The Sugar Quill
Author: Ara Kane (Professors' Bookshelf)  Story: Molly Prewett and the Heart of the Wayward Wizard  Chapter: Prologue ? Introduction; or, For the Love of Eyelashes
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.


Disclaimer: Molly Prewett, Arthur Weasley and the world they live in belong to J.K. Rowling. Dame Francesca Nadaworth and her book Tapping the Inner Goddess: The Smart Witch’s Guide to Makeover Magic and Wooing the Wayward Wizard belong to A.L. de Sauveterre (they appear in her story, Harry Potter and the Society of Orpheus and Bacchus, also archived here on the Sugar Quill) and are used with her permission.


Author’s Notes: Many, many thanks to A.L. de Sauveterre for sharing her creation with me, and to Lady Narcissa for beta-reading.




Prologue — Introduction; or, For the Love of Eyelashes


It was a beautiful Saturday morning at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall, mimicking the sunny sky outside, splashed everything with a cheerful gold. The four House tables were a riot of color instead of the usual workaday black, and the air was buzzing with excitement over the first Hogsmeade trip of the term.

At the Gryffindor table, most of the attention was on two teaspoons hovering above the highly polished tabletop. Three toast fingers clustered around one teaspoon, and a menacing eggcup faced down the other some distance away. “Remember, Basil was here,” sixth-year Alan Jackson told his rapt audience, gesturing with his wand at the teaspoon surrounded by the toast fingers. “And Clare was over here…” He pointed at the teaspoon facing the eggcup. “Basil was surrounded and I thought Gryffindor was dead for sure, but then he makes this unbelievable pass that caught the Ravenclaw Chasers napping and Clare scores!”

Teaspoon and eggcup collided in mid-air, causing a yellow-and-white explosion that splattered Alan’s audience. Unfortunately, a good-sized blob of soft-boiled egg landed on a passing jumper that also just happened to be decorated with a highly polished Head Boy badge.

A tense silence descended over the Gryffindor table as Edward Weasley surveyed the mess on his front and then fixed a stern eye on the culprit. “What were you doing, Alan?”

“Reenacting the maneuver that gave us the lead against Ravenclaw yesterday,” Alan replied in the American twang that caused the heart of many a female listener to flutter. “You know — the Quidditch match we eventually won?”

“Yes, I am familiar with that match,” Ned informed him. “I was there, too.”

“You were?” asked the bespectacled, redheaded boy seated next to Alan. “You mean that madman jumping up and down in the stands beside me was really you?”

The few nervous titters that greeted this joke died away quickly as the Head Boy turned to the speaker. “And as for you, Arthur…” He shook his head. “I had expected my own brother to help me maintain order and discipline in Gryffindor House.”

“Oh, come off it, Ned; you know I do help you.” Arthur Weasley gave his brother a cheeky grin. “When I have to. Here, let me clean up that egg for you.”

“No, no, don’t bother. I can do it myself.” Ned restored his immaculate appearance with a crisply executed Scourgify. “Just clean up the rest of this mess and stop playing with your food, all right?”

“Yes, sir, Mr. Head Boy, sir,” Alan replied. He and Arthur straightened in their seats and saluted crisply. “I promise it will never happen again, Mr. Head Boy, sir.”

“That was a near thing,” Molly Prewett, another sixth-year Gryffindor, whispered to her best friend as the Head Boy walked past them with another long-suffering sigh. “I was afraid Ned was going to take points off Gryffindor!”

“He wouldn’t do that,” Ginger Latham whispered back. One of her thick brown plaits grazed her goblet of pumpkin juice, almost upsetting it. “He knows we need the points we got from the victory over Ravenclaw if we’re going to finally beat Slytherin for the House Cup this term.”

“This isn’t about the House Cup, Gin; it’s about principle.”

“What is about principle?” a musical female voice asked. Both girls looked up to see Clare Prewett, Molly’s cousin, take a seat next to Molly. As usual, a number of appreciative male stares followed every move the pretty blonde girl made.

“Oh, nothing, really,” Ginger replied. “Alan Jackson was talking about yesterday’s Quidditch match and we were wondering whether Ned Weasley should have taken points off Gryffindor for that.”

