Hey, there. =)
I love reading about Molly/Arthur, so I was very happy to find this. I enjoyed it.
But I do have some suggestions to make it even more enjoyable.
I thought it was a bit rushed. I would have liked a bit more time spent on how they became friends, and when it really developed into more.
And, as Pringle finding them/the 'I love you' s are rather the climax to the whole story, a little more dramatic build up would have been nice.
I hope you don't mind my telling you this. I wouldn't have done it if I didn't like the story so much already. I don't comment on just anything.
Thanks for reading my review.
Arthur rubbed his hand over the back of his neck, and after a pause, walked off towards his friends, a wide grin on his face.
Arthur is so adorable in this story! You make the reader (at least this one) want to give him a squeezing hug and a big smooch on the cheek. His romantic dreamer personality is very well suited to love at first sight and admiring from afar. His declaration—while sounding a bit stalkerish—is sweet. :)
Molly’s characterization made me smile. It was very believable for her to be super “friendly” to a boy she likes, but doesn’t want to make the first move with. When she said in his ear, "Arthur! Are you listening to me?" it could have been a quote from one of the books. Very Molly!
Even though I think it’s believable Arthur mooned over Molly long before they became friends and then lovers, the beginning paragraphs didn’t convince me. They were a bit rambling and circular and even seemed to switch to second person with “You heard.” If you edited to make the first line Molly Prewett had everything I think the story would pull readers immediately into Arthur’s romantic woes and not require anyone to suspend disbelief about love at first sight.
The part where they’re walking in silence is understandable if they’re both wondering how to express their feelings. The part that takes away from it is when she stared back at him, completely bewildered as he grabbed her hands.
Molly tells Arthur she loves him a few paragraphs afterward, so her being bewildered strikes the wrong note. I think she’d be hoping madly that he had finally taken the hint that she liked him and was about to confess that he liked her.
I’ve done the same thing numerous times, :D, but while you can have the caretaker sneer, he can’t sneer dialogue. He can only say it.
I really enjoyed the ending, and I think it would make an even deeper impression if you didn’t use “perfect” several times earlier in the story. She was perfect. It would be the perfect opportunity. Molly was there, everything was perfect. It was perfect. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with any of those sentences, it’s just that if you’d used other words (amazing, ideal, brilliant, incredible, for example), when the reader came to “Life was perfect” it would read as the height of sincerity, without any possible subconscious thought that “perfect” is one of Arthur’s favorite words.
That’s my inner editor’s opinion, but as a reader who loves Molly and Arthur, nothing can erase the grin from my face. I can almost hear Molly and Arthur singing “Tonight” from West Side Story.
Today, the world was
just an address,
A place for me to live in,
No better than all right.
But here you are,
And what was just a
world is a star
First off, this was totally the prompt that I wanted for writing one of my LoveNotes, and now I know who stole it before I could get to it!
I love the way you open up the narrative because you present Arthur to us in a way that is very practical, very real, but more importantly it gives us that immediate connection to him. How many of us have felt exactly as he does here? Sure we’ve been in love at first sight and had those kinds of Hollywood-fairytale feelings, but they’re most often one-sided. Giving the reader that link to the character is a great way to both engage and characterize. This line especially: Despite continuously telling himself that it was never going to happen, Arthur couldn’t help but still love her. That just kills me (in a good way) because it’s something that I’ve absolutely felt, and so it makes the story all the more real.
Another thing that I like is the way that you’ve presented love in this story. We see the way that it feels so hopelessly one-sided sometimes, and you also show different phases and aspects. When we see that Arthur thinks Molly is basically the most perfect and kindest girl ever, you show us how love can really blind you to a person’s faults. This story does take place when they’re young, of course, but we know from the books that Molly can be quite impatient and temperamental, so reading Arthur’s thoughts about her made me smile. Then you show that he does get to know her much better, though he doesn’t ever really change that tender opinion of his wife, just adds the faults to it but adores her in spite of (and likely also because of) them. You also show us their awkward, bumbling beginning, and then hints that Molly may have a bit of an attachment, too, with her blushing at that first significant encounter. All of these small things just build up the feeling of excitement and giddiness that I love and adore and always hope for in a story about people getting together, all the while showing the reality of it.
I must admit, however, that I think it is a bit of a stretch for Molly and Arthur to have that walk down to the Great Hall in complete silence. Molly did ask him to walk with her, and they are in the same house and year, so surely they would have at least something to strike up a conversation over, even if they only manage an awkward attempt that dies off after just a few moments, you know? The castle is a pretty big place, so I imagine that they have a ways to walk. I just found this a bit out of sync with the rest of the fic because starting in the very next section, you tell us about how Molly then approaches him quite a lot (’[Molly] laughed and joked with him like they were old friends, until they were in fact old friends’). So that idea of a completely silent walk is just incongruent with the rest of the story.
