Herman’s Hermits, “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat?” Wedding bells are gonna chime
Baby, baby, you're gonna be mine
Can't you hear the poundin' of my heartbeat
'cause you're the one I love, you're the one I love
Molly told her friends all about the night on the Astronomy tower the next morning as she got dressed. She felt light as air today, filled with giddiness over having Arthur Weasley for a boyfriend. He was so sweet and romantic. She couldn’t stop smiling. She half-wished she’d told him last night that she was in love with him, but it was probably for the best. It had only been three weeks, after all.
“I thought he already was your boyfriend,” Siobhan said groggily, still curled up under her blanket.
“He hadn’t asked me officially,” Molly said cheerfully.
Siobhan rolled her eyes and pulled the blanket up tighter under her chin.
“Let’s see the necklace, then,” Hattie said from where she knelt on Petula’s bed, plaiting Petula’s hair into two French plaits. Petula sat in front of Hattie with her knees clutched to her chest, rocking a little as Hattie tugged on her hair.
Molly pulled it out of the box and her friends all nodded their approval, even Siobhan, who peered at it blearily before pulling the blanket up over her head.
“Oh, it’s lovely,” Hattie sighed.
“Are you going to wear it today?” Cecilia asked. She was already dressed, her dark hair up in a neat ponytail, and was sitting cross-legged at the foot of her bed while she waited for the other girls to get ready. Her mood was still a little foul from last night; she had been in mid-diatribe against Reid when Molly had woken up. The only downside to Molly’s relationship with Arthur had been the increased contact between Cecilia and Reid, and therefore the increased vitriol coming from Cecilia, who had still not forgiven him for the fireworks fiasco during fifth year and seemed to have no intention of ever doing so.
Molly nodded. “I’m going to wear it every day,” she said, fastening it around her neck.
“That’s such a romantic date, spending the evening on the Astronomy Tower, snogging under the stars,” Petula said, wincing as Hattie tugged particularly hard on her hair. “You’re so lucky, Molly. I want a boyfriend. Nobody ever asks me out.”
“You went out with Michael O’Toole most of last year,” Hattie pointed out.
“Yes, but nobody’s asked me out this year.”
“Wear your skirts shorter,” Siobhan’s voice came from under her blanket.
“You’re going to miss breakfast, Siobhan, get out of bed,” Cecilia said, annoyed.
The lump under the beds moved; Siobhan was rolling over onto her stomach. “No. I’m going back to sleep as soon as you lot go away and I can get some quiet.”
“You’ll miss class,” Molly warned her.
Cecilia flicked her wand at Siobhan and the blanket flew off her and landed on the floor next to the four-poster bed.
“You’ve a cruel heart, Cecilia Fletcher,” said Siobhan, clutching her pillow tightly.
“That’s why I was made the prefect,” Cecilia said airily as Siobhan sat up and grabbed her hairbrush from the nightstand.
By the time Siobhan was dressed and they’d all made it down to the Great Hall, Arthur and his friends were already sitting at the Gryffindor table, eating breakfast. He shot to his feet when he saw Molly, a piece of toast still in his hand.
“Good morning,” he said, grinning at her a bit nervously.
Molly smiled brightly at him. His friends were sniggering into their breakfasts, and she wondered what he’d told them about last night. She had no idea if boys talked to their friends the way girls did. Her brothers seemed to talk about everything, but she rather thought they were a special case, being twins. She sat down next to Arthur and he took his seat again, still giving her a sappy grin. She was sure her own smile was just as sappy, and didn’t care.
Cecilia sat down at the far end of the group, making sure she had the maximum distance between her and Reid while still sitting close to her friends, and gave Dunstan a flirtatious smile that was plainly calculated to annoy Reid. Reid scowled at his friend.
“Morning, ladies,” Cosmo said. “Morning, Arthur’s girlfriend,” he added to Molly with a sly grin, and she felt her cheeks grow hot.
Arthur elbowed Cosmo sharply in the ribs. Dunstan and Reid started sniggering again.
Cecilia glared at them and said sharply, “I think it’s sweet.”
Reid straightened up suddenly. “Yeah, I do too.”
Siobhan rolled her eyes and Dunstan gave him an incredulous look.
“That’s not what you said this morning,” he said loudly, his gaze flying from Reid to Cecilia and back.
“Shut it, Dunstan,” Reid said.
Molly sat in front of the fire in the Gryffindor common room that evening, reading her Charms textbook with her knitting on her lap, the needles flashing and yarn flying of their own accord, working on her current project, a long, cabled blue scarf for Arthur. She didn’t think he’d noticed what she was knitting, although he’d seen her at it a few times, and she was rather glad he was oblivious because she was hoping to surprise him. She didn’t really have a reason to give him a gift, other than that he was her boyfriend. She hugged that thought close to her heart; Arthur Weasley, her boyfriend, whom she loved, though he didn’t know it yet.
Hattie was sitting next to her, also reading her Charms textbook, occasionally glancing up at Molly’s knitting needles.
“How can you keep them going and read at the same time?” she asked finally.
“Oh, you get used to it,” Molly said absently, turning a page. “After a while you don’t even need to pay attention.”
