1"-And I've heard from special resources that our very own Augusta Castanovious has tied the knot with the drummer of Dead Men; they're going to have their wedding in a secluded area in Bombay but don't tell anyone I said that–" as the woman on the radio station laughed in a hollow sort of way, Hermione chewed the end of her quill thoughtfully.
She had left Hogwarts a little over a year ago, having received seventeen N.E.W.T.S (the highest in the century, she was proud to find out) and easily mastered the art of aparating and dissaperating, so she had immediately headed over to the ministry to give them her papers and had soon been accepted as an auror.
She had easily been promoted to 'Assistant Head Auror' after only two months of working for the ministry and she had been told by her instructor that in no time at all she might be accepted into being THE Head Auror. But that wasn't what was on her mind at the moment; though she had loved every moment of working at the ministry, a nagging at the back of her mind kept telling her that being an auror wasn't what she was supposed to be doing at that period in time.
So, being who she was, she had immediately visited the wizarding library in Diagon Alley to see if there were any psychology books that might help her with the nagging feeling, but could find nothing and her and her respect for books dropped a few notches.
As she sat there reading a report from the Minister of Magic himself, she sub-consciously turned her radio up at the sound of one of her favorite wizarding bands, 'The Single Miladies of Song' and their song 'You Warp My Heart'. The doorbell rang.
It took a few second for this new information to sink in before she realized the person rung the bell twice more. She shook her head of her dizzying thoughts and quickly jumped up to answer the door.
It was one of her best friends, Ronald Weasley.
"Hey Ron," she muttered distractedly as she held the door open wider to allow him entrance. He had been smiling when she opened the door but after noticing her expression he asked,
"Is something wrong, Hermione?"
"No.' she said rubbing her forehead, "just a spot of a headache. Been reading a report for the ministry all morning." He nodded his understanding and entered her flat. It was extremely tidy, as usually Ron noted, with one sofa and two plump chairs in the living room, along with a TV and coffee table, separating the TV from the sofa. The kitchen was small, connected to the living room by an un-habited doorway and had a fridge, stove, sink, table, and small pantry. There was a short hallway that led to two bedrooms on the far side of the living room, one bedroom being Hermione's, and the other an extra for visitors, which she had often, coming in the form of Ginny Weasley.
"Here," said Ron after taking off his leather jacket and draping it over the edge of the couch, he pulled out his wand and held it to her forehead. Instantly her head ache vanished and she muttered a grateful "Thanks."
"No problem." he replied cheerfully, hoping that some of his happiness would rub off on her since she seemed to be stressed. After realizing his dream of becoming an auror like Hermione didn't look to well, or trying out an international Quidditch team like Harry was pretty much hopeless, did he result to focusing all his attention in his seventh year to becoming a healer, since in their seventh year they had finally acquired a potions teacher that at least let everyone know they had some potential in that field.
When he noticed that she still seemed to be in a reverie, he amused himself by waving his hand in front of her face, making her flush with embarrassment and mumbling something about making coffee.
"Hermione," he started hesitantly, as he took a seat at her table an cleared a space for them to drink, "Exactly what has the ministry been asking you to do lately?" he finished eyeing the scattered papers inhabiting the other half of the table.
"Well," she said setting down the pot as he quickly helped her with the two mugs by taking them and setting them safely on the table, "just things like decoding, and I've gone on a few raids this month; turns out one of Voldemort's old followers is trying to return him to power again even though Harry defeated the last of his Horcrux's last year...sheesh, you think these maniacs might give us a break once in a while...or realize that there is no more possible ways to bring him back." she shuddered slightly, remembering how she, Ron, and Harry had almost dies several times in the past eight or so years because of the horrible Lord Voldemort.
"I guess in their feeble attempts to overrun the ministry they have temporarily forgotten who works there now." he stated, indicating her by dipping his head momentarily. She flushed red again.
"Stop." he laughed as she squealed grabbing his hair playfully, not really realizing that she was flirting with him and that she liked it.
"Come on," he said, standing up and offering her his hand, which she took frowning curiously at his actions, "lets go somewhere today, you need to get out of the house, it seems to be driving you crazy." he laughed at her scandalized look.
"But–I–I have to finish that report–turn it in to Mr. Appleby–"
"Which," he said pulling her out of the kitchen and holding her coat as she distractedly slipped her arms through the sleeves, "can be finished later. I don't want a work-a-holic as a best friend."
