A/N: This is written for The Slash and/or Femslash Competition at the HPFC forum, where I got the pairing.
Many thanks to mew-tsubaki for betareading!
To Have & To Hold, In Public or In Private
Roxanne was bored. She was bored out of her skin. She was so bored she could have gone to the library and had more fun.
But she didn't. Of course not. She would have, a couple of years ago. But now it was…different.
Now she knew what awaited her if she stayed; and, besides, every so often Molly looked up from the book she was reading and gave her one of those tiny smiles that made all of it so worth it.
So she endured. And in a way, it actually was quite nice sitting there—peaceful, comfortable with the way she rested her legs across Molly's lap, just feeling their bodies pressed against each other's.
Well, there was a little too much cloth between them for it to be perfect, in Roxanne's opinion, but oh well…
"What?" Molly asked, rousing Roxanne from her daydreaming.
"What d'you mean, 'what'?" Roxanne asked back.
"You were grinning."
"Oh," Roxanne answered. Had it shown so well what she was thinking? "I just… Aren't you done yet?"
"Almost," Molly said, a smirk playing in the corner of her mouth, as if she knew exactly what Roxanne had been thinking. On second thought, she probably had. "Just one more chapter, okay?"
"Okay," Roxanne said with a little pout—which she quickly rearranged into a weak smile. She didn't want to act childishly in Molly's vicinity; being two years younger, she didn't want to push anything, but sometimes it just slipped through. Probably some bloody gene, or something.
"Done!" Molly finally exclaimed, and she slammed the book shut.
"Oh, great!" Roxanne sat straight up, with her legs still in Molly's lap, and she kissed Molly hard, because she had waited a long time now, hadn't she?
Molly kissed her back at first, but then she pushed Roxanne away and giggled. "Rox, we have to make dinner now."
"No, we don't," Roxanne murmured in Molly's hair when she had pulled Molly back to her. "I'm not hungry, really. Let's just stay here, okay?"
Molly pulled her fingers through Roxanne's tangled hair and shivered a bit when Roxanne's tongue came in contact with the pale skin on her neck. "You haven't eaten since yesterday; we have to start with the dinner."
"No—" Roxanne began, but she was interrupted when Molly pulled free and put a finger on her lips.
"But I've planned this dinner since you told me you were coming. Don't you want it?" Molly asked with huge eyes and a look on her face that made Roxanne feel as though she had killed someone.
"Okay, fine," Roxanne said with a sigh, and she sat up on the sofa. "Let's go cook."
Molly smiled and jumped up, dashing into the kitchen in her small apartment, her short red curls bobbing around her head. Roxanne sank back on the sofa, thinking of how happy she was to be here—or, rather, in the current position she was in with Molly.
They had, after years of ignoring each other except for having some heated arguments that had happened more frequently in the later years, suddenly kissed each other behind the Quidditch stands at Hogwarts after arguing about whose fault it was that Dominique had been sent to the Hospital Wing with two broken ribs and a concussion.
(It was Molly's fault, just for the record.)
And after that, they had slowly submerged into something more than just the clichéd "I-hate-you-so-much-let's-kiss" relationship—something that almost could be described as love.
(Though Roxanne hadn't dared yet to utter those words to Molly.)
Their arguments had still been there, however, but the change had happened when Molly had graduated from Hogwarts just a couple of months later and gone to France for a year and Roxanne had realized that what they had really meant something. She had missed Molly so much…and, apparently, Molly had felt as much, as well.
So when Molly had returned, and Roxanne's final year at Hogwarts had begun, Molly had bought an apartment in London which Roxanne had visited every single holiday.
And now she was the one who had just graduated, two weeks ago, and the summer seemed to be the warmest in a decade. Life was good, Roxanne thought when she imagined how little the two of them were bound to be wearing every day. Just so that they wouldn't perspire to their deaths, of course.
"You're coming soon?" Molly called, a scent of food already beginning to float out of the kitchen.
"Yeah," Roxanne answered, and she walked up to Molly. "You need any help?"
"You can set the table," Molly said swiftly, peering down in the saucepan with a frown.
"What?" Roxanne asked, standing next to Molly. "Is it supposed to look like that?"
Molly turned. "I followed the recipe, I promise!"
Roxanne took a closer look. "It is a soup, right?"
"A soup shouldn't look as though someone could form meatballs out of it, Mol."
Molly sighed, and for a second she looked completely devastated. Roxanne let her mind wander when suddenly Molly straightened up and made the "soup" disappear with an angry movement of her wand. "Whatever! Let's call for a pizza."
Roxanne smiled. "Okay, then. You call?"
"No, you can do it. I want a…"
"Margherita with extra cheese, yes," Roxanne filled in, already pressing the buttons on Molly's cell phone, which Molly had bought when she still was in school and been completely hooked on everything Muggle.
Molly laughed and took a seat by the table, fingering a bit on the plastic flowers which were placed in a vase. They looked completely hideous, but Molly had said she couldn't stand the thought of throwing them away as, cheesy it was, Roxanne had given them to her once, to ask for forgiveness and she hadn't the money (nor time) to buy something better. "You know it," she said.
