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Chapter 45 : My Forever
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The audience exploded, and Ginny ran up onto the stage to engulf her friend in hugs. Harry, laughing to himself, came up to clap Ron on the back. But, as Ron slid the ring onto Hermione's finger, he couldn't help noticing that her smile wasn't all there. He gave her an inquisitive glance, but she avoided his eyes, looking instead toward Harry so that she could give him a hug. Colin gave the signal to the stagehands, and confetti fell everywhere. Finally, Colin sauntered up to the edge of the stage, and said into the microphone,
“And that concludes season ten of The Perfect Match.”
The cameras stopped rolling, and Colin dashed up to Ron and Hermione and gave them each a hug.
“Congratulations, you two. You guys will make each other very happy. I just know it.”
And then Ron and Hermione walked off to the dressing rooms to change back into their street clothes. But instead of turning to go to his own room, Ron followed Hermione into hers and shut the door behind him, locking it firmly.
“What's wrong, Mione?” he said, looking into her eyes.
“Nothing. Every thing's great.” Hermione said brightly. Ron cupped her chin in his hand.
“Hermione Granger, that is not the face of a woman who just got engaged to the man she claims to love with all her heart.”
Hermione sighed and deflated.
“It's just that... well, are you sure? Did the game show ask you to propose to me? Is that why you did it? For a happy ending and better ratings?”
Ron's mouth dropped open.
“You think that's why I just proposed to you, Hermione?” he said, his eyes wide. “No! I thought that it would be romantic to do it here, on stage... well, apparently I was wrong. Sorry about that... but Mione, I've had this ring since before we broke up. I was going to propose to you in September, on your birthday, but we weren't together. I'd been shopping for rings for months beforehand, and I'd just found this one the day before you broke up with me. Obviously, I didn't want to be rushed in finding a ring, so I decided to get one months ahead.”
“Oh my god. Ron, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to doubt you like that, I just...”
“It felt like it was too good, didn't it?”
Ron grinned, and took her hand.
“I want to show you something.”
He led her out of the studio and to the back lot. Then he apparated to Godric's Hollow.
“Ron, we've been here before. You're not showing me anything new. And I'm pretty sure Harry and Ginny aren't home yet.”
“We're not here to see Harry and Ginny.” Ron said, glancing sideways at Hermione as he led her down the street. “Do me a favor and close your eyes, eh?”
“Um... okay.” Hermione said, her eyelids sliding shut. Ron guided her down the street until he finally positioned her in the proper direction.
“Open your eyes.” he whispered into her ear. So she opened them.
“Oh. It's that house I liked.” Hermione said, something feeling off in her stomach. “It's nice, Ginny and I-”
But her breath suddenly caught in her throat. Ron had just placed a cold, metal key in her hand.
He nodded, inviting her to ask her question.
“Ron, how did you get the key to this house?”
“It was easy. Cuz, I own it, you see.”
In a second, Hermione had turned around and was covering Ron in kisses.
“Oh my god! YOU BOUGHT ME A HOUSE! A HOUSE THAT I WANTED! YOU BOUGHT ME MY DREAM HOUSE!”
“Er- yeah.” Ron said, laughing. “I'm glad you like it. Happy belated birthday.” He teased.
“Ron!” Hermione screamed, running through the white fence and up the pathway, into the house. “Oh my god! My furniture will not work here... we'll have to go shopping...”
“You're forgetting all the money we got paid for doing the game show.” Ron said, following his excited fiancée into the house and pulling the door closed behind him. “We can buy new furniture with that.”
Hermione jumped up and down and let out an excited scream. When she finally stopped, she flew into Ron's arms again.
“Sorry. Too many good things at one time. I can't believe we're getting married! And we're going to live here!”
“And we're going to host birthday parties here, and summer parties here, and have our anniversaries here, and raise our children here...”
With that, Hermione flew up the stairs and started picking out rooms.
“Let's see... that's going to be our room... and that'll be our first baby's room... and that'll be our second baby's room, and... well, we'll need to repaint that one, but the twins that we'll have third can share that room.”
“Er- Hermione, I think you're jumping the gun a little bit.” Ron said.
“You're right. We should probably get started painting now, though, just in case. Do you think the twins will want Babbity Rabbity wall paper, or would they rather have the Fountain of Fair Fortune?”
“I could try to stop you, but it's probably a moot point,” Ron muttered under his breath.
“What did you just say?” Hermione asked, her face pink with excitement.
“Nothing, honey.” Ron said, smiling lovingly. Hermione grinned back, then turned around and continued trying to decide whether or not the crib should be white. “However... I might as well try.” He murmured, before speaking again in a louder voice, “Hermione? Why don't we start making wedding plans before we think about babies.”
Hermione seemed torn, but after a while Ron's suggestion won out in favor of talking about the Honeymoon.
After a few hours of discussing their wedding, Hermione grew tired and fell asleep. Ron watched her, thinking about that day and how crazy it had been. Sure, Hermione was a bit controlling of their future. But he was actually looking forward to it. He smiled as he brushed a stray strand of hair out of her face, then started thinking about the video they had watched during the game show. He remembered seeing her go crazy in Italy, and that brought him back to how he had promised to himself that he would bring her back someday. Suddenly, a plan formed in his head. Ron shook Hermione awake, and she groaned and opened her eyes.
“What?” she asked. “Is your mum on fire? Is the flat coming to visit?”
“No. Hermione, get up, and put on some more suitable clothes.” Ron said, tugging on the tank top Hermione was wearing as her pajama top.
“Why?” Hermione asked, suddenly awake.
“I'm taking you somewhere.” Ron said, grinning down at her. “And I'm going to give you an even better proposal.”
