a/n: Well it's the last chapter and I'm kind of sad since I won't be updating on this anymore. But then again there's always the sequel! So that puts a smile on my face. I'm going to start working on that and the different story soon so this summer I will be writng a lot although I do have a job I will be writing still!
Well as for the last author's note before the story I say this is pretty much over and well on with the story...
Love to all!
One and Only
The next morning Hermione was up early, she wanted to go over her speech once more. She went over the speech twice before getting ready. She showered all of the make-up and hairspray off then went to start from scratch. She did her makeup over and left her hair down and curly. Then she dressed in a white sundress and white flip-flops and then put on her black graduation robes (which were the same as muggle graduation robes) and her red and gold sash that was given to her for being head of the class before sitting on the other couch going over her speech with her cap in her hand.
A wizard graduation was similar to a muggle graduation, Hermione realized. Afterwards there would be a party in the Great Hall for family and graduates.
Hermione had finished packing both she and Ron the night before the ball. They were all set to go after graduation. She took a deep breath when she realized this but luckily Ron had been awake and watching her.
"We're going to be alright." He said, rising from the bed and sitting next to her on the couch. Hermione smiled at him grateful for him being there for her. She gave him a quick kiss.
"Why don't you get ready? Harry and Ginny will be here in a bit and then we have to go meet our parents in the Entrance Hall." Hermione said. Ron yawned and got up to get dressed. He put on a pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt then his graduation robes. He picked up his cap and sat on the couch next to Hermione, resting his head on her shoulder.
The portrait hole opened then and Harry and Ginny came in. Harry had on his graduation robes and his cap in his hand while Ginny had on a pale yellow spaghetti strap dress that just hit her knees with a short sleeve white shrug over it. She had on matching yellow flip-flops and her hair was in a nice ponytail.
"Ready to go?" Ron asked them. Harry nodded. They all got up to go, taking an extra second to look around the hallways considering it would be their last time in there as students. They made it down to the Great Hall where other students were conversing with parents. They spotted the red haired Weasley clan (and all of the other Weasleys that were and would be related by marriage) with the Grangers and Lupins. They all got into smothering hugs by Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Granger and Ron and Harry shook hands with Mr. Weasley and Mr. Granger. Hermione and Ginny were talking with Tonks, and their mothers while Ron and Harry were talking with Mr. Weasley and Mr. Granger. Ron was nervously holding onto the ring box in his pocket, preparing to ask Mr. Granger for his permission to marry Hermione. He was about to ask Mr. Granger if he could speak to him alone when Bill pulled him over to all of his other brothers. Harry followed and they were all beaming oddly at Ron. "What?" Ron asked.
"I can't believe your going to do it?" Charlie said. Ron got it then. Fred and George had told them.
"Yeah, well don't make a big deal out of it so she figures it out." Ron said. They continued to smile oddly at him.
"I can't believe it. Ron is the youngest out of us to get married." Percy said. Ron rolled his eyes.
"What about Ginny?" Fred protested. He glared at Harry as George continued.
"Yeah, Potter gave her a ring at Christmas." He too glared, causing Harry to go chat with Fleur who's due date was only weeks away.
"I don't even know how long we'll be engaged so maybe I'll be older than any of you were but just drop it for now." Ron said. They continued to smile as Ron went over to Mr. Granger, deciding it was now or never. "Mr. Granger can I ask you a question?" Ron said.
"Sure Ron." Mr. Granger said. Mr. Weasley left them to go talk to Hermione and Ginny. "What's up?" Ron took a deep breath, telling himself that he could do it.
"Mr. Granger, I would like permission to ask your daughter to marry me." Ron said, getting it all out. "I know we're young but I love her and I know she loves me." He watched Mr. Granger's face, waiting for an expression to decipher what his answer would be. Finally he worked his face into a sort of frown. Ron thought the answer would be no as Mr. Granger started speaking.
"You say you love her?" He asked. Ron nodded. Mr. Granger nodded as if that made his decision. "Alright then I just have one more question." He said. Ron gulped, waiting for the no. "How many grandchildren should I expect?" Ron looked up in alarm as Mr. Granger smiled. He was definitely not expecting that.
"Er… three I think." He said remembering what Hermione said about their children. "Is that a yes?"
"Yes." Mr. Granger nodded. "I'm very impressed that you asked me first and I give you my blessing." Ron smiled. "Welcome to the family, son." Ron smiled and shook Mr. Granger's hand again. He was happy and now he was really going to do it. Just then McGonagall called the seventh years in the Great Hall and the family outside to their seats. Ron found Hermione and Harry. He held onto Hermione's hand as McGonagall gave them their instructions to follow the heads of their houses out and take their seats until their name was called. Ron followed Hermione out, nervous for graduation and the proposal.
Outside, hundreds of chairs were set up facing a podium where Dumbledore stood to greet the family and the students. The trio filed into a row of seats, anxiously waiting on graduating. Dumbledore began his speech once everyone was settled into their seats.
