A/N: Just a little story to explore early Arthur/Molly. I had a lot of fun writing them, trying to
make them young and newly in love. Thank
you bunches and bunches to TheGiantSquid for her
wonderful beta work! Reviews are always
welcome and appreciated. Enjoy!
On the Threshold
Arthur Weasley flattened his hair with his hand for the
third time in as many minutes and looked at the noisy old grandfather clock in
the corner. He shifted his feet on the
threadbare rug and swiped his clammy palms over his knees. Then he looked at the clock again.
The parlor was nicely decorated – or rather had been when
the house was new, over a century ago.
Now the cream walls had faded to yellow and paint had chipped off the
wainscoting here and there, revealing the wood grain beneath. Overstuffed armchairs were welcoming, but the
cushions bore depressions from long years of use, and Arthur could make out
burn marks from the fireplace on the one nearest him. His own chair was ladder-backed and simple,
and in need of refinishing. There was a
pair of paintings on the opposite wall – portraits of some ancestors, both
sleeping soundly. The man in the one on
the left wore a pink nightcap, and his long white mustache fluttered as he
breathed. The woman in the other
slouched in a throne-like seat and snored lightly, a black cat perched on her
lap, blinking at Arthur. In the corner
of the room, a tall, viney plant brushed the
ceiling. Occasionally it shifted as if
to get more comfortable, and Arthur noticed that a few of its leaves were
turning brown. Yes, everything in the
room had seen better days.
“Ah, Arthur, my boy,” came a booming voice from the
doorway. Arthur leapt to his feet and
turned to face Walter Prewett, a portly man with a
round, smiling face and a sharpness of character that belied his
appearance. Molly had inherited most of
her features from him, right down to the fiery hair. “Madeline told me we had a visitor.”
“Oh, er, yes sir,” Arthur stammered, sticking out his
hand. “I’ve come to take Molly out.”
“Good, good,” said Walter.
He shook Arthur’s hand briefly and steamrolled
into the room, taking a seat in the singed armchair and pulling a well used
pipe from his robe pocket. “Where are
you taking her, then?”
Arthur faltered. The Prewetts weren’t rich by wizarding
standards, but they were compared to the Weasleys. Arthur would have liked to have said he was
taking Molly somewhere posh, like The Silver Candlestick, but he doubted he
could have afforded more than a soup course there. “The Leaky Cauldron,” he said finally, in a
Walter eyed Arthur shrewdly over his pipe as he lit it, then
smiled his jovial smile and said, “Make sure you try the mutton. It’s very tender there.”
“Will do, sir,” Arthur answered, his ears hot. He cleared his throat uncomfortably and
plucked at a stray thread from the cuff of his robes, hoping Molly would come
down soon. Though he liked her father,
the man could be slightly intimidating, and for some reason Arthur’s natural
ability to converse fled in his company.
“So,” Walter said between puffs on his pipe that filled the
small room with acrid smoke and demonstrated the reason for the yellowing
walls, “what are you doing now you’re out of school? Found a job yet, have you?”
Arthur sat up straighter in his chair and nodded, his unease
taken over by enthusiasm for the subject.
“Yes, sir! I’ve just got a job at
the Ministry of Magic – Misuse of Muggle Artifacts
Office. We are for the protection of–”
Walter cut in. “Molly says you’ve got a
fondness for them, like to fiddle about with Muggle
gadgets and all that.”
A surge of pride filled Arthur when he heard that Molly had
spoken to her father about his interest.
“They’re really very fascinating!
You’d think Muggles would be hindered without
the use of magic, but they’ve managed to get along just fine. They’ve got this thing, eckeltricity,
that they can use plugs with–”
“Good on them,” Walter cut in again. “I’ve always said Muggles
are as good as anyone else, haven’t I, love?” His eyes were fixed on the door, and Arthur
looked up to see Molly standing there, her cheeks pink and her hair neatly
curled around her shoulders. She was a
vision in bright blue robes that just matched the color of her eyes.
Arthur stood and grinned at her – he couldn’t help it. “Hi.”
“Hi.” Molly blushed
more and walked over to his side.
“Arthur was just telling me about his new job at the
Ministry,” Walter said, drawing their attention.
