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V-DaY = OvErRaTeD by Lily Weasley

Format: Short story
Chapters: 5
Word Count: 16,566

Rating: 12+
Warnings: No Warnings

Genres: Romance
Characters: James, Lily, OC, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Snape

First Published: 02/14/2004
Last Chapter: 02/19/2004
Last Updated: 02/19/2004

*COMPLETED!!!!* Kelsey Spencer is Lily Evans's best friend, and she's jealous of Lily's boyfriend, James Potter. So she strikes a deal with Sirius Black, but it may not end how she wants it to...

Chapter 1: A Deal with Sirius Black?
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Kelsey Spencer sat in her N.E.W.T. level Charms class, scribbling on a scrap piece of parchment and not paying attention. That’s why she hadn’t made N.E.W.T. level History of Magic or N.E.W.T. level Potions; she had never been great at paying attention. Her bag was constantly filled with tiny bits of parchment where every spare centimeter was covered in inkblots, scribbles, and drawings. Right now her desk was cluttered with a couple books, some broken quills, and her Charms notes, though she had only been in the room for an hour. Behind her, her best friend Lily Evans and Lily’s boyfriend James were whispering and passing notes to each other. Kelsey snatched up her quill again and savagely stabbed the page, writing in large loopy letters, “V-DaY = OvErRaTeD!!!”

It was February tenth, and in Kelsey’s opinion, one of the days leading up to the worst day of the year. As a seventh-year, it was her duty to unwillingly keep up a good appearance for the rest of the school on this day, or so Lily said. Repeatedly. Over and over until Kelsey got sick of it and nearly chucked Lily’s bag out the window. She had almost done it, and would have pulled it off if James Potter hadn’t stepped in and stopped her. James. Ugh. Just thinking of him made Kelsey want to throw up. She had liked him, for years and years and years, since she first laid eyes on him in first-year. Lily had admonished her, saying she was only eleven, but Kelsey hadn’t listened. She had developed a harmless crush into an obsession, which involved joining the group the followed James and his best friend, Sirius Black, everywhere they went. Then her dreams had been crushed when Lily had finally agreed to go out with James, and the rest was history. Now she got a nauseous feeling in her stomach every time Lily kissed James when she thought no one was looking.

Kelsey was over James. Completely.

Well…almost completely.

“Miss Spencer!” squeaked a voice shrilly, jerking Kelsey out of her not-so-peaceful reverie. It was Professor Flitwick, standing a little less than menacingly over Kelsey’s messy desk. He was studying the clip of parchment she had been doodling on for the past two days. On it repeatedly was James’s name. Kelsey prayed silently that Professor Flitwick would rip it up instead of sharing it with the class. Even Lily and James had torn their eyes away from each other to stare at Kelsey and Professor Flitwick, the latter scanning the scrap suspiciously.

While Kelsey bit her lip, trying to figure out what she should tell him (she had considered trying to bully him into giving the note back; after all, she was about two heads taller than he was), the bell rang, dismissing the gawking class. Kelsey grabbed the note out of his hands, ripped it up, and threw them away, uttering a hurried apology in his general direction. He tried to stop her, but she made sure that a crowd of second- and third-years separated them before she slowed down.

“That was smooth,” said Lily from behind her. Her long red hair flowed down her back, making it clear to Kelsey why James Potter had picked Lily over her. She looked elegant, like a princess, even when she hadn’t showered and her hair was in tangles. Kelsey, on the other hand, was a different story. Her hair had to be pampered constantly if she wanted it to look barely decent. It was a dull brown, according to Kelsey. Completely boring, just like everything about her life. It really got frustrating after a while, having a best friend with a perfect life and the cutest boyfriend ever, while she was a nobody, a follower of crowds, a dull, boring nothing.

“Thanks,” said Kelsey sarcastically. “I was hoping you wouldn’t notice. You were kind of…preoccupied.”

Lily looked slightly put out. “I was paying attention. I always pay attention.”

“To James.”

Lily sighed. “Kelsey, are you still jealous?”

“Jealous? Who, me?” asked Kelsey, pretending to wring an invisible person’s neck behind her back. “Of course not. I got over what’s-his-name.”

“His name is James,” said Lily.

Kelsey gritted her teeth. “Yes, him.”

“If you’re jealous—”

“I’m not jealous.”

“Oh. All right, then.”

The two girls reached the Gryffindor common room. When they entered, Lily was hailed with a chorus of cheers from the students, even the ones she didn’t know but knew her because she was Head Girl. James Potter was Head Boy. Kelsey just wanted to hit something.

“It’s strange how people know who I am because I’m Head Girl,” said Lily.

It’s partly because you’re James Potter’s girlfriend, Lily! Wake up! Kelsey thought to herself. Aloud she said, “It is.”

The afternoon passed normally, with dinner and then the common room again. Lily turned in early, as usual, so Kelsey was left alone in the common room before the crackling fire, her notepad and a quill in hand.

“Lily? Lily? Where did Lily go?” asked James Potter suddenly, bounding up to Kelsey. Kelsey looked up at him, his deep brown eyes, and his mussed jet-black hair sticking up in every direction it found suitable. His eyes were concerned, and his mouth was hanging half-open, like it was whenever he couldn’t find Lily. He really did love her, and Kelsey knew it. He went berserk from insanity if he wasn’t near her. “Do you know where Lily went, Kelsey?”

Kelsey sighed, and bit her tongue so hard she tasted blood. “Yeah, she went upstairs to bed. And I wouldn’t recommend that,” she said, as James started toward the girl’s staircase. “Do you remember the last time you tried that?” James grimaced. He had tried to go up to see Lily once before, a couple weeks ago, and with an enormous grating sound, the stairs had transformed into a gigantic slide that promptly deposited him on the floor in a crumpled heap, still without Lily. Kelsey was trying to come to terms with that saddened, discouraged look on his face whenever he was not by her side. “Do you want me to take a message up to her or something?”

James’s face brightened. “You’d do that for me?”

When he perked up like that, and had that ecstatic look in his eyes, it was impossible to refuse any favor James Potter requested. So Kelsey left her notepad on the sofa and climbed the stairs three at a time to deliver the message: “Come down, Lily, but if not, good night and I love you, love James.” So Kelsey had to follow Lily back down the stairs, nearly tripping on her heels because she wasn’t watching where she was going.

“Sirius Black! Move it!” yelled Lily when Kelsey was halfway down the stairs. Kelsey had stopped, tired of waiting for Lily to move, and now Lily was in the common room, yelling at the couch. Kelsey groaned and went to see what was the matter. The “matter” was a well-built boy with dark hair that draped smoothly over his eyes named Sirius Black. He grinned good-naturedly up at Lily and James, who wanted to sit on the sofa instead of stand in a corner like usual.

“I don’t think you want this couch, Evans,” he said casually, raising an eyebrow at James. “I happen to be occupying it as of now.”

“Fine. We’ll go somewhere else,” said James, half-annoyed. He moved himself and Lily over to their regular corner. Kelsey considered going up to bed when she remembered her notepad, which she had left on the sofa. She went back to get it, but in its place was the ever-present, ever-annoying Sirius. “Sirius, have you seen a notepad?”

“Yellow?” he asked.


“Lined? With scribbles all over it? Your name in big purple letters at the top? The one you usually keep under lock and key?”

“Yes, that one! Now hand it over!”

“Nope, haven’t seen it.”

Kelsey rattled a sigh around in her throat. “Sirius, give me my notepad or I’ll tell McGonagall who really turned all the Slytherins’ shorts pink!”

Sirius seemed genuinely alarmed at this, as this had been his best, most concealed prank to date. “All right, all right, I picked up your notepad. But there’s some interesting things on here…”

Panic seized at Kelsey’s heart. He had read her notepad. She was dead, a definite social outcast for life. Sirius Black knew she wasn’t over James. In fact, she doubted he ever knew about the crush in the first place. “You read my notepad? That’s my private property, Sirius! Now McGonagall is going to know for sure!”

“No, wait!” said Sirius, leaping up and grabbing her arm. “You don’t have to do that. I know about your little…jealousy.” He glanced over meaningfully at James and Lily, who were lip locked, and then back at Kelsey.

“I’m not jealous!” she protested lamely.

Sirius held up her notepad. “What’s this here? Ah, yes… ‘I can’t believe I’m jealous of Lily, but I am. And I have been since she started dating James. He won’t leave my mind ever. I can’t seem to get over him. Why won’t he leave me alone?’ Then a whole bunch of sad faces and the word ‘James’ with holes punched in it.” He grinned. “I’d called that jealous.”

Kelsey was at a loss for words. This was outrageous. Her mouth couldn’t even form words. It just hung there, opening and closing like the one on a fish out of water. “Ha…how…you…I…da…”

“And then this page is really interesting. ‘Valentine’s Day is for saps like Lily and James who have nothing better to do than stare in each other’s eyes all day long. It was made for them. It was invented for them. I don’t see why they have to include me in it. It was just made to make everyone who doesn’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend feel horrible, and I hate to say that it’s working.’” Sirius looked at her, his hair veiling most of his face. “Not jealous?”

“Sirius!” Kelsey screeched. The majority of the common room stared directly at her after such an outburst, which she hadn’t been prudent enough to contain. She turned most of them around with her patented icy stares, and then turned back to Sirius. “I don’t believe you read my notepad. That’s my personal property, and you’re invading it!” She snatched at it, but he held it high above his head, which was just above her arm reach. “Give it back!” she yelled, not bothering to turn the spectators around again.

“I can help you.”

Kelsey stopped hopping up and down like a wounded flamingo and looked at him. “What?”

“I said, I can help you,” he repeated calmly.

Kelsey paused. This was Sirius Black she was speaking to. Then again, she could use any of the help she could get. “Tell me quick, or McGonagall gets your secret diary.”

She could see the sudden fear strike as Sirius’s pupils dilated quickly like a cat’s. “I’m just about to! Calm down, Kelsey, you’re too uptight.”

She nearly exploded on him then and there. “Uptight? UPTIGHT! So now I’m UPTIGHT?”

“No. You’ve always been uptight.”

