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Moving Forward

“Here,” Ron mumbled, thrusting the poorly wrapped package into Hermione’s startled arms as she entered his room.

“Well hello to you too,” Hermione remarked dryly as she set the gift and her bag down on Ron’s bed. She eyed the presumably clean clothing strewn about the room disdainfully. “I see that you’ve cleaned up.”

Ron shrugged sheepishly. “I meant to, honest, but I got called into work after breakfast and I only got home twenty minutes ago.” He sighed. As a new member of Auror Department, Ron was expected to be available to go into work at a moment’s notice. He had barely finished shower when he heard the telltale sound of her arrival via the floo downstairs and scrambled to get dressed. “I don’t even know why you wanted to come here anyway. We could’ve just gone to your flat.”

That was true, Hermione reasoned, if it were any other day. “Your mother invited everyone over for dinner. It would’ve been rude to leave. Especially tonight.”

The second of May would always be a day of mourning and remembrance in the wizarding world as much it was a day of celebration. A memorial ceremony was held on the grounds at Hogwarts and as an intern of the Ministry, Hermione was required to attend after her morning classes. The Weasleys, however, chose to spend the day in solitude together at the Burrow.

Ron sat down on the edge of the bed. “Some dinner it’s going to be…Mum won’t stop bawling, Dad will pretend nothing’s wrong and everyone else will sit there and pick at their food. I bet George doesn’t even show.”

“George is here,” Hermione corrected him. “He and Angelina are in the kitchen helping your mother prepare dinner. Your father was doting on the baby in the sitting room and I suspect Charlie and Bill are up to no good.”

Ron raised an inquisitive eyebrow. “How so?”

Hermione shrugged. “I don’t know for sure, but they were whispering in the corner while shooting Percy and his new girlfriend furtive looks.”

“Furtive?” Ron rolled his eyes. “What does that even mean?” He reached over and grabbed Hermione’s hand and tugged her closer. “I don’t think Audrey’s going to stick around much longer. She and Percy are nothing alike.”

“Oh and we are?” Hermione asked, laughing as Ron pulled her onto his lap.

“Well contrary to what your parents had hoped, we’ve made it a whole year without incident.” Ron replied.

Hermione nudged his shoulder. “My parents love you.”

“Oh so that’s why they insist on calling me ‘Ronald’,” he grumbled. “My own mum doesn’t even call me that. Face it, they don’t think that I’m good enough for you.”

Hermione kissed him long and hard. “I’m pretty sure they don’t think anyone is good enough for me,” she said on an uneven breath. “But their opinion doesn’t matter because it’s my life to live and I love you.”

Ron looked into her eyes for a long moment before reaching up to cup her cheek. “You mean that?”

“Of course I do,” she answered. When he continued to stare at her, she placed her hand on top of his. “I-Is something wrong?”

Ron opened his mouth to speak, but closed it after a moment’s hesitation. Without a word he gently pushed Hermione off of his lap and onto the bed and rose. Crossing the room, he opened his wardrobe and pulled out another poorly wrapped package. Clutching it in his hands, he returned to stand in front of Hermione.

“I don’t understand,” Hermione stuttered.

“Open this one,” Ron insisted as he took a seat next to her. “I know we agreed not to exchange presents this year. But I…I…just open it, please.”

Hermione turned the package around in her hands. The wrapping did little to conceal that the item was a book...a rather large one at that. Glancing up at Ron, she was alarmed to find him looking at her anxiously. Tearing at the gift-wrap, Hermione found herself staring at a copy of Practical Methods & Case Analysis in Magical Law. “I… it’s…” Hermione trailed off uncertainly. She’d been eyeing the book the last time she shopped at Flourish and Blotts, but never expected Ron to buy it for her. At least not as an anniversary gift.

“Open it,” Ron urged.

Hermione did so and gasped. “R-Ron.” A notch had been cut into the pages and a small, but surprisingly sparkly ring was nestled within.

"You didn't expect me to buy you a stuffy law book, did you?" Ron slipped off the bed and knelt at her side. “I know that it’s only been a year, I know. And for most of it, you were away at Hogwarts and I was helping George out with the shop. I wake up every morning thinking that maybe today is the day when you finally come to your senses and decide to chuck me for someone who’s smarter or braver or richer. Merlin knows it’s too soon and your father actually laughed at me when I suggested it, but you just said that you don’t care if they hate me or not and…” He swallowed hard and took her hand. “I lost my brother one year ago today. And as devastated as I am by that, it was also the day we first kissed. And thinking of that, and us, made today bearable for me.”

“Ron—“

“You’re right… we’re nothing alike. But somehow we fit. And for the past year, I’ve felt like the luckiest bloke alive. I love you, Hermione Granger. I know it’s unpractical and too soon, but I’m willing to wait. Even if that means waiting until you’re the next Minister of Magic so long as I have a chance at calling you my wife.”

“It’s impractical.”

Ron’s face fell. “What?”