Slipping her arm through Arthur’s and pulling herself against
his side, Molly grinned sheepishly up at him and then looked at her
father. “I already told you all about
that, Daddy. You just weren’t
Walter winked at his daughter. “Better to hear the news from the
hippogriff’s mouth, as I always say. You’re a good lad, Arthur. We need more of
your kind at the Ministry, especially with this You-Know-Who business. I wish
Gideon and Fabian would settle into Ministry jobs, but they’re intent on being
in the middle of the action, if there’s to be any. Dumbledore will
have it all sorted out before there’s a chance for war,” he said with an air of
finality; it was hard not to sound assured when speaking of Dumbledore.
“Oh Walter, stop talking their ears off and let them go out
while they’re still young.” Madeline Prewett, a slender woman with wavy blonde hair, big blue
eyes, and a kind nature, stepped into the parlor, crowding the small space. She
dusted her hands on her flowered apron and gave her husband a long-suffering
look. “I’m sure they don’t care about
your thoughts on any silly war.”
“Silly war?” barked Walter.
“It won’t be so silly when we have vampires and werewolves descending on
decent people, Maddy, doing You-Know-Who’s bidding.”
He added in a mumble around his pipe stem, “Silly war, she says.”
“Dear, you just finished saying that Dumbledore
would take care of it before it got to that point.”
“I know what I said,” he grumbled. “But there’s no sense in thumbing our noses
at the possibility.”
Madeline rolled her eyes and otherwise ignored the
statement. Arthur could tell the Prewetts just operated that way, though it was quite
different from the courteous and docile conversations between his own parents.
“Off with you now,” said Madeline, laying her hands on
Molly’s and Arthur’s shoulders and urging them toward the foyer. “Have a good time.”
“Goodbye, Mum, Daddy,” Molly called back over her shoulder
as she stopped at a coat rack to grab a white knitted shawl.
“Goodnight, Mrs. Prewett,” said
Arthur politely from the doorway, inclining his head to the now seated mistress
of the house. “Mr. Prewett. I’ll have her home by eleven, safe and
“Of course you will,” Walter said firmly. “Don’t forget about the mutton.”
The feeling of nervousness at having to face the Prewetts, whom he’d only met twice before, ebbed as Arthur
opened the front door for Molly and followed her out. It vanished entirely when she flung herself
at his chest full force and buried her face in his hand-me-down robes.
“Oh, how I’ve missed you!” she said, and squeezed him hard
enough that he couldn’t breathe properly.
“I know it’s only been a week since school let out, but it’s felt like
Arthur swept his hands down her back, careful not to wrinkle
her robes, and finally pushed her shoulders a bit so she’d loosen her
grip. “I’ve missed you too.” He bent down to kiss her forehead, but Molly
dragged his head down further and pressed her lips hard against his. Arthur was slow to react, as the move had
taken him aback; Molly could certainly be aggressive, but it wasn’t usually
When she let him go, she kept her eyes on his feet, but she
couldn’t quite hide her smile. “I’m
sorry,” she said. “I got carried away and–”
“I love you.” Arthur
didn’t think he’d ever meant it more.
Molly’s smile widened when she looked up. “I love you too.” She grabbed his hand and made as if to go up
on tiptoe and kiss him again, but Arthur glanced at her house, still only feet
away, and shook his head.
“Let’s at least get off the porch first. If you must know the truth, your father
scares the dickens out of me.”
Molly laughed as he led her down the front path and out the
gate in the stone fence. “Some Gryffindor you are, Arthur Weasley.”
“I’d say I’m a very prudent one, Molly Prewett
– one who values the use of all his parts.”
He’d expected her to laugh, but instead he saw that her
cheeks were bright red, as though the wind meandering down the lane were hot
rather than unseasonably cool.
At last she said, “I’m glad you value them. I would
like to have children someday.” She bit her lip after she said it, as if afraid
of what his reaction would be.
Arthur swallowed hard, thinking of a small box in his bureau
at home – one which contained an old Weasley heirloom he’d asked his mother for
only a few days prior – and guided Molly around a large puddle left over from
the morning’s rainfall. Attempting to
keep his tone casual, he said, “Have you always wanted to have children?”
Molly glanced at him furtively. “Yes, always…. What about you? Do you want any?”
“Yes. I suppose I’ve
always assumed I would.” He refrained
from saying he’d recently had some very happy thoughts about Molly with
children on her hips, greeting him when he came home from the office.
“How many would you want?”
