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The Feelings Mutual by KristenBlack

Format: Novel
Chapters: 104
Word Count: 363,554
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature, Substance Use or Abuse, Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme, Contains Spoilers

Genres: Drama, Humor, Romance
Characters: Dumbledore, Lupin, McGonagall, Slughorn, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew, Voldemort, OC
Pairings: Sirius/OC, James/Lily, James/OC, OC/OC, Remus/OC

First Published: 11/21/2005
Last Chapter: 08/12/2011
Last Updated: 08/12/2011

Summary:
Kristen's a muggle, and yet, is unbenownst friend to a wizard, named James Potter. When she is thrusted into his world she gets mixed in with the battle against Voldermort, teen drama, and a certain arrogant, playboy named Sirius Black. Through it all, Kristen vows to never fall for the boy so many girls had succembed to. Well, at least not for a while. Wonderful banner done by Violet!


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Chapter 1: Prolouge : My memories are for the taking
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I cannot plead for all of you to be gentle when reviewing this time for this is now my second fan fiction story. Now, I know you clicked on this story to hear of a Sirius/OC romance but I must get this prologue out of the way. After this chapter it will be strictly that time period, although there might be an occasional intrusion from the present, I’m not quite sure yet. Oh, and I do not own Harry Potter, I am but a humble writer who can think of nothing better to do with my time except write. I really hope you like this chapter! Enjoy!
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Silence had enveloped number twelve Grimauld place on the evening of the 4th of August. Harry idly scooted around the various foods on his plate. He really was not in the mood to eat them. Not to mention that since Tonks had cooked this it was likely to come alive at any moment. He wished she had stayed, even though it would have meant he would have had to eat her food in order to not offend her. She would have kept him entertained though, her clumsiness and happy self the ever life of the room. But no, she had only stopped by to chat with Lupin and a few other members of the order and do her share and make a nice meal for them. Well, maybe nice wasn’t the right word…

He had expected it to be exciting to come back to Grimauld place, head quarters of the famous ‘Order of the Phoenix’. In all reality though, it was quite dull. They had point blank refused to let him join even though he was of age. They said he at least needed to finish school. He had insisted that he was not even going back though but that had been the wrong thing to say. It seemed every one at once began to shout at him for that decision and that he still needed protection, seventeen or no. Needless to say he had quickly withdrawn his comment. But then he was in the same position as before, at least in fifth year he had had his friends there with them.

In a way, he was almost glad they were not there. Yes, it was boring but it also gave him time to sort out various issues in his life at the moment. Although, now that he though about it, Ron and Hermione’s voice would come in handy during the process of that. He sighed, now wishing they were there. The whole of the Weasley clan was busy at the burrow, preparing for the upcoming wedding of Fleur Delacour and Bill Weasley. He had been invited there but he had declined on the pretenses that the youngest of the Weasley’s was to be there. He wasn’t really sure if he could handle seeing her again just yet. His mind then drifted on to the girl that had caused so much mayhem in his fourth year, what with all the tragic love triangle stories printed in the witch weekly and such. Hermione, easily the brains behind the operation. She, like most in the wizarding world, had taken Dumbledore’s death as a sign that the final battle was near. She wanted to spend this time with her parents and the rest of her family. Harry really couldn’t blame her, much as wanted to, if he had had a decent family he would be with them too.

The Dursley’s were far from decent though. His last month there had been Hell. It wasn’t quite for the reasons you’d think though. It seemed during his stay at Hogwarts Petunia and Vernon had gotten into some disagreements. By July they were on their wits end. It happened on July 6th, Petunia just left, no bags or anything. Harry had gone with her, feeling pity for the woman even if she had treated him like vermin for the first sixteen years of his life. Dudley didn’t even give a second thought to who he was staying with, his dad, the one who was able to make more money and afford to get him more things. The day she had tried to call and just see how he was he had hung up on her, simply seeing no use for her anymore. As Harry tried to comfort a sobbing Petunia he nearly held as much hate for Dudley as he did for that little rat Peter, which was indeed saying something.

It was only when they were in a hotel just outside of London that Petunia told Harry something that truly shocked him. She was a witch. She was so ashamed when she got her letter though, for she had always made fun of Lily for being a freak. She had simply torn up her letter and her family had been non the wiser. That’s why she was here know, at number twelve Grimauld place, taking some simple spell classes from any member of the order willing to, which was three: Tonks, Lupin, and Mcgonagall. Not many others had sympathy for her, not after what she had done to Harry. He had tried to convince them though that he did not hold her accountable for what she had done, it had been her husband’s doing, threatening her into hating Harry with a passion.

So they had been there for the past week. He felt somewhat guilty that he had left Privet drive after what Dumbledore said. Although, he had to admit, when his birthday had rolled around he had been immensely happy that he was at Grimauld place instead of Privet drive. What made it an exceptionally meaningful occasion was that Petunia was actually there. Then there was the clan of Weasleys and Hermione along with what seemed the entire Order. They had made his party exceptionally meaningful, as it was his coming of age. He celebrated by doing any non-lethal spell just because he could with a clear conscience. After the party though, there had been silence again, for everyone had left to go back to their homes and Harry was left just as bored as ever.

He put his unfinished plate by the sink and began to walk to the living room. When he was by the entryway and about ready to cross it though he heard voices. He instantly stopped. Yes, he was a bit ashamed of eaves dropping, especially at the age of seventeen. ‘They had it coming,’ Harry thought sardonically. ‘If they won’t tell me what’s going on I’ll use my own methods to figure it out.’

He heard Remus’s voice, lowered to a whisper. “Are you sure? I’m not quite sure how he’ll take it.”

A feminine voice answered, “It’s not like he will be angry, is it? If anything it would delight him. He has not met too many people that know them like I did. Only you, Sirius, and Peter,” she said, the last name uttered with detest.

“I don’t think people would want him knowing though. Voldermort attempts to enter his mind much to often to disclose information such as this to him. You could be putting yourself in danger.” Lupin warned quietly.

Harry then realized they were talking about him, although he had suspected earlier. Big headed as it sounded though, when were they not talking about him? He continued to listen, hoping to hear what was supposed to make him feel happy or sad or in between or just some sort of feeling.

“But Remus, I feel terrible keeping him in the dark about it all. You know I’ve wanted to tell him for the past three years about everything! You know now I’ve more reason that ever!” She pleaded with him.

Harry listened as Remus sighed and murmured, “I know you’ll make the right decision. I’ve missed you, you know. A lot actually, it seems like a long time since I’ve seen any of my old friends.”

“I’ve missed you too. I miss the days when we were all carefree teenagers, running around Hogwarts. It’s a shame Harry never truly got to experience that.” She had replied, her voice slightly muffled by something.

“You go wait in the living room, I’ll go get Harry. I believe he is still in the kitchen.” Lupin instructed. Harry instantly backed away when he heard this and made it look like he was just then strolling their way.

“Hello Lupin,” Harry greeted, trying hard to look innocent.

It appeared that he had fooled Lupin. “Hello,” he replied with a nod of his head. “Would you mind coming with me?” He asked. Harry shook his head in compliance and followed Lupin into the living room where an extremely beautiful woman was sitting on the couch, casually leaning back with her legs crossed. She instantly sat up when she saw the pair of them, her green eyes wide and bright with excitement.

“Harry, I would like you to meet Kristen St.Claire.” He introduced her. The woman stood up to shake his hand, revealing just how long her flowing blonde hair truly was.

“It’s nice to meet you Mrs. St.Claire,” Harry said politely, returning her handshake.

“Ms. St.Claire,” she corrected with a smile. “Oh Harry, I know you tire of hearing this but I must tell you. You look just like James. Your eyes though, those are dear Lily’s.” She said, tears brimming her eyes. “I’m sorry Harry,” She apologized quickly. “I have seen you from afar but not until just then did I truly realize how you are like them so much!” She wiped away the few tears that had managed to escape her eyes.

“I suppose I will leave you two to get to it then,” Lupin said, beginning to leave the room.

“Don’t you dare Remus John Lupin! You know I need you to tell parts of the story, particularly the parts he was too embarrassed to ever tell me.” She snapped, causing his to smile and sit in a chair by the couch.

“Same temper as ever,” Lupin mumbled with a small laugh.

“What parts of what story?” Harry asked inquisitively. “And who is he.”

“The story of my childhood, I guess that’s what you would call it,” she said, looking towards Lupin, as if hoping he would confirm this. He just shrugged his shoulders, which was really of no help to her. “And as to who he is, that would be Sirius Black.” She said wistfully. “You know, I remember how he always used to complain about this house, how it was always so dark and dreary. I have to admit I agree. Mrs. Weasley did clean it up quite well but as long as his memory lives here it will never be able to be a happy place.” She sighed and turned to Harry, who had now seated himself on the other end of the couch.

“I know what you mean,” he agreed dismally.

“Come now! Let’s not dampen the spirits! Yes, I know you two miss him, more that all the others, but he would want up to remember the happy times. More specifically the times he did not embarrass himself I suppose but he’s just going to have to deal with that,” Lupin said jovially, encouraging them to not let themselves be drawn into misery.

“You’re right Remus,” Kristen agreed, putting on a cheerful face once again.

“So, I take it you knew my parents well,” Harry said, having gathered that from the conversations between her and Lupin.

“Oh yes Harry, we were all very good friends, I doubt you could find a closer bunch. Except perhaps the little wonder trio you have going,” She said, flashing him a bright grin. Harry laughed at this, having heard that term quite often over the past few months. “Your father and I were very close, your mother was also my best friend although she detested the very fact that I even associated myself with that ‘big-headed Potter boy’ as she so affectionately named him. In the end though she accepted that the maurders were my friends, except Sirius that is.”

“Except Sirius? Why?” Harry inquired of her.

“You could say we had… difficulty expressing or selves without resorting to violence,” she said slowly as she thought on it.

“Difficulty?” Lupin scoffed. “If you two were in the same room for too long you would both end up in the hospital wing! One time I actually got caught in the middle of it and was out for a week.”

Kristen sighed, obviously having gone over this with him many times before, “Look Lupin, it was an accident. We both apologized! Besides, it’s been more that two decades! You should really get over it and stop bringing it up anytime you want to make me feel guilty.”

“Wow, you two must have hated each other!” Harry marveled, laughing at how she had scolded Lupin.

“We had our reasons,” She said quickly, defending herself.

“Like what?” Harry laughed.

Kristen smiled and said, “I’ll have to start from the very beginning just so that you can truly appreciate just how much I hated him. I had known James since as long as I could remember…” Kristen started, happy to share her memories.
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Please Review. Especially if you are a fellow author because then you know how good it feel to get reviews. I really appreciate feedback; it helps me to know that you actually care about what’s going to happen. Oh, and feel free to write something that you think I should do better because believe it or not I actually pay attention to what you write.


Chapter 2: The Private School
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Well, I was hoping to give you an interesting chapter and there are some points in here that enjoyed writing but otherwise… well I suppose you can be the judge. Please review, believe me, I know there will be something you want to correct in here. I do pay attention to suggestions unlike some authors. Now, onto the story…
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Mr. Potter worked in the muggles relation office, meaning that he dealt with their kind all of the time. He quickly befriended one, as they shared many interests. Both of them liked to golf and play cards and a number of other things. Occasionally these families would get together for dinner and get to know one another. One other thing they had in common was that they were both due to become first time parents in a matter of months.

The Potters son came first, an always-smiling baby they named James. The St.Claire’s also expected a son but to their surprise they received a daughter just a few short weeks later. They named this mysterious little girl Kristen.

Throughout there childhood Kristen and James remained the best of friends. James never let on that he had magical powers to her, though he so desperately wanted to. It was a real challenge, considering she was nearly always over at his house, cooking up some mischief with him.

No one even suspected that she had magic powers until their going away party. The last year of James’s school in the muggle world had just ended, in 1 short month James would be on his way to Hogwarts. Mr. And Mrs. Potter decided to take them to London for a day to do whatever they pleased as a sort of good-bye present for each of them.

As they were walking down the crowded streets of London, Kristen pointed out a dingy looking building. “Look at that old pub, The Leaky cauldron? It’s amazing that a place like that could stay in business!” Kristen said to the people she considered family. She expected them to agree but instead they stared at her like she had sprouted extra arms. “What?” She asked timidly.

“You can see that place?” Emily Potter asked tentatively.

“Well yeah,” She responded, quite confused. “It’s not like I’m blind.”

“Come with me,” Andrew said, taking her hand and leading her into the pub. Once inside he led them to a table and they all sat down, still staring open mouthed at Kristen. “Did you know that you were a witch?”

“A what?” She asked disbelievingly.

“A witch,” James repeated excitedly, he had always wished that he could share his gift with her.

“If you guys are trying to pull some kind of prank on me…” Kristen said skeptically.

“Do you have your wand James?” Andrew asked his son. They had gotten him a wand only a few days ago. James pulled it out from inside his jacket and handed it to Kristen who held it as if it meant nothing.

“Now all I want you to do is flick the wand and say Lumos!” Andrew explained.

Even though she was very weary of it all she did as she was told. “Lumos!” she said half-heartedly. The end of the wand ignited and the wand tip gave off a feeble amount of light. She threw down the wand in shock where it continued to give off light. “Nox!” Emily said when she picked up the wand, causing the light to go out.

“See,” Andrew said ecstatically. “You are a witch! You just did a spell!”

Kristen’s breathing was shallow for a minute, and then she fainted into James’s lap.

* * *

“Kristen! Kristen wake up!” James shouted, as he held up her head.

“Where am I?” She asked, grabbing her head as she felt the presence of a massive headache.

“Your at my house,” he explained, gesturing around to the familiarities of it. “You’ve been out for nearly an hour.”

She sat up and took in her surroundings. She noticed things that weren’t there the last time she had visited. The pictures were actually moving! And she noticed that Mr. Potter was talking to a head in the fire!

She lay back down again; it was too much for her. “It wasn’t a dream, was it?”

“Nope,” James replied. “You should be more excited! I don’t understand why you think this is so bad. I mean, it’s not everyday you find out you can do magic!

“It’s just hard to accept all right,” She said angrily. “How would you feel if all of a sudden your world turned upside down and you realized you were something more than you were used to? Huh? You’ve apparently grown up around magic your whole life!” She was now standing up and pacing the room.

“Calm down, Kristen! It’s all right,” Emily said soothingly as she walked over to them.

“All right? All right?” She said hysterically. “You know how religious my parents are! What will they do when they find out that I’m magic?”

“Don’t worry about them, it’s not as if they are going to be the one’s to teach you magic! That’s why you’re going to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry. Your letter just arrived. I wonder how Dumbledore knew you were here.” Andrew said, handing a thick wad of papers to her. She took them gingerly and slowly opened it.

“‘Dear Miss St.Claire, we are please to inform you that you have been accepted to Hogwarts School of witchcraft and wizardry!’ What the bloody hell is this?” Kristen asked, not caring in the least that she had just swore in front of the adults.

“It’s the proof I know you need to believe that you are a witch,” Emily said.

“What if I don’t want to be a witch? What if I want to stay normal? What if I want to stay in my parents good graces?” Kristen shouted.

“Well, you don’t have to go if you don’t want to,” Emily said. “But being trained in magic is very useful.”

“Just let me think about it,” Kristen said. “Mr. Potter will you please take me home.”

“Sure dear,” he answered as he picked up a small key from the side table and tapped it with his wand. “We’ll go by Portkey, it’ll save us a half hour drive. Just hold onto it.” Kristen wearily grabbed onto it. Within a matter of seconds she was on the ground in front of her house. “If you do change your mind, just give us a call. We’re here for you Kristen don’t forget it. Oh, and here is you letter,” he said. When Kristen had taken the letter from him he vanished with a single pop. She shook her head, quite unsure of what to do.

“Mum! Dad! I’m home!” She shouted when she opened the door.

“Did you have a good time dear?” Her mom asked, entering from the kitchen.

“Yes,” she said hesitantly. “I got accepted to James’s private school!” She burst out suddenly. She had no idea where it had even come from! That was just the first thing that popped into her mind.

“I didn’t even know you applied to go to any type of school. I thought you were fine with the idea of going to the local junior high.” Her mom said, drying her hands on a dishtowel.

Kristen paused for a moment, unsure of why she had burst out like that. “James is my best friend so I wanted to do all I could to stay with him,” she said, relaying off the only truth part in her story.

“Well I’ll have to talk about with Mr. Potter first. What’s the name of the school again?” Her mother asked.

“Leonardo’s school for the uh…gifted,” Kristen answered, struggling to remember the name James and his family had originally given her. “Mr. Potter is going to take me to get all my school stuff, if it was all right with you in the first place of course.”

“Well why don’t your father and I take you?” Her mother inquired, almost sadly.

“No!” Kristen shouted. “I mean, the exact place you have to get your stuff is in a remote part of the country so he said it would be easier if he took me. It will save you a lot of time Mum.” Kristen said hurriedly. “And he’s willing to take me all the way to the school even.”

“I’ll talk about it with your father.” Her mother said skeptically, wondering why Kristen was on pins and needles. “Now go and wash up, dinner will be ready in a couple of minutes.”

Kristen bounded up the stairs, not believing what she had just done. She had never lied to her parents about something this big. When she reached her room she quickly picked up the phone and punched in James’s number.

“Hello,” Mr. Potter answered.

“It’s Kristen. Look, I told my parents that I’m going to James’s school but…” Kristen began.

“That’s wonderful! I’ll be right over!” He said. There was a click on the other end of the phone.

Kristen gapped at the phone for a moment, quite unsure of what to do. She then dropped her phone and hurried downstairs. “I’ve got to go outside for a moment mum, I’ll be right back!” she yelled to her startle mother as she rushed out the door. She quickly slammed it behind her and jumped at the sight of Mr. Potter already standing there.

“What’s wrong Kristen?” He asked worriedly, gripping her shoulder. “Perhaps we should go inside.” He suggested, reaching for the door.

“No!” She yelled she put her body over the door. “You can’t speak with them!”

“Why? I thought you said they were fine with the idea of it?” Mr. Potter asked confusedly.

“Well, you see, they don’t really know what they teach at Leonardo’s school for the gifted,” Kristen explained slowly. When Mr. Potter continued to look too bewildered for words she continued. “I just told them that I got accepted to James’s private school. I know they won’t let me go if they know they teach magic. My mum wanted to talk with you about it though.”

Mr. Potter sighed and ran his fingers through what remained of his dwindling hair. “This is not good Kristen. You shouldn’t lie to your parent’s like this.”

“I know! But like you and Mrs. Potter said, I could see where it could come in handy and that I truly am lucky to be blessed with this.” Kristen said. “Please, just call my parents or something and schedule a dinner and explain to them what Leonardo’s school is all about.”

Mr. Potter wasn’t ready to give in though. “When you finally tell them it is only going to make it worse though. You do realize that don’t you?” He inquired.

“I just hope they love me enough by then,” Kristen answered. “Hopefully they’ll accept me just the same.”

The aging man smiled and pulled her into a hug. He had always seen her as the daughter he never had. “I suppose I’ll go with your plan then. I’ll call in an hour or so to plan the ‘dinner’.” He then kissed her on the cheek and said, “Be careful not to let anything slip.” He then disappeared once again with a small pop.

Kristen walked back into her house, marveling at what she was doing. “Come Kristen, it’s time for dinner!” Her father called from the dining room. She quickly made her way in there and sat down at her usual spot, her mother to her right and father to her left with her 5-year-old twin sisters across from her. She instinctively put her hands out for grace and her parent’s grabbed on. “Would you like to say grace Kristen?” Her father asked.

Kristen nodded her head and then closed her eyes with the rest of the family. “Dear Lord, Thank you for this good food you have laid before us. On this night I pray for acceptance and for forgiveness. I pray that they understand my intentions and that they do not turn against me,” Kristen said passionately. Both her parents opened their eyes and looked at her inquisitively. They knew she had a habit for making things more dramatic; including prayers before supper but this was a bit extreme. “Please let them someday understand me and still love me. In Jesus name I pray, Amen,” she concluded, opening her eyes.

“Honey, is there something you wish to tell us?” Her mother asked slowly, looking at her with concerned eyes.

“No,” Kristen answered happily. “Please pass the chicken mummy,” she asked as she held out her hands. Her mother did as she was asked but she was still confused. The rest of the dinner went like that. Kristen was extremely upbeat while her parent’s continued to stare at her and remain silent. Just as dinner was nearing an end the phone began to ring. Mr. St.Claire stood up and made his way to it.

“St. Clair residence,” He answered. “Andrew! Good to hear from you! Thank you for taking my daughter to London today, I’m sure she enjoyed it.” There was a pause. “Yes my wife told me about the private school. I do want the best for my Kristen but I’m not sure of tuition.” Another pause. “Is that so? Yes well, dinner next week would be very nice. Monsters or no?” He asked. That was a joke between himself and Andrew, referring to their trouble making kids. “Well James can stay at our house this time and I’ll get a baby sitter. I see you on Monday. Good-bye.” He said, ending their conversation. He hung up the phone with a soft click and announced, “The Potters invited us for dinner Valerie. We decided on no kids this time.” He said, returning to his spot at the table. Kristen smiled; here was the first step to getting to Hogwarts. Soon, she would be with James in a world of magic.
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I’m sorry this chapter was so dull, I really am! The next chapter will have James so it should be more interesting. If things go according to plan Sirius will appear in Chapter 4. Yes, I know you want to throw rotten tomatoes at me but I promise that the next chapter should begin the interesting stuff. Until next time…Kristen Black

Chapter 3: Talking with James
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All right, I’m extremely sorry once again for this chapter! I really try to make them interesting but filler chapters are really hard for me. I hope you like it though; there are one or two parts that I think are at least somewhat funny. Well I guess I’ll let you be the judge.
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The next week, Kristen couldn’t stop moving. She literally couldn’t stay in one place without moving some part of herself. It was all her pent up nervousness. She was constantly afraid she would let it slip what Leonardo’s school for the gifted truly was or that her little sisters would get into her room and find her letter to Hogwarts. It seemed like every time the word magic was uttered on the radio or on TV she would notice it. Half the time, she had only imagined hearing it out of fright. At one point her mother had actually commented on it.

“Kristen, what has gotten into you lately? It seems you can’t stay in one place!” Mrs. St.Claire exclaimed, a small laugh being heard as she watched her daughter pace the length of the living room.

“I’m not jumpy! What are you talking about? Of course I have no reason to be jumpy! What are you accusing me of? I didn’t do anything wrong, I promise! I swear it was the twins! Whatever happened it was them! I know it! My gosh, stop accusing me!” Kristen shouted at her mother in hysteria on Thursday evening. She then ran up the stairs, leaving her mother to gape at her as she took them two or three steps at a time.

What made it exceptionally difficult though, was that since she couldn’t wait to see James it just seemed to drag on. Every minute seemed to last an eternity to her. Her parent’s found her staring at the clock, willing it to go faster, several times that week. They would just look at each other and shrug their shoulders. Their daughter had always been a bit…different, was the word they had agreed on. Sometimes odd things happened while she was around, things simply unexplainable.

Finally, after seven days of agony, the ring of the doorbell that she had been waiting for all week was heard. “I’ll get it!” Kristen shouted excitedly, sprinting towards the door. She opened it quickly to see her best friend standing there, a wide grin on his face as always. “James!” She shouted, pulling him to a hug.

“I can’t believe how long it’s been! I mean a whole week!” He replied sarcastically during their hug.

She backed away from him and said, “You’re stuck with me for a whole night on my turf! I wouldn’t be rude if I were you.” She warned with a mischievous grin; the very same one that had scared away nearly twenty different baby sisters over the past eleven years.

“Let’s go inside children,” Mrs. Potter beckoned, feeling a raindrop hit her arm. They did as they were told and ran into the living room.

The teenage girl looked up from her magazine when she heard their footsteps. Her jaw dropped when she saw James there with Kristen. “You didn’t tell me I was watching them both!” She shouted suddenly, standing up.

“Well, we really needed someone to watch them and we figured if we told you we would have to hire a professional instead,” Valerie St.Claire admitted sheepishly as she entered the living room.

“You’re right! I wouldn’t have! As a matter of fact, I’m going to leave right now!” She yelled, storming out of the house. Kristen and James just turned to each other and smiled evilly. They had had so much fun torturing her the last time she had baby-sat.

“Oh wonderful! What are we to do now that the little terrors have scared off another one?” Mr. St.Clair asked irritably.

“We could watch Bridget and Belle mum,” Kristen suggested. James nodded his head in agreement.

All the adults turned their heads to look at her questioningly. They then turned back to one another as if nothing had happened and began to discuss possible options. “I’m serious!” Kristen said, offended by their lack of interest in her idea.

“You two alone in my house? Absolutely not!” Her mother responded.

“We won’t be alone. The twins will be here,” James corrected smartly.

“You know Valerie, they are eleven now, they could probably handle the responsibility,” Emily pointed out, shaking her ginger hair out of her face. “If we promise to pay them as regular baby sitters then perhaps they would behave themselves.”

“Yes! Money is good!” Kristen agreed quickly.

James was quick to back her up. “I want money!”

Valerie looked at Kristen and James, to the twins that were playing on their pretend pianos, to her precious paintings that lined the walls. “All right,” she agreed slowly. “But if one thing is out of place when I get back so help me neither of you will live to see your twelfth birthday,” she said threateningly. She then fixed her shawl regally and allowed her husband to lead her out of the house behind the Potter’s.

They stared at the door in pure shock. They hadn’t actually expected it to work. Yes, they had stayed at her house alone plenty of times before, but it usually had only been for a few minutes and even then her little sisters hadn’t been there. When they had been standing in the same spot for a few moments they realized their parent’s weren’t going to come back through the door and say that they were only joking.

“I can’t believe they seriously trust us!” James said in awe, still staring at the door.

Kristen just smiled and turned around to her sisters, who were now looking longingly at the door, praying that there mother hadn’t truly left them all alone with their older sister. When they saw the look on Kristen’s face the immediately began screaming and ran from the room.

“You my friend, have a gift,” James praised, adding to it a flowing bow. “I wish I had little sibling to torture. I guess yours will have to do.” He said sadly.

“By all means, take them! The little monsters are all yours!” She said quickly.

“I thought we were the ‘little monsters’.” James responded almost unhappily, walking into the kitchen to get a soda.

“Well someone’s going to have to take over while we’re away,” Kristen explained with a smile whilst following him.

“True, true,” he responded. He opened the refrigerator and got out two sodas, one for each of them. He handed one to her and then opened his own.

Kristen then led him over to the kitchen table and sat down. “So tell me James, what’s Hogwarts all about? I’ve been dying to know!” She said truthfully, taking a swig from her soda.

“Well, to start with, as soon as you get there you are sorted into three different houses,” James explained. “There’s Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor. Hufflepuff is for the really nice people so naturally neither of us will be in that one.” James said with a grin. “Ravenclaw is there for the brainiacs. I could be in that one but you really have no hope,” James said, earning him a sarcastic smile. “The last is definitely the best. Gryffindor, house of the greatest wizard alive! Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts. That house if for the daring and loyal and brave ones. As you would expect I’m destined to be in that house. You though…” He contemplated slowly. “You know it might just be better if you didn’t go, I don’t think they’d have a house for you.”

“You, James Andrew Potter, are my best friend! You shouldn’t speak to me that way! Not to mention the fact that you should always be polite to girls,” Kristen scolded him.

“Well it’s a very good thing I’m not talking to girl, now isn’t it?” James asked with a smirk.

“I’ll sick the twins on you, don’t think I won’t!” She threatened. James just laughed and took another drink. “So, tell me more. Are there sports? Is there a football team? What’s our mascot? Are the classes hard? What are the teachers like?” She rambled on, her excitement evident in the speed at which she was talking.

“Calm down Kristen! It’s not like I’ve been there you know so I have no idea what the teachers are like and I don’t really know if it is all to hard.” James laughed.

“Well what about the sports? What about football? And a mascot! I love mascots!” She exclaimed, her eyes bright and her cheeks red with energy.

“To start off, almost no one is even going to know what football is,” James said slowly, knowing this would set her off.

“No football? What kind of place is this?” She shouted in hysteria. “Football is the best sport in the world! You know that! How can I live with out it?” She cried dramatically, throwing herself upon the table.

“You’ll live for Quiditch,” James informed her with a smirk. “Trust me, you’ll love it even more than football.”

“How can you say that?” Kristen hissed.

James just laughed; he should have known this would happen. Kristen had played football since the age of three, all though he didn’t know if you could actually count that as they usually just picked up the ball and chucked it at the other players. When they could actually understand the rules though she had been the best. It seemed she got every award possible on their team! “Look, you’ll just play during the summer.”

Kristen just crossed her arms and mumbled something that remained inaudible to James. He just laughed again at her anger. “And as for the mascot, I’m not all too sure we have one.”

“Oh great! No football and no mascot? What kind of place is this?” She asked, sounding more angered than she truly was.

“It’s a place to learn magic, play quiditch, and cause mischief,” answered James, a twinkle residing in his eyes.

“What is quiditch anyways?” The girl with long blond hair asked irritably.

“Only the best sport known to man kind!” he shouted excitedly. He then went into the details and rules of the game, luring her in.

“Wow,” she stated in awe. “A game played fifty feet off the ground! Sounds fun,” She mused with a sardonic smile. “I guess I can give it a chance. I don’t care how cool it is though, it will never even come close to football!”

“Fair enough,” The messy haired boy chuckled. “So where are the new little monsters? I haven’s seen them in awhile.”

Kristen was silent, apparently listening for something. “I don’t know…” she stated slowly, standing up and creeping out of the kitchen. She crept up the stairs, listening for any noise. She stopped by her door and pressed her ear up against it. James watched her eyes form into slits. Kristen then quickly opened the door, revealing two little five-year-olds that were in the process of trying to read some kind of letter. “You little twits!” Their enraged older sister bellowed. They both looked up in shock, their faces the picture of horror.

“We’re sorry!” They said in unison, dropping the letter to the ground. It was only then that Kristen saw which letter it was, her acceptance letter to Hogwarts.

The fuming eleven-year-old advanced upon them, looking as if she could kill. “How much did you read?” She asked menacingly.

“Only the part that said you were going to a school to be a witch,” Belle admitted, her head bowed to the floor.

“And that it was called Hogwarts,” Bridget added on, shuffling her feet in an attempt to look innocent. This didn’t work on Kristen though; she had become immune to their little act.

“I can’t believe you two snooped around in my room!” Kristen bellowed, her face turning a bright crimson.

“Uh, Kristen, they’ve got blackmail on you. I would be trying to get on their good side right now,” James whispered to her.

Kristen stopped her fuming and thought. James was right, they had the perfect weapon against her, but they didn’t even know it! Maybe she could some how get out of this. “Hey guys, you know that was just some prank letter James sent me. You can go ahead and read the rest, I don’t care.” Kristen brushed off, attempting to look calm. “I’m sorry I yelled at you two, I was just surprised, you scared me.” She lied to them.

The twins looked at each other, obviously sensing that something wasn’t right. “Are you really a witch?” Bridget asked timidly, not fully believing what her sister had said.

“Oh, come on! Even you guys know that magic isn’t real,” James said with a grin.

Bridget and Belle fully believed them then. Even though they were terrified of their sister they had always had a soft spot for James. They giggled and ran out of the room.

“Stop trying to charm my five-year-old sisters James, it’s disgusting!” Kristen exclaimed, picking up her Hogwarts letter and placing it atop her dresser and out of their reach.

“Well it worked didn’t it?” James asked, tinkering with some book on her headboard. “I got them to believe us. You should thank me.”

“For what? Making my innocent sisters start to have crushes on boys whilst still being toddlers?” Kristen posed sarcastically.

“Well, everyone has to adore me at some point in their life,” James sighed, feigning exasperation. Kristen snorted at his boldness. “Come on, you can’t admit that there hasn’t been one point in your entire life that you haven’t had the tiniest bit of a crush on me.”

“James, I have known you since the age of one day old. By the time I even liked boys I knew you much to well to even consider that!” Kristen said truthfully, leaning against the doorway.

“What happened to the whole ‘your my best friend, you should be nice to me’ thing?” James inquired, putting down the book.

“Oh, I don’t have to be nice, just you. After all, I am the female in this relationship, rendering me the smarter and more capable one,” Kristen explained haughtily, standing up straight and pointing her nose in the air.

“You’re unbelievable! I can’t believe I’ve allowed you to be my friend all these years!” James cried, throwing his hands up in the air. Kristen just laughed along with him. They then both went down to the living room where her sisters were watching television, This time they didn’t run though, for they were far to addicted to T.V. to worry about Kristen’s wrath.

They stayed in that general position for the next two hours. Just as Bridget and Belle had fallen asleep on the floor they heard the door open. In waltzed the St.Claires and the Potters. As soon as she could Mrs. St.Claire surveyed the damage done to her living room. To her surprise there was none. She then quickly peeked into the kitchen to find that it too was just the same except for the two drinks on the table. “I can’t believe I’m saying this but well done you two,” She said in disbelief.

“Here you go,” Kristen’s father said, handing them five pounds each. James and Kristen greedily took it from his hand. “Well Krissie, you’ll be happy to know that your mother and I have decided to let you go to Leonardo’s.” Her father announced happily.

A wide grin appeared in her face as she looked from her parent’s to James’s, who nodded to assure her. “Really? You are the best parent’s in the entire world!” Kristen cried as she embraced her them.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without you though. I mean, you’ll be gone the whole year besides breaks!” Her mother said, returning the hug rather tightly.

“It’s okay mum,” Kristen gasped, struggling for air.

“My little girl is growing up!” Her mother cried out in sudden hysteria.

“Valerie it would probably be best to let go of the girl,” Her husband warned, noticing the light blue color Kristen’s face was taking on. Her mother quickly released her and held Kristen back, looking her over.

“It seems like only yesterday you were falling in the toilet because you little bum was to small,” Her mother muttered, her eyes full of water.

Kristen shouted in embarrassment, “Mum! We have a whole month! It’s not like I’m leaving tomorrow!”

“Actually, you are.” Andrew Potter intervened. “We still need to take you to get your school supplies and there are certain areas that you should be educated in before going to school.”

“We’ll be here at ten in the morning to pick you up. Have all that you wish to take packed by then,” Emily instructed her. “Thank you for the wonderful evening. How about we do it again next month?” She asked the St.Claires.

“Yes, we’ll definitely have to,” Harold St.Claire answered, for his wife was still weeping over their daughter. “Goodbye James,” He said, waving to James as he followed his parents out the door.

“Wait!” Kristen ordered. James halted and turned around. She ran at him, her arms wide and gave him a huge hug.

“What was that for?” He asked, laughing at her enthusiasm.

“I’m just excited I suppose,” she responded, making sure she wasn’t overheard by her parents. “I can’t believe that tomorrow I’m going to see actual magic!”

He just smiled and said, “Magic has always been in you. It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. But I must warn you, some people… they don’t really approve of your sort.”

“My sort? What do you mean?” She inquired.

“James! Come on, we need to get home!” His mother called from outside.

“Just don’t act to surprised by everything. I’ll explain tomorrow!” He said as a farewell. He then ran off to his parent’s car, leaving an extremely confused muggle-born behind.
* * *
First of all, I’m well aware that there are 4 houses; James has a problem with Slytherin’s so he doesn’t really acknowledge them. Secondly, her sisters are really smart, that’s why they could read the letter pretty well. Thirdly, Sirius will definitely be in the next chapter but it might take me a little longer to get it up because of Christmas and all. I hope you liked it though and enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Until next time… Kristen Black

Chapter 4: "You can't have a girl as your best friend!"
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That night Kristen rolled her eyes and sighed loudly more times than she could count. While packing her bags her mother had been sitting on her bed blubbering on about when she lost her first tooth or when she broke her arm in third grade. Every few moments her mom would hug her tightly and then let go so she could resume packing. Around ten that night her mother finally left, leaving to take a shower. She vowed to return though, causing Kristen to decided that it would probably be best if she just went to sleep. Whilst feigning sleep her mother came into her bedroom. She heard her sniffle and Kristen continued to feel her presence for the next twenty minutes or so. Her mother then laid down on the bed next to her, obviously hoping that she wouldn’t wake her daughter. Within minutes she knew that her mother was asleep and Kristen smiled and to her dismay a trail of tears fell down her face. She knew she was going to miss her mother, her whole family for that matter. She then drifted into an uneasy sleep, dreaming of her family and all that she expected from the wizarding world.
* * *
She woke up to a nearly blinding sunlight coming through her window. She sat up and shaded her eyes as she looked around. Her bags had been stacked in a neat pile by her door and her mother was no longer there. Kristen then grudgingly got out of bed and stumbled down the stairs, her usual morning grogginess having not worn off. “Good morning sleepy head!” Her father announced jovially, laying eggs upon the table.

“What time is it?” Kristen asked as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

“8:30,” Her mother answered, striding into the dining room and sitting in her usual place. Kristen groaned, her goal during the summer to not be up before nine. “Well it really is good you got up this early, we still have some things to pack.” Her mother said, her overly cheerful voice and features quite annoying.

Kristen picked at her eggs, her stomach churning nervously and excitedly at the thought of what might happen today. After a few moments of it she put down her fork, knowing she wouldn’t be able to eat any of it anyways. “I guess I’ll just go and finish packing,” she announced to the table. They were silent as she left. ‘When did my mum and dad start having mood swings like that?’ She asked herself, climbing the stairs. When she opened her door she sighed, dreading the task at hand. As she looked through her bags though, she found that her mother had packed almost everything. All that was left was her pillow and a few pictures of her favorite football team that she refused to leave. Once she had delicately rolled them up she searched through her bags to find something to wear. She had to make a good first impression on the people she was bound to meet today. She pulled out an outfit and hurried to put it on.

Forty-five minutes later she looked at herself in the mirror, from her low-waist jeans to her shirt that supported her favorite band, The Beatles. Her hair hung in loose curls down her back and her lip-gloss glimmered in the bathroom light. She smiled to herself and walked into her bedroom and looked around. This would be the last time she saw it for a while. She looked at her clock. It was already 9:30! She decided it would be best if she started taking some of her bags down stairs. She heaved two of her somewhat heavy ones over her shoulders and began the descent down the stairs. She lugged them off her shoulders with a grunt and began the process again, four times over to be exact. Her face was red with heat by the time she was done.

“You should just asked for help dear,” Her father said, the morning paper under his arm and a steaming cup of tea in his hand. “Your mother and I would have been happy to help.” Kristen just sighed and sat down upon one of her bags, staring at the door, as if hoping that if she put all of her focus on it James would be there.

“Are you really that anxious to go?” Her mother asked sadly. Kristen turned around to look at her. Her mother’s dark brown eyes were coated with water as a tear leaked down her face. Her normally joyful face seemed almost fake, as it was know contorted into one of sadness.

“I promise I’ll write to you every day,” Kristen vowed, embracing her mother. “I’ll be all right mother, you really needn’t worry. I’ll have James with me, and you know how protective he is.”

Her mother sniffled and wiped away a few tears as a smile laid upon her face. “That’s true. I’m just going to miss you so! Well, at least you’ll be home for Christmas.”

“All ready to go?” Her father asked, interrupting their mother-daughter moment. “I just saw Andrew pull up outside.”

“Oh, yeah,” Kristen answered quickly, pulling a ‘Treseme’ as she swung her long hair over her shoulders. She was about to go to the door when her father put his hand on her shoulder.

“Don’t forget that we love you Krissie, and that we’re paying James to spy on you so that if you do anything wrong we’ll know.” Her father joked in an attempt to lighten the mood. Kristen just smiled and hugged her father tightly, only reaching his stomach as he towered a full 18 inches over her.

It was then that the doorbell rang, the ring Kristen had been waiting all night for. Yet now, wrapped in her father’s strong arms, she wished it had never rung. Her mother went over to answer it has Kristen pulled away. She felt like an idiot, standing there with tears streaming down her face as the Potters waltzed in. She quickly wiped them away with the back of her arms.

“Good Morning Harold,” Andrew greeted his long time friend merrily. “Are you ready Kristen?” He asked, now addressing the girl with blood shot eyes.

“Yeah,” Kristen answered, glad to have an excuse to turn around so that she could hide her face. She picked up a few of her lighter bags and headed towards the door, her father and Mr. Potter picking up the rest. It was only then she noticed the absence of her best friend. “Where’s James?” She asked curiously.

“He spent the night at a friend’s house and is going to meet us there,” Mrs. Potter assured her. “Just come to the car when you’re ready dear,” She said, kissing her on the forehead and taking the bags from her as her father came back in. The woman with flowing red hair then departed, leaving Kristen with her parents.

“Remember to write,” Her mother said, clearly near the point of bawling.

“I guess we’ll see you at Christmas,” Her father added, taking a deep breath as to calm himself.

“Kristen!” Her two sisters suddenly yelled, running into the room. The grabbed her around the stomach, their grip tight. “Don’t go,” Belle pleaded.

“I’ll see you again soon,” Kristen promised them. She bent down to return their hug. Her parents wrapped their arms around the trio. “I love you guys,” She said, her voice muffled by the bodies around her. It was then that they all let go of each other. “I should probably be going,” The nervous child mumbled, backing towards the door. “Bye,” She said, opening the door behind her.

“Good-bye,” her family coursed in unison, emotion coating their voice. Kristen slowly seeped through the doorway, the ‘click’ of its closing seeming astonishingly loud.

She stood there for a moment, her hand yet to leave the handle. She smiled. “And to think, James said I couldn’t act my way out of a box.” She strode out to their car where she could make out Andrew and Emily talking in the front seats.

“Well you seem unusually… upbeat,” Emily remarked when Kristen had taken a seat in their car.

“Look, don’t tell my mum because she’ll go off on me but I am kind of glad to be getting away from all of this. I’m going to really miss my dad but my mum doesn’t even like me so it’ll be nice to get away from her for awhile.” Kristen said casually as Mr. Potter backed out of her driveway.

“Your mother loves you Kristen,” Emily sighed, turning around as to look better at the girl she very much considered a daughter.

“Oh I know she loves me, she just doesn’t like me. I love my sisters but I don’t like them. See how it all works?” She asked, quite sure of herself.

Mrs. Potter just gave a tiny smile a turned back around. The rest of their journey was silent, except for the swear words muttered under Mr. Potter’s breath every once in awhile. He had yet to master the use of a car. Kristen just watched out the window, marveling at the scenes that flew by. She actually began to doze off, the pictures being blurred as her head rested against the seat. Suddenly though, she was thrown against the front seat, her cheek hitting the headrest rather hardly. “Sorry!” Mr. Potter apologized quickly. “Parking is really difficult for me.”

”Just about the whole driving experience is difficult for you,” His wife joked. He glared at her, only making her laugh again. “Just a little further back honey,” she instructed as he tried to Parallel Park on the jam-packed London Street. “You wouldn’t think people would park right in front of the Leaky Cauldron, it looking so run-down and all,” She mused, calculating how many blocks they had to walk in her mind.

“It’s good to stretch your legs,” Mr. Potter said cheerfully, evidently glad to be out of the car.

“What do you think we’re going to do in Diagon Alley, ride on dragons?” Emily asked irritably.

“Dragons? Are there really dragons here?” Kristen inquired excitedly.

“We shouldn’t discuss it until we are in Diagon Alley,” Mr. Potter warned her, eyeing the many muggles around him. “But yes Kristen. There aren’t to many left now though.”

“That’s amazing!” She shouted, startling some of the passer-bys. “Sorry,” She whispered, still beaming at the prospect of magical creatures. Her sergeant parents just smile to each other and led her do the famous doorway that led to the wizarding world. “We’re at a dead end,” Kristen said, quite confused as to why they were staring at a brick wall.

“Just watch,” The raven-haired man said, a smile across his face. He tapped the bricks with his unusually long wand. Kristen watched in shock as the bricks twisted and turned around each other to form a doorway into an extremely busy street.

“Holy crap,” Kristen mumbled, just quiet enough to evade a scolding.

“Go on,” Mrs. Potter encouraged her, gently pushing her into the wizarding haven. Kristen hesitantly made her way past the brick entryway, in total shock of how different it was from the world she was just in.

“James was supposed to meet us here,” Mr. Potter said as he looked at his watch.

“We should find him, you know he wants to help Kristen with her things. He’s been looking forward to this for the past week!” His wife said, craning her neck in search for her son. “Here Kristen, we already exchanged your money. Just go ahead and get your robes while we search for James, all right? Oh, and here’s your letter,” Mrs. Potter said quickly, quite startling Kristen who was still in a bit of shock. Before she knew it, James’s parents had disappeared into the crowd, leaving her with a jingling sack and a thick envelope with the Hogwarts crest.

“Alright then,” Kristen said slowly, looking up and down the street. She watched as all the people passed her, trying to work up the nerve to ask someone for help. But then she remembered James saying that she shouldn’t act like this was new. Before she could decide what to do, however, she saw someone walk towards her.

“You look lost,” the boy remarked. “Where are you headed?” he asked, standing next to her.

Kristen looked at him, taking in his shaggy dark hair and inquisitive gray eyes that seems to take in everything. “No,” she stuttered, not wishing to reveal her self.

“I’m not like one of them,” The boy said, nodding to a band of dark looking wizards. “You can trust me.” He finished with a smile that looked sincere.

“All right, I have absolutely no idea what I’m supposed to do. All I know is the people that I came with wanted me to get robes.” Kristen spilled out to him, quite relieved to have some one to trust amidst the crowded streets.

He smiled again; it was then she saw the true handsomeness of him: how his hair swept so elegantly across his deep eyes and how his tall stature gave her a since of protection. “Here, I’ll take you there,” he said, taking a hold of her arm and beginning to weave through the street. “My name’s Sirius by the way. Sirius Black.”

“Kristen St. Claire,” She responded.

He stopped. “Do you know James Potter by chance,” he asked, looking her over.

“Yes,” she answered slowly.

“Wow, he sure didn’t explain you this way,” Sirius said, eyebrows raised.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kristen asked, somewhat angry as to his expressions. “And how do you know James?”

“I’m his best friend,” Sirius answered with a shrug of his shoulders.

“I don’t think so. I’m his best friend!” Kristen exclaimed, ripping her arm away. “I’ve known his since I was born!”

“Well I’ve known him since I was five and I’m a boy,” Sirius fought back, eagerly defending his title.

Kristen was ready to unleash her temper. “What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Because only boys can be other boys best friends and vise-versa. Everyone knows that!” He pointed out smugly.

“That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of!” she screeched, earning her self weary looks from several passer-bys.

You know it’s true though!” He retorted.

“What’s going on?” James asked, having found them because of their voices.

“Who’s your best friend?” They yelled at him in unison.

James looked started by their sudden question. “Um… both of you.” He answered, desperately hoping his response would work.

“You can only have one best friend James,” Kristen replied heatedly. “Now tell him it’s me!” She demanded, pointing at Sirius.

“Tell her you can’t have a girl as a best friend!” Sirius retorted, also pointing an accusing finger at his enemy.

“All right, let’s see,” James pondered, realizing he wasn’t going to get out of this argument with an easy answer. “You both are extremely loyal so that’s one point for both of you. Um… when I’m with Kristen, she causes other girls to come over which is a bonus. So another point for Kristen.” Kristen smiled smugly and held up two fingers in order to keep track of her points.

“I attract girls!” Sirius put in angrily.

“Yes but they come over for you, not me.” James replied. “But I can talk about guy stuff with you Sirius so there’s another point for you.”

“But if you ever have a question about a girl, you can ask me,” Kristen pointed out quickly.

“True. There’s another point. But there are some things that I just couldn’t talk about with you Kristen, so another one for Sirius.” James concluded.

“That’s not fair! You already gave him ‘guy stuff’!” She interjected angrily as Sirius snidely put up another finger.

“They’re different,” Sirius commented quite smugly.

“But that brings us back to square one doesn’t it…” James said slowly, gazing at the three fingers they each held up. “Right… I’m going to go see Frank, bye!” He said quickly dashing off to catch up with a dark haired boy that looked to be about fourteen.

“Some friend he is,” Kristen said, breaking the silence that had ensued after James’s departure.

“You said it,” Sirius seconded, his arms crossed huffily across his chest.

“Well, at least that’s one thing we can agree on.” Kristen said, somewhat sarcastically. “Now, can you take me to the robes shop?”

Sirius just nodded his head and took her arm once more. “Here you are,” he said, stopping in front of ‘Madame Malikin’s robes for all occasions’.

“Thanks,” she mumbled, opening the door. As soon as she stepped into the shop she heard Sirius shout, “I’m still his best friend!” 

Kristen’s face was bright red as she slammed the door behind her. A young looking witch whipped around, her attention having been diverted from the boy she was currently tending to. “Sorry,” the heated girl muttered, shuffling her feet.

“That’s quite all right dear, just stand on the foot stool over there and I’ll get you started.” The women said, gesturing to a stool quite close to her. “I’ll be back in a moment,” she said to the young boy that was currently being fitted for his first set of school robes. Kristen set her things down and then mounted her stool as they were enveloped by silence. Finally, the boy spoke.

“You look upset,” He commented, eyeing her red face and clenched hands.

Kristen shook back her hair, “Guy trouble,” she answered simply.

“Boyfriend?” He inquired.

This really seemed to set her off. “Never! Me, with the likes of him! He’s arrogant, bigheaded, a flirt, believe me, I got that within the first few seconds. And don’t even get me started on how competitive he is.”

“I’m sorry,” the boy apologized quickly. Kristen turned to look at him now. Strong as his voice was, he looked rather weak. He was visibly skinny, and large bags were under his eyes. He looked tired, with his eyes droopy and his light brown hair somewhat lank. “Remus Lupin, by the way.” He said, noticing her observation of him.

“Kristen St. Claire,” she responded.

It was then that Madame Malkin walked back in, holding large roles of black fabric. “Just hold still and I’ll take your measurements. I’m almost done with you Remus, just a few more minutes.” She then turned her back to them, fiddling with the new rolls of fabric she had brought out.

“What was his name anyways?” Remus asked, simply wishing to evade the silence.

“Sirius something or another,” Kristen said off handedly. “Black I believe. Yes, Sirius Black was his name.”

“I hate him!” Lupin said unexpectedly. Kristen turned to him, her eyes wide. “We went to Genmar’s together. He would always make me do his homework because he was to busy flirting with girls to pay attention in class!”

“What’s Genmar’s?” She asked.

“Oh, you’re a muggle born. No, it’s okay; I’m not prejudice at all against your type,” he said quickly when he saw her startled face, for she had gathered what muggle had meant. “Genmar’s is a private school that parent’s may send their children to before they go to Hogwarts.”

“We should start an ‘I hate Sirius club’!” Kristen put in excitedly as Madame Malkin slid a pair of robes on to her to see where she needed to take them up and such.

“That is a wonderful idea!” Lupin agreed jovially. He now took off his robes as Madame Malkin had proclaimed that she was done.

“Oh good you’re here,” James exclaimed, having slipped into the shop. “I was hoping to catch you away from Sirius.”

“Am I your best friend?” She asked, totally ignoring him his comment.

James looked flustered. He ruffled his hair uncertainly and said, “Look Kristen, I had to have two separate best friends for two separate lives and now that you’re a witch you can become part of this life. Is having two best friends such a horrible thing?”

“Am I your best friend?” She asked once again.

She was plainly beginning to annoy James. He snapped, “Stop being unreasonable Kristen.”

“Well it doesn’t matter really,” Kristen said, playing it cool. “I have a new best friend and his name is Remus Lupin,” She said regally, gesturing to the boy standing just a few feet away.

“Oh, hello Remus,” James said. “How have you been lately?”

“Holding up,” Remus responded. “You?” James just shrugged and nodded his head towards Kristen, indicating that she was his only problem.

“Wait, you two know each other?” Kristen asked in surprise, feeling that her new ‘best friend’ was slipping away from her.

“Genmar’s. We were in separate classes though, except for third and fourth grade.” Lupin answered.

“There you are! I’ve been lookin’ all over!”

Kristen grimaced at the sight of him, as did the co-founder of the ‘I hate Sirius’ club. James just sighed and said, “Hello Sirius.”

“Have you come to tell her the bad news? That I am indeed your best friend.” Sirius asked cockily. But before James could answer he said, “Because there is no need. I found a new best friend.” This brought their attention to a timid looking red-haired girl who clearly had been dragged into this whole mess. “Her name is Lily Evans, her birthday is April 5th and her favorite color is lilac.” He rattled off, apparently having rehearsed this.

“I thought a girl couldn’t be your best friend,” Kristen pointed out snidely.

“Well Lily is different, St. Claire. We go way back, don’t we Lily?” He asked her, quite startling the poor girl.

“Oh yes,” she said, recovering quickly. “Old Siri and I go way back. Yeah…” She finished, clearly at a loss of what to say.

“You haven’t known her for more than two minutes, have you Black?” Kristen asked haughtily.

“Are you accusing me of lying?” Sirius hissed at her.

Kristen put her hands on her hips and said, “Yes Black, I think I am.”

“Well then dear Lily and I will begin the ‘I hate Kristen club’” Sirius pronounced. It would have been amusing to Remus at how these two mirrored each other had he not already belong to one of the clubs.

“Sirius, we shouldn’t hate her,” Lily put in, finally finding the courage to speak on her own.

“Lily, you’re my best friend, you should be supporting me in this,” Sirius whispered to her.

“But she seems like she could be nice,” Lily put in hopefully. “Maybe we should try and be friends.”

“Just go along with me,” Sirius hissed.

“No,” Lily declared, seeming embracing a sudden urge of courage. “The only reason I agreed to this is because I’m all alone, I have no idea what’s going on, and I needed someone to help me. I was fine with pretending to be your friend but I’m not going to hate someone with you!”

“Listen to your ‘best friend’ Black. I think she just might have some good advice for you,” Kristen said with a smug smile.

“And you,” Lily said suddenly, whipping around to Kristen and causing her to jump. “At least give him a chance for goodness sakes! I have only known him for about five minutes but he seems like he could be a good friend.” There was silence; even Madame Malkin had stopped her work, enthralled by the tiny girl with such a strong voice. “Now,” she said, calm once again. “Would someone please help me? A man from the ministry brought me here and all he told me was that he would be here at three to pick me up and take me home.”

“I’ll help!” James practically yelled, for he had been staring at her in awe all the while. He quickly ran up to her and swept her out of the shop. Sirius just shook his head in embarrassment. He then gave Kristen one last look, and he too exited the shop.

“Your robes are all finished dear. That will be ten galleons, you too Remus,” The shopkeeper said, handing them each a box that had four sets of robes inside. After Remus showed her which coins were galleons and they paid they departed the store.

“Do you mind staying with me?” Kristen asked sheepishly. “I’m kind of in the same position that girl was.”

“Of course, it’s no problem. My parents both had to work today so I’m here by myself as well.” He said with smile. “Where do you want to go first?”

* * *

Remus and Kristen walked around Diagon Alley with one another for the next few hours, together getting their first set of books, potion ingredients, a cauldron, and, to Kristen’s immense excitement, a wand. Although, she had to admit she had been a little weary of the wand maker at first, a man in his late sixties who was accompanied by his middle-aged son. She was soon enjoying herself as she waved around the pieces of wood along with Remus, although she was at it a lot longer that he was. Finally though, she felt a sudden warmth fill her left arm as she brought the wand swooping down, sending silver and red sparks throughout the room. As she left the shop, she hugged the box to her, feeling an odd sensation of being trapped in another person’s body.

“This would probably be a good place to wait for them,” Remus said, referring to James’s parents once they were outside the entrance to the leaky cauldron. “I’ve got to wait for my parent’s by the owl emporium down there.” He said, pointing to a building in the distance.

Kristen’s eyes got wide. “You have owls? That’s so cool!” She exclaimed.

“I would take you there but-”

“Please!” Kristen begged, putting on her best puppy-dog-pout. Remus looked at her, knowing full well that he was being reeled in.

“Fine,” he agreed with a smile, quite happy to have her company for at least a little while longer.

The smell in the shop didn’t even bother Kristen, she was simply to fascinated by the many animals that surrounded her. Remus grinned at her enthusiasm. She instantly began examining the many birds that sat perched in their cages that lined the walls. Suddenly, something at the back of the shop caught her eye.

“A monkey!” She cried out in amazement, running over to the tiny howler monkey that was a snowy white with a light brown face. “I want this monkey!” she declared, letting the inquisitive animal grasp her finger.

“Why? They can’t deliver mail like an owl can and they don’t have nearly as many magical properties as cats.” Remus said, joining her by the miniscule monkey.

“Firstly, wow, I didn’t even know that was how you got mail around out here. Secondly, I’m not going to be able to send an owl to my parent’s so what’s the point in that?” Kristen asked, for she had explained her ordeal to Remus earlier. “Thirdly, I hate cats. I’ve never met a cat that has gotten along with me. Fourthly, it’s so cute! How can I not get him? Besides, he doesn’t look to be too expensive,” She finished, eyeing the price tag of eight Galleons, nine Sickles, and two Knuts.

“Well, it’s not my place to tell you,” Remus said slowly. He watched in slight amusement as Kristen gleefully picked up the cage and took it to the front counter. When she was done she was laden down with even more bags for her new pets food and so on. “Are you thinking it’s not too expensive now?” Remus asked sarcastically, earning a glare as the absence of two coins clinking together was fully noticed. “So what are you going to name it?” Remus changed the subject, never liking to have anyone even the slightest bit angry with him.

“I don’t know yet,” She said, looking at her new pet lovingly. Although it turned into a grimace because of the heavy load, luckily, they weren’t to far from a resting place. They hurriedly plopped down inside the leaky cauldron, relaxing their very sore muscles. Kristen’s new pet hopped around in his cage, making her laugh several times.

“Why is there a monkey beside you?” James asked timidly when he saw her sitting at the rickety table with Lupin.

Angry as she was with him at the moment she couldn’t hide her excitement. “I bought him! Isn’t he totally awesome?” She squealed.

“Why?” was all James managed to ask.

“Because he’s so adorable. Aren’t you just the most precious thing?” she said in a cooing voice as she made kissy faces at it.

“That is just sickening. Why is you friend so sickening James?” Sirius asked as he came up a moment later.

Kristen glared at him. “Why can’t you two just be friends?” James asked in exasperation.

“How can you ask that of me James?” Kristen asked dramatically.

“Me, friends with that future Slytherin? You’ve got to be joking me!” Sirius exclaimed

“I could never be friends with that Bavarian!” Kristen added.

“So now you think I’m a type of dessert?” Sirius asked in confusion.

Kristen looked bewildered by her comment as well. “Well, I didn’t know what a Slytherin was so I thought of a word that sounded like it that some people might confuse with an insult.”

“It’s a house at Hogwarts you idiot,” Sirius told her.

“That’s not true! James told me about the houses. There’s one that ends in door, then there’s the huffy house, and then there’s Ravenclaw.” She defended herself. She felt quite proud of her self for being able to remember at least one of the houses and proving Sirius wrong.

“You told her there were only 3 houses?” Sirius inquired of James.

“Do you consider Slytherin a house?” James asked in sarcastically, his eyebrows raised.

Sirius looked at him for a moment and then shrugged his shoulders and said, “True. Can’t say that I do.”

“Why though? What are people in that house like?” Kristen asked, wondering exactly what his insult truly meant.

“Most of them are right gits. Well that’s putting it lightly, they’re usually just plain evil,” James elaborated.

“Which is saying something as you friend over there’s whole family is in that house,” Remus put in with a smirk.

“I’m nothing like them!” Sirius suddenly lashed out. “Don’t even call them my family! Don’t even associate them with me!” He yelled, causing many people in the vicinity to turn around and look at him.

Remus looked startled, perhaps even frightened. “Look, I’m sorry.”

“I’m not. It makes since. His whole family being evil I mean, I knew he had to have gotten from somewhere.” Kristen said with a haughty laugh.

“You don’t even know me,” Sirius said in an unexpectedly quiet voice. She looked at him and her face softened at the sight of his eyes. Once dancing with mischief, they were now full of misery, maybe a little regret.

“I didn’t mean that quite the way it came out…” Kristen trailed off, completely at a loss of what to say.

“Then what way did you mean it?” Sirius asked, his face hard and his mouth but a line across his face.

“Give her a break Sirius, she didn’t know how you’d react,” James intervened.

“She heard what I said to Lupin. She knew I don’t appreciate what they stand for,” Sirius fought back.

“She was just messing around Sirius. You been picking at her and her to you. She was just using it as a comeback, I’m sure she didn’t mean anything by it,” retorted James.

“What do you know? She’s been a jerk to me the whole time! This was obviously the icing of the cake for her,” Yelled Sirius in anger.

“You need to back off,” James warned.

“Who are you to tell me what to do?” Sirius angrily replied, pushing James, causing him to be knocked into a table. James then lunged at him.

“Stop!” Kristen shouted but they didn’t listen to her. By that time they were rolling on the ground, attempting to throw punches at one another. Two men who were in the pub at the time picked them up off of each other and held them back as they flailed their arms and kicked their legs.

“James!” His mother screeched, having seen only the last of the fight as she walked in.

“What’s going on son?” His father demanded in a much deeper voice that Kristen had ever heard on him.

“He was defending me,” Kristen answered for him quietly. James’s parents looked at her curiously and then to Sirius, who was hanging his head in an attempt to regain his breath.

“Take your things and go to the car. Help her James,” Mr. Potter instructed. The man holding James let go, allowing him to pick up the greater half of her packages and make his way out of the room. Kristen gave a quick wave to Remus and followed James quickly, finding it hard to catch up with him because of his swift strides.

“I’m so sorry James,” Kristen quickly apologized when she finally caught up to him beside the car.

“It’s not your fault,” James replied quietly. “He just… I don’t know. He has a hard life. Sometimes he gets wrapped up in that and forgets that not everyone knows exactly how he feels about it all I guess.”

They were silent after that. Within a few minutes his parents had arrived at the scene. “Get in,” his father ordered, opening the door for them.

As Kristen slid into her seat, monkey by her side, she miserably thought, ‘This is going to be one long car ride.’

Chapter 5: Time at the Potter Manor
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Once again I’m so sorry. I thought that with Finals out of the way everything would calm down again but quite the opposite is happening. I’m sorry to say that I probably won’t be back to my usual timetable until I’m able to get ahead on this story. I hope you enjoy this chapter. I’m more looking forward to the next one. Enjoy!
* * *
“And after that you will need to do the dishes followed by the gardening…” The Potter’s tiny house elf trailed off as she led them to each of the places his tasks would take place. “Now I expect you in the kitchen by 6 A.M. sharp James.” The elf finished. She then disappeared into the kitchen to cook that night’s dinner.

“I never realized how much she had to do!” James said in amazement as he led the way upstairs.

“I’ll help you with al the chores James, I can’t help but feel that it is somewhat my fault,” Kristen said, following James into his family’s game room of a sort.

He sighed and fell into the extremely fluffy couch that lined the wall. “It’s not your fault Krissie,” He sighed, having adopted her father’s nickname for her.

“I shouldn’t have taunted him like that to get him angry in the first place. He was right, I really don’t know him, and I had no right to say that he was evil.” Kristen could hardly believe that she was apologizing for her actions after the way he had treated her. Yet the look in his eyes had really gotten to her.

“He just got too defensive, well both of us really.” James said with a shrug. He then sat up and mused, “I wonder why he told my dad that it was all his fault. That’s not like Sirius. He never willingly takes all the blame.”

“Too bad you didn’t hear Sirius’s story before telling your dad you were partly to blame.” Kristen said, falling down beside him on the couch.

“No kidding! If that had been the case I wouldn’t de stuck helping Harriet for the next week.” He exclaimed, ruffling his hair as he always did when frustrated. “Fancy a game of foose-ball?” James asked, playing simple muggle games had always been a favorite way for him to relax.

She stood up and made her way to her usual side. “So what is his family really like James?” She asked timidly after easily scoring her first goal.

James set the tiny ball back in the center table but he didn’t give the go ahead for their game to resume. “His family Kristen…their the proudest of our kind I guess you’d say. They’re proud to be a pure-blood family, as in they have never married outside the wizarding race.”

“Why do they not like regular people?” She asked innocently. “So they don’t have powers or haven’t known about them their whole lives, what’s the big deal?”

“That’s how most people think Kristen. But some… they don’t think muggle-borns deserve to learn magic. That’s exactly how his family thinks.” James clarified for her.

Kristen pondered this and then said slowly, “So that’s why he doesn’t like me!”

“Of course not! Didn’t you listen to him? He’s nothing like any of him family! They’re all a bunch of gits, thinking they can get off treating integrated families like scum.” He said, his anger rising, but not for Kristen. All he could put in his head was the way Sirius’s family had banished him from ever seeing Sirius again when they learned that he had a muggle for a friend. The only way he had been able to spend the night at Sirius’s house was because he’d stayed with his Aunt Andromeda and her muggle fiancé, which luckily the other Blacks knew nothing about. James sighed, realizing that he couldn’t avoid telling her forever. “Most of his family are Death Eaters Kristen.”

Kristen didn’t want to ask what they were but she knew that was what he was waiting for. Yet, with a name like that, how could they be anything good? But she had never been one to ignore her curiosity before now. “What are those?” she asked quietly.

“There his followers. V- Voldermort’s to be exact,” He explained, finding it rather difficult to utter his name after what had been done to his family. “He’s an evil man Kristen,” He continued, not waiting for her to ask. “He killed my grandparents. Cold-blooded, heartlessly killed them!” He suddenly lashed out, slamming his fist on the table. Kristen shuddered at the sight of him. Eyes blazing and face red, he was not the best friend she was used to. “And he’s got a band of lackeys that follow his every whim because they think that maybe they’ll get some of his power.”

She was extremely frightened now. Not because of what he did though, there were people in the muggle world that killed without a second thought as well. What truly scared her was that he seemed to frighten James so much. She had come to the conclusion that with magic, you could do just about anything, including take down a villain such as this. “Why does he so that?” She asked, her voice concealed to a whisper.

“I don’t know.” James said with a shrug of his shoulders. “Because he’s evil and twisted I guess. Maybe he just likes to kill people.”

“How can you speak of it in that tone?” Kristen asked incredulously, quite startled that he was able to go from enraged to easy-going in a matter of seconds.

“You start to get used to it here I suppose. It’s been happening for the last five or six years and it’s only getting worse. You have to start accepting things. Not that I’m just going to lie down while he kills people,” he said quickly in response to her astonished face. “I just realize that there’s nothing I can do about it at this time.”

“I don’t think I feel like playing foose-ball anymore,” She said in a quiet voice, a voice she very seldom ever used and she was hating it that that seemed to be the only tone she could speak in.

“Oh Krissie, I’ve probably ruined your first day in the wizarding world, haven’t I?” James asked worriedly as his friend made her way lethargically to the couch.

“Well, I just learned that there is an evil wizard out there who’s bent on destroying us all. I’d have to say hearing that little piece of information was not included in my perfect day plan.” Kristen replied sarcastically. “But, I suppose I would have had to have heard it sometime.”

“Perhaps I scared you more than I should have,” James said worriedly. “He doesn’t really randomly kill people, his murders usually have a purpose.”

Kristen sighed in exasperation. “You see, the words ‘really’ and ‘usually’ are the ones bothering me.”

“The only random killings are just…social groups I guess you’d call them, that he doesn’t like,” He replied slowly.

“Like muggle-borns?” Kristen asked with her hands on her hips.

“Krissie, everyone knows that there is no safer place than Hogwarts because that’s where Dumbledore is! Even you-know-who doesn’t dare touch Hogwarts.” James said happily, reverting back to his usual name for Voldermort.

Kristen looked skeptical. “Why though? Obviously he doesn’t care about killing people why doesn’t he just kill Dumble-whatever?”

“Because Dumbledore is amazing!” James declared with passion. “He’s the only one you-know-who has ever feared! As long as we’re at Hogwarts, nothing can hurt us!”

James seemed so convinced of this that Kristen could hardly disagree. She smiled and said, “So what was it your family need to teach me before I went to Hogwarts?”

* * *

Over the period of the next three weeks Kristen was taught nearly everything she needed to know. She was beginning to feel as if she had grown-up around it all like James had. She had to admit; quiditch was creeping up on soccer in her ‘favorite sports list’. As much as she was going to miss football the exuberance of being up in the air and feeling the wind whip around her body made her find it hard to remember the joy of simply running around on the ground while kicking a simple ball. Strange as it was, she was also beginning to like the lessons Mrs. Potter was teaching her in the basics of magic. She had never liked school before, a short attention span seemed to hinder her love for education, but what she was learning fascinated her so much that she was counting the minutes until they left for Hogwarts.

Finally, the eve of their departure came. Kristen couldn’t sit down! She found herself running around the room just to release all the excess energy. She had packed her bags already and set out the perfect outfit for the next day. James wasn’t nearly as excited as she was, which was say something as he could hardly sit still either. His parents couldn’t help but smile at their enthusiasm. They’d been just as excited on their first day.

Kristen was sure to lay down the first instant that she felt tiredness pull upon her senses. James desperately wished to fall asleep as well but their minds could not stop the flood of thoughts on what the next day would hold. At around midnight she began to give up on the hope of sleep. She tiptoed out of her room and across the hall. She peeked in the door to see a room illuminated by the moon and holding a beautiful sleigh bed that was occupied by a restless boy in blue pajamas. Kristen knocked in James’s door quietly, so as to not wake him up if he was actually asleep. He swiftly sat up, frightened by the sudden noise.

“It’s okay James, it’s just me!” Kristen said quickly, calming his nerves. “I can’t seem to get to sleep and I was wondering if you were awake.”

“Well I am,” James stated with a little sarcasm.

She didn’t pick up on this at all though. “Oh James, I can hardly wait for tomorrow!”

“That’s why you should go to sleep!” James exclaimed. “If you don’t these hours are only going to drag by!”

“What do you think I’ve been trying to do for the past few hours?” Kristen snapped at him, the lack of sleep clearly affecting her.

“Go count sheep or something!” James moaned as he pulled the covers over his head.

Kristen rolled her eyes and left the room, in search of something to occupy her time until she was too tired to stay awake or until dawn had come. She wandered into the Potter’s huge library, marveling at the hundreds upon hundreds of books. She picked a book at random. It read ‘The Potter genealogy’. She plopped down in an overstuffed armchair and opened it, marveling at the moving pictures she had yet to get used to and reading about Potter’s from over a thousand years ago. She slowly began to feel the pains of reading while tired, her eyes burning and her body feeling like lead when she tried to move from her spot. She tried to keep reading but her eyes kept drooping and the page was getting blurry. She wouldn’t let herself fall asleep though, that book was actually somewhat interesting. But she couldn’t stop, before long her arms were lank and the book fell to the floor.
* * *
“Thank heavens I found you!” were the words Kristen woke up to the next day. She opened her eyes to see Mrs. Potter standing there, looking frantic. “I really didn’t think you’d be in here so I’ve looked nearly everywhere else. You need to get ready!” She said, helping Kristen out of the chair.

The extremely stressed out girl ran for her room, passing by James’s and seeing him laugh at her. Luckily she had long ago picked what she was going to wear. She threw on her outfit, a jean skirt with a her favorite black high-top converse and a pink short sleeved shirt all matched together with one of her dads ties. All in all, she felt very fashionable. She thanked God that she had actually planned ahead and packed the night before, leaving her time to of course do the important things, like hair and makeup. It really didn’t take her long though. She just brushed out her hair, put on eyeliner and lip gloss, and then she was done.

“All ready to go?” Mr. Potter asked when she arrived in the dining room to a plate of eggs and bacon.

She sat down across from James, who was already almost finished with this breakfast and said, “Yep. When are we leaving?”

“Just as soon as you finish eating,” He answered, causing her to practically inhale the food. “Well, that was rather faster than I thought it would be,” he commented only a few moments later when she sat he fork down. “I guess it’s off to King’s Cross then.”

They loaded up the two soon-to-be students’ trunks as well as James’s owl, Arthur (after the famous king of course), and Kristen’s monkey, which she had named Merlin (in response to the owl named Arthur). The car ride to King’s Cross was all in all uneventful, Kirsten was just about to start hyperventilating it seemed, her excitement nearing to point of over-board, but they were getting used to that. It only took the an hour to get there and within 15 minutes they were inside the loud train station, pushing their carts and getting several odd glances due to there unusual pets.

“9 and ¾?” Kristen asked, looking at her train ticket for the first time. “What are we supposed to do, run through the wall?”

She found out at that instant that that was indeed exactly what they had to do, for she had stopped with the Potter’s between the gates of 9 and 10. Just then four people, two adults and a girl with long brown hair that looked to be about their age and a boy with short blonde hair that looked a great deal older, walked strait through the wall, trunks and all.

Kristen’s eyes widened in shock, provoking a laugh from James. She’s thought she’d seen it all already. “Go with her first James,” Mr. Potter told him. James began to walk towards the barrier, Kristen wearily following him. When he began to run, putting his entire wait on his trolley, Kristen became extremely frightened. What of it didn’t let her though? What if she just ran into it? She stopped the flood of thoughts and just closed her eyes and ran right behind him, almost anticipating a crash.

Suddenly, she felt a hand on her arm, causing her to stop. She opened her eyes to see James, smiling with a slightly red face. “See? That wasn’t to hard.” He said.

But she wasn’t listening. It was happening again. She thought with the whole running into the wall thing she’d finally be done with surprises. But seeing that scarlet engine and all the children and their parent’s really got to her. The weirdest thing to her was that they looked…normal. In Diagon Alley everyone had been in wizarding robes and half the words they said she couldn’t understand. But here, it was just like when she had started boarding school in second grade, the kids were having a last conversation with their parents before heading off to school, just like a normal muggle child.

She was snapped back to reality in the form of a mischievous boy who had caused such mayhem in the Leaky Cauldron. Right now though, he wasn’t looking like his happy self Kristen had come to expect from him. He looked depressed, maybe even defeated. James could instantly tell something was wrong. He didn’t care that they had had a fistfight and neither of them had apologized for it, all he cared was that his friend felt all right. “Sirius, what’s wrong?” He asked quickly.

“I just wanted to apologize to both of you. I really over reacted,” Sirius said slowly. “I hope you still consider me a friend James and as for you Kirsten, I hope you consider my just an opponent and not a mortal enemy.”

Kristen looked at James, wondering how he would respond. To her sheer disbelief he looked like he was about to cry. Within seconds she realized that he was actually attempting to hold back laughter. He failed miserably at this though for moments later her broke out into fits of laughter. “You thought I was mad?” James asked hysterically, barely able to breath because of his laughter.

Kristen was just as astonished by this as Sirius was. “Well, if you have forgotten, I did punch you.” Sirius reminded him rather sheepishly.

“What’s a couple of punches between friends right?” James asked as he punched Sirius on the arm. “I mean, I didn’t expect you to apologize at all so it’s not like I’ve been waiting for this moment! Hell, I didn’t even know you knew what the word ‘apologize’ meant!”

“Did you feed him drugs Kristen?” Sirius asked her, almost seriously.

“I’m thinking the house elf did it,” Kristen put in seriously.

“Come on, get on the train!” Mrs. Potter said frantically, the clock ticking to 9:58. Kristen and James both hurried to drag their trunks onto the scarlet locomotive, after a quick peck on the cheek from Mrs. Potter and a hug from Mr. Potter. They had just managed to pull their luggage through the train doors when the wheels on the train began to move, hurtling them towards their new life.
* * *
Well, how did you like it? I’m really working on showing a large amount of space in a short amount of words, if you know what I mean. I have a lot of ideas for the next chapter but I’m kind of stuck on what should happen once in the actual school year. I’m still open to ideas for the school year, you know, if you want to see them sneak out or something like that. Until next time…Kristen Black

Chapter 6: The Sorting
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“Come on, we’ll sit in here,” Sirius said, opening a door to a compartment that already had his things inside. They were surprised to see Remus sitting in there already. He looked at them in surprise.

“But the trunk says Chris Hartwig!” Remus said quickly, trying to figure out what was going on.

“Yeah, because I’m going to leave something that has the name Black on it alone,” Sirius said sarcastically. “You for one should know how many enemies my family has.” He stood on one of the seats and ripped off the tape that said his fake name, revealing elegant writing that spelled out Sirius Black.

“I swear I think I’m cursed,” Remus muttered to himself in exasperation. It was then he noticed the girl that had an annoying habit of entering his mind at random moments. “Kristen! It’s good to see you!” He exclaimed with joy.

“Remus!” She shouted in joy, letting go of the end of her hug and enveloping him in a hug. It felt strange for her, that she was becoming close friends with a boy she had only known for a span of a day. “I’m so glad I found you so quickly!”

“Look, it’s Lily,” James said in a dreamy voice. Kristen turned to look and sure enough there was the red headed girl Sirius had tried to convince them was his best friend. She looked scared, like she was trying to get away from something.

“Hello there, pretty girl,” A voice drawled from behind Lily. The boy who said it looked to be quite a bit older, probably around fifteen or so, and he had bleach blonde hair. He came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her torso.

“Let go!” She demanded, although her voice was quiet and unthreatening. He didn’t listen to her, instead he tried to turn her face towards him, but it was proving difficult as her bulky trunk hindered his amount of movement.

“Get your hands off of her!” James and Kristen yelled in unison. The boy with cold eyes looked up and smirked.

“It’s just like a Potter to interfere into other people’s business!” he sneered, not letting go of the frantic girl.

“Let go of her Malfoy!” Sirius had come out of the compartment and spoke in a low, commanding voice.

To Kristen’s sheer amazement Malfoy quickly let go. “I’m sorry Mister Black.” The sleek haired boy said quickly. “I assure you it won’t happen again.” He bowed out of the car, leaving a nearly sobbing Lily.

“What was that all about,” Kristen asked Sirius as James ran forward to console Lily.

“Oh my family is very high ranking where he’s concerned. I’m going to milk my status for all it’s worth until I publicly announce that I do not willingly call myself a Black,” He told her, picking up her trunk so as to put it on the luggage rack.

“Thanks,” She said, sitting down beside Remus, who was looking at Sirius with some sort of detest. Kristen didn’t know why he truly hated Sirius so much, they had been kids, they still were kids for that matter. She thought he was over reacting, that he should give Sirius another chance.

Her eyes widened in shock at the thoughts that were dancing through her mind. As president of the ‘I hate Sirius Black club’ she should be thinking in the completely opposite direction of this!

Her thoughts were interrupted in the form of James and Lily entering the compartment. He looked quite giddy as he grasped her hand and led her to a seat. It was obvious he tried to steer her away from Sirius, he didn’t want Lily falling for him like most girls. “Give me a hand Sirius,” James said, attempting to put both his and Lily’s trunks on the luggage rack. Sirius laughed at his friend’s lack of strength but helped him anyways.

“So Lily,” Kristen began from her spot right in front of the auburn haired girl. “I don’t believe we really got an introduction. My name’s Kristen St. Claire. And this is Remus Lupin,” Kristen said with a nod to her companion. “I don’t think I’m as bad as Sirius made me out to be so you don’t have to worry about me cussing you out or anything.” She added.

“Lily Evans is my full name. Um… let’s see. I don’t have wizard parents and my favorite color really is lilac,” She responded with a small smile. James was now sitting next to her and looking quite taken with her. He had a smile on his lips that seemed untouchable and he just couldn’t take his eyes off her. Kristen couldn’t help but laugh, she had never seen him this infatuated with a girl! Usually he would flirt with a girl because they were cute, he would ask her out to have a malt or something with him and then he would be over them. Never did he go into this lovesick state. What was really strange about it was he hadn’t even gone out with her!

“I’m muggle born too,” Kristen told her reassuringly. “Muggle means a non-magic person,” Kristen explained in response to the look of confusion on her face.

“But aren’t you his friend?” Lily asked, nodding to James. “That’s what he told me when he was showing me around in Diagon alley.”

“Our parent’s work together. Something about James’s dad has to know about stuff in our world,” Kristen said with a shrug of her shoulders.

Suddenly, a knock came from the compartment door. It slid open to reveal a somewhat chubby boy with short flaxen colored hair. “Do you mind if I sit here?” He asked, looking quiet nervous.

“Course not,” Kristen answered for all of them. Lupin scooted down so that Kristen could be between him and the new kid.

“I’m Peter Pettigrew,” the boy introduced himself with a smile.
* * *
“Wait!” Harry demanded, interrupting her story for the first time. “Why didn’t you kick him out or kill him or something?”

“He looked so sweet,” Kristen answered truthfully. “I remember him well on that day. He had chubby little rosy cheeks and these innocent little eyes. In reality he looked like a harmless little baby.”

“Well can’t you say he just dropped dead or something and then continue with what happened?” Harry asked desperately. He truly pained him to hear about Peter, especially since he knew he was about to become one of their best friends.

“It would kind of ruin the whole story though. Believe it or not he wasn’t always bad. He was always really sweet and he worshiped us like Gods or something!” She stated thoughtfully. “Now, on with the story…”
* * *
“Nice to meet you Peter,” Lily said politely. Peter nodded his head to her; almost stand offish, and sat next to Kristen, who he gazed at with admiration. Kristen really paid him no mind though; she was far too involved in watching James and giggling at his obvious crush on this quiet girl. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her! She saw Sirius look at him as well and laugh at his best friend.

“So Peter,” Remus began, wishing to have some noise within the compartment. “Where are you from?”

“Just a little north of London,” Peter answered, still not removing his worshiping gaze from Kristen.

“It seems our compartment was hit by cupid,” Sirius noted, referring to James and Peter as the continued to stare at the girls of their choice.

“Which means there is a higher force that wants us together,” James told Lily knowledgably, evidently hoping this would provoke a flirtatious giggle or a mischievous smile.

If that was so, he was in for a big disappointment. “What are getting at?’ Lily asked, shock across her face.

“That you’re very pretty and we’re meant for each other!” James said, stating it as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.

“Idiot,” Sirius and Kristen muttered together.

“I hardly know you!” Lily exclaimed, her eyes wide and almost frightful.

James looked quite confused, He wasn’t used to having to try this hard, then again he wasn’t used to falling this head over heals either. “Isn’t it obvious though. I mean, you’re pretty, I’m handsome, or so I hear,” James said with a large smile.

“You are the most egotistical boy I have ever met!” She screamed in outrage before throwing open the door and storming out into the hallway.

“I’ll go see if I can repair some of the damage,” Kristen said, throwing James a particularly nasty look, followed by her leaving the compartment and following Lily down the hallway. “I’m really sorry for what he said,” Kristen said sincerely once she caught up to Lily, whose face was a bright red. “He just really likes you and sometimes when he’s like this he doesn’t think,” She lied, for that was how James always was, this wasn’t just a one time case because of nerves.

“How can I trust you? You are his best friend,” Lily said skeptically.

“Because I’m a girl, and us girls have got to stick together. Now, by no means am I saying you should give him a chance, dating wise at least. In fact, it would probably be best if you didn’t go out with him,” Kristen said thoughtfully. “He has a nasty habit of being a gentleman and extremely sweet one day and dumping a girl the next.”

Lily looked sickened by this. “How can he be so heartless though, I mean to have them love him so much and then he just ends it?”

Kristen quickly realized that instead of repairing damages she was only making things worse. “I figured you could use my help,” Sirius said, appearing beside her. She sighed and crossed her arms. He continued by saying, “I already know not to leave you by yourself too long lest I come back to find something shattered.”

“You expect me to be friends with a person who has a comrade like that?” Lily asked with obvious skepticism.

“See Black, you’ve only made it worse,” Kristen pointed out snidely.

“Give me a minute St. Claire and everything will be back to normal.” Sirius whispered casually to her, shaking his hair out of his face with such grace that Kristen actually felt as if she might not throw-up in his presence. “Lily,” he said quietly, his eyes gazing into hers. “Please just give him one more chance. He didn’t mean it. I know James more than anyone, and I know that he’s only being like this because you intimidate him. He’s just never seen anyone so pretty, or charming, or sweet. So please,” Sirius said once again, grasping her hands, “just give him another shot.”

Kristen didn’t know how she could say no. As painful as it was for her to admit it, she wished she was in Lily’s place at that moment. She wished her hands were being held by his or that his eyes were gazing into her own. No, she knew that if she was in Lily’s position there would be absolutely no way she could refuse.

And yet, Lily somehow found it possible. “You’re just as bad as he is!” She shouted, ripping her hands away from him and quite startling Sirius and Kristen. She let out a frustrated yell and ran into the next car.

“Oh very nice Black,” Kristen said, the sarcasm nearly tangible. “You handled that so very well.”

“Like you could have done better,” Sirius said with disbelief, quite put off that Lily hadn’t succumbed to his charm.

“I was actually doing quite well until you came along!” Kristen replied irritably, making her way back to the compartment. “It’s no good now though, James will just have to sort it out for himself.”

“He’s probably already over her,” Sirius said with a shrug. He then entered the compartment with Kristen and they both sat down.

“Where is she? Does she hate me? Why isn’t she with you?” James bombarded them with questions.

“She just needs time to cool off James,” Kristen answered. “Don’t worry, everything will be fine,” she told him, sending a meaningful look to Sirius. She wouldn’t let him take all the blame for it. Not because she liked him or anything, but because she knew that if she told James it was all Sirius’s fault he would yell at him and then Sirius would yell at her and then she would yell at him and then James would yell at both of them and then…well there would just be a lot of yelling and she didn’t want to have to listen to that.

The rest of the way there James stared out the window and sulked, refusing to say more than a few words to anybody. He perked up a bit when the lunch trolley came by, buying hoards of chocolate frogs and keeping them all for himself, he was obsessed with them. Kristen bought some of everything, having been fascinated buy the infinite number of candy choices.

Before she knew it, prefects were coming down the hallway, urging everyone to change into their robes. She ran to the bathroom that was at the end of the carriage, excited to finally become part of the world she had heard so much about from James. She rushed back into her compartment when she was done to find all the boys, looking almost like clones as their outfits matched exactly.

Ten minutes later the train lurched to a stop in front of Hogsmeade station. Kristen quickly kissed her monkey’s head (to which the boys cringed), before rushing off the train with her friends and onto the very loud and crowded platform.

“Firs’ years, this way!” A low voice cried. They turned to look and saw an enormous man with a scruffy beard and a lantern swinging from his hand. Kristen nearly fainted from shock!

“It’s Hagrid!” James shouted excitedly, running to the huge man. Kristen turned to Sirius but he just shrugged his shoulders, evidently confused as well. Remus, Peter, Sirius, and Kristen, walked over to the gigantic person that James had thrown his arms around.

“ ’ello James!” Hagrid said with a broad grin as he patted the boy on the back.

“You didn’t tell me I’d be seeing you as soon as I got off the train!” James said, having to yell to make his voice heard over the noise of the other students.

“Now that’d ruin the surprise, wouldn’t it?” Hargrid said, his smile unfaltering. “Who are your friends?”

“Peter, Remus, Kristen, and Sirius,” James said, pointing to each of them in turn.

Hagrid nodded his head and said, “Well I’ve got to get the others rounded up. Firs’ years this way!” He called out once again, causing many timid looking children to congregate around him. Kristen saw Lily join the throng but she didn’t say anything to James, no, she wasn’t that heartless. “Out to the boats then,” Hagrid said when he seemed confident that every first year was here.

“They want us to ride a boat in this?” Remus said wearily, noting the harsh wind and the cloudy sky.

“It’s tradition,” Sirius said, obviously excited at the prospect of riding in boats when the lake was surly going to be dangerous. “I’ve got a lot of family that went here. They told me all about it.” They walked to the edge of the lake where ten boats were all tied to a tiny dock.

“I’m going to die, aren’t I?” Kristen asked herself; seriously doubting the safety those boats offered against the tempest waters. She climbed into a boat with the four boys, noting that all the other boats only held three or so. “Maybe I should…” She said, beginning to stand up, but at that moment the boats lurched forward, sending her flying into Sirius.

“I know I’m irresistible St. Claire, but please! Have some self-respect!” Sirius exclaimed sarcastically.

“I hate you!” She muttered, grabbing Remus’s offered hand to help her off.

“There is a fine line between love and hate,” Sirius pointed out with a coy smile that made the blood rush to her face.

She wanted to believe it was anger that did it, even if that smile, mocking as it was, made him look handsome.

She didn't snap back at him, but instead took the cold shoulder route, balntantly ignoring him for the rest of the trip and speaking only to Remus. The boats rocked them up to a great looming castle, all the children gaping at it with wonder. With a great 'thud', they came to a hault on the bank.

"Thank you Hagrid, I'll take them from here," A brisk voice, bellowing to a stringent looking open, said quickly. The students clambered out, eager to heed her words. They were led to a large, open, and bright entryway, one much warmer than the lake they had just come from.

“Now, I’m sure some of you believe that you are about to face a troll or some other hideous creature and how you hold up to them will determine what house you’re in. I’m sorry to tell you that you will do nothing more, than to put a hat on your head.” She explained with a small smile as several of the children grinned in relief.

“So does the way we put on then hat tell you what house we should go in?” James asked sarcastically, though his tone marked seriousness.

The professor walked down the line to where he was standing and desperately trying to feign seriousness. She took one look at him and a smile spread over her face. “I believe I’m correct in assuming you would be Mr. Potter?” She asked. James’s eyes widened in surprise as he slowly nodded his head. “Yes, I had both your father and your mother! Only for a year and a half though, but that was enough time to tell that he was the biggest prankster here. You’re mother on the other hand…I’ll just say she was my prized student, even when she decided to give your father a chance.”

“But how did you know it was me?” He asked hesitantly, still weary of this woman.

