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Chapter 21: Aggravation



As the weeks progressed Adara noticed that Jayden had dropped his cold shoulder act and, instead, picked up an attitude that Adara need not be alone. At all. Ever.

At first it was cute, Jayden showing up outside her classes and walking with her hand in hand to the next one. But after a week of non-stop Jayden, Adara was sincerely wishing that things would just go back to how they used to be. What had happened to that care-free, easy relationship that they had had for so long?

But he was still Jayden. And Adara did still love him. So she went along with it. She dealt with the multiple notes that were stuck in her stacks of notes: ‘Love you, Addie’ ‘See you after class, love.’

Yes, it was cute and Adara was probably taking it way for granted. She hated herself for being excited about class periods like Runes and Potions and Astronomy and Transfiguration where she didn’t have to deal with Jayden staring at her and kissing her cheek.

She was talking to Lily more now and was starting to feel really close to the Gryffindor. And, of course, things with Sirius were back to normal. He was just as funny and care-free as always and sometimes, as much as Adara hated it, she looked forward to spending time with him even more.

So the weeks past brining more and more snow and soon it was the last week before term ended. That wonderful, last Monday morning before term Adara sat in her potions class waiting for her friends to show up. She was only thirty minutes early; they would, hopefully, be here in about twenty five minutes. She banged her head against the desk a few times as she wished, again, that things between her and Jayden would just go back to normal. Her mom kept telling her to just wait, give him time, and things would go back to how they were. But wasn’t two and a half weeks enough time? And what would happen if it didn’t get better? If he kept being persistent and hovering. Would they brea – no. She wouldn’t think about that. They had to get better.

These thoughts were the same ones that kept her up at night. She tried not to think about them, but they usually invaded her mind sometime between when she retired to the dorm early to avoid people and when Christine snuck into the dorm after her nights out with Cole.

Adara and Christine weren’t back to where they were on the friend scale. In a bunch of ways, Adara hated to notice that she seemed to be getting closer to Lily and farther away from Christine. It wasn’t that Christine and Adara were mad at each other, still. It was more that they tried to act normal but Christine’s whole disapproval of Sirius and her other Gryffindor friends sat like a ticking bomb between them. As much as they tried to ignore it, it was large and loud and their minds traveled back to it often.

And what else was there to talk about between them? The Gryffindors were such a large part of Adara’s life now and Cole was such a huge part of Christine’s that they hardly had anything in common. In some ways, Adara felt that her new friends were causing her old group to break up. The only people who still acted normal around her were Xeno and Laila but that was only because they were blissfully unaware of the rest of the world. And nobody saw them much, anyway.

So what could Adara do but go with the flow of things? All in all, everything was changing in her world and even outside of it according to the news. This whole thing Sirius had told her about with this Voldemort person was growing more and more out of hand and, really, Adara just tried to ignore the whole thing. But try as she might to do that, some of it was leaking in to Hogwarts. The Slytherins were taking it to a level and there was that whole ball thing at the last Quidditch match. That was yet to be resolved.

With too many thoughts for so early in the morning, Adara didn’t notice at first when someone walked in and sat in front of her. It was only when the overwhelming smell of perfume reached her did she look up and see none other that Bippity-Boppity Bitch sitting there. How perfect, Adara thought with a roll of her eyes. She was so not in the mood for her right now. She’d been more and more prominent in Adara’s life, much to her displeasure. Seemed like every time Adara would have alone time with Sirius, in classes, during free periods, in the corridor, BB would show up and whisk him away leaving Adara muttering a long list of profanities in their wake. Adara would be angry with Sirius for the next few hours but, never having the courage to tell him what was really bugging her, would forgive him way too easily. The way he used his eyes was very unfair.

However, with Personal Enemy Number One sitting right in front of her, Adara was frailly resisting the urge to chuck something at the back of her head. As soon as she found something good – a chunk of a cutting board that had been blasted off during an infamous James-and-Sirius potion-gone-wrong – she brought her arm back and prepared to launch right when BB turned around. Adara pretended to be scratching her back and dropped the piece behind her, cursing silently.

“Adriana?” she asked in her highly annoying, asking-for-a-punch-to-the-face voice.

Adara narrowed her eyes. How could she be so stupid? Wasn’t it like illegal to have a negative IQ? It should be. “It’s Adara.” She said.

