Once again, I must warn: I will try to do a slash pairing, but I will not make it too graphic.

Ano sa, ano sa… do guys read fanfiction?

Chapter 15: "Girl with the Devil on Her Back"

Sakura unlinked their arms at the sight of "children" waiting anxiously in the den. It seemed they were still not permitted, due to the insistence of Molly Weasley. Sakura understood the mother's intentions quite well, but they would only hurt the students once war was on their foot step. Sakura looked to Harry, who greeted her in a casual manner.

"Glad to see you awake," he said, sincerity written on his face, as was a shadow of guilt. The others nodded in agreement.

"Thanks, Potter. Just so you know, the ritual had nothing to do with… your decisions. It had to do with my lack of control."

"It's just Harry," he said with a hint of sorrow. His demons persisted it seemed, but at least he was giving in to the company of friends.

"Right," she said, smiling. "Thanks, Harry." She turned to thank the others.

"I forgot to say, I'm glad to see all of you in one piece."

"Would you like to play a game of exploding snap? Your late supper may have to wait…" Ginny started.

"Itachi and I were given clearance to go to the meeting," Sakura said awkwardly. Quickly she added, "don't worry. We are on your side." She added a playful wink and mouthed 'my room.' Hopefully the Gryffindors would understand. Fred and George seemed to get it.

Itachi opened the door to the meeting room. It was a full house, and Sakura had to ask kami for the strength to be patient. She put on her "Sai" face for those gathered and went about greeting those she knew before taking her seat. Itachi sat down next to her, and she wondered for a second if he was nervous in front of the gathered wizards.

Professor Snape cast a silencing charm on the room. Dumbledore's quiet but firm voice filled the room. His eyes held no sparkle.

"Welcome back, Mr. Uchiha. Good morning, Miss Haruno. A concise portion of the meeting will be a review of current events for Miss Haruno and Mr. Uchiha. It came to my attention early in the summer holidays that Amelia Bones and Emmeline Vance have been killed. Also, Voldemort has destroyed the muggle 'Millenium Bridge.'"

"That was where I entered this world," Sakura said.

Dumbledore nodded. "My sources confirmed that he planned it for the day you entered the world. My source was not aware of the plan until after the fact."

"Perhaps it is symbolic? Sasuke must have thought I was dead. Perhaps he even suggested it as a sick memorial service."

"Speculations, girl," sneered Professor Snape, "the bridge was one of London's newest and finest and heavily populated at mid day. Its recent construction in preparation for the next millennium was symbolic of change, which is one of the Death Eaters' antitheses."

"Tom has accelerated all his plans since being revealed to the wizarding public. He gained many followers after the event," Dumbledore continued. "We had hoped exposing him would hinder his cloak and dagger approach. Unfortunately, his new tactics are working better in his favor. So many have joined, they go unmarked. He now has his eyes and ears in London."

"We must be mindful of what we say," growled Mad-Eye Moody. "So don't say anything about these little fireside chats. If you are going to fuck up, do not mention anything in the ministry. Ministry executive jobs are the best jobs money can buy, so naturally purebloods fill ninty-five percent of them. Needless to say, pureblood Slytherins have corrupted the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. That was You-Know-Who's first target in the last war."

Tonks added, "You-Know-Who was underestimated by the Ministry during his first rise. His power took on a snowball effect. Only when everyone had lost hope did we experience a miracle. Alastor is right. I suggest we go straight to work and leave no room for idle chit-chat in the corridors. Now that You-Know-Who has made his presence known, we should be able to make a smooth transition of character."

Moody growled, "As long as we have our own listener in His circle, I don't see the problem keeping our heads down and noses out of ministry problems."

"Thank-you for the vote of confidence," sneered Professor Snape. "Coming from you, I'm touched by the sincerity."

Moody could not help but growl back at the slytherin 'whelp.'

"Do try to pick up useful information every now and then, rather than wait on your department head to spoon feed you."

