A/N: Ah, the last chapter, and the fluffiness of it all—gets to you, doesn't it? Now you will notice the emergence of Katherine Annabelle Weasley below, and she would be Loren's and Charlie's little brat of a daughter, bless her heart :P She also makes a brief appearance in WeeIrishLass's Making Shade which is a story you should all go and read if only for that very fact (never mind that it's an absolutely amazing, and incredibly well-written piece of fiction). And, speaking of absolutely amazing, and incredibly well-written pieces of fiction, while you're at it you should seriously consider taking a gander over to sgrquill's profile where she's got loads of worthwhile stories to read, my personal favourite being Anything and Everything although there are some to cater to every taste.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter, etc, are the intellectual property of JKR; no infringement is intended.
"Katherine Annabelle Weasley, get back here!" Loren Chapman-Weasley yelled, chasing her two-year-old daughter around the room, trying to wipe her face clean of the chocolate cake she'd been eating. Ron Weasley tried to balance his champagne flute as two little red pigtails came bobbing by, grabbing a hold of both his legs and using them as shelter.
"Uckle Wonnie," Kate said, her attempt at 'Uncle Ronnie.' Ron laughed and handed the flute to his brother Charlie, scooping up the little girl, his niece, into his arms and ruffling her hair affectionately.
"It's a good thing she looks just like her mother," Ron laughed, teasing Charlie, "because they're the only two people in the world who can get away with calling me Ronnie," he grinned, tickling the little girl who wriggled contentedly in her uncle's arms.
"Watch it, little brother," Charlie warned Ron as his daughter gave her uncle a big chocolatey kiss on the cheek, leaving a smear. They both laughed as Loren came running up to them, gasping for air. She kissed Charlie briefly before wiping her daughter's face with a wet cloth.
"Uck, Mommy!" her daughter protested, trying to move out of the way of the cloth, but Loren had two years of experience, and was able to wipe her daughter's face without too many problems. Turning her head to the man holding her daughter, her eyes widened in amusement. Loren took one look at Ron's face and laughed out loud, then proceeded to use the cloth on his cheek.
"Uck, Loren!" he protested in turn, as his new wife came to stand beside him, her white dress billowing around her.
"Is my husband giving you any trouble?" Hermione Granger, now Hermione Granger-Weasley asked Loren, her smile more radiant than usual. She looked beautiful.
"Nothing I'm not used to," Loren told Hermione though her voice held a hint of a British accent now that she'd been living in the country for a few years. Loren's eyes sparkled and she winked at Hermione mischievously, "if I'm not dealing with my daughter's antics, I have to deal with my husband's. It's the Weasley DNA coming into play," she said even though she knew that wizards' knowledge of Muggle science was sketchy at best. The reference, however, wasn't lost on Hermione who had grown up in a Muggle family.
"Ah yes, the infamous Weasley DNA," Hermione replied, laughing, "it gives us a run for our money, but that's why we love them."
"Or at least tolerate them," Loren said, and laughed at Charlie's feigned hurt expression before kissing him.
"Yuck," came Kate's disapproval.
"I'll show you yuck," Loren said before kissing her daughter several times on the cheek, the latter laughing and wriggling quite contentedly in her godfather's accustomed arms.
"Hey, speaking of money, we never did learn why Harry got that hundred galleons," Ron said, handing Kate to Charlie who promptly kissed her on the top of the head.
A noise at the front of the room alerted them to some activity, and Hermione craned her neck to see what was happening.
"I think we're about to find out," Hermione told Ron, motioning to the stage where Harry was standing, ready to make his best man speech.
"Oi, everybody," Harry said, looking quite dashing in his Muggle tuxedo (the wedding had been a double ceremony of sorts…a Muggle ceremony for the sake of Hermione's parents, and a Wizard ceremony for Ron's side) as everyone took a champagne flute and quieted down. Harry cleared his throat and began his speech. "At the risk of sounding like the priest, we're all gathered here today because we're celebrating Ron and Hermione's wedding. About time, too," he said and everyone laughed. "In any case, I'm especially happy to see these two tie the knot finally, not only because they're both my very best friends in the world, but also because their admitting their feelings for each other came at a very opportune time for me." Harry looked at Ron and Hermione; Ron's arm was around Hermione whose head was resting on his shoulders. Harry smiled and continued:
"Almost seven years ago, when the three of us had just left Hogwarts, the Weasley family and I made a little wager. You see, to us, it was blatantly clear. We knew that Hermione and Ron had it in for each other; it was painfully obvious to everyone except for the two of them, so we all put money into a pool and tried to guess at how long it would take before they came to their senses. The money was one hundred galleons and our guesses were all over the map, from Mrs. Weasley's one week, to Charlie's less than enthusiastic never."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence, Charlie," Ron muttered quietly to his brother. Loren gave her husband a look halfway between contempt and amusement before turning her attention back to Harry.
"Well, I'm proud to say that my guess was the one to win it all--although I have to admit that it was a close battle," he said, nodding to the twins who were looking a little bitter. "In any case, although winning the money was a definite perk, I was just happy that the two of them realised just how completely daft they were and finally decided to give it a go. We all know the story of how it happened, and it's our duty not to let Ron live the night of his little serenade down, but I digress. As best man I think we should all raise our glasses to Ron and Hermione. I know that your relationship will last anything that can be thrown its way, and I wish you the utmost happiness. To Ron and Hermione," he prompted.
"To Ron and Hermione," everyone said, lifting their glasses in the couple's direction.
"Just one more thing," Harry said, as two large screens were lowered. "I have a little surprise for the happy couple. Call it my contribution to the cause," and with a wave of his wand a large image of Ron appeared in the middle of a very rainy street, singing very off-key. Ron groaned and lowered his head into his hands, as everyone around him laughed. Harry and Ginny walked (although Ginny waddled under the weight of her pregnancy) towards Ron and Hermione. "I thought you'd like that one," Harry told Ron, an evil grin on his face.
Ron would ordinarily have been fighting back anger, but instead he merely lifted his hand in a rude gesture. He saw Loren cover Kate's eyes and smile from the corner of his eye and looked down at his hand in awe.
"So that's why you always do that," he told Charlie in realisation, referring to the many times Charlie had given him the finger; he'd always wondered why, when in his youth Charlie had had a temper to battle his own, he now resorted to that particular hand gesture instead of losing his temper…after all these years Ron had finally gotten his answer. The six started laughing, and Ron pat Harry fondly on the back, as the rest of the guests clapped and cheered at the screen where a kissing Ron and Hermione stood under the rain. Ron pressed Hermione against him, and lowered his lips to hers as the hooting grew louder and eyes turned their way.
"I love you, Mrs. Weasley," he told her when his face was inches from her.
"I love you," Hermione told him, tears in her eyes, before Ron closed the distance and kissed her amidst a loud roar from the appreciative crowd. It was to be the first of many kisses that they would share as husband and wife.
(Or the Beginning, depending on how you want to see it.)
A/N: Yes, another one; shameful, isn't it? Though I'm not one to go begging for reviews, this is one time where I will swallow my pride and ask you nicely to go check-out my other stories. Not that it bears repeating, but as most of you are well-aware, my previous account was accidentally deleted, and in so doing all my stories, including all the wonderful reviews I'd gathered were lost as well. One story in particular, Stranded!, had quite a few reviews and since I've reposted it, the response rate has been less than stellar. If you can find it in your hearts to leave a kind word, I've been told that the story is relatively decent, and would very much appreciate if you took the time to read it, or just scan over it if you've read it before, and let me know what you think. Thanks in advance, and I promise this is the last time I'll bother you about it. In any case, thanks for reading this far :)