Cinderella Potter, year one, chapters 1-5.
1. Growing Up Fast
Cinderella Potter, it is not her real name, but it is what Jasmine called herself in the privacy of her mind. Her favourite book is an apt description of her life so far, though her social interactions have perhaps been a little better than that of its protagonist.
A ten-year-old doing all the cleaning etcetera, unseen, and unheard, for the most part. She did after all, sit in on dinner and go to school with her fat cousin.
Her day starts as it usually does, her aunt silently pointing out all the dirty surfaces. Jasmine just sends out little nearly invisible tendrils of power, cleaning everything without movement or sound.
School is a boring affair, as it usually is. Having long standing permission from the teachers, Jasmine reads in silence. All high school level books and occasionally some fiction.
Petunia, her aunt, had learned a few things from her sister. In her envy, she had remembered everything her sister Lily had ever said regarding the thing she did not have and could not have. Every book left behind got read, multiple times; Petunia was a dedicated student.
Not that the word was ever spoken at number four. Hell, Jasmine did not even speak most of the time. She had long learned otherwise. From the word Go, Petunia had taken charge of everything Jasmine; her husband Vernon had easily acquiesced at that time.
She was not to speak; she was to use her magic to help around the house and only to help. Dudley had once thought it a game to find dirt or to otherwise create it, but not anymore. Jasmine's proficiency with cleaning charms by now was frankly frightening, and the game had long lost its lustre.
Serendipitous or not, Lily had once left a trunk of her school stuff at her parents' house and Petunia had taken it. Inside she had found books on magic that Petunia had read with an almost religious zeal, being a housewife gave her that kind of time. When she taught Jasmine to take over some of her tasks, that time doubled.
Lily had been a tremendously gifted witch and it had all been because of Occlumency and natural talent, in equal measure. The mind-based discipline had been the ONLY thing that Petunia had ever mastered, as far as a squib could that is.
Funny thing about that is that she found out she was a squib through her new skill as muggles could not utilise mind magic. This new insight hurt Petunia even more upon discovery. She had magic! But she could not use it!
Then Lily had died, leaving Jasmine on her doorstep. Petunia planned and planned, eventually deciding on her plan of action. After three hard years of teaching the girl Occlumency, she had told her this and more, the girl had liked what she had heard.
It was then time to start her magic training. The magic Petunia wanted her to learn, all wrapped up nicely in one book. The perfect household!
Petunia never minded the warning not to teach anyone younger than thirteen Occlumency. It was a stupid warning anyway; the girl had a fully functional mindscape at seven! What harm could that do? While she was mostly right, some things had to progress naturally, or stuff started to get skewed.
The harm was twofold. Jasmine's mind had grown exponentially, which meant that she had outgrown preschool at nine years old, making it quite hard to connect with children her own age. Other than that, every chance she got, Jasmine retreated inside of her head.
Given the warnings about mind readers from her aunt from age three on, Jasmine had become quite paranoid. Her zeal in protecting her mind was not unlike a certain one-eyed Auror had. The defences she had wrought stemmed from every fiction book she had ever read, using anything and everything as inspiration. Her dungeons were protected better than Azkaban.
Having read the book cover to cover more than a few times, Jasmine knew that Legilimency was quite illegal, especially on kids. But it also said that it was incredibly hard to prove. She knew that you could only check your progress in the mind arts with a Legilimency attack, something she would never allow, so she just kept on improving.
Every year she got a magical book from her aunt, something to learn, to memorize, to prepare her for her future. This, coupled with the fact that good behaviour equalled good treatment, made for a very docile and studious girl. Jasmine was indoctrinated by her aunt in subtle and not so subtle ways.
Petunia had only allowed her to use magic to help around the house, a rule she followed only when in line of sight. This had at one time resulted in a visitor. Having set the house on fire in a full powered anxiety attack, she was given a hard reality reset.
An old, bearded man in garish robes of moon and stars had popped right inside the house, waved his wand a few times to stop the fire and had then proceeded to Obliviate her. He had looked for something else, frowned when he did not find it, waved his stick some more, and popped away again right after. He had been looking for someone else, that much was sure.
The Obliviate did not take of course, it never would with her shields, but that one incident had surely put into perspective everything her aunt had ever told her. Thank god for back-up memories, her shields had not been enough to block the spell entirely.
After that, Jasmine buckled down big time, it was time to get serious. That suspicious and flamboyantly gay Gandalf character waltzing in as if he owned the place was a needed wake-up call, she had to be able to protect herself.
Her letter had arrived! Finally!
Jasmine had only had to flash her aunt the vellum to make her understand. It was time. Though it was odd, the letter was addressed to a Mr. Potter. Surely, that must have been some mistake.
They wrote back to say that she would attend and that she would require a guide, signing it with her last name only. Sending it to the post office, address: Hogwarts, Scotland.
No clue if it would arrive or not, but really, there should be something in place for that. If not, they should have put it in the letter.
Nobody came for the first five days. They would have had a laugh at the post office Jasmine presumed.
Then she got a new vellum letter, saying that Minerva McGonagall, deputy headmistress would come to guide her. Jasmine was excited, it was all going to plan, her aunt was right.
The bell rang and Jasmine went to open the door. A woman that could be nothing other than a witch stood there, frowning up a storm.
"Hello there, are your parents in?" The woman asked with quite the severe expression, was there something on her face?
"You are Minerva McGonagall I presume?"
"Yes child. Can I come in?"
Jasmine just waved her in, rude woman.
Pleasantries done; Minerva said some things that would drop a bomb on the rest of her life.
"Now, where is Harry Potter, your cousin?"
"Who's that? There's only one Potter here and that is Jasmine there." Her aunt pointed.
"What?!" McGonagall raised her voice dangerously. "What have you done with Harry then?!"
Naturally, this devolved into a shouting match, ending with Petunia shouting "You dropped a BABY on my doorstep in BLOODY NOVEMBER! With a WET DIAPER! FREEZING! And you don't even know what gender it was?!"
"It can't be true." McGonagall mumbled. "I mean, where is the scar Harry was supposed to have?"
"What do you mean? Harry?" Jasmine finally cut in, not caring in the least about some scar she did not even have anymore.
"You were supposedly a boy, not a girl." McGonagall told her seriously, as if trying to make her into a boy with her words alone. "And your parents called you Harry, Harry James Potter."
"How can that be, I don't even have boy parts?" Jasmine asked her, busily suppressing her more volatile emotions. Her hair was auburn, her hair was auburn!
It would not do for her hair to suddenly change colour after all. If not for her Occlumency, she would not have even been allowed outside the house. Petunia was truly clear on what would happen should anyone see her change her body. Emotions were the bane of her existence, though she had lots of experience suppressing those. Now that she thought about it, that scar had resisted any change; she was damned lucky that was gone.
"She was a girl on the doorstep all those years ago. Also, she looks exactly like Lily." Petunia added in a cutting tone.
That much was true, even as a baby, she had mimicked the person that had picked her up most often and she knew how girl parts worked even then. Choosing between Vernon and Petunia of who to emulate gender wise was a rather easy decision, even then.
"I don't know." McGonagall admitted. "I know only one way to go about this, I have a key to Gringotts keyed to the Potters, the goblins will be able to tell if she is a Potter with a blood test."
"You're taking her shopping then. Good." Petunia said, cutting off the subject. "And about her scar, I had it removed. No girl should live with a disfigurement, especially one that continues to become inflamed every odd week. It was a bloody open wound, that was."
"You had it removed?" McGonagall asked, quite flabbergasted too from the sound of it. "How did you take away a cursed wound?"
"With a scalpel of course." Petunia told her like she was stupid, which she really was, Jasmine thought. "I gave her the surgery for her eight' birthday." Which coincidentally coincided with Jasmine having learned the cleaning book front to cover, that was a good day.
"That is supposed to be impossible." McGonagall tried to explain.
"Don't see why, it was just skin wasn't it? They could just remove the thin strip and knit the sides together. It grew back fabulously, way better than expected too, the doctors said." 'It was like magic,' is what the doctor had really said.
The aged witch took a moment to process this information but gave it up as a bad job. "Never mind, I doubt I'll understand. Shall we go then?" McGonagall cut her off.
Jasmine nodded her assent. Petunia was clearly glad to be rid of the woman. Grabbing her arm, they twisted through the universe. It was… an experience.
Shopping, it turned out, was amazing!
First the goblins, knobbly beings straight out of a fantasy novel, who easily and quite conclusively proved her a Potter and told her of her vaults, all the while clearly insinuating that she was stupid for not knowing anything. Jasmine had responded by saying that of course she was going to be stupid being in a foreign country for the first time. The goblin had slowly nodded at that, apparently agreeing with her statement, it certainly did not look at her the same way after.
She quadrupled the amount of coin that McGonagall said she needed and put it in a bag she found in the vault, it held the lot easily. Apparently, space could be bended, which was remarkably interesting. Having been told what she owned; she knew that she could afford just about anything without putting a real dent in her finances. She had fifty thousand galleons all told, which was about as much as a working man earned in ten years, according to McGonagall. That made it seem plenty.
"You don't need a trunk with space expansion charms!" McGonagall told her for the third time, and something clicked. "You're right." Jasmine agreed at once, which was odd seeing as how mulishly she had been insisting on it not seconds before.
"I am?" McGonagall questioned, obviously still expecting her to elaborate, which she did not. She was slowly learning that Jasmine was very sparing with words and very literal in answering questions.
"You are." Jasmine easily agreed. She would benefit more from learning how to do it herself after all. It would be a good project and would save lots of money.
"The standard trunk then." Shop owner concluded, before getting her just that.
"Now, we only need a wand and books. What do you want first?" McGonagall asked her wearily.
Jasmine, having had little opportunity to talk in her life, was using the shortest sentences possible. This was freaking McGonagall out massively, though Jasmine did not understand why. The woman had told her that she was nothing like her parents, which might be a reason. Jasmine did not really care; she was her own person and she had never known her parents. It was ludicrous to expect a carbon copy without access to the original.
"You are a most frustrating customer, Miss Potter." Ollivander told her on her umpteenth try. She had a near hit with a Phoenix core wand a few tries before but it did not feel right. McGonagall had gone out for an errand of her own, telling her she would fetch her from the book shop later.
Other than the goblins, he was the only person who had immediately accepted her being female. Other than creeping her out with his smile he did or said nothing to indicate his surprise.
"You know, I don't really understand why I even need a wand. Can't I just do magic without?" Jasmine queried innocently.
The man was sharp, she had to admit. He immediately zeroed in on her real meaning and nodded. "That's why then. You need a wand that will accept your wandless ability, not an easy thing to find I assure you. Luckily, I have a few blanks in the back." He grinned his creepy smile, as if he were in on a private joke.
He came back with five wands, all of them looking just like the rest. "What's so different about these then?"
