Disclaimer: None of the people, places, or things surrounding Hogwarts and the wizarding world are my creation; they belong to the wonderfully talented Ms. J.K. Rowling. I own only the plot of this story.

"All love that has not friendship for its base

Is like a mansion built upon the sand." -- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Twelve Years, Three Months, and Five Days

There were a few things that, no matter how bad his day was going, Ron would always be sure about.

One was, of course, Hermione, and the fact that even though it had taken them seven years, they were finally together, just the way they were always meant to be. The second thing, in a similar category, was his friendship with Harry. To say that they had been through "a lot" together was quite the understatement, but it ultimately was the truth, and Ron knew that after the adventure of Hogwarts, there wasn't anything he couldn't ask Harry to do for him.

The third thing was Quidditch. He smiled serenely as he looked down at the Quidditch magazine in front of him. Brand-new edition, he hadn't even opened it yet, and his hands tingled at the anticipation of what was contained in the bright, moving pictures. After a hard day at work, there was nothing better than coming home to the flat that he shared with Harry and relaxing with a Quidditch magazine. He took a deep breath as he opened the first page, reveling in the quiet calm that came over him.


He gasped and jumped, the magazine flew out of his lap and onto the floor, and he looked around wildly, wondering how in the bloody hell his mother had managed to Apparate into the room without him noticing. Looking up, though, he quickly found that the angry screech that had jolted him out of his thoughts had come from the one person who could evoke fear into him even easier this mother.

Hermione was standing in front of the fireplace, hands on her hips, feet tapping on the floor, and wearing an expression that Ron felt she, unfairly, reserved just for him when he was in trouble.

"What in Merlin's name do you think you're doing?!" she shrieked, eyes spitting fire, as she slowly approached him.

Ron gulped and sunk fully into the back of the couch. His eyes darted from side-to-side, avoiding Hermione's, as he searched his mind for the reason why she'd suddenly appeared in his flat, looking as if she wanted to sever one of his limbs. Likely the one I need and rather enjoy the most, he thought.

"Erm?" was all he could come up with. "Reading?"

Hermione's anger seemed to dim for a moment as her eyes flew to the abandoned magazine on the floor. The fire quickly returned to her eyes, however, when she noticed precisely what Ron had been reading.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that Quidditch was more important than Ginny and I!" she shot back.

Ron's eyebrows drew together in confusion. "You and Ginny…?" What the hell is she talking about?

Then realization dawned, and along with it, Ron's sudden fear that these were likely going to be his last few moments on earth.

Oh, fuck. Bloody fucking hell.

"I was going to have lunch with you and Ginny and Harry to talk about our Christmas holiday plans," he said in a quiet, resigned tone, refusing to meet Hermione's gaze. He watched her feet, one was still tapping rapidly, a sure sign that she was planning his imminent death.

He and Harry had come up with the idea to go away for part of the month of December that year. After the celebrating that had lasted well over six months after Voldemort's destruction, he, Hermione, and Harry had thrown themselves into creating a normal life for themselves. This, to Ron's continued dismay, meant finishing school and then finding a job. Not that he didn't love working in the Auror department with Harry. The two of them had completely redesigned the entire system, and he felt so proud of the work they'd accomplished. But they hadn't ever really gotten a proper vacation from it all, and now that things had settled down a bit, and routines had been made, it seemed like a good time to take that much-deserved rest.

Ginny had been on-board with the idea from the beginning. There had just been one small hitch in the plans: Hermione liked her routine. She'd spouted on and on about how "wonderful" it felt to "wake up every morning knowing that your chances of not dying were great." Thus, convincing her to take two weeks off from work before Christmas had been nearly as difficult as finding all those bloody Horcruxes. But she desperately needed a break, that much was obvious. She just had the nasty habit of getting angry with him every time he tried to tell her that. But Ginny had recently said something to her because Hermione had suddenly come to him the week before saying that she "supposed" a "little trip" would not be "so awful." Ron had decided to chalk it up as a victory, despite her lack of enthusiasm about the endeavor.

