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She's In Love With The Rat by Kira

Format: Novel
Chapters: 23
Word Count: 86,809
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Substance Use or Abuse

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Lupin, Snape, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew, Voldemort, OC
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 11/14/2006
Last Chapter: 07/02/2007
Last Updated: 04/22/2013

Summary:


Sensational banner made by azn_princess from TDA! So awesome!
COMPLETED
Katie Potter is the seventeen year old, never been kissed, sister of James Potter and she is certain that she is in love with Sirius Black. However, fate’s winding road leads her, instead, into the arms of the last person she ever expected; a person who would make her life extraordinary at one moment... and then tear it to shreds. And he spends some of his time as a rat...


Chapter 15: The Start of My Future

Woot woot! Back! Sorry if the wait was a little longer. My professors apparently hate me and the homework is simply relentless. But Chapter Fifteen is done! And its about to start! As always, see you when it’s over.

Chapter Fifteen

The Start of My Future

I woke up from another nightmare the next morning. I wasn’t drenched in a cold sweat. My heart wasn’t beating really fast. I couldn’t remember seeing horrid images or feel haunted by my sleep. I just awoke feeling…bad. Like something was lurking in my chest that I couldn’t exactly put my finger on. This intense feeling of disquietude followed me down to the breakfast table. I threw myself into the seat and began to attack a basket of bran muffins in front of me. I mused over the dream as I finished my first muffin and moved on to the second.

I stared up at the magical ceiling in the Great Hall and watched the wisps of white clouds dance across it. I let out a sigh. There was simply nothing I could do about this dream. There was nothing to remember, which meant that there was nothing to discuss or even think about. I didn’t care for the feeling of course but I decided to let it go. I had just come to this solution when Vicky and Jennie joined me at the table, chatting at a rapid pace. I pushed my bad feelings away and spoke cheerfully to my friends.

“What’s going on?” I asked, curiously.

“Well while we were away on our lovely winter breaks,” Jennie started excitedly. “Vicky was here having the most romantic romance ever.” Vicky rolled her eyes and gave Jennie a light push; but still looked pretty pleased with herself.

“Did something happen with you and Remus?” I inquired eagerly. Vicky sat down across from me and started filling her plate; not speaking yet.

“Hello?!” I grinned, hitting the table to get her attention. “Are you going to tell me?” I raised my eyebrows at her and she smiled in an embarrassed but pleased way.

“Nothing really happened,” she admitted first, taking a bite of cereal. “We just talked.”

“Oh,” I replied, faking disappointment. Vicky laughed.

“It was nice to just talk though. Remus is different. When we talk, he looks right in my eyes. He listens. And he actually responds to what you are saying. Meaningful things. You can tell that he cares. Or at least that he cares enough to listen.” Vicky let out a sigh. “I really like him.”

“Did you let him know?” I asked, smiling like a fool.

“Not exactly,” Vicky muttered, playing with the cereal in her bowl. “I didn’t want to scare him away or anything. Plus I really like being his friend.”

“Well that’s sweet,” Jennie commented cheerfully. “And how are things going with you and Peter?” She turned to face me and I smiled back.

“Great, now that I and the whole school doesn’t think he’s a big fat cheater.” Wasn’t that the truth? As bad as things were for Peter, that was as good as they got. He came off as the hero in the tale and Valarie and Snape were the villains. Snape was used to most of the school ignoring him and disliking him, but it seemed to be a new experience for Valarie. I was a select few who still spoke to her. For some really sick reason I don’t understand I still had pity for her. After all she had done. After all the hell she put me through, I felt bad. But I didn’t feel bad enough to do anything about it.

“So what do you think Peter is going to get you for your birthday?” Jennie asked next bringing me out of my thoughts of Valarie. I blinked at her and thought before responding, (something I rarely do). I really couldn’t say what he would get me for my birthday. True it was only a week away. For some cruel reason it was on a Monday of all days. Monday March 4th. Where February had gone I didn’t know. After we had returned from break it had seemed the months had simply melted away as rapidly as the snow. I had a sneaking suspicion that the month of February was some sort of myth.

Us seventh years were starting to get antsy already. The turn of the New Year felt like the final stretch in our formal education career. We could see the finish line. All we had to do was get there. And we were so very close.

“Hello?” Vicky said, snapping her fingers in my face. “Earth to Katie. What do you think you’ll get for your birthday?”

“I don’t know,” I responded. “But I trust Peter. It will be wonderful, I’m sure.” Vicky and Jennie looked at each other and smiled.

