A/N: Tired but can't sleep. It's just been one of those days. Hope yours is better! I'll post another chapter for this next week with a better summary. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. I'll try and respond.
Bitch, Daniel Evans thought, watching her move through the crowd like a shark scenting blood.
Leaning against the railing, drink in hand, he resisted the urge to run a hand over his face, knowing from years of experience that it'd take someone with more power than her to see through his disguise.
Of course, she could have grown in power since he met her last.
Some people could have the world presented to them on a platter and they'd still want more.
Evil, evil, bitch.
Grazia Feroce was a striking figure in the crowd below, drawing eyes like a magnet draws metal. She was long, lean, and absolutely lethal.
Her eyes pierced you like a knife, only it was made ice, cold enough to numb the pain so you didn't realize you were dead until that last breath escaped.
She'd tried that on him, more than once. Oh, it'd take more power than she had to see through the disguise, but she found him, time after time. She was just good like that.
Oh, sometimes she missed.
The fact that he was still breathing was a testament to that.
"Are you ready?" A beautiful manicured hand invaded his line of sight, gently taking the drink from his closed fist.
Daniel gave the owner of the hand a distracted smile as he turned and followed her into the crowd.
"Where to, kimosabe?" Her mouth tightened ever so slightly, an obvious testament to her displeasure at his annoying tendency to call her by anything and everything but her given name.
"I can't tell you that."
Of course not. It was only his life. God forbid he knew what they were doing with it.
Another figure met them at the door, segueing seamlessly into their little party like they'd done so many times before.
"Did you get it?" Daniel spared the man a disgusted look. The question didn't even need to be asked; they wouldn't be leaving if he hadn't gotten it.
Their female companion said nothing, her eyes and ears devoted to their surroundings.
Another figure waited for them at the door, his arms crossed, dark hair pulled back in a loose knot at the nape of his neck, dark eyes that were almost as cold as the Ice Bitch down below.
He wasn't supposed to be here; they all knew that.
Tamiel eyed him with passionate disdain, bordering on disgust; as far as she was concerned he had no stake in this. He wasn't blood; he didn't matter.
Gadreel was a bit more laid back than his counterpart. That is to say, he understood the other man's need to be here. He just didn't like it.
Daniel didn't care; Sirius Black had been his rock for far more years than he cared to remember. He was on the short list of people Daniel would die to protect.
Of course, if he died, Sirius had promised to bring him back so he could 'kill your bloody stupid ass all over again.'
Oh to be loved.
Two bodyguards, three if you counted Sirius, but there were at least five more spread throughout the room, watching their retreat, covering their backs.
Just like Daniel hadn't come alone, neither had Grazia. Undoubtedly she had cousins posted around the room. The Feroce's liked to keep it in the family and with them, like with most purebloods, it was a literal statement.
Grazia's parents had been second cousins; undoubtedly her husband, whoever the poor bastard turned out to be, would be equally as close in relation.
He met Sirius's eyes in passing, the sentiment shared: Goddamn Purists.
They were going to destroy everything, especially if they got their hands on…
"Daniel!" Tamiel, always Tamiel, never Tam or, God forbid, Tami, snapped, her brown eyes flashing as she stood in the doorway.
Her sleek form was clad in a blood red dress, her nails painted to match. A flower, carnation, also red, was carefully placed behind her ear, lending a delicate air that, to anybody who knew her, was absolutely laughable.
Gold heels, three inches, with ribbons wrapped up her shapely legs. She was beauty and brains and pure bellitor.
She'd been an angel once, or as close to one as Daniel could believe. It was difficult, picturing her as anything but the lethal killing machine she was. He'd seen her in action too many times.
"Where are we going?" He asked again, fruitlessly since he knew she wasn't going to tell him.
"Somewhere safe," was her simple reply. It was stupid, but he was grateful she'd said something at all.
They descended the stairs, a forced necessity; anti-apparation wards were spelled all along the perimeter. It was a measure of good taste; the sponsors didn't want someone accidentally crashing, literally.
In a pinch, Tamiel and Gad could easily tear down those wards to get them out of here, but it was an emergency procedure only. They didn't want to reveal their strengths lest the enemy find a way to make them their weaknesses.
"How many does this make it?" Sirius asked, moving to walk beside him as they emerged from the stairwell to the open air.