But, oh, the rest of the story. That second section just picks the reader up and carries them straight off to the end of the story without really any point for the reader to want to stop or hesitate at all. The narration builds and pulls the reader along quickly and effortlessly. You have a wonderful balance of showing the ‘and so time passes’ and the ‘getting to know each other’ bits and then building it up for the declaration which could have easily been cheesy, but it wasn’t! Arthur is just so sincere, and you’ve built him to be that way through the entire fic, so much so that you don’t even dream of reading his declaration as anything but sincere and wonderful. It didn’t go over the top, and yet it was thorough.
I also loved Molly’s reaction. She didn’t just fall into his arms and make big declarations back. This was a surprise to her, and you’ve shown that. But it was a pleasant surprise, one that she is pleased by immensely, and the way the situation is resolved was just perfect. Loved reading this little fic, Jen. It was just so lovely. I can’t resent you for stealing that prompt because you used it ever so well.
Author's Response: Thank you so much for this wonderful review, Mar! :D Wow. I'm just grinning hugely from all your lovely praise. I'm sorry for stealing your prompt, but I'm very glad that I did it justice. :) I did try to make Arthur and Molly's love as realistic and teenager-y as possible, because I think that in the Potterverse and in fanfic it all just gets a bit too surreal, if you know what I mean. The silence on their walk is something that I never noticed until you pointed it out, but now that you have I can see the flaws in it too. I'll go back and change that when I have the time. Thanks again, dear! :)
Jen! OMG, it’s a Molly/Arthur... there just aren’t enough of this pairing around. *sigh*
Anyway... I like the simple beginning you give this story, just getting to the point straight away. At first, I thought Molly and Arthur were already together, and it was a bit of an unrequited love. I found that idea a bit odd, because I always saw them as a really close couple. I mean, just look at their children, and the little bit of Molly/Arthur we see in HBP. However, you went on to surprise me with the fact that they didn’t know each other yet.
At this point, I got a little disbelieving. It’s not any fault of your own excellent writing, it is just that, personally, I don’t believe in love at first sight. At the same time as I raise my eyebrow and frown about it, though, I think you don’t make the love at first sight thing unrealistic. I could see how it happened to Arthur; it seemed just like something, well, right, that actually comes true. You know what I mean? Building on that, you worked his irritation at not actually knowing her well with the being given a partner scene, though it would’ve been nice to see a little more background with the couple, maybe see where the love developed from a bit more? That would’ve made the love a little more plausible for me, because we don’t really see their friendship take form, even after we see them properly meet.
When they finally meet properly, it was really cute. I could truly imagine the scene, which helped me get a better feel for the story. However, having the books being dropped was slightly clichéd.
I liked the way you continued with their acquaintance turning into a friendship – though, like I said, it would’ve been nice to see a little of how that friendship developed - with the penultimate scene being the walk referenced in the books. It was sweet, and it’s the sort of thing I could really visualise. The interruption on their walk was integrated quite humorously, and it was a nice touch for Molly to go back and tell him that she loved him. It made me grin, because we’d been seeing how Arthur thought she wasn’t interested in him for the whole story, and then in the last few lines we see that Molly feels the same. It was a nice ending.
[...] one of many Weasley boys [...] - is there proof of many Weasleys in Arthur’s generation? I always thought the Weasley family was big just because Arthur and Molly had a lot of children. Surely, we would hear of further Weasleys in the books if they existed? Contradict if I’m wrong, though XD
Anyway, overall this was well written, enjoyable, and quite a refreshing story to read. There’s not many M/A stories around, and this was a nice change to all the common other pairings written. –hugs-
Author's Response: :D Thank you so much, darling! What a wonderful review. As for love at first sight - I know it doesn't happen much in real life, but this was supposed to be just a sweet, fluffly little fic and having it written like this just felt right for Molly/Arthur, you know? It wouldn't have worked as well if they had been friends first, in my opinion. The Weasley boys thing stemmed from the fact that Ginny was the first female Weasley born for several generations. I think Arthur only had a few brothers, but I'd imagine he had a few cousins and that as well. ;) Thank you for all your lovely comments, dear! <3
I had to read this because you so seldom see Molly/Arthur stories. Very sweet! I can see Arthur saying that.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)