The Proposal From Hell

Disclaimer: No, I'm not J.K. Rowling, and only the words here belong to me.

Summary: Ron's kids want to know how he popped the question. Understandably, he's a bit reluctant to share. (r/hr, oneshot)

A/N: I was incredibly depressed after I wrote Live, and so of course I turned around and immediately wrote this one. Guh, muses, why must you work overtime right in the middle of exams? Well, anyways, this is fairly pointless, but I like it. Enjoy!

ooo

"Daddy, how did you ask Mum to marry you?" I glance down at my six-year-old daughter, Sadie, and gulp.

Oh, no.

I have not been looking forward to this particular trip down memory lane.

"Er, you don't want to know that, love," I tell her as casually as possible, flipping to the Quidditch section of The Daily Prophet. "It's…boring."

"Boring?" Sadie asks skeptically. "But I thought marriage proposals were grand and romantic and exciting! It says so in my book." Oh, of course it says so in the book! How did all of my children, including little Sadie, manage to inherit Hermione's freakish obsession with books?

"Well the book is wrong," I say flatly. "Really, proposals are dull things. Like listening to a really boring lecture from Mum about house-elves."

"Why do you talk about house-elves when you propose?"

"You don't…not usually, anyways. That was just a metaphor."

"Actually, Daddy, that was a simile," Molly, who is twelve and a half going on forty, corrects me as she pours milk into her oatmeal.

"Right you are, Molly. I knew that," I assure her. She eyes me bemusedly, clearly not convinced. It vaguely depresses me that twelve year olds are smarter than me.

"You know, Dad," says my oldest, fifteen-year-old Simon, eyeing me over his toast, "you and Mum always avoid this subject like it's one of Hagrid's Blast-Ended Skrewts. I asked Uncle Harry, and he couldn't get out the words he was laughing so hard. What exactly is so funny about it, anyways?"

"Nothing!" I say hotly, making a mental note to kick Harry the next time I see him. "It was just a…proposal! It wasn't a big deal!"

"Not a big deal, was it?" Hermione's cool voice asks from behind me.

Bugger.

"Erm," I say, shooting Simon a fatherly death glare, and turning slowly to face my lovely wife, "that came out wrong. Of course it was a big deal, dear."

"Really, Ron," she says, scowling at me, arms folded across her chest, "you're right. It was only the day you asked me to marry you, what's so special about that?"

"Uh-oh," Molly mutters to Simon. "Here we go."

"No, no, love," I say, "it was important! It was one of the most important days of my life! It's just…uh, it didn't go as I'd planned, and I'd sort of like to…"

"Daddy, it can't have been that bad!" Sadie protests, looking stricken. "Just tell us! I want to know!" Now Hermione looks amused.

"Oh, is that what this is all about, then?" Everybody, including me, nods. "Well, what's the problem Ron? Tell them!"

"Hermione," I hiss, "I have a reputation to uphold with these three! I can't go around squashing their illusions about me!"

"Your reputation is already gone," Molly tells me mildly. "It's all right, Daddy, Uncle Harry says you've always been a bit thick about women. You don't need to pretend with us anymore."

"A bit thick about women!" I repeat in highly affronted tones. "Oi, what else has dear old Uncle Harry been banging on about to you?"

"Ron, you're being silly," Hermione teases, pulling Sadie into her lap and sitting down next to Molly. She's enjoying this far more than she should, I can tell by that smile of hers. "Go on and tell your children the story. You always knew this day would come."

"Yeah, but I thought I'd have a cover story planned by then," I inform her. Everyone at the table stares pleadingly at me, and finally, I have no choice. "Oh, all right!" I bark. "But don't say I didn't warn you!"

--

It was a boiling hot day in August, I was nineteen years old, and I had a ring in my pocket.

"When d'you think I should do it?" I asked anxiously, running a hand through my hair. "Should I take her out to dinner tonight or do it spontaneously or—"

"Listen, mate," Harry said, taking a sip of butterbeer, "you've got to stop worrying about this. You fought in a war, helped defeat the darkest wizard of our time, and lived to tell the tale. Proposing marriage is going to be cake compared to that!"

"Cake!" I cried, aghast. "Cake?! Harry, we're talking about the love of my life here! What if she says no? What if she looks at me and says, 'Really, Ronald, it's been a nice lark, but let's be serious.'"

"Oh, please. Hermione is madly in love with you, you stupid prat, and the first word off of her lips is going to be yes! Stop fussing over this; you know it's going to be okay."

