“ ‘Fraid not.” James replied haggardly, running a hand unconsciously through his hair, making it stand up more on end than it usually did.
She looked into his tear-stained eyes. For some reason, it all seemed quite surreal, as if something was off center. “Are you OK?” she asked, tentatively.
James let out a bark of laughter.
So unlike Sirius’s. Ayra threw the thought away immediately.
“If I was OK, would I be talking to you about this?” he asked, looking her into the eyes.
“ No, I suppose not.” Ayra admitted, somewhat reluctantly.
“So, what are you going to do about it?” he asked her, hopefully.
Ayra turned an eye on him, just as it struck 12 o’clock. Time for lunch. “Why are you asking me? No offense to you, I care about you, but why should I care about this situation?” she asked, slightly confused.
“Lily…” James whimpered, his voice trailing off uncertainly, as if there was something else he wanted to add, but was slightly afraid too.
After all, he was talking to an insane girl who took his favorite shoes, turned them pink, and then goes and cuddles with killing trees. Fantastic.
“And?” Ayra said, not being thrown off at all by his tactics.
“Sorry, didn’t catch that?” Ayra said, her brow slightly furrowed.
“And I thought that you cared about Sirius.” James said, slightly slower.
Ayra took a deep breath. Then she laughed. “You thought that I, Ayra Woods, care about Sirius Black? HA! You must be joking.” she said in disbelief.
“I already told you that I wasn’t joking.”
“And you’re sure that this isn’t a plot to make you jealous? Lily could be using Sirius, you know.” she said, quite matter-of-factly.
James looked at her, his eyes brimming with tears, his hand crumpled in a fist in the pocket of his jeans. “Is this the face of someone who’s worried about the love of his life trying to make him jealous? Padfoot was my best mate, and he stabbed me in the back! I came to you because I thought you could help me get retaliation.”
Ayra stepped away from James, her eyes widening. “You, James Potter, would try and get revenge on your best mate?” she said, skepticism soaking her voice. “That’s unbelievable.”
James looked away. “Fine, I thought you could help. But I guess you’re as useless as Padfoot said you were.”
He picked up his broom from the corner of the room, dragged himself onto it, and hovered in the air, uncertainly.
Ayra’s eyes widened in shock. For James Potter to be crying was one thing, for his Quidditch skills to be affected by something like this, that was worse.
“Wait!” she called, not even having time to stop the word from escaping from her lips. He stopped, facing the door, his hand on the handle…almost, excpectingly.
“I…I’ll think of something, James.” she said, tripping over her own words.
He looked at her over his shoulder, his eyes flickering with the slightest bit of hope. “Thanks Ayra, I knew I could count on you!” he grinned sadly at her and flew out the window. Ayra sighed.
Crap. Now I have to think of how to retaliate. Brilliant.
She closed the window and lugged herself to bed.
Just as she was drifting into the world of cotton candy and monkeys, the door to the girls dormitory flew open with a bang. Ayra whimpered slightly to herself. Who could it be now?
“Ayra? Ayra, you in here?”
Ayra sat up in bed and pushed her bed curtains aside, so she could look at the girl who was causing James so much pain.
“Yeah, I’m here. What’s up?” she asked, nonchalantly. I can’t let my emotions get control of me this time. Ayra thought to herself. I’m the best prankster in the whole school for goodness sake!
Lily looked taken aback for a moment, and then her smile flooded back to her face. “It was simply marvelous!” she said, her eyes becoming suddenly dazed. “We looked into each other’s eyes, and then, fireworks.” Lily danced around the room. “It was like Christmas morning!”
She took off her school robes and sat on her bed, positively glowing.
“James must be really happy.” Ayra said with a smile. A fake one of course, but for appearances sake, it looked quite genuine.
Lily stayed quiet for a moment. “Ayra…”
“I’m not talking about James.”
Ayra looked at her, aghast. “What do you mean, ‘you’re not talking about James’? I thought that you were almost about to actually accept him!”
“Yes, I mean, I always thought that James was good-looking, ” Lily said without remorse, and then her eyes shone with mischievousness , “But that was before I really got to know Sirius.”
