A/N: Thanksto Your Tiny Dancer, Snowy-Mel, and pettybureaucrat for reviewing.
It is done
Exactly one month after Voldemort's defeat, many people were looking to celebrate the end of the war.
Celebrations broke out everywhere, one of which took place a Hogwarts. People who survived the war with Voldemort and his followers turned up. Now that the threat of Voldemort was over, many were happier than they had been in years.
Still, although there was much to be glad about, no one could forget that most had lost loved ones in the war - or, if lucky, had only spent the months - or years - leading up to the war in constant fear for their loved ones and had been fortunate enough not to lose them.
Back at Godric's Hollow, Ron had feared just that. When he watched his best mate and little sister fall to the ground and then seen Voldemort - who had fallen with them - begin to move, Ron had feared the worst. He thanked Merlin and who ever else might have been responsible that Voldemort's body moved only because Harry and Ginny were pushing him off of them, and that Voldemort truly was dead, struck down by a killing curse Harry had shot at him, a killing curse that after Harry explained what he had felt when he used it, had been born from love he felt for those he had lost.
Miraculously, his family had all survived, although some had been seriously injured. Percy would always have a limp; Fred was blind in one eye; his father had accumulated several scars in the battle when he protected Ron's mother from a curse aimed at her by a Death Eater. But, even with all of this, they were fine - much better off then others.
Death Eaters were still being collected by Aurors and put in prison for their crimes. Snape had been surprisingly helpful with that. After he was forced to kill Draco during the battle at Godric's Hollow to protect Ginny, Ron's opinion of Snape had improved some - although he still didn't like his old professor.
Ron looked up from the memorial that now stood at Hogwarts, paying respect tothehundreds who had died in the second war.
He traced his fingers over it as he read the names:
Cedric Diggory...Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore...Deidre Dearborn...Branna Kendrick...Alastor Moody...Kingsley Shacklebolt...
The list of names went on, so long that Ron didn't care to look anymore.
"Ready to go, love?" Ron asked Hermione squeezing her hand slightly to get her attention.
Hermione nodded, smiled softly at him, and allowed him to lead her over to where Harry and Ginny were talking.
Soon after, Hermione and Ginny walked off to go talk with their respective mothers, who were playing with Aiden.
"Hello, Ron, Harry," Percy called, making his way over to them, limping as he did so.
They both acknowledged the greeting. The three stood in silence for a minute, until Harry noticed that Percy was looking at Ron uncomfortably, as if he wanted to talk to him alone.
"Well, I'll leave you both alone. I need to go find Ginny, anyway."
After Harry walked off in search of Ginny - although he knew exactly where she was - Percycleared his throat to get Ron's attention.
"I just wanted to apologize again, you know, for the past couple years." Percy grimaced at how that sounded.
Ron shook his head. "It doesn't matter anymore, Percy. You made up for it, with all that you did for us. Thank you for that by the way."
Percy reddened slightly. He was about to say something else when he noticed that Ron's eyes kept drifting to the left. Percy followed Ron's gaze and smiled a little when he saw who the object – or rather the objects – of Ron's attention were.
"Are you sure you'll be able to take care of Aiden? You and Hermione are both so young."
Ron shifted his gaze from Hermione and Aiden who were sitting and talkingwith Mrs. Weasley and turned back to look Percy in the eyes. "I know, Percy. But, we have each other. We'll figure it out."
Percy nodded. "Don't mess things up with her. Bill and Charlie were catching me up on everyone and told me earlier how you at Hermione had a 'falling out' last year, your sixth year."
Ron sighed. "It's been a while since then. I've grown up."
"I know. You're both really lucky to have each other. Don't make the mistake I did."
At Percy's sad tone, Ron was about to ask him what he was talking about, when someone behind Percy interrupted him.
Percy turned around at the sound of the voice he hadn't heard in years. His heart began beating faster, his palms becoming sweaty.
Ron smiled, looking at the awkwardness between them. "I'm going to go find Hermione." He patted Percy on the back and left, but not before whispering to him, his words echoing Percy's previous words to him. "Don't mess things up with her, Percy."
After leaving Percy and Penelope to catch up, Ron gave a short greeting to Zacharias, who had recently been released from St. Mungos after his parents - his own parents - cursed him for siding against them. Ron did not spend a long time talking to Zacharias as Susan Bones was with him and they seemed to not want to be interrupted.
Soon, Ron was making his way over to Hermione who was now standing with a small crowd of children, whose attention was on a large box in front of her.
"Getting rid of all the hairy gits, right?" Ron asked, looking down at the kittens warily.
They wouldn't bother him so much if they weren't Crookshanks' progeny. Because Crookshanks had spent so much time at the Burrow, he had gotten "acquainted" with one of the Weasleys' cats. This "acquaintance" led to eight little hairballs, each of which had a squashed face and a fondness for driving Ron insane.
"Well..." Hermione said, grinning at Ron.
"What? We can't keep any of them. We aren't keeping any, right?"
"Well, Aiden really wanted one of them and...I don't know. With this, I couldn't say no to him."
Ron's eyes narrowed. "Which one is it?"
Hermione smiled again, knowing how the answer will affect him. "He decided – on his own, mind you – that he wanted…Floo."
Ron groaned. "No. Not the cat that jumps head first into the unlit fireplace, covers herself in ash, and then runs up to our room and rubs the ash all over my clothing – and only my clothing."
"Ahhh, you poor baby. You'll live," Hermione smirked, before she leaned up and kissed him lightly on the lips.
A few minutes later, Tonks and Lupin came up to them.
"Do you want one of the kittens, Tonks? Lupin?" Hermione asked in way of greeting.
"I was thinking about getting one," Tonks answered, looking down at the kittens.
"Well, help yourself."
