Say it with me now...awwwwwwwwww!
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Ron Weasley was not a daring romantic. It's not that he didn't love his girlfriend, he did. He'd go to the ends of the universe to make her happy. His problem was details. He didn't have a head for them and well, Hermione loved details.
In all the years they'd been together she outshined him on every gift-giving holiday. She just knew exactly what to buy for him as if she were a Legilimens. She'd find him shirts and jumpers that perfectly complimented his clear-blue eyes and didn't clash with his bright ginger hair. She found just the right boots and trainers for his extra-large feet that didn't rub and give him blisters. When the Chudley Cannons (his favorite Quidditch team) were having a rare good season, she managed to get him tickets so close the action he felt as if at any moment he'd be called upon to hop on a broom and defend the hoops. She didn't hold his less-than-stellar gifting skills against him though; she truly appreciated the things (mostly books) he bought for her. He learned to pay closer attention when they were out and about and if she pointed out something she liked, he made mental notes. That's where the problem came in: his mental note-making quill had a wonky tip and never quite scribbled the most important details into his mind like: how to get back to the shop.
This was especially a problem with Muggle shops. Since Hermione was Muggle-born she had no problem whatever blending in. She felt completely at ease in a giant crowd of Muggles doing their shopping. They were wholly unaware that one of the brightest witches ever to come out of Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was amongst them. Ron however, a pure-blood wizard who grew up surrounded by only other wizards in the middle-of-nowhere Devon was never entirely comfortable surrounded by that many Muggles. He stood out more when he was a teenager. A six-foot-plus freckled ginger is hard enough to miss, but one who dressed in the manky old hand-me-down clothes Ron had to wear coupled with his slightly vacant expression due to the sheer number of people – yeah, the less said of that, the better.
It was hardest when they were first out of school. They weren't making a lot of money and even though he was used to being poor, Ron was determined to give Hermione the best of everything. That's what she deserved and he vowed to deliver. Ron worked in his brother George's joke shop while he trained for three years to be an Auror. Hermione had a low-level office job at the Ministry of Magic. They rented a small but comfortable flat together, much to the dismay of Ron's mother who was very old-fashioned and didn't quite approve of them living together unmarried.
"What would people say if they knew, Ronald?" She'd ask, sucking air in through her teeth at him.
"I dunno, Mum – perhaps they'd say 'Weasley's really shacking up with Hermione Granger? How in the name of Merlin's dirty pants did he manage that?'" He'd think.
Those days of scraping by were behind them. He was earning much more money as a full-fledged Auror, they'd moved into a bigger place and Hermione had been promoted to a job she loved with the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Life was good. That's why this surprise was so important. He had to thank her for sticking it out with him.
Their years of early courtship were marred by the return of Lord Voldemort and the battle for the safety of the entire Wizarding world was partially rested upon their shoulders. Of course, once you've helped rid the world of the most evil wizard to ever live, everything else should have been easy as treacle tart but Ron just had a habit of getting in his own way, metaphorically (and let's face it, literally) trodding on his own toes.
He had to be stealthy. He had to find ways of hiding it all and not alerting Hermione's suspicions. This proved to be difficult because Hermione could sniff out a lie a mile away. Ron often thought she would have made a brilliant Auror herself. However, his advantage was growing up with five elder brothers. Ron had a sort of innate ability to conceal things so only he could find them. George and Fred were snoopy little bastards but most of the time if Ron wanted something hidden, he could keep it hidden.
Months passed by and he was tucking away more and more money from his pay packets. Everything needed to be perfect. His younger sister Ginny was Hermione's closest female friend, so Ron was able to ask her for help and advice.
He didn't want it to be like Ginny's wedding. Ginny married Ron's (and Hermione's) best friend Harry Potter almost three years prior and it was a gigantic affair. Harry was after all, the Boy Who Lived (aka The Chosen One aka The One Everyone Thought Was Mental Because The Ministry Orchestrated A Cover-Up). Every Wizarding newspaper the world over sent reporters to cover the Potter-Weasley nuptials.