“You said unpractical,” Hermione whispered, her eyes bright with tears. “The word is impractical.”

“Oh,” Ron replied. “You really are a know-it-all.”

Hermione nodded. “I am. And I know that I want very much to marry you, Ronald Weasley. And because I love you very much and not as a last resort.” She pulled the ring from the book with a trembling hand and gave it to Ron.

Ron slid the ring onto her finger and then leaned forward to kiss it gently. “So it’s a yes then?”

“Of course,” she answered pulling him up and onto the bed, kissing him exuberantly. During a rather heated exchange, she pulled away abruptly. “My father really didn’t laugh at you, did he?”

Ron shrugged. “He wasn’t exactly overjoyed.” He gestured at the other poorly wrapped present, that in their excitement, had been pushed onto the floor. "I really did want your parent's blessing before asking. I was going to wait, but after you said what you did, I just couldn't."

“My parents want what’s best for me,” Hermione told him. “And we’re going to show them that what’s best for me is you.” She reached down and picked up the discarded present. "May I?" Ron nodded and she tore open the box. "It's a quill?"
"Not just any quill," Ron hastened to explain. "The feather...it's erm the one you were able to levitate. You know, back in first year. Wingardium Leviosa. I nicked it after class."
"You...kept the feather? All these years?" She stared at him in shock. "But you called me an insufferable know it all!"

"You still are," Ron joked, "well except for the insufferable part. I sort of like having you around now." He paused. “I meant what I said about it being too soon,” he said soberly, sitting up to lean against the wall. “I didn’t make much working at the shop or else I wouldn’t be living here still. And it’s going to be a while before I can afford a decent flat and—“

Hermione placed her finger against his lips to stop him. “I don’t want to wait until I become Minister of Magic to marry you. I would, however, like to finish my last term at Hogwarts. So let’s figure out a time in between for a wedding that your mum will want to takeover the planning for." She brushed his fringe away from his eyes. "You're a wonderful man for helping your brother out at the shop. I spoke with George over Christmas hols and I know that you refused to let him pay you. And I know that you've stayed here instead of moving into the flat above the shop with him in order to keep an eye on your parents. You're a much better person than you give yourself credit for, Ron. It doesn’t matter where we live as long as we’re together. Okay?”

“How about Chudley?”

“Don’t push it.”

Tags:

The Price of Freedom (prompt: freedom)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The dancing flames and gentle crackle of the fire is surprisingly soothing as it helps to mute the sounds trickling into the common room through the torn portrait door.

The sounds of celebration.

The sounds of grief.

Sitting on the tattered couch, bruised, battered and exhausted, you cannot help but feel grateful as you run your fingers through the fiery strands of hair pillowed on your lap. Ron drifted off to sleep not too long ago, his breath hitching every so often, a testament to the heart wrenching sobs that wracked his tall frame as his grief consumed him.

He apologized through his tears, but you merely shushed him and held him close, hoping that your touch could sooth him in ways that your words could not. He had clutched at you with a desperate strength, too terrified to sleep, afraid that you would be gone when he awoke.

But you reassured him, just like he had that very first night on the run as you lay side by side in the drawing room at Grimmauld Place. That night he had whispered words of hope and comfort before hesitantly reaching over to tangling his fingers with your own. His confident tone, so unlike the Ron of years past, tempered your fear and filled you with a new sense of purpose.

To fight for a better future.

A shadow passes over the fireplace and you look up to see Harry guiding a drawn and despondent Ginny up the staircase to the boys’ dorm where her family has been keeping vigil over Fred’s body. His death has taken a grievous toll on the Weasleys. A family that has supported you in ways that your muggle parents never could.

And you grieve with them.

For Fred. For Tonks and Lupin. For Moody. For Dumbledore. For your fallen classmates and professors. For Teddy, who will never remember his parents. For Harry, who will undoubtedly feel a misplaced burden of guilt. And for the countless others who gave their lives in the fight for a better future.

Ron mumbles your name in his sleep and you hug him closer, reaching over to entwine your fingers with his. He settles down once more and you lean in close, whispering words of love. Words that you haven’t had the chance to say to him face to face.

But you will.

Soon.

When the pain of his grief...and yours...isn’t so fresh in your hearts.

When the cloud of loss no longer obscures the vision of happiness that you dreamed about on the eve of beginning a seemingly impossible task.

You will have your moment.

Soon enough.

In Her Element (prompt: ice)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

“This is completely barmy,” Ron muttered as he stood uncertainly at the edge of the lake.

“Nonsense,” Hermione replied as she effortlessly glided across the frozen surface. “I can’t believe you haven’t tried ice skating before.”

Ron directed his attention at Hermione’s ‘skates’. “Love, that’s because no sane individual, wizard and muggle alike, should be able to balance themselves on ridiculously thin, sharp blades of metal on such a slippery surface.” He shook his head in disbelief as Hermione easily spun around in a circle. “How is it that you don’t fall?”

