I don't own Harry Potter.
Equal and Opposite
the greatest pursuits in life begin and end in front of a mirror
It had been eight years since she had been confined to the endless greens of the Longbottom Estate, eight years since she had been sentenced to indefinite house arrest and expulsion from the magical world.
Jamie supposed it had been better than the alternatives – Azkaban, or worse, the Kiss. Dumbledore had intervened strangely on her behalf, firmly calling for a punishment that would be better suited to a misguided seventeen year old witch with delusional dreams of becoming a dark lady.
And in reflection, that's all it had been. Fanciful thoughts of grandeur that had filled her mind and turned her to powerful dark magic… curses and charms to assert her power over her housemates, to seek the authority over life itself…
She breathed in sharply, distant sensations of years past filling her mind. No. She didn't miss it. She didn't miss the corrupting influence, the malevolence inherent in each and every spell, the temptation that had led her to a life of evil. It was a mistake of the past. She had been strong, but young… foolish. And now she had no wand, no rights to even wield one. She missed her magic so deeply it hurt.
She turned to her adoptive grandmother, Augusta Longbottom, who stood at the foot of the stairs.
"Finish cleaning the portraits and prepare some tea for guests." She eyed her white summer dress, pausing to straighten the hem of her skirt and dust off a sleeve. Satisfied, she cupped Jamie's cheek and smiled warmly at her. "Pretty as always. Perhaps we'll have some luck this time."
Jamie's face dimmed somewhat, and she turned back to the portrait of Augusta' s maternal grandfather - her favorite - brushing away the dust accumulating on the fading canvas.
When she'd been caught, the story of her attack on Dumbledore had leaked to the public. Her reputation had been utterly ruined, torn apart by editorials decrying her betrayal to her parents, England, and all the people who had died at Voldemort's hand.
The trial had been long and drawn out, marred by charges of special treatment, arguments over whether to try her as an adult or minor, or whether she qualified for the Kiss simply for her joining of Voldemort. Her lack of a Dark Mark helped her immensely, allowing her to avoid much of the formal charges of crimes against Wizardkind.
Her public defender had assured her she had been fortunate, but the real damage had been done. She was universally hated and confined to the residence of a retainer – be it family, or, as the judge had described, amused by the impossibility, any husband that would take over the burden. Worse, she had no hope of ever wielding any magic beyond her feeble wandless spells.
Jamie moved to the kitchen, filling a pot with water and lighting a small fire on the stove to boil it. Nothing was done with magic in the house anymore, not even common household tasks. Her grandmother had done away with her own wand after her first attempt to steal it and escape.
The first two years had been difficult. She had raged and lashed out at everything, killing their new elf and destroying half the living room before a fierce Augusta had stunned her. She'd made countless tries at running away, using brooms, apparition, and even portkeys she'd managed to steal from guests. Nothing worked. She had even ran, simply dashing into the never-ending grassland, only to find herself arriving back at the quaint house she would eventually grow old and waste away in.
Acceptance had settled in after three years of inactivity, of a simple, quiet life she never thought could get used to. Her aging grandmother raised her from sleep at dawn, giving her fresh groceries to make breakfast with, and if she were lucky, perhaps a paper for her to read. The news had grown more and more vague as the years went by, but she could sense the grim cloud of danger hanging over the people and world she remembered from years past.
Lord Voldemort had struck at every corner of society, carving for himself entire regions of the nation where no Ministry official dared to go. Worse, there was news of another dark wizard, a powerful upstart that ruthlessly attacked both sides.
Jamie watched the bubbling water, leaving it boil for a few more seconds before taking it off the stove. She could hear her grandmother moving around furniture in the foyer, groaning slightly as she knelt to clean.
Augusta wouldn't be around forever. Perhaps she would live another ten or so years, but even she would eventually die. Her guardianship would fall to the Ministry, who would undoubtedly put her in prison.
They never spoke of it, but Jamie knew how much her grandmother worried her adopted daughter would face such a hopeless fate. No man would ever take the disgraced girl-who-lived as a wife, to take over the responsibilities of her confinement. It would be a mockery of a married life. All of Augusta's guests seemed to agree, for they never returned.
Her eyes were invariably drawn to the black haired man in the portrait she had last cleaned. The long-dead Potter was her own ancestor as well, depicted as a handsome young man that bore the typical features of her family.
She heard her grandmother welcome in a guest into the house, speaking to him in hushed tones. She stayed out of sight, avoiding the view of whatever possible husband Augusta had turned up. The feeling of disappointment was too much to bear – it was easier to simply ignore it all.
Minutes passed by, and she tended to the tea dutifully, knowing full well manners and decorum could only help her plight.
A powerful explosion suddenly rocked the house, knocking her back into the countertops. Her head hit something hard, and she found herself fighting through a haze. Gripping the edge of the counter, she pulled herself to the feet, recognizing a long shriek of terror that began piercing her slowly recovering ears.
