Chapter 1 : Who You Are
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She walks to the bathroom and stares at her reflection. If everyone could see this version of Molly Weasley, they’d sneer and laugh at her. They wouldn’t love her.
Dragging her face down her hands and letting out another horrid groan she hears her mother’s whispers, “Molly, don’t do that. Boys won’t like you if you do that.”
She washes her face with warm water, the water drops splashing everywhere and making a mess. She hears her mother’s whispers again, “Don’t be so unladylike. You’ll never get a husband if you act like that.”
Getting changed, she sees the scars covering the tops of her thighs. No one ever saw her thighs and it meant she could continue on without anyone noticing. No one noticed her. Everyone saw her when she walked into a room but no one noticed her.
They never noticed if she’d just been crying. They never noticed how she walked a bit tenderly after scratching at her thighs. They never noticed her smile was always forced. She had to remind herself to be happy.
They never noticed anything. All they saw was a pretty girl.
She wipes her tears away and washes her face again. Slowly she applies her makeup. There are so many layers. The primer, concealer, the two types of foundation, bronzer, blush, eye shadows, eye liner, mascara, lip liner, two types of lipsticks – it feels like it never ends.
She wants to just go one day without wearing all the unnecessary gunk. She envies her cousins who don’t need to wear it. They all have flawless skin but she has pimples. Her skin is blotchy. Her freckles are uneven.
Her makeup is completed. She then applies some Sleakeazy’s Straightening Hair Potion to her hair. Her long orange hair falls near her waist and then she twirls the ends of her hair around the wand to create the ‘natural’ curls. When her hair is done, she sprays it with a Holding Potion. “Not a wisp out of place,” her mother whispers in her ear.
She looks in the mirror and sighs. She looks perfect. Just as she is expected to. Instead of screaming and washing the makeup off and brushing her hair to get rid of the soft curls like she wants to, she walks out with her head held high and a fake smile plastered on her face.
“Good morning,” she says to her dorm mates. They are all waking up, not needing the extra hour to fix themselves up. They all groan simultaneously in return and she laughs, hiding that she is so jealous of them.
The one girl who is always awake before Molly runs in sweaty and disgusting. She hears her mother whispering, “No boy will ever like a girl who is that active in sport. It isn’t ladylike.”
“All right, Molly?” she asks cheerfully. “Got all your makeup and stuff on?”
She suppresses a scowl. “I’m good. How was your run, Annalise?” she responds politely. Her mother always whispered that ladies should be polite.
She beams, still panting. She wipes her forehead and Molly flinches when she sees tiny beads of sweat fly off her. “It was so good. You should come one day. You’re up early enough.” She doesn’t allow Molly to politely decline as she walks in the bathroom to have a quick shower. Molly dresses with precision, making sure each button is perfectly done up and her tie is neat.
“No one likes a messy girl, Molly,” her mother’s whisper reminds her as she pulls on her skirt. She left her pyjama bottoms on until her skirt is secure and then dropped them. The other girls always laughed at her for this but she heard her mother’s whisper, “It is unladylike to undress yourself in front of others, Molly dear.”
Annalise walks out of the bathroom in just a towel, her wet hair slapping against her shoulders as she jogs to her bed and trunk. Molly is reminded of her mother’s whispers telling her that wet hair is very unattractive. “Forgot my knickers. Oh well, you’ve all seen me naked before. It’s no loss.”
She drops her towel and begins dressing and Molly averts her eyes. It is not ladylike to stare nor is it ladylike to flaunt around in the nude but Annalise doesn’t care. She haphazardly dresses as Molly carefully fixes her bed. She lays her pyjamas down on the bed, folded neatly and once everything has been completed, she walks down the staircase to the Common Room.
Fred is waiting for her with a big grin. “Morning, Mol! How was your sleep?” He asks her this question every morning and Molly would always reply with the same answer of, “Good and you?” He never replied – he had insomnia so it was always a bad sleep – but he always had a cheerful smile.
They always walked together to the Great Hall and ate breakfast with one another. Then they would break apart and Molly would go with her friends, and Fred would go with his.
“I’m so annoyed,” Ariana says as the three of them walk to Charms together, hips swinging almost in sync.
“Why are you annoyed, Ari?” Lana simpers, taking pity on her friend. Molly forces her features to look sympathetic. She doesn’t want to deal with this today.
“Fred never notices me,” she says in a huff. “I know he’s your cousin and all, Molly, but he’s really cute.” She blushes and Molly takes pity on her. It’s a difficult situation when someone you fancy doesn’t fancy you back.
She smiles sadly. “I’m sorry, Ari, but he’s got his eye on someone else. And besides, there are better guys than Fred.”
She looks like she’s going to burst into tears. She sighs. “I suppose,” she says quietly. Molly holds her hand and squeezes it. “Who does he fancy?” she asks.
Molly makes a face. “Are you sure you want to know? It’ll make you upset.” It is Lana but she doesn’t want to tell her that.
She looks even more devastated and Lana shoots Molly a glare. Her mother whispers in her ear, “True ladies have tact, Molly. Don’t be so blunt.”
