So This is my longest chapter yet - being one of the reason's it took so long. The other being, well, I've been a bit lazy and also focused a bit more on school work. Priorites!
Please reveiw if you can, it lets me know whether to continue or abandon a lost cause x


It was a beautiful morning at Hogwarts, a great way to the start the new year. I was always an early riser and this morning was no different. I sat in the Great Hall reading todays edition of The Daily Prophet, whilst feeding small bits of toast to my owl, Edwin. It was quiet, as not many people were up yet, just a couple of students talking calmly together at the Ravenclaw table and two seventh years in deep conversation at the end of the Gryffindor one. This was the way I liked it, a quiet morning before a hectic day. It was my second year now and I was determined to make it a good one, unlike last year, which had been very hard. It was amazing discovering the new wonders of the magical world, but trying to balance my curiosity and yearning to discover with the overwhelming workload of a new school was proving not to be easy. It was also particularly difficult starting subjects with no back information; an advantage almost every other one of my fellow students had. Not to forget the constant crippling fear I had for a large portion of the year that I was going to killed on the spot by a basilisk for not being of pure blood. This, plus everything else, divided all my time between studying ridiculously, exploring, and hiding in fear, which left no time for much else. But this year was going to be different. This year I had done my work over the break and I was ready. Maybe this year I'd have time for other things... but who knew what would happen.

It was still quiet as I read my paper, today's headline told of a breakout from Azkaban, the wizard prison, a story which I had been following for a few weeks now. Apparently a severe criminal 'Sirius Black' was on the loose and that we were all to be aware. Sighing, I finished the article and gave Edwin the remainder of my breakfast before watching him fly off and out the window. It was still quiet in the Great Hall, only one a Slytherin girl had walked in and greeted a boy on the Ravenclaw table with a kiss.

"Good Morning Ms Bird" came a voice to my right. I turned to see a chirpy Evelyn sliding into the space beside me. I smiled, Evelyn's company was always welcomed in the mornings, she was the only other person I knew who was an early riser. Her short black hair cupped her face, contrasting beautifully against her pale skin and great piercing blue eyes. She grinned at the sight of my own smile "How are you this wonderful morning?"

"A little tired actually" I replied "Last nights celebrations took it out of me a bit"

"Well obviously not too much, because you still up bright and early. No different from any other time"

I laughed at her statement, not so much because it was funny, but because Evelyn just made me happy. She had been my closest friend for years, living on my street back at home. Like myself, she too had been a muggle born. You can imagine the great joy we shared when both of us were accepted into Hogwarts - it was one of the best days of my young life.

"So" continued Evelyn "Where's Bridgette? Still asleep?"

"Oh you know her, she won't get out of bed until she's dragged out" I laughed "Maybe you should make another trip with me up to the Gryffindor dorms to get her up"

"I could… but I feel like being very nice to her today and letting her sleep in" Slightly loosening her yellow tie, she reached over to the middle of the table and got herself some toast and spread.

Evelyn, unlike me, upon arrival at Hogwarts had been sorted into Hufflepuff. I almost began crying right then and there, I didn't know how I was going to survive in a different house to her, but I needn't have worried. Not only did our separation allow for us to make new friends, but it also brought us closer. Majority of my classes were with the Hufflepuff's and I spent most of time with Evelyn in the gardens and courtyards - we had also found a room much like the common rooms, but open to people of different houses. Everything had worked out wonderfully and we had even managed to strike a deal with the Fat lady to allow Evelyn into the Gryffindor common room, if we promised to polish her frame at least once a month (Because Mr Filch didn't make it shine the way she needed it too, if she was going to brag about it) Things had worked out well.

"Well look-y here" proclaimed Evelyn, bringing me out of my daze. I glanced up to see a stumbling Bridgette being dragged to the table by an amused Dominic. They both fell into the spaces opposite us, with a timely grunt from Bridgette.

