Chapter 4: The Right Kind of Muggle/Part of Your World
Here we are, the next chapter. This helps set up the next chapter, which will have a little action before they go to Paris. I bet you can't guess what happens there and at the ministry and theatre. Haha.
Thank you for all the support, but I am going to stretch the next update out to two weeks. Mainly because I don't have that much written, and not chapter 5 but six needs a lot of work and I have other works that need attention.
Can you please vote?
Hope you like it. Hope you like this nice big update. I didn't like editing it.
Five or so minutes later, the maid Muriel-or so Sylvia assumed-turned up. Muriel left the water in the bathroom for her, but Sylvia didn't strip off until the maid was gone. Muriel wasn't very conversational, as Sylvia disappointingly found out. She sighed dramatically.
It was only now Sylvia realised how filthy she was. She blushed, embarrassed. Sylvia supposed if she was found out on the property, it wasn't too surprising she had mud in her hair. Probably on her outer robe, too. She'd have to check later. A cleaning charm would do it.
After washing up, Sylvia got dressed. While getting dressed, cursing the dress for going on differently to robes and modern clothing all the while, Sylvia put one of the corsets on. She saw what it looked like before prompt taking it off. It was the worst twenty seconds of her life. She had an idea of what it looked like now, at least.
Sylvia used a couple of spells to give the same appearance but without having her ribs crushed, which was nice. Sylvia suspected she was being a drama queen, but nothing in her could care. After all, there were studies into the dangers of such an item.
She liked the dress on, though: navy suited her, or so she thought. Sylvia wondered why no one had suggested it before: she had never worn navy before. Perhaps, she supposed, it was a bit old fashioned for Daphne's tastes, and Sylvia had always put on whatever Daphne said to wear. Sylvia shed a tear, letting out a sob. She dried her face.
When she was dressed, she tied her hair into a short ponytail. Sylvia spent a few minutes trying to get her hair sitting nicely before giving up, leaving it the unruly mess it was naturally. Sylvia folded up her unspeakable clothing before putting them in the trunk. She put her handbag in, hiding it at the bottom, but not before looking through it. Why not do a purge? It was probably a good idea for Sylvia to do it now.
There were four photos, for a start: one with Daphne and her, one from the Yule Ball, one with everyone, and one with her parents. Sylvia felt a tear fall as she stared at the group photo. Except for Ginny and Draco, Sylvia had been drifting away from her school friends. This photo was taken just before they started drifting apart.
It was expected, Sylvia supposed, with them all moving in different circles, just about everyone having completely different jobs. She'd known and had the most history with Draco, (followed by Daphne,) which was why their friendship hung on, but even between them, things were not the same as when they were sixteen. Sylvia found it hard to talk to any of them now, and there was just nothing to say.
Sylvia, over breakfast that morning, (was it still the same day, or so she believed,) admitted how she found it hard telling the other two things when the secrets would have spilled out instantly in the past. She was still touched by their worry, but deep down, she had a little bit of annoyance.
It was the same with everyone else, too, even dear Luna. Their conversations were getting forced, and Sylvia found an awkward air in the conversation, despite everything they'd been through. It was different with Sirius, but despite being his son's godmother and Sirius' goddaughter, they were not that close anyway. Then Colin, who Sylvia now didn't really converse with, both being too guilty. Often, they got into arguments over who was more guilty.
Sylvia sobbed, letting out many gut-wrenching sobs, her tears causing her pain as her eyes stung. Despite the distance that drifted between them, despite any other doubts, Sylvia adored her friends and missed them terribly. She looked up at her horrible teary face in the mirror, hoping desperately she got home somehow.
When she did, she would fix it. She would apologise for drifting away, getting caught up in work, and whatever else had happened: she would try, but it took two to tango, so to speak. Now that she saw what was happening, now with the very real realisation, she may never see them again and a different outlook, Sylvia saw the group was on their way out.
Sylvia sighed and tried to calm herself down: nothing she could do now. If she got back, she'd fix that. She vowed as much. Sylvia continued to look through the bag. She had a few galleons in there, not that they'd be much use. There was little she could do in the magic world without exam results, certainly at this time.
She could become a salesperson, but Sylvia wasn't fond of selling things, including herself. She recalled how she had almost fainted during her job interview, and how Mrs Autumn remarked that Sylvia got the job, but she needed to work on selling herself for the job.
Sylvia supposed she could convert the galleons, assuming she could get to Gringotts, she didn't know where that was located, unlike the ministry.
Sylvia also had a couple of potions in her bag, charmed and warded to not expire and break, just in case. They would save or buy time for her if she or a friend got injured. She hoped she never got into that situation.
Sylvia grabbed a handkerchief and dried her eyes. Satisfied she looked presentable, she slipped on her old shoes, pulling her stockings up first. Sylvia didn't feel her shoes would be too out of place in this world. She sure as hell would not wear heels: Sylvia did not want a twisted or broken ankle before she even got to the drawing-room, or wherever she was supposed to go.
"Right, let's face them," Sylvia whispered, standing up and looking at herself in the full-length mirror, satisfied she was dressed well and looked okay. She turned away from the mirror and walked out the door of the bedroom.
After asking another maid for directions, Sylvia found where she was supposed to meet Madame de Changy, in what she thought was a french sitting room. Sylvia, before now, hadn't paid much attention to outside, despite the bedroom she woke in having a window. She saw it was late afternoon, turning to dusk.
As Sylvia entered the drawing-room, an elderly gentleman was placing a tray on the table, packed with tea implements. He was dressed in traditional butler clothing. The tray was surrounded by four chairs and a chaise-longue.
Seated on a chair with a high back, facing the door, was a man a similar age to Sylvia, who supported dark blonde hair and sideburns. On a chair with its back to the door, Sylvia could see the greying yellow head of Madame de Changy.
"Ah. Here she is, mother," the man said, smiling at Sylvia, standing up. Sylvia couldn't help but eye him nervously: she hadn't had good experiences with muggles, and while Madame de Changy had been good to her, she was a little distrusting. Especially when her main tormentors had been her uncle and cousin-both males.