Molly feels her cheeks warm. “Sorry, Ari. I shouldn’t have said that.” Ariana shakes her head and takes a deep breath.
“I’m being silly. It’s only a boy. There are so many others,” she says, her voice wobbly.
Lana bumps hips with her. “That’s right! You’re a beautiful woman who doesn’t need a man in her life!”
Ari laughs and Molly smiles. “And boys are gross. They pick their noses,” she says quietly as she looks around her making sure no one heard.
“No!” the two girls gasp in horror. Molly nods unhappily. All her male cousins did it, even some of the females. Her mother always tutted when she saw Lucy doing it. Lucy never worried about her mother’s whispers but she tended not to whisper to Lucy. It was only Molly who got the whispers.
The three of them giggle the rest of the way to their class and Molly hears her mother whisper, “Don’t be so loud. It’s bad to attract attention to yourself with sounds. A lady is meant to be quiet.”
Molly stops her giggling and stands up straighter. She sits down next to Annalise, her Charms partner. Lana and Ari give her sympathetic looks as they sit down together. “Heya, Molly!” Annalise says happily. “I forgot to ask this morning, but did you do the homework? I tried to but it didn’t make any sense!”
Instead of snapping at her that of course she did the homework like she so wanted to, she says, “Yes I did. All the answers were in chapter fifteen like Professor Flitwick said.” Molly’s mother whispered that she should always call someone by their title, especially a man.
“Fifteen?” she says loudly, attracting unwanted attention. She doesn’t pay them a single glance but Molly mouths the word, ‘Sorry!’ “I thought he said fifty! I’m going to get a detention, damn it!”
Molly purses her lips at the swear word. It isn’t ladylike to swear but then again, Annalise is not a very ladylike person.
She opens her book up as the professor walks in with a cheerful grin. He immediately asks about the homework and Annalise groans but Molly hands in her perfect essay with a small smile.
Annalise looks morose as she says, “I’m so sorry, sir, but I thought you said chapter fifty so I really struggled with it and then Molly just told me you said chapter fifteen so I’d prefer to start over again if you don’t mind. You can give me detention, I understand.”
The tiny professor looks at her in pity. “Have the replacement done by tomorrow, please. I won’t give you a detention but I will take two points off Gryffindor. Thank you for your honesty.” Annalise smiles kindly and he looks at Molly. “Molly, would you be able to help Annalise with this? I haven’t read your essay completely but from what I’ve scanned, it seems like it’s well on its way to an Outstanding!”
Molly gapes but promptly shuts her mouth when she hears her mother whisper, “Ladies don’t gape.”
She swallows nervously. “Okay.” The professor smiles and moves on to the next table.
“Thanks, Molly,” Annalise says gratefully. “This is awful kind of you.”
Molly smiles through her discomfort. “That’s okay,” she says quietly. “I’ll meet you in the library before dinner?”
Annalise nods and then the class begins and the two girls are silent as they scribble their notes down. Molly occasionally glances at the way Annalise’s blonde hair falls down haphazardly down her back and the way she bites her lip in concentration.
At four o’clock, Molly is waiting at her usual table in the library. It’s behind a few shelves but she knows Annalise will find it as they had studied there together a few times during O.W.L’s.
Molly finds herself doodling on the corner of her paper but when Annalise runs over out of breath she quickly rips the parchment off. “Sorry,” Annalise gasps, clearly out of breath. “Vector – wanted – to – talk – and I – got held back.” She takes a deep breath and sits down, pushing her hair out of her face.
“It’s no problem,” Molly says pleasantly. “Now, let’s go through chapter fifteen?” Annalise nods and scoots closer to Molly, making her stomach drop to the floor. She opens her book and Annalise peers on the page. Molly is acutely aware of how close the blonde girl is to her and so she leans back slightly and asks, “Do you have your own book?”
Annalise blushes. “I left it in the dorm. Sorry. Did you want me to go quickly get it?”
“No.” Molly shakes her head. Stop being stupid, she tells herself sternly. “You can look at mine.”
Annalise smiles and Molly notices she has a very nice smile. “Thanks. So the chapter?” she prompts. Molly nods, being pulled away from her thoughts and back to Charms. Molly explains all the types of incantations and the importance of wand movement.
The pair is sitting with their heads bent over the book for a long time. They are oblivious to the world around them and all Molly can think of is how her and Annalise’s knees are touching.
Eventually, the librarian says, “Library’s closing, girls. Time to head off.”
They both jump simultaneously except Annalise lets out a small shriek. Molly blinks. “It’s nine already?” The librarian nods and then she says, “We missed dinner!”
Annalise grimaces. “I am so sorry. Let’s get out of here; maybe the others brought us food back.” Molly seems satisfied with that answer so they pack their things and walk outside. Once they are a fair distance away from the library, Annalise tugs at Molly’s hand, wanting to go in the opposite direction. “Come with me.”
Molly asks, “Where are you taking me? The common room is the other way!”
Annalise grins cheekily and Molly is thrown for a small moment. “I know. But dinner is this way.” Molly notices that she is still holding her hand but Molly is unwilling to let go.