“Fine! Here I go to McGonagall, being UPTIGHT!” Kelsey screeched, dodging him and hurrying toward the portrait hole. She swung it open with such force that the door banged against the wall and the Fat Lady could be heard crying, “Ouch!” Then she hurtled up the hallway toward McGonagall’s office, Sirius hot on her heels. “Go away, Sirius!” she cried at him. “You are so annoying!”

“I said I could help,” he told her again, nearly tripping over his own feet trying to keep up with her. “Don’t you want to hear what I have to say?”

“No!” Kelsey told him hotly. “I want you to leave me alone so I can tell McGonagall.”

“You want James to ask you out, don’t you?”

“No! I want to get you in trouble!” He sidestepped in front of her, blocking her path. “Now get out of my way before I curse you, Sirius Black!”

“You wouldn’t do that, Spencer,” he said, smiling wryly. “You’re friends with Lily Evans, and everyone knows that you two are the least rule breakers ever.”

“Lily may be, but I’m not. If you weren’t paying attention in Charms today, then you didn’t see me almost get detention from Flitwick, and he always saves his on you and your Marauders.” Kelsey whipped out her wand and aimed it at the tip of Sirius’s nose. “Now move or I’ll hex you.”

Sirius crossed his eyes, looking at the end of the wand. “Kelsey Spencer, you hex me and I’ll post your notepad on the common room bulletin board.”

“I’ll make sure you’re not able to do that, Black!” yelled Kelsey, nearly in hysterics now. “Why won’t you just move?”

“Because it’s my butt on the line if I let you go to McGonagall!” Sirius was yelling too, now. “And you haven’t let me tell you my plan to get James!”

Kelsey was about to retort, but then what Sirius had said registered in her mind. “Get James? Get James how?” she said cautiously. No telling what Sirius Black had up his sleeve.

“Get James for you. Get him away from Evans. Get him to like you. Whichever you’d like. Take your pick. I’ve got a brainful of plans just waiting to be executed, Spencer.”

“But Lily would be heartbroken.”

“But you’d have James.”

Kelsey stopped for a moment, and then scoffed. “Sirius, that would be completely cruel to Lily. I couldn’t do that to my best friend!”

Sirius held up her notepad, which now had his sweaty hand marks on it. He had carried it all the way from the common room to here, wherever here was. He read it aloud, loud enough for anyone coming up the corridor to hear. “‘Lily is so lucky to have a boyfriend like James. I’d do anything to get him to like me. Anything at all. Even—oh, what’s the most ridiculous thing I can think of? Take advice from Sirius Black.”

Kelsey blanched. She had forgotten she had ever written that. The coincidence was uncanny. “Fine, Sirius. What is it that you have to tell me? Your plan, or whatever it is?”

“I say you hire a boyfriend.”

She raised an eyebrow. “Hire a boyfriend? Yeah, that gets me absolutely nowhere. Then I won’t be single, so James can’t have me. Brilliant plan, genius. Any other astounding ideas?”

“You didn’t let me finish,” said Sirius slyly. “James will be jealous.”

“Jealous? Of who? Sirius, that’s incredibly stupid. Just go away, will you?”

“No! Hear me out. Your boyfriend has to pretend to be completely enamored by you. That way, James will see what a great catch you are and dump Lily, and go out with you. It’s foolproof!”

“I wish I was foolproof. Then maybe you wouldn’t be bothering me!”

“Spencer, you are so stubborn! Are you sure you and Evans aren’t related? What could go wrong?”

“Sirius, there are a million different things that could go wrong.”

“Name one.”

“James doesn’t fall for it.”

“Well, there’s that…”

“And besides, who would I hire?”

“Good point. Um, Remus?”

Kelsey eyed him. “Right. James will be jealous of me and Remus.”


Kelsey started up the path to McGonagall’s office. “If that’s the best you can do, Sirius, then you’re losing your touch. Now let me through to see McGonagall!”

“Wait, wait. Who else is there? Thomas?”

“Already has a girlfriend.”


“He’s dating Alice, smart one.”

“Oh, that’s right. Um…who else is there?”

Kelsey nearly exploded. “NO ONE! Now GO AWAY!”

Sirius’s face brightened, and Kelsey sped up to get away from him. Whenever he had that expression, bad things were sure to follow. Unfortunately, Sirius didn’t see it that way. “Kelsey, get back here. I had an idea as to who could be your boyfriend-for-hire!”

Kelsey didn’t want to hear it, but Sirius didn’t care. “Me!”

Kelsey stopped dead. “Sirius Black! Of all the—insane people—I don’t believe—you are the worst! James, jealous of you and me? I think you’ve been taking too much firewhiskey from the kitchen house-elves.”

“They have firewhiskey?”

“The point is, Sirius Black, that I will never ever in a million years, ever go out with you, pretend or otherwise! My God, some people are so dense. GET OUT OF MY WAY!”




They both stopped for a second, breathing from lack of air, and then looked at each other. “You are so stubborn,” Sirius said finally, his chest heaving.

“And you are so stupid,” Kelsey retorted.

“I think you’ve got yourself a boyfriend-for-hire.”

“Sirius, haven’t we been through this already? I’m tired. You’re…bouncing off the walls. We need rest. And we can do that as soon as I go to McGonagall. I don’t need a boyfriend-for-hire. I need some peace of mind, and that never happens if you are here. So go back to the common room before I really do curse you. I pay attention in Charms more than you do, you know.”

“Ah, I wouldn’t say that.” In a flash, Sirius’s wand was in his hand and the incantation was almost complete. “Petrificus Totalus!”

Kelsey’s body seized up. She couldn’t move anything but her eyeballs. They went rolling wildly as she hit the ground, frozen.

“Now listen, and listen well, Spencer. I’m only going to say this once, so no interruptions.”

How was she supposed to interrupt? She couldn’t move her lips.

“Today is February tenth. Tomorrow is February eleventh, and three days after that is Valentine’s Day. If my plan doesn’t work and if James isn’t your boyfriend by then, I will do your homework for a month. No, the rest of the year.”

Even Sirius could see the horror in Kelsey’s eyes. She may not have been the best at paying attention, but if Sirius did her homework, she wouldn’t be able to graduate from seventh-year. “All right, fine, I’ll…I don’t know what I’ll do. But I’ll think of something.” And he performed the countercurse. Kelsey got up, trembling with rage. “Do we have a deal?” he asked, satisfied with himself.

Kelsey sighed. What choice did he have? Maybe if it didn’t work, he’d leave her alone for eternity. She took the hand that he was extending.


A/N: Can you tell where this is going? I had to get this out of my system, so...See the button down there? The one that says 'submit review'? Press it and tell me what you think!

Chapter 2: Nothing Going Right
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“You remember our agreement, Black?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You stay two feet away from me at all times, unless you see James.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Holding hands only if James is around.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“If you feel the urge to put your arm around my waist, restrain that urge.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“And if you kiss me, even pecking me on the cheek, I swear I will make your life miserable forever.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Glad we understand each other.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Kelsey and Sirius were standing a little ways from the common room, talking. Well, Kelsey was talking. Sirius was nodding and smiling. Anyone who saw them would’ve been convinced of what they were trying to get James to believe: that they were going out. People streamed out of the common room toward the Great Hall for breakfast, giving them odd stares. So far their plan was working. “Come on, let’s get this over with,” Kelsey groaned, seeing a couple of second-years snicker their way.

“You say that like it’s going to be a horrible experience, Kelsey,” said Sirius, smiling winningly. He made a grab for her hand, but she stuck it on her hip.

“Do you see James?”


“Then TWO FEET!”

“Yes, ma’am.”

They made their way toward the Great Hall, looking around at all the tables. A fourth-year with a tangled mess of dark hair sneered hatefully from the Slytherin table. Kelsey raised an eyebrow. “Who is that?” she asked Sirius.

“No one. Oh, look, here comes James.”

“No…no, I can’t go through with this, give me my hand back!”

“I see James…”

“Sirius! He’s not going to—hi, James.”

James was upon them, grinning slightly with an eyebrow raised, looking at their entwined fingers. The assortment of attached appendages seemed to be moving slightly. He wasn’t to know that Kelsey didn’t want her fingers interlaced with those of Sirius Black and was struggling to free them. “Hey, Sirius. Hi, Kelsey. You two seem…friendly today.”

“You haven’t heard, mate?” Sirius asked jovially. Kelsey attempted a smile, which turned into more of a grimace. “I asked her out, and she said yes.”

“You did?” James was genuinely surprised.

“Yes,” Kelsey said through gritted teeth.

“It was amazing, really. I hadn’t really noticed her before. But now she’s stepped in to a whole new light!”

Kelsey stepped on his foot, a feat that would’ve been impossible in front of James if she were wearing anything but robes. Sirius winced.

“What’s wrong?” asked James.

“Oh, I…stubbed my toe earlier. Burns like heck, it does.” He rubbed it mournfully.

“Ah. I see. Well, then, I’ve got to be—Lily! Where were you?”

Lily Evans had emerged from the common room into the Great Hall, and James swept her up into his arms. “No, no, please! No snogging!” Sirius begged, but they ignored him. Kelsey and Sirius both turned away with expressions of distaste, and Kelsey did the same thing to Sirius. “This disgusts me,” Sirius said brightly.

“Do you have to be so cheerful about everything?” Kelsey asked him.

“It’s part of my irresistible charm.”

Kelsey snorted. “What irresistible charm?”

She tuned into James’s and Lily’s hushed conversation to hear, “Did you know that Sirius and Kelsey were dating?”

Lily’s face contracted. “They are?” She looked over in complete surprise at Kelsey, who tried her best to arrange her face into a lovesick expression, the same one James wore when he saw Lily. “You are?”

“Yes, we are,” said Sirius. “She’s lucky, really; I had ten offers for dates to this weekend’s Hogsmeade trip, but she’s the winner!”

“Bighead,” Kelsey muttered under her breath.

“Let’s go to breakfast, darling,” Sirius said in a mock-sweet tone. Kelsey tried to smile and followed him to the breakfast table. James and Lily uncertainly took seats at the other end of the table.

“Two feet!” Kelsey hissed.

“I think I have him convinced,” said Sirius.

“He didn’t believe a word of it! I can tell!” Kelsey moaned.

“He didn’t believe you. There’s a difference. I really think I could be an amazing actor, you know. You looked kind of tense and strained.”

