Hello darlings, hope everyone is safe and well. this is a small one, sending my love x
(also I don't know if you've noticed, but I have dyscalculia and as such, things like linear time are hard to keep track of in my stories-esp as I tend to write them in chunks, and not always in correct order, so apologies if it's not in the write spot, I have a vague feeling this should have happened before halloween, but who cares. it's posted here lmao)
Madam Rolanda Hooch wandered down through the castle to the generous quarters of Baby Regulus Black, her ex-lover's little brother. The two didn't often have much to do with one another; their relationship had been rather antagonistic back in her other life, the one before she took on another name and became another person as she went into hiding. She was the last of the McKinnons; it had been vital that she hide herself away, so that she couldn't be used as a weapon in the war that overshadowed much of her life, as it had so many others. Of course, as with everything Dumbledore involved himself in, her safety had come at a price.
Ironically, it had been a visit to Regulus Black that had saved them both from violent and painful deaths. She'd Seen his defection and his death, and because she knew Sirius had still cared for the little shite, and would have been ecstatic that he was defecting, she had decided a warning was in order. She had never guessed that sneaking out that night to warn a little snake about his impending death by drowning would save her from the fire that took everyone else away from her, rendering her the last of her line and destroying hundreds of years worth of precious history, hunches, prophecies and interpretations written down in the journals of her ancestors. Sure the hall of prophecies held many of them, but not all. The art of divination was far more complex than the ministry liked to profess, and the McKinnons saw far.
As was the nature of these things, if anyone had Seen the fire coming, they hadn't mentioned it, and It was someone else's fate that had saved Marlene, not her own.
She had still been reeling and mourning the loss when the Potters and Longbottoms were hit; somehow this meant the Dark Lord Voldemort lost his body and Sirius…well he was an idiot, and he was taken away. And she didn't know if she would ever forgive Regulus for surviving and living safe and cosy in the castle of their childhood while her friends, her family, and her lover lost everything.
Of course that was irrational, the gift of a seer wasn't something you could pick and choose, and at least Regulus used his resources to help the kids-which was why she was here.
He answered his door after the second knock in neat and tidy muggle clothes, and Rolanda couldn't help an ironic smile. The Black boys were like night and day, but they sure could wear the hell out of muggle garb. She took in his long braid and the pile of parchment on his desk that he'd obviously been working on; he always had been a swot.
"Hullo Regulus," She said, trying not to sound antagonistic, but not quite succeeding. He had been her rival Seeker all through school after all. They had a long history of being on different sides of things, and it had taken a long time for them to get to this point.
He had to be surprised by her visit, but he was all grace as he opened the door and ushered her in. "Madame Hooch," She took a seat, and he folded his frame gracefully into his own. Looking at him never got easier. He looked so much like his brother. "What brings you to this side of the castle?"
She snorted. He was, as ever, unfailingly polite. She'd never known if he disliked her or not, and it always drove her a bit mad trying to work it out, "I suppose you've heard about the prodigy we discovered in the flying lesson yesterday?" She asked, and his features cleared, and a smile lit his face.
"Yes! I certainly did. It isn't precisely a surprise considering his father, though it's such a shame he'll never be able to see it."
Rolanda sighed. "He did, actually-" then she froze, looking at the door.
Regulus was quick to put her at ease, "Marlene, it's-you're safe here."
She sighed again, "It's Rolanda now Reg, best forget Marlene ever existed. But, yeah, Sirius bought him a training broom way too early, said you got on the broom early and it only ever did you good-" Regulus gave a soft smile, his gaze distant, obviously remembering his own baby broom, "The kid was always a natural. Even before he could walk, he could fly. He used to chase the cat around, and you know cats and snitches are quite alike...So I knew we'd have a player, but he hadn't been on a broom since he was fifteen months old! and yesterday was- remarkable.. ." She paused, remembering watching the debacle her class had turned into through a conveniently placed window.
She sighed, "Minerva, being the responsible, upstanding adult that she is, has put him on the team."
Regulus' eyebrows rose incredulously, "On the-which position?"
Rolanda grinned, "Ours."
They had both been Seekers in their time, her for Ravenclaw, and he for Slytherin; and they'd always had the most trouble with one another. She had been extremely relieved when he hadn't gone pro, or she would have found far less success in the league.
Regulus, clearly having his own reminiscence, smiled softly, "I suppose Minerva wishes to apply for an upgrade on the scholarship?"
Rolanda snorted, "No actually, she was about to buy the sprog a brand new nimbus 2000 with her own money. I talked her down. He was technically breaking the rules when we discovered his affinity, wouldn't do to encourage him in risky rule breaking; especially as she's so determined to pass the whole business off as being about getting him some 'fresh air and exercise.'"
He snorted in amused disbelief, "You're right. I'll see what I can find for him. He's even smaller than I was, so he'll need something lighter than a cleansweep," He said, and she nodded.
"I was also going to ask if… look as you said, James isn't here, and neither is Sirius...I just feel that the kid deserves some good memories with a broom, and an actually responsible adult to show him how to fall, and all the other safety shite no one else will bother to tell him in their excitement. I can't give him special lessons for obvious reasons. Would you mind spending a few sessions showing him the ropes? He's lucky he hasn't fallen off yet, and I teach the safety basics of course, but I don't do one on one tutoring, and you're his godfather's brother-" she tipped her head to the side, "...Goduncle?"
Regulus held up his hands, gently silencing her nervous ramble, the edge of his lips ticking up to her side at the last, "Of course I will. The Slytherins will be upset about it, but as you say, Seekers have their own rules, and I doubt Wood will think much beyond his increased potential for the quidditch cup. And I am indeed his go-duncle."
Rolanda snorted. "Right you are! The bloody bludger-head never bloody stops! Coming to my office at all hours to book the fields for training sessions at four in the bloody morning!" She saw the man trying to hide a snicker, and she wished she'd told Wood that runes were essential to a professional quidditch player, "Anyway thanks Reg."
She sighed in relief as she left his perfect office and his perfect presence. Fuck it all if she didn't miss Sirius. She hated talking to the runes professor.
She needed a stiff drink to recover and forget that Rolanda Hooch was a proud lesbian and would never touch either of the Black brothers with a broomstick, unlike Marlene's proudly bisexual self. Sometimes she wished it had all been different. She should have known falling for a Black would only ever end in tears.