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This one's dedicated to my new president. Here's to you President Obama.
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“I don’t want to go,” Kristen pouted as Mrs. Potter did her hair. James’s mother had insisted upon it, for Kristen certainly had no inclination to be treated like Wedding Guest Barbie.

Sirius laughed as he leaned against the vanity in her room. “Oh come on, it’s sure to be a laugh. Besides, I need you there to fill me in on the whole messy ordeal.”

“And won’t it be nice to see your little death eater friends again,” Peter put in with a large grin.

“Why did you guys have to come today?” She whined, followed by a loud “Ow!” as Mrs. Potter yanked her back into a suitable sitting position. “Did you just want to see me in my misery?”

“That’s why I came,” Remus assented.

“I just wanted to help!” Lily exclaimed, holding a rather dangerous looking bag of make up. It had been quite the challenge to even get her to agree to come over, and the one day she picked happened to be the worst of Kristen’s summer. “I’ve only gotten to go to one wedding in my entire life! It’s so much fun getting all dressed up!”

Kristen sighed in resignation, looking around quickly for something else to talk about. She spotted the gleaming badge on James’s chest and decided that. “For goodness sakes prongs, are you ever going to take that off?”

“Nope,” he told her proudly, puffing out his chest so she could see his Captain badge even clearer. Finding it in his Hogwart’s letter had not been totally unexpected. What had been however, were the Hogsmeade permission forms, which Mrs. Potter readily signed this time around.

“I assume Kristen can protect all of you this time around,” She answered upon questioning of her actions. She had smiled cheekily at James as his mouth fell open at being so affronted. 

There was a quiet knock on the door, and walked over to admit Belle, who was dressed in a gown fit for…well, a wedding. “Kristen, can I go with you?”

“What? No, of course not.” Kristen answered quickly, hoping Mrs. Potter would hurry and step in.

“But, you’re going to the Bella Black’s wedding, right? Regulus told me it was tonight, that must where you are going. Please Kristen, I haven’t seen him in ages, and he’s going to be miserable there!”

“No,” Mrs. Potter and Kristen answered in sync.

“It’s too dangerous.”

“And far too late.”

“Dangerous?” Belle asked. “It’s just a wedding.”

“Take her.” Sirius suggested. “It will look good if you take your family, yeah? Sign of trust or whatever.”

“Are you insane?” Kristen shot at him. She then turned back to Belle. “You’re going to see him in three days. You’ll be fine. And if you’re so worried about him, I’ll make sure he’s okay.”

“Why are you even going?” Belle suddenly yelled at her. “You hate Bella! You hate all Slytherins! I have more of a right to go than you do!”

“That’s quite enough Belle, go back to your room and change out of that,” Mrs. Potter instructed her without reserve.

Kristen never had never seen her sister so suddenly angry as she did then. “I am going! Regulus needs me!”

“Do you know what they would do to you?” Kristen shouted right back, getting entirely too caught up in this. “They’re all a bunch of prejudice pure bloods! They hate you!”

“I am not a muggle born! I know our mum was a witch so you can drop this stupid act now!”

The shock in the room was palpable. “Where did you come by that information?” Mrs. Potter asked slowly.

Belle rolled her eyes heavily. “I’m in Slytherin and my best friend is a Black. Did you honestly think I would never find out about you and what you are?” She addressed Kristen, looking totally sure of herself.

Kristen instinctively looked to Remus to make sure she was indeed hearing what she though she was hearing. “What do you mean?” Remus asked for her. “What is she?”

“A death eater of course, although I assume you’re a spy for someone else or something but I won’t tell. Regulus does have connections you know, he knows who your father is. You’re the heir of Slytherin, you-know-who’s daughter. I don’t know how, but that’s what Regulus has heard.”

“This can not be happening,” Kristen muttered as she slumped down into a chair. “If Belle knows, all of Slytherin must know!”

