Disclaimer: MUST I do another disclaimer? Oh very well. sigh J.K. Rowling I am not. Nor am I her secret evil twin, or her mini-me, or her clone. Therefore, I own NOTHING. I just bastardize it.

Author Notes: This was actually my original fic submitted for the Overcoming Rivalry Exchange. Thanks to redcandle17 and jenszabo for helping me realise this was not quite what my gift recipient wanted, and for helping me brainstorm "His Pet." So er...I guess blondesimone gets a second gift, (sorf of kind of) from me

Consequences of Befriending a Slytherin

If it wasn't strange and alarming enough that she had woken up in St Mungo's in the Permanent Spell Damage Ward, had been told that she had almost died, been put under Imperious, and had been in a coma for months; she had become friends with Montague. Montague.Slytherin Montague. Melodramatic as it sounded, it was by far the most disturbing circumstance that had occurred to her after walking into the bathroom of the Three Broomsticks.

She supposed it was inevitable, really. They were the only two people their age on the serious spell damage floor, and after she had been moved out of the permanent ward, (following a tedious, grueling set of tests) it was much easier to socialize. For one thing, her door wasn't locked, and her roommates didn't communicate solely through barks or cover everything in sight with their signatures.

Montague, the lucky bastard, had his own room. His parents had raised bloody hell about their precious one-and-only child sharing living quarters with anyone "undesirable" and had forked over huge amounts of galleons to buy him his own, ridiculously luxurious space. It was convenient for her as well, so she shouldn't complain, really. It was a nice escape where the two of them could avoid the rest of the weirdos and healers and play a few rounds of exploding snap and discuss Quidditch.

He was supposed to be in with the crazies in the permanent ward, but as far as Katie could see there was absolutely nothing wrong with him. She never saw him during physical therapy, and she certainly didn't see anything wrong with him mentally. Except for the fact that he wanted to be a Gryffindor's friend, of course. Montague refused to discuss why he was at St Mungo's and had an irritating habit of waving his hand about and saying he was there for "this and that" and changing the subject. She figured it had something to do with his sojourn into the Vanishing cabinet courtesy of the Weasley twins, and she felt guilty for thinking it was funny at the time. It didn't really matter to Katie the reason; she was lonely, he was lonely, and the two former enemies made friends.

This was why Katie was currently on her way down the corridor to Montague's room, carefully shuffling along with a cane in her hand, the hospital robe and slippers on her feet. She had finally been given permission to walk on her own, and she was looking forward to Montague's shock at her arriving in his room on her own two feet for once.

Katie brushed a lank strand of her blonde hair out of her eyes, and paused to catch her breath when she reached his door. The moment had to be just right for the maximum surprise. Her hand slowly turned the doorknob, her limbs poised to spring. In one quick movement (her therapists would've gone into fits at seeing her exerting her body so forcefully) she opened the door and leaped into Montague's room. And subsequently collided with a brick wall.

She fell down painfully, her leg twisting oddly beneath her, the cane digging into her back. The brick wall moved, and she saw a horrifying sight, one she had not seen since her fourth year of Hogwarts: the snaggle toothed, bulky-monster-of-a-troll named Marcus Flint. Katie gaped in horror.

What looked bad now became indescribably worse when she broke eye contact with Flint and looked around Montague's room. Oh, God. Montague was on his bed, Terence Higgs in a chair beside him. Two hulking figures that answered to calls of "Bole" and "Derrick" were standing beside Higgs, arms folded over their massive chests. Warrington, as sloth like as ever, stood at the foot of the bed. On the other side of the bed, sitting in chairs next to Flint, sat Bletchley and Pucey.

She was in hell. There was no doubt about it. Someone had decided she was an evil, evil girl and needed to be punished, and now she was in hell; trapped with the entire ex-Slytherin Quidditch team in one room. Katie had never been more aware of her appearance until that second. What a hideous sack the hospital robe was, how pale and wan she looked, how she was sweaty from the exercise, how her hair hadn't been combed in hours, and worst of all, how her gown had ridden up alarmingly high around her thighs.

Perhaps, if she laid still and kept her eyes tightly shut, they would all disappear. She tried it.

No, they were still there; silent and staring.

An eternity passed. Bole and Derrick continued to look blank. Higgs looked confused. Pucey looked highly amused. Bletchley looked betrayed. Warrington looked enraged. And Flint…. Flint was unreadable. As always.

Someone had to do something, but no one moved an inch, or said a word. Startling them all – causing more than one of the muscle bound oafs to flinch – was Montague, who flung himself off of his bed and in Katie's direction.

"KATIE!" he squealed, in a voice she had never, ever, heard coming from his mouth. And for that matter…. Katie? Since when had she stopped being "Bell?"

Montague shoved Flint aside, with an "out of the way, you clumsy boor" and grabbed her, lifting her lightly to her feet, and engulfed her in a bone crushing bear hug.

