Author's Note: Okay, well, this one-piece is lovely timing on my part. After I posted "Till Death Do Us Part" everyone wanted a proposal piece. I actually had this written before the other one, but hadn't gotten it beta'd…so anyway. Another attempt at RonHermione. I love them. :D
Thanks, of course, to the lovely and amazing Angel's Touch. Her writing is the most amazing blend of heart-wrenching Oh-my-God-I-can't-stop-crying-ness and humor/sarcasm that I've ever read in my ENTIRE LIFE. (There you go, Kris, how was THAT for a shameless plug? ;))
Anyway, read on…
"Some people say it's the wedding that everyone remembers most. But I disagree. As a male, I can truly admit that I didn't really take in the wedding. The proposal…that's the hard part, the part that I'll remember until I die. Yeesh, talk about nerve-wracking." –Ronald Weasley
Hermione Granger wasn't exactly known for her passiveness. In fact, the words 'passive' and 'Hermione' were hardly ever in the same sentence. Unless, of course, it was with a negative connotation, such as, 'Hermione isn't passive', etc.
Ronald Weasley wasn't known for his passiveness, either, and the only time the two were in a sentence together, including negatively, was if someone was feeling as though they were obligated to set the record for the biggest understatement of the century.
So, now that we have successfully established that this particular pair of more-than-friends-e.g.-they're-snogging-the-lips-off-one-another-whenever-they-get-the-chance people had slightly short fuses (although, admittedly, Hermione's temper was usually less yelling and more biting remarks. Ron was one of two people who could bring out the oh-go-to-hell-you-swine-of-all-swine in her.)
Put them together, add a compliment gone wrong, and you have one less working eardrum than you started with.
Even so, Hermione and Ron were very, very much in love. So much in love, in fact, that Ron botched up his proposal and still managed to snag the girl, anyway...
Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself. It was January 13th, and Ron and Hermione were out on a date celebrating their four-year anniversary. Well...no, actually. They weren't 'out', by definition. They were, in fact, at the flat that Ron and Harry shared. Harry was the one out - probably pouring out his soul to some girl female bartender while pretending she was Ron's sister, Ginny, who wasn't speaking to him because of a huge row they'd had - and had promised Ron not to return until three o'clock the next afternoon.
Harry figured it was long enough to find a way to drown his sorrows and find Ginny so that they could sort out their issues. And this would work, of course, because Ginny -
Whoops. Wrong story; we don't care much about Harry and Ginny in this one, do we? We're focusing on Ron and Hermione. So.
At around eight p.m. that night, Hermione flooed into the flat. "Ron?" She called, gently dusting herself off, "Where are you?"
Ron - who was hiding just around the corner, his hands shaking and sweat dripping into his eyes - took a deep breath. He gently tucked the engagement ring into his pocket and made sure his voice would he steady and lax when he responded, "Right here, Hermione. Sorry - Ginny owled in hysterics about that row she'd had with Harry. Apparently, she told him that it was over and she's worried he'll believe her."
He chuckled. "Anyway, I ignored her ranting, as usual. It's usually best."
She arched an eyebrow. "Ignoring your sister in her time of greatest need?" she asked disapprovingly. "Honestly, Ron, where is that compassion Harry insists you have?"
"Oh, it's here somewhere. You've just got to dig." He grinned charmingly at her despairing sigh. They stood like that for a moment. Hermione broke down first (she usually did; Ron's stubbornness was the stuff of legends) and walked towards him and planted a rather nice, wet kiss on his lips.
"Happy Anniversary," she offered once they had parted.
He smiled. "Mmm." He wrapped his arms around her back. "So, shall we? I have dinner in the... oh, fuck."
Hermione's eyes widened. "Ron!" He leapt back from her, rubbing his hands over his eyes.
"Dinner! I forgot dinner! How could I forget dinner? Oh, dammit- "
"First off, Ron, stop swearing, for Merlin's sake! And secondly, it's all right. We can just go out to eat."
Ron winced. "Can't. I'm broke at the moment because I had to take out a loan from Gringotts when I bought the ri... riding instructor."
Hermione blinked, and cocked her head to the side. "Er... riding instructor?" Inwardly saying things that would have sent Hermione off her rocker with the stupidity of the lie, Ron nodded.
"Oh, yes. Riding instructor. You see, I'm going to take up - erm - horseback."
"But, Ron, you hate horses."
