Disclaimer: Not mine.
In my story, Honoria is Percival's sister, although cannon only says she was Albus' Aunt and it is unsure as to which parents family she belonged. However, unlike cannon she is not a spinster. Also, I have taken Harry's comment that Kendra's picture looked like a Native American and used that as her background, it is but a small piece of the story but keeps cannon.
Kendra's First Secret
He had first seen her at the market in the middle of April of 1865, April 18th to be exact. He would always remember the way she had hastily folded the paper with the picture of her dead president's face turned down as she stood to wait on him. She pushed the paper further to the side, as if not wanting him to know that this was where she came from and that the news meant more than he would understand. Perhaps she was right; he would think many years later that he would never understand her. The freedom for which she searched was a far more personal thing than he could have understood at that time or ever.
She was tending a stall that sold simple cures that most cunning women sold, stomach and headache remedies, incense that should be burnt during childbirth to lessen the pain and salves to keep hands from chafing in the winter storms. He had bought a pot of salve, unable to ignore her uplifted brow and unspoken question as she had looked at his un-callused palms.
"You think I have made a bad choice?" he questioned, dropping his coin into her hand.
"You have hands of a scholar," she had muttered in her strange flat accent. "It is a waste of your money to purchase a guard against hard work in bad weather when you do none. Perhaps you have the vanity of a woman?"
He had paused, with his hand outstretched, ready to berate her for the way she addressed him until he had looked up and seen a hidden laughter in her eyes. "Perhaps I vainly wanted to meet the woman that sells it."
Dropping her gaze back to her table of wares she had shook her head and turned away from him, leaving him standing, ignored and forgotten, as she busied herself and waited for her next customer.
He watched her the rest of the day, glancing back at the stall, seeing her smile and laugh as she sold her goods and called out to passersby, hawking her potions. He found himself mesmerised by her carriage and the way she would lower down, keeping her back straight, never bending her waist as she fell into a perfect position to pick up more stock from the ground, her skirt pooling around her feet, and lift it effortlessly to the table.
As the clock in the tower moved towards noon, the vendors began to pack up and head home. Walking slowly back to the beginning of the lane he was disappointed to find her stall already emptied and her gone. Quickly hurrying to the butcher, he picked up the joint he had originally came for and stopped at the green grocer for what else was on the list.
"How did it go?" His mother pulled out the small brown vegetable with a look of disgust. "I told you to get the potatoes from Flannery. He has the new spring crop sent in from Germany, these are from last year."
"They are fine," he sighed, not interested in her meal planning. "I have things to do. I told Graham I would help him with his studies this evening."
"Will you be taking Sunday dinner there as well?" He mother stopped what she was doing to watch him closely.
"As always," he sighed. "No, I have not spoken for her if that is what you are asking."
"It would be a good match. The sister of a good friend and the oldest daughter of a good pureblood family would make for strong ties. You could do worse and I could finally see grandchildren."
"Perhaps when I finish my studies."
"By which time she will be taken. She does not get any younger. Seventeen already and her mother is looking at suitors."
Percival clenched his jaw and went up to his room, not wanting to have this conversation with his mother yet again. Every Friday she would revisit her need to have grandchildren and every Saturday she would walk the market talking to any woman with a girl of marriageable age trying to arrange an invitation to dinner for him. He wondered for a fleeting moment if his mother could see the beauty of she that worked in the market stall, or if it was only the family's bloodline she saw.
Over the next few weeks, he lost track of the woman at the market. One day she was not there and over time, he had stopped looking for her, forgetting that once he would walk to the market in hopes that he would see her.
His studies ended and it was time that he toured Europe, as was done by all the gentle people of the time. He visited the museums and great landscapes that he had known only from books before he settled down to his life' work. Alone by choice, much to the consternation of his father and smouldering anger of his mother, he spent his days in his small study selling his translations and handwritten tomes.
