Harry Potter AU: In which Emma is a muggleborn witch and Regina is the Minister for Magic.
It's like 2am so my proofreading skills are really not up to par right now -if you notice mistakes, please let me know! Feels like I haven't written fanfic in forever so this was fun. Oneshot for now, but will expand it if I ever feel like writing more.
Inspired by the AU ideas post I saw on someone's tumblr: Wizard AU where one accidentally apparates into the wrong house.
for delia - it's not a Hogwarts AU, but close enough, i hope
Emma Swan was startled by a sudden crack.
She abandoned the World Cup on the television only because it was necessary to check out who had just Apparated into her house. Picking up her wand as swung her legs off her couch, she stood, making sure to step on the carpeted areas where possible and mentally patting herself on the back for kicking off her shoes earlier, though that had more been out of comfort than anything else. Still, she couldn't have her intruder realizing that she was approaching, could she?
"Mom, I don't think this is the right place," she heard a boy say as she approached the kitchen.
She heard a woman answer him. Her voice was familiar somehow, but she couldn't place it. "Of course it is. She's probably just upstairs unpacking." Louder, the woman called, "Kathryn!"
Emma's eyebrows furrowed as she stopped in the corner next to the doorway leading into the kitchen, trying to figure out what was going on. The boy helped her put the pieces together. "Mom, I was there two days ago," he said slowly, like the woman was the child who just didn't understand and he was the adult. "She's just moved in, but her kitchen is way neater than this."
The insult didn't fly over her head. Okay, so the boy probably hadn't meant to insult her, but still. Her kitchen wasn't that messy. So she had a week's worth of dishes in the sink and she hadn't cleaned up after lunch. Big deal. You'd think the kid lived in a mansion or something.
She decided, though, that enough was enough. Stepping into the kitchen, she made her presence known with a cough. "Can I help you?" she asked. Upon seeing who the woman in her kitchen standing in her kitchen was, she raised an eyebrow and added, "Um… Minister?"
"See Mom, I told you," the boy said. Now that she knew who his mother was, she also knew for a fact that he did live in a mansion, and she suddenly did feel slightly ashamed of the state of her kitchen. The current Minister for Magic, Regina Mills, came from an old wizarding family and had all the wealth associated with it. "This is totally the wrong house." Turning to Emma, he offered his hand. "I'm Henry. This is my Mom."
Taking his hand, Emma introduced herself. "Emma Swan." She pocketed her wand as discretely as she could.
"Sorry about this," Henry said, gesturing towards him and his mother. The Minister of Magic looked vaguely frustrated, and Emma hoped that frustration wasn't directed at her. "Mom's magic has been a little wonky lately. We didn't mean to pop in here."
The kid wasn't lying; Emma could nearly always tell when someone did. The Minister of Magic herself had wonky magic? The blonde raised an eyebrow. That was news.
"I do not have wonky magic," the Minister snapped, and this Emma immediately knew was a lie. When Emma and Henry only looked at her expectantly, she deflated a little, and admitted, "Perhaps it is just slightly… wonky. I've been trying to figure out what's wrong for weeks now, but magic is a strange thing even I have trouble understanding sometimes."
"She means she can't get it to work right," Henry supplied. "I told you we should have used the Floo."
"I'm sorry, where were you trying to go?" Emma asked, cutting in before either mother or son can properly get into squabbling. Growing up in a foster home before Hogwarts had given her enough experience to see bickering coming from a mile away. "Did I hear you call for a Kathryn earlier? Are you looking for the Noland girl that just moved in?"
For the first time since Emma first laid her eyes on her in the kitchen, the Minister for Magic smiled. And damn, but Emma had to admit that was one hella cute smile. Sure, she'd seen the brunette smile in the Prophet, but it was somehow different up close. "Yes, that's her."
"You're a couple of houses off," Emma informed her, and gestured for her unexpected guests to follow her down the hallway. "Door's this way. Just go out and head for the second house on the left."
That would have been the end of it, except they passed by the living room and Henry got distracted. "Oh, cool, is that the World Cup?"
