Chapter 1 : Perfection
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The couple walked down the street, holding hands, laughing, and smiling at each other, clearly in love. These happy times after the war were times to be doing activities such as laughing, smiling and falling in love, as the activities had not been done since Voldemort came back. Diagon Alley was fully restored and as magical and interesting as ever, Hogwarts was back to its enchanting, majestic state and slowly, one by one, people were beginning to be happy. Such was the way of Hermione's life. After removing the curse on her parents, she had come back to the burrow to see Ron waiting for her in her room. She remembered the haunted, afraid look on his face when she arrived back in the room she always stayed in. He'd looked so nerMvous.
“I was wondering where you were.” he said.
“I went to see my parents and remove the charm.” Hermione said quietly, not meeting his eyes. The thought of their first kiss was still embarked into her brain, replaying and replaying over and over and over again. She glanced over at Ron, who was staring at his hands, looking as though he might like to sink into the ground. Hermione didn't blame him.
“The kiss.” Ron said suddenly, and Hermione felt her head shoot up in surprise. “Did you mean it?”
Did she mean it? Did she mean every single second, every single millisecond, every single inch of that kiss?
“Yes.” Hermione said. She saw from the corner of her eye Ron's head snapping up, with what could only be described as hope flickering across his features. Her heart was beating quickly in her chest as she turned to face Ron. His blue eyes searched her own, and suddenly all Hermione wanted to do was run into his arms and lean against his chest and cry over everything, over how stupid they had been at Hogwarts, over how afraid of loosing him she had been during the final battle, over how much she loved him but she was just too damn stubborn to tell him. And since there was nothing stopping her, she did.
Ron stiffened at the contact at first, but then relaxed. He stroked Hermione's back until she stopped crying. Finally, Hermione looked up and saw in Ron's eyes that he understood why she was crying. And then he leaned down and kissed her.
Ron looked at Hermione intensely. She seemed to be struggling with something, like she wanted to do something but didn't know if she should. But before Ron could ponder what it was, Hermione had suddenly rushed into his arms and was crying quickly and loudly. Ron stiffened in shock, then realized that he liked the feeling of Hermione in his arms. He put his arms around her and held her, letting a single tear slip from his own eyes. At last, she looked up at him. He realized that they were both thinking the same things. They had been so stupid at Hogwarts, wasted so much time they could have had together.
Hermione's lips were parted slightly from crying. Ron, without thinking, leaned down and gently kissed her for the second time in his life. It was like their first kiss, he supposed, except slightly less fast and more gentle. Neither wanted to pull back; it was like making up for extremely lost time. Ron peeked one eye open to see Hermione's eyes closed, her eyebrows relaxed, one hand on his chest, one in his hair. He became conscious of where his own hand lay on Hermione's back and could feel his face turning red.
Finally he pulled back, looking at Hermione's red, shocked face....
Hermione was startled from her memory of both her feelings and the feelings Ron had shown her in the pensive as a gift on their first anniversary as a couple from a knock on the door.
“Hermione!” Ginny called into her room. Sharing a small apartment with Ginny was cramped, but it also proved useful as she was more of a expert on Ron and guys in general. Whenever Hermione had a question about Ginny's brother or dating, Ginny always had the answer.
“Come in.” Hermione said, turning away from the window over-looking Diagon Alley and walking over to the magically expanded walk-in-closet in her bedroom. Ginny joined her there in a few moments, already shifting through Hermione's clothes in her mind. Silently, she reached into Hermione's closet and pulled out a semi-casual navy blue skirt and a white blouse.
“Why am I supposed to look so nice?” asked an amused Hermione, surveying Ginny's choices.
“I heard from Harry that Ron's planning to ask you something tonight. What, I don't know but it's going to be special. He's apparating you to a beach and a boardwalk and it's supposed to be really romantic.” Ginny said matter of factly, picking up a brown purse and a pair of white strappy sandals. Then she turned around and saw the state of Hermione's hair.
“Oi.” Ginny groaned. “How much time do we have?”
“He's picking me up at 6:30.” Hermione said innocently.
“ YOU'RE ONLY GIVING ME AN HOUR TO FIX THAT!”
