This is just an idea I got while being in that undetermined stage between being asleep and being fully awake. As usual, it's about my favorite pair, with no real bashing.
Wrong to Right
It was wrong! It was all so wrong! Hermione should not have been wearing Ron's engagement ring. She should have been wearing mine!
And I could only blame myself. Wasn't I the one who had always helped them out of all their quarrels? Wasn't I the one who had helped them find each other after every mishap? After Hermione danced with Viktor; After Ron dated Lavender; After Slughorn's party. I've even convinced Hermione to forgive Ron when he returned to us after deserting us during the hunt. What a fool I am!
How could I fail to see that I loved her, that I was happiest in her company. Even during that hunt, I didn't mind Ron leaving us, as long as there was us – Hermione and I. And yet I needed to see her flashing her engagement ring to come to this realization. What a fool!
Ginny was at my side, chatting amiably with one of the guests, oblivious, as usual, to what I was feeling. She had always dreamed about marrying with "The-Boy-Who-Lived". Now it was looking like she was going to fulfill that dream.
Well, I shouldn't be so harsh with Ginny, really. It's really a wonder she didn't crawl into my bed after her first year at Hogwarts. With Tom's diary controlling her and me rescuing her at the last moment, it was just natural for her to fall for her savior. Yet it took her a few more years before she managed to make me fall for her.
Ginny is beautiful, there's no doubt about that. Her red hair is framing her pale, freckled face, making her beautiful eyes stand out, her red lips look like asking for a kiss and her tiny nose is just perfect. Not to mention her ample bosom and her slim waist, just perfect!
And yet not!
I had always appreciated her looks, really. She's also quite smart and extremely fierce, when needed. Almost like Hermione, in a way. I had been attracted to her during my sixth year, but only for a short while. It had been just teen hormones, I'm sure. Yet, after the war, she clung to me as if I was hers. It wasn't too bad, really. With Hermione and Ron being too occupied with each other, I needed the company, and Ginny was just too eager to comply.
Still, the happiest time I'd ever had was the few weeks when I helped Hermione find her parents in Australia. We slept in separate rooms, of course, yet many mornings I would find her cuddled at my side in bed. It used to make my day and I was still too blind to see.
The first time her parents visited the Burrow, Ron approached her father. "May I have your permission to pursue your daughter with the intention of marrying her?"
Mr. Granger didn't look thrilled, but he answered just as I thought he would. "She's a grown woman now and may date and marry whomever she wishes. You should ask her, not me."
I felt as if he'd like to say "NO!" but dared not insult his hosts or his daughter.
I tried to hide my feelings after the engagement. It wasn't too difficult. Hermione was busy with Ron or with her parents; Ginny was anxious to take part in the wedding planning and Ron, when not otherwise occupied, was only interested in playing chess or Quidditch with me.
I started studying soon after, making sure to be ready for the auror training, due to start in late autumn. Hermione appreciated my dedication but was too busy to help. Ron tried to join his dream Quidditch team, The Chudly Cannons, and was accepted as a reserve keeper. That was cause for a big celebration at the Burrow.
It was a few weeks later when Ron asked to talk privately with me. We went to the pond, far away from any prying eyes or ears. I even set the protection wards we had used during the hunt, to assure our privacy.
"I'm not sure I should marry Hermione," he said, as if letting go of something that was brewing for a long time.
"Why? You love her, don't you?"
"Sure, I love her, but I'm not sure I can keep loving her. You see, since joining the Canons, there were many girls seeking my company, despite our engagement being quite public."
"So?" I encouraged him to continue.
He shifted uneasily. "I couldn't resist some." He saw my alarmed look. "Nothing serious, mind you. Just some friendly hugs and kisses on the cheek. But I know it's just the beginning. I've found out that I prefer blondes. Come to think of it, Lavender was also blonde."
I could see he didn't really get over Lavender.
"Harry, if I go on with this, I'll make Hermione miserable. I won't be able to stay true to her. I may even fall in love with another. We'll hate each other eventually, and I want her to stay my friend."
"Have you talked with her about this?"
"Are you MAD? She'll hex me from here to next week. You know how scary Hermione can be. I'd rather piss-off Ginny than have to deal with Hermione!"
"But you'll have to face her if you want to break your engagement."
"I know. I don't know... Well, I do love her. She's the kindest soul I could find along with being the smartest person I know of and a fierce fighter. How could I not fall in love with her?"
How could I not fall in love with her either? Yet if that was how he felt, maybe there was still some hope for me?
Ron didn't talk with her that evening, neither the next. I promised to try and see how sure Hermione was about their engagement, but I couldn't get her alone to even ask for a private conversation. Staying at the Burrow has some drawbacks, you know.
