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"Expelliarmus"

"Avada Kedavra"

Time seemed to stand still. What probably took about ten seconds felt like ten years. Every eye was on the Elder Wand as it flew from Tom Riddle's hand into Harry's. Hermione and I were the first to blink and to realize what had just happened. We were the first to run at Harry and surround him with our arms thanking Merlin that he was alive (it didn't hurt that he had just defeated the most dangerous dark wizard of all time, either). He was smiling; hugging and thanking Hermione and I profusely, saying that he could never have done anything without us, that we were everything. I won't lie; it brought tears to my eyes.

As we were trying to speak to each other over the noise of the crowd, we slowly got separated as the people moved in to see, touch, or speak to Harry Potter. Since I had had the opportunity to see, touch (don't get any dirty thoughts, now) and speak to Harry Potter quite a lot over the last several years of my life, I stepped aside.

I did now notice, however, that I no longer had Hermione's hand in my own. She had found me earlier within seconds of Harry revealing himself from under the invisibility cloak and hadn't let go of my hand until our arms were needed for Harry. I panicked a bit. I knew she was fine and that she was here somewhere, but I couldn't exactly focus on looking for her with the crowd surrounding me. I suddenly realized what it was like to be the hero. I knew Harry would be mobbed, but I guess I didn't realize that people would be surrounding me as well.

I was being pulled and prodded and slapped on the back. People were yelling their thanks to me and asking me questions about all we had done. They wanted to know where we had been, what we had been doing, how we had done it. I felt rather silly actually because I couldn't even answer one question before another was being thrown at me. I was stuttering and stumbling over my words when all I wanted was to see Hermione and to find my family.

Then I saw it. That hair. After hours and hours of fighting, it was certainly not behaving itself and I knew I had to have my hands in it. She was surrounded by a rather large crowd, but I was willing to push people aside if I had to in order to get to her. As I moved toward her, her back to me, the crowd seemed to part for me. It was a little crazy, but I wasn't complaining. I grabbed her hand and she turned. The smile on her face was so beautiful, but at the same time, a little ridiculous. We'd done it and it was like she couldn't have stopped smiling if she tried. It hadn't hit anyone yet that we lost so many, though I knew it would, hard. Right now we were so beyond exhausted that we were just deliriously happy.

"Hermione…"

I didn't even give her the opportunity to respond. I covered the distant between us and my mouth was on hers. My arms wrapped so tightly around her waist as if she would vanish if I didn't hold on tight. Her arms went around my neck and she just as intense as I was. I pulled away after only a moment because I knew that kissing Hermione in front of a crowd this large was not exactly proper, but I needed to do it. I needed her to know that it wasn't a mistake, that she was all I wanted, and that I couldn't have waited the two minutes it would have taken for us to find some privacy.

I still had my hands on her hips, hers were playing with the hair on the back of my neck and it sent a shiver down my spine. We were forehead to forehead and it was like someone suddenly turned the sound back on. I could hear people cheering and wolf whistling at Hermione and me. I'm pretty sure I heard several people agreeing when someone shouted out the phrase "about time".

"Can we…er…get out of here for a few minutes?" She whispered it just for me. I didn't bother answering, just turned on my heel, her hand in mine and walked out of the great hall and into the first empty room I could find.

"It's over, Mi. Can you believe it's actually over?"

"Ron, do you think I wanted to be alone with you to talk about Voldemort and war?"

As she was speaking she took tentative steps closer to me. She was a mess. She had burn marks all over her. Her clothes with torn and burned and her hair was going in every direction. I'm not going to lie and say that she had never looked more beautiful. She looked like she had just fought in a war. I realized at that moment that when you love someone, it isn't because they are beautiful no matter what; it's that despite the fact that they are a mess at times, you're in love, plain and simple. Plus, I knew I was no prize at that moment, either, yet she seemed to want me anyway.

I reached out my hand, she took it and I pulled her to me and once again, we were kissing. I couldn't believe I was actually kissing Hermione Granger. Even more unbelievable, she was kissing me back; I mean really kissing me back. Her right hand was around my waist and her left went back into my hair. She was pulling me closer to her and suddenly her body was flush against mine. I must say that I could not stop my hands from exploring Hermione's every inch. I had wanted to be able to touch her like this for years. I had held it in for so long, part of me always thinking it would never happen and that maybe the feelings would go away. Now, my hands moved from around her waist to her hips, her arse, back up her back and into her hair. We both wanted to be closer and I found myself overpowering her a bit and she was suddenly up against the wall. I moved my mouth to her cheeks, her neck, and her collarbone. She was actually moaning my name. I'm Ron Weasley, in case you forgot, and Hermione Granger was moaning my name as I kissed every inch of her I could reach. It was amazing. After a few more minutes (or hours, days, who knows?) of some intense snogging, we were both breathing heavily and pulled away.

"Do you know how long I have waited to do that to you?"

Yeah, you think I said that, don't you, but Hermione said it. She actually told me that she has been waiting to snog me like that. I said the only thing that came to my mind.

"Four years, 5 months, and 12 days. Give or take."

She smiled. She smiled at me like that was the greatest thing she has ever heard anyone say. Then she blushed, I mean so much that it would put any Weasley to shame.

Then quietly, but looking me right in the eye she just said it, like we said it all the time. Like I should have known that she was about to change the world for me, like I should have been ready for it.

"I love you so much, Ron."

Now it was my turn to blush. I was flabbergasted. She loved me. I couldn't believe it! I have never been so shocked and so happy in my life.

"I have suspected this all along."

She let out a scream of laughter. It was perfect. I love making her laugh.

"Oh, and also, I love you."