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Hello again my readers. I’m sorry this took a little longer but Peter was giving me problems. He was not staying character. So I yelled at him and I hope things are alright. It says something when every single review you receive for a story is positive. I know stories out there with more than one thousand reviews. I just want you all to know that the fifty some reviews I have mean more to me than if there were a million of them all together. I write for you guys and I am so glad to see you back here to read some more.

Chapter Nine

Saving Words

Why must we build things up in our minds? No matter how events turn out things are never as good as we imagine. That is life of course. Is it human nature to picture things as perfect in our heads? I have no idea. I just know that I do it. I wanted the dance to be perfect. I thought it would be. I was so happy to finally have a date that was more than a friend. Someone who cared about me for real. Real feelings. I wanted to look nice for him. I wanted to look nice for me.

My dress was gone. Where? My thoughts instantly flew to Valarie as I rushed quickly to the Gryffindor Common Room where I was supposed to meet the girls and get ready. Even if she did steal my dress what could I do about it? Confront her? She would deny it. I was so frantic, running through the corridors in some baggy pajama pants and a t-shirt.

Lily was waiting for me outside to let me in. Her hair was done, all up in curls and spirals. Her makeup was also ready; soft yet distinctive. Her beautiful face broke into concern when she saw my frazzled state.

“What is it?” she asked as I came up beside her.

“My dress,” I gasped; out of breath and near tears. “Is gone.”

“Are you sure?” Lily inquired her eyes narrowing.

“I tore apart the Common Room.”

“Come inside,” Lily responded, grabbing me by the hand. “You look like you’re about to faint.” She led me into the Common Room and sat me down on one of the squishy red couches. I was twisting my hands in my lap. What would I do? What would I wear? The entire Common Room smelt like perfume and hair spray. Seventh year girls were flitting around, some with their dresses on, some with completed masterpieces of hair, and some with makeup. I had nothing so far. Lily had disappeared; heading upstairs to her room.

She reappeared a few seconds later with Vicky and Claire in tow.

“Help,” I said weakly to the trio. “What am I supposed to do?”

“Ok, don’t panic,” Claire responded.

“You want to help me?” I asked, confused. I can’t recall Claire ever doing anything to help another human being.

“Please honey,” Claire said, batting her long eyelashes. “If there is anyone who can get you ready for this dance in time its me.”

“Do you think Valarie took your dress?” Vicky asked, twirling a black curl around her finger.

“Maybe,” I answered. “Probably. Do you guys have anything that I could wear?”

We spent the next fifteen minutes raiding closets looking for something that would be appropriate for the dance. We tried on skirts, fancy tops, but nothing really fit right. It was either too snug, too big, too long… Nothing looked as good as my dress. I wanted it back. I thought about finding Valarie and yelling at her until she revealed the hiding place of my dress but I couldn’t find her anywhere. Claire even went through Valarie’s belongings but didn’t find my beautiful brown dress.

After that, the other girls had to finish getting ready. The were gorgeous. All sparkles and smiles. I sat down on the couch in despair.

Just then the boys appeared looking absolutely spiffy in their fancy attire. Peter was wearing a charcoal grey shirt and nice black dress pants. The other boys looked nice as well. James was even wearing a tie. If we had been on a TV show the audience would have been awing loudly. The girls smiled at their dates. James kissed Lily gently and Sirius put his arm around Claire.

“You’re not ready,” James said, looking at me.

“No,” I whimpered hiding my face in one of the big, red pillows on the couch.

“Valarie took her dress.” I heard Vicky hiss.

“What?!” Peter shot back.

“Come on Katie,” Remus coaxed. “Come down to the dance anyway.”

“You guys go,” I muttered into the pillow, waving my hand at them. “Leave me alone to die.”

“Go on guys,” I heard Peter whisper. “I’ll get her to come down.” I peeked out from my pillow and watched Lily and James, and Sirius and Claire move towards the portrait hole leaving Vicky and Remus.

