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Kristen sighed as she watched James over the next week. Honestly, he was hopeless! His reasoning seemed to be that the more he annoyed Lily, the better she would like him. It really made her quite sad.

Her next lesson with Dumbledore came far too quickly for her liking. Before she knew it, she was back to waiting outside of his office, dreading the meeting to come.

“Sugar Quills,” He said as soon as he walked up, startling her out of her moping. “Come Kristen, there’s something I believe you need to tell me.” He said a bit ominously as he boarder the stairs with her.

Kristen hated how he always knew more than her. Not in the sense of just being a teacher or older than her, he just always seemed to know exactly what was going on. She’s gotten so used to hiding everything that it was quite unnerving to not be able to do that with him.

“Professor McGonagall told me that you saw the Thestrals pulling the carriages. Why didn’t you tell me that?” He began quickly without introduction.

She rubbed her arms nervously. “I didn’t know it was odd that I saw them…”

“Yes you did. She told you to tell me.”

“Look, I’m sorry.” Kristen snapped at him. “I was a little preoccupied at the fact that Voldermort wants my mind and realizing I got six weeks worth of memories back! Weird Black horses were the farthest things from my mind!”

“I suppose you were a little caught up in other things,” Dumbledore allowed her, stroking his beard thoughtfully. “But Kristen, I still need you to tell me when these things happen.”

“Why? Surely the other students can see them as well.”

“No, most of them can’t. People only see Thestrals when they witness the death of a person. I didn’t think you would be able to see them as you only have someone else’s memory of a death. It simply doesn’t make sense.” Dumbledore explained, though it did nothing but make her even angrier.

“I told you! I killed those people! Why don’t you understand! I remember everything about it. I remember what Deana Gregson’s hair smelled like, how Xavier Perry’s eyes flashed just before it happened, or how little Sampson’s tears felt on my hands! You think I didn’t do it? Those memories are clearer than anything else in my head! I regret that I did it every moment of the day, I have so many nightmares! But I did, and nothing you say will change that!”

Dumbledore sighed at her outburst. Normally, he would be upset that a student would act so disrespectfully, but she had every right. “One day Kristen, you’ll understand, I promise.”

“Why don’t I understand now?” She asked him, eyes flashing.

“Because you have yet to discover yourself. When that happens, you’ll understand.” He told her in his ever-frustrating manner. “Kristen, you have magical powers that are beyond most wizards’ dreams. They haven’t developed yet, but when they do things will become clearer.”

Kristen rolled her eyes heavily. “I’m muggle born, why would I have ‘great power’ or whatever?” She asked mockingly.

“I don’t know,” Dumbledore answered. “I can tell though, I always can. Like your friends, Misters Potter, Black, and Lupin, they’re powerful as well, though not in the same way. That is not our discussion today however.” He quickly changed the subject. “We need to practice the Occulemency more thoroughly.”

Kristen sighed as she prepared herself. It was going to be a long night.
* * *
“You know we need to talk about this guys.”

Kristen, James, and Peter all shifted uncomfortably. Sirius was the only one to finally say something about it after all this time. “Not Remus.” Kristen finally said. “Not sweet, calm Remus. It just can’t be!”

“He’s been gone once every month for the past year.” Sirius pointed out. “I don’t want to believe it either, but come on! You know you’ve all noticed what the moon happens to be doing every time he leaves.”

“We know Sirius,” James sighed. “It all points to it but like Krissie said, not Remus. He would be the least likely person.”

“Wait, what?” Peter stopped them looking confused.

“We think Remus is a werewolf,” Kristen hissed, hitting his arm for not paying attention.

“Not Remus,” Peter protested.

Sirius rolled his eyes. “That’s what we’ve been saying Pete, keep up.”

The four friends were sitting outside next to the lake with sweatshirts to keep them warm in the late September cool. It was nearing the end of day two of Remus’s absence, his first one that year.

“He should be coming back soon,” Kristen said idly, looking towards the gate as they nervously waited for him. Quite suddenly though, he appeared from the forest, almost as if he had been there the entire time. They all watched anxiously as he looked at them in confusion for a moment and then hesitantly walked to join him.

“Hello,” he said cautiously when he approached them. “What’s going on? Why are you all out here?”

“We needed to talk to you, preferably without many people around,” Sirius said with a sense of dread.

They could see Remus tense as he sat on the grass with them. “What do you need to ask?” He inquired slowly.

“Are you a werewolf?” James blurted out, knowing that was the only way they’d be able to ask.

Remus’s eyes widened in shock. “N-n-no,” he stammered. “My mum just gets sick a lot.”

“Remus, there’s no point in hiding it any more. Everything adds up,” Kristen told him.

Remus closed his eyes, and tears began to slide down his face. “I’ll go then,” he croaked, admitting to it. He began to stand up but Kristen was suddenly by his side.

