a/n: Hey guys. Sorry it's been so long since I put this story up but there was a writer's block issue and then just a busy summer. But here's the chapter now!
I was planning on making this a story full of one shots that were important things in their lives but there was still so much that I had to write in this story so it's just going to be a long story! I hope you all are happy!
So a few things to catch up on, they graduated, Ron proposed, Harry gave Ginny a promise ring, the four live in apartments across the hall from each other and their apartments are like the Friends ones, and they all have new jobs!
Hope you enjoy,
Always and Forever
Marriages, Engagements, and New Businesses
Shaking, Hermione awoke wondering what that earthquake-like feeling she had was. She opened her eyes to see Ron staring over her with a concerned look on his face. It took her a second to realize where she was. The unfamiliar room registered in her mind as her and Ron's bedroom in the flat that they had purchased together. Slowly the dream she had came back to her. She was at the bookstore with a Ministry person for the final checkup. He was going over the place when all of a sudden books just started to fall from the shelves and they all landed in a heap on the floor. The Ministry person then turned to her with a glare and told her that the bookshop would never open.
It seemed silly now but it had scared her. Hermione sat up and rested her head against the headboard of the queen size bed she and Ron shared. Sweat rolled down her forehead.
"Hermione are you ok?" Ron asked again. Hermione realized then that Ron had been shaking her awake and that was the earthquake-like feeling she had.
"Yeah, just a bad dream." Hermione said. "I know it's stupid but I just have this feeling that things are going to go bad today and the bookshop isn't going to open."
"It's not stupid." Ron assured her. "But everything is going to go fine." He looked over her shoulder at the clock that read five am. "Come on, I'll make you some coffee." He took Hermione's hand and led her out of the room. In the kitchen Hermione sat down at the circular kitchen table and rested her head in her hands while Ron made coffee.
"I can't help but think that something is going to go wrong today. Books? A bookstore? It's been done before. There are plenty of bookstores. Why did I think that this was a good idea?" She complained into her hands.
"Hermione." Ron said, sitting down at the table next to her and putting a cup of coffee in front of her. "For practically a year we've been working on this bookstore idea and you're even going to have your own book in there. It's a brilliant idea because people read, Mione it's going to be a huge success." Hermione didn't respond for a second. She stared into her coffee, without drinking it. Suddenly her head shot up with a smile.
"Coffee. Ron you're brilliant! Coffee." She repeated, not explaining herself.
"Coffee?" Ron questioned. "How am I brilliant?"
"We could sell coffee at R and H Books. It's perfect. They could buy coffee and read the books they bought! I could put a table or two outside and then there's still a ton of counter space where we could put stools. What do you think?" Hermione smiled at Ron but his face looked the complete opposite.
"I think it's a really great idea but maybe we should wait until the bookshop gets going?" Ron suggested.
"No, we could do it this morning. Right before the Ministry person comes." Hermione said, waiting for Ron to smile and agree but his face was still in a frown.
"Hermione, love, I think it's a really great its just that, there really isn't money to do that with right now." Ron admitted. He felt completely horrible saying it and ruining her idea but they really didn't have money to add this onto the bookshop. He waited for her reaction to change but surprisingly it stayed the same.
"I know we can't afford to add that on, trust me, but what I was thinking was transfiguring things into tables and chairs. We have a lot of coffee here." At this point she got up and walked over to a cabinet, taking out can after can of coffee. Her mother had bought stuff for their new apartment and apparently she had shopped so that they would have enough food for months. She had definitely taken into account Hermione's love of coffee to get her started in the morning.
Hermione had five large cans of coffee mix when she finally got all of the coffee out of the cabinet. She then proceeded to go to another cabinet and take out Styrofoam cups.
"Good Ol' Mum thinks of everything." Hermione said with a smile while she pulled out three packages of the cups. "See, we just have to be resourceful. And Harry and Ginny have some too. I don't think they need all of those cups. And in the back room at the bookshop, there's a bunch of old furniture that I was going to throw away but I could transfigure that stuff." Ron watched in amazement as Hermione moved across the kitchen, planning things. He was very impressed that she had figured all of this out without it costing them a thing. "What do you think?"
