Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy the chapter and see you at the bottom for scheduling news and all that good stuff. =)
It hurt to breath.
Never a good sign.
Jasmine had never quite felt so tired in any of her nine lives. Her magical core was drained, and she had no idea where she was or what had happened after she had been hit with the curse, but she heard voices in the room with her. A weak hand went to her neck and a wave or relief washes over her when she feels the necklace her father gave her still resting there even after all of the fighting.
She hoped the people around her weren't the Chesters. She remembered watching them die, but her mind could have been playing tricks on her. Entering the body of a supposed to be dead girl could distort her perception of reality.
Though, as her mind caught up with her, she realized that the raid had indeed happened and the room didn't smell like the manor that had been her prison for last five years. It smelled like bleach. A hospital?
Bloody hell. She hated hospitals.
Death had a lot to answer for. This "vessel" was beyond damaged, she was nearly dead, had been dead. Merlin only knew what was physically wrong with this body. She was somewhat hesitant to test it out.
She forced eyes to open, but only one was functioning properly. That was going to take some getting used to. "Oh, she's awake!" A female voice comes from her left and Jasmine can sense the person coming in closer and she rubbed the rune next to her eye as it activated. So, that's what it did, she knew it had meant sight when she watched it get burned on in that rush of memories, but to actually feel its use…she hadn't realized that it truly created artificial sight.
She could almost see the people in the room with her as phantom shapes in her vision. This would be helpful in fights to come.
The woman came closer followed by a second set of footsteps, another woman if her sight was right. They both came into view a few moments later, both were middle aged, with a few greying strands in their hair. The woman on the left was dressed as a matron, in white robes from head to toe, only her greying blonde hair tied tightly into a bun gave the woman any color, she had to be a nurse.
When she saw the woman on the right her breath caught. She now knew what era she was in at least.
Jasmine recognized the woman as, Euphemia Potter, her soul's future grandmother. She was dressed in official robes, ones that she knew the DMLE wore. She had never known much about her grandmother, no matter what life she lived, Sirius and Remus never spoke about her or her grandfather. Their death had been a blow on the Marauders and they never really spoke of them in her presence, but she had seen pictures of them in her family's manor.
Death was getting a fucking ear full when she got her hands on him.
"Dear, do you know who you are?" The nurse asked as she waved her wand over Jasmine's body for a full scan. It tingled and made her twitch as the magic coursed through her body.
"I'm Jasmine Peverell," she rasped, her Austria accent thick, slurring the English words together. She suddenly realized how dry her throat was. How long had she been here? A cup of water appeared on the bedside table next to her. She quickly picked it up and took a sip of water. Relief never felt quite so good.
Euphemia gasped, and Jasmine's good eye moved towards her. "You're a Peverell? I thought that the Peverell line had ended with the murder of Matthew and his wife Elizabeth years ago."
Jasmine let out a dry, mirthless chuckle that turned into coughs near the end. "And their daughter Jasmine went to her squib aunt's home, until she was killed, and their daughter was stolen by the Chesters, assumed dead."
The two women shared a look with one another. Euphemia motioned for the other woman to leave. The nurse gave a brief nod before exiting the room. Euphemia sat down on the plush chair next to her bed and pulled out some ink, a quill and a piece of parchment. She looked regal, her long chestnut colored hair elegantly braided, her hazel eyes serious and her mouth a hard line.
"Now, Jasmine, I'd like to introduce myself, I'm head of DMLE, Euphemia Potter. Please tell me what happened the night of the attack two days ago. Don't leave out any details." Right to business, Jasmine could respect that.
Jasmine took a deep breath and began to explain. "The Chester and the other families there that night run an illegal dueling ring. They hunt down magical orphans and make them "disappear" and suddenly the kidnappers have children that they've rescued, it's all a hoax. They forcibly taught us to fight and if you didn't you suffer the consequences," her hand went to her left eye and Euphemia stared for a moment, scribbled something down and motioned for her to continue, "I had been fighting for the Chester family for five years. Then last night, in between matches, a bunch of men in masks came in, attacking everyone and anyone they could. I remember the Chesters demanding I protect them and fighting the masked men, but then nothing. There was a man leading them, he disappeared after ordering them to attack. Ironically, he said to spare the children, but he didn't stick around to watch his people."
