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A little before dinner I went to find Lupin in the common room. I had to give back a quill he’d let me borrow in History of Magic and I hadn’t returned yet. After a couple minutes scanning the room I came to the conclusion that he wasn’t here. Irritated, I walked up to the boy’s rooms. I knocked on the door, not because I wanted to be polite, but because the sight of any of them without clothes on could cause me a trauma.
-“Who is it?”- I heard Pettigrew squeak.
-“Naomi”- I replied. I heard noises, some huffs, some more noises and then the door finally opened just enough for me to see little Peter’s head poking out.
-“What is it?”- I looked over his head, which wasn’t difficult considering his rather short stature. Their room looked like a nuclear bomb had just exploded there two seconds ago. It smelled like it, too. How unpleasant.
-“Is Lupin here?”- I asked. Pettigrew glanced nervously over his shoulder. Then Potter appeared behind him.
-“He’s not feeling well. He’s in bed”- he replied. Pettigrew escaped back inside their cave.
-“This is his”- I said giving Potter the quill. He took it and nodded. I turned around to leave but Black called after me.
-“Oi! Ivy, what are you doing tonight?”- he asked. I leaned on the stone wall and smirked. I was going to enjoy this.
-“I’m going to a party”- I said. He eyed me suspiciously.
-“Are you throwing a party and not inviting us?”- he questioned. I smirked.
-“No. Josh is”- I replied nonchalantly. His eyes narrowed immediately.
-“You know…”- he started, but Potter interrupted him.
-“Where’s the party?”- he asked. I raised an eyebrow.
-“Why would I tell you?”- I said snippily. He sighed loudly.
-“Listen, Ivy, I swear we’re not gonna do anything against that stupid Slytherin party but I assume you are taking Lily with you and if I don’t know where it is I cannot make sure no patrols find you and catch you”- he informed me. I rolled my eyes at his display of superiority. He was a good liar though. I almost bought it. Almost.
-“Right, Potter, and I was born yesterday”- I snapped. Black smiled.
-“I highly doubt that, love. You look too grown up for a baby”- he said. I glared at him. I wasn’t sure I liked this new habit of his of hitting on me at all times. Of course, we both knew it was only another way of annoying the crap out of me, which seemed to have become his favorite entertainment.
-“Ivy, please. This is really important”- James’ eyes bored into mine and I saw something unexpected. His hazel eyes looked concerned, truly and honestly worried. My gut cringed, letting me know that this time he was not just planning a prank. I always trusted my instincts but I wasn’t ready to give up the information just yet.
-“Potter, you’re freaking me out”- I exclaimed.
-“Please, Ivy, where is it?”- he asked again. I groaned but told him, anyway.
-“The grounds. Somewhere behind the Quidditch pitch”- I replied flatly. Okay, if he was freaking me out before, the spasm of pure horror that crossed his face after I said that made me get really worried. Something was absolutely wrong.
-“Shit”- I looked away from Potter’s horrendous face expression to see Black paling as well. Now I knew I had been right to trust my gut.
-“What’s the matter?”- I asked, looking alternatively at Potter and Black.
-“Nothing, bye”- Potter said hurriedly, shutting the door. Anger burst inside me almost immediately. What the hell was wrong with this boy? How dare he just slam the door on my face? I wanted to open it again and scowl him but I decided against it. Revenge was best served cold, anyway. I left their aisle feeling absolutely confused and slightly worried; whatever it was that had gotten them so concerned had to do with the party’s location. I frowned trying to figure out the riddle but by the time I got to my room I had given up, it was probably none of my business.
We were in our room getting ready for the ‘gathering’ when a brown owl came in through our window. It landed on my bed post, so I guessed the letter it brought was for me.
-“The party is cancelled”- I read out loud for everyone to hear.
-“Why? What happened?”- Meg asked. Jo sat on the bed.
-“SOMEONE stole all butter beers and food they had for the party, so it’s been postponed for next Saturday”- I informed them. Potter was going to pay. I could already feel the anger boiling inside me. Revenge.
-“Why does it sound like you know who is responsible for this?”- Lily asked, confused. Rhea chuckled.
-“Lils, it was The Marauders. It’s not hard to guess”- she said, throwing herself on the bed.
-“But they like to prank the people at the party, not stop the party from happening”- Jo said. I looked at her. Something clicked inside me. Could this be bigger than their Slytherin vendetta? By the look on their face, this party meant trouble and not of the fun kind.
-“Are you sure?”- I said, icily.
