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Author's Note: This is my first A/N! Yay!
After reading all the lovelyfull reviews from the last chapter, I just had to thank you all! I mean, here I am, not asking for any, but you all still send them! I am a highly appreciative person and answer them all! And to thank all the reviewers I've had so far...................
THANK YOU!
(Note-would personally thank each, not allowed. T T You all get special sugary treats though! Like cookies and candy! Yay!)
 You all make me feel so special! I'm writing for you! Everytime I read the reviews, I can't help but smile! (Dances in circle around room thinking
They like it! They like it!) So here is my very first A/N, just for my reviewers, who deserve a little extra non-story crazy appreciation!
TO THE STORY!
Lucy slept quite fitfully that night, tossing and turning and being startled awake by something she'd dreamed that she couldn't remember. By the time Lucy had settled into a deep sleep, she was being shaken awake by a bright-eyed Lily.

"Lucy? Lucy!" Lily cried happily. "How are you feeling? Do you think that you can go to classes today?" Lucy sat up painfully, running a hand through her hair.

"I guess so, sure................" Lucy trailed off, wincing.

"Are you sure, Luce?" Lily asked, concerned. "You still look a bit sick..............." It was true. Lucy's face was still flushed, her eyes bright with fever.

Lucy waved off Lily's concern, forcing a smile. "I'm fine, Lils. Besides, I missed enough class." Lily looked at Lucy, disbelief written across her face. "I'm serious, Lily." Lucy said, noticing the look. Lily shook her head.

"I don't think-"

"I need to do this, Lily." Lucy interrupted her quietly. Lily studied her friend closely, sighed, then nodded.

"Fine, fine. You can go to classes today, but once their over, you go straight to the Hospital Wing!" Lucy shrugged and began getting ready.

"Okay, whatever you say."

-----------------------------------------------

"James? Sirius? Peter?" Lucy asked, sticking her head into their room. The three boys groaned loudly and turned under their covers. Lucy noted Remus' empty bed, worried. She went over and sat in it. Lucy bit her lip, instantly regretting it. Lucy yelped as she bit through the newly-covered cut she'd put in her lip the night before.

James, Sirius, and Peter all jumped, sitting up straight and looking over at her. Lucy put her hand up to her now-bleeding lip, grimacing. "You okay, Whit?" James asked, concerned. Lucy nodded.

"Yeah, I'm fine."

"You bit through your lip!" Sirius exclaimed.

"How'd you do that?!" Peter questioned, shocked. Lucy shook her head.

"Accident. Complete and total accident. Stress, pressure, worry, etc. Get up and get ready for class. Or," she said, eyeing the boys' tired demeanors, "I could always say that you three aren't feeling well.............."

"Really?!" They exclaimed delightedly. Lucy nodded.

"Just go to the Hospital Wing and fake it, okay?" The boys nodded, and Lucy made her way to their door. She paused in the doorway and half-turned, looking at of them. She shook her head, grinning. "I'm too nice to you guys."

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Lucy yawned hugely, covering her mouth with one hand before dropping her head back onto the table.

"Lucy, you have to eat."

Lucy groaned.

"You'll never get better if you don't eat.

Another groan.

"If you don't eat something, I'm taking you to the Hospital Wing now and leaving you there." Lucy sat up grudgingly, glaring at Lily with all the rage she could muster............ which wasn't much.

Lily just laughed and pointed at Lucy's plate. Lucy put a bunch of scrambled eggs and toast on it, pouring herself some orange juice.

"Happy now, oh threatening Queen of Food Consumption?"

"No." Lily said, laughing. Lucy groaned mockingly.

"I have to eat it too?!" Lily nodded, and Lucy pouted. "Fine. But if I choke to death eating this forced meal, you stay away from my funeral."

"You won't choke, Lucy."

"How do you know? Traded Food Queen for Life Management?" Lily laughed.

"No, I haven't. But if you just look over at the teachers' table, you'll see at least eleven witches and wizards who can easily save you the second you start choking."

"Always goes back to the teachers for you, huh, Lils?" Lily grinned.