That was it. He had gone insane. He had finally revealed what he was doing in St Mungo's. And from the looks of the Slytherin hulks' faces over Montague's shoulder, she figured a few of them were receiving a wake-up call as well.

"Oh, so good to see you!" Montague continued in that horrible, horrible voice. He still hadn't let go of her. "How lovely of you to drop by!" Then he administered the coupe de grace and gave her a resounding, smacking kiss full on the lips. It echoed throughout the room.

Warrington and Flint looked furious. Higgs had his fist shoved in his mouth to hold in his guffaws. Pucey was making no such effort, and was clutching his sides as he rocked back in forth with hysterical laughter. Bletchley's jaw had hit the floor then plummeted two floors below. Bole and Derrick continued to look blank.

Flint grabbed Montague by the shoulder, turning him around forcefully.

"What. The bloody hell. Is going on." He barely managed to grit out through his teeth.

"Why are you touching that Mudblood?" Warrington hissed, his eyes snapping to Katie with hatred.

She shrank back against the wall for support.

"Oh, sorry, my fault," Montague said blithely, seemingly unconcerned with Flint's hands digging into his shoulders, or Warrington's rapidly reddening face. "I forget to introduce you! This is Katie, lovely girl, very good friend of mine. She's staying just down the hall from me."

Montague turned back to her.

"Katie, this is—"

"We know who she is, Montague," Pucey broke in, now looking alarmed. "She was on the Gryffindor team back at Hogwarts. Remember? She was a chaser."

"She's the one without the tits," Bletchley helpfully added.

"Excuse me?" Katie snapped, crossing her arms underneath her breasts. (Which were not nonexistent, thank you very much!)

"The who in the what now?" Montague replied, now looking Gilderoy Lockhart-level confused.

"Forget it," Flint snarled, still glaring at the two of them, "explain it to him," he snapped at the rest of the (ex) team, and grabbed Katie by her elbow and dragged her back into the hallway.

"Hey!" she yelped indignantly. "Watch the hands, Flint!"

He ignored her and tightened his grip.

"What do you think you're doing, messing with Montague this way?" he hissed, shaking her arm for emphasis. "Do you think it's funny that those red haired, flea bitten Weasleys have fucked him up for the rest of his life?" he loomed closer, his teeth looking more menacing than she had ever remembered seeing them. "What game are you playing, Bell?" he whispered, letting go of her elbow and placing his hands on the wall, one on each side of her head.

She was speechless with shock. What was wrong with Montague? What in Merlin's name was Flint talking about? Did he really think she would….

"Is this about his money?" Flint snarled, eyes black and furious. "Are you trying to get him to marry you?"

"What?" she finally managed to choke out. Her cane was gone, and she really shouldn't be standing this much anyway, and she was afraid she was going to topple over at any second. Not like she could tell Flint this.

Warrington suddenly barreled into the hallway, Higgs following just behind him with a furrowed brow.

Warrington knocked Flint's hands out of the way and grabbed Katie roughly by her shoulders.

"What have you done to him, you little slut?" he demanded, shaking her like a rag doll.

"Stop it, Warrington," Higgs said from behind him. "Let her go."

Warrington ignored him, and turned to Marcus, his grip painfully biting into her. There would surely be bruises there tomorrow.

"Did you get anything out of her, Marcus? Do we need to rough her up a bit?" he turned back to her, hatred burning in his eyes. "Well, you uppity Mudblood bitch? Do you need to be taught your place?"

Katie was seeing spots in her vision. She should be back in her bed, and Montague shouldn't be acting like this, and she was in a nightmare, and the only one who seemed to be a normal human being was Higgs, and he ALSO happened to be the only seeker in the bunch. Therefore, his opinion mattered not at all, without the solid mass to back it up. Her breathing was growing ragged. Where in the hell were the healers? Couldn't anyone hear this going on?

Bletchley was out there now, and Bole. Bletchley seemed to be jeering at her. Her hearing was fading in and out, and everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. Higgs was yelling something at the rest of them, blotches of color high in his face. Warrington was snarling something into her face, and Bletchley was egging him on. Bole continued to look blank. Everything was swimming out of focus.

Katie thought she saw the rest of the Slytherins converge into the hallway, and she thought she saw Montague looking highly upset. Then everything turned to black.

"Bell."

A light slap.

"Bell."

Another light slap to the face.

"Bell!"

A harder slap.

"Dammit, Katie!"

Water splashed on the face.

Spluttering and choking, Katie regained consciousness, her eyes snapping open. She saw Marcus Flint looming inches away from her face, and she shrieked, trying to squirm away from him. His big ugly mug frowned, but moved backwards.

"Katie, are you alright?" she looked over, and now Montague was in front of her, his voice back to normal.

He sat next to her on her bed- actually it was his bed she realized, she was in his room- looking anxious. Flint was now standing behind Montague, his arms crossed and his eyebrows thunderously lowered. Higgs stood next to him, looking upset, and sporting a split lip and a nasty black eye. Now that she looked closer at Montague, she saw he had a black eye of his own. Only Flint appeared unscathed.

