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What They Don't Know by Just_Beyond_Your_Reach
Chapter 4 : Of Slumber Parties and Rude Awakenings
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 14

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A/N: There you go, my lovely readers. Chapter number four. I hope you like it!

It was nice to see her smiling. It really, really was. In fact, it made Remus smile just to see her smile.

But it wasn’t any regular smile. It was almost like a secret smile. Like he was laughing at this funny joke in his head, but nobody else was allowed to share in it. Perhaps Kat would get to realize that this had been come to known as Mr. Lupin’s signature smile in the enchanted walls and secret tunnels of Hogwarts.

Perhaps she would realize that girls had been trying to earn that smile for years, but Remus had rarely ever rewarded them for their efforts.

When she stood up and made her way towards the girl’s staircase, Remus watched her every move. But not in a stalker way, just in a curious way. It was like he had never seen a girl walk across the room before.

He vaguely heard her suggestion to get some sleep before disappearing from sight, but Remus doubted he would get much at all. Sure, he was exhausted…I mean, the full moon was just two nights away, but Kat left a sense of…

…Wait. The full moon. Shit.

The seventeen year old sunk into the cushions once more, his head falling into his hands. What if she wanted to know where he had gone? Even his ‘my auntie is sick’ excuse only lasted for a little while on James and Sirius. Damn it.

Memories of last year flooded his mind…Sirius and Snape and the Shrieking Shack. What if she found out about the shack and found him during his transformation? His stomach did a little flip-flop.
But really, the secret smile wasn’t the only secret thing about him. Remus secretly hated himself. Maybe not so much anymore, now that he had James and Sirius to boost his moral, and Peter cheering at every single step he took…but Remus hated himself.

And he, too, had been sought out by the death eaters that summer. Fenrir was always looking for new recruits to spread this horrible disease that had infected every cell in Remus’ body. A band of werewolves could scare anybody into joining the ranks of Voldemort.

And that’s exactly why Remus hated himself. The fact that he could be used as a weapon to scare families. The fact that, with just one unforgivable curse, he could ruin a ton of lives. Make them suffer like he had. Make them tear at themselves until they bled, make them practically go insane fighting instincts that they should never have had in the first place.

And if it hadn’t been for the fact that his father had been there, he probably would have been either dead or, even worse, under Voldemort’s control. That night was a close one. It was loud, it was chaotic, and it was scary as hell.

But there had only been two death eaters. Thank Merlin there hadn’t been any more.

His thoughts were interrupted, however, when the sound of a familiar voice filled the room.

“Is she gone yet?” came Sirius’ quiet question. Remus’ amber eyes looked up to find his friend’s head sticking out from behind the curve in the wall, his hand shielding his eyes (though he was clearly peeking from in-between his fingers), just in case there was some snogging going on.

“Yeah.” Remus answered, his frown departing from his face at once, fore he had realized what tonight was.

It was their annual Hogwarts reunion night. Or really, just an excuse to raid the kitchens and try not to get caught, and to turn the common room into their temporary dorm.

So it was no surprise when Sirius made his way down the steps, bringing with him about 80 blankets, all being dragged behind him like some kind of train to his pajamas. Behind him came a floating Peter, flailing in mid air and opening his mouth in protest, but no sound was coming out.

But this image was explained when James turned the corner, his wand outstretched and pointed towards the shortest of the Marauders. James didn’t even have to look at Remus as he arched a single eyebrow in question. He already knew what his reaction would be.

“He wasn’t waking up….” James explained, a smile plasters across his face, laughter in those hazel eyes of his.

And Remus started laughing too.

The sound was muffled, however, as Sirius threw his blanket-y bounty over his friend’s head, and when Remus ducked and fell sideways in a defensive position, Sirius sat on him.

“Hey, Prongsie. Check out this new section they just added to the couch. It’s wicked comfy.” Sirius said jokingly, pretending he couldn’t hear Remus’ cries of ‘Gerroff me, Padfoot. Gerroff!’, and that he couldn’t feel his squirming.

James started laughing, and finally dropped Peter’s floating form on a free armchair, a wave of his wand bringing back the voice that had been missing before.

Except now Peter was laughing, too. Finally, Remus rolled over enough that he actually knocked Sirius off of him and onto the floor, which made them all (including Sirius) laugh even harder. Except that Remus had rolled too far, and soon fell off the couch as well, right on top of Sirius.

