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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.

Author Note:  And a quick update, yay! Now, let's not get used to this or I may go right back to long waits in between updates. But I really am trying to get better at this whole updating soon-ish thing. Anyway, instead of rambling on I'll just say I hope you enjoy and I'd appreciate any feedback you may be able to give me on this chapter.

On a side note, I'd like to dedicate this chapter to my dedicated reviewers, Darkladyofslytherin and miss_aurora!  Without either of their continued support in this story I probably would have lost inspiration to write this story long ago... well maybe not, but I owe my inspiration for this story to them. Hope you both enjoy this chapter! And everyone else, too! =)

Chapter 11

Of Fights and Nighttime Meetings

There was no thought in Molly’s mind that was coherent as the end of the day neared on her way down to the Great Hall for dinner after the last lecture of the day.  She should not have agreed to give Finn another chance; he has already had one chance too many.  Perhaps Erin was right in saying Molly was simply not on her guard enough where Finn was concerned as she should be.  For starters, the boy had been mean to her all throughout their first six years; now all of a sudden he is nice to her, well, save for the other day when he said he would never like her.  Yet, she was falling into his clutches the more they interacted.

Was she really that dumb?  Molly would not have thought in such a way had it been for the fact she suddenly felt like she was giving Finn too much leeway.  She needed to put the brakes on wherever their friendship was going.  It was simply speeding along so fast she could barely put two and two together where Finn was concerned anymore.  It was time for some evaluating of the situation.

Molly felt a tap on her shoulder just as she entered the Great Hall and turned to see Erin beside her.

“You haven’t said barely a word all day,” Erin said, a look of concern shown in her light, blue eyes.  “What’s wrong?  Is it Finn?”  She had not seen Molly and Finn exchange the most simple of truces at the end of Potions that morning having left when class was dismissed.  “Did he do anything else to upset you this morning in Potions?”

“No,” Molly blurted, a little too quickly for her own liking.  It took her a few seconds to recover to elaborate further.  “I mean, he didn’t, in fact he apologised.”

Erin sighed.  “You didn’t forgive him did you?” Her friend asked as they approached the Ravenclaw table and sat down in their usual seats where Mathis was already stuffing his face with fish and chips, the ever clueless one of their group.


“Somewhat?” Erin questioned, her brow creasing her forehead in concentration.  “What does that even mean?”

“It means I may have let down my guard again,” Molly snapped, feeling annoyed at her friend for appearing judgmental.  “Can I really help it that every time Finn turns on the charm I forget for a second that I shouldn’t trust him?  No, I can’t.  How am I supposed to anyway?”

“Simple,” Erin said, choosing a more soothing tone that Molly hated even more, “by not allowing him to slip through your defenses.  Do you really want him to hurt you again, Molly?  The boy is trouble with a capital T.”

“Well I think you’re over exaggerating a bit,” Molly sighed, rolling her eyes as she crossed her arms in front of her.  “He isn’t all bad, there are parts of him that are good and that’s the part of him I forgave.”  All of a sudden Molly was not hungry anymore.

“What are you two arguing about?” Mathis asked, though it came out more muffled due to his stuffed mouth full of chewed up food.

“Gross, Mathis,” Erin said.  “Swallow your food before you talk.”

Mathis rolled his eyes in annoyance for Erin before he swallowed the clump of food in his mouth.  “I said, what are you two arguing about?”

“Molly forgave Finn,” Erin said.

“I did not,” Molly replied rather defensively, which resulted in both her friends looking at her with those stern expressions that told her they already knew the answer.  “Okay, I did, but not completely.  He apologised and I accepted it.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to fall right back into his trap; quite the opposite, actually.”

“Really, I’ll believe that when I see it,” Erin said.

“I thought you were supposed to be my best friend?” Molly said, hurt her friend would say such a thing.

“I am,” Erin replied.

“Then why are you acting like this?” Molly asked.  “Why aren’t you being more supportive of my decisions?”

“Because you’re not using your head,” Erin responded bluntly.

“Harsh, Erin,” Mathis retorted, ducking his head to avoid any verbal lashing his way.

“You hush, this doesn’t concern you,” Erin snapped at Mathis.

“Can’t you just hush yourself instead of telling others what to do?” Molly threw out at her so-called best friend.  “Have you ever thought that just maybe you don’t have all the answers to every little question?”

“I never said I did!”

“Then… quit… acting… like… it.” Molly said, enunciating each word so that they drew out longer than they actually were.  She shot her friend a sharp look that said plainly she was tired of her attitude over the whole Finn situation.  “Have you ever stopped to think that I might actually know what I’m doing where Finn is concerned?” She didn’t, but there was no way Molly was going to admit so aloud.

Erin obviously saw through that last statement.  “If you’re so sure of your actions where he is concerned then why do you have your worrisome expression on?”

“You know what?” Molly said, already fed up with where the argument was heading.  “I don’t need to sit here and listen to you patronise me more by the second.”