-“Of course”- she nodded. I sat on my bed. There was something really weird with all this. I was missing a very important bit of information and I did not like it. Information was power. Rhea stood up.
-“I’m going to go for a walk”- she said. I looked at her.
-“Why?”- Lily asked. Rhea looked confused.
-“What do you mean why?”
-“You were fine just now, why would you leave?”- the red head said.
-“I… I… don’t know… just… just a walk”- she stuttered, practically running out of the room. I sighed.
-“There Marauders are up to something, again”- Jo said. I nodded.
-“Yeah but I can’t be bothered to try find out”- I lied. They all sighed.
-“What am I going to do now?”- Meg looked at herself in the mirror. She looked pretty, it was such a shame she was not going out tonight.
-“You could go see Dom”- Lily suggested. Meg’s face lit up.
-“You’re right! See you guys later!”- she replied, happily. Then she left. Jo took a couple books.
-“I’m going to hide in the library way past curfew… there’s some research I have to do”- she said. We did not say anything. When Jo said she was doing research in the library it meant she was going to stalk someone she thought had information I could use in the future. She took her job really seriously, she was such a good spy I am sure the CIA would have loved to have her.
-“What are you going to do?”- I asked Lily. She looked doubtful.
-“I have some Head Girl things to check… and we should plan the first Hogsmeadge trip but J… Potter said he could not meet tonight… I might just look at it alone and then fill him in…”- she blushed furiously.
-“You almost called him James”- I pointed out, staring at my nails.
-“No, I didn’t”
-“Whatever. I’m going to write a couple letters”- I said taking my parchment and quills and shutting the curtains.
I wrote two letters: one to my father telling him about the first two weeks of school and another one to Lulu. It’d been a long time since I had seen her last, so I was sure she’d love to come to my Halloween Party. It would be a great surprise to have Lulu H as my star guest. Narcissa didn’t stand a chance against my party. When I opened the curtains to send the letters I saw Lily was asleep, same as Jo. I had not noticed her coming back. I checked my watch and realized I’d been writing for three hours. That’s why I did not write very often, I got too carried away most of the times and lost track of time completely. It was already very dark outside. I slithered out of bed. The way to the owlry was deserted; no one spotted me so I didn’t worry about prefects or professors. When the two letters were on their way, I felt like smoking. I considered the possibility of sitting there and lighting a cigarette but it was a little too risky. I weighted my options. If I went back to the room Meg or Rhea could come back any minute, disturbing my peace. I liked to smoke quietly and preferably alone. My other option was to go down to the grounds. It was dangerous, I could get caught by a patrol… but I liked the risk.
When I stepped out in the chilly wind of the night I knew I had made the right choice. There was nothing like the cold fresh breeze of the early hours of a night. The sky was clear, I could perfectly see the diamond stars engraved in the dark indigo. It was a beautiful sight. I walked towards the lake, drawn by the gorgeous reflection of the full moon on the calm surface of the water. The silver path was breath taking. I lit a cigarette and enjoyed the taste of tobacco as I sat on the grass. It was wet and cold, but I didn’t mind. Half way into my cigarette, I heard someone approaching. My heart beat accelerated and a shot of adrenaline rushed through my body. I glanced over my shoulder and almost laughed when I saw it was a dog coming towards me. I had no idea there were dogs in Hogwarts. I relaxed and kept smoking. Instead of walking by me and into the forest, as I expected it to do, the dog stopped next to me. He looked anxious, if you can say that about a dog.
-“What wrong beautiful?”- I asked him, stroking his head. It jumped away and came back a couple times. I realized it wanted me to follow him somewhere. I liked dogs and I had nothing better to do, so I stood up.
-“All right, where do you…”- I couldn’t finish my sentence. I was interrupted by the scariest sound I’d heard in my entire life. A wolf’s growl so heartbreaking you’d say the creature was in pain. And it sounded dangerously close to me. I turned around, slowly. I was so scared I could hear my heart beating in my ears. My vision was slightly blurred. I felt my whole body tense and freeze. The buzzing sound in my ears mixed with the frantic heart beat was making me dizzy.
-“Holy shit… oh my God”- the words escaped my lips and I regretted them immediately. It was stupid, but I knew I was about to die and I did not want my last words to be OMG. It was lame. The wolf was no further than fifty meters away. I knew these animals were fast. If it saw me, it would take him a whisper to cover the distance. If it saw me. I did not move one inch as I forced my mind to work past the fear and come up with a solution. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. Panic was shutting my ability to think logically down, all I wanted to do was run.