"These, Miss Potter, have cores that don't bind with their owners, meaning no cores. It is just the wand wood. Normally, the wand chooses the wizard, growing with that wizard. Both the wand and the wizard adapt somewhat to fit better. That is why breaking your wand is such a big deal in our world; a new one will almost certainly not fit you as well. For people who have used their magic wandlessly for exceptionally long times, those wands do not fit, as their magic objects to being bound."
He looked at her, searching. "Fifty years ago, another wizard had the same problem, but he chose to bind himself to a wand anyway. He went on to become the Dark Lord Voldemort. I am not saying that is related or anything stupid like that, because it is not, in fact this happens all the time. No, I'm telling you this to show that you could just go with a normal wand, instead of going the other route."
He held up a blank wand.
"These have no core, and thus, no personality. They neither help nor hinder your magic. Only guide your magic, pulling it out of you a little easier. For many, that would mean an extremely hard time mastering their magic, but I believe you have already done that. Can you show me?"
Jasmine, not having expected that much of an answer, shook herself and nodded. She did not move but extended her magic. At once the shop lost its accumulated dust. Immediately after, all wooden shelves and other surfaces started to gleam. Deeming that enough for now, she looked up to see his reaction.
"There are not many things I haven't seen yet, but those were certainly two. What was that second spell?"
"Two at once, actually. A dusting and a lacquer spell, seeing as everything here is wooden."
"Amazing!" He breathed in quiet awe.
"Yes, it is, I worked very hard on that one." She agreed with quiet pride. "Now how do I pick which wand I want?"
"I already know what will work best for you but try them anyway, you should be able to feel the difference yourself."
Not seeing any reason why, Jasmine complied. The first was a dark red wood, feeling slick and runny at the same time, she put that one back immediately. The second was light brown, feeling like a straw, it even bended like one and sucked at her, something that she found deeply creepy. The third was black and unbending, not liking it she put it back too. The fourth was dark brown and the fifth was white and felt dead. "I don't really like any of them." She admitted, only to see him smile.
"That is exceptionally good, you'd be a great wand smith if you wanted. Now try the counter."
"What?" She stared at the man.
"The counter. It's wood."
She put her hands on there and laughed. "Well damn." It felt like wood ought to feel, just wooden. "I don't need a wand, so I shouldn't use a wand, right?"
"Right. You do not need anything magical, in fact, you do not need anything. Your magic is even rejecting the magic in the wands wood. The counter holds no magic so does not repulse you. So, I ask once more, what do YOU want?"
Jasmine thought about it and thought of the illustrations in the Cinderella books. "How about a piece of metal instead? We could just make it look like wood." Cinderella's fairy godmother's wand did not look wooden at all.
"That's inspired!" Ollivander wheezed a laugh. "It might even channel your magic, I have no way of knowing, never having tried it myself. Do you want to make it yourself?"
She liked the sound of that. "How, I don't know how to transfigure yet." And she certainly was not planning to ask McGonagall.
"Just will it to change, slowly. I suspect that you do not need a specific spell for that. It is intent and visualisation, that is all. You did learn what you learned without books I assume?"
It was just the one, mostly. That had focused on intent and visualisation more than anything, the words and motions had been outright ignored after succeeding the first time and it had still worked fine. By then, she knew how the magic felt and could do it herself. "Right. Thanks. Do I owe you something?"
"No, you don't, I don't charge for pleasant conversation. Now, one thing you need to know. The government tracks people via a spell on their wands, coupled with localized magic monitoring. You do not have one, but they can still feel large amounts of magic, so keep the magic small, disperse it over time if you will. Also, when you learn at Hogwarts, remember that every time your magic learns, you do not need the words anymore. That's two things."
She nodded. "Will you keep my ability secret?" She asked him.
"Yes, as should you. It could mean more specialized monitoring short term and your lifelong term." He looked pensive, but she knew he was dead serious.
"Understood." She did not want that, either of that. "Thank you very much, Mr. Ollivander." Jasmine bowed and turned to walk away.
"It was my pleasure dear." She heard just before she shut the door, there was a lot to think about.
There were a lot of them! She wanted them all, but there was no space for that. She asked for a book on space bending magic and earned nothing but an incredulous look. Searching for those herself would have to do then! Customer service was apparently a muggle thing.
Jasmine was not discouraged in the slightest.
McGonagall found her just as she found what she was looking for. As McGonagall helped her gather her coursebooks, Jasmine found one other book that she took an immediate liking too. 'They really are out to kill you' was going back with her. Next to that, she got the charms books for the next three years, charms were useful.
"Did you find a wand?" McGonagall asked as they were outside.
"Yes." She had found a few wands in there after all.
"Can you show me?" McGonagall dared ask.
"No." She really could not. Luckily, McGonagall did not ask more questions, though she clearly was not happy. Jasmine did not like to lie if possible.
McGonagall sighed and told her they were leaving. One gut wrenching side-along apparition later and they were at Privet Drive again.
Jasmine thanked her from the bottom of her heart. "Thanks, Professor." It was genuine too; she had learned A LOT today.
"No problem, Miss Potter." McGonagall answered. "Now will you be able to get to the platform with the ticket I gave you?"
"Yes." Silence filled the air as the woman stared down at her.
Her lips twitched as she decided something. "Okay then. I will see you at Hogwarts, Miss Potter."
Jasmine waved as McGonagall popped away.
Her aunt called her inside and pointed to some dirt on the ground which she cleaned without a word; she was home again.
"How did it go with Mr. Potter, Minerva?" Albus asked his weary looking deputy when she entered his office. He had great hopes for the boy and needed to know everything about his personality to better guide him in the next few years.
"The girl is anything but what you'd expect Albus. Also, SHE'S! A GIRL! How on earth did that happen?!"
"A girl?" Highly troubling. "Whatever do you mean with that Minerva?"
"There is no Mister Potter, only a Miss Potter!" She hissed.
"How can that be, are you sure you had the right kid? We saw the boy ourselves; he was definitely a boy back then."
"The goblins checked her blood Albus! Of course, I checked! Even her name changed! She looks like a bloody clone of her mother too!"
"What?" But there was a Harry Potter in the Book of Names, so how could that be? Albus Accio'd the book and opened it.
Plain to see was a Jasmine Emily Potter, where before it had been Harry James Potter. "How?" Albus sighed.
It did not matter, not really; Magic had clearly accepted the change. Defeated, Albus sat down.
"Also, there's no scar, apparently, they cut it away." Minerva dropped her second bomb.
"Sure." Albus agreed absently, before the meaning of the words reached him. "WHAT!"
"Yeah, they cut it away and stitched it right up. You can't even see any remnants either, she's free of any blemishes except for her freckles, just like Lily had."
He could not bring the effort to care. It was evident that his plans had all failed before they had started. Not only did the prophecy speak of a mark, it also quite literally spoke of a boy. Miss Potter did not fit that bill on both counts anymore.
Would he train Neville? Or did it mean that the prophecy was invalid? He would have to check in the department of mysteries. Whatever he did, Miss Potter was of no concern anymore. Though Voldemort would not know that. It would give him time depending on how long Miss Potter managed to survive.
Truly it was a sick joke. He had condemned an innocent man to years of torture to assure her growing up without knowing of magic, only to find out much later that it was wholly unnecessary. Not that he would get Sirius out of Azkaban, the man was probably already crazy anyway. No, that ship had sailed. Making himself responsible for a broken and most likely insane person would only cost him precious time.
And what the hell had Arabella been doing all those years? Watched the wrong kid?
Minerva, seeing that she had lost the old wizard, left unnoticed. She would later open a bottle of scotch and drink it all.
2. Getting a Wand
Jasmine had fun trying Reparo on Dudley's broken toys with her aunt's approval. Ollivander was right, she did not need to say the words after a few times. Of course, she already knew this from her cleaning activities, her aunt had trained her well.
There was still trouble however, with her still having no wand. School was only a week away. For some reason, pushing her magic through steel acted only to magnetize it. She could not use that in the house because her wand was attracted to everything metal. The first time, she had nearly trashed Dudley's television because the wand had flown from her hand.
That would not work at all. Ollivander was right never to have tried that. Having gone to the library and looking up magnetism and molecular structures, she knew there was only one thing for it. She needed to have a non-conducting wand, maybe diamond. Making diamond would be an especially useful skill she knew. It had the most rigid molecular structure and no free-floating electrons.
So now Jasmine was trying to see if she could make diamonds.
Having procured some pure graphite from the hobby shop for the carbon - no reason to make it harder on herself, so she took the most alike thing possible - she recalled Ollivander's advice and went to work.
Pushing her magic to slowly change, she pictured the molecular carbon structure and pushed.
Graphite, being made of only carbon, was ideal for this as the only thing she needed to do was rearrange the molecules. She had read in multiple books on magic that intent was the mother of all magic, meaning she had to want it to succeed. Boy, did she want it. Keeping the molecular structure and the image of clear diamond in mind, she pushed herself.
A piece of graphite the size of her smallest fingernail was changing, she could see it shrink and change colour, she could feel it, and sense it change. Yes, feeling and sensing were two different things, she had long since discovered. Her magic sensed, whilst her body felt.
She could not do it at once, but that was not a problem. Ollivander had told her to stretch the magic over time to avoid detection. The graphite also changed size significantly, becoming almost twice as small, something to keep in mind if she wanted to make a perfect diamond.
'It was kind of incredible how easy that was.' Jasmine thought. 'Which makes it a wonder that wizards haven't crashed the market yet.' Of course, it was also possible that nobody had figured out how to do this yet, but how small a chance was that? She had not even gone that far into chemistry yet.
So, it worked. Now all she had to do was get enough graphite to make her wand, shape it, and then transform it. Better get cracking. Also, she had to make a design, maybe Petunia would help in exchange for a few diamonds.
Since there was no sense wasting time, she approached Petunia immediately. "Aunt. I have a proposition. Diamonds."
"Talk." Her aunt gave her permission.
"I figured out how to turn pure graphite into diamond, I assume permanently." She summarized, figuring that her aunt was smart enough to realise what that meant.
"Lily told me it wasn't possible; she was taught that most magic was temporary and that all the expensive things couldn't be made permanent. Once she transfigured me a diamond that turned back into a button after a few minutes."
"She took a wrong approach." Jasmine told her simply. Having read her transfiguration book, she knew exactly what went wrong there. It was explained in the second chapter even. How magicals were able to miss that was a mystery to Jasmine.
"Explain." Her aunt demanded, not unkindly.
"She took A and made it into B, once the magic runs out, it turns back into A because the universal tethers called molecular bonds drag it back. I take A and turn it into A in another shape, once the magic runs out, it stays that way because it is still A. In fact, if you take something with loose electrons and make it into something that binds them it will stay like that forever because it likes to be bound, that's just chemistry. Equivalent exchange makes for permanent transfiguration if the latter structure is more stable than the former."
"Shit." Petunia breathed. Because really, what else was there to say.
Magicals were stupid. Jasmine knew exactly how much Petunia had hated Lily and why, and she knew that Petunia would like that something she created was better than Lily. Jasmine truly was Petunia's creation in everything but the cell she grew from.
