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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 18: Graduation

Ah yes, I am back!!! I am officially on summer break which means I can now write more than ever!!! That means yay for you, and yay for me! I have survived my final exams to write again!!! Sorry this took so long, but I’ve been rather ill.

Please, please do me a favor. Enjoy this chapter!!! See you at the bottom!

Chapter Eighteen

Graduation

Peter was still snickering loudly when I managed to get him out into the hall, shutting the door behind me. Peter pulled his arm away from my light hold and put his face in his hands, still shaking with laughter.

“Did you hear what he said?” he gasped between chuckles. “What a load of crap.”

“Peter…” I tried, but he cut me off.

“You know something?!” he nearly yelled, sounding quite angry now. “I’m really happy. I’m glad. Because he’s dead. Because I never have to see him again.”

He looked me in the eyes then and seemed to just realize at that moment that it was me he was talking to.

“I don’t even know why I’m telling you this,” he snapped. “Its not like you care.”

“That’s not true and you know it,” I replied, hoping that our voices weren’t carrying into the meeting next door.

“I don’t have time for this,” Peter answered. “I’m far too busy being thrilled right now.” Peter disappeared down the hall leaving me feeling confused, disgusted, and tired of fighting with a person I cared so deeply for.

*******

“It was beyond freaky,” I said to Kristen and Jennie the next day at breakfast. “He just laughed while his uncle gave this heartfelt speech about his feelings towards his father.”

“Well,” Kristen responded thoughtfully. “We can’t expect Peter to react the same way we would to the loss of our father. I mean they had an infinitely complicated relationship. He’s probably blocking out most of the pain. Maybe he’ll freak out in a day or two.”

“I hope so,” I said, pulling at my hair. “I don’t like seeing him like this. He’s acting all normal and everything, just going to classes…I mean he did lose his father.”

“This is probably his way of dealing,” Kristen added, spooning more cereal into her mouth.

I felt kind of stupid. Kristen was so right and she didn’t even know Peter that well. And here I was, feeling like I needed a guide to make it down this road. Why was I so lost? Why was Peter so confusing? I gave my friends a forced smile before returning to my breakfast.

I found myself unbelievably stressed in the next weeks. Normally during exam time I found myself stressed, but along with my job and dealing with my own personal feelings, I moved into a level beyond stress. Graduation was only two weeks away and so much still needed to be done.

I soon got sick with a particularly nasty cold; complete with a stuffed nose and a burning, sore throat. Mr. Bailey thankfully decided that I was in no condition to work, so he told me that I wouldn’t have to work again until after I graduated.

I soon had to go to the Hospital wing and received a potion that helped me enough so I could go to classes. There was no way I could miss the essential review periods. All the seventh years were stressed, as graduation loomed up before us. Lily had been asked to give a speech at the graduation ceremony and she took the responsibility very seriously. She would spend hours a day working even on a single sentence. We were all scrambling to study, Remus was near nervous breakdown towards the end. No one was themselves. We didn’t have time to be. We simply worked. We saw each other, we studied together, but we never felt like we were spending any sort of time together. We were robots. I never have studied so hard in my entire life. But I actually did find the work I had done paying off. I felt that I did fairly well on most of the exams. I knew some of the answers and had no clue on the others. But soon, it was over. Exams ended, and the rest of the school left for home. The seventh years remained because in two days the graduation ceremony would take place out on the lawns; our parents coming up to join us.

That gave us all two days of absolute freedom. By that time, I had no idea what to do with freedom anymore. Luckily, James had the idea that we grab all our friends and go out for dinner in Hogsmeade. So me, James, Lily, Sirius, Remus, Peter, Vicky, Kristen, Claire, Jennie, and many others made our way down to the village for our last time all together. We had a reservation for eighteen and our table was actually three tables pushed all together. We went all out. We pooled all the money that we had left and ordered appetizers, drinks, main courses, desserts, and so on.

