginny was trying to be normal, and she’d probably break down as soon as she dragged me away from the house.
“Sounds great.” I replied. We all talked loudly so Harry could tell that we were here, and soon enough he came down stairs. He didn’t look to happy, but came down to join us. After giving Ginny a swift kiss on the cheek, He asked us,
“So you’ve seen the prophet ?”
“Yeah,” said Ron, “Thought we whipped old Skeeter into place fourth year, but apparently she has seemed to forgotten Hermione’s little treat.”
“You threatened Rita Skeeter?” Ginny asked, she knew a story when one was coming on.
“Yeah, she’s an unregistered amangus. That’s how she kept finding about all the things in the triwizard tournament, I eventually caught her. Then I threatened to tell the ministry, and she said she wouldn’t write about Harry again.”
“Wow, how did you catch her?” Ginny asked eagerly. I was about to answer, but saw Harry mouth upstairs to Ron.
“We’ll be right back girls.” Ron said as he got up.
“It’s ok, Ginny and I can leave.” I said hurriedly.
“Yeah, Hermione and I have to get our bridesmaids gowns fitted for George and Angelina’s wedding, I almost forgot!” Ginny exclaimed catching on, “We’ll see you two later.” I gave Ron a quick one armed hug, and then hurried out with Ginny.
“When are George and Angelina getting married?” I asked after we apparated into Diagon Alley.
“Over the Christmas holidays, George has always said he wanted a winter wedding.” Ginny laughed, “We’d better stop by and see if Ang. is working today.”
“Where does she work?”
“Fr-” Ginny stopped, “George’s shop.”
“I’m sorry I didn’t miss the funeral though. I was Bill’s Egyptian friend that didn’t speak English.”
“You were? Wow, you’re a good actor! Since when do you speak Egyptian?”
“Since I earned some gold down in Egypt with Bill, he needed backup for a complicated tomb.”
“Nice.” Ginny exclaimed, thumping me on the back. We had reached George’s shop by now, and I was crammed full with people as usual. We pushed our way to the back, and found Angelina working the register.
“Hellooo you two, about ready to think you ditched me!” Angelina exclaimed as another employee took the register. She motioned us into the back room, where she replaced her work robes for witch wear. “The boutique is right around the corner, what’s your size Hermione?”
“Eight to ten, how have you been?”
“Great thanks for asking, heard you disappeared off the face of the earth a while back.”
“Yeah, It’s a long story.”
“There’s no better time than the present!”
So I retold the story in about five minutes, while we browsed through the dresses. I found a nice ball gown and mermaid, but Ang was more interested in my future.
“Where are you going to get a job?” She asked while eyeing an ivory gown on a mannequin. That I hadn’t given much thought, where was I going to get a job?
“I guess I’ll just check the Daily Prophet.”
“I saw an ad for the department of mysteries.” Ginny piped up. , “but you two have seemed to forget our current mission.” She pointed at the dresses surrounding us.
“Fine we can gossip more later.” I laughed
I plopped down on the velvet couch in the little sitting room, admiring my most recent purchases. Ginny and Ang. forced me to get five more “Fancy” dresses. Two red dresses, one short halter and one long strapless ball gown, my yellow bridesmaid’s dress, two cream strapless dresses, one long and one short, two black dresses, and an orange dress. And my new pajamas, all silky and none long enough to go past my knees. Ginny had gotten me those and kept the receipt, so I couldn’t return them. As far as I knew Ron was still at Harry’s, so I went upstairs to hide my things.
When I came back down, Ron was just coming through the door. He seemed happy, so I assumed everything had gone ok. I walked into the kitchen and started some tea and cookies. Apparently Ron thought I was starting on dinner, and he wouldn’t have that. “Nope, you aren’t making dinner tonight.” He said, while stopped my hand from preparing any farther. “I’m taking you out tonight, now that we are dating and all.” He winked at me.
“So you didn’t just say that for Fleur?”