“Sirius Black?” Ayra asked, incredulously. “The Sirius Black?”
Lily sighed wistfully. “Yes Ayra, The most wonderful, glorious, Sirius Black.”
Ayra tried to suppress her anger. “But what about James?” she asked, her anger peeking out when she mentioned his name.
“Why Ayra,” Lily said, standing up from her bed and picking up her belongings to go to lunch, “You’re not mad, are you? I mean, all you ever talked about was how much you hated Sirius. I didn’t think that you’d mind.”
“Oh, I don’t mind, but I sure as hell hope you know what you’re doing.” Ayra said angrily. “I don’t care if you go with Black, but turning James’s best mate against him makes me furious.”
“Oh, Ayra…” Lily said with wide eyes. “Don’t tell me that you’re jealous. You never liked him!”
Ayra’s eyes narrowed. “It’s not about him, Lily. It’s about James. You’re being a right worthless cow, you know that?”
Lily looked taken aback, “Jealousy does not become you.”
“And whoredom doesn’t become you either, but I’m not saying anything.” Ayra said, irritated. “I can’t believe you would do this.”
“If I had known that you liked Sirius, it might be different.”
“I do not like Sirius Black.” Ayra gritted from between her teeth.
“Are you trying to tell me that, or are you trying to convince yourself?” Lily asked coyly.
Ayra glared at her. “Just you wait Lily, just you wait.” she picked up her bag and walked out the door, slamming it shut behind her.
For a moment, all was still. Lily walked over to the door and opened it quietly. She heard the portrait hole slam with Ayra’s exit. Definitely jealous.
She walked back into the girl’s dormitory and smiled. “You can come out now, Black.”
Sirius came out from Marietta’s closet. He walked over to the windows and opened them. “Prongs?”
James hovered upwards slightly, so that he was now level with the window. He came into the room, and put his broom back to where it was only about six minutes before. “Was I not an amazing actor, or what?” he asked, puffing out his chest proudly, putting his hands on his hips in a very dramatic way.
Sirius laughed, and Lily snorted slightly. “Whatever Potter.” she looked over at Sirius. “You’re plan might just work.”
James looked over at her, skeptically. “That was what he said the last time he had a plan.”
Sirius shot a look at his friend- ordering him to silence. Or he would go to hell. The end!
But apparently, James didn‘t get the message and continued explaining. “You know, the one where you said that if I stole Lily-flower’s underwear--”
Lily raised her eyebrows at Sirius. “What’s this now?”
“Nothing.” Sirius said, his face the utter picture of innocence. “So you were saying that you think it might work?”
Lily nodded. “She was definitely green with jealousy. You heard it yourself!”
“Yeah, I did.” He replied. “You weren’t bad yourself.” he said approvingly to Lily.
“I’ve taken acting classes before. At least I didn’t have to use an Illusion of Sadness charm.” she said pointedly to James’s direction.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” James said indignantly, then his expression changed as a thought crossed his mind. “Wait! Didn’t you say that I was good-looking?” He said, almost incredulous. Then complete and utter joy, the joy of a child who just squashed a bug on the highway then ate it, covered his face. “You did.” he said, drawling just slightly, and leaning against the window pane.
Lily blushed slightly. “You must have heard wrong.”
“No, I’m pretty sure that you said that--”
“You were behind a window and then under it!” she said quickly. “You must have misheard.”
“Oh, are you telling me that, or are you trying to convince yourself?” James said, coyly.
Lily looked slightly flustered at his exact phrasing of what she said to Ayra. Yes. He obviously did not mishear. He knew what he heard. Crap. Think of something quick!
“That’s a great quote. Where’d you hear that?” she said, indifferently.
James looked flustered for just a moment. “That’s what you said to Ayra, in your conversation--”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Lily replied, her coolness melting only a little. She walked over to her bed and sat on it. “So what is the next phase of your plan, Black?”
“But I specifically heard you say that--” James said, interrupting her, but then his expression changed from certainty to something else.
