Chapter 1 : A Midwinter’s Proposal
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Ron stood in the snowy courtyard where he could see Gryffindor tower. His sister had promised to send a sign that they were on their way down from the common room. He looked in the direction of the Black Lake and sighed with relief that the picturesque view hadn’t been disturbed by First Years who had no regards to people’s plans. The frigid, steel-colored water lapped softly at the shore leaving behind small bits of ice that sparkled in the weak sunlight. The snow covered the grounds like a quilt while the trees shimmered with the icicles hanging from their branches and leaves.
He resisted the urge to draw up another copy of Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches* to make sure that everything was perfect for Hermione. With his nerves, he was scared to wave his wand at the glittering landscape and possibly mar what nature had already created. He could only hope that the signal that Ginny used wouldn’t cause the icy diamonds to shatter.
A small fluttering caught his attention as it floated lazily from one of the highest windows in Gryffindor tower and he watched the charmed red origami bird drift to the ground as it attempted to fly, succeeding just before it landed softly. In only minutes, he would see Hermione for the first time since she waved good-bye as the Hogwarts Express pulled away.
He turned to face the doors, brushing the snow from his brown woolen cloak self-consciously; wanting to see her expression as she realized that he was actually standing in front of her. The door opened slowly before two young ladies walked out, one holding an open book. Any remaining doubts that he had disappeared when she looked up and saw him waiting for her.
In the space of a heartbeat, her eyes grew large with surprise and disbelief as a whisper of a gasp escaped her. “Ron? I thought, I mean…” her voice trailed away as she continued to search his face for any clue to his appearance while he gazed back just as intently. Her hair was still unruly, though it had softened slightly since they had first met on the Hogwarts Express.
He stepped closer to her, gazing into her eyes as she looked back with confusion. “I couldn’t wait to see you, Hermione,” Ron whispered, not trusting his voice completely. “I asked Professor McGonagall if I could see you today.”
“What did she say?” Hermione breathlessly whispered, unable to look away from her boyfriend as she wondered why he started chuckling under his breath.
He smiled, choosing to not answer her last question, but wrapped her arm around his and led her across the perfect snow to the white stone bench that sprouted from the ground. “Would you care to sit?” he asked her as they drew near to it.
She only nodded, wondering what was happening. They paused in front of the bench and she looked up just in time to catch a brief kiss on her lips. “Ron?”
“Hermione?” he replied, his eyes dancing with delight. He drew back, kissing the back of her hand before kneeling in the snow as golden sparks drifted slowly from above them, swirling on an unfelt breeze. His gaze caught hers, silencing her questions with his own. “I know that at times I can be rather dense and say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, but I want you to know that my love for you is just as strong as when I first heard you say my name and the light showed me the way back to you**.”
He paused anxiously, searching her face and relaxing only a little when he saw the hope as she watched him closely. “I want to spend the rest of my life with you and when I mess up, then all I ask for is the chance to make things right again.” With a feeling of great apprehension, he pulled the small ring box from his cloak pocket before he opened it and held it out to her. “Hermione Jean Granger, would you marry me?”
Hermione tried to answer him twice before finally breathing her whispered reply, “Yes.” The joy and happiness that welled up in her as she watched Ron rise to his feet was echoed on his face as he pulled the ring free of the box and placed it on her finger, the diamond and tiny emeralds catching the fading sunlight.
Their kiss didn’t go unnoticed by those watching them as more than one wand created tiny fairy lights to swirl gently around them before darting out to dance above the lake, their tiny flames reflecting in the water. With smiles, their friends whispered their unheard congratulations as they withdrew, leaving only Ron and Hermione standing beside the darkening lake.
As the moon rose into the darkening sky, they sat on the bench which was now dusted with snow and held each other’s hands, content to remain still and watch the watery moonlight.
Ron was the first to break the comfortable silence, “Hermione?”
“Yes?” She shivered slightly and snuggled against him when his arm wrapped around her.
“You know those wonderful bluebell flames that you make?” Ron asked tentatively.
Hermione chuckled as she abruptly understood what he didn’t want to say. “Did you perhaps forget that it was the middle of winter?” She teased him gently as she drew her wand to create the tiny blue flames here and there around them. When he groaned, she turned his face towards her. “I think it makes for a better story for our children, don’t you?” she asked, not surprised when his ears began to glow a dull red. With a small smile, she settled back against him. “Do you think that someday that they’ll be sitting where we are and watching the lake, just as perfectly happy as we are right now?”
“Maybe one day our daughter, who will be just as smart as you, might be sitting here with her betrothed.” His softly spoken answer was lost as they watched the giant squid surface to wave its tentacles at the meandering fairy lights.
* The book “Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches” is mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 97.
** Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, pages 312-313
I hope you have enjoyed this chapter especially with Ron’s proposal to Hermione! What were your thoughts on Ron’s speech? Was it realistic or did you feel that something was missing?
Thank you very much for your constructive criticism!
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