"I'm really sorry," Montague said, his tone wheedling. "I had to…I had to pretend I was…I had to act like I was crazy, alright? I can't have everyone thinking there's nothing wrong with me."

Katie sat up, her hair damp, and glared at him.

"There IS something wrong with you," she snapped. "What kind of friend are you, letting that arsehole Warrington paw me like that?"

To his credit, Montague looked ashamed.

"I have to keep up the façade, "he said, his voice desperate, "I have to have everyone think I'm not alright, that I can't be trusted with anything, d'you understand?"

"No, I don't," she hissed. "And you can't be trusted, you slimy snake! Stupid little me, for thinking you shed your old skin," she finished bitterly.

"Oh, quit whining, Bell," Flint said in his gruff voice. "The two of them just got their arses handed to them for you." He gestured at Higgs and Montague. "If I wasn't there, they might not be so pretty anymore," he sneered at the two smaller men.

"Look, Katie," Higgs broke in. She turned to him. She barely knew Higgs at all; he had only been at Hogwarts for her first two years. "They're Death Eaters, okay? Or at least some of them are. Or they support them, we don't know for sure. But Maximillian can't have his parents and known Death Eater sympathizers thinking he's a blood traitor."

Katie choked. "Maximillian?"she said incredulously, starting to smile against her will. "Your name is Maximillian?" she sniggered, staring at Montague.

"Thank you, Terence," Montague said sarcastically. "One more person I'll have to Obliviate today."

"Don't even try it!" Katie threatened, "I swear I'll kick you in the balls if you even start to say it."

Flint and Higgs snorted.

"I was joking," Montague said hastily, moving away from her feet.

"You're acting like you did all the hard work," Flint said irritably, "all you two did was bleed and fight like girls, and I had to beat the rest of them into bloody pulps."

"What?" Katie asked, horrified. "So you're telling me that Montague has to pretend to be insane so he won't have to become a Death Eater or be murdered, and you three just beat up a bunch of the hooded freaks?"

"Pay attention, Bell, I said I did all the work," Flint said.

"Casting 'Obliviate' on five angry guys is not easy either," Higgs said indignantly.

"We wouldn't have had to cast it at all if Marcus hadn't gone crazy," Montague snorted. "We could've thought of something, we don't even know which way Pucey's loyalties lie."

"My apologies," said Flint, "I thought the brilliant tactic of letting Warrington snap Bell like a twig wasn't working that well."

"Well, you didn't have to beat them all unconscious," Higgs said indulgently, "that made for a hard time making up a story for the healers."

"Do you think they bought it?" Montague asked musingly.

"What, that you went on a rampage and attacked everyone?" Flint snorted. "They're morons if they did. But I suppose it'll keep you here till the end of the war, anyway."

"Or you could just stop being a pansy-arse and fight for what you believe in," Katie said coldly.

"Easy for you to say, Bell," Flint said, "everyone already knows you're a goody goody Gryffindor, that's what they expect from you."

"Yes, easy for me to say," she mocked, seething. "Do you even know WHY I am in St Mungo's, Flint, you addled brained dimwit?"

At this point, Higgs and Montague snuck out of the room, unbeknownst to the other two occupants involved in their oblivious fight full of sexual tension.

"What, you tripped on a baby animal you were saving from Snape and fell down the stairs?" he said sarcastically, looming into her personal space once again.

"No, you dumbarse," Katie snapped, "I was almost killed! I should've died, and for all I know, your good friend Warrington was the one who did it to me!"

"Don't you EVER put me in the same category as that bastard, Bell," Flint said, looming still closer. "I'm not a coward, and I'm not a murderer."

"Could've fooled me," she said nastily. "A coward is someone who hides from reality. Not fighting for what's right because you are scared is just as bad as fighting for what's wrong."

"I'm not scared!" Flint said heatedly. "I just don't have anything to fight for!"

"Why don't you two just snog, already?" Montague's voice broke in from the doorway. He and Higgs had returned from the tea room, and seemed annoyed that the two of them were still bickering.

"What?" Flint and Katie chorused.

Montague rolled his eyes. "Just snog and get it over with. Then Marcus can have 'something to fight for'" Montague imitated Flint's growl, "and Bell can stop her shrill nattering."

"You're just as big of a coward as he is!" Katie said angrily.

"Fine, then snog all of us," Montague shrugged, "I don't care."

"You keep your grubby paws off of her Montague, do you hear me?" Flint menaced. "And that goes for you too Higgs, you perverted bastard."

Higgs rolled his eyes and took a sip of tea.

Katie looked at Flint in consideration.

"Well," she said, heaving an enormous, melodramatic sigh of one much put-upon, "I suppose I could snog all three of you for the good of humanity. Who's first?"

Montague and Higgs couldn't even get a word out before Flint leaped on her.