A/N: A little one-shot that has been stuck in my head for awhile. I wrote this in only an hour!
Since there is going to be a lot of characters in this one, here's a list
Cousin Lena (Hermione's cousin)
Aunt Betty (mother of Lena)
Uncle Ben (cameo appearance from Operation CoJacks, my other fic, if you haven't noticed)
Carol (sister to Betty and Mrs. Granger)
"Hermione dear, settle down!" said Mrs. Granger as she watched her 21-year-old daughter pace the living room, wringing her hands in a nervous habit.
"Oh mum! How can I? He's not even here," Hermione Granger answered, referring to her fiancé. She turned to face her mom, a look of worry and desperateness reaching her eyes. "He's late."
"Dear, it will be just fine."
Hermione shook her head and quickly headed over to the refreshment table. She straightened the dish with the finger sandwiches and moved the punch bowl slightly to the left so that it was nowhere near the edge of the table. She arranged the cookies (for the sixth time) so that they formed symmetrical shapes.
"And grandma and grandfather will be coming any minute now! Cousin Lena just called and said she was ten minutes away, Aunt Betty was turning into the court, Uncle Benny said he will be an half and hour late, and Momma B-"
"Honey, honey. Please breathe. Do you want to hyperventilate when this day is supposed to be your best bridal shower?"
"No!" Hermione said, her face showing absolute fear. Mrs. Granger nodded and took her daughter in her arms, patting her back. She seemed to calm down a bit and pulled back from her mother's embrace. "Thanks mum. Merlin, this day will be the death of-"
Ding dong. The door bell began to sing a measure of Ode to Joy.
The girl nearly ran to the door, stopping only to check her appearance through the mirror in the hallway. She let out one last breath and turned the knob to let the person in.
"Ron!" Hermione threw her arms around the neck of the red-haired fellow, causing him to nearly fall on his back. "Hmph-bine-me!" said Ron's muffled voice, his mouth getting a mouthful of her famous uncontrollable bushy hair.
"Ron, you're here! I was so worried. They're coming soon-"
"Hermione, slow down. Merlin, I haven't seen you this worked up since O.W.L.S in fifth year." Ron commented, stepping across the threshold and smiling at Mrs. Granger.
"Ron, I am extremely glad you're here. Hermione's been so worried all day." Hermione's mother said in a grateful tone. Mr. Granger, who has not said a word for the greater portion of his wife and daughter's conversation, set down his newspaper and approached Ron. He shook the 21-year-old's hand in greeting.
"So nice to see you again. You nervous?"
"To see Hermione's other side of the family? Of course."
Hermione gazed forlorn at the clock and thought, If Harry's gonna to miss my bridal shower, he'd better have a good excuse.
Her father patted her head, his way of assuring her that everything will be all right.
Hermione sure hoped that it would.
Everybody arrived a few minutes later. Ron had to force Hermione to eat in order to calm her down.
Hermione introduced Ronald Weasley to her family. Their first impression of her fiancé was that he was very good looking.
But that's all they liked about him.
"Y-you're-?" The woman asked, barely keeping her disgust out of her tone as she watched the red-haired man chew obnoxiously on a handful of peanuts. She meant to ask if he was really Hermione's husband-to-be, but for some reason she couldn't speak. He smiled, showing particles of previous foods stuck in his teeth. Carol, somewhat of an OCD person, flinched and turned her head away.
"Yep. I'm Ronald Weasley." Wiping a hand onto his jeans, he stuck it out for her to shake. Slowly reaching out as if he carried a dangerous disease, Carol briefly touched his hand then drew back.
God, that cookie monster is Hermione's fiancé?
Carol went over to her husband, Ben, shaking her head on the way. "What is it dear?" asked Ben in concern.
"That Ron…I wonder how Hermione deals with him."
"I agree. Don't worry; the party will be over soon. But Hermione's still worried about Harry. He still hasn't arrived."
"Harry?" Carol wondered why Ben had suddenly mentioned Hermione's best friend.
"Yes, he's supposed to be here now."
"I thought only Ron would be here. After all he is-"
A dark-haired teenager came from across the room, a smile plastered on her tanned face.
"Lena dear! How was Florida?" Carol's niece and her sister Betty's daughter had gone to the States for her spring break. Betty constantly worried for her and Carol was her main confidant. She missed her niece all the while; Lena was a girl of carefree nature.
"Smashing. I spent most of the time at the beach. See my tan?" Lena twirled around to show off her new look. Carol laughed and pulled her niece into a hug.
