Chapter 4 : A Question
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“You were on holiday for three weeks in Australia!” I exclaim in protest.
“True,” Felicity admits. “But I still want to know everything that’s happened to you since we last met. You look different. Don’t try and deny that something’s happened. And you’re not leaving here until you’ve told me exactly what it is.”
“Okay, okay,” I laugh, holding my hands up in surrender. I sit down on her sofa and take the cup of coffee she’s poured me. This is why she’s my best friend. She always knows exactly what I need.
Well, perhaps it isn’t the only reason, but I’m pretty sure it’s up there in the top five.
Felicity sits down next to me on the sofa. She only has one in her new flat. It’s called a loveseat. The name made me feel sick when she first told me it. Still does, actually. It’s nice to know love hasn’t completely changed me.
It still feels weird being in her new flat. We lived together for five years before she moved in with Jasper, her boyfriend. She took most of her stuff with her and it’s strange to see her books stacked up on the coffee table instead of strewn all over her room.
“Earth to Molly!” Felicity shouts in my ear, waving her hand in front of my face. I blink and look at her.
“Come on, the news!” she orders. “What were you daydreaming about? A man?”
“No,” I insist, because I wasn’t. But I blush anyway, because I still haven’t told her about Campbell properly.
“Molly Weasley! You’d better tell me the truth. Is there a new man in your life?”
I groan internally. Normally Felicity is like me – sarcastic and down to earth – but ever since she started going out with Jasper she has been prone to being rather dramatic when the topic of relationships comes up. Particularly with regards to me. I’m sure my years of being a hopeless spinster have been driving her crazy. Even though I want her to know about my relative success, I would much rather avoid the shrieking that is guaranteed to come with it.
“Yes,” I answer, my cheeks burning with embarrassment.
“There is? Tell me all about him! How did you meet? How long have you been together? What’s he like?”
An hour later, I finish answering all of her ridiculous questions, and I’m quite surprised at how much I enjoyed talking about Campbell. Another bonus is that Felicity is so shocked she can hardly speak.
“Wow,” she breathes after a few minutes. “You’re going out with Cyrus Campbell. He told you he loved you after three weeks together! Merlin, he sounds like he’s perfect for you! Can I be your bridesmaid?”
“We’re not getting married, Flick,” I respond wearily, using my old nickname for her.
“Whatever,” she snorts. “From what you’ve told me, it’s only a matter of time. It’s a good job I don’t want to get married yet, or I’d be so jealous of you!”
I would repeat myself, but I’ve known her for long enough to know that it’s not worth it. I settle for an exasperated shake of the head.
“When are you seeing him again?” Felicity asks eagerly, her eyes shining. I hadn’t realised that she’d thought my case was quite as desperate as she obviously does now.
“Tonight,” I answer. “He’s cooking me a meal.”
“Well, I’m going to have to meet him soon. Make sure he’s good enough for you and all of that. Although from what you’ve told me, I’m sure I’ll approve.”
“That’s nice to know,” I smirk.
Suddenly Felicity starts laughing. “Have you told Hayley yet?” she asks. I shake my head. Felicity grins widely.
“She’s going to be so jealous!”
Campbell’s apartment is amazing. I mean seriously amazing. I can’t stop my mouth from hanging open, even though I know it’s not my most attractive expression. It doesn’t matter – he loves me anyway (take that, fan girls!).
I’ve never seen anything like this before. I know Dad didn’t have much when he was growing up, but ever since the War the Weasleys have always been successful, and with that, of course, came money. I’m not saying that to brag, or anything. It’s just that I know what wealth looks like.
And Merlin, this is wealth.
The apartment is in the middle of London, near the river and overlooking most of the landmarks that muggle tourists pay buckets to come and see. One wall is just glass, so you get a view for miles across the city. Without even looking at the interior, you would be able to tell this belongs to someone rich.
I knew Campbell was rich – he had to be, after being so popular with The Unspeakables. But I don’t think I ever thought about just how rich he was until now.
“Molly!” Campbell exclaims when he sees me, and rushes over from the wide kitchen island to kiss me.
I should probably explain that I took a portkey (Ministry privileges) to his apartment and that he was expecting me, I didn’t just turn up uninvited and walk straight in. That sounds like something one of his fan girls would do.
“Hey,” I smile at him as he pulls back from the kiss.
I look around me as I follow Campbell back to the kitchen, and I have to try hard to keep the wonder from showing on my face. The living area is all open plan, with lots of clean lines and shiny surfaces, but it all flows together seamlessly. And of course it’s enormous. There are several doors leading from the living room which I assume open into the bedrooms (yes, multiple bedrooms, even though he lives alone) and the bathroom. There isn’t a frill in sight, which I am greatly relieved about. Not that I thought Campbell was the sort of guy who liked frills, just that if I had seen evidence of any I would be running screaming right now. I had enough of that living at home for twenty years.
Campbell is stood in front of the cooker, stirring several pans at once. He looks surprisingly manly in a cook’s apron. I giggle and he glances up at me with a raised eyebrow.
“Sorry,” I say. “I was just wondering what your fans would think if they could see you now.”