"Welcome family, friends, and graduates. Today we are saying goodbye to a group of students and sending them off on their own. I have complete faith that these adults will succeed and in ten years when they come back they will all have stories of success to share. This has been an amazing class. They made it through O.W.L.s, N.E.W.T.s and seven years of magical training that has brought them here." Dumbledore paused to smile at the crowd. "Now I would like to bring up an extraordinary witch who has, in her time here at Hogwarts, shown amazing excellence and determination to get where she is now. Please give a hand for Hermione Granger." The crowd of family and friends went up in applause as Hermione stood with one last look of assurance from Ron and started up for the podium. She took a deep breath and nervously shuffled her speech cards that she had been rehearsing for days, practicing it for Ron, Harry, Ginny, Tonks and Lupin. She was assured that her speech was perfect and she had decided that she had finally managed to get it to perfection. It was about new beginnings and it was very formal. She realized this now as she stood in front of all of her family, friends, classmates, and teachers that a year ago, possibly she could have said that speech and felt very good after saying it but this speech was not her and she was not the person that she was a year ago. Saying this speech would not give her satisfaction. A half smile crossed her face as she let the note cards drop to the ground. She watched the shocked looks cross the faces of her classmates and the people she loved. Hermione smiled, fully. She was glad to do something unpredictable for once. She magnified her voice and started speaking: words from her heart, not a piece of paper filled with what she thought sounded smart and was what people wanted to hear.
"For the first eleven years of my life I was raised as a muggle, knowing nothing about Hogwarts or about the magnificent life ahead of me until my Hogwarts letter came. When it came I knew that going to Hogwarts and learning to become a witch would be difficult considering that most of these people had known magic for their whole lives. I made a promise to myself that I would study hard and learn it as if I had been a witch my whole life. Ever since my first year I have strived to overachieve and be the best here at Hogwarts but what I realize now is that memorizing spells out of books and passing an exam isn't what made me the witch I am today. My experience here at Hogwarts with my friends who I now consider my family has helped me grow and learn. Basically what I'm getting at is I could have learned about magic from books and could have gone to a completely different school but I wouldn't be the same because that place wouldn't have been Hogwarts. Every one of us would have because it was not the only the learning but our experience here. For seven years we have lived here, this place, our home away from home. And for some of us a home where we feel safe and the first place we could actually call home." She smiled at Harry. "Nothing will change what happened to us here and I'm sure that my fellow classmates would agree when I say that even if I could I wouldn't give it up for anything." Hermione smiled as her audience burst into applause. She felt content with the speech she had given and was glad she decided to drop the other one. Ron and Harry stood, applauding. Soon everyone stood to give her a standing ovation. She even heard Ron yell out a comment to praise her. She made her way back to her seat after picking up her note cards and being thanked by Dumbledore.
She felt a rush of excitement. Doing something on the spur of the moment, unrehearsed, and completely spontaneous felt good. She took her seat next to Ron who didn't have time for words gave her a quick kiss and a questioning look. Dumbledore began calling names forth to receive a certificate of graduation.
"I don't even know." Hermione said in response to his questioning look. "I just felt that saying that speech that I've been practicing wasn't right." She muttered to him as they clapped for Hannah Abbott.
"I think that the way you did it, today, was perfect." Ron said. "Just the right thing to say." He smiled at her and they focused their attention on the graduates receiving their diplomas.
Finally everyone had one. Dumbledore stood to say his final words, "And now we say goodbye to these graduates and wish them luck on their journey in life." All of the graduates stood and realized it was their cue to toss their caps. In the air, black caps turned to white doves, signifying their flight off into life. Hermione watched in amazement at the bird's flight off into the sky. She was transfixed with the sight and when she finally turned to smile at Ron, he wasn't there.
"Where'd Ron go?" Hermione yelled to Harry over the cheering crowd.
"I think he was headed to the Quidditch pitch." Harry yelled back, suppressing a smile. "Maybe he wanted you to follow." Hermione nodded and started out of the row of seats.
"I'll see you back inside." Hermione yelled to him. Harry nodded back to her and waited until she was far enough away to meet Ginny and follow Hermione to the Quidditch Pitch. They had decided that since they helped they deserved to see it happen. Although they were not expecting Fred, and George to follow causing Angelina and Alicia to want to see what happens and soon all of Ron's other brothers and their wives followed out of curiosity. Well except Fleur of course who was resting in one of the chairs, not in the mood to get up and even if she did she really doubted she would get there in time.
"What's going on?" Mrs. Weasley asked Fleur as she watched all of her children and their spouses run off.
"Ron eez going to propozze to 'ermione." Fleur said. "Zey all went to watch." Mrs. Weasley's eyes lit up and she and Mrs. Granger looked at each other excitedly. The two women rushed off toward the Quidditch Pitch and their husbands decided to follow. Tonks listened up when she heard Ron was going to propose. She carefully handed Penny to Lupin and followed Mr. Weasley and Mr. Granger to the Quidditch Pitch. Hagrid had been making his way over to the Weasley family when he noticed them all leaving, out of curiosity he followed them to the Quidditch Pitch.