“That’s because I am tense and strained! I have you tying up my fingers!”

“James is believing every word I say. We’re getting there.”

Kelsey glared at him. “I hope so. You have three days, Sirius Black. Three days.”

“So…you and Sirius are going out,” said Lily evenly. It was February twelfth, and nothing seemed to be going Kelsey’s way. While James and Lily had believed every word of their story, even that Kelsey had accepted Sirius (which Kelsey would have never believed), James seemed to be accepting of their relationship. He didn’t seem to have a problem with Kelsey dating Sirius, though Kelsey did. And now Lily wanted to know all the details, which Kelsey was forced to make up on the spot. She made a mental note to remember all that she said and fill Sirius in, just in case James took a hint from Lily and interrogated him too. Right now they were sitting on the couch while Lily prodded for information. “This happened…”

“Not last night, but the night before. I was sitting on the sofa here, you know, just scribbling in my notepad and—” She faked a humongous, lovesick smile. “He asked me.”

“The notepad was a turn on, huh?” Lily laughed. “Wow, I thought you’d never get over James.”

“I’ve been over him for a long time,” Kelsey lied. It was only a small, teeny white lie. Right?

Lily didn’t believe her, but she didn’t say anything. “So your Valentine’s Day is going to be better than last year, isn’t it? I mean, now you have someone to celebrate with. And according to most of the female population of Hogwarts, Sirius is probably the most romantic one out there. He’ll probably give you flowers and things…I’m so happy for you, Kelsey.”

“Uh…thanks. So what are you and James going to do for Valentine’s Day?” Kelsey asked, carefully leading the topic away from her.

“Well, the Hogsmeade trip is that day…but we really don’t have anything planned. Hey, I have a great idea! Maybe you and Sirius and James and I can double date at that new little shop…what’s it called…Madame Puddifoot’s, or something similar? I hear it’s very nice.”

Kelsey’s stomach flip-flopped. A date. With Sirius. This plan was going haywire before her very eyes. She had to stop it. But how would that look if she refused to go on a date with her boyfriend-for-hire? “I’ll ask Sirius, but it sounds good to me.” She began to strangle a pillow behind her back, so Lily wouldn’t see. It was a black color, and she could imagine it being Sirius, his hair folding as she throttled him for getting her into this.

“I’ll ask James. He won’t mind, I know it. Oh, Valentine’s Day is in two days! I can’t wait!” Lily squealed. Kelsey sobered. Lily loved James so much, and she, Kelsey Spencer, was selfishly trying to tear that happiness away from her. If it worked, how could she wake up and look at herself in the mirror each morning?

For one thing, it can’t work. Sirius is mad and James is completely fine with the idea of us dating. And if it does work, you’ll live with yourself by remembering that James likes you! she thought.

“So…have you been there before?” Kelsey asked Lily. “Madame Puddifoot’s, I mean?”

“No, but I heard from Alice and Frank that it’s quaint.” Lily smiled and sighed. “We’re going to love this Valentine’s Day, I just know it.”

Sirius approached with James and plopped down on the couch next to Kelsey, who recoiled slightly, just enough to make it invisible to Lily and James, who were getting a bit preoccupied anyway. “Hello, Kelsey,” Sirius said slyly, slipping his hand into hers. She made sure that their fingers weren’t tied together like before. “How are you doing tonight, my raven-haired beauty?”

“Fine, your annoying-ness,” Kelsey said quietly, so her best friend and her would-be-boyfriend wouldn’t hear. “Where have you been? Lily’s been questioning me about just about everything! And she suggested a double date, on Valentine’s at Madame Puddifoot’s. I told her I’d ask you. Please say you have plans.”

“Plans? Kelsey, I’m supposed to be your boyfriend. What kind of boyfriend would I be if I abandoned you on the most romantic day of the year?”

“You’re not my boyfriend,” Kelsey growled.

“But Lily and James think I am,” said Sirius. Kelsey sighed exasperatedly. He was hopeless. “Look, Kelsey, we can make this work. Soon James will be wrapped around your little finger.”

For a tiny moment, Kelsey imagined that and really didn’t think it sounded so good after all. It sounded like something a Slytherin might come up with: payback, manipulation, and complete domination. But then again, this was Sirius Black.

“So, tell me, Sirius,” she said, trying a different topic. “Who was that boy we saw at the Slytherin table yesterday morning? You never mentioned him again.”

“Oh, he’s no one,” said Sirius dismissively. “I don’t know the kid. What else do you want to talk about?”

Kelsey saw through this lie, but she decided to leave it alone for the time being. “I don’t know. How maybe this is going a little overboard? I mean, James and Lily haven’t been going out that long. Four, five weeks, maybe? If this turns into a longtime thing, then they’re going to expect us to be like…that.” She motioned with her head at the snogging couple.

“I told you, if it doesn’t work by February fourteenth, which it will, the deal is off and I’ll probably have to be your slave forever.”

“But I don’t want you to be my slave, Sirius. I want you to be a friend. A distant acquaintance, maybe. But not my slave.”

“Well, then, it’s a good thing our little plan is going so well, isn’t it?”

Kelsey sighed. “What are we going to do about this whole date thing on…what? Saturday? Wow, that’s not tomorrow, but the next day.”

“Thursday. My favorite day of the week,” said Sirius, rubbing his hands together.

“And why is that? Why not Friday or Saturday or Sunday, when we have off school?”

“Because Friday is always a bit too…noisy.” Kelsey pulled a face. “I may not seem like the kind of guy who likes peace and quiet, but believe me, it’s better than roaming the halls and seeing ten billion little first-years chattering like parakeets. And I get to plan pranks…I mean, sit down and do my homework in the silence.”

Kelsey almost cracked a smile, but she caught herself just in time and turned it into a patented Kelsey Spencer glare.

“Don’t give me that look! You’re supposed to like me, remember? Anyway…” He suddenly paled. He looked far less handsome with blotchy paper-white skin, Kelsey noted. “What is tomorrow?”

“The thirteenth. The day before Valentine’s Day, remember?”

“I know that, but…do you have your lunar chart?”

“I don’t take Astronomy anymore. I dropped it after O.W.L. year.”

Sirius didn’t even ask why, though she was sure he knew that she had passed the level required for entering N.E.W.T. level classes, and she sort of wanted to tell him that she had given it up because she didn’t like it. All he cared about now was finding a lunar chart. He got up, leaving Kelsey with a mildly puzzled expression on the couch, and hurried over to Peter Pettigrew, a small, mousy-haired boy whose stomach bulged slightly under his robes. “Peter, do you have your lunar chart?”

“What lunar chart? Professor Celestina kicked me out after O.W.L.s. She seemed to think that a Dreadful was nowhere near passing…”

Before Peter could go on a rant about teachers and grades, neither of which was his forte, Sirius hurried over to Remus, who was reading over a Defense Against the Dark Arts assignment with a little concern wrinkling his forehead. “You have your lunar chart, don’t you, Moony? I mean…Remus?”

“Sure I do. Why? You haven’t forgotten about…”

“I did. I don’t believe that tomorrow’s already…”

“Shh! Someone will hear you!” Remus said, casting his eyes around the common room. The only one he saw looking suspiciously at them was Kelsey, who quickly buried herself in writing in her notepad. “You forgot. Padfoot!” Remus was nearly whining now, sounding more like Peter than his usual self. “You have to be there! Prongs can’t keep me in check by himself.”

“I know that. I’ll…rearrange a few things and be there, Moony. I know how important this is.”

He hurried away, a slightly mournful expression on his face, said good night to Kelsey, and hurried up the stairs to the boys’ dormitory. Kelsey watched him go, wondering at what she had just heard. He would be where? Why did he call Remus Moony, and why did Remus call him Padfoot? Who was Prongs? What was so important? She determined to find out. While Lily and James snogged away next to the empty spot next to her on the couch, Kelsey began writing on her notepad again, this time with a lot more in mind.

Chapter 3: Friday the Thirteenth
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The next morning was the beginning of Friday the thirteenth. Kelsey wasn’t perturbed when their Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher told them a long story about how, a millennium ago, a Dark wizard had cast an irreversible spell over the entire word that meant every Friday the thirteenth, random misfortunes would affect the global population. In her notepad, Kelsey drew the earth with spells flying in every direction over it, labeling the drawing, “FRIDAY the THIRTEENTH: i WISH this WAS me.”

“What does that mean?” Sirius asked her when he saw it.

“Nothing,” she answered. “I mean, nothing that I want to tell you about.”

Sirius could not be shot down. He was in too good of a mood. “Kelsey, it’s Friday the thirteenth. It’s like my Christmas. I get to pull pranks on innocent, unsuspecting bystanders and none of it can be blamed on me!”

“You’re pulling a prank?” asked Kelsey. Maybe that was what he had been talking with Remus about. “Tonight?”

He looked at her. “Tonight? No, today. All through the day, with James and Remus and Peter. You want to join in?”

“No thanks,” said Kelsey, busying herself with packing up all her things. “I think I’ll pass on the pranking. If you need me, just ask, though. I can’t turn it down, since James thinks I’m your girlfriend. Does Lily pull pranks with him?”

Sirius let out a laugh like a bark. “Lily Evans, Head Girl? She’s even more uptight than you are. She tries to get James to stop, but that’s pretty much impossible. He’s my partner in crime.” He grinned. “So are you in?” The bell rang and they left, making their way to their next class, Care of Magical Creatures.

“No. I prefer to sit on the sidelines and watch.”

Sirius shrugged. “Suit yourself. Oh boy, here comes the perfect couple.” He gestured to Lily and James, who were holding hands and grinning.

“Our plan isn’t working very well, is it?” Kelsey hissed.

“So it’s our plan now, is it?”

“Sirius! Kelsey! Have you two decided whether or not you’re coming with us tomorrow?” asked James, pulling Lily with him. She giggled, her face red. “Lily told me she asked Kelsey.”

“Oh, that’s right! I completely forgot!” said Sirius. “Yeah, she asked me, and we think it’s a great idea!”

Sirius is such a good liar, Kelsey thought quickly.

“We’ll see you there at eleven, is that all right?” said Lily, hanging off James’s arm.