“Dog Pile!” Announced James, and both him and Peter rushed at their friends before smothering them under their own body weight.

Needless to say, a friendly little wresting match ensued. Peter was the first out, sitting on the floor to the side to act as the cheering section. Then James and Sirius went at it, rolling about the floor, trying to keep each other pinned down. After 2 minutes, James was sitting on top of Sirius’ chest in triumph, Sirius letting out a little ‘Oomph’ sound of defeat.

“You’re goin’ down, my friend.” Was what came out of Remus’ mouth, trying to hide his smile behind a mock glare.

“Bring it on, Moony” came James’ reply

James stood, and so did Remus, before they started walking parallel to each other, tracing a circle on the floor.

“I bet you think you’re so high and mighty now. Sure, you can beat a dog…but can you beat a wolf?” It was Remus’ turn again. Taunting was a tradition, of course, and they all knew it didn’t mean anything.

“Oh, I’m shaking in my Pjs.”

“You should be.”

“Stags are ten times stronger than wolves. I’ll take you down in no time.”

“Oh, really? Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you. Do all stags wet their bed until a month before they come to Hogwarts? Or just you?”

“Oh, now it’s on.” James called, leaping dramatically in the air before both boys tumbled to the ground.

The match went fast. James was pinned, Remus was pinned, James was pinned, Remus was pinned….it seemed 30 seconds later, Remus had almost certainly won. He was straddling James, his hands pressed down on his shoulders and a smile of triumph oh his face.

Sirius was down on his hands and knees, slapping his hand against the floor.


But he never got to finish, as James twisted his hip and used the leverage to roll Remus over, so that he was now on top. Remus hadn’t been prepared for that.

“3…2…1!” Sirius called, standing up and grabbing James’ arm, before throwing it into the air. Peter imitated the sounds of a crowd, and Remus pretended to be almost crying in disappointment.

“And the bed-wetter wins!” Sirius called in his mock-loud voice (they didn’t want to wake the other Gryffindors), in which he was met by a twap over the head from the champion of the match.

Their fun went on for hours. They snuck through the halls successfully, pretending they were what muggles called ‘secret agents’ and doing all sorts of spy-like tumbles in the halls.

Finally, at 3 o’clock in the morning, with full stomachs and smiles on their faces, each Marauder found a place on the floor, made a little nest of blankets, and crawled in.

Four hours later, as residents of the tower started to descend the stairs for an early start, they would find the four 17 year olds, as they did at the beginning of almost every year, sprawled across the floor and looking awfully adorable in their peaceful slumber.

If Kat had had a magical eye that could see through solid stone downstairs into the common room, she probably would have had the common sense to go down and join the four down in the common room.

Unfortunately, she didn't possess those abilities, therefore when she found herself awake in the middle of the night; it was to face the rest of the starry darkness alone.

A nightmare had shaken her awake, as usual lately. In all honesty, there wasn't a time since her parents' deaths that she could remember sleeping through the night. Who would, having seen their mom and dad's dead bodies lying helpless in the middle of their kitchen? Not many.

However, due to the comfort and safety she drew from her surroundings at Hogwarts, it was only an hour or so before sunrise that Kat sat up abruptly in bed, sweating and shaking, hideous laughter still dying in her ears.

She lay in her bed for a while after that, staring at the dark red canopy and listening to the others breathe deep and even, (with the exception of Alice, who would snore gently every time she rolled into a certain position).

Unable to take that for too long, Kat finally threw off her covers and sat up, pulling her hair over one shoulder, yawning a little. Too little sleep hadn't really had an effect on her, since her body had adjusted to the changes, which was a bonus. As long as she didn't wake anyone up, no one need know of her difficulties sleeping.

Stretching, wide-awake, Kat moved silently over to the widow, dragging a sweater out of her drawer as she went. Finding the window seat a perfect spot for her to curl up in, Kat untangled the sleeves of the hoodie and pulled it on over her Pjs, then, thus warmed, curled up on the window seat, curling her knees up towards her chest and leaning against the wall, facing the window.

The sun was barely starting to rise over the Forbidden Forest, casting long, spectacular shadows across the grounds. Kat watched with expressionless eyes as the sky slowly lightened, casting pale shades of pink, purple, gold and gray across the heavens, each color slowly fading into a pale morning blue. Birds were beginning to spiral upwards from the dark trees into the morning light, and the sun had almost come up above the tops of the trees when Kat heard someone stirring behind her.

