All prior works in my spin—off can be found here.
The fic in question was ‘The terrible two’, which is no longer available on fanfiction.net.
The scene inside Response Center #2985 was distinctly strange. For starters, the usually nonviolent Calpurnia Library was trying to shove her current partner, JulyFlame (the avatar of her usual partner, July Flame, and the reason why July had run off to parts unknown) into their bathroom.
“JF, you are distinctly in need of a shower,” Library said, as she shoved once more. Inside the bathroom, it was steamy, with condensation building on the walls and ceiling, steadily dripping in a mockery of rain. The water had been turned on when this had first started, and it had been going on for awhile now.
The younger girl had a look on her face of stubborn fear. “No! No, I don’t need a shower!”
Library shoved again just as JF dug her heels into the floor as best she could. “You’ve been here for five days already! And on our last mission you fell into muck! You need a shower!”
“Maybe I‘m afraid of water?!” JF’s voice pitched higher and for the fifth time in nearly an hour she burst into flame. Unfortunately for JF, Library had caught on quickly to the avatar’s antics and had borrowed some elbow length fireproof gloves (originally from DOGA, as even pyros are not completely immune to accidents).
“We found you in a pool party fic, how can you be afraid of water?” Library maneuvered deftly, scooping up the fire extinguisher that Trojie had lent her (“Soul was forever bursting into flames,” the Bad Slash Agent said, when Library had asked for help) and using it on her partner while preventing JF from escaping once more.
“I never said I was rational! Fire and water don‘t mix well!”
“You’re not on fire right now!”
“You just used a fire extinguisher on me! Again!” JF slid into the bathroom slightly, since the fire extinguisher used a liquid agent.
“I can‘t just let you set everything in here on fire!”
JF‘s sneakers squeaked as she desperately tried one last time to stay out of the bathroom. “But—”
“Ack!” JF tumbled backwards into the bathroom, the beep of the console having been enough to give Library the deciding win. The blonde agent quickly pulled the door shut before JF could escape.
“You‘re not coming out of there until you scrub up!”
“But—” Though her voice was muffled by the sound of running water and the door, JF sounded fairly pathetic.
“Not until you‘re washed.”
“After you‘ve washed,” Library repeated firmly. She looked over towards the Console. “You heard me too. You can stop sounding off, we’ll go on the mission as soon as she’s clean and dressed.”
With a final and rather sulky sounding beep, the Console quieted.
Forty minutes, five uses of the fire extinguisher, and one short chase (and a rather futile escape) down the hallway later, the two Floaters were finally able to go on the mission.
“I don‘t know why we couldn’t be disguised as students,” JF said miserably. The two girls were hiding behind some drapes on the main floor in 12 Grimmauld Place.
“This ‘story’ doesn’t take place anywhere near Hogwarts. And we’d look out of place in robes even then,” Library pointed out. “The students wear Muggle clothing during the summer.” She shifted uncomfortably. “Are you sure you checked these curtains for Doxies beforehand?”
“Yes,” JF lied.
“Good. Because it‘d be very unpleasant if either of us were bitten and we had to go to Medical before we finished this mission,” Library said. JF stared blankly at the area right above her partner. A Doxy was coming from the top of the drapes and down towards the Agents.
Library inclined her head upwards to see where JF was staring. Fortunately for JF, the Doxy was right out of her older partner’s sight. “Is something up there?”
“A stain.” JF said quickly. “It‘s reaaaally weird. Looks like MacGyver.”
“Who?” Library asked loudly. The Sues had just set off the portrait of Mrs. Black.
“80s action show character,” JF said, glancing nervously at the Doxy. It was making rude gestures at her. “Should we stop hiding in the curtains?” She looked questioningly over to Library.
“Probably. We can‘t really get charges if we‘re here the entire time, after all.” Library’s eyes unfocused for a moment as she read the Words. “And I think these two are oblivious enough we shouldn‘t get caught even if we‘re right next to them.” She pushed the curtain aside and stepped away just as the Doxy dived.
JF scooted to the side, narrowly averting the danger.
Library, however, was not as fortunate. "Ah!" She swatted the Doxy against the wall, hard, stunning the small creature and sending it to the floor.
"Uh oh. Are you okay?"
"I was bitten," Library's teeth were grinding somewhat.
"Oh. Is that bad?"
Library was a very patient person, but even so, a small tic was forming in the form of a slightly twitching eye. "Yes."
"Because now you are going to stay here and watch the Sues while I go back to Headquarters and to Medical." Library pulled out their Remote Activator.
"Oh, that's not so ba—"
"And by 'here', I mean here behind the drapes. There's no sense in you getting caught before we have enough charges."
"But there are Doxies here!" JF's voice took on a whinge.
"And it was your job to look for them, wasn't it?"
Library opened a portal and left the young avatar behind the drapes, closing the portal quickly behind her, lest her partner get the idea of following her.
After a few minutes, there was a loud crash followed by two teenage female screams,and JF jumped in surprise (but did not incinerate anything. She was getting very good at not incinerating things, after the near accident with a Daisy in the corridors of HQ earlier). JF peeked through the drapes.
Black and Lupin were nearby, pulling another set of drapes back over Mrs. Black's portrait, and soon two girls about Harry’s age ran down the stairs.
One of the girls had black eyes and hair, she was wearing a black shirt and a pair of tight leather pants and the other girl had on a rag shirt and a pair of patchy pants. She had brown hair and eyes, and she had unusually pointy ears.
"My, grandmother, what big ears you have," JF giggled and commented to herself. She wished a bit that someone else who she was allowed to talk to was here. There didn't seem to be quite as much fun in talking to yourself when there was no one else to be witty at.
“Pops, can you please tell those twins to leave us alone, they apperated into our room while we were changing! Lydia and I were scared out of our robes!” The girl named Lydia nodded toward Remus.
"Pops? Pop pop pop." JF paused a bit. "Pop." There was something else she should probably be doing, wasn't there? She couldn't remember, so she sneezed instead.
Sirius smiled, “Patience… You need to understand that ‘those twins’ are guesses in this manor, now try and have at least a little respect and learn their names.” Patience didn’t seem happy about this comment.
"Patience is a virtue, and shouldn't be a Sue~." The tilde was a bit hard to pronounce, but she managed somehow. This was getting boring, being behind the curtains. JF sneezed again, and looked down. There was the backpack. And some droppings. She ignored the droppings.
On the other side of the drapes, Sirius Black paused at the sound of the sneezing drapes before he continued on, accepting sneezing drapes as a natural part of reality. “Yes Patience thiss my godson, Harry. Harry this is my daughter Patience.” Patience slapped him on the back.
