Title: The Seventh Siren
Disclaimer: Captain Fangirlhumper… err, J.K. Rowling owns the world the Harry Potter series takes place in. Wish the characters were mine so I could do utterly retarded things to them and watch my bank account get steadily larger, but sadly not mine. And here's one I had to look up because I haven't used it in fanfic before… Borderlands, Borderlands 2, sirens, Mister Torgue, Mad Moxxi, and all other related concepts and characters are the property of Gearbox Software. Not mine, don't sue, et cetera and so forth.
Summary: Luna Lovegood embarks on a journey to become the ultimate badass… with a little help from a buxom bartender and two of her fellow Sirens.
Joe's Note: Last chapter was supposed to be the final chapter but… oops? Found an old story idea and decided to flesh it out. I first touched on this basic concept with Scarlet Fishnets, where I had Luna take Harry's place in my version of the increasingly clichéd 'asking the Room of Requirement for just the right thing or person allows Harry to do an Eighties training montage and then take a level in badass' story. This time, I've found an even more exotic form of power up to give to Luna… and even less likely mentors than Zatanna Zatara and Wanda Maximoff.
Dedications & Thanks: To Nicholas, Alexander, Howard, Daniel, Christopher, Luke, Zachary, Marc, Ziryo, Elliot, Crusifikz70, Timothy, Leigh, Jason, Chris, George, Koby, Ken, MJ, Thyatira, William, Wil, Invernos, Jack, Pat, Warren, Chris, Mitch, and Jess for sponsoring me on , and making it easier for me to spend more of my time writing.
It hadn't been hard to find the blank stretch of wall opposite the tapestry depicting Barnabas the Barmy's attempt to teach trolls ballet, just like Harry had mentioned. She'd walked back and forth along said stretch of wall three times, again like he'd told her, all the while thinking about needing to become stronger… become tougher… become someone who could survive the impending war that was preparing to wash over the wizarding world. A door had appeared, she'd wrenched it open, and a great tunnel of blue and white light had sucked her in.
And now she was here.
Wherever here was.
Luna Lovegood frowned as she held her right arm out with her palm facing upward, her oak wand resting atop her outstretched hand. "Point Me Hogwarts." The wand stayed stubbornly inert, making Luna frown. "Point Me Rookery." No change. "Point Me London? Point Me England?" Just like her pervious eight attempts over the last three days, there was no response from her usually trusty wand, and Luna sighed in dismay before letting the spell fade, her wand dropping into her hand so that she could return it to its customary place behind her right ear. It appeared that her day - like the day before and the day before that and the day before that - would consist of random wandering through this unknown desert. How wonderful.
Two hours and three remarkably large dunes later, Luna perked up at the sound of… something. While she wasn't entirely sure what the loud grumbling noise was, it wasn't the wind or shifting sand, and so that was something to be grateful about. Racing her way up to the top of the fourth large dune of her day, Luna opened her mouth… and then snapped it shut. Oh. It was them again.
'Them' being a particularly persistent band of roaming malcontents that she'd already encountered several times since she'd arrived… wherever she was. It was their presence that made her suspect that it might be her choice of destinations that was causing her Four-Point Spell to fail, rather than her wand or overall magical ability. Because while she wasn't as muggle-savvy as someone like Harry or Hermione… she was fairly certain that muggles weren't supposed to have weapons that shot acid or fire or lightning. And they weren't supposed to be the size of Hagrid or Flitwick, or have glowing eyes that stared out at her from behind white masks.
"Get rid of the magic chick!"
"You think you oughta be here?"
"Dunno who you are but die!"
"I'm… gonna choke and stroke your lifeless body!"
The ones she'd met around Ottery St. Catchpole while doing errands for her father generally didn't shout stuff like that, either.