“That’s not true, hardly anyone does. Regulus hears it all from Narcissa, who gets it from Lucius. When I first heard it I thought it was just gossip gone astray, but your reaction just confirmed it.”

“Your sister’s quite the criminal master mind,” James commented lightly, not looking nearly so bothered by the situation as everyone else.

“Thank you, I’ve noticed,” Kristen snapped at him. She then stood up resolutely, saving Mrs. Potter from having to take any more blame. “Regardless, you are not coming.”

Belle’s mouth dropped open in shock and anger. “But he needs me!”

“And you know what, I don’t care because I need you a hell of a lot more than he needs you for one night. You go, and I could lose you!” Kristen told her firmly.

“Go to your room this instant, I’ll be there in a moment to discuss your behavior,” Mrs. Potter informed her.

Belle glared at them one moment before taking a deep breath and relaxing her face into that of a resigned twelve year old. She said nothing as she left, but simply stared at her own two feet.

“This day is, officially, the worst of the summer,” Kristen sighed, relaxing into her seat. “I can’t believe she knows.”

“Bridget’s probably still oblivious to it though. Good thing she’s at her friend’s house tonight,” Remus put in, looking as tired as Kristen.

Mrs. Potter quickly finished her charges hair, keen to talk to Belle as soon as possible. “All done dear. You should probably leave soon, it’s nearly eleven.”

Kristen nodded and watched her leave before repeating, “This can not be happening.”

“It is sweet heart so wake up and smell the roses,” Sirius informed her. “Your sister knows, though I think you’re making it a bigger deal than it is. She doesn’t seem the type to tell.”

“But Voldermort wants her and now that she knows she’s not muggle born and that I’m a part of it he’ll get her all the easier.” She lamented, looking into the mirror. So hard to believe that face was her, what with Lily’s magic (not real magic mind you, she was a bit too law abiding) and Mrs. Potter’s skill. The face looked desperately tired, and it did not help that a moment later Mrs. Potter was back at the door.

“She left,” was all she said, her face drained of color.

Kristen sighed and rolled her eyes at her sister’s antics. Honestly, she knew she couldn’t blame her much, she would have done the same for Sirius, and she’d even done it for Belle and Bridget. “I guess that means it’s time to go then.” Kristen decided, giving herself one more look over before grabbing the delicately wrapped wedding gift and then heading to the down stairs fire place. “I’ll get her home safe and sound,” she assured Mrs. Potter confidently. “And I promise lots of embarrassing stories that will make even Bella blush,” she swore to Sirius next with a happier grin than she could really admit to.

The first thing she noticed about Lestrange Manor upon being unceremoniously thrown to the floor and helped up by timid little house elves was that it was unnaturally cold. Considering there was a roaring fire right next to her, it didn’t quite make sense, but that seemed the way with death eaters. Cold and dark were their favorite haunts.

“Right this way madame,” a man servant instructed her, taking the present from her hands as he lead the way through the abysmal labyrinth of the castle. It was quite the shock when she suddenly came upon the brightly lit room full of happily chattering people.

She spotted Belle quickly as she stood with a group of children her own age, Regulus beaming by her side. She squared her shoulders and was prepared to march right over to her and demand she return home, but Lucius stepped in her way, his arm drunkenly around Narcissa, who seemed to be delighted by his presence. “Bit early in the wedding to be hitting the bar, don’t you think?” Kristen inquired a bit hesitantly.

“It’s free!” Lucius said as an explanation. “Besides, I’m gonna need to be drunk to get through this. I mean it’s Bellatrix’s wedding for god’s sake, who isn’t going to be miserable through it?”

Narcissa blushed at his words. Kristen had never really paid much attention to the fact that Bella and Narcissa were sisters, they weren’t much alike. For one, Narcissa was incredibly pretty, in an ice queen sort of way, where as Bella was stocky, hardly attractive to most. And Narcissa was quiet, almost shy save for the moments she was cussing out an errant Gryffindor where Bella was…well, not. “What are you doing here?” The girl spat at her, stopping any reminiscing.

