Chapter 2 : I
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She left the Order of the Phoenix as soon as she realized she was pregnant. She wasn’t going to force her kid to grow up in the crossfire of a war. She settled down, got married to Timothy, bought a house, and had a beautiful baby girl. And for seventeen years, that’s the way it was.
But now that Marlene’s daughter, born Phoenix Maxime McKinnon (who decided she preferred her middle name as opposed to her first one because, “nobody wants to be named after a bird that sets itself on fire every time it decides to do something useful”) was now seventeen, Marlene decided it was time to get back in the game.
Phoenix– or Max, rather, was going to be an adult. Self sufficient. Capable of subsisting while Marlene was hunting down the Dark Lord and his disciples. The problem was, what if Death Eaters came for Max? She couldn’t protect herself– she didn’t have magic. She never had and she never would. If someone came after her, Marlene would never forgive herself.
Marlene bit her lip nervously. Fuck.
Her head shot up with a start, eyes landing on a peeved Alastor Moody.
“Pull your head out of your arse and pay attention.”
Marlene cleared throat. “Sorry.”
Alastor grunted before turning back to the rest of the Order. “Some of you know, some of you don’t,” His glass eye gave a pointed look to Marlene, “but the bastards are starting to burn down the homes of anyone who has spoken out against Voldemort. It’s a threat that should not be taken lightly, which is why every single one of you idiots need to pack your shit and come stay with McKinnon.”
“What?” Marlene exclaimed.
“You have room, don’t you?”
“Then it’s settled.”
“But my daughter–”
“Will be fine. Done. The end.”
“Why not stay at our place?” James Potter interjected. “There’s plenty of room.”
“They don’t know McKinnon is affiliated with the Order. They don’t know she was in the first place. All they know is that we’ve been chasing after them.”
“But they know I’m affiliated with members of the Order,” Marlene said.
“Yes,” Moody said gruffly. “But they also know you have a squib for a daughter. They’ll assume you’d be too spineless to take that risk.”
Marlene glared at him.
“Miss Mckinnon, Alastor,” Dumbledore said, rising from his seat, “if I may.
“It is imperative that members of the Order go into hiding. We already have lost too many. The survival of the Order depends on this.” Albus looked at Marlene softly. “So please, Marlene, grant us this favor. It is a matter of life or death.”
Marlene sighed, running a hand through her hair. “Alright, fine. But if anything happens to my daughter, I’m holding you and Moody accountable.”
Her head hurt. She couldn’t tell if it was from the inclement weather or if it was just the after effect of spending the previous night in a crowded room filled to the brim with baked twenty-somethings, watching several sets of bands play on a small platform lit by Christmas lights strung between rows of insulation and wood.
Either way, she was in no condition to indulge in a thrilling day of education involving mathematics and basically every other pointless, piece-of-shit class she was required to take. She’d just have to skip– again.
It was days like this that made Maxime wish she had magic like her parents, Marlene McKinnon and Timothy Smith. She wished she could enjoy learning and actually take something from it. Instead, she was memorizing equations she’d never use and reading history books about things that had no effect on her personal life whatsoever.
Being a squib sucked.
Max groaned and rolled out of bed. She’d have to make her parents think she was heading off to school. In reality, though, she’d stop by her friend Michael’s flat and see what shenanigans the two of them could get into. Max knew she’d probably have to wake him up since he didn’t have work until two, but Michael’s abrasiveness in the morning really didn’t phase her– she was worse.
Max dressed herself sluggishly, pulling on an oversized flannel she probably should have washed a week ago and a pair of blue jeans. She lazily tugged on her boots without bothering to tie them. Max only ever put any effort into her appearance when she was at an outing with some of her older muggle friends. She didn’t want them to think she was a kid. She was seventeen– an adult in the magic world, but still a kid in the muggle world. Frustrating.
She trudged down the steps, expecting to see her mother, Marlene McKinnon, sitting at the kitchen table, reading the Daily Prophet with a cup of freshly brewed coffee steaming in her hand. Alas, what she found was an empty kitchen and cold coffee sitting on the table.
Muffled voices came from the other room. Since when did they have company?
Curious, Max approached the door separating her from the ruckus and slowly twisted the handle open. She was never really good at minding her own business.
Inside the dining room that was only ever used when relatives came over to visit, at least twelve individuals occupied the room, some hunched over, looking at parchment strewn over the table, some standing behind them. One pair of people, whom she immediately recognized as her mother and Lily Potter, were standing in the corner, seeming to be in a deep discussion about something that would probably go way over Max’s head.
“Mum?” Max called skeptically, shifting uncomfortably as all commotion ceased and eyes cast themselves on her.
Marlene’s head snapped in her daughter’s direction, eyes wide with surprise. As Marlene rushed to escort her out of the room, Max gave her a weird look and said, “Care to explain why there’s a million different people hanging round our house at seven in the morning?”
“You’re supposed to be at school.”
“Not for another half hour,” Max said, unimpressed by her mother’s attempt to detract her from the situation lingering just in the next room. “What’s going on?”
“We’re just having a couple people staying with us.”
“For how long?” Max asked, crossing her arms.
“I don’t know– as long as it takes,” Marlene sighed. “Now go to school. You’re already in enough trouble.”
“Who even are they?” Max pressed.
“Max,” Marlene snapped. “Now.”
Max rolled her eyes. “Whatever.” And with that, she made her exit.
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