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In Front of Me

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Author's Note

Please forgive any spelling and/or grammar errors. I hope you enjoy, please let me know what you think!

I know this is really short, but I thought everyone reading deserved one last glimpse of their happily ever after :)

PS I'm not JK Rowling, so I don't own anything :(

Epilogue

October 2003

Melbourne, Australia

"Are you worried?" I asked, idly tracing circles on George's muscular abdomen. His eyes were closed and he was sprawled out like a sleepy cat content to laze in the sun complete with his red hair messy and rumpled from our getting acquainted with place we were spending our honeymoon in. We'd only arrived a couple hours ago.

The windows were open and a warm salty breeze blew in carrying the loud cries of nearby seagulls. We were in bed in our beach cabana - well, that was what George insisted on calling it even though it was really more of a condo about a two minute walk from the nearest beach.

My parents had rented the one bedroom place for the duration of our honeymoon for us to stay in as a peace offering since they'd refused to come to the actual wedding. Something about too many people with magic and being too uncomfortable risking such exposure. This was their solution, and it also gave George and I a chance to visit with them in person over the next couple weeks - my first time since reversing their memories.

I was happy they were at least willing to meet George, and he'd already sworn to be on his best behavior and not pull any pranks. I knew he wished he could, but he understood how sensitive the situation was, and I knew he'd respect their need to avoid all things magical during our stay.

Maybe things would change someday. Maybe grandchildren would help cross the divide. Maybe they'd never get past things. Regardless, I was content enough with the family that I'd created for myself along with the one I'd married into. It was all I needed to be happy.

"About?" he asked, hands wandering enticingly south beneath the blanket.

"Leaving Ron in charge for three weeks," I reminded him. "This is the first time you've let someone else run your business for more than a day."

"No. We signed the paperwork at the reception. He's now officially an equal partner and sole owner of the Hogsmeade store. If he screws up while I'm gone then he suffers equally as much - not that he will," George said easily.

"I'm glad you decided to do it," I murmured, placing a kiss on his exposed chest. His grip on me tightened in response.

"Me too. You were right about it needing to stay in the family. I think Fred would have agreed," he said seriously.

"Probably," I agreed. "Well, after he teased him over his failed Auror career," I amended.

"He'd never have let him live it down," George said, smiling faintly. "Oh! Did you see - at the reception?" he asked suddenly, turning his head to catch my eye. He was grinning excitedly, his smile making the freckles on his cheek squish together to look more like a tan than individual pricks of color.

"Him and Gabrielle you mean?"

"Yeah! I thought she was going to swallow his tongue a few times," George said, face twisting in disgust at the memory.

"It was a bit obscene. But I'm happy for him." It had reminded me a bit of sixth year when he'd put his snogging sessions with Lavender on display for all of Gryffindor.

Gabrielle had come to spend the summer after graduating from Beauxbatons with Fleur to help take care of Victoire and Dominique since her sister had been pregnant with her third child and needed the extra hands. Gabby loved kids and was thrilled getting to help with her nieces.

At some point, she and Ron had started dating. But now the summer was over, Fleur had given birth to her son, Louis, and Gabby was still here. Harry had mentioned the other day that she'd applied for a Ministry position and was planning to stay in England permanently. I'd been surprised until I saw her and Ron together at the wedding. Then her reasons had become very obvious.

At first, Gabrielle had been occasionally helping Ron at the Hogsmeade shop when she needed a break from helping with the kids. I'm assuming that was when they started dating since Ron still hadn't told Harry or I much about it - aside from the fact that he was in love with her. He hadn't even shared that much until during the reception when he'd finally come up for air long enough to dance with me. He'd blushed and stammered as he'd admitted it, but he'd been so certain of his feelings. There was a conviction in his confession that I had never known him to possess.

I was immensely happy for him. He seemed to come alive when she was near - at least after he'd blinked away the dazzling effect her beauty and Veela heritage had on him. Somehow it seemed appropriate that he'd end up with someone part Veela given the way he used to fawn over Fleur. I also had no doubt that George planned on giving him hell for falling for Fleur's little sister after he used to have a crush on her and had once asked her out.

The best part, in my opinion, was that Gabby was just as infatuated and in love with Ron as he was with her. She'd never outgrown her overly romantic nature and now looked at Ron as though he was her hero. Honestly, she was impossible not to like though - intelligent, kind, sweet, and beautiful.

