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The first of them sorted is Bellamy Blake, this small, scrawny, scarred boy whom no one knows. His father was a wizard, but he has his mother's name, because everyone knows how his father died, but almost no one knew he had a son, and that was better for him. Safer.

But the Hat knows.

Strong magic on your father's side, it says. No shortage of bravery and wits. And loyal, oh my, yes. You would do anything, wouldn't you?

Slytherin, he thinks. His father's house. Not his step-father's. Monsters come from Slytherin.

Monsters come from everywhere, says the Hat.

But aloud it says, "Slytherin!"

*

Second is Clarke Griffin. Everyone knows Clarke Griffin; her mother is the Head Healer at St. Mungo's, and her father was a Quidditch star who retired and started designing racing brooms. They're old blood, wizards who can trace their lineage back to when magic began. She carries herself like she always knows exactly where she's going, like she knows the answer before the question has been asked.

Slytherin, she tells the Hat.

The Hat says, "Slytherin!"

*

Loyal, the Hat says. And cunning. You would do well in Slytherin.

Nathan Miller doesn't say anything; he knows where he belongs.

*

Raven Reyes knows absolutely nothing about the Hogwarts house system. She knows nothing about Hogwarts, really. Her parents are not wizards. She didn't know magic was real, not until the letter came. She was good with computers; it was a talent, nothing more.

Quite a mind. And not a traditional kind of skill, either. No, not the kind of magic Hogwarts usually sees. And--my goodness, what drive. What ambition.

This is the best school I can go to, Raven tells it. It's strange, talking to a hat, but she's heard every gasp and cheer at every announcement. This is important; she needs it to understand. This is the best chance I've got. I'm not throwing it away.

"Slytherin!" shouts the Hat, and Raven goes to sit with the freckled, curly haired boy she saw earlier. He's the one who feels most familiar to her.

He doesn't smile, doesn't even look at her, but he moves to the side, just a little, and pushes his glasses up.

Slytherin, Raven thinks.

*

It's not accurate to say Clarke and Nate become friends first, because Clarke and Nate don't remember a time when they weren't friends. The Griffins and the Millers are old wizarding families, and Clarke and Nate and Wells Jaha all used to play together. Wells is a Hufflepuff now, but they refuse to give him up, and it makes the rest of the Slytherins wary. But they never fit in that well with the rest of the old wizarding families anyway; it's why they got along so well with each other.

Clarke and Bellamy get into a fight the first week of their first year, when Clarke tries to stop him and John Murphy picking on Wells.

"Didn't know he was your boyfriend," Murphy sneers, and Clarke, already too severe at eleven, snaps, "Grow up, Murphy, what did he do to you?"

"The ministry just passed the worst restrictions on magical creature in a hundred years," says Bellamy.

"Wells isn't the ministry."

"And you're not St. Mungo's, going along with imprisoning patients for needing treatment," he says. "But you're a hell of a lot closer to it than I am, princess."

Clarke's jaw works as she tries to come up with a response, but Wells hexes Murphy while she's distracted, and all four of them get detention.

The animosity between Blake and Griffin becomes legendary quickly, in large part because they're in the same house. But the first-year Slytherins are almost as contentious with each other as they are with the Gryffindors; Griffin and Miller only like each other and the purebloods won't talk to Reyes and Blake, so the two of them become friends more as a defensive move than because of any actual shared interests.

But Raven thinks it's pretty good, too. Bellamy's mother is a muggle, even if his stepfather is a wizard, and he's seen all the movies she likes and helps her get pens and notebooks and things she needs, because quills are seriously the worst. He's angry a lot, always picking fights, and not just with Clarke, but he's loyal too, and it's not like Raven doesn't have all kinds of rage issues of her own.

Because her magic doesn't work right, not at Hogwarts. It's not like she's bad at it; she can do all the wand work and the potions, loves astronomy, excels at charms.

But when she gets home for the summer, it's technology that really makes her magic light up, that makes her feel right. When she looks at computers and cars, she understands them in ways she can't explain, knows she could do so much good. She looks at the Hogwarts Express and sees how it was put together, sees how it could be better. There's so much potential, if wizards would actually start using this stuff, and she spends her summer working little charms on the things she can afford, cheap calculators and remote-control cars.

But they die when she tries to bring them back to school with her.

"Hogwarts shuts down Muggle technology," Bellamy tells her, when she asks if he can get his family to owl anything.

"Why?"

He shrugs. "Because it freaks wizards out, probably."

"That's stupid."

"No shit." He grins at her. "Wizards are mostly stupid, Raven."

"So what are you doing here?"

He shrugs, looks away. Raven's eye catches on a new scar under his jaw. "Nowhere else to go," he says, and she doesn't press.

*

Clarke and Raven become friends the summer after fourth year, when they realize they live in the same town and have the same boyfriend.

Leaving Finn was the worst part of going to Hogwarts for Raven. The two of them had been friends since they were born, and before she left for her fourth year, he leaned in and pecked his lips against hers. They wrote--the traditional, muggle way, Raven passing letters onto Bellamy and Bellamy owling them to his sister to mail--the whole year, and Raven was alight with excitement at the possibility of having a boyfriend, someone to come home to.

It's great, for a couple weeks, and then she sees him with another girl, another girl she knows, blonde hair and bright eyes. And Clarke looks--happy. It's an unfamiliar expression on her, honestly, and it tempers the bright flash of rage and hurt. She's still pissed at Finn, but Clarke didn't know. This is something else.

Finn kisses Clarke on the cheek before he leaves, and Clarke watches him go with stars in her eyes, a girl with her first boyfriend. It's an expression Raven knows, and it tugs at her.

He's going to regret ever being born.

"Hey, Griffin," she says, sliding in across from Clarke.

Clarke startles, looks wary. She and Raven have never been friends, but they're not enemies either. It's not like she is with Bellamy. Raven thinks they're kind of like cats, wary of each other, but too proud to actually fight. They mostly don't interact at all, at school.

"Hey, Raven," says Clarke, with a polite nod. Her face has shifted back from first love to pureblood princess, and Raven refuses to let it raise her hackles. She's got bigger things to worry about. "What are you doing here?"

"I live here."

That shakes Clarke too. "Really? Where?"

"Just a couple blocks over," she says, and it turns out Clarke's fifteen minutes out of town, and it's strange, having this connection to someone like Clarke Griffin, who feels like she shouldn't even exist in the Muggle world. She's wearing a sundress and Converse sneakers; she has an iPod on the table, with earbuds. If they weren't talking, Raven would honestly think she was a different person.

"So, how's your summer?" Clarke asks.

"Okay." She wets her lips. "You know Finn?"

Clarke brightens all over, all at once. "Yeah. My boyfriend."

She almost feels guilty, but she pulls the necklace out from under her shirt, watches as Clarke's eyes widen and then harden. "Mine too," she says, and Clarke's jaw works.

Finn Collins has the worst summer of his life, and Clarke and Raven are friends by the time they get back for their fifth year.

*

"No way," says Bellamy. "Griffin."

"I told you she was cool."