Turning to look over her shoulder, Kat found that the girls were slowly waking up one by one, and she yawned widely to make it look as if she'd only just woken up. Getting a friendly smile from Alice and a nod that was probably meant to mean "good morning" from Lily (who, coincidentally, didn't look like she was a morning person at all), Kat forced herself to move out of her warm window-seat nest and dragged herself over to the bathrooms for a shower, since, being a teen, she probably smelled worse than a troll at the moment.

The showers of the senior girls' bathroom were probably as princess-like as possible, though Kat couldn't really make a judgment, since she hadn't seen any of the ones from younger years.

Even still. Whoa.

Everything was shining white marble, with about five faucets made of solid gold in each of the showers. There were fluffy white towels lined along the long countertop, and a huge mirror embossed with gold that lined almost the entire wall.

Sure, she'd seen the bathrooms the night before, but it had been dark then. This was just...insane.

Obviously and understandably impressed, Kat moved over towards the showers and took of her Pjs, laying them neatly in the countertop before stepping into one of the showers. Standing in front of the taps, she looked them over curiously, wondering exactly why there were so many.

Figuring she may as well just try it out to see what happens, she turned on one of the golden faucets. A stream of warm water hit her skin, and at the same time the gentle scent of spices filled the air. The meaning was clear. The water in the different faucets were scented so that one's skin smelled the same.

Amused, Kat fiddled around with the different scents until she found one that she thought would work best; plain peppermint. After washing and stepping out, wrapping herself in a fluffy white towel, Kat delicately sniffed her arm, and found that if you got close enough, there was the faint scent of peppermint to her skin. Amazing.

As she let her long dark hair dry out, Kat dried off and got dressed, slipping into the uniform that she'd be wearing for the next year of her life; knee socks, skirt, blouse and blazer.

While she was occupied with getting dressed, the other girls had woken up as well, including Lily Evans, who was currently using her wand to dry her hair, and combat a curl to its body that she obviously did not want to have, the complete opposite of Kat, who had naturally long straight hair and would love to have natural curls.

Standing in front of the mirror, Kat forced herself to look, and found nothing but her own reflection. ‘See?’ She mentally scolded herself. ‘Nothing. You're getting worked up for no reason’.

Still not quite certain, Kat finished brushing out her hair so that it fell loosely over her shoulders, applied a touch of makeup, brushed her teeth, and then told Lily (who was still struggling with her hair) that she would meet her in the common room so they could go to breakfast.

Heading down the spiral staircase with a strange sense of renewed happiness growing within her, infectious from the excitement from other students about being back at Hogwarts again, Kat made her way towards the common room, where she was met with an amusing sight.

The four newfound friends that she'd made the previous day, all fast asleep and completely helpless against those who sought to disturb them.

Alice, who was right after Kat finishing getting ready, came up behind her. "Aww...bless them," she said quietly, starting to laugh quietly.

Kat tilted her head to one side, examining them for a moment before she got a mischievous glint in her eye, one that Alice didn't miss, and caused her to grin wider. "What're you scheming in that head of yours?"

Kat pretended to look offended. "Moi? Scheme? Never."

Silent as possible, the girl made her way over to the tangle of blankets that was the Marauders, earning scandalous looks from girls in younger years who happened to be infatuated with most of them and who viewed them as people whom new girls shouldn't dare go near.

Ignoring it, Kat stepped carefully over Peter, who had rolled away from the other three in the fits of a dream, made her way through the sea of quilts and blankets, and came up right beside the other three.

Putting one finger to her chin, and fully aware that everyone was watching her, Kat pretended to think for a moment. Winking at Alice, she turned around so her back was facing the lump of flesh, then fell gracefully backwards...right on top of all three at once, which was probably equivalent to being bombed in the night, considering they were all covered head to toe with blankets and couldn't see who she was.

If you have siblings, then you probably know that there are nicer ways of getting woken up than by somebody jumping on top of you.

Though, luckily, the Marauders were good sports. In fact, James even stored the technique in his mind for future uses.

But when something lands on you in an unexpected ambush, while you're dead to the world, it can be a bit shocking. Which is why there was an explosion of blankets and sheets as two of the three boys struggled to break free of their little cocoon, to see what was happening. For all they knew, they were under attack.

