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Assignment 101 by No_oneKnows
Chapter 1: Meeting Maia
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1. Meeting Maia
“I can’t believe this,” Sirius sighed as he tilted onto the two hind legs of his wooden chair with a creak.
“Neither can I,” James muttered glumly, sipping on his butterbeer as he stared distantly at the table.
The room of the Hog’s Head Inn was quiet and dark; the tables smothered with dirt and dust while the windows remained bordered with tackily placed wooden beams, allowing entrance to mere single rays of light.
Remus joined the two at the table, helping himself to his own bottle of butterbeer with a hint of amusement on his face. “I don’t know what you two are complaining about, honestly.”
“Oh, let me tell you, Moony,” Sirius said, falling back flat on the chair’s four legs with a thud, sending the floor beneath them to a slight quiver. “Even Wormtail’s got given an assignment!”
James scoffed, shaking his head disapprovingly while Remus chuckled lightly, “If there’s one advantage to being a rat, it’s that he has his cunning.”
“Well, look at the two of us!” James grumbled, his butterbeer landing on the table with a clunk, “It’s like we’re as useful as a hippogriff’s back side.” He looked at Sirius with a grim look on his face. Sirius, on the other hand, winked as though it was some gesture of comfort.
“Dumbledore probably thinks you two are much too – what’s the word? – reckless?” Remus’ lips twitched as he raised an eyebrow.
“Reckless?” Sirius cried in mock incredulity, “James and I? How dare they!” James guffawed along, beaming at his best friend, the memory of the two muggle policemen and their completely crumpled police car no doubt on both their minds.
Suddenly, a jingle sounded at the door, the thumping of a wooden leg following almost immediately after.
“Black,” said a menacing growl, the man’s beady blue eyes transfixed on what now seemed to be an alerted Sirius, “You’ve got an assignment.”
Sirius punched the air with his fist, obviously thrilled while James sunk even lower in his chair.
“Finally, Moody, what is it?” he exclaimed enthusiastically, wand out and ready.
No one but Remus seemed to notice the concealed smile that lingered on Moody’s lips.
“You’re to protect the daughter of the muggle Prime Minister,” Moody slapped a gruff grin on his face, “As you know, the Dark Lord’s most likely going to attack him some day soon…”
Only Remus seemed to be listening, as Sirius froze, oblivious to the fits of laughter next to him.
“Potter,” Alastor barked, aware that the two had stopped paying attention, “You too.”
The gleeful smile was wiped off of James’ face, his eyes wide and his mouth in the shape of a perfect circle as he and Sirius exchanged glances.
This was certainly not what they’d expected.
“I really cannot believe this,” Sirius muttered even more darkly as James and him walked down the stony footpath that led toward an impressive three-story mansion made of whitish gray marble, hardly taking any notice of the massive green hedges surrounding them.
“I didn’t think, when I signed up, that baby-sitting would be a required feat,” James murmured back; hand in his black bomber jacket, gripping tightly onto the slim handle of his wand. A strong gust of wind rustled his hair, making it appear much wilder than it usually was.
“Yeah, if I’d known, I wouldn’t have bothered,” Sirius replied, a glint in his eye that suggested his sarcasm. Being a part of the Order was an honour in itself, he thought. “How old is this girl, anyway?”
“No idea, Padfoot.” He knocked the golden knocker in the middle of the pale blue door. “No more than ten, I ‘spect.”
There was a little scurry on the other side of the door as James and Sirius waited patiently for it to open.
“Sirs,” an old butler clothed in a black suit and matching tie invited the pair in, leading them away from the gigantic entrance hall where two staircases – on opposite sides of the room – were located, past the spacious drawing room and into the cavernous dining room, where a group of two wizards and three muggles sat awkwardly around a mahogany table.
The pair of wizards, James and Sirius knew to be Albus Dumbledore on the left - smiling pleasantly at the two, his piercing blue eyes glistening softly – and Millicent Bagnold on the right, the Minister of Magic who seemed slightly more grim as she nodded at the two.
James and Sirius smiled at the two before turning to inspect the muggle family before them.
The muggle prime minister was a lanky man, his scruff of a moustache twitching silently as he sat in the middle of two girls, one – wearing a velvet green dress and her dark hair tied into a bun, her eyes darkly brown and cold - was obviously his wife and the other, his daughter, who was not ten, as James had suspected, but rather, nearing womanhood.
“I’ve been told you two are to look after my daughter,” he said sternly, staring at the two with suspicion. Sirius was aware of how unlawful he would seem with his roguish hair, tattered jeans and faded leather jacket.
Dumbledore beamed as he spoke to the man, “Prime Minister, this is James Potter-” James strode confidently towards him, hand outstretched, “and Sirius Black. They are a pair of our finest members.” Sirius, in turn, stretched out his hand, taking a glance at the girl who sniffed in distaste as she caught his gaze.
“Well,” the prime minister scoffed, “this is Maia, my daughter.” He placed a hand on the girl’s shoulders, only to find it shoved away aggressively.
“Shall we retire to your study then, minister? We have a lot more to discuss,” Dumbledore stated, standing up magnificently - his greying beard billowed as though there had been a cast of wind - and gestured for the prime minister and his wife to accompany him. “I daresay these three might want to get themselves acquainted.”
James waited until the others had gone before smiling warmly at Maia, his smile waning as she kept her nose upturned.
“Well, Maia, I’m James, as you already know.” He stretched out his hand once again, only to find it smacked out of the way.
“I don’t need protection,” she muttered angrily, her arms crossed tightly against her ample chest.
“Of course you do,” James said patiently, as though explaining two plus two to a six year old. “Your life is in danger.”
She cast him a glowering stare, her light brown eyes alit with a fiery rage. “My father’s life is in danger, why don’t you two run along and protect him instead?”
