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Author's Note:  As usual I'd like to think the skype word war chat for keeping me writing!  And I hope you all enjoy this chapter as much as I loved writing it!  (:



Finn felt more nervous as he waited for Molly to respond to his question.  Never before had a girl made him so anxious.  He was literally sweating as he sat there, waiting.  What was she thinking?  Was she going to turn him down?  Would he be stuck in the friend zone with her forever?  These were only a few of the questions that spiralled out of control in his frazzled mind.  Like a hurricane had been released in his mind and was wrecking havoc on his brain.

Really, he was a mess.  Was she trying to torture him so?  If yes, then it was most definitely working.  Yes, it was indeed.

Honestly, Finn did not know how much longer he could wait for Molly to say something before he spontaneously combusted.  Or cried and pulled at his brown, tousled hair in frustration, at least.  What was she thinking?  He had thought she liked him as much as he liked her; rather, the signs appeared to be there unless he had confused them for what they really meant.  That was part of his problem.  He thought way too damn much for his own good.  He would be better off not thinking so much.  Seriously, he would.

“Oh, Finn,” Molly finally said, breaking the long silence that had followed Finn’s question to move from friendship to a real-honest-to-God relationship.

Finn had no idea what her saying his name meant.  He could no more read her expression in that moment than he could gauge what her response would be based on the tone in her voice.  He was so clueless where Molly was concerned.

“Oh, Finn,” she repeated, and he wished she hadn’t as it made him feel more anxious if that was even possible at this point.  “I just don’t know... I’m still working out where I’ll be after Hogwarts.  What if we’re forced to part ways?”

“Then we’ll handle it then,” Finn said, desperately pulling at straws in an attempt to cause her to change her mind.  “Isn’t it worth giving it a try, just for the time being while we can; trying us out?”  His voice sounded pained and whinging, he hated that it did.  He wished he could have sounded put together, like he was holding himself together instead of falling apart at the seams.

Molly bit her lower lip to stop it from trembling briefly.  “I want to, really, but I just don’t know.”

“Then let me prove to you that we can make it work,” Finn said.  “Let me take you out on a real date as a couple.  If you’re not impressed, well, then I won’t pester you anymore.”

“Oh, Finn, I want to, I really do,” Molly said, sighing as she rested her head on his shoulder.  His response to her touch was immediate as he lifted his arm to rest on the swing behind her, hugging her to him.  She wished she could stay wrapped in his embrace for all of eternity.

“Then say yes, it’s not that hard, Mols.”

“Hmm,” she purred, the sound tingling her pressed together lips.

“You know, if I didn’t know any better,” Finn said, a lopsided grin forming on his face as he regained some of his light-hearted sense of humour back.  “Then I would say that was a yes, and that you have finally caved to my dashing good looks.”

Molly giggled, she could not help it.  “Okay, I’ll give you a chance to prove to me why you think we’re oh-so-perfect together.”  She rolled her eyes sarcastically, but in an all around playful way as she snuggled closer to him and closed her eyes in content.

He could not believe he had managed to talk Molly into a date with him.  His brother was right about just going for it with Molly.  Maybe he did have the Harper men swagger like his father and brother.  He had always thought of himself as something of a dork when it came to girls, even if he had managed to date a few in the past he still had little experience with them.  While he still felt like a dork when dealing with the ladies, his self-confidence had been boosted because Molly had said yes.  Or rather she had said she would give him a chance, which basically meant yes because after one date she won’t be able to turn him away any longer.

The pair of them were made for each other, Finn thought to himself.  She fit under the crook of his arm perfectly, snuggled up close so that they stayed warm.  However, like any great moments, theirs had to end as Molly’s parents opened the front door to step out onto the front porch then.

Finn glanced up at the sound of a throat clearing, as he felt Molly’s head lift from his shoulder at the same time, too.  He found himself faced with her father for the second time that day and a woman that could only be her mother.  Never before had he been busted by parents, while at the same time he had nothing to feel guilty about since he and Molly had only been talking and snuggling.

“Aren’t you going to introduce us, Molly,” Percy said.  “I think we have a right to know who your boyfriend is.”

“Dad, Mom,” Molly said, sighing, “this is Finn; Finn these are my parents, Percy and Audrey Weasley.”

“Merry Christmas, Mr and Mrs Weasley,” Finn said, ever the gentleman.

