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Sirius Black was walking along the corridor, talking to Lily. They were not friends but had developed a kind of cold complicity, because Lily absolutely refused to speak to James Potter, and therefore had to address herself to Sirius whenever she wanted to borrow a book, or pass them in the corridors. Somehow, and quite incorrectly, she had identified him as the lesser of the two evils.

“Coming to Slughorn’s drinks, Evans?”

“Yes. I’m just waiting for Margot. We’re going together.”

Sirius made a face. “You’re friends with Holloway?”

Lily gave a curious half-smile. “We’re getting along. Anyway, she’s the only Slytherin in our year who hasn’t called me a Mudblood.” She smiled ruefully, and went on: “I would have expected her to be one of two, but as it turns out, it’s just her.”

“Well, never suppose she isn’t thinking it. Slytherins are all the same.”

“They‘re not all bad,” Lily reasoned. “Your cousin, Andromeda, is amazing. Just like Professor McGonagall. Composed and sarcastic and honourable…” Lily trailed off rather self-consciously. She had idolised Andromededa Black ever since they had met three years ago, but did not want to enthuse so much in front Sirius, whom she didn’t like very much, and who also happened to be a relative of her hero. He was smiling in a rather patronising way, as though there was nothing at all special about being composed and sarcastic and honourable. She changed the subject. “But Margot’s interesting, you have to admit. Incredibly clever.”

“She gives me the creeps.” Sirius muttered, with a shudder. “Those blank, staring eyes… she’s like a zombie.”

“No wonder you did so well in your Defence Against the Dark Arts exam,” Lily remarked sarcastically.

Margot Holloway emerged from the dungeon corridor. She was tall and shapeless, and her hair was as floaty as gauze, as though it refused to obey anything as vulgar as gravity. She was rather haughty in demeanour, and this effect was heightened by the fact that she was always at least two inches taller than anybody else in the room, so that she absolutely had to look down her nose at people. She was serene; neither warm nor vicious, neither friendly nor cold. Just severely dislocated from her surroundings. She was so clever because, for her, the world was entirely academic, and had no practical applications.

Sirius managed to disappear down another corridor before Margot spotted him, leaving Lily alone with her.  

“How was your summer, Margot?” Lily asked politely.

“Very interesting,” Margot replied, in the detached, slightly amused tone in which she always spoke. “My father - you know he works in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures? He took me with him to the outer Hebrides, to inspect a colony of Hebridean Blacks. One of them had set fire to a muggle village, and needed to be executed, so father let me dissect him.”

Lily, whose eyes had been shining with passionate interest until the word ‘executed’, blinked. She knew better, however, than to show any emotion around Margot. It was always greeted with polite - or worse, fascinated - incomprehension. So she replied, with a very thin, civil smile. “And are you interested in a career in veterinary magic?”

“No,” Margot shrugged. “I’m interested in seeing how their organs function in certain potions.”

“Oh,” Lily replied politely, staring straight ahead.  

There was silence between them as they climbed the marble staircase in the Entrance Hall.

“You come from a Muggle family, don’t you, Lily?” Margot asked suddenly.


“Nobody from your family’s magical at all?”


“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

“I have a sister.”

“Older or younger?”

“She’s a year older than me…. Margot, are you taking notes?”

Margot looked up from her notebook serenely, as though this was the most natural thing in the world. “Do you mind?” she asked

Lily wasn’t sure how to respond to this, so they walked on for a bit in silence.
Eventually, she said: “Why are you interested?”

“Well, don’t you wonder why you’re magical, when no-one else in your family is? And so magical, too, that you managed to get the highest mark in the Transfiguration exam?”

“I expect I…” Lily blinked. “I did?”

“I asked Professor McGonagall. She said you got two per cent more than me.”

“Oh,” Lily said again.

“You know what she said when I asked what the extra two per cent was for? Imagination.”  

A strange, thoughtful smile crossed Lily’s face. “Really?”

“Yes,” Margot shrugged. “I couldn’t see what place there was for imagination in transforming a hairbrush into a hedgehog. She said my hedgehog had been perfectly anatomically correct, but yours was perfectly anatomically correct, and had a history.”

Lily stared ahead for a little while, then, smiling rather shyly, she said. “I’m really surprised. I was having a terrible day.”

“Because that Snape boy you were sticking up for called you a Mudblood in front of the whole school?” Margot asked tactlessly.

Lily contemplated outrage again, but settled for honesty. “Yes,” she said.

“That was very cold-hearted, I thought,” Margot offered. As with everything she said, it was an observation rather than an opinion. Its only job was to be correct.

“Well, thank you, Margot…”

“I mean, I know a lot of Slytherins that wouldn’t have thanked you, but I can’t think of anyone else that would have been disgusted by your help…”

“Yes,” Lily said, a little more sharply. “Thank you, Margot.”

“I told him so at the time,” Margot continued obliviously.

“Really?” Lily continued to stare pensively ahead of her. “What did he say?”

“He told me to go away and write an essay on it.”

Lily smiled, with her eyes shut. It was a painful, wistful sort of smile.

“What do you suppose he meant by that?” Margot continued.

“Who can fathom the minds of such people?”  

Margot paused, looking at Lily, as they approached Slughorn’s office. “Perhaps you could show me how you gave your hedgehog a history,” she said.

“Of course,” Lily replied courteously. Then, remembering what her mother had told her about kindness costing nothing, she added. “I’d like you to show me how you managed to get your Scintillating Solution to sparkle like that, in your Potions exam. It was beautiful.”

Margot regarded her pensively. Her mouth twisted a little, as though she was contemplating a smile. “I’d be delighted.”

They went inside Professor Slughorn’s office, and were immediately incarcerated by his hearty embrace. He seized one of them with each arm and crushed them to his side. “Girls,” he said, “so proud of you both! Why, Miss Holloway, your Scintillating Solution scintillated before it even touched the lips!”

Margot murmured something about powdered arrowroot. Lily had the distinct impression, impossible though it might seem, that she was embarrassed.

“And you, my girl,” Slughorn grinned, turning to Lily. “You’ve got something that can’t be bottled or brewed or learned from a book, Miss Evans. You’ve got spark and creativity, an intuitive grasp of the properties of your ingredients, an aesthetic appreciation for their subtleties...”

Lily laughed nervously. Several of the people already in the room had turned their heads at this rapturous tirade. “Thank you, sir,” she whispered, in a tone that pleaded for silence.

Slughorn perceived it and released her, still smiling jovially. “Well, grab yourselves a drink then, girls!” he boomed. “Miss Holloway, speaking of Scintillating Solution, come and talk to Mr. Snape about his, the thing was masterfully concocted…”

Lily, still blushing furiously, was left to hover by the sideboard. She poured herself a drink of butterbeer (liquid comfort), half-listening to Slughorn blustering about the properties of powdered arrowroot. She hadn’t looked at Snape, and was hoping to avoid it for the whole evening. Harder to avoid than the determinedly inconspicuous Snape, however, were James Potter and Sirius Black, who came in after a few minutes, their hair artfully messy and their robes hanging casually off their shoulders. They, she noticed, didn’t hush Professor Slughorn as he enthused over their talents.

After a while, Margot came back to her. Without any preamble, she said: “Professor Slughorn says that Snape had the edge on both of us in the Potions exam.”

“My goodness,” said Lily mildly.

“Historically, of course, most of the wizards who excel at Potions have a certain bias towards Dark Magic,” she said knowledgeably. “He Who Must Not Be Named himself won a special award for his Potions.”

“Well, they don’t come any darker than that.” Lily said with a bright smile.

“Miss Evans, have you spoken to Mr Snape about his Scintillating Solution?” Slughorn was dragging Snape along by the elbow. He looked sullen and didn’t meet her eyes. “He said that he used half a gram of dried aconite to make the potion lighter. Ingenious!”

Lily smiled politely. “Really?” she said.

Within a minute, Slughorn had dragged Margot off to meet a friend of his from the Ministry, and Lily and Snape were left alone. He was looking at his shoes.

