Being at home for some reason, nothing really to do, checking some old files i found the start of this and completed it.
No copyright infringement intended
It was early summer and Grimmaud Place was strangely quiet. In the past few years quiet wasn't anymore the usual state of that house as it was for more than a decade before. During the war, with all the Order members coming and going at every hour and after that with the new, younger and happier gang living there. Officially only Harry, Ron and, surprisingly enough, Neville lived there but many others were there everyday: Hermione, George, Ginny, Dean, Seamus and Luna were the regulars and even had their own rooms. Many more were there less often, as friends or friends of a friend or the S.O. of one of them or, lately, even as a son or a daughter of a friend.
Sometimes Harry retreated in the kitchen, especially when things went a little out of hand. That room was no more the center of the heavily renovated Grimmaud Place and he was sure no one would disturb him if he wasn't really needed. In the kitchen Harry usually could brood alone without ruining anyone's mood, usually following the two stop path of feeling guilty for being alive and almost happy and then remembering that none of the lost ones would like to see him like that.
In the past couple months a new stop in this lone path was added. One that usually showed itself with a little smile and a doubtful frown. In the last weeks Harry realized that something, well, someone, became, if it were even possible, more present in his life. The new third stop of his musings was Hermione.
After being forced to be together by classes, school houses, death defying adventures and war, everyone still wanted to be friend but also to try something on his or her own, to follow his or her own dream, but in Harry and Hermione case the results were almost ironic. In the beginning Harry really feared he was going to lose sight of his best friends, Ron to quidditch fame and Hermione to the dusty depth of a library. But Ron always came back to Harry to brag about his exploits, both with the quaffle and with girls and Hermione, well, in the end Harry and Hermione started to spend time together at least as much as before if not more as most of their work, interests and goals ended up being the same.
Both of them were accepted for the positions they wanted in the Ministry, auror for Harry and a research position in the Department of Mysteries (he didn't knew that there weren't only Unspeakable there) for Hermione. Then both of them were asked to spend part of their first couple year helping in Hogwarts reconstruction, so they ended up spending months together there, especially during summers. After the conclusion of the school restoration they went back to their original jobs, but then Arthur Weasley crossed their path. He came to the Ministry with a detailed report about the muggle CSI police departments and how useful a scientific approach to investigation could be. It started such an interest that it was decided that something like that was sorely needed and a trial run was started: an auror and a researcher from the Department of Mysteries were needed, someone with a muggle background, someone that could easily work together, someone with an open and fresh mindset, so it was Harry and Hermione working together again.
They met a lot even outside work with or without the rest of the gang, but to that they added even the few events they went to not as Harry or Hermione but as The Harry Potter and The Hermione Granger. They were mostly charity events, mostly about child orphaned by the war, events where their public persona could really help, not just improve someone image or inflate someone, usually already too big, ego.
During one of the muggle CSI congress they attended Hermione convinced him to stay in New York for an extra couple days and that hooked him on cultural tourism. Harry never went anywhere when younger and was not interested in the lazy just lay on the beach and fill yourself with food tourism the Dursleys favored. Going around having something to see and something to do was interesting and, well, the company was good! That started a series of travels both in Great Britain and in the rest of the world as international portkeys made things like a weekend in Nara, the most ancient and magical capital of Japan, a viable option. And as many times in last days all this lead Harry to a recent conversation he had with Ginny and her offhand comment: "Why don't you marry her ? You two practically live together, the only thing lacking is the sleeping part!". He clearly reminded the wink that followed too.
Today his musings were interrupted by someone quietly entering the kitchen. "Hi Harry, back in Broodingland?"
"Huh ?" was his articulate first answer, but he promptly recovered. "So, Hermione, where do we go next time ?"
"Oh, right, we haven't decided when and where to go this month yet."
They ended up going somewhere together at least one weekend or long weekend every month, sometimes for conferences, sometimes just for fun (Ron still could not imagine how museums, old buildings, ruins and chaotic foreign markets could be considered fun, beside the food kiosks, that is).
Hermione seated in front of Harry and handled him the calendar he had on the wall she just passed. "Ok then, do you have some auror secret mission that i'm not aware of ? When are you free ? Remember the picnic at my parent's with everyone else on the fourteen".
Harry took the offered calendar and stared at it for a long time slowly changing the pages back and forth from July to November, not noticing the inquisitive raising brow from Hermione and then, almost as speaking to himself, he said "I'm free all the other weekends, we may go whenever you want." Then he sighed and added, "What do you think, we could marry in October, maybe on the twenty-second ? Then we may take that long vacation in Australia you were talking about since you went there to retrieve your parents".
Hermione started her answer, "Ok, but Australia is too big for just a..." and abruptly stopped there when her brain raised an alert and forced her to replay the last few seconds of the conversation as something was missed. And not just "something", Harry just asked her, or maybe he was only considering it as a possibility, to marry him!
Being the most sensible of them she knew something was happening between them, they really spent too much time together and enjoyed it too much to stay just friend for much more. She had noticed, in both of them, the lack of dating, even when there were no lack of opportunity. She remembered Harry checking out girls at parties, but she remembered even more clearly Harry turning his head toward her, his gaze on her and his turning back to the girl and muttering to himself a little no with a smile. She considered their situation. Could she call dating their past months, if not years together ? All in all it was a positive answer. For several and different reasons both of them weren't very apt in physical displays of affection, beside her patented body crushing hugs. Then she came back to the present, to Harry that just realized not only what he said but even that she heard it. She had to act quickly, before he could say or do something very stupid.
"That, that is a great idea Harry, but we are going to Malta, there are still a lot of things to see but not so many as whole Australia to distract us from our honeymoon".
There was a second appearance of articulate Harry with his "Huh ?", but it was immediately followed by a couple of joy filled smiles, the first of a long series.
A.N. This was inspired by how my father asked my mother to marry him, almost as an afterthought when checking a wall calendar while planning some summer vacation (or at least that is what i was always told).