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                “What are you guys doing for Hogsmeade Saturday?” Remus asked conversationally as he, James, Sirius and I lounged around their dormitory.

                “Well I’ll be busy serving a detention with McGonagall for hexing some Slytherins,” James announced.

                “I have a date,” Sirius said sullenly, obviously not very enthusiastic.  “Pity she asked me weeks ago or I would have said no.”

                “Why?” I didn’t take Sirius as the one to spend a Hogsmeade Saturday alone.

                “Things have er gotten more interesting since Skeeter first put out that article,” Sirius admitted.  “I was hoping not to have to bother with girls asking stupid questions.”

                “Ah so does that mean you’re going out with the gullible type then?” I questioned knowingly.

                He nodded with a groan, “Stacy Marzenac.”

                I let out a small gasp, audibly sucking in air afterwards.  “Tough luck, mate.”

                “Yeah well it’s his own bloody fault,” Remus unsympathetically remarked.

                “A little touchy, aren’t we, Moony?” James teased.

                Remus gave a tense shrug, but didn’t answer.  I had been noticing that he was becoming snippier than usual.  I thought about the moon cycle, wondering if his snappy mood had anything to do with the upcoming full moon.  I cocked my head to the side and mouthed to Sirius, “Full moon?”

                He nodded.  James obviously caught on and in his oblivious manner said, “About your time of the month, isn’t it Moony?”

                Remus sighed before nodding, “It’s Friday.”  I sympathetically ruffled his hair.

                “You know that reminds me,” James continued.  “I can’t believe that you never told us that you knew, Sophie.”

                I groaned, “How many times am I going to get this lecture?”

                “Until you get it through your thick skull that you should have told us.”

                “Why am I the only one getting ridden about this?  It’s not like we were friends at the time or have even spoke to each for more than a few weeks,” I pointed out.

                “Well Moony did lie to us, didn’t he?  That goes completely against the Marauder code,” James began to rant.  “Though Sophie should have told us, she was only protecting him.”

                “Yes, but look at all those Animagus experiments she did,” Remus eagerly threw me under the line of fire.  “I mean she’s an Animagus and didn’t even tell us.”

                “Yeah, but those two are Animaguses and didn’t tell me,” I pointed out.

                “Yeah but you already knew.”

                “But they didn’t know that I knew either so if they didn’t tell me then why should I have been expected to tell?”

                “Wait, Sophie’s an Animagus?  You just said she knew about your furry little problem,” Sirius interjected.

                I sighed, “Okay so maybe there’s a few things that Remus conveniently forgot to tell you.”  I gave Remus a hard, bitter look.

                “Okay I want to know what really happened,” James in an almost commanding tone.

                “Remus came to me and told me about your plans about becoming an Animagus, said he thought you were going to accidentally blow yourselves up, remarked that I was in the top of our potions class and asked if I would try to help you out.  I told I would, he gave me all the research you’d done and after a few months it was good enough or a test run.  The first attempt gave me a hairy tongue, but my second attempt was successful.  I then gave him the potion instructions and swore I’d never tell a soul which I just did and judging by the look he’s giving me he’s angry and I’m going to shut up now.” The story came out like it was being said in only one breath and I inhaled deeply at the end, cowering slightly under his fierce glare.

                “How did no one think to mention this?” James seemed almost outraged.

                I shrugged, intimidated by both the boys giving me homicidal glares.  I just wanted to shrink away and pretended like this confrontation never happened.

                “Wait what form do you take?” Sirius sounded more interested and amused than angry.

                “I had to figure out your forms on my own so you have to figure mine out yourself,” I shook my head.

                “That’s not fair,” he complained.  “How did you figure out ours and how do you know they’re right?”

                “After you finally did it Remus warned me so I could watch out for any side effects.  I heard all the stag jokes being directed at James and his nickname is Prongs so it wasn’t that hard to figure out.  I knew Remus was a werewolf from what happened first year so I understood what Moony meant.  Peter was pretty easy considering he’s called Wormtail and very rodent-like.  Besides James made a rat joke and he laughed so hard he nearly passed out from lack of oxygen.  Yours, Sirius, took me the longest.  There was the nickname Padfoot but loads of animals have padded feet.  It wasn’t until there were accounts of girls swearing that a mysterious big black dog was stealing their knickers that I got a hunch.  At first I thought it must be Hagrid’s old dog finally going crazy but then one day after lessons I came back to my dorm and there was this giant shaggy black dog rummaging through Lily’s trunk.  It looked up at me, gave me what I swore was a smirk, picked up Lily’s diary and left.  At that point it was just too obvious with the shaggy black hair, smirk and Lily Evan’s diary plus the padded feet part.”

                Sirius gave me one of his smirks, “How have you known and just not said anything?”

                “Remus asked me not to,” I shrugged.