Clare frowned as she poured herself some pumpkin juice. “Why would he take points from Gryffindor when all Alan was doing was talking?”

“He wasn’t just talking,” Molly told her. “He was also using his breakfast to reenact that goal you scored, and he made a terrific mess. Quite a bit of it ended up on Ned.”

“Oh!” The blonde girl bit her lip. “Poor Ned.”

To most observers, especially those of the male persuasion, Clare’s expression was one of genuine concern. Few would have caught the faint glimmer of merriment in her eyes. Molly, being one of the few and determined to set a good example, gave her cousin a severe look. She opened her mouth to deliver an admonition when the love of her life strode into the Great Hall.

Molly’s eyes latched onto Geoffrey Blaine the minute he entered the room. Her lecture forgotten, she watched him walk towards the Slytherin table, exchanging greetings with his friends on his way to get breakfast.

Ginger turned to find out what Molly was looking at. “Oh, he’s here.”

Molly knew her friend was exchanging amused glances with Clare, but she was too preoccupied to care. “Mm-hmm…” she affirmed absently, twirling a lock of dark orange hair around her finger and drinking in the sight of Geoffrey’s brilliant smile. She noted with some relief that he wasn’t smiling at any girls that morning. How she wished that he were smiling at her!

“He’s looking very handsome,” Clare said.

“Mm-hmm…” That day, he was wearing gray flannel trousers and a black jumper just like the ones those Muggle singers, the Beatles, liked to wear. The jumper was the perfect foil for Geoffrey’s broad shoulders, square jaw and wavy blond hair, and the trousers showed off the rest of his lean frame. Molly thought he looked like he belonged on the cover of Nundu Beat magazine.

“Reckon you’ll talk to him today?” Ginger asked.

The blunt question brought Molly crashing back to earth and she shook her head, eyes wide. “Oh, no! I couldn’t! I wouldn’t know what to say!”

You wouldn’t know what to say?” Clare laughed. “Ginger, I believe the world is coming to an end.”

“There’s plenty to talk about, Molly,” Ginger told her. “You can talk about schoolwork, Quidditch… anything under the sun. You just have to find out what sort of things he likes to talk about.” The brown-haired girl chuckled. “I’ll bet that once you get started, you, of all people, won’t be able to stop.”

“Thank you ever so much,” Molly said dryly. Turning away from her grinning friend, she resumed watching Geoffrey. “I don’t know when I’ll ever get the chance to get to know him better, though,” she sighed. He was so handsome, so charming, so perfect… too perfect for the likes of her. “He’ll never talk to me.”

* * *

The idea of Geoffrey never, ever speaking to her didn’t sit too well with Molly, but the visit to Hogsmeade did much to improve her spirits. Other than the hour spent at Honeydukes agonizing over which sweets she could do without until she had some more pocket money, she had a fine time strolling through the village and browsing the shops with her friends.

The highlight of the afternoon was when she stood next to Geoffrey for five whole minutes in Rabnott’s Quidditch supply shop. Unfortunately, Molly didn’t say a word to him despite the many meaningful looks and discreet prods from Ginger and Clare. “You could have at least said hello,” Clare complained when they finally left the shop.

“I didn’t need to,” Molly replied as she twirled down High Street with wings on her feet. Just standing next to Geoffrey, breathing in the scent of his cologne and listening to him discuss broomsticks with his friends, was enough to transport her into a state of total bliss.

“Of course you needed to! How is he going to speak to you if you don’t speak to him first? He’s not going to speak first, you know; he’s not that sort of fellow and the days of the man doing everything first are long gone—“

Suddenly, there was a piercing squeal, cutting Ginger’s lecture short. Molly spun around. “What?” she demanded of Clare. Her cousin was standing frozen in front of Gladrags Wizardwear, her eyes wide. “What’s the matter?”

“They’re here!” The blonde girl pointed excitedly at the Gladrags display window and hopped about like a happy bunny. “Madam Evelina’s Ever-Flutter Eyelashes! I’ve only just read the advertisement in Young Witch Weekly! I must have them!”

“Oh, for the love of… eyelashes! Whatever do you need false eyelashes for?”