But when James and Remus finally got most of their torsos free and peaked above the covers, their panic slid away as they saw what had landed on them.

Kat. In fact, they both smiled. James even went so far as to laugh.

"Good morning to you, too." Was Remus' comment, looking at the head that rested on his lower abdomen with that signature secret smile of his. When he flashed it, two fifth year girls that were watching the scene closely turned to each other and started to whisper frantically to each other.

But he didn't really notice that.

"Wait...we're missing somebody here." James noted, his laughter finally subsiding. "Where's Sirius?"

"I don't know, mate. Why don't you look?"

So James did. He dove back under the covers again, moved around under the blanket for a moment or two, before resurfacing once more.

"Blimey... he’s still sound asleep." Came James' incredulous report. Remus just gaped at him.

"No way."

"I'm bloody serious."

"I mean, I knew he was a deep sleeper and all, but I didn't think he was that deep of a sleeper."

"We were ambushed, and he didn't even budge."

"And speaking about being ambushed, I think that's unacceptable behavior for a Gryffindor."

"Though admirable"

"Yes, definitely."

"But still.... This act cannot go without consequences. Don't you think so, Mr. Lupin?" James said in mock seriousness, both boys trying to fight the smiles that were begging to spread across their lips.

"No, definitely not. I agree, Mr. Potter. The girl needs to learn her lesson."

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Mr. Lupin?"

"Possibly, Mr. Potter. Very possibly."

"Part 1 or 5?"

"Five, I think."

"I agree."

"Then it's settled?"

"I believe so, Mr. Lupin."

"Splendid. On the count of three. 1..."



And at that moment, both of the awake Marauders threw the remaining blankets over Kat's form and rolled her until she was wrapped up nice and snug within the soft material, only her head sticking out.

"Heave hoe, mate." Ordered James, and the two of them stood up in all their Pj-ed glory, hoisting the bundle of blankets onto their shoulders like some sort of rolled up rug.

"To the Great Hall, Cap'n?" Remus asked, readjusting her form on his shoulder. He was in front, and once again on the head-end.

"Aye aye."

"Then to the Great Hall it is."

"Somebody wake up Peter and Sirius! C'mon, Alice." called James over his shoulder as they made their way out of the port hole, carrying their little treasure.

You could tell that the two boys felt very at home at Hogwarts. After all, they were walking around, still in their pajamas and bare-feet. James was only clad in a baggy t-shirt and maroon and gold sport- shorts that fell to his knees, and Remus was wearing an Italian undershirt and dark red plaid, pajama pants. Indeed, they must have been quite a site, carrying a bundle of blankets with dark hair sticking out of one end, and walking around it their nightclothes.

Practically every girl in Hogwarts would watch as the Marauders would go by anyway. But now, even some of the guys stopped to watch in amusement. Even if it was only 8 or so in the morning, pretty early for Hogwarts students to be up and about.

Only early birds were up this early, practically. Or morning people. The Marauders were not known to be morning people.

But this was a special circumstance. After all, it's not everyday you get to roll a girl up in blankets and walk around your school barefoot, in pajamas, carrying her around.

Kat wasn't sure if she should laugh or scream at them. One of the disadvantages of having a petite form? People could pretty much pick you up and move you around as if you were a bag of feathers.

As they started to parade her out the doorway, she started threatening them with a slew of ruthless deeds, promising nastier ones as they went along if they didn't put her down.

"You two, I swear, by Merlin's beard I'll have each of your feet removed from your bodies and tap dancing on your stomachs all day and all night until you collapse from lack of sleep!" She struggled. "I'll make vines grow out of your ears!"

The few students that were awake were pretty much summed up as a mixture of amused, amazed, and scandalized by what they were seeing. Okay, well mainly it was the girls that were scandalized, and the boys that were amused, save for a few infatuated girls who were more than just a little jealous. Kat couldn't see why. If they wanted to be carted around the school like an old crate, all the power to them. She'd have no part in it.

It was heading down any stairs that she got a little freaked out. You would too, if you were headed down them face-first. "If you drop me," she added, her voice dripping with venom, "you will never live it down, either of you." But she was laughing. All in good fun, who cared? ...As long as they didn't drop her.

Meanwhile, Lily Evans had gotten down the stairs just in time to see Remus Lupin and James Potter carting her new friend out the doorway and into the hallway. "Potter!" She called out, horrified, and started heading towards the porthole, pulling on her other shoe as she went. "Potter you get back here!"

