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“They’re all staring at us James!”

“Just give them the bird, that’s what I’ve been doing.”

“Like that’ll work,” Kristen said with a laugh. “People are going to stare for a good long while, you two might as well get used to it.”

“It’s just stupid,” Lily said angrily, sitting down with James at lunch, just one of the many changes that had resulted from that ‘yes’. “So what if we’re ‘dating’, it’s not a big deal. We haven’t even had a real date yet.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Remus told them. “You always swore up and down that this wouldn’t happen, and now it has. People want to know why.”

“Well it’s none of their business.” Lily said decidedly, angrily throwing some bread on to her plate.

“Anyways,” James started quickly, eager to get her happy again. “Kristen, you haven’t introduced us to your new snogging buddy.”

“Oh, his name’s David,” Kristen said off handedly, gesturing to the boy trailing her. “And he finds that term offensive, as do I.”

“That’s all he is though,” Sirius reminded her, glaring icily at the boy.

“Actually, we’ve had a few discussions –

“Shut up David,” Sirius snapped at him. “Go back to your wimpy friends in Ravenclaw.”

David was going to protest, until Kristen said, “Yeah, you probably should go. This isn’t working out, sorry.”

“What do you mean this isn’t working out? We’ve been dating two bloody days!”

“You heard the woman, move it!” Sirius snapped at him, standing up menacingly.

“That was unnecessary Sirius,” Kristen told him when David had scampered off. “The poor boy had done nothing wrong. His snogging style is just not something I prefer. Not enough groping, and too much tongue.”

“Are you determined to send me to an early grave?” Sirius asked her harshly. “Merlin, at least when you were with Winston I didn’t have to see it up close and personal most of the time.”

“It’s only fair with the number of girls I have to watch you suck face with!”

“Oh come on, It’s only Sarah lately. She’s got me on such a tight leash that you’re not going to see me with anyone else. You, on the other hand, have been with three this week, and it’s only Thursday.”

“I just can’t find one that meets my requirements.”

“You mean, you can’t find anyone that is willing to make out with you 24/7.” Remus told her.

“I would gladly take up that arrangement Kristen, if I could,” Sirius informed her readily. “However, Sarah has quite an arm on her.”

“Understandable,” she agreed, looking around the great hall with interest. “Maybe Samuel…”

“No!” James shouted, slamming his fist on the table resolutely and startling several people. “You will not snog anyone of the team, understand St. Claire?”

“Okay captain, gees,” Kristen held her hands up in defense. “It was just a thought. I’ve been on a smart guy kick recently anyways; I’ll probably stick with Ravenclaws.”

“I don’t understand why you don’t just, you know, actually do the reasonable thing and listen to me,” Lily suggested idly, refusing to look at her as she said it.

“Because that is not reasonable, and because I have blackmail on you and don’t have to.”

“Blackmail?” James asked, turning to Lily.

“If I could tell you, it wouldn’t be blackmail,” Lily answered him with a peck on the cheek.

“I can’t believe you’ve ever done something worthy of blackmail.” Sirius said idly, picking at his food.

“I’d really rather not talk about it Padfoot,” Lily told him with a small smile.

“Told you it was stupid to tell her,” Sirius grumbled, now stabbing his egg viciously.

“Dear God Sirius, I wouldn’t turn you in. My boyfriend happens to have to same secret, so I’m pretty sure that would make me an accessory or something.”

“You have no idea how weird that is to hear you say,” Briar told her with a laugh. “I mean, you, dating James Potter. I honestly never thought I would see it.”

“You and me both,” Lily sighed, obviously rather exasperated with this sentiment as she had heard it multiple times over the past days. She was beginning to regret making it public. “However, and I will stand firmly by this fact, James has matured so that he’s not nearly as much of an arse, and I’ve probably gotten a little bit more immature, just to level things out.”

“Yes, you all heard correctly, I made Lily Evans immature,” James boasted proudly, putting an arm around her shoulders and hugging her close.

“I keep expecting her to turn around and slap you, I can’t help it,” Peter said honestly, looking at them in wonder.

“I kind of do too Wormtail,” James agreed. “However, I simply remedy the feeling with a quick kiss, and I instantly feel better.”

“You, however, are not allowed to do that,” Lily quickly added when Peter grinned impishly. “You’ll have to find another cure for your pain.”