I thought that when you were about to die you were supposed to see your life go through your eyes like a movie. That’s what everyone said. However, I did not see my past life. I saw my future life. The things I hadn’t done yet, the ones I wanted to do. Then I saw my father and how heartbroken he would be if I died right there and then. And, surprisingly, I saw myself in a couple years. A successful woman… was that a husband I saw? The shock of seeing myself loving a man was greater than the fear. My mind finally managed to get a grip and common sense pushed past my panic. I had to do something. I was not going to die that night. The wind whizzed, making my hair twirl around my head as I tried to find a way to save my own life. Then I realized, too late, that the wind was blowing in its direction. As soon as it smelled me, the wolf turned to face me. Panic rushed through me again, and the adrenaline kicked in harder than before. All my instincts took over and my brain simply shut down.
-“All right, let’s play”- I whispered, smiling wickedly at the beast. The wolf began moving towards me, slowly at first, coming closer and closer, eyeing me carefully. That was the thrill of the haunt, it was enjoying my fear. I tried to focus and transform but the wolf began running towards me sooner than I expected it. I understood it was too late, I wouldn’t make it.
-“Sorry dad; seems Hogwarts wasn’t safer after all”- I said to the night. I was getting ready for it to hit me, maybe knock me down. However, I was hit by something else before it could reach me. The dog had jumped in the way and pushed me in the lake. The icy water made me scream in pain. It felt as if a thousand blades had cut my skin. Then, a weird feeling of déjà vu overwhelmed me. The dog jumped out of the water and attacked the wolf. They both engaged in a fight so savage I doubted the dog would make it. It had saved my life. Again. Something told me. It was a feeling I couldn’t explain but that moment there, when I was shaking with cold, still inside the lake, I remembered. That was the same dog that had saved me two years ago in Santorini. I could not let him die for me, not without me finding out where it came from and how it managed to save my life all the time. I forced my body to move and dragged myself out of the lake. I took a deep breath and I focused on my body. Slowly, I began changing. My legs stretched backwards while my back arched and my fingers shortened. My nails grew and my long black hair disappeared. I felt my ears standing out, pointy. My nose developed and my eyes adjusted to the darkness, allowing me to see much better than before. I felt my muscles, my strength, and my speed. I growled with all the power of a mighty black panther. Then, I sprinted towards the dog and the wolf.
With another ferocious roar I launched myself against the wolf, pushing it away from the dog. I could see it was tired and possibly injured. I felt terribly sorry for it. The wolf came back, his fury now directed at me. We were even; it would take ages for us to kill each other if we tried. I knew that the wolf was only a lost, frightened wild animal. It had attacked me because I smelled like… ehm… food. But now that I was a threat, it would not put up with the fight for long. After all, panthers were not what wolves usually included in their diets. My predictions were right, after a couple minutes of biting, scratching and growling the beast retreated. Once the creature was out of reach, I turned to face the dog and I would have sworn I saw a stag running towards the wolf, but I didn’t care. My concern was the dog. It was bleeding. I knew that if I turned to my human form now, the wolf could come back. I had to get close enough to the castle to be safe. I tried to think, but I was tired and still excited from the heat of the battle so my mind wasn’t working properly. I did the only think an animal would have done: I licked its wounds.
I could not believe my eyes. What the hell was she doing out here? The party had been cancelled! There was no one on the grounds! Patrols were heavy tonight. Dumbledore always took extra care when there was a full moon so that no one would come out accidentally. How had she gotten here? I knew we had little time, Remus had already transformed and tonight was one of those nights when he’d decided to run through the tunnel. He was coming to the grounds and fast. I had to get Naomi out. She sat next to the lake and lit a cigarette. I had no idea she smoked. I approached her carefully. She stiffened slightly but glanced over her shoulder as if she knew no fear. That woman is amazing; she won’t lose her cool no matter what. I got to her and she stroked my head. It felt nice. I was a dog, after all. I needed her to follow me, so I tried to make her understand. Luckily, she got the hint and stood up. Then I smelled it. Remus was here. It was too late.
