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Chapter 1 : Unspeakable
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For those of you who don't know, this story is a sequel to one of my other stories: The Seer. I highly recommend that you read it before reading this one, if you haven't already. You will be highly confused if you don't. :)
Just a little note, this takes place three years after The Seer. :) Enjoy!
“I'm sorry, Michelle,” James Potter muttered from his office desk. He rubbed his temples as he held his quill at the ready. “Please say it one more time.”
“Sure, Mr. Potter,” his assistant said with a smile. She looked to her booklet and went over her boss' schedule with him one more time. “You have eleven prophecies to insert today and a house call at two o'clock with Mia MacArthur in Claremont, New Hampshire. That would be 9 AM in New Hampshire. Her address is noted on your desk. And Clancy O'Dell would like to schedule her next appointment with you.”
“Yes, and Mia's parents’ names?” asked James, furrowing his brow as he carefully etched his schedule onto a loose piece of parchment, his notebook buried somewhere beneath the heaps of papers behind him.
“Blake and Lorena MacArthur,” answered Michelle.
“That's right,” muttered James. “I remember now.”
“Is that all I can do for you, Mr. Potter?” asked Michelle kindly.
“Yes,” he nodded, but then stopped abruptly. “No, wait. I could use another cup of coffee. And isn't there something else? I feel like I'm forgetting something.”
“It's your cousin's birthday, if that's what you're thinking, Mr. Potter,” Michelle suggested.
“Oh, shit,” murmured James. “Yes, that's right. Well, thanks, Michelle.”
“I'll be right back with that coffee, Mr. Potter,” she said encouragingly.
James grunted and dropped his quill mid-stroke. He slumped down onto his desk, letting his cheek stick to his newly written notes for the day.
As much as he loved his job and helping those like himself, it was an exhausting profession. Being an Unspeakable at the Ministry of Magic was more work than he had ever imagined. He had been working as an Unspeakable for two and a half years now, and just six months ago, his amount of work had been taken into account by the head of the department, and he had been granted an assistant. And overnight, Michelle had suddenly become his saving grace; she kept him organized and didn't let him forget to meet any of his daily quotas when things were beginning to slip his mind more and more often.
Like Dominique's birthday. How the hell could he forget her birthday? Never in his life had that happened. She was his best friend and his cousin, nonetheless.
His job was exhausting. It hadn’t been his first job choice either. He much rather would have been an Auror, but as soon as James graduated Hogwarts, Astrid Sunvison had been persistent in getting James into the Unspeakable Department. In fact, many professions had wanted James in their field. Seers were rare, and when they were available in the job market, all related professions wanted them. James had even been offered the role of Divination Professor at Durmstrang, but he couldn’t image grading papers for a living. Or living in Norway so far from his family.
Other Divination-related positions had been offered to him across the country, but none had sparked his interest, and when Astrid Sunvison learned that others were offering him jobs, the Ministry of Magic had offered him such a substantial amount of money for his position as an Unspeakable that he could not dare refuse.
While his dreams of being an Auror had long abo been snuffed out, he knew he had more to offer the world as an Unspeakable than he did as an Auror. He had come to accept that he wasn’t meant to be an Auror. He was needed by those giving prophecies, new seers and old.
He groaned and rubbed his right wrist, which so often bothered him these days. He rubbed the tender skin, wincing, and he sat up when a knock came from his door. The visitor didn't wait to be granted entrance. Instead, the door opened and Dominique Weasley let herself into James' office.
“Hey there,” grunted James from his desk. “Happy birthday, gorgeous.”
Dominique beamed at him as she dropped herself into one of his plush arm chairs. “Thanks! I thought you'd forgotten for a bit,” she said enthusiastically, adding her last comment in an undertone.
“Never,” scoffed James, hiding his embarrassment.
“Yeah, well,” muttered Dominique under her breath as she picked at her thumb nail. “Twenty-one and engaged. When did I grow up…?”
“Are you sure you really grew up?” teased James, finally sitting up to look his cousin in the eye.
When he looked to her, Dominique cocked her head to the side. A smirk spread across her face, and she giggled. “You have ink on your cheek, Jamie.”
James snorted and rubbed his cheek, looking down to his notes he had just taken with Michelle. Luckily everything was still legible. He licked his fingers and began rubbing his cheek down. When he assumed all the ink was gone, he lined up his files and needed paperwork for the day.
