Ron and Hermione stood frozen, staring at the place where the wall of water had just been before it crashed down on them.

It was eerily quiet, only the sound of their ragged breathing could be heard.

As if they had the same thought at the same time, Ron and Hermione turned to each other and began kissing hard, lips melding together as their arms wrapped around one another.

It seemed like an eternity before they broke apart, gasping for breath.

"So, does this mean you'll go out with me?" Ron said awkwardly, his ears turning red.

Hermione blushed and then nodded, pulling the redhead close for another kiss.

"Took you long enough" She breathed when they broke apart. Ron grinned.

Hermione began to shiver, her drenched form shaking like a leaf. Ron began to take off his jacket, meaning to give it her, then realized it was sopping too. He pulled his wand out of his front pocket instead, and siphoned the water off Hermione.

"Thanks Ron" She said, marveling that for once, Ron was the one fixing the problem. Ron nodded in reply then used his wand to get the water off of himself.

"Hard to believe I was here only five years ago... It seems so long ago now" Ron said, walking over and picking up the smoking Hufflepuff cup.

"I wish I was able to go with you... Instead of getting myself petrified" Hermione replied, tears pricking her eyes. Ron turned around, hearing the change in her tone.

"Nonsense, Hermione. It wasn't your fault" Ron pulled her into his arms, happy when she didn't resist him.

"I was relieved that you didn't go with us... You could have gotten hurt, or eaten, or something of the like. I didn't want you to be in danger" Ron continued.

Hermione looked up, startled at Ron's confession. His cheeks flushed when she met his gaze, but she could see something in his eyes that she hadn't seen before.

Ron Weasley wasn't a boy anymore...

"Oh, Ron"

Their lips were locked again, the Hufflepuff cup clanging to the floor as Ron's hands went to Hermione's waist, pulling her closer to him. They had both wanted this for so long... Why hadn't they realized their feelings sooner?

When they broke apart, Ron brushed a tendril of hair out of Hermione's eyes.

"We might leave this chamber tonight and both die, so I just want you to know, Hermione Granger... I love you. I-" He cleared his throat.

"I-think i've loved you from the very moment you began bossing me around on the Hogwarts express"

Hermione couldn't help the two tears that fell down her dusty cheeks. Ron took her face in his hands and kissed her forehead. She clasped her hands around his wrists.

"I love you too" She whispered. "Since I sat next to you on the train... Even more when you saved me from the troll" Ron smiled at the memory from so long ago.

"I barely remember that... We were what? Eleven?" Hermione chuckled.

Ron hugged her close, laughing as well. She wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into his chest.

"Do you remember how I started to cry when Buckbeak was killed? And you held me just like this?" Hermione asked in a small voice.

"How could I forget?" Ron replied as he threaded his hands through Hermione's thick brown hair. The two were silent for a while.

Up above, an explosion sounded. jarring them apart.

"It's begun" Hermione whispered as they looked up at the ceiling. Ron didn't say anything, but bent to grab the relic of Hufflepuff, slipping it in Hermione's bag as they walked to the door.

Just as they reached the portal, Ron took Hermione's hand and spun her around, pressing her to the wall. His lips were on hers, and Hermione could feel the raw emotion in the contact. Ron pulled away, still pinning her to the wall.

"We might die tonight, 'Mione" He stated as another explosion sounded from above. Hermione nodded.

"I just want you to know that I will protect you until they curse the life out of me, I won't leave your side for an instant" Hermione felt herself tearing up again as Ron spoke.

"I'll do the same for you, and you know it" She whispered. Ron's intense blue eyes met hers, and she felt the love in the look he gave her.

"I just want to ask you one thing, Hermione... And I know it's a bit sudden, seeing as we just got together" Ron said. She nodded.

Taking her completely by surprise, Ron knelt down on one knee, not caring if he soaked his pant leg on the slimy floor.

"When this is all over, will you marry me?" Hermione's eyes widened.

"This is... sudden" She breathed.

She met Ron's eyes and flashed back on all the times they had been together. When he had stood up for her, when he had made her cry, when she had been able to tell him her problems... Ron had always been there for her.

Ron stared into Hermione's brown eyes, hoping he hadn't asked the wrong question. He had realized all in about a space of a minute that he loved this girl more than anything else, more than he had ever felt attracted to Lavender Brown, more than he had been love potioned by Romilda Vane.

He loved her.

He could remember when Hermione had punched Malfoy in their third year, how proud he was. How guilty he had felt every time he had made her cry. How he had brought her flowers one day in their fourth year, but then saw her with Victor Krum and threw them away.

He loved her.

"Yes" Hermione whispered. Ron was so lost thinking about Hermione that he almost missed her answer.

"R-really?" He asked, standing up and taking both her hands. Hermione nodded, unable to keep a smile off her face.

"Brilliant" He breathed, leaning in to kiss his fiancee with renewed passion.

"I love you, Hermione Granger" Ron managed to gasp in between kisses.

"Hermione Weasley" She replied when they broke apart.

Ron began to dig in his pockets feverishly, watched curiously by Hermione. At last, he pulled something out of his front pocket, presenting it to Hermione.

Hermione gasped as a small diamond ring was slipped on her fourth finger.

"It was hidden in the Dilluminator Dumbledore gave me. It's not much, but all I have" Hermione stared at it in silence, eyes wide. Ron thought for a second that he had made a mistake.

"It's beautiful and perfect, Ron! I couldn't ask for anything better" Hermione threw her arms around him, nearly knocking the burly redhead over.

"I'm glad you like it" He replied.

They kissed one last time, then grasped hands and climbed through the door, ready to face their fate, no matter what happened.