Chapter 2 : Revised Edition
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Arthur is a sixth-year Gryffindor and is hopelessly in love with no other than Molly Prewett. For years he has tried, in vain, to secure a decent moment of her attention. The first conversation he ever had with her was on the train ride to school their first year:
Scared and nervous a little red-headed boy with too many freckles to count, said goodbye to his parents and boarded the long awaited Hogwarts Express. Right upon entering the carriage, he was almost trampled by a group of giggling girls, around his age, carrying a vast amount of trunks and cages. One girl upon realizing they had almost killed somebody turned around and apologized.
She had hair as red as the boy’s with rosy cheeks and sparkling brown eyes. Instantly the boy was captivated, this here must be the girl of his dreams. He had only enough time to sputter out “no problem”, before she was whisked away by one of the very many girls.
Sighing to himself the boy picked up his trunk and headed down the hall. He passed compartment after compartment full of kids, some who looked like they should have graduated five years ago, and eventually reached the last compartment in the carriage. This one contained only one other boy who sat gazing out the window. Arthur knocked on the slightly open door and got the attention of the boy sitting inside.
“May I join you? All the other compartments are full.”
“Of course. I’m Sam by the way.”
He sat down on the opposing bench and decide to himself that this sandy-haired, crooked nose boy could just possibly be his new best friend.
Looking back on it now Arthur realized that it wasn’t much of a conversation between Molly and himself, but at least he met Sam that day, who now currently resides in the position of his best friend. Thinking back first year was a dud for his and Molly’s relationship. He spent most of it trying to impress her in class and when that failed, most likely due to his uncanny ability for explosions, he resorted to stalking her and her friends around the castle. He wasn’t being creepy though, he kept a respectable distance of at least two meters away. Then she might have known him as the weird boy in class who kept toaster manuals hidden in his textbooks, but second year he became the boy who got stuck upside down in the train’s bathroom. It happened like this:
The platform was even busier then last year as Arthur and Sam emerged from the barrier. It seems everyone’s younger siblings and extended family decided they would like to come see them off. Arthur’s parents said goodbye to him there, not wanting to get stuck in the crowd. After watching them depart Sam and Arthur attempted to cross the platform without being elbowed in the face. While crossing the platform Arthur spotted Molly several yards away with a group of her friends. He abruptly stopped, causing Sam to run into him, and just stood there gazing at her.
Her hair was long and curly. Her face less round and even from far away he noticed freckles lining her nose. Suddenly they made eye contact and Arthur almost fainted. When he looked back she was gone from view. Sam was already at the doors trying to haul the both their trunks in. Arthur ran over and helped him. Once inside the train they went to the compartment at the end of the carriage.
An hour later they were being taunted by Lucius Malfoy and a couple of his ogre-like cronies. Arthur thought they were maybe going away until one, Goyle was his name, grabbed Arthur off the seat and threw him over his shoulders. Sam tried to stop them and was then grabbed by Crabbe, another of the boys. The Slytherin gang then marched them down the hall towards the bathroom. They opened the door and upon seeing how small it was inside, scrunched Sam up and shoved him over the toilet and threw Arthur in after him, upside-down. They slammed the door shut and Arthur could hear them gleefully laughing down the corridor.
After five seconds Sam being to yell for help. Ten minutes passed before Arthur started to feel light headed and another five before his feet somehow got stuck in the crevice of the counter and the wall and with his legs somewhat descended into the air, his robe had fallen down to show his underwear. Sam stopped yelling for help and started laughing at Arthur’s predicament. Five seconds later they heard a sound at the door.
“Is anyone in there?”
“Yes help us! We’re trapped”, Sam yelled.
The person tugged at the door for awhile and finally it came free. And as luck would have it, Molly stood there with one of her friends and her face just happened to be level with Arthur’s undergarments.
“Oh, hi Arthur.”
He couldn’t get five feet that year without someone bringing up the incident. He was too ashamed to even attempt to talk to Molly. Sam developed a friendship with her in the hopes of developing a crossroads between the two, but Arthur always managed to be busy whenever she was around. Third year however was exceptionally better:
It was into the third week of school and Arthur, Sam, and Molly all shared a muggle studies class. Arthur, no surprise, was the best student the professor had ever seen. That Wednesday the professor assigned a group project with pre-designated groups. Somehow Arthur, Sam, and Molly ended up in the same one. Arthur sat paralyzed in his seat, dumbstruck at to how Molly ended up with them. Sam had already gone over to fetch Molly to their table and when he came back Arthur still wasn’t able to move.
