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Nature's Bounty by tiberiusirius
Chapter 15 : All Quiet on the Gryffindor Front?
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 3

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The very next day Ryu was pulled out of her Transfiguration class by Sid to sign papers and finalize the sale.


When her friends saw Sid enter the room, and McGonagall give her permission to leave, all of their eyes went wide. Save James and Sirius of course, who looked nothing if not smug.


None of them had any idea she made a decision, and the evening before, she made James and Sirius promise not to tell any of the others about her plans to buy the compound. She didn't want to be put in the middle of an argument once Lily found out she lost the bet, so she thought it was better it appear she made the choice of her own accord and that everyone was in the dark about it.


James and Sirius had been celebrating practically before she agreed to buy the house, but she left them very little time to celebrate. In fact, she socked James right in the stomach just as he was about to leap into the air for the fifth time because he hadn't yet agreed not to tell.


“James!” She yelled at him, it didn't catch his attention. “James!” She yelled once more, except this time she ensured he would stay on the ground and pay attention by giving him a swift punch to the gut.


He did in fact stay on the ground. “For the love of Merlin what?” Groaned James hunched over clutching his stomach. Sirius stood next to him holding back laughter.


Ryu gave him a stern, level, and somewhat threatening look. “You are not to tell Lily about this arrangement. Is that clear?”


James looked up at her like she’d gone mad. “Of course I'm going to tell Lily! Why wouldn't I tell Lily?! I can't wait to rub in her face!” He looked absolutely jovial as he thought about what he had won. “Finally! After all these years of trying to sneak into your dorm to see her naked, my dream is coming true!”


Ryu rolled her eyes trying to ignore the thought of having James in her dorm. “Gahhh! James!” She whined. “I specifically said I didn't want to know the terms! I can't believe this! They have to get naked?” She asked incredulous and wondering how in the hell they got the girls to agree to the terms. “Now Lily's totally going to kill me if she finds out I knew there was a bet!”


“So?” asked James shrugging his shoulders. “What's that got to do with me?”


“Jammeeeesss” She stamped her feet sullenly. “They are going to be so bloody pissed at me if they think I fell for one of your schemes.”


“So?” Asked James with a blank stare, once again shrugging. “You did fall for one of our schemes.”


Ryu sighed realizing that James really didn't care if everyone else was mad at her as long as he got the chance to see Lily starkers. Sympathy clearly wasn't going to induce him to keep his mouth shut, she was going to have to try a different route. “Look, James, I didn't exactly fall for your scheme. As far as I'm concerned, we made a deal, and you are going to have to keep your end of it if you expect me to follow through on mine. Besides, don't you think it would be fun to, I don't know, keep this from them for a little longer?” She tried.


James' blank expression turned intrigued upon hearing the word 'fun'. He motioned for her to go on, and a sly smile slid over her lips. In order to manipulate James Potter all you had to do was make him think he was going to have some harmless amusement at other people’s expense. In this case it was going to be at all her other friends expense. But that was all for the better, there was nothing James liked more than to pull one over on his own friends.


“Can't you imagine the look on their faces if they think that I bought the compound without any of your influence, and without telling anyone what I was doing? It'd be hilarious! You know Lily doesn't think I'm going to pick the compound! They'd be so shocked! Besides, if Lily knows that you both basically manipulated me into winning because you got my hopes up for a roommate, she might renege on the bet and refuse to admit you won. ”


Hmmn.” Considered James looking thoughtful and stroking his chin. “I see your point.” He turned to his best friend, “What do you think Sirius?”


Sirius shrugged. “I think I already agreed to keep my mouth shut Prongs, which is probably why you got punched in the stomach and not me.”


“Oh, I thought she was just discriminating against you, makes more senses now.” James nodded to himself. “Okay, as much as it pains me to have to keep this information to myself, I'll agree to keep quiet so I can have a bit of fun seeing them all downright pissed.” He grinned widely, “Lily's going to be livid. I love it when she gets worked up.” He looked like a love-sick puppy.




The boys had groaned about keeping their mouths shut at first, specifically James who was desperate to rub their win in the losers faces, but they eventually agreed to keep quiet. The only problem with the arrangement was that laying low for them meant walking about the castle striding in a smug, arrogant lope. Give those boys even a chance to be associated with any type of joke, and they go around smirking at everybody in a knowing, condescending way that practically screams 'I know something you don't know!’. She very well may have screwed herself by making any sort of deal with James and Sirius. They definitely skipped the day they taught the word 'subtle' in primary school.


It goes unsaid that, although the boys hadn't come right out and told the gang of Ryu's decision, they knew some type of James-Sirius plot was underway. Which is probably why, when she walked into the Common Room after returning from her meeting she was ambushed by everyone not in the know and made to sit on the couch while they stared at her expectantly.


“So we saw that Sid came to visit you today.” said Rebecca looking unusually stern.


“Yeah...he did.” Answered Ryu cautiously slow while taking a seat on the couch and looking dubiously at her friends


“Why were you gone so long?” Asked Leeham who had adopted a stern look as well, mimicking Rebecca's stance with her arms folded beneath her breasts. It was such an awkward pose, and the stern look appeared so foreign on Leeham's feature, that Ryu had to look away not to laugh in his face, let alone take him seriously.


Ryu struggled not to break out in giggles. “Uhh... I was in a meeting.”


Leeham leaped towards her “Ah ha!” He exclaimed putting his face just inches from her own. “So you admit that you were in a meeting!”


Ryu felt like she was going to explode. She couldn't say a word because she was too busy holding in hysterics.


Sonny, recognizing how utterly hopeless it was to let Leeham do the questioning, pushed him out of the way rolling her eyes. “Duh Leeham...that is what she just said.” She turned to Ryu crossing her arms over her chest and giving her friend a suspicious look. “What we need to know is why were you in a meeting.”


Ryu had a hard time containing herself because their interrogation was so amazingly hilarious. Especially considering now three of her friends were standing in front of her in identical poses, tapping their feet impatiently with arms crossed over their chests.


She would've probably at least snickered at the scene, except the look Sonny was directing towards her gave her the heebie geebies, “ I'm not really sure why you think it is necessary to question me like some sort of criminal...”


Are you a criminal Ryu?”asked Leeham lifting a brow at her. Well, at least he was attempting to lift an eyebrow. It looked more like he was winking at her awkwardly, or making a one-eyed pirate face, than actually lifting an eyebrow.


She looked at him as if he’d gone crazy and couldn't contain herself any longer, bursting out in loud unflattering hiccups of laughter. Once she was able to control herself, and after wiping tears from her eyes, she turned a ludicrous look on the rest of the group. “Wow are you guys acting absurd! Are you trying to accuse me of something?”


Should we be accusing you of something?” Leeham directed his lifted brow at her once more.


Ryu threw her hands in the air. “There is absolutely nothing you could accuse me of being guilty of.”


“So you are guilty?” Interjected Leeham.


“Guilty of what Leeham?” She asked helpless to her own chuckles.


“Well we'd allllllll like to know that now, wouldn't we?” He told her.


Ryu looked around the circle at her friends bewildered. “Are you guys seriously going to let Dectective Ginger over here continue with his current line of questioning. Because I have no fucking idea what he's on about, although whatever it is, it’s hilarious. Can you please explain to me why I'm being treated like the witness in a parody of bad-cop and even worse-cop?” She asked.