“That’s fine with us, right, Kelsey?” said Sirius, taking her hand again. This time he was careful not to get their fingers tangled together. She nodded, noticing that he wasn’t really forcing his hand into hers; it was more of a mutual effort. She was really getting the hang of this pretending thing. “We can’t wait either,” he said, smiling.

“Have either of you been to Madame Puddifoot’s?” James asked. He looked perfectly content with Lily on his arm and Kelsey on Sirius’s. It was as if he expected this. Sirius promised this would work. Why isn’t it working? Kelsey thought to herself. Tomorrow was Valentine’s Day, and Sirius had given his word that their plan would be complete by the end of February fourteenth. Kelsey shook her head a little to answer James’s question, and she smiled at James, hoping he’d start to get the hint. Sirius seemed to be grimacing as he answered, “No.”

“Well, then, this’ll be a fun experience for all of us,” said James. “Care of Magical Creatures time, isn’t it?”

“Yes. Let’s head over there,” said Lily. Kelsey and Sirius followed a few paces behind them, silent. Kelsey had thoughts running through her head, and surprisingly none of them had anything to do with James Potter. Mostly they had to do with all the secrets Sirius seemed to be keeping, namely, the secret midnight escapade and the Slytherin boy he seemed to know but refused to speak of. She really wanted to find out what these secrets were, and she really didn’t know why.

“There’s Professor Kettleburn,” Sirius said finally, breaking the tense noiselessness that had engulfed him and Kelsey since Lily’s last words. “He looks excited.”

“How can you tell?” Kelsey asked. “He has a beard the size of Europe. I can barely tell if he has a mouth most of the time.”

“Fair enough. What are all those jars he has over there?”

“Ugh, the Slytherins are already here. Tell me again why Dumbledore had the brilliant idea to put the Slytherins with us in this class? We have the mouthless man and the heartless Slytherins all in one period,” Kelsey complained. “And there’s Severus Snape…oh, no, Sirius, you’re not going to…you didn’t…”

But Sirius was barely listening. Instead, his ears and eyes were perked up in the direction of the one he called Snivellus. He and James exchanged silent smirks. Sirius whipped out his wand and muttered something inaudible to anyone but Kelsey, who was close enough to him to hear the incantation. A clear beam shot out of his wand at Snape, a beam that seemed to ripple the air (Kelsey was sure it had made her look windblown), and hit he greasy-looking Slytherin seventh-year. He fell backwards, onto a patch of grass that had been removed to only have dirt, and was instantly covered in a gross, purple liquid that smelled of rotten eggs. He tried to stand up, but he slipped back down into the pool of violet goo, which burst forth in a flurry of feathers. Now he was covered in a sticky mess and the fluffy feathery stuff. James made sure Lily wasn’t looking at his wand and waved it at him. On Snape’s face appeared a beak, and where his arms had been there popped up wings. He opened his mouth to yell out, but all that issued was a loud, ear-piercing squawk. Kelsey clapped her hand to her mouth in horror.

“Mishter… ah…Shnape, is it?” asked Professor Kettleburn, his bushy moustache twitching. “Are you all right?”

Snape let out another squawk. Several of the Gryffindors backed away.

“Can shomeone pleashe take Mishter Shnape up to the hoshpital wing?” Professor Kettleburn. “I would be mosht oblished if you would…oh, thank you, Mishter Sheshkashewan, go ahead, I’ll ecshcuse you from the resht of clash.”

The pupil in question helped Snape up from the puddle of goo that all the Slytherin girls refused to get within ten meters of, and followed Snape’s hobbling form all the way back up to the castle. Sirius, James, and Remus (Peter had failed out of this class too) were doubled up with laughter, as were most of the Gryffindors. Lily and Kelsey exchanged looks, and Kelsey knew all too well what was coming up the next time Lily spoke to James in private. “Happy Friday the thirteenth, Snivelly,” Sirius laughed as Snape’s sticky, feather-covered figure disappeared.

“Well, well, all right, clash, today we will be shtudying billywigsh. They have shtingersh at the end of them, and the shtingersh can caushe levitation and giddinesh. I don’t have any antidote in my posheshion, so if you get shtung, you’ll have to go up to Madame Pomfrey and get shome. Ish everyone ready? Pair up and get shtarted.”

Lily instantly grabbed James’s arm and a jar of the billywigs, so Sirius took Kelsey’s hand and another of the jars. Kelsey took it from him and studied the insects. They were a pale blue with orange spots and stripes, and they scuttled around, bumping into one another. “Aw, they’re scared,” said Kelsey.

“They’re bugs, Kelsey,” Sirius said, rolling his eyes. “All I say is, give me a can of Harper Instant Bug-Removal Powder and let me at ‘em! But Kettleburn wants us to study them, so study them we shall.”

“All right, you get the quills, and I’ll get the paper,” said Kelsey. She produced her notepad. “Perfect. Got the quills yet?”

“Yeah, two quills, an inkpot, and an hour and a half of bug heaven. Joy. Let the little guys loose, will you?”

Kelsey unscrewed the lid and dumped the insects on a large paper towel Professor Kettleburn had given them with the jar. Sirius picked one up, giving it a mock cold stare. “What are you looking at?” he asked it, pretending to be serious.

“Sirius, stop messing around,” Kelsey ordered. She grabbed the bug away from him. Unfortunately for her, he had been holding it facing toward him, so she got the end of it. The end with the stinger.

“Ow!” Kelsey yelped, dropping it. It scurried off, leaving a trail of yellowish goo as it went. “It stung me!”

“Don’t panic! Don’t panic!” Sirius said, panicking. Almost at once, Kelsey’s fear was replaced with a light, floating feeling, like her head was detaching itself from her shoulders and drifting her away…Suddenly, there was an incredible weightlessness to her body, and no ground beneath her feet. Someone was tugging at her robes, but she was floating away in the air…

This was stupendously funny to her…she began to giggle, laughing her head off…that someone was still tugging at her foot, and she managed to wriggle free of the grasp that was keeping her from floating away to the clouds. There were voices, loud, anxious voices punctuating her blissful thoughtlessness, but it really didn’t matter…

Sirius was below her, yelling and jumping. He couldn’t believe she was floating away from him, and there was nothing he could do. Lily stood there, wringing her hands anxiously, while James stood by her, looking skyward with his mouth open. Sirius thought briefly that if it had been raining, he would have drowned. Then Sirius realized with a start that there was one spell he had learned way back in his fourth-year that could bring Kelsey back down, safely on the ground, and he wouldn’t let her fly away again. “Accio Kelsey Spencer!” he cried, brandishing his wand at the sky.

Above the crowd that had formed under her, Kelsey was jolted in the opposite direction of the clouds by something…probably a spell…she really couldn’t be sure, in her lightheaded state, what was going on down on the ground, and she couldn’t care less at the moment. But then the grip reattached itself to her ankle, and she couldn’t go up anymore. This was definitely a backwards wrench in her plans to sail to the moon.

“I’ve got her!” Sirius yelled. Lily was nearly in hysterics, and James had a comforting arm around her. “Professor Kettleburn, I have her! Someone help me!”

As the crowd watched in horror, Sirius was lifted bodily into the air underneath Kelsey. Just in time, James, who was about two inches taller than Sirius, leapt up and grabbed Kelsey’s other ankle, and Lily helped him. The three of them were hanging on for dear life, and then other Gryffindors, namely Remus, Frank Longbottom, and Alice Parsons, helped Sirius with his side. “Go up to the hoshpital wing immediately!” Professor Kettleburn ordered. “Get her up there now! Shend Madame Pomfrey my regardsh!” And the six of them ran to the castle, hanging on her ankles, occasionally gliding in the air for a few yards and then landing with a bump back on the stone-cold floors of Hogwarts.

“What happened here? What is Professor Kettleburn teaching these days?” Madame Pomfrey exclaimed when they entered the hospital wing. Snape sat up in his hospital bed, looking at the giggling Gryffindor with a smug smirk. Sirius noticed that most of his face and his greasy hair was still masked with the sticky purple stuff and feathers. “Get her near my anti-levitation bed!”

Sirius, James, Lily, Remus, Frank, and Alice moved her over to the bed in the corner. It had chains that rose into the air a little ways over the mattress, which looked like it hadn’t been used in a while. When Kelsey was near enough, Madame Pomfrey grabbed one of the chains and hooked it to Kelsey’s foot, and then she did the other one. With some effort, they got Kelsey parallel to the bed, and they chained her arms too. “You can go now…I’ve got it from here. Tell your teacher she’ll be fine, now be on your way.”

“Can I stay?” Sirius asked. “You know, make sure she’s all right?”

Madame Pomfrey pursed her lips at him, but then she sighed. “Fine, Mr. Black, but if Professor Kettleburn gets angry, the blame rests entirely on your shoulders, all right?”

“Sure,” Sirius said, flashing her one of his winning smiles. Then he turned to James and Remus, who were hanging back, waiting to see what he was doing. “You go on and tell Kettleburn I’m staying, all right? He won’t care, just as long as he has someone in the class to talk to. Stupid Friday the thirteenth…”

James, Lily, Remus, Alice, and Frank left Sirius there. Although he never really expressed it, Sirius was really concerned about Kelsey, and he thought the billywig episode in Care of Magical Creatures to be entirely his fault. “Nice going, Sirius,” he muttered to himself, forgetting that he wasn’t the only one completely conscious in the hospital wing.

“It’s a sure sign of insanity, talking to yourself, Black,” Snape spat. To Sirius’s disappointment, Madame Pomfrey had rid him of his beak. “I’d say, what goes around comes around, and that’s why your girlfriend is in the hospital wing and I’m the one about to be released.”

“Shut up, Snivelly,” Sirius retorted.

“Do us all a favor, and take your own advice,” Snape said casually, lying back down in his bed.

“Us all? Who would that be? You and all your little imaginary friends?”

Fortunately for Sirius, Madame Pomfrey entered at just that moment before Snape could retaliate. “I’ve found a spell I think will get the rest of the gunk off you, Mr. Snape,” she said, waving her wand. “Evanesco Violet Liquid!” The goo disappeared off of Snape completely, and he smiled, satisfied. “Be on your way, then. Professor Kettleburn has enough students missing as it is.” She cast an eye at Sirius, but he was staring up at Kelsey’s laughing figure. Snape left, throwing a disdainful eye at the two of them before he disappeared around the corner.

