Author's Note: The only characters I own are the ones not found in the books and everyone else I'm just borrowing for a bit from the fabulous JK Rowling. Please bear in mind that this is my first attempt at HP fanfiction, so if you love it/hate it, by all means let me know. I've been writing this mainly to amuse myself, but I thought that others might enjoy it as well. Thanks.
Full Summary: Albus' daughter walked away from him years ago and now decides to make amends. Can he except her as the foul-mouthed, stubborn, and vengeful bounty hunter she has become? Her true identity is known only to the Order and, of course, Voldemort, who has taken twin boys for some nefarious purpose. He decides he wants Albus' daughter as a prize. Can she handle Hogwarts, Death Eaters, and Severus Snape? It's a mix of drama, mystery, humor, and a dash of romance. Contains AD/MM and eventual SS/OC. Rated for strong language and crude humor.
Song of the Gemini
"Raven hair and ruby lips
sparks fly from her fingertips.
Echoed voices in the night
she's a restless spirit on an endless flight."
"Raven hair and ruby lips
- Witchy Woman, The Eagles
A man dressed in a navy blue business suit looked quite out of place in the deserted alleyway. The woman, whose presence he was unaware, felt just fine in the darkness of such surroundings. She had learned many years ago that shadows were valued allies when you needed to conceal yourself. She hardly ever used magic anymore to become invisible. The man's eyes darted back and forth as he struggled to contain his breathing. He looked over his shoulder to make sure he wasn't followed.
Foolish muggle, she thought. He had no idea she had him trapped. A few well-placed spells gave him the feeling of being stalked and thus leading him right where she wanted. As he was looking away from her position down the alley, she silently came up behind him and placed her gun against the back of his head.
"Hello, Mr. Rhodes." He inhaled sharply and tensed up when he felt the coolness of the barrel.
"P-p-please, don't kill me," he whimpered, bringing his hands up.
"Now what makes you think I would do such a thing? As long as you're a good boy, we won't have any problems," she spoke in his ear, "Walk!" The man moved unsteadily down the alley. They passed the backdoors of several shops and restaurants. She told him to stop in front of a green one.
"Open the door, Mr. Rhodes," she instructed. Shaking, he obeyed. It led to an office used by a jewelry store. There was not much in there besides a desk and two chairs. The woman turned on a lamp and told him to sit down. Sweat beads formed on his forehead as he looked at his captor. She met his gaze with a self-satisfied smirk. This is getting too easy, she thought.
"See, I told you I wouldn't hurt you if you behaved yourself," she reached inside her leather duster, pulled out a pair of handcuffs, and winked, "Though sometimes I prefer naughty." After she handcuffed his hands behind his back, he got up the courage to speak. "What do you want with me? Money?"
The woman, who was seated on the desk in front of him, laughed. "This isn't personal, Mr. Rhodes, I'm just doing my job." She laughed again at his confused face and pulled out a cell phone. "Hi. It's done. I'm at the designated place," she paused, "See you soon." The man began to panic again, "Whatever they're paying you, I'll double it if you let me go!"
"Oh, I know all about your financial situation and I hardly think you can afford me. Besides I wouldn't want to get on my associates' bad side," she grinned wickedly, "As you'll soon understand." He hung his head and spoke no more.
She fidgeted with her long braid to pass the time. Staring at the man, she did feel sorry for him, but business was business and she needed the money. She didn't normally take jobs from muggles, it was easier to dodge a curse than a bullet, but lately the magical community didn't have need of her services. The door opened and she looked up. A large man wearing a tailored black suit came through with gun in hand, followed by two more suits. The one in the middle wasn't armed, but the rear one held his gun at the ready. The two armed men positioned themselves behind Rhodes, whose eyes burned with recognition and fear. The smaller one smiled approvingly at the woman and placed a briefcase on the desk next to her.
The woman moved to open the case and was pleased to see that all was in order. "Is everything to your satisfaction?" he asked.
"Looks good to me." She nodded toward Rhodes, "Will you be needing the key to the cuffs, Mr. Garcia?"
"Perhaps," he said as she handed him the key, "Maybe we could try them out later, Miss Price."
"You know I never mix business with pleasure, but I'll keep it mind. Have fun, boys." With one last wink at Rhodes she was out the door.
