Affinity

Indeed, I'm back for some more 'wonderful' R/Hr mush. It's songfic of two songs, which I separated, and shtuff, so it'd be more…understandable. The songs are Brown Eyes and Grow Old With You. Whee! Go on ahead and enjoy. Remember to leave a spiffy little review. *prods*

Disclaimer: Adam Sandler sang Grow Old With You, on the soundtrack of The Wedding Singer. I don't know who owns it. JK Rowling owns Harry Potter. :D

--Part One: Grow Old With You

Ron Weasley sighed in apparent unease, but he almost went unheard through the noisy pouring of the rain outside as he flashed the clerk a brief smile and took the tiny item from the man's hand.

Then, remarkably clandestine and painstakingly careful, he slipped the small, intensely important package into an excellently concealed pocket in his coat.

With a polite thank you and extremely red ears, he pulled the door open and walked out into the tempestuous rain.

"Oy," he muttered, pulling his coat tighter around his as the rain intensified, "it's just my luck that a storm had to come tonight. I hope the weather's better over at the London suburbs."

I wonder what Mione's gonna say when I show up on her doorstep, dripping wet. He thought absentmindedly, bowing his head and watching the wet, slightly muddy ground that he was walking on. She's probably going to have a bloody fit and she'll get into one of her motherly instincts and wrap me up good in a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate in my hands, or something. He smiled fondly, and after a few more seconds of thinking about this probability, the more he grew to like it. Soon enough, he was happily expecting it, and was eagerly looking forward to the minute he'd see Hermione and the second she'd start fussing over him.

His reverie, though, came to an abrupt halt as he crashed into someone. This someone seemed to be in quite a hurry, and in quite a foul mood.

"Bloody crap, man!" The fellow cursed loudly as he rumbled past. "Why don't you watch where you're going?"

"G'day to you too, my good man." Ron answered sarcastically as he walked away. He involuntarily patted the hidden pocket in his coat, just to make sure it was still there. It was. He breathed a sigh of relief.

Without a backward glance, Ron turned into a rather shabby alley, and alley thankfully empty. With another relieved sigh, Ron Disapparated with a sound that went unheard in the noisy pouring of the rain, his dry coughs nothing more than air whistling through the trees.

The sun beat down upon Ron's back, making him feel like his crimson hair was going to burst into flame at any given minute as he walked up the streets of the London suburbs.

He wasn't complaining, though. The heat was a big improvement over the rain. He transferred the package from his coat to the pocket of his old jeans (which he was forced into wearing because he was walking through Muggle territory again) and eagerly stripped the coat off.

Though the sun was scorching that day, the heat somehow didn't manage to dry him off. He left a trail of large puddles of water in his midst as he walked up the road, practicing what he would say to Hermione later, hoping that romantic inspiration would come to him and strike him with a heartwarming line that would successfully turn Hermione's insides into jelly.

No such thing came to him though, and so far the best thing he could think of was "Will you marry me?", which, in all honestly, wasn't quite as romantic as what he was aiming for.

Don't worry, he assured himself, reaching for the edges of his shirt and twisting the residual liquid out of it, you're still about a good ten-minute walk from the house of Hermione's parents. You'll think of something by the time you get there.

"Ron? What are you—"

The voice was pleasantly surprised, joyfully excited, but it wasn't supposed to be coming from beside him. He was supposed to be hearing it after a long walk.

Ron gave his ten minutes an imaginary goodbye as he turned to Hermione, who had pulled the car to a stop beside him. He saw groceries piled up on the backseat.

"Hey Mione," he grinned weakly, holding out his arms for a hug. "I didn't know you had a car."

"I don't," she replied, getting out of the vehicle, "mum and dad are letting me use it for my visit." She leapt into his waiting arms and gave him a light, fond kiss before pulling away, already a faint pink from the brief convergence of their lips. "But never mind that. What are you doing here, and why are you—yugh…" she pulled away from him and looked down on her now-moist shirt, "so wet? Where'd you go?"

Ron gave her a large, goofy smile. "I just felt like visiting my favorite witch," he answered, leaning forward for another kiss, which Hermione obligingly gave, and in the process keenly dodging the other question about his previous whereabouts.