“Is he okay,” Molly asked.
“Yeah he just gets a little excited over muggle studies, that’s all. Come on Arthur snap out of it.” Sam whispered the last part into Arthur’s ear and managed to jolt him back to reality.
“Sorry about that I just zone out sometimes.”
“It’s all right. Happens to everyone.” Even though she said this Molly continued to eye him warily throughout the rest of class. Arthur, having been sorely embarrassed enough for one day, did not contribute much to the conversation. Sam tried very hard to bring Arthur into their discussion, but each time he merely responded with a shrug or a head bob. At last the bell rang and Molly went to join her friends.
“You are hopeless in all respects my friend.”
“You don’t have to remind me.”
The next day marked the beginning of the weekend and during breakfast Molly had hunted them down to suggest they start their project in the library. When she had first shown up behind them, Arthur had just took a sip of pumpkin juice and upon hearing her voice almost choked to death. After several exceedingly hard back slaps from Sam, he spewed it out all over the table. Molly asked if he was all right and when he didn’t answer her she preceded to check his forehead and look into his eyes for signs of distress. After five seconds of that, Arthur fainted.
He woke to find himself in the hospital wing with Sam sitting on his legs and Molly hovering over by the edge of the bed.
“Well mate, you fainted. Hit your head on the bench too. Pomfrey said once you woke up we could take you out of here. We still got to come up with something for the project.”
“Why did I faint?”
“You were choking on juice and after you spit it out I was checking your forehead and then you just fainted.”
Arthur, now realizing Molly touching him had been the cause, turned a striking red color. Sam chuckled quietly from the other end of the bed, having got off Arthur when he awoke. Arthur retaliated by throwing his pillow at him. Sam glared at him for a few seconds then threw the pillow back at him. Arthur was about to throw it again when Pomfrey came back in the room.
“Boys out! Now!”
Not wanting to feel the wrath of the cranky nurse they quickly walked out of there. Once in the hall Molly said they should go to the library. They agreed.
It only took three days for them to finish their project on muggle modes of transportation, a favorite topic of Arthur. Throughout the time Arthur had managed to keep a pretty normal dialogue going with Molly. He even stopped blushing every time she walked in the room
Somehow for the rest of the year they managed to stay, if not friends, then close acquaintances. Sadly that changed fourth year when Molly got here first boyfriend, and much to Arthur’s dismay, seemed to have forgotten they ever knew each other.
“I think this year’s your lucky year Arthur my boy. You managed to talk to Molly all last year and now I think your ready for the next level.”
“Sam I told you, I don’t think Molly even considers me a friend.”
“Nonsense! You’re the closest people I’ve ever seen.”
“You’re a real pain in the arse Sam.”
“All I ever strive to be.”
The two boys were making their way across platform 9 and ¾ to the train. Arthur had managed to convince his parents that they need not accompany him this year. Sam’s weren‘t a problem since they never came anyway, something Arthur kept meaning to ask him about. Upon reaching the train door Arthur’s head spun to the left, as if magnetized by some unknown force, and started searching the crowd.
“Oi, berk. What you looking for?”
“I don’t know.”
Arthur continued to scan the platform, searching for whatever his mind had wanted to show him. At last he seemed to have found it. Molly Prewett in all her splendid glory stood just about three meters away chatting animatedly with her friends. Her hair was longer than from previous years and it seemed to somehow be even curlier and sleeker at the same time. The freckles lining her nose were even more prominent now after the summer and her deep brown eyes seemed to even twinkle from where Arthur was standing. He let out an exasperated sigh and leaned against the doorway. To think that maybe this year he could finally have her return even a small fraction of the feelings he felt towards her was almost too much to hope for.
“Are you going to continue drooling or are you going to man up and go talk to her”, Sam demanded.
“You think I should?”
“Arthur don’t be a pansy. I mean the worst that can happen is that she out right laughs in your face and tells you she’s struck up some disgusting relationship with Malfoy and they have long talks over tea about their superior blood status.”
“Way to boost my courage for me there Sam. You’re a good friend.”
“Just talk to her.”
Sensing Sam wouldn’t let him enter the train without going over there, Arthur quickly composed himself and started strutting, yes strutting, over to where Molly stood. Half way there probably the worst thing that could ever happen, did. The crowd parted a little to reveal that Molly was not standing alone like Arthur had thought, instead some bloke stood next to her with his arm draped caressingly over her shoulder.
