"Come on! We're going to miss the plane!" Molly shouted, dragging her boyfriend along through the packed London-Heathrow Airport.
"Remind me again why we're doing this the Muggle way," Lorcan groaned, yanking his suitcase along with him.
"Because I hate Apparating," Molly said. "And it's too dangerous to have all forty-something of us Apparate to the same place at the same time."
"And it had to be us who got to go up in the air in a stupid Muggle thing held together by a few bits of metal?"
Molly gave him her best don't-argue-with-me-or-I'll-hex-you look.
"Boarding passes, please?" a woman in a blue pantsuit asked them, blocking the entrance to the plane tunnel.
"Er.." Molly dug around in her backpack and finally retrieved the passes and their passports. "Here you are!"
The woman considered Molly, dressed as a typical hiker in cargo pants, a vest, boots, and a huge backpack, quite skeptically, but took the documents.
Twenty-six hours later, they had arrived in Sydney Airport.
"Ugh," grumbled Lorcan, yawning. "We are never doing this again. The next time your aunt's parents want to host the Christmas gathering, I'm Apparating. Someone else can fly. This has to be the stupidest way to travel anywhere."
I agree," Molly moaned, her skin grayish white. "Anything has to be better than that."
"Even a nice big welcome by about ninety percent of your family in a public place?" Lorcan asked quietly, his gaze focused on a group of people thirty yards away.
Molly swore so violently that the people around them looked at her in alarm, and one woman covered her small daughter's ears. "They just had to do this, didn't they? I bet it was all George's idea. Can't we just sneak into a lavatory and perform some Disillusionment Charms?"
"Not with this many Muggles around," Lorcan said, grinning.
Molly looked at him with a skeptical, almost disgusted face. "Since when do you care about the International Statue of Wizarding Secrecy?"
"I don't," her boyfriend grinned lazily. "I just like annoying you."
"Ugh!" Molly exclaimed in exasperatedly, and slapped him. Her expression froze as she saw a large group of people making their way towards herself and Lorcan.
"Quick!" she hissed. "This way!" She grabbed his hand and started walking in the opposite direction very quickly.
"Where are we even going?" Lorcan asked.
"I don't know!" Molly shouted, making random turns through the sea of people. Then she realized where she had ended up. "Oh, no," she murmured.
"MOLLY!" James Sirius Potter yelled, running straight at her and knocking her and Lorcan down with the force of his hug. Everyone in the surrounding twenty feet stopped and stared at them, one person even taking out a camera.
"JAMES POTTER, I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!" Molly screamed, her face bright red.
Fred, who had just arrived, along with his and James's best friends Frank Longbottom and Anthony Hawkins, pouted. "Molly-Wobbles, you wouldn't do that, would you?"
"Yeah, Molly darling," Anthony added, looking at her with puppy-dog eyes. "Don't kill James, please?"
"Oh, don't kill him?" Molly asked. Fred, James, Frank, and Anthony all nodded earnestly. "Oh, alright then," she added. Then suddenly she grabbed her cousin's arm and twisted it behind his back.
"Ow! Molly!" James shrieked, making his fiancée Calla come running over. "That bloody hurts, goddamnit!"
"Oh, does that hurt you?" Molly asked condescendingly. "WALK IT OFF!" She then proceeded to bend each finger on both hands backwards past a 90 degree angle.
"Blimey, she's scary when she hasn't gotten any sleep," Fred muttered, as Lorcan gently laid a hand on Molly's arm, attempting to calm her.
"Molly dear, how are you?" Calla asked, wrapping an arm warmly around Molly's shoulders.
"Terrible," Molly grunted. "I haven't slept in the past twenty hours and your toerag of a fiancé is pissing me off."
"I'm sorry," Calla said sincerely. Then, as if she couldn't hold it back any longer, she said, "but he was so excited to see you!"
"More like excited to draw so much attention to himself in public," Lorcan muttered.
Calla seemed to consider this. "Well, that too," she agreed. "Let's get out of here before he makes even more of a fool of himself."
"Please," Molly groaned. "So who else is here? Why aren't Dom and Lysander here to greet us? And where's Lucy? I haven't seen here in forever!"
