Chapter One – The Gathering
Murky. Dark and grey and…SPLASH! Eurghhh! A rather annoyed-looking girl looked up as a little mischievous raindrop splashed onto her nose. Typical! Bloody typical!
"Wonderful," she muttered under her breath, "what a great start to the year." The girl was standing alone, leisurely leaning on a stone pillar that was supporting the roof of an old-fashioned station.
This girl was a witch and she was waiting for an old-fashioned, scarlet steam engine that would take her to the best witchcraft and wizardry school known to the world, Hogwarts. She attended this school with the best young witches and wizards in the country. At Hogwarts, students were placed into four different houses depending on their own personality traits. The four Hogwarts houses were Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. The girl had been lucky enough to be sorted into Gryffindor, the house for the brave and daring. She was in her seventh and final year of Hogwarts, and couldn't wait for her friends to arrive so they could start their ascent into adulthood and dreaded maturity.
The girl herself was quite tall, and her friends all hoped that she had finally stopped growing. She had shoulder length, dark brown hair which was sometimes mistaken for being black, and brown eyes.
"Hey Kirst!" came a lad's voice. Kirsty looked up and brushed her overhanging dark brown hair away from her face. She had to suppress a laugh, however, when she saw who it was that had just shouted her. It was Sam.
"Hi!" she quickly replied. Sam North was also a Gryffindor seventh year. He was burly, handsome and had a dashing smile, and according to her friend Emma, he was the 'smartest, funniest, sexiest, kindest, friendliest, sweetest guy EVER!' Emma practically worshipped him, but he hadn't worked it out yet, and even if he had he wasn't letting on. Sam was actually something of a fixation for many of the Hogwarts ladies, as he was of medium height and build, had the voice of a charmer and was pretty much everything Emma had described.
Kirsty looked inquisitively at Sam, who seemed to have momentarily forgotten why he'd come over. Suddenly, his memory kicked in and he asked politely, pointing at the peacock quill that Kirsty had just been idly doodling with on a scrap piece of parchment, "Can I borrow that quill?"
"Sure!" she replied and handed over her quill to Sam, who looked slightly uncomfortable before taking it and walking off waving his thanks.
Kirsty often seemed to make people feel uncomfortable, as they never knew what she was going to do next. One minute she was as quiet as a mouse and the next she was singing, dancing and yelling at the top of her voice. Sometimes she didn't respond to the remarks made by Slytherins, but more often than not, she would be an almighty bitch right back at them.
Her ways of entertaining herself would also take extreme changes. Some days she would just sit quietly and read, maybe talk quietly in a corner with Emma, Lily or Hayley, but at other times, she would be off pulling pranks with the infamous Marauders.
Over time, people had also learnt that the outfit she was wearing determined her mood. Today, she was obviously feeling sarcastic, as her t-shirt was bright green with the words, 'I can't read, I can't write, so how the bloody hell did I make this t-shirt?' emblazoned across the front of it. In addition, she was also wearing dark blue jeans, black boots and a fair bit of jewelry. Her nails had been painted with neat letters on each hand spelling out the word 'MUGLE' on one hand, and 'LOVER' on the other. It had obviously been written by Emma, as Kirsty's own handwriting was hardly ever that neat, especially if she was writing with her left hand. She knew the spelling was wrong, but that had been the only way it would fit. The letters were in yellow, and with the red background, her nails were Gryffindor colours. She had asked Lily to write it but she had point blank refused, as she didn't want to be a part of the 'Slytherin bating'.
Kirsty had a blue denim shoulder bag loosely hanging over her right shoulder, which had been decorated, rather messily, with different coloured scrawls of writing, which at timed intervals would disappear completely and be replaced with entirely different words and doodles.
