Happy Friday! Enjoy the chapter!
"You finished your work so soon, Ms. Peverell? Surely, if you want to gain entrance into Hogwarts your essays would have taken longer to write than this?" Dumbledore questioned, eyeing the large stack of papers before him spread across his desk.
The Headmaster's office wasn't all that different from what Jasmine remembered it being back in the nineties. There were still a lot of different kinds of monitoring devices, more books than any one person should legally own, an ornate desk that had seen far better days, and a well-worn padded desk chair. Fawkes was trilling quietly from his perch in the corner, looking rather young today as he preened. Jasmine had given him a gentle pat on the head that had sent the phoenix into a happy chirping mess. Jasmine wasn't entirely sure if Fawkes recognized her as Death's Master. There were few wild creatures that weren't afraid of her due to her powers. Phoenixes were outside of the realm of life and death since they live in a cycle of constant rebirth and death. To a certain extent, Jasmine has more in common with Fawkes than humans at this point.
Jasmine and Euphemia were in front of his desk, Euphemia tapping her nails impatiently on the old wood, on the morning of July thirtieth. Between Jasmine and Remus, the charms work, and revisions had gone twice as quickly and was far more enjoyable with company. He knew the page numbers where most of the answers were and Jasmine was a fast writer and a quick study.
She had also promised Remus at least four chocolate bars for all of his help. The werewolf had agreed to her terms without protest. James and Sirius had teased the two of them the entire time they were in the library. Remus swore his revenge for the teasing once they finished with her last essay. Jasmine just hoped that she would be home in time to see it. Remus had always been the best prankster, from what she had seen in the future. They tended to have the most finesse behind them, and no one ever saw them coming. Remus was such an unassuming and innocent looking wizard.
She was brought out of her musings when her guardian stopped tapping her fingers and shifted so that she was leaning forward, ready to attack.
"Albus, I've read the essays, they are at least worthy of Exceeds Expectations, if not an Outstanding. I've sent letters to Minerva and Filius asking if they were in the castle at this time of year and any colleagues that would be willing to help read my ward's work. I want her accepted into Hogwarts before we leave today. I'm quite done playing games. You've never stopped orphans from joining Hogwarts late. I don't see why Jasmine is different."
Euphemia had warned her before they had left the manor that she might not like some of the things that Dumbledore might say about her or her school work, but her guardian had sworn that she was going to defend her until she was accepted.
Oh, Jasmine knew why Dumbledore didn't want her here. She was dangerous to his agenda in every sense of the word. Her magic wasn't light and she was willing to kill to protect herself. Second chances weren't her thing and she rarely looked for the good in people. Not someone that Albus Dumbledore would want in his school. Too bad for him that her current guardian wasn't going to just let the Headmaster do whatever he wanted.
"Euphemia, your ward has been damaged by dark magic that, from what I understand, has yet to be identified. She has been emotionally scarred and traumatized. I don't want other students getting hurt because she couldn't control herself."
Jasmine's mouth went dry. Was he insinuating that she was mentally unsound to the point that she would attack students? She had been cleared by the best healers, thank you very much. The only time that she been this demonized by someone was during her fifth year when the Ministry had been attempting to make her sound crazy to the masses and even then, most people didn't believe them. It was odd seeing Dumbledore, someone who had always vouched for her, trying to ban her from a school that she considered her second home for her last nine lives.
Euphemia straightened her shoulders, her chin raised slightly, looking every inch the insulted pureblooded woman she was. She had gone from the proud mother to deadly Auror rather quickly and it made Jasmine feel really warm and slightly fuzzy over the fact that her guardian was being protective of her.
"Albus, you are treading on very thin ice. Jasmine, despite my protests, has done all the work that you have required her to. She sees a mind healer twice a week, who has cleared her as mentally sound four times, under your insistence. My ward also spends plenty of time with children her own age, since my son and his friends enjoy her company. I find it highly insulting that you are trying to bar her from entering Hogwarts on nothing but fabricated worry. I am also going to be finding the name of the people that have been giving you classified medical information about my ward to you."
"Euphemia, there is no need to go after innocent people over nothing-"
Sadly, Dumbledore never got the chance to finish his response. McGonagall and Flitwick had arrived, both entering the room at a rather sedate pace, worry etched into their rather stiff movements. Both of them looked very different, but at the same time, strikingly similar. McGonagall didn't have nearly as many grey hairs as Jasmine remembered her having in the future. She supposed that the Marauders within the next two years really drive this poor woman straight to grey hair. Flitwick just seemed to be generally more energetic than what she remembered, but then again, she had never been too close to the charms professor.