"Can you describe the men that attacked you? Any more details that you remember? Maybe about the masks or the robes?"
Jasmine bit her lip pretending that she didn't really know what these men looked like, but even if her original host hadn't seen them, Harriet knew that these men looked like. "They wore masks, that looked like skulls. They were in dark robes…I don't know what they were doing at the tournament or why they killed everyone," she explained, looking away, biting her lip.
Euphemia let out a sigh and put a comforting hand on Jasmine's. "You were a victim to an attack by a group of pureblood radicals. They call themselves Death Eaters," she explained calmly.
"What happens to me now? I have nowhere to go…no family" Jasmine asks, voice quivering. She had been a magical orphan in nine other lives and it was always terrifying not knowing where she was going to live one moment from another.
Euphemia put a hand on Jasmine's bony, but muscled, shoulder. "Don't you worry, dear. Now that we know your name we're going to do a line trace to find your closest living relative. The nurse that left went to go and do that. You'll have a home soon."
A small tentative smile graced Jasmine's lips before a thought suddenly struck her. "Am I the only survivor?"
There was a nod solemn nod from the Auror. "Yes, you were the only living body in the manor."
Her chest tightened. "Even the kids in the cellar were dead?"
Euphemia's head snapped up. "Cellar?"
"There's a hidden cellar in the basement. There should have been around thirty kids in there. There were some rations last I had checked, hopefully, the older kids distributed them correctly," Jasmine replied quickly, her heart racing.
Were her friends still alive?
"Jasmine, you might have just saved quite a few live," Euphemia said, standing up and making her way towards the door, but before she left she turned around to tell Jasmine one last thing, "I'm the head Auror dealing with you case and will continue to do so until I bring all those in the Chester's smuggling ring to rest. I'll speak with you further after I send a team out to find this cellar you mentioned."
Something in Jasmine's soul lightened and she let out a sigh. One promise down, now she just needed to fulfill Death's near impossible task.
She sat on the bed for some time, counting the white ceiling tiles around her. Everything was white, the sheets, the bed, the tiles, the floor, her cup, and her clothes. It was so dull. She hadn't been told what her injuries were and didn't want to aggravate any of them by moving around, but she really needed to use the loo and it was only a few steps away. The nurse hadn't been back yet and Jasmine was slowly losing her mind.
Jasmine waited another five minutes before slowly sitting up and testing her weight on her legs. She bent them a few times and jumped a bit, nothing was broken and her muscles seemed fine. So, she made her way ten steps to the right and into the bathroom.
She took one look at the mirror and nearly screamed at her reflection. She was going to kill Death. It sounded impossible, but she'd find a way.
Her face was scarred. Not horrendously, but enough that people would stop and stare at her. She had a lightning bolt scar over her left year running from the tip of her eyebrow over the lid and to the flare of her left nostril. Then there was the one running over her mouth, which was less noticeable unless you were looking closely. No, the biggest difference about her face were her eyes. When she had seen Jasmine, she had blue eyes, not mismatched green and grey.
Her functioning eye was same green she had been born with in her past nine lives and her left eyes was a pale unnatural grey. One that she knew had Death's interference written all over it.
Jasmine sighed, rubbing her temple before she heard a knock on her door. Her head snapped to the left watching the door warily. "Who could that be?" She muttered to herself. She didn't know anyone that would want to see her and she doubted that it was the nurse, she would have announced herself before entering.
Maybe they had the wrong room? She could hope that was the case. She quietly crept back into the main room, squinting at the whiteness of it all.