“Right, look I just have a question to ask you.” BB said, her tone almost matching Adara’s. The Ravenclaw raised her eyes in response. BB continued, “You’re dating that Boot bloke, yeah?”

Stalker. Adara thought irrationally before she grudgingly admitted to herself that most of the school would probably know that as they’d been together for nearly three years. “Yes, why?” she asked.

“So nothing is going on between you are Sirius?” P.E.#1 said with a tight, I-just-won smile.

Adara glared at her, “Well we are kind of really close friends,” she said. “So I’d know if he was interested in anyone. Sorry, hasn’t mentioned you.” She finished with a smirk.

BB narrowed her eyes before speaking, “That’s okay. He probably would have told me himself by now but when we’re together we don’t really have much time for talking.”

“That’s good then!” Adara said in mock-concern, “Because if he found out that you have a problem forming words with more than two syllables and the mental capacity of a two year old on dragon powder he might not like you as much.” Adara smiled sweetly at the Hufflepuff who seemed to be incapable of responding to such a long sentence. They were in the middle of their little glaring contest when Lily walked in.

“Good morning, Adara, Courtney,” she greeted them with a confused look on her face. “Did I miss something?”

BB tore her glare off Adara, who mentally celebrated the win, and looked to Lily, “Oh, Adara was just about to stick her nose back into some book and I was verbally wishing that she didn’t get a paper cut.”

“And, in response to such well-wishing thoughts, I was just giving her the name of my kindergarten teacher so Courtney can finally learn to read after all these years.”

Lily raised her eyebrows as she took the seat next to Adara in silence. P.E.#1 turned back around in her chair and Adara grinned in victory.

Soon, the class began to fill and Adara gritted her teeth when she saw Courtney call to Sirius and pat the stool next to her. However, as he took the seat, he leaned back and greeted Adara with friendly enthusiasm before turning to talk to BB.

When Adara looked away from Sirius she saw Lily was staring at her with a confused expression, “What?” she asked.

Lily raised her eyebrows and looked from BB to Sirius then back at Adara. Adara rolled her eyes, “I just don’t like her.” She said plainly.

Lily’s eyebrows, if possible, were raised higher.

Adara scowled at her, “Shut up,” she mumbled as she turned to get out her potions book. She heard Lily chuckling beside her.

So what if she didn’t like Sirius with BB? It was only because they were friends and Adara knew that Sirius could do better than this ditzy blonde whose brain reached full capacity with only the knowledge of the location of every broom closet in Hogwarts.

Slughorn came in before Lily had completely stopped laughing and assigned them a potion to brew with their partners. The potion would take a week to make, so that was what they’d be doing until break. Adara was grateful to be assigned a potion that would demand all of her attention because if she saw the way Courtney looked at Sirius one more time she might lose the little bit of breakfast she did eat. She was also grateful that Lily was her partner; though she could have done just as well with Sirius, she thought he deserved to have to work really hard to make even an ‘A’ grade potion while working with Ms. What-Does-a-Sleeping-Draught-Do.

While they were working, Slughorn handed back their Draught of the Living Dead essays from the last class. He winked at Lily and Adara as he gave them their ‘O’ papers. As was usual lately, the two switched papers and skimmed for small details that the other might have included and that they had missed.

“Oh, you’re right, crushing the Sopophorous Bean would probably be a better idea!” Adara exclaimed.

“And I didn’t completely underline the fact that at the halfway mark the potion should be blackcurrant-colored,” Lily commented.

“Ah, well. Your essay is fantastic.”

“Oh, yours too,” Lily smiled as they switched back and began again to work on their potion. Before going back to work completely, Adara caught a glimpse of BB’s grade and smirked; ‘P.’ How’d she ever get into N.E.W.T. level potions, anyway?

Probably slept with the examiner. Ha.

The rest of the class went by fairly quickly. Adara paid no attention to the Bitch and Sirius and put her whole focus into her own potion. By the end of the class she and Lily were sweaty, covered in bean juice, and had unmentionables under their nails – but their potion was precisely the color the book described. The only other person in the class to achieve this was that greasy Slytherin. Something Snape. Sirius and James had somewhat of a pet name for him, too, but Adara couldn’t remember it.

She and Lily packed up their ingredients and set their potion, covered, in the spot that Slughorn showed them. As they walked out of the classroom James caught up with them, “Hey,” he smiled.