“You're coming tonight, right?” Dominique asked as she rubbed the round edges of her red coffee mug. She gingerly sipped at it, wiggling happily with its warmth. Then she situated herself further in the chair and placed the coffee on James' desk.
He eyed it from his paperwork as if it were an accident just waiting to happen. He looked at the dark liquid to his white papers, lips pursed and trying to hold back his demand for her to move the cup. But he finally just swallowed and shook his head, finding the file he needed for the day.
“I don't know,” he finally answered. He placed one of the stacks in the drawers of his desk, then began to flip through the designated file. “You know I would, but I have to make a house-call today, and my list of things I have to take care of within the Department of Mysteries is ever-growing. I’ll be working late.”
He hated not being able to tell her specifically what he was up to at work. But that was Ministry of Magic regulations. The Department of Mysteries was guarded and shrouded by just that—mysteries. He wasn’t allowed to discuss his work in detail with anyone outside of the department.
He didn’t do anything that could be considered exciting, though, really. His work mainly focused on consulting seers, maintaining the Hall of Prophecies, and inserting prophecies into their spheres and placing them in the Hall when they were ready. His family and friends knew of what some of his work consisted of. But not much.
And what he said was true; he would be working late, and he did have to go deal with a poor thirteen-year-old girl, Mia MacArthur, to whom Michelle had referred to, who had the experience of giving a prophecy the previous night. He knew the fear, the confusion the young girl must be feeling. James had been there. He knew what it was like. To feel out of place, to feel different, to not understand yourself. He needed to be there for the girl. He would be to her who Astrid Sunvison had been to him when he became a seer; he would be her guide.
But those reasons were not the only things holding him back from going to Dominique's birthday party that evening.
He also had no desire whatsoever to see Norah.
“You're joking,” Dominique scoffed. “You’ve known for a while that my birthday is today! It doesn’t change. The date never changes. You couldn’t have planned your schedule ahead of time?!”
“No, Dom. I'm sorry,” he muttered. “I wish I could, but I can’t help some of these things. A thirteen-year-old girl needs my help. I'll be going to America and back today.”
“But James!” she protested. “It's my birthday! You have to come. You've never missed one.”
“Oi…” he sighed heavily.
He fumbled with the stack of papers and straightened them with the wood of his desk. He placed it with the other stack in his drawer. He pulled out a piece of parchment and began to scribble on it, trying to keep himself busy.
My calendar is free after June 25th. Choose a time and place that works best for you.
Looking forward to it,
Trying to find something to do other than look Dominique in the eye, he traced over the letter he had just jotted down and pretended to add a letter or some punctuation here and there.
“I know I haven't. Listen, I'll do my best.”
“Nu-uh,” she sighed. “You have to give me more than that. You work nonstop. Live a little! It’s okay to not work after 5 PM sometimes, you know?!”
“Fine. I'll be there.”
A knock came, and James granted entrance. Michelle slipped into the room with a cup of coffee clasped between her long fingers. She set it on his desk and listened to her boss as he spoke to her.
“Thanks, Michelle,” he said. He picked up the letter he had just written. “And will you please owl this to Clancy O'Dell as soon as you can?”
“Of course,” she said as she turned to leave.
Dominique gaped at her cousin. “No! Clancy O'Dell?! James Potter!”
James groaned. He knew he should have waited to have it owled until after Dominique was gone. After months had passed since it happened, Dominique still grew sour and rigid at the mention of the girl's name. He rolled his eyes.
“Clancy O'Dell?! That bitch you slept with?!” scolded Dominique.
“The same,” he answered in monotone.
“Are you still sleeping with her?” she asked, sounding disgusted.
“No,” he answered honestly. “This is strictly business.”
“That's what you said before you took her to bed!” she snapped.
James rolled his eyes and fell back into his chair, exasperated. “Dom, will you leave it alone? I'm single; I was single when I slept with her. I can sleep with whoever the hell I want. And it’s honestly none of your business.”
“Not your clients!” she hissed.
“Leave it alone,” he snarled with intensity.
Dominique sighed, and after a while, she gave it up. She knew she was fighting a losing battle with him. So she decided to change the subject.