"That's very sweet of you," Hermione replied as she pushed him into the car, "now get inside. Your sweet idea might cause the death of you if I don't dry you up."

"Thanks," Ron said, now genuinely shivering as he sneezed. The rain was already getting through his skin. With how his luck was going so far, he was probably going to be coughing and sneezing too much to come up with something that would bear a semblance to a decent proposal.

"Oh," Hermione, glanced at him as she drove, "you're getting really sick. Where have you been?"

Ron pretended to fall victim to a paroxysm of coughs—one that quickly became real—in order to escape from answering the question.

"And I left my wand at home…just hold on for a few more minutes, all right? We're almost there."

Ron would have cast a spell to make himself feel better, but he was afraid that he'd cough or sneeze halfway through it and he'd be belching out slugs all over again.

That incident hasn't repeated itself in about twelve years, he though wryly, and it's not going to happen today.

Hermione seemed to be along the same train of thought. "Don't even consider casting a spell on yourself, either. You'll just probably end up belching slugs." She giggled as she pulled into the street her house was on.

"I can't believe you still remember that," he wheezed, rubbing his eyes and looking in fascination as the garage door pulled itself open. "Wow," he breathed in evident awe. "How does it do that?"

"Electricity," Hermione answered promptly, giving him an amusedly tender grin. Even at twenty-three, Ron still managed to remind her of a young child at times.

"Yeah," Ron smiled back at her as he tried to juggle sneezing, sniffling, and opening his door all at the same time. "That."

The garage door began to close. "I'm glad I went out and bought the groceries for mum and dad," Hermione told him as she got out of he car, carrying three massive paper bags loaded with an assortment of items. "Or else you'd be really, really sick by the time you'd get here."

"Yeah," Ron mumbled sullenly, still thinking about his lack of quixotic lines to use for proposing to her as he got out of the car. "Here—let me get those for you." He reached out and took all three of the paper bags.

"Thanks," Hermione said, and opened the door that led into the house. "Are you sure you don't need help?"

Ron sneezed loudly, but he managed to hold on to the now-spit-sprayed paper bags. Hermione shook her head in bemusement.

"Yeah," he said, his voice now sheepish and strained as he set them down on a counter in the Granger's kitchen. "Sorry about sneezing all over them."

Hermione gave him a quick kiss on his cheek. "That's all right. Now go on to the living room. I'll be back with some towels to dry you off and some other things to make you feel better, all right?"

"Yeah," Ron smiled at her. "Thanks. Aren't your parents here, though? I'd like to greet them, first."

"They're not," Hermione answered, now prodding him into the living room. "They're still at work." Without another word, she hurried away.

Ron settled himself comfortably on the floor, afraid that if Hermione's parents were half as organized as their daughter, they would have a hissy fit if they saw their couch with water all over it.

He once again patted his pocket to make sure the ring was there, nodded in satisfaction as he felt the little lump there.

It was about three minutes later when Hermione walked in, juggling quite a few fluffy towels, a cup of hot chocolate, a box of tissue, her wand, and some other item he couldn't quite identify.. It was also about three minutes later when Ron noticed that the sun outside was gone and rain was starting to filter through the clouds. It was also three minutes later when Ron felt the overpowering desire to kick himself for being unable to come up with a proper idea for proposing to her.

"It's starting to rain," Hermione murmured, hurrying to the window across the room and pulling it shut. "I heard there was a storm along the other side of London. I guess it's moved to the suburbs."

"I guesh," Ron answered, slurring the s as he caught the beginnings of a sneeze.

Hermione knelt down beside him, and immediately she began drying up his hair. She draped a particularly large towel over his head and began rubbing it against his soaked locks.

"I can't dry you up if you're still in those clothes," Hermione told him as she tugged on the wet sleeve of his shirt, you've got to take all of the wet ones off."

Ron felt the beginnings of a blush on his ears. "But I'm soaked till my very underwear," he protested. "And I don't have any other clothes."

Hermione grinned roguishly. "I guess you'll have to take them off," she pulled the unknown object from underneath the piles of towels. It was a green terry-cloth robe. "And put this one on."