"I was not intending to, although, anyone here that has a problem with lying convincingly should."

Professor McGonagall cleared her throat. "Agreed," she said with finality. Professor Snape and Mad-Eye Moody backed off from what Sakura, Itachi, and everyone else thought to be a pointless argument. Nymphadora Tonks shook her head, silently chastising herself for playing a part in said pointless argument. After all, most of what they had said was common sense.

Sakura had been pondering the names of the deceased. One name stuck. For the sake of proper form, she asked of both the departed.

Tonks's face sombered. "Emmeline Vance was one of us. She got taken out during a recon mission. I can only hope she met a quick end. Amelia Bones was the Head of the DMLE. She was attacked by You-Know-Who himself. She fought bravely."

"She put up a damn good fight from what Severus told us," Kingsley added. "None of us trust the new department head. He's too convenient."

"Yes, the Head of DMLE is a great position for a Minister for Magic hopeful. The situation of his succession puts us naturally in suspicion," Tonks said. "Pius Thicknesse has succeeded Mme. Bones. He has been in office for a little over two months. He is either a Deatheater or an imperiused buffoon. If it were a spell arousing our suspicions, only the death of the caster could reverse it."

"Severus, have you discovered anything on that note?" asked Dumbledore.

"The Dark Lord does not trust me as he used to, as I have said. I go nowhere without Wormtail, my own personal buffoon."

Dumbledore sighed. "I see. The next topic of discussion is former Prime Minister Cornelius Fudge."

"I gather his smear campaign is over?" Sakura asked. She would have to find a new reason to stick around Hogwarts and the UK for that matter.

"The public denounced his ability to lead the magical community immediately after the Battle at the Department of Mysteries. The public seemed to be waiting for the final shoe to drop—that or for Cornelius to clean up his image. He proved to be an ineffective war-time leader. Even with the public aware of events, he was slow to act and establish security. The next night, Tom ambushed Mme. Amelia Bones at her rural home west of Stockton-on-Tees. By morning, a new Minister for Magic, Mr. Rufus Scrimgeour, had been appointed."

"He's the one in the paper that resembles a tawny-colored lion with graying fur," Tonks was quick to add.

"Why so suddenly?" Sakura asked, shocked and fearful. In the aftermath of Pain's Invasion, Tsunade-sama had lain in comatose state. A unanimous vote was called for Danzou to lead the village as acting Sixth Hokage. His position undoubtedly would turn into the real deal, if not for Sasuke.

'Still, I don't have to thank the bastard,' Inner Sakura huffed.

Dumbledore replied, "During times of war, the choice seems obvious. Rufus Scrimgeour is our most decorated veteran auror. Choosing him has made the public feel safe and secure once more."

Sakura raised her eyebrow. "Are they supposed to?"

The Headmaster did not reply. "You may wish to write the new Minister and accept the proposal I have given him. I have already taken liberties to suggest a mediwitch apprenticeship and a new Eastern dueling class. He will use it in his campaign quite effectively, I am sure, to calm the public. Meanwhile, you and Professor Uchiha, should he accept the role, can train at Hogwarts and prepare for the upcoming war."

Uchiha Itachi asked, "And what of the students?"

"They could use some aerobics and strength training. I see no harm in teaching them to run from this fight. Should escape be impossible, this is a chance to give them an edge against the aging Deatheaters of the Inner Circle. Please prepare them as you see fit. Also, Scrimgeour is fond of giving Hogwarts a militant atmosphere. I would appreciate it if you could prepare them and sustain a school atmosphere," the Headmaster requested humbly.

"I will do what I must, Headmaster. There will be times where I must be harsh," said Itachi.

Dumbledore nodded in understanding.

"Am I a professor now?" Sakura asked, laughing with her hand covering her mouth, albeit nervously. Meanwhile, I.S. gave in to a rant about her peers and how little they would respond to any lecture she gave. She would have to resort to brute force.