A bit of rummaging revealed Library's notebook for taking charges in, and a nice pen with smoothly flowing ink.
When Library returned, she was relieved to find that at least JF had stayed behind the curtains, and seemed to have made some sort of attempt at work. "Oh, good, you took some charges, then?"
A cursory look at the notebook revealed no charges.
She leveled a steady look at JF. "Is there any reason that you've decided to draw the Marquis in my notebook, instead of taking any charges?"
"He has a nice hat." Somehow, JF had made that sound like a challenge.
Library sighed. "Yes, I suppose he does, but we're supposed to be working." She took a cursory look at what she had missed while she was gone. "You could have charged for both Mr. Lupin and Mr. Black having teenage daughters the same age as Harry despite no mention of such in the canon, Mr. Lupin's 'daughter' having pointy ears, the leather pants, guests becoming guesses, the..."
"Oh, oh." JF looked like she actually had something to contribute. "I know one."
"Kreacher being moderately out of character and siccing Doxies on one of the Sues?"
"You didn't notice it was just us in here?"
Library sighed, noted the charges down (After carefully putting the drawing of the Marquis aside; it was a good drawing, considering the so—called artist's attention span), and looked ahead at the rest of the story. "There seem to be a few drastic scene changes with little transition, so we should skip to a later point in the chapter. Can you tell me why that is?"
JF nodded. "Yup."
"Will you tell me then, please?" It wasn't particularly noticeable, but Library's teeth were clenched, just slightly.
"It's because timeskips with no transitions or scene changes in a story are disconcerting and can throw us into dangerous situations without warning."
"Oh! Right! Gotcha."
"But first we're going to wait through this upcoming portion," Library said. "Come along," and she pushed back the drapes, and began to make her way up the stairs.
"Huh? Why?" JF followed her, though she looked confused.
"Because, unfortunately, there is a scene that will provide us with more charges." Library sighed once they made it up to the floor in question, and waited a ways away from one of the bedroom doors, just as it was closed by Remus Lupin. "Pay attention to the Words, JF."
Remus closed the door, "My daughter is very close to Patience as I am… see, and I raised both of them, alone." The three looked at them, "Sirius was staying with me, his wife left after her parents beckoned for her—she was a death eater, like her parents— and Sirius was left with Patience."
This got a response from JF, who began to screech before Library clapped her hands over the younger girl's mouth, and successfully stopped her. For the moment at least.
"Did you just try to bite my fingers?"
"Well, don't. And don't scream." With that, she let go, to begin writing charges.
"Or try to charge the door and strangle her to death or burn her or do anything else that would result in her dying before we collect a satisfactory amount of charges or get to a point where we can dispatch them without worries of dying ourselves."
JF grumbled, but stayed still.
"When my wife knew about my problem, she said that she would not want an abnormal child and left also. So when Sirius was taken to Askaban. I was left alone with two baby girls; mind you I have never taken care of any kid. But Sirius couldn't leave Patience with his mother, because his mother disowned him." He looked over his shoulder and sighed. "They are like sisters." He walked away and the door opened and Harry, Ron, and Hermoine saw Lydia standing in the doorway.
There was, very suddenly, two rather confused looking Mini—Aragogs. One scrambled over and lodged itself on JF's sneakers; the other stood with Harry and Ron. While neither boy seemed to realize their friend had been replaced with a spider of unusual size, Ron appeared to be suffering from nervous tics.
"Oh dear," Library murmured, writing quickly. "We'll have to open a portal to let this mini get into HQ as soon as possible. The other one will have to wait; the authors keep misspelling Hermione’s name."
"Why?" JF glanced down at the Mini—Aragog. It was making itself quite at home on her feet, and doing its best to fluff up the tongues of her sneakers to lean against.
"Do you want a mini following us the entire mission? Besides, it needs to return to its owner."
"So I guess you guys know, come in," they walked into her room and sat in different chairs. "Patience is in a different room, thanks to Kreacher…" she seemed bitter, "the next time I see him I might kill him…" she balled her hands into fists. Her teeth were revealed Harry and Ron saw that they were pointed.
Library sighed at the run on sentence and the utter uncanonicity.
Hermoine looked at her and patted her on the back, "Now Lydia, you don't mean—"
It was a bit disturbing to see a mini—Aragog being sympathetic.
"Like hell I do! That house elf has tried everything to get ride of poor Patience! Finally he got what he wanted, I wish Sirius did give him clothes on the first day we came here." Lydia got up and walked out of the room with her hands in her pockets. Soon Fred and George Apperated into the room, the stood in front of the dresser that was up against the wall.
The Sue, in a feat of cunning lack of observation, sulked right past them.
Library looked over at JF and raised an eyebrow. “Did you just make that noise?”
“The mini did it.”
Askaban the mini—Aragog looked affronted.
“I don’t think the mini made that sound, JF,” Library stated. She was trying her hardest to prevent herself from gritting her teeth, she really was. She turned her attention from her partner and the mini, and back to the mission at hand.
"Heard every word." They said smugly… just then Sirius walked into the room, steamed as ever with Lydia right behind him.
“Mm, Sirius Black shouldn’t be quite this short tempered at anyone besides Severus Snape,” Library noted.
"Weasleys…" he snarled, Fred and George looked at each other and swallowed hard… "I'm really getting sick of you butting into my personal business. Now GET OUT!" Fred and George ran out of the room like two puppies running from a newspaper. Sirius turned to Lydia, "Now, come on, I think Patience would like it if you are there when she wakes up." Lydia nodded.
“It’s not Mrs. Weasley in a Sirius costume, right?” JF peered into the room before scooting away and out of sight of the Sue and Sirius.
Library swallowed for a moment. “I’m not sure Mrs. Weasley would be able to... pass as being Sirius, even in a costume.”
In another room, Patience laid on a bed, her eyes closed, Lydia sat in the chair next to her and stared at her. Soon Remus walked into the room.
"Lydia," she looked up, " you need to eat, I don't think Patience would like to get sic—" just then Patience woke up.
“What? What? What?” JF bounced up and down on her toes. Askaban gave her an increasingly disgruntled look before it finally scuttled up to Library. “No seeeeeeense. None at all! Zip! Zero! Z—mmphf.”
"I would never want that…" she sat up and Lydia hugged her. Sirius sat next to her, "Papa, where is that elf?"
"He is locked in the closet," Remus said with a smile, "So you and your father don't kill him." Patience looked at him with no emotions. Soon Mrs. Weasley walked into the room.
“Trapped in the closet, with Kreacher in the role of R. Kelly’s Sylvester,” JF quipped.
