A/N: Okay, here we go! This is my very first fanfic, something I just couldn't get out of my head. I've already got three chapters written, and I have the general outline for the whole story. Note: the first four/five chapters are very Rachel(Hamilton's mother)-centric. Don't worry, your favorite bastard orphan will be featured soon! Please fav/review! Constructive critisim is appreaciated, flames are not.
WARNING: The first chapter is pretty dark, thoughts of suicide, etc. and could be potentially upsetting to read. I could say it gets better from here, but I'll just say the emotional roller coaster starts at the bottom.
Characters belong to Lin-Manuel Miranda and world belongs to J.K. Rowling. Not mine :(
Rachel Faucette, from the day of her birth, had four words ingrained into her memory. They were four words that had kept her grandfather and mother safe, and would ensure no harm came to her. They often came up when Rachel tried to appeal to go outside more, or asked why she couldn't attend primary school with the other girls around the island of St. Croix.
"You know better than to wish for things that you can't have, Rachel." Her mother had said wearily. "What if you had an episode in the schoolroom? What if something unnatural…" she walked over to the window and closed it before finishing the conversation. No matter how exhausted she was, her mother never discussed anything sensitive unless she was absolutely positive there was no one to overhear. "When I was your age, my magic flared up almost weekly. You're old enough to understand the consequences of what would happen if we were accused again."
Then her mother would transition to the marketing stage of homeschooling. She would talk about all of the unique subjects that she would get to learn that other girls could never imagine, or how lucky she was to be a witch given her useless no-maj father.
Rachel would have traded the ability to brew potions for normality in a heartbeat.
And like every conversation about magic that occurred in the Faucette household, it ended with the four words that were a reminder of far darker times.
"And remember, Rachel; nobody can ever know."
"Yes, mother," she agreed, wistfully staring out the window while watching other children play. And at age 11, she resigned herself to an existence shrouded in secrets and lies.
"Nobody needs to know."
When Rachel was sixteen years old, the death of her father left her with a large inheritance. While she probably should have expected it, she was appalled over the hordes of suitors that followed the money like dogs. Just weeks before, she would have been considered undesirable; for while she possessed great beauty and intelligence, her gossip-worthy upbringing (the Faucettes seldom left the house, save attending church) and infamous strong will left much to be desired. It was said all over St. Croix that any brazen soul vying for that woman's hand would be thrown out the door in under fifteen minutes; her snobbish mother trying to reign her in while Rachel brandished a long stick at the either vulgar or rude courter.
Thomas Morrison, a nearby neighbor, swore until the day he passed away that one particularly… promiscuous man was chased out by a floating tea set. The very few who believed the tale told by him (for such an outlandish story told by the town drunk was neither believable nor plausible) could never confirm it, as the poor suitor fled to the colonies faster than the king could impose a new tax.
Rachel sighed with frustration at her hair barrette. She attempted to weave it into her hair several times before giving up. Maybe she should just put a sticking charm in it.
She went to grab her wand from its usual hiding place behind her mirror, but found only an empty case where it should be.
"MOTHER!" she screamed down the staircase. "WHERE'S MY WAND?" What could have happened to it, she thought, starting to panic. Oh, god, if a no-maj managed to get their hands on it…
She ran down the stairs and into her mother, who gave her a pointed look and resumed walking into the kitchen. A servant girl prepared a tea tray for the next (unfortunate) man trying to win the hand of Rachel Faucette.
She held out her hand, but did not receive her anything but an amused expression.
"Consider it… confiscated until further notice. That is, until the lovely Mr. Lavian has entered, been considered, and left the house. I apologize, but I can't trust you after what happened last time with that poor Wilson boy." Mary was exasperated with her daughter. The endless stream of rejected candidates was getting old very quickly. She was clearly just attempting to anger her, and it was starting to work.
Rachel looked blankly at her, and Mary was startled by the indignant look she received. She tried to fully explain what she meant, but Rachel began to argue before she could get a word in edgewise.
Rachel felt mildly betrayed. Taking a witch's wand was a clear etiquette faux-pas. "I can't believe you, mother. I have plenty of time to find an acceptable match, and holding something over me will not change the fact that whoever I agree to will be the man I am stuck with for the rest of life."