McGonagall turned to look at Jasmine with a guarded expression, her eyes hard. Flitwick was watching her out of the corner of his eyes, his hand always near his wand. There were sizing her up for one reason or another. Were they planning on attacking her? What had Dumbledore said about her to his staff?
Then again, her face wasn't the most pleasant to look at…Jasmine knew that. The scars that littered her face, while not completely deforming, were obvious and rather striking in nature. She was going to need to get used to being stared at for different scars. The original one on her forehead had been easy to hide and was famous for being a symbol of hope. The scars on her face just looked out of place and reminded people of all the things wrong with her. If Jasmine had been someone who actually cared what other people thought, there might have been some worry of her getting depressed over the future ridicule from her peers.
Though, why the professors were staring at her strangely was extremely odd to her and was not something that she wanted repeated in the future. She wanted to be judged based on her academic prowess, not some lies that the headmaster had told them. She wasn't some kind of caged animal that was ready to attack at a moment's notice. She had better things to do than attempt to kill people. Euphemia either didn't notice their demeanor, or she just chose to ignore it, as she bade both professors over for a proper introduction.
"Filius, Minerva, this is my ward, Jasmine Peverell. Jasmine, these are two of your professors, Minerva McGonagall and Filius Flitwick, they teach transfiguration and charms respectively," Euphemia said introducing the hesitant professors to her.
Jasmine nodded and took a step towards them. Might as well bite the proverbial bullet and get this over with. "Hello, it's nice to finally meet you. James and Sirius have told me a lot about you," she said with a small smile, her accent bleeding through, just reminding them how foreign she really was and Jasmine nearly winced. If only she could drop the accent, but it just didn't seem to want to leave her.
McGonagall grimaced, no doubt imaging the kind of things that James and Sirius had been telling her about Hogwarts. She had seemed to drop the somewhat terrified attitude when she mentioned the Marauders. It seemed her favorite group of trouble makers were a fantastic subject to break the mood in the room with. "I hope that those two haven't been feeding you lies, Ms. Peverell," she replied somewhat tersely.
"I image the tales they tell are rather full of pranks and mischief?" Flitwick asked, his demeanor changing from on guard to rather friendly, though his hand was still a hairs breath away from his wand.
Jasmine snorted remembering quite a few stories that James and Sirius had told her over the past few days. "Some of it I find very hard to believe, but there's always a nugget of truth in their stories. They hold you in high regard," she told them honestly. No matter what, the Marauders did, they always respected the Professors that deserved it.
"Now, while I do enjoy a good introduction, there are other matters that need to be addressed. Why don't we look at some of those essays you've written, Ms. Peverell," Dumbledore interjected, a frown adorning his face.
"If you insist," Jasmine agreed with a shrug as she made her way over to her pile of essays, pulling out her charms and transfiguration work first and handing them to the professors.
It didn't take long to realize that Jasmine's work was well done by the professors, much to the Headmaster's disapproval. "Your grasp of theory is rather remarkable, Ms. Peverell. Who was your charms instructor prior to living with the Potters?" Jasmine sensed Euphemia shake her head behind her and Flitwick looked flustered for a moment before backtracking, "that is, if you're comfortable sharing."
Jasmine could tell that Dumbledore thought that he had gained some kind of ground with that question. She wasn't sure what the man expected to happen in that moment, but Jasmine wasn't going to go ballistic. "My patrons taught me everything I know. I was given a detailed education on every form of magic they could think of that would have me win a fight against any of the other competitors."
"Competitors?" McGonagall muttered sounding lost. Had Dumbledore explained her situation at all to her professors?
"I was a part of the child dueling ring that the Death Eaters so lovely destroyed a few weeks ago. Grueling training under the people that kidnapped me is what kept me alive," Jasmine replied, feeling the scar on her mouth curling slightly at her lopsided smirk.
"You're a duelist?" Flitwick asked, glint of interest sparking in his eyes. Jasmine had never, in all her nine lives, received that look from her charms professor.
"Yes, I was the best in my circuit," she answered with a tight-lipped grimace. She had worked hard to get where she had been, but none of it held fond memories for her. Flitwick nodded, eyes widened slightly realizing just what kind of conditions she had learned the rules of combat.
