You seem to have a real talent for taking minor canon characters that we know only a little about and developing them into real people that a reader starts to care about just as much as the more prominent canon characters. Molly and Arthur are an interesting pair to write about because it is hard to pin down their characters outside of the small snapshots of Weasley family life that we have seen in canon. It is not a couple I think I have seen used very often, especially during their younger years. However, your characterisation of the couple, both separately and together, is spot on and I really enjoyed reading this.
There are quite a few great moments which I picked up as I read this. I thought Arthur’s thoughts and feelings were perfect and I could feel the character we read about in the books coming through in this story. This line, Not too many men are wearing hats. None of them has one as splendid as mine—could it be envy? in particular made me smile. It is most likely that Arthur’s hat, which it would have been nice to see some sort of description of, was simply making him stand out or look ridiculous to the Muggles, but of course he is firm in his belief that he understands Muggles and his choice of headwear could not possibly be inappropriate.
I found the use of the possessive pronouns such as ’his Molly’, to work really well in this fic and you used the technique excellently to show the strength of his feelings towards Molly. Here, unlike as is so often the case, this possessiveness is not a negative thing but simply a way of Arthur expressing quite how deeply he feels for Molly and how desperate he is not to lose her. It reads as a sign of insecurity and that, when combined with his fear of Lucius Malfoy taking Molly away from him, really adds to your portrayal of his character.
The Lucius twist was an interesting one and certainly added greater depth to the idea of Arthur hating him so intensely during their later years. And even though there may never have been any truth in it from Molly’s point of view, for Arthur it was a constant worry and I liked how you used it to present that side of his character. This part And there was that—creature—who wanted to steal her from him. is an excellent way to sum up his feelings towards Lucius, both through his belief that he is out to ‘steal’ Molly from him and the use of the word ‘creature’ to describe him, which shows the intensity of his feelings.
I also found Molly’s characterisation, particularly at the end, to be very good. It is so typical of her to be the one taking control of the relationship and to have already found him a job and themselves a house, especially when, as he points out, he hasn’t even asked her to marry him yet! This line, She smiled widely at him. “It’s “Someday,” dear, and I told you “Certainly” a long time ago.” was very sweet as it shows that even with all his doubts and fears, she had never intended to marry anyone but him.
I do have one slight characterisation quibble and it is with this sentence: Molly, who I’ve loved since I was eleven and saw her in her school robes on the Hogwarts Express. I always find it very difficult to accept the ‘loving someone since you were eleven’ part of romances. It is something that I often see used in Ron/Hermione and Harry/Ginny fics. I believe it is certainly possible to have a crush on someone at the age of eleven, though more common for girls than boys to already be thinking of such things. However I don’t think a love as strong as Arthur is shown to have for Molly could already be present at so young an age.
There were several references to the couples’ families in this story and I was unsure about one or two bits. I could understand Arthur’s family’s desire to help him get sorted and their willingness to help. I also like the fact that his family were embarrassed by his Muggle-loving ways, questioning: How did a pureblood wizard get his interest in Muggles? as often the Weasleys are presented as an entire family of Muggle-lovers and your interpretation of this was different and refreshing. However I was a little unsure as to whether this corresponded with the fact that his father was injured in the war, though I suppose it was possible to support the war without completely supporting the Muggles. There was also this line: Well, those people are all gone now and good riddance to them, in which Arthur’s mother seemed to present a hatred of Arthur’s father’s family which was a little inconsistent with the fact that Arthur’s family rallied around him and wanted to help him find a job. However, this was just my interpretation of it, and I did think that it could be possible that it was the other side of his family who were helping with him – I just found it momentarily confusing!
Plot-wise, despite the fact that this seemed to be primarily based on exploring their relationship, you also built up a good story around the, painting of interesting picture of the financial state of the Wizarding world during war. I liked the story of Arthur having to find a job and was intrigued by the idea of the goblins carrying out fraudster activities in order to get Muggles’ card details. I’d love to see that developed at some point!
Technically, I have a couple of nitpicks. There is a sentence here: you were lucky if they were even filling positions left vacant by the unexplained disappearances and outright murders Everyone was worried about--you couldn’t say his name. which seems to be either missing a full stop or has an incorrect capital letter. And here: 18 months later the eighteen should be written out in full. An extra > seems to have slipped in to this part: She wouldn’t want you thinking of her as yours to steal >, though it is yet another great characterisation moment.
There are also a couple of lines, here: “I pay him no mind, Arthur, none at all.” She had said and here: “I didn’t know wizard money was invested in Muggle concerns.” He’d said., where I felt that there ought to be a comma at the end of the dialogue and a lower case rather than upper case letter for ‘she’ and ‘he’. And the punctuation of this sentence: He had said “Maybe?" and she had said “Certainly, Arthur,” shyly seems a little bit awkward and I feel that it is missing a couple of commas.