Hermione reached the Quidditch Pitch and discovered that the bright green grass, normally there was now replaced with lilies. Every inch of it, and Ron was standing in the middle. She smiled and gave him a questioning look but he just motioned for her to come to him. She was deciding on a way to carefully walk through the flowers when she noticed a small path of grass leading to Ron. She followed it and laughed when she reached him she laughed again and gave him another questioning look. He just smiled at her, pulled something out of his pocket and got down on one knee.
"Oh my." Hermione said as she realized what was going on. "Oh my." She repeated. Millions of thoughts rushed through her head. Was she ready to be married? She was just buying a business, how would that fit into married lifestyle? Were they going to have kids right away and how would that work out? Were they in the place to be married? Could they afford to do this? She was even thinking about saying no because she needed to think but when he smiled up at her, holding the ring out all of her worries were pushed away and she didn't give a damn about any of it. She loved this man and he loved her. As far as she was concerned that was good enough for her to start a marriage and together they could face any problems that occurred along the way. She loved him and that was all she needed to know to give her answer. Silent tears came to her eyes as he started speaking. Neither of them noticed their families watching by the end of the field.
"Hermione, we haven't been together all that long… but we have known each other for a long time and…I know it took me a while to tell you but ever since fifth year I've loved you and liked you for longer then that but… I love you and… we don't have to do this right away… but…" Ron was starting to sweat and babble. Hermione choked out a chuckle through her tears. "Hermione will you marry me?" Ron blurted out. Hermione smiled.
"Yes." She choked out. "Yes Ron, I will." He smiled and placed the ring on her finger before standing up from the ground. She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him before she rested her head on his shoulder. Suddenly there was clapping and they both turned to see everyone watching them. The family started to come out and join them, not worrying about whether they were crushing flowers or not. Ron and Hermione were swept up in a series of hugs and had congratulations thrown at them, comments of how they were destined to be together, and remarks from Fred and George about when they should expect more nieces and nephews. Finally Hagrid pulled them both into a bone-crushing hug and told them that it was sweet what happened and he always knew it would end like that. He also made them promise to come visit him.
Ron and Hermione were fussed over by their families that they didn't even get a chance to be alone and be happy for themselves. Finally everyone had decided to go in when the flowers started to disappear. Mrs. Weasley and Mrs. Granger were making wedding plans and consulting Hermione who was still dazed and didn't have the heart to tell them she was capable of planning this by herself. Hagrid, Mr. Weasley and Mr. Granger were talking about a wizard wedding and a muggle wedding, Bill, Charlie, and Percy were trying to give Ron "the talk" that Fred and George had already given him. Ron was at least glad that Fred and George hadn't divulged that information to them. Fred and George were walking with their fiancées saying that they knew this was going to happen from the time Ron and Hermione got together and they watched it play out and Tonks, Alison and Penelope rushed away to tell Fleur and Lupin what happened. Harry and Ginny hung back in the fading flowers. Harry looked around the Quidditch Pitch, for the last time. Ginny put her arms around him.
"You're not really leaving. This is always going to be here and there will always be a reason to come back. And when we have kids and they come here you'll be back here, possibly playing Quidditch with them here." Ginny assured him. He smiled down at her and kissed her forehead.
"Thank you." He whispered before meeting their lips.
Later that evening mostly everyone had gone. Their families had made plans to hold an engagement party and then had departed on the Knight Bus. The sun was starting to set and Ron, Hermione, and Harry walked out with their trunks in their hands. Ginny was still lugging hers down. They stood on the steps of Hogwarts looking at the entrance as the sun started to fade. Ron put his around Hermione as they all stared up at the castle.
"The end of one adventure and the beginning of a new one." Hermione said. They all smiled at each other and started pulling their trunks down the steps to go into Hogsmede and Apparate to their apartments.
"Hey can someone help me?" Ginny yelled from the doorstep, struggling with her heavy suitcase and not quite being able to see with thick sunglasses over her eyes. They all laughed.
"I thought you were seventeen now. You can use magic now you know." Ron said. They couldn't see but the expression on Ginny's eyes was realization.
"Of course I knew that." She lied. "I was just carying mine because I thought you all were carying yours because you were too stupid to use magic." They all laughed again.
"Ours isn't that heavy." Harry pointed out and Ginny pouted until Hermione took out her wand and brought all four suitcases in the air. They trailed in front of them as the four started for Hogsmede. Ron slipped his hand inside Hermione's left one and saw the ring. He felt a surge of happiness as he realized he would be marring this woman. He thought that it was the perfect way to end the best seven years of his life. He was now marrying the woman he loved and they would be together, always and forever.
a/n: well that's it? How do you
think the ending went? I ended Summer Lovin' with one and only as the
last words so I thought I'd end this one with the title of the next
one. Well I've got to get going and the first one shot should be up
around next weekend!