“Hi James,” Lily and Adara said together. Adara looked behind her to see if Sirius was planning on catching up with them. When she didn’t see him she assumed he was off with BB and scowled. How could James let this go on? Didn’t he realize what a bitch this girl was? As Sirius’ best guy friend wasn’t it his job to point this out to him?

Maybe they just celebrated whatever they could get; Merlin knows that the marauders don’t have trouble getting whatever girls they want. Sirius and James probably slapped hands back in the ol’ dorm. She could just hear them ‘way to get a piece of that, mate!’ or however blokes talk to each other. Her scowl became more pronounced.

“You up for it, Adara?” Lily was suddenly asking her. She looked up at the Gryffindor, confused. Lily sighed, “After we both shower do you want to meet in the library and we can go over the Charms essay that’s due tomorrow?”

“I could really, really use the help,” James added miserably. “Charms is such a girl subject.”

Adara nodded at them as Lily turned to James, “A girl subject?” she demanded.

“Sure, girls always outshine blokes in charms,” he shrugged.

“Oh, really?” Lily asked. “You must have forgotten who our professor is, then. Last time I checked Flitwick was a bloke.”

James raised his eyebrows and Adara had a feeling she knew what was coming, “Oh, so you checked then?” he asked.

Lily flushed bright red, “You know what I mean,” she growled.

James chuckled, “Yeah, but please, Flitwick is as good as.”

“So now you are insulting the head of Adara’s house?”

James looked to Adara with wide eyes, “Oh, shit, sorry Adara,” he said quickly. “I totally forget that you aren’t Gryffindor! I didn’t mean anything by that, I just… he can be –”

Adara burst out laughing as they all stopped at the top of the staircase where they would part ways, “Don’t worry about it, most of us joke that Flitwick’s a poof, too.” she stopped laughing and added, “but you’ll never know what we say about McGonagall behind enemy lines,” and then with a mysterious look turned and disappeared down the corridor laughing to herself. She was glad that she was so accepted with the Gryffindors that James would forget she wasn’t technically one of them. She had to admit, they were fun to be around.


*

“Hey Addie,” Jayden pecked her on the cheek as he sat down beside her at lunch.

“Hi Jay,” Adara smiled at him as she finished putting condiments on her sandwich. “How was Herbology.”

“Not fun,” he said grimly. “Had to extract pods from this giant finger-eating plant. Almost got me, it did; thankfully Xeno managed to pull it off me.” He added two sandwiches to his plate, “What’d you do during your free period?”

“Went of charms essay with Lily and James.”

“Fun.”

“Oh, yeah,” Adara smiled. It actually had been fun; they had tried for nearly thirty minutes to get Adara to confess what the Ravenclaws said about ‘Minnie’ (as James called her).

Christine and Cole plopped down across the table from Adara and Jayden, “Just barely finished D.A.D.A. homework,” Christine admitted. “Cole was helping me during our free. I’m going to get you with my silent spell this time, Jay.”

“Yeah, you keep thinking that,” Jay retorted, smiling as he waved his sandwich at her.

Adara watched as the playful banter between her group went on but no longer felt as if she belonged here and only here. She couldn’t help but look down at the Gryffindor table and spot her other friends. They were laughing, too. Sirius was pointing to James across the table with a spoon and saying something with an ‘I-will-smite-you’ expression. James took up an empty plate and held it in front of him as a makeshift shield. Remus and Lily and some girl sitting next to Lily all burst into laugher. Adara longed to know what they were saying.

She pulled her attention back to the table barely noting the way Jayden was looking from her to the Gryffindor table.

“I heard apparition lessons start after break,” Christine remarked happily.

“They haven’t started yet? Last year they started like mid-October,” Cole looked at her.

“I heard some little fifth year girls gossiping in the common room about some terrible accident that killed the previous instructor,” Jayden put in. “They said he was found in his house with some weird mark over it. Said that he had a son in our house at Hogwarts. Named like Alden… Alec…Alex, I don’t know.” They all looked down the table as if that would tell them which kid was the son of the late instructor.

Adara looked up from her food, “That’s terrible! When was this?” she demanded. How come her mum hadn’t told her?

Jayden shrugged, “A while back. Early November.”

Adara turned back to her sandwich, pensive. She felt like somehow she knew about the situation before. But that was impossible. With all that was going on she hadn’t even noticed that apparition lessons were late to start.

