AN: Written for the Potter Project competition on HPFC (round 1)

Remember how Bill and Molly argue about how Fleur and Bill are rushing the wedding because of the war and Bill retorts that's exactly what she and Arthur did? I wanted to write something from that period making it hopelessly romantic and bringing out the awkward Weasley male from Arthur that we all know and love. I hope I did it justice.

Please read and review

I don't own Harry Potter…sob

Arthur Weasley stood outside the ring shop sweating.

He was wearing his best robes, no patches despite the faded fabric, and was holding careful years of savings in his left hand. The clothes stuck to his skin, his hair itched and his knees trembled slightly.

The display window of the shop was beautiful, glistening so that the rings were arranged to have the light reflect and dazzle. The prices weren't too bad either, Arthur reflected. It would still be the highest sum he'd ever paid for such a small object but he knew it was worth it.

Summoning up every last drop of Gryffindor pride Arthur possessed he pressed against the door and entered the shop.

The smell of clinical newness mingled with the light, floral perfume of the clerk overwhelmed Arthur and he desperately wanted to leave. What kept him from running was the rose gold ring with the modest marquise shaped ruby as a centre piece that sat in the display cabinet.

Arthur was acutely aware of the dreadfulness of his robes and the sweat beads across his forehead as he approached the clerk, a young witch without a hair out of place. She shot Arthur a snooty glare before asking him,
"May I be of service…Sir?" The last word throbbed with disdain and Arthur was suddenly reminded of his father's last words.

Arthur was the youngest of five brothers who'd all slept in the same bedroom at the back of his father's apothecary in Diagon Alley. His childhood was rambunctious and happy, filled with discovering the Alley with his brothers and helping in the shop. Despite never having any money, limited house space and exhausted parents Arthur never realised what class distinctions were before Hogwarts. Everyone lived like that in the Alley. Before he died Arthur's father, a dignified man, called his sons to him and left them with these words,

"Whatever you do, despite whatever your financial status may be, do it with pride and passion"

Taking these words to heart Arthur stood up and looked into the grey-blue eyes of the clerk.

"I'd like the rose-gold and ruby ring please." Arthur said in a very quiet voice.

"The Marquis cut?" she snapped, as if it was a great inconvenience

"Yes please."

The clerk sighed but retrieved the ring and removed the anti-thievery charms and then observed with a cold eye as Arthur counted out each coin he had collected. In seventh year when he decided he wanted to marry Molly he had done menial jobs for the professors and begun to save, then three months at Flourish and Blotts being ordered around and bothered by impatient customers and now he had an underling position at the Ministry. He had carefully saved his coins, foregone the Friday afternoon pint with colleagues, spending time at the library and on long walks with Molly. It had been a year since they left school and he knew whatever else happened, he wanted her to be his other half and now with the imminent threat of war and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named it was more important than ever.

The clerk sighed again as she placed the ring in a pretty, blue box, tapped her wand to protect it with charms and swept Arthur's coins into a till.

"Thank you for visiting us, Sir. Please come again soon."

But Arthur didn't care about the woman's bored expression or the mild headache he was gaining from her perfume. He had a ring, Mr Prewett's blessing and the proposal all worked out.

AWMPAWMP

Molly Weasley stood in front of her mirror wearing her favourite green robes. She'd spent hours agonising with her needle after Arthur had told her that he loved the colour with her hair.

He'd invited her out this afternoon but wouldn't tell her what they were doing. She liked surprise dates but she wanted to be dressed properly. The adventurous spirit of the pair had been cut down though by the possibility of war. There were the scares, the disappearances and mysterious deaths but no conflict, just the perpetual tension cocooning society.

Molly wanted to be safe. To be secure, with her mother's passing in sixth year and her brothers, in the front line of Order activities. She needed to know her love wasn't to be stolen away.

Attempting to displace these thoughts from her mind she took another stop towards the mirror so she could peer at her face. Another spot was beginning to grow on her forehead and Molly pinched the bridge of nose, trying to pretend she didn't care. Why should she care when Fabian was out most nights, coming home shaken and refusing to talk? When Gideon was training to do the same?

But why wouldn't Arthur ask to marry her? Was it that she wasn't good enough? Pretty enough? Was she too high spirited? Did he want to fight? Why?

All her friends were getting married and Molly Weasley was feeling left behind.

Then Gideon stuck his head into her room,

"Molly, you've a visitor downstairs, goes by the name of Arthur or something ridiculous." Molly threw a cushion at the back of her smirking brother's head.

"I'll be down in a second," she promised.

Gideon smiled, "Just remember, he does anything to hurt you and he's mine." Then he laughed and disappeared again.

Molly straightened her clothes and smile at the mirror before turning away and heading down to Arthur.

MPAWMPAWMPAW

The couple set out down the garden pathway to the edge of the Prewett's paddock. The wind whipped through Molly's hair and the sweet smell of sprouting grass along with the slight tang of Bermuda's buttercups and the underlying, cloddy smell of earth filled Arthur's nose. The fresh, invigorating air and the sun making a rare appearance fuelled his courage and sent Molly's anxieties away for a while.

They reached the broken fence where the wood was decaying and the weeds taking over yet it still retained a rustic charm.

Leaning against the fence Molly sighed.

"What's wrong?" Arthur's casual enquiry could lead to dozens of different answers but all Molly could bring herself to say was,

"I'm worried about Gideon and Fabian."

Arthur wished he could say that she didn't have to be but he knew that wasn't true, that they lived in dangerous times and they could disappear, he didn't know how long they had left. He sneaked a hand into his pocket and lightly fingered the box that was sitting there, he gulped and took three steps to face Molly. Lightly placing his fingers on her cheeks he smiled and then genuflected down so he looked up at Molly.

"I love you Molly Prewett," here Arthur took a pause to swallow, "and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I don't know what's going to happen in the next year, the next month, the next week. I don't even know what's going to happen tomorrow. You-know-who is rising and I don't want to waste time that could be spent with you. I love you but I don't have much to offer. A ministry job with a small paycheque and the cottage at the end of the next field your father will rent to us. I'll understand if you say no, if you don't want to live with no finances…" Arthur trailed off before he cleared his throat again,

"Molly Prewett, would you do me the honour of becoming my wife?" Then with only the awkward grace of a Weasley man Arthur took the ring box from his, pocket, opened it and proffered the jewellery to Molly.

"Yes Arthur, a thousand times yes!" Molly cried, "I wouldn't care if you were the lowest pauper in England. I love you Arthur Weasley."