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Melanism by Alexandra

Format: Novel
Chapters: 28
Word Count: 76,293
Status: COMPLETED

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

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

First Published: 04/03/2010
Last Chapter: 02/27/2011
Last Updated: 02/27/2011

Summary:






 


Nyx had plans for her last year of Hogwarts:
 Become a nicer person somehow
 Ace all her NEWTS like a true Ravenclaw
Become an animagus, which by the way is near impossible

Oh, and have Remus Lupin go out with her.
But where has he been disappearing to?

SEQUEL IS UP! MELANOSIS

COMPLETED!! 47000+ Reads 


 


Chapter 1: The First.
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I could see this was going to take a while so I decided to sit. The chair which I picked happened to be the most comfortable and plush chair in the room. Unfortunately, the chair was occupied by a new first year, Fortunately, I was a seventh year. With only one look, the first year jumped from the chair and went to find a more suitable choice for a relaxation spot.

The chair was black, the leather was fading slightly which made the chair much more comfortable than the newer chairs in the common room. I swung my legs over one arm and rested my shoulders on the other. Clearly she was going to keep me waiting. Leto was late, again. She was rarely ever on time so I prepared myself for a long wait, which I received.

Leto and I had been friends since first year, both cursed with annoying names which hardly anyone managed to pronounce correctly the first time. I looked around the room as I waited. The circular room was much smaller than it appeared, making it cosy and airy all at once. I’d never seen inside any of the other common rooms but I would wager that ours was the nicest.

It wasn’t until I was rudely awoken did I realise that I had drifted off at some point between eleven and twelve o’clock. I would have yelled but it was Professor Flitwick who woke me and I felt that yelling at the head of house would not be a productive start to what would hopefully be a very good school year. He didn’t look well, bless him. His hands were shaky and his hair more flyaway than usual.

“Miss Warrender?”

“Yes Professor?”

“I have some rather important news to tell you.”

“What is it, Professor?”

“Your friend, Miss Elliot, will not be returning to Hogwarts this year.”

“Oh my goodness, is she alright, Professor?”

“Yes, yes, she is. Her parents have decided to keep her at home this year due to their fears for their daughter. They may choose to leave the country. Goodnight, Miss Warrender.”

He turned on his heel and walked briskly towards the exit, he obviously had other things to do. I couldn’t help but be gobsmacked over the news. A lot of people were considering going into hiding due to voldemort’s new reign of power but I had never suspected that my friend would join them. We had never even been that close. Just study partners who would occasionally chat if we were waiting on busy books.

I looked up into the canopy of my four poster, gazing into the magical stars without really looking at them. When I thought about it, I didn’t really have any close friends, I just thought that all Ravenclaws spent most of their time studying. Exemplary grades had earned me a prefects badge and an in with most of the professors but I guess it must have alienated me from a lot of the other students in my year.

I twirled my mahogany wand in my fingers as I tried to think of ways to turn my abundance of acquaintances into people who I could talk to without feeling like a bludger. I would start off with the prefects and the head boy and girl. They would be the most like me. Studious and able to respect rules. I rallied off their names in my head as I analyzed their characters and how best to approach them.

When I got to Remus Lupin, something funny happened. My stomach jolted for some reason and the stars above my head flashed for a spilt second. Unless I was seeing things because I was so exhausted. I guessed he liked books. I’d always see him carrying one. Maybe that would make him the easiest to relate to. I scolded myself mentally for not being more sociable in the past.

I woke up late the next morning, as to be expected considering my rather late sleeping hour. I had to rush in order to get to the great hall in time for breakfast. When I made my way to the Ravenclaw table, I encountered a problem. I didn’t know where to sit. Usually Leto and I would just sit together wherever was available. I didn’t know wether to approach the other seventh year girls or purposefully isolate myself. I went with the former.

I sat down next to, but not too close to, a girl named Maia who I remembered being potions partners with in fifth year. I hoped she would remember my name so I didn’t have to tell her. It would be really awkward if that happened. I could picture the awkward silence and the concealed judgement about me not exactly being friendly over the years. I sat down and received four small smiles. One from each of the girls.

“We heard about Leto, that sucks,” said Maia, who I think was addressing me.

“Yep, I guess it makes sense though right?” Chipped another girl with curly, blonde hair.

“I know, I wouldn’t stay either if I thought my family were in danger,” said the girl opposite me.

“It’s a shame she won’t be able to finish her N.E.W.T.S,” said a girl who had just recently finished her butty.

I wasn't as upset as you would have imagined about Leto not being here. It gave me a chance to make new friends or re-establish ones who I had lost contact with. I guess having a best friend can distract you from others sometimes.

I smiled happily, they were just like any other Ravenclaw, just like me. Worried about exams and easy to start a conversation with. It had taken absolutely no effort on my behalf apart from sitting down. I continued to eat breakfast with my new acquaintances before making my way to Transfiguration. By far my favorite class ever.

You could usually tell which house someone was in judging by the seating arrangement. Ravenclaws would usually fill up the front two rows, the next two were a mix of Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors and the last two the Slytherins and the Gryffindors who were much more casual about their learnings. I had managed to get a seat which left me practically nose to the chalkboard. Merlin was clearly on my side today.

McGonagall did her usual, first day of term, transformation to start the class. It was even more amazing now that we were the most senior pupils and we knew how difficult it was to become an Animagus. McGonagall was clearly a very talented witch and one of the best teachers in the school. Probably the reason her class was still the most popular even though it was one of the hardest to pass.

She had a very stern look about her but by now we all knew she was a softie at heart. Her tightly pulled up hair which, to the first years, showed focus, but to us showed the professor who spends more time planning lessons than doing her hair. Professor McGonagall was pretty much my favorite teacher. She was in the lead with Flitwick as a joint first.

The first class of term was usually a skive. We would discuss revision plans and the course over the next year as well as McGonagall showing off some particularly complex magic which she assured us we would be able to do by the time our exams came around. She also assigned us our partners for the practical side of the course which took up half of our overall class time.

Being the fair woman she was, our partners were chosen through a name out of the wizard’s hat scenario. When someone took a name out, that would be their partner and that person’s name would vanish from inside the hat. I didn’t have any particular preference as to who my partner would be as long as they weren’t going to skive off so I had to do all the work.

Maia pulled out Lily Evans which caused James’ face to fall considerably. I had no idea why he looked so upset. He got to share a common room with her now they were head boy and girl. A common room which would be occupied by no one but them most of the time. I suppose it was sort of sweet that he wanted to spend all of his time with her. Sweet but also slightly creepy.

Because of my favorable seating choice, I got to pick a partner fairly quickly. As I plunged my hand into the wizards hat I found myself hoping that a Ravenclaw’s name would come out. Or Remus Lupin’s name. Wait no, I didn’t hope that. I was rational and clear minded. I shouldn’t hope for someone who would most likely distract me from the class.

I took a deep breath in as I unrolled the small piece of parchment. I read the name in my head at the same time my voice read the name to the class.

“Sirius Black.” I said reluctantly. There was no way he was going to take this seriously. He was a marauder for Merlin’s sake. I sighed as the rest of the girls swooned and cursed me for picking him.

I looked round to find him winking at James and Remus. Remus looked especially sweet today next to Black who was grinning as he turned towards me. Probably thinking ‘great a Ravenclaw, this will be an easy ride’. Hopefully I would make sure it was anything but. I had never really cared for his cockiness or boyish charm. I was more of a Remus kind of girl. Not that I’d admit that to anyone.

When McGonagall instructed us to sit next to our partners, I had a silent battle with Sirius Black. He wasn’t going to move from his right at the back of the class seat and I didn’t want to move from my right at the front of the class seat. I looked round at him to see if he was giving up. Nope, he was already talking to James and Remus who were sitting at the desk in front of him.

As I sat down, the three of them looked at me like they were surveying me. I have to admit it was really unnerving but I was pretty curious as to what they would think of me. I pretended to search in my bag for an extra quill in order to give them some more gawping time which would be a lot less awkward if I wasn’t staring right back at them.

“Nice Haul, Padfoot. You got a Ravenclaw.” said James, nodding in approval.

“She’s not too bad looking either.” Said Sirius. They knew I was right next to them right?

“You’re right there Padfoot.” Said Remus. Thank Merlin for that.

“I think Moony has a crush,” laughed James, turning back to the front of the class as Remus punched his arm.

“Sirius, Sirius Black,” he said, winking and holding out his hand to me.

“Nyx Warrender,” he snorted as he heard my name. “Thanks.” I said sarcastically.

“Sorry,” he said still chuckling, “I know what it’s like to have a bizarre name”

“Yep, parents can be a bitch can’t they?” I said, smiling too at this point. Sirius wasn’t actually that bad.

“You’re telling me. I’m so glad I moved out.”

“What? You got your own place?”

“Nope, the Potters took me in. They’re pretty much my family.”

“That’s pretty cool” I said. “I don’t think I’d have the guts to leave.”

“Which is why I am a daring Gryffindor,” he said in mock bravado.

“And I am a bookish Ravenclaw,” I said, taking notes even as we talked.

“Bookish can also be described as smart you know.”

“Daring can also be described as arrogance, or stupidity.”

“My, my we’re very negative today aren’t we Nyx?” he said, mocking me.

“Well I want an O in this so shhhhh!”

“Alright then,” he said, still chuckling. He leaned back in chair as McGonagall talked about how advanced transfiguration was in seventh year. Many of us might have to drop the course.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I was going to be partnerless by the end of the year. Sirius didn’t even seem to be paying the least but of attention. I had to admit I was kind of jealous of the marauders. They seemed to have to put in no effort whatsoever in class yet still reach the end of the year with O’s and E’s.

At the end of the class, I hovered behind as everyone left, saying goodbye to Sirius and Co. When I approached McGonagall she seemed pleasant enough so I decided to ask her something which had been on my mind since starting the N.E.W.T last year. It was always something I had wanted to do even though I knew how difficult it was going to be.

“Professor? I was wondering if you would help me to become an Animagus.”

“Well, I would usually say no to most students, but you have shown yourself more than capable at Transfiguration. I don’t think you’ve ever received anything less than an O in my class. I hope you realise how difficult this is going to be. How many classes are you taking this year?”

“Only three professor. Transfiguration, Charms and Care of Magical Creatures.”

“No defense Miss Warrender?”

“No, Professor. The class is bursting at the moment and I think my O at O.W.L level was enough to get me into the Regulation of Magical Creatures office at the Ministry.”

“Very Well, Miss Warrender. At least this leaves you with a fairly free schedule. Most of the progress will have to be undertaken yourself. I can only go over the theory of the transformation with you, the rest will be self study and practicing on a weekly basis at least. I think you would manage to learn within four months. You are a very skilled witch.”

I made my way to library immediately. I was going to check out every single book Madam Pince had on Animaguses. McGonagall had said four months. I knew it had only taken her a month. It was extremely difficult to learn and most people were put off by the horror stories of painful transformations and being stuck as an animal for life.

If I managed it, I would be the eighth witch this century to manage it. The thought excited me a lot. Imagine the looks on everyones’ faces when Dumbledore presented me with an ‘you’re totally awesome’ award or something. They would all be jealous. I sort of enjoyed having people be jealous of me. I wasn’t proud of it but I’m not going to lie, it was nice.



A/N: First chapter, of course, I own nothing. The wonderful wizarding world of Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. This is just something I thought of and I hope you like it. :) Big plans for this story.

Chapter 2: The Second.
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I was sprawled out on my study desk. Well I was actually in the chair, but the books which littered the desk covered every square inch of the dark wood. I wondered if other houses were given their own desks or if they got something slightly more related to their own houses. I had been camped out in here since Transfiguration and had left myself only a few minutes to get to Care of Magical Creatures.

Professor Kettleburn didn’t even notice me slip into the ground floor classroom a few minutes late. Unfortunately this left me with a seat at the back. I looked at the two remaining seats, both on the back row. One was next to a group of Slytherin girls who for some reason I remember not liking and the other was in-between a slytherin boy and Peter Pettigrew.

I went to sit next to Peter. I had never really talked to the boy, he didn’t seem very sociable though. I would always see him with Sirius and James, I guess he was sort of like a minion. When he sat down he seemed thankful I had separated him from the Slytherins. I couldn’t blame him. They were perfectly civil to Ravenclaws but everyone knew they hated Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors.

I took out my slightly battered copy of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’, the book was timeless. I think I had used it in every single year of Hogwarts. I was leafing through it in order to identify the creature which Professor Kettleburn was showing to the class with his only arm. He had lost the left one three years ago when a fire crab went on a rampage.

The creature wasn’t small, nor was it particularly large. It was a light colour although there were some dark spots over it’s body. It resembled slightly more than a large, rather angry cat. It was eyeing everyone in the class suspiciously. When it looked at me, I stared right back at it. I couldn’t really gauge it’s reaction but hoped that it did not think of me as untrustworthy.

I had identified the beast nearly immediately. It was a kneazle, I was surprised to see it, we had already gone over kneazles and they were usually covered in fifth year for O.W.L.S. I was wondering what Professor Kettleburn was going to do this lesson as I thought we were going to start creatures like cockatrice or quintapeds. Maybe not.

“Can any one tell me what this creature is?” said Professor Kettleburn at last.

“A kneazle, sir,” I said, barely bothering to raise my hand.

“A kneazle, sir,” mimicked one of the Slytherin girls nastily. This was why I hated sitting at the back.

“Correct, Miss Warrender. Would you like to come up here please?”

I did as I was told, obviously. As I approached the kneazle, it turned it’s cat-like head towards me so as to examine me further. I walked slightly slower as I got closer to the animal, not wanting to throw it off. I passed my fellow Ravenclaws on my way up to the front. They seemed eager to see the animal’s reaction. Judging by a kneazle was a fail-safe way of knowing how trustworthy someone was.

It looked at me and then approached me slowly as it made it’s mind up. Then it circled my feet, it reached just above knee level, whilst brushing the backs of my knees with its lion like tail, It was pretty tickley to be honest. I was wearing a skirt but I didn’t want to jerk my knee away in case it took it as a sign of mistrust. Not a sign you want to give a kneazle.

As it got to the front again, the kneazle curled up and seemed to fall asleep on my feet. It looked much more like a cat now. It’s light spotted fur was thicker than it looked and kept my feet warm. It had deemed me trustworthy. Thank Merlin. I couldn’t even imagine the embarrassment if the kneazle had instead decided to tackle me to the floor even though it was only small.

“Very good, Miss Warrender” said Professor Kettleburn even though I hadn’t done anything.

“Thanks, Professor.”

“You may sit down again now Miss Warrender. Would anyone else like to come up and meet the kneazle? One at a time if course, don’t want to aggravate the poor beast.”

Feeling oddly satisfied with myself I sat back down with several glares from the Slytherin girls. I didn’t particularly care if they didn’t like me. It just shortened the list of people who I would try to make friends with. So far I had done pretty well considering it was only the first day. It was just a good thing I didn’t have to start from scratch. I already knew most of the people.

“Are you not going up, Peter?” I tried to sound friendly.

“I, uh, no. I don’t really feel like it.” He was very nervous for a marauder.

“Oh, why not?” I asked with a fake smile on my face.

“I’m not very good with animals,” he laughed. I laughed too.

“Why’d you take this class then?” I asked, still chuckling slightly.

“It’s easy I guess.”

“I can understand that.”

“Plus I’m the only marauder in this class so I finally get the attention.”

“So, what’s your favourite animal then?”

“A rat you?”

“A rat? That’s not very interesting. I guess mines is a leopard.”

“That’s pretty cool I guess. But rats are still awesome.”

We continued the rest of the lesson arguing about whose favorite animal was cooler. In the end we had to go with mine because of the way a leopard could kill pretty much anything it wanted without being seen or even heard. The most evolved predator known to muggles. Peter was much more talkative once you got to know him, he was just a bit shy.

I had no more classes for the rest of the day, one of the perks of only taking three N.E.W.T.S. I was acing them all but that didn’t mean I was going to over work myself. I decided to go up to my dorm again and do some more studying. Learning as much as I could about Anamagi would hopefully make it easier to become one myself. Hopefully.

When I returned to the library in the evening, there was an extremely unexpected sight. I was just away to return ‘Amazing Anamagi’ when I spotted four visitor to the library who I was pretty sure had never been in before. The marauders. They all seemed to be very interested in a blank piece of parchment. Strange.

When I wondered over I still had a fair amount of book in my arms. Curiosity killed the cat but I bet he found out the answer. I was smiling slightly as I approached them. It probably looked really, really creepy. I wasn’t really fussed. I had never cared much for what people thought of me.

“Howdy there guys,” I said, smirking like an idiot.

“Hey there Nyx.” Sirius was the first to answer. I then got a mumbled hello from Peter, a cheery hey from James and an all too casual nod from Remus.

“What freak accident caused the four of you to be in the library?”

“No accident,” said Remus, smiling for some reason.

“Ah, so it’s a secret then.” I said, smiling as I wondered what it could be.

“No, no secret,” said Peter, a little too quickly to be true. Sirius nudged him hard in the ribs with his elbow. Clearly they were up to something.

“Well, I don’t really have time to guess so see you all later.”

“Wait, what?” asked Sirius, baffled.

“I have to go to bed now, I’m pretty tired.” I said, acting dumb.

“You don’t want to know what we’re up to?”

“Nope, not really. See you.”

When someone has a secret, they really want to tell someone. I knew that. If you seemed to eager they would assume you just wanted more information to gossip with. I knew that to be true. So if you seemed like you didn’t really care about what was going on, whoever had the secret, craves to tell. It’s pretty simple really. Kind of like playing hard to get.

“You know what, Sirius, I will stay up a bit longer.”

“Good.”

“Sirius!” whispered Remus harshly, “why would you invite her to stay?”

Well that didn’t really make me feel great, knowing Remus didn’t want me around. In fact, I had to hide my sudden frown pretty quickly to avoid them seeing it as they continued their hushed up argument.

“Err, thanks.” I said, pretty sullen.

“No, it’s not you,” Remus insisted. I didn’t believe him one little bit.

It was strange having him not like me. I’d never had much trouble with guys in the past. I mean none of them were marauders but still. Leto and I had been pretty popular and some what promiscuous ourselves. It was probably why girls didn’t like us very much. I hadn’t noticed it until now.

“On second thought, I might go to bed after all.”

“Smooth, Remus,” chuckled James. I didn’t hear him say this, I was too busy trying to flee without looking like I was fleeing.

On my rush out of the library, I felt someone catch my arm. I turned around to see Remus looking at me really strangely. I gave him a funny look and he dropped my arm. Maybe he did like me. His face changed to ice. Then again maybe not.

“I didn’t mean to offend you.” He said simply.

“Okay, thanks I guess.” What else was I meant to say?

“Goodnight then.”

“Goodnight.”

He walked back into the library with an angry sort of strut to his walk. He was pretty strange when I thought about it. Moody almost. I continued my way to the Ravenclaw common room very confused indeed.

We had decided to have an almost sleepover in the dorm. It was pretty fun. We had pushed all of our beds nearer the stove in the centre of the room and were eating every piece of chocolate we had managed to scrounge together.

“So,” Maia started off, “who does everyone like right now?”

“Don’t beat about the bush then Maia!” I laughed.

“Nope,” she said, shoving another piece of chocolate in her mouth.

Clearly this question had made everyone uncomfortable. Nobody wanted to be the first to answer just in case everyone else either made fun of them, or told the person our secret. I cleared my throat loudly to interrupt the silence and decided to go first.

“I quite like Remus.” I said matter-of-factly.

“Ooh, nice choice, Nyx. Well I guess I quite like Tom.” Maia said. Right now we were the only two talking.

“I like Peter.” We all turned round to see that Annabelle was the one who had said this. She had never really talked much before so it came as quite a surprise.

“You like Peter?” said Maia, skeptical. Annabelle looked slightly hurt by this total disregard of the boy she happened to like.

“Peter’s nice.” I said kindly to her. “I sit next to him in Care of Magical Creatures. He seems alright to be honest.”

“I know, I’m in that class too.” She said. “I wish he would notice me.” She looked down into her lap as she said this. She seemed really embarrassed for some reason.

“Well that’s easy.” I told her. “All you have to do is sit next to me next lesson and you’re sorted for a talking opportunity. No problem.” I smiled at her. It was nice that someone liked Peter, he always got cast in the shadows.

“Thanks.”

“It’s no problem, seriously. I’m happy to help.”

“Trust us Annabelle. You’ll be going out with peter in no time at all.” Maia added

“So,” I said, removing the attention from Annabelle who didn’t want it, “Tom then, Maia?”

“What? O right, yeah. Tom is so cute. Plus he’s captain of Ravenclaw Quidditch team this year.”

“Really, I didn’t know they’d made him captain?” said Isabelle curiously.

“Yep, he’s holding trials next week. Think I should go for it?”

“Don’t know. Do you know how to play Quidditch?” I asked.


“Well, not right now but if I were to go to the try-outs and do okay, maybe Tom will give me private lessons.” She winked as she said this and we all laughed.

“I think you’ll have to practice for bit first.” I said. “Do you have a broom?”

“Actually I do. My parents got me it for my O.W.L results but I’ve never used it.”

“We should all practice.” Annabelle said, “like as a group.”

“Sure.” We all said pretty much simultaneously.

“Sounds like fun.” Isabelle added.

“Now, how do we help out Nyx?” Isabelle cast the question to the group. My ears perked at the sound of my name, I hadn’t really been listening.

“Wait, What? Why do I need help? I’m confused.”

“With Remus, Idiot,” Maia said, rolling her eyes.

“Oh, right. Well, I was just going to hang out with them for a while, you know see what happens.”

“That’s not going to work on Remus.” Maia told me.

“Why not?”

“He’s not like normal boys. He’s actually nice.”

“Well how do I get a nice one then?” I asked, doubtful.

“It’s pretty uncharted territory for most of us, we usually pick assholes so I have no solid advice yet.”

“That’s helpful.” I said sarcastically.

“We’ll just have to wing-it I’m afraid.”

“Great, winging it. Sounds like a plan.” I said.

“So what’s your asshole advice then Maia? I’m after Sirius.” Isabelle said.

“Ah, well he’s easy. Just shorten your skirt and giggle a lot.” We all laughed at that.
“Great, it should be easy. I don’t need him to love me, just to snog my face off.”

When we all finally went to sleep, it was with a renewed feeling of friendship which we hadn’t really had since first year when everyone stuck to their houses all the time. It was nice having a group of friends rather than one friend and a string of useless boyfriends.

A/N: I got the information about the animals in this story from 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' which is still on sale for charity with some snazzy new covers. I came across the newer ones two days ago but I still love my beaten old copy and of course, the whole Harry Potter Universe belongs to JKR (:

Chapter 3: The Third.
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The first Hogsmeade visit had been announced. It was two weeks after the first Saturday back with another visit on Halloween. I wondered why they would give us two visits in such a short space of time but didn’t think about it too much. I was actually really glad we got more visits that usual.

I still hadn’t been to charms yet but I had it this morning. Having three classes four times a week seriously paid off. It meant that I had eight double periods free each week which I was going to spend revising like crazy or looking over Animagus literature.

I was on my way to charms when Peeves decided it would be funny to unscrew several of the light fittings so they would collapse on unsuspecting first years. A sort of welcome present as he put it in his rather rude song which now chorused through the halls.

Needless to say, this seriously slowed me down so I was in a mid jog when I rounded the corner for charms. I was glad when I saw I wasn’t the only one who was late. Someone else who looked tall enough to be in my year was running towards the class with a large ink stain right down his front.

“Nice Stain, idiot! Peeves get the best of you?” I shouted, laughing, before I could stop myself. I guess I was being rude that day.

“Thanks.” The figure said sarcastically as it slowed up to join me.

Damn. It would appear I just insulted Remus Lupin, the boy who I happened to like quite a lot. I scolded myself mentally for it but continued to walk along side him anyway. Looks like he would be in my class. I secretly hoped that because we walked in with each other it would mean we would sit next to each other.

Apparently it did not. As I walked in saw that James was also in this class. I would have bet fifty galleons that Remus would sit with him without even saying goodbye to me first.

I walked a little faster so it would look like I was leaving him rather than me being the one who got ditched. When I found myself a desk in the middle of the class I started to take my books out with more force than strictly necessary but I was angry so it was most definitely allowed.

I was therefore surprised when I got a little bit carried away with my ‘Advanced Charms for N.E.W.T Level Students’ textbook to find it colliding with a solid object as it swung past my shoulder. It was a thick book so whatever it hit must be in pain right now.

“Merlin, Nyx! You a beater or something?” Said the voice of the object which was now rubbing it’s forehead.

“I, uh, sorry Remus. Guess it got away from me.” Insulting him and assaulting him guess I was on a roll that day.

“It’s okay, really,” he tried to say as I moved his hand to get a better look at the mark which was actually a shallow cut.

“Are you sure? That looks really sore. Sorry.”

“Really, Nyx it’s fine. Stop apologizing.” He said, chuckling.

“Guess it’s not your day today huh?”

“You could say that. First, Peeves hurls an ink bottle at me and then I get attacked by an eight hundred page book.”

“About the attack, how come you’re not sitting next to James?”

“See for yourself.”

I looked behind me and sure enough, two rows behind me sat a smirking James and a rather disgruntled looking Lily. I had wondered why she hadn’t sat next to her own friends when I saw that the only free seat would have been the one next to James. I knew it was to good to be true having Remus choose to sit next to me.

“What do you get in return for agreeing not to sit next to him?” I asked smirking. James was rather resourceful.

“Nothing,” he said smiling at me. I smiled back. “Yet.”

“Ah, just leverage then.” I said, smirking slightly less.

I had to remind myself throughout the lesson that he had not chosen to sit next to me, he had done it as a favor to his best friend. I was not allowed to take this as a sign of him liking me. I was not going to tell the girls about it tonight in the dorm. Who was I kidding? Of course I was going to.

Every so often as Professor Flitwick talked I could have sworn I saw him looking at me and smiling. Whenever I smiled back, he looked thoughtful and as though he hadn’t been smiling in the first place. I guess I could add hallucinations to list of things wrong with me. The very long list.

Flitwick had handed out homework, on the first day of the class. Even McGonagall hadn’t done that. This year was clearly going to tougher than I had first thought.

Perhaps McGonagall’s four month guess had been slightly optimistic. So far all of the books I had found just contained information on what Animaguses were, not how to become one. I was going to have to get a pass to the restricted section if I were to have any chance of succeeding.

I packed up my things fairly quickly, with every intention of going straight to the library even though I had all three classes today. 1 was distracted in my plans by coming across my timetable. I had about five minuted to get to transfiguration which was two floors up. Looked like I’d be running then.

When I whirled round to get going, I collided with Remus who had apparently been waiting for me. I may have winded myself so that when I said sorry, it sounded more like the rasping gasp of a dementor. I was being extra embarrassing today. I was usually only slightly embarrassing.

“Sorry, again.” I laughed. “We better get going if we don’t want to be late for Transfiguration.”

“I’m sure we won’t be late,” he said calmly.

“Remus, it’s two floors and three corridors away. I sure we won’t be early.” He chuckled.

“Trust me.” He said, flashing his teeth.

We began walking down the corridor and chatting like friends. Maia was an idiot, of course my plan was going to work. He was already walking me to classes, and sitting next to me in one of them. I hadn’t even noticed he was leading me in the complete wrong direction.

“Remus!” I said angrily. “We’re going the wrong way.”

“I told you to trust me didn’t I?”

“Yes, and I did like an idiot.

“Yes, you did trust me.” He said, almost to himself.

Suddenly I had been dragged behind a tapestry. I wasn’t going to complain, but I was immensely curious as to his suddenness. I was practically in mid-pout, preparing for the kiss of my life when he lit up his wand.

“Oh,” I said, sounding disappointed. “It’s a passageway.”

“Of course it is, what else would it be?”

“Nothing, nothing.” I said quickly. “Let’s go.”

It was a very short passage way, much shorter than I had expected. It probably wasn’t going to take us the whole way, I’d end up running anyway. It was cooler than the corridors and it smelled dusty. The walls were in need of a good clean to say the least.

It emerged it lightness quite quickly. Well, semi-lightness. The light that came in came through a thin tapestry of Wendell the Wicked torturing some goblins. I recognised the tapestry because I knew what was right outside.

“Transfiguration!” I exclaimed half happily, half in surprise.

“I told you you could trust me,” he smiled at me. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. “And,” he checked his watch, “we’re early.” He then showed me the watch as if this were proof.

“How on earth did you know that passageway was there?”

“I guess you could say we Marauders actually do explore. It’s not just a nickname.”

“Well thank you, Marauder.” I said, tipping an invisible hat.

“Let’s go in then.”

When we walked in, we received some rather strange looks. It was at this point I realised that I had quite a bit of dust on my cloak. I whipped it off quickly as I sat down at the back next to Sirius and Remus sat in front.

“Have fun in the passageway Warrender?” Sirius asked with a smirk on his face.

“What? How did you know we were in a passageway?” I asked.

“I’m full of knowledge, didn’t you know?” He winked at me.

“Of course you are, Sirius.”

“I actually am, for example, I know that McGonagall will be handing out our projects today. Plus you know, the dust.”

“And how would you know that exactly?”

“Let’s call it a hunch shall we?”

“So what’s the project?”

“That I don’t know.”

Sure enough, when Mcgonagall walked in, her arms were filled with papers and her hair slightly strewn like she had been running around looking for something. She dumped the papers on her desk with a sigh and turned to face the class. Her glasses had skewed slightly but she sorted them soon enough after hearing the snickers.

“Told you so.” Sirius whispered in my ear.

“Shhhhh!” I want to hear about the project.

“Listen now class.” Mcgonagall said. The class instantly went quiet. “I have decided upon your N.E.W.T projects which will be undertaken with the partners you chose yesterday. Remember, this will constitute part of your final grade so do not leave them until the last moment.”

She proceeded to hand out the parchment which she had brought in. The sheets were at least two feet long and included horrendous amounts of small writing. As I strained my eyes to read it, I saw they were instructions. I felt my stomach grow slightly heavier. This was going to be a lot of work.

“For your projects, you and your partner must successfully transfigure ten objects into different things, seven of which must be living and all have to be a certain size. Further information had been provided for you for the practical. There will also be a dissertation which is to be five thousand words and will cover all aspects of the course as well as your projects.”

I was dreading it already. This project was going to take up the whole year and included recalled knowledge from last year. I was at this point very glad McGonagall had decided to power through the theory side of the course in sixth year as well as the practical side of things which she had also gone through during extra study sessions.

“Sirius?” I asked wearily.

“Yes, Nyx?” He said, chuckling. He had pretty much answered my unasked question.

“Are you going to be taking this seriously?”

“Of course I am Nyx! How about two double periods extra a week we work on this?”

“That actually sounds great, Sirius.”

Okay, so I was mildly surprised by Sirius eagerness to do the project. I may have assumed because he was a marauder and everything that I would be picking up the slack on this one. I was clearly wrong. I felt slightly bad for doubting him but anyone else in my position would have thought the exact same thing.

“This is is you would like to achieve an ‘Acceptable’ level N.E.W.T. Most of you in this class should be aiming for much higher grades and will therefore be required to put in more than the minimum work load. Further things to boost your grades will be included in the information I have given you.”

The rest of the class was spent with everyone in hysteria about their projects. Well I say everyone but neither James nor Sirius looked even remotely worried about the workload we were about to face. They looked positively relaxed. Weirdos.

We were going to spend some class time on the projects too but like most of our N.E.W.T.S, we would have to show some initiative and self-study if we even dreamed about passing transfiguration this year with anything more than a ‘Troll’ grade.

Planning was already taking place in every pairing that included a Ravenclaw, including mine. I was jabbering so quickly I was surprised Sirius even managed to keep up with what I was saying. I had been certain it was getting more high pitched and frantic as I went on. He seemed to hear everything.

“Relax Nyx.” Sirius said calmly, “I’ve totally got this covered.”

“Really?” I practically whistled.

“Sure. Prongs, Moony, you’ll be joining our extra sessions won’t you?”

“Of course Padfoot,” answered James mechanically.

“See, it’ll be a group effort.” Sirius leaned back in his chair as if to prove how laid back he was about the whole thing.

I was forced to accept that Sirius had it under control for now. I found myself wishing that our first meeting regarding the project would be soon. I mean Sirius had invited Remus along for Merlin’s sake. It was almost as though he had read my mind and just made it all happen. He was my fairy godmother.

I had to stifle a laugh as I suddenly pictured Sirius frolicking through the air with a puffy pink tutu on. Not to mention a tiara. And sparkles, lot and lots of sparkles. They gave me funny looks but I didn’t really care. I was too bust imaging Hogwarts’ biggest playboy dressed like a little girl.

I left transfiguration for care of magical creatures, I was already trying to think of ways to kick-start Peter and Annabelle’s relationship without seeming painfully obvious. I was never very good at subtlety so the ideas weren’t coming very quickly. I was preparing for the worst as I walked to the class.

I could imagine the awkwardness and the silence as well as the pointed glances. Neither of them had had a boyfriend or a girlfriend before. It was most definitely going to be awkward. I was not looking forward to it but I knew I had to do something to help out Annabelle, she was a good person and deserved whatever awkward relationship she craved.

A/N: Hope you enjoy the chapter, over 100 reads already :) I would be super-grateful for some reviews and as always, Harry Potter belongs to JKR no matter how much I wish I'd thought of it.

Update: I just fixed some of the spelling/typing mistakes I noticed when I read through the chapter again. The new chapter will be up soon, promise! Thank you to my wonderful reviewers, it makes my day when I come home and see a new review!


Chapter 4: The Fourth.
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When I got there, I was surprised to see that the two of them were already talking animatedly without any introductions or anything. It was weird but good. I had never seen Annabelle so vocal before or Peter for that matter.

He actually looked liked a marauder for a change. Every so often he would brush his hair back with his hands, like James. He would smirk and then give her a wink after he had told her a joke, like Sirius. He would even touch her on the arm occasionally or brush back her hair with a smile, that was Remus’ move.

I sighed as I realised I was no further with my own love interest. Then I reminded myself it was only the third day back and the second day of term and if something had happened by now it would have been nothing short of a miracle. Although I was wishing for one.

At the end of a fairly boring care of magical creatures lesson, my miracle wish was granted. Well not entirely, but it was close enough. Having hit it off spectacularly Peter invited Annabelle to Hogsmeade with him and she asked me to go with her too so she wouldn’t be the only girl.

I accepted her offer before she had fully worded it without bothering to mention that James had invited Lily Potter to Hogsmeade with him and she had somehow accepted. I was thoroughly glad for the chance to talk to Remus outside of school for a change, even if it was with a group of seven.

I was in a good mood for the rest of the day. I had no more classes and I had decided to take a break from studying for any of my subjects in order to stay in the cool Ravenclaw common room with the rest of the seventh year girls. It’s weird how in the last year of school everyone seems to get along better. I guess it’s the realization that we won’t see as much of each other after the year has ended.

“Looking forward to this weekend then, Annabelle?” Maia asked.

“I guess,” she said awkwardly, “I’m glad Nyx agreed to come.”

“Wait, Nyx gets to go?” said Isabelle quite loudly. “How come I wasn’t invited.

“Because you didn’t take care of magical.” I said. “If you come too it will just look like we’re flanking her and Peter will get nervous.”

“Fine then,” she said sourly, “you can be expecting us to accidentally run into you at some point during your visit.”

“As long as it doesn’t seem too obvious,” I said.

“Looks like I’ll be the only one us not trying to grab a marauder this weekend.” Maia twiddled with her hair as we all discussed them.

“How is it going with Tom?” I asked.

“It’ll be much better by next weekend after you’ve all taught me how to fly properly.

“When are we doing that by the way? Sirius and I are doing transfiguration work at some point during the week, or so he said.” I couldn’t help but notice Isabelle giving me an evil look as I said this.

“Tomorrow after classes?”

“Great.”

We all headed off to bed earlier than usual to try and get some energy for what would most likely be the worst round of flying Hogwarts would ever see. Quidditch was not any of our specialties. I knew how to fly a broom but I had this issue about not being able to catch a ball without dropping it three seconds later.

I had a busy day after that, three classes again. Luckily this meant I only had charms tomorrow. It did however, mean I had to eat breakfast on the run. I said hello to my friends when they finally arrived for breakfast as I hurriedly shoved two sausages into a bap with a healthy helping of ketchup.

I made a run for charms, why would they start a class at half eight? It was just cruel. Usually the earliest class was at nine, a far more reasonable time in my opinion. Either way I was going to have to leg it. I didn’t bother with the passageway it would seem weird going down it myself.

Eating whilst walking and trying to read is no easy feat. It was a good thing girls were so good at multi-tasking, except from me obviously. I wasn’t really looking where I was going so I have no idea why I was surprised that I had managed to trip over something.

As I fell, it sort of went in the horrifying slow motion that occurs when you have that dream about going out in public with just your knickers on. Except this was actually happening. I tried to stop my face from hitting the floor with my hands. Tried, but failed.

I dusted myself off, grumbling as I tried to stand. My breakfast was on the floor. My knees were probably going to be bruised in about half an hour. My book was ripped and halfway across the hall. If it had been anyone else, I probably would have laughed. Which is probably the reason I heard laughter behind me.

I turned round, ready to give them a good telling off when I saw all four marauders in fits of laughter, doubled over to try and keep themselves breathing. Assholes. I picked up my stuff, muttering furiously as I did.

“It’s not that funny.” I said angrily, how could they still be laughing?

“Actually Nyx, it is.” James managed to choke out.

“Seriously Warrender, I don’t think you could have made that any funnier if you tried.” Sirius said, which he then paired with an impression of me falling. Flailing arms and everything.

“That does look pretty funny.” I said, smacking Sirius in the arm as he continued his impression whilst walking down the hall.

“Exactly.”

I turned around to see what had tripped me up. Nothing apparently, so I guess it must have been my own feet which had obviously conspired against me in order to try and get me to do something else embarrassing in Remus’ company. Nice work feet.

We all walked to charms in fits of laughter, it was hard to remember what was so funny in the first place but we weren’t really laughing at anything in particular at that point, more just an unstoppable continuation from before.

Flitwick gave us a funny look as we tumbled through the door, he looked as though he had just woken up and was in dire need of a coffee. It wasn’t just the students who hated early classes apparently.

I spent most of charms talking contentedly to Remus, constantly wondering if he liked me back. Then I reminded myself that I was not the sort of person who obsessed over a guy so I got back to work. Still, he was awfully distracting with his sweet smile and sparkly eyes. Not to mention the fact he would get an answer wrong every so often and crinkle his nose up in frustration as he massaged his brow.

Even with the sparkly eyes, he looked more tired than usual. He seemed used to it or maybe he didn't notice. But there were definite bags under his eyes which seemed a darer colour than usual. Grey rather than brown. I hoped he had no more classes today either. At least that way he could get some sleep even if he wasn't going to be spending that time wit me.

Flitwick had to repeat my name a couple of times before I answered him. I probably looked like a moron seeing as they were easy questions. I knew the answers I just hadn't heard Flitwick. I was too busy thinking about Remus which hopefully no one had noticed.


The rest of the day was pretty uneventful. Well, the rest of the school day that is. As promised, after classes we dumped our school things in the dorm and grabbed out flying gear. I had luckily decided to take my Magpies strip so I looked more in place striding towards the quidditch grounds.

Everyone else was wearing sweatshirts and tracksuit bottoms, and as many scarves and gloves as they could find. The September wind was whipping at our skin and I was frozen. The sooner we got started the better in my opinion. Maia just looked nervous.

Luckily, there were no house practices that day, the first match wasn’t until late December. We had the pitch near enough to ourselves to fly about in. There was a group of third years who were also practicing but they left when it began to rain.

“Can we please go in now?” Isabelle moaned.

“What? But we haven’t even practiced any real quidditch yet.”

“Yes, but my top is actually soaked through and will probably take half an hour to peel off.”

We were all too busy shouting to realise that we weren’t actually alone on the pitch anymore. I wasn’t shouting, but I was flying around in circle round the pitch trying to avoid everything. Like I said, I’m no good at quidditch.

“I’d happily peel it off for you Isabelle!” The yell came from quite far down. I had to squint to see who was there. It was Sirius. Isabelle would be happy at least.

“Really Black?” She said in an expertly crafted sarcastic yet flirty tone whilst flying down towards him, James and Peter.

“Really.” He winked at her.

It took quite a bit of effort to keep my lunch down. I couldn’t imagine myself flirting like that. It was just so cringey, well it would have been if it were me.

I felt a lot less sick once I was back on the ground. Annabelle was talking to Peter so Maia and I were left to talk to James as Sirius shamelessly tried to get into Isabelle’s pants.

“So where’s Remus?” Maia asked, smirking and nudging me in what seemed like the most obvious possible way.

“Studying I’d imagine. Quidditch has never really been his thing.”

“How are things with you and Lily?” I asked, trying desperately to change the subject.

“Great actually.” Even he seemed surprised by this. “I have no idea what I said or did but I’m apparently human now so she likes me.”

He shrugged his shoulders and ran his hand through his perfectly messy hair. He was astounded at Lily’s new attitude towards him but he wasn’t stupid enough to question it.

