chapter image by me
The outside world was white and still. The white blanket that covered the meadows and hills near Ottery St. Catchpole was yet undisturbed, only the occasional trail left by wildlife. The young redheaded man watched from the window of his room, taking in the momentary peace. He had waited for this day, , and twenty-four hours from now, he hoped to look out on the same picture with his wife in his arms. His ears perked up when he heard rambunctious footsteps on the stairs. The door was thrown open and two faces, so similar to his own, grinned at him. The time of peace was over, it seemed.
From another window, a girl of about nineteen years of age was watching the snow fall. She was sitting on the window seat, drawing silly patterns into the mist her breath left on the window pane. Her gaze drank in the snow crystals that tumbled around in the wind outside of her window, the festive lights paling as the sky turned lighter. For miles, there was nothing but houses, and streets and every other sign of her urban surroundings. This would be the last morning she would wake up in the bedroom of her childhood, and the view from her window would change completely.
Molly fastened her long morning robe around her as she stood in front of the mirror. She wanted to look good for Arthur. She was short, yes, she had resigned herself to the fact that she would never reach her brothersí height. Strands of her untameable red mane had escaped the long braid she wore at night; her brown eyes were wide open. So, not as calm as you would wish youíd be, she thought, amused about herself. She twirled her wand, making sure her hair appeared neat again. Although the morning was supposed to be spent with family and lazing around until it was time to get ready, it would not do to appear at her motherís breakfast table in a less than perfect manner.
Descending the wide set of stairs, she caught sight of two red-haired heads, close together. A mischievous smile stole onto her lips, she tiptoed down the last steps, her footfalls muted by the thick red carpet. "Hem hem!" she cleared her throat, and the two figures in front of her jumped up as if burned.
"Molly, donít do that! You just took five years off of our life!" the one on the right replied, while his mirror image on the left feigned a heart attack and collapsed on the floor.
"You look fine to me, Fab. And Gid, you donít want to be caught soiling up your clothes," she said, grabbing the hem of her robe as she demonstratively stepped over her younger brother. Whatever they had been up to, it would be interesting to watch everyone trying to get their cloaks later on.
That much could be said, her brothers made a point of behaving as un-fitting as possible. At least her younger ones.
"Nate!" she exclaimed, after entering the morning room. Ignatius was the second oldest of them, and she barely saw him these days. Molly had thrown her arms around him, holding on tight.
"Good morning, Molly," she could hear her motherís voice in pointed tones. "Please greet your aunts and uncles properly."
Molly rolled her eyes, well hidden behind the bulk of her brotherís shoulders. She caught his smirk before she stepped around him, and first approached her Uncle Reginald Prewett and then Aunt Penelope, giving each a light kiss on the cheek.
"Is Alaric not coming?" she queried, although she thought she already knew the answer. Alaric was her cousin, two years older than herself, and Ė a squib.
"He could not arrange it; our apologies, dear," Aunt Penelope piped. He was never told, more likely, Molly thought to herself, and regretted that she had not invited him personally.
She then turned to the next persons, "Uncle Ignatius, Aunt Cedrella," and greeted them with a kiss as well. She finished the round off with her father and oldest brother Reginald.
Molly took her seat at the table, and her father bode them all an enjoyable meal. She listened in on the light conversation, nodded at the right places and occasionally threw in a word of her own. Would she and Arthur join those formal breakfasts? She could not imagine acting that stiff with him. It was something she had come to love about him.
Uncle Ignatius and his wife Cedrella had no children, and she could not imagine them as parents, no matter how hard she tried. A pure-blood marriage, respectable but cold.
Uncle Reginald and Aunt Penelope. He worked for the ministry, somewhere so secret no one really knew what he was doing. To their chagrin, they had only one son, Alaric, but he could do no magic whatsoever. He had grown distant from them, as he tried to make a life for himself in the muggle world, he was doing something with accounts. Or something.
Her parents, Nathanael and Mary Prewett, were also ranked pretty high in their society; the large house, a mansion almost, was proof of that. Her oldest brother Reginald had been a Ravenclaw, in contrast to his siblings who all had been or were Gryffindors, he was a teacher, and she had never been close to him due to the age gap and lately his profession. Ignatius worked in the Department for Sports, he was fanatic about Quidditch, but hopeless at playing himself. Not a post to boast about in her fatherís opinion, but still at the Ministry.
Fabian and Gideon, the troublemakers and rebels. They were three years younger than her. Then she, Molly, the only girl. The trophy daughter, or that was what her family had wanted her to be.
They had not approved of her boyfriend, from the beginning. It had taken long enough to convince them she did not want anyone else. They still did not approve of the match, but she was nothing if not stubborn. She had told them she would be Mrs Arthur Weasley with or without their consent; and so they had reluctantly agreed to come. At least, the family council had concluded, the Weasleys were an old magical family, even if they had some very liberal and unusual beliefs. Or muggle-lovers, as Fabian and Gideon had proclaimed loudly, laughing their heads off at the wording.
The rest of the morning was spent lounging around, her father plus his brothers and Reg and Nate had disappeared into the study. The twins were nowhere to be seen either, but she doubted they had been allowed into the study.