Mrs de Changy made a surprised sound, her head becoming more visible as if she sat up. Grunting and groaning, she looked around behind her, smiling when she set eyes on the girl. Madame de Changy was a little surprised with how long it had taken the Evans girl to turn up, but maybe she had been busy getting herself presentable. She gave the girl's hair a disdainful look: pity Evans didn't spend the time getting that neat.
"Mademoiselle Evans! Please, join us," she said. At the same time, the butler started making up their drinks. "How do you like your tea?"
Sylvia wanted to flinch, remembering the name she had given the family, conveniently forgetting. The old woman noticed that. "Thank you. Just a little bit of milk, please. No sugar, please," Sylvia asked, looking to the butler with a polite smile.
"Mademoiselle Evans, this is my son, Raoul." Madame de Changy introduced, gesturing to the young man, then back to Sylvia. "This is Thora Evans, Raoul."
"Hello," Sylvia said, smiling embarrassed, offering her hand as she remembered what he had done for her. "Thank you for helping me."
"Pleasure to meet you, mademoiselle," Raoul said, kissing Sylvia's hand, as per fairly normal french tradition. It still made her a little embarrassed, even knowing that. "No problem. I'm glad you were alright in the end. I was quite shocked to come across you, though." He obviously spoke more English, as his was better than his mothers. Raoul de Changy had a strong french accent still, though, similar strength to Fleurs.
Both of them sat down. "Thanks," Sylvia said, being handed her tea. She normally didn't bother but seated around upper-class, she tried to remember the standard for tea drinking. She didn't bother around the Malfoys now, the war had robbed their care for all that.
The other two thanked the butler before anything else was said. They drank in silence until the butler had left the room. "So, how did you come to be in our field, Mademoiselle?" Madame de Changy asked, a knowing smile. "And can I call you Thora?" Sylvia noticed the younger de Changy give his mother a look, almost as if he wanted to glare or protest. The older woman didn't see through. Sylvia doubted she would have paid him any mind.
Sylvia cursed, she wasn't prepared for this. "Sure. Umm, I was out for a walk when I got lost," Sylvia started, cursing herself yet again, knowing immediately they were not going to believe her. "I have been having Insomnia at night none stop for a while, along with nightmares, so I haven't had a good night sleep in ages. I feel so damn tired all the time. I decided I'd have a quick nap because I couldn't think straight... not to mention I was walking like a drunk man. Your woods seemed nice, so I decided to sleep in there?" Sylvia didn't look at them, she couldn't. Even she started to not believe her story, her confidence going out the window.
There were a few moments of silence, and from the glances Sylvia stole, it looked as though the de Changy's were thinking. Then they both frowned, the younger one giving her a very suspicious, almost accusing look. "Do you realise I don't believe that for a second?" Madame de Changy said, raising her eyebrows at the girl, a note of warning in her voice.
Sylvia sighed. "I suspected as much." Sylvia nodded, wondering what to do now.
She supposed she could use magic to influence their minds, but it seemed wrong. It was certainly risky, as Sylvia would never forgive herself if she destroyed their minds, which was possible unless she used the mind influencing unforgivable, which had its own problems.
Not to mention it didn't always last, fading over weeks to years, meaning their memories could return anyway. Using magic on the mind was dangerous for even someone who was good at it, but Sylvia wasn't that great with anything to do with the mind, and she couldn't risk it. She couldn't.
"Why don't you just tell us the truth?" Raoul asked, narrowing his eyes suspiciously, unable to understand why she wouldn't tell the truth. Unless she was up to no good... In which case, they needed the police. He felt torn between just calling them right now or hearing the girl out.
"It's difficult to explain, and I am not exactly allowed to. I'm not sure you guys would believe me, anyway," Sylvia said. Then she rambled on, not on purposely, (but not exactly accidentally,) giving half of it away. Her eyes were very interested in the roof. "Though, I suppose I wouldn't technologically be bound to the Statue of Secrecy, considering I have no connections to this world. But it's not in the spirit of the law..."
"Umm, I don't mean to be rude, Evans, but what are you on about?" Raoul asked, looking at the raven-haired girl confusedly. Perhaps she had simply escaped a mental hospital? Yes, that made sense. He currently rolled with that, which made him feel even more conflicted about doing nothing: if she was mad, who knew what she could do?
"Oops!" Sylvia covered her mouth. "I said too much," Sylvia gasped, wondering what to do now. Should she just tell the truth? Should she risk damaging them and erasing their memories of her, just in case? Should she leave it and make up an excuse?
"Just tell us, dear," Mrs de Changy urged, her tone changing to be soft and kind. "We're both pretty open and laid-back people. If it's secret, we won't tell. Will we, Raoul?"
Raoul looked as though he wanted to disagree, or certainly put on the spot. "No, we won't." he nodded hastily eventually, not able to see a problem with that. He felt a little uncomfortable agreeing to that, especially when this woman seemed insane or a freak.
That aside, he was willing to give her a chance, unless she was wanted. Even then, depending on his mother's opinion, it may only be if she had stolen a lot or murdered. Raoul grimaced: perhaps his friends were right, he did need to move out. He was way too dependant on his mother and what she thought.
"Okay," Sylvia said nervously, just preventing herself from stuttering. She figured if this blew up, she would just have to erase their memories. For now, she would go the whole hog, seeing where that would take her. Under the guise of scratch her arm, she sneakily pulled her wand and cast some privacy spells. Sylvia wasn't sure if she had completely hidden it, though. Raoul de Changy gave her an odd look, suggesting he noticed something.
Sylvia swallowed hard, allowing herself to wallow in complete and utter terror and nervousness, pleading with Merlin to watch over her. It was in his hands. She pleaded to god, too, needing all the help she could get. She regained her composure, facade, despite the fact they saw her without it and spoke.