"I get that you guys had some kind of--" He waves his hand. "Fucking empowering sisterhood moment when you kicked this guy's ass. And, whatever. That's awesome. He sounded like a dick. But this is still Clarke Griffin, Raven. You know how she feels about Muggleborns."

"Yeah, I do. You don't. You know how her mom feels. And don't pretend like you agree with your mom about everything."

Bellamy's jaw works. "This is a lot more important than if my sister deserves a later curfew."

"She's not like them, okay? Why do you think Miller's her only friend?"

"Miller and Wells," Bellamy points out, but it's slightly less bitter than it was.

"She has an iPod," Raven says.

It does the trick. "Really?"

"Really."

He clucks his tongue. "I'm not just going to start being nice to her," he finally says. "But if she sits with us, I won't hex her."

"Asshole," says Raven, and he shrugs one shoulder.

"Guilty."

*

Clarke always knew Bellamy was--sickly doesn't seem like the word, because he's strong and solid and capable, undeniably so. But he misses a lot of class, which always surprises her. Bellamy's competitive, but she thinks he's always in contention for the top of the class more because he's genuinely academically minded than just because he wants to be the best. He even likes History of Magic, and no one likes History of Magic.

So, the missing class thing seems weird, and even weirder once she starts getting to know him. He's not the type to miss class unless he has to. And he has to more than anyone else she knows. It's an an anomaly, and it nags at her.

"What's going on with Bellamy?" she asks Raven, two months into their fifth year. Nate is reading next to them, and he snorts quietly; Raven doesn't look up either.

"I thought you guys were cool now," Raven says. "Nothing's going on, right?"

"We are," Clarke says, with some reluctance. It's not like she and Bellamy have sat down and had a long conversation about their feelings, but they haven't hexed each other yet this year, and they can sit together and be fairly civil most of the time. They don't exactly help each other out with their homework, but Bellamy will read over Clarke's shoulder and tell her when her work is wrong, and she returns the favor.

He's not all bad.

"He's sick again," Clarke goes on.

"And?"

"He's sick a lot. But he never seems that sick."

Which isn't completely true either. He's worn most of the time, and he has more scars than anyone else she knows. She's gotten distracted more than once, tracing the lines of them, even before they were kind of friends. The combination of scars and freckles on his face is fascinating.

"So?" asks Raven, and there's something in the set of her shoulders and the tone of her voice that tells Clarke she knows exactly what Bellamy does every month. And that she's not going to tell Clarke.

Which means Clarke is going to figure it out.

"What do you think?" she asks Nate, mostly because Nate and Bellamy kind of get along too. They have the same sense of humor, and Nate's family are purebloods, but his parents aren't higher up, like Clarke's are. His dad is an Auror who's doing his best, and his mom is a mediwizard. And they're in Divination together and bonded over how much they hate Professor Lexa, who apparently doesn't have a last name and just spends all her time saying cryptic things about her past lives and foretelling her own death.

"I don't know why you're asking us instead of Bellamy," Nate says, mild, which means he knows too, and Clarke's the only one in the dark. It makes sense, because they've both been friends with Bellamy for longer than she has, but--she hates not knowing things. And she's pretty sure Bellamy didn't tell them, or at least not Nate, because Bellamy and Nate really don't really have heart-to-heart talks, and even if Raven and Bellamy do, Bellamy has never so much as commented on his weird schedule.

So there's a mystery, and Clarke could solve it. Which means she's going to solve it.

*

Bellamy's reading Roman Wizards and Their Legacies when Griffin sits down next to him. She smells like she always does, and he perks up like he always does. If it wasn't completely embarrassing, he'd ask her what shampoo she uses, because the combination of flowers and citrus is perfect, and it doesn't have that lingering chemical scent like a lot of shampoos do. But that would involve admitting that he knows what she smells like, he likes what she smells like, and that most people's smells vaguely irritate him, which is more information than he wants to give her. About all of those subjects.

"What," he says, flat. "I'm busy."

"How are you feeling?"

"Worse than I was before you sat down."

"I'm just wondering about the process."

"First I read. There's not really much of a second step. Unless you count you bothering me."

"So, I'm thinking of it kind of like periods, which makes sense, with how menstrual cycles have traditionally been linked to the moon," she goes on, and he nearly chokes.

"What?"

"So, do you have, like PMS? Pre-moon syndrome?"

She's casual in a way that doesn't feel forced, conversational like this is something people just say to each other in the course of normal conversations. And he's trying to come up with anything else it could mean, because if she's asking what he thinks she's asking, there's no way she's just--like this. Not if she knows what he is.

"Are you going to start making sense at some point?"

"You don't usually miss the day of, just the day after. Sometimes two days."

It's not like there's anyone around. And he's not convinced someone listening in on them would know what they were talking about. But--why the fuck is Griffin talking about this?

"Like I said," he starts, and she smiles.

"I'm just curious, Bellamy."

"Curious," he repeats, and it comes out of his mouth bitter. "You're curious."

"Yeah."

"And your mother is--"

"A fucking asshole," she says, with no hesitation. "I keep telling you."

"Still your mother."

"And?" She pauses, and then adds, "Raven and Nate have never talked to you about it?"

"Why would they?"

"They know. I asked Raven and--yeah. They both know."

"You told her?"

"No." There's a fierceness to her voice that surprises him. "I asked her why you missed so much class, and she didn't say anything. Neither did Nate. But they didn't say anything in a really pointed way, and--if you pay attention, it's not--"

"Thanks. That makes me feel so much better."

She's quiet, and then she says, "I'm sure they know. And they don't--" She huffs out a frustrated breath. "Don't care is wrong, because of course we care. You're our friend, so we care. But we don't--look, you piss me off for a thousand reasons, but this isn't one of them, okay? This just--this doesn't change anything for me."

He can't breathe, suddenly, because his mother knows, and she used to lock him in the basement, is still scared every time she looks at him. His stepfather knows, and treats it like a secret, something to deal with and never talk about. His sister knows, and she's always known. She's used to it. He's still her brother.

Raven and Miller know, if she's right.

And Clarke Griffin knows, and she's smiling at him. Looking interested, curious.

"It sucks the week before, yeah," he admits. "Probably kind of like PMS. I get pretty irritable."

"You're already irritable."

"Maybe if I wasn't ripping myself up every month, I'd be a nicer person."

"Nah, I don't think so," she says, so easy and confident that he actually laughs. She looks delighted, and it's a new look on her.

"Thanks."

"Gotta be honest, right?" She bumps her shoulder against his, easy and friendly, like he's never been with her. She knows, and she's touching him, casual and easy. "Can't blame one thing for your whole shitty personality." Then she sobers. "You rip yourself up?"

He flushes. "Nothing else around for me to fight."

Her hand traces one long scar on his arm, one of his worse ones, and he nearly shivers. "Fuck."

"Better than doing it to anyone else," he says, and means it.

"Yeah, but--fuck, Bellamy."

"Don't tell me this is what gets you to be nice to me," he says, voice thick.

"You started it," she says. She worries her lip. "You've never--look, I never thought you were a bad guy, okay? Just an asshole. You assumed me and Wells were like our parents, and that's a shitty thing to do. I get why you were so pissed about--it's obvious now. But I think that law's bullshit too, and so does Wells. If you'd just asked us instead of--"

"Well, like you said. I've still got my whole shitty personality."