The events that occurred after I smelled Remus are a blur. I remember my adrenaline kicking in and taking control of the situation. I pushed Naomi in the lake since I knew Remus hated water and then went to fight him. I did this all the time, when he was out of control I was the only one who could scare him off back in the tunnel. Tonight, however, it was harder. The smell of her skin and perfume were too strong. Even I found it somewhat alluring and I wasn’t a predator. At least not in that sense. Remus had gone crazy; all he wanted was to get to her. He bit me, leaving a pretty nasty cut on one of my legs. I cried out in pain and fell on the ground. Then I saw Naomi. She had dragged herself out of the lake but instead of running away she had stood up and was just there, waiting for something. I panicked but before either Remus or I could react in any way the most unexpected thing happened. Naomi transformed into the most beautiful Black Panther I’d ever seen. Okay, so I had never seen a panther before, but still. She was beautiful.
She fought Remus and scared him off. I was tired and feeling weak. I realized I had lost quite a lot of blood. I hated when this happened, I was so crap at making excuses for the nurse. Naomi, or the panther, came closer. Her eyes scrutinized my wounds. I knew she thought I was just a dog, but I figured she was worried. After all, I had saved her life. Was the girl actually capable of feeling? It was a curious thing, how she seemed to avoid attachments of any kind to human beings yet, there she was, in panther form, looking rather anxious because a dog was hurt. Naomi was the weirdest person I’d even met. I was thinking about the awkwardness of the situation when she got closer. At first, I had no idea what she was going to do but feeling her just inches away made me nervous. Okay, I was still a dog and she was a scary panther, but it didn’t make it less awkward. Her eyes looked disturbingly human so I could easily remember who she was. Which made the following experience seem terribly sexual, causing me to fantasize about her every night after that unfortunate full moon. She licked my wounds. God damn it.
I stayed with him for a while. The wolf didn’t come back. I was unsure as to what to do. I couldn’t bring it inside with me because a dog was not one of the allowed pets in Hogwarts. I couldn’t leave him out on the grounds either, something could happen to him and he was injured. I felt terribly frustrated. It was only two hours past midnight so waiting until dawn was out of the question. I would freeze if I stayed here for a full four hours. Besides, I didn’t know what to do when the sunrise came. I could not let anyone know I was an animagus for that I was an illegal one. I did not want to think just how many rules and laws I had broken that night. Just when I was about to start swearing in my mind out of pure despair, the dog stood up and ran away. Like that. I sprinted towards the castle and turned to my human form when I was close enough in case the wolf decided to show up again. Then I made my way to Gryffindor Tower cursing under my breath every bad word I had ever heard.
I hate mornings, but if they are Sunday mornings I hate them even more. I opened my eyes and growled. I did not feel like getting up from bed. It was warm and comfortable and, above all, it was safe. Last night had been ridiculously dangerous. I had not been that scared since the quake in Santorini… my thoughts trailed off to the dog again. Was he okay? What was he doing here? It had been weird enough that a dog had saved me that summer on the beach… but finding him again in the Scottish Hills on a full moon night when a wolf had decided to attack me was even weirdest. It was almost impossible. I was shocked to find that I was slightly hurt he had left me. It felt as if I had been stood up by a date. I had taken care of him for a full two hours and then he’d just walked out on me! How dare he!
-“Naomi, are you awake?”- I heard Rhea ask.
-“Grr…ughm…”- was my answer. I heard her chuckle.
-“I need your help”- she said anxiously.
-“I’m sleeping. Fuck off”- I complaint from my bed. I hadn’t moved one inch.
-“Please! The girls are all gone to do coursework, you’re the only one that can help me”- she pleaded.
-“What the hell do you want?”- I asked icily, still from behind my bed’s curtains.
-“I’m going on a date with Amos… and I don’t know what to wear”- she whispered. I wanted to shoot her.
-“Rhea, you can’t be serious”- I snarled. I was so not getting up to help her dress up for her date.
-“Please, Naomi, I really like him”- she begged. I rolled my eyes even though I knew she could not see me.
-“I am not getting up to help you”- I informed her. She cursed loudly.
-“What if you can stay in bed?”- she offered.
-“Whatever”- I replied. She pulled my curtains open, smiling. I curled comfortably under the duvet and watched Rhea as she tried on clothes. All I did was hum a little, loudly if I liked it, softly if I didn’t. After a good half an hour she felt ready.
-“Thank you so much!”- she cried, smiling. I turned around and buried my head in the pillow. Rhea frowned –“What’s wrong with you? You are always up early”
-“Yeah, but it’s almost noon by now”- Rhea informed me. I knew. I just couldn’t be bothered to face a world with wolves, weird dogs that ran away from me after I took care of them and the whole lot of feelings this frigging castle was bringing on me. I did not like Hogwarts. It made it harder than usual to be the cold bitchy me.
-“I don’t give a shit”- I sneered.