“Well, I’m going to get hunting,” Kristen announced, tired of Lily and James’s incessant happiness. Of course, Kristen was thrilled for them, she wasn’t that heartless, but having to watch it now, of all times, was complete torture. “If you gentlemen, and ladies, would do me the honor of talking me up to a few men, I would be deeply grateful.”

“You got it,” Sirius answered readily.

“Are just naturally stupid, or does just come out in full force when she’s around?” Lily spat at him the moment Kristen was out of earshot, causing Remus to erupt in laughter.

Sirius looked confused. “Is that a trick question Flower?”

“‘You got it’?” Honestly? Why are you helping her be a whore?”

“Because it makes her feel better,” Sirius said with a shrug. “I mean, I hate watching her with all those guys, but this is the phase she goes through every time. She’ll come out of it in about a week or two, and then things will be back to normal.”

“James, we need to talk,” Lily said resolutely, grabbing his hand and her book bag. She was not going to let this blackmail thing be the end all to Kristen and Sirius, but she would not let James hear it from Kristen. That would only make it 10 times worse.

“Does said talk involve a broom closet?” He asked excitedly, eagerly following her.

“Possibly,” She answered, hoping she could efficiently distract him with that afterwards, because she knew what was most likely going to happen when she told him. He was going to freak out and try and kill Fredrik, just like Kristen had back in September when it had taken place.

She led him through the corridors, to a massive staircase ordained with a golden rug. “Look, I need to tell you this, to get it off my chest, and so Kristen can stop holding it over me.”

James looked concerned now, and he sat down beside her on the steps. “You can tell me anything Lily.”

She smiled at the sincerity in his voice. It was amazing how quickly things had changed, how he had gone from nothing to everything. “It’s about Fredrick, the terms of our breakup.”

James’s eyes darkened. “I remember when it happened. He looked pissed for weeks, so did you for that matter. Did you guys get in some sort of fight?”

“Yeah,” Lily said, rubbing her arm. “Yeah, we got in a really big fight actually.”

“How is that blackmail though?”

“It’s more about the terms of our fight. James, I need you to promise me now though, that you will not do or say anything to him.”

James looked at her with worry. “I’m not sure I can promise that Lily. What did he do that’s so bad?”

Lily took a deep breath and grabbed his hand, holding it in her lap. “Well, we were in the trophy room, doing…things, when he tried to go too far. I said ‘no’ and he got angry. He…he hit me. I mean, it was only once, but…if I hadn’t had my wand on me it might have been worse.”

“He did what?!” James roared, standing up furiously. “I’ll fucking kill him Lily!”

“No, you won’t.” Lily said quietly. “Believe me James; I made him regret ever touching me. I didn’t tell anyone besides Kristen because it wasn’t any of their business. If you go and beat him to a pulp, which I know is what he deserves, then everyone will know that something happened. I don’t want that.”

“But Lily, that guy deserves more than just a good beating! He deserves Hell, and I am quite ready to give it to him.”

“James, I know you’re angry, but I had to tell you, so that Kristen wouldn’t be able to hold it over my head.” Lily told him, gesturing for him to sit back down, which he only did so grudgingly. “If you had heard it from her, Merlin only knows what you would have done.”

“I’m still not promising to not do anything. Hell, I’m pretty much guaranteeing you that I’m going to make his life horrible.”

“And for that, I find you completely adorable. I know I can’t stop you, but as long as you’re discreet, and make it to where perhaps I may not notice it, you may just be able to get away with it.”

“Deal,” James agreed readily, knowing that was probably the best he was going to get. “Tell me now though; what secret did Kristen have that was good enough for her to hold blackmail over your head?”

Lily smiled, so completely relieved to have not only the secret about Fredrick off her chest, that having Kristen’s out there as well was going to make her feel completely free. “Kristen’s in love with Sirius. She told me, no ifs ands or buts about it.”

James stared at her, not saying anything or moving at all. He slowly grinned though, looking mischievous. “Well look at that, Lily Evans is trying to prank the ultimate of pranksters!”

“I am not pranking you!” Lily protested, laughing. “I’m serious! Just before Kristen broke up with Winston, she told me. It’s why she was so bitchy to Sirius.”

James ran a hand through his hair in frustration. “Are you seriously telling me that Remus was right?”

“I’ve told you from the beginning that if you would just listen to him, your life would be so much easier.”

“I tried. Sirius, on the other hand, refuses to.”

“You have to convince him otherwise James. Kristen’s going to drive herself crazy. She seems to think that it would just be better if she never said anything because Sirius will invariably break up with her.”