He grins at this. “Well, I can think of several things. They’d still think I was amazing, of course, and brilliantly sexy – let’s face it, they’d be right – and probably overwhelmed at their proximity to me. Oh, and they’d be murderous, of course, because I’m doing all this for you instead of them.”
I smile back at him but blush as well. “What are you cooking?” I ask to change the topic.
“It’s a surprise,” he tells me; smirking in a way that tells me he knows exactly why I just asked him the question. “You’ll like it though, I promise.”
I raise my eyebrow sceptically but stop quickly when Campbell leans over to kiss me again. But unfortunately not long after that he banishes me to the dining table, saying that I’m too much of a distraction and he doesn’t want a burnt meal. I pout a little (dear Merlin, what is love doing to me? It’s like I’m a teenager all over again, only acting more like one this time than I did ten years ago) but sit down at the table and watch him cook. It’s obvious that he’s a good cook by the way he takes care of everything at once, singing to himself as he does so. Is there nothing this man isn’t good at? Unfortunately, the cooking genes escaped me completely. Anything more than pasta and salad and I’m pretty much hopeless – something that really annoyed Nana Weasley when she was giving me and Dom our family cooking lessons back at the tender age of sixteen.
It doesn’t take long before dinner is ready – something delicious that I don’t know the name of – and we’re sat at the table eating with a glass of red wine to accompany it. I’m concentrating on eating nicely much more than I ever have done before. That makes me sound like a right slob, but you have to be able to eat quickly if you want to get fed at The Burrow.
“So, how’s your friend?” Campbell asks me.
“Felicity? She’s great. She wants to meet you sometime, though. Something about making sure you’re good enough for me.” I grin at him.
“Well, someone has to do it, I suppose, since you’re not letting your family anywhere near me.”
“You don’t want them anywhere near you. Trust me on that one. I’ve seen Dad with Lucy, and it’s not a pleasant experience.”
“Well, I suppose I’m going to have to go with you on that one. I can’t say I much like the idea of being interrogated by Percy Weasley on my intentions towards his daughter.”
“Exactly,” I reply. Over-protectiveness is a trait that every single male in my family seems determined to be master of.
“So, how’s the Ministry?” Campbell asks me. “Any more thoughts on the dragon training centre?” he grins as he says this, because he already knows what my answer will be.
“Yeah, I had a few more thoughts. All about how stupid an idea it is,” I shoot back.
“Ouch,” he winces. “Guess I probably deserved that one, since we agreed not to talk about it anymore.”
“Probably,” I agree nodding. “When are you going back to work, then?”
“I’m not sure,” he replies. “I need to get in touch with the Department of Magical Transportation and organise getting transport back to Romania.”
Campbell just said Romania. He can’t go to Romania. What am I meant to do when he’s in Romania? Just hang round here waiting for him or some rubbish like that?
“Romania?” I choke, dropping my fork.
“Well, yeah,” Campbell replies, looking puzzled at my reaction. “I’m a dragon handler. I work in Romania. Where else would I go?”
Um, stay here? With me? Your girlfriend?
I realise that I am being a little dramatic about this. But really, this is the first time he has mentioned anything about going back to Romania. Maybe I should have realised he would be going back there at some point, but I guess there was a part of me that thought he might decide to stay here because of me.
Living alone with only romance novels for company is not good for me.
“You’re going back to Romania?” I ask, my voice several octaves higher than usual. I’m currently at a pitch that normally only dogs can hear. Which is why I think it’s actually quite impressive when he understands what I said.
“Of course I’m going back to Romania. It’s where I work. I can’t do my job in Britain.”
“But…but what about me?” I say in a whisper. I am well aware of the fact that I sound like a desperately clingy teenager, but really, what else am I meant to do?
“Come with me, of course!” Campbell exclaims, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
“Go with you?”
Campbell wants me to go with him to Romania. I suppose that’s slightly better than wanting to leave me here while he goes to Romania. But still, I can’t go there. There are dragons in Romania. Dragons are big and scary. They breathe fire.
I tell him this.
He laughs. “Dragons are cool, Molly. And you’d love Romania. There’s a load of things to do. You could get a job with the Ministry there, if you wanted to.”
“So you want me to come with you to Romania so you can work with dragons and I can work for their Ministry?”
“Why not?” he asks me, apparently completely oblivious to all the flaws I see in this plan.
“Well, what would my family say if I just ran away to Romania with some random guy I’ve known for about a month?”
We’ve both abandoned our meals now, and he is crouching next to my chair, looking deeply into my eyes. Merlin, I wish he wouldn’t do that. It makes it a lot harder for me to think properly.
“Marry me first, then.”
“Very funny, Campbell. Brilliant solution. Let’s get married!” I exclaim flippantly.
“I’m being serious Molly.” I look into his eyes. They look serious.
“We can’t get married, Campbell. We’ve only known each other for a month!”
“Molly, don’t you remember what I told you on our first date? You have to learn to take risks. We love each other. What else do we need?”
“Uh, uh, I…” I stutter, unable to think of anything else to say.
Watching me carefully the whole time, Campbell lowers himself onto one knee and pulls a small ring box from his back pocket. Merlin, he must have planned this already. Felicity was right. I hate it when that happens.
“Molly Weasley, I love you. I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”
Wait. What did I just say?
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