"I think Hermione is regretting her engagement," Ginny told me one evening.
"Why do you think so?"
"She's been delaying every decision that needed to be made about the wedding for several days already, She also looks distracted and even almost sad at times, not at all like a soon to be bride is expected to be."
"Oh..." I wasn't sure what to say. Was she expecting me to fix everything up, including my relationship with her?
"I think you should try to talk to her and see what's going on," Ginny added.
"I thought you two were close," I objected.
"We are, but Ron is my brother. Besides, I think she may have feelings towards you."
Did she? If true, that was good news for me.
"I'll see what I can do," I said to Ginny. It was not really a promise, but Ginny seemed to accept it.
Hermione did look upset, but I had no chance to talk with her. I've been out the whole day, taking care of the renovation of Grimmauld Place. I had planned to move in there after the war, but it was in no state to be lived in. Kreacher did his best, but he couldn't do it alone. I had to hire some help involving an architect, an interior designer and a few more house-elves to help with the actual work. When I came back to the Burrow that evening, Hermione wasn't there.
"She had a talk with Mum and she then just went out and apparated away. Mum would not say what they were talking about. Please find her and calm her down," Ginny said when I arrived.
"Do you have any idea where she might have gone to?"
"She said she was going home. Probably her parents' house." Ginny kissed my lips briefly and urged me to go.
I already knew where it was. I had visited the Grangers a few times, finding them to be very nice. Jean and Dave Granger were just the way I thought they would be, judging by their daughter. They also seemed to like me. At least they seemed to like me more than Ron. Dave didn't make it a secret that he disapproved of his daughter's choice. Watching Ron eating dinner made his mind quite firmly.
Jean welcomed me at the door, looking a bit worried. "Hermione is up in her room and wouldn't talk to us. She only said she needed to think and to leave her alone. She's been there for hours now."
I knocked on her door.
"Go away!" she shouted. "Can't you understand I want to be left alone now?"
"Hermione, it's me, Harry. Please let me in."
I heard her walking barefoot and then the door opened.
I was glad Mrs. Granger didn't come up with me. Hermione was practically naked. All she was wearing was a pair of miniature knickers, leaving very little to imagination. Her breasts were naked, standing firmly and proudly with her nipples a shade darker than the rest of her skin.
"Why are you here?" she asked, seemingly oblivious to her state of undress.
"I was worried about you, and Ginny..."
"Come in," she cut me out.
I stepped into the room and she closed the door behind me.
"I can't marry Ron!" She almost shouted it.
"Why?" I tried to ignore her nudity and concentrate on her beautiful face, which seemed to have some tear tracks still visible. She had probably wiped her face before opening the door.
"I don't love him!" She was in tears again. I hugged her, as I usually did when she was distraught. It was a bit awkward, though. I was usually only touching her clothes, and she was wearing several layers of them. I was now touching her bare skin, and only my shirt was separating my chest from her breasts. I would have never thought it would feel so good. Well... not really. I had already thought of how nice it would be to hug her, be with her THAT way. It was much better than I thought, though.
"I tried so much to love him, to be worthy of his love, but I failed. I can't make myself love him when I'm in love with another," Hermione sobbed into my shoulder.
"Shush... You don't need to cry. Who is the one you're in love with?" I dreaded her answer, yet I needed to know. Could it be Krum? They had not been in touch since fourth year, except at Bill's wedding, as far as I knew, yet...
"It's you, damn it! How can I love anybody else while you are always there, always ready to help me any way I need to be helped? I love you, Harry James Potter and I'm ashamed of not being able to stop!" she cried, hitting my shoulder with her fists, not really hard.
"You don't need to be ashamed and I really don't want you to ever stop loving me," I whispered in her ear, hugging her even tighter. Given the state of her undress, this proved not to be a very good idea. I felt my body reacting strongly, although it was completely inappropriate.
Hermione lifted her head. "What good is me loving you. You're with Ginny now and I'm engaged to Ron. If I break our engagement it can only make things worse and..."
"Hermione!" I tried to stop her rumble.
"...I can't afford losing any of you but..."
I did the only thing I could think of to stop her from babbling. I put my lips on hers and kissed her.
She didn't fight me. On the contrary. She acted as if she was waiting just for this for a very long time. She deepened the kiss, involving out tongues as well. I could only respond the same way, turning our chaste kiss into a passionate snog, letting all our pent up emotions surface.
It felt so right! Somewhere at the back of my head I could still hear a small voice admonishing me that she was my best friend's fiancee and it wasn't right, but my heart knew otherwise. We both loved one another. We both belonged with each other and there was no way we could continue our lives separately.