"Wow." Was all that Ron could say. She stopped and smiled at him. "I think it sounds brilliant." He finally said. He stood up and pulled her into his arms. She smiled up at him and met their lips together. When they parted he took her hand. "Come here." He said. She didn't talk as she followed him past the couch in the living room and too the big window in their apartment that looked out onto the city of London. He took her around to the smaller window on the side, which he opened and began to climb out onto the balcony right outside of their window. They had put a few lawn chairs out there to hang out. Ron sat down in one and pulled Hermione onto his lap. "Look." He pointed at the sun in the distance, slowly making it's way up in the sky. Hermione settled comfortably in his arms as they watched the sunrise.
"Well, Miss Granger, everything seems to be up to shape here. Selling coffee was a brilliant idea. I think you have a very profitable business on your hands." The Ministry person said. Hermione smiled and squeezed Ron's hand, happily.
They had added three stools to the extra space at the counter and two tables outside, each with four chairs. The place actually looked complete now that it sold coffee.
"Good luck with the business." He scribbled something down on a piece of paper and then tore it off. "Here you go Miss Granger." He smiled at them and picked up his briefcase and left. Hermione turned to Ron with a smile on her face and squealed before jumping into his arms. He held her and then kissed her. Harry and Ginny smiled for the happy couple.
"This is so great!" Ginny commented. "Ooo do you know what we should do? We should have Neville and Luna over for a sort of celebration, tonight."
"Yeah, that sounds good." Hermione said as Ron let her down.
"Alright," Ginny said excitedly, "Harry and I will go pick up some butterbeer and then stop by Luna and Neville's, they sent us a letter yesterday telling us their new address. You guys can make something for us to eat tonight." She smiled. "We'll see you later." Ginny called happily as she pulled Harry out of R and H Books and down the street. Hermione turned to Ron with a smile on her face and jumped back into his arms.
"Can you believe it? This place is actually going to open!" She exclaimed.
"I know." Ron smiled at her. He kissed her and then pulled away abruptly. Then he let her down. "Well, we have a lot of work to do." He said, heading for the door slowly in the hope that she would catch on to his teasing. Hermione laughed and cut him off before he got to the door. She pushed him onto the couch and fell with him.
"I think we could spare a few minutes." Hermione said.
"Yeah, a few." Ron said before taking her lips with his.
Hermione placed a bowl of chips on the kitchen table, as there was a knock on their door.
"I got it!" Ron said, rushing towards the door to let Neville and Luna in.
"Hey." Hermione said to her company.
"Hello." Luna said as a dreamy smile crossed her face. "You're place is lovely."
"Thank you Luna." Hermione smiled.
"Hi." Neville said. "Wow, this is a nice place." He said, looking around.
"Thank you." Hermione smiled again. Harry and Ginny had gotten up from the couch when Ron got up and now they were saying hello to Neville and Luna.
"Wow, you have a teli-vision?" Neville asked when Ron led them to sit down.
"Yup." Ron said. "It's the most amazing thing and it doesn't even use magic." He explained.
"You have to be careful around these things." Luna said. "There are these little static bugs that will electrocute you if your not careful." Hermione concealed a smile but didn't say anything. She they tried not to laugh as she saw the three guys look at the TV again with curiosity.
"Come look out on the balcony. You can see practically all of London." Hermione said. She led them through the window and out onto the balcony.
"Wow this is amazing." Neville said as he looked down at the dozens of lights beneath them.
"Yeah it is." Harry said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. "I don't know why we let them have this place without a fight." He complained to Ginny. Ginny smiled and put her hand on his shoulder.
"Because the bedrooms in our place are bigger." Ginny smiled at him. Harry shrugged and decided that that was a good enough reason.
"Well what do you say we have some butterbeers and get the celebration started?" Ron asked, climbing through the window.
"Sounds like a plan." Hermione agreed. Everyone else nodded in agreement as they went back into the apartment. Everyone took seats in the living room to sit around and talk.
"So, uh, have you thought about your situation for next year at all?" Ginny asked Neville and Luna.
"Situation?" Luna asked.
"Well, I mean how you'll be at Hogwarts and Neville already graduated." Ginny explained.
"Oh, yes." Luna said. She let Neville take over the explanation.
"Since I'll be working in Hogsmede at the Magical Gazette I'm just going to go over to Hogwarts after work and I also promised Professor Sprout that I would come by and help with the garden so I'll be able to see Luna a lot anyways." Neville said. He smiled at Luna, who smiled back and for once her face did not have a dreamy/lost look. Her expression was more of one in love.
