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 This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)

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Autumn Paige
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PostSubject: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:32 pm

Autumn continued through the Owlery, a note from St. Mungo's clutched in her hand. This just couldn't be real...no, there was just no way that this could be real. If this was real then that meant one thing and one thing only...and Autumn just could not handle that. Closing her eyes she tried to center herself, but every time she tried she ended up failing and falling into something different...something she did not like at all. Clutching the letter tighter she continued walking down the steps, her footsteps sounding clumsy and heavy from the weight that this letter had placed on her shoulders. How could this have happened to her? How could this all be real...it just didn't make any sense.

Pushing past a random first year she pushed the door open and began heading back up to the castle. She needed to lay down and think...no, she didn't need to think, she just needed to forget. Reality was so harsh and cruel, and the irony of it all was that Autumn had tried to make people see the world as it was....cruel... and yet...now that she had to see it that way Autumn wanted to do everything in her power to change it. Autumn wanted to fall into a fairytale where all she had to do was kiss the handsome prince and wake up. All the years she had spent so cold and she wasn't even sure how many more years she would have left after this. And worse of all...she had never loved any one...or had been given the chance to have someone love her.

Her life was meaningless, nothing but a void that God had seen fit to fill with pointless little challenges along the way...what was she going to do now that it was almost over? Now that her life was coming to a harsh, slow, end? Closing her eyes she pressed on, completely unaware of the person in front of her...and before she could react and dodge them she rammed right into them banging heads.

"FUCK!" she cursed falling back on her butt. "Owe...what the Hell is your problem!?"

Rubbing the sting out of her forehead she glanced up through her tears and tried to better see who it was she had bonked heads with.

Autumn

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Sirius Black
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:57 pm

Sirius was going to go batty if he didn't step away from grading for a moment. These essays were so abysmal he was about to fall into a depression over it. It wasn't content that was the problem, not for the most part anyway, so at least he knew it wasn't that he was a horrid teacher. The problems were mostly technical. Spelling and grammar and vocabulary and the like. Sirius had always taken exception to the abuse of the English language, and he wasn't sure Hogwarts didn't make a mistake in not making its students study the language. Transfiguration was all well and good, but how far could a person really go in life if they didn't know that "a lot" was two words?

Usually Sirius liked reading what the students wrote, but this was his first experience with essays from the first years. How strict should he be about mistakes that had nothing to do with content? He didn't know. He should ask one of the other professors, he decided. But which one? He was torn. It would make sense to go to someone with experience, but he didn't want to appear too clueless in front of his colleagues. He decided to go and visit Professor Wallace in the green houses. She was new, too, so they could pick one another's brains. And besides, there was something sort of peaceful about the greenhouses. The ones that didn't have the man-eating plants anyway. Yes, Sirius decided, that's what he would do.

He stepped outside and took a deep breath of fresh air. The sky was overcast and the wind smelt heavily of rain. Sirius loved the smell of rain. Regulus used to say that there was nothing so delightful as London rain, and Sirius thought he might have been right, though Hogwarts rain ran it a close second. The beauty of the freshly showered forest was unlike anything else Sirius had ever encountered.

Sirius started toward the greenhouse but stopped along the way when something caught his eye. A Gryffindor tie was lying in the mud. One of his students would be looking for that. Sirius smiled thinking of the ribbing he would give whomever had lost it. He bent down to pick it up and was nearly knocked over by something as he stood. Something with a very nasty mouth. Sirius rubbed his head where the girl had bumped it and looked down at her, one eyebrow raised. He didn't have to work hard to paste on his stern face as a wave of annoyance shot through him. "Oi!" Sirius scolded. "You watch your mouth, young lady."
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:17 pm

Autumn looked up glaring, she was to the point that she really didn't care what her teacher thought of her mouth. She was going to die, what was the big deal if she wanted to swear? She had no family to speak of, at least none that she cared off, and if she even wanted to have a future there was no point behind it. Before she would turn twenty she would be nothing but a corpse in the ground. She was not going to be able to travel to Rome, Italy, or any of those beautiful placed she had dreamed of. No, her life was going to crash and burn in a heap of flames.

"You were the one that should have been watching where you were going?" she spat. "What kind of person bends down in the middle of the path without any bloody consideration of the traffic coming down it?!"

She clutched her letter tighter, her pain and grief seeping out through her demeanor to the Professor before her. She didn't care....why should she? In about a year or so it would not matter anymore. What her Professor thought about her did not matter to her, what anyone thought of her no longer mattered to her! She was so fucked that words could not even describe it! So if she wanted to swear, blame God, and act like a pill...Autumn was a firm believer that she had a right to!

"Now," she snarled. "If you will excuse me...I have a life to go and waste."