*******

March came. March Madness as it was called for seventh years. March is the time when seventh years must actually start finding a job in the field of work they are interested in. We all scramble around, turning in applications and putting together portfolios. James and Sirius started filling out applications so they could start training to become Aurors. It would take them at least three years to train and maybe longer if they didn’t pass all the tests. The applications looked more like a thick novel out of its binding. They were committed though and that really made me see those two in a different light. I always thought that they would grow up to be professional pranksters or something. But no, they were going to do something with their lives. Being an Auror was dangerous. But I also knew that they could handle a lot of complicated magic and that they were really, really good at it. While James and Sirius attacked their applications, Lily and Remus were working relentlessly at Healer applications.

There’s were not quite as thick as the others, but they looked severely complicated. They were seen together in front of the fire, helping each other along. I, on the other hand, was working to put together an acceptable portfolio. I planned to apply for an internship at the Daily Prophet. The flyer I had grabbed at Hogsmeade had stated that I would get real experience what it would be like to work for a prestigious newspaper. I gathered what I considered to be pieces that highlighted my writing. I wrote some things over, ripped some things up, and scribbled away at my parchment. I had to create title pages, get rid of ink splotches; pretty much had to polish everything up. I was really losing free time; everyone was. Well everybody but Peter.

Peter did not know what he wanted to do with his life. I was worried about him. We would all be frantically working and he would be sitting around not doing much of anything. I would suggest different career ideas to him and he would nod but basically shrug it off. I didn’t want to outwardly confront him about the job search for fear of injuring his pride. So one night when Remus stated that he could no longer look at the tiny application print, I brought the subject up to him.

“Has Peter ever talked about what he wants to do?” I inquired curiously.

“Not really,” Remus replied wistfully. “I’m pretty sure he was always planning to go work for his dad, but now I really couldn’t say.”

“He’s a talented writer,” I responded, remembering the things I had read from him.

“Really?” Remus asked, intrigued. “Have you suggested that to him?”

“Many times,” I said, twirling hair around my finger. “But he just doesn’t seem to get excited about it.”

“Don’t worry,” Remus assured me. “Not everyone can just know what they want to do. Take me for example. I think I want to be a Healer but I don’t know for sure. I don’t even know if they would accept me with my…condition. But I did get a wonderful letter of recommendation from Dumbledore. How can they say no to that?”

“I don’t think they can,” I answered. “So what do you think of Vicky?” I wanted to catch him off guard. You wouldn’t believe the things you can get out of people when they don’t see the question coming. Remus’ eyes lit up and I caught a shadow of a dreamy smile cross his lips.

“She’s very nice,” he said stiffly, making me laugh. “What?”

“You lie,” I giggled. “You love her.”

“No,” Remus protested. “She’s a good friend. Just a good friend.”

“Sure, Remus,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Ask her out. The year won’t last forever.” Remus was about to reply, but Sirius, James, Peter, and Lily came bounding over at that moment.

“It’s midnight!” James roared.

“Congratulations,” I said, confused.

“It’s midnight,” Peter repeated. “Which means it is officially March 4th. Which means it is officially your birthday!” I laughed and the group pulled me into a tangled hug. I was eighteen.

*******

After a brief, a very brief, celebration we slunk off to bed determined to carry on the festivities in the morning. I don’t know if you have ever had a birthday on a Monday. I would advice highly against it. I awoke late because I stayed up late and had to rush out the door, leaving the heap of presents at the foot of my bed for later. I paused and looked at their bright wrappings. They were calling out to me, but I forced myself to go to Potions. Monday classes are always torturously long, but Monday classes on your birthday are like suicide. I can’t believe I have to go to work on my birthday. These words kept running through my head as Slughorn droned on and on and ON! It was late afternoon by the time classes were over and I could get back to my presents.

The other Hufflepuff girls gathered around me as I tore open cards and packages. I got a nifty new scarf from Mum, money from Dad, a handprint picture from Charles, some perfume from Jennie, and various other little gifts from my friends and my brother. But nothing from Peter. In fact, I hadn’t seen him all day. After I had eaten dinner, followed with a cake and song I saw Peter entering the Great Hall. Finally. I leapt up from the table and rushed over to him.

“Ready for your present?” he asked, looking a little nervous.

“Of course!” I exclaimed. “Why do you look so scared?”

“Well,” he said, shuffling his feet. “Since I’ve been kicked out of my house, I don’t really have access to that much money.” I kissed him on the tip of his nose.

