Savor the moment, people; this is one of the few fics I've written that portrays Ron in a positive light..
I don't own Harry Potter. If I did, I'd be a hell of a lot richer.
"No, Hermione, don't sit there, sit there, or else the nargles will get you," Luna said, pointing at a specific spot on the table. Hermione rolled her eyes before sitting down at the seat that Luna had assigned for her.
After the war, Ron and Hermione had decided to end their relationship, and Ron surprised everybody by hooking up with Luna Lovegood. Now, four years after Voldemort's defeat, Ron and Luna were getting married, with Harry as the best man and Hermione as the maid of honor respectively.
Right now, Hermione was beginning to question the wisdom of that decision.
"I'm sure that the nargles will leave me alone, Luna," Hermione said, having been long jaded with Luna's inane ramblings. Luna simply smiled caringly.
"I'm just looking out for you," the blond said, patting Hermione on the shoulder. Hermione simply nodded her head halfheartedly and looked down at her turkey sandwich. They were currently performing the rehearsal dinner at a posh new hotel that had opened up in Diagon Alley, so instead of the mounds of food that the hotel would be serving at the actual wedding, they simply ate carry-out from the Leaky Cauldron pub down the street.
"...But I thought the best man was supposed to sit next to the groom," Harry said as Luna pushed him into the seat directly opposite of Hermione. She noticed that Harry had a muggle beer bottle in his hand, and he looked slightly dazed.
"Yes, but that seat has been infested with dinglepicks, and I need to disinfest it before anyone can sit down on it," Luna said, patting Harry on the shoulder before walking away. Shrugging, Harry drank a gulp of beer and set his bottle down.
"So, how's life been, Hermione?" Harry asked as he patiently waited for Luna to sort the rest of the guests in their respective chairs before eating.
"It's been decent," Hermione replied, shrugging. Soon, all the guests were seated and the room erupted in chatter as the guests ate their meals.
After dinner, the guests stood up and began making small talk, the women drinking glasses of white wine while the men all held bottles of various muggle beer brands (ever since Harry had introduced Ron to muggle beer, he has not been able to get enough of the drink, and insisted that it be at every public gathering). Harry and Hermione had quickly retreated from the noise and bustle of the crowd to a quieter side room, where only a few people seeking similar silence dwelled. Hermione took another good look at Harry, who seemed to be swaying slightly, and he was squinting his eyes, even though the room was fairly dark.
"So what was the reason this time?" Hermione asked flatly as she sipped her wine.
"The usual," Harry said, taking another pull from his beer bottle. "I don't talk enough, I don't pay attention to her, I spend too much time around you, and all that stuff." Hermione sighed dejectedly. She hated that she was a reason why Harry always ended up breaking off his relationships with his girlfriends, as well as the week-long drinking phase that followed. "Oh, don't beat yourself up, 'Mione," Harry said, slurring his words slightly. "I'm just going to have to find a woman who'll accept that we're a package deal, that's all."
"Whatever, Harry," Hermione said dismissively. "I guess I should take you back to your room, before you hurt yourself," she continued, noticing that he seemed to be having difficulty standing up. "And maybe sign you up for Alcoholics Anonymous. I hear that they have a London chapter somewhere," she said teasingly.
"I'm not an alcoholic!" Harry exclaimed as Hermione looped his arm over her shoulder and dragged him to the lift. "I simply imbibe of it a little too much when I'm depressed; it's not like I go and hammer myself every day." Hermione just rolled her eyes as she pressed the button to call the lift.
"Whatever you say, Harry," Hermione said dully as the lift doors opened. "At least it's the last day, and you'll be back to normal tomorrow," she added as she pressed the button to take them to their floor.
"Yes, I perfectly timed it so I would be stone-cold sober for my best mate's wedding day," Harry agreed, giggling childishly. When they reached Harry's room, Hermione dug into his pocket and pulled out the key, opening the door and hauling Harry into the bedroom.
"You be a good boy and get some sleep, and I hope that the hangover tomorrow will teach you something, but I doubt it," Hermione said as she let him drop onto the bed.