She started with the fact that was the least likely to have serious side effects, like being burnt alive, hoping to put them in a stupor for the rest. "I'm from the future."
Sylvia paused for effect, seeing the other two's faces turn to confusion, staring at her like she was mad. It was better than reaching for their weapons. "Has the war against Germany happened? Has either of the world wars? Is Hitler still alive?" Sylvia learnt about the wars at Primary School, and she knew the dates. She was asking to help narrow down the time she was in.
"What has that got to do with anything?" Raoul asked, bewildered, widening his eyes.
"No, I don't know about this Hitler. There have been no wars, certainly none against Germany," his mother, meanwhile, said, shaking her head.
"Thanks." Sylvia nodded. "With that in mind at a guess, Noble de Changy family, I'm at least a hundred years in the past from my time, give or take. I'm an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries in England: things change over the next few years, and women get more freedom and to vote. Or is that happening?
"I was recently were tasked with finding the problem and fixing a broken time-turner. Before you ask, it's an object that sends people into the past, usually no more than a week, though we had reason to suspect this one went further. What I said about my sleep was true, and knowing that fact is important." she held her hand up, her finger pointing up. "I had a nap over lunch when I must have touched a not quite so broken time-turner, which brought me here," Sylvia explained, looking away.
Sylvia chanced a glance back. Seeing their stunned expressions, mixed between shock and disbelief, Sylvia said, "Now do you see why I was reluctant to tell you?"
It took a while before either of them could speak. There were changing expressions over the duo's faces, from disbelief to wonder-the latter more on Madame de Changy's face-to shock and fear, (Mr de Changy,) neither of which helped Sylvia's nervous which were fraying more by the minute.
"Yes, I can," Raoul managed to stutter out eventually, his expression changing a million times per second. "Magic... magic: magic is real. You're, you're a witch?" he asked, spluttering slightly, edging away from Sylvia a bit. Sylvia, looking away, wincing, nodded.
"Can you show us some magic?" Mrs de Changy asked tiredly, although the was a spark of come into her eye. The Vicomte looked at his mother as if to say traitor, or 'do you know what you're doing?'
"Yes, sure, Madame." Sylvia nodded. She brandished her wand, glancing around for something to show them. She flicked it at some wilted flowers in a pot.
Suddenly, the number of flowers doubled, and life was brought back into them, meaning they were now healthy and in full bloom. A smile escaped her lips, and Sylvia found words dancing out while Madame de Changy clapped. Her son stared with confusion and slight awe. The man quickly erased everything but the confusion.
"Look at my stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you say my skills are complete?" Sylvia laughed, shaking her head.
"Wouldn't you think I'm the girl, the girl who can have everything?
Look at this trove, treasures untold, how many wonders can one cavern hold?"
"What's this get do to with anything?" Madame De Changy asked, confused.
"Maybe she isn't completely sane after all?" Raoul muttered, shaking his head.
"Looking around here you'd think, Sure, you guys have everything!" Sylvia extended her arms to the sky.
You have gadgets and gizmos a-plenty
Why I have whozits and whatzits galore
Do you want thingamabobs? I can conjure twenty!
But who cares? No big deal
We all want more!"
"I think I can what she's saying," the Vicomte said thoughtfully. He believed she was pointing that they had many things she didn't, and vice versa.
Sylvia continued, standing up and walking to the window. "But now, I wanna be where my people are!
I wanna, I wanna go home!
Where they walk, where they run
Up where they stay all day casting spells in the sun! Wanderin' free, wish I could be...
Part of that world! What would I give if I could live back in that.. world.
When's it my turn? Wouldn't I love, love to explore to return to up above?
Out of my sea, Wish I could be
Part of that world!"
"Oh... wow..." he gasped, starting to look a bit uncomfortable, trying to work out what to do. It was fair enough, Sylvia didn't blame him. While in modern days, one wouldn't normally get burnt if a family of none-magicals found out, as it was anti-social and illegal, no matter the reason. But in this time era, Sylvia was pretty sure the witch-burnings were at their liveliest.
She was sure people burnt magicals in this age, rather than just using them as a fairy tale, a story to entertain children, which was the case when she was from. But here. people were taught to fear magic by the overpowering arrogant churches, who believed they were the devil's children or the devil.
Raoul stood up abruptly, causing the two ladies to jump: Sylvia just caught her cup before it bit the dust. "Excuse me," Raoul said distractedly. He nodded to them both before quickly leaving the room.
Panic filled Sylvia, as she stood up to follow him. She believed he was going to tell on her, get her burnt! She had to stop it, she believed, as her chest began to hurt.
"Don't worry about him," Madame de Changy said, putting her hand up as Sylvia went to follow him, already halfway up. Sylvia looked at the woman, waiting for more explanation, slowly sitting down again. "All our lives, Mademoiselle Evans, we have been taught to fear magic, and we have been told the users should be killed immediately. I don't agree with that, and since you are evidently not a danger to us, in this instance, Raoul won't make that happen to you.
"Raoul is the kind of person to rationalise and find a normal answer for anything unusual, even if it's just saying it's a bad dream. So, faced with something that there is no explanation for, as there is for magic and Time-travel. He'll need some time to think," Mrs de Changy explained. "You're perfectly safe, though, Thora, at least right now. Albeit, I do worry what he will do if faced with adversity without me to guide him."
Sylvia was reminded she should mention the truth with her name. When Raoul comes back, she decides. After lowering the privacy charms, Sylvia sighed, answering de Changy's earlier remark, "I can tell you this: in the face of danger, people do strange things. Things that may or may not be out of character. I sure am guilty of that."
"Yes quite." the older woman nodded. "I just have to hope if something happens like that, he doesn't immediately fall to social pressure. I raised him to give people a chance. I hope he does the right thing."
"Hopefully," Sylvia said, nodding, subdue, not looking at the blonde woman still.
Elisabeth internally laughed, glancing at Thora. She should have perhaps guessed the girl was a witch: in folk law, black hair and green eyes were common for witches. Then her clothing: Elisabeth had only seen that style in the cults, witchcraft circles.