This time Ron's ears turned so red he surreptitiously tried to cover them with his now-dry hair.

Hermione didn't fail to notice this, and she rolled her eyes in laughter. "There's a bathroom upstairs. First door to the left. Dress up quick, or your hot chocolate'll get cold. Leave your clothes there."

Ron hurriedly opened the bathroom door, and turned on the light. He immediately pulled out the tiny box; quickly opened it just to look at the ring and make sure it was still in its proper place.

It was, and with a satisfied nod, Ron began to take off his clothes at a speed faster than what he thought was capable. He shrugged on the robe, threw his clothes in the hamper, and slipped the small box into the right pocket. With a deep, shuddering breath, nervous steps and loud sneezes, he walked back into the living room.

"Oh, you're done." Hermione looked up and smiled up at him, then proceeded in greeting him with a long, slow kiss that practically guaranteed her getting sick along with him. "Good." She handed him the hot chocolate and almost wrestled him into sitting down on the couch, then finished drying him up by reaching into his robe (Ron turned bright crimson again) and drying up his chest and back. After that, she cast a simple spell that would at least clear up his nostrils and lessen his coughing.

"Thank you," Ron smiled and sipped the drink, which was by now pleasantly warm, gesturing for Hermione to sit close to him, which she happily did.

He put his arm around her, and for the next few minutes they sat in comfortable silence, each one satisfied to just listen to the other breathing.

"Mione?" Ron began quietly, feeling rather sick and dizzy as his heart seemed to stop beating in absolute terror of what he intended to do.

"Yeah?" Hermione murmured distractedly, her mind already delightfully rendered into divine uselessness just by the feel of Ron so close to her, just by the scent of him permeating her senses, just by his being there.

"C-can I tell you something?" he stuttered out, punctuating his words with a strangled cough.

"Shoot."

"Well…" Great, Ron thought satirically, stuck on what to say during the first five seconds. Go Ron. "I—I want to, um…thank you."

He watched in blissful satisfaction as a wide smile graced her features.

"There's no need to thank me," she told him, brushing her lips across one freckled cheek as she slowly, almost lazily, ran her fingers along the inner lining of the robe he wore. "I just did what I was supposed to do."

"Yeah…well…thank you anyway." Ron was once again stumped on what to say next. He usually never ran out of things to say to Hermione, why did it have to happen at that precise moment? "I promise I'll make it up to you."

Hermione smiled up at him again. "You will? How so?"

Ron's heart slowed down, his stomach calmed. Now he knew exactly what to say—everything he wanted to do for her, everything he ever wanted for her.

He tightened his grip around her shoulders and allowed his fingers to tangle themselves within the dark threads of her hair. "I want to—and I promise to—make you smile whenever you're sad," he began, gently leaning forward and nuzzling her neck.

"You can always make me smile," Hermione whispered tenderly, her fingers now tracing a hot trail along his chest as her smile deepened. "Even without trying, you always do."

"I'll even carry you around when—what's that sickness your dad has? —when your arthritis is bad," Ron promised quietly, not even aware that he had pronounced arthritis as artreethis. Hermione had not failed to notice this, but she didn't care. That one minor mistake was drastically overshadowed by his sweet pledges.

"Because all I want to do is grow old with you," he went on, now wholly cradling her in his arms as he spoke. "I'll get your medicine—I'll cast any spell—when your tummy aches, just to make you feel better."

Hermione felt the beginnings of the tears back in her throat. She blindly groped around the couch for the tissue box, unwilling to pull away from Ron, reluctant to place any distance between them. She began to shiver with the effort of holding back her tears, but Ron mistook it for her feeling cold.

Ron pressed himself closer to her in a valiant attempt and also futile to warm Hermione. "If we're here in the muggle world again, I'll build you a fire if the—er—furnace breaks. I'd do anything to keep you warm, anywhere, and anytime. Anything to keep you comfortable. All because I know it'd be nice growing old with you."

Hermione burst into tears. Silent tears of ecstatic elation that she was powerless to hold back as he went on, still cradling her in his arms.

