Author's Notes: Before I ever posted any of my own fanfiction, I was avidly reading (and still am) the large amount of Ron/Hermione fics available on FanFiction's website. I was surprised by the amount of similar stories, many of which often seemed clumped together, as if suddenly many different authors were inspired by the same idea: Hermione dies in Ron's arms, Ron dies in Hermione's arms, Hermione gets a fatal disease (usually cancer/leukemia), Hermione gets amnesia but is pregnant with Ron's babies and he finds her years later, Hermione falls in love with someone else and Ron must either sit back and watch her marry another man or jump into action and declare his love. These stories irk the bejeezus out of me, but by and large, I still read them (and have been known to enjoy SOME of them). It's the Hermione's-going-to-marry-another-bloke genre that I found myself drawn to write about.

I always hated (and still do, so I guess "I always hate" should've been what I said instead of using the past-tense of the verb) the stories where some random guy no one had ever heard of befre was just dropped into the mix. Not that I don't hate when it's Harry Potter or Viktor Krum or (*shudder*) Draco Malfoy that Hermione is set to marry. If I'm honest, the only logical outcome of a Hermione-gets-married story for me is Hermione becoming Mrs. Ronald Weasley...anything else just won't make me happy. BUT!!! These authors aren't writing their stories to make me happy ("BlackHawk who? Why should I write to make some THAT shmuck happy?"), so they and anyone else should keep writing their stories their own way. Which is what I do. And it's what I did here.

"The Wrong Man" is about Hermione marrying someone while a certain bloke stands at the back of the church pining away for her. I hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: J.K. Rowling, addiction enabler that she is, owns all of the prominent characters within the Potterverse.

"The Wrong Man"

I stand at the back of the Muggle church in the heart of London, dressed in my finest regalia, feeling out of place and heartsick…and more than just a little uncomfortable. If anyone were to ask me how I honestly felt, dressed up in this outfit, I would undoubtedly grunt in response, telling them how much I despise these dress robes; they're hot and itchy and much too tight at the collar. I would much prefer wearing my Quidditch uniform. Not only do I like the way my Quidditch robes look, I am also much more comfortable wearing my uniform instead of these dress robes of mine.

But I'm not wearing this for me; I'm wearing this for her: the bushy-haired, brown-eyed girl standing up at the altar in her pristine, white wedding gown. The girl I love above all others…the girl who is about the break my heart by marrying the wrong man. I have never experienced a combined Muggle/wizard wedding before, and as interesting as it is, the novelty quickly wore off as I watched the girl I love march to the front of the church to the strains of a Muggle wedding song…as I watched her march towards the wrong man. From my vantage point at the very back of the church, all I could make out of her husband-to-be was his head…it stood out starkly against his dark dress robes…and I couldn't help thinking how very much like a pumpkin it looked from back here.

I have known that I was in love with that bushy-haired, brown-eyed girl since the Yule Ball back when Hogwarts hosted the Tri-Wizard Tournament. I had competition for her attention and he affection that entire year, and every year after that, although she always denied it…always swore that they were just friends…that all he would ever want from her was friendship. The truth was, all she ever wanted from me was friendship, and she's been in love with him…the lucky wizard standing at the altar with her…since the year of the Tri-Wizard Tournament.

I can't help but wonder if he knows about my feelings for her. He must. I've seen the way he looks at me, with disdain in his eyes and a mocking sort of smirk on his lips, as if to say he knows he's beaten me…as if he knows he's won. I wonder if he knows how lucky he is…how special she is.

This bushy-haired, brown-eyed princess is not like other girls…other women, I should say, since she's in her twenties. Unlike other women I've known in the past, she doesn't care about good looks, fame, and fortune; she sees what a person is like on the inside, and judges them by the strength of their character and who they truly are…and not by what they have or don't have. You can see why I would fall for someone like her; even if she wasn't beautiful…which she is…and even if she wasn't brilliant…which she most definitely is.

My family says I should find a nice girl and settle down…move on…but I can't. They've even tried to arrange for me to meet some nice girls in the hopes that I'll find what I'm looking for in one of them. My family means well, but none of those "nice girls" are the right girl…the perfect girl…none of them are her. I love her, I want her. To settle or anyone else would be just that…settling.

I hear them begin to speak their vows o undying love and devotion to one another, and I realize that my window for action is quickly closing. If I do nothing, the woman I love…the owner of my heart…will marry the wrong man. If I act…if I do as my heart is urging me to do…if I interrupt the ceremony and declare my undying, everlasting love for the bushy-haired, brown-eyed girl-of-my-dreams, I will ruin her day and likely break her heart and earn her undying, everlasting hatred.

I set my jaw firmly and grit my teeth as tears find their way from my eyes to roll down my cheeks and spatter against my dress robes. I watch them kiss and hear the Muggle wedding official announce them as a couple: Mr. and Mrs. --…I can't even bring myself to think the name. He is not good enough for her, not by any stretch of the imagination.

They are running down the aisle towards the back of the church, as if fleeing the throngs of friends and family who came to bear witness to their love this day. As she spots me standing in the back, she stops and pulls her…her husband…over to me. There is a huge, beautiful smile on her face and happy tears in her eyes, and I feel my heart break just that much more.

"I was hoping you'd come," she gushes, throwing her arms around me and giving me a peck on the cheek. This draws a jealous glare from her husband, and I find myself looking away in embarrassment. We have loved the same woman for years, but in truth there was never any competition; she was always his.

"I vould not haff missed it, Herm-o-ninny," I say, cursing at the sound of my voice. It's not wonder she doesn't love me…I can't even pronounce her name properly. I cannot help the blush that comes to my cheeks. "You are stunning."

"Thank you, Viktor," she says, blushing herself. Her husband continues to glare at me.

I extend my hand to him and force a smile onto my face. "And you…congratulations. I am sure you vill haff a long and happy life together…vit many beautiful, bushy-headed, pumpkin-haired babies."

She nudges him in the ribs and he mumbles a response, "Err…thanks, mate." He leans into her and I can hear him whispering to her, "Did he just call me a pumpkin head?"

They are quickly swept away from me by the tide of friends and family rushing towards them now that the ceremony is over. They run outside where a white carriage awaits them. The crowd is cheering and congratulating them as they prepare to leave on the beginning of their journey as husband and wife. I stand in the doorway of the church and look at her one final time before Disapparating.

I want to say that the best man won the heart of the beautiful, brilliant, bushy-haired, brown-eyed girl…but something tells me I will always believe he was the wrong man.

-- The End --

Author's End Notes: Okay, did I swerve anybody with this one? Did ANYBODY believe that it was Ron at the back of the church watching Hermione marry some other guy? Show of hands...

Now that the revelation of who was at the back of the church was made, I want to say this: this was my attempt at making up for the way I used Viktor Krum in the pages of Aftermath. Some people maintain that I went too out-of-character with him in that story in order to make him the bad guy. So, here, I attempt to make him seem a bit noble (letting Hermione marry the man she loves without ruining things) and whole lot less douchey (douchie?) than he did in that OTHER story of mine. Hopefully, I succeeded, but I'll leave it to the readers to decide.

Feel free to review and let me know what you think.