So, Jasmine made her way over to her bed, covered herself up before the stranger knocked on the door again. This time the knock was louder and more insistent. She turned her left eye towards the door, wondering if she would be able to sense the person the other side to get an idea of who she was dealing with, but sadly, the rune's reach only extended a meter or so. It was nowhere near enough to see through the door. Maybe when her magic was stronger she'd be able to sense farther distances.
"Come in," she said, just loud enough for the person on the other side to hear. It wasn't long before the knob turned and rather familiar set of magenta robes greeted her. What was Dumbledore doing here? He wasn't quite as tired as she remembered and seemed infinitely younger. There was a spring in his step and his hair while white, wasn't quite as long and thinning. She supposed that two wars aged him.
Now, after nine different lives she had grown tired of his games and this life would be no different. This man had honestly attempted to kill her just as many times as Voldemort, if not more, but in a more convoluted and underhanded manner. He would never get his own hands dirty, but he'd let others do it for him.
That isn't to say he was a bad person. He was just so blinded by his "light magic is better than dark magic principles" he didn't see what he was doing to the people around him. His greater good was all that mattered, even if it would lead to destruction of Wizarding Europe with the help of two different dark lords.
Though when he looked at her, noticing the scars on her face and the odd coloration of her eyes, he winced slightly.
"Do I know you?" Jasmine asked her Austrian accent prominent in her voice and she swore Dumbledore flinched. She knew that she had never met this man in this timeline, so what was he doing here?
"I heard that there was a survivor of the manor attack of schooling age. I'm Headmaster Albus Dumbledore from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
Jasmine doubted that the papers had given any details regarding survivors with the way that Euphemia seemed to handling things. She wondered who Dumbledore had gotten his information from. It seemed he had his hands in the Aurors already, no doubt for the Order of Phoenix.
"I haven't agreed to attend you school. I don't understand why you are here, sir," she replied sitting up a bit straighter in her bed. Defensive. Ready to strike. She hadn't been trained with a wand for close to two years, none of the kids in the ring were allowed wands past the age of eleven. They were solely taught wandless magic. It proved for better entertainment when they needed to resort to physical violence when their magic ran out. She was just as deadly with a wand as she was without. He wouldn't expect that, no one would…it would make things interesting, that was for sure.
Despite knowing Dumbledore in the future, this was a completely different circumstance. She was literally nothing to him, she was less than a pawn on his chess board. Jasmine certainly didn't feel like being sacrificed for his greater good at the present moment.
"Ah, but when a guardian is picked for you, you will no doubt be attending Hogwarts. I thought that I would get to meet you before you entered the school. Now, what's your name?"
How bloody presumptuous. She refused to look him in the eyes, instead she kept her eyes on the sheets clenched tightly between her fingers. "My name is Jasmine Peverell," she answered, her voice never wavering, but she could hear his sharp intake of breath.
So, he was still interested in the Deathly Hallows. Too bad he was never going to get them all. She was already Death's master. He needed no other.
"Are you sure that's your surname? You've been kept captive for quite a long time and your captors could have lied to you."
She scoffed, folding her arms across her chest. She might have been living with the Chesters for five years, but that didn't mean that she forgot everything about her family. They wanted their charges to remember who they were so when they fought, whether they won or lost, they would feel the agony of knowing that they would never return home to their home or families.
"I know what my last name is, Headmaster."
"Very well, what do you remember about the attack?"
She wrinkled her nose. He really shouldn't be asking her these questions without a DMLE officer present, but Jasmine knew that a girl from Austria wouldn't know British Wizarding laws.
"There were men in skull masks and they broke into the manor, interrupting the monthly tournament. We were nearing the finals. They killed everyone in their path, so we, the charges, fought back, either for our lives or for our patron's lives. Death was everywhere, I took down a few of these men before a few cursing hit me. That's it," she replied, touching the fresh scars on her face.
"You fought and killed Death Eaters?" Dumbledore asked aghast, she glanced up to see a wrinkled hand over his mouth.
