Early the next morning I got a letter back from Remus. The owl tapped continuously on the window until I finally got up from my warm, comfortable bed to open the window, sending a chill throughout the room. I rid my eyes of sleep before opening the letter greedily. I threw the envelope to the floor and read the letter in a low voice to myself.
Summer's good I guess. My mum keeps yelling at me for not putting away my spell books, but it's good all the same. I've heard, or read, of a couple people having odd powers, but none that would be for Divination. Just things like people being able to do wandless magic, but they're pretty much all myths. Did you read yesterday's Daily Prophet? The one with the killings of the two muggles. That just chills my bones to know that there are people out there who are so cold. But I better leave now, I'll talk to you later!
I shook my head after re-reading it. I couldn't do wandless magic, it was something different. Something that I, possibly, wasn't supposed to have.
I set the letter onto my desk and began digging through the trash bin. Clear at the bottom was a newspaper, yesterday's Daily Prophet. My heart sank when I saw the headline on the front page.
Two More Muggle Killings!
If I hadn't been so anxious yesterday I would've actually looked through the paper instead of tossing it into the trash bin. Underneath the title was the muggles names, pictures, and a small amount of information about the muggles, and the deaths. It said they were newly weds, only the age of twenty, and that the muggle police were baffled by their sudden cause of death. But, what baffled the muggle police even more, was the fact that, right about the couple's house, was something in the sky. It was something all too familar to me, it was an exact replica of the tattoo on my arm.
I wanted to wretch right then and there. I threw the paper back into the trash bin, the picture of the skull and snake moving about on the page, just as my tattoo was this very second. I wiped my eyes quickly, then picked back up Remus' letter again. There was something else in there that caught my attention.
I sighed and quickly got dressed. I had decided, rather mindlessly, that I would confront James today. Call me a lunatic if you will, but I have been desperatley waiting for him to at least owl me about it. But, sadly, he sent me nothing.
Sirius had also decided to send me nothing either, but then again, I never really expected him to. Once a week I sent him letters, pointless letters to tell the truth. The last one consisted of me telling him about my sister's departure. I was hopeing beyond hope that he would answer one of them. I'm still waiting.
I took in a deep breath before apparting to James' house. In an instant, a very uncomfortable instant, I was standing right out side of his house. It looked so warm, so bright, so normal. Unlike my house which looked cold, dark, and mysterious. My house had an unknown essense to it that just made it seem evil. The funny thing was, it was evil.
I reached for the doorbell slowly. I quickly rang it before I could change my mind. I winced as I heard the faint sound of a dinging bell. My mind, and heart, raced as the sound of faint footsteps approached the door from the inside. My heart nearly stopped when the doorknob turned. It felt like it was going in slow motion, like in the movies.
All too soon for my likeing, the door opened with a small sqeak.
"Why, Aleesha!" my aunt suddenly exclaimed, a wide smile spreading across her face. "What on earth are you doing here?"
"Er, sorry to drop by so suddenly, but-" I began, but was cut off.
"Nonsense, Alessha dear, you're welcome here all the time," she exclaimed.
At least he didn't tell his parents, I thought with relief.
"Is your mother here with you?" she asked, looking over my head as if she would suddenly appear.
"Um, no. I came by myself," I admitted slowly.
"Well, come in then! There's no need for you to stand outside." Aunt Judy stepped aside, her heels making a clanking noise against the wooden floor, and I stepped in.
It was the same as it had always been. Recent pictures of the Potter family was perched above the fireplace and among the walls, and there was one picture of the Stelerts family, from the previous summer, when my aunt practically forced us to get our picture taken. It was, in my mind, a distasteful picture.
"Would you like something to drink, dear?" Aunt Judy asked, heading towards the kitchen.
"No, no," I said as politely as I could. "Is James here?"
"He's in his room," she answered. "I'm sure you know where it is?"
"Yeah, thank you," I said, flashing her a forced smile. Before she could say anything more, I quickly slipped up the stairs, trying not to make a lot of noise.
