Jamie Evans and The Lonely Queen
Disclaimer: I own what I own, and that doesn't include Harry Potter.
Chapter the First
Getting Back to Work
Lucius informs me by way of Andromeda (Do you really think Lucius would lower himself to speaking with a bastard halfblood like me?) that it was Francis Ogden attempting to have me "hired" into the Wizengamot.
Francis was one of Dumbledore's most ardent supporters, apparently, and believes I need to take up the old goatfucker's standard. The bastard also believes I should be married into the right sort of family, like the Weasleys or the Prewitts, or maybe even his own family for that matter, rather than the Vile and Evil Blacks. Nevermind the fact that I'm marrying a halfblood rather than a pureblood. Polite bigotry at it's finest.
Either way, I get another knock at the door.
It's Dawlish again.
"Hello, Miss Evans?"
"I've been ordered by the Wizengamot to present you with a summons to stand before it regarding your actions to Mister Arnolds..." he states. I'm sure he's hoping I won't send him to Timbuktu or Sri Lanka or some out of the way location in the Atlantic Ocean.
"Who?" I ask.
"The man you dropped on a desert island for an hour."
"Ah. Him. He should have listened when I told him to fuck off."
"I'm aware of that Miss Evans," replies Dawlish.
I stare at the summons for a minute, then realize that Dawlish is still standing there, sweating.
"I acknowledge I've received the summons," I tell him.
He smiles, and walks out from under my apparition ward while I close the door behind me.
Politics was never my forte. I learned it by necessity. From what I can guess, Ogden wants me at the Wizengamot's beck and call in case I become a dark lord, or some other bullshit. After all, I'm supposedly friends with Lucius Malfoy and I'm marrying into the Blacks. That, and I'm willing to kill people. A true sign of Darkness there.
I drop into a chair and sigh.
"What's wrong, mum?" asks Sally-Anne. There's a warm and fuzzy feeling whenever Sally-Anne calls me that. It's a weird warm and fuzzy feeling, probably some last vestige of "well, I was hoping to be dad," but still a warm and fuzzy feeling.
"The Wizengamot is being stupid," I reply.
"Oh. So what are you going to do?"
"I'm going to have someone dictate a letter," I say, smiling.
Two days later, James Potter addresses the Wizengamot on my behalf, seeing as I had more important things to do. August 31st is the last day of Sally-Anne's freedom from school, and I will make the most of it even if I get to see her nearly every day when she is in school. Also, James didn't speak on my behalf. He opens a howler that speaks a single sentence.
"Which part of 'This body should hope I need not return' did you not comprehend?"
Now... I should add that I had to teach James, Sirius, and Lucius a very specific silencing charm to cast on themselves beforehand. It's eighteen syllables long and requires fourteen wand motions.
According to BBC News this evening, there was a minor earthquake in central London.
Lucius thought it was well worth another donation to St. Mungo's.
"Alright, I'll see you in six hours, kiddo. If anybody bothers you, just tell me and I'll have them in detention until they graduate."
"Mum! That'd be abusing authority!"
"Hey, I've got authority! Of course I'm going to abuse it!"
Sally Anne pouts.
"Fine, I won't abuse my authority to lord it over your enemies," I say. "I'll just have Tonks arrest their parents."
"Hey! Don't drag me into this! I'm still just a cadet! Ask James."
"No!" says Sally-Anne.
I kneel down to her level and hug her.
"I'm very proud of you for not acting like Draco, and letting me do whatever I want to the poor, deluded fools."
She rolls her eyes.
I grin at her.
"Go get on the train and see your friends. I'm sure they're waiting for you. I'll see you tonight at the welcoming feast."
Sally-Anne gives in and hugs me, and hugs Tonks as well, before getting on the train.
"And you want another one of those?" asks Tonks.
"Hey, it'd be nice," I reply. "And at some point."
She shakes her head in exasperation, but we still head back to the house for a little not-so-quiet time.
The Welcoming Feast has more than a few students looking at me with a mixture of curiosity and fear.
I'm glad I asked Minerva to do this as she finishes her announcements.
"And the Forbidden Forest is, as it always is, off limits," she finishes. "I also have a few statements on staffing. First, I would like to congratulate Professor Black on being the first Defense professor to work a second year in nearly three decades."