“You promise you’ll be there tonight?” she questioned. She finally looked up from twirling the diamond on her left ring finger. She met his eyes and watched him nod. Satisfied, she readjusted the sparkling ring and rose from the chair. When she reached the door, she turned back with a grin on her face. “Norah will be there.”
“Fuc—” he began to curse but closed his mouth tightly. He tried not to lift his gaze from his work as he said clearly and without emotion. “I can't go.”
“You are, too.”
“I don’t want to see her! You tricked me!”
“See you there, Jamie,” Dominique said with a snicker and let the door swing shut behind her.
James was left to groan with his frustration in seeing Norah. He didn't want to see her in the least. He had seen her maybe twice since their break up a few months ago. They had been doing just fine. In fact, everything had been flawless. James had been setting dates aside in his busy schedule to go engagement ring shopping with Dominique even. Then they had the smallest of fights over one of Norah's co-workers who got too friendly when they were all out for drinks one night, and the heat of the argument didn't cool off for a few days. Now, James wished it had, for the following week, he walked in on her kissing the same guy who had gotten too friendly at the bar. He knew they had both been at fault in the matter; he had driven her to him in his anger, and she had acted out in her anger at James.
Now, months later, he was still holding a grudge and without the girl he had promised to never let go.
He was aware of everyone constantly trying to force them back together, but both James and Norah were working against the conspiracies of their friends.
James went about his day with haste. While he didn't want to see Norah, he knew that Dominique was right in one thing: he couldn't miss his best friend's birthday party just because of his ex.
He inserted all eleven prophecies into their spheres before lunch, placing them in their new designated location on the shelves in the Hall of Prophecies.
The first time he ever entered the Hall, he felt small. In fact, the Hall of Prophecies had scared him. There were hundreds upon hundreds of shelves that towered above him. It was strange, in fact, to think that so many futures had been determined and were now stored safely in that Hall. Now, entering the Hall was just another daily occurrence. It was unusual now how comfortable he was within that dark, gloomy hall.
The only thing that still made him uncomfortable when he went in there was when he crossed paths with his own prophecies. The ones that dealt with people he didn't know didn't bother him, but it was the prophecies about himself, his father, and Albus from three years ago that still bothered him when he passed. It would just remind him of that year.
All in all, he had given twelve of the prophecies that resided in that hall. The sheer number of his prophecies surprised the other Unspeakables he worked with. He was closing in on being the seer to give the most prophecies in their lifetime. The record was from a man in the late 1800s who gave seventeen during his lifetime, and at the age of twenty and being a seer for only three years, James was just five short. He had no doubt in his mind that he would one day exceed that number; it was just a sheer matter of time.
Giving prophecies seemed natural to him now, though. He had grown accustomed to it, and while he knew—as did everyone else—that he was most powerful seer ever on record, he was beginning to have someone to bond with, someone he would relate to in his abilities as a seer.
That person being Clancy O'Dell.
She was twenty-two and a Beauxbatons graduate who had set down the path of a Curse Breaker until she gave her first prophecy eight months ago, followed by a seizure. Clancy O'Dell was the only other seer in the history of the Wizarding World to have a seizure post-prophecy. And of course, she was the first person to come along that he could have something in common with, and he ruined it by sleeping with her out of spite because of what Norah had done to him.
He knew he had made some mistakes over the past few months. The list was always expanding.
He was prompt about making his appointment that evening in New Hampshire, where he met with a young thirteen-year-old girl for the first time. She had given a prophecy the previous night and was shaken up about it. James had made it his first priority to make sure the girl knew that he would always be at her beck-and-call if she had any questions at all. He also extracted her prophecy and inserted it into another sphere. When he was done, he apparated to his flat, where he showered and prepared for Dominique's birthday party. Then reluctantly he apparated to Teddy and Dominique's summer home.
On the porch, James could already hear the loud music radiating from the depths of the house. It was joined with cajoled laughter and chatty conversations. While the atmosphere seemed so care-free and enthusiastic, James only gave a hefty sigh. He didn't want to be there. Maybe he could just give Dominique his present and go.
Reluctantly, he let himself into the house belonging to the soon-to-be newlyweds. It was a cozy place, but then again, Teddy and Dominique didn't need that much space when it was only their summer and holiday home. They were still happily teaching at Hogwarts and shared their own quarters there during the school year. Their house was just for the breaks from school, and it would be available the moment they also wished to leave their jobs at Hogwarts and settle down with a family.