The blonde had to admit she was impressed. It wasn't all that common to find a wizard –and a pureblood, at that –who was interested in muggle sports. "You know about it, kid?"
"Know it? It's all my friends can talk about!" Henry exclaimed. "But we don't have a TV at home, so I've never watched it. Mom, can I stay for just a little while? Please?"
"Now, Henry, we shouldn't disturb Miss Swan any longer than we already have," Regina said.
"I don't mind, really," Emma found herself saying before she could catch herself. "It's kind of boring watching this alone. Besides," she addeds, taking a glance at the screen, "the match is going to end soon anyway. The kid can stay if he wants to."
"I don't know…" Regina trailed off, though she relented upon seeing the pleading look in Henry's eyes. "Alright, but I'll be at Kathryn's if you need me."
Henry parked himself on the couch without further encouragement needed; Regina rolled her eyes but lets him be. Emma walked the Minister over to the front door, and both of them ended up reaching for the knob at the same time. Their hands brushed together for a short second.
The electric, tingling feeling Emma felt in that one second of contact was enough to cause her to jump. She put it down to a very, very bad case of static, but the brunette had suddenly paled and frozen up and honestly, the last thing she needed was the Minister for Magic passing out on her in her house. She already had a criminal record for theft –lifted a couple of things in her youth, but she swore she was clean now –and she didn't want a charge of attempted murder or manslaughter next.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"I –yes, I'm fine," the brunette said, recovering. "Your hand, if you will, Miss Swan."
"What's this about?" Emma asked, though she held out her hand to the minister anyway. You just didn't say no to the Minister for Magic, especially when said minister was a Mills. Besides, Emma still vaguely remembered Regina from her Hogwarts days. The brunette had been a few years ahead of her, and the then-Head Prefect had not been one to piss off.
Instead of answering her, Regina simply prodded at her palm with a finger, none too gently. Both of them flinched at the jolt, but the blonde barely had any time to recover before the brunette grabbed her hand, pressing their palms together and holding on tight. After the initial jolt, the tingling settled into a faint buzzing feel that wasn't entirely unpleasant.
"My magic feels… fine," Regina said. "It doesn't feel …wonky."
The two women exchanged a long look, and that was where it all began.
Emma ended up meeting Regina fairly regularly over the next few months.
Usually they holed up in the library of the Mills Manor, alternating between joining hands and looking through heaps and heaps of books trying to figure out why it took Emma for Regina's magic to work right.
Neither reading nor researching was really Emma's favourite thing to do, but she found the company was, on most days, worth the pain. Regina, she found, had a quick wit and a sharp sense of humour. Though she ended up being the target of most of the jibes, most days, Emma enjoyed spending time with the brunette.
Most days they worked so long that by the time they wrapped up the sun had set and Regina would invite Emma to stay for dinner. She accepted more often than she thought she should, but then again, there was nothing wrong with just staying for dinner, was there? Besides, the kid didn't seem to mind her presence at the table.
That was something.
But then Emma went and screwed it all up.
To be fair, Regina played a part in blowing up the screw up as well, but Emma did start it. It was, to Emma, a trivial thing –she couldn't quite remember the exact details, but it had had something to do with a slight joke about Regina's reputation during her time as Head Prefect. She hadn't meant for it to be taken seriously –they had always traded sarcastic comments and insults as they worked –but one look at Regina's eyes and she could tell that somehow, she had hurt the brunette.
It was the first time that, despite the sky being dark, Regina did not ask her to stay for dinner, though the kid took pity on her and tossed an apple over as she slinked out the front doors. He had been over to her place a couple more times to watch the World Cup with her, and he had noticed the severe lack of anything other than instant ramen in the kitchen cupboards.
She made up for the lack of an evening meal by attempting to drown herself in Firewhisky, wondering just why it hurt so damned much.
The next time Regina Apparated into her house, one week later, claiming that she was only there because they needed to get back to work –her wonky magic was driving her nuts again, she said–Emma knew she was lying, but she didn't call her out on it. Instead she offered an apology, which the brunette accepted with a tense nod.
She couldn't quite explain why, but Emma had missed her, too.