Then it dawned on her, Sylvia glancing at the blonde confirming her suspicions. "Umm, I don't mean to be rude, but you seem fine with it, Madame de Changy. Why, may I ask?" Sylvia asked.
"Of course you can! That's not rude. But please, call me Elisabeth! Madame de Changy makes me sound old!" the older woman said joyfully, looking rather thrilled. Then she turned a bit more down to earth. "I have always believed in magic, quite a few people do, believe it or not. Assuming they don't become paranoid fear-stricken people just pretend it was a childhood craze, which doesn't always happen: I am not the only one like that. As I got older, I still believed in it, and slowly, I have become more and more fascinated by the idea. Although, meeting a real witch is still quite a shock. May I ask you some questions?" Elisabeth laughed.
"Yes, that's fine. But try to keep it to a minimum," Sylvia said, agreeing, giving Elisabeth a curt nod. "Same with questions about the future in general. I don't see any harm in sharing a little, but not too much. I don't want to kill the timeline." It crossed Sylvia's mind she may be able to make the most of her time here, thus, changing the future. She shook her head: now was really not the time for making plans for Grindelwald and Tom Riddle's future, or potential lack their-of.
"Fair enough." Elisabeth nodded, humming. "Do you have to use that sticky thing to cast magic?"
"It's how we all learn, but no, you don't. Wandless magic is possible; I can do a little bit, in fact. It's much harder, though, and requires a lot of strain on your magic. So for most people, it is not very appetising," Sylvia explained, rather excited to be able to explain magic to someone. Her smile showed how she felt, positively making her glow and look giddy with happiness. "Anyway, if you get the wand away from the wizard, they are pretty harmless, generally. There are magical equivalents to bombs and guns, though, albeit they are still not well used in my time yet. They do exist, don't they?" Sylvia had no idea if those objects existed yet, so she thought she better ask. Otherwise, she would have to think of something else.
"Bombs and guns: yes, they do," Elisabeth said, confirming.
Elisabeth's son returned then, looking a bit nervy but pleasant. The way he held his shoulders, the way his jaw was clenched: he had signs of fear and nervousness. As he sat down, he shifted glances at Sylvia.
"I'm sorry about that, mother, Mademoiselle Evans," Raoul de Changy apologised, nodding to both women, ducking his head.
"It's fine. Fair enough, Vicomte." Sylvia waved it off, smiling understandingly. "I understand where you are coming from: I'm used to people not being comfortable with it. Your streaks ahead of my relatives, who had a relative, my mum, who was magical, and yet they still couldn't handle it."
"It's better you take yourself away then shout or explode," Elisabeth said calmly, sitting up. "Thank you for that."
"You taught me well, mother." was all the blond man said, smiling at his mother, though somewhat strained.
"By the way, I owe you both an apology: I wasn't honest, earlier," Sylvia said quietly, looking at the arm of her chair intently.
"What?" Vicomte asked tiredly.
"Yes, out with it, girl," Elisabeth said, looking from Raoul to Sylvia. "It can't be much worse or surprising than you being from the future or a witch." Raoul flinched, causing Elisabeth to fight to not smirk. "Unless that's all the lie."
"No, that is all true," Sylvia said awkwardly. "When I woke up, I was confused, a little nervous. For whatever reason, I decided to introduce myself under my codename I use at work. I'm not Thora Evans: Thora is my codename and Evans is my mother's maiden name."
"I don't know," Mr de Changy said thoughtfully. "Since you are from the future, it seems rather smart. I can't say I wouldn't do the same."
"Well, I personally think it's odd," Elisabeth said, scratching her head. "What is your name then?"
"Sylvia," Sylvia said quickly, leaning forward. "Sylvia Potter. Really, I am Lady Sylvia Potter, but I am yet to claim that title. I probably should, if I get back."
"Sylvia," Raoul said, nodding slowly. "That suits you much better." What he said was true. He was impressed she had a title, though.
"Yes, it seems right," his mother said, agreeing. "We will call you that. But what will you do about your name?"
"I don't know," Sylvia said, defeated. "What do you think?"
"What would you feel more comfortable with?" Elisabeth suggested.
"As much as I abhor the name, it would be for the best," Sylvia said with a sigh, her hands falling into her lap. "I would want to have connections with the wizarding world, and Potter is not a common name there, certainly not as far as Europe is concerned. I was named after a myth in our world, and it has never been mentioned: there is not another Sylvia Potter. There is little chance I can get home, but just in case, it would be best there was not two Sylvia Potter's so close."
"That's fair enough," Elisabeth said, nodding.
"Ugh, I don't know," Sylvia moaned, facepalming, running her hands down her face. "I'll ask the ministry when I go, get their opinion."
"That's a smart idea," Raoul said. Then he asked, changing the subject and eyeing Sylvia wearily-not that he hadn't been before- "Can you really turn people into frogs?"
He swallowed, trying to ignore his tight chest, unable to stop glancing at the raven-haired girl, who sat alert. Raoul didn't trust Evans, Potter, whatever she told herself. She seemed nice and harmless, but he couldn't trust a magical. They could do freakish things-unnatural, they could murder with just a flick of a stick: it terrified him.
Though, he wasn't convinced she was one of the devil's minions, despite what had been told. Raoul had seen evil, and Potter didn't fit the bill. She seemed too nice, and he didn't think it was an act, either. In fact, he had to say she was anything but. Maybe he would convince her to go to a church one day, finding it out once and for all.
Sylvia stared for a moment before smiling. "Yes, I could, but it's not terribly common practice," Sylvia chuckled, amused, recalling many stories with some poor sod getting turned into a frog. "Generally, we like to keep to ourselves, for our safety and the muggles. Even without that, we don't tend to turn people into frogs: very anti-social."
"Well, that's good." Raoul nodded jerkily, feeling slightly better. He didn't know much, but he hoped if they didn't tend to turn people into frogs often, they didn't do much other magical voodoo often either.