-“Okay, well, I’m going. Wish me luck”- she said happily. I swear this girl annoys me. No one can be so cute. It’s revolting!
-“Fuck off already”- I snapped. She closed the door behind her, leaving me alone in my room.
I stayed in bed, staring at the ceiling. I was in trouble. There was something about this place that made it terribly difficult to stay cold and mean all times. I had not shown any signs of weakness yet, but I was very aware that it was taking a lot more effort than usual and I did not like it. Feeling make me vulnerable and I did not want to give anyone the chance to hurt me again. I stayed there for almost an hour working on reinforcing my defenses. I was not letting anyone or anything get to me, no matter how much this school tried. Yes, I was scared of Hogwarts but the sorting hat had not put me in Gryffindor for nothing. I did not back off. My bravery might not be the Gryffindor type but it was my own and I worshiped it.
-“You are so not going to believe what happened”- Meg said, sliding on the wooden bench to sit next to me at lunch. I had decided to come down after my heavy meditation that morning in bed.
-“Enlighten me”- I retorted. She looked excited. Jo sat in front of me, followed shortly by Lily.
-“I saw Amos taking Rhea to the grounds for picnic”- Meg informed. I raised an eyebrow.
-“Is that your breaking news?”- Jo asked, faking offense. Meg chuckled.
-“It is pretty surprising. Rhea has never been on a date before”- she said.
-“I hope everything works fine”- Lily added. I sighed.
-“It won’t. Diggory’s a womanizer”- I said. They looked down into their plates. I was right, of course, and they knew it.
-“Where are the Marauders?”- Lorena asked, sitting on the other sit next to me.
-“God only knows”- Meg said. Jo chuckled.
-“I know”- she said, proudly.
-“You’re like info goddess”- Odette said, joining us with Silvia. I swear, those two will not detach from each other. It’s ridiculous.
-“They are in the hospital wing”- Jo informed. My head snapped up at this.
-“Why?”- I asked. Everyone had noticed my sudden interest but, for once, I didn’t care. It looked extremely suspicious to me. Call it sixth sense or intuition.
-“Apparently Remus and Sirius are sick”- Charlie said. I turned around to look at her.
-“Who told you you could speak to me?”- I asked her. She blushed.
-“I… I… sorry”- she looked down.
-“What are you doing here?”- Lorena asked her, pretending to be more important than she really was.
-“I came because I have a message for you”- she said. I raised my eyebrow.
-“What’s wrong with this damned school and messages?”- I complaint. She blushed even more.
-“What do I do?”- Charlie asked on the edge of tears. I could tell she was afraid.
-“Give it to me”- Lily reached for the parchment and Charlie ran away. I did not like her or Mia. I did not like them at all. Well, Charlie maybe a little but Mia… she annoyed me.
-“Naomi, that was harsh”- Lily said.
-“Shut up”- I snarled. She glared at me. Lily was the only person in Hogwarts allowed to glare at me. She had too much of a temper for me to try to stop her so I just let her be. It was easier.
-“Do you not want to see what the message is?”- Jo asked. Curiosity was already eating her alive.
-“Who’s it from?”- I asked, bored out of my mind.
-“Ehm… It’s from someone named Walter”- she said. My head snapped up immediately. That was unexpected.
-“Give it to me”- I said. Lily handed it over. I opened it and read.
I pushed the door of the Hospital Wing harder than what anyone would have called ‘polite’. I was deeply annoyed. What did Walter want and why did I have to come to the Hospital Wing where Black was? I wasn’t in the mood to handle his arrogance at the moment. Dumbledore was standing there between two beds. Walter was next to him. All four Marauders were there as well.
-“Naomi! I see you got my message”- Walter said. Dumbledore turned to face me.
-“Miss Ivy”- he greeted me. I raised an eyebrow and stood safely away from all of them.
-“What do you want?”- I asked icily. Walter smiled.
-“We are trying to organize your special training”- he replied. I stared at my nails, as if this didn’t interest me the slightest bit.
-“And what am I doing here?”- I retorted.
-“Potter said the girls in the group do what you tell them to do, so we figured it was easier if only you came. We need to find suitable times for everyone”- Walter explained. I sighed.
-“I thought this was during DADA class”- I replied with a tone that oozed boredom.
-“The situation is getting worse than we thought. One year of training is not enough for you to join the Order straight after graduation, but it’s all we have so we will have to make the most out of it”- Dumbledore informed. I had to look at him. There was something about the man that made me feel vulnerable, as if he could read right through me. I didn’t like the feeling, but he oozed power so I was also quite impressed by him. He was a hell of a good headmaster, I had to admit.
