'HP: Dolen Amser'
- Temporary Truce -
A/N: Don't own squat, save the plot.
Yes, Yes. I know. The other two were supposed to come first. I can't control these damned muses. Sorry.
Breakfast, the 'mostimportantmealoftheday' as Dora once called it in a panic, had Jim eye-balling a certain pair of gingers. One nodded, before going back to his meal. The other had an odd glint in his eye, smirking, before he nodded as well. Dora noted both expressions with a bit of a snort. Charlie wasn't looking at anyone as he ate, scowling at his food.
Letting the team go on to the common room without them, Jim and Dora walked up to the motley and quite shocked set of twins. "Why don't we go some place a bit more private for this conversation, eh?" Jim said.
Entering one of the unused classrooms, Jim waited till everyone was inside before locking the door and setting up temporary privacy wards. "Now, gentlemen. What would you two like to talk about?" This of course, started a bouncing line of questions between the pair.
"Why are you hiding who you are?"
"Is it weird dating your own cousin?"
"I thought Charlie was good on a broom, but you're bloody fantastic."
"Where did you learn how to fly like that, anyway?"
Blinking owlishly, Jim realized that they hadn't asked if he was really Harry Potter. Confused, he shared a look with Dora, then held his left hand out to the duo. "Map," he demanded.
"What map -"
"- would that be?" they asked with overinflated expressions of innocence.
"The map my father helped create," Jim stated flatly, irritated. "Now give."
The one on the left handed him the parchment with wide eyes, while the one on the right just stood there with his mouth hanging open. Pulling his wand, he rested the tip on the parchment. "I solemnly swear that I'm up to no good."
As the map activated, Dora looked over his shoulder with raised eyebrows. "Nice bit of charm work, that," she commented.
"Without mum, this would've been a mutilated scrap of parchment," Jim said with a bit of a frown. Sirius had let on that bit of info the Christmas before he died. While the twins stared at him with a hint of awe, Jim flicked and jabbed with his wand to get to the location where they were sitting.
"Huh," Jim breathed out when he saw the room. Two dots said Fred Weasley and George Weasley, which meant Fred was the one that handed the map over. Half of the other pair was what confused him though, because sitting next to Nymphadora Tonks was "James Black".
"Well, I'm confused," Jim said under his breath. "But this is never wrong, because it's tied directly into the wards of the castle. So, how the hell?" Ignoring the twins, he put the tip of his wand on the map again. "Good morning, gentlemen."
The map cleared, much to the surprise of the twins, and started conversing.
'Ooh, looks like we have a new user!'
'How very interesting, and it's not the twins.'
'Yes, yes. But that's not the important question.'
'Indeed. Who the hell are you, mate?'
Chuckling at four different personalities, Jim shook his head. 'I'll answer that if the quiet one speaks up.'
'Oh my,' a flowery script appeared. 'Someone has done their homework. Very, very good. Now, young man, who are you?'
"Since there are two sets of ears that shouldn't hear that answer, I will state that I am the son of Flicker, and am Padfoot's godson." There was a bit of commotion at that statement, as the twins started babbling their unworthiness, and a plethora of different handwriting came up on the map.
'YES! I told you! Didn't I tell you?'
'Yes, Prongs, you did. Now calm down before you set the place on fire.'
'Might I just say that I'm rather pleased to meet my godson?'
'What I want to know, is why I wasn't picked?'
'Why the hell would he pick the wallflower, Moony, when the boisterous and much prettier Padfoot is the most obvious choice?'
'QUIET, all of you,' the flowery prose dominated the map. 'Son, I know there is more to this story, but understand that you are unable to speak about this at the moment. However, I must ask a very important question: Are you happy?'
Blinking through some sudden tears, Jim felt Dora squeezing his shoulders as he nodded. "Yeah, mum. Miss you terribly, but I am. I'm tentatively engaged."
Fred and George's eyes widened at that. "We had no idea -"
"- absolutely no idea."
"Sorry about the pitch."
"Yeah, that was all crosstalk, honestly."
'Engaged?' Flicker's handwriting was rather large at this point. 'To little Nymmie?' That caused Dora to flush spectacularly.
'Not impossible,' Padfoot's scrawl stated. 'Far enough removed to be considered safe.'
'Why do you miss Flicker terribly?' Prongs' neat script asked. The question was almost unreadable, it was so small.
Jim's voice broke a bit when he answered. "You and she aren't around any more."
'WHAT HAPPENED?' Padfoot's gigantic scrawl filled up the parchment.
Looking up at the twins, Jim was fidgeting. "Would the two of you mind if I have a private conversation? I'll just sit there in the corner with a muffling charm."
