Usual disclaimers apply.
Warning: this is cheesier than Regulus on toast. Sugary enough to give you cavities. (Seriously.)
Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still.
~ Robert Sternberg
If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.
~ Winnie the Pooh
Hermione lay basking in the Provencal sun by the glorious lake on her fiancé's estate. He'd had to Floo back to London for an emergency meeting with the Minister about his current case, despite the trip being an escape to celebrate their official engagement. She understood though - he was as passionate about what he did as she was.
Eyeing her ring, still an unfamiliar sight on her slender, brown finger, she smiled It was an elegant arrangement of sapphires and diamonds. He, as cheesy as ever, had chosen her birth stone to offset the large central diamond. Hermione would enjoy the memory of Regulus' proposal for a long time. He'd taken her back to their favourite restaurant, and requested the balcony where they had had their first date together. Had she been in love with him even then? She wasn't sure. Certainly close to it.
I love you, he'd said, going down on one knee. It won't be easy and we'll have blazing rows, but you are the woman I want to spend my life with. You've been it for me from the moment you woke me in the depths of Gringotts and I utterly adore you.
Frank, and to the point; how she adored him.
She stretched out, enjoying the warm sun on her almost naked body. However, something very important was niggling at her mind. Being called Mrs. Black, horrendously, appallingly, would remind her of Regulus' mother's portrait.
Hermione Granger-Black? Should she just stay Hermione Granger?
She would keep her name for her work. After all, she was famous and it was already becoming associated with all the causes she'd spent the last two years of her life fighting for. She was twenty-two, and she had already changed a law.
Regulus, of course, had been incredibly helpful. He held a sway over the Wizengamot that she simply did not, not to mention several seats were still under the Black name. He and Sirius had entered into it with gusto, and Regulus had trained in the Department of Magical Law Enforcement after falling in love with what she did when she was working on them. House-elves had always been of particular relevance to him and now he had taken up the mantle as joint-champion of their cause.
A loud pop sounded beside her and she sat up, surprised. Seeing it was only Kreacher, she relaxed.
"Hello, Kreacher," she said pleasantly. He had insisted on coming to work for 'Master Regulus' and she had insisted he was paid and had days off. After a two-day stalemate, Regulus had given him the choice; accept Hermione's terms, be freed, or work for Sirius.
He had chosen Regulus, of course. She'd never seen such ecstasy as when Regulus called Kreacher for the first time.
"Good morning, Miss Hermione," he still choked a little every time he called her by her first name, "I is having post for you and the newspapers." She thanked him, and he vanished leaving her to bask in the sun.
She glanced at the headlines, wondering if news of her engagement had hit the papers yet. There was an old picture of them, from Kingsley's ball the year before, where she was looking up into his eyes and smiling as they walked down the stairs. Photo-Regulus winked at the real her and bent his head to kiss the top of her own.
STARRY-EYED PAIR TO TIE THE KNOT?
Has the notorious Hermione Granger been caught at last?
Since February last year, the relationship between Regulus Black and the infamous Hermione Granger has caught and held our attention. With Miss Granger's record, we expected him to be another rung in a tall ladder, but it seems that someone has finally caught the elusive witch.
Mr. Black's return from death is the source of myth, rumour and controversy but sources close to the couple say that he was trapped in an eternal sleep and Miss Granger, soon to be Mrs. Black, saved him. We think it's a modern fairytale come to life; a rare tale of true romance.
Miss. Granger was spotted wearing a sapphire and diamond ring on her ring finger yesterday and sources say the couple has escaped to the Black home in Provence to celebrate. She once reportedly said of the younger Black brother that she "couldn't help" falling in love with him and that she's "just known" almost as soon as she saw him.
Sirius Black, Auror and close friend of the Minister, is apparently delighted and already considers Miss. Granger a sister to him.
One person who won't be overjoyed today is Miss Granger's ex-fiancé Ron Weasley, who she left for Regulus Black. Molly Weasley was heard speaking in outrage at the news yesterday evening. She has left a string of broken hearts in her wake, and we will be watching this marriage with baited breath. The pair, dedicated to improving the welfare and rights of house-elves, are swiftly becoming a powerful force to be reckoned with inside the Ministry and Wizengamot, and we foresee much drama to come.
