Chapter One: The Hogwarts Express
Full Summary: Izora Hallowell is a pureblood witch that suffers from a rare form of psychometry. She has the rare ability to not only learn information about a person from touching an object but from skin-to-skin contact. She's managed to stay mostly out of the spotlight for the past 5 years with her two best friends, but as she enters her 6th year, four boys make that it impossible.
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you may recognize, which includes but is not limited to J.K. Rowling's characters, Hogwarts, etcetera. I do however own all original characters unless expressly stated otherwise.
Rated T for mild language, mild sexual innuendos (it's a story that features several teenage boy, what do you expect?), and possibly mildly violent actions. You have been warned.
Chapter One: Platform 9 ¾ and the Hogwarts Express
Nine and Three-Quarters, King’s Cross Station, London, England;
1st of September 1976
Noise. Platform Nine and Three-Quarters was absolutely full of it. Loud, boisterous, exuberant, and excessively, annoyingly, loud.
Stepping through the magical barrier that separated the wizard’s platform from the Muggle train station, onto Platform 9 ¾ was like walking into a wall of sound. Or getting a boxed ‘round the ears with an air-fist. The noise level was that obnoxious.
It was understandable really, considering the level of activity going on. People, students and non-students alike, were bustling around with luggage trolleys stacked high with trunks and the occasional animal carrier or owl cage (the animals inside adding more than their own fair share of noise to the commotion being made by the humans), all chattering away excitedly or morosely about the upcoming school year.
Suffice to say, the noise could be a tad overwhelming even for those who’d been to the platform many times, but most especially for first-timers.
Luckily, the young woman who’d just stepped through the barrier happened to be one of the former type of visitor. Izora Hallowell was a young witch of seventeen years entering her sixth year at the renowned Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
One would describe Izora as a statuesque beauty with lily-white skin, hair as fair as spun moonlight, and large eyes the color of frosted sea-glass …but that would only be if the person describing her was waxing poetic. In reality, Izora Hallowell was a tall, waifish young woman–she looked as if a stiff breeze could knock her over, all gangly limbs, sharp elbows, and rather knobbly knees–and her complexion was more like that of a pallid ghost than a lily while her hair was a dull shade of white-gold. And those ‘large eyes the color of frosted sea-glass’? Well, they were a rather pretty shade of blue-green, but had the misfortune of being a bit too large for her angular, gaunt face and being accentuated by near-permanent dark circles that denoted how little sleep the young woman got.
Moving off to the side to avoid the chaos of the platform with her own luggage cart, Izora observed the bustle; tearful goodbyes between parents and their children, impersonal and dismissive farewells between the more distant and less affectionate wizarding families, and the ever present students who had made the journey to the Hogwarts Express independently, without their family.
With neither of her own parents to see her off, Izora fell into this select category, which didn’t bother her overly much–she’d much rather avoid an awkward confrontation with her dear mother, even if that meant her father was also absent.
Pursing her lips, Izora squinted as she tried to search for her friends in the crowd while remaining on the fringes, pushing her luggage cart along while making her way closer to the bright red train with Hogwarts Express embossed in gold on the side. She made it to the baggage car at the end of the Hogwarts Express without finding her two friends and, sighing softly in mild frustration, Izora reluctantly grabbed her school satchel, which tossed over her shoulder, then she grabbed her main trunk with one hand and her small cat carrier with the other and toted them both along with her as she made her way onto the Hogwarts Express.
Grimacing slightly, Izora dropped down heavily onto the rather ugly blue and green checkered middle seat after wrestling her heavy trunk onto the rack above her head. Her pet carrier was perched on the seat beside her and she took a moment to check on her familiar–a pine marten, or rather the wizarding world’s equivalent to one, named Draci. The marten was sleeping peacefully at the back of the carrier, curled up into a tight ball with his face hidden beneath his bushy tail. Izora’s thin lips twitched up into an affectionate smile and, after removing her school satchel from the top, she placed the cat carrier on the floor, carefully pushing it underneath her seat. She would take Draci out later, when he woke up.
Izora settled into her seat and pulled her leather satchel into her lap, unbuckling the clasps and flipping it open to retrieve the Muggle book her father had given her yesterday evening. With J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in her grasp, Izora tucked her satchel under her seat alongside her pet carrier, leaned back in her seat and, after a quick glance at the watch on her wrist to check the time (a quarter ‘til eleven o’clock), she cracked the book open and prepared to immerse herself in the adventures of Bilbo Baggins.
“’In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell…’” She trailed off with a smile, her lips moving as she continued to read silently to herself.
Izora was just getting to the part where the wizard in the book was saving a Bilbo and his dwarven companions from a trio of trolls when the shrill, piercing note of the train whistle announced the train’s eminent departure from the station. She took a quick peek out the window, watching a moment as students hurried to bid the last goodbyes to their families before boarding the train.
As she observed a young woman with bright red hair and a baby on her hip, fussing over a pair of young men around Izora’s own age while another man with equally bright red hair watched in amusement from the side, two young red-haired boys standing next to him, Izora briefly wondered what it would be like to be fussed over like that.
She shook the thought from her head and returned to her book. There was no use thinking about such things; even if her mother would always remain a cold, distant figure, her father did his best to shower her with affection whenever he wasn’t busy with his Auror duties.
The train began to move a few minutes later, pulling away from the station with an almost imperceptible lurch, but Izora was much too engrossed in her book to pay the scenery flying by the window much mind. In fact, she was so riveted by the story being woven before her eyes that she didn’t even notice when the compartment door slid open.
“I’m telling you, Padfoot, this is the year-Oi! What’re you doing here?”
Surprised, Izora gave a soft squeak and jumped in her seat at the loud, masculine voice, jerking her gaze from her book to stare at the quartet of boys standing in the door of the compartment, the deer-in-the-headlights expression on her face almost comical.
“Erm…” Izora faltered, her brows furrowing even as her eyes remained impossibly large. Her book fell from suddenly limp fingers, tumbling from her lap to the floor with a soft thump. “H-hello?”
Suddenly, the young man standing beside the bespectacled lad that had startled Izora smiled charmingly, his grey eyes gleaming with mischief as he all but swept into the compartment, snatching up Izora’s book, all before she could so much as bat an eyelash.
“Hello, lovely.” He presented the book to her grandly, the gesture disturbingly courtly in nature. “I believe you dropped this.”