Library ignored her. “Let’s portal ahead, and send the mini back to HQ.” She quickly opened a portal to HQ, through which the mini very quickly went (after making what Library supposed was intended to be an obscene gesture in JF’s direction). She then opened a portal to a point later in the chapter.
“Ooh, a corridor.” JF looked around, and saw Harry, Ron, and Hermoine who were walking down the stairs and down the corridor, they passed an open door where they saw Patience and Lydia jumping around dodging spells being cast by Sirius and Remus. They stood in the doorway.
The two agents walked over, and stood as close as they possibly could without alerting anyone to their presence.
Lydia got hit with a bound charm, Patience looked at her and pointed at her, "Dis—in—bound!" the bound disappeared, Lydia got up and jumped from another attack. "Lydia, we need to stay in time!"
Library sighed. “Uncanonical magic and uncanonical spells, and further nonsense.”
"Got it Black!" they started to flip to their fathers— “Did they really just do that?” JF demanded— and grabbed their wands. "Now who has the upper hand?" Lydia said twirling Remus wand on her finger. Remus and Sirius lunged to them, the girl jumped up and flipped to the front of the room.
JF crossed her eyes as the two Sues temporarily merged into one.
"Let's get outta here Lydia!" she nodded and they ran out of the room, they ran past Harry, Ron, and Hermoine, and the two agents.
“Are they blind or something?”
“Quite possibly,” Library muttered.
They ran down the hall and down a set of stairs, their fathers soon followed them, JF and Library following after.
While the characters were at breakfast, the two agents hid under the table. JF made a point of almost, but not quite burning the Sues’ feet, and rummaged around in their mission bag. She found a fork. There was a layer of questionable residue on the tines.
"Oh… before I forget, you two have mail…" They heard Mrs. Weasley tell the Sues."What does it say?"
"We're going to Hogwarts…" they said in unison. They then looked at their fathers. "Oh… goody…"
JF made a strangled noise, and attempted to stab the fork through the closest Sue’s foot. Only Library’s quick reflexes prevented that from happening, though the table rocked somewhat from it. Thankfully, the argument between the Sues and their ‘fathers’ over their lack of interest in attending the school caused the Lupin Sue to stand up and slam her fist on the table, disguising the rocking.
"I can't deal with it, I hate being a werewolf! I just want to be a normal teenager! I hate having to keep up the stupid phases of the moon! Oh sorry I can't go out tonight, it's a freakin full moon!"
There was the sound of a slap, and then running.
“Yaaaaaaaagh.” JF attempted to claw her way out from under Library. “Let me at her, that’s not in character for Lupin! He doesn’t hit people.”
JF replied in a very obscene manner that resulted in the table rocking again as the two fought.
"Damn; and I thought that I fought with my father a lot…" Patience said. From their position under the table they could see her leave.
Soon there was a scream and Patience ran back into the room, "Damnit! Why didn't anyone tell me that… that slimball was going to be here!"
“Wait, Snape’s here?” JF looked intrigued and stopped fighting against Library for a moment, to settle for trying to look at what was going on from under the table.
"You can't talk about Snape like that daughter…" Patience looked at Sirius.
"Who says I was talking about him! I'm talking about his pain in the ass daughter!"
“Whaaaat.” JF stared as Patience turned into a small Alaskan Husky, who then ran up and jumped into Sirius’ lap. “But Snape doesn’t have a daughter!”
Library sighed. “The amount of previously unheard of children is becoming ridiculous.” She adjusted herself, moving so that her left arm pinned JF down more effectively to safely free her right hand, so that she could write down the latest charges.
Soon the door opened and a somewhat tall girl with a long black dress on walked into the room; she had black eyes and short black hair.
"Hello . . ." she said in a snotty voice.
JF looked utterly fascinated as the newcomer’s words trailed snot onto the floor. “Gross!”
“That better not happen throughout the rest of story.”
"Now where is that . . . cousin of mine . . ." Patience whined. The girl smiled, "One, two . . ." Patience jumped at the girl and the girl held up her hand and Patience went flying against the wall and she transformed back into a human.
JF began to cheer, until Library stuffed the handle of their bag into the younger girl’s mouth. “Ew ew ew eeeeeeewww.....”
"Sevena . . ." Patience growled, wiping blood from her lip.
"Patience . . ." Sevena grinned. Sirius stood up.
"Now Sevena . . ." she looked at him, he swallowed hard, —”I sincerely doubt Sirius Black would be intimidated by a teenaged girl,” Library scoffed— "You know not to—" he was cut off by Patience lunging to Sevena, she held up her hand again and Patience went flying, this time into Remus.
“That’s gonna hurt in the morning,” JF quipped. Library very deliberately wedged her elbow against JF’s back.
The two agents boggled as the main Sue remaining in the room protested the treatment she was receiving from her cousin, and then walked out of the room steam coming from her head.
There was a sudden churning and squishing sensation, and their surroundings changed around them, warping and twisting—
—and JF and Library found themselves squashed below the slats of a bed.
“Get your elbow out of my face,” JF whined.
“I would try, but your leg is in the way,” Library hissed back. The backpack was wedged above her, shoving part of the mattress up partially. She hoped the Sues would not notice any especially lumpy spots.
"I can't believe that dad did this to me…" they heard. Their current position prevented them from easily seeing what was happening, and relying on the Words was, Library was finding, beginning to prove to be a headache.
"Well you did push his buttons… I guess he got so upset that he started to transform…"
JF began to do hand puppets, matching the talking of the Sues as Lydia started to howl.Library sighed, and focused on the Words instead. Some arguments, she had concluded, were not worth the effort.
"Well Lyd this is what you get when you piss off your father…" soon the door opened and Harry, Ron, and Hermoine walked in. "Yeah?" Patience said as she got up, "Just hold it against your face Lyd…" she said softly and walked into the bathroom to put the alcohol away.
"We heard a howl and wanted to see what was wrong?" Hermoine said, Patience leaned against the doorframe.
"Nothing, just when Lydia here pissed off Uncle Remus, he started to transform and slapped her with his nails…" soon a flash of red went past Patience. She sighed and grinned, "Finally Rose, we were wondering when you were coming…" the thing was a bout 6 inches tall and wearing a long shirt, she had tan shin and big red eyes with cherry red hair that when down to her waist, she had butterfly wings and antennas on her head.
JF tried to scramble out from under the bed, but Library dragged her back before any of the characters— be they Sue, canon, or Mini—Aragog— noticed her. “It’s a fairy,” JF wailed. “Those don’t belong here like that.”
“We’ll take care of it.” Library dug her elbow in.
JF pouted. “And that hurts.”
“Pain is a reminder that you lack self control.”