Arthur froze like a statue and slowly turned around to look at Sam. His face was so comical with his mouth hanging open that Arthur almost wanted to laugh. He turned back to look at Molly and immediately wished he hadn’t. Molly and her mystery man were locked in a -way-to-passionate-for-a-fourth-year kiss.
“No!” Arthur heard someone shouting. It took him a second to realize it was him and five more for an out of breath Sam to drag him into the train and into a compartment.
“I’m so sorry Arthur.”
Arthur lived the next few weeks in auto-pilot. Without Sam force feeding him toast, he probably wouldn’t have survived. He shared all most all his classes with Molly and two with her new boyfriend. His name was David, she met him over the summer at one of her parents parties, and he was a Huffelpuff. He learned the last part from Sam who happened to start dating one of Molly’s friends named Jennifer.
“He’s a bloody Huffelpuff Arthur. A badger loving, quidditch sucking, most likely half ogre, Huffelpuff. He doesn’t stand a chance next to you. Just give her some time, work that Weasley charm, and she’ll be dumping his sorry arse in no time.”
“Sam I hope you know these ‘pep talks’ don’t actually help me.”
“They don’t have to help. Sometimes I just like hearing myself give philosophical advice to unworthy patrons.”
Arthur rolled his eyes and went back to his Potions essay Sam had interrupted him from. He couldn’t concentrate though. He just stared into the fire imagining a universe where Molly choose him.
Somehow the following weeks progressed much the same as the last, with a few exceptions. Arthur was eating again, since starving himself wasn’t really working, and even started to talk amongst the other Gryffindors at mealtimes and in the common room. The bad thing, it seemed everywhere he went, every corner he turned, Molly and the man-puff, as Sam called him, stood there gazing lovingly into each others’ eyes. It seemed he wasn’t the only one noticing how much time they were spending together. Jennifer told them Molly haven’t even talked to them in days. They only ever saw her in class now and all her free time she spent with David.
“I say we tie him up and hide somewhere in the dudgeons for awhile”, Sam petitioned to Arthur and Jennifer one night.
“Sam as much as I would love for that to happen, I think someone would find out”, Arthur replied.
“Sometimes I question why I’m even dating you”, Jennifer said.
“You lot are a bunch of pansies.” This remark earned Sam a slap from Jennifer and they proceeded to argue. Arthur tried not to chuckle at their feeble attempts to insult each other.
The rest of the year was much the same, Molly spent even more time with the man-puff and her friends, Arthur and Sam included, wondered if dating David was good for her. Sam spent Christmas break with Arthur at his house and they spent the majority of the time having snowball fights and attempting to play quidditch, neither of them had much skill on a broom. When they returned to Hogwarts, Jennifer sought them out in the entrance hall and they learned from her that over break David had broken up with Molly via owl.
“She came to my house, since I live practically next door, crying her eyes out the day after Christmas. Apparently he was supposed to join them and had sent an owl explaining he wasn’t coming and that he had decide he didn’t want Molly anymore.”
“He said he didn’t want her anymore?”
This cause Arthur to say a very disturbing phrase that earned him heartfelt slap and praise from Sam and a disapproving grimace from Jennifer. Arthur was absolutely seething with rage. Who in their right mind would not want Molly Prewett? He continued to ponder this wretched thought on their way into the Great Hall. They took seats near the middle of the table and immediately Arthur’s head swung, as if magnetized, in the direction where Molly was sitting. She looked positively radiant, even with the red, puffy eyes most likely due to David. She seemed to be staring at something and Arthur followed her gaze. What he saw almost made him throw up from anger. David sat at the Huffelpuff table cuddling some random girl.
“Sam do you see this?”
“See what?” Arthur gestured over at the other table.
Throughout Dumbledore’s speech and the rest of dinner Molly, and Arthur who was watching Molly, couldn’t keep their eyes off David and his new “girlfriend.” After dinner he saw Molly walk over to David and they started arguing in hushed tones. As they were leaving the hall, David seemed to almost shove Molly out of his and his woman-puff’s way. Sam who saw Arthur’s face at this moment, ran ahead out of the doors and started making a circle around where David and Arthur were.
“Everybody out of the way, shit just got real!”
Arthur had five seconds to realize what Sam thought was happening and ten more to actually do it. Arthur marched over to David, turned him around, and slugged him right in the face. He fell back clutching his nose and from the looks of it, Arthur had broken it. Immediately McGonagall, roused by the commotion, came striding towards them.
Suddenly Arthur was being pulled towards the staircase that led to the dungeons. Apparently Sam didn’t want him to get in trouble. Sam gestured for Arthur to hide around the corner while he watched what was happening.