“Well, whoever was in charge of the guest list saw fit to invite me, so I came,” Kristen answered simply with a shrug of her shoulders.

“And your little sissy is here too,” Lucius pointed out. “Oi, Belle! Your sister’s here!”

Kristen wasn’t sure what unnerved her more, the way her sister’s name fell so easily off his lips or the unnatural grin that came upon Belle’s face at his voice, as if hearing him was a normal occurrence. “I’m going to go talk to her,” She waved off Narcissa and Lucius and headed to her sister.

“Hey Kristen!” She answered gaily, knowing very well her elder sister could say nothing with so many people around. “These are my friends. You know Regulus of course, but there’s also Josephine, Hinrik, Bryson, and Mindy.” She introduced them individually.

“Nice to meet you,” She answered out of habit. “Belle, can I talk to you?”

“Not right now, Regulus was just about to tell me the funniest story, weren’t you?”

Regulus looked momentarily startled by that but quickly caught on and launched into a story about his crazy old house elf, leaving Kristen to seethe at her sister. She couldn’t believe Belle was doing this, she was supposed to be the mature one after all, it just didn’t make sense.

She sighed, resigning herself to lose this battle and to desperately hope that Voldermort would not make an appearance. The last thing she needed was for him to get his dirty hands on her sister. She sidled over to the same bar Lucius had already gotten drunk off of, knowing the bar tender would hardly inquire about her age with the murderous look she had on her face.

Drink firmly in her hand, she scanned the room for someone that wasn’t going to make her vomit upon contact. There was Bessy, that girl Peter had dated from Slytherin a long while back who really wasn’t that bad, but Kristen guessed that she probably hated her anyways, most girls that dated any of the marauders did. Really, there wasn’t anyone she wanted be within three feet of, even Belle at the moment.

She sighed and returned to the bar to sit, making sure the bartender did not dare speak to her by sending him another glare. She stared into her near empty glass, wondering why 11:45 was taking its sweet time in getting there.

“Hey, you miserable too?”

Kristen did not even bother to turn her head and look. “Yeah. But don’t waste your time with me. Hogwarts says I’m a whore, my sister thinks I’m Satan, and my friends are sure I’m insane.”

“Well, nice to meet you too,” He laughed. He sounded young, and distinctly non-british. “You probably shouldn’t waste your time with me either. I’m a prude, good hearted and perfectly lucid most of the time.”

She smiled and rolled her eyes at the banter between them and turned to have a look at this guy so determined to flirt with her. “Name’s Alaricia, or Kristen, whichever really.” She told him with an appreciative look over his form. He had dusty blonde hair, light blue eyes, that nice Scandinavian look.

“Ranulf’s my given name, but as that sounds weird in your language, most call me Winston.”

“Winston?” Kristen couldn’t help but laugh.

“Yes Winston. You know, as in your ‘oh so famous’ Churchill, that whole thing.” He tried to pull off looking affronted but failed miserably. “You have to admit, Ranulf sounds a lot weirder. My Parents weren’t exactly planning on me leaving the home country when they named me.”

“Home country?” Kristen asked. “I mean, you have an accent, but it’s actually not that noticeable. Iceland?”

“Norway,” he corrected her proudly. “Land of the Vikings you know.”

“So what are you doing here?” She asked next, motioning for the man behind the bar to refill her drink. She noticed Winston watching her closely. “What?”

“Are you seventeen?”

“Sure,” she answered, taking a sip of the newly procured drink.

He eyed her wearily once more before answering the question. “The Lestranges are family friends. Well, ‘friends’ has to be used lightly, if you know what I mean.”

“All too well,” She answered.

She couldn’t help but wonder why he was flirting with her. It was nice, especially because he had no connection with Hogwarts. But how did he know she would be okay to mad mouth the Lestranges in front of, and how did he seem so sure she wasn’t seventeen?