The students applaud this. Black's well liked, even by the Slytherins. I give him the slow golf-clap of annoyance, but nothing else.
"Second, Professor Evans has a final announcement to make."
I stand up, nodding to Minerva. I've never cared about rumors swirling around me when I was in school, and Sally-Anne shouldn't have to sit through them, either. Instead, I'm going to nip all of them in the bud.
"Your attention, please?" I ask. Contrary to everyone's opinions I can be polite when I find it necessary. I just rarely find it necessary. "There's a number of rumors swirling around about me, and I'd like to dispel them here and now. Sally-Anne Evans is my blood-adopted daughter, she was kidnapped over the summer, and I did rescue her from her captors. If you have any questions about this, you will direct those questions to me. Thank you."
Direct and to the point, without giving any details that will terrify the younger crowd. Also a subtle threat to anyone who does want to bother Sally-Anne.
Severus and Minerva both nod their approval. I'm just glad Minerva let me do it, given the amount of shit I was put through when Dumbledore didn't make those announcements.
I avoid looking at the Gryffindor table the entire time.
Tonks stumbles into our apartment late that night, and nearly jumps out of her skin when she spots me laying on the couch.
"So, no," she says. "Budge over, or I'll sit on you."
I glare at her.
"I'll make it extra bony," she threatens, her butt shrinking as she speaks.
I roll my eyes, before sitting up on the couch and propping my legs on the coffee table. She promptly flops down on the couch, her head in my lap.
"You just wanted to be comfortable," I say, staring down at her.
"Yep. And you can't ignore me this way."
"You're impossible to ignore as it is."
"I know, and it's hard work, too! So really, what's wrong?"
"A Ginerva Weasley starts this year," I grumble.
"Mm-hmm," replies Tonks, knowing that isn't the entire issue.
"A Ginvera Weasley who has just learned her idol, the Boy-Who-Lived isn't really the Boy-Who-Lived, who won't be possessed by Voldemort's Horcrux, and who Harry Potter will not rescue from a Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets."
Tonks "hmms" in response.
"Which doesn't change the fact that she looks a lot like my dead wife," I continue.
"She isn't, though," says Tonks.
"No. She isn't. Just like you aren't the Tonks that married Remus Lupin, and James and Lily Potter weren't killed by Voldemort. It's just one of those things."
Tonks "hmms" again, and curls up against my leg.
It takes a long, hot shower to get the soreness out of my neck from falling asleep on the couch, and two cups of tea to feel as human as I ever do, but I'm ready to face the day. The schedule isn't all that different from last year, so my first class are the 7th years.
"Welcome back to NEWT level transfiguration. I hope you remembered my speech from last year, because I'm not going to repeat it."
Travis Mulholland, Hufflepuff, and all around nice guy, raises his hand.
"Are you going to be running the wandless magic classes this year, like you did last year?"
I blink at that.
"I can. It won't be every day since I'll be abusing a groups of auror in the morning as well."
"Can we join that?" he asks.
"Are you planning on joining the Auror program?"
"Then I'll see if I can clear it with Director Bones, first."
"Now, back on topic. You're going to have your NEWTs this year, so that means I get to cram your heads full of knowledge until it leaks out your ears. Hopefully not literally, because it's gross when it does." I snap my fingers, and parchment appears on their desks. "That's the syllabus if you want to study ahead. We're going to do some quick review to get your brains back into the swing of things. Let's start with giant spiders, eh?"
The first years are the worst and the best.
I pull the same trick on them as I pulled on the previous first years. They're just as impressed, although this time I transfigure my desk into a horse, rather than a rhino.
Still, there's a few outliers. Ginerva Weasley, I realize, is terrified of being in the same room as me. I suspect Molly Weasley has been filling her with ideas about me, since she was another of Dumbledore's most ardent supporters. I'll have to ask Fred and George about it.
Either way, she does everything but run from the room once the bell rings.
As for the good bit, well, that was more after class.
"Professor Evans?" asks Luna Lovegood.
"Yes, Miss Lovegood?"
"I appear to have a rather impressive Felching Vestrumpest infestation, and they also appear to avoid you. I was hoping to ask a few questions, in hopes of clearing them away?"