“Anything you can do for her, Madame Pomfrey?” Sirius asked.

“Of course, Black, I’m a qualified Healer,” she snapped at him. He had had plenty of run-ins with her, and she had no sympathy for anyone who had been in a cursing feud with one of the other students for the past six years. He, his friends, and Severus Snape were in the hospital wing more than any student she had ever seen, usually with the effects of the other’s curse sprouting from their ears, their nostrils, or other adverse places for a spell to be. Madame Pomfrey removed a vial of liquid from her pocket and reached up to insert its contents into Kelsey’s mouth. “I can’t reach,” she said after a few minutes of trying. “Can you give me a hand?”

“Much obliged, Madame Pomfrey.” Sirius took the vial from her, stood on his chair, and poured the antidote into her mouth. After a few seconds, when it sounded like there was an earthquake taking place in Kelsey’s stomach, Kelsey stopped giggling and landed with a thump on the hospital bed. “Kelsey! Are you all right?” Sirius exclaimed, getting a raised eyebrow from the Healer.

“Yes…I think…why am I chained to a bed? And my head hurts,” she moaned.

“Headaches. A most unfortunate side effect,” said Madame Pomfrey, shaking her head. “It should go away by about lunchtime, I believe. Would you like to stay here until then?”

“Oh…yes, please.” Then Kelsey looked around at spotted Sirius for the first time. “Sirius, what are you doing here?”

“It was me who gave you the billywig. I’m really sorry, Kelsey, I didn’t think that would happen.”

“Actually, I took it from you. It’s not your fault.”

“I still feel responsible.”

Kelsey laughed. “You, feeling responsible? That billywig sting really did get to my head…”

“No, I’m really feeling bad. It is a human trait, and I do happen to be a human, whether you care to admit it or not,” he said to her, slightly put out, since she wasn’t taking him seriously. Then again, he thought to himself, who could take someone named Sirius seriously? “You want me to stay?” he asked her.

“No, that’s all right. You go on, I’ll catch up with you at lunch.”

“You don’t want any company? I thought you wouldn’t be able to turn down your own boyfriend, Miss Spencer,” said Madame Pomfrey. “But it’s your choice.” She bustled away, a small smile playing on her lips.

“Fine, stay. I’d be bored out of my skull if you didn’t,” said Kelsey. Then she lowered her voice to a whisper. “We must be really getting good at this pretending to be dating thing, you know?”

Sirius nodded, unable to speak. It had suddenly struck him that he really didn’t want to pretend anymore.

Chapter 4: Under the Full Moon
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Kelsey was released at lunchtime, and she walked in with Sirius amid stares from her fellow students. “The story got around how you were nearly stung to death by a ravenous billywig and then were unconscious in the hospital wing for three hours,” said Remus casually when they sat down. “Oh, and everyone thinks Sirius is a hero for saving you from floating to the sun.”

As if on cue, a group of simpering girls crowded around Sirius. It was his fan club. “Oh, Sirius, you were so brave,” one said, throwing a scathing look at Kelsey, as if it were completely her fault that the man of the moment had saved her life. “I heard she carried you thirty feet into the air with her levitation!”

“That was so dangerous,” another agreed. “You could’ve been killed! I’m so glad you weren’t, though.”

Peter was looking glumly at his plate, mockingly mouthing, “Oh, Sirius! Oh, Sirius!” at it and frowning. Sirius looked sideways at him, and then at Kelsey, who was preoccupied with eating and talking to Lily, and then at the fifteen or so girls that were preventing him from peacefully eating his lunch. “Listen, ladies, I really need to eat, so—”

“Oh, we completely understand!” the third one said. She seemed to be the leader of the group. “Let’s go, girls.” They strolled off, most of them jealously eying Kelsey over their shoulders.

“Suddenly I’m not really hungry,” Kelsey said, setting her fork down. “Do you want the rest of my food, Sirius?”

Though he really wanted to be supportive, Sirius was never really one to pass up an offer of extra food. After only a moment of hesitation, he nodded and took her plate, scraping all of her leftovers onto his. She recoiled in disgust at the mounds of food mixed in with each other and stood. “I think I’m going upstairs. You know, to catch up on my work and stuff.” She left.

Sirius watched her go. Suddenly he could feel someone’s eyes boring holes in him. He turned to see Remus looking at him strangely. “What is it, Moony?” he hissed.

“You’ll be there tonight, won’t you?”

“I told you already, I said I’d be there! And why do you ask?”

“Oh, no…no reason.”

Sirius warily turned back to his lunch and thought, which was most unusual for him. He thought about many things, but mainly how he was going to have to give Kelsey the slip that night…

Kelsey sat in the common room, chewing thoughtfully on the end of her quill. She had absolutely no idea what were five signs that identified a werewolf. Maybe, she thought, she should ask Lily. Or if she was busy James (which she probably would be), she should ask Remus. Though James had made Head Boy, Remus was the smartest of the Marauders. He would know.

Friday the thirteenth was drawing to a close, and Kelsey was losing all hope that Sirius’s plan would work. Still, they had the date tomorrow. And today wasn’t over yet. Kelsey still wanted to find out what Sirius’s nighttime plans were all about. Kelsey looked at the gold-lined clock on the wall, which showed the larger hand pointing left and the smaller hand pointing in the opposite direction, to the right. About nine fifteen. Pretty much the perfect time for Sirius to pull anything. Well, anything else. Snape had found himself in many unpleasant situations throughout the day at he unmerciful hands of the Marauders, the purple goo and feathers the east of them. Kelsey smiled secretly at the memories.

She looked over at the couch where Lily and James were, but now Lily sat there alone. “Hi, Lily. Where did James go?” she asked, sitting down by her.

“With Sirius somewhere. They left nearly fifteen minutes ago.” Lily looked suddenly nervous, as if Kelsey was asking to reveal something she wasn’t supposed to say. “Peter was with them too.”

“What about Remus?” Kelsey asked.

“Didn’t you hear? He left during Potions. His mum is sick,” said Lily. Again, she looked a bit jittery, a sure sign that she was lying.

“Again? His mum is sick every month! It’s been that way since—since first-year. Will she ever get better?”

Lily didn’t answer. Now Kelsey was very suspicious. “Lily? Is there something you aren’t telling me?” Lily shrugged, twirling a long strand of hair nervously around her finger. “Lily! Answer me!”

“I can’t,” said Lily. “James would never forgive me.”

“What about me? I’m supposed to be your best friend. What happened to friends forever and telling each other everything? No secrets? Guys come and go, Lils, but friends never change. The only thing that has changing is you salivating every time James gets near you! He’s all you think about! It’s James this, James that, oh, I’ll do anything for James because he’s the reason I breathe!” She stood there, huffing, while Lily stared at her silently.

“You really are jealous,” she finally said.

“I am not! I’m just mad that James is now officially your only friend in the world and I’m just a footnote!”

“I thought you got over James when you started dating Sirius,” Lily said disbelievingly. “But you didn’t, did you? If you’re not over James, then why are you doing this to Sirius?”

Kelsey nearly choked over her next words. “Dating Sirius? DATING SIRIUS?” Luckily, she bit her tongue at this point and stormed past Lily up the stairs to the dormitory, muttering heatedly under breath all the way. Had she stayed there any longer, she probably would’ve let the entire plan slip, and it could not have ended well. Angry with herself, she checked between everyone’s bed hangings to make sure no one was listening to her rustling around in the room, and then she hurried back out, on a mission.

Kelsey crept down the stairs, trying not to bump into anyone, which would tend to delays, which she could not afford if she wanted to catch up with the three Marauders. She stopped for a couple of moments and looked at Lily secretly from a corner, who was punching holes in her Herbology essay, trying to write it but not getting very far. Then she hurried through the portrait hole. After shutting it, she began her trek up the dark corridor, praying that none of the teachers decided to come down this corridor checking for students breaking curfew. A little ways up, she heard loud, angry voices, and hurried toward them.

“Mind your own business if you like your nose where it is!” yelled the first voice. It was Sirius. Kelsey hid behind a fold in the wall that created a neat little niche, and she listened.

“It’s my business if you three are breaking curfew. I should inform McGonagall on you, you know.” It was the fourth-year Slytherin that Sirius had denied ever talked to. And here he was, yelling himself blue at him. Why had he lied?

“Come on, Sirius, let’s go,” said Peter. “We don’t want to mess with scum like him, do we?”

“No, no we don’t, Peter,” said Sirius. “Look, little brother, I know you want to get to bug me more since I moved out—” (here the boy scoffed) “—but you’re part of the reason I had to find better residence elsewhere. So go back with your Slytherin pals before I put your nose in a more agreeable place.”

“You wouldn’t dare, Sirius.”

Little brother? Kelsey suddenly realized. Did Sirius just say little brother?

“Try me, Regulus.” Sirius stood there confidently, Peter and James backing him up.

The boy Sirius had called Regulus took a step forward and Sirius made a jabbing motion with his wand. The next thing any of them knew, Regulus was flat on his back, just as Kelsey had been the night she and Sirius had made the deal. But it wasn’t the Body-Bind Curse; it was some sort of spell that Kelsey didn’t recognize.

“Don’t you move, now, Regulus,” Sirius said, laughing. Kelsey stood there, petrified, not knowing what to do. Sirius, James, and Peter moved forward up the path, and Kelsey followed at a distance, careful not to make any noise. The only downside was that the motionless boy on the floor saw her as she passed, and his eyes followed her up the hallway until he couldn’t see her anymore. Kelsey gave him a half-pitiful, half-disgusted look before she left.

James, Peter, and Sirius were muttering in low voices before her, and she couldn’t hear anything they were saying until James spoke up in a loud voice with, “So how are you and Kelsey doing, Sirius?”

Sirius heaved a sigh and turned to face James. Kelsey went diving behind another corner so they wouldn’t see her. “I’ve got to tell you something, Prongs. You can listen in too, Wormtail, but it couldn’t matter much to you.”

Kelsey sharply drew in a breath, her mind racing. Now she knew who Prongs was, and Peter was apparently Wormtail. But what in the world did Sirius think he was doing? He wasn’t…he couldn’t tell…James was standing right there, waiting expectantly, and Peter was bobbing up and down on the balls of his feet in anticipation. Kelsey covered her mouth.