“I thought you said the other girls would have gotten us dinner?” Molly asks in confusion.
Annalise laughs. “Oh, Molly. Maybe they have but it’s probably gone cold. I’m taking you to get fresh, warm dinner!”
Molly is flummoxed. She has no clue where Annalise is taking her but she lets her drag her along. They are still holding hands. After a long trek, Annalise announces, “We’re here!” They are standing in front of a picture of a fruit bowl and Annalise – still not releasing Molly’s hand – reaches forward and tickles the pear.
“What are you—?” Molly starts to ask but is distracted by the pear turning into a door knob. “Oh my!” she says loudly.
She ignores her mother’s whisper of, “Don’t be loud, Molly. That’s unbecoming of a lady.”
Annalise laughs with a snort. “It’s the door to the kitchens. Let’s go in.”
Molly unwillingly pulls her hand out of Annalise’s grip and hesitates. “I don’t know…” she says unsurely. “Won’t we be breaking a school rule?”
“Sure,” Annalise says easily as if it’s no big deal. Molly feels her jaw drop slightly but she doesn’t close it, shutting her mother’s whispers out. “But we won’t get caught. The house elves are super nice and keen to help us out. I promise.”
She looks at Molly with her wide, doe-eyed, brown eyes. Biting her lip, Molly nods and she brightens, holding her hand again. “Come on, then! I’m starving!” They walk in and immediately they have a few house elves offering their help. Molly is in awe so Annalise answers and then they conjure a small table up to eat their food which comes to them extra fast.
The house elves leave them alone as they scurry around, preparing and cleaning. Annalise grabs a chicken leg with her bare hands and rips the meat off the bone with her teeth, smearing grease all over her face. Molly wrinkles her nose and picks up her fork and knife and eats in a dignified manner.
“So, Molly,” Annalise says with her mouth full, food chunks spraying from her bulging mouth. She swallows and then coughs and pats her chest. “What do you want to do after we finish Hogwarts?”
Molly shrugs daintily. She swallows her food and then says, “I’m thinking of becoming a secretary.”
Annalise’s mouth drops open and a chunk of food flops out of her mouth into her lap. Molly tries not to gag but Annalise doesn’t notice. “Why would you want to be a secretary? You could do so much better than that! I thought you might go into a high-end Ministry job! You’d be much more suited to that!”
She blushes. “I guess so. But then where would the men go?”
Annalise looks at her, absolutely appalled. “Who gives a shit?” Molly flinches at the swear word but Annalise continues on saying, “If that’s why you aren’t going to try for a bigger job, then that’s wrong Molly. We’re modern women; we don’t need to worry if a man doesn’t get a job. That’s his own damn responsibility and we need to focus on getting our own life sorted before we even think about helping those guys! Who told you that?”
Molly murmurs, “My mother. She says that women should never work in high up jobs. She says that they shouldn’t be working at all.”
“Well no offence to your mother, but that’s bullshit,” she says bluntly. “Women deserve everything a man is entitled to. Just because we have tits and they don’t doesn’t mean that they’re better than us! We’re all just as shitty as each other, in my opinion.”
Molly blushes. “What do you want to be?” she asks to steer the conversation away from herself and her mother.
Annalise still looks mutinous that Molly’s mother has been saying those things but she says, “I want to work in the Beast Division under the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.” Molly raises her eyebrows at that and then Annalise snorts. “What? Not ladylike enough for you and your mother?” she says nastily.
Molly glares at Annalise. “Excuse me?” she says angrily.
Annalise swings back on her chair, twirling a straggly lock of her hair around her finger. “Am I not ladylike enough for you and your mother?” she repeats. She picks some food out of her teeth and wipes it on her white shirt.
Molly narrows her eyes. “Don’t talk about my mother and I like that. You have no idea.”
Annalise lets her chair slam back to the ground with a loud bang. “Molly, I see you every time you wake up. You hate putting all that makeup on. I hear you sometimes cry in the bathroom. And don’t think I don’t notice that each week your mother sends a letter with a new potion to try and make you perfect and don’t think I don’t notice that your face falls every time you read her letter. You’re unhappy Molly, and admit it that it’s because of your mother.”
Molly stands up abruptly. All the things she had said were true but it was extremely rude of her to say such things. “I don’t have to admit anything,” she says coldly. “Stay out of my business.”
Annalise stands up too, throwing her chair back with a loud bang, making the house elves jump in fear. Molly glares at the other girl but she just glares right back. “I can’t,” she says simply. She doesn’t explain but she looks angry and defeated at the same time.
Molly throws her hands up in the air. “Why can’t you stay out of my business? You’re not even my friend! You’re just my dorm mate!”
Everything is suddenly silent, even the house elves have stopped their cleaning and cooking to stare at the girls. Annalise looks hurt but she is still glaring at Molly with all she’s got.
“Fine,” she says shortly. Molly doesn’t say anything but storms past Annalise and slams the door as she walks away. She hears Annalise scream loudly and Molly turns back for a fraction of a second before running off.
