Disclaimer: No, not mine... though I wish a certain Marauder was. Well, actually, I can't decide between the dog and the wolf. Damn.
Chapter 7 - Changes: Andromeda gave Jazlyn a knowing smile as she helped her pack. "Took long enough," she teased.
"What?" Jazlyn was going to play stupid as long as she could, though she knew what Andi was on about.
"You, moving in with Sirius. It took long enough."
"Do shut up, dear cousin." But Jazlyn was smiling.
"I'm sorry, but this is the last chance I'll get to tease you."
"Andi, I'll visit. You know that."
"I know." Andi smiled, a little sadly. "But it... I'm sorry. I'm really happy for you, it's only that..."
"Me being here's the first time you've had family staying with you besides your own family since you got disowned. I get it." Jazlyn gave her older cousin a knowing look. Andi always seemed so at peace with her life, but Jazlyn knew that her older cousin regretted the loss of her family, no matter how twisted the Blacks - and the Temaidas - were.
"Hello? Anyone home?" The voice calling up the stairs belonged to Sirius. Before either woman could respond, they heard the sound of a child running down the hall.
"Hi there, Nymph. Tell me, where's Jaz and your mum?"
"In Jaz's room. They're packing."
"You mean they aren't done yet?"
"Shut up, Padfoot," Jazlyn said, sticking her head out of the doorway.
"Oh, Sage, you're no fun," he pouted. She'd mentioned her cat alias to the Marauders, who now insisted on using it. Lily was now muttering about needing a nickname as well as an Animagus form. James had apparently made a suggestion in private, but Lily turned crimson whenever he tried to mention it. Sirius, of course, kept on trying to pry, but Jazlyn was doing her best to stop him.
"So," Sirius said now as he walked into the room, "what's taking so long? Shoes?"
"No, since it's Jazlyn, we're talking books," Andi said with a grin. Jazlyn groaned. Not that she wasn't used to friendly teasing by now, but to get it from all sides at once was just ridiculous!
"Well, I see you both plan to torment me today. Maybe I should go stay in the Muggle world with Lily."
"No, don't! I swear I'll stop teasing you," Sirius said dramatically, grabbing her hand in both of his and trying the puppy dog look.
"Yes, and then I'll wonder who has replaced my boyfriend."
"Not funny in this day and age," Sirius pointed out. She flinched.
"I understand that you're an Auror, Sirius, but you two are too young to let the war rule everything about your lives," Andi said firmly. "Now, the packing is done, and you two lovebirds should get going." She smiled. "Go on, then!"
With a wand-wave, Jazlyn's bags were gone, and then Sirius left, knowing that she wanted to say good-bye to Andi. "Andi... thanks for letting me stay."
"Anytime, Jazlyn. I'm proud of you, you know."
"Yes. You've finally freed yourself from our family, you've learned to trust and to love, and you're starting a new life."
"A lot of changes," Jazlyn said with a slightly nervous laugh. "Part of me's still afraid I'll wake up and it'll all be just a dream," she confided.
"I know. I felt like that when I first left with Ted. It's hard to believe how good freedom feels, and harder to believe it's real because of that. Change is good, Jazlyn. And you'll be just fine."
"How do you know?"
"Because I know you, and I know Sirius. You balance each other out, and that's important in a relationship. You two might even be meant for each other. If you believe in that sort of thing."
"What, destiny? I'm not sure. But I think you're right about Sirius and me. I hope so, anyway." The cousins shared one last hug, and then Jazlyn Disapparated.
Things did change, definitely. Living with Sirius was an adventure in itself. They clashed over little things - Jazlyn was extremely neat, for example, while Sirius was cheerfully messy - but their fights were never anything serious. They usually managed to make up before going to bed that night, and if they hadn't before, they usually made up in bed. That, of course, was a pleasant change.
But other than the new experiences of cohabiting, things were still more or less the same. Sirius graduated the training program and became a full-fledged Auror, while Jazlyn continued to move up at the paper. She worked on her own now all the time, though she talked to Justin often and went to him for advice whenever she was uncertain. Rita Skeeter kept trying to hassle her, but she just ignored the irritating blonde.
Sirius decided to have a flatwarming party a month after she moved in. "Isn't it a bit late for that? I've been here a month, you've been here since we left school, and you just now want a flatwarming?"
"Well, I was in training before and didn't have the time. But now I do."
"Full Aurors have more free time than trainees. That makes sense."
"Well, OK, no more time, but after training, the actual work is less exhausting."
"Oh. That makes more sense. And I guess towards the end, the fact that you weren't getting that much sleep anyway didn't help."
"No, but I'd be insane to complain about that," he said with a roguish grin. "So, how about it? A belated flatwarming party?"
She sighed. "Sure, why not?"
So they had a party. They invited friends from school - the Marauders and Lily, obviously, but also Frank and Alice, as well as several others from their year. A few Order members, like Fabian and Gideon, came too. She asked Justin, but he said he was too old to deal with so many young people. She laughed and said he was hardly old, but didn't push him.
At the party, Jazlyn stayed in the background, still a bit uncomfortable with crowds. Sirius had asked her if she was OK, and she'd assured him that she was, but she liked being on the sidelines. "You know me, always the observer."
"Are you all right, Lyn?" Lily asked, coming over to her.
"'Course, Lily, but you know me, parties aren't my thing. I prefer to watch."
"Yeah, but this is your party. Come on!" And Lily seized Jazlyn's hand, tugging her right into the middle of things. Somehow, she found herself with a bottle of butterbeer and engaged in a fierce debate with Fabian over whether Barty Crouch or Amelia Bones would make a better replacement for retiring Minister of Magic Millicent Bagnold. She had fun interacting, though it wasn't her usual habit. And she had to conclude that Andi was right; change was good.
A/N: This is supposed to be transitional, which is why very little happens.