When Roxanne had finished ordering, she sat down in front of Molly, realizing she really was hungry and that the thought of the pizzas made her mouth water.
Suddenly she sensed that Molly looked at her, so she raised her head and found Molly staring at her with a weird look. "Rox, what are you going to do now?"
"Now? What do you mean? Eat the pizza…and then you and I'll have some…," Roxanne began, but she trailed off when Molly rolled her eyes.
"I mean, now that you're finished with school."
"I don't really know," Roxanne answered truthfully—and aware that she had said the exact same thing a month ago when Molly had asked her the exact same question.
Molly looked at her for a long time, and Roxanne began to feel as though she was shrinking under her gaze. But then Molly smiled again. "Okay."
Roxanne was about to ask "Okay? Just like that?" but thought that'd be pushing her luck, so she kept her mouth closed.
"Where are you staying, though?" Molly asked a moment later, so light it sounded as though she was miles and miles above the ground.
"Eh, I don't think Mum and Dad will care if I stay with them."
Molly leaned her head on her chin and gave her another of those looks. "You could maybe stay with me," she said slowly.
Roxanne stared her. Stay here, with Molly? As in, living together? Having breakfast everyday together? Waking up together every morning? Coming home to a together? "Really?" she asked quietly.
Molly nodded, but her cheeks grew red. "Only if you want. I understand if you'd rather not, I mean…," she said quickly.
"'Course I'd want to, silly!" Roxanne answered with a giggle in her throat and the feeling that she was jumping up in the air. "That'd be so awesome, Mol! We can, like, go food shopping together, and I can clean the house each Sunday, and you'll wear a little apron and make cookies, and I'll kiss you when I go to work, and we can get a little dog and he can be our baby, and…"
Molly laughed. "Who says I'm going to stay home and cook for you? You don't even have a job," she said teasingly but with sparkling eyes.
"I don't know," Roxanne said, not knowing what to do with her hands or arms or anything. "It just makes more sense like that."
"It doesn't. You're the house-wifey one, Rox. Totally." Molly's eyes sparkled again, and Roxanne leaned over to kiss her on the mouth, to shut her up and show who really was the boss in their relationship, when the doorbell sounded.
Roxanne jumped up. "I'll get it." She hurried out in the hall and opened the door, where a lanky teenager stood with two pizza boxes.
"Your pizzas," he said, and he gave them to her.
"Thank you!" Roxanne answered, and she handed over the money while she giggled. "It's good you came so soon, because my girlfriend and I have to finish these really soon, if you know what I mean."
The boy blushed, but he gave Roxanne a crooked smile. "Then I won't hold you any longer," he said, and he went back down the stairs.
Roxanne returned to the kitchen where Molly still sat at the table, but she was looking down at her hands.
"Here you go," Roxanne said, and she placed Molly's box in front of her.
"Why did you say that?" Molly asked suddenly—and what now? Why was Molly looking at her like that?
"About your girlfriend," Molly elaborated, but she still refused to meet Roxanne's eyes.
Roxanne froze mid-step. "It's true, isn't it?"
"Yes, but we're still cousins, Rox."
"He didn't know that!" Roxanne protested, feeling heat flood her face.
"Maybe not, but we have to be careful. Maybe he knows someone we know!" Molly looked up at Roxanne now, with huge eyes and two red blotches on her cheeks.
Roxanne swallowed. "How do you know they'll look so badly upon us, Mol?" She knew they had spoken of this so often, but she didn't know how else to defend herself.
"We've been through this, like, a million times, Roxanne!" Molly had now risen from her chair, and her eyes were beginning to water, but she blinked rapidly to keep the tears away. "They won't let it just pass—they'll…I don't know, defy us."
Now tears were beginning to roll down Molly's cheeks, and Roxanne couldn't even remember how they had gotten themselves in this argument. She grabbed hold of the counter and felt as though she had lost the ability to breathe.
"I just want to be able to walk hand-in-hand with you on the street," Roxanne said quietly. She sounded as though she was on the verge of hysterics, the way she was trembling and sniffing.
Molly, on the other hand, sounded completely composed, even though she was bawling her eyes out, when she protested weakly, "Roxanne—"
"I want to be able to kiss you in public," Roxanne continued, her voice a little bit louder, just to be able to ignore Molly's hands shaking. "I want all of those silly, couple-y things, Molly."
"I know. I want that, too, Roxanne." Molly rose from the table now, wiped her cheeks quickly, and walked over to Roxanne. "I'm so sorry."
"Why are you sorry?" Roxanne whispered, as she feared her voice would be broken if she spoke out loud.
"For bringing this up. For being paranoid, for making you cry." Molly stretched her hand out, hesitatingly, but she carefully took a tangle of Roxanne's hair between her fingers. "I'm sorry."
"Don't be," Roxanne said. "I'm sorry, too. You were right." She leaned her forehead against Molly's, and they stood there for a while, just listening to the sound of each other's breaths and feeling their tears dry on their cheeks.
"Maybe we'll be able to do all that, one day," Molly said at last, not having moved a bit.
Roxanne felt her head simmer with thoughts, but there was one thing that stood out among them all. "Even if we're not, I'll be happy that it's just you and me. I promise, Mol."