*~Commencement~*

Months flew after Ron's Bludger accident. He'd never felt happier in his life, now that he had Hermione at his side. Everyone knew they were dating and felt that it was about time. Ginny and Harry were also still together, and going strong. Ron got out of bed on his last day at Hogwarts. That day would be the Commencement Ceremony, and that night they were scheduled to have a huge party in the Gryffindor Common Room. Ron got dressed quickly, looking around the room that he'd shared with his friends for seven years. He went downstairs to find Harry sitting in a chair, staring into the fire.

"Hey Harry," said Ron smiling.

"Hey Ron," replied Harry, looking up at Ron.

"Strange to be graduating isn't it?" asked Ron as he took the seat next to Harry.

Harry nodded, "Yeah...t's really strange..." he looked up at Ron as if he wanted to add something else, but said nothing.

"What Harry?" asked Ron as he took a seat in front of Harry.

Harry frowned and said, "It's just that...well we haven't had to deal with Voldemort this year at all. Don't you think it's a bit strange?"

Ron gulped, "Yeah...I've noticed that too. Maybe he's gone?" He said this hopefully, but knowing full well he probably wasn't.

Harry gave Ron a knowing look, "You know he's not...I'm just wondering when he's going to attack. And Professor Dumbledore hasn't mentioned anything. I just feel so on-edge, like he's going to attack when I'm not expecting it."

Ron frowned inwardly, but said, "Don't worry Harry.I'm sure Dumbledore would know if 'You-Know-Who' was going to attack. And you know he'd warn you."

Harry nodded and turned, to continue looking into the fire pensively.

Hermione appeared at the bottom of the stairs and said, "Good morning." She took the seat next to Ron and kissed him on the cheek gently.

Slipping her hand into his, she said, "I'm so sad to be leaving. I'm going to miss everything."

She looked around the room as she said this, sorting through all of the memories that the Common Room contained for her. Late night talks with Harry and Ron, cramming sessions before exams, arguments with Ron. Everything made her feel melancholy. She leaned back in her seat and sighed loudly.

"After this...we'll be adults. We'll have to get jobs...and--and live on our own. I'm even going to miss Lavender and Parvati giggling about boys and things."

Ron smiled and said, "Yeah, I'm going to miss Seamus, Dean, and Neville...They've been great blokes to share a room with."

Harry nodded in agreement, as Ron put his arm around Hermione and said, "Don't worry--you're a fantastic witch, and you'll be great at whatever you do."

Hermione beamed, "Thanks Ron...I can't believe you're going to be an Auror Harry."

Harry smiled, "Yeah, I can't wait until I begin my training. I just hope I get accepted."

"You know you'll be accepted Harry, Defense Against the Dark Arts is your thing," said Ron.

Harry smiled and said, "What about you Ron? Have you decided what you'll be doing yet?"

Ron shrugged, "Dad told me he can get me a job at the Ministry...so I'm leaning towards that. Except.I want to work in the Department of Mysteries or somewhere cool like that..."

Harry nodded then glanced down at his watch and said, "It's time you guys..."

Together the trio went down to the Great Hall, which was crowded with people. Ron gulped, not only because of graduation but because there was another thought at the back of his mind. He glanced at Hermione and smiled to himself. He really loved her. He loved her more than he'd ever loved anything in his life. And one thing was sure--he never wanted to lose her. Her hand was laced in his as they tried to fight their way through the crowd to the Gryffindor table. Ron glanced around and saw a patch of red hair in the corner. That would be his family. He smiled, glad that they had all been able to make it. He took a seat at the strangely empty Gryffindor table. Only the graduating Gryffindors were at the table, and those that had come to watch were sitting in chairs that had been brought into the Great Hall. Dumbledore sat at his usual chair as everyone got situated in his or her seats. After several minutes he stood.

"Hello everyone and thank you for coming. Today is a momentous occasion as our Seventh Years leave Hogwarts and go out into the world to become extraordinary wizards and witches. Hopefully your years at Hogwarts have taught you enough to take you to the next level of your lives," said Dumbledore wisely.

