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I awoke the next morning and lay in my bed just grinning to myself like an idiot.

Maybe I am an idiot, but I don’t care. I am a happy idiot!

I have finally let go of my paranoia that the Marauders are just pretending to be my friend. All it took was having to be covered in feathers, yelling at them and then making up with them for me to realise.

Simple right?

Maybe I should just ask them next time, eh?

And okay, maybe my good mood had something to with the fact that Remus hugged me. No big deal. Whatever.

Oh what am I saying? Of course it is a big deal! A big flippin’ one! Phew, I think I need to calm down.

As I got up, now smiling like a loon, I realised I was the first one up for once. This is amazing. I’m amazed. I’m sure everyone else would be amazed if they weren’t such lazy bums and were actually awake to see this momentous occasion. Though I doubt anything would wake Demelza. She really does snore like a troll.

Thank Godric Alice styled my hair last night. All I had to do was brush it and it hung straight and quite nicely without me having to attack it with my wand. Hmm. I wonder if Lily would mind if I tried out some of her makeup?

Now I will be the first to say, I don’t know a thing about makeup.

I know I am a sad excuse for a girl.

What are all these tiny brushes for exactly? And what am I meant to do with this little pencil thing? Why is there not an instruction manual for this?!

I was still frowning at Lily’s assortment of makeup when Lily herself walked into the bathroom and jumped slightly to already see me in here.

“Shaylee? You’re awake? What’s happened?” asked Lily with a sincere look of concern on her sleepy face, “Are you ill? Did you fall out of bed again?”

“No, calm down Lily. I just woke up early is all” I said with a grin.

Lily looked at me with a raised eyebrow.

Choosing to ignore the fact that she didn’t believe me, I hadn’t expected her to, I instead asked with my sweetest voice, “Lily... would you mind, um, teaching me how to use makeup?” I fluttered my eyelashes for extra effect.

“Why do you keep blinking at me?” I stopped my eye fluttering. “Do you really not know how to use makeup?”

I shook my head, blushing slightly. Great. Now Lily knows I am crap at being a girl. Though I doubt that wasn’t already common knowledge. Sigh.

“Oh this is going to be fun! Just wait while I go wake Alice. She will kill me if she misses this,” Lily said with an excitement I didn’t think was possible this early in the morning.


Oh dear. What have I gotten myself into? Why did I ask for Lily’s help? I feel so silly! I must change immediately.

“Don’t even think about it,” Lily whispered to me, as if she knew that at that exact moment I was planning on turning around and running back to our dorm. If a few first years got in my way and happened to be startled, so be it.

“Stop fidgeting, people will think you have ants in your pants,” Alice said while swatting my hand away from the hem of my skirt. “You look great!”

Resisting the urge to tell Alice that I wasn’t actually wearing pants, sighing, I left my skirt alone. Why did I let them talk me out of wearing my tights? I always wore my tights with my uniform, even if it was a million degrees. I feel naked without them!

I looked at Lily and Alice’s bare legs. They barely ever wore tights. Well it’s okay for them. They have nice legs!

When Alice and Lily had asked me about my sudden urge for a make-over, in a moment of madness I confessed what Remus had said about my hair last night and how I wanted him to keep noticing me. I may have also gone into a very detailed ten minute girly gush about his hug...

Alice had squealed in girly giddiness at finding out I liked Remus. I made her swear she wouldn’t tell anyone! Lily, of course, had already known about me liking Remus since the train ride.

Lucky I had woken up early because it had taken most of morning before breakfast for Lily and Alice to finish helping me.

I have come to the conclusion that makeup is, at the same time, both amazing and evil. Evil because it hurts when you poke yourself in the eye with this stupid thing called a mascara wand. I mean, it’s not even a proper wand!

... I know that because I tried to wave it around and make it do magic. It didn’t. Lily and Alice laughed for ages.

 But it’s also amazing because it actually made my eyes look quite nice, for once making my usually murky green eyes more of a bright grass green. The mascara I didn’t mind. Even the eyeliner was alright. It was more my ‘improved’ school uniform I was worried about.

Alice had insisted that I shorten my skirt a tiny bit. She called me a nun.

“Just because my skirt isn’t so short you can nearly see my knickers does not make me a nun!” I had said in my defence.

“That’s true, but Shaylee, your skirt is closer to your ankles than it is to your knees. I’m surprised you don’t trip over it all the time! And as for your shirt... Well just put it this way, it sort of makes you look bigger than you actually are,” Alice said gently.

I will never tell her how often I actually do trip over my skirt. As for my shirt... well that is sort of true. It is very baggy.