“Practice,” Hermione told him as she drew near. “Mum and Dad would bring me to the park often during the winter before I went off to Hogwarts. I still go, just not as much because I have a wonderful boyfriend to keep me occupied now.” She smiled as he blushed in response. “And I can’t count the number of times that I’ve fallen. The trick is to get right back up and try again.” She came to a stop, her skates scraping across the ice and sending a spray of it onto Ron’s skates. “Come with me.”

“I’ll fall.”

Hermione grabbed onto both hands and slowly guided him to the center of the lake, supporting him as he wobbled precariously. “Then we’ll fall together.”

Prompt Table for 100 Quills

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


001.Doubt. 002.Magical. 003.Tomorrow. 004.Blank. 005.Destiny.
006.Picture. 007.Gentle. 008.Wrong. 009.Circle. 010.Breakfast
011.Ice. 012.Wonder. 013.Balcony 014.Honor. 015.Shaken
016.Regal. 017.Now. 018.Child. 019.Stone. 020.Clarity.
021.Weeks. 022.Purple 023.Freedom 024.Dark. 025.Too Much.
026.Friends. 027.Hers. 028.Journey. 029.Quarrel. 030.Regret.
031.Forgiveness. 032.Naked 033.Transparent. 034.Ancient. 035.Severe.
036.Cemetery 037.Risk. 038.Knots. 039.Warmth. 040.Promises.
041.Race. 042.Hero. 043.Natural. 044.Silence. 045.Who?
046.Tears. 047.Chocolate. 048.Parents. 049.If. 050.Ribbon.

Making Up Is Hard To Do (prompt: purple)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 


“Hold still,” Hermione snapped irritably, rolling her eyes as he winced and jerked his head back.

“That stings,” he whinged , as she dabbed at his face with a wet cloth.

Hermione pulled away and shook her head. Ron’s nose was bleeding and his left eye had swollen shut and turned a lurid purple color. “Honestly, you have to learn to control your temper. You’re lucky that nobody was seriously hurt, or worse, that the Aurors weren’t called in.”

“M’fine,” he mumbled, turning his head away. “And it’s not like I started the fight. That pompous git had his paws all over you. What did you expect me to do?”

“He did not!” Hermione exclaimed. “He merely reached around me to grab the dish of nuts on the bar.”

Ron shook his head and groaned. “You obviously didn’t see how he was looking down your blouse as he did so. Or how his hand swept down your back and caressed your bum as he turned to leave.”

“He did no such thing!” Hermione said, shaking her head.

“I know what I saw,” he declared stubbornly. “But if you don’t want to believe me, then so be it.” He stood up and marched stiffly down the hall and into the bedroom of their flat, slamming the door shut.

Hermione waited a good fifteen minutes or so for the situation to cool off, before approaching the bedroom. “Can I come in?” She asked, speaking through the door.

“It’s your room, too. You’re free to do whatever you want,” Ron replied crossly.

Hermione opened the door a crack and spotted Ron lying on the bed, his back to her. Pushing the door open further she entered the room and perched at the edge of the bed behind him.

“Obviously you and I have two different accounts of what happened tonight.”

“Obviously.”

She sighed. Ron never did make it easy on her. “Look, I’m not trying to get in a fight with you over this. It’s stupid really.”

Ron folded his arms across his chest. “Oh, so now I’m stupid.”

“I didn’t say that!” she replied, frustration lacing her words. She pulled at his shoulder
until he rolled over onto his back and faced her.

“Oh so what am I, then?” He asked snidely. “A jealous prat?

“No.” Hermione crawled up onto the bed and sat up, straddling his legs. “You’re an overprotective, but utterly wonderful boyfriend,” she answered.

He raised an eyebrow. “Yeah?”

She nodded, before leaning down to place a chaste kiss on his lips. “ Definitely. Maybe you misread his intentions… or perhaps I did,” he continued on hastily when he bristled at the accusation. “Either way, I don’t think a fight was necessary.”

He shrugged his shoulders. “Sorry. I guess I overreacted a bit.”

“Maybe,” she replied. While she never appreciated his jealous streak back at Hogwart's, his protective nature was somewhat endearing now that they were a couple. Not that she'd ever tell him this. “You know what I love best about fighting Ron?”

He watched with sudden interest as she deftly undid his belt and set to work on the buttons of his shirt. “Making up?”

She nodded, then paused. “Are you sure you’re up for that? Maybe we should wait until you’re feeling better.”

“Bollocks,” Ron replied, as he playfully pushed her off of him. He sat up on his knees and went to pull his shirt over his head, biting back a groan as his bruised ribs protested the movement. Hermione sat up as well and eased the shirt off for him, before ordering him to lie back down. “Hermione?”

“Yes, love?”

“Next time, I want to get into a brawl with some ogre twice my size, convince me to apparate home with you instead,” he said, pulling her into a kiss. “That way we can skip the bruises and the argument afterwards and go straight to the making up part.”