Ron sat, staring at Dumbledore fixedly. He heard parts of his speech, but his thoughts were elsewhere. After more talking that Ron didn't really absorb, Dumbledore smiled and called a 'Congratulations' into the crowd. Ron snapped out of his thoughts as the people around him stood up cheering and hugged each other. Hermione turned to him and wrapped her arms around him tightly.

"Ron, we've graduated!" she said happily, her 'Top Student' badge glinting in the light of the room.

Ron nodded as he was engulfed by several of his friends who clapped him on the back in congratulations.

After multiple handshakes and hugs from his peers, he found his way to his family.

"Oh dear! You're a grown man now!" said his mother, tears welling in her eyes proudly.

Ron smiled and hugged her lovingly. "Don't cry mum..." he said as he let her go.

Arthur wrapped his arm around her shoulder and said, "Son, we're so proud of you..." Arthur looked a bit misty-eyed himself. To them, now only Ginny was left, making this moment even harder for them.

Fred and George engulfed Ron in a hug from both sides.

"Our little brother--" said George

"Finally a man!--"

"We never thought you'd make it!--"

"But you did!--" said Fred.

"Unlike us!--" said George smiling.

"We could only hope that you'd follow in our footsteps--"

"But I suppose only one set of brothers can be the successful dropouts in a family" finished George as both twins finished squeezing Ron.

After more handshakes and hugs from the remainder of his brothers, Charlie and Bill; Ginny came up, holding Harry's hand.

Letting go of Harry's hand, she walked over to Ron and hugged him. "Congrats Ron, I'm going to miss you all so much next year!" she said sadly.

"I'll visit when I can--plus you'll have Hermione," said Ron. Hermione would be studying to become a Professor of Arithmancy at Hogwarts.

Ginny nodded happily, "I know! I'm so happy about that--I don't know what I'd do without Hermione around to talk to."

Hermione appeared with her parents as Ginny said this, and she beamed proudly.

"I don't know what I'd do without you either Gin," she said, embracing Ginny warmly.

After the Commencement ceremony, everyone began to part ways and head back to their respective houses to celebrate. After bidding goodbye to his family, Ron returned to the Gryffindor Common Room with Hermione, Harry, and Ginny in-tow. Once he entered the portrait hole, a huge explosion of red and gold erupted around him.

"Brilliant," he said, observing all of the decorations. The common room was full of people, most smiling, but some sad. Ron grabbed a butterbeer and handed it to Hermione who took it gladly.

After several hours of celebrating, people began filing out. Parvati and Lavender were the first to leave with their trunks packed up. Tears were streaming down their faces as they hugged everyone in the common room. Next were Dean and Seamus, shaking hands with everyone and dragging their trunks out of the room. Finally only Neville remained. He walked over to the group smiling.

"I made it..." he said happily.

"Of course you did Neville," said Hermione.

Neville shifted uncomfortably in his spot, and then said, "I just want to say thank you, to all of you. I know I wasn't that much fun to have around sometimes....." It was true that Neville had been quite the klutz, but he had also been brave countless times, often risking his life to save one of them.

Ron shook his head, "Neville, you've been a great friend, don't think that way." Hermione and Harry agreed as Ron strode over to the smaller man and put his arm around him in a brotherly way, "What're you going to be doing now that we're out of Hogwarts?"

Neville blushed at Ron's comment of him being a great friend, "Well Gran said that she was happy that I had graduated and would stand behind whatever I chose to do..." Neville beamed for a moment, "Well, I really love herbology, so I was thinking I'd take up a job in the Ministry of Magic, in the Department of Protection and Research of Magical Plant-life."

Harry smiled, "That'd be great Neville, and you'd get to see Ron, and hopefully me, all the time!"

Neville smiled and nodded, "Yeah, hopefully I'll get the job..."

After a few more minutes of socializing, Neville bid goodbye to his fellow Gryffindors and left the common room. Now only Ron, Hermione, Harry, and Ginny remained.

Ginny looked up at Harry, "Well, it's getting late..." She flung her arms around her boyfriend and kissed him on the cheek. "Oh Harry...I'm going to miss you so much..."

