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Now that the April Fools hilarious fiasco has come to an end…lets get back to Katie and Deter.

Hey, hey, hey! Aren’t you glad the wait is over, and that you are finally going to discover what is up with that cliffhanger? I’m glad too. And you should know that the end of this chapter….wait…you should just read it to see what is going to happen. I’ll see you down there! Enjoy!

Chapter Fourteen

The Promise

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. There are many ways to react to a shocking situation. You can scream. You can cry. You can get mad. You can hit. I chose none of these. I just stared. Everything in my vision seemed to become much clearer at this moment. I noticed things that I normally wouldn’t. I noticed the different highlights in the hair of the girl kissing my boyfriend. I noticed the way Peter’s mouth moved with hers. I noticed how things somehow seemed brighter with this newfound clarity and darker because of the horrendous situation…all at the same time. One of my legs started to shake.

“Oh my god,” Lily gasped as I stumbled away from the compartment. The breath started to come sharply in my chest. Lily followed me, concern painted all over her face, and then Peter came into the hall.

“Katie…” he started. I couldn’t even hear him. I turned my back on him and staggered away down the hall. I think he tried to follow me because I heard Lily yell,

“Leave her alone Peter!” She caught up with me and grabbed me by the shoulders.

“Are you okay?” she asked, knowing perfectly well I was not okay. I wasn’t anything…

“I feel…dizzy,” I responded weakly. “Oh, I need air.” Lily pulled me into a compartment and cracked the large window a wee bit. She propped me up in the seat next to it, and I began to breathe in the fresh air, trying to jump start my brain. I felt the rapid breeze course though my body and the terrible realization hit me. Tears gripped my eyes and I started to weep bitterly into my hands. Lily put her arms around me but for some reason that just made me cry more. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. My eyes just dried up and soon I could only gasp; Lily all the while stroking my hair. After about fifteen minutes, I was breathing normally again and I started to collect my thoughts.

“How could this be happening?” I wondered aloud, my eyes all red and squinty. Lily just shook her head quietly, knowing that there was nothing she could say to make me feel better. At that moment James and Sirius bust into our compartment, talking loudly.

“It took us forever to find you. Why did you guys switch compartments?” James inquired, putting an arm across Lily’s shoulders. She pushed it off, and gestured to my defeated state saying,

“Not now.” I looked away from their stares, staring out the window with my blurry eyes.

“What’s going on?” James asked loudly; I could feel him looking at the back of my head.

Lily explained quickly what had happened in a hushed voice. More tears arrived at that moment; spurred by the retelling of my tragic tale.

“WHAT?!” James roared. “I AM GOING TO KICK HIS ASS!” I heard the compartment door slam and when I turned around James and Sirius had disappeared. Lily returned to the spot next to me on the seat.

“You know you always have me right?” she asked. I managed to dig up a smile and leaned my head against her shoulder.

“I know,” I said, my voice scratchy from all the crying. “I just don’t understand. Things were going so well.”

“I know,” Lily responded. “I don’t understand it either.” We fell silent for awhile, listening to the rhythm of the train chugging along on the tracks. The minutes sped by just like the countryside. I half expected to hear Peter’s cry of anguish from outside in the hall. Was James really going to kick his ass? I mean Peter was one of his best friends.

I was continuing this stream of thoughts when the rat himself slid the door open and entered smiling.

He looked at my flushed face and inquired,

“Are you alright?” Now that made me mad. I had just come across him with another girl and he is asking me if I’m alright!

“Peter!” I shouted, angrily. “Get the hell out of here!”

“Excuse me?” he said.

“I don’t want to see you!” I shouted; my voice high and shrill. “So why don’t you leave and go back to kissing your girlfriend!”

“What is wrong with you?” Peter asked, looking horrified.

“Oh don’t act all innocent!” I continued to yell. “I saw you with her! Lily and I both saw you with her! You were practically sucking her face off!”

“What?” he asked, now sounding angry himself. “I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

“Peter we saw you,” Lily replied, sounding very calm amongst all the yelling. “We saw you in the last compartment with that blonde girl.”

“I DON”T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!” Peter hollered back.

“Just go!” I ordered, pointing at the door. I stood up and started to shove him to the door. He grabbed both of my hands and started speaking in a steady voice,

“Katie, if you had caught me kissing someone else why would I completely deny it? It doesn’t make sense. I don’t know what you’re talking about. I swear.”

“I don’t believe you!” I shouted. Peter was about to continue speaking when the door opened and James reentered. He noticed Peter and grabbed him up by the collar of his shirt; pinning him to the wall.

