With every epic hero comes an epic romance. Who says the hero has to be the one falling in love?


Harry loved Ginny with all of his heart. That much was true. He wanted to spend the rest of his life cherishing her existence. She had been and would always be his reason for living. This was not at all diminished by the two people at his side, who felt something beyond feeling. Ron and Hermione had a love that would shake the foundations of reality.

There had always been an indefinable force between the two of them. At first, Harry had thought it was magnetic repulsion. For all the world, they had hated each other. Harry had seen something different on Ron's face when he realized Hermione was in danger of being killed the first time. It was inexplicable, and his eleven-year-old mind couldn't wrap itself around the concept. Ron had gone white, his eyes frantic. Harry had not yet seen Ron's protective side, but it wouldn't be the last time. They fought and bickered and lashed out fiercely, but they protected each other before anyone else.

Harry remembered watching Hermione smile at them at the Yule Ball. She was breathtaking. He had been so proud. She had turned a cheeky grin on Harry, knowing Ron was writhing with irritation. Harry knew Ron had wanted to ask her to the ball properly. He had been nervous around her for weeks. It was a difficult line to cross, and Hermione did more than intimidate Ron, she absolutely humbled him. And the smile she gave him was entirely different. As the laughed and danced with Krum, her eyes drifted to her red-haired sparring partner. He sulked and whined, but there was pain behind his angry eyes. Harry knew she was practically begging Ron to man-up. She hadn't dressed like this for Krum, and it was evident that she barely noticed Ron's tattered robes.

In sixth year, Ron exacted his revenge. It was clear how much pain Hermione's relationship had caused because Ron had never shown the slightest interest in Lavender. That is, until he met Hermione's eyes at that party. It was as though he was trying to perform an exorcism on himself, trying to use Hermione's polar opposite to purge himself of his growing passion for his best friend. The look in Ron's eyes when he saw Hermione that night was not of passion. It was of sheer, unadulterated terror. It was then, Harry knew, that Ron had realized that he was in love with Hermione Granger. Within ten minutes, he was snogging Lavender Brown.

This meant over a year of sheer torture for Harry, who got to stand in the middle of such a high level of romantic and sexual tension that he thought he'd either melt or freeze from the intensity. It was very uncomfortable for anyone other than Harry (or Luna, for different reasons) to spend more than a few minutes in their company sometimes. Hermione was afraid to let Ron get too close, even though it was obvious that she longed for him. Ron was afraid to sacrifice his pride and independence at such a young age. He had always said that he wouldn't settle down at eighteen, like his parents. But he had had to grow up fast. It was an occupational hazard of being Harry Potter's friend.

When Ron asked Hermione to dance at his brother's wedding, Harry had been sure they would sort things out between them. They had been nervous at first, both knowing by now how they felt, and Ron knowing that Hermione returned his feelings on some level. But, as the music carried on, they drew closer together, until Hermione's head rested gingerly on Ron's chest. Hermione's features had been filled with such a strange combination of pain and mirth that Harry thought they must have said something to one another about their situation. Ron smiled softly, his eyes closed as he smelled her hair, his arms wrapped tightly around her lower back. How could anyone love another person that much without being completely consumed by it?

When Ron had left, thinking that Hermione didn't love him, Harry's heart had been broken. Hermione, though, was nearly destroyed by it. She kept a silent vigil for him, hearing his voice in the wind, seeing his ginger hair in the last of the autumn leaves. When Ron returned, it was as though a promise had been made. Harry felt guilty, knowing they were waiting. He knew that they had put him, and defeating Voldemort before their own happiness. He knew that at least once, Ron had regretted that decision.

Few people had ever seemed more desperate to Harry than Ron did while he listened to her tortured screams. He was trapped, and the girl he loved was quite possibly dying. Harry had been positively terrified for her, and furious that they were there because of him. Harry knew that for those terrible moments, Ron agreed with him. Nothing was worth losing the person you loved most, he knew how he had felt watching Ginny fight Death Eaters the previous year, and Ron's love ran deeper. It had had more time to mature. Ron was devoted to Hermione. Again, Harry loved Ginny Weasley more than anyone in the world, but it would take him years to understand the way his two best friends loved each other.

Although he knew the story of their first kiss would be an excellent story to tell during the toasts that evening, and at many gatherings to come, it was this moment that Harry would always remember the most fondly. Ron held Hermione's hands in his, never taking his eyes off hers, despite the fact that they both had tears streaming profusely down their faces. When the Ministry wizard finished his speech and asked for their vows, Harry had never been more proud of his best mate. His voice was shaky, but strong as he spoke.

" We've been through Hell, 'Mione. And I know I've been a prat more than my share, but I know one thing now more than ever. I'll always love you. You've been it for me since the start, and even though I'm bound to keep on being a prat, and we'll probably always be protecting Harry from himself…" The congregation chuckled softly. Harry couldn't help but follow suit. "Today I get to know what it feels like to be a hero, because today you've let me be the Chosen One. I am so honored to be standing here with you, love. I promise to do my best to make you as happy as I am right now." Harry could hear Mrs. Weasley sobbing from the front row. He noticed that his own face had become unexpectedly damp. He met Ginny's gaze where she stood on the other side of the couple. As he looked at her watery expression, he knew that someday, he had to be that for her.