“McGonagall is tending man-puff. Molly is standing off at the sidelines. I think she’s looking for us now. Oh crap! Molly just slapped him when McGonagall’s back was turned. You sure she’s not part French? Cause they way she’s chewing man-puff out has got to be foreign to these females.”
After Sam’s dramatic monologue, they waited there for a couple minutes until they heard footsteps coming down the stairs.
“Arthur? Sam? Are you down here?”
That was Molly’s voice. Arthur came out from behind the corner Sam had thrust him behind.
“I don’t know why you did it, but thank you.”
Arthur nodded and blushed slightly. Molly then came over and hugged him, catching him so off guard he couldn’t even register the fact that she was hugging him until she had stopped and started going up the stairs again.
“What did I tell you Arthur my boy? This is your year.”
For the rest of the year Arthur proved to be Molly’s confident whenever she needed to talk about David, or other boys, or even class work. He worked on talking to her during class, but he always managed to get caught by a teacher somehow. One day she even called him her best friend. After years of pining he had finally managed to secure some affection from her, even if it was friendly. His hopes were high going into fifth-year and his mind swirled with all the possibility that awaited for Molly and him.
“Does it look like this mole on my back has hair in it?”
“Why would I want to look at your back mole Sam?”
“Good question. I think I’ll ask Jennifer to have a look then.”
“She will most definitely break up with you if you have her judge your back moles.”
“Balderdash! I checked her toes for warts this summer so she has no room to complain.”
Arthur chuckled at the obvious weirdness that was Sam and Jennifer’s relationship. The two of them were unpacking their trunks in their dorm room having just come up from the beginning of the year feast. Arhtur hadn’t managed to catch Molly on the train or at dinner. He hoped of seeing her in the common room, but she was nowhere to be found. He had voiced these thoughts to Sam who said she was probably in the bathroom since girls f or some reason take forever even when they only have to pee. Jennifer had been standing nearby at the moment and proceeded to punch Sam’s arm and walk ahead of them with her other friends.
“You still thinking about where Molly is?”
“Yeah, it’s weird. Every year I’ve seen her in the train, sit at the exact same place at the table, and she comes up to the common room no less than two minutes before us.”
“I’m humbled by your ability to stalk a girl for four years and not even appear creepy in the slightest.”
“Shut up. I never stalked her. I only causally observed from a respectful distance.”
“Says the guy whom examines his moles for hair.”
Sam threw a shoe at him, missed, and ended up knocking over this guy Carl’s framed picture of a parrot. Sam went over to pick it up, stared at it for awhile, and then stuffed it under Carl’s mattress.
“I’m not sleeping one more night with that thing staring at me.”
The next week Arthur saw no sign of Molly and it wasn’t until the end of October that she made an appearance. Arthur was eating breakfast and suddenly looked up towards the door. There stood Molly looking quite frazzled, but still as beautiful as ever. He saw her gaze around the room for a bit and upon spotting Arthur, who now thanks to Jennifer sat with all her friends, walked over and took the seat beside him. Everyone was silent for a few seconds until her friend Sara spoke.
“Where have you been?”
“My Mum didn’t want me to come back to Hogwarts. She didn’t say why, she just said I couldn’t go. My brothers had to stay home as well. I managed to convince her to let me return to Hogwarts since it is Owl year. She grudgingly let me come.”
“That’s mental, why would she keep you home,” Sam asked.
“Don’t know. My Mum is weird.”
For the rest of the day no one questioned her further. Arthur managed to walk with her to the few classes they had together, but other than that he had no contact with her. She seemed to almost have forgotten the relationship they had last year. Not till right before the Christmas break did she warm up any. She started speaking to Arthur again like old friends might after five years apart. He noticed her smile never really reached her eyes and she seemed sad a lot. The day before break she came to him.
“I know you know I’m not that happy right now. I just am not looking forward to going home this year. My parents are getting weirder and weirder and I just don’t think I can handle it anymore.”
“Why don’t you stay with Jennifer or someone over break. Just to keep your mind off it a little longer.”
She smiled, a real one this time, and hugged him. When she walked away Arthur couldn’t keep a positively joyful smile off his reddish colored face.
Sam spent the break with him again and upon returning to school Molly and his relationship picked up right where it left of fourth-year. She started confiding in him again and even talked to him during class. He spent day after day of trying to come up with something interesting enough to say to her. He was even trying to compose a list of entertaining conversation topics until Sam started whispering in his ear.