“I’m not dating Kelsey Spencer, all right?”

No! He didn’t do it! He hadn’t admitted it! That was it. Her life was over. Sirius was about to spill her guts to the guy she had liked for nearly seven years. She would probably be banished, a social outcast, destined to live as a Muggle or have to move to France. This wasn’t happening…

“Um, Sirius?” James was saying. “Then why have you been holding her hand and stuff and telling everyone that you are for the past few days? Because I can’t think of any other explanation, can you, Wormtail?”

Kelsey didn’t dare look, but she imagined that Peter was shaking his head, a most bewildered expression plastered on his face.

“It’s a long story,” Sirius said doubtfully. Kelsey peeked out from behind her corner.

“We’ve got time,” said James, looking out the nearest window through which moonlight was streaming. “Moony doesn’t expect us there for at least another quarter hour, and it’s not like anyone’s following us.”

Kelsey stifled a dry laugh at the irony while thinking. Moony was Remus, so he was waiting for them. But wasn’t Remus supposed to be visiting his mother?

“Well, if you really want to know, it was for you, mate,” said Sirius.

SIRIUS! I HATE YOU! Kelsey screamed inside her head.

“For me?” James asked.

“You. The most popular boy on the face of this planet. She’s been head over heels for you since first-year, and you’re the only one who hasn’t noticed. Even Lily knows it. So…I offered her a chance to win your affections, and I really thought it would work, Prongs, but you haven’t been cooperating very well, and I must say she’s kind of disappointed.”

“Kelsey Spencer…likes me. Lily would’ve told me,” James said, a note of disbelief in his voice.

“Earth to James!’ Sirius said loudly, rapping hard on James’s skull with his knuckles. “She didn’t want to hurt you and all that stuff. Boyfriend and girlfriend stuff.”

“You two are really good at acting, then, Padfoot,” said Peter, morosely picking at a spot on his forehead. “You had us all convinced.”

Sirius sighed heavily. “That’s because I’m through pretending. I’ve come to realize that I really…actually…truly like her.”

Kelsey recoiled, almost knocking her head on the wall behind her. She had to have gone deaf for the past few seconds, because Sirius Black could not have ever, ever, ever, in a million years ever, have said he liked her. Her. Kelsey Spencer, world’s biggest nothing.

There was a pause on the other side of the corner Kelsey was hiding behind. Finally, Peter spoke up. “Are you feeling all right, Padfoot?”

“No, I’m not! My God, she’s amazing, she’s beautiful, and funny, and…she likes you, James. How could I be feeling all right?”

Sirius had definitely gone mad. He didn’t like her. He was trying to humiliate her in front of James Potter. He was the most popular boy in school, along with James. He didn’t like her at all. He had probably…there was no reasonable explanation for this. This was completely insane. Sirius was delirious or something. Kelsey sank silently to the floor, trying to come up with any other reason that he would say something like this, besides that what he was saying was the truth. He had called her amazing. Amazing? She was boring and dull, a footnote, like she had told Lily. Beautiful? Was he looking at the same Kelsey Spencer she was when she looked in the mirror? Funny? Kelsey wasn’t even going to consider that one. She was dull, as she had known her whole life, dull, dull, dull, and duller.

“So…let’s change the topic,” Sirius was saying. It was as if he knew that she was listening. “Guess what I told old Snivellus?”

“What did you tell him?” Peter said, perking up.

“Well, he was skulking around outside the common room entrance when I checked for the all-clear, and he wanted to know where Madame Pomfrey was going with Remus. He saw them heading through the Whomping Willow, see. So I said to him that if he really wanted to see where Remus was at, since he was supposed to be visiting his mother, he could press the knot on the trunk and go on in! Brilliant, huh?”

Kelsey could hear the stunned silence. For whatever reason that Remus was being smuggled into a violent tree, she knew it had not been wise of Sirius to tell Snape to follow. Sure enough, after a few seconds of anxiety filling the air, James screeched, “WHAT? Sirius! How could you do this? We’ll be expelled, we’ll be killed, and we’ll get Moony into five tons of trouble, you git, Sirius! Snape can’t go into that tunnel unless he wants to come out in a million bits! Remus is violent when he’s transformed, he’ll either mangle him or bite him, and then there will be two werewolves!”

Kelsey’s heart caught in her throat. Werewolves?

“Give me the cloak, Sirius, and we’ll head him off,” said James. He pulled out a silvery, light material from underneath his robes and threw it over their heads. And they were gone.

Kelsey drew breath quickly, her eyes roving over the spot where they had been. Where had they gone? It was as if they had just disappeared into thin air. Then something in her mind clicked: James must have had an Invisibility Cloak. Kelsey tuned in to the sounds around her with her ears and heard a light, soft padding of feet. It was them. Fortunately, it was an Invisibility Cloak and not an Inaudibility Cloak. She followed the sound at a distance, her ears constantly concentrating on the sound, however soft it might be.

Then they left the castle through a set of doors. Now Kelsey’s ears had a whole new set of sounds to contend with: the gentle wind blowing, the rustling of the leaves, animal sounds issuing from the forest, and other such distractions. Still, she traced the light footsteps over to a spot far away from the castle doors, a safe distance from the Whomping Willow. Kelsey looked up at the moon, which was round and full and perfect for werewolf transformations (Kelsey shuddered), if anyone so had the need of them.

Through the dark night came a familiar voice. It belonged to James. “You two go on in. No, wait, transform first! I’ll wait here and head Snape off. Go now, Moony is waiting. Peter, stop whimpering and go!”

Sirius and Peter unfurled themselves from the Invisibility Cloak, and their shapes began to shift, to change. Kelsey watched Sirius’s transforming figure in horror from behind a tree not far from the spot where they were. His shoulders became hunched, his face elongated into an animal’s snout, his arms shortened, and he sprouted jet-black fur all over his body. The last things to come were his shaggy tail, which wagged almost as soon as it was formed, and his wet nose, replacing his normal one. He was a huge dog, the size of a hippogriff.

So they were Animagi. What animals were Peter and James? But Peter seemed to have melted into the ground; Kelsey didn’t see him anywhere. Suddenly a tiny shape darted out from the area around Sirius’s enormous feet toward the base of the Whomping Willow: a rat. It had to have been Peter. He ran headfirst through the thrashing branches of the deadly tree and touched a small spot on the trunk. The limbs froze. Sirius the dog gave a growling sound of satisfaction and hurried through the opening that had been revealed, followed closely by Peter.

Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs. Moony is Remus because he’s a werewolf. Wormtail is Peter, because of his rat’s tail. Sirius’s name is Padfoot with his huge padded feet. Then what is James? Kelsey wondered to herself. She watched the spot where she was sure James stood intently, waiting.

Then two voices rang clear through the cold air. Kelsey retreated farther behind her tree, hoping neither the people approaching nor James would see her. “That idiot of a Black told me to press a knot on the trunk so I could get in. As much as I distrust him, I could get Lupin and company into heaps of trouble with this one.” It was Snape.

“But if Pomfrey was with him—”

“Shut up, Regulus!” Snape hissed. “You wouldn’t have even been here if I hadn’t come upon you lying helplessly in the middle of the corridor, breaking curfew. Now give me those glasses, I know Potter has a bloody Invisibility Cloak, and he’s probably waiting around with his friends.”

Please, oh please, James, please have heard that, Kelsey thought desperately. But there was no sound from James. Kelsey wasn’t even sure he had heard Snape and Regulus coming. Meanwhile, Snape was strapping a pair of goggles to his pallid face. “Where did you get these again?” Regulus asked.

“Knockturn Alley. Bloody brilliant things. They see everything, even what’s invisible.” Snape scanned the area, looking for something, until he faced James. Even behind the goggles, his eyes lit up so even Kelsey could see them. “Perfect.”

Without a sound, Snape rushed at James, tackling him to the ground. The cloak came off, revealing James on the dirt and grass. Kelsey let out a squeal of terror, and Regulus heard her. “It’s Sirius’s girlfriend!” he cried. Snape quickly stood, but James knocked him to the ground.

“Kelsey…run for it…” he managed to say as Snape came at him again. This time when Snape rolled over, James was laying facedown in the mud. He wasn’t moving. Snape stood triumphantly over him as Kelsey tried to get away.

“Locomotor Mortis!” yelled Regulus, his wand aimed at Kelsey. As soon as the Leg-Locker Curse hit her, her legs froze together and she tumbled onto her stomach. “I’ve got her, Severus! She’s right here!”

Struggling to turn over, Kelsey waved her own wand. “Furnunculus!” The spell hit Regulus in the face, and he began to break out in humongous boils the size of oak leaves. He yelled. “AAAAAAAAAA! My face! My face!”

“Idiot!” Snape snarled. He muttered the countercurse and faced Kelsey, who was still struggling to stand with her motionless legs. “You’re coming with us, Spencer. You’re more trouble than you’re worth, but I’m sure you know a bit more about this than we do.” He grabbed her by the robes, heaved her upright, and undid the curse. Then he pointed his wand at her head. “One wrong move and it’s the last move you’ll make. Let’s go. Regulus, come here NOW!”

“I’m seeing if he’s awake, Severus,” said the boy. Kelsey had finally decided that he was indeed Sirius’s younger brother, and she’d have to ask Sirius about it later, if there was a later. “He’s starting to stir. We better move along.”

“Find me a long branch, or stick or something,” said Snape. Regulus began to search around in the grass, and finally came up with a long gnarly dead branch from the Willow. Snape took it and stood as close as he could without getting a whack from the tree. “Look! See that knot? That’s the one Black was talking about.” He reached in, earning himself a long scrape across his forearm from one of the farther-reaching tree branches, but he managed to press the knot. The tree went still once more. Kelsey looked over at James; he was trying and failing to sit up. “You first, Spencer,” Snape hissed in her ear. He pushed her forward, his wand still pointed at her head, into the low tunnel that Sirius and Peter had entered earlier.