-“We were thinking on adding two extra trainings on Tuesday and Thursday evenings”- Potter added. I tilted my head to the side slightly. I had nothing to do on Tues and Thurs, so I might as well just accept it.
-“Sounds like a plan”- I replied. Walter and Dumbledore grinned.
-“It’s sorted then. I trust you will inform your friends, Miss Ivy”- Dumbledore said. I nodded and turned around.
-“Naomi, wait”- Black called me. I turned around visibly annoyed. Walter and Dumbledore left the room.
-“What?”- I snapped. Potter and Pettigrew moved closer to Lupin’s bed, I suppose in an attempt to give us some privacy. As if I would ever want to get private with Black. Ugh.
-“Are you always this articulate?”- I retorted. His eyes narrowed.
-“Are you always so insufferable?”- he asked, clearly offended. I rolled my eyes.
-“I’m not in the mood, Black”- I said, turning around and leaving. It wasn’t until I was half way towards my room that I realized just how strange Black’s wounds looked. He had bandages around his arms and his chest so I couldn’t see them all, but some cuts were visible. They looked as if he’d been attacked by a bear or something similar. A wolf. No, it couldn’t be. I was about to run back to the Hospital wing when someone called my name.
-“Naomi! Here you are”- Rhea’s voice made me lose my trail of thoughts.
-“So it seems”- I replied. I had arrived in Gryffindor common room. Lily was on a table a little further away writing an essay on Merlin knows what. I had absolutely neglected my coursework these two weeks but I just could not be bothered to sit and do it.
-“What did Walter want?”- she asked. I sat on a sofa.
-“We have special training every Tuesday and Thursday evening”- I informed them. Lily looked up from where she was.
-“Has anyone else joined?”- she asked.
-“No, you cannot just sign up for it. It’s still only the four Marauders, the three of us and that Longbottom boy”- I said. Rhea sat across from me.
-“Did you see Sirius?”- she asked. I could hear the concern in her voice. I rolled my eyes.
-“Yes, I did”
-“How is he?”- Lily stopped writing and came over to sit with us. I conjured my nail polish from my room.
-“Annoying”- I retorted. Lily chuckled.
-“You know you are going to end up together, right?”- she said. I smirked.
-“He wishes”- I sneered. Rhea sighed.
-“You know, if you stopped trying to annoy each other you would get along pretty well. He’s a good bloke”- she said. I laughed.
-“It’d be terribly boring”- I informed her. Lily smiled.
-“See? They love it”- she chanted, happily. I looked at her.
-“You would know, wouldn’t you?”- I snapped. She looked confused. Rhea smiled.
-“What do you mean?”
-“You’re obviously going to end up marrying Potter, Lily”- I said nonchalantly. She blushed furiously.
-“No way”- she whispered. Rhea burst out laughing.
-“Come on Lily, the boy’s been in love with you for ages and… you know… he’s not been so immature lately… and I can see you are starting to enjoy his company”- Rhea said. I smirked at Lily who blushed even more.
-“Yeah, so he’s good looking and maybe funny… but I can’t fancy James Potter”- she replied.
-“Why not?”- I asked.
-“Because he is James Potter!!”- Lily exclaimed. Rhea and I exchanged looks and laughed. Lily looked appalled.
-“You are in denial”- Rhea informed her. The red head sighed loudly.
-“I am not in denial”- she complaint. I raised an eyebrow.
-“Yes, you are”- I said. Lily looked defeated.
-“What do I do?”- she whispered. Rhea and I exchanged looks again.
-“Go and tell him you have Head boy and girl things to discuss. Try to spend some time around him, see if he’s really grown up and then it’ll come on its own”- Rhea said.
-“For someone who’s never had a date, you are wise girl”- I conceded. She looked proud.
-“Well, I have had a date! This morning I had breakfast with Amos!”- she said excitedly. Right, I remember her waking me up.
-“How was it?”- I asked, pretending to be interested. Lily had obviously already heard about it.
-“It was… he kissed me!”- Rhea exclaimed. She was glowing. I felt sorry for her.
-“That’s good”- I said, flatly. She looked disappointed.
-“That’s good? Is that all you are going to say to me?”- she asked in aggravation. I rolled my eyes.
-“Rhea, I am not a romantic person. I do not do attachments. I do not know what it feels like and I do not want to know. I think it’s nice at the beginning, then you’ll get hurt”- I informed her. She looked terrified. Lily glared at me.