So that is how I found myself walking to breakfast with Lily and Alice in a Gryffindor shirt that now hugs my curves and shows off my slim waist, (that’s what Lily said it did anyway), and a skirt that is just above my knees. I calmed down about my shortened skirt when I saw a fifth year Ravenclaw girl strut past in a skirt so short I could see her pink undies!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for ‘being myself and not having to change for anyone’, blah, blah, blah. But come on! I had to transition from 12 to very nearly 17 sometime, right?!

“So, what class do we have first?” asked Alice as she linked her arms through mine and Lily’s.

“Potions which should be interesting. All the houses are mixed together for NEWT levels,” Lily said but I was barely listening because I was currently having a mini-panic attack as we were just about to enter the great hall where the Marauders would be.

Alright brain, we can do this! Just make sure that the legs don’t decide to go off and do their own thing and make sure you have control of my mouth and we will be fine!

What am I talking about, I’m doomed!

“Look there’s Remus,” Lily said nudging me with a sly smile on her face while she unlinked arms and stood in front of me. “Right just remember what we talked about. It’s all about confidence! Remember to smile, shoulders back and just be yourself!”

Right. I can do this. Smiling, now not too alarming, might tone it down a bit, yes good, good.  Now shoulder’s back, standing straight. Good. Excellent.

“There you go,” Alice said with an encouraging smile which actually made me feel more confident.

I can totally do this!

The three of us walked casually towards the Marauders that were all laughing at Peter who had just spilt juice down his shirt. They all looked up as they heard us coming closer. Their eyes all widened as they looked at us.

That can’t be because of me could it? Oh god! I still have toothpaste or something on face! I was always an over enthusiastic tooth brusher. I blushed bright red and went to wipe my face when Sirius let out a low wolf whistle which caused many people to look over in our direction.

“Shaylee! Is that you?” Sirius asked with a sly grin on his face. I blushed so much that I felt like my face was about to catch fire as he, and amazingly, the rest of the Marauders looked me up and down.

Please ground, open up and swallow me whole!

I know I wanted attention but I take it all back!

“What Sirius is trying to say,” Remus began in a somewhat dazed voice and my heart did a somersault, “is that you look different.”

“Who knew you had legs!” James joked which caused Lily to roll her eyes.

I looked at Lily with a ‘What-the-heck-am-I-meant-to-say-to-that?!’ look and she thankfully saved me.

“Alright boys, eyes back in your heads please,” Lily said easily before sitting down next to James who looked delighted. Alice sat next to Peter and seeing that I had nowhere to sit, Sirius and Remus moved aside so that I could sit in-between them.

Oh Merlin, you have been very nice to me today. What do you want? You must want something if you are being this nice!

As I shyly sat down, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Remus glanced at me before looking away. He cleared his throat before reaching for the plate of toast, only to fumble and drop it, sending toast everywhere.


“Watch it Moony, if you’re not careful you will become as clumsy as Shaylee here,” Sirius said laughing while poking me in the ribs playfully.

“Hey! I’m not clumsy! I’m just... gravity challenged! Or something...” I mutter while smiling. Sirius rolled his eyes but Remus grinned at me.

Holy goodness. I am going to melt. Why must he be so gorgeous?

After an enjoyable breakfast, we all made our way to the dungeons for Potions. The Marauders were walking in front of Lily, Alice and I which was perfect because I could look longingly at Remus without being caught. Or that’s what I thought until I realised that Lily was looking at me.


She just smiled though and whispered, “Did you see how Remus kept glancing at you at breakfast!”

“What? Really? When?” I whispered back frantically.

“What are you girls whispering about back here? Is it how cute my butt is? I bet it is.” James said as he dropped back to walk with us while waggling his eyebrows. We couldn’t help but laugh, even Lily!

As we walked into the potions classroom I saw ‘Crazy’ Maisy waving frantically at Peter. He turned and glared at me.

“Mate I think you had better sit with her or else I fear she may hurt you,” James said while shoving Peter in Maisy’s direction. He had no choice but to sit with her seeing as how he nearly crashed into her.

Aha! You know what this means! Remus has no one to sit with!

As Remus took a seat behind James and Sirius, I was telling myself to ‘Just do it!’ I looked at Lily and Alice who had sat at a table and were mouthing at me, ‘Go sit with him you fool!’ I nodded and just as I was about to take a seat, the devil herself slid into the chair.

Okay, so when I say the Devil I don’t actually mean a red bloke with horns and a pointy stick took my spot next to Remus. That would just be weird.

It was Emily. Emma’s horrible best friend. One half of the Em&Em’s. Emily, the girl Emma was trying to set up with Remus at Quidditch training!