"Well...fine," she agreed reluctantly, "but we have to meet Ginny an Harry for dinner; I promised them I would."
"Really?" he asked, surprised as they entered the elevator, glad it was empty so they wouldn't be interrupted, "They asked me to meet them at dinner, too. 7:30 at that little café in Freaden Square, right?"
"Yes. Guess we can meet them there after spending the day in Diagon Alley or something–"
"Actually," said Ron cutting in, "I thought you might like to spend the day in Madraiden Place, since its been so long since I've been there, but you don't have to," he added quickly, his ears rapidly turning a dark scarlet in embarrassment, "It's just a thought–"
"I'd love to."
"What?" he said suddenly as he stopped rambling. "You'd love to?"
"Yes." she said again, a little irritably, but Ron didn't mind, as they stepped off the elevator he immediately grabbed her around the waste and spun her around twice, drowning pleasantly in her wondrous and ringing laughter.
"Shall we aparate?" asked Hermione, a little out of breath, after he had set her down. She didn't even see him groan while picking her up (not that she weighed a lot; quite the contrary) and decided that those few years of Hogwarts Quidditch had done him quite some good. He gave her a look as he bit his lip nervously.
"You know I've never liked aparating."
"Yes. I do." she agreed as hey entered into the sunlight and crowded sidewalk. "And I think it's a petty fear. Like your one for spi–"
"Hey!" he butted in again, "I DON'T want to go through this conversation again!" he whined. She rolled her eyes and entered a dark alleyway. He followed, though very reluctantly.
With much persuasion, and a little bribing (she now had to make him dinner every day for a week) they both turned on the spot and with two 'pop!'s, they disappeared.
They reappeared in an almost empty street, next to a glorious rock fountain, that was in the center of a gigantic circle of little shops, restaurant, and booths. Hermione stood in aw, rotating on the spot to see all the places they could look around. She had never been to Madraiden Place, and thought that it looked very interesting.
"Oh, look!" she squealed, and pointed to a book store that sold ancient scrolls in hieroglyphs. She sprinted in its direction and Ron just shook his head amused, stuffing his hands in his jeans pocket and followed her.
"Look at that one!" she said breath-takingly. "It dates back to 327 BC! How much is it?" the asked one of the assistants standing near the display. The woman frowned a bit, searching for a price tag then shrugged her shoulders.
"Must be one o' the one's they sent this mornin'; I wouldn' know, since I've only been here for an hour me self. Its probably the priceless ones they was talkin' bout'." she said thoughtfully then excused herself to the other side of the store. Ron reached out to touch the old parchment, but Hermione's hand shot out like a whip. He scowled and rubbed his reddening wrist that he had retracted from the display before he even touched anything. Hermione hastily ushered him out of the store and rounded on him once they were outside.
"Why did you try and touch that! The Lady said it was PRICELESS!"
"I just wanted to see if it felt old! You never know with these sort of things–"
"Of course it's old!"
"Well, how was I supposed to know? Even if they were selling it could be a total fake." he pointed out but Hermione wouldn't believe him. They argued about it all the way into the next three shops they visited, each argument becoming more and more playful and ridiculous.
"What is the scrolls were made by TROLLS!" yelled Ron indignantly, though his grin was evident through his hand covering his mouth in mock fright. "Hey, that rhymes!" he said, a look dawning on his face and he suddenly smirked. Hermione laughed, making him laugh, making them both agree that they were hungry, making them visit an ice-cream booth and buy a Sunday to share.
"Oh! Put in Chocolate! I love chocolate!"
"Chocolate! No! Strawberry, Ron! Strawberry!"
"How about half chocolate and half strawberry?"
"Sounds like a deal, and put nuts on top."
"Nuts!" came his scandalized answer.
"I think you will both agree on Chocolate Syrup?" asked the man selling it. He was smiling at the two young friends.
"Yes." they both answered in unison. He handed the plastic bowl to them and they went to sit under the fountain, dipping their spoons into the frozen snack and each taking a big bite.
"Mmm..." said Hermione through her mouthful. "Delicious." she said after she swallowed. He nodded his agreement and looked at his watch. His eyes bulged.
"Do you realize we've been here for nearly four hours!"
"I didn't notice." she answered to his out burst. "I've been having so much fun with you that I don't care what time it is." she took another bite to cover her blush. Ron however, looked at her incredulously.
"Yes!" she said, playfully punching his arm. He rubbed it frowning.
"Well, it was meant to. Why else would I do it?" he just smirked and got a cup ful of water from the fountain, ready to throw.