“Ok formal or casual?”
“K, I’ll be right back.”
I turned and dashed up the stairs. All the way up I was panicking, when Ron and I were first together we never kissed. We’ve kissed twice, and I loved the experience, but it was scary at the same time. Plus I’VE NEVER GONE ON A DATE WITH HIM! I did not in any way shape or form know how to do this. I picked up the short, red halter and put it on, then put a gold barred in my hair, I put on the strappy gold heels I got to go with the dress and slipped on a garter/ wand holder, I had a nasty feeling I would need it.
Ron had already changed by the time I got downstairs. He was wearing black pants and a white dress shirt, and a red tie. He looked so extremely, heartbreakingly, beautiful that I couldn’t breathe. I can’t do this. But then I laughed, he was looking in the mirror, trying to tie his tie. I stepped up behind him, and turned him around. Ron turned and smiled at me, “Thanks, I’m hopeless at this kind of stuff.”
“Good thing I’m here huh?” I asked him, but he didn’t answer. He seemed to have noticed my outfit. I looked at him, and that unfamiliar expression spread across his face again. I finished off the tie, and checked him again. Still staring, his eyes seemed to burn and he started to reach for me. I stepped back, and headed for the closet by the door, to get our coats. “We’d better get going if you want to get a table.”
I heard him sigh and he took his coat from me, “I’m not going to wait much longer ok?” I just blushed, did he really want me? “Come on, I can’t wait to show you my car.”
It turned out Ron now owned a new crimson Ferrari, with gold underbody lights and tinted windows. Being on the Chudley Cannons must have paid very well. Ron got in the driver’s side, and I was still standing on the porch step. “Come on, what are you waiting for?” I took a deep breath and got in the passenger side. Oh my lord, the whole thing had a soft grey interior, and the whole thing smelled so Ron, I almost passed out. Ron started driving and I got the courage to actually speak. “Where are you taking me for dinner?”
“Just a little moonlit restaurant, they have a balcony with a great view of the eye.”
“How much is it?”
“I’ve got this one.” Ron smiled. I sighed, I had a feeling that I wouldn’t be paying for anything for a while. We drove the rest of the way there in silence, not the uncomfortable kind, but the soothing ‘I’m going to let you get comfortable’ kind of silence. I relaxed against the seat and felt the heat from the vents wash over me. Before I knew it we were at the restaurant. I had never been there, but it looked like a fancy Italian restaurant. Ron got out, and before I could open the door, he was opening it for me. I took his outstretched hand and let him lead me to the doors. Ron turned and told me, “Paradise.”
The whole place was beautiful; everything was a different shade of blue, white, or black. The moon shined in from a huge skylight, and washed the restaurant in silver light. The speakers that played the Italian music were artfully hidden so you couldn’t see where the music was coming from. The smells from the kitchen were so irresistible, fresh breadsticks, garlic, pasta, marinara sauce, Italian meatballs, and all sorts of other Italian dishes I couldn’t name, I groaned. “It’s amazing isn’t it?” Ron whispered in my ear.
“I love it, it’s so…” I couldn’t even describe it.
“You wait here; I’ll go get the table on the balcony.” Ron walked towards the hostess, and I sat down in an overly stuffed love seat and waited for Ron. This wasn’t so bad; it’s almost like going to the three broomsticks, only no Harry. I laid my head back on the cushion and relaxed. I’m in control nothing bad will happen, I told myself. I looked up and saw Ron walking back towards me with a huge grin on his face. “They have the table all ready, we can go ahead and go on up.” He held out his hand, and I took it. I took a deep breath and followed him up the stairs.
The balcony was just indescribable; I would do it any justice if I tried to describe it. The moon shined above the eye, and you could see Big Ben. Ron was ahead of me and had a seat pulled out for me. I strode over and said, “Thank you.”
“Your welcome.”He said, smiling. A waiter in a tux came over and put some menus on the table.