James shook his head. “I wish she could just see how much he cares for her. He would never hurt her, not in a million years.”

“I mean, I see her point. After Sirius’s track record, who wouldn’t be afraid of that? But you’re right; he cares far too much to ever do anything that would hurt her.”

“We’re going to fix this,” James said decidedly, standing up and holding out a hand to Lily. “I’ll work on Sirius, you work on Kristen. Wait,” James paused, thinking. “I’ll work on Kristen, you work on Sirius.”

“James, there’s no way he will listen to me. Sirius doesn’t even like me half the time.”

“That’s not true. Sirius likes you, most of the time anyways, and he knows you’re smart, so perhaps he’ll listen to you more. Kristen knows I hate talking about that shit with her, so maybe she’ll see my willingness as a sign that I’m serious.”

Lily looked skeptical, but she agreed after some persuasive kisses. It amazing how electrified she felt at each one, and half the time she was afraid she would pull away with her hair standing straight on end. She had to pull away though, so that they wouldn’t walk into class late…again.

“And just where were you two?” Kristen asked with a smirk, sitting in the back of the potions class room to better watch out for their red faced entrance.

“I was just telling James all about that black mail you have on me,” Lily told her bluntly. “And, once that was done, I proceeded to tell him the very thing you so desperately wanted to cover up.”

The blood rushed out of Kristen’s face almost instantly as she took in James’s knowing look. “Oh Lily, why would you do that?”

“Because someone needs to knock some sense into you,” James said resolutely. “Obviously, you won’t listen to Lily, so you’re going to listen to me, got it?”

“It’s not any of your business though,” Kristen fought him. “Besides, shouldn’t you be on some hell bent mission to kill Fredrick?”

“I’m already planning,” James assure her, though he didn’t look pleased with her attempt to divert the subject. “And it is my business, actually. I’m the one that has to listen to both of you bitch and moan about each other.”

“Who’s bitching and moaning?” Sirius asked, setting his books heavily on the potions table.

“You, and Kristen,” Lily answered readily. “About each other.”

“What have you been saying about me now?” Sirius snapped at Kristen. “What have I done now to warrant your bitching?”

“Well, would you look at that!” Kristen proclaimed suddenly, gripping her arm tightly as an unusually welcome flash of heat seared across it. “I have to go talk to Daddy.”

“Don’t think this gets you off the hook St. Claire!” Sirius shouted after her, though he watched her leave with worried eyes.

“I’ve never known Kristen to be lucky,” Lily said, rolling her eyes as she sat down. “But you don’t get much better timing than that.”

“I should have checked her arm,” James grumbled, pointedly ignoring Sirius’s continued protests against Kristen still hating him for something that he was sure he wasn’t a part of. “I mean, she could have been faking it.”

“She wouldn’t lie about something like that,” Lily said decidedly, putting a gentle hand on his arm to calm him down. “We will make her understand though, I assure you. We’re just going to have to be creative. Think, blunt confrontation has not worked in the six years you’ve tried it. It’s time to find another way.”

“Nothing works!” James proclaimed. “They’re both stubborn asses!”

“Did you just call me an ass?” Sirius asked from a few seats down. “I take offense to that Potter!”

“Are you on a surname kick?” Remus asked from between them. “Calling people by their last name doesn’t make you seem any smarter you know.”

“Well it makes me feel smarter,” Sirius snapped at him.

“I wasn’t aware that you felt anything Padfoot,” Lily told him cheekily.

“And why are you mad at me now?” Sirius asked in exasperation.

“Settle down!” Slughorn told the class grandly, standing in front of them with his huge belly jiggling precariously over the waist of his pants. “We’re learning all about the effect n newts have on various potions today!”

While the most of the class groaned, Lily excitedly began putting together things to take notes. James could only shake his head at her.

For what seemed hours he droned on and on, though it was to Sirius’s immense dismay, and most others, that when he chanced a look at his watch, only half of their two hour class had gone by. He was starting to nod off to sleep, random flashes of dreams popping up between intricate descriptions of newt coloring, before he was alerted by the presence of an anxious looking house elf. He knew it was the house elves that practically ran the school, he’d been in the kitchens quite a few times, but they never came out in the open like this. Sirius would wager that a greater part of the school didn’t even know there were house elves in the castle.

The tiny thing, scrambled up to Slughorn, tugging on his drooping sleeve eagerly as he looked back and forth amongst the students. He shoved a piece of paper into his hand, and then was out as quick as he came in.

