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Chapter 8 : The Wedding
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As the entered the Burrow, however they felt as though they could never be nervous or frightened again. Everyone gathered them in their arms, congratulating them. Some were daring enough to tell them that they never thought they would be married. Hermione beamed as she finally thought of what it would be like to finally be a part of the Weasley family.
Harry reached them and they stared into his eyes for a moment before they gathered themselves into a tight hug. No words were needed. All they needed to do was be there for each other. Hermione could feel tears stinging her eyes, remembering everything they'd been through together.
Images flashed before her eyes: Hagrid's hut; flying on a dragon; meeting Harry and Ron for the first time; being saved by the boys from a troll; saving the Philosopher's Stone; being petrified; releasing Sirius; helping Harry through the Triwizard Tournament; the Department of Mysteries; Dumbledore's death; finding Horcruxes; the final battle; just being there for each other. It all came back to her.
“I love you guys,” she said, holding them tighter. Eventually they separated and Ron wiped the tears off Hermione's face.
“I love you too,” he told her gently.
Everyone gathered outside at The Burrow. All the girls were gathered around Angelina, who was very pregnant now and asking her what she will name her baby. Hermione was holding Fred in her arms, tossing him up and down. Ginny held Dominique in her arms, rocking her back and forth. Hermione saw Bill holding Victoire on his knee, which was vibrating, causing her to giggle.
Ginny caught Hermione's eye and tossed her head towards Percy who was attempting to snatch his wand off Molly, who was tottering away on the lawn, holding tight to the piece of wood. Hermione rolled her eyes, smiling. Ginny laughed.
The day turned into night as everyone gazed at Hermione's ring and thumped Ron on the back in congratulations. Mrs Weasley was busy in the kitchen cleaning up. Hermione decided it was best to help her. She entered the kitchen and began helping without even asking Molly.
“Hermione you must get back out there and celebrate!” she gasped, snatching the dishes Hermione was washing.
“Oh no honestly Molly I'd prefer to help!”
“No no, out you go! I will not allow you to stay in here!” with surprising force, Mrs Weasley pushed Hermione all the way back to where she came from, outside. Smiling to herself, Mrs Weasley went back to cleaning the dishes. Hermione laughed.
Hermione rejoined the celebrations and participated in the small talk being held. She was introduced to some of the Weasley relatives she had not yet met. They all had the trademark flaming red hair and some even sported Ron's familiar goofy smile.
Soon most people were home and for the first time in what felt like forever Ron, Harry and Hermione were alone together. Everything was silent in the Burrow. Ginny had left to go home, having been very tired.
“Wow everything's changed.” Harry said, sitting down with a glass of mead in his hand.
“You got that right mate.” Ron laughed, clinking his own glass with Harry's. Hermione smiled at the two boys.
“Did you know he was gonna propose Harry?” Hermione asked curiously. The two boys turned their heads towards her and she smiled expectantly.
“He tried to subtly mention it.”
“It took you a while to realise.” Ron pointed out.
“Yeah well 'Harry do you like diamonds?' wasn't exactly convincing me of that.” joked Harry. The trio burst into raucous laughter. They tried to hush their voices, not wanting to disturb Mr and Mrs Weasley but it was rather hard to do. How long ago was it really since the three of them had had a conversation like this?
They talked for what felt like forever. They reminisced their times together at Hogwarts, remembering vividly the incident when they had to save Hermione from the mountain troll.
“Leave me alone!” she laughed, chucking a pillow in the direction of the boys, who were on the floor howling on the floor laughing.
“Oh come on, it was funny!”
“Only because it wasn't you two!”
The laughter lasted for what seemed forever. No one wanted to go back home but it was two in the morning and they could all feel their eyelids drooping slowly, eagerly awaiting the moment when they could finally be closed.
“No, Harry, we have to go.”
“Aw c'mon Hermione, don't be the pumpkin juice poisoner!”
