Chapter 1 : managing the hawks in our lives
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A/N: This story is a continuation (of sorts) of "The White Hawk". For those of you who haven't read that story, please read it before reading this or you'll be confused. For those of you who have read the story, welcome back to Nayda's world. Here I'm endeavoring to answer several of the questions reviewers had, and I hope I succeed.
(This first scene takes place right before the fourth chapter of "White Hawk" and is in Remus Lupin's POV. Sorry if there's confusion.)
For now, just Read, Review, and above all, Enjoy! ~Manya
"Aw, come on, please?"
"No." Pause. "And if the next words you say are, ‘pretty, pretty please’, I’ll hex you into next week."
"Now what makes you think I’d do that?"
"Take a wild guess."
Remus shook his head at the exchange, and rather than get involved—as he was sorely tempted to—he stuck his nose back to the homework grindstone. Two more inches of parchment and he would be done with his last essay— Properties of Feverfew in Elixirs for Potions class. Or would be, if the nightly argument between James and Lily died on-schedule.
Sure enough, James came over precisely five minutes later and plopped down in the chair opposite Sirius, who was next to Remus, and proceeded to bang his forehead on the table. Sirius was frantically scribbling predictions of dire straights on his parchment for Divination class and did not glance up to see James’ expression, though he did say something.
"Your persistence in pursuing Evans, while commendable, will not succeed."
James repeated the head-banging gesture several times, during which Remus refrained from trying to pen anything, instead simply waited patiently for his friend to cease the self-abuse.
"You’re not helping," Remus remarked to Sirius, shaking his head at him. "The goal is to assist James in forgetting the girl, not bring to mind all his failed attempts at bravado."
James lifted his head. "I don’t want to forget her," he sighed. "I want her to notice me."
Remus raised an eyebrow. "I don’t think noticing is the problem, Prongs." Lily noticed him alright—enough to shoot a death glare his way with every failed flattery attempt, but not in a way that suggested she’d ever reciprocate the feelings James professed to have for her. "Have you finished your Potions essay yet?" he asked, hoping to distract his friend from the current subject matter.
James made a face, wrinkling his nose disgustedly, as if he’d just been caught downwind of a herd of mome-raths with gastrointestinal problems. "No. I’m waiting until you finish yours, then I’ll pinch it when you’re sleeping and copy it down with slightly different phrasing so old Sluggy will think it’s mine."
The frown that crossed Remus’ face at this declaration was enough to set James laughing for a solid minute. "I was just kidding, mate, really. I’ll do it tonight."
"You can’t," interrupted Sirius. "Tonight we deal with Remus’ furry little problem."
"Again? Didn’t he deal with it three weeks ago?"
Remus rolled his eyes at his friends’ bantering. These were old jokes, and he was used to ignoring them, yet this time he had to intervene.
"For your information, Padfoot, it’s not for another three days," he said pointedly, not at all surprised at the mistake; Sirius was notoriously bad at remembering dates, calendar or otherwise. "And I think it might be a good idea to be in the forest, not the shack this time." He said this last bit in a low tone, so that no one could overhear and suspect something.
Sirius shot him a look. "Why? You have something against a run down, dusty, haunted building out in the middle of nowhere?"
"I don’t think that’s it," said James, a hard, questioning gaze on his face. "I think it has something to do with what happened last time."
"What happened last time?" Sirius was confused.
"The hawk," James reminded him. Sirius frowned for a second, then as comprehension dawned, his eyes widened.
"You don’t want to run into the hawk this time? Why not? Have something against another furry problem?"
Remus narrowed his eyes at Sirius. "No, I don’t," he replied evenly, striving hard to keep his voice from rising above a harsh whisper, "I just want to give it some space, is all. It didn’t seem too happy with me the last time we came in contact."
James examined his friend’s expression for a moment, then smiled the smile of one who knows something the other doesn’t suspect. "You feel empathy for her, don’t you?"
Remus didn’t bother to deny the accusation. He didn’t give James the satisfaction of a response either. It should be self-evident why he felt such—a monthly curse, especially un-willingly from one species to another, was something that he would not wish even on his most bitter enemy. There were some things that should be kept to the realm of nightmares, not reality. He turned his attention to proof reading his essay. Perhaps if he ignored them, they would let him be…
"So have you spoken to her?"
No such luck.
Remus glanced up. It was James who’d asked the question. Remus shook his head. "No. She’s a Ravenclaw and only in one of my classes. I haven’t gotten a chance. Besides, I think she’s avoiding me."
"Why would she do that? You tick her off or something?" Now Sirius was interested; he’d torn himself away from his futile attempts at completing his Divination homework and was currently looking at Remus with the same expectant gaze James had.
Both of them awaited an answer, and knowing how persistent the two of them could get, Remus gave up and replied.
"I don’t know," he replied truthfully. "Maybe. She stormed away the last time I tried to speak with her, that's all."
The incident was fresh in his mind, and though he was choosing to selectively remember only pieces of it, the whole thing came to the forefront of his memory as soon as Sirius mentioned it....
"What do you want, Remus?" Nayda cradled her books in her arms and shot him a hard look with her piercing violet eyes. "I have to get to class."
"I know, I have the same class as you, remember?" Remus felt the need to point out. He stared at his shoes for a moment, traced the dirt on the floor with his toe and tried to recall coherently why he wanted to speak with her in the first place. "We have to talk about this."
"No, we don't," Nayda hissed under her breath, her words as cold as ice. "You know enough about me. Now go blab it to the world and leave me alone."
Remus flinched. She wasn't speaking metaphorically, here. He cut to the chase. "I don't want to blab it to the world, I want to help. I know what you're going through."
Nayda rolled her eyes. "You know what I'm going through?" she repeated, calmly, too calmly really. "You don't know anything. Just because your curse coincides with mine doesn't mean you know a damn thing about what I go through. Just leave it, Remus, and get back to your little clique. I'm sure they're pining after you by now." She waved her hand to her right and Remus followed the gesture and saw James and Sirius standing there, waiting for him.
He opened his mouth to say something, to contradict her, but never got the chance, as she stalked away in the next moment.
"I'm sure she'll be fine," Remus said, coming out of his reverie, "I'll just leave her alone for a few days."
James met his friend's gaze squarely, examining it for believability perhaps, and after a moment nodded. "Alright. If you say so, mate. Now, what's up for the weekly Slytherin Sliming? I think there should be some kind of pudding involved, what do you think, Padfoot?"
"Absolutely," agreed Sirius, "though if you really want to make a splash, we should use a mixture of pudding and jello..."
Remus tuned out his friends and focused back on his homework. Some things were better left to another day.
(...to be continued)
A/N: So, what do you think so far? Its a little shaky here at first, but as I said at the beginning, this is a continuation. Please, use the review box and let me know what you think. I love to hear reader's opinions--as long as they remain constructive. Thanks! -Manya