SURPRISE!! Two chapters in one day, which I never, ever do. This means that you should all be very thankful and review. Right?…Right?? Well, they're always appreciated. Enjoy!
So the next day, we started. I have to say, I'm impressed by just how much an unlimited budget and some sheer willpower can get you these days. A determined Mrs. Weasley didn't hurt, either.
We had painters in on Tuesday, the furniture was all bought and moved in by Wednesday. The plants and outdoor furniture was in by Thursday. Thick, rough looking custom canvas curtains hung around all the windows, and all the kitchen supplies, frames, pictures, art, towels, pillows and various other odds and ends were completely in place by Saturday night. It had only taken us a week to set up what has to be the most beautiful place I'd ever seen.
I'd convinced Ron not to paint every wall orange, but instead stuck with warm, neutral colors like dark brown, cream, and some burgundy. That didn't mean that he didn't put the Canon's colors everywhere he possibly could. There was a framed poster near the kitchen, orange flowers in the window boxes outside. Towels, throw pillows, and accent rugs gave way to his favorite childhood obsession.
But even with that, the mix of dark wood, stone, and stainless steel we'd managed to create was stunning. I told Ron so as we sat on the floor in front of his fireplace, propped against the couch and eating pizza from the place around the corner.
Ron looked around, satisfied. "I agree. We did a great job, Angel." He tossed his crust into my side of the box and I picked it up and chewed thoughtfully.
"I wonder how Edna's doing with my apartment search." I said, gazing again around the loft and feeling the twinge of sadness that I didn't live here full time. Ron nodded thoughtfully.
"That woman's a tornado. I'm sure she's already got ten lined up. Probably more." He chuckled as he picked up the empty pizza box and tossed it into the garbage.
"Do you think you'll be able to keep it clean?" I asked, sipping my butterbeer and honestly wondering. He plopped down close to me and gave me a look.
"Of course I will! You won't let me get it dirty." I smiled.
"Well, I suppose that's true. We just worked so hard on it…" I trailed off, losing my train of thought as he leaned closer and began tracing circles on my knee.
"So...how are we going to do this?" He asked, looking up at me. There are very few times in my life when I've been genuinely confused about something or completely didn't understand. This was one of those times.
"Do what?" I asked breathily, watching Ron's long fingers draw larger patterns up my thigh.
"Well, the way I see it, we have a few options." He kissed under my ear and I swallowed hard. For the first time, it occurred to me that we were absolutely alone in his very own apartment.
"Wha…What options?" I asked, suddenly finding it very hard to catch my breath. Ron chuckled, so much more collected than myself, which would have been infuriating, if I had been able to feel anything other than his lips on my skin and his fingers brushing up and down my legs.
"Well, option one is that we let Edna get you a place, we sort it out, and you only come by sometimes, like…well like an actual couple. Eventually you're things will magically find themselves here, and one day over breakfast you comment on how hard it is to have your clothes here and your coffee pot over there, and I suggest you move in."
I gasped, hardly believing what I was hearing. Ron's hand went back to just my knee.
"The next option, is that we let Edna get you a place, but move most of your stuff in here, anyways, but keep some stuff there. That way you can get away from me when I'm being insufferable."
I could barely even huff out a laugh, my heart was squeezing so tight.
"And our third option, which is my personal favorite, is that we completely give up all pretense and move you in tomorrow, once again disappointing Edna, but living happily ever after in our perfect apartment."
He looked up at me hopefully, and I could barely see because I was beginning to tear up. I cleared my throat and blinked, trying to copy the casual tone he had.
"Well, all the ideas have their own merit." I said seriously, trying not to smile and failing badly. "But I have to say that I think the third option might be the most practical." I moved closer to Ron, so close. His breathing was becoming uneven as well.
"Practical?" He rumbled, running his thumb over my bottom lip.
"Well, not so much practical as…" I peeked up at him through my lashes, "…I really, really want to live here. With you. Right now-" I couldn't finish any more because his mouth slammed down on mine and suddenly I was on my back and we were kissing and laughing.
I realized that we'd both wanted the same things all along, but he was the only one willing to tell me. He lifted his head, running his hands up my sides.
"Angel, you have no idea how happy that makes me." He kissed me again before pulling me to my feet. "There's no way I can fill that closet and drawers all by myself." He picked me up while I was laughing and carried me up the stairs before tossing me onto the bed.
I sat up, grabbing his sweater and pulling him towards me. I knew that there was still one more thing to do to make this place complete. And he had been the one to take the first step, earlier, so…
I pulled back for a moment.