“Would you like to try some Domaine Romanée-Conti? It is our wine of the night.” He offered Ron.
“Yes please, would you like some too Hermione?” Ron asked me.
“Sure,” I waited until the waiter walked away to get the wine before I confessed, “I’ve never had wine before, so tell me when to stop.”
“Neither have I, so we’ll have to use common sense wont we?” Ron’s eyes twinkled as he smiled. I giggled.
“So what are you going to have?” I asked him, looking down at my own menu.
“I don’t know, the stuff is served family style so…” Ron scanned the menu, “How does one large spaghetti and meatballs, and two personal salads sound?”
“Sounds great, it comes with breadsticks right?”
“Right.” Ron said, closing the menu as a sign of confirmation. The waiter came back with the wine and a batch of breadsticks, as he poured our wine he asked, “Have you decided on your meal for this evening?”
“Yes, we would like a large family spaghetti and meatballs, and two personal side salads please.”
“Coming right up sir, enjoy your wine.” The waiter bowed and left the balcony. I took a sip of my wine, and it was heavenly. I glanced at Ron and found he was biting into a breadstick. We nibbled and sipped for a while, not talking but just enjoying the night. I was gazing at the moon when I felt eyes on me, I looked over my shoulder and saw that boy who grabbed on to me as I disapparated with Ron. His eyes were on me all right, and they had the same fire Ron’s had earlier. I turned around and grabbed a breadstick, and just had to grab the same one as Ron. His hand overlapped mine, and I looked up at him. He smiled, but he seemed to notice the boy. He started to talk, but I cut him off.
“Please Ron, I don’t want to go. We’re better prepared this time, and we’re in public, so he won’t try anything.” I begged, but Ron didn’t seem convinced, he was still glaring at the boy. I squeezed his hand, “Ron please, we won’t get this chance often.” Slowly, he dragged his gaze away from the boy and to me. I could tell he was angry, but he reined it in. He smiled.
“I’m sorry; I’m being a bad date aren’t I? I haven’t complemented how heartbreakingly beautiful you are tonight. I love the how light catches in your hair.” Ron sighed. He reached across the table and brushed a lose strand out of the way, he kept his hand on my cheek. I couldn’t help myself, I leaned into his hand.
“No, I know I wouldn’t be able to find a better date anywhere else.” I told him, my voice was a bit softer than I thought it would be. His hand slid under my chin, and we both leaned in. I heard a crash, like a wine glass being dropped. I felt Ron reach behind me and swing my chair around to his side of the table; he stood protectively in front of me. I was about ready to grab his arm and dissaparate, when I heard the boy speak.
“I already know where you live, if you hand her over now, it would be easier for the both of us.” He said. He pulled out his wand and pointed it at Ron. I tightened my grip on Ron, and dissaparated.
We landed in Ron’s car, I was on the driver’s side and he was in the passenger seat. I slid my wand out of the garter, and pointed it at the dash board. The car sprung to life, and I started driving. There wasn’t much traffic, but I was sure I was way over the speed limit. I looked over at Ron, his ears and face was red, and he was shaking. I took my hand off of the wheel and took one of his. Ron looked at me and gave my hand a squeeze. “Just forget about it Ron, he’d be stupid to attack tonight.” Ron just grunted. I pulled over in a dark alley and made the car invisible, “We’ll get it later; right now we have to get out of here.” I knew the three glasses of wine I drank were starting to kick in. Ron grabbed my hand and we dissaparated.
When we got to the house, Ron yanked open the door, and pulled me inside. Ron started reinforcing the basic protections. I stumbled a little on my way to the couch; I sank into the cushions, and closed my eyes. The edges of my brain were starting to go fuzzy, and I was really tiered. I would have stayed there all night, but Ron had other ideas. “Come on Hermione, at least go get some pajamas on, I don’t want you to ruin your dress.” He whispered in my ear. I just stayed put. “Someone has a low alcohol tolerance.” He muttered. I felt him straighten up, and I thought he was going to let me sleep. Nope, Ron slid one arm under my knees, and the other under my shoulders, and picked me up. I clung to his neck so I wouldn’t fall; his arms were so warm…
Next thing I knew, I was laying on the bed with my pajamas next to me. “I’ll let you get changed.” I heard Ron tell me. I opened my eyes, sat up, and saw the door close. I grabbed my pajamas and quickly changed.