The enchanted bag was just one of many benefits of a Hogwarts education. There were at least eight different scrawls on the bag, and each one possessed its own sentiment and personality. The messier writing, which tended to consist of immature rants and doodles, belonged to Messrs Padfoot and Prongs, but occasionally Emma's neat writing would appear and join in on the conversations. The incredibly neat, flowing writing belonged to Lily, Remus, and Hayley, who was a Ravenclaw student with whom they got along with extremely well. Lily, Remus and Hayley usually wrote on the bag tell the rest to 'Pay attention' and 'get on with your bloody work already!' The small, mismatched scrawl belonged to Peter, who would normally just agree with what every one else was saying. Finally, the fairly small, almost neat scrawl belonged to Kirsty herself, usually making fun of Sirius and James, but mostly Sirius, simply because he got annoyed so easily. Occasionally she would write random film quotes, song lyrics or just doodle. The spell cast on the bag was a charm originally thought of by Remus. This charm enabled the bag to reveal random written quotes for a certain amount of time. In order for the bag to work, the gang had to physically write their thoughts on it. The words would then seem to disappear, as if engulfed by the bag itself, and would be seen again at random times.
Eventually, Sam came wandering back over to Kirsty, quill in hand. He stated his thanks and they began chatting eagerly about Quidditch. They were both on the Gryffindor Quidditch team; Sam was the Keeper and Kirsty the Seeker. He had just started to tell Kirsty about a Quidditch move he had been practicing during the summer, when a well-muscled arm draped around his shoulder.
"Hey Northy!" cheered James. James Potter, famous for his talent on the Quidditch pitch, was the object of many girls' fixations, with his messy mop of black hair, hazel eyes that were framed by a pair of black glasses and a mischievous grin that was to die for. He pretty much had his own fan base amongst the girls of the school. He was, quite plainly, a bit of a catch.
"James," replied Sam, nodding to his fellow Gryffindor.
"No, no, no!" corrected James, shaking his finger back and forth. "It's Captain to you now, mate!" he asserted with a grin.
"Oh yeah, well done, James!" replied Sam. This was actually a sore subject as Sam had been hoping to be made Quidditch captain for his final year.
"I always knew you were a queer, James!" came a girl's voice, suddenly. James and Sam turned around to find a familiar girl standing there, with her right knee slightly bent and her hands on her hips, not looking amused as her curly, dark brown hair was getting wet. Emma had arrived. As soon as Emma saw Sam, she went bright red and mumbled a hello. It didn't help that Kirsty was standing behind Sam making kissing faces until she almost collapsed in a fit of silent giggles.
Just as she was about to fall over from laughing at herself and Emma, she heard somebody walk up behind her and catch her under the arms to prevent her from falling.
Sirius Black, notorious heartbreaker and full time mischief-maker, had finally arrived. He looked inquisitively over to James and Emma and was obviously silently conveying, what the hell happened to her? Kirsty then tried to spin around to see who was holding her up, but she failed the task miserably when she ended up falling comically on her arse.
She looked round at Sirius and gave him a smile. "Sirius Black has entered the station, fan girls will round up in approximately 0.05 seconds, over!" she teased, miming as though she was talking into a radio.
"Shut up 'Mugle Lover!'" Sirius laughed, noticing her nails.
Kirsty winked. "Hey, they're unique so don't make fun of them!"
Sirius, as though suddenly realizing that Sam was there, looked at Emma, who was bright red, and raised one eyebrow until it was in danger of disappearing into his dark brown hair.
Through the jostling and mingling crowd, an extremely vivacious looking redhead gazed at the very welcome and familiar faces of the slightly disheveled-looking group that stood before her. At the sight of Sirius, now the tallest member of the group, Lily Evans beamed brightly and started to frantically negotiate her way through the mass of students and parents alike, to greet the shamble of people that she was proud to call her friends. Lily did a double take when she saw that Sam also stood amongst her group. She smiled at him to hide her puzzlement and then proceeded to shoot a quick grin at Emma, who was feverishly trying to cover the lower half of her face with her scarf. She decided to show absolutely no sign of recognition towards James and turned her attention onto the couple in front of her. Sirius was trying, and failing, to get Kirsty up off the floor, mainly because he himself was in hysterics and partly due to Kirsty being seemingly oblivious to his attempts to help her up. Lily took a few more steps towards them and stated, "You're on the floor." Kirsty looked up suddenly, acknowledging Lily's presence.