"You are to be the professor's assistant. Madam Pomfrey has her hands full. Besides, she is not an order member. I would rather the two in charge be Order members."

"Hai," said the two, reverting to their old habits momentarily. Sakura could picture the mission scroll in her mind and her sensei's proud smirk as she wished her student good luck.

Dumbledore cleared his throat. "Does anyone have any new information to discuss?"

A couple idea's got thrown around, but none were sane enough for Snape or Dumbledore to agree to. When the table was ready to clear out, Itachi said, "There is one last thing Sakura and I would like to discuss."

The Order members tried to keep the eagerness out of their eyes. Hopefully, they would get the whole story. Remus Lupin leaned back, thinking he knew what to expect. He calmly sipped his drink.

"Where we come from, war is not uncommon. More than half our citizens populate the Academy, where they receive a military education as well as a formal one," Itachi started, and filled in enough gaps in Sakura's story to give a good picture of the village. "We have a shinobi who was believed dead until now, one that was feared in the days of our grandparents. He's believed now to be immortal. His name is Uchiha Madara." (By the way, I am stripping the Uchiha's of their OP-ness. Everything past Mangekyou, Amaterasu, Susano'o is off-limits.)

"Demo," Sakura added hastily, "I have a solid theory as to why he is 'immortal.' So it's not entirely incredulous." Mindful of the presence next to her, she had an epiphany. "A weakness that you can confirm, right? I thought I saw…"

"You saw. I was his… disciple. Every three years he got a new body. He would bend the will of his target, transferring his life force and memories from one outstanding shinobi youth to the next like a child playing menkou."

"Menkou?" she broke the serious conversation with her laughter. She quickly quieted. "I guess that is an accurate analogy."

Itachi clarified, "In menko, children fight for a disk that the other players have. The disk is printed or etched with the face of the child's hero. The losers forfeit their disks. Orochimaru is the only person to have successfully replicated the forbidden technique."

"And Sasuke defeated Orochimaru in menkou," Sakura added, withholding the –kun from Sasuke's name, "but Naruto told me that Kabuto absorbed what was left of Orochimaru."

"Well, that's… unusual," said Tonks. Sakura shrugged, not quite sure what happened either during Kabuto's little experiment.

"I destroyed part of him during my fight with Sasuke. I would think that was the conscious part, and Kabuto has absorbed his… experience, his knowledge of forbidden techniques."

"Madara fights like Itachi, but he's far more experienced due to his age. Basically, that is our greatest enemy in a nutshell."

Sakura relinquished the tale to Itachi, knowing he was getting to the 'good stuff' a.k.a. bad-news-for-Sakura. "Madara has taken over a group called the Akatsuki. They have been hunting down the most powerful beasts of our world and extracting their power. The leaders had hoped for a forced world peace, but the members silently turned on them. The former leader, Pein, is dead. Konan, his right-hand, has defected and was most likely killed by Madara. I am presumed dead by everyone but Akatsuki, to ensure Konoha diverts its focus to meaningful tasks."

"In the process, I had to kill Sakura. She is also presumed dead." Sakura sulked at that comment, but remained relatively calm. Her death was for Naruto's benefit, right?

Itachi turned to her. "I turned my Mangekyou on the kyuubi. The beast put up a good fight, but eventually I accomplished what I set out to do. I wounded the monster deeply, cutting off many of its tails. Once I had the chakra contained, I rushed off to find you. I must admit, you were a far better candidate than I was. I am glad you consented to the transfer."

Sakura shivered, knowing now that it was not a request. Hell, he could have used Mangekyou a million times until she said yes. No, he would have thought that a waste of his doujutsu.

"Why not release it?" she had to ask.

"The chakra is highly attracted to human chakra. It tries to coil tight around human chakra. Uncoiling it usually leads to death. A new host must be ready or both chakras will be thrown out of the host's body. That is why I had to transfer my life chakras to you when I transferred the kyuubi chakra, which served the purpose of allowing me to fake my death."

"How did you make your body fight Sasuke?"