Aside from Harry's fame, Ginny had become a superstar in her own right playing Quidditch for the Holyhead Harpies. Ron still got chills thinking back to the first time he, Hermione and Harry sat in the stadium and heard the commentator announce "and playing Chaser for the Holyhead Harpies, newcomer Ginny Weasley!" He beamed with pride as he watched his little sister soar out on her broom in her green uniform and completely dominate the game. He had played Keeper on the Gryffindor house team at school but this stadium dwarfed the school Quidditch pitch. He marveled at Ginny's skill and frankly, her bravado.
The wedding was lovely, but far too grand an affair for Ron. He got nervous with so many people around, even if they weren't Muggles. He was Harry's Best Man, which meant of course that he actually had to stand at the front of the crowd, facing them; his face burning with nerves, his knees knocking each other, feeling queasy. At one point as they stood waiting for the ceremony to begin, George approached him, "For crying out loud Ron, Harry's the one getting married and you're the one who's about to faint. Get it together, man!"
No, this would have to be different.
As the date of the big surprise drew closer, Ron asked Hermione little questions to double-check arrangements he had made.
"D'ya like roses or orchids, Hermione?"
"Roses," she answered not lifting her eyes from the book she was reading. "Yellow roses."
Score one for me, I knew that! He thought to himself.
Finally the morning had arrived. He had told Hermione not to make any plans for the whole day. She protested, saying she wanted to catch up on some research for work but he insisted she put the bloody parchment away and go brush her teeth.
While she was in the loo he checked the picnic basket.
Engagement ring that'll knock her socks off? Double check.
His stomach in knots he must have changed his shirt and his trainers three times. Red shirt, red trainers. Green shirt, blue trainers. Blue shirt, black trainers – that's the winner. He looked at himself in the hallway mirror and tried to do something with his hair but his fringe was a sweaty mess. He was so nervous but, it was now or never.
"Ron, where exactly are we going?" Hermione called from the bedroom.
"It's a surprise." He answered.
"But what should I wear?"
"Clothes, Hermione." He said, annoyed. Nice job, man. Be snarky to her. She'll surely swoon.i
"Just dress casually, love." Much better, you git.
Ron paced anxiously. He hoped she'd speed up before he lost his nerve. After an eternity and a half she emerged wearing dark blue jeans, a tight purple "poe-low" shirt (as she called it), and flat black slippers with velvet bows on the toes. She was tying her hair back with a band as she walked.
"Is this ok?" she asked.
"Brilliant!" He smiled. He noticed when she had finished securing her hair that she was wearing the amethyst earrings he bought her for her birthday. iSee? Matching her shirt and her earrings. Details./i
"Oh, how lovely! A picnic Ron!" She had to lift herself up on the balls of her feet to kiss his cheek. He stroked the small of her back and gestured for the front door. As he closed the door he glanced around the flat. Next time you come home, Ronnieboy, you'll be a new man.
He had staked out a quiet picnic spot weeks ago. It was in a remote corner of their local park, lots of shade so he wouldn't burn and there were loads of wild flowers around, she'd like that.
It was a smashing picnic. They drank two bottles of wine, fed each other bites of sandwiches and laughed the glorious summer afternoon away.
Hermione truly loved the wildflowers. To Ron's delight, she plucked an armful and made a display for each of the empty wine bottles. She rested her head in his lap and set to work braiding the rest of them into an elaborate crown as they chatted. When she finished she popped up excitedly and dropped the wildflower crown on her head.
She giggled, a little silly from the wine. "Look, Ron! I'm a princess!" and she flopped back down contentedly into his lap. He loved to see her let loose. She could be so tightly wound and serious sometimes, Ron relished her silly side. He leaned forward and planted a long kiss on her mouth and checked his watch. Almost time.
"So, Miss Granger, are you ready for your dessert?"
"Yes, please! And more wine!"
Ron tried (and failed) to keep his hands from shaking as he reached into the basket. He pulled out a slippery carton of her favorite ice cream.
She laughed and clapped her hands, "You're so clever, Ron! You remembered!"
He puffed out his chest and made a show of opening the carton and plunging a spoon to scoop out a helping of the rapidly softening confection. Now, you clumsy sod, don't ruin the moment and drop it on her forehead – this is going well.
