Chapter Updated: April 11th, 2015

Immutatio Nota: Changed a bit here and there. Not much editing for this chapter as I've already revised it once and I'm happy with what's been done so far. :) Good to be back, though. I did add a little bit more to the end, though. Maddie might not be technically my "favourite" character, but her introspection is indeed fun to write. (She reminds me of my mum a little, I think - all kick-ass, a bit weird and very smart :3)

OMG. Veteran readers, I promise that after this I'm not going to rewrite this chapter again. UGH - the pain! XD


Chapter One

Perhaps it was her rebellious nature that first sowed the seeds of her love for Jack. It had, at least in part, been the driving force that had steered her away from her family's tradition of magical schools and the dark arts - heck, she'd even gone to a muggle college, just to spite them!

The "Most Ancient and Noble House of Black" had disowned her for that - burnt her portrait off of their family tree rather vindictively, if she did say so herself. Even now, decades later, Maddie still felt rather smug about it. Never in her life had she felt so... free. Free to do whatever she wished. Go wherever she pleased, go through whatever crazy muggle phase she wished. No more stuffy dark wizards or witches breathing down her neck, telling her how much of an improper young lady she was and how unmarriable she'd be - Ha!

Yes, Maddie decided, it was indeed her desire to rebel against her family's dark history and traditions that led her to befriending Jack. Despite his best friend's very obvious interest in her - something Jack was completely oblivious to - she'd enjoyed his company, his excitable nature, his goofiness...

She'd never expected to fall in love. Not with Jack Fenton. No mage had ever married a Fenton. Then again, none of them had ever dared become friends with one, either. And why would they? The Fenton Clan were some of the most feared Mage Hunters of all time.

The Fenton Clan. Muggles that had some sort of inborn resistance to most magics - heck, maybe they weren't even proper muggles at all. There weren't many signs of them outside of the US any more (except for those estranged Egyptian folk), but no creature of magic - be they witch, wizard, goblin or elf - had gone their lives without hearing the name at least once. Most still recognised it. Most still remembered what it had once stood for.

Highly skilled, damned fierce and incredibly feared hunters of magic, it was rumoured they could sniff out magic a mile away. They were very powerful, sure, but blinded by their determination. If it had magic, it was evil - that was all they saw, and all they would ever see.

Maddie cast a look at her husband, who was cheerfully blathering on too his three-year-old daughter, Jasmine, about ghosts. Their three-year-old daughter.

Maybe her disapproving father-in-law was right. Maybe the Nightingale bloodline had truly "ruined" the Fenton line forever. Maddie couldn't have cared less. She had a beautiful daughter and a loving husband – what more could she want? Apart from the health and safety of her family and friends in England, that is. (And by family, she really just meant the only cousin she actually had anything to do with and/or liked.)

That damn war had barely touched America, but Maddie knew it was only a matter of time.

She had no illusions about the fact that Voldemort was focusing on England for a reason – there was something he wanted there. Something he wanted badly. Something that warranted him focusing the main bulk of his armies there, only lashing out when it seemed like some other country might, possibly, be somewhat inclined to help poor England out.

It made Maddie's blood boil. Nobody really wanted to help England, to expose themselves to receiving the same treatment England was getting by this so-called "Dark Lord". When the war was over, if Voldemort won – as chilling as that thought might be – would the magical community still turn a blind eye? How much more death and destruction would it take!?

Poor England. Once this was all said and done, it would take a very long time for them to trust the other countries again. Most of their bridges had been mercilessly burned.

She sighed. It was late and she was much too tired to be thinking such heavy thoughts. Jack noticed immediately, sending a puppy dog look in her direction. "You alright, Madds?"

Maddie smiled, weary but still completely smitten. "Yeah," she said. "It's just late..."

It wasn't a lie. It was probably well past eleven o'clock at night. She glanced at the clock and her eyes widened. It was four am

"Really late," she amended.