“I don’t like pain or self control.”
“I promise you, I have noticed.”
The fairy asked what was wrong, and after receiving permission, began to heal the scratches, putting her hands over the scratches a light bloomed and Lydia's blood was almost dry. Soon there was a clicking of a tongue— “A tongue! By itself! Can I—” “No.” from behind the canon characters and Mini—Aragog.
"I can see you Rosemary…" it was Sevena.
"What do you want Slimballena?" Patience gritted through her teeth.
“That is a terrible insult,” Library murmured. “Entirely unoriginal. Even you could do better.”
“Yeah, I cou— hey, wait!”
The older agent suppressed a smile.
"Tut, tut, cousin, you shouldn't call people names," Sevena said.
"Unless their you…" Patience and Lydia said in a sarcastic voice.
The Sues began to fight, and Sevena— “I cannot believe they chose a name that unoriginal.”— aimed a spell at Patience, which missed, and then left, with what was presumably supposed to be a clever parting remark.
Sirius entered, chastised Patience for the same behavior he indulged in— “I think that could vaguely be in character, if not very; he did after all continue to treat Snape poorly, in canon, after all.”— and treated the injuries that had supposedly been healed already by the fairy, mentioning “Well that is what you get when you piss Remus off… you're actually luck he did just that, I saw some of his victims…"
“But but but Remus isn’t violent!” Library restrained JF before it occurred to her that she could try anything.
Sirius and the others left when Remus entered, leaving Remus with his uncanonical daughter, and what was supposed to be what Library assumed to be a touching scene between father and daughter took place.
Soon, they left too.
Library and JF were left alone with the fairy, Rosemary.
“We’re skipping ahead,” Library told JF. “We’ve already noted the uncanonical powers, and we’ve taken care of the fairy.”
“How good are you with stakes?”
“Uh, I can cook a mean one?”
Library sighed. “Stakes, not steak.”
“Ohhh. ...Can I use fire instead?”
They left behind a small glittery dusting of charcoal, ash, and a burnt butterfly wing on one of the beds as they went through the portal.
Library immediately dived under the table, since the Sues were cooking breakfast. JF managed to slide under just in time before Patience saw them, since she was setting the table by summoning plates and glasses. Mrs. Weasley soon entered. Lydia was cooking, they were laughing as they did the chores around the kitchen.
"Is Kat coming?" Patience asked. Lydia turned to her.
"Katrina is suppose to be here anytime now," she said, and from the agents’ position, they could see the fireplace as it filled up with smoke. Then something fell out of it. "There she is," Lydia said; JF immediately began scrabbling to get at the new arrival the moment her description became apparent.
The person who fell out of the fireplace stood up and brushed off her loose black pants and tight long sleeve shirt, she had black boots and short white hair. She had slightly pointy ears and silver eyes. Her skin was pale and thin. She looked at Patience.
"Yo Pat!" she said.
“Let me go, let me go, let me go! Pleeeeeaaaaase.”
"Hey Kat!" Patience hugged the new girl. "How is our favorite vampire!"
Library tugged JF back by her ankles. “Later.”
"Remember half vampire," she said laughing, Lydia turned around, "And how are the werewolves?"
“How much later?”
"My father would be furious if he heard you now, but I'm cool," she said smiling slightly. She sensed something and turned, "Oh, hi Mrs. Weasley!" she said brightly.
“Two chapters, or so.” Library was glancing at the Words for later. “It seems the vampire—”
"What is a vampire doing here in the morning?" she asked practically yelling, soon Sirius and Remus ran into the room. Patience and Lydia looked at their fathers.
“Half vampire,” JF said, helpfully, for both Library and Mrs. Weasley’s benefit, even though the canon wasn’t predisposed at the moment to listen.
"What's— who the hell are you!" Sirius yelled. Remus smiled.
Library sighed. “—half vampire doesn’t show up past chapter four. So we’ll take care of her and her father then.” She began to write down more charges.
The Sue daughters introduced their friend to Sirius, in a manner that went poorly, soLydia tried to lighten the mood. "Who wants bloody toast!" she said, Katrina ran to her and grabbed a piece.
Library took on a sickened expression. “Oh goodness.”
JF gagged. “Ewwwwwww. Charge, charge, ewwwwwwww, charge.”
"MMM! My favorite!" she said biting into the toast. "Is this cat's blood?" she asked.
“Ewwwwwwww. Why cat’s blood? Why on toast? Who eats bloody toast? What were they doing with the cat? Was it a dead cat? Was it still alive? Did they just siphon a bit of blood out of it while going ‘here, kitty kitty, here, you’re gonna make a tasty snack’? Was it a girl cat in h—” A hand clamped over JF’s mouth. “Mrph mmmrph mmmmpppph? Mnnrppph!”
"Why yes it is," Lydia said smiling. "Don't worry dad, I have regular toast also," she said looking at Remus. "And raw sausages for us. The rest is cooked," she put the food on the table. "Shall we get the others?" she asked Patience and Katrina.
Library’s face took on a greenish tinge at JF’s suggestions and the further mention and smell of generic food, aside from the bloody toast and raw sausages. “JF, you don’t need to speculate further. In fact, I insist. We’re charging for the cat blood on toast and the raw sausages.”
"SURE!" they said in unison, then ran out of the room.
Sirius and Remus bickered somewhat, and were quickly cut off by the portrait of Mrs. Black screaming and yelling about werewolves, traitor Witches and Wizards, muggles, and now Vampires. Katrina screamed and covered her ears, backing away from the portrait. Sirius and Remus ran to the portrait and pulled the curtains down, and the two agents looked in on the scene from the kitchen.
“Eeewwwww, she cries blood?”
“I am beginning to suspect you are a bit too delighted by that, JF.” Library wrote down the charge, and they followed the Sues at a safe distance as Patience and the others began to go upstairs. She past Harry on the way.
"Hey, Patience," he called, she turned sharply to him.
"What Potter?" she said bluntly.
"Who woke up the portrait?" he asked.
"Just our friend Katrina, is Ron up?" she asked blankly.
"No, slept through the whole thing," he said, he saw a smile curl on her lips, the 'Snape' smile.
“Oh, this does not bode well for Ron,” Library looked ahead at the oncoming Words, and shook her head. “Ron bashing. Of course.”
"Good," she said, jumping down the stairs and walking into their room. "YO WEASLEY!" she yelled in his ear. He jumped up and stood on his bed hitting the wall, "You know you shouldn't hit your head real hard, you might kill the last ten brain cells you have left," she said smiling. Ron glared at her.