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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:29 pm

Sirius opened his mouth and prepared to launch into a scathing lecture that would put this impudent little ego on legs right back in her place. But he stopped short, the words already on his lips. Something was very wrong. Her words, harsh as they were, were not what gave her away. Sirius had already encountered plenty of melodramatic teenage girls and knew better than to let himself get sucked in by their words. It wasn't that he was unsympathetic or that he didn't care about whatever crises they were experiencing at the moment, but he learned while he was a student himself not to let himself get dragged into other people's drama. He would listen and sympathize when people needed him to, but he never chose sides unless one of the Marauders was involved, and he certainly never got involved himself, even when he'd been the cause of the drama. Learning how to do that was a skill that had served him well his entire adult life.

No, it wasn't what she said or even how she said it. It was something else. Something in her eyes. Her bearing. It almost seemed to radiate off of her. Sirius almost thought he'd be able to see it if he squinted just right. Like she'd just stepped away from a dementor. He watched her clutch something tighter in her hand. A letter, perhaps? She must have just had bad news. Very bad, from the look of her.

Sirius dropped the finger he was preparing to wag in her face and frowned in sympathy. He hated to see anyone looking so very, very sad. "Are you all right? What's the matter? Would you like to talk?"
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:05 pm

Autumn looked up at her Professor almost confused by what he had said. Had he just asked her if she wanted to talk? She had just sworn at him, snapped at him, and he thought that she wanted to talk? Well...she kind of did...but Autumn wasn't used to that kind of charity. Nothing in this world was free and not too many people wanted to really talk to her at all. Still...this was all very suspicious and although she would LOVE to have someone to vent to, she wasn't so sure if she should take her Professor up on such an offer.

"Why?" she said, her tone bored and unfeeling. "Is this some sort of trick to lure me into detention or something?"

Autumn wasn't naive nor would she let someone make her feel. She wanted to be numb up until death, that way everything would just fade out as it should. If she lived, loved, laughed, and enjoyed her remaining...year...then she would want to keep living. It was better to yearn for death and get it, than to run and hide in fear of it. Loosening her grip on the letter she was holding and looked down on it. There were only a few paragraphs...a couple of treatment options...her...her timeline. Just meaningless words and statistics drawn up on paper...and yet they hurt her so much and impacted her very existence more than anyone would ever believe!

She squeezed the letter again, her eyes glaring at it...just wishing that it would burst into flames right in front of her. Sighing she looked back up at her Professor and tried to put her stone face back on.

"It's nothing important Professor Black..." Autumn breathed. "Just some stupid letter from home."

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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:07 pm

Sirius knew she was lying. It was written clear as day across her face, but he wasn't going to push the issue. If she didn't want to talk to him, he wasn't going to force her. Though he did hope she had someone to talk to; a friend or something. Writing home for help clearly wasn't an option. Sirius was painfully familiar with the devastating letter from home, and he was always glad he had the Marauders around to cheer him up after he read whatever horrid things his mother had seen fit to write to him. He didn't want Autumn to have to deal with this whatever-it-was alone. It may have only been teenage melodrama, but it was clearly upsetting her, and he knew how real teenage melodrama was to teenagers, even if adults thought it was silly.

Sirius smiled an encouraging smile. "Contrary to popular belief, teachers do not enjoy putting students in detention. Most of us, anyway." Snape probably did, but Sirius wasn't about to say that out loud. Sirius may have thought he was a git and a horrible teacher. He may have thought he had no business being headmaster and that he was the worst one since Sirius' own great-grandfather, Phineas, but he wasn't about to undermine him in front of a student. He hoped Snape would afford him the same courtesy if their roles were reversed. "As a general rule, we try to avoid doing it whenever we can. If you ever do want to talk, I'm happy to listen. I believe you know where to find me? Have a good afternoon, and do try to watch where you're going." And with that, Sirius started off toward the greenhouses.
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:45 pm

Autumn watched as Professor Black disappeared into the Greenhouses. She didn't know why but at that moment she just felt so compelled to follow him. Maybe they didn't need to talk about her disease; maybe they could just talk about other things. Autumn had no parents to talk to when it came to her studies and interests and although she wasn't looking for a surrogate father; she could also use at least one friend. Sighing she pocketed the letter and trotted to the Greenhouse. She looked to find her Professor and not completely looking at him she went over to him and sat on one of the table tops.

"Professor?" she asked, somewhat gently. "Can we talk....not about the letter or anything...but...just about stuff?"

Maybe they could get to that point where they talked about what St. Mungo's had sent her, but at the present moment she was content with maybe asking her Professor about todays Astronomy lesson. Granted, she didn't have many questions. Autumn wasn't shy to academics and her grades were fairly impressive. She had been talking with her head of house about future career opportunities and so far there was only one career that really stuck out to her. Something that involved research and digging through the worlds archives. Autumn wanted to become a historian. But not just when it came to magical history, but also muggle history. There were so many things that intertwined with one another and Autumn wanted to dig into both.

