I groaned as I scrubbed the floors of McGonagall’s floor. ‘It was just a stupid stunt. It’s not like anybody got hurt…So maybe I shouldn’t have ran around the school at night with a giant chicken costume on but come on it was funny! She really needs to grow a sense of humor.’ I thought to myself bitterly as I felt knots begin to form in my lower back. I’d almost finished cleaning half the floor when he stumbled in. My face snapped up quickly at the sound of his footsteps.
He smiled at me apologetically, “Sorry I’m late.”
I said nothing.
Simply I went back to working without giving him a single thought. It was clear by the way he was pleasantly ignoring me that he had no idea who I was. Then again it was easy to not recognize me when I wasn’t in uniform. It only took us three hours to clean the entire floor. An admirable feat really. On my way out he asked what my name was. I didn’t tell him. All I did was smile at him and say, “Goodnight Sirius,” before leaving him by himself.
The next day I came back for round two of my detention cycle. It was the same thing as before but this time not only was Sirius there but he was on time. Just like the day before I kept to myself and avoided his fleeting glances. Then three hours later we finished. I stood and walked out. Sirius didn’t stop me. We continued like this for a good two weeks. I didn’t know what exactly he did to get this long stint of detentions but I wouldn’t put it past him. The Marauder’s were known to cause chaos and corruption whereever they went. So detentions weren’t unusual to them. Finally on the day before my detentions ended he spoke up. The way he spoke I could tell my unperplexed silence had bothered him. There was an hour of work left to do but I was tired from Quidditch practice from the day before. I leaned against the back wall and rubbed the back of my neck. My eyes lifted from the floor reluctantly to find his grey ones looking right at me.
“What?” I asked confusedly.
He chuckled to himself, “I’ve never seen anyone work so tirelessly without complaint for so long.”
I shrugged in response. “People are babies.” I muttered darkly under my breath before considering going back to work.
His next question stopped me. “Why won’t you tell me your name?” It wasn’t a difficult question. I just felt like being difficult in answering.
“Why do you need to know it?”
“Um…Well we’ve been working together for awhile now and I still don’t know your name. It just would be nice is all...”
My tone was guarded, “Don’t worry about it Sirius.”
“Like that! You know my name. Why can’t I know yours?”
“Everyone knows yours.” I reasoned as started stretching out my arms to stop the aching.
“Yes but I’d like to know yours…”
“You know my name.”
He furrowed his eyebrows, “What do you mean?”
“Come on. Do you honestly think that you’ve never met me? We’re in the same year. You’ve seen me before.”
“Same year hmm….”
I snorted at his concentrating face. “Look. It’s not worth the effort…Trust me.”
I meant for that to stop his quandaries but this general statement seemed to cause him to become completely curious. The next day he searched through every Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Gryffindor girl for me. The funniest part was that I wasn’t even hiding away from him. I was sitting where I always sat at the Slythern table. He just never thought to look there. When I arrived at Transfiguration I sat in my usual place in the back. There was nothing different or even out of the ordinary about my activities. I talked to Taylor about Parkers next idea for a senior prank. He laughed and agreed to join instantly as he heard my compelling thought process mapping out our next practical joke.
McGonagall interrupted me near the end of my speech to announce that she was switching our seat partners for today in favor of inter-house cooperation. Taylor was partnered with Joe Brown, Angie was partnered with Lily Evans, Parker was partnered with Eric Chang and I was predictably partnered with Sirius Black. In my head I laughed at the fates sick sense of irony. On my way over I saw him scowl as he recognized my name. He later told me he knew that Juliette Paxton was a seventh year Slythern but it wasn’t until I sat down next to him that he figured out that I was Juliette Paxton.
His expression was priceless. I offered him a blank expression. “Hello Sirius.”
There is nothing that can one hundred percent prepare you for anything. You can take every precaution you like but 9 out 10 times it’s the thing you didn’t account for that bites you in the ass. Outside of work I’m a normal human being. My room is semi-messy -so is the rest of my life actually- …but that’s okay because as an Auror I’m a control freak. When I get a case I channel any and all of my over obsessive tendencies on every single variable. So that if I can’t manage the situation I might still be able to manipulate it into working out somehow. At the Ministries Gym I was twenty minutes into working out. Sweat beaded along my hairline as I threw punch after punch at the 200 pound punching bag. It gave me some satisfaction to be able to hit something and know exactly what the counter action would be. I was about to go lift weights when Lorenzo moved the bag away from my outstretched arm.
“What?” I snapped as I lowered my fists to my sides.
He raised his eyebrows at me. “Why are you hitting a punching bag while we are on duty?”
“I did all my paperwork and I would be paged if we got a new assignment.” I responded with a bit of an attitude as I wiped my forehead with the side of my hand.