"Of course, Miss Lovegood," I reply, not batting an eye at this. Felching Vestrumpest? I never did figure out if she was making these things up or not.
"They seem to be under the impression that Headmistress McGongall taught this class."
"She did last year, but that was before Professor Dumbledore died."
Luna nodded, thinking for another moment.
"They're also claiming that Gilderoy Lockhart should be teaching defense, not Sirius Black."
That actually brings me to a halt.
"Where do they think Sirius should be?" I ask.
"Azkaban?" asks Luna, not entirely sure of herself.
"He would be," I begin, "if James and Lily had died instead of Remus."
Luna nods, and then frowns.
"Jessica really was the Girl-Who-Lived, wasn't she?"
"While we're talking about Defense Professors, any idea who will around for next year?"
She thinks for a moment, before shrugging. She glances up at Hedwig, her thoughts percolating for a moment.
"There's something else here, but I can't seem to figure it out."
"Well, there is a secret," I comment.
Luna nods, cocking her head for a moment, staring at Hedwig, before nodding to herself.
"I'm sorry for your loss," she says with a sad smile, before skipping off to her next class.
"I don't think I believed you about how odd a duck she is," comments Hedwig.
"She's got her charm," I reply.
"One of your students is remembering the old timeline, and you just tell him what's going on?" asks Tonks, both confused and mortified. She's pacing in our quarters, her hair colors cycling through emotions at an amusing rate.
"Her, and she mostly figured it out on her own," I reply, reading the Quibbler.
"Why did you think this was a good idea?"
"Because it's Luna Lovegood," I say.
"Luna Lovegood," says Tonks. "And that makes everything better?"
I hold up my copy of the Quibbler higher, and point to Xeno's name as Editor-in-Chief.
Tonks blinks at that.
"Yep. Only daughter."
"Oh." Tonks scratches the back of her neck. "I... guess that's okay?"
"She'll be fine. She's remembering the old timeline as it happens, so there'll be a few incidents where I'll want to help her, anyways."
"When she's guest of the Malfoy's and being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange during her sixth year."
"That's... okay, yeah," says Tonks, deflating. "You haven't mentioned Ginny at all."
"Ginerva Weasley is terrified of us," says Hedwig, while I hide behind the Quibbler.
"Really?" asks Tonks. She sits down next to me, and wraps an arm around my shoulder. "Do you know why?"
"Molly probably filled her head with ideas. I'll talk with her Twins, probably. Or maybe I'll have Black talk with them." I lean my head back. "Or maybe I'll just say fuck it, and write it off as a wash."
"Never find out at all?"
"Nope. Really isn't that important, I think."
"Yes it is," says Tonks. "You just don't want to talk to Sirius."
I give her a petulant glare.
"If it's Molly Weasley, then Minerva's probably received some howlers about it."
"Fine, I'll go bother Minerva."
"Excellent! Now, there's one other important question."
"When am I supposed to make an honest woman out of you?"
I roll my eyes.
Ron isn't frightened of me. He just looks at me like he looks at Snape or Malfoy.
I don't know which reaction is worse.
I'm standing in the NEWT-level transfiguration classroom, glaring at a group of aurors and auror-cadets slightly before 5 in the morning. I recognize a few of the faces, Kingsley and James stand out the most. Tonks is with them, after I dragged her out of bed. She drank half a pot of coffee to be this awake, and her day is only going to get worse.
She doesn't make the mistake of sitting down, though. The rest of them do. Instead, she stands at the back of the room, yawns, and crosses her arms.
"All of you are here because I'm a Warlock, I killed Gellart Grindlewald, I smashed my way through an ancient manor's wards, and I'm still alive. You likely wish to know how. I am going to tell you that you are off to a bad start. Everybody except for Miss Black is already dead."
James is bright enough to look back at her, look at everyone else, and then look at me in confusion. He starts to draw his wand to investigate the desk, when the manacles form and trap everyone in the room. Everyone attempts to shout, but they all find themselves silenced.
"Now that I have your undivided attention, I'd like to welcome you to my torture sessions. And they will be torture. If you aren't hurting by the time you leave, I'm not doing my job right. Some of you have heard of my training sessions last year, and three of you willingly attended them. Your first test is casting a finite while silenced and without your wand. That means you too, Tonks. Grab a seat."
