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Important Legal Jargon: As much as I want to, I do not own anything you recognise in this story.A Gentle Bossa Nova
A Friendly Twin Advice Wedding Story
Part I: Regarding Arthur and Molly
“Every day happiness means getting up in the morning,
and you can’t wait to finish breakfast.
You can’t wait to do your exercises.
You can’t wait to put on your clothes.
You can’t wait to get out – and you can’t wait to come home
because the soup’s hot.”
It was only a kiss.
It could have been regarded as a common thing – how many good-night kisses had his mother planted on his forehead or his cheek? – but this kiss was neither common nor ordinary.
Because it was a first kiss.
Molly Prewett had leaned in to give Arthur Weasley a goodnight hug. Her creamy, smooth cheek had brushed against his, her arms had wound around his neck, and he had felt her breath under his chin. Her hair had been so prettily tied up but after a lengthy afternoon of cheering on the Gryffindor Quidditch team playing against Slytherin House, several locks had fought their way loose and were softly curling around her brow and at the nape of her neck in a vivid, bright halo.
She had looked so pretty that Arthur could not help himself and had kissed her gently and blissfully.
It was only a kiss but, somehow, it was more than that. It was more than a fire’s warm glow and a hot cup of tea on a frigid winter’s day. It was more than words, more than a loving caress. It was more than magic.
His heart had grown to twice its size and thundered against his ribs. And when Molly had softly smiled at him, he had felt truly alive for the first time.
At least, that was how Arthur remembered it. And that memory bore no resemblance to the story that Molly was relating to Fleur and the children as they sat around the kitchen table drinking hot chocolate.
‘The game had gone on and on and we had shouted ourselves rather hoarse. One of the highest scoring matches in Hogwarts’ history, if I remember correctly. When Gryffindor finally caught the Snitch everyone went wild. We were almost crushed when the celebration spilled onto the pitch, but your father pulled me free and insisted on walking around the grounds. It was such a spectacular win that I was very surprised that he’d rather walk than celebrate. But he had that look in his eyes, and I couldn’t say no.
‘It was January and it was so cold! There was a storm approaching, as well. I was only able to persuade him go in as it was nearly dinnertime. And when we got to the castle doors, he pulled me into a hug and then kissed me. But the only thing I could think about was how I looked a mess. My hair had almost all fallen out of my ponytail and my ears felt as though they were about to fall off, they were so cold, and my nose was starting to drip.’
‘That’s gross, Dad,’ George commented pointedly.
‘Yeah, Mum’s nose was running,’ Fred added.
‘The last thing I think about when a girl’s nose is dripping is kissing her,’ George said.
‘At least it wasn’t vomit, mate.’
‘Boys, it was very, very sweet of your father to kiss me when I looked an horrendous mess,’ Molly admonished.
‘I didn’t think – ’ Arthur tried to say but was interrupted by Fleur.
‘Yes, eet ees very, very sweet. When you are een love, beauty does not matter so much because everything about that person ees beautiful.’
The twins, Ron, and Ginny didn’t dare try to contradict her. Molly nodded approvingly at Fleur and Bill grinned serenely.
‘I don’t remember your mother’s nose dripping that day,’ Arthur was finally able to say.
Ron and the twins shot him incredulous looks. ‘Sure, Dad.’
‘It’s true. And I would do the same today.’
‘Oh, Arthur!’ Molly exclaimed as she leaned over and kissed his cheek.
Fred and George coughed non-discreetly. Bill wadded up a napkin and threw it at them.
‘And I would do the same thing tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that for your mother, boys.’
‘That won’t get repetitive,’ Ron said under his breath.
‘We learn by repetition, Ron,’ Arthur said, seriousness settling into the fine lines on his forehead and around his mouth.
Ron, not in the mood to receive a lecture, stretched and yawned loudly, which made Ginny yawn. They had both spent most of the day in the garden with Molly, doing a bit of last minute weeding.
‘The two of you should get to bed,’ Molly said.
‘Really, Mum?’ Ron asked hopefully. He glanced quickly at Ginny.
‘What about these dishes?’ Ginny asked.
‘Your father and I will take care of the dishes, dear. I need you to get a good night’s sleep tonight.’
Ginny sighed in relief.
‘We still have lots of work to do tomorrow.’
‘Mum!’ they groaned as they pushed their chairs away from the table.
‘Don’t worry – I’m going to help tomorrow,’ Bill said.
‘And Charlie is supposed to arrive tomorrow evening,’ Molly added.
That cheered everyone up immediately. Ron and Ginny said good night to everyone and went upstairs to their rooms, while Arthur, Molly, Bill, Fleur, Fred, and George finished the last of their hot chocolate.
Soon Fleur decided she should retire to her flat just off Diagon Alley and Bill escorted her.
‘Fred, George, could you go outside to make sure that there aren’t any dishes or forks still on the picnic table?’
‘Mum, we’ve already checked twice –’ George said.
‘– and there wasn’t anything left out there –’
‘– and seeing as how no one has eaten outside in the last half hour, I don’t think that’s going to change.’
‘Did I ask twice?’ she asked.
‘Molly,’ Arthur said, taking her hand, ‘I think you’ve been out in the sun too long. We’ve done just about everything that needed to be done to host this wedding. Now is the time to step back, and to put trust in your well-laid plans.’
‘Yeah, Mum,’ said Fred, ‘no use in worrying about a load of other things right now.’
‘You’ll make yourself sick.’
‘Or do yourself a serious injury.’
‘Or start believing Bill when he says that Percy will be at the wedding.’
‘George!’ Arthur exclaimed.
‘Just remember that all the arrows of time point in one direction,’ Fred interjected quickly. He pushed George away from the kitchen table. They Banished their mugs to the kitchen sink, said good night, and Disapparated to their flat.
Sensing that Molly needed a distraction, Arthur steered her to the sink so they could wash the dishes together. He chatted idly about the conversation he had had that morning with Honey Unitas, Head of the Department of Magical Bloodlines Supervision, who would perform the marriage ceremony. But Molly didn’t hear a word of it.
He flicked his wand at the wireless, hoping a little music would do the trick. To his very good fortune, he found the opening strains of a Celestina Warbeck song.
‘Come on, Molly,’ Arthur said, reaching for her hands. He pulled her into his arms to dance around the kitchen.
‘Arthur, do you really think that Percy won’t come?’ she asked, her voice wobbling ever so slightly.
‘Bill says he is, and I want to believe him,’ Arthur said honestly.
‘But the last time he was here –’
He smiled a bit to himself, thinking of the flying mashed parsnip. ‘Molly, I think you have enough to worry about without trying to make up for what happened at Christmas. Like Fred said, “All the arrows of time point in one direction.” We can’t change what happened then, but we can hope and try for the best in the future.’
‘Yes, of course. You’re right, Arthur.’
Molly nestled deeper against his chest. He stroked her back, then her neck and was surprised to find his fingers in the hair at the nape of her neck that had fallen out of the knot she had at the back of her head. Hair was also falling down at her temples, like a vivid red halo.
Like she was fifteen again.
Arthur couldn’t help himself. He leaned down and kissed her lips. He felt alive, again, for the first time. And it was just a kiss.
“It was only a kiss” is a line from “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers. “All the arrows of time” is from my Romantic British Literature course notes. Far be it from me to write down who actually wrote it. We were studying William Blake’s “Book of Thel” and “Marriage of Heaven and Hell” that day, in case you’re wondering. But I’ll credit Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time here, instead.
Many, many thanks go to my beta reader Chary for her help, and to redlightspecial who lets me use and abuse him at a moment's notice.