Izora blinked owlishly at him, lips parted slightly in shock as she stared into the young man’s stormy gray eyes. Wicked eyes, she thought distantly as she tentatively took the book from him, That’s what Ma Siobhán calls eyes like his…
Someone cleared their throat and Izora jumped again and looked away from the smug-looking young man with the wicked eyes. Mortified embarrassment filled her and turned her pallid face an intense shade of crimson as she found herself under the amused and knowing regard of the other three boys. Still embarrassed, and feeling a little more than resentful at the looks the three boys were giving her, Izora’s lips turned down in a faint, reproachful frown.
“C-can I h-help you?” She asked in her stuttery, nervous way, probably more sharply than was polite, but she was still rather embarrassed at being caught ogling the young man still standing in front of her. She grimaced slightly when she heard her own voice, husky with a slight rasp from lack of adequate use.
The bespectacled boy quirked a brow and exchanged a smirking glance with his grey-eyed companion, before stepping further into the room. Izora eyed him, and his wicked eyed friend, with some suspicion as they both dropped down into the seats on either side of her after placing their trunks in the rack above her head where her own trunk was placed while their two companions followed suit on the other side of the compartment, the tallest taking the seat directly across from her when he was finished.
“Nope,” The bespectacled boy replied cheerfully, making himself comfortable in the seat on her left, the one closest to the window. “Just needed a place to sit.”
Izora turned slightly towards him with a small frown, more than a little perturbed that she couldn’t place who exactly the four boys were even though they looked exceedingly familiar. She squinted slightly, scrutinizing him intently from behind the curtain of hair; when he’d been standing, he hadn’t been the tallest or the shortest of the quartet and he had a muscular yet wiry build, untidy black hair and hazel eyes that gleamed with mischief and cheer, despite being hidden behind a pair of round spectacles.
He noticed her scrutiny and flashed a smile at her, revealing even, white teeth and a dimple in his left cheek. Izora blinked, abruptly realizing where she’d seen him before, and almost let slip a most unladylike swear that would have gotten her mouth washed out with soap if her best friend’s mother heard her.
James Potter was sitting in a compartment with her. Which meant…Izora took a quick look around at the other three boys, her heart sinking all the way to her toes when she recognized each of them as Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew, the quartet known as the Marauders.
Of all the times for her rotten luck to kick in, it had to be now. Izora tried not to hyperventilate.
Now, Izora wasn’t like most of the girls her age, which fawned over the four boys currently staring at her with varying degrees of amusement–or bemused concern in Remus Lupin’s case. In fact, she would very much rather avoid any and all contact with the so-called Marauders at all costs, for the simple fact that they were pretty much renowned throughout the whole of Hogwarts. And Izora was very much not, a fact that she would very much like not to change, thank you very much!
Oh Merlin, she thought as a deep-rooted anxiety froze her in place, she had to get away as far away from them as she could. She stared blankly in front of her, very much resembling a petrified rabbit with eyes as large as saucers and her already pale face turning an even more ghostly shade.
Izora was about five seconds away from a full blown panic attack when a pair of fingers snapped in front of her face, startling her enough that she jumped and recoiled, turning to look at the boy sitting to her right with huge blue-green eyes.
“Y-yes?” She all but squeaked, a blush scorching across her cheeks a second later at the undignified sound.
“Alright there, love?” Sirius Black questioned, his lips twisted in a wickedly smug smirk.
As of she’d had a bucket of ice water dumped or the aquamenti spell cast on her, Izora’s almost-panic attack was replaced with the urge to smack that smug, self-satisfied look off of Sirius Black’s roguishly handsome face with a Beater’s bat.
She frowned and with as much dignity as she could muster, Izora stuttered out a reply. “I-I’m f-fine.”
“You sure?” This time it was James Potter that asked, his expression only mildly less insufferable than his partner-in-crime. He grinned cheekily at her, “You look a bit peaky still.”
“Understandable, really.” Sirius added, grinning at Izora just as cheekily as James had when she glanced at him. “We are rather famous, mate. Not surprising the lady was overwhelmed by our awesome presence.”
Izora’s felt her eyebrow twitch and she gritted her teeth, glaring down at the cover of The Hobbit which she held in white-knuckled grip. Oh how she wished to smack them both ‘round the head with said book, if for no other reason than to see if it would pop their oversized egos. Honestly how they manage to fit through doors with such large heads was beyond Izora.
She took a deep, near silent breath to fortify herself and ended up accidently catching the eye of Remus Lupin, the Marauder known for being the most sensible of the quartet–unsurprising considering he was a Prefect. He smiled slightly at her, rolling his eyes in playful exasperation as James and Sirius continued to inflate their own egos over her head. Izora felt her cheeks heat up slightly and she quickly looked back down at her book, intent on studiously ignoring the four boys currently trespassing on her solitude.
Oh how she wished she’d actually gone searching for her best friends Dmitri and Galen instead of settling in the first empty compartment she’d found. She could have avoided all of this then.
“So!” James exclaimed loudly, apparently no longer interested in boosting his own ego with Sirius, and he shifted in his seat to look curiously at Izora, “Who the bloody hell are you anyway?”
“James.” Remus chided reproachfully, his voice very raspy and husky compared to James and Sirius’ smoother voices. It was rather like gravel-over-velvet in Izora’s mind.
“Sorry, Mum.” James rolled his eyes and made a face at his taller friend, who gave him a look. James merely rolled his eyes again and looked back at Izora expectantly, “Well?”
“I-“ Izora faltered and looked anywhere but at the four young men currently staring at her. It felt like their gazes were burning holes in her skin to her and she shied away, fidgeting uncomfortably in her seat and shifting so her hair hid her face. After a few more seconds of uncomfortable–on her part at least–silence, Izora cleared her throat and stuttered out her name.
“It’s nice to meet you.” Remus replied gently, offering her a kind smile when she shyly glanced at him through her hair. “I’m Remus Lupin.”
“Sirius Black.” Sirius cut in just as Remus went to introduce the other three. He grinned charmingly and scooped up one of her fidgeting hands. He quirked a brow at the glove she wore, but still dropped a kiss on the back of her hand, his eyes locked with hers. “At your service, dove.”
Izora had stiffened the minute Sirius had touched her hand and her face went completely blank the second his lips touched the back of her hand. She could feel the heat of his breath through the glove she wore and it made her skin prickle uncomfortably, as if she were being pricked by a hundred red-hot needles. The familiar pin-prick of pain—her peculiar gift, or rather curse, making itself known—shot through her skull and she grimaced against the discomfort, forcing away the haze that had started to fog her mind. (1)Even with her gloves protecting her skin from his touch, her psychometry was raring to thrust anything and everything about Sirius Black into her mind.