"Why you little!" he lunged for her, she yawned and flicked her hand at him, he flew over her— “For someone who dislikes being bullied, she’s quite the bully herself,” Library noted.— and hit Harry's bed. She giggled and walked out of the room. Harry came into the room.
"What happened?" he said.
Fred and George soon followed after, standing at the doorway to poke some fun at Ron as well, which he did not take well. The other Sues passed them by, Katrina mentioned her ‘sanative ears’, and scared the Weasley twins off by expressing an interest in their blood. Fred and George looked at each other.
"Oh, look Fred, we need to get downstairs!" George said, they ran down the stairs.
The Ron bashing continued, and Katrina feigned disinterest and cluelessness in regards to who Harry was, then two female yells came from downstairs. The Sues walked to the rail and saw Ginny and Hermione —who was finally taking her role in the story for the first time— run down the stairs soaking wet, then Patience gliding up to them. She glided down onto the rail— “Wait a sec, how’d she glide up while gliding down?”— crossing her legs.
Sirius and Remus yelled for the Sues, having been alerted by Hermione and Ginny— “No doubt Hermione said something,”— and chastised them at the bottom of the stairs for pranking Hermione and Ginny, and threatening the Weasleys. Harry and Ron continued on into the kitchen, as ordered.
The Sues, however, took it as a challenge. "C'mon, bring it on pops," Patience said, cracking her neck. Then stood in a fighting pose. Sirius looked at her weirdly.
Sirius and Remus exchanged some dialogue, and then Sirius put his wand in his robes, then walked over to his daughter, Remus did the same.
"You know Patience, there was always something I meant to tell you," he said, wrapping his arm around her shoulders, she looked at him. Remus did the same to Lydia.
"Yeah, you to Lydia."
"Yeah, what?" they said in unison. Then, "OW!" was heard repeatedly from the two girls, their father were dragging them into the kitchen, with one ear pinched and held up by their fathers. The Sues whined and yelled as they were dragged, and the corners of Library’s lips turned just a bit upwards. Moody, the fic noted, was also present.
"What did they do now?" he growled sighing.
"Tell them daughter," Remus and Sirius said still holding their daughters' ear.
"WE'RE SORRY! For what ever we did to offend or hurt you!" they yelled in unison. The fathers let them go. They both ran to Moody, who, Library was bemused to note, told Remus and Sirius that they should be kinder to their daughters because they were so young.
"That gives them no right to soak Hermione and Ginny!" Sirius said.
Moody berated Sirius and Remus, taking the Sues’ side. “Normally Sues leave Moody alone,” Library said. It was mostly an attempt to keep JF focused; she was currently trying to catch dust motes.
Snape arrived, just in time to aim a pointed comment at Remus, with a letter for Patience, which she soon read.
"I'm not going!" she yelled, and she began to shout about what a horrible person her mother was.
Snape asked her to at least try, due to the Sue and uncanon sister both being members of his family, and the Sue agreed, grudgingly. "Alright, alright, I'll go see the old traitor, but if I don't want to be there you are going to bring me straight home deal?" she said looking at him.
He accepted, and the two left. Library dragged JF behind a set of particularly moth—ridden curtains before the Sue spied them. “But I nearly caught one,” JF complained.
“I somehow doubt that,” Library remarked, as she began adjusting the remote activator. “We’ll be portalling ahead, unless you would like to walk.”
“Ooooh. Can we?”
Library sighed. “No. I was being facetious.” With that, she opened a portal, bringing them to the Leaky Caldron, where Snape and Patience waited in a booth in the back. The two agents slid into a nearby uninhabited booth, and JF gleefully examined the underneath of the table. Soon a tall woman walked into the pub. She had long black hair and really pale skin. She stopped when she got to them.
Patience and her also uncanonical mother had a dramatic scene where they treated each other poorly, the Sue accused her mother of being prejudiced against werewolves to the point of making her sick— “But she’s afraid of werewolves when it’s the full moon? What gives?”—, the Sue threw a cup at her mother, they fought over the innocence of Sirius Black, her mother slapped her in return until finally Snape stepped in when his uncanonical sibling decided to hit her daughter for a second time.
"Don't hit my niece," he growled, Sarah glared at him. Patience looked at him shocked. "Patience wait outside," he said, still looking at his sister. When she didn't move Sarah looked at Patience.
"Daughter you aren't going to let your uncle do this to your own flesh and blood?" she said desperately. Patience looked at her.
“Technically, he is as well,” Library said, under her breath.
"Yes I am, I'm not your daughter, I'm a Black," she said, Sarah was shocked. Severus flipped her, she landed on her back behind them.
Library sighed, kicked out her leg, and was soon rewarded with an ‘Ow!’ when her heel met JF’s shoulder. “Stay there.”
“But but but but Snape just used a judo throw on her! And I wanna kill her!”
Snape told his uncanonical sister to leave, and she finally disapperated, leaving them behind.
"Severus Snape?" a cold voice said from behind him, he turned to see Lucius Malfoy and his son Draco.
“Ooooooh,” JF crooned. “Someone’s in trouble~.” This earned her another kick. “Ow! Why do you keep doing that?” She scrambled out from under the table and scowled upwards at Library.
“Because you’re being obnoxious and you aren’t helping collect charges,” Library replied. She pulled JF away from the table, and to the entrance, where the Sue was trying hid behind Severus.
"Hello Lucius," Snape said.
"Hello Severus, who is your young friend?" he said gesturing to Patience.
“Wait, what?” JF blinked.
"She is my niece, now if you will excuse us, we shall be going," he said, walking away from them, Patience followed. When they got out of the pub Patience turned to Severus.
"Uncle Severus, who was that guy? Why does he look so familiar?" she asked, he turned to her and grabbed her shoulders.
"That is Lucius Malfoy, the reason he looks familiar is because he and I worked together when you were younger. So when I took care of you, he brought his son, Draco, to play with you," he said looking into her eyes.
Library began writing charges furiously. “This is contradictory! They said earlier that Lupin took care of both girls; while Snape is her uncle, I heavily doubt that Remus would have allowed him to watch Patience if Lucius Malfoy would possibly have been present. And if he had, Lucius would have recognized her, very likely.”
“But it’s just a Suefic, why does that matter?” JF hopped outside, skipping (and trying to avoid stepping on apparently random parts of the outside street).
"But, didn't Harry say they were on HIS side," she said, know better than to say 'Voldemort' in public. He nodded.
"Yes," he said sighing.
“Sues are determined by the result on the story and the overall canon. This is why we collect charges to determine if it’s a Sue or not. Surprisingly enough, a story with a character who has Mary Sue—like traits can be internally consistent,” Library said, as she pulled the remote activator out of the backpack. “When they aren’t internally consistent with regards to the character, it makes them that much more of a Sue, because elements the writer included are being changed in the character’s favor without plot or characterization.” She made a few adjustments to the remote activator’s settings, and then opened a portal back to 12 Grimmauld Place before the scene shift forced them to return.
