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    February, unlike the majority of January turned out to be rather pleasant for Oliver and myself. Of course, classes still sucked, what with "N.E.W.T.s just around the corner" and now even closer, but Oliver and I were doing better than ever. Oliver was still practicing five days a week (a fact that his team absolutely hated him for; they constantly begged me to try and intervene with his stupid practices. Every so often I took pity on them and interrupted the practices, either for a good snogging session or so we could study for some class or another. Once or twice I even had to remind him to stop in time to finish his astronomy work before class.)


    A few days into the month Oliver got some amazing news. He burst noisily into the library, where I had been studying for Ancient Runes, in a state of shock. Madame Pince gave us an evil glare and I had to shush Oliver before we got kicked out of the library. "Oliver, what? You can barely catch your breath!!"


    "It's McGonagall!" It was the first time he had said that phrase without sounding sad or exasperated.


    "What about her?"


    "She's given back the broom! Finally decided that it wasn't jinxed! That Harry can use it in the games! Isn't that wonderful news!" He was so excited he was shaking. I wasn't entirely sure how to respond, for him and his team, yes it was wonderful news, but for the Slytherins it kind of sucked. "Well?!"


    "I'm happy for you" I said, hugging him tightly. "Now shh, before you get me kicked out, I need to study this."


    "That's alright, we need to go practice with Harry's new broom, anyway. I'll see you at dinner?"


    "If you remember to come to dinner." I joked.


    "Bye!" Oliver nearly skipped out of the library and towards the pitch.


    "And you should be studying some too!" I called after him as he ran towards the pitch in his now Quidditch-induced haze. Dinner came and I couldn't help it, my house pride got the better of me.


    "Flint." I said, standing behind him at the table.


    "What do you want?" he asked coldly.


    "The Gryffindors have the Firebolt back. Just thought you'd like to know." He stared at me as I walked away down the table. As I sat down, I glanced over at the Gryffindor table to see Oliver and his Quidditch team talking excitedly, no doubt about how badly they'd destroy the Slytherins now that they had Harry Potter on a Firebolt.




    That week something strange happened, something that hadn't happened in ages; I dreamt about my brother. I was sitting in my bedroom at home, reading a letter, and something compelled me to look up. There, standing in my doorway, was my brother, Liam. I hadn't seen him in years and all I wanted to do was run over and hug him. But something held me back, there was something off about him. "Liam?" I whispered, slowly rising from my seat.


    "I love you, Lily." Liam said, his eyes full of despair, before his figure slowly faded away.




    I awoke with a start in a cold sweat. There was something wrong, something had happened to Liam. I had always known that he was missing, but now I knew that something else was wrong. I glanced at the clock and, seeing that it was 3 am, realized that no one else would be awake. Quietly, I rose from bed and snuck out of the castle. I needed to be outside, I needed to be alone. Seeing as it was mid-February and the middle of the night in northern Scotland, it was damned cold out, but I didn't care. Laying on the cool, crisp grass next to the dark lake, I stared up at the stars, looking for an answer. Where was Liam? What had happened to him? And why was I dreaming of him now, when I hadn't in ages?


    Liam had gone missing around the same time that my mother had died, but I had never believed that he was dead. I knew that he was alive, I knew deep down in my soul that he was still out there, that one day he'd come back to me and we'd be together again. Liam was always the one that made sure I was safe, made sure that nothing happened to me when I was at home. He ruled the Slytherins before my time at Hogwarts and he had always made sure that I had everything I ever wanted. But then, one day, in the middle of the night, I heard a loud ruckus and the he was gone. I never saw him again. I searched and searched but I couldn't find a single trace. My father never cared enough to look, and my mother had been dead for roughly three months at this point, so I felt as though it was up to me. It broke my heart when he left, and I closed myself off from the world, even from McKenzie for awhile, and it broke my heart again when I realized that I wasn't going to find him. But was this a sign? Had something happened to my brother?


    "Where are you, Liam?" I whispered to the night sky, tears stinging in my eyes.


    "Right here." Came a quiet voice from the shadows nearby. I jumped up with a start and stared into the darkness.


    "Wh-who's there?" I asked, pulling my wand from my nightclothes and pointing it towards the shadows. Slowly, a tall figure stepped out into the dim light around the lake. My eyes widened and my wand dropped.


    "It's me, Meme," he opened his arms to embrace me, but I responded in a way that was quite unexpected.


    "Where have you been?!" I screamed, "FOUR YEARS! Not a word! I was worried sick! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!" I broke down in sobs and Liam gently took me in his arms.


    "I'm sorry, Meme, I couldn't tell you where I went, it would've ruined everything."


    "What the fuck are you talking about?" I asked, shoving him off of me. As much as I was relieved to see him alive and apparently entirely healthy, I was pissed off that he had gone four years without a single message, not even a note to say he was alive.