Overall this was a really great one-shot and I look forward to reading some more of your writing!
Author's Response: OhMyGodric - not quite sure where to start, aside from a heartfelt Thank you, so I think I will say it. Thank you! A few of my other reviewers mentioned they haven't seen a lot of early Molly/Arthur fics. I think that might be because they are the universal parent symbols in the books, and I think most people don't think so much about what their parents were like as kids. I do think about mine at that age, so perhaps that is the appeal for me. I have a pretty strong idea of what these people would be like in real life. I will never forget the wonderful job the actor did as he portrayed Arthur telling Lucius that they had a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard. For a poor man with an insignificant government job to have the guts to say that to someone like Lucius Malfoy says it all for me. Arthur is all substance and very little show.As for Molly - she has managed a large family on a small income and ended up with a bunch of, relatively speaking, happy people. That tells me a great deal about her, as well. She is embarrassed when she has to tell Ron she had to buy him secondhand robes, but she had to, she did it, and she tells him so. Come to think of it, she had Harry's money with her and obviously was scrupulously honest about how she used it - that tells us something, too. I sort of left everyone to imagine what kind of atrocious headgear Arthur had picked out for himself in his blithe ignorance. I think that assurance is also typical of his age - by the time Harry comes along, Arthur is surrepticiously asking him for his opinion of his outfit and help with Muggle Money. Young men just out of school, of course, know everything. Thank you. I'm glad I got across that he is thinking of her as his more or less because he can't bear not to, not because he thinks he owns her. The Lucius idea I must give credit to Vindictus Viridian for. She 's got a Molly/Lucius fic and a few Molly/Lucius touches in her longer works. As far as loving someone since one is 11 - I agree that true love takes time to develop. However, I think that for those lucky few people who see and like each other at a very young age and then find that as they grow up they ARE suited to each other and do fall really in love it must seem like it was that way from the beginning. At any rate, in this fickle world I think they are entitled to speak of it that way, even if it technically can't quite be entirely true. The whole thing with the ring and Arthur's family is based on things that actually happened to people of earlier generations in my family. Let us assume that there were older relatives who didn't like Arthur's mom so much, or perhaps the idea of the two marrying so young, but those people are dead now, and their children and grandchildren may be behaving quite differently toward Arthur. Naturally his mom still resents those old fogies who would have prevented her own marriage, though. The Goblins are very carefully skirting the law here - they aren't actually sending the Muggles what they order, but they aren't charging the cards, either. Now this is what they are willing to tel him at the interview. I think he is quite right to wonder what worse things they may want of him after a while if he takes the job. I tried to make this part really true to my experience and that of a lot of people I knew right around the time we graduated. You are probably right about the punctuation. Usually I run to too many commas for modern standards, but I could easily have been short a few. I always wonder if it is just me or a different standard on two sides of the oceans for the full stops vs. commas in the dialog...my first ever story was turned back for dialog errors, though, so it could be me. I am very gratified that you liked this so much, and hope that anything else I've got up lives up to it! PPP
I love this story. It's so sweet and simple, it really shows the love between Molly and Arthur, but without them kissing, which is very hard to do. But, it works so well.
I loved the whole thing where Arthur didn't really think he was good enough, but without the clichéd attempted break-up. It was very good.
The idea of Molly have lots of admirers is very plausible, as is the idea of her parents not approving - Ginny did say in HBP that Molly and Arthur eloped.
This is a distinctive, original story, which mimics the style of Jo Rowling really well, and is in line with canon, as far as we know.
I especially like that whole thing of the Wizarding World ripping off the muggles with credit card fraud! So funny! If only that were true! I did find it a bit odd that credit card fraud was pretty common in that period, but, at the end of the day, I’m not really sure when that time period was, or if they had credit card so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
I loved that last line. It was so clever and romantic; it brought a smile across my face. I love Molly/Arthur stories, and I only wish there were more like this one.
You have the characterization done perfectly, you have a brilliant plot, and you have a wonderful style of writing. All in all, this is a fantastic fic.
Awww!! I love the ending to this!! Molly had perfect timeing and I have a big smile on my face right now! It is perfect having Dumbledore performing the ceremony and Molly almost forcing Arthur into it, but then it is the perfect circumstances for both of them! :) Cyns
It would have been interesting to see what Arthur would have done to work for Gringotts. It sounds as though he would have stolen money from Muggles and that doesn't sound like Arthur at all.