“Flying monkey palooza parties.”
“Eating spaghetti with your feet.”
“Showing her your collection of hubcaps.”
“Sam knock it off!!” Arthur threw his ink bottle at him and coated his hair in it. Sam then started using his hair as a paint brush and running it up and down the common room walls. A perfect caught him and escorted him to Pringle.
“If he canes me I’ll sue you, you bloody perfect,” Sam yelled while exiting the portrait hole.
Over the course of the next few weeks Arthur made minimal progress in furthering his relationship with Molly. Most of this due to the fact that she now acquired another boyfriend named Zachary, from Ravenclaw. He turned out to be an actually decent bloke and Arthur and him even became something of friends. Sam hated him based only on the fact that everyone liked him.
“If you ask me he has the eyes of a serial killer. Bet he keeps dead owl heads in his trunk, stacked by color of course.”
“The only way I would believe you on this is if you had some prior knowledge of serial killers.”
“Oh but I do.”
“My father was one.”
“Shit, Sam. Please tell me your joking.”
Sam seemed to grasp what he had just said and his eyes sort of clouded over. He looked at Arthur for awhile and then abruptly stood up and left the common room. Arthur stared after him in total disbelief of how he had gone five years without knowing this about Sam. Granted he never really asked him why his parents never came, but then again he was preoccupied with Molly. Arthur made a vow then and there that he would never again leave Sam’s life in the background.
Sam went the rest of the week barley speaking to any one. Jennifer thought his mood had something to do with her, but Arthur reassured her. Sam brightened up after a bit and he seemed to want to forget he even ever told Arthur.
OWLs were approaching faster than anyone anticipated and it seemed that every fifth-year was studying aggressively. Molly had suggested for her and Arthur to study together, much to Arthur’s amazement. He treasured the moments in the library when all was quiet and they would take a break for a few minutes and do nothing but chat about irrelevant and amusing topics. Arthur was surprised to find out Molly shared a lot of his interests, except for his love of muggles which she had yet to find out to what extent it carried.
They grew even closer together that year and Molly even promised to write him over summer. On the train ride home from school that year Sam told Arthur everything about him and swore him to secrecy. The summer passed with the weekly letters from Molly, that Arthur kept in chest on his nightstand, and the occupancy of Sam at his house the whole time.
Looking back at it all as he made his way to the sixth year dorms, Arthur realized something. Had he not spent the majority of his years at Hogwarts pining for Molly instead of actually doing anything, she might have already been his girlfriend. Sam pointed out that he told him this third-year and he had just ignored him. Determined more than ever before to get at least a date with Molly, Arthur set about making a plan.
During Herbology Arthur saw his chance to enact it when Molly was chosen to share his workspace. Overwhelmed by her presence and the gravity of the situation at hand he only managed to say, “Hubbadabubada” to which she responded by laughing earnestly and giving him some space for the rest of the class.
Next was Charms and she took the seat beside him and Arthur was determined to get out a coherent sentence. As luck would have it Flitwick decide to give them a pop quiz on what they learned last year. Immediately Sam grabbed him and forced him to re-teach what he had forgotten over summer. Arthur kept sneaking hopeful glances at Molly and to his surprise, every time he looked at her, she was staring right back at him.
Later that day, in the common room, Arthur was studying his Runes textbook when he felt a slight shift in the couch he was sitting on. He looked up only to be confronted with the form of Molly Prewett.
“Hello Arthur. I see your studying Runes.”
“Hi. Do you want to talk or something?”
“What is it?”
“I was wondering if you would like to be my date for the next Hogsmeade trip.”
Arthur’s mind was just blown off it’s hinges. Molly Prewett just asked him out. He always knew she was independent, and he loved her for it, but isn’t it the man’s job to ask the girl out? Feeling slightly less manly Arthur responded with a yes so loud that heads turned in their direction and seeing nothing that interesting turned away again.
“Well aren’t you enthusiastic”, Molly responded while wriggling her eyebrows. Turning even redder than he was before Arthur just sputtered back to her. Giggling again Molly stood up went over to Arthur, kissed him lightly on the cheek, and bounded up the stairs to the girl’s dormitory. Sam let a wolf-whistle earning several chuckles from the rest of the males and eye rolling from the females.
Arthur stared into the fire while rubbing his hand over the cheek she had kissed him on. He couldn’t believe it. Finally after years of vying for her attention, he has finally managed to secure a date with the magnificent Molly Prewett, even though it wasn’t how he imagined the exchange to go.