Chapter 2 : II.
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Molly lay in bed thinking about Oliver Wood.
“I won’t tell if you won’t.”
He had turned to face her then and looked down into her serious gaze. One hand had come up and brushed a stray bit of hair off her face and his fingers had lingered along her jaw. Gently, slowly, so slowly she thought the tension would kill her, he’d leaned down and touched his lips to hers. They were softer than she’d imagined and full. She stood on her tip-toes and kissed him back, her hands coming up to grip his shoulders, his going around her waist. The kiss went on and on, lips sliding across each other, tongues darting out to tease. When he finally raised his head, Molly was breathless and smiling.
“You’re a beautiful woman, Molly Weasley.”
There had been regret in his voice but he had kissed her again anyway. Then they walked in silence back to his office and back to the party. Molly ducked into the washroom to fix her hair and reapply her lip gloss before coming, unnoticed, back into the party. Oliver was chatting with her father when she saw him and he locked eyes with her over Percy’s shoulder. One corner of his mouth turned up and she knew he was thinking about what they had done.
Molly went home soon after that, curling up on her sofa with a book. She was still sitting there when Dominique came home just after midnight and said she had missed a good party. Molly shared a secret smile with the pages of her book.
That was two months ago and Molly had seen Oliver three times since then. The first time when she stopped by the arena to have lunch with her sister; he had smiled at her and said hello but it was in front of Lucy and all her teammates so they left it at that. The second time was at Lucy’s first match. She waited a little apart from the crowd of adoring fans who crowded outside the lockers hoping to get an autograph and he had come up behind her in the shadows of the corridor. He greeted her, she said hello, and he let his hand stroke her hair a bit, sending shivers up her spine. No one noticed when she leaned into him a bit and her heartbeat quickened. The third time was after another match, this time an away game against the Cannons. Once again Molly stood off to the side but this time Dominique and Roxanne stood with her. When he approached he gave all three women a neutral smile. Of course by now they all knew his association with their parents and aunts and uncles so the other two greeted him with friendly smiles. He stood beside her as they watched the fans clamoring for attention, speaking to Domi and Roxy about the match and if his fingers tangled a bit with hers then no one noticed.
She sat up in bed and looked at the clock beside her. It was three in the afternoon and she had been sleeping long enough. After a long shift at St. Mungo’s the night before she wanted to do nothing except sleep but tonight was Lucy’s twentieth birthday party and she couldn’t miss it. She knew her parents had rented out a party room at Lucy’s favorite restaurant, Flaunt, a wizard establishment in Diagon Alley at the opposite end from the Leaky Cauldron. Everyone would be there – the entire family plus all of Lucy’s friends and several teammates. Throwing back the covers, Molly climbed out of bed.
After a long shower she felt a bit better, even after standing under a freezing blast for a few moments at the end to really wake her up. She heard Dominique come in, having taken off a bit early, as she was combing her hair. With a perfunctory knock, her taller, strawberry blonde cousin walked in.
“Oh good, you’re out already. I’ve got to shower before we go. I spent all bloody day chasing models around like children.” She pulled a face but Molly knew she loved her job as assistant to Tyler Cavendish, the wizarding world’s first ever premier fashion designer.
“I’m nearly done. Give me two minutes and I’ll get out of here.”
“Brilliant. I’ve got to get out of these anyway,” she said, motioning to her outfit. She left the door open as she left and Molly finished pulling the comb through her thick, straight hair. Wrapping her towel more securely she left the bathroom to her cousin and went to get dressed.
Lucy hadn’t arrived yet when Molly and Dominique entered the restaurant but nearly everyone else had. They were immediately greeted by their numerous family members and Molly smiled when her father complimented her dress. She paused when another voice spoke behind her.
“Your father is right, Miss Weasley. You look lovely.” Percy smiled at the newcomer.
“Ah, hello Oliver. I didn’t know you would be joining us this evening.”
The two men shook hands when Molly stepped to the side.
“Your wife invited me,” Oliver supplied. “Said we could be friends now that we’re no longer rivals.”
Percy smiled and sent his wife a fond glance. “You know my eldest daughter then?”
“We’ve met.” Oliver gave her a steady look and Molly blushed a little. Her father, never the most observant about these sort of things, simply smiled and nodded.
“Good, good. Will you excuse me? I see Lucy has arrived.” Percy drifted away toward his youngest and Oliver stepped closer to Molly, turning so they both faced the same direction. The watched, together, as Lucy was greeted by the well-wishers. The young woman was smiling and clearly in her element.
“I meant what I said.” She looked up him quizzically and he angled his head to smile down at her. “You look lovely this evening.”
Molly had chosen the dusty pink dress because it flattered her and was comfortable. The satin lining slipped sensuously against her skin and the translucent, chiffon overlay gave it a soft, romantic look. She had worn the dress to a party with Dominique’s co-workers and received plenty of compliments so she was confident in it.
“Thank you. You look very nice as well.” This earned her a grin. Oliver was wearing pressed slacks and a dress shirt with the cuffs and collar unbuttoned.
Before they could say much more Lucy bounded over to them and after giving her coach a bright smile and thanking him for coming, spirited her sister away. Molly found herself in the midst of a group of young women, younger than her save Dominique and Victoire. An excited Lucy was relating the experiences she’d had so far on the team, aided in her comments and stories by two teammates she’d become good friends with: Harriet and Glenda. Molly listened with half an ear to the story she’d already heard. She was scanning the room with her eyes, trying not to appear obvious as she watched Oliver. He’d just been approached by her uncle, Harry, and the two were obviously reminiscing, joined by George and Ron soon after.
