This is for Megsy42's Seasons Challenge at the Harry Potter fanfiction Challenges Forum.

Prompts used - coat, cold, puddle-jumping. (I know there are two more winter prompts. Bear with me there's method in my madness.)

For Steph, who loves Arthur and Molly too.

A Hogwarts Romance

(In five parts and four seasons)

Prelude - Winter - January 1966

She tells herself that she is being unfair. It is not Monica's fault that she didn't realise what she felt about Arthur until it was too late. (Would it have made any difference if she had? Arthur might not have noticed her anyway. He wouldn't have noticed her. Not with Monica around.) And Monica is her friend, her best friend. She should be happy for her.

So she lies on her bed watching as Monica gets ready to go to Hogsmeade with Arthur, and says how nice Monica's blonde hair looks against the blue of her new coat, and says yes, she thinks that Arthur will be happy to go to Dolores Dingles' Teashop with Monica, and no, of course she doesn't mind that Monica is going to Hogsmeade with Arthur instead of with her. She smiles and lies, and her best friend has no idea just how much she hates her right now, and just how much she wants to cry.

And half an hour later, when Monica and Arthur have gone off together, and after she has shed hot tears behind the curtains of her four poster bed, Molly washes her face and puts on her own coat. She finds Sally Spendlove alone in the common room waiting for her, and she takes her hand and pulls her out of her chair and smiles and says she's sorry she took so long getting ready. And she and Sally go off down the road to Hogsmeade together, huddled in scarves and gloves against the cold, speculating on whether it will snow today, and jumping on the puddles to break the ice. And they go to Honeydukes and buy chocolate, and to the Three Broomsticks and drink butterbeer, and Sally wonders aloud for the millionth time just when her uncle will get round to opening the joke shop here that he keeps talking about. And Molly laughs and smiles and talks, and no one knows just how much effort it takes her.

Because she has her pride, and because Monica is her friend.