Moonlight Destiny, chapter 1
Moonlight Destiny
By LadyLupin

Chapter 1: Love Triangle

{A/N: Yay! It's up! (Or at least it must be if you're reading it!) A fic about my favorite people in HP. Don't worry, the story WILL get around to somewhere eventually. I'm writing the next chapter right now, I promise. Meanwhile, sit back & enjoy!

........................

I said, Sit back and enjoy!

James: ::pokes her:: You forgot the disclaimer, stupid.

Oh, soooorRY! Okay, none of these guys belong to me, Hogwarts doesn't either, they belong to J. K. Rowling, and I didn't invent them, except for Cassie, Jennica, and whoever else I decide to drag in here before this fanfic is over. But I'm not making any money off it, so just don't get your panties in a twist about it, kay? Happy, James?

James: Sit back and enjoy the show, folks.}

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"Ooh, Potter, looks like you're in trouble again."

The young man in question, who had stood when he heard his name called by the teacher who had just walked in, now adjusted his glasses and glared disparagingly at his accuser. "Shut up, Snape."

"Now, now, Mister Potter, that's quite enough. Come along now, there's a good lad..."The professor who had requested Potter's presence led him out of the Charms classroom and into his own office. He sat him down and faced him seriously.

"Now James, there's something very important I have to talk to you about..."

Later that day, James Potter walked confidently down the halls of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, thoroughly enjoying mulling over the events of that morning. Seeing the look on Snape's face after he told him off had been good enough, but this...

Suddenly he heard footsteps and heavy breathing behind him. "Hey, James, wait up!"

He looked over his shoulder, and a smile came easily to his lips. It was Peter. "How're you doing?" he asked with a grin. "Glad to be back?"

"I heard that Harris pulled you out of Charms today. Snape said you were in big trouble."

Now James frowned. "Snape doesn't know when to keep that big mouth of his shut. Why were you listening to him, anyway?"

"Well...he was on the grounds, and I just overheard..." Peter whimpered.

"Aw, don't worry about it, Wormy," James brushed the issue aside and slapped his friend on the back amiably.

"O-okay. So..." he started hesitantly again. "Is it...true?"

James laughed out loud at this. "Of course not! Professor Harris just wanted to know if I would be accepting a nomination as Quidditch captain-which I will, of course."

"Oh. I guess that makes sense. I mean, normally I wouldn't be surprised to hear you getting pulled out because you were in trouble, but on the first day..."

"It would be a new school record!" announced a new voice, as two more boys came to join the pair.

"You could have a plaque up," continued Sirius, who had spoken before, "next to all your Quidditch trophies--"

"With the words, 'James Potter: Fastest Troublemaker in the History of Hogwarts'," Remus finished. "So, how did everyone enjoy the first day of our last year at Hogwarts?"

"It was all right," said Peter. "At least until we got to Defense Against the Dark Arts, that is." Everyone shuddered at that thought. The teacher for that class, Professor Argent, was the head of Slytherin House and had been the bane of their existence since their first year. This year would be no exception--they were now studying some of the most powerful curses in existence, and they had the feeling that one of their own might end up falling victim to one before the year's end.

"Don't worry. Look, we all have transfiguration tomorrow," Remus pointed out. "I think we've got a new transfiguration professor this year."

Sirius chuckled. "What, did old Horky never get himself changed back?" he asked, referring to an unfortunate accident their previous Transfiguration teacher had had near the end of last term.

"Nah, the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad got him fixed up pretty quick," said Remus. "He wants to take a year off now though. Just our luck, too. I've heard people talking about the new witch they've got in there--her name's McGonagall, and they're saying she's a real bear."

James raised an eyebrow. "Minerva McGonagall?"

"What, do you know her?"

"No, not--don't you remember, she was the one we came across when we--"

"Oh, yeah, I remember!" Remus grinned suddenly. "Hey, that reminds me, James-did I leave my Arithmancy book at your house? I couldn't find it when I was packing."

"Jeez, Remus, you're not even taking Arithmancy this year," James muttered as he dug through his bookbag.

"Yeah, I've got it. I found it under my bed after you left. A couple of the corners are a little chewed up, but you've got no one but yourself to blame for that..."

"Wait--what's all this about?" Sirius asked curiously, as they were obviously talking about something he had no idea about.

Remus, after taking the book James handed to him, turned to Sirius and grinned. "Oh, you have to hear this. So, Peter and I were over at James's for about a week in the middle of July-"

"What?" Sirius exclaimed, glancing back and forth at his friends and looking betrayed. "Why didn't anyone tell me about this?"

"You were on vacation in Transylvania!" James shot back. "We tried to get in touch with you-we must have sent four owls-"

"Five," Remus corrected.

"-but you never answered, and none of the owls ever came back. Trying to deliver to a place like that, it's not surprising. I don't know why your parents decided to take a family vacation there of all places. I mean, there are any number of things that could have happened to those poor owls. They could have been caught by harpies, driven off course by banshees-"

"Exsanguinated by vampires," Remus added helpfully as James continued.

"-swiped by hags, eaten by werewolves-er...oh... Sorry, Remus."

"Quite all right," his friend answered.

"The point is, we tried our hardest, and I even sacrificed my best owl in the process, but we could not get you notified soon enough," James concluded.

"Oh, but Sirius, you should have been there," Remus said wistfully. "Like I said, it was along about the third week in July, and it was right in the middle of the lunar cycle, so there was a full moon the night before we left-"

"Oh no," Sirius groaned. "But-your parents didn't even care?" he asked Remus incredulously.