Drawing her wand, Luna watched the rickety bandit truck as it made a sweeping turn and began racing toward her. A familiar mark adorned its hood, and familiar faces stared out at her… these weren't just more bandits. These were the same bandits she'd been fighting since she'd arrived three days ago. Each time, she'd stunned them and moved on because she was a good witch and good witches didn't kill people. Now, though? Considering they were back to try and kill her yet again and would presumably keep trying until they succeeded? She was ready to reassess that particular policy.
No, Luna decided, she'd stick to non-lethal methods of dealing with them… for now. Perhaps this time it'd be a better idea to stun them all and then do some damage to their vehicle? That would not only keep them from being able to run her over in the short term, but it would also allow her to put some distance between them. Buy her the time to maybe find what passed for civilization in this strange, strange world and a bit of sanity for good measure. "Reducto!" Luna hurled a bright blue bolt of magic at the bandits… and then her jaw dropped as the spell hit the hood of their ride and the entire thing detonated like one of the Weasley twins' creations. A massive fireball bloomed, hurling shards of metal and ragged body parts in all directions. She had just enough time to process that one of the airborne projectiles was something large, black and gold, and headed her way… and then it was slamming into her face and knocking her out cold.
"HOLY SH*T, YOU BLEW THOSE GUYS UP WITH A STICK! GIRL… THAT IS F*CKING AWESOME!"
Her silver eyes popping open as she surged back to consciousness, Luna lifted her head… and stared at the odd greenish-grey box sitting on her chest. Bringing her wand up, she poked the side of the box several times before frowning. "You're an awfully violent box, you know."
"I'M NOT A BOX, GIRL! YOU'RE TALKING TO MISTER TORGUE FLEXINGTON, FOUNDER OF THE TORGUE CORPORATION! AND YOU… ARE A F*CKING BADASS!"
Luna winced at the loud voice that erupted from the box, shoving it off of her so it landed in the sand. Rising to her feet slowly, the blonde stared down at the box. So the muggles here - wherever here was - had wizarding wireless too. Although obviously it was technology and not something wizarding, if this man was so excited about her using a 'stick' to do something. She bent forward to pick the box up… and then froze for a moment before giving it a harsh kick. "Why did you leave me out here?"
"I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT!"
"This box came from somewhere. Either you or someone who works for you came all the way out here to deliver it and left me lying in the sand unconscious!" Luna gave the box another kick, and then cursed as it went sliding away down the dune she was standing at the top of. After chasing it down, she picked it up and gave it a hard shake for good measure. "Why didn't you rescue me?"
The box was silent for a long minute, making Luna wonder if she'd accidentally broken it, and then a reply came. "BECAUSE YOU STALKING INTO TOWN OUT OF THE HARSH AND DEADLY DESERT IS A MUCH MORE BADASS ENTRANCE THAN US RESCUING YOU! ALSO, I NEED TO STALL FOR TIME BECAUSE THE OTHER SIREN ISN'T DONE RESCUING MOXXI YET, AND SO I CAN'T SEND YOU TO MEET WITH HER!"
Perhaps his logic would have made more sense to her if Luna had known who 'Moxxi' was or why Mister Torgue thought the blonde needed to meet with him or presumably her. She was also curious about his obsession with things being 'badass', and why he had called her a 'siren'. Presumably it meant something different here, because she obviously wasn't a siren as she knew them. Although technically he'd never called her a siren, he'd merely implied her status as one by referring to 'the other siren' while talking to her. And while there was always the possibility that she was reading too much into things… Mister Torgue seemed like a rather simple fellow based on their interactions thus far. Chances were that thinking simply and directly was best when dealing with him.
Considering she faced what was evidently a decently long walk to civilization, Luna figured that she had plenty of time to get all those answers and more. But given that she hadn't showered in at least three days and had sand in the most uncomfortable places at the moment, perhaps getting started on her journey was a good idea? "Can you at least tell me which way civilization is? Or is figuring that out part of being 'badass'?"
"YOU'RE ABOUT FIVE MILES SOUTH OF THE BADASS CRATER OF BADASSITUDE! AND DON'T FORGET TO GRAB THE SHOTGUN THAT KNOCKED YOU OUT! EVEN SIRENS NEED BADASS GUNS!"