Once Petunia started learning Occlumency, she changed radically and quickly. She never told Lily, not even that she was a squib. Looking back on all those memories, Lily had really put her through the ringer. Getting all the attention from their parents in the holidays had sucked, but that could be explained by the boarding school thing. They had not seen her for months on end, while seeing Petunia daily, the difference was clear. Worse was that she brushed off Petunia like she was nothing, whereas they had been best friends before Lily went to Hogwarts. The problem was just that, only magic mattered to Lily anymore, and Petunia was forgotten.
Occlumency was the one thing Petunia counted on, it had saved her marriage with Vernon countless times. Locking down her emotions was not healthy, but neither was killing your husband in an explosive rage. She had always been a methodical person, but her new skill had cranked that up by a few degrees. Having a child dropped on her doorstep without as much as a by your leave had really rankled her. But then her mind had told her that this could be a good thing, a chance to really mould a person in her image, so that is what she did.
It was hard, especially when the child immediately morphed into the image of her sister upon seeing her. That kid must have read her damned mind! Perhaps that is what she got for not reinforcing her defences. So, it was magical, she knew that from the get-go, but also a shape shifter, which was troublesome.
It took a lot of doing to get her to break that habit, Petunia recalled a little proudly. Looking upon the product of all that hard work, she had to admit to herself that it was worth it. Diamonds! Damn!
"So, it appears we're going to be rich now. We better learn sculpting then, I have read it is incredibly hard to get the angles of the surfaces right. No wait, magic. Also, we need to find a way to sell them unnoticed."
Her aunt did understand. "Yes." Jasmine agreed.
"Shit." But she was happy.
"What do you want, aunt Petunia? You could now be filthy rich, but do you want that? You could even take a ten-year long vacation once we figure this stuff out." Jasmine asked her seriously. She was really speaking a lot today.
"Something to think about yes." Petunia said distractedly, "I'll figure it out before your year is out. Stay there for vacations, learn all you can. I'll start getting us lots and lots of graphite."
Jasmine nodded, she had planned on that already, knowing it was an option from her stories about her mum. McGonagall had not really told her much, but that was partly her fault for not asking questions, Jasmine knew.
"How did you figure this out?" Petunia asked, curious.
"I need to make a wand, a pretend wand."
"Your decision to teach me wandless magic made my magic reject all the normal wands."
"Huh?" Petunia huffed in surprise.
"Yes, I know." That had been more than a bit surprising to her as well.
"Then you don't want people to know it is diamond. How will you cover it up?"
"Could work. Wouldn't glass be an easier material to work with?"
A significant pause. "Damn." Jasmine sighed.
"I take it you didn't consider that?" Petunia asked, amused.
"Good. Else we wouldn't have your money-making scheme." Petunia decided. "But you could also use a coloured lacquer instead of wallpaper, I'll help you with that.
"I need to work on not becoming dumber with magic. If those books are any indication, magic makes stupid." Jasmine decided out loud.
"Yes. I'll ground you, we need a method of communication that's not owls, messy beasts."
"That'll be another project for me then." Jasmine agreed.
"Lily used to talk about Runes. Study those."
"Got it." She knew the Hogwarts library would provide.
"Now get moving Jasmine. Also, make me a diamond before you leave."
"If you buy a few packets of pure graphite, done."
"Tomorrow." She promised.
Looking at the train before her, Jasmine had to admit, it was a nice train. Ten minutes in, she had to reconsider. Who knew she had motion sickness, Jasmine sure had not expected that. This put a whole different perspective to the times she was left home when the Dursleys went on a trip. She probably would have hated going more than she had hated staying.
It did not seem to matter to her body that the train moved smoothly, just knowing she was moving was apparently enough. She felt like she was dying.
Fifteen minutes in, the door opened to admit a bushy haired girl. "Oh, sorry. Have you seen a toad?"
"No, but what's it called?" Jasmine asked groggily.
"Accio Trevor." Jasmine called out.
A toad flew into the compartment, Jasmine caught it. "Got it."
"What?!" The bushy haired visitor screeched.
"But you didn't use your wand."
Oops. "Yes, I did."
"No, you didn't."
"Yes. I did." Jasmine bit out.
"No, you didn't."
Jasmine breathed in and out for a few seconds. "Goddamnit! What's your name and what do you want?"
"Hermione Granger and to be your friend." Was the immediate response, shocking even herself.
"Wow. Done." Jasmine laughed. "Now, sit your arse down and tell me about yourself, I need someone to distract me from this horrible moving coffin." Jasmine said harshly, lowering her guard just because of a little pain was not something she was proud of.
No matter how pleased she was to already have made a friend, something she had longed for her entire life, she was still in considerable pain.
"Motion sickness?" The girl, no, Hermione asked.
"Yeah." Jasmine managed.
"They have pills for that nowadays."
"Seriously?" She croaked.
Hermione laughed, loudly.
"Now. This is Neville's toad, hold on to him while I get him. Wait here." Jasmine just groaned in reply.
Five minutes later and Neville introduced himself nervously.
"Yeah, nice to meet you. I'm dying."
Neville's grinned, losing most of his nervousness. "Nice to meet you, dying." Earning him another groan in answer.
"She has motion sickness." Hermione told Neville. "But seriously, what's your name?"
"Related to Harry?" Hermione asked before Neville could.
"No, they thought I was male for some reason. McGonagall almost pissed herself when she realised it was me. Apparently, she couldn't understand why I didn't have some stupid scar either."
"Wow. So, everyone was wrong." Neville breathed.
"About what?" Jasmine asked.
"About the night You-Know-Who was defeated. They say he died trying to kill Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived. His killing curse rebounded which left a scar on Harry's forehead."
"Seriously?!" Jasmine laughed. "What utter horseshit!"
"You mean, the books are all wrong?" Hermione asked them timidly, like she had just seen someone die.
"Hermione, people lie wouldn't you say?" Jasmine got herself together. She had Hermione's attention. "And people write books, meaning books lie." She continued, matter of fact like.
"Yeah, I know." Neville agreed. "I've seen a lot of books on Herbology that were wrong. It's really incredible how much some information is thought of as holy when it's just a bunch of crap."
Jasmine now understood exactly what was wrong, having had the same problem once before.
"Hermione, I take it you've read all the course books. Tell me one rule or limitation about what magic just cannot do."
"Permanent transfiguration is impossible."
'Well, that was a lucky stroke.' Jasmine thought wryly. "No, it's really not. You just need the same molecules and solid molecular bonds, otherwise they'll revert back." Jasmine told her. Luckily, nobody asked her how she thought she knew this. Her new friends were proving themselves to be pushovers.
"Hermione. Wizards have been living in the dark ages since the dark ages. Take everything they say with a pound of salt and you will be alright. Maybe you'll even disprove some of these so-called rules if you do some research."
That seemed to perk her up even if Neville looked a bit miffed. "Okay."
"So, we'll be friends. What house will we be in?" Jasmine stated, startling Neville, who did not react as if he would mind.
"I think I'm in Hufflepuff." Neville decided sadly, ignored by both Hermione and me.
"I'll be a Gryffindor I think." The definite Ravenclaw said.
"And I will be a Ravenclaw, most likely. Or a Slytherin if the choice is taken from me."
"What do you mean?" Neville asked.
"I want to be in Ravenclaw, but I'm really a Slytherin, no doubt about that. Stupid House system."
"We'll still be friends, right?" Hermione asked timidly, not having considered the House problem evidently.
"Of course." Jasmine demanded of the two, she was not going to take no for an answer.
"Yeah." Neville agreed, he apparently also liked the idea of having friends.
"That's awesome. First thing you need to learn, Occlumency."
"What's that?" Hermione asked, happy to learn something.
Neville answered her, starting a round of conversation that would last until the train arrived. Hermione was very eager to start learning once she learned that mind reading was a thing.
"Why are you growling at the headmaster?" Hermione asked Jasmine at the sorting.
"He just tried to read my mind. That's very illegal but I can't prove it."
"He wouldn't…." Hermione tried, but she had seen the Headmaster's face recoil, as if struck.
"Hermione Granger." McGonagall interrupted her authority worship dying.
A distracted and disillusioned Hermione reached the stool and put on the sorting hat. A full two minutes further and she was sorted into Ravenclaw. Clearly dazed, she went over to the Ravenclaw tables.
"Neville Longbottom." McGonagall called.
Neville's sorting took considerably shorter. Half a minute and the hat shouted Hufflepuff. Neville shook his head but then happily joined his new Housemates.
Then it was Jasmine's turn. Walking towards the stool, it was impossible to miss all the stares headed her way. She could practically hear them thinking, Was there a female Potter? Where is Harry?
'Hi there, would you mind lowering your shields?' A voice entered her consciousness.
'Yes I would.' She thought back stubbornly.
'How then, am I to sort you?' The hat asked her sarcastically.
'Would you consent to having your mind read for the purpose of putting you into a labelled box for seven years?' She responded angrily. 'It's like a bloody zoo here.'
'No. But I'm a hat that lies on a shelf all day every day. My mind can't be read either.'
'Seriously kid, I need to know you to sort you.'
'I'll choose myself then.' Jasmine replied.
'I don't know. I've just made two friends and don't know which will need me more.'
'Are you seriously an eleven-year-old?' The hat snarked. 'Or are you just arrogant?'
'Put me in Ravenclaw.'
'Tell me why.' The hat demanded of her.
'Because I like learning, and Hermione is going through a crisis right now.'
That leaves me no choice then. "HUFFLEPUFF!"
"SERIOUSLY? YOU BASTARD!" Jasmine pulled off the hat, threw it on the ground and stomped her feet on him, repeatedly.
"What in the blazes are you doing, Miss Potter?!" McGonagall demanded.
"That hat tricked me, foul piece of headwear!"
"Stop that now!" McGonagall cried. "Join your house, Miss Potter."
"Fine!" Jasmine shouted, before walking towards the Hufflepuff table, the hat was still lying crumpled on the ground.
Sitting next to Neville was not an option because he had sat down between two girls, Hannah and Susan if Jasmine remembered it right, which she did. God, she loved Occlumency. Jasmine sat next to another girl called Lilith Moon, who was the last to be sorted into Hufflepuff before her. "Hi, I'm Jasmine."
"." Lilith just stared at her hand.
"I think everybody knows that by now." Neville laughed out loud, some other Puffs joining in.
"Yeah well, I don't like that lying hat."
"We noticed." An older male Puff told her.
Their attention was drawn back to the sorting when McGonagall called out. "Harry Potter."
Nobody came forward naturally. 'That was a really desperate ploy.' Jasmine thought, shaking her head. It did do some good though, by separating her from The-Boy-Who-Lived - man what a stupid name - she was a bit freer to be her own person.
"Where do you think he is?" Lilith asked her.
"Don't know, don't care." Jasmine responded.
"Isn't he your family?"
"He's made up."