Ron managed to get the spoonful of ice cream into her mouth without spilling. He watched the smile creep across her face as she savored the sugary strawberry treat. He alternated feeding her and himself for a while before checking his watch again. Time to do this, the sun is setting.
"Erm, Hermione? What's that over on that tree? The big one there?" He pointed to a tree about 10 paces away.
"I don't see anything." She said looking up from his lap.
"Just go look, I'm sure I saw something."
She pushed herself up and stumbled over to the tree, the flower crown at an askew angle.
"I still don't see anything, Ron…" Her eyes nearly popped out of her head when she turned around to him. Ron was down on one knee extending an arm out to her. All the air was sucked from her lungs when she eyed the small black box in his hand.
She raised both hands to her face gasping, tears ready to flow.
She took slow, careful steps towards him as if she were afraid the earth would swallow her up whole if she walked any faster.
Ron grasped her hand checked his watch again and placed it on the ring box, smirking. Suddenly Hermione felt a strong tug behind her navel and the pair of them began to swirl uncontrollably in a mad circle into the darkness.
They landed on the soft ground with a thud and Ron stowed the Portkey/box in his pocket as he steadied himself and got to his feet. Hermione stood and brushed off her knees. She looked around and tried to figure out where they were. The drink and the unexpected Portkey journey had left her a bit disoriented.
Her eyes focused and saw small floating candles like those that she recalled decorating the Great Hall at Hogwarts, suspended in mid air sending a warm glow around the room. Hermione's lips parted in a silent gasp when she saw the grand displays of yellow roses in different size vases everywhere she looked.
"Oh…my…" It was too dark in the room to quite make out where they were, but Hermione could tell it was expansive and the smell of old leather and roses filled her nostrils, making her brain melt like wax.
She turned and Ron was back on his knee. He opened the box, revealing a beautifully delicate diamond ring set in white gold. She clapped her hands to her mouth again. She'd recognize that ring anywhere - it had adorned her grandmother's hand until she died.
Willing his voice not to betray his cartwheeling stomach Ron began, "I love you, always will." She saw his hand tremble. "Will you ma-"
"Yes! Oh Ron, YES!" She cried flinging her arms out to him.
Ron smiled ear to ear as he slid the ring on her finger.
"My gran's ring...Ron..." she sniffled.
"Yeah. Your dad gave it to me the day we got them home from Australia. I asked him his permission and well, he gave it. I'm sorry I waited so long to do this, I needed everything to be completely perfect for you."
A second later they embraced. She cried hot tears into his shoulder. He inhaled her scent and whispered in her ear:
"Welcome to our wedding, Hermione."
She furrowed her brow and laughed, "You mean our engagement, Ron, not our wedding!"
"No, our wedding." he said, mysteriously. He pulled his Deluminator out of his pocket and gave it a flick. Balls of light flooded the immense circular room. Hermione's jaw dropped.
They were in the blue, cream and gold-domed Reading Room at heart of the British Museum. She drank in every last inch of the mammoth room and her head swam. She had only visited this place once, many years ago but she always told Ron she'd love to return. Her senses flooded with the memory of all the brilliant minds that had stood in this very room. Great Muggle thinkers, writers and artists like Gandhi, Shaw, Wilde, Kipling and Woolf.
She realized it had been hours since she'd taken a breath. All of the study cubicles and computer terminals had disappeared and were replaced by several round tables laid with ivory linens and set with what she recognized was her mother's best china.
It was then that Hermione noticed the others. Her parents and several close relatives stood along the perimeter of the room. The ever-expanding Weasley clan crowded next to her family waving excitedly at her: Arthur and Molly (who was holding Harry and Ginny's son James), Bill, Fleur, Victoire, Dominique, and Louis, Percy, Audrey and baby Molly, George, Angelina, little Fred and baby Roxanne and Charlie who was joined by a beautiful witch she had never seen before. Eventually she recognized Hagrid's towering build. Originally she had mistaken his shape for a large statue until the statue started making blubbering noises, blowing his nose with a tablecloth sized hanky.
