Disclaimer: Alas, I must give credit of all the characters to J.K. Rowling. Only my ideas belong to me, and those of course have been inspired by her brilliant masterpiece.
The early morning sunlight that shone through the window danced across Ron's face in what seemed a vain attempt to wake him as it usually did. Besides making him squint, it had no effect on him whatsoever, for he was already wide-awake and in a contemplative stupor, to which Pigwidgeon's constant hooting was unequal to breaking. It did, however, succeed in awakening Ron's temporary roommate, asleep on the same cot he had used ever since his first visit to the Burrow.
"Are you going to feed the bloody thing or should I?" Harry demanded grumpily.
On receiving no reply he begrudgingly sat up, put on his glasses and threw a disgruntled look towards his friend before tossing a few owl treats to the incessant fuzz ball whirling about his head. On second glance, he noticed the state in which Ron seemed to be frozen.
"Ron?" he asked tentatively. "Ron? You all right?"
He threw a dirty maroon sock that was on the floor at Ron's face, which finally seemed to wake him from his vegetable state.
"Huh? What? You say something?" Ron started, and Harry was forced to try very hard not to laugh at his confused expression. It was all too clear something was definitely bothering his best friend.
"How long have you been sitting like that? Did you get any sleep?" Harry asked.
"Err, I'm not sure, I got some though," was Ron's blank reply, which Harry highly doubted.
"You're not having second thoughts are you?" he asked, in what he realized too late was an accusatory tone.
"No!" Ron defended himself, but this was an outright lie.
He had been sure; ages ago he had made up his mind on what he was about to do, but something had changed these last couple months. In fact, he was sure he could date the change almost exactly to Christmas, nearly two months ago. All the Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione, had been staying at the Burrow for the holiday just as they were now (this time was because Mrs. Weasley had started the tradition of weekly family meals on Sundays). In all the chaos of the surrounding festivities, most failed to notice the temporary absence of Harry and Ginny until they came into the room, red-faced, covered in snow, but beaming. Ginny held up her left hand for only a few seconds before Hermione had let out a loud shriek and raced across the room to hug her and Harry. It had taken a few minutes of stunned silence while the rest of the family offered their congratulations before Ron could get out of his chair to hug his sister and best mate, the latter of which gave him a sheepish grin that he was truly happy to return. Mrs. Weasley was beside herself and Mr. Weasley found the whole situation immensely humorous, as he had already known about the surprise from Harry's asking his permission. The announcement of the engagement gave the celebration even more life, and only little Teddy Lupin was able to fall asleep at a decent hour. Ron, however, could not help but notice the way Hermione seemed to force herself to smile and admire Ginny's ring. Even as he kissed her goodnight, he thought he sensed her holding back a little.
The next few weeks only raised his suspicions, as his time alone with Hermione seemed shorter and more spread apart. A nagging at his heart told him she was distancing herself on purpose, but he didn't dare believe their relationship was weakening, not when he had just supposed it at it's strongest point. It was in this distress that he turned to the only one whom he could see having any wisdom on the subject. After enduring several exasperated sighs and eye rolling, Ron was finally able to extract an explanation of his girlfriend's behavior from his sister. Once again he was reminded of his inability to understand women as Ginny explained that after seeing herself and Harry become engaged, Hermione was having doubts on how much Ron cared for and was committed to her. Once again Ron was amazed at the capacity of Hermione's ability to overanalyze. Had she really no idea that he had already visited the idea of marrying her several times? He had even talked about it with Harry ages ago, and received confirmation that everyone else thought it inevitable. Was he really that unclear in showing her how much he loved her? Perhaps he really was as tactless and unsentimental as Hermione had always said he was. How could he ensure himself not to screw up the one thing so important to their future happiness? And after gaining such uncertainties, would she still love him as much as before? Such were the torturous thoughts that whirled around Ron's brain that morning.
Upon seeing his friend about to slip into another comatose state, Harry stood up, walked over to him and pulled him to his feet.
"Come on, it's not as hard as it seems, trust me," Harry said bracingly, guiding him through the door and down the stairs. He was forcibly reminded of Ron's behavior before his first quidditch match.