I had already started packing up my things as we all talked, there was no way I was going back up again, even Tom wouldn’t have made his team fly in this. It was pouring and none of us had jackets, apart from Annabelle who was all snug in Peter’s jacket. Apparently he was a gentleman.

As a result we were soaked through when we finally walked through the entrance. Isabelle and Sirius were still joking with each other in the most obvious way possible. I would have bet they’d be together by the next day. They were. They had also broken up on the Friday. Neither of them cared, they had both only been it for fun.

Isabelle was going out with a Hufflepuff boy about two hours after they broke up, Sirius had beaten her, an hour after he was caught with a startled but very happy sixth year Gryffindor in a broom cupboard on the seventh floor. I didn’t even know there was a broom cupboard on the seventh floor.

It looked like it would just be me and Annabelle with the marauders during the Hogsmeade visit, Isabelle no longer had any interest and Maia was planning on innocently bumping into Tom in the quidditch store to mention trying out for the team next week.

Needless to say, a weekend with Remus, I was looking forward to it.

A/N: Sorry this chapter is so short. It's sort of a filler and I didn't want to babble on too much about random things. Plus a quick thanks to all the reviews and favorites! I love reading them :)

Chapter 5: The Fifth.
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Annabelle and I woke up first on the Saturday. We were the most excited, apart from Maia but she had already planned her ‘I just threw it on’ look to the last detail. I had not planned, in fact I had scoffed at her when she asked for help and when he had asked if I needed help. I now regretted that. I remembered packing heaps of clothes but some how I had nothing to wear.

I looked at everything in my trunk, it was all useless. I ended up wearing a pair of acid washed jeans which I had found in a muggle store by accident. I liked them but I had no idea what to wear with them. I went with a cream v-neck sweater and white canvas trainers. I looked plain but I didn’t have time to complain.

We were meeting them in the great hall, just before the queue started. There was always a queue. Everyone had to line up and al the third years had to get their forms checked for forgeries. Hopefully we would be gone before the majority of people showed up.

I was disappointed to say the least when we walked down the stairs and saw the four figures. Why was I disappointed? Because none of them were the tall sandy blonde who I was rather taken with. The figure who ordinarily would have been him instead had long red hair.

Lily Evans was here instead of Remus Lupin. I should have remembered that she was coming but all the excitement of talking to Remus out classes and about something other than projects had pretty much eclipsed any other thoughts from my mind, as pathetic as that sounded, it was true.

When we walked up, Annabelle was immediately talking to Peter. I was annoyed that I would be the spare wheel. Well, me and Sirius would be. At least I had him to talk to. I was under strict instructions from Isabelle not to talk to him even though she’d dumped him for her new boyfriend. Apparently he was a complete ass.

“Hey,” I said, trying not to sound disappointed. If any of the marauders knew I liked Remus, I wouldn’t be allowed to walk the halls without being either laughed or shouted at. Actually they would probably find a more creative way to embarrass me.

“Hey Warrender,” Sirius said, currently the only one who was listening. I hated couples.

“Where’s Remus?” I asked, all too casual.

“Curious? You asked about him yesterday too.” James said, half joking, half defensive.

“No, I was just wondering is all.”

“He’s gone away for the weekend to look after his Uncle.”

“What happened to him?” I asked, worried. I had no idea Remus had a sick Uncle.

“Long-term illness.”

“That’s so sad.” I said, feeling sorry for him. I knew that feeling, well not exactly, but I still felt bad for him.

“Exactly,” said Sirius, “so lets talk about happier things.”

We started walking toward the gates to leave the grounds. The couples were still in their own little world, gazing into each others’ eyes and all that mushy crap which annoys everyone who’s not got it. Plus it was awkward standing next to it.

When we finally arrived in the small hamlet, the streets were still quiet as though it were night. We prowled around the streets, glancing in shop windows and looking for somewhere to sit.

By now the lovers were sick of each other and were finally joining into a group conversation as we walked into Honeydukes. It was the best shop in Hogsmeade by far, well for all the girls anyway. You can’t do much better than chocolate.

They had a massive sale on to celebrate the start of a new school year. Every student who had Hogsmeade privileges was going to walk in and a huge majority of them were likely to buy a cauldron load of sweets. I had settled for buying three bars of chocolate and a bag of moonbeams, silvery sweets which melted almost instantly when you ate them, they were my favorites.

Annabelle had bought hardly anything, Peter the same. Lily had bought pretty much one of everything and was trying to jinx her purse into carrying it all. Sirius and James bought whatever was in front of them. They were much more eager to visit Zonkos. I didn’t want to leave the nice warm shop, the air was still cold.

After being dragged out by Sirius, we made our way over to the blue-fronted shop which had Zonkos painted above the door in purple and yellow lettering. I had only been in a few times before and had never bought anything. Jokes weren’t exactly my thing. I was boring.

As I walked in the first thing I noticed was noise. The shop was empty but there were still nags and pops from various joke items going off. It was loud, annoyingly so. I tried paying attention as I looked around quietly but kept getting distracted by the bizarre noises which were going off around me.

Peter, James and Sirius were clearly in their element here, immediately seeking out the items which they obviously needed to carry out the pranks which they had planned. It was their last year after all, they had a legacy to form. Future troublemakers would look up to them if they got their way.

I was talking to Annabelle for the first time since we’d left Hogwarts and she seemed really happy. She had only been going out with Peter for about a week but she was already gushing about how kind he was and how sensitive. I couldn’t see it but I guess I was bias.

We decided to go to the three broomsticks for lunch even though it was guaranteed to be mobbed. It was just about the only place to go for a drink in Hogsmeade. Only Slytherins went to the Hogs Head and only idiots went to Madam Puddifoots. It was sickeningly sweet.

It was as busy as we’d expected, Sirius had managed to scare us a table. I felt almost guilty as I saw the third scurry off but that died away when the butterbeers came. They were warm and comforting to drink.

We stayed for a while, just talking, but decided to return to Hogwarts at around four. It was starting to darken outside and none of us wanted to wait until it was completely dark to start the rocky walk back to the castle.

On the way back we passed by the shrieking shack, apparently the most haunted place in Britain. I had no idea how they knew this because nobody actually lived there and I’m pretty sure nobody had been in it for five years. The villagers had only started hearing the shrieking back then so it must have been a pretty new ghost.

I wanted to go in but I was outvoted by the rest of the group who were all wanting their supper courtesy of the Hogwarts house elves. I made them promise that we’d go in next time. I was sort of curious about it to say the least.

The only ghost I’d ever talked to was they grey lady and she didn’t even seem like she wanted to talk. She just nodded to everything I said and then said something about finding the Baron. I don’t think she likes students very much at all. Which is weird seeing as she haunts a school.

When we finally arrived, there were a throng of third and fourth years who were trying to barge their way through the doors all at once. I shook my head at their impatience and their stupidity. Then I just marched a path through them, I guess I might be impatient too. Perhaps.

They great hall was already laid out for supper, but no one was sitting down and eating. Supper was the only time the students were all forced to dine at the same time with each other. Something about school unity or some kind of crap like that. I didn’t believe in it myself. Probably because I was quite hungry.

We split from the guys and Lily as we came to the doorway which leads onto the Ravenclaw tower. I tapped the bronze knocker twice and waited for it to ask me a question. Sometimes it was annoying having to answer what the bird asked. It usually took a fair bit of reasoning for it to accept a wrong answer. AN answer which I usually felt was the right one.

“What is so fragile, speaking it alone breaks it?”

“Hmm… It must me some kind of animal or something.” Annabelle pondered to herself.

“Silence.” I said easily, Annabelle wasn’t the brightest Ravenclaw, as nice as she was, I couldn’t help but sigh. That was an easy one.

“Wow, good guess.”

We walked through to the common room to find that although leaving after us, Maia and Isabelle had returned before us. Both of them looked slightly disgruntled to be in the common room before supper. I guess Maia’s romantic plans didn’t quite go as she’d hoped.

“How come you two are here?” I asked innocently.

“Stupid fucking Tom didn’t go into Hogsmeade today. Decided it was best spent training for the tryouts tomorrow.”

“The tryouts are tomorrow?”

“Yes, why on earth is he training for tryouts? It makes absolutely no sense.

“Well, firstly, he’s a boy,” I started, “and secondly, it’s quidditch.”

We all agreed that Tom would fall in love with Maia the moment she tried out for chaser tomorrow. Isabelle and I would be trying out with her. Annabelle had backed out at the lest second. Something about having made plans with Peter. Boy she sure was throwing herself into this relationship. Any other boy would have ran for the hills but Peter was just as socially awkward as she was so I guess it fit.

They instead decided to focus on our trip to Hogsmeade which they had hoped was more fruitful than theirs. Anna told them about the sweet shop, the joke shop, the streets, the three broomsticks and even the shack. She had pretty much poured out every detail of our day and didn’t finish until we were in the great hall on our way to dinner.

When they finally asked me how my day went, I had to tell them that Remus was not present and for me, it was a wasted trip. They seemed more disappointed than I did to find out I had had absolutely no interactions with Remus today. I felt slightly guilty about feeling annoyed he wasn’t there. After all Sirius had told me he would be away for a few days looking after a sick uncle. Man I was selfish.

That’s the kind of guy Remus was. The guy who enjoyed his studies but would give them up to look after a relative. The guy who would ditch his friends to help someone out. I didn’t tell anyone else about Remus’ sick uncle. It wasn’t mine to tell and it was probably something that was private.

I couldn’t figure out why Sirius told me if it was such a big secret. Seeing as I was known as a bit of a bitch. It wasn’t for anything horrible. It was just that in fifth year I may or may not have jinxed Dorcas so that her face changed in a way which I will not describe. I was the only one who thought she had deserved it.

It was after my brief fling with Davie, who was in the year above and had left now. We’d only been going out for a few weeks when Dorcas thought it would be fun to make out with him in a broom cupboard. I wasn’t in love with him or anything but it still wasn’t a very classy thing to do.

I jinxed Davie too but he didn’t whine about it. She ran about telling everyone I had set upon her for no reason and jinxed her so badly she had to stay off school for a week in the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey and I were the only ones who knew she was faking it. Eventually she was kicked out of the hospital wing.

She was a Gryffindor so the Hufflepuffs and Gryffindors had automatically believed her over me. The Ravenclaws knew I jinxed Davie but he was on the quidditch team and they weren’t very happy about him getting injured in any way. The Slytherins just enjoyed the fact someone had been humiliated, I doubt they even knew it was me.

Well, after that I sort of ruined a few of her relationships, only one of them was intentional. I truly believed she was the bigger bitch but I guess that may have been lost amongst other people. Last year I stopped annoying her about it and settled down. It was something I learned from experience. Guys like to watch cat-fights, but they hate the cats.

I sat down and as I glanced over to the Gryffindor table I was shocked. Imagine my surprise when a boy who is supposedly away for the whole weekend with a terminally sick relative is happily ripping chicken apart with his teeth. I must have been staring at him wolfing down his chicken leg because Sirius noticed me.

He nudged Remus in the ribs and once he had caught his attention, whispered something in his ear. I averted my gaze a quickly as I could as Remus’ eyes flitted to our table. When I looked round again, he had a brand new, and much more sober demeanor. James and Peter were smirking uncontrollably and even Remus’ mouth twitched as he tried to act sad.

I continued eating my food in silent speculation over Remus’ weekend. He looked ill. Maybe he was the one who was ill and he had simply taken a day off to rest. He had bags under his eyes and looked as though he could do with a good night’s sleep. I was still curious about him but I didn’t want to be curious to the point of obsession. That would be a bad thing I reminded myself, still wondering about why he cancelled.

When I got back to the common room that night, I looked up at the moon, it was full tonight. It looked so romantic, it’s beams cast across the grounds. It even made the annoyingly hideous Whomping Willow look nice. I glanced at the willow as it’s branches swayed in the breeze, every so often violently whipping the air as a bird got too close.

Paranoia got the best of me as I became worried that I was the reason Remus had cancelled upon us. Maybe I was being too presumptuous in joining their group so quickly. I mean I only sat beside Remus in one class. I was probably closer to Sirius than I was to him at this point, something which would hopefully change as we received our Charms projects. Anna was my only solid link into the group and that was based upon a first crush relationship with Peter Pettigrew. I was doomed to this crush apparently.

A/N: Hope you like this chapter even though there is a distinct lack of Remus, sorry about that! Hope you like the story so far, I have quite a lot written but it is mostly just skeleton stuff so if you have any idea, feel free to share! Alex :)

Chapter 6: The Sixth.
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It had stopped raining, I glanced out of the window in the dorm room. I rolled myself out of the bed to take a closer look at the whomping willow. I had fleeting memories of the thoughts I had last night, which did not put me in a pumped up quidditch mood, much to Maia’s annoyance. I shook the thoughts briefly from my mind. We were helping each other out so I guess it was my turn to do something for her.

She had actually grown to like quidditch after her intense two week crash course. We all had. I had managed to catch the quaffle a few times. I even scored once. I was much more amazed than everyone else was. Apparently no one had noticed. They probably thought I was lying. They didn’t know that I laughed whenever I lied and pulled on my ear sometimes, if it was a big lie.

I pulled on my magpies strip again as the three of us walked downstairs. It was a Sunday and had only just turned seven. It was only Ravenclaws who were at the breakfast tables. Clearly the team was going to be much more popular this year.

My stomach made an involuntary squirming movement as I glanced over the table. A small amount of embarrassment was fine in front of a few people and friends. I couldn’t really imagine what people would think of me if I somehow messed up the tryout with thirty people watching. Especially as I was the only one wearing a quidditch uniform. Everyone would be expecting me to be some kind of die-hard fan.

I eyed the toast and decided that a small breakfast would be best. I wasn’t going to be known as the girl who threw up after being rejected for the team. I was expecting a rejection, seeing as we were only here for Maia but I wanted it to be close at least.

We traipsed out onto the quidditch pitch at around half-seven. A few third years had ran out to join us, they had obviously slept in. This had earned them an immediate cut from the team. Tom was really strict about punctuality. The walked away, muttering furiously under their breath. I chuckled as I imagined the names they were calling him.

He spent about ten minutes describing his training schedule and how tough he was going to work the future team. He also said that the current team would be participating in tryouts too even though they had all been granted a place due to our second place last year. He probably made it sound worse than it would be I reassured myself. To weed out those who weren’t really devoted to it. Like me and Isabelle.

Drill runs were then ran next before any flying took place. He barked something about needing stamina in order to be a successful quidditch player. I wasn’t really listening to him, just running without thinking.

It was ten to eight. Still ludicrously early. I was getting tired from running.

Thankfully he shouted us to stop and that he would now be running practices for the individual positions. There were two chaser spots, a beater spot and the seeker spot up for grabs. He was a keeper and only two other players remained. Last years squad was mostly seventh years.

He told us to section ourselves off into the positions we are trying out for. I stood for a second, not knowing where to go. I knew I didn't want to try out for a chaser spot, that would end up horrifically considering my catching skills. I then remembered Remus calling me a beater in charms. Might as well give it a go.

I toddled over to the beater section of the pitch. I am extremely glad at this point that I am not in Slytherin. If I were, I’d no doubt be up against a great number of brutes who claim not to have charmed their muscles into growing so big. I am in Ravenclaw, where everyone is of a leaner build.

I was not the only girl in the group, it was me, three young boys who would be third or fourth year and a fifth year girl who I am sure I know but can’t remember her name. It might have begun with a T or maybe an R. Who cares. We were the first group to be tried.

Many people assume that a beater is one of the least important positions on the team. Having now aligned myself with them, I don’t think this is true. Sure we don’t score any points like seekers or chasers, and maybe we don’t stop the quaffle personally. But we put up a hell of a good defense if we work correctly as a duo.

I hoped that I would have an edge in the tryout seeing as I knew the other beater. It was Spencer, an ex of mine from last year. Usually this would be a disadvantage, you know, the jilted ex. But it actually ended really well and we were still on friendly terms. He was probably the longest relationship I’d had. It was over a year before we broke up.

I’d forgotten how good he looked, he was tall, but slightly shorter than Remus. He was stockier than Remus though, more muscle in his teenage body. He also had the sweetest smile and large puppy dog eyes, Remus had them too. They were blue which was strange considering his dark hair.

He smiled at me as I wandered over to talk to him, all of the younger students followed me blindly. Apparently being a seventh year automatically made you leader. I liked it.

“I will be leading the beater tryouts.” He said in what I assumed was meant to be an intimidating voice. He then stepped forward to isolate our conversation which had yet to start.

“Hey, Spencer.” I smile up at him.

“I didn’t know you were trying out this year.”

“Maia forced us into it.” I point over towards Maia who is gazing into Tom’s eyes. There is clearly something there but Spencer and I both chuckle.

“Looks like something has finally distracted Tom from quidditch then.” He laughed. He and Tom were best friends.

It was nice talking to Spencer, but it wasn’t like there were feelings left there or anything, we had both been sure it was the end. It was like talking to a best friend who I’d missed. We both had just assumed it would be awkward with one another but it wasn’t.

“Let’s get this trial started then.” Spencer boomed out, catching the attention of the other candidates who were chatting amongst themselves in tired tones. “Being a beater is not just about strength. It is about accuracy, speed and timing.”

It was easy enough for him to say that with his clearly athletic body. As if to illustrate his own muscles, he picked up his bat, released a bludger and managed to hit it into one of the hoops. That were about fifty feet up in the air. Why on earth did I try out for this? Remus was clearly taking the piss.

He handed out the trial bats which were old and shared by all the houses. They were battered an scratched. They were clearly well used and had been worn down. One even had a nail sticking out of it. I immediately thought of Slytherin, which was probably unfair but probably the right conclusion.

We were one short, the quidditch team was more popular this year after almost winning last time. Spencer handed me one of his bats, he was serious about quidditch. I smiled at him thankfully as I handled the bat. It was smooth and the paint on it was still un-chipped. I was worried I’d ruin it.

As we mounted our brooms, Spencer held up his hand to make us wait. Apparently he had to release the bludgers before we were up in the air. Just incase one flew straight up at us from the box. More of a danger for the boys who fancied themselves as having kids. As funny as it would be to see, it would be pretty painful to get whacked there by a bludger.

The sky is grey as we fly around the pitch. It looks more like thick fog hovering above us than it does sky. It’s almost eerie they way it seemed to swirl above us like a cloudless storm. I look toward the whomping willow for the third time in twenty four hours. I have no idea why. It was like I was drawn to it.

Every time I looked I would see the tree. Just the tree. It would sway and whip, it rustled sometimes. There was just something different about it. Like it held a secret or something. I laughed at my thoughts. It’s a tree I told myself, it’s a fucking tree, stop being crazy and concentrate on the tryout.

Except, when I look at it this time it’s not just a tree. I probably looked like a right twat, staring into the distance during a tryout, but we were just doing warm up laps so it’s not like it would affect my performance.

When I looked back at the tree this time, there was a dog in front of it. A big black dog. The kind of dog which would look once at a cute little kitten before ripping it to shreds.

There were two options which I could see. One, it was a grim and I would be dead pretty soon for spotting it as it walked out of the forest outskirts near the tree. Two, it was a gytrash, in which case I would hopefully not die tomorrow and nothing changed. I wouldn’t have been surprised if there were gytrash in the forest. I’d heard of weirder rumors about the forest.

Gytrash were pretty much harmless to humans. They just had a bad reputation because they are quite fond of ghosts and enjoy the odd feast upon a carcass. It probably was curious about the shack like I was. I laughed as I related myself to the spectral dog. It probably wasn’t really there. Gytrash were known for living in warmer climates and it certainly was not warm today.

I flew around a bit before looking back at the tree, otherwise someone would assume I was in a trance or something. The dog had gone. I had expected this, they were night animals, part of their spooky reputation had been built upon their love of the dark.

When the trials for the beaters officially begun, at ten past eight, the mood changed instantly. Before we were all flying around, happily enough and joking with each other but now we were in competition. I had to remind myself several times that I was only here for Maia.

Spencer enchanted some flying targets as well as obstacles. We had to avoid the obstacles and hit the targets. Easy right? Wrong.

Being a beater incorporated the seeking, we first had to find the two bludgers which were rocketing around the pitch. It incorporated the chasing, we had to get to it and position ourselves in a way which would help us hit the target. It incorporated the keeping, we did not have to be told twice that it was vital we did not get hit by a bludger. That would just be downright stupid.

I would like to think I coped pretty well. Spencer even admitted he had made the course as tough as possible for us, much tougher than a real match. I recalled my performance in my head as he yammered on about us all doing well.

The first target was easy, not to far away and pretty big. The second one moved a lot quicker but I had gotten that one too. The third one incorporated a near constant stream of the possible chasers swooshing past us and in front of the target. The fourth involved us dodging what would be the second bludger in the match as well as lightening turns. The fifth one I didn’t get. It was a long distance target and I clearly didn’t have the strength to hit the bludger that far.

One of the boys had hit all five targets but had been incomprehensibly slow at doing it. Constantly trying to right himself on the broom, he was the strongest but he was by far the slowest. I was replaying everyone’s tryouts in my head.

“This year our new beater will be Nyx Warrender.” Spencer said, I was barely listening so it took a little bit of time to register.

I only noticed as the other beaters clapped politely and headed off for the showers. Spencer and I headed off towards the stands to watch the rest of the tryouts together. It was just past nine at this point and the chasers were eager to get started. A small crowd had formed in the stands.

I don’t know why you would want to watch tryouts but I guess if you were passionate about your house you might. Except not everyone here was a Ravenclaw. There were some Slytherins who had no doubt come to jeer at the new team. Some Hufflepuffs who looked simply bored and a few Gryffindors who were watching with excitement.

I spotter James in the Gryffindor stands. Of course he would want to see what our new team was like. He was Quidditch captain and our closest rivals for the cup. I waved at him happily. He looked up and waved back. I couldn’t help but notice how tired he looked. Almost as bad as Remus had been looking the past few days, not that Remus looked bad when he was tired.

The marauders had clearly been out all night. Up to no good I would bet. Probably playing a prank on Filch or whoever happened to come across them. How James had become head boy with his detention record I will never know. I wouldn’t have been surprised to learn he’d bribed someone so that he could be closer to Lily. It had worked anyway.

Isabelle didn’t make the team, she was the only rejection who looked completely relieved not to be playing anymore. Maia and the other chasers joined us as Tom held the seeker try-outs. They were over pretty quickly, they were all told that the first one to catch the snitch, gets the spot.

A small, thin boy from fifth year won. He was really quick on a broom but nothing compared to James and he knew it. I could see him smiling slyly to himself as he left the stands, hopefully for nap.

We had to stay and be briefed by Tom who was explaining that he wanted to match last years performance or hopefully win. Gryffindor had been unbeaten for four years so he wasn’t going to pressure us into victory.

I liked the team, all seventh years apart from one chaser and the seeker. People who I had grown up with. The only thing that worried me was Maia’s attitude towards Tom. It was clear they were going to be going out soon and they both knew it. Flirting with each other relentlessly.

As we walked backed to the castle, I was so happy I barely even noticed as a rather large rat scurried along with us into the castle. I’d seen stranger things at Hogwarts.

A/N: Yay! Quidditch. I'm not a sports fan myself but I probably know more about quidditch than I do about normal sports, all thanks to my copy of "Quidditch Through The Ages" again bought for charity a while ago (: Thanks for all the reviews. I love them! Sorry about the late update, couple of reject chapters, apologies for that couple of edits too, I switched tenses a bit in this one, only noticed yesterday :) Even a one line review makes me smile in the morning, especially now I'm on study leave, I could use the lift. Hope you like this slightly different chapter, Alex! :)Promises that the animagus story line will be back in chapter nine. I've not forgotten about it I swear! Pretty long AN there!

Chapter 7: The Seventh.
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Charms on Tuesday was the day we were assigned our projects. Flitwick just made our seating partners our project partners. When he said this, I could have kissed his bald little head. I was with Remus for my project. A good four month excuse to talk to him.

My excitement quickly died away as he explained our tasks. Complicated practical work and a bucketload of theory. I sighed angrily. They should tell you that you have to do this when you choose the course. Not when you’re halfway through it. Remus, to my annoyance, was chuckling.

“Why are you laughing?” I asked, somewhat rudely but I wasn't in a good mood so I figured it was allowed, even if it was Remus.

“Your face.” I thought this was a bit harsh. In fact I thought it was really harsh. What a lovely thing to say to someone.

“Thanks for that,” I finished it in my head, asshole.

“No, I mean it’s just that you look really annoyed.” He was flustering a bit.

“It’s fine.” I said dully.

“Okay then.” He could tell I was lying.

I was overreacting to be honest, maybe he did just laugh because I looked annoyed or maybe I just have a really humorous face. Either way he probably thought I was crazy now, or that it way my ‘time of the month.’ I hated it when guys thought that. I bet he was thinking that right now, or maybe I’m the one who’s over thinking things. Either way I did not make a good impression for a partner.

“You probably expected a better partner huh?” Remus said, almost jokingly. Hm, maybe he could read my mind well the opposite of it, I figured he would have wanted a better partner.

“What?”

“Well, I’m no Sirius Black.”

“And?” I wasn’t entirely sure where he was going with this.

“Well, I know a lot of girls like him and you know, you’re a girl. Plus you’re his transfiguration partner. You two seem to get on.”

“Just friends, besides I’m not really into the players. I prefer nice guys, guys like you mostly.” This was a lie too, I usually went for assholes, complete ones but Spencer had sort of changed my views and Remus just flipped me completely. No more assholes for me, at least for a while.

He dropped the subject but seemed happier at my response. This only made my thoughts that Remus might actually like me a whole lot worse.

I looked up at him and he looked back, we were both smiling, I was aware of that but not much else. To be honest that was probably the first time I had ever looked him in the eyes, I mean right in the eyes. It sort of turned my crush into full blown obsession, which was not healthy.

They were the colour of warm chocolate, right before it melts. They had flecks of honey-comb amber running through them which turned golden in the light. He had lots of eyelashes, but they weren’t girly. They were thin and framed his eyes perfectly, they, like his eyes were a deep brown colour. I couldn’t believe I had never noticed them before. They were beautiful.

He looked at me as curiosity flashed across his face. I then realised I probably looked like a freaking moron, just staring up at him. I quickly looked back to my books and coughed pretty unconvincingly. Great, he would now realise I liked him and would probably try to get as far away as possible. I would.

I tried to start up a new conversation to stop his brain from thinking. Boys thinking only leads to really bad things. All the time. It was a proven theory in my mind.

“So how’s your uncle?” I asked too innocently. I was curious about this anyway so now seemed like as good a time as any to interrogate him about it.

“What?” He seemed confused. I knew it. Sirius was totally lying.

“Sirius said you couldn’t come to Hogsmeade because you were looking after your uncle.”

“Oh, right, yes he’s doing better thanks.”

“Is it contagious?”

“No, why?”

“You look sort of ill, worn down.”

“No, I’m fine.” He seemed to stiffen at this, like I was asking too much, or maybe I’d insulted him. Being called tired wouldn’t exactly fill me with confidence.

He seemed less friendly for the rest of the lesson and suggested stonily that we make a start on our project whilst we were at the group transfiguration session. I agreed and told him that me and Sirius had planned to meet that night anyway. I was surprised he hadn’t told Remus or James yet but I guess he just hadn’t gotten round to it, or he’d forgotten. So far I was having absolutely no luck with either of my partners, fantastic.

We walked together towards transfiguration, through the passageway for third time together. Hopefully it would become a recurring Tuesday thing. Tuesday was fast becoming my favourite day of the week. He didn’t say much to me as we walked, it was more of an icy silence, not altogether uncomfortable but I guess that may just have been me. He probably regretted showing me the passageway.

When we got there, Sirius and James wolf whistled as we walked through the door. That had become recurring as well and I had no idea why. I tried to tell myself it was not because Remus was embarrassed to be seen with me and his friends were taking the piss. Maybe it was because he liked me, that was the optimistic solution. If he did, I was more than certain his friends would try to make him as uncomfortable as possible. For such good friends, the marauders certainly tested each other.

I sat down next to Sirius who was still chortling at Remus’ uncomfortable expression. I punched him playfully to get him to stop, it was making me uncomfortable too. His barks of laughter eventually died away when McGonagall entered the class.

It was a fairly standard lesson, nothing exciting happened and we barely even talked as we had to take down a whole heap of notes which were quickly being scrawled across the blackboard by a floating piece of chalk controlled by McGonagall who was patrolling the class to make sure we were copying. I usually spent transfiguration thinking about animagus techniques, I mean it was like studying because it was a transfiguration topic, just not the one she was teaching.

I spent the lesson thinking as I wrote. I could take Remus’ actions towards me in two ways, both plausible but one far more likely. The more likely one was that he didn’t like me very much and was annoyed about all the time I was spending with his friends, especially Sirius. The second that he liked me but didn’t actually say anything about it for the same reasons I didn’t tell him.

I satisfied myself with the thought that it was a mix of the two. I didn’t annoy him but he wasn’t going to profess his love for me any day now. I could deal with that, friends first might actually work out better than what I’d planned. Well not better, but a lot less inappropriate.

I tried to wait behind inconspicuously so that no one would notice I was having a secret lesson with McGonagall today. I had a feeling she was just going go over the theory I had read in the book but with a little more detail. I think she might have said something about that. I listened intently as she talked about her first partial transformation. This was not going to be as easy as I thought.

We all agreed to meet at seven o’clock to start working on our projects. I asked them where we would work, assuming they would say the library. Nope. Some classroom on the seventh floor which wasn’t being used, opposite the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy trying to teach ballet to some unimpressed goblins. I’m pretty sure he was killed that day with a particularly well done pirouetting kick from the chief goblin.

I couldn’t remember there being a classroom there but then again I was never going to discover even a fraction of Hogwarts during my seven years. I shouldn’t have been curious about one little room. I realised that I’d spent my time in Hogwarts floating, not really observing.

Before I went to the seventh floor, I stopped off at the library to pick up some transfiguration books as well as returning some of the more useless books I had taken out previously which I thought would help me with my problem but I was just putting it off if I was honest. What if I wasn’t good enough to be an animagus?. When I got there however, all of the books which would have been any use were already checked out, except they weren’t checked out, they were just gone.

I stormed up to the seventh floor, angry that someone would steal a book from the library even though they’re free to use. Maybe they had just been misplaced or someone was using them in the library. Either way I didn’t tell Madam Pince, I was not going to be there when she found out either. The woman would probably beat me to death with a book if she knew.

The door to this classroom was huge, not like any of the other classes. They were oak and had large metal hinges which reminded me of the entrance to the castle. If I were a teacher I would happily use this class room. The doors were as heavy as they looked, I practically had to shove them open so that when I did, I staggered slightly through the door frame, to the sound of chuckles.

Of course they were laughing at me, too weak to even open a door. They didn’t know I was a beater yet and I would happily give them a quick demonstration right now. I felt like giving someone a good beating to be honest.

“What?” I asked grumpily.

“Nothing, nothing,” said James, wiping away tears, “we jinxed the doors so you couldn’t open them but I guess you managed.”

“How very funny.” They were clearly a lot less mature than I had given them credit for.

“You must be packing some serious bloody muscles, Nyx.” Sirius said, in an almost complimentary tone, through the chortles of course.

“Thanks, I guess.”

“I told you she managed to cut me in charms. You all said I was weak.” Remus said, showing off the tiny cut on his cheek.

“Guess we were wrong Moony, but you still got whacked by a girl.”

“That was an accident!” I didn’t want to think I was overly violent or something, even if I was a lot of the time. Aggressive tendencies were not the ones I wanted to publicly display. I could keep them to my new beater position.

They spent a few minutes arguing about how weak Remus was whilst I unpacked the few decent books I had with me. They had decided that although Remus was wounded by a girl, I was a very mannish girl so it was allowed. That didn’t really help my self confidence or the hope of Remus asking me out. Mannish.

“Great,” I said, “I’m mannish.”

They all looked up at me and had apparently forgotten I was present. They were all holding in laughter, I could tell by their constrained smirks. Then they all started laughing. Why the heck were they always laughing?

“It’s so easy to wind you up Nyx.” The three of them were all in agreement about how much fun it was to annoy me. Great.

“How was the quidditch tryout then?” James asked, "Find any chasers that are as good as me? Didn't think so."

“Well, I made the team, Maia made a chaser spot too so you better watch out James.” I thought he would have figured this out seeing as Spencer and I were the only ones who stayed to watch the rest of the trials, why else would I sit and watch try-outs with my ex?

“Ooh, what position?” Sirius asked curiously.

“Beater.” I said, grudgingly. I had a feeling they were going to call me mannish again.

They did, lots. I think that was the most times I had been called mannish in one evening. It was probably the first time I had actually enjoyed being called mannish. The marauders were fun to be around. They radiated fun-ness.

We didn’t get as much work done as I had hoped, but I did manage to find the missing transfiguration books. I had no idea how they managed to get them past Pince without being noticed but they were clearly very good at doing it.

“How on earth are you so good at practical?” I moaned in annoyance at Sirius.

“What do you mean?”

“You and James are amazing at Transfiguration with no effort. It’s not fair.”

“We’re just born awesome Nyx, you can’t teach it; but if you would like a hand with your transfiguration I would be more than happy to help.”

He then gave me a very charming smile and a boyish wink. I didn’t know if he was being serious but I needed the help. My practical was always slightly worse than my theory.

“Thanks.” I mumbled in an attempt to be grateful.

“No problem.”

As I was packing up all my stuff, the boys continued to chat and laugh amongst themselves. It was nice of them to wait but I have that sort of personality where whenever I hear a laugh, I assume it’s directed at me. I don’t know what it’s called. Oh wait, crazy was the word.

We didn’t even get on to doing charms, apparently both my partners had a habit of procrastination when they were around their friends, I couldn’t blame them. I had barely got any work done and I’d only been talking to them properly for two weeks. They were like a destructive force in regards to my schoolwork.

When I got back to the common room considerably later that night, my friends were all waiting up for me. I didn’t have much to tell them. Isabelle seemed somehow surprised that Remus had not shoved me up against a wall and kissed me. I didn’t know what to tell her. Apparently the fact he hadn’t ravaged me on a desk in front of his friends either was also weird.

A/N: Hopefully I'll be uploading these much quicker now. I had a couple of one-shots I wanted to get out of the way and they're up now so yay! :D Plus this is like the only thing right now which doesn't make me grumble and complain about calculus or further trigonometry. If you're wondering about my exams, the ones I've had so far were terrible. Hope you like this chapter, I quite like it but I suppose I probably would. As usual nothing belongs to me, JK is the genius behind Hogwarts. :)

Chapter 8: The Eighth.
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The next few weeks went by pretty quickly, even for Hogwarts standards. My care of magical creatures project was by far the easiest it only lasted until christmas and involved helping Hagrid, the gamekeeper, and Professor Kettleburn look after the aethonan winged horses. Not that Hagrid needed any help, I think this was just an excuse for Professor Kettleburn to prove this wasn't a ridiculously easy class. We all had to look after the horses but there were twelve of them at hogwarts so there were enough for three to an animal.

I obviously chose to go with Peter and Annabelle but almost immediately regretted it due to their continuance of publicly displaying their coupledom. I thought a honeymoon period only lasted like two weeks. It had been at least a month, I knew this because Annabelle had a freaking count of the days they had been going out. Had it not been so sickening, it would have been cute.

Professor Kettleburn took us out to the stables on the outskirts of the forest to look at the horses. Fantastic, Peter and Anna were holding hands. I couldn’t really feel like anymore of a third wheel at this point. I was just glad it was class time and they could start snogging. It they could, they probably would have.

The aethonan horses were amazing. They were a chestnut colour and stood at around eighteen hands tall. Which is very tall. There were dangerous stories about winged horses but most of them came from wizards who had some how aggravated or provoked a horse into action. They weren’t scary, they were majestic.

Aethonans were the only breed of winged horse at hogwarts which I could see. They were native to Britain and had once been used as transport for the students before the train had been invented and when Hogwarts housed a considerably smaller number of students. This herd were the children of the horses who had carried students. Once they had stopped being used for transport, they had stayed, venturing out of the forest only for feeding.

I wasn’t upset that I couldn’t see the other breed, Thestrals were known to live in the forbidden forest but it was difficult to confirm as they could only be seen by those who had seen death directly. I wasn’t going to complain about not seeing death. That would be ridiculous. Okay, so maybe I was a little upset.

We were each given a care kit for the horses. The contained a wooden brush for their manes, a hand brush for their coats and various other magical option which would hopefully make caring for the highly sensitive animals easier. In the pack there were also a few bottles of single malt whiskey, which we under strict instruction not to drink ourselves.

I quickly placed a refilling charm upon the three bottles in my pack quickly while Kettleburn wasn’t looking. It was much easier to do if they were full at the time. I had no distinct plans to go on a weekend bender or anything, the charms were just in case.

“This is fucking crazy.” Peter received a playful slap on the arm from Anna for this remark. She wasn’t a fan of swears, it wasn’t a very Peter thing to do anyway. I had a feeling he was taking dating tips from Sirius Black, the person Annabelle was least likely to ever go out with. Despite his carefree good looks. As much as I liked Remus, I’d be a moron to deny Sirius was good looking.

“How?” I asked.

“Winged horses, they’re notoriously difficult to look after and are annoying fussy.”

“Which is why we’re N.E.W.T level students,” chipped in Anna before I had the chance.

“I wish we were allowed to fly them.” I said, longingly.

We were then taken back to the class to do even more theory work on horses and horse-like magical creatures. Professor Kettleburn then told us that we would have to hurry up and study the hippocampus herd who resides in the black lake before the weather became too cold. As if it were our fault that the weather was going change.

Professor Kettleburn was getting increasingly grumpier each time I saw him. It was probably due to the fact he now found it difficult to do routine things without his wand. Losing limbs was something he was very used to.

After class I headed up to the common room to get ready for quidditch practice. Ravenclaw had been drawn for the first game of the season against Hufflepuff. It would hopefully been easy, they had finished in last place the previous year but we didn’t know who they may have found. It was still a month away but Tom was training us heavily already.

The only person who was not annoyed by this was Maia, she and Tom were now in that ‘pre-going out but very close to going out’ stage. The flirting was bearable, just. Unless it got in the way of practice in which case the entire team would get annoyed and tell them to hurry up and shag before we got beaten by Hufflepuff.

I had now bought myself a beater’s bat. Well, my mother had bought me it but I sent her a very detailed description of the bat along with about four knuts which I had found at the bottom of my trunk. I had also requested more money for the upcoming Hogsmeade weekend. She had sent me the bat along with the four knuts, trying to be funny. A few days later she sent some galleons as well.

The bat was the most perfect bat I could imagine and probably cost quite the bit of money. My parents were both successful in their career paths, my father ran a shop just off Diagon Alley. I wasn’t entirely sure what my mother did because she gave up her job to have me and never talked about it after. My brother and I had asked repeatedly but got no answer from her. Something at the ministry I think.

It was navy and had bronze insets which sparkled in the sun. Sure, it was a little bit girly but it was a damn good bat. The enchantments upon it were really strong and according to Brutus Scrimgeour in ‘The Beater’s Bible,’ the enchantments were the most crucial pat of the bat. Without them, hitting the iron ball would be nearly impossible, without breaking a wrist.

Spencer remembered from our time together to show the correct level of enthusiasm for my new bat. Not doing so could have resulted in him closely inspecting the bat at great speeds.

“Wow,” I could tell the enthusiasm was fake but I was fine with it, “is that a brand new beater’s bat Nyx? It’s Nice.”

“Why yes it is,” I laughed, “and thanks.”

“No problem, I actually have a favor to ask you.”

I was insanely curious about the nature of this favor as Spencer seemed genuinely nervous about asking me. It was at this point however that Tom decided that half an hour was enough time to flirt with Maia before practice and told us all to get in the air quickly before we were kicked off the team. Hypocrite.

So before I could find out what Spencer wanted, he was up in the air. He seemed almost glad that he didn’t have to ask, which only made me more curious of course.

It was stormy, Tom always picked the worst possible days to train, I was sure of it. Why else would it be grey every single freaking time we went out. The clouds weren’t exactly welcoming us to the sky. The swirled about angrily as the sped across the skies. I was just glad it wasn’t raining.

It started to rain. Just my fucking luck.

We did laps, that’s right laps. I don’t know if this was meant to tire us out or not because laps weren’t really much of a threat whilst on a broomstick, I figured Tom would have known that to be honest.

Maia was flying beside me as Tom bellowed out for us to hurry up or take the corners better. She laughed whenever he shouted, apparently it was funny. Maybe it was an inside joke because nobody else was laughing.

“Tom asked me out.” She finally admitted, with a huge grin on her face.

“Seriously? That’s great. What did he say? What did you say?”

“Well, he invited me into Hogsmeade this weekend and I said I’d have to check.”

“Why’d you say that?”

“Nyx,” she laughed at my apparent stupidity. “you can’t seem too eager or they’ll lose interest, or think you’re easy and I don’t want anyone thinking that.”

I took this comment very seriously. Maybe if I was less friendly towards Remus he would ask me out. I then realised that this theory made absolutely no sense. If someone was mean and ignored me, it wouldn’t make me want to rip their trousers off any more, I would have assumed they weren’t interested.. Unless, you know, if it was Remus. But I want to rip his clothes off anyway.