Accidentally stepping on Sirius'...ahem...'lower area' as she ran, Lily headed out the porthole and after the three of them, and Alice, who was trailing behind, almost crying from laughing so hard.

"James Potter, you put her down this instant! You'll terrify the poor girl to death!"

Alice clapped her on the shoulder. "Aw come on Lily, all in good fun. She did give them quite the rude awakening."

Lily's green eyes were fuming. "That's beside the point!" She ran a little faster to catch up to them until she was walking side by side with the two Marauders and their female captive. "And you being Head Boy! You're setting a terrible example you know that!"

Apparently being ignored, she fumed a bit before trying a fresh attack again, talking loudly over Kat's steady flow of menacing threats. "I thought you'd gotten over teasing people needlessly! For all you know you could be terrifying the poor girl permanently!" She was on a roll now, flushed with frustration towards the black haired boy. "Embarrassing her like this! It's horrible! I thought your head had deflated at least a BIT over the summer Potter, but apparently I was wrong!"

Kat, meanwhile, couldn't hear any of this. She was too busy concentrating on her own threats to James and Remus, which were slowly getting stranger as she ran out of ideas.

"I'll...I'll boil your spleens in hot sauce!"

Miss VanDoyle really had nothing to worry about. The Marauders were strong, and there was no way they would drop such precious cargo. But they didn't tell her that. Her little threats to them were, in fact, quite amusing.

"...Tap dancing on our stomach, eh? I bet that would make for a good show." James muttered from the back, the smile on his face relaying all his current emotions in a way that only James Potter could.

"You know, for somebody who could very possibly become the first Mauradette, you're quite hostile..." Remus said in a joking manner, laughing as well, and turning his head so that he was looking into her face. "Though I do admire your creativity, I must admit. Where do you come up with these things, anyway?"

A few 6th year Hufflepuff females glared at the bundled-up girl in an envious fury at hearing what Remus had said. "The first Mauradette?" "Who does she think she is? Coming in here and snagging our guys on just her second day!" "She's probably just a slut. That's why they like her so much." "I mean, seriously. What does she have that we don't?" was their muttered conversation. Luckily for them, Remus and James hadn't heard a word of it, otherwise, they would have had something else coming.

However, somebody else's voice was the only thing their ears were hearing, and it seemed pretty pissed.

But it was then that their fun was taken from them, thrown to the floor, and stomped on until it was nothing but pieces of dust by a certain redhead.

James stopped first, without telling Remus, so that he kept walking for a moment before being rebounded backwards slightly.

“I thought your head had deflated at least a BIT over the summer Potter, but apparently I was wrong!'”

The smile that had been on James' and Remus' faces both reversed into a frown, their eyes watching a certain Miss. Evans.

Remus really did feel bad for James. He knew that James had really tried to deflate his head over the summer. Not that it was all that huge to begin with, but his ego was definitely smaller than it had been two years ago. Heck, he had even come to Remus for help at a few points, asking his advice on things and the whatnot. Then, he asked both Sirius and Remus to point out all of his flaws, so that he wouldn't get too cocky. That had been a hard thing to do, yes, but they had managed to get through it.

And now Lily didn't even notice the change. In fact, she was back to calling him Potter. Poor James.

But if Remus felt bad, then that was nothing to what James felt. He automatically put Kat's feet gently on the ground, and Remus released her as well, though he kept a hand on her upper arm to make sure she had regained her balance, wrapped in all those blankets.

"Lily...I didn't mean...I mean, we were just joking, and...and... I tried, Lily. I really tried." James tried to explain, his ability to form complete sentences thrown out the window. Which was an incredible sight in itself. James Potter seemed to always know what to say.

But not around Lily Evans.

"Look, I'm sorry." James said, Remus' words floating into his head from over the summer. 'It takes you a long time to apologize.' was what he had said. But James was changing, and so he said he was sorry right away. And meant it. "To both of you." He added, turning around to look at both the blanket- covered Kat, and a fuming Lily.

Remus nodded, finally letting go of Kat's arm. "Me too."

Well, this wasn't the ending to a good old-fashioned joke that Kat had been expecting. Apparently Miss Lily Evans took things a little more to heart than she'd first thought.