“Ron you understand don't you?”
“She's right Harry we have to go, and so do you.”
“Urgh, alright then.”
The all huddled at the edge of the Burrow, near the chicken coupe and listened silently to what appeared to nothing.
“I miss it.” Hermione whispered.
“Miss what?” Harry replied.
“I miss living with that purpose in life … to find and kill Voldemort.”
“She's not serious is she?” Harry asked Ron pleadingly. Ron nodded. “Wha – how?”
“I know what she feels like,” Ron interjected. “I sometimes feel it too. Just remembering today – I don't want all of it back,” he reassured Harry. “But there was something pretty awesome about what we did that we'll never get back.”
Harry looked at his feet, Hermione to the distance and Ron at the silent old chicken coupe. The three of the them Disapparated and went their separate ways.
It was on a very beautiful sunny morning that Hermione woke up to the belief that nothing very exciting was happening at all. The first of January, two thousand and four was the same as any other day in the entire year.
“Good morning,” Ron said, reaching over and kissing her upon the lips. It was then as she opened her eyes that she realised what the day would hold. She gasped and as she threw her head up, she hit Ron's.
“Ouch Hermione!” Ron yelped, clutching his painful skull.
“Oh I'm so sorry Ron!” she stressed as she looked to see if there was any bruising or any welts on the top of his head.
“Nothing there, s'all good.” Ron muttered, propping himself up on his pillows.
“You know what today is don't you?” Hermione asked him, leaning forward to look into his eyes.
“I've only been waiting for this day since third year,” he smiled. Hermione beamed back at him and cuddle him close to her. This really was the day she'd been waiting for for a very, very long time.
“Look I can't hang around, I have to head over to Grimmauld Place to get ready with Harry.” Hermione nodded, releasing his tough, strong body and letting him pull himself out of bed. “I'll see you at the Burrow alright?” She nodded some more as he disappeared through the doorway and she head the faint pop which meant he had Disapparated.
Hermione waited in bed for several minutes before there was a knock at the door. She swiftly got out of bed, pyjamas and all and reached to open it. Ginny stood in the doorway, her bridesmaid's dress in her hand, hanging by a hook. She too was in her pyjamas.
“Couldn't be bothered to change,” she announced as she stepped inside the small cottage. “Now where to begin …”
“I thought you weren't girly.” Hermione pointed out.
“This is your wedding day, now sit and let me make you look beautiful.” Hermione laughed as Ginny fetched her a piece of toast and began to work a masterpiece.
Through lipstick and foundation and eyeshadow they created the work which would be Miss Hermione Granger on her wedding day. It felt as though they kept putting a new and exciting mask on her face and by the end they realised the only thing that really worked was a light coverage which provided Hermione with a wondrous soft pink glow.
“Beautiful,” announced Ginny who was busy munching away at some porridge. “Now for your dress.”
The girls carefully draped Hermione's dress over her head. It shimmered beautifully as Hermione turned for Ginny. It was though every part of Hermione glittered like a fantastic jewel. Ginny completed the vision in a simplistic yet effective blue bridesmaid's dress.
As they settled Hermione's hair into an elegant knot and Ginny's into a slightly messier one, the two girls looked at each other. They simply looked magical but not in the way people knew them to be. They looked as though anyone could fall in love with their beauty. It was as though they were Veela.
They heard a bell sound outside the house and both jumped before they realised that their ride was here. The two of them gathered their flowers and headed for the sweet horse drawn carriage which would take them to the Burrow.
Inside the car sat Hermione's mother and father, whom she smiled gracefully at as she shimmied inside, Ginny after her.
“You look beautiful darling,” her father said as she beamed at the two of them.
“Thank you Dad.” Hermione beamed, hugging him as best she could given the small space.
They rode in the horse drawn carriage for quite some time. It was hard without magic. Hermione nearly fell asleep to calming clip clop of the horses.