“Pardon?” The daydream
had gone rather wild in his mind and he hadn’t registered her question.
She slowed to a stop and turned to face him fully. “I asked how many you would want,” she said,
the look in her eyes so piercing and hopeful that Arthur couldn’t help reaching
out to run his fingers down the side of her face, along the frame of her
hair. The moonlight made her skin glow.
“I don’t know. More
than zero, less than a dozen.”
Molly smiled. “That’s
hardly an answer.” She moved closer and
wrapped her arms around him again, this time without urgency. “But I think it’s mine as well.”
Arthur’s dreams seemed so tangible at that moment that he
shivered. When Molly looked up
questioningly, he said, “It’s cold out here.
Let’s Apparate.” He didn’t wait for her response before
grasping her arm and doing a quarter turn.
Molly teetered as they settled into their new location, an
empty street between several dark buildings, and Arthur himself had to plant
his feet to keep them both upright.
“I’m not quite used to that yet,” she said.
“Me neither,” Arthur admitted. “Bit wonky, isn’t
They shared a grin, then Molly said primly, “Did all your
parts make it?”
Arthur felt at his ears and wiggled his toes in his shoes,
then did a mental check of some the valuable attributes. “All present, I think. You?”
A rare and truly mischievous smile crept across her
features. “I think so, too, but I’ll let
you make sure later.”
The mirth in her features faded to complete innocence. “What?”
Then, “Shall we go to the restaurant?”
She looked around and added, “Which way is it? I always get so discombobulated.”
Shaking his head at her rapid change in demeanor, Arthur
reached into his inner pocket and pulled out a pair of wire frame spectacles,
which he carefully unfolded and looped over his ears. He peered around at the
buildings and determined that he’d missed his Apparation
target by several blocks. They were in
front of Gambol & Japes and the Magical Menagerie, which were closed for
the night and explained the emptiness of the street. Everyone would be further down Diagon Alley, where restaurants and some shops were still
“This way,” he said.
He held out his arm for Molly and then began heading toward the Leaky
As they walked, he thought of what Molly’s father had said
about the mutton. Arthur really wasn’t
fond of mutton, but he supposed he would order it anyway so that if Walter
asked he wouldn’t have to lie.
“Daddy likes you, you know,” Molly said suddenly, as if she
could read Arthur’s mind. “He was very
impressed when I told him about your new job.”
Arthur felt his neck heating. “It’s not such a big deal. The department is quite small, and it’s not
exactly the highest-paying position at the Ministry.”
“But you love it,” Molly insisted. “I’m just saying you don’t have to be nervous
around my father. He already approves of
you. Mum does, too.” She nudged his side with her shoulder and
added, “And you don’t have to order the mutton, either.”
Arthur looked down at her in disbelief for a second before
they both began to laugh. They were
still chuckling as they drew up on the Leaky Cauldron, the lit buildings
seeming especially bright after the darkness they’d come from.
“It’s so busy,” Molly said, inclining her head toward a large
crowd that was gathered near the entrance.
“I hope that doesn’t mean the wait is too long.”
Arthur peered at the crowd as they approached. He frowned; there was something off about the
situation, and he slowed to a stop, causing Molly to look up at him
“Arthur? What is it?”
The crowd – twenty people at least – was cacophonous,
sounding much more anxious than joyful.
Everyone appeared to be facing the outside wall of the Leaky Cauldron,
and when Arthur craned his neck to see, he caught a glimpse of parchment
against the bricks. Something wasn’t
“Stay here,” he told Molly, and he tried to move closer.
“No!” There was a
note of panic in her voice; she’d picked up on the tension in the air too. She clutched his arm tighter and he moved
forward with her, his mouth set in a grimace.
The crowd was too thick to get near the posted parchment,
but Arthur could see through the inn window that the tables were all empty, and
he caught snippets of conversation.
“...barged right in...”
“...no time to defend themselves...”
“...cold-blooded and barbaric...”
“...they wore masks...”
A familiar and wide-eyed face emerged from the crowd, and
Arthur didn’t bother with formalities before asking, “Caradoc,
what’s going on?”
Caradoc Dearborn, from Arthur and
Molly’s year but in Ravenclaw, grasped Arthur’s free
arm and pulled him and Molly off to the side.
He glanced around warily and said in a low voice, “A couple’s been
murdered.” Molly gasped. “The Fishers.
