“You did a bad thing once,” I said. “It doesn’t make you a monster.”

Two more tears fell. “What if it does?” She wiped at her cheeks with a brusque frustrated motion. “What if it does, Harry?”

I nodded. “Because if Morgan’s right, and I’m just a ticking time-bomb, and I’m trying to rehabilitate you, you haven’t got a chance in hell. I get it.”

She pressed her lips together, and it made her words sound stiff. “Just before Mouse knocked me down, I wanted to … to do things to Morgan. To his mind. To make him act differently. I was so angry, and it felt right.”

“Feeling something and acting on it are two different things.”

She shook her head. “But who would want to do that, Harry? What kind of monster would feel that?”

I slung the pack over one shoulder so that I could put my hands on either side of her face and turn her eyes to mine. Her tears made them very blue.

“The human kind. Molly, you are a good person. Don’t let anyone take that away from you. Not even yourself.”

She didn’t even try to stop the tears. Her lip quivered. Her eyes were wide and her cheeks were fever-warm under my fingers. “A-are you sure?”

“Yes.”

She bowed her head, and her shoulders shook. I leaned down to rest my forehead against hers. We stayed that way for a minute. “You’re okay,” I told her quietly. “You aren’t a monster. You’re gonna be all right, grasshopper.”

A series of sharp, rapping sounds interrupted us. I looked over my shoulder and found Morgan glowering at me. He held up a pocket watch—an honest to God gold pocket watch—and jabbed a forefinger at it impatiently.

“Jerk,” Molly mumbled, sniffling. “Big fat, grumpy jerk.”

Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Turn Coat
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