“How have you been?” asked Lily. She wasn’t smiling, but neither was her voice cold. She looked him straight in the eyes as she spoke, and a painful ache in Snape’s chest told him how long it had been since she had last looked at him.
He opened his mouth to say ‘fine’, but the word wouldn’t come out, somehow. Before he could think of another one, however, James Potter and Sirius Black had sauntered over.

“Davies?” Potter asked abruptly. “Is Meg Valance telling the truth, Evans? You’re going out with Roger Davies?”

Snape saw Lily roll her eyes before she turned towards Potter. “That’s right,” she said coldly. “Know him, do you?”

“You could say that,” Potter grinned, “having beaten him at Quidditch on no fewer than eight occasions.”

“Really?” she asked sarcastically. “I hadn’t heard. You’re so modest about Quidditch.”

James Potter decided to ignore this. “He hasn’t exactly got much of a sense of humour, either.”

“If by that you mean he doesn’t curse first-years when their backs are turned, I’ll live with it.”

Sirius evidently decided it was time to step in. “He couldn’t if he tried, that idiot couldn’t tell a bat-bogey hex from a sneeze.”

“Hmm,” Lily smiled brightly. “Well, as long as he can tell a defenceless first-year from a Death Eater, I’m happy enough.”

And she walked off to join Margot.

James Potter stared after her irritably. Sirius nudged him gently. “There’s no accounting for taste, mate.”

“I think in some cases there is.” Snape observed drily.

“Who asked you, Snivellus?” Sirius sneered. “You’d be lucky to get a girlfriend at a troll convention.”

Slughorn, whose instinct for squashing discord at his parties was second to none, bustled over, and interposed himself between Snape and Sirius, who were staring murderously at each other. “Well, boys, I trust you’re all taking my Potions class for NEWT level,” he said pleasantly. “I don’t like to see talent go to waste, you know.”

“We’re not taking Potions,” The sneer hadn’t quite disappeared from Sirius’ voice, and he shot a nasty look at Snape as he went on: “Seems like sneaky magic to me.”

“For someone who creeps around the castle under an Invisibility Cloak, that’s pretty rich,” Snape muttered in an undertone.

Slughorn, who hadn’t heard Snape’s comment, seemed delighted with Sirius’ criticism. “Well, of course, there are wizards who believe that the subtlety of potion-magic equates with hypocrisy, yes. However, the advantage of slow, deliberating magic like Potions is that, whereas charms or hexes take the impression of a wizard’s feelings, potions can take the impression of a wizard’s thoughts.”

“And what happens if the wizard doesn’t have any thoughts, sir?” Snape asked, glaring at Sirius.

Slughorn smiled, though a little less warmly. “Then I wouldn’t have him in my Potions class. And I certainly wouldn’t have him at my drinks reception.”  
The first Slug Club meeting of the term after Snape and Lily have gained their OWLS, introducing my favourite character, Margot Holloway (who I imagine as a kind of evil Luna Lovegood!)
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Song List

1- Gus The Theater Cat - CATS [link]
When this song came up I was like "AW SHIZ NOW WHAT?!" But I think this worked out in the end. The atmosphere matters more than the lyrics.

2- Little Drops of Rain - Judy Garland [link] (Sorry for iffy quality)
This song makes me think of old home movies and depression and nostalgia. Everything Sev/Lily is about.

3- Hound Dog - Elvis Presley [link]

4- Don't Stop Believin' - Journey [link]
I love to write the summer at the begining of HBP. There's so much unsaid that has so much potential! And I couldn't pass up making the Weasley's sing :P

5- With A Little Help From My Friends - Across The Universe OST [link]
This song has been a Marauder's song since I first saw Across the Universe. I was so happy when it popped up.

6- True Colors - Glee Cast [link]
I had no idea what to do when this came on. I hope it's not too crappy.

7- Confrontation - Les Miserables OLC [link]
What the hell, I don't even...

8- One Less Bell To Answer/ A House Is Not A Home – Glee Cast [link]
Another atmosphere song, ignore half of the lyrics. Harry and Ginny make me so sad :(

9- Standing In The Rain - John Paul Young [link] Mine was the very different Strictly Ballroom remix which is NOT on Youtube.
I love this song. And I love Romione. And I love writing the Yule Ball. GAH!

10- Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix [link]
This song is the most amazing thing ever in the history of creation. And the ficlet can be seen as just friends or slashy, take your pick, I'm easy ;)

[EDIT] Here's the first one I did wayyyyy back [link]
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My metal plate gives a jerk and begins to move slowly up the tube. No turning back now. I can either go along with the plan the rebels created, or die in here. Though the latter would be so much more peaceful on my part, I have to make it out. For her. I have to see her again.

I straighten my posture and stance, ball my hands into fists, and hold my chin up. I am going to make it out of this arena. I am going to be a rebel. I am going to help defeat the Capitol.

I'm finally out of the dark tube and I look around at my surrondings. Just as I was told. There's water everywhere. All around the other victors, who may or may not know how to swim. Mostly not. But that what these ridiculous bright purple belts are for.

I look for my charges and see them equidistant from me. Katniss Everdeen, the Mockingjay, is several plates to the right. Peeta Mellark, her boy toy, is about the same amount away, but to the left. She looks alittle shaken, probably never having an oppurtunity to swim in her life, and same with the boy. Technically, she's my main priority though.

"Ladies ans Gentlemen, let the Seventy-fifth Hunger Games begin!" rumbles Claudius Templesmith over the sound system. This signals less than a minte until he wave to dive toward the glistening Cornicopia in the center of this sea. I scan the goods and see my weapon of choice. My good ol' trident. Anyone who tries to lay a hand on it will be punished.

The mintue passes excruciatingly slow, but the gong sounds and I dive in. I can't help but notice Katniss dive in without hesitation. I know the belt is keeping her afloat, but she looks like she's had some experience swimming. But I don't let the thought bother me long because I have to get to the treasure trove of supplies as soon as possible.

That doesn't last long because she arrives just after me. I get my trident and a net, then wait for her to grab something. But she suddenly turns on me bow and arrow ready to fly, so I hold my weapon poised just incase she pulls an arrow on me.

I'm half smiling when she sees me. "You can swim, too. Where did you learn that in District Twelve?"

"We have a big bathtub." she replies, not removing the arrow.

"You must. You like the arena?" I ask, teasing her.

"Not particularly. But you should. They must have built it especially for you." I sense bitterness in her tone. I almost want to tell her that it was. And that would be partly the truth. It was mainly for Beetee and his supposed plan, but she doesn't know that. And she doesn't need to know. Not yet atleast. I can tell she's sizing me up, and I do the same, but I don't intend to kill her. I let myself smirk, "Lucky thing we're allies. Right?"

Then I subtley flash her the bangle Haymitch gave me. He said she'd know what it meant, but I wasn't so sure. She could just as easily think I stole it to mislead her. It takes her moment to process it.


Katniss doesn't seem too happy about this.

My eyes flicker to something behind her. One of the victors from District Five has a sword in hand, running at us. But its almost pathetic because he looks drunk. "Duck!" I shout at her. She immediately follows my command and I throw my trident striaght into his chest. She turns around just in time to see him sinking to his knees. I go over and pull out the pronged fork. I might as well warn her about some others, too. "Don't trust One and Two," I say.

With that, she pulls out her sheath of arrows and tosses the strap over her shoulder, then gestures to the pile of supplies. "Each take one side?" It simpler than finding things individually, so I nod once and dig through the stuff. I find no absolutely food or water, only more and more weapons. I didn't know that part of the plan.

"Anything useful?" I shout over to Katniss.

"Weapons!" she says. That's not what I wanted to hear. "Nothing but weapons!"

"Same here. Grab what you want and let's go."

We take a mintute to skim the pile again and snatch up anything we're willing to carry.  After that, we're forced to combat with a couple of the other victors, such as Enobaria, Gloss and Brutus. No real damage is really done, but all of us are more interested in getting as far from each other as possible. We run toward the jungle, but she stops midstep, staring out to the sea.