There were only two missing – where were Harry and Ginny? She puzzled a moment but heard soft, echoed footfalls behind her. She exclaimed when she saw them standing behind her with Ron.
"It's lucky you said you'd marry him, Hermione." Harry teased her. "He'd have gone through loads of trouble for nothing."
Hermione wrapped her arms around Harry and Ginny's waists and they kissed each other's cheeks. Ginny grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her towards an apse. "It's all sorted Hermione, wait until you see!" Harry nudged Ron's elbow and they headed for the opposite side of the room.
There was a makeshift dressing room set up and they pushed the curtains aside. Hermione gasped and laughed excitedly. It was most beautiful dress she had ever seen. Floor-length embroidered organza in a beautiful ivory. A delicate thin sash with ivory pearls and sparkles wrapped around the waist. It had dainty capped sleeves and a short chapel train.
It was truly perfect.
"Ron picked this?" Hermione whispered to Ginny.
"Yeah, I know – who could have guessed he'd be able to pick something like that out. I thought I was going to have to do it for him. He did quite well, don't you think?" Ginny said, so proud of her big brother.
"Ginny, it's beyond perfect…it's…just splendid." Her cheeks flushed and her hands reached up into her hair – she was still wearing the crown of flowers, although it had started to fall apart. "Oh, my hair must be a sight!" As if on cue, Fleur swept the curtain aside. Her white-blonde hair and satin skin was just as perfect as Hermione remembered it being on the day the Beauxbatons carriage arrived at Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament. It seemed like a lifetime ago.
''Ermione, just leave every zink to me." She said warmly. She sat Hermione in a chair and set to work taming her wild curls. Fleur bit her lower lip in concentration making many rapid spiral movements with her wand and nodding in approval. She applied a small amount of color to Hermione's eyelids and some gloss.
"Zere. You look magnifique. Comme une marriee." Fleur declared. "Ginny, ze veil please." Ginny removed a delicate lace veil from a tattered box and Fleur secured it to Hermione's head. It framed her face beautifully and hung down past her elbows.
Ginny and Fleur stood in front of her, their heads tilting toward each other, admiring.
"Let's get you into that dress! I'm dying to see you in it!" Ginny squealed.
Ron and Harry changed into smart black suits with vests. Ron grimaced as Harry handed him his tie, remembering the incident at Harry's own wedding – George had swapped Ron's harmless bow tie for one that was jinxed to spin like a windmill in hurricane gales and shot painful red sparks off, singeing his face.
"It's a proper one, I promise." Harry said, reading Ron's hesitant expression.
"So, this is it then?" Ron said exhaling nervously. He looked down at his feet, regarding his shiny black shoes.
"This is it." Harry agreed.
"You've got the rings, yeah?" Ron said patting his own empty pockets.
"Naw, George asked me for them before you got here." Harry said, stowing their casual clothes in a rucksack.
"You gave them to George?!" Ron yelled.
The dress fit like a dream. Hermione stared in a full-length mirror, almost unable to recognize herself. She put her hands on her hips and ran them down her sides, tilting her head this way and that. Fleur had tamed her wild hair into long frizz-free spiral curls.
Her mother walked into the dressing room and took Hermione's hand.
"Mum!" Hermione hugged her tight.
"Darling, you look…I can't even think of a word. Radiant, that's it. You're radiant." Hermione blushed at the compliment. Her mother pulled a diamond necklace out of her purse and Hermione recognized it straightaway. She willed herself not to cry, Fleur had done such a lovely job on her eye make-up she was determined not to spoil it all.
"This was my mother's. She wore it at her wedding, I wore it at my own and now it's yours." Her mother dropped the necklace around Hermione's neck and secured it. If anything could have made Hermione look even more perfect, that was it. There was a noise outside the curtain.
"May I come in?" It was her dad's voice. Ginny pushed the curtain aside and she and Fleur excused themselves as Hermione's father entered carrying a bridal bouquet of white and yellow roses. The stems were tied with ivory satin.
"Dad…" She smiled and hugged him, again holding the tears back.