There was much to be made by translating the ancient texts to modern languages and as students became lazier in learning foreign tongues he found more and more demands put upon him. Although his coffers grew, he was often lonely and alone. Time passed, until one day he was surprised to find his youngest sister, only a child when he had started his career, was now a married woman with children of her own while he still laboured on the top floor of his boyhood home.
As dutiful as an uncle, as he had been a son, he found himself once again walking to the market, a small hand tucked in his, a list of what was needed for the day's meals crammed in his pocket. Not able to find a child's stomach remedy that his sister had scribbled on his list, he stopped at a vendor table and asked for directions, only to be waved to an almost empty stall tended by an old woman.
"My granddaughter is gone. I now only sell herbs and such, no tonics," the woman whispered, glancing over his shoulder to make sure they were not overheard.
"Perhaps she will find the time to brew. I will pay extra to have it delivered," he said, handing her a name card. "My sister's youngest is in distress."
"I am sorry sir." She pushed the card back at him. "I have lost her."
"Lost you say," he stammered, grabbing up the card and hastily sliding it back in his pocket. "I…I am sorry for your loss."
"You do not know?" The old woman's eyes filled with unshed tears. "Have her at the Bailey they do. Say she did awful things, things she would never do."
"I am sorry," he muttered, holding his nephew's hand tightly, wanting to leave. "I am sure her solicitor will take care of her."
"He can't make sense of it. Not many there are that can. She brews the old way, her receipts in the old tongue."
Percival studied the woman's face as he listened to what she said. "Who speaks for her?"
"One I don't know and does not know her, a Faris Spavin he is. Not known around here. He sent me a letter, he did, a nice letter but no return. I don't know how to contact him and he is not known at the post."
"Faris Spavin?" His eyes locked on hers unable to tell if she knew who this man was or if she were shielding her granddaughter not knowing who he was. "This granddaughter of yours, she is a …cunning woman? Nothing more?"
"She knows the tonics but never would she do what they accuse her of."
"And? What is her crime?"
"They say she caused Mrs. Rodham to lose her child. That she did it on purpose, but she never would…never would she do such a thing."
"I know this…Mr. Spavin, would it help if I were to speak to him?"
"Kind sir," she cried, her eyes finally spilling her tears. "I will find her receipt for what you ask. Perhaps a smart man such as your self could find the ingredients and have another make it for your kind sister."
"Fine, fine. Send it to me. Your Granddaughter… her name?"
"Kendra she is called, Kendra Whetstones. A good girl she is."
He again handed her the card, and turning smartly on his heel as he took his nephew home and began packing at once for a trip to London.
"Why are you getting involved?" His mother demanded.
"She must be a witch, and as such needs to be protected," he muttered angrily. "Why didn't we know of her? If she lives right here we should have been aware if she is a witch."
"Mr. Spavin will…"
"Faris will be there only to insure the Secrecy Act is enforced. He has no more intention of looking into the matter than that. Bloody hell, he would have her condemned if he thought it would protect him and his salary."
"And you? Why you? "
Percival had to stop and clear his mind before answering, not sure himself why he was doing what he was. "It is the right thing to do." Was the only response he could give as he picked up his bag and stalked out of the door.
He could not make contact with Faris, even at the Ministry he was a hard man to see. Percival made an appointment for the following day only to wakeup to two owls tapping on his sill. The first post was from his mother, who had already received the book of cures from Kendra's grandmother. She had ripped out the page for the potion that had been brewed for the pregnant woman and put hasty notes on the side. The second post was from Faris, saying simply that he was satisfied the witch would not give up her secrets.
He pulled his wand and reduced Faris' response to ash, furious that the Ministry of Magic would not extend a hand of welcome to an unknown witch. She could not have been raised locally he knew and he wondered why she had never made herself known to the magical community once she had come her to live with her grandmother. Dressing with care he prepared to set out for the court, wanting to get there early enough to ensure a seat in the public section. He flagged down a carriage and gave his destination, not surprised at the look of disgust on the diver's face.
