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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 20: Gallgrin Nott

Can you believe that this is twenty chapters long? I really can’t personally. This started out as being something small but it has grown into something all its own and something that is so much better than I ever expected. Thanks for all your wonderful support and I hope you like this chapter. This one starts to dig in a little deeper. You’ll see what I mean. See ya at the bottom as usual.

Chapter Twenty

Gallgrin Nott

And Peter was back. As quickly as he disappeared, he was back. I know people say that it’s impossible for two people to simply start off where they left off, but we did. Except we did it without the fighting. Peter and I found ourselves more in love than ever. This was so unexpected that it added another aspect of excitement and thankfulness in and for our relationship. I was so happy to have him back, to be loved again, for real. Having Peter back also reminded me of all the changes that were taking place in all our lives. Considering James and Lily were now man and wife, a small swapping of apartments began. James moved in with Lily so Sirius and Remus moved in together. Remus and Sirius offered a corner of their small flat to Peter but he refused telling everyone that he would be able to find accommodations.

Vicky and I stayed together in the same apartment but things did begin to get a little tight.

I found myself losing weight. I didn’t lose it because I started to exercise and eat healthier, I lost it simply because we couldn’t afford the food we normally had. Vicky had a pretty successful job that offered a great future but my new job paid way, way less. I managed to score a job at Flourish and Blotts but it was nothing special. Every morning Vicky would go to work early and I would stay home until my short shift would start in the afternoon.

The mornings when I was alone were the worst. I would feel completely worthless; all my friends working for their futures while I was working for what seemed like nothing. Well, not nothing, but enough to make me more than worried. I was also informed to my disappointment and despair that Rita Skeeter had gotten my old job. Thankfully I had Peter. He was more than wonderful. Surprise lunches, flowers, smiles, kisses, and more. I think it was his love that got me through all this. Of course he couldn’t be there every day when I was hit with one of these little moments of despair.


Luckily one day when I was feeling really down in the dumps my Mum surprised me at the door with a brown paper bag.

“Hi Mum,” I said surprised, noticing the bag in her arms. “Please tell me that’s food.”

“Oh, its food alright,” she grinned coming over to me on the couch. “Fresh fruit and veggies from the garden and some of my famous double fudge brownies.

“I love you!” I gasped, grabbing the bag and starting to paw through it. “Is this the only reason you stopped by?”

“I wanted to check up on you,” she answered, getting up and starting to fix things up in the apartment; fluffing a pillow, or picking up a stray piece of trash. “You know after the whole job thing.”

“Mum,” I said, rolling my eyes. “I’m fine. That job was terrible. Ok, maybe the pay was good and I was actually good at it but…” I sighed and buried my face away in the corner of the couch. “Remind me why I did this.”

“Katie,” Mum responded, stopping her cleaning raid to pull me up from my corner. “You told me what they asked you to do. I know the job seemed like a dream for you. But you shouldn’t work for anyone who asks you to be less than you are. I think you know that you did the right thing.”

“Yeah,” I muttered. “But it really sucks.”

“I agree. It really sucks,” Mum replied, making me laugh. “Now that’s better. Let’s change the subject. How’s Peter doing?”

“Oh, he’s fine,” I smiled thinking of my love. I watched as Mum’s eyes became more concerned than I would have expected. “What? I said he was fine.”

“I know, I know.” Mum’s agitated behavior was really bothering me. “Katie I just don’t understand how he could be fine.”

“Well he is,” I said, a hint of anger in my voice. “What do you even know about him?”

“Well, I know that he lost his father, went looking for him and supposedly was captured by Death Eaters,” Mum responded, not making eye contact.

“What do you mean supposedly?” I snapped, jumping to my feet. “You think he’s lying to me?”

“I didn’t say that,” Mum said impatiently. “I just…he just can’t be the same person he was.”

“Well he is,” I insisted harshly. I was lying. Peter was different. He was becoming very difficult for me to read. I remembered when we were together at Hogwarts how easy it was to finish Peter’s sentences and know what he was thinking. But now he seemed more distant…even though we were closer than ever. It was a bizarre situation of feelings and I knew my Mum could sense it. So why was I denying it so hard? No, our relationship was perfect. He was fine. We were fine.

“Where is Peter living?” was the next question Mum chose. I told her that he was living on his own instead of taking up a room with Remus and Sirius.

“And his job?”

“He found a job working for the Ministry.”

“Does he work at the actual Ministry?”

“He works at an office downtown.”

“Have you seen it?”

“It’s a private office. He has a lot of work to do and he doesn’t really have time for visitors.”

“Don’t you think that’s a little…”

“Mum stop it!” I shrieked at last. “Why are you grilling me with all these questions?”

“I’m just concerned.”

“No. You’re just interested in finding a problem with my relationship!”