The next morning Molly woke up and begins the same routine again. Although, this time Molly doesn’t see Annalise. She is curious but not enough to check or ask. She stares at her bed, beginning to get worried as she doesn’t wake up even after Molly has finished putting her tie on.
A groan from Lana tells Molly that her friend has finally woken up. She mumbles, “Molly?”
“Yeah?” Molly responds, pulling her socks up her calves.
“Do you know why Annalise didn’t come back last night? I know you guys were studying together but when we all came up, you were in bed and she never came back.” Molly pauses as she pulls her sock up. “Molly?” Lana presses.
Molly let’s go of her sock once it’s in its position. She straightens up. “No, we parted once we had dinner,” she lies. Lana looks at her in suspicion and Molly says, “I’m going down to the common room. See you at breakfast.”
She picks her bag up and walks out the door, feeling Lana’s stare on her back. It’s not Molly’s obligation to look after Annalise. She’s a big girl. She can handle herself, she’s an adult.
However, Molly couldn’t shake the guilt away. She smiles at Fred but he narrows his eyes. “You okay?” he asks in concern.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she says distantly. She isn’t. She needs to find Annalise. “Do you know where James is?”
“James?” Fred asks in shock. It’s not exactly a secret that Molly isn’t fond of their fourteen year old cousin.
She nods. “I need to talk to him for a bit.”
Fred sighs. “What did he do this time? Aunt Ginny is going to be furious.”
Molly laughs. “He didn’t do anything. Can you go get him?”
“Me?” Fred asks incredulously. Molly notices he’s starting to get a beard. She crinkles her nose slightly. “I’m not going in that dump – god knows what diseases are spread there.” He shudders and Molly has to agree. Those fourteen year old boys are extraordinarily grotty.
She huffs and pleads with him, but he’s stubborn. She gives up and then walks up to the dorm herself, leaving Fred waiting in the common room. She knocks on the door. “James!” she says. “I need to speak with you.”
“I didn’t do anything!” her younger cousin whines as he opens the door. “What do you want?” He looks at Molly warily. She sees dried toothpaste on his cheek and his hair is extremely messy. She supposes it’s a good thing he’s at least brushing his teeth.
“You’re not in trouble,” she says – being a Prefect in the Weasley family could get very tiring sometimes – and she looks behind him where the rest of the boys are play fighting. She doesn’t pay it anymore attention and asks, “I need to borrow that Map of yours.”
“How do you know about the Map?” he says rudely.
“Maybe you should be more careful about it when you’re waving it around to all your idiotic friends,” she snaps. “Just let me borrow it for a bit. I’ll give it back to you in break. I promise.”
James glares at her and she can tell he won’t give it to her. She sighs, hating that she has to resort to blackmail. Her mother always whispered that she should respect a boy’s decision but she can’t respect this decision. Annalise is missing and she needs to find her soon. “If you don’t give me that Map, I’ll tell Aunt Ginny about that time I caught you drunk.”
He pales considerably. “You wouldn’t dare,” he spits.
Molly gives him a stern look. “It’s really urgent. I wouldn’t ask you unless it was important, you know that. Just give me the Map and I’ll give it back to you as soon as I can. I promise.”
He stares at her for a long time and then slams the door in her face. Molly wants to swear loudly but knows that it would be extremely rude. Before she can start knocking again, the door swings open and he walks out, closing the door behind him. “I don’t want that annoying swot, Davies, knowing about it,” he says referring to Lana’s younger brother. James and him did not get along very well.
“Anyway,” he says, thrusting the Map towards her, “here. If it gets ruined or you get it confiscated I will kill you.”
Molly can’t help but laugh at that. James glares at her so she stops laughing but she doesn’t hide the smile. “How do you make it work?”
He explains it all to her and once he’s finished, she says, “Thanks, James.” He grunts at her and stalks back into his dorm. Molly doesn’t think much about it but walks down to meet Fred again. He sees the Map in her hands and asks how on earth she convinced James to give it to her. She smiles slyly. “Blackmail.”
He laughs and holds the portrait door open for her. She crawls through and he asks, “Did you use the time when we found him pissed off his tits?”
Molly frowns at the use of the swear words but says, “Yeah I did. He didn’t look happy but no one ever wants to get on the wrong side of Aunt Ginny.”
“True,” Fred says and they continue talking the whole way. Molly didn’t tell Fred why she needs the Map even though he continuously asks throughout their whole meal. When they have finished, instead of walking with Ari and Lana like usual, Molly ducks to the bathroom. She follows James’ instructions and looks for the tiny dots, her eyes scanning for ‘Annalise Hunter’ madly. She finally finds her in the grounds but she knows she won’t reach her before first period. She has a free period afterwards so Molly packs the Map away and makes her way to class, telling Ari and Lana she forgot her books.
As soon as Potions is over, Molly tells the girls, “I have to go do something. I’ll see you later.” She walks fairly quickly out the door and hides behind an empty tapestry to check the Map again. Annalise is still in the same spot, so placing the Map in her bag, she walks briskly to the place she assumes Annalise will be. When she gets there, however, the only thing there is the Whomping Willow.
Molly checks the Map again and it is saying Annalise is right where the Whomping Willow is. She wonders if the Map is broken.