-“You are like the worst best friend ever”- Lily snapped. I raised an eyebrow.
-“No, I’m the best. I’m telling her she’ll get hurt so that when it happens it doesn’t surprise her”- I replied nonchalantly. Lily threw her arms up in frustration.
-“You are impossible!”- she exclaimed. I rolled my eyes, again. Would these girls never learn?
-“No, she’s just hopeless”- Rhea said quietly. I looked at her. She was truly hurt by my lack of enthusiasm but I couldn’t care less.
-“Why don’t you tell these things to Meg when she tells us about Dom?”- Lily inquired, clearly upset that I had hurt Rhea.
-“Because I don’t care about Meg”- I said. Rhea and Lily looked even more disturbed.
-“I thought she was your friend”- Rhea whispered.
-“She’s a minion! She’ll get hurt, she’ll cry, I’ll tell her to find someone else and she will. She’ll forget about it and she’ll be fine in no time, no big deal”- I said sardonically. I was getting really annoyed by this conversation.
-“You have the coldest heart ever”- Lily said. Rhea nodded lightly. I looked at them.
-“No, I do not have a heart at all”- I replied. I stood and walked out of the common room.
Naomi was a difficult girl. I know she doesn’t really want to hurt people, but she cares so little about feelings that she doesn’t realize everyone but her has them. I know Rhea won’t be mad at her for long; we both know she just doesn’t understand what it feels like to feel. Besides, Rhea’s got this weird thing for Naomi. I think she wants to try and make her change. I like Naomi, she’s cool and fun and smart, but I personally don’t think she’ll ever change.
-“Why do you think she’s like that?”- Rhea asked me.
-“I have no idea… maybe she’s just a bitch and that’s all”- I replied. I had never ever really wondered why she was like that. It never occurred to me that maybe something happened to her to make her become such an ice woman.
-“I don’t think so”- Rhea said. I looked at her.
-“What could make someone become so ridiculously cold? She’s almost inhuman”- I said, confused. Rhea looked thoughtful for a moment before replying.
-“I am sure someone hurt her really bad. Like… maybe a boyfriend or something. You know, she lost faith in love and trust and bonds or attachments…”- I bit my lip. It was something I did when I was thinking hard. Potter said it made me look cute in class. Stalker.
-“My friend from Beauxbatons told me she’s been like this ever since she went to school… I highly doubt she had a boyfriend when she was eleven”- I informed Rhea. She tilted her head to the right slightly.
-“What about family? Maybe her father abused them or something”- she said. I stared at her blankly.
-“Rhea, that’s way too much”
-“I know it’s awful, but I’m sure whatever happened to her was just that big of a deal… you do not forget how a heart functions for nothing”- she said. Well, I had to give it to her. She was right about that, but still. Assuming that Naomi had been abused by a relative was a little too much of an intrusion in her private life.
-“We’ll never find out, anyway”- I sighed. Rhea smiled mischievously. It was the same smile I saw playing on the Marauders lips right before a prank. She spent too much time with them for her own good.
-“Oh, we will”- she said.
-“Rhea, you’ll get in trouble. Naomi will never forgive you if you intrude her privacy”- I warned her.
-“I know. But I am not intruding anywhere…”- she winked at me.
-“Rhea, what are you going to do?”- I was worried now.
-“Don’t worry Lily, it’ll be fine”- she said. I rolled my eyes.
-“Sure”- Rhea stood up –“Where are you going?”
-“I’m going to go check on Sirius. Do you want to come?”- she offered. I thought about it. I had to finish the Transfiguration essay I had been working on and I knew they would probably like some time for themselves. They hadn’t had much of it since Rhea had joined Naomi. I knew it was a personal Vendetta for her sister, but still, she took it a little too seriously some times.
-“No, I want to finish my essay…”- I stood up as well. She smiled and nodded. I waved goodbye. Just when she was about to walk through the portrait, however; I couldn’t help myself –“Rhea, if you see Potter tell him to come find me. I want to go through Hogsmeadge weekend and patrols with him”- I blurted out. She smiled before leaving.
