Chapter 7 : Then He Kissed Me
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When he danced he held me tight
And when he walked me home that night
All the stars were shining bright
And then he kissed me
The week seemed to fly past and drag on endlessly at the same time for Molly, and soon it was Saturday morning, and she was in the common room wearing her nicest non-school robes, which were a pretty shade of mossy green that went well with her hair. The other sixth-year girls had approved them, and the little hat Molly wore that she’d knitted herself. She’d put on her school cloak and gone downstairs to meet Arthur. She’d expected he’d be ready before her, but instead she stood waiting for him.
Her friends were still upstairs in their dormitory, getting ready for a day in Hogsmeade, except Siobhan, who was preparing to serve a detention for cheeking Professor Kettleburn in Care of Magical Creatures yesterday. Someday Molly hoped her friend would learn to control her mouth around teachers, but she wasn’t holding her breath. After five years of classes together and sharing a dormitory, the other Gryffindor girls had not managed to make a dent in Siobhan’s sarcasm, nor had they helped her control her colourful vocabulary. Her father was a sailor and Hattie said she must spend all summer learning new words from him.
Arthur had been sitting at her table at almost every meal this week, and the sixth-year girls all seemed to like him very much, though Molly hadn’t yet called a Gryffindor Girls Council slumber party to get their full opinions on him. The fact that they smiled and laughed with him, and even Siobhan managed not to roll her eyes like she normally did over everything, indicated that it would be a fun council when they did discuss him. They liked him, she was sure of it.
Well, they ought to, after all, she liked him very much, she thought happily, smiling to herself.
Cosmo Graham, a tall and skinny fifth-year with dark hair and eyes and a very prominent Adam’s apple who she knew was friends with Arthur, came running down the stairs from the boys’ dormitory. He skidded to a halt in front of Molly, and asked breathlessly, “Do you think Cecilia Fletcher would go out with Reid Akins?”
“No,” Molly answered, taken aback.
“Oh. Right then.” Cosmo turned and ran back up the stairs. Molly stared after him and wondered what that had been about.
She was just beginning to get exasperated with waiting when he appeared, looking quite nice in his dark robes and cloak. He smiled when he saw her, and she forgot everything else and smiled back at him.
“Good morning, Molly,” Arthur said happily.
“Good morning, Arthur.”
They went down to the Great Hall together and ate breakfast at the Gryffindor table together. For the first time that week, her friends sat apart from them, letting them have some privacy to chat. Molly smiled at them and thought how nice it had been this week with Arthur joining them, sitting next to her, hearing him laugh and joke with her friends. He was so adorable when he laughed.
She was smitten, she admitted to herself as she giggled at one of his little jokes. She couldn’t stop looking at him.
She wondered if he would try to kiss her today, and then wondered what she could do to make sure he did.
They sat in the Three Broomsticks and chatted comfortably for most of the morning, drinking butterbeers and occasionally having a conversation with their classmates who stopped by their table to say hello. Molly was feeling quite comfortable and enjoying herself immensely under Arthur’s attentive gaze. He’d asked her so many questions, she didn’t think she’d talked so much about herself since the first week of school, when she and her roommates had stayed up late into the night, acting like the school was one big slumber party.
She didn’t forget her determination to find out all about him, of course, and asked him about himself as well. He had two brothers, just as she did, and apparently his brother Bilius was just as much of a trouble-maker as her own brothers were. Both of Arthur’s brothers were out of school already; he was the baby of the family. She was the oldest in her family. His family was pureblood, and distantly related to hers through marriage, as she found out when he mentioned his mother was a Black – her uncle Ignatius had married into the Black family. He seemed quite rueful that his family was pureblooded, and she thought he probably wished he had some Muggles in his family. But he wasn’t at all disappointed that she was pureblooded as well.
They talked about their families and friends, their experiences at Hogwarts, briefly abused the caretaker, Apollyon Pringle, for his intractably irascible attitude toward the students, and discussed their O.W.L. results and relief at getting the O.W.L. examinations over with.
“Now, N.E.W.T. exams, those should be extremely difficult. Oh, hallo, Akwetee,” Arthur waved vaguely to one of the Owusu twins, who were both Hufflepuffs, and then continued, “I’m not looking forward to those at all. Glad we’ve got another year before we have to take them.”
Molly nodded. “Yes, I expect we’ll do fine, I’m much more confident after passing all my O.W.L.s, but I don’t want to sit those exams either.”
Arthur glanced at the clock and started. “Good Lord, it’s getting late. We’d better set out if we want to go anywhere else in Hogsmeade today.” He stood and held out a hand to Molly.
She smiled at him and let him help her up, although she didn’t need it. His mother must have drilled good manners and chivalrous behaviour into him from birth; he seemed to do it quite unconsciously. If only her brothers behaved as well. She hadn’t seen either of them in Hogsmeade today and was rather glad of it; they’d be sure to mock her for being in town with a date. They mostly avoided her at school, afraid she’d tell their mother whatever mischief they were up to.
The butterbeers they’d had were making her feel warm and happy, despite the cold October weather, or maybe it was having Arthur’s undivided attention for so long. She felt quite free, walking down the High Street with Arthur, and when his hand stole around hers, she clasped it tightly, and saw him smile widely out of the corner of her eye. He seemed very confident today. She wondered what he was plotting.