"Good morning sunshines" I said in a chirpy voice, just to annoy her "Your up early Bridge" She groaned, pulled a ready bowl of fruit filled yoghurt towards her and snatched the newspaper up from in front of me.

"Don't talk" she growled, and buried herself into her breakfast and reading.

"So why is morning person here up so early?" Evelyn asked Dom. He was sitting happily, pouring himself a bowl of cereal and looking very smug.

"Pay back" he said cheerfully "For waking me up at 3:00am last week"

"I thought we had the deal that we would leave that incident in London?" piped Bridgette

"No, you said that, I did not agree"

"Urgh" she grunted, and returned to the newspaper

"Your sister was up Evony, all excited from being sorted yesterday and sitting in the common room" Dom explained "So I gave her some Chocolate Frogs and sent her to wake up Bridge and drag her down for me, annnnd So on and so forth, eventually I dragged her out of the common room and here we are" he laughed "Pay back is sweet"

People had started to file into the Hall by now, and a light buzz started to surround me. Taking in a deep breath I prepared myself for the new year ahead. Evelyn was laughing at Dom's story, Dom was watching Bridgette whilst eating his cereal and Bridgette was growling to herself - the morning was perfect.

Suddenly, there was a loud crash at the top of the hall, I swiveled around to see two red haired boys at the top of the table surrounded by shards of a broken bowl.

"Morning all-"

"Don't mind us-"

"Just a little morning mishap-"

"Not a worry-"

"Enjoy your mornings-"

"Enjoy your year!-"

"And keep to your own business you nosy buggers!" They said together in unison.

I watched them in awe and was reminded again of my first day at Hogwarts, almost exactly one year ago. It was there that I knew this was going to be a interesting year because right then was when I began to admire Fred and George Weasley.

ooo

Adrienne watched me expectantly, waiting for a response of some sort, but when I failed to do so, she merely rolled her eyes and walked away "Leave her be lads" she said whilst sitting down on a makeshift sort of lounge "She'll talk in due time. Come and help make plans, will ya'?" After slight hesitation, the two boys standing beside me trudged over to sit either side of her and for the first time I got a good look at my captors. Adrienne, the girl whom had been addressing me, seemed to have an air of greatness about her. She wasn't particularly tall, I realised as she stood beside the boys, but there something about her which made me think she was. She had dark curly hair which fell just above her shoulders and a thick scottish accent. As well as this, she had a sweet face with big brown eyes and rosy cheeks, strangely enough contradicting her stance. It was obvious that she was a leader of this group - she called the shots.

The boys on the other hand were quite different. The one Adrienne had addressed as Marcus was very tall and quite good looking. He had a sculptured face and styled sandy hair; admittedly my eyes seemed to stray to him more often than the others. He, unlike Adrienne, did not have an air of leadership or greatness, but seemed to be laid back and more logical. Admittedly, if I was to be stuck with any of these people, I would much prefer it be him.

Then there was the one called Alex. He too was tall, like the others, but he seemed to be very easily aggravated - I guessed it was him who was arguing with the girl earlier. Though quite lanky, he walked with a a slight aggression in his step and seemed the most annoyed at my presence. I noticed his shaven head constantly popping up from his conversation with the others to glare at me, rattling my nerves a bit.

"Hey, girl - Ebony or whatever" piped up Alex. I just stared at him in response, still refusing to talk. Despite their obvious calm and un need to restrain me, a sign these people were not out to hurt me, I couldn't be sure just yet if I could trust them "How old are you?"

Still I gave no response.

"Fine then, if you don't want to talk, at least nod. Are you under seventeen?"

I hesitated, weighing up my options, finally deciding to answer with a curt nod. I didn't want to be caught for underage magic, especially if it wasn't even myself preforming it.

"Ok then, I guess no magic for a short while" stated Adrienne

"What?" exclaimed Alex, standing up "No Magic? What the hell do-"

"Oh quiet down Alex" said Adrienne, pulling him back down again.