"I'd rather be friends with you," she says, a soft admission. "Not because of this. But--this doesn't change that, okay? I wanted that before, I just didn't know what to say."

"Oh." He lets out a shaky breath. "Are you sure they know? About me?"

"I haven't said anything to them about it. But I'm pretty sure, yeah."

"Why did you say something?" he asks.

Something about the way she looks as she thinks about it makes his heart trip. "Because Raven and Nate wouldn't. Not--that's how they're supportive. They know, and they won't say anything because that's what they're like." She grins. "But I need validation for figuring it out, so--"

He laughs, ducks his head. She's right, probably; he can't imagine Miller deciding to have a conversation with him about lycanthropy. Even in the abstract. But Clarke--of course this is what Clarke would do.

"Congratulations," he says. "You solved it."

"Thanks. That's all I really wanted." And then she opens up her own book and settles in to read. Her shoulder is still brushing his, and she still smells lovely.

And she knows.

"Sure," he manages, once he can breathe properly. "Any time."

*

"Did you know he beats himself up?" Clarke demands.

Raven thinks over the question. "I thought so, yeah," she finally says. "Good job, ace. You figured it out."

"I figured it out too," Miller says.

"Yeah, but you know not to talk about it," she says, and when Miller holds up his hand, she high-fives him. "Seriously, Clarke, it's--"

"I told him we know."

"Why?" asks Raven. "You think that's going to help?"

Clarke's smile is small and private, one she's never seen before, and Raven's gut twists a little. She always sort of figured if Clarke and Bellamy figured themselves out, they'd get close, but it's strange to see it happening. "I think it did, yeah. I mean--he thought if we knew, we'd hate him. And I needed to tell him I didn't hate him anyway, so it made sense to make sure he knew I wouldn't start just because I found out he was--what he is."

"Oh," says Raven. She figured it out their second year, because Bellamy's excuses were never that great, and they take astronomy. It's not like she's not aware of the phases of the moon. But she thought if he wanted her to know, he'd tell her.

She glances around, and it's deserted, but, not enough. "Okay, come on. Miller, you too."

"What?" says Miller, mild.

"We need to talk."

She found out about the Room of Requirement earlier this year, from the Muggle Studies professor, Sinclair. She'd been complaining to him about the technology ban, and he'd suggested it was possible--only possible--that if she found the Room of Requirement, her need to work with computers might override the castle's own enchantments.

It turns out, it does. She's that good. She still can't bring anything out, but she's working on something she could show the headmaster. To prove technology could work for wizards, if they stopped being so fucking stupid about it.

The room is private and safe, too, so that's where she takes them.

"What is this?" Clarke asks.

"My workshop." She props herself up on the table. "Tell me about werewolves."

Clarke and Miller exchange a look. "What about them?"

"I get that it's a secret, but why? He's clearly got it--" She pauses, because got it covered seems like the wrong thing to say when he's ripping himself up once a month. "He's not hurting anyone but himself. But I'm a Muggleborn. Maybe I'm missing something."

"I don't know how he's not hurting anyone else," Clarke admits. She glances at Miller again. "Werewolves are--there's a pretty bad stigma against them. I know they can be dangerous, but there's all this--shitty victim-blaming stuff wrapped up in it too, like, well, you did get bitten, maybe you should ask yourself why." She scowls. "They're perfectly harmless except for one night every twenty-eight days, but it's hard for them to--it takes a lot of work to lock yourself up. And he's trying to kill himself for it."

"Pretty sure Bellamy would be pissed if you called him perfectly harmless," Miller says, and Clarke's haunted expression shatters into a smile.

"Okay, yeah, but he's not an asshole because he's a werewolf. He's an asshole who happens to be a werewolf." She bites her lip. "And I want to help."

"You wanna cure lycanthropy?" Miller asks. He sounds interested, not dubious.

"Someday, yeah. But I think we need to start smaller. I've been reading about it a lot. Werewolves do better in packs. And there's thing where, like--Muggles have this thing in zoos, where predators have just--dogs. To keep them calm and non-aggressive. It's pretty cool."

"There's no way Bellamy's going to make us all werewolves," says Miller. "Even if we wanted him to. Which I don't. Not--" He makes a face. "I'm pretty sure the answer here isn't more werewolves, Clarke."

"No, but--animagi."

"Animagi?" Raven asks. "That's--the thing where you can turn into an animal, right?"

"Yeah. Werewolves are dangerous to humans, and they're dangerous to themselves if they're not--he's probably locking himself up somewhere, to keep from hurting anyone else. But if he had some company--"

"Since when do you like Bellamy enough you want us to turn into animals and hang out with him when he's literally trying to tear himself apart?" Miller asks.

"It's not about Bellamy," Clarke snaps, which is bullshit. "If it was you, I'd be saying the same thing," she continues, and that's not. Clarke would do this for any of her friends, and Bellamy is one of her friends now.

"So you want us to become unregistered animagi, illegally, so we can hang out with a werewolf. On the full moon," says Miller.

"Yeah."

"Cool," says Raven. "I'm in."

"Yeah, obviously," Miller agrees. "Just wanted to make sure I had this right." He grins at Clarke. "Let's do it."

*

Nathan Miller has broken more than a few rules in his day, but this will be the first major law he breaks. Which works out well, as far as he's concerned. If you're going to break a law, it might as well be a really big one, for a really good reason.

Besides, being an animagus is going to be awesome.

They don't tell Bellamy. Or, rather, Clarke doesn't tell Bellamy. Nate was never going to be the one to do it, because that's not how he and Bellamy are. Bellamy's one of his closest friends, but they tend to only have personal conversations by accident. Raven maybe could tell Bellamy, but it's Clarke's plan, and Clarke's not telling him, in case it goes wrong. They're researching in teams, making sure Bellamy doesn't catch on or think they're pulling away from him.

It's a lot of work, but he figures it's worth it. This is Bellamy. He'd do it for them in a heartbeat.

Clarke and Raven are researching, so Nate and Bellamy are hanging out on the grass by the lake, bullshitting their Divination homework. Bellamy's trying to decide when and how he's going to die, and Nate is making up a new past life. This one is part dragon, because that's awesome.

Bellamy finally clears his throat and says, "I'm a werewolf."

Nate doesn't look up from his parchment. "I'm gay."

Bellamy's hand stutters. "What?"

"Sorry, is that a problem?"

"That's seriously your reaction?"

"I knew you were a werewolf. I figured maybe you didn't know I was gay. One of us has to contribute something new to the conversation, Blake."

"I didn't know that." He clears his throat. "Thanks for telling me."

"Don't worry, I'm not offended you didn't tell me about the werewolf thing. I get it." He looks down at his essay. "I haven't told my parents yet. I haven't even told Clarke. I don't know what they'll say. I'm not sure they'll--"

"My family knows," Bellamy says. "But, yeah. If they didn't, I probably wouldn't tell them either."

Nate's honestly kind of curious. "When did you get bitten?"