She walks around the ghastly tree cautiously, calling out Annalise’s name. After she’s completed two circles of the tree, she asks the Map in frustration, “What am I meant to do?!”
The Map comes up with a speech bubble above her head reading: Touch the knot.
Molly is flummoxed but then out of the corner of her eye she sees a knot on a branch. She slowly walks to the branch. However, as she comes closer, the tree starts swinging its branches wildly. Molly jumps back as it nearly comes in contact with her stomach. As the tree is waving around, Molly sees a small hole that has to be the entrance.
As she waits for the tree to settle back down, she thinks of a way to touch the knot without injuring herself.
She then notices a small twig lying on the ground next to her so pulling out her wand she levitates the stick to softly touch the knot. The tree freezes and Molly hurries in.
She hesitates as she comes to the realisation that she will have to crawl in and get dirt all over herself. Her mother whispers, “Ladies don’t get dirty, Molly dear.”
She is tempted to run back outside and fetch a teacher but then Molly would have to explain how she knew Annalise was in here and then the Map would be confiscated and James would never forgive her. She may have found her younger cousin intolerable but she didn’t want him to get in trouble.
She sighs and bends over, grimacing as she touches the dirt. She finally gets through the small hole and finds herself in a dingy room. She looks around and sees Annalise on the bed, face down.
Molly rushes to her side. “Annalise!” she says in a panic. Annalise looks up and Molly notices her eyes are red.
“Molly?” Annalise asks in a husky voice. “What are you doing here?” She coughs.
Molly ignores that question. “Are you okay? Where were you last night? I’ve been so worried all morning when the other girls told me you didn’t come home!”
Annalise sits up and wipes at her eyes. “I thought you hated me,” she says in a small voice. Molly sits down next to her and puts an arm around the other girl.
“I don’t hate you,” Molly says softly. “I just didn’t like that you told me the truth.”
Annalise looks at Molly in shock. Molly gives her a bashful smile. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what you said. And I realised you were right. I don’t like being this girl. I don’t like that my mother is always controlling me. I don’t like that I can’t be normal. I’m a freak,” she says, trying not to cry. Molly usually found it very hard to talk about her feelings but she knew she could trust Annalise.
Annalise cups Molly’s face with her hands. “Molly Weasley, you are not a freak. So you’re not perfect, who cares? No one is.”
Molly avoids Annalise’s eyes and asks, “Why were you here?”
Annalise removes her hands from Molly’s face. She clasps them and puts them in her lap. She looks at the floor as she responds quietly, “I felt alone. I come here when I feel alone because hardly anyone knows it.”
Molly feels a flash of guilt. She remembers saying coldly, “You’re not even my friend! You’re just my dorm mate!”
Annalise stays silent and Molly says softly, “Don’t feel alone. I’m always going to be here for you. I know I said you weren’t my friend but you are. I’m sorry for saying all those nasty things yesterday.”
Annalise looks up at Molly, tears in her eyes. “Really? You’re my friend?” Molly nods and she throws her arms around the other girl, sobbing. “Thank you, Molly,” she says in between sobs. “I’ve never had a proper friend before. I’m sorry for being so blunt yesterday. I was rude and invasive. I’m so sorry.”
Molly hugs Annalise back and tells her that it’s okay. The two girls hug for a long time and when they break away, Annalise is still touching Molly.
Molly’s heart races as Annalise moves her face closer towards her own and suddenly they’re kissing. Annalise’s hands go into Molly’s hair and muss it up and Molly’s arms go around Annalise’s waist, pulling her closer.
The two deepen the kiss and then Annalise swings them around so she’s straddling Molly. They break apart and Annalise smiles down at Molly. It’s the most beautiful thing Molly has ever seen. They kiss again and Molly is moaning softly.
She feels on fire. She has never felt so carefree before. Her hands are holding Annalise close to her own body and Molly briefly wonders why they haven’t been doing this the whole time. Annalise’s hands are tracing patterns all over Molly’s body and she squirms from underneath her, causing Annalise to giggle.
Suddenly, Molly hears her mother yell, “Ladies do not kiss other ladies, Molly!” and everything comes shattering down. Molly pushes Annalise off of her and puts her hands to her mouth.
“Molly?” Annalise asks with swollen lips. Her hair is even more tangled than usual and her cheeks are pink.
Molly doesn’t respond but smooths down her own hair and wipes her lips with he hands. “We shouldn’t have done that,” she says in horror.
Annalise looks hurt. “Mol—”
“I’m meant to get a husband, have children, live a respectable life! Not… this.” She gestures wildly in between them. Annalise starts saying something but Molly steamrolls over her (ignoring the whisper of, “Ladies don’t interrupt, Molly dear.”) and says in a panicked tone, “Girls aren’t meant to kiss other girls! That’s not how it’s meant to go!”
Molly takes a deep breath and Annalise says loudly and quickly, “MOLLY!” Molly jumps and stares at Annalise in fear. “Girls can kiss whoever they like. You can still get married, you can still have children, and live a respectable life with a woman by your side instead of a man!”
