Nothing Else Matters
A/N: Writing this small one-shot was against all of my instincts. I am a Harry-Hermione shipper since forever, but for a friend I wrote a Ron-Hermione. It was a challenge, and I hope you like it as much as she did. I used some quotes from movies and series through the fic, although I didn't identified them, you may recognize them.
Nothing Else Matters
The urge to interrupt him before he had finished was overwhelming. Hermione had to bite her lip in order to stay quiet, as was expect of a lady like her. Oh, but was it difficult! How could he dare to mock her about her endeavors against elf slavery! She was aware of everyone staring at them. Waiting for her to lose her composure and hex in into the teaspoon he was. But not this time! Hermione was determined, this time she would remain serene.
"Bloody hell!" He said, throwing his fists into the air. "Are you not going to answer me? That's not very ladylike of you."
"Do not even thing about lecturing me about rules, Ronald." Hermione finally said, menacing. "Have you even…"
"'Mione, have you seen my broom?" Harry asked, appearing in that moment in the common room and interrupting Hermione.
"No, I have not." She answered, thankful for Harry's obvious attempt to end her discussion with Ron. "Now if you excuse me, I need to sew some more scarves. Come with me ladies."
With that, Hermione left with her ladies in waiting, leaving behind a most exasperated Ron and a relieved Harry.
Hermione and Harry had known each other since birth, as they're fathers were allies in the first Great War, and remained close friends in the years after. As heirs to their respective thrones in the kingdoms of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, they're parents arranged for both of them the best education they could manage. Since their death, at the beginning of the Second War, Harry and Hermione were left at the care of their teacher, Professor Dumbledore. Growing up without parents was very though on both of them, but at least they had each other. For Hermione and Harry, it was as if they were brother and sister. But unfortunately, it was in their teacher's mind to celebrate a wedding very soon, their wedding! For innumerous times, Harry and Hermione tried reasoning with Professor Dumbledore, telling him that they didn't see each other in a romantic light. Nonetheless, the Professor's decision remained, in order of the greater good.
When they were almost twelve, Professor Dumbledore decided it was time for Harry to learn how to fight and Hermione to learn how to be a lady. So, an array of ladies was shipped into court to be Hermione's ladies in waiting. The Weasley's, the Lovegood's and the Brown's were the chosen families. Lady Ginevra Weasley, Lady Luna Lovegood and Lady Lavender Brown became Hermione's friends and ladies in waiting. As for Harry, a group of young boys of his age were also received in the castle, those being: Ronald Weasley (Lady Ginevra's brother, Neville Longbottom and Dean Thomas.
In the beginning it was awkward between both groups, but eventually they all got along; well… except for two of them. Hermione and Ronald were never able to stay more than a couple of hours without arguing about something. As small as it was the subject they were discussing. There were always sparks flying to and from. As they got older, their disputes led to objects flying, violent birds and a lot more of improper things for a future Queen to be doing.
Being Hermione so close to Harry, she couldn't understand how Harry and Ron were best friends. Especially Harry being so reasonable and gentlemen like, and Ronald a complete bastard that only though about eating. What irritated Hermione the most was not being able to control herself in her confrontations with Ron.
Every year, one week after Hermione's birthday, she was to make an appearance in her kingdom. Usually, she spent one day greeting her people and meeting with the Lords and Sirs. Professor Dumbledore always made sure she was well escorted. This year, however, Professor Dumbledore though it best if Harry went with her as well, as her betrothed, making it official and public. Hermione was scared; she didn't want to marry Harry. It wasn't like she had ever been in love before, but she knew she would never love him like that. So, this time, they were to spend at least three days in Ravenclaw's kingdom, in order to properly announce the princess engagement.
Hermione had always picture herself as an independent woman. Nonetheless, she knew her duty. Her kingdom needed her to produce an heir to the throne. As no man ever caught her eye, she had no other option than accept Professor Dumbledore's plan. But if Hermione could choose, she longed for someone who would challenge her, who would make her laugh, who would stand by her no matter what.
The departure was set to the early morning. Hermione stepped into the carriage with her ladies and prepared herself for a long day of travel. Harry and his companions and some more knights escorted the carriage in horses.
"Are you excited Hermione?" Lady Lavender asked, dreamingly. "To be marrying Harry I mean… he is so… gallant."
"I'm more terrified than excited actually; he is like a brother to me." This was a subject Hermione hadn't been able to discuss with her ladies in the castle, under Professor Dumbledore's nose.
"It could be worse, imagine if he wanted to marry you to King Ernie of Hufflepuff!"