"Molly dear, I donít understand why you canít accept the house elf! It would be the perfect gift, and I doubt that husband of yours would be able to provide one!" her mother was rambling.
"Mother, and I repeatedly told you I donít want a house elf! We
donít want a house elf!"
"He only wants you to believe that, so he doesnít have to admit he canít afford one!" Aunt Penelope butted in.
Molly excused herself, seething at those words. She was still raging against her aunt, and almost ran into someone else. "Gideon! What are you up to now?"
Her younger brother smiled at her, the picture of innocence. "Molly, what you donít know, wonít get you into trouble. Or something like that."
"Yes, donít worry your pretty little head Ö, ouch!" Fabian had started to agree with his brother, but stopped abruptly to theatrically clutch his head after Molly had whacked him.
"Donít call me little. Iím only letting you go because you called me pretty," she told them. Then, more calmly, she asked, "So what are you doing? I feel like putting cockroaches into Aunt Penelopeís cloak myself."
"Thatís the girl," Fabian exclaimed, putting his arm over her shoulders. He had no difficulties with that, he already towered over her.
Molly laughed him off, continuing on her way to her room. She started gathering her things she would need for today, they would be apparating to the Burrow soon, where she would get dressed. Her mother peeked in on her to make sure she had everything, advising her to let Minky the house elf to her hair while still at the Prewett home. Molly didnít comment; she imagined how some day, she would have a little girl, and do her hair herself, no elves or wands involved.
Molly and Ignatius arrived with a pop. Her cheeks were still flushed from their argument. She felt perfectly capable of apparating here herself, but no one would hear of it. She marched towards the building that would be her new home, ignoring the sceptical glances her relatives kept throwing at it, as she followed in Fabianís and Gideonís wake, who were announcing for the whole world to hear that the bride had arrived.
She approached the door, and could already see various equally red-heads pop up in the windows. There seemed to be a lot of shuffling and shoving to be going on, then the door was thrown open and Ė huh, not Arthur as she had hoped, but his brothers Lionel and Bilius, both blocking the door with their bodies.
"There she is, our future sister-in-law!" Bilius exclaimed although he made no attempt to greet her. Lionel just sent her a pained smile, struggling to stand upright.
"Dad, get the groom away from me!" Lionel shouted in the direction behind him.
Comprehension dawned on the three Prewetts, and the twins rushed forward to join the fray, making for even more ruckus and pandemonium. Molly locked on at the display with her hands on her hips, not sure whether to laugh, throw her handbag at them or join in. Merlin help her if the genes of her brothers and the genes of Arthurís brothers ever combined. The outcome would be absolutely lethal.
She looked on, still not sure what to do. Then her mother started scolding her boys, calling for them to get back. A dark-haired woman and her red-haired husband appeared in the doorframe. While Mr Weasley sen. took it upon himself to untangle his sons, Mrs Weasleys looks alone promised imminent doom.
Molly had been over various times for tea, and she wondered how Cedrella Weasley managed to raise those boys. True, she had four brothers herself, but it was mostly the Nanny or the house elves that dealt with them.
She managed one last look at her Arthur, then he was dragged away. Stupid traditions, she wanted, needed to talk to him. Then her attention was diverted to the two groups on each side of her, and she could not help letting her gaze go back and forth between them.
Fabian and Gideon were standing in front of their parents with lowered heads, pretending to be ashamed, but she could see the grimaces and faces they made at each other.
On the other side, Mrs Weasley was in front of her oldest sons, staring them down. Although both Lionel and Bilius were legal adults and towered over their mother, they could not look her in the eye. Interesting, she would have to keep that technique in mind.
Cedrella Weasley turned away from her sons, a smile lighting up her face as she welcomed the Prewetts. Molly felt herself enveloped in a warm hug.
More greetings followed, but soon her mother ushered her to go and change.
The gown flowed in a white cascade down to the ground, and it would be trailing behind her. It dipped at the waist, and the long skirt actually made her usually short figure look elegant and slim. Her cleavage was showing a bit, nothing too indecent, but leaving it to imagination. She had a long golden necklace with a lion penchant, a gift from her grandmother after her sorting. It had originally been a raven, but that had to be changed. Her hair was pulled up at the back of her head, and falling down in soft red waves to her shoulders. Molly took a deep breath, then answered her fatherís summon.
As she put her hand into her fatherís, Molly felt nervous to the bone. The way to the orchard felt like an eternity.
The tent came into view, middle sized, to hold not only family, but a lot of the Weasleyís friends. The trees were leaning close to the ground, burdened down by the heavy load of snow, she was sure, but it looked as if they were standing vigil over the wedding tent, a bright yellow spot/fleck in the otherwise white-in-white picture.
"Is this really what you want, Mollybear?"
Molly looked at her father in surprise, he hadnít used that nickname since she was 7. "Father, it really is. This is exactly what I want, and I know that Arthur would never do anything to hurt me."
Nathanael Prewett nodded slowly. His face gave nothing away.
He stayed silent for the next few moments, until they had almost reached the entrance to the tent. "I hope youíll be right. I wish you only the best, and even if I donít approve your choice completely, I want you to be happy. He better take good care of you."