I follow her gaze to see Peeta still standing in his metal plate cautiously. I roll my eyes, knowing she wouldn't notice. She's going to want me to go get him. Especially since she's 'pregnant'. I sigh once. But then she's removing all of her gear, preparing to dive in herself. Keeping up the act of protecting him perhaps?

But I can't just stand here and let a pregnant woman drag him all the from out there back to dry land. I drop a hand on her shoulder. "I'll get him."

She eyes me suspiciously. "I can."

I dropped all of my things to the sand. "Better not exert yourself. Not in your condition." And I reach down and pet her in the belly, where the baby would be. I stand at the egde of the water, "Cover me." And I dive in woth hardly a splash.

I reach the boy in no time. I hold out a hand. "Odair?"

"Come on in Peeta. The water's great." He looks at me as suspiciously as Katniss. "Just hurry up. Your lady is waiting."

He doesn't argue with that. He eases himself in and bobs in the water for moment. "Katniss is okay with this?"

"Yep. I came to get you for her. She was about to come in, but I can't let her do all this work in the state she's in." He agrees, realizing what i'm talking about. He also looks over at her pleased. Rolling my eyes again, I grab him and being to tow him back to the spot where she stands, bow and arrow in hand, covering me.

I hear let a mutliple sighs from behind me. And I guess I can figure why. Since he couldn't swin himself, he has to have someone come fetch. Probably not feeling like this impresses his love.

An idea nags at me. I don't doubt his love. Everything he's said (most of what he's said), I have no doubt in my mind that it was all the truth. Trust me. I know lies. I know secrets. The poor sap has no idea that she's just acting. I do dobut everything she's said. I don't blame her too much because the Capitol is giving her no choice, but I feel bad for this guy.

But I have to admit, her acting skill have improved alot lately.

Just before we reach the land, she lowers her weapon to help bring him out of the water. "Hello, again." He gives her a quick kiss. "We've got allies."

"Yes. Just as Haymitch intended." She still doesn't seem keen with the odea, so she'll depsise the time when the others join us.

"Remind me, did we make deals with anyone else?" he asks.

"Only Mags, I think."

That surprises me. "Well, I can't leave Mags behind. She's one of the few people who actually likes me."

"I've got no problem with Mags. Especially now that I see the arena. Her fishhooks are probably our best bet of getting a meal." Oh. She only wants her for food supply.

Peeta proves me wrong. "Katniss wanted her on the first day."

I raise an eyebrow. "Katniss has remarkably good judgment." And I bend down and scoop up Mags. She mumbles something incomprehensible, but I understand it all. I point out to Beetee, floating with the use of the purple belt. "Look she's right. Someone fifured it out."

"What?" she says, squinting.

"The belts." I point down to hers. "They're floataion devices. I mean, you have to propel yourself, but they'll keep you from drowning." Staring out at Beetee, I'm tempted to fetch him too, but if he dies, this whole plan is screwed, but Johanna has to get him. So we head for the jungle.

Peeta's in front, cutting any vines and foilage in our way. I'm behind him because I don't think she quite trusts me. And she'd rather that I kill him than her I presume. And she's in the back, covering our rear. And maybe her choice in weapon is more adaptable than mine.

We take a break from walking when the Cornicopia is no longer in sight. Katniss scales a tree to take a look at the carnage still going on, or atleast that's what I'm sure she'll see. And by her face when climbs down, I'm right. "Whta's going on down there, Katniss? Have they all joined hands? Taken a vow of nonviolence? Tossed the weapons in the sea in defiance of the Capitol?"

"No," she says defeated.

"No," I emphasize. "Because whatever happened in the past is in the past. And no one is in this arena was a victor by chance." Everyone single person has had to kill to make it out another one of these hellholes. Then I look at Peeta, completely forgetting he's the exception. "Except maybe Peeta."

She hold my gaze, and I see her shifting into a hunter's stance. I certainly won't kill her, but she seems to be waiting for me to make the first move. I'm waiting for her to do so. I need to be able to block any attack. Then, being exactly what I thought, Peeta steps between us, feeling the tension.

"So how mann dead?"

"Hard to say. At least six, I think. And they're still fighting."

"Let's keep moving. We need water."

I recall Katniss nearly dying last year when she couldn't find a water source. "Better find some soon. We need to be undercover when the other come hunting us tonight."

We continue to travel upward, searching for anything that'd give us water. But we come to no avail. My throat aches for something to drink. I wish I would've been warned about this. Katniss suggests that maybe there'll be someon the other side, but so far, we haven't reached the other side, if there's another side.

I'm about to suggest that we turn back when Katniss cries out from behind me, and there's a zapping sound ahead of me. Peeta is gone. He just diappeared into thein air. But then suddenly, he's thrust back on top of Mags and I.

"Peeta?" She scrambles over to his side and fumbles with her hands at his mouth. Then she places her head on his chest to check his heart and her eyes grow wide. I know exactly what that means. "Peeta! Peeta!" she screams, shaking him, even slapping him. I'm thrown by what I'm seeing. Wouldn't this make things easier for her? He's dead. One less person to worry about. Its not like she really loves him.

What she's doing definitely will not work. But I know what would. I prop up Mags and push Katniss out of the way. "Let me." I check his pulse at his throat, confirming my suspicions, and check his ribs for any sign that they're damaged. Then I plug his nose, so I can pump air into his lungs.

"No!" she yells, but I push her away harder this time. I'm sure she hits a tree, but if she really wants me to save him, she needs to back off. Then I prop open his mouth and blow three times. His chest rises and falls. I unzip the top of this blue jumpsuit and pump over his heart ten times. I repeat this process a few times, and minutes pass. I'm not sure if it'll work this time. This is so different from the other cases I've had to do this. Those people were drowning, an electrical current stopped his heart.

I can't sit here doing this forever. Only ten more times... nine... eight... seven times?... six... five... four times... three... Peeta at long last gives a small cough and I sit back. I honestly didn't want him dead. He seems like a decent guy. But I would've had to stop at some point. I'm glad it worked though.

Katniss flings herself at him, leaving her weapons on the ground. "Peeta?" she says softly. Unneccessarily, she checks his pulse again.

In a weak voice, he says, "Careful. There's a force field up ahead." She starts to laugh, but she's already crying. I can't resist a wry smile. "Must be a lot stronger than the one on the Training Center roof. I'm alright though. Just a little shaken."

"You were dead! Your heart stopped!" she shrieks. She realizes that it was stupid to shout out, and claps her hands over mouth, buts it not enough to cover up her beginning to hyperventilate. She's really choking there. You can't fake that. But then... she's not acting? But...?

"Well, it seems to be working now. It's all right Katniss." She nods, but can't stop sobbing. This makes him panic. "Katniss?"

"It's okay. It's just her hormones. From the bab,." I say, trying to convince myself. But that's stupid because I even know the truth. Unless what he said was true. That makes no sense though. But I usually never get these kinds of things wrong. I thought I could read people easily, but this girl here is being difficult. Does she care for him after all?

"No. It's not-" but her sobbing cuts her short. I continue to look at her with a quizzical expression because now I have to rethink everything about her.

I thought she was just using him. But this whole incident proves me otherwise. If she were really just using him, she could've let him die. I mean, sure, she can act like she's trying to revive him, but she seems... genuine in her emotions right now. Nothing feels fake in the slightest. Could she possibly care for him as I care for Annie? Does she really love him him as much as she claims?

Ugh, this is too much for one day, its we're not even half way through it yet. I just shake my head, to clear away this confusing subject and move on to what's at stake because we're still in the damned arena.
Okay, this is obviously from Finnicks POV. I've been branching out with these things and I really wanted to do one from Finnick's perpsective.

I chose this point in time because in Mockingjay, Finnick admits his doubts about Katniss in the beginning of the Quell. Plus, Finnick deserves some more love(: I loved him so much.

These characters belong to the lovely Suzanne Collins, and this takes place in Catching Fire.

I hope you like[:
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It's sort of pathetic how life can't get much better than it has been lately. No, its totally pathetic.

