|Beth H (bethbethbeth) wrote in hp_beholder,|
@ 2009-04-23 12:28:00
|Entry tags:||arthur weasley, beholder 2009, fic, het, molly weasley|
FIC: "Beautiful" for rafflesiakerrii
Word Count: ~2300
Summary: From the moment he saw her, Arthur knew there was something special about Molly Prewett.
Author's Notes: Many, many thanks to my beta, who did a fabulous (and shamefully necessary) job of making sure I knew what I was writing about.
He sees her, and he thinks she's the most beautiful girl he's ever seen.
They are on the Hogwarts Express. Arthur sees her through a carriage door - dark auburn hair like the red setter puppy he had to leave at home - and understands the meaning of a crush. She is chatting to another girl, both of them laughing in mutual understanding, completely confident of their right to be there.
She is eleven, and she is beautiful.
By the fifth year she is the belle of the year - belle of the school - with her hair, her flirtatious smile. Hilton of Slytherin starts a rumour that she's easy, a slag; but Arthur knows that it's just because she wouldn't go all the way with him, wouldn't go past a chaste kiss on the lips. Arthur knows that he'd be lucky to get that far. Molly's hair is auburn; his own is a sandy red that is better suited to a weasel than a human being. It's just his luck to have the surname Weasley, in the circumstances. And Molly Prewett - intelligent, witty, beautiful Molly Prewett - could have any guy at Hogwarts she wants, and she's not precisely going to fall over herself for Arthur, who is clever enough but stammers whenever he gets close to her, who is plain and has a gormless obsession with Muggle artefacts.
Doesn't stop Arthur fancying her.
Arthur's eyes follow her across the Gryffindor common room as she walks briskly to the chair which she has claimed as her own. She's never made a sign that she knows that it's her chair, but somehow - somehow no one else ever sits there. Not when Molly's around.
Gideon Prewett gives him frowning looks because Gideon knows what Arthur feels about his older sister and doesn't approve. Gideon doesn't approve of anyone dating Molly, mind you, so at least Arthur doesn't feel alone. There are three other boys in their year, and any one of them would fall over themselves to have a chance at going out with Molly. But she's never given any of them even a passing glance. Her interest is in the older guys, the seventh years. Arthur, looking around his classmates, can't honestly say he blames her.
He gets the courage to ask her out, the first Christmas of their final year. She says yes, and Arthur nearly dies of horror. Molly Prewett, going with him to the Yule Ball. Molly Prewett, agreeing to date Arthur Weasley, who is not quite the laughing stock of Gryffindor for his love of Muggle things (the Muggle-born kids would kill the others for that) but is definitely not one of the cool boys. Molly Prewett, still the most beautiful girl he's ever met.
It takes a while before he dares kiss her - dares do anything but take her hand, shyly, as they walk through Hogsmeade. Molly has - he thinks she has - been hinting that she wouldn't mind him going further, but... But, well - it's not something he wants to get wrong.
When they do kiss, Arthur nearly comes in his robes. Kissing should surely not be as hot as this!
"Come on, then."
Molly smiles at him and stretches out her hand. They open the portrait hole and slip down the corridor. The Common Room, empty as it usually is in the early hours, is not private enough for what she intends. Arthur knows what Molly has in mind and is simultaneously thrilled and terrified. What if he disappoints her? Molly Prewett: she could have had anyone and she chose Arthur Weasley - plain, ordinary, Arthur Weasley.
How will he do anything but let her down?
His hand on her breast, his mouth against hers. She has slid her hands around him, and is drawing pictures on his back. When he stops kissing her, she moans.
"More, Arthur, oh yes."
It is a request he is willing to obey, sliding her robes gently off, exposing her body - all but the scanty triangle covered by her panties. And she is more beautiful than he had imagined, which shouldn't be possible.