The phone was ringing. It was just background noise to our heated snog. It then stopped. A moment later there was a knock on the door. "Hermione, Harry – Ginny wants to talk with one of you."
We managed to separate a bit. "Coming, Mum!" Hermione called at the door.
We disengaged with some difficulty. Her nipples seemed to have become erect during our snog session. My erection was also quite evident. Luckily, it was arrested by my jeans. "I'll fetch the phone," I told her. "Put something on and join me."
"There's an extension in the corridor. It's closer," Hermione said, pointing to the left.
I just lifted the phone, barely noticing the surrounding. "Hello, Ginny?"
"Oh, Harry. I'm glad I've found you. I feel lucky that Dean taught me how to use the telephone. You see, I even know its right name."
"Yes, it's lucky. Why did you bother to call? Is there anything urgent?"
"Not exactly. Ron came home with one of his blonde fans and Mum is mad at him. With all that shouting, I only heard one thing clearly: He wants to cancel the engagement."
"Oh!" That wasn't very eloquent, I know.
"You should consider staying with Hermione for the night. I don't think you'd like to return to the Burrow before tomorrow morning, or next week – for that matter."
"Are you sure?" I couldn't believe she was sending me to Hermione. Was she so oblivious of our feelings?
"I'm sure, Harry. I've tried to deny it, but you two belong together. It was evident to everybody but you two. It's about time you realize it."
"What about you?" I still felt obliged to care for her.
She laughed. "Dean has just sent me a letter, asking me to meet him. I think it's worth a try. Had I not had that childhood crush on you, I think I would have stayed with Dean all along."
I could hear that Hermione, who was listening on the other phone, gasped in surprise. Ginny heard her as well.
"Hermione, it's your chance now. Go for it!"
Mrs. Granger greeted me as I hung up. "Will you stay for dinner? Hermione would love it."
"Sure, Mrs. Granger. May I stay overnight as well? Ginny has just informed me it is not a good idea to go back to the Burrow right now."
"Of course, dear. You're welcome to stay for as long as you'd like. I'm sure Hermione will be delighted."
She turned around and then back. "You may call me Jean. We're not very formal at home."
I followed her downstairs. Hermione was already there. She had put a dressing gown on and evidently, a bra as well. She still looked very enticing, though.
We sat in front of the large TV set, not really watching it. Hermione put her head on my shoulder and took my hand in hers, while chatting with her mother about one of the books she'd recently read. I only listened, having nothing to contribute, yet I felt completely at home. Jean didn't mention the phone conversation. Had she listened to it on another extension? I didn't know how many extensions they had, but it looked like they had more than two. She didn't comment on our proximity or Hermione's improper clothing either.
Dave arrived home a bit late, apologizing for having an unexpected patient with a bad tooth-ache. "I had to treat him. I couldn't let him suffer until tomorrow," he said.
He didn't seem surprised to see me there. While I wasn't a regular visitor, I had visited them a few times since they returned home, helping them whenever they needed any help.
Dinner was a quiet affair at the Grangers. They used to eat "health food" refraining from many of the "unhealthy" types of food that were abundant at the Burrow. It was marginally less tasty, I had to admit, but even after eating my fill, I didn't feel as heavy as after a meal at the Burrow. We had fresh fruits for dessert and it was really refreshing.
"Come," Hermione told me after we finished our meal. "I need to talk with you some more."
Dave smiled understandingly. He probably knew how "bossy" his daughter could be.
"Show him to the guest room, dear," her mother said. "We have some early appointments tomorrow so we're going to bed in a few minutes."
"Good night, then," Hermione replied, looking quite impatient to take me onward.
"Good night," I said as well.
"Goodnight dears," both her parents said.
Hermione didn't look back until we were both in her room with the door closed and locked. "I need you here tonight!"
"You already know I'm staying. Your Mum..."
"No, I mean here, with me, in MY bed," she cut in.
I loved the idea, but was it right to act that way? She was still engaged to Ron, even though it was actually over. We both wanted to keep our friendship with Ron, at least to some extent, and I knew he wanted it just the same.
Hermione didn't let me ponder. "Harry, make love to me," she asked me, almost pleading.
"Are you sure it's the right thing to do?" I asked her. As much as I wanted her, especially after seeing her practically naked, I didn't want to rush things.
"Yes, Harry. I've been saving myself for the man I love. I thought it was Ron, and yet I didn't want to do it before we wed. Now I know. I don't need to think of it any more. I need you to love me."
"I love you, Hermione. I'll continue loving you for ever." I had no doubt either. I had almost lost her to Ron, making them both miserable. I would not lose her again!
