Remus tucked the spotless, dry plates away into the cupboard and then ran a finger through his messy blonde hair. He looked around the kitchen, feeling as though he had forgotten something. Remus saw the empty tin bowl in the corner and realised he had forgotten to feed Poncho. He poured cat food into the bowl, washed his hands and then left the kitchen.
Remus stepped out into the hallway and gasped in pain. His foot crunched on a collection of sharp little twigs that lay abandoned towards the foot of the stairs. He cursed under his breath and picked up the twigs.
“PANDORA LUPIN-BLACK!” he shouted up the stairs. “HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU NOT TO LEAVE YOUR TWIGS ON THE FLOOR?”
There was the sound of footsteps from above, and then a pretty girl with dark hair appeared at the top of the stairs. She was beautiful: with full red lips; the perfect nose; clear skin and eyes grey like storm clouds, just like her (biological) father, Sirius Black.
“What?” she asked delicately, and then saw the broken twigs in her father’s hand. “Oh! Sorry, Dad! I thought I had picked them up, I swear!”
Remus narrowed his eyes at her and laughed half-heartedly. He swept back into the kitchen with Pandora at his heels.
“When’s Dad back?” she asked, sliding into a chair at the table. Remus silently threw the broken sticks into the bin and then sat down opposite his daughter.
“Soon, I expect. Be ready to help with the shopping.”
Pandora nodded. “I’m all packed by the way. I’ve got all of my school things in my trunk and then a backpack for the next three nights.”
A scuffling noise was suddenly audible. It was coming from the front door. Pandora leaped up from her seat and glided out of the kitchen and down the hallway, pulling open the front door.
“Hello, darling,” Sirius said. “I’d give you a hello kiss but these bags are heavy. Mind giving me a hand?”
“Not at all.” she streaked past him into the warm August air. There was nobody around, but then again, there never really was. Not many people lived in the area. There was a market about two kilometres down the road, located in the next town over, and then a couple of houses dotted along the street, but other than that, there weren’t many people nearby. Remus and Sirius had specifically chosen this house because it was in the middle of nowhere, mostly, and the quiet, country air was what they had wanted for their little girl.
A bird flitted past and landed on the hood of Sirius’s 1957 Chevy convertible. Before Pandora could bend down to pick shopping bags out of the boot, she gasped and waved the bird to go away.
“Go! Shoo! If Daddy comes outside and sees you on his car he’ll go ballistic!”
The bird tilted its head at her and flew off. Pandora watched it fly out of sight and then pulled as many shopping bags out of the car as she could hold, then rushed back inside their cute little cottage.