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Kristen waited silently for the verdict. It wasn’t much of a guess as to what it was. No one was going to stand up to Dumbledore.

“You are hereby reinstated into the Order of the Phoenix,” Dumbledore told her, reading a piece of paper his phoenix had just delivered.

“Oh goody, I get to keep risking my neck on a nearly weekly basis.”

Dumbledore smiled at her. “Yes, you have, nearly two years, and yet you’re still here. I never imagined things would go this well. I do not mean to say that I expected you would perish in this endeavor, merely that I never expected you to be so proficient at it.”

“What can I say, I’m a true Slytherin,” Kristen shrugged easily.

She expected Dumbledore to make some silly comment about how to not undermine the Slytherins and how everyone should be unified and blah blah blah, but instead he sobered and sat behind his desk, steepling his fingers in a way that made her sure she was about to hear something unpleasant. “Kristen, we need to talk about your sisters.”

That was not at all what Kristen had expected when she saw the tale tale signs of bad news. Honestly, she had assumed it was about Voldermort. Her last meeting with him and not gone the best it could have. It had been months she had seen him, since that disastrous incidence with Thomas. She still found it incredible that with each meeting, Voldermort managed to looked fiercer. True to her word to Winston, she had told Dumbledore immediately about his suspicions. As usual, the old headmaster got all cryptic and refused to say a thing to her.

The thought had stayed with her for the month after Winston had told her. She had asked Remus if he knew anything about it. All he could offer was that it most likely some incredibly dark magic, which she had kind of figured out for herself. She had decided to peek around in the restricted section sometime in the near future.

But it was that thought that he could never die, that, as Winston had said, this could never end, that made him all the more frightening. It was that, coupled with the fact that he was already in a pissy mood that had resulted in what seemed to be a recurring outcome, the crucio curse. All she had managed to learn before that was that the Ministry had been penetrated. Dumbledore promised her that this was integral information, but the fact that she could offer him no names irked her considerably.

“What have my sisters got to do with anything?” She asked defensively. If Dumbledore tried to drag them into this to she would skin him alive.

“I’m worried about their safety, considerably so. You have said yourself that Voldermort expressed interest in them. I’m not surprised, he was exceptionally taken with Valerie, and no doubt believes all of her children to stand out amongst wizards. There’s also the fact that he no doubt sees the correlation. A pureblood mother and muggle father is very familiar to him.”

“Belle and Bridget will never fall to him,” Kristen said angrily, upset that he would even consider it.

“You misunderstand me,” Dumbledore put forth quickly. “You’re sisters are two very pure people, much like you. I have no doubt their morals would keep them from joining the death eaters willingly. I don’t think Tom will simply wait for them to decide to take up an invitation.”

Kristen breathed deeply. Ever since dear old dad had brought it up, it had been carefully hidden in the back of her mind, ready to come up at any moment and posses her to take her sisters to the other side of the world to hide out in some bunker until this was all over. “What can we do though? I mean, I can try my best to make him think differently about recruiting them, but I don’t honestly know how much sway I’ll have if he’s bound and determined.”

“Right now, we can do nothing I suppose,” Dumbledore sighed, sounding frustrated by his own lack of ideas. “Belle is the primary concern right now though. She is obviously very close to Regulus Black. I know he has a good heart, but he is also heavily influenced by his family.”

“Regulus won’t become a death eater,” Kristen said, surprising herself by how firmly she believed that idea. “Besides, I can’t rip Belle away from him, he’s all she has.”

“I know,” Dumbledore agreed, nodding sadly. “Bridget is safe for the time being. I do, however, believe I will ask members of the Order to keep a special eye on the Potter house. I know Andrew and Emily are more than able, but I think they may be grateful for a little extra help this summer.”

Kristen noticed acutely the worried face on her mentor. “Are they going to be okay, the Potters I mean? They seem more and more tired every time I see them. It’s like they’re wearing away.”

Dumbledore was silent a long moment before he answered. “They are simply weary Kristen, from fighting a battle that cannot be won by ordinary witches and wizards.” He paused for another moment, looking at her pensively. “Are you spiritual, Kristen?”

The question took her off guard. “I suppose. I believe in a higher being that I will have to answer to at least.”

Dumbledore sighed heavily again, turning this into one of those rare occasions where Kristen was suddenly hit by the fact that Dumbledore was indeed and old man. “Then I suggest you plead for that being’s help, for all our sakes.”