"He is? Then how did the You-Know-Who die?" A fellow puff asked her.
"How should I know?" She answered wearily, "I was fifteen months old then." She felt like she had talked more today than in the rest of the year, which was probably true.
"Right." Lilith conceded.
Finally, the sorting was done, and the food appeared.
Lots of different foods - all fatty - and fountains of orange juice appeared, the smell immediately put the lie in that assumption, so she got suspicious. Extending her magic, she used a spell the book 'They really are out to kill you' taught her. 'I'll be damned, they really are out to kill me' Jasmine snarked mentally. 'Looks like I'll be learning the water making spell early.' She really had to find out what it was they dosed the juice with before accepting any drink. Luckily, the food was safe.
She stood and asked the older boy that talked to her during the sorting if he could perhaps spell some water in her cup, because she did not drink juice. He was just about to comply when the cup filled with water out of itself. Jasmine just stared, open mouthed.
"What the fuck was that? Wishing magic?"
"No, that was the house elves probably, they really are the best." The Diggory boy told her. "And you really shouldn't swear."
"What the hell are those?" She swore again, making the boy frown at her.
The resulting explanation left her reeling. They could not be that trusting, could they? Why yes, they could apparently. That was another thing, she now needed to check her food before each bite or else learn to sense house elves. No way would she be so trusting, if they spiked the juice, they could spike everything.
So far, the only magic she had sensed was her own and the Hogwarts wards when crossing them. That was not nearly enough, especially when there were hundreds of invisible would-be assassins in the school. Jasmine warily checked her water, it was clear.
During her ruminations, the subject had turned to wands. Lilith Moon, leading the rest of the first years, asked to see hers.
"Oh yes, and how did you like the creepy old bugger?" She asked conversationally as she grabbed her bag.
Nobody had an answer to that, didn't they think Ollivander was creepy?
She stuck her whole arm into her bag and rummaged around for her wand. Having found it, she pulled it free. Showing an intricately carved branch, looking like it just came from a tree, bark, and all. Considering it was made of diamond and coloured lacquer, it really was a masterpiece. Making had been great fun and educational besides.
"Why do you have an unfinished wand?" Hannah asked her.
"Ollivander didn't have one that matched me and had me select a branch to fashion into a wand. Seeing this beauty, I really didn't want him to alter it at all, he agreed, saying it saved him some work."
Her excuse was believed but not understood. There were a lot of raised eyebrows. Whatever, she liked it and that is what counted.
Soon she was shown her common room and went to sleep after saying goodnight to Neville and a few female first year Puffs. Dreaming of making some more friends, she drifted away. It was a good thing that these kids seemed a little more mature, most of them anyway. Did magicals grow up earlier? It was a good thought for someone who never had any contemporaries.
3. Friends (and Family?)
Occlumency was great and all, but school was boring when you had your books almost memorized. This meant that Jasmine spent copious amounts of time in the library and practising spells. The words and movements really helped, even if they were mostly meaningless. It was a crutch that masqueraded as necessary. Successfully at that, if her fellow students were any indication. How and why did only Ollivander understand this then?
Also, magicals most certainly did not grow up earlier; meeting Ronald Weasley and Draco Malfoy had taken that notion clean off the table. Morons! Common sense was disturbingly uncommon as well.
Hermione was glad that she and Neville made time for her and happily accepted the study group excuse to see each other, they were already planning to ask others to join them too.
On their second day of classes, the paper had arrived during breakfast showing a hilarious picture of the supposed Boy-Who-Lived, copied directly from one of the fiction books she had seen in the shop. Apparently, their saviour had gone missing and the government people were planning on opening the sealed Will of her parents, which was interesting. Why was the Will sealed in the first place? Wasn't that wildly illegal?
She did not see Dumbledore's reaction to the newspaper but heard through the grapevine that he had urgently stormed out of the Great Hall. People just volunteered that information because they thought it affected her.
Her classes were hilariously simple, but she still loved them all except for Potions and History. DADA was simply tedious due to the teacher's fake stutter; she had been noting down the number of stutters and came to one hundred and fifty stutters in the first hour. Flitwick was her number one favourite professor, and after class she had asked him for help in finding the space bending charm. He had laughed but still pointed her in the direction of the library, saying that spell needed incredible amounts of power and that she was not ready for that. Well, she would show him, after she found the book he had named.
It took the whole weekend for her to find the right book but find it she did. Flitwick was right, but only partly.
Yes, the spell was a power hog, but not when you were expanding a thimble, that was positively easy. And he also did not account for Jasmine's magical ability. She was able to slowly pour in magic over time, casting the spell over an hour time if needed, instead of instantly. It was a true exercise of willpower to keep her focused on the spell for that amount of time, but that is what Occlumency was for. This workaround proved that she could do it, so now she was working on planning for her trunk. Perhaps there was a way to leave an unfinished spell in stasis, to be completed later. If that was true, there was really no limit from the power demand. So far, she had not gotten anywhere with that.
The book said that if something were sufficiently strong, and could hold enough magic, that space bending could be done as far as you had magical power. That was good, so now she was planning a smallish walk-in closet inside her trunk. There was plenty of power floating in the air inside of Hogwarts Castle. She just needed a few well-placed runes to hold that power. Jasmine had no clue how to go about it yet, but she knew it was possible.
Runes, supposedly the hardest discipline in Hogwarts, and something that she was already planning on learning on recommendation from her aunt.
Jasmine knew upfront that it would not be easy though, so she was not discouraged when that proved to be right. Flitwick's reaction had reinforced that belief, so she was not deterred at all. First, she would read this book cover to cover, better to learn it the right way instead of halfway. Then she would start on Runes.
She turned the page and kept reading.
Dumbledore was incensed, but there really was not a lot he could do against an inquiry backed by the masses. They wanted to know what went wrong with the Boy-Who-Lived. Well, so did he!
Not only were all his plans thrown overboard, now his crimes were being unearthed.
He had broken the law by throwing a man in prison without trial. Sure, he shared the blame with two others but that did nothing to help him; as Chief Warlock he was supposed to make sure that did not happen, ever.
The opened Will had fingered him as witness to the Will. Sealing it, meant he broke the law, keeping the Potter child from his or her rightful guardians.
That Fudge was thinking for himself for once was largely impossible, meaning that somebody had put him up to this. What was he thinking? If Albus sealed a Will he should not be questioned.
Even if he did lose a boy he had arranged - read usurped - magical guardianship of, they had no right! As minister, Fudge had the power to unseal the Will, together with Amelia Bones, and it seemed both had been in a rare agreement on this one. They had just let him know via owl.
He floo'ed to the minister's office to do some damage control. But it was already a lost cause, he would probably lose his job as Chief Warlock over this too.
On arrival, he immediately spotted the signs that he was right. Amelia was livid, Fudge was his usual stupid surprised self.
"You put a man in Azkaban without trial! Seeing as how you knew he was Harry's godfather, you knowingly put AN INNOCENT MAN in AZKABAN!" Amelia raged. "And I was named in the Will as one to take care of Harry in the case that his parents were killed. WHERE IS HARRY!"
"Harry Potter doesn't exist anymore." Albus started, only to realise that had been a stupid thing to say. What could he say, he was under stress?
"WHAT!" Both Fudge and Amelia shouted. Albus held up his hands in a rather ineffectual effort to calm them.
"I meant to say, Harry has become Jasmine Potter, for whatever reason. I couldn't begin to tell you how that happened, but it seems he was a she all this time, she's in Hufflepuff with your niece Susan."
"What? Tell me everything, from the beginning. And do not think you will get away with this, I already have a Wizengamot summons sent out to arrange for your trial."
If Albus did not know he was in trouble before, seeing her expression now erased all doubt to the contrary.
It was a sight to see, really. The whole great hall looked upon purple Gandalf with disbelief or disdain, depending on the House table. It was clear that Slytherin did not worship the man.
The paper had really delivered this time. Rita Skeeter was truly a wizard with words, pardon the pun. Her article had the whole assembly scratching their heads. The Headmaster was now only that, and only barely, having lost his other jobs and nearly this one too. It was a good start, Jasmine thought to herself.
The old goat also needed to pay a huge fine to Sirius Black, who was reported to be her Godfather and was jailed for ten years as an innocent man. His trial was another shitstorm, painting Dumbledore as even more guilty seeing as how he knew about the plan to switch secret keepers as written in the Will. The final nail in his coffin was that Dumbledore had been the one to cast the Fidelius Charm. It really was incredible that he did not end up in jail himself, something that Jasmine could not understand at all. 'How corrupt is this country? He's proven to have broken multiple laws for god's sake!'
Another thing that had come up was the fact that Harry Potter was Jasmine Potter. Amelia had asked Sirius about that and he had calmly answered with "okay," saying that they never knew what gender she was because she kept switching as a child. This was apparently a thing that sometimes happened for people with Black blood, the paper explained, which she had from her father's side. For most it settled down after a year or so. It had not with her, but nobody needed to know that.
Still, the faster readers like her had now read that she was supposed to be Harry Potter, she felt the eyes land on her and stay there. 'How troublesome', she sighed.
"So, you are actually the girl-who-lived, huh?" One customer at the next table asked her.
"No!" She responded harshly, "that name is a fiction, attached to a scar I don't have. I ask you not to call me that, I'm just Jasmine thank you very much."
"How can you say that?" Ronald the red-haired Gryffindor idiot demanded loudly, turning this into a very public spectacle. Jasmine really was not surprised, that boy had a mind of an eight-year-old bully and the tact to match.
She stood. "Who was there to tell the story? I sure did not tell anyone what happened, Voldemort was gone," Jasmine ignored the flinching, "And my parents were also dead. Who then, decided that a BOY, of FIFTEEN MONTHS OLD, with A SCAR, killed Voldemort? All rumours or outright lies, I tell you. I mean, what kind of stupid still believes that after hearing that there is no boy, there were no witnesses and there is no scar."
"Well damn!" Neville said into the ensuing silence after she sat back down. "You sure told em' Jasmine."
"I don't like lies and liars." She grumbled back.
"Right." Lilith Moon agreed and everyone started talking again, mostly about her but also about her little speech, which was good.
Five minutes later and an angry Amelia Bones waltzed into the great hall. "Albus fucking Dumbledore, why is there a blood ward around Miss Potter's residence!? And tell me why my owl will not deliver mail toward this same girl. DID YOU HIT YOUR HEAD AS A BABY?!"
The rest of the conversation was cut off as the headmaster put on some privacy wards, this did not stop the children from enjoying the show however, as Madam Bones was very expressive in her body language. Once she was done, she came up to Jasmine and asked her to come with.
Somewhat amused, Jasmine followed her to an empty classroom and waited. Madam Bones only started talking after blocking the paintings and setting up some privacy wards. That was promising to be a good talk.
"Hello Miss Potter, my name is Amelia Bones and I want to talk to you about your guardians."
"Hi." Jasmine simply greeted her back.