“Remus, don’t you have a date?” Vicky asked a hopeful strain in her voice.

“Nobody asked me,” Remus replied shrugging.

“Do you want…?” Vicky started.

“Milady,” Remus said gallantly, offering his arm to Vicky. I watched them stroll towards the door before I buried my head away again. Silence settled around Peter and me. I refused to look at him.

I sensed him moving walking in front of me and then sitting on the couch next to me.

“What’s the matter sweetie?” he asked cheerfully.

“Leave me alone,” I said in a muffled voice. I still didn’t raise my head. If I looked in his eyes I would feel embarrassed. Embarrassed that I was so upset about a stupid dance. I didn’t want him to know that I cared so much about a dress.

But I knew he could tell anyway. The next time he spoke his voice was serious.

“Look at me,” he said.

“No,” I whined. I heard him sigh. I knew he was making that face. That Katie-is-being-stupid-and-I-don’t-know-what-to-do face. I hate that face. I hate when I’m being stupid. Especially when I know I’m being stupid.

“You disappoint me,” I heard him say next. “I never thought appearance really meant much to you. I always thought you believed in a person’s inner beauty and strength.”

I sat up after that, my hair askew.

“Nope,” I replied, feeling defeated and arguable. “It turns out I’m just as shallow as society wants me to be.”

“That’s not true,” Peter answered confidently.

“Oh yes it is,” I said weakly.

“No it isn’t, and I have proof.”

That stopped my self pity for a moment as I watched Peter sprint away up the stairs. What does he mean he has proof? I waited on the couch contemplating the situation until Peter reappeared at the foot of the stairs clutching a piece of parchment.

I stared at him confused as he cleared his throat dramatically.

“Looks can be changed. I cannot change myself. At least I don’t think I can. Nor to I really want to. I will be loved someday for my inner spirit. That’s the dream.”

He paused and came over to sit by me.

“I believe you wrote this,” he said, shoving the paper under my nose. I stared at my clumsy writing spiraling across the parchment. So my work had not just disappeared. Peter had taken it!

“You took this?” I asked, a dawn of realization springing upon me. “Why would you save this?” Peter shifted uncomfortably next to me.

“Well I saw you leave it, so I just picked it up so I could return it to you when I saw you next…but then. But then I got to reading it and it felt special. It felt like a piece of me was written down there. So instead of returning it to you I wrote down some rubbish and left it at the table instead. I hope you weren’t looking for it or anything.” He said this all in a low and embarrassed voice.

“Peter Pettigrew,” I exclaimed brightly, throwing my arms around his neck. “You are wonderful.” Then I remembered what he had left on the table for me. I thought of the little piece of parchment shoved into my sock drawer. I had saved his words too.

“How could you call the beautiful thing you wrote rubbish?” I asked my hands still on his shoulders.

“I just scribbled something down,” Peter responded. “I didn’t’ feel like I had done anything too special.”

“Well, it was special to me.” I answered, kissing him promptly on the lips.

“Really?”

“Special enough for me to save it in my sock drawer,” I laughed feeling the warmth of happiness soaring through my body.

Peter saw the uncontainable smile spread across my face.

“So what would you like to do Ms. Potter?” he inquired gently. I stood up and observed myself in the mirror on the wall. I was in my long blue pajama pants and my long white t-shirt that had actually used to be James’. It had gotten really soft and I could not bear to part with it.

My hair had barely been brushed and stood in a bushy bun that looked like a bird’s nest. I had no makeup on so my face was fully exposed to the harsh comments of the world. I smiled widely. I looked over my shoulder at Peter. He looked so elegant in his fancy clothes in the candlelight.

I had a sudden feeling erupt inside of me. I felt like I would never forget this moment…the way Peter looked. The way he looked at me. I probably wouldn’t remember the clothes or anything specific. Just the image…the feelings of how he looked.