"Yeah, easy for you to say," I muttered. "You've never asked anyone to be married—hell, she asked you." Harry grinned sheepishly, and I scowled, but I did have to admit it was hilarious, seeing it. We'd just gotten home from the Last Battle, and we were sweaty, filthy, covered in blood, and so tired all we wanted to do was go to bed. Harry got about as far as the living room before Ginny leaped onto him and kissed him.

"Hi, Gin," was about all he could manage before she said,

"Marry me."

"WHAT?" Harry, Hermione, Mum, Dad, Bill, Fred, George, Mad-Eye Moody and me yelled.

"You heard me," Ginny said to Harry, ignoring the rest of us. "You're home now, we're both alive, and Voldemort, may he rot in hell, is dead. So marry me, dammit—we've waited long enough!"

"Um, ok," Harry had said weakly.

And that was that.

They'd been married for about four months at that point, and I was getting antsy about tying the knot with Hermione. We hadn't even been dating that long, but that didn't seem to matter so much. We'd loved each other for so long and done nothing about it for so long, and we'd almost lost our chance.

I didn't want that to happen again, and I was determined that, no matter how young we were, it was time. She was going to be my wife if it was the last thing I ever did.

Not to say that I wasn't terrified out of my wits about it, mind.

The whole day, I was jumpy and snappish, and if anybody so much as looked at me the wrong way I'd yell,

"What? What are you looking at? You have some kind of problem with me, huh?!"

Needless to say, no one was especially pleased with me by the time five o'clock rolled around.

I should mention that Hermione, Harry, Ginny, and I were all living at the Burrow—Harry and Ginny because they needed some time before they bought a flat, and Hermione and me because we had no desire to go anywhere else.

The madness started when I finally had decided that five in the afternoon was as good a time as any to pop the question, and went to find Hermione. She and Ginny were in the living room having a chat and some tea, and I went and told Hermione I needed to talk to her.

"All right," she said, smiling. "What is it?" I eyed Ginny.

"This is private," I snapped at her.

"Private?" Ginny asked, amused. "Well, well, well, Ronnie, whatever are you up to?"

"Stop it," I growled. "Would you bugger off, please?"

"Oh, well now that you've asked nicely, I suppose I'll have to," she said sarcastically, but she did get up and leave.

"That wasn't very nice," Hermione informed me when Ginny had gone. "She was here first, after all."

"Yeah, yeah," I said absentmindedly, fingers clasped around the ring in my pocket, my heart beating a million miles a minute. Hermione frowned at me.

"Ron, you've been surly and rude all day. What's gotten into you?'

"Nothing! I just…I just—"

"Ron, I haven't got all day." Hermione was now getting annoyed. "What's the matter?"

"There's nothing the matter!" I said loudly. "I'm trying to talk to you and all you're doing is getting…getting uppity! Could you stop talking for three seconds and let me get the words out?"

"Uppity?" Hermione demanded. "I'm getting uppity? Ronald Weasley, you are insufferable! All day, you stomp around glowering at everybody and refusing to say more than two words to me at a time, then when you say you have to talk you stammer at me, and now you're yelling at me! I'm fed up with this childish behavior!"

"Yeah, well guess what?" I yelled. "I'm fed up with you!" I stood up angrily and stomped to the door. Hermione blinked bewilderedly after me, and I inwardly strangled myself.

Well, that had gone bloody fantastic, hadn't it?

Bugger, bugger, bugger.

I stormed upstairs, slammed my door, and had just sat down on my bed to pound my head into the wall when the door flung open again.

"You can't just walk out like that!" Hermione seemed to have recovered from her initial shock, and was now bearing down on me angrily. "You never solve or do anything maturely! You just bang around and yell at everybody and then never apologize for it!"

"And you always boss me around!" I hollered back, getting to my feet. "You're overbearing and perfect and if I do one thing wrong you're all over me about how I could be better! I'm never good enough for you!"

"Don't pull that on me! If I read a book, I'm a know-it-all. If I tell you you've been rude, somehow I'm the one out of line. Nothing I do is ever enough for you and you fly off the handle at me for no reason whatsoever—what is the matter with you? What are you messing about with in your pocket?"

"HERE!" I roared, chucking the ring box at her. It hit her in the forehead, and she gaped at me, completley nonplussed. "YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS?! THEN TAKE IT!"

There was a moment of complete and total silence.