"You know, I figured you'd have questions." Amelia frowned when Jasmine just stared at her.
"You haven't told me why and what."
"Why and what what?" Amelia was clearly very confused.
Jasmine rolled her eyes. "Why do you want to talk about my guardians and what do you want to talk about regarding them? I don't know you, remember."
"Have you not read the paper?"
"Your Godfather wishes to take custody of you."
"He's in the hospital, recovering from prison. I'm here in his stead."
"And you wanted to do what?" Jasmine asked the stupid woman, becoming angry now.
"Young lady, you are really making this difficult. Would you want to live with him?"
"YOU are not explaining things clearly, and NO, I don't want to live with a stranger."
"He's not a stranger, he's your godfather."
"I've not met the man, he's a stranger."
"Magical law trumps muggle law, also, it's in the Will. He can take you if he wants, this was just a formality." That was a mistake to say, Amelia belatedly realised as she saw the girl become angry.
"So, you come here just to tell me my fate, to take me from the family I know, to put me in a house with a stranger."
"Yes." Amelia admitted, after a few seconds.
"And they wonder why I don't trust adults. Now, I've also lost all faith in the government." Jasmine stated wearily, the fight draining out of her at that explanation of wizarding law.
"Also, I was in a relationship with Sirius prior to his incarceration and he asked me to be his girlfriend. You will be seeing a lot of me. Sirius is thinking of moving in with me," Amelia told her, wanting to get it all out in one go.
"Oh my god! You really fucked this shit up woman!" Jasmine laughed disbelievingly. "Not good with kids, are you?"
It was telling that Amelia did not react to that harsh statement. "I know I messed up this talk badly." She agreed after a while.
"How about the blood wards? Will those still protect my aunt?"
"No, they'll fail if you move out." Amelia frowned. "Only your aunt?"
"Yeah, I really don't care about the other two." Jasmine said. "If you are going to kidnap me, you better make sure my aunt is protected. I do not care how, just get it done if you want my cooperation. Also, I am going to have to have visits. Only talking to you will make me stupid in no time."
"Understood." Amelia said, wisely not reacting to that last barb.
"Tell me a way to communicate that's not owls." Jasmine demanded.
"You can create corresponding journals; it requires a NEWT level charm called the Protean Charm."
"Thank you. I'm leaving." Jasmine said while walking out. She did not hear an answer.
Two days later and she had her corresponding journals, she immediately sent one to her aunt, with a note explaining it. NEWT level her ass, it just required visualization, intent, and a lot of power, which she powered over thirty minutes.
Back to Runes, she had already poured over two books and was starting to see this as a language. The syntax was self-explanatory and rather easy, but she still needed all the words. Still, she would persevere, or her name was not Jasmine.
A knock sounded in McGonagall's office.
Minerva looked up as Jasmine Potter entered.
"Hello Professor, can you answer a question?"
"Ask and I'll see." Minerva told the weirdest first year she had ever taught.
"Is there a magical method to shape matter, manipulating only its shape, not its volume?"
McGonagall thought about it before shaking her head. "Not that I know of Miss Potter. Why do you ask?"
"Thought so. Why? Just think of how handy that would be and answer your own question."
With that last statement Jasmine left her office, mumbling about "stupid magicals, Master my ass."
"What a marvellous idea." Minerva finally said, recognising why that might help with the duration of transfiguration. "That might be worth a mention in Transfiguration weekly."
Her aunt had been more in favour of the idea the more she heard about it, telling Jasmine it would be better for her. But that she better come back for a while to transfigure some diamonds, because she had been carving graphite like crazy. Sure, it would not be like in the store, but the rough shape was very doable. Shaping it could be left to the professionals, who would pay good money for rough diamonds.
Petunia had taken her advice to heart and had really thought about what she wanted. What she really wanted, it turned out, was to leave Vernon and start over. But the lack of money had always prevented these thoughts from becoming reality. This did not surprise Jasmine as such, and she admired her aunt for it. Starting over was hard.
Petunia did have another brilliant idea for a project. Two linked boxes that would send items from there to here. This would be brilliant because Petunia could carve the graphite, send them to Jasmine and get diamonds back. Then she could send Jasmine her half of the proceeds, a great partnership all told.
She just needed to invent those boxes, meaning that Runes had jumped up significantly on the priorities list.
Better head to the library.
"Jasmine?" Susan asked in the common room. "I've heard something from my aunt. Can we talk about that?"
"Figured she would." Jasmine nodded.
"She wants you to start some correspondence with Sirius and her."
"Relationship going well then?"
"Yeah, looks like I'll be getting a stepfather. I hope Sirius is nice."
"And maybe a sister huh."
"Well, then there's at least one good thing about this mess." Jasmine smiled.
"You want to be my sister?" Susan asked hopefully.
"I've always wanted a sister." Jasmine agreed truthfully.
Susan grabbed her into a hug in response to that. Jasmine awkwardly hugged her back; Petunia had never been a physical person and no other would touch her.
"I'll make her a journal tonight. Then you can send it to her with your return letter."
"Corresponding one, I'll have the other."
"You can make that?! Auntie said that she could not do that. Those are awfully expensive too."
"Yes, I can, and keep that quiet please. Nobody needs to know how good I am with magic."
"I don't trust adults."
"You can trust aunty."
"I'll trust her when she proves herself to be trustworthy, and not a second before." Jasmine growled.
"I'll take it." Susan laughed, taking it as a joke. "You are really paranoid." Jasmine didn't disagree.
"Can I at least tell aunty? About you, charming the journal I mean."
"Only if she tells you that she'll keep it secret."
"Okay, sis." Susan tried a little awkwardly.
"Sis huh, I like it, but only in private for now."
"Okay sis." Susan said a little more easily, getting a small smile in return.
"Now, I'll go get a pair of journals."
Her circle of friends and their study group both expanded. Also, Jasmine sometimes joined the Puff study sessions in their common room on recommendation from Susan, her new sister.
Jasmine was easily the smartest student there and the most adult in her thoughts, but she knew that she would make friends easier if they were within her year group, so she gave it her best shot. It helped that most interactions were school related, as that was something, she was fast becoming knowledgeable in.
"What do you want to choose in third year for your elected courses?" Hannah asked the group. Padma, who had joined Hermione as the sole two Claws in their group, wanted to study Divination of all courses. "There's nothing to learn except for when you're a true seer, and I seriously doubt that Trelawney is one." Jasmine added her two cents.
"What do you want to study then Jasmine?"
"Well, I'm already studying Runes, I guess Arithmancy or maybe Care."
"You're studying Runes?!" Hermione exploded. "That's a third-year course!"
Jasmine just lifted an eyebrow. "It's also highly theoretical, just a lot of work. Studying it on your own to figure out if you like it doesn't harm anyone, does it?"
That seemed to calm Hermione right down. "That's not a bad idea actually, can you recommend some books?"
"Naturally, I've found a few in the library that introduced the subject nicely."
"We could make a special Runes study group on the weekend." Susan said, "I think all of us would like to know each subject in order to make an informed choice later on."
"That's a great idea." Hannah agreed.
And so Jasmine was roped into another study group, because she was the most knowledgeable in that subject. Although it would go faster if they all knew Occlumency.
"Girls! And Neville." Jasmine interrupted the conversation, decision made. "First things first. You all need to learn Occlumency, it makes studying much easier."
Hermione though, had read up on Occlumency and tried to nix her idea. "But Jasmine, I checked, and they say that you should at least be thirteen before learning that."
Neville disagreed. "That is mainly because parents used to read their children's minds back in the day, and they couldn't if they knew Occlumency. Legilimency has only been illegal since fifty odd years. My grandmother told me that. She said she would teach me after my first year. So, if we are going to do this, I'm in."
"Auntie already had me practicing clearing my mind too, I'm in as well." Susan agreed. "Don't you need a Legillimens to learn that though?"
"It will help your defences, but you can do a lot without. Ordering your memories and the faster learning bit does not require that at all." Jasmine reassured her.
"How do you know this?" Hermione asked, obviously remembering the sorting.
"My aunt taught me since I was four, teaching it to me as a game."
"." The others just stared at her.
"Seriously? It's not that a big deal is it?" To Jasmine, it was not.
"Make it another study group on Sunday. If you have questions, come to me. If you need motivation, know that both Dumbledore and Snape have tried to read my mind already. Snape more than once even." Jasmine tried to deflect their attention elsewhere.
"Yeah, I know, that's illegal right. But it is also impossible to prove."
"But it is not! Aunt Amelia can press charges and let you accuse him under Veritaserum. She was looking for any excuse she told me." Susan said.
"We'll write to her tonight then." Jasmine grinned. "I happen to greatly dislike both men." Susan grinned too, happy to have helped her sister. The rest though, did not think this was funny and were quite lost just thinking about it.
"We better start looking through the library for books for our study sessions." Susan decided. "Jasmine, want to help me?"
Jasmine just nodded and rose, leaving the other to their thoughts.
4. Study and Trials
The journal Jasmine had charmed for Amelia/Sirius had arrived and their first message was received. It was just general well wishes mostly and their wanting to know how her relationship with Susan was developing. Also, Sirius would be getting out of the hospital in about a week's time.
All fine and dandy, we call each other sis in private.
Do not think this happy acceptance extends to the pair of you however, you will need to prove yourself first.
Amelia, Susan tells me you are looking for an excuse to get Dumbledore on something. Would attempting to read my mind work? Susan tells me it can be proved using Veritaserum, something I had never heard of before now. Anyway, it is not only him. Snape also tried this two times, but my mental defences were not overcome. I do not appreciate the invasion of privacy and would like to offer my account under Veritaserum if that would help.
PS. I never heard anything on Sirius' attempt to usurp my guardianship, how is that going?
Figuring that was enough, she pushed her magic to send it through. Something that was still necessary since she did not have enough Runes knowledge. Even though Petunia had magic, she could not push hers into the journal, so Jasmine periodically did that herself to check for incoming messages.
Susan came over just as she shut the journal. "Did you write to auntie? Would you mind if I wrote something too?"
"Knock yourself out sis." Jasmine answered, tossing her the journal. She took out her book on Runes and started reading again.
When Susan was done, she sat in front of her and pushed her book down. "Sis?"
"Why do you dislike aunty? Sorry if that was private, I was simply curious." She asked seriously.
"I don't mind you reading that Susan. I was basically asked if I wanted to move in with Sirius, to which I answered with a resounding NO. Then she told me that I did not even get to choose, that if Sirius wanted me, he would get me because the muggle laws do not count for magicals. Telling me that couldn't have been easy, but the way she went about it was really stupid, really rude and actually really insulting."
"I understand." Susan said sadly, "why insulting though?"
"I lived like a muggle for ten years Sue. To then hear that muggle opinions do not matter is like them calling my aunt an unthinking animal. She might not be able to use magic, but she did raise me. Your aunty was cruel in her delivery and meaning."
"That's awful Jasmine. I don't think she meant it that way though."