“Remus, hear us out,” she pleaded, pulling him back down with her. “We love you. You’re our best friend.”

“But I’m a werewolf. I’m dangerous.” He fought, pulling his hand away from her’s. “Why would you want to be friends with me?”

“You do our homework,” Sirius joked. Feeling more confident now that he was sure of himself. “Come on, did you seriously think we would desert you?”

“Well…I’m a werewolf,” Remus said, as if Sirius didn’t understand.

“Well, Kristen’s going to turn into a monster once a month soon too but, sadly, I doubt we’ll get rid of her then.” Sirius said casually.

It took everyone a moment to get it before they burst out laughing and Kristen’s blushed a bright red. “Sirius Black! I cannot believe you just said that! It was utterly disgusting.”

“Believe it sweet heart,” he taunted her.

“I can’t believe this,” Remus breathed, looking utterly exuberant and completely oblivious of Sirius and Kristen’s huge row. “I thought you would hate me.”

“No, are you kidding? This is way cool! Humble peace loving Remus by day, vicious monster by night!” James shouted in excitement.

“I’m not a vampire,” Remus laughed. “I’m only a monster one night of the month. Sorry to disappoint you.”

“I hate you Sirius Black!”

“You are such an over emotional female!”

Remus rolled his eyes as he watched Kristen and Sirius shout at each other. He sat down on the grass next to James and Peter. He’d never though it would go this well. He was sure when they found out they’d disown him and then tell every one else in the school. He couldn’t believe he had underestimated them.
* * *
“Alright Marauders, I call the first official meeting of the school year to order.” Remus announced regally.

“Here, here!” The others shouted, holding up their bottles of butterbeer.

“First order of business,” Remus continued in his regal manner. “Well…I don’t really have anything so what the Hell, let’s just stay up late and not do homework!”

They all laughed at Remus’s totally carefree manner. It was the day after they had discovered his secret, and he was basking in his euphoria. He had acted like he was consumed with sugar throughout the morning. Though it was quite entertaining to watch this new Remus, none of them could wait for the old one to come back.

“So, where do you actually go when your furry little problem takes over?” James asked Remus.

“You know that tree that moves out by the forest? Well, if you touch one of the knots on the tree, you can slip down under it, and then there’s a tunnel that leads to this old building in Hogsmeade. I usually stay there until I feel able enough to walk back.” He answered casually.

“We’ll have to use that passage way one day when you’re not going to eat us,” Sirius said excitedly. “That way, we could go to Hogsmeade whenever we wanted!”

Remus suddenly looked very uncomfortable. “I don’t know guys, Dumbledore trusts me…”

“Don’t worry, we won’t get caught,” Sirius said nonchalantly. “We just have to figure out a way to go without much notice.”

“I don’t want you guys breaking the rules on my account,” Remus said, reverting to his old self.

“We wouldn’t be only doing it for you,” Kristen said, excitement on her face. “Just imagine the adventure!”

“Please don’t…”

“Oh stop worrying,” James told him with a light punch on the arm. “I doubt we’ll come up with anything too soon.”

Remus sighed in defeat, knowing that this topic was far from being dropped.
* * *
“I have exciting news everyone!” Dumbledore proclaimed with glee as he stood in front of all his students. “In little over a week, we will have a Halloween ball, in light of the younger students not being able to go to Hogsmeade!”

Instant conversations broke out across the hall. Dumbledore didn’t even both to try silencing them but instead sat down to begin his dinner.

“He only gave us a week’s warning?” Several girls discussed in anger. “What am I going to wear? How will I be ready?”

Kristen laughed to herself as several girls went into hysteria at the news. James instantly turned to Lily upon hearing this who gave a firm “NO!” before turning away. James looked heartbroken but quickly began scanning the table for other eligible maidens.

She rolled her eyes at him before focusing on her food. Honestly! James Potter was the biggest player she knew!

She discreetly looked over to Sirius, who was flirting madly with Gwen. Well, make that second biggest player she knew.
* * *
Kristen had never really been asked out by a boy. There were those few in primary school, who had walked around holding her hand, and then Peter, but that was not really what you could call being asked out.

But now, it was utterly strange! There were boys that she didn’t even know the names off asking her to the dance! She told the first few no, mostly because she was too shocked to say anything else.

And then he came.

He was the god of fourth years, everyone knew that. Jason Brown, seeker for the Ravenclaw Quiditch team, top in all his classes, and an incredibly charming guy.

And he had just pulled her out of the group to talk to her.

She was shaking all over, and she was sure her cheeks were a bright red by now. “Hey, I’ve noticed you around.” He told her coolly.

Kristen dumbly shook her head in answer. She tried to speak, but quickly found her self far too tongue-tied. “I know we’ve never really gotten a chance to hang out but you seem really nice, and you’re very pretty.” He continued with a large smile.