"Ummm..." she stumbled. "Like...I don't know...did you always want to be a teacher? I mean...when you were my age did you see yourself in this present position?"

She began lightly kicking the air, careful so as not to slam her feet into her teacher.

"I think it would get boring after a while," she continued. "Same period every day, same people, same boss, I want a job that involves something new every day...new discoveries, old secrets."

Taking out her wand she summoned a daisy from one of the flower bowls and gently began plucking the pedals from it; awaiting her teacher's response.

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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:35 pm

Sirius was surprised that anyone would think teaching could be boring. Teaching was never boring. It was nerve-wracking sometimes. It was occasionally frustrating. It was sometimes heartbreaking, but it was never boring. How could it be, with something new every day? Sure, the people stayed the same, but people were dynamic creatures, and young people especially were endlessly fascinating. He couldn't imagine ever getting tired of teaching.

He shook his head. "No, I don't get bored. I like talking to students, and even when I teach the same lessons, it's to different people, so there are different comments and different questions and different ways of doing things, so in a way each day is completely different." Sirius smiled again. "It's never boring." Sirius ran his fingers through his hair. They probably shouldn't stay in the greenhouses. Students really weren't supposed to hang around in here without Professor Wallace's permission. "Would you like to come up to my office with me? I've got tea and biscuits up there with your name on them." Sirius rose and held the door open for her, wishing his office wasn't all the way on the seventh floor. It was convenient being so close to the Astronomy tower - and his Gryffindors - but at times like these, he wished he were a little closer to everything else.

"So," he asked as he started toward the castle. "You want to make new discoveries of old secrets, eh? There are lots of things you can do once you graduate that will allow you to do that. Which one were you thinking of?"
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Sun Apr 17, 2011 3:54 pm

Autumn followed her Professor and nodded, feeling the rough parchment in her pocket rub against her leg. She would just ignore it for now and try not to think about it...but as Professor Black asked about her future it was brought back into focus sighing she shook her head. She wasn't so set on thinking about what she would do with her life after this year. Only a fool would believe in that kind of hope.

"I'm not sir." she said softly.

She walked a bit faster than him, but not before slowing down because she knew that she would need most of her energy to climb the steps to his office. Turning back to her Professor she began pulling at her hair, hoping to distract herself from how utterly depressed she was starting to feel. Walking back at his pace she sighed and pulled the letter back out of her pocket.

She opened it and read it over again, just to confirm that what she was reading for the umpteenth time was real. But the more she read the words, "You have been diagnosed with Acute Lymphblastic Leukemia..." the more her life began to fade in and out of focus.

Crumpling the letter up again she forced it back into her pocket and looked away. She was going into a panic and just didn't know what to do to comfort herself! So she moved her hands...tapped her fingers against her pant leg, removed and replaced the letter that was in her pocket, bit her lower lip, bit her tongue...did everything she could to keep her from yelling out, "I'M GOING TO DIE!"

Realizing that she had actually stopped walking and that tears were in her eyes she sighed in defeat, and partial exhaustion, and sat down on one of the stone benches...uncertain if she had lost her Professor or not.

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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:40 pm

Sirius kept up a slow, steady pace toward the castle, casting sideways glances at Autumn from time to time. He wasn't sure what to say to her. Usually he wasn't the one having to take charge in these sorts of conversations. Usually upset students poured their hearts out to him, and all he had to worry about was how to respond. He wasn't used to having to make small talk. He was plenty good at making small talk in most situations, but with students? That was a different story.

He stopped when she did and sat next to her on the bench, feeling unsure and stupid. Recognizing the signs of potential breakdown, he pulled out his handkerchief and handed it to her, wishing he knew what to say. Whatever was the matter, he decided, it was no small thing. He wanted to say something, to offer words of comfort or wisdom or anything, really, but with no idea what was the matter, there wasn't anything to say, so he waited there with her in stillness and silence, in fellowship and solidarity. There wasn't much else he could do.
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:06 am

Autumn held the handkerchief in her hand and almost felt numb. She took the letter out of her pocket once more and opened it so her Professor could glance at it as well. She blinked her tears away, not letting herself become any weaker than what she already felt and she kept her gaze forward. Her hands shook a bit as she steadied her breathing to tell Professor Black what the letter had told her, of course, she wasn't going to read word from word from it. There were a lot of medical terminology that she just did not comprehend and she really did not want the explanations at that present moment.

"It's called..." she whispered. "Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia."

Her hands shook more violently as the words left her lips. Hearing her own voice name her disease almost made it too real. As if she was accepting that death was right around the corner...and in a way she almost was. She was almost accepting that she would die because she had basically given up all home of survival. Muggle medicine, magical medicine, either way the treatments for cancer were horribly painful and time consuming. She would probably lose her hair from muggle radiation, or become horribly ill from the different potions St. Mungo's would prescribe. And her parents...her parents were in Rome...living it up...not caring that their one and only daughter had a year at the most to live.