“Well, I’m paging you…Change and meet me at my loft in five.”
I grabbed his arm to stop him from walking away. “Woah there Cowboy. You haven’t told me the most important thing…”
“Cover or opp?”
A tight smirk came over his face. “Cover.”
I grimaced and re-tied my hair into a messy ponytail before going into the locker room. If I was asked which is more important a cover or operation I would give a simple concise answer. Both are equally important as far as missions are concerned but covers are exceedingly more difficult than operations. You have to remember you’re not being an Auror, you’re being someone else. You have a childhood, friends, family, personality traits that are completely different from your own. All the while you have to use your head and see the things your character wouldn’t. It’s complicated, it’s messy and the risk triples. Logically you would think I would like operations more because there’s less to worry about and it’s more straight forward. That’s how Lorenzo thinks but not me. There’s something inside me that likes the danger. That pushes and propells me to go towards. I like the sudden rush of adrenaline when I think my cover might be blown and I’m on the edge of getting caught but then I don’t. And I get away with it. Time and time again I scale past danger without even a scratch to show for it. It has become a sick, addictive cycle that I openly accept.
Lorenzo’s loft was cleaner than usual. He must have gotten a cleaning lady or something…On his walls were his usual plain white paint and tacky famous looking art. People who buy fancy art confuse me. Who are you trying to impress so badly that you’re going to buy corny odd art? That concept baffles me. I don’t even understand art to begin with. What are you trying to say with a picture that you can’t just say with words? I sat down on his surprisingly comfortable couch and closed my eyes. After work I was supposed to meet with Dumbledore and ‘officially’ join the Order. It’s weird to think that I’ll be working with people like Lily Evans and James Potter…The very people I was taught as a child to hate.
“One second!” He called from upstairs.
I glared darkly at the ceiling. “What could possibly be taking you so-?” My words caught as he appeared in front of me, “Oh noooooooooo!”
“You know you love it.”
“…Why do we always have to do this?”
He smirked as he twirled around in his white trash red neck look. “You love it.”
Lorenzo then regretfully held up my clothes. A wife beater, ripped daisy duke shorts and cowboy boots are three things I regrettably had to pull on my person. I hate playing the shank card. It’s so overdone but sadly it gets the job done. I washed my face in his sink, pulled my hair into two braids and added excessive amounts of black makeup. This was my job and I would go all out if necessary. He was in loose blue jeans, a white wife beater with grease marks and a trucker hat. We both looked like bigoted hicks….perfect.
This mission was the first one in a great while that wasn’t Death Eater related. This one was old school. Ministries' most wanted Ricardo Martinez. Ricardo was born in England but he was raised in Mexico where is family was from. There he learned the tricks on how to get by on being a criminal instead of actually getting a legit job. When he got older he came back to England and made a name for himself as a drug exporter. Then a few months ago his right hand man ends up dead. Three key witnesses say he is the killer. Two days later they were killed in Ministry custody. Since then Ricardo has been on a general killing spree. He’s said to be in North Carolina. Technically it’s out of our jurisdiction so we have to keep it on the down low because if the American Ministry found out there would be hell to pay. Lorenzo and I apparated a town a way from where our target was staying and walked the rest of the way.
Our back story was simple. We were the classic bickering couple. You know the type. Can’t stand each other yet they always stay together. We were driving to South Carolina to get married in his home town when the car broke down and we have to wait till the morning to get it fixed. It’s an easy back story to follow. Plus Lorenzo and I usually play a feuding couple. I'm not warm enough or close enough to Lorenzo to give a conviencing enough performance as a loving wife/girlfriend/lover. I was too broken for that brand of affection. But people have a hard time believing we are related. He’s six foot two, dark blonde short hair, golden tan skin, muscular with bright blue eyes and a warm smile. I’m five foot five, dark haired, black eyes, olive skin and I’m tiny. You wouldn’t exactly see us and see some sort of resemblance. So what were we left with? Bickering couple. Few cutesy moments and are unpredictable. Perfect to use when working with muggles.
“So what’s your name?” I muttered as we moved onto a mainstream sidewalk.
He furrowed his eyebrows as he adjusted his cap. “I’m not sure yet…you?”
“I don’t know what to pick for my name…”
I squinted my eyes in thought. “How about Homer?”
He snorted, “Okay…I’ll go along with that. How long have we been together?”
“I dunno…four months?”
“Nah too short…”
“Seven?” I questioned uneasily.
The second we reached the town we dropped our natural English accents and adopted northern American accents. I went for a more Michigan perspective where he went for a hometown Carolina style. Ricardo himself stays in at the hotel of a local bar. At night he came down and sulked at the bar with his lady friend Katrina while he spike the bars beer with drugs and butterbeer.