Jason took over, narrowing his eyes at her. “What was the purpose of the meeting with Sid?” He fired his question at her without hesitation, and the directness of it transformed the conversation into a serious one.


“Discussing real estate options, what else?” Ryu replied being sarcastically defensive.


“And we’re supposed to believe that not even one of us was to be included in this discussion?” Asked Lily looking a little angry at being kept in the dark.


“With the way you all have been acting, yes, you are.” She deadpanned remaining defensive.


Lily looked confused. “What do you mean the way we've been acting?”


Ryu snorted and rolled her eyes. “C'mon Lils. I'm not stupid enough to ignore the fact that each one of you, since Hogsmeade, has continually tried to put ideas in my head about which house to buy. Its pretty obvious that I needed to make this decision on my own.”


“You would make such a huge decision without any outside advice?” asked Lily frowning.


Ryu shrugged trying to play it off. “Why not?” She stated flatly. “It’s not like any of you could offer me sound, unbiased advice. Your all too concerned with your own hidden agendas to put your wants aside and think of what’s best for me.” Ryu finished a bit too bitterly.


Lily's eyes went wide as a look of realization turned into one of dread and her face turned ghost white. “Ryu what house did you buy?” She asked breathlessly.


Ryu gulped, not sure if she was prepared for what was to come. “I bought the compound Lily.”

All hell broke loose.


But what the hell else did she expect out of her group of friends?


Rebecca screamed shrilly attracting the attention of the entire Common Room as she dropped to her knees only to scream more bloody murder at the sky once she hit the ground. Apparently her horror movie scream caused some type of panic among the underclassmen because there was a mad rush of little people to the dorm stairs.


Sonny, on the other hand, had immediately jumped into the outstretched arms of Amos, while Jason wrapped his arms around them both, and all three began to hop in circles chanting “Quidditch, Quidditch, Quidditch!”


Dina looked more angry at the fact that Sonny was in Amos' arms, than mad that she lost the bet. She was stomping about angrily yelling a string of curses that made even the most debaucherous of Gryffindor males cringe. She even knocked down the armchair she had occupied only moments before, while throwing her tantrum.


Remus and Leeham, although they too had lost, were a bit distracted by imagining the girls naked to really let the implications of their loss sink in. That is, until James came up behind them looking especially smug saying “Better start tanning those white arses boys. Wouldn't want the glare from the sun to be too distracting to enjoy to view the girls now would we?” Needless to say, the smiles previously decorating their faces were immediately wiped off thinking of what they too had to endure.


Sirius had joined the huddle of victors as they continued to celebrate, and James was on his way over to join them after he stopped by to slap Ryu on the back and to whisper. “Soooooo glad I waited to let you tell them. This spectacle was entirely worth it.”


Lily seemed to be experiencing a wave of emotions. She looked to be fighting shock, confusion, and rage, but eventually it was the shock that became victor as the dizziness overwhelmed her and she fainted.


Everyone stopped their various celebrations and laments immediately as the fiery red-head crumpled to the ground. The whole Common Room seemed to be in awe that such chaos, and such a different array of emotions, could erupt so quickly then disappear just as rapidly. No one knew what the bloody hell was going on. Only that Prefect Lily Evans had fainted, and once again the rest of the Gryffindor sixth years were going mad.


Ryu and Peter were the only ones not distracted by the going-ons around them, and were the first to Lily's side. Ryu was huddling over her friends pink face tapping her cheek gently, hoping she would come to. It was several minutes before she even began stirring, but once Lily's emerald greens eyes did pop open, her hands were instantly around Ryu's neck as she threw herself at her friend from where she had been laying on the ground.


Ryu was shocked, to say the least, as she felt hands on her neck and her back come in contact with the floor. For a moment she was too surprised to even defend herself, but that quickly passed as instincts took over. Lily had the advantage of being on top only for a second as Ryu rolled them both over so she had the upper hand. She grabbed both of Lily's wrists and removed her friend’s hands from about her neck, pinning the offending appendages above the girls own head with just one of hers to secure them.


After making sure Lily couldn't attack her again, Ryu flipped her long hair dark out of her face and looked Lily in the eyes. “I don't know where the hell that came from, and although I'm sure you've had plenty of practice taking on James, you aren't ready to take me on Lils. I'm not even trying to be condescending. You saw what I did to Lucius, and you know me better than most, so before I decide whether or not to continue this, why don't you tell me what the bloody hell made you attack me.”


Lily scowled at Ryu, unable to move from being restrained. “You knew about the bloody bet you traitor!”


Ryu blinked unexpectedly. How the hell did she figure that out? She sat back on her haunches letting her grip loosen just enough for Lily to break free and push her off. “What are you talking about?” She tried to play it off.


“Oh please Ryu! I know you knew. You practically bloody told us. We all have hidden agendas right? What else could you’ve been referring to except the bet! You definitely knew.” Lily was looking smug. “Plus, how come I was able to get out of your grip? It’s like you said, you took on Lucius, so why couldn’t you hold me down?” She questioned logically. “I'll tell you why, it's because you were surprised! You were surprised that I figured it out, and you let your guard down! There is no other way I could have gotten free! You beat Frederick Gould in a one armed push-up contests for Merlin's sake.”


“Don't underestimate your own strength Evans.” Interjected James attempting to rescue Ryu from divulging their arrangement. “I know for a fact that you pack quite a punch.”


Lily glared at James, “Oh please! You’re only saying that because you're the one who told her about the bet!”


“What bet?” Ryu tried her best to act, but wasn't even heard as James began to argue with Lily.


“Nuh-uh!” He said countering pathetically and drowning out Ryu's attempts to look oblivious. “I'm not just saying that! Your punches actually do hurt Evans! Besides, Ryu figured out about the bet on her own!”


Ryu's head fell in her hands. “James you tosser!”


Lily looked extremely satisfied and turned to Ryu. “So you did know about the bet?”


“Great now we're back to the interrogation.” Ryu muttered, talking to herself head in her hands. “At least it’s not Leeham questioning me this time.” She looked up to face Lily, ready tell the truth. “Yes I knew about the sodding bet.” She confessed resentfully. “But really, how could I not figure it out? You guys have been acting nutters ever since Hogsmeade all because of this house search! Why would you care which house I bought unless you had something staked on it?” She questioned them. “I was trying to figure out what was going on by prying it out of Sirius, and somewhere along the way I asked him to be my roommate. Problem was I had to battle it out with James so he'd give up his best mate for the summer. Essentially, I get Sirius and James blackmails me into buying the compound.”


“So you get Sirius for the summer, and I have to get naked and fly around on a broom when I'm afraid of heights? Is that what you're telling me?” asked Lily angrily.


Did she not hear the blackmail part? Besides, she was the one who entered the bet! “I can’t believe you figured out it.”


Lily snorted. “I didn't even occur to me until you talked about agendas bit. Add that to the fact that I've known these two tossers,” She pointed to James and Sirius, “Since first year, and I knew something was up. I can easily recognize the dopey gait they walk around in when they think they have a 'brilliant plan'.” Lilly took a deep breath. “That being said, I know how crummy it seems, now that I'm saying it out loud, that we made a bet and tried to influence a very important personal decision of yours because of our own wants. I apologize for my lapse of judgment. Still, you really think its fair you that you weren't part of the bet, yet you used it as leverage?”


