AN: For those who wish to know what the scene breaker says 1,2,3,4, 5. This was originally inspired by Arthur Alexander's song "You Better Move On", and then the 6th Adventdrabble prompt told me how to end it.
This is not beta'd so if you see something that needs to be corrected, please PM me. Thanks! Ree
Learning to Move On
Arthur Weasley walked by the Black Lake, his school robe pulled close and a threadbare hat pulled low over his ears. Rubbing his slightly reddened hands together, he wished that his mind would work through problems while he was sitting still. Instead, his hands had to tinker or his feet had to move.
Sighing deeply, he walked further, the cold trying to seep past his warming charms on his robes. 'How can she love me? Does she love me?' He shook that last question out of his head. 'I have to do something that can support us. Will she accept that if she marries me that we will be scraping and scrimping all the time?'
He heard fast steps behind him and Arthur stepped away from the lake, opening the path. Normally at this time in the morning Bartholomew Pussett, Timothy Darling, and Simon Mark typically ran around the Lake and the last thing he wanted was to be in their way. Staring back into space, Arthur thoughts were on bright brown eyes and wavy red hair when a slim hand slipped into his. Jerking his head about, he found himself staring into the beautiful eyes he has just been thinking about.
"It is cold out here, Arthur. What are you doing?" Molly smiled and intertwined her fingers through his.
"I had to think, Molly." Arthur tightened his fingers around her hand and then relaxed, slipping them out from between hers. Turning slightly, he looked down into Molly's upturned face. "You know I can't sit still to think."
Molly nodded slightly. "What are you thinking about? Can I help?"
"I don't know what I want to do after I leave Hogwarts. I want to do something so we can be together – so I can support us..." His eyes widened and he swallowed hard before he continued. "That is, if you want to be with me when we leave."
Molly's eyes widened and then began to glow. "Arthur Weasley!" Wrapping her hands around his neck, she brushed a kiss across a flushing cheek. "Of course I want to be with you. For always. See, I love you."
Arthur adjusted his glasses slightly and knew that he had a foolish smile on his face. "I love you, too, Molly Prewett."
They stood there, lost in each others eyes - fingers intertwined and soft smiles filling their face.
They both started when Bartholomew, Simon and Timothy ran past.
Arthur flushed a bit more. "I just don't know what to do."
"You love Muggle things, why not work with that? Maybe you can find a job in the Ministry as a go between. You can be our face to the Muggles who know about us." Molly flashed a smile. "I am going to work with knitting. It is all the rage right now. Jumpers, scarves, and other knitted things. Karen, a friend of mine in Ravenclaw, she is opening a shop and want me to make things for it."
"I'll look into what the Ministry has in the way of Muggle related positions. It can't hurt." Arthur pulled Molly close to him and rested his head on hers. "Thanks, Molly."
"Honestly, Arthur, you just need to let her go. I mean, Molly is used to things you could never provide her." Bartholomew leaned forward, resting his arms on the table top that separated Arthur and him. "You just are not worthy of her. You can't dress her like she is used to. No diamonds, no fancy clothes, nothing like that."
Arthur leaned back, his hands smoothing over the second hand robe he was wearing. The Transfiguration book and essay that was sitting on the table was forgotten. It took a lot of effort to keep his tone pleasant and conversational. "What besides your money makes you worthy of her?"
Bartholomew smiled and ran a hand through his hair, fluffing it slightly. "I love her. She is perfect for me. A gem that can grace my arm at any event. Her lineage is impeccable. The Prewetts are old and their blood is a pure as can be."
Out of habit, Arthur dismissed the blood purity comment; when you were around Bartholomew Pusset you learn to filter it out.
"You love her," Arthur clenched his fingers tight under the table. "and you want me to just let her go so that you can swoop in and take her. What is to say that she will fall in love with you? Only her heart and the Lord can determine who she is going to love."
"I am sure she will love me back, Arthur. She is just distracted by you right now. She won't cheat on you, she isn't that type of girl. So, if you were out of the picture, she would be fall for me. She would do it because I love her and I will be there. Please, Arthur – set her free."
"Bart, we've been friends since first year. You know she is the first and only girl I have every loved." Arthur packed his materials and stood up from the table. "I can't leave her, no matter how much you beg and plead. I don't blame you for loving her, but no... I can't walk away from her." Drawing in a breath, he hefted his bag. "You better move on. Just forget her, Bart."
Nodding towards the blond, Arthur left the library.