Oh, oh, oh, OH! Why haven't I read your stories before this? This was unbelieveable, Thea. I do believe you're going to turn me into a canon shipper if you keep writing brilliance like this. Where shall I begin? I suppose at the very start! :)
I do rather like Arthur's comfortable confidence as it opens up. You really show, overall, his character of being happy where he is, and only doing the things he loves. He's steady and not at all interested in money, and totally in love with Molly. I think the most important bit to me was where he asked whether it was envy. To me, this may be a tad OOC. I don't think Arthur would suspect that of anyone. I did like the line before it about how it was a good hat - because that showed Arthur's confidence, but instead of envy, you may want to use, "I suppose they'll be wondering where I bought it." I'd also like a bit more of a description of what the hat looks like. ;)
I did rather like the viewpoint that Arthur's been dealing with disapproval of his Muggle admiration since he was young; it shows his strength, which is something authors miss, I think. However, I'd also love to see a thought paragraph where Arthur defends his admiration, defends Muggles. :D
I really loved the way he called her "his Molly," but then later reminded himself that he didn't own her. To me, that is the epitome of the differences between Lucius and Arthur AND what makes Arthur such a good man - his considerate, fair, honest nature. That's why Molly fits with him; she's independent and he allows her to be.
I really fell in love with Arthur's mum. In just a few lines, you really portray how vivid, happy and hopeful she is. I don't know if you meant this but Arthur's dad does come across a bit sour. I think that's because we're contrasting him with Arthur's mum...a sort of foil character or something.
“I see, so it would be reading Muggle newspapers, listening to their radio programs...need end punctuation. Also, you spelled Gringotts, "Grigotts" a few lines down from there.
I liked the interview and I see why you needed it, but honestly I could do with a bit less of it - it's really not that crucial to the story, IMO. *shrug*
The Lucius twist was interesting. I would love to see a passage either from Arthur's memories or if Lucius was leaving Molly's side as Arthur came in - on how Molly treated Lucius. Would she be angry? Kind? Disdainful?
To finish, it was the ending that got me. It is just like Molly to take control and say, "I'm marrying you, so there." :D The last line truly made me laugh...Arthur seems almost helpless against the torrent that is Molly!
That's also the one thing I'd like to caution you against. It's not so bad because you extrapolated on Arthur's strengths through the rest of the story, but at the end, when you're reading the Molly/Arthur interaction, Arthur nearly comes across as...hen-pecked. >.< I would show him somewhere in there standing up for something (a ring detail or parents etc.) just once to show Molly couldn't just order him about. ;)
Lovely work. Probably one of the best, if not the best, Molly/Arthur fics I've read. Definitely the youngest - I have only read post-war Molly/Arthur fics. This was lovely.
What a happily written, lovable perspective into Arthur and Molly's romance! You made me smile. The characters were perfectly reproduced and the plot believable. I completely understand poor Molly's desperation *grin* and applaud her wonderful way of taking command of the situation. You really made the young couple's predicament come alive. I was not expecting Lucius to be have his eye on Molly, but that doesn't make it bad. Your writing style is impressive.
I'd love to see more one-shots along the same lines. Ever think about maybe giving us a glimpse of their quiet wedding or when she tells him she is expecting? I can never get enough of the beautiful, touching moments (and less of the broom-closet relationship play-by-plays.)
I really liked this one-shot. (finally got down to reviewing!!!) Your characterization was excellent and I love how you threw in the little things like mollywobbles and Lucius Malfoy and stuff. Some of the things struck me as a bit odd...taking the timeline I have in my head into account, but I'm pretty sure my own vague semblance of a timeline is very wrong...I just sort of thought Lucius was younger than Arthur and Molly...
Anyways...very sweet, and I loved Molly and how she takes over in the end...thanks for a great read!
I was rather amused by your story. It's so cute! I don't know if that was what you were going for...but I sure had a silly grin plastered on my face the entire time.
I loved that you threw in the "Mollywobbles..." in there. It made me laugh.
As for the Lucius Malfoy thing...hmm...a tad weird, and possible since she's a pureblood but it wouldn't necessarily do for the Malfoy name, unless he was in love with her! *gasp*
On the other hand, it does explain why Lucius hates the Weasley's...Arthur stole Molly from him!
And I definitely loved the defiant Molly who got tired of waiting and took matter into her own hands...very much like her.
Erm...the last part of my review got lost. *looks confused* So here it is...
Dark Mark is supposed to be capitalized.
I lurve the ending. Very clever, verrry cute...excellent job, overall. Thank you. :)
Awww! I've been waiting for a Molly/Arthur one-shot...*huggles*
You have some lovely characterization going on here. Both young!Molly and young!Arthur are very true to their good old canon selves, but are a tad bit...fresher. And I really like Arthur's mother. She seems like a cheery woman.
"None of them has one as splendid as mine–could it be envy?" Oh, Arthur. *giggles*
"You were lucky if they were even filling positions left vacant by the unexplained disappearances and outright murders Everyone was worried about--you couldn’t say his name."--Was "everyone" intentionally capitalised? I like the abrupt way that ended; it added some extra tension, or--something. I don't know what.
"The sort who would notice when she’d been crying all day, not believe her when she said it was just dust from cleaning." How sweet! Just so sweet...
"He had a fierce fondness for that bench." *squee*......*squee*....
"There wouldn’t be a dark mark over Muggle London in Midday."