Ryu was afraid to say no, “Yes?” She tried uselessly.


Lily smirked. “That's what I thought, it isn't fair. And since you agree with me on that, I think you will also agree that, since you were in cahoots with the boys, you are also subject to the losing terms of the bet.”


Ryu's eyes bulged out of her head “Now wait just a second here! Don't you think being strangled by one of my best friends was punishment enough?”


Lily waved it off as inconsequential. “Oh please, you act as if leaping to strangle your resuscitator isn't a common reaction of a person who has fainted from shock.”


“That's because it isn't!” cried Ryu.


“Prove it.” Lily smiled evilly.


“Ugh! Well what about James and Sirius? Are you going to let them escape unscathed?” She snapped angry at the turn f events.


“Hey now!” piped up an indignant Sirius “I'm as innocent as they come. Besides we won the bet remember!” He was looking slightly panicked that he might have to get naked as well.


“Unfortunately Ryu,” Began Lily “I can't make the victors do anything. On the other hand, I can make you think twice about plotting with those two ever again.”


Ryu gulped. She knew she was going to get screwed after making a deal with those boys. “So, I don't have to get naked?” She questioned pleadingly.


Lily laughed “Pfft!! If I'm getting starkers so are you love!”


Why couldn't the school year end agreeably?



Even though it was the last week of school, the gang still unintentionally managed to keep everyone talking about them with the whole Common Room scene. Rumors were once again flying, and anything you could imagine was being said except for the truth.


In all the chaos, someone had managed to get a picture of Ryu on top of Lily, where James could just be seen in the background. To the majority of the student body this was clear evidence that Lily Evans, Ryu East, and James Potter were in a polygamist relationship.


Another popular rumor going around was that the Gryffindor sixth year girls had lost a bet, and had to play Quidditch at the school pitch in the nude on the last day of school. Tickets were being sold underground for quite a hefty price, and coincidentally Leeham was suddenly finding money out of nowhere.


The girls paid no heed to the rumors except to warn Leeham against encouraging them. Needless to say he didn't listen, and instead chose to bank on the gullible students of Hogwarts.


Ending the school year fighting off rumors wasn't necessarily the most ideal way to go out, but at least it finished out relatively quickly and without too much stress. Ryu hadn't gone parading into an ambush of Death Eaters for several weeks, Lily hadn't strangled anyone who questioned her chastity (although she did hand out a record number of detentions in the last week), and the boys seemed to have forgotten about their end of the year prank. It was seemingly all quiet on the Gryffindor front.


The only thing of note that took place was Ryu being required to take the OWLS without so much as two days notice to prepare for them. This was, of course, an order straight from the Wizengamot. Their twisted reasoning for springing these requirements on her was that she hadn't taken the exams the previous year. Apparently, taking them in two days was as good a time as any considering NEWTS were next year. Complete and utter bullocks!


It was clear that someone was trying to ensure her failure, but with help from Remus and Lily revising, she flew threw the exam easily, and in record time. She wasn't the least bit concerned about receiving her scores over summer, she knew she aced them. What she was concerned about was the upcoming meeting with the Wizengamot and getting settled in her new house. If she were being completely honest, what seemed most daunting was definitely getting settled in her house. She could handle the Wizengamot, or at least she thought she could. What she couldn't handle was how much free time she was going to have.


She had been working full time since the age of fourteen, swimming rapidly to try and avoid becoming drowned and pulled down by bills. Now she didn't need to worry about money or working. She felt like she was just going to be treading water and was concerned about just what the hell she was going to do with herself all summer. She was becoming antsy as the school year drew to a close.


On the last night of the year the gang had decided to have a sleepover in the Common Room. Jason had managed to come by a couple bottles of Firewhiskey and everyone had taken to it eagerly, overeagerly even. It wasn't even half past twelve and everyone was passed out where they sat. Ryu was the only one who hadn't succumbed to the powers of the beverage and was happily listening to an incoherent Jason as he babbled himself to sleep.


“S’been one hell o' a year, hadn' it!” He slurred emphatically as he held the bottle in the air, cheersing to the year they had. Or half a year in Ryu’s case.


Ryu chuckled at how drunk he was. “That it has my friend” She leaned forward and motioned for the bottle as if she wanted a sip. He obliged, handing it over, and she slipped it under the chair to hide it from him. He’d clearly had more than his fair share. “Can't believe how much my life has changed since coming here!” She told him truthfully.


Jason slumped back against the armchair he was leaning against “Can't believe 'ow much m'lifes changed since you got 'ere either!” He grinned. “We 'ave our own bloody pitch now don'we! We need ta drin to tha!” He felt around with his left hand looking for the Firewhiskey and his expression went from excited to confused looking for the bottle. “Where'd me drin go?”


Ryu laughed “You've clearly had more than enough.”


“Ehh now, “ He said looking offended, and trying to sit up straighter. “Jus’ give it 'ere.”


Ryu scoffed “I wouldn't be a good friend if I did, and I mean to be a good friend to you.” She stated reasoning with him.


“Bah!” He rumbled giving up and once again leaning back against the chair as a means of being held up.


Ryu couldn’t tell if he’d passed out just yet so she kept talking “What are your plans for the summer Jason?”


She wasn't sure if he was going to answer but was happy as he did. “Me da', and me two older brothers are puttin a addition on me house. No to 'appy 'bout it.” He opened one eye to look at her. “You could always 'elp if ya want.” The smile he was wearing made him look ridiculous.


Ryu just smirked back, “That depends on if your two brothers are as good to look at as you, and whether or not shirts are required.”


Jason worked to sit up straighter and give her the evil eye. Unfortunately the effect was some what ruined as he swayed struggling to keep himself upright. “You see 'ere woman!“ He said pointing right past her threateningly. “No eye-raping me brothers! I know 'ow you is! 'Sides,” He smiled, “me brothers wouldn't like ya.” He leaned back against the chair looking entirely too pleased with himself.


Ryu snickered. “Oh really?”


“Partial ta blondes ya see.”


“Well I'll just have to be extra charming!”


“Pft!” Jason laughed. “You charmin'? An' with me brothers? I migh' puke.”


“If you gag it’ll most likely be due to the alcohol and not at the thought of me charming the pants your brothers.”


“Bah!” Jason cried bringing his hands to his face trying to dispel the image in his mind. “ 'Nough about me brothers please! Wha' you plannin' for-” he yawned, “Summer?” He snuggled his head against the chair.


Ryu looked at the ground and began fiddling with her fingers. “To be honest I have no idea and its making me nervous, I've never really had the chance to just sit around idly and I'm afraid I'll go-” Her words were cut off by the sound of loud snores emitting from Jasons throat. “-Crazy.” She finished sighing and laughing to herself softly. She sat back against the couch and closed her eyes, momentarily thinking about trying to get some rest. It only took her a moment to realize that the restlessness she was feeling towards the coming day wasn't going to allow her to sleep anytime soon.


She glanced around herself noticing the uncomfortable array of positions her friends had passed out in. She put blankets over those who were without and wished she could join them in their slumber but knew that it wouldn't come for her.


Somewhere in the back of her mind was the thought that she might not be permitted to return to Hogwarts. It was really nagging her that this could be her last night should the Wizengamot deem her unfit.