I mean, a few weeks ago there was that incident in the square. Gale Hawthorne was being whipped for poaching by the New Head Peacekeeper, Thread. He went to give what the old Head a turkey, but was surprised by this new man.

I'm not exactly fond of the guy, but I don't want to see someone Katniss cares for being whipped. And then she dove in and got hit herself. That wasn't pretty. I feel horrible because I should have stopped her. And I tried to get her to leave, but she persisted. As she shoved through that crowd, I sent someone for Haymitch, and who knows what would've happened if he didn't step in. And then there was the Peacekeeper, Darius, laying on the ground unconscious for trying to stop the atrocity.

I've never seen such a punishment before. I was told by my parents of a time when rules were reinforced as harshly as that, but years ago before Katniss, Gale and I were even born. But I suppose that would have had to change with Katniss and I living in the district.

The proceeding night was unbearable.

Katniss was nauseous from watching her mother help Gale's injuries, and I admit it was pretty gruesome. I had to sit her down and hold the snow to her swollen cheek, but even then she kept looking over at him. Later, she screamed at her own mother over pain killers for him. She nearly woke him up, and her mother told Haymitch and I to take her out. We had to literally pin her down in a bed.

Madge showed up with some stronger pain killers in the middle of the blizzard that started up. I mentioned that I didn't know Madge knew Gale. And Katniss... felt jealous. I heard it clear in her voice. She felt jealous of some connection between Gale and Madge. That only spiked my own jealousy.

The worst part for me though was watching her watch him. Everyone is forced to leave. Haymitch and I both offered to stay but Mrs. Everdeen wouldn't allow it. I was over taken by jealously again. I'm not going to lie about it. I want her to be happy, but is it so wrong that I want happiness as well? If it is, that I want to be wrong.

The next morning I bring over some fresh rolls and find her asleep next to him. Her head on the table, her hand in his. This unsettles me. And that's because I don't honestly know if she'd have done the same for me. I know she cares for me, but perhaps not that much. I do a terrible job at hiding my true feelings, but I can have a selfish moment for once. But I still want her happy, so I send her to bed as I tend to him. I think I hear her cry out once, but I know she probably didn't want my company.

And not too long after that fiasco, there was another. Haymitch and I are called over to the Everdeens' house by two Peacekeepers. Apparently they were waiting for Katniss to show up to tell her a message from Thread. But as time passed, I began to worry that she wasn't coming back. She was hours late and I got a feeling deep in my gut.

She ran. With him.

We had discussed running before. Just minutes before the first incident, but by the next day she had changed her mind. Because of him. And then she started talking of rebellion to Haymitch. But he shot down the idea. Too risky. Our poor district can't take that.

I thought that ended the matter. No one would run off. But at the time I thought she'd change her mind for him. I felt jealous, and almost betrayed. Because she wouldn'thave left only me, but her family and she'd never do that willingly.

As a distraction, I was forced into playing a game of chess. At long last she shows up, to everyone's surprise. I let out a sigh of relief, and Haymitch gave me a teasing chuckle. I shoot him a quick glare, but continue on nonchalantly.

Her acting skills have improved greatly since the Games. She makes up a story about going around town looking for the Goat Man, which seems perfectly believable, but I had an idea of where she was. Probably out hunting. She pretends to bicker with everyone about the supposed location of the Goat and we all say our lines accordingly.

But my heart nearly stopped when the female Peacekeeper asked for the sack in Katniss' hands. There was something clearly in the bag and if it was an animal or somehting from the woods, none of us could stop them for taking her. I'd try to, but they'd get her. But to my relief, it was merely candy, which we passed around still playing our chipper roles, and bandages. I end up getting up to hug her and she lets out a sound of pain she tries to play off as a huff. But I knew better. I just wanted the Peacekeepers to leave. When the finally did, she nearly collapsed and completely lied about what really happened. She fell off a roof and managed to break her ankle and severely bruise her tailbone. Supposedly.

Since she couldn't walk, I carried her off to bed. Mrs. Everdeen had given her some sleep syrup, which reminded me of the games. A mix of emotions ran through me as I laid her down. She slipping away when she grabs my hand and pressed it to her cheek, "Stay with me."

It's almost unfair of her to ask that. Not with Gale so evident on her mind. I wish I could be selfish, for self preservation at least, but no. I want the best for her, even of it causes me pain. "Always," I said back. And its true, as long as she needs me, I'll be there, loved or not.

I know, I'm a pathetic Lover Boy.

Lately I've been going over to her house with cheese buns because I know they're her favorite. She's asked me to help her with this family book of different plants and their uses. It consists of descriptions and an image. She wrote and I drew, nothing big. But each day I saw her and we went through this, I felt... appreciative. We weren't being forced into this interaction. This was our choice. When we weren't working on the book, I took her downstairs to watch television and she surfed the channels. At first, I was worried about this. It bothered me because she's only ever watched when it was mandatory, but I left it alone.

One day I catch her staring at me while sletching for that book, and I said, "You know, I think this is the first time we've ever done anything normal together."

She looked surprised when I looked up at her. Like I had caught her spying on me, she even blushed faintly, but she replied, "Yeah. Nice for a change."

Yeah, it was.

Right now, I'm about to watch something that is mandatory. But nothing to worry about. It's just a showing of Katniss's wedding dresses. Or so I've heard. It hits me: I'm going to marry the girl of my dreams... against her wishes. How very... extremely... bittersweet. I don't know if I'm really okay with this or not. I do love her, but she doesn't love me that way or at all and do I really want to marry someone who doesn't share those feelings?

Why would she suggest such a horrible thing, knowing about my feelings?

Why would I agree to go along with it?!

I sigh because I know why. To protect her from Snow, of course. I rub my forehead. I really am too gullible for my own good. I really am a sap and a Lover Boy.

Turning my attention back to the television, I get a glimpse of yesterday's events from across the circle. Katniss tried on several dresses that according to Caesar had been voted on by Capitol viewers for the past few weeks. All of them are beautiful on her, naturally, but she also looks out of place. Here in District Twelve, weddings are so much simpler. We had a toasting, which is more intimate. Nothing about our wedding will be intimate. I do mean nothing.

Once that is over, my good friend Caesar tells me that I have to stay tuned for another big event. "That's right, this year will be the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Hunger Games, and that means iy's time for our third Quarter Quell!"

A smile escapes me. I won't have to go in. And neither will Katniss. We're safe from at least one form of torture. We will be forced to mentor the poor tributes, but I think I can handle that. But then again, I might change my mind once I have to actually do it. Until then, I want to savor the security I have as a victor, if only for a moment.

The anthem plays and our President takes the stage, along with a little boy in all white carrying a wooden box. What's in there? The anthem ends and Snow goes into a speech somewhat like the speech before reaping. Our nation is reminded of the Dark Days and how they brought about the Hunger Games. He explains that a Quarter Quell was just a glorified version of the normal games.

"On the twenty-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that their children were dying becuase of their choice to initiate violence," What a load of crock, "Every district was made to hold an election and vote on the tributes who would represent it."

A lump forms in my throat. I can't imagine being voted into the Games. Being reaped was bad enough, but having people you know vote you in is betrayal, but forced betrayal because there wasn't a choice.

"On the fiftieth anniversary, as a reminder that two rebels died for each Capitol citizen, every district was required to send twice as many tributes."

The lump get bigger. Forty eight tributes. One victor, forty seven dead. I thought my chances were bad when it was only twenty four of us. Yet somehow, Haymitch made it out that year. I've been tempted to question him about that, or see it on television, but it's never come up.

"And now we honor our third Quarter Quell." The little boy in all white steps to Snow, holding up the box. There are dozens of enevelopes in there, marked with numbers, representative to the year of each Quell. He grabs the one with 75 and opens it up. On the seventy-fifth anniversary, as a reminder to the rebels that even the strongest among them cannot over come the power of the Capitol, the male and female tributes will be reaped from their existing pool of victors."

And I'm out the door, sprinting across the circle to Haymtich's. I don't bother knocking. I just throw open the front door and find him at his kitchen table, drinking from a bottle I probably supplied him.

"I'm going back in," I command.