She groans, but takes a seat. The manacles snap over her wrist, and she dispells them in about fifteen seconds, and has the silencing charm off of her in another five.
"Very good. The rest of you have fifteen minutes. If any of you aren't done, you get added to my... remedial class."
Half of the aurors and my three previous students have freed their hands. The other two cadets, the older ones who haven't gone through this sort of training, are struggling with it. I'm smiling at James as he struggles with the manacles as well.
At the two minute mark, I conjure a clock to count down the final 120 seconds. Their fellow Aurors and cadets are cheering them on, giving encouragement and advice. In the last thirty seconds, four more Aurors break the manacles. When the bell goes off, all but two Aurors have managed it.
James isn't one of them.
"Potter, Stevenson, Crackleharper, Edgecomb, and McLeeland, you will arrive Tuesdays and Thursday at 5am, where myself or my daughter will be teaching a remedial class on silent and wandless magic."
"Your daughter?" complains Edgecomb, one of the Auror-cadets and not one that I trained. "You mean that mudblooded-"
I don't look at him, let alone motion or point my wand at him. The snap echoes through the classroom, and he stares at his arm for a few seconds before he realizes I've broken it. He shrieks and then faints.
"McLeeland, take this imbecile to Madam Pomfrey. Afterwards, inform him he's dismissed. A certain level of decorum and tact is expected of the Ministry's Aurors, and I will be informing Madam Bones that Edgecomb doesn't have it."
"Yes, ma'am," says McLeeland, looking more than a little green. She levitates Edgecomb, and floats him away to the Infirmary. She returns three minutes later while I make a few notes on a parchment on my desk.
"First things first. Wednesday, you will have fourteen minutes to break free from those manacles, and Friday you will have thirteen minutes. If you cannot figure out the pattern for Monday, leave now.
"You will hear me state 'leave now' on a regular basis. You're all adults, and I use up all my patience on my students. I won't assign homework, I won't collect essays, I won't call on you if you raise your hand with a question, and I most certainly won't hold your hand. If you have questions, ask. If you have a problem, say it. If you think I'm doing something wrong, tell me, and I'll either say you're right or call you an idiot. Sometimes I might even do both.
"First things first, you will not be learning how to duel from me. Dueling has regulations, referees, and points. It is a sport. I am not here to teach you a sport. I am not here to teach you sportsmanship, sportsmanlike behavior, or even basic fairness. I am here to teach you to survive, fight, and win, in that order.
"Some of you may know a man named Mad-Eye Moody. I assure, that man is a babe defending a bowl of mushy peas compared to me. First lesson of the day: Why did you die?"
"We trusted you," said Potter, frowning.
"Correct. I'm going to tell you something right now. Don't. Between compulsion charms, the imperious curse, polyjuice potion, and even love potions, there are many different ways to turn your fellow auror against you."
"Love potions?" asks McLeeland.
"If I dosed you to the gills with Amortentia, you'd be willing to do anything for whoever I keyed it to."
"It'd be pretty obvious who did it, I'd think," replied McLeeland.
"Not if I keyed it to the target's husband and suggested it'd be a good idea to get the wife out of the way. People do some scary things for what they think is love."
McLeeland looks green at that.
"By the end of this class, you will sense magic, or you will leave. By the end of this class you will be able to cast a few basic spells silently and wandlessly, or you will leave. Why?"
"If we lose our wands," says Potter, frowning.
"Part of it. Anybody else? No? Tonks, what's the other reason?"
"Puts you more in tune with your magic," she states, having listened to my lectures on this often enough.
"Correct. The better you can cast without a wand, the better you can cast with a wand. Anybody who says you can't cast without a wand is spouting pure bullshit. It just takes effort. If you're afraid of effort, why the fuck are you an Auror?"
"A little heavy-handed this morning," says James, rubbing his wrists.
"Hey, it's your life," I reply.
"No, seriously, those manacles hurt," adds Tonks.
"I'm not going to use fuzzy handcuffs on students," I retort.
James' face goes pink, while Tonks rolls her eyes.
"Can you use an auto-sizing charm next time?" she asks.
"I did. It was set to two sizes too small," I reply.