"Oh, I know that. But that does not mean I have to trust her instantly either, she will have to work for it. Sirius even more, I've never even seen the guy and he wants to adopt me."
"That must be weird."
"Yeah, someone I do not know taking on the role of my new father, making me a daughter. It's definitely going to be weird."
Susan started giggling, making Jasmine crack a grin too. Yes, it really was absurd.
The journal changed colour, making both serious again, that meant a response. Jasmine opened the book sideways, so they could both read it.
-Jasmine, good to hear you get along.
We will both try to gain your trust and understand when that does not come instantly. Sirius gets out of the hospital soon and wants to spend the coming holidays together, please think about it. Sirius is willing to wait with pressing for custody until after you meet.
Now then, great news. Not that you being attacked is great news, but it is great to have more ammunition to take them down. If you were being serious about that offer, then I would like you to present your case in front of the Wizengamot in the next session, which will be in two weeks. You do not need to prepare anything, just wear your best robes and be polite. As soon as you confirm that you want to do this, then I will schedule the case immediately.
The reason this sort of crime usually does not reach the court, is that you need big wands backing you politically to even make it that far. Muggleborns, who are the preferred victims, do not usually have this, if they even notice the intrusion. Rumours of those two using Legilimency on students have been bandied about over the years, but never by anyone with the necessary backing. With me as the Director of the DMLE and Sirius as a Lord in his own right, this can work.
PS. While we would be interested to hear how you came to be trained in Occlumency, we will wait for you to tell us when you want to.
-Susan, yes, we will keep that secret if it does not hurt anybody. Tell us when you are ready to.
Amelia & Sirius
"They damn well have to wait! I'm not telling them all my secrets just because they will take my guardianship." Jasmine said. "Does that last entry concern the fact that I made the journal Suze?"
"Tell them then, let them prove themselves with one secret of mine."
-Aunty & Sirius, Jasmine charmed the Journals. Also, she accepts and will be ready for the trial.
Nothing was said about spending the holidays with them and Susan did not press.
"Nice and short. I like it." Jasmine declared, only a little worried what sharing that little secret would kick up.
"Yeah, I noticed you don't like to talk all that much. Especially with adults, why is that?" Susan asked, genuinely curious.
Jasmine saw her honest curiosity and decided to answer truly. "Because adults are stupid, mostly. They have lived long enough to learn how to be set in their ways, not willing to believe a kid can know better. I damn well know better sometimes, so I let them work for their conversations, pointing out how they are actually being stupid helps me relieve stress too," she commented deadpan.
Susan broke out into full out laughter, until the Journal changed colour again.
-That is impossible.
Jasmine looked at Susan and raised her left eyebrow in a universal sign of 'do you see what I mean now.' She picked up the pen and answered the only way she knew how to.
-Suit yourselves then, but remember your promise.
"They're idiots." Jasmine spat with irritation plain in her voice.
"You were right, but maybe they'll reconsider later." Susan hoped.
"Doesn't make them any less adult."
"No, but that would be impossible, once you grow up, that's that." Susan said, faux sad.
"It's sad but true." Jasmine agreed lightly, animosity forgotten for the moment.
Susan perked up. "Do you think you can make a multi journal? Like for talking to multiple persons?"
"Right now, no. Unless you want four of the same, meaning everyone can write in theirs and it shows up in all of them. Do you want that?"
"Could be useful, but not what I had in mind. I do want to be able to write to aunty anytime though."
"Take this one then. You will be talking with her a lot more than I am. I will make another pair and send that one to them, so that they can write to us both. That way, if Sirius or Amelia wants to bother me, you don't have to come get me every time."
"Thank you, sister!"
"Not a problem. Do not hesitate to ask me stuff sis, I figured you wanted one, but I did not have any more journals. I mail-ordered a few yesterday for this purpose, they'll be here tomorrow."
Susan just hugged her tight in response. This sister thing was working out great, 'if only she didn't come with parents.'
Study groups were fun. Their group consisting of Susan, Hermione, Padma, Hannah, Neville, Lilith and Jasmine stuck together well, Neville did not even stand out as the only boy.
Their Sunday subjects were Runes and Occlumency, and Jasmine was expanding on the theory of both, with the help of Hermione, who had practically inhaled a Runes book during that week. They decided upon a dual group, meaning one half focused on Occlumency while the other focused on Runes for two hours and then they would meet up with the other group and try to teach each other what they had learned. Occlumency was Jasmine's purview while Hermione took Runes.
This turned out great, Jasmine thought as she looked around. Hermione, her assigned partner, noticed her glance and guessed her thoughts. "It's great huh, we're all learning a bunch and teaching others just reinforces that."
"Yeah, Padma really came through with that idea. It works like a charm."
"Doesn't really work anymore, that expression, does it?" Hermione asked with humour.
"Nah, not really. I realise we're in a different country for nine months a year now, but it's hard to adapt sometimes."
"I get what you mean." Hermione sighed. "Now, I have read a few chapters and it clearly outlines how to go about sorting your mind and stuff, but it says the defences are all personal. How did you develop yours?"
Jasmine smirked. "Right. I just took all the books I have ever read, took from them everything I liked and jammed it together to make a dangerous world ready to protect my mind. Since you pretty much get to make the rules, I specified what could and could not be done with magicals in mind. Magic does not work on the defenders, since all their clothes are magic resistant. You could, potentially make a vault with all your memories in it, hang up a painting with Waldo in it that only opens when you say, 'There's Waldo!'" But that is not my style. I buried my memories under a layer of misdirection that will only be seen through when you've read every single book I've read and understand each clue, otherwise you'll end up in my dungeons."
"Seriously?" Hermione asked her.
"I guess it really is personal. I won't be doing that."
"Good, I've been working on that for five years now, you don't have the time."
"No kidding!" Hermione said with wide eyes, finally understanding the necessary commitment.
Filius Flitwick had been a professor for a long, long time. During this time, he'd noticed Albus' strange behaviour when fully focused on a student a few times now. None of them were better off. Whereas Albus looked at how much anger and power a student exhibited, to determine if they were a danger, Filius looked at how they treated their friends and those who were not.
That is why, when he had noticed the build-up of a new fixation on the Boy-Who-Lived, he'd already planned to try to lessen the impact for the poor boy by deflecting Albus' interest. A few key words that should never be spoken of in front of Albus he was ready to alter.
You can imagine the surprise he felt when after ten full years of build-up, Albus' interests in the boy turned girl had vanished like the wind. Still, Filius promised to be vigilant. That promise was immediately put to the test in the first faculty meeting, when he found where Albus' interest had shifted towards, the Longbottom boy.
"And what did you think of young Neville, Filius?" Albus asked him.
"He is very shy but nice, has trouble with wand work and I believe he's well sorted into Hufflepuff, the boy will do fine there, especially considering his growing circle of friends. He's not a leader but a follower from what I've seen." Filius answered. Not powerful, not charismatic, not smart, no leader. In short, exactly the opposite of what Albus fears.
"He's nothing but a pathetic excuse of a squib. I estimate he'll kill himself in a potion accident within the year." Snape sneered, like he always did.
Filius believed the man should not be allowed within fifty miles of the school, but who was he to disagree with the Headmaster. The only thing that would accomplish was that he would need to find another job.
"I'm sure he'll do better next time Severus." The Headmaster preached.
"The only reason he has survived until now is Potter, who sits with him every class." Snape spat, apparently helping another student was distasteful to him. His mention of Potter did worry Filius though, he hoped Albus would gloss over that.
No such luck.
"And how is Miss Potter doing? Minerva?"
"Well, in my classes, she has trouble doing spells the first few times but never fails after succeeding. She is certainly not the worst student, but also not the best. The main problem seems to be the wand movements." Minerva answered.
How wrong she was.
"The same in my classes." Filius agreed outwardly. In fact, he had noticed that Miss Potter only did the wand movements correct the first time, then she lost the focus or the need to do that and got sloppy, but her spells never suffered. As a goblin wand user, he was eminently qualified to recognize another wandless caster, even though he was not anymore. She used the wand to help her go unnoticed, nothing more, unlike him. Filius had lost the ability to cast wandlessly beyond a few simple cantrips, and nothing beyond what he already knew before getting the wand.
As the only wand wielding goblin, he had studied wand lore quite a bit. When he had learned that the wand bonded with his magic, he had been angry and ashamed. A goblin should never be shackled, even as a half-goblin he felt that way. He suspected that Miss Potter did not share that problem.
Albus could not know, so perhaps he would have a talk with Miss Potter.
Luckily, none of the other teachers had noticed and the meeting failed to rouse Albus' suspicions on either student. Nothing managed to penetrate Filius' thoughts except for one announcement.
"Professor Snape and I are expected to attend the Wizengamot next Saturday, so we shall be absent that day." Albus had declared.
Interesting wording 'attending', Filius didn't doubt they were summoned, probably Severus' fault.
The Wizengamot was packed full to bursting, naturally, the word had gotten out. Dumbledore was not the Chief Warlock anymore, so change was on the wind. Not that he would have been today, as that would have been a conflict of interest in this case. That was just another reason to join. The press was well presented in the visitor box.
A lot of interesting things were happening that day. Sirius Black took up his seat in the Wizengamot and declared himself allied with the neutrals, sitting down next to Amelia Bones, the message was believed by most.
Next up was what should have been a slam dunk case but was not.
"Severus Snape," Augusta Longbottom, acting Chief Witch, intoned when the first trial of Potter versus Snape started. "You are being charged with multiple counts of unauthorized use of Legilimency on a Minor. How do you plead?"
"Not guilty." Snape sneered, not an easy thing to do when surrounded by a hundred people looking down on you, but he managed.
"Bring forth the accuser."
Jasmine stepped up, Snape just about lost it right then and there. Plain for all to see was his loathing for her, which did not help his case any.
"You said you were willing to use Veritaserum so long as only Amelia Bones asked them. Can you confirm this?" Jasmine nodded.
"Dose her then Amelia." Augusta said, Amelia took the stopper and poured three drops on Jasmine's tongue.
"Should work now." Amelia decided, putting on a one-way sound blocking spell. "What's your name?"
"Jasmine Emily Potter."
"Did Professor Severus Snape attempt to use Legilimency on you?"
"Did he do it multiple times?"
"How many times?"
"Last time you said two times, did you lie?"
"No, he tried it again yesterday."
"Did he succeed?"
"No, I blocked him all three times."
"Thank you." Amelia moved to get her the antidote.
"Severus Snape, you pleaded not guilty, yet you clearly used Legilimency on Miss Potter. How do you reconcile the two?" Augusta demanded.
"I had permission from her magical guardian, Albus Dumbledore." Snape sneered, causing a lot of murmured conversation.
"Are you willing to prove that using Veritaserum?" Augusta asked, looking constipated.
"Yes." Snape agreed triumphantly, which he proceeded to do. Jasmine knew this did not bode well, looking at Amelia's face provided further confirmation.
Three facts were debated, facts that saw Jasmine furious but powerless.
