thumb|300px|right|This kind of describes what Rowan is feeling. I would say you should listen to it while reading this, but it will probably be done before because this will be a long story!
I had the idea and was too impatient to write the rest, or even finish Dark Secrets. This story is about Rowan Frost's last year at Hogwarts. I hope you enjoy!
Chapter One - The Marauder's ReuniteEdit
Chapter Two - Truth or Dare?Edit
“Oh calm down Padfoot!” James snapped, although the joke had only just been told and Sirius was barely even laughing. “It wasn’t that funny.” I rolled my eyes, strolling down the narrow aisle, my shoulder brushing Remus’s arm. James was usually delighted when Sirius – or anybody in fact – laughed at his jokes, but I could spot Lily Evans up ahead, smiling as usual, her long ginger hair flowing like a red river down her back. It was a fact that James had the biggest ever of crushes on her and always tried to look grown up around her. I personally thought he looked quite ridiculous, but I would never say that to one of my best friends, a fellow Maurader. Though, I had to admit, I had pointed out quite a few times that speaking in a low and very fake voice, playing about with a stolen snitch, hexing anybody you met while walking down the corridor and constantly messing up your hair, weren’t very cool things to do.
As James quickened his pace, trying to catch Lily I expected, I glanced into each compartment we passed, looking for an empty one. I could see Sirius doing the same on the other side, but apparently, like me, had no luck finding any that weren’t full.
“Hello, Lilykins,” James greeted the pretty girl in front of him, his hand jumping up to his mess of black hair. “Had a nice summer?” Evans narrowed her eyes, her nose wrinkling in disgust.
“As a matter of fact, it was rather disappointing,” she answered. “Anyway, don’t ever, under any circumstances, call me that ridiculous name again.” Evans turned, her arms folded tightly, and stormed into her compartment. James was left to stare longingly after her.
My tooth sliced into the skin of my lip as I bit down, hard enough to taste blood. As much as I hated to admit, I hated it when James made an idiot of himself. Sirius patted him on the back.
“You’ll get plenty of other chances, mate,” he assured. “I’m sure you’ll have her by the end of the year.” James sighed heavily and continued forwards to an empty compartment at the end of the carriage. We heaved our bags onto the luggage rack and sat down in silence, nobody quite knowing what to say.
“Where’s Wormtail disappeared to?” Sirius asked suddenly. “Thought he’d have found us by now.” I looked around the compartment, noticing for the first time the lack of Peter’s presence.
“Oh,” Remus said, looking up from the transfiguration book he had already taken out. “His parent’s didn’t think he was doing well enough at Hogwarts so they sent him off to a private school in France.” Sirius looked up, his eyes narrowed scornfully.
“Not that I’m not glad that he’s finally gone, because he was getting rather annoying, but I thought Wormtail was doing fine,” he disagreed. I almost choked holding back my laughter. Wormtail, doing fine?
“He didn’t get any OWL’s,” I told Sirius shortly. James’s brown eyes widened.
“Seriously?” he exclaimed. “He told me he didn’t do well, but I would have thought he’d get at least two!” James and Sirius went on about the tests and how bad Peter was at school. I turned to look out of the window, staring at the blurs of greens, browns and blues and the train chugged on, already deep in my thoughts.
The Frost family were having a bit of trouble. Fern had moved out, refusing to have anything to do with magic, Dad had gotten himself fired from his job at the Ministry of Magic and Mum was about to have her third child. Mum and Dad were constantly arguing about money, screaming and shouting and sometimes even using magic. They had had their worst argument yet just before I had left and had managed to break the fridge, collapse the table and burn a hole through the sitting room wall. It had been a rather scary scene to behold.
“Are you all right, Rowan?” Remus asked me quietly, startling me enough to jump. I sighed heavily, turning to look at him.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. Remus looked at me questioningly. “Things at home aren’t too good at the moment; I’m not exactly looking forwards to the holidays.” By now both James and Sirius had both looked up from their conversation, which had somehow gotten from Peter’s bad grades to an argument over whether mint ice-cream was the better than chocolate.
“Are they going to chuck you out?” Sirius asked, looking concerned.
“Of course they aren’t going to chuck me out!” I snapped. “It’s just... Well Mum and Dad won’t stop fighting. Fern moved away last month, saying she wouldn’t have anything to do with magic, and for once, I don’t blame her. They almost blew the house up just a couple of hours ago.” I bit my lip again and was suddenly reminded of that time, six years ago, when the owl carrying my letter had gotten lost. The image of the small, scared girl in the mirror stared back at me unblinkingly. As I turned to look out the window I could see a similar girl reflected back at me. She had the same wide, green eyes, framed with dark, thick, black lashes and her skin was just as pale and papery thin. Her mouth was fixed in a sad, slightly surprised frown. The huge ginger frizz of hair on the girl had been replaced by silky red curls, falling down her back and shoulders, her head was not as round and her body was fully developed. But the girl reflected in the window was clearly recognizable as the girl in the mirror at the age of eleven.
“Rowan?” I blinked, looking up at the boys in my compartment, all looking worried. “Are you okay?” I nodded, snapping back into reality.
“Fine,” I assured them. There was silence for a moment.
“I’m bored,” Sirius announced. “I wonder where Snivellus has disappeared to.”
“Hey!” I protested a little too loudly. “You are not going to hex him anymore, its terrible bullying! And Remus and I are Gryffindor heads now; we could get you into detention!” James smirked, obviously holding back laughter.