The problem with a guy like this is he isn’t quite stupid enough for us to capture him. He surrounds himself by Muggles so he has several innocent bystanders to protect him from people like us. See if it was just one Muggle in the way we could just sneak in, do a memory charm and leave with him but this guy is somewhat smart. He knows we can’t use magic in front of 30 Muggles. We can’t put a memory charm on more than three people without it have seriously large consequences. Hence why this is a cover not an opp. The whole point of this mission is to get him alone long enough to get him contained and apparate him back to Ministry still in our custody. Hopefully this one will go better than the last.
“Is that it?” Lorenzo questioned softly as we stopped walking.
I nodded. “That’s it.”
“Well,” He put his arm over my shoulder, “Come on Jill.”
He wasn’t there at first. I kept my eyes peeled but it was still early. Lorenzo set the scene for our cover. He –in character- kept trying to put his arm around me and me –in character as well- continued to shake it off and get attitude with him. We were amping up for the fight. The rule is to wait a five minutes before you stage whatever distraction you have planned. Today that’s me and Lorenzo fighting to the point where I walk out of the room. The second our objective came down I knew we were in business. Being the clever boy he is, Lorenzo he took this opportunity to start quietly fighting with me.
“Jill you are being ridiculous…”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “Are you kidding me Homer?”
“How many times have I told you I hate that?!”
He groaned, “This isn’t my fault babe!”
“Oh and that little pig name right there! I hate that! I am not an animal!” My voice started getting louder and louder. We would continue fighting until our objective took a leak, went back to his room or just generally left the bar. This could have lasted hours luckily Ricardo’s must have forgotten something because he went back to his room.
I slapped Lorenzo across the face five seconds after Ricardo left. “YOU ASSHOLE!”
I threw my drink at him. “YOU MAKE ME SICK! That’s it! The wedding is off!”
I walked away quickly and ran up the stairs to the hotel. Taking my wand out of my bra strap I put an anti-apparation spell on the floor. Besides that I had to limit my use of magic. If anyone so much as saw me with a wand I would be screwed. Busting down the door I found him about to go through the door I just kicked in. The look on his face was priceless. He tried to fight me but there was no real use. I used every bit of his weight as leverage against him. Guys are stupid. They think if they weigh more than the person their fighting they can use it against them. A half hour later Lorenzo and I lugged the thug to the uniformed authorities and went back to my desk. Lorenzo was smirking when he got back to his own.
“What?” I questioned him sharply as I started detailing the mission on a piece of parchment.
“You really didn’t just see that?”
He laughed heartedly, his whole face lighting up. “Conner’s face when you walked by looking like that.”
I rolled my eyes. Conner was cute but he has the hugest crush on me for god knows what reason... “He really needs to get a girlfriend.” I groaned slightly.
“Yeah like maybe you for example?” Lorenzo snickered as I glowered at him.
“Okay.” I checked my watch, “I have to be somewhere. Why don’t YOU write down the mission before you leave?”
“What? Do you got a hot date with Connor?!” He called after me as I walked away.
When I got home Renee was gone. She left a note. Something about a last minute job that came up. A rush of relief flooded through my veins. I didn’t want to have to lie to Renee about where I was going. When it comes to work I just say I have a job or a case. For some reason I know that if I lie to her about this it will come back and bite me in the ass. Sighing, I took a quick but refreshing shower before changing into a clean t-shirt, worn jeans and my brown black leather jacket. My mind wandered while I put on my black converse. I had no problem with risking my life for the life of innocents. The problem I have is that I have no idea who I will be working with. I’ve never been good at trusting people- especially people who would trust people like Lily Evans and James Potter. Running a brush through my hair I scowled and left for the park I met Dumbledore at the day before. He was waiting patiently when I arrived.
“Sorry I’m a bit late…Work went long…” I explained under my breath loosely as he starred at me.
“Are you ready?”
I nodded, “I’m ready.”
I side along apparated with him to a house at the end of Godric’s Hollow. He entered first and I closely followed. Though I knew this wasn’t a trap I got an odd feeling in my gut. It wasn’t necessarily a bad feeling but it wasn’t good either. I ran through my brain tirelessly trying to think of some possible reason as to why I could possibly have this feeling. Dumbledore opened the door to a large room. There were about twenty people sitting by the large oak table in the center of the room. Some I knew, some I recognized all were people I never associated with personally. I wasn’t really sure what else to do. I just glanced around at the curious but distrustful faces before me. My insides immediately froze when my eyes met a hardened pair of grey eyes that were glaring right at me. At my side my fist tightened as I stared back determinedly. On the outside I tried to appear indifferent and uncaring while I internally freaked out. The only guy I ever let my guard down for was sitting within neck crushing distance...Merlin hold me back.
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