The law says that a magical guardian can give that permission. Dumbledore had gotten that responsibility illegally by blocking the Will. Dumbledore still had that position, as there had not been time to resolve the issue."
"We can't set him free. Can't we ask him if he knew Dumbledore was only illegally her magical guardian? They have always been strangely buddy buddy, and he should have known before that attack yesterday." Jasmine heard Sirius ask Amelia.
"No, it doesn't matter in the eye of the law. It only matters that he was, legally or not. But we can get him for this in his trial."
Oooh, how Jasmine loathed Dumbledore, and Snape was coming in a close second.
"Unfortunately, the law clearly states that permission from the magical guardian of the minor means there was no crime." Augusta brought order to the proceedings, though everyone could see she did not like it.
"Severus Snape, you are free to go."
With a last glare aimed at Jasmine, Snape left.
"Now for the next case. Dumbledore versus Potter, for illegally blocking the Potter's Will, for illegal usurpation of guardianship, for illegal placement of Miss Potter with unapproved guardians in a muggle household, and for not checking up on his charge afterwards." Augusta started the next case.
As Dumbledore was led inside, the chatter was incredible. Those were some serious charges. Jasmine gritted her teeth; she did not like how the previous case went and had a feeling she would not like how this one went too.
"Albus Dumbledore, how do you plead?"
"Guilty for the last, not guilty for the rest." Dumbledore stated with a sad face. Fake asshole.
"We have all seen the Will, that did not have you on the list of possible guardians. How could you possibly refute the illegality of you taking her guardianship?" Augusta asked him.
Albus turned to face the crowd and put on a sad face. "First on the list were the Longbottoms, who'd sadly been attacked and were no longer suitable for guardianship. Second, was Sirius Black, who had just been apprehended and placed into Azkaban. Third was Edgar and Susan Bones, who had been killed prior to the murder of the Potters. The list continued, but I felt it was better to put her with blood relatives, under wards that would not allow Death Eaters to find her."
"You took her away before the first and the second had been made unsuitable." Amelia cut in. "The Longbottoms only got attacked two days after the Potters and Sirius only got apprehended a day after. The child had by then already been delivered to the Dursleys. How do you explain that?"
"I merely wanted to ensure the child's safety." Albus tried.
"Doesn't make it less illegal. So, you put her with muggles?"
"I put her with her blood family." He countered.
"Ah yes, the blood wards. You do know those are illegal right?" Amelia cut back in.
"The circumstances needed some unorthodox decisions. That was the best I could do."
Amelia was about to speak again when Augusta cut her off. "Amelia, you're getting too far ahead." Then she turned to Albus. "First, we need to ask, why did you decide to block the Will?"
"I cannot say, this knowledge could hurt our nation should the wrong people hear of it."
"At least you don't deny sealing it. Let us vote on this first."
"All in favour of proclaiming him guilty for sealing the Will illegally, raise your wands."
"Wait!" Dumbledore cried. "I have a good reason, the best, I just can't tell you!"
"Sealing a Will without adequate reason is a clear misuse of power Albus, I'm sure you have a reason but unless you're willing to spill, that isn't enough." Augusta told him.
"What if I provide testimony under Veritaserum to prove I have a reason?"
"That would only mean that you believe you have a reason, unless we hear this reason for ourselves, we cannot take that on faith."
"Alright then." Albus grimaced. "There is an active prophecy that I believe centres around Miss Potter."
"A prophecy. Really Albus?"
"Let's hear it then."
"No? Back to the vote then."
Albus sighed but did not give up his precious prophecy. He was quickly voted guilty on that score, almost unanimously even.
"On to the issue of illegally naming himself magical guardian then."
"And lastly, the issue of illegally placing miss Potter in a muggle household."
"Guilty! That makes you guilty for everything." Augusta said happily, apparently there was no love lost between her and the old man. "We will now debate about your punishment."
Jasmine got more hopeful every second until she heard the suggestions. A year, half a year, eight months even. What the hell was that?! The reasons that were bandied about for the lack of severity sickened her. She was a half blood and an orphan, Albus defeated Grindelwald and saved them all. Why would that matter?! This was a court of law, not an old boys club, or was it?
Right then and right there, Jasmine understood that if she ever wanted justice, she would have to get it herself. There was not even a question about deciding whether she would or not. It was just a matter of time.
Once she was out of this farce, she would have to find a way to fight back.
Albus got off with a year of parole, in other words, a slap on the wrist. It took all of Jasmine's skill in Occlumency to keep her emotions reined in.
Once outside, Sirius looked at her frightfully, understanding her emotions all too clearly. He could not figure out a way to support her in this. Seeing that, Amelia stuck her foot in her mouth to placate her. "I know it's disgusting but it's what we've got right now."
"Right. It is not like MY opinion matters; I am just a half-blood! Raised by Filthy Muggles!"
"Quiet, lest others hear you." Sirius told her.
His advice was not welcome, nor was it on time, the press had already heard it. Jasmine did not respond until she was back at Hogwarts and they had left. "Fucking Stupid Adults!"
5. Talks and Warnings
None of the students were spared a word after she came back; she was just too fucking angry.
The next morning, the paper explained all that had happened in the courtroom and out of it. The facts were not embellished, since they were interesting enough on their own. Special favourite being her angry quote afterwards.
Susan was the first that got a response after calling her sis in private, after that, she thawed towards her friends. The rest could suck her non-existent balls, especially the adults.
Snape was insufferable and took his 'getting off scot-free' as a license to bully. If only he would slip up, just the once!
Jasmine had not been kidding when talking to Hermione. Her mind was filled with dungeons, dungeons with traps, unbreakable and unescapable. If Snape came calling inside her mind, she planned on letting him in and not back out again. She would not tell a soul either, lest they demand his release. Magic was intent and willpower, both of which she had in spades. Her righteous indignation was just more fuel for the fire.
Dumbledore had probably warned him, Jasmine thought angrily. He would never be this careful otherwise. For now, Jasmine would take pleasure in working on her dungeons in her mind.
From now on, she was not taking prisoners, figuratively that is, she was playing for keeps instead.
Flitwick told her to stay behind after class. Since he was her favourite teacher, she would give him the benefit of the doubt, for now.
Once they were alone, Jasmine held his gaze silently.
"I realise you don't like adults much, Miss Potter, but I have a warning for you." Flitwick told her seriously. Jasmine had not seen this coming, not that she found him all that threatening.
"Albus Dumbledore is fixated on that prophecy, he has been for ten years now. I do not know what it says, but I know he once thought you were the subject of it. The only reason I can come up with to explain why he is not anymore, would be that you turned out to be female. I do not know how that happened and I do not need to know. What I do know, is that you don't want his attention."
"So, not a threat but a genuine warning then." Jasmine spoke her first words against an adult again. "I knew that already, the last part I mean."
"Yes, but you do not know that he is instead fixating on young Neville now, instead of you. You also do not know Albus Dumbledore, he is a master manipulator. Both you and Neville should start downplaying your abilities, like I know you are doing already."
"What do you mean?" Jasmine asked guardedly.
"Your wandless ability, Miss Potter, is hard to miss when you know what to look for."
"I don't know what you mean."
"I'm sure you don't. I'd advise you to not forget your wand movements after the first few casts."
Jasmine gave him a miniscule nod, giving up her pretence. "What is that fool hiding in the third corridor?"
"I don't know actually; it should be something sufficiently valuable and dangerous. Heed his warning about that, Miss Potter, if nothing else, danger awaits you in that corridor."
"I was not planning on looking for danger sir. I appreciate the words of advice and will heed them." Jasmine said, and she meant it. This tiny adult had not acted stupid, instead he had spoken to her like an adult. That meant he had earned a measure of genuine respect which demanded reciprocation.
"That is all I ask." Flitwick told her happily. "Do you know what a magical vow is?"
"No." She did not.
"Look it up, ask around. I am willing to swear one to keep all your secrets when you decide to trust in me. I wish only to help you."
"If, professor, not when." Jasmine corrected with a smirk.
Flitwick smiled back, "if then. Think about it. I could teach you at your level."
Jasmine nodded and turned around. She had inquiries to make.
Jasmine's friends had all been a little more careful in their interactions with her. They deserved better, she decided. When they all got together for a study group, she signalled that she wanted to say something.
"Alright. I assume you all agree that you wouldn't want your mind read by old men?" Everyone nodded.
"That means we all need to double down on our Occlumency practice. Second, I have been told that Dumbledore has an insane obsession with a prophecy, to which the subject is debatable. Either it is me, or it is Neville."
"Neville?" About half the group asked her, the other half turned to look at the timid boy.
"Yes, Neville. He is looking for signals and to mess with our lives. I don't want to send him those signals or have him mess with our lives."
"What signals are those?" Padma asked, she was the most level-headed of their group.
"Anything that makes us stand out: overly good grades, aggression, any strong emotions really. I also need to stress that whatever we do, we need to stay away from the third-floor corridor, you know the one."
"That's good." Neville said sarcastically. "I won't have to hold back at all."
Jasmine shook her head as the girls tried to give him physical support, by touching his arm or squeezing his shoulder.
"Neville. Humour me." She said, holding her wand out to him. "Cast a Lumos for me with your wand and then with mine."
Not understanding the significance, he held his own wand up and cast the light spell, gaining him a softly glowing tip. Then he took her wand and did the same, with slightly less of a result, but a glowing tip, nonetheless.
"That's what I thought." She laughed, gaining a few disapproving looks.
"I'm not disparaging him, but he confirmed a theory I had. Neville, you're a great wizard." Jasmine told him seriously, "and that can't be your wand."
"It isn't." He admitted in a quiet voice, totally not understanding he had just cast wandlessly. "It was my father's. Gran told me I should be honoured to use it."
"Your gran is a moron." Jasmine spat, ignoring the gasps around her, she continued. "A wand bonds with the wizard, it chooses the wizard. It did not choose YOU, so in effect you have been casting with a wand that is resisting you to the utmost of its abilities. You've essentially been casting wandless magic."
"Now try casting Lumos with your finger." She demanded, leaving no room for the timid boy to refuse. She had noticed exactly when he had started crying but chose to disregard it.
Neville, finding some hidden backbone somewhere, lifted his finger. All eyes followed his progress. "Lumos." His finger started glowing softly, to everyone but Jasmine's astonishment. Jasmine smiled widely, to show she was proud of him.
"See Neville, you are now part of a very select group of people to even have this ability. You are not a squib; you are a powerful wizard." Jasmine pressed her finger in his chest. "You have a choice to make."
"What choice?" He asked her, his voice much steadier. He had also stopped crying after his finger had started glowing. He would need that backbone soon enough.
"Whether you want a wand or a decoy of course."
"What do you mean, a decoy?" Susan asked for everyone present.
Jasmine stood, her gaze sweeping over everyone present. "If I tell you this, you agree to keep my secrets, just as I will keep yours. I need to be able to trust you one hundred percent. That also means from your parents. You can only tell them if we all agree. Think hard about that. I expect an answer this weekend."
