“I really hope Ron and Susan get over here soon, we’ve got to get going in just a little while.” Lavender said, glancing at her watch.
“I’m sure they’ll be here soon enough.” Hermione reassured her. “Besides,” she added in a low voice. “I know the only reason you’re anxious to get back is so that you and Seamus…” she let her voice trail off suggestively.
“Hermione!” Lavender said.
“What?” Hermione asked, the picture of innocence. “You and he have been dating for about a year now, and you told me you’ve been sleeping with him for six months…you’ve been home for two weeks, only one of which he’s been here for…you’ve got to be hungry for him by now.”
“Honestly!” Lavender swatted her cousin on the arm, but she was grinning.
“Really though Lav,” Hermione said. “I’m glad you’ve found someone.”
“Thanks Hermione.” Lavender replied. “Seamus is so…. sweet to me, I love him so much.”
“Are you scared, you know, of falling in love like that again?” Hermione asked carefully.
Lavender sighed. “I was, at first. And I almost lost him, you know that.” Hermione nodded and Lavender continued. “But then he came into my dormitory one night, he had flowers, candles and champagne, and he sat right down and told me that we were going to talk out everything that was wrong, and we did.” Lavender hugged herself, remembering that night. “I knew I was in love with him, and he’s never given me any reason to doubt my feelings.”
“Awww.” Hermione said, giving her cousin a hug. “That’s wonderful, I’m really happy for you guys!”
“Are you ready soon, Lavender?” Seamus’s Irish accent preceded him into the room. He smiled at both girls as he wrapped his arms around his girlfriend.
“Soon, I want to wait for Ron and Susan to get here so I can see them before we leave.” Lavender replied.
Seamus kissed her softly on the cheek. “Well you just let me know then, love.” He said.
“Ah- wait I think that’s them now.” Hermione said, going into the hallway. Sure enough, Ron and Susan were staggering up the steps to the front door.
“Sorry we’re late!” Susan called in. Hermione swooped in on them immediately.
“You brought my baby!” She cried, grabbing the pink bundle from Ron’s arms. When they’d had their baby three months ago, Hermione had doted on it from the start, and had developed a real bond with the little girl.
“You know, sometimes I think we should just leave her with you.” Ron said sarcastically, but he was grinning. It was clear to everyone when little Sara Elisabeth Weasley was born just how thrilled Ron was to be a father. “If you had to wake up in the middle of the night three or more times I’m sure you’d think differently.”
“No, never!” Hermione answered, peeling back the blanket and kissing Sara’s little face. “As her godmother, I reserve the right to spoil her and I’m starting now!”
Susan grinned as she took the blanket. “Her hair is starting to grow in already too.” She said, stroking the soft patch of red on her baby’s head while leaning down to kiss it. Being a mother, as she had found out, was one of the greatest pleasures of her life. If Susan had known it would be this good, she’d have married Ron the moment she met him.
“Let me say bye to her.” Lavender said, holding out her arms for Sara. “It’ll be months before I get to see her again.” Hermione carefully passed the infant over.
“Can’t I persuade you guys to make me the godmother instead of Hermione?” Lavender teased, kissing Sara’s peach coloured face. “What if you don’t have a second kid for me to fuss over?”
“Are you forgetting that Ron is a Weasley?” Susan said, smiling. “He comes from good stock. A Weasley never has just one child.” They all laughed.
“I suppose we should get going.” Lavender said reluctantly. She was definitely eager to get back to school, but she hated leaving home.
“Ready when you are.” Seamus said. Hermione stepped forward to hug him.
“It was wonderful meeting you, Seamus. You take care of my cousin now.” She teased. Seamus grinned.
“I wouldn’t dare face your wrath otherwise.” He joked. Hermione laughed, and Susan hugged him as well; Ron opted for shaking his hand.
Lavender hugged her cousin extra tightly. “You and Harry are coming for a visit soon right?” she asked.
Hermione nodded. “We’ll come by in March, I think.” She replied. “I’m seeing him in just a little while, I’ll make sure to ask him.”
“All right.” Lavender said. “Bye everyone!” she said as she and Seamus stepped into the fireplace, they were taking the Floo Network back to the University. Seamus spoke the name of Lavender’s dormitory and they were gone.
Hermione looked at the clock, which said ‘Running Late’. “Oh bugger, I have to dash, I’m supposed to be meeting Harry at the park right now.” She said, flying to the hallway. “I’ll be back in a while if you guys want to stick around.” She offered, tossing her cloak around her body.
“Nah, we were heading over to Molly and Arthur’s for the rest of today, they want to spend as much time as they can with Sara.” Susan said, wrapping her daughter back up in the blanket.
“All right.” Hermione grinned. “Sorry to run off like this.” She apologised as she swept out the door. The park was about fifteen minutes away from her house and she felt bad she would be late, but then again, Harry often was as well so neither of them ever thought much of it.
A large grin crossed her face as she thought about her relationship with Harry. Over the past year, since Ron and Susan’s wedding, they had gotten closer than ever. At her insistence, he had finally worked out most, if not all his differences with his father, and was now co captaining Puddlemere with Oliver. She and Jenn had become quite close as well; they both sat together cheering their heads off at every Quidditch game.
A cold gust of wind made her pull her cloak more tightly around herself and look forward to being wrapped in Harry’s warm embrace once she arrived. Hermione tucked her head against the wind and hurried on. When she finally got to the park, she was surprised to see the amount of people milling around. Usually on cold grey days such as this one no one in town was outside.