"It was either that or die and I didn't plan on dying for the sins of the patrons," Jasmine responded with no remorse in her voice. It was a feeling the original Jasmine had when she was fighting the Death Eaters. She hadn't been afraid of dying and wanted to take as many of them with her if she didn't survive.
"Miss Peverell, you should have run. Killing is never the answer," he preached, putting a hand on her shoulders, which she shrugged off.
"There was nowhere to run. If I turned my back on my opponent, I would have been killed. You sound upset that I survived and a few murderers didn't. Am I to assume that my continued existence is problem, Headmaster?" She inquired with a slightly quirk of her lips that had she been older, used to send people running in the other direction.
Dumbledore paled behind is moon rimmed spectacles. She hoped he was sweating. Jasmine wasn't going to let him push her around. Not again.
"That wasn't what-"
A quiet knock and then the nurse poked her head in, "Sir, the DMLE are due to return any minute. You know how Euphemia feels about things like this."
Ah, so the nurse let him in, traitor. Jasmine glared at her and the woman rolled her eyes before escorting the Headmaster out of the room.
As soon as the door closed, Jasmine slumped against the pillows. She was exhausted, eye lids suddenly heavy. She forgot what it felt like to empty her core. She just hoped she woke up tomorrow and not a week from now. She heard her door open one more time before she drifted to sleep again.
Jasmine was jerked back to consciousness when a cold hand caressed her face. Her eyes met the hooded figure of Death. They were sitting in the park again, but this time there was no one there and it was pitch black out, save for a single street lamp above them. There were no sounds save for her own erratic heartbeat.
A single jerky nod.
She relaxed against the bench for a moment and wondered why Death had a fascination with parks. He liked having her die in them, specifically park benches. It was a quirk that she never would have associated with the deity.
"The vessel has more damage than I thought it would and for that I am sorry," he told her as he traced the scars now marring her face. His thumb hesitated over the rune next to her eye. He was one of the few people that ever treated her like something precious.
Jasmine shrugged as his cold waxen hands left her face and back to resting on his lap. "The scars aren't that bad. It's the vision that's a pain. I don't quite understand how it works yet."
"I wasn't talking about the physical maladies. I was talking about the soul transfer. Speaking to you is proving difficult. This vessel is not ready for the power of the Master of Death. Communicating with you causes the body to have adverse side effects."
Jasmine felt her eyes twitch and fists curl. What did he do now? Was there something else wrong with Jasmine's body that she didn't know about? She had seen the girl's entire life and she had never been ill beside a cold every now and again.
"What side effects are you talking about?"
"Seizures," he replied tersely. Obviously upset with himself at his own oversight. Having his Master at anything other than full functioning compacity was a shame to his pride as a deity.
"So, I'm having one right now?"
"Several. It's quite frightening to the nurses and the officers needing to ask you questions. The seizures aren't going to kill you, but they will make you tired and drain your magic. They should stop happening after your majority at seventeen, but that's another two years and a few months away," he explained and Jasmine wished he would just let her go so she could wake up. He was killing her.
"Will they have any effect on my brain? My learning capacity? My ability to function on a regular basis?"
He shook his head. "Luckily, no. But, this means that I can't speak with you that often. If I do, I could very well kill you."
There were worst things that could happen.
"Stop smiling. I feel insulted," Death snapped before Jasmine felt herself falling into the void again.
"Will she be alright?" A frantic voice asked from her left. She reached out with the power of the rune in her left eye and realized that it was Euphemia next to her, as well as the traitor nurse who let Dumbledore in her room. Mrs. Potter was wringing her hands under robes. Was she really concerned for her? It made Jasmine feel warm that someone cared enough about her wellbeing to be worried.
That nurse on the other hand…Jasmine wanted her fired.
"Her vitals stabilized two hours ago. It's all a matter of when she wakes up. The girl was lucky that her heart didn't stop. This wasn't a complication that we've ever seen before. She has the healers scratching their heads," the nurse replied rather bored.