That was most definitely not something she wanted.
A pointed clearing of the throat, snapped Izora out of her stupor and she jerked her hand out of Sirius’s like his hand was on fire, the haze dissipating as soon as her hand was free. She grasped her book tightly in her hands and practically curled in on herself, head bowed and shoulders protectively. She just barely resisted the urge to pull her knees up to her chest and completely curl into a little ball on the seat, desperately wanting to be anywhere but where she currently was; surrounded by four unfamiliar boys, who only seemed to succeed in making her increasingly uncomfortable and anxious the longer she was in their presence.
“Erm…right then.” James drawled rather awkwardly, running a hand through his already mussed hair and exchanging a confused glance with his best friends before introducing himself, “I’m James Potter.” He nodded towards the pudgy boy sitting beside Remus, “That’s Peter Pettigrew.”
“Hi.” Peter squeaked nervously, his watery blue eyes flickering between the floor and Izora’s still hunched figure.
Izora gave a jerky nod of acknowledgement to each young man but didn’t look up from studiously staring at the dark green cover, her eyes tracing over the intricate red and silver border on the front cover. The compartment filled with awkward silence, but Izora didn’t care in the least; she was already supremely uncomfortable after all, a little more awkwardness wouldn’t bother her. Besides, it served those four idiot boys right for making her uncomfortable in the first place.
But of course, awkward silences–or any kind of silences really–didn’t sit well with James Potter and he cleared his throat after sharing a look with Sirius.
“So,” He said with forced cheer, grinning genuinely when Izora glanced at him, “What year are you in? You’re a bit too tall for a first year…”
“Maybe she’s part Giant.” Peter Pettigrew suggested, speaking up for the first time since James had introduced him earlier. “Like Hagrid.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, Wormy.” Sirius rolled his eyes with a small scoff, then he smiled at Izora charmingly, “She’s much too pretty to be part Giant.”
“’Ey now, Pads, don’t be rude. I’m sure Hagrid’s mother was a very lovely Giantess.” James joked, waggling his eyebrows and grinning. “She had to have been for Mr. Hagrid to get on with her.”
Izora jumped when Sirius tossed his head back and let out a loud bark of laughter.
“Too right, Prongs, mate.” The grey-eyed mischief maker replied, waggling his own eyebrows now. “I bet she was just lovely.”
Izora wrinkled her nose as the two boys on either side of her continued making ribald jokes about how lovely Giantesses must be. She caught Remus’s eye and he rolled his eyes again, sighing in a deprecating way and rolling his shoulders back in a ‘yes they’re idiots, what can you do?’ type of gesture. Izora smiled weakly in response, straightening a little from her hunched position as she got the tiniest bit comfortable in the four young men’s presence.
The little bit of comfortableness she felt disappeared like smoke in the wind when James abruptly cried out and pointed a finger in her face. Izora blanched and stared at the phalange hovering a few centimeters from her nose, her eyes wide and going slightly cross-eyed.
“Oi! Did you see that, Pads?” The bespectacled young man demanded loudly over Izora’s head, no longer pointing his finger in her face but gesturing rather exuberantly instead. Izora actually had to duck her head, ‘lest he hit her in the face. “She got us all distracted talking about the lovely attributes of Giantesses instead of telling us what year she’s in!”
“Oh-ho,” Sirius chortled and shook his finger at her, “Clever, very clever. But you can’t trick us. We’re the Marauders, dove! The Kings of Pranks, Mischief, and Trickery!”
Izora gave him and James flabbergasted look, her mouth hanging open slightly in what was no doubt a rather unattractive way, her eyes the size of saucers, something they seemed to be doing quite often in the presence of the four young men.
“I-I wasn’t…T-that’s n-not...I d-d-didn’t…Urk!” She made a strangled noise and closed her eyes, bringing her book up to cover her flaming face. These two were going to drive her mad! They were completely and utter ridiculous! And imbecilic and completely off their rocks, and…and oh, how she wished she could just disappear and not have to deal with them having a laugh at her expense anymore…
She stood up abruptly, silencing James and Sirius’ uproarious laughter, Peter’s nervous chuckles, and Remus’ exasperated rebukes. James and Sirius watched her curiously, Sirius with a little smirk tugging at the corner of his pretty mouth while his grey eyes gleamed wickedly. Izora kept her face turned away from them, hidden behind her hair as she snatched up her school satchel (which had a set of her school robes packed inside), and tossed the strap over her shoulder.
“I-I’m g-going to g-go c-ch-change!” Izora announced, rather pointlessly, but with as much dignity as she could muster, despite her perpetual stutter. And without waiting for a reply, she turned on her heel and promptly fled from the compartment, very nearly slamming the sliding door shut in her haste.
James looked away from the door Izora had just fled out of and tilted his head curiously as he asked the compartment at large. “Was it something we said?”
“’Dunno, mate.” Sirius scratched the side of his head in perplexedly, still staring at the compartment door then he shrugged.
Remus closed his eyes and shook his head, sighing in a deprecating manner. He dearly loved James and Sirius–they were practically his brothers, after all–but they could be so utterly thick at times. Remus had dealt with brick walls with more common sense than those two. And Peter really didn’t help the situation, acting as if everything Sirius and James did was gospel. It could be maddening.
“Honestly,” Remus muttered as he retrieved his satchel, which contained his school uniform, from under his seat. “You two can be thicker than a troll.”
Remus stopped rummaging through his satchel to pointedly roll his eyes at his two best mates then went back to looking for his uniform, moving aside several books he’d packed for the train ride. Grumbling to each other, James and Sirius did the same while Peter followed suit a second later. A few moments later, the four best friends and housemates were changing into their uniforms.
Halfway through pulling his jumper over his head, James suddenly swore and jerked the article of clothing off, whipping around to face Sirius, who had just pulled off his own shirt.
“She never told us what year she was in, Pads!” James waved his shirt around to gesticulate his upset over this revelation. “Or her house for that matter!”
“You’re right, Prongs.” Sirius frowned, looking just as offended as James did in that moment. “How rude!
Remus felt that if he rolled his eyes any harder, they’d pop right out of his head and do a jig. “You never asked her what house she was in.” Remus pointed out as he fastened his belt around his waist after pulling on his black trousers and buttoning them.
