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Needless to say, I went to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Unfortunately I couldn’t really enjoy this sleep because when I did finally wake up, it was with a splitting pain in my side. For all I knew I could have been split in half, I didn’t really check before I had gone to bed. The animagus transformation had really taken everything out of me and then when you factor in the mini-fight I had with the dog; I was knackered.

I closed the curtains on my four poster, something I hadn’t bothered to do the night before, for some privacy. Once the navy curtains were screening me from the others, I lifted my shirt tentatively to check the damage I had caused myself. I winced. Three great big scars that ran from just below my belly button to the bottom of my ribcage. I was building up quite the collection. They looked as though they should have been bleeding even though they weren’t. At least I knew my spells had held, which was surprising considering I had never been very good with healing spells.

I checked my watch, it was still fairly dark outside and I had figured out the cause of my discomfort, beyond the obvious reasons. I’m a right right sleeper and the dog, having collided with my right shoulder and mauled the right hand side of my torso, had prevented me from assuming my usual sleeping position. It was five thirty, on a Saturday. Which was ridiculous. I looked at my scars again and immediately wished I hadn’t. They looked hideous, clearly I wasn’t as talented as I’d first assumed. I shimmied myself into my pajamas so the other wouldn’t know I was out. The sheer effort of this allowed me to fall back to sleep.

I woke up again at five past seven. Much more reasonable if you ask me, or anyone for that matter. I thought about going to Madam Pomfrey, so she could check over the scars. I thought the better of this because she would no doubt ask me where they had come from and I was a terrible liar, plus I didn’t even know how I had gotten the scars on my back, I’d had those for ages. Then I thought about going to McGonagall, about the animagus thing, I thought the better of that too. I would have to explain to her why I had been practicing illegally for months and I had no logical explanation for that either.

I realised I had around an hour before everyone else woke up, maybe I should visit Pomfrey. I was shuffling to the hospital wing, there seemed to be a dull pain when I walked so shuffling seemed like a much better idea than walking. I was just away to go in when I heard her bustling over a patient. I was curious I’ll admit. I couldn’t really see why someone would be in the hospital wing so early, then again I was away to go in at the same time. But I figured I was an exceptional case. How many exceptional cases could there be at Hogwarts?

“Remus, you should be better soon as long as you take your potions at the times I have scheduled. Overall it seems like it’s been a good month.”

“Yes, Madam Pomfrey. I know when to take them.”

“I’ve told you a million times, Remus. You can call me Poppy, I certainly know you well enough by now.”

“Right, of course.”

How strange, in fact it was much more than strange. It was downright baffling. I felt peculiar listening in to the conversation but it wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose. Plus I justified it with the thought that it would be much ruder to interrupt. Had it not been so early, this would have sent my brain whirring, as it was early all I could conclude was this:

Remus was ill, that was a given. He knew he was ill and, from what I could tell by his dull answers, he was perfectly aware of what was going on, unlike myself, as well as finding Madam Pomfrey or ‘Poppy’ rather patronizing. He must have been in the hospital wing a lot before he was allowed to first name Pomfrey. I hoped quietly it was nothing serious but left them to it, it was clearly private.

I decided instead to make my way to breakfast, I was suddenly ravenous for some reason and I figured getting some energy wasn’t going to be a bad thing. I shuffled away from the hospital wing quietly and once I was out of hearing range I began to walk properly again. People would ask questions if I decided to completely change my walking style over night. I couldn’t have people asking questions.

We only had to sit on the house tables for supper which was always at a set time. Most people just stuck to their house tables all the time, no idea why but I was not going to be the one to break tradition. Ever. I was the only seventh year Ravenclaw up. Fantastic. I always felt weird eating on my own. Luckily, or unluckily I didn’t have to eat on my own. The marauders had decided to join me after five minutes of solitude.

Sirius sat next to me, Peter next to him with Remus opposite me next to James who was having an arm wrestle with Sirius. On his way past to get to the other side of the table, Remus decided to try and tickle me. I know right, what the hell? Well anyway he went for the wrong side, my sore side, and before he had barely touched me I jolted to the side. It was pretty painful still.

It probably gave him the complete wrong impression which was probably for the best seeing as he had a girlfriend and usually didn’t go around try to tickle people. Clearly something about being ill made him flirty? I had no idea and I was too tired to care. Hopefully he wouldn’t try again in the future. I hated tickling even if I didn’t have three slits in my side. Although if it was Remus who was doing the tickling…

No sooner had they sat down when Lily and Camilla came to join us. I was quite glad to see that Lily didn’t seem to like Camilla either, she looked pretty irritated as Camilla jabbered away to her. She smiled when she sat next to James, probably because there was now a two man wall between her and the blonde.

“Morning guys.” Camilla said, emphasizing the guys. It was weird but it was fun having her not like me.

“Morning Clarissa.” I said with way too much cheer. It wiped the smile right of her face. Sirius spluttered on his pumpkin juice.

“It’s Camilla.” She said with steely eyes. As she did every time I called her a wrong name, probably not realising it made it more fun.

“Well I’m getting closer then, you’re just so forgettable I guess.” I smiled at her. That was the trick, guys didn’t notice bitchiness if you were smiling. Well Sirius noticed but he knew I hated her.

“Whatever.” She tried to sound indifferent but failed miserably. “So what is everyone up to in the holidays then?” She asked, clearly ignoring me.

“Not much, figured I might stay seeing as it’s our last year an everything,” Sirius said, rubbing his shoulder, “might as well stay.”

“There’s no point staying just because you can. I’m going skiing in France with some of the other girls in sixth.”

“Sixth year.” I told her.