As I stood there open mouth staring at her, she turned around and smirked at me before saying to Remus in a simpering voice, “Oh you don’t mind if I sit here do you? Emma is ill today and I didn’t want to be on my own,” She even pouted! This girl is good.

Remus, being the kind and amazing guy that he is, really had no choice but to say he didn’t mind.

I like to think he was cursing her in his head and calling her horrible names. I don’t think he was. I think that’s just me.

Bloody great. Just when I get the chance to sit with Remus, another girl takes my seat! Lily and Alice looked at me lost for words. Great help they are! Where am I going to sit now?

I will tell you this for free, it will not be next to Germy Jamie. Again. All he does is sneeze and cough and look like he is about to keel over at any moment. Honestly, you think the boy has never heard of a pepper-up potion!

Just as I was contemplating pushing Sirius out of his seat so I could sit there, a piece of scrunched up parchment hit me in the back of the head.

I turned around to see where it had come from and sighed in relief when I saw McKinnen give me a small wave.

Oh merciful Merlin! You have saved me once again!

I smiled as I sat down next to McKinnen, only to realise that half of the class was looking at us. I raised my eyebrows only to realise that you can’t actually see my eyebrows through my fringe. I frowned instead and most of them looked away, the exception being James, Sirius, Remus, Lily, Alice and, very unfortunately, Emily. Peter was too busy looking at pictures of Maisy’s kitty-cats to notice.

They raised their eyebrows at me, so I went cross-eyed instead. I may have also stuck my tongue out like the mature woman I am... But that was only at Emily!

“You alright Shaylee?” McKinnen laughed as he saw my expression. I immediately stopped looking like a cross-eyed prat and fool and smiled at the boy next to me.

“Yeah... it’s just, why was everyone looking at us?” I asked, still confused.

This time McKinnen raised his eyebrows. “Uh, if you didn’t notice, the Gryffindor and Slytherin’s haven’t had a potions lesson together since fourth year. Also maybe the fact that we are the only two Gryffindor and Slytherin students sharing a table,” he said.

Ohhh, right. That whole stupid house rivalry thing. I just shrugged my shoulders at him which caused him to smile.

“You don’t care do you?” he asked, slightly surprised but none the less happy.

“Not particularly. I mean, so what if we are from different houses. You wear ugly green and silver and I wear pretty red and gold. So what? We can be friends right?”

“Are we friends?” asked McKinnen, a little timidly for a Slytherin.

Oh Shaylee you fool and half-wit! Just because you made some new friends does not mean everyone wants to suddenly be your friend!

“Err... if you want to be that is?” I mumbled shyly and was thankfully saved by Professor Slughorn entering the classroom and beginning the lesson, which today was making a cheering-up potion.

Well this is awkward. I asked if he wanted to be friends and then Slughorn interrupted and now McKinnen won’t talk to me! Great.

Feeling slightly put out I started on the potion, following the directions from my Advanced Potions Making book. I couldn’t stop myself from looking at the backs of Remus and Emily. Remus looked amazing from every angle. Emily how ever looked like a troll!

Okay, so that is a lie. She is very petite and has shiny blonde hair that seems to just sit perfectly and... Whatever. It’s not like I am jealous or anything.

Okay! So I am jealous! And why does she have to touch him so damn much! He should just give her a good karate chop to the arm! That would sort her out and make her stop touching him. Better yet, let me do it!

 I was chopping my roots with a little more force than necessary when McKinnen placed his hand over mine to make me stop mutilating my ingredients.

“I do want to be friends,” McKinnen said, releasing my hand. That distracted me from my silent cursing of Emily.

“Why did it take you so long to answer?” I asked, still feeling slightly rejected and avoiding making eye contact with him.

To my surprise, he laughed. I looked at him like he was loopy. “Did you not see the death glares I was getting from the Marauders? I thought it best to wait until they had at least started their potions before trying to talk to you... though if that is any indication, it might be hard for us to be friend’s,” he sighed as I saw his eyes flick towards the group of boys and back.

I had been so absorbed in attacking my ingredients that I hadn’t noticed that anyone had been looking at us.

I looked up and caught Remus looking at us with an odd look on his face and Emily with an annoyed look on hers. I looked away before they could catch my eye.

What was that all about? Maybe Remus didn’t eat enough breakfast this morning. That would explain his weird look. Maybe he is starving! Get the poor boy some food!

“Where are you going?” McKinnen asked, startled by my sudden movement. I hadn’t even realised that I had gotten up. I looked around for an excuse and saw that Remus and Sirius were both looking at me questioningly. Emily had returned to her potion in a huff.