“I’m Professor McGonagall! I tend to know everything!” She boasted. She then added sheepishly, “And it does help that the resemblance between you two in uncanny. Now come children, I’m sure you are all anxious to be sorted,” She said regally, once again taking her place at the front of the line. All the children began chatting nervously to one another, the excitement not hidden from their voices.

When the giant doors were opened Kristen nearly fainted from shock. She had never expected there to be so many people! The four tables that filled the halls were packed with students, laughing and talking. She could see a few other first years beside herself looking around in awe. Some of her group were waving to other students in the massive hall. Everyone in the hall was looking towards the front of the hall now, where the adults sat. To Kristen it looked as if the were waiting for something.

The whole group halted at the front of the room and Kristen, as well as James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter, all fought their way to the wide front, spread out because of the ending of the red and green tables. Kristen cocked her eyebrows in confusion when all she saw was a rather frayed looking hat sitting upon a stool. She looked to McGonagall who surprised her by joining the other students and watching the hat intently. In only a few moments, she knew why they had all been viewing it with such rapt attention.

The brim of the hat ripped wide and it began to sing,

“Difficult times are here to stay
So listen to me well
To my words you must obey
To my speech do not rebel

During this time we must band together
And hold each other’s trust
All our differences we must weather
And to the task at hand you must be focused

You force me to do something I truly hate
Splitting you apart only weakens you
For I am making each and every one of you easy bait
The dark lord, with his sinister hue
Will pick you apart
One by one
He is as changeable as a boggart
And goodness he shuns
Evil consumes him
Greed fills his soul
He murders on whim
On his conscious it takes no toll

Only as one will he meet an end
Together it is possible to take him down
So I plead, I beg, with others become a friend
Upon my suggestion do not frown

This is all I ask of Hogwart’s students
Just this simple task
You are already subjected to be enfants
To many of you, this year horror will unmask
And you will have wished
That to my words you would have listened
For after you see the horror every moment will be cherished
And terror will seem present in every corner of England

But I cannot ignore my post
I have done it for hundreds of years
Even if it is what I hate the most
“Danger Lurks!” Say the seers
And I have to agree
But I still must divide you all
Into Hufflepuff, where being kind is their duty
Or maybe Ravenclaw, where the intelligent tend to fall
Mayhap into the houses of the timely foes
Gryffindor and Slytherin really are not so different
Oh yes, hatred towards each other they will pose
But only so because they are so alike despite different quadrants
Very well, I will finish my song
I know you tire of it
I am comfortable thinking that you will heed my warning erelong
Now let’s see into what house you will fit”

The school burst into applause, although it was somewhat weak and many students were caught whispering to each other with worried looks rather than clapping.

“I wonder if it’s that pessimistic every year?” Sirius asked sarcastically, eyeing the hat with some intrigue.

“It’s right though. The only way we’re going to survive this war is by sticking together,” Remus put in.

“No matter what that hat says I’m not being chummy with that bunch,” James said with detest, nodding to the table that seated several student clad in green and silver.

“They all look so mean,” Kristen noted, for they did indeed look rather evil as the all gathered towards the center of the table and spoke together, occasionally casting looks over their shoulder

“That’s because they are,” James put in rather pointlessly, turning his attention to Professor McGonagall, who had now stood up.

“When I call your name please come up so I may place the sorting hat upon your head.” She instructed, holding the hat in one hand and a piece of parchment in the other. “Avery, Nicholas,” She called. A scrawny looking boy with dark blonde hair stepped out of line and made his way to a tiny three-legged stool and sat down.

“Slytherin!” The hat proclaimed after only a few moments on his head. The boy put on a very coy smile and strode over to the table that was cheering loudly for him.

“Black, Sirius!” She called out next. An immediate hush followed this as the Slytherins all watched him, their faces the expression of happiness and several were mouthing ‘good luck!’ to him.

“Pray for me,” Sirius asked of James, who solemnly nodded his head in agreement. The normally very confident boy slowly made his way up there, for he knew that no matter what house he was put in, it was not going to be what most expected.

Kristen watched with interest as Sirius sat there. It almost seemed like he was having a conversation with the hat. Every now and then he’d mouth the word ‘no’ and sometimes ‘yes’.

“Well I have to say, I think you’re the first Black in centuries I see as worthy to be at Hogwarts,” The hat said fondly after several minutes. “You’ll do best in Gryffindor!” It shouted.

It was like a bomb had gone off. The Gryffindors were cheering while the Slytherins were booing and hissing at him. “You’ve defiled our name you filthy blood traitor!” One in particular stood out.

“You know what Bella, I don’t need your shit! In fact I don’t need any of your shit so fuck you!” He shouted, causing several of the younger students to gasp and many of the older ones from other houses to cheer.

“Mr. Black! We do not tolerate that kind of language here!” Mcgonagall said sternly, glowering at him.

“I’m terribly sorry. It won’t happen again,” He apologized with a gentlemanly bow. This part of him did not last long however, for in the next moment he had made two particularly rude hand gestures with his hands that mimicked what he had just said, or rather shouted, at them. The students that wore red and gold badges on their robes all cheered loudly once again as he went to their table, several slapping him on the back once he sat down.

“Always has to make a show,” James muttered, shaking his head in exasperation.

“Black, Narcissa,” preceded Sirius. The hat sent her to Slytherin. Kristen later learned that she was one of Sirius’s cousins. “Burns, Mary Jane,” a girl with dark brown hair and shining hazel eyes, was the second to be a new Gryffindor. “Cross, David,” was sorted into Ravenclaw. Another Gryffindor came in the form of a petite girl with bleach blonde and pale blue eyes named, “Delano, Gwendolyn”.

“Evans, Lily!” The woman called out, causing James to whip his head up. He almost immediately went into his little dream like state once again when he saw her. Like Avery, the hat was only on her head a few moments before it made its decision. “Gryffindor!” It proclaimed, causing her to squeal with joy and run to her table.

“Oh good, now I can still be in my family’s house.” James said in relief as “Grayson, Richard,” was called up.

“What do you mean your families house?” Kristen asked, having to yell over the cheering of Ravenclaw as their newest member trotted towards them.

“I’m a direct descendant of Godric Gryffindor, the wizard who created this house. Besides, there has only been one person in the entire line of Potter’s who wasn’t in Gryffindor and that was because he feel off the carpet on the way here.” James said proudly.

Kristen looked at him inquisitively for a moment before saying, “You know what, I’m not even going to ask.”

“Lupin, Remus,” Mcgonagall called after Jacob Iseman was welcomed by the Hufflepuff house.

“Good luck,” Kristen whispered to him as he passed her. He gave her a faltering smile and made his way to sit upon the stool.

The decision of the hat was so immediate, that it looked like it surprised even Remus. “Gryffindor!” The hat shouted only moments after being put on the young boy’s head. Remus just smiled and walked over to his respective table.

“McClaggen, Jason” and “McElevany, Sarah” were both put in Ravenclaw. “Nelson, Eve” was sent to Hufflepuff followed by “Nelson, Evan”, presumably her twin, who also went to the house of the badger. “Oarsman, Jocelyn,” was sent off to Ravenclaw and “Parkinson, Edmund” was told to join the Slytherins.

“Pettigrew, Peter!” She called next. Peter stumbled up the steps to where the hat was. He was one of the ones that took a longer decision. The hat seemed a little weary of its decision even after taking a whole of two minutes. It shouted “Gryffindor,” with not nearly as much enthusiasm as it had done with the others.

“Bet you the hat decides what house to put me in even faster than it did Remus,” James said cockily when the teacher called his name after “Patil, Keerim”, a new Ravenclaw.

He was right. No sooner had the hate touched the tips of his hair that it shouted, “Gryffindor!” in a rather proud voice. James winked at Kristen and then ran to join his best friend, the tag along smart-alec, their new lackey, and the momentary love of his life.

She knew it wouldn’t be long before she was told to take a seat on the rickety three-legged stool. She watched in apprehension as “Rosier, Samantha” was sent to the rather evil looking table, followed by “Ryan, Berry” who leaped off to the Hufflepuff table.

She was glad “Snape, Severus” was taking so long because she was really starting to get stressed out. What if she didn’t belong in any of the houses? What if everyone had been mistaken and she wasn’t really witch? What if she didn’t get in the same house as James, considering she got in one at all.

She realized her time was up when the Slytherin table burst into applause and the greasy haired boy made his way to them. “St. Claire, Kristen,” The stern professor called. Kristen instinctively looked to James who gave her a thumbs up, causing her to feel slightly better. She strode to the hat, wanting to at least look confident, even if she was far from it.

“You’ve got a busy mind, dear,” was the first thing the hat said when it slid onto her head, covering her eyes and nose. She was happy that it was blocking the view, it helped ease her tensions. “Let me see Kristen, you’ve got a mind for learning. You’d fit in well with the Ravenclaws,” it mused.

Kristen began to stand up half-heartedly, expecting the hat to say that was where she should go. “Don’t be in such a hurry!” The hat scolded her, causing her to immediately sit back down. “That’s only one of you’re admirable qualities, one of many actually. You are also very caring and you always try to do what’s right. That would earn you friends in Hufflepuff but I’m not putting you there either.” The hat was silent for a moment. “Oh I don’t like people like you. You portray the resemblances between Slytherin and Gryffindor, the one’s they try so hard to hide.”

‘I’m not like them!’ she though fiercely, trying to push the very idea out of the hat’s mind, for lack of a better word.

“Gryffindors and Slytherins are uncannily alike. Oh yes, they will always refuse to acknowledge it; it has been that way for hundreds of years. They are both brave, in their own ways, the will risk everything, although it is usually for different reasons, they both care deeply for their comrades, Slytherins just show affection rather differently. And lastly, they are both rather mischievous and they both love to prove themselves, Gryffindors would greatly protest against this but it is true nonetheless. Not to mention the fact that you of all people seem fit for the house. So I’ll ask the dividing question. If a person you love’s life is in danger, would you give your life for theirs?” It asked, sounding defeated and warn out.

Kristen thought on it for a moment, for she didn’t want to give an impulsive answer. She thought of James, and how much she really loved him. “Yes,” she answered surely. “In a heartbeat.”

“And that my dear deems you a Gryffindor!” The hat proclaimed, allowing the rest of the school to only hear the last word. An uproar was heard, loud cheers from the Gryffindors, particularly Remus and James, and for some odd reason, boos and hisses like Sirius had received, from the Slytherins.

“You filthy mud blood! You’re defiling the wizard name!” A boy shouted in anger along with the many other scream and shouts.

This one sentence caused the Gryffindors to go from irritated to furious. It didn’t take long for Kristen to gather what ‘mud blood’ meant. The only thing she didn’t understand was how they even knew. “I’m not afraid of you!’ She shouted in fury as she whipped off the hat. “Come on! You afraid that you’re going to be beat by a little muggle born?” She asked when they looked startled by her comeback. This triggered their fury even further and quite a few stood up and began to advance toward her.

“Sit down this instant!” A deep booming voice commanded from behind her. She slowly turned around, almost afraid of finding some kind of giant standing there. But instead there stood an aging man with an extremely long beard and half moon spectacles that helped to ease her first impression of him as a forbidding man, to that of teacher that was simply trying to keep his students safe.

She turned back around to watch the Slytherins reaction do this man. They all looked as if they loathed him, with the exception of a select few who just looked depressed and hadn’t joined in the taunting to begin with. They did sit down though, rather hesitantly. Kristen couldn’t help but feel proud of herself for not cowering before them. Impulsively, she shouted, “Gryffindor pride!” The result was another explosion of cheers from Gryffindor while the Slytherins sent her death glares, clearly afraid of provoking the wrath of the great and regal man once again. She couldn’t help but feel apprehensive as she sat down. Having them right behind her really bothered her, especially since she had no way of seeing them.

“You were just trying to beat me, weren’t you?” Sirius asked with a smile as she took the seat opposite of him.

There was no way she couldn’t return his smile. She was in the same house as her best friend, she told off those evil gits, and she was sure she had already gained some popularity in the Gryffindor house, how could she not smile? “Well Black,” She began audaciously. “You did say you wanted an opponent.”

Chapter 7: Dormitory woes and bad habits
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As she lay down in her four-poster bed that night she couldn’t help but reminisce on all that had happened. She had nearly been drowned, got sorted into the house that also held her best friend, and then the Slytherins had almost killed her, so yes, she would have to consider this day a success.

“Oh I’m so excited!” Lily proclaimed as she sat upon her own bed, which was right next to Kristen’s. “I can’t believe we’re going to start learning magic tomorrow!” She squealed.

“Oh I know,” Mary Jane responded, sounding quite like one of those American hippies Kristen had heard so much about. “I’ve been waiting for this very moment for what seems likes ages.”

“Me too!” Gwendolyn, or Gwen as she preferred to be called, jumped in. “My whole life my cousins have come back from Hogwarts and been like ‘it was amazing!’ and then they’d make fun of me ‘cause I’m the youngest and I had to watch all of them have the time of their lives!” she rattled off in one breath, quite impressing Kristen.

“I just want to fly,” Kristen said, giving up the hope that she was to go to sleep anytime soon, and sitting up.

“Oh my god me too!” Gwen exclaimed in excitement. Kristen was already beginning to tell that this was not going to be her favorite girl in all of Hogwarts. “I just love flying!”

“I fall off the broom,” Mary Jane put in dreamily.

Lily looked a little left out. “I’m afraid of heights.”

“Oh I am too dear but I got over that!” Gwen said as she whipped her hair back and tried to look brave. “My big brother and his friends taught me how to fly when I was eight. Oh I was just terrified!” she continued to ramble on like that for a few minutes until Kristen could no longer take it.

“Gwen!” she shouted, ceasing the girl’s long-winded explanation of how she had had a nightmare about wearing clashing colors on her first day at Hogwarts. “Please, I just needed silence for a moment. Feel free to go on now,” Kristen said wearily. She knew she was being rude, and she felt bad about that, but she really couldn’t stand it. She had never been one to get along with peppy cheerleader type girls.

Gwen looked at her as if she were some sort of hideous slug. “Who do you think you are, Queen of Gryffindor tower?”

Kristen was alarmed by her comment. She had thought Gwen would just look at her weird and then continue talking at high speed. “No. I just needed silence for a moment. I’m really tired and I’m beginning to think that trip through the lake has made me sick.” Kristen replied, for she was coughing quite more than normal and her nose was becoming a major pain.

“You’re such a show off! I can’t believe you resort to suffing youself into a boat with four other boys just to get attention,” She replied smugly.

Kristen was entirely bewildered by her response. “Wait a minute! You think I actually wanted to be crammed in there? I tried to get out but there wasn't enough time!”

“Well Duh! Although, personally, I would have loved to be forced into close contact with them too.” She then put in with a rather small smile.

“Who?” Kristen asked truthfully. She really couldn’t think of anyone on that boat that she would want to cozy up to. There was James, but that would be just wrong for her, Remus was just a friend, Peter…also just a friend, and Sirius, no explanation needed.

“You had three amazingly cute guys on that boat. Of course being stuck within inches of them was the perfect way to get attention.” She stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

“You’re kidding right?” Kristen asked disbelievingly.

“You can’t seriously say that you didn’t think at least that Potter boy or Black weren’t at least somewhat worthy of a second glance. Even that boy with the brown hair was okay.” She said with a shrug.

“Yes I can. James Potter is my best friend; it would be disgusting to even consider thinking that way about him. Remus is also just a friend of mine and Black can go and die under a rock for all I care.” Kristen replied irritably.

“Well that’s a relief. For a while there I though you might actually be with one of them. I mean you seemed quite chummy with James, and Black and the other boy kept looking at you. I’m just glad that they’re fair game,” Gwen rattled off happily.

“I don’t suggest going after James. For one, he’s got a thing for her,” Kristen informed the abnormally peppy girl, nodding her head to Lily who shot her a death glare. “And another thing, if you did any little thing to hurt him, you’d have me to answer to.”

“I’m not afraid of you,” Gwen replied snidely.

“Well you should be.” Kristen said darkly. She knew that she was the under dog here and she really shouldn’t be making enemies. But this girl mixed in with her exhaustion and sickness was about to push her over the edge.

“Stop it!” Lily suddenly shouted. “We’re supposed to be in the same house, aren’t we? You shouldn’t be fighting like this.”

Gwen and Kristen glared at one another, obviously wishing the opposite dead. “If she stops being a prat, I’ll stop threatening her.” Kristen bartered.

“Prat? You’re the one that’s a prat!” Gwen screeched.

“Don’t even start with me!” Kristen commanded in a low, dark voice. It seemed to scare Gwen, at least a little as she backed away from the end of her bed.

“Just go to bed!’ Lily said irritably, puling the covers over her head.

“I do believe that sleeping would be a good choice,” Mary Jane put in with a distant voice.

“Fine,” Kristen mumbled, lying back down in her bead. She was glad that Gwen didn’t try to throw another insult at her; even if it was her deepest desire at the moment to be just a tad bit evil. She really was exhausted and as soon as her head hit the pillow, she was asleep.
* * *
“How have you already made enemies in our own house?” James asked her the next morning, noting the glare that Gwen was granting her with.

Kristen stabbed her toast as she went into her ranting mode. “She’s so stuck up and she thinks she’s the queen of everyone. I hate her and I just met her last night!” Kristen exclaimed in a low voice.

“She can’t be worse than Sirius though,” Remus said in an attempt to cheer her up.

“You are not very nice,” Sirius told Remus with much truth.

“She thinks I joined your boat  just to get attention because you three are, and I quote, ‘worthy of a second glance’.” Kristen informed them, still attacking her breakfast with her utensil turned weapon.

Sirius looked at Gwen, obviously trying to see if she was worth his time. “She’s not too bad looking, quite nice actually.” He decided, looking to James for confirmation. Because Lily was a few seats down James too looked at Gwen and nodded his head in approval.

“You disgust me,” She declared heatedly, throwing her fork down. “I just told you how much I hated her and what do you do? You look at her to see if she’s cute enough for you!”

“Well Kristen, in case you hadn’t noticed, we are boys,” James said with a shrug.

“Really? I never would have guessed,” She replied with a smirk.

“You know you walked right in to that one,” Remus told him as James glared at her.

“Here are your schedules,” announced the strict woman from the night before as she made her way down the table.

“You’re kidding me!” Sirius shouted in anger once he was handed a first year schedule.

“What?” James asked quickly.

“We have almost every class with those bloody Slytherins!” Kristen answered for him, guessing what he angry about.

“This is a good thing,” Remus tried to console them. “Perhaps this will be the year that Gryffindors and Slytherins can finally make amends.”

“I don’t want to be friends with them though,” Sirius pointed out. “Besides, I, personally, would not like to try to defy a centuries old custom.”

“Where’s Peter?” Kristen asked suddenly, looking around the table for the plump boy that they had befriended the day before.

“Last I saw he was sleeping like log in our dormitory,” James answered, devouring a piece of buttered toast.

“You could have woken him up,” Kristen snapped at him, her foul mood taking over.

“We tried,” James said with a shrug. “He just pulled the covers over his head.”

“I say Kristen you seem very concerned about little Peter,” Sirius remarked as a playful smile found its way onto his face.

She looked at him for a moment with a confused expression on her face. It only took her seconds to figure out where he was going with this. “Now wait just a second-”

“Well isn’t that sad Sirius. Peter got a girlfriend before either of us.” James said dejectedly. His sad demeanor did not last long though for Sirius and James both burst out in laughter. Even Remus couldn’t hide his smile.

“I hate you,” Kristen growled, only fueling their laughter.

“What are you laughing about?” A very tousled looking Peter asked as he sat down beside Remus.

“Just talking about how you’re Kristen’s boyfriend,” James explained to him, his voice oddly high pitched as he tried to contain his laughter. Kristen groaned and put her head in her hands, knowing that now the rumors would fly.

“I didn’t know this…” Peter said slowly, his blue eyes squinting in confusion. He then turned to her and asked, “Do you want to be my girlfriend?”

Kristen opened her mouth to say “No!” but then closed it again. She really didn’t want to hurt his feelings. “Well, I really don’t know you that well so…” She trailed off, hoping he would take the hint without her having to say it. He didn’t seem to, as he kept looking at her expectantly, his eyes hopeful and a grin plastered in his face.

“She’s saying no Peter,” Sirius told him coldly with a smirk across his face.

“No I’m not!” Kristen retorted, already in the habit of denying everything Sirius said. She had to work hard on not letting the terror at the mistake she made show up on her face.

Sirius’s smirk grew even cockier. “You’re telling me that you are going to be Peter’s girlfriend St. Claire?”

“Yes ,Black, I am!” She snapped at him, quite upset over the predicament she had gotten herself in. Peter seemed to be at the height of happiness, his cheeks a rosy red and his eyes sparkling. She thought he was a sweet boy but she truthfully had not seen him as her type, she was more into the talkative and cool type. And yes, she would admit it; she had hoped her first boyfriend at Hogwarts would be just a tad bit cuter. “You know, I think I’m going to go get some more parchment,” Kristen mumbled, grabbing her bag and leaving the table.

“You did this to yourself Kristen, You can’t blame Black,” She firmly told herself after she had used every swear word under the sun on him in her mind. She was just about to enter the Gryffindor common room when she heard running footsteps behind her and sighed. She knew who it was and at the moment she really didn’t want to speak to him. “Go away Black, I’m not in the mood,” she warned.

“It’s me,” An auburn hair girl corrected her. Kristen felt slightly relieved that it was Lily instead of Sirius but she still wasn’t in the mood to talk. “Look, I just wanted you to know that I think what you did was really sweet. I could tell you didn’t really want to but you did nonetheless.”

“And now I’m going to have to live with it,” Kristen snapped at her. “Obviously you have gotten the wrong impression here. Honestly I would have said ‘no’ if Sirius hadn’t said anything but when he did the habit of contradicting him kicked in so you see, I’m not really as sweet as you think I am.”

“You still could have said ‘no’, even after you challenged him,” Lily said, obviously trying to be an optimist.

“I couldn’t do that, it would crush Peter,” Kristen answered simply. Lily smiled at her knowingly.

“See! You are a good person.” She said excitedly. Kristen wasn’t quite sure why she had refused this compliment in the first place.

She sighed and said, “And don’t even know why I really came back to the common room, I don’t really need paper.”

“Well if you wait a sec I just have to grab my backpack and then we can go to class,” Lily suggested. After saying the password she disappeared into the porthole, leaving Kristen by herself as an assortment of students began to also grab class supplies from their dormitories. When she saw Sirius arrive, why he had come back to the common room after he already had his supplies she didn’t know, she was tempted to simply turn away but she knew he wouldn’t let her get out of a good thorough taunting that easily.

“Black if the tiniest amount of humanity resides within you, you will not make fun of me, at least not anymore today.” Kristen said tiredly when he reached her.

“You really have too little faith in me,” Sirius said with a dramatic display of hurt when he grabbed his chest. “I was just wondering why you agreed to it?”

“No one’s ever going to give up on this, are they?” Kristen mumbled to herself. “Look, Peter is a sweet boy and I would have felt bad if a said no. That’s really all there is to it.”

“So this isn’t like some kind of plan to say, make someone jealous or anything,” Sirius suggested with an air of disinterest in the whole matter.

“No, of course not,” Kristen answered in confusion, eyeing Sirius wearily. “What would have given you that idea?”

Here Sirius muttered something in anger, which Kristen barely caught. “What?” she asked him.

“What?” Sirius asked, acting as if he had no idea what she was talking about.

“Did you just say you were going to kill Peter?” Kristen asked inquisitively.

“Well if you know what I said why did you ask?” Sirius inquired with a wide grin.

“So that’s what you really said then?”

“No,” he responded quite simply.

She looked at him for a moment, trying to sort out what he was saying. All she could think of to respond with was another, “What?”

“Precisely,” He said with an affectionate nip to her chin before turning around and walking off to their first class, potions.

“What?” she whispered to herself as he rounded the corner.

“Ready?” Asked the cheerful red head when she exited through the porthole.

Kristen continued to stare down the hallway that Sirius had taken to get to their next class. “Yeah. Let’s go.”

Chapter 8: The Potions Master
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“Welcome Gryfindor’s and Slytherin’s, to first year potions!” A man with a large mustache and a belly that was beginning to show signs of too many second helpings said jovially to the class. “My name is Professor Slughorn and I’m the potions master here at Hogwarts.”

Silence followed this statement. Even James and Sirius had subsided their taunting of Kristen, who sat between James, and, to her dismay, Peter, when the man began to speak. Lily, sitting in the very front of the class by Mary Jane, gazed at him in admiration. “Talkative lot you are,” The man said sarcastically. “Look, don’t be intimidated by me or any of the other professors for that matter, we’re not all as strict as Lady McGonagall.” He said with a twinkle in his eyes. Instantly the tension in the room subsided and every student in there smiled. Kristen almost wished he would have been strict and forbidden them to talk, she was about to rip her hair out in frustration over Sirius and James’s constant jibes at her. “We’re not going to do much today. I thought, as it was your first day at Hogwarts I would let you off easy so I’ll just tell you what this class is about and then give you a hearty amount of time to actually locate your next class. As I’m sure many of you have guessed in this class we will indeed be brewing potions of all sorts from the simplest hair coloring concoction to the most difficult sleeping draught. Of course, you won’t experience anything too difficult your first four years but when O.W.L.s,” Kristen made a mental note here to ask about those later, “role around I will push you to you limits, make no mistake about that. If you pass those you will have the option to be in my N.E.W.T. class.” Again Kristen vowed to ask about that later. “That class however will be extremely hard. In fact, I think on average less than a quarter of you will make it to you seventh year of potions let alone pass the final exam.”

“Well, sounds like fun,” James said under his breath, causing the others to snigger. Professor Slughorn’s head whipped over to them.

“You’re Potter’s son, aren’t you?” The aging mad asked shrewdly after looking him over.

“How the bloody hell does everyone know who I am?” James asked in exasperation.

“Language boy,” Slughorn chided, but the smile never left his face. “You look exactly like your father, that’s how. And I have a role sheet right here.” He added sheepishly. He left James to fume as he looked over the role sheet. “Ah, misters Black and Lupin, where might you be?” They both raised their hands, Remus with a look of confusion and Sirius with a sigh of wholehearted dismay.

He turned to Remus first, “You’d be Lupin, right?” He inquired, when he nodded Slughorn continued, “Your father is a very admirable man and your mother, top of her class! I did not have to honor of teaching them but I did hear about them. Teacher gossip you know,” he said with a grin. He then looked at Sirius, trying to sum him up. “Well I must say Mr. Black, you rather surprised me last night. I thought you would be joining these fine children,” he mused, gesturing to the students with emerald ties and badges.

“Just because my mum and dad are murderous gits doesn’t mean I have to be that way. Therefore I don’t believe in tradition. People shouldn’t be defined by their parents or family,” Sirius replied coldly.

“I think you well stated that last night by shouting vulgar words at my house,” Slughorn said rather coolly. Sirius grinned at him with pride even though his anger was evident. “And you dear, you caused quite a stir as well,” He commented, looking now at Kristen.

“Well I very well wasn’t going to take that! I’m not one to let people walk all over me. In my experience, I have learned that to have respect, you’ve got to stick up for your self,” Kristen said hotly, although her voice remained level.

Slughorn didn’t seem to take in anything she said this. He simply stared at her, as if trying to analyze every detail of her face. “You look oddly familiar, you know.” He pointed out quite suddenly.

“Well as those little gits over there so rudely pointed out last night, my parents are muggles. The likely hood of you knowing them is slim to say the least,” Kristen snidely pointed out, ignoring the Slytherins who were quickly becoming outraged.

The potions master held up his hand to them, causing them to reluctantly unclench their fists and stop mouthing bad words as well as refrain from rude gestures. “What you both did last night was extremely bold, some may call it foolish even. Most would not have so readily made themselves unpopular with so many students in one go.”

“Well it’s not like the Slytherins were ever going to like any of us. We just sped up the process a bit. Saves a bit of time you know,” Sirius said with a sarcastic smile and shrug.

“Nice to know you love me so much dear cousin,” Narcissa Black said coldly from her seat on the opposite side of the room. She would never admit it, but she had been deeply hurt by what Sirius had said. He had always been her favorite cousin; he was the only one who ever paid attention to her. After he had been sorted she desperately considered trying for Gryffindor. And yet, her parents hated her enough as it was, and Bella was her sister! In the end, she knew it was best for her safety to do what was expected.

Kristen and really expected him to make another witty comeback, in fact she was looking forward to what it would be this time. But instead his face softened a bit, “Cissy, this isn’t about you.”

“No. No it isn’t I suppose. It’s just about my family. It’s just about the people I love. Just about my sister who you didn’t hesitate in mortifying in front of the entire school!” She said all this in a strangely chippy manner, her sadistic smile never leaving her face.

For the first time since the sorting Sirius actually felt regret for what he did. He had not thought it through; he had looked over all the family members that he really did love. Like Narcissa, who had been his playmate while the adults were talking for as long as he could remember. But he knew that there was no going back now and that no matter what he said, Narcissa would be lost to him forever. He hung his head, having nothing more to say.

“Go on class, we’ve had enough of a lesson today,” Slughorn told them coldly, swinging open the door with a wave of his wand. There was a great hurry to get out of the tension filled room. Several Slytherins and Gryffindors bumped into each other on the way out, causing them to glare at the opposing house with a ferocity that was uncommon in mere eleven year olds.

Even though they had been let out extremely early, it took them all their extra time to find their next class, transfiguration. McGonagall actually looked surprised when they entered the class just before the bell rang. “We were let out early,” James said in response to the look of bewilderment on her face.

“Very well, take a seat. No doubt the Hufflepuffs will be here shortly.” The Gryfindor’s head of house instructed. Lily and Mary-Jane were the only ones who did not automatically head to the back. To Kristen’s sheer disbelief, Gwen managed to wedge her way between James and herself. Then, to add to her anger, James flashed a flirtatious smile at Gwen and began talking with her. To make it all better, Sirius took up the spot on Kristen’s right, causing Peter to scowl at him, but nothing more.

True to her word, the Hufflepuffs did indeed stumble in a few minutes later, stuttering apologies as they filled up the rest of the seats. “I will not sugar coat it for you. This will be your most difficult class at Hogwarts. I expect to see no more than half a dozen of you in my N.E.W.T. class, if that.” She started off ominously. “I expect total discipline and complete devotion to this subject from all of you. Especially you in the back.” She declared, glaring at the back of the classroom where Gwen and James had decided to not listen to her at all. They whipped their heads toward her once they were addressed though, and remained silent. Even James and air headed Gwen did not want to provoke her wrath. After this incident Mcgonagall continued, talking of what the class would consist of and all that they would accomplish that year and the years to come. All in all, it was nearly enough to bore Kristen to tears. The bell that signaled lunch could not have been more welcomed than at that particular moment. She was just about to sprint to the door when McGonagall called out, “Miss St. Claire and Mister Black, a word if you please.”

The two children looked as if they were signing their death warrant as the walked over to her desk where she sat staring at them, her studious eyes and formidable expression unwavering. “Go on!” She snapped at the other students, who were walking extremely slowly in hopes of catching the telling off they were bound to get. James gave them both an apologetic smile and departed with the rest. “We need to discuss the incident that occurred last night.”

Sirius and Kristen glanced at one another, their fears confirmed. They had, of course, held out that tiny bit of hope that she wouldn’t punish them, but apparently that hope had amounted to nothing. “I’m not going to lie to you,” she continued, looking over her spectacles at them, “I am immensely proud of you both.”

Both of their jaws dropped open at the revelation. They had completely expected her to yell at them. “You mean we’re not getting punished?” Sirius asked, a new hope ignited in her eyes.

“Oh heavens no. Of course you’re going to be punished,” she said with a hearty laugh. “I may be proud of you but that does not excuse your behavior. You will each have detention with Pringley, the caretaker, tonight at six. Meet him in the great hall. You may go now,” she dismissed them, turning to her grade books that were lying open on her desk.

“I can’t believe it! Detention! On my first day!” Kristen exclaimed once they were out of the room and well on their way to lunch.

“Really? I’m used to getting detention. It’s not really that big a deal for me anymore,” Sirius replied calmly.

“Well I’ve gotten detention before too but at least not on my first day. Or first week for that matter.”

“Well look at it this way. At least you don’t have spies from your family. I’ve got little rats running everywhere here that won’t take their eyes off me. I doubt it if my parents aren’t up here tomorrow morning to give me a good telling off because of last night.” He said once the entered the great hall where it was extremely noisy.

“Very true,” She replied.

“So what’d she do to you guys?” James asked jovially, a bright smile covering his face.

“Well I can see you’re a true friend,” Kristen said sarcastically, sitting opposite him. Sirius took up the spot on her right, quite surprising her.

“All she did was give us detention,” Sirius shrugged, grabbing a turkey sandwich that was piled high on a tray.

Kristen followed suite and added, “After she said that she was proud of us for what we did.”

James’s mouth actually dropped open in surprise. “But she’s supposed to be the strictest teacher here! How could you two possibly get off with only a detention?”

“You’ve got to have charm James. Teachers love a kid who can charm their way out of things.” Sirius answered smoothly. Kristen decided not to point out that they had said barely anything at all and charm had absolutely nothing to do with it.

James mumbled something and scowled at his sandwich. “Shouldn’t you be happy that all we got was detention?” Kristen asked with some contempt.

When they received no reply Sirius grinned and said, “Well it’s wonderful to know that I have such a great friend. Couldn’t ask for a better one in fact,” he said sarcastically, raising his eyebrows in a challenging manner. Kristen smirked as James gave him a glare once more.

“Oh Jamesey!” A high-pitched voice called. They turned to it and saw Gwen coming towards the table, her bleach blonde hair flowing freely down her back. She strode over to them and managed to wedge her way between James and Remus, leaving Remus to sit uncomfortably close to Peter. “What’s wrong?” She asked in a cooing voice, noticing his disgruntled appearance.

“Apparently we’ve missed something,” Sirius remarked slyly, eyeing James and Gwen’s manners toward each other. “Don’t you agree Kristen?”

“If Gwen knows what’s best for her we haven’t,” she replied in a sarcastically cheery tone, staring Gwen down.

Gwen’s demeanor suddenly changed from happy go lucky, to wicked witch of the West. “And I told you I’m not afraid of you.” she replied darkly. The boy’s were now well aware that there was something far worse than what they had thought this morning when they first showed resentment towards each other.

“Please don’t let me punch her.” Kristen whispered in all seriousness to Sirius. “I really don’t want more detention already.” She didn’t know what it was about Gwen but she honestly hated her after even less than twenty-four hours.

Sirius already knew the full extent of Kristen’s temper and the likelihood of her doing something she was going to regret was very high. “You know what, we’ve got some homework, we better go,” He said quickly, dragging her out of the great hall.

“Oh great excuse. I mean, it’s not like they have any classes with us or anything,” Kristen said sarcastically once they were on their way to the Gryffindor tower.

“Hey, you were the one that needed my help. I was simply doing what you asked.” He retorted. “Felix felices,” he said once they reached the portrait. It swung open, admitting them to the red and gold attacked sitting room of Gryffindor tower. “So what is it about her that you can’t stand? Is it that she’s flirting with James?” He asked slowly, hoping to not get in another row with her just yet.

“She’s just annoying,” she grumbled, flopping down into one of the many comfortable chairs.

“So you’re not jealous,” Sirius stated, sounding still a bit confused.

“I just know what girls like her do to guys like James. She may only be eleven but she clearly is already accustomed to this whole take their heart and break it thing.” Kristen replied.

“And you’re sure you’re not jealous,” Sirius repeated.

“No, of course not,” She snapped at him. She knew she couldn’t possibly think of James that way. She had known him too long.

“Whatever you say,” Sirius said with a shrug, going up to his room, presumably for his charms book.

As Kristen sat there, staring at the empty fire grate, she couldn’t help but think on what he said. Every time she ever saw James flirting with some girl she got jealous, she had just accepted it as a sisterly thing. The way Sirius was implying it though was that she liked James, in that ‘more than a friend’ way. She had not even thought of the possibility. Her parents always made jokes about it of course, but that was just it, they were jokes.

“What was that about?” James demanded to know when he stormed into the common room.

“I don’t know,” she answered truthfully as Remus and Peter trailed in after him. She turned to look at him, wondering if by seeing him she could tell if she was just protective of him or really jealous. This time when she looked at him she felt some kind of swelling in her chest. “Oh no,” she whispered to herself, realizing exactly what it was.

“What?” He snapped.

She stood up and smiled, “Nothing. I’m sorry I yelled, alright?” She picked up her bag and was going to make her way to her room to drop of some of her books when James stopped her.

“Now I know something’s wrong,” he said seriously, walking over to her. “You never say you’re sorry, especially for something like that.”

“I just realized something and it changed some things. That’s all,” she told him. “Trust me, I’m perfectly fine.”

He looked at for a moment and then smiled. “Fine. But if you come to me later and tell me I’m being insensitive or something I will totally deny it.”

“So be it,” she retorted with a smile, beginning the accent to her room. Once she entered the deserted room she flopped down upon her bed and screamed into her pillow. She couldn’t believe it was happening. After all these years he was finally getting to her. She had been able to resist for so long and now it was coming back to haunt her.

She had a crush on James Potter.
* * *
Yes, yes, I know, it’s a Sirius/OC fic. Until then, I thought I’d throw in some drama. And yes, I know they’re eleven. This is something 11 year olds don’t typically deal with. But hey, eleven year olds also don’t usually have to fight thirty year old men with people on the back of their heads or save girls from trolls but no one complained about that did

Chapter 9: Detention
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Sorry about the delay. I’ve been visiting my dad for the past week and haven’t been any where near my stories. I hope you like this chapter. It’s defiantly my favorite so far. Well, enjoy!
* * *
All through Charms all she could ask her self was “Why?”. After all theses years, why now? Why now, when she was bound to spend every possible minute with him and was forced to watch him flirt with other girls.

She got practically nothing from the lesson, having been immersed in her own thoughts. She kept getting furtive looks from Sirius and James, as they were wondering why she was being so quiet. Peter, who was sitting right beside her, was completely oblivious to it. She nearly cheered in relief when Professor Flitwick announced that they were dismissed from double charms, allowing them a good half hour to deposit their things in Gryffindor tower, and then make their way to dinner.

“You’re being awfully quiet,” Remus commented halfway through dinner when she failed to say anything beforehand.

“Huh?” She asked, having just been jerked out of her trance.

“He’s right, you usually don’t shut up,” Sirius put in jokingly, right before biting into a large roll. Kristen glared at him. Her glare was suddenly turned to horror though when the roll burst into flames, causing Sirius to scream and the roll to fall on the table where it quickly returned to normal. Everyone in the great hall turned to look at them.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” She exclaimed quickly, not really sure what was going on.

“Why the bloody hell did you do that?” He yelled at her, desperately grabbing other people’s cups to cool his tongue.

“What is going on now?” Professor Mcgonagall asked irritably, striding over to their seats. “You two again?” She inquired when she saw who was making all the noise. “Was I wrong to only give you one night’s worth of detention?”

“I didn’t do anything!” Kristen and Sirius shouted in unison.

“Don’t play the innocent card St. Claire. You lit my roll on fire and everyone here can testify to it!” Sirius exclaimed, pointing an accusing finger at her.

“But I didn’t mean to!” Yelled Kristen in defense. “I didn’t even say anything! And how on earth would I know how to make fire anyway?”

“She’s right Sirius. There’s no proof it was her,” Remus put in.

“Well she was staring at me the ‘poof’! My bread was on fire!” Sirius retaliated.

Professor McGonagall sighed and said, “Come with me Miss St. Claire. No, no, don’t look like that. I just want to speak with you,” She said when Kristen’s eyes got wide. She proceeded to lead Kristen to her room, the young girl being gazed upon with both sympathy and amusement.

The Professor was silent as she led Kristen to her office. Kristen desperately wanted to talk, it was a nervous habit, but was far too afraid to do anything seeming against her wishes. “Sit,” she instructed once they had entered her office, gesturing to a rickety chair in front of her desk. She then sat herself down behind her own desk and folded her hands on the desk. “Tell me Miss St. Claire, have you ever done anything of that nature before? Have there ever been moments when something odd has happened when you were particularly angry or frightened?”

Kristen searched her mind. At first she could think of nothing, but then her mind started bringing up images of odd things that had often happened at her home. She had never connected them to magic though; she had just always thought that they were strangely bizarre incidents. For instance, when she was five her parent’s decided to get a dog from the pound. Kristen was extremely excited but once she got there and saw all the animals in cages she had started bawling. A split second later the cage doors had all busted open, allowing the animals to run free. That was only one incident, one in many. And now that she thought of it, with magic as an excuse, she could see that these incidents very well could have involved magic. “Now that I think on it, yes.” She answered decidedly.

“We actually don’t have this problem with muggle born children very often. You see, wizards are prone to let off magic in a sense when they have heightened emotions. Now wizard children know this and they try to perform magic when they’re upset or frightened. As you know, muggle children are completely oblivious to that so they have no reason to try.” The middle-aged woman rattled off.

“But I didn’t even want his roll to light on fire,” Kristen said slowly, trying to find the right words to explain herself. “I just glared at him and it happened.”

Professor McGonagall gave her a smile. It wasn’t much, but it shocked Kristen nonetheless. “I don’t say his much Kristen so take it heart. I truly believe that you have a lot of potential. I have no doubt that you’ll go far in this world. Now go to the great hall to meet Mr. Pringley. Dinner is probably over by now,” She said as a form of dismissal. Kristen didn’t hesitate in heeding her, even though she was not looking forward to detention.

When she reached the great hall she found it deserted save for Sirius who was leaning idly against a pillar. For a split second, she realized that what Gwen had said about him was true, that he was worthy of a second glance. But as quickly as that thought flew into her head, it flew back out again. She knew that those thoughts were forbidden, especially since she was currently supposed to be thinking James.

“He hasn’t shown up yet,” Sirius said when he spotted her walking towards him. “So what did she do to you?” He asked with a grin, his anger obviously still controlling him.

“Nothing, like she said, she just wanted to talk to me.” Kristen replied with a shrug of her shoulders.

“So I get my mouth lit on fire and all you get is a talking to?” Sirius asked with skepticism. When she just nodded he yelled, “That’s not fair! She just likes you for some reason. If I had done it to you I would have gotten a week’s worth of detention most likely!”

“You’re probably right,” Kristen agreed just to annoy him. “I wonder why he’s not here yet. Maybe he forgot,” She said hopefully.

They heard a hoarse laugh from across the hall and whipped their heads toward it. “You didn’t think you would really get off that easy did you?” A craggily voice asked. It took a moment for the voice’s owner to be seen through the shadows that were cast along the great hall. He was an old man with wrinkles crisscrossing every inch of his face and a stooped back that made him shuffle across the hallway. “Alright kiddies, up to the trophy room for ye. You’ll be polishin’ until sunrise most likely, so let’s get to it,” he wheezed, beginning to lead the way. Sirius and Kristen were completely silent on the way there, not daring to say anything that might upset the old man.

“The polish is there and the rags next to it. If I can’t see my image perfectly in each one of them when I come in you’ll do them all again, and I don’t care how long it takes.” He growled at them, shoving his two inmates into the trophy room. “Now have fun kiddies,” he said with a cynical smile and a cold, cruel laugh that sent shivers down each of their backs.

“Now that’s what you call crazy,” Sirius said once he was sure the caretaker was out of earshot.

Kristen sighed and went to grab a rag and a jar of polish. “I guess we better get started.” Sirius nodded, grabbed his own rag and jar of polish, and began the slow dulling work. Kristen felt like she was there for hours, by looking outside she could tell that it was easily tell it was well past eleven, possibly midnight. She found it miraculous how during it all they remained civil toward one another. They traded jokes, though they often didn’t understand each others. Sirius told her about the many members of his family, from his metamorphing baby cousin Nymphadora, to his great-grandfather who had been headmaster at Hogwarts not too long ago. Kristen entertained him by answering many questions he had about her world, most of which were completely ridiculous (“Do you really wash live ducks while you take a bath?”).

It was just after she was telling him about the more intricate details of soccer that he said, “Hey St.Claire, come over here.”

She walked over to where he was standing. He was looking into a case that held huge trophies labeled ‘Services to the School’. “Have you ever heard of Tom Riddle?” He asked, pointing at a trophy at the very front of the case. Obviously no one else had won a trophy since him. When she shook her head ‘no’ he said, “That’s Voldermort’s real name.”

“You’re kidding, right?” She asked in disbelief with a sarcastic smile. “Why on earth would they give him a trophy, especially one like that?”

“No idea,” He answered truthfully, still looking at it with a bit of confusion. “But I know it’s him, I’ve heard my parents talking about it. I wasn’t supposed to hear of course but I’ve been known to eaves drop on more than one occasion.” He finished with a wink.

“I always just thought that his parents were high or something when they named him,” Kristen said truthfully with a shrug.

“They probably were anyways,” he agreed with a laugh.

“Why doesn’t he go by his real name? And I’m guessing it’s not common knowledge to know it,” Kristen said slowly, wanting the whole story out of him.

“Well firstly, I think it was because his dad was a jerk to his mum or something, and he’s named after him. I’m not entirely sure about that though. And secondly, my family religiously traces the family lines of Hogwarts and Tom Riddle is the heir of Slytherin, the only one left for that matter. That’s how they knew his name at all.” He rattled off, remembering why he was there and scrubbing the vase with polish.

“Now I know why the Slytherins really are a whole bunch gits,” Kristen said, also beginning to do her job once more.

Sirius was silent for a moment. “You know, they’re not all bad,” he said ever so slowly.

“Like Narcissa?” She asked.

“Yeah. And I mean, there are a few in there that want nothing to do with Voldermort. Those are mostly the older students, the ones that were placed there before he really got a hold of some power.” He concluded.

“And to think, I thought you would always stand by your judgment that they were all a bunch of jerks.” She said off handedly.

“Oh, most of them are, don’t get me wrong! Just a select few aren’t all that bad,” He said thoughtfully.

“What are you doing in here talking?” A voice suddenly snapped at them, startling Kristen so much that she jumped and her jar of polish fell to the ground with a large crash, spilling its contents all over the ground. “Idiot girl! Now you’ve wasted a whole jar! Clean them all again! Get the polish off the floor and use it on them if you have to. I’ll be back to check on you delinquents later.” He huffed, shuffling back down the stairs without allowing them to have any kind of input.

“I’m so sorry,” Kristen said quietly, bending down and getting some of the spilt polish on her rag as to start all over again. “You can leave, I’ll tell him you got sick or something.” She almost wished he would go, she was near to tears and the last thing she wanted to do was let him see her cry. It was just that, no teacher had ever acted like that towards her.

“Lousy git,” Sirius fumed. For a split second Kristen thought he was talking about her and the tears began to well up in her eyes. But then she realized he was staring down the stairs and referring to the old man. “He could have done a simple repairing job and not have said those things! It was a mistake for Merlin’s sake!” He roared. He then ran his fingers through his hair, calming himself as he turned to Kristen. “Don’t listen to him. He just jealous because we’re part of the beautiful people and he’s not.”

Kristen laughed at this, pointedly ignoring the fact that he had basically just called her pretty. She was supposed to be obsessed with James, right? Every time she had a crush on a boy they were the only thing that could occupy her mind. So why was young master Black suddenly occupying so many of her thoughts?
* * *
It was well past four when they stumbled into the Gryffindor tower, nearly falling asleep on the ground.

“Well St.Claire, it was fun,” Sirius said with a nod to her. “We should do it again sometime.”

“Personally, I’m not so keen on getting another one of those.” Kristen yawned, stretching her arms as far as they would go. “I have no idea how I’m going to stay awake tomorrow.”

“Well you better try pretty hard. We’ve got flying tomorrow and I don’t want you to fall off your broom.” He said off-handedly. When she gave him an odd look he quickly covered it up by saying. “Not that I would care, it would be hilarious to me. It’s just that I’m sure lover boy Remus would find some way for it to be my fault.”

“What are you talking about?” Kristen asked him, a bit irritably. She hated it that he liked to flaunt it when he knew something she didn’t.

He cocked an eyebrow. “You’re kidding right? How is it not obvious to you? I mean, I’m a guy and I can see it!”

Kristen folded her arms over her chest and smirked at him. “Well, Black, some people do believe that your true gender is still in question.”

“And are you one of them?” He asked, returning her smirk.

“Well, yes, I suppose,” She admitted in mock relentlessness.

It was then he did something completely unexpected to her. He closed the gap between them and kissed her. And as hard as it was for her to admit to herself, she kissed him back. She had no idea why, she just did on instinct. She was the one who ended it though, mostly because she was having trouble wrapping her mind around it.

She noticed that for the tiniest of moments Sirius looked hurt but that was replaced by, once again to her astonishment, a blush. “Well, Kirsten, are you still questioning?” He tried to say this in a mocking tone but it came out in the form of a normal question.

Kristen looked at the floor, trying to hide the beet red color that had taken form on her face as well. “No, Sirius, I don’t think I am,” She replied slowly. It occurred to her for a moment that they were referring to each other on a first name basis.

There was an awkward silence. Sirius broke it by saying, “Well we should…um…”

“Go to bed I guess,” Kristen said helpfully, rubbing her arm to try and release her own tension.

“Yeah, bed,” Sirius replied, keeping his face down. “Well, g’night Kristen.”

“Night Sirius,” Kristen said, turning gratefully for her stairs as Sirius turned to his. She wanted nothing more than to sleep. Except answers. She would dearly love to have the answers as to why he did that. But as he was highly unlikely to give her any sort of explanation she decided to satisfy at least her second strongest need. She flopped onto her bed, not bothering to change her clothes. She was asleep before her face even hit the pillow.
* * *
Oh, how I love romantic tension…


Chapter 10: The feelings mutual
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Well, I personally love this chapter; I just had a lot of fun writing it, as well as the next one. Thank you so much to all my loyal readers out there, I definitely do not give you all enough credit!
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“Leave me alone,” Kristen groaned the next morning when Lily refused to stop shaking her.

“No. You need to have breakfast. Now come on!” Lily refused to give up, shipping the covers off of her.

“Oh give me a break! I didn’t get to bed until about five!” Kristen whined, desperately grabbing for the covers.

“And whose fault is that?” Lily shot at her, keeping a firm hold on the covers.

Kristen glared at her. “The bloody school, that’s whose fault it is.”

“Oh right, I forgot you had detention,” Lily said sympathetically.

“Well lucky you,” Kristen growled, standing up and stretching. She knew she wasn’t going back to sleep now, not with Lily hovering over her. “Where are the others?” She asked, suddenly noticing that Mary Jane and Gwen were not there.

“Already at breakfast. We are a bit late,” Lily answered tartly.

Kristen sighed and changed into clothes and then slipped her robes over them. “Let’s go then.” She mumbled, grabbing her bag and beginning to walk down the stairs.

“You got dragged out of bed too?” Sirius asked with a yawn once he saw her. She felt her stomach lurch awkwardly at the sight of him, yet she couldn’t think why. Suddenly, it all came back to her.

It took serious self-control to not blush at the sight of him. “Yeah, Lily conveniently forgot that we had detention last night,” Kristen answered as casually as she could.

“James just wanted to make my life Hell,” Sirius said with a shrug of his shoulders.

Are you coming to breakfast or what?” Lily asked from the porthole.

Kristen sighed and began to walk over there but Sirius grabbed her arm and said, “We’ll be there in a minute Evans.” He told Lily, who looked at both of them, smiled a bit, and then left. “Look Kirsten, I wanted to talk to you.” He walked her over to a large couch and sat down. He ran his fingers through his hair. “About last night Kirsten,” He began. Kristen could feel her heart accelerate and her stomach churn nervously as he looked at her. She couldn’t imagine what his explanation would be. Her head filled with images of him professing that he loved her; that he couldn’t bear to see her with any one else. “We were both really tired. I guess I wasn’t thinking.” Kristen felt her shoulders droop and her stomach drop. “I hope I didn’t make you disgust me or anything.” He looked sincere and yet Kristen just wanted to slap him. Actually, she really wanted to slap herself for hoping there was something behind it. She couldn’t believe that she had actually wanted it to mean something.

“Oh,” she said slowly. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. We were just…tired.” She was almost having trouble grasping it.

Sirius looked at her oddly. Finally he said, “So are you going to let Peter down easy?”

Kristen whipped her head up and said, “What?” Not that she hadn’t planned on telling Peter that she wasn’t his girlfriend, for lack of a better word, but she wasn’t particularly happy about Sirius saying it, especially like that, with a sort of finality and pity.

“Well, obviously, that kiss meant something to you,” He said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “So apparently you have a thing for me and I’m sorry but I won’t let you be my girlfriend if Peter still thinks you’re his.”

“Sirius, what’s taking you so long?” They heard James shout from the portrait hole. He jogged over to them and noticed Sirius’s expectant face and Kristen’s look of utter contempt. “What did you do now?” He asked harshly, rounding on Sirius.

“Nothing! I was just stating the facts,” Sirius defended himself quickly.

Kristen had been quiet till then, trying to work out precisely what to say. But that caused her to blow up. “The facts?” She screeched at him. “You call that idiot statement of yours a fact?”

“Well yeah! I’m not going to date you if your with Peter,” he said, a look of confusion about his face.

“Who said I wanted to be your girlfriend in the first place?” She demanded, her hands on her hips and her eyes flashing.

Sirius was not going to back down. “You kissed me back last night and you know it!” He shouted. Kristen saw James’s mouth drop open in shock but she chose to ignore him. “And then just now when I said it was just because it was late you looked upset! Obviously you wanted it to be something more.”

“But then you must ask yourself Sirius, why on earth would I, someone who really does not like you in the slightest, want it to ‘be something more’ if, and this is all according to you, Remus, who is much sweeter and smarter, apparently likes me,” She said smugly.

“You’re kidding right? You would seriously rather date that bookworm than me?” Sirius asked incredulously. He was used to girls trailing after him, not shooting him down.

“Of course I would you big-headed jerk!” She screamed at him. “Maybe if you were nicer and managed to prove that you do indeed have a brain then I might consider your offer.”

“Offer?” He yelled back. “Who said I was offering anything! I wouldn’t go out with you if you were the last girl on earth St. Claire!”

“Well the feelings mutual Black!” She retorted, storming out of the portrait hole and to the great hall. “I really need anger management classes,” she muttered to herself, walking briskly. When she was just about to reach the great hall a flood of students came out of the doors, hurrying back to their houses for their bags. Kristen’s stomach grumbled loudly at the realization that breakfast was over.

“Here,” Lily said, handing two pieces of buttered toast to her. “When you didn’t show up after a few minutes I decided to go ahead and make these.” Kristen had no idea how she had been spotted so quickly within the throng of people but simply stuffed a piece into her mouth.

“Thank you!” Kristen exclaimed through a stuffed mouth to which Lily rolled her eyes and grabbed her hand, taking her back to the tower.

“Will you do me a favor Lily? Could you grab my bag for me?” Kristen asked in the sweetest voice possible for her.

“Why don’t you go though?” She asked skeptically. Kristen was quickly learning that Lily was a very headstrong and stubborn girl, she needed to know every little detail of exactly what was going on or she wasn’t satisfied.

But the problem was, Kristen was very secretive. She didn’t particularly like other people poking around in her business. “I’ll explain later,” She said quickly, with no intention of following up on it.

Lily gave her one last skeptical look and then headed into the portrait hole after saying the password. Kristen really did not want the chance of seeing Sirius and getting in another fight. She had no idea why she was being like this. Usually she was pretty easy to get along with. She always had her moments, just like everyone else (alright maybe she had a few more than normal), but all in all she knew that she was a nice person.

Except to Sirius Black it seems.

And she wanted to punch herself for being that way. Not because she liked him, but because he was James’s friend (she was still pointedly not calling him James’s best friend) and as she was trying even harder to get on James’s good side at the moment she knew she should try a bit harder to be nice. And yet Sirius brought something out in her that she couldn’t understand.

“Here.” A bag was shoved into her hands. “Next time, you’re getting it on your own,” Lily said, but a grin was on her face. They then began to walk history of magic. “Are you going to sit in the back?” She asked once in the classroom. Kristen looked back and saw that the only seats back there were by Sirius or Peter, two people she’d really rather not sit by.

“Let’s sit up in the front. History is my favorite subject.” Kristen responded. “But don’t tell anyone that,” she added quickly. She didn’t want Sirius also calling her a nerd now.

She quickly realized though, that a history of magic was going to be far form her favorite subject. The man that taught it, Professor Binns, seemed to drone on and on for hours. She had never cherished a bell more in her life.

“I’m so excited!” Kristen exclaimed when they sat down for lunch after that horrific double history of magic. “We’ve got flying next.”

“Ya ho!” Lily said sarcastically, only picking at her food.

“What’s wrong with you?” Kristen asked, beginning to quickly jam food into her mouth.

“Well…I haven’t practiced for this, all right? Everything else I’ve had a head start in but I’ll probably make a complete fool of myself out there,” She said quickly, her cheeks inflamed.

Kristen just laughed at her. She couldn’t help it. The fact that she had managed to befriend such a high maintenance, always-has-to-be-perfect, girl was truly odd to her. She had never had a friend like that. Actually, having just a friend that was a girl was odd. She had never really fit in with the girly-girls who thought boys who had cooties, or the ones that were obsessed with them. She usually just hung out with the guys, being a bit of a tomboy herself.

“Oh it’s terribly funny Kristen,” Lily snapped at her. “I suppose that your little friend James has already taught you how to fly.”

“Well, yes,” Kristen answered.

“Hello Ladies,” James greeted them loudly, sitting opposite of Lily. “Is everyone else here completely stoked about the flying lesson?” He asked cajolingly.

With that Lily pushed her plate out of the way and put her head in her arms. “What did I say?’ he asked innocently.

“She’s afraid because she hasn’t had a chance to practice,” Kristen informed them.

James instantly perked up. “I can help you!”

Lily looked up and glared at him. “I would rather Sirius teach me than you,” She said with detest.

Sirius, who had only moments before joined the group by sitting next to James said, “That can be arranged.”

Lily simply glared at him as well and then put her head back in her arms. “You’re insufferable,” Kristen told him decidedly.

“And you’re a prat but you don’t see me broadcasting it,” Sirius retorted moodily.

“Professor Mcgonagall!” James called out when he saw her walking towards the Gryffindor table. “Is it possible to change houses?”

She looked at him oddly and asked, “Why on earth would you want to change? The way I understand it your family has been in this house for generations.”

“Yeah, but listening to this isn’t worth it,” he explained, motioning to Sirius and Kristen.

Mcgonagall turned on the and said, “Do I possibly need to give you two another detention?”

“No!” They shouted in unison. But it was clear that McGonagall had only been teasing them.

“The answer to your question in no James. The sorting hat’s decision is always final.” She answered him. She then briskly walked away, surveying her students’ activities like a hawk.

“Was detention really that bad?” Remus asked with a laugh, just now joining them along with Peter.

“I was stuck with him all bloody night so what do you think?” Kristen asked sarcastically.

“Hey! I was perfectly nice to you last night,” Sirius fought back.

Kristen narrowed her eyes. “You were being like that just to butter me up so that when you kissed me I wouldn’t hurt you!”

“I didn’t plan that! And I told you, I was tired! If I had been awake and in my right mind I wouldn’t have even considered!” He yelled at her.

“You kissed her?” Remus asked with complete confusion on his face.

“No, no, no. I didn’t just kiss her, she kissed me back and yet she refuses to admit it,” Sirius informed him cockily.

“All right, all right!” Kristen said in defeat. “I did kiss you back last night, I’ll admit it. But it was my first kiss, I wanted it to be…I don’t know, special I guess. And if I had just yelled at you it hardly would have been that.”

“But you –“

“Yes, I know I said I had kissed Charles or Erik or Michael,” Kristen told James; reluctantly naming off all the boys she had lied about. “But I hadn’t. I got wrapped up in the moment I guess.”

There was a rather awkward silence that followed. Lily finally raised her head and looked at Kristen questioning, Remus looked beyond confused, Peter was…withdrawn, James looked skeptical, and Sirius, his reaction was the most interesting of all. He held regret in his eyes. “Me too,” He said quietly.

Kristen stared at him. From what she understood, Sirius was quite the ladies man. The fact that he could get wrapped up in the moment, especially when it was her, really surprised her. Without warning, he continued to talk. “It was…it was my first kiss too.”

“What?” James yelled at him. “You always bragged about all the girls you kissed and went out with though!”

“The most I did was kiss their hand or cheek. Nothing more,” He admitted, keeping his eyes down.

“So you both lied to me? And all this time I thought you were better at the whole dating thing than I was. Heck I’ve kissed at least two girls, and I swear it!” James proudly announced to them.

Kristen didn’t say anything as James continued to rant, and neither did Sirius. She just looked at him, contemplating exactly what might be going through his mind.

“So are you not my girl friend?” Peter suddenly asked, jolting her from her thoughts.

“Oh…um…” She stammered, needing a moment to catch up with her thoughts.

“She not going to be mine, if that’s what you’re wondering,” Sirius put in, his face unreadable.

“Even though that’s true I still wanted to talk to you about that,” Kristen intervened quickly. “Look Peter, you’re really sweet, and…and nice but I don’t really think…” She trailed off, thinking he would get a hint by now. But he continued to look at her expectantly. She wasn’t used to it being this hard, maybe because the other times the guy had ticked her off and Peter had really done nothing wrong.

“She’s breaking up with you Peter,” James told him with rolling eyes. Kristen sighed at his bluntness and attempted to smile at Peter.

Peter was silent for a moment and the shrugged his shoulders with a simple, “Okay” before putting food on his plate.

“You’re not…” Kristen began but Sirius cut her off by whispering, “You should know better that to look a gift horse in the mouth.” She nodded her head reluctantly and stayed silent, only listening to the continued crusade of James trying to win Lily over.

-----------------------------------------------

“It wasn’t that bad Lily,” Kristen attempted to console her.

“Yes because everyone else fell off their broom three times as well,” She shot back at her sarcastically.

“Okay, so it could have gone a little better,” Kristen admitted.

“You don’t understand how embarrassing that was! Because you, of course, were brilliant.” She huffed, making the compliment almost sound like an insult. “I guess James taught you well.” She spat out.

Kristen looked at her with a small smirk. “Is that jealousy I hear?”

Lily whipped around to face her, brandishing her wand in the process. “Do you want me to hex you St.Claire?”

Kristen laughed and put her hands up in defense, even though she knew Lily could hardly do any damage, as they really hadn’t learned any spells yet. “Whatever Evans. You just keep thinking that way,” Kristen replied sweetly with a huge grin as the entered the great hall for dinner.

“Did any of you guys notice that huge tree when we were out there?” James asked quietly as soon as they sat down, as if it were a secret.

“We were next to a forest James, there were quite a bit of large trees,” Kristen replied sarcastically, filling her plate.

“No, I mean the huge one. It wasn’t there yesterday and I swear I saw it move!” He continued excitedly.”

Everyone looked at him skeptically. “I think you’ve gone off your rocker James,” Sirius decided, eyeing him with some concern.

James glared at him; still angry at having been informed he’d been lied to by his two best friends. Not only that, but he was feeling left out. Here were his two best friends and now they were running off and kissing? Not that he would want to kiss either one of them, but he couldn’t help but feel like a third wheel, even if they apparently hated each other. Anytime they were in the same room together they refused to pay attention to any one else! It was quite annoying to him, he who had always had their full attention anytime he was with them.
* * *
Ah yes, the whomping willow has arrived.


Chapter 11: Taking the Bait
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Oh yes, I had a lot of fun writting this one. Especially when...oh wait, I won't ruin the surprise for you. ; )
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It was exactly two weeks later that Sirius, James, and Peter came rushing through the common room at eight thirty in the morning, all babbling about something and looking a bit frightened.

“What happened?’ Kristen asked quickly, grabbing Lily’s arm to keep her there.

“It’s Remus! We can’t find him anywhere!” James gasped, attempting to catch his breath.

“He wasn’t in bed when we went to sleep last night but we just figured he was doing homework somewhere but he wasn’t here this morning either and we searched everywhere!” Sirius continued for him.

“You’ve got to tell Professor Dumbledore about this!” Lily instructed them, already beginning to make her way to the great hall. It wasn’t long before James and Kristen had urged them all into a run.

“Headmaster! Professor Dumbledore!” They all began shouting as they ran into the great hall, getting their usual odd looks. They had acquired more than most already by their shouting matches.

“Calm down children!” He said quickly, standing up when they reached his table. “What is going on?”

“It’s Remus Lupin sir. He’s missing!” James told him, once again struggling to catch his breath. Peter, lagging far behind, was wheezing by the time he arrived there.

They watched in confusion as he chuckled a bit and smiled. “Well it’s good to know that he made such concerned friends. You’ve no need to worry children; Remus’s mother is ill at the moment and requested that he be there. He should be back within a few days.”

Their mouths fell open at this. After all the drama built around it already that was a far from satisfying answer. “Why wouldn’t he have told us though?” Kristen challenged him.

Dumbledore’s grin did not falter. “It was a very urgent matter, I doubt he had time.”

“Well that was a rip off,” Sirius said on their way to Herbology, voicing everyone’s feelings.

“Aren’t you happy that he’s all right?” Lily asked disgustedly, finding it quite hard to keep away from James as he moved wherever she did.

“Well yeah, but I mean with the searching we went through I was expecting something bigger, you know?” He said casually. Kristen left the fighting to Lily on this one, for she quite agreed with Sirius.

Lily turned her nose up at him, striding over to the greenhouse and leaving them behind. “What is it with her?” Sirius asked once she was out of earshot.

“You have to forgive her, she just worries a lot,” Kristen answered with a shrug before running to catch up wit her.

Today’s lesson was proving to be particularly boring. The young professor seemed to be a bit nervous about how to teach, it was apparently her first year. Her nervousness tended to make her ramble on a bit, forcing them to listen to fact upon facts about an assortment of very boring and extremely tiresome plants. Kristen nearly fell asleep twice; each time Lily angrily shook her until she was obediently paying attention. As much as she liked Lily, her constant must-be-teacher’s-favorite attitude was a bit annoying.

The only had a few minutes break before they rushed to Defense against the Dark Arts; they were getting their actual teacher that day. Apparently there had been a bit of trouble in finding a replacement for the last teacher so they had had a variety of their other teachers giving them horrible reading assignments. She was surprised when James and Sirius actually sat in the front for a change, something that irritated Lily as it limited her seating choices for the front row. Kristen was in the end forced to sit between Lily and Sirius, the one who would force her to pay attention and the one who would inevitably make her so angry that any attempt at listening would be a waste of time.

Once the Slytherins, to their extreme displeasure, filed into the room as well their Professor came out of his office.

The first thing that crossed Kristen’s mind was that he was a very odd looking fellow with abnormally large eyes and his robes seemed to be made of several different colors and kinds of fabric. She saw Sirius and James both smirk at his appearance.

“Professor Aberforth is the name, teaching you lot is the game,” He said in a voice that sounded as if it had been used to rigorously through the years. He looked at his students, waiting for a laugh or at least some reaction to his rhyme. He gave up after a few moments waving his hand at them in a disgruntled manner. He took a piece of chalk and began to hurriedly write on the chalkboard. When he was finished he stood back proudly and read off his writing. “What does man love more than life, Fear more than death or mortal strife, What the poor have, the rich require, And what contented men desire, What misers spend, and spendthrifts save, And all men carry to the grave”

He then looked at them as every last student stared at him in confusion. “What are you waiting for, write it down!” He barked at them, causing everyone to quickly whip out a bit of parchment and a quill. No one dared to talk after that out lash. For the rest of the lesson he wrote down more riddles, giving them a few moments to write it down and then would proceed to the next one. They’d reached number forty when the bell rang and they were dismissed.

“I expect those to be answered by next lesson!” He called out to them as they left.

“That bloke is bloody crazy!” James exclaimed as they headed back to the common room.

Sirius commented off handedly, “He makes me think of Dumbledore.”

James continued as if Sirius hadn’t sad anything. “I mean, how is that supposed to help us defend ourselves against death eaters?”

Lily looked to Kristen questioningly. “Voldermort’s followers.” She explained in a whisper as James continued to rant. When Lily continued to look at her oddly Kristen arched her eyebrows and asked, “Has no one told you about him yet.” Lily slowly shook her head, obviously a bit afraid of what she was going to be told. Kristen waited to say anything more until they began to climb the stairs to their dormitory. “He’s an evil wizard. He kills and tortures people who don’t think like he does.”

“Like Hitler?” Lily asked in a desperate attempt to put things in a form she would understand.

Gwen suddenly joined them, looking stony faced and angry. “Exactly like Hitler. You-know-who pulls families apart based on their heritage and he’s trying to wipe a whole race’s generation off the map, muggle borns and half bloods. There’s no chance in hiding from him though, he’s got bloody spies everywhere.”

Lily looked positively horrified by now. “Shut up Gwen.” Kristen snapped at her, although she gave her quite a bit of space when they entered their room. This…different Gwen was somewhat scary. “You’re scaring her all right?”

“She should be scared. The bloody wizard is killing people left and right and both of you are going to be some of the highest targets on his list!” She snapped at them, throwing her bag to the ground.

“Stop it!” Kristen yelled at her, whipping out her wand. Lily was now shaking and her eyes were wide in horror. “You don’t have to terrify her like this! I had it under control, I was explaining to her!”

“Frankly Kristen, I don’t think you’re scared enough! Do you have any idea what he can do? Do you know how quickly he can take away a life and how little is does to his conscious? You should be frightened out of your wits! Not acting like the fearless little heroine that you’re masquerading to be!” She screamed at her before storming out of the room.

There was total silence. Mary Jane, who had entered in the midst of it, was the first to give an explanation for Gwen’s odd behavior. “She got a letter at lunch saying that her cousin had been murdered by a death eater. Her parents are coming to pick her up tomorrow to go to his funeral.”

Lily quickly brought her hand to her mouth in shock and Kristen felt pity well up inside of her. “She still shouldn’t have done that,” Kristen still spat out, despite how bad she felt for her.

“Kristen!” Lily snapped at her.

Kristen raised her hands in defense. “Well she shouldn’t!” She then grabbed Lily’s forearm and growled, “Come on!” She dragged her all the way down the stairs where she unfortunately stumbled right into the scene of Gwen crying and Sirius comforting her, rather awkwardly.

Kristen, looking back on it, was rather proud of the self-control she had at that moment. She didn’t yell at her, hit her, or insult her. Kristen chose to ignore the fact that Gwen really didn’t deserve any of those things anyway. Instead, she just focused straight ahead, pulling Lily along with her. She had no idea why she was upset, and that she made her even angrier as these sudden burst of fury seemed to be happening more and more often. She could not ignore however the desperate gestures of Sirius trying to get Kristen or Lily to help them. ‘Help me!’ he mouthed to them. Lily, having easy access to Kristen’s arm, forced her over there.

“You help her! You are partly to blame,” Lily whispered ferociously.

Kristen shifted from foot to foot nervously. Emotions and feelings weren’t really her thing, something that caused a lot of the girls at her school to call her a tomboy and other names of that nature. “I’m sorry I upset you,” Kristen managed to mutter. Sirius gave her a very relieved grin when Gwen turned to look to her and drew her arms off of him.

Her eyes were extremely blood shot and her bleach blonde hair had become completely disarrayed. “Sorry?” She spat out. Kristen was beginning to think she should reevaluate Gwen. This was the second time her reaction was completely different from what she expected. “How do you even know what I’m going through right now?”

“Mary Jane told us about the letter,” Lily explained calmly, laying a hand on Kristen shoulder to stop her from doing anything.

Gwen only let her surprise show for a moment. “Do you know why you should be afraid of you-know-who now?” She yelled at her. “My family is pure-blood and he did that so he would do even worse to your family!”

“Being afraid isn’t going to make this whole thing better though!” Kristen yelled back, shrugging off Lily’s hand rather violently. “Personally, I don’t want to sit under a blanket, scared out of my wits, waiting for him to come find me. If he wants to take on my family, well I’m not going to sit back and act like a scared little baby!”

“You seriously think you can take on the most powerful wizard to have ever lived?” Gwen said sarcastically with a smirk.

That smirk was the icing on the cake. “No, but I can take you!” Kristen roared, lunging at her. Gwen proved to be a worthy opponent, even if her scream off terror was comparable to the best of horror movies. Kristen just hit her, she wasn’t into the pulling hair thing and she definitely did not want to bight her. Gwen on the other hand, found those last two to be the most efficient as it was definitely making Kristen furious. All in all, it only lasted a few seconds as Sirius and Lily began to pull Kristen off of her.

“That’s right, have your friends save you from getting in trouble,” Gwen smirked at her, quickly trying to regain herself with some difficulty. Kristen struggled to get loose but Sirius and Lily were both holding firm.

“What’s going on?” A prefect with light brown hair demanded to know.

Gwen quickly took the damsel in distress route. “Kristen was jealous because Sirius was comforting me and he doesn’t like her!” She quickly accused her, pointing a finger.

Sirius knew the pain of really wanting to hit someone, probably better than Kristen. He didn’t want her to permanently damage Gwen though, as she had looked likely to do. He knew that would only lead to more detention for Kristen which would in turn lead to her being in an even worse mood but more importantly, he didn’t want Gwen snuggling up to him like that again. He had thought at first that she was quite nice looking; cute was how he would describe her. But over the past few days he’d learned some things about her. How she was as stupid as a bedpost and as clingy as…well he didn’t have a good analogy for that one. In short she was very clingy. All he had done when she came down the stairs was ask what was wrong. She then had thrown her arms around him and stared crying, offering absolutely no explanation. He had gathered through their conversation that Voldermort had killed her family member but in his opinion, she had kind of deserved to be hit. But he had stopped Kristen, more for Kristen’s sake that Gwen’s.

But that last comment. That was just below the belt.

He let go, leaving her only Lily to break away from, which really was quite easy. Kristen quite easily took the surprised Gwen down once again, only this time she was pulled off much quicker by the prefect.

“This is unacceptable!” She declared, holding onto her tightly even though she had refrained from struggling. “You!” She said, glaring at Sirius. “Come with me!” The girl grabbed onto to Sirius’s arm and took one of Kristen’s.

“What did I do?” Sirius asked desperately as they were dragged down the hallway rather brutally.

“You had a firm hold on her and she wouldn’t have at that poor girl any more if you hadn’t purposefully let go!” She said without looking at either one of them.

“Poor girl?” Kristen yelled at the prefect, her voice echoing through the large corridor. “That bloody girl provoked me! She was being a right pain in the arse!”

“Language!” She snapped at her. Silence ensued after that as the prefect angrily drug them along to Professor McGonagall’s office.

“You two again?” She asked irritably when they were brought into her office. “What was it this time?”

“The girl was fighting in the common room and he helped her.” The prefect explained, letting them sit down in front of her desk.

“He didn’t help me!” Kristen angrily shouted. “I elbowed him and he had to let me go! It’s not his fault!”

Professor McGonagall looked at Sirius. “Is this true Mister Black?”

Sirius simply shook his head and said, “No. I willingly let her go.”

“Are you an idiot?” Kristen asked him quite seriously.

Sirius shrugged his shoulders. “The way I see it, I’m going to have to start getting used to detentions.” He haughtily propped his feet up on her desk and smiled.

It looked as if Professor McGonagall had to seriously fight the urge to strangle him. “Mister Black, get your feet off my desk,” She told him in a dangerously calm voice. He was quick to listen. “Alice,” She then said, turning to the prefect. “You may go.”

She gave them a fleeting look as he left, almost pitying. She knew first hand what it was like to be the object of her head of house’s wrath. But she had to take them there, grim as their fate was.

“Do you care to explain to me why you were fighting and with whom Miss St. Claire?” The professor asked with a very grim look about her.

“I got really angry and it was Gwen Delano,” Kristen answered, finally looking as if she was calming down.

“And what did she do that was so abominable that you had to fight her?” McGonagall asked with raised eyebrows.

“She was being a prat!” Kristen shot at her. She immediately recoiled when her instructor gave her a particularly nasty glare and said, “She said things that pressed my buttons. I couldn’t control myself.”

“That much is obvious,” Professor McGonagall agreed curtly. She then turned to Sirius. “And what part did you play in all of this?”

“Evans and I grabbed onto her after the first go and after a nasty comment from the Delano girl I let Kristen go and she went at it again,” Sirius rattled off easily.

Professor McGonagall sighed and massaged the bridge of her nose. “Because you seemed to be provoked Miss St. Claire you will not be doing detention with Pringley but here with me after dinner, you as well Mister Black. You’re dismissed,” She finished regally with a wave of her hand.

The two first years were silent as the filed out of the room. Only after Professor McGonagall’s office was out of sight did Kristen speak. “Why did you do that? You could have gotten off, I covered for you.”

“Well, why did you cover for me?” Sirius asked her simply.

She looked as if it was a personal struggle for her to reply. “Because that’s what friends are for.” She answered quietly, not daring to look at him.

He smiled, although it was hidden from Kristen’s view. “Exactly.”
* * *
Well, I hoped you liked that. That very last part, I got from one of the deleted scenes in SS. I liked it so I put it in. Yes, I know Kristen behaves extremley rashly, that's just how she is. She does not think before she acts. Now I must tell you I can not wait for the chapter after next. I've been planning for months now and it's just so exciting! Well Adios!

Chapter 12: A Trip to Hogsmeade
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All right, I know I change a lot of canon things in this story, such as the placement of the house tables. Trust me! The rules could have been changed by the time Harry came around...
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“Remus John Lupin,” were the first words a thoroughly exhausted first year heard when he entered the Gryffindor common room. “Don’t ever do that to us again!”

Remus looked towards the voice and he felt his stomach churn nervously. It was Kristen, looking upset. James, Peter, and Sirius flanked her and Lily idly looked up as she sat in an armchair with a book.

“Do you know how worried we were Remus John Lupin?” James demanded, although he was more of mocking Kristen’s motherly manner.

He was lucky Kristen was too worked up to realize it. “We had no idea where you’d gone! We searched the whole bloody school! You should have told us that your mum was sick!”

“Yeah Remus John Lupin!” Peter shot at him with a grin.

“You could have died Remus John Lupin!” Sirius exclaimed hysterically, causing the three boys to burst out laughing as Kristen finally realized they were making fun of her and she shot them a glare.

“I’m sorry,” Remus told them wearily.

“How is she?” Kristen snapped at him irritably.

Remus looked at her oddly, trying to figure out what she meant. “Who?” He asked slowly.

“Your mum of course,” Sirius put in, cocking an eyebrow.

“Oh, um, fine. She gets sick quite often actually,” He replied a bit awkwardly.

They all looked at him skeptically. Even Lily put down her book to look at him. “Why can’t your dad take care of her?” James inquired with narrowed eyes.

Remus shifted as he thought of what to say. He knew he should have thought of the answers to all of theses questions sooner. “My mum is pretty…dramatic. She likes to have me there, just in case.”

“Wow, I’m sorry Remus,” Kristen said quietly, placing a hand on his arm. He felt bad about deceiving them, he truly did. But they were the only friends he had and he wasn’t about to just give them up. There was no way they would stay by his side if he told them the truth.
* * *
For Sirius and Kristen, potions almost became agony for them. Slughorn called on them every time he asked a question, his means for this they had yet to figure out. They weren’t sure if he really liked them and thought they were smart for some reason, or if he was just torturing them. They currently believed the second.

Remus proved to be of tremendous help with their defense against the dark arts homework. Even Lily helped them with one or two, although she usually worked on her own.

“I know you are all probably wondering why on earth I gave you that assignment,” Their professor began a bit needlessly the following lesson. There were several grumbles as students began to pull the assignment in question out of their bags. He turned to Sirius. “Mister Black, how long did it take you to figure number one out?”

Sirius smiled cockily and answered, “’bout five minutes.”

Professor Aberforth them turned to Lily. “It took him and his friends about half an hour sir.” She answered dutifully. He nodded his head with a grin and leaned against his desk.

“And why was it so difficult? You,” He looked at the new student in the class, Remus. “Why do you believe it was so hard?”

“Because we had to think differently,” Remus answered slowly, sounding a little unsure about himself. “You couldn’t look at them one way.”

“Precisely!” Their professor shouted excitedly. “Ten points to Gryffindor! You see children; I gave you these riddles to help you understand that there is not one way to think. There are infinite ways of achieving your end but each and every soul on this earth is born with one way of thinking. There are those who are content with that and then there are those who are not. Those are the ones who strive to make themselves better. You all need to be those kind of people because there’s no way you’re going to take down a death eater with a friendly little duel. You need to be able to use all your resources and think several ways at once!” He preached to them, thoroughly enthralling the little first years. He went on that way for nearly an hour, continuing after the bell rang though none dared to move. He told them off his own adventures and how best to avoid getting in those particular adventures and how to get out of them with all your limbs in tact.

He looked to the clock and smiled wirily. “Well, looks like I’ve rambled all the way through your lunch. Here,” he waved his wand and an intricate buffet was laid out before them. It was primarily sweets, everything from donuts to suckers. “Do not tell your next teacher what class you just had,” he told the firmly, knowing that they all would be extremely energetic come their next class.

The next few weeks flew by in a frenzy of classes and studying for classes. Remus once again left school to tend to his mother, leaving his friends with even more questions. Throughout this, Kristen found herself trying harder and harder to sit closer to James and wonder why he would flash that charismatic grin at other girls but not at her. All in all, she hated liking James. She didn’t know how other girls survived this. What was really annoying though, was how he was still obsessed with Lily. She got those little smiles all the time and yet completely ignored them. She wished she could be like Lily and dread getting one of them but she couldn’t.

“Look!” James shouted excitedly one afternoon in the Common Room. “Hogsmeade trip coming up on Halloween!”

“Wizarding village,” Remus explained quietly to Lily and Kristen. He had become their confidant when asking questions like this.

“That’s only a week away!” Peter exclaimed excitedly.

That’s all they talked about for the next week. Hogsmeade this and Hogsmeade that. None of them could concentrate on their classes from excitement, something Professor McGonagall hadn’t failed to pick up on.

“I put you two in the front because I thought that since I gave you two detention four times within the first two months that you wouldn’t be likely to listen and yet you are now in the front and you still don’t listen!” She cried out angrily to Kristen and Sirius on October thirtieth. “I’ve got half a mind to not let you go!”

“No!” They shouted in unison, causing the rest of the class to laugh.

Halloween dawned slightly dreary, though that hardly affected the hyperactive first years moods. They rushed down to breakfast, ready for their first real adventure at Hogwarts.

“Now I know all of you are excited about the upcoming trip,” The headmaster began, standing up at the head table. “But I must warn you that you need to stay in groups, never wander off by yourself. Do not trust strangers and be careful.” He sounded like an anxious mother as he spoke to them. “And lastly, have fun.” He smiled widely as there was a cheer of approval before children began running for the door.

They all pulled on their coats to warm them from the bitter wind that whistled over the grounds. They talked nonstop all the way there. Lily was stonily silent as James walked next to her, flashing his charming smile at her once again.

“We definitely have to go to Honeydukes!” Sirius told them excitedly, leading them to the already overly crowded candy shop. James grabbed all the candy in sight, causing the cashier to smile brightly when she saw his purchase.

“Look up there,” Peter said later, pointing to a horribly run down shack on the outskirts of the village.

“I’ve heard it’s haunted,” Remus said off-handedly with a shrug.

“Rubbish,” Lily scoffed. “There’s no such thing as ghosts or ghouls.”

Kristen looked at her as if she was some sort of lunatic. “And have you just happened to miss all those sheer ghostly people walking around Hogwarts?”

“Well that’s quite different,” She said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “People don’t consider Hogwarts haunted do they?”

“That’s because Poltergeists and ghouls do the haunting,” Sirius corrected her.

“And Werewolves!” James said excitedly.

“Let’s got get a butterbeer, shall we?” Remus suddenly asked, already making his way to the Three Broomsticks. The rest didn’t hesitate in following him; it had been nearly four hours since breakfast, resulting in their extreme hunger and thirst.

The Three Broomsticks customers were beginning to drift out as the six first years made their way in. Most were ready to head back to Hogwarts to get out of the blistering wind as well as gear up for the upcoming feast.

“Here you are dearies,” A young barmaid beamed, setting down their bottles on the table. Kristen and Lily took theirs a bit hesitantly while the boys were near chugging their own. It took but one sip for Kristen to realize that she had made the right decision when choosing to come to Hogwarts. It was unlike anything she had ever tasted, tingling every one of her taste buds and making butterflies in her stomach. It appeared that Lily quite enjoyed it too as it only took a few swigs for her to complete her bottle.

The clock slowly churned to three as they sat in the comfort of the Three Broomsticks, each one thoroughly emptying their moneybags on more drinks. “We should probably head in,” Remus suggested, noticing clouds gathering in ominous looking clumps that promised a good drenching. As comfortable as they were, no one protested at the realization that the tavern was quite barren of Hogwarts students save them. Stopping to pay the bill at the counter, they filed out to the now clear streets of Hogsmeade.

It was eerily silent as they began to walk down the street. Each one of them caught themselves looking over their shoulders as they walked. The silence was wrong, they all knew that and within seconds, their thoughts were proven correct. There was absolutely no warning as six cloaked figures suddenly surrounded them. The sound of malicious cackles filled the streets as they already terrorized group huddled together.

“Well, well, well, what have we here?” A cold voice drawled, stepping towards them. “Looks to me that we have some first years on our hands. What do you think boys?”

There were cajoling agreements all around. All that Kristen could manage to do was stare, not much more than any of her friends. She simply couldn’t believe that this was happening, for she was quite aware of whom these people were. They were Death Eaters.

“Well boys, don’t you think we should help these poor young students?” Asked the leader with an audible smirk. “After all, being forced to listen to Dumbledore’s prattle must be simply horrific.”

All of his companions spat on the ground as if by habit, cursing Dumbledore’s name. The leader held up his hand to stop him. “Personally, I believe with just the right amount of pain we could erase all those terrible memories.” He whipped out his wand, causing his followers to do the same. Kristen’s breath was becoming progressively shallower as their prospects of getting out of this unscathed became less and less by the second.

Without a second thought the others shouted, “Crucio!” Kristen watched in horror as Sirius, James, Peter, Remus, and Lily all began to whiter in pain and their shrieks echoed throughout the town. She quickly looked to the leader; the person that she only assumed was supposed to be making her suffer through this as well.

“I know this is far worse pain than the Crucio could ever inflict,” He said icily.

She glanced back to the others who were getting no break from their pain. She felt as if she was being torn apart as well. “Stop!” She shouted without thinking.

The Death Eaters ceased, surprised at the boldness of this girl. They looked to their leader who furiously grabbed the girl’s shoulders, his hood falling back in the process.

Kristen knew the instant that her eyes locked with his that it was him. It was Voldermort.

Chapter 13: Losing sight of yourself
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I really hope you do not absolutely hate this chapter. I’ve loved writing it though, mostly because I felt like I’ve really honed some of my writing skills during it, such as elapsing time (If you read my other story you know that I have issues with that). Please Enjoy and if you find any problems with it do not hesitate to tell me.
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She couldn’t even begin to comprehend what happened next. One moment she was sure he was going to kill her, the next a flood of thoughts that were definitely not hers coursed through her mind. She felt a powerful lust to control and to kill. Bloodied bodies flashed across her eyes as an insane happiness permeated her. She knew that this happiness wasn’t right, though it felt wonderful. Part of her just wanted to leave it be, the other though, was terrified by the sight of all these bodies and wanted nothing more than to break this stream of images. She tried to push them away but all that accomplished was an astonishing pain in her temples, causing her to scream in pain and fall to the ground.

“Dumbledore! He’s coming!” One of the Death Eaters shouted, his fright audible.

Kristen looked up at Voldermort through bleary eyes, astonished to see a look of pure horror come over his face when she looked at him.

He quickly regained his composure. “All right lads, we’ve had our fun for the day.” He gave Kristen one last searing look before ‘popping’ away, followed by his five lackeys.

All she could do was stare at the spot where he had been standing, unable to move and barely able to keep a hold on her weary conscious. She just couldn’t believe some of things she’s seen, and the emotions she had felt along with them, that happiness at seeing the dead bodies…had it been hers? She was horrified at the very thought and forced her self to shake her head slightly and try and rid herself of it.

“Oh Merlin!” She heard her Head of House shout, though she barely comprehended it. The rest was a blur for her. She vaguely noticed the entrance of Dumbledore as he shouted at several shop owners and held a protective arm around her. She did notice though, that she never once saw her friends. As soon as McGonagall got there she had pressed Kristen tightly to her and then handed her off to Dumbledore. They never said a word to her, and she never offered any. The same images kept playing in her mind, her friends’ pain, the dead people, and then the disturbing happiness that came along with it. She then felt herself being gingerly picked up off the ground, and then a gentle rocking of her body ensued, slowly lulling her to sleep.
* * *
She felt as if a giant truck had barreled into her head when she woke up. She immediately clasped her hand over her forehead, the pain nearly unbearable. She felt someone press a bottle to her mouth, coaxing her to drink the substance. She hesitantly swallowed, her throat burning as it went down. She found though, that the pain nearly vanished. She now felt calm enough that she could open her eyes.

“Good Afternoon Miss St.Claire,” Dumbledore greeted her as she sat up. “I must say you gave us quite a fright.”

She slowly looked around, finding herself in a starch white room and a cheery looking window with sunlight spilling through. She then turned to Dumbledore and wearily asked, “Who are you?”