    "They had to think I was dead, Meme, they had to think I was dead so I could find out what really happened to mom without them getting in the way."


    "You couldn't have let me know?" I whispered, tears dripping down my cheeks.


    "Meme, they were watching you. Everything you said, everything you did, someone knew. I had to keep you safe, if they knew that you knew where I was they'd have done anything to find out. I was working against them and they don't like people who work against them." I was so confused at this point that I stopped questioning things and just hugged Liam. "Meme, mom was killed because she knew something." I looked up at him, unsure of how to respond.


    "What could Momma have known that would have gotten her killed?"


    "I'm not sure, but I'm going to find out. But I had to see you, I had to see you before this got any further." I looked at him, once more confused.


    "Liam Potter what have you gotten yourself into??" I asked, not wanting to let him go.


    "I'll tell you everything, but not now, not here. I have to go, Meme, but I'll contact you soon, I promise." And with that, Liam pulled away from me and disappeared back into the dark forest. Now fully confused, I decided that it was time to return to bed.




    Everything was going well as the Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw game began. Oliver was in perfect form - someone had let slip that a scout from Puddlemere might be in the stands. Unfortunately, the knuckleheads in 3rd year Slytherin decided to have a little fun with the Gryffindor seeker. Draco and his cronies snuck onto the field dressed as dementors, but Harry didn't miss a beat. He sent the most amazing patronus charm at them, scaring them to high heaven. I'm not going to lie, I was impressed with the twerp. Oliver, however, was fuming when I found him after the game.


    "I can't believe them! They're despicable! Those bloody cheaters! Well, we'll show those ugly, miserable Sly-" he stopped short. "Sorry, I got a little carried away."


    "No you didn't but c'mon, I know you hate my friends. Don't worry, though, because they pretty much hate you, too." I smiled at him, I'd stopped caring about the 'miserable Slytherin' comments that tended to slip out during Oliver's quidditch rants long ago. Besides, what those idiots did was pretty low - even for Slytherins. Oliver continued his rant all the way back to the castle and straight through dinner.


    Unfortunately, the day's excitement was far from over. That night, the castle was awoken when none other than Sirius Black attempted to kill that Weasley brat in 3rd year. The castle was searched - again - and security was tightened - again.  What a bloody great way to spend 7yh year, hiding from a psycho maniac killer. It was barely a week into February and already I'd had more than enough excitement, between Oliver's quidditch, Liam magically reappearing, and now this, I was ready to just sleep until March.


    Luckily, most of the rest of the month was dull, filled with N.E.W.T. practices and, well, sleeping. Almost every spare minute was spent studying or doing homework assignments. What little time I could spare from that I spent trying to find a job for after I graduated. I was debating between the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the Department for International Magical Cooperation. All I knew was that I wanted a ministry job - and bad. Oliver, of course, had no idea what he would do if he didn't get invited to play for a Quidditch squad, but, as I kept reminding him, they'd be crazy not to take him.




And I was right.




    It was the last week of February when the letter came. I watched as Oliver carefully removed the Puddlemere seal and read the excruciatingly tiny handwriting once, twice, three times before making any sort of response. Slowly, he lowered the letter, face blank.


    "Don't worry, Oliver, there's always the Cannons, or - " I began, but was cut off.


    "I got it! They want me to be their reserve keeper!" I screamed, drawing the attention of the entire all, and hugged Oliver.


    "I'm so proud of you!"


    "We're celebrating tonight. Be ready at 7," he said.

    It was nearly impossible to sit still during lessons that day. I was so proud of Oliver! But at the same time, it made me think about our future together - and if we had a future together or not.


    That night at 7 Oliver met me outside the Slytherin common room. He took my hand and led me out onto the grounds.


    "Where are we going?" I asked


    "You'll see," he turned a corner and leaning against the wall of the castle was his broom, as if it were waiting for us. Oliver got on and then helped me up in front of him. Placing his arms around me, he gently took off, rising quickly into the cold February air.


    "I'm not too good with flying." I admitted as we climbed further and further until we were well above the ground.


    "Don't worry, I'd never let anything happen to you." I smiled and Oliver turned the broom toward one of the many towers of Hogwarts. He landed softly and then I saw, tucked away in a shadow, a folded blanket, two glasses and a bottle of Champaign.


    "Oliver" I whispered, getting off the broom, "why are you doing this?" I asked, amazed that he would do all of this for me.


    "I told you, to celebrate." I turned to face him.


    "This is your big thing, shouldn't I be doing something for you?" He placed his arms around me and gently kissed my forehead.


    "Do you love me?"


    "Of course"


    "And are you standing here with me, right now?"


    "Duh"


    "Then that's all I need from you." I smiled and shoved him playfully.


    "Smartass."

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