“Don’t be ridiculous. You know I don’t care about that.” A smile drew itself across his face and he grabbed my hand. He lead me out into the Entrance Hall and then out the large oak doors of the castle to the grounds. It was really a beautiful night outside. The sun was on its way down; colors of deep red and purple dancing across the sky. The grass was starting to smell like spring and the lake was glittering with the golden light from the sunset. Peter kept leading me forwards until I noticed we were coming closer to an object. When we got near enough, I realized it was a broom.

“You got me a broom?” I asked, wondering how that didn’t cost money.

“No,” Peter answered. “We’re going to fly. I got you the feeling of flying for your birthday. I know you’ve always wanted to try this. You’ve told me at least a dozen times.”

“I really don’t think I can do this,” I protested, feeling much more uncomfortable actually having a broom in front of me. “Swings used to give me an upset stomach.”

“Well good thing this is nothing like a swing,” Peter said in an assuring voice mounting the broom. “Hop on.” He gestured to the space he had left at the very front of the broom.

“Are you sure this thing can hold us?” I attempted, still trying to see if he would change his mind. “It doesn’t exactly look sturdy.”

“Yes, I’m sure,” Peter responded, grinning. “Now would you just get on?” I looked down at the ground, and bid it a reluctant farewell before joining Peter on the broom. It was far from comfortable. I will never understand how boys can sit on broomsticks and not injure…things. I grasped the handle of the broom in nervous anticipation. I could feel the broom’s desire to leap into the air; completely opposite my desire to stay firmly on the ground.

“Now what?” I asked Peter, my voice slightly high and panicky. Peter put his arms around my waist from behind; murmuring directions into my ear.

“Push off lightly from the ground,” he commanded. “Didn’t you take flying in first year?”

“Yes,” I answered, still not ready to make the push. “Let’s just say it was a scarring experience.”

“Push off the ground,” he repeated gently. “Trust me.” I scrunched my eyes shut and pushed the ground away and suddenly we were up in the air. I felt as if I had no balance. I started wobbling instantly; feeling my heart flutter as I feared falling. Peter’s steady hands calmed by movements.

“Relax,” he suggested. “We’re fine. You can’t fly when you’re scared.”

“Then I can never fly,” I gasped, looking down to the ground, which now seemed miles away.

“Flying is all about letting go…”

“I’ll do no such thing!” I exclaimed, clutching the broom tighter. Peter laughed carelessly from behind me.

“Letting go of fear,” he corrected me. “It’s all about feel. You are guiding the broom; don’t let it guide you. Lean forward.” I swallowed the lump in my throat and followed his direction. The broom started moving forwards at a pace that seemed pretty fast to me; but I was pretty sure the lightning bugs were passing us.

I felt the slight breeze kiss my ears and had to smile. This was alright. I was okay. I tried turning left to avoid looking directly at the sinking sun and the broom gave an almighty jerk. I let out a cry of surprise and felt wonderful Peter reach around and steady it.

“You don’t have to pull so hard,” he said gently. “Coax it. Smooth transitions. Choppy turns leads to…what just happened.”

“Okay,” I breathed. He leaned in closer to me, so his hands were resting on mine.

“I’ll show you.”

********

It had turned pretty dark by the time I flew the broom back to the ground and dismounted. I had gotten a lot better. We flew through the colors of the sunset and clouds of shimmering lightning bugs. Flying was great; as strange as that was to admit. The thing that I feared so much was really amazing. I don’t really know what it was that I had been so scared about. Was it the height? Was it the speed? I don’t really know. But what I do know is that I can fly now. That is one thing I can cross out on my list! I learned to fly.

When my feet touched down on the cool, night grass I breathed a sigh of relief before letting out a whoop of joy.

“I can’t believe I did that!” I laughed; my hair sticking up funny because of the wind.

“I can,” Peter replied, getting off the broom and coming to stand by me. “Happy eighteenth.”

“Thank you so much,” I replied, so sincere. I pulled him to me and he tapped my nose with his finger.

“Anything for the woman I love. And anything for the woman who doesn’t mind that I didn’t get her a gift on this most special of days.”

“Don’t be daft,” I snapped jokingly. “This was a priceless gift. And somehow I think I love you even more.”

“Well my job is done then.” I hugged him close and we stood out under the spring stars wrapped in each other’s arms for a good long while.

********
I had been eighteen for two weeks when an important letter found its way to me. I had been waiting for a response from the Daily Prophet seemingly forever. Everyday when the owls swooped in, it felt like I experienced a mini heart attack. But two weeks after I sent in my portfolio the letter came. A big tawny owl with beady little eyes flew in and dropped the letter neatly in my bowl of oatmeal. I gasped and grabbed it out of there before the oatmeal could do much damage. I brushed off the gooey substance before taking a breath and ripping it open. I smoothed the paper out and bent over it.