“Ok,” I called out, “I’m dressed.” I sat cross-legged on the bed and waited for Ron to come in. He walked in and didn’t seem as affected by the wine as I must have been. He walked in the bathroom to change. I crawled up to the top of the bed, and slid under the covers on my side. The wine must’ve loosened the chains I kept on the creature in my chest, and it was stirring. It didn’t help when Ron came back into the room, shirtless. The creature started purring, and it seemed to vibrate through my entire body. Ron thumped down on the bed, and turned to look at me. The creature purred; it became almost too much to bear that Ron was so close, and I wasn’t kissing him. That fire was in his eyes again, the creature really liked that. I decided to try and distract myself. “It looks like the wine didn’t affect you as much as it did me.” I told Ron.
“Nah, I just handle it better.”
“Sure seems like it.” I looked away, and the creature got angry. So I rolled over and snuggled closer to Ron. In turn, he wrapped his arms around me, yawned, and pulled me closer. The creature was going crazy now, this was too close. The growling got louder, and Ron’s woodsy scent seemed to come in waves. I was starting to remember less and less, and loving the sensation more and more. All I knew was that Ron was holding me close, and I was blissed out. Everything was hazy, and moonlit; Ron seemed to radiate heat. It would be so easy to stretch up and give Ron a soft kiss. That’s when I felt an unfamiliar pair of hands on my waist.
The hands were strong, and they yanked me out of Ron’s grip. I heard Ron’s cry of protest, and felt him make a lunge for me. But the person attached to the hands swung me out of the way, and up against a wall. I looked, and saw the guy from the restaurant. He smiled, “Hey gorgeous.” And he passed a smoking phial under my nose.
My world exploded, that was my only definition, my world just exploded. All thoughts were blown from my mind, along with all of my cares and cautions. I could only force my scrambled mind to concentrate on three things, the delicious woodsy, smokey, musky, and slightly spicy scent, the guy in front of me who smelled like stale crackers, and the other guy (was it Ron?) who simply radiated the delicious smell. I looked over the cracker guy’s shoulder to look at the good smelling one. All that I knew is that I had to get to that guy, not to kiss him or anything like that, but so I could feel safe and loved. That guy (It is Ron!) holds another part of me, and if I’m not with him, I don’t have that piece. It hurts to be bleeding on the inside when relief is a yard away.
Ron somehow got behind the guy holding me to the wall, and pulled him away, and started to yell at him. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but without someone holding me up, I didn’t have the strength to keep standing. I sank to the ground, and rested my head against the wall. There were bright flashes of light that looked like spells, but they were too bright, and I closed my eyes again. I heard another door burst open, and heart someone yell my name; it sounded like a girl. I opened my eyes and saw Ginny rushing towards me, while Harry helped Ron. Once she was next to me she started to talk to me, I couldn’t understand, but some sense seemed to come back. So I tried talking. “Some sort of love potion, didn’t exactly work. Get me out.” I felt feverish. One part of me knew I had to get out; the other wanted to get to Ron.
“Are you sure?” Ginny asked me.
“Yes. Get. Me. Out.” I panted, I couldn’t get a breath. The part that wanted to get to Ron was gaining more control. I gasped; the pain I felt was turning into a burning agony. Ginny pulled me up from my crouch, and started to lead me from the room. When I collapsed for the second time, Ginny just put a spell on me so I would float. She grabbed my ankle and towed me down the stairs and into a guest room. As soon as Ginny closed the door, I felt my body slide back into my control. Ginny lifted the spell, and guided me to the bed. I couldn’t smell Ron, but my sense of smell was still stronger than usual. I was surprised to find that Ginny smelled almost exactly like moonlit path shower jell from bath and body works. I lay down and relaxed; Ginny knelt at the side of the bed and checked my vitals. Once she was done, Ginny sat on the edge of the bed and asked, “What happened?”