Hogwarts felt more like a home than anywhere she had ever been. Having friends had mellowed her out, and given her sad and lonely outlook on the world a necessary twist. Sure she had been drawn into a whole new world, and one full of war and despair at that, but it had proven to her that light really did shine brightest among the dark. The immense hope and love her friends fostered for one another and for the Wizarding world was infectious, and she would do anything to help them maintain and spread it. But that seemed impossible if she wasn't allowed to come back to the castle with them.


Ryu couldn't sit there and allow herself to think such things and feed into her fears. She needed to get her mind off her problems, so she left the warm comfort of the Common Room and set off into the castle. If there was a chance she wasn't going to be able to come back, at least she could spend her last night enjoying the place that had provided her with happiness for the first time in her life.


Exiting the Portrait Hole, Ryu didn't know where she was going and began to wander aimlessly through the winding corridors. She really wanted to take in the grounds one last time before leaving, and decided on heading up to the windowsill on the third floor where she had spotted her friends quarreling with the Hufflepuff Quidditch team.


Rounding the corner towards her destination, she came up short upon seeing a figure sitting in her windowsill. The figure wasn't clothed in school robes, and was instead wearing jeans and a black t-shirt. Their long shaggy black hair was covering their face, and their head was tilted down looking out onto the grounds, so she couldn't get a good look at him. Still, that hair was so recognizable.


“Sirius what the bloody hell are you doing out of the Common Room? You and James best not be planning any pranks or Lily will have a fit.”


The figure jumped to a standing position upon hearing a voice and turned towards Ryu, wand extended threateningly. Although he looked a great deal like Sirius, there was something off about him. The normally flattering angular features were more severe than that of Sirius, and while Sirius had a perpetual glint in his gray eyes, this boy's eyes seemed to have lost all hope. Regulus Black looked so very much like his brother except, somehow, you could tell he was devoid of all happiness and broken of spirit.


“Well, what a pleasant surprise.” He sneered, “The bitch who successfully made my family problems irreparable.”


Ryu didn't know how to react. She felt like she was dealing with Orion, but could tell the boy wasn't wholly convinced of his act himself. It was as if he was compelled to behave like an asshole even though that wasn't who he was. “You know I am not the cause of your family problems Regulus.”


He narrowed his eyes. “You may not be the cause, but your association with my blood-traitor of a brother has only supplemented the already existing distrust for the name Black.” She spat at her.


She shook her head vehemently. “The distrust you're experiencing is because Voldemort knows he can only manipulate his followers for so long before they come to their senses.” She stated confidently, searching his face for disagreement before feeling safe enough to speak again. “And the shame your parents feel for Sirius, that’s because they’re convinced they should feel shame, Regulus. You know this in your heart, and you know it’s foolish.”


Regulus's grip on his wand tightened and the sneer on his face twisted menacingly. “You know nothing of my heart, or this world. It is you who are disillusioned. You really think there is any other outcome than his ultimate victory?” He asked her seriously.


Ryu tilted her head curiously. “Why do you look so defeated if you think his victory is inevitable Regulus?” He didn't say anything so she asked another question. “Why have you resigned yourself to a fate that you can't fully accept?”


Regulus fidgeted in his aggressive stance. “Everyone will have to come to terms with it eventually.”


Ryu took a step towards him. “No, Regulus you're wrong. I for one won't accept it, your brother won't accept it, and don't have to either. You can fight.”


He scoffed at her simplemindedness. “I will not commit myself to a loosing cause, all of you will die.” He said steadily although there was a sadness to his gaze. Suddenly, shaking his head Regulus lowered his wand abruptly and turned to leave.


Ryu didn't go after him, she simply called out to him as he left. “You know the right thing to do Regulus...Your brother did the right thing.”


Regulus stopped in his tracks, turned stiffly, and strode briskly back to Ryu. HeH He caught her chin in one hand and held his wand to her neck. Ryu did nothing to stop him, she knew he wouldn't hurt her


“You think what my brother did was right?” He spat at her scathingly. “You think abandoning your family, abandoning your brother to the wrath of your hurt and vengeful parents, is the right thing to do? I watched as my mother fell to pieces! I watched as the Dark Lord began to question my family!” He roared at her becoming angry by the scond. “And I watched him torture my parents, all because of my brother. My family is all but broken and I am the only hope my parents have in this world. I have to prove myself twice over because of my brother’s treachery. Don't you think it would be easy for me to walk away? The easy thing often isn't the right thing Ryu, and I am all that my family has left. They are my blood! At the very least I can offer them my loyalty. My brother couldn't even offer us that.”


Regulus let go of her roughly and turned to go again but Ryu caught his arm. “Your brother couldn't offer his loyalty, but not because he doesn't love you. It was because only evil is loyal to his cause, and only evil can come of it. You said the easy thing often isn't the right thing, and you’re right. I can promise you, the hardest thing Sirius ever did was estrange himself from you and your family. He's alone in a world that can't see past the name Black and he can't find it in his heart to forgive himself for leaving you.” She let go of his arm and grabbed his hand to beseech him to see sense. He finally met her eyes. “He knows what is right, and so do you Regulus. You're not a Death Eater, and you would lose yourself trying to be molded into one. Please, I beg you, for your own sake and for Sirius's, leave. My home is open to you always.”


Regulus jerked his arm out of her grip. “Your home is nothing but a huge target, and those who gather themselves around you are as well.” He told her brows furrowed. “He will take everything from you just like he did to your mother, and then he will try to use you. You and Dumbledore are the only thing he is wary of in this world, and he will make you pay the ultimate price. You’re bringing my brother to the forefront of this fight by offering him refuge and I will forever hate you for that. For his sake I warn you, he will strike at you every chance he gets, in every way he can fathom, and with everything he has. He won't hesitate to use your brother or father against you, and he will certainly do so with your friends. You're in a new world that you are just beginning to grasp, and you are way out of your league. It’s the path you have chosen, and you will suffer the consequences, just as I will suffer mine.”


He again turned to leave, but she again stopped him, this time looking concerned. “You don't have to chose this path...” She tried desperately.


His reply was stoic. “I already have.” He was already walking away.


She watched him striding away from her but wasn’t ready to let him leave. “Wait!” She ran to catch up with him. “What about my brother?” She questioned him pleadingly.


He smiled at her gently, as if at a child, and for a moment she really thought she was looking at Sirius. “He is your step-brother and you wouldn’t wish to know him, I myself regret knowing him. He is a replica of your father.” He scanned her face for a moment and seeing no understanding he sighed. “You don't even know who your father is do you?” He laughed bitterly. “You will have no chance at survival this summer if you don't figure out what your mother was, and what that makes you. For my brothers sake I hope you do.”


Regulus put a hand on her shoulder then turned to leave. This time Ryu let him.




Ryu returned to the Gryffindor tower the same restlessness still alive within her. She laid down next to the fire on the couch that Amos seemed to have fallen off of while she was out exploring the castle. Try as she might, she was unable to close her eyes and even attempt to sleep. Too much was going on in her head that hadn't even occurred to her before talking to Regulus, and it frightened her to think how unprepared she really was. Could she really in good conscience let Sirius and Alton live so close to her? The answer she kept coming up with was no.


