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The first Hogsmeade visit had been announced. It was two weeks after the first Saturday back with another visit on Halloween. I wondered why they would give us two visits in such a short space of time but didn’t think about it too much. I was actually really glad we got more visits that usual.

I still hadn’t been to charms yet but I had it this morning. Having three classes four times a week seriously paid off. It meant that I had eight double periods free each week which I was going to spend revising like crazy or looking over Animagus literature.

I was on my way to charms when Peeves decided it would be funny to unscrew several of the light fittings so they would collapse on unsuspecting first years. A sort of welcome present as he put it in his rather rude song which now chorused through the halls.

Needless to say, this seriously slowed me down so I was in a mid jog when I rounded the corner for charms. I was glad when I saw I wasn’t the only one who was late. Someone else who looked tall enough to be in my year was running towards the class with a large ink stain right down his front.

“Nice Stain, idiot! Peeves get the best of you?” I shouted, laughing, before I could stop myself. I guess I was being rude that day.

“Thanks.” The figure said sarcastically as it slowed up to join me.

Damn. It would appear I just insulted Remus Lupin, the boy who I happened to like quite a lot. I scolded myself mentally for it but continued to walk along side him anyway. Looks like he would be in my class. I secretly hoped that because we walked in with each other it would mean we would sit next to each other.

Apparently it did not. As I walked in saw that James was also in this class. I would have bet fifty galleons that Remus would sit with him without even saying goodbye to me first.

I walked a little faster so it would look like I was leaving him rather than me being the one who got ditched. When I found myself a desk in the middle of the class I started to take my books out with more force than strictly necessary but I was angry so it was most definitely allowed.

I was therefore surprised when I got a little bit carried away with my ‘Advanced Charms for N.E.W.T Level Students’ textbook to find it colliding with a solid object as it swung past my shoulder. It was a thick book so whatever it hit must be in pain right now.

“Merlin, Nyx! You a beater or something?” Said the voice of the object which was now rubbing it’s forehead.

“I, uh, sorry Remus. Guess it got away from me.” Insulting him and assaulting him guess I was on a roll that day.

“It’s okay, really,” he tried to say as I moved his hand to get a better look at the mark which was actually a shallow cut.

“Are you sure? That looks really sore. Sorry.”

“Really, Nyx it’s fine. Stop apologizing.” He said, chuckling.

“Guess it’s not your day today huh?”

“You could say that. First, Peeves hurls an ink bottle at me and then I get attacked by an eight hundred page book.”

“About the attack, how come you’re not sitting next to James?”

“See for yourself.”

I looked behind me and sure enough, two rows behind me sat a smirking James and a rather disgruntled looking Lily. I had wondered why she hadn’t sat next to her own friends when I saw that the only free seat would have been the one next to James. I knew it was to good to be true having Remus choose to sit next to me.

“What do you get in return for agreeing not to sit next to him?” I asked smirking. James was rather resourceful.

“Nothing,” he said smiling at me. I smiled back. “Yet.”

“Ah, just leverage then.” I said, smirking slightly less.

I had to remind myself throughout the lesson that he had not chosen to sit next to me, he had done it as a favor to his best friend. I was not allowed to take this as a sign of him liking me. I was not going to tell the girls about it tonight in the dorm. Who was I kidding? Of course I was going to.

Every so often as Professor Flitwick talked I could have sworn I saw him looking at me and smiling. Whenever I smiled back, he looked thoughtful and as though he hadn’t been smiling in the first place. I guess I could add hallucinations to list of things wrong with me. The very long list.

Flitwick had handed out homework, on the first day of the class. Even McGonagall hadn’t done that. This year was clearly going to tougher than I had first thought.

Perhaps McGonagall’s four month guess had been slightly optimistic. So far all of the books I had found just contained information on what Animaguses were, not how to become one. I was going to have to get a pass to the restricted section if I were to have any chance of succeeding.

I packed up my things fairly quickly, with every intention of going straight to the library even though I had all three classes today. 1 was distracted in my plans by coming across my timetable. I had about five minuted to get to transfiguration which was two floors up. Looked like I’d be running then.

When I whirled round to get going, I collided with Remus who had apparently been waiting for me. I may have winded myself so that when I said sorry, it sounded more like the rasping gasp of a dementor. I was being extra embarrassing today. I was usually only slightly embarrassing.

“Sorry, again.” I laughed. “We better get going if we don’t want to be late for Transfiguration.”

“I’m sure we won’t be late,” he said calmly.

“Remus, it’s two floors and three corridors away. I sure we won’t be early.” He chuckled.

“Trust me.” He said, flashing his teeth.

We began walking down the corridor and chatting like friends. Maia was an idiot, of course my plan was going to work. He was already walking me to classes, and sitting next to me in one of them. I hadn’t even noticed he was leading me in the complete wrong direction.

“Remus!” I said angrily. “We’re going the wrong way.”

“I told you to trust me didn’t I?”

“Yes, and I did like an idiot.

“Yes, you did trust me.” He said, almost to himself.

Suddenly I had been dragged behind a tapestry. I wasn’t going to complain, but I was immensely curious as to his suddenness. I was practically in mid-pout, preparing for the kiss of my life when he lit up his wand.

“Oh,” I said, sounding disappointed. “It’s a passageway.”

“Of course it is, what else would it be?”

“Nothing, nothing.” I said quickly. “Let’s go.”

It was a very short passage way, much shorter than I had expected. It probably wasn’t going to take us the whole way, I’d end up running anyway. It was cooler than the corridors and it smelled dusty. The walls were in need of a good clean to say the least.