"That is not what we're here to discuss today. Minerva, do you think that Jasmine should be eligible for Hogwarts?" Dumbledore questioned impatiently, tapping his foot on the hardwood floor.
Both professors turned their attention away from Euphemia and Jasmine and returned back to her never-ending pile of summer work. They seemed just as annoyed reading nearly a hundred different essays as she had writing them.
It took around two hours, but a decision needed to be made about Jasmine's mental stability. Honestly, Jasmine was somewhat nervous. What if Dumbledore had threated their jobs and she wasn't going to be getting into Hogwarts? While she didn't mind living at the Potters' manor, she really didn't want to be there alone most of the time or be taught by tutors. Jasmine really wasn't comfortable with private tutors, not after the Chesters.
Minerva sighed, as her eyes scanned yet another essay, this time on the subject of ancient runes. "From what I've read of her work, she is more than ready for the fifth-year curriculum. She's the kind of essay writer that her cousin should strive to emulate. Ms. Peverell has a lovely way with words and it seems to me that all of this work wasn't needed. I would have only needed to read one essay and a bit of practical application," she replied, sending a rather heated glare towards Albus, who rightly cowered under her intense gaze.
It seemed that with McGonagall on her side, Jasmine now had a far greater chance of getting accepted without as much of a fight then when she entered Hogwarts in earlier this morning.
"Well, then Ms. Peverell, you are accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry," Dumbledore said with a weary sigh. He summoned the sorting hat from the back of the room and held it out for Jasmine to take.
"Why are you giving me a hat?" Jasmine inquired, taking it from the Headmaster and holding it at arm's length.
McGonagall stepped forward to answer, "This is the sorting hat, it is going to put you in the house you are going to spend the rest of your schooling in."
Jasmine nodded, pretending to be skeptical about this part. She had been in her first life, but after that, if just became amusing. The hat always knew who she was and how many times she had been sent back. The hat found her annoying, yet interesting to sort in each iteration. She wondered if it would happen again.
Her fingers rubbed against the worn fabric before she put it over her head and heard a familiar voice whine. "Not you again."
"You know you love me," she replied mentally with a smile. She loved the hat.
She could feel it sigh in her mind before searching her conscious and unconscious mind to attempt to figure out a house for her. "You're, as always, difficult. You fit in to every house except for Hufflepuff. You'd go on a murder spree there. Slytherin, as always would be a fantastic fit, but, as always, your politics wouldn't align with theirs and it would lead to far too much fighting. Then there's Gryffindor, their brash warrior nature suits as well as their loyal nature, though you are more of a planner than you used to be…Your mind is something that many would crave to have and Ravenclaw could suit your needs. The head of house of Ravenclaw would certainly help you, but I can see you growing bored in a house solely focused on intelligence."
Jasmine sighed, thinking things over. She knew which house she wanted to be in. It wasn't every day that she gets to see her long dead parents fall in love with each other. "I feel like you know my choice," she told the hat, who mentally shrugged.
"I know what you want, but I just want you to know that if you were to go into another house, you'd have an easier time changing the world. Your mission might be easier."
"The might is what worries me. I'd rather be happier and take things slightly slower than have to deal with political fallout in school. I admire Slytherins for their commitment to politics and I know that I'm going to be involved with them later in life, but no one expects the political Gryffindor straight out of Hogwarts. I had taken the Ministry by storm in my last four lives by doing that."
The hat hummed in reply before shouting, "Gryffindor!"
McGonagall looked pleasantly surprised, holding the hat to her chest. Flitwick seemed disappointed. Jasmine supposed that he had wanted her in his house.
The sorting hat was taken off her head and Dumbledore looked like he swallowed something unpleasant. Did he think that the hat had made a mistake?
"Is there something wrong, Headmaster?"
Dumbledore gave her a look over from head to toe. "No, I just thought that you would have gone into a different house, Ms. Peverell."
No doubt he assumed that she would have been sorted into Slytherin. Honestly, the house of snakes isn't too bad, once she got past the blatant racism and classism, the people she had befriended in Slytherin were her friends for the rest of her life. Slytherins, once their loyalty was gained, was hard to break. It was one of the many reasons that Jasmine felt Voldemort gained followers so easily. They had all been friends in school and Tom Riddle had quite a few favors to call in from people he'd attended Hogwarts with.