Sylvia, meanwhile, thought to herself. She was a little unsure of the Vicomte and didn't trust him completely yet, but she found herself completely comfortable around his mother. At least she and the Vicomte agreed on one thing: they didn't trust each other.
Elisabeth frowned. "What's a muggle?" she asked.
"Someone without magic," Sylvia answered, smiling softly. "We call children from Muggle backgrounds Muggle-Borns, though sadly a lot of purebloods, families, who are generations of magicals, don't like them. They believe they steal magic or wands from 'good' witches and wizards. What a horrible mentality."
"In our circles, there are people who treat the poorer and lower class like dirt, too. They believe they shouldn't exist," Raoul said disgustedly. "There are some people I don't like, but it's not usually their class. It's what they do to me and how they act that bothers me." He hesitated. "Admittedly, I don't particularly like the different, pardon me for saying this, Mademoiselle, the freaks of our world."
"I suppose those types of people are everywhere," Sylvia said, shaking her head sadly. "I used to hate being called a freak, my relatives did as an insult. But then I realised, if someone is amazingly talented, you call them a freak, or say they are freakishly good at whatever. So therefore it's not completely an insult."
The two de Changys asked her a few questions about the future and magic, most of which Sylvia happily answered. Sylvia found it amusing how Raoul very obviously was trying to suss out if she was likely to murder them or not. She tried to use her words to ease his fears without actually saying it, albeit there were some things she glazed over, or thought was better left unsaid.
After a while, the blond man got to more pressing matters. "So, do you know how you'll get back? If at all?" Raoul asked, eager to get rid of her. He reasoned, it was best for everyone.
"No, I don't." Sylvia shook her head. "For starters, the time-turner in question seemed to be broken, which is odd. According to the people who made sure it was safe to work with that was the problem, it was broken. That leaves a big question, which concerns me: how can it work unless what happened was a malfunction? Then, while people at the ministry have a job devoted to studying time and time travel, little is known about it.
"That's mainly to down to the fact a hundred years before now, or thereabouts, there was a dark wizard who tried to take over the magic world. Like all of that type of wizard, he caused a lot of damage. Half the magic population was wiped out, and while it did exist before then, it made the whole pureblood elitist balderdash take off. That wizard, Lord Wilasky, was eventually defeated and peace returned, until that, that, man's grandson, Earnest Wilasky, travelled back in time to ensure his grandfather's victory. This was about eighty years later, I might add, but I don't get it. Why would you want to travel back and save someone you didn't know? Why not continue their plan from your time? Fortunately, someone, Ruth Queenstome, knew what Earnest was up to. She went after him and stopped him thus, keeping history the same. Albeit, a small note about her selfless bravery is recorded in history.
"Because of that incident, a girl had to give up her life for the future, and the future was almost destroyed, the magical leaders all over the world got together and created the global laws, one of which included a clause that any time-turner that went back more than twenty-four hours was to be destroyed, and those left were to be locked up with use monitored closely.
"Eventually, they relaxed them a little and created some that went back longer, but everyone agreed no longer than a week," Sylvia said, remembering what she had read in a compulsory book for becoming an Unspeakable. "Even in modern days, that rule still stands. Any longer is too risky."
"But why a week? Isn't that risky too?" Raoul asked, puzzled.
"Well, keeping them in existence is too risky, really, but some people need them." Sylvia gave examples. "It's hard for my school to timetable twelve subjects, half of which have multiple classes a week. If a student wants to take them all, they have a twenty for hour time-turner, allowing them to be in two classes at once, get time to go, get all their homework done, and still sleep. Though, a girl I knew didn't realise or wasn't told about those lost two things. Between you and me, she is so firm about sticking to the rules, it didn't occur to her," Sylvia said, leaning in and whispering. She sombrely remembered how Draco skipped over to them one day, proudly saying Granger was using a time-turner.
"Investigators use them, too, though they take the ones that can go back a week, just in case. Some families, if there are a lot of kids and both parents work full time, have one so they can work through the week then go back and spent it with the kids," Sylvia continued. "Of course, with all of this, there isn't a time-turner that can take you forward in time at all, and that's even before mo
st the time-turners were destroyed. There are a few that return you to where you came from after five minutes to an hour in the past, but that's it."
"Why is that?" Elisabeth asked, confused. Surely when there were objects that could send people back years, they'd create something to bring them back. A pang went through her for Sylvia: poor girl, she may never get back. Elisabeth felt even more pained trying to imagine what being ripped from your life, friends, family and world would be like.
"There has been a little research, and they believe it could kill the person in question. For travelling back, you see, we are simply travelling to a time that exists. But to travel forward in time, even if we're going home, we are travelling to an age that doesn't exist because it technically, hasn't happened, even though you are from there. The research showed that magic itself has a safeguard to stop people from travelling forward in time, for some reason, even if they're from there. They also believe that because the past exists the body can cope, but for travelling forward, we are going somewhere that doesn't exist, thus confusing the body and causing it to age rapidly until death. Anyway, as you have probably worked out, my chances of getting back are still slim," Sylvia explained, trying hard to not break or cry.
"I can't even try making one and risk it, as I don't even know how to make a time-turner of any sort, let alone one that has never been created before." Tears escaped her eyes, she tried to hide them. "There is still a chance, though," She insisted, keeping that belief strong.
"How did they know those people had travelled back, then?" Raoul asked, prompting.
"Well, the one who saved the future simply disappeared. Her mother received a time-delayed letter, which contained a magical vow declaring that was what happened, thus, this bit of history is known. A magical vow cannot be a lie," Sylvia explained, a sob escaping her. She vowed: no more. Her emotions betrayed her.
"That makes sense," Elisabeth nodded. "Can you learn to make a time-turner?"
