From the personal notes of Piper Stone...

I... Am very tired... And I have a lot of ground to cover, so screw story mode. This is summary mode. There is a lot to tell and they don't serve coffee at dinner.

I didn't go to bed until six in the morning on Septeber First. We get up at eight for breakfast and final packing checks before leaving for King's Cross. Despite hoarding almost an entire pot of coffee to myself, I was still dragging ass at the platform. Information buzzed inside my head. Is still buzzing. I could hardly concentrate on the train. Dad gave me what must have been close to the complete history of his family.

Distantly related to the Weasleys (I really can't stress the word distantly enough) and the Potters. Cousins with the Malfoys and Lestranges and the Metamorphmagus named Tonks. I'm still reeling from the fact that Sirius Black is not a singer. I think I need to talk to Mr. Lovegood about fact checking... I know I should know better, being friends with Harry, but I trusted The Quibbler.

Mum and Dad changed their names and went into hiding; originally, they were Regulus Black and Christina Holloway. My own name is not even my own.

"Family traditions die hard," Dad had said. My 'secret' birth certificate names me Carina Amelia Black. Nice to meet you.

Morgan's "real" name is Cassiopeia. Jake's is Orion. It's silly.

The words smear on the parchment and splatters of ink liter the page.

Sorry, sorry... I started giggling... I think I've hit slap-happy.

There was a space under Sirius Black's name on his family tree. He said it was a rumor that his brother had fathered a child, but it was unconfirmed. He said Sirius didn't know anything about it and that he hadn't been able to track down the witch who made the claim. It was harder to do these things when you were detached from the Wizarding World. There was also a space next to Draco on the tree with the name 'Mira' in place of a picture and a question mark. He said the Malfoys had a daughter. I've never heard of her, but he said it was rumor that she died or disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Dad says he thinks she was a squib and if they did when he thinks they did, he intended to make sure someone answered for it.

I didn't ask what he thought they did. My imagination is enough to keep me from asking.

I berated my father with questions. He picked and chose the ones he would answer. He would not tell me what he was doing that almost got him killed, but he did tell me that Mum was marked for death- part of the reason they went into hiding. He said he thought he could change the world, being a Death Eater. Said he never thought they would do anything to Mum because she was half-blood. Asked someone for help (he wouldn't say who) and they sent him to Professor Dumbledore. Professor told him about the Potters and suggested doing the same. Sirius was the Secret Keeper.

I feel the strange urge to call him Uncle but having never done so makes it sound stranger. I've never had an uncle. But I always had one. I can't... My head hurts...

It turns out Dad already had this meeting with Jake and Morgan, so why it took him so long to tell me, I don't understand. Something about me being friends with Harry, being to close to it all...

The train... I hardly remember the Prefect's meeting, but I know that Ron went out of his way to make it as entirely uncomfortable as he could manage. Good thing I was too tired to care. (Can I stress again how very distantly we are related?) Before I could make it back to the comfort of my compartment with Terry (Luna was sitting with Harry, sadly) I got snagged up by a walrus. Ginny cast a Bat-Bogey Hex on someone and got whisked away by him first and before I could escape, she spouted off some nonsense about how I was good at spells, too. The man took one look at me and said I reminded him of someone (that makes a lot more sense, now, I suppose) and invited me along. Ginny looked in straights and I was too beleagured to protest. So, somehow, I ended up in the strangest lunch where this walrus-man (I now know he's our new teacher) kept talking about people's relatives and how he knew them and how successful and blah, blah, blah...

I would have finally gotten some sleep then, but Ginny kept pinching me every time I dozed. Little bint.

When I finally got back to my compartment, Terry wouldn't let me sleep, either. He kept talking and talking and... Ugh.

My candle is getting low. It's harder to see and that makes me all the more sleepy. What I wouldn't give for a Pepper-Up Potion. Bollocks, it must be two in the morning...

Harry wasn't at the feast at first. He finally came in with Professor Snape (promoted to Defense Against The Dark Arts, by the by) with blood on his shirt. I didn't get a chance to ask why.

I think... That's everything. Everything I can remember. I had to get it all down before I forgot. Even if no one ever reads this. Even if I'm the only one who knows. I need to have this. To remember. I'm so tired...

I blew out the candle and wobbled my way up the stairs to my dorm. Everyone was quiet and asleep. Luna was still wearing her spectrespecs, the latest issue of The Quibbler on her night stand. I shook my head and drew her hangings closed. I couldn't wait to talk to her in the morning, but what could I really tell her? The words 'be careful of who you trust' rang in my head. But who could I trust if not my best friend? Plus, she was friends with Harry, too.

With a sigh, I knelt down next to my trunk and dug to the bottom to hide my notes on the events of the last twenty-four-ish hours. Finally, at long last, I climbed into bed. I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow.

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