"Yes, imagine that." Lady Ginevra interrupted. "Prince Harry is the most gentle, brave, sweet man I know. He will be the best husband." Lady Ginevra's voice was touched with a little sadness, and Hermione couldn't help but to notice it.
"You love him." Hermione realized, whispering.
"My Lady?" Blushing as profusely as her brother used to, Lady Ginevra looked uncomfortable.
"I am sorry if I presumed too much." Turning her head to the small window by her side, Hermione let the matter drop, as she was very taken by what was on her mind.
Could it be? If Lady Ginevra had feeling for Harry and he had some feeling for her, as well… There surely was no way Professor Dumbledore would make Harry marry Hermione, against their will. Hermione watched Harry ride side by side with Ronald. Ron's shoulders were larger than Harrys', his hair looked alive under the sunlight. Wondering how it would feel to touch, Hermione combed her own hair with her fingers. Unaware of the direction her thoughts were leading her. The carriage stopped, at midday, startling Hermione.
"Would you like some more wine, my prince?" Lady Ginevra asked Harry, after she served her brother.
"No, I don't want more. Thank you, my Lady." Hermione couldn't help but observe their exchange more attentively than usual. Unfortunately, there were no romantic signs to be detected.
"Can you pass me the water, please?" Ronald asked.
Hermione gave him the flask, as he was sitting right by her side.
"Thank you, my Princess."
Lunch passed quietly, and as they were making such a good time, Harry decided they could spend some time there, and let the horses rest for a while. As her ladies cleaned and occupied themselves with packing up, Hermione decided to take a walk by the nearby meadow. Harry was resting under a tree, his eyes closed. Not feeling the need for an escort, and not wanting the company, Hermione walked alone to the meadow.
"My Lady… My Lady, excuse me." Sir Ronald's voice came closer to Hermione. "You shouldn't go into the woods by yourself."
"I can take care of myself Sir Ronald."
"I have no doubt about th…" Stumbling on some branches, Sir Ronald almost fell, but was able to steady himself, on time. "…That… But Harry wouldn't forgive me if I let you unaccompanied in the middle of nowhere."
"If that is so, I thank you for your consideration." Hermione had to hide a small smile when Ronald stumbled. She had never met someone as clumsy as him.
When they weren't arguing about elf slavery, Ron wasn't such a bad fellow to be around… Now that Hermione was noticing. Ronald was being very gentleman like towards her, watching every step, making sure she wouldn't fall. At the same time, making sure there were no other dangers that could put Hermione's safety at risk.
"May I ask you a question, my Lady?" Ronald requested, avoiding Hermione's eyes.
"Yes, you may."
"You love Harry, don't you?"
"Yes, I do. But only as a brother." Hermione clarified.
"Only as a brother?" Ronald stopped walking and scanned Hermione's face attentively. "So… you are not in love with him?" His voice got so high, that he had to clear his throat.
"Yes Ronald… only as a brother." Without understanding why, Hermione's eyes got locked on his.
His blue eyes were darker than ever, Ronald took an unnoticeable step towards Hermione. Ronald raised his arm as if to touch her face, repenting before he could. Hermione's lips parted slightly as she let out a gentle sigh. Raising his arm, yet again, Ronald dared to touch her hand. People can say life has given them signs, and they're ignoring them because they're afraid of the things they need you to do. But, then that someone thinks - what if these signs are here for a reason and ignoring them just makes me a coward.
"I… I…" Clearing his throat again, Ronald continued, "need to… hum… tell you something… my Lady."
"Yes?" Hermione's mouth felt dry, her hands were cold as ice.
"I… hum…" Ronald was blushing profusely, not being able to look Hermione in the eye anymore.
"Oh… for crying out loud, Ronald!" With that Hermione pushed Ronald by his coat, surprising him with a kiss.
When their lips touched, it felt like a thunderbolt running through them. They're breaths were heavy and their heartbeats were throbbing on they're ears. It felt as if the world stopped spinning. Everything that was wrong just became right. There was no place for darkness when there was such love.
"What was that for?" Ronald asked her with a grin, his eyes shining.
"If I were to wait for you to do it, we would be here all day." Hermione's hand fell just above his heart.
"What is this, Hermione?" It was the first time he was saying her name out loud. In his mind he had repeated it over and over again. He always treated her by "princess" or "my Lady", but he never before ventured to use her name. How could he? Without showing how much, just her name, meant to him.
"I… I don't know." This was a rarity, one of the very few moments Hermione did not had the answer.