We clinked glasses, laughed, ate, and just rejoiced in our time together. I didn’t talk directly to Peter; we just sort weakly acknowledged each other occasionally. But it was better than fighting.

I always felt a pang of serious guilt whenever my eyes found their way over to Peter. I felt terrible that I knew the truth about his father and he didn’t. He definitely seemed like he didn’t care about his father, but shouldn’t he know the truth? Would he even care though? It felt strange to have such an important piece of information entrusted to me. One would think that this would give me a sense of prestige and success. But since it was a topic that was personally important to me, I felt totally uneasy with such information. I felt that having such important information gave me a severe responsibility. Not only did I wonder if Peter should know the truth, but I also was fighting myself wondering if the public should know what is going on in their world.

When I would get into these huge thinking tornadoes I would always find myself staring at Peter and he would always catch me. Our eyes would lock for a briefest of seconds before I would look away in embarrassment.

The dinner was lovely. It was all about fun. When you have done nothing but worry and stress for weeks on end freedom and fun are ten times more fantastic. It makes one appreciate their happiness. The food was delicious and a real sense of completion set in around us. We were all sad; some hid it better than others, but I was sure that I saw Vicky get misty eyed. I couldn’t believe that we were so close to the end. The end. It seemed like it was only a few days ago that I had been a nervous first year laying eyes on the Hogwarts Express for the first time.

********

Those last few days at Hogwarts were some of my best. I usually had a good time at school and that was when we had school work and classes to deal with. So when we had days completely to ourselves we had the best time. And it was time we needed to tie up our loose ends and to say goodbye. I never realized how hard and how long it would take to say goodbye. I never really found myself using the word “goodbye.” It would have been much too hard. Normally I would just find myself making a point to hang out with everyone one last time. It was very difficult to realize and accept that it was the last time I would be doing so many things. I would recognize when it was the last time I would get stuck in the trick step in the staircase, or when it was the last time I would sit in a particular seat in the Common Room.

One of the hardest things I found about saying goodbye was the fact that Peter and I were still fighting. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to him in any sense, but to leave on these terms would be absolutely unbearable. There were many chances to talk to Peter, but I never found the heart to do it. What would happen? More fighting always seemed in the future. So I stayed away. The final days died down I knew my time was really running out. I was surprised to find that James was the one who confronted me on the topic on the night before graduation.

I was actually in the library when he found me. I had no studying or anything to do but I found myself wanting to visit the library one last time. I had decided that visiting places of consequence in the castle for the last time was a must. So James found me sitting at one of the tables in the library looking out the window.

“Hi sis,” he said brightly, coming over to sit across from me. I nodded at him and gave him a half grin as my answer. It was comforting to see James. This was one person that I wouldn’t have to say goodbye to. A brother is forever. I was about to greet him vocally, but he started talking first.

“So you still love Peter.” I blinked in surprise at the bluntness of his comment. It didn’t sound like he asked me a question. He said it as if it was a true fact. But was it true? I was getting lost in my thoughts, but James brought me back.

“Katie,” he said, breaking my trance. “You love Peter.”

I ran my fingers through my hair in agitation before I managed to find my voice. To admit to James and to myself that my feelings hadn’t just disappeared.

“Yes alright?” I admitted loudly, glad that the library was totally empty. “You’re right.”

“You don’t have to sound angry,” James grinned, knowing that he had hit a nerve. “I was just checking.”

“Oh, so this is just something you just check up on?” I asked, annoyed at his insight into my life. If he knew I still had feelings everyone else probably knew too.

“Listen,” James continued, his tone becoming more serious. “Peter isn’t doing too well.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, sharply. “He seems fine to me.”

“You know something is wrong,” James pressed, his hazel eyes burning into mine. “And I don’t know what it is. This is the first time I’m having problems reading him.”

“What do you want me to do?” I asked, feeling rather helpless.

“The same thing you want to do,” James answered cleverly. “Talk to him. Talk to him for real. Like I know you used to. Find out what the heck is wrong with him. Because I sure as hell can’t figure this out.”