Entering the back of the courtroom, he found Kendra already standing at the bar and the King's solicitor questioning her. Finding a seat, he craned his neck to look over the spectators and caught his breath when he recognised the girl…now woman, in front of him. She was the one, he remembered, the one that he had watched years previously. Now, she looked dishevelled and ill kempt, not the neat and near regal woman he remembered her to be. Her high cheekbones set off dark circles under her eyes, making them darker and larger. Her normally bronzed skin tone was pasty and blotched and her fingernails caked with dirt and grim. Yet, she stood proudly, every hair in place, her hands lightly resting on the railing in front of her.
"How did you come by treating Mrs. Rodham?"
"I go to tend, as is my custom as midwife, once I am collected when needed. However, this time I received a notice from her husband that he wished me to tend her and paid the way myself."
"And what condition did you find her in?"
"The babe turned, sideways he was. Not strong, a weak fluttering is all. I could not find his heart. Weak…weak he was."
"So, there was movement in the womb?"
"Is that when you decided to kill the unborn?"
She looked at him coldly, knowing the question was but a trap. If she answered even with a no, she was admitting that she had planned to kill the child, only not until later. Her eyes flickered up to the bench where the Judge sat, uncertainty and confusion plainly on her face. Percival saw her hand move ever so quickly as her fingers curled inward, forming a fist, before opening into a more submissive pose. He studied her posture, closed his eyes, feeling magic radiate off her, and let out a breath of relief as he felt her calmness fighting for control over her anger.
He found himself enthralled by the quick banter and ease with which she answered, only to fall silent and make no attempt to talk when another trap was set. He frowned, fingering the receipt in his pocket, knowing there was not way he could get it into evidence, not now, not once the trial had started and it was obvious that her solicitor had no interest in her, only seeming to agree with the court that she was guilty.
"How many good women have you treated?"
"Treated? I treat none."
"No? Yet you attend them."
"Yes sir, and prepare the tonic as is needed. The Physician treats the mothers. I may only attend to their needs that he has laid out."
"I see, and how did you attend to a mother's need in a case such as this?"
"If a babe be weak, the mother needs to stimulate her appetite. That, or a tonic to give the babe what it needs but is lacking may be given. The Physician must decide what it is for me to make the tonic."
"How do you know what to put in your tonic?"
"There was no tonic needed by the babe. Mrs. Rodham still insisted on wearing bone stays to force her figure to what she wanted, not to what the babe…"
"Answer the question."
"She was a vain woman that…"
"Answer the question…what did the babe need that you could put in a tonic? What was in the medicine?"
Kendra raised her head, the muscles in her throat becoming taunt and hard. "He needed breath."
"And your…tonic…it was to give him breath?"
"No, it was to cause the mother discomfort in the wearing of her corset. Once she realized what it did she took no more."
"How was this to …"
"Councillor, I think we have heard enough. She fully admits to brewing the concoction. She took it on herself to determine what to brew and it was not for the child but in her own opinion of how to punish the mother. In doing so, it is obvious from Dr. Watkins comments that the child was aborted. Do you have anything to say in your own defence Miss Whetstones?"
The judge raised a small wooden hammer and brought it down, a sharp retort signalling the end of the trial. "I deem you guilty as charged. You will be branded and fined one hundred pounds, payable before your release. If you are unable to pay this amount, you are to be remanded to the women's prison to await transportation. Have you any questions."
"Further, you are hereby refused the right to practice the profession as midwife or to keep company with those that do. Your licence to dispense tonics will also be under review. You will be notified by the magistrate of your new district if he deems fit to renew it. "
Kendra turned her back on the court, waiting of the small half gate to open, and then followed the beefy guard out. Percival flinched at the sound of a chain suspended between manacles, hindering her steps. Rising slowly, he left the courtroom and walked out into the sun feeing he had done his duty in witnessing her tribulation.
The next morning he packed his small case with the intention of going home, only at the last moment sighing deeply and heading back to the Bailey. Not surprised that her punishment had been meted out and she released from the Bailey to a prison guard. With a deep sigh, knowing he would hear his mother's wrath, he inquired as to her whereabouts.