Because, of course, Ron had an ulterior motive for whisking Hermione away. He wasn't the sneakiest bloke around, either. If Hermione would spend two seconds of the time she usually spent yelling at him to open her eyes, she might guess what he was—

"Ron! Are you even listening to me?"


"Of course," he lied sulkily. "Everyone down the lane is probably listening to you."

The room went silent. Even Hermione's harsh breathing had stopped. Now she was just staring at him, her chest barely moving at all. It appeared as if she was focusing every last bit of her energy on shooting him the deadliest glare he'd been on the receiving end of yet.

Okay. So, perhaps that wasn't exactly the right thing to say. Ron immediately felt the icy fingers of guilt and trepidation creeping up his spine. He searched his mind again, this time for the proper apology to use in this instance. Usually when he made Hermione mad and didn't quite know what to say, he just took her in his arms and kissed her. Glancing at her face for a second, though, which looked as if the flesh could just about melt off of it, he knew that that wasn't the right thing to do.

"I see. I'm the one being unreasonable here," she said softly, too softly to really be giving in. Ron prepared himself for the worst.

"You've spent the last month," Hermione continued in that same soft, menacing voice, "Trying to convince me to leave my work because of some ridiculous 'holiday' you and Harry want to jaunt off on. You've spent the last week talking me into rearranging my whole schedule today to take this afternoon off to meet for lunch, and then neither you nor Harry have the decency to even show up!"

Shit. Ron winced this time as it all came back to him. When he had asked Harry if they could meet up after work that morning, Harry had mentioned the lunch with Hermione and Ginny. But Ron had sworn that the lunch was tomorrow. He shook his head absently. He would have bet his Keeping arm that lunch was supposed to have been Friday, not Thursday.

He knew better than to argue about dates with Hermione, though. She'd just pull out her day planner, show him clearly that lunch was at 1:00 on Thursday the 8th of December, and that would be that.

So, from now on, I will listen to Harry, he thought. Let that be the lesson for today.

"Well?" Hermione raised an eyebrow.

Ron took a deep breath.

"Oh, don't even bother. I don't want to stand around waiting while you search through the litany of excuses you always seem to have on hand. The point, Ron, is that you and Harry thought up this 'brilliant' idea, finally convince Ginny and I to—"

"Ginny never said—" One look at Hermione's face, and Ron shut up. Not the time, chap.

"—Finally convince Ginny and I to go along with it," she continued hotly, "Then leave us waiting in Diagon Alley while you two were off doing Merlin-knows-what!"

If only she knew. Even though he knew it spelled out his demise, Ron couldn't help cracking a small smile. If only Hermione knew how oblivious she was at the current moment. When she found out – that is, if he survived long enough to tell her – just what he and Harry had been doing that afternoon that had kept them from coming to lunch, she would be utterly ashamed of herself.

"I swear, you haven't changed one bit in the years I've known you, Ron! Sometimes, I think, 'oh, look, he has matured, he isn't mocking me just for the sake of having a go at me.' I'm sad to say I was wrong."

Knowing that she could go on forever, Ron stood up to face her. This gave him some sense of control over the situation, as he stood almost a foot taller than she did. He took her by shoulders, leaned down, and pressed a kiss to her forehead. She stiffened, but didn't pull away.

"You're right, love," he said quietly, placating her, though he'd learned quickly in their relationship how to hide the fact that he was placating her. "Harry and I just lost track of time at work today, is all. We never meant to forget the lunch."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Of course not," she muttered, but her tone surprisingly held no sarcasm.

This time, Ron raised his eyebrows. "Of course not?" he questioned.

He knew she was coming around because her lips quirked up in a half-smile. "Harry wouldn't forget a lunch date if it included Ginny."

He grinned at the truth in her statement. "So … we all right, then?" he asked.