"I'm not disagreeing with you there, but time is of the essence. You are sixteen, Rachel. You are the age to be betrothed, and when you are older it will become more and more difficult to find a suitable arrangement." Mary inspected the scones and nodded to approve their placement on the table.
"You talk of marriage like it is a business contract. Should I not look for someone with a similar personality, or simply agree to whoever has the most assets? I understand that you scoff at marrying for love, mother, but what about simple compatibility? It makes far more sense considering all that we are capable of, at least in my opinion." Rachel tried to appease her mother while Mary called the Ann, the servant girl, back into the room. She inadvertently winced at what Mary was about to do.
"Yes, yes. Just please, give this man a chance. Johann Lavian is a wealthy plantation owner, and it would secure your standing on the island permanently." Mary pointed her wand at the back of Ann's head. "Just one hour of civility, I'm begging you."
"Yes, mother." That poor girl, Rachel thought while glancing towards Ann. I may have to deal with pompous rich men, but at least all of my brains are here.
"Good. And what do we remember above all?"
Rachel sighed. "Nobody can ever know."
"Exactly. Now, onto business." Mary whispered a word and a teal colored light shot out of her wand. Ann crumpled to the ground.
"What's that charm again? It could be useful for Old Man Morrison." Rachel, while excelling at potions, was barely adequate in every other area Mary had attempted to teach. She knew it wasn't that vital to pay attention to lessons she couldn't usually use. What was the purpose of knowing how to turn a match into a needle? A memory charm, on the other hand…
"The pronunciation is o-BLI-vi-ate, dear. But don't worry about that, I'll deal with him if it becomes necessary." Mary finished just as they heard a knock at the door.
If there was one word Rachel would use to describe her feeling toward Johann, it would be passable. He was kind enough, rich enough, and attractive enough, she supposed. There wasn't any spark there, she knew that. He was twelve years older than her, for God's sake! But a single look at his charming countenance gave her hope. Hope to start a family, hope to make a name for herself, and hope to escape the clutches of her stifling childhood home.
Rachel usually tried to forget the reason the Faucettes left civilization for an isolated island in the Caribbean everyone seemed to pass by. But the night she accepted Johann Lavian's marriage proposal, she remembered the story Mary told in hushed whispers long ago…
"The Ancient and Noble house of Faucette was one of the most influential families in England. They were generous too. When half-bloods or even new-bloods needed an invitation or backing, our house would be more than willing to stand by them.
Apparently, their standing was not as high as they thought. Other pureblood families plotted together, and succeeded in dragging the Faucettes into the mud.
Your grandfather awoke to find his parents forced out of their beds, rifles pointed at them by no-majs. He watched the townspeople riot, watched them enact their so-called "justice."
Most of the time, like I have taught you, witches and wizards can escape witch hunts. Apparating away, or simply casting a flame-freezing charm, are simple and easy ways to avoid one of the worst ways to die.
But that night, wards were placed up in the village. Anti-apparition wards. That night, two wands were conveniently missing from their places beside Lord and Lady Faucette's bedside. So that night, there was no escape.
He was forced to watch them burn.
The next day, he snuck onboard a ship heading to the new world. He knew there was no life for him in that land, so he took what little money he had left and ran."
"These are the consequences should anyone discover our secret, Rachel. This is why we cannot and will never seem anything but ordinary. For the most off chance of discovery could leave us hung, drowned, or burned at a moment's notice."
After remembering that horrifying tale, Rachel decided a better word to describe Lavian was ordinary. It was time to stop running. This one would do, and seemed to be a safer and kinder option than the brash young men that often were chased out the door.
"So what do you think of my offer, Miss Faucette?" John said with a mesmerizing smile.
Rachel took a deep breath. She knew that her choice had already been made.
Rachel soon learned than appearances can be deceiving. After the wedding, she had felt that all of her dreams had come true. Their home was a sprawling sugar plantation, where Rachel soon gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Peter.
From the second she held him in her arms, it was apparent to her young Peter had no magic. She tried to tell herself it didn't matter, that it was of no significance to her, but Rachel couldn't help feeling that there was a missing bond between Peter and her.