* * *

“Another year gone…” James declared, his impersonation of Dumbledore surprisingly good despite him being several decades younger.

Sirius chucked a chocolate frog at him in the hopes that he wouldn’t repeat the entire speech.

“Don’t waste them,” Peter chided him, grabbing the frog before it could hop out the window.

The door suddenly flew open, admitting a weary looking Remus Lupins. “I hate bloody first years,” He complained, slumping into a seat. “Honestly, you’d think they all had their heads shoved up their arses the way they run around.”

“Record this, Remus Lupin called first years arses!” James proclaimed in a sing song voice.

Remus only rolled his eyes, grabbing a couple snacks from the veritable candy mountain they had going. “It’s what I get for nearly missing the train. They were all running through the halls like they were possessed.”

“What were you doing anyways?” Kristen asked, cramming a hand full of Bertie Bott’s every flavor beans in her mouth, her face contorting with disgust only moments later.

“Shagging Briar no doubt,” Sirius snorted, grabbing an even bigger handful as part of the challenge. He knew he had a much stronger stomach for disgusting tastes, Kreacher’s cooking was atrocious.

Remus glared at him, so not in the mood for that. “No, I was talking to Professor McGonagall actually.”

Everyone in the compartment froze, staring at him in pure terror. He sighed and continued, “Merlin, I haven’t turned you in, get a grip! I haven’t done it for six years, why would I start now?”

“Girls have an uncanny way of getting what they want, especially when they have sex as a tool. I’m just waiting for the day Briar uses it on you,” Sirius told him quite honestly, though he now looked a bit more relaxed.

“What on earth would you have to talk to Minerva about?” Kristen asked, watching in despair as Sirius put no less than 32 jelly beans in his mouth.

Remus flushed just a little. “This will probably sound really conceited…”

“Moony, we all hang out with Prongs on a daily basis. We’re used to conceited,” Peter reminded him, earning a vicious glare from his seat mate.

“I asked McGonagall that should I be considered for Head Boy, she pull me out. I can’t do that too, being a prefect is hard enough, what with the shifts I have to make up when…you know, and then homework.”

“You think that’s conceited?” Kristen scoffed, smiling triumphantly as she had just downed 36 jelly beans, though she did feel a bit queasy. “James wanted us to all tattoo his name across our backs when we got the cup this year.”

“As you should have!” James pressed. “I am, after all, the greatest captain Hogwarts has ever seen!”

“You see Moony, you’re way too modest,” Sirius assured him, looking at the box of beans with some trepidation before counting out 40.

“Did you tell Lily that? I think she was banking on you being Head Boy with her,” Kristen said off handedly, praying Sirius would not be able to down those stupid beans.

“Yeah, I talked it over with her. She really wanted me to stay in the running, but I just don’t want the stress.” Remus answered, his contemplative face turning into a smirk. “Besides, I would feel way too guilty every time I pulled a prank with you guys.”

“Speaking of pranks,” James mumbled, watching as a particularly greasy haired Slytherin walked by their compartment quickly. He stood up, creeping to the door.

Remus was torn as to what to do. On the one hand, he was a prefect; he should stop this in its tracks. Not to mention that once Lily got wind of it, she would not let James live it down. Lately she had been giving him the benefit of the doubt. The moment he touched Snape that would all go down the drain.

On the other hand, Remus really hated the slimy git.

Kristen and Sirius rushed out behind him, careful to stay silent so that they wouldn’t be heard by the target. James already had his want out, ready to attack.

“Don’t you dare Potter!”

James whipped around, holding his wand behind his back. “Lily!” He said quickly, shoving his wand into the hands of Sirius Black. “I…I was just…”

“About to curse an innocent boy!” She yelled, her eyes blazing.

“No I wasn’t!” James fought back, holding out his hands to show his lack of weapon. “Honest Lils, I would never do that!”

“You are an arrogant toe rag Potter!” She screeched. “Once an idiotic bully, always an idiotic bully! You and your stupid friends need to grow up!”

“Hey!” Kristen cried out in indignation. “I’m innocent! I was just going to watch!”

James stomped on her toe hard for giving him away. “Lily!” He called out as she huffed down the corridor to where Snape was watching with open disgust. “He’s the toe rag!” James tried to convince her hopelessly.

“Did he hurt you?” Lily demanded to know, touching Snape’s arm delicately.