An expression that Lily found she didn’t like at all.
It was smirk.
Merlin help her, James Potter was smirking. Smirking smugly, in fact.
This can not be good. Potter, smirking, means trouble. For me. Oh crap.
“Wasn’t there something about ‘you were almost about to actually accept him’? 'Him' being me of course?” he said, slowly, raising an eyebrow in her direction.
“I…I…” Lily stumbled, looking for an answer. She looked over to Sirius, who just grinned ferociously. Her gaze narrowed. She looked back at James and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Like I said earlier, you must have misheard me.”
James shook his head. “Nope. There’s no way that I misheard you.” he said, persistently. He looked over at Sirius. “You were in here Padfoot, you know that I’m telling the truth. Tell her,” he said, inclining his head to Lily’s direction.
“Yes, do tell us Black, what the next phase of your little plan is.” she said, coyly changing the subject.
“Hey- that’s not what I was--”
“Leave it till later Prongs. I’m hungry.” Sirius said, intervening.
“You know Lily-Flower, the last time he made a plan, I almost died, and Remus’s hair turned green.”
Sirius glared at James with a look that clearly said. Not helping!
“And the time before that, when he said that he had this brilliant plan, and we all believed him…It turned out awful! Instead of kidnapping your underwear, we got --”
“Shut up Prongs.” Sirius said desperately, and just in time.
If just in time meant that it was far too late, then yes, he stopped James just in time.
An expression of amusement, and fury crossed Lily’s face.
“What this?” Lily asked suspiciously. “You were going to steal my underwear?”
Color tainted Sirius’s cheeks. “Well, when you put it that way, it sounds quite evil, but it really wasn’t like that. We were only kidnapping them, you see, and that always means that we’re going to return them….”
“For ransom.” Lily finished.
“Well, not exactly, you see--”
“I really don’t have time to talk about how you were going to kidnap my underwear and murder it later--”
“Hey! No one said anything about murdering it--”
“But I’m really hungry, and I’d like to hear the next phase of this plan that we only know the plot about.”
Sirius turned to Lily, “Look Evans, I know that you didn’t like the fact that you had to snog me--”
“It wasn’t all that bad, Sirius, honestly…”
“And I know that it was a little too much to ask for, but do you think, that for public appearances sake, we could be together more often? IT doesn’t’ make me any happier or anything, but could you make it look like we were doing something a little more….explicit…in a week’s time when she comes through the portrait hole? "
“No. Absolutely not.” James answered, in a sure voice.
Lily glared at him. Being the rebellious girl that she was, she looked at Sirius and answered, “Yes. I think I can do that.”
James’s mouth fell open to the floor. “You’ve got to be kidding me? What does Padfoot have that I don’t?”
“An IQ?” Lily said, smugly.
“You know I’m smart. Just because I don’t go to the library all the time, and need I remind you, that neither does Padfoot--”
“But the fact that his hearing skills are impeccable, while yours are slightly…lacking in accuracy…really does set you apart.”
He growled. “I know what I heard.”
“No, you misheard me, and that’s that.” Lily said, agitated.
“Well,” James said coyly, “Whenever you’re up to, what was it again? ‘Accepting me?’ Just let me know, and I’ll make myself available.”
She turned to Sirius. “I’ll see you at lunch,” and without a glance backward at James, she turned heel out of the door, her uniform skirt dancing gaily around her thighs.
“She is a nasty piece of work.” Sirius said, eyes still glued to the door that had slammed shut.
“I know, but honestly, what do you have that I don’t? You even get to kiss her for Merlin’s sake! Explicit things too?” James said, dubiously. “You must have bewitched her or something.”
“Actually, It’s only because of the plan. You’re time will come.” Sirius siad. “Even if it does take her 80 years to get the point.”
“Well spotted Socrates. Any other philosophical sayings you want to throw my direction?”
“In the beginning, there was a plan. And the plan was good.” Sirius said, smiling to himself.
James grinned. “ And in the end, there was a plan, and the plan blew itself up into tiny little pieces because it didn’t work.” he finished, raising his eyebrows and popping out his eyes in a ‘oh-so-inconspicuous’ manner.
