"Er... I'm feeling... fine," he replied quickly, running one hand through his hair as he was wont to do whenever extremely nervous. He gave her a small smile. "How are you? Now that you've graduated and... all that..."
She tilted her head to one side and raised an eyebrow. "I'm perfectly fine," she said slowly. "Everything is still sinking in, but I imagine it will be that way for some time. Everything. But you know all of this. I am more worried about you . And I can't bear the thought of . . . " her voice faltered slightly, and she shook her head. "I'm fine," she amended quickly, and added in a low voice, "but so very unsure of what lies ahead."
He nodded, before coming to a halt, standing directly in front of her. His glasses were slightly crooked, and his face showed clear apprehension but hope. "Well, see... this is the thing..." he paused, JUST ASK HER... "Hermione, I... well, you... you know that I couldn't have made it through this year without you..." He paused, in a mild panic. The perfectly polished, flawless, heartfelt speech that he'd come up with suddenly left his mind, JUST when he needed it! "I... er..."
Hermione raised both her eyebrows and reached out to take one of his hands. "What is it, Percy?" she asked, her voice small. His state of utter uncertainty was unnerving her slightly. Certainly if there were any serious problems he would have told her . . . ? "You know you can tell me anything? What's wrong?"
"Hermione," he whispered, his face slightly flushed as he gave her small hand a light squeeze, "I... you've made me whole this year. When things were... dark. You're... just amazing, and I..." Another panic-stricken moment and a dry swallow, and he made himself go on, despite already having botched the thing. "I love you more than anything. How could I not? You're so smart, and... just so incredibly beautiful, inside and out. If... if you want to give me a chance, I promise by all that I am and all that I have... that I'd try to make you happy always." Digging into his pocket with his other hand, he whispered, "M-marry me?"
Her mouth dropped open slightly in the middle of his speech, her breath coming in tiny gasps. Was he - ? Oh dear gods, he was. She blinked at him rapidly, barely registering the glitter of something green in his hand. "I . . . I . . . Percy!" she whispered, her voice slightly choked. Of all the plans she had made, the dreams she had absently entertained, thoughts of their future - she never foresaw this moment. Momentarily, words escaped her.
Percy flushed slightly, the words now coming almost incoherently, in a ramble, "I... I know this is rather sudden, but... I... well, I love you, and... "
And there was a sudden flurry of wild brown hair and hands clutching robes and then Percy was pushed backwards into the chair Hermione had occupied seconds earlier. Her knees slipped on either side of his lap as she cupped his face in her hands and kissed him fiercely, clutching at him as though she would never let go. After a moment she moved, fingers fumbling slightly, to snatch his glasses off his face and let them fall unnoticed beside the chair. She pressed back up against him then, gasping slightly for air between hard, fast kisses.
"I'll... take... that as a yes?" he managed to murmur somewhat hazilly a few moments later, his lips still pressed against her smooth skin, his arms now firmly wrapped around her, fingers tangling into her hair and mouth moving from her lips to her cheek, then her earlobe.
"Yes," she said firmly "That would be . . . a correct assumption," she added, deftly picking the knot out of his tie and moving on to the buttons of his teacher's robe before insistently pulling at his collar and bringing his lips back to hers. Without releasing him, Hermione slid backwards off the chair, and tugged him with her as she stood. She stumbled slightly, edging them towards the door to his quarters as she loosed the last of those damn buttons.
Despite thinking that he had gotten a fairly decent handle on all aspects of his fiancee 's personality, Percy couldn't help but be surprised as she, still kissing him hungrily, started pulling him in the unmistakable direction of his bedroom even as she started unbuttoning his robes. "Hermione...? Are you..." he felt like a complete
Hermione made a low sound of assent in her throat, quirking an almost incredulous eyebrow at him. "Percy, do be quiet," she said after a moment, echoing the same words she had spoken months before. "Do get in here," she added in a whisper, half begging, half demanding as her arms tightened around him.
Gazing for a long, intense moment into her magnificent dark eyes and reading the myriad emotions in there... passion, love, need, the promise of eternal happiness shining in their depths, he flushed slightly, but leaned forward, catching her lips with his again. And even as she felt him start to smile against her mouth, she was lifted easily off the ground and swept into his arms. He carried her the rest of the way there, kicking the door shut behind them in a completely uncharacteristic hasty manner.
Hermione fought back a giggle, wrapping her arms tightly around his neck as he lifted her up and carried her to his bedroom. She turned her head and kissed Percy deeply as she cackled inwardly, congratulating herself on the discovery of this new, naughtily assertive aspect of herself. Was she sure? he asked. Was she sure? She would show him how sure she was. Sliding partially from his arms, she pushed him back until the mattress was solid behind his legs, pushed the robes off his shoulders, and pounced on top of him, toppling them both back onto the bed.
Her hair fell around them, golden brown silk, warm and soft and... he met her eyes for a moment, and then kissed her again, taking initiative now, moving his own fingers towards the neckline of her blouse and trailing his lips along the soft skin he slowly uncovered. They'd made it... through the year, through misunderstandings and hell and heaven and everything in between. And now, they had the new security of a bond, a promise sacred and holy, to protect the two of them. He smiled as he kissed her neck, and smoothed his fingers over her hair. She was his.
And it might be remarked, much later on, that desks were never to be looked at in the same way... ever again.