When light was finally visible through the tower windows, she rose and went to take a shower for the last time as a sixth year. Going through the motions of routine was all she could do to soothe her nerves, and by the time she exited the bathroom, all of her belongings, as well as all the other girls, had been removed to the train.


Climbing down the staircase from the dorm, she found the Common Room bustling full of anxious students ready for the last feast and train ride home. Her friends were among them, and once she joined them they began making their way down to breakfast.


The feast was an extra special spread of everything from Canadian bacon and sausage, pancakes and waffles, fritatas and omelets, to strudels and bear-claws. The House Elves had really out done themselves, and Ryu was determined to enjoy it before she had to start cooking for herself. Not to mention concentrating on chewing, swallowing, and not choking while she scarfed down her meal kept her mind off of what she was increasingly sure she had to do. She needed to confront Sirius and make him understand he had to stay with the Potters.


No one took it as odd that she didn't talk during breakfast because everyone was so used to her gross habit of eating like a ravenous threstle. But as breakfast came to an end and boarding the train seemed imminent, her nerves about leaving Hogwarts came back full force.


All of her friends were quite happy to be going home, and she really didn't want to rain on their parade, so she hung towards the back of the group as they made their way onto the train. And when they found two cabins right next to each other, she quickly set her things down before excusing herself to the bathroom.


She thought no one had noticed her little escape, and was thankful. However, when she opened the door to the bathroom, she jumped when she saw Sirius standing there.


“Holy Merlin Sirius!” She said grasping her chest in surprise, “Can I help you with something?”


Sirius smirked “Yes actually, you can tell me why my new roommate is trying very hard to avoid all her friends.”


Ryu let out a huge breath. It was now or never. “Listen, Sirius...”


Sirius's smirk turned into frown as she began to speak. “Hold up a minute, this sounds like you’re about to break up with me. Were we dating and I didn't know it?”


Ryu grabbed the bridge of her nose not prepared to deal with joking right now. “Please just quit kidding around for one second. I need to say this before I chicken out.”


“Well out with it then!” He said still trying to make light of things.


Ryu didn't hear the door of one of the nearby compartments open as she began to speak. “I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I think it would just be best if you stayed with the Potter's over summer like you usually do.” She hadn't realized she closed her eyes as she said it, and she kept them closed waiting for a response. But when no answer came, she had to open them.


What she saw made her stomach drop.


Not only was Sirius standing in the hallway, but so was Regulus.


Regulus seemed fairly composed considering he walked in on the conversation. He was looking back and forth between a shocked Ryu and a livid Sirius seemingly carefree. He made a timely exit though, and as he did, he inclined his head in thanks towards Ryu, and she returned it ever so slightly. Unfortunately it didn't go unseen.


Sirius immediately grabbed his little brother by the upper arm and abruptly halted his progress down the corridor. “What the fuck is going on here?” He said looking between his brother and Ryu, his expression murderous.


Immediately she knew returning his nod was a mistake. “Sirius I don't know what you're thinking, but your brother has nothing to do with my decision.” She tried her best to lie to get out of the situation.


“Actually, that was exactly what I was thinking, and he clearly does. As far as I knew, you two weren't familiar with one other. Now you’re just going around greeting each other cordially? Something is definitely fucking wrong about this whole situation.” He seethed.


Wow this wasn't at all how this was supposed to go down. Head nod was definitely a bad decision. “Sirius, just let your brother go.” She pleaded.


He looked slightly suspicious but let go of Regulus roughly.


Regulus sulkily rubbed his arm where he had just been released. He could feel the tension in the air as he looked between the two Gryffindor's who seemed to be having a stare off. Sirius was eying Ryu dubiously and, although he could tell she was nervous, Ryu was doing her best to look resolute with her decision for him to live with the Potter's. The result was a hilarious mixture of raised eyebrows and squinted eyes on Sirius's end, and pouted lips and crossed arms on Ryu's. He couldn't help the snort that escaped his lips. They looked utterly absurd, like two stubborn three year-olds. “Well you two make quite the ridiculous couple, don't you?” He instantly regret attracting attention to himself.


Sirius and Ryu turned equally annoyed gazes on Regulus, and being faced by fierce looks, he took a step back warily holding his hands up in surrender. They both opened their mouths to give the young Slytherin a piece of their mind, but it was Ryu who regrettably got her words out first.


“Why don't you just run along Regulus, clearly meeting up with you was a mistake! Merlin, I wish last night never happened!” She snapped crossly not even thinking how the words could be misconstrued.


Somehow Sirius, who had been about to speak, choked on his words and began looking back and forth between his brother and Ryu, his eyes practically bulging out of his head. “What the fuck is going on here?” He said looking homicidal. He turned to his brother and stalked towards him, “Did you sleep with one of my best friends? She was drinking last night Regulus!” He was furious and looked on the edge of resorting to violence.


Regulus's mouth practically hit the floor. He was completely taken aback and incapable of speaking. Could she be worse with words? His face had turned ghost white. Sirius was literally going to skin him alive! The only thing he seemed able to do was stand there, emitting gurgling noises as he backed away from his furious older brother. He didn't think there was a way to rescue the situation without getting the bloody pulp beat out of him and throwing a few punches himself, so he ran once he shook himself from his stupor.


Ryu was so afraid Sirius was going to murder his brother she stepped between the two of them. Regulus smartly took the opportunity to make a get-away, although when Sirius saw this, he tried, unsuccessfully, to charge past Ryu. “Sirius you interpreted that entirely wrong!” She tried explaining. Sadly, she didn't seem all that credible while comically stretching across the width of the corridor with her long limbs, attempting to prevent Sirius from hurling himself at his retreating brother. She was surprised how riled up he really was!


“How the bloody hell am I supposed to interpret it Ryu!” He said seething, barely managing to keep himself from exploding as he searched for a way to get past her and seek out his brother. “We're supposed to be roommates and now your telling me we can't because of your secret rendezvous with my brother... and on the day we move in no less!” His breath was coming out in gigantic heaves and Ryu couldn't help but be reminded of an enraged bull. “How long has this been going on?”


His tone was dangerous, and Ryu was freaking out wondering how she bungled this so terribly. By what means had he come to the conclusion that she was sleeping with his younger brother? She probably shouldn't have mention running into him last night. All she was concerned with now was avoiding the wrath of Sirius, which was most certainly going to be turned on her now that Regulus had made an escape. Maybe she could escape too?


“When you put it like that it sounds terrible...but listen, this has all been blown way out of proportion.” She began nervously as she backed away from him. Was there any way to redeem the situation at this point? She thought not. “I – I think we should just talk about this once you've calmed down a bit.” Before she had finished her sentence, she was running back towards the compartments where her other friends were, but Sirius was hot on her tail confused and not a little upset.


“Arggghhhhh!” He actually growled, it was more of a roar actually. “Oh no you don't! You owe me a bloody explanation!” He bellowed from close behind her.


She truly had been prepared to tell him what she planned out in her head, but things weren't going as planned, and her mind kept telling her to flee, so flee she did. Merlin, Regulus was just as bad with showing up at inconvenient times as she was with words! Damn him! This was his fault! If he hadn't been there and given me that stupid nod Sirius would have been mad surely, but at least he wouldn't be thinking she was snogging his brother! This was just too much for her to handle!