“Has Spencer been acting weird with you?” I asked, trying to be casual.

“No, why?”

“He said he needed to ask me a favor and I have no idea what it could be, like at all.”

“No idea,” she pondered the thought for a second before squealing, “look Nyx! We have fans!”

I looked down into the stands to see who it was. They were wearing red which I took to mean they were Gryffindors. There were four guys and a girl. I would have bet my entire vault at Gringotts that it was the marauders forced to come by Peter and Annabelle. I think she felt guilty for not trying out with us.

I was sort of surprised to see Remus, he had been off visiting his uncle again the past week. He must be really bad because this was the second time he’d had to go look after him in as many months. I waved. They all waved back, Sirius had found a Ravenclaw scarf, probably stolen from Anna, and was waving it about and whooping.

I was bored and I was in the practice, I couldn’t even imagine the boredom for them. Especially considering the weather which was quickly becoming more and more awful. I had used impervious on my robes. At least I wasn’t soaked through. My team had had the sense to do the same when we were changing. The spell did nothing to help my hair though.

My ponytail probably looked like a flobberworm on the back of my head by this point, which would obviously mean this would be the one day Remus comes to watch a practice.

“Remus is here.” Maia pointed out the obvious.

“Annabelle probably forced them to come.” I reminded her with a pang of annoyance.

“And? They’re still here aren’t they?”

“I guess.”

“Exactly, they’d have left by now if they weren’t enjoying themselves.”

Tom then blew the whistle to start the actual practice rather than us going around in circles. Apparently he too had noticed our spectators so decided that we would try some flashier moves in order to frighten them even though we weren’t playing them. Gryffindor were the best team so he decided to employ some scare tactics.

I scoffed at this. I doubt there was much scary about us right now. The weather was scarier than us. Dumbledore in a dress was scarier than us. Actually, that would be quite scary. I struggled to pay attention after conjuring that image in my mind even when I was listening I giggled every few seconds. Which earned me some very angry looks from Tom and Spencer.

They were the most serious about the team by far, they had both been on it since third year, it was like their legacy. Their words, not mine. After having this yelled at me by Tom I decided paying attention may not be such a bad idea.

Falling off my broom in front of Remus probably wouldn’t be such a good idea either. The marauders laughed at me enough anyway. Over the past month, they had become like friends. Which was not good in the case of Remus but surprisingly Sirius was a very fun friend to have, he was loyal, even I could tell that.

Tom got me and Spencer to start with the bludgers before the other began practice. They seemed much more ferocious in the cold, maybe they could feel it too, I had never thought about it. I then realised they were just ten inch iron ball jinxed to make them especially violent, they were not living and could not feel the cold.

We were flying around and beating the bludgers to each other, it was more difficult than it sounded and every so often I would look down to see if Remus was looking, pathetic, I know, but I couldn’t really help it. I was uncontrollable. When I did look I didn’t see much, we were too high up.

“Hey, Nyx!” Spencer was shouting across the field.

“Yeah?”

“About what I was going to ask you before…” He trailed off for some reason.

He didn’t exactly look happy. Then again I wouldn’t either if I’d turn round to see that Sirius was mocking my legacy. When I looked round however, I burst into immediate fits of laughter. Sirius was mooning the team. In really cold rain. He had determination I’d give him that.

Spencer was in a mixture of shock and anger I had decided from his facial expression, I mean this was his legacy and everything. Which made me laugh even harder. Which made Spencer even more annoyed. He swung his bat as hard as he probably could at the next bludger.

I was still in fits of laughter when Sirius finally pulled his trousers up. James was roaring with laughter too and Anna was in a fit of very polite giggles. Remus and Peter just looked uncomfortable to be honest, maybe it was boredom. Sirius was known for his somewhat risky behavior. I was conscious of the fact I was staring at Remus again, barely conscious, it was easy to get lost in his eyes.

I was just finishing my laughter when I saw the marauders’ faces change and heard Spencer start yelling. He was yelling at me. Why was he yelling at me? I hadn’t exactly been the one to flash him. I was just away to turn around and yell right back at him when I saw his face go red as he flew towards me.

Well, I barely had time to react, which was probably why I didn’t. I don’t know exactly what happened but I have been told the bludger hit me square on. It was a ruddy good shot if I’m honest. I then did exactly what I had planned not to.

I fell off my broom, from fifty feet up, in front of Remus Lupin.

A/N: Little bit of mini-drama there, hopefully this chapter goes up quite quickly, it's going in the queue the day after the last chapter was up so hopefully queue allowing it'll be up nice and quick. I'm pretty far ahead of myself with this story, I think it's all the "free" time I have on study leave which I shouldn't be wasting considering how awful my exams have been so far but I have the concentration span of a bludger :) Hope you like it!

Chapter 9: The Ninth.
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I woke up in the hospital wing to see none other than Sirius black in the chair beside my bed, reading a poetry book.

“What the hell?”Was the first thing I said. He chuckled at this, closing the book and laying it on my bedside table. It was an off sight, something didn’t quite fit, it was the poetry. Poetry was much too profound for Sirius.

“Ah, I see that knock didn’t change you then.”

“What? No, I mean why are you here? No offense.”

“Well, I was the only one with a free period right now, Remus is potions with Anna, Isabelle and James. Peter is still in Divination although why he’d want to take that class I have no idea.

“So you’re my babysitter?” I asked, slightly annoyed.

“Well if you want to put that term on it, I prefer to think of it as a friend who happens to have a shift sitting next to your bed no matter how boring it may be just in case you wake up,” he was chuckling as he said which did nothing to help my mood. “Although these poems are depressingly marvelous, I must say.”

He was flashing some serious teeth at this point. I couldn’t help but smile too.

“I have a reason to be grumpy, my head hurts. And you like poetry?” I hadn’t really registered that he was being sarcastic before.

“No, but I needed something to read and Annabelle left these here so…”

I glanced around at my surroundings, I think green would be the word. Not the nature forest type green but the clinical green, it was cold. I saw that my school bag was beside my bed packed and ready to go. Perfect.

“Why didn’t you just read a school book?”

“Are you kidding? I just got out of class. There is no way I would read an informative book, did I not tell you I was bored?”

“So you read poetry?”

“It was an experiment I suppose.”

“How did it go?” I was enjoying myself more now, my head was still sore though. I didn’t want to say anything as I knew madam pomfrey wouldn’t let me leave if I told her, she was already bustling about and shoving a potion in my face, I said a quick thanks and she rushed off. “Oh and by the way, what day is it?”

“Friday, why?”

Two days, not bad. I checked my watch, I had charms in a half hour. I wasn’t going to miss that. I swung my legs over the side of the bed and went to get my clothes. Madam Pomfrey must not have seen my scars. I noticed I was still wearing the same vest as two days ago. Thank Merlin, that would have been awkward. I was just away to close the privacy curtain when Sirius decided to talk.

“Where are you going?”

“Well I thought Charms why? Where are you going?”

“I’m staying here, and so are you.”

“You’re not staying, you have charms next too, you’re Spencer’s partner.”

“Okay maybe I will be going to charms, but you’re not. Isabelle will be here soon.”

“Why not?

“Well that fact you’ve been unconscious for two days and have only just woken up may have something to do with that. It’s weird but I thought that when someone was given a free pass out of class, the generally took it.”

“I’m going. Now let me change.”

“You’re not going.”

“Yes I am. If you don’t move I’ll just have to go to charms in my hospital robes.”

“You wouldn’t do that.

“Wouldn’t I?” I closed the curtain, I really wouldn’t have gone in my hospital robes.

Sirius decided to approach a different tactic. “Why are you so desperate to get to charms anyway?” I have to admit, this caught me off guard which was probably his intention. It’s a good thing he couldn’t see my reaction through the privacy curtain. Although the way he was saying it was much too casual for my liking. Forced casual.

“No reason, I just don’t want to miss any more classes. It’s your fault anyway, if you hadn’t mooned, I’d be paying attention to the bludgers.”

“So it had absolutely nothing to do with Moony then?” He smirked, he’d caught me. “I saw you staring at him.”

“No you never.” I was getting ready a lot more slowly now.

“Yes I did. If it helps, he likes you too.”

“You didn’t catch me looking at him and he doesn’t like me. Wait, he likes me? Why are you telling me?” I said, pulling the curtain to one side.

“Well Obviously. I’ve told you that so you have to go back to bed. Why don’t you come into Hogsmeade tomorrow with us, then you can talk to Moony to your heart’s content and I’m only telling you so he won’t yell at me for letting you go to class.”

“Nope, you didn’t make a deal I’m afraid. Thanks though.” I kissed him on the cheek as I grabbed my bag and left. I could hear his footsteps following me down the hall which was good, he had charms too.

“You literally just woke up Nyx. At least let me walk you to charms if you’re insisting on going.” He looped his arm into mine, probably to make sure I didn’t fall, I was prone to that even when I was fully aware of my surroundings.

This must have been the first time I’d walked into charms with Sirius. We chatted casually the whole way there. And of course by casually I mean I interrogated him about Remus. Of course.

“Look Nyx, don’t say a word to him alright? Just act as you normally would otherwise he’s going to know that something’s up. Don’t tell anyone else either this secret is between you and me.” He swung me round and put both of his hand on my shoulders, looking me right in the eyes. “Remus is my best friend, you have to promise that you won’t tell anyone. No one knows but us okay?”

“Alright Sirius, I won’t tell anyone,” I said, kind of grumpy that I couldn’t just run up and snog him, like in books well not so much books. More my daydreams.

Just at that moment, Remus decides to walk around the corner to see Sirius and I in what would seem to an outsider like a very intimate moment. Which it was, but not in the way Remus’ face told me it was. He didn’t look hurt or anything, more just confused.

“Hey Remus,” I said, too cheerily.

“Nyx, Padfoot.” He said curtly.

“What’s up Remus?” Sirius asked, oblivious to the fact he had once again looped his arm in mine.

“I’m just surprised to see the two of you together, when did Nyx wake up?”

“About a half hour ago actually,” laughed Sirius, “I’m just making sure she doesn’t fall.” He looked at our arms and probably realised what it looked like, he unlinked his arm and put his hands in his pockets pretty sharply.

Remus gave me the weirdest look I have ever seen from eyes which were trying desperately to read a situation. Clearly he thought I was mental to come into class so soon. Then again he didn’t know that he was the reason I wanted to go in and I wasn’t allowed to tell him either.

“You only woke up a half hour ago? Why are you bothering to come to class then?”

“That’s what I said mate, she wouldn’t listen to me though. Maybe she’ll listen to you.” He added with an annoyingly knowing smirk on his face. He then took my arm and looped it into Remus’ arm. I then decided that Sirius was the best person in the world. Ever.

So I walked to charms with Remus on my arm, Sirius had sauntered off somewhere even though he was in the same class. I didn’t spend a lot of time wondering where, he had left Remus and I perfectly alone. I smiled as I leaned my head on Remus’ shoulder. Bliss.

I spent most of charms in delicious, tortuous silence. I wanted to talk to Remus but every time I started a conversation Flitwick started some spiel about work or something. Luckily I had enough time to request a study session hoping for some alone time with Remus. Unfortunately he also suggested doing Transfiguration, which would mean James and Sirius would be there too. They always stayed even if Remus and I were working on charms, they were like cronies.

With a slight pang of annoyance, I made my way to Ravenclaw tower, alone. The bronze knocker was asking easier and easier questions lately, maybe it was just because I was getting smarter or older or both. Maia had cornered me on the way there asking if I would come with her to Hogsmeade. Why was it always me that got asked? I told her I would but that I was meeting some friends later, it seemed like a good deal to me. She would owe me one and collecting favours is a hobby of mine.

I took this opportunity to do some studying, I had been letting my studies slide slightly if I was being truthful. It wasn’t the regular kind of studying I was doing, it was the very secretive animagus study I was doing. I had had three sessions with McGonagall going over the process before she told me that was all she could teach me. She had also proceeded to tell me that if I did decide to start attempting transformations then I should inform her so she could tell the ministry. I hadn’t told her a definite answer, just in case I couldn’t do it.

So I had to hit the books, I had been putting off practicing the spells and the transformation, I wasn’t very good at handling disappointment. What if I couldn’t do it, like at all? Sure my practical had been getting better with Sirius’ help but I was no ace. Well maybe I was slightly an ace, I tend to under-sell myself.

I was twirling my wand in the correct movements for the spell. The first transformation would be weird, and possibly painful. The second would be easier. By the third I hopefully wouldn’t need a wand to do it. However the first time required a series of complex spells, not just the one I was tracing in the air.

Three spells in total are needed. One is similar to the gestures required to produce a patronus. That one is okay. The second one, which I was drawing out now was a few swirls a swish and a flick, fine. The last one however differed upon the user, according to the book I had. So I had to do whatever felt natural after the first two spells.

I closed the book, irritated by it’s lack of instruction. I then made my way to an empty class room to try them out. I must have gotten lost on the seventh floor because I couldn’t find the classroom in which we usually studied. I had figured I could just work there before everyone else arrived but instead I ended up in one of the older muggle studies classrooms.

I put my stuff down and cleared away the desks to the side of the room with my wand. For good measure I also locked the door, I didn’t want anyone walking in on me accidentally, I could be something dangerous. Although the likelihood of me managing completely was very small. Then I stood in the middle of the room, holding my wand expectantly.

I then practiced the maneuvers slowly at first, just to make sure I was doing them right. Then I tried them for real. My hand made fluid motions in the air as I tried to recall what I was doing. I saw some sparks emerge from the wand, the were a green-gold colour, I had no idea what that meant. Then as I was meant to do the third spell, my hand decided upon a rotation with two sharp flicks at the end.

Then there came the pain. I heard my wand clatter to the floor. It wasn’t unbearable pain or flames or anything. It just felt like tiny needles were pricking their way up my arm, along the path-lines which my veins used. I looked at my hands. They weren’t hands. My feet were still feet and my body was still human.

I had paws. Really big paws. They were dark but not completely black. As the pain spread, more of my body was changing. I saw my arms get longer and much more muscular than before. Whatever I was, I was big. Then to my disappointment, the pain stopped, just before my shoulders. I saw my arms snap back to normal with regret.

It had been a good first attempt, I knew that from reading first hand accounts. Not good enough though I thought snidely. Obviously I wouldn’t have managed first time but come on, just my arms? I couldn’t even tell what I was going to be from that. Heaps of animals were big and had paws.

I tried again and agin, never getting any further than my shoulder blades, or parts of my torso. I know that waving a wand doesn’t sound like hard work but it certainly tired me out, that was for sure. I packed up my things early with the knowledge I would have to search for the freaking classroom I was looking for.

When I got to the place I’d been before, the same gigantic oak doors were there. Completely sold and immovable. I could’ve sworn that the classroom wasn’t there before, I mean that. I would have sworn on a grave that the last time I walked this corridor the giant wooden doors were nowhere to be seen. Which was crazy, even at Hogwarts, doors didn’t just disappear.

I spent the evening in the company of three of the marauders who were busy talking about their days, the fourth was making out with his girlfriend somewhere. Actually, it was Peter so they were probably holding hands in awkward silence. Sirius had just come from planning a prank on Peeves, no easy feat, and James had been talking to Lily Evans as sweetly as he could for weeks. She talked to him now but he hadn’t kissed her yet. Something about not wanting to be too arrogant or something.

I also spent a good deal of time flexing my arms, hands and fingers; they were slightly numb from the pain. They just assumed I was doing weird, manly beater stretches. I let them believe it. At this point I was glad I hadn’t managed a full transformation first attempt. That would probably be the most painful way of doing it, guaranteed.

I was looking forward to Hogsmeade tomorrow, I kept stealing glances of Remus and smirking, which made Sirius smirk. The boy was a lot more perceptive than I would have given him credit for. Remus liked me. Remus Lupin, the gentle marauder, liked me. I was more than looking forward to it. I was just a bit gutted I had to spend the first half of it with Maia. Sometimes I thought I was too good a friend.

A/N: Finally, Nyx is getting somewhere with him ;) Even if that somewhere is just a Hogsmeade visit. I hope you like this chapter and I also hope you'll visit my new meet the author thread on the forums. I'd love some questions or some reviews for this. There are four drawings on it right now which kind of hover around my pages document, what I imagine them to look like. Although I have to point out they are very cartoonized. Don't expect much! Wow, this a long note. I guess I'll leave it there! Hope you liked it!
Alex xx


Chapter 10: The Tenth.
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Hogsmeade that day was nothing like I had expected. It started off normally enough, with me having jet water over Maia’s face in order to wake her up. You think for someone who is away to go into Hogsmeade with the guy she liked she would be a bit more excited and less grumpy.

I would never again wake up Maia, I valued my life way too much to try that again. After I had woken her somewhat abruptly, she proceeded in trying to jinx me half heartedly as she tried to go back to sleep. Luckily she was still pretty tired and missed but if she had hit me I was pretty sure I would be a tea-pot by now. A dancing tea-pot, she was really good at those.

I wasn’t really looking forward to being a third wheel. It was going to be even more awkward than when I went in for Anna. I wondered if I would ever get to spend a Hogsmeade weekend in the way I wanted to. I then reminded myself that I was spending half of it in the way I wanted to and that one of the people I would be spending it with liked me like I liked him. I was lucky really.

It was with a mixture of relief and annoyance that I saw I wouldn’t be the only third wheel. There were four wheels apparently. Tom had decided to bring Spencer along too, probably to distract us both when Tom wanted to go somewhere privately with Maia. Like an alley or the toilet in the three broomsticks most likely. I smiled at the two of them except Tom had eyes only for Maia.

Spencer waved back, looking slightly nervous as though I were going to hit him. I realised that I hadn’t talked to him since the bludger to the head incident and he probably thought that I was going to hit him. I should have but I never. It wasn’t entirely his fault.

“Hey Nyx, I’m really sorry about your head. How are you doing?” He placed a hand upon my shoulder to examine the spot where the bludger had hit. Obviously there were no marks, Madam Pomfrey was far too good a practitioner to have left a scar of any kind. Apart from the mental kind of course.

“It’s fine, honestly,” I said, “just remind me never to fall off a broom again would you?”

“Sure.” He laughed.

We walked to Hogsmeade in relative silence, the November air was whipping at my face which I am sure would have turned my cheeks and nose a very unpleasant red colour. We arrived later than most due to Maia’s sleeping habits. Just in time for lunch really so it was a good thing the three broomsticks was nice and warm.

I remember thinking how amazing it was that we got a table in there. Considering the weather and the time of day. It was a nice table too, right at the back of the pub in the corner, next to a window. Madam Rosmerta walked over to us and took our orders. That woman made without a doubt the best steak and kidney pies in the country.

We were all talking really happily when I saw the marauders and Annabelle, I waved them over for a chat. They had to maneuver around the cluttered floor to get to our table, like I said it was right in the back corner. At least I wouldn’t have to search to find them all now, which was a relief. I hated to look as though I was wandering aimlessly.

“Hey guys,” I said with a smile.

“Hey, this sure looks cosy.” James smirked. Sirius rolled his eyes at his best friend. It was precisely at this point I realised that this would look an awful lot like a double date.

Maybe you should go try and find some common bloody sense Nyx! I thought angrily. Although Remus didn’t even seem bothered. He probably knew Spencer and I weren’t dating anymore. Although when I looked back, he did look slightly depressed.

“Let me just finish this and I’ll be out in like two seconds, promise.”

“Okay, who are you meeting Spencer?” Maia asked way too obviously. She smiled at Tom.

“Um, just some friends I think.”

“Cool, well we’ll let you guys finish then.”

I practically inhaled the rest of my butterbeer, I didn’t want them getting to far so I’d have to go find them again. Spencer and I left the restaurant at the same time but parted way just outside of the pub, but not before telling off some third years for trying to get into the Hogs Head.

“See you later Spencer, if I don’t get attacked by a bludger first.” I kissed him on the cheek as I ran off to Zonkos to meets the marauders who I could see were waiting outside. I could hear Spencer laughing behind me as he stalked off towards Honeydukes to meet his own friends.

When I walked up to them, I could see that Lily was standing next to James who was looking very pleased with himself. Lily looked happy enough too, I think she was starting to see the more responsible side of James. Annabelle and Peter were holding hands again although looked a lot more awkward than usual, probably because I was looking at them. Sirius grinned at me and Remus gave me a small but very sweet smile.

“Hey again, buy much?”

“Nope,” Sirius said, “we haven’t actually been in yet. We decided to wait for you.”

“You didn’t have to but thanks.”

“No problem.” Remus said. After I found he liked me, I liked him a whole lot more. Funny how that happens. I grinned stupidly at him.

We walked around the store for what seemed like an hour. Oh wait, it was an hour, and a half. I would have thought by now that Sirius and James had bought every joke in the shop.

“You’d think that being head boy would have stopped him from buying up Zonkos.” Lily said, bored beyond all belief she still smiled when she looked at him though, it was pretty sweet.

“I know, I guess he and Sirius aren’t planning on growing up anytime soon. I’m surprised that you’re here at all to be honest.” I said, not meaning to offend her or anything. Luckily she didn’t look offended, she laughed.”

“You and me both, Nyx. I guess he just regresses around his friends. When I talk to him he is much more mature and actually quite interesting sometimes. Plus I’ve probably had more laughs with him than I have with any other boyfriend.”

“So he’s your boyfriend then?” I guess I had one of those personalities where people tell you stuff even if they wouldn’t usually.

“Yep, as of earlier actually.”

“So what changed?” I asked, toying about with a golden dung bomb, I was tempted to buy it, I never. I pretty much only liked it because it was shiny.

“Well, don’t tell everybody this but after a month of seeing him, he finally plucked up the courage to kiss me.”

“Wait, you mean he never tried anything before? I’m shocked.”

“Yep, at first it was sort of sweet and gentlemanly, but then I started wondering when or if he was ever going to kiss me. It got annoying after a while.”

“I bet is was worth it though.”

“Definitely.” She smiled as she looked towards James who, probably realising the tone of our conversation turned very pink all of a sudden and turned around. Which made us laugh.

“We’ll just wait outside James.” Lily shouted across the store. “It’s getting a bit loud, don’t you think?” She said quietly to me as we headed for the door.

“Yep, let’s go.”

Annabelle and Peter had already left a half hour previously, deciding that an hour in Zonkos was enough for them. I don’t know where they went but I think they went back to the castle for supper. It was nearly five by the time Sirius and James finally emerged from the store with their hands filled with merchandise.

“Where’s Remus?” Lily asked.

“Dunno,” said James, “we thought he was with you but he must have gone back to the castle with Wormy.”

“Can I ask you something?” I said as we walked.

“Sure.” Sirius answered, Lily and James were walking a few steps in front, holding hands and having their own little conversation.

“What’s with the nicknames?”

“They’re just nicknames.”

“I figured you would have been moony seeing as you’re known for being rather liberal with your trousers.” He laughed and then playfully punched me in the arm.

“Haha, I guess. Should’ve thought about that shouldn’t we.” He sounded rather dismissive.

Lily and James were now miles ahead of us. Probably as hungry as I was. I couldn’t wait to get back to the castle, I had spent the more anticipated half of my Hogsmeade trip in Zonkos. Without Remus. He studied even more than a Ravenclaw did. We would have to hurry anyway, the professors were strict with students who arrived late from Hogsmeade. It just wasn’t as safe anymore.

“I wonder why Remus went back to the castle so early.” I said, thinking aloud.

“He must have wanted to catch up on something, maybe he had prefect duties and wanted to…” Sirius trailed off and looked ahead. He then swung me around with his arm on my shoulder. I tried to look around to see what he had been looking at. I had to wriggle my way out of his hold. I had no idea what he could possibly not want me to see. So I turned around to look at the same spot he had been looking at. I really wish I hadn’t.

Remus, in an alley with some blonde Gryffindor in sixth year. I hated her immediately, well after the shock. With every giggle I wanted to hit her. I shouldn’t even be mad at her, or him. Even if they were kissing right in front of me, they were at prefect liberty to do so. I turned around quickly to Sirius.

It wasn’t pain exactly, more a distinct pressure where my lungs would usually be, constricting my breathing slightly as I tried to wrap my head around it. It was such an un-Remus like thing to do. He wasn’t dating her as far as I was aware although he probably would be now. “Nyx.” Sirius said simply as I walked back towards him.

He put his arm around me once more but in a much more friendly way, trying to make me feel better probably. Unfortunately, by this point Remus had noticed us. I was surprised at this as he seemed to bloody enjoy being wrapped around the blonde bitch. Not that I was bitter about it.

“Hey you two, where’s everyone else?”

“The castle.” Sirius sounded as annoyed at his best friend as I was. He was such a nice guy.

“Oh,” Remus seemed slightly crestfallen, then he remembered there was a blonde girl standing next to him, “this is Camilla.” I already knew who she was. I think everyone in Hogwarts knew who she was, she wouldn’t shut up and you could usually hear her cackle ringing through the halls.

Kill me now, please.

I surveyed her with the most evil eyes I could muster without being too obvious. She was shorter than me, I wasn’t sure if that was a plus. Sure I would have longer legs but then again she was more petite and dinky, like a fairy. She had silvery blonde hair which hopefully meant she would go white prematurely, skank. Light blue eyes which I personally thought were over-rated anyway. Who want to look into eyes which make you need to pee? I couldn’t see anything drastically wrong with her, much to my annoyance.

The only thing I could say about her to make myself feel better was that I knew she wasn’t the kind of girl who was suited to Remus. At all. She giggled way too much, gossiped more than a fishwife and painted her nails a different shade of pink every day, the kind of girl you immediately say ‘woah’ about when you see in both a good way and a bad way. She was not who Remus was going to end up with, she had much too flat a personality. Not that I was perfectly suited to him either. I just knew he would end with someone who was more fun than her.

“I didn’t know you were seeing Sirius, Nyx.” She smirked, she knew fine well I wasn’t seeing him otherwise she wouldn’t have asked with such an ugly grin on her face.

“I’m not, we’re just friends, Candice.” I said icily, Sirius had to hold back laughter.

“It’s Camilla,” she said coldly. I knew it was Camilla.

We walked back to the castle together, not that I wanted to but Camilla insisted it would be ‘so much fun’. I wanted to rip her throat out at this point.

“So, Remus, how long have you been seeing Courtney?” I asked him with a sweet smile on my face.

“It’s Camilla,” she gave me a death glare as he answered, “about fifteen minutes.” He chuckled, looking at his watch. Camilla clearly did not see the joke.

“Seriously Moony, I didn’t think you were that kind of guy.” Sirius raised his eyebrows. I looked to the ground.

“Well, I’m not. But I thought that it was about time I tried something new. You’ve always said I should learn to let loose some more, well I guess I have. So when Camilla approached me in the alley,” he chuckled, “well you can just guess what happened.”

Ah, that explained it, she had approached him. Well actually that didn’t explain why he said yes, or why he stuck his tongue down her throat, but hopefully it explained why he hadn’t done that to me. It wasn’t who he was to just pounce on someone.

When we got to the castle, I went back up to the dorm to get changed for dinner. It was colder now and my friends probably wanted to know everything, even if I wasn’t particularly keen on telling them. I satisfied myself with the thought that Remus would wake up tomorrow and realise that Camilla was not who he liked. He would realise that he liked me.

A/N: I have a feeling Nyx will be reverting to her bitchy ways soon enough. It was all going to well for her too, I'm mean to my characters, it's fun. I always liked the idea of Remus letting go for a bit and having some fun, shame it's with Camilla though. Reviews are like chat-up lines - the one liners make you smile :) Hope you liked this chapter. Alex.

Chapter 11: The Eleventh.
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Thank Merlin it was the weekend, no charms, no transfiguration and no care of magical creatures. Which meant no Remus or no accidentally meeting Remus. Usually this would not be a call for celebration but I knew it would be way too awkward to see him.

Not that he knew I liked him, but in my head it would be awkward. Why does everything have to be so awkward all the time? I can survive just about any embarrassing situation which is gladly thrown at me, tripping over my own feet - fine, shot in the arm by a centaur - gladly, gorged by a raging erumpet- please, running into Remus - I’d rather go with the death.

From the moment I woke up, I planned to stay in bed for a good nine hours before moving for supper. I was perfectly entitled to mope. Moping was an expectation after seeing Remus act so un-Remus-ish that was so bafflingly confusing. I still had enough chocolate frogs left to make a viable breakfast meal and a chocolate centered lunch. Of course the lunch frogs would be paired with the meaty coloured Berty Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, in the hope they were lunch worthy flavors.

The worst bit was, before I had seen him kissing the blonde bitch, I hadn’t even realised how much I liked him. I can’t really describe the feeling, it’s sort of like a sudden jolt and then a plunging feeling in the pit of your stomach as well as feeling your heart get smaller. Now I realised I liked him so much, I wanted very dearly to punch Camilla in the face as hard as I could and make out with Remus until I suffocated.

So I was in my bed, mulling in the thoughts which encompassed my brain. It probably wasn’t very healthy, or smart, or in any way logical but it was all I felt like doing. I had had a night to sleep on it which unfortunately just made me dream of Remus who I now liked and hated at the same time. At this point I despised hormones and whoever invented them. I made a note to find out who it was and curse them, even if they were already dead.

I was enjoying my tortured solitude with the curtains drawn when I was rudely disturbed by Maia. She yanked the curtain open and promptly started eating one of my chocolate frogs. Bitch.

“Oi! What do you think you’re doing?” I said, trying to snatch the frog back without shifting my blankets.

“Getting you up, I’m bored and you’ve been in bed too long.”

“Why? How long has it been?”

“An hour since I woke up.” Really, an hour was too much time to sit in my bed. It was only half nine for Merlin’s sake. On a Sunday!

“An hour is a perfectly reasonable amount of time to lie in, I’ll have you know.”

“You’ll have to be up by eleven anyway because we have quidditch practice.”

“We do?”

“Are you seriously kidding, Nyx? The match is next weekend, Tom is going crazy with worry about it.”

“Seriously? It’s just Hufflepuff, they came in last didn’t they?”

“Yes, but they’ll have new players, the captain is new too. The one they had last year was just interested in getting himself a quidditch contract through his playing, the team wasn’t managed very well. They have some half-decent players on the team. I’m sure they’ll be better this year.”

“Fine.” I grumbled, getting up as slowly as I could.

“That’s better.” She said, rather pleased with herself for getting me out of bed. “Now tell me all about your weekend with Remus. Did he kiss you? I bet he did. He totally loves you, Nyx. I’ll tell you about my weekend first, it was just so exciting!”

I’m not going to lie, that felt weird. She then decided to spend the entire trip to great hall for breakfast and the entire trip to the quidditch pitch gushing about how fabulous her date with Tom was and how amazing it would be if we could double date. I hadn’t exactly told her that Remus was dating the blonde yet. I was going to, honestly. I think I was in denial about the whole thing.

I was amazed that Maia didn’t pick up on my entire lack of enthusiasm as she talked, but then again she provided enough for the both of us. I would nod or grumble every few seconds and she would then be perfectly satisfied planning her own outfit for our imaginary double date. I had no idea what ran through her mind but I had a feeling rainbows were an intermittent thought.

It was blatantly obvious that Tom was just as excited about this as Maia was. Although I was guessing that he saw this as an opportunity to take of the dress which Maia would spend ages searching for. He kissed her slightly too passionately when we got to the pitch. Personal displays of affection were the last thing I wanted to see.

No wait, the last thing I wanted to see was already at the pitch. Annabelle had brought along Peter who had brought along Remus who had brought along Camilla. I mean really? He had only been seeing her for about a week and he was taking her to quidditch practices. They weren’t even Ravenclaws. Could Anna not have spent one weekend alone with Peter rather than with a group? Or here?

Gads, they were cuddling. It was pretty gross. Camilla smiled at me, bitch. Maia saw them and followed Camilla victorious look towards me. I would like to think I came across as composed and calm. I probably looked like a raging dragon at this point.

“That sucks, sorry Nyx.” She sounded, like she was breaking the bad news.

“It’s fine, I found out yesterday.”

“So that’s why you were in bed so late.”

“Well firstly, it was not late and secondly, yes. Let’s not talk about it, I’d rather just start practice.”

Practice was completely normal in every way. Except I kept getting distracted by Camilla’s shrieking laugh. Every time I heard it, it felt like my brain was going to implode. It was possibly the most annoying noise I had ever heard. She sounded like a freaking fwooper. Remus could not find that cute. It was impossible. I looked at him and he did look slightly annoyed.

I went to talk to Annabelle afterwards. Actually I never, they came over to me while I was talking to Spencer once we’d landed. I laughed much more loudly than I would of when he told a joke, just to see if it provoked a reaction in Remus. I didn’t see if it did, too busy laughing. I was practically doubled over, my acting was slightly over the top, Spencer gave me a funny look as though I were crazy.

“Hey Peter, Anna, Remus and,” I paused for bit, “Clare?” It actually got more fun every time I did it.

“It’s Camilla.” She was clearly not happy. I could’ve sworn I saw Remus smirk.

“Right, Camilla, of course. I don’t know why I keep forgetting.”

“Great practice Nyx.” Annabelle was trying to defuse the tension.

“Thanks, I’m actually off for a walk, see you around.” I think they could tell I was trying to leave. I didn’t really care. I wanted to leave.

By the time I had finished getting changed and tying up my hair again, I really did feel like going for a walk. Once I’d said it, it was all I could think about. Maybe the fresh air at Hogwarts would do me some good, or make it easier to imagine Remus dumping the skank, publicly.

It was cool but not unpleasant. I walked around the forbidden forest outskirts, no one else would be walking there. The first and second years were all terrified of the forest, the third years were probably pranking filch and everyone else would probably be inside. Hardly anyone just walked for the sake of it but it was a hobby of mine. Pretty lame hobby but it helped me think.

Well, it would have been calming had I not been ambushed. The massive black dog which I saw at the tryouts was back. Considering it was midday I was forced to conclude it was not a gytrash. Close up it just looked like a big black dog. Who was very happy to see me.

“Hello,” I said as it bounded towards me. I started petting it and making stupid faces, you know the same reaction everyone gets when a god looks really happy. “You’re not scary at all are you?”As if to prove this, it saw down beside me as its tongue lolled out of its mouth. “You know, I thought you were a gytrash but I guess you’re not.”

Wait, did it just shake it’s head? No because that would mean it understood me and as far as I was aware, I couldn’t speak dog. I was probably just crazy, that was much more likely.

“Well, seeing as I’m talking to a dog, do you mind if I vent my problems for bit?”

Okay, I was most definitely crazy, I was talking to a dog for crying out loud. I was actually planning on telling a dog more than I had told Maia. What was worse, I swear I saw the dog shake it’s head again. No joke.

“Nope, this is too weird. I might just walk some more, you can follow if you want.”

The dog didn’t follow so I just walked some more, actually I was ambushed again, but this time by Sirius. Who was looking odd as he strutted across the grounds.

“What’s with the face?” I asked.

“I could ask you the same question.” Hm, I wasn’t aware I was making a face. “I actually just came to talk to you.”

“I don’t need any sympathy Sirius.”

“Good, because you’re not getting any from me.”

“Oh, what did you want to talk to me about then? I just assumed it was Remus.”

“Well, sort of. You’re not getting any sympathy but I was wondering if you were okay.”

“Oddly, I’m better than you’d think. I mean it was just a crush right? Plus it won’t last forever and it sort of makes me feel better knowing it was your fault.”

“Wait, what? How is this my fault?” He laughed.

“Well you told me that Remus liked me, inadvertently getting my hopes way beyond what they were before and causing me to expect something miraculous to happen, which didn’t happen, dashing the hopes you previously raised by you. See?” I’d thought this through in my head, it was pretty easy to find someone to blame other than myself.

“Maybe but I mean this is actually Remus’ fault. He was the one who stuck his tongue down that girl’s throat, not me. Well actually I have but that was a long time ago and I’m getting off topic.” He scratched his head playfully, I didn’t doubt the fact that Sirius had once gone out with her.

“Yep, seriously, it’s fine. Once he dumps her or she dumps him I’m in with another chance and if that never happens, I’m pretty sure I’ll get over him Sirius, just not right away and not when I see him so much with her.”

“Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure they won’t last. I know Remus and she is not the type of girl he goes for. Not to mention the good telling off I gave him about it, he said he was just looking for a bit of fun. He’s not going to be getting too close to her; he never gets close to anyone really which is why I figured you’d be the perfect option, you seem to get him to talk more than he usually does. Plus if that doesn’t work, I have a few extras up my sleeves to break them up, some if which aren’t entirely suitable but will definitely work.”

I continued my walk with Sirius who was turning out to be quite the fantastic fairy godmother. I didn’t even ask what the extras were, they were probably dangerous, stupid or both. Even though he was loyal to Remus, he joined me for my Camilla bashing. Apparently Sirius had been dropping hints to Remus to try and get him a girlfriend, assuming he would pick me. Maybe he would have if Camilla hadn’t pounced on him. At least that’s what I told myself.

Something was going to work out, now I just had to find out how to get Remus to realise he loves me. Which sounded a lot easier than it was going to be and it didn’t even sound easy.

A/N: First off, thanks to everyone who had read/reviewed/favourited, I really do appreciate them especially seeing as the last chapter got the story to reach 2500+ reads and thirty favourites plus over twenty reviews making me very, very happy. I hope you all like this chapter and I'll try to update sharpish :)

Chapter 12: The Twelfth.
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The first time I actually talked to Remus alone since seeing him inadvertently in Hogsmeade was in Charms, where most of our awkwardly intense conversations took place. This one was just as awkward and intense, well in my opinion at least. Obviously Remus was blissfully unaware of everything that had taken place in the past few days apart from the key event in the mess which was of course, his tongue lock with Camilla.

“How are you today?” I asked innocently chewing the tip of my quill hoping he would slam his book down and complain about Camilla or say she was a bitch and that he had dumped her.

“Alright, how’s your head?”

“What?” I'd been too busy thinking about mauling Camilla to register the question.

“Your head, when you got hit by the bludger.”

“Oh right, it’s fine. How are things with Camilla?”

“Alright I guess, why?”

“No reason,” I said quickly, then I said was I was really thinking, “well actually it was a bit of a surprise, you don’t really seem like her type.”

“I’m not really. I would say she wasn’t my type either but I’ve never had a proper girlfriend before so I guess she is. Although I admit she’s not what I would assume is my type.”

“So the two of you are in a ‘proper’ relationship then?” I asked, trying to hide my hated of the idea.

“I don’t really, we don’t really talk about much.”

I dreaded the question but I asked it anyway, “so what do you do then?”

“Not much,” he admitted, crinkling his nose until he saw my happy smirk, “but we’ve only been going out for a few days so you never know.”

“Right, I just figured that, you know, because you seemed so intense when Sirius and I were walking together that you were more serious.”

“Nope. I took some advice from Sirius,” I gave him a skeptical glare, “no really, I did. He told me that I should just let go considering it’s my last year at Hogwarts and I’m not going to have nearly as many decent opportunities out of school when everyone is all split up. This lead up to Camilla approaching me in Hogsmeade which obviously wasn’t planned but lead in nicely with what he was saying.”

“So you don’t really like Camilla?” I said, hopefully getting him to dig himself a very big hole.

“It’s not that I don’t like her, it’s that maybe if she hadn’t approached me I wouldn’t have immediately thought of her but she’s exactly what I’m looking for even if she’s not my type.”

“So what were you looking for that doesn’t match Camilla or your ‘type’ whatever that is.” I was hoping to get some more information from him, I wasn’t going to act on anything without knowing the extent of the situation first, that would be reckless and stupid.

“Well I suppose I’m just looking for something that isn’t too serious so that we didn’t have to worry about random things which don’t usually get in the way.” He rushed the first sentence and I wondered if the thing that would get in the way is his uncle’s illness if that was true. I had a feeling that once Remus started talking he wasn’t going to stop and I was right. “I suppose if you asked me what my type is you would assume the same as everyone else which is probably true but I’m only seventeen so I don’t really need to be looking for ‘the one’ right now if you know what I mean.”

“So what’s you’re type then?”

“Well what do you think my type is and I’ll tell you if you’re right.”

“Okay,” I thought about it for a moment so I didn’t sound like I was just describing myself, “well someone smart obviously, fun definitely, you look like you need a laugh, someone who listens I think and clearly someone who is tall.”

“I’ll ignore the fact that Camilla isn’t many of those things because I already said she wasn’t my type. I think you’re pretty much spot on what I assumed myself.”

“So why didn’t you just ask someone out who is your type.” Say me for example, I thought in my head.

“I suppose you could chalk it up to confidence issues. Camilla is perfectly lovely and I don’t see there being a problem in the fact that she asked me out first, it just made things whole lot easier for me.”

I was just away to interrogate him further so he would admit he likes me but Professor Flitwick suggested we work in silence for the rest of the lesson so we had decent notes with which to compile our reports and to help us with our projects. To be honest, they were daunting at first but Remus and I had broken down the charms project into smaller chunks so it was much easier to manage and I was planning on doing the same thing with Sirius later that night.

I was amazed that the marauders had stuck to the study plan I had given them. Well I was more amazed at Sirius sticking to it, somehow he and James still found enough time to joke about, we got the work done anyway so I didn’t complain. Much. I’d almost finished drafting the report for Transfiguration which was good because that was the one I was most worried about.