"Yes, but it's not going to happen here. I'd imagine there are very few jobs, if any, I could get as a woman, for a start. And I know that it was in the last fifty years in my time the female unspeakables were taken on. My Boss, Mrs Autumn, was the very first. She's now head of the department," Sylvia explained, sighing and crossing her legs over one another. "Even without, I still had several years of training to do before graduating from trainee, and there is a rule which states that only a full-fledged worker can know that." she sobbed.
"That's part of the time-turner act. They only learn when they are trusted to not betray the department, and they are only taught to create one to go back a week," Sylvia said, glancing at the nice view out the window. She could see the countryside, which was very dark. It was practically night now. "The magic used changes to go back further, not that anyone remembers. My not-so-broken time-turner is likely one of the remaining sources of that knowledge. So if I did fix it, I would have had to swear to not breathe a word about it or use the knowledge I gained, meaning I cannot tell someone else or make another one."
"That makes sense," Elisabeth nodded. "Devastating for you."
"Yes. What can you do now, Mademoiselle?" Raoul asked Sylvia.
"Please, Sylvia," Sylvia said, requesting it. "But to answer your question, I don't know. I'll let the French Ministry know, maybe they'll have some ideas. At the very least, they can arrange a letter or note for my friends to find out what happened. I will do some experimenting to try and find another way, but I may have to resign myself to being stuck here." Sylvia felt tears threaten to fall again, but she held them back. She couldn't, she wouldn't cry! Not while there was still a chance.
The other two noticed her expression fall. "No matter what, you can count on us," Elisabeth said, making a choice. She had to help. What was the point in being wealthy if you didn't help the ones in need? Especially when said in need person turns up on your doorstep.
"Yes," Raoul said, resigning himself to not getting rid of their dear witch any time soon. Oh goody. "If you are indeed stuck here, we will help you settle in. Where is the French Ministry? Do you know?"
"Thank you," Sylvia said, giving a sad watery smile. She was glad she had found these people, they were the right sort of muggles. While she wouldn't say they were friends yet, she could certainly see the de Changys' being friends of hers. She trusted Raoul a little more now, but she wouldn't let her guide down. "Paris: why?"
"That's brilliant then," Raoul said, sounding as he had a plan. Sylvia raised her eyebrows, but let him continue. "I have to go into Paris next week, so I can take you in, help you out a little." He hoped they might get rid of her even then. He felt sorry for her, but Raoul still didn't particularly trust her. He had to admit she was quite nice: pity about the witch part.
"Yes, that might be for the best." Sylvia nodded slowly and begrudgingly. "I had a friend who was obsessed with this time era, but there is much I don't know. I could use a guide, please, Vicomte. And I need help with my french."
"Then it's settled." Raoul nodded. "Please, call me Raoul. Anything else you can come up with makes me sound like my father." he cringed. "But yes, we can help with your french."
"What are you going to do in Paris, Raoul?" Elisabeth asked curiously. "You went the other week for the estate... are you meeting up with friends?"
"Mother!" Raoul groaned, glaring at her while Sylvia laughed. He shot her a look. "Don't you have a mother?"
"Yes, but she died when I was a baby," Sylvia answered brightly, after calming herself down a little.
Raoul wished his mother didn't pry into his affairs, in front of a stranger no less. Still, he dared not tell her to nick off, knowing his mother would chew him over that. "Yes, I am." Raoul nodded. "I have some things to get and then I thought I might go and see a play or something. I have heard the Theatre de Chatelet has a very good Romeo and Juliet running at the moment."
Sylvia looked pensive. "The theatre has lots of different jobs, doesn't it?" Sylvia asked suddenly.
"Yes, why?" Elisabeth asked, raising her eyebrow, leaning back.
"Well, it looks as though I'm going to be here for a while, so no matter what I do, a job would be rather handy," Sylvia explained. "I'm not sure. I might be able to get a job in the magical world, but I'm really not sure. It would be hard since I don't have any exam results, nor have I gone to Beauxbatons, Hogwarts or anywhere else here. Most jobs need results from the exams in our fifth year unless things have changed."
"If you need anything, I'll help cover for you," Elisabeth said, frowning. "I said I wasn't going to leave you on the streets."
"Yes, I know, but it doesn't feel right, and you are doing so much for me already," Sylvia explained shyly. "It just wouldn't feel right allowing solely on you guys, and I would feel uncomfortable not having my own money."
"Fair enough," Raoul said, nodding. He was surprised and impressed by her feelings on that. He was impressed, it was nice to meet someone who didn't get caught up in the greed. "I'll keep my ears peeled for something. What can you do?"
"As much as I loathe it, I can clean and cook, although my food tastes terrible. I actually poisoned my friends once, and myself. The only one who wasn't vomiting near constantly for the next two days hadn't eaten much due to a stomach bug she already had." Sylvia grimaced. "I can't really sew, but I could move scenery," Sylvia said, thinking about what she could do. "I had a few singing lessons when I was a little girl, so don't really have much there unless they need a permanent extra or something, which is possible. I do not know how to dance, though. Except for the waltz, assuming you are alright with your feet being trodden on.
"I can play the flute, though nothing brilliant. I cannot play the piano, or any other instrument, to save myself. Trust me, I have several pureblood friends, who learnt to play and tried to teach me, but they gave up. They tried the piano, violin, cello and harp." Sylvia smiled painfully at those memories, mostly with Daphne, though Narcissa and Draco both tried, too.
"Well, at least that limits possibilities," Raoul remarked, not sure that helped. "A stagehand is a job most likely to be free, as it's a very hard job but pretty basic: it's normally a first job a boy gets. Not normally woman's work, but if they are short, you would probably get it. They can't run performances without stagehands, after all."
"That would be okay," Sylvia said, giving a firm nod. "My relatives used to get me to do all the house chores, and even when I didn't have school, I'd be working around the clock from dawn until dusk."
"That's not normal." Elisabeth frowned. "Did you ever tell anyone?"
"Yes, I eventually told my friends, one told his father, which got them arrested. They were both in prison last I heard, charged with neglect and abuse," Sylvia said, alluding to the abuse she endured. She still wasn't comfortable telling people, but as the healer had said, even mentioning it causally is a start.
