Starting with a Strawberry

"Arthur!" Mrs. Weasley yelled from the bottom of the stairs. "Time to go dear! We're meeting Bill and Fleur in twenty minutes! We don't want to be late like last time! You know how Fleur gets!" Mrs. Weasley scowled to herself at the thought of her newly appointed daughter-in-law. Mr. Weasley appeared in the kitchen moments later.

"Molly, dear, last time we were a half-an-hour early. Stop fretting about." Mrs. Weasley snatched his coat of its hook and assisted him in putting it on.

"That's not the point, Arthur. We still don't want to chance being late. And maybe we can look at the house closer before they even get there." She grabbed her purse from the back of a kitchen chair and reached for her hat.

Ron entered the room from the direction of the stairs. He was dressed, but his hair was still messy from sleeping. He yawned openly. "Wazgoinon?" he mumbled sleepily.

"Oh good, dear, you're up. It's almost eleven o'clock. Your father and I are leaving to look at the house with Bill and Fleur. Hermione and Ginny left at eight this morning to go shopping, but I'm not sure when they'll be back. I left some sausages on the counter for you along with a few biscuits. We'll be back much later." She was repeating all of this while heading for the door. "I think that's all. We'll see you later this afternoon." Then, they were gone.

Ron had the Burrow all to himself. He grabbed the plate his mother had left out for him and filled it to the edge with food. He sat down at the table and started to eat, still too sleepy to really think about anything. After he was finally finished, he went into the sitting room and hurled himself onto the withered sofa. The next thing he knew, he was being shaken by the shoulders.

"Ron. Wake up, you great prat! It's nearly one o'clock." He opened his eyes to find none other than Ginny glaring down at him, her bright hair pulled back into a French twist. "Jeez. You are such a lazy git! Get up already," she pronounced sharply in her Ginny-ish way. Someone else giggled in the background, most likely Hermione; they had probably just come back from their shopping trip. Ron sat up, yawning.

He looked at his sister briefly, scowling, before looking in the direction of the door at Hermione. She was smiling brightly, amused by his tired, sleepy state. "Hey, 'ermione," he said, trying to look happy. She was tan from her and Ginny's morning shopping spree. Her hair looked curlier and silkier than ever and she was wearing a beautiful yellow sundress that complemented her subtle curves. Ron just stared at her, gazing.

"You alright, Ron? You look a little dazed," she said, still smiling. He shook his head.

"I'm fine. Just sleepy. That's all." Ron scratched the back of his head. "So…er…did you get anything for me?" he asked, only half-joking, giving an adorable puppy dog face to them, mainly Hermione.

"Prat," Ginny remarked, rolling her eyes. "Why would we get you anything?" Ron scowled at her again. She scowled back.

"Sorry, Ron, we were just shopping in girly places. I don't think you would have wanted anything from there," Hermione commented. Ginny rolled her eyes once again and then looked at the gold watch Harry had given her for Valentine's Day. "Well, I best get going. I'm meeting Harry at 2 o'clock. Don't do anything stupid or prattish, Ron. See you later, Hermione! Try to keep Ron from being a giant git."

"Bye, Ginny!" she called after her. They heard a crack just outside the kitchen door, indicating that Ginny had Apparated.

Ron watched Hermione walk in his direction. He moved, pulling his knees up to his chest, so that she could have room on the couch next to him. The air in the room was filled with silence for a few moments.

"Hey," Hermione said, shoving Ron in the knee playfully. "I lied." Ron raised his eyebrows surprised and curious.

"What about?" he said questioningly.

"About getting you something. It's a surprise though. You have to close your eyes and follow me."

"Why? What are you going to do to me?" Ron questioned suspiciously.

"Oh, come on, Ron. It's not like I'm Fred, George, or Ginny. Just do it. Please! For me." This time, Hermione made the puppy dog face and leaned in toward Ron, resting her hands on his shoulder. Ron could hardly breathe, but Hermione didn't notice. "Please!" she begged, yet again.

"Alright, fine." He stood up. He felt all the blood rush to his head from getting up too quickly. He managed to balance himself out though.

"You have to close your eyes. No peeking." Ron did so and felt Hermione's hand grasp his tightly. She led him in the direction of the kitchen. "Remember, no peeking," she reminded him, as she let go of his hand. Ron heard her open the door and grab something, before he felt her hand in his again, leading him out the door and closing it behind them.

Again, she started leading him to a place unknown to him. She started spinning him around and leading him in strange patterns to throw him off.

"Where are you leading me, Hermione?" he asked, exhausted from movement that he didn't want to follow through with from the start. However, he was curious now about what it was Hermione got for him.

"You'll have to be patient, Ron," she said in a slight sing-song voice. Finally, they came to a stop. "Alright, don't – I repeat – don't open your eyes yet. You can sit down if you want, but don't open your eyes." Ron heard her set down whatever it was that she had grabbed, a small whoosh, and the clinking of what sounded like glass or porcelain.