I needed good grades in care of magical creatures to get into the ministry job I wanted but I had pretty much wrapped that one up with Annabelle’s help so I was happy with it. Now all Peter and Anna had to do was copy it onto their own sheets of parchment and that would be the theory side of it finished. Regulation of magical creatures here I come.

I had always found it strange that I knew what I wanted to do when I left school, not many people did. I guess I just thought of the subjects I enjoyed and then I looked at the jobs which went along with them, there weren’t many which made it easier to choose. I narrowed it down all the way to the ministry job because I didn’t really see myself as one of those people who worked outside. I enjoyed walks and everything but I preferred to be inside than out.

We made our way to Transfiguration through the secret passageway as usual and talked the same way we usually did and he even brushed the dust off my cloak like he usually did but I couldn’t help but feel like everything was different somehow, maybe it was just me. Even through my interrogation I still couldn’t see why he would agree to go out with Camilla when he liked me. It was a good thing that Sirius was in my next class, he would know about Remus better than I would.

I sat down next to Sirius who stuck his leg out to try and trip Remus who, seeing this, instead proceeded to sweep his parchment off the table before laughing and sitting next to James as Sirius grumbled and kicked the back of his chair. I accio’d his parchment from the floor while laughing which unfortunately caused it to severely paper-cut me on the way past.

“Are you freaking kidding?” I muttered, shaking my finger.

“What?”

“Got a paper-cut.”

“Is that it?” Sirius chuckled.

“Yes, it stings.”

“What a shame, maybe Remus will kiss it better.” Sirius smirked at Remus who turned around to face McGonagall quietly and tap his quill off the desk as James sniggered. I shot Sirius the filthiest look I could muster, the sting in my finger helped.

“Maybe Sirius will lose the privilege of competent speech,” I said, making swirling motions in the air with my wand.

“Look, if Remus doesn’t want to I will,” he said, winking at the back of Remus’ head as though he could see him, “is that alright with you Moony?”

“I’ve been trying for years to get you to behave Sirius, I doubt it will work now.” Remus didn’t even turn round to say this to Sirius who seemed slightly disappointed that his efforts to embarrass two people had only half worked.

“Fine, I’ll do as I please.” Sirius crossed his arms and pretended to sulk like a child in a way that reminded me of my brother whenever he didn’t get his way.

“Shut up, Sirius. Some of us are trying to work.” I was surprised to see that all three of us had managed to say this perfectly in sync and even more surprised that it had worked. Sirius grabbed his quill and continued to sulk for the rest of the lesson although he did do it with a slight air mischievousness about him. Like he was planning something.

I was in a slight huff for the rest of the lesson too. So maybe I had been hopeful that Remus actually would kiss it better. Even if I was only slightly hopeful or wishing. I satisfied myself with the knowledge that even Remus knew he was not suited to Camilla and he had even admitted that under normal circumstances he would not have asked her out.

I wasn’t entirely sure if I was disappointed knowing that if I had approached him we might have been going out by now, maybe it was just luck that managed to get Camilla there first. Although I did admit to myself that even if I had been the one in the alley with Remus I wouldn’t have asked him out. It just seemed to illogical for my liking, I would be too terrified of it backfiring in some way.

I was going to stay behind and talk to Professor McGonagall about the whole seriously attempting the whole animagus thing when I was distracted by the idea of possibly, maybe following the marauders to wherever they would be hanging out in order to spend some quality time with Remus without the presence of Camilla. Unfortunately considering the fact that they were all pretty good students, no matter how much they tried to evaporate that idea, they all had another class to attend before the school day was officially over.

I walked back to the common room having missed a few prime opportunities to get what I wanted done so I decided that I would not miss another. I would go to the same old muggle studies classroom as last time and I would practice my animagus form again so that by the end of the year I would be a fully fledged animagus without the use of my wand. It was a goal I had not lost sight of.

I packed away all my things and made sure to bring some things along for the projects after my no doubt failed attempts. When I got to the class, I made sure to lock the doors thoroughly and close all of the dusty curtains. It was getting darker in the evenings and I was seven floors up but I still didn’t want to anyone to see me practicing, it would ruin the surprise not to mention the fact it was illegal.

I rolled up my sleeves and tried to mentally prepare myself, I already knew what to do so it was just a case of patience and practice. Unfortunately those were two things which I was not very good at, at all. I waved my wand almost lazily, after about six failed tries I was getting annoyed and bored at the same time. After the last spell, I dropped my wand and waited to transform. Maybe this time I would get all the way.

I felt the familiar needle pricks up my arms and torso but they weren’t painful at all, just a conscious awareness of the feeling. My legs were kind of painful and I figured this was because I hadn’t managed to get the changed as many times. I had learned a whole lot more from actually transforming than I had from the supposed first hand accounts. I had never found practical work to be so informative before, I used to just think of spells as the end product to theory work; the more theory, the more powerful the spell. This hypothesis had rang true before but apparently not so in the case of animagi.

I was amazed to see my paws, even more so amazed to notice that the desks in the classroom were slighter taller than before, the floor seemed slightly larger than before too. I suppose it was these initial changes in perspective which allowed me to learn I had actually managed a true transformation.

I didn’t have much time to revel in my achievement when I felt the familiar, annoying snap inside which signaled the end of my achievement. At least I knew I was getting a heck of a lot closer to my goal. And what was even more amazing I was managing without any severe hiccups which was good considering I was supposed to have ministry supervision. At least I could say I did it on my own merits. All I had to do now was keep going until I could sustain the transformations.

A/N: As promised, more animagus action :) This chapter was written pretty recently, I only finished it yesterday (Friday) I hope you like it, I just thought it needed this added in. I'm hoping to get more chapters up as soon as possible considering I'm going on holiday soon. I know where I want to leave it but I'm not sure if it will all be up in time, the queue is rather long. Before I go, thanks a million to everyone who reviews, they make me smile :) Alex.

Chapter 13: The Thirteenth.
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I was just on my way outside to practice my animagus form again, last time I had managed it completely but only for a few minutes. At least now I had some idea of what I was going to be. I hadn’t wandered past a mirror or anything in my animal form but I now knew I was quite big with large paws and a tail. A cat-like tail I was fairly sure. When I tried to transform last time, my tail didn’t vanish until a few minutes after the rest of the animal. The longest four minutes of my life which was spent in a state of severe panic.

It was late, far past bed time but I didn’t really care. Being prefect was a viable excuse for staying out late, I would just say I was completing patrols of the grounds and no-one would be any the wiser as to my own personal goal. Plus no one was going to find out, I had strayed around a spot on the outskirts of the forest. Not many people went that far out from the castle, especially not at night.

I remembered sitting there with the big black dog so I sat down in some foolish hope that it would show up, I needed some company that wouldn’t ask any questions. It had been just under a week since the Hogsmeade incident and Remus hadn’t been in class since Thursday. His uncle must really have been sick, usually he just stayed away for a day but he had been gone for two days so far.

I asked Sirius about the day before it but he just said that Remus wasn’t feeling very well either and that it had been a tough month. Then he said something about Remus being back in a couple of days time or sooner, it was always better after he came back rather than leading up to his visits. This thoroughly confused me.

Sirius had become a really good friend to me, I was glad too. Not just because he was helping me get closer to Remus but he was a really good listener and I could tell I could trust him not to tell Remus about my thoughts. Not to mention that being his friend pretty much meant that every girl in school was nicer to me in the hope I would introduce them. Even if they had been introduced before.

Even Camilla seemed like she was being nicer to me, as nice as she could get having the sense that I liked her boyfriend so much and the knowledge I hated her. She didn’t spend nearly as much time with Remus as I would have thought although I had noticed he tends to keep people at a distance, apart from James, Peter and Sirius. Maybe he was keeping her at a distance too.

When we did all sit together, usually after studying, he seemed much more calm but in classes I got the feeling he wasn’t telling me much. The conversation was always superficial. I kind of wished that he would actually talk to me for a change, not just chatter. Sometimes he would look at me as though he wanted to properly talk to me but he always seemed to think the better of it. I would get annoyed but I didn’t think it would help and there was something about him which stopped me getting annoyed at him.

I was twiddling my wand in-between my fingers as I thought. Somehow my hand and fingers traced the shapes of the spells which I needed. I had even brought a bag with me which I would hopefully be able to stow my wand in as quickly as possible so I could find it easier later. You know because I was changing near woodland, wouldn’t want to drop it in amongst the other branches. When I started to transform, it was not quite instantaneous yet, I put my wand in the bag and placed it beside a noticeable looking rock.

Obviously I did that pretty quickly because before I knew it, the trees all looked slightly bigger and the grass became much clearer. I could see every twig, every leaf and every little bug that was running about. Usually the bugs would creep the heck out of me but I just accepted it.

I was a leopard which was an awesome realization as I looked at my body. But as you’ve guessed, I wasn’t the golden leopard which would first come to mind. I was a melanistic leopard, completely black, like a panther although some spots were visible but not many. I just figured it was because it was so late, it was past eleven and the trees were inly illuminated by the moonlight. It was full tonight.

I was expecting to be human again pretty soon so I just walked about in circles and enjoyed the new sight I had, none of the books had mentioned this but maybe it was just specific to the animal into which you transformed. I had no idea the books had been pretty sketchy on the whole changing thing. Maybe I got the senses that the animal had, it was only guesswork.

It must have been at least ten minutes before I realised I had fully managed it. A really long ten minutes. I had pretty much curled up and waited so I could get my wand and go back to the castle. I would’ve been cold had I still been human but I was oddly warm right now as a panther.

I started to go for a prowl, well not really but I liked the word, prowl. I was a prowling panther. Prowl, prowl, prowl. I walked into the forest for the first time since I had come to Hogwarts. I was told the forest was out of bounds as a first year and I listened, I just figured the rule did not apply when you weren’t exactly human. Maybe.

I hadn’t realised I was straying towards the whomping willow, I didn’t go near the tree, I wasn’t stupid but I was now in the patch of forest which was closest to it, having too much fun to paying attention to it swishing and trashing, or rather it’s lack of swishing. I was having too much fun.

I managed to spot another sign of life within the forest, besides the bugs, I hadn’t seen any interesting creatures yet even though the forest was supposedly full of them. I guess I hadn’t gone in far enough. The life which I saw wasn’t particularly interesting but I was having too much fun to care wether or not it was a dragon or even a rat. It was a rat, but a really big rat.

I think it must have spotted me because it started to run away. Pretty cowardly if you ask me but I wanted to play. So I chased it. I guess it wasn’t exactly the most fair chase in the world considering I was about seventeen times the size of the rat but it was the only animal I could see so it was getting a game. I caught it a little too easily to have enjoyed the game. Even if the running part was getting better every time.

I had my paw on it’s tail so it couldn’t run away again, it was going to be my friend, sort of. I don’t think it got my thought because it started squeaking like mad. Trying to get out of my hold. I could consciously feel my tail flicking back and forth, I was having a good time. It was weird being able to feel a tail. I’d never had a tail before. I probably looked like a common house-cat.

I gather from it’s reaction that it thought I was going to eat it. I laughed at it when I was laughing in my thoughts Icould feel my lips stretching back to reveal a grin and what were probably some very sharp teeth.

I heard a noise in the background and my head snapped up to locate it. I guess the phrase cat-like reflexes came from that reaction. It was the black dog, it was bounding towards us. I wondered curiously for a second if it would recognize me in this form. Animals were known for having amazing senses.

Apparently it did not recognize me because it was snarling at me. I still had my paw on the rat’s tail but I was glaring at the dog who was approaching much more slowly now but with larger growls. It bore it’s teeth so I decided to return the gesture. Mine were surely bigger than the dog’s. I think I was larger than the dog because I registered the fact I had to look down slightly to look directly into it’s eyes.

They were a steely grey and were cold. The dog apparently did not like cats. I could barely hear the rat’s squeaks over the snarls. My fun had been ruined by the dog. Maybe it wanted to play a game. I was in the mood for chasing something and it would probably be quicker than the rat. I was just away to let it scamper off when the dog’s growls exploded into barks which were ridiculously loud. I barely had time to register the fact it was running towards me.

I took my paw off the rat’s tail and I saw it scurry up a gentle slope and amazingly, up a stag’s leg and onto it’s shoulder. What the hell was going on?

I did not ponder on this thought, partly because I was not allowed to. I had no sooner released the rat when I felt the dog lunge at me, knocking me over and causing us both to roll and tumble into a shallow dip. I could feel the dog jump off of me and make to leave.

I guess I was pretty annoyed that it had attacked me for no reason or I assumed it was a game maybe my pride had been wounded by the ease with which the dog had floored me, either way I wasn’t going to let it get away with jumping at me, my shoulder was slightly stiff but I got up quicker than expected.

The dog was beginning to turn away when I pounced. It hadn’t been expecting it but at least this time we didn’t have an audience. The stag had ran off into the distance at the howling sounds which were coming from the shrieking shack. The stupid animal wouldn’t have known of ghosts or how harmless they truly are.

When my claws collided with the dog’s shoulder, they made no scratch or wound, they simply pushed the dog. The force was immense but I managed to keep myself up right. I took a new stance when my paws touched the ground softly after leaping away from the dog, leaning forward slightly and preparing for it’s next move, maybe this would be fun.

It lunged and I jumped, agile as ever, out of it’s way so it almost slammed with a tree. It barked at me and I roared back. I hadn’t realised how loud my voice could be, but I would show this dog. Nobody beats me, not the dog, not Remus and definitely not the blonde skank who had stolen him from me.

My anger was taking over which I shouldn’t have let happen but it made me feel stronger and I loved feeling stronger. It was vindicating, knowing I could be in control. I lunged at the dog again but my strength had clouded my judgement as well as my agility. Either that or the dog got lucky, really bloody lucky.

I felt it’s teeth sink into my shoulder, I could feel the blood run warm and think into my fur. It also landed a swipe across my right side. Leaving three very distinct and agonizing slash marks. I roared again and managed to land a bite into the dog’s back leg. It wasn’t very satisfying though as the dog still managed to run away.

I was in a lot of pain as I ran back through the forest, trying to get back to my wand. I knew that once I got to it, I could at least stop the bleeding. Even if the scars wouldn’t heal. It was strange knowing exactly where to go. I guess animalistic senses were under-rated. I kept running until I got there.

I changed back almost naturally, instinct kicking in. I scrambled at the rock and retrieved my wand to perform the necessary spells before the blood soaked through my shirt, luckily it hadn't gotten to that stage yet. I would examine my injures and my spellwork tomorrow I decided. I just wanted to sleep.



A/N: Yay! Animagus stuff, I really enjoyed writing this and I hope you didn't miss the dialogue too much. The next chapter has more :) Hope you liked this chapter even though it was shorter than the other ones which are quite short themselves. Reviews would be lovely but you guys are pretty good at making me smile in them :D Alex

Chapter 14: The Fourteenth.
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Needless to say, I went to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Unfortunately I couldn’t really enjoy this sleep because when I did finally wake up, it was with a splitting pain in my side. For all I knew I could have been split in half, I didn’t really check before I had gone to bed. The animagus transformation had really taken everything out of me and then when you factor in the mini-fight I had with the dog; I was knackered.

I closed the curtains on my four poster, something I hadn’t bothered to do the night before, for some privacy. Once the navy curtains were screening me from the others, I lifted my shirt tentatively to check the damage I had caused myself. I winced. Three great big scars that ran from just below my belly button to the bottom of my ribcage. I was building up quite the collection. They looked as though they should have been bleeding even though they weren’t. At least I knew my spells had held, which was surprising considering I had never been very good with healing spells.

I checked my watch, it was still fairly dark outside and I had figured out the cause of my discomfort, beyond the obvious reasons. I’m a right right sleeper and the dog, having collided with my right shoulder and mauled the right hand side of my torso, had prevented me from assuming my usual sleeping position. It was five thirty, on a Saturday. Which was ridiculous. I looked at my scars again and immediately wished I hadn’t. They looked hideous, clearly I wasn’t as talented as I’d first assumed. I shimmied myself into my pajamas so the other wouldn’t know I was out. The sheer effort of this allowed me to fall back to sleep.

I woke up again at five past seven. Much more reasonable if you ask me, or anyone for that matter. I thought about going to Madam Pomfrey, so she could check over the scars. I thought the better of this because she would no doubt ask me where they had come from and I was a terrible liar, plus I didn’t even know how I had gotten the scars on my back, I’d had those for ages. Then I thought about going to McGonagall, about the animagus thing, I thought the better of that too. I would have to explain to her why I had been practicing illegally for months and I had no logical explanation for that either.

I realised I had around an hour before everyone else woke up, maybe I should visit Pomfrey. I was shuffling to the hospital wing, there seemed to be a dull pain when I walked so shuffling seemed like a much better idea than walking. I was just away to go in when I heard her bustling over a patient. I was curious I’ll admit. I couldn’t really see why someone would be in the hospital wing so early, then again I was away to go in at the same time. But I figured I was an exceptional case. How many exceptional cases could there be at Hogwarts?

“Remus, you should be better soon as long as you take your potions at the times I have scheduled. Overall it seems like it’s been a good month.”

“Yes, Madam Pomfrey. I know when to take them.”

“I’ve told you a million times, Remus. You can call me Poppy, I certainly know you well enough by now.”

“Right, of course.”

How strange, in fact it was much more than strange. It was downright baffling. I felt peculiar listening in to the conversation but it wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose. Plus I justified it with the thought that it would be much ruder to interrupt. Had it not been so early, this would have sent my brain whirring, as it was early all I could conclude was this:

Remus was ill, that was a given. He knew he was ill and, from what I could tell by his dull answers, he was perfectly aware of what was going on, unlike myself, as well as finding Madam Pomfrey or ‘Poppy’ rather patronizing. He must have been in the hospital wing a lot before he was allowed to first name Pomfrey. I hoped quietly it was nothing serious but left them to it, it was clearly private.

I decided instead to make my way to breakfast, I was suddenly ravenous for some reason and I figured getting some energy wasn’t going to be a bad thing. I shuffled away from the hospital wing quietly and once I was out of hearing range I began to walk properly again. People would ask questions if I decided to completely change my walking style over night. I couldn’t have people asking questions.

We only had to sit on the house tables for supper which was always at a set time. Most people just stuck to their house tables all the time, no idea why but I was not going to be the one to break tradition. Ever. I was the only seventh year Ravenclaw up. Fantastic. I always felt weird eating on my own. Luckily, or unluckily I didn’t have to eat on my own. The marauders had decided to join me after five minutes of solitude.

Sirius sat next to me, Peter next to him with Remus opposite me next to James who was having an arm wrestle with Sirius. On his way past to get to the other side of the table, Remus decided to try and tickle me. I know right, what the hell? Well anyway he went for the wrong side, my sore side, and before he had barely touched me I jolted to the side. It was pretty painful still.

It probably gave him the complete wrong impression which was probably for the best seeing as he had a girlfriend and usually didn’t go around try to tickle people. Clearly something about being ill made him flirty? I had no idea and I was too tired to care. Hopefully he wouldn’t try again in the future. I hated tickling even if I didn’t have three slits in my side. Although if it was Remus who was doing the tickling…

No sooner had they sat down when Lily and Camilla came to join us. I was quite glad to see that Lily didn’t seem to like Camilla either, she looked pretty irritated as Camilla jabbered away to her. She smiled when she sat next to James, probably because there was now a two man wall between her and the blonde.

“Morning guys.” Camilla said, emphasizing the guys. It was weird but it was fun having her not like me.

“Morning Clarissa.” I said with way too much cheer. It wiped the smile right of her face. Sirius spluttered on his pumpkin juice.

“It’s Camilla.” She said with steely eyes. As she did every time I called her a wrong name, probably not realising it made it more fun.

“Well I’m getting closer then, you’re just so forgettable I guess.” I smiled at her. That was the trick, guys didn’t notice bitchiness if you were smiling. Well Sirius noticed but he knew I hated her.

“Whatever.” She tried to sound indifferent but failed miserably. “So what is everyone up to in the holidays then?” She asked, clearly ignoring me.

“Not much, figured I might stay seeing as it’s our last year an everything,” Sirius said, rubbing his shoulder, “might as well stay.”

“There’s no point staying just because you can. I’m going skiing in France with some of the other girls in sixth.”

“Sixth year.” I told her.

“What?”

“Sixth year. It’s just one extra word and it makes more sense.” I realised I was being incredibly picky about this but I didn’t care, sixth year just sounded better, plus it was Camilla.

“Whatever, just because you’re not doing anything nearly as fun.”

“I’m staying for the holidays anyway. My parents are going away for Christmas.”

“Sounds like fun,” she said sarcastically.

“I’m sure it will be, what with the marauders staying behind as well,” Sirius said with a grin, “we’ll have a grand old time.”

“You’re all staying behind?”

“Yep. Well Peter’s undecided but we’re trying to bring him round.”

“I think my mum will want me home,” Peter said, “I might stay though.”

“I’m probably going to be the only Ravenclaw left. Spencer and Tom are both going on holiday, Isabelle and Maia were thinking about staying too but I don’t think I did a very good job of convincing them. Annabelle is definitely going home.”

“Well that’s Peter going home then,” James said, “the only reason he was staying before was Annabelle and she’s going.”

“Why are we even discussing this now? The holidays don’t start until a month,” Peter said, clearly the only reason he was staying was Annabelle and he didn’t want to admit it.

“I don’t know, Casey brought it up,” Sirius said. It took a lot of effort for me to stifle a laugh when Camilla dug her fork into the table and gave Sirius a basilisk glare. He looked equally annoyed or just frustrated but he kept rubbing his shoulder. It must have been sore or something. “Let’s talk about Quidditch.” Lily rolled her eyes as James perked up his ears.

“What about Quidditch?” James asked eagerly.

“The match is next weekend,” I stated, “Ravenclaw versus Hufflepuff.”

“Should be a good one. I heard that the new seeker for Hufflepuff is pretty good. One of the chasers are new too,” Sirius said.

“Not as good as me though, obviously,” James said and then noticing Lily’s look, “but everyone has good skills to being a chaser, I just happen to have more.”

“And this isn’t the ego talking?” She asked.

“No, this would be the common sense. Everyone knows I’m awesome at Quidditch. Ask the younger years - they’re awed on a regular basis by my Quidditch skills.”

“I’m awed by your ego,” Sirius laughed, “so much for a deflation.”

“This is a deflation,” Lily laughed, putting her hand under his chin and giving him a quick kiss, “now he can keep his head up.”

“Enough about my ego, it’s at a perfectly healthy size I’ll have you know.”

“So you guys think the Quidditch match will be okay then?” I asked nervously. If I was honest with myself I was terrified. Practice was one thing but an actual match could go on for hours. Hopefully it would all be over quickly and hopefully Derek would be the one to catch the snitch.

“I’m sure you’ll be fantastic, you were really good when we came to watch your practices,” Remus said with a smile. He must have noticed I was nervous.

“Except when I fell off my broom,” I laughed.

“Yes, well apart from then.”

“You fell off you broom?” Camilla snorted, “how did you even make it on the team if you can’t fly a broom straight.”

“I got hit in the head by a bludger, it had nothing to do with my flying skills.”

“Well you can’t be a very good beater if you can’t even keep the bludger away from yourself.”

It was probably getting awkward on the table but I didn’t care. I was getting pretty pissed off with my whole situation so I wasn’t very keen on having her slag off my Quidditch skills too. I really wanted to hit her. Actually, I really wanted to snog Remus but Camilla was stroking his arm which was stopping him from finishing his breakfast and blocking my path if I were to randomly jump him. He was too polite to tell her to stop and he looked like he needed the meal.

“Well Sirius was mooning the pitch at the time so I wasn’t really paying attention.”

“Hey! It’s not my fault you weren’t paying attention. It was because you were too busy gawking at…” Luckily he caught my evil stare before he finished that sentence. I may have murdered him if he had. That wouldn’t have gone down very well at all.

“Gawking at what?” Remus asked curiously. I prayed to Merlin that Sirius would not answer that question, at least not seriously.

“My beautiful bottom, that’s what. It’s pretty clear why it would daze her I mean it is spectacular.”

“Of course,” I said in a monotone voice, “I just couldn’t get enough of your arse.”

“Not many people can. It should be a national treasure.”

“Well, whatever,” Camilla said, I had noticed she did this whenever the conversation wasn’t working for her, “you still fell off your broom. My brother’s only eight and he can fly better than you.”

“Excuse me?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. As much as I hated her it was uncommon for her to be publicly rude.

“You heard me.”

It was really icy on the table after that. Remus had shaken her off of his arm and was putting a lot of concentration into eating his breakfast. I was sitting giving Camilla evil looks as everyone else avoided looking at either of us. Lily and James were talking to each other quietly so as not to break the silence. Peter kept looking at the door to see if Annabelle was coming to rescue him from the awkward situation. Sirius was still rubbing his damn shoulder, it was starting to annoy me.

Sirius lifted up his knife and started stroking the air with it. Everyone looked at him with the same puzzled expression. “What?” He grinned, “I’m just trying to see if you really can cut tension with a knife.” Everyone laughed or snickered, obviously Sirius would be the one to break the silence.

“Well I have to get to class.” I said suddenly, getting up from the table and leaving. A triumphant look flashed across Camilla’s face. “Lots of studying to do.”

The sidetrack had made me completely forget about going to the hospital wing, besides, it would be busier now and Madam Pomfrey would probably wonder where I had accumulated my injuries and I was glad to have my own little secret. I didn’t have many and I was glad to add one to my collection.




A/N: First off, a massive thanks to everyone who reviewed I woke up to a few this morning and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, people actually noticed too! Hope you all like this chapter as much as the others. I also hope you guys have a nice day like I did :) Even the first years which I have to show around didn't annoy me, and that's saying something! Alex :)

Chapter 15: The Fifteenth.
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It was the day of the quidditch match. As usual the first match would be played at the end of November. It’s fair to say I was nervous. Really nervous. To be honest I had spent the half hour beforehand throwing up even though I had had nothing to eat.

Maia was in the bathroom with me. It was early in the morning and we were just heading down to the great hall to eat breakfast with the team before going to the changing rooms. The moment she had mentioned food I ran to the bathroom.

I was not ready for this. What if I couldn’t play at all but I was just the best alternative they could find? What if I fell off my broom in the middle of a match. That would be so much more embarrassing than it was last time. although this time there was less of a chance that Remus would catch my eye and hold me gaze.

I told the team that I was fine after falling off my broom. A two day nap was just the thing I needed to clear my head. Honestly, I was terrified. If I fell off this time, there was a good chance my wounds would open up thanks to my patchy spell work and I would have a pretty tough time explaining what happened. I had to tell myself repeatedly that I was not going to fall off my broom.

Once I had finished with my miniature nervous breakdown, Maia once again suggested we get something to eat. I would need something to keep me going during the match. I went for toast. Toast was simple. Not to mention the fact that I was not in the mood for greasy bacon or sausages. Toast would suit me fine.

We went out to the changing rooms followed by cheers from the Ravenclaw table. It felt good to have people supporting the team but it felt horrible at the same time to have people dependent upon a win. I didn’t want to disappoint.

I knew I was not the most important player on the team, most people would be cheering the chasers on. They had the fastest action pace. The next person to be cheered was the seeker, the big point earner. We were the ones who got booed by the opposing team. Their booing was our equivalent of cheers.

“Spencer?” I asked nervously.

“Is something wrong?” He asked, clearly worried by my tone.

“How nervous were you before your first match?”

I felt silly and childish asking him this. But I just needed the assurance that I was acting normally. Maia seemed completely fine and I did not want to be the nervous one.

“I was terrified.” He admitted with a smile. “Do you not remember me moaning at you for weeks before the match about how worried I was?”

“I remember now,” I told him, “and thanks, for making me feel better. I was worried I’d fall off my broom with an audience this time.”

“The last time you fell off was only because I hit a bludger at you. I’m too good a beater.” He laughed.

“Yeah, thanks for that. I don’t really fancy another stint in the hospital wing.”

“Good because everyone was tired of sitting next to you. Especially Remus, the poor guy had bags under his eyes.”

“Really? Remus was there? None of you had to sit next to me. I was completely fine.”

“Well we wanted to make sure you were fine. Remus was there practically twenty four hours a day.” He said, thankfully not registering the motives behind my question about Remus. My heart fluttered, I hadn’t known Remus had been sitting beside me and from the sounds of things he had been sitting beside me a lot.

“Thanks. Anyway we’d better get going, the match is away to start.”

The team walked out together onto the pitch. First Tom, then Maia, Charles and Amber after them were me and Spencer and then Derek. There was a huge cheer from the stands. Even the Hufflepuffs cheered. They were extremely good sports. The Slytherins jeered but that was to be expected. They jeered every team, even their own sometimes.

I was desperately searching the stands for Remus, hoping not to see him with Camilla. I hadn’t gotten over him yet and I wasn’t sure why. He was just a boy, I told myself this I tried to clear my head before the match. He is nothing more than a boy. Unfortunately he was with Camilla. God I hated her and I didn’t know why. Well I knew why I just couldn’t justify it in my head. Not that I cared about the justification.

I had however, accepted the fact that Camilla was in it for the long haul, even if her intentions were to annoy as many people as she could, she was not going to relinquish her grasp on Remus and he was unlikely to leave her. Apart from Peter, Remus had had the least amount of luck with girls. He never seemed to be interested in getting too close. Something which was unfortunately in a lot of my own thoughts.

When I was finally up in the air, I was facing the Hufflepuff beater, Cresswell. He was the smaller of the two beaters, a sixth year but still larger than me. I had to trust that my accuracy and speed would make up for my lack of strength. I was gripping on to my bat much too tightly when the starting whistle was blown. I had to calm down and trust I could do it.

I tailed the bludger, occasionally hitting it away from my teammates but not hitting it too hard. I wasn’t going to give it away to Cresswell anytime soon. I had one objective which I shared with Spencer. Take out the seeker, that way the only way to end the game would be on Ravenclaw terms. It sounds easy enough of course but the seeker was the fastest player on the team, rivaling the speed of the snitch.

“Ten points to Ravenclaw! Hawk scores!” The commentator was shouting even though his voice was being amplified by his wand which was pointed at his neck. I rejoiced in Maia’s score briefly before returning to the bludger.

I had spotted the Hufflepuff seeker and the bludger which I was tailing. Now all I had to do was figure out a flight path as well as estimate the force and direction necessary to hit him. Wether or not I had the strength to un-mount him was another thing.

I wished to transform. I loved the feeling of power I had when I was a leopard. I felt stronger, better. I knew it was something else but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. The darker cat was much more fun and appealing to me, to be in power. I always thought of the animal as something else, something that was not me.

I was just chasing the bludger at this point. I managed to catch Remus’ eye as I flew past the Gryffindor stands. Only briefly but still, I could sense he was watching me rather than the action of the match. I could also see that Camilla was trying to flaunt him. Even when I was playing. He didn’t seem to enjoy being flaunted. To be honest he barely looked as though he enjoyed her company.

I remember getting angry at her, at him at anyone who knew I liked Remus. I never gave away secrets yet I had offered that one willingly to anyone who had asked because I thought it would make it better somehow. Now I was stuck watching him with the skank who was probably only in it for his looks.

I was equally amazed to see that my anger in the match affected me in the same way it had during the fight. I could feel myself getting stronger, not by vast amount like I had as the animal but sure enough, I knew it. The muscles in my arms tightened as my darker side took over.

I swung the bat as hard as I could at the bludger, not bothering to aim properly. It sped off like a nimbus. It felt fantastic to release all the pent up anger. But I liked the feeling of being strong. I looked to see if the bludger had hit. It had. One of the Hufflepuff chasers was now tottering around on the pitch. I was proud of myself despite the booing which came from the Hufflepuff stands. It was a bloody good hit.

Sure I hadn’t got the seeker, but one of the chasers being down was definitely not a bad thing. I received a flying high five from Spencer as he congratulated me on the hit. I also heard Sirius laughing and cheering, he had never believed I had the strength for a beater. Well, I didn’t, the animal did but I was happy to have it control me. I looked around the stands to try and find Camilla so I could get angry again. I might as well use this to my advantage.

“Another ten points to Ravenclaw now that Jackson is out of the game.”

I smiled at the sound of another goal, I wished briefly that I could watch the action but realised how much more fun it was to be a part of it. I kept looking round the stands as I flew. I saw Snape cheering as he caught my eye. I had been talking to him more and he wasn’t as weird as the marauders said. They’re bullying of him was quite unfair I decided. Unfortunately this thought did not get me angry, more disappointed in my friends behavior. I needed a better emotion if I was going to unseat anyone else.

I saw Camilla which gave me a glimmer of hope that I could get my strength back. She didn’t have her arm draped round Remus, she wasn’t laughing or talking in her annoying voice. She was just sitting, reasonably quietly watching the match as Remus watched with his friends. Damn. I guess that was my fill of anger for the day. I even tried to anger myself with this thought but nothing happened. Maybe the anger wasn’t a part of the strength after all.

I continued for the rest of the match flying around aimlessly hitting the bludger away from our team every so often. I barely listened as Ravenclaw scored another two hoops and Hufflepuff scored one. It was fifty-ten and the match pace was slowing as the players got tired. I willed Derek to catch the snitch quickly, it was the only way we would win. I knew he could to it. Between you and me, the Hufflepuff seeker only got on the team because his dad used to play for the wasps. He wasn’t very good himself.

I heard an outburst from the crowd as I slammed my bat into the bludger again. Happy cheers this time. Not booing or sneers. I knew my bludger wasn’t going to hit anything. I just needed something, anything to do. I looked around and saw that Derek had caught the snitch. Little Derek who had been so nervous the past few months was pounding his fist in the air, the snitch inside.

I left the changing rooms last, waiting before heading up to Ravenclaw tower. I would go later, when it wasn’t as noisy. I just wanted to take my time and not rush my way there.

“Good game, Warrender.” I heard from behind me, “that was a fantastic hit.”

“Thanks Snape.” I said turning round to face him, I had no idea why he was even talking to me but I wasn’t going to be rude.

“You managed to use your anger well.”

What? Was it that obvious I was angry at the time? I would have to learn to control my facial expressions so people didn’t think I was a psycho. Maybe Snape was just observant. He walked away before I could even reply.

I buried all thoughts of animagi, of weirdo Snape saying weirdo things and most importantly of Remus. I should be able to allow myself one party in the common room without feeling disappointed that Remus wouldn’t be able to attend. Heck, I should be allowed to spend as much time as I want not thinking about him. Shame the only thing I ever do is think about him.


A/N: Quidditch :) And no, this isn't a world cup tribute although it is well timed to be ;) A nice little break for the action for you, it was fun to write. And yay, the queue is shorter, hopefully I'll get the chapters up quicker too! Thanks for reading :D Alex.

Chapter 16: The Sixteenth.
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“Nyx!”

“I think she’s in some kind of chocolate related coma.”

“Wake up you idiot!”

The voices were being very rude. I was trying to open my eyes, they just didn’t want to co-operate. At all. I grumbled a few rude syllables as they laughed. I tossed about in my bed as I tried to wake myself up. It had been a pretty late night.

“It’s the first day of the holidays Nyx, we’re all going to Hogsmeade as a year group considering not many of us stayed over Christmas. Just us losers because you told us to so you better get up. If you don’t get up we will leave without you and you shall be forced to stay in the castle alone.”

“I bet Remus would love that, but only if he stayed all alone too.”

“Shut up.” I grumbled, trying to throw something

“So how are thing going with Remus?” I heard the voices say very sweetly before a pillow collided with my head.

I hated my friends at this point. I had finally managed to open my eyes and I was barraged with clothes from my trunk which I was to put on immediately so we could go to Hogsmeade first and actually get a table in the Three-Broomsticks this close to Christmas.

We got to Hogsmeade relatively early, when we left the castle, most of the other students who had stayed for the holidays were eating breakfast or still in bed, where I wish I was. There was a thin layer of the snow on the ground, just enough to leave a footprint but not enough to soak through my shoes which I was sincerely glad of. I hadn’t been given enough time to put on any socks.

We walked towards the Three Broomsticks, knowing it would be nearly empty at this time of day. Hopefully we would get a table and then just sit there for three hours downing butterbeers until the rest of the seventh years who had stayed for Christmas joined us. Those who were invited anyway, Sirius had arranged it all so I was clueless.

He had promised to speak to me for ages about Remus. Apparently things weren’t looking too good between the two of them although Sirius insisted he had had nothing to do with it no matter how much he hated the girl. I was glad, Remus wouldn’t be too happy to find out that two people were trying to break them up. I was desperate to hear if I had an in or not. If I had no in then I was pretty much screwed.

Unfortunately, their relationship had passed that point. You know a month or so after the relationship starts. By this point it would just be mean to try and break them up. Not that I wouldn’t try. Sirius had informed me that he was trying too. He claimed that Remus was miserable with her. I then pointed out that if this were the case he would have dumped her by now and that if he was Remus’ friend he would be happy for him. I however, could do as I please.

We decided to have few drinks before the other got here. So far it was just Isabelle, Maia and me. Annabelle had gone home for the holidays like she always did. Isabelle usually took it year about and Maia skipped out on a skiing trip to spend her last christmas at Hogwarts in the castle. I guess I did a pretty good job at persuading them to stay. Tom and Spencer had gone on holiday with their families. Somehow they had both managed to convince their parents to book the same resort, near Braga in Portugal. No doubt next to the quidditch pitch.

Peter had gone home for the holidays too, so at least he wouldn’t be moping about Anna. His father had died a while back so he returned to his mother’s to look after her during the holidays. You could tell he thought the absolute world of her, even though he would be leaving his friends to keep her company, he didn’t seem at all upset. It was sweet. Annabelle had agreed.

So it would just be the three of us, the marauders, Lily and whoever they had invited from Hufflepuff and Slytherin. Although I had a feeling there would be no one from Slytherin present. They weren’t exactly the most sociable of people, especially not to Gryffindors and even more so the marauders.

When they arrived, I swerved to see where the Hufflepuffs were. It was just them and Lily. Not that I was disappointed, I liked Lily and everything but I had thought this was going to be a whole year thing. I had already joined a few tables together and there was only seven of us. There weren’t even any other Gryffindors, had all of Lily’s friends gone home for Christmas?

Sirius plonked himself down on the seat next to me, tossing an arm over my shoulder as if this were a completely natural thing to do. Ever since Camilla had so conveniently pointed out I was alone he had become very annoying; the arm thing wasn’t so bad, that I could accept it was the nicknames which drove me mad. Sirius sure had a thing for nicknames. I had a newer, more embarrassing one each day.

“Nyx, my adorable little niffler.” Maia snorted into her butterbeer so hard the foam went everywhere. Including Remus’ eye. Could this get any worse? “Can I have a magical moment to talk to you in a pretty little private place.” I swear to Merlin, I had never wanted to punch anyone as I had wanted to punch Sirius in that moment. I was very close to doing it to but I figured Remus wouldn’t want to date a nutcase. You know, apart from the one he was already dating.

“Of course,” I smiled a huge fake grin and batted my eyelashes at him, “how about we talk over there.” I pointed, well jabbed, towards the other end of the restaurant. Hopefully it was far enough away so that if I kicked him they wouldn’t notice.

“What do you want?” I asked him after yanking him into a dingy corner behind a Christmas tree. I was marginally aware the rest of the table were watching and possibly listening. Which is probably why Sirius started to chuckle throatily even though I was giving him a death-glare.

“Well firstly, I would like you to be a lot nicer to your lovely friend who is so nice to you and had concocted a fool-proof plan to get Remus with the right girl. Secondly I thought I’d just take myself and Remus along to our little dinner to make it a lot more personal. Now everyone knows everyone and we can all talk as much as we want, schnoogums,” he added with a smirk at me, “not to mention the fact it’s good to let Remus see how close we are.”

“I’m confused,” I admitted, rubbing my forehead, “how is Remus thinking that we’re close a good thing?”

“Because, you moron, he will get unbelievably jealous, he likes you a lot. Only idiots fight fire with water. Fire is the good way to go. Fire with fire, simple really.”

“Remember last time you said that he liked me? I recall Remus then snogging the blonde. Maybe you don’t know him as well as you think.”

“Look, if Remus doesn’t like you then what’s the harm in you flirting a bit with me in his presence and if he does, it will make him realise that he wants you. It’s win-win.”

“What do you win?” I asked, suspicious.

“I get Camilla as far away as possible, she’s a freaking stalker. Not to mention Remus won’t complain as much, he’s been rather grumpy lately and I don’t like having him moping around the common room.”

“If he does like me, it seems like a pretty low thing to do to him.”

“Why do you think he started dating Camilla?” He asked as though it were obvious.

“I doubt that, if it was, he would have dumped her ages ago. Plus, I’m single, why would he need to make me jealous?”I was sure I had stumped him there. Honestly, the whispered argument was quite fun. Maybe I would finally win an argument with Sirius Black. Then again, maybe not.

“Well, remember that day in Hogsmeade? You were with Maia. Remus thought you were dating Spencer again. You kissed him when you said goodbye.” He said as though the entire situation was my fault.

“On the cheek! We’re good friends.”

“Still, that’s like a full on snog to Remus. Not to mention you used to date.”

“No a full on snog was what he was doing with Camilla in the alley.”