Back to the others, Sirius was pacing in front of the fireplace, Remus, Lydia, and Katrina were sitting at the table, Remus was reading a book. Lydia and Katrina were burrowing Harry's chess set.
The agents were once again under the table.
“That really can’t be good for the chess set,” Library said, quietly. At this point it was entirely for her own benefit; JF was terrible as far as conversational partners went. July might have had her moments, but her attention span wasn’t measured in seconds.
Sirius worried about his Sue daughter, and the others attempted to allay his worries. For a brief moment there was the sound of gnawing coming from the direction of JF, and one of the table’s legs. Library kicked to the side, which resulted in a whining noise and the gnawing abating.
“Start again. I dare you.”
JF’s expression made it look like she was going to challenge that threat, but soon the front door shut, Sirius shot from the room, Lydia, Remus and Katrina followed him. They saw Snape and Patience in the doorway, she took off her cloak and was taking off one of her shoes, she looked at them.
Library barely managed to yank JF back under the table before the younger girl went after them. “Pay attention to the Words instead. We can’t just follow them right now, they’d notice. Besides, we need to figure out how we’re going to approach this. We’ve collected more than enough charges.”
Instead of paying attention to the Words, JF focused all her attention on Library. “Really?”
“Yes, really. We have far too many targets to charge at them mindlessly. With how many of them there are directly related to the canons, we have to remove them all.”
“Oh.” JF bit her lip, actually looking thoughtful. “How’re we going to do that?”
“Well, first, if we get rid of some of the auxiliaries that’ll improve matters, and I suspect that if we can isolate Remus Lupin for long enough we might be able to get his assistance...” She trailed off, lost in thought, gazing at the Words. “I think I might have an idea.”
“Do I get to know?”
“Only if you actually write charges down this time. I need to time this just so, when we portal.”
“But I thought it’s not time dependent since we can portal to whenever in the fic?” JF still took the notebook and pen when it was handed to her anyways.
“It is, because portal usage doesn’t account for when the story is still going on around us. We have to make a stop before we actually charge the Sues.”
“Oh.” JF scrunched her face at the words and then looked at the notebook. “Should I charge for more Ron bashing? Because the Sue made a lame comeback just now.”
“Also the half—vampire isn’t stupid because she’s an American, but because she’s a half—vampire so, can I charge for that, too?”
“Go ahead.” A moment later, as JF actually looked like she was writing something instead of drawing, Library frowned. “I don’t remember ‘visions’ being mentioned earlier. Add that as well.”
"Katrina, time to leave, your parents just called!" Remus called.
Because the fic hadn’t built itself up enough to give any background to the matter, Remus only announced it, and a tall man with short silver hair and eyes; he had on a black cloak and suit suddenly appeared. No entrance, no introduction, no brief conversation between Remus and the man who was probably Katrina’s father.
When the Sues entered, Patience only half—changed out of what she had been wearing, he was talking to Remus, Sirius was stirring his spoon in his tea, glaring at the man.
"Uncle Count!" Lydia and Patience said in unison, he looked at them and Remus moved, they ran to him and gave him a hug.
The small talk showed he was familiar with both main Sues, despite having not seen them for seven years, with Sirius showing what was probably jealousy over the man— “That seems in—character enough,” Library said to herself— before Remus spoke up.
"So ready?" Remus asked, Lydia looked at him.
"Where are you going?" she asked.
"I have to go to America with the Counts. David wants to talk to me about the Order," he said smiling, then said, "Be good, and obey Sirius, okay Patience?" he said.
"Yes sir." she muttered. Katrina and David Count throw a pinch of floo powder in the fire place then said a name— what the name was, Library certainly couldn’t tell, thanks to the fic not indicating one whatsoever— and disappeared, Remus did the same.
“Be ready,” Library said, as she yanked the charge notebook away.
She opened a portal, and pulled JF through after her, into empty scenery, where the half—vampire Sue, her father, and Remus Lupin stood in front of an extremely generic fireplace that was probably only there because it was required due to the use of floo powder.
“Katrina Count, on behalf of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, you are charged with being an accessory to bad writing and being severely uncanonical; to wit, primarily being a half vampire for the sake of it. The penalty is death for you and your father.”
Before Library had even finished, David Count had already moved in front of his daughter, and Remus had drawn his wand. She was all too aware that all of his attention was focused on her, and that her partner wasn’t doing anything. Even if she could pull her handgun from its holster in time, there was no way she would dare fire it at Remus Lupin. This mission was already trial enough; she had no interest whatsoever in getting the Flowers involved as well, with all the paperwork and lecturing that would imply.
“Mr. Lupin, please stand aside. We’re here to help you,” she pleaded.
“By murdering my daughter’s friend?” He asked, pointedly and crisply. Just by being out of the immediate area of the story’s main Sues, he had become much more alert.
“No, Mr. Lupin, we aren’t murdering her.” Library tried very hard to keep the waver out of her voice. After all, an assassination wasn’t very distinct from murder, and in some cases wasn’t at all, depending on the definition one chose.
Library found it was very difficult to not think too much on it, since JF had not leapt to the conclusion that she was supposed to be dispatching both Counts.
It wasn’t until Library barely dodged the Stunner Remus aimed at her— taking a brisk dive with her skirts billowing around her before getting back onto her feet— that JF realized what she was supposed to be doing.
“Oh, yeah.” The avatar burst into flame.
Library let out an unadulterated sigh of relief; Remus was clearly unsure which of the two to focus on first. She may have issued the initial promise of violence, but she was also, thankfully, not on fire.
Remus’ spell hit, but not in time. The Counts disappeared in a blaze of flame, screaming, and he looked on in horror as the stream of water from his wand only steamed away.
A moment after that, Library could tell that he had noticed that their surroundings were blank, the influence from the bad writing drifting away. Remus looked more alert, and was looking around, warily, before he returned his attention to her. His grip on his wand was controlled, ready to aim a spell at her or JF at any moment. She honestly couldn’t blame him whatsoever, under the circumstances, though she hoped he would hold off.
“Where are we?”
“That isn’t important right now.”
He looked at her askance.
“Mr. Lupin, you don’t actually have a daughter,” she said.
“Sirius doesn’t either!” JF added, helpfully. “Or Snape!”
“Which is why Lydia and Patience, and Patience’s cousin, for that matter, exist?” he replied, cooly.