"Yes it does, and rules, and schoolwork. But stop trying to change the subject and eat." Lucy rolled her eyes and began eating.

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"Getting close to summer." Lucy commented casually as she splashed water from Black Lake onto her face. It was her free period. Next was lunch, then Transfiguration................ the whole reason she'd gotten out of bed that morning.

"Yeah, it is. Now get away from the lake." Lucy grinned, stood up, and crossed her eyes at Lily.

"Why? You Queen of Black Lake now?" Lucy's eyes lit up and she grinned wickedly. "If you're a Queen, you have to have a King, you know."

"So?" Lucy looked at the lake, then at Lily.

"This lake is called Black Lake." Lily's eyes widened in horror.

"Lucy!" She exclaimed, whacking her with her backpack.

"What?!" Lucy exclaimed, dodging another blow of the backpack.

"You know what!" Lucy paused, pretending to think.

"Why yes, actually, I do!" She exclaimed. "Now, if you would excuse me..............." Lucy turned and tore back to the Castle, Lily close behind.

Just as Lily caught up with Lucy, she ran into the Great Hall. The two of them ate lunch quietly, Lucy occasionally grinning and lifting her eyebrows at Lily. Lily returned fire by transfiguring Lucy's food, plate, cup, and utensils while she ate.

When lunch was over, the two of them headed to Transfiguration. Halfway their, Lucy's breath caught in her throat, a sharp pain beginning in her chest.

"Lucy?! Are you okay?!" Lily asked worriedly. Lucy held up a hand, shaking her head. She forced herself to breathe, to concentrate on something other than McGonagall. Lucy shut her eyes tightly, James' parents coming to mind almost instantly.

Slowly, slowly, the pain receded and was gone. Lucy opened her eyes, blinking. She looked over at Lily, rubbing her chest. "I'm fine now."

"But-"

"I'm fine now." Lucy repeated, in a voice that said the discussion was over. Lily nodded, concern written across her features as she looked at her friend. The two of them began walking to Transfiguration again, this time in silence, Lily worrying about Lucy, Lucy focusing on the image of James' parents.

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Lucy and Lily sat down in their regular seats; up near the front, where Lily could take notes and answer questions. Lily had frequently offered to sit in the back, knowing of Lucy's problem with McGonagall, but Lucy always refused.

Today, however, Lucy marched right up to her seat and sat down. She ripped open her satchel and pulled out her book, some parchment, a quill, and an inkwell, determined to keep her own notes today.

McGonagall was watching Lucy closely from her desk. Classes had yet to begin, yet she already had her things out and ready. McGonagall was surprised that Lucy hadn't looked at her, especially after the night before, but Lucy's eyes never moved from the tabletop. Lily was looking over at her worriedly, saying something, but Lucy shook her head the slightest bit. Lily continued badgering Lucy, until Lucy began writing.

What do you want, Lils? Lucy looked over at Lily, motioning for her to write.

What's going on with you? Are you okay? What was up with that in the- Lucy pulled the parchment out from under Lily's quill an began to write.

Last night the guys needed my help. I went to talk to the cat. I- Lily pulled the parchment away from Lucy.

What?! Why?! Hopefully to report them! Lucy laughed when she saw what Lily had written. Lily sighed and shook her head. Lucy would never report the guys.

Of course I didn't report them! They didn't want me to help, anyway! I just did it. Lily made a move to grab the parchment, but Lucy pulled it away from her. I talked to the cat. For a while, I don't know how long.

WHY?!

Stop taking the parchment, Lils, or I'll stop writing.

NO! DON'T STOP!

You're doing it again!

Sorry.

That's better.................anyway, I talked to the cat for a bit. I really don't want to talk about it now, so I'll just say it could've gone better. I got rid of some demons, but it could've gone better...............I'm gonna try my own work today.

Really?!

Yeah. I healed some old wounds, I guess, in a way. I think I can deal today. Thanks for all your help, Lils. I really appreciate it.

Not a problem, Luce. I know you'd do the same.

You're doing it again.

What?

Stealing the parchment.