He could not be any happier than he currently was at Molly not correcting her parents that they were not yet officially a couple.  It gave him hope that someday she would cave.  Hopefully that day would come soon, as in on the day he took her out on their first real date instead of those study dates of theirs.

In fact, he did not even care that Molly’s father seemed to be giving him a stare down, as if waiting for him to flinch.  Never one to back down, Finn held his eye contact.  He would not be backed into a corner and intimidated by Molly’s father, he wouldn’t.  It had taken him the whole first half of term to become best mates with Molly and he was not about to allow her father to back him away from her.

“It’s lovely to meet you, Finn,” Audrey chirped, ever the delightful woman she was.  “I can tell Molly thinks highly of you, especially the way she won’t stop smiling.”

Finn glanced at Molly, who had bowed her head so her brown curls covered her glowing red cheeks.  He thought she looked extremely cute and wanted nothing more than to kiss her right then and there; however, it was not the most perfect time to do so what with both of her parents standing before them.  Either way, he would have to remember he owed her a kiss for her adorable bashfulness later when they were alone again.

“Would you care to stay for leftovers later,” Audrey asked, addressing Finn again.

“I’d love to, Mrs Weasley.”

“Great.”

While Finn felt happy that Molly’s mother appeared to like him, he did not feel the same about her father as Percy kept a stoic expression planted on his face with his arms crossed in front of him.  It was not until after Finn had accepted Audrey’s dinner invitation that Percy spoke at all, and even then it was not particularly friendly, but rather intimidating.

“I hope you aren’t distracting Molly from her studies too much,” Percy said.  “She has her grades and test scores to think about, as do you as well.”

“Don’t worry, Mr Weasley,” Finn said, hoping he was coming off as polite to her parents, “all we do is study in the library.  If anyone is going to earn perfect scores in every subject, it’s Molly.”

“Oh, hush,” Molly said, playfully pushing Finn’s upper arm.  “You’re just as brilliant.  Really, he is, if it weren’t for him I would not be doing nearly as well in Transfiguration as I am currently.”

Finn grinned.  “Well, I don’t mean to brag, but I am awesome in Transfiguration.”

“Please,” Molly said, rolling her eyes before looking toward both her parents.  “He’s the best in our year at Transfiguration.”

“That’s quite a difficult subject to succeed in and be the top of the year in, too,” Percy said.  “You must be intelligent.”

“Nah,” Finn said. “I’m just selectively good at certain subjects.”

Percy was about to say something, but Molly cut him off.  “He’s kidding, really he is, dad.  Finn likes to joke around about not being particularly smart when he really is in all actuality.  He actually received all O’s except for one E on his O.W.L.s in fifth year.”

“That was a fluke,” Finn argued, “I told you that the other week when we were discussing our O.W.L. scores while taking a break from studying for mocks.”

“Fluke smuke,” Molly said, waving her hand as if pushing his words to the side.

All Finn could do was shake his head in amusement.  He loved how Molly defended him, she got so into arguing her point and he loved how cute she got, too.  Really, he loved her.   Well, not the heavy-loaded meaning of love, but the platonic sense of the word.  He had no idea of how deep his feelings for Molly went.  All he knew was that he really liked her and enjoyed spending time with her.  He also liked kissing her, but that was beside the part as their kissing was limited to whenever Molly let him kiss her since they technically were not a couple yet.  It was only a matter of time before she caved into his pestering her to be his girlfriend.

When her parents had gone back inside, Finn looked at her with a smirk.  “You thought they were going to hate me, didn’t you?  I’m telling you, parents love me, seriously.”

“Really, do they really,” Molly questioned, a twinkle in her blue eyes, which he now knew she had inherited from her father but really did not want to think about that.  He liked her eyes because they were hers, not her dad’s.  “And I suppose you think my dad loves you?  It’s my mom that fell immediately for your charms; my dad, on the other hand, will make you work harder for his approval to date me.  That is if you do still want to date me after spending the evening with my wacky and crazy family.”

“Of course I’ll still want to date you after tonight,” Finn said, an overplayed eye roll, nudging her shoulder with his own.  He held her eyes, unblinkingly, and made a face.  It caused her to blink her eyes as she burst into a fit of giggles.  There had never been a staring contest he had not won; he just never felt the desire to blink.  Even while intensely staring into another’s eyes.

“How do you do that?”

“Do what?”