"We better get back." Ronald said, releasing her from his arms, unwilling.
"Let's keep" Hermione waved at them both, "this, between us, shall we?"
"Of course." He agreed kissing the back of her hand.
As they went back to where the others were, Hermione and Ronald didn't talk, lost in each other's thoughts. Hermione was beginning to realize that all those years bickering back and forth with Ronald… it was all because she felt something for him and couldn't act upon it. For Hermione it felt like one of those moments when you have to decide what's more important to you. Keeping your pride and getting nothing, or taking a risk and maybe having everything. Why does a friendship based off of fight, end in flight? People say we run from the things that truly scare us.
The continuation of the journey passed swiftly. Hermione couldn't help but to observe Ronald through the small window of the carriage. She was drunk in everything that was him. His laugh, the way the light shinned on his hair, his piercing blue eyes. How could she marry Harry, when she felt like this?
When their assembly arrived in the small streets, there were peasants waiting for them. All dressed in their best clothes, waving and throwing flowers at them, seeing who could get a better peak of their princess. They quickly arrived ate the castle, but Hermione excused herself to her room, claiming that she was exhausted from the trip. Nevertheless, she was unfocussed, she couldn't do this anymore. There must be a way to get out, she would not walk down the aisle with Harry. Knowing he would be in his room as well, Hermione decided to go talk to him. Using the hidden passageway she went into his room.
"Harry? May I come in?" Hermione asked cautiously, before stepping in.
"Hermione?" Harry sounded surprised. "Yes, do come in."
"I need to talk to you." She said, feeling quite bold.
"You sound scared. Is something wrong?"
"Do you love me?"
"Of course I do Hermione, you are my best friend." Answered Harry, not understanding her question meant something else.
"No, I mean... Are you in love with me?"
Harry paused for a while, searching for something in her eyes. Getting closer to her he took her hand on his. "I love you like a sister, my heart belongs to someone else. I'm sorry Hermione. I cannot marry you."
"I can't marry you either." Hermione said, relieved. "What are we going to do?"
"I actually have an idea." Harry said, mischievously. "But it is a risk."
"Tell me!" Hermione asked, sitting by his window with him by her side.
"Since Dumbledore isn't here, what if one of us in this case, me, announced his engagement to someone else?" Before Hermione could answer, Harry continued. "He could not oppose himself, publicly once it's done. There is nothing he can do."
"What do you mean, Harry?"
"I mean... I beg... for your consent to ask for Lady Ginevra's hand in marriage."
"What?" Hermione's eyes were huge with astonishment by now. "Are you in love with her?"
"I am! I've loved her since I first set eyes upon her."
"Oh Harry" Hermione threw herself into his arms. ""Of course you have my approval. I only want you to be happy."
The two friends kept hugging themselves for a while, theirs hearts much more light and bright by now.
Hermione returned to her room, where she called upon her maid servants, she wanted to look her best at dinner that night. And there was no much time left. Choosing a beige dress with lace, she was radiant and more beautiful than ever.
Dinner took it's time to pass. Hermione and Harry were both restless, lost in their thoughts. At the end of the meal, Prince Harry shocked all presents in asking Lady Ginevra to marry him, in front of everyone.
Ronald looked a mist of happiness and amazement, but all that was replaced by unburning hope when his eyes locked on Hermione's.
Hermione could not wait to be with Ronald and explain to him what all that meant. So she retreated to a room beside the ball room and asked Lady Luna to, discretely call upon Sir Ronald.
"Hermione" Ronald walked into the room and with a couple of steps was directly in front of her.
Her fingers pressed lightly upon his cheek Their face got closer and closer and just before their lips were about to touch, Ronald whispered, "I love you." Hermione closed the distance between them. Not wanting to part anymore. Their kiss lasted for minutes.
When they finally parted, Ronald got hold of Hermione's hands and kneeled before her. "I have nothing but my heart and protection to give to you. You won't ever have to fear anything as long as I'm with you. I'll make everything in order to make sure you are pleased. I'll do everything for you." With a pause, Ronald grasped her hands harder. "Hermione, will you ..."
Hermione interrupted him before he could finish. "... Stay with you?"
"Stay with me."
"And marry you?"
"And marry me." With a smile Ronald got on his feet as Hermione said the most expected "Yes!". Holding her in his arms they kissed as he took her and swirled with her in his arms.
It wasn't going to be easy. It would be very hard; they would have to work at that every day. But they both wanted to do that, because they wanted each other. Neither Hermione nor Ron could wait for their forever. And nothing else mattered.