The change in atmosphere couldn't be missed by anyone nearby. The laughing, carefree tang in the air had suddenly changed to a subdued, almost hurt sort of feeling. Lily had obviously struck a nerve.

Using Remus' shoulder for support so she wouldn't topple over, Kat started to untangle herself from the prison of blankets that the two mischief-makers had trapped her in. It took a moment or two, but she finally managed it, the blankets falling away to rest at her ankles. Taking her hand away from Remus' shoulder, she heads slowly over to Lily, who had a strange look on her face.

Before she moved however, she gave Remus a small nudge, her voice quiet. "Hang on a minute, I'll talk to her."

Going over to Lily, who was looking at James with an expression that couldn't easily be classified, Kat took her arm gently and guided her away so that the boys couldn't hear them. Looking at the other girl with a steady gaze for a moment, she spoke.

"I know. You don't have to hide it."

For a moment she tried to play the naive card. "I don't know what you're talking about." She tried to move past her, down the hallway and away from the rest of them.

Kat tightened her grip on her arm, not too much, but enough to keep her in one place. The two girls were almost exactly the same height, so one couldn't look all that threatening to the other, but Kat was doing the best she could. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. Why are you hiding that you like him?"

Lily's green eyes suddenly darkened as the light left them. She'd been found out. "I...I don't know. It's complicated." She squeezed Kat's hand quickly. "I'll tell you later," she said, even quieter.

Why did she trust this girl? She was brand new, didn't know a thing about anything...but...still. She felt inclined to trust. There was just...something. And besides...she'd been trying to keep it hidden from people for a while now, and she didn't know how much of that she could handle.

Sighing, Lily turned back towards James and Remus, the former of whom looked quite disheartened. Lily took a deep breath, but didn't know what to say.

Kat decided to interfere before this got insanely awkward. "So you see was really just my fault...stupid really. You don't need to blame them, it's not like it was without reason."

Lily nodded silently, watching James carefully. ‘I really hurt him’. It was strange, and it made her feel awful.

Kat glanced over and Remus, and sort of half shrugged. She didn't know what to do.

Leave it to Sirius to break up an awfully awkward moment.

"It was traumatizing. There I was, sleeping like a baby, and suddenly this horrible pain shoots through me." He retold the tale of his brutal awakening in a dramatic voice to the two 6th year Gryffindor girls (who had both been there when it happened) that were walking next to them. Sirius had an arm around each one, as if using them for support as he walked down the hallway.

"Aw, you poor thing." one of them, the brunette, cooed.

"Do you think you'll be alright?" the other one, the blonde, said in a worried tone. Her big blue eyes were looking up at him as if he were some sort of demi-god.

"Somehow, I'm sure I'll make it through this." Sirius replied in a mock-hero voice.

Both of the girls looked at each other, giggled, and then looked back up at Sirius.

"You're so brave." the blonde one said, putting her hand over the one that was draped over her shoulder. Sirius gave it a light squeeze, before explaining.

"Aw, really, girls. You're too nice." In a modest way. Both girls giggled again.

"Hey! Look who it is! My buddies!" Sirius added, as if he had just seen them. Miss blonde and Miss brunette just waved.

"Listen, girls. I'll see you later, alright?" Sirius said with a wink, removing his arms from his shoulders. He seemed to remember exactly how to walk by himself in no time, but the two girls didn't notice this at all.

"Bye, Sirius!" They called together as they walked down the hall, giggling and muttering excitingly to one another, the blonde clutching her hand as if it had just been blessed by the pope himself.

James was still looking disheartened, and Remus was looking curiously between Lily and Kat, wondering what the hell had just happened.

"What's with all the long faces, you guys?" Sirius asked, walking to stand in between James and Remus. They looked quite out of place, all three of them darned in their Pjs, within a sea of black robes. "It's the first day of our last year of classes! You should be enjoying yourselves. C'mon. Let's go eat...wait..."

Sirius stopped, his grey eyes catching something.

"Why are all the blankets on the hallway floor?"

This, finally, broke a smile on James' face. Remus' too.

"Never mind. The house elves'll put 'em back. I'm starved, around you Remus?"

Remus nodded. Good, they were recovering from the awkward moment. Just like they always did.

"Yeah, I am."

"Then it's settled!" Sirius announced, giving his friends a good twap on the back. "Let's go!" Sirius said, marching onward down the hallway in a black tank top and a pair of boxers. Remus just rolled his eyes, and they followed.