Molly shakes her head absentmindedly and Annalise puts a palm against Molly’s cheek and says softly, “Molly, you’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever met. Inside and out. You deserve to have someone you lo—like, rather than someone you think you should end up with. Tell me the truth: do you like women, men, both, neither, or none of the above?”
The room is silent as Molly ponders her answer. She always found men attractive but she could never imagine having a proper, serious relationship where she loved the man. She thought it was just because she hadn’t met the right one but now as Annalise stares at her, she can imagine that life with a woman. She constantly has dreams of kissing women, loving women and when she looked it up in books, they often said it was very common for teenagers to express an interest in the same sex. She thought it was just that.
Now she isn’t so sure. Now that she has kissed Annalise – her first kiss – she wants to kiss her again. Molly doesn’t respond but Annalise leans over and gives her a soft kiss, as if reading her mind.
“Molly, I don’t care what gender – or genders – you prefer, but if you fancy me: tell me,” she says almost forcefully. “Don’t let your preconceived ideas tell you shit. Do something if it makes you happy. Not your mother, not your family, not your friends, not me – no one! If it makes you happy, it should make everyone else around you happy!”
Molly wants to tell her. She wants to reach over and kiss Annalise just as passionately as before but a sudden doubt comes into her mind. What if Annalise finds out what’s really wrong with her? Will she like her then? Will she like the ugly scars that cover the tops of her thighs?
“You don’t want to like me,” Molly says in a dull voice. “I’m messed up. I’m not normal.”
Annalise laughs softly and Molly loves the sound. However she can’t smile at it right now. “Molly,” she says sweetly, “no one is normal. Everyone is a little messed up.”
Molly shakes her head, tears springing unwillingly to her eyes. “No! There’s something really wrong with me!”
Annalise starts to protest but Molly flips her skirt up just enough to show her the jagged scars. “See?!” she shrieks as Annalise stares at them in horror. She flips her skirt back down and hides her face in her hands. “I’m wrong. I’m a bad person, I hurt myself on purpose. You shouldn’t like me. No one should like me, I’m sick.”
Annalise wraps her arms around Molly and rocks her as she sobs. Annalise says, “Molly, it’s okay not to be okay.* You need help and I can’t give that to you. No one can give that to you but yourself but there are counsellors, healers that can give you a nudge in the right direction.”
“No!” Molly shouts, wrenching free from Annalise. “I don’t need that,” she says stubbornly. “I can get better.” Annalise looks at her sadly and Molly can’t take it anymore. She breaks down again and says, “Why do I have to be so messed up? Why can’t I be like you?”
Annalise laughs. “You don’t want to be like me, Molly. I’m far too dirty.”
Molly mumbles, “But then I wouldn’t be me.” She wipes at her eyes and under her nose, ignoring the outraged whisper from her mother.
Annalise looks at her in pity. “Please go to St. Mungos. I want to make sure that you’re going to get better. Everyone should want to be themselves, otherwise who else is going to fill the world with your spot?”
Molly doesn’t know why, but she nods. She doesn’t want to go to St. Mungos but something in Annalise’s voice forces her to say yes. She wants to be okay but she doesn’t want to be labelled a freak.
Molly cleans herself up slightly and then the two girls walk out, their arms linked. Molly keeps trying to make excuses to not go but Annalise patiently reminds her that it is for her own good.
Annalise takes Molly to the Headmistress’ office and she shakes her head before crying out, “I can’t do this. I can’t admit that I’ve got something wrong with me. Ladies shouldn’t draw attention to themselves,” she repeats her mother’s whisper.
Annalise looks at Molly sadly. “I can’t let you do this to yourself, Molly. I need to know you’re getting better.”
Molly pulls her arm away from Annalise. “You can’t make me do what I don’t want to do,” she snaps, her arms crossing over her chest. Annalise gives her a look and Molly turns away, running from the other girl.
She runs to the common room, throwing the Map on James’ bed before running to her own dormitory. She falls to her bed and cries loudly. She casts a silencing spell around the room so she can be as loud as she wants.
She hears footsteps so she hurries to the bathroom. She doesn’t want to be seen this decomposed. This only ever happened on her own, not in front of anyone. Especially not Annalise.
“Molly?” Annalise says softly. “I didn’t tell McGonagall. I’m sorry for trying to force you to do this. I just care about you a lot, okay?”
Molly doesn’t respond but hugs her knees tighter to her chest, crying silently. “Please come out of the bathroom,” she pleads. Molly hears her place her hand on the door and sniff. “Please, Molly.”
She stays quiet. Eventually Annalise stops her pleading but Molly hears that she sits down close to the door.
Molly can’t help going through everything in her head. She thinks of the way Annalise’s lips felt against hers but stops before she can think of anything further. Her cheeks are red so she gently pats her face down with a cold towel.
“Annalise? Where were you last night? And where was Molly all day? We’ve been worried sick!” Molly hears Lana’s voice.
Annalise sighs softly. “Molly’s locked herself in the bathroom. She won’t come out.”
Molly wonders if Annalise chose that last sentence on purpose.