It was dark and musty inside. Occasionally Kelsey stumbled and she had to grab onto the walls for support, but that didn’t help much as they were covered in a slimy muck. “Keep going,” Snape kept hissing in her ear, and Regulus laughed in a low, husky voice constantly. The only thing that kept Kelsey from spinning around and cursing them was the tip of Snape’s wand nearly taking her ear off. So she kept on.

Presently they heard footsteps, not from before them, but from behind them. “It’s Potter,” Regulus whispered. “We’ve got to move.”

“We’re doing that, you imbecile,” Snape sneered over his shoulder. “Spencer…”

Kelsey heard a low growl and her heart froze. Remus had already transformed. If they went any further, he would probably attack them and kill them. Kelsey tried to warn Snape, but no sound would come out of her mouth. “Shut it,” Snape told her. “I don’t want to hear a sound from you.”


“I know he’s down here somewhere. Listen, can you hear that?”

The growling was growing louder. They were nearing the end of the tunnel. Kelsey could see a dim light up ahead. The footsteps behind them were growing louder too. Kelsey prayed that James would reach them before they reached Remus.

They turned a corner, and there was a stepladder. Snape shoved Kelsey up it, and followed with Regulus behind him. Their heads came out to see a frightful sight.

“The Shrieking Shack,” Regulus said, confused.

“A werewolf!” yelled Snape.

“SNAPE!” James bellowed from beneath them.

There, before their very eyes, was a horrific monster. It had grayish fur, a long tail, lengthened claws, and a long snout, longer than the one Sirius had acquired when he had transformed, ending in a muzzle full of razor-sharp fangs. It was Remus, but it was clear that Remus’s mind was buried somewhere deep inside the monstrous creature. It snapped its jaws repeatedly, and then it spotted them. Kelsey screamed.

Snape disappeared from Kelsey’s side. James had tugged him into the tunnel below. Then Regulus leapt down after him. Kelsey felt paralyzed with fear. The scream had triggered the animal’s instincts, and it was coming at her, fangs bared, ready to attack—

Just then, a large black dog came bounding out of nowhere. It leapt up to the werewolf and attached its jaws to its neck. The werewolf let out a terrible cry and attempted to shake off the dog, but to no avail. The dog hung on until it produced blood from the neck of the animal, and then it dropped to the floor, obviously convinced that it was victorious. But the terrible monster just roared louder, causing the windows to rattle and shake. Then it lunged for Kelsey’s head.

The dog ran at it again and this time it sank itself into the werewolf’s matted gray fur on the back and bit down hard. The werewolf howled. Then Kelsey felt a tug on the back of her robes that pulled her down back into the tunnel. Only a moment later the creature’s jaws appeared where she had been and snapped loudly, growling and dripping drool all over the ladder. Kelsey leaned against the slimy wall, relieved to be alive.

“What were you thinking?” James yelled at her.

Snape and Regulus were both under the full Body-Bind Curse, and they hung in the air next to James. Kelsey opened her mouth to respond, but she was cut off by a huge crash. Remus had broken into the tunnel. James waved his wand and began to run, and the forms of Snape and Regulus followed him, as did Kelsey. Halfway down the tunnel with the werewolf following, she tripped and went sprawling across the damp floor. In a flash, James was transformed into an animal (a deer? a unicorn?) and bounded over Kelsey to ram the werewolf in the chest. From behind Remus came Sirius the dog. He gripped Kelsey’s wrist in his mouth and began to drag her as fast as he could across the bumpy floor, all the while with Kelsey struggling to get to her feet.

The end of the tunnel came sooner than Kelsey had expected, and Sirius dropped her wrist as soon as they got past the whipping branches of the Willow. Remus came charging out but was prevented from leaving by the same branches that had scraped Snape earlier. Howling, he backed into the tunnel once more. Kelsey lay panting on the grass while Sirius transformed back into himself again. They could just see James with his antlers ramming Remus back into the tree.

“What…were…you…thinking…” Sirius panted, his chest heaving. Kelsey instantly felt horrible. “You could…have died…are you…insane…”

“Did you really expect me to sit back in the common room while you and your friends go on some secret quest? You should have told me, Sirius.”

“You followed us?” Sirius asked.

“No, I sniffed you out. Of course I followed you.”

“Did you hear…anything we were talking about?” he asked nervously, scratching behind his ear with a free hand while the other propped him up.

Kelsey decided to take the safe route and…lie. “No. You were talking too softly. Why?”

Sirius looked down at the ground. “No reason. But…you were with Snape and Regulus!”

“They caught me when they were coming into the tree.”

“But James said he was going to stop them…”

“Well, he didn’t. They knocked him out and then they took me with them. And why didn’t you tell me that that slimy little Slytherin kid was your brother?”

“Would you have cared?”

“Of course I would have! Don’t you know me a little better than that by now?”

“I thought I did,” Sirius muttered under his breath. “So you heard us fighting?”

“Yes. You’ve been keeping so many things from me, Sirius! Your brother, the fact that you moved out of your house, and not to mention the whole Remus being a werewolf thing! When did you plan to tell me?”

“I didn’t.”

“Exactly!” Kelsey said. She groaned loudly, standing up. “Look, Sirius, we better take Snape and your brother up to the hospital wing.” The frozen figures of the two said Slytherins had followed Kelsey all the way out of the tunnel, and now lay motionless on the grass at her feet. “I’ll take Regulus, and you take Snape.”

“Are you sure you trust me with old Snivelly?” Sirius said, flashing an echo of his usual winning grin. But Kelsey just bit her lip and shook her head before picking up Regulus with a spell. Sirius meekly followed her with Snape, for once knowing that this was not the time to joke. They headed all the way to the castle, and Kelsey didn’t speak to him for the entire time until they got to the common room.

“I think tomorrow would be a good time to fake our breakup of our fake relationship, all right? In Hogsmeade, at the date, or maybe before. Before would be good.” Then she stormed up the stairs, leaving Sirius staring mournfully up after her.

A/N: Hope you enjoyed. Next chapter will be the last. See that button down there? You know, the one that says submit review? PRESS IT!

Chapter 5: Valentine's Day
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A/N: Yup, it's the last chapter. Please read, review, and enjoy!!!!

Kelsey woke up the next morning with a horrible headache. Maybe it had all been a horrible, horrible nightmare. Then she looked at her face in the mirror, covered in scratches from when she had fallen on her face and her stomach, and remembered the sick feeling in her stomach when she thought about how Sirius had kept secrets from her and told James how she had liked him, and she knew it had all been real. Too real for her to go on with this whole charade about dating Sirius.

Kelsey slipped into her robes after a long, hot shower and hurried downstairs. Lily and James were there, on the couch, as usual. James looked up at Kelsey, as though trying to read her mind, and Lily ignored her completely. “Lily, can I talk to you for a minute, please?” Kelsey asked. “Privately?”

Lily looked over at James, who shrugged, as if saying he didn’t know what she wanted, and then she stood. “All right.” They moved over to a corner of the common room where no one could hear them. “What is it you need to talk to me about?”

“Look, first off, Lils, I’m really sorry for everything that went on yesterday. It was just a really bad day, you know?”

“Friday the thirteenth,” Lily said, cracking a small smile.

“So, I wanted to apologize, and also ask you if James told you anything about…me and Sirius.”

Lily looked at her carefully. “Well…all right, yes, he did. He said you only pretended to be dating him so James would be jealous, break up with me, and get with you.”

“And while that might have been true—”

“You were trying to get James to break up with me?” Lily cried in disbelief.

“Shut up, Sirius might hear you,” said Kelsey, eying the boys’ dormitory staircase.

“Oh, don’t worry, James said he’s still in bed, tossing and turning and calling out your name.”

To Lily’s surprise (she expected a countenance of disgust to cross Kelsey’s face), Kelsey’s look softened. “Well, all right, the whole getting James to break up with you thing might have been true in the beginning, but it’s not ending up like that. Did James say anything about Sirius liking me?”

Lily was astonished. “Have you been brushing up on Legilimency? James said you didn’t know anything about that.”

“James was wrong. I told Sirius I didn’t hear him when I actually did. The truth is, Lily, that…I…” And she muttered a few words so low that Lily had to get her to repeat them. After she did, Lily squealed. “Are you serious, Kelsey?”

“Yes! Be quiet about it, though. Do you have any ideas?”

“Not me. Oh, James wants me back, we’re discussing our plans for today.”


“Earth to Kelsey! It’s Valentine’s Day today.”

A smile slowly spread across Kelsey’s face. “Valentine’s Day. You know, Lily, I think I have a plan. But we’re going to have to tell James…”

“You’re finally down. Where have you been?” Kelsey hissed when Sirius finally descended the staircase. “I’ve been waiting for you to show up all morning.”

“It’s Saturday,” Sirius moaned. “And why do you care? I thought you hated me.”

“Well, today is also Valentine’s Day, in case you’d forgotten. So today is the day when we have to fake breakup so we can stop this stupid plan. And I think, maybe, we should wait.”

Sirius blinked. “Wait? Why?”

“We should do it on our fake date. You know, so Lily and James see it, and so then they’ll think it’s real, and then we’re both off the hook.”

“Fine with me,” said Sirius, yawning and looking at her sideways. “Off the hook.” He snorted.

“Let’s just pretend to be sort of fighting until then, and then we’ll pull out all the stops. You can yell at me, and I can yell at you, and then I’ll storm out, all right? And then we can go back to pretending the other doesn’t exist.”

Sirius gave a faint chuckle. “What is it?” Kelsey demanded irritably.

“Nothing, nothing at all. I wonder how Remus is doing?”

“Well, he’s sitting there on the couch. He’s been—” (here she remembered what she was saying and dropped her voice down low) “—hairless for a few hours now, and he just came back from the hospital wing.”

Sirius approached the couch with Kelsey hanging back slightly behind him. “Hey, Remus. How’re you feeling?” Sirius asked.

Remus looked up at Kelsey, who gave a faint little smile, and then he turned back to Sirius. “As fine as I can hope. Sunrise came early this morning, so that was a nice little reprieve. And are you sworn to secrecy yet?” he asked Kelsey.


“Oh, right, the whole deal…” said Sirius. He motioned for Kelsey to come closer so he and Remus could talk to her in private. “When Lily found out, we swore her to secrecy and made her an unofficial Marauder. So now that you’ve gone and found out—”

“Gone and found out? You make it sound like it was all my fault!”

