When she is nine, her dad gives her a wizard's camera.
It is big and bulky in her tiny hands, but it is from her father and she values it. With a small smile, she wraps her tiny arms around him. "Thank you, Daddy."
She brings it with her everywhere she goes, taking snapshots of whatever she finds and marveling at how they move before her jaded eyes.
They call it a hobby; she calls it a lifestyle. She doesn't like Muggle pictures- they stay still and stagnant in their frames, never so much as blinking. She likes capturing life in its essence, the way people move, the smiles that spread over their faces.
After all, life isn't just one moment.
One day soon after that, she goes over to the Burrow for the annual family reunion. All of them smile at her, at her red pigtails tied up with red ribbons, but she makes a beeline for her old buddy Teddy Lupin.
"Look at my camera, Teddy," she sings.
"It's pretty," he compliments her. "Take a picture of me?"
She nods and his hair returns to its normal blue, the turquoise shade that she's grown to love. She waits until his smile is not fake, and then snap, she presses the button. After a moment, the picture prints, and she watches as he runs a hand through his hair, that easy smile upon his face.
"You look good," she compliments him innocently.
"I like that picture," he confirms, pressing a hand to it. "Keep it."
When she gets home, she stores it in the drawer by her bedside table where she keeps all of her favourite snapshots, the ones that she supposes she will treasure for the rest of her life, the ones that represent life at its height.
In her mind, his easy smiles represent her happiest moments.
After a while, his easy smiles become rare. He does not look quite as happy anymore. In fact, it seems as if the stress of his final years at Hogwarts is getting to him.
She starts school during his final year, the collection of photos tucked into her knapsack that she wears on one shoulder. He's Head Boy because of his intelligence (much like his father), and she looks up to him like no one else.
During his Head Boy speech at the beginning of the year, she takes a picture of him. He doesn't look happy- the smile on his face is forced, and she decides that she doesn't like the photo much.
But there's something endearing about the way that his speech is filled with animation, the way he moves his hands as he talks, so she tucks it away as well, unwilling to give up something as small as a photo of him.
The girls in her dorm tease her. They tell her that she has a crush on Teddy, and maybe she does, but he's too old for her. Besides, he's Victoire's, anyway.
Even if he never lights up around Victoire the way he does for her.
She misses his smile.
She grows up, as most girls do. She forgets about her first-year crush on Teddy and dates any guy who is willing. They are all sweet and caring, but none of them have hair that changes colours and smiles that can make a girl's day.
She dumps them one by one because she's Molly Weasley II and really, she's supposed to know better than this.
And one day, she convinces her best friend Dominique to go outside and burn their pictures with her.
"I don't get why you're doing this," Dominique says as the inferno blazes around them, the fire consuming the pictures of loves lost.
"Me neither," Molly chuckles humorlessly, tossing another stick into the fire. Her eyes flash up to meet her cousin's. "You know, Dom, I just want to forget."
And she does.
But there is one boy's photo that she does not burn. Her prized photo, the one of Teddy's smile, stays perched in a frame by her bedside table. Most of the time, she turns it over. She does not like the way that he smiles at her, almost as if he is taunting her. But it stays there nonetheless, and that's got to mean something, right?
She sees him at the family reunion.
He's standing with Victoire on his arm, and she's pretty sure that she catches a glance of something shiny, but she decides that it's better to just disregard it. Carefully, she makes her way over to him, a glass of punch in her hand. "Teddy. Victoire."
"Molly," Victoire smiles nastily at her.
"Hey, Molls," Teddy says, shooting Victoire a glance that clearly tells her to stay calm. "Still have that camera, do you?"
Shyly, she holds up her clunky old camera. "I want to take a picture of the two of you."
They relent, or rather Teddy forces Victoire to relent. She presses the button, and the picture prints.
The two of them exclaim over how good the picture is and how fabulous a photographer Molly is. But with this picture, she does not really see what they're talking about. Sure, the quality is good and it's focused, but there is something off in their movements. Their smiles seem fake, their loving embrace forced, and Molly feels the urge to tear it to shreds.
Instead, she asks them if she can keep it to 'remember them by', and when she gets home, she pores over it for a bit, trying to figure out what is off. She compares it to photos of Molly and Arthur, of Bill and Fleur, of happy couples. After a while, she figures out what it is.
They all have love in their eyes. Teddy and Victoire do not.
Sure, they may have comfort, but she determines that they do not have love, and she is determined to change that.
She burns the photograph later that night, and she thinks that, metaphorically, her heart is burning as well.
She goes to the meeting that Victoire throws at the Burrow with a heavy heart, expecting what is to come. With a beaming smile, Victoire shows off her diamond ring, happiness evident in her eyes. "We're getting married," she exclaims to anyone who will listen.