It wasn't like they hadn't spent their nights up this late before – they were scientists. They practically lived off of late nights and coffee or, in Jack's case, fudge – they rarely spent any time sleeping, even when they weren't working on one of their more involved projects. Maddie just didn't want Jazz to pick up their chaotic sleeping habits.

As if to punctuate that thought, the house shook with a loud banging. Someone was at the door, and they did not sound happy.

Maddie sighed. They'd lived in Amity for three years now. When would it end? The veil between the living world and the spectral world was thinner in Amity. It was the only place in all of America properly suited to their research needs, and still have enough of a population that Jazz wouldn't grow up socially stunted.

She kissed Jack on the cheek, running her fingers through her daughter's silky ginger mane. The noise was causing her to stir. If she woke up now, she wouldn't get enough sleep later. "Put Jazz to bed, I'll go deal with this."

"Y'sure?"

She smiled, making sure to grab the Fenton Anti-Creep stick, just in case things got out of hand. "Positive, love."

He smiled and scooped up his daughter. Whatever the problem was, he had no doubt that Maddie Fenton could handle it herself.

She twirled the bat in one hand, propping it up on her shoulder. The knocking boomed out again, even louder before. She winced – of course it was louder, she was much closer now.

"I'm coming," she called, unable to keep a hint of disgruntled defensiveness out of her words.

The moment she opened that door, all her protective anger vanished without a trace. For just a moment, she began to smile. Before it could even fully form, it was already gone. Something was very wrong. It took a second for her to truly process the figure before her.

"Sirius, what happened," she demanded, anxiety gnawing at her. He looked... destroyed.

"Madds, please, I don't have much time," he pleaded, voice cracking with emotion. He looked exhausted, guilty, heartbroken. It would have taken something terrible to break down Sirius like this, something unspeakable. Her mouth went very dry, and she struggled to swallow. Maddie nodded once for him, quick, brief. She didn't trust herself to speak. It was all he needed.

He looked down and moved his arms a little. Suddenly she realised he'd been carrying something, clenched tightly in his arms. A baby. "He could sleep through anything," he said with a ghost of a smile. But his eyes were too dark, to pained.

It was killing her to see him so dead.

"I would take him with me if I could," Sirius began to ramble. "But I don't know, I mean, he needs somewhere safe and stable, and England is anywhere but. I'm anything but... You're the only person I could think of, only one I can trust, so..."

"Sirius, you don't mean..." Maddie's eyes widened. No. Sirius was not honestly saying...

He cut in, desperate, mistaking her surprise for flat-out denial. "It's not safe for him in the wizarding world now, no one will let him life without this over his head... he's not going to be safe..."

"Of course I'll take care of him," she said firmly, placing a strong hand on either of his slumped shoulders. "As long as it takes, you know that."

For a moment, she saw a real smile. An honest-to-god Sirius smile. He sighed in obvious relief, "Thank you, Madds."

He handed the infant to her and she realised with some sadness that this was the first time she'd actually held baby Daniel in her arms. He was, amazingly, sound asleep. Maddie thought, with some amusement, that this reminded her of Jack. He could sleep through anything, too.

Sirius's sorrow had returned. He very reluctantly took a step away. "I did a very stupid thing, Maddie," he said. His brow creased and she barely heard his hoarse whisper of, "...and now they're gone."

Before she could say anything more, he grinned up at her. It was so out of place up there with his sorrowful eyes, dark with guilt and sadness and mourning. "Still can't believe you married a Fenton," he joked, in true Sirius fashion (he always had to have the last word), and in a twirl of his dark tattered robes he was gone.

She found herself rocking her arms – it was such a habit by now whenever she had weight in them like this. Little Danny snoozed so peacefully, blissfully unaware of the toils of the horrid world he'd been born into, not stirring in the slightest at the loud crack of Sirius's Disapparation.

"Don't do anything stupid, dog breath," Maddie muttered uselessly. Sirius was already gone, after all. It wasn't like he could still hear her.


Nota Auctoris:

Entity noun
-
1. something that has a real existence; thing

- 2. being or existence, especially when considered as distinct, independent, or self-contained

- 3. essential nature