Through a dark hallway in a dark house was a dark kitchen with a dark table and four ornately carved and embroidered, but still very dark, chairs. Sat amidst it all was a man named Sirius Black who was habitually, despite the cliché of it all, in a dark mood.
His mood expressed itself currently in mutterings and eyes that darted to a still warming kettle every few seconds. That’s what did most of the damage, Sirius found, the restlessness. Were he a free man; with a job and some semblance of a personal life, he may well have relished having limitless free time and set about doing all kinds of interesting things to fill it. He could have followed the quiddich or read up-to-date the ‘British Journal of Jinxes, Curses and the odd Hex’ or just lounge around in bed half-naked with his old muggle records blasting in the background. But, those couldn’t happen now because of Voldemort and Azkaban and the fact that after he’d read and lounged and snoozed there would be no James to take him out for a pint.
An unnatural sounding shriek pierced the gloom of the room and steel-grey eyes rolled over to the kettle, with a unhurried wand flurry he deactivated the warming charm. A sigh then he lumbered to his kitchen counter, wrenched out a dusty mug and groped around the charmed larder for milk. He gave the contents a weary sniff before deciding that if Azkaban, a Wizarding War and a hoard of Aurors weren’t enough to finish him off then he ought to survive gone-off milk. He liked his tea strong but sweat, at least 3 sugars. It was one of the first things he did when he got safely within range of a working kettle after the breakout; make himself a cup of tea.
Gah, there was a war brewing out there and what was he doing? Reminiscing about the past, wallowing in self-pity and thinking about bloody tea. Snivellus was right, the ruddy git, Sirius was completely and utterly useless, worse than useless really, who knew all the effort Dumbledore and the rest of the Order had put into hiding him?
Sirius’ mind was about to tumble into another spiral of depression when he heard a rapt on the door. He leapt to his feet feeling subconscious relief that his day would not be filled with nought but his own grumbly company. Impromptu visits were common within the order, it was not worth risking intelligence for something as trivial as a little forewarning especially when Sirius was in no risk of being busy.
The knock on the door sounded again but this time more urgent and loud enough to stir his mother from her disjointed dozing against her frame. Sirius sped up his plodding walk to his door
He had scarcely a second to register the faces after the door opened when he was shoved aside and a crowd of robed people hurried a seemingly unrobed person towards the dining room. He followed them, as his new quests walked they shrugged off their cloaks, secrecy now unnecessary.
It was Tonks, Remus and Dedalus Diggle plus an unknown person wearing muggle clothing. They hoisted the person onto his dining room table and Tonks and Dedalus started to busy themselves, casting slightly clumsy looking healing charms frantically at the persons body. On closer inspection, the person had long hair and a slight body making Sirius assume it was a woman although her face was so androgynous he may well have been wrong.
Remus was unoccupied enough to answer some his many questions, “Remus, what is this? Who is that woman?”
“Elena Crowley, we got a mission to guard her house and make sure nothing happened but a Death Eater turned up soon enough” His long-time friend anxiously surveyed the work of his fellow Order members while answering
“Why are Tonks and Diggle trying to heal her, can’t we just take her to St. Mungos?”
“Unfortunately not, Dumbledore expressly forbid it. Apparently she’s a squib and he’d prefer it if she was kept out of the Ministries radar”
That explained it, during the last Wizarding War, Voldemort’s lackeys held a particular dislike for squibs, many felt it was their solemn duty to prune out ‘defectives’. The more rational among them egged this on, it was no secret among those that made blood their obsession that magical genes passed through squibs were what caused muggle-borns. Many also felt it was a better for all to put a child squib out of their magic-deprived misery, his own parents included.
“But why now? Last time Voldemort waited till he was more powerful to launch these kind of attacks”
“This may not have been on his orders, the Death Eaters might be getting a bit jumpy”