"Well observed, my friend," she replied cheekily.
"And what, may I ask, are you doing there?"
"Well, I was trying to show Sirius here that you can indeed hop on both legs simultaneously, and well, this is the end result," Kirsty responded sarcastically, using her arms for emphasis. Lily raised her eyebrows skeptically at Kirsty, silently questioning for the real answer.
"I was laughing at Emma." Lily was pleased with this response, and she then grinned and looked from Emma to Sam to show that she too found it to be quite an amusing situation.
Now seeing that Kirsty had calmed down, Sirius continued his attempt to get her up off the floor. Once he had pulled her up, he turned her round so that she was facing him. "Hello," she said with a grin as she hugged him tightly.
"Hello," replied Sirius as he smiled down at her.
A puzzled look then crossed Kirsty's face as she looked up at him. She wrinkled her nose and furrowed her brow in puzzlement. "Have you grown?" she asked him suddenly. "Or did I just forget to put my high heeled boots on this morning?" She then lifted her foot up to check, and seemed confused to find her boot there.
Sirius let out a bark of laughter. "I think I must have grown."
Kirsty pouted, "It's not fair, I've always been the tallest!"
Sirius shook his head with a chuckle, "No you haven't."
Kirsty smiled weakly at him. "Tallest when I've got my boots on."
"Not any more, I'm afraid," he indicated with a grin as he brushed her playfully on the nose.
"Hey!" came James' voice from behind them. "Don't I get a hug?"
Kirsty pulled away from Sirius and ran towards James to give him a big hug. "So, how was your summer?" she asked as he wrapped his arms around her.
"Not bad, not bad. I'm now Quidditch captain!"
Sam looked down somberly and shuffled his feet at the mention of the C-word.
Kirsty took a step back from James and looked at him proudly. "That's fantastic James! Well done!" She then hugged him tightly again. Sirius, who had just given Lily a hug, looked up at the mention of James' news.
"Yes! You finally did it, well done mate!" he cheered as he walked towards James and clapped him on the back supportively.
After Emma had also given James a hug, Lily inched closer to him to give him her congratulations. Ever the hopeful James, he held his arms out indicating a hug. The idea of giving James a hug made Lily feel uncomfortable, so she briefly grabbed hold of one of his outstretched hands and stated her congratulations.
As Lily quickly dropped his hand, James smiled as if pleased about the little bit of contact that he had just received. Then with a deep calming breath, he announced his other important news. "I'm also head boy."
The rest of the gang stopped dead in their tracks and turned to look at him, their mouths agape.
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Emma. "Well, that was unexpected."
"Not as unexpected as the captaincy," chimed in Kirsty with a wink. "Well done James, that's an amazing achievement!"
He smiled at her in response and then glanced worriedly in Sirius' direction.
"Head boy?" Sirius asked in bewilderment. "You?"
"It would appear so," replied James.
"How?" he continued to question, "I thought Moony would get that for sure."
"Me too, but hey, who am I to question Dumbledore's decision?"
"Congratulations, mate," stated Sirius still looking confused, "Good luck with knocking me into shape," he added teasingly.
"Oh, don't worry Padfoot, I can't wait to be the one telling you to sit down and shut up!"
Sirius just winked at him in reply.
Lily stood, aghast. She bought herself around from her astonishment, and quickly congratulated James again.
Kirsty noticed that Sam stood watching the group from the sidelines, looking like he felt awkward. He announced, "I'll be going now, nice speaking to you all!"
"All right Sam, see you later mate!" they all chimed, except for Emma, who stayed deathly quiet.
Just before he turned to leave, Kirsty walked up to him and stretched her arms out. "Hug," she commanded.