Muggle-born, both of them. People are saying it was You-Know-Who’s
doing. His followers, in any case.”
Molly gasped again and gave a sob. Arthur wrapped a protective arm around her
and stared at the thin, smooth-cheeked man in front
of him. “How could we know that if they
“I wondered the same thing myself,” Caradoc
said grimly. “Apparently they left a calling card over the house: a giant green
apparition of a skull with a snake coming out of its mouth.”
Arthur nodded. “It
makes sense. Death Eaters, I hear
they’re calling themselves.”
“That’s right,” Caradoc answered,
looking behind Arthur and motioning to someone.
“A group of us are going to try and find them. You should get Molly home. Take care.”
With that, he left, wending his way through the onlookers to
join with Emmeline Vance and Benjy
Fenwick and some others Arthur didn’t recognize. Arthur might have volunteered to go with
them, but he didn’t know how the Ministry would feel about a new employee being
part of a vigilante group, and besides, Caradoc was
right; he was very aware of the girl that was clinging to him.
“What are we to do, Arthur?” she asked when he looked down
at her. “I’m frightened.”
Arthur pulled her close and pressed a kiss to the top of her
head. “I am too. Come on, I should take you home.”
Keeping his arm around her, Arthur led her back the way
they’d come. The din of the crowd faded
to a murmur, and he said, “I’m sorry we have to cut the evening short. I’ll make it up to you as soon as I can.”
He readied himself to Apparate her
home, but at the last second Molly cried, “Wait!”
“I...” she faltered. “I don’t want to be apart from you
He shook his head.
“All the restaurants and pubs will be closed, and it’s too dangerous to
be out alone. When this all settles
“Please? There must
be some place they wouldn’t expect to find anyone, someplace we can be together
just a little longer.”
Arthur looked into her pleading eyes and sighed. The practical side of him knew it was foolish
to not bring her home immediately, and he couldn’t imagine what her parents
would think of him for not doing so, but his heart couldn’t resist the look on
her face or the opportunity to spend as much time with her as possible. Maybe if it hadn’t been over a week since
he’d seen her his resolve would be stronger.
“All right,” he said with another sigh. “All right.
I know a place that’s as safe as any.”
Molly hugged him and he Apparated
them both to a place he knew well but hadn’t seen in over five years.
“Where are we?” she asked, examining their
surroundings. It was dark, but Arthur
could make out the asymmetrical outline of the house, across an overgrown lawn
and beyond a dilapidated old shed.
“It was my grandfather’s house. The family still owns it and the land, but no
one’s lived in it since he died. I’m not
even sure anyone’s come to visit. I
think my father and uncles put some Protection Charms on it and let it be.”
“I like it,” she said, and breathed in the country air with
a content look. “Can we go inside?”
“I suppose. The
Burrow’s not much, but it should be preserved well enough.”
“That’s what Granddad always called it,” Arthur said as they
made their way toward the front door, wands held aloft to light their
path. “I used to spend the summers here
as a child with my brothers and cousins.
Granddad said we filled up the house like weasels in a burrow.”
“It sounds as if you had a grand time.”
“We did.” Arthur
smiled as memories flooded his mind. The
nostalgia of the place was almost overwhelming.
They picked their way across the yard, cutting in front of
the shed, which was leaning at quite a precarious angle, and through the tall
grass. Arthur could hear rustling
underfoot that he knew wasn’t just the wind; the Burrow had always attracted
hordes of garden gnomes, with its ample supply of bushes and shrubs for their hidey-holes. He
decided not to mention them to Molly, though – some girls were rather
frightened or disgusted by the bumpy little creatures, and he didn’t want to
startle her while she waded through who knew how many of them.
He was surprised, then, when he heard one squeak behind him
and turned to see her lobbing it over the crumbling stone wall that ran around
“What?” she asked him, and he realized he’d been staring.
“Nothing, nothing. I
don’t think many girls would do that, is all.”
“Oh posh.” Molly
waved off his comment with her hand, but she was smiling with what he knew to
be pride. “I have two older brothers and
a decent-sized garden at home. I used to
think it was loads of fun to help them de-gnome.” At that, she cleared her throat and
straightened her shoulders and looked fit to attend a ball.
