Chapter 20 : The Real Thing
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A/N: Well everyone, here we are, the end at last. thank you to all that put up with the frustrations this story caused. I'm the type of writer that likes to make their chracters suffer befire they get together. I think it mightve been the influence of hispanic soap operas i was obsessed with watching as a child -_-. anyway, thank you again to those that reviewed and favorited. be on the look out for the sequel to "Stop The Question" that is coming your way very soon. here's THE END:
I've seen your face a thousand times
Have all your stories memorized
You're the one I want and it's not just phase
You're the one I trust, our love is the real thing
- “The Real Thing”- Gwen Stefani
The Real Thing: Five Years Later
Harry and Hermione were sitting outside the small balcony that jutted out of her bedroom. They were in Australia, visiting Hermione’s parents who had decided to renew their vows in a small ceremony in their backyard. It was a small intimate affair, only a few of Hermione’s closest relatives. Hermione had brought Harry along because her parents had begged her to. The Grangers had gotten along beautifully with Harry ever since Hermione re-introduced him to her parents five years ago. Harry was falling in love with Australia every time he went with Hermione. It was so different from the crazy life they led in London, where the Daily Prophet scrutinized every move they made. It turned out that of all the things that changed since the war, one thing that had remained the same was the daily Prophet. They still kept publishing lies and milking Harry’s name for all it was worth. Hermione too had become a favorite topic of the Daily Prophet; they always made her out to be the wrong woman for Harry, often linking her with famous wizards who she didn’t even really know.
In Australia, it was all different. Sure, the wizarding people knew who they were, but they were kind to them, not harassing them with questions of their private life. They could go around the block without worrying and looking around if there picture was being taken. Harry was half tempted into leaving it all behind and moving to Australia, but he still had important people left in England who were worth the price of being the Daily Prophet’s front cover topic. The Weasely’s were still very dear to him, as was his godson Teddy. He was just now regaining the old friendship he had with Ron, which had suffered immensely because of his relationship with Hermione. He knew what it was like to be in love, and getting over a feeling that strong took a very long time. Ginny, however seemed to have never recovered from her breakup with him. On holidays, Ginny always came up with some excuse to leave upon arrival and only greeted Harry when he did. It was even worse with Hermione; she would blatantly act as if she wasn’t present. Something Hermione always got upset about.
“What a lovely ceremony mum and dad had.” said Hermione pensively as she watched the sky turn blood red. The sun was setting, and the wind was cool.
It was early September and Harry had persuaded Hermione for them to stay a few days more. After her parents had gone off to their second honeymoon, she wanted to go back to work in England, but Harry contacted Mr.Doniphan and miraculously persuaded him to give her the week off. Hermione’s birthday was coming up in just three days and he wanted to something special, and he thought doing it in Australia was far better than doing it in England.
“Yes, I always wondered,” said Harry thoughtfully. “If my parents were alive today, would they have renewed their vows?”
Hermione looked at Harry sadly. The pain of losing one’s parents had to be the most horrible experience in the world. She grasped his hand gently and rubbed the top with her thumb.
“I’m sure they would’ve.” she said sincerely. “From what you’ve told me, they must have really loved each other.”
“I’m so happy to know what that’s like.” said Hermione looking at Harry, still holding his hand in hers. “I always dreamed of having something like my parents have.”
“Do you think you’ve found it?” Harry asked mischievously.
“I have no doubt in my mind that this is it.” said Hermione, leaning in to kiss him.
It felt as if all the hard times they had gone through to get to this point had happened so long ago. Five years ago, neither of them would’ve imagined that they could be together, without hiding, without worrying about other people’s opinions. As horrible as those days were, they would both go through it again in a heartbeat if it meant finally being together.
“Want to go walk around the town?” asked Harry enthusiastically, pulling Hermione swiftly on her feet.
“Sounds great.” she said cheerfully.
* * * * * *
It was a rather chilly night; it was also September 19, the day of Hermione’s 25th birthday. Harry had taken Hermione out of the house for the entire day, taking her all around the town and practically all around Melbourne. For dinner, he had taken her to a beautifully located seafood restaurant with a gorgeous view to the ocean. He purposely mentioned to the waiter it was her birthday, which resulted in Hermione being rambunctiously serenaded by all the staff. Something he knew he would catch hell for later. Hermione was used to the crazy things Harry did for her birthdays, it was after all, and the fifth one they spent together as a couple.
