Author: Jess.91 PM
Short one shots, not drabbles, of various eras, character and genres. - Because life's all jigsaw pieces, they just don't always fit -Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Chapters: 193 - Words: 234,847 - Reviews: 2,293 - Favs: 346 - Follows: 235 - Updated: 08-03-12 - Published: 10-14-07 - id: 3834887
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Oh, wow, it's been ages. I'm going to blame it on a combination of having been swamped at uni for the past few months, then with other things, as well as having no inspiration at all. This one came about because I was determined to write something, so it's nothing special. Thanks to anyone who's continuing to read, despite my infrequent updates.
He woke in a cold sweat, his breath coming thick and fast, bolting into a sitting position before his eyes had finished opening. His heart was pounding, the sound echoing in his ears. Blinking in the dark, Ron looked down at Hermione, sleeping beside him. He hadn't woken her, though the volume of his heartbeat seemed impossible to sleep through.
Just the sight of her seemed to calm him. Her tangled hair was spread over her pillow, and she clutched the quilt tightly in one hand, holding it to her neck. She always made sure she was wrapped up in the quilt, even on hot nights. It baffled him a little, especially since she was always so warm. Sometimes the heat of her skin made him uncomfortable in the night, but mostly, it was nice to roll over and feel the warmth of her, the reassurance that she was still there, right beside him.
He loved her. It had been months since he'd told her that, but it still surprised him sometimes, when he looked at her and the intensity of his feelings for her swept over him.
As quietly as he could, he slipped out of bed, and out of the room.
It had been a while since he'd had a nightmare, but it was pretty much the same as the others he'd had. That night, re-lived. Death and destruction. Except this time, Hermione was being tortured, by Bellatrix Lestrange, just like she had been at the Malfoy's all that time ago. Her screams...and blood. Blood everywhere.
In the kitchen, he stared at the window, at his reflection against the black night. She loved him back. He didn't know why. He wasn't good looking or anything. He wasn't particularly skilled or talented. She'd told him once, catching him in self-pity, that he had not only survived the war, he'd actively participated, he'd helped save the world, he'd pulled off amazing magic, and if he didn't think he was skilled, then he was stupid.
But he knew he wasn't anything special, not really. And he didn't have much to offer her. Not yet. He would make something of himself, he decided, staring into his own eyes. He would become someone she would be proud to be with. He would become someone she deserved.
He wanted her to be his. Forever. That realisation came out of nowhere, causing his eyebrows to raise, before he realised that, actually, he had wanted that all along.
She said she loved him. She said he made her happy, even when he drove her crazy. Would she take him on though, for the rest of her life?
He didn't realise he was smiling until he noticed it on his reflection. How strange, to want something so badly, that only a moment ago he hadn't really thought of. How strange to be so certain on it.
A creak on the staircase made him spin around, suddenly alert. The Burrow was full of people, he reminded himself, and any one of them could be making their way down the stairs.
But still, he wished he hadn't left his wand in his bedroom.
The kitchen door swung open, and Ginny stepped through it, and jumped at the sight of him. Her hand went instantly to the wand that was sticking out of her dressing gown pocket.
"Couldn't sleep, either?" She said calmly, moving her hand. When his gaze shifted to the wand, she looked down at it, then offered him a twisted smile. "Old habits. What're you doing up?"
He shrugged, and she moved past him to fill a glass with water.
"Ginny?" He said, as a thought occurred to him. "Will you go somewhere with me tomorrow?"
"Where?" She asked, looking at him curiously.
"I, um, I need your help...picking out a ring..."
"She might say no." Two days later, again alone with his sister in the kitchen, Ron toyed with the small box in his hands.
"She won't say no." Ginny replied. "I found the candles, Ron, but I'm not setting the table for you."
"She'll think it's weird, that the whole family's disappeared for the night. She'll be suspicious."
"So? Tell her that you two were invited to Bill's, too, but you wanted to spend the night alone with her. She'll like that you're doing something for her."
"Cooking for her? With candles. C'mon, Ginny, she's gonna be suspicious."
"Yeah, okay. But that doesn't matter." Despite her statement, Ginny began setting the table. "If I was you, I'd be more worried about Mum being suspicious. Getting Bill to invite them over was a good plan, but she's still wondering why you're not coming."
"She'll find out soon enough. Besides, Mum won't be here, I don't have to worry about her. You don't think Hermione would rather I took her out somewhere? Or...I don't know. Something different."
"No, Ron, I think this is the way you came up with, all by yourself, so it's perfect. And she'll love it, and she'll love the ring, and she'll say yes."
"You picked the ring."
"No, I picked a few options. Just to make sure you didn't go for anything I knew she'd hate. You picked the ring. And it's lovely." She smiled at him. "I knew as soon as I saw it, that it was the right one. It's perfect for her. I'm glad it's the one you chose."
"If you knew it was the right one, why show me the others?"