Ari gasps. “Did you use Alohomora?” Lana asks.
“No,” Annalise says. “I figure if she locked herself in there she won’t want to come out unless it’s on her own terms.” Molly narrows her eyes as she realises Annalise is definitely using those words.
“She has a point, Lana,” Ari says but she hears Lana grunt which is very unladylike.
“I don’t care. She’s my friend and I need to make sure she’s okay,” she says fiercely. “Step aside,” she snaps.
“No,” Annalise replies boredly. “Molly will eventually come out, don’t worry.”
“Don’t worry?” Lana says in exasperation. “Molly has been missing all morning. It’s nearly the end of lunch and we still haven’t seen her. Even Fred is starting to get worried.”
Molly forgets that she has a cousin and although they don’t have the best friendship, they always look out for each other. She puts a hand on the doorknob, unsure if she should turn it and walk out and act like nothing’s happened or if she should admit she needs help or if she should just stay in here and wait for everyone to leave.
Annalise sighs. “It’s no use. Let’s just go to class. We’ll talk to her later.” Lana starts to argue but Ari is on Annalise’s side. She is failing Transfiguration and needs to leave as soon as she can. She calls out to Molly to not hurt herself and Molly wonders if Ari and Lana knew all along but never said anything.
Lana grudgingly does the same and Molly hears their footsteps fade away. Annalise murmurs, “Please don’t do anything rash, Molly. You’re beautiful, remember that.”
She hears Annalise’s footsteps fade away and Molly sinks back to the floor, her back to the door. She puts her head in her hands and sobs again. Her mother whispers, “Ladies do not act this dramatic, Molly. Ladies should not be a mess. They are composed and calm. Not hysterical like you are. Pull yourself together.”
Molly snaps. She throws every potion and make up bottle at the way, taking great pleasure in when they smash and the content rushes down to the ground to make a disgusting goopy mixture. She shouts as she throws each bottle, ignoring the yell, “Ladies do not throw things!”
She finally finishes smashing every bottle in her possession and she feels strangely numb for a moment. She wants to float away. She won’t be needed here anymore. If she floated away, she wouldn’t hear the taunting whispers in her ears anymore. She’d have her own mind.
Molly picks her wand up and places the hot tip on her skin. She cries out but doesn’t move away. She is sobbing but she doesn’t want to stop. She cries out over and over again and from the loss of blood, she starts to get woozy. She is about to fall when the door swings open and someone catches her, crying out her name.
Or maybe she imagines that.
“Open your eyes, Molly, please. Open them up, Molly come on. You can do it. Please. Please open up,” a voice sobs from her right. The person grips her hand and presses a wet kiss on it. “You’re a Gryffindor. Open up, please. Molly, please wake up.”
Molly’s eyelids flutter open and she is in a very white room. A relieved voice says, “Oh thank god. I thought you were—” They stop mid-sentence and start sobbing again.
Molly looks to her right and sees Annalise in the worst state she’s ever seen her in. Her hair is tangled and looks like it hasn’t been washed in several weeks and the purple bags under her eyes are looking puffier than ever. Her eyes are red raw and her nose is also red from the crying and where she had clearly wiped her nose many times before. Her lips are chapped and she is deathly pale and looks like she hasn’t slept in a long time.
“Where am I?” is the first thing Molly asks.
“St. Mungos,” she responds, pressing a buzzer. “Oh, Molly. I was so worried.” She gives her a hard kiss before pulling away and looking at her as if she might disappear if she looks away.
“How long have I been out?” Molly asks, everything coming back to her in a rush. She tried to ki—no. She couldn’t even think it. What is wrong with her? Why would she do that to herself? She feels disgusted with herself at the same time as sad that she was unsuccessful.
She starts to get anxious as she remembers why she did it. She doesn’t want to be here. She hoped to get away from her mother’s whispers. She doesn’t even hear Annalise’s response as she chews over what happened.
The healer strides in looking very serious and Molly’s mother and father are right behind her looking extremely relieved and angry at the same time.
“Oh, Molly,” he father says, relief evident in his tone. “I love you so much, sweetheart.” He doesn’t look angry but he holds Molly’s other hand (Annalise is still holding her other one) and kisses her on the cheek. Her father is not one for physical affection and Molly is thrown for a small moment. He smiles at her tenderly and brushes a piece of her hair away like he used to do when she and Lucy were younger and he would put them to bed. She gives him a watery smile as he looks over her in concern, his thumb rubbing soothing circles on the back of her hand.
She looks up at her mother who looks relieved but also furious. She smiles stiffly at her daughter and Molly doesn’t return the notion. The healer then starts to ask Molly questions and she feels uncomfortable answering them with people surrounding her.
“May we speak privately?” she asks, looking at the people around her nervously.
“Why can’t you say it in front of us?” her mother asks suspiciously.
The healer answers, “No this is a completely reasonable request. Many people feel more comfortable with telling their story to a complete stranger. I request that you all wait out in the corridor. I will fetch you once we have finished speaking.”