Sirius and James opened their mouths to retort, closed them a second later, and glanced at each other with furrowed brows.
“Well...” Sirius said slowly as he finished buttoning the white, collared shirt students had to wear. “He’s not wrong.”
If he didn’t know James as well as he did, Remus would have called the expression on his face a pout, but alas, Remus did know James, quite well in fact and he knew that if even eluded that his Quidditch-playing best friend was capable of pouting, he’d end up with neon pink hair for a week. Shaking his head and sighing, Remus finished dressing, slipping on his black school robes before taking a seat once again. He picked up his satchel and placed it on his lap, rummaging through it in search of his Prefect badge while distractedly listening to James and Sirius speculate on which house Izora Hallowell was in, Peter chiming in occasionally.
“She’s definitely Hufflepuff.” Sirius said with a decisive nod after refuting Peter’s suggestion of the interesting young woman being in Ravenclaw. He dropped back down in his seat and propped his feet up on the seat across from him, folding his hands on his stomach and smirking—it was more of a leer really—cockily. “I’ve shagged enough of them to recognize Hufflepuff birds even without their robes.”
“They’re always so stuttery and nervous at first, but then…” He trailed off and waggled his eyebrows pointedly, growling playfully.
Peter squeaked, going bright red, and Sirius and James erupted into loud laughter at his expense while Remus just rolled his eyes at his friends, making a grimacing in distaste. While he had certainly become used to Sirius’ boasting when it came to his more…carnal past times, Remus had grown to find his friend’s bragging aggravating.
Remus sighed and shook his head, pulling a book out of his bag while blocking out the sounds of Sirius and James ribbing Peter for blushing as they talked about past conquests. Not even an hour into the seven hour train ride and Remus was already looking forward to the Prefect meeting and his rounds, just to get away from his three friends for a little bit. He loved his friends, but sometimes they drove him mad.
Worrying her bottom lip with her teeth, Izora kept her head down as she made her way to the loo at the end of the train car. Her mind was restless, thoughts whirling about like a maelstrom of disjointed words, images, and emotions. Not that such a predicament was anything new to her; her mind was very much a fragmented, disorderly labyrinth ninety percent of the time.
But it made sense to her, at least…well usually it did. There were times, like right now for instance, where her mind was nothing more than a nonsensical mess to her. She hated moments like that. Hated that she didn’t have even a semblance of control over her own thoughts, chaotic though they may be. And right now, she really disliked the Marauders for causing her current mental disarray. Her thoughts ranged from how pretty Sirius Black’s eyes were, to wondering if James Potter had ever even heard of a hair brush, to the curious case of how Peter Pettigrew had become friends with such an outgoing set of boys, to the even more curious case of why Remus Lupin looked so world-weary and haggard for one so young. That particular thought circulated through her head more often than any other. It was starting to become ridiculous.
Izora shook her head, attempting to dispel her scattered thoughts, her expression skewing with frustration as her mind continued to run itself in complicated circles revolving around the Marauders.
“Oh sweet Morgana.” She muttered the familiar, if little used oath, under her breath and she knocked on the wooden door of the loo with some impatience. When there was no response after several moments, Izora shoved the sliding door open and stepped into the small water closet, almost but not quite slamming the door shut behind her and locking it with probably more aggression than was strictly necessary.
Izora dropped her satchel to the ground and turned towards the sink, gripping the edges so hard the bones of her knuckles stood out. She closed her eyes and bowed her head, lips moving faintly as she silently counted to twenty, first in English then in Romanian—a grounding technique she’d been using ever since second year. Slowly, gradually, the mental whirlwind calmed to a more manageable chaos and Izora let out a sigh of relief(2). Her thoughts still buzzed, but they were more subdued than the hoard of hyperactive Cornish Pixies they had been before. Her thoughts were often like that, flitting about the multi-tiered labyrinth she’d constructed in her head(3).
The blonde lifted her head and regarded her reflection in the grubby, circular mirror above the sink; an almost skeletal, wraith of a girl stared back at her. Scrutinizing her gaunt face, Izora reached up and prodded at the dark smudges under her left eye then ran her gloved fingertips over hollowed cheek. How lovely, she looked like death warmed over.
“Wonderful, I look like a corpse.” Izora grumbled, letting her hand drop back to the sink edge with a quiet sigh of consternation. “Galen is going to lynch me when he sees me.”
Her eager mind(4) thrust a rather lovely visual to go along with the sentiment and Izora pulled a face, turning away from the mirror and snatching her satchel up from the ground. She plopped the worn leather shoulder-bag on the sink, unclasped it, and flipped it open. The undetectable extension charm placed on the satchel had Izora rummaging inside it for several minutes before she finally found her neatly folded uniform and school robes. She pulled her wand from the pocket of her peacoat and set it aside then began to disrobe.
“Chip the glasses and crack the plates! Blunt the knives and bend the forks! That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!” Izora murmured the poem from The Hobbit quietly to herself—further grounding her mind, carefully folding each article of clothing she removed and placing it inside her satchel until she was only in her undergarments and her socks.
Wiggling her toes, Izora grabbed her black skirt and squirmed into it, smoothing it down before grabbing her black tights from the neat pile resting beside her satchel on the sink.
“Hmm…” Izora hummed, scrunching her nose up as she looked around the small water closet, her eyes settling on the toilet. She pulled a face and, with a reluctant sigh, she used her wand to close the lid then sat down stiffly. She made sure her skirt kept the bare skin of her thighs from touching the lid. She continued to idly hum to That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates! to herself as she carefully pulled on her tights. It was a ridiculous, extremely amusing poem and it kept her mind occupied, which was lovely.
“Smash the bottles and burn the corks! Cut the cloth and tread the fat! Pour the milk on the pantry floor!”
She slipped her Mary-Janes on her feet after adjusting her stockings then she stood up, wrangling herself into the camisole she wore under her button-up, which she slipped on next and tucked into her skirt after buttoning it up. “Leave the bones on the mat! Splash the wine on every door! Dump the crocks in a boiling bowl; Pound them up with a thumping pole! And when you’re fini-“
The sound of someone wrapping their fist against the wooden door of the loo cut Izora off and she froze halfway through pulling her gray jumper-vest over her head.
“Hello?” An impatient voice demanded from the other side of the door, “Do hurry up in there. Other people who need to use the loo!”