She grabbed her purse angrily and hopped off the stool. “I don’t know who sent you to try and get some stupid confession out of my by gaining my trust or whatever, but I am on you side! Damn it, how many times do I have to prove that to you guys!”

He looked alarmed by her out burst to say the least. “Paranoid?”

“I am not being paranoid!” She snapped at him. “You were sent to weasel your way into my life! Admit it!”

He looked to the left and the right, as if hoping she was talking to someone else. “Um, no. I came over here of my own accord, thought I’d share the misery with you.”

Kristen wasn’t sure if she should take his word for it, or run like Hell. If Voldermort had taught her anything, it was be weary of your enemies. Winston was a definite possibility for ‘enemy’, something about him just unsettled her. So, much as she hated to tear herself away from any cute boy, she marched away, thankful others were entering the apparent room where the actual ceremony would take place; she knew she could escape there.

She saw Belle look to her, appearing to squeeze Regulus’s hand in assurance that she would see him again soon (they knew better than to try and sit together at a Black wedding). She calmly took the seat next to her sister, saying nothing. Kristen, who was very aware of her own bubbling anger that would erupt quite loudly should she open her mouth and so remained mute, making Belle grow exceedingly uncomfortable.

“Kristen, I’m sorry, alright? He needed me though, I couldn’t desert him. Besides, there’s no danger, people like me since I’m not a mudblood.”

“Watch you language,” Kristen chided her quietly. “They are called muggle borns, I don’t care what you hear your friends say.”

Belle ignored that statement and plowed forward with her own thoughts. “You don’t have to hold my hand through everything. You’re not mum, and I’m not a little kid anymore.”

“You’re twelve, and just barely twelve at that.”

“And you assume that because of my age I’m incompetent. I know at twelve you were still incredibly immature, but I’m not you Kristen. I took care of myself all of last year.”

“Took care of yourself? Belle, you were about a hundred meters from me the entire time!”

“And out of the ‘entire time’ you saw fit to only speak to me three or four times!”

Kristen cringed at her words, knowing they were the truth. She had been so wrapped up in everything last year that she hardly had time for anything else but solving her own problems, she’d hardly ever thought about her sisters. “I’m sorry Belle, I just had a lot on my plate. But please, just because you’re angry at me, don’t go and do something stupid. This is the wrong crowd to be hanging around with.”

Belle rolled her eyes, such an uncommon thing for her, yet she’d already done it once that evening. “They’re not all death eaters stupid. I’m not getting mixed up with wrong crowd. Just because we’re ambitious and are a tad more realistic than others does not make us evil!”

An elderly woman turned around to shush her as music had just begin to play and the first in the wedding party were making their way through the doors. Kristen could do nothing but sigh and watch the wedding.

Later, she would look back and laugh at herself for how surprised she had been by the actual beauty of it. Bella was a girl after all, she supposed wanting to have a nice wedding must be the one thing all girls had in common if her and Bella were to share in it. Bella actually looked quite incredible, and Rodolophus’s face was hardly even visible.

She supposed she would also remember Winston watching her intently, with a some what amused smile. He unnerved her, she was sure he was on someone else’s orders to watch her. Probably Voldermort’s directly, as he had apparently decided not to make an appearance.

“That boy’s staring at you,” Belle informed her quietly, also seeming uncomfortable by it.

“I know,” Kristen whispered back, trying to keep her eyes straight ahead and her mind on the wedding. It became increasingly difficult as his eyes bore into her; he made her skin crawl with anxiety, though at points it was not all together unpleasant.

“Thank you Merlin,” Kristen muttered as soon as Rodolphus gave Bella a rather sloppy kiss. She grabbed Belle’s hand and was ready to drag her away to the Potter’s house but Belle jerked away and ran to Regulus, who happily greeted her as they joined the flow to the reception. She had no choice but to join as well, much as she wanted to leave, she couldn’t do so without Belle.

