"I drop plates sometimes, but I am never punished for it. Just told to be more careful..." I tilted my head to the side. "The only time I was punished was when I thought it would be fun to try and ...
"Can I go to the park?" I asked. If it had been my babysitter Charlie, I would have added the puppy eyes; however, those eyes only made my father sad.
He sighed as he looked to the clock as well. "Come home when I yell for you, alright?" he told me. I hugged him, quickly running from the house. I waved to one of our neighbors as I walked past her porch. I knew she was trading rumors with the lady from around the block; I also knew they were about my dad and myself. She seemed to think that he does a bad job of raising me; letting me run wild and barefoot all the time. After all, who lets their five year old daughter go to the park by herself? Well, no normal parent would; however, I was not a normal child. I was half lycan.
I smiled when Squirelly ran across my path once I entered the park. I chased him, and all too soon had I chased him up a tree. "That wasn't nice," was said (to me, I believe). I blinked, thinking Squirelly had spoken to me, that is until I noticed a foot. Someone was apparently standing behind the tree.
"Oh... That is Squirelly, and I chase him all the time. It is like a game for us. I keep him safe, and in turn he lets me chase him," I said this, approaching the boy who still had yet to look at me, allowing myself to sit down beside him. I gasped in shock when he did. His left eye was swelled shut, and his lips were split.
"Wh-what happened?" I asked as I reached out to touch his lip. He pulled away from me. "I... I won't hurt you," I said. He looked at his lap, sighing. If not for my better than normal hearing, I probably would have not heard him mumble that he'd been punished.
"What were you punished for...?" I asked him, curiously.
"I... broke a plate. Well, two of them," he said, still speaking softly.
"I drop plates sometimes, but I am never punished for it. Just told to be more careful..." I tilted my head to the side. "The only time I was punished was when I thought it would be fun to try and fly with the broom."
"I didn't drop them... I made them explode."
Something clicked in my mind. He used ascendant magic. "Hm. I know what we'll do to fix this," I said, pulling him with me as I headed from the park.
I took the path I made through the backyards from the park so no one would see us. I didn't stop walking until all three of us were in the tree house in my backyard (after finding it there, I'd asked my dad to fix it up). I brought a sleeping bag and a cooler up here. "You can stay here for a couple of hours. But then... Your family will worry and start looking for you, " I told him. He mumbled something even my hearing could not pick up.
We played with Squirrelly for a while, until my dad called me inside. I waved to him before going down the ladder. The next day, I was shocked to find him still there. "You're still here?" I asked, a bit confused.
"You said it would be best to stay here until my family started looking for me," he told me.
I sighed. I just knew I would get in trouble somehow for this, but it would be fun. "Okay then. Well... You could tell me your name," I said, sitting on my rolled up sleeping bag. I looked at my sleeping bag and then to him. "You didn't use this...?" I asked, watching as he shook his head 'no'. "Well, why not? It was a little cold last night!"
"I was fine," was the answer I received.
I sighed, getting up. I looked back to him once last time before climbing down the ladder. I went to my room, passing my dad on the way. I came back with an old outfit that was too small for me (but my dad did not know that yet, so I still had it). I got some food from the 'rator thing.
"What are you doing?" my dad asked, looking at me over the post he was reading. "Camping in the tree house," I said.
After I made the boy change into the old outfit, I was more than sickened by how small he looked, and the unhealthy smell he held. I gave him the food, and soon it was all gone. I blinked at the fact he ate my share, too.
"So... Your name?" I asked. He blinked at me. "My name is Ulrica," I said, holding out my hand, a smile on my face. Squirrelly ran down my arm and hung upside down from my hand. "That is Squirrelly," I said, looking to Squirrelly. The boy held out his hand, and Squirrelly jumped from mine to his.
"... James," he said shyly.
I stayed and played with James all day long, as well as the next day. He never spoke more than ten words the whole time. I was getting mad because his family hadn't come to look for him. It was not 'til a week later that he told they'd more than likely never come.
I glared at him with every intent to tell my dad about his bad relatives. I only found today's post along with a note saying he would be gone on order business for a day or two. I sighed, and then got some food for us. I was happy James was still there when I got back.
"You did not tell on me, did you?" he asked in a shaky voice.
"No, but you are going in to take a bath. You're starting to smell," I said to him. His odor had been bugging me for a couple of days now, but I said nothing about it. Any longer, now, and I would not be able to stand being near him. I did not like that idea; he was my best friend.
"What about your dad?" he asked.
"Gone on order of business," I said as we climbed down the ladder.
I smiled at his clean smell as he taught me how to play "Go Fish". Squirelly jumped on my head, and I looked out the window. "Oh, my dad is back home..."
I blinked when he made his way to the ladder. I was down faster than I think I ever was before, not wanting him to find out about James just yet. "I want you to sleep inside tonight, " was what he told me. I nodded, and then went in the house. We ate dinner in an odd silence. Most of the time I would ask a question about one thing or another, but tonight I could only think about James. I was worried his family would never come for him. It had been almost two weeks now.
"Sweetie, what's wrong?" my dad asked. I could feel his worry.
"Nothing, Dad. Where did you go so suddenly?" I asked.
He sighed. "Did you stay in the tree house the whole time I was gone?"
"Mostly. I came in and took a bath," I told him.
"So you did not read the post at all..."
I blinked, looking to the paper that was left on the counter. "No, sir," I said, looking down at the table. Reading the post was one thing that made my dad proud, but after I started hiding James, I stopped my reading altogether.
He ruffled my hair and handed me the post. It was the one from three days ago, the day when he left. The headline read: Harry Potter, The Boy Who Is Missing.
"What?! Harry Potter is missing! Those muggles lost him!" I yelled.
"Pup," my dad said sternly.
"Sorry..." I said, sitting down.
I was sent to bed early that night without dessert for the muggle comment, but I did not care. It was worth it.
The next morning, I awoke and waved to James, who peeked from the window and then ducked back down. Soon, Squirelly came over with a note asking me if I was going to be up today. I wrote back, saying that maybe, if I was allowed, and that I was in trouble for saying a bad word.
As I made my way downstairs, I stopped on the landing (I was halfway down them), seeing as my dad was being hugged by a very ragged and sickly-looking man. "Uh, Dad, can I have some fruit?" I asked, sticking my head back into the other room.
"You know you cannot eat it, " he told me.
"I know, but it is for James, " I said.
The old man's eyes sparkled. "James? Who is James?"
I looked to the floor when he spoke to me. "My friend, who I am hiding in my tree house..."
"Alright, take some fruit with you..." Dad said.
"I can't reach it."
He rolled his eyes as he remembered that he put it out of my reach, but nonetheless handed me some. The sickly man followed him. He looked at me oddly. I just smiled at him, and then walked out the back door. I growled at a cat in passing, and then realizing it was my dad's old head of house.
"She has grown some since I last saw her, " Professor McGonagall as she came through the doggy door on the back door.
"That she has. I just wish she would try to make more friends besides that blasted squirrel and the boy, " I said, sitting down at the table. McGonagall looked at me, and then to Sirius. "I will let you two talk, " she said, walking out of the room.