There's a long pause, and he wonders if maybe Bellamy isn't going to tell him. It's probably not the kind of thing anyone wants to hear about. "I was four," he says. "I, uh--fuck, it was a mess. This wizard--my dad. He got my mom pregnant and never wanted to see her again. Some pureblood asshole." He tosses Nate a smile. "No offense."

"None taken."

"So he knocked her up and left. She didn't know about magic or anything, she just knew someone got her pregnant and left her. So she spent years trying to find him. And, lucky her, the night she did, there was a werewolf there. He'd already killed my dad, so he just bit me and left."

Nate's mouth goes dry. "Orion Salazar." His father had helped investigate the murder. But there hadn't been any Muggles there. Not that he knew of.

"Yeah. My step-dad was first on the scene, he got me and my mom out of it, made sure no one--" He inclines his head. "He kept us safe."

"Fuck."

Bellamy's mouth tugs up in half a smile. "Sucked for me, yeah."

"So why'd you tell me?" Nate asks.

"Clarke thought you already knew."

"Yeah. So you didn't have to tell me."

"Fuck you," he says, easy. "See if I ever try to bond with you again."

"Yeah," says Nate. "You better not."

*

The morning after the next full moon, Clarke gets into a fight with John Murphy, and ends up with detention and a trip to the infirmary for her trouble.

"Seriously?" asks Wells.

"What?"

"You couldn't have dodged that?"

"It's early. I'm slow." She flashes him a pained grin. "Take notes for me, okay?"

The infirmary is pretty quiet, and Nyko patches her up with no wait at all. She checks the rest of the beds surreptitiously, and, once Nyko says she's set and goes to deal with his other duties, slips behind the curtain to the private room.

As she expected, Bellamy is there, laid up in a cot with fresh cuts on his bare chest.

His very bare chest.

That's bad, right? He's bleeding; she shouldn't be thinking about how surprisingly muscular he is.

He blinks his eyes open, wincing, and grabs his glasses so he can look at her. "Clarke?"

"Hey," she says, sitting down next to him. She lets her fingers hover over the open wound. "Looks like you had a great night."

"Yeah, awesome. What are you doing here?"

She holds up her arm. "Murphy hexed me."

"You let Murphy hex you so you could check on me?" he asks. Clarke can't read his tone.

"Maybe he actually got the drop on me," she says, and he snorts. She lets herself grin. "I had Arithmancy. Wells will give me his notes."

"I'm touched."

"You should be. Where do you go?"

"The shack," he says. "It's--that's why it's there. So I could come here. Marcus made arrangements with the headmistress."

"Marcus?"

"My step-dad." His smile is a little twisted, and Clarke's eye catches on the scar on his lip. It's her favorite of his scars. "First werewolf at Hogwarts, and no one is ever going to know."

"I know. Nate and Raven know. Your family knows." She wets her lips, resists the urge to do something weird, like brushing his hair back or checking his injuries. They're friends, since she told him she knew what he was. Really friends.

It's just--she's protective of him too. It sucks that Bellamy's dealing with this, that he tears himself up every week. And she doesn't think--she doesn't think he's the way he is because he's a werewolf. But she thinks it explains some things about him, and those things make her hurt.

"Do you need anything?" she finally asks.

"A drink," he says, and she snorts.

"You're fifteen. Don't act like you're such a fucking badass."

"You're one to talk."

"I am a fucking badass." And then, because it feels like she has to say something, she adds, "I was worried, okay? I just--I wanted to know how you were. After."

"Bloody and bruised and miserable," he says, and Clarke finds his hand and squeezes it, impulsive. She doesn't know how not to worry about her friends. She's a Slytherin. It's one of their things, worrying about their people. And Bellamy's one of hers, now.

"If you ever need anything, ask me, okay?"

"Is this limited to the day after the full moon?" He's looking down at her hand on his with a slightly dazed expression; Clarke assumes he's gotten something for the pain, and he's probably a little loopy. "Or a general offer?"

"General offer."

"Wow."

"We're friends now," she says. "Sorry."

He snorts. "Yeah, I'm sorry too. But I guess it's too late to get out of it." He gives her hand a tentative squeeze; his fingers are strong and rough. "Thanks for coming to check on me. But seriously, it's fine. I'm used to it. Don't let Murphy think he's good enough to take you in a fight just so you can visit."

Clarke smiles. "Don't worry. I'll figure out something better next time."

*

"You ever seen The Lion King?" Raven asks Miller. It's April, and Clarke and Bellamy are bickering, which isn't anything new. But now when they bicker, they're both always grinning, and it's the flirty, nauseating kind of bickering that makes Raven itchy. It's not like she's interested in Bellamy, not as a boyfriend, but he was hers first, and now Clarke is going to take him, the same way Finn was hers first, and Clarke took him. Which makes her feel like an asshole, but she can't stop feeling it.

"No. What's that?"

"Basically Hamlet with animals."

"Sounds awesome. Think you can hook it up in the Room of Requirement? We can watch it while we do project shit."

She snorts. "I'm just saying. Our quartet's going down to two. I can feel the love tonight."

"I assume that's a reference." He glances over at Clarke and Bellamy too. "They'll take a while. Come on, they suck at this. But don't think you and me are gonna double date with them."

"You're breaking my heart, Miller. But it's cool. I know you've got a thing for Monty in Ravenclaw."

Miller's completely shell-shocked reaction goes a long way toward making her feel better about her life. "What?"

"What?"

"Did Bellamy tell you?"

"No. He didn't tell me he was a werewolf either. I know you guys. Bellamy's a werewolf, you're gay, Clarke is--" She considers. "Not sure what Clarke isn't telling us, actually."

"What aren't you telling us?" Miller asks.

I'm afraid I'm never going to feel like I fit in anywhere, she thinks. I'm afraid you guys are going to decide you don't need me, because you've got other people you want more.

"I'm the best," she says, and he snorts.

"Yeah, we knew that."

She makes herself bring it up to Clarke, because it's not like Clarke has a lot of friends, and who else is she going to gossip about Bellamy with? Clarke likes a boy, and she deserves someone to talk it through with her. Nate might, but--Nate's not really the type to start these conversations. and she doubts Clarke will either, so she can take this one.

"What's up with you and Bellamy?" she asks that night. The other girls are still in the common room, so it's just the two of them.

"The usual," says Clarke. She sounds surprised. "We're good now, right? I thought we were good."

She snorts. "Good."

"Unless you know something I don't. We've been talking, he lets me check on him after the full moon--"

Raven blinks. "You guys aren't--you don't--" She opens and closes her mouth, but Clarke is looking at her, and--she doesn't know. Clarke somehow has no idea she has a giant thing for Bellamy Blake. She's not just being stupid. She's totally oblivious.

"It's fucking ridiculous," she mutters the next day, after Bellamy has been similarly clueless when she asks him. They're just--it's absurd. She can't even be upset about it anymore, because it's so stupidly baffling.

"Thank you, Reyes," someone says. "I agree."

Raven startles and glares at Roan. He's a Gryffindor, sixth year, and she knows him because he always seems to be in the library at the same time she is. And, of course, he's one of those people who is known. He's a prefect, plus he's the captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, so Clarke and Miller occasionally complain about him, and he's--very smart. And very confident. And a little attractive.