“Not blink,” Molly said.  “You’re like a robot with your unblinking stare, then you make a face yet your eyes stay wide open.”

Finn shrugged, not knowing what to say except play innocent and look adorable.  He was the king of the lost puppy dog gaze, having learned from the best.  His brother, Declan, had told all about flirting with girls and what facial expressions to pull at certain times.  But, his brother had never expected Finn to outshine him in expressions nor out-passing him in attractiveness.  Of course, his brother was good looking, but Finn had more personality that enhanced his appearance ten-folds.

Needless to say, she ended up in his arms as they stood where they had gotten up when her parents had come out onto the porch.  He pushed back a few stray strands of brown curls that had fallen from her sloppy half up-half down ponytail from her face as he leaned down to brush his lips on hers in a quick kiss.  It was over as soon as it had started, and they were heading inside to socialise with her family.

Then, remembering she had been helping her Nana in the kitchen before Finn came over, she turned to him and told him she had to go make sure her Nana had finished tidying up and putting everything away.  He offered to help, but she shook her head and motioned down the hall toward the den.  Nodding in understand, he smiled before turning away from her as he made his way over toward the den and found the majority, if not all, of the Potter-Weasley clan as rambunctious as ever.

“Whoa, Finn,” came a voice over by the window, it was Albus.  “What are you doing here?  Couldn’t stay away from my cousin, uh?”

Finn felt his cheeks grow warm, looking down briefly before he headed over toward the fourth year Slytherin.  “How’s it going, Al?”

“Alright, but seriously, what are you doing here?” Albus asked again.  “Did Molly know you were coming?  She didn’t say a word to any of us about inviting anyone.”

“Nah, she didn’t know,” Finn said, grinning.  “I wanted to surprise her.”

“That’s so sweet,” Dominique said, coming over and sitting on the window ledge with googly eyes.

Finn supposed she was pretty, but from what he could tell Dom was high-maintenance.  Besides, he did not find her as attractive as the other boys at Hogwarts did; he was into girls who had little clue of the affect they had on the opposite sex.  Girls like Molly, actually.  He had not thought about how Molly was quiet and chose to observe from the outside looking in instead of being the centre of attention.  But it actually made more sense now that he was thinking about it.  Molly was his ideal girl, if people am had a perfect match.

“Seriously, that’s it,” Albus said.  “You came over here to fight craziness of the Potter-Weasley family just to surprise her?  Man, you must be really into her.”

“You have no idea, mate,” Finn said, shaking his head, “you have no idea.”

Then, at that precise moment, he noticed Percy start to make his way over from across the room.  It only took a few seconds before Albus and Dom realised who Finn had noticed walking over before they took off in opposite directions, anywhere but there.  When Percy reached Finn, his smile forced, he asked what Finn’s intentions with his daughter were exactly.  Finn wondered if Molly had complained about him in the past.  Of course, it had been common knowledge to all of Hogwarts that the two had fought for their first six years, but was it known to her family?  He hoped not.

When he realised Percy was still waiting for a response, and had started to tap one of his feet in agitation, Finn swallowed.  Maybe adults did not like him as much as he had originally thought.  Or it was only Percy who seemed to have a bone to pick with him.  Sighing, he replied,

“Well, right now, sir, we’re friends.  However, she did accept when I offered to take her on a date and if it goes well then I hope she finally allows us to be together as a couple.”

“And what about her future,” Percy said.  “She has to keep her mind clear with what she wants to do after this term, and having a boyfriend will only complicate things for her.”

“Not to worry, I would never make her choose between an excellent job offer and me, sir.  In fact, I still have opportunities to consider at the end of the year, too.”

Percy nodded.  “All the same, I think it’s best that you remain strictly friends with Molly.  It’ll keep her head more focused on her studies and job search.”

Finn was about to say something, but he need not as Molly had entered and snuck up on them both.  “I’m perfectly capable of keeping up in my studies and having a boyfriend, father.”  He sensed an edge to her tone and thought it best not to say anything, or even breathe in all actuality.  He did not want to come between her and Percy.  But, as it would appear, Molly had different plans as she took his hand in hers and marched him from that den, down the hall and out the front door.  Then they were on the path leading up the porch before she turned on the spot and Disapparated away, bring him along for the ride.