"I don't think his parents even remembered," James chortled.

"Oh, they remembered. Truth to tell, I think they were glad to get me out of the house."

Sirius turned to James. "But what about you, James? Your mother gets worked up when you bring home so much as a stray kitten. I can just see how she would react to having a fully transformed werewolf in her house."

"We weren't in the house-except at the beginning," Remus explained, "and I think it was the night that his mother had gone out to visit some friend or another-"

"Hey Peter," James joined in, "Tell Sirius what almost happened to you."

"Well...okay," Peter started. "Like Remus said, it was the night before we were going to leave, and we were up in James's room, thinking of what hexes would be the most fun to try out on the Slytherins this year, and it got to be just after sunset, when all of the sudden, Remus turns to James and says, 'James, what's the date?' and he looked kind of nervous, and James answers him and says it's the seventeenth, and asked why he wanted to know, and I guess he was about to tell us, but just then the moon rose, and so we kind of figured it out after that. Remus was right, James's mum wasn't there that night, and it was a really good thing, too, because normally when we were in James's room, we tried to be really quiet so she wouldn't know what we were up to, but she definitely would have heard that. It was quite frightening."

"You think it's bad to watch, you should try doing it sometime," Remus commented wryly.

"Anyway," James picked up the narrative, "Remus transformed, and he immediately went after Peter, who was standing right in front of him. I didn't have time to even think, but I grabbed Remus's Arithmancy book off the bed and threw it at him. It hit him on the back of his head, and he started gnawing on that for a few seconds, which gave Peter time to transform. He scampered down the stairs and out the back door with Remus right on his heels. Scared the living daylights out of Sprolly, and I think they might have knocked down a vase or two on their way, which my mother wasn't too happy about afterward," he admitted.

Remus chuckled. "That's too bad. I hope you didn't get in too much trouble. So," Remus took up the story, "when we all got outside, James transformed and proceeded to knock me around a little, which calmed me down a bit, I think. Fortunately, James lives out in the boonies, which meant there was no danger we would run into anyone-or so we thought. We were in that big grassy field just east of his house, pretty much just wandering around joking around with each other, and both Peter and James looking out in case his mum came back, and that went on for about half an hour. But just then, we were getting ready to head out, and we were right on the edge of the field, next to the road, when we...ran into...another..."

His narrative trailed off as something across the hall suddenly caught his eye and caused him to lose his focus. Curious, his three friends came up next to him and turned the direction he was facing to see what had so completely captured his attention.

"Aw, Moony!" Sirius said with rising amusement as he knowingly nudged his friend. At the same time, James started snickering behind him.

For what had undermined Remus's concentration was, of course, a girl. She looked like a fifth- or possibly sixth-year, a petite young witch with long, shimmering black hair and dark skin which bespoke an Asian heritage.

"So, Remus...who is she...?" Sirius murmured in his ear.

"Well," Remus stammered, and he could not keep himself from blushing furiously, "she's just...this girl; I met her in Diagon Alley when I was getting supplies for school.

"And...?" James cajoled for more information.

"And nothing!" Remus bristled slightly under the scrutiny of the three others. "I saw her when I was browsing through Flourish & Blotts, and we talked for a while, and then I left. That's all."

"But she seemed quite nice, right?" James added helpfully.

"And she is very attractive," Sirius observed, still watching the girl.

"Oh, shut up," Remus griped, but he couldn't help but smile.

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Cassandra Nightwalker had a lot on her mind as she walked the corridors of the castle, so deep in her thoughts as to be nearly oblivious to anything around her. She'd seen that boy again, the one she'd talked to in Flourish & Blotts. He had been reasonably attractive, and quite interesting to talk to. Today, though, he had been hanging around a bunch of students she'd recognized as being in Gryffindor-her lip curled slightly at the thought-but then, he'd struck her as that type from the start. A pity, she thought and shrugged, but no great loss.

"Spider's Fang," she spoke, and the wall slid away for her. She entered the common room and sank into a chair by the fire, resting a moment before she had to start tackling her homework. It really wasn't fair, to get so stressed out on the first day, but she had to expect it with the course load she was taking. Not to mention everything else she was working on...

"Busy first day?" someone murmured next to her.

Cassandra's eyes flew open at the sound of the voice. It was a voice she recognized, a voice which set her heart pounding even before she looked up to see his face, with that slight, shrewd smile and piercing gaze. "Uh huh," she answered in barely more than a whisper, too dazed by his nearness to say more. He nodded slightly in response and walked past to join some friends of his on the other side of the common room.

Cassandra sat back happily and a small smile crept to her lips as excitement replaced her nervousness. He actually talked to her! Already, on the first day of class!

Her moment of ecstasy, unfortunately, was interrupted by a strident giggle from a chair next to her. Cassandra glanced over at the irksome one, which she discovered to her dismay was one of her fellow sixth-years, Jennica Branson.

Her glare only made the giggling rise in pitch. "Looks like somebody still has a crush on Severus!" Jennica taunted.

"Oh, hush," Cassandra muttered, as she grabbed her books and headed for the dormitory where she could study in peace.

{A/N again: That's it. That was the first chapter. Did you like it? Hey! You! Write me a review, or I'll hex you for all you're worth! I know some good ones, too. ::grrrrrrrrr::

James: ::pokes LL again:: Don't be so mean to the readers-they're doing you a favor by reading your stuff, you know.

Heeeeyyy! Those antlers are sharp! Okay, okay, please be nice and review my fic.}