“Like you would dare,” he grinned. I raised my eyebrows.
“Want a bet?” I challenged. James opened his mouth but Remus had stood up. I glanced towards him, catching his tired blue-grey eyes.
“Nobody is going to get detention,” he said firmly. James narrowed his eyes slightly but sank back into his bench and did not protest. I was quite surprised that James was the one arguing with me and not Sirius. He was sitting silently, gazing at me evenly with brown, brown eyes. I stared into them for a while, feeling as if I could drown in them, fall straight into their deep depths, while my heart thudded loudly in my chest. It was only when Remus sat back down that I realized myself and dragged my stare away from Sirius’s eyes, my cheeks slightly flushed. I could not stop the butterflies somersaulting in my stomach or the heat that was creeping over my whole body.
“Hey,” James said suddenly. “Do you guys fancy a game of Truth or Dare?” Sirius nodded.
“’Kay,” he agreed.
“Sure,” Remus said carelessly. I looked from Remus, to Sirius, to James.
“I’m not sure if I want to play while Padfoot and Prongs are here,” I admitted. “But yeah, maybe.” James smiled widely, and I instantly knew I should have said no. That was one evil smile.
“Padfoot,” he said. “Truth or dare?” Sirius grinned. “Dare,” he replied. I looked over at James, wondering what horrible thing he had in mind.
“I dare you to...” James paused. “Kick Annie Way.” Sirius’s eyes widened.
“What?” he exclaimed. “I’m not kicking a girl! Especially a girl like Annie Way!” I laughed loudly.
“Scared she’s going to suck your blood, huh?” I teased. Sirius eyes widened in confusion.
“What are you talking about, Rowan?” he demanded. “Why on earth would Way suck my blood? She’s not a vampire!” Remus actually made to stand up.
“If you don’t do it, I certainly will,” he said. There was a slightly wild glint in his eyes as he stared out of the glass compartment door. I took hold of his shirt.
“Padfoot will do it,” I assured him, glancing over at Sirius. “It’s his go anyway, and I’m sure he doesn’t want to forfeit.” Sirius glared at me but stood up anyway and left the compartment, disappearing down the corridor. James was snickering under his breath and Remus was staring at nothing, obviously remembering all the horrible things Annie Way had done to him. I let go of his shirt and ran my fingertips down his arm, finding his hand and interlocking our fingers. Remus glanced at me out of the corner of his eye and smiled. I broke into a smile too; laughing softly as I heard shouts drift through the doors. Remus suddenly leaned forwards, just as the compartment door slid open.
“Moony, are you snogging, Whiskers?”
I jerked away, though keeping my hand where it was.
“No,” Remus replied hotly. “She has soot on her face.” My other hand jumped up to my face, my fingers brushing my cheek.
“Soot?” I demanded. “Get it off!” Remus reached forwards and wiped my forehead. As he withdrew his hand, I saw that the back of his hand was in fact covered black.
“Come on,” James pressed. “Let’s get on with the game! It’s Padfoot’s turn to do me!” Sirius sat back down on the bench beside his best friend.
“Truth or dare?” he asked.
“Dare,” James replied without hesitation. Sirius ran his hand through his jet-black hair, looking thoughtful.
“I dare you... to go outside into the corridor and yell that you love Snivellus - I mean Severus Snape!” Sirius grinned after a while. James got up from where he was seated.
“Gladly,” he said and slid the compartment door open. “Attention everybody! I have an important announcement to make! I love Severus Snape!” Sirius, Remus and I roared with laughter as James came back inside, blushing slightly.
“Rowan’s turn,” he announced, sitting back down.
“Truth or dare?” Remus asked me.
“T-truth...” I said uncertainly. “Yes, after seeing Padfoot and Prongs, definitely truth.” Sirius’s hand slipped into his jeans pocket and revealed a little glass bottle of some sort of liquid. “What is that?” I asked him.
“Veritaserum,” Remus answered for me. “You know, the truth potion.” I looked sceptically at Sirius.
“Why do you carry Veritaserum in your pocket?” I wondered. Sirius shrugged.
“You never know when we’re going to play Truth or Dare,” he replied. “Anyway, Remus, ask away.”
“Whiskers,” Remus said slowly. “Who do you like?” Sirius threw the glass bottle to me and I took the stopper of and took a tiny sip. It tasted of nothing and I didn’t feel any different.
“You guys are my friends, of course I like you,” I babbled. “But Lily and Katie are nice, Mary MacDonald is a bit of a... and you know I hate Way.” Remus shook his head.
“I mean who do you like-like?” he corrected himself.
“I used to like Tim Turner,” I admitted. “But I don’t know... Maybe Padfoot.” As soon as I realized what I had said, I gasped in a breath, my hand flying up to cover my mouth and my cheeks turning as red as the colour of the Hogwarts Express. “Don’t ask me anything else,” I mumbled through my fingers. James chuckled.
“Since when did you like Padfoot?” he asked me. I pressed my lips together.
“I don’t know? Since today,” the words still escaped my mouth. I could feel more colour, if possible, creeping into my cheeks.
“It’s my turn,” Remus reminded, squeezing my hand that he was still holding. “Leave, Rowan alone.” Refusing to catch Sirius’s eyes, or even glance in his direction, I turned to Remus.
To be continued...