"The doctors and Healers say, that I have a year...at the most..." she whispered. "They caught it in its mid-stages....which...I suppose that means it wasn't soon enough."

She felt moisture on her cheeks but she kept her face stone still, not wanting to submit to anymore drama than she had to. She had already spoken to the Headmaster about it, and that alone was a nightmare in itself. Headmaster Snape was understanding, even....sympathetic...which wasn't what she had expected or wanted....but she knew that when a student was dying from disease that was how her teachers would act. And Autumn liked it to an extent, mostly because her own parents didn't give a flying damn.

"I got the owl this morning...two diagnosis from one muggle hospital and St. Mungo's..." she felt herself release a shuddering breath. "The muggle hospital gives me a year with current, modern, medicine...St. Mungo's gives me a year and a half...and they only offer certain treatments."

She knew that she would have to go for chemo and radiation treatments...and Autumn wasn't sure what wizarding medicine would do for her if they could do anything at all. She was scared of losing her hair, but she supposed that there was a charm or spell she could cast to keep it so people wouldn't notice.

Autumn looked back at her Professor, the letter still slightly pointed towards him so that if he had wished to read it he could.

"You don't have to try and come up with something to say sir," Autumn sighed. "I know it's hard to...to swallow."

Tears welled in her eyes and she briefly brought her hands up to her face to hide her fearful expression. Swallowing her sobs she took in a deep breath and felt as her chest heaved slightly. She would not cry, she would not cry, she could not cry....God...please...she didn't want to cry.

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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:23 am

Sirius read the letter she handed him quickly, feeling a touch guilty that he'd thought she was being dramatic. This was worth being dramatic about. It was odd to him to think that there were still so many mysteries in the world. With all the magical advancements they'd made, there were still things they couldn't fix. Silly though, that. Of course there were things they couldn't fix. That's what the war had been about, but that was magic fighting magic. This was magic fighting nature. There was only so far anyone - muggle or magical - could go in that direction.

Sirius folded up the letter and handed it back. "It looks like you have a few treatment options. Muggle doctors and magical healers don't work particularly well together. Healers think doctors are all quacks, cutting on people. And muggles, well, they're happiest not knowing magic exists. But both the muggles and the wizards are making guesses based on what they know. Maybe if you take both treatment options, they'll come together in ways that neither can anticipate. I don't think anyone's ever tried it before - using both muggle and magical treatments."

Sirius thought again. The letter had said a few things about the muggle treatments, but he didn't know enough about it for the strange words to mean much to him. Maybe he'd do a little research. Muggles had always been fascinating to him. He'd been duly appalled when he learned that muggle medicine mostly relied on cutting away the bad parts and filling people full of chemicals, though James pointed out that that wasn't so terribly different from making people drink potions, and that sometimes healers ended up just cutting out the bad parts, too, although they did it with a little more grace, being able to shrink things with magic and whatnot. Sirius sometimes didn't understand how muggles even got along. Ingenious creatures, they were. He never could understand all the animosity toward them. He may not understand them terribly well, but as far as he was concerned, people were people.

Chemotherapy was a word he knew. When he was younger, a muggleborn girl in his house had a sister who was undergoing chemotherapy and losing all her hair. The girl kept stealing hair regrowing potions from Slughorn to send to her and asked the Marauders to help. They were always up for mayhem of any type, so they helped willingly, despite hardly knowing the girl. Eventually, the sister died, but the girl said it made her feel better being able to regrow her hair whenever it fell out.

"We can get you a stock of hair regrowing potions, or better yet, a blue wig. Everyone will think you're overloaded with house spirit. And I'll give you points every time I see it, just for having so much, and before you know it, everyone will be running around in blue wigs and red and yellow and green. You'll have started a trend." Sirius gave her a smile and patted her shoulder. "There's always room for hope, you know."
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:41 am

Autumn looked up at her Professor, was he really trying to make her laugh about this? She sniffled, knowing that sometimes that was just how people chose to cope with depressing news. So she didn't say anything to get into an argument, mostly because she did not want to push away the one person that seemed to take interest in her. Wiping her eyes she stared straight ahead out towards the flawless sky. She wasn't even sure if she had hope anymore. Or if she had ever had it to begin with. Her life always seemed so set in stone. She had never planned for a cancer to kill her. She actually had never really thought on death all that much, or what happened to a person afterwards. Was there heaven or Hell? How had she taken such comfort in not believing in much of anything? What was she going to do with her life before the hourglass ran dry?