Just a little.

But they don't hang out.

"Sorry, wasn't talking to you," says Raven.

"I don't see anyone else here."

"So I wasn't talking to anybody." But she kind of does want to talk to someone, so she says, "You know Griffin, right?"

"Unfortunately."

"And Blake?"

"Ah. Yes, they are certainly ridiculous."

Raven raises her eyebrows. "What are you basing that on?"

Roan smirks. Raven isn't sure she's ever seen him not smirking. Maybe it's true, and your face really can freeze that way. "I made the mistake of saying something indelicate about Blake. Griffin hexed me so thoroughly I wasn't convinced my eyebrows would ever grow back. But Nyko is a miracle worker."

"I don't remember that."

"It was last year. They were still officially enemies. I assumed it was safe to complain to her, but--apparently it was only okay when she did it. I'm glad to hear they've only become worse."

Raven has to smile. "It's fucking unreal," she admits, and Roan gestures for her to join him. It doesn't actually resolve anything, but she has to admit, venting does wonders for her mood.

*

Two major changes hit Bellamy's life in his sixth year. The first he knew about: Octavia starts Hogwarts. He hasn't really been dreading it, but it worried him, every now and then. She's going to be a Gryffindor, he's sure, and while his general antipathy for the other Slytherins--Raven, Miller, and Clarke aside--means that he's not as contentious with the rest of the houses as he could be, he still doesn't really like them either.

"You just hate everybody," Raven tells him, when he mentions this to her at Diagon Alley. "Not really a house thing."

"Just a you thing," Clarke agrees.

"Like you don't hate everybody," he grumbles, and she grins. She's eating ice cream, and he can smell it on her lips.

That's starting to be a problem, but it's not really a change.

Octavia gets sorted into Gryffindor, like he knew she would be, and Clarke finds his hand under the table and squeezes it.

He explained to her that it doesn't matter, that he's not a dark wizard, that he's not suddenly concerned with the purity of anyone's blood. All it means is that he's loyal in a fairly limited sense and ambitious. He didn't tell her he said he belonged in Slytherin with the other monsters. But he was wrong about that anyway.

Like the Hat said, there are monsters everywhere.

What really gets him about Octavia's sorting is that he can't look out for her, which doesn't even make sense, because he hasn't been looking out for her for the last five years. But it was different, when she was away.

"Okay," Clarke tells him, after two months of lowkey stress. "This is getting ridiculous, Bellamy."

"What do you know about it?" he snaps, and she doesn't even flinch.

"Nothing. Only child. But you're going to stress yourself to death. So come on, I have good news."

"Where are we going?"

"Room of Requirement."

"Are we going to have sex?" he asks, feigning only mild interest. "That would help."

"Not yet," she says, patting his shoulder. "Better news."

"I feel like you don't realize how good news sex is," he tells her, although she probably does. She was dating a girl named Niylah over the the summer, which might have been what kickstarted his whole stupid feelings thing. He's not thrilled about it.

"Trust me," she says, and he doesn't have a reply to that, so he follows her.

Miller and Raven are already there when they arrive, playing video games on the TV Raven hooked up. Miller really took to video games. But they stop immediately at the sound of the door, and Bellamy feels his palms start to sweat. He doesn't like surprises.

"What?" he asks Raven. She seems most likely to tell him.

She cocks her head at him, and then, suddenly, she's not there anymore. He blinks a couple times, and then he sees a black bird flying through the air, lighting on his shoulder.

"Raven?"

"Crow, technically," Clarke says. "We figured raven too, but--"

"I don't see how her turning into a bird is good news for me," he says. She pecks his shoulder, and he grins. "Don't get me wrong, it's cool, but--"

"It's not just her," says Clarke. She looks anxious in a way he's never seen before, and it's strangely hypnotizing. Clarke Griffin, nervous. What a concept. "We were actually kind of worried none of us would be big enough, but then--"

Something nudges Bellamy's hand, and he looks down to see a big dog--a wolf, really, and he startles, but it's a true wolf, not a werewolf. Sleek and gray and looking up at him with disconcertingly familiar eyes.

"Miller," he breathes. "What did you guys do, Clarke?"

"It's kind of a Muggle thing," she says. "And kind of a werewolf thing. Aggressive animals do better with company, and werewolves do better in packs. So--we got you a pack."

He's paying attention when she changes, shifts into a lion, tawny and huge, and when she pads over to butt against his other hand herself, he lets his fingers sink into her fur.

"What the fuck," he breathes. "You guys know this is--illegal? And fucking stupid? And dangerous? Just because you guys can't get turned into werewolves doesn't mean--"

Raven starts grooming his hair, which is weird, but--kind of nice. So he goes over to sit on the couch the room always provides, lets the rest of them follow him. Miller turns back into a human so he can play video games, but Clarke just settles in with her head on his lap, letting him stroke her ears, and Raven caws at him and pecks his shoulder every time he screws up. Given half his friends are actually animals, it feels surprisingly normal.

"Seriously, if anyone finds out about this," he tells Miller, finally. "Unregistered animagi are--"

"We know," Miller says. He gives Bellamy half a smirk. "It's worth it, okay? We all think so. We've been working on this for a year. We all had plenty of time to change our minds, and we're not. You don't need any more scars."

He swallows hard, feels his fingers tighten in Clarke's fur. She nudges her nose against his leg, affectionate, and--even for a werewolf and a wizard, his life is very surreal right now. "Thanks," he finally manages, voice thick.

Miller shrugs one shoulder. "Dude, I can turn into a fucking wolf. You think this was hard on me?"

It took them a year to do this. A year of--whatever it is that goes into being an animagus. He has no idea, except it's hard and so dangerous and powerful that there are legal restrictions on it. And these three people did it for him.

He doesn't cry. But it's close.

"Yeah," he says instead. "When you put it like that."

That's the second big change, and it's everything.

*

There are some weird side effects to becoming an animagus, as it turns out. Clarke really wants to rub her head against things--and, in this case, things are mostly Bellamy--Raven keeps sticking her fingers into everyone's hair to pick apart tangles, and Nate, well.

Nate has always been loyal and protective of the people he loves. It's one of the reasons he was put in Slytherin in the first place. But it feels like love is too big for his chest now, like he's constantly on the verge of snapping at anyone who even looks at any of his friends wrong. Which is fine, with people like Clarke and Bellamy and Raven and Wells. Everyone knows that Nate will fight anyone who touches any of them, if they haven't already started defending themselves.

But it's awkward with Monty.

Nate and Monty aren't really particularly close. They have a couple classes together, and Monty helped tutor him in Potions in exchange for Nate's help with Defense Against the Dark Arts. They chat at the library and on Hogsmeade trips. They're friendly.

Nate has a massive crush on him, but that's kind of a separate issue. He's not even out yet, except to his closest friends. That part, at least, went well; Clarke mentioned she was interested in girls as well as guys, so it gave him a natural opening to tell her, and Raven and Bellamy already knew. But everyone else--it's still pretty frowned on, in pureblood circles. His father won't mind, but he's not ready for the whole world to know.