James hesitated, glancing at Sirius – who seemed to be staring back at the girl with an equal amount of dislike – before speaking again. “He has an Auror looking after him. They’re sort of police-”
“I know what Aurors are!” Maia snapped, “And quite frankly, I think they’re doing a horrible job if they need you two looking after me.”
James was taken aback. Before he could mutter anything of a retort, Sirius had decided to growl back at her. “We didn’t have a choice in the matter.”
The girl stood up fiercely, facing away from them. “Well, I’m giving you the choice now. I don’t need your protection,” she muttered, fingers performing air quotes before she crossed her arms across her chest once more.
“You listen,” Sirius snarled, “We’re only here because they think you’re important, not because we actually want to save your ungrateful hind. Not that I’ve been looking at it.” Sirius added, looking at James quickly who seemed to have trouble concealing his grin. Sirius had never been as smooth as him. No, Sirius had relied solely on his looks rather than his charm.
Maia spun around viciously, her long black hair attacking the air around her. There was a noticeable flush of bright pink on her cheeks.
“Well, Sirius, or whatever your name is, you can leave now,” she said, pointing towards the intricate wooden door that stood slightly ajar. “I can look after myself.”
Sirius looked at her scornfully, advancing a couple of steps as though about to attack her.
“Listen,” James said hastily, uncomfortably aware of the tension between the two of them, “this is an incredibly troublesome time and as much as we’d rather be out there fighting off Death Eaters and the sort-” Maia spun her head aggressively, glowering at him, “we have been assigned to look after you, so however you both feel about it doesn’t matter, really. Sirius-” he added, looking intently at him, “We have to play our part.”
“Our part does not mean baby-sitting, James! Especially this unappreciative, miserable little girl!”
“I am not a little girl!” Maia shrieked, advancing viciously towards Sirius who had whipped out his wand automatically, “Why does everyone treat me that way?” She stopped mere feet away from him, eyeing the wand as though it had done something to personally attack her.
“Because you act as though you are!” Sirius yelled, approaching her almost as savagely as she had. He started prodding her shoulder, “And if you are to be under our protection then you will start behaving like you are someone worth protecting!”
Maia grit her teeth, her nose scrunched up with hostility. With a heartbeat of a war cry, she had pounced onto Sirius, slapping at his chest as she sat uncomfortably on his lap.
At this point, James had rushed towards Sirius’ side, trying his best to pull Maia off of Sirius’ fallen body without hurting her. Though, unfortunately, it was this moment the others had decided to come back.
“Well, I think that’s all!” Dumbledore had declared, stopping abruptly at the door, an unreadable expression on his face.
“Oh my,” Millicent Bagnold gasped, her hands up to her mouth as she stared at them, confused.
“What is this?” The prime minister shouted, obviously angry as he ran towards the three, lifting Maia up with one pull. “This is what you send us, Dumbledore?”
“It’s not what it looks like!” James protested, eyes staring directly at Dumbledore.
“I think you and Sirius should go back to headquarters,” he said, neither a smile nor a frown on his face.
Sirius got to his feet gracefully, brushing himself off before tucking his wand back into his waistband. “She’s completely mental!”
Maia let out an angry yell and jerked, attempting to stretch out her arms as though meaning to strangle him. Fortunately, her father had her arms in a tight grip behind her back.
“Stop this, now!” he growled at her, shaking her slightly.
“Come on, Sirius,” James muttered, striding away quickly, only hoping that Sirius would be footsteps behind him.
The moment they had arrived in the familiarly mangy doorstep of the Hog’s Head, Sirius had already begun on his rant.
“She’s completely insane, James!” he huffed, swearing to himself as he sat himself at the table, not acknowledging a bent over Remus who was currently repairing a shattered butterbeer bottle – the shock of Sirius’ announcing arrival obviously scaring him.
“Yeah, well, thanks to you, Sirius, we’re assignment-less once again!”
“It’s better than having to look after that waste of space.” Sirius was fuming, his hands threatening to pull out the hairs on his head.
“I’m assuming this Prime Minister’s daughter is proving to be more than a handful for the two of you,” Remus said, grinning cheekily at the pair’s forlorn faces. “What happened?”
James let Sirius continue on his rant, prepared to raise a hand if Remus had wanted to interrupt. He knew it was better to let Sirius release his emotions all at once, rather than in short spasms. And, with the lack of having to lift his arm, he knew that Remus also knew.
“I know girls like her,” Sirius let out a deep breath, the outrage in his eyes still visible though it had been worn out of his voice, “Who think they’re all that.” The bitterness in his voice made sure there was no doubt that Sirius had been comparing Maia to those of his family. “They’re completely fucked,” he muttered finally, shaking his head as he glugged another glass of Firewhisky.
“Well, you’ll be lucky to know that you two haven’t been put off the assignment.” They heard Moody say brusquely as he shuffled out of the back room. “You’re to start tomorrow.”
Sirius swore loudly.
“Where are we meeting her?” James asked, already formulating plans on how to stop the two from murdering each other.
“Fionesca’s Ballet Academy,” Moody replied gruffly, “You two are in for some fun.” He winked, letting out a bark of a laugh.
A/N: Hello readers!
This is another new story that I'm working on. I know I shouldn't but my mind has not stopped planting plot bunnies everywhere. This is just a story of one of the assignments given to James and Sirius when they were facing the war :)
Please tell me what you think of it and more especially, Maia! I think she's quite interesting and fiesty, but it'd be nice to know what everyone else thinks about her!
So, please leave a comment/review! & thanks for reading!
P.S. what do you guys think of chapter images??
Chapter 2: Protection Of Sorts
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2. Protection Of Sorts
“Come on, Padfoot.” James, out of exasperation, stomped his foot on the concrete pavement beneath him. “Come on!”