"Molly, Molly," he murmurs, kissing her from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet, gently, worshipfully. He doesn't dare put his mouth round her nipple, much as he wants to. He'd love to take off that last scrap of clothing, but doesn't want to do anything that Molly wouldn't like, is terrified of breaking this unmagicked spell.
Molly looks up at him. "Arthur," she says, her voice shaky. "I've... I've never done this, but I'd like to. With you."
It takes time for them to get it right. Time for Arthur to get over nerves and excitement, for Molly to shed the last of her shyness. But, as Molly whispers to him after the first, rather unimpressive attempt, "Never mind, we'll just have to practise." They enjoy practising. And they get quite used to slipping out at night to find an empty room, and sneaking back, each by turn.
It's not so enjoyable on the occasion that Arthur is caught going back to Gryffindor by the caretaker, Apollyon Pringle. But he is consoled by Molly kissing each one of the marks on his back on every occasion they are alone together.
"Arthur," Molly whispers, "I need to talk to you."
The words are spoken so low that no one can hear them save himself. Molly's eyes are wide and frightened, as he's never seen them before.
"Let's go for a walk," he says.
She grabs his hand and holds it tightly as they stroll down towards the Great Lake. Her fingernails are leaving marks in his? palm, so firm is her grasp. They sit down on the bank, shivering a bit in the cold March air, and Molly's eyes are filled with tears.
"Arthur, I'm pregnant."
He shouldn't have laughed. He knows he shouldn't have laughed, but it was the relief, the utter relief. Molly struggles to her feet, but he pulls her back.
"Molly, please! Molly, listen..."
She stands, hesitant. He is already on the ground: he never expected it to be this easy. He raises himself on one knee.
"Molly, marry me."
"I've wanted..." Arthur hesitates, not wanting to sound desperate, to sound pathetic. "I... I always wanted this, Molly. The baby has nothing to do with it."
"You only asked me when I told you," she whispers.
Arthur looks down, bites his lip. "I didn't dare before," he admits. "You're so -" he waves a hand, unable to find the words. "You're so much better than I am," he says at last, humbly.
She kisses him.
It is 2am and Molly is in his dormitory, tiptoeing past the closed curtains of the other sleeping boys, and slipping into his bed. She presses a finger to his lips.
"Arthur," she whispers.
"Huh?" He is blinking the sleep out of his eyes.
"Did you mean it?" she asks, desperately. "You really want to marry me?"
His sleepiness has gone as if it never existed. "More than anything in the world," he says, and his voice holds a tone of absolute truth.
The wedding is beautiful - Molly is more than beautiful, blooming at five months pregnant, and Arthur wonders once again what she can possibly see in a clumsy, awkward man like him. But when he sees her face, radiant with happiness, he can only accept that she loves him. Goodness knows why, but she loves him.
The baby has a mop of dark blond curls, which will later darken to auburn. Arthur was with Molly throughout, holding her hand, telling her over and over how wonderful she is - every word heartfelt. And the baby - their baby - opens dark blue eyes and gives this incredible, mewling cry. Molly picks him up, puts him to her breast as though she's done this, been here before.
"We'll call him William," she says.
When she tells him, hardly more than a year later, that she's pregnant again, Arthur is blown away by the delight in her face. He wonders if it'll be a girl this time - a little girl, just like Molly. He'd quite like a girl, he thinks.
When Charlie is born, Arthur can think of no child he'd rather have had.
Bill had been a shock, Charlie a welcome surprise.
Percy is planned, and Arthur never has any doubts that the plan was a good one as he holds his son close. Planning the next child seems a great idea: it never occurs to
either of them that it might be twins.
Arthur suggests calling the boys Gideon and Fabian, in honour of Molly's brothers. Molly squeezes his hand when he suggests it, but refuses, although she keeps the initials for George and Fred.
"I want to look forward," she says, "not back."
Molly Prewett has always been one to look forward.
After everything, Arthur finds that he's terrified when Ginevra is born. A girl. He's got used to having boys: although all the kids (with the slight exception of Fred and George, though even them to some degree) are very different, there is something similar about them. A boyishness.