“Sixth year. It’s just one extra word and it makes more sense.” I realised I was being incredibly picky about this but I didn’t care, sixth year just sounded better, plus it was Camilla.

“Whatever, just because you’re not doing anything nearly as fun.”

“I’m staying for the holidays anyway. My parents are going away for Christmas.”

“Sounds like fun,” she said sarcastically.

“I’m sure it will be, what with the marauders staying behind as well,” Sirius said with a grin, “we’ll have a grand old time.”

“You’re all staying behind?”

“Yep. Well Peter’s undecided but we’re trying to bring him round.”

“I think my mum will want me home,” Peter said, “I might stay though.”

“I’m probably going to be the only Ravenclaw left. Spencer and Tom are both going on holiday, Isabelle and Maia were thinking about staying too but I don’t think I did a very good job of convincing them. Annabelle is definitely going home.”

“Well that’s Peter going home then,” James said, “the only reason he was staying before was Annabelle and she’s going.”

“Why are we even discussing this now? The holidays don’t start until a month,” Peter said, clearly the only reason he was staying was Annabelle and he didn’t want to admit it.

“I don’t know, Casey brought it up,” Sirius said. It took a lot of effort for me to stifle a laugh when Camilla dug her fork into the table and gave Sirius a basilisk glare. He looked equally annoyed or just frustrated but he kept rubbing his shoulder. It must have been sore or something. “Let’s talk about Quidditch.” Lily rolled her eyes as James perked up his ears.

“What about Quidditch?” James asked eagerly.

“The match is next weekend,” I stated, “Ravenclaw versus Hufflepuff.”

“Should be a good one. I heard that the new seeker for Hufflepuff is pretty good. One of the chasers are new too,” Sirius said.

“Not as good as me though, obviously,” James said and then noticing Lily’s look, “but everyone has good skills to being a chaser, I just happen to have more.”

“And this isn’t the ego talking?” She asked.

“No, this would be the common sense. Everyone knows I’m awesome at Quidditch. Ask the younger years - they’re awed on a regular basis by my Quidditch skills.”

“I’m awed by your ego,” Sirius laughed, “so much for a deflation.”

“This is a deflation,” Lily laughed, putting her hand under his chin and giving him a quick kiss, “now he can keep his head up.”

“Enough about my ego, it’s at a perfectly healthy size I’ll have you know.”

“So you guys think the Quidditch match will be okay then?” I asked nervously. If I was honest with myself I was terrified. Practice was one thing but an actual match could go on for hours. Hopefully it would all be over quickly and hopefully Derek would be the one to catch the snitch.

“I’m sure you’ll be fantastic, you were really good when we came to watch your practices,” Remus said with a smile. He must have noticed I was nervous.

“Except when I fell off my broom,” I laughed.

“Yes, well apart from then.”

“You fell off you broom?” Camilla snorted, “how did you even make it on the team if you can’t fly a broom straight.”

“I got hit in the head by a bludger, it had nothing to do with my flying skills.”

“Well you can’t be a very good beater if you can’t even keep the bludger away from yourself.”

It was probably getting awkward on the table but I didn’t care. I was getting pretty pissed off with my whole situation so I wasn’t very keen on having her slag off my Quidditch skills too. I really wanted to hit her. Actually, I really wanted to snog Remus but Camilla was stroking his arm which was stopping him from finishing his breakfast and blocking my path if I were to randomly jump him. He was too polite to tell her to stop and he looked like he needed the meal.

“Well Sirius was mooning the pitch at the time so I wasn’t really paying attention.”

“Hey! It’s not my fault you weren’t paying attention. It was because you were too busy gawking at…” Luckily he caught my evil stare before he finished that sentence. I may have murdered him if he had. That wouldn’t have gone down very well at all.

“Gawking at what?” Remus asked curiously. I prayed to Merlin that Sirius would not answer that question, at least not seriously.

“My beautiful bottom, that’s what. It’s pretty clear why it would daze her I mean it is spectacular.”

“Of course,” I said in a monotone voice, “I just couldn’t get enough of your arse.”

“Not many people can. It should be a national treasure.”

“Well, whatever,” Camilla said, I had noticed she did this whenever the conversation wasn’t working for her, “you still fell off your broom. My brother’s only eight and he can fly better than you.”

“Excuse me?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. As much as I hated her it was uncommon for her to be publicly rude.

“You heard me.”

It was really icy on the table after that. Remus had shaken her off of his arm and was putting a lot of concentration into eating his breakfast. I was sitting giving Camilla evil looks as everyone else avoided looking at either of us. Lily and James were talking to each other quietly so as not to break the silence. Peter kept looking at the door to see if Annabelle was coming to rescue him from the awkward situation. Sirius was still rubbing his damn shoulder, it was starting to annoy me.

Sirius lifted up his knife and started stroking the air with it. Everyone looked at him with the same puzzled expression. “What?” He grinned, “I’m just trying to see if you really can cut tension with a knife.” Everyone laughed or snickered, obviously Sirius would be the one to break the silence.

“Well I have to get to class.” I said suddenly, getting up from the table and leaving. A triumphant look flashed across Camilla’s face. “Lots of studying to do.”

The sidetrack had made me completely forget about going to the hospital wing, besides, it would be busier now and Madam Pomfrey would probably wonder where I had accumulated my injuries and I was glad to have my own little secret. I didn’t have many and I was glad to add one to my collection.

A/N: First off, a massive thanks to everyone who reviewed I woke up to a few this morning and I couldn't wipe the smile off my face, people actually noticed too! Hope you all like this chapter as much as the others. I also hope you guys have a nice day like I did :) Even the first years which I have to show around didn't annoy me, and that's saying something! Alex :)

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