"Oh no–" she was saying giving him a warning glare, "don't you dare–YOU DIDN'T!" she yelled mopping wet bangs away from her face. He quickly took the last bite of ice cream and threw the plastic bowl at her. She ducked then shoved him into the fountain. He came up spirting water out of his mouth and nose, choking up the disgusting liquid that tasted like chlorine, galleons, and chocolate syrup.
"HEY!" he yelled wiping water out of his eyes.
"Be grateful you weren't wearing your jacket or I might have ruined it." she said innocently. He squinted his eyes at her then made a mad grab for her arm. He succeeded in pulling her into the fountain, noticing her eyes widen then close before she hit the surface. Since the pool of water was two feet deep, she came up seconds later, completely drenched. She immediately put her hands on top of his head and pushed down as hard as she could. He went under but wasn't going to go alone. He grabbed her leg and pulled her off her feet easily, since she was so light.
After a few minutes of people passing by, laughing at the funny 'couple' they stepped out of the water and Hermione used the drying spell on both of them.
"Its nearly five now. Am I glad I have a waterproof watch." Ron said as an after though. "I think we should get home and change. Harry told me it was to be a formal party tonight. Are we supposed to wear robes?" he asked her as they made their way to the aparating point in the circle of shops, so that they were safe to not land on anyone or anything of the sort.
"Nope." Hermione answered, "They told me to dress up, meaning–" she groaned and Ron raised a carrot eyebrow, "I have to wear a dress." he was about to mock her, saying that the only time he ever wore a dress was in their fourth year, at the yule ball, but she suddenly stopped. He ended up walking right past her, then retracing his steps to look at her questioningly. She pointed to a glass display window and as he watched her delicate finger point to something his eyebrows went up a fraction of an inch.
In the display was a long, light pink dress that was sleeveless, and slowly evolved into a dark magenta the lower the dress. It was made of silk and looked very expensive but she still walked over to it, somewhat in a daze.
"It looks beautiful!" she said breathlessly, putting her hand on the window right in front of the dress.
"Do you want it?" asked Ron softly. She just nodded her head, her mouth finally closing, and she looked at him almost pleadingly.
"That's it." he said finally, pulling out his bag of galleons, something he was slowly growing to love as he had never really done it before, "How much is it? I'm buying it for you and you're wearing it tonight."
"What–Ron, no, you don't have to!" she said now looking quite embarrassed. He raised an eyebrow.
"Since when do I get to buy you stuff? I'm buying it and if you wont wear it then I'm burning it." he had a steely look in his eyes and was deep down hoping that she wouldn't make him burn it.
"Okay." she finally said after a while and gave in. They entered the store, bought it, and after the store man carefully folded it and wrapped it in white paper, finally putting it into a semi-flat white box with the store name on it, they left and aparated to their own respective apartments.
When Hermione got home, she slipped into the dress, hooked a diamond necklace and matching bracelet around her neck and wrist, and decided on simple diamond studs for her earing's. She stepped into a pair of white, strappy, stiletto's and finally, after making her hair sleek and shiny and putting it up in a bun with a few curls hanging out here and there, she surveyed herself in the stand up mirror. She thought she looked pretty, so she grabbed her purse and was about to aparate when the doorbell rang for the second time that day.
Frowning, she answered it to see Ron again and he looked at her, shocked at how beautiful she looked and suddenly made her look at the ground embarrassed. After both of them just standing there, Ron staring at her, and Hermione staring at the end of her dress, he cleared his throat and handed her a small rose. She accepted it and stuck it in her bun, making him beam with appreciation.
"I–um, I though that, um, maybe I would, um, pick you up and we could drive to dinner, if you'd want to, I mean," she cut him off,
"I'd love to."
He smiled again and offered his arm. She looped her elbow through his and they made their way down the elevator and into the lobby, where the witch who owned the apartment complex was talking to another woman checking in. She smiled at them and said,
"Don't you two look lovely." They both blushed and walked into the parking lot, Ron leading her to a black limo."
"Wow." she said after the limo driver told them they were about to leave, she smoothed a fold in her dress and continued, "If I'd known you would do this in an unexpected way, I wonder how much effort you would put into a real date where you and your friend were the center of attention." He blushed and she said more, "If your doing all this for me, when its not even our dinner party, why are you even doing it at all?" she asked.