Lily looked up at Lucy, who was grinning and crossing her eyes at her. Both of them laughed. McGonagall called the class to attention and Lucy quickly set their conversation on fire, the parchment burning to a pile of ashes in a matter of seconds.

McGonagall wasn't happy about that. She'd wanted to see what was written on that parchment. Lucy didn't look up at her, instead choosing to focus her gaze onto the table. McGonagall sighed inwardly and began the lesson.

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Lucy took strict notes that day, copying down every single word McGonagall said, as well as anything on the board. She accomplished the day's assignment easily and began working on the homework.

The entire time, Lucy had managed not to look at McGonagall once.

After Transfiguration-as well as the rest of the days' classes-were finished, Lucy burst out onto the grounds, cheering.

"YES! IT'S OVER! IT'S FINALLY OVER!" She shouted at the top of her lungs, beaming. Lily looked at her friend oddly, but chose not to ask. Lucy took a deep breath and looked at Lily, eyes shining. "The world is so bright!"

"Yeah. It's called the sun, Luce." Lily said, smiling. Lucy crossed her eyes and stuck out her tongue at Lily, who laughed. "What made you so happy today, anyway?" Before Lucy could answer, someone tapped her on the shoulder.

"Are you Miss Whitaker?" A small, serious-looking boy said. He had black hair and grey eyes, looking remarkably like Sirius. Lucy nodded. "I was told to find you." The boy informed her solemnly.

"Oh, okay..............For what? And by who?"

"Whom." Lily corrected Lucy, before the boy could answer.

"Sirius, James, and Peter." Lucy's face lit up. She hugged the boy, who looked both pleased, but confused.

"Thanks! Do you go to school here?" The boy shook his head.

"No, I don't. I just dropped by to see someone. Sirius and James.................'convinced' me to find you." The boy grinned. "I had to go through a bunch of girls to find you, you know." Lucy grinned. She gave the boy a kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you." The boy beamed.

"Your welcome!"

"Regulus! Time to go!" The boy winced.

"I gotta go." He said, frowning slightly.

"I hope I get to see you again, Reg!" Regulus grinned again, nodded.

"Yeah, me too."

"Regulus!" Regulus winced again.

"Coming mum!" He shouted. He turned back to Lucy and Lily. "Well then, this is good bye, at least for now." Lucy nodded. Regulus turned and began running.

"Bye Reg!" Lucy called after the boy. He paused in his running, turned, and waved over at the girls. Then he disappeared, going in the direction of the carriages.

"Why do you think they wanna talk to you?" Lily asked, after a moment's silence. Lucy shrugged.

"Who knows?" Lucy's eyes lit up. "Let's go find out!"

Lucy bounded into the school, dashing down the first available corridor, Lily doing her best to keep up.

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"WHIT!" James, Sirius, and Peter shouted unanimously, jumping on Lucy as she entered the common room. The four of them fell to the floor in a huge pile, the three boys on top of Lucy, who was laughing.

"What?! What'd I do?!"

"We have major plans, Whit!" James crowed happily.

"MAJOR!" Peter agreed, eyes shining.

"Like, total catastrophe major!" Sirius agreed, nodding his head rapidly, hair whacking Lucy's face. She laughed and pushed them off of her, starting with Sirius.

"I don't need your hair adding to the mess that is mine, Sirius Black!" Lucy exclaimed, trying to move her hair out of her eyes.

"Aw, but we like the mess!" Sirius whined. Lucy rolled her eyes, grinning.

"Only because you can't tell when I'm glaring at you!" The guys laughed, Lucy crossing her eyes at them.

Just then, Lily came bursting through the portrait hole, panting.

"How can you run so fast?!" Lily exclaimed, wheezing somewhat. "You practically flew through those halls!" Lucy shrugged nonchalantly, then grinned.

"Faster than a fully grown stag, I am." Lucy said, eyes gleaming. "Care for a race?" Lily shook her head rapidly.

"Not unless it's a race to see who falls over first!" Lucy laughed.

"I gotcha beat there, too, Lils!" She crowed happily. "Those three," she pointed at James, Sirius, and Peter, "knocked me straight to the floor! So there!"