Remus, however, moved closer to Kat, so that they were next to each other, before leaning over to whisper in her ear, his breath warm on her skin.

"What was that all about? The thing with you and Lily, I mean?"

Kat shook her head at Remus' quiet question. "Girl stuff bud. It's one of the great mysteries of life that you'll never be privileged to."

Watching Lily carefully as she walked ahead of them, trying to pretend that she wasn't avoiding James' gaze, Kat followed along with them down the grand staircase. The paintings were just starting to wake up, and they all cast sleepy glances at the group as they all passed by, one talking animatedly about anything under the sun, one regaining her composure after an awkward encounter, and yet another trying to finger-comb her hair after having it messed up somehow and made quite static-y.

And of course, there was the fact that three of them were in their Pjs.

Peter still hadn't joined them, but he'd eventually meet up with them, if not at breakfast then certainly in class.

Trooping into the Great Hall in a mass of clothing and trodding feet, they found that it was a bit too early for many people to be awake just yet. There were a few Gryffindors, including the girls who had escorted Sirius down the stairs (who giggled and waved at him), a couple of over-eager Ravenclaw first-years, random Hufflepuffs and a small group of Slytherins who had their backs to the new group, as well as one Slytherin who sat alone, nose buried in a Potions book, only his dark greasy hair visible above the cover page.

Kat let out a small breath. For some reason, she'd been under the impression that every time she set foot into this place, it would be a massive swarm of people. Obviously she'd been overreacting. Students certainly wouldn't have set times to be somewhere, and then all at once go somewhere else. They're human beings Kat. There's only so much order that one can expect from them.

Smiling to herself with a bit of relief that she wouldn't have to go around constantly with a mob of complete strangers, Kat allowed herself to be tugged along with the rest of them towards the Gryffindor table, where Sirius had already plopped himself down, fully prepared for some breakfast. After all, it had been...what...six hours since the last time he'd eaten?

Long time, in his books.

Taking a seat in between Remus and Lily, across from James and the rest, Kat looked around her. Okay, people were used to her by now, so she wasn't getting SO many stares...except...from the Slytherin area. They were obviously trying to keep it hushed up, but they were plainly looking towards her.

A little freaked, Kat nudged Lily. "Hey," she said, looking over towards the suspicious looking bunch. "why do the Slytherins always seem to be up to something?"

Lily lowered her glass of orange juice and followed Katrina's gaze before looking back to the girl beside her and speaking in a low, assured voice. "The Slytherins are famous for producing Dark witches and wizards. There isn't one that went bad that wasn't in that House. There's something wrong with the lot of them."

Kat stared over towards them. Dark witches and wizards? A chill that she didn't know the source of went over her. Come on. They were just kids. No one could prove exactly where they were going to go with their lives. It was just a stupid rumor, right?

Lily, chewing a piece of toast, took a moment to pause, swallowed, and then continued. "They say You-Know-Who himself was in Slytherin."

That did it. She wasn't even not-so-sure now. If he had been in that house, then his followers must have gone there too, and his follower's children...

At that moment, Malfoy himself chose to stride right through the Great Hall, give a little sneer and a smile in Kat's direction, and then went straight over to the huddle of Slytherins.

More people were entering the Great Hall now, adding to the noise and crowded atmosphere of the table, squishing everyone close together, but the body heat from others did nothing to warm Kat up, and she could barely control herself so she didn't shiver.

‘Calm down’, she coached herself. ‘Look. Dumbledore's here for Christ's sake. Nothing can possibly happen.’

As it always did, that reassuring thought calmed her down. Hogwarts. Somewhere safe. And April was with experienced older wizards who could protect her. Everything was fine...she could breathe easy now. It may not be permanent, but for now, it was good enough.

Turning pointedly away so she couldn't see the Slytherin table, Kat moved to start to eat the breakfast in front of her before Sirius noticed that she wasn't using it and decided to give it a better location where it could be put to use...the inside of his stomach. Picking up her fork, she skewered a glob of scrambled eggs onto it and put it in her mouth. As usual, the food was spectacular, and at the first bite she realized that she really was hungry, and took another bite without hesitation.

Conversation started to swirl around her as people came down from the common room, but it was all lost to Kat, for she suddenly lowered her fork and looked around at the three boys. "...You do realize you're all still in your pajamas right?"

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