"Mangekyou. I used the mangekyou to program my body. It's last instruction was to unwrap a portkey that took it directly to St. Mungo's lobby."

"So you basically threw my life force at the monster to save yourself the trouble of helping Naruto?" her voice was dangerously low. Her lip quivered.

"Do you not remember our conversation?" She did, but it seemed so stupid that the kyuubi chakra would have a preference for cute, pink-haired, medical kunoichis.

"What is so special about me?"

"I was looking for someone capable of enduring hardship alone. I was looking for a survivor, but that person needed a good heart, relatively free of corruption. I needed someone who had never killed in cold blood. I needed someone who was a dear, loyal friend to Naruto. Also, the person needed to be more than a tool for his country, needed to know how to think for himself. You were the only match."

"Surely Kakashi-sensei was a better match," she started, but then she remembered Haku. That may have botched his validity as a candidate.

"A medic ninja does wonders to improve a mission's success rate. Tsunade-sama must have taught you that. She gave you survival training. Kakashi taught you how to 'look underneath the underneath.' You were the one who held Naruto up when Sasuke left, despite your incompetence leading up to the moment."

Gee, thanks, you bastard.

"Also, the person I picked needed to be someone I could trust. I needed someone who would help me look out for my little brother."

Fat chance. "It appears you chose too soon."

"You were. Hinata was not an ideal choice, despite her obvious validity as a host of the corrupted chakra and her… humanitarian view of all living things. Besides, your medical prowess really is your trump card. Despite your mal intent towards Sasuke, you fit the most immediate criterion."

Give me a salary, please, asshole. The glare Inner Sakura wore made it passed her mask. "You mentioned a trust issue? Wasn't that covered by everything else?"

"Your mind could have rejected me. I needed someone with which I could share such an… intimate experience. We had a high degree of compatibility." This was one topic best stowed away for later. The others would think they were watching was some B movie drama. Well, maybe not. Wand lore had similar principles.

"Next topic. What happens to Naruto? How does this help him?"

"It helps everyone a great deal. The kyuubi can't be extracted for at least another year. The kyuubi must regenerate its tails from within its host. Akatsuki cannot collect until then."

Sakura broke out with genuine relief and happiness. She was struck silent for a while. Never had she imagined this crazy plan would help Naruto. Wait, yes she did. She said without forcing herself, "I'm glad my faith in you back then was not misplaced." She bowed her head slightly.

"Well, more or less."

Her head shot up at that.

"I did not expect the tails to start regenerating in your system. I thought the chakra would be a one-time use, then dissipate into the atmosphere when released, but a portion of it has reserved itself toward regeneration. Something strange is happening. I miscalculated. I'm sorry-"

Sakura's chair scraped across the floor, just enough for her to remove herself.

Sakura bowed her head. With newfound restraint she said, "If you had deserved a punch, I would have beaten you within an inch of your life. If you were my friend, I would hit you and call you an idiot without care for my reputation. I will understand in the morning. I don't want to see your face until then."

She turned to the order members. Not bothering with her mask, she said plainly, "I have learned enough. I have contributed enough. Itachi will answer any further questions. Please excuse me, Dumbledore-san. I have a letter to write."

As she opened the door, she became aware of her earlier promise. She shut it quietly and addressed the students with a detached manner. "Give me twenty minutes. Meet me in my room." She returned to the shower, chanting under her breath that it was not Itachi's fault. Plans never went accordingly. He was certainly not an idiot. She was angry at the situation, not him. And hell, if Naruto could be a jinchuuriki, if she had to … be one as well…

"Kami, I miss Naruto," she thought aloud.

She cried, not clearly understanding the reason behind the action. It felt strangely good to cry when punching someone was not an option. The knock on her door woke her from her meditative trance/allotted period of denial. Hopefully, a game of exploding snap or the goofy twins could shake her out of her momentary shock. Oh yeah, she had to parrot back the meeting.