She knew now that he had the idea in his head, there wasn't much she could do to convince him otherwise. Besides, the whole situation looked rather incriminating. Regulus had been too afraid for his life to deny the allegations, and she had been too busy preventing Sirius from killing his brother to do so either. And to put the icing on the cake, she had the feeling that once she did tell him the truth of why he had to live with the Potters, he'd just laugh in her face. This whole fiasco would be for nothing and he'd still be in danger. Naturally, the only way to avoid the confrontation was to avoid Sirius altogether.


She was just beginning to slow as she approached the compartment, when she felt Sirius's hand grasp her wrist, whirl her around, and slam her against the corridor wall only to block her from any escape with his own body. The impact of her back with the wall knocked the wind out of her and caused many heads to pop out of the nearby train cabins to see what was going on. Dina was one of them.


Ryu hadn’t ever been intimidated by much, but the way Sirius was staring into her eyes and demanding answers was causing feelings she had never experienced. That in itself was intimidating. She could feel the heat rising in her body, and the pressure of his body against her own wasn't helping. It was making her hackles rise and causing her entire body tingle uncomfortably. Her breath was beginning to come out in heavy ragged gasps, and her knees were suddenly failing her. Her emotions were a whirlwind that she couldn't begin to understand, and she desperately wanted it all to stop. “Something – something is wrong. Sirius let me go.” She was beginning to feel faint.


“Not until you tell me what has gotten into you.” He asserted still looking livid


Ryu blinked her eyes trying to dismiss whatever it was she was feeling, but it only succeeded in making her dizzy.


Dina stepped up to Sirius looking worried. “Sirius what the bloody hell are you doing! Let her go she looks about to faint!” Dina tried to pry Sirius away from her to no avail.


“Sodd off Dina this has nothing to do with you!” He turned back to Ryu. “I believe you owe me an explanation!” He demanded eyes alight.


Ryu tore her eyes away from Sirius's and glanced around at all the gathered onlookers. She met his eyes again shaking her head. “Not in front of all these people Sirius, for my sake and his.” She was going to have to tell him about Regulus's warning of an attack, and that could be dangerous for both him and her. She couldn't afford for everyone listening to know.


Sirius didn't let up on pinning her against the wall, but did look around to see the crowd that had gathered. His expression didn't change much, but he did nod solemnly, grab her roughly by the shoulder, open the door to the boy's compartment, and pretty much toss her in.


The minute he let go of his grip on her shoulder the tingling stopped. However, her knees weren't as quick to recover and although she was normally dexterous, she had to catch herself against the window to stop from falling to the ground. Sirius followed her in slamming the door shut behind him, pulling down the blinds, and successfully blocking out all the onlookers including Dina.


The boys in the compartment, who had been oblivious to the ruckus outside, all stood up upon seeing Ryu unceremoniously flung in among them only to find Sirius following her in looking completely furious.


James quickly went to Ryu's side seeing how shaky she was, and helped to steady her offering his support. She was still trembling, and unsure of what exactly why.


After making sure she was okay, James whirled on Sirius. “What in Merlin's name is going on here, and why the fuck are tossing Ryu about like your school bag?” He seethed.


Sirius quickly whispered a silencing charm and put a jinx on the compartment door in case Dina tried to force her way in. Then, ignoring James completely, he stared down Ryu who was feeling more vulnerable than ever. He didn't hold anything back either, as far as he was concerned Ryu was the only other person in the small room. “Since when have you and Regulus been sleeping together, why the fuck are you telling me now that you want me to live with the Potter's, and what the bloody hell was that shite back there all about? Did he tell you he didn't want me living with you? Is that what this is all about?”


The whole room went completely silent once the first couple words left Sirius's mouth. All of the boys' jaws hit the floor, and they all turned their attention from Sirius to Ryu, their eyes close to leaving their sockets.


Jason was the first to say anything. “Your sleeping with Regulus?” he asked incredulously. “Merlin! Don't you know that's against the friend code!”


Ryu sighed and closed her eyes shaking her head slightly, this whole situation made her look terrible. She addressed only Sirius. “Listen, I have no idea where you came up with the idea that Regulus and I are an item, but it’s not true!”


Sirius scoffed disbelievingly. “If that's the case then why, all of a sudden, don't you want to live with me? I know Regulus, and he'd definitely object to that. In fact he did object to it!”


“Merlin Sirius! You're reading way too much into what I said! You know, more than anyone, that I put my foot in my mouth when I talk sometimes.”


Sirius frowned. He knew the truth of her words considering he'd been on the wrong end of her mental hiccups before. To this day the boys continued to tease him about the time when she came into their dorm asking for her bra back. Everyone assumed they had done the deed, it was much less eventful and more gruesome than that.


Still, he was doubtful that this was a similar situation. “Things still aren't adding up. My brother and I don't always get along well, but I always make an effort to speak with him. Two weeks ago I met up with him in the library and told him about my plans to stay with you for the summer. He tried everything except holding a knife to my throat to make me promise that I wouldn't. Why would he care unless he had feelings for you? Besides, neither of you denied it!”


Was everything in the whole world trying to work against her! “Sirius, I'm not sure why he didn't deny it, but judging by the look on his face when you proclaimed that we were sleeping together, he was bloody shocked that you drew that conclusion! His eyes practically came out of his head!” She tried reasoning with him. “Or maybe he didn't deny it because he didn't have time to considering the homicidal glares you were giving him!”


Sirius squinted at her suspiciously “Well why are you only denying it now?”


Ryu threw her hands in the air exasperated. “Because Sirius! I was too busy trying to figure out how the hell to prevent you from committing murder to even give a fuck about denying such a ridiculous accusation!”


Sirius still looked doubtful. “While all this is fine and dandy, why have you been acting fishy all morning. And how come the minute you put your stuff down on the train you were off to meet Regulus.”


“I wasn't off to meet Regulus!” She said stomping her foot frustrated.


“Then what the hell were you doing?”


Ryu sighed, shoulders slumped. She really didn't want to explain this. When she spoke, it was towards the floor and barely above a whisper. Everyone in the cabin leaned closer to her as she did. “I've been trying to avoid you guys...”


Remus took a step towards her trying to catch her eyes. His melodious voice was soothing. ”Why would you try to avoid us?” He asked brows furrowed.


Ryu sighed reluctantly and took a much needed seat on one of the benches, the boys gathered around her. “I – I've just been so conflicted these past couple days. I haven't wanted to rain on your guys parade. You're all so excited that its summer, while I've just been freaking out.”


“Freaking out?” asked Remus. “About what?”


A sour expression overtook her features as she tried to explain. “It's obvious that the Wizengamot is going to do anything in their power to try and keep me from Hogwarts. Why else would they make me take the OWLS last minute unless they are trying to make sure I fail?” She reasoned. “I'm afraid that I won't be coming back next year, and it hurts to think I've left the castle and you guys behind.” She admitted begrudgingly. “I just didn't want to be around you guys and be bitter while you're all excited. Once we got on the train I booked it too the bathroom to hide and be alone, but Sirius followed me.”


Sirius had a thoughtful look on his face, his brows furrowed. “Okay. That explains that, but what is all this bullocks about you not wanting me as a roommate, and what does that have to do with Regulus? He looked downright pleased when he gave you that nod after hearing our conversation in the hall.”


Ryu looked Sirius square in his gray eyes. “Regulus was pleased to hear I don't want you living with me because he is your brother. He loves you and cares about your well-being, and that's the honest truth.”