Hattie shook her head. “Well, I’m impressed. You’re getting very good at enchanted knitting.”
Siobhan came over and flopped out across one of the chairs next to the sofa, glaring at Molly and Hattie. Hattie peered at her over the top of her book.
“What’s wrong, Siobhan?”
“I have another detention,” Siobhan said sourly.
Molly didn’t look up from her book. Siobhan having detention regularly wasn’t exactly a novelty. Hattie continued to peer at her without surprise. “What did you do this time?” she asked calmly.
“Oh, apparently there are ‘things you do in public, and things you don’t.’ Stupid McGonagall.” Siobhan crossed her arms resentfully. “It was a perfectly deserted corridor before she came along.”
Molly didn’t say anything. Before she’d started going out with Arthur, she probably would have spoken up, but she sort of felt she’d lost her high ground after the night on the Astronomy tower. Besides, she now saw the appeal of snogging in the castle after hours. Being out all alone with Arthur and sneaking around with the looming possibility of being caught was rather exhilarating. She wondered where Siobhan had managed to find a deserted corridor just after dinner, but she didn’t quite have the courage to ask. Not in front of Hattie, anyway.
“Lucky your dad doesn’t care if you get detentions,” Hattie remarked.
“Yeah, lucky,” Siobhan said darkly. “What are you studying?”
“Charms,” Hattie said.
“Oh. Well, I’m supposed to write an essay for Care of Magical Creatures. Save my seat for me, I’m going to go get my books.” Siobhan hopped up and headed for the girls’ dormitory. Molly and Hattie continued their quiet studying on the sofa, Molly’s knitting needles flashing in the sunlight streaming through the windows.
“Did you write your Potions essay yet?” Hattie asked calmly when Siobhan returned.
“Damn,” said Siobhan.
“I haven’t written it yet either,” Molly admitted.
Hattie and Siobhan both looked at her in surprise.
“It’s due tomorrow,” Hattie reminded her.
“I’ll write it tonight,” Molly said uncomfortably. “I wasn’t going to leave it; I just haven’t gotten to it yet.”
Siobhan grinned. “You certainly did slack off this weekend, Molly. Did the muse strike you too?”
Molly turned pink and hid behind her book.
Siobhan was quite cheered at finding she was no longer the only one who might leave their homework to the last minute in favour of some snogging, and their conversation as they did homework was cheerful. Molly was still a little embarrassed but she perked up when Siobhan asked where Arthur was.
“He’s out watching Quidditch practice with his friends,” Molly told her. “They should be back soon, it’s getting dark out.”
“They must like Quidditch a lot; it’s bloody cold out to just watch a practice session,” Siobhan said, glancing at the grey skies out the window.
“You really need to stop swearing, Siobhan, it isn’t ladylike,” Hattie said primly.
Siobhan gave her a look. “You know that saying that only makes me want to do it more.”
Molly ignored this aside and told them proudly, “Arthur loves Quidditch. He nearly made the House team, you know. As a Chaser.”
“Is that so,” Hattie said, smiling at her. “I didn’t think you cared about Quidditch, Molly.”
“I don’t, really,” she admitted.
“Molly’s got a boyfriend,” Siobhan said in a sing-song voice.
Hattie laughed at Molly’s blush. “There’s still an hour and a half before the library closes, Molly, you should go get some good solid work done on your essay.”
“I’ll come with you,” Siobhan said at once. “I won’t get it done otherwise, and I can do the Care of Magical Creatures essay after that.”
The two girls headed for the library a few minutes later and started to study. Molly rather liked studying with Siobhan, who tended to hum or sing under her breath in a light soprano while she worked. Molly wasn’t even sure Siobhan was aware of what she was doing, and would probably be embarrassed to know it, but Molly enjoyed hearing her friend’s voice so she’d never mentioned it to her.
Arthur found her while Siobhan had gone to put some books back on their shelves as the library was preparing to close for the night. Molly looked up at him with a smile and he leaned down to kiss her.
“Are you busy?” he asked, sitting down in the empty chair next to her. “I thought we might go out tonight. Hattie said you were writing a Potions paper?”
“I’m nearly finished,” Molly said. “Then we can go out.” She would have been completely finished ten minutes ago if she hadn’t spent the first twenty minutes in the library daydreaming about him, but she didn’t mention that.
“Well done.” Arthur peered over her shoulder, reading her essay. He pointed at the final paragraph she’d just finished writing. “I think you’ll find you mean pomegranate, not porcupine, right there.”
Molly frowned and peered at the offending paragraph. “Where? Oh, for the love.” She scratched out her entire last paragraph and then stared at her essay. “I can’t believe I did that, it’s completely the wrong ingredient and I went on and on about it. At least I don’t have to re-write the entire thing.”
Arthur gave her an odd look. “Why do you lot say for the love?” he asked.
“Excuse me?” Molly frowned slightly in confusion.
“All of you girls, you all say for the love a lot. I’ve never heard anyone else say it.”
“Oh.” Molly paused thoughtfully. “Well, we just always have, I suppose. I think Hattie started it when we were first years, and we all sort of started saying it after that.”
