Disclaimer: Don't own. Not making any profit.
Author's Note: I've saved the longest chapter for last! Read and Review! It's a doozy!
The quartet darted through Hogsmeade, high spirits restored, searching for the perfect picnic spot. Ginny suggested one across from Madam Puddifoot's, but Harry turned it down, thinking proposing to Ginny where Cho had once walked out on him would be…awkward. Hermione chose a spot over-looking the Shrieking Shack, but Ron didn't like it because he could still remember all too well how he'd been dragged there by "the Grim". Finally, the four came across a beautiful, green hilltop. From the hill, they could see the sun setting behind Hogwarts' many towers and turrets. Ginny, Harry, Ron and Hermione all agreed: it was perfect.
As soon as Harry opened the picnic basket, a red-white checkered sheet floated out, straightened itself, and fluttered to the ground. Next came a bowl of fresh strawberries with whipped-cream and chocolate sauce, followed by a bottle of champagne and four glasses. The foursome looked on happily as the picnic arranged itself on the blanket. "Wow," Ron commented, "she really set us up didn't she?"
"I'll say she did!" Ginny said as she fell to her knees, grabbed a strawberry and dunked it in the chocolate sauce. As Ginny took a bite, she closed her eyes in pleasure sighing, "Chocolate covered strawberries. My favorite!" Hermione playfully crinkled her nose, "I much prefer whipped-cream on strawberries." So saying, she sat down (a bit more gracefully than Ginny had) and dipped a strawberry in the whipped-cream. "Well?" Ginny asked? "Magnifique!" Hermione replied. Both girls laughed.
Before Harry and Ron sat down, they shared a relieved look: Things were finally looking up!
While Ron, Ginny, and Hermione fairly attacked the strawberries, Harry popped open the champagne and poured some into each glass. "Ooh, what are we toasting to?" Ginny asked.
As Ginny, Ron and Hermione faced Harry, Harry faced Hogwarts. His eyes misted over for a while. No doubt, he was remembering all their times there, all their adventures. Slowly, the rest of the group turned to face Hogwarts.
Ron remembered how his friendship with Harry and Hermione had made his years there so enjoyable…or at least tolerable. Ginny remembered how, at Hogwarts she didn't have to be the youngest child, or the only girl; at Hogwarts she could just be Ginny. Hermione remembered how making her first real friends had made her life so much better, so much more complete. Harry had thoughts like all of his friends, but mostly, he reflected on how much Hogwarts had changed him. For better or worse, he was who he was because of Hogwarts and what had happened there.
After and eternal moment, Harry said, "We'll toast to us. Past, present, and future."
"To us!" Everyone cheered. Smiling, the clinked glasses and sipped their champagne before they fell on the strawberries again.
The next few minutes were filled with playful joking and reminiscing over their times spent at Hogwarts. Ginny felt slightly left out. They had all been such good friends for such a long time…how could she ever fit into such a tightly-knit group?
They chatted happily until the strawberry-bowl was empty and their stomachs were full. The sun was just making its final run to the horizon. Harry nervously fiddled with the box in his pocket. It was time.
Hermione looked around contentedly. Friends, family, and strawberries with whipped-cream. Could it get any better? She didn't think so. She turned to Ron, "Thanks for not letting me leave," she said, smiling. Ron smiled. "I could never let you leave."
"Tonight has been so wonderful," Ginny said to Harry. "Thank you so much." Ginny smiled shyly and added, "I love you." Harry favored her with one of his lopsided grins, "I love you too," he said. I've loved you for so long. I just wish I realized it sooner. We could have had so much more time together."
After a short silence, Hermione jokingly shoved Ron. "Why can't you ever say things like that?"
"I don't have to say that I've loved you since I was thirteen. That I don't know what I'd do without you. That being with you makes me complete. You already know. You knew before I knew. So there's no point saying it."
"It would be nice to hear it more often all the same," Hermione replied happily.
"I'd tell you how much I love you a thousand times, if you'd let me."
"What's that supposed to mean, Ron?"
"That's when you got down on one knee isn't it?" Ron Jr. asked from his place on the floor.
Ron smiled and ruffled Junior's hair. "Sure is."
"What happened next?" Junior asked.
"Well next I…" At this point, Ron and Junior looked up to see Hermione walk through the door and hang her coat.
"Mommy!" Junior cried, and rushed into his mother's arms. Hermione laughed, swinging Junior in a wide circle before putting him back down. "What are my two favorite men up to?" she asked.
"Daddy was telling me how he proposed to you!" Junior said excitedly.
Hermione sighed, "Not this story again."
Ron smiled endearingly, "Come on, dear, it's a classic. We were just getting to the best part!" Hermione rolled her eyes. "Alright, fine, but shouldn't you go get Ginny and Harry?"
"You go get them! I did it last time!"
"I'll do it!" Junior offered. With that he set off across the living room to the door on the other side. Junior knocked on this door and called, "Aunt Ginny? Uncle Harry? Can you come in here for a moment?"
"Uncle" Harry's voice came from the other side of the door, "What is it, Junior?"
"Daddy's telling The Story again!"
A moment later, Ginny preceded Harry through the door that connected their houses, lovingly rubbing her very pregnant belly. "I love this story!" she exclaimed as she took her seat on the couch next to Hermione. Harry joined Junior on the floor and Ron continued.
"Where was I…Ah!The proposal."
"It means," Ron said getting down on one knee, "that I always want to be there for you, showing you how much I love you." Hermione's eyes widened and her heart skipped a beat as she realized what was happening. Next to her, Harry was on one knee facing Ginny.
"Ginny," Harry said, "There's no way I could possibly describe what it feels like to be with you, but I'm willing to spend the rest of my life trying." By now, there wasn't a dry eye to be found.
Ron and Harry reached into their pockets, pulled out and opened small boxes. Inside each box was an engagement ring; Ginny's was studded with diamonds and emeralds. In Hermione's, the emeralds were replaced by sapphires.
Then Harry and Ron asked at the same time:
"Will you marry me?"
Ginny and Hermione smiled through their tears. "Yes!" they somehow managed to say. "Yes, yes, yes!" The word became a chant, a chant that meant everything would turn out alright. Somehow, in the hugging, kissing, crying and laughing that ensued, Harry and Ron managed to slip the rings on Ginny and Hermione's fingers.
A year later they were married. A year after that, Hermione gave birth to Ronald Weasley Jr.; five years after that, Ginny and Harry have their own baby on the way.
And they all lived—you guessed it—Happily Ever After.
Author's Note: I wanna give a HUGE shout-out to Buffalo1fromSalem and Khophey for sticking with my story and reviewing from the beginning to the end! Thanks to everyone else who reviewed! This is for you guys!