Squeaking and blushing furiously, Izora hurriedly yanked her vest down all the way, snatched up her robe, tossed her satchel strap over her head, grabbed her wand and shoved it into her skirt pocket. Another round of impatient knocking sent her scurrying to unlock and open the door to the loo, throwing the sliding door open with probably a little more force then strictly necessary.
Izora’s pallid face flushed red with embarrassment when the young, brunette woman, standing with her arms crossed and a hip cocked to the side, quirked a brow and sneered at her.
“Took you bloody long enough.”
Izora ducked her head and shuffled out of the washroom, skirting around the other young woman, practically cementing herself to the wall to avoid any contact with the brunette. Izora heard the door to the loo slide shut as she hurried down hall, heading back to her compartment. She’d forgotten about the awaited her in the compartment while she’d been getting dressed, her mind much more focused on putting on her clothes and remembering the words to Tolkien’s poem.
Unfortunately it all came rushing back when she slid the compartment door opened and was met with four pairs of eyes turning to stare at her.
“She’s a bloody Gryffindor!”
Izora flinched at James loud exclamation of disbelief, her brow furrowing at the absolutely gobsmacked expression he wore. The bespectacled boy shoved Sirius, who looked positively gleeful as he looked her up and down.
“She…what…how…Pads!” James smacked Sirius, who looked positively gleeful as he looked her up and down. He gestured wildly in Izora’s direction when Sirius glanced at him. “Gryffindor, Pads! Bloody Gryffindor!”
“I can see that, mate.” Sirius replied, still sounding delighted at this unforeseen turn of events, and his gaze returned to Izora.
His eyes lingered on her legs and Izora shifted uncomfortable, her hands tightening around the satchel of her school bag. His gaze flicked up to meet hers and smiled wickedly. The blood rushed to her face so fast, Izora thought she was going to faint. Never ever in her teenaged life had a guy looked at her the way Sirius bleeding Black was currently was. He looked as if he wanted to eat her and Izora felt quite naked under his gaze, something she didn’t enjoy.
Not. One. Bit.
“Why don’t you sit down, dove?” Sirius cajoled, patting the open seat between him and James with a charming smile.
Will you step into my parlour, said the spider to the fly. Izora thought quite hysterically, her mind conjuring a rather vivid image Sirius Black as a spider trying to devour the poor little fly that was herself. Face still burning with embarrassment and discomfort, Izora cagily edged her way back to her seat, sliding the compartment door behind her.
Sirius’s grin widened and he beckoned her closer. Izora bit back a frown and kept her eyes firmly on her shoes instead of meeting his flirtatious gaze, even though she could feel his eyes boring into her. It was very uncomfortable and anxiety churned in her stomach, tightening it in knots. She chanced a glance to her right and nearly tripped over her own feet; Remus Lupin was staring at his friend with annoyance etched all over his haggard, scarred face, golden-brown eyes frustrated. His eyes flickered to her, softened, and he offered her a small smile.
Izora swallowed thickly and looked away, stare returning to her shoes, as she timidly sat down in the seat between Sirius and James. She kept her satchel in her lap, holding it tightly to her practically like a shield. Sirius was still staring at her and Izora felt the sudden urge to poke him in the eye with her wand just to get him to stop bloody staring at her!
Swallowing thickly, Izora slowly turned her head in Sirius’ direction, focusing her eyes on his nose instead of meeting his eyes. “C-can I-I-I h-he-help y-you?”
“Actually, you can.” Sirius replied with a smirk and he leaned forward, his voice becoming a low, intimate whisper. “Why don’t you tell me what year you’re in, dove?”
He reached out and twirled a strand of her pale blonde hair around his calloused finger. In a rush of righteous indignation, Izora reared back and slapped his hand away from her, her nervous expression morphing into anger.
“Don’t touch me!” Izora barked crossly, blue-green eyes glacial and cheeks flushed with outrage instead of mortification.
Sirius straightened in surprise, his brows shooting up to nearly his hairline as he regarded the young woman currently glaring at him with utmost contempt. Peter squeaked and the quiet conversation James and Remus had been engaged in petered out and the three looked towards Sirius and Izora curiously, or in Peter’s case anxiously.
“Er…”James raised his brows and looked between Izora and Sirius, “Alright then, you two?”
Izora’s eyes flickered towards the other three young men and she felt a wave of nervous embarrassment surge through her, snuffing out her feminine fury as if it had never been. She huddled into her seat, pressing her back against her seat and wishing it would just swallow her up.
James looked over her head at Sirius questioningly, “Pads?”
“Alright, Prongs.” Sirius replied at last, still looking contemplatively at Izora with his head tilted slightly to the side. After a moment, he smirked and looked over at James. “Seems like our little Izzy has a bit of a bite to her.”
Izora’s grip tightened on her satchel, her hands itching to smack the cockiness right out of the boy sitting to her left. If he kept it up, she’d show him just how much of a bite she really had. Izora was saved from further humiliation when the compartment door slid open and the Marauders’ attention was focused there.
“There you are Remus.” Lily Evans, one of the brightest witches in all of Hogwarts and the subject of James Potter’s dubious attentions, stated in obvious relief. “The Prefects meeting is about to start.”
“Alright.” Remus replied, closing the book he’d been trying to read and tucking it into his satchel. “Give me a moment.”
“Lily!” James exclaimed excitedly and jumped to his feet. He cleared his throat and ran a hand through his messy hair, trying to act as casually as he could after that little display of overenthusiasm. “How, uh, how was your summer, Evans?”
“My summer was none of your business, Potter.” Lily snipped, her lips twisting into a faint sneer of distaste. She looked past James, jewel-green eyes sweeping across the compartment before landing on Izora’s hunched figure sitting tensely beside Sirius Black. Her brows rose in surprise. “Oh, hello, Izora.”
Izora glanced up at the redhead shyly then looked back down at her satchel, “H-hello Lily.”
“So, Evans,” James said, sidling up to Lily with a hopeful expression, “I was wondering if you-“
“I’m surprised to see you here.” Lily spoke over James loudly without looking at him, keeping her gaze determinedly on the thin blonde. “I’d have thought you would be sitting with your friends. Instead of…” She trailed off and casted a disdainful look at James, Sirius, and Peter. “Instead of this lot.”
“Come now, Evans.” Sirius drawled nonchalantly, smirking as he lounged back in his seat. “We’re not that bad.” He tossed a muscular arm over Izora’s shoulder, completely forgetting—or more like ignoring her earlier demand to not touch her. “Right Izzy?”