"They're manacles," says James. "It's not like you can slip out of them."
"Sure you can," I reply. I conjure a pair manacles, snapping them over my wrists. They both wince at the pop as I dislocate a few bones in my hands, but they stare in awe as I pull my hand out.
"See?" I ask, rubbing my hand as I pop the bones back into their proper places and casting a healing charm to restore the skin I left on the manacle.
"Where did you learn to do that?" asks James.
"Muggle police," I say. "I did a lot of work with a lot of different agencies before going back in time. Most of them didn't like me, but oh well. Come on, it's time for breakfast."
"Mister Weasley and Mister Weasley, I'd like a word with you," I say, as the rest of the fourth years filter out of the classroom.
"Yes, Professor Evans?"
"Satisfy my curiosity, Misters Weasley. Your younger siblings?"
"Our mother," says Fred.
"She was a bit of a fan of Dumbledore," says George.
"Tiny smidgen," adds Fred.
"Only person she liked more was Gilderoy Lockhart."
"And he's disappeared."
"You'd think she attended his bloody funeral."
"So she doesn't like me, I take it?" I ask.
"Putting it mildly," replies Fred.
"She's also worried about losing her market on Howlers, I think."
I smirk at that.
"Alright, scamper you two. I've got students to teach."
"Left, Professor," adds the other twin.
I shake my head as they leave.
"Professor? Err... Jamie?"
"Yes, Harry?" I ask, realizing this is going to be a personal question, rather than a professional question.
"Umm... about Jessica..." he begins, then trails off, unsure of what to say.
From what I've been able to gather, Jessica's been splitting her time a few different ways.
Myrtle says she's seen Jessica with Godzilla, down in the lake. Godzilla's another oddity, because I'm not entirely sure if I flubbed the animation spell or not. What it should have done, is created a sentience that would grow and learn until it came into its own, rather like the Sorting Hat. Except because the Resurrection Stone is there, it instead called for Jessica. Granted, she needs to grow and learn until she comes into her own, but it should have started fresh. Except... well... I'm not sure if it did or not. It wouldn't surprise me if Godzilla and Jessica are one and the same, but it also wouldn't surprise me if they were semi-seperate entities, and Jessica treated it as a giant teddy-bear.
"I don't... I'm not sure. I mean... she's my younger sister, but she's... I've never..."
He trails off, unsure of what to say, and I lead him back into my office. I decide I need more chairs, and conjure a pair of comfy chairs with a low table between them away from my desk, along with an equally low perch. I motion at them, and he takes a seat in one. I make tea, the leaves and biscuits from my private stash, and bring the entire tray over to the low table. Hedwig lands on the perch.
Harry sort of stares at it.
"If you don't like tea," begins Hedwig, "just add enough milk and honey that you can't taste it and use it as an excuse to eat biscuits." I glare at the pair of them as they both take that advice.
Still, I let him take a sip of his tea-flavored milk and honey, and let him eat a few biscuits, before I get him started on talking.
Harry nods, and takes a minute or two to compose himself.
"I'm her older brother."
"I just... I don't know how to... well..."
"Be an older brother?" asks Hedwig, figuring out what this conversation is about well before I can.
"Yeah," he says. He's definitely disappointed in himself, even I can tell that much.
"Well..." begins Hedwig, looking thoughtful for a moment. "She needs to be brought out of her shell..." She looks to me for advice.
"No," I say. "She isn't shy. It's that there isn't much inside the shell to begin with."
Harry looks confused by that.
"You recall us saying Jessica's life with the Dursleys was bad?" I ask, while Hedwig gives me a sharp look.
"And you remember us talking about sending the Dursleys to a bad place?"
"You don't need to talk down to me about it," says Harry.
"Alright," I say, before leaning back. I have to take a moment to think about it.
"I don't know how much of this you'll understand, and I hope you never ever really understand this."
"Umm... okay," says Harry, while Hedwig intensifies her glare.
"Jessica wasn't raised. Jessica was made. She was crafted and tempered and forged. It isn't a joke to say that, when I found her, she wasn't a person. Do you know what a Martyr is?"
"Uh... it's... it's a person who gives their life for a cause?"