The four of them finished their lunch, Christine said goodbye to Cole, and then the three sixth years walked up to Defense Against the Dark Arts together. Jayden took Adara’s hand as soon as they left the Great Hall.

They reached the classroom and took their normal seats. Adara had begun to dread the classes both Jayden and Sirius were in. So much tension and so many glares; it was unsettling. As she sat waiting for Sirius to get there and class to start, Jayden held her hand under the table. She smiled up at him every now and then to hide her anxiousness. She was really trying to think about why that story about the apparition instructor seemed so … familiar?

The professor walked in before Sirius. Adara didn’t want to think about why he was late so he watched Professor Beck shuffle papers around on his desk. After a few minutes he turned back to the class, “Er… Mr. Boot?” he asked. Jayden looked up, “Yes, Professor?”

“I think I left the stack of essays in the teachers lounge, would you please go retrieve them?” he asked. Adara rolled her eyes; he really should retire soon. Last week he’d forgotten his wand and sent James off to get it.

Jayden nodded, dropped Adara’s hand, and left. Adara turned her attention back to the front of the class then heard the sound of someone pulling out the stool beside her. “You’re late, again,” she ground out turning to look at Sirius who had just mysteriously appeared. No one noticed but Adara. All thoughts of the little fatherless boy dropped out of her head.

“I’m so glad you can tell time,” Sirius smiled at her. “One day you do have to teach me.”

She rolled her eyes and let out a huff of breath, “Wouldn’t matter. What you need to learn is that Hogwarts isn’t some cheap motel where you can go about getting a good bang in whenever you please.” She growled in a whisper.

Sirius raised his eyebrows, “Well, now.” He said surprised at Adara’s bluntness, “who says that that was what I was doing?”

“Common sense,” she spat.

“Don’t talk about that of which you know nothing,” Sirius narrowed his eyes.

“So you weren’t with Bippit… Courtney, then?”

“I never said I wasn’t with her. Just that we didn’t necessarily do what you are implying. You can have a relationship without putting out,” he continued, “though you might not know that.”

Adara blinked at him. “Excuse me?” she asked.

“Never mind,” Sirius turned to stare at the front of the room.

“Sirius Black I’ll have you know that I am not anything like Courtney and that while you might have some since of morals, she definitely does not. And I will not have you implying anything about me and Jayden because you know nothing about our relationship, or any relationship for that matter, considering your longest one has lasted what? About three days?” she went off, “and furthermore –”

“Oh, there’s more, fantastic,” Sirius cut in angrily. Adara ignored him.

“I think that you can do better than Courtney. She’s ignorant and has no clue what you are really like and only likes you for your body and your tendency to have any girl that throws herself at you.”

Sirius looked at her in a mixture of disbelief and anger, “Thanks for the oh-so-wonderful advice, Adara, but I’ll have you know that I’ll not have any bad talk from you or anyone else about me or my girlfriend.”

Adara’s breath caught in her throat at that last word. Girlfriend? They were... a couple? Since when? She couldn’t stand it any longer. She had to get out of there. She grabbed her bag, stood up, and for the first time in her life Adara Moore left and purposely skipped a lesson.

In fact, Adara skipped two lessons. She didn’t show up to Transfiguration, either. She had walked up to the Astronomy tower, slung her bag over the ledge, then herself, and sat down on by the tower on the roof of the castle. It wasn’t a long drop, but it was enough that Adara had no clue as to how she was going to get back up. But she didn’t care. She stayed there all through Defense and even through Transfiguration. She just sat there on the roof, not even noticing the time that was passing. Not even caring what she was missing. Just thinking about the row she and Sirius had had for no reason and that last thing he had said to her: ‘I’ll have you know that I’ll not have any bad talk from you or anyone else about me or my girlfriend.’

Girlfriend. How could he? She not right for him, not at all. He was just being stupid. Being a guy. And she only cared because he was… or used to be … her friend and she knew he deserved better. Someone smart and funny and someone that understood him. Not her. Courtney. Who couldn’t tell a kneazle from a hedgehog.

Adara didn’t notice that it had gotten dark until she heard someone calling her name from the tower above her. It was the second time someone had checked up there for her. The first time it had been Jayden and Christine. This was someone else. But not Sirius. They wouldn’t even bother to look down there. She was probably the first person to hide on the roof of the castle.

