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Chapter 1: Opening Old Wounds
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
Author's Note: And here is the first chapter of the awaited sequel to Why Not. Updates should be fairly regular, especially with fall semester finishing in a week. I only have two classes left to finish before winter break and I plan to get a lot of reading/writing done during my time off. Anyway, enough of the rambling and on with the chapter. The only thing left to say is that I want to thank those who helped me come up with a solid plot to write this sequel, it's much appreciated. Hope y'all enjoy this first chapter!
Lovely chapter image made by Branwen @TDA!
Molly arrived at the green house as she normally did bright and early, just in time to walk around her section of plants. She had been a fully certified Herbologist for three years now. Her first few years had been spent training and interning under other Herbologists. She had learned a lot, but now she would be able to study and specialize in whichever plants she enjoyed most.
Aside from working each day, she really did not have much of a life. In fact, it was quite the opposite. It was not as though she did not want to be with anyone, but rather that she had not found anyone yet. She was looking for someone she felt sparks for, like she had for a certain someone back home she had left in order to go after her dreams.
It hurt less not to dwell on what she had left behind in England to pursue her dreams. Besides, she was sure he had moved on without her. Just because she had not found anyone, it did not mean he had not.
But she suddenly found herself not wanting to think about Finn. She had done quite well when it came to keeping that boy off of her mind over these years she had been living and working in Australia.
“Hey, Molly,” she heard one of her co-workers say and looked up as the girl walked over to where she stood. “Are you joining us at the restaurant for dinner tonight?”
“Of course,” Molly said. “Tonight will be the last chance I get to see any of you before I leave for England to stay with my parents for the next few months. It’ll be a last night of freedom.”
“You make it sound like a prison sentence.”
“Do I?” Molly said sardonically, eye brow rose.
“Just a bit,” her friend said. “Tell me, if you’re not looking forward to going to see your family, then why bother going at all?”
Molly sighed. “It’s not that I’m not looking forward to seeing any of my family, it’s just that my father has a tendency of being a bit on the controlling side. You wouldn’t understand since yours is so laid back, Jules.”
“Oh, I think I might,” Jules said, grin spreading across her face. “My grandmother can be bossy and overbearing; she seriously thinks she can tell us what to do with our lives and when to do it. For instance, she thinks I’m wasting my life away by not finding a man to marry and settle down with, not really grasping the fact it’s hard to find someone. Well, you understand how hard it is seeing as you’re still single, too.”
It hurt; that one word. Molly knew she had no way to still feel torn up over it, especially since she had ruined things with the one boy she had had feelings for that could even remotely come close to love. Really, she had no right. It was all her fault for ending things and she would not be surprised if he hated her because of how she had taken off. She had not even said anything to him after she had ended things, let alone saying good bye to him before she took a Portkey clear across the world.
But it still hurt knowing what she had left behind those years ago. She had been stupid, so stupid. And Jules bringing up the fact she had yet to find anyone else to replace the void in her heart that Finn had filled back in their final year yanked at what little bit of her heart she still had intact, keeping her alive with each beat.
The hurt must have shown on her face, for Molly noticed that Jules was giving her a confused expression filled with concern,
“You okay, Molly?”
“What,” Molly said, taken aback for she had been lost in her thoughts before she recovered. “Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I was just thinking.”
“That must have been some pretty intense thinking there,” Jules said. “Care to elaborate?”
Molly did care, but she also knew she should tell Jules since it might help her feel better to get it all off of her chest. It was a good thing they were the only two in the green house that morning, or Molly felt sure she would have lost all the courage she had in her to talk about Finn just then.
“I was thinking how I had only ever felt like I had loved one boy in the past,” Molly said, sighing. “I wasn’t always so indecisive when it came to dating, you know. I’m just choosy now because I know what love feels like; or at least something close to love.”
“Ooh, do tell,” Jules said, leaning her hands on the table between the two. “I don’t think I’ve heard you mention any ex-boyfriends from before you moved down here.”
“I haven’t said anything because there really isn’t anything to tell,” Molly said. “I only ever had one serious relationship in my final year at Hogwarts and it didn’t work out because we were going in opposite directions. People change, I’m sure he doesn’t even remember me.”
“I highly doubt that,” Jules replied. “If you remember him, then chances are he still remembers you. So, are you going to tell me about him or what? I want all the juicy details.”
Molly laughed. “There’s nothing to tell.”
“I’ll be the judge of that.”
Jules gave Molly a hard look as if telling her to get on with it. All Molly did was roll her eyes before continuing her tale of lost love,
“He was a Slytherin, same year as me, and Irish,” Molly started. “Nothing left to say except that we did not get along at all before our final year at Hogwarts. He was an insufferable git for our first six years, always poking fun at me.”
“Already he sounds dashing,” Jules said, grinning, “Irish boys are adorable and their accents are even more so.”
Molly rolled her eyes. There was so much more to Finn than his accent and Irish qualities. She had to admit to herself that he was adorable, though, no doubting that. She loved his expressive face and hazel eyes that are green most of the time. And that tousled, brown hair that permanently looked as though he had just rolled out of bed with a devilishly attractive grin firmly in place the whole time.
The fact she was currently thinking of Finn’s attractiveness was lost on her friend as Jules stood there waiting for her to continue. When Molly did not say anything after several minutes, Jules cleared her throat loudly. It resulted in Molly jumping slightly as she looked around confusedly before her eyes settled back at Jules across the work table from her.
Jules stared at Molly with an expression that clearly stated her friend knew exactly what she had been thinking about, causing Molly to blush crimson.