“I’m not trying to find a problem,” Mum answered, watching me intently. “I was just wondering how Peter was doing. I’m worried about you.”

“Why?”

“I know how hurt you were before…”

“Yeah because I broke up with him! He didn’t do anything to me.”

“Ok, I think we need another topic change,” Mum muttered hurriedly. “I’m not saying these things to make you mad. I was just wondering about your relationship.”

“Fine,” I sighed. We fell silent; our topic had changed from Peter to nothing.

“How’s Charles?” I asked, attempting to shatter the awkward silence. Mum was about to start gushing about something amazing Charles had done when there was a knock at the door. I pushed myself up from the couch and went to the door to find a smiling Peter.

“Surprise!” he said cheerfully kissing me deeply. He flew into the room, his smile fading the slightest bit when he saw Mum on the couch.

“Mrs. Potter,” he acknowledged awkwardly. “How are you?”

“I’m well,” Mum replied stiffly. I noticed that her sharp eyes were surveying Peter from head to toe.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt…” Peter started to say.

“You didn’t,” I responded wishing Mum would stop looking at Peter as she would a dangerous criminal. Luckily Mum noticed that she was making the situation uncomfortable and said,

“I think it’s about time for me to leaving anyway.” She hugged me and shook Peter’s hand stiffly before disappearing out the door. I could remember a time when Mum would hug Peter like he was part of the family. What was he now? Why was she being so strange about him? I had to push these questions from my mind because Peter asked me to out to dinner and I happily agreed.

********

“So what did your Mum want?” Peter asked me when our cups of creamy soup arrived. I didn’t answer him right away because I was too immersed in the wonderful food. Thick breadsticks hinted with garlic were just set on the table so my response was even more delayed and when I finally could speak my mouth was still violently full.

“Not much,” I glopped through the wall of bread and soup in my mouth. “Just brought some food by. She asked a lot about you.”

“Like what?” he asked sharply; his soup spoon clattering down to the dish.

“I don’t know, stupid stuff,” I answered, still more concentrated on my food than him. “Like where you were living and where you were working.”

“What did you tell her?”

“Just what I know,” I replied, looking at him. He was staring hard into my eyes. “I told her you were living on your own and that you worked at an office downtown. She just thought it was strange that I had never been to your office. I tried to tell her…”

“Why would you come to my office?” Peter asked, cutting me off.

“I don’t really care about coming to your office,” I snapped. “But I just think it would be nice to see. I mean we have this old clock at Flourish and Blotts that the manager is just going to throw out because it doesn’t match the new paint. I thought it would be nice for me to come by and find a place for it in the office.”

“Honey,” Peter said, sounding stressed. “Our office is private. They really frown upon girlfriends or anyone coming to visit. I just don’t want to get in trouble.”

“What about your apartment then?” I inquired, my Mum’s paranoid behavior rubbing off on me. “We’ve been going out again for two weeks and I’ve never seen where you live.”

“Where is all this coming from?” Peter asked, sounding like he was between annoyance and anger. “From your Mum? Did she tell you to ask me all these things?”

“No!” I insisted loudly. “I’m just curious about the life of the man I love. Sometimes you seem like a mystery to me. It’s nothing to be mad about.”

“I’m not mad,” Peter replied gently. “I want you to trust me. I need you to trust me. I’m sorry if you think I’m being mysterious.”

“Can you blame me?” I asked, taking his hand across the table.

“Well, to lay all these suspicions to rest I offer this gesture.” Peter reached into his pocket and pulled a little silver key out and set it on the table where it glimmered in the candlelight.

“What’s this?” I said quietly.

“A key to my apartment.”

********

The key shut me up. Peter wasn’t hiding anything from me. That was a ridiculous idea. What would he be hiding? He didn’t want to keep me out.

“Of course he doesn’t,” Vicky said later when I had returned from dinner. “He loves you so much and I can tell that you are happiest when you are with him. And giving you a key to his apartment is huge step. Its clear he wants to move forward.”

“You’re so right!” I agreed happily. “I want to do something for him. To make up for asking all those questions. As if I was suspecting him of something. What could I do to make up for that?”

Vicky shrugged but patted my shoulder. “Well, he surprised you with dinner maybe you could do the same. Now that you have a key you could just pop in a cook him dinner sometime.”

“That would be a great idea,” I laughed. “But I’m a terrible cook.”

“Come on Katie,” Vicky smiled, pushing a strand of her thick black hair back into its ponytail. “With magic, cooking is kind of a given. Just follow the book.”

“Fine, I’ll do it. My shift ends early next week so I can do it then. And speaking of relationships how are you and Remus doing?”

“Well,” Vicky responded, a dreamy smile playing across her lips. “He doesn’t pour the gifts and surprises on like your wonderful boy but I wouldn’t change him for the world. He is so sweet and attentive. He always knows what I’m feeling and I adore that kind of perceptiveness.”