“Alright,” I said reluctantly, returning my gaze to look out the window. James cleared his throat loudly and gestured to the door.

“What you want me to go now?” I gasped.

“I think you’ve waited long enough,” was the answer. I sighed, knowing he was right.

“He’s down in the Great Hall.”

“Why?” I asked, knowing that dinner had been over for the students left for a good couple of hours.

“Go find out.”

********

The Great Hall is always massive. But when it isn’t filled with hundreds of students it seems even larger. It was rather eerie when I walked in. The long tables were empty and it was very dark with only a few lone candles lit. The magical sky was very clear and the stars were twinkling down their faint lights as well. The flicker of the candlelight was falling on the lone figure sitting at the far end of the Gryffindor table; Peter. The silence of the entire situation was deafening. Even my footsteps seemed completely quiet.

Somehow Peter sensed my presence and immediately looked up as I came up to him.

“Hey,” he said gently; surprising me with the normal tone of his voice. It had been so long since we had talked without hostility.

“Hi,” I replied, hoping that this conversation wouldn’t escalate into an argument.

“Listen,” he said, and I could tell that it was hard for him to say what he was saying. “We graduate tomorrow and everything is going to change. We aren’t going to see each other very much after school and I can’t leave things the way they are.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” I found myself answering. “I’m sorry, for everything that’s happened.”

“Me too,” he said, standing up and coming over to me. “I never wanted to hurt you.”

“I never wanted to hurt you either,” I agreed; prickles forming all over my skin as he came closer to me.

“Come sit,” Peter suggested, touching my arm gently before gesturing to the seats around the table. My arm burned where we had touched. I followed Peter to the table and sank into the seat next to him.

“Peter, I’m worried about you,” I declared quickly, wanting to get to the point before I chickened out.

“What for?” Peter asked. His voice was still gentle.

“I think there’s something wrong with you. I know you weren’t close to your father. I know he didn’t treat you the way you deserved. But I just feel that you’re holding something back. Something that you need to get out.”

Peter laughed out loud; his voice echoing in the hall.

“I’m totally fine,” he insisted. “Really. It’s rather funny actually.”

“Funny?” I asked, still thinking that Peter was still hiding his true feelings.

“Think about it,” Peter said, in a voice that indicated I should have come up with the answer myself. “The man’s heart gave out because he never used it.”

“I don’t…” I started, but Peter just kept going.

“It’s the sort of death that I always expected him to have. What else does he deserve?”

“Peter, stop it!” I yelled, surprising both Peter and myself. I took a gulp before again filling the silence with speech.

“Peter,” I said, my voice shaking violently. Peter looked at me, confused. “Your father didn’t die of a heart attack.”

“What?’ Peter asked, his voice full of disbelief. “What are you talking about?” Before even thinking, I found myself rambling out the entire story.

“He was murdered by Death Eaters,” I finished numbly. Peter stared at me for a full minute before he got up and started to pace; rubbing at his face.
“What are you talking about?” he asked, looking at me severely for confirmation.

“Peter, I just told you,” I said. “They wanted us to cover it up. We were all supposed to never speak of this again. I’m really sorry. I just think you had to know.”

Peter still looked terribly confused. I had explained the story as detailed as I could, but he was still looking at me as if he had never seen me before in his entire life.

“But they all said…they said. They said he had a heart attack.”

“I know that’s what they said,” I said, still surprised that I had told him the truth. Yet at the same time I felt a slight sense of relief that he finally knew.

“Who are they to say something like that?” he asked, more to the Hall than to me. “Who are they to decide that I don’t know about this? He’s MY father.”

“I know,” I said, getting up and going over to him. “This was so wrong. I’m sorry it took me so long to tell you the real truth.”

“At least someone over there has a conscience,” he said, sounding distracted. “Thanks for telling me.” He gave my hand a squeeze before heading for the door.