It was with that that Molly stood and retreated from the Great Hall, all eyes of those at the Ravenclaw that had heard her conversation with Erin unfold into disagreement on her as she escaped into the vast emptiness of the Entrance Hall.  She felt considerably lighter now she was free from her friend’s judgmental wrath.  It was not that she did not accept Erin’s opinions, but rather Molly felt she could not accept the way her friend was looking down on her.

So what if Molly gave Finn another shot to blow?  She would give him as many chances if she wanted to, it was her life and she was going to live it her way.

Oh, my, what has gotten into her?  It was not like Molly to go all boy crazy for a boy she barely even knew more about than his name.  Sure she had spent the past couple weeks studying with Finn, not to mention being his Potions partner now, but she still did not know much about his personal life; not really, no.  She was in trouble if she thought she actually had a handle over the whole Finn situation because the truth was she had no idea what to think when it came to Finn Harper anymore.

Yes, she was giving him another chance, but aside from that she had no idea what to do.  Should she allow him in, or keep the wall up thus blocking him from breaking her heart yet again.  And another thing, Molly was not even sure he had broken her heart the other day.  She had been sad, but it was possible she was only sad at having lost the friend in Finn she had found.  Who’s to say she actually had real, deep feelings for Finn Harper, anyway?  No one except her, that’s who!

Only Molly did not even know what she felt for Finn.  Her heart was saying one thing while her head was telling her another, and she was finding it extremely confusing to keep up with it all.  All of her thoughts and emotions were a tangled mess she had thus far abandoned all hope of ever straightening them back out again.  If only there was a way she could get truthful answers out of Finn without fearing he would take them back without a second’s notice.

“Ugh,” Molly said aloud as she left the confines of the castle and made her way down the sloping lawn to the great Black Lake before plopping down under one of the Beech trees.  Finn had her all torn up over how she felt about him and he wasn’t even with her at the moment.  How can have such an effect on her when he probably wasn’t even thinking of her at the moment?  On that note he probably only thought of her when she’s in front of him.  Boys are so narrow-minded!

Molly groaned again for what felt like the umpteenth time, attracting a guy who looked vaguely familiar from where he stood on the opposite side of the lake.  She supposed he was cute, if one liked bookish type boys with short, sandy blond hair that had the tousled bed head look.  Perhaps she would have thought more of the way he smiled at her briefly as he walked over toward her if she had not been thinking of Finn presently.  That Slytherin would not leave her alone even when he was out of her line of vision, the stubborn bloke. 

“Hi,” bookish boy said with a sheepish grin on his face.  “I couldn’t help but notice how… stressed you looked.” The statement sounded almost like a question in the wording he had placed it in his tone.

Molly, feeling oddly comforted from this boy she had only just set her eyes upon, smiled up at him from where he stood above her.  “So you noticed?” she responded somewhat dryly.

“It was a bit obvious, yeah,” he said, smile still stretched across his face, showing of a dazzling white smile.  “Mind if I join you?”  He indicated to the spot of grass beside her before she nodded and he sat down, crossing his legs next to her.  “So, I suppose I should introduce myself, it’s only the polite thing to do; name’s Tyler Breton, Hufflepuff seventh year and Prefect.”

“I’m Molly Weasley,” she said, after giggling slightly at the way in which he had identified himself to her.  “The second, obviously, as my Gran is the original Molly Weasley.  I’m her namesake.”

“And I’m sure there’s more to you than just being the namesake of your grandmother,” Tyler said, having the knack to make her feel better the more she spent in his presence.  How was it he could make her forget all about… what’s his name?  Okay, so she had not forgotten about Finn, but she may as well for Molly was temporarily stricken by how attractive the boy before her was as each minute passed.  Here was a boy who actually made her feel happy to be herself instead constantly be on her guard about as she currently felt about Finn.

“I suppose,” Molly said.  “If only I knew what I was good at because there are times when I feel like I’m not good enough to be a part of my brilliant family.”

Tyler’s brow creased in thought.  “Now I’m sure there’s something you’re good at.”

“Not really, no,” Molly said. “I mean, my best subject is Herbology, but who really counts that as a subject?  Anyone can do well in that class.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Tyler replied, a grin forming on his face as his eyes glimmered as the moonlight danced down upon them.  “You’d be surprised how many people can underestimate the study of Herbology only to discover it isn’t as simple as it seems to be.  I’m one of the one’s who struggle with it, though I secretly think Professor Longbottom has somehow charmed his plants to conspire against me.”

Molly laughed, she couldn’t help herself.  “Why would he do that?”

“Because I accidently sat on one of his most prized plants, whatever the heck it’s called, back when I was a mere shrimp of a first year.”

“I’ve never known Professor Longbottom to hold a grudge against a student,” Molly said, doubtful for what Tyler was telling her, but nonetheless enjoying his story telling.  “He’s always seemed to be the patient type to me.”  Of course, it could be because she had known Neville since she was in diapers due to him and his wife, Hannah, being close family friends.