Molly’s mother looks furious but the other two give Molly a hopeful look before leaving the room. The healer asks questions – not even related to why she tried it – but Molly finds herself confessing everything. She confesses about kissing Annalise, hearing her mother whispering in her ear all the time, hurting herself in the past. She can’t stop the flow of words and she begins to cry as she retells the story. The healer listens patiently and conjures tissues for her as she writes down as much as she can.
“Molly, I’m going to send you to counselling sessions. You’re a very strong young woman, and I think these sessions would be the best for you. You may not want to go to them but trust me, they do make you feel better,” she says with a warm smile. Molly can’t help but trust the healer. She has a very open face and it makes her seem very likeable and trustworthy, she observes.
Molly nods, not knowing what to say. The healer says, “I will chat to the others—”
“Please don’t tell my mother the reason,” Molly pleads in a panic, “it will crush her!”
The healer looks at Molly seriously. “I won’t tell her today. But I will have to tell her soon, I’m sorry, Molly but it is my duty. And I don’t want to see you hurt anymore. You’ve been through a great ordeal and you need rest,” she says firmly. Molly nods and then the healer walks outside and she is alone again.
Her hands twist the sheet and she feels like she’s going to be sick. She considers calling out for the healer just so she won’t be alone and just as her hand is over the button, the door opens and Annalise slips in.
Molly can’t help the jolt that runs through her when she sees Annalise. She always had this jolt but she thought it was just from nervousness from being around a dirty person.
Annalise sits down next to her, avoiding eye contact with her and stays silent. Molly says softly, “I’m sorry.”
Annalise looks at her sharply. “Do you have any idea how worried I’ve been for the past day? Lana and Ariana have been sitting in the waiting room crying and I haven’t left your side at all and all you can say is sorry?” she spits.
Molly withdraws. Her eyes fill with tears. “I am sorry,” she says pathetically. What else is she meant to say?
Annalise has tears of her own now. She glares at Molly. “Do you know what it’s like finding someone you love covered in their own blood? I tricked you in thinking I’d left and I heard you smash the bottles and scream but then I heard a thud and I blast the door open and I see you like that. I screamed so loudly that the random people in the common room heard me and I was shouting and crying and holding you. A passed out you. I thought you were dead.” Her voice cracks.
Molly wants to cover her ears and shut her eyes and hide under the sheets. She doesn’t want to hear this. She mumbles, “I’m sorry,” again but Annalise doesn’t respond.
“I told you not to hurt yourself, Molly!” Annalise yells. “I told you and you did it anyway! Don’t you care about other people?! What would have happened if I wasn’t there? Your family would have lost a cousin, a daughter, a sister, a grand-daughter, and your friends would have lost you and I would have lost you and Gryffindor would lose a housemate but you didn’t think of that, did you?! You don’t realise that death doesn’t just affect you – it affects everyone who’s even just spoken one word to you!”
Molly covers her face in shame. She starts to sob and Annalise – realising her mistake immediately – says, “Fuck. I shouldn’t have said those things. You’ve just woken up. I’m just worried, Molly. I’ve been awake all night by your side. I’m so sorry. I’m just glad you’re here.” Her anger has completely dissipated and is replaced by a gentle look.
Molly continues sobbing and Annalise tries to move her hands away from her face. “Molly, look at me,” she says sternly. Molly hiccups but stares at Annalise. Her tears still fall down her cheeks and she feels that she needs to wipe her nose but she can’t reach a tissue and Annalise is holding her hands down. So she sniffs and hears her mother whisper, “Don’t do that, Molly. It’s disgusting and ladies are not disgusting.”
“You are a beautiful human being. And I don’t just mean on the outside, but on the inside too. You’ve a heart of gold and are one of the strongest girls I know. I just got scared. I got scared I would lose you after just starting to…” She pauses, looking for a word to use. “Be with you,” she says finally. “I’ve always been in love with you and I never thought in a million years you’d want to be with me. And to think that you nearly died…” Her voice cracks at that part and Molly winces. “I don’t know what I’d do with myself.”
She waits for Molly to speak but instead she reaches her head up and captures Annalise’s mouth in a tender kiss. Annalise lets go of her hands and cups them around Molly’s face. Molly puts her hands over Annalise’s and they deepen the kiss.
They break away but their foreheads still touch. Annalise keeps gently kissing Molly who closes her eyes and smiles softly. “I’m messed up and I don’t deserve someone as good as you,” Molly finally says.
Annalise shakes her head. “You deserve better but I’m going to try and be the best you deserve, Molly Weasley. You may not love me just yet but one day you will. Like one day you’re going to be perfectly healthy and happy. With or without me, you’re going to be happy.”
“I think I can only be happy with you,” Molly admits softly. Annalise smiles and gives Molly a chaste kiss again.
Molly and Annalise break away as the door opens again but they still hold each other’s hand. Molly is aware she is not healthy but she has someone who is going to stick by her.
And that’s really all what she needs.
* Quote taken from Jessie J's song, Who You Are. I used it in both the chapter summary and the story :)
Anyway, hope you enjoyed! This is definitely the longest one-shot I've ever written! Also, I'm still a bit unsure about this so any feedback is greatly appreciated! ♥
- Kayla :)
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