He looked at her questioningly. “Headmaster Dumbledore.” He answered her tentatively.

She continued to look at him with a blank stare. “Headmaster of what?”

“Oh dear,” he breathed out. “You don’t remember a thing do you?”

“Remember what?” She inquired quickly, panic overspreading her face. “Where am I?”

“St. Mungo’s. You were hurt so I brought you here,” He told her. He was at a complete loss as to why this was happening. When they had found her there had been no evident bruises or any marks, indicating that a cruciatus curse had not been administered to her. She had been perfectly fine when they found her, and yet she had remained completely silent and blank faced before losing consciousness. She had now been in St. Mungo’s for nearly a fortnight.

“St. Mungo’s,” She repeated slowly, the word obviously foreign to her.

“Like a hospital,” Dumbledore provided for her, remembering a story of one in a muggle newspaper. “Now dear, can you tell me the last thing you remember? Anything at all?”

She scrunched up her nose in thought and stared at her intertwined hands. “Nothing,” She answered so quietly he could barely hear. She looked up at him, her eyes watery and filled with distress. “I can’t remember anything.”

Dumbledore was visibly panicking. He had been relying on her telling of the events to find out what happened. Those poor children were still unresponsive and the wounds on their bodies were healing slowly. He needed to know if something else had been done to them and why she had remained unaffected. He stood up and held out his hand to her. “Would you like to see your friends?”

She looked at his hand with contemplation before saying solemnly. “I don’t know who you’re talking about though.”

“It does not matter,” he assured her. “Maybe seeing their faces will help you remember.”

She hesitantly took his hand and stepped out of the bed, taking a moment to get her equilibrium back. Dumbledore then led her out of the tiny room and into a barren hallway. They made their way to an elevator of sorts and went to level 4.

This hall was much fuller than the last. Many people in white robes were bustling to and fro and sobs could be heard from more than one distraught visitor. Kristen instinctively clung to Dumbledore’s arm.

“This is the room of your best friend James, and Remus.” He told her as the entered a similarly starch white room. He led her over to the raven-haired boy saying, “From what I have been told he has been your friend since birth.”

Kristen gently picked up his limp hand and looked at his face. “I know him?” She asked meekly, touching his face as if it would help her to identify him.

“Yes.” He replied, feeling pity for the obvious pain she must be feeling. He briefly wondered if he should be doing this to her, making her fully realize that she had lost everything so suddenly upon her awakening. He quickly shook it off, deciding that is this would help her regain her memory any faster, it was worth it.

“And this is Mr. And Mrs. Lupin,” He said next, motioning to a pair of very tired looking adults who looked startled by the mentioning of their names. “Roger, Catherine, this is Kristen. She is one of your son’s friends.”

“It’s very nice to meet you dear,” The woman said, her eyes rimmed with red, as she stood up. Her husband held her hand to steady her.

“You as well,” Kristen said politely, silently relieved that she was actually meeting them for the first time. She then walked slowly over to Remus and stroked his face as she did James, hoping that it would ignite something within her. She did feel a sort of anxiety well up in her but she had no idea where it came from. She noticed that the man with the long white beard, she couldn’t keep track of his name to save her life, was whispering to the boy’s parents. She looked back over the boy called James. She felt bad for him; he didn’t have anyone to sit with him.

“Come along dear, we’ve more to see,” Dumbledore called out to her, leaving Remus’s parents to sit back beside him. He led her a ways down the hall and into another room, one with a boy and a girl. The girl had a woman with light blonde hair sitting beside her while the boy had a woman that was quite portly with long and somewhat raggedy dark hair. “This is Lily Evans and Peter Pettigrew. Good Afternoon Mrs. Evans,” he said politely to the blonde woman. She looked up quickly, her eyes blood shot and puffy, but she managed to smile. “This is one of your daughter’s friends, Kristen.” Mrs. Evans nodded meekly to her. She was grasping Lily’s hand tightly, as if afraid it would slip away. Kristen didn’t want to intrude upon that; instead she turned to the other boy’s, Peter’s, bed. His mother barely even acknowledge them. The only sign that she saw them at all was the glare she gave Kristen. It distressed Kristen that she was apparently so hated when she had no idea what she had done. ‘Did I hurt him some how?’ Kristen asked her self feverishly. Dumbledore laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. “Come,” He beckoned her quietly, leading her out of the room.

“Why was she upset with me?” Kristen asked as soon as they were in the hallway

Dumbledore sighed. “Some people do not know how to deal with the grief they are feeling so the accidentally channel it to someone else. She was not upset with you Kristen, only very sad for her son. Ah, here we are, the last room.” They entered into yet another starch white room. A woman with red hair was sitting beside a boy, tucking a piece of hair behind his ear lovingly. “Why Emily, I was wondering where you had run off to.” Dumbledore said with exuberance.

The woman whipped her head to them, smiling. “Well, Sirius is as good as a son to me. And his detestable mother refuses to visit him so I decided to.”

“You are very caring Emily.” Dumbledore said with praise.

It seemed only then that the woman realized that he had a person with him. “Kristen!” She shouted with joy, quickly enveloping the tiny girl in her arms.

“Let go!” Kristen shouted in fear, trying to push away from her.

“Emily, please, she doesn’t know you,” Dumbledore said quickly, holding on to Kristen’s shaking shoulders.

“What do you mean she doesn’t know me? She’s known me her entire life,” Emily said in confusion.

The Headmaster looked somewhat nervous when he said, “She’s lost her memory.”

Emily stared at him in shock and then looked to Kristen. “You really don’t know who I am?”

Kristen shook her head quickly, afraid that the woman might attack her again. “I’ve been showing her friends to her.” Dumbledore said. He then motioned to the boy lying on the bed. “This is Sirius Black by the way.”

Kristen walked over to him as Dumbledore and the other woman continued talking. She felt something different when she looked at him than when she had looked at the others. Recognition. Not total recognition, but enough to feel like she had seen him before. Her stomach felt strangely jittery though, as if there were butterflies in it.

“Well I really do need to be with James. I’ve been with Sirius all morning,” She heard the woman say.

“I can stay with Sirius,” Kristen heard herself volunteer, not quite sure where it came from.

Dumbledore smiled at her. “You will have to watch him by yourself I’m afraid. I have to speak to Professor McGonagall within the hour.”

Kristen shrugged, quite indifferent as to if he was there or not. Either way she was not going to have more memory of either of them. “Stay in the room then until I get back. If you need anything the healers will be more than happy to assist you.” With that he and Mrs. Potter left the room, leaving her with Sirius and an old woman sleeping by the window.

She settled herself beside him and picked up his hand. It was warm, and somewhat comforting. Once again she felt an array of emotions broil inside her, everything from jealousy, to sheer bliss. She couldn’t understand it, yet she was happy to have someone that she was sure she had known at some point.

She had been in there for the better part of an hour when she suddenly felt him stir, quite startling her. She would have yanked her hand away had he not closed his own around it. She watched as he slowly opened his eyes, the pupils taking awhile to become accustomed to the light. “Kristen?” He asked in a hoarse voice.

All she knew to do was to nod, so she did. “Oh,” she suddenly said, standing up. “I should go find…oh what is his name, the man with the long white beard. I’m sure he wants to talk to you!” She rambled off quickly, about to run for the door.

“Wait,” he said to her, forcing her to retreat to his bed. He looked at her inquisitively and asked, “What happened Kristen? Were we really attacked by death eaters?”

She shifted from foot to foot nervously. “Look, Sirius, I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know. The man with the long white beard, he asked me if I knew what happened too. I can’t remember any of it. I really haven’t even the slightest idea of who you are for that matter. I mean, I know I know you because I can somehow tell I know you but I don’t know you at all. I can’t remember you.” She vaguely explained, slumping back down into the chair.

“You lost your memory?” He asked in shock.

Kristen ran her fingers through her hair uncertainly. “Um…yes, I suppose.” She answered quietly. She watched as the boy took it in, looking exceptionally pensive. She knew she should get someone, she was guessing that it was a big deal that he was awake. But she knew him! That meant he knew her too! She wanted so desperately to ask questions. “We were friends, right?” She asked him suddenly.

He looked a bit surprised by her question but then he smiled. “Yeah, for lack of a better word. We were really quite mean to each other.”

Kristen looked horror stricken by it. “Oh I am very sorry! I’m sure I didn’t mean it!”

Sirius laughed here, quickly stopping though as he clutched his side. “Are you all right?” She asked him quickly.

“Yeah. I’m fine,” He grunted, forcing a smile. “It’s funny really. It’s like you’re total different person now. You’re a lot nicer to me.”

Kristen seemed hurt by his statement as she hung her had and twisted her hands together. “No, no, no,” Sirius said quickly, grabbing her hand to try and comfort her. “I usually deserved it. Trust me.”

She managed to smile a bit at that. “Thanks for being honest. You easily could have said that we were best friends in the world or that I was your worst enemy or something else preposterous.”

“Well it all would have been ruined by James anyhow,” Sirius explained his actions. “Speaking of, how are the others?”

“Well, I saw four others and they were all asleep. The girl with red hair, Lily I think, her mum was crying so I’m not really sure how she is.” Kristen rattled off. “Oh, and that boy, James, his mum was in here with you. I think it was his mum anyways.” She then looked at him pensively as he smiled serenely at the news. “Why don’t your parents visit you?” She found herself asking quite rudely. She immediately slapped her hand over her mouth after she said it but if course, it was too late.

His face fell at the question but he answered nonetheless. “My mum doesn’t really like me. I’m a disappointment to her.”

“But why?” Kristen pressed him. “You’re very nice.”

He laughed a bit at that. “Now there’s something you never would have said before. If you want to start remembering you need to meaner to me.”

“Like I said, I’m sure I didn’t really mean it,” Kristen said quickly, looking near tearful. “Please forgive me, I’m really sorry!”

“Don’t be,” He assured her with a large grin. “I asked for it every time.”

“Well Mr. Black,” A healer said cheerily as she walked into the room. “It’s nice to see your eyes after two weeks of waiting. And you,” she looked at Kristen pensively, “you’re not supposed to be on this floor or awake.”

“Um…the man with the long white beard brought me to see my friends.” She answered timidly.

“Dumbledore,” Sirius supplied. “And I’m extremely sore and really not quite sure what has happened.”

“That’s to be expected,” She said with a smile. “And I’m sketchy on the details of what trauma you went through as well, though I’m sure Headmaster Dumbledore will be able to explain.” She then turned to Kristen. “You need to be back in your bed resting.”

“But I promised I would stay here!” Kristen protested.

The healer looked uncomfortable. “All right,” She relented. “I suppose they’ll be moving you down here anyways. But I still need to do an over all check on you. Sit on the end of the bed,” Kristen dutifully did as she was told. The healer got out her wand and poked her in several places, getting an odd look about her face. “Are you feeling all right dear?”

“Perfectly,” Kristen answered honestly. She had no aches or pains, except for a minor headache, and maybe a little sleepiness, but otherwise perfectly fine.

“You can’t remember anything!” Sirius pointed out with a bit of laughter. “That means something’s wrong.”

“You have amnesia?” The healer asked with a startled look.

“What?”

“Amnesia, as in you can’t remember your past.”

Kristen rubbed her arm a bit uncomfortably. “Not really.”

“Can you tell me what your eye color and name is?” The healer inquired of her.

“My eyes are brown!” Kristen said excitedly, happy to know an answer.

“Fraid not dearie,” the woman said sympathetically. “They’re green. And you name?”

“My eyes most certainly are not green!” Kristen shot back. “They’re dark brown.”

“Don’t worry lass, forgetting one’s own appearance is a common sign of amnesia. Trust me, they’re green. Now, tell me your name please.

Kristen stared at her a moment, looking as if she was trying to figure out a very complicated puzzle. She sighed though and ran her fingers through her hair. “Well, people keep calling me Kristen, so I guess that’s my first name but I do know my last name. It’s Riddle.”

“Is that right?” The healer asked of Sirius.

He fought to keep a calm face. “Um… yeah. That’s her name.”

“Well Miss Kristen, as you are going to need to stay here a bit longer I’ll have Ms. Finchley here moved to another room so you can be with your friend.” The healer smiled widely. “You are a strange case Kristen, you remember your name but nothing else and we have no idea how you came by your illness. Don’t worry though, we have some of the best healers of the world right here to help you.” She then stood up and walked back out into the hallway.

“What the bloody hell do you mean that your name is Riddle?!”

Kristen looked at Sirius, startled by his word choice and sudden yell at her. “Well, it’s my name. It’s not something I have to remember, it’s just who I am. Like my eyes, I know their brown. That’s me.”

“You’re eyes are green and your name is Kristen St. Clair.” He corrected her.

She looked acutely distressed by this revelation. “But I know,” She whispered sadly, blinking away tears of confusion. “It’s Riddle. It’s always been Riddle.”

Sirius looked at her sympathetically and sighed. “Look Kristen, did you know that I was hurt?”

She shrugged her shoulders half heatedly. “I supposed.”

“They put a spell on me, the crucio. Wait,” he suddenly stopped. “You do know you’re a witch right?”

“Well of course,” She answered simply. “How could I not know that? I can feel the magic inside me.”

He looked at her oddly for what she felt must have been at least the seventeenth time that day. “Well, the crucio is a spell that causes immense pain. A man named Voldermort sent them.”

Kristen nodded her head numbly, trying desperately to take it in. “But Kristen…” he looked nearly ill as he tried to continue. “Voldermort’s real name is Tom Riddle.”

She blinked rapidly at this, her mid obviously working quickly to find a solution. “Surely it’s a common name…”

Sirius solemnly shook his head. “No it’s not. Riddle is a pretty rare name. And don’t you think it’s odd, that you can remember nothing except your last name?”

“And what I look like,” she put in desperately. “I have dark brown hair and eyes.”

“No Kirsten, you don’t. Look at your hair,” he instructed her. She tentatively put a few strands of hair in her face. “See, blonde.”

“It’s brown!” She nearly yelled at him in frustration. “I can see it! How do you think it’s blonde?”

“What’s going on?” A deep voice said a bit threateningly. Kristen whipped around to see that Dumbledore had returned. “What is the meaning of this Miss St. Claire.”

“My name is not St. Claire!” She shouted at him with desperation. Tears were freely running down her face now. “Why won’t anyone believe me?” She collapsed to the floor on her knees as she held herself tightly.

“Do you know what she’s speaking of?” Dumbledore asked Sirius quietly, bending down to be on Kristen’s level.

“She thinks her name is Riddle and that she has brown eyes and hair.” Sirius answered, slowly getting out of his bed and bending down to her. Shots of pain went through him, sending stinging sensation to his eyes as tears of pain threatened to form.

“That’s not possible,” Dumbledore whispered in bewilderment.

“Why?” She demanded to know. “Why is it not possible? That’s me! That’s who I am!”

“Oh my child,” he breathed, embracing her tightly. “You’ve been through a horrible ordeal. I’m so sorry.”

Sirius was surprised to see that Dumbledore sounded quite emotional as he continued to hug Kristen, gently rocking her back and forth as Sirius sat on his knees and watched in a daze, only able to wonder what was going on.

Chapter 14: Keeping it in
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From that day Kristen somewhat avoided Dumbledore, telling Sirius that she simply felt uncomfortable when he was around. Her friend accepted it without question, her odd behaviors becoming a regular occurrence.

Over the next week he told her stories from Hogwarts and the few things he knew about her life before she went there. She was fascinated by it all and asked questions until she was blue in the face. She was surprised though, that James’s mother never once told her stories, nor had Kristen inquired for them. Kristen rarely saw her anyways, occasionally running into her as Sirius and herself made the rounds of checking up on their friends each day.

Then, finally, James woke up.

They first heard it from his mother, who came running into their room to tell them. They instantly went to him, finding him sitting up in bed and looking a little worse for wear.

“James!” Kristen shouted with joy even though she did not really recognize him.

“Hello,” he replied with a wide grin.

“Nice to see you mate,” Sirius told him.

“You too,” James agreed, slowly taking in his surroundings as his mother beamed. “What happened though? I remember the death eaters and then that’s it.”

“They attacked us. Crucio.” Sirius answered, subtly glancing at Kristen to reassure that he could provide the information.

“I know you’re very excited for you friend but I’m going to need both of you to leave while I do a check over,” the healer assigned to James said kindly to the children.

As they walked back Sirius glanced at Kristen, noticing her unusual quietness. “Is something wrong?” He asked her with concern.

She looked at him, searching for exactly the right way to say what was on her mind. “Don’t tell him,” she said slowly, picking her words carefully. “Don’t tell James that I can’t remember.”

“But he’s your best friend,” Sirius tried to assure her. “It wont make him feel differently about you.”

“I know, I just don’t want him to know yet. I mean, if he outright asks, I won’t deny it, or if his mum tells him it’s all right. I just want him to act as if everything’s okay.” She said with a shrug of her shoulders, obviously acting as if everything was better than it actually was.

Sirius was tempted to just take her answer, the thing he usually did when she began acting secretive like this. But he knew something was bothering her and over the last week he had taken it upon himself to take care of her as Dumbledore began avoiding her like the plague and Mrs. Potter, uncharacteristically, began to forget about them. “Kristen, you can tell me what’s bothering you.”

She sat at the end of his bed, her usual spot when talking to him. “I don’t want him to try to change himself. I mean, I know I was simply lucky that you’re acting normally. And even then I’m not sure you are but I trust you. I just don’t want to have to risk it with him.”

“That’s not all that’s bothering you,” Sirius prodded her. She’d been getting more and more depressed, he could see it. Every day she talked a little less and slept a bit more. He wasn’t sure what it was, perhaps fear for her friends or remorse over losing herself. “Tell me.”

She looked around the room, as it she was afraid for anyone to hear. “Oh I know you’ll hate me when I tell you,” She said worriedly, pushing her fingers through her hair. “It’s just, I don’t know why my parents haven’t come to visit me. I’m guessing now that they don’t like me, or perhaps I hate them, I’m not sure. I feel awful though because you never complain about it and here I am moaning like a baby.”

“Oh I’m so sorry Kristen,” He said quickly. “I should have told you sooner, I just didn’t think about it. Your parents don’t know you’re here. They don’t even know you’re a witch.”

Kristen crinkled her eyebrows in confusion. “Why not?”

Sirius shrugged. “From what I gathered they would not have approved. They have something against magic I think.” He then looked at her cautiously. “Are you sure that’s the only thing that’s bothering you.”

She put on a bright smile. “Yes. I had just been wondering. It was silly of me really.”

Now he just accepted it, knowing that when she was ready, she would tell him all that was going on inside her mind.
* * *
Another two weeks had passed, in which time both Remus and Peter had awoken. Once again, Kristen kept it secret from them that anything was wrong and Sirius went along with it. James and Remus suspected though, James because he was released from St. Mungos a week and a half after his awakening while Sirius and Kristen had not, and Remus because he was acutely aware of her odd behavior. Peter was simply happy to be awake, his mother fussing over him and shooting Kristen and Sirius several cold stares.

Kristen had no idea why Sirius was still there with her. She assumed it was due to her memory loss that she was still in residence but Sirius seemed completely healed besides a few minor aches and pains. She didn’t complain though, she was happy for his company. Not that she didn’t enjoy James, Remus, or Peter’s company; she simply didn’t see them as often. After Remus and Peter were discharged they joined James at school, visiting once every few days.

It was December 10th when Lily finally awoke, the last of the group. Her mother screamed in enjoy at nearly three in the morning when Lily had softly asked for a glass of water.

“At least I woke up in time for Christmas,” She said cheerily when all her friends gathered around her.

And then she was gone. Another week and she had disappeared off to school for the last days of the term, a full month of living without being able to remember a thing. Kristen began to wonder if she would ever remember, beginning to more and more often cry herself to sleep and simply hope Sirius would not hear.

It was the twenty-third when Dumbledore came to visit them. “How would you like to go back to Hogwarts?” he asked slowly, as if unsure of himself.

“Yes!” Kristen nearly shouted, wanting desperately to be out of this prison.

“There won’t be many people there as the Christmas holiday has started. I’m assuming you’re staying for the break Mr. Black?” Dumbledore turned to Sirius.

“Yes sir,” he answered glumly.

“Well then Kristen, you will have some company,” The headmaster said with a cheery smile that seemed a bit forced. “I need to go check with the healers and then we’ll leave. Be sure to get all your things.”

“Because we have so much stuff.” Sirius said sarcastically once Dumbledore had excited the room. The both looked around, the white walls and crisp white sheets seemingly glaring at them. Neither had bothered to bring anything any here besides clothes that they had constantly kept packed, always expecting to be going home.

They waited in impatient silence, ready to get out of there. Sure, they were going to miss their healer, Nickie, but St. Mungo’s was slowly driving them insane, especially without their daily rounds of checking up on their friends.

“This isn’t wise Albus!”

Kristen and Sirius both jumped at the voice outside their door. Kristen knew it by know, having met her head of house several times. Sirius looked at her before smiling and creeping to the door to listen. Kristen was close behind, relishing in the air of excitement.

“Keep your voice down Minerva,” They heard Dumbledore hiss back.

“Do not scold me! How dare you remove her from here! She needs time to regain her memory and be under the guard of this hospital! If you-know-who comes back there is absolutely nothing blocking full access to her!”

“There will be me! I won’t let him anywhere near her! She needs to be back at school; maybe something there will trigger something in her mind. I hoped having Mr. Black stay with her would be enough but apparently I was wrong.”

“She is in too fragile a state of mind right now! You were sure this couldn’t happen Albus and you were wrong about that so you could be about taking her back to school as well! We simply can not risk anyone probing her mind right now when it’s so vulnerable!”

“Unwilling Legilemency has been banned for years Minerva.”

“Did that ever stop you? And you’re the noble one!”

There was a long stretch of silence. “She’s going to Hogwarts. That’s final.”

They heard McGonagall stamp away and they hurriedly busied themselves, making it look as if they’d been occupied the entire conversation. “Ready to go?” Dumbledore asked briskly once he entered the room, an all-together fake smile on his face.

They both nodded their heads a bit numbly, shocked by what they had just heard. “You’re bags will be transferred to your dormitories later. The password is “mandrakes” by the way.” He briskly led them out of the room, the two children, with their short legs, having to run to keep up. “Mr. Black, please go first so she can see how to use the Floo network,” he said once they were at a fireplace in the bustling lobby. “Just say Hogwarts,” Dumbledore instructed him, holing out a bag of dark powder.

Sirius grabbed a handful and threw it into the fire. Kristen watched in amazement as he simply stepped in and shouted, “Hogwarts!” before being whisked away.

“Promise me Kristen, that you will not venture out of sight. Do not leave Sirius’s side and most certainly do not leave the castle. Am I understood?” He asked sternly.

She vehemently shook her head, a bit frightened by his sudden harshness as that wave of unease that she always got when he came around washed over her. “Now go,” he prodded her, throwing a handful of powder in himself. She hesitantly stepped in and cried “Hogwarts” before she began spinning wildly, rooms flashing before her eyes until she suddenly found herself sprawled out across the floor of what looked to be a deserted classroom.

“You all right?” Sirius asked, helping her to her feet.

“For lack of a better word,” She smiled and shrugged, trying to put Dumbledore out of her mind. “Come on, let’s go.”

“Shouldn’t we wait for Dumbledore?” Sirius asked hesitantly as she pulled him out of the room.

“No,” Kristen said decisively, leading him down the hall. She didn’t know where she was going but it felt right. She knew she shouldn’t listen to it, this feeling of simply knowing, the last time she had this feeling she had a breakdown because she was sure her last name was Riddle when it apparently was not. But it was such a wonderful feeling, and just maybe this time it wouldn’t turn out so bad.

Sirius was silent as she drug him along, not quite sure where she was going. He really didn’t care though, mostly because he had discovered something over the last month. He really, really liked Kristen St.Clair, James Potter’s best friend and also so obviously the object of Remus’s affections. He hated admitting it; especially since it had been in the back of his mind since that first night they had detention. He had refused to admit it to himself, especially the next morning. But the past month she had come to rely on him and he had seen something in her that wasn’t there before, trust. That one quality and made him feel nervous at the sight of her and never want to leave her side, something that had never happened to him.

“Hello little cousin.”

Sirius jerked around to see Bellatrix Lestrange. “Hello Bella,” He responded, moving in front of Kristen instinctively.

“What are you doing down here. We don’t want any of your mudblood loving scum here,” She spat at him, glaring maliciously at Kristen.

“We were only walking around,” Kristen stepped out from behind Sirius to stare to older girl down. “That’s not against the rules.”

“It is when you’re on Slytherin ground.” She cracked her knuckled threateningly, advancing on them.

Sirius rolled his eyes heavily. “Stop being so dramatic Bellatrix. Just let us go,” Sirius growled, grabbing Kristen’s hand and beginning to walk away.

“I know what he did to you Kristen,” Bella shouted after them.

Kristen stopped suddenly and turned. “Who?” She asked slowly.

“The Dark Lord,” She answered with a smug smile. “I know what he did to you at Hogsmeade.”

“Don’t listen to her,” Sirius warned, hid grip becoming firmer on her hand.

“But we need to know what happened. Maybe she’ll know why I can’t remember anything.” Kristen fought back, desperately wanting to take any help offered to her.

“He made you one of us,” She whispered, drawing closer. “He told all of us about it. How he tortured your little friends and then you begged to join his army. He branded you as one of us.”

“Shut up Bella,” Sirius snarled, jerking Kristen away. He knew she was lying, and he knew he shouldn’t have allowed Kristen to even listen to her. The look on her face right now was horrible. She looked absolutely terrified.

“She was lying to you,” Sirius told her soothingly once they were well on their way to the Gryffindor common room.

“I don’t think she was,” Kristen answered quietly, comforted by the fact that he hadn’t let go of her hand even after his cousin had said those things.

“I know you Kristen. You would never join the Death Eaters. You hated him.” Sirius assured her.

“Then what is this?” she asked suddenly, pushing up the sleeve of her shirt to show a mark of some kind.

“Oh Merlin!” Sirius said in awe, tracing the mark of a serpent through a skull’s mouth with his finger. “Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Well it seemed bad,” she said simply. “So was she right? Is this his mark?”

Sirius ran his fingers through his hair nervously. “Well…technically –”

“So I am in league with him!” Kristen stammered out, her eyes wide in horror. “Oh I’m so sorry Sirius! You must hate me! I swear I don’t want to be! I have absolutely no idea what I was thinking!”

“Calm down,” Sirius told her, holding his hand over his mark. “I don’t believe anything Bella just said.”

“But the mark –”

“I know it’s there. Once you get your memory back we’ll know the real reason why.” He spoke in soothing towns, trying desperately to calm her down.

She wiped the back of her hand over her face where tears had started to fall. She gave him a shaky smile. “Thanks Sirius.”

“Don’t thank me yet,” He warned, keeping his eyes down. “You need to tell Dumbledore about this.”

She jerked her hand away, looking more than a little angry. “Why? So he can hate me more than he already does?”

“He doesn’t hate you Kristen.”

“You don’t see the look in his eyes when he talks to me. It’s like he’s afraid of me, which leads him to hate me.” She snapped at him.

“Alright,” Sirius consented. “This is your life, you can make your own decisions. I won’t make you go to Dumbledore.”

She was silent after that, letting him lead her through the corridors and keeping a protective hand over the mark on her arm. They came to the Portrait of the Fat Lady, who loudly proclaimed her love of seeing them again before allowing admittance.

“Your room’s up there,” Sirius told her, pointing up the girl’s staircase. She kept her silence as she made her way up. “I’m sorry Kristen,” she heard him call to her, causing her to turn around. “I was just thinking that that might be the best thing to do. I didn’t mean to make you angry.”

“I know,” She answered quietly before continuing up the staircase to the first year’s dormitory. It was totally empty besides her trunk, which was in front of the bed closest to the door. She changed into her pajamas, even though it was only nearing eight. All she wanted to do right now was sleep though, sleep and forget everything that was happening to her: the mark on her arm, the headmaster hating her, forgetting everything… she couldn’t stand it! She just wanted it to end before it all became too much.


Chapter 15: A very merry Christmas
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I’m so incredibly sorry it took this long. I actually wasn’t allowed to write for a while as my parents thought it was interfering with school. Yeah, I do write probably a little too often. I’ll keep up better in the New Year, I promise. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or whichever celebration you choose.



 



*   *   *



He groaned and pressed his hand to his head, willing the flood of pain and emotions to go away. It had been happening more and more frequently lately, the opposite of what he would have expected.



He’d immediately realized something was different about her, the way she had defiantly looked at him spoke volumes of it. But he had no idea as to why they had suddenly had that connection, that moment when he could see everything in her mind and could feel his own memories being pooled with hers. He wouldn’t lie, well not to himself anyways, but it had frightened him. The only other person that had been able to invade his mind like that had been Dumbledore…





“Master,” a woman said from the darkness, a certain Eileen Prince. “Something troubles you. Perhaps you will confide in me.”





Tom Riddle shook his head, not wanting to tell anyone how a young girl had managed to make his life Hell. The past two months, particularly the last week, the girl had gone through a tumult of emotions, which she inadvertently transferred to him. One particular gruesome feeling had passed through him in the last few days. It made his stomach feel light and his heart beat faster. He knew it well, that feeling he got in his school days when a pretty girl would talk to him or laugh at his jokes.





He absolutely hated it, it was worse than her nightly depression. ‘Thank Merlin I learned not to love!’ he thought, before sending Mrs. Prince from the room and drinking a heavy dose of sleeping draught. 



*   *  


“It’s wonderful to see you both back,” Alice Hannigan said, escorting both Sirius and Kristen to breakfast the next morning. “We were all very worried about you, especially when the others came back and you didn’t.”





“We faked being sick so that we didn’t have to come back and take exams,” Sirius joked; looking at Kristen to let her know that he could handle this.





“Even though you two are the biggest trouble makers here I doubt you could fool the St. Mungo’s healers.” She told them with a large grin. “I won’t press you for answers though, I’m not nosy.”





Sirius felt Kristen relax beside her and a grin actually formed on her face when they sat down at the table. She was silent thought the meal though, only listening to Alice talk with Frank Longbottom, a boy in his sixth year.





“Do you want to go fly?” Sirius suddenly asked Kristen, standing up from the table when he’d eaten his share of breakfast and extending a hand to her.





“Fly? Like a bird?” She inquired as she accepted his hand.





“No. On a broom stick.” Sirius laughed. “Come on.” He began to drag her outside. Snow fell lightly around them, turning the grounds into a white miracle. “Now before you lost your memory you were already a great flyer,” Sirius told her as he pulled two brooms from a shed on the quiditch field. “James taught you before you even came to school.”





“It looks a little scary,” She said skeptically, hesitantly taking the broom.





“That’s not the normal Kristen,” Sirius patronized her jokingly. “I won’t let you get hurt.”





“Promise?” She asked him quietly.





“Promise,” He assured her brightly. “All you do is mount the broom and then push off. Simple as that.”





She did as she was told, to the point of mounting at least. Once in that state, she felt herself immobilized by fear.



“I can’t Sirius.”





“Of course you can. You’re brave, remember?” He assured her, mounting his own broom in anticipation.





She firmly shook her head. “I can’t Sirius.”





“Look, we’ll go for a spin on mine and then you can try it on your own. Come on, hop on.” He said, scooting back on his broom.





“It’s not big enough,” She told him, desperately wanting a way out of this.





“Kristen, trust me,”



She looked at him for a moment and then up at the snow filled sky that was as daunting as it was beautiful. “I trust you.”



*   *   *



Master Riddle clutched the arm of his chair and held a hand to his stomach. It had been a long time since he had had a stomachache, not counting the past few weeks that is.
 



This stupid girl had more emotional roller coasters than even that girl Myrtle back in his Hogwarts days. One minute he felt a pressure on his chest, like he was incredible sad. The next, some sort of weird sensation went through his stomach and made him incredible happy. He knew it already, this girl was going to cause trouble, and he was on the receiving end.



*   *   *



“Happy Christmas Kristen!” Sirius shouted to her the moment he saw her the next morning.





“You too!” She laughed jovially, hugging him in excitement of the day. She’d already gotten five presents, five more than she’d expected. She’s gotten a book on flying from James, a box of chocolates from Remus, a hair piece from Peter, a book of charms from Lily, and a beautiful locket with a picture of her family (what she assumed to be of her family anyways).





“Here,” Sirius suddenly shoved a present into her hands. “Open it.”





She carefully took off the paper, not wanting to hurt any part of it. She found inside a intricately decorated journal, colors flowing across that were constantly changing but sticking to colors varying around red and pink. “Thank you,” She said truthfully, already anticipating the moment to write in it.





“I figured that if you wrote in it, the next time you go and lose you memory you could read it and kind of know what’s going on.” He joked. “The cool thing though is that the colors on the cover change to reflect your mood. Like red, that means light hearted to very happy. It tells you what every one means in the inside,” he told her.





“I love it Sirius. And I’m really sorry I didn’t get you anything. I promise I’ll make it up to you.”





“Don’t worry about it,” he assured her. “I doubt you even know what your account number is.”





“Where do I have an account?” She inquired curiously.





“See,” He said in explanation. “Seriously, it’s not a big deal at all. Besides, you can make up for it in February on my birthday. Now let’s go to breakfast.”





Kristen gingerly set her new journal down beside the couch before following him to the great hall.





Breakfast went quickly for the fifteen students in residency. They all quickly rushed outside for a good snowball fight, resulting in the sopping wet clothes of both Kristen and Sirius. The rest of the day was spent on pulling various pranks on older students and hoping to get away with it. The one time they were caught, Alice simply laughed and told them next time they should try not to breath so loudly.





The laughed all the way back to the great hall later that night for Christmas dinner, talking about how their small height had definitely been an advantage in the snow wars of the earlier day.





“Welcome my children,” Dumbledore said brightly, the twinkling sparks of candle light illuminating his face. “I know, this time is most likely hard for you all. It is not easy to be separate from one’s family at such a time as Christmas. But I will have you know that we are all a family here. Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor, and Slytherin. We are all one being and I will remind all of you that the only way to get through this war is by sticking together and not to let petty differences influence whom you call friend.” He smiled at the distinct four sections of the grand table as they looked awkwardly at each other. “Now though, we must enjoy our most scrumptious Christmas feast.” At those words the table became laden with food, enticing all the students to stuff themselves silly.





For Kristen, it was over far to quickly. She loved that no one was asking her questions; they were just smiling and being happy. She felt glad for Sirius too, who finally wasn’t having to watch over her every second to make sure she didn’t say the wrong thing and reveal her secret. Just as everything does though, it came to an end. The noise was gradually becoming softer as no more crackers exploded with presents and people become too tired to think. People were beginning to drift off to bed, each telling Dumbledore goodnight and a final “Happy Christmas” before departing. 
 



“Come on kiddos,” Frank said, an arm around Alice’s waist as he stopped by the two Gryffindor first years. “Time for bed, let’s go.”





Sirius and Kristen didn’t bother resisting; they were both to tired to put up a real fight. They followed with heavy footsteps as Alice and Frank walked closely together, whispering things in each other’s ears. It was silent apart from that, until Sirius suddenly said, “Frank! You’re under mistletoe!”





Frank looked up at the doorway they were just about to go through and sure enough, a tiny sprig of mistletoe hung there, waiting to trap two innocent people. “It appears Alice, that we have been caught.”





“‘Tis a shame,” Alice said forlornly. Frank smiled at her before pulling her into a kiss, making both Sirius and Kristen laugh. “Well, I guess it wasn’t so bad,” she said decidedly when they proceeded walking.





“See you two in the morning,” Frank said when he reached the stairs of the boys dormitory, kissing Alice on the cheek goodnight before climbing up.





“Goodnight,” Alice told them brightly, she turned to her stairs but then suddenly stopped. She looked back at them and her eyes flicked upward. She smiled brightly and then looked back at them before climbing up the stairs.



In unison, Kristen and Sirius both looked up to see what she had smiled at. The very same thing that had entrapped Alice and Frank now snared Kristen and Sirius. Both reddened severely and neither looked at each other. “Well this is awkward,” Sirius finally said, swallowing loudly as he finally got up the nerve to at least look at her.





To his amazement though, she was smiling at him. “Just a little,” she said quietly.





Sirius was at a total loss of what to say. He wouldn’t deny it; it would be very nice to kiss her, especially with consent this time. But he had no idea how she would react if he suggested it and that trust he had worked so hard to forge could be disintegrated.





“It would be an awful shame to break tradition.”





Her eyes were sparkling mischievously as she said it and a flush coursed through her cheeks once again. Sirius hesitantly got closer and when she didn’t back away he became bold. He attempted to casually lean in, as he’s seen Frank do with Alice. She did as well and within seconds, though it seemed days to both, they had come into a kiss.





And then all Hell broke loose.





Kristen suddenly dropped to the floor, her hands seizing her head in pain. And then she started coughing, violent coughs that spattered blood across the floor and on Sirius. He was instantly next to her, holding her as she continued to cough and simply hoping that something useful would come to mind.





And then, as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. There was no more coughing and she had stopped clinging to her head. She simply laid against Sirius, whether to weak to move or unconscious he didn’t know. All he did know was that she needed help.





He gingerly laid her down upon the floor, realizing that she had indeed lost conscience. He sent a silent prayer up that he wouldn’t hurt her and then pulled his wand from his robes. “Wingardium Leviosa,” he whispered, lifting her into the air. He slowly guided her out of the common room and into the corridor. “Dumbledore!” He shouted, that being the only thing he thought to do. “Help! Dumbledore!”





“I say dear boy what is all the ruckus about?”





Nearly headless Nick glided around the corner but stopped when he saw Kristen and Sirius. “I’ll fetch him at once,” he said quickly, turning in the other direction.





Sirius decided it would be best to now stay put so Dumbledore could find him easier. Once again he laid Kristen down on the cold hard stone, though he gently cradled her head for fear of her injuring herself.





“Where am I?”





Sirius quickly looked down as Kristen blearily opened her eyes. “Are you alright? What happened? I’m so sorry,” he said in quick succession, helping her to sit up.





“Where am I? What’s going on?”





Sirius looked at her questioning before his face complete fell. “Dear Merlin, you’ve lost your memory again.”





“What are you talking about Sirius? Where’s James? Where are all the others? I’m so sorry! I tried, I did! I was so scared though! I didn’t know what to do! Are they all right? Are you all right? Please forgive me Sirius!” She was frantically crying now, holding onto Sirius as if she might fall if she let go. “I told him to stop and then he looked at me and all these memories came back. I killed people! I killed a lot of people I was happy about it! I’m so incredible sorry!”





He was in shock. All he could manage to do was hug her and hope she would stop crying. “Please forgive me,” she kept whispering, her tears soaking Sirius’s front.


Chapter 16: Looking for answers
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It’s killing me to only put this chapter up, mostly because I love the next one and this is kind of like a filler. Also, I know a lot of people were probably confused by what was happening with Kristen where I last left off. It should all be explained in here but if any one still has questions after the end don’t hesitate to ask.



 



*   *   *



“What happened?” Dumbledore asked quickly, suddenly appearing around the corner without a sound. “Is she all right?”





“Dumbledore!” She suddenly cried, clinging to him instead. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to! I swear it!”



“Do what child?” He asked her calmly.





“Kill them. I didn’t mean to kill them all! I didn’t mean to be happy about it!”





“Oh Kristen,” Dumbledore sighed, hugging her closer to him as she continued to weep. “You didn’t kill anyone.”





“Yes I did! I remember it. When I saw Voldermort it made me remember doing it!” Kristen fought him.



Dumbledore took her shoulders and gently placed his hand upon her forehead. “Stupefy,” he whispered. She instantly became quiet and collapsed into his arms.





“What did you do to her?” Sirius shouted at him, running to Kristen who was now unconscious once again.





“She was on the verge of a panic attack. I thought that with her current fragile state of mind, it would be better this way.” Dumbledore answered smoothly, carefully picking Kristen up.





“So you stun her?” Sirius asked with disgust.





“I did what was best for her Mr. Black.” Dumbledore said sternly to the fumed boy. “You’d do best by returning to your dormitory.”




“Not until I know she’s all right.” Sirius stood his ground, facing down the intimidating headmaster.





As faint as it was, Dumbledore smiled a bit. “Very well, you will follow me to my office and upon her awakening you will say nothing of what has happened between the attack on Hogsmeade and now. I do not want her trying to sort through that while telling me what happened. After I release her though, how much you tell her is up to you.”





Sirius was quiet as he walked in the great man’s wake. His hands were clenched in anger at what the man had done. Honestly! He would have never imagined that Dumbledore would stun an innocent girl. He didn’t care what Dumbledore thought best, he knew it was wrong.





“Lemon sherbets,” Dumbledore said when they reached a pair of gargoyles at the end of a hallway. They instantly leaped aside and admitted them to a large, revolving staircase.





Sirius was careful not to let his awe show when they reached the office. He didn’t want Dumbledore to think that he was impressed by any of it.





Enervate,” Dumbledore said after sitting Kristen in a chair. She blearily opened her eyes and slowly looked around until she spotted Sirius. “What happened?”





“You fell unconscious,” Dumbledore answered quickly, cutting off Sirius’s reply. “I brought you up here to my office.”





Sirius sat down heavily beside her and crossed his arms. Now he was beginning to see why Kristen hadn’t trusted him.





“I’m sorry,” She whispered to Sirius, who was sitting close to her.





“Now Kristen, tell me everything that you remember from the attack.” Dumbledore instructed her, sitting on the other side of his desk with his fingers together.





She began from the moment they left the Three Broomsticks to when she looked at Voldermort and all the memories came crashing back. By the end, she was crying once more, her shoulders shaking as she mumbled incoherent apologies.





Dumbledore simply watched her with contemplating eyes all through her story and nodded or shook his head when he saw fit. “Miss St. Claire, you did not kill those people. I know your memories tell you something different but they do not belong to you. When Voldermort locked eyes he transferred part of them to you, to try to scare you into succumbing to him. I am going to ask that you concentrate on those memories for a moment. I will remove them for you, if only to help keep the nightmares away.”





She did as she was told and concentrated while Dumbledore placed his wand on her head and pulled out what looked to be a silver strand from her hair. “There you are child. Now run along, I believe young Black here has things to fill you in on.”





Kristen numbly shook her head and stood up, leading the way out of the office. Sirius walked a few steps behind. She was silent for the better part of the journey to the Common Room but Sirius didn’t press her. When she was ready to talk, she would.





“I can still remember you know,” She said quietly, Sirius having to walk closer to hear. “I thought he was going to take them away, but I can still remember killing those people.”





“Why didn’t you tell him?” Sirius asked.





She shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t deserve to forget. I should have to live with what I did.”





“You didn’t do any of it though. You don’t have that kind of heart Kristen, both you and I know that.” He attempted to console her. “Dumbledore may not be the most trustworthy person but he was telling the truth about that.”





“What do you mean he’s not trustworthy?’ Kristen asked quickly, her curiosity spiked.





“Kristen…it’s been two months since those attacks in Hogsmeade. In that time, he’s done things that really made me question his judgment.”





“Two months?” She asked in awe. “Those attacks just happened though.”





“No they didn’t. You were out for two weeks after it happened at St. Mungo’s. We all were for that matter. You couldn’t remember anything though. You’ve been that way for nearly six weeks, until tonight.”





“What made it come back though?”





Sirius instantly blushed at the thought of what had happened just before she had broken down. “I don’t know. I guess something just finally snapped,” he lied.





She shook her head slowly. “How are the others? I had almost forgotten.”





“They’re all fine and away for Christmas.” He answered simply.





“I need to tell them sorry. I suppose they’re probably angry with me,” Kristen mumbled, rubbing her arm uncomfortably.





“They don’t even know what really happened. They know they were attacked, that’s pretty much it. They don’t even know that you lost your memory.”





Her eyes crinkled in confusion. “Why not? Why did you know and not them.”





Sirius shrugged his shoulders. “You didn’t want to tell them. I’m not even sure why you told me. You just trusted me for some reason. Thestral.” He said, causing the portrait hole to swing open. “I think you said you didn’t want things to be different between any of you and your friends.”





“Where have you two been? It’s nearly curfew.” Alice asked, sitting by the fireplace with a book on transfiguration.





“We had to ask Professor McGonagall a question about an assignment we’re supposed to be doing. We thought we might start it tonight.” Sirius answered swiftly, giving Kristen a look.



Alice then turned brazen, looking at them and smiling. “So I saw that you two got caught under the mistletoe.” She raised her eyebrows in question as to what happened.





“Alice, that’s gross!” Sirius said, playing his part well. “Kristen’s my best friend, not my girl friend.”



Alice just laughed to herself and rolled her eyes before returning to her book. Sirius dragged Kristen over to the window, refusing to look at her. “I want you to know, that I didn’t betray your trust at all while you couldn’t remember. I never did anything outside your wishes.” He said quickly, his thoughts being that if she suddenly remembered kissing him it would be his insurance.





“I know,” she told him, somewhat surprisingly. “Much as I hate to believe it, I know deep down you can be a good friend. And now that I’m apparently your best friend, I don’t think that I have any reason to mistrust you.” She said slowly, as if assuring herself. “You’re my best friend too Sirius. After all, I think you helped my through a huge ordeal and if I trusted you as much as you said I did you must have done something good.” She laughed a bit before heading to her stairs.





Part of Sirius really wanted Kristen to remember. He wanted her to know that he had been a good friend, that she had wanted to kiss him and that they had had fun together. But he knew that was selfish. He really was happy that she had her memory back, even if it meant losing that part of her that had actually trusted him.





*   *   *



“James!” Kristen squealed as her best friend of eleven years waltzed into the common room. She hugged him tightly, quite surprising him by her energy.





“Gees Krissie, it’s only been a few weeks.” He laughed, returning her hug.





“Remus! Peter! Lily!” She shouted next as they walked through the door together. She engaged them in a group hug, making them laugh as well.





“What, no hug?” James said as he opened his arms wide when he saw Sirius.





“No,” Sirius said shortly, raising his eyebrows at his friend.





“It’s so wonderful to see you all!” Kristen exclaimed, her cheeks red with joy. “I’ve really missed you guys!”





“What did you do to her?” James asked Sirius quietly as Kristen gave each over her friends another round of hugs.





Sirius paled slightly. He knew, James knew he kissed her and knew that she had lost her memory, he knew everything! “Look, I’m really sorry…”





“I’ve never seen her this weird,” James interrupted him, laughing.





Sirius let out a sigh of relief. “Yeah, she’s certainly been acting…interesting all right.”





“Come on, let’s go to dinner,” Kristen jumped up and down, prodding them out the door nearly as soon as they got in. “Just put your stuff down, we’ll get it later.” She grabbed Lily and Remus’s hand and dragged them through the portrait hall.





Sirius was silent through the meal, just watching as Kristen listened intently to each of her friends various holiday stories. She was genuinely enthralled and laughed all through the meal. He had thought she would tell them what really happened, but now he wasn’t sure. She seemed perfectly content with them thinking that she had just needed a little extra time at St. Mungo’s.





Sirius watched her the rest of the night as well. Anytime a question was asked about her Christmas break or long stay in the infirmary she skirted around it and redirected the conversation to someone else.





“Well I’m going to bed.” Lily announced, getting out of her armchair and stretching for emphasis. “We have to be ready for class tomorrow you know. Goodnight everyone.” There was a chorus of good nights from the others as she walked up her stairs. Eventually, Peter, Remus, and James went up as well, which was just as Sirius wanted.





“Are you not gong to tell them?” he asked as soon as they were gone.





“I don’t know,” She answered in that same cheerful voice she’s had all day. “I’ve really got to got to bed though. Catch you in the morning.” She bounced off towards the stairs, totally carefree.





Sirius furrowed his eyebrows at her odd behavior. Since Christmas she had been extremely quiet and subdued, going to bed late and getting up early. She had barely eaten through it all and rarely even went to meals, which he assumed for the purpose of avoiding Dumbledore. But now, she acted like none of that had ever happened, though he did notice she didn’t touch her food all through dinner. Something was very wrong, and he vowed to get to the bottom of it.





As Sirius lay on the couch thinking about it he began to drift off and eventually fall into an easy slumber.



*   *   *



I am sorry about the ending. I once vowed that I would never end a chapter with sleep but it was either this or a four-thousand word chapter. I’m sorry but as things are about to get busy again I choose this. Also, if you would like to know, the next chapter will be named “The Ballroom.”


Chapter 17: The Ballroom
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I really hope you enjoy this chapter. It’s one of my favorites, as I really put my soul into it. I’ll give a warning though, there is one scene of a somewhat sensitive nature. I will tell you that when you come to that part I do know what I’m talking about. I’m not just making crap up about stuff I don’t get. Now, onto the story…


*    *    *


It was midnight in the Gryffindor tower. All the residents were fast asleep, their bodies drained from a long winter’s break.


But one still moved about. She quietly slipped on her robe, cape, and shoes and crept out of her dormitory. She didn’t want the possibility of any one following her, then it would all be ruined.


She stopped suddenly when she saw the young boy lying on the couch, restlessly tossing and turning in his sleep. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to risk him waking up and seeing her, but she also so desperately wanted, no, needed to go. She didn’t know if she could get through the next day of she didn’t.


She went ever so slowly across the room, constantly looking at him to make sure he didn’t awake. She silently opened the portrait hole and slipped out, congratulating herself on a job well done.


But her cheers were in false nature, for Sirius had awoken. It took a moment for him to realize what happened, that someone had left through the portrait hole. He then weighed his options. He could either go back to sleep on the couch, or go up to his room now that he was awake.


But neither of those were really in his nature, now were they?



He had no idea who had just left but following them seemed like a great adventure indeed, and he was in good need of something to take his mind of Kristen’s issues. He quietly slipped out of the room and closed the portrait hole shut. He quickly looked left and right, catching just a glimpse of the person as they rounded the corner. He walked as quickly as he could without making any noise. The person was fast, Sirius often lost sight of them until he just happened to see a shadow or wisp of their cloak.


They went through several doorways and up and down more than a few staircases. He was at the end of a hallway when she suddenly disappeared. He’s seen her just a moment before but now she was suddenly gone! He ran to the last spot he’d seen them, which was opposite a tapestry of some weird trolls dancing. He groaned in frustration and began to pace back and forth in from of the wall, wanting desperately to know where the mystery person had gone. Suddenly though, a large, old looking door appeared. He didn’t know how it had suddenly appeared there, nor did he really care. He slowly opened it to see what was inside.


It stunned him. His mouth actually dropped open in surprise. He was looking into a giant ballroom, with people dancing around to elegant music and smiling and chatting. In the center of it all was a beautiful girl in a long, white dress. She was dancing with a boy that had black hair and was only a bit taller than her while the rest of the people were all adults. She was laughing as she danced a fast waltz with the boy, her curly hair bouncing around her face as she did.  



Sirius continued to watch her at a distance; she looked to be having the time of her life. He couldn’t tell who it was though; he didn’t know any one in Gryffindor tower with that kind of hair and stature. The moment he got a good glimpse of her face though, it hit him. It was Kristen. Somehow, she had curled her hair and gotten this dress and all these people. 



The second he was able to see her clearly though, she was able to see him as well. Everything vanished, the people, the music, her curly hair, even the room. It turned into a small, stone dungeon-y looking place. Her dress also vanished; replaced with the cloak he’d been following earlier.  



“I…I…” she stuttered, looking about her nervously. 



“What is this Kristen?” He asked her quietly, still in awe of it all.



She tried to speak, she opened her mouth several times but nothing came out. “I’m sorry,” she finally managed to say, tears streaking her face.



Sirius quickly went to her, that being his first instinct. He sat down on the cold, stone floor as she cried, reminding him of that incident only days ago. “I just needed to get away,” she mumbled through the tears. “I couldn’t bear it, this is the only way I’ve kept sane.”



“But what about today? You were acting so cheerful and happy,” he asked her with concern, his arm over her shoulders as she cried.



“I didn’t want them to know. I didn’t want anyone to know,” she cried, burrowing her head on his shoulder.



“Kristen I told you, you can trust me.” He cooed, stroking her long hair. “It’s alright.”



“I didn’t mean to do it Sirius, it was an accident. I just didn’t know what to do,” she sobbed, clinging on even more.


He wasn’t quite sure what she was talking about now; this wasn’t how she usually addressed the whole killing people incident. “Kristen, what are you talking about?” 



“Everything,” she cried, holding him. He softly rubbed her arms and back, that being the only way he knew how to comfort her. As he rubbed her arms her sleeves began to creep up. He noticed on her left arm the dark mark still lingered, though she hadn’t said anything about it since regaining her memory, and along her right arm four dark red marks were in a perfectly straight line. He slowly pushed her away and looked at her arms closer.



“What happened?” He whispered, running his finger along the cuts gently. 



“N…nothing,” She stuttered, pulling her arm away. “It was just Merlin, he was rowdy tonight,” she told him quietly, pushing down her sleeve.



“Those weren’t cuts from your bloody monkey, believe me, I’d know,” he said off handedly, grabbing her arm again. He inspected the cuts closely as she shut her eyes, looking scared out of her wits. “Someone did these to you. Who’s been hurting you Kristen?” He was suddenly angry, ready to unleash all his first year knowledge magic on whoever it was.



“I…I told you. It was Merlin,” she continued to tell him, not looking at him. 



“Kristen…” he stopped. His trail of thought was leading him to something he didn’t want to believe. He couldn’t imagine it, the thought of Kristen, headstrong, brave, and sensible Kristen, doing something like that was incomprehensible. “Kristen…did you do this to yourself?”



After that, it was all over. She burst into another fit of tears as she tried to explain herself yet could find no words for it. “You don’t have to do this to yourself. Just tell me what’s wrong, or write in that journal. It can help you.” He tried to tell her.



He was at a loss as to whether she was listening or not. Her tears did eventually fade away though, replaced with sniffling, only to have that replaced by a dull silence.



It seemed like ages before any one spoke again. Sirius off handedly wondered what time it was, when suddenly a clock appeared on the wall. It read 2:30 A.M.. Lack of sleep hadn’t even begun to set in though. If anything, he was more awake than he had been in weeks. A thousand thoughts were reeling through his mind, none of which made much sense.



He looked down at her, expecting her to have fallen asleep. She’s hadn’t moved or spoken in nearly an hour. But her eyes were open, staring blankly at the wall, still resting her head on his shoulder and her hand on his chest.



“I’m sorry you keep having to see me like this,” she whispered, her throat scratchy and hoarse. “I don’t mean to, it’s just hard to live with the fact that I killed them. I killed all those people.” 



He didn’t bother denying it this time; he simply sighed and continued to let her lay against him. When she was ready, everything would be all right again.


*   *   *


“Miss St.Claire! The room is on fire!”



Kristen jerked awake, her head shooting up as she looked around. Everyone in her class was laughing as she struggled to understand what was going on. “That will teach you to fall asleep in my class,” Professor Aberforth scolded her with a smile before moving on with the lesson.



It was the first day of term, and Kristen was exhausted. She hadn’t even tried to walk back to Gryffindor tower until half past five. She had no idea how Sirius was managing to stay awake, especially since he had practically dragged her back to the common room. But he was paying rapt attention to the teacher, not even showing signs of what had gone on that night. Part of her thought that maybe she had made the whole thing up in her mind. But the look he had given her that morning at breakfast, a searching look, a worried look, convinced her that it had. She had shared her dark secret. She had instantly looked away from him when that happened, ashamed of what she had done.



“Do you know what’s wrong with Kristen?” James asked of Sirius halfway through the lesson in a whisper.



“Nope,” Sirius replied, keeping his eyes straight ahead.


James was silent for a moment. “Yes you do Sirius,” he decided, his eyes narrowed angrily. “I’m her best friend, why won’t you tell me?”



“Maybe that’s something you should ask her,” Sirius snapped at him, ignoring James thereafter.


James took him up on that. The rest of the day, through herbology and history, he pestered Kristen endlessly, asking her what was wrong. Her answer was always the same.



“Nothing James,” she would sigh before continuing with her work.



Pretty soon, he had Remus, Peter, and Lily in on it. Lily gently tried to coax it out of her at dinner. Remus told her that if she ever needed to talk, he was there. Peter asked her if she was all right once, and then left it at that.



It wasn’t until everyone was about to go to bed that Kristen finally had had enough of it. She snapped. It was James’s unlucky fortune that it was his question that finally did it. “I’m fine all right? I wish you would leave me the bloody Hell alone so that I may be fine in peace! Do you just want there to be something wrong with me? Well I’m sorry, but I’m perfectly fine!” She yelled at him, storming up to her room.



“Nice going James,” Lily spat at him before running after her.



“You know what’s going on,” James suddenly rounded on Sirius, channeling his anger to him. “Why won’t you tell us?”



“Firstly, no I don’t,” Sirius told him, thinking that it was partially true. He did know why Kristen was acting strangely, but he didn’t know what he could do about it. “Secondly, if she had trusted me enough not to tell anyone else, I wouldn’t break that. Not even for you James. Just like I wouldn’t tell anyone a secret of yours.”



James just glared at him and turned to Remus, purposefully leaving Sirius out of their conversation. In the hour following, they went to bed as well. Soon, only Sirius was left in the common room once again.



He had no idea why he wasn’t tired; he’d gotten maybe two hours of sleep that morning. And yet, he was completely awake. His brain was in a whir of activity, putting missing links together and trying to figure out what exactly had gone on the night before.



First and foremost in his mind was what he was going to do about Kristen’s cutting problem. He knew how dangerous it was, his cousin Andromeda had done it when she got blasted off the family tree. He had been the only one who had seen it then too. She hadn’t meant for him to, he just happened to spot them. He could remember it clearly, though he’d only been seven at the time. As soon as he had pointed them out she had started bawling. She begged him not to tell anyone, but, being seven, he had accidentally told her fiancé Ted. He had been sent back home after that, much to his disappointment. A month later though, Andromeda had hugged him tightly and affectionately dubbed him the ‘infamous tattle-tale’.



Sirius pondered sending a letter to her, asking for her advice. But that felt odd, divulging Kristen’s life to someone that didn’t know her. No, that option was definitely out. 



The clock chimed midnight; he hadn’t realized how long he had been there. He didn’t get up to go to bed though; he simply stared into the fire.



He suddenly heard footsteps from the stairs. It was from the girl’s side, and soon a tiny figure in a cloak emerged. He knew it was Kristen, but she didn’t make eye contact with him. Instead, she just continued to the door. She stopped though, right before she was going to leave. “Do you want to come?” She asked him quietly, still not making eye contact.



He didn’t even have to think about. He just stood up and followed her out, thankful that he didn’t have to sneak after her this time.



She was silent as she led him back to that magical room. He hardly realized when they arrived, his only clue being the odd trolls again. She squinted her eyes shut and walked quickly back and forth in front of a small stretch of wall. Just as it had for Sirius the previous night, a door appeared. She opened it and walked in, leaving it open for Sirius to follow through.


It was the same beautiful ballroom, the same people dancing around, and the same music playing. Everyone bowed upon their entrance, sending greetings and pleasantries their way.


Sirius looked aver at Kristen, surprised to see a glittering, pale pink dress on her and her hair in an elegant bun. “How did you do that?’ He asked her in shock.


She smiled meekly at him. “How did you do that?” She mimicked, looking him up and down. He looked down at himself to find that he had somehow acquired dress robes in the few moments they had been there.



“Dance Miss Kristen, dance!” The people were begging her with smiles, most already lined up with a partner. Kristen held out her hand to Sirius, inviting him to join her. He reluctantly did so, his hunger for answers nearly insatiable.



“It’s called the room of requirement,” she explained to him once the music started and she began to lead him through the dance. “A little elf type thing saw me crying in the common room one night and brought me her to make me feel better. I’ve had to come ever since then; it was the only way I could get through the next day.”



“But these people!” Sirius pressed her for answers, looking at the nearly thirty people in the large ballroom. “Are they professors?”



“No, they’re not real.” She explained to him, smiling at one or two. “The room created them for me though, so I wouldn’t feel lonely.”



The song finally ended, much to Sirius disappointed and relief. He had liked dancing with her but confusion still rang through his head. “Why have you been hurting yourself then? If you’ve had this to cheer you up, then why are you so sad?”



“Because I know they’re not real,” Kristen told him sadly, and as she said the people began to fade away. The music still played but there was no one to dance along. “It was when they first disappeared that I did this,” she said, lifting the sleeve of her dress to reveal the dark pink marks.



“That wasn’t there last night,” he pointed out, noticing a fifth cut on her arm. “Krissie, why are you doing this?” He surprised himself a bit by using James’s nickname for her, but quickly thought nothing more of it.



“It was right before dinner. James was stressing me out and then I felt bad about lying to him and the others. It felt really good to just cut, it made it go away,” she tried to explain to him.



“This is dangerous Kristen. You could really hurt yourself,” he told her calmly, struggling to keep away his frustration.



“I know, I know,” she told him irritably, waving off his warning. “What do you want me to do Sirius?”



“Well, stopping would be nice,” he snapped at her, not meaning to become angry.



“It’s not that simple,” she sighed, sitting on the ground. The ballroom was beginning to fade away as well now and the music sounded far off and distant. “I’ve tried since I started. I just can’t stop. I need to do it. I don’t know what will happen if I don’t.”



“You’ll get better,” Sirius told her, regaining his composure. He held her hands to try and make her feel safe.



“Thanks for not telling anyone by the way. I know James must be furious with you. I promise, I’ll tell them soon. Just not now, they’ll all be so angry with me.” Silent tears slipped down her face, though not nearly as fast as the previous night.



“How ‘bout we head back,” he tried to convince her, ever so slowly leading her to the door. “We both need some sleep.”



She tried to smile, and failed miserably. She followed him out of the room and back to Gryffindor tower. She still couldn’t believe everything that was happening. She couldn’t believe Sirius was being kind to her, and that she trusted him. She couldn’t believe that she was cutting herself, she had never thought she’d be that weak. And she couldn’t believe she was a murderer: a cold blooded, heartless, murderer.


Chapter 18: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
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Kristen could feel the trust between her and James waning. She could see it every time she made eye contact with him. He would open his mouth to say something and then stop, instead glaring at Sirius before continuing with his activity.





“I’m sorry,” Kristen would tell Sirius on one of the many nights in the ballroom. “I know I’m making things hard between you and James. I promise, when the time is right, when I’m better, you can tell him every thing.”





Sirius would mutely nod to this, not denying that she was indeed putting stress on their friendship. He knew it wasn’t her fault though, and he would never say it. But until she finally told them what was going on, their friendship would continue to deteriorate.



It was nearly March now, and in those past two months James had abandoned the idea that Sirius didn’t know what was going on with Kristen. He would often see their heads bowed together, discussing some secret, or exchange meaningful looks. And all through it, Kristen had remained generally the same. She was a bit more talkative now and ate a bit more, but she was still not herself.





It was February twenty eighth, 12:01 A.M.





“Happy Birthday!” Kristen whispered in excitement as she met him in the common room, their usual meeting place before continuing to the ballroom.





He yawned and stretched his arms, his days of being wide awake worrying over her long past. “Happy Birthday yourself,” he growled, sleep pulling severely on him.





She just smiled, she was used to his grumpy behavior by now. She opened the portrait hole and, as they had done the past two months, led him to the room of requirement.





People no longer appeared in the room, the number of them had gotten smaller and smaller until they stopped appearing all together. The room knew that she needed them no longer. The ballroom still appeared though, more for amusement than anything, and soft music still played in the background. There was also a calendar hanging on the wall, with several dates that had gold stars next to them.





As soon as the entered the room Sirius made his way to it. Kristen was a bit hesitant about following him, but did nonetheless. He picked up a sheet with gold star stickers that was lying on the ground and then turned to Kristen. “All right, you know the drill.”





She folded her arms together defiantly. “Sirius, must we? It’s been two weeks since the last time!”





“You know the drill Kristen, now come on!” When she continued to glare at him he said, “Oh come on! It’s my birthday, indulge me!”





She looked around, as if searching for an escape route. Finally, she pushed up the sleeves of her shirt and showed him the under sides of her arms.





“Oh Kristen,” he sighed, tracing a fresh cut, the seventh, with his finger. “You were doing so well…”





“I know! I know! I’m sorry!” She defended herself quickly. “James just kept glaring at me today and then we had that essay from Slughorn, and a test for transfiguration -”





Sirius suddenly put a finger to her lips to make her stop talking. “You know who you should be apologizing to Kristen.”





She looked at him for a moment and the heavily rolled her eyes. “Honestly Sirius, this is incredibly stupid.”



“And so is cutting,” Sirius snapped at her. He was done with the calm, ‘it’s going to be alright’ stuff. “You should have thought about it before you went and did that!” he told her, gesturing to her arm.





Kristen angrily grabbed the sheet of stickers and pulled off a gold star. “I’m sorry little star,” she mumbled, letting the rest fall to the ground.





“What are you sorry for?” Sirius prodded her.





“I’m sorry I was a blasted idiot and that I am causing you to have to wait until I get my wits about my to join your other little star friends on the chart. There, are you happy Black?” She shot at him once she was done reciting the speech Sirius had designed for her.





“Quite,” He replied with a large grin. “Now, you better not disappoint him or you’ll just have to do this all over again.” When Kristen continued to look disgruntled he added, “Look, I am proud of you. Like you said, it’s been two weeks since the last time. You are getting better. I believe, in time that is, the stars just might forgive you as well.”





She couldn’t help but smile at what he said. “Oh by the way Sirius, I’ve decided on your birthday present.”





“Really?” Sirius was once again the child he was supposed to be, his only worries being of candy and presents.



“Yep. I’m going to fix things between you and James.”





Sirius’s smile fell off his face. “Look Kirsten, don’t do this for me. Don’t tell them until you ready.”





“No,” she said decisively, a wide smile on her face. “If I did that, I’m betting I wouldn’t ever tell them. Besides, I have to pay you back for all that you’ve done. I’ll do it today, after dinner.”



Sirius smiled widely. The thought of having James to talk and joke around with again was a dream come true. Yes, Kristen was good company, but nobody could pull a prank like James.



*   *   *



He could tell she was nervous. She kept twitching and taking discrete glances at James before breathing deeply and forcing herself to continue her work.





Things were even tenser for James and Sirius today. James hadn’t even acknowledged his birthday, besides shoving a present at him that his parents had sent. Sirius tried to talk to him, but was wise enough to know that anything he said would be twisted and would lead to even worse animosity between them. He just had to wait. Tonight, everything would become okay again.





Sirius watched Kristen carefully all day, stopping her if looked to be headed for her room and if she absolutely had to go, she had to take Lily. He knew she must be stressed out, and knew exactly what that would lead to. The last thing he wanted on his birthday was for a fresh set of cuts to appear on her arms. She didn’t eat either though, something he tried to get her to do with minimal results. She had been shrinking away since January, though now she seemed a bit better there. He didn’t exactly want that to be set back either.





Just before they headed off to dinner, he dragged her to the window in the common room. “Look Kristen, I’m thinking you should probably wait. I can tell this is stressing you out. Don’t do this for me. I don’t want to have to go back to square one with you.”





She shook her head vigorously. “Have faith in me. I can do it! Telling them will make me better, I’m sure of it!”



He smiled, her confidence was infectious. They followed the group down to dinner, falling a little behind as they always did. They continued to sit by them however, that hadn’t changed.





Halfway through dinner, Kristen finally mustered up the courage to say something. “Um…I need to talk to all of you after dinner.” Peter, Remus, Lily, and James all looked at her in surprise. She rarely talked at mealtimes yet now she was talking about talking again. “It would mean a lot to me if you’d hear me out.” After that she was silent, looking to Sirius for support, who offered her smiles.



Kristen left dinner early; desperately wanting to escape the searching looks of the others. Sirius sighed, having been looking forward to the desserts but instead stuffed a role in each pocket and followed her, knowing her favorite stress reliever.





She didn’t say anything when she realized that he was following her, but instead waited for him to catch up. Together they walked in silence to the common room and there awaited the others. Kristen sent most of her time drawing pictures on the fogged window, that being her only was of distracting herself. As soon as other students began to file in though she simply stared at her shaking hands, her eyes shut tight as she prepared herself.



Remus, Lily, James, and Peter were among the last to arrive. They dutifully came over though, looking at her expectantly.





“You wanted to talk to us?” Lily asked after an uncomfortable silence had taken over for a few moments.



“You can do it,” Sirius whispered to Kristen, hoping it would help her.





She nodded her head and then stood up. “I did. There are a lot of things I’ve been keeping from you all, even though you’re all my friends. Before that though I need to say something.” She turned to face James. “You need to lay off of Sirius! He was only being an amazing friend and trying to help me! That should make you happy James, not want to kill him and make his life Hell! You shouldn’t make him choose between his trustworthiness or you!”



Sirius was wide eyed, wanting to curse her for doing this. Yes, spectacular Kristen! Go and make James mad!





To his utter surprise though, James didn’t look mad at all, he looked ashamed. “I’m really sorry Krissie…”





“Oh no you don’t! You’ve been perfectly civil to me! Tell him!” She demanded, pointing at a frightened Sirius.





James ran his fingers through his hair nervously before turning to Sirius. “I’m really…I’m really sorry mate. I was jealous I guess.”





“Uh…” Sirius stuttered, trying to get his wits about him. “No problem James. Just a misunderstanding.”





“So now that you’re done yelling at James, what did you want to tell us?” Remus tried to suppress his laughter as he said this, though found it difficult. After how quiet she had been it was a relief to see the livid and vibrant side of her.





“Oh right,” she said, realizing that now was the moment of truth. She looked to Sirius, hoping for his help.





“Do you want me to tell them Kristen?” he asked, not quite knowing what to do to help her.





She shook her head weakly, knowing that she had to do it. “I…I didn’t get hit with the curse like you did in Hogsmeade, that’s the first thing I have to tell you.”



They all looked confused and she took their moment to think to her advantage. She had to take this in steps, just one step at a time. “Voldermort made me watch, he said it would be worse than getting cursed. I think he was right, it was absolutely horrid.”





“Voldermort –” James said in surprise, but Sirius put up a hand to stop his question. He could tell Kristen just needed to talk. The questions could wait.





She hardly registered that anything had even been said, she was too caught up in her memories as tears began to slide down her face. “And then he looked at me, and all these memories came back. I remembered killing people. All these people…and I was happy about it.”





James looked like he was going to say something again but Sirius kept his warning hand up, letting her speak. That was an obstacle he had yet to get over. No matter what he said to her, she still believed herself a murderer.





“I lost consciousness after that, for two weeks. When I woke up, I couldn’t remember anything, and I only told Sirius that. I don’t know why, I just did. He promised not to tell any of you on my order. I didn’t want things to change between me and anyone else, so I pretended like everything was alright.” Remus was now shaking his head in understanding, as if he’d found out a great puzzle.





“We weren’t allowed to come back until the 23rd of December, Dumbledore wanted to keep a close eye on me and was hoping Sirius would help me get my memory back in St. Mungo’s but eventually gave in. On Christmas night, it finally all came back, and then I couldn’t remember those six weeks after I woke up in St. Mungo’s. That’s when all the memories of me killing people came back too, and it’s been really hard to get through things. Sirius has been trying to help me, that’s why he couldn’t tell you. I had to wait until I was ready to let you know. I decided that I was tired of you being a jerk to him though James and figured that this would be a good birthday present to him.” She took a breath, relieved to at least have that much out.





Sirius didn’t know if she was going to tell them about the Room of Requirement, the dark mark that had appeared on her arm, or that she was cutting. He wasn’t going to say anything though; she was doing too well for him to interrupt now.





Suddenly, the portrait hole swung open, admitting their Head of House. “Mr. Black,” she called out, startling the group by the window. “The Headmaster would like to have a word.”





Several people whispered to each other upon hearing that. He slowly stood up, more than a bit afraid of what was going to happen.





“I can’t tell them anymore with out you here,” Kristen whispered fervently, not wanting him to leave. “You have to be here Sirius.”





“I’ll be back in a moment or so. Don’t worry,” he assured her with much more confidence than he felt. With that and a sense of dread he followed Professor McGonagall out of the room.





“I guess I’ll go up to bed,” Kristen decided quickly, dashing for the stairs. But James stopped her, his eyes pleading.





“Krissie, you’re my best friend. Please tell me you’re okay.” He was practically begging her, desperately wanting to be assured.





She very nearly said, “Yes James, I’m perfectly fine.” But his question was so sincere, and so full of the love that only two best friends can share. She broke down, and it felt incredible. Sirius was one of the best friends she could ever ask for, but having James hug her and be the one to comfort her again…it was wonderful, quite simply wonderful.


Chapter 19: The Dark Mark
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* * *
“Mr. Black, It’s good to see you.”

Sirius hesitantly set down in the chair in front of Dumbledore’s desk after being deposited there by Professor Mcgonagall. “Why did you need me headmaster, I didn’t do anything wrong.” He really hoped he didn’t sound guilty. He knew walking around the castle at midnight was most likely breaking the rules and was quite scared by the possible punishments.

“Oh of course not Mr. Black,” Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye. “I simply want to discuss your friend Kristen St. Claire.”

Sirius demeanor visibly hardened. He distrusted Dumbledore enough as it was without him bringing up Kristen. “What do you want to know?”

“I have made certain observations that lead me to believe she is currently enduring some sort of emotional trauma. Could you perhaps enlighten me on it?” Dumbledore asked calmly, looking at him over his half-moon spectacles.

“No, I can’t.” Sirius answered quite simply, obviously surprising the old man. “That’s her business and none of yours.”

“Sirius I need to know her state of mind. Her mental health is of great concern to me.”

“What is it with you and your fascination with her ‘mental health’?” Sirius asked him in anger. “Can’t you just leave her be.”

“I worry about all my students Mr. Black, not Miss St. Claire alone. I do particularly worry about her though after the…shall we call it the ‘Christmas incident’.” He told Sirius sternly, very nearly losing his patience.

“You blatantly lied to her after that though!” Sirius suddenly yelled, standing up in anger. “You said outside our St. Mungo’s room on our last day that Voldermort was trying to probe her mind but then later you said that he had just put those images there to scare her! And you stunned her and told her that she just fell unconscious or whatever! Now give me one good reason why I should trust you!”

“Don’t let my grandson talk to you like that,” a portrait suddenly snapped angrily, causing Sirius to look up. He groaned when he saw who it was. Phineas Nigellus had never liked him and Sirius was his least favorite grandchild.

Dumbledore held up his hand to silence the portrait. He realized he was going to get nowhere by only talking to Sirius, he was going to have to take extreme measures. He looked directly at Sirius, his eyes boring into his young student’s. Sirius wasn’t quite sure what was happening, all he knew was that there was some odd sensation occurring in his mind at the moment. It was as if a feather was lightly tickling his memories. It suddenly stopped however, and Dumbledore quickly stood up. “This is unacceptable Mr. Black. You should have sought help when you realized Miss St. Claire was hurting herself!”

“How did you know that?” Sirius asked in wonderment. It didn’t take him long to realize what happened. “That’s not right! Those are my thoughts, and they’re none of your business.”

“When it involves one of my students inflicting damage upon herself then it becomes my concern,” He said dangerously, his voice low. He briskly walked to a concealed part of his office and brought out a fiery bird. He gently set her down upon his desk and wrote a quick note before handing it to her and saying, “Take this to Minerva.” The bird disappeared in a flash of flames and left Sirius to gawk at the place it had just been. “Mr. Black, I am deeply disappointed in you.”

“She told me not to tell, so I didn’t!” Sirius exclaimed in anger.

“You also let her hide from me that I did not fully remove those memories Voldermort transferred to her. If you had told me, I’m guessing a lot of this could have been avoided.” Dumbledore eyed him sternly and projected his displeasure.

“Look, I’ve tried to convince her that she’s not a murderer and that she should tell you.” Sirius shot at him, folding his arms and sitting grumpily in his seat. “It’s not my fault she doesn’t trust you either.”

“I am going to suppose that you instilled those doubts within her,” Dumbledore said calmly, his anger somewhat falling away. He had forgotten for a moment, what it was like to simply be a boy defending your friend and keeping a promise.

“Well she had a right to know all that you’d done, though I didn’t tell her what you said at St. Mungo’s, or that you stunned her.” Sirius mumbled, his eyes cast downward as he refused to look at the man he had once so revered.

“Albus,” Professor McGonagall announced herself, coming through the door. Her hand was upon the shoulder of a very timid look Kristen. “Have they both done something horrible I don’t yet know about? Their tomfoolery has been very few so far this semester…”

“No, no Minerva, they have not misbehaved.” He assured her. With that she smiled and left the room.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” Kristen began quickly, much the same way as Sirius had.

“I know darling,” he said calmly, surprising Sirius with his term of endearment. “Kristen, I’m going to start this by saying that Sirius told me nothing willingly.” Kristen abruptly became tense, realizing where this was going. “Why didn’t you tell me what you were going through Kristen?”

She glanced around the office, looking for a means of escape. “I was scared. I only just now told my friends part of what was going on.”

Dumbledore took off his glasses and massaged the bridge of his nose. “After I tried to take the memories out and failed, why didn’t you say anything?”

“Because I deserve to live with them,” she told him; giving him the same answer she’d given Sirius.

“Don’t even try to talk her out of it. You’d be fighting a losing battle,” Sirius warned him, slumping in his chair.

The Headmaster sighed heavily and put his glasses back on. “Now Kristen, about your cutting…”

“You told him that too?” She yelled at Sirius, already inflamed by everything else Dumbledore knew.

“I didn’t tell him anything!” Sirius shot back, already in a foul mood without her needlessly blaming him.

“Miss St.Claire he did not tell me anything. I…I had my own way of finding out.”

“Yeah, he went and looked through my head!” Sirius shouted, throwing his arms in the air in frustration.

“Unfortunately, he is correct Miss St.Claire. I found it necessary on the account that he refused to tell me anything at all about you. I was deeply concerned about you Kristen and was not going to let him walk away.”

“Sorry,” Kristen mumbled to Sirius, still upset over how this was turning out.

“Now Miss St.Claire, please bare your arms for me.” He instructed, looking a bit apprehensive. She sighed and did as she was told, pushing up the sleeve of her right arm and showing the deep cuts. “How long have you been doing this?”

“Since a few days after Christmas,” She answered quietly, feeling completely naked as he inspected her arm.

“There are fewer here than I would have expected.” He said lightly, not taking his gaze off her arm.

“Sirius has been helping me to stop,” She explained, keeping her eyes away from him.

“Let me see your other arm,” Dumbledore instructed next, assuming that she might have cuts there as well.

“There’s nothing on that arm,” Sirius said quickly, hoping he didn’t sound too obvious. He didn’t want Dumbledore to see the Dark Mark, and he wasn’t sure if Kristen would know to hide it. He was surprised that she had never brought it up; he assumed that maybe James had showed her a picture once so she already knew what it was.

Kristen looked at him with confusion though and showed him her left arm, revealing the Dark Mark and all its glory.

Dumbledore gasped and grabbed her arm, his nose barely inches away as he examined it. “Dear girl, where did you get this?”

“I don’t know,” she answered with a shrug, a little spooked by his reaction. “I’ve let Sirius see it before and he didn’t say anything so I assumed that it was just some weird scar I got in those six weeks I can’t remember.”

“Yes, yes, of course. Well Miss St. Claire I believe I’ve discussed everything I can at the moment. I expect you back here Tuesday night so I can monitor your healing and better assist you. You may head back, I still have things to discuss with your friend here.” Kristen didn’t take much to get her out of there; she was more than ready to leave the tension filled room.

“Let me guess, I’m not allowed to tell her it’s the Dark Mark,” Sirius said sarcastically. “Well what do you plan on doing when she starts wearing short sleeves again. And besides, some Slytherins already know that she has it.”

“How do they know this?”

“On our first day back, Bella told us she knew that Kristen was branded or whatever and that she’d apparently begged to join Voldermort’s army.” Sirius rattled off.

Dumbledore put his fingers together in concentration. “This is interesting indeed, he somehow knows that he gave her this mark… and yet he doesn’t…” Dumbledore began to drift into his own realm of thought, trying to put things together.

Sirius just sat there, somewhat entranced as he watched the great man think. “Mr. Black I do indeed want you to keep silent about the Dark Mark until I am ready to tell her in the most humane way possible. I also ask that you join Kristen Tuesday night, eight thirty sharp.” He looked at Sirius as the young boy gave him a skeptical look. “I promise Sirius, I will tell her. We just need to wait until she’s ready to hear it.”

* * *
“Come on Sirius, hurry!” Kristen groaned, practically skipping down the hall on the way to the room of requirement.

“You’re going to get us caught,” Sirius hissed back, not bothering to catch up with her. He had no idea why she was so excited; he guessed that it was because she wasn’t going to have to apologize to the stars or something.

“Happy Birthday Sirius!”

Sirius stopped quickly upon entering the room, startled by what was happening. “Well this is…surprising.” Was all he could manage to say.

Kristen jumped up and down in joy. “I told James, Remus and Peter about the room. We decided to throw you a birthday party in here!”

Sirius smiled widely, now over his initial shock. “You’re all a bit late, aren’t you?”

“Oh come on, it’s only the second of March,” James said with a wave of his hand, standing by a table laden with sweets. “You know, I can’t believe you two kept this room hidden from us, it’s bloody amazing!”

“Where’s Lily?” Sirius asked, noticing the absence of the bossy redhead.

“Right, like we were going to tell her so she could go straight to McGonagall.” James scoffed, shoving a few chocolate frogs in his mouth.

“I thought you were in love with that girl,” Sirius laughed, joining him at the table.

“Yeah well…she’s not my type,” James said decisively with a stuffed mouth.

They all simply laughed at him, marveling at how it had taken him six months to figure that out. “She was pretty!” he exclaimed, as if that was an explanation.

“I have no idea how I’m going to stay awake tomorrow,” Peter yawned. “How did you do this Sirius?”

“After the third or fourth week I got used to no sleep,” Sirius told him with a smile. “It’s not that bad once you’re used to it.”

“Yeah well I doubt the rest of us plan on making a habit of it,” Remus said, yawning as well. “If I hadn’t felt bad about…well I didn’t really ignore you but I guess I helped James to ignore, then I wouldn’t be here.”

“Well if Kristen hadn’t dragged me down here all those nights I doubt I’d be here either.”

Kristen put a hand on her hip. “If I remember correctly Black you snuck after me the first time!”

“Sirius, were you chasing after Kristen?” Remus asked lightly with raised eyebrows.

“No, I didn’t really have to run -” He stopped, just then realizing what Remus was implying. “Look, I didn’t even know it was Kristen when I followed her.”

“I think you’re right Remus, he is chasing after her,” James said with a sly grin and nod.

“You boys are absolutely horrid!” Kristen exclaimed with a laugh. “Leave Sirius alone!”

Remus and James looked at each other before they burst out laughing. Peter watched them in a mixture of amusement and apprehension. “I’m sorry,” James managed to get out. “We’ll lay off your boyfriend, don’t worry.”

A new wave of laughter erupted then, Peter included. Sirius whipped out his wand, muttered the only spell he could think of, and aimed it at James.

“Ow!” James cried out, clutching his stomach where it had it. “That really hurt!”

“It didn’t work right! Stupid wand,” He said angrily, upset over his attempt to stun James.

“Why would you do that?” James shouted in anger.

“Oh I don’t know, it’s not like you were insulting me or anything.”

Kristen quickly rounded on him, her eyes flashing. “Since when did become and insult to be associated with me?”

“Right, because I would actually date you,” Sirius said sarcastically.

“And who’s to say I would date you. You’re an egotistical prat!”

“Takes one to know one!”

“How long do you think they’ll keep this up?” Remus whispered, smiling at their continued bickering.

“Probably until the end of term!” James said excitedly, his smile wide.

“Why are you so happy about it?” Peter asked with a laugh.

“I think James is happy that they’re both his best friends now instead of each others.” Remus looked at James with calculation.

James didn’t answer, but simply watched his two best friends yell at each other. To him, there was nothing more joyful.
* * *
“I bet this meeting is just going to be a bundle of fun!” Kristen groaned sarcastically, walking to the headmaster’s office with Sirius on the following Tuesday. “I don’t even need help any more! I’ve really stopped!”

“Well last time you went two weeks without a cut and then began again,” Sirius reminded her, rather nervous about what would be said in the office.

“Yes but now that the others know no one will even let me out of their sight.” She joked, although it was true. Lily followed her around everywhere and the boys followed as far as they could.

“Lemon Sherbert,” Sirius said at the door, causing the gargoyles to leap aside and allow them entrance onto the winding stairs.

“Ah, Mr. Black and Miss St.Claire, you are, rather surprisingly, just on time.” Dumbledore greeted them with a smile as they walked through the door. “I must say, I’m beginning to doubt some of those stories Professor McGonagall told me about you two.” He then looked them over for a moment. “Then again, you do have that mischievous air about you.”

Kristen was ready to get down to business, not at all happy about being there. She stood at his desk and raised the sleeve of her right arm. “Look, no more cuts. There’s only seven like last time.”

“Very good dear,” he chuckled a bit, amused by her forwardness. “I do ask that you stay a bit longer though as I have matters to discuss with you.”

Kristen looked a bit disheartened by this but sat down next to Sirius nonetheless. “Now Mr. Black, do you believe she’s ready?”

Sirius was a bit surprised that he was asking for his advice on this. “She’s been doing really well all week, and since the others now know and watch her like a hawk I think she’s ready to hear it.” When Dumbledore continued to look apprehensive he added, “and if you don’t tell her I will as soon as we leave.”

Kristen was looking back and forth between them, feeling quite uncomfortable that they were talking about her while she was sitting right there. “Would any one care to enlighten me?” She snapped at them.

Dumbledore sighed deeply, not at all liking what he was going to have to do. “Kristen, please show me your left arm again.”

She hesitantly did as she was told, confused as to where this was going. She did as she was told however. “Firstly Kristen, this is not a scar.”

“Then why did you lie to me?” She asked quietly, scared by his lack of truth.

Sirius opened his mouth to put out a smart comment but Dumbledore put up a hand, warning him to stop. “Because I knew the truth of it would frighten you. Kristen, I believe you know what Death Eaters are, correct?” She slowly shook her head, her eyes wide in fear. “Though it is generally on their right arm, this is the mark they all have. Voldermort gives it to each of his followers so that upon touching one, all death eaters are called to him.”

Kristen just stared at him, hardly breathing or moving at all. “I’m a death eater?” She whispered in shock, drawing her arm close to her and somewhat cradling it.

“No Kristen, this is simply-”

“So that’s why I murdered all those people!” She exclaimed in sudden understanding. “I must have been working for him and that’s when I killed them all!”

“Nice going Dumbledore. Now we’re back at square one,” Sirius shot at him, put out by the turn of events.

“Kristen, calm down.” Dumbledore demanded in a prestigious voice. She stopped her ramblings, surprised by the sudden harshness. “You are not a murderer, you are not a Death Eater, and you most certainly have nothing to be sorry about.” She had reverted back to her constant ‘I’m sorry!’s shortly after his revelation.

She was shaking as she sat back down, staring at her left arm with unbelieving fear. “Miss St.Clair, I must ask that you stay in the hospital wing tonight. Madame Pomfrey will give you something to calm your mind. I’ll walk you there, and Mr. Black can join us if you so wish.”

She looked at Sirius slowly, and the shook her head ‘no’. Sirius was shocked and hurt by this. She had trusted him with everything and involved him, until this point it seemed. “Very well, Mr. Black I ask that you return to Gryffindor tower.” Dumbledore told him. “Oh, and I must warn you Sirius, Mr. Pringley told me he suspects someone might be roaming around the fifth floor,” Dumbledore watched as Sirius’s eyes registered the shock of him knowing and not doing anything about it. “You might want to limit your night time strolls.”
* * *
Kristen sat up in her bed, her body accustomed to be awoken at midnight. She looked around at the other beds in the infirmary, which were all empty, and wondered what she might do. She knew there was no hope for going back to sleep, not quickly anyways, and she didn’t want to risk going to the room of requirement.

She thought about what Sirius must have said to the others. Kristen knew he had to have made something up, he would never give away one of her secrets. The others just now learned the dark secret of one arm; they didn’t need to learn about the other just yet.

She knew Sirius must be upset with her, and she really did feel bad about it. She had no idea why she didn’t want him to come, just that she felt indescribably dirty, like there was no hope for her to ever be clean again.



Chapter 20: "To the Marauders!"
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Yeah, I kind of cheated and skipped a lot of the year. Honestly, I'm trying to get to fourth year as quickly as possible as I would dearly love to finish this story before I die, which statistically shouldn't be for a little more than fifty years. I'm working on making sure there's enough information to keep making the story go. If you have any sugestions on how to make this smoother though I would love to hear them.
* * *
The year flew by in a mix of birthdays and tests. Through the last months, Kristen, James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter became nearly inseparable, much to the discontent of Lily Evans.

“I just don’t see why you associate with that big-headed Potter boy!” Lily would huff when James renewed his conquest for her.

Sirius watched Kristen as she, slowly but surely, truly became herself once again. She never did show James or anyone else the dark mark, and by June she was still wearing long sleeve shirts to cover up her arms.

“Well class, you’re free to go!”

Cheers echoes throughout the dungeon as the Gryffindor and Slytherin first years celebrated at the ending of their last test. They all ran out of the room and all the way through the castle and onto the majestic front lawn.

“Thank Merlin it’s over!” James exclaimed, collapsing under the large beech tree next to the lake.