Leaning back against a tree that had been lucky enough to shade them from the sun she sighed. She was starting to feel tired again. Closing her eyes briefly she shivered as a soft breeze passed her. Everything seemed to hit her harder now. She had bruises on her fingers just from tapping them on tables, her skin was paler than normal, and it seemed that every other night she awoke with a fever or temperature above what it should be.

"Chemotherapy is horrible," she whispered. "It makes a person sick...it's radiation meant to kill the cancer cells....I'm going to miss so much school..."

She wiped her eyes once more and sniffled, looking up towards the sky. Maybe she just needed to not think about it. She needed to look at things with a far more positive light; if she didn't the darkness of the situation would just swallow her whole.

"If you wear a purple wig, I'll wear a blue one," she said softly. "Actually....I'll wear the purple and you wear the blue..."

Looking over at her Professor she shivered a bit and sighed with frustration. She couldn't even admire nature anymore without this getting in the way. She just wanted to sit outside and be able to stare into the sky...was that so much to ask?

"Professor..." she whispered. "I...I'm scared of death....I don't...I don't want to die alone."

Tears filled her eyes once more as the thought she had held inside of her all day came out into the open.

"My parents don't care...they've just sent me money for the treatments," she whispered. "I don't have any living relatives...I just...I don't want to go through this and die alone..."

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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:05 am

Sirius sighed. Everyone died alone. Uncle Alphard died alone, drifting off in his sleep, never to return. Regulus died alone, probably surrounded by Death Eaters and terrified. Maybe even pleading for his life. Sirius tried not to imagine it. James died alone, trying to protect his family, fighting a battle that could never be won, an evil far too big for him to ever stop alone. Lily died alone, hoping to save her child.

Someday Sirius would die alone. Someday a long way from now, and in what he really hoped would be a fun and exciting way. An explosion when he was ninety, perhaps. Or being shagged to death. But however he went, he'd go alone. Even if a person died surrounded by loved ones, they still died alone. It was the nature of death, he supposed. But then, they weren't alone for long. That was the beauty of it, he supposed. He didn't look forward to death or anything of the like, but it would be nice to see James and Lily again. He supposed it might even be nice to see Reg, if only to say, "I told you so".

"Who said anything about dying?" Sirius asked. "A year is a long time. All sorts of things can happen in a year." That was certainly true. This time last year, Sirius was on the run as Padfoot and living on rats. "There could be some miraculous breakthrough tomorrow. You just never know." Sirius pulled out his wand and conjured two wigs. He set the purple on his own head and the blue on hers. He looked her up and down and gave a decisive nod. "I think it suits you."
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:28 am

Autumn chuckles as her teacher put the wig on her head and gently she tucked her own dark, curly, hair back so it wouldn't show. Looking up at her Professor she smiled weakly at him. He looked absolutely ridiculous, but she supposed that was the point. He was trying to make her laugh and smile. Which was a nice change... Autumn didn't have many people in her life that tried to do that. In many ways Autumn was surprised she hadn't been sorted into Slytherin.

Sighing she leaned back into the tree and looked at her Professor. He seemed to be the type to hide his pain with laughter; but she wasn't one to talk. Autumn hid her pain in harsh words and abrupt actions. At least her Professor's way of dealing with it seemed more appropriate. Closing her eyes she released a long, slow, breath...her ears listening to the sound of nature around her. She could sleep... right where she was sitting...her Professor could leave her there and she could sleep until the day started anew.

"Thanks," she smiled gently, at his comment on the wig. "Purple is a good color on you as well..."

Coughing into her hand she cringed and cursed. She was getting a cold...she would be stuck in the castle for weeks until it decided to go away, or get worse. God...that sucked. Her immune system did fight for her anymore, so she basically had to load herself up on Vitamin C and orange juice.

"I...I think..." she said, regaining her composure. "I should go back to the castle sir...I'm getting cold."

Of course it was still the beginning of fall...so it was fairly warm. But for Autumn she was always cold...all the warmth had left her body. Shivering once more she stood weakly and yawned.

"Can I still go to your office?" she asked. "If I go to the Hospital Wing, or my dorm...all I'll have to do is just sit there...."

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Hogwarts Staff: Head of Gryfindor House: Astronomy Professor: 34 yrs old
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:50 pm

"Of course you may come to my office," Sirius said, standing. He straightened his purple wig and spared a wink for Autumn. "You may come to my office any time you like. My door is always open." He conjured a jumper and handed it over, hoping it would warm her up a bit. When they got up to his office, he'd make a fire. Maybe they could even toast marshmallows. Marshmallows could make anything better.