“Because he wanted to make you jealous, not to mention Camilla threw herself at him and he’s never had a girlfriend before. I’d have been more surprised if he’d said no even if that would have been the more Remus-like thing to do.” Sirius said bluntly. “I would defy any guy to say no to that.”

“Okay, say he does like me, isn’t this a pretty bad way of getting him to like me? The girls just thought I should be nice to him and everything. You know, the normal way of getting someone to notice you.”

“No Nyx, this is the perfect way to go about it. Anyway he did it to you. And this is the normal way, at least for guys. Maybe we’ll try a mixture of both.”

“Remus isn’t like most guys. He wouldn’t do that to you, not to mention Camilla.” I pointed out.

“He’s still a guy and you’re really good looking for Hogwarts standards, if Remus didn’t like you so much I’d go after you myself which by the way is something Camilla wouldn’t be too happy about, she’s going out with Remus to make me jealous and I think he knows it. Look just go along with it. Just until new year, let’s start it on a high.” He said this all in a matter-of-fact tone as well as a whisper. I had to strain my ears to keep up.

“Fine, one more question, why are you helping me when there are heaps of girls who are much sweeter than I am or better suited for Remus?”

“Remus needs someone made of studier stuff, trust me. You’re perfectly suited. You don’t scare easy. Plus I really hate Camilla, I want to show her that me and her are never going to happen again and what better way to do that by going out with a really hot girl.” He laughed. “Right, make this convincing Warrender otherwise it’ll just be awkward.”

I was just away to ask what he meant when suddenly his lips were on mine. He could have given me a little warning at least. I wrapped my arms around his neck after the initial shock of it. I opened one eye to see the entire table was looking at us apart from Remus who was playing with his drink. I thought I acted that pretty well. It was nothing more than a friendly smooch although Sirius was pretty good at pretending there was some tongue action going on. I cannot stress enough that there was no tongue action at all, despite what it looked like.

“Where the heck did you learn to fake-kiss?” I whispered in his ear. Apparently Sirius was a man of many talents. He just chuckled and shrugged. I had a feeling he was enjoying this little game. A nice way to entertain himself without having someone to prank. They’d promised not to until Peter got back, he didn’t want to be left out

We walked back out of the cramped corner to the group, I still wasn’t sure of his plan to be honest. Making Remus jealous didn’t seem like the right way to go about it, but if it was the only way then I guess I should give it a shot. I squeezed Sirius’ arm as he led me back to the table for a seat, he even pulled it out for me. I couldn’t help but smirk.

“You two seem cosy.” Remus mentioned, maybe Sirius was right. I should hire him as a love guru, or pimp him out for hundreds of galleons. Although I did feel bad for Remus, and even Camilla. Clearly something was softening me up. Probably too much contact with a guy as nice as Remus.

“Just talking about new year is all.” Sirius said, winking a profuse number of times.

“We get it Padfoot,” Remus said angrily, “no need to keep going on about how you bagged Nyx.”

“Bagged me?” I asked, eyebrows raised. What did that mean? Was he jealous of Sirius? I hope so. I was insanely jealous of Camilla, it was about time for some payback.

“Well not bagged you,” Remus said in a flustered tone, “because obviously you’re not a prize or anything, I mean you’re a girl, no a woman or I don’t know. You’re obviously not property to be won. Help me out Sirius?” He finally asked, desperate for help out of a tough explanation.

“Relax,” I said, laughing, “that’s not what I meant, but it’s nice to know you’re not sure if I’m a girl or not. I was simply wondering how Sirius bagged me, I was dateless before so it wasn’t exactly a challenge.”

“No, but you’re obviously out of his league and you’re not his usual type.”

“Is she now?” Sirius asked, squeezing my arm and grinning. He was going to lay it on thick apparently.

“Well I mean you usually go for the really pretty bimbos and the easy girls.”

“Thanks for that,” I said, offended.

“That’s not what I meant. You are pretty, really pretty, you’re just not a bimbo is all,” he said earnestly, apparently Remus was very keen on digging himself a very big hole today. I went to pay for the drinks leaving behind a very confused Remus and a chortling Sirius. This game of jealousy was clearly going to be interesting.

Sirius followed me to the register and put his arm around my waist. I looked at him but he just gave me a sign to play along with it. I still wasn’t sure if this was the best was to go about it but I was glad of any help I could get. Even if that help was in the form of the ridiculously good looking womanizer that was Sirius Black.

“By the way,” he whispered in my ear, “Remus thinks you’re a lot more than pretty.” I smiled at this and Sirius laughed like he’d told the hilarious joke about the hag in the tea shop. I was going to have to improve my acting skills for this to work, even if it was just for a fortnight until the bells struck. Then I could finally accept Remus did not fancy me and move on from this insane crush.

I went back to the common room that night with a very confused feeling and a lot of unwanted thoughts that kept telling me Sirius was right about Remus liking me. Although I cast them away by reading another book. I was not going to get my hopes up this time; at least not a lot.



A/N: Fool-proof plan huh? I'm hoping this was something unexpected and also to assure you Remus will be in the next chapter quite a bit ;) I also hope you all liked this chapter :D The last chapter got this story up to five-thousand views so thank you, thank you, thank you for reading! Hopefully I'll be writing more soon! The next chapter is already in the queue (4/6/10) Hope you liked it, Alexandra :) x

Chapter 17: The Seventeenth.
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We decided to go ice skating the next morning, our little holiday group that is. I was fairly certain that once the other Ravenclaws were back, Isabelle and Maia would go back to where they used to hang out with the other Ravenclaws. I wondered briefly if I would too. I mean sure it had been nice being friends with the marauders but if nothing happened between me and Remus by new year’s I didn’t really see much point in sticking around like an unwanted stalker.

I didn’t really want to go, I wasn’t very good at skating. Well I’d only been once and I had fallen over a lot. Maia assured me that everyone falls the first time but then they can do it easily the next time. I didn’t believe her. She pointed out that I was a quidditch player and I should therefore be well co-ordinated and have a good sense of balance. I pointed out I was a beater and that I would probably end up smashing something or trying to stab someone with an ice-skate.

Isabelle just spent the length of our discussion trying to guess the number of times I’d fall over or the number of times Sirius would try to snog me. That fake kiss had left a quite an impression apparently. She laughed when I tried to throw a library book at her. Then she laughed even harder as I rushed over to see if I’d ripped it or bent the spine. Then I returned it carefully to inside my bedside table. Thank god she hadn’t picked up, I’d forgotten it was an animagus book. If she had I probably would have been able to lie somewhat successfully but I’d rather I didn’t.

It had snowed the night before. I was silently praying that the snow had clogged up the ice so I wouldn’t have to skate on it. Maybe I could fake an ankle injury or something. Unfortunately it had also rained the night before, melting the snow and forming a sheen over the thick ice of the lake. I wondered briefly how the squid was getting on, maybe it liked the ice, I wouldn’t know. I remembered care of magical creatures lesson where Professor Kettleburn had explained that many magical creatures preferred the colder winters so that wizards wouldn’t try and bother them. Maybe the squid was the same but it liked the students so maybe not.

It was noon before I had finally been dragged out of the common room. When I got outside. I had to admit the lake looked pretty beautiful. The overnight snow had given the icy lake a sparkling layer which brightened up the greyness of the skies. Something about it just looked magical, beyond the obvious sense. The marauders were already there, James and Lily were laughing and skating. They were practically dancing on the ice they were so good at it. Suddenly I got very nervous. I slowed my walk down so the others got ahead and eventually started walking backwards, unnoticed. Back to the castle. I would have gotten away with it too had Sirius not noticed.

Maia and Isabelle were already at the lake before they noticed I was gone, and that was only because Sirius asked, looked around and then burst out laughing as I was still walking backwards. Damn. I was almost at the west entrance when Sirius started to jog over. I decided it was now safe enough to turn around and just go back to the warmth of the common room, or back into my bed. I turned on my heel and tried to get inside the door, unfortunately I couldn’t get to the handle. My hand just wouldn’t cross the distance to it. I looked behind me and sure enough, Sirius had cast a shield charm in front of the door.

“Why do you like to torture me?” I asked him, deadly serious.

“Fun. Petey’s gone and we promised not to pull any pranks with out him.”

“Annoy someone else?” I suggested.

“Like?”

“Dunno, Isabelle, Maia?” That’s right, I immediately threw in my friends as substitutes.

“Good to see how nice you are to your friends. Can’t, Isabelle’s an ex and Maia’s too calm, wouldn’t be any fun.”

“I really hate you sometimes, you know that?”

“Yep. I think I can live with it.”

“We’ll see. I might have to murder you.”

“I’ll take my chances. Now come on, I love ice skating and you’re supposed to be my fake-snog buddy. If it makes you feel any better Camilla and Remus have been arguing via owl.”

“That does make me feel better, which doesn’t really say much for me; but fine, I’ll do the stupid ice-skating thing.”

“Good. Let’s go. Want to hold my hand or will that result in murder?”

“Murder.”

“Fine, but we won’t be very convincing if it looks like you want to kill me.” He laughed.

We made our way over to the ice, Sirius practically had to drag me. Maia and Isabelle were both on the ice now too and three Hufflepuffs who weren’t in our year had rather liked the idea of skating on the lake so they joined us. Remus conjured them some skates from their own shoes, something they weren’t able to do themselves yet which made me think they must have been below third year. He smiled when their faces lit up and they got out onto the lake. He was so sweet.

I took a tentative step onto the lake. I still wasn’t very sure about it. I put my other foot onto the ice and tried to stand still for a moment. It didn’t help that James and Sirius were now racing each other around the lake. In fact that made it a whole lot worse, I could barely move without hearing a swoosh in my ears. Isabelle and Maia were standing a few feet away and trying to get me to skate over, it was like encouraging a child to take it’s first steps; it was ridiculous. Then again, so were they.

I skated forward, very slowly and as I did, they started to skate backwards to force me into traveling further and further out. They were mean. I tried to speed up in order to thwart their plans but ended up losing my balance. I would have preferred to have just fallen. Instead I tried to flail my arms about to steady myself and just when I thought it had worked I fell right over in the opposite direction, that direction being forwards. Luckily I managed to get my hands in front of my face in time, I thanked my brain for reacting quicker than I could.

I was in a sort of crawling position and I was very tempted just to crawl back on the bank on my hands and knees like the panther. Then I was tempted to turn into the panther and terrify them all but I decided against it. I wasn’t entirely sure if I was completely finished the transitional stages of transforming and I didn’t want to look like a fool, although that ship had clearly sailed. Instead I shuffled onto my feet and pushed myself up with my hands, almost tipping myself the other way.

“Nice fall, Nyx.” They were both laughing so hard they had doubled over.

“Thanks, glad you liked it.”

I decided that skating back to the bank was a good idea, there was no way in hell I was continuing after that fall. I changed my shoes back and sat down against a tree to look at the lake. Everyone else was having fun at least. I wished I’d brought a book or something with me so I could pass the time, four hours passed very slowly.

I was surprised they even managed to skate for that long. I probably looked bored beyond all belief which is probably why Remus skated over to keep me company. He had joined me after changing the Hufflepuffs’ skates back, it was mid evening and everyone else was finally getting bored too. Maia and Isabelle had gone back inside the castle for dinner after soaking each other with snow.

“Hey, you alright?” He asked.

“Yeah, I just scraped my knee a little but otherwise I’m in ship-shape.”

“I never knew you were so bad at skating.” He grinned, clearly very happy I wasn’t very good at something ,“Want me to teach you?”

“I’m not entirely sure if that’s such a good idea.” I told him honestly, with sharp skates on I was a hazard to everyone’s health.

“I suppose you’re right. Camilla and Sirius wouldn’t be too happy.”

“No, I meant because I’m so bad at it. Why would Camilla care if you taught me to skate?”

“I don’t know why I said that, she probably wouldn’t care very much, we’re not very close. I guess I was trying to tempt you into skating, it’s good fun if you give it a go.”

If he was willing to use Camilla as a way to get me to skate with him maybe he was just gong out with her to make me jealous although I still couldn’t see how that was very logical. I wondered briefly why on earth we had this weird love square thing going on. Then again, they weren’t Ravenclaws and I wasn’t a boy so I wasn’t going to argue with Sirius’ logic. “Alright then.”

“Great, follow me.” He waved his wand and my shoes were skates again. I walked over to the lake looking as though I’d peed myself because the skates were hard to walk in. I think ice skating is possibly the most embarrassing sport ever, if you’re bad at it.

We got to the edge of the lake and I stopped. I wasn’t keen on going back out on the ice. “I might just watch.” I laughed.

“Nope, I’m teaching you how to skate.” He grabbed my hand and dragged me onto the ice with a boyish smirk. He took my other hand and started to skate backwards as I shuffled my feet nervously. I was doing better than before at least. “See, it’s fun when you get going.”

I didn’t bother telling him the only reason I thought it was fun now was because he was holding my hands, because that’s pathetic. “Yeah, until I fall over again.”

“Don’t worry, you won’t fall over.”

I caught Sirius’ eye as he skated behind Remus and he gave me two thumbs up before going to the edge of the lake and disappearing into the castle. I figured he was congratulating me on both my skating and my contact with Remus. Now all I needed was for him to be single, unfortunately his girlfriend was hundreds of miles away and I doubted he’d be breaking up with her even if they had been fighting a lot. I was no fan of Camilla but I fairly certain that Remus was not going to be an asshole to her.

“I guess this is fun,” I said, smiling at him and blinking foolishly, “you’re a great teacher.” What did I think that batting my eyelids would suddenly turn him into a player? I don’t know.

“Thanks, you’re not so bad at skating, you just needed someone to help you along.”

“Well thanks for helping me along anyway. I think I’ll be an okay skater soon.”

Just as I said this, the tip of my skate chipped the ice and I tripped. Remus was still holding my hands so I was probably going to take him with me. I though we were both away to fall when he managed to get us both upright again, even if we were rather wobbly. I thought we were home dry but then I started to fall backwards so I kicked my feet. Possibly the worst thing I could have done.

Whilst I was flailing about like a moron, gripping Remus’ sleeves really tightly for some notion of stability, Remus was laughing. Properly laughing at me. I knew I was shit at skating but was it really that funny? Probably. I bet I would have laughed if it was anyone else. That was when I noticed we were the only ones still out on the ice. Right, I actually noticed that mid-fall.

Later in my mid-fall revelation I realised that I was falling. Yep, just then. I thought I had stopped it from happening but nope. So I pretty much dragged Remus down with me. He stopped laughing then. During this very long, slow motion fall, Remus sort of fell onto my lips. I didn’t really register it until we were both on the ground with some very definite accidental lip contact.

It was a complete non kiss so whilst Remus took some time to adjust to the shock of falling, he clearly hadn’t had the same slow-motion replay I had had, I broke the non-kiss to look to the side. I felt him put his hands on the ice to help get himself up. So he was awake then.

“Crap! Sorry, you alright?” I asked, picking my head off the ice and looking up at him. He was smiling at least which was a good sign that he wasn’t concussed. Me on the other hand…

“I’m fine. I can’t believe you managed to fall on a flat piece of ice. So much for me being a good teacher.”

“Hey, it was a chip, totally not my fault.” I was laughing too.

I don’t know why he didn’t shake me off or why I didn’t stand up but we spent a good few minutes with him lying on top of me in a weird happy but awkward silence. I’m not even going to try and explain it. All I knew was that I had reached my aim of being very, very close to Remus although I hadn’t really imagined it in this situation.

I wasn’t sure if he had noticed the accidental non-kiss but he was looking at me rather strangely. Bearing in mind he was still technically on top of me I couldn’t escape it like I usually would when we had our weird chemistry moments. Before I could shoogle my way out he was kissing me. I mean properly kissing me this time, sort of. It was very sweet. I hadn’t realised we were away to kiss so I had my eyes open and his were shut.

It was only a few glorious seconds of actual kissing but before I could even enjoy or respond to said kiss, Remus had broken it and pushed himself off of me so I could stand. I had no sooner stood up to ask what the hell had just happened when his face changed from rather happy to rather confused.

“I’m sorry, I should go. That was stupid. Sirius, Camilla, everyone. I think it’s best if I just go. I’m really sorry about that, Nyx. Don’t worry I won’t bother you about it. I shouldn’t have, I’ll leave.” It all came out in a quickened, garbled mush as he turned and skated to the edge of the lake, leaving me completely gobsmacked in the middle of the lake.

I fell over twice on my way back to the bank, even though it was a relatively short distance. I wasn’t crying and I wasn’t rejoicing over the kiss, I was nothing about it. Barely anything had happened. The one thing I did know was that I was now very angry with a certain Remus Lupin. He just kisses me and skates off knowing I’m the most inadequate skater ever? Big no.



A/N: I really hope you enjoyed this chapter... they finally kissed! Unfortunately you'll have to wait over three weeks for the next one because I'm off on Thursday to WWoHP :D Which I'm super excited about. Hope it wasn't too much of a cliffy for you, you'll haven't to wait pretty long for more :( Thanks to everyone who has been reviewing, every single one make me grin like a twonk. Goodbye for now but I hope to be putting more up soon. :D Alex.

Chapter 18: The Eighteenth.
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I woke up the next morning even more confused and angry than before. Confused because Sirius was actually right and Remus did like me but angry that he had promised to stay away from me for the sake of his friend, not to mention the leaving me on the bloody lake for no reason. I had a feeling Remus was berating himself for both the non-kiss and the proper-kiss. I still wasn’t sure what had happened.

There was a large, flat rock which I decided to sit on so I could face the lake and just think for a while. I was just getting calm when that stupid black dog came bounding over to join me. Clearly it did not realise that I was the panther. Stupid animal had no animal instinct. I didn’t acknowledge it until it was really close, at which point I just gave it an evil look so it would know I didn’t like it anymore. I was tempted to show it my scars so it could see the damage but it was too cold.

“I don’t want to talk to you,” I told it, “I know what you are so bugger off.” The dog looked as though it were going to stay but in the end decided the better of it. Apparently it preferred humans to animals. It wandered off into the forest and before long it had completely disappeared into the shadows.

I was just away to return to my blissful solitude when another figure sat down beside me. I was expecting it to be Sirius and I really wasn’t in the mood for any jokes or having him convince me that Remus was secretly in love with me. I just wanted some peace and bloody quiet for once.

“Could you please just piss off for a change?” I asked, still staring at the lake. I really didn’t want to talk to anyone apart from Remus and I had a feeling he wasn’t going to talk me after saying he wouldn’t.

“What?” Someone-else said. Crap, it wasn’t Sirius, “I’m really sorry for what happened yesterday. I don’t know what came over me and I understand why you’re so angry with me. You clearly like Sirius and I shouldn’t have kissed you. I was with Camilla and it was just really unfair to everyone. If you want I’ll ask Flitwick if you’d like another partner after the holidays although I don’t know how that would work.”

Remus, who had decided to talk to me for a change was now leaving as quickly as he could, before I could even take in half of what he had said. Guess I must have frightened him off with the swearing and the broodiness, which I had forgotten he utterly deserved. He said it in a sort of speedy, embarrassed apology. I did get one thing though, he wanted to leave me alone. The exact opposite of what I wanted. If only he had let me explain.

“Remus! Wait, I didn’t even realise it was you. I thought you were Sirius.” I yelled after him but he seemed pretty determined to walk away. If I was annoyed before I was ten times that after he had walked away. Was he ever going to let me finish a conversation? I would have ran after him but I was really bloody annoyed. I sat down again in a huff although I did resolve to talk to him later. If he’d let me.

I had only sat down for a few minutes when Sirius came sauntering over. He seemed either happy about something or confused about something. I wasn’t entirely sure. He sat down and I turned round to see what was going on.

“How did you find out?” He asked quickly.

“Find out about what, Sirius?”

“You know, the whole,” he waved his arms about, “thing.”

“Seriously, I don’t know what,” I waved my arms about, “thing you are talking about and I’m really not in the mood for stupid little games today Sirius.”

“You don’t know?” He finally realised, although he looked more confused.

“Clearly.”

“Well, there is one thing you might want to know.”

“What?” I asked. He had a really creepy grin on and I was getting curious.

“Remus broke up with Camilla last night. Rather she broke up with him and Peter came back early, his mum said he could come so he apparated to Hogsmeade yesterday with the news. He was surprised that we didn't actually know when he came back, Remus must have written to him or something. Moony hasn’t actually told me or James yet.” He seemed very happy with this news.

“What? Was it because of the kiss? This is so crappy!”

“What? What kiss?” Sirius asked, for the first time since I’d known him he looked bewildered.

“Remus kissed me yesterday. Well actually I tripped and he fell onto my lips in a sort of kiss but then we actually kissed and he said he was going to stay away from me for your sake and because it shouldn’t have happened. He even said something about changing Charms partners.”

“He’s a bit of a drama queen that one,” Sirius laughed, he couldn’t have been further from the truth and he knew it, “but I can’t believe he kissed you. That’s fantastic. I told you I was right.”

“Yes but he promised to stay away from me for your sake. Because of that stupid kiss in the three broomsticks.”

“Oh yeah! He cheated on me. Wow, I didn’t expect that.” Sirius laughed, holding a hand over his heart as he pretended to fall over.

“I thought you said that was the plan?”

“Well yeah it was but it was a long shot. I figured he would get jealous and realise he likes you. I didn’t think he’d actually try it on before they’d broken up.”

“Well he did but now he feels so guilty about it he’s not even talking to me. I think he’s angry at someone, probably me.”

“Knowing Remus, it’s probably himself.”

“Did he tell Peter why they broke up?”

“Nope, just said he realised he didn’t love her. He said something about realising a few things yesterday. I reckon he likes you but he’s too scared too tell you.”

“He was talking about not being in love. And what reason would he have to be sacred of liking me? That makes no sense.”

“He’ll have his reasons. I think you’re making excuses because you’re scared too. Although I have no idea why you would be scared.”

“What? I’m not scared. I’m just annoyed and sick to death of all this crap. It makes absolutely no bloody sense.”

“Nothing ever does in our world.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well muggles, they have it all figured out don’t they?”

“I don’t know, do they? I don’t know anything about muggles.”

“Well they do. None of our crap in their world. No Voldemort, no nothing.”

He didn’t say anything else. He just sat with me in my confusion. We probably sat there for hours but I didn’t have a watch so I have no idea. I think he was probably right about me being scared. I didn’t want things to end badly. Although I couldn’t see why Remus would be scared or worried about liking me, he was a nice guy. I couldn’t make any sense of it but I guess that was just me. Sirius knew more than what he was telling me but I didn’t ask. I just went inside when it got dark.

In the holidays, the library was my favorite place to go, hardly anyone went to the library in the holidays. Every year I would be in the library; I never went home for the holidays. I had sort of forgotten about it considering everything else that seemed to be happening but when it got too cold to stay outside I needed a place to go. The common room would have other Ravenclaws in it, probably Maia and Isabelle who would no doubt be wondering why I was so grumpy.

I creeped through the normal section of the library and took out a couple of fiction books, I wanted something to help me relax, a book seemed like a good idea. I could have tried finishing off the reports for charms or transfiguration but I would need Sirius or Remus to do that and I didn’t particularly want to see either of them at the moment. The care of magical creatures project was done, we got O’s, no thanks to Peter who spent the whole five months pouring over Annabelle. So homework was out.

I decided to head off for dinner after dumping my books next to my bed, it would be ready soon. The house elves really outdid themselves in the holidays. I was walking out of the library, looking at my feet and feeling sorry for myself when I walked into something hard. I stumbled backwards for a little bit, at least I could see what I’d walked into, hopefully it wasn’t a wall this time.

It was not a wall but suddenly I wish it were. It was Remus, of course it would be him. Whoever had planned my day needed fired and quickly. I looked up at him, but said nothing, no angry insult or evil glare, nothing. I must have left my spine in the library. He looked back down at me and I had no idea what to do. I could feel myself getting angry for some reason, he wasn’t even saying anything, maybe that was the problem. I suppose either of us could have made an attempt to apologise for yesterday but no one did.

“Sorry. Wasn’t looking where I was going.” I said coldly to try and shorten the length of time I would have to spend with him. I walked away quickly in the hope it was my own little victory. I could hear my shoes against the floor and I didn’t even have the guts to even look back and see if he was looking. He probably wasn’t, he didn’t look as though he was in a very good mood, he looked shockingly tired, probably from the stress of our weird situation. I could have told him everything then, but I didn’t. I guess leaving myself out of it was just easier.

I needed something to take the edge off the whole situation. Sure I could have gone to the forest and walked around like the queen of the jungle but it was still evening and I preferred the night for my prowls as the panther. I went to go change for dinner in an unhealthy mood. I was raking through my trunk when I found the teddy bear. I didn’t actually own a bear, well at least not one I brought to Hogwarts, it was a transfigured bottle of malt whiskey which I had pilfered throughout the care of magical creatures project. There was no point letting it go to waste was there?

I changed it back to what it should have been and uncorked it quickly. Everyone would already be in the great hall and it would not help my situation if I were late, it would probably do nothing but cause suspicion. I took a mouthful but coughed as the warmth prickled the back of my throat. I didn’t like the taste at all and I have no idea why I thought I would. I decided to put the the bottle back hastily in order to get to supper and to remove the taste form my throat but not before taking another swig for good luck. I ended up not putting it away at all. The whole bottle was finished in an hour. Pretty sad huh? An evening drinking session alone in my bedroom.

“Would you like to know what I think?” I said to my own reflection in one of the suits of armor a while later, “I think that Remus is being terribly silly about all of this. I mean he clearly likes me and I clearly like him. He needs to grow a pair so we can finally get together.” I looked at the suit for a moment, as though expecting a response. “Right,” I said nodding my head, “Glad you agree.” I had been having that conversation for a while with a number of the coats of armour. They all though I was right too.

I heard laughing behind me and I turned on the spot to see who it was. If it is someone in my year I will no doubt be in a week of detentions. I hoped it was a first year, they are so easy to scare nowadays. It was Snape. He looked pretty creepy, not that I don’t like him or anything he just looked particularly creepy at that moment. “You know, I’m pretty sure you’re not allowed firewhiskey within the grounds.”

“How did you know about the firewhiskey? Anyway, it’s a malt.”

“I only suspected it but you have just confirmed my suspicions. Not to mention you are completely off your face drunk.” I swore inwardly, I should’ve known that I would get drunk, especially considering I don’t drink.

“Well, maybe I only had a small amount so no one needs to worry about anything, anything at all.” Except that small amount was a whole bottle. I nearly toppled over as I tried to make elaborate arm movements to insinuate how little I had drunk.

“I’m not going to tell on you, Warrender, I’m not that stupid. I will however give you some advice. I cannot tell you exactly what I would like but I can warn you. You have pure-blood, the marauders are troubled filth and you would be well to stay away from them.”

“Why should I listen to you? Not that I’m in their good books at the moment. Especially with Remus. He probably thinks I hate him.”

“There are no reasons why you should and no reasons why you shouldn’t. I can only tell you that I know things which cannot be shared. Remus is no good for you, believe me. You would be better to socialize with Slytherins.”

“Of course you would say that. You’re in Slytherin.”

“You shouldn’t run around with half-bloods who are scared of the moon.”

“The marauders aren’t cowards. You just don’t like them because they’re better than you at everything. Except maybe potions.” As if the marauders were scared of the dark. That was what I thought he meant, that they were cowards. That’s what he meant right?

“Just words of warning, stay away from the marauders. I’ll see you.” And with that he walked off briskly leaving me very confused and with only the suit of armor for company. If I were so obviously intoxicated maybe I should not go to supper. I left to go to my room and try some sobering spells.

I went to my bed wondering that night what on earth Snape could have meant. I couldn’t sleep at all so I snuck out to sit by the forest. It was a calming place and the moon was full tonight. It would no doubt be a wonderful evening and I would rather spend it outside than moping in my room. I put on my coat and tip toed through the back exit to the tower, the one only prefects knew about. It got me outside a lot quicker and no one had seen me descend the flights of stairs that led directly out onto the grounds.

I went to sit by a tree near but not too close to the whomping willow. It was getting dark and I didn’t want to get whomped unconscious by a tree, that would be embarrassing the next morning if I were found dead lying next to a tree. I opened up the book from the library and lit up my wand so I could read it better, the light from the full moon wasn’t quite bright enough. I could use a nice calm night for a change.

New chapter :) Thanks to everyone that wished me a good holiday, it was amazing! Although I nearly threw up on a cheese flavoured Bertie Botts bean.. eugh. Worth it though. Hope you all like this chapter after waiting so long for it! I can't see it beeing a calm night, can you? Anyway the next chapter is super long so I split it in two. I won't put any notes until the end of it. Needless to say the story's gonna take a turn! Thanks for reading and reviewing, Alex (: x

Chapter 19: The Nineteenth.
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An Attack.
Part One.




I had only just begun to read when I was rudely interrupted by some howls from the shack. It was the first time I had heard any sign of ghosts from the place and I was curious. I hadn’t been in yet even though I had been promised a trip several times. So much for that. When I tried to get in alone, there hadn’t been any doors which I found especially strange considering someone must have lived in it once.

I went back to my book, I wasn’t going to disturb such violent and unpleasant ghosts. The book I had picked up was a love story, typical. The one night I need a break from romance I pick up a book which contains nothing but. I put it down in a mood. I probably got the pages dirty but I wasn’t too fussed; in that moment, I hated the book. Even in the first chapter the couple were kissing in their happiness. I laughed bitterly, those characters knew nothing of real life. Everything was always perfect for them because few people enjoyed reading miserable stories. I was one of them and I wanted to read one right then. My misery wanted some company and I couldn’t find any.

I looked up at the stars and ignored my surroundings, including the howls from either the forest or the shack, I couldn’t really tell where they were coming from anymore. I thought about transforming but I didn’t want to leave my book and my wand without a bag to stow them in. I couldn’t do it without my wand so I brought it with me but not for transforming, for light. The light went out when I put my wand on the ground to get a better look at the skies.

I was enjoying the moon when that dog decided to annoy me. It was barking and yelping like crazy. I looked at it cynically, I doubted its existence by this point. “Oh, just bugger off,” I told it. It would not leave me alone. It even bit me as it tried to drag me away then it tried to pick up my wand and throw it at me. I smacked it’s nose. It tried again, this time catching my sleeve and tearing it, trying to drag me away. “I don’t care if this is your spot, mongrel, I’m not leaving and you can’t make me.”

It didn’t like that at all. It growled and barked but I stayed exactly where I was. “Leave me alone, go pester someone else for a change. I’m tired of you annoying me. Now piss off.” I don’t know if it understood me or not but it rocketed off into the forest at the sound of another, closer, howl. Cowardly dog. I could hear it barking in the forest, it sounded a lot different from the previous howls. I looked back up at the stars and slid down the rock so I was practically lying down.

I still don’t know what happened next but before I could say quidditch, another bark came from the forest. It was a different bark, more like a howl and it sent shivers down my spine. I whipped around and stood up to see a wolf, a werewolf emerging from beneath the willow as a stag tried to push it back. It must not have seen me because if it had I would surely be dead by now. How could there be a werewolf in Hogwarts? It didn’t make any sense.

The wolf got out and jumped at the stag who lowered its head to stop the wolf. The wolf collided with its antlers and growled. The stag ran into the forest, looking as though it wanted the wolf to follow, it didn’t The stag kept galloping around the wolf. I think it was trying to confuse the wolf, I’m not sure. The wolf got annoyed and threw itself into the stag’s side. Not biting it or clawing at it, simply knocking the stag over with brute force. Once the stag had fallen, it turned to the dog.

The wolf was snarling at the black dog, I could see them both now. The dog was so much smaller, why was it taking on the wolf? Was it protecting me? It didn’t know about me being the panther. The wolf would win and then it would try to get me, I knew it. If I ran now, it would notice. I caught a glimpse of the wolf’s eyes. They were chocolate with honeyed amber running through them, it had Remus’ eyes. But how could it? This was not Remus, it was an animal, I should know. It was so big, so deadly, it terrified me. Their jaw were clashing as they both tried to bite and claw each other, it

Then I thought of Snape’s words. I knew there was something he was not telling me, not for lack of want. The marauders, his warning and this all in one night. It could not be a coincidence. I thought about everything I had learned about Remus since I had began talking to him at the beginning of this year. His sick uncle, how tired he looked all the time even the mood swings which had confused me so much. It all fit. Remus was a werewolf. I wondered if the others knew, I was amazed he had managed to hide this for so long. The wolf swiped a great paw at the dog, nearly catching it. This wolf was the most dangerous thing I had ever seen.

I clapped a hand to my mouth to stop the screaming which would inevitably come. There were tears streaming down my cheeks, I had never been more afraid in my life. I knew how dangerous werewolves were and how painful a death I was likely to receive as everyone else slept in the dorms with no idea that there was a mortally dangerous animal lose on the grounds that was likely to kill tonight. I staggered back a few steps instinctively to put as much distance between myself and the wolf.

The wolf swiped at the dog and barred it’s teeth. I fell backward and cut my arm on the stub of a branch which had been broken off a tree. I barely noticed the pain but the blood was pouring out. I held my arm across my stomach to stop the smell of blood from reaching the wolf. The blood was seeping into my robes and dripping onto the ground. The dog looked towards me and the wolf followed its eye line. I was doomed. I screamed as the wolf’s eyes changed, they narrowed and any trace of Remus that had been there before was gone. The dog hadn’t noticed the blood but the wolf had, and it could smell meat.

The dog barked and barked but could not get the wolf’s attention. It was walking towards me slowly, taunting me. It pulled back it’s top lip, revealing the biggest set of teeth I had ever seen. I was crying and screaming I was surprised I had even been able to hold off the screams until then, they were so loud, so shaky yet strong. I barely even noticed the tears over the screams. I continued to stagger backwards like a crab, praying I would get away or someone would realise I was gone and tell a professor.

The dog launched itself at the wolf who staggered at the force, It turned on the dog and I was given the chance to run. Unfortunately I was on the ground, wandless, watching as the wolf launched itself at the dog and swept it aside. The dog would surely be too injured to continue protecting me. I scrambled to get up, the pain in my arm would feel like nothing if I didn’t get away. There was blood all over the ground, my blood and that hadn’t even been from the wolf. How much pain would I go through before it finally got me?

I couldn’t think of anything that would be in the slightest bit logical at this moment. I was most likely away to be killed by Remus Lupin and I had no control over the situation. I panicked. I could feel my heart, trying to rip itself from my chest before the wolf could. I was hyperventilating, or at least I think I was. I’m not entirely sure. I struggled to breathe in between the tears. I suppose that moment shows how much of a coward I truly was. I wanted to run, I wanted to scream and I wanted it to be over quickly.

The dog, my only protector was on the ground. As far as I could see it had not been seriously injured, it wasn’t bleeding. Despite the situation I was glad. The dog would be safe, the wolf wouldn’t turn on it. That’s what gave me the idea to transform. I could still hear the feeble yelps of the dog which reminded me that werewolves weren’t dangerous to animals. I suppose the heat of the moment reminded me of that.

I tried more than ever to transform. I really pushed myself, begging my brain to work, begging my body to accept my wishes without the use of the wand which lay, covered in blood, ten feet away. My time was running out, with every step from the wolf came another yelp from the dog and another moment gone where I could have ran. I gave up. I started to run towards the forest in order to make some attempt to save my own life.

I could hear it behind me, so I turned to see how close it was. It lunged at me and I was on my back, the wolf snarling above me, I screamed as it bared it’s teeth and snapped. My bleeding arm was pinned to the ground and blood from my leg was turning the dirt muddy, the wolf’s claws had dug into the flesh on my leg when it landed. I probably looked pathetic, yelling and crying as the wolf snarled, laughing at me.

I don’t know how I managed it but I transformed. A piece of my robe was caught in its claw and other scraps of it were left lying on the ground. It couldn’t understand the sudden change or where the girl had gone. Now I was just another animal in the forest. It was startled which gave me an edge against it. I jumped up out of its reach. It turned to face the new threat. I had to get out of there, I wasn’t strong enough.

The dog simply stood still once I’d transformed, clearly in shock about what had happened. I had no explanation for it. I was as amazed at the transformation as it was, I was sure I was going to die. The wolf saw the dog again and I immediately worried for it, I didn’t need to. The wolf didn’t even try and touch the dog. The wolf started to stalk around angrily, it had been cheated out of a meal. I was amazed the dog still hadn’t moved. It still just stared at me. I slunk away into the shadows to avoid it’s gaze, watching as things got even stranger.


We were joined by the stag a moment later who had a commanding presence. I felt as though I knew these animals despite the fact I had only met them once before and back then they hated me. I looked towards them and then toward the wolf. The wolf was snarling and spitting, knowing any attack would be pointless now, he was outnumbered, even the rats had come to stop it. The dog just kept running round in circles, trying to find me now I’d disappeared.

I left the animals and ran deeper into the forest. I couldn’t be there any longer, I was still terrified of the wolf, of Remus. I’m not proud of it but of course I was scared, I had barely managed to escape him. I realised it wasn’t really him who had attacked me but I still couldn’t look the wolf in the eyes, it had Remus’ eyes but they were cold, deadly. I didn’t transform again until I reached a large rock to hide behind. Remus was a werewolf, a man-eating wolf.

I was sitting with my knees clutched to my chest. I could tell I still had adrenaline in my system, my arm was twitching and I noticed it was still bleeding. I checked if there was pain anywhere else. The cut on my leg was barely a quarter of an inch deep and was not bleeding anymore. I ripped another piece of my cloak off to tie up my hand. I was thankful that the wolf’s teeth hadn’t got close enough to me. I couldn’t think of it as Remus, I had to think ‘the wolf’ otherwise I would have just fallen apart.

It wasn’t until the sun had risen before I felt safe enough to get my book from the forest. I could hear someone yelling my name. I could see Sirius sitting on the floor with Peter as James yelled my name into the forest. I ran over to see what they were doing. How could they know I was there last night? Then I realised that they were the animals, I felt stupid for not realising before. They were at the spot where I had fallen, there was blood and scraps of my cloak on the ground. It looked horrible. I wanted to be sick at the sight of it, and by the looks of things, Peter looked like he was going to be sick too.

I couldn’t even look at any of them, despite the fact I was intensely curious as to how they knew I hadn’t gone back inside. I hid in the shadows of the trees. I was panicking, I had to walk past to get back to the common room safely without being seen. I didn’t want them to see me, they would know I knew I couldn’t talk about it.

I had been sure it was still early in the morning, it can’t have been any later than half past six. I needed to get my wand so I sat it out, still trying fruitlessly to stop the bleeding. I needed my wand which they hadn’t seen or picked up yet. I hoped they would leave quickly so I could get past. Sirius was just sitting with his head in his hands and James called out, Peter was looking at the pool of blood like it was a disease. It was another ten minutes before they all got up and started walking towards the hospital wing, where I figured Remus probably was. I wondered if he knew I knew. Would he be angry? I didn’t want to think about it.

With a final lingering look at the forest from Sirius, the boys went inside and I was free to get my wand and my book. I scurried across to my wand and immediately stopped the wound in my leg and another deep one in my arm from bleeding the most. I used scourgify to remove the puddle of blood from the tree and where the wolf had floored me, then I cleaned my book and ran to the back exit of the tower. It had been a late night for the others last night so hopefully nobody would be up, it was a good thing hardly anyone was at school.

I sneaked into the dorm and threw the bloody clothes into the washing basket after changing into the heaviest jumper I could find, it just felt more comforting than everything else. Not to mention if my scars did open up again, the blood was unlikely to show through. I had preformed the spells with a hideously shaking hand so I wasn’t sure how long they would hold. I clambered back into bed with the foolish hope I would be able to get some sleep. My eyes were still red and puffy from all the crying and I didn’t even want to think about how my hair looked.

When the others woke up I pretended that I had only been up for an hour, it was easier that way. They suggested that we go downstairs for breakfast before relaxing in the common room. It was Christmas in a few days time although that had completely slipped my mind. I couldn’t stop jumping at the slightest noises. I needed to calm down which sounded a lot easier than it was.

“You okay, Nyx?” Isabelle asked, noticing how much I was trembling and shaking even though I was putting all of my concentration into keeping myself calm. I would like to say it was adrenaline but in all truth I was terrified of everything at that moment, any little noise would set me off again.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said, taking a seat on the Ravenclaw table. I had forgotten that I faced the Gryffindor table from the side I chose to sit at on, I guess I’d sat there out of habit since liking Remus.

I could see Sirius and James from where I was sitting. Peter had his back to me but I was sure all three of them had noticed me come in. I hadn’t even looked at them. Remus must have still been in the hospital wing and I was thoroughly glad of it. Any facade I had managed to pull off until then would have crumbled if I’d seen him. I tried to keep looking down at my plate the whole time and concentrating on my breakfast, unfortunately I could still feel them staring at me. My cutlery was shaking and making too much noise so I didn’t bother eating anything. Probably not the best idea but I wasn’t really hungry anyway.

I was so busy trying not to run away I didn’t even notice Spencer and Tom sit down next to me. “Morning,” Tom said cheerily, facing Maia. I got such a shock I jumped in my seat and my plate fell to the floor with a loud clatter. Everyone looked up and I could feel everyone staring at me with curiousity, I glanced at the marauders they all looked concerned. Luckily the plate didn’t smash, that might have been worse. I guess I was still understandably shaken from the nights events. At least I managed to hold back the tears.