Everyone in the cabin except Ryu shared a puzzled look. “Pftt! What? Is he afraid you're going to kill Sirius over summer?” Piped up the always tactless Leeham through the silence.


Ryu rolled her eyes and began to regale them with the story of last night. “After you all decided to get completely drunk last night, I couldn't get to sleep. So, I decided to take a walk about the castle thinking it might be my last chance ever. There's this spot on the third floor, its a windowsill that overlooks most of the castle grounds. I wanted to go there because I didn't think it would be wise to go outside, but I still wanted to glimpse the lake and forest in case it was my last time.” She took a deep breath. “When I got there, Regulus was already in my spot. He didn't know I was there until I called out to him thinking he was actually you.” She said looking to Sirius. “Anyways, he was really surprised, and really unhappy, to see me. He was pissed because you were coming to live with me and he didn't hesitate to let me know it. At first I thought he disliked the idea because living with me made your family look bad in Voldemorts eyes. But as he continued to get worked up, he talked about how my house is going to be a target.” She paused reluctant to even tell them what happened next, but she did because she knew she had to. ”Then Regulus...he warned me. He warned that Voldemort will attack me this summer. And he only told me because he was trying to keep you out of harms way Sirius.” She turned her eyes to the ground once again. “You can't live with me because I couldn't fathom putting your life on the line so I don't feel lonely. I didn't want to tell you, so I avoided all of you, and I still don't know what I'm going to tell Alton.” She hung her head in silence not happy that she had to voice her fears and problems. “Can I go now?” She asked bitterly. 


“Hell no you can't.” Said Sirius coming to kneel in front of her so he could capture her eyes. “If you think I could fathom leaving you to face Voldemort alone, you're insane! I'm not going to abandon you, and as far as I'm concerned you have no choice in the matter. As for Alton,” He paused to think then shrugged, “just be honest with him and his mom. I have a feeling they have all the confidence in the world in your and Dumbledore's ability with protective charms. Besides, they aren't new to this danger thing either, and I think the chance to be together for the summer will out weigh any threat that might come.” He ran his hand through his hair not knowing what to say next but knowing an apology was in order. “For the record, your plan to kick me out was shite...and even more so because your terrible with your word choice and you led me to believe you were ditching me because of my brother! Anyways, I'm sorry I got so angry, but just in case you have any inkling about sleeping with my brother, you now know what my reaction will be, and you better be afraid!”


Ryu couldn't help herself, she burst out laughing, and was happy to see that Sirius had a huge smile on his face. “Believe me, I'll never, ever, try to get with your brother after what I've seen today. I thought I was scary when I was mad, but damn I think I met my match. Anyways Dina's probably still out there freaking –.”


Right at that moment the door was blast open, and the only reason eardrums weren't burst was because the silencing charm was still in effect. The door however, did do some damage in knocking Amos and Peter to the ground. And the jinx had obviously gone off. 


Lily's normally pristine appearance was singed, and it looked as if she had a bad experience with the wrong end of some fireworks. She stood in the doorway, wand extended from blasting the door down, hair standing straight in the air with the ends burnt off along with all of her eyebrows. She appeared to be trying to control herself, but it was obvious that she was losing that battle. The volcano finally erupted as she stepped inside. “Sirius Bloody Black! I'm going to flay you until every part of you is raw! You better reverse this jinx right now or prepare to face my wrath!”


James knelt down next to Sirius who was cowering in the corner and said “Go quietly friend. She likes the fight...gets her riled up!”


Sirius looked like he had swallowed a pine-cone. He had no intention of trying going quietly. 


Lily really did strike one as crazy standing in the smoke clouded doorway looking like she'd been electrocuted. Sirius couldn't get his legs to cooperate and move to a standing position because of it. 


Luckily Ryu came to his rescue. She quickly rushed to Lily's side and ushered her back into the girls compartment leaving the boys stunned and without the privacy of a door. Hopefully Ryu could fix her up good as new because, to Sirius's knowledge, there was no counter-jinx. 


Lily looked really put out that she wasn't going to get her revenge on Sirius and pouted the whole time Ryu attempted to reverse the jinx. She looked good as new once Ryu was finished, but she was still acting quite stroppy and mumbling to herself under her breath. “Idiotic, asinine, stupid, bloody harebrained dolt! I ought to turn him into an ass, at least then his appearance wouldn't be deceiving! What the bloody hell happened anyway?”


“Yeah!” Added Dina. “Why did Sirius look like he was about to murder you, and are you alright? You looked about to panic when he had you pinned against the wall!” 


“Oh shite, I meant to ask him about that! I wonder what spell he used...” She pondered brows furrowed as she took a seat next to Rebecca. “It was like I was totally incapable of doing anything to defend myself! I really did almost panic! I couldn't even see what magic he was using, it was the weirdest feeling I've ever had.” 


“We'll discuss that, but first I need to know what the hell you did to get Sirius so sodding furious!” Questioned Dina. “I've never seen him look so upset! The only time he's ever come close to that was when he got into that duel with Regulus back in four year.”


“Right bloody mess that was.” interjected Sonny remembering the incident. 


She ignored Sonny's statement and responded to Dina. “I honestly didn't do anything other than try to protect him! All I did was tell him he had to live with the Potters, and Regulus happened to have walked into the corridor right as I said it. Then, somewhere along the line, I really messed up my words and Sirius thought I was alluding to sleeping with his brother. Which is complete bollocks by the way. He went completely nutters, and I didn't know how to fix the situation, so I ran...but he caught up.”


“Hold on a hot second there.” said Sonny sitting up and looking confused. “You mean to tell me that Sirius bloody Black caught you in a footrace?” She asked disbelievingly. “That makes no sense whatsoever! I'm the second fastest on the team next to James, and for me to try and keep up with you is like a sloth trying to keep up with a Centaur! Did you let him catch you?”


Ryu shook her head emphatically. “Pfft! As far as I was concerned I was running for my life! I was slowing up a bit to get into our compartment when he caught me though, but he really was on my arse the whole time.”


“Do you think being in a rage could have made him run faster?” asked Rebecca trying to reason through the madness. 


“I've heard of adrenaline increasing performance, but not that much.” Sonny said shaking her head. “If you've ever seen Ryu in a full out sprint you'd know what I mean, Rebecca. Its like she's a blur. Nothing human can run that fast.” 


Ryu looked thoughtful and then said. “And it was the weirdest thing, once he caught hold of my wrist it was like I didn't have control over myself any longer...I really need to know what spell he used...” She said. 


“What do you mean you didn't have control of yourself?” Asked Lily looking doubtful.


Ryu couldn't really explain it but she tried her best. “Honestly I don't know what it was, but he had me up against that wall and I knew I was helpless to fight. Usually I can pull some strength out of my ass, but I was powerless to do that this time. My skin felt like it was on fire, and I was tingling all over. I could feel my heart start to race, and my breath become ragged and the only reason I was even upright is because Sirius pinned me against the wall. If he hadn't, I would have been a heap on the floor because my knees just gave out. I felt like I was going to faint.”


“Wait wait wait.” Said Rebecca looking as if she needed to get something straight. “You mean to tell me your heart was beating fast, you went weak in the knees, you were lightheaded, and your whole body was tingling?” she asked almost laughing.