I sat in my chair unmoving, even though I was now untied, watching the three for what seemed like hours. They talked, laughed and moved about, none of them really paying much attention to me, expect for maybe the occasional searching glance from Alex. The longer I watched them though, the more willing I felt to talk to them, tell them who I was.

They had begun to make dinner, well I assumed it was dinner, when the tent was thrown open again. Adrienne, after searching around in a bag for a short while, produced some matches, lit a fire and began to cook a sort of stew with Alex, while Marcus sat on the lounge reading a book and practicing some flicking motions with a stick, I guessed so that he wouldn't accidentally produce any magic. All was calm.

Thats when the girls returned.

The tent's opening was flung open and in walked two girls. The first girl looked like she was very proud and fierce. She had long strangely dark hair, which was wind blown and wild at the time, and a demanding stance. Upon seeing her face, I saw she was decent looking, but it was hidden underneath a dark glare. Her eyes fixed on me and her cheeks became almost unnoticeably pinker against her tanned skin

"Whatisshedoinguntied?"

"Willow, before you say anything-" tried Adrienne, but she cut her off

"I thought we weren't going to keepher"

"Willow, she's not a pet" She turned slowly and glared at Adrienne

"Fine" she spat "Explain."

"To begin with, as you said, she is a school student, we established that she's under seventeen-" A smug look crossed Willow's face and she shot a look towards Alex "but she thought we were the snatchers, so yes, you were right, not a threat"

"Well done for telling us everything we already knew. Now why is she still here?"

"Well Willow" began Marcus slowly, standing up from his spot "We were talking before, and we were thinking that we could help her for a few days, maybe, until we can find her somewhere safe, because she can't use magic…" he trailed off under Willow's glare

"She is notstaying with us, we do not need another person to have to look after, we can't afford it!"

"Oh can it Willow!" called out Alex "It's not like we haven't had six people before!"

It seemed as though fire was shooting from her eyes as she stared down Alex. He fell into silence, but continued to stare back at her, unshaken from her glare as of yet.

There was a brief silence and room was tense. After a very long minute Willow spoke "This means we can't use magic"

"We know, but just for a few-"

"If anyone gets hurt, I'm blaming you" and with that statement, it was obvious that the conversation was over. Willow turned to the girl beside her "Lena…" I had not yet studied this girl, all my attention had be drawn to Willow as they had entered the tent. She was absolutely beautiful. She had long, silk like golden blonde hair which cascaded down over her shoulders and stuck to the sides of her face. She had bright pink cheeks which stood out on her pale skin, probably pinker at the moment from the wind she had just escaped outside, and wide sparkling blue eyes, which I noticed were now filled with tears. Her small frame shivered as Willow placed a hand softly on her arm "Lena…" she repeated, but Lena just stared at Alex, and in second, spun around and ran somewhere behind me and out of sight.

"Well Done Alex" said Willow with a glare, before taking off after her. I heard the sound of a curtain being pulled back and forth, then there was only silence and the quiet talk of Willow and Lena.

Everyone stood quiet and still until the voices slowly died to a whisper "Sorry Evony" said Marcus "She's not usually like this"

"Well she's been like that for a while" scoffed Alex

"Well pushing her like that doesn't exactly help, now does it?" replied Marcus sharply

Alex snorted and went to continue, but was cut off by Adrienne "Evony, we know you don't want to speak to us, but like Marcus said before, we'd like to offer our help, if you'd like to take it, and get you somewhere you might be safe"

I stayed silent still, processing this request. These people, I could see, were good and were trying to escape, as I was; going with them would probably not be a bad idea. But then again, I had no idea who they were or why they were running, staying with them could be just as dangerous to me as leaving them.