"Oh!" Lena gushed, "Have you seen Ron?" She stuck a finger in her mouth, clearly displaying what she thought of him. Carol, though she agreed, gave her a warning glare.
The doorbell rung once more and the three saw Hermione making her way across the room to answer it. Ron followed her. A woman was at the door, but she was not looking them. Her back was turned away and her head was tilted up, observing the clouds as they slowly drifted. Her blonde, almost white hair, trailed to her waist. The woman's choice in clothing was a mystery too. She sported a yellow sundress that fell to her knees but underneath was a purple long-sleeved turtleneck.
"Luna!" Ron exclaimed, embracing the girl into his arms. Hermione looked on, her face saying that she was none too please. The guests also observed this scene and wondered who the new guest was.
"Hello Ronald. I remember you telling me about this bridal party so I decided to just drop in. Hi Hermione." Hermione managed a short smile but it turned to a frown as her mind filled with worry.
"Is that his other girlfriend?" whispered Aunt Betty to her daughter, a hand covering her mouth. Lena shook her head uncertainly, "I don't think so. I hope not. Hermione looks really depressed."
Hermione headed into the kitchen, saying she needed to call Harry.
"Dear that is a gorgeous necklace you have there!" Around her niece's neck was a 14K Yellow Gold 5/8 Carat diamond necklace that positively shined in the room. Three diamonds formed small line as they rested just above Hermione's bosom. "My fiancé bought it." She had to admit, she loved saying the word. If only he was by her side right now…
Aunt Betty looked approvingly at Ron once Hermione left to tend to her other guests. If that boy had good taste in woman's accessories, Hermione will be well off. He stood at the refreshment table, the spot he remained at for a good twenty minutes, and quickly popped a biscuit into his mouth.
That boy sure can eat.
The fireplace started to rumble and the guests turned to look as it made an odd sound. Hermione walked closer to it, examining her active fireplace. The flames suddenly shot up into the chimney, its color a shade of fiery green. They danced around, swirling like a tornado and as fast it appeared, the flames sunk into the log and what was left standing there was not just a log. It was a man.
He had jet-black hair and odd, boyish spectacle that were located on the bump of his nose, the frame slightly crooked. His body was very fine built and the relaxed-fit broken-in zip-fly chinos and navy blue cashmere V-neck sweater enunciated his frame. Hermione rushed over at once, wiping some chimney soot off of his shoulders and hair. He smiled lovingly at her.
"Here's the person we've been waiting on! Harry Potter, our best friend!" announced Ron, clapping his mate on the shoulders. Harry smiled sheepishly, realizing everyone's attention was on him. They were also wondering why he had just appeared out of a fireplace of all things.
"Sorry," he mumbled, "W-work was in hysteria today."
"Okay Harry, now that you're here I will set the today," said Hermione who was already making her way towards the kitchen, momentarily forgetting that her family had no idea of the magical side. She was too nervous to realize.
"Oh, allow me to help." Hermione smiled at Harry's politeness and together they went off into the kitchen.
"Ugh, that guy is gorgeous!" exclaimed Lena to her mum. The other girls giggled once her mother agreed vigorously. "It's a shame Hermione is marrying Ron. But not when I know Harry's free!"
"It is a shame," Betty shook her head sympathetically, "for Harry."
"Harry is obviously in love with Hermione."
It was true. Though Lena did not want to admit it, she saw the loving smile Harry had given to his best friend who was marrying his other best friend. And the way he followed her. She wondered how long this has been going on.
"Do you think he'll ever tell them?"
"He seems like a quiet boy. A very nice one too. So no, dear, I don't think so; he doesn't want to ruin his friendship with the two," Betty sighed.
The group of gossiping woman turned to observe Harry coming out of the kitchen, holing a platter of wine classes. They were all filled with a generous amount of red wine. He made small chat with a woman-Carol, they supposed- and waited for her to take a wine glass. Smiling, he made his way to the small clutter of women.
"Hello ladies," he greeted them softly, "Would you care for some wine?"
Lena felt her knees go weak when he smiled at her. "S-sure." A hand reached up to enclose a glass but her mother instantly snatched her by the wrist.
Aunt Betty shot her daughter a reproachful look. "Lena, you are too young for wine. You're only 17!"
Harry looked on, trying to hide a smile from forming on his face. He thanked them and continued serving.
"Oh lordy lord lord." Lena said as her eye focused on the most delicious part of the man's anatomy: his bum. Betty slapped her by the head which caused her to protest.
"He's in love with Hermione!" she hissed, embarrassed by her own daughter's immaturity.