So he shouldn't be snarling at everyone who so much as looks wrong at Monty Green.

Monty is either oblivious or politely not bringing it up, at least until Nate tries to give a first year detention for bumping Monty's shoulder slightly.

"You don't have detention," he tells the girl, who looks like she might cry. He puts his hand on Nate's arm, and it feels like pure energy, every atom of Nate snapping to attention and turning its focus to that one spot. "Right, Nate?"

"Yeah," he says, vague. "Just don't do it again."

Once she's gone, Monty's grip tightens on his arm, and he pulls Nate off after him. "What's with you?"

"Nothing," he says, pointlessly. It's so obvious something is up, he's not sure why he's trying to lie about it.

"You barked at an owl that flew too close to me yesterday."

It's a valid argument that Nate is in no way prepared to deal with. "I didn't bark."

"You did." He at least sounds amused. "Seriously, did you lose a bet with Bellamy and drink something weird?"

"Bet with Clarke."

"That was my second guess." He smiles. "So--what was it?"

"Something called hair of the dog," he decides. "Just--does some weird things to my protective instincts."

"Your protective instincts to me," Monty says, and Nate winces. "Don't pretend it's not me," he goes on. He's smiling, at least, and something in Nate wants to drag him off somewhere and never let go. Most of what's in Nate, honestly. "Sterling got hit with a bludger earlier and you didn't even blink."

"Yeah, well, it's Sterling," he says, without thinking, and Monty grins.

"That's what I'm saying, yeah." He nods, making up his mind, and kisses Nate on the cheek, this brief, fleeting touch. "My knight in shining armor," he says, and then he's gone.

Nate walks into four things on the way back to the Slytherin common room, and when he gets there, Clarke is on the couch with her head in Bellamy's lap, letting him pet her. They seem to have decided it's normal for them now, which is making Raven vaguely homicidal, just because they still aren't dating, but Nate thinks it's hilarious. Mostly.

"Here I thought you guys would be fighting like cats and dogs," he remarks, sitting down next to Clarke.

"Wow," she says. "That's still funny."

"Right? It never stops being funny."

"Or it never started." She stretches, completely feline, and curls her legs up against her stomach, snuggling more firmly into Bellamy. "I heard you made a first year cry."

"Already? I thought it would take longer for word to get around."

"You were very scary," Clarke says. "You think this is going to wear off soon?"

"I hope so. I don't want to find out which one of us starts humping Bellamy in public first."

"Really?" Bellamy asks, still not turning his attention from his book. "I'm dying to know."

There's only one possible response to that, which is Nate going around to Bellamy's other side and putting his head on Bellamy's other leg, because if Clarke is going to get petted, he's going to get petted too. He's a good boy.

"This cannot wear off soon enough," he grumbles, but Monty did kiss him. On the cheek, but that's a good first step.

"I'm fine with it," Bellamy says, and he sounds content. That's nice too. "Keep doing this for as long as you guys want."

*

Clarke spends the whole day before their first full moon as animagi nervous and twitchy, alight with nerves and excitement. Bellamy's about as on edge, but it's all nerves for him, and Raven's clearly on the verge of strangling them both. Which is pretty standard.

"You can't hurt us, okay?" she finally snaps. They're in the Room of Requirement again; Raven's working on her big project, a tablet with a digital map of the school on it, tracing where everyone is at all times, showing passages and secret ways, all the things no one knows about the school. Clarke's not sure how she decided this was the best way to start her campaign to get Hogwarts into the future, but the map is really cool.

"I can't turn you," says Bellamy. One of his hands is absently rubbing her hair, which is true basically all the time now. It's a perk of being an animagus that never occurred to her, and it's awesome enough that she doesn't even mind the single hairball she hacked up that much. "That doesn't mean I can't hurt you."

"We won't let you hurt us. There are three of us."

"I could eat Raven in one bite."

"Not unless you buy me dinner first," Raven says. "Also, I can fly, so I can get out of the way. Clarke and Miller are giant predators. We're gonna be fine, Bellamy."

"I know," he says, but he still takes Clarke aside before he leaves. "Look, if anything goes wrong, just--fucking leave, okay? I don't care about ripping myself up, I always do that. I don't want to hurt you guys."

She gives him a quick, impulsive hug, nudging her nose against his neck. "I won't let you hurt anyone. I promise."

His arms are firm and strong around her, and he holds her just for a second before he lets go. "You better not," he says, but his tone says I believe you.

When he turns, she assumes he's leaving, but apparently he just can't look at her while he says, "Look, I--Octavia saw me once, when she was a kid. Just through the basement window. She was curious. And--I don't really know what I look like, but she cried every time she saw me after that for a week, so--"

"I don't cry when I have to look at Murphy's ugly face," she says, and Bellamy snorts, just softly. "You can't be any worse." It doesn't feel like enough, so she just says, "We love you, Bellamy. Get out there before you turn."

"Okay," he says. And then, "Thanks. For all of this."

"Yeah. Any time."

Despite everything, she still curls into Raven's side as soon as she gets back to the dorms. They can't leave until after curfew, and Bellamy will be there, alone, waiting for the moon to go down. He doesn't want them to see the transformation, and Clarke gets it, or thinks she does, but--she hates the thought of him alone and rabid in that tiny room, destroying everything he can, and destroying himself when he doesn't have anything else to do. It shouldn't be worse, now that they can help him. But it really is.

Raven pets her hair. "You're a mess, Griffin, you know that?"

"I know."

"We're gonna be fine."

She pauses. "I never thanked you."

"For what?"

"I said we should do something crazy and illegal and you barely even blinked."

Raven snorts. "Yeah, that was about Bellamy, not you, sorry. You had a good idea, we went along with it. You were barely even his friend this time last year, don't act like you've always been his favorite."

Clarke stiffens. "I didn't mean--I know you--I'm not--" She tries to string together a full sentence, because that feels important, and Raven kisses her hair.

"I know what you meant. I'm used to filtering everything through your epic love."

"Epic love?" Clarke demands.

"Sorry, that was Roan's phrase. I went with pathetic failure to hook up. You can pick which you like better."

"Is there a third option?" she asks, and then, "Wait, Roan Hidaka? Why are you talking to him about me and Bellamy? Or--anything?"

Raven shrugs with a deliberate casualness Clarke does not buy for a second. "Turns out he thinks you guys are ridiculous too."

"Yeah, but--Roan." It's not like Clarke actually hates Roan; she fights with him like she used to fight with Bellamy, albeit with less intense dislike as well as less intense secret fondness. But it's weird to think of him as someone who even knows Raven, let alone someone who knows Raven well enough to have special terms to discuss Clarke and Bellamy with her.

"Any port in a storm," Raven says, with a casualness so deliberate it's suspicious. "Miller never wants to gossip with me."

"I'd gossip with you." It comes out petulant even though Clarke knows it would be weird for Raven to gossip about her with her. Even weirder than it is, generally, that Raven wants to gossip about her and Bellamy, because they're cool now. No more contentious non-friendship. Just regular friendship. "We can gossip about how you're friends with Roan," she adds.

"We can gossip about how you're totally oblivious," Raven says, with no sign of contrition or embarrassment. "But let's go get Bellamy first, yeah? It's time."