“Do you want to go to the dance with me?” I asked, still looking at the girl in the mirror. Peter put his arms around me from behind and stared at my reflection.

“I wouldn’t want to go with anyone else.”

“Really?”

“Oh yes. You’re special enough that if I could find a way I would save you in my sock drawer.”

I laughed at the goofiness of this some how romantic comment. I linked my arm with Peter’s and we walked through the portrait hole together. I don’t think I’ve ever been brimming with more confidence.

I had a great time at the dance. Did people stare? Oh yes. Did Valarie stare? Yeah she did! I must say that made me very happy. She could never stop me from being with Peter at this dance. Even though she almost did.

But the wonderful Peter Pettigrew saved me. Saved me by saving my words. I laughed, danced, ate, talked, and had a complete blast. I was so glad. So glad that the dance was not perfect. So glad that I was not perfect.

*****************************************************************************

Peter walked me back to the Hufflepuff Common Room after it was all over. My face was a little flushed from all the dancing and my hair somehow become ever less presentable. I grinned up at Peter when we finally reached the common room down by the kitchens.

“Well, this is me,” I said in a dorky-end-of-a-date voice.

“Nice place,” Peter laughed, looking at the portrait hole.

“Thanks,” I replied, grinning like a moron.

“Now aren’t you glad you came?” he said, grinning back.

“Yeah…but you really didn’t care that I looked like a mess?”

“Of course not!” he exclaimed. “Because your inner spirit looked simply stunning.”

I laughed and hugged him tight. He spun me around and then kissed me on the top of my head.

I kissed his lips lightly and said goodnight before entering the Common Room with my fluttering heart.

********************************************************************************

I don’t know why I am so good at Herbology but for some reason I just own that class. Because of this great and unexplained trait, the following day I was invited to the Gryffindor common room around noon to help the girls with an extremely complex Herbology essay. Unfortunately we were not getting much Herbology done. We were discussing events of the dance. Particularly the events between Vicky and Remus.

“So?” Lily, Claire, and I asked, watching Vicky’s smile grow.

“Well he was really sweet and I had such a wonderful time together,” Vicky answered dreamily. “Do you think he would be interested in me?”

“Let’s see,” I replied, pretending to think very hard. “You’re extremely pretty and insanely clever. I don’t think he would like you. Remus really likes dumb girls.”

“Really?” Claire asked. We all just looked at her.

“No, not really,” I answered, holding back laughter. I turned back to Vicky. “I think he would be crazy about you. Ask him if he wants to do something sometime.”

We were bouncing Remus and Vicky ideas off each other when the Marauders came into the common room in obvious high spirits. We all stopped talking immediately; looking extremely guilty.

“Secrets, secrets are no fun…” Sirius laughed cheerfully.

“They are fun when we keep them from you,” Lily said, smiling sweetly as James sat next to her.

I watched them sitting together. They had lasted a long time. In fact, I was really realizing what a nice couple they actually were. They balance each other out; complete each other. I was torn from these thoughts by James asking,

“Has Valarie come down yet?”

“Why?” Lily asked him with confused eyes.

“We just want to see her.”

“Why?” I asked this time.

“We did a little payback work this morning,” Sirius answered, beaming.

“Um, we don’t know for sure that she even took my dress,” I protested, but secretly wondering what they had done to her.

“Oh we’re sure,” Peter answered.

“What did you do?” Claire asked, grabbing Sirius’ hand. This little action brought a startling resolution to my mind. A month ago Claire taking Sirius’ hand would have hurt me down to my heart. I don’t think about Sirius anymore. It had been weeks since he had even crossed my mind. It was strange. I used to think about him all the time and now…now I thought about Peter. I was so convinced Sirius was the one for me. I was so glad I was wrong.

“Tell them what we did Pete,” Sirius said, almost pink with his contained joy. “It was your idea.”

Peter smiled and looked very proud.

