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Disclaimer:  I do not own Harry Potter!  The only thing I own is the plot and any OCs that you do not recognize.




Chapter 6
Denial is Key




Finn Harper was currently lying on his comfortably soft four-poster bed Saturday evening after dinner. It was obvious to Harper why he had isolated himself from the majority of the other Slytherins that were scattered among themselves in the common room, but unclear to everyone else. The main point being, Finn had not told anyone—including his friends—about making contact with Molly Weasley in the Owlery earlier that day; and he had no plan to, either.

It was not as though Finn felt he could not tell his friends certain things, but rather the fact that he had spent all of his previous years at Hogwarts making fun of Molly and to all of a sudden be having possible feelings for her was insane. There must be something else that could have contributed to that funny, fluttery feeling he had got inside his stomach when Molly had brushed his arm, not to mention the butterflies were still flapping in the pit of his stomach hours after the incident had occurred.

While he was pondering over explanations that his mind could not grasp, the door to the dormitory creaked open—they should really fix that—to reveal Nott.

“Hey mate, what’re you doing up here moping in the dark?” Nott questioned him as he lazily strolled further into the room toward the bed that was directly opposite Finn’s own, and sat down upon it. “We’re about to start a game of Exploding Snap, you should join us.”

“Nah, I’m good up here,” Finn muttered as he reached over to grab something that sat on his nightstand. When he laid back against his pillows again he tossed said object into the air and caught it; it was a small Magiball that shouted words of praise when you made a particularly swell toss or catch. “I just want to spend some time by myself tonight. There’s a lot on my mind after this first week back; professors jamming information into our brains the second we step back into the classroom, you know,” he shrugged his shoulders before tossing the Magiball up at the ceiling and catching it just before it hit him square in the face: the ball made a loud squeal.

“That ball is obnoxious,” Nott commented as the Magiball started to boast about what an awesome catch Harper had made.

“You’re just jealous that you don’t have one.”

Nott scowled. “Yeah, right, well I’m going back up to the common room.”

“Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,” Finn jokingly shouted as his friend left the dorm room.

Finn sat up, the ball quiet in his hand, and put his head in his hands. He ran his fingers through his trousled dark hair while squeezing his green eyes shut, dipping back into his thoughts of Molly. There was absolutely no way he liked her, she was just someone he loved to torment and that was all. Nothing special whatsoever, but then what was with these sudden feelings we was starting to feel toward her?

Finn let a low frustrated sound escape from between his lips as he stood and strode over toward the window, to which was bewitched to look out over the grounds. Even through the Slytherin domain was located beneath the lake and so there really was nothing to see if it were not for the enchanted windows. He stared without actually seeing the magical stars blink down at him.

How could one girl, one silly girl, have this kind of effect on him? Finn thought as he racked his memory for all the ways he has ever felt for a girl. None of them matched up to his reaction of Molly Weasley. It was ludicrous to say the least that Finn could possibly fall for a girl he had tormented since first year. In fact, Finn was half expecting this all to be some kind of farce since there was no way he could even be friends with Molly. The pair of them would kill each other if left alone together for too long; it was a miracle that they had even found a sort of common ground to work together on in Potions.

Finn ran his fingers through his dark hair, causing more spikes to stick out haphazardly. Maybe a walk might do him some good, just a bit of fresh air may be able to clear his head and rid him of thoughts of Molly. He was lucky there were still a couple hours before the 11 o’clock curfew for seventh years.

The common room was only slightly rowdy and Finn had almost made it out without anyone noticing before he heard a female voice call out to him: “Hey Finn!” He turned around to see Kaleigh Holts making her way over toward him; all long legs, blond hair, and blue eyes of her. “I haven’t had a chance to ask how you’re summer was?” She interlocked her fingers with his, making him feel a little guilty for not responding to her letters over the break.

“It was alright,” Finn casually responded, “how about yours?”

Kaleigh pouted. “It was completely boring without you.”

Finn was speechless, not to mention the fact he felt as though he was going to throw up with his stomach clenched in knots. He felt awful for ignoring her. He swallowed, but that only made his throat constrict along with the tightening knots in his belly.

“But now that we’re back at Hogwarts we’ll be able to see more of each other,” Kaleigh said, hope filling her crystal blue eyes.

“Yeah, sure,” Finn croaked, than cleared his throat. “But I have a heavier course load this year with it being my last.” Kaleigh was a sixth year, and therefore had no major examinations at the end of the school year like he would.

Kaleigh frowned, and Finn wished she wouldn’t because it makes him feel more uncomfortable than he already does. Why must this girl complicate matters for him more than they already are? Of course she does not know how confunded his brain was now so it wasn’t all her fault. But Finn needed someone to blame and right now Kaleigh Holts just happened to be the one he chose to put it all on as he relinquished the use of his hand out of hers.

“I’ll talk to you later, Kaleigh,” he said, and without waiting around to hear what else she had to say to him Finn slipped out of the common room and into the much quieter halls. He suddenly felt the muscles in his stomach unclench as the air around him seemed calmer and fresher than in the stuffy dormitory and common room.

The only sounds Finn heard as he strolled up the stairs toward the Entrance Hall were the sounds of his own footsteps shuffling forward. It was not until he had exited the front doors of the castle when he saw someone else out and about on this Sunday night. At first he could not tell who exactly it was, but as Finn drew up closer to the lake saw that it was Molly Weasley. The very girl he had not been able to take his mind off of.

Finn walked over toward her, his feet slightly dragging in his resistance to reach Molly, and cleared his throat loud enough for her to turn her head up to look at him from where she sat on the ground. The first thought sidled into Finn’s mind was of how attractive she looked with the moonlight shining down, reflecting on the lake behind her, than the next was to kick his self mentally for thinking such a thing. While he came around to his senses, Finn heard Molly scowl before she asked,

“What are you following me now?”