"He's a good lad, Hermione. I like him." Her dad eyes twinkled with proud tears and squeezed her hand. "Well then, let's get this show on the road, shall we?"
The three Grangers left the changing room and Hermione's mum kissed her cheek as she left to take her place with the other guests. It was then that Hermione saw more of her old school friends in the room. Neville Longbottom had his arm around Hannah Abbott's waist; Luna Lovegood stood next to a very handsome tall wizard named Rolf Scamander. Several other members of Gryffindor House were scattered around. The guests had taken seats on either side of an aisle and were chatting softly with excited anticipation. Someone was perched behind an ancient-looking piano playing a lovely old tune.
She craned her neck looking for Ron but he wasn't there. She did see Kingsley Shacklebolt standing at the head of the aisle, hands in his pockets having a lively chat with Arthur and Harry. As the Minister of Magic, Hermione was certain Shacklebolt had been instrumental in securing the Reading Room as the wedding venue and arranging the Portkey arrival. She glowed with love for Ron. He had thought of everything.
Ron took his place at the top of the aisle, Harry standing next to him. He looked so handsome. She wanted this vision of him burned in her memory forever. The music changed and Ginny carried a small bouquet of yellow roses down the aisle. Harry gave her a wink as she took her place. Victoire and Dominique followed Ginny, dropping rose petals here and there. They both had inherited Fleur's grace but only Victoire had her mother's white-blonde hair. Dominique had Bill's long red hair with careless curls at the ends.
Again the music changed and Hermione clutched her father's arm as he led her towards Ron, towards the rest of her life.
Years passed in an instant when Ron's eyes locked on her. He needed to gulp a major nervous breath into his lungs and cleared his throat.
"You're a lucky man, Ron." Harry whispered, patting him on the back. Until that moment, Ron had forgotten there were other people around. They had all melted away and he only saw Hermione.
Mr. Granger shook Ron's hand and gently clapped him on the back and then he kissed his daughter's cheek as he placed her hand in Ron's. Hermione swore she saw him wipe a tear from his eye as he stood next to her mother.
Shacklebolt's imposing presence hushed the crowd as he began the ceremony. It was an incredible honor to have the Minister of Magic at their wedding, but for him to personally perform the ceremony was practically unheard of. The only other wedding he officiated was of course, Harry's.
"Friends and families of these two glorious young people, " he boomed "I welcome you."
Ron locked his eyes on Hermione's and she squeezed his hand. He barely heard the rest of what was said. As far as he cared, no one else was even there.
When the time came for the exchange of rings, Harry nodded at George who popped up from his chair and dropped them into Ron's hand. Ron gave George a glare. iYou better not have messed with them or you're so dead./i He warned his brother.
George winked at him, but that gave Ron no comfort.
Placing a simple white gold band on Hermione's finger Ron's heart pounded, anticipating what horrible prank his brother had planned for his ring. He imagined the innocent looking ring burning red hot when it touched his skin, or maybe exploding leaving black soot all over Ron's face or gulp worse.
To his relief, nothing terrible happened when Hermione slid Ron's band on his hand.
"Ronald Bilius Weasley will you swear to love and protect this woman?" Shacklebolt asked him.
"I swear." He whispered.
"Hermione Jean Granger, will you swear to love and protect this man?"
"With all my heart." Hermione replied. Ron's eyes grew hot and bleary. He chuckled nervously as Hermione wiped a tear from his cheek.
"Then in front of these witches, wizards…and Muggles," Shacklebolt nodded genially towards Hermione's family and laughs came from the crowd, "I declare you life partners." With a grand, dramatic gesture he lifted his hands above his head and concluded the ceremony; " May all here present go forth and prosper in peace."
Hermione squealed and wrapped her arms around Ron's neck when they shared their first kiss. They were greeted by loud whoops and rounds of applause.
It seemed like days since they had eaten their picnic lunch, so by the time the dinner was served Ron and Hermione were both ravenous. Molly Weasley pulled out all the stops for the feast and had prepared all of their favorite dishes. The guests chattered excitedly and crystal glasses everywhere were tinkling against each other in toasts to the bride and groom.