But Jules paid Molly’s resemble to a tomato no mind as she ploughed onward. “What happened with you two?”
“Uh,” Molly said, not sure whether she wanted to divulge that much of her personal life from her school days on her new Aussie friend. She felt like it was her business, yet so many people already knew about her and Finn’s history that it seemed like one more person knowing would not hurt. “Well, uh, we had settled on different plans after Hogwarts. He was going to be studying to become a Curse Breaker for Gringotts and planned to work at the one in Diagon Alley, while I knew I would need to move out of the country to find solid work as a Herbologist. There really was no other reason for our break up aside from different career paths that took us in opposite directions.”
“Didn’t either of you consider long distance as a choice?”
“Now you sound like Finn,” Molly said, brow creasing as she frowned. “He said we could make it work if it was truly meant to be. But I shot him down. I don’t know why anymore, though. A part of me now feels as though we could have lasted even living in different hemispheres, but I suppose I wasn’t strong enough at eighteen to give it a try.”
“Well, eighteen is awfully young to begin with,” Jules said in her the mentor voice she had used with Molly since day one; Jules was a few years older than her. “It’s hard to make concrete decisions at that age, no matter how grown up you may think you are.”
“Yeah, I suppose,” Molly sighed before continuing. “My dad was ecstatic, said he was glad I had finally realised what was important after all and that I was finally maturing. And I took offense to the fact he had not thought I was mature enough before I broke up with Finn as he had always treated me like I was still his little girl that needed his help.”
“You know,” Jules said, “from all you say about your father, I’m not sure I like him all that much. He doesn’t sound like he had your best interests in mind at all.”
Molly shrugged. It was hard for others to understand her father’s intentions for doing and saying what he did when they were not related to him. The only people who knew Percy Weasley were the Weasleys and Potters. She did not expect her new friends to be able to grasp why Percy did the things he did. Her school friends understood, but only barely.
“He means well, really,” Molly said, defending her father. “Honestly, he just wants what’s best for me.”
“Is that why you’ve only been back a couple times since your move here?” Jules asked her. “And even then, those couple visits only lasted a couple days.”
There was no point arguing that point. It was true that Molly had not been back home except for three days on two occasions since moving to Australia to pursue a career in Herbology. Her father had done his best to appear accepting toward the end of her final year, but once she had received her N.E.W.T.s in the post a month after graduating then a flip at switched in her father. And it was like that that Percy went back to badgering her to apply for a position to work in the Ministry of Magic, all the way up to her final day in Great Britain before she took a Portkey to Australia.
“Seriously, is your father really as bad as you make him out to be,” Jules said, carrying on. “Often times our fathers seem to come down harder on us in our own minds than they actually do.”
“Trust me, my dad always has some sort of opinion on the way my I’m living my life and how I should live it according to him,” Molly explained. “But I’ve got so used to it that I’ve actually learned how to tune him out now.”
“You’re just learning the art of tuning out on your parents,” Jules said, raising her brow. “Please, that’s basics. You learn that before as you ease into your teen years.”
“Well not me,” Molly said. “I was an obedient daughter who did what she was told. It wasn’t until my final year that I finally stood up to my dad and told him that I didn’t want to do what he wanted me to do. That I wanted to study Herbology.”
“Good for you,” Jules said, grinning. “It feels great when you go against your parents carefully laid out plans of you, doesn’t it?”
Molly nodded slowly, while frowning in consternation. “Did your parents have other plans for you, too?”
“Nah, my parents were happy as long as I was,” Jules said, “but I had friends whose parents had their whole futures mapped out from the time they were babies and on. Needless to say, I got to watch a few of my friends defy their parents’ wishes.”
The pair of them continued to chat as Molly finished up her examination of her plants, then they potted a few baby plants that had grown enough to move from their mother’s pot to fill out their own, freshly soiled pot. Neither of them could hold back their giggles as the babies babbled and gurgled in glee at getting their own space.
By the time they had finished, a few of their fellow Herbologists had joined them in the green house, including the owner. Molly enjoyed her co-workers as they made each day thoroughly entertaining and worthwhile, especially the guys. Take a couple of the guys for instance as at that precise moment they happened to have taken a few of the speedy plants out of their pots and set them on the ground and were egging them on to race. It was a plant race and those were always hilariously fun to watch, and laugh out loud at as the plants moved along by pushing themselves forward with either their vines or spindly branches.
It was the moments like plant races that made Molly love her job even more. Not only that, it also made her glad she had finally stood up to her father about what she had wanted to do. If she had not told her father she had wanted to be a Herbologist, then she felt sure she would have been stuck back in London and working a boring nine to five desk job in the Ministry of Magic. It may be fine for her father and younger sister to work desk jobs with mounds of endless paperwork to fill out, but that was not Molly’s ideal job. She enjoyed being able to get her hands dirty each day, in addition to being outside in the fresh air of coastal Australia, the salty air blowing inland off of the ocean.
She may have missed Finn, but she surely did not miss the constant rain in England one bit compared to the sunny weather of Sidney, Australia. Besides, for all she knew, Finn Harper had found a woman whom he loved more than he had ever loved her and had plans of settling down with said woman. Yes, she was better off forgetting about that Slytherin prat that had caused her much a headache while at Hogwarts. With any luck she would not have to face Finn while she visited with her family for the next couple months.
The last thing she needed was to get reattached to him and have to break things off again. If that happened, then Molly doubted she would have it in her to dump him a second time round. She had barely been able to leave without saying good bye to him the first time, never mind breaking up with him a couple months before hand. Things were bound to get interesting if she ran into him in London.