Arthur looked up when Molly dropped down onto the chair near his. The expression on her face said that something was bothering her. "What is the matter, Molly?"
Pink lips compressed into a thin line and red hair was flipped back before Molly leaned in closer. "You."
Arthur blinked and he tried to keep his fear from showing on his face. "Me?"
"Yes, you. You've been sticking your nose in those books and ignoring me, Weasley."
Out of the corner of his eye, Arthur spotted Bart watching avidly. Their conversation was still fresh in his mind even though it was a week ago. Focusing completely on Molly, he brushed a lock of hair back behind her ear. "I am studying hard. I am not trying to ignore you, I just can't afford to fail my NEWTs. Especially the Muggles Studies one."
"Arthur, you will do fine, you are the best in the class already. I know you are good with Charms and you can make it through Transfiguration. You've explained Runes to me enough that I know you will be good with that one as well." She ran a finger down his cheek. "Now, take me for a walk through the halls or outside."
Arthur banished his work to his room and took her hand. "A walk it is then."
Once they were clear of prying eyes and ears, Molly turned about and confronted him. "Now talk. You can walk, so you can think. I need to know what happened last week. You've been more focused on your studies than ever before. It is almost the Holidays. Are you going to be lost in your books the entire time we are off – even Christmas Day?"
"I … I don't come from money. I know I have wealthy relations, but my branch isn't. You … you are used to money. Things are provided easily." Arthur ran a hand over his face, trying his best to block out Bart's words. They had been ringing in his mind all week, prompting him to do his best. "Surely you want diamonds, fancy robes... I have to study hard to be able to give you any of that."
"No, I don't want any of that. Or rather, I don't need any of it. Yes, the Prewetts are comfortably well off, but we aren't as rich as the Blacks." Shaking her head, Molly settled her hand on Arthur's arm. "Arthur, I love you, I need to be with you more than any materialistic thing. I want to marry you, live with you somewhere we can afford to keep a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and the bills paid. If we barely make ends met, then that is what we do. You will find a job somewhere, and I will knit. Together, that is how we are going to make it." Brown eyes searched blue. "Please."
Arthur closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh of relief. The tormenting words drifted away, banished by the earnest ones spoken by his love. "Together, that is what we will be, and we will make it."
Soft lips pressed against his. Pulling Molly close, Arthur savoured the kiss knowing it for the promise it was.
"Arthur!" Bart pelted down the hall, chasing the red head. "Arthur, slow down."
He caught up when his friend paused near a suit of armour. Catching his breath, he looked at Arthur, hoping that everything was going to be the way he wanted.
Arthur grinned and shook his head. "You would think with all the running you do, you could make it down the hall without getting out of breath."
Chuckling, Bart brushed that statement away. "So, what did Molly want to tell you?"
He took hope in the way that Arthur's fingers tightened on his bookbag strap. When his friend gestured him to follow, Bart did, glad that they were now in a deep alcove. Their conversation would not be heard here.
"She chose me, Bart. She wants to be with me. I love her, she loves me." Arthur leaned against the wall while he carefully watched his friend. "You need to move on – just forget her."
"Arthur! I... I can't help it. I love her... I love her more than anyone else before." Bart searched his friends face, his eyes wide and hopeful. "Please ... please let her go to me."
Arthur rested a hand on Bart's shoulder and swallowed lightly. "Can't you understand that I love her, too? That she is my everything? I can't live without her. I … I am sorry, Bart, but I can't let her go. Never … not even if she decides to leave me one day."
He squeezed Bart's shoulder lightly and then left the alcove. There was nothing left to say.
The final Hogsmeade weekend before the Holiday break was upon them before they knew it. Molly and Arthur went together, but they travelled with a group of friends. The group had separated not long after getting into town so that they could complete their Christmas shopping.
Arthur stopped short by the window, his eyes narrowing in anger. The group was gathering outside of the Three Broomsticks, and Bart was standing just a bit too close to Molly. Turning on his heel, he ran out of the shop. His footsteps only slowed as he came near the group.
They were laughing about something Timothy said and Bart, with a studied casualness, draped an arm over Molly's shoulders.
Arthur grabbed his shoulder, pulling Bart away from the group and into a nearby alley. Pushing the green-eyed man against a wall, Arthur leaned into his face. "I warned you. I told you. Leave. Molly. Alone. Move. On."