[round 2]

She politely let them in after throwing on her day clothes, since her pajamas were considered scandalous by her conservative roommates back at Hogwarts. Sakura took the excess of pillows and threw them on the floor to accommodate Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Fred, and George. She told them what she learned Dumbledore's Order. When it came to the information Itachi disclosed, she choked up. It wasn't really a cry. There were no tears. It was like a stutter but without words. She took three deep breaths before leaning on her hands and gripping the thick cream carpet.

Hermione was the one to awkwardly give her a hug. So far, the information had been a review for them. The Daily Prophet had eventually posted the articles about the Order member and their classmate's aunt. Suddenly, Harry and the others did not envy Sakura's wealth of knowledge.

"I'm sure we can save this meeting for later, Harry," said Hermione. Harry nodded lamely.

"I'll get you some tea," said Fred and George. No doubt they were going to the corridor with ulterior motives. Ginny soon followed. They came back with a stash of butterbeer bottles.

"Bloody hell, where did that come from?" asked Ron. He took the first one. "This is bootlegged!"

"W-what?" Hermione said while laughing.

"They spiked it!"

"Honestly, Ron, they turned seventeen months ago."

"Yeah, but we aren't allowed to drink any."

Fred patted Ron on the head as George took the drink out of his hand. "Of course you are not allowed, little"

"ickle"

"darling"

"brother."

George offered the plucked firewhisky-spiked-butterbeer to Sakura. "It's infused with traces of magic. It will give you warmth."

Ginny offered a chocolate bar from her stash. "Same goes for this stuff. Plus, it's dark chocolate so you don't have to feel guilty about eating it."

Sakura readily took the bar, Inner Ino screaming and tearing her hair out in protest.

Ron fidgeted nervously and asked, "Should we go? Last I saw, Itachi was in the den listening to the wizard wireless. He might be waiting for us to bugger out of his room."

"He's not allowed in here."

She heard a collective "Huh?"

"I kicked him out for the night. He did something… I can't look at his face right now."

Fred and George led the chorus of laughter. Sakura tried to hold back the smirk. "It's not funny. I hate him right now. I'll make nice in the morning."

"What did he do?" Harry asked moodily. She had been brooding five minutes earlier. "Did he kill your…" Ginny quickly covered his mouth. Harry shook her off, stood up, and left. Sakura closed the door that he had thoughtfully not slammed. Ginny and Hermione rushed to appolize, but Sakura cut them off.

"He's right. It's not like someone precious to me has died. My problems are not as bad as his. They are just stressful when I let them be."

The others nodded in understanding. "Can you hand me the rest of that chocolate? Thanks. I'll be right back." With that she left them in her room in search of Harry.

She located him easily. Two voices were having a hushed argument in the bathroom at the end of the corridor. She crept towards them with seemingly natural grace. They did not notice her, but she saw them. It was funny how those two bickered, she thought.

"I need to use the toilet."

"Tough luck. I need to brush my teeth for exactly two minutes. Besides, I got here first."

"Stop being difficult. You have the master bedroom toilet to yourself."

Draco took an 'affronted' step back. "My mother is in there doing her nightly prepwork. It's safest if I use this one. Just go in the corner. I'll make sure to scorgify my eyes later. Huh—what are doing, Potter?!"

Draco may have stopped paying attention to Harry, but at that moment Sakura had to yank her head back. Mendokusei. Harry was taking the piss, literally, and the door was cracked open for the world to see. Oh, and his arch rival was in there. Sakura had to get to her room so she could explode in uncontrollable giggles. But no, she had a mission, right? She would walk down the hallway and come back when the idiots were done being idiots.

That's just what she did. She looked over her shoulder. No one had come out yet. So she walked some more, down to the bottom of the stairway. She saw that Itachi and Lupin were still awake, sitting in front of the wizarding wireless. Lupin was listening, and Itachi seemed to be in his own head, contemplating some profound thing or another. Sakura decided to sneak back up the stairs before the former ANBU captain discovered her. Afterall, she did not regret sending him to the doghouse. The couch was better than the floor, right?