I looked up at Adrienne, but she had walked over to the bubbling pot which held their dinner "Food's ready" she proclaimed. I watched quietly as she and Marcus distributed the contents of the pot into six small bowls, most of them cracked and old looking. Adrienne lifted up two bowls, she gave one to Alex, who was still sitting, then walked in my direction and handed me a bowl "Enjoy" she said with a smile. Walking back, Adrienne picked up another bowl for herself and sat comfortably next to Alex, looking up, she smiled again and gestured with her head to an empty single chair opposite them. Glancing quickly towards Marcus, who had also picked up two bowls and walked towards the direction Willow and Lena had, I finally made up my mind. Grasping my bowl, I stood up and made my way to the chair.

Adrienne smiled as I sat down, Alex merely looked up and acknowledged my presence before returning to sipping from his bowl. I looked down into my own one and saw it was fairly filled with red tomato soup. Upon smelling it I realised just how hungry I was and ravenously began sipping directly from the bowl, for lack of a spoon. The food wasn't wonderful, but it sufficed for the moment and satisfied my hunger. I was so engrossed in the soup that when I next looked up, Marcus had returned from the other room and had placed a fair lump of bread on a crate in front of us. I watched as Alex tore into it, dipping the ripped off pieces into his bowl before devouring them.

I felt a pair of eyes watching me as I studied Alex and my focus turned to Marcus, instantly locking gazes with him. There was a slight pause, and then he smiled "Marcus Bern" he said.

When I stared at him quizzically and with no answer, he continued "That's my name" he said with a laugh "But you can call me Mark; Mark Bern, I'm Nineteen, English, and a proud Ravenclaw"

He smiled and there was a pause "Adrienne" I turned to look at her, she too was smiling "Adrienne Bc'laden; Nineteen, Scottish, Ravenclaw also"

Another pause; Adrienne nudged Alex, who grumbled and looked up from his bowl "Alexander Khoudair" he said grudgingly "Eighteen, English, Gryffindor"

When he said Gryffindor, I flinched slightly and looked up at him, my eyes searching his face. Being Eighteen meant he would have only recently left Hogwarts, so I should have recognised him from the common room, or just around school, but his face remained unfamiliar. "Well?" he said, staring directly at me. I paused and thought briefly, but my desire for company overpowered me and I spoke "Evony Bird; Sixteen, English, Gryffindor"

"Well Evony Bird, Sixteen, English, Gryffindor, it's nice to meet you" said Mark chirpily. He made me feel so at ease that I smiled back at him

"So when are you seventeen then? Ow! - What Adrienne? We might as well know how long we're going to be magicless for!" chimed Alexander, who was now rubbing his arm whilst glaring at Adrienne.

"Three days" I replied quickly, wanting to keep the mood calm

"Three days?" repeated Adrienne

"It's still the first isn't it?" I continued "Well my birthday's on the fifth, then I'll be seventeen, which means you just can't use magic for three days"

Before anyone could comment, there was a loud swish as a curtain was pulled back and we all turned to see Willow make her entrance into the room holding two empty bowls. She walked over, placed them on the crate and sat silently next to Mark. I felt her eyes fall onto me and instantly became shy again

"Willow, this is Evony Bird, Sixteen, English, Gryffindor" said Mark. She stared at me for a moment, the uncomfortable silence that follwed seemed to stretch on for hours "Willow" she said, looking directly at me, and nothing more.

Mark sensed the rising tension, so he decided to continue "She's seventeen the day on the fifth, so that leaves us magicless for only-"

"Good" she said quickly, cutting him off "Well I suggest tomorrow me make our way on foot to the muggle town nearby and stay therefore for a night or two"

"My thoughts exactly" agreed Adrienne

"Good" she said again, this time standing up "It's time for us all to get some rest I think" She looked at me blankly for a few moments, then turned her gaze to a mattress and pile of blankets placed neatly in the corner, staring at it longingly as if somehow attached to it "You can sleep over there" she said solemnly, then she walked off back to the room she came from with Lena.

