Hermione breathed out heavily. She was sitting in Flourish & Blotts, a crowd of people sat in front of her, grinning, all holding a very familliar book: her book. Luna was standing in front of the table where Hemione was sitting, talking about her experiences with Hermione, and her help in editing her book. She was shaking an incredible amount, for as important as she had become in the wizarding world, she had never gotten used to public speaking in it. Especially when there were reporters present.
She traced the gold letters emblazened on the front cover, Discovering Home by Hermione Weasley. There was a picture of her family on the front, smiling and waving at the perspective readers. Ron was standing next to her, smiling greatly. He had worn his favorite tie for the occasion: the one that Rose had picked out for him for Father's Day that year. It had chocolate frogs on it bouncing around in patterns. His left hand was placed on his daughter's head lovingly. Her bush of curly red hair had been braided into a tame, neat pigtails with green ribbons on the end to match her dress. Ron's right arm was placed around Hermione, who was showing her pregnancy at the time. Today, she was heavily pregnant.
I should have rethought the release date, she thought. I'm scary enought without crazy hormones.
"but I guess that's enough about me, as none of you have come hear to listen to me blunder. I introduce to you the wonderful, beautiful, Hermione Granger for a reading of her new book," Luna smiled, moving to the side. She backed up onto the makeshift stage where Hermione was seated, and took a seat on a stool near the edge, facing Hermmione, her eyes wide in anticipation.
"Thank you, Luna," Hermione stuttered. She could feel her face growing hot with nerves, and she tried to push them aside as she looked at the crowd that had come to gather to listen to her read a chapter out of her book. While most of the crowd was mostly witches that she knew from work, or from Hogwarts, there was still a plethera of faces she did not quite recognize. She glanced out to see Molly Weasley, her mother-in-law front and center with Ginny, Harry, and Ron.
"I'm not the best at speeches, you'll have to forgive me," she began, a small and (hopefully) unnoticible tremor shook her body as she opened the book. The spine crackled. It had never been opened before. "As you all know, I wrote this book as a resut of the rumors that have surrounded me as of late in our world. Rumors such as my eleged nomination for the next Minister- or in this case, Mistress- of Magic, my pregnancy, which I'm sure you all know the answer to by now," the crowd laughed, and Ron turned a shade of pink, the look on his face somewhere between embarrassment and pride. "Also, this is about my role in school system, the legislative system, and, to put it frankly if I may, an attack on the thought that I couldn't or shouldn't be able to handle all of this as a muggle-born. However, I trust that most of you aren't here for that. Most of you are my friends, my family, people that I've known all my life, so I will not bore you with a chapter filled with law talk, or historical information on the lineage of my family. Instead, I'm going to read the first chapter in the book. The chapter about how I fell in love with the man that has supported me through all of my endeavours. My husband." At the mention of Ron, the baby launched a playful kick at Hermione's, thankfully empty, bladder.
She placed her reading glasses on the tip of her nose, and with a smile, began to read.
"I was given very good advice, by one of the best wizards to have ever lived once. And although the phrase has been uttered many times throughout the course of history, the fact that Albus Dumbledore had said it, and had said it to me, meant that it must be true. He told me that love conquers all. Love is the beginning, and the end of all things. Love is what builds us up when we are broken down and longing to find a way out. Love is what keeps us together.
"I know this to be a fact, and trust me when I say that I know fact from fiction. I've seen first hand what love can do for our world. One of my best friends saved the world, with the help of the last gift he ever recieved from his mother, the protection of love. He gave it to me when he meant to die for me and all who fought for his cause. Love kept our world from falling apart.
"However, when Dumbledore gave me this piece of advice, one of the last glimpses of wisdom he was able to give me, I was skeptical. I was unsure of love, because I was young, and foolish. Love was nothing I could learn from a book, or create with a spell, or even brew in a potion no matter how many times I tried. Today I know that even then, I knew fully what love was, even if I was afraid to admit it.
"My husband has asked me many, many times when I fell in love with him. I've told him time and time again as a response 'I love you, isn't that all that matters?' I knew it was all that mattered to him, but his develish curiosity is why he was asking. This chapter illustrates the story of how I fell in love with Ronald Billius Weasley."