Harry smiled and said, "I'm going to miss you too Ginny, but I'll be around..." He hugged her to him tightly, "Just don't go and take up with someone else in my absence."

Ginny laughed, "You either...no going and falling in love with someone training to be an Auror..."

Harry kissed her hair and said, "How can I fall in love with someone else, when I'm already in love with you?"

Ron had looked away from his sister and Harry to give them privacy, and leaned in and whispered in Hermione's ear, "After they leave, I want you to go upstairs and come back down in a half hour."

Hermione's eyebrows furrowed in question, but she nodded. Ginny disappeared upstairs after a few more kisses with Harry. Finally, Harry turned to Ron and Hermione.

"You guys are my best friends--you're like my brother and sister. I love you guys..." he said as he walked towards them and hugged them. "I don't think I would've made it out of Hogwarts alive without you both..."

Hermione looked close to tears as she hugged Harry.

Harry stepped back from the couple and said, "I'll be by the Burrow whenever my training allows..." With a smile and a nod, he was gone.

Hermione's cheeks were streaked with tears when she turned to Ron.

"Hermione, why are you crying? Harry's going to be fine--he'll be back before you know it..." said Ron worriedly as he enclosed her in his arms.

"I know--" she said, sobbing into his chest, "It's just that--well--we'll no longer be around each other. All these years, it's always been us three, and now--" she couldn't continue, as she was crying into Ron's shirt.

Ron frowned down at her, "Hermione, whenever I get a chance away from my ministry training, I'll be sure to apparate here to visit you. And you can do the same, you know. As for Harry, he'll be busy for a little while, but then he'll be free to visit us. I know because dad told me about the training Aurors undergo. So seriously--" he lifted her face with his hands, "No crying."

Hermione sniffled, but acquiesced. After wrapping her arms around Ron and holding onto him for several minutes she let him go, her eyes no longer clouded in tears. "Alright, half an hour..." she said as she headed upstairs to her old dormitory.

Ron smiled as she disappeared from view. Immediately he pulled out his wand and began tidying the wrecked common room. 'Hermione'd be happy to know that no house-elves had to do any work in here tonight,' thought Ron with a smirk. After a bit of wand-waving Ron stood in the center to survey his work. 'Good and clean...now for the special touches...' he thought, smiling to himself.

He said a charm that he had looked up specifically for tonight. Immediately the room was transformed. The ceiling, which was normally scarlet, had changed into a night sky with millions of stars in it. Ron's mouth gaped open at his work, "Wow," he muttered.

Another incantation, and there were gold tinged flowers, as well as petals, all over the Common Room. One more flick of his wand, and the lights in the room had extinguished. Now there was only the roaring fire in the fireplace, the enchanted night sky, and sweet-smelling flowers that glinted gorgeously from the light of the fire. Ron sighed happily. It was perfect, and Hermione was sure to love it. At least that's what he hoped. He glanced down at his watch to find that he had finished with five minutes to spare. He made his way to the couch where he sat, nervously wringing his hands in anticipation of Hermione's arrival.

"Oh my goodness!"

Ron's face lit up and he turned to watch as Hermione took in the room.

"Ron! Did you do this?!" she asked, amazed.

Ron nodded sheepishly.

"I love it Ron!" she said as she threw her arms around him and kissed him fervently on his lips. When she pulled away she said, "But why Ron? I mean graduating was pretty big--but this..." She bent down and picked up a flower. Fingering it gently, her fingers lingering on the gold trim, Hermione looked into Ron's face, waiting for a reply.

Ron coughed, "Erm...well..." He looked around nervously, "Why don't we sit down..." He led her to the couch by the fire, the one where they'd sat multiple times before over the years.

Hermione sat down, the flower still in her hands, her face questioning.

Ron cleared his throat, "Hermione, today was a big day for us, being graduated and everything." Hermione nodded, still puzzled. "Well--" Ron swallowed, "I love you very much Hermione."

"I love you too Ron," said Hermione smiling.

Ron's face flushed as a wide grin broke onto his face, "Well--see--I--I wanted you to see the common room like this-well--because it's a really special place to me. Not only have we spent almost every waking moment in here since our first year; that is when we weren't off fighting someone evil," Ron chuckled. "But this is where I knew."