"Is there something wrong with the house that I've been put into?" She asked hesitantly, and Euphemia and McGonagall shook their heads no rather quickly.
"Absolutely not, Ms. Peverell. Gryffindor is a lovely house and as the head of it, I welcome you to Hogwarts. Your list of school supplies will be sent to you home with James'. It was lovely meeting you," she told Jasmine before turning to her guardian, "and it was nice to see you again, Euphemia. Tell Fleamont I said hello."
Euphemia smiled. "Yes, and I'll tell him that you still insist on using his full name, even after the hundreds of times he's told you otherwise."
The rest of the summer had gone by rather quickly. Jasmine's birthday came and went in a quiet fashion. There was cake, with lots of frosting. She received a few gifts from the Potters. Euphemia had given her a few robes and muggle sets of clothing, it wasn't something that she had thought of, but it was something extremely useful. Monty had given her a more advanced potions kit as well as a book that has some tips scribbled in the margins, which made smile thinking of her experience with the Half-Blooded Prince. Remus had owled her a bit of chocolate with a note hoping that she had a good day. He apologized for not being there, telling he that he was under the weather. The full moon was that night. Monty, James and Sirius also purchased a broom for her. Though, it might have been for them more than for her. Euphemia wasn't the biggest fan of quidditch so any excuse to play was worth it.
Which meant for the rest of the day, the whole family was outside riding different brooms playing quidditch for the entire afternoon. Jasmine might have shown off a bit. She had missed being in the air and might have done some rather dangerous dives. After they had finished James swore that he was going to convince her to join the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Euphemia swore that if Jasmine tried some of those dives at school she would lose her broom privileges. James and Sirius sent her conspiratorial winks behind Euphemia's back.
After that, the summer came to a speedy close. The only incident that came up was Ro constantly harassing Sirius. The little kitten enjoyed stalking Sirius all day long. Ro more than likely could tell that Sirius was a dog Animagus and needed to make sure he didn't get into trouble without her telling on him. She had ruined nearly all of his pranks while he was at the manor. More than once Jasmine heard Sirius yelp from another place in the manor before he'd come sprinting into her room demanding that she learn to control her cat.
She was never going to control Ro, she was a bit of a wild cat full of mischievous Death magic. All of Death's creations tended to have minds of their own that even the Master of Death couldn't really control without them acting up. Ro was much like the invisibility cloak, playful and a fantastic hider.
As soon as Sirius would leave the room, Ro would appear right were his feet had been. The kitten had literally run back with him, completely invisible.
The little scamp.
Leaving for the Hogwarts Express was looming in the near distance. For the first time in a long time, she didn't want to go to Hogwarts. She was worried about a few things…one: meeting her mother, and two: dealing with people that were going to look at her face and sneer at her.
She knew that dealing with Slytherin's was going to be a pain in the ass. She luckily had the bloodline to protect her from some of their jibes. She was also the last of a very powerful line in the English Ministry, as well as a pureblood. She was going to need to use that to her advantage soon. Though, she need to find a good place to gain a foothold within Slytherin from her place as an already somewhat outcast Gryffindor.
Euphemia had kindly asked her to watch out for James and Sirius this coming year. She didn't trust Dumbledore and was worried that he was trying to recruit both James and Sirius to the Order of the Phoenix. Jasmine, of course, promised to do her best. She wasn't sure on how successful she could be, given they did join in her future, but she'd do her best to make her guardian proud.
But, here she was, packing her trunk, tucking away Ro's favorite cat toy, bed and scratch post. She then placed her school books around them as well as her favorite robes, for classes and for Hogsmeade excursions. With a one last look around the room, she sighed and closed the lid to her trunk.
Enjoy it? We're going to Hogwarts next chapter! It's only taken half the draft I have so far, but were going to school! XD Things are going to be heating up as Jasmine meets new people and has more people looking at her scars.
Thank you all so much for your support! I'm blown away by the amount of people reviewing, favoriting and following every week. Keep it up! Constructive criticism is welcome, as well as predictions or just general comments. They keep me inspired to write more. I'm also glad that you are all enjoying the dynamic between the Marauders and Jasmine. It's going to be interesting when Peter is thrown into the mix as well as the Slytherins that she is going to need to befriend, somehow.
Anyway, see you all next week,