"That's a nice way of putting it," I say. "A better way is someone who dies for someone else's cause."
"There isn't a difference, though."
"No, there is. Think about this, who's dying for whose cause?"
"Exactly. Unless you come back from the dead, everything you worked for will fall to the wayside. Dumbledore was working to create a martyr, someone who would die for his cause. For his greater good. And if Jessica had survived, she would have done a very good job of throwing her life away."
"Why? Why would she have done that?"
"Self-esteem," says Hedwig. I glare at her, but she's pissed at me so she'll poke some issues I've got. "Jessica didn't believe her life was worth anything, and that sort of belief sticks with you. Especially if it's how you're raised."
"But! She's my sister! I mean, we would have loved to take her back!"
"Maybe," says Hedwig. "But she wouldn't see herself as part of your happiness." I look away, and let Hedwig talk. She's going to do a better job of this than I am. "If you don't think you're worth anything, you think other people don't find any worth in you. She'd be happy to throw her life away for everybody else's happiness... or, at least, what she perceived to be everyone else's happiness."
"Explain it back to us," I say, the professional teacher welling up to help Harry try and understand.
"Uh- alright. Um... so, Jessica was convinced she wasn't worth anything, right?"
"So we'd just convince her she was worth something," says Harry.
"It doesn't work that way," says Hedwig. She glances at me. "That sort of problem doesn't just go away. It sticks with you, especially with how badly Jessica was treated."
Harry glances at me, as well, and I frown. I hate being on display like that.
"But... you're confident, and you don't have these problems..." he says, realizing Hedwig is talking about me.
"I also had an extra forty years to deal with them. Well, twenty. Drinking doesn't count. When I was seventeen, as soon as Dumbledore said that I had to die to save everyone else, I did it. I barely thought twice about it. I knew what I felt I had to do, and I walked to my death while thinking everyone else would be better off for it. That everyone would be happier with me dead."
Harry's silent, and stares down at the ground.
"The Dursleys had a very large part of that, and they've been sent a place where they will be physically tortured until they die, and their souls will be tortured for the rest of eternity."
"What, like Hell?" asks Harry, somewhat confused.
"Sure," I say. "They did other things that make them deserve it." And when I say that, I realize I need to have another conversation with Jessica. It'll be... extraordinarily uncomfortable, but it'll prevent her from accidentally destroying what little of Harry's innocence having Black for a Godfather has kept.
I wave my wand, and permanently conjure a deck of playing cards. Harry stares at it in surprise.
"Did your mother teach you any card games?" I ask.
"Yeah, a few."
"Start there," I say. "Offer to play a game, offer to teach her the rules." I think for a moment. "Go over all the rules first, before you play."
"Because her life was governed by rules, and it'll make her feel safe to know what they are."
"Oh," says Harry. "I suppose I should never ever cheat, huh?"
"No. When you get angry or irritable, always say it isn't directed at her, and it's not her fault."
Harry blinks at that.
"Vernon had a temper," I explain. "It'll help if she knows it's not directed at her."
"When?" Harry asks.
"Yes, when. She'll say something or do something that'll make you angry at the Dursleys, or Dumbledore, or just life in general. It's a given. When it happens, make sure you tell her it wasn't her fault. Both of you will be learning how to be around each other."
"Eggshells," says Hedwig.
"I know, I know," I say.
"Eggshells?" asks Harry.
"Am I making you nervous about being around your sister?"
"Well..." he trails off.
I lean forward, and put my hand on his shoulder.
"You're afraid you'll screw up, and that she'll hate you forever," I state.
"Deep down, she's afraid of the exact same thing."
"You know how your parents love you, no matter how annoying, exasperating, or angry you get?"
"Be like that for her, and you'll do fine."
Harry nods. It's a big thing to ask of a thirteen-year-old. I was asked worse things, but I don't know if what he's doing is going to be any easier than what I did.
Author's Notes: This series is largely character driven, so it's got to have characters in it. There will be action though, don't worry. Not until Chapter 6, unfortunately.
Go thank Lordsfire for this being posted. He was a massive help in figuring out Chapter 5. For those of you who aren't aware, I'm keeping a gap of four chapters so that I can go back and change things before posting.
Next Chapter: More Jessica! And just who is this Lonely Queen character?