Chapter 3 : Epilogue: What Happens in the Kitchen...
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“Ronald!” Hermione scolded as he dragged her into the kitchen.
“Food? You’re seriously thinking about food?!” She was seething. “Harry, I can understand; the Dursleys practically starved him. But, what is it with you...”
“Woman!” Ron cut across her and was slightly amazed she stopped talking. He let out a breath. “I’m not hungry. Okay?” He nervously ran his hand through his hair and leaned against the table.
As the silence drew out, Hermione lost her patience. “Well?”
“I just didn’t want to be in there when…”
Hermione shook her head in exasperation. “When…what?!”
“When…when we talked about this,” he said sheepishly.
“The plan? Ron, why in the name of Merlin’s…”
“Not the bloody plan, Hermione. Gods, can’t you just give me a minute to think?”
Hermione crossed her arms and cocked an eyebrow at her boyfriend. “Take your time,” she said sarcastically.
Despite himself, Ron started to laugh. Seeing that Hermione’s color was beginning to redden, which was always a bad sign, he broke the silence.
“That’s what I love about you, you know? ‘Brilliant, but scary.’* Remember?”
Hermione was fighting the grin that desperately wanted to creep across her face. When she lost that battle, Ron took both her hands in his.
“I gave Harry that letter from Malfoy with more than an end to the Death Eaters in mind. I knew I’d have to get him alone and maybe get some Firewhiskey in him to get him to see reason.”
“Reason?” she asked.
Ron nodded. “Bloody hell, Hermione, haven’t you wondered why he’s been enduring all the grief Mum’s been giving him about the two of them living together for so long?”
“Well, I assumed he hadn’t proposed to Ginny because he was having one of his fits of nobility again.”
Now we’re getting somewhere, Ron thought. “Right. He wanted to wait till the guerrilla war was over; didn’t want any risk of leaving a grieving wife behind.” He locked his eyes on hers. “And, since the Forest of Dean,” it took an effort for Ron to maintain eye contact as he mentioned that time in their lives, “have you ever seen Harry and me do anything important that we didn’t do together?”
He cocked an eyebrow at her and waited. This must be how she feels when she’s trying to explain Ministry procedure to me.
It didn’t take long. Ron could see that it hit her like a bolt of lightning. “Now, do you understand why I’ve been dodging the subject?”
Hermione slowly nodded. “You’ve been waiting for him, trying to talk him into it.”
Ron hesitated. “I needed to be there for him; I needed to be in it with him. I owed him that, and a lot more. And hell, I needed to convince myself, too. I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of making you a widow, either.” Ron bit his lip. “Before I could make a promise like that to you, I wanted to be pretty sure that I’d be around to keep it. I owed you that. I couldn’t bear the thought of failing you again.” His eyes teared up a bit as he finished. “I hope you can understand why I had to wait…Once you gave me Draco’s letter, I realized the waiting was over. But, Harry still needed a push.”
“So, now you’re…” Hermione couldn’t finish the sentence. She felt her knees go weak.
“I am…Please…be my wife.”
“Why?” Ron wasn’t expecting that.
“Why, Ronald?” Her voice was gentle, but insistent.
Oh, bugger! “Why?” Ron asked the kitchen. “Granger, people that bicker as much as we do are supposed to be married. They’re called ‘old married couples.’”
“Because,” he dropped to one knee, “because, that day in the hospital wing when I’d been poisoned, the only thing I needed was you. And then, you were there, holding my hand.”
Hermione shook her head. “But, you didn’t remember…”
“I remembered. I was just too scared to tell you. Since that day, you’ve been my whole world.” Ron took a deep breath. “Hermione Jean Granger, will you feed me, have horrible rows with me, love me and stay by my side for the rest of our lives no matter how mental I make you?”
Hermione couldn’t speak. Ron was starting to get nervous. Gods, Harry was right. What do I do if she says no?
That’s when she threw herself at him. “YES! YES! YES! OH GODS, RON, YES!”
It happened that fast. The couple completely forgot where they were as Hermione pinned Ron to the kitchen table, their clothing flying everywhere. He managed to disengage his lips just long enough to ask a single question. “Are you sure?”
She stared at him. “Ronald?”
“Right.” Gods, I hope we don’t break Harry’s table.
AN: Curious as to what happens with the plan? All is revealed in my novel, "Children's Crusade." Please give it a read. For time-line purposes, this tale takes place one week after "Best Laid Plans" and about one month before "Children's Crusade." A complete timeline of the Crusadiverse is included below.
A special "thank you" is owed to WeasleyTwinMom (a/k/a momotwins) for looking this over to ensure I'm ToS compliant so I keep my TA status.
And last, but NEVER least, a very very big THANKS is owed to my beta and adopted little sis, 1917Farmgirl. If you haven't read her stories yet, you are definitely missing out.
* Line taken from the film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." (Warner Bros., 2001 -screenplay by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves) The toys belong to JKR - she just lets us play with them.
1996 - Fall - "More Skill Than Luck " - one shot - posted as Chapter 87 of "Phoenix in the Ashes," site-wide collaboration. It's in my favorites.
1998 – July – “Hermione’s Wand” – one shot - posted as Chapter 1 of "Tales from the Crusadiverse"
1999- August – “Journey of a Thousand Miles” – one shot - posted as Chapter 1 of "The Staffer's Choice Awards," a Prefect's Collaboration. It's in my favorites.
2000 – August – “The Battle of the Pitch” (main story line) – short story – posted
2000 – November – “The Adventures of Reckless Git and Danger Ponce” – short story – posted as Chapters 2-4 of "Tales from the Crusadiverse"
2002 – Spring – "Best Laid Plans," -one shot; and “The Proposal” – short story – both posted.
2002 – Early Summer – “The Tipping Point” – short story - posted as Chapters 5-7 of "Tales from the Crusadiverse.".
2002 – Summer – “Children’s Crusade”- novel – sequel to “Stop All The Clocks” – posted
2003 – December – “The Gift”- one shot - posted as Chapter 30 of "The Final Battle," site-wide collaboration. It's in my favorites.
2004 – May – “The Battle of the Pitch” (introductory story line) – posted