Disclaimer: I wish.
A/N: This was a Christmas gift-fic for my dear friend Rianna, who deserves the best R/Hr fluff there is. Unfortunately, this was all I could do. ;)
Rain tapped rhythmically against the windowpanes and eased Ronald Weasley back into consciousness. He rolled over onto his back and felt something underneath him – an arm, and not his own. He grinned and shifted his weight carefully. His wife moved slightly but continued to sleep soundly, her arm sprawled across the bed.
Ron turned onto his side so he could lie down and still see her face. "Hermione," he whispered, testing to see if she would wake. No response. He reached out a hand and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. Her cheek was warm under his fingers and he smiled as he watched her breathe in and out.
She was beautiful – more so every day, if the truth be told. He hadn't thought it was possible – she was gorgeous to begin with – but today, on their first wedding anniversary, she was 365 days more amazing than she had been on that spectacular day.
He still couldn't believe that she'd married him – she hadn't even needed any convincing. He'd had a whole speech prepared that day, complete with a list of reasons why she should say yes, just in case she laughed in his face and he needed a backup plan. But she'd thrown herself into his arms the instant he'd popped the question and asked him what had taken him so long.
He grinned at the memory. They'd come a long way since their first meeting on the train. Sure, Hermione was still a bossy know-it-all at times, and he was quite often a clueless prat. But they had grown and changed, and now here they were – ten years after their first meeting – and together, just as they were intended to be.
Ron moved even closer to her and wrapped his hand around hers. He loved watching her sleep. She probably had no idea how often he did it, but it was one of his favorite pastimes. During the day there were a million things to be done, a million words to be said, a million arguments to be had, a million kisses to bestow. But in the wee hours of the morning, when there was only silence, Ron could simply lie still and watch her, peaceful and content in her dreams.
Hermione sighed in her sleep but still didn't wake. He smiled. He definitely got the better end of the deal in this marriage. He didn't deserve her at all. She was everything pure and good, and he was completely unworthy.
Ron had lost count of how many times he'd let her down. Merlin knows he tried his best, but in the ten years he'd known her, he'd disappointed her more times than he wanted to admit. Birthdays he'd forgotten, times he'd come home late from work without telling her, stupid things he'd said – all of those and more, but each and every time she'd forgiven him. He'd caused her many tears and he regretted each one, but she still forgave him. She still loved him.
He had no idea why.
He loved her so much it hurt. It certainly hadn't started that way, and falling in love with Hermione Granger had been the last thing on his mind when he'd first met her. But somehow it had sneaked up on him and caught him by surprise. He remembered it clearly – he'd been in the middle of his Astronomy N.E.W.T and had looked over at her to see if she was nearly finished, when suddenly the realization hit him like a ton of bricks: he was in love with Hermione. He knew he'd never get over it.
Of course, he'd been a bloody coward and had taken his sweet old time doing anything about it… but once he'd finally gotten up the courage to tell her how he felt, he'd never looked back. She was everything he wanted, everything he needed to make his life complete.
Her presence alone made him feel alive in a way nothing else could ever match. Her goodness, her purity, her love – everything about her made him want to be a better man. He wanted to be the man she believed he could be – the man she believed he was.
As trite as it sounded, even in his own mind, she was the rock in his life, the one who kept him steady when he was about to fall. She supported him in everything he did, every endeavor he made. And she was there to pick up the pieces when he made a mess of it. She did everything for him, and yet to her, he was the strong one.
She called him her hero. He was the one who wiped her tears – even if he caused them. He was the one who held her when she was afraid. He was the one who stood by her side when she needed someone to lean on.
How could it be that he was the lucky one chosen to fill that role?
Hermione's eyelids fluttered open and she smiled when she saw him. "You were watching me sleep," she murmured drowsily.
He grinned. "Yeah, I was."
She sighed contentedly, moving closer to him. Ron pulled her into his arms and she sighed again. "I love you," she mumbled against his arm.
"I love you more," he answered and got a smile in return. "Would you like me to make you some coffee?"
"No, don't leave," she protested. "You're keeping me warm."
"Coffee would keep you warm as well."
"But you keep me warmer."
"Why do you love me?"
Hermione rolled over and looked into his eyes. "Why do I love you?"
"Yeah, why?" Ron repeated. "I mean, I know why I love you, but why do you love me?"
She grinned. "I'm sure I've told you before, Ron."
"Well, yeah," he admitted, "but tell me again?"
He was rewarded with another smile. "I love you because you're my Prince Charming."
Ron arched an eyebrow. "I'm probably the furthest thing from a prince, wouldn't you say? And I'm definitely lacking in the charm department."
"Princes aren't perfect, you know. Not even in the fairy tales."
"But what about the happily ever after?" he questioned. "That sounds rather perfect to me."
Hermione reached up a hand to smooth down his eyebrows. "I don't want perfect, Ron."
"Everyone wants perfect," he countered.
"Not me." She leaned over and kissed his chin. "I love you for all your imperfections, Ronald Weasley, and I know you feel the same about me. I love you just like you are, perfect or not."
"Definitely not perfect."
"Perfect enough for me."
No matter how many times she explained it, he doubted he would ever understand. She loved him for the mess he was – the insensitive jerk, the clueless prat – every last bit of him was perfect enough for her.
"Happy anniversary, Hermione. I love you."
"I love you too, Ron."