“You’re one in a million, Molly.” He extended his elbow for her and said,
When they reached the front door, Arthur cast Alohomora in
conjunction with a more personalized spell the Weasley family used to prevent
intruders to unlock the door. Other than
the dust, which was so thick in the air that they coughed, everything looked
just as Arthur remembered it, at least in the entryway. He led them further into the house, to the
lounge, and lit the wall lamps while Molly waved her wand around to eliminate
“We should be safe here,” he said. “There aren’t any windows in this room, so no
one will be able to see us from outside, should they choose to come here at
all, and the Protection Charms will give us fair warning otherwise.”
The atmosphere became heavier as soon as he said it, as
though the temporary light-heartedness had fled and dropped the weight of the
news from Diagon Alley back on their laps.
“What if–?” Molly started, but Arthur cut her off.
“We’ll be safe here,” he said more firmly, stepping closer
to her. He tried to convey security to
her in his gaze, but her eyes remained wide and scared, and when he brought her
hand to his lips to kiss it, it was trembling.
It pained him to see her in such a state. Without breaking eye contact, he motioned
toward the lumpy, rust-colored settee and said, “Come on, let’s sit down.”
Molly nodded and followed his lead, though when she sat she
didn’t look any more comfortable; she stared at her feet and fidgeted with her
Arthur wasn’t sure what to say to make her feel better, so
he decided to say everything that came to mind.
“I know it comes as a shock, that a couple’s been murdered. War’s been on everyone’s mind, but to have it
hit so close to home – the Fishers were good people. It’ll be tough getting through the war, to be
sure, but we can’t let the fear control us.
We have to keep living life as normally as possible or else they’ve
already won. Not to say that we should
be careless, of course, but we can’t expect bad at every turn. As long as there’s still hope and everyone’s
vigilant and standing together, as Dumbledore said,
we can best You-Know-Who. And you and
your family will be all right. I can’t
see any reason why anyone would target you, and – that wasn’t a very helpful
thing to say, was it? But what I meant
He stopped when Molly suddenly barreled into his side,
burying her face in his chest and sobbing loudly.
“I’ve said something awful, haven’t I?” As he stroked her hair, he tried to figure
out how to backtrack and say something that would actually make her feel
better. “I’m sorry, Molly, I really
didn’t mean to–”
“Shut up,” she mumbled into him.
She pushed herself away so she could look up at him with her
tear-stained face. “I said shut up. I’m not scared for those things. Well, I am, of course, for all those things,
but that’s not why I’m crying.”
Arthur was lost. “I’m
not following,” he said regretfully.
“I – I’m scared for you,
Arthur. For your family.”
Molly sniffled and rubbed at her cheeks, not meeting his
eyes, but she was still pressed up against him, and now she smoothed her hands
over his slightly damp robes. “You’re
known as...your family is known for supporting Muggles
You-Know-Who and his followers are fanatical pure-bloods. What’s going to happen when...when they run out
of Muggle-borns to kill?”
Before Arthur could answer, or even process the things she’d
said, she flung her arms around his neck and began crying again.
“Molly,” he said gently.
“Nothing will happen to me. I’m a
nobody. And my family has dealt with
that sort of discrimination for centuries now – they’ll be careful.”
“But I can’t lose you,” she insisted, squeezing him
tighter. “I don’t know what I’d do. I love you.”
Despite the depressing nature of the conversation, of the
evening, Arthur smiled. He rested his
head against Molly’s, his mind going back to what lay hidden in his drawer at
home, and said, “I love you too. I don’t
plan on going anywhere.”
“Good.” That Gryffindor spirit was
back in her voice. She looked at him
then, and though the dim light caught the tears still in her eyes, she looked
like the strong, stubborn Molly he was used to.
A resurgence of doubt seemed to crack her exterior a bit, though. “Even if something happened to us,” she said hesitantly, making it
clear she was talking about their relationship, “I’d still never be able to
bear anything happening to you or people you love.”
Arthur shook his head.
He wanted to convey to her how much she meant to him, but the only idea
that came to him was to take her face in his hands and kiss her
thoroughly. So he did. As he reveled the feeling of her, he couldn’t
shake the image of that heirloom he had tucked away at home from his mind. The timing was all wrong, but something
inside him told him that he needed to do it.
“I want to – to ask you something,” he said against her
Her brow furrowed as he carefully unwound her hands from his
neck and stood up, only to kneel in front of her on shaky legs.