“I have to go, I forgot something from the common room,” I muttered quickly, sliding out of my seat and escaping as quickly as I could for the door.

I was almost home free but stupidly I hadn’t bothered to check if the Gryffindors were following me, I had just assumed they would stay in the hall. I was just leaving the fifth floor corridor to get to the Ravenclaw common room when I felt someone’s hand hold my shoulder. I was still pretty nervous and this had completely surprised me. I let out a small cry of shock and my heart rate spiked even though I probably wasn’t in any more danger. Then again I had no idea how they would react to me knowing.

“I promise I won’t tell anyone, I swear,” I squeaked before I had even turned round.

“What?” Sirius asked. Peter and James looked at me skeptically in confusion. Maybe they didn’t believe me.

“I swear I won’t say a word. You don’t have to worry.”

“That’s not what we’re worried about,” Sirius said, “we’re worried how you’re taking it and we would like a chance to explain what happened.”

“No, it’s okay. I just have to go get something from the common room,” I said lamely, trying to find an excuse to leave. I was fairly certain the ‘we’ would include Remus and I wasn’t entirely sure if I was ready to see him or not.

“No you don’t,” James said, he clearly knew I was lying, “you’re just trying to find a reason to go.”

“And? Is that so unreasonable?” I asked.

“Maybe not but you haven’t even given him a chance to explain what happened,” Peter told me what I already knew.

“I don’t need it explained to me, I know what I saw and if you don’t mind I need to calm down so just let me go.”

“We’re not holding you here, Nyx. You’re free to leave, but I think you’ll want to hear us out.”

“What makes you think that?” Honestly, I probably did need to hear something, to be sure I hadn’t imagined it.

“It’s a lot to take in, especially the way you found out. Are you in shock?” James asked.

“I don’t know.” Maybe I was, that would certainly explain why every little thing seemed to terrify me.

“I think she might be,” Sirius said to James. Peter nodded in agreement. “I think we should take her to the hospital wing.”

“No,” I said quickly causing them to look at each other curiously, “I don’t want to go to the hospital wing.” I actually meant I don’t want to look into Remus’ eyes in case I can only see the monster but I wasn’t going to say that.

“Why not? You have to get patched up Nyx, you were lucky you managed to escape.” James said, already trying to lead me towards the wing.

“I’m fine. You said no one knows about him so I’ll just head up to the common room and we can pretend like none of this happened. No one knows I was out last night. No one has to even know about what happened, he might get kicked out of school or something.”

“Remus won’t get in trouble, this wasn’t his fault, last night was a horrible coincidence. We haven’t told anyone about this yet just in case something had happened. Now we know nothing has, we have to get you healed.” I don’t know how I felt about the fact they would have covered up my murder if something worse had happened. I shook my head, of course they would have told someone if they knew something had happened.

“Look, I’m fine I just need to, I just need to get out of here, okay? Let me go.” I was pleading now, how could they not see I wanted to be alone or somewhere safe. It’s not everyday you get attacked by a vicious werewolf and I needed some time to wrap my head around the thought that Remus nearly killed me. Hopefully they wouldn’t judge me too much.

“We already told you that you were free to go, all we’re saying is that you probably will need to hear this before you can even try to come to terms with what happened to you last night. We’ll just need to find a place to explain, do you mind coming with us?” James asked.

“Okay, fine.” I said, nodding my head slowly, maybe hearing things from someone else’s view would make this easier to digest. I guess I could explain my reaction too, although I didn’t really know why I was finding it so difficult. I wasn’t very sure of much at that moment.

“Wormtail, do you want to go get Remus from the hospital wing? I’m sure he’d like the chance to talk things through with Nyx too,” I gulped at this, having Remus there might make it difficult, “and get Madam Pomfrey to give you a potion for shock, say it’s for yourself and slip it into a bottle, that way no one has to know Nyx knows.”

“Of course, will I tell Moony about Nyx?” Peter asked, I was away to interject and say I didn’t need anything explained anymore, I didn’t want Remus to be angry at me.

“No, I think it’s best if everyone gets the chance to talk things through calmly.”

Peter scurried off and Sirius put his arm around my shoulder in order to lead me to wherever they were planning on talking to me. I wasn’t sure whether I was happy to get things explained or frightened of what would happen. All I knew was that nothing was going to be the same anymore even if I wished they would be.


Chapter 20: The Twentieth.
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Part Two.



Sirius and James led me up two floors. I was wondering where they were taking me. I figured it would have just been an empty classroom but we had passed about eight of them. I got even more curious when James started pacing in front of a wall muttering, “we need a place to explain, we need a place to explain.”

Sirius was standing next to me and he gave my arm a gentle squeeze. I’m sure it was meant to be reassuring but unfortunately my mixed up mental state took this as another attack, even though I knew it wasn’t. I jumped slightly and Sirius backed away. I didn’t want him to but he probably thought it best. I was putting a lot of concentration into keeping my hands still, they were still rather jittery and I didn’t want them to think I was scared. Even if I was.

A massive wooden door appeared out of thin air. The door for the classroom where we usually did our projects. Clearly there was a lot more to the marauders than I had been led to believe.

“Do you want to come in?” James asked.

I nodded, keeping my mouth tightly shut. I was still really tired and I couldn’t believe anything so I didn’t want to say anything stupid, or burst into unexpected fits of tears. Sirius slowly put his arm around my back to lead me in. Clearly they didn’t think I was capable of anything on my own. I didn’t bother shaking him off, it was nice to feel protected.

When we got into the room I got another shock. This one wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t even a classroom, it looked like a normal sitting room except the five armchairs were all in a circle. No doubt so we could all talk and I would have nowhere to hide. There was a massive fire on one of the walls and even though it had only been there a moment, it was incredibly warm. I didn’t take off my ridiculously large jumper though, if I did there would probably be blood. I hadn’t sealed the wounds very well at all.

I took a seat in the nearest chair, the one facing the door. I figured that way I wouldn’t get another surprise when Peter and Remus entered the room. I didn’t like surprises normally but right at that moment, any surprise could have finished me off. I could stop my hands from shaking but I couldn’t stop my heart from going crazy, it felt like it was going to rip itself out of my chest. James and Sirius both sat down next to each other, Sirius was beside me. They probably did on purpose, so Remus would have to sit next to me. Hopefully Peter wouldn’t realise and he would sit next to me.

It was really quiet. James and Sirius were both just surveying me, checking for damages. They didn’t know I had covered them all up. They wouldn’t stop looking at me and although I should have felt reassured it just made me feel more weak.

“Peter, for the last time what’s going on? Why are we going to the room of requirement?” I flinched when I heard his voice through the walls. Sirius looked as though he was going to lean forward and comfort me but thought better of it. I was glad. I could deal with this on my own if they’d just let me.

“I told you I can’t tell you. It’s really big though so be prepared.”

“Well you’re not really preparing me are you?” Remus said as he opened the door. He seemed to take in his surroundings before he even saw me.

“Nyx? Are you okay? You look awful.” Well that was fantastic, I looked awful. I didn’t answer for a while. I was too busy trying to think of something to say. When I did finally think of something James spoke.

“Remus, I think you should probably sit down. Next to Nyx preferably.” I looked up quickly at James. Up until this point I had been curled up in the chair. Why preferably? I would have preferred something else.

“Okay, but would someone please tell me what’s going on?” He looked really tired, although apparently he looked better than I did which didn’t say much for me.

“I, uh, I well, I …” Apart from Remus, they all looked surprised I had talked but not surprised I couldn’t finish the sentence.

“Nyx knows about your furry little problem.” Sirius said. Despite everything I was feeling, I smiled at their name for it. It made it sound so sweet. I heard Remus gasp but I still wasn’t looking any of them in the eyes so I couldn’t gauge their reactions properly.

“How…?”

James was away to answer but I decided to speak instead. Hopefully they would take this as a sign of me being okay. “I was reading a book outside and well I suppose you can guess what happened next.”

“I didn’t…?” He choked out.

“Didn’t what?” I asked, curious. I was amazed that I was able to carry a conversation whilst looking at my knees.

“Attack you.”

I didn’t say anything. He already sounded so guilty and I couldn’t put that on him. I still wasn’t looking him in the eyes in case I saw the eyes of the monster but I knew that Remus’ heart was still completely his even if his brain wasn’t. I don’t know if not saying anything made it worse. So I looked up. I didn’t look at anyone in particular, just up.

“I got away,” I said, as if this would make it all better.

“I attacked you?” He asked again.

“Well,” I started, wondering why no one else was talking, “yes.”

“Oh my god, are you alright?”

“I got away,” I repeated stupidly.

“Why didn’t any of you tell me this?” He asked the others, he sounded angry. “You let me relax in the hospital wing knowing I’d attacked someone? Why didn’t you tell Dumbledore or even Madam Pomfrey?”

“We thought it would be better if we got a chance to explain everything.”

“Sirius, you told me that it was animal blood.” I could tell he was angry but he wasn’t even shouting. It was still terrifying to watch though. I think I would have preferred the yelling.

“There was blood?” James asked. “Sirius, why didn’t you say anything? Are any of the wounds infected?” Everyone’s faces looked to mine.

“No,” I told them, “he didn’t bite me if that’s what you mean,” I finished shakily but I don’t think anyone noticed, it was far too tense in that room for that.

“I nearly forgot,” Peter said suddenly, breaking the few seconds of silence. He pulled out a vial filled with purple liquid and handed it to me. “It’s the potion for shock.” He added, as though I may have forgotten anything.

“Thanks,” I murmured, downing the whole vial. It could have been poison for all I knew but I couldn’t exactly feel any worse than I did.

They all looked at me for while, checking to see if the potion did anything. I wasn’t exactly sure what was meant to happen. After a few minutes I definitely felt less shaky but I wasn’t sure if that was because of the potion or something else.

“So…” I said, after what seemed like an hour of staring, to try and break the silence. For the first time in what seemed like ages they all laughed.

“We promised you an explanation, Nyx. And you’ll get one,” James said, “Remus do you want to or will I?”

“I’ll do it,” Remus said.

“Okay,” I said quietly. I thought the potion had taken effect but I still sounded off somehow. Remus took a deep breath and turned in his chair so he was facing me. I didn’t want to be rude so I looked back up at him. I received what I thought must have been the hundredth shock that day. I was looking right in Remus’ eyes but they weren’t the same as the werewolf’s at all. I mean they were, but they weren’t. I suddenly felt rather silly for thinking the wolf was inside him.

“I’ll understand if you don’t want to talk to me anymore, Nyx, you deserve to have everything explained to you properly and then you can decide although we wouldn’t blame you if you did decide to leave us alone,” I was away to interrupt him and tell him about my revelation but he held his hand up so he could continue talking. The others were just watching me carefully. By the looks on their faces they would blame me if I decided to leave them all alone now. Not that I was going to decide that.

“When I was a boy I was attacked by a man named Fenrir Greyback. I didn’t think I was ever going to get the chance to go to Hogwarts but when Dumbledore offered me a place all of my dreams came true. He assured myself and my parents that he had arranged for a number of safety precautions if I did decide to attend. I was wary at first, for the safety of my classmates, but in the end I was convinced to come. I’d wanted to go to Hogwarts since the moment I had heard about it. I suppose I was being selfish when I accepted. He explained all about the safety measures he had arranged.”

“The whomping willow?” I asked quietly, interrupting the story. He nodded. “And you weren’t being selfish,” I added, glad for the chance to interrupt. He smiled sadly at me and continued.

“Each month, I would head out to the whomping willow and enter the passageway it conceals to the shrieking shack. I tried to hide my condition but in just over a year Padfoot, Prongs and Wormtail here had me all figured out. I thought I would have to leave Hogwarts but for the first time in my life, I was accepted for what I was. It was amazing. By the time they were all in fifth year they had all mastered the spells to become animagi. Now they sneak out with me each month as the wolf isn’t really a danger to animals.”

“You are all animagus?” I asked, astounded, “is that how you knew I was there?” They all nodded.

“So how come you didn’t run after me when I got away?”

“I was too shocked,” Sirius laughed, “I wasn’t really expecting anything like that to happen.”

“Like what?” Remus asked, he seemed to be out of the loop.

“Like Nyx being an animagus,” James said, sounding impressed, “how long have you been managing it?”

“Well last night was my first transformation without a wand,” I admitted, glad of the change of subject, “to be honest I didn’t think I was going to manage but I’m pretty proud of myself.”

“Does anyone know?” Sirius asked.

“About what?” I didn’t know if he meant the animagus thing or the furry little problem thing.

“You being an animagus.”

I blushed, “well I was meant to tell McGonagall if I was going to try so I could be supervised but I kept forgetting and then I just couldn’t be bothered telling her. It was more fun on my own. Are you guys all registered?”

“Hell no!” Sirius laughed, “we’re as illegal as you are.”

“So who’s who?” I asked. “There’s a dog, a stag and a rat, which is which.”

“Guess,” Sirius said, “I bet you get one wrong.

“Hm, well I think you’re the dog because it’s really annoying.” James laughed at this, “James, you’re the stag because when I saw it, it seemed to be in control of the whole situation and Peter is the rat!” I said, “was I right?”

“Yep,” Peter said, “one-hundred percent. How much do you owe her, Sirius?”

“We didn’t actually bet,” Sirius said, “just a bit of fun.” Remus snorted. “What?” Sirius asked.

“You’re sitting playing games hours after I attacked someone. This isn’t funny.” He looked so serious, clearly he had taken the whole event as being his fault.

“We know it’s not funny, mate,” Sirius said, “just trying to make light of a bad situation.”

“Well Nyx was really lucky. I could have killed her, I could have bitten her! I should have known something like this was going to happen.”

“How could you have possibly guessed? Last night was a horrible string of coincidences that should never have happened.” Sirius looked pretty annoyed that his friend was blaming himself. "It's not your fault."

“Coincidences like me being a werewolf who shouldn’t even be at this school.”

“Well, that’s not fair,” I said, “you’re one of the best students in the year. I’m surprised you’re not a Ravenclaw.”

“Nyx, you were nearly killed last night.”

“You think I don’t know that?” I asked, pretty angry that he continued to blame himself, “you don’t even remember what happened but I do. I thought I was going to die last night Remus. If can can get over it so can you.”

“You’re just giddy from taking the potion.”

“No I’m not. I know exactly what happened and exactly what’s going on.”

“No you don’t, look it was a miracle they,” he motioned towards the others who were watching our argument, “accepted me for what I am, I don’t think you’re as okay with this as your leading on.”

“So you’re actually annoyed that I’m dealing with it?”

“No, I’m annoyed that you’re not telling the truth.”

“Fine. Want the whole truth?” I asked, loudly. He didn’t say anything so I continued, “I was bloody terrified last night. I didn’t think I would be able to look any of you in the eyes again, let alone you. But when I did I saw that you’re not that monster Remus. It’s nothing like you. Obviously it’s weird and not everybody would be able to understand but I can see the difference between the two of you. You’re taking this like it’s your responsibility when it’s not. I was the one breaking the rules last night, Remus. I was the one who went out on the grounds after hours without supervision and without telling anyone. So maybe I was shocked at first, maybe I was terrified of all four of you but I’m not now. You can say it’s the potion or whatever you want but it’s not. Either you can accept what I’m saying as the truth and be my friend again or you can walk about wallowing in self pity which you seem to enjoy. But don’t even try telling me how I’m feeling and how I’m dealing with things. I’ve dealt with worser things than this and I’m not going to stay here if you want to be pathetic. If you want people to hate you or fear you or whatever they will but don’t push away someone who actually tries to be okay with everything, who tries to go against everything they’ve ever been told about werewolves. Happy?” I asked, panting slightly at the end of my outburst. They all looked a bit shell-shocked.

“I didn’t realise you felt that way,” he stammered.

“Well I do.” Even I was amazed at my new found strength, I was surprised the outburst hadn’t drained me of what little energy I had. At least I was sitting down.

“I’m glad you feel that way obviously but I don’t think you’ve had enough time to think it through.”

“I’m not saying I’m completely okay with it Remus, that would be a lie because I’m not,” I saw his face fall, “what I am saying is that I’m willing to try and be okay with it. If you’d let me.”

“She’s making sense here Remus, what’s your problem?” Sirius asked, always sticking up for me.

“You know what my problem is Sirius. I’m a monster, I nearly killed someone and everyone is pretending it didn’t happen.”

“You’re not a monster, Remus. You know it. You just feel this way because emotions are running high right now. We all know you’re not a monster and it’s about time you saw it too.”

“I mean werewolves don’t even exist most of the time so really we’re talking about nothing right now, well, something that doesn’t technically exist at this moment,” I reasoned. Remus didn’t say anything. No one did. I was totally right though, Remus wasn’t anything but normal at that moment. I continued to look at him, making up for the lost time from when I couldn’t look at him. There was nothing remotely terrifying about him, except maybe his expression. He looked beyond depressed.

“So how come you hate me as a dog?” Sirius asked, breaking the most awkward silence in history.

“Have you not guessed?” I asked, he shook his head, “the first time I transformed, the dog attacked me for no reason.”

“Oh yeah!” Sirius said, remembering, “but you were going to eat Peter so it was totally fair. Plus you banged up my shoulder.”

“I didn’t know it was Peter. And I wasn’t going to eat him, I was just playing catch,” I said, affronted, “sorry about that by the way Peter, obviously if I had known it was you I wouldn’t have.”

“But I injured that panther.” Sirius pointed out.

“How many panthers do you think run about Hogwarts, Sirius?” James asked.

“But Nyx doesn’t have any marks.”

“Yes I do, you just can’t see them, they’re on my side.”

“How did you get them healed without going to Pomfrey? Heck, how did you heal the ones from last night?”

“Badly, that’s how. Do you want to see?”

“Yes,” James said, “I still think we should go to the hospital wing though.”

“No, it’s fine we don’t have to go to the hospital wing, I’ll show you here.”

I stood up so I could lift up my jumper more easily to show them the scars Sirius had given me. I also made sure I was facing them so my back wasn’t visible, that was a whole other, similar, story which would not help this situation.

“So… yeah, that’s why I wasn’t too keen on the dog. Especially when you bit me last night.” I laughed, Sirius chuckled too.

“Hey! I was trying to save your life you know!”

“Whatever, you still bit me. That’s weird now that I think about it.”

I was honestly starting to feel better about it, and I think seeing me coping was helping Remus to realise I didn’t blame him for what happened. I was in mid-ponder when I realised I still had my jumper rolled up. I tugged it back down quickly and sat back down. Everything was just going peachy until Remus had to be all serious again.

“Do you have any other wounds?” He asked, looking me right in the eyes since what seemed like forever. I was starting to think he would never look at me again. If I answered this honestly he probably never would, but lying wouldn’t really help in this situation either.

“Yes, are any of you any better than I am at healing spells. I’m really pretty awful at them.”

“I’ll do it,” Remus said solemnly, I didn’t want him to see the extent of the damage, I looked at everyone else hoping they could do it, “unless you want someone else to.” He added, noticing my change in expression.

“No it’s not that. It’s just, I don’t think you seeing them will help.”

“Are they really that bad?” He asked, looking guilty again. That was what I was afraid of. Well, that and werewolves.

“No, you’re right. If you’re the best you should do it.” I stood up and squeezed my way out of our circle of chairs so he had better access. “You ready?” I asked. He nodded.

“Do you want me do heal the ones Sirius gave you?” He asked.

“No it’s okay, they’ve pretty much healed up now.”

“Where?”

I rolled up my trouser leg, the worst of the wounds. Luckily, my spell work had been okay, no dried blood at all. It just looked like an open wound, which probably wasn’t much better. Remus winced at the sight of it, more than I did. He muttered the same spell I had used badly but this time it actually worked the way it was meant to. I held out my arm in silence. He rolled up the sleeve himself. This time it was everyone else’s turn to wince. The stub of the tree which I had fell on evidently went much deeper then I thought. There was a huge gash up my arm to the crease of my elbow which, like my leg, looked worse than it was. I held in my breath as he inspected it, I could still feel the pain of it. He waved his wand over it and I could feel the spell working and this time I could see it too.

“Good as new,” I said quietly, looking at Remus. Honestly I thought he was more likely to break.

“I guess,” he said slowly.

“So we’re good?” I asked him and the others. They all nodded but Remus didn’t even blink, he just looked so depressed. “Okay then, well I’m going to go back to the common room, Isabelle will kill me if I don’t go. See you all later?” I said cheerily to try and detract from the situation. Sirius grinned so I took that as a sign everything was fine. I left so they could all talk, it looked like they wanted to.

At least nothing had changed between us. I went to the common room happier than I thought I could. Maybe some things just worked out the way they were supposed to. Then again, maybe I was just being overly-optimistic. Everything had changed.



A/N: I don't think things are going to work out as well as she hoped, what about you? So that's the end of what was originally a crazy long chapter. I'm sticking this one up literally minutes after the first part was validated so hopefully it'll be up soon. I'm back to classes on Wednesday so I won't be updating quite so often so apologies in advance for that one. I'm also playing about with a couple of ideas so writing these next few chapters has taken a while although I must have edited this one a thousand times. Thanks to everyone who has favourite/read this story and I love reading what you thought in your reviews so cheers! Alex :)

Chapter 21: The Twenty-first.
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The holidays were over, completely. Everyone was not only back to school but we were also back to classes on the Tuesday. I hadn’t talked to any of the marauders since the room of requirement. I wasn’t exactly sure what I would say if I could talk to them, all I knew was I wanted to. Even Sirius hadn’t said a word to me, not that he’d had the greatest number of opportunities to. Even a hello would have made me feel a hundred times better. Annabelle was back and had invited me out with her and Peter several times before classes officially started. I had declined every one. If they didn’t want me, I wasn’t going to force myself on them.


That was what I had agreed with myself right? If nothing happens by new year then nothing was going to happen and I should leave everyone well alone. Except something had happened, something huge. How on earth was I supposed to digest it all? I wasn’t. Every time Annabelle returned from seeing them it was the same question. Peter wants to know if you’re okay. Was there something I missed? I always just shook my head, saying that nothing had happened and nothing would. 

 
The worst part of it was knowing how much Remus avoided me. That was most definitely the worst part. Sometimes though not often in those two weeks, I would catch his glance, just for a second. It was like he didn’t even recognise me anymore. I couldn’t change what happened but hopefully I could change his mind. He would have to talk to me in charms. There was no way he could avoid it, I sat right next to him. I had transfiguration before then where I would be surrounded by them. I had no idea what to expect.

 
I got to class just before it would be considered late. A first for me. The three of them looked up at me. I smiled sadly at all of them, hoping they would tell me what was going on. Remus looked back towards the front without a word and James followed his lead. When I sat down, Sirius didn’t say hello or even acknowledge I was there. As bad as I felt, I was also starting to get really pissed off with the lot of them. I practically tore my parchment as I ripped it out of my bag and slammed it on the table.


It wasn’t like I asked to be attacked. It wasn’t like I forced them all to explain it to me. It wasn’t like I begged for Remus to be the one to heal my wounds. And it certainly wasn’t me who told Remus to feel all guilty and angry because of me. So yeah, I was getting pretty fucking sick of it. Two weeks was enough time to get over it. I hadn’t gotten over it but honestly, I thought that was fair. I was the one who had received the most damage and I was the one who had a big bloody reason for being afraid of werewolves. I was allowed to not be okay with it but they were not allowed to ignore me without even telling me why.


“Right, today seeing as it is the first day back, I will let you work on your projects with your partners as long as you get to work. Otherwise, we will be doing more theory work.” McGonagall said, sitting on her desk and doing some marking, no doubt copious essays which she had handed out to O.W.L students. She thought she was doing us all a favour and to be fair, she probably was. At least for most of the class. 


I flipped through the parchments until I reached the essay which I had started. I was planning to just work on it in silence, at least that way I could pretend to be focussed while they all ignored me. Sirius seemed to follow my lead by taking some parchment out of his bag as the rest of the class jabbered away loudly. McGonagall lifted up the pile of marking and took it into her office, we were seventh years we were pretty much trusted by the teachers to get on with our work. If we didn’t we were only hurting our own chances. 


When she left the room, everyone got even louder than they were, nobody could really be bothered working on the first day back. Sirius didn’t seem to want to work either, he was just sitting doing nothing. It was annoying, there was me thinking I had a halfway decent partner. I actually needed this subject to get into the ministry and out of my house. 

 
“Are you going to do anything?” I asked angrily. He seemed surprised I was talking to him.



“What? Oh right, the project. Well I was thinking that maybe asking McGonagall if we could change partners.” I was gobsmacked. Remus and James turned round but they didn’t seem surprised. Clearly they had discussed this.

 

“I was thinking about asking Flitwick too,” Remus said, looking at Sirius instead of me, “it’s for the best.”

 

“Do you actually hate me that much?” I asked him, gritting my teeth as he wouldn’t look at me. He looked surprised but didn’t speak. “Forget it then,” I said, ramming all my things into my bag. I walked out of the room as quickly as I could without looking like I was storming out. Luckily it was a short distance to the door. Clearly sitting at the back payed off.

 

I decided to work on my projects in the library instead. If I was going to be starting from scratch then I might as well be prepared. I couldn’t believe them. They were actually cutting me out of their lives completely. I had been nothing but nice to them for the past few months and by some freak accident they all hated me even though I had tried to accept it. Did they not realise how freaking difficult it was for me to be nice to people? No. Well screw them all.


The library was empty, everyone else would be in classes at this point. So I sat down at one of the bigger tables and sprawled my work everywhere. I growled inwardly. I’d left my last bloody ink bottle in Transfiguration which was lucky really, considering it would have spilt everywhere in my haste to get out of there. I tried to remember the spell to transfigure myself one from a torn off piece of parchment. Then I remembered where I had left it, I could just summon it. So I did, badly. I was pretty sure there would be an ink splash somewhere in the corridor because the bottle seemed noticeably less full than it had been.


I was probably there for ages so it was a good thing I had a of work. Once the day of classes had officially ended, I moved to a smaller, quieter corner of the library in order to continue in peace. All of the fifth years would no doubt be in cramming for tests. I had missed Charms but I wasn’t really fussed. It was funny how unlike myself I was being, I was just too angry to care. 

 
“Hello,” a quiet voice said. I didn’t bother answering. “I, uh, I copied out my Charms notes from today for you.”

 

I looked up and Remus put about eight pages of parchment on the table. Clearly I had missed a lot. “Thanks,” I said dully, “Flitwick let you change partners?”

 

“I didn’t ask.”

 

“You must be gutted.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Well clearly you wanted another partner, and if that’s the case then I couldn’t care less who I end up with.”

 

“I didn’t want another partner. Like I said, it’s for the best.”

 

“The best for who?”

 

“You.”

 

“Really, well that’s a load of shit. If it was in my best interest to change partners then I would have done it already, Remus. Don’t say you were doing it for me to make yourself feel better about ditching me.” Okay, so I was being rude, but I felt like being rude and I didn’t get to do what I wanted very often so I was doing it then.

 

“I didn’t ditch you.”

 

“Oh right, so what would you call not talking to me for two weeks all because I found out about your ‘furry little problem’.” I even mimed the air quotes.

 

“Protecting you.”

 

“From what exactly?”

 

“Me, you have no idea what it’s like. Knowing you’re a monster. I am sorry about ignoring you though. I’ve been thinking about it, really hard and well, I know this is going to sound stupid now but I think we should be friends again. I’ve actually missed our talks during charms and I think I’ve moved past whatever stupid thing was stopping me from accepting what I'd done before now. Sorry.” He held out his hand like he wanted me to take it. I didn't touch it.

 

“Seriously? That’s the reason you didn’t talk to me or even tell me what the hell was going on? That’s rubbish. You do realise how self-hating and pathetic that sounds right?” I know that was low but I didn’t care, “you know what Remus you can take that half-hearted apology and shove it back down your throat before I do.”

 

“What?” He asked, surprised by my anger. Honestly, he looked scared. I was on too much of a roll to even think about stopping.

 

“You heard me perfectly well. ‘I think we should be friends’, ‘I’ve moved past it now.’” I said, mimicking his depressed tones, “Well it’s too little, too late. I was overjoyed when you finally kissed me but now I’m just wondering who’s balls you borrowed that day seeing as you clearly don’t own a pair yourself. I’ve moved way past it, Remus. I think you might have been right about changing partners after all.” I didn’t want to change partners either but I was too angry to even think about anything clearly. I was actually saying the complete opposite of what I wanted to but I guess that’s me, the angry idiot.

 

I started packing up my things hastily when I saw three pairs of ankles storm round the corner of the bookshelves. I left Remus’ shockingly neat notes on the table, it was nice of him I’ll admit, but I wasn’t really caring about it in that moment. Suddenly James, Sirius and Peter were standing beside Remus. They looked pretty angry. 

 

“Wow,” I said sarcastically, “an invisibility cloak. You didn’t even have the stones to come alone.” To be honest, I was impressed by the invisibility cloak, I’d never seen one before but I wasn’t going to admit it, I'm far too stubborn for that.

 

“How can you be so rude?” Peter asked. Ah, all too innocent Peter, he was going out with Annabelle, obviously he had never seen a woman angry before. 

 

“It’s not even rude,” Sirius said, “it’s just despicable. What have you ever been through that even compares?”

 

“Everything I said was true. It’s just that none of you wanted to hear it.” I ignored the last part of his sentence, I would have exploded otherwise.

 

“Everything I said was true too,” Remus said, looking more confused than ever. “Wait, was what you said about being overjoyed true too?”

 

“Obviously,” I said, “just because you were the only person in the school who was too thick to see I liked you doesn’t mean it wasn’t true,” I said to the now speechless Remus, “idiot.” 

 

“Where do you think you’re going?” James asked, “you think you can just act that way towards my friend and then run off?”

 

“I’m not running,” I said, “I’m clearly walking. None of you want me here so why should I stay?”

 

I was just about to walk off again and this time the marauders who were currently capable of speech allowed me to go past, clearly I was right. None of them wanted me there. I was almost out, when the marauder who I thought I had incapacitated spoke up. “Where did you get that idea from?”

 

“What idea?”

 

“That we hate you.” Remus said quietly 

 

“It’s pretty obvious.”

 

“Then you’re the thick one not me,” he said, looking annoyed.

 

“We don’t hate you. We all just figured that you wouldn’t want to talk to us now you knew the truth,” Peter said, clearly trying to tone down the argument.

 

“So everything I said in the room of requirement was completely ignored then? Nice to know someone was listening.”

 

“No, I’ll admit that part of it was my own idea. Seeing how hurt you had got made me angry with myself. You have to understand that I don’t even remember doing it, it literally kills me inside. Not knowing what I can do to the people I love. The more you all deny it, the more I think I’m a monster. Looking at you and your injuries just reminded me that as much as I try to live a normal life, I’ll always be a danger to people no matter how hard I try.”

 

Well, it was my turn to be speechless. I was genuinely gobsmacked by his confession. He was clearly being honest and knowing how he felt sort of made my heart break. “I’m so sorry,” I said quietly, “I had no idea you felt that way.” 

 

And then I walked out. I couldn't think of anything else to say.

 

 

 

 

A/N: Hope you liked this aftermath-ish sort of chapter (argh! an argument!). And as usual, I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has read/reviewed/favourited this story. After the lest couple of chapters this story had over 100 reviews (which is absolutely amazing by the way so cheers!) over nine-thousand reads and seventy favourites so again, thanks! :) I'm still writing my little heart out on this story and I'm currently writing the twenty-fourth chapter.. hopefully it'll be done soon, I had writers block for the first time ever on this story which annoying because I kept deleting things so it's great to hear people are enjoying it! :D Anyway, cheers and I hope you liked the chapter!


Chapter 22: The Twenty-second.
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I wasn’t sure what felt more horrible, knowing how Remus was feeling and hating myself for making him bring it up or knowing I was wrong about the whole situation. I think it was probably the first. If it was the second then I was a pretty messed up person. I still don’t know what made me react that way, probably the thought that the past half year of my life had been wasted on someone who would never want me. Pathetic right? Right.

 

I thought of ways to apologise to the guys for being such a bitch. I didn’t have many ideas, then again I couldn’t really talk to anyone about it that didn’t think I was a terrible person. I was just glad that I walked out when I did, at least that way the last thing they would have heard was my apology. Now that I had calmed down, I was thinking things through a bit clearer. I even thought of a plan. Clever right? Right.

 

I had had a night’s sleep on the information and I was ready for Charms first thing the next morning. I had left the notes Remus had taken meticulous care over copying out in the library. So I’d missed quite a bit meaning I couldn’t just skive off again because it might be awkward. Well I knew it was going to be awkward so at least it wasn’t going to be a surprise. I packed my bag quickly and slipped out of the common room before anyone else woke up. 

 

I didn’t know if I wanted to arrive last or first to class. If I arrived first then I could sit in my seat and wait to see who would bother to sit next to me, probably no one, or if I arrived last then I would know for sure where I would be sitting without having to ask any awkward questions. I went for first, that way I gave Remus the choice of sitting where he wanted to. So I sat, half an hour early, twiddling my quill and doodling so that I’d look busy when he did or did not sit next to me. 

 

When I heard the chair scrape the floor beside me, I took a moment to think of something smart to say to him so he’d know I was sorry. I looked around to see Remus doing exactly the same thing I was just doing. Pretending to be busy. I racked my brain as quickly as I could. I had to say something, anything to break the silence.
 

“Are we okay?” He asked the question I had been dying to ask but was too afraid to.

 

“Well, I’m okay. So it’s up to you.” I was not going to be forcing my company on anyone.

 

“Well I’m okay too. So I guess we’re okay.”

 

“Good,” I said smiling, “because the whole thing was just stupid.”

 

“I couldn’t agree more,” he said, smiling at me, “do you want these?” He held out the six sheets of parchment which he had written for me, “I think you’ll be needing them. Besides, it’s my fault you missed class yesterday.”

 

“Thanks,” I murmured, “and it’s not your fault. Just me and my stupid temper.”

 

“Yes, well, you had every reason to be angry.” There he was again, you know as hard as it clearly is for him to believe, some things in this world are my fault. A few things actually but mostly unimportant stuff like who ate the last apple turnover.

 

“Stop doing that. It’s really bloody annoying. Can’t we get back to just being friends?” I asked in a forced whisper. Flitwick had just entered and obviously everyone else decided to stop talking. This made it a lot more difficult for us to conduct our conversation in private or without earning ourselves detention.

 

“Right, just friends…” he murmured more to himself than to me. Flitwick started the lesson and I couldn’t ask what he was on about.

 

Flitwick spent the whole lesson talking which was probably a first, usually a charms lesson would be about twenty minutes of speaking and hectic practical right until the end. But obviously the one day I actually have to talk to someone would be the one day Flitwick decides to recite a monologue from the charms textbook. I was barely even listening. Well, that was a lie. I was listening, listening and taking notes but only because I had to. I didn’t really want to listen.

 

The bell rang before he had finished, I think it must have startled him because he jumped up at the noise. I had to restrain a laugh, it was pretty funny. I had noticed throughout the speech that Sirius was shooting me dirty looks. I guess winning him over would be more difficult than winning over Remus. I sighed. This wasn’t going to be easy and the fact I had transfiguration next wouldn’t help much either. Sirius seemed to have taken everything I said to Remus personally.

 

“Do you want to go through the passageway again?” He asked.

 

“Sure.” I smiled up at him, I was silently cheering about the return of our Tuesday walks. 

 

“Great.” He beamed. 

 

So we walked through the passage way and it was in no way weird or awkward which in my view, was a freaking miracle. Then again I had no way of knowing how Remus was feeling because unfortunately, I’d never even attempted legillimacy and it would be seriously unlikely for me to have any success on the first go. So I let it drop, satisfied that I would be able to sense any awkwardness in the air and because I could not sense anything - there wasn’t anything.  Because of the distinct lack of awkwardness in the passageway, it was a relatively short walk to transfiguration. I wasn’t really sure if I was pleased about this or not, Sirius wasn’t a happy bunny.

 

The awkwardness I had been dreading all day didn’t arrive until we were out of the passageway, well a few seconds later. Remus had just told me a pretty good hag joke so I was laughing like a moron, that’s not the awkward bit. I forgot about the small ledge which I of course tripped over when I ducked out of the passageway, even that isn’t the awkward bit. The awkward bit was of course me, stumbling due to the trip, barging into an already angry Sirius Black whilst laughing manically. So from where he, James and Peter were standing, it looked as though I had shoved my way past Sirius and was now laughing in their faces about it. I should have known the good luck  couldn’t last. 

 

 “Erm.. Hey?” I said, ignoring the mortifying few seconds I had just experienced. I was very unsure of how any of them would react. Remus was barley concealing his amusement at either my stumble or the looks on his friends faces. I’d have to annoy him later to make up for it. 

 

“Hey, Nyx,” James said with a smile although I have a feeling that he was only smiling because Lily was holding his hand in a public corridor.

 

“Prongs!” Sirius said in a harsh whisper, “we’re mad at her remember?”

 

“No, you’re mad at her. I happen to agree with Remus.”

 

I have no idea what they were disagreeing or agreeing on but whatever it was Remus was on my side. Yep, Remus Lupin who I had only yesterday called effeminate was on my side. Hogwarts is a funny place sometimes.

 

“Well there’s no need to be mad at Nyx,” Remus said to the general space around Sirius as Sirius appeared to be completely blanking everyone, he really reminded me of my little brother when he sulked, “we’re back to being just friends.” He said with a somewhat significant look towards Lily who seemed to know something I didn’t.

 

I was just away to ask why he said just in such a weird way and why Lily was looking at him funny when McGonagall told us to enter the class and take our seats. Damn. I was guaranteeing to myself that my own curiousity and imagination would invent some reason for those events and end up in some wonderland. I let Sirius go through first even though he was ignoring me so he didn’t have to shoogle past my chair to get to his. How courteous am I?

 

Well I don’t think he noticed my sudden act of courteousness or me at all to be honest. I hadn’t realised it would be so hard to win him over although I was wondering why he seemed to be so upset about the whole thing. 
 

Professor McGonagall started to lecture us about homework and tests and reminded us of the facts our N.E.W.T examinations were mere months away and that our projects were due in two months. As if I hadn’t already had the dates imprinted on my mind already. When she finished speaking I was tempted to seize the moment and talk to Sirius but then decided against it, he still looked somewhat sulky. 

 

“So…” I said, trying to break the silence as well as Sirius’ mood.

 

“What?” He snapped grumpily.

 

“I was just saying hello but I also wanted to apologise,” I told him. 

 

“What for?” He asked with a condemning and questioning look in his eyes. I had a feeling if I didn’t give the right answer here that he would be sulking for a whole week. 

 

“Er.. For telling Remus to shove his apology back down his throat? Or saying he was a coward? You can probably pick the best one.”

 

“I’ll go with the first,” he said, concealing what I hoped was a grin and not a sneer. “So why’d you say it?” He didn’t sound angry or questioning anymore so I thought I’d just roll with it even if I did still agree with what I said. Even if I thought it was fair in the first place.
 

“Because I was feeling annoyed and rejected. Why’d you ignore me?”

 

“Because we thought you wouldn’t want to talk to us anymore.”

 

“Even though it’s the complete opposite of what I said in the room of requirement.” This was the argument I should have had with Remus in Charms but neither of us wanted to have it so it didn’t happen. Sirius however, was looking for an argument and he got one, even if it was in a hushed whisper.

 

“Because you couldn’t have been thinking straight so soon after what happened because of the drinking the potion.”

 

“And who decided wether or not I was thinking straight?”

 

“I did. I had an a first hand view of your reactions that night and they weren’t pretty.”

 

“So? I was scared, that’s hardly unreasonable.”

 

“Yes, but you were more than scared weren’t you?” He asked with a knowing but curious look in his eye. I broke eye contact immediately. 

 

“Why didn’t you ask afterwards, you know once the potion had wore off?” I said, changing the subject.

 

“We would have but you spent every second in the Ravenclaw common room, we couldn’t exactly have a discussion there could we?”

 

“There were other times you could have talked to me. What about changing partners, what was that about?”

 

“I, I mean we, figured that if you were spending so much time in the common room that you didn’t want to speak us and probably didn’t want to be our partners anymore because that would inevitably lead to speaking.”

 

“I was hiding in the common room because you were all avoiding me.”

 

“We invited you to come out with us and you never said yes. Moony thought it was because you were scared of him.”

 

“You didn’t invite me out, Annabelle did.”

 

“Because Peter asked her to.”

 

“And I was supposed to know this how?”

 

“You’re a Ravenclaw aren’t you? Work it out.”

 

“Ha, very funny, Sirius.” I said, loading it with as much sarcasm as I could. 

 

“Glad you thought so.” 

 

He was smirking, that was a good sign I decided. At least he wasn’t scowling. I took this as a sign that he was warming up to me a bit more. 

 

“Why were you so mad?” I asked him. I had tried to stop the question coming out but I really wanted to know why Sirius had gotten so upset with me yelling at Remus.

 

“Look, I’ve put a lot of effort into getting you guys together and I thought that it had all been ruined because you couldn’t accept him. Listen, he’s had to deal with a lot of crap, a lot, so obviously when I thought you were rejecting him, us, I got really angry. You haven’t seen the best of him yet, Nyx, I swear.”