“It was all your fault,” Sirius said, bristling. “I certainly didn’t tell you to follow us down to the Whomping Willow and get captured by Snape and Regulus and then make me save you.”

“Make you save me? I didn’t make you save me. Was it my fault that you kept secrets from me when we’re supposed to be dating and telling each other everything? Was it? Or is the great Sirius Black too good to tell us normal people anything? Ever?”

Remus just sat back, looking mildly puzzled.

“It’s definitely not my fault that you just like to poke your nose into everybody else’s business! You should’ve stayed in the common room! You were breaking curfew!”

“And you weren’t?”

“That’s different!”


“Well, for one thing,” Sirius snapped in a low voice, “I’m an Animagus. I’m a big dog, and I can handle a werewolf, as you saw last night when I was forced to nearly kill Remus here to save you! For another thing, we’ve been doing this since fifth-year. Don’t you think that if there was any danger we would have stopped?”

Kelsey looked at him. “No.”

“That’s not the point!” Sirius nearly bellowed. Everyone in the common room looked at him. He lowered his voice again. “The point is, you were there, you shouldn’t have been there. Got it?”

“Shouldn’t? Like you should have? Sirius, you were breaking school rules, I don’t think that means that Dumbledore would be excited if he learned that you four were running around every full moon when you’re putting yourselves and anybody who might find you in danger! You were breaking the rules, and I was following you to make sure you were all right!”

“You were?” Remus butted in.

Kelsey and Sirius both looked at him, and then at each other, and then away in disgust. Finally, Kelsey said, “I’m leaving. You can swear me in later, or something.” She got up at stalked off, leaving a red-faced Sirius and a very confused Remus.

“What was that all about?” Remus asked finally.

Sirius looked at him. “This whole relationship isn’t going like I planned, Moony. Not at all.”

Breakfast was a quiet affair. Lily and James had already finished, and Kelsey had to go down and eat at the same time as Sirius because she had been waiting for him all morning. They sat on opposite ends of the table, occasionally glaring at each other. Finally Kelsey, after one bite of toast, got up and left. Sirius watched her go, his brow furrowed and his mouth twisted.

“This isn’t funny anymore,” he said to himself, wolfing down his last piece of bagel and getting up to go after her.

“I really don’t want to talk to you right now,” Kelsey said when he caught up with her halfway up the corridor.

“But I want to talk to you,” he begged.

“See? You only care about what you want! I have homework to be getting a head start on. Meet me in the line to Hogsmeade in half an hour.”

Sirius looked puzzled. “Why?”

“Because! We promised Lily and James we were going to go on a double date with them, remember? At eleven? It’s ten fifteen, so at ten forty-five, meet me on the way, we’ll meet up with them, we go to Madame Puttyroot’s, or whatever it’s called, and then we ‘break up’ and never have to speak to each other again.”

“Kelsey, can you please just listen—”

But Kelsey was already to the portrait of the Fat Lady. With a bang, the portrait shut behind her. Sirius was left looking up at the Fat Lady. “Girl troubles, Mr. Black?” she asked inquisitively, peering down at him.

Sirius just groaned and walked away.

“You’re late,” Kelsey snapped under her breath.

“No, I’m not!”

“It’s ten forty-six.”

He groaned and rolled his eyes. “So I’m one minute late.”

“Yeah, I know, I—hi, James! Hi, Lily! Over here!”

Lily and James had appeared on their side of the queue waiting to go to Hogwarts, and they came over at Kelsey’s invitation. “Hi, Kelsey, hi, Sirius,” said Lily. Then she noticed the tense expression on Sirius’s face. “Are you all right, Sirius?”

“What? Oh, fine, just fine,” he muttered, casting one insubordinate eye at Kelsey.

“I love Valentine’s Day, don’t you?” Lily asked them, while James squeezed her hand. Kelsey gritted her teeth and remembered her notes in Charms class just three days ago. It seemed like longer. V-DaY = OvErRaTeD. She would hold to that if this plan didn’t work…

“I guess we better get going,” said James.

The four of them set off down the road that led to Hogsmeade, Sirius occasionally tripping over Kelsey’s shoelace because he was a pace behind her. She had to keep turning around and glaring at him to get him to stop. He finally fell into step behind James, who didn’t seem to mind.

At last they came to a quaint little shop with a sign painted onto the window in large red letters: MADAME PUDDIFOOT’S. It was completely covered with hearts and cherubs and arrows, like Cupid would carry. As they entered, a little bell tinkled over their head to signal their arrival.

“Would you like anything to eat, m’dears?” asked a woman who could only be Madame Puddifoot herself.

“I’ll have a bit of that angel food cake right there,” said Kelsey, pointing to something a girl at the table next to her was having. “And a small cup of coffee.”

“I will too,” Sirius said quickly. Kelsey scowled at him.

Lily and James ordered something called the Lover’s Winter Delight, which turned out to be a large mug of steaming hot chocolate with two straws. As they smiled at each other and began to drink it, a cherub floated by over their heads and dumped a basketful of confetti on them. Kelsey blew away a few pieces off her nose and shook the rest out of her hair. Sirius was looking at her with a pained expression, like he was regretting what they were about to do.

James kept looking at Kelsey and then at Sirius, as did Lily, and Sirius could tell they were silently asking him whether he had told her that he really did like her. He shook his head slightly, so that it was obvious to Lily and James what he meant, but to Kelsey it looked like he was shaking out the remnants of the confetti, much of which had gotten lodged in his long tangled mane.

During a few minutes of silence, where James and Lily leaned on each other’s shoulders and stared at Sirius, and Kelsey stirred her coffee pensively, Sirius busied himself with shoveling the angel food cake into his mouth. Pretty soon he was done.

Gesturing to Kelsey’s plate, Sirius said, “Are you going to finish that?”

Kelsey stared at him. “I don’t believe—you’re so—Sirius Black—”

Out of the corner of his eye, Sirius saw a small smile escape Lily’s lips, though he didn’t know why.

“Sirius, I need to talk to you. Over here. NOW.” Kelsey stood, and Sirius meekly obeyed. Kelsey took him by the shoulders and moved him to a corner devoid of any cute tables. It looks like Madame Puddifoot has forgotten about this spot, Sirius thought, scraping a sticky cobweb off of his shoe.

“You—are so—insensitive!” Kelsey hissed at him.

“Make it louder. James and Lily can’t hear you,” Sirius said, trying to casually lean against the wall. Lily and James were unsuccessfully trying to watch them inconspicuously, and Lily still had that half-smile on her face. But why?

Kelsey looked over at them, and then up at him. Her look softened. “I know what you’re thinking.”

“No, you don’t,” said Sirius, running a hand through his hair. If she knew what he was thinking. James had told her—

“Yes, I do. And I have to apologize.”

“For what?”

Kelsey bit her lip, hesitating. Finally she said, “For lying.”

“Lying? About what?”

She looked anywhere but at him. He waited patiently for a few moments, and then he made an urging sound deep inside his throat. She looked at her feet. “Last night…I did hear you.”

His eyes widened in astonishment. “You—what?”

“I saw the whole thing with Regulus, and then I followed…and I heard you.”

“The whole thing?”

Kelsey nodded, slightly ashamed. “The whole thing.”

Sirius scuffed his cobweb-covered shoe on the floor. “Even the part about—”

Kelsey nodded. “Yeah.”

Sirius exhaled slowly, trying to breath out all the anxiety he was harboring right now. She had heard. He glanced up slightly. Kelsey was looking at him, half-expectantly, half-nervously. What was she thinking? Did she think he was crazy? Was she happy? Was she angry? Why didn’t she say anything

“Sirius,” Kelsey said softly, “why didn’t you tell me?”

He looked up at her quickly, as if trying to make sure his ears were working correctly. His mouth hung slightly open. She gave him a half-smile, unsure of what this meant. He wasn’t speaking. Was that bad? “Tell you?” he finally squeaked.

“Tell me,” Kelsey repeated.

“B—because you like James!”

Kelsey smiled. “Liked. Past tense. Look at them, Sirius,” she said, looking at Lily and James, who instantly buried their heads in their menus. “They’re in love. It’s Valentine’s Day. I can’t take that away from them, and neither can you. And…I sort of…like you too.”

Sirius was struck speechless, so Kelsey continued. “Besides, why would I want to break them up? They helped me set this whole thing up.”

Sirius’s face went blank. “Huh?”

“They knew the whole time!”

“You set up this date knowing—”

“No, we got it together this morning. I acted like we were going to break up, and Lily and James were acting like they didn’t know any of this, like they hadn’t talked to me all day. James was going to kind of prod you to talk to me. He did, didn’t he?”

“He…he did. So…you…like me…and I like you…so…”

Kelsey smiled and stretched up to plant a small kiss on his lips. He looked like Christmas had come early. James and Lily were now watching them intently. “You aren’t…mad… are you?” she asked.

“Mad?” he repeated disbelievingly. “How could I be mad?” Then he leaned down a bit and kissed her. She did the same, craning to reach him. He let himself lean against the dirt-stained wall while she leaned forward, and they kissed longer. James squeezed Lily’s hand. Now some of the other couples that had entered were staring, but Kelsey and Sirius didn’t care. Finally, they stopped, and he took her hand. She grinned shyly and kissed him again.

“Done yet?” asked James with a grin. Sirius cocked an eyebrow with a smile at him.

“Not exactly,” said Lily. She kissed James lightly on his lips, and he kissed her back. All over the small café, couples were following suit.

“So,” Sirius said, entwining his fingers in Kelsey’s, “do you still think Valentine’s Day is overrated?”

Kelsey leaned down to unzip her bag and pulled out her notepad. She flipped to the page where she had written that only four days before, tore it out, and ripped it in half. She stuck one half in his moist palm. “No,” she said. “Not at all.”

They walked out hand in hand, Lily and James behind them, and the entire day before them.

A/N: It's the end!! Bet you didn't see that one!!!! I'm thinking of a sequel, like how they got split up because obviously Sirius would have told Harry about her if she was alive or if they were still together...but only if you want me to! It'll be really, really short sequel or no sequel? You decide! REVIEW!!!!!!

EDIT: The sequel is currently up and being written. It's called The In-Between Years. Please check it out!