Sirius stood across the road, eyes glowering at the grey brick building towering in front of him. Large windows covered the façade of the building, displaying the vast studios within it while a brightly pink coloured board stood above the wooden double doors; the words Fionesca’s Ballet Academy clearly and boldly scripted in the centre.
“No,” he said firmly, looking away fiercely.
“Don’t make me come back there and drag you in here myself.” James was nearing the edge of his temper. They were already half an hour late since Sirius’ grudge against the muggle girl had led to his complete refusal to get out of bed or, for better description, James’ couch, in the morning. It was only until Lily slapped his face with a thick, hard textbook that he jerked awake, groaning in pain.
“Think of the Order, Sirius! Think of everything we’ve done! Everything we’ve gained! You’re going to let it slip through our fingers!”
“We haven’t done anything!” Sirius shouted back, suddenly marching across the road towards James, causing an eruption of honks and tire screeches to sound on the road. “We haven’t gained anything! And, by the looks of it, we won’t be contributing any further as long as this shrew of a girl lives.” Sirius had reached James, pushing him in before casting a gaggle of girls a fierce stare as they had started to laugh at the two for lingering around such a place.
The interior of the building was just as dank as its exterior. The stairs were creaky and it felt as though it would collapse beneath them with every step they took. The plastered ceiling, too, seemed as though it could not support the higher floors and would cave in any second now.
James and Sirius walked past many studios, peering into every one in an attempt to find Maia but it was proving to be quite an arduous task.
“I’ve never seen so many girls in the same building before!” Sirius groaned, as they popped their heads into the sixth studio on the second floor.
“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” James winked at him.
After scouring through the third and final floor, James stopped abruptly. “There she is.”
The two ambled in, looks of disgust on both their faces as they watched a group of ten girls in white tutus and two men in black tights pirouette continuously, a gramophone in the corner emitting some screech of a sound.
“Arabesque, arabesque!” James and Sirius turned to look at a sharp looking woman – who could very well be Professor McGonagall’s long lost sister. Her dark brown hair was in a tight bun, and her lips were almost as thin as hers as she clapped singularly, “Arabesque!”
James and Sirius stared at each other, mouths gaping widely.
“What on earth is that rubbish?” James whispered, trying to contain his voice as they retreated back out into the corridor.
Sirius only managed a shake of his head, his mouth still hanging low, and arm held against the decaying wall for support.
“I guess we’ll just have to grit our teeth and do this, then,” James murmured, incredulity still visible on his face.
“You can grit your teeth all you want, mate.”
James rolled his eyes, took a deep breath and knocked loudly on the door, striding into the studio with his back straight and his face uncomfortably strained.
“Vat is it?” the stern looking lady snapped as the music stopped suddenly with an even louder screech.
“Er – we’re here to see Maia,” James said unsurely, looking back to where Sirius was for support.
There was a loud groan as Maia pushed past the now still group of dancers, her arms stiffly down her sides as she marched towards them, the large black bun atop her head bouncing.
“What do you two want now?” she asked James hotly, deliberately ignoring Sirius who was back to his scowling self.
“Um,” James gestured inconspicuously to the rest of the crowd, all of whom were watching them with interest.
Maia merely rolled her eyes and muttered to herself angrily before slogging away to the corridor outside.
“What do you want? We’re currently reciting Beethoven’s-”
“We’re here to protect you!” James interrupted her, “Remember?”
“I don’t need protection,” Maia grunted, playing with the hem of her tutu, “Remember?”
“Oh, yes you do,” Sirius growled, “and the first thing we’re doing is getting out of here.”
Maia cocked her head at him. “Do you hear that?” She hushed to James, who merely looked confused. “It’s the sound of vomit coming out of my arse!” She shouted the last couple of words so loudly that the two boys cringed.
“Can you not?” Sirius snarled, the expression on his face livid.
“Can you not?” Maia imitated him in a high-pitched voice as she pulled an ugly face. “Just because you two have to protect me doesn’t mean I have to stop doing what I normally do. Dancing to Beethoven being one of those normal things.” She added coldly as Sirius began to open his mouth.
“If you can call that dancing,” Sirius muttered under his breath, casting James an infuriated look.
“Well, how long until you finish, then?” James asked her politely, giving another attempt at smiling at her.
She rolled her eyes once more, “I’ll go get my stuff.” She trotted back into the studio, leaving James and Sirius to discuss their plans.
“Where are we taking her?” Sirius asked, coughing uncomfortably as one of the men in the black tights scanned him up and down through the doorway, a perverse smirk on his thin face.
“I have no idea,” James groaned into his hands, “What do girls like to do?”
Sirius let out a small snort, “This, apparently.” He gestured into the studio only to find his arm slapped out of the way.
“My God, get out of the way,” Maia said, adjusting her heavy black bag on her shoulder.
“Are you going out looking like that?” James asked, incredulously staring at her white tutu.
Maia looked at James coldly before pacing ahead of them towards the stairs.
“Merlin, James, we can’t let her go out looking like that!” Sirius muttered furiously as they followed after her, both holding on to their wands tightly.
James, on the other hand, seemed very much resigned.
“We’ll take her to Remus, we’ll take her- somewhere!” Sirius continued angrily, “Just not anywhere people can see us!”
With a step out of the front door, the two groaned as the flare of the sunlight attacked their eyes.
“It seems like she has a mind of her own,” James said, squinting after her white, quickly disappearing figure.
The two ran after her, panting as they caught up to her.
“Maybe you shouldn’t run off when you’re under the threat of being in danger,” James breathed, grabbing onto her shoulder.
“Maybe you two should keep up,” she replied, continuing on her way down the busy streets of London.