As he ate, Ron stared at his wedding ring. What the hell did that git do to my ring? He must have done something. Ron shuddered at the thought of the pranks that hid in the dark recesses of George's brain.
As conversation got to a lull, Harry stood clinking his spoon against his champagne glass. Everyone obediently turned and gave their attention.
"I'm not sure what to say today. These two people, who've been to the very depths and apexes of my life alongside me are married. And it's just brilliant. Ron, we met on the Hogwarts Express all those years ago and you became my best mate immediately. Your wonderful family," Harry pointed his glass in a salute to the table where the Weasleys sat. "accepted me and we grew to be more like brothers. When nearly everyone else in the world rejected me, you were always there. There aren't enough words to describe what your friendship and support has meant to me. I love you." There was a break for applause and George took the opportunity to shout:
"And he didn't kill you when you started snogging Ginny! OW! Oi! MUM!" The crowd roared and Molly returned to her seat rubbing the sore palm of her hand.
"Yeah, George, that in all. Now, Hermione." Harry said, sighing. "Hermione, you are quite frankly the most fiercely intelligent and bravest woman I know. None of us would be here if you hadn't stuck by me in those dark times. You…yeah. I'm rubbish at this. You look so beautiful tonight. I love you, too. Cheers." Harry said raising his glass. Everyone applauded and Harry hugged his friends.
Ginny stood with her glass held high. "To my darling brother and my beautiful new sister. I wish you just the best life ever. To Ron and Hermione!" Ginny choked on her words and blew kisses to the happy couple.
"Ron and Hermione!" the guests shouted and applauded.
Seamus Finnegan, an old Hogwarts chum of theirs had set up a table with speakers and all kinds of wires that fascinated Arthur Weasley. It was some Muggle creation known as "Dee-Jay" or some such thing. Arthur leapt back with a start when Seamus started playing fast-paced pop music from the speakers signaling it was time to dance.
Ron and Harry sat next to each other in silence watching everyone else dance for a spell. They had both crossed their arms over their chests in contentment.
"Proud of you, old man." Harry said nudging Ron with his elbow. "It took you long enough."
Ron smiled. "I still can't work out what George did to the sodding rings." Ron said looking down at his large hand dotted in cinnamon colored speckles.
"Oh, you'll see…" Harry said emptying his bottle of Butterbeer. Leaving Ron gaping, Harry joined Ginny on the dance floor.
The time came to cut the cake. It was a tall confection with a smooth surface as if it were frosted in ivory satin. At the top sat a twinkling decoration that spelled out the initials R&H.
Ron and Hermione posed for photographs with the cake knife and were entirely giddy as they sliced through the bottom tier. She took a small sliver and delicately fit it into his mouth. He was completely undone. It was so delicious.
As Ron held Hermione's piece out to her he paused, a distant memory returned to him, something she had said the first day they met on the train to Hogwarts which he had long ago tucked away. Without hesitation, rather than putting the cake in her mouth Ron gently smushed some frosting on her nose. The guests roared except for Ginny and Molly who shouted their outrage:
"Ronald Weasley, how dare you!" His mother shouted.
"Dammit Ron, you prat!" Ginny stomped her foot.
Hermione looked at him a mixture of "how could you?" and "I'm going to make you pay for this" on her face. Ron leaned in, a twinkle in his ocean-blue eyes:
"You've got some cake on your nose, did you know? Just there." He wiped it away with his thumb.
When it registered, Hermione threw her head back in a full body laugh.
They danced and drank the night away but the question of "What in the name of Merlin did George do to the rings?" never left the front of Ron's mind. He narrowed his eyes and aimed quizzical, accusing looks at his brother and Harry who both maintained giddy silence on the matter. The pair of them wore an expression that said "I dunno what you're talking about, mate – we didn't do anything." Bollocks.
When Hermione stepped away to powder her nose and Ron caught up with Seamus over some firewhisky, he felt a presence behind him, it was George.
"Have you worked it out yet?" George asked him.
"No, not yet but I swear I'll have your bollocks if it hurts like that bleeding bowtie at Harry and Ginny's wedding." Ron said.