"You just threw a jewelry box at me," Hermione said finally, looking completley confused.

"Er…yeah," I said, suddenly utterly mortified. "Um, about that."

"Ronald Weasley, I'm going to have a bruise!"

"Uh…I'll just take that back, shall I—?"

"Oh no you don't!" By this point, Hermione was livid. She swooped down to where the box had hit the floor and grabbed it, snapping it open. "We'll see what's in here—throwing jewelry at me, of all the stupidest, childish…" Her voice trailed off as she examined what was inside.

The ring was simple, a silver band and a small ruby stone; it was nothing especially fancy or even expensive. It was ancient, though. It had been in my family for ages, and Mum had given it to me a month ago, telling me she thought Hermione might like it.

"Ron," Hermione said quietly, staring at the ring, "what is this?"

"What does it look like?" I snapped. "It's a ring."

"Yes," she said impatiently, "I can see that. But what is it for? It's not my birthday, or Christmas, or even Valentine's Day…"

"It's…it's…"

"What is it, Ron?"

"It's an engagement ring, ok?" I said irritably. "Happy now?"

"An engagement ring?" she squeaked, staring at the box. "As in…as in you want me to…?"

"Marry me," I finished. "Yeah. That's the general idea."

There was another long moment of silence.

"Well?" I said grumpily. "How about it?"

"Oh, Ron!" The next thing I knew, she had flung herself at me and was hugging me hard. "Of course I will, you stupid git! I love you!"

"I love you, too," I said into her hair. "I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry, too."

"I shouldn't have yelled."

"I'm sorry I called you childish."

"I am childish. I was just nervous all day about this."

"It's all right, Ron, honestly. This ring is lovely, where did you get it?"

"I—"

And that's when the laughter started.

Every single person in the house, including Mum, Dad, Fred, George, Harry, Ginny, Lupin and Tonks (who were over for tea) were packed into the hall, and they were all howling with laughter.

"This is just sad," I said to Hermione, shaking my head in dismay. "Every time I do something thick or try to make a move on you, people are standing there having a go at me!"

"Oh good Merlin," Ginny managed, "you are an absolute idiot, Ron!"

"That was the proposal from hell," Tonks added. "Ron, you do know how to charm a girl…"

"Oi!" I cried as the laughter increased. "I gave her the ring, didn't I?"

"You threw it at her!" George howled.

"What a romancer you are, Ron," Fred chimed in. "Oh-ho, this'll be a good one to tell the kids."

"You shut up! There will be no telling the kids! I'm not even sure there'll be any!" I protested.

"Of course there will!" Hermione, Mum, and Ginny said simultaneously.

"All right, all right, that's enough!" Dad said. "Let's leave these two to have some privacy. They have a wedding to plan after all!" Everybody had almost gone when Harry turned around and yelled,

"Oh, yeah, congratulations, you two!" There was a chorus of "Yeah!" and, "Finally!" and general laughter, which faded gradually as they descended the stairs.

"So," I finally said, turning to Hermione. She smiled.

"You mean this?" she asked, indicating the ring in it's box. "You really want to do it?" I took the ring, slid it on her finger, said,

"Of course I do," and then I kissed her.

--

There is absolute silence when I finish my tale.

"Dad," Simon finally says, shaking his head, "remind me never to go to you for advice on girls again."

" 'A bit thick?'" Molly is now saying, blue eyes wide. "What was Uncle Harry talking about—you were absolutely hopeless!"

"Hey, that's your father you're talking about!" I say, feigning injury. Sadie plants a kiss on my cheek.

"It's ok, Daddy. I still love you," she assures me. "I hope a boy throws a ring box at me someday. Then I'll know he really likes me."

"Don't wish for something like that, darling," Hermione cautions Sadie. "It bruises terribly."

"Er, sorry about that," I apologize sheepishly.

"It's perfectly all right," she tells me fondly, coming over and kissing me. "I've gotten over it."

"So, Mum, what was the wedding like?" Molly asks, seemingly a bit more curious about her parents' odd romance.

"A complete and utter disaster," Hermione says promptly. "Your father got into a fight with Viktor Krum, had a row with me just as I was about to walk down the aisle, and stepped all over my feet when we danced." Before I can so much as protest, she slips her hand into mine, and smiles. "And Molly, my dear, I wouldn't have had it any other way."

ooo

Reviews would be utterly appreciated. They convince my muses to stay on top of things, you know.