He looked shocked by the contact, but it only lasted a moment. “How many times do I have to tell you mudblood? I don’t need your protection. Especially from the likes of Potter and his cronies.”

Lily retracted her hand as if she had been burned. Her eyes narrowed again and her cheeks enflamed dangerously. Everyone else in Hogwarts would take this as a sign to run. Severus Snape, however, stared right back with a cold intensity.

Impedimenta!” James suddenly shouted, his wand back in his hands and pointed straight at Snape.

The spell ricocheted off an invisible barrier that Snape had apparently thrown up just in time, leaving a large crack in the compartment window. “Sectusempra!” He retaliated, his eyes blazing and a grim smile of satisfaction stretched across his face.

Protego” James shouted instinctively, the spell hitting his barrier before darting back and crashing into a compartment door, shattering it completely and causing a large fire to erupt within.

People began screaming. No one had ever seen a spell go wrong quite like that. “Holy Shit,” Sirius whistled, obviously impressed. “Nice work Snivellus, you nearly killed a couple of first years.”

“Detention, points taken, just die!” Lily shouted angrily, clearly to flustered to even use her power over them properly.

“You can’t give me detention Evans, I’m a captain,” James reminded her snidely. “I have the same power as you. And dear old Snivellus is a prefect too.”

“You can still die,” She seethed.

He rolled his eyes heavily. “Point taken,” he muttered, staring at Snape with the deepest loathing.

“What do we do?” Remus whispered to Kristen furtively, knowing she would want to get James out of there as quick as possible.

“Watch and hope someone gets cursed of course!” She told him readily, craning over Sirius’s shoulder to see if Snape was going to try something else.

“What’s wrong Snivvy, you’re dirty gray knickers all in a twist?” Sirius took up the mantle, clearly enjoying himself.

“You’re a disgrace dog!” Snape shouted at him, a group of Slytherins congregating around his back, pushing Lily to the wall with disdain.

Sirius looked momentarily startled by the term ‘dog’. He quickly brushed it off though, his charismatic smile back in place instantly. “This one should be familiar to you.” He said, flicking his wand without a word and laughing with the others as Snape was thrown against the ceiling.

“Don’t forget the depantsing,” Kristen reminded him, flicking her wand as well. A moment later his pants were ripped in two and fell on top of the heads of his Slytherin friends.

The compartments all roared with laughter, save the first years who were still in a state of shock. The Slytherins were trying to pull Snape down by the ankle, but to no avail. “Nice work Foxy,” Sirius said appraisingly, eyeing Snape with mild amusement. He then turned to Lily, who was looking up at Snape with an odd mixture of pity and hate. He knew their fun was about to come to an end. They had used this spell on each other so many times before that Lily had pried the counter out of Remus. She would put Snape down, and then stalk off, leaving James to be all mopey for a couple of days.

However, the unthinkable occurred.

Lily Evans looked away from Snape, who was now shouting obscenities at his tormentors. She looked at James with one of the most curious expressions, one of resignation and depression, looked back to Snape, then back to James.

And then she took a deep breath and walked away.

“Free reign!” Sirius shouted in excitement, high fiving Kristen before shooting a couple more spells at the enraged Slytherins.

“I really do have to stop this now!” Remus came forward, snatching Sirius’s wand from him.

“I could just stupefy you and then you would be off with a clear conscience.” Kristen suggested, smiling impishly.

He narrowed his eyes at her. “You wouldn’t dare.” He said, as menacingly as he could manage, which was really quite ineffective.

Stupefy!” Kristen declared, not feeling the tiniest twinge of regret as Peter caught him and drug him into their compartment.

James laughed heartily at that, ready to join the fray once more as both of his worries were out of the picture. “Oh Snivelly, you’re about to pay.”

*    *    *

Okay, I must admit, 5 is better than 3, but I'm sure you guys can do even better than that! How about this. If ten of you write reviews for the this chapter, I absolutley promise to update in one week. I really do like to know what you think, you're opinions typically make it into my writing. I'm sure if you've ever gone back to chapter 1 and read all the way through, you can see just how much my writing has changed, I like to believe for the better.
 
Here's your quote for the next chapter, which I hope will intice you to leave more reviews in an effort to get it quicker.

“Where is he then? You’re the bitch that got him wrapped up in this, surely you keep tabs on your precious wizard son!” -Kristen St.Claire to Mrs. Thorbjørnsen

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