Once the tight feeling of being compressed from all sides was gone, Finn blinked his eyes open to look first at Molly then their surroundings, and again at Molly once he realised they were in Diagon Alley.  He had no clue what they were doing there, but felt it best not to argue with her.  Never before had he seen her temper flare quite as much as it had only moments ago with her father.  And he hoped he never had to cross her, lest he end up in her wrath.

“What are we doing here?” he asked, tentative.

Molly shrugged.  “It was the first place I could think of.  I just needed to get away for a bit, you know.”

“Hmm, I could tell.”

“He just makes me so angry,” Molly fumed.  “I mean, it’s like he doesn’t even trust me at all.  It’s so infuriating.  Ah!” she let out a short scream at her frustration, pulling at her stray curls hanging loosely about her face with complete abandon in her fury.  Then, “I’m going to be in so much trouble for taking off like this.”

“Then we better make the most of your freedom while we still can,” Finn said, a grin forming on his lips with his hazel eyes gleaming a steely blue.  “Shall we head to the Leaky Cauldron since it’s the only place that’s opened around these parts on Christmas?”

“How do you do it?”

“Do what?” he asked, brows creased in question, yet again making him even more adorable.

“I don’t know,” Molly said.  “Make me feel better when I feel wretched, or just, you know, everything you do.”

Finn shrugged.  “I care about you.”

“Why now, though,” Molly asked.  “You never did before, why now?”

“Why not now,” Finn said.  “I like you, Molly, and I don’t want to see you upset.”

Molly’s reaction was a bit delayed, but she eventually smiled and hugged him.  He loved her hugs.  Honestly, her hugs were better than the stolen kisses.  Anytime she hugged him he felt warm inside; she fit perfectly wrapped in the confinement of his arms.  He could have stood there, in the centre of the cobbled street, hugging Molly and not feel like time had elapsed at all; that’s how content he was.

But eventually all great things had to come to an end, though Finn had a better place he wanted to take her other than the Leaky Cauldron.  He wanted to take her home to meet his family as his siblings were both still over.  But how to convince her, he had no idea.  Then, just like that, he came up with a thought of how he could persuade her to spend Christmas night with his family.  He stopped walking and turned to face her, her eyes showing her confusion as to why they had paused.

“Uh, I was wondering how you’d like to come to my place for the rest of Christmas,” Finn said.  “I think you’d like Ireland, plus my siblings are pretty awesome and my parents are a tad embarrassing, but all together they make for some grand times.  So, what do you say?”

“Sure,” Molly said.  “Sounds like fun.”

“Really,” Finn said, shocked at how fast she had agreed to his proposal of spending it with his family.

“Of course, it sounds like fun and you obviously think the world of your family.”

“Great,” Finn said, “hold on tight.”  And just like that, Molly had perfectly snuggled up to him as he wrapped his arms around her before turning on the spot to Disapparate only to Apparate several minutes later right outside the closed gates at the entrance into the grounds surrounding Harper Manor.  He was suddenly aware of how huge his family’s home was and hoped Molly would not think him as some sort of rich prat. 

*

Molly looked around, unsure of what to think while at the same time marvelling in the snow covered, rolling hills and snow capped, bare trees of the Irish country side, mountains off in the distance.  Then she turned back to face Finn to find him with an expression that resembled one of nervousness.  Smiling, she reassured him. “It’s beautifully.  You really grew up here?”

“Yeah,” Finn said, relieved that she did not think any less of him.  “Pretty much only had my older brother and sister to play with and then they started Hogwarts, leaving me to my own devices when they weren’t home for breaks.  And now they’ve long since flown the nest.”

“How much older are they?”

“Well, my brother’s twenty-six, and my sister’s twenty-two,” Finn replied.  “But I barely registered the age difference because they always are there to help give advice when I need it.”

Molly’s brow furrowed, though she still smiled.  “Did you tell them about us?”  She was not sure whether she liked him talking to his brother and sister about them.  Especially considering what their relationship had consisted of before they were friends.

“Only my brother,” Finn said.  “Though, I only asked him if he thought it was a good idea to surprise you today with your gift.”

“And what did he say?”  Molly asked, a smirk playing on her lips.

“He said I should just go for it,” Finn said.  “Of course, he only said that because he could tell how much I liked you.  See, my brother knows me really well and can read me like an open book.  There’s nothing I can hide from him.”

Molly giggled.  She really loved how Finn could continue to make her laugh and have a good time, even moments after she had been feeling rotten.  How had she ever gotten through life with his friendship? 