Molly felt tears in her eyes, and squeezed his hand tightly. She knew that was everything he would allow in public. This was just the way her family was Ö
Her eyes roamed over the crowd, landing on her target.
Arthur knew the moment she had entered. Her eyes sought his, and he remembered Ö
He had waited outside her window, impatiently pacing in the shadows. Hogwarts had just let out a week before, and already, he missed her. His Mollywobbles. The Weasleys and the Prewetts did not necessarily see eye to eye when it came to issues such as blood and the importance of social standing. The Prewetts were in no way as blunt or radical about it as others, but proud of their heritage nonetheless. Mollyís parents had been horrified of their daughterís choice, and downright forbidden any further contact. His own parents left the choice to him, but seemed sceptical nonetheless.
The window above him opened a bit, and he could see a glimpse of red in the moonlight. Molly appeared fully, apparently deeming it safe enough, and started climbing out, taking the decorations of the houseís exterior as footholds. When her feet drew level with his head, she missed the foothold she had aimed for and fell down with a little surprised exclamation. He had watched closely, opening his arms wide in reflex. They both tumbled down to the ground. He had to take a few breaths to get over his initial panic, and felt more than saw Molly on top of him, with her eyes tightly shut. "Iíve got you," he said, trying to get his breath back. Her eyes opened, and both broke out in foolish grins as the hugged each other tightly. He had no recollection of how long they had been lying there; at some point Molly lifted herself up, pulling him with her; and they disappeared into the night.
She almost did not notice anything else as they made their way down the aisle, she seemed to float as she approached the tall redhead. She only saw his blue eyes, and as always felt like she found and lost herself in them.
Her father gave her away to her future husband, Molly spent most of the ceremony in a fuzzy cocoon. Pale rays of sunshine fought their way into the tent, setting off Arthurís and Biliusís hair. That red hair with light coming off it Ö
Molly followed the other first years into the Great Hall. She tried not to let her nervousness show, as she concentrated on the red-headed boy in front of her. He was taller than her, but she was used to find herself always amongst the shorter ones. Overhead, the charmed ceiling she had heard so much about twinkled with stars, and although she knew there were probably hundreds of faces watching her, she could not see them for the myriad of candles floating around in the air. The light reflected off the boyís hair, a few shades lighter than her own.
The first years had piled in, and gathered in front of the teachersí table, where their professor had taken his place beside a rickety stool with an ancient hat on it. Molly eyed it curiously, of course she knew what it was.
The boy next to her bounced on his heels, nearly crashing into her. "Gryffindor, Gryffindor," he kept chanting quietly to himself.
"Is that where you want to be?" Molly asked him, trying not to concentrate too hard on the butterflies in her stomach.
He jerked out of his thoughts, then gave her a shaky grin, "íCourse. Itís the best anyway."
Molly nodded. Her oldest brother was a Ravenclaw, her other a Gryffindor. "Iíll take whatever the hat gives me. What else can you do?"
"Uh, I guess. I only wish we could have Muggle Studies already. I loved going to the nearby village, watching them make do without magic."
"Really? I donít know any Muggles," Molly had to admit. The boyís eyes lit up. He enthusiastically told her his observations, and it helped her pass the waiting time as one after the other went up to the stool to be sorted.
"Prewett, Molly," the professorís voice cut clearly into her own personal bubble. Molly had stiffened involuntarily, until she felt the boy, whose name she still did not know, give her hand a little squeeze. "You?" he questioned her softly.
Molly gave a decisive nod, and marched ahead. Yes, she could do that.
She came back to the ceremony, consciously taking in the words again, as she felt Ignatius nudge her into the side. Like in her flashback, Arthur looked at her, his hand holding hers. She felt her cheeks heat a little, with love and sheepishness.
"Yes!" she said, her voice certain and jubilant.
His heart skipped a beat as Molly did not answer the officiantís question immediately. Her brother poked her a little, but her answer quelled all his doubts again.
Arthur took her left hand, and gently slid the ring onto her finger, on its rightful place. His own fingers were shaking a little, but as he took in her face, he felt a huge smile take over his face.
Molly looked in her husbandís eyes, finding all the warmth and love she could ever hope for.
She felt his hand gently cup her face, and she more than willingly lifted her mouth up, savouring the feel of his lips on hers.
Septimus Weasley & Cedrella Black Ė Lionel,
Ignatius Prewett & Lucretia Black Ė no children
Reginald Prewett & Penelope Ė Alaric
, the squib
Nathanael Prewett & Mary Ė Reginald, Ignatius
, Molly, Fabian, Gideon
A/N: canon (see JKRís Black Family Tree):
Septimus Weasley (b. 1912-1917) & Cedrella Black (b. 1915-1919), most likely Arthurís parents, Arthur has two brothers
Ignatius Prewett & Lucretia Black (1926-1992), Lucretia is Orion Blackís sister
Characters in italics made up/named by me.
I am not Joanne K. Rowling; she owns any of the characters you recognise.
Thanks for reading! Youíve come this far, why not leave a review? :)