                “Aw,” Sirius cooed obnoxiously, ruffling my hair.  I batted his head away, giving him a glare.

                James gave me a skeptical look which seemed to last for an eternity, but eventually it broke into an unsure smile.  “I guess you’re forgiven.”

                I let out a scoff, “Who says I want your forgiveness?  I mean Merlin if you are mad at me then maybe I can finally get away from you lot.”

                There was a chorus of gasps, “Sophia Marie Sapoulus Knight!”  James indignantly  scolded.

                “What?” I shrugged innocently.  “You’re the one who’s been preaching honesty.”

                “Then why are you lying?” Remus retorted.

                “Me?  Lying? Never,” I denied it.

                “Liar!” James accused.

                “Whatever,” I rolled my eyes.  Well maybe I was slightly stretching the truth and I didn’t quite dislike spending time with the Marauders the way I made it sound.  I pondered for a moment, wondering if I really disliked it at all.  It was entertaining and took my mind off things I really didn’t want to think about like my home life, but at the same time it was a complete time and energy vacuum.  I hadn’t spent any real time with my other friends since they unsuccessfully attempted to kidnap me and even then I had ditched them to save Remus from the notorious Skeeter-Snape incident.  Even after I apologized profusely Ana and Lily seemed bitter over it.

                “Earth to Sophie,” James waved his hand in front of my face.

                “Huh?” I was jerked back into reality from my thoughts.

                “Are you okay?” Sirius looked at me in concern.

                I nodded, “I just realized that Lily and Ana must be plotting my demise for not spending enough time with them for the past few weeks.  In fact I should probably go try to dismantle that bomb while I’m thinking about it.”

                James looked at me weirdly, cocking his head to the side in confusion, “What’s a bomb?”

                I sighed and shook my head at him.  He was a pureblood after all so I shouldn’t have been surprised that he didn’t get my muggle world analogies and metaphors, but each time he asked what I considered to be a stupid question I couldn’t help but be slightly shocked.  I mean Sirius and I both were purebloods too yet we managed to keep up at least loosely with the muggle world.  “Remus, you want to take this one?”

                Remus nodded with a slight smirk, “Well James a bomb is-“

                I didn’t bother sticking around for the rest of Remus’ explanation.  I was too busy skidding out of the Marauder’s dormitory and skidding down the stairs.  I was just about to start up the girl dormitory stairs when I heard an obnoxious voice calling to me, “Hey Sophia!”

                I stopped in my tracks with a cringe.  I knew that voice, in fact sometimes I even had nightmares about that voice.  It was Stacey Marzenac, Hufflepuff’s resident dumb blond. Generally I don’t agree with stereotypes or promote them in anyway, but Stacey was a complete idiot.  One of those that take any figure of speech literally, probably couldn’t chew a piece of Drooble’s chewing gum and walk at the same time and had the IQ of a lump of Hippogriff dung.

                “Er hi Stacey?” I greeted her cautiously, not sure what she was doing up in the Gryffindor common room when she was an exceptionally unintelligent Hufflepuff.

                “I found Lily and asked her where you were so she brought me up here to find you,” she told me brightly.

                I gave Lily a diluted glare while she giggled before turning back to Stacey, “Did you need something?”

                “Oh uh yeah,” Stacey nodded intently, her blond hair bouncing along with her.  “Well I’m sure Sirikins has told you all about our date Saturday and I was wondering since you were the last girl to be in a relationship with him if you had suggestions or insight.”

                Oh Sirius Black, you poor bastard, I thought sadistically to myself.  I nodded, “Sure, Stace, but you might want to get a quill and piece of parchment.  It’s going to be a long list.”

                She excitedly dug into her bag, producing a quill, bottle of ink and a spare piece of a parchment.  She quickly dipped the quill in the ink before looking up at me expectantly.  “Ready when you are.”

                “Alright well first of all you should know that he really likes that nickname you gave him,” I improvised, trying not to grin or laugh.  “You should definitely refer to him as Sirikins all the time.  Next of all instead of trying to scare off all the fan girls, you should encourage them.”  I watched her scurry to write down notes before continuing.  “You know,” I told her in a low voice, “not many people know this but he’s definitely into group sex.  I mean it’s kind of kinky and he’s a little embarrassed to admit it, but you should definitely insist on keeping the fan girls around if you know what I mean.”  She gasped and I gave her a wink before continuing, “His favorite candy is definitely cockroach clusters and you should take him into Honeydukes and buy him a box.  Make sure you watch him eat them so you can get a good appreciation for his love for them.”

                “Wow, you know so much,” she looked up at me wide-eyed.