I told her about the boy, and how he passed the phial under my nose and how I lost control, then about how I felt, and how I could smell the boy’s scent. “Ginny, I’m scared. I don’t know what will happen if he comes in here, if I’d be able to control myself or not.”
“Do you want to go to Mundo’s?”
“No, just keep Ron out, I think it will wear off.” I sighed. Then I thought what if it doesn’t wear off, I’d never be able to be around Ron again. What if I met another boy who smelled even better? Ron would be crushed. I was about to vent to Ginny, when the door opened and Harry walked in.
“Ginny, I need your help, Ron’s hurt.” Harry gasped. It was like he had just run down the stairs. One part of my brain was enjoying Harry’s creamy, caramel like scent; the other was in full panic mode. If Ron’s hurt why am I sitting here? Get moving! I sprang up, and sprinted for the stairs. I heard Ginny yell out for me but I kept running; I couldn’t forget the image of what Ron looked like last time he was hurt. He was pale, limp, and wouldn’t wake up. But he said your name, and after that he was all right. I had to see him, get him to mundo’s, anything to help. I rounded the corner, and into the bedroom Ron and I shared. Ron had one hand braced against the wall, the other clamped over his shoulder. Dark blood was oozing under his hand, he was pale, and looked weak. I grabbed a pillow and tore the case off, and turned towards Ron.
I tested the air, I could smell him, but the heavy, coppery scent of the blood diluted it. I walked to him, and he looked up when I was a few feet away. I could see the agony in his eyes, and the relief that I was ok. “Are you hurt?” he asked
“I’m fine, it’s you who needs help.” I told him, as I pried away his pale hand. The wound looked deep; I pressed the pillow case over it, and Ron flinched. I started to gently push Ron towards the bed. “Did the guy give you any of that potion?”
“He tried, why?”
“Let’s just say it’s a successful potion.”
“Oh, are you going to attack me or something?”
“No, I just can’t describe what it does.”
“Ok, I’ve got this.” Ron nodded at my hand pressing the pillow case to his shoulder, “You go get my wand, it’s over on my bed side table.” Ron’s hand overlapped mine, and I could smell him. Just under the sharp twang of blood, Ron’s woodsy scent filled my nostrils again. I could almost see Ron on the white horse in an old spice commercial. I shook off the thought and grabbed his wand, pointed it at his wound, and muttered the spell. It healed instantly and Ron threw the pillowcase on the floor. Of course he had to look at me with his blue eyes on fire. I was wondering if he was lying and he did get some of that potion, I was debating finding Ginny again when Ron kissed me.
My world exploded again, only this time the creature was going crazy. I twisted closer to Ron and grabbed his upper arms. This kiss was different still; the fire that raced through my veins broke the surface of my skin. Ron was on fire. Everything was hot, because Ron was everywhere. I could feel that the missing piece of me was in Ron, but getting it… Ron seemed to feel my dejection, so he grabbed my face and kissed me harder. Slowly parting my lips, Ron breathed – hot and heavy- into my open mouth. I twisted my hands into his hair and burnt. It was at that point I lost track of time, but it only seemed like a few seconds when Harry rudely interrupted us. He pulled Ron off me - Ron had this adorable grin on his face- and then had to slap him to make him come back to reality. Ron seemed more irritated than anything else, and was snapping at Harry.
“What did you do that for? I certainly never did that to you and Ginny!” He yelled.
“Ron, she’s been given a dose of an unknown love potion. The best thing for her right now is to get her to Mundo’s.” Harry explained.
“Maybe she doesn’t want to go, what if she wants to stay here?” Ron spat back.
