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 Fuck my life. I mean seriously, what did I say? I knew this was going to kick off and the last thing I need is to be caught in the middle of it. And yet, here we are. Zara’s just told Kate the truth about her and Antony at breakfast and now I’m wedged between the pair of them in Potions. Usually, we wouldn’t share lessons as I’m in the year above, but Slughorn thought the 6th years would benefit from our experience. Like any of us were good at the subject. The three of us were sharing a cauldron and, as I dropped our next ingredient in, I realised that I was the only one doing any work. The other two were sat in complete silence, facing opposite each other, occasionally turning around to shoot daggers at the others forehead. Kate hated Zara for quote: “Stealing her guy.” Zara hated Kate for quote: “Being so obsessive and immature.”

“Could you please give me a hand, one of you!” I groaned. “You don’t have to talk to one-another but I could use a hand!”

“Fine!” they both snapped at the same time. I groaned again as they both snatched up something and started chopping furiously. Before I could get a word in, they had both hurled their ingredients into the cauldron, which started to bubble furiously. I looked at the girls, panic starting to set in.

“What did you put in?” I asked Zara.

“Flobberworm mucus.”

“And you?” I turned to Kate.

“Flobberworm mucus.”

“Oh hell!” I muttered. The potion was a volatile one at the best of times and putting in too much mucus would cause it to well…

The potion erupted as I hit the deck, showering half the class in strange blue foam. I crawled out from under the table. Zara and Kate were covered from head-to-toe, the foam almost absorbing into their skin. They looked a hell of a lot like smurfs. I would have smiled, but I knew what the potion did. Why me? What had I done to deserve this?

“Miss Rudder, Miss Healmsly. Care to explain?” Slughorn asked.

“Too much flobberworm mucus. Not enough communication,” I explained, irritated.

“Well then Miss Hunt, you’d better take them to the hospital wing. I assume you’re aware of the repercussions of this particular potion’s effects?”

“Yep. And believe me Professor, this isn’t going to be fun for me either.”

“If I’m honest Miss Hunt, the potion does all the punishment for me.”

Getting to the hospital wing was a laborious process, because, thanks to the potion, Kate and Zara couldn’t move more than 2 inches apart from each other. It was, irritating to say the least and I hoped that good old Madam Pomfrey could help us out. Unfortunately, according to her, the potion to separate them would take a day to brew. So, as apparently this was “all my fault” (at least they finally agreed on something), it was up to me to stop them killing each other for a grand total of 24 hours. I repeat for emphasis. Fuck. My. Life.

Two hours in and I was already fancying suicide. The pair of them were still refusing to talk, but they’d each make the occasional jerking movement that would yank the other uncomfortably. I did my best to stop them from being bitches to each other but it was easier said than done. Much easier said than done. It was almost lunch and I’d finally got them to almost settle down. At which point, naturally, Antony turned up. He obviously hadn’t heard about the little squabble. And so, as we were relaxing in the library (we’d been given the day off lessons because of our circumstances and well to be honest it wasn’t relaxing but that’s the best adjective I’ve got) he came in, sat down on Zara’s other side and kissed her gently. Zara smirked, victory written all over her face. I held my head in my hands, eyes trying not to avert from Kate, who was almost certainly about to burst into tears.

“Hey Zara, how’s your day gone so far?” he asked, acknowledging me with a nod.

“Oh pretty shit, ended up with an exploding potion which bonded me to Kate,” Zara tried to be nonchalant but it was clear she was annoyed.

“Well that can’t be too bad can it, I mean you two are best friends,” Antony grinned.

Yep there go the waterworks. Kate was crying her eyes out. I shifted so she could cry on my shoulder which earned me a scathing glare from Zara.

“We were but then she turned into a cry-baby,” Zara replied angrily.

“Oh,” Antony seemed taken-aback. “That’s a real shame, I mean you two are such great friends, I’d hate to see anything ruin that. Well, I’ve got work to do; I’ll see you at lunch Zar just wanted to check everything was alright.”

He whispered something in her ear which almost made her smile and then he was gone. Kate turned to Zara, fury evident in her eyes.

“How could you do this to me?” she wailed. “He’s Antony-fricking-Goldstein. You know how I feel about him.”

“Oh so because you like a guy that’s never going to date you I have to back off?” Zara growled.

“That would be what a normal friend would do!” Kate snapped. “What do you think Lucy?”