Haymitch chuckles, "Says who?" I knows he's already seen it.

"You owe me," I snap, pounding my fist on the table firmly. "We chose her last year, as a favor to her, but now you have to do me a favor. I want to go back in. To protect her."

He looks at me hard and takes a swig of his drink, "I'm not saying I'm doing this, but say you get chosen, wouldn't my favor be saving you rather than killing you? Because that's what you're asking me to do here. You realize that?"

"My favor is whatever I want to ask. And I'm not asking. I'm demanding I go back in."

"And if I'm reaped...?"

"I'll volunteer." Like he didn't know.

"What if you get reaped, and I volunteer?" I falter, not seeing this angle coming and he smirks. But I hold his gaze. "What are you going to do about that?"

"You wouldn't," I say icily.

"And why is that?"

"Because... because you know all of the other victors. You're friends with them. Do you really want to kill your friends?" I know, sort of a low blow, but I'm desperate. I can't let her in there by herself. She barely made it out last year. It's only going to be worse this time because all of the tributes have killed and handled weapons before.

Haymitch throws me a dirty look, but I just look at him, half pleading and half trying to intimidate him. Did it work? Did it work? Please let it work? He groans, and I think I can actually read pain in his expression, "Fine." I hold out my hand to shake and he rolls his eyes before taking another swig and then shaking my hand. "I hope you know what you're doing, boy. I really do."

"I do." And I walk out the front door, back to my house.

For the second year in a row, I plan on dying in that damned arena. Last year was a fluke, me coming out. But there is no way I'll get off that easily this year. There will be only one victor this year, and I once again plan on that being Katniss.
It has been TOO long since I've done a Peeta POV. I know I had a couple requests but I'm missing the first and last books because I lent them out to friends and have yet to get them back. BUt i felt bad not doing one in forever. So here you go!
This is from Catching Fire (by the lovely Suzanne Collins), when Peeta finds out he (or Haymitch) and Katniss were going back in the games.
I apologize for its suckiness. Like I said, its been too long. But I still hope its not too horrible.

*I know this is sort of random, but I was listening to this song today, and I started thinking this song totally fits Peeta. Click it to find out which song ;D [link] Do you agree or am I imagining things?
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Year One

He's not at all scared of her like he expected he would be.  In fact, he thinks she's pretty nice; and she has the prettiest eyes.

Year Two

He's scared, but then so is everyone else.  People are being attacked left and right; they say the
Heir of Slytherin is responsible.  He knows it's not Harri's doing, but he's still scared.  He can tell she is, too; he does his best to make her smile whenever he can.  It's not much, but it's the best he can do.

Year Three

It isn't until Hagrid has carried Draco back up to the castle that he realizes he's gripping her arm.
She smiles at him, assuring him that he has suffered no harm.  He doesn't know how to explain that wasn't his concern.

Year Four

He knows he has no chance.  After all, who is he compared to Cedric Diggory?  So he savors their first dance together, convincing himself that it is enough to be her friend.  It's enough.  It's enough.    

Year Five

He remembers the pain, the pain, the naked fear visible on her face as she reappeared in the stadium.  He knows he's not strong and he's certainly not brave.  But as he mounts the Thestral that only he, Luna, and Harri can see, he's never been more certain of one thing:  He never wants to see that look on her face again.  

Year Six

He knows he's gotten stronger, braver.  But when he watches her walk away from him that dreary June day, he's never felt more cowardly.

Year Seven

The Cruciatus curse is more terrible than he had ever imagined it could be.  Still, he endures it.  Again, and again, and again… because he has to.  He has to because he has to be there when she returns.  And she will return.  He has to believe it.  He has to.

Year Eight

He still has nightmares sometimes and occasional phantom pain.  She does, too.  There are dark days when they remember the ones they've lost, but they get through them together.  For Neville, and for Harri, that is enough.
Meh... I should be sleeping...
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Chapter 1

Boys generally start to notice girls in their early teens, around twelve and thirteen. Draco Malfoy had started to notice them more at thirteen. When he was twelve, yes, he understood the concept of girls and found some attractive. At thirteen, he was mentally narrowing them down to categories; Yuck, Okay, Potential, and Yes. No matter who they where, they where placed once he saw them. It was on a Saturday afternoon that he was thinking about one girl in particular, and where to place her. He'd started his categories in the summer, and she had been mentally put under Okay, Yuck for a few days, but Okay at this point. He was shocked at this, but then he realized, she was under it for one reason, her spunk. He liked it, too much.

Him and the other Slytherines where meeting for Quidditch practice this afternoon and he was the first near the area. The Gryffindors where just heading into the changing house to change out of their practice robes. He pinpointed the girl on his mind, she was talking to the twins animatedly, apparently something funny had been said, because the whole team laughed. He looked at her, she was Okay, so the category fit perfectly. She had developed slightly over the summer, he had checked her out the day before, making sure that was the right category. Something told him that “Okay,” was not right, but he shrugged it off.

The rest of the team met up a little ways off and Draco watched most of the Gryffindors leave the changing area. They stood waiting before Flint grew impatient, but before he could go to the changing house to yell, an argument broke out with the Beaters. Draco rolled his eyes, and jumped when Flint addressed him.

“Malfoy, can you tell those arrogant twits to get the hell out of there. My hands are full.” barked Flint as the rest of the team tried to pull the Beaters apart.

Draco chose to do as told. He was no real use to the fight, not that he'd actually help if he was buffer. Sure he'd managed to get toned over the summer and he was quite pleased with the results. But he was still smaller compared to his teammates. He walked towards the changing room, his cocky grin on his face. Yet he was slightly afraid of getting his arse beat by a bunch of Gryffindors, he was sure he could take one, but no more than that. . . On other thought, Wood would kick his arse.

“CLEAR OUT! GRY....!” Draco yelled as he walked in the room smugly, but he was cut off.

“AHHHH! GET OUT MALFOY!!!!” Draco opened his eyes, he knew that voice.

He felt his face loose all composure and his jaw dropped. He saw a glimpse of lightly tanned flesh and then red, and black hair. He looked at the screamer, and it was just who he thought it was, Harriet Potter. He knew his face was just as red as hers. But he pulled himself together. What to say to a naked Gryffindor girl in a towel.... who was all alone. He smirked, something cocky. He was about to say something, but all he could help thinking was that she had a really pretty face without the glasses and her hair wet and dripping around her face.

“DID YOU HEAR ME!? GET OUT!!” she screamed again, he face was a lovely shade of Rose red.

“You know Potter, you have really nice legs.” He had no idea why he had decided to lean closer to her and say this.


His face was stinging, and he had fallen to the ground, along with something else. Both her hands had been holding the towel and when she'd smacked him, the towel hadn't completely left her fingers. It lay next to him on the ground. In the split second he looked up, he had officially seen his first naked girl.... his first naked girl had bolted to behind some lockers.

“OUT!!!!!!” her voice was choked with mass humiliation and fury.

Draco fled, mainly because his body was reacting in a way he didn't feel appropriate at that moment. Harriet had potential, she was no longer just okay. Potential, indeed. He ran passed the other Slytherine's and heard Flint say practice was canceled. He hit the bath quickly and was so very happy it was empty.

He left the bathroom a little while later and walked to the dungeons. He smirked, he'd seen a girl naked today. Not just any girl, he'd seen the “Famous Harriet Potter.” He didn't want to dwell at this point, as he was hungry. He was extremely glad he'd actually listened to Flint. As he sat at the table, he looked across to where Harriet sat, her normal spot. He had no idea why he knew it as her spot, maybe all the dirty looks he'd shoot at her. She wasn't there, he shrugged.

“Damn Gryffindors have Quidditch tomorrow again.” said Flint, he ripped his meat apart.

“Morning again?” asked Draco.

“Yeah, bloody bastards, always booking the pitch. Oh well, I have it booked all next week, Wood will be stark raving mad.” the Slytherine's laughed.