Daniel didn't say anything, merely giving him a look. It wasn't safe for them to talk, not here, not now.
Sirius's look back plainly stated that he'd been keeping company with the angels too long. He was starting to pick up on their annoying habit of being paranoid.
Course, as the saying goes, it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you.
"We're here." Tamiel stopped abruptly to punctuate her words, turning to face him, arms held out like a lover, inviting him into her embrace.
There were times he thought he had her figured out, then there were times like this. Gad and Sirius disappeared with a pop, Gad's hand wrapped firmly around Sirius's arm in the side-by-side apparation. Tamiel could have done the same thing. Instead, she hugged him close and he closed his eyes, breathing in her warm scent.
She smelled like lilies and rain and warm cinnamon. Like everything he could ever want in a woman.
It was a scent wasted on her. She was a woman in form only. The rest of her…
He'd been so long without companionship of the female sort, the last stolen bit almost six months ago, his body reacted like Tamiel had already said yes.
She'd offered, once. He'd been absolutely flummoxed.
"You…do that?" Had been his stammered reply. She'd stared at him, a serene mask that passed for her face, a faint twitch at the corners of her lips indicating her amusement with his reaction.
"We are fully equipped to mimic all necessary human functions."
That had done it. It was cold, it was clinical, it was nothing he wanted beneath or above him.
She'd catch him staring sometimes, though, and that smile would come back. He amused her.
Like now. His body reacting, pressed against her soft curves, she smiled as they disappeared.
And reappeared to the hoarse growling of a very angry Black.
"What happened?" Daniel moved away from Tamiel, all thoughts of her allure vanishing as he took in Sirius's all too feral expression.
Five years. That's how long Sirius had been in Azkaban for. That's how long it had taken for Daniel to find out what had happened and get him out.
It'd been a long five years.
Breaking him out of Azkaban had practically been a walk in the park; it'd only taken one Nephalim to get the job done.
It'd taken eight long months of refusing to cooperate with their plans and ideas to get them to do what he wanted for a change, but it was worth it. He would have waited eight years if necessary to get Sirius out.
He owed Lily that at the least, and so much more.
It was odd. His sister's husbands best friend was now his best friend, practically his only friend.
With what they were doing, they didn't have much of a social life.
"It's this place," Armeros stated, emerging from a back room, a clear potion bottle in hand, its contents bubbling a blue, almost violet color.
"This place being…?" Daniel trailed off, twisting his head to get a better look at his surroundings.
At first glance, it was a regular room. Four walls, three entrances. One led to another room, another was a hallway, the third, the one Armeros had entered from, led to a kitchen/dining room combination.
It was Daniel's second glance that had him swearing.
"Of all the places, you brought us here?" Here being, of course, Godric's Hollow. The last place any of the Potters had been seen alive. The last place Sirius had seen them alive, and had seen the little baby that was his godson before everything good in his life ceased.
Understanding his friends reaction, Daniel was more than ready to insist they move elsewhere, if nothing else then to escape his realization that upstairs and down a hall, his sister had died at the hands a deranged Dark Lord and his nephew had been cursed for a second time by cruel fate.
"We cannot move," Semyaza spoke, appearing out of thin air with an almost inaudible pop, the rest of the quinque flanking her. On anyone else, Daniel would take the comment as a derisive assertion that wasn't necessarily true. Coming from Semyaza, however…
The others, they would occasionally mess with them. You cannot live among the humans for thousands of years without learning, and appreciating, some of their customs, not unless you were Ceterus, Other. Semyaza didn't.
She was the most serious minded of the lot, unyielding in her rules and obedience. She stuck with structure and planning; if she said they couldn't move, she meant it.
"Call off your dog, G'ab Yeh." Eligor's mocking lilt had Sirius shutting up faster than anything Daniel could have done. Both he and Eligor purely loathed one another, and Sirius would just as soon chew off his left foot than give the other man the satisfaction of, well, anything. The two of them practically fed off the misery and irritation of the other.
Just once Daniel would like to hear the snooty bastard call him by his real name instead some dumbass title.
"I am nobody's dog," Sirius snapped, always eager to get the last word in. Eligor's lip curled all the more, his body turning towards Sirius, assuming a posture that clearly indicated a battle was about to occur, Sirius moving to echo his position on the opposite side of the room.