The conversation continued for a while, and I could feel the potion wearing off. My body became mine again and my sense of smell returned to normal, except for Ron. Judging how short the potion lasted it was probably some sort of drug, and would have to be taken constantly. I closed my eyes and shook my head to get rid of the last of it. When my eyesight came into full focus again, I realized that Harry and Ron were about ready to pull out each of their wands. I stood up, without stumbling, and stood in-between them.
“Guys I’m fine, the potion was powerful, but brief.” I turned towards Harry, and noticed Ginny. “Thank you both for coming to help.”
“Are you sure you’re all right Hermione?” Ginny asked warily, “You seemed pretty bad five minutes ago.”
“I’m fine, if anything I’d be better if you left me alone.” I hinted.
“Ok Hermione, we get the point. See you later.” Harry said shortly. He grabbed Ginny’s shoulder and led her away. I flinched when the door slammed downstairs.
Everything was quiet for a moment. Ron’s labored breathing slowed to match my quick, nervous breathes. I felt Ron’s hand on my shoulder, and I half way turned to look at him. He looked worried and then sad when he saw my face. His thumb slid gently across my cheek, and it was then that I realized that I was crying. Carefully, making every move predictable, I wrapped my arms around his neck and sobbed into his chest. Ron slowly stroked my hair, and kissed the top of my head, murmuring comforting words. Once my eyes ran dry I looked up at Ron, not sure of what response I would get.
Of course he was concerned, and he even looked a little shy. I just met his eyes and waited. Ron stroked my cheek and said, “Are you ready to try and go to sleep now?” I just nodded I was so exhausted. He shook his head and led me to the bed. As custom, as soon as I got in, Ron got in beside me. The creature was locked up nice and tight, so I felt safer when Ron pulled me closer to his side. I sighed, because he smelled so good. It was almost unbearable; his scent seemed to come off in waves. Instead of kissing him I tried to imagine a scene to go with the scent.
I ended up with a cozy log cabin in the middle of a pine forest. It was winter and snow was everywhere, smoke curled lazily from the chimney. Inside Ron and I were sharing a loveseat by the fire, drinking hot cocoa, and watching Crookshanks chase a mouse. Ron would lean down and kiss me now and then, and slowly he led me to a room filled with shadows. He flipped on the light and there was a king sized bed in the center of the room, made of logs and other limbs like everything else in the room. The quilt looked heavy and was a hodgepodge of warm colors. Ron traced a finger down my spine and slowly steered me to the bed, where he took off his shirt and reached for mine…
I continued dreaming about my cozy little cabin all night, and in a brief state of consciousness I recalled it wasn’t that long until winter. I hoped that maybe Ron would take me there soon.
I was confused when I woke up, wasn’t I in a bed in a cabin? I blinked a couple of times and sat up. Nope, still at my house. Ron wasn’t there so I got up to take a shower, the hot water felt amazing on my skin. I was rinsing my hair when I heard Ron calling my name. I sighed and got out, shrugging on a robe, I walked out of the bathroom and looked for him. He had just come in to the bedroom, and he was already dressed. When he saw me he smirked and asked, “Are you awake now?” as he strode towards me. He grabbed me in a gentle hug, and I hugged him back.
“I guess so,” I sighed, “have we heard from Harry or Ginny?” I let the question hang in the air, when Ron didn’t answer I took it as a no.
“Ginny sent an owl for you, I didn’t read it, but it seemed pretty urgent.”
“Ok, thanks Ron.” I squeezed him a little and went downstairs. The owl was waiting patiently, a heavy looking letter strapped to its leg. I took it off and threw the owl a bit of raw steak from the fridge; then I started to read the letter.
Sorry about Harry’s behavior yesterday, he was still tense from the fight with Ron. Fleur and I are going shopping today, and we were wondering if you wanted to come along. A new mall just opened up, and there are a lot of bridal stores. Write back if you want to go!