Izora scrambling out from under his arm and into James’ vacated was all the response he received. Sirius chortled and she shot him a look of loathing from where she was practically merged herself with the compartment wall.
“That’s enough, Padfoot.” Remus chided, swatting the back of his friend’s head as he got to his feet. He gave Izora a small smile that widened slightly when she relaxed marginally and tentatively returned his smile with a barely noticeable one of her own. Shouldering his school bag, he turned towards Lily. “I’m ready.”
Lily, having observed the whole scene while ignoring James’ attempts to pester her, nodded in acknowledgement then looked towards Izora. “Would you like to come with us, Izora? I can take you to the compartment Dmitri is in if you’d like.”
Izora opened her mouth to respond with emphatic agreement, but hesitated and peeked at the Marauders. Sirius was turned towards her, his brows raised in an almost challenging manner, James was glancing between her and Lily longingly, Peter wasn’t even looking at her, his gaze focused on his shoes, and Remus...well he was staring at her with what Izora was beginning to realize was patented look of utter patience and understanding.
“N-no, I-I’m f-f-fine here. Tha-thank you.” The stuttered sentences spewed from her mouth without her consent and Izora clapped her hands over her mouth, once again looking like a deer-caught-in-the-headlights when Sirius let out a whoop of triumphant.
Ignoring that particular idiot, Lily stared at Izora doubtfully and she cajoled slightly, “Are you sure, Izora?”
“You heard her, Evans. She wants to stay with us.” Sirius taunted slightly. Lily shot him a dirty look and he rolled his eyes, “Oh come off it, Evans. She doesn’t need you to protect her virtue. She’s quite capable of doing that for herself.” He muttered the last bit under his breath, amusement obvious then raised his voice to a normal volume once more. “Now run along with Moony to your little Prefects’ meeting.”
Lily’s face turned red and she opened her mouth, no doubt getting geared up to let loose a torrent of impolite and violent threats and insults upon Sirius Black’s person, but Remus quickly stepped in front of her and distracted her.
“We really should be going, Lily. We don’t want to be late.” Remus said calmly, gently ushering her out of the compartment doorway before turning to shut it. He looked over at Izora and smiled gently, “I’ll be back once my rounds are finished.” Next he addressed his three friends, his kind expression becoming stern, “Behave yourselves.”
“Why Moony, I’m hurt.” Sirius exclaimed dramatically, clutching at his chest as if he were in pain. He winked at Izora then continued theatrically. “I’m a perfect angel. Isn’t that right, Prongs? Aren’t we perfect angels?”
“Hmm?” James muttered distractedly, trying—and failing—to peer around Remus in order to get a last glimpse of Lily. Sirius rolled his eyes and stretched a leg out, kicking the back of bespectacled boy’s calf. James yelped and whipped around to glare at his best friend. “Ow! Bloody hell, Pads, what was that for, you prat?”
“Just…” Remus sighed and shook his head in exasperation. “Just don’t do anything too stupid.”
“We make no promises.” Sirius replied innocently, smirking slightly at the rueful glare James was giving him as he rubbed his aching calf.
Remus looked up at the ceiling, as if imploring the gods to save him from his ridiculous friends, then with one last glance towards Izora, he shut the compartment door. Sirius waited all of three seconds before twisting around in his seat to stare intently at Izora.
Izora, for her part, just stare warily, a smidge defiantly, back at him with her satchel held protectively in front of her and her back pressed against the compartment wall. Sirius grinned; she looked like a cornered and pissed off alley cat.
“So, Izzy,” He drew the newly coined nickname out.
“D-don’t c-c-call me th-that.”
Sirius ignored her sharp, if stuttery demand and continued with a smirk, “You still haven’t told us what year you’re in.”
Izora let out a quiet snort and sent him a quelling look of utter derision in response. Like bloody hell he was going to get anything out of her after everything he’d pulled.
“C’mon, Izzy.” James coaxed, joining Sirius in his wheedling as he dropped down heavily in Remus’ vacated seat directly across from her. “What’s the harm in telling us what year you’re in? Surely, it’s not that big of a deal.”
Izora shook her head stubbornly and refused to speak, fixing her stare on her the top of her satchel. She’d made it nearly her entire school life without drawing too much attention to herself, like bloody hell she’d let these two cheeky, attention-seeking tossers ruin that on a whim. Izora grimaced slightly; oh brilliant, now her inner monologue had a distinctive ‘Lily Evans’ feel to it. Lovely. That was just…lovely.
Several hours after Lily had fetched Remus for the Prefects meeting found Izora huddled in her corner seat beside the compartment’s window with her back against the wall, her knees drawn up, and her school robes draped over her legs like a makeshift blanket. Her school bag was resting on her former seat and she had The Hobbit propped up on her knees, picking up where she’d left off when the four Marauders had invaded her compartment near the start of the train ride.
Sirius and James were sitting across from her—Sirius now sitting in the window-seat and James right beside him— their heads close together as they conversed in quiet whispers, occasionally shooting surreptitious glances in Izora’s direction. Izora ignored them as she had been doing for the past four or so hours, stubbornly refusing to even acknowledge their presence. The Honeydukes Express trolley had come and gone half an hour ago; this marked the train ride’s halfway point, seeing as how the trolley witch didn’t begin making rounds until then. The three remaining Marauders had converged on the poor elderly woman like a pack of ravenous wolves, purchasing practically everything on the trolley—Izora, not having much of a sweet-tooth, had of course, politely refused the trolley witch’s offering of something sweet from her cart while the boys raided said cart.
Izora had taken the momentary bedlam created by the three young men to pull Draci from his carrier and place him in her lap before resuming her previous seating position. By the time Sirius, James, and Peter had returned to their seats across from her, arms laden with various Honeydukes sweets, Izora was once again reading her book, the three boys none the wiser to the pine marten curled up in the space between her stomach and thighs.
Very much engrossed in the adventure of Bilbo Baggins and the Company of Thorin Oakenshield, Izora failed to notice James and Sirius conclude their quiet scheming and were now staring at her with identical looks of mischief, each of them with a handful of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. She was unaware, at least, until one said sweets bounced off of her head. Izora jumped a bit in surprise and whipped her head around, lips twisted downward in an irate glower. As soon as her vexed gaze landed on the pair, Sirius and James silenced their snickers and smiled innocently at her, their hands suspiciously hidden from view.
