Chapter 39 : See You In September
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I'll be alone each and every night
While you're away, don't forget to write
See you in September
See you when the summer's through
Strange though it was, the encounter with Reid and Cecilia had lightened the sombre mood for everyone, and when the train arrived at Platform 9 ¾, Molly bounced down the steps happily. The school year was finally over and the hot summer months stretched out before her, filled with the promise of seeing Arthur as often as she could.
He wants to marry me, she thought with a fierce happiness, watching Arthur as he brought her trunk down off the train for her.
She decided staying close to the crowds of students exiting the train was the best way to avoid their parents for a nice long good-bye with Arthur, and put her arms around him right there next to the train. He looked surprised for a moment, but grinned and bent down to kiss her.
After a few minutes, Molly drew away and looked around the platform to see where their friends had gotten to. Cecilia and Reid were wrapped in each other's arms again, kissing passionately. Molly still found this very disturbing and had to look away. Petula was standing with her parents, and her father seemed to be lecturing her. Petula looked bad-tempered, her arms crossed tightly in front of her chest.
Hattie was hugging her mother, who looked very much like Hattie, both beaming and chatting to each other animatedly. Hattie's mother was very sweet, much like her daughter. Siobhan waited alone near the gateway to the Muggle platforms; she would be flying home to Ireland soon on a Muggle aeroplane and probably wanted to say good-bye to Cecilia before she left. Arthur had been a little disappointed on the train to hear that Siobhan didn't actually know how an aeroplane worked.
She saw Thaddeus Peabody and waved to him. Thad waved back as he headed for his parents. Dunstan had already disappeared through the barrier with his parents, and Cosmo was surrounded by his sisters and mother, looking happy to see his family again. Roddy Feltham stood near his parents and a younger sister wearing Hufflepuff colours, watching Siobhan, and Molly felt rather sorry for him that Siobhan didn't return his affections. She turned to Arthur; he was watching Cosmo's family as if they were utterly fascinating, and she distracted him by brushing his hair off his forehead.
He looked down at her with a smile.
“I suppose we'd better find our parents,” she said reluctantly.
“I think I see your dad over there,” Arthur said, pointing further down the platform near where Reid and Cecilia stood.
Hattie was waving to her. Molly stood on her tiptoes as she waved back. Hattie always came to her house over the summer for visits, so she wasn't too worried about saying good-bye to her best friend.
Arthur looked over at Molly as she waved to her friend. I'm going to marry you someday, Molly Prewett.
She was beaming, and her curls bounced as she dragged him out of sight of her parents. They hid behind a brickwork pillar and she straightened out his collar, brushing his shoulders with her fingertips as if to clear invisible lint from his robes. Her fingers were gentle; she was probably thinking of the marks from Pringle's cane. They didn't hurt any more, but the marks were still there. Still, getting caned had almost been worth it to have Molly lying in bed with him, resting on his bare chest, if only for a moment.
“Now, you're going to come see me this summer, aren't you?” she asked briskly.
He smiled down at her, holding her around the waist. “Every day, if I can.”
“Good.” Her hands were still on his collar, and she pulled him down to her, wrapping her arms around his neck then as she kissed him soundly. He returned the kiss, not caring who was watching them.
“Disgusting,” came a voice from behind them. “I think I'm going to be sick.”
Arthur broke away from Molly then, but kept his arms around her as he looked around. Her little brothers were standing there with their friend Frank Longbottom, shaking their heads and looking mildly repulsed.
“Can't you snog somewhere we can't see you? I just ate,” Gideon said.
“Yeah,” said Fabian. “I think I'm going to vomit pumpkin pasties all over you. It won't be pretty.”
Frank chuckled appreciatively. Arthur wasn't impressed by the twins' wit this time. He only had a few moments in private with the love of his life before their parents found them, and he did not want the twins interrupting.
“Go away,” he told them, still holding Molly tightly, and she smiled up at him and kissed his cheek.
“Gah,” Fabian said inarticulately, and wandered off with his twin and their friend in tow.
Molly watched her brothers go with a shake of her head, and turned back to Arthur just as her parents approached. She stepped away from him regretfully, wishing they'd had a few more minutes to themselves.
