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Chapter 8 : September 15, 1982
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Jasmine was sitting with Andromeda and Ted at the kitchen table eating breakfast. The house was unusually quiet. Unknown to her parents, Nymphadora had stayed up late with Jasmine to celebrate her favorite’s teddy’s fourth birthday. It was well past midnight before either got to bed and Nymphadora was still asleep.
An owl came in with the Daily Prophet and the witches each took the section they liked to read first while Ted read the Muggle paper.
Jasmine was scanning the paper for an interesting article when one caught her eye:
“He’s dead,” Jasmine barely whispered, giving no regard to her mention in the article.
“Who?” Andromeda asked.
“Isn’t he the one who went in with-?”
“Good riddance to the lot of them then, Jasy.”
Jasmine’s voice suddenly got dangerous and her eyes flashed deadly. “Don’t call me ‘Jasy’, Andromeda.”
“Well I don’t see why not. You never complained when Sirius” – she spat out the name like venom – “called you that.”
“Sirius is innocent!” Jasmine stood up.
“I know you think that, but-”
“Who’s ‘Serious’?” Nymphadora walked through the doorway and sat at the table.
Ted, who didn’t know much himself about this, stayed out of it. Andromeda just thought in vain of something to tell the ten-year-old daughter, whom she wasn’t used to lying to. Jasmine said, “Sirius was my dog when I was a little girl, and your mother and I aren’t sure of whether he chased the cat away or not.” and sat down.
“Oh,” she said and grabbed some toast to butter.
Jasmine got up again. “Well, I have to go.”
“To the office.”
“Can I come?” Nymphadora asked enthusiastically.
Andromeda nodded her head.
“Alrighty then. Get dressed and get your i.d. and we’ll go.”
Everyone laughed as Nymphadora ran to her room and kept going without a pause when her slipper slipped off her foot as it got caught on a side table, knocking it over.
At the ministry, Jasmine again left Nymphadora, or ‘Tonks’, with Stalburd so she could go to a trial in half an hour. A ministry employee, Augustus Rookwood, was accused of passing information to Voldemort from inside the ministry. Jasmine sat through the trial as every member of the jury gave Rookwood a life sentence in Azkaban for his crimes.
As Rookwood was being led out by two dementors, Dumbledore, who was sitting next to Jasmine, whispered to her, “I hope to do not plan on causing another disturbance like the one before.”
Jasmine looked at her former Headmaster and saw a sad twinkle in his eyes. She decided not to answer.
Instead, she took a deep breath and said, “Hey, Barty. I hear your son’s dead. Now, we all know what happened, but how could you have not seen that coming?”
Crouch was too shocked to speak; no one ever talked to him like that, not even the Minister of Magic.
Dumbledore, however, said, “Miss Black, I wonder if you could stay back for a moment? I’d like a quick word if you don’t mind.”
“Not at all, sir.”
After her word with Dumbledore, Jasmine collected Nymphadora and had her wait in her office while she spoke to Stalburd in his office which was really more like a broom closet and the reason he could usually be found in Jasmine’s.
“Yes, Miss Black?”
“What do you think of the case on Sirius Black?”
Stalburd paused, looking thoughtful. “You don’t think he did it then?”
“No, I don’t,” Jasmine said slinking into a chair.
“Then I guess I don’t.”
“Not just ‘cause that’s what I said, I hope?”
Stalburd sat in the chair opposite Jasmine’s and sighed, obviously thinking hard. “Well, I know you wouldn’t take this position just because he’s your cousin, I mean you did send your sister to Azkaban, and I also know you’d need good reason; the Potters and Pettigrew were good friends of yours, I know you’d want to avenge them, no matter what it meant. I suppose this is the real reason for waging war against Crouch?”
Jasmine nodded. “It was Pettigrew. Lily told me…musta been just a few hours before she…before it all happened. Why’d you think I was ‘waging war’ against Crouch?”
“Oh, I just thought he did something to piss you off more than usual.”
“In a way, he did.”
Stalburd and Jasmine turned to the door as they heard it creak open.
“Um, Auntie J, I have to go to the bathroom. Is there one in your office? I keep getting lost.”
“Yeah, but you don’t want to use that one. A couple years ago I pulled some files I shouldn’t have and the only way not to get caught with them was to flush ‘em. The files were ok, but the toilet just hasn’t been the same since. So I’ll just show you where another one is, yeah,” Jasmine ended, standing up hurriedly and showing Nymphadora how to get to the bathroom.
That night, after Nymphadora had been put to bed, Jasmine, Andromeda, and Ted were up drinking coffee in the lounge.
“I’m getting kinda tired of freeloading off you guys, so-”
“Don’t be silly! You’re family, you’re not freeloading!”
“Yes she is.”
“Ted!” Andromeda scolded as Jasmine laughed.
Ted shrugged and took a sip of coffee. “At least she can take a joke.”
Jasmine laughed even harder at this and said, “That I can.” and Andromeda even cracked a smile.
“Well, anyways,” Jasmine said, calming her laughter, “I’m going back to Hogwarts.”
“Why? When? What’ll you do there? You’ve already graduate!”
“I’ve been talking to Dumbledore, and he’s allowing me to start a club, if you will, to meet after classes two or three times a week.”
“What will it be?”
“Muggle defense and fighting tactics; Death Eaters are still everywhere, but you can bet they don’t get the first thing about Muggle dueling, at least not properly, anyways. Dumbledore said he could make it an actual class, but I’m no ‘Professor’, besides Nymphadora’s starting next year, and this way you won’t have to embarrass her so much being the overprotective mother you are.”
“I am not an overprotective mother, young lady!”
“Please, And, you’d wrap her bubble paper if you knew it wouldn’t suffocate her.”
Andromeda paused as Ted shook his head in agreement with Jasmine. “Oh, alright! So I’m overprotective, is there a problem with that?!”
“No, of course not.”
“No, not at all.”
Andromeda sighed. “When?” she asked, returning to their previous conversation.
“Tomorrow night, that’s when I’ll get there.”
“Nymphadora’s going to miss you. We all are.”
An awkward silence followed and no one could seem to fill it.
Jasmine stood up. “I’ll tell her tomorrow. Thanks for everything.”
“Oh, don’t mention it. I know why you came here, and I’m glad you did.”
“Night, Andromeda, Ted.”
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