Kate sighed. Her head was hurting, and for the first time she didn't feel like finishing her class work. The Transfiguration class was moving slowly; it was a bright, sunny day ad most of the students were staring out the windows, into the distance. All Kate could really think about was how far away lunch was.

She set down her quill carelessly, scraping it on the wooden desk, and watched in numbing boredom as droplets of un-used ink spilled onto the tabletop. Kate darted her tongue out over her dry, cracked lips and was suddenly hit by a wave of thirst. She took a long, deep breath and decided to close her eyes for just one moment…

Fresh memories flashed behind her eyelids as Kate remembered the curious events of the last two days. The night at the lakeside when George had appeared from nowhere; she found it strange that the rustling in the trees remained a mystery. The noise had faded like something had turned around and left. That had been very odd.

George's hand still gripped Kate's arm, tightening till she could no longer feel her fingertips. She bit her lip to refrain from making any noise, but he was really starting to hurt her now and she would find no surprise if she woke up tomorrow to come face-to-face with a large, ugly bruise.

Abruptly, the numbness retreated from her arm and was replaced by a rush of warmth as the blood rushed back to her hand. She grimaced as the rush of warmth sparked off a rage of pins and needles. It took her a moment to realise there was silence again, and she tried in vain to see where George had gone. She couldn't see a thing in the blackness.

Kate sighed as she remembered leaving her wand on her dresser back in the dormitory. No magic light for her tonight. She stood still a moment, trying to let her eyes adjust the best they could to the faint moonlight before crossing her arms over her chest. Kate saw no sign of the boy who'd been there mere minutes ago, and trudged back up the castle path, quite alone.

She opened her eyes to slits and found her head resting on the cool desk. Nothing had happened so far in the classroom, so she could see no harm in dozing off once more. Kate closed her eyes and her thoughts buzzed again. She remembered that time she had been in the Library, browsing for a book to read at night, when something fell on her head. Kate had tried to find what it was, but couldn't. And later that day, she'd also had the oppressing sensation of being watched… she was starting to wonder if she was being stalked.

Classes were finally over and the corridors held the last trickle of students filing back to the common room after dinner. Kate made her way against the flow of the crowd, towards the Prefect's bathroom, for a bath, feeling that was exactly what she needed right at that moment. It had been a long day and she had a book tucked under her arm to be read when she was bathing.

Kate stepped into the bathroom and it to be unoccupied by other students (fortunately). She made her way to one of the smaller tubs and quickly filled it up, disrobing and slipping into the steamy, bubbly water. Before she submerged her shoulders, she grabbed a butterfly clip and secured her brown curls to the top of her head.

Sinking down into the warm water, Kate pulled the book over to her and opened it at a random page. Something slipped out of the pages and fell into the water with a soft splish. Kate frowned. Reaching under the soap bubbles, she grasped the thing and pulled it up. Setting the book aside, Kate examined the object.

In her hand lay a small, midnight blue ribbon, no longer than her index finger, from knuckle to tip. The ends were neatly forked and tiny silver embroidery ran down the length. It was soaking wet from its little swim, but Kate doubted that had changed the ribbon much, if at all. She strained her eyes to read it, but all she could of it was that it was not written in English. It was almost as if an illiterate French child had tried to copy their mother's handiwork, but failed miserably. All things considered, Kate felt the small piece of fabric held a dainty bit of charm about it.

Pursing her lips, she set it aside, on top of the forgotten book, and quickly finished washing herself. Her curiosity had been peaked and she wondered if any of her Ancient Runes books could help her out with it. Kate leaped out of the bath and, quick as she could, dried herself and changed back into her robes. She gathered her things and rushed out of the bathroom, leaving her hair pinned to her crown. She fumbled around a bit with her book and the ribbon, trying not to lose either, as they pertained to her as important and possibly precious.

Kate swiftly rounded the corner to the grand staircase and began climbing it, book clutched under one arm and the ribbon clasped firmly in the same hand. She was staring at her feet, making sure she didn't trip over the staircase and fall when she brushed past two very solid, very warm entities. Kate was on the next landing before she'd turned around with wide eyes to see two red-headed boys staring at her with identically raised eyebrows.

"You? Again?" All three of them cried at once. Kate scrutinized them with a sceptical expression, while they returned her stare with mockingly confused ones of their own. She brought the book down to rest by her side, the dark, damp ribbon flopping in her grip.

"Where are you going in such a hurry?" the brother on the right asked.

"Back to my common room, just like you two should be – even though you're heading in the wrong direction," Kate proclaimed, turning as if to continue rushing up to Ravenclaw Tower.

"Hold it." Kate sighed and took her foot off the step, turning back to look at them. The brother on the left had shoved his hands in his pockets and was biting the inside of his cheek. "What's in your hand?" he asked, nodding towards the ribbon of interest.

Kate glanced at it quickly. "A ribbon. Does it really matter?"

He shrugged. "I dunno, Fred, does it look important to you?" It was George. Of course.

Fred shrugged and crossed his arms over his chest. "She seemed to be running a bit fast just to get back to bed, George." Dammit, now she'd done it. They weren't going to leave her alone, she knew. It was worth a try though.

Rolling her eyes, she turned once more and headed up the stairs, a lot slower this time around. "It's a ribbon that fell out of a book I was just before. It's probably just someone's page marker," she explained, not even believing her own words.

The twins seemed to read it in her voice and followed after her, taking two steps at a time, arriving at her side almost instantly. She was suddenly squished between the two, who happened to be much larger and much stronger than she was. She swallowed inconspicuously and kept moving, holding her head as high as necessary.

"That book looks awful heavy."

"Let us help you out."

"I'll just take that-!"

And the book was snatched out of her grasp. Kate scowled at them, and stopped walking. "Give it back, please." Devilish smirks crossed their faces as they back up the steps slowly, holding the book in a deceptively loose grip, preparing to bolt. Kate realised she was going to have to run if she wanted her book back, and in that same second the two trouble makers turned and fled up the stairs.

A/N: Let me just send out a trillion, gazillion, million, fricken thousand apologies. I've had this on my iPhone for quite a while, but procrastination - I am not Queen of it for no reason -.- A lot of things happened to get in the way, and it has to have been quite a few months since I last updated D:

I seriously hope this makes up for it, though xD I have the next chapter ready to be uploaded but I want you guys to get back into the gist of things before I do upload it. So, just drop me a review when you want the next chapter :) (Trust me, it's way cooler than this one!)

So yeah... about the cliffhanger- you're welcome! *evil grin*

See you around... and thank you for the reviews, so far (hint hint, nudge nudge).