A/N: Hello and welcome to my first attempt at a multi-chaptered fic! Please rest assured that I have every chapter planned and that many of them are already at least partially written, so I promise not to leave you hanging for weeks or months on end. This first chapter serves as a prologue. This was the only chapter I hadn't really planned, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. Please let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns the wonderful world of Harry Potter. I own a copy of the first book that's got a portion falling out due to the sheer number of times I've read it since I was seven years old.
21 June 2003
It was just after eight o'clock on a Saturday night, and Hermione was relaxing alone at a table with a glass of fine wine. It wasn't too far removed from any other Saturday night, really, save for her outfit. Unless Ron had something special planned, she'd normally spend Saturday night in her pajamas. Tonight, however, that would probably be considered underdressed. While her fuzzy green pajama pants were undoubtedly more comfortable, Hermione couldn't deny that she preferred the beautiful white dress she and her mum had spent hours picking out. It was the fact that she needed the dress at all, she supposed, that made this Saturday night so different from the others. Tonight was, after all, the best Saturday night of her life.
"Ah-ha! There you are, wife!" Hermione's brief moment of relaxation was interrupted quite pleasantly by an arm around her shoulders and a kiss on the cheek. She beamed up at Ron, who looked incredibly handsome in the muggle suit she'd persuaded him to wear for the sake of her parents. Wife, he'd said—she was his wife now. Just the thought that the titles husband and wife now applied to them made Hermione giddy.
"Didn't think you could lose me that easily, did you?" Hermione asked him cheekily.
"Nah, it'll probably be a few weeks at least before you've got a mind to ditch me," he replied, threading his fingers through hers and pulling her to her feet. "Come and dance."
Hermione smiled as she followed him to the dance floor, remembering the first time he'd said those words to her under this very tent six years ago. The decorations were different this time; they'd chosen blue as their wedding color and they'd filled the room with daisies instead of roses, but otherwise it was set up identically to Bill and Fleur's wedding. So much had changed since then; after all, they'd been seventeen at the time. Now here they were, twenty-three and newlyweds. It wasn't that they were entirely different people, Hermione thought. It was as if they were now better versions of themselves.
As they reached the floor, the music began to fade and a slower song began to play. Hermione glanced over to the speakers they'd charmed for the occasion to see a smirking George. She stuck her tongue out in what was, of course, a very mature gesture. Ron just rolled his eyes and pulled her considerably closer to himself than he would have dared if they'd still been their seventeen year old selves, and Hermione hummed contentedly.
"We're married," Ron breathed as they began to sway unceremoniously to something resembling the beat of the music.
"That's what the party was for, you know," Hermione replied, smiling as she saw her parents dancing near them. Her mum, who'd been crying off and on since eight that morning, gave her a wide smile from across the floor.
"You're not Hermione Granger anymore," Ron observed. "That's the weirdest part of it, really."
"It is. Do you realize I'll have to change my signature?" Hermione replied half-seriously.
To her surprise, Ron's eyes actually went wide. "I didn't even think of that, to be honest."
Hermione laughed. "It's alright though. Hermione Weasley's got a nice ring to it."
Ron gripped her waist tighter, his eyes boring into hers. "When do I get to take you home, Hermione Weasley?"
"Soon, I hope," she replied. "But it seems rude to leave a party they've thrown just for us, and besides, you get me all to yourself for the next week."
Ron sighed contentedly. "Thank Merlin. Not that I haven't loved every second of today, mind you, but part of me wants it to be just us, y'know?"
Hermione nodded in understanding and laid her head on Ron's shoulder. He responded by moving his hands from her waist to her back to enclose her in a sort of swaying embrace. It was true that while this had been the best day of her life, on some level Hermione was glad it was almost over. The entire morning and early afternoon had almost exclusively consisted of anxiety. She'd been convinced that she would trip on her way down the aisle, or that she'd stutter during her vows, or that she'd tear her dress somehow. Getting dressed with her mum, Ron's mum, and Ginny had really just been stressful. They spent hours surrounding her and perfecting every inch of her face and every lock of her hair. Though she was pleased with the result, the process was not something she wished to repeat. It had all been worth it, though, to see Ron's face as she did not trip down the aisle and as she said her vows clearly and concisely, though it didn't happen without a few tears in both of their eyes.
The reception had been lovely thus far, although a bit overwhelming at first. Everyone that had shown up had almost immediately flocked toward them to offer their congratulations. They'd barely had a moment to themselves until their first dance, during which every pair of eyes in the room was set on them, and they took turns laughing at each other while trying to make the whole thing look romantic. The only comfort they took was that they no longer tread on each other's toes as they had when they were seventeen, so they must have looked at least slightly less ridiculous now.
After a few moments, Ron's voice pulled Hermione out of her train of thought. "Mum's waving us over. I think some of my cousins are on their way out."
Hermione sighed and pulled back a bit, but did not remove her arms from around him. "Can we not do what we please at our own wedding?"
"You're the one that just said we should appreciate all of this," Ron reminded her as he reluctantly loosened their embrace.
"Yes, well, I've changed my mind," Hermione replied under her breath, taking his offered hand as they made their way over to mingle with their guests once more.