“Oh dear,” Slughorn mumbled as he read the note quickly. “Everyone, back to your houses immediately, you are not to leave you dormitory until your Head of House comes to you. Now go, and hurry.”

“What’s going on?” Lily asked immediately, refusing to simply follow his instructions. All of the students stopped the hurried packing of their bags, looking to their professor for an answer.

Slughorn looked immensely uncomfortable, and placed to hands over his stomach, as if making sure it didn’t abandon him in his time of need. “He-who-must-not-be-named is at the gates.”

“He’s attacked Hogsmeade before and he failed,” Sirius reminded him, looking much more relaxed now that he assumed this to be just the product of overprotective teachers.

“Hogsmeade has already fallen,” Slughorn said quietly.

“How?” Narcissa asked, surprising most by sounding so shocked by the news. “After all his attempts, why has he succeeded now?”

“Because before he brought ten, maybe fifteen Death Eaters, just to scare us. Today, he has an army with him.”

“Then we have to fight,” the boy beside her said, huffing his chest so that his Ravenclaw badge was displayed prominently. “We cannot let this bastard take our school.”

“Hear hear!” Sirius agreed heartily.

“Absolutely not,” Slughorn said sternly. “You are at this institution to learn, not to become a soldier. You will go back to your houses, this very instant, and professors will be patrolling the halls to make sure you stay. Now go, immediately.”

“Yeah right. Honestly, telling us to stay inside,” Remus mumbled, putting his books in his bag. “Come on, the sooner we go, the sooner we can get out.”

“Well this is a new side of you,” Sirius said as he pushed his way through the crowd to get out.

“I can’t very well sit by and wait for him, now can I?” Remus said, sounding quite pent up. “We have to fight him off.”

“I don’t think that’s good idea,” Lily interjected. “I know you want to help, but you can’t just run out in the middle of a battle field.”

“I will not let him take my home,” Sirius declared. “Lily, you know as well as I do what that man is capable of. Are you ready to let him destroy everything?”

“She has a point,” James interjected.

“You are so whipped,” Peter admonished him. “Any other time you would agree with us.”

“I am not whipped, I am intelligent,” James told him sternly. “I know you guys want to help, I do, but going out and charging at Death Eaters is a stupid idea.”

“That’s why you have to be sneaky about it.” Lily continued. “If you’re going to do something, then use your assets. None of us are duelers by nature.”

“You want us to be in our animagus forms? What about you and Remus though?” Sirius asked.

“We’ll figure it out,” Lily assured him. “You need to go now though, before the teachers are out in full force to stop you.”

“Are you sure?” James asked her uncertainly. “You should stay here. People won’t think to shoot at animals, you’ll be in danger though.”

Lily smiled lightly and put a hand on his face. “It’s cute, really James, but I’m not damsel in distress. I can take care of myself.”

“And I’ll watch her back,” Remus assured him.

“Be safe,” James whispered, giving her a small kiss on the cheek. “Please, nothing irrational.”

“Well isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?” Lily laughed lightly. “I’ll be fine, trust me.”

James didn’t look to sure about this but Peter and Sirius hurriedly pulled him away. Lily sighed as she watched him go, hoping that it wouldn’t be her last glimpse of him.

* * *

Kristen sighed idly and looked at her nails, completely bored.

This was just another stupid show of power. There wouldn’t be deaths, she was sure of it, that wasn’t Voldermort’s style in a mass assault like this. When you killed, you made hundreds of enemies, all based off of one person. When you just scare people a bit, you make countless friends.

“You could look a little more worried you know.”

“Why? He won’t do anything.”

Winston arched an eyebrow at her and pulled back a curtain from their spot in the apartment above the three broomsticks. There were shards of broken glass strewn across the street and some blood, but definitely no bodies. The orders had been very exact. “You’re not worried, at all?”

“This ain’t my first rodeo.” Kristen answered, and continued when Winston looked confused by her muggle phrase, “I’ve been through this so many times before Winston. Excuse me if I’m not crying my eyes out in distress.”

Winston just shook his head at her, and Kristen fought the urge to stick her tongue out at him. She had really hoped they wouldn’t become those exes, but he seemed determined to piss her off. “Why are you here anyways? Shouldn’t you be doing daddy’s bidding?”

“Daddy’s bidding was that I watch you and make you comfortable today. I don’t think he got the memo that we’re not necessarily together anymore.”