“James!” Peter sputtered. “Listen to me!”

“No, you listen,” James snarled. “When you see Katie in the hall, don’t talk to her. Don’t even look at her. Consider this the end of us.” James pulled Peter roughly from the wall and shoved him out in the hall; slamming the door after him.

I didn’t know if I felt more grateful or horrified about what had just happened. James threw himself into the seat, muttering to himself.

“The dirty, little rat. You know if he bothers you just come tell me.” I nodded numbly and returned my eyes to the window; the picture of Peter with that girl still imprinted in my mind. I leaned my head against the cool glass; goose bumps prickling all over my body. I watched out of the corner of my eye and James put his head in his hands and Lily wrapped herself around him.

I didn’t realize how hard all this actually was for James. He had just given up one of his best friends for me. But then…his friend turned out to be a horrible backstabbing cheater.

********

School started again. You know that awful feeling you get when you realize that break is over and that you actually have to start doing things again? This time it was a million times worse. The feeling was totally magnified; it was terribly draining. But then if I had it bad, Peter had it ten times worse. In Hogwarts, if James and Sirius didn’t like you, it was hard to get anybody to. Barely anyone spoke to him and he ate his meals alone. I joined the masses and also refused to speak to him. When he approached me, I simply walked away. Soon he stopped trying. I told myself that I would be mad forever but I found my anger slightly subsiding because of the intense pity I felt for him. I was mad, but I didn’t stop caring about him. It wasn’t like my feelings were a light switch. I couldn’t just turn them off when I wanted to.

Yet at the same time I felt ashamed for still caring about Peter. Why should I? I mean he didn’t care for me when he decided to kiss someone else. I came to dread Herbology because he was there and everything and everyone became uncomfortable.

I didn’t stay in bed and cry. I didn’t eat a bunch of chocolate (at least no more than normal). I sort of just got on with my life. I was rarely blessed with the feeling of happiness. I felt like one of those cartoon characters with the grey rain cloud above their head. But I kept going. I told myself that I had to. Snow upon snow fell at Hogwarts. I wondered if it would ever stop. It came in little bursts but at least a few flakes were always swirling down from the seemingly permanent gray sky. The next time I spoke to Peter it had been a week since the “incident.” School work did not cease because of my problem, and I was attempting to carry a large stack of books back from the library. He was coming up the stairs as I traveled down.

Our eyes locked; his grey eyes looked stormy and confused. I looked away as quickly as possible, but looked over my shoulder when his back was to me. Because life just loves me so much I found myself losing my balance and fell to the bottom of the stairs. My books went flying and I swore as I noticed a gash forming on my knee where it had scraped the step. The next thing I knew, Peter was at my side, gathering my books into my arms.

“Hey, you’re bleeding,” he said, reaching forwards to help me up. I shoved his hand away.

“I’m fine,” I muttered, getting to my feet shakily, and grabbing my books away from him.

“Katie,” he started, “Are you ever going to talk to me again?”

“Listen Peter,” I sighed. “You cheated on me and I’m trying to deal with it.”

“I didn’t cheat on you,” Peter tried. “I would never do that to you. I’m not a cheater.”

“That’s funny,” I snapped. “Considering the way we started. You were still with Valarie when you kissed me.”

“Wow,” Peter breathed angrily. “I can’t believe that you’re throwing that in my face.” I shrugged and pushed away from him.

“Don’t follow me,” I called over my shoulder.

********
After I deposited my books on my bed I exited the Hufflepuff Common Room to head down to dinner and found Remus waiting for me.

“Hey,” I said as brightly as I could.

“Hey,” he responded. He was about to say something else, but I cut him off,

“Please don’t ask me how I am. I am the same I was this morning. I’m fine. Not great, but fine.”

He gave me a small grin. “Ok, I won’t ask how you are. But I do have a favor to ask you.”

“Shoot,” I said.

“Well, I’ve been talking to Peter…”

“You’ve been talking to him?!”

“I’ve been talking to Peter and he is still denying the whole incident. He’s begging for a meeting with you.”

“Of course he’s still denying the incident,” I gasped, throwing my hands in the air. “I can’t believe that you are sticking up for him.”

“I’m only sticking up for him because something just simply doesn’t add up,” Remus persisted.

“Like what?” I asked, folding my arms. “Other than the fact that both Lily and I saw him attached at the lips to another girl? And the fact that Peter actually even cheated on Valarie with me before he broke up with her?”