"What can I say? I'm a slow learner," Harry said proudly as she walked out of the room, the door drifting closed behind her. When Hermione walked into her own room, she saw an owl sitting on her balcony, a letter tied to its leg. Hermione walked up to the owl and took the letter before it flew away. She looked at the address and recognized the handwriting of Jonathan, her boyfriend. Ripping the seal open, she pulled out the letter and began to read.
I'm sorry that I couldn't make the rehearsal dinner for your friend tonight, but I had important work to do. But there's something else about me that you should know.
I've met someone else. Someone I can relate to better. You're nice, but you're always so wound up, so uptight that you just drive me nuts! I found someone who's calmer, more laid back, and I decided that it's best if we end our relationship.
Hermione sighed as she crumpled up the letter, fighting back the tears that were welling up in her eyes. She honestly thought that she and Jonathan had a chance, but apparently not. Hermione threw the letter into a dustbin and pondered her next move. After a few minutes of thinking, she grabbed a bottle of firewhiskey out of the mini bar and walked over to Harry's room. Several seconds and expletives after she knocked, the door swung open to reveal a tousle-haired Harry.
"Can I help you, Miss Granger?" Harry asked, a tipsy smile on his face.
"Got enough room for one more to wallow in misery?" Hermione asked, holding up the bottle of alcohol.
"Always," Harry said, shuffling aside so she could step in. "You must be really upset if you’re joining in my little activities," Harry said, eyeing the bottle in her hand.
"You have no idea," Hermione said, before shaking her head and correcting herself. "Actually, you have a very good idea. Jonathan broke up with me, and the git didn't even have the stones to say it to my face," she growled as she found two glasses and poured a healthy serving of firewhiskey into each of them. She held one glass out to Harry, who took the offered drink.
"The git doesn't know what he's missing," Harry said honestly. "If he can't see what a wonderful person you are, then that's his loss." He held up his glass as if to propose a toast. "To us, a couple of broken-hearted fools." Hermione simply sat for a moment, before clinking her glass against his.
"To us," she said, taking a sip and grimacing as the drink burned its way down her throat.
Over the next hour, the two friends continued to drink and wallow in their miseries, until they were both completely pissed.
"And then, and then...I don' rememb'r," Harry slurred, having long since given up the fight to remain upright, and simply sat propped against the bed, Hermione right beside him. Harry looked at Hermione, her hair lank and her eyes bloodshot as alcohol coursed through her veins. And yet, in Harry's eyes, she never seemed more beautiful, and wondered why he had not seen it before. "You're very beautiful," Harry said, the massive amounts of alcohol that he had consumed loosening his tongue. Hermione looked at him and gave him a lopsided grin.
"Thank you," Hermione slurred, slowly leaning forward to him, as he was to her. A voice in their minds was telling them that this was wrong, but their alcohol-addled minds did not hear them, and soon, their lips were touching. They felt a tingle shoot from where their lips met and course throughout their body. Unfortunately, they could not enjoy the sensation, for their bodies had selected that moment to shut down, and they both collapsed onto the floor, unconscious.
Ohhhhh, my head....
Those were the first words that came to Hermione's mind when she stirred the next morning. Her head felt like someone had stuffed it full of nails and used it for a bludger. Not only that, but she heard a loud banging in her head, like someone was banging a drum right next to her ear.
Oh, that's just her heartbeat. That's okay then.
Crawling her way to Harry's nightstand, opening it and grabbing one of the sobriety potions that Harry stocked up on whenever he was on one of his benders, she pulled the cork off and drank the foul-tasting potion in one gulp, and the pain immediately vanished. She pulled herself onto the bed, being careful not to disturb Harry, while she covered her eyes, trying to collect her thoughts. Okay, she carried Harry to his room, check. She got a letter from her boyfriend saying that they were over, check. She went to Harry's room and got completely smashed, before kissing....
Oh, bugger, she thought. She quickly gathered her things and ran back to her room, throwing off her clothes and jumping into the shower.