Dammit, she's right. What was George saying yesterday? 'At every possible opportunity, get your girlfriend to - ' oh, wait, no that won't help me now. Oh! Mum had a good one- 'When you've got to lie, run with it'! ...No, that was Ginny. What did Mum SAY? It was just after the garden gnome attack... something about facing my - "Fears! I think I ought to face my fears. Start small and then slowly conquer everything from spiders to weekends at your parents' house."
Her eyes narrowed. "And what's wrong with my parents' house, exactly?"
This was going to go on top of Ron's list of Really, Really, Really, Really Stupid Things To Say. "Nothing!" He exclaimed. "Just... just a little... humor?"
She seemed to accept this answer, albeit warily, and returned her thoughts to his supposed riding expeditions. "Do you have a horse?"
Ron blinked. "A horse?"
"Yes, Ron, one generally needs a horse if they are going to ride. That's why it's called, you know, horseback."
"Not yet," he answered breezily. "I figured, small steps."
She shook her head in amusement and then shrugged. "Whatever you say." There was one of those pauses - you know, where it's not exactly AWKWARD, but not fantastic either. Ron shoved his hands into his pockets and Hermione bit her lip.
"So how are we going to do dinner, Ron?"
He sighed, "Well, I guess we'll just have to have frozen pizza. There's probably some still in the fridge from last Sunday."
Hermione blanched. "Last Sunday? Ron, it's Saturday! That's a whole week ago!" Her boyfriend shrugged helplessly.
"Well, beyond that, I really don't know what to do, Hermione! I had everything all planned out! This was supposed to be a nice, romantic dinner to set the mood for the engage... engaging conversation that would be coming from our mouths."
Hermione arched an eyebrow. "What is with you tonight, Ron? 'Engaging conversation'?" Ron laughed nervously.
"Yes, well, you know me and my, ah, conversation obsession. Anyway," he hurried before Hermione could protest, "If you have a better idea for tonight we might as well do it. My idea's been ruined, at any rate."
"Absolutely not! This is your night, Ron. You choose. If you want weeks-old frozen pizza, then by God, we'll have weeks old frozen pizza." Ron laughed and smiled as Hermione winced. He felt affection sear through him and the ring suddenly felt heavy in his pocket..
He grinned. "Frozen pizza it is," he said lightly. "After you, Madam." He stepped graciously to the side and motioned Hermione into the kitchen. She fell into one of the chairs and got comfortable. Ron pulled the pizza from the fridge and popped it into the oven.
"I feel overdressed," Hermione laughed, looking down at the black, sparkly gown.
"As do I," Ron agreed wryly, tugging the jacket of his tux. "I can lend you some clothes, if you want."
Her eyes lit up and she jumped from her seat. "Yes! Lend me clothes!"
Ron grabbed her hands and led her up the steps. "Kleptomaniac," he laughed, and pushed open the door to his room. Clothes were scattered across the floor. "All right- one pair of socks, one shirt, and one pair of pants. Kapeesh?"
"Big, flannel pants? Like the ones you wear to bed?" She looked just like he did during a Quidditch game. "And you're giving to me? I don't even have to steal them?"
He laughed. "Go on, you oddball. Consider it an early wed... Wimbleton... gift."
Hermione blinked. "Wimbleton? I didn't know you followed tennis, Ron!"
He grinned nervously. "Oh- er- yes, of course I do. Doesn't everybody?"
"Who is your favourite player, then?" Hermione asked brightly, slipping out of her dress and into one of Ron's t-shirts and a pair of pants. She reached into her purse and pulled out three hair-ties: she balled up the left side of the pants and wrapped one around it, did the same to right side of the shirt, and then pulled her hair back into a ponytail. She slipped her feet into a pair of giant socks.
There are more than one! Ron thought desperately. "Uh... Kar...en...ina...mi...ka... Ther...mo...po...lis?"
Hermione paused. "Kareninamika Thermopolis." She repeated slowly. She tossed an odd glance in her boyfriend's direction. "Er...never heard of her. Is she any good?"
"Oh, yes," Ron lied, "Brilliant. She did that thing, last year. You know, on the court? With the racket?" Hermione nodded slowly, looking very much like she thought her boyfriend was insane. Or lying.
Which he was.
Lying, that is. Although he might had been a little - but just a little - insane, as well. He just shrugged, however, knowing when to quit, and smiled. "Are you ready for dinner?" He asked.