She was honestly surprised she didn’t just collapse. “T-Thanks,” she stuttered, nervously pushing her hair behind her ears.

“So,” he smiled and leaned casually against the stonewall. “Would you want to go to the dance with me?”

She nodded quickly, too afraid to try and talk. He laughed a little and then kissed her lightly on the cheek and walked away.

“Who does he think he is?” She heard James shout, though he sounded far away. “Just waltzing up and kissing you like that! Talk about disrespectful!”

Kristen had not listened to a word of it. Instead, she grinned widely and slid down the wall, still in complete shock over what had just transposed.

“No kidding! I mean, he’s a bloody fourth year! He’s way too old for Kristen!” Sirius added in equal anger.

That snapped her out of her daze. “I hardly think it’s any of your business,” she shot at him as she stood up regally.

“Of course it’s my business!” Sirius retorted. “He’s obviously using you for something!”

“Yeah! I mean, why would a fourth year even look at you?” James asked incredulously.

“Oh, I don’t know…maybe he likes me or something!” She yelled at both of them.

“He doesn’t even know you,” Remus added, surprising her.

“I thought you at least would be on my side,” She snapped at him, hurt by his betrayal. “Can’t you guys just be happy that I managed to get a date?”

“You could have gotten a much better one,” Sirius told her defiantly.

“Right, sorry I chose the guy I’d actually be happy to go with, my bad,” She declared sarcastically, rolling her eyes.

“Jason Brown is not trustworthy,” James tried to convince. “Guys know this stuff about other guys. Seriously Kristen, you can’t go with him!”

“I think you’re all just mad that your back-up date isn’t available!” She shrieked, stalking of to her Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

“What a stupid comeback!”

Why on earth would she think that?”

“We were only looking out for her!”

“What was she thinking?”

Peter, Remus, Sirius, and James all conversed wildly as the followed Kristen at a safe distance. She tried to ignore them, and did so in the days leading up to the dance. She only spoke to Lily, which pleased Lily to no end as Kristen was finally choosing her over that “egotistical prat Potter”.

Kristen knew they were plotting against her, she could see it in their faces. Part of her was beginning to regret saying yes to Jason, until the day of that is.

He was simply stunning, with his baby blue dress robes and dark brown, windswept hair. She suddenly felt ashamed of her light pink dress and curly hair; she wasn’t good enough for him.

“Beautiful,” he told her with a smile, making her knees go weak as he looped his arm around hers to lead her into the great hall.

She desperately tried not to step on his feet as he led her through a few waltz. He was such a gentleman, offering to get her drinks or to let her go talk to her friends. She never agreed to the second option, she was avoiding them like the plague at the moment. Instead, she offered to see his friends.

That’s where things went downhill.

Kristen couldn’t understand it. One minute, he was a perfect gentleman, the epitome of an ideal escort, the next…he was an egotistical pig.

“Did you see Di Chang?” One boy howled, smirking in appreciation of the girl in question’s low cut garb.

“Letting it all hang out, aye?” Jason laughed.

“And look at your girl, all dolled up for you.” A tall blonde boy shoved Jason’s shoulder while looking Kristen up and down.

Kristen suddenly felt very uncomfortable, nearly naked as Jason held her out like a prize. “Leave it to Jas to get the prettiest girl of the second years.” Another boy guffawed.

“Can we go back?” Kristen asked him quietly, clinging on to his arm. She knew he would say ‘yes’. He was such a sweet and kind gentleman after all, and he liked her so much that he would surely do something simple like this for her.

“Wait, would you? I’m just talking to the guys,” Jason snapped at her rather harshly. She shrank away from him, confused as to why he was treating her like this.

“Please,” She asked of him, wanting to get away from his odd friends.

Jason grabbed onto her arm, “I already told you, just one minute,” he growled at her menacingly.

“Let her go.”

Kristen looked around. Standing just behind them was the whole gang, Peter, Remus, James, Sirius, all looking angry. “Get your hand off of her bastard,” James demanded, his eyes hard.

Kristen sighed in humiliation. Yes, she was having a terrible time with Jason at the moment, but it wasn’t so bad that they had to interfere.

Jason looked at him in confusion before bursting out laughing. “You think you boys could take us or something.” He asked threateningly, keeping a firm grip on Kristen’s arm.

“If you’re going to keep doing that, you bet we can,” Sirius huffed, trying to sound bigger than he actually was.

“All right munchkins, let’s see it,” The blonde boy agreed, getting out his wand with a smirk.

Within seconds mass panic had taken over. James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter had all been prepared, their wands close at hand. But at the first sign of trouble, three more of Jason’s friends came over for the fight. The second years were both out numbered, and out smarted. Kristen could hardly do anything but stand in near shock as it began, but she soon got her wits back about her and joined in the fray, not caring that she was fighting her own date.

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