Being 'south' of something didn't really help when Luna didn't know which direction was which, but thankfully there was a spell that could help her out there. "Point Me Badass Crater of Badassitude!" As foolish as she felt saying such a thing, her wand floated up off of her palm dutifully, twitching back and forth a few times before pointing firmly off to her right. One problem solved, at least. Then Luna turned in a slow circle before heaving a sigh. While she'd knocked the muggle wireless down the dune, evidently the 'shotgun' was still near or at the top. Which meant hiking back up there to retrieve it. Darn. But if the box said she needed it… sighing again, she began the slow march upward.
"AND CAN YOU POSE WITH THE SHOTGUN AT THE TOP OF THE DUNE WITH THE SUNSET BEHIND YOU? THAT WOULD MAKE FOR SOME F*CKING BADASS PROMO FOOTAGE! ESPECIALLY IF I THREW IN A SICK GUITAR SOLO AS BACKGROUND MUSIC! LIKE… MEEDLYMEEDLYMEEDLYMOWWWWWWWW!"
…this was how Hermione felt sharing a common room and classes with Ronald, wasn't it?
Staring up at the glowing neon sign for Moxxi's Red Light, Luna let out a sigh of relief. Mister Torgue's wireless had piped up twice more during her hour and a half walk to what passed for civilization in these parts; the first time had been to notify her that 'Maya' had rescued 'Moxxi' and that she should head to this bar to rendezvous with them. The second had been to reveal that there would be a lot of people trying to kill her in town - including 'Torgue personnel', whatever they were - because he'd been worried about her getting bored and handed out guns to everyone. So instead of just being caked in dust and sweat, her battered school uniform was now liberally splattered with blood as well. And her arms ached because her shotgun had one heck of a kick to it. She hadn't wanted to kill anyone at all, but when they all wanted to kill her and some of them had proven resistant to stunners and other basic spells… well, she wanted to stay alive a lot more than she wanted them to stay alive.
And if she ever caught up with Mister Torgue, Luna seethed, she was going to try her hand at casting at least two of the Unforgivables. All she'd wanted to do was reach civilization and then find her way home. Thanks to him, she was now a monster.
Luna made her way up the stairs, slowly forcing the heavy metal door open so she could peek inside. The interior was as shabby as the exterior, a rundown bar that made the Hog's Head Inn look like a classy establishment. Her opinion of the place wasn't improved by the kicking, stocking-clad neon legs hanging over the bar or the bold 'MOXXXI'S' sign just beneath them; the additional X coupled with the fact that the three Xs were in red while the remaining letters were in pink gave Luna a glimpse into the woman she'd been asked to seek out… and she wasn't terribly excited about what she was seeing. Her suspicions were born out as she entered the building, keeping to the shadows as she slowly circled through a raised seating area on the left until she found a spot where she could observe the only two people in the bar with her. One was a blonde with fat, bouncy curls and unusual looping blue tattoos that covered her bare left arm. The other…
"Hey, darlin'. Right now, you're ranked fourth on the Torgue leader board, but don't worry. There's nothin' better than getting to third… base. …it's a sex thing. The rank three badass is a cannibalistic road hog named Motor Momma. You'll need to train a little before you take her on, but I've hired the best trainer in the business. Go meet her." Given that she was meeting 'Maya' and 'Moxxi' in a bar named for the latter, and the brunette was behind the bar… evidently the top-heavy woman wearing an incredibly impractical, gold-trimmed purple dress was the person Luna was supposed to be meeting. The heavy white makeup with the red spots under her eyes was a bit odd. Her top hat was wicked, though. Maybe she could tell Luna where to get one like it before she returned home? "Motor Momma's hiding out, just waiting for the other gladiators to kill each other off. Once you're done with your training, you'll be ready to lure her out."