Hermione responded by leaning into him, and wrapping her arms around his waist. The familiar tingle that he always had when this close to Hermione swept over him, making him remember once again exactly why he wanted ask her to marry him.

"She honestly still has no idea?"

Ginny had come over to his and Harry's flat that evening after Hermione had left to have a "calming dinner" with her parents. Ginny still seemed couldn't seem to digest the idea that Hermione was in the dark about Ron's plans, much to Ron's annoyance.

Ron rolled his eyes at his sister's question. Ginny was peering at him over the cover of her book with an incredulous expression in her eyes. Beside her on the couch, Harry tried to cover a laugh by coughing.

"Hermione does not know what, you, Ron, master of the obvious, are planning?"


This time Harry laughed outright. Ron glared at him. "How come he isn't in trouble for today?" he asked Ginny, referring to the missed lunch that afternoon.

"Because, like Hermione," she replied breezily, "I somehow knew that yours and Harry's skiving off lunch was in no way Harry's fault."

And how, pray tell, does that work out? Ron thought bitterly, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Oh, honestly, Ron, stop that," Ginny admonished him. "You look like Teddy when we tell him that he isn't allowed to have sweets before bed." Ron opened his mouth to retort but Ginny spoke right over him. "I'm sorry," she corrected wryly, "You look like Teddy when everyone but you tells him that he isn't allowed to have sweets before bed."

"All I'm saying is that one more Pumpkin Pasty isn't going to kill him," he muttered. He glanced at Harry, who was still sitting on the couch with a huge grin on his face. "Harry agrees with me, he's just too scared of Andromeda to say anything."

The grin was wiped off of Harry's face. He blushed as Ginny turned her gaze to him, a smirk crossing her lips. "How did I suddenly become the one being embarrassed?" He pointed at Ron. "I thought we were laughing that Hermione keeps picking fights with him because he's been forgetting their dates, even though she has no idea what he's doing when he isn't with her."

"Right, yes," Ron added sarcastically, "It's quite unfortunate that Hermione doesn't know what I'm doing at every moment of every day."

"Well," Ginny offered lamely, "She could know. There are spells and—"

She quickly shut her mouth, though, when she saw the dark look on Ron's face. "Okay, fine, let's just remember that this is all for a good cause, right?"

This caused Harry to stop smirking and for Ron's angry blush to turn into a sheepish crimson tingeing his cheeks. "Right," he murmured. He paused. "Why am I going through all of this again? Sneaking around, I mean?"

"Because you love Hermione and want to marry her, and for that you need to find the perfect ring, and you seem to think that you can't be trusted to find it, so you demand that Harry or I assist you," Ginny answered rapidly and all in one breath. She stuck her tongue out at him, but the laughter in her eyes quickly dimmed when took in Ron's anxious expression.

"Ron, I—"

"She'll say yes, right?"

Both Harry and Ginny appeared equally shocked at his question. They looked at him, then at each other, then back at him. He thought back to the fight that afternoon. Hermione had been so upset with him. Of course, he'd been able to calm her down, he was always able to do that, but what if at some point in their marriage he made her so angry that she gave up on him for good.

Ginny exchanged a serious look with Harry, who nodded. She walked over to Ron, kissed him lightly on the cheek, and then left the room. Ron's eyes followed her retreating back, then turned questioningly toward Harry.

"Ginny thinks that this something that would mean more coming from me," Harry explained.

Ron shrugged dismissively. He fingered his pocket. Inside was the ring he'd bought that afternoon, likely at the same time that Hermione was waiting for him in Diagon Alley, probably contemplating why she'd ever decided to give a chance to a relationship between the two of them.

"Hermione is never going to give up on you, mate," Harry addressed him seriously. "You should know that by now. If she didn't really care about you, do you honestly think she would have waited for you for so long?"

Ron unclenched his fists. Harry did have a point. However… "But I was so obnoxious."

Harry cocked his head to the side. "Yes. And?"