Sakura pouted. 'Demo, he has never slept on the floor. He's supposed to be a gentleman, but he crawls into the bed every time.' Not looking where she was going, she bumped into a fairly solid wall. Oh, wait, no, that was Draco.

She looked up. "Long time no see!" she said with hushed excitement, forgetting her peeping episode. He didn't bother to steady her. Nothing seemed to upset his friend's balance.

"Merlin, are you okay after what happened yesterday? I never got a chance to ask," said Draco.

Sakura's shoulders slumped. "I'm holding up. I'm mentally exhausted though."

"We can talk on the way to your room?" he asked.

She pointed with her thumb over her shoulder. "It's right there. Not much of a walk. The gang of Gryffindors came over to cheer me up. I guess it's working. The company of others usually cheers me up. That or I have to put on a cheerful face, which helps me pretend for a while that all is right in the world."

"Damn, that's depressing. Shit, are you alright," said the blond slytherin to the pink one.

"You want to come in?" she asked. "I kicked Itachi out for the night. I'm going to chat up the Gryffindors for a few minutes so that it doesn't seem like I'm kicking them out."

"We heard that," called Fred and George from behind the door. Unavoidable, not that the Slytherins cared. The door opened, followed by a string of 'good-byes' from her friends. The twins tried to kiss her on the cheek but she easily maneuvered out of the way. Instead, they each gave her an awkward hug, as the Americans do.

"Ron," she called, "could you give this to Harry? I couldn't find him."

Ron looked at the Draco suspiciously.

"I pissed on it," Draco drawled. Hermione made a disgusted noise, as girls will do, and had to refrain from smacking the ill-tempered prat. Sakura would have done, but chose that moment to give in to laughter. It was Draco's turn to eye here warily, wondering if she got the context of the joke.

When they were gone, Sakura invited Draco into her room. "Itachi won't be sleeping here tonight, so we can stay up as late as we want." Draco complained about how bored he was in the god-awful house for a bit. Sakura remarked on how less-polished-than-usual his appearance was. Draco summoned a game of wizarding chess. They played a couple rounds before the conversation took a serious turn.

"Draco, do you know anything about the Dark Lord's plans? I know he intended to use you as a replacement for your father."

Draco quirked an eyebrow and held back a sarcastic comment. He owed her a life debt and she was a trustworthy friend, but he would not spill his guts to anyone so easily.

"You wear nothing but long sleeves these days. I'm sorry I was not quick enough."

Draco got up to leave. She quickly rushed to the door and blocked it with her 50 kilogram stature. "Can I see it? I won't tell anyone."

"Why do you want to see it?" he asked begrudgingly.

"Seals in my world carry a chakra signature. Your mark may work in a similar way. I may be able to feel for similar marks on people when I walk in a crowd. Besides, I'm not stupid enough to ask Professor Snape."

He relented and sat on the bed. She delicately pushed up his sleeve. "Yeah, I would definitely not ask him if I were you."

"Have you taken any vows?" she asked.

"Yeah, I vowed not to mention his secret outside of the safehouses or with anyone who was ignorant of his secret. My parents also took the vow. Did you have to take one? Or is it just a requirement of deserters?"

"I took a different vow. It was for my benefit, or so I thought. I fought a boy from my country during the Battle at the Department of Mysteries. The vow ensures that I cannot kill him."

"Why the hell would you agree to that?"

"Bah. I don't know. If worse comes to worse, I die and then Itachi dies because he would fail to protect me. Itachi will die before he lets Sasuke kill me. So he says. I might as well try to change Sasuke-teme."

"Are you sure you belong in Slytherin?"

"I think so. I am an attention-seeker," she said with a smirk. "Still, our characters are none of the extremes. There is a shread of bravery in every Slytherin, a dash of cunning in every Gryffindor, and so forth."

Draco made a gagging gesture.

"So, anything interesting happening with the mark?"