"Signing her papers," the bailiff shrugged. "Be keeping her here until her fine gets paid. That or send her out for transportation."
"Transportation? I am sorry, I…"
"There are places she is needed. Crown gets rid of her and she goes where…"
"It will be paid," he said tersely, understanding that the crown still sent convicts to far off colonies and an unsheltered witch on a transport ship would not stand much of a chance of arriving at her destination. "Direct me to the clerk's office."
He stood in the back of the room watching as she signed her papers, holding the quill carefully in her hand and grimacing with each letter she wrote. He waited as she proceeded down a long table, stopping periodically to initial a document or again sign her name. Pushing away from the wall, he strode to the door, intending to meet her as she left the room where a guard waited to take her to prison.
"Hey, you…" one of the guards called to her, a smirk on his face. "Only one way a tart like you will see a hundred pound note. You want me to bring a few friends? Be out in no time if you can be friendly."
Percival saw her chin lift, her eyes grow cold and her head turn slowly to the offending laughter that was filling the room. He perceived, rather then saw, a slight raise of her hand, a mere rotation of her wrist as the chair holding up the loud mouth oaf crashed to the floor and she spun on her heel and stood glaring at her escort. Percival slipped the guard a quid and hastily whispered what he wanted. Catching up Kendra's elbow, he pulled her to the side as the guard stepped back to give them privacy.
"Not a wise display of power in such a place." He scowled her as if she were an errant child. "Come with me. I will pay your fine and I have a carriage waiting."
She pulled back and looked at him appraisingly, as if sorting through her many offers and comparing his against the others. "Your name sir?"
"Percival, Percival Dumbledore. I am here at the bequest of your grandmother," he said with a hint of amusement. "Does it really matter?"
"My grandmother would never ask for you to come this far for me nor would she ever beg of money. Tell me your business."
He grabbed her right hand and turned it over, exposing the brand that she had received only an hour before. Locking his eyes on hers, he passed his wand over her open palm, muttering a quiet incantation that took away the pain and healed skin at once.
"The scar should remain. It is something they may check later."
"I have been told there are others like me," she whispered. "A man came before the trial. He said to keep my silence and he would not press more charges when I was done here. I believed him. I believed him when he said things would work out."
"How could you not know of us?" He studied her face closely.
She yanked her hand away from him and tried to walk away as he held her upper arm in a vice like grip, leading her to the cashier's desk and paid her fine, then took her out of the building and to the queue of carriages. Shoving her into the one he had rented he gave the driver orders to the train station and climbed in with her, setting a silencing spell as he sat.
"I cannot pay you," she choked out, keeping her gaze from his face. "I have only one book I can sell."
"We will speak of that later," he sighed, leaning back in the carriage and studying her face. "Are you trained?"
"School…did you attend school."
"I can read and know my numbers," she said flatly.
"Have you heard of Hogwarts? Durmstrang? Perhaps you went…"
"I learned all I need from my mother and before her my father."
"Yet you live with your grandmother."
"Now," she said quietly as she dared glance at his face. "I lived in America until they died."
"I see," he muttered. "Your father was English?"
"Was he like you? Able to do things others could not? Magical…wonderful things."
"My mother said he could." She looked up at him seductively, a smile playing on her face.
Percival sat up straighter, tugging the suddenly too tight collar away from his throat. "Your mother?'
"I… I am not familiar with…"
"What are you after? I am not a horse you are buying or a blanket being inspected."
"Did you mother…was she able to…" he stopped seeing her raise her eyebrow and begin to smile. "Merlin, I am trying to help you here."
"I know and I do appreciate your efforts. You do however, put me in a position of debt. A debt I am afraid I cannot pay." Her smile slipped as she looked out the carriage window, unable to look at him. Turning her hand over, she stared at the brand and touched it with the finger of her opposite hand. "A strange custom this."
"The brand used to be placed on the face, or a hand taken off," Percival said flatly. "This is much more humane. By their standards at least."
"In my father's world the punishment would have been to lock me up for a set time."