Her friends seemed to grasp how serious she was, especially Neville.
"Neville, go to Ollivander during your holiday and tell him you cast a Lumos with my wand. He'll know and tell you what it means."
Having said her piece, Jasmine left them to have their discussion. Not a word was spoken until she closed the door behind her. Jasmine knew that they would figure out that she could do the same as Neville and more, but she had to start somewhere. If she could not trust her friends, who could she trust?
The only regret she had was that they had not managed any Occlumency defences yet. Their only defence was not looking Snape or Dumbledore in the eye, something they had previously agreed upon. Other than that, she was hoping that the parole would hold them back until her friends had learned how to defend their minds. Trusting in luck like that was not acceptable.
Jasmine had friends now, but she needed allies. She felt inexplicably sure that there was trouble coming their way. That there was a prophecy in play said enough, she had read the books.
In all her anger directed at most adults, Jasmine had not yet finished her own corresponding journal set to talk with Amelia and Sirius; mostly because she really did not want to talk to them.
Unfortunately for her, they got her sister to pester her, and Susan was up to the task.
"Alright, alright. Show me then." Jasmine told Susan in defeat.
"Thank you, sis." She responded happily; she had been nagging but it was for the best of reasons.
-Jasmine, we want you to know we do not agree with the decisions of the Wizengamot at the trials. Unfortunately, there is not a lot we can do. Do not take this the wrong way, but it did illustrate one giant point. Dumbledore is still your magical guardian, and now everyone knows you are up for grabs, so to speak. Of course, you are not a commodity but to people like Lucius Malfoy that is exactly what you are, and it is only a matter of time before he applies for your custody. Think about it.
On another note, the holidays are next week. We do not need an answer now, but it would be appreciated. Feel free to join Susan if you decide to come.
Sirius says he has lots of stories about your father to tell you, should you decide to come.
Amelia & Sirius
"Damn all of them! I don't even want a magical guardian." Jasmine said, reaching for a quill. It was not like she had much choice.
-I accept, under one condition and a lot of protest. Never trust Dumbledore or Snape to have mine or Susan's wellbeing in mind. Be seeing you.
Susan squeezed her arm in support, she had noticed that Jasmine had included her, which was a good sign.
Surprisingly, Jasmine hugged her back, hard. "I'm afraid Susan. I do not like this world. Our friends and magic itself are great, but this society's rules and people are shit."
"We can try to change it, it's that or leave." Susan said. Her aunt had often complained about the world they lived in, and she agreed with her opinion, there were no other options.
"You'd leave?" Jasmine asked her.
"I'd rather not, but if it gets bad enough, yes."
"We'll fight first, but flight remains an option." Jasmine compromised.
"Agreed sis." Susan assured her. "Now, what do you want to do for the holidays?"
Jasmine ended their hug.
"Do you have a library?"
"A huge one." Susan laughed, thinking about Jasmine's reaction when she would see it.
"I'm going to make a vanishing shoebox then."
"Business. I'm sorry sis, but that'll be my little secret."
"I don't mind. I know you have trust issues."
"That's one way to put it." Jasmine grinned.
Susan laughed at that. "Yeah, you're goddamn paranoid!"
Their laughter woke a few sleeping first years.
It was a strangely nervous pair of sisters stepping from the Hogwarts Express for the holidays. Both had reasons for their nerves, but one snapped out of it much easier. It had been a squeeze, but they had all fit inside one compartment for the trip. Jasmine had told her friends not to stop practicing their Occlumency just before saying their goodbyes.
Spotting her aunt, Susan practically dragged Jasmine over, Sirius was nowhere to be seen.
"Hi aunty! How are things?" Susan greeted her with a hug. Jasmine was only glad that Susan had released her hand prior to the hug, she was not nearly ready for that.
"Pretty well actually, let's apparate home, Lippy will take your bags." Amelia responded. A house elf, presumably Lippy, popped in and out, taking their luggage away.
"Have you ever side-along apparated before Jasmine?" She asked her. Jasmine told her "Yes."
"Alright then, this might be unpleasant." Jasmine was warned a split second before she was squeezed through the universe.
If that was worse depending on distance, it was a right nasty trade-off. If not, Jasmine vowed to only use it for long trips. Or to devise a better method, whichever came first.
"Hi girls!" Sirius greeted them in front of a huge manor. 'Wow,' Jasmine was awe-struck. 'That's ginormous, I hope the library is proportionally big." She was a bibliophile and proud of it. What two people needed with that much space she did not know; of course, they were four now, if she included herself.
"Hi Sirius." Was repeated three times, with various inflections. With affection, shyly, and obligatory, Jasmine was not going to let him in without a fight.
Sirius took note of this naturally, but he chose to ignore it for now. "Come on, the elves should have dinner ready."
He was right. "I have a question; how do you know when an elf is nearby?" Jasmine asked before taking her first bite, she had already checked for poisons and found none.
"You don't, that's kind of the whole point." Sirius told her, looking at her as if she was stupid.
"So is putting your life in their hands." Jasmine argued, already accepting that she would not find answers with the adults.
Neither Amelia nor Sirius knew what to say to that, they shared a look and held their opinions to themselves. Instead, they struck up some meaningless conversation, Susan joining in.
"So, what would you girls like to do on your holiday?" Amelia asked.
"Well," Susan started. "I would like to do some shopping and swimming, maybe have Hannah over sometime. Jasmine has a project and wants to see the library."
All eyes on her, Jasmine elaborated. "Mostly, I wish to make a shoebox sized vanishing cabinet. Secondary plans involve a visual communication method over vast distances, for my aunt mostly, and journals linked to multiple others, you all."
"Wow." Amelia said it and the rest thought it. "Shouldn't you be in Ravenclaw?" Sirius asked her incredulously.
"Yes, but that hat tricked me." Jasmine responded sourly, still a bit chuffed about that.
"Well, you're welcome to use the library." Amelia offered slowly. "I recall a book that explains vanishing cabinets, but they are incredibly rare because of the power needed to enchant them, so I think that'll be something for the future, if at all."
"If you just show me the book, I'll make it work." Jasmine told her, ignoring the looks from the adults.
"I have some communication mirrors; I don't know how to enchant them but maybe you could figure it out yourself?" Sirius offered. "It would take some major research though."
"I'll gladly try." Jasmine accepted gratefully; they were both being very accommodating after all.
"And you're coming shopping with me too, we need new swimsuits to swim in." Susan enthused. Jasmine squeezed her hand in a positive reply.
The conversation started back up and Jasmine occasionally joined in. 'Objectively, if it weren't for aunt Petunia and actually getting a choice, I'd have liked living here.' Jasmine admitted to herself at least.
Susan had witnessed Jasmine's happy astonishment at seeing the Bones' library but had soon left her to her research, unlike her new sister, she was no bibliophile. She would much rather hang around with Hannah.
Her aunt and Sirius had tried talking to Jasmine multiple times but had failed to change her, Jasmine had never been a social butterfly and would never become what they thought of as normal for an eleven-year-old. To anyone other than her friends, Jasmine was all business, and doubly so for adults.
Susan had already accepted her new sister as she was, but Amelia and Sirius had not. According to them, the Dursleys had a lot to pay for and were therefore reluctant to let Jasmine meet with her during the holidays. This of course, just upset Jasmine more, as they had agreed upon visits beforehand.
Then at dinner, she witnessed first-hand why Jasmine had claimed to be a Slytherin before putting on the hat, she had first heard that from Hermione and Neville and later got confirmation from Jasmine.
"I'll make you a deal," Jasmine had told the adults over dinner. The last having involved nothing but sullen faces and silence, she got everybody's attention. "Get me a pair of those mirrors Sirius talked about for me and my aunt and get me a rune engraving tool set with two wooden boxes. Do this and I'll forget about visiting my aunt for the holidays." They did not have to know that her aunt had told her to stay away during the school year, that was her little secret.
Amelia looked at Sirius and nodded. "We will get you that." "Though I thought I told you that your aunt could not operate them, since you need to push your magic for that." Sirius added.
"Don't worry your adult head over that, Sirius." Jasmine cut him off without explaining her reasoning. They did not ask further, knowing that 'adult' was an insult from Jasmine.
"Alright, we'll get you that, but don't think you can blackmail us anytime you want." Sirius told her, with his best serious voice. 'He's really new to parenting,' Susan thought. It was almost funny except for how bad this was going to go down with her sister.
"Then how about you don't break your promises anytime you want." Jasmine cut back viciously, shutting them right up. "I'm done eating, thank you for the meal, thank you too, Lippy."
That was also something that Jasmine had done after every meal, unnerving Sirius, and Amelia because they had always taken their house-elf made meals for granted. This of course, did nothing to sway their minds regarding Jasmine's childhood, rather the opposite actually. When Susan had asked her about it, she had told her that it was not smart to piss off potential future assassins. NOT the reason the adults had in mind. Telling Sirius and Amelia that did not seem like the best idea somehow, so she left them with their assumptions.
"You really brought that on yourself you know." Susan's parting shot had both adults looking guilty as Susan left the table to follow Jasmine.
Knowing that her sister was in the library, she started moving that way.
Today they would go shopping, Jasmine included. That had taken some doing.
Susan had great fun helping her sister double and then triple her existing wardrobe. For some reason, Jasmine only reluctantly let the adults pay, even though her custody had already been transferred to these two. She would ask her about that later if her aunt or Sirius did not beat her to it.
"How about we go get a bite to eat?" Amelia suggested. "We'll have Lippy take our bags home."
After paying, Amelia called Lippy. Jasmine for some reason had closed her eyes for that. Lifting her eyebrow and looking Jasmine in the eye, Susan got her answer.
"I felt that, though I can only feel it when I focus on it fully." Jasmine told her with a shrug. "It's progress I guess."
"Lippy?" Susan queried.
"You can feel magic?"
"That's… So cool!"
"What's cool?" Amelia asked.
Susan shot a look at Jasmine, who nodded. "Jasmine can feel magic!"
"You can? That's very advanced magic." Amelia told them. "It's told you can only do that if you have tremendous control over your magic."
Jasmine simply nodded. "Sounds about right."
"Can you teach me?" Susan asked.
"I don't think so, but maybe Neville can. You need to be able to do wandless magic first I think." Jasmine told her, blatantly spreading their secrets, she would not be believed anyway.
Sirius snorted. "Yeah right, an eleven-year-old with wandless magic. Pull the other one, it's got bells on it."
Susan understood immediately that this was the reason for telling them, they would not believe it anyway. Amelia looked a bit more thoughtful than disbelieving though, her frown made that evident.
"Right then. Maybe you can teach me that." Susan grinned.
Jasmine smiled, and pointed Susan her wand, mouthing Lumos. 'Could it be done?' Susan would certainly try that at home.
After a nice lunch, they went to get Jasmine's promised materials and a few books for Susan. It was time to go home again.