"Well, she ain't giving him the love." Lena retorted, now focusing on Ron. She scrunched her nose in distaste when he saw her holding Luna's hand and flirting with someone who was not his fiancée.
"Ron is so not right for Hermione." She wondered if he will be faithful to her cousin. Though they rarely saw each other ever since Hermione was eleven, Lena always regarded her as her role model. Her cousin was smart, spirited, and deeply caring for others. Now she only wished Hermione could open her eyes to who really loved her.
Harry stood next to Hermione while Ron continued his conversation with Luna (who was not his fiancée). They were telling a story to Mr. Granger, his mother, and Mrs. Granger. Hermione was smiling widely, obviously enjoying herself as she watched Harry gesture wildly as he recited an adventure. He nudged for her to continue and she playfully slapped his arm. They were able to read the other's thoughts and constantly finished each other's sentences.
"We cannot do anything to interfere. Let it be." Carol said, joining the group.
Time dragged on as every woman in the room continued to observe the behavior of Ronald Weasley with distaste. It seemed like the red-headed boy had a bottomless stomach. A new platter of coffee cakes was set up by Mrs. Granger. They were gone in an hour. A plate of beautifully arranged croissants. Finished with only a few crumbs as a reminder of what used to be there.
Not to mention the girl Luna. He had her by his side the whole time, not noticing that it was Harry who chit-chatted with his future-in-laws or that Harry was serving the tea, the finger sandwiches, and the napkins. But Hermione did not seem to mind, as long as Harry was by her side.
The two were the subject of breathless sighs and slight shaking of the head. The gossiping woman really did believe that Hermione was making a mistake. The both of them belonged with each other-it was obvious. Except to them.
Everybody was gathering their stuff, preparing to leave the bridal shower when Harry's cell phone rung. Hermione looked at him worriedly while he smiled reassuringly. He disappeared for a moment, talking on the phone with someone unknown. The conservation was quick to the point; he reappeared in a matter of seconds, a look of someone in hurry on his handsome face.
"Hermione, I have to leave. Work needs me."
Hermione nodded, understanding that his job required certain commitments. After all, he was an Auror for the Ministry of Magic.
Harry reached for her and their lips touched in a small caress, as if the two wanted to hide the display of affection. However, that sudden movement caught everyone off guard.
"Uh…what?" Cousin Lena said out loud, voicing the opinion of all her companions. Hermione looked back at her cousin, confusion etched on her face.
"Why did you kiss him?" Lena asked as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"This is my fiancé, Harry Potter. I can kiss him all I want."
"But him-?" A couple of people gestured to where Ron was standing. Said boy cast a mystified glance at his friends.
"That's Ronald Weasley-"
"Your fiancé," finished Lena.
"My best friend."
"How about your fiancé?"
"He's right next to me," answered Hermione, her tone saying she was slightly exasperated.
Dozens of eyes landed on Harry. Uncomfortable under their gaze, Harry unconsciously edged closer to Hermione.
"Y-you're her fiancé?"
"YES, MY GOD!" Hermione reached her limit and shouted, unable to understand how someone could not comprehend what she was trying to say all along. Harry jumped when hearing his soon-to-be wife at her boiling point. "HARRY POTTER IS MY FIANCE!"
"Um dear, I got to go…"
Hermione turned to her husband and realized he really has to go, "Okay, love," she said, saying the word with force.
Then, as if to prove that Harry actually was her fiancé, she grabbed his face with both hands and pulled him in for a kiss. Harry melted in his sweetheart's kiss and gently wrapped his arms around her waist. They kissed with the manner of lovers; soft and passionately. They continued on for seconds as the "audience" watched on.
Hermione and Harry had already forgotten the cause of their kiss and any reason to stop it. It was only until--
"Whoa, you are her fiancé!" exclaimed Lena. The two shot apart and realized what they had just done in front of Hermione's family. Harry subtly moved away from Hermione so they were out of kissing reach.
Lena, Betty and Carol exclaimed in unison, "Thank god!"
Hermione looked incredulously at her family. Her fiancé gathered her in his arms.
"Er. Hermione?" came Lena's small voice.
"Yes." Hermione answered, telling herself to calm down and breathe. Harry put a hand on her arm and squeezed it gently, attempting to help in her state of panic.
"Did your fiancé come out of a fireplace?"
Hermione looked over at Harry and then buried her head into his chest, his embrace tight and secure.
Meanwhile, Ron, who was chewing on a cheese sandwich and unable to swallow, turned to his girlfriend and asked, "Am I that bad?"
Luna just smiled and patted her boyfriend on the shoulder. "Just eat your sandwich, dear."