The first thought that entered Hermione's mind that morning was,
“I'M GETTING MARRIED TODAY!”
It was also the first, second, third, fourth, and fifth thing that came out of her mouth.
“Yes, I know, Mione, but shut up, I'm still sleeping.”
Hermione leaned down and kissed Ron's cheek, then started jumping on the bed. He sat up with an amused expression on his face, then finally gave in and started jumping with her.
“Guys- stop whatever you're doing right now! I'm coming in.” called out Ginny's voice. She entered the room with her hand over her eyes, the other one out to protect her from anything she could bump into.
“MORNING GINNY!” Hermione shouted, her high ponytail bouncing up and down as she jumped.
“You, too.” Ginny said, laughing at Hermione. Then she turned to Ron. “Merlin, brother. I think it's illegal to marry three year olds.”
“That's disgusting.” Hermione said cheerfully, getting off the bed and running excitedly into the bathroom to brush her teeth. If there was one thing Hermione Granger Almost Weasley hated, it was morning breath. That was why she kept mints in both her and Ron's bedside tables. But she needed something to do, so she got up and brushed her teeth with such vigor her gums started bleeding. Nothing could bring Hermione down today. Not when Ron bumped into a wall on his way out of their bedroom. Not when Hermione fell down after she had been running into the kitchen too fast. Not even Ginny telling them that they weren't allowed to kiss goodbye when it was time to leave for the Granger household, where the girls would be preparing for the wedding.
Mrs. Granger greeted her daughter with tear filled eyes, and Rose showed up a few minutes later looking not much more in control of her tears as Hermione's mother was.
“Here's the schedule.” Mrs. Granger said, placing a sheet on the counter.
“Like mother like daughter.” Ginny said to Rose, rolling her eyes, and Rose laughed.
“First, breakfast.” Mrs. Granger said, pointing to the item on the schedule, then the lavish breakfast sitting on the table. “Then, we will go upstairs and do Hermione's nails. After this her hair, and then her make up. Finally, we will put on her dress and shoes, and then we will put the veil on at the church, because I don't want anything to happen to it here.”
“Sounds good.” Ginny said, eying the pancakes sitting on the table. At the burrow, Ron was having a different experience. His brothers were clapping their hands on his back and congratulating him, then giving him tips.
“Be sure to say the right name.” George joked. “And if you forgot it, then just think of the time you muttered it in your sleep and everyone heard you. 'Er-my-nee.” he added, doing a wonderful impression of Ron.
“Very funny.” Ron, who had just somehow turned pale and red at the same time, said peevishly.
“You know what I figured out, Ron?” Mr. Weasley said before any of his other boys could keep on torturing their youngest brother. “It isn't about the wedding. Not for the man, at least. And, in the long run, if you don't have the perfect wedding, it won't even matter. It's about what happens after the wedding, son.”
“The honeymoon?” Charlie said boldly, and Percy sniffed distastefully.
“No,” Mr. Weasley said patiently. “Life. And being with her for the rest of it.” Then he frowned. “But do yourself a favor and don't say the wrong name at the alter. That really could be a mess.”
“Duly noted, dad.” Ron said, grinning.
At the Granger household, Rose was doing Hermione's hair, and Ginny was applying her make up, while Mrs. Granger ironed the dress.
“Hermione, this is absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to see it on you!” she said.
“It's amazing, isn't it?” Ginny said admiringly. “You'll get to meet the mastermind behind it at the wedding.”
“I think I'll get remarried just so this Betty woman can design my dress!” Rose said, glancing back at the dress with lustful eyes. “It defines you.”
“And Ginny's was just as perfect.” Hermione said, wincing as Rose's curling iron burned her head a little bit.
“Oh, sorry.” Rose said, noticing.
“It's alright... oh, Ginny, not to much on the eyeliner! Ron likes it more natural!”
Everything was completely chaotic everywhere. Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Granger were doing their fair share of crying. And although the settings were completely different, Hermione and Ron had one thing in common as they prepared for their wedding to each other.
“Any last minute regrets? Cold feet?”
And, luckily, they both had the same answer.
So it wasn't surprising when the whole thing went off without a hitch. Hermione's dress fit her like a glove, as if it had been made for her. Because it was. And Ginny and Rose's bridesmaid dresses worked, too. They were sapphire blue, to match the sapphire pin in the middle of Hermione's dress. So, as she waited in front of the church, trying to see inside and look at her wedding, Hermione thought about how perfect it was going to be. Because, in spite of what she had said all those years ago, perfection wasn't overrated. Or, at least, not the kind that made you blissfully happy.
