Chapter 24 : Chapter 24 Epilogue
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Ginny walked into the Great Hall the next morning and sat at the Gryffindor table. Hermione looked at her face and asked, “What has you in such a great mood?”
“Look what Draco gave me.” Ginny held her hand out for Hermione to see.
“He gave you a ring? I am impressed.”
Ron looked up in horror. “He what? He gave you a what? What does that mean? Please, Gin, tell me you’re not marrying that obnoxious git.”
Ginny laughed. “I’m not marrying anyone, Ron. It’s more a ‘I have a boyfriend so don’t think of asking me out’ kind of ring.”
“Oh, thank God. All hope is not yet lost,” Harry commented in a melodramatic tone.
Ginny stuck her tongue out at Harry, and then lobbed a piece of toast at her brother. “Be happy for me. I had to do a lot of scheming and bargaining to get this ring.”
Hermione chuckled. “How naked were you when you convinced him to give you this?”
Harry laughed while Ron slapped his hands over his ears and glared at Hermione. Ginny leaned over and whispered the abridged version of last night’s events into Hermione’s ear. Hermione snorted with laughter, and Ron scowled. When Ginny was done speaking, Hermione leaned over and pulled Ron’s hands down. “The conversation is now brother safe.”
Ron sighed. “Fred and George have so much to repent for.”
Luna looked at Draco as he sat down across from her at the Slytherin table. She turned to look at Ginny and saw that her friend appeared happy, so she asked, “Why isn’t Ginny eating breakfast with us?”
Draco shot Luna a look as he poured his juice. He considered pointing out that she didn’t even belong at his damn table and that she was nosy, but he figured that Blaise would do him bodily harm if he pointed out these facts. “Ginny is showing her ring to Hermione.”
Luna shot up out of her seat and ran over to where Ginny was sitting. “Draco said you had a ring,” she declared as she wedged herself between Ron and Harry.
Ginny held out her hand so that Luna could see her prize. “Oh, that is some sort of signet ring, isn’t it?”
Ginny shrugged. “I have no idea. Draco dumped his jewelry box and told me to pick something out that would symbolize that I was unavailable. He was pretty irritated at the time, so I chose quickly.”
Luna laughed. “I figured you would have to drag him kicking and screaming into a respectable relationship.”
Seamus spoke up from down the way. “Ginny, do you know why your boyfriend is looking at me like he wants to kill me?”
Ginny looked up to see Draco whispering to Blaise, and shooting death glares at Seamus. She sighed, “I’m afraid I used your name in an unfortunate example last night when Draco and I were arguing. It might be in your best interest to stay about twenty feet away from me at all times until he calms down.”
Seamus laughed. “What do you think he’d do if I walked over and kissed you on the cheek?”
“Seamus, please don’t mess with Draco. He and I have an uneasy truce going right now, and I don’t need you to complicate it.”
Seamus chuckled. “I never get to have any fun.”
Ginny looked at Luna. “I think I’ll go back over there with you just in case Seamus feels like stirring up trouble.”
Luna nodded. “That does sound sensible.” Both girls walked back over to the Slytherin table and joined their boyfriends.
Draco smirked at Ginny. “How did your brother take the news?”
“Oh, he was thrilled. Pass the pancakes, would you?”
Draco passed her the pancakes, and then he looked at Luna. “What do you think of Ginny’s ring?”
“I think it is a lovely symbol of your relationship.” Luna stressed the last word, and Draco cringed.
“I don’t think there is a scarier word in the universe,” he commented.
Luna looked off into space for a moment. “That is probably just because you are emotionally stunted due to your father’s infidelity up to this point.”
Ginny choked on her pancakes. When she could breath, she said, “You had to pick now to speak clearly. Couldn’t you have made that a bit more cryptic or talked about yetis or something?”
Luna looked confused. “I don’t really see how yetis apply to this conversation.”
Blaise started laughing. Luna just shrugged and ate her pancakes. When she was finished, she reached across the table and grabbed Blaise’s hand. “Walk by the lake with me?”
“Sure, I could use some fresh air.”
Ginny watched as Blaise and Luna walked out of the Great Hall hand in hand. She wondered if Luna would press him for a ring, or if she felt confident enough without one.
Hermione watched Luna and Blaise walk out together. She looked at Ron. He was happily eating his pancakes and chatting with Harry about Quidditch. She looked down at her own promise ring that Ron had given her at Christmas. He had never told her what it meant. She assumed it meant that they were not seeing anyone else, and maybe it meant that some day they would get married.
Later when they were sitting together in the Common Room, she said, “Seeing Ginny’s ring made me wonder something about my ring.”
Ron looked at the silver band with the heart engraved on it that he had given Hermione. “What about it?”
“Well, when you gave it to me, you said it was a promise ring. I guess I just wasn’t sure what you were promising me.”
Ron frowned. “I thought that was obvious. I am promising that there won’t be anyone else until we are old enough to get engaged and married.”
“I think I like that answer,” she informed him as she leaned over and pulled his face toward hers for a searing kiss. When she pulled back to look at him, she felt like everything had fallen into place. “I love you, Ronald.”
Ron smiled. “I love you too, Hermione.”
Hermione stood up and took Ron’s hand. “Follow me, please.”
Ron looked at her. “Where are we going?”
Hermione stood on tiptoe and whispered. “All of my roommates are outside or in the library. I thought we could go up to my room.”
“Oh,” was all that Ron was capable of saying as he realized what her intentions were.