Izora eyed them narrowly for several moments then huffed quietly and went back to reading, shifting a small bit so she was turned slightly away from the two insufferable young men. Not even a second later another projectile ricocheted off the back of her head followed by a hissed;
Izora gritted her teeth and hunched her shoulders, determined to ignore James and Sirius and continue reading her book. She was just getting to a rather exciting part where the Company was trapped in a tree surrounded by wolves and goblins when flew past her shoulder, bounced off the back of the seat and landed on Draci’s head. The marten jolted and shook his blunt, triangular head with an agitated chitter, sending the sweet to the ground. Izora shifted her white-knuckled grip on her book to one hand and gently dropped her free hand to Draci’s head, stroking his ears soothingly. Draci settled down slightly and repositioned himself, peering under Izora’s arm and riveting his jet-black eyes on the ever oblivious James and Sirius.
“Psst! Izzy! Guess what?” James stage-whispered and he grinned cheekily when she shot him an annoyed look over her shoulder. “We figured out what year you’re in, Izzy.”
“You’re a sixth year.” Sirius finished triumphantly, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning back in his seat with a self-satisfied smirk.
Unimpressed, Izora glanced between them, her gaze flat and lips pursed. They stared back at her expectantly, looking so very proud of themselves, as if they’d just figured out some complicated mystery and were waiting to be showered with praise and adoration.
“F-f-figure th-that out a-all by y-you-yourselves th-then?” Izora stuttered out drily, barely refraining from rolling her eyes as she turned back to her book. Merlin, they were such twits.
“I’ll have you know we deduced your year in a blaze of intellectual glory.” Sirius retorted with playful indignation after sharing a mock-affronted look with James. “You should be impressed. It was really quite brilliant, wasn’t it, Prongs?”
“Indeed it was, my good sir.” James agreed in a stuffy sort of voice before pronouncing quite theatrically, “You see, little Izzy, when we realized that my dearest Lilyflower recognized you, we were able to infer that you shared a dormitory with the most beautiful, intelligent-“
“And since Evans is in our year, that must mean you are too.” Sirius cut James off before he could go on rambling, speaking in a voice worthy of one of the snobbish politician from the Ministry of Magic.
“Oi,” James snapped, rather outraged at being interrupted, and he shoved his best friend’s shoulder, “I was getting to that bit!”
Sirius just smirked smugly at him, “Please, Prongs, you can go on about your ‘Dearest Lilyflower’ for hours. I was just saving time.”
Izora couldn’t help it, the indignant look James fixed Sirius with, caused her to snort a small laugh. The Marauders’ two ringleaders instantly locked on the sound and looked at her with victorious grins. Izora flushed and ducked her head, bringing her book up to hide her face. Once again, she was spared from further humiliation as the compartment door slid open.
The deep, slightly accented voice caused Izora to lift and turn her head so quickly, she thought she put a crick in it. At once her expression went from annoyed embarrassment to utter delight and, after depositing Draci and her book on the seat beside her, she all but scrambled to her feet and flew at the tall, lanky young man standing in the door way.
“Dmitri!” Izora almost squealed, prompting surprised looks from the three Marauders in the compartment.
Grunting quietly, Dmitri Ţepeş took a small step back to keep his balance as eight and a half stones of blonde Gryffindor bowled into him, her thin arms twining around his waist in a fierce hug. He snorted and exasperatedly rolled his eyes in at her show of exuberant affection even though he still wrapped an arm around her shoulders. Uncaring of her observers, she pressed her forehead against his chest and closed her eyes. The haze she’d pushed back earlier when Sirius had kissed her hand surged forward, blanketing her mind for only a second before images began playing like a Muggle movie-reel.
Green and brown blurs of trees whipping past
Wind, icy cold and burning against unprotected skin
Elation, the complete and utter euphoric feeling of flying
Of experience a true sense of freedom…
Vladimir Ţepeş, you get off that broom right now, young man!”
Laughter, deep and resounding, filled the air after the shrill shriek
The euphoric feeling evaporated, replaced by mild annoyance…—
Izora grinned, lifted her head, and met Dmitri’s deadpan gaze. He sneered down at her, the look more playful than actually contemptuous. Cantankerous prat he may be, but he’d never begrudge her the opportunity to practice her gift; it was practically tradition for her to use her psychometry to snoop on their summers.
“Nosy chit.” He muttered, causing her smile to widen slightly then he looked over her head. His coal black eyes narrowed and he regarded the three young men with open contempt, “So this is why you aren’t sitting with Galen and me.”
Izora abruptly remembered the other three people she was sharing a compartment with and she seemed to almost shrink, her face becoming ghostly. Slowly, she turned in Dmitri’s grip to face the three Marauders and shrank even further at the looks they were giving her; James’ hazel eyes were flickering between herself and Dmitri behind his spectacles, looking rather puzzled with his head tilted to the side, Sirius was lounging back in his seat with his arms crossed over his chest, a look of cool indifference on his face, and Peter, poor Peter looked extremely confused and about as uncomfortable as Izora currently felt.
“This your bloke, Izzy?” Sirius asked as he quirked a sardonic brow at her. The ‘didn’t know you could get a boyfriend’ went unsaid, but was heard by all.
Izora grimaced slightly at his tone, like he expected her to apologize for not mentioning that she actually had friends and that her world did not, in fact, revolve around him and the rest of the Marauders. Izora tilted her chin up defiantly and firmed her mouth as she spat out a retort;
“P-piss o-off, y-y-you wa-wanker.”
Sirius scoffed quietly and turned away, glaring moodily out the window. James glanced between his sulking best friend, the young blonde woman glowering mutinously, and the irritable-looking young man standing behind her.
“Well, this is sufficiently awkward.” The bespectacled young man stated loudly, his amused voice cutting through the rising tension like a knife. He ignored the outraged look Sirius sent him as he waved towards the seats across from him and his two friends. “Izzy, why don’t you and your bloke come and sit down, yeah?”
Izora shoulders slumped a bit in mild relief, her rigid posture losing its tension-caused stiffness. Eying Sirius cagily, she grabbed Dmitri’s wrist, moved his arm from around her shoulders, and led him to the seat across from the three Marauders. She dropped down heavily in the ugly seat by the window, directly across from Sirius, and Dmitri sat beside her after she placed her schoolbag under the seat and placed Draci in her lap. He sat with a lazy sort of hostility, his arms crossed standoffishly over his chest, shoulders held back and posture loose; as if he was just for a confrontation to start up. Sirius, Izora noted, was in a similar, if a little more tense, position. They were both glaring balefully at each other.