Music started playing, and Ginny gave Hermione a teary glance before heading down the aisle. And then her cue sounded. There was a nervous pit in Hermione's stomach as she walked through the doors. This was it. The one wedding she would ever have. It had to be amazing. It had to be phenomenal. Nothing could hurt it, nothing could make it bad. She was only doing this once. But as she looked around the church, she realized that it was perfect. It was snowing outside, so the lighting was fantastic. Not to mention the fact you could see snow falling from the windows in the little church. Flowers, thanks to Neville, of course, were placed all around the church, as well as a few lights and candles. They matched Hermione's ordered but colorful bouquet.
The bride was so busy looking all around the church at her wedding, she missed the groom's reaction to her. Ron glanced at her, then did a double take and looked back, his eyes wide. She was glowing in the light, her smile lighting up her whole face. Ginny had gotten her make up perfect this time, not too overdone, but not underdone. And Rose had done her hair so beautifully, an elegant up-do with a curled piece of hair hanging down on the right side of her face, so that the audience would be able to see it when she was standing at the alter across from Ron. But that wasn't even the best part. The best part was the dress that fit her like a glove and hugged her tenderly. She looked beautiful and comfortable and happy, and Ron couldn't take his eyes away from her. As Hermione's eyes finally reached the alter, they met with Ron's, and her grin, if possible, became wider and prettier then it had been before. Hermione arrived at the alter and looked across at Kingsley, who, once again, was performing the ceremony.
“You look gorgeous.” Ron whispered as the piano finished playing.
“Thank you.” Hermione said, beaming at him. Ron didn't even care that she didn't compliment him on his dress robes. Today was absolutely her day, and nothing was going to take that away from her.
“Ron and Hermione. Hermione and Ron. We all expected this, and at the same time, no one actually thought that this was going to happen. And yet... dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to witness the joining of this man and this woman.”
The crowd laughed.
“Any objections?” Kingsley said, glancing around the room.
No one dared to move, or even breathe.
“Good.” Kingsley said. “Let's get on with it.”
Hermione and Ron barely payed attention until they got to the vows. Instead, their eyes were silently communicating with each other, in ways that they had only just begun to master.
“Ron, would you like to say your vows?” Kingsley asked. Ron nodded. Then he stared directly into Hermione's eyes.
“I thought writing vows was going to be easy. When you love someone as much as I love you, it seems that there should be endless words to describe how I'm constantly feeling. But there aren't. So I'm going to do the best I can, even though, as you know, I had trouble getting these feelings onto paper.”
“Understatement of the century.” Mrs. Weasley whispered to Mrs. Granger, and two women half laughed and half sobbed into their hankies.
“When I was just eleven years old, I met you. When you're going to Hogwarts, you have no idea who you're about to see, what you're going to learn there. I never imagined that, the first time I boarded that train, I would be meeting you. My future wife. My future everything. I don't really think I made the most fantastic impression on you. Apparently, if I remember correctly, I had dirt on my nose. But, hey, if that's what it took for you to notice me, so be it.”
The audience laughed.
“Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for me to notice you. At least in that way. The next few years were an emotional roller coaster. The yule ball-”
The crowd groaned, remembering.
“-The DA, during which you beat me millions of times and somehow it made me like you even more. The fiasco in sixth year, which I don't even want to go into.”
Somewhere in the audience, Lavender Brown let out an injured sniffle.
“And then, the Horcrux Hunt, where I truly, truly fell in love with you. At the time, I thought that kissing you was the best thing that would ever happen to me. But after I dated you, and was engaged to you, and am marrying you, I realize that it most certainly was not. The best thing is being with you forever, raising a family, and having you be the person I come home to, a regular in my life. There's no one I'd rather do that with. And after all these years, you'd think you would have rubbed off on me. But I'm still a slob, still reasonably tactless, and still quite clueless about a lot of things. And yet you put up with me, you love me for it, and that is the most breathtaking thing about our relationship. I used to tell myself that I wasn't good enough for you, that you would never fall for me because you were so much better. You were more beautiful then I was handsome. You were obviously smarter. You held your own and made yourself known, while I was just a sidekick. Instead of noticing Harry, you noticed me, and made both me and my sister very happy.”