Hermione looked into Ron's eyes questioningly, "Knew what Ron?"

Ron looked into Hermione's warm eyes, "This is where I knew that I loved you."

Hermione looked bewildered. "But Ron, you first said you loved me in the Infirmary, remember?"

Ron chuckled softly, "Of course I remember." He caressed her cheek with the back of his hand softly. "But this is where I first realized, I loved you." Ron looked embarrassed for a moment, "Remember our fourth year after the Yule Ball? When we were arguing here?" Ron felt awkward mentioning a past argument they'd had, since neither one of them ever spoke about past troubles between them.

Hermione nodded, "Yeah, of course I remember."

"Well, after you left and Harry and I had retreated to our dormitory, I came back down after Harry had fallen asleep. And I couldn't stop thinking about you--and how jealous I was. And that's when I realized why I was so jealous. It was because I'd fallen in love with you," said Ron seriously.

Hermione smiled, "Wow Ron, I had no idea..."

Ron smiled, then slipped off the couch, his knee touching the ground. He grabbed Hermione's hands, which were still clutching the flower. "Hermione- -"

Hermione's eyes grew wide as Ron knelt in front of her, "Ron--what are you-- "

"Hermione, will you marry me? I've never loved anyone but you--You're everything I've ever wanted. You're the smartest person I know, the best- looking witch I've ever laid eyes on," he said with a wink, "You're determined, and you manage to amaze me everyday. I know I'm not much, I'm not that smart or good-looking, and I'm not wealthy. But I promise that if you say yes, I'll try my best to keep you happy and safe, day in and day out." Ron finished, his blue eyes searching Hermione's brown ones for some sort of reaction.

Hermione sat in shock as Ron proposed marriage to her. She found that her heart was pounding and a solitary tear had streaked down her cheek, which Ron wiped away lovingly. "Hope I wasn't that bad..." he said with a lop- sided grin. But his face grew worried when Hermione did not answer. "Hermione--"

"Yes," she said barely audible.

"Yes?" he asked, a smile creeping into his face.

"Yes," she said firmly. "Yes, I'll marry you Ron," said Hermione, smiling wide. She threw her arms around him happily, toppling him to the floor. "I love you Ron, more than anything," she said as she kissed him passionately.

Ron tangled his hand in her hair, keeping her mouth on his. "You had me worried for a second there..." he muttered into her mouth.

Hermione pulled away slightly, "Did you honestly think I'd say no?"

Ron looked bashful, his cheeks glowing pink. "Well--it did take you a while."

Hermione punched him in the arm lightly; "I was trying to transfix that moment into my mind forever. Goodness, can't a girl be allowed to revel in a moment a bit?"

Ron chuckled, "Sure, but to leave her poor bloke of a boyfriend waiting nervously--"

Hermione smiled, then led his face back towards hers, prohibiting him from finishing his statement. After kissing for several minutes on the carpet in front of the fireplace, the couple parted, breathing hard. Hermione laid her head onto Ron's chest, his arm holding her tightly to him. She closed her eyes, taking in the scent of him along with all the flowers. She lay there, comfortable in his loving grasp, hearing his steady heartbeat.

Ron smiled down at the top of her head, his insides elated. Hermione had said 'Yes'. He grinned wide at the recent memory. He moved his free hand, which hit the flower that had been in Hermione's grasp. He picked it up gingerly, bringing it to his nose for a sniff. He glanced down at Hermione, whose breathing seemed to be steady, signaling that she had fallen asleep. He placed the flower on his stomach, and with his free hand, he tucked a piece of Hermione's hair behind her ear. With one last sniff of the gold tinged flower, he gently tucked it in her hair, happiness coursing through every fiber of his being as he looked up into the enchanted night sky, imagining their future together.

Finis

*~*~*~*~*~*

Well guys, thanks so much for all the awesome reviews. I hope the last chapter didn't disappoint. I am still considering writing a sequel, but it'll take a while due to other projects and school. Most likely, it'll be more of an action/romance. Anyway, leave a review because I greatly appreciate them. ~Cheers :)