"Because you had to pick it yourself. And Ron? In about two minutes, you're going to have burning food in the oven."
"What? Oh -" Turning, he crouched down to open the oven door, and reached inside. Ginny cried out a warning just as his fingers touched the hot tray, and he whipped his hand back, swearing.
"Things in the oven tend to be hot." Ginny replied, smirking. While he glared at her, sucking his burnt finger, she tossed him a pair of oven gloves.
"I forgot." He muttered.
"Run it under the cold tap." She told him, as her name was called from the next room. "I've got to go, we're leaving."
"Don't tell -"
"Anyone, I know. I won't. Impulsively, she hugged him. "I'm really happy for you, Ron. I'd plate the food up, then bring her down. It'll make more of an impact if she sees it all complete. Oh, and don't forget to light the candles."
With that, she disappeared into the next room. After calling out a goodbye to him, Ron heard his family leave, and began to quickly serve the food, in case Hermione had heard them, and came down to see where everyone had gone.
When he'd finished, he surveyed the table, slipped a hand in his pocket to check the box was still there, and took a deep breath, before going to the bottom of the stairs.
She was already half way down them.
"Did I hear people leave?" She asked him.
"Um, yeah. Bill invited everyone over. I, uh, I thought that we could stay here though, just us."
"Oh. Okay." She smiled at him. He loved her smile, he thought. God, he was nervous.
"I...I made us something. To eat. Food."
She reached the bottom of the stairs. "Are you okay? You seem a little..."
"I'm fine." He said, forcing a smile "Come into the kitchen?"
He was about to walk into the kitchen when he remembered the candles, almost swearing.
"Um, just, wait here one sec." He said, nudging her away from the door.
"Just give me a minute, okay? Just a minute." He slipped through the door, carefully making sure she couldn't see inside. "Idiot." He muttered, lighting the candles with his wand. "Okay. Okay. That's everything." He thought it was. He hoped it was.
"You, um, you can come in now." He called, and he was sure his voice actually shook. When she walked in, he felt his face go red.
Her mouth opened in surprise.
"I don't know if it'll taste good." He murmured, after the silence became too much for him to bear. "I tried. And Ginny...well, mostly she laughed, but she watched to make sure I didn't do anything wrong."
"It looks lovely." Hermione said finally. "You surprised me. I'd never have expected..."
"Sit down." He said suddenly. "Eat. Um. Please."
She looked at him again, but chose not to comment on his strangeness this time, sitting down instead. He sat opposite her, and realised he was far too nervous to eat. Instead, he found himself holding his fork and looking at her.
What if she said no?
"It's nice." She told him, smiling. "Honestly. Aren't you going to eat?"
He jumped a little, and forced a smile. "You don't have to lie, if it's awful."
"It's not." She promised him, and ate another forkful as though to prove it.
He managed to eat, though the nerves were making him feel sick. Oblivious, she chatted, not acknowledging his obvious awkwardness.
The waiting was torture. She seemed to eat so slowly, it was taking forever. And she kept smiling, so obviously pleased. What would he do if she said no? What could he do? Would things be awkward? Would she want to break up?
She put her fork down, the quite clink making him jump. "Finished?" He asked hopefully, and she nodded, obviously trying to figure out why he was acting strange.
"There's, um, there's cake, if you want it." He said. "But, um, but first...Hermione, I love you. You know that, don't you?"
"Yes." She said quietly, smiling at him. "I do. I love you, too."
"Good. Ah, that's good. I never thought I could love anyone this much. I never knew it could be like this. I can't imagine my life without you, Hermione."
He had planned a speech, rehearsed it, and he was sure there was more to it than this, but his mind was blank. Giving in, he slipped out of his chair, and, feeling a little stupid, dropped to one knee, pulling the box from his pocket.
She stopped breathing, staring at him with wide eyes as he flipped open the little black box.
"Will you marry me?"
He was shaking, just a little. He couldn't help it. And she was staring at him, stunned, and he wasn't entirely sure she was breathing yet. Her eyes moved from his face, to the ring, back to his face, before she finally let out a breath.
"You – you're serious? Aren't you?"
He nodded, unable to speak.
Her eyes filled with tears. He took that as a bad sign, felt his heart sink and his stomach twist – and the next thing he knew, she was kneeling on the floor with him, her arms around his neck. "Yes!" She said, clinging to him, laughter in her voice. "Yes yes yes yes yes. I'll marry you."
He pulled her tighter against him. "You're sure? You don't have to -"
"Yes." She said again, drawing back to look at him. "Of course I'm sure. I'll marry you, Ron. Oh, god." She kissed him, holding him tightly. Several moments later, they broke apart, and he looked down at the ring in his hand.
"I guess you should put this on then." He said, grinning from ear to ear. She still had tears in her eyes (and he thought, maybe, he might do, too), but she was grinning just as much as he slipped the ring onto her finger.