Tonks nodded, looking at them for several minutes before bending down and scooping up the only pure black kitten of the litter.
"I like this one," she said, bring the kitten's squished face up to her own. She laughed when its sand-paper tongue came out and liked her nose. "I think I'm going to call him Salem," Tonks said, turning to look back at Hermione.
"I saw Aiden a few minutes ago. He was carrying one of the kittens around," Tonks continued.
Hermione chuckled. "Yeah, he decided on keeping Floo. Coincidently, Floo is the kitten Ron gets along with the least."
"Yeah, it better just be a coincidence, Hermione," Ron mock growled, then smiled and winked at her.
Hermione grinned in response, turning back to converse with Tonks, while Ron talked with Lupin.
Luna and Neville joined tha a few minutes later. Neville had been released from St. Mungos about a week before where he had undergone treatment for the curses that had lain him up, unconscious,for almost two weeks.
"How are you doing?" Ron asked Neville, to which Neville nodded, replying that he was fine.
Luna drifted over to thebox of kittens watching them fora few minutes before bending downand pulling one of the many orange ones out.
She brought it up to her face and began talking to it. "I'm going to name you Crumple-Horned Snorkack. You will be very proud of your name one day when it's proven that Crumple-Horned Snorkacks are real..."
Hermione looked at if she was about to say something about the name, but Ron bent down to whisper in her ear. "Bite you tongue, Hermione," his voice breathless with laughter in her ear.
Hermione glared at Ron.
Luna continued talking to her new kittens. "And, you will be 'Snor' for short," Luna said, still talking to the kitten, "or, maybe, 'Crum.'"
At this last statement, Luna walked away to join Neville who was waiting a little ways away from the crowd of children who had gathered to look at the kittens. Her departure had caused her to miss Ron's reaction to Luna's comment about the kitten's nickname.
Ron's head had snapped up and his ear's were quickly turning red.
"Bite your tongue, Ron," Hermione said, looking up at Ron and smiling sweetly.
After Hermione had found nice homes for all the kittens she had gone over to sit, once more, with Mrs. Weasley.
"Ron does so well with Aiden," Mrs. Weasley commented as she watched her youngest son and Aiden rolled a quaffle back and forth to each other in the grass.
Hermione smiled and nodded in agreement. "In a way, I was surprised by that. But, of course, spending so much time with his siblings and cousins - not to mention the younger kids at Hogwarts - made him used to dealing with kids."
Mrs. Weasley nodded and looked over at Hermione. "You both will be fine, I think. Remember though, if you need anything..."
"We know Mrs. Weasley, thank you." Hermione reached out, squeezing the older woman's hand.
"You can stay with us as long as you need, of course. Have you and Ron made plans...?" Mrs. Weasley's voice drifted off.
She didn't need to finish the sentence though. Hermione knew what Mrs. Weasley was asking. Ron hadn't asked her to marry him yet, and frankly, Hermione was a little - okay, very - disappointed. She knew that Ron was a little slow about getting the point, but she hoped he got the point sooner about this then he did the last time.
Hermione need not have worried, however.
While Ron pushed the ball back and forth to Aiden, he was contemplating that very issue, and decided that there was no better time to do it.
"Aiden, let's go see Hermione," Ron said, getting up, brushing his pants off, and lifting Aiden up into his arms.
"Daddy!" Aiden cried, pointing down at the kitten that was lying curled in a ball where Aiden had been sitting a second before. "Fwoo!"
"Okay, little man, I'll get Floo." With that, Ron bent down and scooped the sleeping kitten up, laying him in Aiden's arms.
Aiden laughed him glee and smacked him lips across the kitten's head. The kitten woke up from the smacking noise but did not seem upset about it. The kitten's little tongue shot out and slid across Aiden's cheek.
"How do you get along with him so well? Floo seems to hate me," Ron asked, seriously, looking down at Aiden.
Aiden just laughed.
"Hi, love," Ron greeted, making his way over to Hermione and his mother.
"Hi, Ron," Hermione answered, although she blushed a little. She liked Ron calling her 'Love,' but it was a little embarrassing for him to do so in front of his mother.
"Hi, Mum. Could you hold Aiden for a while, I need to talk to Hermione," Ron asked, turning to his mother.
Mrs. Weasley smiled in agreement and, taking Aiden, met up with her husband who was talking to Lupin and Tonks.
"Hermione," Ron began, sitting down beside Hermione.
"I...uh...Well,...I wanted to talk to you," Ron stumbled nervously through the sentence, unsure of how to ask her. He had just come to the decision that now was the time to ask her, but, although he had been thinking about asking her for a while now, he just realized he had forgotten to get a ring. Could this get any worse?
"Okay...What did you want to talk about?"
"Well, you know, I love you. And, Aiden as well..." Ron trailed off, looking over at Hermione, hoping that she would know what he was trying to say. Unfortunately, Hermione had tears forming in her eyes, and they didn't look like happy tears.
"If you aren't ready for a family, Ron, I understand..."
"What!" Ron all but shouted in surprise. This was going all wrong. First, no ring, and now this? "That isn't what I'm saying at all. It's the opposite of what I am trying to say really."
Hermione's brows knitted in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"What I'm trying to say is that...I want us to be a family. You, me, and Aiden."
Hermione gasped in shock, looking into Ron's blue eyes, which were gazing so intently at her.
"Will you marry me, Hermione?"
Hermione broke out into a smile and jumped into Ron's arms, crying out happily. "Yes."
A/N: Well, that is it. I could have continued a little more, but I thought this was a nice place to stop as I gave several hints to what various people's lives after the war were going to be like (or, at least, who the people would end up with).
Thank you to everyone who reviewed throughout the story. I really appreciated the reviewers and thereviews. They really encouraged me and I am glad that so many people enjoyed the story.