Draco had an idea, an evil idea. Harriet entered the room finally, and the idea was set in stone. He watched her play with her glasses as she started whispering something to Hermione. Hermione's jaw dropped and Harriet's face was brilliant red as she looked down. Draco went back to talking to the rest of his classmate, making sure his composure never fell. Suddenly he realized that was a mistake, they where still laughing and he imagined the image reeling in Harriet's head. . . why should he care? Why did he care? He shrugged it off and listened to them talk. He glanced over to the Gryffindor table, but the Golden Trio where gone, Weasley rounding the door corner. The twins looked at each other and fled as well. He had said nothing and he realized, he was going to get his arse kicked. Damn it.

To Be Continued
Part of the Harriet Potter Series... well the first anyways..... but some will back track. There are several I will be posting... they GO IN ORDER

Chapter 1 of 3

This one is the first...
The Next (posted after this) is called Draco's Problem.
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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling does.


Next in Line

Chapter 2 - Hogwarts Express

I sat all by myself in one of the compartments, but after a few moments got bored. I decided to go out in search for Rose.

I timidly walked along the corridor, not meeting the eyes of the other students. I glanced into the seats but I couldn't recognize any of the passengers' faces. At length I walked into an empty carriage.

Suddenly, I saw smoke emerge from the glass door of the compartment farthest from me. I cautiously moved closer to investigate.

A pale blond boy about my age lay unconscious on the floor. His face was hidden in thick grey smoke. A ring of flames surrounded him and licked at the edge of his black robe. I pulled at the door but it was locked.

"Help!" I cried out to the empty corridor and hoped that somebody at the next carriage heard me. The metal handle was growing hot from the fire, but I continued tugging it open until it was too hot to hold.

"Cammy!" Someone shouted. To my relief, Rose was running towards me, her wand pointed towards the burning room. A black-haired boy was close at her heels.

"Alohomora!" The door slid open at her words. I staggered backward as hot air and smoke hit me in full force.

Covering my face with my robe, I quickly stepped into the fire and pulled the unconscious boy by his left arm. Rose's companion clutched his right arm and together we dragged him to safety. The dark-haired boy stomped on the flames that had caught on the blond boy's robe until they were gone. Rose held out her wand, murmuring incantations that gradually subdued the blaze.

Gasping lungfuls of clean air, the dark-haired boy and I leaned on one of the seats. "Are you alright?" he asked me, his bright green eyes searching my face and arms for burns.

I nodded weakly. "It is him we should be worried about," I said, pointing to the boy we saved. I looked upon the victim and my breath caught in my throat. Before me was the most beautiful boy I had ever seen. I was gripped with the compelling desire to save this light-haired angel. Without thinking, I took out my wand and touched him with it. A bright blue light enveloped him and after a few seconds, he blinked his light grey eyes open.

I watched him silently as he took in his surroundings then looked at the three of us. His chiseled face was marred with confusion. "Who are you?"

Rose stepped forward. "I'm Rose. This is my cousin Al, and that's Cammy. We're all first year students. What's your name?"

"Scorpius. What happened?" he croaked, swallowing with difficulty.

"Cammy saw you lying in that burning compartment. It was locked from the inside when Al and I arrived," Rose explained. "Do you remember how you got in there?"

He shook his head. "The last thing I remember was going into the washroom." He lifted his hand to his forehead, wincing in pain.

"There you are!" An older boy who greatly resembled Al strode quickly towards us, and with him was a statuesque girl with strawberry blond hair.

"James! Vicky! What took you so long?" Al exclaimed.

"We had to go and inform the prefects. Is anyone hurt?" James asked. He and Vicky began inspecting the three of us. Satisfied that we were uninjured, he turned to Scorpius. He raised his brows in surprise.

"What is he doing here?" he demanded.

"James!" Rose warned. "He was almost killed in the fire! Thank goodness the three of us got here in time… or else…"

"It might have been a trap," James countered.

Al placed a hand on his shoulder. "James, please…" He looked at Scorpius apologetically. "Scorpius, forgive my brother. He always jumps to conclusions…"

Scorpius closed his eyes, apparently too weak to respond.

I glared at James. How could he accuse Scorpius of such terrible things when he was so clearly the victim?

Vicky spoke to James in a soft, soothing voice. "Come on, Cousin. We'll report this to the authorities. They will get to the bottom of this." She turned to us. "No one else shall know about this. It will be best to keep this a secret until the Aurors investigate." She then smiled at Scorpius compassionately. "We'll be at Hogwarts shortly. We'll get you a nurse as soon as we can."

"We will find out if your father or his friends had anything to do with this, Malfoy," James vowed. My jaw dropped open when I realized Scorpius was Draco Malfoy's son. I had read about his family in some of my course books. I looked at Rose and her cousins and belatedly discovered that they were children of the famous Potters and Weasleys. So that was why James seemed to hate Scorpius so much…

Still regarding Scorpius with mistrust, James followed Vicky out of the carriage.

"Sorry about that, Scorpius," Rose muttered. "My cousin tends to be a little rash sometimes."

Scorpius sighed. "I'm used to it. My family and I still get nasty looks when we go out in public. People will never forget the crimes of the Death Eaters."

My heart reached out to him. "But the son must not be blamed for what the father did," I blurted out. Rose and Al nodded in agreement.

Scorpius looked at the cousins strangely. "I can't understand. Why are you so quick to trust me? Why aren't you suspicious, like James was?"

"Like Cammy said, you had nothing to do with your ancestor's sins," Rose replied.

Al hesitated before speaking softly, "Dad used to tell me stories about his encounters with Voldemort and the Death Eaters. And there was one particular story I could never forget."

Harry Potter's adventures with Voldemort were written in some history books, but they were far too vague in my opinion. I listened to Al with rapt attention.

"Voldemort had just hit Dad with a Killing Curse. Miraculously, he survived, but he was pretending to be dead. Voldemort then commanded Narcissa Malfoy, your grandmother—" he grestured to Scorpius, "—to check if Dad really was dead. And do you know what she did?" We shook our heads. "She lied to the Dark Lord. She said Dad was dead even though she knew that he was alive. If Voldemort had sent another, more trustworthy Death Eater to confirm Narcissa's claim, she would have been found out and killed for disloyalty. So you see? Your grandmother risked her life in order to save Dad!"

"Just as you risked your lives to save mine," Scorpius said slowly. "Thank you, everyone."

We looked at each other, bright beams on our young faces. We didn't know it at that time, but the four of us were already tied to each other in one of the most unbreakable bonds ever known.

The bond of Friendship.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling does.

Thanks so much to my beta, TurnThePaige, for the helpful suggestions and wonderful critique. :)

Is it too obvious that I have a crush on Scorpius? ^.^ Or porotto’s Scorpius, that is. Check him out!


Rose and Albus look like this (also from the ever-talented porotto):



Wish I had a gang as cool as them! LOL Sorry for the corny ending… just couldn’t help it…

Photo: [link]

Next in Line Chapter 1

Next in Line Chapter 3

Next in Line Chapter 4
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Chapter 2
Confronting and Plans

The next morning, he got up early. Which he argued with himself, his hair never stayed in place this early. That wasn't the focus. He needed to avoid an arse kicking, by talking to Potter, before the day could really begin. The Great Hall was empty as he planned to walk through to head out to the pitch, and he was shocked to see the raven haired girl, mutilating her eggs. He needed to sound like himself, but still confirm he'd said nothing.

“Hey Potter.” he said calmly, she stiffened.

“What?” her voice was cold.


“Calm to insult me?” he voice almost made him flee.

“No, come to tell you something. Ahem. I know what that looked like yesterday. One, I was not spying on you, Flint sent me to shoo you and your mates off. Also to make it perfectly clear, I've told and will tell know one. I will pretend it never happened, if you do.” he was confident, that he sounded obnoxious, “I don't need to be constantly reminded of it.”

“You told know one?” she swung around to look at him, her face serious.

“I swear, I told no one.... Cross my icey heart and hope it to melt.” he liked that phrase, yes it was now his.

“So... the laughing yesterday?” she slowly looked back to the table.

“We where laughing about taking all your practice time next week.” he sighed.