"Bloody hell, Harry! It's Hermione! She doesn't deserve someone who figures out only after acting like a prize prick for six years that he wants to be with her!"

"You're right, Ron. Hermione doesn't deserve someone like that. She deserves someone who loves her."

All right, another good point. Harry's on a roll tonight.

"And you love her." Harry said this as a statement rather than a question.

"Of course. She's—she's brilliant," Ron blushed, ducking his head. Even after four years, Ron still had a hard time discussing his and Hermione's relationship with Harry. Even though, as Harry constantly reminded him, it was a ridiculous thing to be embarrassed about because Harry had, after all, witnessed his best friends' first kiss, all those years ago.

"So it shouldn't be a mystery why a woman who's been called the brightest witch of her age would be smart enough to choose a man who loves her more than anything else in the world."

Ron heaved a sigh, but nodded in acceptance. He glanced at Harry curiously. "You just came up with that off the top of your head," he observed. "Can you possibly propose to Hermione for me?"

Harry snorted. "Ron…"

"No, no, I'm serious!" Now, they were both chuckling. "I mean, everyone knows that I'm bound to muck it up somehow, that's just my nature, but you won't."

"Yes, but what would Ginny think of my proposing to her brother's girlfriend for him?"

"She'd laugh…and then hex me into tomorrow."

"Exactly." Harry reached out a hand to Ron, who shook it. "Don't worry so much, Ron. It will be fine." He paused. "Just – just try not to piss her off too much before you actually do it, yeah?"

The blush returned. "Right."

Ginny returned to the room, walking over and linking arms with Harry. She had tears in her eyes, even as she smiled at Ron. "You two are perfect for each other." The words were so simple, yet they filled him to the brink with confidence, thanks to Harry's earlier pep talk.

He took a deep breath. "All right. I'm going."

Ginny and Harry once again exchanged surprised looks as if to say "NOW?"

Ron shrugged. "You both knew I was planning on doing it sometime soon."

"Yes … like during this 'wonderful' vacation scheme that you cooked up," Ginny said, using "air quotes" around the word "wonderful."

Next to her, Harry snorted as he nodded his agreement. "Yeah, mate, especially after Hermione's had a couple drinks. Best to loosen her up a bit first, eh?"

Ron glared first at his sister, then at his friend. "You two deserve each other," he growled before quickly Disapparating with an annoyed pop, leaving Harry and Ginny to shrug and laugh.

Ron realized, of course, as soon as he Apparated to the door of Hermione's flat that, while he wanted nothing more than to ask Hermione to marry him, he really had absolutely no idea what he was getting himself into.

"I hate when Ginny's right," he muttered under his breath. He took a deep, calming breath.

"All right, mate, just … get it together, yeah? I mean, how bad can it be? You've faced much worse from Hermione, right? There were entire months where we didn't speak to each other." As he always did when he recalled his and Hermione's rows over the years, he immediately remembered their greatest fight, the most devastating of all: the horrible mistake known as Lavender Brown during their sixth year.

"I cannot possibly fuck a marriage proposal up as badly as I did that." He paused. "What am I saying, of course I can! I'm Ron 'Can't Possibly Do Anything Right Where Hermione is Concerned' Weasley."

It suddenly dawned on him, as his voice level increased in the wake of his agitation, that he'd been standing on Hermione's front porch for a good five minutes, talking out loud to himself. I've cracked, he thought, only just resisting the urge to hex himself. Forget letting Hermione do it. I'll give her a head start and blind myself or something.

Ron took another deep breath, and raised one hand to knock on the door, fingering the ring box in his pocket with his other hand. A warm sense of rightness fell over him and he remembered exactly why he wanted to do this.