She let her dressing gown fall to the floor. "I may not be as pretty or as shapely as Ginny, but..."
"Hermione, you're the prettiest woman I can think of. You're more than pretty – you're beautiful. And your body is just perfect for me." She smiled a bit at my words, not really sure of herself. I closed the distance between us and kissed her hard, eliciting a moan from her. We were soon snogging even more passionately than before.
The rest is a blur for me, really. I only remember we moved into her bed some time later, both naked. I'm sure we had some sex during that night, maybe even more than once, but I don't remember it. All I remember is being engulfed by love and giving her all the love I had. It wasn't about sex, really. It was about loving, sharing and becoming one.
Her parents were no longer at home when we woke up. Hermione insisted on taking a shower together, which we both enjoyed very much. There was no awkwardness between us, no tension either. It was simply a bliss.
The phone rang shortly before noon. Hermione answered, "Granger residence, Hermione speaking."
I could hear Ginny squeaking. "You should come here! It's unbelievable!"
Hermione motioned me to another extension. "What is it, Ginny?"
"Mum didn't let Ron sleep with this new girl he brought. She even used some special spells to disallow him entry to her room and the other way round, spells she had never used on me or on my brothers. He only found it during the night, when he tried sneaking to her room or bringing her to his. Failing both, they settled for the living room and fell asleep NAKED!"
Hermione's lips lifted in a smile. I could barely refrain from laughing.
"Mum found them in the morning. She didn't wake them. She only put a spell on them to glue them really tight. I now know where the twins inherited their pranking talents from." There was a bit of sadness in her voice when she mentioned the twins. Fred's death had been a heavy blow to the Weasleys, one they had not fully recovered from yet.
"So?" Hermione prompted her.
"She then called George, Bill and even Percy. When Dad came down, we all stood around the sleeping couple and started shouting. It was hilarious!"
"Why do you want us to come now?"
Ginny turned a bit serious. "Mum let them get dressed, eventually. Now she insists on Ron keeping his engagement. I think you should come and officially cancel it, before things get out of control."
"Fine. We'll be there in a few minutes," Hermione promised.
"Alright, then. I'll be waiting for you at the gate," Ginny said before ending the conversation.
We could hear the shouting from quite a distance. Molly excelled at it, but Ron wasn't far behind. Whoever the blonde was, I was sure she didn't want to take any part in it by then.
Ginny waited at the gate and led us in. Hermione went first into the kitchen where the shouts were coming from. She waved her wand, casting a wide area silencing charm. It cut Molly in mid-sentence. Ron, who was facing the entrance and saw Hermione, seemed to shrink slightly at the sight. He pointed at her silently, making Molly aware of our arrival.
"Sit down!" Hermione told them. Ron sat down immediately. Molly looked as if she wanted to protest, but one glance at Hermione sufficed to make her obey. Hermione could really be scary when she chose to.
"Where's everybody?" she asked Ginny.
"Only Ron, Mum and me are still at home. That girl ran away as soon as she could. I don't think she'll ever come close to Ron or to any other Weasley, for that matter."
Hermione smiled slightly. "Good. Now, I want you to listen and pay attention." She glared at both Ron and Molly, making them both cringe. "Ron, I'm glad we've found out that we can't be together before committing ourselves. I've also considered canceling our engagement, but I was afraid to harm our friendship, just like you were. Now we both know."
She removed her engagement ring and put it on the table. "Keep this for the one you'll be compatible with. Luckily, I've found my man already. I'd like you to be his best man at our wedding and Ginny to be my maid of honor. Do you agree?"
Ron seemed a bit confused. Ginny had no doubts. She hugged Hermione tightly and then hugged me just the same. This seemed to make Ron understand. He smiled at us now and nodded. Molly still looked bewildered.
"Don't you want to congratulate Harry and me for finally realizing we've been in love for years?" Hermione asked, making Molly regain her senses.
Hermione canceled the silencing spell, allowing both Ron and Molly to congratulate us.
"I've always hoped that you two will become a real part of the family," Molly said, hugging us both. "You're still honorary Weasley, though, and just as much part of us, you should know."
We stayed at the Burrow for dinner. It was much more relaxed this time. The girls still talked excitedly about the wedding, only Hermione was much happier about it, now that it was our wedding. I leaned back, Hermione's hand in mine, and looked around. Ron was relieved and lively, as if a burden had been removed from his shoulders. He was talking Quidditch with Ginny, who was only half listening, holding Dean's letter to her heart. Molly was busy serving the last dish, while Arthur was discussing with Hermione the merits of public phones, like the one Ginny had used so effectively. It was all just right.