"Yesterday we were looking for a place to live and Neville asked me to marry him." Luna said, still beaming but her voice held a dreamy quality to it. "I said I would and we got married right after we bought an apartment." There was a dead silence for about sixty seconds. The four receiving this news looked completely shocked. It was then, while sitting on the arm of the chair Ron was in, that Hermione noticed a gold band around the ring finger of each of their left hands. It wasn't that they weren't happy for the couple but more in shock, considering that Luna was seventeen and Neville was eighteen and they had ELOPED!
"Y-you eloped?" Ginny finally asked. Neville and Luna nodded.
"It was sudden but I've never felt this way before about anyone." Luna said. "I've never felt so happy." Hermione and Ginny could understand how Luna felt because they too had found someone who made them feel like that.
"When I told Gran, she flipped but she's still happy for us. And Luna's dad really likes me so he was happy." Neville said.
"Well congratulations!" Hermione said, she got off of the arm of the chair and gave each of them a hug. Luna seemed surprised at the gesture but she was still happy that there were more people celebrating the union.
"Yeah, congratulations!" Ginny said. "I'm really happy for you two." She followed Hermione and gave them hugs. Ron and Harry stood up to shake their hands.
"Well I guess we have a lot more to celebrate." Harry said. He picked up his butterbeer. "To Neville and Luna." He said. "Congratulations on your marriage and I hope you have a wonderful life together." Everyone else picked up their butterbeers.
"And congratulations to Hermione for getting R and H Books together." Neville said.
"And to Hermione and Ron's engagement." Luna added. Ron and Hermione smiled at each other.
"Also to Harry and Ginny's sort-of engagement." Hermione continued.
"And to love." Ginny said.
"To marriages, engagements, and new businesses!" Ron added. They clinked their glasses together and drank. And then apparently on cue the timer on the food went off.
The six went to the table where Hermione placed the food. Neville and Luna talked about their honeymoon that they were planning for sometime in the middle of July. Ron offered time off then to Neville. After dinner they sat in front of the TV and watched some strange show on food. Oddly, it was on how starbursts were made.
Finally Neville and Luna said they had to get back to their apartment because they were furniture shopping tomorrow. They were congratulated again and told to stop by any time because they were always welcome. After Neville and Luna left, Ginny convinced Hermione to let her pick out the outfit for the first day of the bookshop and she rushed across the hall to look through her walk-in closet. Ron and Harry were watching the end of the show and Hermione had just finished cleaning so she stepped out on the balcony and watched London move by on the street beneath her. The wind picked up and she was starting to get chilly but she didn't move.
Ron joined her on the balcony a while later. He put a sweatshirt on her shoulders and then put his arms around her.
"What are you thinking about?" He asked. She turned to him and placed her hands on his shoulders.
"Would you just elope?" Hermione asked. "I don't know if I would be able to do it without my friends or family there. I kind of feel bad because they didn't have anyone there and Luna's father didn't get to walk her down the isle and Neville's Gran never got to see him get married." Ron smiled at the always-caring side of his fiancée.
"Maybe that's how they wanted it. You and I wouldn't just elope but maybe Neville and Luna wanted to elope. They don't exactly do things the normal way. We should just be glad that they are happy now." Ron said. Hermione smiled and lightly kissed him.
"I love you." She said. He smiled and kissed her nose.
"I love you too." He said before kissing her lips.
On June 25th the paper office was open for work Hermione excitedly woke Ron up. She had opened her bookstore the previous day and things had gone well. The coffee sold great, as well as the books. For the first day the bookstore did extremely well. Even McGonagall stopped by and bought several books on Transfiguration.
Now it was the morning before the paper office was going to open and Ron and Hermione were sitting at the table eating breakfast.
"Wow, can you believe that the bookstore opened and now the Gazette office is opening up?" Hermione asked. Ginny had chosen Hermione's outfit for the first day of work and it turned into somewhat of a uniform for the workers of R and H Books. Black pants or skirt with a white top and black tie. Today Hermione was wearing a pair of black pants and a white button up shirt with a tie that hung loosely around her neck. She had sucked it up and put on heels with the outfit, which she was actually getting used to.