It emerged it lightness quite quickly. Well, semi-lightness. The light that came in came through a thin tapestry of Wendell the Wicked torturing some goblins. I recognised the tapestry because I knew what was right outside.

“Transfiguration!” I exclaimed half happily, half in surprise.

“I told you you could trust me,” he smiled at me. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. “And,” he checked his watch, “we’re early.” He then showed me the watch as if this were proof.

“How on earth did you know that passageway was there?”

“I guess you could say we Marauders actually do explore. It’s not just a nickname.”

“Well thank you, Marauder.” I said, tipping an invisible hat.

“Let’s go in then.”

When we walked in, we received some rather strange looks. It was at this point I realised that I had quite a bit of dust on my cloak. I whipped it off quickly as I sat down at the back next to Sirius and Remus sat in front.

“Have fun in the passageway Warrender?” Sirius asked with a smirk on his face.

“What? How did you know we were in a passageway?” I asked.

“I’m full of knowledge, didn’t you know?” He winked at me.

“Of course you are, Sirius.”

“I actually am, for example, I know that McGonagall will be handing out our projects today. Plus you know, the dust.”

“And how would you know that exactly?”

“Let’s call it a hunch shall we?”

“So what’s the project?”

“That I don’t know.”

Sure enough, when Mcgonagall walked in, her arms were filled with papers and her hair slightly strewn like she had been running around looking for something. She dumped the papers on her desk with a sigh and turned to face the class. Her glasses had skewed slightly but she sorted them soon enough after hearing the snickers.

“Told you so.” Sirius whispered in my ear.

“Shhhhh!” I want to hear about the project.

“Listen now class.” Mcgonagall said. The class instantly went quiet. “I have decided upon your N.E.W.T projects which will be undertaken with the partners you chose yesterday. Remember, this will constitute part of your final grade so do not leave them until the last moment.”

She proceeded to hand out the parchment which she had brought in. The sheets were at least two feet long and included horrendous amounts of small writing. As I strained my eyes to read it, I saw they were instructions. I felt my stomach grow slightly heavier. This was going to be a lot of work.

“For your projects, you and your partner must successfully transfigure ten objects into different things, seven of which must be living and all have to be a certain size. Further information had been provided for you for the practical. There will also be a dissertation which is to be five thousand words and will cover all aspects of the course as well as your projects.”

I was dreading it already. This project was going to take up the whole year and included recalled knowledge from last year. I was at this point very glad McGonagall had decided to power through the theory side of the course in sixth year as well as the practical side of things which she had also gone through during extra study sessions.

“Sirius?” I asked wearily.

“Yes, Nyx?” He said, chuckling. He had pretty much answered my unasked question.

“Are you going to be taking this seriously?”

“Of course I am Nyx! How about two double periods extra a week we work on this?”

“That actually sounds great, Sirius.”

Okay, so I was mildly surprised by Sirius eagerness to do the project. I may have assumed because he was a marauder and everything that I would be picking up the slack on this one. I was clearly wrong. I felt slightly bad for doubting him but anyone else in my position would have thought the exact same thing.

“This is is you would like to achieve an ‘Acceptable’ level N.E.W.T. Most of you in this class should be aiming for much higher grades and will therefore be required to put in more than the minimum work load. Further things to boost your grades will be included in the information I have given you.”

The rest of the class was spent with everyone in hysteria about their projects. Well I say everyone but neither James nor Sirius looked even remotely worried about the workload we were about to face. They looked positively relaxed. Weirdos.

We were going to spend some class time on the projects too but like most of our N.E.W.T.S, we would have to show some initiative and self-study if we even dreamed about passing transfiguration this year with anything more than a ‘Troll’ grade.

Planning was already taking place in every pairing that included a Ravenclaw, including mine. I was jabbering so quickly I was surprised Sirius even managed to keep up with what I was saying. I had been certain it was getting more high pitched and frantic as I went on. He seemed to hear everything.

“Relax Nyx.” Sirius said calmly, “I’ve totally got this covered.”

“Really?” I practically whistled.

“Sure. Prongs, Moony, you’ll be joining our extra sessions won’t you?”

“Of course Padfoot,” answered James mechanically.

“See, it’ll be a group effort.” Sirius leaned back in his chair as if to prove how laid back he was about the whole thing.

I was forced to accept that Sirius had it under control for now. I found myself wishing that our first meeting regarding the project would be soon. I mean Sirius had invited Remus along for Merlin’s sake. It was almost as though he had read my mind and just made it all happen. He was my fairy godmother.

I had to stifle a laugh as I suddenly pictured Sirius frolicking through the air with a puffy pink tutu on. Not to mention a tiara. And sparkles, lot and lots of sparkles. They gave me funny looks but I didn’t really care. I was too bust imaging Hogwarts’ biggest playboy dressed like a little girl.

I left transfiguration for care of magical creatures, I was already trying to think of ways to kick-start Peter and Annabelle’s relationship without seeming painfully obvious. I was never very good at subtlety so the ideas weren’t coming very quickly. I was preparing for the worst as I walked to the class.

I could imagine the awkwardness and the silence as well as the pointed glances. Neither of them had had a boyfriend or a girlfriend before. It was most definitely going to be awkward. I was not looking forward to it but I knew I had to do something to help out Annabelle, she was a good person and deserved whatever awkward relationship she craved.

A/N: Hope you enjoy the chapter, over 100 reads already :) I would be super-grateful for some reviews and as always, Harry Potter belongs to JKR no matter how much I wish I'd thought of it.

Update: I just fixed some of the spelling/typing mistakes I noticed when I read through the chapter again. The new chapter will be up soon, promise! Thank you to my wonderful reviewers, it makes my day when I come home and see a new review!

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