 

“I know he’s a great guy, Sirius, you don’t have to tell me that.”

 

“But there’s still something holding you back isn’t there? I told Remus that we,” he motioned toward me and then himself, “were nothing but a bit of senseless fun. Now there’s no excuses.”

 

“No excuses huh?” I said, eyebrows raised. He nodded. Then we both went back to work.

 

I spent the rest of transfiguration leafing through notes and perfecting essays for the project. Dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. I was a bit of a perfectionist when it came to homework. The rest of the class were silent. I panicked and wondered if they had been silent the whole time and James and Remus had heard us talking. If that was the case then it would possibly be the most mortifyingly embarrassing thing to happen to me since I was six and my mother decided to make me wear frilly, lace dresses and hair ribbons. Actually, maybe not. Those dresses were pretty bad. 

 

We agreed to all meet again later to work on our projects, a sort of last-ditch attempt to get them all finished perfectly. This time we would however be working in the library where our access to books was much better, not to mention I had a moral dilemma stealing books from the library via the room of requirement. I knew the frustration of not being able to find something wen you really need it, the kind that practically brings you to tears. So they all agreed to meet me in the library. Result.

 





 

 





 

 





 

A/N: Sorry about the wait on this chapter, my internet broke for two weeks (I barely survived) I'm putting this chapter up literally hours after it's been back on and I've arrived home. (It got rejected first time too which is also my fault, sorry!)  Anyway, I hope you liked it and thanks for all of the reviews on the last couple of chapters! :D I haven't read them yet but thanks for leaving them, I super enjoy knowing what you all thought :) And I am going to try and update the next one sooner than this one but I'm afraid to say my updating is catching up with my writing. I only just finished writing the twenty-fourth chapter but they're getting longer so yay!  :D Alex.


Chapter 23: The Twenty-third.
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I arrived early to the library, obviously. I practically lived in the library now that I was officially beginning to prepare for my NEWT examinations. It was a relief to not be avoiding anybody but it was also weird. I hadn’t told any of them why I was so scared that night, beyond the obvious reasons and I hadn’t really planned to but Sirius seemed to know something was up and I was beginning to be unsure about how long I could hide it all for. Maybe just a bit longer. 



I was practically finished transfiguration by the time the had got there. I thought I had done pretty well personally. I mean, besides from the fact I had less work to do than most other Ravenclaws because I only took three things, I had achieved straight O’s all year. Not to mention I’d joined the Quidditch team and we had won our first match. Our next match was against Slytherin in a few weeks and I wasn’t really looking forward to it. Slytherin beaters were in a whole new league to what I was playing. Not to mention the fact they have no qualms with cheating to win the match. Or breaking my neck.

 

The all sat down and I nodded to say hello whilst I finished my sentence with a smile. I piled up the parchment and looked up, I’d finally finished. “Hey, you’re late.” I told them.


“You’re early.” Sirius countered. I checked my watch to see if they were actually late. They were, but just by a couple of minutes. 


“You’re still late though. Look,” I raised my left arm, “thirty-two past seven.”


“I think you’ll find that’s twenty-eight minutes to eight,” James said with a smirk. 
 

“Shut up, you.”
 

They all took their seat around the bench and put their papers down, smirking. Damn them, I’m friends with them again for a few hours and they’re already annoying me. It must be some kind of game they’ve got going on amongst themselves.

 

“So where’s Peter this fine night?” I asked to stop their grinning.
 

“Where do you think?” Sirius asked with a faint eye-roll. 
 

“With Annabelle then. Why’d you sound annoyed about it?”


“Because if he’s not ditching us to be with her then she’s with us.”
 

“Ah, Annabelle’s not exactly your cup of tea then?”
 

“Well she keeps telling me to study more and to be frank, she’s painfully dull.” Sirius grumbled.

 
I shouldn’t have laughed, really I shouldn’t have. But I did. Actually I burst out in fits of uncontrollable giggling. It was mean but it was true. I mean I liked Annabelle and everything but she could be quite bossy if you weren’t careful. Once I started laughing, they all did. As if I’d given them permission to or something. I tried to stop but it was just so much fun being friends with them and laughing again. Eventually, we managed to stop which was a relief, I figured I’d die laughing there.

 

“Does Peter know none of you like her?”
 

“Nope, and we’re not going to tell him. He’s happy so we’re happy.” Remus said.
 

“That’s good of you.”

 
So we got to work, having exhausted the subject of Peter and Annabelle. I started on charms while they continued their transfiguration projects. Sirius was copying some of mine although he assured me that he had actually done the work, he had just forgotten his own notes. I didn’t really mind, we were supposed to be doing it in pairs anyway I think he just forgot that. 

 
“Well, that’s me wrapped up Transfiguration and I can guarantee you that that report is O level if not better. We all know how good I am at Transfiguration. I won’t be surprised if McGonagall kisses me after reading that baby," James said, standing up.

 
“Ah, so modest aren’t you?” Sirius said, grinning at him.

 
“Of course I am. But seriously, that is perfection. I’m off to go see Lily now, I’ll leave that here in case any of you morons want to copy it. We can’t all be amazing.”


And with that hideously confident statement, James walked out of the library with the happiest look I have ever seen. I wasn’t sure if it was because he was seeing Lily later or because he had just finished eight months of work. I was inclined towards the Lily option. Apparently at Slughorn’s christmas party, James had told Lily he loved her, in the serious way this time, and she had said it back. He probably fainted but I wasn’t sure, I wasn't invited.


It was silent in the library, of course it was, it was a library for Pete’s sake but I mean it was quiet. Quiet. Even with Sirius in the room. Madam Pince was probably hiding round a bookshelf waiting for one of us to speak over three decibels so she could kick us out. Or them out. If that happened I would pretend not to know them. Really, I would. 
 

“It’s good you two are back to be just friends again.” Sirius said, Remus shot him a filthy look. 
 

“There it is again!” I said, annoyed by the repeated use of the word just when they talked about me.
 

“What is?” Sirius said, looking at my parchment to see if I’d made a mistake.


“You, why are you all saying just in such a weird way?”


“What do you mean?” Sirius said in a curious voice although he was smirking so I had a feeling this was the desired effect he had thought of when he decided to say it.
 

“You said ‘just friends’ like it’s a bad thing. We were just friends before what’s changed now?” I asked, looking at both of them this time so I could try and guess what was going on in Remus’ mind. “Apart from the obvious of course.”
 

“Nothing.” Remus said, “nothing has changed. Sirius is just being annoying. As usual.” 
 

“No I’m not!” Sirius said with a mock pout.
 

“No he’s not.” I parroted, “you said it before in charms and again to Lily. Clearly I am missing something.”


“No, you’re not missing anything. Sirius is just trying to annoy everyone, as usual.”


“Well, I say I’m missing something and I’m not going to be happy until I find out what it is.”

 
“The thing is Nyx-” Sirius started.


“Sirius, shut up. Now.” Remus warned him. Sirius just ignored him flat out.

 
“-the thing is, Remus here, doesn’t want to be just friends. He wants to pick up right where the two of you left off before the little incident occurred. Like it had never occurred.”


And with a punch in the arm from Remus, a quick laugh and a light-fingered attitude towards mine and James' reports, Sirius was off, leaving chaos behind him. The most silent, awkward kind of chaos I have ever experienced. I had to break the silence, I just had to. I don’t think I could have actually survived in that for a moment longer.


“So…” Yep, that was my creative way to break the silence. Remus said nothing. Which was very helpful. “What the hell was that all about then?” Again, nothing. If anything, he looked petrified. “Going to bother answering any time soon or are you just going to sit there? Because if you’re just going to sit there I’ll have to go and ask Sirius and I’m pretty sure you’ll want me to hear your version rather than his.” 


Nothing.


He said absolutely nothing. 


“Right then. I’ll just go ask Sirius then.” I stuck to my threats, I always do.
 

I made to get up but then he finally bloody talked. 

 
“Wait, wait and I’ll tell you. I was going to tell you anyway.”


“Finally.” I said, sitting back down, curious as to why on earth he would wait that bloody long if he was planning on telling me anyway. Mustering up some courage? “Why does everyone keep saying just?”


“Because I may or may not have said in the common room that I wanted us to go back to where we were.” 

 
“But we are, we were friends before it happened and we’re friends now. Sometimes you Gryffindors aren’t very clever.”


“Yes, that I’ll agree with but we weren’t just friends before though were we?” He asked, looking right in my eyes like he was going to see the answer in them. 

 
“What do you mean?” I asked, knowing full well he meant the non-kiss on the lake.


“Well, I know it was my fault and everything but we kissed before you found out what happened. And I can’t help but wonder what we’d be like right now if you hadn’t found out.”


“What do you think we’d be like?”


“I don’t know. That’s why I’ve been wondering.”


“Honestly, I’ve been wondering that too.”


“What do you think we’d be like then?”


“I suppose we would probably be going out by now. If you had the confidence to ask, of course,” I said.


“Really?” He seemed shocked and I immediately regretted saying anything. I should have said nothing. Nothing would have been a heck of a lot easier than saying ‘we would be going out’. What sort of thing was that to say to someone anyway? What kind of response was I even expecting?


For a Ravenclaw, sometimes I’m not so smart.
 

“Well, I don’t really know but that’s where most of my wonderings lead.” I was going to pretend to write something in my report, you know just to break the stare but I had forgotten Sirius had nabbed it. So I ended up writing on the desk and then covering up the ink stain with a text book. I guess it was just Remus that made me forget I owned a brain. 
 

“That’s really quite interesting.” He said after an awkward silence. To be honest I had been hoping for words but maybe some that were slightly less ambiguous would have been nice. For a change.


“Nice to know you find the inner workings of my brain, interesting.” I said quietly. I probably just meant to mutter it to myself but ended up saying it anyway. I seemed to have lost any control over my voice and I wasn’t surprised. It was getting just as sick at the situation as I was.  “Are you planning on giving me an honest answer now that I gave mine?”


“I suppose I probably should,” he was smirking now, like the fun, jokey smirk I remembered from a few months back. “But I won’t.”


“Why not? There’s no point teasing me.”


“Because I much prefer your version of events. They sound like a whole lot of fun if I’m honest. Much better than my ramblings.”
 

“Aw, but I bet your ramblings would be fun too.. There’s no harm in saying it now that I’ve embarrassed myself.”
 

“Ah, but there’s no harm in me not saying them now that I know what you were thinking.”
 

“Well that’s just not fair. I might just leave if you don’t tell me.”


“Fine, I’ll tell you but you can’t tell a soul. I might not be Sirius but I’m still a marauder can’t have everyone thinking that I’m softer than a unicorn can we?”


“Okay, I promise.”


I put my quill down and folded my arms on the desk, just to make It clear I was paying complete attention to what he was about to say so if he lied, hopefully I would be able to tell or he’d be too scared to lie in the first place.
 

“I saw us going out.”


“Liar! That’s not embarrassing at all plus it’s what I just said.”


“Damn. Fine, I really saw a whole bunch of different things. The best was obviously going out which I did see a couple of times. The worst would probably be you beating me up and declaring that you would never speak to me again.”


“Well, it did come to close to that. You left me in the middle of a damn lake. I have bruises on my knees from falling over!”


“Bruises, really? I mean it’s not like you were attacked by a werewolf the next day or anything.”


“Point taken.” I said, realising how stupid it was to be complaining about bruises when I had pretty much been gutted by a black dog before and nearly eaten by a wolf after. I barely even flinched when he said it that time, which is a vast improvement. I had barely been able to think the word werewolf for two weeks.


“Sorry about that by the way. I guess I get a bit flighty when I’m embarrassed.”


“A bit? More like a lot.”

 
“Point taken.” He said, smirking. 

 
We both got back to work. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed. I had presented him with what I thought was a perfect opportunity to ask me to the next Hogsmeade weekend next month. Apparently not. Or maybe he just didn’t want to ask me out? I guess paranoia was just away to set in. Probably would have too were it not for…


“Do you want to go to Hogsmeade next weekend?” Remus blurted out about an hour later. Okay, ten minutes later but it seemed like an hour.
 

“Um, sure. Where do you want me to meet you guys?”
 

“I was thinking more like you and then me, in Hogsmeade, together, sort of like a make-up date. To go along with our wonderings.”
 

“Ah, found some courage have we?”
 

“I think I must have,” he said, smirking and then he turned serious again, “so what do you think?”


“I think that sounds like it could be a lot of fun. I’ll see you there.”
 

“Great.”
 

“Great.”
 

We both ended up smiling at each other for ages, I bet Madam Pince was even laughing at how stupid we looked. When we eventually did get back to out Charms work, we would glance up every so often to see ourselves glancing at each other. And then smiling some more. I think I needed a good punch in the face so I would stop smiling. I was just praying that Maia or Isabelle didn’t walk past to see me looking like such a moron. They would happily punch some sense into me.
 

I didn’t care though, Remus and I were officially going on a date. If I could have gotten away with no one seeing me, I would have fist punched the air. I didn’t though. 

 


 

 


 

 


 

A/N: So, it's finally happened huh? After Twenty-three chapters... don't worry there's still a lot more of this story on the way although I'm probably going to be apologising a lot more often for late updates because I am so freaking busy. The only reason I'm getting this one up is because I'm ill which sucks, but it gives me more time. Anyway, thanks for all the reviews and favourites they make me smile :) Thanks for reading too... over 11000 now. It's shocking. Alex.


Chapter 24: The Twenty-fourth.
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 Quidditch seemed to be the last thing on my mind but to say I completely forgot it would be an outright lie. Tom had been training us like crazy for the match against Slytherin. We we currently in third place but we had only played one match, Hufflepuff had been slaughtered by James’ team and had to beat Slytherin next month to even hope of picking themselves up from the bottom. Slytherin were second but they still had us to play and hopefully we could give them a run for their money. Our last match would be against Gryffindor and I was just praying that we had a decisive defeat over Slytherin to help us out in that match. 

 

We were all waiting inside the changing room before the match, Tom and Spencer were practically dancing they were pacing so fast, Maia was trying fruitlessly to calm Tom down and Derek looked a very pale green colour. I think it must be a chaser thing, being calm before a match. Maia seemed alright and Charles was teaching Amber how to turn parchment into toads if she ever got picked on. She was in fourth year and I heard that some of the Slytherins in that year are right tossers.

 

About five minutes before the match, Tom finally stopped pacing for three seconds to give us our usual pep-talk which, because of his nerves, wasn’t very peppy.

 

“Okay, I know we’re all nervous about the match.” He started.

 

“Nah mate, that’s just you.” Charles said, grinning at him.

 

“Well we should be nervous! I think we’re taking the fact we won the first match to mean we’ll win them all. We won’t if we don’t try. Slytherin are a good team and we have to beat them if we even want a chance of being in the running for the cup. If we don’t beat the then we will probably come in third and I don’t want that. I’ll be happy with any position as long as we beat Slytherin today.”

 

“So second then.” Charles piped up. I would never have been this cheeky to Tom before a match but I guess Charles had been sharing a room with him for seven years, he’d earned it.

 

“Whatever. We know Slytherin are going to try and play dirty and we know that they’re very good at getting away with it. If they so much as touch any of you, I want you to call a foul. I don’t care if you get death threats because of it, I don’t care if it makes you feel weak, humiliated and small. You call it. Understand me?”

 

There was a dull murmur of yes. I sure as hell knew if any of them tried to touch me I would certainly not be calling it. I preferred to deal with my own problems rather than having them on show for everyone. 

 

“Good. Now, as long as we play like we have in practice we should be okay. No distractions, keep your head on flying and making sure that Slytherin get what’s coming to them for that move against Gryffindor. I don’t care if they’re our main rivals. That tosser Avery should have been sent off. That reminds me, watch out for Avery and their new beater Rosier. They’re both brutes.” Then he looked at me and Spencer, who had both come from a long line of Slytherins. “I don’t even care if you’ve known them since you were six. You try and knock the living daylights out of them. Got me?”

 

We both nodded. 

 

“Right then, let’s go.”

 

We all stood up and a sudden feeling of importance came over me with the thought of the two hundred Ravenclaws that would probably be watching the match as I strode out onto the pitch. Not to mention every other house that wanted Slytherin to lose. Once I’d realised that, a sudden feeling of wanting to vomit came over me too. Then I reminded myself with the thought that Derek actually had the hardest job. If anything, I was probably going to have it easy. The Slytherins wouldn’t go after me. I knew half of them anyway.

 

I waved at Remus with a silly grin on my face. Sort of wished I hadn’t, wasn’t a very intimidating beater move. He waved back which at least made me feel better about looking like a moron. I got on my broomstick and flew up to the starting position opposite one of Slytherin’s beater, a guy in my year named Rowle. He was just as big as Rosier was except I knew Rosier though my family. I didn’t know Rowle. He was a lot less likely to be nice to me than Rosier was. And it wasn’t very likely Rosier would be nice to me in the first place. Quidditch was quidditch.

 

Rowle was smirking which annoyed me. Or maybe it was the cocky air about him that annoyed me or the fact that he looked at me like he was better than me. I think it was the last. I scowled at him which only made him smirk more so when the ref wasn’t looking, I gave him the finger to the cheers of the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw stands. Then I gave him a nice cheesy grin to show him that I didn’t give a stuff if he was going to try and unseat me during the match. He didn’t like that very much. He tightened his grip on his bat and just looked at me, like he was calculating how hard he would have to hit me in order to kill me. 

 

When the whistle was blown, the entire field sprung into action, nobody was still for longer than a second. Even the keepers were constantly darting from hoop to hoop as the ball was thrown. It was just a matter of time now, making sure that nobody got seriously hurt. I was protecting Tom and Spencer was covering Derek. Obviously we were protecting the other players as well but they were our focus. That was the game plan. 

 

I saw Rosier flying in my direction and immediately wondered what on earth he was up to. You don’t just fly up to the opposing team unless you’re up to something. Spencer was watching him too. I just gave him a ‘it’s okay’ look before returning my focus on Rosier. 

 

“What do you want, Rosier?”

 

“Call me Evan, Rosier is just so formal,” he said, mocking politeness, “I mean if I’m going to call you Nyx you may as well use my first name too.”

 

“Don’t call me Nyx then.”

 

“Why? Is that reserved for your filthy half-blood boyfriend?”

 

“Excuse me?” I asked, wondering why on earth he would bring up Remus.

 

“The disgusting half blood that can’t seem to dress himself properly. I heard he was your boyfriend. I would have thought someone like you would have better taste than that. I might just have to tell your parents if you insist of betraying your blood status.”

 

“Well you thought wrong. Remus is much better than you are.”

 

“Really? You think so?”

 

“I know so. Unless you would like me to smash your face in with this bat, I’d stop talking about him immediately.”

 

“Oh, I do love a challenge.” He said, gripping onto his bat slightly harder. 

 

“Don’t you dare.”

 

“Dare what? You know, I’ve never really liked quidditch and I’m not too good at aiming. Wouldn’t it be a shame if I accidentally hit a bludger towards the Gryffindor stands and it hit your impoverished boy toy. I mean, I have absolutely no way of controlling where the bludgers are going to go do I?”

 

That was pretty much what set me off. That and the fact I saw Remus looking concerned about me even though he was more likely to be hit by a bludger than I was. I was amazed that Rosier even knew Remus and I were going out. We haven’t even been to Hogsmeade together yet. The most we had even done was hold hands occasionally on our way to classes and most times we took a secret passageway. 

 

I went straight for the nearest bludger and pummeled it towards Rosier who was ready for it, clearly he had been trying to antagonize me and I knew it but I was just so angry I couldn’t help it. He pummeled the bludger back to me with such force that it only took the bludger two seconds to cross the distance. No where near enough time for me to even register what was happening. 

 

The bludger collided with my chest and sent me spinning in the air. I managed to control my broom quite easily once I’d realised what was happening. I heard the uproar from the crowd but I didn’t call it. It wasn’t even a foul anyway. I stayed still on my broom for a few seconds to catch my breath. The force of the bludger had knocked the wind out of my and I was coughing and spluttering for air. I clung onto my broomstick for dear life, searching for the bludgers and for Rosier.

 

I could hear the Ravenclaws going nuts in the stands. I looked to find Sirius, Remus, Peter and James yelling a string of swear words towards Rosier who was lapping it up like applause. I was seeing red, I wanted to make him hurt. Wipe that arrogant smile right off of his face. Then I saw another bludger, my only weapon. I shot towards it with my bat outstretched, ready to strike it.

 

Before I got there however, Rowle collided with me, full force into my right shoulder. That was intentional. I nearly dropped my bat which would have meant the end of my game. Another roar from the Ravenclaw stands erupted. This time, I could have called a foul. I really could have, I could hear Tom and Spencer shouting at me to call it, I could hear James and Remus yelling ‘foul’ at the top of their lungs. I didn’t call it. I could sort this out for myself. I waved off a furious looking Tom and closed my eyes for a few seconds to calm myself down. Or turn my anger into an advantage.

 

I spun my bat a few times in my hand, trying to find the perfect position to grip it in. Once I had found my desired spot, I started swinging it softly to get my swing perfect. This was usually the sort of thing I would do during practice but I had a couple of minutes free so I did my warm-up while I watched Maia, Charles and Amber slaughter the Slytherin chasers and show them what real talent was. Once I had finished, I took a few deep breaths and flew back into the fray. 

 

I whooshed past Remus at the front of the Gryffindor stands and gave him a half-hearted smile as I tried to ignore the pain in my ribs. I saw the bludger and this time Rowle and Rosier were too far away to touch me as I swung for it. I put all of my remaining energy into that swing and tried to unleash all the anger and frustration I had been holding in. The bludger sped off in the other direction with the assistance of my hit. I heard a yell of pain as it collided with Rowle’s right arm. I secretly hoped that I broke it. Either way, he dropped his bat and had to stop playing. That had to be a bonus for the team right?

 

After my own little victory, I returned to the job I was supposed to be doing. Protecting our players which I had unfortunately neglected so far, leaving Spencer double the work. At least I’d got rid of a beater though, that couldn’t really be a bad thing. Well, unless you count the fact the Slytherin team were now raging and probably wanted me dead. 

 

I was circling the pitch at a very low height to try and get a better view of our players without being too far away from them. I was actually enjoying myself until Rosier started to annoy me again. At least this time he wasn’t hitting me with bludgers or flying into me. Just him being there was annoying me. I could see Remus looking at Rosier with nothing but contempt in his eyes which admittedly made me slightly happier.

 

“You know, Nyx, fighting with me isn’t going to make you feel any better.”

 

“It might.”

 

“No, I don’t think it will. Because I might just have to tell your parents that you seem to be traveling down a very anti-pure-blood path with that mangy thing you call a boyfriend. You don’t want to isolate the only family you have left now do you?”

 

“Listen, you’re a family friend and that is the only reason I haven’t tried to kill you so far but if you say anything like that again or even bring my family up in passing conversation three miles away from me, I will find out and you’ll wish you we dead. Understand?” It was so much easier to make threats when I was holding a heavy wooden bat.

 

“Now, now, don’t get angry Nyx, I’m sure you’re parents wouldn’t be happy if you were to lose control and fall of your broom. Although I think you’ve lost you’re mind as well as everything else you’ve lost. I mean just look at who you associate with. That Hawk girl, she’s a mudblood isn’t she? IT would be a shame if something were to happen to her when we leave school. ”

 

I didn’t even hear him insulting Maia, I had already decided what I was going to do at that point. I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had maybe thought it through first but I couldn’t control my anger and suddenly every violent thought I had had in the past ten years was unleashed. If only I had been the panther, maybe I would have been able to control it, maybe. Then again, maybe not.

 

I pounced. I actually pounced on Rosier. Clearly I was getting too attached to my animal mind because I was fairly sure a normal person wouldn’t launch themselves off of a flying broomstick. I collided into Rosier’s side, knocking him off his own broom, sending us both to the ground. 

 

We must have flipped in mid air because I landed first, my shoulder slammed into the hard pitch and I knocked my head. Rosier, who was a fair bit heavier than I was, crashed into the ground after, but not without landing on my left leg. I didn’t know if it was broken or not but it was bloody painful.

 

Until that point, I hadn’t even registered the fact that there was anyone else apart form the two of us on that pitch but now that I was still and on the ground, I could feel the pain of their previous attacks a lot more and the crowd seemed to be a whole lot louder than I thought. I would have got up and tried to see what was going on but that extra knock from the fall had completely winded me and I couldn’t move.

 

Rosier wasn’t quite so injured, he managed to stand but he wasn’t bloody happy. I had single handedly taken out two beaters in a match. One fairly, one not so fairly. It was his own fault anyway. I was just coughing and spluttering on my back whereas Rosier was drawing out his wand and murmuring something underneath his breath. He had his wand up his sleeve so I don’t think anyone else could see him but I could certainly feel what he was doing. My left arm was on fire with pain.

 

I rolled up my sleeve, sitting up to see what he had done. There, carved into my arm were the words blood traitor. I didn’t scream out in pain and I didn’t curse him for doing it. I was too tired to do either. Instead I rolled my sleeve back down before the people who were running over could see. The crowd of people appeared to be made up of Remus, Annabelle, Sirius, Peter, James, Professor Flitwick, Professor Slughorn, Rosier’s blonde girlfriend who was in sixth year and a couple of his cronies. I managed to stand myself up before they got there. The last thing I wanted was a fuss.

 

“Miss Warrender!” Slughorn yelled, “what kind of foul play was that? Do you have no respect for the noble rules of quidditch and the honour of sportsmanship?” 

 

“Yes, Miss Warrender,” Flitwick agreed but in a much quieter voice. “I must impress the seriousness of what you have done. You endangered not only your own safety but that of a fellow student all over a game of quidditch. You have been excused from outburst in the past but I can see no other course of action but to regrettably ban you from the last match of the season.”

 

“Yeah, I know,” I managed to grumble. Did none of them realise I was in pain? They could punish me later. At least Rosier appeared to have a black eye and a swollen ankle. I managed to do some damage which I thought was impressive considering the size of the boy.

 

I think Flitwick was away to say something else but he was drowned out by the sound of the crowd. They were cheering like crazy. Apparently the distraction I had caused by being a complete and utter idiot allowed Derek to zoom off into the distance and catch the snitch. We’d won by a landslide. I was so bloody happy that we’d won I could barely feel my ribs or my leg which can’t have been broken otherwise me jumping up and down and hugging Annabelle would have been a freaking miracle.

 

“Re-match, I demand that Ravenclaw forfeit the match!” Slughorn boomed, realising his team had lost.

 

“No way!” I said, “I’ve already been banned from quidditch you can’t punish the whole team.”

 

“Miss Warrender is right, Horace, a re-match is not going to happen,” Flitwick said, noticeably happy that we had won.

 

They started arguing amongst themselves so we just left them to it. Remus put my arm around his shoulder so I could take the weight off my leg. The worst pain was probably in my ribs because I landed funny but I’m pretty sure they could be fixed up quickly by my increased knowledge of healing spells. Ever since I found out I wasn’t very good at them, I hit the books. I think I was getting better at them and this was nothing major.

 

“I think we should go to the hospital wing now.” Remus said, noticing that Tom and Spencer had finished celebrating the win and were on their way over to no doubt shout at me or kick me off the team themselves. Wait until they found out Flitwick had done that for them, they weren’t going to be happy. 

 

“No, I’m fine. I don’t want to go to the hospital wing,” I said to general surprise.

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because I don’t need to. I’m not a fan os hospitals to be honest.”

 

“You could have a broken rib.” Sirius said.

 

“Nah, I think I’d know if my rib was broken. I just need a lie down for a bit in my bed.”

 

“Fine, but I’m walking you,” Remus said.

 

“That’s fine by me,” I said, “I’d rather have company anyway,”

 

Remus walked me off the pitch before Tom and Spencer came over. They got slightly held up when Tom decided it would be a good time to snog Maia’s face off because we had won the match. I was happy about it too but obviously I wasn’t going to go snogging people’s faces off, unless they were walking me to my dorm and offered of course. Which Remus being the gentleman he as, didn’t happen. But there was a very sweet little hug before I went into the common room early so I could skip out on the party. Either way, I was very, very happy with my boyfriend. 

 

My boyfriend, mine. That’s right, my boyfriend, Remus Lupin, was an absolute gentleman and exceedingly good looking to boot. Now quidditch really did seem to be the last thing on my mind, except for my bruises obviously.

 

A/N: So, I absolutely love writing Quidditch but it seems like this will be the last time Nyx is in a match... which is unfortunate for me but I really like this chapter for some reason. Probably the anger... I tend to be an angry person. Anyway, this is probably going to be another late update.. sorry! :S but I'm really glad to know people are still reading my story after twenty-four chapters. The next chapter is not the first date, the next one is which I'm pretty happy about too. All round, things are on the up :) Thanks! Alex.


Chapter 25: The Twenty-fifth.
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 Tom and Spencer reacted in the exact same way I had predicted they would. Luckily I got the brunt of it the following morning as I don’t think I could have handled the yelling whilst I was injured. It would have bothered me more had I not been so impressed with my own improved ability at healing spells. Admittedly the injuries I was trying to fix this time were much, much smaller than the ones I had failed to heal last time. But I still figured any improvement is worthy of a pat on the back.

 

I woke up that morning with a stiff shoulder, I rolled it around a bit to try and loosen it up before having another crack at healing it. Then I rolled myself out of bed and got dressed, praying that I was up early enough to miss Tom and Spencer. They hadn’t gone to bed as early as I had because of the celebration party but somehow they managed to be up at the crack of dawn most days. They still managed to be up before me though so when I got the the seemingly empty common room, I was ambushed.

 

“What the hell were you thinking yesterday, Nyx?” Tom said, he wasn’t yelling yet though, he was smart enough not to wake the whole house. 

 

“I wasn’t really to be honest,” I said.

 

“So why did you jump off your broom then?”

 

“To get Rosier.”

 

“Why?” Spencer shouted, “what could he have possibly said that would make you jump off your bloody broom.”

 

“He was talking about my family and he wasn’t being very respectful. I figured a good knock might help everyone out a bit.” I was purposely trying to make it seem like less than it was but even as I played the memory through in my head it looked insane.

 

“So what did Flitwick say to you then?” Tom asked as though he didn’t really want an answer. Spencer stayed quiet.

 

“I’m off the team.”

 

“What?” Now Tom was yelling as loud as anything I’d ever heard, “well that’s just bloody fantastic. Thanks a lot Nyx, you’ve really helped us out. Now we’re a beater down and we have to play Gryffindor next month. You know what I’m glad you’re off the team. Now we know that you’re an irresponsible, selfish idiot who can’t control her own bloody temper!” 

 

I fought the temptation to wipe the spit off my face. Barely.

 

“Listen,” I said slowly, “if he was in your face, slagging off your family would you have just sat there and took it? I’m not about the let anyone bad mouth me, my friends or my family.”

 

“Yes, Nyx, I would have sat and took it. I bloody told you before the match that they would try something like that. You said you would be able to handle it.”

 

“You do realise he threatened Maia right?” Obviously he didn’t realise. I hadn’t told him. For a very good reason but once again I couldn’t control my own temper. They really were spot on with me. 

 

“What do you mean by threatened her?” Now as lovely a guy as Tom was, he actually looked quite scary then. Which is why I shouldn’t have said anything in the first place.

 

“He was just saying stuff about her not being a pure-blood. Like you said, he was just trying to antagonise me.” I was back-pedaling and it was pretty obvious too.

 

“Forget it, Tom,” Spencer said, patting his shoulder, “he was just being a dick for the sake of being a dick. You know as well as I do he wouldn’t try anything. Rosier is a complete moron.”

 

“You’re right,” Tom said, unclenching his fists slightly, “but that won’t stop me from smacking him as soon as I get the chance.”

 

“That’s not a good idea, mate. We’ve already lost one player to the idiot we wouldn’t want to lose our captain too.” 

 

I stayed quiet. I didn’t want them yelling at me again. That would just be stupid and despite all of the stupid things I’ve ever done, I’m genuinely not stupid. I don’t want to be bad news.

 

“You’re right. I guess we’d better organize trials for a new beater. Do you think that other kid will still want to play?”

 

“Probably.” 

 

They must have forgotten I was there because they started talking about quidditch and knowing the two of them, they would continue talking about it for hours. I stalked out of the room and headed off to the library to read for a bit before going down to breakfast. 

 

On the way to the great hall after reading a theory on the behaviour of magical creatures in relation to the wizard approaching them, I was ambushed again. 

 

But it was in a good way this time. 

 

A Remus way. I guess he must have been going to the library too. Or he somehow guessed I fancied a little bit of reading before breakfast which would be a bloody hard thing to guess if you ask me. 

 

“How’s your shoulder?” He asked, taking my hand. Obviously I was pretty surprised to hear a noise in the quiet corridor but I didn’t get a scare this time which was a first since the unmentionable attack. 

 

“Alright I guess. It’s a bit stiff but otherwise I did a pretty good job of mending it.”

 

“How come you didn’t want to got to the hospital wing?”

 

“I don’t know really. I guess I’m just not a big fan of hospitals in general. They smell funny plus it’s more of an accomplishment healing them yourself.”

 

“Well, I’d imagine you’re getting quite good at healing them by now. You’ve been doing it all year.”

 

“Yeah, I guess I have. You know they say practice makes perfect, so I guess I’m just going to have to keep throwing myself off broomsticks until I can do it perfectly,” I laughed. 

 

“I’m fairly sure there are easier ways of practicing healing charms you know.”

 

“What?” I asked, faking shock, “are you being serious. How come no one ever told me that?”

 

“No idea,” he chuckled, “I guess it’s because you seem to enjoy throwing yourself off of broomsticks.”

 

“It is fun. I should start a club.” 

 

We continued in this way until we made it to the great hall. It was pretty fun. I was having fun.

 

However, when we made it to the great hall, well just outside of it, things got decidedly less fun. I knew I shouldn’t have said anything earlier. Of course I knew. But I told Tom anyway just because I didn’t want to get shouted at. I guess that was my Slytherin blood coming out in me. It was still early, so there weren’t any professors around but there were three Ravenclaws, a Slytherin and a Gryffindor in the entrance hall. Including Remus and I.

 

The Slytherin in question, Rosier, was pinned against the wall by one Ravenclaw who was fighting with the other while the third, along with the Gryffindor, was watching. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Rosier must have been skulking about for some reason and was then found by Tom and Spencer who weren’t very happy with him. Tom, being the angrier of the two, had slammed Rosier in to a wall and, judging by the black eye, punched Rosier square in the face. Spencer, being slightly more sensible, had stopped him from doing anymore damage but had been unable to free Rosier from the wall. Remus and I were just witnesses. So far.

 

“Tom! What the hell?” I asked, raging.

 

“This slimeball threatened my girlfriend and I’m not going to let him get away with it,” Tom said, freakishly calm.

 

“What?” Rosier sneered, apparently unaware he was pinned to a wall, “you mean the mudblood chaser that doesn’t even deserve to be here?” Even I knew he shouldn’t have said that.

 

Spencer dropped Tom’s arm, happy to let him continue with what he was doing before he was stopped, Remus started roaring insults at Rosier and Spencer decided to join Tom by kicking Rosier in the shins. Only I seemed to realise that we were in the middle of a school, right before breakfast.

 

I ran over to where Tom and Spencer were happily punishing Rosier for slagging off Maia. I took out my wand and immoboilised the three off them. That just seemed to make them angrier.

 

“Nyx! What the hell? You heard what he said!” Tom said with one arm still raised.

 

“Yes, I did. But I don’t think Maia would be very happy if the two of you were kicked off the team. We all know the Slytherins are looking for an excuse.” Rosier growled in agreement. “I’ll let you go if you promise to stop.”

 

“Fine,” Spencer said grudgingly. “But he deserved it.”

 

“I know,” I said, waving my wand and letting the two of them go. They traipsed off into the great hall to get breakfast. I would imagine the cut on Rosier’s cheek took a bit of effort. They were probably hungry. 

 

“I would have just let them continue personally,” Remus said, looking at Rosier as though he would like nothing more than to give him another punch. It was scary.

 

“Yes, well. We’re both prefects and it wouldn’t make very much sense. And you,” I addressed Rosier this time, “you’re not going to breathe a word of this to anybody. You’re going to tell them that you acquired these injuries when I knocked you off your broom. Understand?”

 

“And why would I do that?”

 

“Because I told you so that’s why.”

 

“Why would I take advice from a filthy blood traitor like you. It’s like I said yesterday at the match. That boyfriend of your is going to get you killed and nobody has any respect for you or your family anyway.”

 

Now I wanted to punch him. I really did. But surprisingly, I managed to restrain myself which is more than I could say for Remus. He punched Rosier right in the jaw, which must have been pretty bad because Remus hurt his hand.

 

“Or you could see what I do to you if you do say anything. And trust me, it’s not going to be pretty. I distinctly remember telling you to never, ever talk about my family ever again,” I said, with my wand against his throat.

 

“Fine, but as soon as we’re out of here. You’ll be lucky to last a year.”

 

“We’ll see,” I said, holding him by the throat after I immoboilised him. I’m surprised he didn’t shake me off, he could have easily. “But I wouldn’t bet on it.”

 

When I let him go he spat on the floor and walked towards the dungeons. Apparently he wasn’t hungry anymore. I wasn’t either but I couldn’t really go back to the common room. I had to go check on Spencer and Tom. 

 

“You okay?” Remus asked, looking worried for some reason.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine. Why?”

 

“Well, I don’t know, it’s not like he just threatened to kill you or anything.”

 

“Seriously, I wouldn’t trust a single thing that comes out of his mouth. Full of hot air.”

 

“Still. I don’t like the way he was speaking to you,” Remus said as he followed me into an empty great hall.

 

“Don’t worry about it. Rosier wouldn’t try anything ever. Despite what he seems to think. The Warrenders are still a pretty powerful family.”

 

“Hmm.. I guess you’re right.”

 

“Of course I’m right. I’m always right.”

 

“That is true,” Remus said, lightening up slightly.

 

We walked into the great hall and sat next to Tom and Spencer who seemed to have cooled down slightly, slightly. Tom was still clenching his teeth and had decided to attack his bacon with his knife. I figured he was imagining a certain Slytherin’s face. 

 

“Why didn’t you let us kill the bastard?”

 

“Because Azkaban probably isn’t very pretty. It would be a shame if you had to have a permanent holiday there just because Rosier knows how to push your buttons. He’s just annoyed that they lost the match yesterday, Slytherin have absolutely no chance of winning now.”

 

“Yes well, neither do we if we don’t find a new beater,” Spencer said, “because our last one just couldn’t resist pouncing off her broom for a laugh.”

 

“I’m sure you’ll find someone,” Remus said, smirking, “and if not, Gryffindor will just have to win the Quidditch Cup. Again, like they did last year and the year before that.”

 

“You wish,” I said.

 

“Yep,” Spencer agreed. 

 

“Anyway,” I said, “it’s probably better that I don’t play.”

 

“How’d you figure that one out?” Remus asked.

 

“Because now Gryffindor at least have some chance of winning the match.”

 

I shoved some black pudding into my mouth as the others laughed. I didn’t realise that was such a joke. I’d always figured I was a pretty good quidditch player. They were all laughing like I’d suggested Snape take up modeling. 

 

At least I’d managed to avoid a disaster. Now all I had to do was go through the week anticipating the weekend and with it, my very first date with Remus Lupin in Hogsmeade.

 

A/N: Hey! So I guess you might think this is a filler chapter but I wrote one of the conversations out and it wouldn't fit into other chapters and I really wanted to mention the war in this story (it was a pretty big part of their lives and all) so this chapter was born :D Hope you liked it! Alex.


Chapter 26: The Twenty-sixth.
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 Hogsmeade was beautiful in spring. Heck, it was pretty beautiful every season. Winter was probably the best but spring was definitely up there with it. The snow had pretty much melted by now apart from the odd patch here or there that had turned slushy. I realise that doesn’t sound terribly nice but I liked it. It wasn’t warm but it wasn’t freezing either. Just right. 

 

I was walking along the stony path to the village with Remus who had waited for me in the great hall with Peter while I got ready with a weirdly nervous Annabelle. I had no idea why she was nervous and I wasn’t. I had more of a reason to be nervous in my mind. I mean it was my first date with Remus, well proper one anyway. Annabelle had been going out with Peter for months. 

 

Anyway, I was very happy when I was walking to the village. It was peaceful and it was cosy. Remus had his arm wrapped around my shoulder, which was lovely but there was something a little bit off about it. I couldn’t really place what it was. I think it might have just seemed a little bit too forced and I didn’t want it to feel forced. That sort of feeling pretty much put the nail in the coffin for me and Spencer the year before.

 

I let it be because we were pretty much in the village it wasn’t as bad as I’m making out. I tended to over worry about things like that. But not anymore I decided. From now on, I would be as happy as possible without any worrying whatsoever. Good plan, right? 

 

Well it would have been.

 

When we got to the actual village part of the village, it was physically impossible to be happy. And I’m not over-reacting this time. It was physically and literally impossible to be happy.

 

Dementor.

 

Even though there was a dementor, there was still a small crowd watching what was going on. Said dementor who had obviously been making me feel chilly was accompanied by who I can only assume was one of the more human guards at Azkaban. He didn’t look too happy himself although I figured he’d be used to it by now. The wizard was talking to Mulciber, a slytherin in our year. It didn’t look good but I couldn’t quite hear what was being said.