“Then what is your former wife’s name?” Library asked gently. If she could have left actually confronting Remus Lupin over this out she would have very much preferred to, but as it stood, this was the plan they were using. It wasn’t very much of a comfort to think that once they were finished and both the Sues were removed he’d forget this intrusion into his reality. Some things, however, were necessary.
The question left him gobsmacked. “I— her name was—”
“And why are the two of them— and only them— able to do things that are, quite frankly, impossible for the others their age? Or even for you and the other adults, for that matter? Why do they run roughshod over everyone else with little care or respect?” Instead of allowing him the opportunity to answer it, she continued on. “Mr. Lupin, they’re interlopers. They aren’t supposed to be here. And neither is this place, which is why it looks the way it does.”
She thought for a moment that Remus was going to attack her, but his grip on his wand loosened, and she felt relief flood over her when he asked, “How can I help?”
JF opened her mouth to say something, but Library immediately elbowed the younger girl before she could say anything that would spoil the opportunity.
“Just play along for now,” Library said, firmly. “We’ll take care of it.”
With some caution, Remus used the fireplace (which fortunately had Floo powder available on its mantle) to return to Grimmauld Place, and the two agents disappeared shortly after through a portal, and into the Leaky Caldron, where Patience and Lydia were sitting at a table near the fireplace, Harry and Ron sat at a booth close by watching him. It looked rather flimsy compared to the actual Leaky Cauldron.
“What are we doing, again?” JF asked, as Library pulled her towards an unoccupied table.
“There’s one more uncanonical character we need to take care of, and this is the best opportunity we’re going to have to finish this up without having to deal with too many canons getting in the way,” Library said quietly, looking in Harry and Ron’s direction. She had pulled out their charge list, and was quickly reviewing it. The two boys were discussing who the Sues were here to meet with in the first place. “It’ll be hard enough with them here as it is.”
Her partner looked at the Sues for a moment, before returning her attention to Library. “More fire?” JF asked, brightly.
At Lydia and Patience's table they took a sip of tea and Patience looked at Lydia when her ear twitched.
"You know my father sent someone to tale us?" Patience said over her tea, Lydia looked at her over her tea. She sniffed the air.
Library stiffened as the Sue’s voice reached their table. "Yeah, I can tell, I could smell that Potter anywhere!" she said holding up her finger, "Always smells like worry!" she said smiling, Patience looked at her weirdly. Then sighed.
Library relaxed, but only slightly. “Will you be able to actually set them on fire without bringing the building down on our heads, or burning me, Harry, or Ron?”
“In that case, no. Your job will be to make sure that Harry and Ron don’t interferewithout hurting them,” she said, firmly.
One of the Sues heard the movement of robes, she turned and a guy about seventeen or eighteen was standing in front of him, he had short light brown hair with brown eyes. He also looked strong. The girls stood up and looked at him.
“It’s time,” Library announced. She stood up from their table, pulling her gun from its holster as she did, setting the safety off with a loud click. “Keep the boys occupied.” She headed over to the Sues and newcomer.
"Hello, long time no see," he said smiling, a pair of glasses on the bridge of his nose. "Black, Lupin," he added. Patience blushed.
"Hey Phillip!" Lydia said slapping him on the back, "How long has it been, five years?" she asked.
JF scrambled out of her seat and briefly began to follow, before she peeled off and went over to the booth that Harry and Ron were still sitting at. “Hi!” She said, loudly, just after she planted her feet firmly on the floor right in front of their table in such a way that even though she was much shorter than the two boys, she was blocking not only their line of sight to what was going to happen, she was also an obstacle to either of them getting out of the booth itself.
“Er, hi?” Harry looked at her, and then Ron, who mouthed the word ‘barmy’ to him.
Library fought the urge to sigh before she announced her own presence to the Sues. “Patience Black and Lydia Lupin!”
The two Sues turned towards her, with Lydia saying “Yeah?” and Patience taking in Library’s clothing with a sneer. “What are you weari—” She cut off, now looking at the gun that was in Library’s hand.
Library inhaled, and began to speak, just as a large thumping noise came from behind her. “Patience Black and Lydia Lupin, on behalf of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum, you are charged with giving Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, and Severus Snape teenage daughters the same age as Harry despite it not being feasible whatsoever and shoehorning them into the series midway through when logic dictates they should have met him as first years rather than immediately before fifth year, Mr. Lupin's 'daughter' having pointy ears—” here Lydia scowled, brushing her hair over said pointy ears— “the possession of leather pants—”
“Were you spying on us?” Patience said, with outrage. She stepped towards Library, trying her best to look menacing, just as another loud thunk came from where Harry and Ron’s booth was. The two canons were in a tangle on the floor with JF, who had apparently tried to stop them from leaving the booth with some failure.
“—guests becoming guesses, Kreacher being moderately out of character and siccing Doxies on one of the Sues, drastic scene changes with little transition, the creation and/or summoning of the two minis— Askaban and Hermoine— and wrecking Ronald Weasley's nerves subconsciously, Sirius Black being uncharacteristically short tempered to a point he usually is only with Severus Snape, the presence of uncanonical magic and uncanonical spells and further nonsense, temporarily merging characters together, influencing Mr. Lupin to the point of highly uncharacteristic violence, more previously unheard of children, Patience turning into a small Alaskan husky—”
“I’m an Animagus! And a Summoner!” The Sue declared, growing angrier. “Is this some sort of stupid joke? I bet the twins are behind this!”
“Oi! Keep my brothers out of this,” Ron yelled from the pile. JF was yanking on his elbow, preventing him from getting loose, which kept Harry from becoming free as well. It was also resulting in Ron’s elbow thwacking into Harry’s ear.
“Also there’re no such things as Summoners!” JF added, just before she got a shin— Harry’s left one— to the face. “Ow!”
“—creating snotty voices, making Mr. Black be intimidated by a teenaged girl, self—clicking tongues, insults that are terrible and unoriginal along with unoriginal and derivative names, further evidence of uncanonical powers, the presence of fairies that are not the style canonical to the Harry Potter universe, introducing a half—vampire for the sake of it, creating cat blood on toast as a form of food which is entirely disgusting,”
“That is kind of gross,” Phillip finally weighed in.
“You aren’t supposed to be agreeing with her!” Lydia glared at him.
“Having your half—vampire cry blood, bashing Ron,”
“Damn right!” Ron crowed; he had managed to escape from the tangle, missing only his right trainer from his foot, which he was trying to slip on without actually unlacing it. It was resulting in a hopping skipping jump, with JF trying to swipe at his ankle. She couldn’t do much more than that, because Harry was sitting firmly on her back.