“What are you doing down there?” the voice of James asked her. She was confused. She looked up and saw a sillehoutte of someone looking down at her.

“How’d you know I was down here?” she asked. Her voice cracked from not being used in so long.

She watched as he climbed over the ledge and jumped down landing gracefully beside her as he tucked something into his pocket. Maybe she wasn’t the first to try it. “I had a little help.”

“Hm.”

They sat in silence for a minute, “Lily got worried when you weren’t at dinner. Your little nerd friends are beside themselves.”

“Hm.” She repeated.

More silence.

“So you didn’t answer my question,” James said softly.

“Maybe I don’t have an answer,” Adara answered.

“I think you do.”

Adara didn’t answer. She stared out to the dark grounds. “Why’d you come and find me?” she asked.

She watched James shrug, “Lily was worried,” he said. Adara waited. “And Sirius told me you two rowed. He… was worried, too.”

Adara snorted, “Yeah. Right. He was worried.”

“Adara,” James said in a scolding way.

“Whatever, James, you found me. Drag me back into the warmth of the castle. Save me again. Preferably before I wind up with Poppy again.” She said plainly.

James studied her for a minute then stood up, “Alright, I’ll boost you up.” Adara didn’t say anything as she stepped onto James’ clasped hands and pulled herself onto the rim of the tower. She stood up on the ground then reached down for her bag and then for James’ hand. Once they were both safely back on the tower, she grabbed her bag and led James down the stairs.

Before they reached the bottom James grabbed Adara’s arm and spun her around, “Look, I’m only gong to say the once and I may be completely off,” he started. Adara raised an eyebrow. “You and Sirius…” he took a breath, “if you, you know, fancy him or something and that’s why –”

Adara pulled her arm out of his reach, “I don’t fancy Sirius.” She said firmly, half to herself and half to James. “I just thought we were friends and I just think that he can do better than that half-wit.”

“You can’t lie to yourse –”

“I’m not lying, James!” Adara said in almost a yell. They stared at each other for a long moment then she looked at the ground. “I’m with Jayden.”

She felt James’ hand on her shoulder, “That doesn’t mean –”

She looked up, “Yes, it does.” She said in a tone that rang finality. After a second he nodded and took his hand away. They walked the rest of the way to the parting point in silence.

“I’ll see you later,” James said. Adara nodded and continued on her way up to her dorm.

Both the common room and the dorm were empty of her friends (either they were at dinner late or out looking for her) so she threw her bag on her bed and rustled through her trunk to get a clean pair of pajamas. She found a pair near the bottom and pulled it out. With them a loose piece of parchment floated to the floor. She sighed and picked it up. It was an old letter from her mother.

Addie,
You know how hard it is for me to refrain from adding my opinion on these sorts of things, but I will. For now. All I can tell you, advice-wise, is that you have to choose one, Addie. I would guess that you obviously feel something for this other guy or you wouldn’t have kissed him back. And as you’ve been with Jayden for three years, you no doubt feel something for him. But, Baby, you have to choose. You have to choose because this – kissing and thinking about another guy – is not fair to Jayden. You need to decide who is the best for you, and stay with that. I trust you, Addie, but it’s not fair to string Jayden along if you like this other guy.
I know that you’ll do the right thing.
Love always,
Mum

P.S. You need to tell me about this “hospital wing” visit or I’m owling the nurse. And don’t think that I’m bluffing.


“You have got to be kidding me,” she said loudly to God, Merlin, or whoever controlled the universe. She crumpled up the letter angrily and threw it back into her trunk. In a huff she grabbed her towel and pajamas and marched off to the showers cursing everything she knew.



****

A/N: Dun, dun, DUNN. So this is thel ast chapter that I have written, so i don't know when the next update will be. Um, you have to admit that i'm updating fast. be proud. haha. of me and the staff! yay!! Um, so yeah, i don't have a preview because this is all i have written, but i think the next chapter will be the first half or whatever of christmas break. and i have some stuff planned for up ahead. though i finished my other story, or almost, i don't think that this one will end anytime soon. Just so you guys know. I love this story. really. and OMFG thank you SO MUCH guys! this is the first story where i've gotten 1000+ reveiws!! ahh. i freaked out. you guys rock my socks. seriously. i love you all. haha.
Well, please, please, PLEASE comtinue to review/tell me what you think. and i'll work on writing more soon.

over and outt.
HPsmartone32

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