They rode into the Burrow at quarter to two. The air was crisp yet beautiful and soothing. Hermione stepped out onto the white silk lain across the grounds. Everyone gasped in admiration as Hermione grasped her father's arm and everyone settled themselves into position.
Little Dominique came striding up the silk with Fleur gripping her hand. In contrast the Fleur's flowing blond hair, Dominique had bright red falling down her back in soft curls.
“Hermione you look beautiful,” Fleur said softly, letting Dominique's grip switch from her's to Ginny's as the music began to play. “I have to get back to my seat.” Fleur's slender body rushed off back down the aisle.
“Ready?” Ginny asked Hermione. Hermione gulped and nodded as the procession began.
The music was like phoenix song, bouncing off the walls and reverberating within her, following the direction of her emotions. She felt happy, safe and secure. She felt as though the world truly was beautiful and perfect.
She turned a corner and saw the great marquee. She held her breath. She would see Ron in a moment. She had to stay calm. She saw Ron every day! Why was this any different? And then he saw him.
He was the only thing she really saw in the room. The only person who mattered. Her eyes settled on him and she stared at him as though she would never get to look at him for long enough. As though he'd disappear.
She reached him and let her father's hand fall away from her's. She realised how sweaty her palms were and brushed them clumsily on her dress. She wasn't really away of what was going through her mind anymore. There wasn't really anything. An empty happiness to replace all the emotions she'd felt when she saw Ron over the years. Loathing; lust; betrayal; love; friendship; humour; happiness; completeness.
The ceremony was a blur until it came to their own personal vows. Ron stared into her eyes, his hands in her's and spoke in a calm and measured voice.
“Hermione, I love you and I promise, to the deepest part of the world, to protect you and to love you for the rest of my life.” his eyes were wet with tears. He tried to sniff to shrug them off. “I – I never had any doubts that I wanted to marry you. Ever. Third year I made a pact in my mind to marry you but I don't know, it all seemed like a fairytale. You are the type of girl I'd jump in front of a curse for.”
He had tears streaming down his face now. Hermione reached up and wiped away his tears with their own entwined hands.
“Ronald Weasley, there are no words to describe how much of a pain in the arse you are,” everyone in the vicinity laughed at her words. “I think you've taken the words from both of us. I absolutely love you and it was inevitable that we would end up together. I would do just about anything for you. From the smallest things to the largest. You are my life and you always will be.”
Everyone stood up and clapped. It took a while to settle everyone and even longer to hush Hagrid's trumpet tears.
As they said “I do” birds began to erupt around them and Hermione and Ron's lips joined. It was like no other kiss because this one they knew what each other was thinking. All eyes were on them and they didn't seem to care. Loving Ron was the only thing that Hermione cared about and loving Hermione was the only thing that Ron could think of. When they split they looked into each other's eyes.
“Where's the food?” Ron asked loudly. Everyone couldn't contain themselves after that.
Hermione couldn't keep track of the amount of people she was thanking during the whole reception but she didn't care. Ron was everything tonight. They danced like lunatics and they didn't care because they had each other. Marrying someone did something to a person.
Hermione saw so many people of which she never thought to ever see again. She saw Neville, who would be starting up as the new Herbology Professor in the next year at Hogwarts. Luna was pregnant and Dead and Saemus brought dates who looked mysteriously like Veela. It really was incredible to see everyone.
By the end of it everyone seemed to be clumsily making their way towards their homes. Hermione and Ron were the very last to leave and tried to help Mr and Mrs Weasley with the clean up as best they could.
“No no no, you two must go home!” Mrs Weasley pleaded them. “You're going away tomorrow!”
So it was that Ron and Hermione left the broken paper plates and shattered champagne glasses in the careful hands of Mr and Mrs Weasley as husband and wife.
What a strange thing to call herself, the wife of Ron Weasley. It felt nice, final and comforting. It felt perfect. She was Hermione Weasley.
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