                “Oh that’s nothing,” I waved it, thinking of bigger and more painful advice to give her.  “He won’t stick around longer than a few minutes if you aren’t really clingy.  I mean like don’t ever let go of him or his short attention span will kick in and he’ll forget what he was even doing there with you.  And make sure you always have his attention and don’t let him pay attention to anything else.”  She nodded in understanding as she continued to take notes.  “If you’re really enjoying the date then you should take him into Madame Puddifoots and halfway through tea, stand on the table and confess your attraction to him.  I suggest using song and interpretive dance.  If he turns red then you should sing louder and jump up and down while you dance because that means he likes it.”

                “Thanks so much, Sophie, you’ve just saved our date,” she beamed up at me as she began to stuff her quill and ink back into her bag.  She blew on her parchment, waiting for the ink to dry.  “You know so much about him it’s a surprise that you two aren’t still together.  Actually I have another question.  My friend, Charlotte, says that she saw him swimming a few weeks ago and he has a tattoo of a dog on his shoulder.  Is it true?”

                I shook my head, trying to sound as serious as possible.  “He does have one that says ‘Mother’ on it though.  It’s written in a big red heart.”

                She looked slightly confused at this, obviously not understanding the joke I was making.  That was okay though since I’m sure she would make an awkward comment about it to Sirius on their date.  “Okay, well I think I’ve learned enough,” she stashed her notes into her bag before smiling at me.  “I’ll talk to you later.”  She gave me a wave before flouncing off towards the portrait hole.

                “Bye,” I waved after her with a triumphant grin.

                Lily shook her head at me disapprovingly.  She had what looked like a piece of parchment clenched in her fist, but I couldn’t remember her having it when Stacey came in.  She gave me a pointed, scolding look before marching up the boys’ dormitory. 

I watched her go in confusion, not sure why Lily would willingly go to the boys’ dorms.  I then realized that she must be going to give Sirius a heads up.  Though I know Lily didn’t like the Marauders one bit by the look she was giving me it was apparent that she thought I had just committed some sort of horrendous act.

I didn’t even have a chance to react before I heard a roar of indignation coming from the boys’ dormitory.  I turned to start up the girls’ dormitory, but by then it was too late.  An irate Sirius was already bounding down the stairs with a killer glare.

“Er hi Sirius,” I said awkwardly with a hopeful smile.

“You’re dead meat, Knight,” he told me darkly.

I visibly gulped before slowly beginning to back towards my dorm stairs.  “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He waved a familiar piece of parchment around, “Evans showed me what you told Stacey.”  I then realized that Lily must have copied the notes Stacey was taking when I was busy improvising advice and that’s how the parchment suddenly appeared.

“Your fault for having such a stupid date,” I shrugged slightly, though my voice almost squeaked making my comment sound more fearful than nonchalant.

James and Remus came bustling down the stairs, looking slightly confused and worried.  “What’s going on?” James questioned.

Sirius shoved the parchment into James’ hands without breaking his heated eye contact.  “That’s the advice Sophia here gave Stacey for our date.”

James and Remus both read the parchment before practically glowing red.  They both shoved their fists in their mouths to stop themselves from laughing audibly, but I could tell it was only a matter of time before it exploded.

“Sorry?” I attempted an apology.

“Not as sorry as you’re going to be,” he gave me almost a threatening look.

James couldn’t take it anymore, he burst into laughter.  “Madame Puddifoots- Cockroach clusters- group sex,” he was practically hyperventilating as he laughed.

“Quite imaginative,” Remus agreed as he joined in James’ laughter.

I wanted to snap at them that they weren’t helping, but instead I flashed Lily a glare for telling.  I then tried to remember the various techniques I had used as a child when I had done something to anger my older brother, Matt.  I sighed before giving it a try.  “Alright so maybe I went a little overboard with giving Stacey advice.”  Sirius shot me a “you-think?” look.  “Okay,” I continued.  “So I messed up a little bit, but I swear I had the best intentions.”

He gave me a doubtful look, “Oh really?”

I nodded, “Well it didn’t sound like you really wanted to go on a date with Stacey but you weren’t doing anything about it so I figured that if you had more of a reason to cancel it then you wouldn’t have a miserable Hogsmeade trip.”  Even to me my words sounded sincere and apologetic, in fact I had to even think back and try to remember why I had actually told her that.  “So maybe I shouldn’t have told her those things, but I only had your best interest at heart.”

He, the king of charm and sweet talking at Hogwarts, thought for a moment at my words and I did my best not to break eye contact.  “Alright fine, I forgive you, but that doesn’t mean next time you have a date that I won’t get my revenge.”

“You’re going to be waiting a while,” James scoffed and I immediately took offense before he continued, “She’s not allowed to date until she’s thirty.”

“Excuse me?” I no longer felt like my date-ability was being insulted but rather my maturity level and freedom.  “I don’t see you trying to stop Sirius from stopping to date.”

“Yeah well Sirius isn’t like my little sister,” he pointed out.