The lack of a bond she felt with her son may have been what made her notice the lack of a bond she had with her husband as well. She could not simply agree with him when he made questionable choices, and Johann saw her honest advice on investments as nothing but spite and insolence.
The arguments got louder and louder. Rachel was most often right, but Johann continued to purchase land and sell it, losing money more often than not. Rachel's dowry/inheritance money quickly dwindled, so in four years' time a sum that they could have lived comfortably on for decades was almost gone. Johann drowned her nagging out by drowning himself in rum.
One fateful night, Johann poured a fourth glass and downed it with hardly a thought. Taxes and unpaid loans loomed on his mind, but mainly the problem of his degrading marriage. When Rachel walked into the room with an 'I told you so' expression on her face, he felt nothing but cold rage creeping down his spine. This is all her fault, he told himself. She will pay.
Rachel was caught completely off guard by the bottle of alcohol that barely missed her face. She whipped around to find her husband glaring. She saw no love, no affection, not even a bit of guilt in his countenance. She thought nothing could be more terrifying than that face.
Then she saw the knife in his hand.
"How dare you… you bitch…" he slurred while she slowly backed away from him. "You're going to regret marrying me, dragging my life into the ground. This is all your fault."
Suddenly, Rachel's whole demeanor changed. The sniveling, smug woman that was the bane of his existence stopped. Her face grew into a wide grin, and he froze in his tracks. She pulled a stick out of her hair and pointed it at him.
Rachel laughed. "I've tried so hard to put up with you, you miserable excuse for a man. I'm leaving, and you're not going to move a muscle. Petrificus Totalus."
A flash of bright light engulfed the room. What in Hell, he thought. He tried to back away, he couldn't move a muscle. Oh, god, what have I done. I'm going to die.
But Rachel had no interest in him any longer. She walked out the door, still grinning from ear to ear. As she closed the door behind her, he could hear her whispering, laughing to herself like a maniac. "Nobody will believe you, nobody will believe you. I'm sorry, mother; he deserved it. Nobody can ever know."
Rachel fled to her mother's home as if a torch-wielding mob was following her. She couldn't help thinking that if she didn't get out of there, the townspeople probably would do what she most feared. She ran up to the door and started banging on the knocker with all of her might.
Mary opened the door (looking quite displeased at being woken up at some ungodly hour,) but froze any complaint she might have had when she saw the expression on her daughters' face. The fear and self-loathing she saw was enough to make Mary shiver herself with apprehension towards whatever had made Rachel so terrified.
"We have to leave, now. I'm so sorry mother, he knows; we have to leave tonight." Rachel made her way into her childhood home, and Mary made no move to stop her. She started into the hallway grabbing things off the shelves. The time for tears is later, she told herself, grabbing what money and valuables they could carry.
Rachel was so caught up in her preparations she almost missed her mother's response.
"I visited Nevis, once. It's close enough that we shouldn't have any trouble getting there in a hurry." Mary said in a quiet tone, still frozen in the doorway. "I'm sorry too, Rachel. I'm sorry too."
Rachel barely recognized the shatters of her world. How had everything gone so wrong? She didn't understand, she didn't and couldn't think.
She grabbed her mother's hand, possessions in tow, and Rachel and Mary disappeared with a crack of apparition.
Mary died shortly after their arrival on the new island. Rachel thought it only fitting that the one last person remaining in her life would leave too. This long forgotten spot in the Caribbean, her new home, was a place where no one knew her, where she felt so alone, and where she had no one to distract her from her past mistakes.
Rachel believed that any happiness she had held in her previous life was over. Everything was purposeless, everything was meaningless, and everything would soon never have to deal with her existence.
She walked into the town square with one purpose in mind. Images of a gun pointed at her temple flashed through her brain, and she smiled with a grimace.
But events she had planned for days would not come to pass. Because when Rachel went to buy the pistol that was supposed to end her life (she thought her wand would be inherently suspicious,) she met a man. A man that would change the course of her life, a man that would bring her joy and suffering, love and hate, and hope and despair; A man whose child they had together would change the course of history.
This man's name was James Hamilton.