“No,” Remus said softly, “I’m just saying that he really cared about you. Real stuff. He would talk about you all the time. His feelings were real. He never talked about Valarie. I don’t think he even knew why he was with her. With you it was something different. I’m just asking you not to forget that and maybe give him a chance to explain.”

I sighed, smoothing my hair away from my eyes.

“Fine, tell him I’ll talk to him but I still don’t see what there is to explain. It seems pretty straight forward.” Remus touched my arm gently.

“Just wait and see. Talking isn’t going to hurt.”

“I don’t know,” I answered glumly. “Plus we’ll never know for sure if he’s telling the truth.” Remus looked downcast for a moment but then his eyes brightened.

“We could always use a truth potion,” he suggested. “Slughorn keeps some in that locked cabinet behind his desk.”

“And how would you know that Remus?” I asked, tilting my head and grinning. Remus straightened his collar and cleared his throat loudly.

“Um…well…they don’t call me a Marauder for nothing,” he laughed gently. I rolled my eyes happily.

“That’s actually not a bad idea, truth potion,” I answered. “Not that I’m saying he even deserves the chance or anything. How are you going to get it? I’m sure that Slughorn is pretty careful about keeping us out of there.”

“I’ll talk to James and Sirius,” Remus said assuring me. “We’ll get it. I promise.”

********

“I don’t see why you have to talk to him,” James muttered, as I squeezed next him with my plate him at dinner. “And I don’t see why you want us to come.” I looked over my shoulder at Lily, Sirius, and Remus and forcing a fake grin.

“I need you guys one for moral support and two you guys want to know whether or not he’s lying too. I mean Remus is right. He has denied it from the start,” I replied reaching for a roll and thinking fondly of the food fight that seemed to have happened long ago.

“Hey,” Sirius said. “Don’t go all believing him just because he denies the whole thing. I once knew a guy who got caught and actually convinced his girlfriend she was seeing things. He was all you don’t trust me? How can we have a relationship without trust? How can you accuse me of such a thing?”

James snorted and said,

“Wasn’t that you mate?”

Sirius looked thoughtful for a moment before answering with a grin, “Oh yeah…”

“Thanks, that helps,” I snapped sarcastically. “Just because you’re a pig, doesn’t mean Peter is.” Lily and James laughed while Sirius shrugged off the comment. It was pretty bold for me to say out loud, but I was so nervous…everything that my mouth was shooting things off without my brain’s permission. I muttered an unneeded apology under my breath and turned my attention to Peter who was sitting at the end of the table seeming to be absorbed in a Charms book. He had gotten into the habit of reading at meal times; considering no one would speak to him.

He looked up for the briefest of seconds and caught me looking at him. I dropped my gaze instantly and pretended to be fascinated with my roll.

“So how are you going to get the truth potion?” Lily asked, taking a bite of tart. We all leaned in closer and three of the Marauders told us what they knew.

“Here’s the deal,” Remus started, whispering. “The truth potion is in a locked cabinet behind Slughorn’s desk. We could easily get into his office, but getting into the cabinet will be tricky. Slughorn keeps some pretty dangerous things in there so there is bound to be a pretty nasty spell protecting it.”

Sirius took over then. “Slughorn is not stupid. We don’t know what spell is on that cabinet. The best bet we have is to find the key. Now only two people have that key. Slughorn obviously has one but one other person does as well. Slughorn has a student assistant. He works with Slughorn some evenings; brewing potions, cleaning…that sort of thing. Slughorn gives him access to the cabinet for some reason.”

James cleared his throat before saying, “And that one person is…”

“Oh no,” I said, catching on to where this was going. James nodded,

“It’s Snape.”

I swore loudly. “We would have a better chance of asking Slughorn for the key!” Remus rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

“Snape can’t keep the key in the Common Room. That would be too dangerous. People know he has it. Maybe it’s on him at all times.”

“I’m not gonna go pat him down in hopes of finding it,” Sirius exclaimed with a shudder.

“Maybe if we ask him…” Lily started.

“Come on,” James muttered. “Snape hates our guts. He would never help us.”

“Maybe,” I said, hopefully trying to add something. “Valarie knows where he keeps it. They spent a lot of time together before break.” The Marauders cracked grins.

“That’s not a bad idea,” Sirius said. “We might be able to get her to talk.”

“Come here guys,” James said, excitedly. “I’ve got a plan.”

********

“Guys do I really have to do this?” Sirius protested later that night in the Gryffindor Common Room. I glanced over by the fire. Valarie was sitting there scribbling with her quill.

“Come on,” James answered, clapping him on the back. “Just use some of that Padfoot charm we all know is in there.”

“Fine, but for the record I don’t like using my charm for evil.” Sirius answered.