Oh shit. Don’t panic. Think.

“Lucy agrees with me!” Zara interrupted.

“No she agrees with me!”

“No. Me!”

“Shut up both of you!” I yelled, earning me a death stare from Madam Pince. “You’ve both blown this way out of proportion and to be honest, I’m sick of the pair of you. I’ve had to sit here all day, watching you two snap, glare and shove each other. You’re supposed to be best friends and you’re squabbling like a couple of toddlers.”

I was hopeful that my little rant, insane as it was, would give them both a kick up the backside. They looked at each other, then growled and tried to storm off in opposite directions. Naturally, they were pulled back towards each other in a crashing motion and I waved them away, turning my back on them as I marched out the library.

I was sulking. After lunch I had my dad for DADA and I sulked all the way through the lesson. Harry and Ron both commented on how cheery I was and I told them where to shove their cheeriness. Neville managed to cheer me up a bit and by the end of the day; I was in a much better mood, no longer worrying about the girls. Ginny, however, was in a foul mood as she arrived at dinner. When questioned, she shot me a filthy look.

“Your lovely friends Kate and Zara had a free with me last lesson and they’re a huge bundle of fucking joy today. Can’t you take them for a while?”

“I had to deal with them all morning, it’s someone else’s turn,” I whined.

“You guys can’t just hand them around like they’re a pet!” Neville interjected. My eyes lit up and so did Ginny’s. Plastering adorable smiles on our faces, we looked at Neville.

“Neville?” I asked in the sweetest voice imaginable.

“No way,” Neville protested. “I was going to see Hannah tonight. I’m not looking after them, I’m not.”

“Please Neville?” I asked my voice still as sweet as sugar. “It would mean a lot to me.”

“Fine then,” he groaned. “But you owe me one.”

Finally freed of whatever burden I had over Kate and Zara, I joined Harry and Ron in the common room as we relaxed (properly this time). Hogwarts really was a stressful place and we were all glad of the time to just sit around and do nothing, maybe practice a bit of magic. Hermione and Ginny were off doing…whatever it was Hermione and Ginny did and, best of all, Tom was nowhere to be seen for a change. That was another dark cloud I didn’t want looming over my head. Any mention or thought of Malfoy wracked me with fear and anger. And just general negative feelings. It was almost December and as I looked out the window, the first white flecks of snow were just starting to form in the sky. I sighed as the wind hurled itself at the window, and the rain fell from the sky, obnoxiously ignoring the fact it should be snow. I opened the window and twirled my wand through the wind, turning the nearest raindrops into snowflakes. Harry and Ron were playing chess again so as I watched my breath turn to steam and then magically turn to snow, I was alone. And I liked it. The peace and quiet of the night, coupled with the beauty of the snow. I twirled my wand through my hair, curling the odd strand as I did so. I looked out over the landscape. It was a beautiful night. And then, as is always the way, my tranquillity was shattered by a shrieking owl that collapsed at my feet. It had clearly been weakened by the storm and as I took off the letter attached to its leg, I realised it was Sebastien.

“Are you okay Seb?” I murmured, ruffling his feathers. “Thanks for the letter buddy.”

Dear Lucy, it read.
I have good news. Mum and I are coming to Hogwarts at the weekend so we can get to work planning the wedding. You’re going to love it Luce, I’ve got so much planned. Obviously Cousin Harry is invited and if you want to bring a date I’m not going to say no ;). We’ll talk more on Saturday.
Lots of love, Amy xx

My heart skipped a beat. A date? My initial thought was Tom but maybe that would be a bit awkward. But then, it was a friendship opportunity and I did so dearly want to remain friends with him…

“Lucy!” Neville yelped, interrupting my thoughts by rushing into the common room. I groaned and looked at him. He was a mess, like he’d been on the back end of a fight.

“Oh Merlin, what did they do?” I asked guiltily. I should never have left them with Neville. For Merlin’s sake the only things Neville can take care of are plants.

“They started arguing and then they started wrestling,” Neville wheezed.

“I’ll take care of it,” I groaned.

Neville showed me where the girls were grappling (third floor corridor) and I attempted to intervene. Well, it wasn’t easy. You try separating two people who are stuck together. I grabbed Kate and tried to pull her off Zara, but Zara came with her. I then tried to get between the pair of them but that didn’t work either. I was kicked, scratched and probably bitten. I went to step back and grab my wand but a stray foot sent it flying out of my grasp. I attempted to move away but I was wedged between them, both of them willing to get through me to hurt the other. Someone pulled my hair and I yelped in pain, as another girl kicked me in the back of the leg.