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Thanks for the support, mate. I really appreciate it.”
“You know, that’s kind of scary.” James said, speculatively, while examining his friend’s face.
“What is?” Sirius asked, curious.
“When you rolled your eyes, you reminded me of Woods.”
Brilliant. Just what I needed to know.
“What if I told you I actually liked Lily?”
Sirius looked over seriously, at least, as seriously as a guy named Sirius could look serious. “I wasn’t being serious.”
“But you are Sirius--”
Sirius gave him a look.
“Oh. I see.” James said. Sirius rolled his eyes.
“Oh, the cleverness of you!” And then James Potter, the boy that was crying earlier, laughed his poor little heart out.
Because his friend was Sirius.
Lily walked back in, and giving them the clear signal (meaning that Ayra was still not back) quickly tubed out of the room to the library, and James and Black hopped on James’s broom and launched out the window, forgetting to close the panes.
Ayra stepped into the room that was occupied just seconds before.
And she had heard everything.
Her blue eyes narrowed.
Hogwarts was in for it now. Because Ayra Woods, the girl with no feelings, was back.
And the game was just beginning.
After a brief stop to the kitchens, Ayra walked out to the whomping willow, which pulled her up and let her sit in it’s center. She pulled out her wrapped up hamburger from Sirius’ black hoodie pocket and stuffed a bite in her mouth. After summoning a bra, and putting it on, she felt right at home: secure and nourished.
But she was angry, and she didn’t know why. It just boiled through her veins. I don’t even like the guy! she told herself insistently, taking a vicious bite into her un-procrastinating hamburger. She glared at it angrily. “I don’t even understand! Why plan all this stuff, and why did he have to choose one of my best friends, and not some other bimbo from his little adoring fan club?”
The half-eaten hamburger gave no reply. Ayra narrowed her eyes at it and viciously tore at it with her teeth. A tree branch nudged her shoulder to reassure her. Ayra patted at it absently, not even noticing that most the leaves had fallen off the insane branches of the Tree of Death.
It was also known as the Tree of Insanity, but Tree of Death sounded much more intimidating. So, it stuck.
She stared off into space, her violated hamburger almost finished, falling out of her hand, when her eyes focused on something in the distance.
Why, it was none other than James Potter and Sirius Black horsing around in the Quidditch pitch.
Ayra averted her eyes angrily and ate the rest of her hamburger. If they want to fool me, they can’t be obvious. She growled at the piece of hamburger that fell out of her hand and snatched it up angrily. She gulped down the last piece.
“What have I resorted to?” she asked herself. “Talking to hamburgers for Merlin’s sake! I’m going loony.”
“Well obviously.” A voice said from the bottom of the tree.
Ayra stuffed her hamburger wrapper into her pocket and stood up, stretching. “Who’s there?”
Ayra was never taken by surprise. Not ever.
Well, maybe today was a new day.
She looked out from the tree branches to the man she could almost call father. “What is it?” she asked, slightly alarmed.
His face showed no expression as the tree let down a branch and picked him up. He was conveniently dropped right beside Ayra. She sat back down.
“I’m not around very often, but I have noticed that you’ve been acting strange lately.”
Ayra glanced at him, as he set his legs Indian-style, and pulled out his wand, absentmindedly directing cleaning spells at the tree. Her eye brow quirked slightly. If only he knew how much this darling tree hates being cleaned. Her eyebrows disappeared into her hairline when the tree purred.
Well, as similar to a sound as a tree could make that was equivalent to a purr.
“How do you do that?” she asked, quietly, observing his wand movements.
“This tree knows that I’m a friend.” he began, his voice like the last leaf of autumn, still holding strongly to its home. “It knows that I do not fear it, I only respect it. It also knows that I would never do anything to hurt or harm it. As to how you became friends with it, I have absolutely no idea.” he finished, with a slight wonder in his voice.
Ayra laughed. “Well, it’s a long story…”
“And I’m afraid that I don’t have too much time,” he began, his eyes surveying her out from under his half-moon spectacles, “So I suppose, that for a moment, I will pretend not to know anything that went on, and let you fill me in.”