“Ron, you've already proposed. You got the girl. Yippee. Now let her sleep.”
“No. You didn't believe me the first time.”
“I believe you now.”
“I know, but it has to be perfect. Come on. We don't know how long it's going to be until I start forgetting how to be romantic. Don't you want to take advantage of me now?”
“No, but maybe in the morning.” Hermione muttered, turning over. In a few seconds, Ron had pulled the covers off of her. “Gahh! I knew that was going to come back and bite me in the arse!” Hermione cried, finally sitting up.
“Well, now that you're here.” Ron said, smiling. “Be ready to leave in twenty minutes.”
So Hermione stumbled out of bed, got dressed, brushed her teeth and hair, then made it back to the living room, where Ron was waiting, wearing a fleece jacket.
“Where are we going?” Hermione asked, taking hold of his arm.
“The Leaning Tower of Pizza.” Ron said. And before Hermione could even begin to try to comprehend what that meant, Ron had turned his heal and taken off. Soon, they were in Italy, right in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Hermione looked around, taking in the tower and the setting. By the time her eyes reached Ron's, he was already on his knee again, his mouth formed into a lopsided smile.
“I promised I would bring you back here someday. And so here we are.”
“Ron-” Hermione started, but he held his hand and cut her off.
“Would you please, pretty please, with a knut on top, marry me?”
“Hmmm.” Hermione stood there like she was thinking about it. “Will you buy me a house?”
“Consider it done.” Ron said, his eyes twinkling.
“Then of course!” Hermione said, kneeling as well and placing her lips firmly on Ron's. When she was finished kissing him, she pulled back and smiled. “Now that was a proposal. I don't think I've ever heard anyone use pretty please with a knut on top. So original!”
Ron frowned, his brows creasing together.
“Should I have said sickle?”
The next day, Hermione headed to Betty's shop, her heart beating happily as she ran down the street. She burst through the door of the woman's shop, screaming her name. Betty walked into the front of her store, saw Hermione jumping up and down, and immediately realized what was going on.
“He asked? He asked? You're getting married! Oh, Hermione, that's brilliant!” Betty said, and Hermione flew into her arms and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“I'm going to be needing that beautiful dress you made for me, Betty.”
“I already had it made. I'll just go and get it.” Betty said, grinning at Hermione. Hermione's heart stopped when she saw the dress. It was even more beautiful in real form then it had been on paper.
“Oh my god, Betty. This is so gorgeous!” Hermione cried, grabbing the dress and handing Betty her money. “And of course, you're invited to the wedding.”
“I'll be waiting for my invite.” Betty said, smiling at her favorite customer. “Would you like to stay for tea, tell me how it all happened?”
Hermione looked at her regretfully.
“I can't. I'm working today, because I don't want to work on Monday, and I'm on my lunch break right now. I have to get back to work, though. By the way, don't tell Molly. We're telling the Weasley clan tonight at dinner. The only people who know are Harry and Ginny.”
“Aye, aye, captin.” Betty said, waving Hermione out of the shop.
She exited the store and apparated back to her home, then dropped the dress in a closet. Just as she was about to leave, Ron popped into the flat.
“Ron?” Hermione said, frowning. “What are you doing here?”
“Oh, hi! I wasn't expecting to meet you, thought you'd be at work.”
“I went to pick something up from Betty.” Hermione said, grinning shyly.
“Betty? Mum's old friend? The wedding dress... oh! Can I see it?”
“That would be a no.” Hermione said, wagging her finger at him.
“Ah, well. I came with a message from Ginny. I was just gonna write it, but... don't come over tonight, she's feeling sick again.”
“Again?” Hermione asked, looking worried.
“Yeah.” Ron said. “Hey, you still have twenty-five minutes to your lunch break, right?”
“Yes...” Hermione said suspiciously.
“Well, I can think of a lot of excellent activities that can be done within those few-”
But before he could say anything else, Hermione wrapped her arms around his neck and started kissing him. Ron, seeming pleased that she had read his mind so quickly, kissed her back hard, and assisted her as she started to take his shirt off. She ran her hands up his chest, then pulled back, looking excited.
“I've just remembered! You promised to tell me why you worked out so much you got that six pack! We're engaged, so you have to tell me now!” she said triumphantly.
“Er- can we do that after?” Ron asked, going in to kiss her neck. “Your excitement over getting engaged has resulted in the best sex we've ever had, and seeing as you just got the wedding dress, you're bound to be-”
“No.” Hermione replied, sitting down on a kitchen chair.
“Fine.” Ron said, and then he sat down, too, and Hermione pleasurably noticed that he didn't put his shirt back on. “Remember the second date we went on for The Perfect Match? Well, the guy you talked to... his girlfriend showed me a picture of him shirtless. Bit creepy, really. Anyway. I saw you flirting with him and being all blushy and giggly over his love for books, and I thought it might be only because he was- apparently- so good looking. So, I vowed that I would get abs just as good as his. And I did.”
He finished somewhat smugly, and Hermione looked back at him with an amused air. She went over to the chair he was sitting in and sat on his lap, then leaned down to give him a sweet, tender kiss.
“Ronald Weasley, the is the most jealous, unnecessary, and insane thing I have ever heard in my life.” she said in a scolding voice. Then she smiled, and her voice dropped to a whisper that made Ron shiver pleasurably. “But it was so, so sweet.”
And then they stopped talking about it in favor of making the most of Hermione's lunch break.
A/N: Haha, I totally got you guys! Okay, so, a few things to say. One, thanks for being so patient whilst waiting for this chapter. Two, to those of you who threatened me or had heart attacks, I'm very glad you're so invested in this story. And three, for those who thought they shouldn't get married... well, I see where you're coming from, but I feel that they're ready. ~writergirl8
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