Title: An Inevitable Conclusion

Author: Jules

E-mail: silverlilyus@yahoo.com

Rating: PG

Category: Romance (Fluff)

Couple: Ron/Hermione

Feedback: on or off list

Spoilers: Anything through Book Four

Disclaimer: Not mine. Wish they were. Don't sue, please.

Summary: Ron wonders how to go about taking that biggest of steps.

Author's Note: This is just some silly fluff. I'm not even that happy with it, but Ron and Hermione begged me to post it. Sigh.sometimes, these two are more trouble than they're worth. No, Ron, put the vase down-Eek!

Sigh. Enjoy.

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5 An Inevitable Conclusion

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8 "Hermione, you know that-"

"Sweetheart, I have something for you-No, that's no good."

"Hermione, honey, I was wondering-ARGH!"

Ron Weasley threw himself down on the bed in frustration. For over an hour now, he'd been trying to come up with the best way to ask the love of his life, Hermione Granger, to marry him. Knowing her as he did, he realized that if he wanted Hermione to accept, the proposal had to be.well, special.

Because she was. Very special.

Ron felt the smile creep onto his face as he thought about Hermione. Brilliant, brave, beautiful.she amazed him. Even more amazing-she loved him too, with a fierceness that sometimes stunned him. Ron knew he was very, very lucky. After all, Hermione, with her brains, beauty and charming personality, could have had anyone she wanted. But she'd chosen Ron.

Ron, who had always felt like he stood in the shadows of his five older brothers and then in the shadow of his two best friends: Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, and Hermione Granger, the genius of Gryffindor-of Hogwarts, really. Often, Ron felt like he was an afterthought, the lag-behind. He wasn't brilliant like Hermione, or fearless like everyone perceived Harry to be (even though Ron knew that wasn't always the case), and he wasn't even funny like Fred and George or "cool" like Bill and Charlie. He'd sometimes wondered how anyone knew he even existed.

Of course, that was never actually how things were. His family, including Harry and Hermione, had shown him that he had quite a lot to offer. His mother often proclaimed him "one of the sweetest boys in the world" (although Ron had to admit she was a bit biased), and the twins often found themselves laughing at Ron's dry, somewhat sarcastic wit. He was, as Harry loved to remind him, an excellent chess player, and one of the best Quidditch Keepers in Gryffindor history. And, of course, Hermione was always there to tell him how special he was to her, and to show him that he actually was a very bright student, when he applied himself.

Yeah, Ron had it pretty well, and he had them all to thank. His family, Harry.

And Hermione.

They'd all made a huge impact on his life, but Hermione had changed him completely, helping and watching as he evolved from a shy, awkward boy into a happy and confident young man, ready and more than willing to face his future.

Maybe their love was never a choice. Maybe it was fate, destiny.

Suddenly, Ron leapt to his feet. "That's it! Of course!" He raced from the room, off to begin the rest of his life.



* * *

He found her standing by a window in the Common Room, gazing out at the grounds with a content smile on her face. He stood and watched her for a long minute, mesmerized by her. She really was lovely, with the afternoon sun glinting off her long chestnut hair, glittering red and gold highlights dancing through the silky strands. Her luminous brown eyes sparkled with wit and intelligence, and her soft pink mouth was curved in a sweet smile. She took Ron's breath away, and the surge of love he felt for this woman convinced him even more that what he was about to do was right.

He stepped closer and reached out to brush his hand over her hair. " 'Mione?"

She turned to face him, and her smile widened. "I was wondering where you were. I was just about to come and find you."

Ron grinned down at her, his hand migrating to rest on her cheek. "I've been off doing some thinking." At the curious look on her face, he rushed to say, "Nothing bad, sweetheart. I just-I need to talk to you." Suddenly, Ron noticed how many people were in the Common Room, watching them conversing. He took Hermione's hand and led her to a quiet corner of the room, away from prying ears.

Ron stood in front of her, holding her hands tightly, trying desperately to gather his racing thoughts. " 'Mione, we've been together for almost two years now, but we've been friends for much longer, and over the years I've come to realize how much you mean to me. True, we're more than friends now, but you will always be, first and foremost, my best friend. I know how blessed I am to have you in my life, and I'm thankful for you every day. I always knew I'd marry my best friend-after all, my parents did, and that's the best example of a happy marriage that I've ever seen." By this point, Hermione was beginning to see where this was going. Battling a smile, she squeezed his hands in a silent request for him to continue.

Ron lowered himself to one knee, and Hermione gasped softly. "I love you, and I know I want to spend the rest of my life with you. This is the best thing in my life-you are the best thing in my life. This is fate. It's destiny." Ron was now blinking back tears, trying with all his might to stay composed. "Hermione Granger, will you make me the happiest wizard in the world and be my wife?"

Hermione was crying freely by this point, and she lowered herself onto the floor and into Ron's arms. She clung tightly to him, her tears soaking the shoulder of Ron's robe. Ron waited patiently, because he knew deep down that he had just made the best decision of his life. He grinned, unable to keep the joy from his face any longer. After a lengthy pause, Hermione lifted her head and locked her gaze with Ron's.

"Ron.oh, yes, I love you so much.of course I'll marry you!"

Ron clutched her to him, kissing her deeply. She leaned into his kiss, for once not caring that all of Gryffindor was watching. Ron broke away then and pulled a small velvet box from his pocket. Opening it, he took out a ring, a delicate diamond solitaire. Slipping it on Hermione's finger, he smiled and, with his free hand, brushed away her tears.

"It was the promise ring my father gave my mother their last year here. When I told him I wanted to propose to you, he gave it to me and told me that he thought it would make a lovely engagement ring. I agreed, and I thought you would too."

Hermione stared at her hand a moment. It was a beautiful ring, and it fit her perfectly. Smiling at Ron, she nodded and leaned forward to lightly kiss him again.

"It's perfect. I love it-and you."

Twining their fingers together, Ron tugged Hermione into the middle of the Common Room, where everyone tried to act like they'd not been listening to the lovebirds.

"Everyone? I have an announcement to make." Ron looked around at all of his friends as they turned their attention in his direction. Grinning, he lifted Hermione's hand. "She said yes."

The room erupted into cheers as everyone made their way over to congratulate the happy couple. Ron enjoyed all the good wishes, but his thoughts were with his beloved.fiancée. He was so lost in her, in fact, that he never heard Seamus murmuring to Harry. "It's about time the bloody fool got it right."

Harry grinned. "I couldn't agree with you more, Seamus." He wasn't just referring to Ron and Hermione, but to all the goodness in their lives.

It was, in Harry's eyes, the inevitable conclusion.