Ring! His mind suddenly shouted. The ring is in the tux! "Er... why don't you go on ahead?" He suggested nervously. "I have to- uhm- clean up. Because Harry is a bad drunk and I'm afraid he'll puke all over my clothes. Yeah. So you go down and wait for me."
She nodded and slipped out into the hallway. "Meet you down there!" She called. As soon as she started down the steps, Ron pants to his tuxedo and dug into the pockets. He pulled out the box and breathed a sigh of relief. The scarlet, felt box was now sitting safely in his palm.
He popped it open.
... and found that there was no ring sitting inside of it.
He shut his eyes tightly and counted to ten before he opened them again.
Nope, still gone.
Ron dropped to his knees and flung the tux into the air - wait, crap, that's rented - and looked to see if the ring had fallen under it. He crawled under the bed and threw all of the clothing (after thoroughly searching them all) onto the beds. He finally lifted the rug up and peeked under to find the small diamond band sitting harmlessly underneath it.
He reached under, sighing with relief when suddenly-
Rawr! Rawr! Rawr!
Hermione dashed up the steps, her face red. "Ron," She cried, panicked, "it's the fire alarm! Are you all right? What set it- what are you doing?"
He pulled his arm out from under the rug like it was burned. Caught his finger and went flying across the floor, landing at Hermione's feet. In a desperate attempt to keep her from seeing it, Ron leapt to his feet and captured her lips with his. "I- ah- dusting!" He cried once he had pulled away, "But that's not important. What set it off? I don't know, either, I- Oh, Merlin. The pizza."
Hermione sighed and shrugged. Ron noted with relief that she seemed not to have noticed the ring. "Well, at any rate, we should get out of here, before the sprinklers turn on." She laughed a little. "So much for our 'nice, romantic evening', eh?"
Ron dropped his head to his chest as he stood. "God, Hermione, I'm sorry," he apologized miserably. She took his hand comfortingly and led him from the room. They trudged down the steps and made it into the living room before Hermione suddenly stopped. "Shoot, I forgot my purse! I can't get leave that, in case it gets wet when the sprinklers turn on!" She made to return upstairs, but Ron grabbed her hand desperately.
"No!" He cried. "I mean- er- I'll get it." Before she could protest, he dashed up the steps and into the bedroom. He looked all over his floor, where the ring was supposed to be.
Where it was supposed to be, but definitely wasn't.
He felt like screaming. Could anything worse happen? He thought miserably. Is this a sign from the Gods or something? 'Don't marry Hermione!' they are probably screaming. Yeesh...
"...Ron...?" Hermione's voice drifted up the steps. "Ron, what's this?"
He tucked the purse under his arm and took the steps by twos. "What's what?" He asked as he came to stand beside his girlfriend. She turned slowly and held up...
And small, gold-banded diamond ring.
Yes, Ron thought as he stared at it, apparently things can always get worse.
"That?" He asked, his voice unusually high pitched. "That's- uh..."
And then the sprinklers went off. Hermione let out a screech and dropped the ring to the floor. It rolled until it was resting under the TV stand, smack-dab in the middle. Ron groaned. "My bag!" Hermione yelled. Trying to protect the apparently not water-resistant material, Ron did the only thing he could think to.
He sat on it.
And when he felt his butt get jabbed, he shut his eyes slowly and shifted. He pulled the tampon out from under his left butt cheek and chucked it angrily at the wall. Hermione, horrified, had her hands clamped firmly over her mouth.
"This night," Ron said finally, after a long silence filled only by the sound of the sprinklers shooting water down onto all of his furniture, "has officially gone to hell." He sighed and let the water pour down over him. Finally, he let out a sigh and pulled his Hogwarts ring off of his right hand. "Hermione," he said, kneeling and taking both her hands in his, "Everything went wrong tonight. Everything. You know I have a real engagement ring, but right now, all I can think to do is use this substitute."
He sighed as he surveyed the ring. "At any rate, I do love you, and I'm afraid to say anymore in case something goes wrong with that, too, and I wind up offending you, so marry me, for the love of Merlin!"
Hermione laughed and let him slip the red-and-gold ring onto her finger. "Yes, I'll marry you, you buffoon," she agreed, wiping her eyes (of water from the sprinklers). She pulled him to his feet and pulled him into a kiss.
Well, one thing went right today, at any rate. We'll worry about retrieving the ring later.
She slid her tongue past his lips and he felt the water run down her face.