Dear Ms. Potter,

We are so happy to find that there are so many students interested in this internship. The response was phenomenal. But we are pleased to inform you that we were very impressed with the work samples we received from you. We did, however, receive many impressive portfolios and we realized that this internship was much more competitive than we recently thought. Due to the reception of so much potential we have decided to accept four different students into the program. We are so very ecstatic to let you know that you are indeed one of those students. With three other talented students around we hope that the friendly competition will set people apart and show us who really shines.

Please report to the Daily Prophet headquarters in a week’s time at 4:00 PM. Please wear appropriate attire.

Yours respectively,

Marcus Bailey

Senior Editor

I squealed with delight and proceeded to show and tell everyone about the letter.

“I don’t think this really means I officially got the job or anything,” I said, talking about a mile a minute.

“Well it does mean someone out there thinks your writing has potential,” Peter answered, happily. “And that’s something.” I felt a little guilty about shoving the letter in Peter’s face after I had done so. I know I shouldn’t. I should be nothing but pleased with my success. Or my almost success. But seeing Peter not knowing what he wanted to do made me feel bad that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I suggested a job search seminar taking place in a couple weeks and he said he would think about it. I left it at that; for I had this internship to think about.

As I was leaving the Great Hall with the letter still clutched to my chest, a girl I had never seen before jumped in front of me. She had curly, short blondish hair and sharp blue eyes. She had trimmed her robes with a shocking neon green color, and I noticed that her heeled shoes were the same color.

“Hello,” I said uncertainly. The girl looked younger than myself, about a fifth year I would guess. I also noticed at that moment that she was holding a letter.

“You got the internship at the Daily Prophet?” she asked me in a thick, gossipy voice.

“Yes,” I responded. “I don’t believe we have ever met.” I noticed the Slytherin emblem on her robes.

“I am Rita Skeeter,” she said, shaking my hand. “And the reason we have never met is because I am two years below you. But we will be seeing a lot of each other I fear. I appears that I have been accepted as well. The other students are from different schools I believe.”

What does it mean she fears we will be seeing a lot of each other? An intense wave of dislike coursed through my body but I chose to ignore it.

“I thought the job would only be open to people who are seventeen or older,” I answered.

“Well its supposed to be,” Rita cackled. “But my father already works at the Prophet and he pulled some strings. He is hoping that I bring some style to the Prophet.”

“Well good for you,” I mumbled numbly, before pushing by her and heading up to the Common Room. That girl bothered me. Was she implying that I didn’t have style? I couldn’t really put my finger on it. Was it the way she talked? Was it the way she dressed? It sort of felt like a combination of everything. This was odd for me. There were very few people I didn’t like when I just met them. I normally give them the benefit of the doubt and wait to see how they turn out. But for some reason the name Rita Skeeter made me clench my fists. And I was going to have to work with her. Or at least around her.

*******

In a week I was in the Common Room getting ready for work. My hands were shaking so bad that I could barely get dressed. Classes were over and four o clock was looming closer and closer. I put on a professional looking grey skirt and white blouse and pulled my hair back into an I’m-ready-to-work bun. I filled my shoulder bag with notebooks and quills; trying to be prepared for anything. I threw the bag over my shoulder and went to find Professor McGonagall who said she had a portkey for me and Rita to use. I ran into Peter on the way down.

“Hey you look great!” he announced. “Want to get going?”

“What?” I answered, distracted hunting through my bag to check I had everything for the twentieth time.

“Dinner?” he said, perplexed. “We planned to go to Hogsmeade today and eat at that fancy, new café. I know it was awhile ago we planned it, but you didn’t forget did you?”

“Peter I have to go to work,” I said, exasperated. “Today is my first day!”

“I’m sorry, I totally forgot. But I haven’t seen you all day,” he whined. I kissed him swiftly on the cheek.

“Maybe we can do it…” I trailed off. I didn’t know when I could. “Some other time!” I waved over my shoulder and raced of to McGonagall’s office. Rita was already there. She was wearing an eye-hurting pink business suit and lipstick just as bright.

“You know punctuality is an important part of working for a paper,” she said in a sickly, sweet voice. I forced a fake smile at her and greeted McGonagall. She pointing to a ruler on her desk.

“The port key is ready for immediate departure; grab hold please.” Rita and I sort of glared at each other as we approached the portkey. We grabbed hold at the same time and I felt an uncomfortable jerk in my stomach. There was a lot of whirring movement and seconds later we were stumbling into a waiting room with old blue couches and glass walls.