It felt very weird, really, being in such a warm looking house, being around such warming people. It made me wish that my life could just go back to normal. It made me wish that Voldemort was dead.
James' door came into view too early for my taste. I stood, staring at it, for what felt like an eternity before I finally got my nerves in enough control to actually do what I came here for. I took a deep breath and did the unthinkable, I knocked on the door.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when the soft sound of footsteps approached the door. It was, by a million times, more nerve racking than ringing the doorbell to just enter the house. This time, much to my dismay, the door didn't seem to be in slow motion, in fact, it was more like it sped up. And, within mili-seconds, there stood a dumfounded Sirius.
Sirius? Why would Siriu-- Oh shit.
"Uh, um. I-is James h-here?" I asked, purposefully avoiding eyecontact.
"It's for you," Sirius said in a bored tone, turning around slowly and entering the room again. I heard James get off his bed, it made a squeak, and his foot steps approach. As soon as James saw me, his eyes narrowed into small slits.
"Stelerts," he said in greeting.
"Listen, James," I said, knowing that if I didn't start right away I would never spill out what I really wanted to say. "Can I talk to you?"
"I'm listening," James said cooly, picking at his finger nails as if he wasn't paying attention.
"In private," I add icily, glancing back at Sirius, who was looking down but completely still, I knew he was listening.
"I don't know if that's, safe," James hissed, glancing up at me. Tears immediatley stung my eyes as he said this. Maybe it wasn't safe. I could feel a few tears escape my eyes. Usually I would have quickly wiped them away, but maybe they could come to my advantage.
"James, I think we really need to talk," I said slowly, my voice breaking. I looked up, teary eyed, into James face. I could see the guilt in his eyes and was instantly relieved when he nodded his head.
"I'll be back in a minute, Sirius," James called over his shoulder. Sirius grunted to show that he heard him, but he still didn't move. James shut the door behind him and lead the way down the stairs. "We'll be back in a minute!" James called over his shoulder to his mother.
"All right, dear," Aunt Judy said. James opened the door and walked out, I followed closing the door behind me.
James led me down a street in complete silence before I broke it.
"James, listen," I said. "It's really not what you think."
"Oh, I've heard that line before," James said in a noticable forced calm voice. "In fact, I'm sure I used it quite a few times come to think of it."
"James," I said. "Just listen before you come to conclusions-"
"No, you listen." James suddenly stopped and turned to face me. "I would have never thought you could be such a-, a- killing machine."
"Killing machine?" I exclaimed. "James I-"
"I would have never thought you would betray Dumbledore," James interuppted. "Hell, you betrayed me-"
"James I'm n-"
"You betrayed your friends, you betrayed Sirius who's still deeply in love with you. You-"
"James, shut up!" I finally exclaimed. "I- ...Wait a minute, did you just say that Sirius loves me?"
"Yes," James said in a "duh" voice. "It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. He's kept all the letters you sent him, he hid them in his trunk." A small smile formed on my lips before I snapped myself back into reality. James thought that I was-- and I quote -- a killing machine.
"James, you have to get one thing straight," I said. James looked annoyed, but allowed me to continue. "I'm not a 'killing machine'."
"Aleesha, I've seen the newspapers, I've seen your arm-"
"Just because it's in the newspapers doesn't mean it was me who did it," I said slowly. "I haven't killed anyone. I never have, nor will I ever."
"Oh come on, Aleesha," James sighed. "Be real. You're a "Death Eater", you're on the bad side--"
"Not by choice!" I exclaimed, interrupting him again. "Do you think I would actually be on the "bad side" if I wasn't being forced to?"
"Not by choice?" James snorted in disbelief. I nodded my head, hopeing my eyes looked pleading.
"James, believe me," I said, looking straight into his eyes.
"I don't get it," James said. "How can you be forced to do something?"
"It's not that hard," I admitted. "I'm just easily convinced I guess."
"Tell me one thing then," James said after a minute. "Why don't you quit?"
"It's not that easy James," I sighed. "It's kind of like trying to quit life, the only way to do it is to kill yourself."