Which was a good thing because Sirius had no clue what he might say to accomplish that task. A few trite phrases, empty but pretty, coursed through his brain, but even without crossing over the threshold of his lips, they already sounded stupid and meaningless. Things like "Don't worry." Well, of course she would worry! Sirius would worry, too, in her place. He could hardly imagine. He'd feel frightened and angry. He'd feel robbed. It wasn't fair, a person so young being so ill, staring down the prospect of watching helplessly while her life was slipping away. Death at a young age was always unfair, or perhaps death itself was the unfair part, young or old. Sirius certainly felt that way when Uncle Alphard died, though he was only fifty. That seemed awfully old to Sirius when he was seventeen. Now, it didn't seem all that old at all.

"Everything will be all right," also crossed his mind to say. But how could he promise her that? How did he know? It was odd for Sirius to feel so helpless. Usually, he was a man of action, and if things weren't happening quickly enough for him, he found ways to make them happen. But this... there was nothing to be done.

Sirius put a hand on Autumn's shoulder. "I'll make you some tea. When I was young, I lived with a friend, and his mother used to say that there wasn't anything so bad that tea and biscuits couldn't make it better. I think she might have been right. What's your favorite biscuit? The house elves keep a supply of just about everything. I'll have them bring some up."
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Autumn Paige
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:27 am

Autumn took the jumper gratefully and put it on happy that it fit so well and that the color matched her outfit. She was having trouble making her clothes fit. Even though she had not started chemo the cancer itself had caused her body to go through such a stress she was practically fading away before everyone. Headmaster Snape had noticed, and that was why she had been sent to St. Mungo's that day. Her parents did not care, Hell they weren't even in the same country. If Autumn was correct they were still in the States living it up, while she stayed at a large mansion all by her lonesome and a couple of house-elves. God her parents were so fucking pathetic. Closing her eyes she leaned into his palm a bit and staggered.

"Wow....sorry..." she said balancing herself. "Sometimes I get a little dizzy if I move too fast."

Sometimes? No, it was pretty much every other class period that she would fall over herself or walk into someone without realizing it. She got so sick during the day. Fever, chills, the whole nine yards, but Autumn typically fought it until she had nothing left. However this had been before she knew what it was. Before she had just suspected a bug going around, she had no idea the curse it would leave her with.

The walk had been a little too much for Autumn and more than once she had to stop and catch her breath. They had made it to the grand stair case before Autumn needed to sit again and rest. Closing her eyes she rested her head against the wall and took a few centering breaths.

"I'm alright..." she breathed, heavily. "Just give me a minute...I can do this...I know I can do this."

Autumn felt pathetic...she couldn't even walk to the Astronomy Tower when she used to run every night with her Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor. Her and Aurora Maddox would run miles around the school...but now? She wasn't even able to walk a couple of yards from one class to another. Weak...that's what she was...she was weak.

"We need to...to move your class room down in the dungeon's," she smiled weakly. "I bet you and Headmaster Snape would appreciate rooming together."

Her cheeky smile lacked it's usual strength as she pulled herself up, her knees shaking and knocking together a bit.

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Sirius Black
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:39 am

"We should move my classroom to the dungeons," Sirius agreed with a twinkle in his eye as he sat next to Autumn on the stairs. "Have a party every night, we would. We could braid each other's hair, have pillow fights, tell who we fancy. It would be great fun." Sirius winked. He was still trying his damnedest not to let it show how much he loathed Snape, but he was beginning to think it a lost cause. That was Snape's fault; he was sure of it. Oh well, Sirius decided. He could still do his best to keep the peace and go to bed at night with a clean conscience, and let Snape do whatever he liked. As long as he left Harry and Sirius alone, Sirius couldn't have cared less what he did.

"Although, if you'd prefer not to climb all the way to the Astronomy tour, we could always make a side trip to the kitchens. The house elves would be thrilled to see us. Or maybe we could enchant the staircase to move, like in the headmaster's office. Being in Gryffindor, I always wondered why they didn't do that. Seven floors is a long way up, especially when everything keeps moving about on you."

Gryffindor was an awfully long way up when a body was tired. He and James used to threaten to levitate Remus up there when he was moving slow the morning after a transformation. They were only teasing; they wouldn't really have done, but it was sometimes fun to make the threat just to watch the reaction. Sometimes they almost wished they could levitate him just because they didn't want to have to watch him struggling in pain with each step any longer. He'd never have allowed it, though, so they kept to the realm of teasing and wished they could do more for their friend.

Sirius felt much the same now. Even without knowing this girl, he ached for her, watching her struggle to climb the stairs. How in the world did she manage to get up to Ravenclaw tower in the evenings? Very slowly, Sirius imagined.

He smiled a teasing smile. "And I could always just take you outside and levitate you up there. Of course, it would have to be by your ankles, but you wouldn't mind that too much, would you?"
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Autumn Paige
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:34 pm

Autumn blushed at the thought of being levitated up to the Astronomy tower. At least she was wearing shorts; it would be utterly humiliating to be strung up by her ankles for all the world to see. Shaking her head she went to the railing of the staircase and began walking up. She was sure she could climb up to the Tower, it may take them a couple of minutes but once she was there she knew that it would be worth it. She loved looking at the sky, looking at the clouds, and the towers were always so close she felt she could touch them.