She made sure no one was watching before apparating to her apartment. She flopped down onto the sofa and removed her boots, thinking of the look on Rhodes' face as she left. Her somewhat sadistic nature enjoyed his terrified expression. Sighing, she looked around her apartment. It had two bedrooms, a large living room, and a nice view of Los Angeles, so it wasn't too shabby. Walking to the bathroom she thought, maybe I should find a respectable job. She had this discussion after every job, more likely to convince herself that she wasn't all bad. Being a bounty hunter/work-for-hire certainly had its advantages; you could choose your own hours; no dress code; it's exciting; the list goes on. Of course her father had never agreed with her. They hadn't seen or spoken to each other in nearly fourteen years.
The hot shower rid her of the smell and bacteria of the dumpster she was forced to hide behind, making her feel refreshed. Standing in her kitchen, she glanced at the clock. "3:24" it read. It was unnatural to feel refreshed this early in the morning, but her sleep pattern had been thrown off by the last couple of jobs, all of which had her operating at night. A loud meow interrupted her thoughts.
"Alright, Ebony, I'll hurry up and feed you."
A shorthaired black cat with yellow eyes jumped up on the counter and nuzzled her arm. A wave of her wand and a can of food was spooning itself into the cat dish. She also produced a steaming mug of hot chocolate out of the air. At least Dad and I agree on something, she thought. She moved to the living room, sat down on the sofa, and noticed the pile of bills on the coffee table. They were all addressed to her working name, Alexandria Price. She hadn't used her real name in years. When anonymity was so important in her line of work, how could she use it? Her estrangement from her father weighed heavily on her decision to change her name, but whenever she looked into the mirror and saw those light blue eyes staring back, she knew she could never escape her true self.
The old wizard sat hunched over on his desk, fingers pinched at the bridge of his nose. His blue eyes surveyed the room, listening to the sounds of the various contraptions and oddities that filled it. Just a few weeks ago, a distraught fifteen-year-old boy had tossed it into disarray. Why is it, he thought, that the children I seem to love the most are the ones I always misunderstand. He shouldn't have coddled Harry. As a man who believed honesty was crucial in any relationship, why had he not come clean in the beginning? He allowed feelings to fester inside the boy until they boiled to the surface and he cracked. Albus Dumbledore sighed. He had kept things hidden from his daughter too. He had deemed her too young to be plagued by certain information. Why had he made the same mistake twice? Because you're a stubborn old fool, he thought. When she discovered the truth she reacted in much the same way as Harry, even though she had been older. He had hoped that once Harry had time to calm down and reflect he wouldn't shut him out of his life. He hadn't seen or spoken to his daughter since she was twenty-one, fourteen years ago.
Fawkes flew over and perched next to him. The bird sang a comforting melody, picking up on his master's mood. Dumbledore took out a photo album from his desk and turned to the first page. It showed a slightly younger version of himself holding a smiling little girl with black hair and eyes that matched his own. She giggled as she tugged his beard and flung her arms around his neck. His breath caught and a tear threatened to escape. He missed her, oh gods, how he missed her. He had made many mistakes as a father, but perhaps it wasn't too late to start over, provided she was willing. Dumbledore knew she went by another name and knew where she was living. She had done much to hide herself from him, but he had contacts in America that assisted him and kept an eye on her. He still was not happy about her choice of occupation, but his actions had probably led her to it. A sharp knock at the door made him jump and he put away the album.
Minerva McGonagall walked carefully into his office, still relying on a walking stick. His heart wrenched every time he saw her and he couldn't quite shake the image of the woman he loved being struck by four stunning spells. She sat down in front of his desk, concern etched upon her face.
"You look like hell, Albus," she put it bluntly.
"I will interpret that as, good afternoon, dear, and how are you?"
Her features softened. "I'm sorry, Albus, but I'm worried. You've done nothing, but lock yourself in here doing who knows what, since the end of term. You didn't attend last night's meeting and we were concerned. The Order needs your guidance."
Dumbledore rose and came around to kneel in front of her, taking her hands in his. "My dear Minerva, you and the Order need not worry about me. I am fine, just past regrets catching up to me that I need to rectify."
"Harry will understand in time. Until then, there is nothing you can do to change the past and everything you can do to change the future."
Dumbledore smiled and his eyes got back their usual twinkle. He stood up, pulling Minerva up to him, and embraced her. "I love you, you know that right?" he whispered in her ear.
"Of course I do. I love you too," she kissed him softly, "I will see you at lunch?"