Then they walked up the path, snow crunching beneath their feet as they made their way up toward the manor.  Upon reaching the front doors after climbing the steep steps that led onto the veranda-styled porch, the door immediately opened to reveal a young man that Molly assumed had to be Finn’s brother.

“There you are,” Declan said.  “I was getting worried, you said to only cover for you for a couple of hours.  Wait, hang on, is this Molly?”  He paused in his speech as he realised who was standing with Finn on the porch.

“Uh, yeah,” Finn said, albeit some nerves knotting on the inside of his stomach.  “Declan, meet Molly; Molly, this is my brother Declan, who is wicked awesome for covering for me long enough so that I could sneak off to give you your present.”

Molly laughed at Finn’s long-winded introduction.  “Nice to meet you, Declan.  Finn speaks highly of you.”

“Really,” Declan said, doubt in his voice and brows raised in unison.  “This is the same Finn Harper you’re talking of, right?  Annoying, predictable little brother Finn Harper?”

“Oh, shut up, Declan,” Finn said, knowing his brother was only jerking around with him.

“C’mon you two,” Declan said.  “Everyone’s in the dining room sipping Butterbeer and talking about boring, tasteless topics.  I feel so out of place without Finn to laugh with.”

Molly smiled as she followed the two brothers inside and through a couple halls lined with oil portraits, the occupants moving from within their frames, hanging from the walls before finally reaching the dining room.  When she had entered she had not been expecting what she saw.  There was definitely more people there than Finn’s parents and siblings.  She was okay with meeting Finn’s family, despite a bit anxiety, but she was not ready to meet any more people than that.  She felt really overwhelmed.

Beside her, she felt Finn rest his hand on her lower back and rub soothing circles.  He obviously could sense how nervous she was and she was thankful for his thoughtfulness.  If he had not been beside her she would have more or less ran from the room without haste.  She did not do crowds, and more importantly she did not mingle with a crowd of people she did not know.  However, she found she could get through the evening as long as Finn remained at her side.

When she had finally shaken thoughts loose to focus on her surroundings, Molly saw a middle-aged couple making their way over toward them.  It had to be Finn’s parents.  She felt her palms begin to sweat as she swallowed, despite her mouth and throat being parched.  She was not ready to meet his parents.  They weren’t even dating yet.  Why had she agreed to come over to his place?  She had had a momentary lapse of judgment in her frazzled mental state over being mad at her father. 

Then she was vaguely aware of his hand moving from her back to her hand, their fingers intertwining.  She felt a bit better knowing Finn was there next to her.  Not only was he holding her hand, but she could feel his soothing confidence radiating from him toward her.  It forced her to raise her chin and stand up straighter despite her earlier qualms.

“We were starting to worry, Finn,” his father said.  “Where’d you run off to, and who is this lovely young lady you’ve brought with you?”

“This is Molly Weasley,” Finn said, smiling as he introduced her to his parents and vice versa.  “Molly, meet my parents.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Mr and Mrs Harper,” Molly said, smiling warmly.

“The pleasure is all ours, Molly,” Mrs Harper replied in earnest.  “It’s nice to meet the girl that has our son happier than usual.”

“Mum,” Finn said, embarrassed as Molly giggled.

“Well it’s true,” Mrs Harper said.  “I can always tell when you have a girl on your mind, Finn.  You are very easy to read.  Besides, I don’t think I’ve seen you more happy than you’ve been since you returned for winter break.”

“But you didn’t have to say anything.”

“Our little Finny is embarrassed,” Declan said, ruffling his brother’s hair.  “Isn’t it the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?”  Thus, it caused Finn to swat at his brother in defence.

Molly smiled as she watched Finn joke around with his brother.  She could tell how much Finn loved his brother.  It was always nice to see how other siblings behaved toward one another because she loved her little sister. 

Once the brothers were through horsing around, Molly found herself being led around the room by Finn and meeting everyone.  Then she was being led out of the room and through more halls until she found herself being pulled outside in the back yard.  The view was like a winter wonderland with all the snow on the ground and in the trees and bushes.  There was even a stone fountain, though the water in it was frozen, but that frozen water shot up in the air as though it had froze that way.  It was beautiful.

“This is my favourite part of the grounds,” Finn said.  “My brother calls me a sissy for spending a lot of my time in the garden no matter the time of year, but it relaxes me.”