"Yeah, mate," Fred said with a sad look.
George nodded. "Go on."
The three watched Jim sit in the corner and flick the muffle charm around him, when the twins started in on Dora.
"If you want,-"
"-we can tell Charlie."
"He won't stop, otherwise."
"The stubborn prat," they stated together.
Grinning, Dora nodded. "Forgiven. And yeah, would you? I am so far beyond tired of his antics, that I'm going to use the castration curse on him if he keeps it up."
Both boys immediately crossed their legs and covered their crotches with both hands, wide eyed.
"There's a spell-" Fred squeaked.
"-that can do that?" George squeaked just as loudly.
Nodding with a somewhat malicious grin, Dora crossed her arms. "I'll use it on both of you if you tell anyone, and I mean ANYONE what Jim's last name really is. There are people who want him dead. Get me?" The rapid nods of the two second years made her feel better. "Write your mum about Charlie, please?" she asked a bit quieter. The two grins caused her to relax completely. "Thanks, boys."
Under the muffle spell, Wormtail was completely appalled at what he heard and went quiet. The others were just as surprised. However, none of them had any idea why the wards listed him as James Black. That was a mystery that would have to remain unsolved for now.
Jim and Dora were pulled out of their thoughts as Molly Weasley's voice split the air in the Great Hall. Looking up and over, they saw a pale faced Charlie with a floating red envelope shaped like a mouth right in front of him.
"CHARLES REGINALD WEASLEY! I am DISGUSTED with you! Your father and I have taught you TIME and AGAIN to RESPECT young ladies. The fact that you are ignoring that and are antagonizing Miss Tonks and Mr. Blake whenever you see them has me thinking you need ANOTHER ETIQUETTE LESSON WITH AUNT MURIEL!
"Fred, George, thank you for bringing this to our attention, boys. Percival, you should have said something sooner. It's things like this that make or break a reputation, you know.
"IF I HEAR ANY MORE OF THIS NONSENSE, I AM GOING TO DRAG YOUR CARCASS HOME AND TEACH YOU JUST WHY THE PREWITT FAMILY WAS FEARED IN THE LAST WAR! DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME, YOUNG MAN?"
The howler exploded into confetti at that point, and Charlie stood up a bit shaky. His mother's shouts were one thing, but the threat of Aunt Muriel shook him to the core. The hall was quietly attentive as he walked over to Jim and Dora. "You have my sincerest apologies, Miss Tonks, Mr. Blake. Please forgive me for my unseemly behaviour. Good match, yesterday. I haven't had decent competition in all the time I've attended Hogwarts as the Gryffindor Seeker. Good day to you both," he said with a slight bow.
Dora nodded, satisfied, with Jim only doing so after she did. They watched Charlie's walk of shame out of the hall, noting some snickers from Slytherin table. Their fellow Puffs all looked at them with satisfied smiles on their faces.
"Damn, that woman can yell," Tony commented.
Hestia nodded in agreement. "Would truly hate to have something like that happen to me. Good Lord."
It was at that point that Dora noticed Hestia sitting with Tony. Looking back and forth between them with her eyes, she simply raised her eyebrow at Hestia, who lightly blushed and nodded, making her grin. Turning, she poked Jim in the ribs. "C'mon, you. Potions in twenty."
"Joy," Jim deadpanned. "Dunno what happened, but that man needs to get laid or something." Snickers from the table came from that, while a few looked disgusted.
"Too right, but please don't mention that again," Dora stated with a shudder. "Eugh."
Dora stood next to the door to the potions room, hiding the fact she had her wand in hand by holding her book-bag to her chest. Jim wanted to get to the bottom of things, so after class was over, he nodded to her and waited till the others left the classroom.
Professor Snape scowled at him when he came to stand in front of his desk. "Yes, what is it?" he asked rather petulantly.
"That right there is the reason for my inquiry, sir," Jim stated quietly. "Can you inform me as to what it was that I have done? It has become rather obvious that you are quite put out with me at the moment for some reason, so I humbly request to understand. I am unsure as to what happened, so am unable to proceed and seek your advice."
The formal words that could've come from one of his own snakes stilled the Potions Master's impulse to take points. Breathing a huge inhale through his nose, he slightly tilted his head. "Name your father," he demanded quietly.
Confusion went over Jim's face. "Raphael Blake. Sir, what is this about?"
Brow up, Snape countered with another question. "Your grandfather?"
Jim's face went blank and guarded. "Reason?" he asked in a flat voice.
Understanding his reticence, Snape nodded. "I will not reveal what you say," he said quietly.
Jim stared him in the eye and noticed that there wasn't any sort of mental probe. Finally, he whispered, "Marius, but I shall not state his last name, sir."