Now brain, we have had this talk many times. I may tell you do things in a moment of insanity, like go get Remus food in the middle of class. That does not mean actually let me do them!

“I... er... have to go borrow something from Sirius! That’s it! I’ll be right back,” I said in a hurry, probably confusing the hell out of McKinnen.

Thank god that Germy Jamie had just sneezed into his cauldron causing his potion to bubble and overflow onto the floor which kept Slughorn preoccupied while I quickly made my way to Sirius and James’ desk.

“Are you alright Shaylee? If we had known Emily was going to sit with Remus we would have swapped you or something so you didn’t have to sit with a Slytherin” Sirius said in a dark voice with a quick glance at McKinnen who was throwing ingredients into his potion with quite a bit of force and rather carelessly.

Is he angry? Why? Gah! Boys are so confusing! First Remus is hungry now McKinnen is grumpy. What next, Sirius cries and James explodes?!

“What? Oh no, McKinnen and I are friends. I don’t mind sitting with him. I just came to borrow your er... skinning knife? Yeah! That’s it,” I said before picking it up and waving it around just to make sure he knew that I had it. I could feel Remus and Emily looking at me again. I had my suspicions that Lily and Alice were as well.

“Whoa, calm down there,” James said while grabbing my hand holding the skinning knife and putting it slowly down on the desk before continuing, “Wait, did you say you’re friends with him?”

“Yeah?” I more asked than stated.

“Why? I mean, he’s a Slytherin!” Sirius said, not bothering to keep his voice down and causing a few of the Slytherin’s around him to glare angrily at him. He just smiled charmingly before rolling his eyes.

“Yes, so?” I again asked.

“But... he’s a Slytherin!” James, Sirius and Remus, who proved he had been watching the exchange and had now decided to join in the conversation, said at the same time.

“Yes and I am a girl! Great observation skills you lot have!” I said in a bit of a huff before I went back off to my desk, still clutching Sirius’ skinning knife that I hadn’t even needed.

McKinnen was still throwing things willy-nilly into his cauldron.

Quick! Stop him before he blows us all up!

I did nothing.

You know brain how I said about not letting me do things? Now is not the time to actually listen to me for once! Stop him!

“Hey, are you okay?” I said gently while I placed my hand on his arm. He stopped and looked at me slightly startled to see that I was back.

“Did you get what you needed?” he said in a gruff sort of voice. He had returned to his potion but in a much calmer manner.

“Oh, yeah,” I said with a grin while waving the knife around again. He looked at me quite alarmed. I slowly put the knife down on the table.

“You could have borrowed mine you know...” he said in a soft, almost hurt voice.

What can I say to that? It will definitely not be ‘Oh I know I could have, in fact I actually have my own. But you see, you caught me in a moment of insanity and I thought the best way to avoid telling you what I was really doing was to make up some story and once I had said it I had to follow through with it otherwise you would have thought I was more not normal than ever...’

Definitely not that.

Instead I chose to ignore his remark and instead said, “You know, I still don’t know your name!”

Oh yes, very subtle change of subject I know. Whatever, I was under pressure okay!

McKinnen seemed to cheer up at this, though I’m sure he knew I was changing the subject on purpose, and said, “Ahhh I had forgotten you didn’t know. Is the curiosity killing you yet?” he said it with a grin which made me feel relieved.

“Yes! I can’t stand it! I need to know!” I said quite dramatically while laughing.

“Well, too bad!”

“What! That is so not fair! You know my name! It is only fair that you tell me yours!” and I punched him lightly in the arm just to make sure he got my point.

“Babe, I’m a Slytherin. We are anything but fair,” he said with a sly grin.

Babe? BABE?! Where did that come from? Outta space? I have never been called ‘babe’ in my life.

Not that it’s bad or anything. Just surprising. Hmm. Babe. Maybe he calls everyone that?

Teeheehee. I just pictured him calling Severus Snape babe. Oh so wrong. Still funny though.

 McKinnen cleared his throat, as if he had realised he had just called me ‘babe’ and quickly went back to his potion.

Deciding to be nice and save him from his embarrassment, I said, “Well how about this, whoever makes the better potion by the end of lesson wins. I win, you tell me your name. You win, I tell you my name. Deal? Good, go!” I then began furiously reading my instructions.

“Hey! That isn’t fair, I already know your name!” McKinnen said with a pout but he had already started on his potion again.

“I’m a Slytherin and nothing is fair... I also smell,” I said in a mock deep guy’s voice before grinning and getting back to my potion.