He nodded and held out her staff. She stopped at the door and turned to face him. "Have you found a Defense teacher yet, Headmaster?" It really unnerved Dumbledore how she could go from personal to professional without missing a beat.
"I have not, Professor, but you will be the first one to know when I do." Satisfied with his answer, she left, and the old wizard returned to his desk and his thoughts. A fresh parchment lay before him and with strengthened resolve he started to write a letter.
How many times in the last fourteen years had he written those same words only to stop, staring at the paper as if was some foreign object too complex to fathom. This time was different somehow. His quill seemed to move of its own accord, guiding his hand and heart. The words in his head were moving faster than he could write them. He struggled to keep up and felt his hand cramp. Ignoring it, he continued on for what seemed like hours, then as suddenly as it had begun, the quill stopped. Dumbledore looked the letter over, surprised at his own handiwork. Noticing that he only had a few minutes before lunch, he signed it, stamped it with the Hogwarts seal, and stuffed it in his robe to send later.
Someone was pounding on her door and if they didn't stop, Allexia was going to hex them into next year. Slowly opening her eyes, she squinted in the sun that invaded the room, and removed a bill that had become stuck to her face. She didn't remember falling asleep, but then going over your finances is tedious and boring. Unless you're stinking rich, she thought. The pounding started up again, so she grabbed her wand and was quite prepared to throw every curse she knew at whoever dared to come over at 7:30 in the morning. It was safe to say that Allexia was never a morning person. Looking through the peephole, she saw Hugh Jackman standing in the hallway wearing nothing but a smile. She's going to pay for that one!
She opened the door onto a short blonde woman, not a naked actor. "Morning, love!" the woman said, in a chipper British accent. She pushed passed Allexia, who muttered the word bitch under her breath, and headed straight for the refrigerator.
"Hello, Liz. Please come in and make yourself at home," she closed the door, laughing in spite herself, "You have to stop getting my hopes up, though I liked this latest one."
"I knew you would." Liz was now making coffee for two. Ever since they met, Liz would make something different appear when Allexia looked to see who was at the door. Sometimes she got really creative, like the headless pumpkin salesman, and sometimes she was downright silly, as when the hallway appeared submerged and a scuba diver stared back at her. Lately she'd been doing male actors. Liz brought the cups of coffee into the living room.
"I see you were successful last night," she said, glancing at the black briefcase.
"Yeah, it's getting too easy, I think," her mood was improving with the help of caffeine, "Do you want to come with me to Gringotts?"
"Sure, I haven't been to the Marketplace in a while. I think we deserve a shopping spree."
The Marketplace was basically the magical equivalent of a mall. The name would have fit a hundred years ago and even though the layout reflects a modern society, no one thought to change it. Gringott's only American branch was also located there. You could only get there by floo powder. Like Hogwarts, no one could apparate to, from, or within, except for Marketplace Security. The floos are monitored and guarded so they know who comes and goes. Safety protocols have increased in recent years, in both the magical and muggle society in America. Allexia excused herself to get dressed, leaving Liz in the company of Ebony.
Elizabeth Brooke was Allexia's only female friend. She had a less than respectable career as a professional thief, so they got along well. The professional title only came recently, but six years ago when they first met, she was just a pickpocket. Liz was attempting to rob a man that Allexia was trying to catch. She had strict orders that no harm should come to the man and, not knowing what this hotheaded little blonde was going to do, she intervened. Liz wasn't too happy, but she calmed down when Allexia offered her a cut of the bounty. They've been best friends ever since. Liz has changed a lot since then, in appearance and in personality. Her hair, once long and flowing, is now cut short in a stylish bob. Dressed in the latest muggle fashions, nails perfectly manicured, and adorned in expensive jewelry, she scratched Ebony's head.
"Hey, Lexy, don't you own any other color besides black?" Allexia returned wearing her favorite leather duster and black pants. Their styles were opposites. Liz with her designer labels and color coordinated outfits, while Allexia preferred dark colors, leather, and jeans. Allexia held her jacket open to show a purple tank top with the word "dangerous" across the front in big black letters in answer to the question.
"Come on then!" cried her friend.
Allexia's apartment didn't have a fireplace so they had to use the one in the lobby. She really hated traveling this way, but she had no choice. Grabbing a handful of powder, she spoke as clearly as possible, "The Marketplace."