After nearly an hour of socialization with relatives and family friends whose names Hermione would likely never commit to memory, Hermione and Ron finally took a seat at a table with Harry and Ginny. "Ah, at last, the best man and the maid of honor! You lot could've warned us about all this," Ron said pointedly.
"I'm sure we don't know what you're talking about," Harry replied, summoning a bottle of firewhiskey from the bar and offering it to them. Ron took a hearty swig before offering the bottle to Hermione, who took a dainty sip.
"Don't moan about it. You'll love every second of it when you look back on it," Ginny said knowingly.
"Yeah, I'll remember every second that was about me and Hermione. Not every mundane conversation I had with every relative I never talk to," Ron replied.
"I agree completely," Hermione said. "I made the guest list and I still didn't realize there'd be so many people."
"Now that's shocking," Ginny said sardonically, "Hermione agrees with something Ron's said."
"Well now that we're married, we figure it's about time we start presenting a united front," Ron remarked.
"I know what you mean," Harry said, avoiding Ginny's glare. "Most of it was a blur, but there are moments that stand out. Like how stunning you looked," he finished smoothly, throwing a winning grin in Ginny's direction. Ron gave a fake gagging noise, and the others chuckled for a moment.
"I'm giving you lot a hard time about being tired, but we were actually just talking about heading home," Ginny said, breaking their momentary silence.
"It's hardly half nine," Ron observed. "I guess being married a year and a half has aged you."
"I'm a new man now," Harry said. "We go to bed at ten on Saturdays and spend our Sundays reading the paper and cleaning the house."
"And answering your fan mail?" Ron asked casually. Harry shot him a scowl. Sadly, Ron's addition was not really a joke. Although letters from admirers were no longer delivered to his home address, they still came in large quantities and made him fairly uncomfortable.
"You laugh now, but wait 'til your wedding announcement runs in the Prophet. The Chosen One's best friends getting married should cause quite the uproar," Ginny said as she stood up. "It's been a lovely night, but we really were going to head out."
"You'll be at ours for brunch before we leave tomorrow, yes?" Hermione asked as she embraced her new sister-in-law.
"Wouldn't miss it," Harry answered as he mimicked his wife and pulled Hermione into a hug and kissed her cheek lightly. "Take care of Ron, now. Break his heart and I'll hurt you, and all that."
"Good to see where your priorities lie," Hermione joked.
"Well what did you expect? We've been friends longer," Ron said as he and Harry clapped each other's shoulders in a strange sort of man-hug.
"Of course, I've been around two months less than twelve years. How will I ever catch up?" Hermione drawled sarcastically.
"I wouldn't take it personally," Ginny said. "The sheer amount of moping that went on after Ron moved out of Grimmauld Place was enough to convince me that theirs is truly a bond that can never be broken."
"Well when you put it that way it just sounds weird!" Ron protested, and the group fell into uproarious laughter.
A moment later, the four said their goodbyes and Ron collapsed back into his chair. "C'mere," he said lazily, pulling Hermione's hand toward him. She took a seat sideways across his lap, shuffling around a bit to try to arrange the train of her dress in a semi-intelligent way. He wrapped his arms around her waist and leaned his head toward her while she ran her fingers through his hair. Five years later and she still couldn't believe how soft it was.
After a minute, Ron lifted his head to look at her. "You're beautiful. If I forget everything else about this whole spectacle, I'll always remember how bloody amazing you looked walking down that aisle."
Hermione smiled. "Thank you. I'll never forget the look on your face. It was adorable."
"Adorable?" Ron raised his eyebrows.
Hermione nodded. "I'm sorry to be the one to tell you, husband, but sometimes you can be adorable."
"Mmm. Call me husband again," Ron said cheekily.
Hermione made a show of rolling her eyes, but she couldn't shake her smile. "I've got the rest of my life to call you my husband." She leaned down to kiss him then, which he gladly reciprocated.
If someone had told Hermione Granger that she'd marry Ron Weasley that day on the train twelve years past, she'd have told that person to stop being ridiculous. They'd had to overcome so many obstacles before they even considered becoming more than friends that to say the odds had been stacked against them would be an understatement. Even their first kiss had been shared at a time when they were virtually hopeless. But it was this, the fact that they were alive and in love and married and surrounded by people that cared about them, this was what they'd been fighting for, and Hermione wouldn't change a single thing about the journey they'd taken to get here.
A/N: Thank you for reading! Please leave a review to let me know what you thought and if you'd like to hear more. Of course, I'll continue to post what I've got, but feedback makes the process a bit smoother! :)
Fun facts about this chapter: Ron and Hermione's wedding day, 21 June 2003, was the day that OOTP was released.
If you'd like to check out the two one-shots I have posted already, they can be found on my profile. If you'd like to follow me on tumblr, the link to that can be found on my profile as well. I love interacting with other Potterheads and Romione shippers like myself, so please feel free to PM me or message me on tumblr if you feel so inclined.
To balance out my shameless self-promotion, I'll recommend that you read "Sunday" by the lovely HalfASlug. It's Romione fluff at its finest!
Thanks again! The first proper chapter, which will jump back in the past five years, will be up by this weekend at the very latest. It's completely written, just needs another edit or two. :)