That feeling only increased when Hermione opened the door. She was wearing one of his Chudley Cannons t-shirts over a pair of ladies pink boxer shorts. She clashed horribly, but the outfit made his stomach jump and he couldn't resist grinning at her. "Er, hello, Hermione." Sheepishly, he reached behind his back, flicked his wand, and produced a bouquet of soft pink roses, presenting them to Hermione with only minimal shaking in his hand. She took them silently, arching an eyebrow at him. Ron shrugged. Hermione added an eye roll to her raised eyebrow, but he caught the hint of a smile on her face as she opened the door wider, a gesture for him to enter the flat. Still not quite able to believe that he was really going to do this, Ron followed Hermione inside, swallowing the rising bile in his throat.

"What brings you here?" she asked once they were in the living room, Hermione settled comfortably on the sofa, Ron anxiously pacing the floor in front of her. "And for Merlin's sake, quick acting so twitchy, you're making me nervous."

"Well, um, I wanted to say…that is, I've come here to—to apologize. For today." Ron paused to take a deep breath. "You know, when Harry and I forgot—er, didn't budget our time wisely and—"

"Nice spin," Hermione muttered sarcastically.

Ron blushed. "Anyway," he continued, "You have to know that we didn't do it on purpose. We were busy looking for…er, running an errand."

"Ron, you don't have to explain. I've already forgiven you."

His eyes widened in shock. "Really?"

Hermione smiled at him. "Yes, Ron, it's a rather nasty habit where you're concerned. I have a tendency to forgive you immediately after you do something stupid, even though everyone, including my mother and your mother, tells me that I shouldn't."

Ron honestly thought that his ears were simply going to burst into flame and fall, singed completely, off his head. How fortunate that the woman I hope to make my wife discusses my idiotic behavior with my mother and future mother-in-law, he thought morosely.

Apparently sensing his agitated mood, Hermione interrupted his thoughts, her voice quiet and concerned. "Ron, what's going on? You've been acting oddly for weeks now. And forgetting a lunch date is out of the ordinary, even for you."

He stared at her. Ginny had warned him that his behavior wasn't going unnoticed, but he'd brushed it off, thinking it was just another way for his sister to tease him. But of course Hermione, brilliant that she was, would notice even the minutest change in him. It was one of the things that he loved about her most, but that also frustrated him to no end.

You might as well just tell her, mate, his conscience pricked at him. You have the bloody ring, you gave her flowers…plus, Harry and Ginny will never let you hear the end of it if you come back with a failure from tonight.

"Hermione, there's something that I've been meaning to tell you for awhile now, but every time I think about trying, I talk myself out of it, so I'm just going to do it."

Across the room, Hermione's brown eyes had widened to the size of small saucers. Her hands had gone clenched in her lap, and she no longer looked concerned for him. Instead, she looked very worried and a bit scared. Seeing that even she wasn't always perfectly comfortable with their relationship gave Ron an odd sense of encouragement, and he crossed the room to sit on the coffee table directly in front of her.

"How long have we known each other, Hermione?" he asked.

"Twelve years, three months, and five days," she answered without batting an eye.

Ron reared back in surprise. "You—you know that?"

Hermione's cheeks were already tingeing pink. "Well, we met twelve years ago on September 3rd. Today is December 8th. Three months and five days later," she replied sheepishly.

"I can't believe that you remember the exact date of our first day at Hogwarts." He was awestruck.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Oh, honestly, Ron, it's a simple matter of paying attention, being observant. Something at which you are obviously challenged."

Ron knew that she was poking fun at him to ease her embarrassment, so he merely grinned at her, reaching over and kissing her briefly on the lips. "See, that is why I love you, Hermione. You remember barmy, pointless things like that. But your brilliant, scary mind has yet again set me off-track. The point was, we've known each other for a long time, yeah?"

She nodded. "We've been through our fair share of adventures together over the years, yes."

He took a deep breath as what "our fair share of adventures" truly meant washed over him. Almost losing her on more than one occasion, though never one was terrifying as the horrible night at the Malfoy Manor years ago.

"So you know me by now, Hermione, I swear, better than I know myself sometimes. You know that I have fucked up—"

"Language, Ron."