“I failed, I failed!” Remus fretted, flipping through a textbook. “I already know I got at least one wrong.”

“Remus if you failed, then we all failed and none of us really want to think about that possibility,” Kristen snapped at him, leaning against the tree with ease.

“Oh I don’t know, being a first year again wouldn’t be so bad,” Sirius put out lazily, “maybe they’d let me go to summer school if I failed.

“You want to go to summer school?” Peter asked, as if the very idea horrified him.

Sirius cocked an eyebrow. “Between staying here or going home, you better believe I’d pick here. I haven’t even heard word of my parents since I left in September.”

“I don’t want to go home either,” Kristen groaned, looking at the looming castle lovingly. “I’m going to be completely cut off from this for two months and I’ll have to tiptoe around my parents until Mr. Potter takes me to Diagon Alley again.”

“Wow! You people really know how to ruin a mood.” James said, laughing at their sudden depression. “Come on, I’ll invite you all over to my house at least once this summer. And Kristen, you know how often our parents go out, I’m sure I’ll see you too.”

“Remus!” Lily sudden called out as she ran over to them, carrying a book for her own. “What did you get on question five B? I’ve got a horrible feeling that I missed it!”

“And there they go,” James said in disgust as the got into a full discussion on all the ones they had possibly missed. “Why does she like him and not me?”

“Because he’s smart?” Peter suggested lightly.

“He has common sense?” Sirius put forth.

“Because he’s attractive?” Kristen asked next.

James suddenly turned to her. “You think he’s more attractive than me?”

“Amazing that that’s the only one to bother you,” Sirius mumbled in exasperation. “Although, I guess it does mean something that you’ve accepted you will never have the other two.”

James chose to ignore his comment, instead staring at Lily with adoration. “Kristen,” Peter suddenly said, breaking their silence. “Aren’t you hot? I’m burning up and I’m wearing short sleeves.”

Sirius quickly looked at her, wondering what her explanation. She looked terrified, she had been expecting someone to ask though, but she had yet to prepare for it. “Think about it Pete,” Sirius quickly covered for her. “Would you want people asking about cuts on your arm?”

Peter just nodded his head in understanding before lying on the grass to take a nap. ‘Thank you’ Kristen mouthed to Sirius, looking genuinely grateful. She could hardly keep track of the number of times he’d covered for her this year.
* * *
“Well my children, another year has come and gone,” Dumbledore said before the drowsy crowd of students. “I have a few notices to tell you about. Firstly, as always, there is no underage magic permitted outside of school.” He seemed to focus on a group of Gryffindor first years. “Abusing your magic could lead to expulsion. Also, I know many of you are aware of the attacks that took place at Hogsmeade earlier this year,” There were several mutterings when he paused and many glances were aimed at the Gryffindor table. “Due to this, we are we requiring you to be a fifth year and above have a parent signed permission slip to attend Hogsmeade,” There were several boos for this as well as angry shouts. Dumbledore waited for a moment before holding his hands out in silence. “I know it seems unfair but I will not have my students hurt again. Fifth years, I believe, have enough knowledge to perhaps defend themselves long enough for help to come. Now, as I am quite aware of children’s penchant for procrastinating, off you go to finish packing. Don’t want to leave anything behind.”

Talk erupted then as everyone made their way out of the hall. Everyone was laughing or talking, discussing plans for their summer or how they did on their tests. For some though, it was a rather sore topic.

Peter, James, Remus, Sirius, and Kristen had already finished their packing, in anticipation of them needing extra time. They sat around in the common room, waiting for the perfect moment to make their escape.

“I don’t like that look,” Lily told them with apprehension, noticing their secretive glances and inside jokes. “You look like a band of maurders off to get your plunder.”

They just smiled at her comment, not giving her any more information. At that she just sighed, muttering something about rule breakers and detention.

It was nearly eleven before they finally got their chance. They all carefully snuck out of the room and into the corridor, struggling not to laugh in merriment. To their immense surprise, they made it to the meeting place without getting caught. They entered the room of requirement to see it filled with beanbags and butter beer, the two things needed for the perfect end of school party.

“Here you are,” James said jovially, tossing a bottle to everyone. He then threw himself into a chair, allowing himself to seek into it.

“Come Kristen, let’s get on with it.” Sirius said, standing by the calendar.

“Finally! My last day of it!” Kristen squealed in excitement, pushing up the sleeve of her right arm as she ran to him. “Look, just seven. The same seven since February 28th!”

Sirius smiled, “Miss St. Claire, if you’d do the honor…” Sirius said regally, handing her the last star. She grinned widely and practically jammed it onto the calendar. Everyone in the room cheered and she bowed to them, as if she’d just finished a great performance.

“Looks like Kristen finally got her wits about her,” James laughed, holding his bottle up in salute. She just rolled her eyes at them, sheer bliss filling her at the thought of getting to spend a little more time with her friends.

“You know, I never would have thought I’d come here and end up leaving with the five best friends a girl could ask for!” She laughed. “I’m including Lily,” She told them at their confused looks.

“No, no, I got that,” Sirius said with a smirk. “I’m just thinking about that day in Diagon Alley when you wanted to hex me off the planet.”

She contemplated him for a moment and then said, “It appears Sirius has a point. I have the four best friends a girl could ask for and one mortal enemy. Well actually, two if you count Gwen.”

“That’s better,” Sirius said in satisfaction, taking a swig of his butterbeer.

“You know, we should name ourselves,” Peter said lightly, lounging in one of the chairs. “Team spirit you know?”

James laughed at that but suddenly an idea came to him, “You know what, he’s right. We need a name that Slytherins will fear.”

“And professors,” Sirius added.

“What am I getting myself into?” Remus groaned, rolling his eyes heavily.

“How about the ‘Maurders’” Kristen suggested idly, “It’s what Lily likes to call us. Imagine how she’d react when she finds out she’s the one that named us.”

“I rather like it,” Sirius agreed, imagining Lily’s anger and laughing. “All in favor of ‘The Maurders’ say aye!”

A course of ‘Aye!’s filled the room, save for Remus, who very nearly looked sick. When he saw that they were all waiting for his consent he smiled and said. “Oh fine, Aye!”

“And there you have it,” James said definitely. He then raised his glass. “To the Maurders!”

The others raised the glass and yelled together, “To the Maurders!”
* * *
“I don’t want to!” Kristen whined, slouching her seat.

“Kristen, we can’t just stay on the train,” James snapped at her, quite eager to see his parents and go home again.

She sighed and stood up, getting her trunk and dragging it behind her as well as holding Merlin’s cage as he jumped up and down inside. She’d admit it, she did miss her parents, but she thought she was probably going to miss Hogwarts even more.

“Alright, two or three through the barrier at a time!” A guard was shouting at the throng of students eager to go home. Kristen couldn’t help but take one last glance at train before making her was through with James and Sirius.

“Oh my darlings!” Mrs. Potter ran to hug all three of them, kissing them each on the cheek. “I’m so glad to have all my little kiddies back!” Kristen, James, and Sirius laughed as she hugged them tightly to her. “Oh, and my new kiddies as well!” She exclaimed next, grabbing Remus, Peter, and Lily to her. While Remus and Peter just laughed, Lily was scared out of her wits. James had already left by the time she woke up in St. Mungo’s and she had never met Mrs. Potter.

“Emily, let them breathe,” Mr. Potter warned her, noticing the new groups rather purple faces.

She finally let them go and beamed down at each of them. “Let me see if I can get your names straight. Let’s see, Monster 1 and Monster 2,” she said, pointing to James and Kristen. “The infamous tattle tale,” she looked to Sirius. Though she knew the nickname, she didn’t know the story behind it. “Then there’s Remus, Peter, and Lily.” She smiled with pride that she had remembered everyone.

“Are you James’s mother?” Lily asked timidly, afraid to make any sudden movements.

Mrs. Potter looked at her in confusion for a moment before she finally realized why Lily was so frightened. “Oh dear, I’m so sorry! I met your mother at St. Mungo’s and heard so many stories I felt as if I’d met you. I’m sorry to have frightened you. Yes, I am James’s mother.”

Lily seemed to calm a little but she still looked apprehensive. “Oh, okay, it was nice to meet you.” She looked over her shoulder to see to people waving her down. “There’s my parents, see you next year!” With that she took her trunk away with a course of good byes.

“My parents are probably around here too. I’ll see you later,” Remus said with a halfhearted grin. “I promise to write,” he said when Kristen had opened her mouth. She had been hounding them about it all the way to the train station. “Farwell Maurders.”

“Farwell Maurder Remus,” They coursed together with laughter. Soon, Peter left as well, to another chorus of Goodbyes.

“I guess I better try and find my Mum,” Sirius sighed, looking as if he was about to enter Hell itself.

“We’ll invite you for a nice long stay, don’t worry Sirius,” James’s mother said consolingly, bringing him into another bone crushing hug.

“Well considering I don’t get murdered, I’ll try and owl both of you.” He then turned to Kristen and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll try and keep it civil.”

“Bye Sirius,” she said, to her surprise, a bit sadly. She knew James saw this because the minute Sirius walked away, James snorted with mirth. Kristen just hit his arm and glared at him. Honestly, she couldn’t imagine why she had ever liked him.

“So Kristen, besides the whole Halloween incident, are you glad you decided to go?” Andrew Potter asked when they got in his muggle car.

“Extremely,” She replied. She still had nightmares about the Hogsmeade attack, and it had caused her the most traumatic event of her life. But if she’d never gone, she never would have met all her friends or learned about this whole new side to herself.

“So what are your parents going to do when they see owls bringing you letters?” James asked her with a smirk as the got onto a busy city street.

Kristen narrowed her eyes in thought; she hadn’t really realized her parents would indeed question it. All through the school year she would owl letters to Mr. Potter who would forward them to her parents by way of muggle mail. “I don’t know,” she said in sudden fright. “I guess I’ll just have to hope they only find me in my room.”

“Good luck with that. Owls are the animals with the most inconvenient timing. Isn’t that right Arthur?” James turned to his own owl that, upon hearing this, turned dolefully away from James and ruffled his feathers.

“Thank you, by the way, for keeping Merlin for me. I’m not really sure I’d know how to explain that one to my parents,” Kristen said, staring out the window as things began to look more and more familiar.

“No problem,” Emily answered cheerfully, simply ecstatic at having her son safe in her arms again. “Now, if you have any problems or you think your family is close to finding out, don’t hesitate to Owl or call us. We can say we need to pick you up early. As of now, we’re looking at you staying until a week before term.”

“But you can come over sooner than that for a day!” James told her quickly at her look of defeat.

She just sighed and continued to stare out the window. The closer she got though, the faster her heart beat. She really was happy she was going to see her family; it felt like it had been ages. Slowly, a smile began to form on her lips.

Soon, they were pulling up into her driveway, the familiar light blue house greeting her with a tinkling of wind chimes. She quickly kissed Merlin on the top of the head as a good bye and rushed out of the car to get her trunk. She hastily ripped off a sticker she’d forgotten she’s put on there in the spring, a sticker saying the “Wimbourne Wasps”, and put in her pocket to reapply with a little glue in September.

“Kristen! Kristen!” She heard two little girls shout. She turned to see her twin sisters running for her, barreling into her as they threw their arms around her.

“Belle! Bridget!” Kristen shouted in equal excitement, wrapping her arms around them both. She suddenly looked up to see her father walking out the door. She instantly ran to him, jumping up to put her arms around his neck.

“I’ve missed you Krissie,” He told her lovingly, enveloping her in a bear hug.

“Where’s mum?” Kristen asked, noticing her absent.

“She’s at the store, picking up things for your welcome home dinner. She didn’t expect you until later.” Her father told her, gently setting her down. “Thanks again Andrew, I don’t know what we’d do without your help in all of this.”

“Don’t worry about it Harold,” Mr. Potter told him easily, standing outside the car to talk to his friend, “It was our pleasure, I assure you.”

“We really must be off. I was hoping to see Valerie but I suppose we’ll eat dinner together soon,” Emily said, her window rolled down.

“Bye Kristen!” James shouted out the window as they drove off, his hand waving frantically.

Kristen half-heartedly waved her hand back, the excitement of first coming home already fading away.
* * *
“So Kristen, I hope you did very well on that project.” Her mother said to her at their coming home feast that night.

Kristen lazily picked at her food and asked, “What project?”

“Why, the one you insisted you had to stay over Christmas break for.” Her mother told her. “I hope you did well for putting that much effort into it.”

“Oh yes, top marks on it,” was all Kristen could think to say, and it satisfied her mother. She really had no idea what on earth she was talking about. The only explanation she could come up with, was that someone had sent a letter in her handwriting telling her mother she must stay at school as an excuse while she was still in St. Mungo’s. She’d never even thought about what excuse was given to them, she had been too wrapped up in her problems. Her mother kept asking questions, most revolving around the sort of grades she got.

She slowly made her way up to her room, marveling at how long it had been since she had last slept there. She quickly changed into her pajamas, already desperately yearning for sleep.

She heard a tapping on her window. She quickly looked to see a slick black owl holding a letter and wanting admittance in her room. She opened it for him and he hopped down on her desk, waiting for her to remove the letter.

She was surprised to see a large ‘B’ with intricate marks around it on the seal, the sign she knew to be of the Blacks. Of everyone she had asked to write, she thought Sirius would be the least likely, and certainly not this soon.

Hello Maurder Kristen,

Well, I’m already bored out of my mind and I’ve only been home for about an hour and half. I know, you probably didn’t expect me to write, but a Black always keeps his word. All right, I’m lying about that but I at least keep my word. I’ve got to send a letter to James, Remus, and Peter next, if only to have something to do. Maybe I’ll send a letter to Lily as well, I can just imagine how that would thrill her! Well, besides the fact that I think I might just kill myself from boredom, I think all I have to say is now said. Maybe I’ll see you at James’s in the next month or so. Merlin knows I’m going to need some one to release frustration on, and I did say I was only going to be civil in letters.
Your fellow Maurder, Sirius Black
P.S. Midnight will stay around if you want to reply or even send a letter to James. If not, just tell him he can go ahead and head back home.

Kristen smiled in spite of herself as she read the letter. She knew they were going to get in a huge row the next time they saw each other, simply because neither of them would have had any one to fight with for nearly a month. Although, she did have her little sisters, they would at least help with that problem.

Kristen quickly jotted down a reply, knowing that she could easily call James if she felt she wanted to. She told Sirius that she was sorry and, if he must, he could not be so civil in his letters, if only to release some pent up anger.

Chapter 21: Summer Games and Summer Fights
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“I hate that stupid fire place,” Sirius grunted, brushing soot off his front. Before he realized what happening though, four bodies came bounding at him, knocking him into the very soot he’d just gotten rid of.

“Bout time you got here,” Peter laughed, standing up out of the mob.

“You try getting past my mum,” Sirius snapped at him, although he had a smile on his face. “I had to wait and wait for her to get out of the bloody room so I could make my escape.”

“Bet life’s going to be fun once she realizes you left,” Kristen said with a grin.

He rounded on her suddenly. “You watch it St. Claire, I’m just waiting for the perfect moment to let you have it! I’m just going to let loose on you!”

“Oh I’m quivering,” Kristen said in a meek voice, grabbing onto Remus’s arm. “Oh Remus, don’t let big bad Sirius hurt me!”

Remus suddenly backed away. “Like I’d stand in the way of that! No way, you two are much too fun to watch.”

Kristen just glared at both of them. “What are we doing today James?” she asked as she turned to them.

“I’d thought we’d play a bit of quiditch. We’ll actually be able to try out this year so we should probably get some practice in,” James said with excitement.

“We don’t have an even number though,” Peter pointed out, counting five people.

“Oh I’ve got that all worked out. DAD!” James shouted, causing the others to put their hands over their ears. “DAD!”

“Yes James?” His father asked calmly, used to his child’s rather loud voice.

“Will you play quiditch with us! Please!” He then looked at all his friends and motioned for them to join in. “Please!” The said together, all wearing their biggest grins.

Andrew Potter couldn’t possibly say no to that, and besides, he would have done it without the begging. “Oh all right, I suppose. I call Chaser!” He shouted like a little kid. The rest all called out their favorite position, with the exception of Remus, who simply took the only spot left.

“And representing England’s finest is Harold Potter as Chaser, Peter Pettigrew as Keeper, and Kristen St. Claire as our seeker!” Mrs. Potter did the commenting, always ready to watch a fun quiditch match. “And representing England’s other finest, my lovely and adorable little James Potter as chaser, Remus Lupin as keeper, and Sirius Black as seeker! WOOO! YEAH! WAHOO!” She mimicked the sounds of a raging crowd. “Alright, in your positions,” she instructed. Peter and Remus flew to the respective trees they must guard as the others clumped in the center of the field. “The snitch is being released.” A tiny gold ball fluttered up and away, Kristen and Sirius watching it intently before it went beyond their sight. Suddenly, a huge red ball came flying through the air, both James and his father speeding for it. Kristen and Sirius instantly began searching the field.

“Come on St. Claire,” Sirius taunted her a few minutes into the game. “Can’t find a little gold ball?”

“I don’t exactly see you with it Black,” She snapped back at him, abandoning her search for a moment.

He smiled widely, “That’s where you’re wrong.” He held up his hand to reveal two wings flapping madly as they tried to escape his group.

Kristen just gaped at him; she hadn’t even seen him go after it. “Why didn’t you say anything?” She asked.

“Then the game would end,” Sirius replied simply, letting it go once again.

Kristen was bound and determined to get it this time but, several minutes later, Sirius once again caught it without anyone noticing. The third time though, she spotted it before he did, next to the ground in the center of the field. She instantly made a dive for it, closely followed by Sirius. He inched up on her quickly and before she knew, he pulled ahead, grabbing the snitch right out in front of her and pulling out of the dive spectacularly.

“I suck at this!” Kristen screeched in frustration.

“It’s only one game Kristen. We’ll get him next one,” Harold told her consolingly.

“No, he’s caught it three bloody times now!” Kristen raged as Sirius just smiled at her.

“It’s very true,” Sirius said with a smile. “I’m just pretty much excellent.”

James high-fived him as Remus cheered at their victory. They had needed every one of those one hundred and fifty points; they had been down by nearly one hundred and twenty. “Let’s go up to the game room!” They all shouted their approval of that idea, running over to the shed to put the brooms back before running into the house and up the stairs.

“Someone’s going to have to sit out the first game, we can only have two to a side.” James said.

Peter opted to be out first and they paired off, James and Kristen vs. Remus and Sirius. It was easy to tell who the more experienced ones were, within minutes James and Kristen had racked up six points.

“This is not far, Remus and I haven’t played this before!” Sirius complained.

“Fine, you switch with me and then you’ll have Kristen.” James succumbed to him. Kristen glared at him; she could tell he was purposefully doing this. It seemed that her and Sirius’s fights were now the optimal choice for entertainment.

Kristen, without much of Sirius’s help, scored almost instantly. She cocked and eyebrow at James as if to say ‘you asked for it’.

He took that as a challenge. They quickly went to full war mode. Eventually Remus and Sirius just stopped trying to help, as they only seemed to mess things up.

“And there’s point number twelve!” Kristen shouted in excitement, having reached the maximum points. “And that James, is what happens when you mess with a St. Claire.”

He just waved off her victory, slumping onto a couch instead.

“I should probably head home soon,” Sirius said grudgingly, standing up from his chair. “My mum’s probably about to blast my name off the family tree.”

“Good seeing you mate,” James said, patting him on the back. “If you need to get away from the banshee, my house is open.”

Sirius laughed a bit at that, he then headed over to the fireplace that was in the game room. “I suppose I’ll see you all in Diagon alley, August twenty first, right?” They all nodded their heads. “Well then, I’m off to my funeral.” He threw some powder into the fire and stepped in before shouting, “To number twelve Grimauld place!” and whooshing away.

The rest shared a few butterbeers and cookies that Harriet the house elf brought up before Remus and Peter both flooed back home and Kristen’s parents came to pick her up.

She relished in the fact that it was only three weeks until she would be at Diagon Alley, seeing her friends and getting ready for Hogwarts. They dragged by, her only day of entertainment being August twelfth, the day her sisters turned seven and the Potters came over for the party.

“Are you all ready to go?” Her mother asked, peeking her head in the door.

Kristen slammed down the lid of her trunk, not wanting her mother to see the contents. “I’m good, perfect, good!” Kristen rattled off nervously. “I’m all set for tomorrow.”

Tears suddenly welled up in her mother’s eyes. “Oh, my big girl off to school again!” She grabbed Kristen and furiously hugged her, compressing her to her chest. “You’re going to be a teenager dear, do you realize that? Of course, I should see you before that as you’ll be coming home for Christmas.”

“Of course mum,” Kristen struggled to speak, air quickly escaping her.

Mrs. St.Claire gave her one last squeeze before leaving the room, tears streaming down her face. Kristen could never understand her mother. The only time she ever showed love to her was when she was about to leave, and then it seemed so dramatic that it could possibly be fake. Her mother and her had never gotten along though; she’d always been her father’s daughter.

The next morning couldn’t come fast enough. She tossed and turned for hours, the thought of rejoining the magic world flittering through her head excitedly. Finally, she saw pink rim the horizon and slowly morph into a brilliant sunrise. She instantly got up, throwing on clothes and all the essentials before bounding down to breakfast, where her father and mother were only just beginning their tea.

“Well this is new,” her father laughed, the thought of his daughter actually being up on her own before nine quite amusing. “Are you really that excited about leaving us?”

“I just really miss my friends,” she confessed, devouring the cereal she had made. “And I will come home for Christmas this year, if nothing comes up.”

“You better,” Her father warned with a smile. Soon, her sisters came bounding down the stairs with the energy only a seven-year-old can have in the morning.

It seemed like eleven would never come that morning. She sat and stared at the clock, bring back memories of last year. As promised though, they finally came.

“Marauder James!” Kristen shouted in excitement upon seeing.

“Marauder Kristen!” He shouted back, laughing along with her.

“Yeah, we’re not quite sure what that means either,” Emily said in response to the St. Claires’ very confused faces.

“Well here are her things,” Harold huffed, dragging her trunk down the stairs. “She’s really anxious to go, staring at the clock all morning!”

“So was James,” Andrew laughed, ruffling his son’s hair. “He’s really ready to go back to Ho-”

“Leonardo’s,” His wife said quickly, discreetly elbowing him. “That school really is wonderful.”

Andrew blushed at his near slip. He hated lying to his friends but if that was the only way Kristen felt she could go, then so be it. “Alright, let’s head out. We’ve got a lot to do today.”

“Here’s her money.” Mr. St. Claire said, handing his friend an envelope. “I put some extra money in there Krissie, get yourself a present,” he whispered to his daughter as they hugged good-bye. She quickly hugged the rest of her family before following the Potters outside.
* * *
“Remus!” She shouted, running to hug the haggard looking boy and nearly knocking him down in the process.

“Nice to see you too,” He laughed, hugging her back.

“What, no hug for me?” Sirius asked her, his eyebrows raised.

Kristen smirked at him. “Not even in your dreams Black.”

He snorted at that. “Like I would waste my dreams on you St. Claire. Now Gwen, there’s a better person to dream about.”

“You seriously think Gwen is better than me?”

“Well she’s a hell of a lot nicer and better looking!”

“You’re such a prat!”

“You’re and egotistical jerk!”

“Look who’s talking Black!”

“Merlin, they’ve never got going this quickly,” James mumbled to Remus as Sirius and Kristen continued to cause a scene. They were in the Apothecary, refilling their potions kit.

“Hello guys,” Peter said as he walked into the shop, calmly passing Sirius and Kristen to talk to the others. “I heard them screaming, that’s how I found you.”

Suddenly, a pudgy man walked over to Kristen and Sirius, looking infuriated. “Excuse me, but I’m going to have to ask you both to leave.”

“Now look what you’ve done Black!” Kristen shouted at him, barging out the door.

“Me? You started it!” He retorted, following her out.

“I most certainly did not! You’re the one who brought up Gwen when you know I hate her!”

“I think you’re jealous!”

Kristen put both her hands on her hips and glared at him. “Excuse me?” She hissed, looking deadly.

This didn’t scare Sirius, if anything it gave him more confidence. “You’re mad because I think she’s pretty and not you!”

“That is the biggest load of crap I have ever heard!”

“You know I’m right St. Claire, just admit it!”

“There’s nothing to admit Black!”

“You want me to like you instead, don’t you?”

Kristen looked like she had been slapped. “Oh, that’s rich! If that were the case I hardly think I’d be yelling at you right now!”

“Well you’re weird! For all I know, that may be your way of flirting!”

“I think you want me to like you!” Kristen suddenly shot at him.

He looked a bit caught off guard by that one. “No, you want me to want to like you to like me.”

“What?”

“I don’t know! Just, leave me alone St. Claire and I think we’ll be fine.”

“Sounds excellent Black!” And with that she turned away and stormed up the street to get her books.

“You know, it is wonderful to see my two best mates becoming friends,” James said sarcastically, joining Sirius. “Couldn’t you lay off?”

“Why do you always take her side? She started it!” Sirius said accusingly, quite put out with every one.

“Look, I’ll ask her to back off too.” James assured him. “She’s just…dramatic Sirius. And so are you for that matter.”

Sirius just glared at him before heading to Madame Malkin’s, as he’d grown nearly two inches and dress robes had been put on their list this year.

“Well guys, I guess it’s just the three of us,” James said a bit sadly to Remus and Peter. They walked down the street, hoping that Kristen and Sirius would eventually come back.


Chapter 22: Second Year Begins
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* * *
Kristen crossed her arms over her chest defiantly. “I’m not speaking to him James.”

He sighed in frustration and sat down beside her on the leather train seat. “C’mon Krissie, he didn’t mean it.”

“Well I meant what I said,” she snapped back at him, staring resolutely out the window.

Sirius walked into their compartment and put up his baggage without saying a word. Instead, he turned to Remus to engage conversation. Remus looked a bit confused as to what to do, it was like the whole ordeal of last year all over again, only with a different person.

“You two are absolutely horrible,” James decided in exasperation, looking from Kristen to Sirius. “Can’t you just make up and be friends.”

“Not until he apologizes,” Kristen told him.

“Me?” Sirius shouted at her. “Why on earth should I apologize?”

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” James yelled before anything else could be said. “Remus, Peter and I are going to see Frank,” he suddenly said, Remus and Peter stood up quickly at this. “So we’ll see you both later, bye!” With that the three guilty looking boys ran out of the compartment, slamming the door behind them.

Sirius instantly tried to get out, but it was sticking for some reason, “Bloody gits,” He murmured, realizing their plan. He sighed heavily and sat down opposite from Kristen. “I’m guessing they did this so we could work out our issues.”

Kristen just continued to stare out the window, blatantly ignoring him. Sirius just rolled his eyes at her and leaned against the window, ready for a good nap.

“Alright, I’m sorry!”

Sirius quickly opened his eyes. He looked to see Kristen, still staring out the window. For a moment, he thought maybe he was hearing things, but the blush on her cheeks confirmed that she had.

“I guess I’m sorry too then,” he agreed slowly, afraid that she might think the same thing.

Kristen smiled a bit and looked at Sirius, “Do you know how big James’s ego is going to get when he finds out his plan actually worked.”

Sirius laughed at that. “We should do something to get back at him for this.”

Kristen looked down at her hands before she smiled widely and looked at him. “Sirius, I think I have the perfect idea!”
* * *
“James! James! Help!”

“I’m not letting you two out until you apologize,” James said from the other side of the door.

“No James, please! Kristen’s hurt! I need you!”

James instantly thrust open the door, removing the gooey substance around the hinges that he’d put there earlier. He looked over at Kristen who was slumped on the floor. “What happened?” James shouted in shock, bending down to her.

“We got into this fight and got a bit carried away! I hit her with a spell and she slammed into the window! I’m so sorry James!” Sirius had tears sliding down his face. He turned to see Remus and Peter standing in the doorway, looking shocked. When they both looked to Sirius, he discreetly winked at them, letting them in on the prank.

“James! She looks dead!” Remus exclaimed, trying desperately to hide his smile.

“No!” James yelled, cradling Kristen’s head gently. “I’m so sorry Kristen,” he muttered in agony.

Suddenly, she said something. James instantly perked up, he couldn’t understand what she was saying but at least she was able to make noise. “What Kristen, what did you say?”

“yourrreahpr…” she mumbled again, making him bend closer to her. When he was only millimeters away she shouted, “You’re a prat James Andrew Potter!”

He backed away so fast that he fell onto his back, his friends all laughing around him as Kristen haughtily stood up. “That’ll teach you,” Remus laughed at James’s confused face.

“I hate you!” James shot at both Kristen and Sirius as they laughed. “I was only trying to help!”

“By locking us in here?” Kristen asked. “I’m surprised we didn’t really end up killing each other!”

“Is everything all right? I heard yelling.” Lily suddenly appeared at the door, looking worried.

“Yeah, James is just getting a dose of his own medicine,” Sirius said proudly.

“Oh, I thought some one was hurt,” Lily said, a bit disgruntled that they’d worried her for no reason.

“Nope, only James’s ego,” Kristen told her with a smile, patting James on the head.

“Well that’s good,” Lily said, seeming to refer more to the fact that he had a bruised ego than anyone not being hurt. “I suppose I’ll go, Mary-Jane and I are sitting a few compartments back.” She left with that, leaving James to look absolutely heart broken.

“That’s pathetic,” Sirius told him, rolling his eyes heavily.

The rest of the Train trip was spent ripping open chocolate frogs and discussing when they would return to their ‘meeting place’ again. It was decided they should wait at least a week, as Remus did not stop pestering them that they would need time to catch up on their studies.

At the last moment possible Kristen rushed out to the restroom to change into her uniform. Just as she was coming out, the train came to a stop. She hurried to meet the others as they made their way to the school.

“Why are we going in these?” Kristen asked when they approached the carriages.

“They don’t take everyone over in boats.” James told her huffily, still mad at her.

Kristen didn’t really listen; she only stared at the faint horses pulling them. They seemed to shimmer in and out of focus. She shook her head and climbed into the carriage, not mentioning them to anyone else.
* * *
“Miss St. Claire, a word if you please.”

Kristen froze. Their could be no good reason that Professor McGonagall would want to talk to her so soon after entering the doors at Hogwarts.

“Don’t look like that,” McGonagall snapped at her, leading her away from the throng. “Honestly, you’d think I beat you children!”

“Who’s leading the first years?” Kristen asked hesitantly, as if she hoped McGonagall had forgotten about her job and would run back to them.

“Professor Slughorn decided to.” She answered, holding open her office door for Kristen to enter. “I’m sorry to deprive you of the opening feast but Dumbledore was insistent that I speak to you as soon as possible.” She waved her wand and a few sandwiches as well as a goblet appeared on her desk for Kristen to enjoy. “So, how was your summer?”

Kristen thought that was a rather odd question for something so ‘insistent’. “Fine I guess. Boring, but fine.”

“Your parents don’t know that you have magic ability, correct?” Kristen shook her head, wondering how her professor knew that. “Your parents…did they act different towards you?”

“No,” Kristen answered slowly, not quite sure where this was going.

“Very good. Now Kristen, do you know what Occulemency is?” The professor asked her. When Kristen shook her head ‘no’, she continued. “It’s a way to keep people from invading your mind. For instance, if you had been a skilled Occulemens when you were attacked in Hogsmeade, You-Know-Who would not have been able to transfer his memories to you.”

Kristen just nodded her head, not liking that being brought up. That had been one of the good things about being home. No one had talked about Hogsmeade, or brought up the terrible memories she had. Even when she was with her friends, they were too scared to bring it up either.

McGonagall sighed and pushed up her glasses. “Miss St. Claire, Professor Dumbledore and I believe there’s a possibility that your mind could get attacked again.”

“What? Why? I’m not even allowed to go to Hogsmeade!” Kristen rattled off quickly. Her skin began to tingle at the thought of meeting Voldermort again.

“You don’t need to be in close contact for him attack you Kristen. That’s why Professor Dumbledore would like you to learn Occulemency.”

Kristen just stared at her hands. She had thought that she was done with Voldermort, that she had escaped him once and that would be the end of it. “Why does he still want to hurt me though?”

“Kristen, that day in Hogsmeade…you challenged him. You may not have comprehended it but you did. He obviously realized that you have some source of untapped magical power, and he’s going to want it for himself. According to our source, he wants you. He believes that you have some sort of ability that will be of help to him.”

“But why?” She asked in frustration. “The only things I’m good at here are Transfiguration and flying! And I’m not even the best in either one of those!”

“I don’t know Kristen, that’s just what I was told,” McGonagall replied calmly, understanding her student’s distress. “I need you to meet Professor Dumbledore tomorrow night at eight o’clock for you first lesson. I’m truly sorry for doing this to you Kristen, I know it must be hard.” To Kristen’s immense surprise, McGonagall gave her a kiss on the forehead. “Are you going to be alright?”

Kristen numbly nodded her head, not quite sure what to do. “How about I walk you back to the common room?” Kristen didn’t say anything; she just began walking with McGonagall close to her.

McGonagall cursed Voldermort. It was insanity what he was causing this small girl to go through! She should be having fun with all her friends and a carefree life, not constantly worrying about getting attacked.

“Here you are, the password’s ‘mandrakes’” Professor McGonagall told her. She turned to leave but Kristen suddenly stopped her.

“Professor, what are the things that pull the carriages? They were odd, it was like one minute I could see them, and the next I couldn’t. I don’t think anyone else saw them though because no one else said anything.”

Professor McGonagall looked at her with calculating eyes. “They’re called Thestrals. I would ask that you speak to the headmaster about this when you next see him.”

Kristen just nodded her head and sighed. This was all she needed, something else weird about her.
* * *
“How many bloody meetings are you going to have to have with him?” Sirius asked her at dinner the next day. “I swear, it’s like he thinks someone’s going to come murder you!”

“Thanks Sirius, that makes me feel loads better,” Kristen spat at him sarcastically, putting her silver ware down. “I’m not hungry, I’m just too nervous.”

“Understandable,” James said as he shoveled down and enormously gross amount of food.

“As long as you don’t fall into last year’s cycle,” Sirius warned her. “Merlin knows I plan to get some sleep this year.”

She just smiled as she idly moved the food around her plate with a fork. She hadn’t told them what the meeting was for, or why McGonagall had called her into her office. No one questioned her; they simply took her vague answers with a sigh.

“I’m going to head out,” Kristen decided, standing up.

“Wow, it takes you forty-five minutes to walk to Dumbledore’s office?” Sirius asked sarcastically.

“Well waiting around there is better than getting weird looks from all you guys,” she said honestly, heading for the door. She hated those looks; she thought she had been done with them last year.

She sat outside his office, it only being seven thirty. She figured he was still eating dinner in the great hall when he showed up shortly after her.

“I thought I saw you leave,” He said with a small smile as she jumped up. “Sugar Quills,” the gargoyles jumped aside and Dumbledore motioned for her to go first. “How was your summer, dear?”

“Alright,” She answered monotonously. “You?” She asked more out of politeness that actual curiosity.

“The same,” he answered, his smile slowly sliding off his face at her total lack of emotion. “Sit down,” he instructed her, waving to the chair in front of his desk. “Professor McGonagall told you why I needed you here, correct?”

“Something about Voldermort having it in for me.”

“Well, that is a more crude way of putting it I suppose.” Dumbledore said slowly, watching her intently as she averted her eyes. “Now Kristen, Occulmency is a very difficult branch of magic to learn, I myself did not attempt it until I was well out of school.”

“Why do I need to learn it then?” Kristen fought back defiantly.

“I do not want the possibility of Voldermort invading your mind again, this will keep him out.” Dumbledore told her, hoping she would simply listen to his reasoning. “Now, I’m only gong to do a few exercises with you tonight and then we’ll meet once a week. I want you to picture a brick wall, make it sturdy. You’re going to use that to keep me out.” She nodded her head in understanding.

Dumbledore stared at her as Kristen closed her eyes to concentrate. He could see her brick wall, he could see that it was cracked in several places and he easily maneuvered past it. He wanted her to try and stop him but before she could a flood of memories came out, there was St. Mungo’s and a snowball fight, as well as Christmas presents.

He pulled back immediately, not meaning to unleash so many at once. He could see that Kristen looked confused. “I don’t remember any of those things happening.” She whispered, looking at him.

“I believe I accidentally uncovered those six weeks of memory that you had lost, they were very close to the surface.” He told her speculatively. “I think that’s all I will do for tonight. Further through the year I will make it longer but this can be especially trying the first time. I will see you next Tuesday, I hope?”

She barely comprehended what he was saying as she left. All those things that had happened after Hogsmeade were playing through her mind.

She was still in this state of semi-consciousness when she walked into the Common Room. It was still packed with students, as it was early in the evening. She quickly spotted her friends, though she only wanted to speak with one.

“Sirius, can I talk to you for a second?” Kristen asked him quietly, looking a bit nervous.

He cocked an eyebrow at her and reluctantly stood up. “James, if I die everything goes to you.”

“Yes!” James exclaimed, smiling.

“What’s this about?” Sirius asked, actually concerned. The last time she had looked this forlorn it had been his birthday.

She took a deep breath and looked around to make sure no one was listening. “Sirius, why didn’t you tell me I kissed you?”

Sirius’s eyebrows shot up in surprise. “I…um…how do you know about that?”

“Dumbledore is doing this thing where he invades my mind and I try to block it. He uncovered that memory some how. Now, why didn’t you tell me that’s what made all my memories come back?”

Sirius ran his fingers through his hair uncomfortably. “I don’t know. I mean, we were under the mistletoe and I was curious, all right? I figured you’d only get mad at me if I told you so I kept it to myself.”

“I wouldn’t have gotten mad at you,” She told him, smiling slightly. “I think during that whole ordeal I kind of liked you. Blimey, I was not in my right mind!”

Sirius laughed along with her, the whole ordeal somewhat paining him. Now that he knew that she had actually liked him it was a much harder memory to handle. If only he had known that sooner…

“Oi Kristen! What did you do, drag Sirius over there for a private snog?” James shouted at her, trying to get back at her for the train ride.

“Why? Are you hoping to live out your dreams through Sirius, Potter?” Kristen shot back at him with experience.

James couldn’t help but laugh at that. The thought of snogging Kristen was like kissing a sister, simply disgusting.

“You are all so immature,” Lily huffed at their bickering, sitting in a chair with a charms book.

“Oh come on Lily, you know you missed me,” James told her, wiggling his eyebrows.

She snapped her book shut, glaring at him. She then marched up the stairs with out a second glance.

“I can see you’re making real progress on her.” Sirius told him with as straight a face as he could. “I think she really likes you.”

“Shut up,” James growled, becoming moody.

“Don’t worry, one day she’ll fall for you. Just give it time.” Kristen encouraged him, sitting by his side.

“The day she likes him, will be the day you two start getting along,” Remus laughed as he looked at Kristen and Sirius.

“You’re not helping,” Kristen snapped at him.

“James hardly needs an ego booster,” Sirius said casually.

“Well neither do you for that matter,” Kristen shot back at him. “Come on, give him a break! Hasn’t there ever been a girl you’ve fallen for but she wouldn’t have a thing to do with you?”

Sirius looked as if he was thinking for a moment. “Nope, can’t say that I have.” He decided confidently.

James threw a pillow at him in anger, knowing, sadly enough, that he was probably telling the truth.


Chapter 23: Moons, Dances, and friends-that-really-need-to-mind-their-own-buisness
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Kristen sighed as she watched James over the next week. Honestly, he was hopeless! His reasoning seemed to be that the more he annoyed Lily, the better she would like him. It really made her quite sad.

Her next lesson with Dumbledore came far too quickly for her liking. Before she knew it, she was back to waiting outside of his office, dreading the meeting to come.

“Sugar Quills,” He said as soon as he walked up, startling her out of her moping. “Come Kristen, there’s something I believe you need to tell me.” He said a bit ominously as he boarder the stairs with her.

Kristen hated how he always knew more than her. Not in the sense of just being a teacher or older than her, he just always seemed to know exactly what was going on. She’s gotten so used to hiding everything that it was quite unnerving to not be able to do that with him.

“Professor McGonagall told me that you saw the Thestrals pulling the carriages. Why didn’t you tell me that?” He began quickly without introduction.

She rubbed her arms nervously. “I didn’t know it was odd that I saw them…”

“Yes you did. She told you to tell me.”

“Look, I’m sorry.” Kristen snapped at him. “I was a little preoccupied at the fact that Voldermort wants my mind and realizing I got six weeks worth of memories back! Weird Black horses were the farthest things from my mind!”

“I suppose you were a little caught up in other things,” Dumbledore allowed her, stroking his beard thoughtfully. “But Kristen, I still need you to tell me when these things happen.”

“Why? Surely the other students can see them as well.”

“No, most of them can’t. People only see Thestrals when they witness the death of a person. I didn’t think you would be able to see them as you only have someone else’s memory of a death. It simply doesn’t make sense.” Dumbledore explained, though it did nothing but make her even angrier.

“I told you! I killed those people! Why don’t you understand! I remember everything about it. I remember what Deana Gregson’s hair smelled like, how Xavier Perry’s eyes flashed just before it happened, or how little Sampson’s tears felt on my hands! You think I didn’t do it? Those memories are clearer than anything else in my head! I regret that I did it every moment of the day, I have so many nightmares! But I did, and nothing you say will change that!”

Dumbledore sighed at her outburst. Normally, he would be upset that a student would act so disrespectfully, but she had every right. “One day Kristen, you’ll understand, I promise.”

“Why don’t I understand now?” She asked him, eyes flashing.

“Because you have yet to discover yourself. When that happens, you’ll understand.” He told her in his ever-frustrating manner. “Kristen, you have magical powers that are beyond most wizards’ dreams. They haven’t developed yet, but when they do things will become clearer.”

Kristen rolled her eyes heavily. “I’m muggle born, why would I have ‘great power’ or whatever?” She asked mockingly.

“I don’t know,” Dumbledore answered. “I can tell though, I always can. Like your friends, Misters Potter, Black, and Lupin, they’re powerful as well, though not in the same way. That is not our discussion today however.” He quickly changed the subject. “We need to practice the Occulemency more thoroughly.”

Kristen sighed as she prepared herself. It was going to be a long night.
* * *
“You know we need to talk about this guys.”

Kristen, James, and Peter all shifted uncomfortably. Sirius was the only one to finally say something about it after all this time. “Not Remus.” Kristen finally said. “Not sweet, calm Remus. It just can’t be!”

“He’s been gone once every month for the past year.” Sirius pointed out. “I don’t want to believe it either, but come on! You know you’ve all noticed what the moon happens to be doing every time he leaves.”

“We know Sirius,” James sighed. “It all points to it but like Krissie said, not Remus. He would be the least likely person.”

“Wait, what?” Peter stopped them looking confused.

“We think Remus is a werewolf,” Kristen hissed, hitting his arm for not paying attention.

“Not Remus,” Peter protested.

Sirius rolled his eyes. “That’s what we’ve been saying Pete, keep up.”

The four friends were sitting outside next to the lake with sweatshirts to keep them warm in the late September cool. It was nearing the end of day two of Remus’s absence, his first one that year.

“He should be coming back soon,” Kristen said idly, looking towards the gate as they nervously waited for him. Quite suddenly though, he appeared from the forest, almost as if he had been there the entire time. They all watched anxiously as he looked at them in confusion for a moment and then hesitantly walked to join him.

“Hello,” he said cautiously when he approached them. “What’s going on? Why are you all out here?”

“We needed to talk to you, preferably without many people around,” Sirius said with a sense of dread.

They could see Remus tense as he sat on the grass with them. “What do you need to ask?” He inquired slowly.

“Are you a werewolf?” James blurted out, knowing that was the only way they’d be able to ask.

Remus’s eyes widened in shock. “N-n-no,” he stammered. “My mum just gets sick a lot.”

“Remus, there’s no point in hiding it any more. Everything adds up,” Kristen told him.

Remus closed his eyes, and tears began to slide down his face. “I’ll go then,” he croaked, admitting to it. He began to stand up but Kristen was suddenly by his side.

“Remus, hear us out,” she pleaded, pulling him back down with her. “We love you. You’re our best friend.”

“But I’m a werewolf. I’m dangerous.” He fought, pulling his hand away from her’s. “Why would you want to be friends with me?”

“You do our homework,” Sirius joked. Feeling more confident now that he was sure of himself. “Come on, did you seriously think we would desert you?”

“Well…I’m a werewolf,” Remus said, as if Sirius didn’t understand.

“Well, Kristen’s going to turn into a monster once a month soon too but, sadly, I doubt we’ll get rid of her then.” Sirius said casually.

It took everyone a moment to get it before they burst out laughing and Kristen’s blushed a bright red. “Sirius Black! I cannot believe you just said that! It was utterly disgusting.”

“Believe it sweet heart,” he taunted her.

“I can’t believe this,” Remus breathed, looking utterly exuberant and completely oblivious of Sirius and Kristen’s huge row. “I thought you would hate me.”

“No, are you kidding? This is way cool! Humble peace loving Remus by day, vicious monster by night!” James shouted in excitement.

“I’m not a vampire,” Remus laughed. “I’m only a monster one night of the month. Sorry to disappoint you.”

“I hate you Sirius Black!”

“You are such an over emotional female!”

Remus rolled his eyes as he watched Kristen and Sirius shout at each other. He sat down on the grass next to James and Peter. He’d never though it would go this well. He was sure when they found out they’d disown him and then tell every one else in the school. He couldn’t believe he had underestimated them.
* * *
“Alright Marauders, I call the first official meeting of the school year to order.” Remus announced regally.

“Here, here!” The others shouted, holding up their bottles of butterbeer.

“First order of business,” Remus continued in his regal manner. “Well…I don’t really have anything so what the Hell, let’s just stay up late and not do homework!”

They all laughed at Remus’s totally carefree manner. It was the day after they had discovered his secret, and he was basking in his euphoria. He had acted like he was consumed with sugar throughout the morning. Though it was quite entertaining to watch this new Remus, none of them could wait for the old one to come back.

“So, where do you actually go when your furry little problem takes over?” James asked Remus.

“You know that tree that moves out by the forest? Well, if you touch one of the knots on the tree, you can slip down under it, and then there’s a tunnel that leads to this old building in Hogsmeade. I usually stay there until I feel able enough to walk back.” He answered casually.

“We’ll have to use that passage way one day when you’re not going to eat us,” Sirius said excitedly. “That way, we could go to Hogsmeade whenever we wanted!”

Remus suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “I don’t know guys, Dumbledore trusts me…”

“Don’t worry, we won’t get caught,” Sirius said nonchalantly. “We just have to figure out a way to go without much notice.”

“I don’t want you guys breaking the rules on my account,” Remus said, reverting to his old self.

“We wouldn’t be only doing it for you,” Kristen said, excitement on her face. “Just imagine the adventure!”

“Please don’t…”

“Oh stop worrying,” James told him with a light punch on the arm. “I doubt we’ll come up with anything too soon.”

Remus sighed in defeat, knowing that this topic was far from being dropped.
* * *
“I have exciting news everyone!” Dumbledore proclaimed with glee as he stood in front of all his students. “In little over a week, we will have a Halloween ball, in light of the younger students not being able to go to Hogsmeade!”

Instant conversations broke out across the hall. Dumbledore didn’t even both to try silencing them but instead sat down to begin his dinner.

“He only gave us a week’s warning?” Several girls discussed in anger. “What am I going to wear? How will I be ready?”

Kristen laughed to herself as several girls went into hysteria at the news. James instantly turned to Lily upon hearing this who gave a firm “NO!” before turning away. James looked heartbroken but quickly began scanning the table for other eligible maidens.

She rolled her eyes at him before focusing on her food. Honestly! James Potter was the biggest player she knew!

She discreetly looked over to Sirius, who was flirting madly with Gwen. Well, make that second biggest player she knew.
* * *
Kristen had never really been asked out by a boy. There were those few in primary school, who had walked around holding her hand, and then Peter, but that was not really what you could call being asked out.

But now, it was utterly strange! There were boys that she didn’t even know the names off asking her to the dance! She told the first few no, mostly because she was too shocked to say anything else.

And then he came.

He was the god of fourth years, everyone knew that. Jason Brown, seeker for the Ravenclaw Quiditch team, top in all his classes, and an incredibly charming guy.

And he had just pulled her out of the group to talk to her.

She was shaking all over, and she was sure her cheeks were a bright red by now. “Hey, I’ve noticed you around.” He told her coolly.

Kristen dumbly shook her head in answer. She tried to speak, but quickly found her self far too tongue-tied. “I know we’ve never really gotten a chance to hang out but you seem really nice, and you’re very pretty.” He continued with a large smile.

She was honestly surprised she didn’t just collapse. “T-Thanks,” she stuttered, nervously pushing her hair behind her ears.

“So,” he smiled and leaned casually against the stonewall. “Would you want to go to the dance with me?”

She nodded quickly, too afraid to try and talk. He laughed a little and then kissed her lightly on the cheek and walked away.

“Who does he think he is?” She heard James shout, though he sounded far away. “Just waltzing up and kissing you like that! Talk about disrespectful!”

Kristen had not listened to a word of it. Instead, she grinned widely and slid down the wall, still in complete shock over what had just transposed.

“No kidding! I mean, he’s a bloody fourth year! He’s way too old for Kristen!” Sirius added in equal anger.

That snapped her out of her daze. “I hardly think it’s any of your business,” she shot at him as she stood up regally.

“Of course it’s my business!” Sirius retorted. “He’s obviously using you for something!”

“Yeah! I mean, why would a fourth year even look at you?” James asked incredulously.

“Oh, I don’t know…maybe he likes me or something!” She yelled at both of them.

“He doesn’t even know you,” Remus added, surprising her.

“I thought you at least would be on my side,” She snapped at him, hurt by his betrayal. “Can’t you guys just be happy that I managed to get a date?”

“You could have gotten a much better one,” Sirius told her defiantly.

“Right, sorry I chose the guy I’d actually be happy to go with, my bad,” She declared sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

“Jason Brown is not trustworthy,” James tried to convince. “Guys know this stuff about other guys. Seriously Kristen, you can’t go with him!”

“I think you’re all just mad that your back-up date isn’t available!” She shrieked, stalking of to her Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

“What a stupid comeback!”

Why on earth would she think that?”

“We were only looking out for her!”

“What was she thinking?”

Peter, Remus, Sirius, and James all conversed wildly as the followed Kristen at a safe distance. She tried to ignore them, and did so in the days leading up to the dance. She only spoke to Lily, which pleased Lily to no end as Kristen was finally choosing her over that “egotistical prat Potter”.

Kristen knew they were plotting against her, she could see it in their faces. Part of her was beginning to regret saying yes to Jason, until the day of that is.

He was simply stunning, with his baby blue dress robes and dark brown, windswept hair. She suddenly felt ashamed of her light pink dress and curly hair; she wasn’t good enough for him.

“Beautiful,” he told her with a smile, making her knees go weak as he looped his arm around hers to lead her into the great hall.

She desperately tried not to step on his feet as he led her through a few waltz. He was such a gentleman, offering to get her drinks or to let her go talk to her friends. She never agreed to the second option, she was avoiding them like the plague at the moment. Instead, she offered to see his friends.

That’s where things went downhill.

Kristen couldn’t understand it. One minute, he was a perfect gentleman, the epitome of an ideal escort, the next…he was an egotistical pig.

“Did you see Di Chang?” One boy howled, smirking in appreciation of the girl in question’s low cut garb.

“Letting it all hang out, aye?” Jason laughed.

“And look at your girl, all dolled up for you.” A tall blonde boy shoved Jason’s shoulder while looking Kristen up and down.

Kristen suddenly felt very uncomfortable, nearly naked as Jason held her out like a prize. “Leave it to Jas to get the prettiest girl of the second years.” Another boy guffawed.

“Can we go back?” Kristen asked him quietly, clinging on to his arm. She knew he would say ‘yes’. He was such a sweet and kind gentleman after all, and he liked her so much that he would surely do something simple like this for her.

“Wait, would you? I’m just talking to the guys,” Jason snapped at her rather harshly. She shrank away from him, confused as to why he was treating her like this.

“Please,” She asked of him, wanting to get away from his odd friends.

Jason grabbed onto her arm, “I already told you, just one minute,” he growled at her menacingly.

“Let her go.”

Kristen looked around. Standing just behind them was the whole gang, Peter, Remus, James, Sirius, all looking angry. “Get your hand off of her bastard,” James demanded, his eyes hard.

Kristen sighed in humiliation. Yes, she was having a terrible time with Jason at the moment, but it wasn’t so bad that they had to interfere.

Jason looked at him in confusion before bursting out laughing. “You think you boys could take us or something.” He asked threateningly, keeping a firm grip on Kristen’s arm.

“If you’re going to keep doing that, you bet we can,” Sirius huffed, trying to sound bigger than he actually was.

“All right munchkins, let’s see it,” The blonde boy agreed, getting out his wand with a smirk.

Within seconds mass panic had taken over. James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter had all been prepared, their wands close at hand. But at the first sign of trouble, three more of Jason’s friends came over for the fight. The second years were both out numbered, and out smarted. Kristen could hardly do anything but stand in near shock as it began, but she soon got her wits back about her and joined in the fray, not caring that she was fighting her own date.


Chapter 24: The Aftermath and Final meeting
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* * *
“That was absolutely the most immature display I have ever seen!” The Gryffindor Head of House shouted in anger, pacing the hospital wing. “How dare you incite those young men, you boys know better!”

“He was hurting Kristen,” James protested, looking even angrier than her with large boils across his face. “We couldn’t just stand there and watch!”

“He was not hurting me!” Kristen retorted for what felt the hundredth time. “He was being a pig but he wasn’t doing anything against me.”

“He grabbed your arm!”

“Exactly Remus,” Kristen snapped at him. “He grabbed my arm, and yeah, it made me mad, but he didn’t leave a bruise or anything!”

“Whatever the reason it was highly irresponsible!” Professor McGonagall told them off. “I’m especially ashamed of you Mr. Lupin, I expected much better from you. As soon as you are all released from the hospital wing, including you Miss St. Claire, you are to serve detention for a month! And thirty points from Gryffindor a piece!” She finished in a rage, storming out of the room.

“That’s like a hundred and fifty points!” Sirius exclaimed.

“It was worth it! Finally getting to beat that arrogant bastard’s face in was the best feeling of my life!” James shouted in happiness.

“You lost!” Kristen yelled at him. “Just look at the four of you! You all look absolutely horrible!”

“It was still worth it,” James mumbled, running a finger along a bandaged cut.

“Worth it? He didn’t even do anything and yet two black eyes, three broken arms, a broken nose, Merlin knows how many cuts and bruises, and four faces covered in boils is worth it to you?” She asked them in anger, being unharmed herself when pushed out of the fight by Sirius and held back by others.

“Hell yeah, he was a jerk!” Sirius told her defiantly, his smirk visible underneath his multiple face injuries. “I don’t care if I got hurt.”

“And at least you didn’t,” James added to her paternally.

Kristen huffed in frustration and sat down in a chair between Remus and Sirius. She bowed her head and said quietly, “All right, I’ll admit it. That was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me.”

All the boys looked immensely proud of themselves as Kristen admitted that, feeling like they had triumphed over her. “But that doesn’t mean you can do that to any future dates!” She was quick to add, giving them each a warning glare. “Though I’ll probably have a rather hard time of finding another date after your wonderful display.”

“Good, you don’t need to be dating anyways,” James said joyfully.

“Where do you get off saying that?” Kristen laughed. “Did my father bribe you or something because you didn’t used to be like this.”

“Yeah, but you’ve gotten pretty and I know how guys think.” James told her haughtily.

“He’s right,” Sirius agreed, though to which part Kristen wasn’t entirely sure.

“Honestly, I have yet to figure out a reason of why I’m friends with you three and tolerate Sirius.” Kristen said with a heavy roll of her eyes.

“Hey, I just beat up a guy on your behalf!” Sirius snapped at her. “Shouldn’t you be thankful?”

“You just beat him up for a good time,” Kristen told him sternly. “My benefit had nothing to do with it!”

“Look, if you’re not going to even acknowledge that I suffered a broken nose and arm for you then you really are a stuck up b-”

“Sirius!” James cut him off.

“No Sirius, let’s hear it.” Kristen challenged him with her hands on her hips.

“Bitch,” Sirius annunciated, drawing it out with a smirk. “The Ice Queen, the know-it-all, the prat, the bitch, choose your favorite.”

“Hypocrite, bastard, egotistical moron, son of a bitch.” Kristen retorted with a smile.

“You think you can beat me at my own game sweet heart?” He asked cockily, raising an eyebrow in challenge.

“I think I can beat you at about anything dear,” She answered, rising to the challenge.

“Anything? I bet in a duel, I could beat you with my hands tide behind my back.”

“Oh that’s rich,” She told him with superiority. “Dumbledore himself told me that I’m powerful.”

“If you’ve forgotten love, Dumbledore lies an awful lot,” He reminded her.

“Why else would Voldermort want to kill me?” she asked him quietly. “Honestly, I don’t want to believe him either but at this time I don’t have anyone else to listen to!”

“Voldermort wants to kill you?” Peter asked in disbelief.

“Why didn’t you tell us?” Remus inquired, looking hurt.

“I didn’t mean to bring it up. Just forget I said anything,” Kristen mumbled, turning to leave.

“No,” James told her sternly. “We’re not going to let you relapse. Tell us what’s going on, it’s the only way you’ll feel better.”

“I don’t believe it’s any of you business,” she snapped at him harshly.

“Damn it Kristen, I thought we were past this.” Sirius nearly yelled at her. “Why don’t you trust us?”

“I do trust you I just don’t want to talk about it,” She fought back, looking exasperated.

Sirius shakily stood up, as if to make himself feel more confident. “I’m not going to let you do this to yourself again. You worked too hard to regress like this!”

“I’m not regressing! I’m not cutting, I’m eating, I’m talking, I’m fine but I don’t want to talk about this! Just leave me be!” She shouted, storming from the room. Honestly, those boys thought they controlled her or something!

“Kristen!”

She kept walking, deliberately faster because she knew Sirius would find it hard to keep up in his injured state. “Kristen, for the love of Merlin, stop running away.”

She finally stopped, allowing him to catch up to her. “What’s wrong with you?” He asked her snappishly.

“Nothing! Nothing is wrong!” She yelled, her face inflamed with infuriation.

“Voldermort wants to kill you and you tell me nothing is wrong?” He asked skeptically.

“It’s not like he’s hunting me down or anything! Dumbledore just told me that after the whole Hogsmeade thing Voldermort decided that I challenged him or something so now he’s out to get me.” She explained to him as best she could.

“Why didn’t you tell us then?” he asked her calmly, trying desperately to hold his temper.

“I don’t know,” she answered awkwardly. “I thought you guys would be mad or something…”

“Mad?” Sirius asked, confused. It suddenly dawned on him what was really going on. “You think we won’t want to talk to you because Voldy’s trying to do you in. Is that it?”

She sighed. “Kind of. I mean, who would? I really wouldn’t blame you for trying to stay out of harm’s way, after last year and everything.”

Sirius laughed at her. “Honestly Krissie, we didn’t abandon Remus, and he could kill us all once a month. Why would we abandon you? And besides, he wouldn’t dare touch you with Dumbledore around.”

“I guess your right,” she agreed, though she didn’t sound very convinced. “I’m going to bed, night Sirius.”

“Night,” he called out as she walked away. He was honestly afraid that she was about to go back to square one. He wasn’t sure he could handle that again. He would like to think, of course, that he would be just as supportive as the first time, but he knew the likely hood of that was slim. He wasn’t a very patient and forgiving man, and yet, it was Kristen and somehow he knew he would never turn her away.
* * *
The few weeks to Christmas dragged by, filled with detentions mostly, and the occasional trip to the meeting room.

Kristen refused to talk about Voldermort anymore with her friends. Though she swore up and down that she wasn’t cutting, everyone still trailed her constantly.

She saw Jason rarely, but when she did he and his friends just glared at her, as well as most of the Ravenclaws. If the rest of the Marauders were with her, they would yell insults back and forth, nearly starting another fight more times than she could count. She loved them dearly, but sometimes they annoyed her to no end.

She was surprised to find that when Christmas suddenly came upon her, she was happy to be going home. She needed a break, whether from school or attention she wasn’t sure.

They had one last meeting before they were set to leave. Remus, Sirius, James, Peter, and Kristen all made their way to the Room of Requirement, laughing and giggling all the way.

“I can’t believe you’re going back there,” James told Sirius, taking a drink of hot chocolate that the room had provided.

“I don’t really have much of a choice. My mother said Bella would force me on the train if I decided to be defiant and stay here,” Sirius answered.

“I’m just glad none of us are in the hospital, or without memories,” Kristen said. “It feels good to know that I actually recognize everyone in this room.”

“We need to work on our plan to get back into Hogsmeade though,” Peter reminded them. “Remember, we were going to use the route Remus used.”

Remus sighed as the others eagerly began discussing ideas for what they could do. Hard as he tried though, he couldn’t help but be the tiniest bit excited at the prospect of them possibly going with him when he made his changes.
* * *
Kristen stretched lazily, relieved to be in her own bed on Christmas morning. She heard her sisters in the next room, pacing excitedly as they waited for it to turn seven, the earliest their parents agreed to get up.

Before long, her bedroom door was being thrown open by her little sisters as they rushed to their parents room to begin the ritual of banging on the door screaming “It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!” She smiled and followed their trail down the stairs, feeling much more excited than she looked.

“Father Christmas has been here!” Belle shouted, ripping off the paper just as her parents were descending the stairs.

Christmas passed in a flurry of flying colored papers and numerous smiles for their camera. The later went to dinner at their favorite restaurant, a little hole in the wall French buffet, as their grandparents, their father’s parents, lived in Vienna, and their mother’s family was long gone.

By the end of it, Kristen was ready to go back. She’s had her share of calm and decided that it had been highly over estimated.
* * *
“So how was your vacation?” Sirius asked her when they stepped on to the train to go back.

“Probably better than yours,” She laughed, noticing his look of joy at returning.

“Probably.” He agreed. “Though I did get to spend most of it with my Aunt Andromeda and my cousin Nymphadora.”

“That’s an odd name,” Remus put in. “Nymphadora…sounds exotic, really.”

“She already hates it and she’s only two years old. Cute kid though, especially when she decides to have really blonde curly hair, though that’s not often.” Sirius told them proudly.

“My family and I went to New York City!” James boasted, sporting an “I heart N.Y.” shirt. “We were muggles for a whole two weeks! It was so much fun!”

“We had the traditional stay at home dinner thing,” Remus said.

“Us too, nothing special.” Peter put in.

“Favorite little French restaurant,” Kristen said with a smile, not at all disappointed in her Christmas compared with the others.

From then, the school year went disappointingly fast. The rest of the group finally reached their life long dream, becoming a teenager, and soon they were making their way down to the Room of Requirement, for their final meeting that year.

“So everyone, I’ve finally thought of a way to get into Hogsmeade with Remus!” James announced grandly to the room. “We are all going to become animagus!”

Everyone looked at him doubtfully. “That’s the hardest branch of Transfiguration. There’s no way we could pull it off,” Kristen told him.

“I think I barely passed the test James. I don’t think I could handle extra-curriculars on top.” Sirius said. “Besides, we just signed up for Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, and Ancient Runes.”

Peter just scratched his head and asked, “What?”

“There’s no other way!” James declared. “Look, we’ll work on it, and it’s going to take time but we can do it!”

“Why not,” Sirius decided. “I mean, I guess it’s worth a shot.”

“Yeah, I mean, the worst that could happen is you all get arrested.” Remus told them sarcastically.

“Or turned into half a cat. I hate cats.” Kristen shivered at the very thought.

“So it’s agreed then Marauders? First thing next year, we’re going to start learning to become animagus.”

“We’re going to get ourselves killed,” Sirius said easily, lifting his glass to the idea with all the others.



Chapter 25: A Monastery Repression
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Honestly, she was very proud of herself that she hadn’t shot her mother yet.

Summer was turning into living torture. Everyday, her mother preached to the family. And not just the average, ‘Let us all love God and Jesus’ preaching that Kristen was familiar with and had no problem hearing, now it was hard core, must do everything according to the Bible, even reading about witches is satanic, girls must wear skirts all the time that were at least knee length, preaching.

In short, it was prison. She couldn’t believe she’s been able to keep her composure through the numerous lectures on how witchcraft was satanic, when all she wanted to do was go up stairs and actually work on that potions essay. And then her mother took away her jeans, they were improper apparently. She’d nearly flipped over that, but kept her temper. That night she simply went out to the garbage and got her jeans back, storing them in a paper bag in her trunk for washing at the Potter’s.

She came very close to running away one night. As she lay in her room, staring at the numerous statuette crucifixes and religious drawings that had been hung there, she’d nearly decided it was all too much. But she couldn’t leave her father, or her sisters who were having a shock over this sudden change as well.

It finally came time for the summer Marauder reunion. Her mother had her doubts though.

“I don’t know about this Kristen. All those boys…you’re such a naïve and innocent little girl!”

“They’re my best friends. They wouldn’t do anything to hurt me,” Kristen informed her, struggling to keep her temper in check.

“They’re boys Kristen, you really shouldn’t be mingling with them. Heaven knows men are despicable creatures with only lust on the mind.”

“You married one!”

Kristen’s mother bowed her head piously, “As my Christian duty entailed me to.”

She pleaded with her father after that, simply knowing he would let her go. But, to her immense surprise, he said ‘no’ and stuck by his wife’s choice. She barricaded herself in her room after that, ranting to Sirius in a letter as he ranted to her about his own parent’s injustice.

It was the twenty-first of August, the day before her sanity would be returned and she would finally see James again. Her parents sidled into her room, their looks of seriousness putting her on high alert.

“Kristen, we need to talk about your schooling.” Her mother began, holding her husband’s hand for support.

“What about it?” Kristen asked defensively, sitting on her trunk quickly.

“We think Leonardo’s may not be the best choice in schooling for you.” Her father said slowly, looking frightened of her reaction.

“We feel that St. Joan’s school for young ladies would be a much more appropriate place,” Her mother neatly informed her with a chirpy smile.

“What?” Kristen yelled, jumping up. “Are you kidding me? I refuse to go to some prissy Catholic girl school! We’re not even Catholic! How could you do this?”

“This is exactly why we must! You are the exact opposite of what a Christian young lady should be!” Her mother snapped back, looking cold and mean.

“I can’t believe you’re letting her do this!” Kristen shouted at her father, tears burning her eyes. “I thought you at least loved me if not her!”

“I do love you Krissie,” He told her, looking very near to tears himself. “You’re mother thinks this is what’s best.”

“So you just go along with it? I hate you! I hate both of you! Get out of my room!” She screeched, covering the noise of several shattering picture frames.

“I will not be spoken to that way young lady!” Her mother spat at her.

“Then get out and you won’t have to listen!”

“This only supports my decision you know!” Her mother roared before storming out of the room with her husband.

Kristen grabbed her phone, wiping away angry tears as she dialed the most familiar number to her.

“You have to come get me! They’re sending me to catholic school!” She began shouting as soon as the other line picked up.

“Slow down Kristen,” Mr. Potter told her, sounding worried. “Tell me what’s going on.”

She explained the whole conversation and told him of the events that had quickly led up to it. “Please, I can’t not go to Hogwarts! You have to help me!”

“Kristen, I can’t do anything against their wills. You’re going to have to tell them you’re a witch.”

“Haven’t you listened to anything I just said? They’ll probably try to perform an exorcism on me or something if I tell them that!”

“They’re your parents Kristen, I can’t do anything without their blessing.”

“What am I supposed to do then?”

Mr. Potter sighed. “I’ll see what can be done. Please stay there though Kristen, don’t try to run away or come here. I don’t want you hurt. Stay calm and I’ll try to contact you if I come up with anything.”

Kristen huffed to her back yard, making sure to slam every possible door on her way there. Luckily, her parents were out of her way, keeping her from saying anything that she would surely regret.

She lay out in the grass, the summer breeze like freedom washing over her as she let her mind wander. She knew she was going to Hogwarts, that’s all there was to it. If she had to run away and get a job to afford her textbooks so be it. There was no way she giving up her life because her mother was going on some new religious spree.

The sun quickly set on her daydreams, and she grudgingly headed in side, only to see one of the people she least expected to be sitting in her living room.

“Ah, Miss St. Claire, I was just about to send for you.”

Kristen stared in open mouth as Professor Dumbledore sat on her couch, drinking tea as calmly as if he sat in one of his students’ muggle house all the time.

“You’re Professor here came to inform us of how well you are doing at Leonardo’s,” Her father told her with a smile, though her mother looked decidedly nervous and unhappy at Dumbledore’s appearance.

“Yes, she’s doing exceptionally well and I decided to come in person to inform you that she’s been chosen for our scholarship covering textbooks and clothing as well as an offer for a spot in our honors society. She would be very missed at our school if you continue with the withdrawal.” He told them serenely, looking completely trustworthy.

“It’s not a matter of her education, but of her discipline.” Mrs. St.Claire told him haughtily, putting a regal air about her.

“I assure you that she is well monitored at the school and if disciplinary action is needed it is put in place.” He assured her.

“I highly doubt you have any sort of daily mass she could attend.” Her mother spat out, trying to tear him down.

“We’re not Catholic! Why do I even need a daily mass?” Kristen asked in frustration.

Dumbledore held out his hand to calm her. “Mr. And Mrs. St.Claire, is there any way you would continue letting her go to…um…Leonardo’s. Sorry, in my old age I’m becoming more prone to memory lapses.” He covered his slip-up quickly.

“Absolutely not. I will hear no more of you either, coming into my home, no doubt a messenger of the devil. I won’t have you influencing my daughter any longer.” Mrs. St.Claire huffed, shooting up and herding him to the door.

“Yes, I was afraid you might feel this way.” Dumbledore sighed and stood up as well. “Valerie, I hate doing this to you.”

Kristen’s mother’s eyes widened in fright and Mr. St.Claire began to stand up in order to protect his wife. Dumbledore took out his wand and pointed it at Kristen’s father, saying, “Obliviate,” which caused him to slump back down on the couch and for his eyes to turn glassy as he stared off into space.

“Stay away from me Albus,” Mrs. St.Claire hissed at him, looking vicious. It quite unnerved Kristen to see her mother in this primitive state.

Dumbledore ignored her orders instead putting his hand to her head, making her shoulders slump as she locked eyes with him.

“You will let Kristen go with James Potter to school.”

“I’ll let her go with James Potter,” she repeated monotonously.

“You will not force her to go to any other school.”

“I will not force her to go to any other school.”

Dumbledore took his hand away and she fell into the armchair, looking exhausted. “They should both be normal again within the hour although they shouldn’t try to stop you again.”

“Thanks,” Kristen whispered, although she wasn’t sure why.

“I’ll see you on September 1st, and we will continue our meetings as usual on the following Thursday.” He told her as he began towards the door.

Kristen groaned loudly. “Why must I still ender that?”

“Kristen, you know you’re not ready for that.”

“You make it sound like when I find out I’m going to drop dead or something!” She suddenly stopped and looked at him keenly, “I’m not, am I?”

“Of course not. Now I suggest you ready yourself to see the Potters tomorrow.” He instructed her, opening the door and then disappearing with a crack on the doorstep.

He was always so strange, but tonight was definitely the strangest he had ever been. Especially how he had acted with her mother. He seemed almost sad when he spoke to her, and he’d known her first name, and she his. All in all, it had been the best night that summer.
* * *
“Would you try to look decent!” Her mother demanded of her, grabbing her to put her hair up in a neat bun. “And change those shorts, you look like a scarlet woman!”

Kristen rolled her eyes heavily but did as she was told. It was best not to provoke her mother at this point. So she would wear the hideous skirt, as long as it meant she got to go to Hogwarts.

She quickly regretted that.

When eleven o’clock finally came, it wasn’t just Mr. And Mrs. Potter there to pick her up; James and Sirius were tagging along.

“Kristen! What happened?” James asked as soon as he saw her. Sirius just burst out laughing.

“She’s become a respectable young lady, that’s what,” Her mother snapped at them, causing Sirius to instantly shut up. “Emily, I would vastly appreciate it if you wouldn’t allow her to be alone with those boys. I believe she should be chaperoned.”

“Of course Valerie,” Mrs. Potter answered slowly, placing protective hands on Sirius and James. “I won’t let her out of my sight.”

“Well, if we’re all set to go then I guess we’ll be off.” Mr. Potter said quickly, wanting desperately to leave the tension filled house. He grabbed Kristen’s trunk quickly and rushed outside.

“Stay out of trouble. The first time you step out of line I’ll change my mind about letting you go and send you to St. Joan’s.” Kristen’s mother said as a fond farewell, leaving her husband to the hugging and kissing good-bye.

“You look like a nun!” James and Sirius finally let loose when they sat on either side of her in the car.

“I think that was her point,” Kristen snapped at them, rather disgruntled at the prospect of going to Diagon Alley looking like a novice. “I was hoping you’d be at his house again and that maybe I could change first.”

“I am so glad I got a ride with you guys. Merlin knows this will forever live in my mind! Kristen as a nun!” Sirius shouted in glee, his laughter yet to cease.

Kristen elbowed him, nearly about to yell at him. A summer of her mother had put her severely close to the edge with anyone, Sirius especially. She stayed in a stony silence after that as James and Sirius talked animatedly with one another, most of their conversations pertaining to wizarding bands that she had no clue about. They finally reached the Leaky Cauldron and she couldn’t help but be excited, despite the appearance she was going to make.

“Well you look… pious,” Remus said slowly when he met them in the Leaky Cauldron at their appointed time.

“It that a compliment?” She snapped at him, her eyes sharp.

“Just a statement,” He smiled, holding his hands up in defense.

“She looks like a bloody nun!” Sirius howled once again at the looks of mirth on both Remus and Peter.

“Come along Kristen, we need to go exchange you money and then get you new robes.” Mrs. Potter said, putting a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“What? Why?” Kristen asked quickly. She was mad at her friends for making fun of her, but that was just how their relationship was. She didn’t want to leave them and trail around with Mr. and Mrs. Potter.

“You mother told me to stay with you,” She answered her, pulling her towards the door.

“Are you serious? You’re actually going to listen to her?” Kristen asked in complete horror.

“Valerie is one of my good friends and she’s entrusting my with your care. I know I would want someone to treat James as I told them,” she explained, continuing to pull her away. “Besides, it’s not like this is the last you’ll see of them. They’re sure to tag along with us eventually.”

Kristen walked around with her in a stony silence. The boys never did show up and walk with them as her escort insisted they would, and every second waiting for them only made Kristen angrier.

She was in a sullen temper by the time four o’clock rolled around and the made their way back to the Leaky Cauldron. There had only been one good part of the day, when Mrs. Potter let her take as long as she wanted to pick a dress for the year’s dance.

“Hey Kristen,” They greeted her cheerily, sitting at a table with drinks. She turned a deaf ear to their hellos, sitting coldly beside them as their escorts bought them all an early dinner.

“What’s wrong?” Peter asked a bit timidly.

She didn’t answer, but simply looked away. If they didn’t know what was bothering her, then she certainly wasn’t going to tell them.

“I think she’s going through that…you know.” Sirius lowered his voice considerably. “Girl thing.”

Kristen scowled at him, wanting him to regret even thinking it. “So I’m not allowed to just be mad at you all anymore. Suddenly, now that there’s a reason I might be in a bad mood a day or two of the month, but being mad at you all only has to do with that?”

“Well, we don’t really know what else it could be,” James shrugged.

“You never came!” She snapped at them, tears nearly filling her eyes much to her dismay. “I thought one of you would at least stop in and say ‘Hi’ but you couldn’t even do that! And even this summer, not one of you thought maybe you could come visit me during my house arrest! Do you know how much I actually missed you all? Yes, even you Sirius! Yet none of you could even bear to maybe spend a few minutes with me today!”

All the boys stared at her in shock as she broke down crying, her head in her arms on the table as her shoulders shook terribly. Remus awkwardly patted her on the back as frustration poured out of her.

“What happened?” Mr. Potter asked quickly, carrying food with him.

“She got mad at us and then started crying,” James explained as best her could.

“I’m sorry,” she sobbed, not quite sure why she was breaking down like this, it was completely unlike her. “I’m just so…frustrated! And not really with you guys, I understand that you want to have fun. It’s just…I hate my mother! I don’t care what you say Mrs. Potter, I hate her and she’s always the cause of everything bad!”

The boys visibly relaxed when she admitted to not being upset with them, though they were still uncomfortable. “I hate my mum too,” Sirius reminded her. “It sucks not liking the person that’s supposed to love you most in the world.”

Kristen nodded her head, wiping her eyes awkwardly on her sleeves. “Sorry,” she apologized once again, sniffling. “I was just a little on the edge to day I guess. That whole preaching thing, St. Joan’s, Dumbledore, and then this just kind of sent me over.”

“Dumbledore?” Peter asked her.

“It’s a long story,” Kristen told them, not really wanting to think about it. The more she did, the scarier it seemed. Something just hadn’t been right, and yet she couldn’t put her finger on it.

“Well eat up you two so we can get back,” Mrs. Potter told James and Kristen, looking apprehensive. Kristen knew why, the number of odd-looking people had multiplied dramatically since her first trip to Diagon Alley. Though Mrs. Potter was often protective of his friends, she wasn’t even willing to wait for their parents, preferring to insure the safety of her dependants first.

“Your mum seems really on edge,” Kristen whispered in the back seat when they were well on their way to the Potter Manor.

“There was an attack on Diagon Alley about a month ago. Everyone’s a bit antsy in there.” James explained in the same hushed tones. “Now tell me what happened with Dumbledore.”

She relayed the story to him, watching his face crinkle in confusion. “So your mum doesn’t remember any of it?”

“Not that she says,” Kristen replied. “I doubt if she did though she’d be letting me go to Hogwarts.”

“That’s creepy,” James’s whispered as he shuddered. “I never would have thought Dumbledore would do something like that.”

“Neither would I,” Kristen agreed. “Not that I’m complaining.” She added quickly, shutting at the thought of what might of happened if he hadn’t arrived 
 


Chapter 26: A New Look on Life
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* * *
“Finally!” Kristen exclaimed, waltzing into the compartment in full Hogwarts dress.

“It’s only noon,” Sirius pointed out.

“So? James’s mother has been making me wear the same clothes my mum does because ‘it’s the right thing to do’.” Kristen replied, using air quotations and a snide voice. “Believe me, I much prefer itchy stockings and nice shoes to itchy stockings, frumpy shoes, and nun like skirts.”

“Understandable,” Peter allowed, taking a bite into his apple.

“I can’t believe we’re third years,” James sighed in ecstasy, stretching out as much as he could, which proved difficult with four others.

“And that we sighed up for Ancient Runes,” Sirius said bewilderedly. “What were we thinking?”

“That Remus had just gotten over his furry little problem and he looked so sad when we said no to the idea originally. So we all signed up for it just to appease him.” Kristen stated accusingly. “Otherwise, none of us would have been that stupid.”

“And he’s taking muggle studies instead of Care of Magical Creatures,” Sirius added. “I mean honestly! We have Kristen for a reason!”

“Come on, what do you want to know about? Rubber Ducks? That was the first thing Sirius asked.”

Remus just rolled his eyes at the pair, how one minute they could so casually bounce of each other’s jokes, and the next they were near strangling one another. “I know I’ll never want to do anything in that field so why bother?”

“Because it’s fun!” Peter explained. “I doubt any of us want to do something with ancient runes but we’re still taking it because you’re in it.”

“Oh thanks, turn on the guilt trip Pete,” Remus laughed.

“Ah! Ah!” James suddenly screamed, very high pitched. “It’s a snake! There’s a snake!” He immediately grabbed onto Sirius and stood on the seat as the other boys began to freak out as well.

They were right though, on the ground was a large black snake, appearing from who knows where. Kristen sighed and picked it up before opening the compartment door to see Jason and his friends doubled over in laughter, having to lean on each other for support.

“You are all despicable!” She spat at them. Their mouths opened in shock when they saw the complacent snake that she held easily. “It has been almost a year since they did anything to you and must I remind you all that you beat them up quite well?”

They continued to stare at her; none of them had even touched the snake but kept in a cage when Jason found it in his back yard. “Here,” she said, tossing the snake to them. “Take your pet.” They all jumped back, allowing the snake to slither calmly away as Kristen stormed back into her compartment.

Her friends stared at her as well, James and Sirius both still holding each other as they stood on the seat. They quickly backed away from each other when she sat down heavily in the seat, looking disgruntled.

“What was that?” Remus asked slowly, looking wide-eyed and fearful.

“Jason and his friends being idiots,” she clarified roughly.

“No, the snake thing. I mean, we were in here screaming and you just picked up the thing and took it out to him.” Remus explained himself.

“Oh, that. I’ve always liked snakes, they do what I tell them,” Kristen brushed it off easily, picking up the magazine she had brought with her.

“Like you talk to them?” James asked slowly.

“Not exactly. I don’t know, they just do what I ask. I guess I kind of talk to them, but it’s not like I speak in snake, I just say stuff to them.” Kristen said nonchalantly, shrugging.

All the boys looked at each other wearily as she continued her meticulous reading. It seemed like something weird happened with her everyday.
* * *
“Hello Miss St.Claire, I trust the rest of our summer went well?”

“It was alright,” Kristen answered grudgingly.

They had begun again, those lessons that she detested with a passion. He told her she was making progress in her Occulemency, yet every night she went to bed with a spitting head ache and feeling that she had accomplished nothing.

Through the lesson, she battled with herself. Her friends had told her that her strange relationship with snakes was abnormal, that she should tell Dumbledore. But Kristen wasn’t sure she wanted to be tormented by his questions again, and she somewhat liked having a secret from him. She now knew something that the Dumbledore didn’t, and it invigorated her. So, she kept her mouth shut.
* * *
“Remus, I hate you.” Sirius announced.

“That was the worst class ever! It’s only the second week and we’ve got a test in three days!” Kristen exclaimed.

“I didn’t make you guys take it,” Remus defended himself. “You could have easily chosen something other than Ancient runes.”

“I say we skip Divination. Merlin knows I need to relax.” James suggested, ruffling his hair worriedly at the thought of the homework residing in his bag.

“Are you kidding?” Remus snapped at him. “McGonagall would find out for sure!”

“Detention might be worth it,” Peter added, rolling his eyes. Not one of them cared a whit for Divination; it was the most boring class possible. An aging centaur taught them, often complaining of the atrocities of man rather than telling them how to predict the future.

“I am not skipping!” Remus said determinedly.

Kristen, James, Peter, and Sirius all looked at each other and smiled, just before they took a hold of Remus and began to drag him to the room of requirement. He yelled and fought the entire way but the others finally managed to get him there.

“Merlin Remus, you nearly scratched my arm off,” Sirius complained, pushing him onto a comfortable couch.

“I’m going to class!” Remus declared, marching for the door. The others pushed him away, not allowing him to waste their period of relaxation.

“Already this year has been Hell,” James growled. “I mean, they’re already talking to us about O.W.L.s!”

“And there’s Slughorn, the git,” Kristen rolled her eyes at the thought of the potions professor that continued to torment her.

“And then there’s Snivellus,” Sirius groaned, making them all shiver at the thought. “It seems like that kid’s goal in life is to make fun of us.”

“Him and his other little Slytherin friends,” James spat out. “But that rat seems to bother me even more than the others.”

“And that’s saying something.” Remus scoffed at him. “You hate them all simply because they’re Slytherin. You never even give them a chance!”

“They don’t deserve a chance! After what Bella said to Kristen, I’m through even considering a benefit of the doubt.” Sirius snapped at them.

“What did she say?” Remus asked curiously. “I’ve never heard of a fight between them.”

Sirius blanked on what to tell him, realizing that he’s slipped. He looked over to Kristen who looked nervous as well. They still didn’t know she had the dark mark on her arm, thanks to its usual faintness and makeup wonders. “She called me a lot of bad names shortly after the whole Hogsmeade thing,” Kristen answered. “I’m not even sure why she was mad at me but she started spouting all this stuff at me because I’d seen Voldermort.”

“That’s a Slytherin for you,” James declared, convinced of the house’s obvious penchant for gits and death eaters.

“Speaking of, did you tell Dumbledore about your snake friends?” Remus asked quite suddenly.

“Speaking of?” Kristen laughed nervously. “How is that speaking of?”

“It’s a trait of Salazar Slytherin. Did you tell him?”

Kristen paused, but only for a moment. “Of course I did,” she answered smoothly. “He just did his whole ‘I am wise’ stroking of the beard and then continued to give me a horrible head ache.”

They all accepted her answer, even Sirius for once. She smiled to herself as they continued talking with one another. Lying to them was getting easier by the day.
* * *
They did get detention for skipping class, even Remus, and the Divination teacher was told to immediately contact Professor McGonagall of the were ever absent from class again. Soon, Quiditch season was among them, and though they desperately wanted to try out, but the only available spot was the seeker, and it was immediately given to the captain’s best friend.

Kristen’s lessons with Dumbledore increased in intensity, her body most often covered in sweat when she exited the room. Something had been fueled within her, an unholy desire to beat him, to show him that she was better and that she was ready to hear the reason.

She couldn’t understand it though. She’d always been competitive, but this was a whole new level. It was almost frightening to her at times. But when that wave of hatred flowed over her, her body tingled in a most exciting way. This new feeling felt much too good to try and get rid of. She embraced it.

“He’s rather dashing, isn’t he?” Kristen whispered to Lily one day in October as several Slytherins walked by.

“Who, Malfoy? Euh, hardly. Have you forgotten what he did to me in first year?” Lily reminded her, steering her towards transfiguration.

Kristen just shrugged and made her way towards the back of the classroom as usual. She didn’t notice how Lily looked stung by her lack of caring. Instead of listening that day, Kristen pulled out a piece of parchment and began doodling, keeping her drawings hidden from the others. ‘Malfoy’ was scribbled several times across it, often surrounded by flowers and hearts. At the end of class, she hurriedly put away the paper, ignoring the talk about the test they would have over that day’s lesson.

That night, she went to the Slytherin quiditch team practice. She sat in the stands and watched him play chaser. He really was a good flier, and his blond hair looked beautiful as it flew behind him. They hardly noticed her until the very end, and then the team flew over to see what possible reason she could have for being there.

“A spy no doubt,” A gruff looking boy decided, grabbing her roughly.

“A spy? Are you kidding me? Why would I spy for a team that would give the seeker position to the captain’s best friend?” She asked them. “I came because I wanted to see what a real team practiced like.”

Though three of the players still looked mistrusting, the others seemed to look quite pleased by her statement. “She’s still a bloody Gryffindor, and a mudblood.” A tall dark skinned boy put in.

“But look,” she began, pulling up the sleeve of her left arm. “He branded me. Obviously the Dark Lord doesn’t have a problem with me being Gryffindor or a mudblood.”

The three suspicious Slytherin’s faces relaxed, and everyone became more open to the idea of her. “So why did you really come out her?” Lucius asked her brazenly, a smile forming on his face.

She blushed a little. “To see you. You’re quite handsome, and I imagined you’d be even more so on a broom.”

His smile grew as his team laughed a little and gave him playful shoves at his young admirer. “Well you’re forward, aren’t you?”

“I don’t really see the point in playful banter. I go after what I want, and I don’t waist time in doing it.” She answered flirtatiously.

His eyebrows rose at her answer. “You got a date for the ball yet?”
* * *
Voldermort sighed in frustration as he paced the room. He’d escaped these feelings for two years, yet now they were suddenly coming back to him. Though, admittedly, they were things that weren’t quite so unpleasant. Riotous hatred, drive, and lust were things he had learned to embrace; they were the emotions of victory. They hadn’t been what he expected from the tiny girl at Hogsmeade, especially after the fiasco of depression and lovesick butterflies. Maybe the girl was finally getting a good head on her shoulders.



Chapter 27: Control
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“What happened to you?” Lily asked her quietly, tears leaking from her eyes.

“What? So I’m going to the dance with Lucius, it’s not that big a deal!” Kristen shot back, her eyes cold.

“He’s four years older than you Kristen! That’s sick!”

“You’re just jealous!” Kristen aimed low at her. “You just wish you had a seventh year boy that liked you.”

“Not one like Lucius! He’s a nasty scumbag! You’re better than him!” Lily fought back.

“He’s better than you. And so am I,” Kristen stormed out of the girl’s dormitory, frustrated by Lily’s reaction. She had though Lily might be happy for her, but all she cared about was the fact that her date was a little third year Hufflepuff.

In the Common Room, Remus, Sirius, Peter, and James quickly stood up when they saw her. “What do you mean by going out with Lucius Malfoy?” James demanded to know, looking absolutely furious.

Kristen wasn’t quite sure how he had found out. It had been three days though since he had asked her, so it had invariably already gotten to them. “I mean to have a great time at the dance,” She answered him with a smirk.

“It’s Lucius Malfoy you idiot!” Sirius yelled at her. “Don’t you remember what he tried to do to Lily? He’ll do it to you and this time I can’t stop him with a flick of the wrist.”

“Who said I want you to stop him. Lucius is very kind to me and I’m sure he’ll be nothing but a gentleman.” Kristen fought back.

“You’re being ridiculous,” Sirius told her through gritted teeth.

She smiled at him. “Just because you’re jealous of Lucius, doesn’t mean you should act like this.”