“I didn't feel the need to tell you until you were making those annoying kissy noises to whomever you were talking to on your wand.”
“Well I'll be dammed if I'm not allowed to make kissy noises to my boyfriend!” Ginny said angrily. “Now I'm not telling you the spell for safe sex!”
Hermione choked on the piece of bagel she was scarfing down as a early dinner.
“Ginny!” she cried. “I sincerely doubt that's what he's going to ask me about.”
“You never know with my brother.” Ginny said, cooling down and stuffing a piece of paper into Hermione's purse.
“Now, let's see what we're going to do with your hair. I think I'll cast a spell to make it less wild, but then leave it down and cast a small shield spell so it will only blow behind you on the beach and won't go into your face.” Ginny mused. Then she cast the spells and got a blow drier out to see if they would work. Hermione rolled her eyes as her hair flew out from behind her neck like a model's.
“I feel airbrushed.” she complained to Ginny. “Like I'm cheating.”
Ginny held up Hermione's skirt without comment.
“I can dress myself, thank you.” Hermione said, grabbing the outfit and changing into it. She slid her shoes on and noticed that Ginny was talking to someone on her wand. Gleefully, Hermione tip-toed out of the room... a eyeliner/mascara free night was just 3 steps away..
"HERMIONE!” Ginny yelled. “Nice try. But get back here. Really.”
In a second Ginny's eyeliner, mascara and lip gloss were all working their magic on Hermione's face. Literally.
“This really is beautiful, Ron.” Hermione said, smiling at the scene in front of her. They were walking down the beach after a wonderful dinner, each holding a sprinkle covered ice cream cone, Hermione's shoes dangling from her fingers, her hair, as promised, only blowing behind her.
“Thanks.” Ron said, looking adorable as he modestly shoved his hands into his pockets. He finished his cone and tossed the wrapper into the garbage can, Hermione parroting him, then without even thinking about it, reaching for his hand. She took it and they kept on strolling down the beach, the waves rolling in at their feet. All of a sudden, Hermione felt the horrible urge to splash in the water. She kicked it with her toe, getting Ron in the eye. She looked up at him, about to apologize, when all of a sudden she felt water colliding with her skirt. Ron's eyes shone with mischief and the challenge of getting Hermione sopping wet.
Soon, a water war had broken out, Ron against Hermione. People walking down the beach stopped to comment on how young and in love they looked, careful not to get wet. They watched, completely un-noticed by the young couple. Finally, Ron kicked water so hard it knocked Hermione off balance. She fell onto the sand, laughing, her hair flying out under her. Ron leaned over her, laughing and checking to see if she was okay.
“I'm fine.” Hermione assured him. Then, just to get her revenge she tripped him. He fell, not onto the sand, but on top of her. Hermione was just thinking how light he was when she realized he hadn't fallen on top of her at all, but was propped up just above her, his face looming remarkably close to hers.
“I love you.” he whispered, and then he leaned down and kissed Hermione softly on the lips. The onlookers almost melted, even felt the urge to applaud. A few were gaping at Ron and Hermione as well, realizing who they were and being shocked at how well they got along. In the newspaper stories they were always talking about how Ron and Hermione were fighting. Hermione, unlike the newspapers, knew that those days were long gone.
“Hermione... I was thinking.” Ron said when they broke apart. “I've been living with my mum since the war ended... and it doesn't really suit me... so do you think maybe we could buy a flat together?” Ron asked.
“You mean you want me to help you look for a flat?” Hermione asked, confused.
“No.” Ron said. Hermione waited. “I mean... I mean I want to live with you, Hermione. Will you move in with me?”
Hermione's heart stopped. Never, in her 6 years at Hogwarts or during the horcrux hunt or while she had even been dating Ron, had she dreamed this would happen. Alright, so maybe she had thought about it, hoped for it, but in real life... and exactly but how it happened was absolutely perfect. Hermione realized that she couldn't wait for Ron to be the last thing she saw before bed at night and the first thing she saw in the morning So of course, her answer was a resounding
“Yes.” Hermione kissed Ron furiously, more passionately this time. She leaned back halfway through the kiss and whispered against his lips,
“Oh, and, by the way... I love you too.”