James was looking increasingly amused by the whole situation, evident by the way he kept glancing between the two with grin that was steadily growing until his dimple was visible. Izora just found their male posturing exceptionally exasperating and was wondering if it was possible to suffocate on an excess of testosterone. Judging from the way Peter currently looked—rather panicked and very strained, Izora had a feeling it was possible.
Looking completely at ease and beaming quite madly at this point, James settled back in his seat and folded his hands behind his head, before nudging Izora’s leg with the toe of his shoe, “Eh, Izzy, introduce us to your bloke, will you?”
Izora startled like a deer, peering at the bespectacled boy owlishly. He gazed back at her expectantly, raising and lowering his brows and pointedly nodding his head in Dmitri’s direction. Dmitri, having seen the whole exchange, rolled his eyes and snorted.
“I’m not her ‘bloke’, Potter.” Dmitri drawled out flatly, “Shirty cow though she is, Izora is my best mate. More of a sister really.” He added that last bit in an offhanded manner.
“S-stroppy cow?!” Izora hissed heatedly then proceeded to smack him repeatedly on the shoulder. “I-I’ll s-sh-show you a-a-a s-sh-shirty c-cow, y-you t-toe-rag!”
Dmitri grunted and tried to fend her off, swatting her hands away from his person as if he were waving away an annoying fly. “Merlin, calm down, woman! It was a joke! Not that it isn’t true.” He muttered the last bit under his breath, but Izora still heard him and promptly switched from smacking him with her hands to using her book.
James was watching the whole interaction with unholy glee, his mind already whirling at how much of a paradox the young woman was. She was definitely someone he wanted to befriend. Beside him, Sirius was also watching Izora accost her friend, his lips unwillingly tugging up into an amused smirk. His thoughts were in a similar vein to his best mate; although ‘friendship’ maybe wasn’t necessarily what he had in mind.
“Ow! Alright! Enough woman!” Dmitri demanded, snatching the book from Izora’s grasp and holding it out of her reach. Glowering, he swore at her colorfully and nastily in Romanian until she boxed him ‘round the ears in retaliation. He rubbed the side of his head and scowled at her but wisely remained silent when she narrowed her eyes dangerously.
Izora snorted as he sulkily slouched in his seat and crossed his arms over his chest, his expression the very picture of petulance. She caught James and Sirius observing her mirthfully and she blushed, feeling horrified over what they had witnessed. It was one thing for her to act like a complete nutter around Dmitri and Galen, but she hardly knew James, Sirius, and Peter. She wished the ground would open up and devour her—that’s if she didn’t die of mortification first, of course.
“Well then, that was certainly entertaining.” James stated cheerfully, dimple flashing as he grinned while his hazel eyes danced with good humor. He nodded his head towards Dmitri, “We still haven’t gotten your name, mate. Though you obviously know who we are.”
Dmitri casted a disinterested glance in the bespectacled young man’s direction then deadpanned, “Yeah, the Marauders are pretty well-known.” He didn’t make any move to continue, at least not until Izora elbowed him pointedly in the side. He grunted;
“Fine, fine. Tetchy today, aren’t you?” Izora flashed her teeth in a not-so-nice smile and Dmitri rolled his eyes then looked towards the three Marauders, “Names Dmitri Ţepeş, sixth year Hufflepuff.”
Sirius’ brow shot up and he gave the dark eyed young man a look of disbelief, “Hufflepuff, really?”
“Are you taking the piss?” James sputtered out at the same time then he and Sirius exchanged unreadable looks and simultaneously burst into raucous laughter. After a moment, Peter joined in nervously, his chuckles weak and unsure.
Dmitri scoffed and rolled his head in Izora’s direction, rather used to this type of reaction, but no less annoyed by it. He drawled out flatly, “Your new mates are bleeding twats, Zora.”
“N-not my m-m-mates.” Izora muttered, eying James and Sirius like one would eye a particularly disgusting bogey; they were practically convulsing in their chairs from laughter. Izora grimaced and glanced out the now rain-streaked window, taking in the darkened sky.
Turning away, she reached over Dmitri and picked up her book, flipping through the pages until she found her place then she settled into continue reading. She immersed in the story, trying to ignore the way James and Sirius, with Peter tentatively joining in, began taking the mickey out of Dmitri for being a Hufflepuff— luckily he was so used to it by now that he simply scoffed and replied with scathing retorts that did nothing but elate the two mischief-makers. Izora snorted and rolled her eyes; they were definitely not her mates and they never would be, not if she had anything to do with it.
It. Would. Never. Bloody. Happen.
If only she knew how wrong she was…
1 Any and all skin-to-skin contact can trigger Izora’s psychometry, but her hands are much for sensitive/powerful conduits for her gift. This pretty much means that even though she wears gloves, if she’s not actively shielding her mind against it, she can still pick up faint thoughts/memories/etc. from a person if they touch/grab her hands. But that’s only for people; she can’t get readings off of inanimate objects through her gloves.
2 The way Izora’s thought process works was inspired by Cassandra Cillian from The Librarians (in that it’s very chaotic and disjointed, but still somehow all connects). Pretty much due to her psychometry, Izora developed a form Synesthesia, which allows her to link certain senses (if not all five of them) to her memory.
3 The ‘multi-tiered labyrinth she’d constructed in her head’ is inspired by BBC Sherlock’s ‘Mind Palace’ as well as FF Author Cuckoo on a String’s character Hal (from her story Sin Eater)’s mental library. It’s pretty much how she deals with her psychometry; each ‘tier’ of the labyrinth has represents the various memories, emotions, etc. that she’s gathered throughout her life from touching things/people. Each time she touches someone/thing, a new memory is added to whichever ‘tier’ it belongs to, making that particular maze even more complicated. When she touches someone/thing new, an entirely new ‘tier’ is added to her labyrinth.
4 Izora’s mind/thoughts/memory is heavily visually based; meaning that she more often sees things as images and certain things can trigger her mind to thrust different visuals to the forefront (i.e. she once touched something that belonged to a man that was in fact lynched, thus when she mentioned Galen lynching her, her mind provided that visual). Also if she focuses enough, she can visualize her mental labyrinth on her surrounds and in the air around her head (once again, like Cassandra Cillian from The Librarians).