And Molly tries, she really does. She tries to picture it- Teddy with Victoire and a family, a life of their own, a house of their own. But when she tries to imagine it, all she can see is a blank slate, a dark marriage, devoid of happiness.
She doesn't blame Victoire for wanting what makes her happy. She blames Victoire for doing it at Teddy's expense.
And oh, she sees it- the dark look that flashes in Teddy's eyes when Victoire parades him around, showing her new fiancé off to all of the world. Secretly, Molly snaps a photo, and decides to entitle it desperation.
(The sad thing is that she knows the feeling far too well.)
She doesn't know how to feel, so when she walks up to them, she knows that they probably expect her heartfelt congratulations, which she is nowhere near ready to give.
Instead, she plasters on a smirk and tells them, "I hope you're happy together."
The words are fueled by bitterness and hate, because she knows that they won't be happy together, that they'll fall apart eventually and she'll just be in the corner watching it all happen.
And taking pictures with her pretty little camera.
They stare after her as she walks away, she knows it with every inch of her being, but it's not like she cares. Maybe it's time she's known for something as well.
Even if that something is ruining good things (or things that were once good).
One thing she does better than anyone she knows is forget.
She tries to forget, tries to push him and the impending wedding to the back of her mind. Molly goes out and dances with guys at Muggle clubs, tries to squeeze him out of her perfect reality, but he's always lurking somewhere in the back of her mind.
Even as she drinks the alcoholic beverage that Dominique offers her, he's still there, like a predator or perhaps a shadow, just draining the life out of her.
She drops her glass, listening to it shatter on the floor.
When she finally returns home, she pulls out the picture of him, letting the memories flood her mind as the picture blurs in front of her before it focuses again, showing his beautiful smile. She picks up the one of Teddy and Victoire again, and the uncomfortable feeling floods back in. Ripping it apart, she throws the pieces into the air, watching them float back to the bed like snow as she remembers. She remembers him and her crush on him and the pain, how painful it is to see him get married to Victoire when he won't be happy- all she really wants is for him to be happy, and sadly enough, Victoire can't give him that.
She collapses on her bed, a mess of tears and pain. Her hands seem to find her camera, and she secures her grip on it before turning it to take a picture of herself.
She calls it pain, pain of the worst kind, the kind where it pierces through her heart and makes her bleed internally. Because really, when he's not happy, she's not happy.
And when she's not happy, everyone knows it or at least feels a bit of sympathy for her.
He comes to see her one day. He bears gifts of flowers and smiles, and when he sees her, his hair goes as turquoise as her eyes. With a smile, he greets her.
She lets him come in, her eyes narrowing. "What are you doing here?"
"Where's your camera?" he asks hurriedly, as if it will vanish at any second.
"Upstairs," she tells him hesitantly. "Why-"
"Can I see it?" he asks curiously.
She nods, and he follows her up the stairs to her bedroom. She has to think of what this means, a boy and a girl alone in a bedroom together, but she doesn't comment on it because she doesn't want to drive him away.
Once she gives him the camera, he cradles it carefully in his open palms. With a soft smile, he asks, "Take a picture with me?"
She nods happily, sitting down beside him and leaning into the arm that he puts around her. Her head on his shoulder, she feels content for once. He takes the picture, grabbing it as soon as it comes out. "Mind if I keep this?"
"Why?" she asks, confused.
"I just want to remember happiness," he tells her, "before it is long gone."
"Well, we're taking two then," she demands, pulling her camera back around and snapping another picture. She knows that Teddy has not had time to fake a smile, yet in the picture, he is smiling nonetheless. She takes it as a signal that he is happy with her.
With a forlorn smile, he tucks the photo into his pocket and walks out the door, leaving her with a broken heart and scattered dreams.
She confronts him before the wedding. "You don't have to do this."
"I do," he tells her sadly before walking out the door. "I really do."
He marries Victoire in a flurry of flower petals and fake smiles. Everyone there seems legitimately happy for them, well, everyone but Molly.
She sits near the back and bites her lip when the pastor asks if there are any objections, because yes, she objects, but she's not going to say so in front of all of these people, especially Victoire. She knows just how much grief she would get for ruining Victoire's wedding, yet the urge still runs strong anyway.
She doesn't take any pictures because really, she doesn't want to remember this. And halfway through, she runs out of the doors because it's just too painful and she can't take it anymore.
When she finally reaches home, breathless and tired, she pulls her camera off the shelf and throws it to the ground, watching as it shatters into a million tiny pieces.
She considers it a chance for a new beginning.
A/N: I really… I don't know anymore. Get used to the angst, I guess? Absolutely not the slightest idea what this is or why I wrote it, but I hope that someone out there likes it. Completely new Molly.
Please don't favourite without reviewing, and please R&R!