"—Messed up our relationship enough times over the course of the twelve years, three months, and five days that we've known each other, that it's a mystery to me and everyone else we know why you've bothered to stick with me. You could have done so much better than me…"

"Ronald Weasley! What have I told you about talking about yourself like that?"

"But it's true!" he protested. "You're…Merlin, Hermione, do you have any idea how—how amazing you are? You deserve someone who didn't take four years to realize he liked you as more than a friend, and then another two years, part of which consisted of snogging another girl for reasons that are so bloody stupid they're not even worth mentioning, before he did something about it!"

"But I love you, Ron! You! Those things don't matter to me, can't you see that? I want you, Ron, I always have!" Chest heaving, eyes blazing and tearing up, she stared at him, her gaze boring into his.

"But how can you?" Ron asked, his own voice shaking, "When I never showed you how I felt until we were in the middle of a bloody war?"

"'Never showed me?'" Hermione echoed. "Oh, Ron, you showed me, for years, without realizing it. I was just too angry with you for not acting the way that you do now to tell you. We were both stupid. But you really have always shown me, in some way, what you're feeling."

"No!" Ron growled in frustration, pulling his hands roughly through his hair. "No, Hermione, because if we could tell what each other was thinking, this whole process would be going much more smoothly right now and we'd already be—"

"What process?"

"The process where I gracefully get down on one knee and lovingly propose to you!"

The words were out of his mouth before they'd even fully formed in his mind, and it was difficult to say whether Ron or Hermione appeared more surprised by them.

"Wha—what?" Hermione breathed.

Ron groaned and slapped a hand to his face, dragging it down his cheek. You should have just paid Harry to do it, the voice inside his head admonished him mockingly. "This was not how this was supposed to go," he whined. "I was supposed to hand you the ring, tell you I love you, how much you mean to me, blah, blah, blah, you'd say 'yes,' we'd get a bit of snogging in, and then Apparate to our flat and see Harry and Ginny."

Hermione's arms fell limp to her sides. She was wearing an expression of utter shock that Ron couldn't recall ever having seen on her before. "So…so get on with it, then," she said a few moments later, after she seemed to recover a bit.


She gestured for him to speak. "You can't expect me to do everything, Ron. Apparently, you began this evening with the intention of asking me to marry you, then proceeded to start a row that got us sidetracked, but you might as well finish what you started."

Finish what you started. Words that seemed to guide their rollercoaster-like relationship.

"All right." This was it.

"Hermione, what I meant before, about you being too amazing to bother with someone like me…well, it was supposed to be a compliment. I've done things that should have ruined our friendship, let alone the possibility for anything more than that. But yet, here you are, with me, after everything. I—I'm not good with words, Hermione, you know that. I can't write poetry or speak eloquently…hell, I can barely speak at all most of the time. If I could speak in something other than garbled sputtering, I would have asked you to that stupid Yule Ball in fourth year instead of that git Krum, and we wouldn't have wasted so much time."

Noticing how Hermione's eyes darkened for a moment at the mention of Krum, Ron hurried on. "The point is that even back then, before I was ready to admit to myself that I liked you, it still was you, if that makes sense. You were Hermione, my best friend. I thought that when I fell in love with you, the fact that we were friends would make everything easier, but it didn't. I was so caught up with the idea of losing you if I screwed something up that I didn't even want to try, because…because I—I wanted you in my life. I realized that too late, Hermione, how I never told you how much I need you, and from the moment that you kissed me in the middle for a bloody war, I knew that I had to spend the rest…"

His voice too choked up to speak, Ron took a deep breath and cleared his throat. Hermione was now sitting cross-legged on the couch, her hands clasped to her mouth, tears streaming silently down her cheeks.

"…I knew that I had to spend the rest of my life," he continued shakily, determined to get it all out, "Trying to show you exactly what you mean to me. And—and I know it took me forever to figure it out, but it was only because…because I thought that it mattered what I said or how I said it." He paused. "And to be honest, I still think it should, and that you deserve someone better than me, but apparently that's a battle that I will never win."