“Liar,” Remus grinned, pushing Sirius in Valarie’s direction.

The rest of us brought out a deck of cards to play some Exploding Snap…or at least to pretend to play some Exploding Snap. By the second round we were all had minor burns because we kept casting looks over by the fire instead of concentrating on the game as we should have been. Sirius laughed a fake yet casual laugh causing a fit of giggles from me and Lily; which we had to desperately work to hide.

The minutes trickled by. This was taking longer than I had thought.

“Hey just let him work his magic,” James said, when I complained. After about three million games of Exploding Snap and Lily had dozed in her chair, Sirius finally came over to us smiling widely; Valarie disappearing up to the girl’s dormitory.

“Did you figure out where the key is?” Remus inquired eagerly, his voice arousing Lily.

“Not exactly,” Sirius replied, watching our faces fall. “But I got something. Apparently Snivellus spends most of his nights in one of the abandoned dungeons; the one way in the back that no one goes in. As if he wasn’t creepy enough as it is.”

“Well, it’s probably there right?” I said.

“I’d say it’s worth a shot for sure,” James decided. We all nodded. “Let’s do it.”

“Now?” Lily gasped. “We aren’t supposed to be out of the Common Room. Its way after hours.”

“Aw, are you going to report us?” James asked playfully, kissing her. Lily broke the kiss and pushed his face away from hers.

“Look we’re all exhausted. Plus Snape would probably be more likely to be there at night. Why don’t we just do it tomorrow after classes?”

We all agreed that was best and turned in for the night. I got in between my clean white sheets staring upwards. So it was all going to be over tomorrow then. Innocent or guilty. It was hard to find myself doubting what I had seen. How could this not be true? I saw him! I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to feel. I flipped onto my stomach and buried my face into the pillow and stayed that way until sleep won and took over.

********

Classes of course dragged on and on the next day. If Professor Binns wasn’t already dead I would have killed him if he droned out another date. Even Herbology which I normally liked took forever. The last class of the day for me, Potions took the longest of all. I spent most of the time studying the cabinet behind Slughorn’s desk. It was interesting that this was the first time I really looked at it. I had seen it every day for…so many days…but this was the first time I had really looked at it. As I headed back up from the dark dungeons I passed some first and second year Slytherins chatting loudly.

“Did you hear that Snape got sent to the hospital wing today…”

I rushed to the Gryffindor Common Room where Lily was waiting to let me in. We walked in and found Remus, Sirius, and James by one of the big arched windows; sloppy snow drenching the glass.

“Did you get the key?” I inquired.

“Better,” Sirius replied. “We already got a few drops of the potion.”

“You guys did it without me?” I said, actually feeling a little hurt. “How did you pull this off? I heard Snape is in the Hospital Wing!”

“He’ll live,” Sirius replied darkly. “It was just a stunning charm. And we already put the key back in his pocket so he has no proof that we took it.” He removed a small vial from his pocket that contained a miniscule amount of clear liquid. He handed it to me. “It’s not our fault he decided to show up right at the moment we went looking for the key. Plus the key was in his pocket so we wouldn’t have gotten it without stunning him anyway.”

“Plus,” James added, “You need to know.”

“We all need to know,” I murmured, looking at the vial.

“I’ll go find him,” Remus offered kindly and took off. We all sat in silence for the minutes that Remus was gone. A quarter of an hour later he reappeared with Peter in tow.

“What’s this all about?” Peter asked, looking from me to the others. “You guys are talking to me again?”

“We’ll see,” Sirius said sharply. I went up to Peter. I could feel my hand shaking as I held out the vial.

“We…well they…nicked some truth potion,” I stammered. “I just need to know.” Peter didn’t need any further explanation or coaxing. He seized the vial and quickly swallowed the liquid. We lead Peter to a chair and waited a few moments to make sure the potion was in full affect.

“It should be working now,” Lily said next to me.

“Go on, ask me,” Peter said confidently. I took a breath. This was it. Gosh…this was nerve racking.

“Did you,” I started shakily. “Cheat on me? Did you kiss another girl?”

We waited.

“No,” Peter said. “I would never do that.”

I turned my head away from him looking at the others. Oh my god. They all looked somewhere between shocked and embarrassed. I didn’t know what to say. What could I say? I wrongfully accused my boyfriend of cheating! I made his life hell! I turned his friends against him! We all looked at each other sheepishly, shuffling our feet in our humiliation.

“But we saw you,” Lily tried timidly, finally breaking the intense silence.