Vicky’s words reminded me of the fact that Peter and I seemed to have lost that perceptiveness that used to shine in our relationship. It wasn’t that our relationship had become bad or anything, it was just different than it was. His eyes seemed watery; a glazed over kind of effect. I didn’t like that. It was his eyes that used to make him easy to read.

********

The next section of the week passed without much happening but I waited with anticipation for the upcoming day when I was to surprise Peter at his apartment. He got off of work at seven I knew but I found myself preparing the bag of food I was going to bring to cook around four. It must have been the anticipation that caused me to start so ridiculously early. However, it did take time to scour my kitchen to find something that would actually make a good meal. But by five thirty I had a decent idea and all the ingredients I would need. A little more than an hour later I plucked the key to Peter’s apartment from the counter and headed out the door.

********

I was tingling with excitement when I reached Peter’s door. The idea of doing something really nice for Peter for a change was comforting and exhilarating. And surprises are always fun. My hand trembled ever so slightly as I slipped the key into the lock and pushed the door open. The apartment opened right into the kitchen. It was all dark except for two candles glowing on one of the counters. I took in a deep breath. From what I could see in the faint flickers the kitchen was surprisingly nice. Expensive appliances and countertops. For a few moments it seemed that Peter had not arrived home yet, but then I heard voices coming from the room next door. I recognized Peter’s almost immediately but I couldn’t place who the second voice belonged to.

For a reason I couldn’t explain I leaned my ear against the door, perhaps I was intent on placing the second voice before proceeding into the room. I took another deep breath as I listened in the dark room.

“I’m still too nervous.” That was Peter talking. His voice seemed lower and firmer than I had ever heard it.

“You’re getting better. And he knows it. He saw what you did and he liked that. He didn’t think you had it in you. But you showed him that even you are capable of that kind of thing. It was something he needed to know.” That was the other guy’s voice. It had a melodious quality but it had a dark and dangerous sound to it; the melodious quality seemed like a cover up; a mask over the true voice.

“I’m still scared. Scared to disappoint him.”

“We are all scared of that. All the time. It’s natural. The only thing that’s important is the fact that you’ve moved up in his eyes.”

“Hold on a sec.”

Before I could react or even blink the door I was leaning against was pulled open and I was face to face with a shocked Peter.

“Katie?” he sputtered, looking at me as if I was a ghost. I could think of nothing else to do but to pull myself into his arms and pray he didn’t think I was spying on him.

“Surprise!” I called, forcing pleasure into my voice. I held up the bag of ingredients in his face. “I made you dinner.” I paused as I slipped by him and entered the room. “I just didn’t realize that you had company.”

The room was beautiful. It was small and cozy but in an elegant way. There was a small, wooden table in the center with two chairs pushed next to it. There was an ornate green rug laid out over the floor; directly under the table. There was an intricately patterned chandelier hanging in the center of the room. It cast shadows and shimmers throughout the entire room. One of the chairs was pushed away from the table from when Peter got up to inspect who had been spying on him. In the other chair was seated a man who I couldn’t keep my eyes off of.

He had a completely smooth face. No wrinkles, no facial hair, no blemishes. His skin was surprisingly shiny though and it looked as if it was stretched tightly across his skull. He had a lot of golden hair atop his head and bright blue eyes that had the same watery effect that Peter’s had seemed to have developed. He was dressed in casual black robes and I noticed a hat in the corner that I assumed belonged to him. There were plates on the table with scraps of food left from the dinner that had obviously just been finished. The man in the chair had just poured himself another glass of wine as I moved past Peter and came into the room.

“Katie,” Peter said, coming up behind me and leading me closer to the blonde man, who had risen to his feet. “This is Gallgrin Nott.” I shook Nott’s hand gently. Somehow his hand was warm and cold at the same time.

“It’s good to meet you,” I tried, finding my voice meek and hard to elevate. “How do you know Peter?”

“Oh, we work together,” Nott replied in a lazy tone, smirking as he looked me up and down. “Worm…Peter never told me that he was…involved with anyone.”

“I’m sure I must have mentioned it at least three times,” Peter called hurriedly from behind me. I was still clutching the bag of food to my chest. The air in the room was filled with awkwardness. I shifted on my feet in my discomfort.

“Its nice to meet someone that Peter works with for once. I was beginning to think that his job didn’t really exist.” I meant the comment to be a pure joke but neither Gallgrin or Peter even cracked a smile.

“And its nice to meet Peter’s…ah…girlfriend,” Nott said silkily. I didn’t like when he smiled at me.

“I’ve never really seen much in romantic relationships,” Nott continued; he was starting into Peter’s eyes as he spoke these words. “Someone almost always ends up…getting hurt.” I looked over my shoulder to see Peter’s reaction to this. He swallowed hard and refused to meet my eyes.