Closing his eyes, Snape lowered his head slightly. "Of course," he said under his breath. Looking back up, he actually looked contrite. "You have my sincerest apologies, Mr. Blake. I had wrongly assumed that you were the son of one of my worst rivals throughout my time here as a student."
Jim's left brow went up, surprised. "Sir? Assuming you're the same age, how old would a child of yours be right now, if you had or have one that is?" Seeing the look of understanding go over the Professor's face, along with an expression that clearly said that he was mentally kicking himself, Jim nodded. "Nine or ten at the most, yes? That must've been one hell of a rivalry, sir, to make you forget basic arithmetic."
Nodding, Snape looked away. "I hated Sirius Black with every fibre of my being. So, yes, you could say my logic went elsewhere."
"Are we good, sir?" Jim asked quietly.
Snape nodded. "Yes, Mr. Blake. I will not betray your confidence, either."
"Thank you, sir," Jim nodded, before turning to leave the room.
Snape called out after them before they went through the door. "You both have an O for the day, and twenty points to Hufflepuff for a well reasoned argument." The corner of his mouth went up slightly at their looks of surprise. After the door closed, he pulled out some parchment and wrote a very brief letter. Folding it, he addressed the envelope and made his way to the owlery.
The letter was thus:
Lord Arcturus Black
Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black
It would be advisable to check your family tapestry at your earliest convenience.
Potions Master First Class
Head of Slytherin
Severus wouldn't break the young man's confidence, but there were ways around such things. No, he did not make a vow, but it was the principle of the thing. Besides, his godson was a complete self important ponce like his father, not that he would ever say such a thing of course. Appearances must be observed, damn it all. Hopefully, this would earn a favour from the House of Black before this was all over. The fact that he actually liked the respectful lad didn't factor much into it… much.
Jim let one eye slide open as someone entered his dorm room. As per the usual norm of his life lately, he spied the girl that quite literally meant everything to him saunter over in the candlelight with a smirk on her face. She made to remove her robe when he held up a finger. "Ah! Did you finish your Runes homework?"
Dora huffed. "Yes."
"Oh, for Heaven's Sake, Harry," Dora hissed with both hands jerking out to the sides.
"Just checking," he smirked. "Mind the name."
She actually blushed. "Oh, right. Sorry," she mumbled before turning up her pitiful voice. "Can I come to bed now, pleeeeease?" He answered by flipping the covers open with a smile. Mad grin on her face, she whipped her robe off and slid next to him. Inhaling the scent of his hair, she sighed. "Nox. Sweet Merlin, I love you."
"I love you too, Dora," Jim was able to get out just before his lips became pleasantly occupied.
Arcturus laid the very brief and to the point note on the side table. His duel with Abraxus last week wasn't as successful as he had hoped. It would seem that even though he wiped the grounds with the man's entrails, that the blond ponce would have the last laugh. It was a slow acting curse that he had yet to discover a counter for, and it was intended to extract the most amount of pain and suffering before the end.
In short, his magical core was being forcibly compressed and would fatally shatter if nothing was done. Sure, there were a few rituals that could stave it off for a few months, but did he want to? His house was in complete disarray, with most dead or in Azkaban. The ones who weren't were either married to one of the bastards of that Son of a Muggle that caused all this, or who had divorced herself from anyone and everyone. The last was happily married. That one would have been a possibility. However, as with the other two, she was female and the Black Line was Patriarchal. It didn't help that she had a daughter and didn't seem to be wanting more children.
At the top of his Dragon Dung List was one Chief Warlock, who was still blocking any and all requests – legal and not – to get the one decent Male Black out of Azkaban to succeed him. It was beyond frustrating.
This letter though was interesting. Rather than walk three flights down, he called his elf to pop him into the main family room. Once there and seated, the elf floated the tapestry over to him. Initially he was going to scroll through it himself, but paused to look at his wand. That might not be such a good idea at the moment. "Marta, please scroll to the present."
"Yes, Lord Black, sir," the elf said with a curtsey and a snap of her fingers.
When the tapestry rolled to the relative end, he spied several names. Unlike the one at the Dowager House, this one was relevant and fully updated as per the family magic. It was definitely cleaner, with not as many names blasted off as his insane niece would have liked. His brow went up when he spied a name he hadn't seen before, lined in gold thread.
His mouth opened and closed a few times, then he tilted his head. "Very interesting indeed," he whispered. "Thank you, Potions Master Snape." For the first time in years, the old man let an honest smile creep along his face. "And thank you as well, Marta. Please pop me back to my bedroom. I'll take supper there."
The worried elf nodded. "Yes, Lord Black, sir."