I am very obviously the best potion maker ever. Perhaps even a potions master! I should wear a cape and carry my cauldron around with me everywhere I go, even to the loo. I could take over the world if I wanted, not from the toilet obviously... But I won’t. I’m too lazy for that.

What I’m trying to say is that, I won!

Severus Snape even said so, and he is the best potions student Slughorn has. So there!

McKinnen and I had finished our potions at roughly the same time, a few minutes before the bell was due to ring. McKinnen had enlisted the help of Snape to judge our potions. He didn’t really want to but I think he did it just to show off his potion skills, as Lily and Alice and possibly the Marauders were listening in.

We didn’t tell him who had made each potion so it would be fair. After studying the two vials of cheering up potion, he threw McKinnens vial over his shoulder, drank mine while proclaiming it was the best potion he had ever seen before skipping jollily out the door.

Okay, so it didn’t EXACTLY happen like that.

It was more he sneered at both of the potions before saying, “This one is slightly better than this one, though that does not mean much for they are both only worth an E at best,” before giving us back our potions, looking bored.

Disregarding what old Sneery-Pant’s had to say about our potions grades, I turned to McKinnen with a giant grin and said, “I win! Bow down to me!”

I think I was letting my little triumph go to my head.

McKinnen just shook his head in mock sadness and declared, “I want a re-match!”

“No way! I won fair and square!”

“You call constantly pushing and poking me to distract me ‘fair and square’?” McKinnen asked with a raised eyebrow but with a grin.

“Why yes, yes I do. Now, let’s get down to business. I have come to collect what is owed to me. Mr. McKinnen, what is your name?” I said in a serious tone. By this time Lily and Alice had made their way over to our desk. I noticed that everyone had packed up and many students were standing around talking waiting for the bell. Slughorn was once again busy attending to Germy Jamie’s cauldron.

Seeming to almost ignore Lily and Alice, McKinnen sighed loudly and dramatically and said, “My name is...”

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING! The bell cut off McKinnen. He smiled devilishly and before I knew it he had grabbed his bag and was out the door but not before saying over his shoulder, “Gotta run, I’ve got Transfiguration. Don’t want McGonagall giving me another detention! See ya!”

I stared at the door open mouthed.

What? What?! WHAT?! Again?!

I hate him. I do. Really.

Well... sorta.

Okay, so I don’t. But I really do wish he would just tell me his stupid name! It is probably something like Bob. Or Merlin. Jesus maybe? My bet is Bob.

I looked at Lily and Alice, still open mouthed, and they just laughed at me.

“What was that all about?” Lily asked with an amused look on her face.

I explained about our little bet and they just laughed before Alice said, “I didn’t know you were friends with a Slytherin.”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “It’s no big deal.”

“What’s no big deal?” asked Sirius as he, James, Remus and Peter, who had escaped Maisy’s clutches, joined us on the way out of the classroom.

“You, my darling!” I said dramatically while grinning up at Sirius who pretended to look shocked. I had forgiven them for their jabs about me being friends with McKinnen.

My darling? Did I really just say that? Dear god, I did say that. And to Sirius Black!

“I am too a big deal! I mean, look at me!” Sirius said just as dramatically as I had, causing everyone to laugh as we made our way out of the dungeons.

“Hmm, nope, I don’t think so,” I said shaking my head.

“I have to agree with her Padfoot,” Remus said, winking at me.

Oh swoon! I think I actually managed to smile back! I didn’t dare attempt to wink back at him. I’m not very good at winking. I usually just end up blinking rapidly. It is actually quite scary for the recipient. Nice work though brain! Smiling is good!

Sirius gasped loudly and said in a shrill voice, “Take that back!”

We all carried on like this all the way down to the greenhouses for Herbology. I couldn’t stop grinning. My face actually hurt from it but who cares!

Alice, Lily and I sat at a table together with a quiet Hufflepuff girl named Sarah. I had a clear view of Remus from where I was sitting so I was happy. Lily gave me a knowing look. I poked my tongue out at her.

Just as I snuck a quick peek at Remus, I noticed he was looking at me as well.

I may have looked behind me to make sure he was actually looking at me...

He was.

He smiled at me and I very nearly toppled off my chair. What? He has that effect on me okay!

Not really knowing what to do, I smiled back, probably a little crazily, and quickly pretend to look through my bag for a quill.

I didn’t find a quill, though I did find a piece of folded parchment.

Looking around to see where the Professor was, I quickly unfolded the parchment. It only had two words on it.

‘Aiden McKinnen.’


A/N: Ahhh so we finally find out the infamous McKinnens first name! Love it? Hate it? Wish it were really Jesus? Let me know with a review! Thank you for reading!

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