You idiot, Hermione ranted mentally to herself as she felt the hot water pouring down her back. You worked for years to bury your feelings for Harry, and now you brought it all back up because you went and got drunk. Way to go!
Hermione had eventually decided that she would just ignore it and hope that Harry would not remember when he finally awoke.
But why then did the kiss feel so right?
She spent the rest of the day milling around, getting the final touches ready for the wedding, as well as getting her pale blue bridesmaid dress on. At eight 'o clock that night, Hermione stood in her place near the altar next to where the bride would stand and Harry stood at his place behind Ron. Harry smiled innocently at Hermione gave a mental sigh of relief; Harry had not given any indication of remembering the events of the night before.
The music swelled, and everybody turned to the far end of the room to see the three-year-old Victoire Weasley throwing white rose petals, followed by Luna walking down the aisle in a flowing white dress, being escorted by her father. When they reached the altar, Mr. Lovegood kissed Luna on the cheek before taking his seat and the Ministry official held up his hands.
"Gathered beloved, we come here today to witness the joining of Ronald Weasley and Luna Lovegood in holy matrimony. Any here that has just reason as to why these two should not be wed, speak now or forever hold your peace." When no one spoke, the official continued. "Marriage is a sacred oath, one between two souls and not easily broken, and that these two young souls have chosen to take that great step is proof their love and devotion to one another." The official turned to Ron. "Do you, Ronald Billius Weasley, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do you part, so help you God?" Ron gulped nervously and nodded slightly.
"I do," he managed to say. Nodding in satisfaction, the official turned to Luna. "Do you, Luna Aliana Lovegood, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, in good times and in--" he began, but was interrupted by Luna’s excited "YES!"
"Well, we are certainly excited today," the official chuckled, before turning to the four-year-old Ted Lupin. "Boy, the rings," the official whispered. Looking up from the speck of lint on his jacket that he was picking at, Ted held up the pillow where the two wedding bands were tied onto. Ron and Luna took the rings and slid them onto their partners' fingers. "By the power vested in me by the Ministry of Magic, as well as that of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride." Grinning, Ron bent over and gently kissed Luna on the lips. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Mister and Missus Ronald Weasley," the official said over the applause.
Soon, the crowd drifted to the buffet table and the dance floor, watching the bride and groom dancing to a Celestina Warbeck love song. Soon, everyone was spinning around on the floor, including Harry and Hermione. As they moved and swayed to the music, Harry bent down and whispered into Hermione's ear.
"Let's go outside," he whispered, and they slowly drifted out into the courtyard, where they danced by themselves. Neither of them noticed that Luna was watching them leave the room.
"I think that they're about to find something that they've been seeking for a long time," Luna said conversationally.
"Oh?" Ron said, looking at his new wife. "What makes you say that?" Luna giggled lightly.
"Why, the split-horned toe-rabbits, of course," she said.
Even though they could barely hear the music, they continued to sway in place. "Last night made me realize something," Harry said conversationally. Hermione tensed slightly at the words. He remembered.
"Oh? Like what?" Hermione asked, trying to keep her voice even, blinking back tears.
"It made me realize that all the women I went out with, I ended up comparing them to you at some point," Harry said, chuckling. "And none of them measured up." He gently pulled away until they were at arms length. "What I'm trying to say is, I think I'm falling for you, Hermione," Harry said softly. Hermione could no longer hold her tears back and let them roll down her cheeks.
"Harry," she gasped breathlessly. "You have no idea how long I've been waiting for you to say that." She wrapped herself into a tight hug around him, but Harry pulled away. Then he held her face in his hands and lowered his head, brushing his lips against hers.
"I mean it," Harry whispered so softly, she could barely hear him.
"Then kiss me again," she said. Smiling, Harry readily complied.
You shouldn't kiss me like this, unless you mean it like that,
'Cause I'll just close my eyes, and I won't know where I'm at.
We'll get lost on this dance floor, spinning around,
And around and around and around.
They're all watching us now; they think we're falling in love,
They'll never believe we're just friends.
When you kiss me like this, I think you mean it like that,
And if you do baby, kiss me again...
Inspired by the song You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This by Toby Keith.