Ayra stayed quiet for a moment. “It’s not really anything to fill in on about.” she said, as she watched a leaf fall silently to the ground. “I just feel slightly alone. Ostracized, if you will. People are planning things behind my back, and I know all about the plans. It drives me mad!” she said, frustration soaking her words. The headmaster looked at her inquisitively. “Like, them. They plan it, and think I’m oblivious to their plans.” she finished, cryptically.
Dumbledore looked at her, slightly smiling. “You’ve told me all I needed to know.” he said, standing up from his cross-legged position.
“It’s not like you didn’t know it anyways.” Ayra said, murmuring under her breath.
The professor ignored her as he stepped over to a branch, and slightly pinched a golden-red leaf between his fingers. “You are finding out who you are in this life. You must figure out, if you are willing to keep holding on to the tree,” he plucked it off, meeting her eyes, “ or if you are going to fly free.” He released it, letting the leaf fall down in a shimming mass of gold and red. Ayra stared at where the leaf had fallen, blending in with all of the other leaves.
“But doesn’t that mean--” she began, but as she spoke she whirled around, realizing that the headmaster had disappeared.
She looked at the spot where he had just stood and sighed.
Brilliant. “The man leaves me with a metaphor and a bald tree.”
The Whomping Willow shook slightly in offense.
“Sorry.” she mumbled. “I was just wondering what the heck life plans to throw at me next.” Ayra turned and look to the sky. “WHAT NEXT LIFE? WHAT DO YOU WANNA THROW?!”
Turned out life had a very odd sense of humor, and threw a rock.
Ayra promptly passed out.
And they say that she was never surprised.
They, as they have proven several times, were obviously wrong.
“Prongs!!! What are we going to do? You said that if we played with the bludgers, it wouldn’t hurt anybody!!” Sirius said, desperately as he flew 20 feet above the writhing tree.
James looked over at his friend. “I wasn’t the one who hit the thing!” he said accusingly.
Sirius looked back down to see that the tree now looked like a spade, making a cocoon, with Ayra in the middle. “We have to go save her!”
“Um… Well, if you want to go face the Tree of Death, be my guest!” James said, his eyes wide open. “Cause there is NO WAY that I’m going down there!” he said pointedly.
Sirius didn’t have the time to roll his eyes.
“What the fuck are you doing??!?!” James called out to his friend that had dived towards the tree.
Then he saw something that amazed him. The tree opened for him. James did a double take. He looked again. Nope. Definitely not imagining things.
Sirius knew what he needed. He knew the tree was going to kill him. But for once, he wasn’t there for the tree. He was there for her. And by Merlin, nothing, not even a phsyco-crazy bitch of a fucking tree was going to stop him.
Ok, so maybe he was being a little melo-dramatic.
Ok, so maybe he was being over-the-top dramatic, but really, this was the Tree of Death that we were talking about.
Sirius didn’t even take time to notice the phenomena that was surrounding him. He looked at the trail of blood that was seeping from her head. He jumped off of his broom, which the tree held tightly onto. The branches began to sag, and the tree started to quiver.
If Sirius hadn’t been so distracted at the moment, he might have noticed that the tree was…crying. But he hadn’t. He reached down and carefully picked up the girl that was giving him so much grief by the waist. He gathered her up and took his broom back from the tree, climbed on carefully and flew out.
Once he was away from the tree, James joined him. “Where are we going now?” he asked.
Sirius flicked his head to get the dark strands to move from his cold grey eyes. “Hospital wing.”
“NO!” James said. “We can’t do that! We won’t be able to play Quidditch! Do you know what that means?” James said incredulously.
Sirius looked at his friend, knowing he was right. He turned left and sailed along the windows of Hogwarts castle.
“So, where are we going now?” James asked, the wind trying its hardest to whip his words away.
“To our rooms.” Sirius said, grimly.
“No!” James protested.
