First off I'd like to thank you all for your kind replies, they mean so much to me. I have every intention of continuing this fic, have no fear. I'm glad you are all enjoying it, and that you think it's a good story. I'm enjoying it myself as it unfolds in my head. So anyway, on with the story!

Ch 3

Katie sat in one of the big chairs down in the common room, reading for History of Magic and worrying about the O.W.L.s that were coming up. She let the light of the ever-burning fire comfort her, as she used a few of the nearby candles to see the text in front of her. Some of her dark blond hair fell across her face, but she was concentrating on her studies too much to notice.

"Would you fly away with me, Katie? High away," Wood's voice came from behind her.

She craned her neck up to look at him, the moonlight and firelight made his skin glow and caused him to appear more godlike. She couldn't help but smile at the sight; who wouldn't smile to find that behind them? "Now?" she asked, curiously. She peered at the Wizarding watch on her wrist, which clearly stated

"way past your bedtime."

"Yeah," he said, coming around to the front of her chair and taking her hand. His eyes were alight with passion and excitement. "You, me, my broom, the night sky."

"I wish I could," she said with a sigh, and looked back down at the book in front of her.

"What happened to always?" he teased, kissing her hand.

Katie gave him a pointed look. "I've done enough ignoring my studies for you, Mr. Wood, and don't go off telling me most of the crazier, time- consuming things were my ideas; I'm already well aware. If I flunk this next exam, the Howler my mum is going to send me isn't going to be at all pleasant, and I will be forced to open it in your ear," she told him sternly, wishing she could go off with him but knowing better.

Oliver couldn't help but wince; Katie had gotten a Howler one morning at breakfast while sitting next to him. Her mother knew how to yell. "Point taken, Kit Kat."

"Don't you have the N.E.W.T.s, yourself?"

"And I've studied," he said, trying to convince her it was true. He looked at her with those large puppy eyes that she knew all too well by now.

"Go to bed, Ol; maybe we can go flying early tomorrow morning. You know, get some Quidditch practice in," she said, knowing what a glutton her boyfriend was for Quidditch practice.

"We already have practice tomorrow morning," he pointed out.

"Before that," she said kissing him softly. "I promise."

He sighed and kissed her deeply, knowing that he couldn't change her mind on this. "I'm going to come and get you, so make sure you get some form of sleep, hmm?" He brushed his hand down her cheek.

"Alright; now go," she said playfully pushing him away.

He narrowed his eyes at her. "You're turning into one bugger of a nag."



Her eyes narrowed right back. "I'll remember that."

He simply laughed. "I love you, Katie."

"I love you too, Oliver. Night."

"Night," he said, slipping into the shadows and up the stairs.

"Hello, Love," a voice came from the shadows on the other side of her.

The voice triggered something in Katie's memory; she knew that voice. She looked up to see the man standing beside her. She recognized him, or at least believed she did. He looked so different, but the eyes, there was something so familiar about the look in them, the way he looked at her. "Daddy?" she asked cautiously.

He nodded solemnly, thrilled that she'd recognized him, but worried that she wouldn't want anything to do with him. "Yes, Kat, it's me," Sirius Black said, coming even further out of the shadows and letting some of the firelight play on his face.

"Oh, Daddy!" she cried softly, tossing the book off her lap and throwing her arms around him.

He pulled away and looked down at her. She looked beautiful, and much like her mother had at her age. "You're not at all afraid?" he asked in disbelief.

She looked at him confused. "Of you? Why ever..Oh!" She exclaimed, suddenly realizing what he was thinking. "No, look, Mum told me everything. I know the truth, even if no one else does."

He sighed and stroked her hair. "People might have turned you against me; made you stop believing your mum."

Katie shook her head. "Not possible. She wouldn't lie; not about you. And if you had done such horrid things, she wouldn't have kept those photos of you in the house," Katie said with a smile, giving her father some hope that his family would always be there. "Hidden, mind you, but not the ones in her bedroom, or the one in mine. I keep an old one of you and I in my trunk upstairs."

"If anyone ever found that." he said, his voice laced with concern for what would happen to his daughter if they found out who she was, especially now.

"They wouldn't recognize you. Not really," she said, forcing him to remember that he looked nothing like the man she had known.

"I'm so sorry, Love," he apologized, holding her close yet again. "I wish it could have been different."

"Why?" she asked, pulling back from him and asking the one question she really wanted to know. "Why escape now?"

She claimed to know everything, and he had no intention of hiding things from her. "Peter's alive," he told her plainly.

"What!?" she asked with shock and outrage. Peter Pettigrew was alive. She'd always figured that if her father hadn't killed him that someone from the Dark Lord's side had killed him.

"He's not just alive; he's here. Just be careful, and keep an eye on Harry for me, will you?" Sirius was worried about her, as well. What if Peter found out who she was?

She nodded. "I'll try. I really only see him during Quidditch and during lunch, and occasionally other places."

"Please, Kat, just try." His voice sounded desperate.

"I promise, Dad."

Sirius looked around nervously. "I've been here too long."

"It's alright; go. Take care of yourself," she said, giving him a quick kiss.

"I will. I'll be back," he said, before he slipped out into the hallway and became a dog once more.