“Yeah...why?” Asked Ryu offended that her friend was laughing at this serious situation. If Sirius could throw her so far off her game others certainly could. She needed to get this under control.


Rebecca on the other hand only found it funny. “Wow this is priceless!” She practically squealed in delight. “Did these symptoms stop?” Asked Rebecca still grinning.


Ryu looked slightly putt-off by her friends attitude but contemplated the question anyways. “Well, the tingling stopped just as soon as Sirius let go of me, but it took my knees a bit longer to recover. I was pretty shaken up, I just wanted it all to was really overwhelming, I had no idea what it was.”


“HA!” laughed Rebecca. “I'm sure it was overwhelming! Always is the first time!” 


Everyone was looking to the blonde like she had gone mad. Why the hell did she think this was funny?


Ryu was growing annoyed. This was a serious, and potentially dangerous, problem! “Listen Rebecca, I don't know why you’re laughing, but if you know the spell he used, you should just tell me what it is. It could be used against me and I would be helpless.”


Rebecca looked like she was about to cry she was laughing so hard. “Oh your helpless to it alright!”


Everyone looked utterly confused.


Rebecca looked around the room at her friends, baffled that none of them had caught on yet. “Don't you get it?” She asked them throwing her hands in the air. “It's obvious! Haven't any of you ever read a cheesy romance novel?...She went weak in the knees, her heart began to flutter, she began to tingle at his touch! Merlin, are you all daft!” She said seeing that they all still hadn't caught on. “Ryu, I'm sorry to break it to you, but you're clearly in love with the infamous Sirius Black. He didn't put you under any sort of magical spell—that's why you saw no magic. He's got you under his spell!”


The room went silent, taken aback at the revelation. Ryu was the first to speak, although she seemed really unsure of herself.


“That's completely ludicrous!” Said Ryu laughing nervously. “Honestly that's the biggest load of bullocks I've ever heard!” She glanced around the cabin and the tense smile faded into a frown. All her friends were looking at her out of the corner of their eyes “You guys seriously don't believe this shite do you?” She asked them uneasily.


All the girls shared a look and collectively they began to nod their heads yes. 


Ryu threw her hands in the air. “You guys can’t be serious!” she groaned. “I am not in love with Sirius!” Her hands were gripping her hair. “You are all bloody mad!”

Grins crept across all her friends faces. Ryu was definitely not taking well to the news and to be frank, it was really comical! She looked to be having a breakdown all over this silly claim. They probably should have been a bit more sensitive about the whole situation, but Ryu looked about ready to stomp her feet and demand her binky. They all burst out laughing in unison. 


Sonny was holding her stomach and actually rolled onto the floor she was laughing so hard. “Oh Merlin this is priceless! I should've expected something weird like this from you! I can't believe I didn't see it before! You can't do anything normal can you? Not even love!”


Dina was wiping tears from her eyes. “Great pigmy hinkypuffs this just made my summer! So when did you finally start having feelings for him? Before or after he accused you of sleeping with his brother!” She went into another bout of hysterics. 


Lily had to join the fun. “Hey look on the bright side, you said you thought you'd feel something if it was meant to be! Turns out you were right!” She laughed as she held onto Rebecca for support. 


Ryu had had just about enough. “Oh sod off! All of you! Your all stark raving lunatics!”


“At least we're not the ones going weak in the knees.” Interjected Sonny making a swooning face and earning another round of laughter. 


Ryu frowned at all of them. “Stop laughing! This isn't funny!” she said pouting trying to get them to stop sniggering with no success. 


“No, actually it is quite funny!” said Dina “Especially now that I get Rebecca's joke about it being overwhelming!”


Ryu had had enough. “This is ridiculous and it ends now!” She stated stomping her foot. “I'm not in love with Sirius black and I'll – I'll prove to you.” She was pulling this all out of her ass. “I told you I thought I'd feel something when I met the right guy, and apparently you think that I was right. Correct?” They all nodded their heads. “So if I was right the first time, I'll be right again. If I felt something...well then Sirius would have had to as well. And he didn't! All we have to do is ask him.” She needed this humiliation to be over with now. She went to open up the door and march back over to the boys cabin, but the girls halted her.


“You can't just march over there and ask Sirius if he's in love you!” Said Lily. “He'd feel put on the spot and he'd just say no! It wouldn't be true.”


“This has to end now!” Whined Ryu pouting. 


Rebecca stood up trying to soothe her, “Okay, Okay, don't throw a temper tantrum. Why don't you just ask Sirius to touch you, then ask if he felt anything weird?” she said shrugging.


Ryu's eyes were alight and she quickly headed over the boy's cabin, friends in tow and plan in mind.


The boys were all slightly suspicious as to why the girls were back, and began to eye them cautiously. Ryu didn't give a rat’s arse as to their apprehensions at that moment. She just wanted the girls to be wrong, Seriously! How embarrassing would it be if she wasn't aware that she was in love with someone! She at least ought to know that!


She walked right up to Sirius and stuck her hand out towards him. “Give me your hand.” She demanded.


Sirius squinted at her hand nervously and glanced at the girls in the doorway who were waiting anxiously with grins on their faces. “What's this about?” 


Ryu rolled her eyes. “Just do it Sirius.” She demanded again.


He looked distrustful but he reached out his hand and placed it in Ryu's. 


She instantly felt herself getting hot, and within seconds her knees failed her once again. Luckily Sirius saw it coming, looped an arm about her waist, and stood her upright. “Easy there.” He said steadying her. 


She hastily pushed herself out of his grip but it wasn't fast enough not to be humiliated.


Lily, Sonny, Dina, and Rebecca stood in the doorway roaring with laughter. The boys looked on with utterly confused expressions as the girls leaned on each other to keep from falling over all the while wheezing and going on about knees. 


“Knees? Is there something wrong with my knees?” asked Sirius pulling up a pant leg expecting himself to be pranked. 


“No you dolt!” said Ryu. “Just – Did you feel anything weird when you touched me?” She asked 


He looked at her warily. “What do you mean feel anything?”


Ryu rolled her eyes, “I mean did you feel anything unusual?”


He looked somewhat careful and overly cautious as he answered. “No. Why?”


Ryu turned to the girls and smirked triumphantly. “Ha!” She laughed in their face as she pushed past them. “You can all just sod off!”


The girls were still smirking as they watched her stalk down the train corridor. They didn't follow and go back to their own cabin just yet, and that afforded them another chance to have a laugh. 


James who was sitting next to Sirius on the crowded bench turned to his best friend. “What a bloody liar you are!”


All four girls whipped their head towards James. “What do you mean he's a liar?” Sonny asked looking excited.


“I mean he definitely felt something.” Explained James.


Sirius eyed his best friend annoyed. “And how the hell would you know what I'm feeling you tosser.”


James shrugged. “We're not first years anymore so it's kind of hard to fit all of us in one cabin. All your personal space is gone mate. I'm crushed up next to you and I could feel you tense up. It was like you turned to stone! Not to mention I could practically feel you start to sweat. Hell, with all the heat that was radiating off your body I was beginning to sweat.” James turned towards the girls. “What spell was she using anyways?”


The girls all had to hold themselves back from hysterics, but they all completely lost it when Lily said, “The same spell he's using on her.” 


The baffled look the boys shared only added to the girl’s mirth.


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