Two hours later I had my essay finished and I had even had time to practice some spells for next Charms lesson. It was around four thirty in the afternoon. I felt happy; I still had time to relax. I took my books upstairs to my room. After putting it all in my bag I threw myself on the bed. I had to do something nice for Naomi to thank her for all she was giving me. I had not been insulted once since she’d come. It was the first year that I had made it through the first two weeks of schools without being attacked by Slytherins and it was all because of her. Yes, she was cruel and mean to other people and she did not care for her minions at all. But she cared about me and Rhea, I could tell. Even if it was only because we were the most suitable for the job of being her seconds, she was good to us. My wardrobe was now filled with the most expensive and beautiful clothes I’d ever seen. My school bag was Abercrombie and my perfume was Channel n5. She had made my life much easier and I was thankful for that. Someone knocked on the door.
-“Yes?”- I asked. Charlie opened the door.
-“Hey, James Potter is downstairs looking for you. He asked me to come check if you were here”- she said shyly.
-“Thanks, Charlie… right?”
-“Yes”- she replied. I smiled.
-“Tell him I’ll be downstairs in a second, please”- I asked her. She nodded and shut the door behind her. I quite liked the girl but I knew Naomi could not stand her and that Mia. I didn’t like Mia either. Maybe, if Naomi recruited Charlie and only Charlie we could break them up. I put those thoughts off my mind and stood up.
-“Hey”- I said shyly when I got to the common room. Potter was there, sitting at a table waiting for me.
-“Hello Lily”- he said happily. I felt nervous all of a sudden.
-“I… we should, you know, go over Hogsmeadge weekend and review patrols…”- I said hesitantly. It was usually much easier to be around Potter when I was screaming at him and storming off the room after publicly humiliating him. This year’s twist was making things awkward. I had never been nice to him before. He had never been civil before. Being civil understood as not being an idiotic arrogant moron asking me out every five seconds.
-“Yes, I have been thinking that we could schedule the first Hogsmeadge visit for next weekend, the fourth after school started. I figured that after a full month of reclusion people will enjoy a little fresh air… before winter kicks in and brings snow”- he explained. I looked at him, impressed.
-“Yeah, you’re right. That’s a good idea”-I took a piece of parchment and wrote it down. He watched me do it but not in the stalker-ish creepy way he used to. He watched more in an ‘I am interested in what you are doing so I pay attention’ way.
-“Thanks”- he smiled. I returned the gesture.
-“I wanted to check Lilith and Marion’s patrol because they do not seem to be covering the entire south wing”- I informed him.
-“I’ve been told they tend to get into fights with each other”- I sighed. Those two were a difficult pair.
-“When is their next patrol?”- Potter asked me. I checked the listing.
-“In two days”
-“Let me check on them that night and I will get back to you and let you know how they do; if they are not behaving, we’ll make a decision then. Is that okay with you?”- he said. I couldn’t help but stare blankly at him. When had James Potter become so… mature? Responsible? I knew he’d always been smart, but he was too arrogant for his own good. He seemed to have grown up a lot during the summer. I wondered why.
-“Yeah, that’s fine. Are you sure you’re okay with taking the time to check on them? It’s one of your free nights”- I said.
-“Yeah, it’s Monday night, right?”
-“I have Quidditch practice so I can check on them on my way back to my room. I always stay behind to go over the strategies”- he explained. I nodded. I knew he was going to be a great captain, Quidditch was his passion.
-“That’s great. Thanks”- I smiled sweetly at him. His eyes brightened. I felt something weird in my stomach. I couldn’t help but to find it really cute how happy he seemed to be just there, talking to me. Rhea kept saying he’d been in love with me for ages but I had never really listened to her. What if she was right and James Potter wanted me? What if that brightness I saw flickering in his eyes was because of me?
-“It’s nothing”- he replied –“I was thinking… ehm… if you agree with me… maybe we could make a proposal”
-“What do you mean?”- he looked pretty serious so I encouraged him to explain with my eyes. He seemed a little nervous.
-“I have been thinking, we could suggest that seventh years are allowed to go to Hogsmeadge any weekend. I mean, whenever we want to go, you know? We are almost off age and it can get pretty boring to be stuck in here for an entire weekend. If we could go for dinner or shopping or even for coffee it’d be good… what do you think?”- I stared at him. He blushed furiously.
-“That’s a great idea!”- I exclaimed. He looked relieved. I smiled at him.
-“You like it?”
-“Of course! It’d be amazing if we could go any weekend we liked! We have to write a formal proposal but I am sure we can do a good job… we’ll get Dumbledore to agree”- I said. He nodded and smiled.
-“We are not such a bad team after all, are we?”- he asked hesitantly.
-“We are great”- I said. The smile that appeared in his face was so bright I felt my stomach flip. Before I could stop myself, I smiled back.