Jasmine groaned, opening her right eye, finding no point in making the effort for the left since she couldn't see out of it anyway. The two rushed over, the nurse running scans. "You gave us quite a scare, young lady. Can you speak?"
"Yea, what happened? I remember falling asleep after the Headmaster left and then nothing," she replied weakly. Jasmine noticed that Euphemia bristled at the mention of Dumbledore. What did he do to piss her off?
"Do you remember that Headmaster's name, Jasmine?"
"Dumbledore, I think. The nurse let him in. I thought that you okayed him to ask me about the case."
Euphemia rounded on the nurse, her wand drawn. "How dare you threaten a case like this, Ms. Pince. You could be fired over this. I don't care what the Headmaster told you, but he is not allowed to visit patients that aren't family. He has no right to question this girl," Mrs. Potter scolded and woman had the decency to look ashamed of her actions.
"He told me that he was going to be made her legal guardian within the day, so there was no point in denying him access to his soon to be ward," she answered with a whimper and Mrs. Potter put her wand away, but looked even more enraged. "I'm assuming he lied to me, Madam Potter?"
The Head of DMLE nodded her head, obviously not trusting herself to speak. She took a deep breath. "Albus Dumbledore did not gain custody of Jasmine. Her closest living relatives were found and after long careful deliberation, have agreed to take her. Now, Ms. Pince, please leave me to explain Ms. Peverell's living situation with her in peace," she replied, dismissing the nurse who fled the room without needing to be told twice.
The sound of a scraping chair brought Jasmine's attention back to Euphemia Potter. The woman hadn't look like she slept in days and Jasmine wondered if that was her fault.
"Now, I bet you have questions for me."
Jasmine nodded. "Did you find my friends?"
The Auror nodded and Jasmine sagged against the pillows, a small smile found its way onto her face. There was a special kind of relief that came with that simple gesture. "All the children in the cellar were brought to here for exams and then they will be getting line tests done to attempt to find them new families or reunite them with the family's that they had lost when they were abducted."
That was good. Jasmine had completed the promise to her vessel, which despite everything made the situation a little bit more bearable. It was odd being in another person's body and taking it over as your own, even if it was consensual and the original Jasmine seemed relieved to let her soul go onto its next big adventure.
"Are you wondering where you are going to be living, Ms. Peverell?" Mrs. Potter asked an amused smile on her face. It was one that she had seen in various pictures of her father that Remus and Sirius had shown her. She had always thought he had gotten his mischievous side from his father, but maybe she had been wrong.
"I suppose so. Who was my closest living relative that wanted to take me in?" She asked, slightly worried about the answer. What if it was a family of Death Eaters that the DMLE didn't know about? She could be being sent to her death and no one would be the wiser.
Euphemia smiled, pushing a wayward strand of hair from her face. "You will be coming to live with me and my family. Your closest living relative is my husband, Fleamont. He was more than happy to take in another family member. We also have a son who is about four months older than you. He's overjoyed to finally have a sibling. Since it is the summer holidays, he is coming to visit while the healers finish running a few more tests to make sure that you're well enough to come home with us. If that's alright with you?" She explained hesitantly.
Jasmine knew how hard it was for them to even have James and how happy they were when he was born. She couldn't imagine their what they must be feeling to know that they had another chance at raising a second child, even one as damaged as Jasmine.
"I would like to come live with you," Jasmine replied quietly, watching as Mrs. Potter's face light up. She took Jasmine's hand in her own and squeezed, a bright smile on her face, hopefully mirroring Jasmine's.
This chapter was nearly twice as long as the first. Most chapters are going to be around 3k-4k words. I need to get back into writing it. I've basically taken a week off. My boss is working me to the bone so I'm not getting too much time to myself, but that's okay, I'm making some money before I'm told that holiday help is no longer needed and I'm no longer working there anymore. Regardless, I am going to be updating every Friday evening!
Thank you all so much for the reviews, favorites and follows! I was staggered by the response that this got only after one week!
See you all next week,