The Sugar Quill
Author: Jennifer Lupin (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: What Would You Propose?  Chapter: Chapter One
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Chapter One

Ron Weasley sat at his kitchen table, thinking very hard.  So hard that his head ached.  His sister, Ginny, sat across from him, staring into his face.  He glared at her.

            “What do you want?”

            “Nothing.”       

            “You were staring.”

            “Yes, but had I wanted anything, I’m sure I would have said it.”

            Ron sighed and went back to staring at the table.  He had been sitting there for the last half hour trying to decide the best way to ask his girlfriend, Hermione Granger, to marry him.  He had been quite sure for at least the past two years that he was going to do this.  It had just occurred to him recently that perhaps he should actually go ahead and do it.  It was Christmas time and all the Weasley children had come home to celebrate together.  Ron saw how happy all his siblings were with their spouses and even some with their children.  This had not only reminded Ron how much he wanted to marry Hermione, but that he was the only Weasley left who had yet to wed.  He supposed he had better get on with it.

            “What are you thinking about?”  Ginny asked, suddenly.

            Ron looked up.

            “What do you care?” 

            “Well, smoke’s practically coming out of your ears, so I thought I might as well ask before you burn the house down.”

            “I don’t want to talk about it.” Ron snapped.  Ginny hid a smile. 

            Ron tried to think back to the time when he and Hermione had started dating.  How had he asked her then?  Let’s see.  It had been toward the end of their fifth year at Hogwarts, when they had finally confessed their feelings for each other.  Voldemort had been at the height of his second reign of power and Ron and Hermione had slipped away one afternoon to wander through the castle and try to not think about the horrible things happening around them.  Ron tried to remember why Harry hadn’t been there.  Oh yes.  Harry had shut himself away in the dormitory, in his bed, claiming that he needed to be alone to think.  That was back when Harry had still blamed himself for all that had happened.   

            “Are you despairing the horrible season the Cannons have been having?”  Ginny’s voice snapped Ron back to reality.

            “What?” 

            “Still trying to decide what you’re so wrapped up about.”

            “I’m trying to remember something.”

            “What?”

            Ron glared.  “Back to the time when I was still the youngest.” 

 Ginny made a face at him and began to open her mouth, but Ron held up a finger to his mouth to motion for silence.  “Shhh.  You’ll ruin the moment.” 

            Ginny rolled her eyes.

            Ron went back to his thoughts and recalled that late May evening.  It had been storming and he and Hermione had eventually ended up in the abandoned History of Magic classroom.  How ironic that the best thing that ever happened to Ron had started in the most boring room in the castle.  They had been sitting on the floor in front of Binns’ desk.  (Ron had always wondered if Binns could have even opened the desk drawers, but that was not helpful to him now.)  They had been discussing all the recent tragedies.  The fires.  The families torn apart.  The deaths.  Hermione had commented that is was nice to always have someone you could trust and talk to about anything.  She had looked into his eyes and Ron had felt as if time had stopped completely.  And then it had just happened.  They’d leaned in and shared their first of many kisses.  

            Sitting there across from Ginny, thinking back to that kiss, Ron realized something.  He had never really asked Hermione to date him.  After that kiss, emotions that they had both been harboring for sometime had poured out of them and an understanding had been formed that was never really said aloud.  They just knew they were meant only for each other and it didn’t have to have it said.  They’d just referred to each as boyfriend and girlfriend after that.  Ron grinned as he remembered the first time this had happened in front of Harry.  They hadn’t really said anything to him for a day or so because he was so upset about everything.  The look on his face had been priceless.

            Ron sighed.  That way of doing things was not going to work for this situation. What could he do?  Just lead her to a church and say, “Well, we’re here.  We might as well get married.”  He grimaced at the thought of what Hermione would do if he did that.  He could almost hear her voice.  “What do you mean, bringing me to this church, without a proper proposal?  Have you finally lost your mind?  How dare you?”   And on and on it would go.  Ron smiled.   

            “Just ask her, Ron.”  Ginny’s voice once again interrupted Ron’s thoughts and he stared at her in surprise.

            “Ask who what?”

            “Just say, Hermione, will you marry me?”

            Ron blinked.  How could she have known that was what he was thinking about?

            “How did you know that was what I was thinking?” he asked in amazement.

            Ginny jumped to her feet and squealed.  “Oh Ron!  I didn’t know, but you just told me!”

Ginny sat back down and bounced excitedly in her seat.  “Oh, I’m so excited.  This is so great.  Hermione already asked me ages ago to be her maid of honor.  Well, matron of honor, I suppose.  Oh, do say that you are going to get married after the baby comes.  I’d look awful in a bridesmaid dress as pregnant as I am.  Wait till Mum hears…”  Ginny would have gone on forever if Ron hadn’t stopped her. 

            “Wait a minute, Gin.  I can’t just say it like that.  Shouldn’t there be something before that?  Where and when should I do it?”  Ron decided to give up pretenses and ask Ginny for advice.  After all, she had been asked to be married herself, just a year earlier. 

            “I mean to say, how did Harry ask you?”  Ron didn’t know if Harry had planned out the proposal or not.  He knew that Harry had been desperate to marry Ginny before anything else could possibly happen to them.  Voldemort had been gone since the middle of their seventh year and he knew that Harry had been determined to move on as soon as possible.  With that mindset, he may have just blurted out the question in the middle of a Quidditch match.

            Ginny’s eyes glazed over a bit, as if she were remembering the most wonderful thing-which Ron supposed, she must have been. 

            “It was wonderful.  But simple.  Remember simplicity.  Don’t be like Percy.  I think he submitted a four foot essay to Penny when he asked her.” 

            Ron laughed.  It was a wonder that that relationship had ever happened.  Then again, Percy had the most children of all the Weasley kids and Ron was still struggling to ask Hermione to marry him.

            “Well, what happened then?”  It occurred to Ron that he had never really heard this story and reminded himself to kick Harry later for not telling it to him.  Or himself for not asking.

            “Well, he took me out to do something I absolutely loved.”

            “A Quidditch match?”  Maybe Ron hadn’t been so off with his Quidditch proposal.  

            “Of course.”

            If Ron was a Quidditch fanatic, it was nothing compared to Ginny’s obsession on that front.  She worried him sometimes.

            “Anyway, we went to go see the Cannons play the Wasps.  Harry made sure that the Wasps were playing the Cannons, so that they would be guaranteed to win.”  The Wasps were Ginny’s favorite team and their rivalry with the Cannons was a source of constant arguments between herself and Ron. 

            Ron made a face and considered starting an argument, but then decided that this was too important to interrupt. 

            “Ok, what then?”

            Ginny grinned at what she perceived as a mini triumph and continued.  “Then he took me to his house where he made me my favorite meal and played all my favorite songs on the wireless.  After that, he just basically told me how he couldn’t live without me and asked me if I would marry him.”  Ginny paused.  “I think that involving something that Hermione loves in the proposal will make it really special to her.  At least, it did to me.”

            Ron was silent for a moment.  Suddenly his eyes widened and his mouth parted a little bit. 

            “I’ve got it!”

//
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