James and Sirius walked briskly along with her, their eyes observing their surroundings; Sirius, glaring at anyone who even glanced at the three.
“Where are you going?” James asked kindly, his framed hazel eyes staring intently at a group of hooded figures across the road.
“The library. Why, is that not allowed either?” she shot out, stopping abruptly as she turned her head violently to face them.
Sirius bumped into her, only to push her away aggressively. Meanwhile, James had one eye on the group across the road and the other on the bickering that Sirius and Maia had succumbed to.
“Sirius,” he called suddenly, his voice alert and his body vigilant, “Look over there,” he muttered, jerking his head as inconspicuously as he could.
Sirius’ eyes widened as he saw them, “James,” he hissed, “they’re coming this way.” The two froze, Sirius grabbing hold of Maia’s small body and pulling her in closer towards them. From there, she could hear both their hearts beating quickly.
“Get your hands off of me!” she yelled, slapping him, only to be cut off by the emergence of their wands. “What are you doing?”
“Hush,” Sirius said, less coldly as he would normally have said it. As the hooded group made their way across the road, Sirius untightened his grip, a small sigh of relief coming out of his mouth. “Only a bunch of-”
“Nice dress! Where’d you get it?” One of the boys jeered, their faces appearing out from under their hoods, a cigarette to his mouth, “The loony bin outside the loony house?” The four other boys around him guffawed.
“Nice face! Where’d you get it? The road kill down the street?” Maia snapped, taking a couple of firmly placed steps towards the menacing group before her.
“Best watch your mouth, Miss, or you’ll find it bleeding,” the same boy grunted back, flicking his cigarette onto the floor.
“Was that a threat?” Maia shouted, running up to the crowd, “I’ll show you what’s a threat!” She pulled her fist back only to find James holding tightly onto it, interrupting what would’ve been a well-placed punch. Sirius rushed to James’ aid, as Maia’s body would not stop writhing around as she continued yelling obscenities at the backs of the cackling hooded boys.
By the end of it, Maia had managed to elbow James in the face, breaking one of the lenses of his glasses and punched Sirius on the nose so hard that he had started to bleed.
“Protection!” she shrieked at them as they let her go to tend to their own injuries, “Protection! You’re here to protect me!”
Sirius’ nostrils flared, his mouth and chin covered in a crimson red that had been his blood. His jaw was tight as he stared at her irately.
“We can’t protect you from yourself, Maia!” James shouted at her, his glasses back to normal. “Maia, look,” James held onto her shoulders, looking at her intently, “Do you understand why we’ve been asked to look after you? Why you can’t go around pretending you’re okay?”
Maia scowled at him, opening her mouth to start berating at him. Before she could though, James had grabbed Sirius and apparated them out of London.
“Where are we?” she demanded instantly, not at all disturbed by the uncomfortable sensation of apparating. She looked around at the clusters of buildings, frowning as she noticed the tall, triangular building with Paris Church of St. Clementine plastered onto the board beside it. “You’re making me pray?”
“Follow me,” James muttered leading them past the church and past the little graveyard next to it.
Maia walked behind James, looking from left to right, an unreadable expression on her face. Sirius took the rear, not needing to follow James at all. This place, Godric’s Hollow, had been home to him just as much as it was for James.
After walking for a couple of minutes, James led them past the tiny gate and into the garden of a brick cottage, vines lacing all but the dark red door and window frames.
James opened the door, gesturing for Maia to enter before him. Sirius cast James a dark look before following on after her.
“Come over to the dining room,” James said, pointing to the wide room on the left, a brown table and matching chairs visible.
“I really like the décor,” Maia said, unabashed, looking at the floral wallpaper and brightly coloured vases and bench tops, as she sat herself on a green cushioned chair, letting her bags down with a thunk.
“Thanks,” James muttered unsurely, “Do you want something to drink?”
Maia shook her head as she continued looking around the room.
James looked to Sirius’ figure that had been leaning against the doorframe, staring at Maia with disgust. “Sirius?” He shook his head too.
James sighed, deciding to busy himself with preparing his own cup of coffee. Of course, he could have made one in a second, but he seemed to not revel in the awkward silence that had taken place.
“Did you bring me here for a purpose, James?” Maia inquired, for once, politely. “Or would this time be better spent at the library?”
James brought his steaming mug of coffee to the table, seating himself down on a chair before throwing his glasses onto the table so he could massage the balls of his eyes.
“I want to explain things to you, Maia,” he said calmly as he placed his glasses back onto his nose. He rustled his black hair, before continuing on, “Do you know why we have to look after you?” he asked, voice soft.
Maia had difficulty supressing the roll of her eyes. “Because,” she said sardonically, “my father is in danger.”
“Because he loves you,” Sirius snapped, “Because he cares about you and would do anything for you. Because Lord Voldemort would do whatever it takes to get your father under his control. But of course, you don’t even know who Voldemort is.” Sirius shook his head lightly, closing his eyes as he leant his forehead onto the doorframe.
“I do,” Maia whispered averting her eyes. “Father told me – who he is.”
“You seem to know a lot about our world,” James stated kindly.
She nodded this time, her gaze faraway as she turned back to look out the window. “Father told me.”
“If your father’s told you so much, why have you made it so hard for us?” Sirius asked coldly, his eyes boring into Maia’s white, illuminated face.
Maia snapped out of her daze and shot Sirius daggers. “Why have I made it so hard for you?” she asked, rising out of her chair out with a screech. “Do you think this isn’t hard for me?” Her voice was rising steadily, “Do you think I want people to be risking their lives for me? Do you think I want you two following me around all the time, taking you away from doing what you would rather be doing, as you have so pointedly made obvious?”