"You guys!" Lily complained. "The only race I could have a chance at beating her in!" Lucy crossed her eyes and grinned at Lily. She took out her wand, transfigured her quill into a cup, and filled it with water.

"Drink. Now." Lucy commanded, giving the cup to Lily, whose eyes were wide. Lucy poked Lily sternly until she drank. When Lily finished the first cup, Lucy filled it again. Lily drank three cups of water until she was done.

"No more!" Lily gasped, as Lucy tried to fill it again. "I'll explode!" Lucy laughed and downed the cup herself. She transfigured her cup back into a quill, then put it in her bag, crossing her eyes at Lily again.

"Water's good for you, you know. " She said, grinning. Lily rolled her eyes.

"I know that! Jeeze." Lucy crossed her eyes and stuck out her tongue. "You always do that, you know." Lily pointed out. Lucy looked confused.

"Do what?" She asked.

"Cross your eyes at people." Lily said matter-of-factly. Lucy was quiet a moment, thinking.

"Thanks for noticing, Lils." Lucy said, grinning and crossing her eyes at her friend, who could only laugh.

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Lucy was the first to greet Remus when he came back from his 'aunt's house'. He had just walked through the portrait hole, only to get knocked back through it.

"Remus!" Lucy shouted, arms thrown around his neck.

"Whit?" Remus asked, bewildered. He and Lucy were on the hallway floor, the Fat Lady's portrait swung wide open. "Is something wrong?"

"I missed you!" Lucy said, hugging Remus tighter. He grinned.

"I missed you too, Whit. But I can't breathe."

"Oh, sorry." Lucy got up off of Remus and helped him to his feet, smiling brightly, too happy to look apologetic. She hugged him again, but not so tight.

"I was only gone a couple days, Whit." Remus said, hugging Lucy lightly. She shrugged and released him, the two of them climbing through the portrait hole together.

"So?" Lucy asked. "I can't miss you when you're gone for a couple days?" Remus laughed.

"Well of course you can, Whit." Remus said reasonably. "But it was only a couple of days. Summer's soon, what about then?" Lucy's eyes widened.

"No!" Lucy cried in agony. "I can't be away from you and Lily and James and Peter and Sirius for three months!" Remus laughed, but gently.

"There's always owl post." Something changed behind Lucy's eyes. She looked afraid suddenly, if only a bit.

"Yes, there's that............." She began slowly. Remus, sensing her hesitation, spoke.

"But?" He asked quietly. Lucy turned her gaze to the fire.

"But I think, if you do send an owl, it has to be sure to land in my window and stay in my room. It can't fly all over the house looking for me."

"Why not?" Lucy hesitated visibly.

"My aunt. She doesn't really like..............birds. She might hurt them." Remus nodded thoughtfully. Lucy had told the truth, yes, but not all of it. Her aunt didn't mind birds, it was owls she had the problem with, ever since Lucy had told her that magic people used them to deliver letters.

"Oh, okay, no problem." Lucy visibly relaxed after Remus' words, James, Sirius, and Peter thundering down the stairs only moments after.

"MOONY!" They cried happily. Lucy turned to look at them, confused.

"Huh? Who's Moony?" She asked. Remus turned slightly red, while James, Sirius, and Peter seemed hesitant. Lucy, sensing the tension in the air, stood up. "I think I'm gonna go talk to Lily." She kissed the top of Remus' head. "See you four later."

The four boys mumbled something as Lucy left the common room, heading up the girls' staircase, humming carelessly.

"That was close." Remus muttered, sighing heavily.

"Knowing your nickname isn't gonna reveal your secret to her, you know, Moony." James said practically, as he, Sirius, and Peter sat in armchairs near Remus.

"I know, Prongs, but still." James, Sirius, and Peter looked confused. "Whit's smart, you know?" They nodded." It wouldn't take that long to figure it out...............especially with a hint like that."

"She'll find out sooner or later, Moony." Sirius said.

"Yeah. Why don't you just tell her?" Peter agreed questioningly. Remus shook his head fiercely.