"That's good," Elisabeth said, looking happier.
They then started planning for the trip, mainly what Raoul would show her. So far, it was customs, and maybe setting up some conversations to help her understand and learn what to say and do.
As it turned to the night, just before they were to change for dinner, Sylvia asked them about swearing to an Oath. Both the de Changy members agreed, believing it would be best.
An oath was merely a precaution which in this case, would not allow them to accidentally out her secret to someone who didn't know. If Sylvia had told the person already, Raoul or Elisabeth would be able to tell them. Otherwise, they would find themselves mysteriously out of words.
##################(back in 2000, when Adam and Mrs Autumn returned from lunch.)################
"Sylvia, we're back," Mrs Autumn called out, opening the door, allowing Adam, who was carrying a bottle of water and muffin for Sylvia, to go in first.
"Thanks," Adam said, smiling, though she could not see it.
They were both in a good mood, mainly because the food was great. It was a pity Sylvia didn't join them, as she would have liked it. Mrs Autumn, while she would never admit it, hadn't wanted to come back. Not only was her project giving her a headache, but she also had a meeting with the Head Unspeakable of Italy later that day, which was going to be hard. Mrs Autumn had never got on with that man.
It was times like this she wished she wasn't the head of the department. If she weren't, she wouldn't have to meet him, and if she did, she could wear her hood. While she was doing her work she was like everyone else, but as soon as Mrs Autumn was going into something the head did, she had to reveal herself.
"That's odd, Mrs Autumn: Sylvia's not here," Adam remarked, stopping at the sight of the empty office, causing his senior to almost run into him.
"Yes, it is. She must be in the loo," Mrs Autumn said with a small frown, shutting the door and squeezing around Adam to her desk, sighing. She pulled back her hood, ripping it off, throwing it onto her desk. It landed on her desk before promptly falling to the floor.
Adam placed the food items on the desk, finding a spot to place them. He glanced at his colleague's things, pulling his hood back, frowning as he noticed something strange. "Didn't Sylvia have her handbag on the back of her chair?" he asked, walking around to Sylvia's chair.
Mrs Autumn was seated by this point. "Yes, why?" Mrs Autumn asked, looking up from her work to see what the brown-haired man was doing.
"It's gone, but her hood is still here," Adam said, picking it up.
Mrs Autumn's breath hitched, but she tried to keep calm. "Weird. Let's wait for five, she might have stepped out, forgetting to put it on. She's still a newbie and they do that, along with taking them off," Mrs Autumn said, hiding her concern. She was worried, this pointed to Sylvia rushing off, which wouldn't be good. She hoped nothing bad had happened. Adam nodded, sitting down.
Five minutes later, still no Sylvia. "We better ask around," Adam said, standing up, dropping his quill. He had been writing a report.
Mrs Autumn nodded. They both stood up with Adam hooding himself, quickly leaving their office to ask around. Safe to say, Mrs Autumn wasn't going to get much work done before her meeting, assuming she was free by then. Having to cancel would be a tragedy.
They asked everyone in the department, including in a mass gathering to headcount, and no one had seen Sylvia since either her arrival at work this morning or going to the loo at lunchtime. The biggest clue was that she was gone fifteen minutes after they stopped for lunch. Croaker dropped around with something for Kerri at that time, and the office was empty.
"I better go and see security, then. Can you go come with me, Adam, in case we need to inform the Aurors?" Mrs Autumn asked seriously, her face grave.
"Yes, sure." he nodded, distracted. He tried to tell himself it was all okay, but he had never seen his boss like this before and it terrified him. It was so out of character it was frightful.
Within the hour, they had talked to security who had no record of her leaving, only her entering the Ministry. They spread the rumour she was missing, starting a ministry word of mouth search. At the stroke of the next hour, Mrs Autumn and Adam were waiting to be let into Auror Black's office, to inform him that Sylvia Potter had officially disappeared. She hadn't been seen leaving the ministry, or by anyone in the ministry after returning to her office after a toilet break.
Mrs Autumn wasn't looking forward to this. She knew of Sylvia and Black's connection, and even if they were not that close, this would be hard. Mrs Autumn let out a sob at the memory of being told of her son's death. He was estranged at the time of his death, but she still loved him, as any good mother would.
"Come in," Sirius said, opening the door to the two, dressed in a neutral expression. He had worked a lot over the past few years since returning to work-to control his emotions and not show them, on the job that was. That was handy in a situation like this, where he'd heard that his goddaughter was missing.
He had returned quite quickly after that meeting, needing some time to calm down before the Unspeakables arrived. He hoped she was okay and nothing had happened. A pit formed in Sirius' stomach, worry making him sick.
"Thank you," Mrs Autumn said distractedly as she and Adam entered his office. That didn't help Sirius' nervousness. He had met the old girl a few times, and she always seemed a nice woman, rather laid back and calm.
"Sit down," Sirius said, shutting the door then walking over to his chair. He took a moment to take in his guests. Mrs Autumn was a widower from a large rather muggle half-blood family and the first female unspeakable and female head of The Department of Mysteries. Both were impressive achievements, and being around her made him see she was well worthy of that. She looked pretty average for a woman her age, but she was a very nice lady. Sirius could recall many good conversations.
The lad, Adam, he knew little about. He was pretty sure the boy had been in the year above Sylvia and was a Muggle-Born: he was a Gryffindor or Hufflepuff. He was quite tall and had long brain hair tied in a man bun with bright amber eyes. That was painful, his eyes reminded him of James.
Sirius was pretty sure Adam was normally seen spending his evening nowadays with Seamus Finnigan, which made him wonder. He knew Sylvia had remarked Adam was nice, funny and great to work with, though a little easy to frustrate. Sirius knew that feeling.
"Is it true then? Sylvia's disappeared?" Sirius asked, his voice cracking, not allowing himself to drop composure despite that.