Relatively harmless, all things considered. Regulus had become tired of the press' constant slating of Hermione and had 'gone to have a word' with various editors. Since then, they had stopped portraying her as a heartless strumpet and left her relationship with him largely out of the papers. She flicked through the rest of her post; largely fairly dull legal correspondence and congratulatory notes. There was a long letter from her parents, however, and she began to read that.
Her mother adored Regulus almost as much as she did herself. He had beautiful teeth, which apparently helped. Her father had been harder to convince; in Ron there had been little threat. He had been safe and easy for a father to accept. Regulus on the other hand, who exuded intelligence and sexuality, was a much more dangerous figure. And she had already been head over heels in love with him when she'd introduced him to her parents. But even he had finally come to accept Regulus, accept that the gifts he plied Hermione with were not merely to buy her affection, but a genuine expression of his own. That was something they had rowed about early in their relationship.
There had been many clashes between them in the past year. Both were volatile, used to arguing, highly opinionated and intelligent and they could have shouting matches over anything from opinions of literature or history to the cooking, or a case. And she loved it; the spark that she'd always believed was there when she and Ron bickered was a full blown flame, an inferno, when she argued with Regulus, and usually ended up with them in bed.
But more important than passion; they were friends, confidants, intimates as well as lovers. And she knew that, however hard it would be sometimes, they would be alright because she trusted him implicitly, because she felt entirely comfortable with him, because he knew her and saw her as no one else did. And one day, not too far away perhaps, she would have children with him. She wanted to have his child; a concept that had been foreign to her until she had met him. Not that she'd stop working just because she'd had children; that wasn't her nature.
"You're a sight for sore eyes, my love," Regulus' husky voice drawled from above her. She had been too absorbed in her letter to hear his approach.
"Hello, darling, how was Kingsley?"
"Very well, sent his love."
"You sneaky liar, where have you really been?" she said, laughing.
He dropped onto the grass beside her and sent her an injured look.
"Heartless woman, how could you accuse me so?"
She rolled her eyes and kissed him.
"All right, there was an auction at Lussore's and I saw something you might like in the catalogue. I bought a couple of paintings for the house as well."
"Oh, lovely. Where for? We need something for that wall in the dining room. It's been bothering me."
"Well, you can see the ones I bought later and there are some here you'll love. I sold all the horrendous shite my dear relations worshipped, but some of them had good taste, even if they were hopelessly bigoted. Now, shut up about the art and see what you think of this."
He carefully laid the box he had been holding down in front of her.
"Go on, open it."
"What's the occasion?" she teased, lifting the lid.
"Oh Merlin, Regulus," she said, and promptly burst into tears. Inside was the very first edition of Hogwarts, A History, handwritten by Gerbert Erskine in the fifteenth century.
"Hermione, you can't possibly be crying over that." He pulled her onto his lap and kissed her hair. "You are utterly ridiculous."
"It's the m-most w-wonderful present, I love it."
"I got some pretty emeralds for your ears as well," he said, sliding them through the tiny holes in her ears. "Turn and let me see? Beautiful."
They were heavy and dangled and, she knew from past experience of his impeccable taste, extremely beautiful.
"The earrings are for me because I love seeing you draped in diamonds and emeralds and, most of all now, sapphires," he said, excusing the buy as he always did; saying he bought the jewellery because he liked seeing her in it.
"You are just as ridiculous as I am. And I love and adore you for it. Thank you."
"I love you, too. Now, when can I officially make you Mrs. Black?"
"Regulus, I don't think we can get married if I'm going to be called Mrs. Black," she said seriously, " or I'll always be thinking about your mother."
"Then I shall be Mr. Granger," he grinned. "You suit Hermione Black, but keep your name if you want."
"I will for work, but perhaps... I suppose I should be proud to be the first Muggleborn Mrs. Black. Unless Sirius marries someone in the next two months. I got a letter from Mummy today, saying congratulations and she can't wait to start helping to plan the wedding. Shall we have it here? That would be lovely. It really is my favourite place in the world-"
"- Shut up and kiss me, Mrs. Black."
"I was going to say because you're here, but if you insist."
And they lay in the sun, wrapped in each others' arms, for hours.
There you go! All done (thank Merlin, it was giving me hives but I felt guilty). Some of you witches hiding out there have a real weakness for cheesiness. I actually took out the worst stuff in here (a detailed description of her lovely sapphire and diamond ring vomitvomit).
Let me know what you thought!