“Well,” he said mischievously. “What is the worst color you can make hair with magical dye?” My eyes got wide. They dyed her hair!

“Purple?” Lily tried.

“No.”

“Puke green,” I guessed.

“No.”

“Tell us!” I squealed. The four guys looked at each other before answering in unison,

“Grey!”

They dyed her hair grey?!?!?! Oh my gosh. I love them.

“How did you pull that off?” Vicky asked.

“Secret,” Peter replied.

“I hope she tries to wash it out,” James chuckled. “It stays a day longer every time it gets wet.” I giggled. They were good I had to admit that.

“So what are you doing tonight?” Peter asked me, putting an arm around my shoulders.

“Well, I have to do some work up in the astronomy tower with some other Hufflepuff girls.” I muttered angrily. Stupid astronomy taking away from boyfriend time.

“Why tonight?” Peter asked, putting on a sad face.

“Well it’s the full moon tonight and we have to do something with lunar…somethings,” I said, the astronomy terms falling right out of my head.

“Oh it’s the full moon,” Peter answered quietly. “Well never mind then.”

******************************************************************************

After astronomy session was over and I thought my head was going to explode, I headed up to the Gryffindor common room so I could say goodnight to Peter. I met Lily at the entrance and walked in with her.

“They aren’t back yet,” Lily said at once.

“Really, it’s getting kind of late,” I responded, slightly concerned. We flopped down on the couch to wait for the boys. We chatted quietly as the minutes ticked by. I watched the burning embers of the fire and realized that my eyelids were starting to droop.

It was getting later and later. They still didn’t return. I watched Lily slump in her seat and eventually drift off into sleep. I yawned and couldn’t find the strength to pick myself up and go all the way downstairs to my own Common Room. So I stretched out on the couch and closed my eyes and was instantly asleep.

****************************************************************************

I awoke to muffled and urgent voices. It was completely dark in the Common Room now so I could only see the silhouettes of the figures passing by the couch.

“We have to get him upstairs.” That was James.

“It looks bad.” Sirius. I didn’t move on the couch until I heard them move past me and go up to their beds. Had Peter been with them?

I slid off the couch and followed the boys with curiosity. The door to the bedroom was closed so I pressed my ear up against it just barely being able to make out their muffled voices.

“Gosh it’s still bleeding.”

“Put this against it.”

“It’s all over the bedspread.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t transform soon enough.”

“They might recognize the wound if we take him to the Hospital Wing.”

I burst into the room after that, startling the three people inside. Peter was sitting on the bed his back against the headboard. His leg had a long gash running from the knee to above his angle and it was bleeding profusely. Sirius was standing near Peter’s head and James was nearby clutching a towel stained crimson with Peter’s blood. They all jumped at my sudden appearance and no one said a word as I rushed to Peter’s side.

“What happened?” I demanded, willing myself not to look directly at the blood dripping from Peter’s leg. No one answered. Peter winced. James blinked. Sirius turned his face from mine.

“Never mind that,” I continued. “We have to get him to the Hospital Wing.”

“No,” Peter protested weakly. “It’s fine. I’ll be fine.”

“I’m sorry,” James said, finally talking. “We can’t take him there.”

“Why not!” I yelled. “He’s hurt.” Nobody moved. This was idiotic.

“Then get Remus!” I tried next. “He knows some healing spells. He can help.”

“Remus is…” Sirius started.

“What?” I screamed wildly.

“I think it might be time,” James said, looking at the other three.

“Are you sure Prongs?” Sirius asked taking the towel from James.

“She’s my sister, we can trust her.”

“Trust me with what?” I asked. James pulled me over to him and gave me the most severe look I had ever seen cross his face.

“What I am about to tell you is not some ordinary secret. This is a take to your grave kind of secret.”


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Ok, that chapter is done! I was just wondering for my benefit, what do you guys think of the length of the chapters? Too long? LOL. Too short? I just want to know! Thanks for reading! If you have some time leave a review!

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