“Because,” he began in the most obvious manner, “The last time that she was in there, she turned everything pink, in case you don’t remember.” James said, his voice trailing away as they reached the window outside of their room. He quickly undid the fastenings as Sirius flew through the window.
James shook his head disapprovingly. Sirius put Ayra on his bed and pulled a cover over her. He stood up after a moment and opened the door to leave.
“Hey! Where are you going?” James called.
“To raid the Hospital wing!” Sirius called out.
James’ mouth opened in shock. No one ever raided the Hospital wing. Not with the nurse in there 24/7.
The door slammed shut, and James was left alone with a physco-tree hugger.
Fantastic. But hey! At least she’s unconscious.
That fact made James feel a bit better.
“A bit” being the key words there.
Sirius walked back into the room, well after dark. Raiding the hospital wing wasn’t the easiest thing ever. First, you had to know what you were looking for. Second, you had to avoid the nurse at all costs. Thirdly, you can’t get caught, because, if you did, you’d probably get strapped to a bed for a mental disorder.
Because, once again- no one ever raids the hospital wing.
He closed the door quietly behind him, leaving all the teachers that were patrolling the halls looking for the theif behind. He softly approached his bed, where he had left Ayra unconscious. He glanced over at James’s bed, that was occupied by a washed and clean James. Remus was once again in his bed, and peter had completely passed out.
And Sirius had no where to sleep. He sighed as he pulled out the paste that he held in a jar in his hand. He tucked Ayra’s hair behind her ears, surveying her lethal beauty once more.
He shook his head and dipped his fingers in the green paste and gently applied it to her forehead. She didn’t even stir. Sirius closed his eyes in exhaustion. He opened them briefly and set the paste onto his nightstand, and did what any gentleman would do for a lonely, unconscious girl who couldn’t say no.
He climbed into bed and hugged her waist, and he shared his dreams with her.
If it was possible to share dreams with an unconscious person, that is…
His eyes fell closed as he smelt the vanilla scent wafting through the strands of her hair….
The birds where chirping. It was really, a truly annoying sound. Take for example, on random days, you here this buzzing in your ears, and it drives you insane? Yeah- multiply that by about 2917945 and you would get birds chirping in the morning.
Sirius groaned as he fumbled for his wand to cast a silencing charm on the creatures of annoyance. Once he had silenced them with a random shot, he snuggled back into his warm bed and hugged his pillow tightly.
Then it moved.
Sirius tried to process that information, but it just didn’t click.
Pillows don’t move…
He opened his eyes to be looking into a pair of piercing blue ones, dazed from sleep.
She looked at him, her blue eyes confused and dazed as she surveyed his face. She could have sworn that she had known him…But it was all fuzzy. His grey eyes searched hers, perplexed. She had no idea how she got here. And why am I in Black’s bed? She bolted upright.
“Where the hell am I Black? And why the hell am I here with you?”
What a great way to start the morning! Thought Sirius as he jumped off of the bed. “You’re in the boys dormitories, which would explain why I was here. You got hit in the head with a bludger which is the second reason that you are here.”
Ayra narrowed her eyes at him as she fixed her jumper. Sirius barely acknowledged the fact, but his eyes trailed her fingers, and that was when he realized. She’s still wearing my sweatshirt!
“And you couldn’t take me to the hospital wing, why?” she asked skeptically.
“Because Quidditch tryouts are coming soon and neither James or I could afford getting detention.
As soon as the words came out of his mouth, he wished he had never said them. Shit.
“James? What does James have to do with this? I thought you two were mad at each other.” Ayra stated, a coy expression slipping into her eyes. She stepped, barefoot, on the clothes-strewn floor and advanced on him.
“Well, I…..I….” he stuttered, knowing his plan was blown.
A/N: Twisty chapter here- some might hate me after, some might love me? Idk. Lol. But, I hope you enjoyed this one! Sorry about not updating sooner, but I was a victim of the merciless queue. So, you all have my condolences. But please, Don’t forget to R&R!
Also, I have a ‘Meet the Author’ Page->if you want to go and check that out! Any questions that you think I could answer about this story, I will answer there. Thanks so much!