"Alright, now you can open your eyes." A soft off-white blanket was spread out next to the pond. A picnic basket sat on top of it, along with two plates, some silverware, and a ton of food. There was chicken, eggs, sandwiches, strawberries, whipped cream, potato salad, biscuits, watermelon, and a pitcher of ice cold lemonade. Ron's jaw was hanging slightly, while Hermione beamed, blushing a bit

"So…what do you think?" she asked eagerly. "Surprised?" Ron nodded, astounded. He couldn't believe Hermione would do something like this for him.

"I just thought that we could spend some quality time together without arguing over silly things."

"Hermione…this is…I don't even know…it's…beyond amazing…" Hermione flushed pink.

"Well, let's not waste precious time gawking. Let's eat." They both sat down and started to help each other fill their plates. The blanket was so covered in food that they had to sit close enough to the point where their legs were touching.

"So, what's all this for exactly?" Ron asked Hermione while tearing into a giant chicken leg. Hermione blushed.

"I told you already. I just wanted some time alone with you. I hardly do besides arguing, even then, there are usually spectators. So, I just decided to set up something fun."

"Well, this was a great idea, Hermione. You're brilliant." He had already was finished with the chicken leg and was now piling a huge mound of potato salad onto his plate.

"Goodness, Ron. You like potato salad, huh?" Ron nodded, his mouth full with a new bite. He looked down at his plate, scooping up more when…

SPLAT!

Hermione had launched some potato salad right at Ron's face and was now giggling hysterically. Ron grinned, scooping up a huge glop. Hermione jumped up and Ron chased her around while she screamed.

"What's the matter?" Ron said evilly. "Don't you like potato salad?" But while running from Ron, Hermione had lost her footing and toppled backwards into the crystal, blue pond. Ron just laughed harder than ever and went to help her out. She was soaked from head to toe, sitting in the pond.

When Ron reached out to help her, she took his hand and pulled him down in the water, too.

"Take that!" she laughed triumphantly. Hermione struggled to her feet and tried to help Ron, but he got his revenge, pulling Hermione right down back into the water on top of him. They struggled for a while and then Hermione tried to make a deal.

"Okay, on three, we help each other up and then go back to the bay. Okay?"

"Okay," Ron agreed.

"One, two, three." They heaved each other out of the water and walked back to sit down.

"Accio towel," Ron said, pointing his wand over his shoulder toward the house.

"Acc-"Hermione started, but Ron stopped her.

"The towel is for you, Hermione. I'm fine," he added after she opened her mouth to protest. He shook his head like a dog, showering Hermione with drops of water. A maroon towel zoomed from the house into Ron's hands. "Here," he said, wrapping the towel around her shoulders. She pulled it tight around her.

"Thanks, Ron. That's really nice of you." Ron looked away, shrugging.

"Don't mention it. No problem." Silence filled the air until Ron saw Hermione trying to grab a strawberry from under her towel. He laughed.

"Here," he offered. HE picked up a strawberry and raised it to her mouth. She opened up her mouth and Ron stuck the end of the strawberry in. Both of them laughed and blushed while Hermione chewed, her lip red from the juice.

"Good?" Ron asked, waiting for her to swallow so he could give her the rest. She nodded, swallowing. "Here." He picked up the can of whipped cream "Have some whipped cream. He squirted whipped cream in her mouth before she could say no.

"Wonderful," Ron remarked, still chuckling. He grinned at her and fed her the rest of the strawberry. This time, her lips touched his fingertips while trying to get all of the strawberry off of its leafy top. She smiled at him sheepishly as he put the leafy part down on his plate and noticed that she had juice dripping down her chin. Ron laughed once again.

"You've got a little…" His voice trailed off as he reached to wipe the juice off with his finger, but didn't retreat after he was finished. Instead, he let it linger by her lips.

Hermione stared at him, hypnotized. She was now lost in the vast sea that was his eyes. Ron lowered his head and touched him lips softly to Hermione's as if testing whether or not she was going to slap him.

But she didn't. She kissed him.

They kissed for a while and then…

SQUIRT!

Ron's eyes shot open. Hermione had pulled away quickly and squirt a big mountain of whipped cream in his mouth. She laughed harder than ever. When he had swallowed the mound, he raised an eyebrow at Hermione.

"You're just a little pistol today aren't you?" (A/N: Hanna )

She only laughed harder, but Karma was hitting her badly today and she fell backwards into the bowl of potato salad. Ron laughed harder, rolling on the ground, clutching his stomach.

Hermione picked up the bowl and dumped the whole thing on his head. A vicious food fight broke out and Harry and Ginny laughed quietly from underneath the invisibility cloak. Ginny held out her hand, seeing as she had won the bet.

"Told you they would get together today. It was inevitable if they were having a picnic alone together." Harry handed over the five Galleons, happy that Ron and Hermione were together at last.

Finally, Harry and Ginny left Ron and Hermione alone to kiss in their food-stained clothes.

THE END

Please R&R