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with hanging around in a garden.”

Molly was discovering more about Finn, and she could not have been happier.  She loved spending time with him and on more than one occasion that evening she had found herself imagining what it would be like to officially be dating Finn.  He would treat her with respect and care, for that she was positive.  He was such a gentleman.  Never before had she imagined him as anything but a prat.  But now she had trouble seeing the Finn in him that she knew before seventh year; he was like a completely different person and she liked it.  She liked him.

Gosh, what was wrong with her?  Why hadn’t she said yes earlier that day when he asked her to be his girlfriend?  He obviously liked her as much as she liked him, so what was her problem.  Seriously, she should give him a chance and say yes.  Surely he would be happy she changed her mind and decided that she wanted to be more than friends.  Friends were alright, but she found herself wanting more.  For the first time she found herself not wanting to be single.

She still enjoyed being single, but now that she was growing more sure of her feelings for Finn she found herself wanting to be his girlfriend.  And that’s why she decided to voice her change of thoughts to him at that moment, while they stood beneath a bare, snow covered tree, its branches tangled above their heads, in his backyard.

“I like you, Finn,” Molly said, “and I do want to be your girlfriend.  I’m sorry I was so stubborn as to refuse earlier today.  Forgive me?”

Finn punched the air, his lopsided grin visible.  He was so adorable in that moment, more so than usual.  He looked like a little boy whose wish upon a star had come true.  It made her love him even more.

“You are so cute,” Molly said.

Finn stopped then.  “Did you just call me cute?”

“So what if I did,” Molly said, unfazed.  “What are you going to do about it?”

Molly watched as he scrunched his face up in thought, tapping his finger to his chin, before bending down to ball up a snow ball.  Immediately realising what he intended to so, she ran off behind a tree.  But she ended up peeking out and getting a face full of snow.  Oh, that did it, it was war now.

The pair immersed themselves in a snow ball fight, and Finn’s siblings came out in search of them and ended up joining in.  It was girls versus guys, and the girls were kicking the guys’ butts if she did say so herself.  Then she realised how dark it had gotten and knew she should be getting home.  She mentioned this to Finn, who wasted no time in offering to take her home.

While it would be perfectly safe for her to Apparate home, Molly agreed without any hesitation at all.  And since there was no Apparating and Disapparating within the Harper grounds, they had to walk back through the gate before turning on the spot to find themselves moments later in front of Molly’s house.  The lights were on in the kitchen and Molly knew her parents were still up, waiting on her.

“Well I better go in and face my punishment,” Molly said.  “Wish me luck?”

“Of course,” Finn said, kissing her on the lips before wrapping her in a hug.  She loved his hugs; they were so warm and made her feel secure in his arms.  “I’ll write to you about our date later this month.”

“If I’m not grounded for the remaining of the break,” Molly said, not wanting to let go of Finn.  She had only just accepted him as her boyfriend, why did she have to let go so soon? It was true she would see him in a couple weeks on the train back to Hogwarts, but it seemed so far away.

Then it was all over as light flooded them with the opening of the front door.  Both of her parents were standing in the doorway; her father looked furious, while her mother looked as though she had been worrying over where her daughter had run off to.  Bidding Finn a good night, she watched as he turned and vanished with a crack on the spot before starting up toward the house where her parents awaited her.

“Where have you been,” Percy started in.  “You shouldn’t have run off like that.  What were you thinking?”

“I was thinking that I needed to get away,” Molly said, truthfully.  “I’m so tired of you dictating my life, dad.  I’m old enough to know how to live it myself.”

“And you’re still under our roof until you move out after this school year,” Percy said, “which means you will follow our rules and do as we say, and I forbid you to go out with Finn or any other boy for that matter.  Also, you’re restricted from doing anything for the rest of break.”

“What your father means,” Audrey said, putting her arms around her daughter in a hug, “is that we were worried about you.  But you’re home now, and safe.  And while you are an adult, I stand by your father in your punishment.  Next time you need to get away, tell us where you’re going to and when you’ll be back.”

“Okay, mum, I will.” 

And then they were all heading inside and up the stairs; Molly to her room and her parents to theirs.  After she finished getting ready for bed, Molly lay awake in bed thinking of Finn and how she had had the best Christmas ever that day before finally drifting off to sleep.

 

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