 

“Let’s get closer,” I said, tugging on Remus’ sleeve.

 

“What?” He whispered, “Why on earth would you want to go closer to a dementor.”

 

“Because I’m a nosey bugger that’s why. You coming?”

 

“No, but I’ll wait here for you. I can’t stand those things. Good thing I can do a patronus though.”

 

“Really? That’s pretty advanced. I wouldn’t have a hope of doing that.”

 

“You can’t do a patronus?” He asked skeptically.

 

“No, of course not. I don’t take Defense do I?”


“Well then why on earth would you bother approaching a dementor.”

 

“Excitement I suppose.” I shrugged and started to edge my way over slowly so it didn’t look too obvious that I was being nosey. Remus followed on behind me. I guess he changed his mind about coming now that he knew I had absolutely no chance of defending myself if the dementor took a turn on me. 

 

Mulciber looked genuinely terrified for a split second. I mean for the size of the guy you wouldn’t think anything would scare him but then again, a dementor was trying to get it’s hands on him. I figured they’d only sent one ministry guy to get Mulciber because he was still technically a schoolboy. Even though I could tell he was scared he still had the same air of cockiness that most Slytherins had. 

 

“Mr Mulciber, I think it would be best if you came with us,” the ministry official stated although he didn’t sound very forceful or imposing which you would have hoped for in the guy that was arresting people. 

 

“On what charge?” Someone in the crowd yelled out. It made me happier knowing there were people who were just as curious as I was, if not more so.

 

“Mr Mulciber has been known to use two of the unforgivable curses several times and in accordance with the law he is to be arrested and sent to Azkaban prison where he will wait for his trial,” the ministry official answered dully like he didn’t really believe it himself. Or didn’t really care.

 

“Listen, Rookwood,” Mulciber began slowly, smiling, “I don’t really feel like going to Azkaban for doing what all wizards are meant to do and preforming magic. If some filthy mudblood got hurt, that’s not my fault is it? They could have fought back if they had the power to do so.”

 

Honestly, Mulciber seemed a bit too cocky for a guy who was cornered by a ministry official, half of Hogsmeade and a dementor. That’s all I’m saying. Then I again he was never exactly short of confidence.

 

My head was starting to hurt a little bit but I ignored it, what was happening was way too exciting to not have my full attention on. A real arrest, in Hogsmeade. That’s pretty uncommon. I did however fasten up my jacket a little more, it was starting to get colder too. 

 

Before I could even comprehend what was happening, Mulciber had easily disarmed the ministry official and had disapparated so quickly, no one in the crowd even had time to blink let alone stop him. Then, as expected. Pandemonium broke lose. 

 

The ministry official ran for his wand although we all knew he was too late to do anything. I was actually pretty surprised he didn’t just disarm him immediately considering he was actually arresting someone. Then again. Rookwood did seem to know Mulciber. Maybe… No, not maybe. Rookwood worked for the ministry I was just being to nosey for my own good. The crowd were yelling insults at him as he picked up his wand. The dementor didn’t look to happy to have lost a potential inmate that he, no wait it, no wait he? I don’t know anyway the dementor was not happy about losing some memories he could have felt. 

 

The dementor, turned on the crowd. Which you couldn’t really blame it for. As horrible as I felt because of it, it was in it’s nature to try and get the emotions that were out there and because of Mulciber’s escape, emotions were running high. Too much for it to resist really. When I say it turned on the crowd I mean it turned on the nearest human being which, at that moment, was Rookwood. I’m sure it wasn’t going to kiss him or anything but the guy couldn’t really defend himself. 

 

I sort of did something pretty stupid. Well, really stupid considering I’m so useless at defense against the darks arts it would probably be safer for me to be a death eater. But in my defense, I was trying to help out Rookwood. I’d only met him a couple of times before at one of my family’s parties but he seemed okay and he didn’t really deserve to get attacked by a dementor. All I really did was run to a point between him and the dementor which stopped the dementor from taking him by surprise. It’s not like I risked my life for him or anything. That would be insane. 

 

All that really happened was I got a whole lot colder and bit of a sore head and a teeny graze on me knee where I landed.. Okay, a really sore head but I didn’t feel miserable or anything so it’s not so bad. A couple of seconds after Rookwood had his wand out and managed to cast a patronus at the dementor which made it back off. They were still under ministry control and this one seemed to have realised it’s mistake. We both stood up and shook the dirt and grass from our robes. Problem over. 

 

“Thanks, Miss Warrender,” Rookwood said, holding out his hand for me to shake. He wasn’t really that much older than I was but he still called me Miss Warrender. 

 

“No problem, Rookwood.” I said, “maybe next time make sure the guy’s disarmed before you go setting dementors on him.”

 

“Yeah, I can’t believe I forgot that. Anyone would think I did it on purpose huh?”

 

“Just keep a tighter grip on your wand, eh? I figured they would have trained you at the ministry.”

 

Remus came over. He didn’t look very  happy but he didn’t look too upset either. He probably just thought I was stupid which admittedly, I kind of was if you looked at my actions. I shook Rookwood’s hand and he walked over to the dementor. They were probably going to have to go back to Azkaban now and nobody was going to be very happy to discover that Mulciber had got away. I guess Rookwood didn’t want to talk to Remus or something. 

 

“Hey,” I said sweetly as though I had just skipped along a flowery meadow rather than a dementor’s path.

 

“That was pretty stupid,” Remus said with a grin. “Although it was pretty brave too. Sure there’s not a Gryffindor hidden in there?”

 

“Pretty sure.. I might have to get that checked out.”

 

“So why did you do it.”

 

“Well, despite the Gryffindor-ness of my actions, I was actually being a Ravenclaw about it. See I weighed up some options and tried to look at a couple of consequences and then I chose the best course of action. It was pretty logical if you look at it.”

 

“Logical in what way exactly?” He asked, laughing. We started to walk to the Three Broomsticks. I think Remus figured I could use a butterbeer. 

 

“Well, either I left Rookwood to get drained and then feel really guilty about it after or help out an old friend and earn myself a favour.”

 

“That sounds pretty Slytherin to me, collecting favours.” It didn’t sound like an insult to me, even if it was meant to be be one. I wasn’t sure. It just sounded like an obvious statement of fact.

 

“I guess so, I’m from a family of them so I guess it’s just coming out now. Plus, I really did want to save Rookwood and it wasn’t just to earn a favour, he’s actually a pretty nice guy.”

 

“Where do you know him from he’s got to be at least four years older than us.”

 

“Five. And I know him through the family.”

 

“That’s pretty cool. I guess making connections are easier when you have more chances to socialise.” He didn’t sound jealous or anything, more just like he was wondering to himself. I know he wasn’t trying to make me feel guilty but it did make me feel kind of bad knowing that I’d had so many more chances than he had.

 

“Sorry,” I said, “I didn’t realise you’d never had that. It’s easy to forget.”

 

“No, no. Don’t be sorry. I’m glad you’re able to forget every once in a while.”

 

“Well I’m glad too.”

 

We walked into the Three Broomsticks after a slightly emotional moment. I was seriously glad we were distracted by our arrival at the pub. I wasn’t big on emotional displays or moments or even thoughts. Plus, I really was wanting a drink. 

 

We found a table that was near, but not to close too, the other guys who were in the pub. Annabelle and Peter had a table to themselves so did James and Lily. Sirius appeared to be sitting at a table with six other girls. All of whom were in our year. It was pretty impressive to say the least. It seemed to be filled with Hogwarts students who wanted out of the cold or away from the dementor. 

 

For the first time in a long while I seemed to be genuinely enjoying myself without thinking about animagi, werewolves or NEWTS. It was practically a miracle. Then again, I was on my first real date with Remus Lupin so if I wasn’t enjoying myself, I would have been seriously worried. Admittedly, we hadn’t really done much just had lunch but it was a fun lunch, it was just a really polite sort of fun. 

 

“And then Sirius  dropped his trousers right in front of Professor Merrythought to finish it all off,” Remus chortled.

 

Okay, so not totally polite. Remus was just telling me about a prank the four of them had pulled a couple of nights ago which had earned all of them, including James, two weekend detentions. I had to admit, even though it had caused them to lose their most valuable free time, it did sound pretty hilarious. Just as I was thinking this, the group of girls with Sirius all started giggling too. I guess Sirius was recounting his night-time adventures to them too. 

 

“You’re kidding!” I barely managed to say anything through my maniacal laughter but at least I was audible. 

 

The lunch lasted much longer than I had originally expected. Not because the time was going slowly or anything but because instead of staying there for a couple of hours for lunch, we ended up talking for five hours before we even realised the place was half empty. I don’t even know how Sirius and his entourage managed to leave without the pair of us noticing. I guess we were too involved in each other too notice. Which I think is pretty sad. 

 

We noticed about the time when the young barmaid Rosmerta started clearing her throat loudly. She was probably wanting her supper. We left a tip and exited the bar last. It was pretty chilly outside to say the least. I had forgotten that it got windy here in spring. My teeth were chattering as we made our way up to the castle in the cloudy dusk. 

 

“Do you want my jacket?” Remus offered, clearly I looked colder than I thought. I say he offered but to be honest I didn’t even have time to respond before he had whipped his jacket off and had it round my shoulders.

 

“Thanks,” I said, smiling into the warmth of his coat. 

 

“No problem.”

 

That was Remus. The gentleman. Remus the gentleman. Trouble is, Remus the gentleman wasn’t as much fun as mischievous Remus the marauder. I missed mischievous. I hadn’t seen mischievous since before the unplanned transformation. 

 

“You know,” I said, trying to bring out the mischievous-ness, “we still have about twenty minutes of Hogsmeade time left and the castle is only five minutes away.”

 

“Don’t you want to get to the feast?” He asked innocently. Maybe he was cold, he had just given up his jacket. 

 

“Of course I do, but we do still have fifteen minutes of alone time.” I raised my eyebrows at him to try and get my message across, without actually having to say I wanted him to give me a proper first kiss this time. That would just be insanely embarrassing. 

 

“We can be alone in the castle too,” he said, “is there something wrong?”

 

Right. There was me thinking Remus was a smart guy. Obviously not. 

 

“Holy crow, Remus. What is wrong with you?” I pretty much screeched it at him.

 

“What? What do you mean?” He genuinely seemed confused. If I hadn’t been so frustrated, it would have been really cute.

 

“Let’s see, we’ve been on our first date for hours now and you have yet to kiss me properly. I’m not even going to talk about the one on the lake because that was pathetic.”

 

“Right,” he said. That was it. 

 

“So, are you going to kiss me or not?” I asked, stopping dead on the track. Remus stopped too and seemed to ponder the thought for a moment. Not the best thing to do around me when I’m angry and impatient.

 

“Well, I don’t think I have any option now, do I?” He was smirking. That meant he was teasing me. What an ass. 

 

“No, no you don’t.” I pouted like a five year old. If he was turning this into a joke, I would too. Plus it was more fun this way anyway. 

 

“I suppose I’ll just have to kiss you then.”

 

Have too?” I asked, jokes were jokes but I think that was poor wording. 

 

“Yep,” he jabbed, “have to.”

 

“Fine then. If you don’t want to kiss me I’ll have to take my lips elsewhere.” I flashed him a grin.

 

“Well I simply cannot have that now, can I?”

 

“Can you?”

 

He answered my question by finally kissing me. Properly this time too. Properly as in the whole hands through the hair and soft lips and hand on the back and everything. Much better than the last attempt by far. Very far. It would have been absolutely perfect were it not for the cold and:

 

“Way to go Moony! I always knew you had it in you.”

 

“Shut up, James! They were enjoying themselves.” 

 

I looked up to see Lily slapping James in the arm with the hand that wasn’t holding his. Clearly they had been enjoying the dusky stroll back to the castle like we had. At first I though it was Sirius. It was such a Sirius thing to do, then again, James and Sirius were pretty similar so I shouldn’t have been surprised. 

 

“Sorry about him Nyx, he’s just being annoying because I told him that his hair looked stupid in the wind.” Lily and James approached us. 

 

“It doesn’t look stupid. I know it doesn’t look stupid. Moony, does it look stupid?”

 

“You hair looks the same as it always does.”

 

“By which he means stupid,” Lily said, smirking.

 

“You said you liked my hair!”

 

“I’m only teasing you. You’re a complete baby sometimes you know that?” Lily gave him a quick peck and laughed. They were really good together.

 

“Well now that that’s sorted out and we all know my hair looks amazing, Lily and I will leave the two of you up to your indecent business.”

 

They walked off towards the castle which was closer than I remembered. I could even see the light of the great hall from the path. James called back, “but don’t stay out too late or I’ll be forced to give you both detention.”

 

“Well that was interesting,” Remus was barely holding back laughter.

 

“I’ll say. But that was a very impressive kiss, Mr Lupin. Not at all pathetic.”

 

“That’s good to know. I don’t think my ego could have taken another ‘pathetic’ kiss.”

 

Remus took my hand again and we walked back to the castle like the couple of idiots we were, laughing and everything. At least I had managed to have a pretty perfect date with Remus even with everything that happened. To be honest the only thing I remembered was the kiss and that suited me just fine thank you very much. I didn’t really want a dementor in that memory so I completely ignored it and funnily enough, I had forgotten all about it by the time I was stuffing my face in the great hall and relinquishing every detail of the day with Maia and Isabelle.

 



 

 



 

A/N: Aha! First date (sort of :P ) Hope you all liked that chapter, I hit a writer's block around about here so it took me longer than expected to write it. I'm halfway through writing the next chapter so hopefully it'll be done by next week? Maybe, depending on how inspired I am I suppose. I'll try. Thanks to everyone that's reviewed and favourited this at some point or even if you've just been reading it! Alex. :D


Chapter 27: The Twenty-seventh.
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Everything was going pretty great at Hogwarts for me. It was my last year, exams were soon but I wasn’t worried and Ravenclaw were actually in with a chance of winning the quidditch cup for a change. Remus and I were happily in a normal relationship that, to my liking, was not very showy. The same could not be said for Maia and Tom though. About four times a day I’d have to tell them to get a room to only then have to listen them complain for half an hour about how they could not get a room. But apart from annoying friends, perfect.

 

We were studying in the library when things started to go belly up for a change. I should have known that everything was too good to actually be true. First of all, I had only just realised how little I had actually prepared for my NEWTS. Everyone else kept telling me that I had prepared fine, that I was going to pass everything but I had a very heavy feeling in the bottom of my stomach that told me I was not in fact going to pass my exams but fail them all miserably with troll grades.

 

“No, no, no! That’s not right?” I viciously scribbled out a line of work that had taken me an hour to write. I even ripped the parchment a little which was saying something because this was heavy duty stuff. 

 

“What’s not right?” Remus asked, looking up from his own notes to see a very angry me. If I could have taken a guess at what I looked like at that moment I would probably go with the word banshee. My hair was probably in a weird array of spikes and flicks because I’d had my hands through it so many times, my face was probably red because my angry heat and my expression, I could just tell that was hideous.

 

“Everything,” I said exasperatedly, “it’s all wrong.” I sounded like an absolute baby but in my defense I was very stressed. It was a good thing Remus was a werewolf because I was fairly sure only dogs would be able to hear me my voice was that high pitched.

 

“I’m sure it’s fine,” Remus said to try and calm me. Shame it never worked.

 

“No, it’s not fine, Remus, it’s horrible. You’re just saying that because you’re going to pass you’re exams. I’m only taking three and I’m going to fail them all. I’ll be the worst Ravenclaw ever.”

 

Remus chuckled. Did he want me to hit him? Because I would. 

 

“What?” I asked angrily, “something funny?”

 

“Sort of,” Remus said, still smiling despite my threatening glares.

 

“Well I’m glad my failures amuse you.”

 

“Can I see your notes for a second?”

 

“Fine, they’re wrong anyway,” I chucked them across the table at him. 

 

He read them over muttering the words underneath his breath as he scanned the page. He was still smiling and I was three seconds away from jinxing him silly. After about five minutes he looked up from the page and gave me a funny look.

 

“These all seem fine, Nyx. Apart from the bit you scratched out, that was the only bit that was actually wrong. Why are you so stressed about exams? You’ve never done badly before.” He passed me them back and I read them again to make sure he was telling the truth. He was.

 

“Because I need these exams. If I don’t pass these I won’t get a job anywhere and I really want to get that ministry position. I’ve never actually felt the need to pass them before and now that I do, I’m scared I won’t get them. Stupid, right?”

 

“Only a little,” he smiled at me. “I think you need a break.”

 

“I think she does too, she looks bloody awful,” a booming voice said from the library entrance.

 

“Holy crow, Sirius! You scared the crap out of me.” He ignored this. I jumped out of my skin and then felt like an idiot.

 

“You know you two are the only couple I know who actually go and study when they say ‘we’re going to the library’, then again I wouldn’t expect anything less from the couple of swots in Hogwarts.”

 

“Not true,” Remus said, “James and Lily study too. You seem to be the only person that doesn’t study at all.”

 

“That’s because I don’t need to study and for your information, James and Lily study in amongst other things.”

 

“Well, that’s nice for them, Sirius but if I get distracted, I’ll probably fail all of my exams,” I said, rubbing my temple.

 

Remus and Sirius rolled their eyes at the same time, I mean the exact same time. It was practically synchronized. Was I the only one that realised these exams were life-changing, future-deciding exams?

 

“So I take it you’re not going to let me study any more today then?” I asked, I was pretty sure he wouldn’t. I mean I didn’t hang out with him as much as I used to after the project finished but I still knew he wasn’t going to let the last few months of Hogwarts pass without annoying me somehow. Guess that was his revenge for me spending too much time with my fellow ravenclaws. 

 

“Well you have been at it for hours. Maybe taking a break would actually help.”

 

“I don’t think a marauder break would to be honest. I’ll probably just wind up in the hospital wing or McGonagall’s office.”

 

“Aw, don’t be mean. I can be sensible and still have fun.”

 

I was away to ask how on earth he would be able to defy his very nature of troublemaking when another, very depressed marauder walked into the library. I mean Peter was never exactly a barrel of laughs but this was just ridiculous. I was surprised he was even able to stand his shoulders were that slumped. He walked over silently and sat down, completely silent oblivious to the three of us staring at him. Eventually our looks managed to rouse some life out of him.

 

“Hey guys,” he said slowly. It was like listening to a minister at a funeral. I don’t think he realised how bad he looked. At any rate he was acting like he was as normal as usual. 

 

“Pete,” Sirius began slowly, “are you okay, mate?”

 

“What?” Peter looked up like he was in a trance. I was fairly sure he wasn’t though, “oh, yeah. I’m fine. Why?”

 

“You don’t look good.”

 

“Right, yeah. Well that’s probably because, well, I guess that might be because Annabelle dumped me.” Now that I knew the reason for him being so depressive, I sort of understood why he was acting the way he was. But that didn’t mean I understood why she dumped him.

 

“She did what?” I wasn’t exactly angry about it, it didn’t really have anything to do with me, but it came out as angry. At least I think the others took this as me being angry at Annabelle so they wouldn’t think I was such a psychopath. 

 

“She dumped me,” he repeated. He was so out of it he didn’t realise I wasn’t expecting an answer. 

 

“Did she say why, mate?” Remus asked. Sirius and Remus were talking very quietly which I thought was because of Peter but then I also realised I was getting possibly the filthiest look from Madam Pince. It probably had something to do with Pete too though.

 

“Something about me not having enough ambition or something. I think it’s because I didn’t want to study as much as she wanted me to.” 

 

“I’m sure she’s just stressed about exams, Peter,” I said, “once they’re over she’ll realise what an idiot she’s been. Trust me.” I smiled softly at him. It was a shame. Peter really did like her.

 

“I don’t think so,” he said sadly, “she sounded normal enough to me.”

 

“Nyx is right, Wormtail,” Remus said, smiling slightly, “you should have seen Nyx ten minutes ago. She was going insane.”

 

I let that insane comment slide for Peter’s sake, “he’s right. It’s a ravenclaw thing. We’re made for worrying about exams. Just like you lot wear your hearts on your sleeves. It a personality trait.”

 

“You think?” He sounded hopeful. I was happy he wasn’t upset or depressed anymore but I didn’t want to fill him with hope either. Not until I’d talked to Annabelle about it. 

 

“Sure,” Sirius said, patting him on the shoulder. “And if she doesn’t, she’s a moron. You can do better than her.”

 

From the way he said it, I almost thought that Sirius was glad Peter and Annabelle split up. It certainly meant he wouldn’t have to talk to her anymore. They were like polar opposites to each other. Maybe Annabelle had thought Peter wasn’t ambitious enough, it does sound a little like her.

 

I tried to find Annabelle after we all left the library so I could talk to her about it but I couldn’t find her anywhere. Even at night, she was asleep before I even got to the common room so I couldn’t talk to her then either. I had a funny feeling she was avoiding me on purpose just to annoy me. People do seem to enjoy annoying me and I wasn’t happy about it. I wasn’t going to interrogate her about it or anything. I just wanted to talk to her. See what was going on.

 

I didn’t actually see her until a couple of weeks after. I had no idea Annabelle was so good at hiding and being evasive. She could be an auror with the skills she had. When I did finally catch up to her, she had that look on her face like she knew what I was going to say. It was pretty obvious what I wanted to talk to her about though.

 

“Annabelle,” now that I’d found her, I didn’t know where to start, “Peter told me what happened. You okay?”

 

“I’m fine, why?” I think that was a brush off and the question was rhetorical. I ignored it.

 

“It’s just that Peter seemed pretty cut up about it.”

 

“Yes, well everyone gets upset after a break-up,” she said irritably. Obviously I’d hit a nerve. I suppose I could have been slightly more tactful about it. She probably thought I was on Peter’s side or something stupid like that.

 

“Yeah, I was just making sure you were alright, want to talk about it?”

 

“Not really, no.”

 

“Okay then.”

 

“I suppose he told you I was a horrible person didn’t he?” This didn’t sound like not wanting to talk about it.

 

“No, Annabelle, of course he didn’t. He’s head over heels for you. All he said was that you broke up with him over his ambition or something stupid like that which I didn’t believe obviously but he wasn’t bad mouthing  you.”

 

“Well he was right.”

 

“What?” I asked, completely confused over the whole situation.

 

“That’s why I broke up with him.”

 

“Really?” 

 

“Yes,” she said, looking down at her textbook, “he’s just not my type. He’s really sweet and everything obviously but there just seems to be something missing from him and I may have mentioned I thought it was ambition but that wasn’t the only reason I ended it.”

 

I wasn’t really sure what to say to that. At all. So I patted her shoulder. I was never any good at comforting people, Annabelle didn’t even look like she needed comforting so I figured a pat on the shoulder was just the right amount of comforting. The only thing I was annoyed about was that I was now going to have to go and tell Peter and the rest of them that there was very little chance of Annabelle getting back together with him after exams. That would be fun. Not. But I was going to have to do it. Peter deserved to know.

 

I traipsed my way to the great hall. It was two o’clock and I figured one of the four of them would be eating something and would know where the others were. It was solid logic. I must not have been looking where I was going because I found myself missing the doorway by about half a foot and bashing my arms off the pillar. It would have been painful normally but to tell you the truth, I still hadn’t been able to get the words ‘blood traitor’ off my arm. Normal healing spells, which I was usually very good at, were not working at all. I hoped it was just a case of time fading it. It seemed less red than from when it happened. Maybe. Anyway, the bump hurt. A lot.

 

Sure enough though, there were marauders in the great hall, eating. Probably the reason I found Annabelle in the library. Peter saw me coming over first and his eyes lit up. I guess I was trying so hard to conceal the pain in my arm I was smiling. I let it drop immediately and took on a more sombre and fitting expression. I sat down next to Remus and was immediately bombarded with questions.

 

“Well, what did she say? Did she seem upset? Do you think she’ll go back out with  me after exams?”

 

“Calm down Peter,” James said, “giver her a chance to breathe.”

 

“Well,” I started uncertainly, “she said that she broke up with you mostly because she felt you were different people and I don’t think she’s looking to start over at the end of the year. Sorry. She did seem upset though.” Okay, so I stretched the truth at the end but you can’t really blame me. He just looked so depressed.

 

“Oh, okay then.” He sort of hung his head a little so I reached over the table and robbed his shoulder. I felt horrible for thinking it, but it was bound to happen eventually. Annabelle and Peter were cute together obviously, but looking back on it, the whole thing seemed a little awkward. Obviously not for Peter. 

 

“Listen, mate,” James said, “there’s plenty other mermaids in the sea-”

 

“-or the black lake,” Sirius offered.

 

“Exactly, Padfoot. You’ll find someone else. For now, maybe you can focus on your exams and that’ll make sure you have an amazing job and heaps of girls will be chasing you around.”

 

“You could always try asking out Rosmerta from the Three Broomsticks, she’s pretty good looking,” Sirius said, “when we’re out of Hogwarts, there will be so many girls out there that we haven’t met and that we probably should. You’re bound to find someone you like.”

 

“Cheers, guys,” Peter said, “I think I’m just going to go and revise for a bit.”

 

“I’ll come with you,” Remus said. 

 

“No, it’s alright, I’d rather study alone, in the dorm.”

 

He stood up and left looking very depressed muttering something that sounded a lot like ‘I'll show her ambition’.

 

And there was me thinking that everything was great at Hogwarts. Guess I could think again. Or maybe not, that would take up too much time from NEWT studying which I really needed to do.

 

A/N: A Peter-ish chapter for a change, obviously there's still a lot of Nyx, she's fun to write d: I always feel like there's something missing when I read a story about the Marauders without Peter even though I don't like him as a person, he's a great character. Anyway, I hoped you liked this chapter and I would like to thank everyone who continues to read and review and favourite. Chapter seem to be taking me ages to write these days. I'm only 500 words into the next one. Maybe it's my brain not wanting to finish the story? Thanks for reading, Alex! (:


Chapter 28: The Twenty-eighth.
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It was hard to believe Hogwarts was over. I mean, it was actually over. I couldn’t believe it had gone so fast. NEWTS just seemed to fly past me, even with the hours and hours of studying I Was doing. Then again, because I was only sitting three NEWTS, I had a lot less studying to do than most people. Which would have been good but unfortunately, nobody else was free to spend all my extra time with. Remus offered to keep me company a couple of times but after I’d told him that studying was more important six times, I gave up trying to convince him not to spend all of his available time with me. So for a good three days before every exam I spent in Ravenclaw tower, hiding so he wouldn’t come and find me to distract himself.


It wasn’t that bad in the tower. I’d forgotten how comfortable it was in the common room because I’d been spending so much time in the library. The fire was always warm but not too cosy and it was nearly always quiet enough to concentrate or read when I wanted. I was seriously going to miss the place once I’d left. I hadn’t really thought about leaving until Tom, Spencer and Charles bounded in after their Arithmancy exam talking about hosting a massive party in one of their houses or thinking of things to do during summer.

“I didn’t realise the end of term was so soon,” I said as they both sat down.

“Two weeks, Nyx. Two beautiful, work-free weeks. There’s absolutely nothing better than that. NEWTS are over, no more stressing about quidditch-”

We lost to Gryffindor before the exams, but it was close which was definitely a good thing because nobody thought we even stood a chance. I would have liked to play obviously but I was banned and for a very good reason too. So I didn’t moan, I didn’t beg Flitwick to take me back and I wasn’t even jealous of Maia who got to play. Okay, so I was a little jealous but only a little.

“- and definitely no more listening to Professor Binns, I can’t believe I ever took that class in the first place,” Tom finished, stretching out on the sofa to convey just how relaxed he was planning on being for the next two weeks.

“So is that all the exams over then?” I asked, I’d sort of been living in my own world after my exams had ended. I had absolutely no idea what was going on outside my own head.

“I think so,” Spencer said, “at least I don’t have any left.”

“Me either,” said Tom.

“Want to go play quidditch then?” Spencer asked.

“Yeah, sure. I mean, I think I’m only banned from officially playing.”

“If not,” Tom said, “I’m using your broom. I need a new one.”

“Ha, you wish. I’m totally allowed to play and if no one asks, no one will know.”

We made our way to the pitch, brooms in tow, in the gentle heat that signaled the start of summer and the end of our school year. It was nice being able to forget about everything and actually ride a broom again. Mine had been gathering dust in the broom cupboard and I felt like I was misusing it by leaving it in there. We didn’t have enough players for a proper game considering it was just the three of us but
I had a feeling that James would be along shortly to join in, I don’t think anything even remotely quidditch related could happen at Hogwarts while he was around without him being directly involved.

Sure enough, barely ten minutes after we’d gotten the quidditch balls from the changing rooms, four figures could be seen walking down the the pitch with their own broomsticks and five minutes after that, one solitary figure descending upon us with yet another broomstick.

Remus, James, Sirius, Peter and Maia must have all heard about our quidditch plans somehow and decided to join us. Now we had enough for a decent enough game, two chasers a beater and a seeker on each team. It was Maia with me and the guys against the Marauders.

“I reckon we should treat this as a rematch of Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw,” Tom said.

“Well of course you do,” Sirius said, “Ravenclaw lost the first one.”

“Scared we might win?” I asked.

“Probably,” James said, “Peter and Remus are both terrible at quidditch and Sirius isn’t even on the team! In fact it’s pretty much the Ravenclaw quidditch team against me and a bunch of useless morons.”

“Cheers, mate,” Sirius said in a sulk.

“Yeah,” Remus said, “I’ve never actually tried out for quidditch, for all you know I could be amazing.”

“Are you?” I asked with raised eyebrows.

“No,” Remus said, I laughed, “but I could have been!”

“Yeah, if you were me,” James said, “whatever, I still think I could take you four single-handedly even with these three pulling me down. Let’s do it. Reigning Hogwarts quidditch champ against you four.”

“Good thing Lily isn’t here,” Remus smirked, “she’d have probably hit you for that delightfully self-deprecating statement.”

“What are you talking about? That was self-deprecating. I don’t think I give myself enough credit to be honest.”

I think James was joking, if he wasn’t then I would have been pretty surprised. We split up into our teams but not before I’d promised to rip Remus to shreds because we were both playing seeker. Spencer was the beater for our team and Peter for the Gryffindors. I wasn’t sure who would make a better chasing team, Maia and Tom who were pretty bloody good or James and Sirius who were in sync just about all of the time.

“Hey, Nyx,” Maia said to me just as we were about to kick off, “there was a letter in our dorm for you so I brought it out for you.”

Sure enough, Maia extracted a piece of parchment from her pocket and gave me it. It was my parents handwriting on the front and by that I mean my dad’s writing. My dad always wrote my letters and signed them ‘your parents’. I didn’t bother opening it. Whatever it was, it could wait.

“Cheers.”

We kicked off the ground and all got into our starting positions, James took his wand and opened the box of quidditch balls, levitating the quaffle up and releasing the two bludgers. Once they’d gone up, he released the snitch and threw the quaffle unnaturally high in the air and the games began.

I’d never actually played the position of seeker before so I probably wasn’t going to be very good. Although as sure as I was of this, I was also pretty confident that I’d be better at it than Remus was.

As soon as everyone started moving, I knew the game had started. I think my reaction times had slowed in the amount of time I hadn’t been playing quidditch, not the best thing to realise when you’re playing the position that needs reaction times the most.

To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what I was supposed to be doing. Looking for the snitch, obviously. But I couldn’t see it at that point and I was seriously wondering wether or not I should just hover on the spot and scan the pitch with my eyes or fly around the pitch hoping to catch a glimpse. Being a seeker wasn’t nearly as much fun as beating.

I decided to fly around the pitch, purposely bumping into Remus several times and claiming they were accidents. It was a lot of fun to be honest, not having anything to do. Everyone else that was playing seemed to have their game faces on, except Peter, he looked as though he wasn’t entirely sure about what he was supposed to be doing and I didn’t blame him. Quidditch was pretty freaking complicated.

“I’m going to catch the snitch before you,” I told Remus as I flew past him.

“That’s what you think,” Remus said, flying beside me.

“Yep, because it’s true. I mean I was on the quidditch team.”

“As a beater and I’m really good at noticing things.”

“In books. Let’s face it Remus, I’m just excellent at flying.”

“That’s true, but I’m not half bad.”

“I’ll agree with you there, you’re a lot better than I thought you were going to be.”

“Thanks for that wonderfully back-handed compliment, sweetheart,” Remus said with a slightly sarcastic smirk on his face.

“No problem, sweetheart,” I said with an equal amount of sarcasm. We’d privately agreed not to have nick-names for each other on the ground that they were either insanely cheesy or annoyingly creepy.

Remus looked as though he was just about to reply when he shot off to the left. He’d seen the snitch.

Sneaky devil.

I flew after him but he’d managed to get a good head start thanks to my slowing reflexes and general shock that he had been the first to notice the snitch even though I played quidditch. My broom was faster though, that would be my hope in catching up with him.

I couldn’t even see the snitch, I was blindly following Remus in the hope he wasn’t faking it. I was catching him up though, quickly. But even if I managed to get past him, not being able to see the snitch would make the whole effort completely void.

A glimmer of gold caught my attention, darting about the place like nothing on earth. It was fast, faster than I thought it was. Darn. I was going to have to up my game if I really wanted to win this. I had no idea how the chasers or the beaters were doing but I hoped we were winning.

Remus and I were neck and neck, racing towards the snitch, as we got closer, I began to stretch out my arm to try and grab it before Remus could but it was very windy and the snitch seemed to be blowing about the place. Either that or it was purposefully being annoying, which could easily have been the case. Ever since I was little I had been convinced that snitches had minds of their own.

I don’t know wether he noticed my tactic or not but he stretched his arm out too. Annoyingly, because Remus was taller than I was, he also had much longer arms. I was pushing the broom forward as much as I could but I was starting to think it wouldn’t be enough. I stretched my arm out even further in the hope I would some how be able to cross the ever increasing distance between me and the snitch.

I couldn’t.

With one last push forward, Remus had caught the snitch and once he had, he stopped dead in the air. Which was insanely stupid of him because how was I supposed to know he was stopping? I wasn’t. So I crashed into the side of him but not without some hasty braking.

“Ow, Remus. Why’d you stop so suddenly? Give a girl some warning would you?” I said, rubbing my left shoulder which had oh so inconveniently been the part that took the damage. It wasn’t even painful, I was playing it up a little for some fun.

“Oh, sorry,” he said, practically laughing, “didn’t realise you were behind me.”

“Pfft. A likely story, I was tailing you for about seven minutes.”

Remus was smirking, he knew I was joking, damn. I should learn to lie more effectively. Then we both started laughing for no reason. I guess it was just giddiness because it was the end of school. Or we had both been hit in the head by bludgers and not noticed. We both touched back down to the ground as the others talked in the air and James celebrated his victory. Could this day get any better?

Nope.


But it could get a whole lot worse apparently.

“Hey, Nyx,” Remus said, sobering immediately, “what’s wrong with your arm?”

“What?” It was only then that I noticed the wind had blown my sleeve halfway up my arm so that the red markings were visible up to ‘blood trait..’ they weren’t that bad anymore which was a very thin silver lining, but only if you were looking for one. “Oh that, it’s nothing really,” I said rolling my sleeve down hastily.

“That wasn’t nothing,” Remus said, he looked so serious and I could just tell he wasn’t going to let this drop. A couple more weeks and they would have been gone. But no, it would be my luck that my boyfriend notices them. “Nyx, why was blood traitor written on your arm?”

“It was just a silly prank. It’s honestly fine. I’d forgotten it was even there to be honest.”

“A prank by who?”

“No one important.” I was hoping he wouldn’t guess. I didn’t think he would I mean the quidditch match was months ago.

“When did it happen?”

Ah, that was a much harder question to avoid without lying. Damn.

“Just like a week ago, honestly it’s no big deal.” Yep, I chose to lie.

“Can’t you see that it is a big deal? We’re at war, Nyx. This isn’t a prank, it’s a personal attack.” Remus was taking this as seriously as I had expected him to, which was very seriously. I could see his hands clench into fists.

“I mean I’d hardly call it an attack would you?”

“Yes! I would call it an attack. Who did it?”

“Well, it’s nothing. This is just how things work in pure-blooded families. We slag each other off and laugh about it later.”

“I’ve never seen James strolling around with ‘blood traitor’ on his arm.”

“The Potters are different and you know it,” I said defensively. I was started to get a little bit tangled up in what I had already said. Lying to Remus was a lot harder than lying to other people. The others landed and started to walk over. “Look, Remus. I’ve sorted everything out. Just don’t tell the others okay?” I asked, raising my eyebrows and looking up at him through my eyelashes as if that would make a difference. Looking at him through my eyelashes usually worked when I felt like a good kiss.

“Fine,” he said reluctantly, “but this isn’t over Nyx, this isn’t something you can just let go.”

“I know, just let me deal with it.” He loosened up his hands and I knew it was over, for now.

I sighed. That was really the best I could hope for considering Remus was so darn protective. To be honest, I would have happily let him punch Rosier again but there was nothing to be gained from it and it would just make matters a whole lot worse.

“Thank you,” I said, hugging him, “I’m glad I can trust you.”

“Of course you can,” Remus said hugging me back, “I just wish you had told me after it happened, I would have done something about it.” I had a feeling this was going to come up again. A bad feeling.

“Aww, the two lovebirds are hugging. I’m surprised you didn’t punch him for beating you to the snitch, Nyx,” Sirius said laughing.

“Maybe I should have,” I said with a small grin returning to my face.

“I reckon Nyx could take Remus in fight, easy,” James said.

“I reckon she probably could too,” Sirius laughed.

“Yes well, let’s not find out,” Remus said, chuckling, “I don’t fancy getting beaten up by my own girlfriend thank you very much.”

Maia and Tom came waltzing over grinning like cheshire cats. They looked like the perfect picture of happiness. It was nice hanging about with everyone, well just about everyone, for a change. It was warm, almost summer and we were all having a laugh. I couldn’t really have asked for a better end to the year or my time at Hogwarts. I’d always expected it to be some grand event but this was just right for me, it felt comfortable and I really enjoyed having comfortable. We all went to sit by the lake to cool down.

“So what did your parents say, Nyx?” Maia asked, taking Tom’s hand as we sat down.

“What?” I asked, completely confused.

“The letter I gave you earlier, what did it say?”

“Oh right! I totally forgot.”

I reached into my pockets and scrummaged around until I found the letter. What can I say, I have big pockets. I opened it pretty hastily, ripping it a little in the process. It was just the corner though so I was okay. It was still legible. I scanned it over pretty quickly, trying to take it in a read it as fast as I could.

“What?” I said at the end of it. I put the letter down and thought it through.

“You okay, Nyx?” Remus asked rubbing my shoulder, “was it something bad.” I have to say, I had a lot of respect for Remus just then, asking me instead of just picking up my letter.

“No,” I said, “at least I don’t think so. I think it’s good.”

“What do you mean?” He asked, it was his turn to be confused.

“My parents bought me a flat.”

“That’s great news, Nyx. What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know. I know I should be ecstatic but I’m just not.”

“That’s alright, it’s a big change.”

“I guess. It also says they’re not coming to see me off the train. They’re going on holiday for a month and I probably won’t see them till August.”

“They’re not coming to see you off?” Remus sounded more disappointed than I did, “but it’s your last year. Surely they want to see you.”

I think he found it hard to believe that my parents weren’t bothering to see me off. I didn’t mind. It had happened before and would probably continue to happen. That’s just they way they were.

“No, I doubt it to be honest.”

“But still, a flat! That’s great news, Nyx!” Maia said, clearly it was getting awkward so thankfully she changed the subject. Maia was always right on the ball.

“Yeah, it is,” I said, finally smiling at the thought of being independent.

“Where is it?” Sirius asked.

“London.”

“That must have cost a bomb,” Tom said.

“Probably,” Spencer said, “so when’s the party?”

Everyone started grinning and we launched into a conversation about having a housewarming party as soon as we left school. I was looking forward to it immensely. I needed a good party. We were joined later by Peter and Isabelle who helped to plan this party I supposedly having in a month. Suddenly, I couldn’t wait to leave.

I could have a brand new start.

 

 

 

 

A/N: Wow, I'm almost embarrassed typing this it's been so long since the last update (a whole month!) Sorry, I was struggling to find the time and inspiration to write. I hope you enjoyed the chapter despite its lateness.

And on another huge note, that's the final chapter folks! I've been writing this story since the end of March. I know, it's been almost a year since I started and it's the first novel I've written. SO I would like to thank everybody who has written a review, favourited the story or even stuck with it all the way to the end. Thank you. And now it's over, if you've read all these chapters and not said hello, give it a go! I love reading and responding to your reviews!

And if you're left thinking 'hey! wait! I still have bunch of questions! What was going on with that dementor? What did Nyx's mother do? Why does Nyx have scars on her back that she doesn't remember getting? What happens next?' Well, I'm not making any promises but I have planned out a sequel set outside the comforting grounds of Hogwarts. However, I'm not sure when or if I'll be able to write it. But I'll certainly try! It'll be called Melanosis if it does go up, so there's something to look out for in future. But if you are dying to know anything, just ask. I don't mind giving away a couple of secrets.

And with that over, I'll say thank you again to all of you who have read my story. Thanks. Alex

 



 


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