Everybody stood up, agreeing with Willow's words and began to clean up. Slowly I rose and made my way over to the mattress. I saw my trunk lying next to it and was grateful they had brought my things along with me. Trying hard not to wince from the pain my body felt, I lay down on the mattress and closed my eyes, deciding that the best thing I could do right now was to sleep.

ooo

I awoke suddenly the next morning to sounds to of clashing pots and sat upright in my bed. I instantly regretted my decision as it caused the blood to run directly to my head, making it to spin and for me to fall back down. Slowly, I steadied myself, threw the sheets back and got up to find the source of sound. Unlike the first time I had awoken unexpectedly and in an unfamiliar place, this time I actually knew where I was and remembered what had happen before I had went to sleep. Before I had fallen into sleep last night, I had thought of my family and desperately tried to stifle my cries. I found that at the time the best way for me to deal with things was to forget everything and focus on the good things. That way, I could get through the day and save myself some dignity by not showing weakness in front of these new people.

I looked around and saw that only two people were awake - Lena and Willow - and they had not yet noticed me. I took advantage of this by quickly picking out some clothes from my trunk and changing, wincing as I went. When I examined the clothes I had just taken off, I saw that they were littered in grass and blood stains, as well as slightly ripped in places. I shoved them back into my trunk, not wanting to look at them and slowly walked to where Lena and Willow were.

As I approached them, Lena looked up from the ground she was sitting on, playing with a bracelet and eating some bread. Her bright blue eyes pierced me like daggers and sent chills down my spine. No words were spoken, but the message was clear, so I spun around and detoured my path towards Willow.

When she first turned around to face me, pot in hand, her glare was as vicious, if not even more so, than Lena's, but after a quick examination of my now exposed shoulders, her eyes widened and her fierce demeanor fell instantly "What happened to you?"

"Oh" I said shyly, looking at my grazes "Umm, well…" A lump started to rise in my throat as memories started to overtake my mind. Either Willow just had good timing, or she knew well what the signs I was showing lead too "Come here" she demanded as she roughly grabbed my elbow and spun me around.

My back was to her, so I couldn't see what she was doing, but it sounded as if she was rummaging around. Just as I was about to turn back around, I felt pressure on my left shoulder and it began to sting furiously. I jumped and squealed at the surprise of it, only to be pulled still again by Willow

"Stop Whining" she said flatly "You want the cuts clean don't you? At least until we can heal them properly."

Biting my lip, I nodded and she proceeded to clean and remainder of the cuts and grazes on my body, asking me to lift my singlet up slightly so she could reach the ones on my back. I tried hard not to wince as she pulled it back down "There" she said "Done" The cold had returned to her voice, as if suddenly remembering that I was made of poison and she dropped her hand. I spun to face her, expecting she'd want an explanation for my wounds, but instead I just met her blank face "I don't care where and how you got those" she said "But if you so much as put us in the slightest danger, I will not let you escaped unscathed. Clear?" and with that turned around and began to ignore me again. Slightly shocked I turned around gingerly, noticing as I did that Lena had disappeared and was no longer sitting on the ground.

"Morning all" sailed a voice, I turned to see Adrienne walking through a curtain, wide awake and smiling, followed by a yawning Mark as he scratched his head.

"Heads up" called Willow

I looked up just in time to catch a small lump of bread which had been thrown my way. Adrienne caught hers with ease and continued to walk and sit on the couch whilst Mark's eyes widened as his flew his way. He caught it, but barely, and he fumbled with the bread as he attempted to stop it from hitting the ground. When it was finally secured, he looked up and smiled, showing off his real 50's 'White Boy' looks, and looked at Willow "Gee, Thanks!" he said sarcastically

Though seemingly fighting it, she smiled back at him, an expression I never thought I'd see on her face "No worries"

"Whats with the pot?"

"Couldn't find the bread"

"So you were looking in the pots?"

"Well it's a good thing I did, because that's where it was"

"Of course it was…"

Mark turned around chuckling and headed towards Adrienne. The smile on Willow's face lingered as she watched the movement, then it dropped suddenly and I knew I had just witnessed a rare moment.