“Was that your sister?” Winston was suddenly right beside her in the throng.

“What, didn’t the person that hired you tell you what she looks like? I’m sure you could call her out by name.”

Winston laughed at her continued paranoia. “What’s it going to take to convince you that I’m not working for someone?”

“There’s nothing. So you can drop this whole pretend flirting thing you have going and leave me the Hell alone.”

“I’m not pretending, and neither were you before you went crazy on me.”

“I told you my friends think I’m crazy, you should have known then that your plan wouldn’t work.”

She saw him smile brightly at her words, apparently happy she at least wasn’t running this time. “But we both know you’re not really crazy, just a little bit different.”

“And you know this because you were sent to spy on me,” She snapped back, cringing as he sat down at a discrete table with her in the designated reception hall.

He leaned back in his chair, watching her closely as he planned what to say next. “You want to know the truth? Yeah, I do know all about you. My parents sent me here to join the ranks, there’s not much movement where I’m from you see. They’ve been considering it for awhile, but my mother was not all together eager to send me off with a bunch of murderers, imagine that,” he scoffed, irritated by the thought. “However, you reached their ears. A minor joining the ranks, it was unheard of until then. Suddenly, the skies opened for my mother and she no longer felt guilty about sending me off to kill innocent people.”

He looked at his hands and laughed to himself at the memory of it. Much as Kristen wanted to run, she couldn’t help but stay. Nothing about this made sense, he shouldn’t be so willingly be talking badly about Death Eaters in front of her, that alone should have been enough to convince her to leave, but she couldn’t. Something about him was quite simply magnetic.

“My first plan was to come here and demand that you go and tell my parents what bull shit this whole organization is so that maybe they would back off. I got here a little over a week ago to ‘integrate myself with the right thinking people’. I learned a lot about you. You are a rising sixth year, hang out with the wrong group of kids, according to Narcissa anyways, you thought you were a muggle born until about nine months ago, and you’ve got some freaky connection with the Dark Lord.” He looked to her for confirmation, to which she would not give. “Something that was consistent through the answers I was getting though is that you are a true Gryffindor, which Bella said more than a little angrily, so I’m guessing it was an insult. Besides, how would you go from being a muggle born, to wanting to kill them? It didn’t add up. No Miss St. Claire, it did not. You aren’t a Death Eater at all, are you?”

“Of course I am,” she responded automatically. “It’s taking me awhile to adjust, I’ll admit it, but I am. I would never betray Voldermort.”

“And you call him by name, all the more in my theory’s favor,” He pointed out proudly. He then smiled cheekily at her and grabbed her hand. “I’m not going to out you, don’t worry.”

“There’s nothing to out me about!” She protested, trying to yank her hand away but he wouldn’t let go.

“Dance with me,” he suggested, standing up.

“Why should I? You think I’m a traitor.”

“Yeah, I do,” he agreed with a large grin that reminded her very much of when Sirius was feeling particularly devious. “But I find that very attractive.” 

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I hope you enjoyed Winston as much as I did. He's been in the planning for awhile, it was exciting to see him finally come into the story. Don't worry though, he will definetly not be at Hogwarts. I toyed with the idea, but that would throw Sirius over the edge, and we can't have that.

So, onto characterization of the week (you can skip this and ust read next week's quote if you so desire). Belle was the star. Belle and Regulus, for me anyways, serve as what Kristen and Sirius would have been if the world had gone right, although they would have been in the same year. They both would have been in Slytherin, and probably would have really accepted inevitability of their relationship alot earlier on. Also, Belle is not evil, I promise. Peer pressure gets the best of all of us, expecially those who would do just about anything for friends. 

So there you have it, Belle's characterization. Different from Kristen, but not evil.
And now your quote for next week's installment of "The Feeling's Mutual":

“You always do this! Every boy is like the new enemy! For once I just wanted to be able to enjoy something to myself without you ruining it!” -Kristen St.Claire

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