Molly felt a sharp jab in her ribs. She whipped her head about to see Roxy staring at her expectantly.
“I said Kevin Adams is working at St. Mungo’s now, have you seen him?”
“Sorry, who?” Roxy rolled her expressive eyes.
“Kevin. He was in Fred’s year. Lanky fellow who wears glasses too big for his face? Sneaky hot? Come on Molly, Lucy and I used to go on about him.”
Molly vaguely remembered the young man in question as being a Ravenclaw who was friends with her cousins James and Fred. She’s always wondered about that – he was neither Quidditch mad nor a Gryffindor. Quiet and intelligent and he always blushed terribly when she, or any other girl, said hello to him. Dominique had thought he was adorable. Lucy had said Roxy had a massive crush on him, obviously that hadn’t changed.
“Yes, I remember him. He works at St. Mungo’s now?”
“Never mind, Molly; you haven’t seen him.” Molly shook her head and Roxy turned back to their group of friends. Molly drifted away, murmuring to her sister that she was going to get a drink; Lucy just nodded and continued listening to what her friend was saying.
Molly picked up a glass from the side table and dipped the punch ladle into the bright pink liquid. Lemons and raspberries floated in the drink, marking it as both her and Lucy’s favorite – raspberry lemonade. Their mother had made it for them every summer as long as she could remember. She took a sip and smiled; it wasn’t Mama’s but it was full of delicious memories anyway.
“Enjoying yourself?” Molly took another sip of her drink and nodded.
“Yes. And you?” Oliver smiled, filling a glass for himself as well.
“Yes, I suppose so. It’s nice to catch up with old friends. I played Quidditch for Gryffindor with four of your uncles, you know.”
“I know. They used to tell stories about it when we were young. Louis and Dominique loved it. Uncle George’s were always the best, but I don’t think he and Uncle Fred hit quite as many Slytherins with bludgers as he’d have us believe.”
Oliver laughed out loud and Molly smiled broadly up at him.
“Maybe not,” he admitted. “But they were quite good.”
Audrey called everyone to the table then, as waiters appeared with trays of food floating behind them. Molly sat in the middle, across from her sister and her parents and no one seemed to think it odd when Oliver held her chair for her and settled beside her. Plates were placed in front of them and they all dug into Lucy’s favorite meal. Chatter flowed around the table and it wasn’t unusual for Molly to spend more time listening than participating. To her right was Nana, who was engaged with Audrey across the table about some new recipe she wanted to try. To her left, Oliver was speaking animatedly with Harry and Ginny about his work. She was acutely aware of his elbow bumping her arm as he ate and his shoulder brushing against hers every time he sat up or leaned forward.
Beneath the table Molly twisted her napkin in her lap, too busy thinking about the man next to her to think about eating. Her fork blazed trails through her food but few bites ever reached her mouth. Every time he brushed against her, or his foot bumped hers, or she caught a whiff of his cologne, her senses reeled. Memories of his arms wrapped tightly around her, of his lips firm on hers, of his hands at her waist and gripping her hips to pull her closer. She could still feel the rasp of his five o’clock shadow against her cheek and chin and the soft groan he’d given right before his lips touched hers. Sitting beside him was a study in misery.
Molly frowned down at her rice. She had certainly been attracted to men before; she’d had two boyfriends while at Hogwarts and one since then. Plus a few dates here and there. Not a single one of them had affected her in the way Oliver Wood did just by sitting beside her. He was slowly driving her mad.
“Molly?” She jerked her head to look at him, realizing this was the third time he’d said her name. He smiled down at her. Harry and Ginny were both talking to someone else now and with the flow of conversation around them they were alone. She blushed, embarrassed at being caught in her thoughts.
“I just asked if you were enjoying yourself.”
“Oh. Yes. Of course.” Beneath the table she felt his hand cover her own and her twisted napkin.
“Is that why you’ve been torturing this poor piece of linen for the last fifteen minutes?” A light of amusement lit his eyes and Molly laughed softly. “You alright?” He asked her.
“I’m fine. I just… It’s silly.”
He glanced around the table but no one was paying them any attention. “I promise I won’t laugh.”
Molly looked down at her plate again and flushed bright red, extremely aware of his hand still covering hers. Slowly, almost afraid, she turned her hand over so that they were palm to palm. He sat still as her fingers tangled with his, wrapping her hand around his. She looked up at him, sideways, and his hand closed to envelope hers.
“Have dinner with me.” He whispered.
“We’re having dinner now.” He just smiled down at her and said nothing, but his eyes laughed. Grinning a little, she nodded. “Alright. I’m free on Thursday evening and I know you don’t have a match that day.”
“Should I pick you up?”
Molly shook her head. “I’ll meet you.”
“Afraid your cousin will see me?” He teased her.
“No. Maybe. Where do you want to meet?” He chuckled, amused at her discomfit.
“How about the arena, at seven? There’s a nice restaurant in Holyhead. Your sister will be gone by then.”
She nodded her assent and then his attention was stolen by her father but Molly smiled serenely as he didn’t let her hand go.
A/N: I'm fairly pleased with this story so far but I would love to hear your thoughts :)
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