Hermione looked like she was about to cry. Ron felt thrilled. He'd made Hermione cry in a good way! That never happened!
“Like I said, we're still working on the you rubbing off on me, although some people are of the opinion that this feat is unachievable.”
He turned to Harry and glared. Harry shrugged.
“However, I thought I would surprise everyone by doing something I think you, Hermione, might do. I'm going to use a quote in my vows. So...”
Ron took a piece of paper out of his back pocket and unfolded it. He cleared his throat and said,
“Ambrose Birce once said that love is a temporary madness only to be cured by marriage.”
Ginny let out a loud snort, and everyone turned to look at her.
“I'm sorry! It's just that... out of all the quotes in the world, he picks that one when he's getting married?”
Everyone glared at her. She covered her mouth with her hand and motioned for Ron to continue.
“I agree with half of it. I disagree with the other half. Love is a madness. It hurts you one second, and lifts you up in another. It makes you frightened in hard times, and it makes you peaceful in others. It makes you realize that there are things in life that are worth dying for, and you'd be willing to do just that for the one you love, if it ever came to that. Proof of this is when you were being tortured at Malfoy Manor, Hermione, and all I wanted was to be tortured instead of you. I couldn't stand to hear you scream as you were hurt. I believe it physically hurt me. Being in love with you has made me hate myself, be shockingly sad, act out in unnecessary anger, wish I was someone else-”
“Viktor Krum!” Harry whispered to Ginny, but the word carried up to the bride and groom. Ron and Hermione both glared at him this time, and Harry faltered.
“...And feel awfully stupid. But it has also made me love who I am, because you love who I am. It's made me be so joyful that I feel like I'm about to burst. I can't even tell you how satisfied I am when I notice a familiar quirk and can all but read your mind or your mood. So, yes, I think we're all in agreement that love is a madness. But it can't be cured by marriage. I would be willing to swear on it, then come back in ten years and say it all over again. I look around at all the people who are in love and happy and married, and I want that. I want everything. I want the kids, the home... I even want the fights, because after those you can make up. I've wanted all this for such a long time, and I can't wait to get started on it. Not even marriage can cure my madness for you, and that's exactly the way I'd have it.”
After giving everyone a moment to digest this, and Hermione a little amount of time to compose herself, Kingsley turned to the bride.
“Hermione, would you like to say your vows?”
Hermione looked at the audience, then back at Ron. She took a shaky breath, and then there was a long silence. For a second, Ron wondered if she was copping out on him.
“That's a tough act to follow.” Hermione laughed. “I'm nothing like you, Ron. I wrote my vows down, instead of memorizing them or saying them from the heart. I mean, they come from the heart, but... well, you know what I mean. You've always been able to let go and be caught up in the moment. I've never been able to do that. Except for with you. You make boring, predictable me utterly unpredictable.”
She looked down at her paper, cleared her throat, and started to read.
“Love pops out at you when you least expect it to. Had I known I was going to fall in love with you, our relationship probably would have moved along a lot faster. When I was younger, I had this fantasy view of love. I thought you would meet someone's eyes across the room and just melt, and realize that this was the person. The person you'd spend the rest of your life with, the person who you'd marry and have children with. That's not exactly how it worked with me and you. You had dirt on your nose, and that was the first thing I noticed about you. I didn't even notice your gorgeous eyes until you'd started burping up slugs for me, and then I was just done for. It shouldn't have shocked me when you started to fancy me simply out of jealousy, but as you yelled at me in your frayed dress robes with your earlobes bright red, it didn't occur to me. I just thought you were being possessive, not that you felt anything for me. Yes, the thought crossed my mind, but it always seemed to good to be true. So...”
Hermione suddenly looked up at Ron.
“This is ridiculous. I was about to read a quote by Shakespere about love, but I don't even need to. I can do this.”
She took the piece of paper and tore it in half, then took one of Ron's hands in each of her own.
“Love isn't something that happens at first sight. That's... lust, enamor, passion, even. But we have all that, and love. So what is love, then?”
The corner of Hermione's mouth quirked up, and her eyes twinkled at Ron.