“Really?” her voice sounded relieved, then it changed to anger, “All out practice time?!”

“Yes.” said Draco, it felt all better now, he was going to say something more, when the rest of the team appeared in the door.

He wasn't sure what was going to happen next, but he felt slightly like running. The twins eyes narrowed and Ron and Hermione where right behind them. If looks could kill, let's just say, he would have died a horrible death and would have begun to rot. Harriet made eye contact with Hermione as she said in a rather angry but amused voice.

“This git just came to rub the fact his team decided to take up our practice time next week. They had a right laugh about it.” said Harriet, Wood blew.

“DAMN FLINT! You tell your ruddy captain, that I am going to kick his arse, damn it. Come on, where doing extra rounds today.” said Wood, he stormed off a head of the group.

“See you later Potter.” he walked off with a smirk over his shoulder, she glared a questioning look.

Harriet just began brushing her hair in the changing house. It had been a very good practice and she was eager to hurry up so she could go to Hagrid's. She looked around the room, they'd left again. Hermione and Ron where most likely waiting by the front door as always. She felt slightly amused about the other days antics. Malfoy had made no foul comments, he'd not told his friends, and he'd even given her information. She turned as she heard the door open to the back. She stood up and looked, it was Malfoy. Her amusement changed to rage.

“CLE.... damn... I missed it.” he looked upset for a split second and then he recovered, “....”

“Is that a camera?!” her eyes fell to what was around his neck.

“No.... it's a prank camera I got from Zonkos.” he looked serious and she almost believed it.

“YOU PERVERT!” almost.


“Jerk.” she stomped out of the house, Draco lay there on the ground.

He was certain that his cheek was going to have a bruise after two days of abuse. He heard his teammates enter the house and simply look at him. He thought about the scene. Their seeker, laying on the ground, a camera in hands, there very early, and a red handprint forming a bruise on his face. The team snickered and carried on as if it where normal, he suddenly felt rather dirty.

“Did you get a good shot?” asked Flint, changing.

“No.” said Draco, “But she did.”

Chapter 2 of Realization... look a Harriet.... yay!! Colors a bit wonky because of my scanner.... anywhoos..
Chapter 2

Draco's Problem is the sequel.
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Part 1

Ch 9 - The Marauders' Army

James Potter had always been fond of theatrics. After all, he'd always loved causing an effect on people, especially if that effect left them gaping for hours while they tried to get into their heads how cool he was. Theatrics always helped with that: they created an atmosphere already ripe with drama and awe for other people to bathe in. That was why he'd chosen one of the unused classrooms high up in the east tower for their first meeting. The cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, the scratches in the desks belonging to students long forgotten and the moonlight seeping in from the windows all contributed to the aura of timelessness and permanency that James had been so eager to convey.

Padfoot had helped him drag the teacher's desk to one of the darkest corners of the classroom, where they were both going to sit. Padfoot had also gone the extra mile in theatrics: instead of torches, he'd made Wormtail bring a dozen candles, which he then lit with a blue flame and scattered in the air around the classroom. The effect was both spooky and magical, and James liked it very much. It was almost midnight, and both James and Sirius sat down on the old teacher's desk to wait.

One by one, the students they had called filed into the classroom. James was pleased to see Lily come in the company of Alice Pryde and Mary Macdonald, the three of them looking as solemn as the occasion required. Next came two Hufflepuffs and two Ravenclaws, then a couple of sixth-year Gryffindors. By the time James decided it was about time to begin the meeting, a total of a dozen people, including the Marauders, were sitting at the classroom, looking both excited and apprehensive.

"Welcome," said James. "I'm glad the routes we outlined for you brought you here without any unpleasant encounters. Well, then. I'll just get straight to the point, shall I? We all know the basics of why we're here. We believe the Death Eaters have successfully infiltrated the school in the guise of students, and we are going to stop them."

Alice Pryde raised her hand.

"Yes?" asked James.

"Do the teachers know about this?" she asked. "I mean— we should tell them first, before… before…" But she lost her thread and finally shut up under the strength of Sirius's glare. James shot his friend a dirty look as Sirius rolled his eyes in exasperation and sat back against the wall.

"There is one good reason we haven't," said James, trying to ignore Sirius's unsporting attitude. "You know how power structures are. The teachers— even Dumbledore— can't do a single thing about those students because there's no tangible, conclusive proof about what they're doing. Sadly, you can't just expel people without good reason, much less send them to Azkaban on the ground of mere suspicion. Let's face it, these guys have been really careful. We all know who they are, but can we prove it? Since the parents of half those kids are School Governors, we need to make sure we have damn good proof that they've been doing illegal things before we decide to act, otherwise it might come back and bite us in the arse."

"And that's where we come in," quipped Sirius, looking impatient. "We're going to find that proof and then get rid of all of them. We've already got names, it isn't that hard. Mulciber, Rosier, Avery, Beadling, the Lestranges, the Blacks, Snape—" James saw with triumph that Lily winced upon hearing her old friend's name "— the Carrows, Calaginis, Wattle, Pemford…"

"There's also the fact that Dumbledore is already growing suspicious," said Remus. "We know from a very reliable source that just yesterday, he gathered them all up to his office to have a talk with them. While it's obvious none of them were expelled as we hoped, it means that our own suspicions are not groundless and we're not the only ones trying to find dirt on them."

"Exactly, thank you, Moony," said James. "Dumbledore would be very grateful to all of us if we managed to produce him some proof of what he already suspects. And teachers, being teachers, have a limit to what they can really do to the students."

"Fortunately," said Sirius, grinning. "We don't have said limitations, so we can go the extra mile to catch those bloody bastards and clean the halls of our school."

"I'm guessing you've already got a plan, then," said Lily. James smiled at her.

"Of course we do!" he said. "We've already thought this out very carefully, but we need to wait a bit before we act. We need intelligence, we need to wait to see how they are handling themselves, and we need to establish a battle plan knowing exactly who we have on our side. So what we really want to know right now is who among you would be up to this. It will be risky, and probably earn you the wrath of many dangerous people, but it's for a good cause. Hogwarts has always been the last safe bastion in Britain, and we can't allow Voldemort—" there was a series of collective gasps that made James feel very proud of his own bravery "— to run it over with a bunch of Death Eaters disguised as students. It is our duty to stop it."

"So?" said Sirius. "Who's with us?"

"Before you sign in hastily," said Remus. "I need to tell you that this is not a joke. We intend to take ourselves very seriously and ask that you do the same. Which is why, if you decide to join us in our efforts, we're going to have to ask of you to sign a magical contract that will stop you from ever saying a word of this outside the group. So please, take a few moments and think carefully about what you're going to do and what is at stake here. There will be no hard feelings from our part if you decide to go."

There was silence in the room. One of the Ravenclaws, a guy named Lockhart, stood up and left without a word, but the other one remained in her place, turning steadily crimson as she pointedly ignored her friend's empty seat. Lily, Alice and Mary were whispering to each other hurriedly. The rest of the classroom was completely silent, and after a while one of the Gryffindors stood up and left. Lily's talk with her friends turned into an argument, and finally Mary Macdonald left as well. To James's relief, however, Lily stayed put, along with Alice Pryde.

They waited for another couple of minutes, until it became obvious that no one else was going to leave.

"Right then," said James. "If you'll please sign this paper over here… that's the magical contract. Bear in mind that once you sign this, you're bound to secrecy. That doesn't mean you can't turn back if you get cold feet, it just means you're bound to keep quiet about this whole business the rest of your lives."

"Not that you're allowed to get cold feet, mind," said Sirius, grinning malevolently at the shocked faces of the rest of the students.

"He's only joking," James assured, glaring at Sirius to shut him up.

James extracted the parchment and put it on the desk table, while the other students made a line to sign the paper.

"Marauders' Army?" asked Lily, looking down at the title Sirius had written on the paper. "That doesn't make us sound like the good guys, does it?"

"If you have a better suggestion—" began James, but Sirius cut over him.

"It has flair to it," he said simply. "Come on then, sign up."