I thought that shopping sounded like a great getaway right now, so I wrote back,
Shopping sounds great right now, and I know you need a bride’s dress. Isn’t the wedding only a few months away? What were Harry and Ron fighting about? The potion was just wearing off at the time, so I have no clue what was going on. Where do you want me to meet you?
I grabbed a piece of toast, and ran upstairs. Ron was in the shower, so I was able to get dressed in my closet. Once finished, I grabbed my driver’s license; I kept it out of habit, and waited in the living room downstairs for Ginny’s owl. While I was waiting, Ron came downstairs. Noticing my clothes he asked, “Where are you heading off to?”
“Ginny and Fleur invited me to go shopping; I’m waiting for Ginny to send me an owl on where I’m supposed to go. Is there anything you want me to pick up while I’m out?”
“If you could get a broomstick kit I would be really appreciative.”
“Ok,” Ginny’s owl just came and I knew where the mall was. I turned towards Ron and stole an unsuspecting kiss from his lips. “I’d better get going, see you later.”
Time passed slowly after that, Ron started Quidditch and I got a job at the department of mysteries. I also took lessons on teaching for future experiences. Harry and Ginny got married and Ginny got pregnant. Harry and Ron made up and all was well…
“Let’s go out tonight.”
I turned to look at Ron – I was reading a new muggle novel called Twilight, and he was reading Quidditch Monthly- which turned out to be difficult in a hammock.
“What was that?” I asked. Over the past months our relationship had grown, not to obsessive kissing; but, to a higher level of respect and acknowledgement. Mostly we just sat on the couch and cuddled, maybe a soft kiss here and there, but that was it. We were so busy now we didn’t have time to go out.
“Come on Hermione, let’s go somewhere! I hardly get that kind of time with you anymore. Can’t we just escape into someone else’s life for a while?” Ron exclaimed, he seemed excited, I couldn’t blame him. The National Quidditch Tournament was only a few weeks away, and the Chudley Cannons were playing the Bulgarians. It would be the first time Ron competed against Viktor Krum. Ron still didn’t care for him, especially when Viktor invited me to a party he was holding in Sofia. It was a good luck party for the Quidditch team. He hadn’t known I was seeing Ron; so I wrote back calmly that Ron was playing for the opposite team, and I would be supporting him.
He wrote back claiming that he did not know that Ron was playing on the other team and apologized. He invited the both of us to lunch, along with Harry and Ginny. Ron called my name, jolting me back to the present.
“So, where do you want to go?” He asked.
“Italian sounds good, what about you.”
“I was thinking the same thing; I guess two great minds think alike.” He winked.
Once Ron and I had decided on a restaurant, I put on a nice navy blue dress and met Ron downstairs. I walked down slowly, not wanting to trip over the high-heels that Ginny got for me. Ron had tied his tie correctly today, and was holding my coat. It was still fall and very chilly; I realized that winter wasn’t far off.
Ron looked very handsome, the blue in his tie set off his eyes and his hair.
“Very nice.” I complemented as I approached. He handed me my coat, his eyes traveling up and down my body. His hand still held my hand after I shrugged on my coat. I could feel his breath run down my neck, and his hands trace up my arms. What really set me off was when he slowly nuzzled my neck and kissed me under the jaw.
I twisted in his arms and eagerly found his lips; my hands sought out his shoulders and grabbed them. I loved the way Ron’s shoulders felt, so wide and strong. I felt Ron’s hands creep towards my waist, and I stopped him there. I hadn’t been kissed like that at all, especially not with Ron. I had a feeling that something big was going to happen tonight, but I just wasn’t ready for that type of kissing. I looked up at him, and smiled. I wanted that type of kissing, but not right now.
Ron nodded, as understanding as always. He took my arm and led me out to the car. The drive seemed to only take a few minutes, and we were parked in front of a lake.
“What are we doing here?” I asked Ron, as he opened my door for me.