"I … Arthur..." Bart gulped as he stared into a face that he had never thought he would see mad. The sheer amount of anger directed at him at that moment let him know just how much over the line he had gone. "I... I am sorry. I'll leave her alone, I promise. She is yours. I'll move on, just like you said."
He waited, hoping for reason, something he has always thought defined Arthur, to return to his friend's face. As the anger slowly melted away and Arthur leaned away, he drew a deep breath and let it out. He had almost cost himself his best mate – one of the few that knew him through and through and still stuck by him. "How about we both finish up here, and then sneak out for a drink tonight? We can put all this behind us."
"Tonight." Arthur gave a half grin and then pulled Bart away from the wall and gently shoved him out of the alley.
Arthur watched as Bart downed one firewhisky after another. "You might not want to over do it."
Bart snorted and tossed back the last of the glass. "You know I can hold my drink. It will take a lot more than this to make me drunk." Clunking the glass back onto the table, Bart leaned back in the seat. "So, am I forgiven? I don't know what came over me. I know she is your girl. I know that she loves you. She hardly notices me or any other guy when you are around. I just... I just want that, too. I want to be the centre of some girl's world."
Arthur nursed his glass of firewhisky while he waited for his opportunity. "You will find her eventually, Bart. I forgive you, but I still have a score to settle."
Green eyes widened slightly. "A score?"
Arthur nodded slowly. "I told you twice to leave Molly alone. I explained why, twice. I should not have needed to tell you a third time. You need to pay the consequences for your actions."
"What do I need to do? How are you going to settle this score?"
Even as those words left Bart's mouth, he felt his hair growing longer. His chin and lip started to itch and soon a beard and a moustache was flowing down his chest. Looking down, he saw that they were white. "This, this is it?"
Arthur smiled. "Mostly. Finish your drink, we need to get back soon."
Bart eyed his glass suspiciously but then shrugged and downed the rest. "Two more, the evening is young yet, and tomorrow is Sunday. No classes."
"Okay, two more for you." Arthur let his smile broaden and then changed the conversation to classes.
Bart opened his eyes slowly only to close them again. His head was splitting wide open, his mouth was dry, and his stomach was not happy with him. 'I've never had a hangover before. Just how did this happen?'
Pushing himself up slowly, he stopped when he felt cold stone beneath his hand. He then registered that his entire backside could feel the same thing. Opening his eyes again, he stared at himself – naked except for his Hogwarts' hat covering his privates. Looking about he spotted his robes folded neatly on a nearby crate. Moving cautiously – his head let him know that was the best idea – he gathered his clothes and slipped them on.
A smile attempted to curled his lips when he noticed the potion sitting next to where his robes were. 'I normally am giving Arthur the hangover potion.' Picking up the vial, he sniffed it before downing it in one go. He then sat on the crate waiting for it to take effect. It was only once his head was clear, he saw his hair was still white and long.
Trudging to the end of the alley, he noticed that it was warded tight. Just a simple test showed they were the reason he hadn't frozen to death last night, and were also the reason he had not been disturbed. It also showed that they were cast by one Arthur Weasley.
He had a lot to consider as he headed back to the castle with the sun just cresting the horizon.
Slipping into the boy's dorm, Bart sat on Arthur's bed and pulled the curtains. Once he was sure that nothing could disturb them, he placed his ice cold hands on his friend's cheeks. He jumped back as Arthur shot up awake, blue eyes wide in shock.
"Good, now that you are awake, you better have a good reason for leaving me there last night."
Arthur blinked and then smiled. "You made it back safe. I will never, ever, purposefully make you drunk again. You do the stupidest things when you are drunk."
"You made me drunk? And then you left in that alley way? Naked?"
"That was the other part of your consequence. You had to learn what a hangover felt like, not the naked in the alley part. I tried to get you to come back to the castle, but you attempted to curse me. A few of them hit, you know. So, I left your robes, the potion, and warded you in tight."
Bart feel back onto the bed and sighed. "So, we are now even."
"Yeah, we are even."
"Good – I do need to get you back for leaving alone all night. A best mate would have stayed there with me in that alley."
Arthur flopped back onto his pillow. "You just did – cold hands are not the way to wake up."
Tugging his blankets up, Arthur rolled over. "Now I am going back to sleep – your bed is waiting on you so go."
Bart pulled himself up to his feet and headed for his bed. Settling into the warm covers – Arthur had just applied a warming charm to them – he looked back at his friend. "Thanks."
"For what?" Was the drowsy reply.
"For being my friend."
"Welcome, now go to sleep."
Bart did just that.