She looked up at Ron, who was beat red, his mother crying tears of uninhibited joy next to him. He had no idea that this chapter had been written. He had no idea that she was planning on reading it. Suddenly, there were butterflies in her stomach, swirling around in excitement. She was finally going to tell her husband the day she fell in love with him, and it was going to be in a room full of people he didn't know. She adjusted her glasses a bit, and then looked back down at her copy of the book.
"Saying I loved him the first time I saw him would be a complete and utter lie," she began, and the crowd laughed. "To be honest, I didn't even like the bloke. He was pompous, and had dirt on his nose. Eleven year old me cared about nothing more than books and hygene. He had violated both of my rules within the first three minutes of my meeting him.
"I was nervous, being a muggle-born in a world I hadn't known existed until roughtly a month prior to my integreation into it. I was an outcast, too smart and too willing to show it for my own good. Ron Weasley was no comforting point. He and Harry were the boys I clung to, I thought them to be my friends, but I found out the hard way, from hearing them talk about me one day, that it wasn't the case.
"I stuffed myself in the girls bathroom, crying my eyes out for hours. I was convinced that I had made the worst decision in attending Hogwarts. I was on my way to inform Professor McGonagall that I wanted to go home, and have my memory wiped of this place, when I heard the door of the bathroom slam open against the wall. A rancid smell filled the bathroom, and I walekd out to face the biggest creature I had ever seen.
"Harry and Ron ran in, crying at me to duck. I ran as the troll, that we later found out had been let in by our Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who was ironically posessed by Lord Voldemort, began smashing in bathroom stalls.
"Harry climbed on top of the troll, and had shoved his wand up his nose. What he thought this would do, I would never know. But it was then that the troll got a hold of The Boy Who Lived, and Ron did something to save both of our lives. He used the only spell he had learned thusfar in the coursework, and levitated the Troll's club, knocking him out. This was when I started to fancy Ronald Weasley.
"Fancying however, is not love. Sitting down to write this, I thought of all the moments where, when in my memories, I looked at him and though 'this is love.' They stretched all the way from when he returned to help Harry and I, to the day he proposed to me, to the birth of Rose. The earliest moment I remember truly thinking of how much I loved him, was in second year."
"It was the first time anyone had said it to my face. Draco Malfoy, who at the time was our sworn enemy, called me a mudblood. In less than a second, Ron's wand was out, pointing straight in his face. His face was contorted into a terrible look of disgust, his eyes were filled with anger. He shouted out some hex that I had never heard of, and it backfired." Hermione glanced up to see Ron, who's face was an awkward mix between green from the sickening memories of the moment, and a light red of embarassment. She cast him a slight smile, and his colors faded quickly. His eyes grew observant again. The way he watched her, it was obvious he loved her.
"Harry, Hagrid, and I spent the next few hours waiting for all of his hexed slugs to emerge from his belly into a large wooden pail in Hagrid's hut. And I hate to say it, but as I watched him upchuck slugs over and over again, I realized that I loved Ronald Weasley. I realized that I would always love him. He was the first person to really stand up for me in this new, exciting, and scary world that I found myself a part of. I knew in that moment, although I doubted it many times as the years passed, that Ron and I would be together." She closed her book with a sigh. The binding crinkled satisfactorily. Her brown eyes flickered up at those she cared about most. Molly was falling apart in the front row. Harry was wiping a tear from the brim of his left eye, claiming that some of the dust from the books had gotten into it. Ginny smiled up happily.
Luna stood up, a great smile on her face. She was clapping along with everyone else in the room, but for some reason, to Hermione, her clapping stood out among the rest. With a flick of her hair to reveal her radish-ordained ears, she hushed the crowd and said something that was entirely Luna. "Wasn't that lovely?"
Hermione walked off the stage and into Ron's arms. "Ready to go home?" he asked, grinning down at her. "Rosie's waiting with Teddy and Mrs. Tonks."
"I'm ready," she smiled, taking his hand. They walked out of the shop together, turned on the spot, and were gone.
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