Chapter 1 : The Boy

Chapter Revised
10th November, 2013

-x X x-

- 1981 -

Perhaps it was her rebellious nature that first sowed the seeds of her love for Jack. It was what led her away from her family's tradition of magical schools and dark arts. Heck, she'd even gone to a muggle college just to spite them.

They struck her off the wall for that – and even now, decades later, she still felt rather smug about it.

Yes, she decided, it was her desire to rebel against her family's dark history and traditions that led her to befriending Jack.

...But she had never expected to fall in love. Not with him.

He was a Fenton. No mage had ever married a Fenton.

Fentons had lived in the US since before the Salem Witch Trials – they were the magic-hunting family. No creature of magic – be they witch, wizard, goblin or elf – had gone their lives without hearing the name, and each knew exactly what it meant.

Muggles who were resistant to the effects of magic – heck, maybe they weren't even proper muggles at all – whom had banded together and created the Fenton clan.

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, but blinded by thier 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 two-year-old daughter, Jasmine, about ghosts. Their two-year-old daughter.

Maybe her disapproving father-in-law was right and the Nightingale blood 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 her family and friends (and by family, she meant the only cousin she actually had anything to do with and/or liked) in England surviving the war.

It had barely touched America... yet.

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 starting to look like it might be somewhat inclined to help poor England out.

It made Maddie's blood boil. Nobody wanted to touch that can of worms, to open it up and look inside.

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!?

By whatever gods that may or may not exist, she hoped someone would give that bastard what for.

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 butchered.

She sighed. These thoughts were all too heavy. Jack gave her a puppy dog look. "You alright, Madds?"

Maddie smiled, weary. She wasn't the kind of person who prayed, but her worry over the wellbeing of her friends and Sirius was almost enough to get her started. "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 coffee and, 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 daughters 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, grabbing 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, her mouth began to smile.

Then it fell, as she processed 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.

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 muttered, "I did a very stupid thing ...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.

Maddie rocked her arms unthinkingly – 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 crapsack 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. She had a bad feeling about this.

Scriptor Nota:

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