Deidre shuffled through the mail that had been stacking up on the kitchen counter over the last few days. Bills in that pile, solicitations from Bel's favorite charities there, semi-important financial statements that they didn't need do anything about in this pile, junk mail directly to the trash. "You want any of these?" she called across the apartment, holding up the charity stack.
Bel wandered over, abandoning the DVD sorting she had been doing (they'd just been thrown on the shelves willy-nilly shortly after they moved just to get them out of boxes and off the floor, and Bel had been complaining that she could never find anything) to glance through the pile. Most of it got tossed in the trash. "I usually do this online," she mumbled as she dropped another into the bin. "Oh, this one is for Mab," she said, holding up an envelope with ABCD's logo on it. It didn't even have the sticker that meant it had been forwarded from their old address.
Deidre laughed. "They found her. I'll stick it in her room." Bel's normal rule of respecting privacy and not going into the teens' rooms was loosened during the school year when they weren't home, but there usually wasn't any cause to, and it felt a bit like crossing foreign territory just to open the door and drop the letter off on her dresser with the two other pieces of mail (one from the judo studio, the other an advertisement for a roller derby league that Bel thought she might like to look into next summer) that had come since she left for school in January.
When she returned to the kitchen, Bel was writing out checks for the bills. Deidre couldn't help noticing that the checkbook was for Linda Price. All of the bills were addressed to Linda Price, even the new ones that had just started after they were married and moved.
"So . . ." Deidre began, feeling that they had been married long enough that she could ask about this without risking her life. "Why Linda Price?"
Bel blinked, and looked at the signature she had just scrawled without even thinking about it, like she was seeing it and the checkbook for the first time. "Oh. That." She shrugged. "I told you we were disowned, right? Me, Amelia, and Three?"
"Well, before that happened, Amelia kidnapped Three and they were hiding here in Boston for a while because Three said something under oath that implicated our great-grandfather in a pretty bad crime, and she was afraid he'd be hurt for it. They used the names Amy and David Price. They had ids and all the stuff they needed to fit into muggle society. So when we all got disowned, and started living in muggle Boston, it was easiest to just use those identities again, rather than start over from scratch, so when I needed muggle documentation, Amelia got mine with a matching last name. And since we still weren't sure if we'd need to disappear again, she also cut off the first syllable of my first name. So my muggle birth certificate and ID and social security number and voter registration card, and all of that is all issued to Linda Price."
"Is it legal?"
Bel made a bobbing yes-and-no movement with her head, then shrugged. "Yeah, I mean, in as much as a birth certificate issued twelve years after birth can be. We went through the proper channels for getting muggle documentation for a pureblood witch who muggles previously didn't know existed. I went to a police academy on them and only got asked about that once. They're pretty solid."
"You went to a police academy?"
Bel grinned. "Yeah, I was an officer for about four years, too. Got written up too many times for insubordination and violence, though. So that's when I went to Auror school and became magical police instead."
"So you're not in the mob?"
Bel laughed. "Definitely not in the mob."
"David's not either?"
She rolled her eyes. "Derwent the Original was every bit as bad as Lex Luthor, but Two was only ever just a cog in the machine. He helped perpetuate sexism and racism in the magical community, and he never stood up for even his own sons when all they wanted was a more accepting world for people who don't have all the advantages of birth he did, but he's not a criminal."
Deidre was finally starting to believe that maybe this family she married into really wasn't living a secret life of crime or espionage. "So none of you are likely to murder anyone?"
"Like who?" Bel asked.
This was not a clarification she felt was necessary to make, but she named the people she was most worried about. "Like me and Reilly? Or Mab and Alexander?"
"Nah," Bel dismissed with casual ease. "You're all safe. You're who me and Amelia are protecting."
Bel and Amelia. They were easily the two most terrifying of the Pierces. "What are you saying?"
"Don't worry about it. It's not important."
Deidre felt that this was certainly both important and something to worry about. "You're my wife, Bel. I feel it's something I need to know if you're likely to be arrested for murder!"
Bel frowned "It's not likely. But if our family is threatened, we will take care of it. We were acquitted last time."
Bel huffed in annoyance. "I told you. Before we were disowned, Three's life was at risk and DP1 was a despicable excuse for a person. Before we were disowned, Pierces didn't get disowned. They disappeared. It happened to Two's first wife, and it happened to Two's father. We weren't going to let it happen to Two's son. Three is still here. The Original isn't."
Deidre looked horrified. "Weren't you twelve when you got disowned?"
Bel shrugged. "I didn't help as much as I wanted to. I got disowned for intent more than implementation."
"So Amelia . . . ?"
"And she was acquitted?"
"Self-defense and defense of minors. Her file at the office notes that she's dangerous if threatened but not a threat to society herself."
Bel shrugged, unconcerned. "I'm not allowed into the state of New Hampshire."
Deidre honestly wasn't sure if she was being serious or not. She wasn't sure if she wanted to know. "So you are a threat to society?"
Her wife rolled her eyes, sealed up the last of the bills, and put a stamp on it. She walked back to the disorganized mess of DVDs. For a long minute, Deidre didn't think she was going to answer.
Then she picked up the box set of Firefly DVDs, and smirked a little before speaking. "As long as society isn't a threat to me or mine, I'm not a threat to it. But if it ever shoots at us, I'm gonna shoot right back." She then frowned at her DVD set, perplexed. "Would you call a space western more like superheroes or crime drama?"
1Deidre BealesSo . . . not the Mob, then?0Deidre Beales17