James could feel his heart skip a beat when Lily signed the sheet with her beautiful, round handwriting. She smiled at him and then went to join Moony by the window. James couldn't help but overhear their conversation— years of clinging to every word of Lily's like a thief had trained him to always pay attention to her, in case he heard something that might help him find a way to win her heart.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" he heard Lily ask. "It's nearly full as well. I love the full moon, don't you?"

"I… er… no," finally said Moony. "I hate it." James turned his head a bit, he saw that Remus's hands were becoming clammy and he was getting nervous.

"Why?" asked Lily, sounding surprised. "I thought you would… after all, your nickname—"

"Oh you wouldn't want to know that story," interrupted James, grinning as much as he could and wrapping his arm around Moony's shoulders, giving him a small shake. "You'd have to scrub your brain out if we ever told you."

Lily looked confused for a moment, but then her eyes opened wide in comprehension.

"Oh!" she said with a small giggle, which caused Remus to mutter darkly under his breath about 'not helping any'. "Well— I guess I better be going."

"No, no, stay with us a bit," said James.

"But if they catch us outside at these hours—"

"They won't, I promise," said James. "We're nearly done." The last of the students had finished signing, and all of them were looking expectantly at the Marauders.

"That's all for today," said Sirius. "We've already got a lead that pins Avery and Snape as the leaders of these Death Eaters wannabes, but we need to establish when and where they meet before we do anything about it. When the time comes for action, we'll tell you, okay? In the meantime, lay low and collect as much information as you can. We'll contact you for our next meeting."

There were a couple murmurs of dissatisfaction at the lack of immediate action, but Moony was able to quell all of their doubts and eventually they all left except for Lily, whom James convinced to stay just a bit more.

"Well then," said James. "Bring out the map."

"But… Prongs…" said Sirius, shooting Lily a very pointed look.

"She's fine," said James. "Come on, open it up."

"What map?" asked Lily. James grinned.

"Oh, you'll see. It's our finest creation," he said.

Sirius took out the map from the inner pocket in his jacket and spread it out over the desk. Lily looked curiously at the very used piece of parchment, and even smiled amusedly when Sirius tapped it with his wand and said: "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good". She gave an audible gasp when black lines started flowing through the map, crisscrossing and drawing themselves in the shape of the castle. Soon, the map was complete: every single room at Hogwarts, every single inhabitant of the castle was displayed as they were at that moment. Even the rooms that changed place according to the day of the week and the sneaky staircases that kept moving around following no particular order were correctly displayed by the map. Lily began running her fingers through the black lines, and soon she had found the tiny dot on the east tower marked "Lily Evans", standing right next to "Sirius Black", "James Potter", "Remus Lupin" and "Peter Pettigrew". She could also see the rest of the dots of her fellow classmates sneaking through the hallways in a bid to get back to their dormitories undetected.

"But this is wonderful!" she exclaimed. "Where did you get this?"

"We made it!" squealed Wormtail.

"It's amazing!" exclaimed Lily.

"It is also very secret," said Sirius, but even he could not refrain from looking proud. James knew (because he felt the same way) that Sirius had always resented the fact that they weren't able to show off such a cool piece of magic in front of the other students.

"I can see why," said Lily, amused. "So this is how you've been planning your shenanigans without getting caught? I always wondered. Wow, I can see Alice going back to the Common Room… And look! There's McGonagall at her office, I can't believe she's still awake."

"The only person that sleeps less than McGonagall in this castle is Dumbledore," said James. "And… yes, this is exactly what I was looking for. See?"

He pointed at the Slytherin Common Room down in the dungeons. While most of the dots representing their students were in their beds, a small and close-knit group was huddled in one of the corners of the Common Room. Lily felt her stomach drop when she saw who it was: Irwin Mulciber, Augustus Avery, Severus Snape, Evan Rosier, Regulus Black, and Amycus and Alecto Carrow. She didn't feel too surprised when she found Boa Beadling's dot pacing around the girl's dormitory, stopping at the door every now and then.

"They're up to something," muttered Wormtail, rather obviously, James thought. "Probably having a meeting just like us!"

"Don't be thick, Wormtail, it's nothing at all like us," snapped Sirius. "They are the bad guys and they're bound to be planning something evil. We are the good guys. Shame we have no way of getting into their Common Room. Making a map of it was hard enough… the password will not be the same, obviously. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at their Common Room… or perhaps a rat scuttling beneath the chairs." Sirius's voice trailed away thoughtfully and he turned to look at Wormtail, who immediately raised his eyebrows.

"Not now, Padfoot," said Remus quickly, shooting Lily a panicked look. She was so enthralled by the map, however, that she did not notice anything strange. "Perhaps at another moment… yes. I'm not feeling so splendid myself right now… so maybe we should go back to the Common Room?"

James looked out the window and saw the enormous moon— probably only a day or two until it was full.

"You're right," he said. "Let's just go back to sleep— we need it. Wormtail, you're on map duty, you're going to guide us through the hallways so we don't meet any of the teachers standing guard." Peter nearly wet himself with excitement at being given such a big responsibility, and immediately grabbed the Marauder's map and began studying it. Sirius and James exchanged amused looks and nearly burst out laughing.

It was the perfect ending to the day: Lily even let him put his arm around her shoulder as they walked back together toward the Gryffindor Common Room, just behind Moony, Wormtail and Padfoot.

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I know, I know, the title is incredibly lame, but when have I ever been good with titles? It was supposed to be a play on Dumbledore's Army, but I don't think it came out right.

This was originally supposed to have Severus and the other Slytherins in it as well, but the Marauders kind of took over and it became too long, so I had to split it in two. Oh, well. I promise plenty of Severus in the next chapter.

Hope you all enjoy :)
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The night stretched out endlessly, dark and bleak and empty. George’s eyes were heavy with the tears that refused to fall, his features gaunt and emaciated.

He had never felt as alone as he did now. As he took in each shuddering breath, he wished that it could be his last; that he could leave behind this brutal world and be with Fred once more. It seemed so wrong that he should be left behind on this barren earth without the brother with whom he had shared a life.

He tried fruitlessly to conjure some happy memory to his mind, but they all seemed to have vanished in the blackness of the night. What was the point anyway? What were memories, when the real Fred was no longer more than a lifeless corpse?

He willed sleep to come. He yearned for a deep, dreamless sleep in which he could escape his torment, if only for a short while, but what little sleep he had managed to gain had been haunted by the image of Fred’s body lying unmoving on the cool stone ground, his skin cold, his eyes empty and impassive, not seeing the enchanted ceiling which they stared up at.

He got up from the bed in which he had been lying in a futile attempt at snatching some small amount of sleep, and walked to his bedroom window, which overlooked the garden of The Burrow. It was pitch black, and only a few stars were scattered in the dark expanse of sky that hung over the gnarled trees which were swaying slightly in the breeze that was swept over the garden. The darkness stretched out as far as he could see, engulfing everything in its bitter embrace, and there was not yet any tiny snatches of light appearing in the distance, heralding the arrival of the dawn that seemed an eternity away.

He drew the curtains and returned to his bed, where he lay for an eternity, staring at the wall, trying futilely to forget, but it was all he could do just to keep his grief from overwhelming him. He would have given anything at that moment to talk to his brother again, just one last time, and as he pondered what he would say to him, the first tears leaked from his eyes. He watched them fall, creating tiny circular patterns on his pillow.

Has he let out a succession of tiny sobs, he sat up in his bed, and began shaking uncontrollably, gradually becoming less and less aware of anything but his loss.

He yelled out his brother’s name without realising what he was doing, but as quickly as this madness had taken hold, it left, and he collapsed into a huddle beneath his bedcovers, tears pouring down his face, as once again the memory of his brother’s dead body swamped his mind.
Fred and George do not belong to me, no matter how much I wish that they did, they belong to J.K.Rowling

I'm really pleased with this. The beginning deffinitely, I'm not sure about the ending, but I've certainly written worse. The bit about him looking out of his window is only there because I was up untill 1 am writing this, and I had no inspiration, so I went and sat at my window for a while, so it's basically a description of my garden >_<

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