Hermione spotted Harry sitting on a bench, his back to her. He seemed to be hunched over, she figured he was probably freezing.
“Hey you!” she said, swooping down on him and immediately pressing herself against him for warmth. “I’m sorry I’m late.” Hermione went to kiss him but he turned his head and she found her lips on his cheek.
“Hi…uh…can we talk?” Harry turned to face his girlfriend of about a year and a half. His insides were churning with nervousness and anticipation at her reaction of what he was about to say to her.
“Sure.” She said. He took her hand in hers as they got off the bench and began walking slowly.
“Well…so…. I uh…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately….” Harry said; he could feel his palms going sweaty despite the frigid air. “We’ve uh…we’ve been dating for a long time right?”
“Right…” Hermione answered hesitantly. ‘Where was he planning on going with this?’ she thought to herself.
“Yeah.” Harry started talking again. “So you understand right?”
“No…” Hermione said. “What are you getting at?”
“Oh right.” Harry pulled his hand from hers and rubbed them together. “So…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately….”
“Yes you said that already.” Hermione said, a small ball of fear beginning to grow in her stomach.
“And….” Harry paused, trying to remember how he wanted to phrase this. ‘Damn it Potter, you had this all planned last night and now you go and forget it.’ He took a deep breath. “I’m just not satisfied with the way our relationship is going.”
Hermione felt herself grow pale. “What do you mean, you’re not satisfied?” her voice came out as a tiny squeak.
“No! I uh…I meant that I just can’t keep on like this.” Harry said hastily. Her eyes grew wide and he realised once again he’d said the wrong thing.
“Look Harry, if you’re trying to say something just spit it out!” her large brown eyes were going shiny.
“Okay…I uh…” Harry fumbled around in his cloak pocket. ‘Shit Potter, just do it, stop making an ass of yourself!’ his mind screamed. “I’m just going to say it all right?”
“Fine!” Hermione said, trembling.
He felt around until his fingers came in contact with what he was looking for. Dropping quickly to one knee, he held the box in front of her. “Marry me.”
Hermione stared at him for a few long moments, her mind reeling. “What?” she asked uncertainly.
“Marry me?” this time it came out as more of a question than a statement.
“You…you…JERK!” Hermione screamed, attracting the attention of many park goers as she pushed him over. “How could you do that to me?” she asked, turning on her heel to storm away.
“Hermione!” Harry called out, trying to get up, it was difficult; the snow was slippery. “Wait, Hermione!”
She stopped in her tracks and turned as he came up to her. “What?” she asked, still trying to calm her wildly beating heart. “Come to make an ass of yourself again have you?”
“No…look Hermione, that didn’t come out right at all.” Harry pleaded. “I had this whole speech planned last night and everything…and I forgot it all as soon as I came here today.”
“You scared the shit out of me!” Hermione said, turning back away. “I thought you were breaking up with me.” She didn’t want him to see the tears that were now falling down her face.
She was walking again, and this time it didn’t look like she intended to stop. Harry quickly thought of something; he dropped back to one knee and opened his arms as wide as he could.
“I NEED YOU!” he sang at the top of his lungs. “FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE GIRL! I NEED YOU!” many of the people had now stopped and were staring at him. “SAY THAT YOU’LL BE MY WIFE OH! I LOVE YOU!!” Hermione had stopped now and turned to watch him again. “WON’T YOU MARRY ME MARRY ME! I NEED YOU!” Before he could get any more of it out, he was knocked back down in the snow.
“Do you really think I’m going to come back to you every time you sing something?” Hermione asked, grinning tearfully down at him.
“It seems to have worked again.” He smirked back up at her. She pushed herself off him and he got back on one knee. “Marry me.”
“Two conditions.” Hermione said, her eyes sparkling, this time with happiness.
“What might those be?” Harry asked softly.
“One, you don’t sing anymore, please.” She joked. He laughed. “And two, I’d like to see that ring before I go accepting any marriage proposals.” Her grin was wide enough for Harry to see she was only giving him a hard time now. He flipped the box open for her to see a large diamond surrounded by gleaming, shiny rubies.
Harry stood up, removing the ring from the box. “The diamond explains itself, but the ruby stands for passion and love.” He slipped it over her ring finger. “No one will ever love you as much as I do.”
Hermione’s eyes filled with tears again. “Harry that was better than any speech you could ever have planned.”
“So that’s a yes?” he asked, his green eyes bright.
“Merlin’s Beard, that’s a hell yes!” she cried, leaping into his arms. Harry laughed and swung her around.
“You had me worried there.” He joked, wiping her tears away with his thumb. They grinned at each other for a moment, and then he could no longer hold back, and pressed his mouth against hers.
Hermione wound her arms around his neck. She no longer felt cold as his hands swept across her back, into her hair. Her mouth was hot against his, deeply and sensually kissing him as hard as she could.
Harry felt himself grow dizzy, and losing balance, he crashed back into the snow for the third time, taking Hermione with him. The world seemed to slip away from them as they kissed for what felt like hours.
“Ohhh!” Hermione pulled away.
“What?” Harry asked. “What’s wrong?”
“We shouldn’t just be sitting here!” Hermione pulled herself up, hauling Harry along with her. “Come on, we’ve got a wedding to plan!”
Harry grinned in reply as he wrapped his arm around her waist, and the two of them left the park, ready to start their lives together.