[identity profile] mad-actually.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] bait_backup
*It’s a churning sort of night; an upset stomach split open and peeled back, visceral acid-carved lining congealed and blackened toward ruffled hills. Everything is half-digested grass and half-digested air and half-digested details. Fuzzy, unfocused breaks in the uniform pattern which seem to waver and disappear. They play on peripherals and press against skulls - a tightening headache, an incubating cold, blotches of something not-quite solid against the skin. The ward is self-assured like that. It isn’t terribly heavy; it doesn’t expect to be found.

But it does leave plenty of warning. A parameter of low humming and naked birds nesting in their own feathers - of the distinct and deeply unpleasant feeling of disinfectants scrubbed raw against pores, of being pressed through a sterile, plastic vein and squirted into existence on the other end.

Most of all, there’s the house, rising up like a stooped vagrant, unsteady, indigestible and perpetually alive, alive with meaning and history and, more recently, light. It bounces across windows, causing rooms to come alive and die in scheduled, choreographed bursts. There are walls in between of course, constricts of time and space and drywall that are going ignored, but the house and the family that built it have only rarely followed the rules.*

Date: 2011-11-18 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*After the fiasco with Bellatrix today, it seemed prudent for Sirius to make himself scarce. Not that he had wanted to, and for a while he had resisted the idea, but after replaying the conversation with Bella over and over in his mind, he couldn't let go of one word: moors. She said she'd kill every dog in the moors. To anyone else, it was meaningless. But Sirius had grown up a Black, been dressed in horrifying little outfits of velvet and lace as a child and dragged to society parties and summer homes and eaten tiny betwitched dancing cakes with those who would become Death Eaters. He had left, certainly, but he couldn't outrun the fact that he had lived the same life Regulus had up to that point, and he understood more than he would have liked of that life. Bellatrix had given him something, in the end. Not much, but something. She feared another dog-shaped theif where Regulus was currently staying. Regulus had run where a Black could--to the Black summer home on the marshes.

With Bellatrix placed firmly in the public eye and awash in the media, there was no one to start killing dogs just to keep him out. And Regulus might move soon. Or Bellatrix might get to him. Or Voldemort might finally figure out whatever the hell he was up to and kill him. So, he told himself, he had to get up there. Not later. Not with Moody's blessing or after all this blows over. Now.

When he arrives a mile away, he becomes a dog and trots along the overgrown road toward the house. Once the house comes into sight, Sirius finally feels he's actually had a bit of luck. There's lights on. Someone is home.

It's been years and years, but the wards still feel the same. He hasn't come here since he was twelve, but that feeling--that itchiness, the smell of ozone--it's all there. He noses around the perimeter carefully, almost leisurely, until he finally finds it: a small grassy hillock within spitting distance of the edge of the ward where the grass is tall enough to hide him from view while he sits and works.*

Date: 2011-11-21 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*Sirius doesn't notice. He's unpacked tools--his wand, an sextant, a pad and muggle ballpoint pen to calculate on, a small and well-worn handbook of useful charts--and now he sits, crosslegged, scribbling, looking at the sextant, adjusting it, and then flipping through the book. He hasn't even picked up his wand yet. The process of hacking a hole through a complex ward, Sirius has found, looks impressive and elegantly simple if you ignore the lengthy process of calculations, double-checks, and measurements that have to be taken beforehand.*

Date: 2011-11-28 04:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*It takes a while, but Sirius finally manages to double-check, and triple-check, and finally arrive at an answer. He puts everything away, and stands, ready to be thrown back or worse if he's miscalculated. But a bit of quick wandwork, and--there it is, a doorway sliced into the ward, outlined in crackling white energy. Sirius tightens his grip on his wand and moves through it, toward the house--and, it would seem, to whomever is sitting on the front steps.*

Date: 2011-12-01 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*The confusion only lasts for a few moments--who could possibly be here and have a--Oh. Of course. Still, Barty's presence isn't about to deter him. It's time to talk and this time is as good as any, and this is just a complication. He'll take the kid's wand away himself if that's what it takes to get a moment alone with Reg paying full attention.

He climbs the steps to the patronus, wand aloft, and ready to strike if anything comes a-haunting.*

Hello? Barty?

Date: 2011-12-16 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*Just because Sirius thinks Barty is too crazy to really lay any kind of trap doesn't mean he thinks Barty is harmless. Any number of things could go wrong, and nobody knows he's here. Not even Remus. And being surprised by an unsuspected visitor, in this context, could mean death. Or worse. He follows along behind the hyena but mutters the spell anyway, looking for the markers.*

Homenum Revelio--

Date: 2011-12-18 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*So the hyena's playing guard dog and nobody is home, or they're invisible. It's a kid's spell compared to the shit that's on this house, but it was worth a shot, and it serves to tell Sirius something, even though it's not what he was looking for: he may have broken through one layer of enchantments, but there's more at work here. The glass crunches underfoot as Sirius follows the hyena further in.*

Anybody home?

Date: 2011-12-19 02:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*Barty or ghosts, now that Sirius thinks about it. This sort of spookiness would probably amuse whatever is haunting this groaning behemoth of a house these days. Still, neither is really capable of hurting him.*

Barty, if that's you, it's Sirius. I just need to talk.

*He peers into the room the dress plumed out of, wand raised and ready to shield himself, if necessary.*

Date: 2011-12-20 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*Sirus' tense shoulder relaxes, and his wand drops to his side. He has never enjoyed the feeling of being led along a path without being consulted or informed of its purpose or terminus, and he likes it even less with his misbegotten brother and said brother's bizarre best friend in the balance. All patience gone, he turns, looking for the Hyena again, ready to hex the damn thing.*

Date: 2011-12-20 02:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*A more prudent wizard would say, lumos or even lumos maxima and tried to proceed back. A more prudent wizard wouldn't ever find himself here. But Sirius Black has even prided himself in his lack of prudence.

He does light his wand for a moment, finding the silk dress. It leaps into the air at his gesture, wadding itself into a haphazard ball and then--with a flick--bursting into flame.

The whole house is dry tinder. One misstep--one moment of lapsed concentration--and the whole place could go up, enchantments or no. A pearl drops, and then another, wreathed in flame that is extinguished by the fall.*

Stop fucking with me.

Date: 2011-12-20 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*As the wand flies from his hand, and the fire flickers out, leaving him to gasp raggedly at nothing in the darkness, Sirius has time to reflect how completely idiotic it was to come here, to follow that damn hyena. He's going to die here for no damn reason besides his own bull-headed stupidity, and Regulus is going to be left to the tender mercies of Bellatrix, and that's the end of it. He grits his teeth and fumbles at the door at his left, then the next, in the futile hope that something will open--a window, hole in the wall, anything.*

Date: 2011-12-21 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fleasaremurder.livejournal.com
*It's the wheezing that warns him, and when the wandpoint presses, he's ready. Sirius reaches up to grab it, finding the middle of the thin wooden thing and closing his fist around hit. He wrenches it forward over his shoulder with all the strength lent by panic, desperation, and fury.*


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