Turning back she waited a moment before continuing. It hurt to walk...her legs always felt so heavy when it came to carrying her own weight. Sometimes she would take detentions over having to carry all of her books. But now that she knew what was wrong with her she was sure her teachers would be a bit more compassionate and let her have a bit of leave way. Closing her eyes briefly she adjusted the sweater her Professor had conjured for her. It was so cold in the school she could just barely stand it, but Autumn knew that was a price one paid when they had an illness such as hers.

"I don't really want a biscuit sir," she said softly. "The tea sounds wonderful though...I'm so cold."

The tea sounded like warm heaven that she could sip from. It would make her cozy and give herself some sort of, liquid, comfort. She could only hope that she would not fall asleep while her Professor talked with her. More then once Autumn would find herself nodding off while teachers lectured or taught their lessons, as a matter of fact she was pretty sure she had nodded off once or twice in Professor Black's class...she hoped he didn't notice.

"The one muggle contraption that would be useful at Hogwarts would have to be an elevator..." she smiled. "Or...maybe a magic carpet...I think that sounds like more fun."

Gently she reached down and began fiddling with the hem of her top. She was slowly running out of things to talk about...which was typical for Autumn. She wasn't one of those people that could keep up conversations...she supposed that was why she didn't have many friends.

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Sirius Black
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Mon May 02, 2011 11:46 am

"A magic carpet I might be able to do. Wait here." Sirius rushed into a nearby classroom. Most of them had a throw rug, since the stone floors were usually so cold. Sirius was not disappointed. He lifted it up, not surprised when it was filthy. He smacked it on the wall a few times and briefly considered leaving the mess for Filch to clean up. He would have done, except that it occurred to him that Filch would probably think a student had done it and go out on a wild inquisition. Sirius was beginning to wonder why the rest of the staff didn't come together and put a stop to it. Keeping order was one thing; terrorizing students was something entirely different. He cleaned the dirty spot off the wall with a wave of his wand.

When Sirius was confident that the rug wouldn't leave dirty spots on Autumn's bum, he began charming it. It was easy enough: a hovering charm, an acceleration charm, a braking charm, a steering charm. Sirius tested it out, grabbing the tassles on the corners. It worked perfectly. Sirius climbed off, inordinately pleased with himself. He really loved magic.

"Here you are," Sirius said, rejoining Autumn in the corridor. He tossed the carpet at the ground. It hovered about a foot up, just as it was supposed to do. "You steer it with these tassles on the corners. Pull to the left, it'll go left. Pull to the right, it'll go right. Pull them straight forward to accelerate and straight back to brake. I'll speak to Professor Snape and see about getting you approved to use that all the time if you'd like. I'm sure he won't object. It'll make it much easier for you to get around. This castle's ghastly when you're sick." Sirius nodded knowingly, thinking of all the times he'd watched Remus try to get around, or all the times he, James, and Peter had limped upstairs after spending a night in the forest with Moony. Sirius briefly wondered why they never thought to make a flying carpet.

He smiled. "So? What do you think? Climb on. Try it out."
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Autumn Paige
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Mon May 02, 2011 3:24 pm

Autumn's eyes widened as the carpet lifted off the ground. She wasn't so amazed that he could actually make it fly, just that he had actually chosen to go and do such a thing. Gently touching it with her hands she smiled and sat down on it. When her parents actually took her on vacation with them she would go surfing, or snowboarding if they were in the mountains. She was sure that after she got the hang of it she could do something similar on this contraption! A smile stretched across her face and she set her bag down behind her. Gently taking the tassels she pulled up and laughed as the carpet began zooming her around. This was such fun! Flying all the way up to the top floor she pulled a fast u-turn and raced back down to her Professor. It felt so wonderful to be able to get around...and now she would move faster then even when she could walk!

"This is so much fun!" she giggled, gliding around him. "When I get better I am going to try and stand while flying it!"

Pulling to a stop so that she would be able to glide next to him while they made their way upstairs she grinned up at him. Her Professor would never know how much this small token had meant to her. She still had to tell her parents she had cancer; but she knew they would just try and buy her something. That was how the Paige's were. The Paige's wanted to buy everyone's love and affection....even her own. Autumn usually just phased it out. She would take the gift, but not show them any of the affection they had hoped to purchase.

Sighing she turned onto her stomach and just let the little carpet carry her up a few feet and back down. Almost as if it was rocking her to sleep. Closing her eyes she rested her head on her arms and tried to focus on what her Professor was saying...if he was still talking that is.

"Thank's Prof. Black," she grumbled against her sleeve. "This is the best thing anyone's ever given me..."