"No way! I'm not telling Whit anything about................that. You know how she is, guys! She'll want to help, to come with us. That's be bad. She could get hurt!" James, Sirius, and Peter said nothing, none of them wanting to admit that Remus was right. "You know I'm right! How would you feel if you knew that Whit got hurt, or worse, because we told her my secret?!" The three boys looked uncomfortable now.

"Sorry, Moony." James finally muttered.

"Yeah, sorry." Sirius agreed.

"We didn't mean it like that." Peter said hesitantly.

"I know, I know." Remus muttered miserably. "It's just that.................we all know what Whit is like, especially when it comes to helping us. Can you imagine if she tried to, and ended up like................me?"

The silence that enveloped the four friends was heavy with secrets, and lies.

PS: Last chapter, I accidentally combined two chapters together. (Silly me!) It was meant to be a cliffhanger after Lucy says she's going to have a "chat with the cat" (hence the name). Which is why there were those random equals signs and letters! Good luck for you, though, my lovelyfull readers! No cliffhanger to suffer through! You get a dramatic exit, AND a fight! Yay! (Let us all cheer for the absent-mindednes of the author!) Seriously though, the one chapter I didn't proofread in the least before submitting it! Oh, well. You guys enjoyed it, and deserved a little extra, anyway. Happy Reading!
PPS: I love ending in dramatic sentences!
PPPS: If you loved "A Chat With The Cat", you'll love the chapter after this one! Another burst of screaming from the normally-quieter Lucy Whitaker!
PPPPS: I should stop writing now, shouldn't I?
PPPPPS: Yep.
PPPPPPS: If you're still reading this, you are both very patient and understanding. You also must like my writing. Or are looking for a hint of the next chapter.....................you know what? You kept reading, here's a preview!


"IT JUST ISN'T RIGHT! UNLESS AN ANIMAL ATTACKS YOU FIRST, OR A PERSON, YOU JUST LET THEM BE! WHAT HAS THIS LITTLE RAT DONE TO YOU, HUH?! HAS IT HURT SOMEONE YOU LOVE, HAS IT KILLED SOMEONE?! HAS IT KIDNAPPED A KID, PULLED THE TRIGGER ON A GUN?! HAS IT MURDERED, HURT, RAPED ANYONE?! I DON'T THINK SO! THIS LITTLE GUY HASN'T DONE ANYTHING BUT TRY TO LIVE, AND ALL YOU WANT TO DO IS KILL IT! THAT MAKES YOU A MURDERER!

"DO YOU WANT TO BE A MURDERER?! DO YOU WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR TAKING A LIFE OUT OF THIS WORLD?! ISN'T THIS WORLD BAD ENOUGH ALREADY! WELL?! ISN'T IT?!" Lucy didn't wait for an answer. "YES, IT IS! AND YOU WANT TO KNOW WHY?! BECAUSE OF PEOPLE! YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT! PEOPLE! IT'S PEOPLE WHO MURDER, STEAL, RAPE, BEAT, TORTURE, ABUSE, BURN................IT'S PEOPLE WHO DESTROY EVERYTHING GOOD LEFT IN THE WORLD! IF THERE'S ANYTHING TO FEAR IN THIS HORRIBLE PLACE, IT'S PEOPLE, NOT A POOR, DEFENSELESS LITTLE RAT! 'HE'S JUST A RAT'! THAT'S WHAT YOU THINK? WELL, I'M JUST A PERSON!

"I'M JUST A PERSON, A HUMAN BEING! KILL ME, WHY DON'T YOU?! GO AHEAD, DO IT! KILL ME, LIKE YOU WOULD IF I WERE NOTHING BUT A LITTLE RAT! GO AHEAD, I'M WAITING!" Nothing. "I SAID I'M WAITING! WHAT, DON'T WANT TO KILL ME?! I'M NOT DOING ANYTHING, AM I?! THERE'S NO REASON TO KILL ME, IS THERE?!" The girl shook her head shakily. "THEN WHERE IS THE REASON TO KILL THIS RAT?!" Lucy shouted angrily, whipping around to glare at the rest of the girls who were watching the scene with interest.

Patience is indeed a virtue, no?
ENJOY YOUR PRIZE, READERS!

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