Hermione led him over to the steps, and then performed a simple levitation spell on his shoes. He floated an inch or so above the steps, and Hermione pulled him along. He had the odd thought that it paid to date a very smart witch.
Blaise was sitting with his back against a tree, and Luna was sitting between his legs leaning back against his chest. He inhaled the scent of her hair, and sighed. “Luna, I really like you.”
“I really like you, too,” she informed him, wondering where this was going.
“I don’t plan on dating anyone else while I’m seeing you.”
“That is good to know. I don’t want to see anyone else either.”
“Good.” Blaise reached into his pocket and pulled out a ring with his family crest on it. “Close your eyes,” he instructed as he took out his wand.
Luna closed her eyes, and Blaise placed the ring on her finger and tapped it with his wand to activate the automatic sizing spell. “Open your eyes.”
Luna looked down at the ring on her finger and shifted sideways so that she could lay her head on Blaise’s chest. She admired the ring and the four diamonds that were set around the band. “Would it be poor form for me to go up to Ginny and say, ‘Look. I got diamonds.’ ?”
Blaise laughed. “I think, if you did that, Draco would go out and buy her bigger diamonds just so that I didn’t show him up.”
Luna smiled. “Well, I may just have to do that then.”
Pansy and Neville were strolling around the lake. When they worked their way back to where Luna and Blaise were, Pansy couldn’t resist the urge to show off her engagement ring.
“Luna, did you hear that Neville and I are engaged?”
“No, I didn’t know that.” Luna lied because she could tell how excited Pansy was. “Did you pick out a ring yet?”
Pansy smiled and held out her hand. Luna made appreciative noises. “Pansy, that is gorgeous. Good job, Neville.”
Pansy beamed, and Neville blushed. Luna smiled and asked, “Have you shown Ginny yet? I know she’ll want to see it.”
Pansy looked around. “I think they are still inside, but I’ll make sure to show her later.”
Pansy walked off, and Blaise smirked at Luna. “You’re setting Draco up, aren’t you?”
“I’m just giving Ginny a clear idea of her next goal.”
Blaise laughed and then stopped suddenly. “You aren’t expecting something like that, are you?”
Luna shook her head no. “I’m quite happy with the ring you just gave me. I don’t expect a ring like that until about a year after we graduate.”
Blaise was not sure if Luna was joking or not. When she leaned in and kissed him, he decided she would probably get whatever she wanted anyway, so he wasn’t going to worry about it.
Albus Dumbledore strolled around the lake and watched the odd couples with amusement. He would have to make the mistletoe a yearly event if it was going to inspire such interesting couples.
Ginny smiled as Draco kissed her neck. It had been a month since he had given her the ring, and things couldn’t have been going better. She was finally feeling confident in her relationship. She attempted to say, “I love it when you do that,” but her mouth must have known her true intent because what she really said was, “I love you.”
Draco froze and pulled back to stare at her. Confused, she turned to look at him. “What’s wrong?”
“You just said that you loved me.”
Ginny appeared as shocked as he felt. “I did, didn’t I? Well, I do.”
Draco backed up a step and Ginny glared at him. “Ginny, I...I’m not ready to say that.”
Ginny blinked furiously to avoid the tears that were forming in her eyes. “I see. When do you think you will be ready to say that?”
Draco backed up another step. “I don’t know.”
Ginny looked at the terrified expression on her boyfriend’s face, and a tear escaped despite her best intentions.
Draco looked at the tear as it made its way down her face, and he felt like the jerk that her brother was always insisting he was. “I’m sorry.”
Ginny nodded. “Maybe, I should go.”
“I don’t want you to go.”
“Well, I guess that is something,” Ginny reasoned as she swiped at the tears that were making tracks down her face. “Do you have a handkerchief? I can’t seem to make these stop.”
Draco walked over to a drawer and pulled out a handkerchief. Ginny accepted it and sat on his bed. Draco sat next to her and put his arm around her. “Tell me what you mean when you say you love me.”
Ginny looked at him to see if he was teasing her, but he wasn’t. “I guess I mean, that I never even consider being with another boy. I look forward to spending time with you every day. When I’m in class, I think about you. Whenever anyone says anything funny or does something interesting, I want to share it with you.”
Draco seemed to think for a moment. “When you’re crabby, do I make you happy?” Ginny nodded. “Do you worry about what will happen when I graduate?” Ginny nodded again. “Do you feel like you can’t go a day without touching me?”
Draco smiled. “Well, then I think I love you too.”
“Yes, I think I love you, Ginny Weasley.”
“Oh, thank god. If you didn’t, I was going to have to hex off a part of your body that I’ve become very attached to.”
Draco smirked at her, and she said, “I’m not kidding.”
Draco paled a bit, and she leaned over to kiss him. “Don’t worry; I have no reason to hex you now.”
“I am in love with a scary woman. For the first time in my life, I feel like I can relate to your brother. Quick, do something to get that thought out of my head.”
Ginny smiled and pulled her shirt off over her head. Draco stared at her pastel blue bra that was decorated with fake bunny fur. She smiled and explained, “I ordered it for Easter, but I felt like wearing it today.” She reached into her pocket and grabbed her wand. She pointed it at a small pair of bunny ears that she pulled out of her other pocket. “See, it came with these ears, and there’s a bunny tail on the knickers.”
Draco watched as Ginny shed her skirt and stood in front of him smiling in her sexy little bunny costume. “Have I mentioned that I love you?” he asked as he stood up and walked towards her. Leaning down, he kissed her neck and she sighed.
“You may have mentioned it, but I don’t mind hearing it again.”
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