"How can you eat those things?" Remus asked making a face at my deep red lollipop.
"I like blood pops. I dunno why." I shrugged sucking on the sweet, metallic candy. "My brother got one for me one year, as a joke, and I binged on them for like a month afterwards."
Remus laughed. "Yeah, there's definitely something wrong with you." Remus teased, setting Sirius's jacket over my shoulders and wrapping an arm around me.
"Perks of being raised by a psycho." I giggled, nuzzling my cheek against his hand.
Remus walked me all the way to my dorm room and held the bags I was carrying so I could open the door. The dragon blew ice at me again, but the lock clicked after I muttered my password. I opened the door and waved Remus inside so he could set things down.
Remus blushed lightly at the thought of being in a girls dorm alone, but followed me in regardless. I snapped my fingers and the torches flared to life.
"Happy birthday!" The other boys screamed, bouncing from behind all my furnature.
"Guys, it's not my birthday." I frowned. "My birthday was months ago."
"We know." Sirius grinned smugly. "I think it was back in November, yeah? Like the 30th?"
"Yep. November 30th. The same day ancient witches and wizards celebrated Hecate, goddess of magic and trifectas. Birth, life, death and the new, full and dark moons to name a few." I smiled. "If you know it's not my birthday, why are you all in my room?"
"We were bored, and we knew you'd come back here." Peter shrugged. "Figured this was an easy meeting place anyways, since you can't come to the Gryffindor commons."
I shrugged. "I dunno. I might be able to convince them to let me in, since I'm not a Slytherin anymore. But this is a fine place to meet. Just don't eat all my candy or go through my drawers."
Sirius laughed. "We've been doing exactly that for hours. We expected you guys back like four hours ago."
"We went shopping." I shrugged, setting the bags on my bed to be gone through. I tossed candy into the dish on my desk, refilling it. The things we got the boys from Zonkos were tossed around to them. The books lightly placed on top of my bookshelf.
I sucked on another blood pop as we laid out our books and spread out on the bed and in the few chairs left in the room.
"Can I look at your drawings, Dez?" Peter asked from his spot at my desk.
"Sure thing." I shrugged, opening my herbology book to study for the up coming OWLs. I color coded my notes by tapping the inkpot with my wand when I needed to change colors.
"You're going to over study and get it all confused." Peter said tugging the book away from me an hour later. "Just relax about it. You haven't needed my help in class for weeks."
"What's up with the drawing of me, Ghost?" James asked, holding up the page. "There's like no background or anything."
"I dunno, Prongs. I can't figure it out myself." I shrugged. "I just... couldn't you know?"
James shrugged. "Yeah, I guess I get it. Sometimes it's hard being creative. Think of all the crappy poetry I've read to girls over the years. It could have been so much more over the top if I'd just had the right creativity."
We all rolled our eyes at that. Remus snorted. "I highly doubt that sonnet to Lily's hair last year could have been any worse, even if you hadn't compared it to a hill of fire ants."
"Did he really compare her hair to ants?" I frowned, looking up from the rainbow colored wolf I'd been doodling on the back of my notes. At Remus's solemn nod I sighed. "James, have you ever been exposed to fire ants? Those little jerks hurt. Especially when you trod on their home. They crawl all over you and bite the hell out of your legs."
"Why on earth were you stomping on an ant hill?" Sirius smirked.
"Because I was an innocent child who didn't know any better. I later repaid their kindness by covering the entire hill with wet start fireworks... in may." I sighed. "I normally don't condone violence, especially towards animals, but those little jerks deserved it."
James chuckled. "I bet they did."
We stayed up most the night sharing childhood stories and quizzing each other for the tests this week, dressed in our most comfortable pajamas. When sunlight started to show through my window, I ushered the sleepy Gryffindors out of my room so I could get some rest. It was sunday, the last sunday at Hogwarts this year. Tomorrow we would start our OWLs, Friday was the full moon, and Saturday afternoon, we would all be on the train home for the summer.
I fell asleep as soon as the boys left the room, falling into an uneasy, unrestful sleep. My mind was again taken by the tiger, a lonely beast in more pain than I'd ever felt in my life. The tiger was searching for something, desperate for it. She pawed at the ground trying to find the scent she'd lost, the scent she couldn't remember, but would recognize when she found it. She lifted her head and made a horrible sound sound of pain, a cross somewhere between a roar and a keening whine. Somewhere far in the distance, a howl echoed in response. The tiger heard the sound and looked up at the plump moon, wishing she had the strength to return to the wolf, but knowing that she couldn't. She wouldn't return until she found what she'd lost...the scent...what did the scent belong to? She growled in frustrated confusion and lowered her head to the ground again.
I woke up late that afternoon even more tired than when I'd gone to bed. I made my way down to the Great Hall stiff and groggy. I would have to ask Madame Pomfrey for some dreamless sleep potion later, just to rest up for the OWLs. Maybe I could tell her I was having night terrors... Of course then she'd want to know what they were about. Maybe I could talk to Professor Jones and he could talk to Madame Pomfrey for me.