"I'll miss you if you're not there," he continued, his voice trembling with apparent emotion. "I'll kiss you whenever you are with me." He pulled back slightly, kissed away the tears that fell unheeded down her cheeks. More tears simply fell. "I'll give you my coat whenever you're cold."

Hermione giggled through her tears. "I should hope it's not going to be that coat of yours that I saw on the road a while ago."

Ron grinned, arching his eyebrows in what he hoped was a suave manner. "I hope not, either. Else it'd be pretty useless, eh?"

"Yeah, but it won't matter."

He nodded in agreement. "I also know that I'll need you even more than I do now as time passes."

"So will I," she responded quietly, fondly tousling his already messy scarlet tresses.

"And I also promise that I'll feed you, I'll take care of you, I'll protect you from any possible danger…maybe I'll even let you hold the remote control to the muggle TV that dad gave me." He added the last phrase as an afterthought.

Hermione gestured distractedly behind her as she pressed an ardent kiss against his lips. "We've already got a remote control somewhere here, but thanks for the offer anyway." Her teasing breath tickled his chilled skin as she began to temptingly nip at the strong line of his jaw.

She was making it awfully hard for him to think of anything to say, so for a few seconds, he allowed Hermione to simply administer her ministrations in absolute silence.

After she pulled away, Ron's train of thought immediately returned, and he picked up right where he left off.

"So let me do all the dishes in the kitchen sink for you," he said quietly, unaware that this intended promise sounded remarkably out of place when contrasted to anything he had said beforehand, at the same time Hermione found it to be one of the sweetest and most heartfelt things he could have possibly said to her—she knew that he completely abhorred dishwashing.

"Let me put you to bed when you've had too much to drink," he requested softly, his fingers moving in a gentle caress upon the nape of her neck as he stealthily took out the ring from his pocket with his other hand. Then, he gently, almost reluctantly pushed her away. He still kept the ring in the clandestine grip of his hand.

"I could be the man to grow old with you, Mione. Let me be the man to grow old with you. I want to be beside you throughout the rest of my life."

Hermione narrowed her eyes, not in doubt or in disbelieving speculation, but in enraptured thrill as she watched him get up. "Ron, what are you—"

"I want to grow old with you, Mione," he interrupted gently, leaning down and placing a silencing finger upon her lips, "because I love you. And there's only one way that I can think of to do that."

Hermione was crying uncontrollably again as she watched him get down on one knee, watched him take out a small velvet box the color of a winter night sky without stars, watched him open in and hold the simple, stunningly elegant diamond ring before her.

"Will you marry me?"

Hermione's face broke into a wide, elated smile, her eyes glowed in obvious delight; a halo of saving light to Ron.

She staggered forward, threw her arms around him and pressing herself against him. The momentum sent Ron on his back against the floor, Hermione on top of him, but neither on cared.

"Yes," she choked out, her tears staining his robe, streaking across the side of his neck, moistening the curve between his throat and shoulder. "I'll marry you, I'll grow old with you." She pulled back and smiled playfully, rubbing away her tears with the back of her hand as she met his ardent gaze.

"All because I love you, too."

Ron smiled, deeply satisfied, before he took the ring out of its box and tossed it behind him, unheeded, forgotten. He slipped the ring into Hermione's fourth finger. He proceeded in getting up into a seated position, so that Hermione was settled rater comfortably on his lap.

She felt the whispering caress of Ron's breath upon her lips as he braced each hand on either side of her hips and leaned forward for a kiss.

She felt the unspoken vow that affirmed everything he had previously said the second his lips touched hers in a deep, lingering kiss.

It's going to be nice, she thought idly as he felt his deft fingers slowly run along the outline of her shirt, very nice, growing old with Ron.

A/N: I don't know if I like this fic or not. **shudder** It just struck me as…choppy. Eek. O_o Well, I hope the second chapter (and most likely last—the only way it won't be is if I write a lemon/lime as a third chapter, which I doubt I'll do) of this is better—Hermione starts having worries again and Ron's out of things to say. :P Please, please, please R/R! I'd really love to know what you guys think!

…also, I have no idea if London suburbs actually exist, since I've never been there. :Þ