Grabbing a long kitchen knife, she moved cautiously out of the kitchen, the intense battles of her Hogwarts years suddenly returning to her. She peered around the corner to see a grey robed wizard pocketing a long, official looking piece of paper and search the house, stepping over a frightened and heavily bound looking Augusta. The entire side of the house was consumed in debris and a small, raging fire that she supposed was meant to draw her out.
Jamie darted to the dining room, a small space she could try to trap one of the wizards in. The moment she entered the lavishly decorated room, an arm grabbed her from behind. She snapped her elbow back at the man, gratified to hear the grunt of pain. Breaking free, she lunged forward with the knife.
The man slapped the feeble attack away and threw her on the set table, sending her crashing through dozens of precious family china. Without magic she knew she was helpless, but she refused to die willingly. Her cheek stung sharply as a shard cut through the skin, bringing a measure of fury running through her veins.
She threw the broken pieces at the man's face and darted past him, hoping to overwhelm the second wizard before he joined the first. A binding hex hit her from the side as the other wizard stepped from the kitchen.
Jamie watched her captors fearfully, wondering if this was the Ministry coming to take her away, or Lord Voldemort deciding he had to finally tend to the issue of the prophecy. It wasn't inconceivable that he had finally learned the full message.
Instead of killing her or apparating her away, however, they set her on her feet and pushed her out the front door and down the porch stairs. The second wizard promptly sealed the house shut and set the rest of her home on fire.
Some distance away from the field stood a young man not older than twenty-five, roughly similar in appearance to the portrait from before. Her heart seemed to seize at the sight of her other.
He had consumed her thoughts for what seemed like an eternity, a specter of hope, of hatred, of frustration and other feelings she couldn't bear to think of. Her scar had been maddeningly silent since their last meeting, not a single twinge to reflect his survival or wellbeing. It had taken her years for her to stop seeing him everywhere, for her to no longer wake up slick with sweat and need, to cease looking desperately into every mirror of the house until Augusta had proceeded to shatter every single one…
He stood infuriatingly still, emerald eyes watching her slowly advance. The taint of dark magic filled the air around him, staining him, the thrum of its power exuding from his very gaze. She couldn't help it, couldn't stop her unconscious movement toward him. She didn't even notice her bonds falling away as she reluctantly closed the gap between them, hating herself for it.
"Come to gloat, Harry?" His mere name made her scar tingle, and suddenly, as if a great barrier had broken, she felt his presence once more, his being only a mere thought away, just at the edge of her conscious mind. "Have you come to enjoy your victory?"
Harry didn't respond. She knew he enjoyed this, felt the cruel fulfillment, the utter pleasure of seeing her stripped of everything she held dear, above all, her magic – the very defining character of her existence. Eight years of her life. He had taken it all.
Jamie found herself mere inches away from him, finally in reach, and in that moment she wanted nothing more to move just another step closer…
She couldn't help the way she moved close against him, the way she lifted herself onto her toes and tilted her head up, asking for, begging for him. She couldn't help the guilty pleasure that mixed with the shame of it all, the giddy excitement of his indulgence that had her clinging urgently to his chest, couldn't help the soft sigh of disappointment when he finally pulled away.
She dropped her head, feeling utterly used and pathetic, head filled with warring emotions of loathing and contentment.
He put one thumb on her scar, tracing it lightly as she closed her eyes in gratification, lost in the thick haze of his being. His other thumb traced her cheekbone, running it over the cut the grey robed wizards had caused. There was only a brief flash of something unpleasant before he raised his wand. Jamie barely felt the sickly, revolting energy of the Killing Curse leave the wand twice in rapid succession, scarcely heard the cries of betrayal before they were cut short.
Harry put his finger under her chin and lifted her head to look her in the eyes, his words predatory - simple and curt. "I told you I'd return for what was mine."
The words reverberated in her, and Jamie knew she should have felt protest at this wicked image of herself laying claim to her being. Instead she basked in the slight daze of his ministrations. She idly followed his finger down to his arm, where the sleeve of his robe had fallen down to expose smooth, unmarked skin where the Dark Mark should have been. The servant had become the master.
Her other withdrew his touch abruptly, reaching into his robes and produced a familiar Holly and phoenix feathered wand, an identical one to her own. On the hilt was carved H.J.P., their initials. He pressed it into her hand.
She took it with wonder, a true smile washing away the rest of her ill will as a ribbon of magic curled around her arm, tiny motes of light filling the air around them. She laughed happily, swishing his wand with pure joy. Behind her, the house burned and crumbled, the screams of a burning grandmother long forgotten.
Jamie finally returned her attention to Harry, looking up at her quiet other with confusion. "My wand was broken. This is yours, isn't it? What will you use?"
Harry produced a bone white, yew wand, slighter longer than his own. He pressed the tip along her cheek, the cut healing instantly. He took her hand, his warm fingers interlocking with her own, and Jamie felt him prepare for apparition.
She suddenly understood. Her role had not yet been fulfilled.
With a crack, they disappeared, Equal and Opposite once more.