“Did you like the restaurant?” Harry asked as they walked along the shoreline near her parent’s house.
“Yes.’ said Hermione smiling up at him. “It was lovely, except for that horrible singing you made me endure by the waiters.
“I’m sorry love.” said Harry wrapping an arm around her waist. “I just wanted everyone to know that it wasn’t any other day but Hermione Granger’s birthday.”
“Only you care about that.” said Hermione amusedly.
“I know, but I still wanted to announce it.”
“You know,” said Hermione stopping to face the jet-black water before her. “Even after all the times we’ve come here, I can’t help but marvel of the beauty of this place.”
“I know what that’s like.” said Harry amorously.
Hermione blushed. Even with five years of being together, she still couldn’t help but melt at the loving words he threw her way. It was unreal to have everything she ever wanted in a man. Just when she thought her love for Harry couldn’t grow anymore, he surprised her by being so loving with her. It was a love that would never dissipate.
“Hermione, I still have one more present to give you.” Harry said seriously.
Hermione looked at Harry bemusedly. He had been giving her present the entire day, she was sure the last one had been the restaurant. What was even more curious was the sudden change in Harry, he now looked anxious and his hand was sweaty and clammy.
“Harry are you okay?” Hermione asked concernedly.
“Yeah, I’m just nervous.” Harry replied, swallowing the large lump in his throat with difficulty.
“Of What?” Hermione asked curiously.
“Well…this next present is much more important than any of the ones I’ve given you today.” said Harry shakily.
“We’ve been through a lot together, I know this is always said but it really is the truth.” He said nervously. “I’ve had this present for a while now. Got it when it was still unknown if we could ever be together…but the day I got it, you gave me a glimmer of hope, that one day…however long it took, we would be together.”
Hermione looked at Harry fretfully, she could sense where this was going and it was making her heart beat furiously. She watched as he put his hand in his pocket and pulled out a small white box tied up in a red ribbon. With a jolt, she realized that she had seen that box before, six years ago…
“I that what I think it is?” Hermione asked, feeling her eyes well up with tears.
“A few days ago you told me you had no doubt that you had found what your parents had, something you had longed for.” said Harry purposely ignoring Hermione’s question. He didn’t know where he was getting the courage from, but his fears were being erased as he voiced what he was feeling. “And I’ve known for a while that you are the best thing that could’ve ever happened in my twisted life.”
Hermione felt her tears cascade down her cheeks. She felt like heart could explode in any second, it was just not possible to feel this happy…this loved.
“And for whatever time I have left, I would love to spend it with you.” said Harry kneeling down on one knee.
Hermione covered her mouth with her hands, she was dying to scream, but wanted to keep composure, she wanted to hear the question she had dreamed about all her life.
“Will you marry me?” Harry asked, with the box now open in his hand.
It was the same ring Hermione had fallen in love with six years ago a ring with a classic, white gold band and single pear-cut diamond. The same ring she had picked him out, against her better judgment for Ginny and had later caused to be returned because of the kiss she planted on him. The kiss that had started it all. Harry was looking up at her with a mixture of happiness and dread, she knew that the longer she took the more anxious he was getting. With a shaking hand, she retrieved the ring and slipped it on; perfect fit.
“Of course I’ll marry you!” said Hermione though her tears.
Harry got up from the ground and picked Hermione up around the waist, twirling her around. He knew that Hermione was going to say yes, but it was unbelievable to hear the actual words. He put her down and while still entangled around each other, kissed her passionately.
Hermione couldn’t believe what had just occurred, she had been proposed by the man of her dreams in front of the beautiful dark ocean on her birthday. It would most definitely become her most memorable birthday to date. She was glad Harry had picked Australia to do it, nothing would have been worse than the happiest moment of her life being dampened by slanders on the Daily Prophet. She knew that when they got back to England, the news would undoubtedly get out and that lies would be fabricated, anything to make Hermione look like she was not the right one for Harry. However, none of that mattered because she got the ring, and she knew how Harry and she really felt.
Together they sat down, hand in hand watching the waters crash against the white sand. They were in love and in plans to get married in the near future, many people would not be okay with it, but it didn’t matter, they weren’t in their relationship. They both knew that the obstacles were now bigger as an engaged couple, but they had each other, they were deeply in love and whatever came there way, they would get through it together, as they had so many years before. Come sun or stormy weather.