Sam looked uncomfortable and replied, "No thanks, I'm good."
"Spoilsport!" remarked Kirsty, as she pretended to pout.
Sam looked guilty for a second before deciding to compensate by patting Kirsty patronizingly on top of her head. Sam then turned and walked away, but Kirsty shouted at his departing back, "That's right, I forgot, you're much too manly for hugs!"
To which Sam turned around and replied with a grin, "Damn straight!"
"Who are you kidding?" she shouted deafeningly. "We all know you wear make-up!"
At this announcement, the whole station erupted with laughter. Kirsty was laughing so hard she could barely see straight, she tried to choke back her giggles as Sam went the colour of beetroot and spun back around. Feeling his gaze upon her, Kirsty tried and failed to plaster an innocent smile on her face. Sam clearly wasn't amused about his manliness being questioned and angrily gave Kirsty the one-finger salute before storming over to his chuckling circle of friends.
Kirsty spun around to face her gang, who were now laughing uncontrollably at her latest outburst, and surprisingly, Emma was giggling along with the rest. Once they had all stopped laughing, Sirius took a few deep breaths to calm himself before stating to Kirsty, "I think you may have upset him."
Kirsty shook her head with a smile. "Nah, he'll get over it, the poncy git!" Emma glared at Kirsty for calling Sam poncy, and Kirsty amended quickly, "Joke."
Emma walked over to Kirsty and punched her in the arm, only half joking, and replied, "Evil git."
Not long after, a commotion over by the platform entrance grabbed the gang's attention. They turned around to see a tall, thin boy with short, wavy, light brown hair making his way towards them whilst giggling to himself. Remus Lupin, the third member of the Marauders, arrived to an array of puzzled faces. It turned out to be Emma who queried, "What the bloody hell is wrong with you mate?"
"Peter…walked into the wrong platform…smashed straight into the wall…Muggles were looking at him weirdly…it was so funny…you should have seen!" he managed to gasp in between outbursts of laughter.
Not long after, Remus was followed by the cause of his hysterics, as Peter Pettigrew, a short, plump boy with mousy brown hair, came into view looking highly embarrassed and very bedraggled. They all burst out laughing at the very sight of him, which seemed to annoy Peter, who kept muttering, "It could have happened to anyone. Stop bloody laughing already!"
Once they had all calmed down once again, they welcomed Remus and Peter with hugs and questions about their summer. Remus glanced behind him and noticed that Sam North was glaring at them, particularly at Kirsty. "Why is Sam glaring at us?" he asked Kirsty. "Well, you?" he amended.
"I'll tell you later," replied Kirsty with a grin, as the Hogwarts Express came speeding down the track to take them to their final year of schooling. The crowd of students immediately rushed towards the steam engine train hoping to get a good, if not their favourite, compartment. The gang seemed to be the only ones who didn't rush. They knew full well that no one would dare go near their cabin. In fact, anyone that tried to go near it would be probably be severely hexed into next Sunday, a fact of which Lily highly disapproved.
As they began to walk towards the train together, Sirius started to sing his new favourite song, Night Fever. After the first few words, James joined in, and in moments, Kirsty, Emma and Peter were all singing along, as well as dancing outrageously. Lily and Remus immediately walked off ahead of them, adamantly pretending that they didn't know the weirdoes behind them.
By the time they had reached the chorus, many of the surrounding crowd were either cheering or laughing at the scene before them. As soon as Emma realized that people were watching her sing and dance, she became embarrassed and walked ahead to join Lily and Remus, swinging her scarf defensively around her neck.
Not long after Emma had boarded the train, Sam walked past the gang on his own, and he appeared to be fed up of the taunts he was getting from his friends and the remaining crowd. Astonishingly, Sam also swung his scarf around his neck, in an exact imitation of the way Emma had done it. Kirsty noticed this similarity and stopped dead in her tracks with a big grin on her face, this year is going to be fun she thought to herself.