"It is?"

She absolutely deserves Raven's smug smirk. "I distracted you."

"You distracted me," Clarke admits. "Just--be careful, okay? I promised him none of us would get hurt."

"I know. Like I said, you're not the only one who cares about him."

There's no edge to it, but Clarke has to wince. "It's not that," she says, soft, following Raven out. "It's--it was my idea. I came up with this. So if it goes wrong, it's--"

"It's not gonna go wrong," Raven promises. "We'll all make sure."

"Cool," says Clarke. "I don't--you know I don't think I care about him more than you and Miller do, right?"

"Yeah, I know. So stop being a fucking martyr and come on."

Raven's grin is real and fond, so Clarke returns it, and together they go out into the night.

*

Bellamy wakes up with a lion half on top of him, which is new. He's also naked, which isn't new, but is a lot more embarrassing, given the lion situation. When he checks the floor, he sees that Miller's curled up in a ball, tail twitching, and Raven's perched on the bedpost.

They all look fine; no wounds, no marks at all.

He struggles out from under Clarke, tries not to think about the fact that he slept with Clarke Griffin, except she's a fucking lion and he was an actual monster for most of the night, so it was the least sexy sleepover ever.

Raven blinks at him before he's gotten his underwear out of the box he keeps his clothes in, but she doesn't turn back from being a bird until he's clothed again.

"Hey," she says. She's dressed, of course, because it's in all ways better to decide to change into an animal than it is to be forced to change into an animal."

"Hi." He wets his lips. "We cool?"

"We're cool. You started off pretty aggressive, but Miller got close and let you smell him, and then Clarke let you smell her, and apparently you still like us when you're a wolf."

He frowns, trying to put it together. "Did we leave the shack?"

"Yeah, you needed exercise."

"If I'd gotten near anyone--"

"You didn't. We didn't let you out of the woods, okay? And don't pretend like you don't feel better than you usually do."

"I do, yeah." He pulls his watch out of the box and checks it. "You guys need to get to class."

"Fuck, I forgot. Wake up Clarke, I'll get Miller. Is Nyko going to think it's weird you're not bleeding more?"

"I'll tell him it was a good night." He shakes Clarke's shoulder, which is only slightly weird, with the lion thing. He's getting used to that. "Hey, wake up, you don't have an excuse to miss Potions."

She blinks a couple times, and then she's Clarke again, in her pajamas, her hair rumpled. His mouth might go a little dry. It's not even a nice bed, and all he wants to do is wrap around her and never leave. "Morning. You feel okay?"

"I feel good. Go to class. You can check on me later."

Her grin is bright and he really needs her vertical and fully dressed now. Even with Raven and Miller here, it's way too much. "You're such an asshole in the morning," she says, but does thankfully roll off the bed. And then stretch, right in front of him, and god, he can smell her, but--this is an improvement. Definitely.

"You're such an asshole all the time," he tells her, and she grins at him as she leaves.

Once they're gone, he lets himself look around the shack. The smell of his friends isn't quite enough to cover the lingering smell of the shack, of blood and pain, but he makes himself stay, just to assess the damage. It's really not bad. He has some new cuts on his left arm, which he vaguely remembers giving himself before they showed up, but they aren't even that deep. They won't scar. His memories as the wolf are always hazy, but he knows that he recognized them as friends, as pack.

Family.

Nyko raises his eyebrows when Bellamy gets to the infirmary, looking basically healthy and whole, as far as he can tell.

"Trying out some new, uh--meditation techniques," he says. As lies go, it's shitty, but it's not like he has a better explanation he can give. "Something I read about. Muggle stuff."

Nyko nods. "I'm glad. How are the other symptoms?"

"Same as always." He's tired and achy and his body feels like it was turned inside out, but that's nothing when he's not bleeding from multiple open wounds.

"I'll bandage your arm, but you can just go rest in your dorm, unless you think you might need something."

"No, that would be great. Thanks."

He doesn't realize he's tense until the rest of the Slytherins come back at the end of the day, loud and jostling each other, and his friends all settle in around him, the same as they always have, Miller propped up against his legs, Raven's feet in his lap, and Clarke with her back against his shoulder.

"Slacker. You look fine. I bet you could have come to class," Raven says, and he nearly chokes on his relief.

*

"Griffin cornered me to ask about my intentions," Roan remarks. Raven is working on charming one of the older books of Hogwarts maps into a thumb drive, which she's found the castle's wards won't fry, so that she can add it to her digital file; it says something about how much she talks to Roan that his intrusion doesn't even startle her. "She can be very graphic with her threats."

"She's an artist. Really knows how to paint a picture."

"I'm curious what you possibly said to her," he says, picking up the next book in her pile and taking her other thumb drive. He'd been curious about what she was doing too, and she can never have enough help with digitizing, so she'd taught him how to do it. Now that she thinks of it, that's probably the most intimate thing she's done with him. This is hers.

"I told her we gossip about her and Bellamy. So that got her on the defensive."

He snorts. "We're far from the only people who gossip about her and Bellamy."

"I honestly think she didn't notice. Don't ask me how," she adds, before he can say anything else. "I don't know, i don't care."

"Fair enough." He drums his fingers on the table. "Do I ever get to see this project of yours?"

"Which project?"

"How many do you have?" She smirks, and he inclines his head. "Stupid question. The map project. The one I'm helping with."

It's a valid request, and she sizes him up. He's attractive, she knew that. She likes him, which she knew and didn't know all at once.

She wants him, that's easy; she thinks she might trust him, and that's a lot.

"What did you tell Clarke your intentions were?" she asks.

"To spend as much time as possible with you."

It sounds like such a line, she has to snort. "Does that one actually work?"

"I'm a prefect," he says. "I'm the captain of the Quidditch team. I have NEWTs coming up. And yet every time I see you in the library, I help you with a non-academic project which I don't understand. You tell me if that's something I can actually tell all the girls."

She looks down at her thumb drive. "I've got enough done. Finish off yours and I'll show you."

The Room of Requirement isn't news to Roan; he just nods when he sees the door and says, "Using all available resources."

She knocks twice to let anyone inside know she's coming in, but it's empty. Roan looks around with interest, which is probably warranted. It's a clubhouse as much as a workspace at this point; there's a chart on the wall tracking which of the four of them has won the most games of Mario Kart, and Bellamy has a long-term potion project brewing in the corner.

Looking at it through someone else's eyes, it almost chokes her up a little. It's unbelievable to remember she ever thought she might lose these people.

"I require electricity and technology, so the room gives it to me. That's how the TV and the laptop work."

"Hm," Roan says, looking around with interest. "I wonder if it would work if you needed, for example, a place to apparate out of. I don't know how the layering of the enchantments on the castle work. If nothing else, the transportation wards are older."

"Yeah, but that could make them more or less powerful," Raven points out, plugging the thumb drive into her computer. "Always hard to tell with old spells like that."

"True. It might be worth experimenting with. How much can the room really do?"

"Scientist, huh?" she asks.

"Pragmatist."

"Same thing."

He leans over her shoulder, close and warm. "Tell me what you're doing."