Sakura nodded. "It is as I thought. The mark responds in a way that is distinctive. If I pulse my… magic carefully into a person, I can find out if they are one of You-Know-Who's lackeys… or if they have a cursed tattoo."

"And the odds are that it would be the Mark," he added. He paused, then said, "Can I see yours? That bloody tattoo?"

"Huh?" she pulled up her shirt a little bit. "What mark?"

"The seal Itachi gave you. It's gone," he said puzzled.

Sakura pulsed a small amount of medical chakra into her abdomen. It was relaxing, but she did not get the expected result. Sakura frowned. Draco relaxed back into the comforter. She thought back to her younger days fighting alongside Naruto. The only time she had seen his seal was in the Shinomori, when Orochimaru attacked them.

"My friend Naruto has a containing seal similar to the one placed on me. The only time I saw it was when his he snapped and unleashed… on a warrior from another village. I don't want to work myself up just to see the seal. Besides, my tattoo might put yours to shame," she said with a sly grin identical to the one during her tree-climbing episode.

Draco 'hnned' in a way that made her remember her ex-teammate and her promise to his brother. "Yeah, well, it's late. I should get to bed. My mother will murder me if I ruin her beauty sleep."

"Do you snore?" Sakura asked.

Draco look affronted. He raised a delicate eyebrow in question at the vile accusation.

"Itachi will not come back tonight. You can have his side."

"What kind of pervert sleeps with a minor?"

"It's legal here—er-anywhere. Besides, I turned seventeen in March. Minister Fudge mistook my age, and I refrained from correcting him. Taking fifth year classes made acclimation to wizarding academy less difficult."

"So you thought. Little did you know that sixth year is the last blow-off year, excluding Granger and the Ravenclaw house."

Sakura interjected, "he's going to be a professor, you know."

"You slept with a professor. Ha. Bet that story would make Granger wet."

"Pansy, eat your heart out," she said with a smirk. God, being with Draco was wonderful. She could say whatever the hell she wanted. No one would ever believe him. Also, he reminded her of another blond friend she left behind in Konoha.

From the bathroom she explained the details. Meanwhile, Draco eyeballed the open butterbeer and sniffed it. He thought about drinking it, but he didn't feel like brushing his teeth again or getting knocked in the head for touching the lose-cannon's stash.

"—but that's really all that I know so far. I'm sure Itachi-san will tweak it and tell me the details the day of," she huffed. "Put it down, please."

"Alright. Since you had the decency to say please."

"Sleep tight," said Sakura, sliding gracefully into her side of the bed.

"Don't let the bed bugs traumatically inseminate you." (1)

Sakura pretended to gag. "Nerd!"

[…]

Sakura had rolled over on her side sometime in the night, her fluffy pink spikes splayed out on her pillow. Draco's hand shifted from under his pillow and fell on hers. Probably an hour later, his body started to react to the stimulus, and he just so happened to end up spooning with her. Sakura immediately shot awake and threw him onto his side of the bed.

She heard a slurred word before she hit a pressure point at the base of his neck. Her eyes rounded. She was wide awake. She heard it. It sounded suspiciously like a name, the name of her dark, spiky haired friend.

Potter.

[end of chapter]

(1) Wow. And here I thought research would let me down. This is the best thing Draco could have said, and I am just amazed at how those bugs mate. Horrific!

I will make sure to write a little every day, since I write at a slug's pace. No offense, Katsuyu-sama. Also, sorry they didn't make it too school. This seemed like a good cliff-hanger. I hope. Thank-you for badgering me. Guilt tripping worked, but just, uh, draw straws or something. I don't need all of you to make me feel bad. If you find a typo, please take the time to alert me and give me a keyword to ctrl+f in the document.

The title is a spin-off of "Shake it Out" by Florence Welsh (performed with + the Machine), my second favorite of her songs.

Thank-you so much for your reviews and support! I hope this chapter added some color to J.K. Rowling's characters.