“Okay, I suppose you’re right,” Tyler said.  “But I still stand by my belief that his plants are conspiring against me in some kind of way, be that with or without Professor Longbottom’s influence.”

Molly continued to giggle.

“Oh, so that’s how to get you to laugh,” Tyler said, a playful twinkle in his eyes as he teased her.  “So, you like laughing at other people’s misfortunes, do you?  I’m sure you’ve had something embarrassing happen to you that I’ll find amusing just as well as you find my tribulations laughable.”

Molly stopped, doing her best to press her lips tightly together so not to laugh anymore for fear he would find out about her own mess ups just as she had.  Though, she was inclined to share with him as he had with her to level the playing field.  What was with her?  Only minutes ago she had been upset over fighting with her best friend over forgiving Finn and how she was laughing with a boy she had never before spoken to, or may have but could not remember doing so.  Sure, she remembered him, but not really as they were from different houses and all she could think of was that this boy had always been quiet.

“What does Molly Weasley have to hide?” Tyler asked, drawing Molly from her thoughts.  “There’s got to be at least one thing that has happened to you which will match what happened to me in first year.”

“Oh, I dunno,” Molly said, feigning forgetfulness.  Really, what had gotten into her?  Molly was not the type to flirt openly like this.  This was not like her at all, for that was certainly the truth.  More often than not she kept her head in order, except where Finn Harper was concerned.

“Would you like some help finding something to jog your memory?”

“How on Merlin would you know of any embarrassing moment I’ve been stuck in?” Molly asked, completely aghast for the fact she had no idea if he was bluffing or telling the truth; if he was, then what could he possibly know about her when they had never hung out before tonight.

“Shall I just say one name, then,” Tyler suggested.  “Does the first Potions lesson back at school with Finn Harper ring a bell?”

“Please don’t speak of that despicable prat to me,” Molly said, huffing through her nose as she crossed her arms back in front of her again that evening.  “That is the last person I wish to think of this night.”

“Ah, so you’ve had a row with him, have you?” Tyler said, pursuing the subject, though he was careful not to annoy her any further with understanding in his tone.  “What did he do to make you so angry, may I ask?”

“You may not,” Molly said.  “But I’ll tell you anyway.  It so happens I haven’t so much as had a row with him, but rather my best friend.  Though, the disagreement was about Finn Harper and he is currently the reason why I’m not up to speaking with said best friend.”

“Typical, always blame the male for whatever goes wrong,” Tyler said, his teasing nature still shining through.  If he had not been so open about teasing her than Molly may have turned angry against him, too, but he seemed like he meant well.

“In this case, though, it is his fault,” Molly insisted with earnest.  “And it’s all because I decided to give him another chance since he blew the last one the other day.”

“Oh, I see,” Tyler said.  “Which is why all other men have to suffer, because of stupid prats like Finn Harper?  Is that about right?”

Molly smiled.  “Well, I’m speaking to you and you’re male, so I can’t be holding what Finn did over you, now can I?”

“No, I suppose not.”

It was getting late, she should really head back up to the castle or she would wind up in detention for being out of bed outside of curfew hours.  There may have been lenient rules for seventh years, but they still got in trouble for being out too late and Molly was not the type to push her luck.

“I should really head back to the castle,” Molly said.

“Oh, I don’t think you’ll get into any trouble tonight.”

“You sound mighty sure of that.”

“Well I should since I am, after all, a Prefect,” Tyler said, grinning.  “Besides, I’m on patrol duty tonight.”

“And are you going to give me detention?”

“I think I’ll let you slide,” Tyler replied, “just this once.  Don’t let it happen again.”

“Oh, you’re so nice.”

“I try,” Tyler said, continuing to joke with her.

“But really, I should be getting up to the Ravenclaw Tower now so I can get to bed,” Molly said seriously.  “I wouldn’t want to fall asleep in my lessons tomorrow.”

“I’ll walk you, then,” he said, offering his hand to help her stand once he was on his feet.  The pair of them headed up to the castle in comfortable silence with the occasional remark spoken. 

Once they had entered the castle, they walked through the Entrance Hall unbeknownst to a certain Slytherin who was about to come up from the staircase that led into the basements and dungeons of the Hogwarts.  He had left his bag at the table during dinner, which was why he had to go to retrieve it before he could fall asleep.  When he saw Molly with the Hufflepuff Prefect he only knew by sight, well, he backed into the shadows until they passed to avoid being seen by either one.  When they had passed, the Slytherin could not help but feel a tinge of something his gut, like bile trying to make its way up to his throat.

Pushing the feeling aside, he forgot about retrieving his bag and headed back to the Slytherin commons.  There was no way some Hufflepuff goody-two-shoes was going to snatch up Molly where he was concerned.

This chapter has been beta'd by californialove (Alice).

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