Thankfully, the entrance into the house was empty. James could tell the core of the party was radiating in the living room off to the side, and slowly he slithered into the room.
He gave a quick scan of the room, keeping his head down and rubbing his neck, pretending to have a kink in it. He would do anything to avoid eye contact with Norah at this point, even though he had no idea where she was within the room. He located the table overflowing with presents and gingerly dropped his poorly wrapped one along with the many others. The next thing that entered his downcast vision was the table overflowing with various types of liquors and drinks.
He let out a sigh of relief and immediately began making himself a drink. He was startled mid-pour when someone jumped beside him. He turned to a beaming Dominique, who embraced him about his waist.
“All right, you're late, but you showed!”
“That's the best I've got,” said James under his breath.
“Yeah, I know. I'm just glad you're here,” she said with a mutter and a tight squeeze to his waist.
James rubbed her arm and wished her a happy birthday again as he kissed her head. “Where is she?” he muttered in question into her hair.
“Far right corner with Lorcan,” she answered him.
“Fuck. Then, if Lorcan's with her, that means he will come—”
“Hey there!” Lorcan Scamander beamed from behind James and Dominique as if on cue.
“And there he is...” sighed James.
Together, they reluctantly turned to face him. When James turned to see the rest of the room before them, he was careful to keep his eyes focused on Lorcan, but in his peripherals, he scanned the room for her and spotted Norah in a back corner. He stifled his groan of frustration and gave Lorcan a clap on the back in greeting.
“Too long, mate, too long,” Lorcan said with a cheeky grin.
“I know it. You should really come by my office one day. We'll get lunch. I've drowning in paperwork these days,” sighed James with a shake of the head.
“Lunch?” snorted Lorcan. “Are you kidding? You getting old on me already? What happened to heading out to that pub like we used to every Friday?”
Lorcan had aged well. A young man now in the professional world as well, he had begun working for The Quibbler shortly after finishing his schooling. Lorcan had quickly risen up the professional ladder at his job, something that surprised James and even Lorcan himself. James had never pegged Lorcan for an office job, but Lorcan was surprisingly good at what he did, and he enjoyed it just enough so that his rambunctious and spunky personality could tolerate an office setting. In fact, Lorcan had done so well for himself that he was now Managing Editor of the magazine.
Unlike James, though, Lorcan didn’t let his career affect his personal life. Lorcan still lived wildly on the evenings and weekends, enjoying all of life’s pleasures while he was still young. He also still rocked his long silver hair, often braided in odd places and embellished with feathers.
“Right. I know; I’m sorry. Tomorrow then? Our usual spot?” James asked with a smile. It actually lightened his mood to think that tomorrow was Friday. He was ready for the weekend, and while Dominique had accused him correctly earlier that day—he did, indeed, often work late into the evenings—he did not let his career interfere with his weekends.
“You bet'cha,” Lorcan grinned.
James turned back to Dominique, who was impatiently tugging on his sleeve. “What?!” he finally barked down to her.
“She can't stop looking at you. She's in pain. Why don't you go talk to her?” she pressed.
“She is the one who cheated on me,” sneered James. He had been graced with the privilege of being happy and carefree for all of two seconds, and now Dominique had to go and ruin it? Why? He had shown up to her party; what more did she want?
“That may be, but you are the one who left her without an explanation!” she snapped. “Norah would never—”
“Don’t take her side!” James snapped, cutting her off in mid-sentence. He wasn't going to take any of this from her. Not today. He'd heard enough over the past few months. “Listen, your present is on the table. I hope you like it. I'm here, I've seen you, and I've wished you a happy birthday. So if you're going to do this, then I'm going to leave.”
Dominique huffed in exasperation, and she tried to grab hold of James' arm as he headed for the door. “No. Jamie, come on! It's my birthday!”
“Sorry,” he said in dismissal. He downed his drink and tossed the plastic cup into the trash at the end of the table mid-stride.
He had reached the front door and was reaching for the handle when he felt a hand on the small of his back. It was gentle and persuasive. It wasn't Dominique's.
He groaned at the voice. He didn't want to talk to her. Not now. He had been so close in escaping her.
He turned to face Norah. “Can we talk?”
A/N: Edited 9.15 for grammar and accuracy.
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