“I just thought it was a little more charming than a crowded, expensive, restaurant.” He told me, getting a pick nick basket and a blanked out of the back. The creature in my chest was stirring, sensing that something was going to happen. I followed him over to a little gazebo, equipped with a small table and two chairs. I helped set out the things; Ron had brought wine, bread, and salad. He was planning something, especially if he didn’t bring real food. I looked at him quizzically, unsure of his motives.
Ron pulled out one of the chairs for me, and I sat. He sat down opposite of me, trying to hide his nervousness. He poured some wine, and handed me a glass. “To the future.” He smiled, raising his glass. I smiled and we toasted. We snacked for a while before I spoke.
“It’s really nice out tonight,” I said softly, gazing at the moonlit lake. “And the lake looks beautiful.”
“Yeah, it’s ok. Nothing compared to you though.” He said, copying my tone. I blushed, sipping at my wine. “Hermione, can I ask you something?” Ron asked, leaning forward.
“Of course.” I said, my heart beating madly.
“Lately, you’ve been sleeping restlessly, tossing and turning. Is something bothering you?” He asked, taking my hand. I felt my blush deepen. I had been dreaming about the little cabin for the past few months.
“N-no. Just dreaming Ron.” I said, smiling slightly.
“You can tell me you know. Plus, I’m curious.” He laughed. He was trying, but I could still sense his uneasiness.
“I just dream about this little cabin out in a forest.” I said, “Don’t ask me where it is, I don’t even know if it exists.”
“Cabin in a forest eh? Are there elves and fauns too? Maybe a prince charming?” Ron teased.
“Well, I haven’t seen any elves yet. No sign of any fauns. But, prince charming?” I giggled, “Only man I’ve seen is a red haired wizard, with amazing blue eyes. He must’ve put a spell on me, because I find prince charming very distasteful now.”
“Smart wizard.” Ron laughed with me, “He knows that princes are so overrated.”
“I couldn’t agree more.” I chuckled.
We looked at each other for a while, comfortable in our silence. Ron had let his hair grow out, and it was flopping in his eyes. I reached across the table and brushed it to the side, so I could see his eyes better. I removed my hand, nervous again. The creature was defiantly waking up now, stretching inside me. I looked at the lake, watching the moon’s reflection ripple delicately across the black water.
“Hermione.” Ron asked quietly, “Can I ask you something?”
“Of course.” I smiled, turning back to him. I was surprised to find his blue eyes determined, something I only saw before a quidditch match. I immediately felt the creature sniff around, almost awake. Here it comes.
“Do you love me?” He asked smiling.
“You know the answer to that.” I sighed, resting my chin on my hand.
“I still want to hear you say it.” Ron said, reaching for my free hand. I allowed him to play with it, not paying real attention.
“Yes, I love you Ronald Weasley.” I laughed, “You know that as well as I do.” I felt Ron flip over my hand, tracing lines on my palm.
“You have to know by now that I love you as well.” Ron said, “So I’m just going to put it out there.” Ron looked up at me, fear evident in his eyes. Whatever he wanted to say, it scared him to say it.
“I love you Hermione, I love you more than I love quidditch, more than my own family, and you are everything to me. That’s why I’m asking you to marry me.” Ron said, so quickly I almost didn’t understand him. “I love your smile, your laugh, and your eyes when you look at me. I love the way you comfort me when I injured myself at quidditch, the food you cook, the lunches you pack me every day. I can’t imagine my life without you anymore. So please, will you allow me to be your husband?”
I just stared at him, speechless. It was really happening, Ron wanted me for forever. His eyes were hopeful, scared, and so full of pure love that they just might burst. I beamed, and then bit my lip. Joy was bubbling up inside me, threatening to overflow. I felt the same way I did in the room of requirement during the war, when he wanted to save the elves. I realized that I was his since that moment, and I always will be. I was glowing; love and glee fueled the fire that was my absolute joy.
“Yes.” I whispered, unable to put my feelings into any other word. “YES!”