“Cecilia says it all the time,” Arthur said. “I wondered what it was all about.”
Molly shrugged. “I suppose it’s just something we do. I haven’t really thought about it. Do I say it?”
“Sometimes,” he said, grinning. “I think it’s charming.”
She smiled, blushing a little. “Well, it helps keep Siobhan from swearing, at least a little bit.”
Arthur smiled. She knew he wasn’t at all bothered by Siobhan’s swearing. “Do you need to finish the essay still?”
“No, I’ll finish it tomorrow.” Molly slammed her book closed and started gathering up her things.
Siobhan appeared at their table and gave Molly a harassed look as she picked up her things and stuffed them into her bookbag. “I’m going to be up all bloody night at this rate. I’m going back to the common room to start on my Care of Magical Creatures essay now. Are you coming along?” She seemed to notice Arthur then and gave him a smile that was half-grimace. “Hello, Arthur.”
“Hi Siobhan,” he said, smiling at her.
“Arthur and I were going to go out, but I need to bring all this back to our dorm first,” Molly said, waving a hand to indicate her books and notes.
“Are you all finished, then?” Siobhan peered at Molly’s essay, still sitting on the table.
“I have to rewrite a bit, but nearly, yes. I’ll finish it in the morning after Defence,” Molly said, feeling guilty. She’d never left her homework this late before, but she consoled herself with the thought that she didn’t have Potions until tomorrow afternoon and there was still time to finish it.
Siobhan grinned at her. “I’ll take your things back for you, Molly, you two go and have a lovely time. Try the fifth floor corridor behind the tapestry of the dancing wood nymphs, there’s a nice deserted shortcut there that’s bound to be empty at this time of night.” She gave them an extravagant wink, grabbed Molly’s things and tucked them under one arm, waving to Molly and Arthur as she walked away.
Arthur laughed. “She’s all right, isn’t she?”
Molly smiled fondly after her. “She is sweet, really. Shall we go find that tapestry or did you have something else in mind?” she asked in a low voice, glancing around to make sure they weren’t overheard, but the library was empty now.
“The tapestry sounds good to me.” Arthur took her hand as they left the library.
Molly brought the finished scarf down to breakfast a few days later, planning to give it to Arthur, and was pleased to find him still in the common room. He was sitting at the sofa in front of the fireplace, scribbling intently on a sheet of parchment that looked like an essay. Apparently she wasn’t the only one leaving their homework until the last moment. They had to find a way to get their studies done and still spend time together, she thought as she sat down next to him.
Arthur looked up at her and smiled, leaning over to kiss her on the cheek. He was getting quite open about it now, and would kiss her every time he saw her. She was quite happy with this arrangement and looked forward to meeting up with him in the corridors between classes to get her kiss on the cheek, or in deserted shortcuts for a much better kiss.
“Good morning,” he said. “I was just about to go down to breakfast, are you ready?”
“Yes, in a moment. I have a gift for you, Arthur,” Molly said shyly, handing him the scarf.
He looked surprised, and hesitated briefly before taking it. “What’s the occasion?”
“Just that you’re my boyfriend and I wanted to make it for you,” Molly said, feeling her cheeks heat with embarrassment. “Go on, then, take a look.”
He unfolded the scarf and examined it. “This is what you’ve been knitting? For me?” His voice was stunned, as if he couldn’t believe she’d make him something. He was so sweet, she leaned over to kiss him on the cheek.
“Do you like it?” she asked, feeling a little nervous. She’d only ever knitted for her family, or for gifts for her friends’ birthdays. Certainly never for a boyfriend.
“I love it.” He wrapped the scarf around his neck. “It’s perfect, it’s just what I needed.”
Molly was relieved, and scooted closer to him, hoping he’d wrap his arms around her. “I’m so glad. I wasn’t sure you’d like it.”
“Of course I like it, you made it,” he said, smiling at her, adjusting the scarf a bit around his neck. “I’ll wear it all the time.”
“Oh good.” Molly scooted a bit closer, so that her thigh was now lightly touching his.
Arthur pulled her into a tight embrace and started kissing her, and she threw her arms around his neck happily, not caring that they were in the middle of the common room with students walking down to breakfast right past them. Her thoughts became jumbled, as they always did when he kissed her, but she could feel his hand stroking her lower back and the thought occurred that being in his arms was the best place in the world, but then all rational thought fled and she forgot everything except kissing him back.
Dunstan’s voice came from behind them, breaking into her rosy pink haze. “Snogging here again? In broad daylight?”
She opened her eyes a tiny bit and could see Arthur shooing him away with one hand out of the corner of her eye, but he hadn’t stopped kissing her and she couldn’t seem to concentrate enough to focus on Dunstan.
“Oh, good Lord.” Dunstan shook his head at them in disgust as he walked away.
Molly giggled against Arthur’s lips, and he pulled back a little to grin at her.
“You’re much more confident now that I’m your girlfriend,” she said, and there was approval in her voice.
He grinned widely and said, “You just wait, Molly Prewett,” and then kissed her with such enthusiasm that they both fell backwards onto the sofa, with Molly still giggling as she kissed him back.
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