“What’s the mat–”
“I know I don’t have a home to call my own, or even many
possessions, and I haven’t received a paycheck yet, and those I do won’t amount
to much, but I–” A lump formed in his throat and he paused to collect
himself. “This isn’t how I planned it at
all – I have a ring at home already, and I was planning to take you somewhere
scenic and ask your father and do all the right things, but I–” He cut off in the same place and laughed
nervously, unable to meet her eyes. He
thought he must look a fool, not able to form a simple sentence. His stomach felt like it was full of Cornish
Pixies. “I – I want.... You give me the mollywobbles, Colly!” Slapping a hand to his forehead, he swore
under his breath. “I mean–”
Arthur looked up.
Molly was crying again, only this time she was smiling, and
when he smiled back at her, she was suddenly kissing him.
Later – Arthur wasn’t sure how much later – they were
cuddled together on the settee again, Molly’s legs lying across his and him
playing with strands of her now fairly rumpled hair. She didn’t look so ready for a ball anymore,
with wrinkled robes and no shoes, but she was even more beautiful. Neither one of them had stopped smiling.
“When will we get married?” she asked him.
“Whenever you’d like.
Soon. I hadn’t really thought
about that part of it.”
“What have you
“This, I suppose. And what it
might be like to live with you. Where
would you like to live, by the way?”
“Here,” she said without missing a beat.
“Why not? It’s empty,
isn’t it, and it’s large enough for – how many children did we agree on?”
“More than zero, less than a dozen.”
“Yes. Well, there’s
more than enough room for them all. Like
weasels in a burrow, right?”
She sighed. “Molly
“I like the sound of that.”
He kissed her cheek. “Mrs.
“Tell me about the ring.”
“You said you had a ring.”
“Oh.” Rubbing his
thumb over her left ring finger, he said, “It’s not fancy, but it’s a family
heirloom. My mother always said I could
have it when I was ready to get married, so I asked her for it last week, as
soon as I got home from Hogwarts. It’s a gold band with three small diamonds
set in a triangle. The triangle’s
supposed to represent fertility, according to my mum.”
“We’ll be needing the help,” she chuckled.
“I reckon so. Mum was
really pleased when I told her I was going to ask you. She’s very fond of you, you know.”
“I’m fond of her too.
Of both your parents.”
Arthur swallowed thickly.
“Your father’s going to murder me, isn’t he? I should have done this properly, as I
“No! It was
perfect. Daddy will probably grumble
about it for a couple days, but I told you he likes you, and Mum won’t let him
stay upset.” Giggling, she said, “She
told me you would ask me soon.”
“She did? How did she
Molly shrugged. “She
said you look at me like Daddy looked at her when they were young. They’re still in love, you know. I think we’ll be lucky to end up like
them. Or your parents. I can tell they’re still in love too.”
“They are,” Arthur agreed.
“We’ll be very lucky to end up like them. I can’t imagine not.”
“Me neither.” After a
moment she said, “What type of wedding do you want? Big? Small?
Where would it be?”
“I’m not sure. I have
a big family, and it’s tradition for Weasleys to get
married here, actually, in the garden, but now that it’s so overgrown I’m not
sure what they’ll say.”
“Prewetts have always been married
And there aren’t many of us, so they’re usually small weddings. Mum’s very adamant about arrangements and all
that. She’s been planning my wedding day
for years, I think.”
“I have a feeling my mum has too,” Arthur said wearily. “In a family where all we breed are males, I
think she decided that she didn’t care if the bride’s mother’s usually in
and Florence’s wedding turned into a bit of a nightmare that way.”
“I hope our mums don’t end up making it too difficult. I just want to be married. I don’t care as
much about the rest.”
“Same here. I’m sure
it’ll work out somehow, though. I just
want to be married, too.”
“Can’t you just picture it, Arthur? Us living here, a fire
in the hearth, a baby asleep upstairs?”
“Mmm, yes I can.” He yawned.
“We’ll be together and safe and happy.”
“Do you think I’ll always give you the collywobbles?”
Arthur laughed through another yawn. “Mollywobbles, you
mean. Of course you will.”
Molly pulled his head onto her chest and brushed his hair
back from his face. “You’re falling
asleep, aren’t you?”
“Just for a bit. I
have to take you home later.”
“It’s all right.”
There was silence for a few moments, and he was nearly
asleep when she said, in a truly wicked tone, “Arthur?”