Raven's never had trouble talking about her work. It's the thing she knows best, the physical manifestation of her soul. Which maybe should make it harder, but--her soul is awesome.

"So the basic idea is that technology isn't bad, and wizards are stupid."

He laughs. "I like the premise. Go on."

She talks him through the whole thing, and she keeps expecting--something. He's so close, and he's flirting, and it feels like this should be a pretext, that he should just using this as an excuse to get close to her, and he'll try to make a move or something.

But he asks smart questions and gives suggestions, contributes and seems genuinely interested in the whole project. She has no idea how long they've been talking when she finishes, but his, "Thank you for telling me. It's amazing," seems genuine.

"Still the same intentions?" she asks.

"The same ones," he agrees, and cups her jaw, leans in while giving her plenty of time to pull back.

She doesn't.

"I tend to ask for a bed in this room," he murmurs against her mouth.

"Guess we have different needs."

"Oh, no. I prefer yours. I'm sure we'll make do."

She has to laugh, feels a thrill all up and down her body when she kisses him again. It's not like kissing Finn was; she wishes she hadn't waited so long to try out kissing other people.

"Yeah," she says. "We'll come up with something."

*

It takes six months of full moons before Clarke wakes up before Bellamy does the morning after. The whole thing is becoming routine now, not even something to be nervous about. There's something exhilarating about it, dashing through the night with her favorite people, free under the stars. She doesn't worry Bellamy will hurt them, but she never really did. He doesn't seem to worry about it either, and that's miraculous.

She and Miller switch off staying with Bellamy until morning, since it feels overly suspicious to have all of them out of bed all night. Personally, Clarke thinks she should stay all the time, since half the school already thinks she's fucking him, but she doesn't know how to make the suggestion without making that argument, and she doesn't know how to make that argument.

She shifts back to human as soon as she realizes he's himself, and it's only then that she notices he's naked and she's pressed against him. Her transformation didn't wake him up, so she lets herself look a little guiltily, eyes tracing over his mess of curls and down his face, following the freckles and scars. His chest has gotten broader since the last time she saw him shirtless, and he's put on a little weight, filling out from the scrawny kid she remembers their first few years of school.

She knows she shouldn't keep going. She can see him out of the corner of her eye, at the periphery of her vision, but she should not actually check out his dick. There are lines. And no matter how many people think they're dating, they're not.

It's Sunday, so there's no rush to go to class. Nyko won't be in until noon. She doesn't have to wake him up.

But if she doesn't, she is going to check out his dick, and she will be an asshole.

She shakes his shoulder. "Bellamy. Get up."

He blinks a few times, his eyes hazy and unfocused, and the smile that blooms on his face when he sees her makes her heart stop.

"Hey, good morning," he says, and slides his hand into her hair to kiss her.

His mouth tastes wild, raw and almost bloody, but this is Bellamy, and something about it is perfect. His hand in her hair is as familiar as breathing at this point, and she wants to grow just as used to his mouth, his chest, every inch of him on every inch of her.

She tugs him on top of her, rolling onto her back, and the awful bed in the shack makes a horrific creaking noise that startles him off her again.

She anchors her own hand in his hair to keep him close. "Morning."

He looks panicked. "Fuck."

"Is that the next step?"

She can see his throat bob when he swallows, and she wants her mouth everywhere on him. She should have listened to Raven sooner.

"Clarke--"

"If you didn't mean it, that's cool. We can forget this happened. But I was kissing back for a reason."

"Oh." He wets his lips. "If I tell you I'm a werewolf--"

"That's not news. Just don't bite me hard enough to bleed and we'll be fine."

He grinds his hips against her at that, involuntary, and she pushes back into him. "I'm really fucking--" He drops his head into the curve of her neck, breathes her in for a second. She's not worried. He'll get there. "I love you. So--"

"So get back here," she says, and tugs him to her mouth again, and he doesn't stop this time.

*

Nate stumbles into the Room of Requirement with his robes half off and the fly on Monty's slacks already undone. He's kissing down Monty's neck, making Monty shiver with the scratch of his stubble when Bellamy says, "Dude!"

Nate his head up, sees Bellamy on the couch with Clarke in his lap. Shirtless.

"Dude!" he counters. "Fucking--how long?"

Clarke is scrambling for her tank top. "Not that long. We knew you guys were going to be dicks about it!" she adds, at Nate's look.

"Wait, you guys weren't dating?" Monty asks. Which is a valid question. Nate would have honestly believed them if they'd said they'd been secretly married for two years.

"Shut up," Bellamy huffs. "These things take time, okay?"

"Were you guys gonna hook up on the couch?" Nate asks.

"Were you guys not gonna hook up on the couch?" Clarke shoots back.

"We might not have made it to the couch," Monty says, all innocence, and Clarke snorts and offers him a high five while Nate tries not to choke.

Clarke repositions in Bellamy's arms so she's facing the TV instead of him, still cuddled in close. Bellamy presses a kiss to her shoulder, and Nate doesn't smile.. He's just--he is happy for them. They're fucking absurd and ridiculous, but they're good together.

"Since no one's actually hooking up in here, you guys want to play Mario Party?" she offers, and Nate and Monty exchange a look and shrug.

When Raven and Roan stumble in, with Roan's lips attached to Raven's neck with enough suction Nate assumes they'll require mechanical assistance to dislodge him, Clarke just tosses a controller their general direction.

Honestly, the most impressive thing is that Raven catches it. With Roan still attached. Raven could honestly destroy them all without even trying that hard, if she wanted to. But she doesn't.

"Sorry," says Clarke, without contrition. "Occupied."

"Oh well," says Raven, pushing Roan onto the couch and wedging herself in between him and Monty. "I've got next round."

Nate sighs and drops his head onto Bellamy's shoulder. "I was gonna get laid, man."

Bellamy scratches him in his favorite spot behind the ears, which is a fucked up preference to have, but this is his life. "Yeah, I know. We were all gonna get laid. But it could be worse."

"Sap," says Nate, and closes his eyes. "Yeah, it could be worse."

*

Raven Reyes comes back to Hogwarts the first day of her last year with a new badge--Head Girl--a new computer that she knows, beyond a doubt, will not get fried by the technology wards, one she can show the headmistress and say, "Look what I can do for you, if you let me." One that, she's hoping, will get her a job working for Hogwarts, because that's the way to do it, the whole getting wizards to like technology thing. A lot of the current generation is too old for it, but corrupting the youth: that's the key.

Besides, Roan's taking over as the flying instructor, so, as fun as hot for teacher is going to be, mutual hot teachers is probably even better. They're going to make so many impressionable kids sexually frustrated.

Clarke flops down next to Raven, rests her shoulder on Raven's head. Bellamy follows a minute later, slots into the seat across from Clarke. Clarke puts her feet up in his lap, automatic, and Miller takes the seat next to Bellamy.

"Where's Monty?" Raven asks.

Miller shrugs. "With Jasper and Wells. This is our last year, right?" He glances at Clarke and Bellamy. "This is us."

It would be sappy or too much, coming from any of them but Miller. But Miller always knows how to say things right.

"Yeah," she agrees. "This is us."