Daniel caught Ameros's gaze and rolled his eyes when the other Malaakiyn grinned.
Fuckin' crazy, the whole lot of them.
Course, if you'd lived as long as they had in the presence of God, things either gain meaning, or lose it entirely.
Apparently tact and manners qualified as part of the latter.
"Where is he?" Tired and hungry and in no mood to endure another one of Sirius and Eligor's legendary verbal smackdowns, he ran a tired hand through his gelled hair and waited for someone, anyone, to answer him.
"He's out back," Tamiel spoke, breaking the silence when it was made clear none of the others would.
He gave her a tired nod of thanks, a gesture she accepted stoic faced, her eyes following him as he trekked out the door and into the back yard.
Phoenix grunted at him from where he was sprawled on the ground, underneath an Oak, fingering what was no doubt a first edition Iliad, his gaze wary as he scanned their surroundings, alert for signs of a threat.
Dantanian nodded to him as greeting, a greeting Daniel returned quickly so he could avert his eyes. Dantanian's face was like the waves in the ocean, always rippling. If you looked at him too long you went crazy.
Lix Tetrax, the third and final occupant of the yard aside from the most important, was sitting cross legged in front of the ground, her gaze briefly dancing over him before returning to the chess board in front of her.
The action didn't go unnoticed by her opponent.
"Dad!" Jake was on his feet in a flash, his seven year old frame rushing forward and impacting on Daniel, the only welcome burden of the whole evening.
"Hey, kiddo," he smiled down at his son, taking in the tousled raven hair and big blue eyes and marveling, for the countless time, at just how lucky he was to have this precious miracle in his life.
"How'd it go?" Jake was still smiling as his dad released him and he stepped back.
"Great," Daniel replied, ruffling the kids hair. He wanted to give him a haircut, but Sirius had swindled him into letting the kid grow it for a while longer, at least. Sirius was under the impression that Jake would like long hair.
Daniel, having known the kid a bit longer, knew that in about a week Jake was going to be complaining about his ebony locks and making an appointment with Vapula to have it shortened.
"Did you get it?"
Exasperated – what was with people and asking him that? – he rolled his eyes, stopping on Phoenix to find him poised, waiting for the response. A simple glance told him the other two were just as eager for an answer.
"Yes, we got it," Daniel replied, pulling said object from inside his jacket.
It was a small cup, cracked and chipped, made of pinkish white stone with streaks of black. It was singularly unimpressive and, if you saw it all the side of the road, nothing short of sheer insanity would inspire you to scoop it up and take it with you.
Unless you knew better.
Staring at it straight on, Daniel saw nothing.
From the way Phoenix, Lix, and Dantanian were staring at it, they obviously didn't have the same limitation.
"It's real," Lix moved fast, too fast for the human she passed herself off as. One second she was on the ground, the next, she was hovering, her hand reaching out to touch the cup.
"Don't," Phoenix was there, grabbing her hand, pressing it down to her side, his eyes on the cup, his words for her. "You know what will happen if we touch it."
Lix blinked at the reminder, her rapturous expression morphing to disappointment, her hand dropping obediently from Phoenix's grip, her gaze falling to the ground in respect.
The cup hadn't been made special; in all likelihood, the one who made it so had just grabbed whatever was lying around at the time.
Runes were carved in the air around it, not touching the stone, but protecting it from further decay.
At one time, it'd held Sangue di Dei.
The Anunnaki, children of the Gods, had bled into the cup and made an unholy pact with its owner: immortal life in exchange for a child. His child.
If Daniel understood the legends correctly, he was holding in his hands the reason he and his son existed as they did.
That little, innocent looking cup, with its cracks and worn stone, had started a war far greater than the Anunnaki, mischievous as they were, could have ever comprehended.
"We need to put it somewhere safe," Eligor spoke from the doorway, his eyes carefully scanning the cup before looking away, like the mere sight had evoked bad memories.
For all Daniel knew, they had.
Eligor and the rest of his kind had many names over the millennia. Malaakiyn was one of the oldest.
Anunnaki was simply another turn of phrase for Malaakiyn.
There was a very real chance that not only was Daniel holding the cup that started all this, he was also holding company with the original instigators.
A/N: I was really into creating this story for a while. It's not complete (not even close) but I thought I'd test the waters and see what you think. Review?