“Not that he would really care.” Kristen said, falling into the one chair her veritable prison provided. She knew Voldermort was doing this to keep her out of public, to not let the Order see her, but also to make sure she couldn’t run back to them. It was killing her up being locked up in here, especially with a boy who was now determined to not like her. “So, Winston,” Kristen said casually, determined to break this awkward, tense filled silence, “How’s your life been?”

Winston looked at her skeptically. “Well, I went out with Miriam the other night.”

“She wasn’t worried about the fact that you just got out a year long relationship?”

“Maybe ‘went out’ is too proper a term for what happened.”

“Oh,” she mumbled, and that was the end of their conversation.

He stood off to one side, leaning against the wall so he could look out the window. The noise had escalated once more, and though Kristen hated to let her mind wander and create the worse possible scenario, she knew, that if Sirius had had his way, he would be there, looking for her.

“I’ve seen him once or twice,” Winston said suddenly, still looking out the window. “I wonder if he knows just how noticeable a dog, rat, and a damn stag are in the middle of Hogsmeade.”

“Sirius is not exactly known for being discrete,” Kristen reminded him. “However, you must admit it’s better than him going around Hogsmeade, wand out and ready to duel.”

“True,” he mumbled, scanning the street as it filled with more hooded people and students alike. “I can’t just stand and watch this.”

“Why? You have no investment in these people.” Kristen said idly, knowing he’d never actually leave, not with Voldermort looming over them.

“I still care about their lives. Hell, I care about the fact that if Sirius dies you’ll be a wreck for the next six months!”

So he did actually still care at least an inkling about her, which was something. “And I’m scared what that flask of vodka is going to do to you, but you don’t see me obsessing about it.”

Winston rolled his eyes at her and began pacing the floor. “I can’t stay in here Kristen, I’ve got to get out there and help.”

“Yeah, that’s going to go over well. What are you going to do when Bella or someone else sees you helping the Order?” Kristen asked, noticing the role reversal from the norm. “Winston, we do a lot for the Order all ready, satisfy yourself with that.”

“No, I’m tired of being a death eater. I just want to be in the Order.”

“They can’t protect you. Especially from your mother, Merlin knows no force can compare with her.” She fought him for his own good, deciding to look out the window as well. People were running back and forth, shooting spells, though she had yet to see that sparkling emerald.

“Ah shit,” she sighed, spotting Remus and Lily hiding behind a building.

“What?” Winston asked curiously.

“Stupefy,” Kristen said without reserve, catching Winston quickly before he hit his head on the floor and dragging him over the chair and leaning him against it. At least this way, if she didn’t get back in time, he would have an excuse. She had to get to Lily and Remus though, before they got themselves hurt.

Her cloak was hanging on a peg by the door, its black so deep that it matched her glowing mark on her arm. It would be better to go out like that, to blend in. If she saw an Order member, all she would have to do was take off her hood. They knew what she looked like with her dark hair, and she would explain to them, in the calmest way possible, that they needed to be a bit better at herding their students, and to make sure that Lily and Remus got back up to the school. If she could turn Sirius, James, and Peter in as well, she would, but that would likely lead to incriminating herself as well.

‘Stay’

Kristen’s heart nearly jumped into her chest as Nagini slithered in front of her and began to curl around her legs. ‘I’ll be gone only a moment’ Kristen assured the giant snake, stroking the top of her head.

Nagini cocked her head to the slide, showing her displeasure of the idea, but eventually she uncoiled herself. Kristen gave her a tiny kiss on the top of the head. She would never tell the boys or Lily the strange kinship she had with this animal, but they were both under loved and undervalued minions of Voldermort. Nagini acted the part, just as Kristen did, when their master was around. Always stoic and calm, Nagini would peacefully sit with Voldermort as he ranted in Parseltongue to her, the only one who could listen. Kristen related well to that, as Voldermort did it to her too, time and time again. That man never shut up.

She raced down the stairs, eager to get Remus and Lily out of danger. The Street was still mostly clear of people. She waited for two adults, her old Astronomy Professor and a man she didn’t recognize run down the street before she ran across to Remus and Lily.

She heard the shout and saw the light only seconds before she registered what it was. The breath was knocked out of her and stars fluttered in front of her eyes as she struggled to catch her breath. She fell to the ground, clutching her chest as the pain shot through her.

“I’m so sorry!”

“You fucking idiot! You nearly killed her!”