Maia was breathing heavily, her body heaving as she stared intently at Sirius’ taken aback expression. “Have you ever stopped to think about how hard this is on me?” Neither of them made a sound. “I never wanted to know that my father is being hunted by the most dangerous man – wizard – in the world.”
Sirius seemed lost for words, his body limp as he stood in the doorway, no longer leaning against the wall but slumping as though defeated.
“I don’t want your protection,” she muttered, looking back out the window, her brown eyes shining slightly. “Because I know how hard this is for you.” A small angry tear ran down her flushed cheek.
James and Sirius exchanged a nervous glance, unsure what to make of this situation. Fortunately for them, there was a clicking of the front door and footsteps sounded outside the dining room. Suddenly, a girl with blazing red hair stepped into view.
“Oh,” she said, surprised, “Hello.” She smiled at Maia who had hastily wiped her face dry.
“Hello, lovely,” James said, pecking her on the cheek and placed an arm around her heavily swollen waist as she sat down beside him. “This is Lily.” He looked to Maia; glad she wasn’t spilling her emotions out onto the table.
“Your wife?” Maia asked directly, as though confident she was.
James spluttered. “N- No!”
“My girlfriend!” James exclaimed, ignoring the quiet chuckle coming from Sirius.
“Who happens to be pregnant?”
“Well, that tends to happen with people in relationships!”
“With people who are going to get married,” Maia smiled as though that settled the matter.
“And you must be Maia,” Lily said hastily, grinning at her, the smile reaching her vividly green eyes. “I’ve heard a lo- I’ve heard about you.”
“And quite frankly I haven’t heard anything about you,” Maia stated, smiling warmly at her. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, though. I feel quite out of place now, seeing as this is also your house and we haven’t been introduced properly.”
“I just introduced you two-” James began.
“How did the two of you meet?” Maia interrupted.
Lily laughed, patting James on the arm as his face burst into a look of bewilderment.
“That’s too long of a story,” Lily said, glowing as she said so. “By the way, James,” she turned her attention back to her lover; “Moody’s asked that you come into headquarters for a moment when you’re done with Maia.”
James’ brows furrowed.
“Yes, and when is that exactly?” Maia piped up, checking her white leather strapped watch, its face gleaming in the sunlight.
“I’ll take her home now, James,” Sirius muttered, forcing a small smile at Maia. “You can go ahead to headquarters. I’ll catch up to you there.”
James hesitated, unsure of how that would pan out. Sirius, as though understanding the tentative look on his face, let out a bark of a laugh. “Come along now, Maia.”
For a second, James was certain Maia would have thrown a knife at him and was immensely surprised to find her picking up her bags and following Sirius to the front door.
Lily, who had watched her walk away, stared intently at her tutu. “I used to do ballet, too,” she said, smirking at the shock that had appeared on James’ face. “To Beethoven.” She gave Maia a quick wink before waving goodbye to the two of them.
Maia followed after Sirius as they exited the Potter’s cottage, the both of them not speaking a word to the other. As they reached the front of the church once more, Sirius broke out into a tumble of words.
“I apologise for not acknowledging how you have felt. I didn’t stop to think how hard this has been on you and your family and I want you to know that I don’t mind protecting you,” he murmured in one barely contained breath. “You’re important.”
He wasn’t sure how she would take it. But luckily for him, Maia smiled warmly, perhaps shyly. “But that’s the thing, Sirius, I’m not.” She placed a hand on his arm, waiting for him to apparate her back home.
The moment their feet landed on the gravelly road - the tall three story building with the recognisable pale blue door visible - there was an echo of loud, murderous shouts and bangs and multiple vibrant red lights and yellow sparks struck right past their heads.
They were under attack.
A/N: Hello readers!
If you're thinking "oh no, they're well on their way in love", they aren't just yet! So don't worry! But if you're thinking "oh yes, they're in love!" I'm sorry, not yet :P
I've finished writing this story so I might need to go back and fix the chapters, so any thoughts and comments on how you'd like this story to progress will be appreciated very much!! :D
Have a lovely day/afternoon/night & thanks for reading!
Chapter 3: Literal Mood Swings
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3. Literal Mood Swings
“What the fuck!” Sirius shouted, pulling Maia with him as he threw spell after spell at what seemed to be a horde of tall dark figures in black cloaks. Maia was dumbfounded. She had never been amidst a wizarding duel before.
“Reducto!” Sirius yelled, his wand pointed to the fire hydrant behind the mass of Death Eaters. There was a loud bang as the hydrant exploded, showering everyone with water that turned into an acidic green.
There were shrieks and hisses of singing as Sirius dragged Maia, away from the acidic rain. He tapped at her with his wand, then at himself and a blue veil appeared around the two of them.
“After them!” someone bellowed and Sirius found himself pulling Maia fiercely around the bend of the corner, just as a jet of red light streamed past her ear.
Almost instantly after that, Sirius had spun on his feet, apparating the two of them to a stretch of road, a row of buildings on either side of it. A wooden board with Hog’s Head Inn engraved on it was set on the door directly in front of them.
Sirius was panting as he turned to inspect Maia, holding onto her shoulders and looking around her body for any sign of damage.
“Either you wanted to check me out or you’re too thick to ask me how I am,” Maia muttered, shaking slightly as she pushed Sirius aside.
Sirius sniffed uncomfortably as he looked up from, what he was now aware of, her chest. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she said shortly, “Where are we?”
“We’re at Hogsmeade, a wizarding village,” he said, striding towards the door to the Hogs Head.
The two entered into the pub unnoticed as the room was buzzing with a frenzy of hastened conversations, a total of thirteen witches and wizards huddled around a long table, a grim look appearing on each of their faces.
“We were ambushed,” Sirius announced in a loud voice. Everyone stopped speaking immediately and turned round to look at the two.
“Merlin!” James shot up from his seat, taking a couple of steps towards Maia.