Sirius laughed at that. “Jealous? Are you kidding me?”

“Not at all. Come on Sirius, everyone here knows that you’ve had the biggest crush on me since first year.”

He whipped his hair around, making it look even more attractive as the girls in the common room looked on in awe. “Excuse me? I hardly think I ever would have liked the girl that fell for Lucius Malfoy.”

“I like that girl!” A boy in second year said suddenly, his friends laughing at his confession.

“You’ve kissed me twice Sirius, I think that means something.” She snapped at him.

“Curiosity.” He answered her.

“Haven’t you ever heard that’s what kills the cat?”

“And satisfaction brought it back.” He countered her. “Yeah, I was curious. You were a pretty girl, I was a pretty boy. I kissed, I found out there was absolutely nothing between us and never could be, and then I was done.”

She just rolled his eyes at his words and sauntered out of the room, off to her meeting with Dumbledore.

“I must say that it’s nice to see you in such a fine mood.” Dumbledore smiled at her when she took her usual seat.

“What can I say, things I’ve just been really good lately.” She answered truthfully. She really hadn’t ever been much happier than this, no guilt, no worry, no regrets, it was wonderful.

“I have heard some things though Ms. St.Claire that make me…worry a bit. Such as you accompanying a mister Malfoy to the dance.”

Kristen groaned dramatically. “Why does everyone have such a problem with this? Yes, I’m going to the dance with him, no, I hardly think it’s any of your business.”

Dumbledore looked sternly at her from the rim of his glasses. “You’re well being is very much my business. As Mister Malfoy is technically an adult, his taking you to the dance raises several eyebrows. Also his…past experiences with young ladies makes me question his credibility.”

“Well it’s my decision.” She told him defiantly.

“Unless I ban you from the dance.” He challenged her.

“On what grounds?”

“On the grounds than you have become openly defiant, you’re teachers reporting that you hardly pay attention in class anymore, and that you are lying to me.” Dumbledore almost looked proud of himself for coming up with those things.

Kristen put both hands on his desk and leaned towards him threateningly. “See if you can stop me Albus,” she spat at him before turning out of the room.

Dumbledore stared in shock at the door as she slammed it shut behind her. He hadn’t seen those eyes in a long time. So dark, full of hatred and pride: He had returned to her. He had thought Kristen had grown enough in her abilities to keep him out but there he was, staring Dumbledore in the face.

Voldermort was back.
* * *
“He’s trying to stop me from going,” Kristen told Lucius the following day.

“Even if you can’t go, we’ll do something together.” He assured her, slipping his arms around her waist. “Don’t worry doll, we’ll sort it out.”

“I’m going to the dance, that’s all there is to it.” Kristen declared, only letting him hold on to her momentarily. She didn’t like him touching her, as he was always so cold and his fingers brushing against her made goose bump rise along her spine.

“That’s my girl,” Lucius said proudly, always praising her defiant nature. He then kissed her cheek and began on his way to potions.

It was now only a week and a half until the dance, and Kristen still had no idea what she was going to do. She had skipped her last meeting with Dumbledore; he really wasn’t worth her time anymore. Besides, that feeling of all consuming hate was beginning to frighten her when it had once empowered her.

Kristen curled her hair delicately when the night of the dance arrived. Her pale pink dress was perfect, hair was done, makeup in place, and she was on her way to the great hall.

“You look beautiful,” Sirius said quietly, slipping by her side as she made her way to meet Lucius.

“Thank you,” she responded with a smile, holding closely to the rose he had handed her. She had no idea what he was doing, but she felt so light for a moment, something she had forgotten she could feel over the past few weeks. Her eyes suddenly locked onto Lucius’s though and reality came crashing back. “Shove off scumbag,” she snarled at Sirius, shoving the rose back at him before stomping over to her date. Sirius just paused for a moment, not quite sure what had happened. He then decided to do something about, he wasn’t going to let her get away with this, even if his date was already waiting for him inside the great hall, but McGonagall beat him to it.

“Miss St. Claire, I believe you were informed that you were banned from attending the dance.” The professor told her sternly, looking disappointed at what had become of her star students.

Kristen smirked at her. “Piss off,” she said lightly, spitting on her shoe.

“What the Hell was that?” Sirius yelled at her, nearly as angry as the shocked McGonagall was.

Kristen looked like she was going to yell back but her eyes suddenly turned a milky white and her face creased in wonder. “Get away from me!” She shrieked, pushing her self away from all the people.

“Miss St. Claire, cease this at once!” McGonagall demanded, grabbing her arm.

“I’ve had enough of you! You’re ruining my life!” Kristen continued yelling, ripping away from her and running towards a clutch of frightened looking first years.

Lucius grabbed her by the waist. “I hate you!” She screamed, tears running out of her cloudy eyes “why won’t you leave?”

The onlookers then gathered even closer as her eyes turned a blood red and her voice dropped several octaves. “You can’t push me away, we are one. You made that official at Hogsmeade.”

“I didn’t mean to!” She screamed in her own voice and cloudy eyes, desperately pushing away from Lucius, who gladly let her go after her nails began to dig into him.

“Well I did. That mark I gave you wasn’t just for show.” The low voice and evil eyes returned. “You’re a powerful asset.”

“I’m thirteen! Just leave me alone please! I beg you!”

James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter were congregating around her as McGonagall tried to herd the staring people into the great hall. “What are we going to do?” James asked as Kristen yelled.

“Why would I leave you child, when you’re in the palm of my hand.”

“She’s fighting You-Know-Who. There’s not much we can do,” Remus sighed. Even though she had been rather harsh with them lately, he hated seeing her go through this.

“Voldermort? Voldermort is speaking through her?” Sirius asked in shock.

“I think Voldermort is inside her.” James whispered, looking scared and pale.

“I can get rid of you. I’ve been training for this!”

“Stand back boys,” Dumbledore suddenly ordered them, appearing from nowhere. They all quickly listened, stepping away just as she drew out her wand.

Her voice turned low and humorous. “What are you going to do Kristen? Are you going to kill me?”

Kristen became silent for the first time in minutes, her arm relaxing as her wand feel complacently to her side. “I don’t want to hurt you.” She answered monotonously.

Dumbledore bent down to her ear. “Do not give up Kristen, the battle isn’t over. I’m here to help.”

Her face smiled as her eyes turned red. “Dumbledore here to save the day. How do you plan on getting to me Albus.”

“Listen to me Kristen,” Dumbledore said incessantly. “Don’t give in, think about what we’ve practiced.”

“Kristen, think of what we’re capable of. With my help, you’ve been able to tell everyone exactly what you think of them. We could be powerful together.” Voldermort said through her.

“Get away!” She shrieked, her hands pressing to her head as if it hurt astoundingly. The doors rattled around them as everyone felt a pulse surge through their veins. Her scream resonated across the hall as a huge rush of air excited, hitting the Hogwarts doors with force enough to split the wood as the people around her, save Dumbledore, fell to the floor.

Kristen swayed lightly, and Dumbledore had to hold her to keep her from falling. “I think I’d like to go sleep,” she nearly whispered, her eyes already dropping heavily.

“Boys you are free to enjoy yourselves at the dance, I’m simply going to take her to the hospital wing for a good night’s rest.” Dumbledore told them. The four boys looked at him as he had suddenly turned into a unicycle-riding Kangaroo. “Right, sorry I suggested it,” he told them, laughing slightly at their total disdain at the idea of leaving her.

“They don’t need to be here,” a young lady named Madame Pomfrey scolded when Kristen was all settled in her bed. “She needs peace.”

“She needs them Poppy,” Dumbledore assured her. He looked on as the four boys surrounded her bed. Peter was gazing out the window to the waxing moon, Remus had grabbed a book from Madame Pomfrey’s medicinal shelf, James was staring at his hands, and Sirius was reclining in a chair, occasionally glancing at Kristen but always quickly going back to his dream like state. “More than either of us could ever imagine.”
* * *
“Why did you give me that rose?”

Sirius looked up at Kristen as she looked at her hands. It was his turn to stand watch. Even though Kristen hadn’t been worried, James, Peter, Remus, and Sirius had been that Lucius would come. She had been awake for only about six hours, and because her muscles were too tired to move, she was forced to stay in the hospital bed.

“I was hoping it’d turn you back to normal. You know, a friendly gift from someone that’s not going to turn around and kill you the next day.” He shrugged lightly. “It worked until you saw Lucius.”

She laughed a bit to herself. “I really was horrible, wasn’t I? To you and Lily especially.”

“Well, personally, I’m kind of use to you being a jerk. Lily though, yeah I think she was more than a little upset.”

Kristen sighed. “This may sound totally horrid to you, but sometimes, it felt nice when Voldermort had control. I was powerful and full of these emotions that just made me forceful and in control.” She flicked a glance at Sirius. “I don’t know, it’s not that I want him back or anything, it’s just…”

“…you liked the feeling.” Sirius looked up, assuring her of his support with a smile. “Yeah, I know. It’s easy to let someone else take control of your life so you’re free to lie back and watch the show. It’s understandable.”

She gave a sigh of relief, it feeling good to be able to tell him that. “Oh, and sorry I accused you of liking me and everything, in front of the entire common room.”

“Now that one, you’re definitely going to have to pay me back for. Christmas sounds like a fine time to me,” He said slyly.

“Why though? Like you said, there’s nothing between us, and you made it clear to the entire common room.” She then stopped, and her faced turned distinctively Slytherin. “Unless there is reason for you to be embarrassed.”

He raised his eyebrows. “I think you just want there to be something for me to be embarrassed about.”

“Oh don’t tell me you’re going to start that again!” Remus moaned as he walked into the hospital wing. “We all know that’s there’s some sort of weird sexual tension between you two and that, yes, most people think you’re a couple even when you fight.”

“What?” They asked in shocked unison.

“Didn’t you know,” Remus laughed, picking the chair he would use during his watch. “James, Pete, and I get asked all the time if you guys are a couple.”

“And what do you say?” Sirius asked, already guessing the answer.

“Eh, depends on, my mood. Sometimes I say you’re lovers with passionate feelings for one another, sometimes I say you’re both dating each other to hide your true sexual preferences, and other times I just say that are both too pigheaded to admit you like one another.”

“So you never tell the truth?” Kristen asked irritably.

“No, the last one is the truth, and you both know it,” Remus answered with a broad smile, seeming to enjoy himself.

“Hardly,” Sirius scoffed, standing up and preparing to take his leave. “I have a girl friend, thank you very much.”

“What? Who?” Kristen inquired quickly.

“Gwen,” and with that Sirius left the room, leaving a thoroughly fumed Kristen.
* * *

Chapter 28: Kiss Me You Fool
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Okay, so Pirates of the Caribbean was amazing! Definetly the best in the trio, hands down! I saw in at midnight and being like the living dead right now is so totally worth it! A not to those of you who are planning to see it, stay after the credits for an extra scene, it's worth it!
 

“Of course I’m not angry, why would I be angry?” Kristen asked Lily as they made their way to breakfast the following day. After apologizing to Lily for the horrid things she had said, the two girls had become much closer.

“I don’t know, you’ve always had issues with Gwen. And…well…you get really defensive when Sirius is brought up.”

“I do not! You’re as bad as Remus!” Kristen huffed, trying desperately to ignore the stares that followed her in the Great Hall. Obviously, several students had felt duped by their lack of seeing the freak fest she was putting on the night of the dance.

“Just ignore them,” Lily tried to persuade her, guiding her lightly to a seat by Remus and Sirius.

“I hear you’re telling people that you’re dating my boyfriend.” Gwen shot at her from the other side of Sirius.

“Do you want me to ignore that too Lily, because it’s going to be awfully difficult,” Kristen asked sarcastically, refusing to look at the girl she’s tried her best to avoid since her first year at Hogwarts.

“She is not telling people that Gwen! I have no idea how that rumor started, but I can assure you that it wasn’t with Kristen.” Sirius told Gwen, sounding exasperated.

“You know what, I’m going to end this,” Kristen decided, her surge of adrenaline being the only thing to give her courage as she climbed on top of their table. “Excuse me!” She shouted, beckoning everyone’s attention. “Excuse me! Yeah, I’m the freak from the dance. Okay, now that I have your attention let me properly introduce myself.” People were staring at her with a mix of amusement and total wonder now. “I’m Kristen St.Claire and beside me is Sirius Black. Now I know some of you have heard from a few of my particularly pigheaded friends that Sirius and I are dating. Let me stress the fact that we are not dating, we never were and, Merlin help me, we never will. There is absolutely nothing between us. Thank you.” With that she sat back down, looking flushed but pleased with herself.

“You only made it worse you know,” James told her smugly. “Now even more people are going to hear the rumor and believe it.”

“Not when they see me and Sirius together,” Gwen shot at them, sticking up her nose and grabbing Sirius’s hand.

“She’s a great at snogging,” Sirius whispered to Kristen when he saw her notice his look of exasperation. “That’s why we could never be together.”

“Ew! Do you think I want to know that?” Kristen yelled at him, scooting as far away as possible (which proved not far as Remus was close by) while Sirius laughed at her.

“What did you say? Why are you flirting with Kristen?” Gwen asked suspiciously, looking ravenous.

“Look Gwen,” Sirius began, turning to her. “Firstly, if I was flirting with Kristen, I most definitely would not have just told her that you’re an amazing kisser. Secondly, if you’re going to jump me every time I flirt with a girl, this relationships not going to go to far.”

Gwen immediately began stammering apologizes, her own dignity second to her want of Sirius. “Merlin, I wish I had that power,” James said longingly.

“Don’t we all,” Peter agreed. Kristen rolled her eyes at them.

“Personally,” Here Remus dropped his voice. “I prefer girl with an actual IQ.”

“It doesn’t matter if their pretty,” James said as if Remus was a complete idiot. “You don’t have to talk to them, just snog.”

“Well I’m done here,” Kristen said decidedly. Lily looked at her oddly from a few yards down the table and Kristen was sincerely glad she had not sat with them. James still had made no progress with her and after hearing a comment like that he most likely would have been set back at least three more years.

“Oh, Miss St.Claire, I was looking for you.” Dumbledore said when she passed by him on her way to get her bag.

“Yeah, I kind of thought you would.” Kristen had been dreading this talk ever since she had woken up in the hospital wing.

“I have a meeting at the ministry this Tuesday so I was wondering of Thursday would be okay for our meeting.”

Kristen crinkled her eyebrows in confusion. “Um, yeah, that’s fine.”

Dumbledore nodded his head to her and then walked on to breakfast. Kristen sighed; obviously he was putting it off until their meeting, which meant she would be trapped in his office.

Kristen suddenly heard running footsteps behind her and turned to see Lucius. She couldn’t believe that the one time none of her friends were trailing after her was when he would find her.

“What happened the other night?” He asked straight away. No, ‘how are you?’, or ‘Are you alright?’. He just got straight to the point.

“Nothing, I had a little too much caffeine.” She answered monotonously, continuing her walk to Gryffindor tower.

“So, I guess we’ll have to do something else together,” Lucius stopped her by putting her hands around her waist and pressing her back against a wall.

“Look Lucius, I wasn’t really myself when I agreed to go out with you. So if you could just…get off me,” Kristen tried to push him away but he stayed firm. “Look, I’m sorry I led you on but could you please get off me?”

“I’m not going to let go the girl the Dark Lord so obviously favors. Just imagine his praise when he finds you as my girl.” Lucius thought aloud, seeming to daydream of the possibilities.

“Merlin Lucius, have you stooped so low you would try to take advantage of thirteen year old girls.” Sirius drawled, apparently realizing that Kristen had, for once, managed to evade their constant surveillance.

“Get away Black. We don’t need the likes of you,” Lucius snarled, holding onto Kristen tighter.

“I don’t even want to be here,” She protested, trying, and failing, to kick him away.

“Come on Malfoy, let the girl go. She doesn’t have a connection to Voldermort; she broke it the night of the dance.”

“Is that true?” Malfoy demanded to know of her angrily. He had a hold of her shoulders, his arms bearing down on her threateningly.

“Yes. He was influencing my decisions and the Dumbledore helped me to break the connection.” Kristen answered quickly.

“Well it looks like Knot was right after all, you’re nothing but a filthy Gryffindor -”

“I would not advise you to finish that sentence Malfoy.” James appeared at Sirius’s side, cracking his knuckles along with Peter and Remus. Kristen couldn’t help but sigh in embarrassment, just like a year earlier. They looked like those munchkins from the Wizard of Oz compared to Lucius.

“Slut,” Lucius finished with out fear. He then pushed Kristen unceremoniously to the floor and walked away.

“You can’t get away with that!” James shouted, but he did not lead the others in a pursuit of them.

“I swear, you have the worst taste in guys,” Sirius told her.

“Okay, the first time I was young and naïve, this time I was being controlled by an evil git. Not really my fault.” Kristen told them defiantly.

“What Sirius means is that you should pick him next time because then he wouldn’t have the jealous rage to beat anyone else up and the rest of us really wouldn’t want to beat our best friend,” Remus rattled off with a knowing grin.

“Wow Remus, suddenly, your words make me want to realize my life long dream,” Kristen declared wistfully. She ran to Sirius and grabbed the front of his robes to pull him very close to her. “Kiss me you fool!”

And he did just that. She hadn’t actually meant him to, but she was far from complaining. She didn’t know if this was what a kiss was supposed to feel like, she’d only shared a few very light ones with Lucius, and then those other two with Sirius. Even if this wasn’t what it was supposed to feel like though, she thought it was the best feeling in the world.

“You bitch!”

Kristen pushed away. “I’m so sorry Gwen.” Kristen blurted out unexpectedly. “It was an accident, we just misunderstood each other, I’m sorry.”

Gwen walked determinedly over to her and slapped her hard in the face. There was a collective gasp as they all awaited Kristen’s sure to come retort. “I deserved that Gwen. I was way out of bounds.”

“You’re just going to take that?” James inquired as Gwen huffily grabbed onto Sirius’s arm.

“Well, yeah. I mean, I was very much on the wrong side. I shouldn’t have kissed him.”

“Well, he did kiss you too.” James told her. He then stopped and took in what he just said. “Wait, you and Sirius were totally just snogging in front of us!”

“We most definitely we’re not snogging, he was just playing along with my act.” Kristen tried to defend both her and Sirius of their actions.

“You two are very convincing actors then,” Peter smiled a bit. “That was the most real fake kiss I’ve ever seen.” The other two nodded their head in agreement.

“Whatever you guys want to think, fine.” She told them defiantly. “I’m going to the tower to get my things. If any of you so much as think about what has happened, I’ll hex you into the next century.”

Kristen avoided Sirius like the plague that day, dreading the conversation he was sure to have with her. She wasn’t sure why she’d done it, or why she had enjoyed it so much. But the one thing she did know was that the conversation would be the most awkward of her life.

At the end of the day, he finally got her. They were walking with a rather large group back to the tower when he suddenly shoved her into an open boy’s bathroom, letting the rest of the group pass on.

“You know, I really don’t think I’m supposed to be in here.” Kristen told him, desperately wanting to escape his penetrating glare.

“Yeah, whatever. Look, that kiss, did you feel something?” He asked, looking frightened and nervous.

Kristen’s eyes opened in shock. He knew that she had, somehow he knew that she had thought that moment was amazing and it was already neatly filed away in the cabinet with her first roller coaster ride, first broom ride, and when her sister’s were born, just as Dumbledore had taught her. “No. Like you said, there’s nothing between us.”

Kristen couldn’t tell if Sirius looked relieved, or just calmed a little. “Good. I was afraid you’d get the wrong idea when I kissed you. I couldn’t not take your bluff though. I never turn down a dare.”

She smiled at him, relieved that he wasn’t going to question her anymore. “I’ll have to remember that. I definitely won’t be daring you to do that again though, I promise.”

“Well, glad that’s over,” Sirius laughed, placing an arm easily around her shoulders as they walked out of the bathroom to some rather awkward looks. “I was afraid that was going to be one difficult conversation.”

Kristen looked at him and smirked. “Get your arm off me Black. I really don’t want to be slapped by your girlfriend again.”

“About that, I broke up with her. Won’t do much good if she goes slapping every girl I kiss.”

“So you kiss random girls a lot,” Kristen inquired as she pushed Sirius’s arm off.

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“You are worse than James and Remus combined.” Kristen complained, walking into the common room. On one hand, Kristen was happy Sirius had put any questioning to an abrupt end, as it let things fall back into place. On the other hand though…he was Sirius freaking Black, the most handsome guy in Hogwarts, and her annoying best friend. Weren’t the best friends always supposed to end up together though? That’s how it was in the books. They would pretend to hate each other and get on each other’s nerves but secretly the loved one another and would run off into the sunset to get married in the last paragraph.

She watched Sirius run off to James, Remus, and Peter and instantly engage them in conversation. No, she was pretty glad her life wasn’t like the books, she couldn’t imagine marrying four guys.
* * *
“You guys always ruin the holidays!” James complained as he dragged his trunk down the common room. “Honestly, perk up a bit, would you?”

Sirius and Kristen both glared at him: Sirius because he would love nothing more than to go home to a loving family, Kristen because she would like nothing less than to go to hers. “I think you should both just come to my house, maybe then there would be some happiness.”

“I wish,” Kristen moaned.

“No, I already practically live at your house in the summer. I couldn’t do that to your parents,” Sirius said, oddly sincere.

“You know,” Kristen said slowly, unsure of herself, “you could come to my house for Christmas. My mum is always looking for another soul to save.”

“No thanks,” Sirius responded quickly. “For one, your mum scares me. I’m not too keen on getting yelled at again. Secondly, being alone with you in your house would lead to me saying things that I would probably regret.”

“What kind of things would you be saying Sirius?” Remus asked, trying desperately not to laugh.

“Merlin, you all get annoying! I meant that we’d probably get in some huge fight and I’d yell something bad that her whole family would hear and then I’d get kicked out.” Sirius shot at them, their continuing jokes wearing his nerves thin.

“Have they still not admitted it?” Lily inquired as she walked over to the group.

“Nope,” Peter announced. “They’re still just acting like it annoys them.”

“It does annoy us you twits!” Kristen yelled at them. “Honestly, if I liked Sirius like that, I could have already had him by now.”

“What makes you so sure of that?”

Kristen cocked an eyebrow at Sirius. “You’ve kissed me three times now. I think that means something.”

Sirius laughed. “You were a willing participant every time.”

“You initiated them!”

“Technically, I only initiated one. The two others were all you sweet heart.”

“See!” Kristen exclaimed, invigorated by his term of endearment.

“So I like oxymorons. Like naming a Great Dane ‘Tiny’.”

“Oh don’t give me that crap Sirius. Just admit it!”

“That I’m in love with you?” He asked her, his eyes mischievous. “You’re right Kristen, I’ve pined for you ever since first year.”

“I can’t rightly blame you. I am wonderful after all.” Kristen whipped her long, golden hair around, making several boys stop their conversations to watch.

“And your mood swings! Merlin knows how I’m in love with your mood swings and emotional troubles,” Sirius proclaimed, kneeling before her.

“And you, with your ‘pity me’ yet cocky attitude. I can’t help but love you!” Kristen declared with equal passion, kneeling down to be on eye level with him and grasping his hands.

“I can’t tell if they’re just putting on a scene anymore,” Remus whispered to James with a mixture of humor and confusion.

“They have been in love with one another since that first day in Hogsmeade. Mark my words, when they both finally admit it they’ll say it started then,” James told him knowingly.

“Oh Kristen, let me sweep you off your feet! Together, we’ll walk into the sunset and get married.”

Kristen stopped her playing and instantly shook his hands off of hers. She looked frightened; her face was pale and her eyes wide. “I need to…to go get something.” She stuttered before rushing from the room.

“Well that was weird,” Sirius stated, standing up and brushing off the front of his uniform.

“No, what was weird was how long you two actually kept that going,” James told him as the rest of the common room began to resume their activities. “Mate, there’s no point in lying to us anymore.”

“Lying? Lying about what?” Sirius asked nonchalantly, occupying himself with his tie.

“About liking Kristen. It’s okay if you do, you know,” Peter told him obviously.

“I do not like her!” Sirius huffed, rolling his eyes heavily at them. “And it wouldn’t be okay if I did. Just think if we went out, we’d surely break up and then that would make our whole group weird. And then there’s the fact that she can’t stand me.”

Lily just shook her head sadly at his statement. “James, your friend, is one of the dumbest creatures I know.”



Chapter 29: Summer at the St.Claire's
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Christmas passed uneventfully for the marauders. Kristen was scrutinized and Sirius was left to wander the halls of Hogwarts. The year swept by as well, each day making things more and more awkward between Sirius and Kristen. Neither would admit their thoughts, nor would they think of the possibility of anything between them.

Kristen also had to deal with Dumbledore and his constant riddles. He never did speak to her of her possession and when she tried to bring it up, he quickly silenced her. That led her to never bring up her rather unique ability concerning snakes; she wasn’t too fond of the prospects that talk would bring up. She managed to get through the year without him finding out, something she thought was a huge milestone as he probed her mind once a week.

The last meeting was once again upon them. The beanbags were out, the butter beer half drunk, and the final words on everyone’s tongues.

“Well Marauders, it’s been an eventful year, to say the least.” James customarily began.

“Here, here,” Kristen said wearily, raising her glass to it.

“I have good news though. I’ve found a lot of books on becoming animagus,” he told them proudly, to which Sirius, Kristen, and Peter perked up a bit. “It’ll take a lot of work, probably a year or so, but better late than never.”

“Guys, please don’t do this.” Remus begged, looking nervous and worse for wear. The full moon had been only two days before. “I’m not going to have you risk your lives because of me.”

“Fine,” Sirius stated decisively. “We’ll do it for our own enjoyment.”

“It would be fun, turning into an animal.” Kristen said thoughtfully. “Unless you were a starfish or something.”

“With my luck, that’s what I’ll get,” Peter said dejectedly.

“Well then if we ever care to go for a swim your powers will come in handy!” James told him enthusiastically. “Just imagine the possibilities!”

“We could sneak into Hogsmeade whenever we wanted. It’d be easy to run there as animals.” Sirius conjectured.

“Especially using the tunnel Remus uses during his furry problem,” Kristen added excitedly.

“Next year is going to be great!” James exclaimed, rousing even Remus’s hopes for the years to come. Even Kristen, who had become used to her new pessimistic nature, couldn’t help but feel that he was right.
* * *

He wasn’t right. Not by a long shot.

At least not if the summer counted, for it proved even worse than the previous one. Her parents barely spoke to her (yet got enough words out to forbid her from visiting the Potters before school started) and her sisters thought it necessary to sing every song they had learned in their Spring vocal class a hundred times over. She was about to scream, but she knew to keep her mouth shut for her own good. She didn’t want to have Dumbledore come to her rescue again, then she would be in even more debt to him. The one time she saw James that summer, was from out her window when Mr. Potter came to pick up the money he would use to purchase Kristen’s school things.

Through it all though, she had their letters. She wasn’t sure if the boys were just afraid of her going off on them again when they next met for not keeping in touch, or if they were all just genuinely writing to her. She liked to assume the later, and spent most of her summer day responding to them. For some reason, Sirius’s letters seemed to stir her interest more. He seemed to divulge himself to her, complaining of his growing nervousness of having his brother there in the coming year, or of his mother and her secret meetings with her ‘political alliances’, who he was sure were death eaters looking to her for funding.

But all their letters where full of worry, not only Sirius’s. The War was growing in ferocity. Remus had already lost a cousin, and James an uncle. Everyday, Voldermort seemed to kill many, without losing any of his own.

When she got her letter that summer, she was surprised to see that there was an additional note inside, advertising the need for a Gryffindor seeker, two beaters, and three chasers. There was about to be a complete turnover of players, as nearly all of them had graduated. Obviously, the lone keeper was hoping her prospective players would put in extra practice time before trying out.

The months dragged, but slowly September first began to loom near. Kristen’s excitement grew at the thought of seeing them all once again, not to mention Merlin, who James told her was as hyper as ever. August 30th was wet, and thunder rolled ominously in the distance. They were supposed to have a special dinner that night, as they usually did when Kristen was about to leave. The tension in the room made the dinner torture though. Her mother did not even acknowledge her, and would not allow her husband to. Belle and Bridget were torn between the awe of their big teenage sister, and their parents’ strict rules. Kristen didn’t push them either way, though she desperately wanted them on her side. From what she heard, it was rare if every sibling in a family did not go to Hogwarts, even if they were muggle born. She was fairly certain that in two years, their Hogwart’s letter would arrive.

“Mr. Potter phoned to tell us that he would be here at eight in the morning to pick you up,” her mother informed her without looking up. “Don’t expect a big send off.”

“What is wrong with me?” Kristen suddenly snapped. “Am I just some vile, unchristian, scarlet woman daughter? You’ve all barely said a word to me all summer, except for the twins’ songs.”

“Just know that this family will be at ease when you’re gone,” Her mother responded coolly. “You are a threat to our salvation. I don’t know what it is about you, but the air of Satan accompanies your presence.”

“The air of Satan accompanies me?” Kristen mocked her with a laugh. “Is this some kind of joke?”

“Our salvation is no joke Kristen.” Her mother said haughtily.

“Your idea that I’m one of his followers is!”

“We don’t think you’re a follower Kristen,” Her father intervened hurriedly. “Just that, maybe, you’re influenced by him, that you have strayed from the light.”

At least now she knew why they were even allowing her in the house, they hoped to turn her back to them. “I’m not influenced by him. I just have a mind of my own now. Belle and Bridget will too.”

“They are not going to attend that forsaken private school of yours though, which, God helping, may assist them to become pristine young ladies.” Mrs. St.Claire declared. The twins shifted nervously and looked at each other, their faces showing their obvious dislike of the idea.

“I am a ‘pristine’ young lady too,” Kristen fought back. “Just because I don’t go to a Catholic school, doesn’t make me less of a good person.”

“You had the chance though. You had the chance to better serve God and you turned it down!” Her mother shouted, standing up furiously.

“You tried to force me into it! So of course I turned it down!”

“Silence!”

Mrs. St.Claire and her daughter both turned to her father, standing up for himself for the first time in the past few years. “Valerie, you will not yell at my daughter. Kristen, you will not doubt your mother’s good intention.”

“You can’t force the way I think,” Kristen spat at him before promptly exiting the room. She had once loved her father dearly and always listened to him, but that had changed when he succumbed to her mother’s every beck and call.

She barred her door that night, but as neither of her parents tried to force entry it was for nothing. The moon passed slowly over her head as sleep came uneasily. The morning presented itself the same as the one before, buckets of rain pounding against the windowpanes in earnest, as if trying to break in. There was no one at the door when she left, no hugs and kisses from her father, or even veiled encouragements from her mother. She thought she saw the twins, peeking over the stair banister, but in the next second they were gone.

“Have your parents left for the morning?” Mr. Potter asked worriedly when they did not appear beside her.

“Yeah,” she responded quietly, letting him take her trunk to the car. She didn’t want to tell him what really happened, and then get another lecture on how she should have told them the truth. Should haves were of no help to her.

“You okay,” James asked her when she slid in beside him. He looked so different from the last time she had seen him. His hair had gotten longer, his shoulders broader, his face all leveled out, even his glasses seemed to magically add something wonderful to his appearance.

“Just a fight with my parents,” she answered in hushed tones, turning away from him in fear of igniting something she’s kept down since first year. “You know, the whole you’re not a real Christian thing.”

“Just think, you won’t have to see them until December,” James told her with that annoying flirtatious smile.

She just smiled back and then pulled out a book she packed for the trip. She was willing to do anything now to get her mind off of James. Considering that she had already started falling for him in the few minutes she’s seen him, she knew it was going to be a long year.
* * *

“Regulus, get out!” Sirius shouted as his younger brother waltzed into their compartment.

“Oh come on Sirius, he’s your little brother.” Kristen taunted him, in a much better mood now that she was surrounded by her friends.

“Are you Kristen?” Regulus asked innocently, his wide eyes curious.

“Yes,” She answered with a small laugh. He really was adorable, much more blameless looking than Sirius had been in his first year.

He tugged on Sirius’s robes. “You’re right, she is pretty.”

“Okay, time to go!” Sirius shouted, shoving his brother out of the room and slamming the door shut behind him as the compartment burst out in laughter.

“You told him she was pretty?” Remus choked out, his face beet red.

“So what? You can’t all tell me you think differently.”

“Well I don’t go telling my little brother about it,” Peter told him.

“None of you even have siblings!”

“Well I wouldn’t even if I did.”

“Okay I’m finding this conversation a little awkward,” Kristen informed them, a smile on her face. “Not that I don’t like the compliments, it’s just a little weird that you’re all talking about it in front of me.”

“Just think what talk about behind your back,” James said suggestively, wagging his eyebrows as the boys howled in laughter.

Kristen felt herself blush. “So did you guys just become extremely perverted over summer?”

“Get taller, more perverted…that’s a guy’s natural cycle in life,” Sirius told her with a shrug.

“Wow,” Kristen drawled, rolling her eyes. “Boys really are fascinating creatures.”

“Oh girls are just as boring. One minute they’re just like us, the next they giggle uncontrollably whenever we’re around.” Sirius fought back.

“And they get pretty,” James added. “Take Kristen, it seems only yesterday she was that weird little tomboy that had rolly poly circuses, and now look at her.”

“Okay, seriously. Would you guys stop.”

“It thought girls liked to be called pretty,” Peter posed, looking at her curiously.

“Only by their boyfriends.” She told them huffily.

“Well technically…”

“You know what I mean Remus.”

“So we’re not allowed to give you compliments. I’ll remember that,” Sirius said thoughtfully.

“I, officially, hate you all.” Kristen grumbled, hating how they had all joined forces against her. “I’m going to talk to Lily. If any of you want to mature in the mean time, be my guest.”

“Wouldn’t count on it lovely,” Sirius advised her when she walked out.

Lily laughed at her disgruntled face. “What happened to you?”

“Boys. That’s what happened.” She replied angrily, sitting next to a Ravenclaw girl she didn’t know. “Kristen St.Claire.” she said roughly as an introduction.

“There’s no need to introduce yourself,” the strikingly blonde girl informed her with a faraway voice. “Everyone knows about you and the Marauders.” Kristen raised her eyebrows slightly at this. She didn’t even know their group name had gotten around. “I’m Lucy Fredricks.”

“Nice to meet you,” Kristen said a bit apprehensively.

“Anyways, are you going to tell me specifically, or should I just assume Potter led them on some stupid conquest?” Lily asked her with a smirk.

“It wasn’t James,” Kristen readily defended him, not wanting to make his case worse. “It was just the others. They were poking fun at me is all.” Okay, so mostly a lie, but Lily really didn’t need to know that James had seemed to regress in the areas of being mature.

“Don’t try to protect him. There’s no point, I’ll never fall for him,” Lily informed her smugly. “I mean, who besides air headed bimbos would fall for a cocky, ungrateful boy like Potter?”

Kristen sighed, resigning her self to become one



Chapter 30: The Fight
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“Decided to come crawling back to us have you?” Sirius smirked at her when she joined them in the carriage pulled by the faint black horses.

“Oh most definitely,” Kristen slurred, rolling her eyes as she sat down with them.

“Come on Krissie, you’re not really mad at us, are you?” James asked, putting on his best sad eyes and quivering bottom lip. He motioned for the others to follow his lead, which left Kristen with four very pathetic looking friends.

“How could I not forgive dorks like you? With faces like that they’ll be no one else to love you.”

“Are you kidding me St. Clair? James and I already have girlfriends.” Sirius told her proudly.

“We haven’t even set foot inside the school yet!”

“We met the on the train. Duh!”

“I am already regretting forgiving you Black,” Kristen seethed at him, crossing her arms.

“Here comes the jealousy,” James whispered to Remus.

“I mean, honestly! You probably don’t even know her name!”

“It’s Rebekah, as a matter of fact. Rebekah Cross!” He shouted out her, glad to be opposite of her in the coach.

“That total dimwit from Charms last year?” Kristen laughed loudly. “Well no wonder you got her, she can’t even tell up from down!” She then turned serious. “Shame on you Sirius, taking advantage of a girl with no brains.”

“She has plenty brains.” Sirius snapped back.

“I have to side with Kristen on this one, she really doesn’t.” Remus told Sirius, trying to console him with a pat on the arm.

Sirius turned to release some anger on Remus. “You don’t have room to talk, you don’t even have one!”

“At least I don’t pick up the closest slut there is.” Remus shot back uncharacteristically.

“You just wish you had my kind of power!”

“Your power?” James laughed heartily. “What might that be.”

After Sirius’s extremely explicit answer the coach erupted in shouts: Sirius against James, Remus, Peter, and Kristen, James against Sirius, Kristen, and Remus, Peter against Sirius, Remus, and Kristen, Remus against Sirius, Peter, and James, and Kristen against Peter, James, and Sirius. The shouts of all of them was nearly deafening inside the carriage. Several low insults were thrown around as the group experienced their biggest fight.

“Silence!”

The group turned to see the head boy standing at the door to their carriage, looking angry. “As you failed to notice, the carriage has come to a stop and you need to get out.”

The group huffed past him and instantly dispersed, none daring to look at the other. The Gryffindor table was filled with tension as they sat as far apart from each other as possible. The only thing that brought them together for a moment that night (apart from the bone chilling song of the hat) was Sirius’s brother being sorted. There was a hushed silence as the marauders watched the tiny boy approach the hat. Sirius had high hopes for him; he had told them that though he was annoying, he had a good heart. He was sure he would be in Gryffindor with him.

But the hat yelled “Slytherin” after nearly two minutes on his head. Sirius’s head lowered in defeat, feeling that he had ultimately failed his little brother. Even Kristen felt disheartened by Regulus’s placement, and for a moment her eyes locked with Sirius’s in silent understanding. She then turned away, talking to Lily for the remainder of the feast.

When it came time to return to the tower, still no one spoke to the other. Kristen couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like for the boys. At least she wasn’t sharing a room with the person she was fighting with.
* * *
“Here are your schedules,” McGonagall passed out the slips of paper efficiently. “Black, Potter, St.Clair, Pettigrew, Lupin, and Evans.” She then called out, normally able to talk to them as a bunch but as they were still situated far from each other having to gain their attention. “I need to have a meeting with you all promptly at six tonight in my office.”

They all looked at each other, confused as to what they might have done (especially Lily who looked ready to hyperventilate) but then they quickly remembered that they were angry at one another, and went back to their breakfast.

Classes were exceptionally difficult. They had a history of magic with Slytherins that after noon, and were hardly willing to integrate with them to avoid sitting by each other. Instead, they took their normal seats, not looking at the person next to them, not speaking to them, or even acknowledging their existence.

“Why are you guys not talking?” Lily asked her heatedly, feeling used. She knew that one of the only reasons Kristen was sticking so close to her was because she didn’t want to deal with the others.

“It’s nothing,” Kristen grumbled, noticing Sirius holding hands with Rebekah as they walked to McGonagall’s office. He gave her a quick kiss before entering the office right before Lily and Kristen.

“Thank you for coming,” Professor McGonagall told them briskly, totally unaware of the tension between the six children seated in front of her desk. “Don’t worry, none of you are in trouble. I simply brought you here to discuss an invitation you will soon be receiving. Professor Slughorn has a club for students he believes will succeed in life, and he often becomes a great mentor to them so they will supply him with goods once they are established. He has told me that he has selected all of you to join.”

“Even Pete?” Sirius asked rudely, his eyebrows raised in disbelief.

“Yes Mr. Black. Even if his grades are not what they could be, Mr. Pettigrew seems to have potential.” She informed him crisply.

Remus snorted loudly, rolling his eyes at the idea. “Right,” he drawled sarcastically.

“Shut up werewolf!” Peter suddenly shouted at him, standing up.

And then the fighting erupted once more. Kristen was on Remus’s side, disliking Peter for broadcasting his problem, while James was with Peter, and Sirius just kind of yelled. Lily hurriedly made her way to McGonagall, feeling like she was going to be dragged in at any moment.

“You’re a horrible person Peter!”

“He said I was stupid!”

“You are stupid!”

“Shut up Lupin!”

“Don’t talk to me like that Potter!”

“I’ll talk to you however I want werewolf!”

That’s when the hitting started, when Remus, for probably the first time in his life, actually showed some real aggression and punched James right in the face. James quickly fought back, with Peter on his side and Kristen and Sirius against.

“Imobulius!”

They all froze, only their eyes were able to flick back and forth nervously. “As I was saying,” McGonagall continued as though nothing had happened at all. “Even though this invitation may seem prestigious, be wary of it. Professor Slughorn often…misuses his students’ talents. I’m not telling you to refuse his invitation by any means; it looks prestigious to future employers. When you join though, be careful to not become too enamored with him. You may go Miss Evans.”

Lily said a quick ‘thank you’, threw a disgruntled look at the five statuette ex-friends and then continued on her way to dinner.

“Now for you five. The famous Marauders, rumored to be the closest group of friends Hogwarts has seen since the founders themselves, though it was thought you wouldn’t have the same outcome. Are we to be proven wrong?” It was obviously a rhetorical question, as none of the group could move. She then pointed her wand at Lupin, causing his to be able to move again. “Tell me Mr. Lupin, when did this begin.”

“Well, it really started when Sirius became a right pain in the- ”

“Okay,” McGonagall said quickly, immobilizing him once more. “Strangely enough, you were the wrong pick to explain.” She then sighed, realizing that it really wasn’t fair for one to tell the story without the others to defend themselves. She irritably waved her wand and they were all able to move again. “If any of you speaks without being asked you will be in detention indefinitely.”

“Don’t we already have detention for fighting?” Sirius asked sarcastically.

“Especially because it was right in front of you?” Kristen added, huffily sitting in her chair.

“Ah look at that,” McGonagall mocked them unusually, “You’re already bonding over the many detentions you’re going to be sharing.”

“Like I would ever bond with a stuck up bitch like her.”

“You’re not too friendly yourself Black!”

“Be quiet!” McGonagall snapped at them, causing them to both go back to slumping in their chairs. “Honestly, you are all fourteen years old, stop acting like children.”

“Sirius started it,” Kristen grumbled.

McGonagall sighed and put her head in her hands as she tried to gain patience. “Tell me how he started it Miss St.Claire.”

“He flaunted that he had a girl friend, even though she has no brains, and then he threw it in Remus’s face that he didn’t have one.”

“Then how are you, Mr. Potter or Pettigrew involved?”

Kristen was silent, not having a good answer for that. She most certainly was not going to tell McGonagall that she had mostly just wanted a reason to yell at Sirius after he told her about his and James’s girlfriends. “So you’re telling me, that you five just got in a fist fight because of an exchange of meaningless words between misters Black and Lupin.”

They all shifted uncomfortably. When it was put like that, it seemed so stupid. “Oh Merlin,” she groaned when none bothered to contradict her. “I’m ashamed of you. You, possibly a few of the brightest students I’ve had in years, besides in common sense, resorted to violence to solve a minor dispute. Don’t plan anything for the next three weeks; you’ll be spending everyday after dinner in my office. Now, go.”

They were silent as they made their way to the great hall, though it wasn’t tension filled like it had been most of the day. They were not yet ready to speak to one another, and they were all afraid it would take ages to get back where they used to be.
* * *
It was a whole week before anything brought them close enough together so that they felt ready to speak.

“Look at that,” Sirius observed mildly, pointing to the board in the Common Room that announced tryouts for quidditch to take place in two weeks from that Sunday. “You all thinking of trying?”

“Course.” James answered, continuing to read his book. Kristen only nodded her head while Peter and Remus declined.

Sirius breathed loudly and flopped down beside them. Even though they weren’t speaking, they had already fallen back into the habit of traveling as a pack. He looked back and forth between them all, hoping that his dramatic noise would incite some kind of conversation. Only Kristen looked up, crinkled her eyebrows at him, and then looked back down to her charms homework.

He came really close to saying something, anything that might make them talk again. Hell, he even thought about kissing Kristen, just because that would be sure to at least get some kind of vocal reaction. But he didn’t, it wasn’t his job to mend things.

* * *

“I have to step out for a moment. No one talk,” Professor McGonagall then looked them over and sighed, “Though I doubt I have much to worry about.”

She left five teenagers sulking in their desks, ready to go back to their tower. One stood up though, and deftly made his way over to her filing cabinet.

“What are you doing?” Remus hissed at him, looking apprehensive.

“She has to have something good in here,” Sirius whispered back, opening the bottom file drawer.

James tiptoed his way to the door, looked out, and then quickly made his way to the file cabinet, helping Sirius in his search. “We’re going to get caught,” Kristen warned them, though much of her yearned to join their hunt.

“Peter, stand watch,” James told him, causing the plump blonde boy to jump up and rush to the door. “Happy?” He asked Kristen sarcastically before resuming his search.

Kristen rolled her eyes and got up to help them, starting on the second file cabinet. Remus watched nervously, part of him wanting to help, the other not wanting to ruin his already soiled record.

“Look at this,” Sirius said excitedly, pulling out a piece of parchment with a drawing of Hogwarts on it.

“Yippee, a map of Hogwarts,” James drawled, twirling his finger in the air.

“Look at all those secret passages,” Kristen squealed in delight. “I bet they all lead to Hogsmeade!”

“This is incredible,” James marveled, apparently having a change of heart on Sirius’s find.

Remus looked from the door to his friends and back again. Finally, curiosity won over and he went to join them.

“Imagine the possibilities,” Sirius spoke loud enough for their look out to hear. “We could go whenever we want!”

“This is awesome!” Kristen agreed. Suddenly, it clicked, they were talking. They were sharing a good laugh over the mayhem this map would surely cause.

“Are we going to pretend this never happened?” Sirius asked stoically, eyeing them all with interest.

“I hate not having you guys,” Kristen admitted, a little hesitantly. “I mean, I love Lily to death, but she’s not any of you.”

“I miss having help on homework,” Peter put in truthfully, though it made them all laugh a bit.

“You know Remus, that was one Hell of a blow. You ever considered being a beater with that strength.” James told him, as sort of way of apologizing for his words and forgiving Remus’s punch.

“No thanks. I’m tired all the time enough as it is.” Remus chuckled. He then turned to Sirius. “Sorry for calling her dumb.”

“Oh I know she is, I was just angry at the time,” Sirius told him with a grin.

“You mean to say, that this could have never happened if you had just agreed with me?” Kristen asked, her heart already fluttering in anger once more.

“Well of course I couldn’t just agree, she was newly my woman.”

“Newly your woman? What is she, some kind of possession?”

“Hey, hey, hey, stop! We’re having good feelings Krissie, good feelings!” James shut her up quickly, also cutting off Sirius’s retort. “Look, no fighting for at least a week guys, until we get back to our old standing, agreed?”

While Remus and Peter immediately agreed, Kristen and Sirius just mumbled, knowing that it would hardly last. “Quick, sit down!” Peter cautioned, running back to his seat as Kristen, James, and Sirius worked as quickly and quietly as they could the close the drawers and get back to their own desks.

Professor McGonagall reentered the room, fully noticing the wicked grins on her students’ faces. “What did you do?” She asked, her eyes narrowed dangerously.

“We highly resent the fact that you immediately assume we’ve done something wrong,” James informed her, his face trying hard to look serious but ultimately failing.

“After all, we’ve been nothing but angels since starting detention with our favorite teacher.” Sirius continued, grinning widely to show all his teeth.

There seemed to be a small smile on her lips, but none could be sure. “I see you are all a team once more and are back to terrorizing teachers.”

“What are you talking about? I absolutely detest each and every one of them.” Kristen said casually.

“Feelings mutual doll,” Sirius turned in his seat to tell her, raising his eyebrows in completion.

“Black and St. Claire, either stop flirting or get out of my room.”

Kristen blushed violently but Sirius perked up at the news. “If I keep flirting with her can I go? Kristen, if I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together.”

“It's not my fault I fell in love. You are the one that tripped me.” Peter serenaded her next.

“Do you have a map?” Remus asked her next. “I just keep on getting lost in your eyes.”

She was nearly close to bursting at that point but it was James’s that sent her over. He came over, held her hand gently and said, “You must be a magnet, because it looks like you are attracted to my buns of steel.”

That’s when she lost it and burst out laughing. Even the others couldn’t help but laugh at what must have the worst pick up line they’d ever heard. “Please, go! I don’t think I can stand any more of you,” McGonagall ordered them, pointing out the room. The group gleefully ran off, not about to give her a chance to change her mind.

Minerva sighed happily as she sat at her desk and pulled a stack of tests from her N.EW.T. class towards her to grade. Her plan had worked after all, though they really had deserved detention, and were still going to have to come. Maybe she wouldn’t make them for the rest of the week. Heaven knew she wanted at least a few decent players on her team that year.

Chapter 31: Being a Chaser
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“I can’t eat,” Kristen mumbled, pushing her food away. James and Sirius looked much the same, which was a surprise as food was usually being shoved in their mouths.

“You can’t fly on an empty stomach,” Remus informed them a bit needlessly.

“I can’t fly if I’m throwing up all the food either,” Kristen snapped back at him, in a very foul mood.

“Remus is right,” Lily said, taking in interest in the quidditch tryouts only because Kristen was trying for it. “Come on, a biscuit at least.”

“I’ll eat whenever I want to bloody eat!” Kristen shouted. Lily just shook her head, all to use to her sudden outbursts.

The breakfast passed slowly for the three fourth year hopefuls. Lily, Peter, and Remus spoke animatedly to one another while the others picked at their food and tried to calm their nervous stomachs. James was especially snippy, nearly yelling at his girlfriend, a pretty little third year Gryffindor named Taylor Jones, when she simply wanted to wish him good luck.

“Let’s go. Tryouts start in a few minutes,” Sirius advised, standing up with James and Kristen.

“We’ll be along in a few,” Peter told them, enjoying a nice helping of eggs.

They walked in silence to the pitch, where there were a total of twenty-three hopefuls. Kristen’s eyes widened in terror, and she suddenly began backing away. “I can’t do this,” she breathed, wanting to run. But Sirius and James each grabbed an arm and pulled her forward.

“Come on Krissie, it will be alright. Sirius and I will be here every step of the way,” James assured her, walking her towards the line dedicated to chasers. He expected some sarcastic comeback, but it didn’t come. Kristen simply smiled at him, her eyes dazzling, and she seemed to gain some confidence from his words.

“Alright kids, we’ve got one Hell of a day ahead of us,” The captain began, amplifying her voice. Jolie Renoir, though French in heritage, was known not to be in battle tactics. “Beaters first, up you go. I’ll give you a few minutes to warm up and then I’ll release the bludgers and I’ll let a few brave souls join you for target practice.”

“Target Practice? That kind of sounds like fun,” Kristen whispered. “We should totally do it!”

“And get knocked out before we even get a chance? No thanks,” argued James.

“I bet she’ll like us if we do it,” Sirius tried to convince him. “We’d be one of the ‘few brave souls.’”

James looked at the potential beaters, obviously contemplating if any of them looked strong enough to knock him out. “Alright,” he agreed slowly. “But if I pass out and lose my chance I’m blaming you both.”

They just rolled their eyes at that and hurried over to pick a spare broom when Jolie called for the ‘brave souls’. They shot off into the air with two others, a fifth and a sixth year.

The bludgers were released to the five beaters after they picked up their bats and the fun began. They all tried to aim them at what might be their future teammates while they ducked and dodged.

“Ha ha, missed!” Kristen taunted to a fifth year named Matthew Carter as another bludger came and hit her right in the kneecaps. “Karma!” he had shouted at her as he flew off.

It turned into a game, basically tag, with a very painful bludger doing the tagging. They were all disappointed when the captain called them down.

“Well, that was…interesting,” was all she said, though she was smiling brightly at them. , “Beaters, have a seat unless you’re trying for another position. Up next is seeker.”

The trio didn’t have nearly as much fun, though they did enjoy going up and throwing golf balls in every possible direction. Finally though, it was time for the chasers.

“Alright, this is fairy straight forward. I’m going to put you into teams of three, and I’m going to be keeper and I’ll grab a couple of the beaters and change them out so you have some competition.” She told them, striding over to the chasers. Sirius, James and Kristen quickly grabbed onto each other and refused to be separated. She put them as the third group to go, second to last. Kristen clutched their hands nervously as they watched the other chasers, some good some horrible; weave in and out of beaters, occasionally unsuccessful.

“Potter, Black, and St.Claire,” She called, allowing the nervous fourth years to step towards the center of the pitch “Well, you’ve seen it done. Good luck.”

They launched into the air, loving the adrenaline rush of it. They could faintly hear Remus, Peter, and Lily shouting encouragements, which helped to add to their confidence.

Feeling the rush of air seemed to put an ease about them. When James received the quaffel, he deftly passed it to Kristen, who feigned a left, then, a pass to the right for Sirius, who easily scored. Their tryout passed in much that way, a sort of dance between them and an unknowing sense of what the other would do. Only Sirius was hit once by a bludger, yet he quickly recovered, his new goal being to make that beater pay by humiliating him with a superb dodge and another goal.

“Thanks you three, you can sit now,” The captain told them, signaling for the next group of chasers to come forward. She hadn’t given them and clue as to how she thought they had done, and their hopes utterly died. They lay in the grass at the edge of the pitch, enjoying the feel of the it and hoping that maybe another year they could play chasers.

“That was amazing!” Lily squealed in delight, rushing down to meet them with the others.

“We messed up big time,” James groaned, rolling over to put his face in the grass.

“Couldn’t have gone worse,” Sirius agreed with a moan.

“Well, at least we’ll have next year,” Kristen put in.

“There’s no way she wouldn’t pick you!” Remus told them, looking exceptionally giddy on their behalf. “Look, I’m the smart one, I know everything, so trust me!”

They couldn’t help to smile lightly at that. Finally, a call was made for all the applicants to join the captain in the center of the pitch after a short break for her to think over it.

“I’ve seen some amazing flying here today ladies and gentleman, and I’m proud to call you all my housemates.” When she wasn’t yelling and speaking with force, one could hear a hint of a French accent appear in her voice. “When I call out the name and the position, please step forward. Those who are not on the list did not make it this year.” She cleared her throat, prolonging it as if just to see them all squirm nervously. “Seeker: Xavier Sting,” She called out first. A scrawny sixth year smiled sheepishly as his friends cheered around him, all of whom had applied for the seeker position. “Beaters: Matthew Carter, and Samuel Cook.” The boy who had laughed at Kristen and the one that hit her both smiled broadly at the announcement of their placements. “And finally, our chasers are James Potter, Sirius Black, and Kristen St.Clair.”

Kristen’s scream was remarkably shrill as she threw her arms around both James and Sirius, who were cheering along with Remus, Peter, and Lily. “Would the team please hang back for a short meeting?” The captain asked as several disgruntled applicants made their way to the showers.

Kristen, Sirius, and James could hardly stand still as they huddled around her with the other team members. “Congratulations everyone, on being chosen. I wanted to let you know that training will begin this Thursday evening. I’m going to have specific diets and training regimens planned out for you, so enjoy you’re remaining days of freedom.” A few people laughed but quickly stopped at the look of total seriousness. “Now Sting, you were one of the fastest out there, but you had trouble hanging onto the golf balls. You have so much potential though, that I’m giving you the chance. Don’t think I won’t drop you fast if you blow this responsibility off.” Xavier looked ready to pee his pants when she was through with him. “Carter, Cook, you two were picked because you had fun, and did a good job. You can’t be a good teammate, without loving the game you play. That’s why I couldn’t choose Michaels, who was, admittedly, a very talented beater. He’s much too driven by his father’s love of the game though, not his own. Now you three,” she turned to her new chasers as their smiles slid off their faces. “You were not the fastest, nimblest, or most powerful chasers out their today. Mills was extremely adept, never missing a shot. Robinson had excellent tactics and was an amazing flyer. But every captain’s dream is to have a ready-made squad. You three are the closest I can get to that. You knew each other’s thinking, you were always ready for the pass, and you all played on each other’s abilities.” She then grinned widely at them, easing the tension once more. “Congrats once again, you all deserve it.”

Peter, Lily, and Remus were waiting for them at the edge of the pitch. “See, what did I tell you?” Remus prodded them, smirking with satisfaction.

“Yeah, yeah, all hail Remus, we got it,” Sirius agreed, curtsying lavishly to him.

“I say celebration tonight! Who’s with me?” James asked loudly. There were cheers from everyone, except Lily, who was quite ready to snap at him.

“We have an essay due in potions tomorrow and if you want to stay in the Slug Club, you better do well on it,” She scolded them all.

There were collective groans from the group. They had all received an invitation to a little Slughorn tea party held for the next Wednesday. Each one of them was dreading it. He had never been particularly chummy with Kristen and Sirius, after that whole sorting hat incident, though he often was on good enough terms with Remus, James, and Peter. Lily, on the other hand, was obviously the Gryffindor favorite, something for which most students resented her.

“You know, that sounds like a real blast, put partying sounds even better,” Sirius informed her, leading them towards a long over due meal. “I’m thinking the map would be mighty useful tonight,” Sirius suggested in a singsong voice.

“What map?” Lily asked quickly, looking nervous.

“Don’t you worry your pretty little head about it Evans.” Sirius patted her cheek before sitting down.

“You and Potter are the most insufferable people I know!” Lily huffed, ready to storm away.

James held up his hands in defense and squealed, “I didn’t even say anything!”

“You were thinking it, I’m sure.” Lily seethed before stalking off. James looked in confusion to Kristen, hoping she could interpret.

“She hates you James,” was all Kristen had to offer before she dug into her food with vigor.

“Hates me?” James asked pathetically. “Why does she hate me? I’ve done nothing but love her more than life itself!”

They all stared at him with surprise. “No you don’t,” Remus told him firmly, getting over it first.

James looked more than a little taken a back by his statement. “Yes I do!”

“No you don’t James. We’re fourteen.” Kristen tried to convince him.

“Do you want to see how much I love her?” James asked. And before anyone could stop him from being a complete idiot, he kneeled before Lily, forced her to turn around in her seat, grabbed her hands and said, “Lily Rose Evans, will you go out with me?”

Lily’s mouth hung open for a minute, and then she smiled serenely. James’s heart fluttered, simply knowing it would be yes…until her hand reared back and slapped him right on the face.

“If you didn’t catch that James, the answer is no!” Lily snapped before turning back around in her seat.

James rubbed his left cheek as he stood up, only to be confronted by Taylor. “What was that?” She asked, gesturing angrily to Lily.

“I was asking her out.” James said slowly, as is unsure why Taylor was asking him questions at all. “I didn’t realize we were exclusive Taylor. If that’s the case, maybe we should part ways.”

Taylor instantly began sputtering incoherent apologies, to which James quickly brushed off with a chaste kiss before sitting down with his own friends. “Nicely done,” Sirius praised.

“I…I don’t even know how to describe your utter stupidity!” Kristen threw her hands in the air. “Honestly, at this rate, you will get no where with her!”

“Why not? I wouldn’t date other girls when I was with her,” James defended himself.

“It’s the fact that you do it at all,” Kristen told him off. “Girls like Lily prefer boys with honor and pride, not boys that pick up the nearest girl so they have a date.”

“What about girls like you Kristen?” Sirius asked, smiling a bit. “Stuck up Hufflepuff, or dangerous Gryffindor?”

“That’s not very fair. You haven’t told me how cute they are.”

“Both attractive.”

Kristen thought for a moment. “I’d take multiple girl friend interesting guy over exclusive boring one. At least until I get married or something.”

“See James, just go for girls like Kristen who just don’t care.” Sirius told him as if it were the most obvious thing.

“Now wait just a minute. That’s only if I had to choose. Honestly, I’d much rather be with just one guy who didn’t cheat on me and was interesting.”

“No such thing,” Sirius told her, very sure of himself. “I’m the closest you get to it, and I can’t help but flirt with girls all the time.”

Kristen rolled her eyes heavily at him. “Yeah right. Lucius was nicer to me that you’ve ever been.”

“Yeah, so he could sleep with you!”

“So that’s all I have to offer to guys Sirius? Sex?”

“To his type! I mean, come on! You were practically throwing yourself at him during that whole…thing.” Sirius trailed off, knowing that they technically weren’t supposed to discuss it with so many people around.

“I’ll have you know, the most we ever did was kiss, and it was light at that.” She told him gruffly. “I never let him do anything against my will.”

“If we hadn’t shown up when we had after he cornered you, who knows what he would have done. He looked like he didn’t care too much about your wishes then!”

“Alright, I admit it! Lucius is not the prime example, but you aren’t either. You know you haven’t once sat with Rebekah or invited her to sit with us. What’s even the point of her being called your girlfriend?”

“Snogging in the broom closets of course.”

Kristen smirked at him. “You know, I bet you don’t even kiss her. I’d wager she doesn’t even know she’s your girl friend.”

“Oh yeah?” Sirius pushed aside his hair and pulled down his collar to reveal and reddish purple mark on his neck. “That’s proof.”

“Very nice mate,” James commended him.

“Ew!” Kristen exclaimed, shuddering. “Any respect I had for you or that girl has completely vanished.”

“We all know you’re just jealous Kristen,” Remus said suddenly, not looking up from his potions book, which he was reading as he ate.

“Oh please, not that again! What is it with you and your determination to make us annoyed?” Kristen growled at him.

“Not annoyed, simply observant.” Remus answered, now looking at her. “Honestly, why would I do something just to annoy you?”

“I ask myself that everyday,” Kristen replied, standing up as lunch ended. “Enough of this, let’s go get the map.”

Chapter 32: The Tunnel
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“Let’s see, tap the hump and say “Dissindium””, Sirius murmured, reading the map instructions carefully.

“Hurry up or we’ll be caught,” Remus fretted, incredibly antsy as he waited for the others to figure it out.

“Well, here goes,” James said, taking out his wand. He gently tapped the hump and whispered, “Dissindium.”

To their excitement, the hump opened widely, allowing each person to slide down easily into the dark tunnel. “Wonder where it goes,” Peter whispered, allowing total darkness to consume them.

“We probably should have looked into that before gallivanting into a dark tunnel,” Remus snapped at them, his increasing nervousness turning him into a very angry person.

“Oh shut up Remus,” Sirius rolled his eyes, though it was hard to see even with the lights of their wands.

Kristen suddenly screamed loudly and clambered onto the nearest person to try and escape the ground. “It’s a spider! Get it! Get it!”

“You mean to tell me that you can hold a snake just fine but a little spider scared the living day lights out of you?” Sirius asked, awkwardly holding her as James and the others had fun shooting spells at it.

“It is a spider!” She hissed at him, not understanding why he couldn’t see the calming nature of a snake and the vileness of a spider. “They are horrid little creatures!”

Sirius couldn’t help but laugh, which incited her anger even more. “It is not funny Sirius Black. I hate spiders!”

“Got it!” James shouted proudly, a scorched mark on the ground a tribute to his efforts.

Kristen quickly got of Sirius, brushing herself off as blood rushed to her cheeks. “Let’s move on, shall we? Long way to go, I’m sure,” She commanded in a rush, walking hastily in her quest to escape embarrassment.

“You know Sirius,” James began, pulling him away from the rest of the group a little while later, “It’s okay that you like Kristen. The guys and I have talked about, and we think you’re the only guy we could trust with her.”

Sirius stopped in his tracks, glaring at his best friend. “I’ve told you that you’re wrong a thousand times James! Would you please drop it?”

“Look, I know, but…you just act different around her. You’re always happier when she’s around, and more talkative.”

“If you haven’t noticed, she’s around all the time.” Sirius reminded him, his heart beating quickly at the accusations.

“And those moments she’s not you barely smile. That’s always when you start thinking about your mum and family.” James pointed out shrewdly.

“James, lay off! I don’t like her like that, alright?” Sirius snapped irritably.

James was quiet for a moment; looking at the ground as they listened to the exuberant conversation the rest of the group took part in. “What would you do if one of the other maurders liked Kristen?”

Sirius was a bit taken aback by his question, who was it? Which one had told James and been too nervous to ask Sirius. “I don’t really care who she dates so long as it’s not a Slytherin.”

“Really? Maurder rule number one: no one is allowed to steal another member’s girl.” James said, looking rather unsure of himself.

“Well I guess there’s no problem as she’s not my girl!” Sirius nearly shouted, attracting the attention of the others. James just waved his hand irritably at them to go back about their business. “Who is it James?”

“No one, just asking,” James responded quickly.

Sirius looked at him for a moment as the walked before his eyes opened in sudden comprehension. “Merlin, it’s you!”

“Is not!” James defended himself a bit to briskly. “I have a girl friend, and I am in love with Lily Evans.”

“And apparently those are just covers!” Sirius exclaimed, giddy over this revelation, even if it did seem a little strange and his heart contracted strenuously. “Why now though, after all these years.”

“Because she keeps flashing those damn smiles at me!” James told him in frustration, running his fingers through his hair in anger. “You know, those one she always flashes at you or her latest conquest.”

Though he didn’t want to admit, Sirius did know what he was talking about. He’d always loved getting those, the cocky, hair in the face, eyes bright, smile that she usually gave him in the middle of a fight. “Get a hold of yourself man!” Sirius proclaimed. “It’s Kristen for Merlin’s sake.”

“That’s exactly it!” James protested. “It’s Krissie, my very pretty best friend who is the most popular girl in school and is giving me flirtatious smiles! Of course I’m going to be attracted to her!”

Sirius sighed, not knowing what to do. He wasn’t sure James wanted his help in getting over Kristen, and was afraid to ask, as the answer would most likely be against his wishing.

“Look up here!” Kristen whispered in excitement, relieved to find a door after nearly an hour of walking. There were steps up to the flat, wooden door above their heads. They all gathered around as Kristen tiptoed up the stairs. She gently lifted the door, being covered with dust in the process. Her head disappeared for a moment as she stretched her neck to see where they had ended up. “It’s Honeyducks! We’re underneath the stock room!”

“Wicked,” Sirius grinned, prepared to go grab as much candy as he could carry.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Remus hissed at both Kristen and Sirius as the prepared to enter the room. “We can’t be caught stealing! And besides, if we some how manage to get through storage and out into the shop, don’t you think they’d wonder what a bunch of kids are doing there?”

The group grumbled at his point, knowing it to be true. “So what, we walked all this time for nothing?” James asked incredulously, refusing to believe it.

“At least now we know where it goes. Maybe the next Hogsmeade trip we can slip through and act like fifth years,” Peter suggested.

“Not a bad idea Pete,” Sirius agreed, hoping down off the steps. “I guess the only thing left to do is head back.”

“This sucks,” Kristen groaned, complaining as she walked between James and Sirius. Though she was oblivious to the tension, the boys weren’t. Remus cringed as he watched James and Sirius. He knew James had told Sirius, they had discussed it a few days earlier and the plan had been to tell him when he was in a good mood, gallivanting around and breaking rules after being put on the quidditch team seemed the perfect time. He had also suspected Sirius would blatantly deny, which would account for James’s wide grin as Kristen talked to him. Remus couldn’t really understand it. Yes, Kristen was pretty, and she had her occasional moments when she was sweet and understanding, but, like Sirius had pointed out last year, she had mood swings like crazy! He needed a calm girl; one of those classic shy girls that is smart and you speak of books with. Kristen was hardly that. She was one of the popular girls, the ones that always wanted to look pretty and perfect and be the envy of everyone. Remus only partly understood that part of her. He was sure her thirst for overwhelming acceptance came from her mother hating her, but he still didn’t get the random moments of crying or anger. Not that he could hold it against James or Sirius, Remus would readily admit that in first year, she had him under her spell, even during that whole cutting and Voldermort thing. It just made her more mysterious. But now, she was just Kristen, part of the group.

It seemed like ages before they got back to underneath the statue. By that time, both Sirius and James were red in the face, whether from Kristen’s attention or anger at the other Remus wasn’t sure, and he didn’t think he wanted to know. There was enough drama as it was.

“I’ll peek up and make sure no one’s around,” James volunteered bravely.

“No, no, I’ll do it.” Sirius pushed James aside.

“I wanted to do it first!” James fought back, struggling to reach the top before Sirius.

“I’m the one who found the map, I should make the decisions!”

“Shut up!” Kristen laughed, pushing them both aside. “I’ll do it.” And with that she clambered her way to the top and slowly peeked out. “All’s clear!” She whispered, pushing her self out of the statue.

The others followed in quick succession, Peter last as he nearly fell out of the statue. It was then that Lily walked around the corner, and stopped as she saw the back of the witch hurriedly shut. “Don’t tell me, I don’t want to know!” She declared, quickly turning around to avoid getting caught up in their rule breaking.

“Okay, so next Hogsmeade trip is November 1st, we’ll all go then. Agreed?” Sirius posed. There were cheers of agreement, though not from Remus, and the group began to make their way back to the common room to begin that dratted essay.
* * *
“Oh well done! Very well done indeed!” Professor Slughorn praised Lily as he looked over her essay. She beamed with pride as several Slytherins mocked her happy smile. James looked at them and nearly whipped out his wand, always ready to take advantage of an opportunity to get at a Slytherin. Even though Kristen dearly wanted to as well, she knew they couldn’t and so put her arm calmly on top of James’s and sent him a warning look. He instantly heeded her, and both failed to notice Sirius’s scowl from the other side of her.

“Now you five, how about your papers?” Slughorn asked of them. Remus quickly pushed his forwards. “Very nice Master Lupin, very nice.” He then picked up Peter, James, Sirius, and Kristen’s papers. He didn’t say anything, but simply sighed and walked to the next table.

“Maybe now he’ll kick us out,” Sirius said hopefully, opening his book to page 659, as was instructed.

“Don’t get your hopes up. You’re a Black, of course he wants to know you,” Peter told him. “As for Kristen and me though, I’m not quite sure why he wants us,” Peter said seriously. Kristen shrugged her shoulders in agreement, agreeing with his insult.

Kristen was silent throughout the lesson; her usual whispered snide remarks missed as she rhythmically stirred her bubbling cauldron. “You alright?” Sirius asked her quietly as chatter floated around them.

“My first meeting with Dumbledore is tonight, I’m just nervous,” She admitted, daring to look up a bit. She was met with those gray eyes, the ones that had first calmed her in Diagon Alley all those years ago. She looked away though, turning instead to James, who was eagerly waiting to show her some crude drawing of the greasy haired Slytherin in the 2nd row.
* * *
“Miss St.Claire! It is a pleasure to see you, as always,” Dumbledore greeted her grandly, motioning for her to take a seat in the familiar plush chairs. The nervous girl did so, his exuberant welcome putting her on edge. “How was your summer?”

“It sucked,” Kristen answered honestly, staring him in the face. “My parents think that I’m being controlled by the devil and that I gave up my chance to serve God.”

“I’m sorry to hear that dear. Losing the acceptance of a loved one can be very hard to bear.”

“I’m sure you were the poster child for your parents.” Kristen fought him. “Like they ever thought wonderful Albus could fail.”

“My parents detested me Kristen.” He said it so calmly, that Kristen was forced to pay some attention to him. “Perhaps you have heard of Grindelwald?”

“Yeah. You defeated him like fifty years ago, right?”

“He was my older brother. He was the poster child, not I. Luckily; my younger brother Aberforth followed my lead instead of his.” Dumbledore gazed at his fingers for a moment, thinking over that terrible time. “Be thankful that you will never have to choose what is right, over your family.”

Kristen just nodded her head, barely believing what he was telling her. They had had to read a whole book on Grindelwald, and then write an essay last year in History of Magic, and never once had it even hinted at a relationship between their beloved, if strange, Headmaster, and the horrible man. “I’m so sorry, I never knew.”

“It’s not something I readily tell people. If you haven’t realized, I’m quite a few years older than most of the people here. They didn’t know me well enough to realize he was my brother so many years before. Only Professors McGonagall and Slughorn know, and now you.”

Now she felt incredibly guilty. He had obviously just divulged one of his darkest secrets to her, and yet she refused to tell him anything. “Alright, Alright, I give in!” She cried in dismay, hating her inner conscience.

“I’m sorry, but I fail to follow,” Dumbledore said, looking at her with contemplating eyes.

“I can talk to snakes, alright? James and the others told me that I should say something to you when they found out about it last year, but I didn’t want to because I felt weird enough as it was. I also keep having very strange mood swings, you know, not the normal girl ones or whatever, the dark mark on my arm as been hurting lately and I can still remember those deaths and kind of see the creepy horses.” She rattled off in one breath, looking relieved to have it out.

“I assumed most of that, though I’m not quite sure why your mark would be hurting, it could be side affect of his growing powers.” Dumbledore ran his fingers through a bowl of water that was sitting on his desk, looked in it for a moment, and then smiled. “Thank you for telling me these things Kristen, I know it’s hard for you to trust after all you’ve been through.”

Kristen gaped at him. The dark mark had been the least of her worries, she figured it was just an evil Death Eater rash, but he had already ‘assumed’ most of that? “What?” She asked lamely, trying to understand why he wasn’t more shocked over her revelation.

“It seems obvious to me that after the sort of trauma you’ve been through it would be hard to trust anyone,” Dumbledore explained, looking at her with concern.

“No, I mean, I can talk to snakes! James said that was weird.”

“It is not weird, simply rare. It must have just shown up in your genes with your magical ability. It’s nothing to fret about,” He said, giving her a reassuring smile. “You’re mood swings, merely remnants of your past connection to him, and apparently those memories that Voldermort transferred to you refuse to come out, which leads you to be able to see the Thestrals. Now, have you been practicing over the summer?”

Kristen shifted uncomfortably. “I didn’t see the point. It’s not like he knows where I live after all.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that Kristen. You must take precautions, wherever you go. If he invades your mind again, and it is fully open, he could take over. I don’t want you to have to go through that again. If it happens at your home, I’ll have no way of knowing.”

She just shook her head, already feeling guilty enough. In truth, she had practiced; it had been one of her only links back to the wizarding world. It was just that she had been getting worse at it. Her thoughts refused to stay organized, and the nightmares had been coming back full force since she had arrived at Hogwarts. “Come now, let’s start with out exercises. By the end of the year, you are to be completely trained in Occulemency.”

“But you told me it would take years. That most adults are never even fully trained.”

“This is our third year of study Kristen. And it is crucial that you become fully trained.”

“Why though? Look, last Halloween…he wouldn’t dare do it again! Why do I have to worry?”

“I know you hate hearing this, but when you’re ready I’ll tell you.”

“I am ready!” She shouted, hating herself for already getting in a fight with him this early in the year. “You’ve been holding that over my head since second year! I’m ready to know why I have to go through this, and Sirius doesn’t. I want to know why Voldermort is targeting me and not James!”

“Not now Kristen. I can’t do it now,” He told her calmly, not blaming her for her outburst. “You are innocent, and young, and care free, I want to keep it that way for as long as possible.”

His words chilled her, and she heeded his words for the rest of the lesson. What could be so bad, that the great Albus Dumbledore was reluctant to say it? 

                                                             *   *   *
A/N okay, so I don't know if grindelwald was Dumbledore's brother, but as nothing has ever been said about him, I think I'm free to a little imagination. I'm sorry if you whole heartedly disagree, but I'm a writer, and I take advantage of any time I can use my imagination tot he story's advantage.

Chapter 33: Slugs and Runs
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“Feel free to roam around, get to know each other and such.” Slughorn announced jovially that Wednesday night. They were in a spare classroom where a table laden with drinks and snakes was set up for their enjoyment.

“Why did we even come?” Sirius sighed. There were several people they didn’t know there, including many Slytherins. Their quiditch captain was there though, looking exceptionally toned down as she chatted with some Hufflepuff, which made them a bit more at ease.

“Oh no,” Kristen groaned, turning her back to the scene. It didn’t take long for the others to see what had bothered her. Making a beeline towards them was none other that Jason Brown.

“Can I talk to her?” He asked a bit warily, noticing her guards.

“No! Why would we ever let you talk to her again?” James spat at him, much more confident now that he’d put on a few inches.

“James, please! I think I can take care of myself.” Kristen snapped at him, her nerves not yet back to normal from Dumbledore’s meeting two days earlier. “What?”

“Can I talk to you?” He asked her, looking nervous. When he realized that her friends would never willing take a hint to back off he added, “Alone?”

She sighed, looked at the four boys around her, and then began to walk to the other side of the room, motioning for Jason to follow her. Apparently, the other boys took this as the sign to follow too. “Look, if I look like I’m about to punch him, then you can come over and help, alright?” She tried to bargain with them. They seemed a little satisfied by that, and just sulked by the wall instead. “They’ve become a little over protective after everything that’s happened to me.”

“I’m guessing I added to that,” Jason mumbled, more than a little uncomfortable.

“Well, yeah, sort of. Unleashing a snake on me does tend to incite them a bit.”

“Yeah, about that. Look, I was a jerk these past few years, and I’m really sorry about it. I’ve grown up a lot over the summer, and decided you were probably the person I should apologize to most.” He barely looked at her as he was saying it, no doubt afraid of her retort.

“Really?” Kristen asked incredulously.

“Well, yes. That night at the dance, I shouldn’t have been such a jerk. And beating up your entourage wasn’t exactly kind of me either.”

Kristen just laughed a little. “It’s all in the past Jason, there’s no need to fret about it.”

“Wow, that was easier than I expected!” Jason laughed in relief, his face glowing. “How can I make it up to you though? Butterbeer from the next Hogsmeade trip? I’m sure I can smuggle some in.”

“Thanks, but I think I’ll manage without.” She responded, thinking that she could probably get her own butterbeer when she was there.

“Very well then, I’ll have to think of another way to make it up to you.” He winked at her and then walked away, leaving her a little confused.

“What was that all about?” Remus asked when she returned to them.

“He was apologizing to me for what a jerk he was.” Kristen told them with a shrug of her shoulders.

“You? We’re the ones he and his cronies beat up! Why isn’t he apologizing to us?” Sirius demanded to now.

“Probably because he thinks you’ll jump him, and frankly, I think that’s a valid enough reason,” Kristen answered with a smile. “Besides, like I told Jason, it’s all in the past.”

“Well that’s unlike you,” Sirius said with raised eyebrows. “Since when do you not hold grudges?”

“Since I became much too tired to yell at anyone.” She answered him truthfully. Her lesson with Dumbledore had drained her, and the exercises he told her to practice before bed didn’t exactly do wonders either. The nightmares were horrible, and seemed to be increasing in ferocity. Lily had woken her up a one in the morning, saying that she had been thrashing in her sleep.

“Congratulations to the new Slug Club inductees!” Slughorn’s voice boomed across the room. Lily was near him, and positively beaming as several returnees congregated around her. “I hope we become good friends through the year, and that you will enjoy my little parties to honor you.” He then started a record player, playing a nice jazz piece across the room.

“Now that’s what I’m talking about!” Kristen cried, jumping into the center off the room and dragging Remus behind. She started a complicated tango with him, knowing Remus was far from the experienced dancer. James grumbled something, and then went to join them, causing several other reluctant and shy students to do the same.

Sirius didn’t do dancing, simply wasn’t in him. At the past Halloween dances, he’d just talked to the girl he was with. Well actually, second year he had been worried abut Kristen the whole time, and third year he had been sitting in the hospital wing with her, so really, all the dances he was too worried about her to do much of anything. He hadn’t realized until that moment, just how much of his life he’d dedicated to her. Cheering her up, protecting her from other boys, protecting her from her self, fighting her, and just all around trying to be there for her. When he actually sat and thought about, it was a rather frightening the amount of effort he’s put into her. Not that he liked her or anything, course not. His aim right now was the Goddess, Celestria Amaris. There were only two words to describe her: ethereal, and hot. She was a Ravenclaw 6th year, but he didn’t have any doubts he’s get her soon enough. But Kristen was pretty too, what with her long blonde hair, her green eyes, her face that was almost always lit up with excitement…okay, maybe he did like her just a little.

He looked up to see James dancing ‘the twist’ with her as she laughed. But what did it matter any more, James was going to get her, and he was sure that was the guy she’d be happier with.

Remus came over to him, looking flushed but happy. He quickly noticed Sirius’s somber look. “What’s wrong?”

“Just not much of a dancing person,” Sirius told him, watching James and Kristen with a scowl on his face.

Remus followed his line of sight. “Oh,” he sighed. “All jokes aside Sirius, do you?”

Sirius knew exactly what he was talking about, and for once, he felt he should answer him honestly. “Yeah, I do.”

He didn’t notice Remus’s smile of success, happy to have finally gotten him to admit it. “Then why did you tell James you didn’t?”

“That wouldn’t be very fair to her, would it? I mean, come on, look at her face, she obviously likes him too. If I had told James I liked her, he would have been banned from ever flirting with her, or asking her out…and then where would that leave her? It’s better this way.” Sirius told him, forcing his eyes away from them.

“She likes you too though! It’s the most obvious thing in the world! Stop being a prat and wise up!” Remus tried to convince him.

Sirius, surprisingly, smiled at him. “No. If James wants her, he can have her. I’ll be over her in a few days anyways, that’s how it always works.” With that he left, looking a little forlorn.

“Where’s he going?” Kristen asked as she ran over to him, her breathing heavy and her face bright.

“He didn’t feel too good.” Remus lied for him, not knowing what else to say. He very well couldn’t say the real reason, especially with James right there. Remus knew James would think that Sirius had started liking her after he had told him. As they were just recovering from a fight, he really didn’t want to be in the midst of another.

“Party pooper!” Kristen declared, so blissfully unaware of it all. She then grabbed James’s hand and returned to the dance floor, also dragging Lily into it. Soon, she had started what most would call a mosh pit. Slughorn eagerly tried to join, wanting to seem hip and cool for this young crowd of dawgs. The only thing this managed to do though, was break up the party.

“Come on, let’s go to the tower before the great slug eats us,” James joked, somehow managing to get his arm lightly across Kristen’s shoulder to lead her back. Remus just shook his head and shrugged when Peter looked to him for answers. He was just as confused as to where this would lead as he was.
* * *
“Here are your diet plans,” Captain Renoir announced, handing each member of her team a piece of paper with specific meal planned out until the first game on November eighth. The team was already droopy eyed when she handed it to them, after three hours of grueling practice, it was a wonder if anyone would have the energy to protest, but protest they did.

“No sweets at all!?!?”

“You want me to be a veggie?!?!”

“Go without bread? I can’t go without bread!”

There was an uproar on the pitch as several stunned players yelled about the food that was being forced upon them. “Quiet!” Their captain shouted, staring them down. “You wanted on the team, this is the price! If any of you don’t see fit to pay it, then leave!” No one moved but simply grumbled and looked to the ground. “Don’t you see why I’m doing this? Matt and Sam need to build up muscle as quickly as possible, that’s why they’re off breads, and I need Xavier lean and light, that’s why he’s off meats. You three were the hardest. I need you to not gain any weight, and yet get some muscle. That’s why there are absolutely no sweets, and lots of veggies. Now off to bed, we have training starting at five in the morning, I want you in running clothes for a lap or two around the lake.”

Sirius, James, and Kristen were numb with shock as the walked back to the common room. Their other teammates weren’t doing much better.

“No bread? How does she expect me to just eat meat?” Matthew muttered, looking at Kristen with dismay.

“I only get to eat fruit, vegetables, and bread, how do you think that makes me feel?” Xavier snapped at him.

“No sweets,” Kristen moaned, already missing the chocolate pudding always served at dinner, “only fruits and veggies. She wants us to be bloody vegans or something!”

“If this is what it takes to stay on the team though…” Sirius trailed off, obviously not liking the prospects either but accepting them all the same.

“You’re right. I wouldn’t dream of giving up my spot, especially because of some stupid food restrictions.” Sam agreed with him, the team spirit gradually flowing back through their minds.

“We can do this guys!” Kristen encouraged them. They all cheered in agreement, heading off to bed excited for the coming day.
* * *
“I can barely think straight,” Kristen moaned the next morning, weaving as the group walked out to the lawn. “I don’t know how she expects us to run like this.”

“Run? I could do flips!” James said excitedly, doing a cartwheel on the grass. He then bounced rapidly away to the lake, not bothering to wait for the others.

“What is wrong with your friend?” Matthew asked them quite seriously.

“We really don’t know,” Sirius admitted, rolling his eyes sleepily at the cartwheeling boy. When they reached their captain at the edge of the lake, it was also to find a sopping wet James. “Fancy a swim, did you James?”

James nodded his head eagerly while twisting some of the water out of his clothes. “Alright team, just one lap for today and we’ll keep it nice and slow. Let’s move!” Jolie shouted, clad in a jumper with the British flag on it and sweat pants.

Here idea of ‘nice and slow’ seemed to be very different from everyone else’s nice and slow. She had a fast paced jog, though luckily they weren’t made to keep up with James, who was sprinting nearly the entire way. It wasn’t until pink rimmed the horizon that they arrived back at they starting point. They were surprised to see James lying on the ground, snoring loudly. Jolie just nimbly steeped over him and smiled. “Good job guys, next week we’ll add a few stretches and another lap every now and then. Now go get ready for class, I can’t have any of you on probation because of grades.”

The group all trudged back to the castle, a very groggy James in tow. No one spoke, no one even really moved besides the slow movement of their feet. Exhaustion had totally set in, though during the run they’d been fine due to the rushing of endorphins. Now though, all any of them wanted to do was sleep.

But Kristen got through a shower, through putting on her clothes, through putting things in her bags, and some how even through the walk to breakfast. There she found James asleep in his carefully cut up apple and pear, and Sirius staring into his goblet, looking as if he were about to fall asleep as well.

“You all look terrible,” Remus said as nicely as he could manage.

No one even made a comment to that, Kristen just put her book bag on the table and ‘rested her eyes’ until it was time to go to class. Somehow, she and the others were able to get up, and make it through the day.

Chapter 34: Curiosity Killed the Cat
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* * *
The next few weeks went by quickly. Training intensified, but somehow, it was becoming easier. Running three laps around the lake at five in the morning wasn’t even that difficult, though just as unpleasant. Kristen would admit it though, she felt stronger, and faster. Captain Renoir had even said she’s never been surer of a Gryffindor victory. The meetings with Dumbledore were doing nothing for her strength though, she was just thankful she had the day after them off from Quidditch practice. Every night she’d have strange dreams, not necessarily bad dreams, but strange dreams nonetheless. Before this year, she’d hardly ever had dreams, and it was always an odd occurrence for her. Anytime she told her mother about it she would start freaking out. She had never known why her mother was like that; it had just always been that way. But the cycle was starting again, she didn’t tell Dumbledore. The piercing eyes she saw nightly in her dreams were probably of no concern to him. It was probably like the mood swings, merely a remnant of their connection.

It was one particular trying morning in mid October that Lily finally came up to Kristen. She’d been antsy around her for the past few days, and Kristen didn’t have any notion as to why. Kristen had fallen asleep on her bag at breakfast once more, having been not particularly awake for her ru that morning. Lily kept prodding her, urging her to go to class early. “I don’t wanna,” Kristen grumbled, turning her bag. But Lily was insistent, and finally Kristen gave up. “Fine,” She snapped, swinging her bag over her should as she half-heartedly tried to wipe the sleep from her eyes. “Why do we even have to get to class early?”

Lily kept her mouth firmly shut until they were safely in the Herbology. She sat down by one of the trays, allowing Kristen a spot next to her. “Lily?” Kristen asked, somewhat worried now. “What’s wrong? What do you need to talk about?”

“I over heard Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore talking the other morning.” Lily told her, looking pale as he light red hair fell easily on the side of her face.

Kristen watched her questioningly. “What did they talk about?” Kristen prodded her.

“I only caught the end of the conversation. I had gone by the faculty room to talk to Professor Slughorn about the extra credit assignment due next term, but when I heard them talking I turned to leave, and then I heard your name.”

Kristen already didn’t like the sound of where this was going. “What did they say Lily?”

“He said he was scared for you. He was saying stuff like ‘our lessons are not going as planned’, and he was saying how he thought that by now you should be trained with your aptitude but there is some kind of block. McGonagall suggested that maybe you were just being defiant, but Dumbledore told her no, that you had been trying. He thinks V-, V-, you-know-who is stopping you from learning any more. He said he was scared he was going to lose you and that you-know-who would win. McGonagall then mumbled something about if your father had been kinder to you and then I had to run before they caught me.” Lily rattled off looking nervous. It was obvious that listening in on their conversation had made her feel quite guilty.

Kristen’s eyes were wide in horror as she stared at Lily. Dumbledore was afraid for her? Where did that put her then? If Dumbledore was afraid for her, then she most definitely should be afraid. All she wanted to do was run and hide. Every day seemed to be getting worse.

She suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned sharply to see Sirius watching her with concern. “It’s nothing,” She told him quickly, shooting a meaningful glance at Lily to not say anything. He didn’t look like he believed her, but as soon as James and the others walked in he moved away. Kristen was glad he didn’t push her this time, not when she was in this state of mind.

She barely paid attention, though, luckily, with Lily as a partner that day she hardly needed to. Double Herbology passed by quickly for her as she numbly potted the just arrived mandrakes, the earmuffs snuggly saving her from passing out.

She put on a happy face at lunch, determined to show Lily that she had done a good thing in telling her. Now that she’s had a chance to think on it, it really wasn’t so bad. So Voldermort was out to get her, big deal. She’d known that for two years now. So Dumbledore was scared he was going to lose her, yeah right! Dumbledore was the greatest wizard of the age; he had obviously been putting on an act for Professor McGonagall.

And yet she knew he hadn’t. But for now, she was going to ignore the problem, maybe then it would go away.

“Hey Krissie?” James asked, pulling her from her thoughts. “Can I ask you something?”

Kristen smirked a bit at him. “Sure? Why not?”