“Ron, d’you even know what’s going on?” Harry asked. His glasses were lopsided, hanging off only one ear.
“Not a clue, d’you?”
”No,” Harry admitted.
“Gerroffme,” JF grumbled. She was trying and failing to shove herself off the ground.
“You’re the one who attacked us first, barmy girl!”
Library only continued louder, doing her best to take advantage of the chaos JF had inadvertently caused that kept the Sues, canons, and Phillip distracted before they did anything. “—having the hypocritical behavior of bullying despite disliking bullying and having been bullied yourself, 'sanative ears', gliding up and down at the same time, Moody aligning himself with the Sues, giving Professor Snape both a wife and a sister, besides giving Mr. Lupin a wife and having Mr. Black marry Professor Snape's sister despite his great dislike of Professor Snape, Professor Snape inexplicably knowing a martial art move—”
“NO JUDO!” JF shouted. She had managed to grapple her way out from under Harry, and was making her way towards Library and the Sues. Ron and Harry chased after her, trying to catch her once more.
“Jul— JF, shut up— a deep lack of internal consistency within the fic itself as evidenced by Mr. Lupin allowing Professor Snape to watch one of the Sues when it would be uncharacteristic for it to happen with the chance of the girl being exposed to Lucius Malfoy, multiple incidences of grammar and spelling going horribly awry, and causing this agent to be extremely, severely annoyed in the pursuance of her duty. For this, the two of you are sentenced to death.“
“You can’t kill us!” Patience shoved Phillip away, even though the young man had pulled his wand to try and protect them.
“Yes, I can.” Library fired her gun at Patience twice, very nearly point blank, and again at Lydia as the other Sue lunged at her. She didn’t miss. There was no opportunity for it to happen., after all
However, the werewolf Sue would evidentially not go down so easily. Despite the fact that the bullets had gone into her chest, and through it, the Sue pushed herself off the ground with a terrible howl, lunging once more at Library, who was doing her best to quickly back away without turning or tripping. She fired again, which did nothing but knock down the werewolf again and infuriate the Sue further, who got up once more.
Before Lydia was able to launch herself at Library, she was hit solidly in the chest by a large fireball and soon burned to a crisp. Library twisted to look back. JF was grinning widely, her right hand fully obscured by flame. “Got her!”
Ron, Harry, and Phillip were staring at JF with some horror. “Got her? You killed her!” Ron was the first to react, and Harry shortly had his wand out, evidently unsure whether to keep it trained on JF or Library.
“Yes?” JF hazarded.
Library sighed and fished the neuralyzer out from her jacket pocket, along with her sunglasses, which she promptly slipped on. “JF, pull out your sunglasses.” And, because it was warranted: “Put them on, too.”
Thankfully, JF obliged, and the moment that she had, Library immediately directed the neuralyzer in the direction of Harry and Ron and let it flash. “We were never here. James Potter was the only Marauder to have children. Severus Snape doesn’t have a sister. Both of you are going to return to Grimmauld Place immediately after this and forget you had left at all, and certainly didn’t come here and see this happen.”
“None of this happened!” JF added.
The canons thus taken care of, Library turned her attention to Phillip once Ron and Harry had left via Floo powder. “Now, what to do with you…”
Phillip looked at the two agents— primarily JF— with more than some alarm. “No, no fire!”
“Definitely no fire,” Library said. “What was your name?”
Library inhaled and cut him off. “You’re going to have to drop your surname, if it is what I think you were going to say so don’t finish it, please. You have a choice. You can stay here and just forget everything you think you are—” Phillip swallowed. “Or you can come with us.”
“And go where, now?”
“Headquarters,” JF supplied— whether to be helpful or purposefully obtuse, it was unclear.
“The Protectors of the Plot Continuum. We dispatch—” “—kill!—” “JF, please stop— characters like Patience and Lydia, who aren’t actually supposed to be present and disrupt the story and have a negative effect on the world.”
“Are you saying none of this is real?” Phillip had apparently decided it was better to ignore JF altogether; his attention was fully focused on Library now.
“That depends on your definition of real,” Library answered. “But it’s real enough, and that’s what matters.”
“Fair enough. Okay, I’ll go with you. Worst comes to worst, I can always come back, right?”
“I’m pretty sure.”
With that, Library opened the portal back to the response center. JF hopped in without waiting.
Phillip looked around the badfic’s version of the Leaky, which was already beginning to fade, and stepped through the portal.
It had taken approximately ten seconds for JF to start to try intimidating the somewhat taller and older Phillip, which was roughly how long they had been left alone before Library had entered into the response center herself. To his credit, at least, he had his wand trained on her and seemed to be unwilling to let himself look completely threatened by a fourteen year old girl, even if she could set herself on fire— which she currently was.
“JF,” Library admonished.
JF had the audacity to not look guilty at all, and instead tilted her head in defiance before extinguishing.
“Nevermind.” Library turned and looked at Phillip instead. “We need to get you to Personnel, and then I’m going to get a coffee.” She went over to the doorway. Phillip winced at the bedspread that separated the response center from the corridor beyond.
“What about me?” JF asked.
“Stay here and don’t set anything on fire.” She wasn’t entirely sure that JF would be able to manage even that, though.
“Fine,” and with that, JF immediately slouched into a chair.
Library left with Phillip, giving him a slightly less condensed run—down of the PPC before they arrived at the door to Personnel, where she left him, and then went to the coffee place she had learned about from Denny.
It wasn’t really a cafe— that would have implied someone actually ran it— but instead it was a room that looked like a refurbished former response center, with a length of counter where a console used to stand, a sink, rack of mugs, and a coffee machine and electric kettle. A bin filled with tea bags stood next to the kettle, and a container of coffee was right next to that, with packets of sugar and sweeteners and creamers in a basket on the very ledge. A lumpy couch was against the opposing wall next to a bookcase filled with ratty paperbacks, and a few arm chairs were wedged where the remaining space wasn’t taken up by small folding tables and collapsible chairs.
It was a very homey looking place, and Calpurnia felt a bit of relief as she stepped through the door and found Denny already there, sitting at the couch with a steaming mug of black coffee.
“Hey, Cal,” he said.
“Hello, Denny.” She smiled for the first time since July left, it felt like.
“You look like you’ve been run ragged. Long mission?”
“You’ve no idea.”
“Why don’t you tell me about it?” He motioned to the seat next to his. “The stuff in the pot’s still fresh, I made it myself.”
“I think I will.” Calpurnia poured herself a cup, with four packets of sugar and two creamers, before she sat down. “To start off with, JF is terrible, and I truly mean terrible, when it comes to water, and I was trying to force her into the shower when we got a mission for Harry Potter…”