“She’s okay,” Sirius said, raising an arm to halt him. “We need to know why.”
“She certainly is not okay!” Maia raised her voice, unembarrassedly as they all fixed their attention onto her.
“But you said-”
“Where is my father?” she asked assertively, looking around at all the wizards, none of whom she’d ever met before.
“Safe,” Moody said abruptly, “What happened?” he asked, looking at Sirius intently.
Maia approached the table with ferocity, “Safe! What does that mean, ‘safe’? Dumbledore said-”
“What Dumbledore said doesn’t concern you, girl, now tell me-”
“EVERYTHING CONCERNS ME!” she bellowed at a collected looking Moody, his roguish appearance not seeming to have an effect on her at all, “I’M THE REASON THEY WERE THERE, I’M THE REASON WHY SIRIUS HAD ALMOST DIED AND YOU’RE CRAZY IF YOU THINK THAT DOESN’T CONCERN ME.”
Sirius took hold of Maia’s trembling body, rubbing her arms as though that would soothe her.
“Don’t you, for a second, think this doesn’t concern me, because it most certainly does,” she hissed, her eyes glowering at Moody as she shoved Sirius out of the way.
“So you’re Maia,” Remus muttered, smiling at her warmly as he brought a glass up to his lips.
“Don’t change the subject,” she said coldly, “I want to know where my father is.”
“Fine,” Moody got out of his seat and shuffled around the table towards Maia, “Your father and mother are currently in a safe house in Surrey, they have Aurors taking care of them and they have a Fidelius Charm ensuring their safety.” He pulled out a seat for Maia, “Now, sit.”
Maia grit her teeth, her jaw set in a way that seemed to suggest she was nearing her peak of aggression.
“Good,” Moody muttered as Maia sat herself down fluidly, her eyes set on the hard wood of the table. “Now, have a butterbeer.”
“Butterbeer.” Moody threw a bottle at her, only to be at the receiving end of one of her fiercest looks yet.
James and Sirius sat on either side of her, as though they had felt a sense of responsibility toward her.
Maia sat quietly, thoughts on her family as the wizards around her discussed the happenings of the war around them.
“Frank and Alice barely got away,” Fabian Prewett muttered darkly, shaking his auburn red hair out of his eyes.
“Should consider themselves fortunate,” said his brother, Gideon, the exact same expression on his face, “No one gets away from You-Know-Who.”
The others nodded as though in agreement.
“You shouldn’t say it that way,” Maia heard a voice say beside her, “If we set ourselves in that mind frame then what chance do we have?” James spoke to the table with a loud, firm voice, his eyes hard on each and every one of their faces. “We need to believe we can defeat him. Believe we’re better than him. Otherwise, no one else would.”
There were more murmurs of agreement.
Soon after this, many of the Order left, the meeting cut short, as the news of the attack on Alice and Frank Longbottom had left them disturbed.
“Now, what are we going to do with you?” Moody muttered brusquely when only Remus, James and Sirius remained.
“What do you mean?” Maia snapped instantly.
“You can’t be expecting to go home,” Sirius said incredulously. “Not after what had happened.”
“You’d better consider yourself lucky,” Moody grinned, the long scar on his face stretching across his cheek, “You’re with two of the best fighters we’ve seen.”
Maia didn’t answer. Rather, her eyes were boring into Moody’s blue ones with a wild repulsive look on her face. “Lucky?” she shrieked, “Do you even know the meaning of lucky? Because what happened today was not lucky at all! I’d rather be with a couple of thick headed sloths than with these two if that’s what you mean by lucky!”
“Hey,” Sirius said, snapping his head towards her, “That was uncalled fo-”
“No! Sirius! There is nothing lucky about this-”
“I saved your life!” Sirius roared back, “I saved your bleeding skin from a group of six Death Eaters, so for Merlin’s sake-”.
“Maia,” Remus, who had been exchanging worrisome looks with James, muttered quietly, “I’m Remus. We haven’t been properly introduced.” He held out a hand across the table, a small smile on his face as he waited for her to shake it.
Maia looked taken aback, stunned as though no one had ever been that nice to her. She took hold of it and shuddered as his coarse fingertips grazed her skin.
“Now back to the issue of what we’re going to do with you,” James muttered, his lips pursed as though in thought. Remus leaned in towards him, whispering something that seemed to bring about a wicked smile on both their faces.
“What is it?” Sirius said loudly, his cheeks slightly red from frustration.
“I think she should stay with you, Sirius.” James supressed his grin, putting on his most serious looking face he could possibly muster under such circumstances.
“NO!” Both Sirius and Maia cried, furtively glancing at each other with repulsion on their faces.
“I don’t want her in my house!” The thought of being so close to her in his tightly confined space of a flat caused him to shudder.
“Well think about it this way,” James said, his voice deliberately solemn, “She can’t stay with us, Lily and I-” he let out a small cough, “Well, yes, we can’t take her. Remus has his furry little problem to tend to,” Remus smirked, “And Moody, well,” they all took a quick glance at Moody, who happened to be swaying on his wooden leg, downing a full bottle of Firewhisky, “Well, he’s just out of the question.”
Sirius shook as he stared at his two best friends, a look of increasing detestation apparent on his face.
“So whatever way you look at it, Padfoot, you’ll have to take her.” James’ lips twitched.
“Don’t touch anything,” Sirius muttered darkly as he opened the door to his flat, unwillingly inviting her into the short narrow hallway of his home.
“I don’t intend to,” Maia replied curtly, the bags on her shoulder heavy as she strode down the hallway, its carpeted floor creaking slightly. Maia followed it until an accommodating living room came into view, the kitchen to the right and a soft couch to the left.