"Yes, it is," Mrs Autumn said, a tear escaping her. "At twelve-thirty, the three of us left our office. She was going to the bathroom, us going to lunch. She had decided she was too tired to go up for lunch, that being why she didn't join us. Sylvia said she had been having bad sleep, you see. Someone saw her walking back a few minutes later, but at quarter to one, just before my main colleague lunch, he dropped some papers in the office and the girl wasn't there."
"Okay." Sirius nodded, fear for James' girl creeping in, his chest tightening. He summoned some parchment and wrote the notes down. "What was she working on?"
"I had given her a time-turner to study and fix or attempt to. It was believed it could go back further than a week, but it was broken. Her job was to fix it and find out what was different in the actual enchantments, which would help us work out if it could go back further," Mrs Autumn said, feeling quite faint. She was worried, and somehow she thought she was to blame. What if it was because she didn't tell her to go home? What if the time-turner had done something? What if? "It's my fault, isn't it? I should have insisted she went home!" Mrs Autumn wailed, openly sobbing.
"Mrs Autumn, unless you did something to get her to disappear deliberately, you are not to blame," Sirius said, assuring her. He wasn't annoyed, upset or frustrated: this was a common reaction during interviews.
Then he asked, worried about the answer, knowing except for special cases, no one had travelled back in time then travelled home, "Is it possible she could have accidentally activated the time-turner? Is it possible it worked enough to send her somewhere?"
"No, it shouldn't be possible." Mrs Autumn shook her head, conjuring a handkerchief. "We did the normal checks, and as far as they check out it's broken. Sylvia also knew to use spells to lift it and turn it around to examine it, too: she did use those when I was watching her. A time-turner needs one to actually make contact for the magic to work. There is no chance." Even she had her doubts, despite the many years of experience behind Mrs Autumn.
"Do you have it on you?" Sirius asked, and Adam nodded. "Can I have it, please? Currently, I feel it's the only clue."
"Of course," Adam said, handing it over. It was in a black silk bag, so Sirius simply took it and labelled it.
"Thanks. Is anything else missing, or seem abnormal in the area this took place?" Sirius asked.
"Her handbag is gone," Adam said. "That's what first alerted me to it being more than her just stepping out."
"Right. How did she seem? Was she particularly upset, worried or angry about something or someone?" Sirius asked, doing routine questions despite not being really applicable in this case. "Did she mention anything that might be relevant?"
"She told us she hadn't been sleeping well, but that's about it," Adam said distantly, trying to remember.
"She was a bit short today, too," Mrs Autumn added, and Adam confirmed.
"Okay." Sirius wrote that down, doubting it would be helpful. "Can I just have your names and addresses for further contact?" he asked.
"Yes. Mrs Kerri Autumn, of apartment four of Smith Apartments, Updoown Alley."
"Mr Adam Debrio and I live with my parents in Shrewsbury. Our house is number twelve, Main Street," Adam said, glancing at his watch.
"Thank you," Sirius said, giving them a friendly smile and nod. They both saw the falseness in the smile but understood. "I have to organise a team, but we will be coming to search the office either later today or tomorrow morning. Can you take the rest of the day off?"
"We just have to get a couple of things, but Adam can have the afternoon off," Mrs Autumn said business-like. "I'll be around the department doing little things, but I'll vacate it. Maybe I'll crash with Crocker."
Sirius smiled forcefully. "Brilliant. I'll owl you as soon as we're done," Sirius assured.
"Okay, thank you, Auror Black." Adam nodded. "Please tell us if you have any news!" He begged the last part.
"Sure," Sirius nodded. "It's the least I can do."
"What about her friends?" Mrs Autumn asked.
"We will wait a couple of days, just in case. I plan to question them in time, though," Sirius said, explaining the procedure.
"Thanks, young man. Good day," Mrs Autumn said, standing up weakly, gesturing for Adam to do the same. After they both left, Sirius dropped his composure, his face hitting rock bottom. Sirius cried, slumped over his desk, his body quivering with every sob.
He hoped they could find her, but he just had this bad feeling it would be like that kid, Ruth somebody, who stopped that grandson of a dark lord. Ruth whoever disappeared to never been seen again, and her mother found the note.
"Please, don't let that be Sylvia's fate!" Sirius begged the gods above.
Sirius let himself go, sobbing, shaking and the works. It had to be okay, they had to find her, they had to! Even if it meant creating an unstable time-turner or turning to Black Magic to bring Sylvia back. There had to be a way!
Sirius couldn't bear it if he lost the last link to his very best friend, not to mention it would increase the failure he was to James and Lily to their child. He also wanted Remus to grow up with both his godparents around, something Sirius and Marlene (bless her soul) couldn't do for Sylvia.
He started working out the team he would use to help with the investigation: Dennis Creevy and Nymphadora Weasley Nee Tonks were musts, and maybe the Greengrass girl, too?
"What was her name again?" Sirius thought. "Victoria? Lucy? No, that's right! Astoria!"
Finally, after sitting there grieving over Sylvia, Sirius tried his tears and called the three up. He didn't know how well Dennis and Astoria knew Sylvia, but their older siblings did/had, so this could be upsetting for them.
Shit! Sirius forgot about Sylvia's friends. When they had searched the office, he decided, he would take one of the Aurors on his team and go and interview them all.
I do not own Part of your world.
There, the first Phantom of the Opera character appears! I do have a reason for Raoul's distrust, other than the fact it seems more canon. It may not stay, though!
I hope you do like the bit with Sirius, and the bit about the time-turner history. I know there was one that went back years in the Cursed Child, but it could easily be illegally made with old knowledge or it could not exist here, and I like my history. If you are wondering, Marlene was Sylvia's godmother, not that it really matters.
Sylvia will not go back. I have decided that firmly. I have read so many of these fics where they do return to their own time, and I find it frustrating and pointless. Besides, I have given a local reason for it happening and why she can't get back. I am still undecided about pairings, and I promise Ginny, Draco and co will get closure in regards to her.
Thank you! Peace. Please review?