“Where are you going?” I asked, concerned that the conversation hadn’t accomplished all I wanted.

“I just need to…look…at something,” he declared weakly before disappearing into the darkness.

********

Graduation day! I woke up for the last time in my Hogwarts bed with a wild mix of feelings coursing through my body. Excitement and sadness were the main ones as I and my roommates dressed ourselves in nice clothes that would be under our graduation robes. When we were finally dressed with hair and makeup done we all turned to face each other. The five of us wordlessly shared a massive group hug. We had gathered our belongings together into piles a few days earlier so the room was looking pretty empty. It was hard but we finally managed to find the courage to leave. We moved to the Common Room and met the other seventh year Hufflepuffs who were milling around the Common Room looking like they had no idea what to do.

We all talked, very loudly to hide the fact that we were sad. We put on our black graduation robes and our pointed graduation hats and made our way out to the lawns where the graduation ceremony was supposed to take place. When I got outside I met Lily who was totally out of breath.

“What?” I asked, reaching out to steady her.

“It’s not going to work!”

“What’s not?”

“It’s pouring rain outside! We had to move everything into the Great Hall! And James…those idiots…they’re all outside in the mud!”

“Calm down, Lil,” I said. “I’ll go see if I can get them to come in.”

I slipped outside. The chairs and the stage that were going to be used for the ceremony were being pelted with the biggest drops of rain that I had ever seen. The students that had made it as far as outside were running back in as well as the parents. Yet through the rains I could see James and the rest of his ridiculous crew running through the mud, throwing it at each other.

“Guys!” I called. They didn’t hear.

“Guys!” I couldn’t go out to get them because I had no intention of getting soaked. Finally they noticed me trying to flag them down and came running over. Sirius, James, Remus, and Peter were totally covered in mud. They greeted me as they walked past, each touching my robe to leave a muddy handprint.

“Thanks,” I muttered sarcastically. Peter didn’t follow the others inside but stopped to talk to me.

“Look,” he started, sounding oddly serious. “Things after graduation are going to be different.”

“What do you mean?”

“I can’t really say, but things are going to change.”

“I don’t think I’m following you.”

“Bye,” he said in a real final sort of way.

“I’ll see you later!” I called after him to which he didn’t reply.

*******

The Great Hall had been completely transformed. The four long tables had disappeared and were replaced with rows of chairs and a wooden stage. Banners for all four houses were hanging from the ceiling and the Dumbledore had charmed the magical ceiling so it was sunny; shining brilliantly. It was a sharp contrast to the rain hissing down outside. The students were seated on one side of the room, the parents on the other. The staff was seated on the stage looking out on us all. We were all sitting in alphabetical order, putting me next to James and Sarah Ratchel. Peter was on James’ other side.

“I can’t believe that you got all muddy before the ceremony,” I hissed at James, knowing Mum would be mad about him looking awful in her pictures.

“Come on, live a little,” he laughed taking his muddy finger and sliding it across my face to give me a smudge down my cheek.

“Hey!” I exclaimed, trying to rub it off; probably only making it worse. “Mum will be thrilled.”

Dumbledore got up to the podium then, and gave a fine welcome speech in his long elegant way. He greeted the parents and the students and let us know how much we would be missed and how we were able to give Hogwarts something special, and now it was time to give the world something special as well. When Dumbledore finished he announced that Lily Evans, one of Hogwarts’ most talented and committed students, would now grace us with a speech. We applauded loudly.

I watched as Lily approached the podium, the picture of poise and grace. She pushed a rebel strand of hair out of her eyes before clearing her throat in a commanding way. Then Lily began to speak, and any sort of side chattering that had been going on ceased.