******

Two boys my age were sitting there looking nervous. After I had collected myself and readjusted my outfit I introduced myself. One of the boys was a tall blonde; the other was a round boy with a mop of red hair. We chatted in an uncomfortable manner, and the boys made comments about Rita’s attire which she just laughed off. Moments later a secretary with long black hair arrived and told us we were expected in the conference room. I left the portkey on one of the end tables and hurried after the secretary and the other students.

The conference room was a long room with tinted glass windows and a long, expensive desk in the middle. Important looking chairs were surrounding it all covered in sleek black leather. Four people were sitting in these chairs waiting for us. A fat man with thinning brown hair and squinty little glasses stood up to greet us.

“Welcome to the Dailey Prophet!” he exclaimed jovially. “I am Marcus Bailey.” We all shook hands and introductions were made. “What we will be doing here today is quite simple. One of the four of you will be paired up with one of the four of us. You will work with us, observing and helping where we and you see fit. Now let see.”

He preceded to divide us into pairs. He did me last.

“Ms. Potter, you can be with me.” My heart leapt. I was going to be working with the senior editor of the Dailey Prophet! Goosebumps prickled all over my body as I followed Mr. Bailey to his office.

******

“I have a job for you,” Mr. Bailey said suddenly from his desk, looking up at me. I sighed and looked at the mug near his papers. This was nearly three hours later. In this time I had refilled his coffee cup five times, got him two doughnuts, and done absolutely nothing related to journalism.

“More coffee?” I replied, trying to show initiative; ready to go hunt for the pot.

“No,” he answered, tapping his pad of paper with his pen. “I have a real reporter job for you.” My breath caught in my chest and my eyes lit up.

“Really!” I gasped eagerly. I collected myself and responded more calmly. “What would that be?”

“Well,” Mr. Bailey continued, speaking as if he was still contemplating the decision. “There is a man coming here today who was supposed to be interviewed for an article. He is some big shot and owns a large portion of Gringotts and this is the only day he can do the interview. He’s a very busy man apparently.”

I got the feeling from the way Mr. Bailey was talking that he not only knew the man coming, but he also did not think much of him. His speech was stiff and forced; like he was holding in a bad memory.

“There is no one else available at the moment to ask him some questions,” he went on. “Everyone is caught up in news of the war, but this article needs to get done for the business section.” He pulled off a sheet of paper from his pad and handed it to me.

“Here are the questions that need to be asked. Make sure you write down detailed responses. Even if the comment doesn’t seem important to you. It might very well be.”

I nodded efficiently and took the paper from him, before going to my bag and grabbing my own pad to write in. At that very moment the secretary with the blue skirt came and announced that there was a man in the waiting room. I smoothed my skirt and hair in agitation; scared about screwing up my first real assignment.

“Go down to the waiting room,” Mr. Bailey instructed. “And take him to the conference room. Offer him some refreshment and then ask your questions. I look forward to see how you handle this.” He smiled at me and gave me a shadow of a wink. “Good luck!” I thanked him quietly and slipped out the door into the hall. I was heading down to the waiting room when Rita popped out of nowhere; blocking my path.

“Excuse me,” I said politely. Rita rolled her eyes at me.

“Don’t think that because Mr. Bailey likes you best that you’re the one who is going to get a permanent job.”

“First of all,” I responded confidently. “If I am his favorite, it is because he sees potential in my abilities. And second of all, I have an interview to do so it would be great if you got out of my way.” Rita laughed her annoying, high laugh and I luckily got away. I shook my head in anger and pressed on to the waiting room.

The doors to the room were glass and I took a peak at the man inside before entering. His back was to me but I could see the remains of dusty blonde hair, and expensive grey robes. I went inside, breathing the best I could.

“Welcome to the Daily Prophet,” I said happily; the man turning to face me. I let out a gasp of surprise.

Ralph Pettigrew was staring down at me with stormy, grey eyes.

Why must life do this to me?

*******

Oh, man another cliffhanger. Why oh why must I do this to you? I don’t really know. It just seems like a good place to end for now. Plus I have mountains of homework to attempt to accomplish. So chapter sixteen will be around hopefully soon. The plot is about to really take off. I am very excited.

If you have some extra time right now I need a favor. This chapter took a tad longer because in this time I also wrote a one shot entitled This Tragic Place. I don’t really know if you have some time, its less than 2000 words and I would love to know what you think. I was out of my comfort zone a little on this piece so any and all feedback would be wonderful!

Much Love,

-Kira


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