"Well," he started and she noticed his ears turning red again, "I thought that it would be nice to, um, make it a little special for the both of us, I mean, not us, Harry and Ginny–"
"It's okay," she said softly, "I love it." She gave him a peck on the cheek just as the driver let them off at a small restaurant in Freaden Square, away from people so that they wouldn't run anybody over.
Hermione took Ron's arm again as they stepped out of the car but quickly frowned.
"This isn't where they told us to meet them." she said looking around uselessly.
"I'll go talk to the driver." Ron went to the other side of the car and talked briefly with the driver, coming back thirty second later with a confused look on his face.
"The driver said that Harry contacted him earlier and told him that we were supposed to come here." then he added as an after thought, "I wonder how he knew I had rented the limo in the first place..." nevertheless, the made their way inside and a shout made them turn.
Harry and Ginny were sitting at a private booth made of red velvet and was up very high, with curtains hanging old-English style to sort of shield them from the other diner's, and both were waving at them to come over, grinning broadly. Ron and Hermione shrugged and walked through the tables, climbing the matching velvet stairs onto the landing right outside them, smiling as they reached the booth containing their friends and sibling's. Hermione slid into the booth, trying not to ruin her dress, and sat by Ginny. Ron sat down next to Hermione and Harry had been sitting on the other side of Ginny when they each sat down.
"Why are we eating here?" asked Hermione, voicing her's and Ron's obvious question. Ginny just smiled.
"I thought it would be a better atmosphere to show you this." She stuck out her left hand and Hermione instantly noticed something sparkle on her ring finger.
"Oh my gosh! Congratulations!" she said hugging Ginny. Ron reached over the small table and lightly punched Harry's shoulder.
"You take care of her mate, or I'll never let you here the end of it."
"Ron!" both girls yelled scandalized. Harry just laughed, deep and understandingly.
"I will. I'm in love with her aren't I?" he grinned mischievously as he snatched his fiancee around the middle and kissed her.
"Oh, spare us!" said Hermione shielding her eyes. Everybody laughed as a waiter came over to hand them menu's. Hermione changed the subject.
"Your ring is beautiful Ginny, but why so small? I'm sure Harry could afford something bigger, what with the salary he makes as a Quidditch player." she had a sort of gleam in her eyes, and almost sounded a little jealous as she spoke.
"Exactly." replied Ginny, "Just because Harry makes so much money, doesn't mean the diamond on my ring has to be the size of my eye! Besides, this ring is just as beautiful as any, and its ancient! See those markings..." she trailed off in conversation with Hermione.
"Here she goes again." said Ron and Harry at the same time without realizing it, and when they did, they burst out laughing.
"Have you seen that ancient book store shop in Madraiden Place?" asked Harry, amused at how much he and his best friend thought alike.
"This morning." replied Ron with a groan. "If I hadn't almost got us thrown out for almost touching something we would have been there all day."
"We?" asked Harry with an eyebrow raised.
"Hermione and I." said Ron, then seeing Harry's face, "It wasn't a date ro anything mate. I just did it cause she had been so stressed this morning when I went over to say Hi. We ended up visiting all the stores, and after we fought about what ice cream we wanted to get, we ended up shoving each other into the fountain—I'll explain later." he said seeing the girls break off their conversation to listen to his and Harry's.
The whole night they talked about wedding plans and such, where they wanted to have it, their honeymoon, what flowers were Ginny's favorite, when–
"Hermione, is that a rose in your hair?" Hermione blushed and sub-consciously raised her hand to her hair.
"Ron gave it to me." she said, making Ginny and Harry smirk and Ron hide his face in his hands.
"I want roses at our reception and in the church, alright Harry?"
"Whatever you say, honey."
"You do not know how weird it is to see your best friend calling your sister 'honey'." said Ron, coming out from behind his hands. They laughed and finished their meal, Harry insisting on paying the bill.
As they walked into the parking lot and went different direction, Ron held the door open for Hermione and took a big gulp.
"Um, Hermione? Can I ask you something?"
"Yes?" she answered, sliding down on the leather seats to make room for him.
"Well, I was wondering if you might like to, um, maybe hang out with me tomorrow or something, I mean, since I'm off duty tomorrow and–"
"I'd love to." was her answer, and the final word said in the car that night was:
"Wonderful." and as they sat, just gazing out their respective windows, somehow, Ron's hand had crept its way onto Hermione's and their fingers locked for the first time.
I hope you liked it! I thought I would do something that wasnt a Lily/James and was taking place after Hogwarts so, please review! I want to know if people really like this story!