~*~

Katie walked from Transfiguration toward the library with her two best friends by her side, pretending to listen to their conversation about the . She was actually concentrating more on the conversation she'd had with her father the night before. Seeing him in person, seeing him like that had been incredible and amassing. She'd never expected it. But she'd hated seeing him like that, all pale and sunken-in.

Angelina and Alicia exchanged glances over Katie's head. She hadn't been paying attention; they'd mentioned Wood nearly five times and she'd not made a peep. Nor did she have that drunken, love-struck look Katie often found when she was thinking about Oliver. She had also been quiet, and that wasn't Katie at all. There was something that was bothering her, and it had been since this morning.

"Katie, are you alright?" Angelina asked, deciding that someone needed to break the silence, and to try and get Katie talking. "I mean, you barely paid any attention to McGonagall's lecture. And you're not as up as you usually are."

Katie shook her head when her name was mentioned along with the word 'alright.' "Hmm? No, I'm fine. Just thinking about some things," she said in a noncommittal way, not wanting to get into this with anyone right now.

They didn't catch the hint, or if they did they didn't care. "Like what?" Alicia asked curiously.

Katie wondered how to respond. She figured a half-truth was better than nothing at all. "My dad," she said glumly. "He died when I was three. Some days I just think on him, that's all."

The other two girls shared another look, this time extremely guilty. Both put their arms around the third. "You going to be alright?" Alicia asked with concern.

"Sure. I'll be fine," Katie said, glad she had such great friends. But she had to wonder how great they would be if they knew the truth. It had a tendency to make people squeamish when they learned that your father had escaped from prison and was lurking around the school. She wondered how long they, or anyone, would stick around once they found out.

"You want some Chocolate Frogs?" Angelina asked, wanting to help in whatever way possible. "Might help with the blues. Fred decided they were the perfect make-up present for the row we had a week ago."

"No, I'll be alright. I think I'm going to go up to the room and get some studying done," she said, slipping out of their grasp and hurrying away in the opposite direction of the library.

Angelina and Alicia continued down the hall knowing that they were not who Katie was interested in talking to. They were trying to thinking of ways to help her when they found the perfect solution coming out of the library. "Oliver!" they exclaimed in unison.

"Hey, have you two seen Katie?" he asked. She'd said she'd meet him in the library after class, and it had been long enough that he had been heading out to look for her, figuring she'd be with Angelina and Alicia. It worried him a little that she wasn't.

"That's what we wanted to talk to you about," Angelina said, grabbing his arm and pulling him to the side of the hallway as she began to whisper in conspiratorial tones. "Something's bothering her; something to do with her father. She just went up to the room, obviously wanting to be alone; well, at least not around us."

Oliver looked at them, confused. They had said that Katie wanted to be alone. "Then why--"

"She needs someone," Alicia told him emphatically.

"And that's me?" He still wasn't convinced this was the best plan of action.

"Yes," they said together, nodding.

He nodded to them and began to walk toward Gryffindor tower. He stopped and turned. "How bad?" he asked. He had to know.

The two girls looked to each other for help. "Not good," Alicia said finally, causing Wood to turn and run toward the tower.

He ran all the way to the tower and up the stairs to the fifth year girls' dormitories, but he hesitated outside her door. Would she really want to see him? His decision was made for him when he heard crying from inside. He knocked gently, but when there was no response, he eased the door open. "Katie?" he called softly into the dark room. He pulled out his wand and muttered, " Lumos," and the soft glow from his wand allowed him to see her laying on her bed.

"Oliver?" she asked, sitting up slightly, the tears still cascading down her face.

Tears usually made Oliver nervous, and while this was no different, this was Katie. "Baby, what's wrong?" he asked, rushing across the room to take her into his arms. As soon as he did so, she buried her head in his chest and snuggled in close. She hated to seem all wimpy and weepy, but she couldn't recover from this so easily.

She realized he was waiting for a reply. "It's a long story," she mumbled into his chest, wanting the firm rubbing of his hand against her back to continue forever.

"Is this your dad?" he asked, picking up the picture that she had let go of seconds before and looking at the tall man with dark hair and the little girl nestled in his arms.

"Yeah, and me," she managed, finally regaining control of her emotions. "I don't really remember him. I only have pictures and my mother's stories of him. She met him her first year here," Katie said, managing a small smile.

"Yeah?" Oliver asked. He still remembered bumping into the little first year five years ago. He never would have imagined what would come of it years later.

"They were so in love, Ol," Katie remarked with a sigh. "It's in her eyes every time she talks about him and I wish I could help her with it."

Wood placed a hand under Katie's chin and raised her face until she was looking him in the eye. "Katie, it hurts you, too."

"Where did I find you, Ollie?" she asked, looking into those safety nets of eyes.

He pulled her against him. "Right here," he said, making her laugh.

"Would you stay with me for a little while?" she asked tiredly as she snuggled into his shoulder.

"Of course, Love, of course," he whispered as her eyelids fluttered shut. He laid back on the bed so as not to spend all of his time sitting slightly uncomfortably and felt as her breathing became steady and deep. He kissed her lightly and let his own eyelids flutter shut.