He looked very uncomfortable and pale as he wrung his hands together. He didn’t notice Sirius, Remus and Peter watching him intently, Sirius with a scowl on his face. “The Halloween dance is coming up,” he told her, biting his lip in frustration.

She laughed at him. “Really, hadn’t realized. Do you need help asking some girl James? Just say the word and I’ll go become her BFF.”

“Well, you see, the girl I want to ask is you.”

Kristen stared open mouthed at him, not believing what she was hearing. James Potter, asking her to the dance. No, it had to be a dream. She’d wanted this for a while, but she had always known it would never happen, and didn’t stake any hopes on it. Yet here he was, inviting her to go with him.

“You can say no Kristen,” He told her nervously when she failed to answer him for a considerable amount of time.

Her face lit up. “No, no, no, no, I would love to go with you James.” She was giddy with excitement at the realization that this wasn’t a dream.

His face lit up as well and he swiftly kissed her on the cheek, a feeling so different from all those times as friends. “Thank you so much. I promise, it’ll be the night of your life!”

She giggled like the infatuated schoolgirl she was and blushed hotly. It was soon time to go to History of Magic, and by then Kristen had forgotten all about her fears.
* * *
Sirius tossed and turned restlessly in his bed. Usually after a good hard quiditch practice he was fast asleep, but tonight was different. He grudgingly got up and walked down to the common room. It was deserted, just what he needed as he slipped out and made way to the room he always used to think.

There it was, the ballroom. It had once been Kristen’s place to unwind, and now it was his. She had told them she didn’t need the ballroom anymore, or the multitude of people. Sirius did though. He never joined, but simply sat to the side and watched. They were all beautiful, swirling dresses as a symphony played in the background. He had never enjoyed things like this before he met Kristen, but now it was his favorite place to be.

He didn’t really want to think; though it was the reason he went there. But he had to. First off, James; he wasn’t sure if he should use the killing curse, or maybe just a mild crucio. Then again, Sirius had given his consent, willingly even. It was his own fault that he hadn’t said anything, and if he could go back and change it, he still wouldn’t. He had seen the joy in her face, she had obviously been hoping for it. It wouldn’t be fair to take that from her.

“Would you like to dance?”

Sirius was startled. Never had one of the apparitions approached him, nor did he want them to. But when he looked up, it wasn’t one of the shimmery, nearly see through people that filled the room, but a beautiful girl, with blond hair and shining green eyes.

He stood up quickly, ashamed of being caught. “I’m sorry, I’ll go.” He mumbled, making a beeline for the door. But she grabbed his arm and turned him to her.

“Don’t even think about leaving. You know the rules. You can’t leave this room until you feel better about your problems, and by the look on your face, you obviously do not.” She told him with a smile.

‘Maybe that’s because the problem is you,’ Sirius thought a little cynically, not liking her hand on his arm. “Just couldn’t sleep tonight, too much on my mind.”

“Feel free to rant about it. Merlin knows you’ve had your fair share from me.”

“It’s nothing, the regular family stuff you know. What about you though? Why are you here?”

She sighed heavily, but knew that since he had caught her in the room, she was obliged to tell him. “I’ve just had a very trying day.”

Sirius smiled just a tad. “That doesn’t say much about James, does it?”

“That’s not what I meant. It was just…Lily told me that she over heard McGonagall and Dumbledore talking about me the other day. It scared me is all.”

“What did they say?” Sirius asked, almost afraid of her answer. She quickly told him what Lily had said, watching his eyes narrow in confusion. “What does your father have anything to do with it?” Was the first thing he asked.

“No idea. Maybe McGonagall thought that if I had more loving and accepting parents none of this would have happened.” Kristen suggested, shrugging her shoulders.

“Kristen, don’t worry. I…we’ll always be there to save you, no matter what.” He assured her. He then looked at her and noticed that she still looked strained. “Anything else?”

She didn’t know how he did it. It had to be something in the air. Whenever she was in this room with him, she seemed to spill out all her problems without a second thought. “First things first, you are sworn to secrecy, especially from James.”

Sirius looked at her a little wearily. He wasn’t sure he was up to her girlish ravings about James, but she looked so exhausted and desperate as she sat down against the wall, the smooth ballroom floor there to break her fall. So, instead of telling her no, he sat down beside her. “I promise. What is it?”

“I never imagined myself with James. I mean, I’ve wanted it for the past few months, but never seriously thought it would happen. And now that it is, it’s kind of strange, you know? I don’t know if I’m supposed to act different around him or around you or anything.”

“Who did you imagine yourself with then?”

Kristen blushed a little, but hid it effectively. “Well, I don’t really know who the one is yet, but I thought I had a fairly good idea of who it wasn’t. James was one of the people in the ‘no’ column.”

“To be honest, I never imagined it either,” Sirius told her, very truthfully, though she hardly realized what he really wanted to say.

She smiled as she turned her head to him. “Who did you think Sirius?”

“Now that, I am not allowed to tell you.”

Her looked at him in horror. “Oh come on Sirius, who is it?”

“No. When he told me he liked you, he said I was forbidden from telling you. I wish I could though.” He teased her, not looking at her as she scowled at him.

“Come on, please! At least give me a hint! Have I known him long?”

“For a couple of years. He actually started liking you right after you met him, but he’s been too much of a chicken to do anything about it.’

Kristen racked her brains, trying to figure it out. It couldn’t be Peter, not after the dating fiasco in first year. Remus perhaps…no, she could tell that she was just another part of the group to him. “Who Sirius? Please tell me!”

“No,” He held firm, smiling at her persistence.

Kristen sighed, realizing his hard headedness. “At least tell me why you’re so sure this is the guy meant for me.”

“For one, the other maurders and I could finally relax. I think this guy could protect you; he kind of gets what you have to go through. And I think he’d balance you out. And he likes you, a lot, which is always a plus, I’m sure. He’d never do anything to hurt you. From the way he talks, sometimes I think he might even love you.”

Kristen looked so wistful as Sirius described him to her. “Please Sirius,” she begged quietly. “Maybe I love him too.”

“You don’t. You barely even know who he is,” he assured her, feeling bad for even bring it up.

“Then how can he love me if I barely know him?”

“He loves from afar.” Sirius told her with a shrug of his shoulders.

She was silent, obviously still trying to think about who it was. “You said you would never turn down a dare Sirius. Well I dare you to reveal this boy’s name.”

He laughed a bit. “That’s not fair at all. I won’t give up his secret for a game of dare.” She huffed and crossed her arms angrily. “Oh come on Krissie, you can’t be mad at me.” She continued to glare across the room and refused to look at him. “I wouldn’t give up one of your secrets, so I cant give up one of his.”

She glared a moment longer, and the finally cracked. She turned to him, only inches away as they sat together in that ballroom that had brought them together so many years earlier. He was starting to feel uncomfortable, she was very close. He wanted nothing more than to kiss her at that moment, but that would raise certain…inquiries that he wasn’t too eager to deal with. He had to pull away, he just had to. Okay, maybe one more second of being this close to her wouldn’t get him in trouble, it would be okay.

How wrong he was.

He wasn’t sure who started, he was almost positive it was him though, but the fireworks were back. There was such warmth over him as they kissed, and ever fiber of his being wanted nothing more than to grab her hand, to make this last forever. But she pulled away, looking terror stricken. “Oh Sirius,” she sighed, putting her head firmly against the wall. “What did we just do?”

Sirius was trying to figure that out. He couldn’t believe he’d allowed that to happen. Sure, it had been bad before, but it was even worse now. Now, when James had her, when this time it meant betraying his very best friend. “I’m so sorry,” he sputtered, standing up quickly to make a run for it. “That was all my fault. I’m sorry. I…I just wondered if there was still nothing there.” With that he bolted. He got very lucky that his loud, sprinting footsteps didn’t alert any teachers. He burst through the portrait hole and then up to his dormitory, slamming the door behind him before breathing a deep sigh of relief.

“Look Sirius, I can’t stop you form sneaking out and risking every house point we have but when you come back in would you at least be quiet about it?” Remus asked irritably, the only one to have been awoken by his abrupt entrance.

“I basically told her I was in love with her, Remus! I kissed her! I kissed my best friends bloody girlfriend!” Sirius whispered harshly to him, sweat running down his face. “I don’t know why I did it, I just did. Merlin I can’t believe I let him ask her! What was I thinking Remus? This is torture!”

“You kissed her?” Remus asked in shock, still hung up on that piece of information.

“We were in the room of requirement just talking and then we were really close and, well you know what happened! Merlin, I am an idiot!”

“What are we up to, four now? And you really think she doesn’t like you back?”

“Well as she’s dating James, obviously not!”

Remus rolled his eyes at him. “You have a girlfriend and still like her. You can have a distraction.”

“Look, she doesn’t, so drop it. She looked horrified afterwards. Not something she would look like if she had enjoyed herself.”

“She just kissed you Sirius, while planning on going to the dance with James. Of course she was scared!”

“Whatever,” Sirius said moodily, throwing on pajamas before crawling into bed. Remus just sighed and lay back down as well, wondering just what would happen next.

Chapter 35: Tension
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Oh, and a note to my readers. If any of you would like chapter pictures such as the one seen above, feel free to ask. I'm pretty new at this whole photoshop thing and relish any practice I can get! Just e-mail me at MrsBloom1991@hotmail.com. Now, enjoy!
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Running was extremely tense the next morning. James was babbling happily to Kristen, who just watched Sirius, who just watched James, feeling like the worst friend in the world. Breakfast was even worse. They tried not to sit next to one another, but the accustomed seating chart was so fixed in everyone’s mind that Kristen ended up sitting between James and Sirius. She kept trying to say something to Sirius but he would either look away, or James would try and capture her attention. ‘Well fine!’ she though determinedly, turning her body away from him. ‘If he doesn’t want to be mature about it, well fine!’ Remus watched with mixed emotions of pity at their predicament, and disgust at the way they were dealing with it. Honestly, they could be such children some times.

Lily was simply in shock. James had yet to ask her to the dance, and now he was holding Kristen’s hand as she blushed furiously. “What is going on?” she quietly asked Remus, noticing the tension.

“Kristen and Sirius are being idiots, nothing new.” Remus told her simply. He then turned to her, noticing her continued look of confusion. “And James is going with Kristen to the dance. Were you not here for that?”

“I don’t think I realized how serious he was about it.” Lily murmured. What was that, disappointment? Was she upset that she wasn’t the one receiving his attention. “Well good, I can have a peaceful day for once.” The look had gone, and she was back to her happy self.

Remus quickly looked from Kristen, to James, to Sirius, and then back to Lily. He knew what he had to do, but it would be dangerous, very dangerous. “You want to go to the dance with me? I promise to not make you hang out with Sirius or James.”

She looked at him for a moment. “Are you kidding me?”

Though Remus did not have much experience with girls, he was fairly certain that wasn’t a good thing to hear when asking one out. “No, I was actually quite serious.”

“Oh well then, yes. Yes, I think I might enjoy that.”

Though Remus had been hoping for that answer, he hardly expected it. Now, all he had to do was make James jealous enough to realize that it was Lily he liked, not Kristen, and the Sirius could go back to annoying the crap out of her. “Guess it’s a date then.”

“Bloody hell, has cupid hit our group or something? Next thing you know Pete’s going to be proposing to me!” Sirius declared dramatically, already in a foul mood.

“Shut up Sirius,” Kristen suddenly snapped at him.

“Why don’t you shut up St.Claire!” He yelled right back.

“Oh so we’re back to surnames Black? Fine, be a prat!”

“Be an ice queen, see if I care!”

Kristen let out a frustrated huff and stormed from the table, taking her bag with her. “What was that all about?” James asked him timidly.

“It’s none of your business so stay out of it!” Sirius bellowed at him before leaving as well, his face bright red with anger.

“Merlin, what did I say now?” James sighed, feeling as if he was always the target of people’s yelling.

“You’re such an idiot!” Remus rolled his eyes, earning a slight laugh from Lily. All in all, it hadn’t taken her that long to pick up on what was going on.

“Okay, is it ‘be mean to James day’? That’s what it feels like!”

“I think it’s ‘be mean to Potter year’,” Lily told him, smiling sarcastically.

“Okay, you guys do know that I don’t want to marry Sirius. That would be really weird.”

“Yes Peter,” James and Remus sighed together.

“Well, are you sure? I don’t want you to…”

“If you keep blubbering on anymore I really am going to think you want to propose to dear old Sirius,” James snapped at him bitterly, his voice sounding venomous when he said his best friends name.

“Oh dear,” Remus sighed, knowing that look all to well. He was already dreading going back to his dorm that night.
* * *
There was a birthday tonight. The people in the ballroom were all laughing as they bowed to a little boy in honor of his special day. Kristen had never realized before now that these people had lives, that they seemed to have their own thoughts and feelings. It was so beautiful, to see these people that were so unaware of the tragedy that enveloped her world daily, of the threat that you might wake up tomorrow to see a Dark Mark over you best friend’s home. The little boy, faintly familiar to Kristen, was beaming from ear to ear. It was beautiful.

“You know, I really hate you!”

Kristen whisked around, not expecting to see him. It was her night, she wanted to be alone. “Go away Black, I’m not in the mood to be kissed by you again, especially behind my friend’s back.”

“Look, I told you I was sorry. I wasn’t thinking.”

“Well I think that is pretty obvious! Honestly Sirius, how could you?”

“Don’t turn this solely on me! You were willing, don’t deny it!”

“That’s the biggest load of malarkey I’ve ever heard Black! I’m happy with James!”

“Happy? You’ve been with him for two days!”

“They’ve been a good two days!”

“And that’s why you were in here last night, questioning if you had done the right thing?”

Kristen was silent for a moment, not really knowing what to tell him. “So what Sirius, you want me to break up with him? That’s what it seems like.”

“No.” Sirius had to answer. If he was truthful, she would find out, and he could not have that. She thought things were awkward now, they would be even worse of she ever found out. “I just…I just don’t know what you want me to say. I’ve tried apologizing to you but that isn’t enough apparently!”

“Oh course it’s not! That’s not something you can just apologize for!”

“Don’t think I’ll grovel St.Claire!”

“I don’t want you to grovel! Tell me why you did it, that’s all I want!”

Sirius stopped. It might be better if they just kept yelling at each other, definitely safer. “Curiosity.”

“That’s what you say every time.” She groaned. “Why have you kissed me four times Sirius?” Her face was flushed with anger.

“I don’t know!” He yelled at her. “You just happen to be really close, and I’m in a good mood, and I’m a guy! Sorry!” He shouted, deciding that the ballroom wasn’t worth it that night and leaving her to stare angrily at him.

Kristen screamed in frustration at his total idiocy. She wanted to kill him! She wanted to kiss him while he was dating on of their mutual best friends and tell him it was ‘curiosity’, and see what he had to say to that! But that would probably lead to some things that right now she was more than happy to avoid.
* * *
It was finally there, they day Kristen had counted down the seconds to. It was Halloween.

Girls were in frenzy. As soon as classes were done, all the girls rushed to their dormitory, preparing for the dance. Boys, well, they just kind of lounged. When seven o’clock arrived, marking one hour to the dance, they decided that maybe it was time they should get moving, and went up to their rooms as well.

Though Kristen was extremely excited, she couldn’t help but be a bit nervous. So far, Halloweens at this school hadn’t ended too well for her. But she knew this one would be different, she could feel it. She pulled on her shimmering gray dress (courtesy ‘Glad rags mail-order, as she hadn’t exactly had the chance to go dress shopping during the summer), and delicately put on her makeup, chattering with Lily the whole time. She was still a little mystified as to why Remus had asked Lily; she’d never seen anything there before. But she didn’t question it, now they would have a triple date! Peter and some little Slytherin they had decided to give a chance, Remus and Lily, and then her and James. As for Sirius and whatever girl he was snogging now, he could just go cry in a corner for all she cared.

It was finally time. Lily and Kristen giggled as they rushed down the stairs. Only James and Remus were there of the group, Peter and Sirius off to meet their dates. Kristen felt that odd feeling in her stomach, the one that had been growing in the days leading to Halloween. It was…different from what she expected. It was unease, not the butterflies she so desperately wanted to feel when looking at him. She brushed it aside, gave him a quick peck on the cheek after the necessary compliments, and began to drag him to the dance.

It felt like a milestone when she actually got through the door, so far, it was better than last year. She quickly spotted Sirius, hardly believing her eyes when she saw that he had actually gotten that sixth year girl, Celestria. Well, she must have very slow standards if she was going for Sirius. Obviously, she wasn’t as cool as Kristen originally thought.

“Want to dance?” James asked, dragging her out to the dance floor before she could answer. She just laughed and led him through the steps, glad that when he stepped on her toes he was at least quick to get off. She was having a great time, yet something kept nagging at the back of her mind. Once again, she ignored it, and kept her joyous smile on her face. Finally, they returned to their friends, laughing, exhausted, and happy.

“Hey mate,” James greeted Sirius, Remus, and Peter upon their arrival. Kristen instantly stiffened at the sight of him. The girl, she didn’t really deserve a name, giggled as Sirius held her hand and winked at her.

“Oh Kristen, have you seen Mary-Jane? She’s with that boy from Hufflepuff I was telling you about,” Lily intervened quickly, knowing that trouble was quickly brewing and wanting to get her away. Kristen hardly paid attention to her though, her hard eyes fixed on Sirius.

“So James, how’s your night been? I can’t imagine it’s been as enjoyable as mine,” Sirius asked him a cool arm around his date. How he managed it with her being about half a foot taller than him, not many were sure, but somehow, he still looked amazing.

“Oh it’s been good, we’ve had a lot of fun. Right, Krissie?” James asked her. It took her a moment to realize he’d addressed her, as she staring at Sirius with loathing.

“What? Oh yes, a lovely time.” She grabbed onto James’s arm and put her head on his shoulder lovingly.

“Really? Well James, I’m proud of you. Managing to have a nice time with St.Claire, it’s not easily done.”

“No, I think the person we should be proud of is dear Celestria. Why, I can’t imagine having to deal with your random snogging sessions when a bout of ‘curiosity’ over takes you!” She replied sweetly to him, cutting off James response completely.

“No, no, poor James. Imagine, going to a dance with a prude!”

“Imagine going to a dance with a self absorbed prat!”

“Ice queen!”

“Jerk!”

“Hey, hey, hey, stop!” James yelled, standing between them as they fumed and attempted to keep yelling at each other. “What is with you two lately?”

“Nothing,” Sirius huffed, taking Celestria’s hand and leading her back out to the dance floor. Kristen stared after him with cold eyes, her mouth set in a scowl.

“Let’s go,” Kristen said darkly, dragging James back onto the dance floor. She was determined to show him up. So he was dancing with Celestria, winking and smiling at her. Well, she could do that too! She put her arms around James’s neck as a slow song came on. She’s never gotten to do this, Jason was only a fast dance kind of guy and Voldermort didn’t seem keen on letting her dance at all. Now, here, with James, it was everything she had imagined it would be…slightly awkward, but breath taking nonetheless. And then it came. Everyone was together, swaying and moving as the song echoed throughout the hall, and the James looked at her. That moment, their eyes locked, and they knew it was time to step forward, to make this thing between them real. He slowly bent down to her, and brushed his lips against hers.

And she laughed.

She couldn’t help it. Here she was with James, the very same James she had pictures of diapers in, kissing him as if she liked him in ‘that way’! Who was she kidding? “Oh Merlin, James! I’m so incredibly sorry!” Yet she was still laughing, giggling like mad of this euphoric realization.

And he was laughing too. He hugged her and twirled her around as they laughed in joy. “Krissie, no offense, but that was absolutely the least chemistry I have ever felt!”

“Me too!” Kristen smiled, so happy that it was finally over. Never again would she have to question, or wonder just what might have happened.

“You know what this makes me really want to do?” James asked her. Without waiting for a response he turned to wear Remus and Lily were dancing, grabbed Lily and kissed her. She was quick to slap him away, looking absolutely furious as she stalked away.

“You know, I really should be mad, but I find that I’m not in the least!” Remus smiled at them.

“Oh, it’s pay back time,” Kristen the declared maliciously, spotting Sirius once more. She knew this giddiness was bad for her, dangerous even; it often made her do very irrational things. Such as now when she waltzed right over to Sirius and jerked him away from his date by the collar and kissed him with all the passion she felt she had missed out on from James. When she broke away she simply got on her tiptoes and whispered, “Curiosity killed the cat Sirius,” and left him once again.

He stared, completely dumbstruck. He was vaguely aware of Celestria’s yelling, but he didn’t really pay attention. He just wanted answers, and he wanted them now. “What the bloody hell was that?” He yelled at her after he spotted her by the table the marauders had claimed.

She turned around from talking to the still red faced and fuming Lily. “Payback.” Kristen shrugged, her grin still plastered to her face.

“How on earth was that payback?”

Before she could answer, the doors of the great hall were thrown open, crashing against the stone walls. In the door way stood faint, glistening people in ball gowns. Kristen sighed, knowing that she should have guessed that Halloween couldn’t end without some excitement.

Chapter 36: Again...
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Everyone stopped what they were doing as they watched these people barricade the door. No one seemed to know what they were. They seemed more tangible than ghosts, yet nowhere near human consistency.

“I’m thinking we should probably get out of here,” Kristen mumbled, already looking for an escape route, but Sirius grabbed her before she was able to.

“I thought those people were from your imagination Kristen, what are they doing here?”

“I don’t know,” she whispered frantically, her breathing coming shortly as they began to move further into the room.

“You know them?” Remus hissed, looking frightened as well.

“Sort of,” Sirius told him quickly, looking only at Kristen. “Why are they here? How can they even come out of the room?”

“I don’t know Sirius,” she moaned, really wishing he would let go of her arm so that she could run. They were getting closer; people were giving them a large berth, allowing them easy access to her. It wasn’t until they were getting close that they began chanting.

“Protect the girl, protect the heir. Protect the girl, protect the heir.” Their voices were hollow, so unlike what she had heard when they had the birthday party a few days prior. They had always been her source of comfort and safety, and now she wanted nothing more than to get away from them. But Sirius held onto her protectively, not letting her run away.

“Leave, you’re job is done.”

The ballroom people turned their heads in a fluid motion to the great headmaster. “She is safe. You’re job is done.” He told them firmly, standing between the large group of people and the rest of his students.

“Protect the girl, protect the heir,” they murmured, almost as if they were confused. One thing was apparent though; they were not ready to leave.

“Everyone, back to your dormitories this moment. No one is to leave until further notice,” He announced loudly. Even though there were several disappointed students, no one objected. They all wanted out of there as fast as possible, especially Kristen. As she tried to pass the people with her head bowed, something caught her eye. It was the little boy, the one that had just had a birthday. He looked so familiar, she knew him, from some where besides the room.

And then it clicked; he was the boy she killed. The one whose death she’d seen over and over again in her mind. Sampson, that was his name: little Sampson, who had cried and screamed as he begged her not to kill him or his little teddy bear. She remembered the feeling of laughter at the boy’s pathetic attempts before she killed him, easy as that. Sirius kept trying to pull her away, but she stood rooted to the spot, transfixed at this boy. Without knowing what she was doing, she walked closer to him. He simply looked up and said, “Protect the girl, protect the heir.”

“I’m safe,” she whispered to him. “They’re protecting me.” She motioned to her friends who were refusing to leave without her.

At her words the boy smiled. He began to look wispy and transparent, as did the others. Soon a breath of wind swept through the great hall, and remnants of these people disappeared.

Kristen suddenly felt a hand on her shoulder. It was Dumbledore. “Go up to my office. The password is Bertie Botts. Don’t stop for anyone, get there as quickly as possible.” He looked nervous, and Kristen felt her throat become very tight.

“Yes sir,” she responded quietly, rushing past her friends upon the familiar route to his office. She didn’t know what was going on and, in all honesty, she didn’t want to be with her friends. Alone, that was best.

She passed several people on her way there. They looked and pointed. She wasn’t sure if they knew those people were there for her, but she guessed there would at least be rumors. ‘Bertie Botts,” she said breathlessly when she reached his office. The gargoyles sprung apart and the spiral staircase began to go up, Kristen in tow.

She collapsed into the armchair as soon as she could. Her face was pale and her eyes glistened threateningly. She hated this! Why did those people have to come for her? Why not for Sirius, or Jason, or Gwen?

“You looked troubled dear,” she heard the hat say from atop a shelf. “Why has Albus sent you here?”

She’d never had a conversation with the hat, save from her sorting. “You know, I have no idea. Probably has to do with the people from the ballroom that I used to think were just a part of my imagination storming the dance.”

“Ah,” The hat said slowly, obviously finding her tale very strange. After that he refrained from speaking to her, making her feel more cut off than ever.

Kristen watched as the portraits flitted to and fro, whispering to each other as they stole glances at her. She walked under the only one she knew, desperate for the company of anyone.

“Headmaster Black,” she called meekly, trying to gain the attention of the prominent man. He looked at her with a start, as if he hadn’t even noticed she had been in the room. “Please sir, I…I just want your company.”

“Well if it isn’t little Miss St.Claire. What are you doing in here so late, and on Halloween no less?” He asked her cheerily.

Kristen sighed, knowing he had heard her explanation to the hat. But, for time’s sake, she simply repeated it for him, though in a much less harsher way than she had to the sorting hat. “Well, you never do stop being weird, do you?”

Kristen didn’t quite no what to say about that assessment of the situation. “You know, I think I understand why my great-grandson is so taken with you. When you’re around, there never seems to be an end to the fun! Oh yes, Sirius does have a penchant for dangerous and exciting things, and you obviously top the list.”

“You’re as bad as Remus, James, and Pete!” Kristen huffed at him as the old man chortled, despite her predicament. “Look, I need your help! Dumbledore must have spoken to someone in here about why I have to go through all those meetings and why I’m so ‘weird’ as you put it.”

“Never. But even if he had, I couldn’t tell you. Us portraits are bound to secrecy, bit of a nasty bargain if you ask me.”

A snooty looking woman suddenly perked up. “You didn’t think like that when you-”

“Ah, ah, ah Mildred!” He shushed her quickly, looking flushed. “We agreed to never speak of that!”

Kristen rolled her eyes, realizing that as much as she liked to talk, she didn’t really want to talk to him. If all he was going to do was tease her about Sirius and avoid giving her answers, then there really was no point in it.

She went over to the window at the back of his office. The stars were twinkling merrily, though the show below them hardly reflected their joy. Though Hogsmeade was a good half an hour walk away she could see the spells flying as their light lit up the town. There was a battle going on, and she would bet anything that Voldermort was there, and that was why she had been sent up. She thought she could even hear his voice; perhaps even make him out in the town that seemed to be so close. He was there; close enough for her to touch…

“How are you feeling Miss St.Claire, any headaches?” Madame Pomfrey swooped in, surprising Kristen horribly.

“Um no, just a little nauseous,” Kristen told her truthfully, eyeing her wearily. Her sudden jolt back to the confines of Dumbledore’s office was unnerving, and left her feeling completely disconnected from herself and everything around her.

“Oh, well the headmaster told me to check in on you, said you might have an ailment.” She shuffled over to her and put a hand against her forehead.

Kristen didn’t complain, knowing it’d be harder to get answers if she put up a fight. “The headmaster? Have you seen him?”

The healer hesitated for a moment before answering. “Yes, he came by to tell me to tend to you.”

“What’s going on in Hogsmeade? Why did he send me here? When’s he going to let me go back to my friends?” She asked in quick succession, moving irritably as Madame Pomfrey checked her blood pressure.

“Dear, your guess is as good as mine.” She answered. She then stepped back, appearing to be done with her check up.

“You have to know something!” Kristen reckoned, looking at her with pleading eyes.

Madame Pomfrey shiftily looked at the door and then came very close to her and whispered, “You-know-who is attempting to seize Hogsmeade and is very close in succeeding.”

“The Dark Lord is approaching?” One of the portraits who somehow overheard yelled in horror. Suddenly, there was uproar in the headmaster’s office as the previous heads flitted from one frame to the next.

“Oh Merlin,” the young woman sighed, realizing her error. “Stay here Kristen. Professor Dumbledore did at least tell me that he would be up soon as possible.” She then departed in a hurry, leaving Kristen alone once more.

She strolled back over to the window, curious to see what had happened since she had last been there. All was quiet and dark, just as the night should be. There was still unease floating across the grounds though, as if the silence was unnatural. The stars didn’t seem so joyous anymore; perhaps they had realized that their demeanor was startlingly out of place.

Quickly, the stars and silence became the farthest thought from her mind. Kristen shut her eyes tightly, pain searing through her skull. Without thinking, she put up her barriers and sat on the ground against the wall. She had to keep him out! She didn’t want to go through it again. No matter how wonderful the sensation was after he possessed her mind, let him have control; she couldn’t let him in! The pain of getting away outweighed the bliss of succumbing.

Soon her hands were wet with tears as her head pounded away. Her ears were filled with the sound of screams and people begging for mercy. She wanted it to stop, she begged with Voldermort to get out, but he simply laughed. He showed her how he was torturing Dumbledore, his blood pooling around his shaking form. Kristen felt that she was the one being tortured as she was forced to watch, for no matter how tight her eyes closed, the image refused to disappear. Dumbledore was dead, now there was absolutely nothing standing in the way of her and Voldermort. She didn’t know if she should try and hide, and she really didn’t think it would do much good.

There were hands on her shoulders and she thrashed against them, knowing it was Voldermort. He’d come to finish her off; it was payback time for that fateful day in Hogsmeade. “Kristen! Kristen, look at me, it’s alright!”

Her eyes snapped open to see Dumbledore. She threw her arms over his neck, so utterly thankful that he was alive as she sobbed uncontrollably. “Get him out!” Kristen begged him, her head still pounding furiously as she continued to be fed images of the destruction in Hogsmeade. “Please Dumbledore! Help me!”

“Shh, Kristen. Just sleep. It will end, I promise you.”

She wanted to yell at him even if she was euphoric that he was alive. Sleep? He wanted her to sleep? Voldermort was in her mind and he wanted her to sleep? And yet, as the images of burning buildings and lifeless bodies swirled inside her head, she was already beginning to lose conscience. Slowly, every so slowly, she fell into and uneasy slumber, Voldermort’s cackle ringing in her ears.

                                                                             *   *   *
Okay, just a heads up. If you do have guesses as to the major picture, or what you might think the clues mean or don't mean, I ask that you don't write them in the reviews. Tell me that you've figured it out, scream about it, dangle it in front of their faces, but feel free to ask me by e-mail at MrsBloom1991@hotmail.com I'm thinking you guys are probably getting some good ideas by now, and I can't wait to hear them!

Chapter 37: Confessions
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                                 confessions.gif


She didn’t know where she was when she woke up, and for half a second she was sure it was Voldermort’s lair. And then she saw Sirius, smiling at her as he held a bagel in one hand, and a glass of pumpkin juice in the other. “Here you are,” he said, handing them to her. She numbly took them, still not really processing what was happening. She noticed the whiteness of the room however, and so was able to conjecture that she was in the hospital wing. “How are you feeling?”

“Like someone took a hammer to my head,” she answered truthfully, still not really sure off herself. “Where is everyone?”

“Um, Lily is doing homework in the library, Peter’s sleeping, Remus is getting ready for the full moon tonight, and James is at practice.” He rattled off, counting on his fingers to make sure he hadn’t forgotten one.

“Practice? Why aren’t you there then?”

“Captain wouldn’t let me. She said, screeched really, ‘Mon Dieu! Qest-ce que elle pense? Je vais tuer cet fille! As-tu! Tu as et hurles a elle!’ So then I came running here to make sure you don’t miss the match this Saturday.”

Kristen stared at him, open-mouthed. “Since when did you speak French?”

“My grandmum was French. I spent about three months at her house every year until she died when I was ten,” He told her with a shrug of his shoulders. “Anyways, Jolie didn’t seem to happy about you being in there when we have a game in a week. So I’m supposed to yell at you.” He smiled lightly at her and sat down in the seat near her bed. “Though, as I kind of doubt you have a choice of whether to be here or not, and that Pomfrey would kick me out, I think I’ll refrain from the yelling.”

“Thanks,” Kristen said quietly, taking a long drink of the pumpkin juice to sooth her parched throat. She could see that Sirius kept shooting questioning glances at her, obviously wanting answers.

“You know, there was an attack on Hogsmeade last night.”

“Yeah, I know,” she responded; still not giving him the answers he wanted.

“People are saying Voldermort almost managed to get the whole village.”

“Mmhm,” Kristen agreed, taking a bite out of the bagel now as her stomach growled.

Sirius sighed, realizing her was going to have to just flat out ask her. “Did Voldermort try and capture you last night? Is that why you had to go to Dumbledore’s office?”

Before he could get the answer that he so desperately craved, Dumbledore entered the ward, making Kristen to flustered to tell him anything. “Ah, Mr. Black, how are you this morning?”

“As well as one can be while wondering what the Hell is going on,” He answered him a little roughly, still not trusting the man that he felt had told him so many lies.

“I’m sorry you feel this way. I do believe though that Professor McGonagall told her house what was happening last night.”

“Yeah but I still had no idea where my best friend was or what might happen to her considering the fact that Voldermort was this close.” Sirius snapped back.

“Miss St.Claire was in my office in case, in a highly unlikely event, Voldermort was able to get in the castle to find her. He would have absolutely no way of getting into my office without my phoenix notifying me, ensuring that I was there in time to stop him.” Dumbledore replied calmly.

“So he was trying to capture me?” Kristen asked breathlessly, her eyes wide in fright. “You did get him out, right Dumbledore? You did get him out of my mind? He could still be in there!”

“Calm down dear, yes, he is out, though I had nothing to do with it. You broke the connection on your own, shortly after I arrived.”

“No, I could still see everything from Hogsmeade when you got there and until I fell asleep.” She knew she wasn’t responsible for getting rid of him, not when she had been crying like that and in hysterics.

“That would be because in your effort to get him out as quickly as possible, you forced yourself into my mind. You were seeing my images of Hogsmeade, not his.” He smiled gently at her, as if trying to say this was perfectly normal. “I believe you should be able to leave in a few hours, once Madame Pomfrey is satisfied that you’re in perfect heath. I do have a question to ask you though, before I leave.” He then looked at Sirius meaningfully, clearly asking some for some privacy.

“Where are you going Sirius,” Kristen asked innocently when he made to stand up.

“I think Mr. Black understands the seriousness of our situation and though it best to leave or conversation private.” Dumbledore answered her calmly.

“Why though? I’m going to tell him what you said anyways,” Kristen told him. Sirius couldn’t help but laugh quietly at that. Kristen hardly ever told them anything. He wouldn’t complain though, he knew it would be nice to not be in the dark any longer.

“Do you believe that wise Miss St.Claire?”

“Yes. Last time I didn’t tell anyone what was going on I did this,” She said, pulling back the sleeve of her shirt to show him the seven marks of her first year. “I don’t need anymore scars.”

Dumbledore sighed heavily, obviously disapproving of her defiantness. “Very well Mr. Black, you may sit.” Sirius grinned and plopped himself back down. “Now, those people last night, did you know them?”

“Well, I realized that I’ve killed at least one of them. But for the others, I just know them from the room where you get things that you want. They’re there sometimes when I feel lonely.” She rattled off to him, looking perfectly at ease where she would have used to taken much support to say even that little bit.

“I assume you mean the Room of Requirement. But I’ve never known it to create people, though I suppose company could be what a person most needs.” Dumbledore said thoughtfully. “Though I hardly would have thought it possible to venture outside the room.”

“Neither did we,” Kristen agreed. “I don’t know why they felt such an urge to protect me though, or what it had to do with me being an heir, I guess they just know Voldermort is out to get me too. Speaking of, I think I’m ready to know why now.” She looked considerably impatient with him. She had given him answers, and now she wanted hers.

“I can’t Kristen, not now.” He told her sympathetically. “I know it’s frustrating, but you must trust me.”

Kristen didn’t even reply, but crossed her arms haughtily and refused to look at him. “Kristen, enjoy your innocence. Believe me, you will understand why I have waited when the time comes.” And then he left, leaving her and Sirius feeling completely unfulfilled.

“Wow, you have to go through that every week?” Sirius asked her in sympathy, to which she just nodded. She was prepared to go back to sleep, as the talk at put her in a very foul mood and she wanted to just sleep it off, when the door swung open, admitting a very angry looking captain.

“Est-que tu heureuse, maitnant? Q’est que tu malade? Parle-tu!” Jolie shouted at her, her team following behind and looking uneasy.

“Miss Renoir, that us quite enough! Out! Out immediately!” Madame Pomfrey screeched, called to the scene by her yelling.

“You do not understand Madame! This girl landed herself in the hospital wing with the game in a week! A week I tell you, and against Slytherin no less!”

“I didn’t have a choice! Dumbledore brought me here!” Kristen tried desperately to defend herself.

“Dumbledore?” Jolie asked quietly, surprising her team. Most didn’t even know that she could speak without yelling. “So those people were there for you. I heard the rumors, but I didn’t believe them.”

The room was deathly silent. Even Madame Pomfrey had quit her fretting, anticipating Kristen’s answer.

“No,” Sirius answered for her. “That would be stupid. Those things were some of Peeves’ cohorts who thought it’d be fun to give us all a good scare. The only reason Dumbledore had anything to do with Kristen last night was because she snuck out of the dorm and made a run for it when she head him coming. Then she tripped over a statue and knocked herself out so he brought her here until she regained consciences.”

“You were sneaking around a week before a game? If McGonagall caught you, you would have been banned from the team! I can’t believe Dumbledore didn’t! One more shenanigan like that St.Claire and you’re off the team!” She declared. “You better be at practice on Monday!” And with that daunting message she left, the team following her with looks of sympathy, except James, who stayed right where he was. Madame Pomfrey looked like she was about to say something, perhaps she would point out that Kristen had never even been in her dorm last night, or maybe she was going to tell James and Sirius to leave with the rest. But instead, she smiled kindly at Kristen, realizing her need to keep her stay in Dumbledore’s office a secret and to speak with her friends. It was much like last year when Kristen had been brought to her ward at during he Halloween dance. Before she had allowed the others to come in she had been tossing and turning, yelling in her sleep. Madame Pomfrey had been afraid she might attack one of them on accident. But as soon as those children burst loudly and defiantly through the door, Kristen had quieted, and fell into an easy sleep. So, just this once, she would allow the two boys to stay.

James watched Madame Pomfrey as she left; making sure the door was closed before speaking. “Sirius, we need to talk.” He said coolly, looking awfully forbidding.

Kristen raised an eyebrow at her friend. She had expected James to be asking her the questions, surely he knew that story Sirius told was completely false, she had no idea how he had thought of it so quickly. She looked to Sirius to see that his face had gone very pale indeed. He slowly got up and followed James out the door, Kristen leaning very far over the end of her bed as she tried to watch the scene. To her utter dismay James shut the door, blocking her from what was sure to be and interesting conversation.

“I heard you snogged my girlfriend,” James began heatedly, staring Sirius down.

Sirius had not truly appreciated his friend’s three inches over him until now. “I didn’t snog her, per say, chaste kiss really.” He mumbled, completely loosing his nerve when he knew he was in the wrong.

“Not only did you do it behind my back in the dead of night though, you did it in front of the whole bloody school last night, making me look like a fool!”

Sirius stopped his crying of fear on the inside to look at James in question until it hit him that he was talking about he kiss where Kristen had grabbed the front of his robes and forced his head down. “You can not blame for that one mate, that was all her, I swear it!”

“Don’t kid with me! You’ve had the hots for her since you two met!”

“Have not!”

“Then why do you continually kiss her?”

“Because she’s pretty!”

“Well so is Lily, but you don’t go around snogging her at random moments!”

“Well Lily is your girl, I couldn’t do that!”

“Kristen is my girl now!”

“Well she was mine first!”

Sirius clapped a hand over his mouth as James smiled widely. “I knew it! I knew it!” James shouted triumphantly.

“I did not just say that.” Sirius whispered to himself, looking horrified. He couldn’t believe he had just taken Kristen St.Claire of the ‘potential girls for the male marauders to date’ list. By saying she was his, he had fessed up to the thing he had been trying hardest to hide.

“I told Remus I could get you to admit it! I told him and he didn’t believe me! He gave me some cock and bull story about you just liking her for a few days and I totally new hew was lying to cover for you but when you didn’t make any move to ask her to the dance I did because, like you said, she’s pretty, and I like pretty girls, and it’s Kristen which just makes it better.” He took a deep breath here and then continued. “You kept being mean to me though and then you and Krissie started up that weird ‘oh we’re both tortured souls’ connection thing again and I really knew it was only a matter of time before you kissed her again because you really seem to like doing that. I hoped you wouldn’t though because technically you had given me permission just like Remus and Peter and technically that was completely breaking the Marauder code of conduct but Remus spilled to me last night and not to mention that you became mortal enemies for a little while and then I heard Celestria’s rampage after you left from breakfast this morning.”

Sirius stared at him with concern as he managed the get that who’d thing out in two breaths. “So now, Remus owes me five sickles!” James said happily as Sirius continued to look at him with an expression mixed with bewilderment and continued fear.

“That’s it?” Sirius asked cautiously as James continued to look joyous. “You’re not going to punch me or defend her virtue or any of that?”

“Like Kristen would let me hurt a pretty little hair on your head, and, in all honesty, I’m really afraid of what she might do to me. So fine, you get the girl Sirius! Like always, just steal her away!” James proclaimed dramatically. He began to walk jauntily away to put up his quidditch gear when he turned and said, “Oh, and Kristen laughed when I tried to kiss her last night, so I kind of think we’re over.” He added as an after thought before continuing onto the locker rooms.

Sirius breathed heavily at the predicament he had gotten himself into. Now they all knew, well, not Pete, but he was sure he would find out soon. He’d managed to hide it from everyone, even himself for a while, until now. In a month, he managed to blab his most horrific secret to two of the people he’d least want to know. Not to mention he’d nearly told her, a very sour mistake indeed. He knew it was only a matter of time before she started badgering him about her ‘secret admirer’ again. He was afraid she would find out soon, and he desperately needed to get her off his tale, the question though, was how? 



A/N: Okay, so not my favorite chapter, just the last part, and the french scenes. Speaking of, the first one translates as "My god! What is she thinking? I'm going to kill that girl! Go! Go and yell at her!" and the second says, "Are you happy, now? Why are you sick? Talk!"

Chapter 38: Sunshine
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                                        sunshine

Thursday night saw Kristen sitting once again in the headmaster’s office, though this time she was not alone. Albus Dumbledore watched pensively from behind his desk as she walked in, looking drained and off colored, as if she had only recently gotten over a very nasty bout of dragon pox.

“Good evening Miss St.Claire.”

She half-heartedly nodded her head at him, looking as if that act alone took all her strength. “A trying quidditch practice, I presume.” Once again she glumly nodded her head, not meeting his eyes. He sensed that was not the only thing causing her hair to be in disarray and dark circles line her eyes. “Or perhaps nightmares, are more to blame that Miss Renoir’s training.”

“I haven’t slept in three days,” she croaked, still not looking up.

Dumbledore looked at her in surprise. “Why is that?”

“Well, the first few days after I was in the hospital wing, and got at least four or five hours, usually very broken up. But these past three I just haven’t been able to force myself to bed. It’s…It’s become torture to sleep. I tried to get Pomfrey to give me something but she started screeching that I’d become yet another teenager hooked on potions and she wouldn’t have that on her watch.”

“Well, I can easily arrange for you to have dreamless sleeps, I’ll talk to Madame Pomfrey at once. But, you’re nightmares, what do they consist of?”

“The usual,” She replied, her voice painstakingly slow and quiet. “Voldermort killing you, Voldermort killing my friends, Voldermort killing me, oh, and then one where’s he’s my secret admirer that Sirius keeps talking about.”

“Those are to be expected, except the last one, I highly doubt he is your secret admirer. But Kristen, we must talk about Halloween night. Those people that appeared, I believe they are all victims of Voldermort’s wrath, not only the one you recognized. That would explain why they wanted to protect you from him, to get their revenge in a sense.”

“But why would I see them at all?”

“That is a more trying question, and I am still struggling to find you an answer. And as to what their words meant, that answer eludes me as well. I thought we would practice only a bit tonight on your Occulemency, as you proved to me on Halloween that you have nearly mastered it. But as your state hardly allows to off you go, I’ll send someone with your potion soon. I expect you to be alert for the game on Saturday. Merlin knows we all need a good quidditch match to get our minds off the troubles.”
* * *
The sun was what Kristen thought was waking her up the next morning in her comfortable four post bed in her dormitory. True, the light was seeping through her eyelids, but there were noises all around her that seemed more at fault than the sun.

“Morning Sunshine!” Sirius nearly yelled.

“Bloody Hell!” She exclaimed, her eyelids flying open as she pulled her blanket completely around her while James, Sirius, Peter, and Remus laughed. “How did you lot get up here? The last time I saw a boy try to come up here the stairs didn’t allow it.”

“That brilliant map, that’s how,” James said excitedly, showing it to her. She looked by the girls’ stairs and when James pointed his wand at it, the spell “Fillinins” appeared. “Truly, a marauders’ map.”

“Well, thank you, for the wonderful wake up call,” Kristen told them sarcastically, stretching her arms. She couldn’t believe how awake she felt. This was the first time in weeks that she was able to wake up and not revel in her tiredness. “Now, please leave so I can get ready for class.”

“Not much point in that,” Remus told her with a mischievous smile. “You’ve already missed the morning classes as it is. You might as well sleep the rest of the day.”

“What?” Kristen screeched, jumping out of bed and racing to her trunk, pulling out clothes hurriedly, “Damn it! McGonagall is going to kill me! We had double transfiguration! Why didn’t anyone wake me up?”

“Lily tried. She said you didn’t even budge and she had to leave you or she would have been late.” Peter explained, smiling like the rest of them.

“What if she kicks me off the team?” Kristen cried, exceedingly frustrated with them. “What if McGonagall fails me? What if I get held back a year?”

“That would suck,” Sirius said sympathetically.

“Suck? It would be torture! Can you imagine how much Gwen would make fun of me? And I wouldn’t get to do anything at all with you guys ever again!”

“Now, don’t say that Krissie. We’ll hang out on weekends! We’ll still be friends.” James attempted to console her.

“But I won’t be able to cheat off of Remus anymore!” Kristen cried indignantly.

“I’ll still help. I mean, if you’re a year behind, the work should be easy.”

“What are you boys doing in here?”

Everyone turned to see Lily, looking even angrier than usual.

“Why, I’m here to profess-”

“Shut up Potter,” Lily quickly stopped him, making James’s face fall. “Get out before I go get a prefect.”

“Oh, a prefect! I’m quaking Evans!” Sirius told her, obviously trying to get a rise.

“Fine, I’ll just get McGonagall then…”

“No!” The boys shouted in unison.

“Good, now leave!” Under her gaze the boys scampered out of the room. “Now, Kristen, how are you feeling?”

“Horrible! I’m about to get held back and get kicked off the team!”

“Why do you think that?” Lily asked curiously, somewhat shocked to see her friend flipping out like this.

“I just skipped the whole of the morning’s classes!”

“But didn’t they tell you?”

Kristen suddenly stopped the furious buttoning of her shirt. “Tell me what?” She asked slowly.

“Well, last night when one of the house elves brought you that medicine he handed a letter to the boys addressed to Professor McGonagall for them to hand in the next morning. I would have stopped them from opening it but I figured getting you that potion was more important at the moment. When I came back down though they were groaning about how you were ‘Dumbledore’s favorite’ and how he had excused you from classes today so you could sleep.”

Kristen stared at her, open mouthed. “They are all going to die,” Kristen said decisively, buttoning the last of her shirt and changing in to the rest of her uniform before starting down stairs.

“Think you’re funny do you? Let’s make Kristen so scared she’s going to get held back a year she nearly wets herself! Sounds like a great prank to me!” Kristen roared at them as they sat laughing in front of the fire.

“Calm down Krissie, it was only a joke,” Sirius told her easily.

“Only a joke? I’ve just had third worst week of my life and you four decide to play a joke on me?”

“The third? You actually rank all your bad weeks?”

“Okay, well, the week right before I got my memory back and the week Sirius found out I was pretty much going crazy are the top two. But that’s beside the point, I hate you all!”

“You don’t hate Sirius,” James teased her, trying to get her mind off of what they had done to her.

“Right now, I hate you all pretty much equally.”

“Notice how she does not specifically put down you’re accusation James,” Remus told him in all seriousness.

“I thought we were being mean to Kristen today, not me,” Sirius told them angrily. He had already been severely regretting admitting to them, put now he was actually considering a memory charm on the pair of jerks.

“We’re going to settle this once and for all. Sirius, do you like me, in that way?”

“Yes.”

The other three boys suddenly got very quiet as they watched Sirius and Kristen stare each other down. “You do not,” Kristen told him knowingly. “You’re just saying that to see what I would do.”

“No, I really do Kristen. I really like you,” Sirius told her from his seat on the couch, his face completely serious.

Kristen rolled her eyes at him and rounded on James. “So you even got Sirius to agree to that to make my day worse. Thanks, James!” With that she stormed back up to her room, to upset to speak anymore to them.

“Sorry mate,” Remus said quietly, noticing Sirius’s stoic face as she left.

“About what?” He laughed, swapping his serious face for one of amusement in seconds. “I told you she didn’t. It’s not like it came as a surprise!”

“Maybe next year though, right?” James tried to console him, though Sirius was hardly in the mood for it.

“Seriously, I’m fine guys. I’m going to go to the library and look something up, meet you in class,” He said quickly, grabbing his bag and heading out the portrait hole.

He knew he was being stupid. He knew he shouldn’t be disappointed by her reaction. Like he had told the others, he had expected it. It still wasn’t easy to take though, a flat out refusal like that; it wasn’t really something he was used to where girls were concerned.

Instead of heading to library, he sought out the owlery, as he wasn’t quite sure where the library was and didn’t want to waste what was left of break looking for it. Before entering, he scribbled a quick note and then put some coins in a pouch before calling down one of the school owls. “Sorry Midnight,” Sirius called to a particularly disgruntled looking owl. “She’d recognize you too easily.” With that said he sent the school owl on his way, watching it for a moment as he flew to Hogsmeade.
* * *
Voldermort sat fuming in his elegant armchair that resided in the Riddle House, thinking over his latest defeat. If that stupid girl hadn’t fought back so hard, he knew he could have defeated Dumbledore. He had had him cornered, the fighting around them had stopped and the village was silent as he stared at the man that had caused him so much grief.

“Why are you taking over Hogsmeade Tom? What do you propose to gain from it?” Dumbledore had asked him calmly, under the wand tip of his former student.

“I want Hogwarts, of course,” Voldermort told him, his teeth gritted. He hated hearing his father’s name. “And you’re the only thing standing in my way.”

He quickly found the girl among the haze of the student’s frivolous feelings and memories; she was the only one that gave him clear pictures and coherent thoughts. He wanted her to see the demise of her beloved headmaster; he was already imagining what the death would look like. He could feel the girl straining against him, harder than ever before. Unexpectedly, he was getting her images, four boys in particular. He tried to shut them out, especially because one of them caused him to have a most unpleasant feeling in his stomach. In the moments of his distraction, Dumbledore had retrieved his wand and aimed it at Voldermort. The other death eaters took that as their cue to get out. Voldermort sighed at his followers’ cowardice and was forced to escape as well.

And now he sat alone, save a young snake that curled around his feet by the hearth. She had forced him out, something no one had accomplished. She was a danger, a threat to him, and yet he barely knew who she was. All he had to go by was that day he attacked her friends, and that had been years ago. By now she had to look far different, and obviously she had become stronger. He wasn’t quite sure why he felt the need to continue in his search for her, but she was important. Her eyes had bored into him, nearly as if daring for him to look away. She had too much courage, and courageous fools were often the most dangerous kinds of heroes. He didn’t know why he had such a fascination with her, but he never went against instinct. And instinct said, she needed to be gone.

Chapter 39: The game, and things that occured after
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                               the game

Kristen woke the following morning early, mostly because Jolie was hovering over her bed. “Hello,” Kristen said slowly, sitting up.

“Good, you can at least say a word with a four second pause between syllables. I just had to see for myself,” Jolie told her easily, throwing her uniform to her. “Here, the game starts in a few hours and I want you alert and well fed.”

Kristen was jolted to reality by the fact that the game was today. She knew she had a lot riding on it. She knew Jolie was more than a little disappointed in her performance; she’d fallen off her broom three times that week alone at practice. If she screwed up today, she wouldn’t blame Jolie in the slightest for getting a replacement.

She noticed that the boys looked as pale as she did when they met her at breakfast. They didn’t speak to one another, but simply ate the food Jolie put in front of them, a lot more than they had become used to eating under her regimen. People around them were talking excitedly, even Lily, who did not care for quidditch much, was excited to see her friend play.

It seemed that breakfast took no more than a second, for suddenly it was time for them to go onto to pitch. Jolie had them huddle around her as she began her speech. “I know, I can be harsh at times, and I know that sometimes you want noting more than for me to just drop dead. But team, you have come so far, and I am so proud of each and everyone of you.” Kristen felt her heart swell with pride, feeling that Jolie’s words were truly sincere. She then launched into their battle tactics for the game and then led them onto the field.

“And here we have the totally revamped Gryffindor team led by Captain Jolie Renoir!” The announcer, Kristen knew him to be a seventh year Gryffindor boy, announced.

Jolie grabbed onto Kristen’s hand on her right, and Xavier’s on her left. “We are one, we walk together as a team.” They made chain from her, the chasers on one side, the beaters and seeker on the other. They walked with heads held high to the center of the field, where the other team was waiting and sneering at them.

“I want a fair and injure free game you two,” The referee said sternly, obviously knowing the Slytherin Captain, Damien, and Jolie’s favorite way to play the game.

“Come on froggy!” he taunted her, his team making ‘ribbit’ noises at the beckoning of their captain. Kristen felt Jolie’s hand clench tightly around her own and had to fight the urge not to cry out. She never knew why her captain took such a personal offense to her origin; Kristen couldn’t see anything wrong with being French. But she wasn’t about to question her at a time like this.

“Mount your brooms,” the referee called. Kristen felt her heart beating fast. It was time. The snitch was released, watched closely by both seekers until it zoomed out of site. Next came the bludgers, tearing out of the box with force. Then, as if in slow motion the quaffel was thrown in the air, and the players tore into the sky.

Kristen was the first to reach the ball, quickly throwing it James’s way as a nasty looking Slytherin just about barreled into her. He instantly turned away from her and back to James, who was sweeping magnificently up the field, Sirius only a short ways away if he should need a hand.

“10-0 to Gryffindor!” The commentator announced only moments later. The crowd cheered impressively as the teams resorted themselves to begin again. A Slytherin by the name of Christopher Boyles had the quaffel held protectively under his arm, only to have a bludger knock it straight into Sirius’s arms, who threw it to Kristen, who weaved quickly in and out of bludgers and chasers, then threw it to the anticipating James, who easily scored once again.

Kristen had never felt this exhilarated, well, there where one or two or four other times, but this was fantastic! She didn’t have the usual impending guilt after feeling so light hearted as she cheered with the rest of her team, even Jolie was beaming from her place by the goals.

“And I’ve never seen such a put together team. All first year players except the wonderful Miss Renoir, currently taken off the market, thank you very much.” He managed to squeeze in proudly before continuing. “Already, 70-0 to Gryffindor! If Slytherin doesn’t watch out, they’re in for a shoot out!”

It was like the tryouts all over again for the young chasers. Though the past week had churned out poor results of all their practice and talent, this game showed just how devoted they had been to their captain’s horrible training regimen. Something just connected them to one another as they flew through the mass of players.

“I don’t believe it! I don’t believe it! Jasper Rowlands has caught the snitch! 150-70 to Slytherin!”

Kristen stopped in midair, turning slowly to stare as the Slytherins poured joyously onto the field.

They lost.

She simply couldn’t believe it as she joined the rest of her trampled looking team on the ground. The game had lasted all of ten minutes. But they lost. They had been doing perfectly, flawlessly, and yet, they lost. The rest of the team was in just as much shock as her, their faces portraying utter defeat and confusion.

“What are you lot doing? Standing here and moping! You should be proud of yourselves!” Jolie told them suddenly, marching over to them and looking completely sincere. No one seemed to believe her, especially Xavier, who very nearly looked sick. “Look, I know you’re all disappointed, so am I. But Slytherin won on dumb luck. The stupid snitch practically flew into their seeker’s hand. Xavier had absolutely no way of getting there in time. I promise we’ll win the next game, trust me. You guys are the most talented bunch of players I know.” Suddenly the team paid closer attention, noticing the shake in her voice. Tears slid uneasily down her ivory face. “Don’t give up on me! I already did the math in my head. If Ravenclaw beats Slytherin by ninety points or more we’re in the clear! I’ll go and train the team myself if I have to! I’ll do anything to make sure you guys realize that we’re the best team here! To realize that Gryffindors are the true best of Hogwarts!” Her enthusiasm was infectious, soon the whole team was grinning from ear to ear. “Put you hands in, and on three, we shout the best team there is. One, two, three-”

“Gryffindor!” The team roared, throwing their hands in the air.

“Now go get changed, we’ve got a party to get to,” Jolie informed them with a smile. The whole group rushed to the lockers, only to be stopped by a very smug looking Slytherin team.

“Where’s the frog’s herd headed off to?” Damien asked them with a smirk.

“Why, to celebrate of course,” Matthew told them, stepping forward and assuming leadership.

“Celebrate?” Another boy scoffed from the back. “You lost!”

Matthew just shrugged his shoulders. “Not really, I mean your chasers didn’t even score one measly goal against out little fourth years and that snitch practically flew down Jasper’s throat. All in all, I think everyone realized who the better team was today.”

Though Kristen didn’t particularly like being called small, James and Sirius had shot him a nasty glare, she couldn’t help but be even more cheered up by his speech. They all shouted their team’s name once more and ran screaming and laughing into the locker room to prepare for the coming excitement.
* * *
“So, yeah, Jolie just asked us to plan this, whether you won or lost,” Remus told them easily, sipping some pumpkin juice he, Peter, and a couple other kids had snuck from the kitchen under her orders. “She’s right though, that was a great game, and most of the time I don’t even really care about Quidditch!”

Sirius, James, and Kristen pretended to ignore that last part, not wanting to start a yelling match with their best friend. It was quite the sight in the Gryffindor common room, people milling around as they laughed and flirted and enjoyed the rest of the day. It was not a picture you would expect to see of the losing team.

There was suddenly a tinkling of glass, obviously someone wanting attention. Jolie stood uneasily on top of the couch, somewhat steadied by her boyfriend’s hand. “Attention, attention, please.” She called out, her face rosy. “Now, I would love to give a huge shout-out to my wonderful team who, though they lost, fought valiantly!” The common room broke out into applause, the team blushing furiously at the attention. “And now, I do believe that Matthew has something to say.”

Matthew, who had been standing next to the rest of the team, looked at her in fright. “Oh come on Matt, you have to do it eventually. Or, if you prefer, I could just say it.” She told him, the rest of the house looking at him in anticipation.

“No, no, that’s quite all right,” Matthew told her quickly, stealing a nervous glance at the chasers.

“Fine,” Jolie laughed, stepping off the couch and into Nathan’s arms. “You have until noon tomorrow.” Everyone else took that as their cue to continue with their previous activities, only a few still looking at Matthew with interest.

“What was that about?” Kristen asked him, a bright smile on her face.

“Nothing,” he said, a little too quickly. “So, how are things going?’ He asked her, his attempt at being casual gartering the opposite results.

“Good,” Kristen said slowly, eyeing him with amusement.

“Good, good,” he mumbled, looking flustered. “Well, I’ve…I’ve got to go,” he then scampered away quickly.

Sirius snorted loudly at the boy’s show, obviously harboring information that he was eager to flaunt. “Well he might as well have just said it,” Sirius rolled his eyes, smirking.

“Why don’t you enlighten us Sirius?” Remus asked him sarcastically.

“Well obviously he’s got a crush on little Kristen, just like every other bloody boy we’ve known has.” Sirius told them easily, confident that Kristen did not feel the same way.

“Does he now?” Kristen asked, looking over at Matthew with a sudden interest. There was a small smile on her face, evidently finding this new information very much to her liking. She quickly made a beeline for him, leaving Sirius to look horrified.

“We didn’t agree on him though!” He whispered frantically, watching as Kristen whipped her hair over her shoulder flirtatiously and began talking to Matthew.

“Like she cares,” James told him, his eye on some especially tantalizing pumpkin pastries.

“It’s your own fault! He probably wouldn’t have got up the nerve to tell her if you hadn’t edged her on,” Remus told him without sympathy. Kristen was now in full hunt mode, something she used only when she knew she was in the clear. Matthew looked particularly red faced as he smiled at the giggling Kristen.

“Damn it!” Sirius growled. “This is not fair! Why do I have to like the only girl that won’t ever even consider what I have in mind?”

“Luck I suppose,” Peter answered sarcastically, more entertained by the plate of food in his hands. Sirius sighed heavily, hoping Matthew noticed the glare he was sending.

“So, we’re on then. You’ll go with me to the great slug’s Christmas party?”

“Well of course. I only wish there was something we could do before that. Too bad all the Hogsmeade trips are likely to be canceled,” Kristen said, trying to think of something that wouldn’t be a month away.

“Well,” Matthew began pensively, much more confident now that he had actually told her what he had been thinking the past month. “I could escort you to quidditch practice…”

“Oh what a romantic date!” Kristen proclaimed, collapsing into a fit of giggles. It seemed quite sudden that Matthew was having this effect on her. “It doesn’t matter really. I’m sure we’ll think of something.”

“Hey, Kristen!” Someone called out. A third year girl ran over to her, holding a bouquet of flowers. “These just came for you,” she said in a giddy voice, handing her the flowers before running back to her friends.

Kristen held the bouquet a bit awkwardly. There were twelve roses, a mixture of red and white. She pulled the note from the top. On one side it simply read her name and residence, “Gryffindor tower”, but on the back was a small note. 

As I write this letter,
Send my love to you,
Remember that I'll always,
Be in love with you.

Treasure these few words 'till we're together,
Keep all my love forever,
P.s., I love you.
You, you, you.

Sincerely: Loves From Afar

He knew she liked the beatles. She was officially head over heels for this guy. If he knew she liked the beatles, which hardly anyone did as they were a muggle band, then he must be the one for her.

“Oh great, the day I ask you out you start getting letters from secret admirers.” Matthew joked, though he did look a little apprehensive.

“These aren’t from you?” She asked sadly, for that had been her first idea.

“Afraid not, though now I wish they were.” He did indeed look afraid of what she might do next.

Kristen was silent for a moment, and then just shrugged her shoulders. “No matter, just let me go put these up okay?” With that she began walking quikly to the stairs, only stop when she saw Sirius, who was now staring moodily out the window with a very prominent scowl.

“You were right Sirius, he is in love with me!” Kristen told him excitededly.

“What?” He whipped around to her, his voice extremeley high. “Matthew’s in love with you?”

“Not Matthew, my secret admirer, the one you told me about. Look,” she shoved the card under his gaze. “I just wish he would tell me who he was,” Kristen moaned, looking at Sirius meaningfully.

“Maybe someday,” he barely answered her pleas.

“Fine, be that way. But tell him I said Thank you, alright? I love them, I mean, how could I possibly not love anything that makes reference to the Beatles!” She squealed with delight and then ran up the stairs.

“You sent her flowers?” Remus asked incredolously, having watched the scene from a little ways away.

“When I tell her it’s me, I’m going to have to have all the leverage I can get. That means flowers, candy, Beatle lyrics galore-”

“What are the Beatles?”

“Oh come on, she’s almost always parading around with something of their’s! She’s got a Beatles backpack for crying out loud!” When Remus continued to look confused he sighed and said, “They’re a muggle band . Kristen is obsessed with them. I mean, the day we first met her she was wearing a ‘Beatles’ shirt!”

Remus just looked at him oddly before sighing and saying, “That’s sad you know, that you can remember what she was wearing when we met. I can hardly remember what we even talked about.”

“Well you’re not the one trying to win her over, are you?”

“Suppose not,” Remus laughed a little. Terrible as it might seem, Remus somewhat enjoyed seeing Sirius like this. Usually, he got whatever girl he wanted. But now, he was finding a challenge. All in all, Remus felt quite compensated for all the times Sirius had flaunted some girl.

“I’m going to…to the library,” Sirius said grumpily when Kristen rushed back down the stairs and over to Matthew. “Make sure they keep it PG, alright?”

“Will do,” Remus answered, though he had no intention of intervening should they start snogging. He watched with mixed emotions of amusement and pity as Sirius trooped out of the common room.

“Is he being all moody?” James asked thickly of Remus, his mouth extremely full.

“Have you seen Kristen?”

“What?”

Kristen was suddenly by them, her name having caught her attention. “I’m right here. Where’s Sirius?”

“Sulking,” James answered her.

“Sulking? Why? Today hasn’t turned out so bad. I mean, we lost, but Jolie wasn’t too angry.” She sneaked a glance at their captain, who was busy receiving compliments from Nathan.

“You really are the stupidest person I know,” Remus told her.

Kristen narrowed her eyes in anger. “That was totally and completely uncalled for Remus! I just wondered where he was!”

“And by now you should know!”

“Oh, right, sorry I don’t have a telepathic connection with Sirius! My bad!” Kristen snapped back. “Look, I just needed to ask him something, could you tell me where he is?”

“Is it about you secret admirer,” James taunted her with a wide grin.

“As a matter of fact it is…” She said slowly. “Why, do you know who he is?”

“Yep,” he told her proudly.

“Well…” she began expectantly. “Who is it?”

“Like you could get it out of us that easy,” Remus prodded her, knowing he was pressing every annoyance button.

“I hate you! First Sirius won’t tell me, and now you won’t. Why on earth are you laughing so hard?” For they had succumbed to thunderous fits of laughter upon the mentioning of Sirius.

“You know what, fine! Just, fine! Never tell me who this guy is! What do I care? If he’s to chicken to even tell me his name, then obviously he is not the guy for me. And besides, Matthew if wonderful! Simply wonderful!” She screeched and then stopped away, straight to Matthew. She looked back to make sure the Marauders were watching, grabbed his hand, and stomped out of the common room.

“Wow, we suck at this,” James mumbled, looking a bit put out by the turn of events. He wanted Kristen to find out, though he knew he couldn’t tell her.

“No, we’ve given plenty of hints. She just refuses to pick up on them.” Remus did his best in consoling him. “We are actually quite skilled if I do say so myself. It’s Kristen that’s being stupid!”

James couldn’t help but be cheered up a bit at that. Remus was right, Kristen and Sirius were the stupid ones here, not himself. That was the thought that ran through his mind as he jumped back into the heart of the party. 

(A/N) The note contains the lyrics from P.S. I Love You by, of course, the Beatels

Chapter 40: Letters From Home
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                                  Letters

Several weeks had passed since the fateful quidditch game that had somehow erupted into a victory party. Jolie informed her team that Ravenclaw was in tiptop shape, and that they should have nothing to worry about. And that turned out to be true, when Ravenclaw beat Slytherin 240-30. Soon, it was nearly time for the holidays, and Kristen was having the time of her life.

Matthew turned out to be the perfect boyfriend to make up for all the horrible dates she had had to endure. He was a gentleman, handsome, polite, and just all around amazing. The Marauders were still distant with her on the subject, particularly Sirius, for reasons she couldn’t fathom. She knew it had something to do with the Secret admirer, but she did not yet know what. Nor did she really care anymore.

“Another letter, from your secret admirer no doubt,” Matthew joked one evening as the sat on the couch together and a letter was handed to her.

Kristen, however, instantly knew that was wrong, for the letter looked like it had gone through a muggle post office. This was how letters from her parents always were. They were addressed to a fake address, one that always came back to the Potters who would forward it by Owl post to her. The only reason this was unusual for Kristen though, was due to the fact that her parents hadn’t sent her a letter all year, not that she had either. Things had been very cool between them since summer.

She gingerly opened it, afraid of what she would find, probably instructions for an exorcism. But, to her amazement, it was a genuine letter, one she had been so desperately hoping for.

My dearest Kristen, 

          I must beg you forgive me. The way your father and I treated you this summer was horrific, to say the least. We love you dearly, and though you may think I’m lying, we miss you as well and cannot wait for your return so that we can hold you in our arms again. Please, Kristen, please forgive your father and I of our despicable behavior. We know you have the choice to remain at school for Christmas, and we pray that you will not choose that, and instead come home to us. Your sisters speak of you often and truly miss you as well. If you will not come home for your father and me, at least come home for Belle and Bridget.  Love from, 
                                                            your truly sorry Mother.

Kristen felt her breath catch. This couldn’t be true, her mother was apologizing! Her mother never apologized! And yet here was proof of her mother’s attempt at forgiveness.

“Are you alright sweetheart?” Matthew asked her cautiously.

Kristen joyously handed the letter for him to read, watching as a slow smile spread over his face. “So your parents finally wised up! About time!”

She squealed in joy, grabbed the letter and ran off to find the first Marauder in sight, which turned out to be Sirius, playing chess with Xavier. “Look, look!” she yelled, knocking over several pawns and his king as she thrust the letter at him.

“He abdicated! See! The king is down!” A knight from the opposing team declared.

Sirius quickly read over the letter, promptly realizing what all the excitement was about. “Well, I guess I’ll be alone this Christmas,” he said with out a trace of resentment, looking genuinely happy for her.

“Come with me!”

“Excuse me?”

“Come with me,” Kristen repeated, still totally lost in her happiness spree. “My mum loves charity cases, I’m sure she would take you in a heart beat!”

Sirius stared at her for a moment, acutely aware of Matthew watching him. “Yes,” Sirius said, a bit smugly. “Alright, Christmas at the St.Claire’s.”

Kristen squealed in delight and hugged him tightly before running off to find someone else. Sirius simply sat there, staring at Matthew as he stared back. Sirius then saluted him mockingly before smirking and returning to his game.

Matthew felt himself tense. He didn’t know why Sirius was doing this, acting all smug anytime Kristen gave him attention. If Matthew was honest with himself though, Sirius seemed to give him those looks a lot, meaning Kristen gave him a lot of attention. It was something he had mentally agreed to when he first started liking Kristen, he knew she was flirtatious, and exceedingly devoted to her friends, all of which, save one or two, were boys. What he had never seen before, however, was the way Sirius watched her. Constantly, as if he was afraid she was going to slip away at any moment. And then there was Kristen, who stole side ways glances at him, always checking to make sure she wasn’t scene partaking in her guilty pleasure. She should have guessed that once she got a boyfriend that was actually observant that he would pick up on it.

He sighed, watching Kristen. She really wasn’t the ideal girlfriend in the conventional sense. She didn’t spend every moment with him, nor did it appear that she ‘mourned the moments they were parted’. Though, she didn’t like to discuss ‘feelings’, that was a plus. Matthew felt more like the female in the relationship; he was the one who was always trying to spend time with her while she was always restless in his hold. She just had to be moving, constantly, and she seemed so uncomfortable any time he touched her. It was almost as if she was afraid that he would hurt her, or perhaps betray her and leave, which was the farthest thing from his mind. Even though he felt so devoted to her, and showered her with constant attention, he knew for sure that if it came to spending time with him, or with her friends, he would stand absolutely no chance.

But Kristen was Kristen, and no matter how difficult she was, he wasn’t giving up. She was elegant and graceful, witty, smart, and simply beautiful.

There was a loud crash in the common room as a chair that Kristen attempted to run by somehow jumped in front over her, causing a major collision. “I’m okay,” she assured everyone quickly, the sloppy grin still on her face as she left the over turned armchair to rush upstairs to Lily.

Okay, maybe not so graceful, at least when she was in this state. But the rest still applied.

“Hey.”

Matthew looked up quickly, Sirius standing next to the couch. “Hey,” he replied cautiously, not quite sure what was going to happen.

“Look, I just wanted to tell you, do you know what the room of requirement is?”

“No,” Matthew answered hesitantly. Maybe that was the room where Sirius was prepared to fight him for Kristen’s affection or something, because that certainly seemed to at least be Sirius’s eventual plan.

Sirius quickly launched into the room’s where abouts and purpose, leaving out the many times he had been there in the dead of night (though he would have loved to flaunt that he’s been there with Kristen). “Look, take her there tonight, before curfew mind you. Keep her happy, she deserves it. And don’t tell her I told you, Merlin knows I don’t want her getting all mushy on me.”

At that point, Matthew nearly felt ashamed that he was the one dating Kristen. Sirius looked so…well, serious. Almost sad, but he made his point nonetheless. “Sure, I will. Thanks for the info.”

Sirius looked as if he was going to walk away but then he turned and growled, “And keep it PG Carter. If hear you so much as thought about making a move on her, your dead.” And then he walked away, Xavier looking at him expectantly as the pieces reassembled themselves.

Matthew shivered just a little. He could still remember Sirius from the sorting ceremony. He had been scrawny, to say the least, though several first year girls were still looking at him in wonder. He was no longer scrawny. At age fourteen, he was very much growing up. He was already near 5’10, and he had years left to grow. So, it wasn’t in all cowardice that Matthew took his warning to heart. Luckily, Sirius didn’t know about some of the broom cupboards he had discovered with Kristen.

“Oh Merlin! What am I going to wear? It has to be lovely, yet conservative! You know, I can’t be stepping on any toes as soon as I get out of the car,” Kristen spook quickly to Lily as they came back down the stairs together. “Oh, and I’ll have to pick something for Sirius too. He can’t be wearing hard core rock band t-shirts, even if they are wizard bands and mum wouldn’t know them. Hey Matthew,” she stopped for only a moment, giving him a quick peck on the cheek before chattering at top speed with Lily once more. Matthew felt like he should give the same warning to Sirius before he left with Kristen, though he knew it wouldn’t do any good. Sirius would be backed by the other three, Remus, James, and Peter, no matter what he did, and Kristen would probably be on their side.
* * *
“How did you even know about this place?” Kristen asked in awe as she sat at an elegant dinner table in the room of requirement. She had gotten nervous at first, when she first stepped in with Matthew, that the ballroom people would appear and he would discover her secret. But they left in her peace, the room turning instead into a simple square, a table with candles and a full course meal already prepared. She’d been stunned, to say the least. She never would have thought of this, and now, an hour into it, she was only just beginning to realize, that he wasn’t supposed to know about it at all.

Matthew looked more than a little uncomfortable at her question. He wanted desperately to lie, especially because Sirius had told him to, but lying to Kristen was hard to manage. On the occasions he tried to tell even a little white lie, she somehow caught him. “Sirius. He told me I should bring you here. He wanted you to have a happy end to your day.” And he instantly regretted saying it. He should have just changed the name, maybe she would have fallen for Remus saying it, or even James or Peter. But at the mention of Sirius she got that look in her eyes. The one that he knew she would often fix on him, but it wandered much too often for comfort.

Kristen was silent. After that she wasn’t nearly so talkative, and her eyes lost their joyous spark that they had shined all day. “Krissie, I’m sorry. I…he told me to lie to you about it, but you always know when I’m lying so I didn’t want to risk it. Are you alright?” He asked, feeling utterly stupid as she stared blankly at the wall.

“Oh, yeah, I was just thinking. I mean, Sirius seems the least likely…he probably got the idea from Remus,” Kristen smiled once more, looking at him with ease once more. “Now, what were you saying about Christmas?”
* * *

“Okay, so that’s the fellytone, that’s the Selly, and that is a…a record, right?”

Kristen tried to hide her cringe at his poor performance. “Okay, so we’re up to one out of three, not bad,” she tried to encourage him. “Telephone, Telly, and you got the record right.”

Sirius studied the magazine photos carefully. Kristen had been tutoring him in muggle artifacts for the past week, and his progress was agonizingly slow. Her mother was so excited about him coming though, that Kristen only hoped she might not notice his occasional slip ups.

“Why do you guys have such weird names for things?” He asked her grumpily, pushing the pictures away.

“Excuse me? Quidditch, Galleons, and Boggart, I think you guys have the weird names.”

Sirius couldn’t help but smile at her wirily, his excitement evident in his eyes. It was only a few days until term was over, and it was obvious he was just happy to have somewhere to go. Even though he had to endure these muggle lessons in the midst of all their homework, he couldn’t wait. After Kristen sent a letter to her mother asking if Sirius could stay, her mother want into a frenzy. She said she was setting up the guest bedroom, and going Christmas shopping for him. And these muggle lessons did have a plus to them; he got to rub it in Matthew’s face.

“Sirius?”

Kristen and Sirius both turned around quickly in their library seats (Kristen had to lead him there). Looking nervous from a few feet away was a boy with shaggy black hair, much like his older brother’s. “What do you want Regulus,” Sirius asked him a bit harshly.

“Are you coming home for the break?”

Sirius’s laugh was like a bark as he though of the absurdity of that comment. “Hell no, Reg. Why on earth would I do that? So mum can have a good yell at me? No thanks!”

“But…but, it’s dad!” Regulus whimpered, looking near tears. His hands were shaking as they clutched a worn letter.

“Dad hates me too,” Sirius reminded him callously.

“You can’t make me go to his funeral by myself Sirius! You just can’t! Please!”

Sirius suddenly stopped looking so detached. Regulus’s resolve had finally wavered and tears leaked from his eyes. “What?” Sirius asked softly, standing up from his chair.

“Didn’t mum send you a letter? I just got hers this morning.”

“No. She hasn’t sent me a letter since I got sorted. But, what happened? How did he die?”

Regulus shrugged his shoulders, trying to wipe away the tears in a hurry. “I don’t know. All mum said was he died yesterday, and the funeral wasn’t going to be for a while so all the family could get there. It’s over the break though. Please don’t make me go by myself Siri! Please, you know they’ll all just stare at me and expect me to carry on the legacy. I don’t want to Sirius! I want to be like you!”

Both Kristen and Sirius stared at him when he blurted that out. “But you’re in Slytherin,” Sirius reminded him.

“So? You don’t have to be bad to be in Slytherin! Believe me though, not a day goes by that I don’t wish I was in Gryffindor! People expect me to hate mudbloods and half bloods, but I don’t! I want to be just like you Siri! Please don’t make me go alone! Please!”

Sirius sighed heavily, looking at his brother with interest. For so long, he had been sure Regulus wanted to be just like his father, and he was almost afraid to believe him now. But he wouldn’t make his brother endure that funeral by himself. And besides, there were a few choice words he wanted to tell his father before he was lowered into the ground. “Okay,” He agreed. “Don’t tell mum I’m coming though, and tell her it was an accident that I found out. There’s no point in them hating you too.”

Regulus gave him a watery grin and hugged him tightly, one that Sirius returned with only a bit of surprise. “Thank you Sirius. You’re the best big brother!” He smiled at Sirius once more and then walked back off to his own house.

“What’s wrong with you?”

“That was just so sweet!” Kristen cried, tears trickling down her face as she smiled at him. “Your really are the best big brother!”

“Okay,” Sirius said slowly, looking particularly nervous. “Um…thanks, I guess. You know this means I can’t go with you.”

“I know,” Kristen replied, drying her face easily. “It might be a good thing though, you really sucked at learning muggle terms.”

“Oh thanks, so you really didn’t want me to go with you!”

Kristen knew by now when not to take his bait. “Shut up, Siri. You know that’s not what I think!”

“Only my brother, and one of my aunts and uncles is allowed to call me that!” Sirius warned her.

“You call me Krissie all the time!”

“You never said it bothered you!”

Kirsten stopped, thinking of a retort she could use. “Fine, I guess you have a point. But can I please call you Siri! Please!”

“Absolutely not! My father just died, shouldn’t you be trying to console me or something.”

“Oh, right. Um, I’m terribly sorry for your loss, even though you didn’t even like your dad…”

“I may have hated him, but I still loved him!”

“Ok, then I really am sorry Sirius. I can’t imagine losing my parents! It would be horrible! Especially my dad, he’s the one that likes me more often than not.”

“Thanks Krissie, sorry, Kristen. Tell your mum I really am sorry, maybe next year. Any other death in the family would be more of a party than a funeral anyways.” He told her without reserve. “Let’s go back to the tower, seeing as how I don’t have to go through these damned lessons anymore.”

“They weren’t that bad,” Kristen mumbled, gathering all the magazine clippings, a culmination from the one’s her and Lily had brought.

“Fine, they were okay. Don’t expect me to be jumping into muggle studies any time soon though.”

“Fair enough,” Kristen laughed, leading him out of the library. “Now, Siri-”

“Hey, I said no!”

Kristen looked at him pleadingly, her bottom lip trembling. “Okay,” he grumbled, forcing himself to tear his eyes away. “But only when no one else is around. And if you so much as hint that I have a nickname to the others I will never forgive you.”

“Alright…Siri,” she looked positively devious as she said it with delight, apparently relishing in this blackmail.

“Back from your date, are you?” Remus asked them without looking up when they entered through the portrait hole. He was leaning over his ancient runes homework, something that both Kristen and Sirius had neglected to do in light of their muggle lessons. James was staring at Lily, who was also doing homework. Peter was asleep in his armchair.

“I thought this would stop when I got a boyfriend!” Kristen said heatedly, her euphoria at learning Sirius’s nickname wearing off. “What if he heard?”

“Kristen,” James began, looking away from Lily with obvious discomfort, “You spend more time with Sirius than with your boyfriend on any given day.”

“I do not!”

“Look, I’m the nice friend and I think you do,” Lily joined their conversation; looking genuinely sorry for the words she spoke, unlike some other people Kirsten could name.

“She’s been giving me lessons on muggle stuff, big deal!”

“Oh, and then there’s the fact you’re going to ‘meet the parents’” Remus told him with a snicker.

“James has known my parents for ages! Why not make fun of him?”

“Because I’m not madly in love with you!”

Kristen rolled her eyes heavily and smiled. “Honestly, if Sirius was ‘madly in love with me’ as you put it, I hardly think he’d just wait around. He really doesn’t strike me as the ‘sit around and wait’ type of guy, considering,” She paused her, looking thoughtful as she counted on her fingers, “he’s had four girlfriends just this term.”

“Well he probably-”

“Would you shut up James!” Sirius suddenly shouted, surprising the close occupants of the room. “Merlin, do you ever cut us a break? Kristen is not in love with me, we are not secretly dating, I wasn’t going to go to her house for Christmas just to meet her parents and then snog her while Matthew wasn’t around! I gave that up to go to my bloody father’s funeral!”

James, Remus, and Lily stared at him with wide eyes. “I’m…I’m going to get my books,” Sirius mumbled, heading towards his stairs.

“They didn’t mean that.”

Sirius turned around suddenly to see Kristen following him up the stairs. “They were just teasing us, as usual you know, you can’t take them so seriously.”

“You’d be surprised,” he mumbled so softly that she couldn’t hear it. “You better go back down, they might think were shagging up here if you don’t.”

Kristen’s face blushed bright crimson. “Like they would believe we’d actually do that. I mean, it’s not like you’ve ever shagged a girl!” Sirius looked unsteadily at the ground and Kristen gasped at his lack of answer. “You have not!”

“I guess not really…almost. I mean this one time-” He stopped, taking in her horrified face. “We are not going to talk about this Kristen.”

She nodded her head quickly. “I guess… I guess I’ll go. Lot’s of homework to do!”

“Yep, lots of it,” Sirius muttered, blushing also for one of the first times in his life. The both quickly turned on each other, rushing in opposite directions at poor attempts to hide their equal embarrassment. 


(A/N) So, this is my last post before we all bawl our eyes out over our final Harry Potter book *sigh* I hope you all enjoyed it, and I guess the next time I post we'll all be changed people. I'm tearing up at the thought! Saturday is coming way too fast!

Chapter 41: 666
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                                     666_edited-1.gif

“Now Kristen, we’re going to be in Tahiti the next few weeks so if you have any problems, you’ll just have to call Harriet to owl us,” Emily Potter instructed her as they pulled up to her house on a frost December day.

“Ah, Tahiti? Why do we always go there?” James moaned.

Kristen hardly paid attention, her nose pressed to the window as her mother came rushing outside at the sound of the car. Kristen threw open the door and rushed into her mother’s arms, feeling the love she had been missing nearly all her life. And she couldn’t help it, she cried. As her mother rocked gently from side to side, her arms tight around her shoulders, she sobbed into her mother’s chest, just happy to have her mother back.

She barely noticed as the Potters drove away, her trunk, disposed of any incriminating stickers, left by her feet. Soon, she felt tears wet her hair, her mother obviously sharing her joy. “Come dear, let’s get inside.” She vaguely noticed her father behind her as he picked up her trunk and followed them inside.

Inside was a beautiful tree, decorated with the ornaments that had filled her childhood Christmases. She knew it so well, yet today, it was magical.

“Kristen!” Two girls screamed in delight, throwing themselves on her. She hugged her little sisters with force, laughing as they became entangled with one another.

Next was her father. She dashed to him as he came back down the stairs from putting her trunk up in her room. He held his arms open wide, the ones she had missed so much. His bear hug was just as good as she remembered it.

“Come, come, everyone, it’s time for Kristen’s welcome home dinner,” Her mother ushered them all into the kitchen good-naturedly. Inside was a table laden with a chocolate cake, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and rocky road ice cream. It was all of Kristen’s favorites, and she suddenly realized just how ravenous she was. “Dig in,” Her mother told her happily, allowing Kristen to go straight for cake and ice cream.

“It’s too bad your friend Sirius wasn’t able to come,” Her father mentioned partway through the meal, Kristen still helping her self to ice cream. “Shame about his father, I imagine he was quite distraught.”

Kristen nodded her head, not meeting his eyes. It had been hard to say good-bye to Sirius on the platform. He had looked so desolate, his brother sharing his face. As soon as his mother saw him she began screeching.

“Well, off to 12 Grimmauld place,” Sirius had sighed sarcastically before giving her one last look and following his brother.

She wanted desperately to follow him, to comfort him like he had done for her so many times. He had never looked this hopeless and defeated, and it shook her to the very core to see him this way. She had had to tear her watery eyes away from him though to leave, not quite sure why her heart was breaking at the sight of his face.

“Perhaps he could visit this summer, and your other friends as well. It’s bee ages since we’ve seen the Potters you know,” Her mother commented, dutifully eating the real food, unlike the rest of her family.

Kristen could hardly believe her ears; it simply seemed to good to be true. Just last summer, her mother had tried to bar her from Hogwarts, and wouldn’t let her see her friends at all. Now her mother wanted to invite them over! It was the best day of her life! Except for watching Sirius go, and leaving Hogwarts…so it wasn’t the absolute best day, but it ranked pretty far up there.
* * *
“Mum! I’m back!” Kirsten called, hanging her snow covered coat and hat by the door while trying to balance an arm full of presents. She had just gotten back from a Christmas Eve shopping trip with a muggle friend, Deana, and had picked out gifts for her entire family as well as her friends (They had agreed to exchange presents when they returned as most were going on vacation with their families).

She trooped up the stairs, struggling not to let all the presents fall to the floor. When she reached her door she stopped, not quite sure how she could manage it with letting go of her gifts.

It was then her mother opened the door, looking furious as she stared at her daughter.

At first, Kristen had no idea what she had done. She hadn’t slipped once to Deana, marking out the possibility that she had some how already called and ratted her out to her mother. And then, as her eyes flick past her mother’s shoulders, she saw her trunk, wide open, revealing her secret to all the world as her father looked in with obvious astonishment.

She dropped her present with a clatter, her face paling considerably. “Mother, I can explain!”

“I knew it! I knew it, you retched, Satan worshiping child!” Her mother screeched, grabbing her arm forcefully. As if the entire universe was working against Kristen at that moment, her mother’s touch caused Dark Mark on her arm to flare. It had been light, as of late, and Kristen had used a combination of make-up and simply shielding it from view to keep it out of people’s gaze. But when it flashed dark, no amount of makeup could cover it.

Her mother retracted her hand, looking as if she had been burned. “Oh my,” She whispered, looking at it with a sick sort of curiosity, as if it stirred some sort of memory. But that was quickly replaced with fury once more. “You have the mark of the devil! You are the antichrist!”

Kristen, realizing that her mother was to far gone for her to simply try and plead for forgiveness, snapped back at her. “Oh give me a break! I even know that the symbol for the antichrist is ‘666’! I am not a Satan worshipper either mother! I’m a witch! That’s all! I wanted to tell you since my first year at school but I knew you’d hate me!”

“Of course I hate you!” Her mother yelled, her eyes blazing. “Witch craft is the epitome of a Satan worshipper! Get your things and get out!”

Kristen wanted to snap back, but her mother’s words took her by such force. Hate? That wasn’t supposed to come from a mother’s lips. Sure, her and her mother had never been on the best of terms…but hate? And she wanted her to get out? It was Christmas Eve, and her very own mother wanted to kick her out of the house.

“Please,” Kristen whispered through her heavy tears. “Please mum…”

“Don’t you dare call me ‘mum’! The only parent you have is Satan! Now gather your things and go!”

“Dad, listen to me!” Kristen turned to him next, rushing into the room and kneeling at his feet. “Don’t let her do this to me, please!”

“I always defended you,” he murmured monotonously, still staring at the open trunk. “I always defended you, and yet all along…” His eyes flickered to his daughter, as she lay crumpled in the floor, completely weak, as her parent’s disowned her one after the other. “I’ll take your things down stairs, and give you some money. That’s all I’ll do for you.”