Clare pouted. “Well, look at my eyelashes — if you can see them! I’ve begged Daddy to let me use a Darkening Charm on them for ever so long, but he’s being such an ogre about it—”

“Well, Uncle Bilius is right,” her cousin declared. “Casting spells around your eyes is almost as dangerous as casting them on your eyes.”

“—so getting those eyelashes would be the next best thing!” she concluded, as though Molly hadn’t said a word. “Oh, Molly, I must buy them. My eyelashes are practically invisible!”

“Well, you must have at least one imperfection,” Ginger remarked, “or else life just wouldn’t be fair.”

Molly laughed, but Clare looked so mournful that she was compelled to throw up her hands in defeat. “Oh, all right, go off and fritter away your money if you want those silly things so badly. It’s not my money you’ll be spending, after all. I won’t be the one who’ll have to explain the expense to Uncle Bilius. And good luck walking with them on!” she called after her cousin’s happily retreating back.

Ginger shook her head as they watched Clare skip into Gladrags. “Those false eyelashes look like caterpillars if you ask me. Come on; let’s wait for her in the bookshop.”

Broughton’s Bookshop was housed in a rather drab brown building right next to Gladrags. Despite its unassuming exterior, however, it boasted an extensive selection of books and magazines. There were even some Muggle publications for sale, although they weren’t very popular.

Once inside the shop, Ginger made a beeline for the magazine display and was soon happily absorbed in the latest exploits of the Holyhead Harpies. Molly perused the racks, too, but was unable to find anything interesting and moved on to the bookshelves. Her eyes skimmed disinterestedly over Harriet Tittenhurst’s girls’ novels, the swashbuckling adventures of the Dread Pirate Roberts, and an entire row of biographies on Uffa the Wise. Molly walked past brightly-colored paperbacks and tomes bound in deep, rich leather as she worked her way towards the back of the shop in search of something nice to read.

She had reached the very back row of shelves (“Self-Help, Self-Improvement and, if neither works, Self-Acceptance”) and was about to return to the front of the shop when a flash of purple caught her eye.

Molly reached out and plucked a slim paperback off the shelf. The title, Tapping the Inner Goddess: The Smart Witch’s Guide to Makeover Magic and Wooing the Wayward Wizard, was splashed in gold against a background of purple and teal. A photograph of a buxom witch with masses of strawberry blonde hair smiled at her from the back cover. Molly guessed that it was a photo of Dame Francesca Nadaworth, the author of the book. She looked up and, seeing that Ginger was still busy reading, opened Tapping the Inner Goddess to the first page.

ARE YOU TIRED OF BEING A WALLFLOWER? the introduction screamed at her.

Yes, Molly thought.

Tired of going unnoticed by that someone special?

She scowled. Hmph. Yes.

Ever dreamed of being an exotic, passion- and poetry-inspiring rose, rather than a mere dandelion?

“Yes!” she blurted out before she could stop herself. Molly clapped a hand over her mouth when she realized that her voice had carried to all corners of the quiet bookshop and everyone inside was staring at her.

Ginger looked at her quizzically. “All right there, Molly?”

“Yes, yes, I’m fine.” Her face was burning but, despite her mortification, she mustered a smile. “I, er, found something I liked.” She laughed weakly, gave her friend and the other bewildered shoppers what she hoped was a jaunty wave, and then dove back into the book.

What do you want out of life? Wealth? Power? Popularity? Adventure? Romance?

No, no, yes, yes, yes.



“Oh!” Molly jumped at the sound of her name and turned sharply to find Clare standing by her side. “Clare! You startled me! How did you know I was here?”

“This is where you always hide when you think I’m going to borrow money from you,” her cousin told her. “Well, Miss Molly Melinda Prewett,” she went on with a proud smile, “you should be pleased to know that I don’t need to borrow money from you today. In fact, I’ve still got plenty of my own left over.”

“Oh, are you finished shopping?” Molly realized that there was nothing extraordinary about her cousin’s appearance. “Where are your caterpillars—I mean, eyelashes?”

Clare giggled. “I’m saving them for a special occasion, of course!”

“Of course.”

The blonde girl glanced at the book Molly was holding. “Find something you like?” she asked.

“Er, yes.” She casually tucked Dame Francesca under her arm so that her book couldn’t be seen. “Let me just pay for it and then we can go.”

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