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Sirius Black
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Sat May 07, 2011 7:34 pm

Sirius leaned casually against the corridor wall and smiled as he watched Autumn zoom around on the carpet. So different from her previous slow, pained gait. He gave a small nod at her thanks. "You're quite welcome, my dear." It wasn't any big thing, really. The charm was straightforward enough. He was surprised no one had ever thought of it before, though he wouldn't have thought of it himself if she hadn't suggested it.

And besides, strictly speaking, the ministry didn't approve. Strictly speaking, it counted as charming a muggle artifact, what he'd just done, though as long as she didn't go waving it about in front of muggles, Sirius didn't see the problem. However smart they may have been individually - and Sirius knew enough of them to know they were - ministry officials seemed to all turn into idiots when they got together in large groups. Well, perhaps that wasn't fair. People in general seemed to turn into idiots in large groups. The stupidity of ministry officials just seemed to matter more since their stupidity affected millions of people's lives.

Sirius sat on the steps next to the rug. Autumn appeared to be falling asleep. Now that he was a head of house, he knew how to get into all the common rooms. There was even a password to override the eagle's riddle and get her safely up to Ravenclaw tower should the need arise. If she was sleeping, Sirius didn't want to wake her. A person as sick as she was needed all the rest she could get.

"Are you alseep?" Sirius whispered. "Are you still interested in that tea, or would you rather just go and rest?"
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Autumn Paige
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Sat May 07, 2011 11:10 pm

Autumn looked up at her Professor. She didn't want to go to bed so early. She felt like such a pathetic child when she went to be around three and slept clear to the next day. She knew that she was sick, so that meant that she was entitled to sleep half of her life away. It still didn't change the fact that she could not stand it. She looked up at her Professor; she was sure that she could remain conscious for one cup of tea and a little bit of light conversation. And even if she couldn't she would make herself.

"I want tea, Professor..." she said softly. "I'm okay...really."

Sitting up she took the tassles in her hands once more and began making the carpet move towards the stairs. She would float next to her teacher while he walked so they could continue talking and she would be able to stay awake. She knew that if she flew ahead of him and had to wait her chances of falling asleep were greater. Yawning a bit she shook her head, in hopes of shaking the sleep right out of her.

"Maybe if I put extra sugar in it it will help me stay awake longer." Autumn yawned. "Tea has more caffeine in it then coffee does anyway."

Closing here eyes she leaned on the carpet once more. Damn it! She didn't want to go to bed! She wanted to stay awake! Forcing her eyes open she turned to her Professor, almost pleading with him to start some sort of conversation. Anything that would prevent her from passing out on him.

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Sirius Black
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Sun May 08, 2011 10:46 pm

Sirius nodded and led the way to his office. He invited Autumn to sit in the chair in front of his desk. A few minutes later, two steaming cups of tea - with honey and lemon- sat in front of them. Sirius lifted his and blew some of the steam away. He took a sip. It was heavenly. He pulled out a tin of lavender-lemon biscuits. She'd said she didn't want one, but this sort of tea just called out for lemon biscuits to go with it. They were Mrs. Potter's recipe. She used to grow the lavender herself in the back yard. Sirius had to get it from the apothecary. His version of them didn't taste quite like Mrs. Potter's, but they were good enough. She used to make lavender colored icing to go on them as well, but Sirius never bothered. The icing tasted just the same when it was white, and he didn't feel quite so... frilly... when he was eating biscuits that did not have purple icing.

He put the biscuits on the desk and took one. They'd be there if she changed her mind, and Sirius hoped she would. They were biscuits worth eating, if he did say so himself. Of course, he might have been biased, as they were his favorite. "Help yourself."

Sirius took another sip of tea. "So, what do you think you're going to do? About treatment?"
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PostSubject: Re: This Isn't Real (Open to Anyone)   Tue May 10, 2011 8:08 pm

Autumn politely declined from having a biscuit and sipped from her tea. It felt nice and warm on her throat and just filled her with a sort of comfort. Tea was something she had ceremoniously every morning. Typically herbal to calm her nerves and settle her stomach. Sighing she sat back in her seat and brought her knees up to her chest. She was sure her Professor wouldn't mind if she made herself comfortable...that was until he asked about her treatment.

Autumn knew that he would, she just hoped that he wouldn't have. She didn't want to have to think about the radiation, the nausea, the hair loss...Merlin, she just did not want to think about it. Taking a sip from her teacup once more she took a calming breath.

"Well..." she sighed. "Most magical methods are merely experimental...and muggles have seem to have made progress in the medical field...so...I'm probably going to take the chemotherapy treatments....they offer them at St. Mungo's too..."

She rested her head on her knees, cringing at the thought. She knew that she would be in the hospital all by herself when it came to these treatments. Her parents were going to be in Athens next month...and Lord knew that Greece was far more important to them then she would ever be.

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