“Well,” Peter said, standing up. “While you guys were all not speaking to me, I’ve been working out a theory of how this happened. I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. On the train during the time that I was supposedly kissing someone else I was talking to Valarie. She cornered me in a compartment and demanded that we talk. She kept me there for awhile, asking obnoxious questions that sort of thing. It was a complete waste of time for both of us and I remember leaving the compartment being very confused as to why she would do such a thing. Then when you guys all accused me of doing something that I had never ever thought of doing, I realized that she was keeping me out of the way. So then I realized what that meant. Another me must have been walking around kissing another girl. I did some reading and discovered that a Polyjuice Potion can be brewed to change someone into someone else. All you need is a bit of the person you are changing into. “

He ran a hand along his hair at that moment. And then it clicked for me where this was going but Remus talked first.

“Snape pulled out some of your hair when you were fighting,” he said, snapping his fingers.

“And he was probably the one who brewed the potion considering he has access to all the ingredients,” Sirius added.

“And that’s why Valarie and Snape were hanging out so much together,” James chimed in.

“Valarie and Snape?” I shook my head in anger, frustration, and awe from all the information that had just been thrown at me. “Why?”

“Well,” Peter continued. “Snape hates all our guts and Valarie doesn’t really have the fondest feelings for our relationship.” I bit my lip, feeling awful.

Was it good that Peter wasn’t a cheater? Oh yes! But now I felt like the traitor. Remus gestured to all the others,

“Lets give them a minute,” he said. “We’re really sorry Pete.” The others nodded and trooped silently out the portrait hole leaving me with Peter and my sinking heart.

“I don’t know what to say,” I mumbled quietly.

“It’s not really your fault,” Peter admitted. “You believed what you saw. How could you do anything else? Or think anything else? I just wish you would have believed me. Don’t you trust me?”

I clasped his hand. “I do,” I gasped. “I just feel so awful. I was so mad that I just wanted to shut you out from my life. Can you ever forgive me?” Peter nodded and cracked a small smile. My heart lifted. I walked into his arms and it felt…wonderful.

“I missed you,” he whispered in my ear. I kept breathing apologies into his ear until we broke away.

“I can’t believe Valarie did this to us,” I said, clenching my fist. “After I helped her with her hair and everything! You know what I’m going to do?” I asked, my eyes flashing dangerously.

“What?”

“I am going to kick her ass!” I shrieked, heading for the portrait hole. “How could a person be so terrible?!” Peter caught me by the waist before I got very far.

“Just leave it,” he encouraged. “Let’s just leave it alone. It’s over. She tried to pry us apart but we ended up closer than ever.” I struggled to break away from him as I shouted,

“NO! This is war Peter. There is nothing you can say that will stop me from teaching her a lesson, right now!”

“I love you.”

I stopped moving instantly; thoughts of Valarie dissolving.

“What did you just say?” I gasped, not believing what I was hearing. Was this it? Did he say what I thought he said?

“I love you,” he repeated. “You have become the most important person in my life. And I really, truly love you. I wanted to tell you after Christmas but then this…all happened.”

“Oh, my god,” I said, hoping my eyes weren’t welling up too much; but my vision got blurry anyway.

“You know I love you too right?” I didn’t even think about it. I knew it. It was true. Gosh, I’m in love! I’m in love! Love!

“You love me?” he asked, even though I had just said it.

“Oh boy, yeah,” I grinned. “You kiss me now.” He put his lips to mine and even though we had kissed hundreds of times before there was a new spark there. Love added something new. Love was new. New was fantastic. We broke apart and I giggled, putting a hand to my mouth.

“What?”

“I just realized,” I laughed. “That I’m in love with a rat.” I snickered louder.

“Hey!” he exclaimed, pretending to be all offended.

“Don’t worry,” I said, smoothing a piece of hair from his forehead. “You are the most loyal rat in the world. Even my eyes lied to me but you didn’t. I totally trust you, and I promise that I will never doubt you again.”

“You promise?”

“I promise.”

“You really, really promise?”

“I really, really, really promise!”

I didn’t realize then the problems that promise would cause me…
********

And that is Chapter Fourteen! Pretty good hey? Good thing Peter wasn’t really a cheater. I would have been so mad. See that box down there? That’s the review box. If you want to make a comment about what you just read I would loooooove to read it! Thanks a million for reading and if you have some time leave me a little review! Or hey, leave me a big one!

Much love,

-Kira

Hey if you want to ask me a question about writing or something else go to this link and write something on my Meet the Author page! Cool huh?

http://www.fictioncentral.net/hpforum/index.php?showtopic=17421

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