"In your mother's"
"In my mother's?" She laughed and leaned back, at last relaxing into the seat. "Mrs. Rodham would have been the one locked up. Once the babe was born it would have been taken from her, and she exiled. Things like this did not happen in my mother's world. Her's are not a people of vanity."
"Not once did you say you were innocent of harming the child." He leaned forward and studied her.
"Women are guilty at birth, are they not? A man accuses, a woman pays." She turned and again set her eyes to watch the streets outside the carriage. "I am tired, tired of finding my place. Even here blood is measured by wealth and honour put in things beyond one's control."
"The blood, yes. Not the honour," he said. "However, there are other ways of measuring worth. If you give me your trust, and your promise of secrecy I can show you a world hidden from others. A world you belong in."
She turned back to him, watching him closely as the carriage lurched to a stop and the driver called out to them that they were at their destination. Percival purchased a private compartment for the train ride north, settling in next to the window, he looked at her questionably when she stood , not sitting.
"I will ask for a separate compartment or I will sit in the coach," she muttered, ill at ease and suspicious.
"You will sit in here with my assurance that I have no designs on you. I am sure you can defend yourself from the little display I say at the Bailey."
She reddened and sat stiffly by the door, as far from him a possible.
"Kendra, I mean you no harm," he said gently. "If I wanted more from you I would have taken my pleasure in the carriage and not spent a hundred pounds plus the cost of the train."
She smiled at him, feeling foolish and childish. Standing, she looked in an overhead cupboard and pulled down a blanket and a pillow. Stretching out on the bench seat opposite him, refusing his offer to pull down a berth, she was asleep within moments.
Percival sat watching her sleep. Wondering how long it had been since she had gotten a full nights rest. He noticed how the cuff of her sleeve did not hug her skin, and saw the loose fitting collar that rode down on her throat. He felt foolish for not having thought to feed her before heading to the train or for a packing lunch. He stood and brushed off his trousers, locking the compartment door behind him he set off looking for the food cart.
She slept until it was almost dark, then sat up smoothing her skirt and accepted the sandwich and cup of tea he offered her. She ate slowly, feeling her stomach clench with each swallow. Admitting to him, she had gone without food for the last three days, her merge funds having run out. Passing her hand over the tea, she warmed it and drank it down watching Percival over the rim of the cup. Setting down the empty vessel, she glanced outside.
"We will be there shortly," she sighed. "I will embarrass you with my filth."
"I am taking you to my sister's house. You can stay there until you find accommodations. Once there, I am sure she will have clean clothing and a bath you may use."
She nodded and leaned her head back against the high back, not questioning his statement.
"I can find work with a chemist. I know the proper preparation and storage. Perhaps I can…"
"You are banned from…"
"From brewing and selling, not from preparing ingredients."
"There she is," Percival leaned forward and pointed to a young woman who stood apart from the crowd on the platform. "Honoria, my sister. She has two children and a husband that travels. She can use help with the house."
"So, I am to be a maid," Kendra said flatly.
"Until you can find…" He raked his hand though his hair and pulled back from the window. "Are you too good for honest work?"
"No, are you still to vain for it?" She smiled at him, referring to their first meeting years previously.
"I was not sure you would remember such a brief meeting," he chuckled.
"It is not your face but you hands that I remember." She leaned forward and took both of his in hers. "Strong they are. Lines of strength and loyalty. Lines of protection and resolve. Good hands, hands of a scholar, a father, a good and gentle man."
"Nonsense." He stood, yanking his hands from hers and pulling his bag down. "Reading palms and divination, stuff and foolishness."
She followed him to the platform, turning up her palm as she did. Glancing at the lines that criss-crossed the same as she had seen in his she frowned. On her hand a small nick of a line, a mere crease at the base of her index finger was the line of her husband. She had seen Percival's hand, his lifeline was abruptly cut, slashing from his thumb to stop at the base of his finger, the place where her own began.
She wiped her sleeve over her eyes, wondering if she would ever find happiness in this life and wondered how long she would have with the powerful wizard that did not know that their lives together had just begun.