“It was an accident, calm down Sirius.”

“Good shot,” Kristen managed to breath, struggling to sit up.

Sirius held her head in his lap when her efforts ultimately failed. “He hits you with god knows what and you say ‘good shot’?”

“When did you get here?” Kristen asked, still struggling to catch her breath. “I only saw Remus and Lily.”

“When Remus hit you he flagged me down.”

Kristen blinked several times, looking at all of them. Remus still looked apologetic, and was rubbing his right arm tenderly. James and Lily were standing above her, Lily harassing him until he would tell her where he got the gash above his eyes. Peter was staring at her, as if she were insane.

Sirius though, he just looked livid. His face was red, and he very nearly looked as he hadn’t finished transforming back into a human as his hair was wild and his face was substantially stubbier than she remembered that morning. “How long was I out then? I didn’t even realize that I’d passed out.”

“About five minutes,” Remus answered, trying to ignore Sirius’s intense glare. “Merlin Krissie, I am so sorry! I just saw the outfit, and you running towards me, and I panicked.”

“It’s my fault,” Kristen told him, now able to sit up a little easier as Sirius helped, and noticing that they had dragged her into the alleyway. “If you really want to make me feel better though, you’ll leave, right now, and go back to the school.”

“What?” Sirius spat at her, yanking his hands away and nearly letting her fall back to ground. “You want us to just sit and wait? You’re as bad as McGonagall and Sluggy!”

“I know what he’s capable of!” Kristen fought back, refusing to let Sirius touch her again when he offered her his hand. “I can’t do my job if I’m too busy worrying about you five! So please, just go back, the Order has it more than under control.”

“Absolutely not!” Sirius protested.

“Fine!” Kristen said. “Winston was waiting for me anyways, something about a makeup snog. I should get back to him.”

“We can renegotiate!” Lily suddenly put forth, before Sirius could even get the bitter remark out of his mouth. “Please, Kristen, just, don’t do anything stupid.”

Kristen rolled her eyes heavily. “Dear God Lily. I was kidding; he wants nothing to do with me. But seriously, you guys need to go back or I will get McGonagall to force you back.”

“I’m not scared of her,” Sirius scoffed.

Kristen pulled out her wand from inside her robe and muttered a few words, producing a silver fox from her wand after a few uttered words. It knew the message she had to convey, and hurried off.

“That was wicked,” James said reverently.

“Yeah, well, you won’t think so in a moment,” Kristen warned him.

“Out! All of you out of here at once!”

“God she’s fast,” Remus sighed as McGonagall came running around the corner only moments later.

“Sirius Black you are unbelievable!” McGonagall spat, wrenching him up by the ear. “You will go back the school this instant!”

“I have to help!” He protested, trying to reclaim his ear rather unsuccessfully.

“You have to stay alive! And you two!” McGonagall turned to James and Lily, lugging Sirius’s ear with her. “We need you two at the school more than anyone else. “It was highly irresponsible and selfish of you to leave those children alone and in fear.”

“Professor, we had a duty,” James told her.

“Yes, to your school, which you agreed to when you took that head boy badge. You should be there now, protecting those inside. And take you friends. If I see hide or hair of anyone of you I will ban you from the quidditch team. Yes, even if I see Pettigrew, I will kick you off the team Black.”

“We understand Professor,” Lily said, looking thoroughly abashed.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous that instead of staying here to do my part I have to accompany you back to the castle.” McGonagall grumbled, finally letting go of Sirius’s ear and fixing her jacket pristinely. “Miss St.Claire, I trust you’re able to continue doing your job.”

“Of course Professor,” Kristen answered, always ready to act completely professional when she her friends were around. For some reason, McGonagall refused to let her guard down when anyone but Kristen was around me. “I’ll have to stick around for celebrations and clean up, but I should be back by two at the latests.”

“Report to Dumbledore as soon as you get back, I don’t care how late it is,” She instructed, allowing a hint of sentimentality to enter her voice. “Now, you five, get walking, I don’t have all day.”

“Sorry again Kristen,” Remus called back.

“Don’t snog Winston!” Sirius said next, yelping when McGonagall wrenched his ear again.

Kristen sighed, clutching her ribs as the pain radiated through it. Remus had done a number on her, and as much as it hurt, she was happy to at least know that he could take care of himself. Merlin knew she couldn’t say the same for the rest of them.

*    *    *

Well, next up is chapter 100. Are you ready for it?

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