As the morning went on, we were joined by Lena again, who sat quietly avoiding my gaze and soon by Alex also. During breakfast, which consisted only of bread, the conversation was light. Willow and Lena sat quietly together, Willow only putting her input into conversation occasionally, Adrienne, Mark and Alex talked away and I sat silently listening to them. I didn't yet know what I should be telling these people - I didn't yet know what I wanted to tell these people - but I could see they were good people and listening to them gave me a better idea of who they were, as well as keeping my thoughts occupied.

Adrienne suddenly stood up "Ok troops, time to get going. Pack up with NO MAGIC please. Just shove everything into your bags and the tent"

Everyone nodded in agreement and set off to work, while I sat there looking bewildered

"Lena" started Adrienne "We need the other bag for Evony…"

Lena stared at her furiously, before storming off, followed by Willow, after shooting an annoyed look towards Adrienne. Adrienne sighed and turned to me "Come on then"

I stood and watched as everyone packed up, folding things as small as the could and shoving them into their backpacks. I stood very confused as to how many objects could fit into these bags until Adrienne explained. "Undetectable Extension Charm" she said "Cast them myself a little while ago; quite useful"

The tent was empty by the time Lena had returned and thrown a small brown backpack at me. Adrienne took it and led me over to my trunk, where we both shoved my clothes into it quickly "Oh here" said Adrienne suddenly "You might want this back" and she pulled my wand out of her pocket. I took it back without hesitation, feeling a great sense of comfort with it in my hands "Now" she continued "We need to get rid of your trunk, "

My heart leapt "W-What?" This wasn't just my trunk, it was Vivian's trunk and getting rid of it just didn't seem right. I wanted to hold on to all I could that kept me closer to her

"Well firstly, there's no need for it anymore. Secondly, it wouldn't fit through the top of your new bag anyway and finally all it would be doing is taking up room"

I thought about it, trying to find an argument to rebut with, but I knew she right "OK"

We picked it up and walked out of tent - it was so much smaller on the outside than in - then made our way through the trees until we reached a small opening, leading out unto a cliff

"Alright, now throw it" said Adrienne matter of factly.

I stared at her bewildered; throw my late sisters trunk of the sheer drop to be destroyed? I don't think so.

"Evony, we can't have anyone seeing we've been here, not when where we're headed is so close by. You need to throw it"

I gripped the handle tighter, but like before, I saw her reasoning and had no rebuttal. It was so very hard, and took much strength, but biting the inside of my cheeks, I loosened my sweaty grip on the handle and before I could change my mind, flung it over the edge.

I stood there silently for a few moments watching until Adrienne started back towards the camp. She didn't think much of the event that had just occurred, not knowing how much it had meant or how difficult it had been.

Following her, we reached the camp and saw the last of the folded tent being shoved into a bag my Alex and Mark. Alex stood up and slung it over his shoulder and called out "Found the way Willow?"

"Yeah! Over here!"

"Come on" said Adrienne, picking up her own bag and handing me mine "We're off"

We walked in the direction Alex and Mark had and met Willow and Lena by a large tree. We stood quietly in a small circle "Which way?" I asked timidly, wanting to know more about our destination.

"You will just shut up, and follow" replied Willow sharply, turning North to lead our journey. Lena stopped, shimmering eyes lingering on me and the bag I held in my hand before being harshly pulled around by Willow to walk by her side.

We set off in two's, led by Willow and Lena, followed by Mark and Alex, who laughed and joked together as they walked and tailed by myself and Adrienne.

"What's with them?" I asked aloud, mainly to myself, but I found I was answered

"That's story you will learn in due time" replied Adrienne quietly, she paused, as if contemplating on something "Now about you?" she continued "What's your story?"


5,030 words, be proud!
And have a look at this wonderful Lily/James story if you get the chance
.net/s/7410653/1/Songbird
Gabby Lei x

The characters of the Runaways, Evony, the Bird family and her friend are copyrighted to myself ©
Although, as a disclaimer, I do not own the magical world of Harry Potter or any of the characters created by J.K Rowling