"No." Ron said. "But let's just hope that the paper is as successful as the bookshop." He had let Hermione help him pick out something to wear on his first day of work. He had on a pair of nice khaki pants and a dark blue button up shirt tucked into them.
"Oh of course it will be." Hermione assured him. She took a sip of her coffee as Harry and Ginny walked into the apartment. Harry was dressed casually in a pair of jeans and T-shirt but Ginny had on a black pencil skirt and light pink top. Harry and Ginny took a seat at the breakfast table.
"Ready for work?" Ron asked Ginny.
"Yes boss." Ginny said with a joking smile.
"Do you know what kind of articles you're going to assign today?" Harry asked.
"Well I was hoping that you would maybe come for an interview." Ron said. "An interview with the new seeker for the England team would be really good for the first issue of the paper. What do you say mate?"
"I say alright." Harry said. "You aren't the only one who thought that though. I got a letter from the Prophet, asking the same thing but of course I turned them down."
"Really?" Ron asked. Harry nodded. Well then is 12 ok?" Ron asked.
"Sounds great." Harry said. "Are you going to do the interviewing?" Ron shook his head.
"No, Hannah Abbot is still the sports writer." Ron said. He watched the three people in front of him begin to protest but he cut them off. "Don't worry I'll still be doing an article. It's going to be about the paper and you guys buying the place and how I quit the Prophet. It's just to give a background on the paper. I was going to have Lupin do it but I figure that he's got a lot on his plate with Penny and it is his first article so I decided to start him off with something small. Ron reached down to the briefcase in the chair next to him and pulled out a piece of paper with names on them. "I assigned everyone their articles already. And then any big news that happens will spread through the Ministry so dad or Percy will tell me. And then, yesterday when I went to set my desk up, there was a whole bag of letters from people who knew about the Herald and the advice part so that's all set." Ron smiled, proud of himself for accomplishing all this. "And I really want to thank you guys again for this."
"It's no big deal." Ginny said. "You deserve it Ron." Hermione and Harry nodded in agreement.
After breakfast they all Apparated to their works, leaving Harry to hang out in front of the TV until 12.
Hermione reached the bookshop to see that Ellen Montgomery and Anthony Goldstein were already there, hard at work. Ellen was starting to make some coffee while Anthony was clearing off the counter.
"Good morning." Hermione said cheerfully to her staff. They two were wearing the uniform of black pants or skirt in Ellen's case with a white shirt and black tie.
Hermione looked at her watch and noticed that it was just time to open. She used her wand to flip the sign on the door and smiled, happy for her business to be open once again. The first customer was an older witch who scanned the bookshelves for several minutes before coming up to the counter.
"Excuse me." She said to Ellen. "I was told that I could find A House Elf's Rights at this bookstore."
"The book doesn't come out until next week." Ellen said. "But the author of that book owns this bookstore."
"Is she here?" The lady asked with interest. Ellen nodded as Anthony took his cue and went into the backroom, which Hermione was organizing, to get Hermione. Hermione walked out of the back room nearly a second later with a smile on her face.
"Hi, I'm Hermione Granger." Hermione said, sticking her hand out for the lady to shake.
"Helen Williams." The lady said with a smile. "My son works for the publishing company and told me about the book. He brought his own copy home and I read it. I assumed it would be in the store now so I could have my own copy."
"Well I still have to sign some papers and the book is also being sent out to other book store but I'm flattered that you came here." Hermione said.
"I also heard about your new bookstore from my son. I am very impressed that at such a young age you have accomplished all this." Helen said.
"Well I've had a lot of support from my fiancée and ever since I was fourteen I've been fighting for House Elves' rights." Hermione explained.
"I myself have always been a huge supporter of House Elves rights. I just never thought to write a book to get attention for it." Helen said. Hermione smiled.
"I can't take all the credit for that. I was about ready to give up on it when I thought no one cared but then my fiancée gave me the idea to write a book." Hermione said.
"This fiancée of yours sounds like a good man." Helen said.
"He's the best." Hermione smiled. "He's actually the editor at the Magical Gazette down the road."
"Ron Weasley is your fiancée?" Helen asked.
"You've heard of him?" Hermione asked.