"Do not ignore your dreams, young one." A whispery, feminine voice whispered behind me. "They whisper warnings of the things to come."
I turned to look at the speaker. Professor Sybil Trelawney stared at me from behind her large glasses that made her eyes look the size of diner plates. Her thin frame was bundled under no less than three sweaters and she smelled strongly of perfume. I stood shocked, I'd never seen the divinations professor up close before, let alone spoken to her.
"The Sight has woken in your soul. I can see it clearly." Her eyes flittered around me as if she stared into the air around me. "I've never seen the Sight so strongly before."
"I don't know what you're talking about, Professor." I whispered, feeling chilled to the bone with fear. Divination was just a bunch of nonsense, wasn't it? Even most wizards knew you couldn't trust it. "I don't have the Sight. I don't even believe in the Sight."
The Professor smiled as if amused by my words. "You may even be a stronger Seer than myself, but we'll see soon enough, young one. You'll see."
The strange woman suddenly looked away from me as if I was no longer there and continued on her way to the Great Hall. I followed, letting her walk far ahead of me so she wouldn't set those huge eyes on my again. When I got to the Great Hall I proudly seated myself at the Gryffindor table as if I belonged there. The boys had yet to arrive, but I knew they would soon enough.
The boys arrived when I was about halfway through my first plate. Remus sat beside me, his hand brushing against my back briefly. The smirk he gave me let me know it was on purpose. Peter and James sat across from us, chatting about some new, albeit brilliant plan to get us into trouble. Sirius dropped to my other side, leaning his elbow on my shoulder.
"You, my dear Ghostie, owe me a new shirt. And a pair of black jeans. We can't get your spells to wear off the ones I loaned Moony yesterday." Sirius grinned.
"At least your jacket survived." I winked. "I thought about charming that to fit me. Just think of the bad assery I could pull off in a leather jacket."
Sirius looked offended. "Such threats! Please don't force me to call the fashion police!"
I rolled my eyes. "Go right ahead. When they get here, make sure to ask them what kind of aristocrat can get away with wearing black jeans and a leather jacket together. That's best left to hoodlums."
"Hey, I got a Rebel Chic thing going on!" Sirius pouted.
"I don't think you know what fashion looks like..." I frowned. "I hate fashion, but even I wouldn't dress like that. Speaking of people who wouldn't know fashion if it slapped them, guess who randomly started talking to me on the way here."
"Bella." Sirius grinned.
"The Prewett boys?" Peter asked softly. I couldn't help glancing over at the twins in question. One was wearing a rather horrid orange jumper that clashed with his hair, and the other was wearing a midnight blue one that made him look pale as a ghost. Both jumpers were badly knitted, I assume by the older sister they talk about sometimes, Molly Prewett.
"No, the Prewetts just wear those sweaters because Molly works so hard on them. If you actually talked to them, they'd tell you they hate them." Remus chuckled. "My guess is Dumbledore. He's wearing those orangey pink muggle pajamas again."
"I think the color's called Salmon..." Sirius muttered.
"I have a guess." James stated proudly. He was smirking in a way that told the rest of us that he'd spent this whole time thinking of a good insult. We waited patiently like the good friends we were for James's punchline. "Was it Pete?"
Peter turned red and James grinned and hugged him. "Oh, calm down, Wormy. I was just playing. I would have picked on Sirius if Dez hadn't beaten me to it."
I rolled my eyes. "You're all wrong. But I do appreciate the efforts. Have any of you ever actually seen Professor Trelawney up close? She dresses as if she's never heard of clothes that fit... let alone look good. And seriously, what is up with all that junk hanging from her neck? I understand the concept of a amulet and even a charm, but do you really need to wear them all at once?"
"That's all true... but the real question is: why would she start talking to you? She doesn't even talk to her own students outside class." Remus frowned. "She rarely leaves the tower at all..."
"She thinks I'm a seer..." I laughed. "How crazy is that?"
The five of us were trampled well into the ground by our tests over the next four days. By the time our last test ended, Transfiguration on Thursday afternoon, we were all completely exhausted. We sat in a small circle together on the lawn, spending one last hour together before Remus had to head off. Most months he would have been gone all day the day before the full moon, but evidently OWLs were more important than... whatever werewolves went through the day before the moon. He would also have to return early... what with us leaving the day after the full moon.
Remus groaned and laid his head on my thigh. "I hate this time of month... My senses are on fire!"
"It's okay, Moony." I whispered, lightly running my fingers through his hair. "This is a safe space. None of us will judge you for being cranky. You are out of your cave after all."
He chuckled lightly. "Yeah... cave..."
The other boys happily ignored us, laying in the grass and trying their best not to think. We'd all agreed that we should call it an early night, but that didn't mean we didn't still have work to do. Sirius and I would be meditating with the Hazia mix tonight, which meant that all of us had at least two more hours before we could go to bed.
We walked Remus to Madame Pomfrey's before heading to the Room of Requirement. None of us really wanted to stay up for this, but there were only two nights left, just enough to do one more round of meditation. Now we knew what to expect. We could focus on our specific animals rather than just hoping it came to us by magic. Hopefully, we wouldn't need to start again next school year.