It takes very little time to discover that Ginny has it too.
When they realise that Voldemort is back, life changes. Oh, not on the surface, but certainly underneath. Arthur sees Molly's contentment shrivel, sees her look over her family with anxious eyes, as if wondering which will be taken from her first. Neither of them mention it, however; Molly has embraced denial since the deaths of her brothers, as if thinking that if she doesn't say it, it can't happen.
She cries in her sleep, and Arthur can't comfort her.
They survive Fred's funeral the only way they can - together. Arthur knows it's hardest on George, not only Fred's twin but his soulmate, but the pain is not restricted to him. For Arthur, losing a physical part of himself would not have been as soul-destroying as this emotional loss. Molly had nurtured Fred inside her body, and her distress is the greater for her determination to stay strong for George's sake - not to let her emotion take over when he needs support.
But in the middle of the night for several weeks, she wakes Arthur, her tears a damp patch on his shoulder. Every time, she says the same seven words, begging for reassurance.
"He knew I loved him, didn't he?"
Arthur holds his wife close, and says one word in reply each time.
She tells him later that the monosyllable had saved her reason.
Molly's face the day their granddaughter was born! Arthur thinks at first he'd never seen her so happy, and yet... all these memories start flooding back.
Her smile to greet him on the first night of their honeymoon, when she'd been wearing that floaty white contraption. "Come to bed, Arthur."
Bill's birth - the confident, knowing, smile on her face as she held her firstborn.
More recently, the day after Ginny had started Hogwarts. That first evening she'd been quiet, somewhat tearful, at her youngest growing up. The next night, however, she'd met him at the door, dressed in her sexiest underwear. "If we must have the house to ourselves," she'd said, looking ten years younger than she had the night before, "we might as well take advantage."
And now, as she cradles Victoire in her arms, she has that look again. The world might be in turmoil, and Molly will face it with courage when she must, but right now, Molly Weasley has a baby cuddled close, and nothing is more important than that.
After the funeral and the birth - death and new life - come the weddings. Ron and Hermione first, as everyone had anticipated for years. Charlie next, explaining that since he'd found a woman as enthused by dragons as himself, he ought to keep hold of her. Arthur looks at the devoted expression in his son's eyes as he looks at Marcia, and smiles.
Arthur and Molly had been anticipating the next wedding to involve Harry truly becoming their son with his marriage to Ginny. It is an enormous surprise when Percy, blushing hotly, brings home Oliver Wood one Sunday, and announces sheepishly that their marriage will take place in two weeks' time. Arthur watches Percy look anxiously at his mother, clearly unsure how she would take the news, and sighs a little at the ignorance of children. When Gideon came out, his sister was his most vocal supporter.
"Percy, that's wonderful!" she says.
Arthur has always known her smile can light up a room.
Harry and Ginny's wedding has happened before her parents hear about it. They arrive for a family meal with matching smiles and matching rings. Molly manages to cope with the news well, but Arthur is saddened. He'd always wanted to walk his only girl down the aisle, and now that dream is over.
That night, in bed, divining his thoughts, Molly kisses him gently on the lips.
"You walked me back the other way down the aisle," she says. "That will have to do."
"It does very well," Arthur agrees, and shows her how much he loves her.
And there are so many happy years of quiet contentment. Often the children (they are still 'the children' despite being grown with children of their own) come round for a Sunday dinner, and always for Christmas. Arthur says fondly that Molly would be heart-broken if they didn't: he knows, however (and so do the family) that he would be equally upset.
She is by his bedside, holding his hand and looking down at him with love - that love which has always been there, through everything.
"I'm here, Arthur. I'm here."
Her hair has turned grey now, and her face is lined with age. But Arthur smiles, and as he shuts his eyes for the last time he has one last thought.
She is still the most beautiful woman he's ever seen.