“Love is the way we interact with each other. If you ever see how we treat each other, you'll see that you're looking at love. Love is falling for who you least expect to, but when you realize what you've done it's bliss. We have love, I know we have it, Ron. Because one minute we're screaming at each other from across the room, and the next minute we're passionately snogging in place of sorry. I know we have love because when we see each other from across the room, our faces break out into a smile. I know we have love because I never, ever want to so much as look at another man. I'd be content just staring at you all my life. And, besides, no other man could possibly be as good as you. I love you because I know that you'll take care of me even at the worst of times. For example, when someone casts a cheering charm on me and I'm just a little drunk, resulting in a bloody mess.”
The spectators laughed, half in shock that Hermione just swore, and half in glee at remembering that episode of The Perfect Match. Ron, on the other hand, looked rather guilty. But he couldn't stop staring at Hermione. She was speaking quickly and easily, with an excitement in her voice he had never heard when she was making a speech. It seemed that every sentence she threw out there should have been punctuated with an exclamation point. She'd been so nervous about speaking from the heart, but now that she was doing it, he'd never seen her so passionate about anything. But her voice softened, and it was so quiet now Ron wouldn't have been surprised if he was the only one who could hear her.
“Ron, I have complete faith in you, complete trust. For the longest time now, I've been thinking about having children with you, these gorgeous redheads that we can love together and take care of together and that can be a monument of how we feel for each other. Half you, half me... that's all I've ever wanted. If...”
Her voice raised, louder now, ringing through the church, strong and sure,
“If my life was a book, divided into three chapters, 'Falling for Ron', 'Dating Ron', and 'Being Married to Ron', this is my absolute favorite chapter. And I know we'll stay in it forever and ever, until it's time to end the story.”
Kingsley looked at Hermione to see if she was done, and she beamed back at him and nodded, then handed Ron Hermione's wedding ring. He slid it onto her finger on top of the engagement ring.
“With this ring, I thee wed.” Kingsley added, and Ron repeated after him.
“With this ring, I thee wed.” he coached. She slid the ring onto Ron's finger, fighting back tears.
“With this ring, I thee wed.”
“Very well. With the power invested me by the ministry of magic, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Mr. Weasley, you may kiss your bride.”
But Ron had already moved toward Hermione, and was kissing her with everything he was worth. She kissed him back, too, ignoring the salty tears that were pouring down her cheeks, completely unguarded as she clutched onto her husband. The crowd rushed up to them, first Harry and Ginny, then their parents, and then everyone else, wishing them well and crying almost as hard as they were. Hagrid could be heard, his loud honks in the background, and McGonagall was trying not to cry as well as she attempted to quiet him. The newlywed couple was rushed over to the reception, where Harry and Ginny made speeches about them. Dinner was served, and Hermione and Ron ate, somehow, holding hands under the table. All through the meal, Ginny and Harry stole their attention, talking to them about vows, and how beautiful the ceremony was. Hermione and Ron, although dying to talk to each other, were too polite to blow off their friends. When they were finished, they went to cut the cake, and they happily fed each other, laughing as Ron kissed Hermione as to steal some of her cake. From the crowd, little Teddy Lupin could be heard yelling,
But Hermione and Ron didn't care. They laughed as they pulled apart, and Mrs. Weasley rushed over to start dolling out more cake for the guests. Suddenly, Rose's voice rang out from the DJ station, where she had just jumped up, flushing happily.
“Ladies and gentlemen. I now present to you, for their first dance ever as a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Weasley.”
And then there was screaming and clapping as Hermione and Ron walked out onto the dance floor and started swaying to their selected song. 'Hello', played, and Hermione laughed, remembering.
“I don't expect you to sing this time, don't worry.” She said, but he did anyways, just because he knew it would make her happy.
“I can't believe this is really happening.” Hermione admitted, after he had stopped at the chorus so that he could kiss her tenderly. “But I'm so glad that it is.”
They danced in silence for a little while, until Ron suddenly broke it.
“Hermione, that cake was amazing. What was the filling in it?” he asked.
She laughed and said,
“Four words, Mr. Weasley.”
“And what would those be, Mrs. Weasley?”
Hermione leaned over, her lips near to his ear as if she were about to tell him a secret.
“Triple. Chocolate. Ice cream.”
A/N: ONE MORE CHAPTER TO GO, YOU GUYS! Be prepared for an exquisitely long author's note at the end of it... anyways, PLEASE tell me what you thought of this. I wrote the vows several times before giving up and settling with these. I'm not sure if I like them, but I just couldn't write anymore. ~writergirl8
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