“Was that your brothers?” Antonia Prewett demanded, trying to see where the twins had gone, but they'd disappeared into the crowd.
“Yes.” Molly held Arthur's hand tightly. She didn't want to say good-bye to him, even though she knew she'd see him over the summer. She was too used to seeing him all throughout the day and didn't like to think about spending most of her day without him; she was going to miss him terribly.
“Hello Arthur,” her mother said to him, smiling warmly. Her father nodded gruffly at Arthur.
“Hello, Mr. and Mrs. Prewett,” Arthur said. He didn't sound nervous at all, but his hand tightened on hers. She hoped he did come to see her every day over the summer. She felt so safe when he was around, warm and loved. Professor Ampara's death had shaken her more than she'd realized; the platform crowded with wizards had an air of danger that it had never had before.
“Well, come on, let's go find your brothers. Do you think I could Summon them?” Antonia added to her husband.
“I don't think that spell works on teenage boys,” Hippolytus said calmly. “Just amplify your voice and shout at them.”
“Oh, please don't,” Molly said in horror. “I'll help you find them.” She turned back to Arthur, wishing she could kiss him again, but she didn't dare in front of her father. “I'll see you soon, I promise.”
He nodded, and let go of her hand reluctantly.
Arthur watched them disappear into the crowd, searching for Molly's brothers. He stood a little taller to try to watch Molly's dark red hair move through the crowd as long as he could. He didn't want to say good-bye yet. He hadn't even gotten to kiss her again, with her father giving him the eye.
He could see his mother waving to him with a brightly coloured handkerchief in her hand, his father standing next to her, filling his pipe with bright blue tobacco. Arthur made his way toward them, and she reached up to pat his cheeks, knocking his glasses askew.
“How was school, my little love?” she asked as he straightened his glasses.
“It was fine, Mum. Please don't call me that, people can hear you.”
“And how is your young lady?” his father asked with a wink. “The lovely Miss Prewett.”
He grinned at his father. “She's wonderful.”
“Such a dear girl,” his mum said fondly. “Such lovely penmanship.”
Arthur rolled his eyes.
“Isn't it nice, now we can all just Apparate home together.” His mother waved her wand at Arthur's trunk and it disappeared, sent home to await them.
“Yes, Mum.” Arthur craned his neck a little. He wanted one last glimpse of Molly before they left.
The crowd suddenly parted a bit as if some invisible entity had heard his thoughts and swept a path clear, and Molly was there with her parents and her little brothers. Gideon and Fabian disappeared through the barrier as he watched, and then Molly turned his way as her parents argued behind her. She caught his eye and smiled brilliantly at him, her eyes sparkling. She took his breath away when she smiled like that, and Arthur couldn't help himself.
He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted to her, “I love you!”
She laughed and shouted back, “I love you too!”
Her parents looked very surprised behind her, and then the crowd closed, blocking his view again. Arthur turned his attention back to his parents. His mother had her hands clasped at her chest and was beaming at him, her eyes bright with tears.
“Oh, isn't it sweet, Septimus?” she said to his father with a sniff.
“Get a hold of yourself, Cedrella,” Septimus told her, but then he put an arm around his wife to gather her close and gave her a peck on the cheek as he Apparated them both home.
Arthur took one last glance around at the bustle of students on the platform, then spun on the spot and disappeared with a pop.
A/N: Thank you to all my readers who've stuck with the story through the end, and a double thank you to my loyal reviewers! Your support means so much to me. You haven't heard the end of these characters from me, so keep an eye out on my author page for more. I've already begun posting the Cecilia/Reid story, "I Will Follow".
November 2010: Just a quick update to add, the Unsinkable series in chronological order:
"Fireworks" (actually a prequel of sorts)
"I Will Follow" (parallel to Unsinkable)
"Shift" (Professor Ampara's story)
"The Black Velvet Band" (summer after Unsinkable for Siobhan)
"What It's Worth" (seventh year sequel, novel-length)
"At The Hour" (directly follows 'What It's Worth')
"Over the Anvil" (the elopement! Short novella)
"All Things Life Must Be" (a series of one-shots)
"Cherry Blossoms" (a short story about Hattie).
You can find all of them on my author page. :) Hope you enjoy, and please review! I never leave a review unanswered, they really mean a lot to me.