"Ron…" I felt myself blush, but tried to dig in to find a little courage. "I feel like this place is missing something." Ron looked at me dazedly.
"Wha?" he asked, trying to kiss me again. I pushed against his shoulders.
"Ron. Have you… Have you ever heard of christening new houses or apartments?" I held my breath as he froze above me.
"Hermione are you-"
"Yes, I'm sure." He smiled when I finished his thought for him, but pulled me to him for a more tender kiss.
Later, much later, my eyes snapped open. The loft was dark, but the windows prevented the darkness from becoming too bad. I turned my head to look at Ron, who was on his stomach, face buried in a pillow. I turned my body more fully towards him.
He must have heard me stir, because his eyes slowly blinked open.
"Sorry. Go back to sleep." I whispered. He grunted once and flung his arm out under the covers, scooping my body up and pulling it towards him. He groaned appreciatively when our skin connected and he tipped his head up for a kiss.
I settled my head into his pillow and eventually his eyes flickered back open, looking at me more clearly.
"Mmm. Time?" He grumbled, rubbing his chin against my neck. I laughed as his stubble tickled my throat.
"Time for me to go back to your Mum's. She'll be freaking out… What?" Ron was shaking his head 'no'.
"My mum told me that she didn't expect you home tonight." I stared at him.
"She…She what?" I gasped, horrified. Surely Mrs. Weasley thought I was some sort of hussy or…scarlet woman! Ron scoffed and pulled me closer.
"She said she knew we'd been sleeping together under her roof, so we might as well do it under mine. Then she said we reminded her of her and dad when they were young and told me to have all your stuff out by tomorrow morning." My eyes widened but I didn't say anything. What was there to say?
Ron sighed and looked down at me.
"Hey." I whispered back as he kissed my cheek.
"Are you okay? I mean…" I cut him off with a kiss.
"I'm absolutely phenomenal. What about you?" He sighed. I was suddenly alarmed. Had I done something wrong? Had he not…
"Angel, I don't think you're going to like this, but I might as well tell you now." My breath caught in my throat. "I think you scratched me pretty bad." I gasped, sitting up.
"What?!" I pulled back the sheets, forcing myself to ignore his body and look for the damage. I tugged on his shoulder and I knew I'd found it. He resisted when I tried to turn him over.
"I'm fine, Angel, I just didn't want you to freak out in the morning." He looked at my face. "But apparently you're just going to freak out now." He grumbled, flipping over for me.
It wasn't to bad, but still… There were scratch marks criss-crossing his back, imprints of my fingernails on the back of his shoulders. I gasped and brought my hand to my mouth. It didn't look like he was bleeding, thankfully, but before I could investigate further, he turned back over, pulling me down on top of him.
"I'm so sorry, Ron!"
"Shh. Angel, trust me, there is absolutely nothing to be sorry about." I looked at his face.
"Wait you… you like it, don't you?" I was amazed, but he suddenly smiled at me.
"Well I have to say I'm just pleased that mousy little Hermione had it in her." I swatted at his arm. "But really, I'm just glad you enjoyed yourself so much." I sighed and kissed him again.
"You're sure?" I asked, but the look on his face said it all.
"No worries, love. I actually love it. Like you marked me or something." He leaned in for another kiss.
"My Ron." I whispered, hitching my leg over his hip. He groaned and rolled so he was on top of me.
"Yours." He whispered into my lips. I smiled.
"My Ron, my loft." He groaned again, nodding.
"Anything you want, Angel. Though I have to say I'm really, really, starting to love your loft…"
Even later still, we sat around the kitchen counter, eating leftover sandwiches. He was wearing his pants, and I was wearing his shirt. The sun was just starting to peek over the buildings in the distance, and we could just make out individual trees in the park.
I spun my stool back around to face him.
"Did you mean what you said before? About this being my loft?" He smirked at me.
"Of course. I bought it for you, didn't I, Angel?" he leaned in to kiss me, but I pulled back.
"I don't quite like that." I said. He frowned.
"What don't you like about it?" He asked hesitantly. It was my turn to smirk at him.
"Well if I wanted my own apartment, I would have let Edna find me one. I want this to be our apartment." Ron laughed, kissing me for real this time.
"Hermione, would you have put a giant Chudley Canons poster above the Dining room table? Would I have lined half of an entire wall with bookshelves? This is our apartment, Angel."
"You're right." I said brightly, sliding off my stool. "And I want to take a shower in our apartment for the first time." I tried to walk as seductively as possible across the living room and up the stairs. "You're welcome to come and join me." I called over the banister, and laughed when I heard him running across the hard wood floors.
Our apartment. I thought as I turned on the showerheads. I like it.