“Whoa, cool down,” Finn replied, his brows raised as he held his hands in front as a sort of shield. “I am out here on my own accord. I didn’t even know you were here so don’t get all hot with me. I just needed to get out to clear my mind.”

Molly rolled her eyes. “Fine, then find somewhere else to clear your head, that is if you really do have thoughts up there.”

“Ouch,” Finn said, a slightly comical expression mingled with hurt upon his face. “I had no idea you could be so mean.”

“I’m not mean,” Molly responded casually. “You just bring out the worse in me,” and to prove a point Molly stuck the tip of her tongue out at him, however immature it was.

Finn laughed. “You’re cute, you know that?” Only the way he said it was more rhetoric than question.

“And you’re not as mean as your friends,” Molly said truthfully, albeit reluctantly. “Even through you’re a pain in my rear end.”

“Rear end?” Finn laughed. “Who says that?”

“I say that.”

“Well don’t, okay,” Finn replied. “Just say ass already.”

“What if I don’t want to?” Molly tested, realizing how much closer Finn had gotten beside her as he sat down in the grass too. She scooted away slightly while still keeping her gaze on the Slytherin.

Finn, not even realizing it, edged closer to Molly as he continued to coerce her into saying a swear word. “Why not? Are you afraid you’re daddy’ll find out?”

“No,” Molly crossed her arms in front of her, “I just don’t curse. It’s a foul habit to get into.”

“It’s just ‘ass,’” Finn said with an annoyed expression. “Everyone has one, even prudish people such as you.”

“Well, yes, but there are other words to use then the one you’re using.”

“Just say it,” he pestered.

Finn wanted to hear her say something improper, it would be hilarious to hear ‘ass’ come out of Molly Weasley’s, daughter of Percy and Audrey Weasley, mouth. Plus, he was getting a kick out of teasing her as he always did.

“No,” Molly said firmly, crossing her arms. “I won’t.”

“Say it,” he repeated, a grin curving his mouth upward while he watched Molly’s resolve slowly start to unfold as she gave in.

“Leave me alone,” Molly snapped. “I will say what I want to say without you telling me what to say.”

Finn paused before he pushed forward he was having fun trying to get Molly to crack. “Just say it, you know you want to.”

Molly gave him a death glare as she stood up, and before she turned to walk away she said the word just to shut him up. “Ass, there, are you happy now?!” She stomped away from and up the sloping lawn leading toward the majestic castle.

Finn watched her walk away for several seconds before going after her. He had not expected Molly to cave in that fast. Heck, Finn had not expected her to give into his pestering at all. It was not long before he had caught up to Molly and cut in front of her as he walked backwards. “So, there is a wild spirit waiting to be released somewhere inside of you.”

“What are you on about?” Molly crossed her arms in front of her as she continued to walk and attempt to step around Finn, whom was watching her as he took each backward step closer to the front stone steps, but he only blocked her way by staying in front of her. That only infuriated her more, but she did her best to keep her frustration in check.

“I’m talking about how there’s a part of you that wants to be daring,” Finn said matter-of-factly. “Whether you know it or not, there’s something in you that wants to come out and have some fun. Why not unleashing her? Who knows, you might actually have fun for a change.”

“I have fun,” Molly replied resolutely as they had finally reached the castle steps leading to the front door. She climbed up after Finn, who was still walking backwards and she found herself hoping that he would fall as that would improve her mood tremendously. However, Finn seemed to be well capable of walking up steep stairs from behind as he did not lose his footing at all.

“Oh, yeah, I’m sure it’s fun studying all the time for examinations that are a year away,” Finn said sarcastically.

“For your information,” Molly started to say before continuing onward, “The N.E.W.T.s is less than a year away. Of course you’d know that if you actually paid attention to what the professors are talking about in lessons.”

Finn rolled his eyes. “Please, spare me. You know the only reason you start studying so early is because of your father.”

“That’s not true,” Molly blatantly denied. It was one thing for her friends to know about her father’s controlling nature when it came to her schooling, but another entirely for her sworn enemy to know.

“Sure it is,” he carried on, ignoring the evil glares being shot his way by the brunette following him as they reached the top of the marble staircase. “Why don’t you just act like a teenager for a change and rebel against your parents?”

“Maybe I don’t want to,” Molly replied. “I like my life just fine the way it is.” That was a lie too and Molly knew it. She did wish she could relax and have fun instead of busting her ass to do her absolute best in school, which was never enough for her father.

“And would you quit walking in front of me,” Molly snapped. “You think you’re so cool…”

“I don’t think, I know I’m cool,” Finn cut Molly off. “And you know it too, that’s why you’re getting defensive.”

“Defensive? I am not!”

“Are too,” Finn persisted, coming to a halt next to the entrance to the Ravenclaw Tower. He grinned as he continued to block Molly’s pathway into the common room.

“Please move, Harper,” Molly sighed, starting to become tired of arguing with Finn.

“Fine,” Finn said. “But I’ll only move because I need to head back to my own common room, not because you need to get into yours.”

It was with a low growl and death glare that Molly tapped the brass knocker to correctly answer the riddle before entering. When the door had closed, Finn let out a short whistle, “Maybe I actually do like her.”




Author's Note:  Hey everyone!  I hope you enjoyed reading this chapter as much as I had fun writing it!  Also, I'd like to thank everyone over at The Golden Snitches (TGS) for voting for Why Not under the "Best Novella" category, earning it the Finalist slot (second place)!  You guys are awesome!  Thanks so much!
Beta'd by the wonderful californialove (Alice).

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