“I’ll be sleeping on the couch,” Sirius grunted as he shoved past her, jumping onto the brown lounge with a slight groan. He kicked his shoes off and covered his face with a matching brown cushion.
“Right,” Maia said, tugging on her bags, “And where will I be sleeping? I really don’t fancy sleeping on the floor.” She searched the room for any sign of a door. Apart from the door to the bathroom, which she passed in the hallway, there was nothing else to explore.
The cushion shot off of Sirius’ sullen face. With a wave of his wand, a door appeared opposite the kitchen. He got up quickly and beat Maia to the entrance of his room.
“Don’t touch anything,” he said, a look of concern barely concealed.
“Sirius,” Maia’s body sagged slightly, “I’m tired and my body’s aching, so will you please let me in?”
Sirius scowled before moving to the side for her. A small gasp came out of Maia’s mouth as she came into view of a massive room, its four walls and the ceiling appearing to be made out of thick, completely transparent glass, the glistening stars in the night sky distinctly vivid. There was a four-poster bed made out of what appeared to be scaly leather in the centre and a black motorbike in one of the corners.
“No need for curtains, see,” Sirius said, looking around the room before gazing at his bed longingly.
Maia walked around his room, setting her bags down on the firm bed, her fingers outstretched as though she had wanted to touch the stars. She reached the corner where his motorbike stood, illuminated by the near full moon and cluster of stars that were strewn across the black canvas of a sky.
“Don’t- don’t touch,” Sirius said hastily, rushing to the motorbike, his body blocking her view to it.
Maia frowned at him before turning back and throwing herself on to his bed. Sirius watched her suspiciously, as though she were to run up to his beloved motorbike and wipe her grubby hands all over it the minute he had left.
Suddenly, Maia shot up, her hair a mess and her eyes fixed on Sirius. She began to pull down the white body suit off of her shoulders, revealing the lacy straps of a black bra.
“Wh-What are you doing?” Sirius stammered, unable to pull his eyes away from her as she stripped in front of him, on his bed.
“I want to get changed but I didn’t want to appear to be rude,” Maia replied shortly, getting off of the bed to pull down her tutu, “So, I thought this might make you leave.”
Sirius was flabbergasted as he looked to Maia’s serious face. With one last inconspicuous glance, he tore his gaze away from her and stormed out of the room, muttering violently under his breath.
At the crack of dawn, Maia had jerked awake, her eyes bleary from the orange gleam coming from the barely rising sun. She rubbed the grains of sleep away with her knuckles and threw her legs over the bed, stretching lightly as she gazed around the transparent room with awe. It was always much more beautiful in the morning, she thought.
She tiptoed towards Sirius’ motorbike, poking it with a finger just for the sake of it. Concealing her smile, Maia made her way outside to the kitchen and living room, where Sirius was currently deep in slumber, snoring loudly.
Maia blushed furiously as she noticed that he had only been wearing boxers, a rather large tent forming around his privates. She swerved around the bench top and pulled open the fridge, attempting to be as quiet as she could. Though, that did not stop her swearing when she realised that the empty fridge contained, well, nothing.
Abandoning her consideration for peace and quiet while Sirius slept on, Maia stomped very loudly across the floor - Sirius snoring louder and louder – and pulled out his pillow, feeling quite satisfied with the loud thump that sounded as Sirius’s head bumped the hard arm of the sofa.
Suddenly, there was a loud bang and Maia found herself shrieking as, what seemed to be invisible, ropes tied her from the ceiling. Sirius’ eyes flew open, the wand in his hand emitting sprays of sparks.
“Are you mad?” Maia screamed, her entire body writhing madly, though upside down.
“What are you talking about?” Sirius roared, jumping out of his couch, “Are you mad? You never attack an armed wizard!”
There was a thud and Maia fell as a heap on the floor.
“And an armed wizard with an assignment to protect someone doesn’t attack the one they’re meant to be protecting!” Maia retorted angrily, her hair dishevelled and her lips turned into a fierce frown as she stood back up.
“What do you want, anyway?” Sirius snarled, tousling his hair with a hand.
“I’m hungry,” Maia muttered simply, eyes forced onto Sirius’ face for his boxers covered barely anything.
Sirius made a scathing sound as he moved to the fridge. He, like Maia, swore when he discovered that his fridge had contained nothing. He strode over to his pantry, shutting it with a loud bang as that, too, was empty.
“It’s five in the morning,” he growled, “how could you be hungry?”
Maia stood on her spot, her hands on her hips. “What do you think breakfast is?”
“Go back to sleep,” Sirius groaned, jumping back onto his couch and closing his eyes.
“I’m hungry!” Maia shouted, stomping her way to the couch where she stood, glaring down at Sirius.
Sirius ignored her. Instead, he covered his face with a pillow, as though that would stop her from existing.
“Fine!” she snapped, “Fine!” With that, Maia marched back into her room, only to re-emerge five minutes later, fully clothed in jeans and a thick, polka dotted sweater. “Fine,” she said again, loudly this time.
With a slam of the front door, Sirius jerked upwards. “Fuck!” he exclaimed angrily, running out of his apartment after her, wand in hand.
“Come back here!” Sirius shouted at her, marching at a pace that matched Maia’s.
“No,” she replied flatly.
Sirius caught up to her and stopped her with a firm grip on her arm. She let out a small gasp of shock. “Why aren’t you dressed?” she almost screamed, squirming in an attempt to get out of his hold. True enough, Sirius had left his house in his boxers. Something he had regretted the instant he felt the icy breeze of the morning.
Sirius didn’t answer. Rather, he twisted on his foot and apparated to Godric’s Hollow, his head filled with violently angry thoughts.
He banged thunderously on the Potters’ front door, threatening to hammer it down. Before Sirius was about to pull out his wand to, indeed, ‘hammer it down’, the door flew open and a girl with vivid red hair appeared, an irate expression on her tired face.