“But time and time again he’s being referred to as being like your brother,” I retorted.  “So what’s the difference?”

“It’s just different,” he protested vaguely.

“Why?  Because I’m a girl and he’s a bloke?” I immediately felt like he was being sexist.

“No because I trust him to be able to defend himself.”

“And you don’t trust me?  What am I some sort of damsel in distress or something?”

“Look, I just know how guys around Hogwarts are and I don’t feel comfortable sending you off like throwing a piece into a cage full of hungry lions.”

“Oh so I’m a piece of meat, am I?”

“Merlin, Sophie, why are you being so difficult?”

“Why are you being such a jerk?”

“I’m not being a jerk.  I’m looking out for your best interest.”

“And my best interest is?”

“Staying away from boys until you’re old enough and cynical enough to not get into any trouble.”

“Do you honestly want to talk to me about not getting trouble?”

“This is a different kind of trouble.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re risking more than getting a detention.”

“Yeah and you being in the same room as Lily risks you being maimed but I don’t see you avoiding that.”

“This isn’t about me.”

“Then what is it about?”

“It’s about you getting hurt.”

“Why the hell are you being so protective of me when you let everyone else do whatever?”

“Because they aren’t you.”

“What the bloody hell is that supposed to mean?”

“That’s supposed to mean that you can’t take care of yourself so I have to.”

His words hit me like a bag of bricks and I could feel the blood in my veins boiling.  “Well then, Jamesie dearest,” I told him, my eyes dancing, “By the time I’m done I’m going to make you wish you locked me in a tower with a chastity belt on and a dragon guarding me from blokes when you had the opportunity.”  I didn’t wait to hear him ask what that was supposed to mean.  Instead I stormed out of the Gryffindor common room with one mission in mind: revenge.

I went down the staircase towards the main floor, prowling like a wild animal looking for the kill.  I had one goal: to find a boy to piss James off with.  It didn’t really matter much to me about anything else that happened because I was too angry to care.  I leaned against the stone walls, waiting for the opportune moment.

“Hey, you’re Sophie Knight, right?” I heard a deep voice ask from behind me.

I turned around to see a tall, muscular boy wearing Slytherin robes.  He wasn’t too hard to look at and he had a sort of vibe to him that let me know that James would not like him and I together.  “Yeah,” I nodded.

“Hm,” was all he said and I knew he was looking me over, inspecting me to see if I was worth the effort.  Instead of being offended like I had been every other time a guy did that to me, I welcomed it.  Even if all it took was Skeeter somehow seeing this and publishing in her articles or a gossip fiend starting rumors about me and this guy it all had the desired effect.  I wanted to make James angry.  It was simple really, I wanted him as indignant with me as I was with him.

“I’m Ben Harbye,” he finally introduced himself to me, obviously deeming me worth his effort.  He offered me his hand and when I took it instead of shaking it he pulled a very cliché move and kissed it.  “Pleasure to meet you.”

“Oh trust me the pleasure’s all mine,” my voice was huskier than before and dare I say more seductive.  I had never attempted that tone before but by the pleasantly surprised look on his face I would say that it was effective.

“Pardon me for saying this, but I think what Skeeter wrote about you was complete bullocks,” he told me, obviously putting his charm on overdrive.  “Evans and Mastriva might be pretty, but I’ve afraid they’re missing one very important attractive trait.”

“Oh really?” I let him humor me.

He nodded, “They don’t have your mystery.  I mean it’s hard to be mysterious when you’re barking orders at everyone or when you’re already a broom cupboard debutante.  You, however, appear out of nowhere because of some rumored affairs and the school is dying to solve you.”

“I didn’t know solve was the new slang word for shag,” I remarked, raising an eyebrow in a success attempt at being alluring.

He let out a low, husky laugh.  “You’re not modest at all, are you?”

I gave him a slight shrug, trying to keep my “mystery”.  “It’s not like I haven’t been practically mauled every day after that article came out.  I couldn’t aloof to it if I tried.”

“And tell me, Sophia, how successful have that mauling been?” he inquired, obviously curious about his chances.

“Well I must admit those mauling blokes didn’t get very far,” I looked up at him from under my eyelashes.  “After all I can’t think of many women who enjoy men being forward by treating them like a pincushion.”

He leaned down slightly so I could smell his minty hot breath, “Do you want to see how a real man is forward?”

I bit my lip, “Well it might do me good to get an education.”  Merlin have mercy on my soul, but James is going to wish he never opened his big fat mouth.

A/N: Did you love it?  Did you hate it?  Were you confused?  Excited?  Angry? Glad? Too busy laughing to feel anything else?  Did you think Sophie was being irrational and ridiculous?  Did you think she was making a mistake?  Did you think she did the right thing?  Rate and review to let me know! 

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