“Neville!” I yelled. “Do something!”

“Um, yes, right!” Neville panicked. Never turn to this boy in a crisis. He fumbled with his wand, muttering incantations out loud trying to think. A quick word of advice. When trying to think of a spell, whatever you do, DON’T for the love of Merlin, mutter out loud. Because your wand, well…Whatever Neville was muttering, it was explosive. Sparks shot out the end of his wand and exploded as they made contact. The three of us were blasted apart. The potion had been broken and the girls were individuals again. A combination of the fight and Neville’s spell had left us all dazed. As the girls sat up, I prayed to Merlin I didn’t look like them. Their clothes were torn and ripped, blackened by soot. Their faces were flushed and streaked with black and their hair was all over the place. I was too tired to care though. As I stumbled to my feet, Neville rushed over to support me.

“I hate you Nev,” I muttered. “But thanks I think.”

“You’re welcome Luce,” he smiled. “Let’s get you back to Gryffindor Tower.”

“What about those two?” I asked, gesturing to Kate and Zara.

“After everything they’ve put you through, I don’t think leaving them here is terribly unreasonable,” Neville grinned.

“My hero,” I laughed, kissing Neville on the cheek and making him blush. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”

“No it’s fine Lucy. I’m just starting to regret not spending tonight with Hannah.”

“Honestly Nev, I don’t blame you.”

I was feeling better by the time we made it back to the common room, me leaning on Neville for support. Harry and Ron raised eyebrows upon our entrance and I thanked Neville, ushering him off to find Hannah, and then headed over to the pair.

“What the bloody hell happened to you?” Ron asked. I shot him a pointed look.

“What do you think happened? My dearest friends Kate and Zara of course,” I groaned.

“Sorry about them,” Harry smiled. “Reckon they’ll stop fighting anytime soon?”

“I doubt it,” I grumbled. “They’re determined to be more stubborn than each other.”

“I bet they are,” Ron muttered. “Never liked that Zara, too rough for my taste.”

Harry and I shot him odd looks.

“You just don’t like her because of the Quidditch game,” I pointed out. “That reminds me, Harry, we need a new beater.”

“No we don’t,” Harry waved it off. “Zara’s learnt her lesson, she can stay on the team.”

“But she’s got to work together with Kate!” I cried. “And right now they hate each other!”

“They’ll sort it out,” Harry reassured me. “Our next game isn’t until the new year anyway, relax.”

“If you say so,” I muttered darkly.

Ginny and Hermione re-entered at this point, giggly beyond belief. I was worried. Ginny giggling was bad enough on its own and usually signalled that what was coming next would be problematic. But Hermione? This could only result in the apocalyptic end to the world or something else equally as bad. I slumped beside Harry as they rushed over.

“Guess what guys?” Ginny tittered. “We just overheard Dean Thomas say he was still a virgin.”

Harry and Ron snorted and I rolled my eyes.

“I’m not surprised,” I muttered. “He’s a bit…you know. Don’t suppose you saw Tom on your travels did you?”

Both their faces fell at this. I frowned.

“What is it?”

“Lucy,” Ginny replied gently. “We saw him in the Room of Requirement, with a girl. I’m really sorry.”

“Oh.” My voice suddenly seemed broken. I took a deep breath, trying to blot out the fact they were all looking at me concerned. “Good for him.” I hope she fucking dies in a pit.

Draco Malfoy sat, watching the window. As his owl came in to land, he plucked its letter off its claws, causing it to howl in pain. He ignored it. He flipped open the letter and read quickly, absorbing its contents. They were ready. The other members of The Movement were waiting for him to get them in. Hogsmeade was the first step and from there, they would move in on the castle. With stealth, of course. Lord Voldemort had thought he could win with power alone. Malfoy would kidnap Harry Potter and his friends and they would be the perfect ransom for the ministry. The time of the Movement was coming, fast. Harry Potter would be nothing beside him. Draco Malfoy, new leader of darkness. He summoned some parchment and a quill and wrote a single word on the piece of parchment before sending his owl back out into the storm.

A/N: Hey there guys, turns out the internet round the other side of the world is good enough that i can get on here and send off chapter 14 ;D Please please review and let me know how you think the story is going :D HP

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