I squeezed the bag in my arms.

“Well,” I nearly whispered. “I am clearly interrupting and you both have already eaten. I suppose I should be off.”

“Don’t be silly,” Nott drawled; it sounded as if he had never said the word silly in his entire life. “I believe I have overstayed my welcome anyway. Our dinner is complete and I need to be leaving anyway. It was a pleasure to meet you…Katie. Peter, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

And with that he swept up his hat and exited the room. I watched him leave and then turned my gaze to Peter. I dropped the bag on the floor and folded my arms across my chest. Peter started talking first.

“Katie, what are you doing here?”

“Well,” I started. “I wanted to throw you a surprise dinner. You gave me your key and I thought it would be alright. I didn’t know you were going to have a guest.”

“It’s alright,” Peter smiled. “You’re really sweet.” I grinned as he kissed me. So he wasn’t angry that I had been “spying” on him. And why should he be? It was an accident.

“That Nott guy is rather creepy isn’t he?” I stated making my way over to the table. “All that relationship stuff. Have you ever met a guy who needed a hug more?” Once again I was making a joke but Peter’s face hardened immediately.

“He is a great man,” he declared sharply. “He helped me when I had no one else.”

“And when was this?” I inquired.

“He was there when I was…with the Death Eaters.”

“He was a prisoner too?”

“…yes. He helped me survive everything that we were put through. He’s the reason why I’m standing here today.”

“So you two are close?”

“Yes.”

“What was it that you were talking about before you…discovered me? It sounded pretty serious.” Peter eyes went to the floor.

“It was nothing.”

“Don’t do this Peter,” I insisted going to him and wrapping my arms around his neck. “Let me help you. How long is it going to take for us to be honest with each other?”

“I am being honest,” he answered in a strained and stressed voice. “Katie, those were the some of the…some of the…they were times when things I can’t even explain happened to me. Have faith in my love. Trust me.”

“I do trust you and your love,” I declared. “But there are just some things I need to know. And this felt like one of them.”

“If I tell you, you’ll never look at me in the same way. You’ll be disgusted with me.”

“Never. Don’t shut me out. I want to help. Trust me Peter.”

There was a small cushioned bench at the other end of the room and Peter took my hands and lead me over to it. We sat down quietly and he looked deep into my eyes. He began to speak, the words just falling from his mouth; I doubted he was even thinking about the words before they reached his mouth. He told me how he had first figured out who had performed the raid on his house and killed his father. There was a reason why he had been gone so long. This kind of thing took tracking and research.

“I realized that even though my father was a grievance in my life, I still had loved him. And I was still angry that he had been taken from me. I always thought I had the chance to make things better between us. But that chance was taken from me and I was left just feeling empty. When I found the guy…who…who had killed him I…”

“Peter what?” His face got red.

“I killed him Katie. I killed him. It was an honest duel and everything but he’s DEAD! He murdered my father like he was an animal so I did the SAME TO HIM! IT WAS WHAT HE DESERVED!”

Peter shuddered and buried his face away. He curled up, bringing up his legs to his chest; his cheeks wet with tears.

I didn’t know what to say but there was really only one thing to do. I put my arms around him and leaned my head against his. I don’t know if it helped but we didn’t move for a long time; my dinner forgotten on the ground.

I didn’t realize then that this was only a small part of the story.

********

In October there was a big ceremony held at Hogwarts for the admittance of new professors, and Remus was among them. Naturally our entire force got together, dressed up, and prepared to spend our evening at Hogwarts.

We arrived in the early evening a little before dinner. We all wanted some time to wander the castle and visit some old places and greet old friends who had found their way back for another time. A few other students from our year were also becoming professors so it was nice to see them again. Remus was so nervous it was adorable. He was requested to give the speech at the ceremony. After a delicious dinner of cheesy chicken and potatoes Remus gave his inspiring and encouraging speech to all the professors, old and new. It was interesting to see all the professors again. Most hadn’t changed but somehow they seemed different when we weren’t in school anymore. After the speech dessert was served and James proposed a closing toast.

“This one is for Remus,” he said happily. “For becoming the best professor that will ever walk these halls. “

“And he already knows all the pranks his students can possibly play on him,” Sirius laughed, putting up his glass. We all clinked our classes and whispered congrats to Remus.

“Since everyone is in such a great mood,” Lily grinned. “I think I’ll throw another log on the fire.”

We all turned to look at her.

“I’m pregnant! I’m going to have a baby!”

*******

And that is the end of chapter twenty! Ow! I got some pretty vicious sun burn today and its killing me. Shhhh don’t tell my mom. She told me I didn’t have enough sun block on and I HATE it when she’s right. So I worked through the pain and produced this hoping that you really liked it!!! I hope you had fun and I’ll see you when She’s In Love With the Rat turns 21!

Love you all!
-Kira

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