“What do you want, Black? Do you not know what time it is?” she snapped angrily, a tone in her voice that resembled the way she had regarded Sirius in school.
“I do, in fact, know what time it is,” Sirius retorted, pulling Maia in through the front door, “This one, though, is apparently too thick to have any idea.” The anger in his voice was barely concealed.
“Where are your clothes?” Lily asked, shocked as he shoved Maia into a seat at the dining table and ripped open cupboards and the fridge, throwing packets of food at her.
“I didn’t have time to put any on,” he muttered bitterly, throwing an entire leg of smoked ham onto the table.
“What in Merlin’s pants is going on here?” James weary voice sounded from the door.
“She’s staying here from now on,” Sirius stood upright, his muscles tensing as he crossed his arms.
James’ gaze flickered to Maia, whose attention was transfixed on the moving pictured cereal box, and then back to Sirius.
“No can do, mate,” he said, ruffling his already messy bed hair.
“Why not, James!” Sirius said exasperatedly, “She’s driving me insane! And she hasn’t even been there a day!”
“It’s not my fault you don’t have a need for food in your house,” Maia said, her mouth full of cereal that made suspicious crackling noises from within her cheeks. “What are these by the way?” she turned her attention to James, who blinked at her. “They’re quite nice.”
“Okay,” Lily piped up, waddling her way to the table, “You can take these Maia,” she pushed the box of cereal towards her, “these, and these,” she shoved almost all the food on the table toward her, “and you’re all settled!” She beamed at Maia, who positively beamed back.
“No, we are not settled!” Sirius shouted, “I don’t want her in my house.”
“We can’t just toss her out onto the street!” James retorted, his lips twitching.
“No, that’s why you’re taking her!” Sirius exclaimed angrily, looking completely deranged.
The aggravation on Sirius’ face became increasingly more apparent as they arrived back at his flat, Maia carrying a pile of food in her arms. She unloaded it all onto the kitchen bench and smiled fondly at the sorts of crazy sweets and wizarding food that had been given to her.
“I can’t believe this is what you’d call a sweet,” Maia said, inspecting a cockroach cluster intensely.
Sirius merely grunted, pulling a white t-shirt over his head. Maia couldn’t help but notice the way the shirt clung to his toned body, his arms thick and his muscles prominent. Suddenly, with realisation, she turned away from him, a look of disgust on her face.
“What are you doing today?” Sirius murmured, only wanting to know so he could prepare himself for whatever absurdity he was required to follow her to.
“Well, it’s a Saturday, so I was thinking of going to the park,” she replied calmly, blinking steadily as Sirius looked at her, nonplussed. “Then I want to go see my father.”
Coming back to his senses, Sirius shook his head lightly, “You always talk about your father. Why don’t you talk about your mother much?”
Maia’s face immediately became steely; a dark expression clouded her face. “That’s none of your business, Sirius.”
From her tone, Sirius knew not to retort back with any ferocity. “Well, James is coming over at nine, so we’ll leave then.”
Maia nodded, looking back to the mountain of food before her, though her eyes were slightly unfocused.
By the time James had arrived, the sun had been shining brightly and both Sirius and Maia had barely acknowledged each other.
“She’s a complete nutcase, Prongs,” Sirius murmured to him as they walked side by side behind Maia, who was on her own way to some park. “She started stripping in front of me and said some fuckery about not wanting to seem rude.”
James laughed, rolling his eyes. “You’re only bitter because she didn’t let you shag her.”
“I haven’t been with a woman in months, Prongs,” Sirius scowled admittedly, “I couldn’t help but get my hopes up.”
“Was she fit?” James asked, glancing quickly at her behind.
“Even if she was, she’s way too fucked up for my taste,” Sirius replied in disdain, despite his continuous gaze at her swinging hips.
“Well, when you’re desperate enough, anything’s the go. Even if they are complete nutcases.”
“Yeah, like the way Lily went for you, you conceited prick,” Sirius chuckled as James punched him on the shoulder.
They arrived at a park, the overcast sky above them threatening for bad weather sometime throughout the day. James and Sirius sat themselves down at a bench, watching with half exasperation and the other half amusement as Maia shoved a little girl out of the way to go on the swing.
James grinned at Sirius, who was muttering words like ‘nutter’, ‘completely mental’, and ‘fuck’ under his breath.
“Do you think we should take her to her dad now?” James asked Sirius as they watched her kick out at yet another little child.
Sirius merely nodded, rising from his bench.
“Maia!” James called, beckoning for her to come over.
Maia’s face was murder as she jumped out of the swing and marched towards the pair of them. “This better be good, that prat over there’s stolen my swing!” She pointed at a boy who seemed no older than five.
Again, the word ‘mental’ came out in Sirius’ breath.
“Well, we thought we’d take you to your parents now,” James said with a kind smile, as though she was some sort of misunderstood child.
“Where are they?”
Before any of the two could answer her, a wispy white light in the slight shape of a shaggy lion suddenly appeared before them, a quiet, gruff voice resembling Moody’s sounded as the lion opened its mouth.
“Dearborn’s gone. Longbottom’s taken over. Prime Minister’s missing.”
With that, the white patronus disintegrated, leaving the three to stare at the spot it had been with more than confusion on their faces.
“Caradoc Dearborn?” Maia asked, her voice small.
“Fuck,” James muttered, shaking his head as though unable to comprehend such things.
“He was the Auror that was looking after my father,” Maia said, her voice trembling.
James and Sirius exchanged a dark glance.
“Where is he?” she asked, her eyes filling up with tears.
Sirius looked grim while James shook his head.
They didn’t know.
A/N: Hello again readers!
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Hopefully you all enjoyed this chapter :)
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