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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