Maya nodded before turning away from the bar, allowing Luna to catch sight of the prominent silver Torgue logo on the chest of her red, blue, black, and white leotard. Given that everyone else she'd met so far who was associated with Torgue had tried to kill her… Luna's eyes narrowed as she curled her fingers around her wand warily. Then the element of surprise was torn away from her as her annoying wireless companion decided to announce her presence. "ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE BARBARIC, THE BEAUTIFUL, THE MOST BUXOM SPONSOR IN THE HISTORY OF PANDORA... MAAAAAD MOXXI!"
Letting out a groan, Moxxi rolled her eyes before waving her hand dismissively in Luna's general direction. "Torgue, we did that part already. Back when Maya rescued me from Pyro Pete. Remember?"
"OF COURSE I DO! I'M TRYING TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE OTHER BADASS THAT YOU'LL BE SPONSORING, AND YOU'RE BEING SHOCKINGLY RUDE AND IGNORING HER!" That made Moxxi look up, and Luna sighed despondently before slinking down the stairs and into the light so the two other women could see her. If Torgue's big mouth got her killed, she was going to be very upset. Much to Luna's surprise, though, Maya didn't reach for a gun or try to tackle her or anything. Maybe she was a more enlightened Torgue employee? Or just wearing something made by Torgue? "I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THE SH*T THIS CHICK IS OR WHERE SHE CAME FROM, BUT SHE BLEW SOME BANDITS THE F*CK UP BY POINTING A STICK AT THEM! AND THAT'S PRETTY F*CKING BADASS IN MY BOOK! YOU'VE ALREADY GOT ONE SIREN! WANNA DO ME A SOLID AND SPONSOR ANOTHER ONE?"
As Moxxi eyed her appraisingly, Luna undid the transfiguration on the fabric sling she'd created to carry the muggle wireless through the desert, causing it to thump to the floor at her feet amidst a shower of sand. "I don't know why you keep calling me that. I'm a witch, not a siren. And Maya's clearly a human as well, not a siren."
Maya furrowed her brow in confusion as she took a step closer to Luna, her gaze intent as it wandered up and down the blonde's body slowly. "You don't recognize my tattoos? Or…" Thrusting her arm out, her tattoos began to glow a lighter shade of blue as she summoned a swirling ball of blue and purple light with a black core. She gestured first to the ball and then to her glowing tattoos with her other hand. "Incredible powers, unknown origin, we're born with blue tattoos on half our body, supposedly only six of us can exist at any given time… none of this is ringing a bell to you?"
"No. But if all sirens have tattoos here, I can easily prove that I'm not one." Luna unbuttoned her dusty and blood-stained uniform sweater and dropped it to the floor before moving on to her blue and bronze tie, letting it fall on top of her sweater and then going to work on her white blouse. After sharing a dorm with four very catty young women for the past few years, body modesty was hardly an issue for her. Letting her blouse flutter down to join her sweater and tie, Luna gestured down at her body. "See. Absolutely no…" Trailing off, Luna brought her left hand up in front of her face, eyes widening as she took in the strange blue marks adorning the back of it. "Tattoos?"
Well. That was new.
Making her way out from behind the bar, Moxxi slowly circled Luna before clapping her hands together excitedly. "Another Siren, and one who hasn't settled on a trademark look yet. I'm not just going to sponsor you, my dear, I'm going to give you a complete makeover." Wait, what? What was she being sponsored for? Why did she need a sponsor? Or a makeover? She just wanted to go- "Maya, I'm going to be occupied with this for the near future. Why don't you run along and find the trainer I hired for you?" As the older Siren wandered off, muttering something under her breath, Moxxi returned her attention to Luna. "I know it may not seem like it, but my trademark colors are red and pink, with a touch of orange here and there. Hopefully none of those bother you." Well actually- "I'm thinking… maybe leather? Oh! But I need to send Lilith an ECHO message before I do anything. I don't want to accidentally impinge on the whole 'Firehawk' thing that she's doing these days; I feel like that'd be a major Siren faux pas…"