"Oh, the bowtie!" George said merrily. "I'd forgotten, damn I should have done that today!" He walked away still laughing and swigging Butterbeer.
The reception continued, Seamus had a gift for knowing just the right music to play. Ron was in awe of Hermione as she danced. He watched as she twirled with her arms raised in celebration.
When they came together for a slow song, she slipped into his arms and laid her head on his chest as if their two bodies were designed to fit together for just that purpose.
"This was the best day of my life, Ron." She whispered with a contented sigh.
"Every day with you is the best day of mine."
The song ended and Seamus started playing something faster but Ron lead her from the dance floor over to a wall.
"You know what tonight is, don't you?" He said with an eyebrow raised.
"Yes, Ronald. I know." She said, amused. "It's the night I get to thank you for the most perfect day, ever."
"That's right, I hope you're prepared to not sleep at all. Because you're going to thank me over and over and ov..." In classic big-brother fashion, George interrupted them by tapping Hermione's shoulder and she turned.
"Sorry, Hermione." He said kissing her cheek. "You're stuck with this skinny git now. You might be all happy, but just wait until the Confundus charm wears off." He teased.
"Oh get off of it, you tosser." Ron said, pushing George's shoulder.
"Oh ho! Mr. Married thinks I won't hex him at his own wedding, eh?" George dipped his hand into his pocket reaching for his wand.
"No, you won't; because Mum will have your head." Ron said cockily.
"Keep that attitude, little brother. After all the trouble I went through with the rings."
"Oh! The rings! I meant to say, George! It was a lovely touch, thank you!" Hermione said. George nodded with a grin and slinked away.
"What was that all about? What did he do? I've been trying to work it out all bloody night!" Ron asked.
"The engraving, look." Hermione opened the palm of her left hand and pointed to her wedding band. Plainly seen there was one short word delicately scripted and engraved:
Ron furrowed his brow.
"It means 'love' Ron." Hermione said plainly. Unconvinced, Ron screwed up his face in a puzzled expression.
"That doesn't sound like George."
"Well, look at yours. What does it say?" Hermione took his hand and examined his ring. "There's something there but its longer than four letters. See?" She pointed out the engraving.
"Aeternus." Ron said.
"Ooh, do you think it's a spell? Quick, your wand!" She reached into Ron's breast pocket and seized his wand.
"It could be dangerous..." Ron warned.
Waving his wand, Hermione tapped her ring and his saying the words "Aeternus Amor," nothing happened. She tried again and again, nothing.
Ron tried to think of what it could mean but his face still itched with the memory of the bowtie.
"I'll try swapping the words." She declared. "Amor Aeternus!"
In that instant, both rings glowed white (painlessly, to Ron's relief). Hermione lifted her hand toward the wall and Ron did the same.
"Ron! Look!" she said with delight. The glow from the rings acted like a film projector. Hermione's side showed Ron's face as he clapped eyes on her at the ceremony and his side likewise showed Hermione's wide smile and shining eyes as her father walked her down the aisle.
The film continued until it showed them taking each others' hands, then it looped around to the beginning.
Hermione watched it twice, Ron swiveled his head around looking for George.
"So, you figured out my little game, eh?" George said nursing a Butterbeer.
"It's brilliant, George!" Hermione exclaimed, hugging him. Ron had to admit, it was a wonderful bit of magic.
"And ickle Ronniekins thought it would be something nasty!" George shot a reproachful look at Ron.
Ron pursed his lips together and nodded, but smiled wide at George. "It was great, all right? Thanks, Georgie." He said hugging his brother.
"So, listen kids: when you get hacked off at each other, and trust me, you will..." George said eyeing them both "cast the spell and remember how you felt today. It'll make all the difference." He started to walk away, but turned and added, "Oh, and Hermione tonight, you know when you're alone...better let Ron take his own belt off. Just some advice. Can't have my new sister getting caught in the crossfire." With that, he left them.
It took a moment to register. Ron turned to Hermione wide-eyed. They both glanced down at his innocent-looking belt and then back up at each other. Hermione stifled a laugh with her hand as Ron turned, horrified.
"Georgie I'll kill you! Oi! You get back here, I'll...MUM!"