She watched in stunned silence as her father gently gathered her clothes and other items, stowing them into the trunk along with a check for an unknown amount of money. He then picked it up without a single glance at his eldest daughter and walked from the room.

“Get up! I will not have you desecrate my house any longer!” Her mother yelled.

Kirsten blindly did as she was told, still in utter shock over what had just happened. As she began the decent down stairs, her sisters shoved into her, Belle discreetly handing her a note, before they both trumped up to their room without a backwards glance. Kristen just shoved it her pocket, figuring that they had jotted down some scriptures that condemned her.

“Well, out you go!” Her mother ushered her out, not even giving her a moment to grab her coat. “Don’t come back! You hear? I don’t want you anywhere near my family!”

“Fine!” Kristen suddenly lashed out. “Fine mother! But know that when Belle and Bridget get their letters saying that they have this phenomenal power that they can use to save people and do great things, I’ll be back to make sure you don’t stop them!”

Kristen relished in the look of absolute horror on her mother’s face before she slammed the door, leaving her daughter out in the swirling snow.

Kristen quickly reached inside her trunk for her robes, having to maneuver around the presents she had just bought and her multitude of school supplies. She hugged it around her tightly before grabbing a handle on her trunk and dragging it out to the sidewalk.

Once she got there though, her plan ended. She had nowhere to go, no one to take her in. The only family she had was in Austria, and they were probably already aware of the tense relationship with her parents and be unwilling to take her in. And then there was the fact that she had absolutely no way of getting there. She cursed her self inwardly for leaving her broom at school; it surely would have been a great help right about now.

She held her wand nimbly between her fingers, very aware that if any adult wizard caught her doing this she would be in major trouble. But, as she was all too aware of, she lived in a very muggle neighborhood, and the likelihood of there being a wizard was as likely as Voldermort being her secret admirer.

Kirsten half heatedly waved her wand around, as if it would give her inspiration for some sort of spell she could use, though she wasn’t quite sure what she would do if she though of one, she wasn’t too eager to get expelled from Hogwarts, especially now.

There was a sudden bang, scaring Kristen so greatly that she stepped back and fell backwards over her trunk. A large purple bus was barreling towards, “The Knight Bus” blazed across the top.

“Welcome Miss!” A young woman said with enthusiasm, stepping out of the now stationary bus to help her stand up again.

“What is this?” Kristen asked with not very well concealed fright.

“Why the Knight Bus of course! I’m Andy and I’ll be your hostess this evening,” the woman with spiky black hair told her with a wink. “Wingardium Leviosa!” She said lightly, holding out her wand to levitate the trunk inside. “Well come on Miss, no need to stand out here and catch your death!”

Kristen hesitantly got on the bus, looking around quickly at the beds that lined the sides and the withes and wizards that filled them. “Go ahead, sit, sit,” Andy pushed her into a bed close by. “Now what’ll you be takin’? We’ve got the ride and hot chocolate for seven sickles, and you could do with a bit of warming up!”

Kristen flushed at the though of her feeble pounds in her pockets. “Um… I only have muggle money.”

“No problem at all, that’ll be eleven pounds.” She said happily, waiting as Kristen dug the excess money out from the shopping trip out of her pocket and handed it to her. “Thanks my dear, now, where are you headed?”

Before Kristen could reply the bus suddenly lurched forward, sending Kristen off the bed and into the floor but not moving the hostess at all. “You get used to it,” she laughed good-naturedly while helping up her young passenger. “Now, destination?”

“I don’t know yet,” Kristen admitted a bit reluctantly, still stunned that she had managed to find a mode of transportation.

“That’s alright, there’s quite a few ahead of you, it’s Christmas Eve after all. Oh, and here,” she pulled a handkerchief from the look of pants and handed it to her. “Dry your eyes. No tears on Christmas.”

Kristen gladly took it and wiped away the remnants of her parent’s hate, watching out the window as the countryside flew past. Soon, it was nearly nine o’clock, and almost all those that had been on before her had departed.

“What’s it going to be dear?”

“Number 12 Grimmauld Place in London,” Kristen whispered, that being the only place she could come up with, and the only place she really wanted to be.

“You know the Blacks?” Andy asked her quite sharply.

“Yes, one of them is my best friend. Do you know them?”

Andy looked away, her demeanor turning distinctively cold. “Of them. I know only a few of them personally, and I wish I didn’t.”

After that, Andy wasn’t nearly so cheerful towards Kristen. She ignored her for the most part, finally shoving a hot chocolate at her with only minutes left to go of her ride. “You know they hate muggle borns. That’s what you are, right? We did pick you up in a muggle neighborhood.” Andy shot at her, still looking angry for some reason.

“Not my friend,” Kristen snapped right back. “He’s not like those other cows, okay? So lay off, would you?”

Andy slowly smiled at her. “Sirius. You must be a friend of the infamous tattle tale!”

“Are you…are you his cousin?”

“Yes!” Andy grinned widely and plopped down on the bed beside her. “My real name is Andromeda, have you heard of me?”

“Um, yeah, you have a daughter, right?”

Andromeda shook her head excitedly. “My little Nymphy, she’s only four. I can’t believe you’re one of his friends! You must not be as bad as I thought you were! But why are you going there, surely not for my uncle’s funeral.”

“I just need to see him,” Kristen said quietly, looking out the window, she wasn’t too eager to go into the whole story of her parents.

The bus jerked to a stop, throwing Kristen forward for what was surely the fiftieth time that night. “I can levitate your trunk to the steps, but I’m not allowed anywhere near the house, strictly speaking.” She smiled widely, obviously proud of the fact. “That’s what happens when you marry a muggle in the Black family!”

Kristen exited the bus with a promise to give Sirius a hug from his doting cousin, feeling exceptionally nervous as she slowly made her way to the door, her trunk already planted beside it. Her nerves only increased when there was a loud bang and the bus vanished from view.

She breathed heavily as she stood in front of the huge door. She was making a huge mistake, she knew that. His mother would likely kick her out, she knew that. She was going to have to lie a lot to get through however long her stay with Sirius would have to be, she knew that.

She had to see Sirius, he was the only one who could calm her down, and make her feel worthy of having a place on the earth.

She was absolutely sure of that.


A/N So this chapter is dedicated to the awesomness that is Deathly Hallows, absolutely my favorite in the series. Also, if you are a wiccan or any other person that performs a version of witch craft, I do not think that it was makes a Satan worshper, her mother is a little unhinged, please forgive her. And now that that is said, I humbly ask for your reviews, your comments on DH, or anything that just might drift across your mind while looking at that nice little comment box straight below.

Chapter 42: Miss Mudblood, meet Mrs. Black
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                                   Miss-Mudblood.gif picture by KristenBlack

Kristen knocked on the door, shivering out of both fright and cold. The door opened slowly, and at first Kristen though it was of its own accord, but then she looked down to see a wizened old House Elf, by far the ugliest creature she had ever seen.

“Um, yes, I need to see Sirius Black.”

“What for?” He asked suspiciously.

“Um…well…I’m here to discuss…becoming a death eater. We talked about it frequently at school and…um… I decided that now that he’s gong to be around properly thinking wizards and witches it would be the perfect time to convince him all the way.” was what she managed to come up with, knowing that the House elf would hardly fall for it.

To her surprise though, he grinned widely. “Oh yes, mistress will be most please, most pleased indeed! Let Kreacher get the boy, sit in the kitchen Miss, Kreacher will bring your trunk in!”

Kristen hesitantly did as she was told, sitting at the table with her back to the door, head in her arms as the tears began forming again. Her head was spinning with all that was happening, she wanted it to stop, and was afraid now that even Sirius couldn’t help.

“Look, whoever the Hell you are, I don’t want a thing to do with those damn death eaters, so you can just let yourself out.”

Kristen turned at the sound of Sirius’s voice, her eyes red and lip quivering. His angry face instantly dropped at the sight of her. “Kristen? What are you doing here?”

And then the tears came full blast again, so hard that she could hardly breathe. She blurted out her story, half of it incoherent through her tears. Sirius got the gist though, and held her tightly, gently telling her to calm down, that it would be all right.

Eventually the tears stopped and she was silent, reveling in the feeling of his arms around her and that unerring feeling of safety. “Are you alright?”

She glumly shook her head. “They we’re my parents Sirius! They’re supposed to love me, it’s not fair!”

“I know,” he whispered, still cradling her gently. “Believe me, I know it sucks, but you’ve got to remember that you are important. Don’t let anybody ever make you think less of yourself! Especially you prat parents! Kristen, you are the most wonderful and amazing person I know, don’t ever doubt it.”

Kristen took a deep breath and then took her head of his chest. “Thanks,” she murmured, wiping away the last of the tears. “I knew I could count on you, you always make me feel better.”

“What can I say, that’s what are friends are for, right?” He smiled at her, his hands still protectively around her waist.

“Oh you must be her, you wonderful girl!” A woman shouted in glee, causing Kristen to instantly put at least two feet between her and Sirius. The woman was an odd beauty, as if she had once been very fair, and then endured a life of trauma. She promptly kissed Sirius on the top of the head, his face contorted in disgust. “Imagine, our little Sirius, off to carry on the family name in honor! No one thought it possible, but you dear girl, somehow managed it!”

“Um…thank you?”

“Regulus, oh Regulus, do come in here!” She called, causing a small boy to trot into the room. He stopped suddenly at the sight of Kristen, looking apprehensive. “This girl has convinced your brother to see the true light, isn’t that wonderful?”

Sirius vehemently nodded his head behind his mother’s back, giving Regulus all the information he needed. “Yeah, wonderful.”

Mrs. Black kissed the top of her eldest son’s head once more. “You may sleep in the guest room Miss…”

“Kristen St.Claire,” she answered quickly.

Mrs. Black stopped her happiness flow at once. “You’re muggleborn,” she seethed with her eyes narrowed. Kristen had no idea how this woman was suddenly so sure of herself, and it quite unnerved her.

“No, she just found out that her mum has been lying to her for years and that she’s actually a half-blood, her real dad was a wizard. That’s why she was crying, and why she’s so ready for vengeance on mudbloods and a muggles,” Sirius intervened quickly, coming, as always, to her immediate rescue.

His mother looked unconvinced, her lips pursed threateningly. “You’re a disappointment Sirius, again and again. You know it’s no good to lie to me. Why is she here? Did you get her pregnant?”

“No mother,” he growled, his hands clenching.

“Stay away from the family,” Mrs. Black turned on Kristen, her eyes boring into the shaking girl. “I don’t care if you stay in my failure of a son’s room, but you’re to step no where else in the house, understood?” Kristen quickly shook her head ‘yes’, frightened out of her wits by this commanding woman. “Come Regulus, we must prepare for your father’s funeral.” She swept him out of the room, Regulus mouthing ‘sorry’ on his way out.

“Well, I guess we can send an owl to Remus, Peter, and Lily, asking if they can take you in as I hardly think you’d want to stay here.” Sirius told her, getting up from the table. “Kreacher,” he barked. The old house elf quickly shuffled in, bowing to his young master. “Take her things to my room, and don’t get any of your fifth on it.” Kreacher bowed once more, almost in a mocking manner, and promptly began to take her trunk up stairs.

“I really am sorry about this Sirius. I just didn’t know where to go. I mean, James is out of the country, and I have no idea where anyone else lives,” she babbled, extremely uncomfortable with the situation she had put herself in.

“Don’t sweat it,” he said easily, leading her up the stairs. Kristen was horrified to see and array of shrunken elf heads line the wall. He then led her along a forbidding hallway, down to the very last door, which he opened to reveal his room.

It was exactly what Kristen had imagined. There was a huge, claw-footed bed against the center of a large wall, covered in dark bedding, matching the atmosphere of the room. There were posters on every inch of the wall, some proudly displaying the Gryffindor colors and others of his favorite bands, which tended to be a little graphic. But there was one in particular that caught her eye.

“The Beatles!” She managed to laugh, walking over to it and touching the poster tenderly. It was one of the more popular ones; they were walking across Abbey Road. “I didn’t know you liked them!”

“You talked about them so much that I figured I should give them a chance.” He gestured over to a corner of his room, a record player barely able to be seen. “I had to hide it from my mum and Kreacher or I would have never heard the end of it.”

“So is that how he knew? Loves from Afar I mean. You told him?”

“Nah, he figured it out on his own.” Sirius answered easily, hastily picking up clothes that were scattered on the floor.

“You don’t have to do that Sirius, believe me, my room is much worse. Or was, I guess.”

“Hey, if you’re going to be sleeping in here, I don’t want you able to snoop through my clothes. You’d probably steal a piece to have as a relic of me,” he told her.

“Oh, most definitely,” Kristen laughed, in a considerably better mood now that his mother wasn’t breathing down her neck. “But what are we going to do about sleeping arrangements? I could sleep on the floor…”

“No, we’ll just sleep together.”

Kristen stared at the bluntness of which he spoke of that. “I’m only joking Krissie, Sheesh! I’ll probably room with Regulus; I can make a pallet in there.” He told her.

“Oh.” Kristen mumbled, loosing her feeling of giddiness. “Well, okay, if you think so.”

Sirius watched her for a moment as she fumbled with the locks on her trunk, searching for something, most likely pajamas. “Are you sure you’re alright Kristen?”

“What? Oh, yeah, I’m fine. I mean, I should have expected it sooner or later, right? I thought they’d at least try to redeem me though, you know, an exorcism or something at least.” Kristen rattled off. “I am their eldest daughter, you know, you’d just think they’d try a little harder, right? And why would they think my mark is the mark of the Anti-Christ? For all they knew it was a temporary tattoo or something! They’re ridiculous! And I know they’re going to start brain washing my sisters! My parents are idiots!” She finally concluded, breathing heavily and eyes bright with the revelation. “They’re the ones that are wrong. I’m not evil, I’m a witch. That’s it.” It felt so good to hear that, even if it was coming from her, or maybe, because she was actually the one saying it.

“Exactly,” Sirius told her proudly. “You’ve nothing to be ashamed of, it’s them in the wrong, not you. As for your sisters, I’m sure Dumbledore will manage to get them there if they want to go.”

Kristen suddenly remembered the note Belle had pressed into her before she was forced from the house. She gingerly extracted it from her pocket and opened it, prepared for a good telling off.

Kristen,
Are you really a witch? We heard mum yelling about it, and we think she’s probably going to do something really bad to you. We hope not though, because, this may seem really weird, but we think we’re witches too. Things keep happening, like the other day, mum gave us this horrid haircut, and the next morning our hair was back to normal. It’s not just that though, it’s other stuff as well.
Please keep writing us, even if mum doesn’t want you around anymore. We don’t think it’s terrible at all that you’re a witch, it seem quite fascinating actually. We want to go to the school with you, Leonardo’s that is, so we can learn too. We just need to get by mum first.
             Try to think of something please Krissie! And don’t forget to write
                                                                                                                 Love, Bridget and Belle

“Well that was surprising,” Kristen mumbled truthfully, gazing at the letter with interest. “My sisters actually want to be witches, I wouldn’t have expected that.”

“It should be interesting trying to find a way for them to get there.” Sirius said as he grabbed clothes out of his unpacked trunk. “They’ll manage though, I’m sure.” He then hugged his clothes to him and grabbed a pillow off his bed. “Bathroom’s down the hall, third door on the right, and make sure you lock the door tonight so Kreacher doesn’t come in and try to poison you,” he told her nonchalantly as she opened her eyes in horror. “I’ll be across the hall if he should somehow manage or you need anything. My father’s funeral is tomorrow also, so if you wake up and no one is here, that’s why.”

“His funeral is on Christmas?”

“Yep. That’s the holiday spirit for you, right?” Sirius grinned widely, obviously not much bothered by it. “I’ll send off those letters. Night, Krissie.”

“Night,” she called back to him as he closed the door. She looked around his room uncertainly, not sure if she should lie down on the bed or still make a pallet on the floor. She passed a few minutes simply in indecision, feeling completely uncomfortable in the bedroom of her best friend, who was a boy. As she changed into her night clothes she tried her best to hide behind the bed, as if afraid someone was still in there.

“Well that’s not going to work,” she heard Sirius say suddenly, the door slamming open. He suddenly stopped and put a hand over his eyes. “Sorry! Sorry! I didn’t even think to knock.”

“It’s okay, I’m not changing now.” Kristen told him quietly, somewhat relieved to not be alone anymore.

He hesitantly slid the hand of his face. “My mum barged into his room and told me to get out in fear that I might desecrate her pure son. So I’ll just make the pallet in here, that’s the only option we have left.”

Kristen just nodded her head numbly, going along with whatever he said. “You can lie down you know, you need the sleep,” he told her, a small smile upon his lips.

“I just feel bad, it is your bed, and-”

“Kristen, shut up. I’m choosing the floor, alright? Get over it, I already have.”

She took a deep breath and nodded. She climbed into his bed and pulled the covers around her, eventually falling into a very uneasy sleep. 

A/N Okay, so to make up for this abysmal chapter the next one is over 4,000 words, and trust me, it's an awesome chapter. Well, I like it, I had fun wrting it. Well, maybe fun wasn't the right word, I started crying at one point, but it passed. I just get too involved with my characters. The next one is called "The Funeral". Also, the way Sirius's mum knew that she was muggleborn was not because she's a legilimens (I don't push the books boundaries that hard) She's obsessively researched pure-blood families and as she didn't recognize that name, took it to be a muggle's. And she knows Sirius, and knows when he's lying, as every mother does (especially the mean ones it seems). Well, after that extremely long author's note, I bid you farewell, and invite you to my 'meet the author' page should you have any questions, comments, concerns, etc. Until next time, KristenBlack

Chapter 43: The Funeral
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                                   the-funeral.gif picture by KristenBlack


Kristen woke unnaturally early, it was nearly seven o’clock. She blearily opened her eyes to see Sirius already up and shifting through his large closet. “Happy Christmas,” she yawned, stretching her arms in a cat like manner.

“Says you,” Sirius mumbled, pulling out a pair of black velvet dress robes embroidered with a large and intricate ‘B’. “Agreeing to wear these is the only way they’ll let me go to his damn funeral.”

“Oh, just let me get out my dress I wore to the ball, I’m sure I could put on a cloak over it and still look nice,” Kristen said hurriedly, getting off the tall bed and walking to her trunk.

“You seriously want to go?”

“It’s important to you, and I am a guest here, it seems right,” she shrugged, fishing out her dress and a plain black cloak. “I’ve got to change, I’ll be right back,” she said quickly, hurrying out of the room and down the hall to the third door on the right, just as she had been told. She tried to ignore to looks of disgust people were throwing at her as she made her way there. She hurriedly changed once in the bathroom, eager for Sirius’s company once more in this doleful and frightening house. She put her hair in the best bun she could manage at the moment, slipped the dress and cloak on, then tip-toed back to Sirius’s room, careful to avoid eye contact with anyone.

“Amazing that you can look pretty in two minutes and yet every other girl takes like an hour,” Sirius told her, pulling on his robes over a very formal tux.

Kristen wasn’t sure if that was a compliment, or just a general statement, so she just shrugged and pulled her shoes out of her trunk while tucking her other clothes in. “By the way, I just got a letter back from Remus. He says his parents will come by later to pick you up, though they have to come the muggle way as my mum will hardly let them come through the fire place, they’re known muggle rights’ activist.”

“Oh, okay then. I guess that’ll be better, that way your mum won’t glare at me all break,” Kristen tried to joke, but the atmosphere was far to stifled for it, and she quickly gave it up.

The mood stayed considerably subdued through the hour that followed. Regulus came in once, looking near tears once more. Though Sirius had seemed to take this brotherly responsibility well up until this point, he was suddenly turning his back on his little brother, leaving Kristen to hug the poor boy and try and comfort him as best she could without his family seeing.

“What was that all about?” Kristen snapped at him when Regulus had finally been able to subdue his tears and sneak off to him own room.

“I just didn’t want to deal with him at the moment!”

“Didn’t want to deal with him? He’s your little brother Sirius! He needs you! Especially now!”

“You know what Kristen,” Sirius rounded on her, his eyes looking full of unsuppressed fury. “It’s my life, and my brother, so but out, would you?”

Kristen had stared at him as he moodily turned around and fussed with his shoes in an ‘I’m much to busy to talk to you anymore’ manner. She decided not to press it though, it was the day of his father’s funeral after all, and she figured that she should allow him some room for rudeness today.

They fell into an uncomfortable silence, waiting for eight o’clock to come, at which time they would depart for the funeral. Finally, it came. A gentle knock on the door, presumably from his brother, and they made their way down to the living room where several portkeys were ready to take the large Black family to the final resting place of the head patriarch. Sirius led her over to a tall, ornate, candleholder, incrested, like everything else in the house it seemed, with an intricately worked ‘B’. They both grabbed onto it, only an old and frail looking man coming to join them.

“Didn’t expect to see you here,” the man whispered, looking pleasantly at Sirius. “Personally, I wouldn’t have come if I knew I wouldn’t feel guilty afterwards. And who might you be dear?”

“Kristen. I’m Sirius’s friend.”

“Oh, what a kind girl you are, accompanying your friend to his father’s funeral in this house of fifth. Hold tightly dearest, the moment approaches.” And at his last word, Kristen felt a jerking around her naval, and she was abruptly spinning chaotically.

She suddenly felt snow drift onto her face, and she hesitantly opened her eyes, seeing Sirius quite close to her as he deftly held her up as her legs shook unpleasantly. He kept his arm on her as he led her over to where his family was congregating, numbering at least forty people. He stayed well near the back with her, not even making an attempt to go near his brother, who was forced to stay at the very front.

The minister, standing near the coffin, began to speak, his voice so bleak and lack of emotion, that Kristen soon found her mind wandering. The people around looked as if they weren’t too interested in what he had to say either, though they had at least known the man that was currently being laid to rest.

She shivered, the cold finally getting to her. Now that she found herself unable to pay attention to the service, she was fully able to appreciate just how cold it was outside on this Christmas day. She felt something slide over her shoulders. Kristen looked to see Sirius putting his cloak over her shoulders, somehow managing it without looking at her. She wanted to say something to him, but his cold face made her think better of it, and instead she hugged his cloak around her, finding that it somehow did not help her escape the chill.

“And now, we must hear from Orion Black’s only child and son, Regulus,” The minister said, stepping down from his podium and allowing the tiny boy to take his place and begin to stammer his way through a speech obviously written by his mother.

Kristen felt a surge of anger through her. ‘Only child and son’? It simply wasn’t right! Sirius deserved a say at his father’s funeral!

“…he, um, he was a great man…”

Kristen knew she had to do something; she had to get revenge for Sirius, who looked like he wasn’t going to do it for himself. He was simply staring at his brother, his face completely blank of emotion, which frightened her to the core. Sirius was always so full of life, and it was strange seeing him like this.

“…I’ll be lu-, sorry, lucky to be even half the man he was…”

She began shoving her way through the crowd, everyone looking at her with curiosity and obvious contempt. She had to stop this; Sirius needed his chance to speak.

“…He…he never faltered in his belief that mud-…mudbloods were horrible creatures and…”

“You are all despicable,” Kristen suddenly intervened, clambering to stand on the podium next to Regulus, who looked positively horrified. “His only son? You all know as well as I do that he has another son, one who happens to be spectacular. Sirius Black may have different views than most of you, but he is still a wonderful person, and I wish you,” Here she looked particularly at Sirius’s very outraged mother, “would realize this! Give him a chance, for God’s sake, just give him a chance, please! Just…just accept that he doesn’t hate muggles or muggle-borns, that he’s in Gryffindor, or that he doesn’t want to be a Death Eater! Is that really so much to ask when you look at that fourteen-year-old boy? You can’t all possibly want to shun him just because he has differing views, can you?” She looked at them all as they stared at her in absolute shock.

And then the yelling started.

“You fifthly mudblood!”

“She’s a mudblood, here?”

“Sirius is a horrible traitor!”

“Why is she here?”

“How dare she don the noble Black emblem!”

“Get the mudblood away from my dead brother! He doesn’t deserve this!”

Soon she was being pulled from the podium, angry voices ringing in her ears. They were tossing her back and forth, discussing in yells and shouts if they should kill her or use the Crucio and teach her what happens when you mess with a Black. She felt an arm grab her tightly and press her to their body as more arms enveloped her.

And then a sensation passed over like she’d never felt before. It was as if she was being squeezed through a small and unforgiving hole and the then vacuum-sealed inside.

Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped. She was standing inside the Black house, Sirius holding tightly onto her, the man she had met earlier holding both of them.

“Well that’s the last time I’ll be invited to a party,” the man said easily, not looking as if he was too put out by it. “I doubt you’ll be invited either,” he laughed as he looked at Kristen’s stunned face.

“Thanks Uncle Alphard,” Sirius said quietly, glaring at Kristen venomously.

The man looked from his nephew, to the girl that was quaking under his glare. “Don’t be too hard on her sonny, she was only trying to help.”

“I said thanks.” Sirius shot at him.

The man sighed, patted Kristen dolefully on the shoulder, and then disapparated with a loud pop.

“Sirius, I am so-”

“I told you to mind your own business St.Claire! It wasn’t like it was hard instructions! Just keep to yourself for an hour, that was all I wanted! Yet what do you do, start a riot at my father’s funeral! Damn it, that’s all I wanted, and you couldn’t even do that!”

Kristen felt her eyes sting with tears. “I just wanted to help,” she whispered breathlessly.

“Well you didn’t,” he yelled at her, in an uproar now. “You just screwed things up even more! So thank you for your wonderful help! Now I’m even more of a joke to them! Thanks Mudblood!”

She took a sharp intake of breath there. Mudblood? He’d never called her that; she never thought he would have. “I don’t know what to say Sirius…”

“Well that’s a first! Do you know how many times your mouth has landed us in trouble? Maybe you should take this day as a hint that you need to shut-up every once in awhile!”

She nodded her head, not daring to meet his eyes as tears fell quickly down her face. He had always made her feel so happy; he was her rock when things were hard. But when he was the trouble and when he was causing these horrible feelings that were coursing through her, who was she supposed to turn to. Especially since he was right, and no one would be on her side.

“Just…just go wait in my room alright? Remus said he could be here at two to get you off my hands. Then you’ll be his problem and not mine.” His voice was quieter now but no where near the calming nature she was so used to. She eagerly heeded his instruction, rushing up the stairs and to his room, sitting on her trunk as her sobs came. Heart wrenching, breath taking sobs of agony. She wasn’t even sure of what she was crying about after an hour or so. She knew part of it was Sirius’s words, she knew they were true. She really was a horrible mudblood, she was the reason they had such a bad name. She really was nosy, she talked too much, she had ruined any chance for Sirius ever earning the respect of at least part of his family.

But there was another part, something she was sure was what was causing her to still be crying heavily after nearly an hour, when normally her tears would have already dried and been forgotten. It had been that new feeling. The one that was so raw, she hadn’t been quite sure what it was. Every time she looked at Sirius though she had felt so wonderful, as if she could float.

But now, it was gone, and the absence of it was what was truly crushing her heart.

The hours passed, her tears becoming less and less, until finally, after hearing much yelling, doors slamming, and swear words floating up from the rooms below, it was nearly two. Kristen pulled a gift from her trunk, gingerly laid it on his bed beside his cloak, and began to drag her trunk down the stairs, one step at a time. She felt extremely lucky that she didn’t meet a soul of the Black family on her way down. She took one last look around, hoping desperately that she would never again have to enter this place, and stepped outside.

The snow was still falling, its beauty making Kristen feel only worse. A taxi pulled up, and she saw Remus stick his head out the window before opening it and coming out to help her with her trunk. He was asking her questions, but it was as if someone had put pillows over her ears. She could only nod and hope that was the right answer. He looked at her with concern and then pulled her into the taxi.

An aging man waved at her from the front seat by the driver, a man she could only presume to be Remus’s father by the few times she had glimpsed him. She barely raised her hand to him, and then simply stared out the window, unsure if Remus was even talking to her anymore.

The town passed in a blur, softening to an open countryside, where they pulled up to a quaint cottage. Once more she had the distinct feeling that Remus was talking to her, but all she could do was nod, and hope it was right.

It seemed several minutes later, or maybe it was hours, perhaps days, she couldn’t be sure, that the pillow seemed to be finally lifted.

“…she hasn’t spoken a word to me in the three days she’s been here. She’s barely moved at all, barely eating…I don’t know what to do…”

Kristen closed her eyes tightly and blocked out the sound. Three days? She could hardly remember it. She remembered coming in, then lying down, that was it. She couldn’t even remember eating, or moving at all, but according to Remus she had at least a little.

Kristen opened her eyes and took a good look around her room. It was very normal, her bedding had a floral pattern, and a family picture hung on the wall, its inhabitants looking at her with smiles on their face. She saw that her door was open, and could distantly see down a hallway where a woman was bustling to and fro.

She then looked down at herself. Apparently at some point she’s found herself able to change into nightclothes, a relief as she had paid a fair amount of money for her dress. She could see her sleek blond hair on her shoulders, looking tangled and very disorderly.

It took a lot of effort to swing her legs out of the bed and onto the floor. They didn’t want to hold her up, but she forced herself through the weakness and began to walk to where she heard the voices.

“She’s going through the trauma of her parents deserting her Remy, give her time.” She heard a motherly voice say kindly.

“Last time she was like this though she ended up cutting. I don’t want her to go through that again.”

“We won’t let her. She’ll be okay, we promise,” she heard a man answer.

And then she entered the room, a small sized living room: a couch along one side, a radio across the room, a Christmas tree still up in another corner.

“Kristen!” Remus said joyously. He rushed up and hugged her tightly, his touch strangely reassuring. “Are you alright? What can I do for you?”

“I’m fine,” she smiled at him, her voice quiet from little use. She then turned to his parents, who were looking at her with interest. “I’m sorry, I know I haven’t been the most gracious guest. Thank you so much for picking me up and letting me stay here, it means the world to me.”

“Think nothing of it dear,” The Mrs. Lupin said, smiling widely at her along with her husband. “Can we get you something to eat, you’ve hardly had a thing since you got here.”

“Yes, please,” Kristen told them, though her stomach churned sourly at the thought of eating. Her plan worked though, both Mr. and Mrs. Lupin exited the room, leaving only Remus with her.

“I’m really sorry about your parents Kristen…”

She just shrugged her shoulders. “I know it would happen eventually. I don’t know why it upset me at all really.” Kristen drifted over to the couch, happy to get the weight of her legs.

Remus looked at her for a moment, then quickly left the room, reentering moments later with a bundle of letters in his hands. He dropped them all onto Kristen’s lap. “Sirius has sent you a total of twelve letters since you’ve been here.”

“Remus!” his mother came scuttling into the room, handing a letter to him. “Another one from your friend,” she said before she walked off again.

“Excuse me, thirteen letters, actually, since you left his house.”

Kristen looked at them for a second, before pushing them away and rubbing some rebellious tears from her eyes. “I don’t want them. They probably just say the same thing.”

“The same thing as what?” Remus asked with concern.

Kristen opened her mouth to tell him, but then closed it again. She didn’t want to have to think about. “Nothing. We just…I don’t know. You can read them if you want. I’m sure you think the same thing as he does.”

Remus hesitantly picked up the last letter, as if expecting to be stopped. When he found no resistance, he tore the letter open and began to read as Kristen gingerly stacked the other twelve letters and set them beside the couch, not wanting to look at them anymore.

“What did he say to you? All he say’s in here is that he’s really sorry for it,” Remus told her when he had finished reading.

“It’s not important. He shouldn’t feel bad though, it was true.”

“Can I read the others?”

Kristen nodded her head, allowing Remus to open one letter after another, his expression becoming angrier and angrier with each one. When he set the last letter down, Kristen was terrified of what he would say. What if he banished her from his house too? She was saved though, by Mrs. Lupin announcing their breakfast, at least that’s what she thought.

“I can’t believe he would say that to you!” Remus yelled quite uncharacteristically. “That idiot Black, I knew he was one of them! Once a Black, always a Black, the fifthly pureblood maniacs. Sirius can go to Hell!”

“Don’t say that,” Kristen whimpered, feeling guilty that Sirius was being put down for simply saying the truth. “It’s my fault, not his.”

“Kristen, you do not but into other people’s business, you don’t talk too much, and you are by no means a mudblood. Sirius should feel ashamed for saying these things!”

“No he shouldn’t,” Kristen cried, alarming his parents as she sat down in from of a plate of eggs and bacon. “He was right, I should have just kept my mouth shut! Leave Sirius alone about it, please!”

Remus looked unconvinced, but he sighed and agreed. “Alright, I won’t say anything to him. You should now that you aren’t any of the things he said, he even doesn’t think so. He said he just got angry.”

“He shouldn’t be sorry, he was right,” she repeated, looking at her plate of food longingly, yet not touching a piece of it.

The rest of the break passed like that, Kristen barely interacted with Remus or his family, she barely ate, all she could do was stare at those letters, too afraid to read them. Finally, the day to return to her true home came, her letters totaling forty-two by that time, all of which were read by Remus, his anger at Sirius ebbing away with each one, who tried to convince Kristen to at least look at them.

“It was very nice meeting you dear, we do hope you get to feeling better,” Remus’s mother fussed over her as the got ready to go through the barrier. Kristen had at least the energy to smile back at her and give her a truly thankful hug before she went through the barrier, Remus at her side.

The first thing she saw was James, looking tanned and happy. He rushed over to her. “Hey, my mum heard from Remus’s mum that you ended up staying there after your parents wigged out. How was it?”

Kristen just nodded her head, knowing that if James was there, Sirius couldn’t be far behind. “I think I see Matthew, I’m going to go sit with him.” She told them quietly, weaving through the mass of students to her eagerly waving boyfriend.

“What was that about?” James asked Remus curiously. It was an odd moment when Kristen left them for Matthew. Remus recounted the Christmas holiday to him, making sure to add just how many letters Sirius had sent so as to not start yet another fight between them.

“I can’t believe he would do that,” James whispered, obviously stunned by it.

“Where is she?” The boy in question suddenly ran up to them, panting. “She hasn’t returned any of my owls, didn’t she get them Remus?”

“Yeah, she got them,” Remus said a bit coldly. “She didn’t read them, but all forty-two owls got there.”

“She didn’t read them?” Sirius looked very pale and ragged. “Is she that angry at me? I apologized in all of them-”

“Oh, she knows that, she had me read them. But she’s not mad at you all, she thinks you were right. So now she barely talks, barely eats, barely does anything actually.”

“How could you call her a mudblood? Are you out of your mind?” James asked him loudly.

“Just tell me where she is, please! I need to tell her how sorry I am; I didn’t mean any of it! Please you guys, just tell me!”

“No.” Remus answered him. “You need to be the one to but out for a while. Maybe if you’re the one to keep your mouth shut she’ll actually get better.”

Sirius didn’t retort like they expected him to. Instead her just nodded his head and began to walk back down the train to the compartment he had already found with his friends following close behind.

When he saw her though, he stopped. She was sitting by the window, pressed into Matthew’s chest, a dead sort of look in her eyes. Surely his words could not have caused this much pain.

Without consulting Remus or James he tore onto the train and into her compartment. She and Matthew were not alone; a sixth year he didn’t know was there, along with Samuel.

“Kristen, please, just listen. I’m sorry.”

Kristen didn’t look at him, she just hugged Matthew closer to her, confusing her poor boyfriend desperately. “There’s nothing to be sorry for. I’m not going to bother you or the others anymore, I though you’d be happy,” she muttered truthfully.

“Of course I’m not happy! You apparently haven’t read a single one of my owls, you are being unusually quiet, you look like you’ve lost like ten kilos since I last saw you, of course I’m worried about you!”

“Look, I’ll accept your apology if that’s what you want…”

“No! I want you to realize that none of those things I said about you were true! I…I was just upset, I didn’t mean to say them at all!”

“What, exactly, did you say?” Matthew growled at him, suddenly becoming extremely defensive.

“It’s none of your business,” Sirius shot at him, wanting only to focus on Kristen.

“It’s my business if you hurt her Black! What did you do?”

“Stop it,” Kristen moaned, barely audible. “Just go, please Sirius. Just go.”

Sirius looked from Matthew, to Kristen, who was watching as the train station moved out of sight into a flurry of snow. “When you’re ready to give me the yelling I really deserve, come find me.”

And then he left, not knowing if he wanted to find his friends or not. He knew they would all yell at him, and he knew he couldn’t defend himself, as he rightfully deserved it. He knew he’d been horrible, he’d had the whole remainder of the break to think about it. He’d written her fifty letters in total, the last were apparently still in the process of being delivered or they were lost. He wanted her forgiveness more than he’d ever wanted anything in the world, even her. Especially after the gift.

He hadn’t gone up to his room until several hours after she left, having a jolly old time taking his anger out on the House Elf. When he finally went up, he was only shocked for a moment to notice her gone before he registered that it was past two. He didn’t feel any tingle of emotion then, no riotous anger at her, but no depression at her departure either. He’d seen his cloak laid out on the bed, and beside it, a carefully wrapped package in plain brown paper with ‘Sirius’ scrawled across the top in her hurried handwriting. He opened it to find a book, much to his disappointment, but upon further inspection, he found that it did, indeed, look mildly interesting.

You have to read it Sirius; this boy is just like you! Though, admittedly, you do not have red hair. I know it’s just an old American muggle book, but give it a try. I promise that it's great! I mean, I even like it and I hardly ever read for fun! Enjoy! Love, Kristen
He had stayed up all night and well into the morning reading about the adventures of Tom Sawyer. He could see where Kristen saw the similarities, he very much liked Tom, and he prized himself on the fact that he shared a great number of qualities with the main character.

That’s when the guilt really set in. She’d given him a book that he had actually liked and been able to read (a difficult feat to be sure), and what had he done to her? He’d yelled at her when she had done her best to defend him. And then he started writing the letters, non-stop unless he had to do such trivial things as sleep, eat, or use the restroom.

And yet, somehow, the usually very sure of her self, bull headed girl he was so completely head over heels for (yes, he decided he better admit it to himself that it wasn’t really so much a crush anymore) was actually taking his words seriously. She’d never done it before, and couldn’t for the life of him decide why she had started doing it now.

“You really messed up mate, I mean, you really messed up.” James told him when Sirius finally got up the courage to enter their compartment.

“I know,” Sirius sighed.

“Mudblood? Honestly?”

“I was upset.”

“Still…mudblood? You know that’s just low mate.”

“I know,” Sirius repeated dully, leaning his head against the cool glass of the frosted window. It was going to be a long time waiting for Kristen to forgive him, and he didn’t know how he was going to handle it.

He was afraid too though, that without him there for her, she’s do something reckless, or maybe on a fateful day she’d let her over-hyper, sensitive emotions get the best of her. Maybe he was being egotistical in thinking that, but it was true, and he wouldn’t deny it. She needed him just as much as he needed her, even if her need was very sporadic, while his seemed constant and unwavering, except for that one, tiny, day at his house, where he had ruined it all. 

(A/N) Well, I sincerely hoped you liked this chapter. I'm really afraid that you guys built this chapter up alot in your mind and now you're like 'Wow, that really sucked' The part where I cried was when he yelled at her, that was hard for me to write because Sirius would never say that stuff if he was thinking straight. I felt bad that I was doing that to him and to Kristen. As for the book she gave him, yeah, I know, it's a rather odd Christmas gift for someone 14,british, and is really not much of a reader. It serves it's purposes later though, much later actually. So, as you know, I adore what you have to tell me, whether it be comments or critisism, praises or putdowns(though not without a reason).

Chapter 44: 83%
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                               83.gif picture by KristenBlack


“So, Christmas gifts, I want mine first!” James announced happily, sitting in the middle of the common room with a pile of gifts in his lap. He threw the ones he had bought at their individual recipient before tearing into his own.

“A book? Are you on crack?” James looked at Kristen, holding up ‘The Hound of Baskervilles’ disdainfully.

She just shrugged her shoulders and smiled lightly at him. “You’ve got to learn how to read eventually James. You got me a voodoo doll, what do you expect me to do with that?”

“Put a picture of Sirius on it,” she heard Remus mutter very quietly. She turned to glare acidly at him before opening her own gifts, save Sirius’s, which she set aside and intended to take to her room and hide it in her trunk at the next possible moment.

“Where’s your gift Remus?” James asked greedily, already having made his way through the others.

“I, actually, have a gift meant for all of you.” Remus told them, looking particularly mischievous as he pulled something from his robes pocket as James muttered ‘cheapskate’. It looked to be a simple piece of parchment. He then pointed his wand on it and said distinctly, “I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

Lines began painting themselves across the page. It was the map they had discovered in McGonagall’s office, only now it seemed distinctly fuller, as if there were things there that hadn’t been before.

“Is that us?” Peter asked, pointing to a clump of dots that were situated in the Gryffindor common room.

“Yep.” Remus said proudly. The whole group leaned over the parchment to see their names tiny scrawled by five dots. “I worked on it all break.”

“Remus, I love you,” Kristen told him quite bluntly. “You are the most amazing and Marauder like person I know. I didn’t know you had it in you!”

“Me either!” James shouted excitedly, grabbing the map and inspecting it closely. “Look, I can see McGonagall in her study, Binns in his class room and…oh,” he stopped, smiling wickedly, “and a certain Jolie we might know in the astronomy tower with a,” he squinted his eyes and peered at the map, “Nathan Harper.”

“Give me that,” Sirius grabbed it next, giving it a good look over as well. “This…simply…I can’t even find words to express how completely awesome this is!”

“And when you’re done, just wipe it clean and say ‘Mischief managed’, simple as that.” Remus told them. He then felt himself being pile drived to floor by his friends as they enveloped him in what could have been debated as either an attempted murder or group hug.
* * *
“Are you ever going to forgive him dear?”

Kristen blinked rapidly. She had been near asleep, which was what always happened when Matthew got onto his Astronomy spree. He never suddenly changed subjects like this though, or maybe he had been talking about it for a while, she couldn’t be sure.

“There’s nothing to forgive.”

Matthew sighed and sat up; forcing her up as well as she had been using his chest as a pillow. “You haven’t been yourself at all since Christmas, and I know it has to do with him, it always does.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Kristen asked him angrily, finding her self now not tired in the slightest.

“It’s been two months since you two had your little fight or whatever, and your still not speaking to him, or even making eye contact for that matter.”

“Shouldn’t that make you happy?”

“You would think,” Matthew admitted. “But if flirting with him is what makes you you, then I really wish you would because I miss that Kristen. The Kristen now is so quite, I hate it!”

“Well if you hate it so much then why don’t you just break up with me?”

“You know that’s not what I want!”

“How would I know what you want? I foolishly thought you wouldn’t want me flirting with Sirius anymore,” She shouted at him, an emotional floodgate that had been building for two months about ready to unleash.

“Just listen to me, would you? Ever since that fight you’ve been different! I just want you back!”

“Maybe I like being this way!” Kristen yelled. “I’m not being nosy, I’m keeping my mouth shut, it’s everything Sirius told me to do!”

“That’s what he told you? Don’t listen to the lousy git!”

“He isn’t lousy, or a git! He was right!”

“So you’re a little nosy? So what? Maybe you talk too much, so what?”

Kristen stopped, looking at him with interest. “What do you mean, so what? Those are bad things.”

“They’re human. I fell for you Kristen, faults and all.” Matthew told her, becoming a little more confident now that she looked to be done yelling. He carefully took her hands in his, making sure first that this didn’t provoke her. When he met no resistance, he continued. “Even Sirius said he didn’t really mean any of that stuff. If you had listened to him once in awhile, you might have realized that.”

Kristen continued to stare at him with a mixture of confusion and anger. She had been listening to Sirius; he had just been apologizing for something. Besides that though, they he had barely spoken to her. They might exchange a word or two at quiditch practice, or perhaps when the Marauders had a group meeting, but otherwise it was total silence between them. “I mean, it doesn’t seem a second goes by he’s not over here begging for your forgiveness!”

Kristen was silent again, thinking. Sirius, apologizing? It didn’t really make sense, unless he’d done something really, really wrong. Maybe Matthew was right; maybe what Sirius had said was wrong.

She looked at him, a new feeling surging through her. The feeling she had lost Christmas day was somehow back, and her stomach fluttered at the thought. She threw her arms around Matthew’s neck and kissed him fiercely before promptly running up the boy’s staircase.

“You’re a real jackass, you know that?”

Four boys wiped around in shock, watching as a possessed looking little blonde girl marched right over to Sirius Black and slapped him hard across the face.

Rather than looking taken aback by her hit, Sirius looked relieved. “That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you!”

“Don’t agree with me!” She spat at him. “I may be a mudblood Sirius, but let me tell you, I am not nosy! I do not talk too much! All I was trying to do was help!”

“I know-”

“I said don’t agree with me! We are having a row and you are going to do it right! I hate you Sirius Black!”

Sirius smiled at her, only fueling her anger. “Well Fine! I hate me too!” He yelled right back at her, grinning widely.

“And even if I am a mudblood I’m the best damn mudblood there is!” She shouted. “So, you know what? I forgive you! You heartless, egotistical, pureblood maniac! I forgive you!” And with that she stomped off, looking rather pleased with herself.

“That was the weirdest fight I’ve ever seen,” Peter commented quietly, still staring at the open door.

“No kidding,” Remus agreed in the same awe-struck voice.

Sirius, however, was simply giddy, as was James, who was happy to have Kristen seeming back to normal. “Marauder meeting!” He called excitedly, rushing from the room with the rest on his heels.

The common room was soon filled with screams of fright as the four boys stormed the room with raucous yells. With easy grace James and Sirius lifted Kristen from the couch (her screams of protest only causing them to move faster) and were running with Remus and Peter from the room.

“Put me down!” She screamed, though there was laughter in her voice.

“Nuh uh! We’ve finally got you acting like a right little ice queen, and I’m not wasting this moment your back to normal!” James taunted her.

They finally reached their destination, a room filled with beanbags, music, and butterbeers. “Matthew is going to be angry at you!” Kristen warned them, grabbing a butterbeer.

“Oh the terror!” Sirius exclaimed. “Believe me, if I was afraid of Carter, the Marauders and I wouldn’t let you date him!”

“Excuse me? I wasn’t aware that I needed your permission.”

Remus stopped suddenly at the tone in her voice as Sirius smirked magnificently. Surely he wouldn’t, surely not now!

“There are a lot of things you aren’t aware of.” Sirius answered back easily as Peter and James fought of the music station and Remus watched in a horrified trance.

“Such as…”

“Upon a recent polling, eighty-three percent of Gryffindor boys find you very attractive.”

“Polling? You go around poling people with questions like that?”

“Yes, and we also found that an overwhelming sixty-eight percent confess that they have snogged you in a broom closet.”

Kristen looked at him, half furious, half embarrassed. “The only boys I’ve ever kissed are Matthew, James, and Lucius, and Lucius was barely anything!” She defended her self heatedly. “Oh, and you, but that hardly counts!”

Sirius looked like he was about to throw something casually back at her but then his face fell. “Why don’t I count, I was probably the best of the four!”

“Because they weren’t real!”

“What do you mean they weren’t real?”

Kristen was looking increasingly agitated, a look that Sirius should have known by now to mean ‘back off’. “I don’t know! We weren’t dating, it wasn’t really consensual, two were in the middle of the night, one I wasn’t myself, on two of them I was just angry…take your pick!”

“Let’s start with the consensual, doll, because you and I both know you are a willing participant. We have this discussion every time!”

“And every time I am right!”

“Oh B.S.! You like it and you know it! I’m not modest; I know I’m a great snogger! Every other girl says so!”

“I didn’t say you were bad, I just said it wasn’t consensual.”

“Oh, then let’s talk about why it being in the middle of the night doesn’t count because I can think of quite a few reason people would be kissing in the middle of the night…”

“Stop! Stop it!” Remus shouted, unable to watch as Sirius dug himself into a never-ending hole. “You,” he said sternly, looking at Sirius, “go to your corner or something, just leave her alone!”

“No, no Remus,” Kristen said unexpectedly. “Let’s hear it Sirius, come on.”

“Well, I mean there are lots of people that kiss in the middle of the night, aren’t there?” Sirius asked her, looking empowered by her challenge.

“You said you hadn’t done that!”

“How do you know I wasn’t lying?”

“You’re fourteen!”

“I’ll be fifteen in like three days!”

“Still!”

“Alright, alright, I haven’t! According to talk though, you have!”

Kristen backed up slightly, looking at him with unease. She seemed to be trying to figure out if he was telling the truth or not. “Really?”

“Um, yeah,” intervened Remus, hoping he could say it in a way that might not upset her. “We hex anybody that says it, but it still goes around. People say that Matthew has been boasting about it.”

“Surely he hasn’t, I mean, Matthew would never do that to me.”

Yet she sounded unsure, and she looked at them apprehensively. “No, he wouldn’t. That would be wrong.”

“So you haven’t…you know?” James asked her, joining the conversation.

“No, of course not!” She quickly defended herself, shocked by all their looks of curiosity. “Not until marriage!”

“Seriously?” Sirius asked, looking skeptical.

“Yes, seriously. That’s something between a husband and wife, I’m no where near ready for it.” Kristen told them heatedly. Though this conversation should be embarrassing her, she found it surprisingly easy, perhaps anger was clouding her other feelings.

Sirius scoffed at that. “Yeah right.”

“Look, just because you guys want to shag the first chance you get, I don’t,” Kristen snapped at them, causing Peter and Remus to blush bright red and James to stare at her with a slightly amused expression on his face. Sirius just looked delighted.

“Ten Galleons says some boy convinces you by the end of fifth year,” He told her, extending his hand.

“Deal,” she decided, shaking it resolutely.

“I put in twenty that it’s Sirius,” James announced, extending his hand as well.

“Oh I definitely agree to that one,” Kristen beamed, shaking his hand enthusiastically. “Just think, I’m going to be thirty Galleons richer!”

“I’ll bet ten that it’s Sirius, but not until seventh year,” Remus decided.

“My bets the same as James’s,” Peter announced, looking convinced that he would win.

“Wow, I feel honored that you are all so sure of my sexual prowess,” Sirius told them quite honestly.

“I just feel lucky that you guys are so stupid. I can already imagine what I’m going to do with those Galleons!” Kristen exclaimed, doing very well at hiding her anger over the bets they were making.

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” Remus warned her.

Kristen just rolled her eyes at him, she had expected him, at least, to be one her side. “So did you guys just drag me down her to tell me that there were rumors about me or was their something meaningful to it?”

“Just the rumors I think. Oh, and that we’re happy your mean again,” Sirius told her.

“No, actually, I do have something to tell you,” James announced. He pulled something from his robe, a large shimmering bundle of cloth.

“Holy shit!” Sirius shouted, the first to realize what it was. “You have been keeping this from us? Are you out of your mind?”

“I just got it a few days ago! My dad sent it to me, he said he couldn’t send it at my birthday or for Christmas because my mum would find out and yell at him.”

“Am I the only one here who has no idea what’s so exciting?” Kristen asked irritably.

James smirked at her, and the promptly covered himself in the cloak. Kristen gasped as he vanished before their very eyes.

“The revamped Marauder’s map, and an invisibility cloak all in one term!” Sirius giggled at the possibilities.

“Oh I can just see Pringley’s drawer for us filling up!” Kristen agreed, imagining everything they could do with this new found object.

“I was hoping to hear you say that. Our pranks have been missing a certain something without you there,” James commented.

“The femininity, you know, the subtle difference between our pranks being violent or just funny,” Remus told them.

“Yeah, or pranks have been rather softer without Kristen around, maybe with her back we’ll manage to land Snivellus in the hospital wing!” Sirius exclaimed excitedly.

“Now you know that’s a bad idea. Anytime we so much as look at him wrong Lily jumps down our throats!” Kristen tried to veer him off. “Let’s stick to some other Slytherin.”

“No way! Snape calls you a mudblood any chance he gets! I don’t know if Lily is delusional or what but the greasy kid deserves to have a good prank pulled on him.” Sirius fought back.

“Look, I don’t like him either, but James really can’t afford anymore set backs with Lily,” Kristen told them, shooting an apologetic look at James.

“Fine, Jamesy doesn’t have to participate!”

“I like that idea!” James said excitedly. “You all can go make his life hell, and I can honestly claim no part in it while annoying Avery or Parkinson.”

Kristen was silent for a moment, contemplating her options. Lily had specifically asked her on many occasions to use her influence on the Marauders to make them stray away from Severus. Lily had always refused to give her a reason why, but seemed adamant about it. Going directly against it seemed, somehow, a very wrong thing to do.

And yet, the kid was a git, and he pretty much deserved to have every prank in the book pulled on him. He never missed a chance to insult James, or Kristen. He had never once said a word against Lily though, even though it was just as widely known that she was a muggle born.

“Alright,” Kristen said, causing Sirius, James, and Peter’s faces to light up (even Remus smirked a bit), “First thing tomorrow, we start the war against Slytherin.” 


(A/N) So did you catch the thinly veiled spoiler? I had fun writing it in. You also may have noticed that this chapter was a bit more...suggestive. They're freshman boys and I am writing them as my best friends were in 9th grade (what a horrid time remenisce on, thank god I'm an upper classman this year!) Also, Sirius did not really poll anyone, though he had heard a number of people talk about 'snogging her in a broomcloset' though that is the censored version. He was just trying to press her buttons and get the truth out of her. And lastly, because I seem to have become incapable of conservatively finishing a chapter, the next one totals at 4,445 words. Here's a teaser for you.   “I don’t know why you don’t like me! I’m pretty, I know I am, and so are you. The two prettiest people should be together, it only makes sense!”  -Kristen St.Claire

Chapter 45: The Sound of Pullling Heaven Down
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                                    thesoundofpullingheavendown.gif picture by KristenBlack

“OW! OW! OW!” Two fourth years shouted as they were dragged down the corridor by a pair of fingers fastened snugly around one of their ears.

“Third time this week!” An irate Professor McGonagall screeched, continuing to lead them to Pringley’s office so that he may have the pleasure of punishing them, again.

“They started it!” Sirius defended himself quickly, cringing as his words only made her pull on his ear harder.

“They really did! Snape called me a mudblood!” Kristen said next, earning an extra tug as well.

“I don’t care if he called you both trolls, you do not, by any means, have the right to hex him, and then turn every fourth year Slytherin’s hair pink!”

Sirius and Kristen giggled in spite of themselves and quickly regretted it the next moment when their head of house’s scowl became even more pronounced and she hauled them into Pringley’s office.

“What? These kids again?”

“I’m afraid so Mr. Pringley. Though at least it’s only two this time and not all five of them.”

“Bring ‘em here, I’ll give ‘em something to do,” The wizened man growled, letting McGonagall gleefully deposited the two mischief-makers and departed back to the great hall.

Sirius and Kristen looked at each other warily, knowing that nothing good could come of this. They were only praying and hoping that whatever he did, it would not interfere with their game tomorrow.

“You’ll be cleaning the trophy room tonight, and you won’t leave until I’m satisfied!” He grinned evilly, putting a hand on each of their shoulders and steering them out of the room.

Three hours later saw the horizon very dark outside the window, and a heavy stench of cleaning products was filling the trophy room. Inside were two teenagers, both heavily inebriated by the fumes.

“You know what else is funny?” Sirius asked her, his lips puckered tightly to keep from laughing.

“What?”

“Boogies!” He shouted, holding his sides tightly as the laughter rolled over him and Kristen once more. It had been like that for the past hour, with words such as Bubbles, pudding, peacock, and peanut butter.

“You know,” Kristen gasped once her laughter had subsided (she couldn’t recall what had caused it but it must have been good if it had both her and Sirius rolling on the ground laughing for nearly five minutes) “this was the first place we ever had detention.”

“Oh yeah!” Sirius exclaimed in sudden remembrance, jerking a trophy from the top most shelf and rubbing it thoughtfully. He grinned wickedly and scooted over to her. “It was right after that when I first kissed you.”

Kristen giggled again, her cheeks inflamed. He was so very cute. She had no idea why she was spending all her time with that Matthew boy when Sirius was ever so close by. “I do remember that,” she told him with an equally wicked grin.”

“Well, I would say we should repeat the night in its entirety, you know, for old times sake, but then Matthew might beat me up,” Sirius told her, his sloppy grin aimed at her.

She bit her lip in contemplation. “Technically, Matthew need never know of this.”

“And technically, you never said you were both exclusive, right?” Sirius asked, his confidence boosted by her apparent liking to the idea.

“Actually, we did.”

“Oh, well, you don’t need him anyways doll,” he told her, scooting even closer, the rag and trophy abandoned. “You’ve got me, and you know I’m ten times better than Carter.”

“That’s true,” Kristen readily agreed, his nearness intoxicating her, marring any morals or conscience she might have left after being assaulted by cleaning products. “You are magnificent, and gorgeous! I’ve always though you were gorgeous.”

“Feelings mutual,” he told her, so close now that he could count every single eyelash that lined her beautiful green eyes if he felt the desire. And then, he leaned forward, capturing her lips.

Kristen heard explosions, though she at least had enough brainpower left at this point to realize that it was inside of her. She eagerly felt for his face, entwining her fingers in his shaggy black hair with passion. She felt him do the same, his touch sending electric pulses through her body.

Her heart was steadily beating faster as they both became a bit too pushy. Soon her back was to the wall and Sirius’s hands had abandoned her hair in favor of her waist. His fingers gently played with the waist of her jeans, only increasing her giddiness.

She wasn’t sure how long she stayed like that with Sirius, it may have been minutes, hours, or several moon lit nights, but it was wonderful, and she never wanted it to end. Nothing like this ever happened with Matthew, it had been minor fireworks at best.

And then he pulled away, only barely. “We can’t,” he mumbled against her lips before pulling away completely, looking heartbroken.

“Why not?” Kristen demanded to know, completely forgetting anything except Sirius.

“I don’t steal people’s girlfriends Kristen.” He told her. His head had been cleared the moment she had fully consented to his kiss, and he felt horrible for letting it go as far as it had. “This…this is wrong.”

“No it’s not!” Kristen fought back. Unlike Sirius, the kiss had only further pulled her under, a feeling she was much obliged to. Things had been utterly stressful lately. Dumbledore kept giving her riddles and drilling her in Occulemency, Jolie was terrified of the upcoming game, they had so much riding on it, and their war with Slytherin was taking its toll on her social life. Not to mention the rumors, which Matthew hurriedly denied he was a part of, and Kristen couldn’t see him lying (so she practiced Legilemency on him occasionally, she felt she deserved some kind of repayment for doing the Headmaster’s lessons). They were getting rather out of hand; something Gwen was all too ready to flaunt any chance she had.

“You’re not thinking straight. Last time I took advantage of that, I regretted it. Look, just go. I can finish up here.” Sirius told her, desperately wanting her out of the room.

Again they both had the flash of déjà vu, only last time, it had been Kristen that asked him to leave after landing them in even more trouble. “No, I’m the one that wanted to do the pink hair! And besides, I don’t want to leave you.”

Sirius groaned. This really was horrible. “Kristen, please, I can do the rest, just go and get some fresh air and get the fumes out of your system.”

Kristen giggled and shook her head, advancing on him. Sirius didn’t want to stop her; he really didn’t want to stop her, even though he had a girlfriend (Elizabeth, who could be a right pain in the arse but was beautiful). It was Kristen for Merlin’s sake! How on earth could anyone actually expect him to not just do what she asked?

Oh yeah, Remus would probably hound him for it later, Kristen would be furious with him come morning, Matthew would probably try to hex him, and everyone would know his secret.

Sirius reluctantly put up his hands to stop her. “Fine. If you won’t leave, at least know that we can’t do that again.”

“Why?” She wined, actually pouting at the prospect of staying away from him. She grabbed onto his hands and pulled them down and stepped closer once more.

“No!” Sirius squeaked, the wall preventing him from backing up much farther.

Kristen looked at him for a moment before throwing his hands in anger and stomping away.

And then she burst into tears.

“You don’t think I’m pretty!” She wailed, her voice bouncing around the room dramatically.

“No, no, no, of course you’re pretty! You’re the prettiest person I know!”

“You’re just saying that you jerk!”

Well, at least she was somewhat back to normal. “Kristen, I think you’re amazing! I told you over Christmas Break, remember?”

“And then you called me a mudblood!”

“That was at a totally different time!” Sirius fought back, watching as her tears fell gracefully down her face.

“What is all the ruckus?” A haggard voice shouted, his footsteps echoing on the stairs.
“Shit!” Sirius mumbled, quickly picking up the trophy and rag and rubbing furiously while Kristen continued to bawl as far away from him as possible.

“What are you doing?” Pringley growled at her, looking very forbidding as he scowled and lumbered near.

“What does it look like I’m doing?” Kristen snapped at him, actually causing the man to take a step back from her.

“Cleaning products.” Sirius intervened quickly before she could get another detention. “They really got to her head, she’s pretty delirious.”

To his enormous surprise, Pringley actually chuckled at that. “I knew these new cleanin’ products would be good! She’s the sixth one to get all cuckoo after cleaning, and I tell you, it never gets old!”

“Huh,” Sirius nodded his head, very disturbed by this man. “You don’t say.”

“Yeah, it’s great!” The old man wiped a tear of mirth from his eye. “You lot can go, it looks good enough.”

Sirius did not stay a moment longer to question his exceptional luck, but instead rushed to pull Kristen from the room and down the stairs.

“Get your bloody hands off of me!” She shrieked as they made their way down. “I hate you Sirius Black!”

Sirius groaned and let go of her, watching as she huffily crossed her arms over her chest and refused to look at him. This was ridiculous. She was mad at him for something he really wanted to do, yet couldn’t.

“I don’t know why you don’t like me! I’m pretty, I know I am, and so are you. The two prettiest people should be together, it only makes sense!” She tried to convince him. “Come on Sirius, you know you want to.”

“Fine!” He shouted, pushing her against the wall with his hands on either side of her. Kristen giggled as he looked at her before kissing her once more.

The fireworks were back, as strong as ever, though for Sirius they were considerably muted by the sound of some little voice yelling at him to get off of her. He eagerly shut it out though, completely enveloped in Kristen’s arms.

Somehow though, it was coming back. It was very loud, and very close. And also very solid.

“What the hell are you doing?”

Sirius felt his shoulder being jerked back as he reluctantly let go of Kristen. “What?” he snapped at whoever it was that had so rudely interrupted him.

“Hello Remy,” Kristen sighed happily, looking at him with a dazed sort of expression.

Remus looked at her curiously before turning back to Sirius. “I repeat, what are you doing?”

“He’s snogging me, and you interrupted it,” Kristen told him, grabbing the front of Sirius’s shirt.

“Cleaning products,” Sirius explained before allowing himself to be dragged forward by her.

“Stop!” Remus told him angrily, shoving Sirius back.

“Look, do you want me to snog you too, because I can, but I really would want to go back to Sirius after that. He’s so hott!” Kristen exclaimed, her face flushed brightly.

“You’re delirious, you need to get fresh air.” Remus told her sternly, grabbing her shoulders and attempting to steer her out of the castle.

“I want to snog Sirius!” She shouted angrily, trying to prevent Remus from steering her out of view of him.

“Geese Remus, give the girl what she wants.”

“Shut up Sirius,” Remus snapped at him. “I notice that you seem perfectly fine and not affected by the products at all.”

Sirius contemplated that for a moment. Perhaps if he started acting the part now, he could plead insanity to these charges later. “You know what I love Remus? Balloons! And pudding!”

“Pudding! I love pudding!” Kristen shouted hysterically, fits of laughter overcoming her.

Remus just glared at Sirius, to which the later raised his eyebrows in challenge. “And peacocks and bubbles!” Sirius exclaimed next, knowing that would set her off.

“Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!” Kristen had fun with word, her breath coming in short bursts as she continued to laugh.

“Kristen?”

Sirius’s eyes widened in horror. There was Matthew, walking out of the library and heralded by her voice. “Matty!” She exclaimed, beaming. “Guess what I did! Guess! Guess! Guess!”

He laughed at her hyperactivity, oblivious to the horror about to be unveiled. “I don’t know, what did you do?”

“We cleaned!” Sirius stopped her, putting a hand over her mouth. She laughed under it. “It was so much fun, best detention ever!”

“Don’t be silly!” Kristen told him, pulling his hand of her mouth. “No, it wasn’t the cleaning I was talking about. Guess who I snogged Matty, guess!”

Simultaneously, the color drained out of Sirius and Matthew’s face, something the latter noticed. “Sirius?” He asked coolly, shooting a murderous look in the boy’s direction.

“Yes!” Kristen shouted in excitement at him getting it on the first try. “It was amazing! Sirius Black is so hott! You’re cute too, don’t get me wrong, but I’m madly in love with Sirius Black! I mean, he’s funny and, and, hott, and funny…”

“Don’t kill me, please! I’m sorry! It was the cleaning products, I promise!” Sirius shouted in his defense when Matthew continued to stare him down.

“Look, I saw it, they were both pretty much high. Kristen is just not readjusting as well as Sirius,” Remus was quick to his defense, despite being angry with Sirius about it. Sirius nodded his head vehemently in agreement, not at all ashamed of lying.

Matthew didn’t say anything, but took Kristen gently by the arm and led her away as she laughed uncontrollably at the latest funny word she had come up with, platypus.

Remus turned to stare at Sirius, who grinned sheepishly in defense. “Oh come on Remus, you can’t expect me to just ignore her when she’s begging for me to snog her! That’s just way too good an opportunity to pass up!”

“Actually, I can. I though you had at least an ounce of self-control. What’s going to happen when she gets clear headed again and realizes what you did.”

“Look, the first time we did it I really was pretty high and the one you saw was because she was angry at me because I refused to do it again. Well, that seemed like a really stupid reason for her to continue being angry at me so I just did what she wanted.”

“You snogged her twice?”

“Oh,” Sirius stopped, feeling exceptionally stupid. Remus wouldn’t have known about what happened in the trophy room, would he. “Well, yes. And it was amazing, let me tell you…”

“I don’t want to hear how great a snogger Kristen is!” Remus told him sternly. “Every other bloody time you’ve done this, it has ended badly. Or have you forgotten?”

“What would you have done Remus if the girl you had fallen for begged you to snog her? You can’t honestly say you would pass it up!”

Remus was silent and then, to Sirius’s immense surprise, he smiled, just a little. “You’re right. I wouldn’t have. I suppose I can’t blame you.”

“Thank you!” Sirius said happily, breathing much easier now that Remus was back on his side. Though many might not know it, Remus really was a formidable enemy. “It was really nice though…”

“La, la, la!” Remus shouted, covering his ears with his hands. “I don’t want to hear it, it’s Kristen for Merlin’s sake!”

Sirius rolled his eyes, instead simply reminiscing in his own head. He could imagine himself doing that more often, every day in fact. Between classes, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in the common room, in the room of requirement, anywhere and anytime actually. The light kisses riddled with guilt and her yelling were nothing in comparison to what just happened.

“Hello! Earth to Sirius!”

Sirius snapped to attention, only just realizing that he was in the common room, a widely grinning James greeting him enthusiastically. “Did you seriously mate?”

“What?” Sirius asked, looking between James and Remus for clarification. Remus just shrugged, but James was not thrown off that easy.

“You snogged her?” Lily ran up to him, looking furious. “How dare you!”

“How do you guys already know that?” Remus asked them worriedly.

“Kristen came in here and announced it to everyone. Matthew did not look too happy about it,” Peter told him, throwing in the last bit for fun. “He carted her off after that and she just laughed and proclaimed her love for you.”

“Do you realize what this is going to do to her and Matthew’s relationship?” Lily snapped at him, pushing everyone else out of the way so she could scold him properly. “You’ve ruined it! Just because you wanted to snog her while she was…indisposed!”

“Look, I definitely don’t need this from you Miss ‘I’m such a pretty and smart little flower child’!” Sirius snapped back. “I can take it from them, their my best friends and know what I’m dealing with.”

“I’m Kristen’s best friend and I know you’ve fallen for her, but that does not excuse the fact that you just ruined what she had with Matthew! She was happy with him!”

“You told her?” Sirius yelled at James, who looked scared out of his wits.

“Potter didn’t tell me anything. I mean, anyone with eyes can see what’s going on!” Lily told him forcefully, abhorring the idea of ever listening to James.

“Then you will have realized that if she was delusional from cleaning products, I must have been as well,” Sirius told her. “It was an accident Evans! Don’t go telling people it wasn’t! Besides, it’s really your friend Snivellus’s fault! If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have been in detention to begin with!”

Lily narrowed her eyes dangerously. “Hardly! If I remember correctly, you hexed him!”

“After he called Krissie a mudblood!”

Lily blushed unexpectedly. “Well…that still is no excuse. I admit, he should not have called her that…”

“Why do you defend him? He’s an arrogant, disgusting, and dark arts obsessed kid!”

“He used to be my best friend. We may not be so close any more but I will not abandon him just because I’m in Gryffindor and he’s in Slytherin!”

“Whatever,” Sirius mumbled, too irritable at the moment to deal with her.

“You are so going to get it,” Xavier told him, sauntering over after hearing the conversation. “I’ve never seen Matthew look as angry as he did just now.”

“Well there you go Evans, I’m going to get my just deserves.” Sirius told her angrily, his mind in turmoil.

“Well of course I don’t want him to hex you! Honestly, I’d much rather you were with Kristen instead of…what? You can’t all say you don’t want to same thing!” Lily told them, looking at all their shocked faces.

“Wait,” Xavier said slowly, looking from Sirius’s calculating face, to Lily’s expectant. “You really do?” he asked, looking at Sirius.

“No! No I don’t!” Sirius shouted a bit more harshly than necessary. “I don’t like St.Claire! Does everyone hear that? I. Do. Not. Like. Kristen. St.Claire!”

The room stopped, watching him. “I am perfectly happy with my girlfriend, Kristen’s happy with her boyfriend! I don’t like her, I just snog her!”

“What?”

Sirius whipped around, the tiny voice making his heart beat several times faster than normal and his own voice to go up several octaves. “Kristen. What are you doing here?”

“I told Matthew that I wanted to be with you and he let me go,” Kristen told him, her eyes watery, though not nearly as wild as they had been only an hour ago.

“Oh shit,” Sirius heard James mutter behind him.

“Is that all I am Black? Someone to snog?” She asked, her tears of sorrow now more pronounced as tears of fury.

“No, no, that’s not what I-”

“That’s just what you announced to the entire common room!”

“I didn’t mean-”

“I can’t believe you! It’s only been two weeks since I forgave you and now you do this! I was ready to give it a shot!”

“Give…give what a shot?”

“Us! You and me! I mean, I know it may not be your favorite idea, but you have to admit that you’re curious! I was ready to try!”

Something very large and very sharp seemed to be suddenly stuck in Sirius’s throat. This was not fair, not fair at all. “Kristen, I do want to try…”

“Yeah right! Like I would ever consider you after that brilliant announcement!” She snapped at him. “You are such a jerk! I can’t believe that you would do this to me!”

“Kristen! Listen to me!”

“I’m done listening to you! You are such a full of yourself playboy! Don’t ever talk to me again!” She shouted, sprinting for the stairs with Lily in close pursuit.

James let out a low whistle. “Man, that veritaserum really got to her.”

“The truth potion?” Remus asked. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“Oh, my house elf told me about it this one week I had to help her. Most cleaning products have a dash of veritaserum for stains. If you inhale too many cleaning products, the veritaserum will begin to affect you, if only a little. It seems though that that’s all it takes for Kristen.”

“Wait! So everything she said was the truth?”

“Yeah, afraid so mate.”

Sirius’s eyes lit up in joy. “No, the stuff she said before she started yelling was true then! She actually wanted to give us a shot!”

“Well, maybe, but she still hates you now.”

“Who cares about that!” Sirius told them irritably! “Don’t you understand? She was willing! She was gong to give me a chance!”

“She’s not going to now…”

“Would you all stop being such spoil sports! Do you know what this means? She liked me! And if she did, all I have to do is get in her good graces again! It’ll be simple, you know she can never stay mad at us for long!”

James smiled too now, followed closely by Remus and Peter. “Alright,” James said. “I think I’m beginning to see your point. Kristen had actually fallen for you too!”

“Exactly!” Sirius shouted in joy, actually hugging Remus tightly in his euphoria.

Sirius suddenly felt a hand on his shoulder, and by the looks of terror on his friends’ faces, he had a pretty good idea of who it was. “We need to talk,” A gravely voice said, steering him away forcefully.

“Wherever he goes, we go to!” James declared loyally, though Remus and Peter looked uneasy.

“I don’t think so shrimp,” Matthew told him, flexing muscles that Sirius had never noticed before.

“I’m not going to let you hex our best friend!” James continued to stand by him.

“Think about what you’re saying. Why would I hex him when we’ve got a game tomorrow? Believe it or not, I do want to win.”

“Oh, that’s okay then,” James told him, glad to be able to get away guilt free.

Sirius tried continually to speak in his own defense as Matthew dragged him over to a corner of the common room, but found that, once again, that large and sharp object was caught in his throat.

“Alright Black, let’s discuss you using Kristen as a plaything. That does not fly with me.”

“Me either!” Sirius agreed, shaking his head forcefully.

“And yet you keep snogging her and having no thought to commitment.”

“Commitment? What do you want me to do, marry her?”

Matthew scowled, his eyes darkening. “At least date her. Look, she may be my ex now, but I still care a hell of a lot about her, probably more than you ever could in your entire life.”

Sirius’s fear momentarily dissipated. “Ex? You two broke up?”

“She was bound and determined to tell you that she loved you or whatever. I decided that it was best just to let her go because I thought you would treat her well. But I guess the only thing you think about where she is concerned is the physical relationship.”

“No, she just came in on the wrong part of the conversation! I didn’t really mean that!”

“Yeah right Black. Believe me, the school has heard of your exploits!”

“I would never hurt Kristen!”

“And yet you have so many times this year!”

Sirius was silent, Matthew’s words enveloping him. He was right; he had hurt Kristen on multiple occasions. “Look, Matthew, I haven’t even told my friends this alright, but I…I…”

“What?” Matthew growled at him.

“’The ‘L word’ her! I can’t say it, but it’s true! I don’t care if I’m fifteen, I really do l…you know what!”

“Sirius, if you can’t even say it, I highly doubt you love her. Maybe as a friend, but definitely not in the sense you’re trying to convince me of.”

“I don’t need to prove it to you, or anyone else for that matter!”

“That’s where you’re wrong. You put another toe out of line where Kristen’s concerned, and you will deeply regret it. She broke up with me, it wasn’t consensual. Remember that.”

“Well that was dramatic,” Sirius muttered in spite of himself as Matthew stocked away and up to his dormitory.

“So, what’s the damage?” James asked him with concern.

“He’s pretty much going to kill me with the first excuse he gets.” Sirius responded honestly.

“Not if Kristen gets to you first,” Lily piped in, having retreated to the common room to avoid to books that were flying across her dormitory. “I’ve never seen Kristen this furious!”

“Thank you flower child for just making my day better!” Sirius spat at her icily.

“Don’t talk to her that way!”

“I do not need you defense Potter, especially from Sirius!”

“You know, I think I’m going to find Elizabeth,” Sirius mused as Lily yelled continually at James, while the later simply watched her with a sloppy grin on his face. “I could use a good snog.”

Remus looked at him with disgust. “You just snogged Kristen twice and look where it’s got you! Don’t you think that maybe you should lay off for awhile?”

“No. When Lizzy snogs me, I don’t think. It would be really nice right now to not be able to think. And besides, I really like snogging, and I’m very good at it, so of course I wouldn’t give it up.”

Remus watched him go, wondering how on earth they had become friends. 


A/N So what did you think of this chapter? Loved it? Hated it? I'm eager to hear your thoughts on it. And because I had so much fun leaving a teaser last time, here are two, simply because I can not pick between them. By the way, the next chapter totals 3,316 words
"Welcome to the 'Damn it, Kristen wants to kick my arse' club!"  -Sirius Black
                                                               or
"I think Kristen is...is...um...sexy!" Remus Lupin
Remember though that either of these can be taken out of context, said while intoxicated, or said because of a dare or other means of forcing. Just a note.

Chapter 46: The She-devil
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                                       the-She-Devil.gif picture by KristenBlack


“I’m just in shock that Sirius’s got through it in one piece,” James whispered furtively the next day, though there really was no need. The sound in the Common Room could easily be compared to a sonic boom, and no one would have been able to hear their conversation. “I mean, with Kristen and Matthew out to get him, he hardly stands a chance of living past sixteen.”

“James! Remus! What are you doing? Come join the party!” Kristen shouted at them from across the room.

“She’s evil you know,” James continued, watching as she turned to flirt with an unsuspecting third year. “Did you hear what she told Lily at breakfast?”

“Yeah,” Remus answered him. ‘Oh shush Lily; I’m not going to touch Severus again. Believe me, there’s another boy right now I would dearly love to torture much more than Snape.’ “He should really watch his back. Kristen’s the most demonic of any of us.”

“It’s no wonder her mother thought she was the Anti-Christ,” James mused, though he would never say it to Kristen.

As if on cue, the glass that Sirius was holding while talking to Jolie suddenly erupted, covering him in butterbeer while the entire common room laughed. Being the person that he was, Sirius was able to still look cool and at ease as he laughed along with them and cleaned himself off. Kristen, mean while, was looking at him with the deepest loathing.

“Put the demonic-ness and teenage girl mood swings together, and you get one huge problem,” Remus calculated.

“Hey guys,” Sirius greeted them happily, his dark hair still damp. “What are you doing?”

“Discussing your likelihood of living until the end of term.” Remus answered him honestly.

Sirius paled considerably, knowing that the odds were probably not too good. “Well, so far she hasn’t been too violent. Maybe she doesn’t really want to hurt me.”

“I think she just hasn’t thought of a way to do it yet without getting caught,” Remus answered him again. “I think she may have intended some of that glass to fly a bit harder at you.”

“James, Remus, I thought I told you guys to join the party!” Kristen told them gleefully, completely ignoring Sirius’s presence as she trotted up to them. “What are you doing over here, snogging? I wouldn’t suggest that, the last time someone did it to me I ended up plotting their death.”

“We are not snogging,” James told her with laughter. “That’s a you and Sirius thing. Oh, sorry, too early for jokes?” He stuttered, noticing her look of hatred.

“Come on Remus,” Kristen said forcefully, jerking him out of his seat.

“Well, at least she’s not only planning my death now, that makes me feel a bit better,” Sirius put an arm over James’s shoulder brotherly. “Welcome to the ‘Damn it, Kristen wants to kick my arse’ club!”

“Glad to be a member!” James proclaimed, clapping his arm over Sirius’s shoulder. “We should really get more people.”

“Yeah, because the more members we get, the less likely she is to remember that we were the first two initiated!” Sirius looked thrilled by the idea, but then his face sunk. “Wait, would it be mean to Kristen to get people to be mean to her so that she hates them?”

“Probably.”

“Then I can’t do it or Matthew will hex me into oblivion, and that would really suck. He could possibly ruin my angelic face!”

“And then you would have absolutely no good traits!”

“Neither would you!” Sirius shot back. “The only thing you’ve got going for you is an attractive friend!”

“I’m attractive!” James whined.

Sirius rolled his eyes at him, glad that at least James was acting normally. Remus had been rather stand offish with him, and Peter was taking a very strict neutrality with the whole thing and refused to speak to Sirius or Kristen, and then Kristen…well, there was no explanation needed.

Sirius groaned. Gwen was waltzing over to him, her head high, her hair billowing elegantly. Though she was often gazed at with admiration from the boys of Gryffindor, it never rivaled Kristen’s, something she would never let go.

“Hello Sirius,” she purred, delicately sliding her hand along his shoulder, causing James to quickly let go. He’d had his turn with Gwen, nearly all the boy’s in fourth year had, even Peter, and he was not ready to have a second go. “Heard about what happened between you and the she-devil.”

“Kristen is not a she-devil.”

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to insult your plaything. But you know, I’m good at playing myself.”

“Gwen,” Sirius said, turning to look at her face. It had transformed quite a bit from his days with her. She wore a considerable amount of make-up, which seemed to both help and hurt her appearance. If anything, it just helped back to rumors that circled her. “Get away from me. I happen to like Kristen, immensely so. She is not my ‘plaything’ as everyone seems to think, she’s my best friend, just like James, Remus, or Peter, however I do not snog them. We just get along better than usual sometimes.”

“And then you take her up to the astronomy tower,” Gwen told him assuredly.

“The only girl I have ever taken up there was you, and Rachel, and Olivia, but besides that no one. Dating you was the worst mistake I ever made!”

Gwen didn’t look abashed at all by his comment. “You know you liked it Sirius. Without me you never would have experienced-”

“Don’t you think Rachel or Olivia was just as good as you? Face it honey, your only attribute doesn’t even stand out.”

“You keep telling yourself that. But when you ready for the time of your life, you know where to find me,” she told him softly. And before he could react she stood on tiptoe and gently kissed him on the lips. She then winked flirtatiously at him and walked gracefully away, her hips wagging as several boys watched her.

As he watched her with a grimace he noticed the smell of burning. He quickly looked around for its source and found that smoke was billowing around him. “Help! Someone get water!” He yelled, dancing on the spot as the burning smell increased and smoke began to cloud his vision.

And then he felt a gush of water so strong that it threw him off his feet and into the wall. Though the heat and smell of smoke was gone, he now had a throbbing headache from where it had hit the stone and very solid wall. “I didn’t mean that much!” He shouted at who ever had hit him with the tumult of water.

“Oh, terribly sorry,” he heard her voice, flowing with obvious sarcasm. She was standing just feet away from him, a smirk on her face and her eyes flashing menacingly. “I was just trying to help. But I guess my help isn’t good enough for you.”

“Well, you are the one that caused me to be on fire.”

“You can’t prove that,” Kristen told him confidently. “For all anyone else know, it was just Gwen, upset that you wouldn’t shag her in the astronomy tower.”

So she had heard, apparently only the ending. Well, spectacular! She didn’t even hear the part where he was defending her, that was just great. “If you have forgotten you once set my roll on fire with just a glare. Setting me on fire seems to be your signature prank now.”

He thought he saw a ghost of an actual smile for a moment, but it was quickly replaced by her knowing smirk. “Well good luck proving it to McGonagall.”

“Why would I turn you in?” Sirius asked her, wanting to keep the conversation going as long as possible. “So that you can be even more mad at me, no thanks.”

“I’m not mad at you,” Kristen said quietly, stepping closer to him. She looked up into his eyes, a smile across her face. Sirius’s heart was beating very fast right now. Could he possibly win an amazing game of quiditch and be forgiven all in one day. “I absolutely loath you Sirius Black!” With that she stomped hard on his foot and stormed off.

Apparently not.
* * *
“Believe me, if I never speak to her again, it will be too soon.” Sirius told a girl with long black hair huffily, his arms crossed moodily over his chest.

“That’s all right dear, you can just talk to me,” Elizabeth cooed, tiptoeing her fingers up his chest.

“I mean, what does she want me to do? I can’t just keep apologizing!”

“And you shouldn’t sweetheart,” Elizabeth continued to try and grab his attention, trying to scoot herself onto his lap. Sirius didn’t stop her, the distraction was welcome.

He was running at two weeks with no look of forgiveness from Kristen. It was, he must admit, better than the two months after Christmas, when she had simply been depressed when he was around. She had barely looked at him then, and when she did, her eyes were so filled with hurt.

She looked at him now, though it was usually a vicious snarl or a dangerous grin, neither of which spelled good news. And then the boyfriend had come.

He was even worse than Matthew; at least he’d been in Gryffindor and was fairly easy to keep an eye on. This new boy though, some Ravenclaw, was not. He was cocky, and loud, and stupid, which didn’t make sense considering what house he was in, and ugly, and Sirius just didn’t like him.

“You know what else makes me angry,” Sirius said suddenly, stopping mid kiss. Elizabeth very reluctantly set back straight. “She’s even got that Alex boy helping her make my life Hell now! How is that fair, I ask you, how?”

“It’s not,” Elizabeth readily agreed, leaning towards him again.

“And another thing,” Sirius continued, not noticing Elizabeth’s groan of impatience. “Why would she so suddenly just break up with Matthew and then go out with some other boy?”

“I don’t know Sirius,” she moaned, groping for his hair. “Just forget about her! Right now, it’s just you, me, and the astronomy tower.”

“Gladly,” Sirius sighed, finally consenting to what she wanted.

* * *
“Where’s Black?” Kristen entered the room of requirement, looking disorderly and angry at something.

“Somewhere with Elizabeth,” James answered off-handedly, putting pieces of lacewing on a bubbling potion with delicacy as Remus watched him.

“Oh, well I should have guessed. Obviously I’m not up to his standard of a whore so he has to run off with her,” Kristen exclaimed tearing off her coat and scarf before sitting beside Peter, who hurriedly scooted away in fear for his own safety.

James and Remus decided it best not to respond. Anything they said would be twisted and turned so as to make it seem and insult to her. Instead they kept their focus on the potion brewing between them.

“I mean, how much of an idiot can one boy be?” She asked heatedly to no one in particular.

“About as much as a girl I would imagine,” James answered without thinking.

“Are you calling me an idiot Potter?”

“No,” he sighed, very nearly getting fed up with her and Sirius’s antics as of late.

She crossed her arms over her chest and looked away from them, her face hard, and yet her eyes were soft. “I just broke up with Alex,” she told them quietly.

“You just started going out with him last week!” Remus exclaimed, nearly dropping a bezoar into their potion, which would have put them back at square one.

“Well, I don’t like him anymore!” She snapped at him, causing Remus to cringe involuntarily. “Sorry,” she said unexpectedly. “He kept asking me when we could…you know. I guess it’s just causing me to be really high strung at the moment.”

“We’ve gotten used to it,” James told her, finally looking away from the complicated potions to look at her. Her face was very red, her eyes is particular. He hadn’t noticed that she had been near crying when she first came in. “Ever since…the fall out, you’ve been kind of bitchy, no offense.”

“None taken,” Kristen responded coolly, flipping her hair back dramatically.

“I don’t blame you,” James continued quickly, leaving the potion to Remus for the moment. “Sirius was in the wrong by saying that, but can’t you cut the poor guy a break? He doesn’t really snog you just have someone to snog! Sirius is above that! It’s not like he goes around shagging random girls!”

“Well boys, I am officially a man!” A voice boomed with excitement, entering the room. Kristen turned to look at him, her scowl set firmly upon her face the moment he stepped through the door. She watched with satisfaction as the color drained out of his face.

“Ruining some other girl’s reputation Black?” Kristen asked him icily, standing up quickly.

“No,” he stuttered, backing up slightly. “She was totally willing, I promise! The only people I’m telling are you guys!”

“What, you don’t want to make everyone think she’s some kind of whore that pays compliments to her friends in the form of snogs and lap dances?”

“Kristen! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean for it to come out that way! What else do you want me to tell you?” He shouted at her.

Kristen didn’t respond to that but furiously picked up her coat and scarf and marched out of the room.

“Why is it that every time I say something I don’t want her to hear she’s magically right next to me?” Sirius asked them, sighing heavily and taking her abandoned seat.

“Who bloody cares right now?” James yelled, running to him. “You seriously did ‘it’? It?”

“Yeah,” Sirius replied, his euphoric mood back in an instant. “It was amazing mate! I’m totally a man now! And you all are boys!”

“I always figured you’d be the first one anyways,” Remus said, leaving the potion to boil for the appropriate two hours before the next ingredients needed to be added. “It was Elizabeth, right?”

“No I found some random girl walking down the hallway and asked her if she wanted to shag.” Sirius told him with a completely stoic face. “Of course it was Elizabeth you idiot!

“Hey, wouldn’t it have been great if Kristen came back the moment you said that,” Peter laughed to himself. Instinctively, the others turned to the door, expecting to see her there. But the doorway was empty, Sirius was safe.

“Yeah, it’d be a right laugh,” Sirius told Peter, hitting him on the back of the head.

“So come on, tell us what happened!” James urged him excitedly.

“Well, it started-”

“I don’t want to hear about this,” Remus told him sternly. “That is between you and Elizabeth, you shouldn’t be flaunting it about!”

Sirius rolled his eyes. “’Flaunting it about’ would be talking loudly about it in the middle of the common room. So anyways-”

“Still! Who wants to hear how you shagged her? I don’t need the details, personally.”

“What kind of boy are you?” James snapped at him harshly. “In fact, I’d say you were more of a girl.”

“Remus is a girl! Remus is a girl!” Peter and Sirius sang together, collapsing into laughter only seconds later.

“I am not a girl! I think Kristen is…is…um…sexy. And I like fast brooms, and sports, and…and…I’m completely happy Sirius got to shag a girl, I just don’t want to hear about it!” The others smirked at him, obviously unconvinced. “Look, do any of you turn into a deadly monster once a month, I didn’t think so! That’s totally manly!”

“Every girl turns into a monster once a month,” Peter reminded him with a gleeful smile.

“Not a deadly one!”

“Have you met Kristen St.Claire? She can be pretty deadly!” Sirius snapped at him, his bad mood back as he was forced to think about her. “But fine, I won’t go into details. Just know that it was completely amazing!”

“Thank you,” Remus muttered.

“Merlin, I need Lily to like me!” James suddenly exclaimed.

“Why, so you can shag her?” Remus asked him angrily.

“No! So we can talk,” answered James with a knowing smile.

“In the astronomy tower I bet,” Sirius continued for him. “Mate, you’ve got girls trailing after you, not as many as me, but still! Forget flower child and go for one of them. I’m sure they’d be more than willing.”

“Really, you think?” James perked up a bit.