Upon reaching Ginny's bedroom, which she was sharing with Hermione, Harry left Ron in the hall while he quietly slipped in to awake and extract his fiancé. Ginny yawned as she left the room still in her pajamas and irritated at being woken up so early. It was not until she saw her brother that she really seemed awake and after giving him a reassuring smile and a shove into the room, she led Harry down into the kitchen.
Ron closed the door softly behind him and gazed at Hermione's still sleeping figure. He crossed the room and knelt down beside her bed so that his face was level with hers. He loved watching her sleep, a habit he had picked up during their travels in search of the horcruxes several years ago. She always seemed so peaceful, and more beautiful than ever as strands of her bushy hair fell across her eyes. He tucked a few of these behind her ear and pressed a soft kiss to her temple. She stirred slightly. He kissed her on one cheek, on her nose, on the other cheek, and once on the very corner of her lips. As he pressed his lips to hers he triumphantly felt her kissing him back. Hermione opened her eyes slowing and gave him a soft smile.
"Good morning," she said groggily.
"Happy Valentine's Day," Ron replied, kissing her again.
He sat for a few moments stroking her hair, his eyes unfocusedly directed towards a point somewhere above her head.
"Is something the matter?" Hermione asked concernedly.
His eyes locked with hers as he asked, "You know I love you, right?"
The unexpectedness of this question and the pain she thought she saw in his eyes worried her, and she sat up.
"Ron, what's wrong?" she asked, almost to the point of panic.
"Because I do," Ron continued, ignoring her questions, "I do love you, more than life itself. I love you so much…it hurts."
It was at this point that her eyes began to fill with tears and she hung her head in shame. She knew what this was about.
"Ron, I'm so sorry. I've been completely awful these last couple months," she began, but when Ron opened his mouth to interrupt she stopped him, "Please just let me say this. I don't know what got into me. I've been selfish and unreasonable, and stupid quite frankly."
This last admittance was such a strange self-accusation to come from Hermione that Ron was stunned into silence.
"I have everything in the world to be grateful for right now: my family, my friends, and most importantly the man I love. I have you and I have your love, and…that's all I need."
As she finished, she looked into his eyes and saw the same love in hers reflected there. There was also a slight twinkle of laughter, however, and she couldn't quite put her finger on what was so amusing to him.
"That's all you need?" he echoed.
"Yes," she said decidedly and pecked his lips once more.
"You're sure?" he asked.
"Yes," she again replied, this time with complete confusion.
"You sure you don't want some big flashy sign that says 'Ronald Weasley loves me?'" he persisted.
"Yes, I'm sure," she laughed.
"Or one that says 'I have Ron wrapped around my finger?'" he asked with a cheeky grin.
"All right, all right, fine. Have it your way," he said reaching into his pocket, "But I have no idea what I'm going to do with this then."
Hermione's hands covered her mouth as she stared at the ring in Ron's palm. Tears were now steadily flowing down her cheeks as he adjusted himself so that he was kneeling on one leg.
"Hermione, will you marry me?" he said, surprised at the steadiness of his voice.
When she did not respond after several seconds and only continued to stare at him, he asked again, "Hermione?"
"Yes," she whispered, then eventually found her voice, "Yes! Yes, of course, yes!"
She threw her arms around his neck as they stood up simultaneously, kissing him fully, and only pulling away so that he could take her left hand and slide the ring onto her finger.
"Oh, Ron," she said breathlessly as she gazed at the beauty of it, and more tears spilled from her eyes.
The next several minutes, or perhaps hours (one can't be sure) passed with the two so completely wrapped up in each other that they lost track of time. Ron pulled away, placing his hands on the sides of her face so as to wipe away the remaining tears with his thumbs.
"Am I really that bad of a kisser?"
Hermione let out a giggle, which sounded more like a hiccup, and replied, "No, definitely not."
After leaving the room several minutes later to allow Hermione to change and clean up, Ron joyfully made his way downstairs. He was unsurprised to find Harry and Ginny sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for him.
"So, how did it go?" Ginny asked eagerly.
"Yeah, how was it?" Harry added.
Ron caught Harry's gaze and smirked.