"My son-in-law, Marty Hayes, was telling me about the Magical Gazette." Helen explained. "I was impressed that someone stood up to David O'Connell. My poor son applied for a job at the Prophet but O'Connell turned him down and he ended up working at the publishing company. He loves it there now but he was devastated after the Prophet turned him down. I've never forgiven the Prophet."
"All they're looking for is what's good for the Prophet, not for the Prophet's readers." Hermione said. Helen nodded.
"That is exactly what I say." Helen said with a smile. "I haven't read the Prophet in fifteen years. And now I think I will start reading the Magical Gazette." Hermione smiled.
"I'd say that that's a smart choice." Hermione said. Helen looked at her watch.
"I have a few errands to run today but I would really like to talk to you more. Would it be ok if I stopped by here tomorrow?" Helen asked.
"Sure." Hermione responded happily. "It was really great to meet you."
"And a pleasure meeting you." Helen said. She left as Hermione started back to her office with a smile on her face. The conversation had really made her happy about the book and the bookstore. She and Ron had accomplished a lot and there were other people noticing.
When it was Hermione's turn to take her hour lunch break she stopped back off at the flat and got something for her and Ron to eat before heading to the Gazette office. She walked in to see Susan Bones furiously scribbling on paper and a bag of letters by her.
"Hi Susan." Hermione said.
"Hey Hermione. Ron's in his office. Sorry I can't talk right now but ever since the news of the Gazette spread people have been owling like crazy about everything. I'm starting to think that I might need a secretary." Susan said in one breath.
"Well good luck." Hermione said before starting up the stairs of the Gazette office. She looked in each room as she passed. In the ad room Justin Finch-Fletchley and Padma Patil were working hard over dozens of papers, drawing up ads with a few other people Hermione didn't know to well. In the photography room, there was one person in there who was printing her pictures. Hermione figured that the other two were on assignment or at lunch. In the spell column room, the people with their own column (including Neville who had his Herbology column) were flipping through books and taking notes. And lastly in the reporters' room there was only Ginny and Hannah. Ginny was answering letters while Hannah was writing things down and referring to a piece of paper. Hermione assumed it to be Harry's interview since he had finished up nearly an hour ago and came to see the bookshop. He had mentioned something odd about her but he just thought it was the pressure of the first article. Hermione agreed with him. She also figured that the rest of the reporters were on assignment.
Finally Hermione got to Ron's office. He was going over a piece of paper and biting on the end of the quill. Hermione quietly approached and passed the golden plaque on the door declaring Ron's editor title. Hermione watched as Ron put the paper down and took the quill out of his mouth. He then scribbled something out and wrote something over it. He didn't notice Hermione there until she made a throat clearing noise.
"Hello love." He said, leaning over his desk to give her a kiss. Despite him looking furious over the paper he was scribbling on, he had a smile on his face now.
"Hi." Hermione said.
"This is so great! It's just like the Herald but better!" Ron exclaimed. Hermione smiled for him.
"I talked to this lady today and she hates the Prophet too. I told her about the Gazette and she said she heard about it from Marty Hayes, her son-in-law…" Hermione explained about the Helen and what she said.
"Wow, the book isn't even out and you have a fan." Ron said when she finished telling him.
"It's really great. I actually thought I was the only one who cared." Hermione said.
"I did too." Ron said.
"Hey." Hermione protested and hit Ron on the arm.
"I'm just kidding. Someone out there, besides you, must care about them." Ron said.
"You know," Hermione started as she unpacked the food, "I think in some weird way that was a nice thing."
"Yes, I suppose it was." Ron laughed.
They started to eat their lunch as Ron explained how the article he was writing.
"Do things seem too easy?" Ron asked after he finished talking about the article. .
"What are you talking about?" Hermione asked.
"I mean opening the bookstore and starting the Gazette up." Ron said. "It seems too simple. The bookstore opened and it's successful and now this is open and everything is just like the Herald."
"All of the hard stuff was this past year, getting it open and getting everything together. That was the hard stuff. And don't worry there will definitely be some hard stuff along the way." Hermione assured him.
"Well that makes me feel so comforted." Ron joked. He smiled at Hermione and leaned in for a kiss. She met her lips with his and they spent a good portion of their lunch hour like that.
a/n: I hoped you like it! I'll put another one up this weekend! PLEASE REVIEW and let me know what you think!
Lots of love,