“You’re despicable, both of you,” Remus told them sternly. “Is that all girls are to you now?”

“We’re guys Remus!” Sirius reminded him haughtily. “It’s what we’re supposed to think!”

“Merlin, its no wonder Kristen hates you now! I’m pretty close and you haven’t even ruined by reputation!”

“I did not ruin her reputation! Those rumors were flying about long before I announced it to the Gryffindor common room! Why are you always on her side Remus? You know I didn’t mean that, I just wanted them off my case!”

“Because she’s usually right where you’re concerned!”

“Stop it! Geese, why do we always have to be in some fight or another,” Peter moaned, taking charge for once in his life. “It’s between Kristen and Sirius, Remus, just leave it be!”

Remus breathed heavily but accepted the truth in Peter’s words and instead went to get a book on the potion he was brewing to occupy his angry thoughts. “So how’s it coming?” Sirius asked, sort of his way of an apology. If you ever wanted to get back on Remus’s good side, just talk about something smart.

“Good, James hasn’t managed to screw it up yet,” Remus answered, waving off James’s look of anger as he walked back over to the potion and gazed at it with admiration. “At this rate, you all should be able to start attempting to be animagus by June.”

“Wait just a sec,” James halted him. “What do you mean, attempting? I thought that once this potion was done we were in the clear!”

“Of course not, how many time do I have to explain this to you? You have to drink the potion until you’re able to make the transformation with only you’re wand, and then after that you work on doing it wandless. It normally takes a good year to get off using the potion, if you do at all that is.”

“A year?” Sirius exclaimed, “but that’s forever!”

Remus rolled his eyes. “Look, you get to start trying in June, and the potion isn’t really that much of a haggle, just a necessity until you can go without it. I’ve got a full moon June 13th, so you guys are going to have to move pretty fast at learning to fully transform and untransform before you can go with me.”

“I can still remember when the very idea of us doing this terrified you. And now look, you’re making the potion for us,” Sirius told him cockily, folding his hands behind his head.

“So I’ve relaxed on the rules a bit, it’s not a big deal.”

“We’re breaking several wizarding laws.”

“Do you want me to make the potion or not?”

That effectively shut the others up and James watched warily as Remus took on a malicious look, an evil glint in his eye. Never once had Remus used his intelligence against them, he’d never really been able to (though hardly anyone knew it, the Marauders were intelligent, all of them, even Peter when he had his good days). But none of them had even an ounce of decent potion skills; they got through class by getting whispered instruction from Remus. And now, James knew that this potion was going to ensure Remus’s easy ride for the rest of the year. 

 
A/N So, how did you like it? Alot I hope, I had a great time writing this one, especially the last part. Merlin, Kristen can be evil when she wants to. Anyways, I've got some things to tell you. Firstly, I've been meaningt o say this forever, if you ever saw 'Hairspray' and need a better picture of Mrs.St.Clarie, think Penny's mom. Yeah, she would tie Kristen to a bed post if she could. Secondly, If any of you were wondering just why i changed the title of the last chapter, it was due to the fact that A.) I hated the chapter picture, and B) The sound of Pulling Heaven Down is possibly one of the most beautiful songs ever written (at least to me) by Blue October. The lyrics are on my 'meet the author page' if you should by some strange chance want to see them. And lastly, here is your special little quote. I know you'll enjoy this one.
"Food fight!" - James Potter

Chapter 47: In My Place
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                                      in-my-place.gif picture by KristenBlack

So yeah, a very boring chapter picture, sorry, I wasn't feeling very creative at the time. And a note to everyone, I promise I am not ignoring your reviews. This is the first time I've ever had to deal with AP classes and a job, it's taking some getting used to. And also, I know I've spoiled you all on this story with the lastest string of mid-3,000 words chapter and yet this is 2,500. I'm sorry, the end just felt like and ending so I have to stick with it. Don't worry though, the next one totals at 3,410. So, onto the chapter!

*************

“So…do you…um…want to go someplace more private?”

Kristen groaned and pushed the newly revealed scumbag away. “Get a life!” She barked at him, the boy looking utterly disappointed, not that she cared. She stormed away from where they had been quietly talking and flirting in the library to great hall, only a few minutes early for Dinner.

The few people that were already in there watched her intently as she marched to her table. Kristen caught a couple of boys snickering as she walked past and desperately fought the urge to hex them then and there. But right now, she was working on people seeing her in a better light, and hexing two Hufflepuffs would not be the way to do it. She was just thankful that she only had to walk to the third table and that only one first year Slytherin was seated at the second. Honestly, whoever had decided to sit Gryffindor and Slytherins next to each other was clearly off their rocker. It had probably been Dumbledore.

“You look stressed,” Lily commented to her moments later when she too sat down at the Gryffindor table. Kristen just raised her eyebrows at her. “Who was it this time?” Lily asked sympathetically.

“Evan Nelson.” Kristen sighed, half-heartedly putting food on her plate. She kept her eyes down as people began to fill the Great Hall, particularly the Slytherins.

“Evening Evans, St.Claire,” Sirius greeted them formally, sitting opposite Kristen as the new tradition dictated. Before long, James was on his left, Peter on his right, and Remus next to Kristen, where he could easily stop her should Sirius say the wrong thing, again, and she felt compelled to whip out her wand.

“So, everyone, what’s new?” James asked casually, attempting to start conversation, something not many even thought of anymore. The tension in that sector of the table was palpable.

“I got a ‘T’ in potions today,” Peter announced with a shrug.

“I got a ‘P’,” James replied, and then their conversation ended, the only noise from them being the clink of silverware on plates.

“Hey! St.Claire!”

Kristen instinctively looked up, but she instantly wished she wouldn’t have. A sixth year Slytherin boy winked and made a kissing face at her before laughing loudly with his comrades. She let out a defeated groan and sunk her head into her arms, refusing the comfort of Lily’s soothing words.

Sirius contemplated what he was going to do for only a moment. He looked behind him and spotted the catcalling boy, scooped a glob of mashed potatoes in his hand, aimed, and then flung it at the idiot’s head.

There were several courses of “oohs” from the Slytherin’s surrounding friends while Sirius’s simply watched in an anxious silence, waiting to see what would happen next, or if perhaps a teacher had seen.

But no one came, the teachers were all busily eating, discussing their lesson plans with other teachers, or just totally oblivious to the world around them. After checking this, the Slytherin picked up a bowl of gravy, and sloshed the contents onto the Gryffindor table.

Sirius ducked, out of instinct, and listened to the high-pitched gasps of the girls, and Remus. He looked to see them all covered thoroughly in gravy, Kristen looking enraged. Sirius flinched at the thought of what she would do to him when she picked up a chicken leg, and then flung it with vengeance at the Slytherins. By now, the better half of the Slytherin and Gryffindor tables were watching this transaction intently, almost eagerly awaiting the chance they would get to join in.

“Food fight!” James stood up and shouted.

Food was instantly flying everywhere, some propelled by wand, others by brute force. Within seconds, Lily, Kristen, Remus, Peter, James, and Sirius were covered from head to toe in an array of food. Lily was shrieking at them all, ducking under the table for safety, while Kristen was laughing as she scooped handful after handful of food with the others.

The Slytherins, however, were not laughing. This seemed to be a serious battle to them, one that they had to win. They were done throwing soft foods now, it was the chicken and other meat products that were being most viciously launched at the young Gryffindors, and they could already feel several bruises blossoming. But they didn’t care, none of the lions did, this was war.

“Stop it! Stop it!” Several teachers were shouting, trying to figure out how to do this without stunning any students. That proved to be difficult however as barely any of the students were paying the slightest attention.

And then she came.

The head of Gryffindor house was looking particularly murderous as she stormed down the walkway between the Slytherin and Gryffindor tables, people stopping the instant they saw her. All except one.

There were several gasps as green peas collided with a prim and proper face. Kristen’s hands flew over her mouth in horror at what she had just done.

McGonagall breathed deeply, calming herself as the entire student body watched in anticipation. She pristinely flicked away the bits of peas that clung to her face. “All Gryffindors and Slytherins involved in this abomination are to stay here to await punishment. Everyone else is to leave. Do no try to sneak out if you were involved, your punishment will only be far worse if you should try.” Her booming voice quieted, though only marginally. “Miss Evans, please do come up from the floor, and you five, come with me.”

They followed McGonagall in anxious silence, Remus easily the most frightened of them all. She led them to her office, a place where no good could come.

“I…I don’t think I even want to know what you have to say for yourselves,” McGonagall was so angry she was even having trouble speaking clearly. “That was despicable, horrific, and the least mature thing you lot have ever done!”

“Professor, it was my fault,” Sirius told her bravely, “I let one of their insults get to me and started the food fight.”

“Well, Mr. Black, I must say that I’m extremely-”

“I started throwing the food Professor.” Kristen announced, her face hard and determined. “It wasn’t Sirius, it was me.”

Sirius quickly looked at her, wondering why she would even consider taking the blame. “No professor, I did it,” James then declared, looking proud.

Remus sighed and said, “No, it was me.”

“I did it!” Peter piped in.

McGonagall looked at them all shrewdly. There was Sirius, looking confused but delighted, James looked to be having the time of his life, Peter as well, Remus looked nearly sick, and Kristen looked near tears. “Fine, if you want to play that game, then you all have detention, Sunday through Tuesday night, until the end of term.”

Five mouths dropped open in shock. “And I think twenty points a piece should teach you that I do not tolerate this sort of behavior. I will see you tomorrow night, and I suggest not pulling anymore pranks that might result in even more detentions, or expulsion from the Gryffindor team.” She then sighed. "It seems Headmaster Dumbledore's plan to promote Gryffindor-Slytherin unity is not going to come to anything. I'm afraid that it might be better to just move you apart." She stoped then, noticing the looks of absolute glee on all their faces at the mention of that. "You should be ashamed that you destroyed all possible chances at unity! Go! And I better see you here promptly at eight Sunday night!"

They scampered after that, wanting to put as much space between them and Professor McGonagall as possible. “That was wicked mate,” James laughed as he worked on getting some food off his clothes.

“I’m going be cleaning carrots out of my ears for months!” Remus complained.

“Shame about detention though. Three days a week until the end of term! That’s going to be horrible!” Peter groaned.

“And if St.Claire, James or I do anything else she’ll kick us off the team.” Sirius reminded them, though there was still a wide grin plastered across his face.

“Don’t call me St.Claire.” Kristen suddenly said unexpectedly, halting the group as they trekked the familiar route to the Room of Requirement. Sirius turned to look at her hesitantly, almost afraid that her gaze might rival that of a basilisk. But her eyes were soft, near tears even. “You defended me even after the crap I’ve put you through this past month. I’m sorry, really.”

Once again, the boys were held in a shocked silence. They had been sure Kristen would be furious with Sirius for starting the fight, even if she had tried to get him out of trouble with McGonagall. “Oh, please stop staring at me like that, you’d think that you’d never heard me apologize!”

“I don’t think I have,” admitted Peter seriously.

“Of course I have!” Kristen was quick to defend herself. “Look, can you guys go on ahead, I need to talk to Sirius.”

“Will do,” James agreed happily, grabbing both Remus and Peter by the arm and winking stealthily at Sirius.

“You wanted to talk?” Sirius asked her a bit hesitantly.

“I just want to tell you how sorry I am. I was horrible, I guess I just used all my frustration at people thinking I was a…a scarlet woman or something and took it out on you. I know you don’t like me, like that anyways, and you were just trying to get people off your case.” Kristen blushed hotly as she apologized; the whole thing was somewhat foreign to her, especially with Sirius. “So I promise not to sick any of my boyfriends on you anymore, or purposefully make you life hell.”

“At least for the time being,” Sirius added. “We both know that by the end of the year we will have gotten in even more fights, probably not as nasty or time consuming as this one though.”

“I hope not,” Kristen laughed, her blush easing away. “I missed you way to much.”

He couldn't help but smie widely at that. “You missed me?”

“Well, yeah. I mean, I missed talking to you and joking around with you. You’re not a fun person to be angry at, let me tell you.”

“Oh, I’m touched,” Sirius told her flirtatiously, to which Kristen just pushed him arm with a roll of her eyes.

“No, you can’t do that! If you want people off your case, you’ve got to stop flirting with me just because I’m a girl!”

‘It’s not just because you’re a girl’ Sirius though irritably, the urge to tell her and just get it over with nearly unbearable. Just because she had forgiven him, didn’t mean she was ready to ‘give it a shot’ again. He would have to wait patiently until that time came. “It’s difficult to go against instinct Kristen, but for you, I’ll try.”

Kristen nodded her head in agreement and began walking with him again. “So…Elizabeth, I’ve seen her sulking around lately. Trouble in paradise?”

“Trouble in Hell,” he corrected her. “It was never paradise by any means. Except for that one day…you know, when you accused me of ruining her reputation.”

“Oh, when you shagged her? Yeah, sorry about yelling at you. I’m happy for you actually.”

“Happy? You’re happy for me?”

Kristen looked to be struggling to find what to say next. “Well, you’re my best friend, and you’re a guy, and this is important to guys. I suppose I’ll be happy for James, Remus, and Peter when the time comes. All I ask in return is that you do not beat up my husband when it’s my turn.”

“I think we can agree to that,” Sirius laughed a little, lazily putting an arm over her shoulders. He blatantly ignored the looks of jealous girls as he walked with Kristen; thought the latter was acutely aware and found, to her immense surprise, that she actually liked it.

She had never liked Sirius, okay she had once, those horrible few days in first year, and then she had the tiniest of feelings for him this Christmas, before he yelled at her anyways, and she never planned to. It was just, this feeling of being the only one he wanted to talk to, to be the center of his attention, it was rather nice. Getting to rub it in other snotty girls’ faces was an added perk.

But, for Sirius’s sake, she needed to stop it. So she gently shook his arm off, but smiled to let him know she wasn’t angry, for he looked distinctly worried by her move.

“Ah look, everyone’s happy again!” James announced joyously, bouncing up and down in the room. “Group hug!”

“No thanks,” Kristen laughed, her face bright. “I’ve had enough mushy stuff today to last me a lifetime I think.”

Remus raised his eyebrows. “Not more snogging I hope?”

“No, not more snogging! Just talking. About feelings.” Kristen told them proudly as they cringed in distaste. “Believe me, I don’t think Sirius and I will ever attempt snogging again. We both learned our lesson, right Sirius?”

“Um, yeah, right,” he answered quickly, a strained smile on his face. Remus, Peter, and James burst out in laughter.

“Oh what now? You know I hate it when you do this!” Kristen shouted at them playfully, her good mood refusing to fade away.

“Nothing, nothing,” Peter gasped, the cold look from Sirius only fueling his laughter.

“Sometimes I wonder why I put up with you guys,” Kristen mused, and then her eyes glanced over to the green potion simmering in the room. “Oh yes, the adventures are quite fun, that’s why.”

“That’s all we are to you, a good time?” James asked her in mock offensive.

“You know me and my ways,” Kristen laughed airily, her mood infectious. “Luring unsuspecting men into broom cupboards and all that. I mean, the better half of the school knows that James, why don’t you?”

“You’ve never lured me into a broom closet,” James whined, giving her a very convincing pout.

“I save all that for Sirius,” Kristen waved it off, turning abruptly when Sirius started choking on his sip of butterbeer.

“I like you like this! You’re funny!” James announced, laughing loudly as Sirius poorly attempted to compose himself. “You’ve never been able to joke around about it!”

“Well now that the whole bloody school knows, there really is no point in denying it all anymore,” Kristen told him with an easy shrug.

“I’m sorry!” Sirius shouted in his defense, obviously afraid that Kristen was going to start yelling at him. “I didn’t mean to!”

“I know, calm down! Didn’t I tell you I was sorry?”

“Well that’s a bit of a role reversal,” Remus muttered, watching the pair get into yet another spat.

“They are just like an old married couple!” James groaned dramatically, “I swear, they never shut up!” 

"Just imagine when they actually are an old married couple," Peter said knowingly. 

"And their kids," James shuddered dramatically. "They'll be right little heathens!"

"How much you want to bet that we end up babysitting them?" Remus told them seriously. It didn't seem to bother any of them that they were speaking of their friends' futures with such certainty.

Remus, James, and Peter were brought back to what was actually going on by sudden raucous laughter. Sirius and Kristen were actually holding each other up for support as tears of mirth flooded their eyes. “What happened?” James asked quickly. Remus and Peter shrugged their shoulders, just as confused as he was.

“We have to do that! Soon! Merlin, it’s going to be great!” Sirius was gasping for air as he said that, struggling immensely to keep his laughter in check.

“Can you just imagine the look on their faces?” Kristen shrieked, actually collapsing in his arms as her legs weakened from laughter once more.

“Whose faces?” James asked worriedly.

“Can’t tell you that Jamesy, it would ruin the fun!” Sirius told him with a brilliant smirk. “Come on Krissie, we’ve obviously got planning to do,” with that he grabbed her hand and led her, giggling like mad, from the room, sure that this was going to be one of the best months of his life. 

***************************************
Well, I hope you enjoyed it. It was very slow paced, but necessary, as I'm sure you all can see. And here is your quote, my personal favortie so far. And I'm going to tell you in advance because I know people wil start yelling, don't take it seriously. 
"Oh great, now we're going to get pregnant!" Sirius Black to Kristen St.Claire

Chapter 48: Sex Ed.
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                                          sex-ed.gif picture by KristenBlack


“I want to know what they’re planning!”

“It can’t be that big. They would never do anything to get themselves kicked off the team.”

“Even Lily is worried though.”

James shot an envious look at Remus. “How do you know that?”

“Lily and I talk all the time.” Remus told him, a bit smugly. It was always nice to make the famous James Potter jealous, especially when it was over a girl.

“Look, they’re probably just all talk, trying to scare us,” Peter interjected.

“And they’re doing a good job,” James mumbled, ruffling his hair for the tittering girls that sat only yards away from them by the lake. They promptly broke out into giggles when he did that.

“You and Sirius are the most infuriating people I know,” Remus mumbled angrily, slamming his book shut.

“So we flirt with attractive females, what’s the big deal,” James asked him as he casually looked over Remus’s head and winked at the girls. “Anyways, don’t distract me. You have to have some idea Remus! You’re the smart one!”

“Though there is no denying that I have no more idea than you what they might be planning,” Remus answered honestly, looking pensively at the castle from his spot at the base of the tree. Sirius and Kristen had been spending every moment together for the past two weeks, something that was in no way helping any of the rumors that they seemed so eager to be rid of. “I don’t see how it could not be something big though, they’re putting way to much time into planning it.”

“Unless they’re just trying to scare us,” Peter reminded them.

“Yes, that could be their plan as well.” Remus agreed pensively. “My only fear is that it’s against one of us.”

“One of us?” James asked suddenly, looking terrified. Though anyone that knew Sirius or Kristen (and that was just separately, no one yet knew what could happen when they collaborated in secret) would consent that he had more than enough reason to be frightened. “Why do you think that?”

“Well, they refuse to tell us what’s going on, they laugh randomly when we’re around, and if they pull something on anyone else they’ll be in huge trouble. They know that if they do something to us we won’t turn them in. It’s a good plan actually.”

“Won’t turn them in my arse,” James told him defiantly. “If they turn me…lime green or something, you better believe I’m going to McGonagall!”

“And be responsible for the loss of the quiditch cup? I doubt it,” Peter countered him with a knowing grin. “And it would give them rights to hate you until we graduate.”

“That’s not a terribly long time,” James thought over his options. It would really suck to lose the cup, but Kristen and Sirius not speaking to him for three years seemed like a very nice perk. “Fine,” he sighed in defeat, knowing full well that he could never turn them in.
* * *
“So you’re sure we won’t get caught?”

“Positive!” Kristen told him brightly. “There will be absolutely nothing to incriminate us except the suspicion that it had something to do with the Marauders, and they can’t book us for that alone!”

Sirius smiled widely at her as she paced the owlry, their confirmation letter taking ages to return. “This is wicked! It’ll be the best prank ever!”

“It is somewhat a shame that we can’t take credit for it,” Kristen mused idly. “Maybe when we graduate.”

“Do we really have to be a part of it though? I mean, surely we could do this without involving ourselves or the other Gryffindors, it’s not really fair.”

“Our dose is going to be light. We’re just going to frame a section of the Slytherin table and get ourselves completely in the clear. Who in their right mind would do this to themselves?”

“Apparently us,” Sirius pointed out, peering his eyes as an owl came soaring towards them. “Getting the invisibility cloak should be easy anyhow, as long as James doesn’t pick that one night to go off with Zoe.”

“And the map, you have to get that, don’t forget. I don’t even want to think of what our punishment would be for sneaking around in the middle of the night.”

“That’ll be even easier, it doesn’t matter if I take that! So when’s this all going down? Should we do it after the match, just in case?”

Kristen contemplated that. “Maybe, that’s a good idea, just in case you know. James might die from suspicion before then, Merlin he’s been on our case!”

“We can’t rightly blame him, just think if the situation were reversed. We should just bow down and let the others know.”

“The more people that know, the more likely we are to get caught. Lily is already suspicious and she doesn’t even know that we’re planning something!”

“It seems so wrong though,” Sirius pouted, his elegant face pulling it off beautifully. “We’re the Marauders, not just Krissie and Sirius.”

Kristen had to agree with him on that one. It really didn’t seem right. “Okay, maybe, but only James at first, Remus might flip out and you know the mouth that Peter has. We’ll tell those two the day before, it we absolutely have to. James though, well, he might be actually be able to help us.”
* * *
“Oh my God! I can’t believe you are telling me this just now!” James was practically jumping up and down with excitement.

“We were rather hoping you would approve,” Kristen told him with a smile. “Are you sure it’s not too utterly tame for your taste?”

“Tame, are you kidding me? When the whole bloody school is-”

“Shh!” Kristen and Sirius hushed him quickly. “We have to keep this secret James,” Sirius scolded him. “At least until after the match to make sure we don’t get kicked off the team!”

“And then we get to brag about it, right? I mean, this is possibly the best prank that will ever be pulled within these walls!”

“I didn’t want to tell him!” Kristen reminded Sirius. “But no, let’s, it’s not fair if we don’t!”

“She could kick us off the team for next year James. Krissie and I were thinking about telling everyone at graduation.”

James’s mouth fell open in shock. “Graduation, are you mad? That’s ages away!” he shouted, apparently feeling very different towards the date since he’d spoken to Remus and Peter. “She can’t kick us off the team for next year, she wouldn’t dare! She cares way to much about quiditch, we have to call her bluff!”

“Call McGonagall’s bluff? Are you mad?” Sirius shouted tight back. “Only an idiot would do that!”

“And what are we? A bunch of idiots! Lily says so all the time!”

“Do you think I give a damn what flower child says?”

“Stop the testosterone!” Kristen halted them, seeing the flash in James’s eyes at the mention of Lily. It was one of the things Lily hated, that he was so protective of her and they weren’t even friends. “James, we can’t risk it!”

James sighed dramatically. “I still think I’m right. I mean, maybe if we did it now she would, but since you’re waiting until after the game…”

“We’ll see how it plays out,” Kristen compromised with him. “I’m not promising anything, but we’ll see.”

“Fine,” he grumbled, still eyeing Sirius with anger. “Come on, we need to get to potions.”

They rushed out of the broom closet they’d been hiding in for their conversation, earning several odd looks from the people passing in the hall.

“All right everyone, partner up, one boy and one girl to a cauldron,” Slughorn announced jovially. They all looked at each other oddly, they’d never been given those instructions before.

“Partners!” Sirius and Kristen announced quickly, afraid of ending up with a Slytherin.

“Oh Lily!” James called, scanning for her in the dungeon. Kristen caught sight of her as she nervously looked around. Lily’s eyes first fell on Severus, but he already had a partner. Next they roamed to Remus, easily her favorite boy of the bunch.

“Remus!” Lily screeched before James could get to her. “Partner!” She told him, begging for his agreement. Remus looked distinctly wary before he chanced a glance at James.

“I promise not to hit on her, flirt with her, compliment her, undress her with my eyes, and… what was the last one James?”

“Snog her,” James told Remus acidly, very put out now that Remus couldn’t even remember the code of conduct for any other boy around Lily.

“Right, or snog her,” Remus agreed, sitting with her in the front of the classroom. Lily turned only once to glare venomously at James.

“Shit,” James muttered, looking around to see who was left. Peter was already talking to Mary Jane quickly; they’d always been on fairly good terms, so that just left…

“Jamesy, come over here doll, we’re partners,” Gwen told him brightly in her absurd high pitched voice. James didn’t attempt to hide his groan at all as he bleakly walked to join her.

“Well everyone it’s my favorite day of the year!” Slughorn announced eagerly, his stomach jiggling in a rather grotesque manner. “Sex-ed!”

The dungeon was deathly silent. No one wanted to believe him. No, this couldn’t be true! “We’re going to be learning how to brew a contraceptive potion today and then I’ll give you the talk on the birds and the bees. So have at it, instructions and ingredients are on the board!”

There was an immediate clambering of people running for ingredients, simply wanting to get away from their partners. Kristen was one of them, and she refused to make eye contact with anyone as she tried to take as long as possible.

“It’s really not that bad,” Sirius whispered to her when she sat back down with everything they needed from the student cupboard.

“Not that bad? We’re learning to make a contraceptive potion!”

“Believe me, from what I’ve heard it’s much better than muggle products. Those things just really aren’t comfortable!”

“Shut up!” Kristen snapped at him, already embarrassed enough as it was. She didn’t need him telling her how horrible it was to go without the potion to make her day any better.

“So while your brewing this little potion I’m going to talk to you about some things. For muggle borns, you may have heard of you branch of STDs, AIDS and whatnot, well, wizards have their own as well. Dragon pox of your sensitive areas, sphinx fungus, an array of things actually, and while this potion does lower your chance of getting them, it does not, by any means, completely erase the chance. The only way to do that is through abstinence. But I’m not naïve; I know many students are too focused on their hormones to give much thought to that.”

Sirius actually laughed, he was one of the only ones able to not be completely red faced as he made this potion. “Kristen, lighten up, you’re going to have to learn to do this someday. Better now then when you end up pregnant!”

“It’s none of your business when I end up pregnant,” she shot back, refusing to meet his eyes. This was so embarrassing, why hadn’t she partnered with Remus, or even Peter, maybe James. Yes, James would definitely be better than partnering with Sirius.

“Well, actually…”

“Now class, be warned that this potion is only guaranteed to work 98% of the time.”

“98%?” Sirius asked, abandoning his attempts at conversation with Kristen. “But that’s the same as muggle products.”

“That is correct Mr. Black, though the potion has the same percentage rate as muggle products, it is amazingly more convenient. It works for thirty six hours after you take it and a normal sized batch should last you a solid dozen times or so.” Slughorn answered him, apparently unconcerned with why Sirius would know percentage rates of anything.

“Well super,” Sirius groaned. “Now I’m always going to worry that I’m going to wake up the next morning and be a dad.”

“Maybe you should try abstinence,” Kristen suggested icily.

“Hell no, it was way too much fun.”

“Look, let’s just do this stupid potion and be done with it.”

“You want to know how to make it so James and Peter will win their bets without you having a baby?”

“Do you want me to go back to hating you, because I can Black, as easy as that!”

Sirius smirked at her. “You said you missed me last time,” he reminded her.

“Yeah, well, maybe I was lying just to make you feel better. Believe me, I won’t make that mistake again.”

“Just to make me feel better? Since when have you ever tried to make me feel better?”

“Well, at your father’s funeral I did try-”

“Oh, you’re going to bring that up again?” Sirius asked her with a grin, dropping a few lacewings into the simmering potion.

“You were rather horrid to me,” she reminded him, nowhere near smiling.

“And I said I’m sorry, in fifty different letters and for fifty two days straight,” he replied.

That brought out a smile. “Yes, that’s true. And then barely a month later I started hating you again. Hmm, you are really bad at staying on my good side.”

“Is anyone good at that?”

“Remus is, Peter too,” she said thoughtfully.

“Why do all the girls trust Remus and talk to him and everything?” Sirius moaned, picking up some knotgrass. “I mean, he doesn’t even have a girlfriend! It’s like they all trust him, but none of them like him, you know what I mean?”

“Yes, somehow I caught your drift through that poorly structured sentence. But you’re wrong, I know of at least three people that like Remus. Though the one that likes him the most he would never dare ask out.”

Sirius looked at her, waiting for her to tell him. “Who?” He asked impatiently.

“I can’t tell you that, it’s their information to give out,” Kristen told him sternly. “But trust me, they could never be together anyways.”

“Oh Merlin,” Sirius sighed; realizing who it was as he looked to the front of the classroom.

“Exactly,” Kristen agreed.

“Snape has a crush Remus?” Sirius nearly shouted. Several people stopped to turn and look at them and the dull murmur that had gradually filled the dungeon as nervousness eased away came to a halt.

“No, you dolt!” Kristen shouted back, knocking him on the side of the head and causing all the knotgrass to tumble into the potion.

“Oh great, now we’re going to get pregnant!” Sirius informed her with a bright smile as their potion bubbled threateningly from the excess knotgrass.

“That’s it! I refuse to be your partner any longer!” Kristen declared, hoping off her stool. “Professor Slughorn, I can no longer work with this...this thing!”

“Love has its ups and downs Miss St.Claire,” Slughorn told her kindly. Though she was abysmal in his class, she was still a Slug Club member and would be treated as so. “Compromise. I must ask that you stay partnered with Mr. Black, tiresome as he may be.” He winked heartily at Sirius before bumbling away, continuing on with his talk of wizarding STDs.

“Well if it isn’t Snivellus, then who?” Sirius asked her irritably, restarting their potion.

“Oh come on! When you looked to the front of the classroom I agreed with you. What girl is sitting up there that Remus could never possibly date?”

Sirius scanned the first row. “Narcissa?” He guessed. Kristen rolled her eyes and motioned for him to keep guessing. Suddenly, his eyes landed upon her, the girl that every marauder male was absolutely forbidden to even consider. “Oh,” Sirius breathed. “It’s Lily.”

Kristen nodded her head. “You are not allowed to tell anyone though! Especially not James, he would kill Remus just for being the object of her affections.”

“But…but James is our my best mate, I have to tell him!”

“No!” Kristen told him, looking fearful. “Lily would kill me! I shouldn’t have told you! Damn it, what am I going to do?”

Sirius sighed and looked over to wear James was quietly letting Gwen go on her talking spree. “Alright, I won’t say anything. But this makes us bad friends you know.”

“No it doesn’t. Lily’s business is none of his, no matter how much he’s convinced it is.”

“He needs to get over her.” Sirius concluded bluntly. “I know she’s pretty, but she’s got none of the Marauder sprit and she’s way too stuck up. Where’s the fun in that?”

“I know, they’ll never work together, not in a million years!” Kristen agreed, leaving Sirius to the potion making while Slughorn wasn’t watching. “James needs someone fun, someone like…like me, but I’m never going to date him again.”

“Someone like you?” Sirius smirked. “Well you think an awful lot of yourself, don’t you?”

“The only reason James and I didn’t work was because I knew him too well. I can never imagine him with a girl like Lily; just think of what he would turn into! I mean, I love Lily to death, but she’s such a stickler for the rules! If she doesn’t end up being Head Girl, I’ll eat my broom.”

“Just imagine James as Head Boy,” Sirius sniggered. “That would be horrible!”

The rest of the class passed in an easy truce, no more jokes about being pregnant, in exchange for no threat of being hated until the end of term. Kristen tried desperately to tune out Slughorn’s speech on ‘the miracle of life’ but his very descriptive words kept lurking into her brain, and she knew that it would surely lead to nightmares.

“Merlin, that was the absolute worst class of my life!” James moaned when they exited the dungeon in a rush. “I swear, I think Gwen expects me to use that potion with her or something.” He suddenly quieted, watching with a furrowed brow as Lily and Remus rushed ahead of them, their heads bowed in conversation.

“Hey, calm down,” Kristen told him, laying a hand on his arm. “All Remus is doing in talking to her.”

“I know,” James snapped at her uncharacteristically. Kristen glanced worriedly at Sirius.

“Mate, don’t you think it’s time to just…ease off a bit? You know, let the girl have some freedom,” Sirius tried to convince him.

“Why? Why won’t she just go out with me?” James asked, clearly irritated by the fact.

“Because she doesn’t like you,” Peter suggested.

Kristen and Sirius both glared at him, his answer only making things worse, even though he was right. “Well, maybe she’s just more of a…Remus type of girl. She’s bookish and polite and rule abiding and you’re…well…not.” Kristen continued.

“So I should let Remus have her, is that what you saying?” James asked them, his face hard and completely stoic.

“Maybe,” Sirius agreed. “It’s not really fair to her, is it mate?”

James snorted mockingly. “Since when have you ever played fair? I happen to remember that you once banned a marauder from ever asking out a girl, why can’t I do the same?”

“Face it mate, I had a hell of a lot more chance with her than you will ever have with Lily.”

“Hardly,” James laughed with venom. “How many times have you tried and failed to get her?”

Kristen was looking between them both, wondering just who they might be talking about. She was more than a bit upset that she hadn’t been let in on the secret; it must have been one of those stupid ‘guys only’ things.

“I’m not going to press you anymore about it, but just think about it, yeah? Maybe consider letting her have some breathing room, letting her date who she wants instead of threatening them all. The more you do it, the angrier she’s going to get.” Sirius told him.

James gave another look at Lily and Remus, who were far ahead of them at this point. Finally, he sighed. “Alright. But I’m not giving up entirely. She is going to give me a chance! Sooner or later, she will realize that we are perfect together, and will never want any other boy.”

Kristen and Sirius looked at each other and grimaced. The chances of that happening were one in a million. 
 
******

A/N Well, I hope you adored it, or at least found it entertaining. I'm about to go and answer those many wonderful reviews you left me, it's definetly my highlight of the week. (If that sounds sarcastic I really don't mean it to, I promise.) And now, for your teasers. There are two this time around. Enjoy!
“I am not some bloody cow you buy at the fair!" - Kristen St.Claire
"We have a fan club?" - Peter Pettigrew


Chapter 49: The Claim
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                                   the-claim.gif picture by KristenBlack

Let me first express my the utter sorrow I feel at having made you all wait an astounding three weeks. I do promise that this shouldn't happen again. School got the better of me, but I'm getting better at time managing, just a bit. I really hope you enjoy this chapter, I had tons of fun writing it. Also, a note for Marauder fan, Voldermort's coming back, very soon. Well, onto the chapter.
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“I’m a horrible person,” Remus moaned to Kristen, sitting cross-legged beside her in a hidden corner of the library, the place Remus went most often to think. It was only recently that Kristen had discovered it.

“No you’re not,” Kristen assured him, patting his leg lovingly. “You can’t control who you like, it’s not your fault at all. Believe me, I would know.”

“But why did it have to be Lily? I would have taken Gwen over Lily!” Remus told her, his eyes closed as he leaned his head back against a shelf of books.

“Remus, we convinced James to lay off. If you ask her out, he might be angry with you for a while, but he’s at least allowing it. You would no longer be breaking a Marauder code of conduct.”

“It’s Lily. I could never do that to him.”

Though Kristen had been hoping, for Lily’s sake, that Remus would get up the guts to tell her, she was proud of him for having made that decision. “If you’re unwilling to do that to James then I don’t know what to tell you.” Remus groaned again, still refusing to open his eyes.

“There you are! I’ve been looking everywhere for you Remus! I need your charms essay, stat.” Sirius told him, in complete disregard for what they may have been talking about.

“We were in the middle of something,” Kristen snapped at him.

“And as soon as I get his charms essay you can get back to it,” Sirius told her as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Now, cough up Remus.”

“No. I don’t allow you to copy off of me.”

“Since when?”

“Since first year,” Remus stood up, thinking that this conversation would probably go better at eye level. Well, not really eye level; Sirius was about two inches taller than him, but close enough. “You and the others usually just nick them from my bag.”

“Oh, that’s right,” Sirius said in sudden remembrance. “Well leave your book bag in an easy to find place tonight, yeah? I don’t want to have to stay up too long copying it.”

“Anyways,” Kirsten continued irritably after he had walked away. “It’s totally your decision, you can’t forget that. Don’t let James or Sirius or anyone else tell you who you can and cannot like.”

“But it’s Lily Kristen! I just…I just can’t do this to James, he would never do it to me.”

“Well, if that’s your decision, then I should probably tell Lily. She’s been biting her nails all week waiting to see if you would do anything. She’s going to be furious, she’ll probably guess this has something to do with James,” Kristen said, standing up with Remus.

“Wait!” He stopped her quickly. “I mean, maybe, we could, you know, just talk. Just Lily and me. I doesn’t have to be a date, we could just talk.”

Kristen slowly nodded her head, considering that possibility. “I could give her the message. Eight o’clock, in the library?”

“Deal,” Remus grinned, though he looked desperately tired and worried.

And that was what led to Lily jumping up and down in her dormitory, searching high and low for something to wear, eventually resorting to stealing a shirt from Kristen’s trunk. Kristen sighed as she watched her. She wasn’t quite sure how she wanted it to go. On the one hand, she loved Lily and Remus, and knew that they would get along well, so much better than Lily and James ever would. On the other hand, she wanted Remus to crash and burn. Not that she would ever tell anyone that.

“Oh, I’m so excited!” Lily squealed, yes, she squealed. Kristen smiled calmly at her, her books spread across her bed and giving her a justifiable distraction. “What do you think he would like better, jeans or a skirt?”

“I don’t know, he’s my best friend!” Kristen told her huffily. She was not warming up to this new Lily easily.

After that, Lily had refrained from asking her questions, or really speaking to her on any level. She seemed very disgruntled that Kristen was not taking part in her flitting about. Eventually, Kristen gave the whole thing up and headed downstairs, where the boys were sitting around the fire, only Sirius and Peter talking at all.

“So then I said to her, ‘Lisa, if you want to be with me, you’re going to have to get rid of that fuzzy caterpillar on your lip, because Sirius Black does not date women that are more masculine than he is.”

Peter roared with laughter, even James chuckled a bit. Kristen just rolled her eyes and went to sit next to James. Remus chanced a glance at her, and she simply nodded, giving him the information he wanted. James remained quiet in the minutes leading up to eight, seeming to know that something was going to happen. At twenty to eight, Remus left the common room, obviously not wanting to meet up with Lily in front of everyone. Only five minutes later Lily walked out as well, totally ignoring James’s constant gaze.

Sirius and Kristen, both the type of people who could hardly stand silence, comfortable or not, soon took up an easy conversation. Peter joined in shortly, but no matter how hard they tried, James refused to participate.

“I can’t sit here and just wait for them to start snogging!” James suddenly shouted after nearly thirty minutes, jumping off the couch and knocking Kristen to the ground.

“Yes you can,” Sirius told him. “Lily is not your girl. She can date whomever she likes, even Remus.”

“So what you’re saying is if I just snogged Krissie you wouldn’t give a damn?”

Suddenly, they were all very still, Kristen particularly as her eyes moved between James and Sirius, waiting for an explanation.

“No, I wouldn’t.” Sirius told him, his face completely blank. “Why would I care if you snogged Krissie?”

James backtracked then, looking for another route for them to see his point without revealing any secrets. “I laid the claim! How could Remus do this to me?”

“Laid the claim?” Kristen spat out. “That is the most sexist and egotistical thing that has ever come out of your mouth James Potter!”

“Sirius started it! He did it first!”

“I did not! You made us swear off Lily on the train ride here in first year!”

“Wait, who was your claim on?”

Peter, Sirius, and James all turned to look at her, her question momentarily stopping the fighting. Then, as they looked at her, her hands flew over her mouth in shock. “Me? You laid a claim on me? How dare you?” she shouted at Sirius, her eyes furious and her hair band snapping as if to add to the dramatic effect as her hair fell around her face.

“It was first year alright? You were pretty, I though I might like you later, so I laid a claim! Obviously I didn’t care too much about it as I let James take you to the Halloween dance!” Sirius was quick to defend himself.

“You laid a claim on me?” Kristen repeated, her voice even shriller.

“Oh dear,” Peter mumbled, the first to realize that it wasn’t only Sirius she was angry at.

“I am not some bloody cow you buy at the fair! You can’t just buy me and chose who I date! You boys are absolutely…” She trailed off, not able to find words for her utter fury at the moment. Before she could think of any really colorful words the portrait burst open and Lily came stalking in. Kristen quickly glanced at the clock. It was only twenty-five minutes past eight; surely they couldn’t be done that soon.

“You!” Lily suddenly roared, running up to Kristen. “You set that entire bloody meeting up!”

“Only kind of, I just prodded him along,” Kristen answered, wondering why she was so upset.”

“Remus never would have done that on his own! You four made him because Potter thinks I’m his girl or something!” Lily shouted at them.

They all exchanged confused looks, confirming that none of them had any idea of what she was talking about. “You let me think that he actually liked me Kristen! How could you?”

“He does,” Kristen said slowly.

Lily didn’t respond to that but turned her attentions to James, who was watching her intently, a tiny smile appearing on his face when she turned to him. That was the very facial expression she had been expecting. “Potter you are such an egotistical toe-rag! Don’t you dare have any of your friends try and pull one over on me again!” And then she marched up the stairs, the four marauders watching her in wonder.

“What the hell?” Sirius was finally able to say, turning to Kristen for some sort of clarification.

“I don’t know, I was talking to Remus just a few hours ago and he said that he really liked her. How could he have changed so suddenly?”

“He must have really screwed up!” James said gleefully, his regular nature back in an instant. “This is karma you know, he never should have asked her out!”

“You gave him permission! Kristen reminded him heatedly.

“He still shouldn’t have,” Sirius told her, agreeing with James on this matter.

The portrait hole opened again, admitting a very worn Remus Lupin. He sighed at the sight of them but joined his friends anyhow. “That is the last time I ever do you a favor James,” was the first thing Remus said, a hand over his left cheek. It looked to be very red.

“Favor? You call going on a little study date with Lily, a favor?” James asked him.

“Study date? That’s what you call me defending you and then getting slapped for it?” Remus asked him spitefully.

“What?” Sirius asked him quickly. “All we heard was that you tried to pull something over on her and that somehow it was James’s fault.”

“Well I’m surprised she didn’t tell you every bloody second of it,” Remus told them, looking more frazzled than they could ever remember. “It started out fine, we were just talking. My hands were out on the table and she grabbed one about fifteen minutes into it. That’s when a miniature James started shouting obscenities at me in my mind and I realized I couldn’t do this. It was wrong and if I wouldn’t do it to Sirius, I certainly couldn’t do it to James. That’s when I brought the conversation around to him. She seemed to listen at first and then she realized that I was trying to get her to like him over me. Then she slapped me and ran here.”

“You blew your own chance with the Lily Evans to try and get her to like me?” James asked him, obviously unsure.

“Yeah.”

“That…that was really nice mate.” James told him, smiling awkwardly.

“Least I could do,” Remus responded with the same smile.

Silence fell between them, everyone teetering on the edge of laughter, the boys in desperate need of some testosterone filled wrestling or something.

“Merlin, that was the mushiest moment you guys have ever had!” Kristen was the first to lose control as she burst out laughing; Sirius and Peter eagerly joined her.

“Well, at least we weren’t snogging,” Remus pointed out curtly.

Kristen looked like she wanted to snap back, but instead her smile widened and she inclined her head to him “Touché Remus, well done.”

“None of the times we’ve snogged have ever been mushy though. Usually one of us is angry and just does it to annoy the other.” Sirius reminded them. “Then I’m the one that gets yelled at for the next month or so.”

“And yet I always forgive you. I should really stop doing that.”

“How could you? I’m just so damn handsome,” Sirius smirked at her.

“Yes that must be why. It certainly wouldn’t be for your personality,” Kristen turned his own comment back on him.

“Hey, at least I got you to admit it,” Sirius said proudly.

“Sirius, the Marauders have their own fan club. I hardly think you need me to tell you to know that you’re attractive.”

“We have a fan club?” Peter asked dubiously.

Kristen rolled her eyes at his lack of information. “Of course. Have you been totally oblivious to the girls that follow you?”

“But you’re a Marauder too. So are the girls…”

“No they are not!” Kristen snapped at James, who was grinning widely. “The boy admirers don’t trail us around nearly as often, though I do have them, mark my words. They come for Lily too of course, though she’s not a Marauder even in the lightest sense.”

“This is so cool! I feel like a rock star!” Sirius whooped, flinging his hair around in a very rock star manner. “We’ve got groupies!”

“Groupies?” Remus asked Kristen.

“Basically prostitutes that travel with a band,” Kristen explained bluntly. “And they do whatever you ask.”

“Oh,” Remus mumbled.

“Hey, wait just a moment,” Kristen suddenly said, remembering Remus’s speech earlier. Something had caught her attention, but in the euphoria of James not beating Remus up she had momentarily forgotten. “What did you mean that if you wouldn’t do it to Sirius, you couldn’t do it to James? Were you talking about his stupid claim?”

“Claim? What claim? No, of course not,” Remus said quickly.

Sirius rolled his eyes heavily. “She found out Remus. James here spilled the beans.”

“So she actually knows that-”

“That I laid a claim on her in first year because she was pretty? Yeah, she knows.”

Remus looked at him oddly for a second before sighing. “I guess I’ll go get my books and start on that potions essay.”

“And I’ll grab your bag so I can get to work on copying charms,” Sirius followed him brightly.

As soon as they were in the fourth year boy’s dormitory, safe from potential eavesdroppers, Remus turned on Sirius. “You’re going to have to tell her eventually. Why not get it over with?”

“Why? Because she’ll hate me,” Sirius answered obviously, searching around the young werewolf’s bed for his bag. “I’m not stupid. Maybe someday, like when she’s married or something. Or when she becomes a mum, I don’t know. That way, she won’t hate me, she’ll be too full of motherly goodness and all that shit.”

Remus glared at him and his use of foul language, it had never been something he promoted unless it was a dire circumstance. “It’s your funeral,” Remus told him, grabbing his bag, which had been discreetly hidden in his nightstand and out of Sirius’s grasp. He trooped back down the stairs to do his homework, the cheerful common room and much preferable place to write essays than his dimly lit dormitory.

He ran into Lily, shortly before he reached the common room. Her face was hard and she glared at him fiercely. “Lily, I’m sorry,” he whispered, sounding truly defeated.

“For what? For lying or trying to set me up with Potter?” She snapped at him harshly.

“Firstly, I didn’t lie to you. I really do like you Lily. You’re beautiful, and smart, and witty…and you’re perfect for James, no matter how much you hate to hear it. So I guess I am guilty of the second charge, but I’ll gladly accept it. But I did not lie to you.”

Lily continued to look at him with loathing. But slowly her face softened into an elegant smile, one boys would easily swoon over. Remus was taken by a sudden urge to kiss her, now, before James would ever get a chance to truly call her his.

Instead he sighed, running his fingers through his hair simply to have something to do with them. “I know you’re mad Lily, and I would be too. But I am sorry.”

“Okay,” Lily agreed, surprisingly easy to convince. “But we can be friends right. Not mutual friends of Kristen I mean, but just us.”

“Yeah,” Remus smiled. It was going to really suck being in close contact with her for the next month or so, but he did have substantially better control of himself than Sirius.

She moved forward and hugged him tightly before gently kissing him on the cheek. “And Remus, I know. Everything. We really can be friends, I would never dare tell anyone.”

Remus stared at her in shock as she glided over to a group of sixth year girls that had taken her under their wing and often helped her move ahead in classes.

“What’s wrong?” Kristen asked when she moved over to him by the foot of the dormitory steps.

“Lily knows,” was all Remus was able to mutter.

“What? About your furry little problem?” Kristen asked quickly, looking as shocked as he did. “How?”

Remus shrugged. “She must have just figured it out. She’s smart and must have noticed that I’m gone every full moon. I can’t believe that she doesn’t hate me.”

Kristen laughed, just a bit. “Remus she really liked you too. You’ve got to realize that not everyone here cares about stupid wizarding stereotyping. Not that you should announce to the school or anything, but there are people here that don’t care, and even more that are totally oblivious.”

She managed to get Remus to smile at that. He put his arm over her shoulder and led her back to the others. Kristen couldn’t help but lean into him. Remus was the comforting one. They all had unofficial titles in the group, and that was his. James was the leader, Peter was the follower, Sirius was the charmer, she was simply the girl, and Remus was the comforter. They fit together in way that no group could match. They were united and no matter how many fights they had, they would always be loyal to one another and call the other friend. They were the Marauders, and their lives were only just beginning.

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A classic ending...
so, here are the quotes for the next chapter. I definetly think you'll enjoy this one.
“Just take off your clothes Kristen!”  -Remus Lupin

Chapter 50: Tu es mon Ame
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                                         tuesmoname.gif picture by KristenBlack

“Alright teem, t’is game is very important. I know ‘ou will all make me so very proud,” Jolie smiled at them, attempting to hide her nervousness. It shone through her voice though, for her accent never came out unless she was on the verge of a mental breakdown.

“Kristen,” Sirius whispered, nudging her in the ribs. “Breathe!”

She inhaled deeply, not even realizing that she had been attempting suicide by suffocation. With breathing though came the shaking. Her hands were moving violently, her broom nearly knocking James in the shins as she attempted to hold it still.

“Just remember everyt’ing I’ve taught you this ‘ear and you will all do brilliantly,” Jolie continued. “Come, it’s time to begin.”

The team marched into the brisk May air to the chants of the Gryffindor house. Kristen could vaguely hear hers and the others names called out. This was it; the final quidditch game was upon them.

“Mount you brooms!” The referee was already calling. This was moving so fast! The snitch and bludgers flew out of the box eagerly. The quaffel was held at the ready, and then tossed high in the air.

James quickly took possession. He was smaller than the Ravenclaw chasers, and it enabled him to weave in and out of the players, quickly as he laid low on his broom. Kristen and Sirius flanked him on either side

And then, suddenly, she felt something very solid and cold lodge itself in her throat. Somehow, the snitch had been caught in her throat, cutting off her air. She started thrashing around on her broom. Hitting players everywhere, players she thought were far away from her…

Kristen sat up quickly, coughing wildly as the ice cub that had been shoved in her mouth melted away. “These wake up calls really aren’t much fun.” She shot at the two boys who had the pleasure today to get her up way too early on a Sunday morning, especially after she had been up until nearly five celebrating the win of the quiditch cup with the rest of the Gryffindors, particularly a mister Luke Meyers.

“Yeah, but Pete and James aren’t up yet and we’re bored,” Sirius whispered so as to not wake the already restless occupants of Kristen’s dormitory.

“Well why didn’t you wake them up?”

Sirius and Remus looked at each other before shrugging. “We figured you’d be more fun to wake up.”

“Well you were wrong!” Kristen snapped at them, pulling the covers over her head. For a moment she thought that they had left. And then she felt a poking in on her side, followed in quick succession by several other pokes. Soon, the poking was becoming unbearable until she finally hissed, “Fine! I’m up! I’ve got to change though so you two are going to have to go downstairs!”

“How do we know that you’ll keep your promise?” Remus asked slyly.

“Cross my heart, hope to die,” Kristen rattled off with a role of her eyes. She hated Remus when he was like this. It seemed that in the days leading up to the full moon he got a charge of testosterone and sarcasm.

“I don’t know if we can trust her,” drawled Sirius, smirking. “I think we should watch you and then escort you down stairs, just to be sure.”

“You are most certainly not staying in here while I’m changing clothes!” Kristen told them fiercely.

“Oh come on Krissie!”

“No!”

“Please!”

“No!”

“Just take off your clothes Kristen!” Remus suddenly blurted out. Sirius burst into extremely loud laughter at that while Remus continued to watch her with an expectant smile.

“Are you boys in here again? That’s the third time this semester!”

“Well, got to go!” Remus said quickly, alerted to trouble by the sound of Lily’s voice. “Five minutes Kristen! We’ve got planning!”

Kristen nodded her head and began to change once they were out of the room. She had nearly forgotten. Now that the final quiditch match was over (280-30, thank you very much, with a spectacular save by Xavier two hours into the game) their plans were sure to resume full steam ahead, and apparently Remus was all for the prank (they’d finally broken down and told both him and Peter), though that would probably change as soon as the full moon was done with.

“Planning? What planning?” Lily asked suspiciously.

“Nothing,” Kristen told her quickly, pulling her most comfortable Beatles shirt over her head.

“If you plan to hang my knickers in the great hall again St.Claire you better think twice!” Gwen warned her, her boy radar having woken her up.

“For the last time, I didn’t do that!” Kristen shouted back at her, perfectly truthful for once. Kristen had no idea who had done it, though she dearly wished she did. She would simply love to give them huge thank you. It had been the best day in the whole of the spring term.

“Yeah right,” Gwen scoffed, stretching her arms and shaking out her long, blonde hair. It was strange, how alike Kristen and Gwen looked when they both rivaled each other. Blonde hair, light eyes, small features, though Gwen was already standing at 5’7 where as Kristen stood four inches below her.

Kristen simply rolled her eyes, slipped on her jeans and shoes and went to the Bathroom for the necessities before proceeding down stairs.

“Well about time!” Remus greeted her with and exasperated expression. “We’ve been waiting forever!”

“It took me like three minutes!”

“Correction. It was twelve minutes and thirty-seven seconds,” Sirius told her knowingly, glancing at his watch.

“Whatever! What are we planning today? We have it totally ready except to pick a day.”

“And that’s exactly what we’re doing. My vote is for the last day of school, during dinner,” Sirius answered her.

“I say tomorrow!” Remus put in his two Knuts eagerly.

“I agree with Sirius, that would be much more of a dramatic time.”

“Fine! Don’t take my suggestion! It’s not like I’m the smart one or anything!” Remus snapped at them.

“He does have a point there.” Sirius said thoughtfully.

“We don’t have time to do it tomorrow! We haven’t even finished getting the shipments from your cousin and we need to go butter up to the house elves.”

“You don’t need to butter them up! I’m the one that’s been there and they practically hand you anything you want!” Remus told them, reminding them both of when Jolie had sent him and some others to get food from the kitchen.

“Yeah, but we’re asking them to put some foreign substance in the food, they probably won’t be too keen to do that.” Kristen pointed out.

“Very true,” Sirius agreed again, apparently having difficulty in choosing which side he wanted to be on.

They were cut off from speaking by the emergence of Gwen, Lily, and Mary-Jane, apparently unable to go back to sleep after they morning call. Mary-Jane went straight to the window and began to gaze out of it as the sun attempted to blind the Hogwarts’ inhabitants. She was such a strange girl…

Lily went straight to her books, of course, while Gwen strolled over to them. “So what are you boys planning?” She cooed to Remus and Sirius in an alluring voice.

“Planning?” Sirius questioned her, his eyebrows raised. “Why, we’re not planning a thing.”

“You’re so cute when you’re lying.” Gwen told him, nipping him affectionately in the nose.

“You would know,” Kristen mumbled, causing Remus to smirk with her.

“I heard about your breakup with Nickie,” She purred next, referring to the latest Black conquering.

“Yeah? You know why I broke up with her?”

“She was too much of a prude?”

“No, she was too much like you.”

“Oh!” Remus and Kristen howled together, laughing hysterically as Gwen scowled huffily and stalked away. “I could kiss you for that!” Kristen exclaimed excitedly.

“She’s kidding,” Remus told him quickly.

Sirius rolled his eyes, having realized that on his own, though he had been hoping to call her on it.

They never received another chance to talk about their prank as sleepy, though enthusiastic, students soon filled the common room. Last to show up, naturally, were James and Peter, both late sleepers even on the best of days.

“How about some breakfast,” James yawned, stretching his arms wide.

“It’s three in the afternoon,” Kristen told him.

“Crap, we’ve got detention in five hours,” Peter moaned. “The whole day has gone by!”

“Well you should have just gotten up with us at bloody ten a.m. after five hours of sleep,” Kristen told them sarcastically.

“Ten? Why did you get up then? I don’t even get up until ten on days when I follow curfew!” James asked her incredulously.

“Because some people,” Kristen threw a glare in the direction of Remus and Sirius, “Don’t appreciate other people’s need for sleep.”

“It’s true, we don’t,” Sirius admitted happily.

“Kristen St.Claire!”

Five heads whipped around to see a tiny boy trotting up to them. He blushed profusely as he handed Kristen a letter. At first she assumed it was from her sisters, they had been corresponding frequently (Through Mr. Potter once again, who gallantly made up a new address and changed the recipients name) but she saw no sign of a trip through muggle postage. She opened it to see his handwriting, that brilliant, perfect cursive. She hadn’t heard from him in ages, since before Christmas. She had been convinced he’d given up on her, which was just as well; she’d had a boyfriend at the time. But, secretly, she had missed it. Flowers, and a letter had been enough to successfully pull her under.

Premièr dans ma esprit
Premièr dans ma couer
Tu es mon dous
Et tu es mon âme

-Loves from afar

“Oh Merlin,” Kristen moaned, the corners of her eyes watery. “That was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me!”

“What does is it say?” Remus asked with a smirk, struggling not to look at Sirius.

“I have no idea,” Kristen admitted, still gazing at the paper with a star-struck expression. “I think it’s German, maybe Portuguese.”

“It’s French,” Sirius told her, grabbing the paper from her. “It says ‘First in my mind, first in my heart; you are my sweet, and you are my soul.”

“Merlin, this guy is a sap,” James declared.

“No he is not!” Kristen snapped at him. “He’s perfectly romantic and you would do well to take a leaf out of his book. Lily would adore you if you did.”

“Yeah James, you should try and be more like this guy,” Sirius told him, raising his eyebrows in mockery.

“You can’t talk at all Sirius! You need more help than even James does!”

Sirius gaped at her for a moment, momentarily stunned by the sheer ludicrously of these words. Like Sirius would ever need to take a leaf out of anyone’s book, let alone his own. “No I don’t! If you haven’t noticed, I’ve had nine different girl friends this year!”

“Exactly! I’m sure this guy doesn’t do that at all!” Kristen’s voice turned wistful once more as she gazed blankly at a spot on the wall. “I’m sure he lies under a tree, contemplating what words to write next. He would never dare date a girl while sending another love letters. As to how he learned French…hmm…perhaps his mother is French, yes, and his father an English man. And they live in a little cottage, with horses, and ducks! They have lots and lots of ducks.”

“Ducks?”

“Yes ducks,” Kristen told Peter haughtily. “I like ducks.”

“I’ll be sure and tell him that,” Sirius assured her, watching her a bit warily.

“Oh, will you? And tell him I really want to meet him; I’m getting terribly impatient! His poem was wonderful, so romantic!”

“I might change some words but yeah, I’ll tell him.” He told her once more, allowing himself a smile.

“You know, I personally find this whole thing very strange. I mean this guy knows loads more about Kristen than she does about him. Doesn’t that strike anyone else as slightly odd?” Remus asked with a serious face, though his eyes twinkled impishly.

“No, Kristen knows him too, she just doesn’t know it’s him,” Sirius shot back. “I’ve told her so before, haven’t I Krissie?”

“Yes, but I can’t think for the life of me who it is,” Kristen complained. “With my luck it’s probably dorky Daniel Johnson.”

“What’s wrong with Daniel? He’s very nice, and smart. I mean, he doesn’t score as high as us in classes but still,” Remus tried to defend the boy he knew he so much resembled.

“But he’s dorky,” Kristen whined. “He’s got glasses and buckteeth. Please tell me it isn’t him Sirius! Please!”

“Can’t promise anything,” Sirius smirked at her. “Although I can at least tell you that is a boy.”

“Well thanks, that really helps in me figuring out who it is,” Kristen scoffed, though she knew she should be thankful for the small bit of comforting information.

James leaned back casually in his armchair as the group fell into silence. He then pulled out a gold, fluttering ball from his pocket and, apparently out of sheer boredom, let it go a few feet from him, before snatching it out of the air.

“What are you doing?” Remus asked him, watching him with a tinge of apprehension.

“Xavier gave it to me last night. It’s lucky apparently.” James told him, once again letting the snitch go before snatching it back.

“But you’re not a seeker.” Sirius pointed out rather lamely.

James just shrugged and continued his game of catch. Several girls were watching him with appreciative eyes and giggled at every spectacular grab.

Kristen rolled her eyes. “What do you say we head off to the kitchens and begin buttering up those house elves, yeah?”

“Don’t you think that maybe we should wait until no one is out and roaming the halls? The kitchens are near the Hufflepuff common room and we’re bound to be caught by one of them.” Sirius reminded her.

“Fine, ruin the fun! I was just trying to bring a little excitement back into our lives! But is you all are too chicken…”

James’s hand snapped around the snitch as he glared at her. “I am not a chicken!”

“Well, if you and the others aren’t brave enough to even sneak into the kitchens…”

Peter eagerly shook his head in agreement with the statement while Remus, James, and Sirius instantly went into an angry discussion of why they were not ‘chickens’ but simply smart in their endeavors. “Call it whatever you like, it all comes back to the same thing.” Kristen told them cheekily.

“If you want to get caught, be our guests,” Remus told her venomously, at least keeping his smarts during his testosterone driven days.

“All I need is the cloak,” Kristen whispered to them.

“I don’t think the cloak would cover all of us, or even just you, me, and Sirius,” James told her.

“I though you didn’t want to go!”

“Well if you’re going to call me a chicken-”

“How ‘bout Kristen and I go. The cloak will at least cover us. You’re too tall James.” Sirius told him, and he was right. James would easily cause the cloak to expose their feet if three people were hidden underneath.

“Why should you get to go?” James asked testily.

Sirius looked slightly amused by the question and said, “If you want to go, you can. That’s totally fine.”

“Would you two hurry up and decide who my chaperone is already!”

“I want to go!” James declared, standing up quickly and rushing to his dormitory for the cloak and map. Kristen just shrugged and slumped in her chair, not particularly caring who went with her as long as they were a help and not a hindrance.

James rushed down moments later, looking as if he had consumed several tons of donuts in his absence as his front bulged. A dingy piece of parchment hung out of his pocket as well, adding to his look of disarray. “Come on,” he grabbed Kristen’s arm and pulled her out of the room, Kristen smiling and waving at the three boys as she disappeared into the corridor.

“Where’s Potter taking your girl Black?”

It took Sirius a moment to register what was said to him, as the portrait hole had only just closed. The cocky voice was very hard to miss though, and soon gartered his full attention. “Excuse me?” He asked acidly, turning to face the person.

It was a seventh year boy who was the owner of the voice. Damien Hale, known as the one Gryffindor who was obviously sorted wrong. The boy smiled and repeated his question. “Where’s Potter taking your girl? They both looked awfully flushed as they rushed out of here hand in hand.”

Sirius stood up from his chair, jaw clenched as the common room held very still and silent. Everyone knew what happened if anyone dared insult Kristen St.Claire in front of the Marauders, especially Sirius. “Care to explain?” Sirius inquired with an air of complete dominance, something he did not truly feel in the slightest.

“Well she is the Marauder whore isn’t she? I’d always figured that she gave you more preference than the others though, what with the way you two act around each other.”

The silence became more pronounced, if that was possible. That hadn’t been spoken of within the Gryffindor confines since all the Marauders had become united again. It was known to be a strictly forbidden topic, though many still questioned it. Kristen was so flirtatious and wild that the rumors simply fit.

“Think about what your saying Hale.” Remus surprised everyone by stepping forward and looking menacing. “You’re degrading our best friend right in front of our faces. Does that really seem like the smartest idea?”

“Everyone’s thinking it, I’m just the one to say something,” Damien told them defiantly.

Sirius eagerly looked around, waiting for someone to step forward that would contradict him. But everyone was simply looking at one another nervously.

“I think you’re a lousy git who just wants attention!”

Lily stepped out of the mass and came to stand between Remus and Peter. “Kristen is not a harlot and you have absolutely no right to say it!”

“You’re seriously going to stand there and try to make me believe that she hasn’t been sleeping with the four boys she spends every bloody second with?”

“Well Damien, I think I’m seeing the real problem here. Obviously, you are so jealous of James, Remus, Pete, and I that you resort to calling Kristen names in front of us because you want her and can’t get any action for yourself. That’s really, really sad you know.”

“Why you little son of a –”

“You really need to watch your language Damien! In fact, I think your mouth might need a good cleaning. Scourigrify!” Sirius declared, whipping out his wand and watching with immense satisfaction as soup bubbles began billowing out of the boy’s mouth amidst cheers from his housemates. Damien ran up to his dormitory and out of sight, people rushing forwards to Sirius to give him high fives or other signs of encouragement.

“Looks like you’re upholding your end of the bargain,” Matthew told him a few minutes later when he was finally able to get his turn with Sirius.

“I told you I ‘L’-ed her,” Sirius told him a but huffily.

Matthew laughed and smiled good-naturedly at him. “And you know, I’m actually starting to believe you a bit. You seem to be the first to her defense, always. I guess I can finally let it go. It looks like she was cozying up to Meyers last night anyways.”

“Don’t remind me,” Sirius groaned.

Matthew clapped a hand on Sirius’s shoulder brotherly. “Yeah, this is hard for you, isn’t it?”

“Of course it is. Why did I have to pick the most flirtatious girl there is? It’s not fair I tell you!”

“I know.” Matthew told him, not feeling strange at all for suddenly turning brotherly towards Sirius. He felt bad for the kid. And besides, Kristen was behind him now. Sure, they’d had a lot of fun, but his life hadn’t ended when she broke up with him, not that he hadn’t felt like it did at the time. “Give it time, she’ll realize sooner or later.”

“Yeah right,” Sirius scoffed. “I’m the best friend who likes to snog her. She’ll never see me as more than that.”

“The whole time we were dating she talked about you constantly. Even is she hasn’t realized it yet, she ‘L’s you too.”

Sirius rolled his eyes, refusing to let Matthew get his hopes up in the slightest.
* * *
“And here are the pumpkin pies you asked for sir,” a tiny voice squeaked, bowing as she handed James a plate stacked high with them.

“Thank you very much Goody,” James said, causing the house elf to beam as the others crowded around them eagerly awaited instructions.

“So it’s all agreed then. You’ll add that special flavoring the night before the going away feast?” Kristen asked for what must have been the thirtieth time.

They nodded their heads in agreement; each looking simply delighted at being asked to do such an important task, straight from the Headmaster in fact. “Thanks you guys!” James called as they exited through the portrait.

“Good-bye Mister Snape and Miss Black!” They chanted back happily.

As soon as the portrait was shut James and Kristen burst out in laughter. They never dreamed that it would be this easy, a simple get in, tell a few lies, and get out as well as getting some delicious food in the process. If any one ever questioned those house elves, Severus Snape and Narcissa Black were going to be in some serious trouble. This prank was going to be the best of their lives. 
 
***********
So? Love it? Hate it with a passion? You know how I love to hear your thoughts. And I will go back and answer reviews, scout's honor. Oh and, of course, your tantalyzing quote...
"Sacrifices are made in a war Minerva, this will be ours!”
“Sacrifices are not made in the form of fifteen year old girls!”
“Sacrifices are whatever helps the greater good!”
I'm sure you can figure out who's on the other end of that conversation.

Chapter 51: Changes
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                                             changes.gif picture by KristenBlack

MarauderFan, this is for you. I dedicate my absolute favorite chapter in your honor becuase it contains your favorite character.

******************

“We could get in serious trouble, not to mention hurt. If this goes wrong, who knows what we’ll turn out like.”

“Now look who’s the chicken!”

“I am not going to turn into a bloody chicken!”

“Then stop acting like one!”

Kristen took a deep, calming breath. “Look, all I’m saying is that maybe we should wait a bit, make sure it came out right before we just take some beyond N.E.W.T. level potion that we just whipped together in our spare time.”

“Remus inspected it and he gave it a thumbs up,” James told her, already ladling some of the innocent looking potion into glasses.

“Remus is also just a fourth year like us,” Kristen reminded him, but she took her glass all the same.

James, Peter, Sirius, and Kristen were all sitting in the room of requirement. The potion was finally done, and Remus had only just left to go through the Whomping Willow. The boys had been hyper the entire day, eagerly awaiting this moment, and Kristen seemed to be the only one to question if they were doing the right thing. At least until the moment that they were all holding their glasses and sitting on that hard stone floor, then everyone seemed to be held in a state of semi-shock.

“You know, maybe Krissie’s right,” James said slowly, looking at his potion with apprehension.

“This could go seriously wrong,” Peter moaned, looking green.

“Oh, you all are a bunch of wimps, honestly!” Sirius protested, quickly abandoning his moment of hesitation. “We’re doing this for Remus. I mean, how much has the poor guy done for us? The least we can do for him is take some incredibly dangerous potion made by a bunch of fourth years.”

“Oh thanks Sirius, that makes me feel loads more comfortable about drinking it,” Kristen snapped at him, sill looking in horror at the dazzling white potion.

“We could all do it together,” James offered, looking as if he was speaking to the potion.

“Great! So if something goes wrong then we’re all incapable of getting help!” Kristen was near hyperventilating. Never had their pranks taken them this far.

“Like we would get help anyways, can you imagine the trouble we would be in?” Sirius told her.

“You really suck at the whole making me feel better thing!”

“It’s not my job sweet heart!” He snapped right back.

“Would you two just shut up!” Peter yelled at them, his green coloring becoming more pronounced.

“We told Remus that we would, we promised,” James said, as if that settled the entire matter for him. “On three, yeah? No questioning, no going back on it, just on three.”

Kristen reluctantly shook her head with the others, simply knowing that this would end badly. She watched as James took a deep breath and began. “One.” Kristen’s eyes darted around, looking for a sign from the others that would give a good enough reason to stop. “Two.” The others looked completely resolute. If they could do it, then so could she. “Three!” Out of panic, Kristen grabbed the closest hand that was next to her before throwing the potion down her throat.

“Well that was extremely anti-climatic,” James decided after a few moments of nothing happening. Everyone was looking at each other curiously, waiting for something, anything really, to happen. Kristen quickly let go of the hand she grabbed when she realized that it was Sirius’s, though he hardly seemed to notice. He was too busy trying to look at himself to spot some sign of difference.

“Maybe we did it wrong,” Peter said slowly.

“Should we take more?” James asked.

“Oh my God!” Kristen suddenly shouted, pointing at James’s head.

“What?” James asked quickly, swinging his head around and nearly hitting Peter with two giant antlers that had sprouted out through his hair.

“Look at your face!” Peter shouted next, turning to Kristen. She attempted trying to look at her own face, having to cross her eyes to do it, but was nevertheless able to see the whiskers that were appearing along her severely elongated and oddly colored nose.

“Get them off! Get them off!” She screeched, her eyes wide in fright.

Sirius, out of pure terror, reached for her face to grab them but suddenly realized that he no longer had hands, but paws instead. He began yelling hysterically and soon the room was filled with cries of horror as everyone began to realize the full extent of their changes. Peter was running in a frantic circle at the feeling of his tale, but was suddenly unable as his legs shrunk unexpectedly and he toppled over. James was having a very hard time as well as his arms were suddenly long and spindly and his torso was becoming very full. Kristen was too busy worrying about her face to even realize that a very bushy tail was quickly growing out of her backside.
* * *
Professor McGonagall was not having a good day, and her best friend was not making it any better, not by a long shot.

First, she’d already had to fail three different students, and she was only halfway through her daunting stack of tests. Second, she’d had to give detention to four Slytherin boys for trying to hex a couple of her first year students. Thirdly, the former problem led to a meeting with Horace, never a fun time in her books. And fourthly, the marauders had been completely absent from dinner, and surely nothing good could come from that.

Yes, it had been an extremely horrid day, and Albus was not doing a thing to help that.

“This has gone far enough!” She snapped at him, standing up angrily from the chair he had pulled up for her in his office. “She’s going to do something drastic if you don’t tell her soon! You don’t know her as well as I do Albus!”

“She has not mentioned it all term,” Albus told her calmly, his serene eyes gazing at her unnaturally ruffled form.

“Do you think that means she has forgotten?”

“Of course not. I simply believe it is not as much concern to her now as it use to be.”

“That is ridiculous! Kristen St.Claire is not one to let sleeping hippogriffs lie. My guess is that she’s planning something totally irrational to get her answers!”

“I would have seen it Minerva.” Albus reminded her.

“You doubt her ability, Albus, something you should know by now to never do,” Minerva told him harshly.

Albus winced slightly at the events she was implying but brushed it away. “I would know is she was planning on running away to find Tom, don’t worry.”

“Of course I don’t think she’s after you-know-who! My guess is that she’ll look in the completely wrong direction and get herself hurt! You need to tell her before that happens!”

“Do you wish me to strip her of any remaining innocence she has left? You know what I have to do once I tell her Minerva!” Albus suddenly lashed out on her, standing up as well.

“You don’t have to Albus! I just think you should let her know the truth before she finds out from someone else!”

“I will have to! Sacrifices are made in a war Minerva, this will be ours!”

“Sacrifices are not made in the form of fifteen year old girls!”

“Sacrifices are whatever helps the greater good!”

Minerva didn’t respond to that, but instead resolutely turned on her heel and walked out the door, slamming it behind her.

The Headmaster sighed heavily, stroking his beard in thought as he sat back down. Perhaps Minerva was right. Could he really justify sacrificing Kristen’s life for the greater good of this world? She was just a girl after all, still so young and full of life. She was practically a granddaughter to him by now; he spoke with her so often. She had become considerably more open with him, though still not as much as he would like. There were parts of her mind she absolutely refused to let him see, though he never knew if she was consciously aware of it.

But this war needed to be stopped, at absolutely any cost.

* * *
“My lord, you look upset.”

It was a young girl that inquired of him. She was only a year out of Hogwarts, and yet she was already one of his most devoted servants. She was so very beautiful too, and a Black, which only added to her splendor.

“I am not upset, Bellatrix, simply thinking.”

The girl smiled, obviously excited by his attentions. She reminded him so very much of another death eater he once had, but no, Bella would turn out different. He wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. “May I inquire as to what, my Lord?” She sounded hesitant, and flinched openly when he turned to look at her.

“Yes, you may. There is this young girl see, and she has been troubling me more and more as of late. You may know her.”

Bella’s eyes lit up with delight. “Oh my Lord, if you need me to do anything, I could capture her for you, or…or use the imperious…”

“I’m afraid that is quite out of the question. Not only is she at Hogwarts, but she is watched very carefully by that old fool that calls himself Headmaster.”

Bella’s eyebrows crinkled in confusion. “I don’t remember…”

“You were in your fifth year, I believe, when I first encountered her. Such an odd girl, so unlike any other mudbloods.”

“You speak of the filth my cousin Sirius runs around with?”

“Oh that girl is not filth by any means,” Voldermort told her, his fingers steepeling in a very Dumbledore like manner as he sat in his throne of a chair. “Never judge your enemies too quickly Miss Black, it’s a mistake I have made before and intend to never do so again.”

Bellatrix nodded eagerly, sitting by his feet and looking at him with an obvious reverence. “But, as you said my lord, she is a mudblood. What harm could she possibly do?”

“That is precisely what I am trying to figure out. She has become immensely skilled in Ocullemens, though she already had the natural gift when I met her.” Voldermort suddenly stopped his train of thoughts and looked at the girl that was kneeling reverently by his feet. “Go fetch Lucius, Bellatrix, quickly.”

The girl scampered out of the room hastily and left her master in silence that he much appreciated. He had never even considered this train of thought he was currently paying mind to. It was utterly ludicrous, a one in a million chance really. But he needed to figure out her secret. It was an unerring, fanatical wanting, something Tom had only experienced a few times in his life. It made him uneasy at times, yet the feeling of such power and thought made him feel…godly, and that wasn’t unpleasant in the slightest.

“You called for me master?”

Lucius was another young one, only a year out of Hogwarts as well. Pureblood, handsome, rich, and simply a right thinking young man, Voldermort knew he would do well in his service. “Yes, Lucius, come here. Bellatrix, stay out,” he instructed, the girl looking heart broken as she left the dramatically dark room behind her and shut the door. Lucius’s eyes shone with the lust for power that he could feel so close to him as he knelt beside his master. “Lucius, you knew Kristen St.Claire well, did you not?”

“Why, yes my Lord. In a lapse of judgment I agreed to take her to our Halloween Ball. That was when I believe you…possessed her.” Lucius sounded unsure of himself, not certain if that assumption would insult his master.

“Yes, though it ultimately failed.” Voldermort muttered softly, more to himself than anything. “Did she tell you much about herself?”

“I suppose. Her birthday is in late April; Her parents’ names are Harrold and Vanessa I believe; she has two younger sisters…”

“What about where she lives? Did she say much about that?”

Lucius smiled widely. They’d spoken of that often, usually in moments on planning a romantic way for her to escape from her house to be with him. “She lives just outside of Manchester, about two kilometers, actually, from Castlefield Centre. She lives in a very nice house apparently, surrounded by other muggles.”

Voldermort stroked his chin in slow thought, contemplating these words. “What did you say her parents’ names were again?”

“Harrold and Vanessa, my lord.”

Voldermort nodded, his mind in a strange limbo between relief, and exasperation. He was so ready, following that line of thought would have been easy, and finding out her secret at last would put him at ease when he next saw her. Still, he could not shake it. There was a very great possibility that names had been changed, even faces.

“Oh, wait,” Lucius suddenly interrupted his thinking, causing narrow eyes to glare viciously at him. Lucius did not notice though, as his own eyes were angled down as he contemplated what had suddenly come to mind. “Her mum’s name was Valerie, actually. Yes, Valerie, that was it.”

For what was possibly one of the first times in his life, Voldermort experienced the uncomfortable sense of breathlessness. He’d thought it possible; almost probable for a few moments, but now that it was adding up so well, he firmly wanted to believe it a lie. If it was true…if it was Valerie…why, all Hell would break loose. No, he must not lose control of himself. There were many women in the world named Valerie after all, and it the girl had had any sense she would have changed her name. It couldn’t be true; there was no possible way.
* * *
Bright stars twinkled merrily over the blooming summer grounds of Hogwarts. The moon was a ripe whole, and it shed its extraordinary light on the oddest-looking herd of animals that even a magic school had ever seen.

There was suddenly a great howl, echoing across the grounds. In unison, the animals all looked up, somehow recognizing the cry of pain from their friend. It prompted a tiny rat to scuttle underneath the flailing branches of a great tree and press his paws to a knot in its side, stopping its movement instantly and opening then disappearing through a hole at its base. Following him was a noble stag, looking incredibly awkward, almost as if it wasn’t quite sure how to use his legs yet. He made it through though, his prongs only getting caught once on a rebellious root.

This left only two animals out from under the tree. Of all of them, they were the two that could most easily be associated with each other under normal circumstances. One was a giant, shaggy black dog, his eyes sparkling mischievously as he sniffed the air, becoming accustomed to this new talent he had developed. The animal accompanying him was much smaller, but by no means did she have less hair. Her nose was long and rimmed with white, but her body and tail were red, save for the white underbelly, it purity marred only by seven, thin red lines.

She brushed against the dog, not yet able to communicate in any other way. He looked at the animal that was gazing at him in a way no animal could. That was the sole thing that convinced this was his best friend, as he was having a particularly hard time remembering himself or the others. He brushed off his wariness and began walking towards the hole under the tree, the fox right by his side. 

A/N: Okay, I fudged on some canon details in this one. It is stil their fourth year (and yet I'm at chapter 51) but it's the very, very end. Also, I'm going to warn you against looking too deeply into anything said in the chapter and to not go with your first instinct necessarily. Sorry again for the wait, school is killer this year but thanks so much for your continued support, it's what keeps me going. And here are your next quotes,
"Who cares if I date guys just because they’re cute?”
“Ethics! Morals or maybe a conscience!” Remus informed her.
“Well we don’t have those,” Sirius told him smugly.

Chapter 52: The Prank Part Une
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                                              The-Prank.gif picture by KristenBlack

“So how did you do James?” Remus asked him, craning his head to see the report in his hands.

“Not bad,” he answered, simply handing him the report before continuing with his lunch.

“Not bad? You got O’s in nearly every subject! Even potions!”

James just shrugged while Peter remained bowed over his own results and Sirius and Kristen switched. “I must say Miss St.Claire, I expected more from you,” Sirius told her with a look of disappointment.

“More? I did better than you!” Kristen exclaimed, yanking her results away from him.

He scoffed at her. “Yeah, in a subject no one cares about!”

“I think quite a lot of people care about Potions!”

“You got a good grade in potions?” Remus asked her, not doing too well at veiling his surprise.

“An ‘O’, just like James.” She told him spitefully.

“And a pitiful ‘A’ in History of Magic,” Sirius told him gleefully.

“Because you did so much better!” Kristen drawled sarcastically, shoving his results back at him.

“Would you two stop it!” James snapped at him, sounding considerably more irritable than usual, something that did no go unnoticed.

“Well!” Sirius exclaimed, looking utterly offended. “Who, may I ask, stuck a broom stick up your arse?”

“I’m just…not sure about this prank guys.”

Each one of their mouths dropped open in shock. “What do you mean you’re not sure? It’s in three hours James! There’s no time for backing out!” Kristen shot at him in a whisper, hoping not to attract anyone’s attention.

“What about Lily?” James moaned, looking at the red head. “She’ll hate me for sure!”

“She won’t know it’s us!” Sirius reminded him with a roll of his eyes.

“She’s not stupid!” James shot at him, near defensively. “Only an idiot wouldn’t know it’s us! The only reason teachers won’t be able to do anything is because there’ll be no evidence.”

“He’s right,” Remus consented. “But her dose will be light James, don’t worry!”

“We should tell her!”

“No!” Sirius and Kristen exclaimed in unison.

“Are you crazy?” Sirius yelled at him.

“She’d rat on us for sure!” Kristen told him fiercely.

“Hey!”

Kristen paid no attention to Peter’s cry of indignation; she was having a hard time to adjusting her wording as to not offend his animagus form.

“I need her to like me Kristen! This is not going to work in that direction!”

“Get. Over. Her.” Sirius told him bluntly. “This is getting bloody ridiculous! She doesn’t like you mate! I mean, Hell, she liked Remus before she liked you!”

It was obvious Remus wanted to hit him for that remark, but he was, amazingly, able to hold himself back. “Lily is perfect for James, he just has to be patient.” Remus informed them all, smiling kindly at James and ignoring Sirius’s doubting look.

“Yeah right Remus. I’m a girl! I would know this stuff, and I definitely don’t see it.”

“That would be because you are completely unobservant. For example, it is one of the most obvious things in the world who is your secret admirer, and yet you haven’t got a clue, do you?”

“Yes I do!” Kristen informed him. “I think he’s a Gryffindor, he’s older than me, he has beautiful, light brown hair, brown eyes, and he’s tan.”

“Well, she got two out five,” Sirius said with a shrug.

“Really?” Kristen asked in surprise. “Which ones?”

“Well, I’ve already told you he’s in Gryffindor. As for the other one, I can’t help you there.” He replied with a wide grin.

“When you two are done flirting, could we please address my problem?” James inquired of them, sulking in the armchair.

Sirius and Kristen were far too use to these comments to even merit it with a blush. “Please James, I would love to hear are all your problems!” Sirius told him with tangible sarcasm.

“You know what, I’ll just find my own way to save her!” James snapped at them, sweeping away dramatically.

“What a drama queen,” Kristen said decidedly.

“It’s not even going to be that bad,” Sirius scoffed. “Just a simple –”

“Luke!” Kristen suddenly cried. “Shit! Today’s his birthday! Oh crap! Oh crap! Oh crap! I totally forgot!”

“He’s only been your boyfriend for a month. You don’t have to get him anything.” Sirius reminded her.

“Well I, unlike you, like to be a good girlfriend, or I guess you would be a boyfriend. I give people presents on their birthday.”

“Oh how truly caring of you! Remembering everyone’s birthday! Oops, but I guess you forgot your boyfriend’s.”

“Why do you always get like this when I mention him?” Kristen snapped at him. “You always get so snippy with me and become such a jerk!”

“Merlin you’re an idiot,” Remus mumbled under his breath.

“Because I know what he’s after. Just like every other bloody male in this school!”

“It’s not your duty to protect me honor or whatever you want to call it! I am more than able to take care of myself.”

Sirius lifted his hands in surrendered. “Really? You’re going to stop just like that?” Kristen asked in shock, barely able to comprehend him surrendering.

“Yeah. Believe me, the instant everyone finds out that Luke Meyers managed to get in your pants; you’ll come begging for forgiveness.

“You prick!” Kristen told him, throwing the closest thing, which happened to be a very large Charms book, right at his head, reveling in the fact that he yelled in pain before she stomped out of the common room, apparently in search of a gift and completely missing the good telling off Sirius was about to get.
* * *
Lily Evans looked up just in time to see James Potter sidle up to her table in the library and sit down across from her, looking uncharacteristically down. The motherly side in her begged to comfort him and listen to his troubles. The Lily side just wanted to ignore him.

“Hey Evans.” Looks like it was going to have to be some kind of mixture of the two as he insisted on talking. “What are you doing?”

“What does it look like I’m doing?”

He smiled at that, always ready for the feisty side of her. “You been doing that all day?”

“Pretty much,” She responded, her eyes on her paper as she tried to wrap up a paragraph in her Ancient Runes essay that was due in September.

“Really? Wow, that sucks.”

“Potter, did you come here just to get a rise out of me or was there an actual point?” Lily asked him, finally setting her quill down and staring at him in wait of an answer.

“Well, I was wondering of today just might be the day.” James smirked at her, looking incredibly flirtatious.

“For the last time Potter, no, I will not go out with you!” Lily slammed her book shut and was prepared to grab her things.

“Not that,” James stopped her, his smile ever growing. “To fly Evans.”

She stared at him, waiting for the laughter. She could hardly believe he even remembered that horrid day in first year. Surely the James Potter would think it absolutely hilarious that Lily could get straight Os, but quake on a broomstick. “I already know how to fly.” It was true, she could. There was just that extreme risk that she would kill herself in the process.

“Yes, buy can you do it well?”

Okay, he had her there. “What would you do Potter. Take me up in the air, thirty feet off the ground and then try and kiss me because I couldn’t get away without falling to my death?”

“Firstly, we wouldn’t go thirty feet off the ground, baby steps Evans. Secondly, I would never, ever, force you to do something, especially kiss me.”

Lily twirled her quill through her fingers, contemplating her options. On the one hand, she hated anything and everything to do with Potter and the egocentric-ness that surrounded him, on the other hand, she also hated being bad at anything. And there was no denying that she was bad, nay, horrible at flying. But still, tonight would be Dumbledore’s going away speech. And yet, she so desperately wanted to fly, and she felt that is she didn’t take the chance now, she wouldn’t get it again.

“On one condition,” Lily said slowly, hardly believing that she was even agreeing to this. “You will not ask me out after this. This doesn’t mean anything Potter. I still don’t like you, not in the slightest.”

“At least you didn’t say you hated me,” James replied happily, gathering her books for her with a sloppy grin. Lily sighed heavily at his jaunty walk out to the field, looking as if he’s just won some kind of prize.
* * *
“I can’t believe he’s not here, after all the bloody planning we went through,” Sirius growled angrily as they walked into great hall that night. The food had yet to be spread across the table and there were few students already seated.

“He might show up,” Kristen said, though she had little hope.

“This is stupid! He’s ditching us for Lily!”

“Because you’ve definitely never ditched us for a girl,” Remus drawled sarcastically, sitting in his usual place.

“That’s quite different. Those girls actually liked me, well, worshiped me actually,” Sirius smirked, “but Lily won’t give James the time of day!”

Kristen scowled behind his back before sitting beside him. She didn’t say anything to him about it, which probably should have been a warning sign for Sirius. It was never good to let Kristen fester.

“So did you find a gift for Luke?” Remus asked quickly before Sirius could continue to make an idiot of him

“No, I just broke up with him.” Kristen answered with a shrug.

“On his birthday?” Peter asked her, looking horror-stuck by the very idea.

“You really are an ice queen,” Sirius announced with a gleeful smile.

“Well, he was going to be mad at me for forgetting anyways, and I didn’t even really like him, just his eyes, and his hair, they were gorgeous. So I figured I’d skip the whole messy break up over letters during the summer and just get to it,” Kristen told them with a look of complete disinterest.

Sirius looked down for a moment before saying, “You know what, that is actually a brilliant idea. Remind me to find Victoria after dinner.”

“I do honestly wonder why I even associate myself with either of you.” Remus said quite bluntly. “That was completely shallow!”

“It’s not like I’m looking for marriage Remus! Who cares if I date guys just because they’re cute?”

“Ethics! Morals or maybe a conscience!” Remus informed her.

“Well we don’t have those,” Sirius told him smugly.

“You two really are perfect for each other,” Peter laughed, loving the immediate tension that erupted, even if there was no blushing.

“Are you kidding me? We would break up before we even went out. It would be horrible,” Kristen told him, finally smiling, though she scooted slightly away from Sirius.

“I bet I could get you to go out on at least three dates with me,” Sirius told her off handedly.

“No, you really couldn’t,” Kristen assured him.

Sirius raised in eyebrows in complete disbelief and asked, “Is that a challenge.”

“No, not at all!” She suddenly laughed. “We both know that would end badly Sirius.”

“Oh well, I figured you’d be to chicken anyways.”

“I’ll have you know, I’m a fox!” She told him defiantly.

“Believe me, we know,” he smirked right back, the real meaning of his words very clear.

“I’m going to ban you from James’s house this summer. It’s going to be torture enough living with him to add you to the whole equation.”

“You’ve met my mother! Could you seriously condemn me to every bloody day there with a clear conscience?”

Kristen was silent