“I used to worry about being perfect,” she started. “I used to worry about getting perfect grades and saying the perfect thing at the perfect time. I’ve learned a lot here at Hogwarts; we all have. No one here can deny that we have learned a mass amount of information about the intricate patterns of magic. We have learned that magic is a power that we all have; it is one that we have to be responsible with at all times. But I have also learned a lot more from Hogwarts. I learned about triumph, failure, friendship, and even love. Through everything I’ve learned I now know that I don’t want to be perfect. I am so thankful that I’m not perfect. If I was perfect I wouldn’t have learned everything that I have, I wouldn’t have moved forward at all. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today. That is what Hogwarts has given me. This place gave me everything that I am. I don’t know if this school has touched others in the same way, but I’m fairly sure that it has. Hogwarts has shaped us all as individuals and now we will be able to head out into the world with a serious amount of confidence. We are all in the same place now. We are all starting something new. We might be a little scared right now, but deep inside we all know we can accomplish something truly amazing. Hogwarts has given us the tools. Now it is up to us to build something. So let’s get out there and build something fantastic! Congratulations everyone. We made it!”

We all cheered loudly and jumped to our feet. Lily smiled brilliantly and looked over at James, who was whistling loudly. The crowd of students and parents clapped for at least a full minute. Lily was right. I had become who I was because of Hogwarts.

And so, we all crossed that stage, one step closer to our futures. Sirius was the first of us to go. He looked ridiculous, yet still good, caked in his mud suit. Lily went next. Then Claire. Then Remus. Then Jennie. Then Peter. My eyes never left him as he moved across the stage. Then James. Then me. At 1:13 on June 1st I, Katie Potter, graduated from Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And after the last student, Rick Witte, crossed the stage our class took our pointed hats and launched them into the air.

*******

When the ceremony was finally completed the Hall was transformed again so round tables with food and drink appeared for a reception. The reception was a time for parents to find their children and force them to take hundreds upon hundreds of pictures of you in your robes and silly pointed hat, if you managed to find it again. I took pictures with EVERYONE. I took pictures with everyone at least THREE times. Different poses. Different lights.

“It’s my god-given right as a mother to take pictures,” my mum said over and over. After so many pictures I realized that Peter wasn’t present. I had wanted to take at least one picture with him. I went over to James to ask if he had seen him recently. James didn’t answer my question but asked one himself.

“So how did talking to Peter go?” James asked; a smirk crossing his face. “What did you tell him? Did you tell him that you still love him?

“James,” I said distressed. “I’m not going to tell him. That’s the last thing he needs to hear right now. Now do you know where he is?.”

“If you didn’t tell him that, what did you tell him?” James inquired.

“I…well…” I didn’t know how to start.

“What?”

I launched into my story for the second time and told James everything. James kept his mouth shut the whole time as I spoke his hazel eyes getting more and more concerned as he listened.

“Oh my god,” he said when I was finished. “His father really died that way?” I nodded.

“I think we have a problem.”

“What do you mean?” I asked as I watched James’ face for a sign as to what he was thinking.

“Before when Peter was around, he was very final in the way he said goodbye…like we wouldn’t be seeing him over the summer or something.”

“Maybe he went back up to the Common Room?” I asked, remembering how Peter’s goodbye had felt to me.

“Let’s go,” James said, hurrying away, me following. We rushed up to the Common Room and burst into the Marauder’s room.

Peter wasn’t there.

“His stuff is all gone,” James said, wandering through the room. There were a few pieces of parchment scattered across the floor. I picked up two or three and scanned over them. They all started with,

Dear Peter.

And ended with,

Love, Dad.

“He’s really gone,” I said to James.

“Where would he go?” James asked, giving his trunk a kick.

Love, Dad

“I think I know.”

I wouldn’t see Peter again for two years.

*******

Done-zo! Done-zo? I don’t know. I’ve been sick, so my cleverness powers are not up to snuff. I really hope you liked this chapter. For some reason this is one of my favorites. I was TERRIBLE when I started to write it so when it turned out like this I was very pleased. This chapter was a product of not studying for exams and me taking medicine to ward off my cold for a few hours. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and I’ll see you for nineteen. Who else thinks it’s crazy that this is nineteen chapters? Leave me some love!

-Kira


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