Hermione laughed through her tears. Ron was pleased. Even in the middle of a marriage proposal he still managed to crack a joke. Fred would have been proud.

"Anyway, I thought that it mattered…that it all had to be perfect. But then I realized that if everything was perfect, it wouldn't be us. You're 'it' for me, Hermione. It was always you. Even when I was too much of a prat to understand it. I love you more than anyone else in this world. You frustrate me to no end, you can bring out a side to me that even I am scared to see. But you also make me happier than I ever thought I could be. And if you let me try, and Merlin knows I'll probably muck up a marriage as badly as I've mucked up our relationship over the years, but if you let me try, I will spend the rest of my life trying to make you feel the way that I feel every moment that I spend with you."

A bit stunned that he had managed to say all of that without too much stuttering, Ron reached into his pocket and pulled out the ring box, opening it and presenting the ring to Hermione. He'd finally spotted it that afternoon in Diagon Alley, a ring with Hermione's sapphire birthstone in the center, surrounded on either side by diamonds. It had taken nearly all of the money he had made, but it was worth it, he knew now, watching Hermione's face as she looked at it.

Ron moved off the coffee table to bend down on one knee. "Hermione, will you marry me?"

Hermione's mouth opened with a gasp, and though she was sobbing and throwing herself at him, knocking them both first into the coffee table and then to the floor, Ron distinctly heard her muffled "YES!".

"Oh, thank god," he muttered, lying beneath her on the rug, before reaching up and pulling her face down to his.

After minutes of blessed and pleasurable silence, Hermione pulled away, leaving Ron with a crick in his neck from holding it up for so long.

"So that was your whole reason for planning this ridiculous holiday two weeks before Christmas!" she gasped. "You were going to propose! Was Harry going to ask Ginny as well? Oh goodness, it makes much more sense now."

Ron's jaw went slack and he fell back onto the floor, taking Hermione with him. She rolled off to the side and propped herself on her elbow, staring at him. "Well, that was the plan, wasn't it?"

He shook his head in wonder. "Ginny was right," he murmured, before reaching out and pulling Hermione back toward him.

"Ginny was right about what?" she asked.

"Nothing. Just…nothing. We're going to have the best life together, aren't we?"

And just like that, the inquisitive look in her eyes was replaced with a clouded, dreamy expression. "Yes," she replied softly. "We're going to fight a lot, though."

"And shag quite remarkably to make up after each and every argument," Ron added, earning a smack on his shoulder.

"Honestly, Ron, you could be a bit more sensitive in this instance."

"Hey, I just spent the past fifteen minutes being sensitive. Warrants a bit more than a teaspoon, don't you think?"

"Well, now, of course you have more than a teaspoon's worth of sensitivity. Back then…"



"Shut up." Ron kissed her then, deeply. Hermione gasped into his mouth and replied shakily, "Fine."

Good job, mate, you finally did it. It only took you twelve years, three months, five days, and about eight hours to get your head out of your arse long enough to do it.

Author's Note:

I took aspects of Ron's proposal from the Season 6 finale of "Friends" in which Chandler proposes to Monica; it is such a heartfelt, sweet, and yes, a bit awkward, moment, and seemed to fit perfectly with parts of Ron and Hermione's story.

Also, the repetitive "twelve years, three months, and five days" time frame is purely my own guesswork since we don't know exactly when Ron and Hermione got married. All we know is that 19 years after Deathly Hallows ends, they have an 11-year-old going to Hogwarts for the first time, which means that, if Hermione was 18 at the end of the 7th book, she was 37 in the epilogue, which meant that she was roughly 26 when she had Rose. I gave them a few years to date and be normal adults after the war, so I guessed that they were about 23 when Ron proposed. I also guessed that the Hogwarts school year started at the beginning of September, and chose the 3rd as a good start-date. My story takes place on December 8th, or roughly twelve years, three months, and five days after their first meeting on September 3rd.