"Whoa," Frank, who had rejoined them, said. "Calm down, Molly. Just go with the flow, y'know?"
Molly rolled her eyes. "No, seriously. Where are they? I thought you said ninety percent of my family was here, Lorcan!"
"They went out to the cars," Anthony said smoothly, brushing hair out of his brown eyes.
"Then what was the point in them coming here at all?" Molly demanded.
"Well, Raphael and Cassiopeia were getting antsy, and Aster and Briar were running away and getting into all sorts of other mischief," Calla explained.
Molly looked at her shrewdly, but shrugged and gave in. "Let's just go to the Grangers' house. I want to get out of the airport."
"Please," Lorcan added, a look of the utmost suffering on his face.
James and Fred laughed at them. "Look at you, plane-weary travelers," James said, smirking.
Lorcan and Molly turned to Calla with their best puppy dog eyes. "Can we please hex him?"
"No," she replied firmly. They both pouted in unison.
"Because he's my fiancé and I love him," she said, smiling sweetly, as James wrapped his arms around her and pulled her into a deep kiss. Molly and Lorcan rolled their eyes at each other, and then did the same.
"AAAH! RUN AWAY!" Fred shouted. "SNOGGING COUPLES EVERYWHERE!"
"You know, just because you haven't worked up the courage to ask out Pippa yet doesn't mean you have to be disgusted when we kiss," Calla said, irritated. "Let's get out of here, James."
"Of course, sweetheart," James said, gazing into her green eyes and grabbing Molly's trunk. "Let's go."
Ten minutes later, they were crammed into a rental car, with the Muggleborn Calla driving.
"Ow, James, that was my funny bone!" Fred yelped as James, who had elected to be the one not in a seat, bounced around as the car swept around a sharp corner.
"I thought every one of your bones was funny," Anthony said. "Didn't you say that once?"
"Yeah, like in third year," Fred said, grimacing.
"How much longer is it?" Lorcan asked.
"Like, three hours," Calla replied.
"What?" Molly shrieked. "But it'll practically be midnight by the time we get there! I'm going to sleep," she groaned, laying her head on Lorcan's shoulder.
Three hours later, they had reached Molly's aunt's parents' house. Yawning, she and Lorcan stepped out of the car and tried to grab their luggage, but were stopped by an unusually kind Fred.
"You two go ahead," he said. "We'll take your stuff in. You must be exhausted."
"Um…Fred?" Lorcan asked suspiciously. "Why are you being such a Hufflepuff?"
"What?" Fred said absentmindedly. "What the hell is a Hufflepuff?"
Molly stared at him. "Are you kidding me? You went to Hogwarts for seven years and you don't know what a Hufflepuff is?"
"Obviously not," Lorcan said. "Let's just go, Molls. I want to get to bed."
Hand in hand, they walked towards the house, heading up the flagstone front walk that led to the large, brightly lit, contemporary-design house. Lorcan stopped Molly on the porch, pointing above them.
"Look! Mistletoe!" he exclaimed, bending down slightly to kiss her. She responded enthusiastically, frowning when he broke away.
"Look, Molly, I know this isn't the most romantic of times –" he began.
"I sense a 'but' coming," she interrupted.
"But it's now or never," he finished, taking a small black velvet box out of his closet. "Molly Audrey Weasley, will you marry me?"
Molly hesitated. She loved Lorcan with all her being. She really did. But he was one of the smartest people she knew – and one of the laziest. She still hadn't said anything by the time she pushed open the door, into a sea of her relatives, who were waving banners and shouting, "Congratulations, Lorcan and Molly!" and then looking very confused as the pair didn't look as happy as they ought to be.
"Wait a second," Molly said. "You arranged all this?" she questioned her boyfriend, waving a hand at their surroundings.
"Well, yes," Lorcan replied modestly.
Molly flung her arms around him, kissing him full on the mouth and ignoring the cries of protest from her relatives.
"I take it she said yes?" James asked, walking through the front door and nearly crashing into the closely entwined couple.
"Well, not exactly…" Lysander trailed off. "But I suppose once she finishes snogging him she will…"