I was betting they were married and considering starting a family by this time next year.

"Me too," George agreed. "Even if it does mean we have to witness more of their antics in the future," he added with a grimace.

"At least it was only friends and family there this time," I said soothingly.

I'd remembered Fred's description from Bill's wedding of what he wanted to do, and I'd talked to George about doing that for our wedding. When I'd explained that I liked Fred's ideas and wanted to honor him by using them - no muss, no fuss - George had cried and thanked me. He'd ended up deciding not to have a best man either, reserving the position for his missing twin. Lee had understood. Harry and Ron had ended up giving me away, and Ginny, now very obviously pregnant with James Sirius, had stood with me.

Our wedding had ended up being a little larger than Harry and Ginny's, more friends had been invited. It had felt more like a party than a formal occasion with lots of jokes and laughter. Everyone else seemed determined to prank George as payback for all the stunts he'd pulled over the years and he loved every second of it - particularly when he managed to turn it around on the person trying to get him. Guests had been allowed to wear whatever they wanted, as had the wedding party, and we'd skipped the hassle of decorations. Since it was fall, we'd used a clearing in a forest near the Burrow where the multicolored leaves served as the only ornamentation.

I'd also threatened to put a Full-Body-Bind on Mrs. Weasley until the whole thing was over if she tried to interfere or complain just as Fred had once teased that he planned to do. Mrs. Weasley had bulked at first, but after hearing about Fred, had caved and went along with it. The only thing I'd allowed her to do was prepare the food and let us use the orchard for the small reception we'd had afterwards. The natural beauty of the orchard, as well as the convenient field it contained, served as our dance floor and the backdrop for the celebration.

George and I had stayed up dancing long after everyone else left, long enough to watch the sunrise the next morning. I was utterly smitten with my new husband as he held me close while the sky lit with an array of colors like tubes of acrylic paint exploding onto a pale canvas. I'd loved all of it and George had certainly seemed to as well. The casualness of the entire event relieved a great deal of the pressure and made it more fun than stressful to plan.

"I was thinking," I ventured, tentatively.

"Aren't you always?" George teased.

"George! I'm being serious!"

"Sorry, love. What were you thinking?"

"It might be nice for our kids to grew up friends with Harry and Ginny's," I said quietly, sliding my hands up to rest on his chest, too anxious as I waited for him to sort out what I was really suggesting to continue tracing indefinable shapes on his smooth, taunt skin.

"I'm sure they will. They'll be cousins, after all," he responded lightly, reaching up to lace his fingers through mine.

"It'd be easier if they were close in age," I added.

"Hermione… "

"We're married now... like you wanted. The shop is doing wonderful… And my work is in an ideal place that I could juggle both since my promotion means I'm able to delegate more - or at least I could and probably should," I explained, hoping he'd agree and want them now as much as I did.

"Yes," he breathed. Then louder, yelled, "YES! Let's start trying - now. Right now. Come here," he said, janking me impossibly closer and sliding his talented hands down my sides.

I laughed and eagerly greeted a future that at times had seemed impossible to envision, but one I couldn't image without the man beside me. The one I would always turn to, and knew would always be there for me.

Final Author's Note

If you think Ron and Gabrielle ending up together is icky since Bill and Fleur are married, well… at least they aren't actually related like much of the wizarding world is. And if you think it's icky because of the age difference, well… it's the same difference as between Bill and Fleur, and less than the difference between Tonks and Remus.

Thank you so much for reading this story and sticking with it all the way to the end. I truly hope you enjoyed it and would be willing to share your opinions. While I don't really understand why a few people read this then sent me messages about being anger that Hermione didn't end up with Ron when I told everyone at the start she wouldn't… I do still like to hear your thoughts. Feedback helps motivate and improve so please share :)

I had so much fun writing this pairing, and I may do a couple outtakes later. If you have requests, let me know and I'll see if I can write something - for this couple or any other if I'm a fan of them.

I also have a number of other stories floating through my head that I need to get out. One is a Remus/Hermione time travel story that takes place with an adult Hermione traveling back to during her fifth year. I've never found a fic that does what I plan to do, so hopefully it goes well. I'm also going to write a Bella/Jasper Breaking Dawn rewrite. I'll be writing both at once and they'll be written in third person rather than first so that should be an interesting change. Hopefully you'll enjoy reading one or both of those as well.