They looked around in Dervish and Banges for a while, and Arthur let go of her hand to examine a few things. She felt disappointed that his warm fingers weren’t grasping hers anymore, but she busied herself looking around the store.
She was looking over a small silver instrument, uncertain as to what it did, when Arthur appeared next to her with a slightly devilish smile on his face, took her hand, and led her to a deserted corner of the shop, behind a shelf full of softly whirring and ticking instruments, where he held her close and kissed her softly on the lips.
A loud bang from behind the counter startled them, and they broke apart. Molly smiled softly up at Arthur, hoping he would kiss her again.
“Well, shall we go to Honeydukes, then?” he asked brightly. His ears were a little red, and she thought he must be embarrassed over kissing her, though why that should be she had no idea. It had been a very nice kiss. She wouldn’t mind a repeat, in fact. But she agreed, and they left Dervish and Banges. They were nearly at Honeydukes, holding hands again, when Molly decided to take matters into her own hands. She tugged on Arthur’s hand and they slipped between the buildings and stood in a narrow alley between Honeydukes and another shop.
Molly leaned back against the building and pulled Arthur close. She reached up and took off his glasses, placing them neatly in the front pocket of his robes, then slid her arms around his neck and tilted her face expectantly at him.
Arthur took the hint immediately and bent his head to kiss her again. This time nothing interrupted them.
A short time later, they emerged from the alley holding hands, both looking pleased with themselves, Molly’s cheeks a little pink, and nearly ran over Thaddeus Peabody and Cressida Titherington, who were just coming out of Honeydukes. Thad grinned widely at the two of them, and Arthur reddened, but Thad simply clapped a hand to Arthur’s shoulder and continued on. Cressida waved at them as she followed him.
Molly chuckled as she tugged on Arthur’s hand. “Come on, then, buy me a Chocoball.”
“Anything for you, Molly.” He held the door open for her and she laughed merrily as they went inside.
“You really are a gentleman, Arthur.”
He looked pleased, and Molly led him into the sweet shop, feeling quite giddy. They picked out some sweets to buy, and she found she couldn’t stop smiling. They came outside, Arthur carrying a small bag of sweets, and had just started out down the street when they came abruptly face-to-face with her little brothers, Gideon and Fabian.
Gideon’s eyes widened and he promptly hid his hands behind his back. “Hallo there, Molly,” he said with forced cheerfulness. “Lovely day, isn’t it?”
“What have you got there?” Molly asked suspiciously.
“Nothing. Who’s this?” Fabian was eyeing Arthur curiously.
Arthur put out a hand. “Arthur Weasley. I don’t believe we’ve met officially, but I know who you are, of course.”
“Ah. Right. We’ve seen you about.” Fabian shook his hand. “I’m Fabian, this is my brother Gideon. We’re in third year.”
“These are my little brothers, Arthur,” Molly added unnecessarily. She surveyed them with distaste. Their sandy blonde hair was dusty and their robes had streaks of dirt on them. “What on earth have you two been up to? Why are you covered in dirt? Were you in the joke shop, is that what you’re hiding?”
The twins glanced at each other, and as had always frustrated Molly, there seemed to be unspoken communication between them. They were tricksters, and she had an older sister’s impatience with them. They were always pulling silly pranks, and they loved to switch places, although why they would bother at school when they had the same classes was beyond her. She’d never had much trouble telling her brothers apart, but when one insisted he was the other, she did get uncertain. Other people, including her father (but never her mother), mixed them up all the time.
“Molly, are you on a date?” Gideon asked, obviously attempting to both change the subject and distract her. It worked.
Molly turned pink. “Mind your own business, Gideon.”
“You are on a date!” Fabian exclaimed, grinning widely.
“Go away, both of you. And behave yourselves; don’t embarrass me on your first trip to Hogsmeade.” She grabbed Arthur’s hand and gave it a tug. “Come on, Arthur, let’s go.”
“I’m writing Mum that you have a boyfriend!” Gideon called after her. She scowled but didn’t respond.
Gideon and Fabian disappeared into Honeydukes and Arthur allowed himself to be led down the street by a now-irritable Molly.
“They’re just kids, Molly,” he said calmly as she stomped along, fuming under her breath. “They only tease because you’re their big sister and they love you.”
She didn’t argue with that, but stopped outside Gladrags and crossed her arms beneath her chest. “They just wanted to embarrass me, and you.”
“I’m not embarrassed at all. And I’d be honoured to be your boyfriend, but I wouldn’t presume to be yet,” Arthur said fondly.
Molly smiled then and her arms loosened. “Yet? Are you confident, then, that you’ll be my boyfriend?”
Arthur’s ears reddened and he stammered, “Well, of course I hope, someday…”
Molly laughed. “Oh Arthur, I was only teasing you. I wouldn’t have let you kiss me earlier if I didn’t care for you,” she added in a whisper, blushing a little at admitting her feelings.
Arthur brightened. “Yes, you did let me kiss you,” he said in a low voice that made her feel a little tingly as she remembered his kisses.
She held out her hand to him, and he took it gladly. “We should start back to the castle, I think,” she said. “It really is late now.”
The street was much emptier than it had been when they went into Honeydukes. Arthur looked around and nodded. “Yes, we’d better. Did you have a nice time?”
“I did, thank you.” They started out for the castle together, hand in hand.
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