Chapter 27 : Polyjuice
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12 Grimmauld Place was a flutter. The day had come that the advanced guard was going to retrieve Harry Potter from the Dursley household. Shay had just arrived and was greeted by the eight others that would be traveling with her plus the whole Weasley clan, Sirius and Severus Snape.
“Shay, it’s good to see you here,” Emmeline walked up and gave Shay a hug.
“I told Albus and Mad-Eye I would be here, so here I am,” Shay explained with a tight smile.
If she was honest, she would tell them how nervous she was about the whole thing.
“Let’s hurry this up. There’s a schedule we have to maintain,” Mad-Eye said from his chair in the corner and took a swig from his flask.
Shay rolled her eyes at Mad-Eye’s persistence and relaxed a little.
“So what would you like me to do first?” Shay asked and casually leaned against the wall.
“No! Don’t!” everyone said at the same time.
Shay looked bewildered before her ears were encompassed with a loud screeching, shrill voice.
“Get off me you filthy blood traitor!”
Shay shot away from the wall and the blanket that was hanging there came with her.
“How dare you!” Walburga Black screamed from her portrait.
Shay turned to face Sirius. Her expression was wide-eyed shock.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Shay complained and pointed her thumb back at the portrait.
Sirius shook his head and ran his hand over his chin.
“I’ve been trying to take the damn thing off the wall since I got back here. The old hag stuck herself there and she never SHUTS UP,” Sirius hollered the last two words at his dead mother.
“You! Why are you in my house?! Disgrace! You’re all a disgrace!” Walburga shouted at the room.
“Shut your trap, you old loon! Don’t make me try to figure out how to kill a person that’s already dead,” Shay said and pointed her wand at the portrait, Mrs. Black dodged the blows.
“You soiled the family name. Having children with my blood traitor son. I always knew that you were no good!”
Shay rolled her eyes and gave Sirius a quick glance before gathering the blanket and throwing it back over the portrait.
“I’ve had just about enough of you. Merlin, I hope I don’t get stuck with my mum after she croaks,” Shay joked with a tense smile.
“Let’s go in the dining room to finish this,” Remus suggested and rounded the group through the door.
“Shay, Severus has made a Polyjuice potion for you. We would like for you to take it now and it should last just long enough,” Remus explained and Severus stepped forward with a small bottle of foul smelling, thick liquid.
Shay put her hand out and Snape set the bottle in her palm.
“Thanks Sev. So what am I going to look like?”
“Taller, plumper, short black hair. Quite average and ordinary,” Severus said with a playful sneer.
They’re relationship had come such a long way.
“You’re wish has finally come true. You know, a few years ago I wouldn’t have even touched this bottle. It would have been fill with poison,” Shay said a playfully nudged Severus in the side.
The two of them heard Sirius clear his throat and Severus spoke again after whipping Sirius a deadly glare.
“Just drink it. There are some clothes for you in the bathroom upstairs. If you like your clothes, you may want to change into the new set first. Make sure to drink it all. We want this to last as long as possible. I made a dose and a half for you, so that’s about one and a half hours before you change back.”
“That’ll be more than enough time if we ever get out of this hellhole,” Made-Eye spouted but was seemingly ignored by everyone else.
“Tonks, what time did you say the event was at?” Remus asked while looking at his watch.
“7 o’clock. Those dumb bastards are in for one hell of a shock,” Tonks chuckled and Shay noticed an admiring smile play across Remus’s lips.
“Well, it’s quarter after six, so we should get going soon,” Remus said and that was Shay’s cue to exit.
Shay walked down the familiar hallway to get to the restroom. The house was silent upstairs besides a boy with a shock a red hair, another Weasley, and brown haired girl that she presumed was his girlfriend, or at least they fought like they were in a relationship.
Shay entered the bathroom and found a new wardrobe hanging on the back of the door. She stripped of her own clothes and replaced them with the new ones. She wasn’t drowning in the clothes but they were loose fitting and the robe completely covered her feet. Shay held the bottle out in front of herself and was trying to get the courage to take it in one gulp. She had never had polyjuice potion before but had heard awful things about it.
Shay put the vial to her lips and pulled her head back. As soon as the liquid touched her lips, she wanted to gag. She steeled herself and swallowed the formula in a gulp or two and dropped the vial as she tried to not wretch it all up. She felt the formation start at her toes as her feet grew to fit the shoes. It was a weird, almost painful sensation. She felt her legs and her spine grow to fit the clothes and her stomach filled out a little. She watched her hair shrink and turn as black as Sirius’s. Her eyes turned a light honey brown and her now full cheeks turned a rosy pink color.
Severus was right. She was quite average and ordinary. It was weird for Shay. She had looked like herself for thirty-five years and this was the almost exact opposite. It was exciting in a way and it would help keep her and her family safe.
After she was done examining her new self, she descended back down the stairs, ready to face the reaction.
“Can somebody tell me my name?” Shay asked as she entered the kitchen.
She was surprised to hear her own voice come out.
“Hestia Jones,” Severus answered.
He seemed impressed with his work.
“Did you remember to bring your broom?” Tonks asked as she was examining Shay, or Hestia, closely.
“Yes but like I told you already, I haven’t flown since I was about twenty years old. You’ll find me painted on the concrete some where outside of London after I’ve fallen to my death,” Shay worried and moved Tonks away from her.
“You’re a natural on a broom. You don’t just lose that,” Remus said with an encouraging smile.
“Alright, Remus. But when something happens, you get to tell Jude.”
“Follow me! Number 4 is right down here,” Mad-Eye yelled from the front of the pack.
He started to make his descent and everyone followed suit. As Remus predicted, Shay handled herself very well on her broom. She forgot how much fun being in the air could be. She loved that feeling of the wind in her hair and her body feeling weightless.
Soon enough they were standing outside of 4 Privet Dr.
“Let’s get on with it,” Mad-Eye said and practically busted through the door.
So much for being subtle.
“Is he trying to give the kid a damn heart attack?” Shay whispered fiercely to Remus who just shrugged in tired defeat.
“Ugh, look at this house. I think I’m going to be sick,” Tonks criticized as she examined the front hall.
“They’re the worst muggles I’ve ever met. This house being so generic doesn’t surprise me at all,” Shay replied while looking at the pictures that lined the hall.
Shay did not see Harry’s face anywhere, just the abnormally large noggin that belonged to Dudley Dursley.
“I didn’t know they had such an infinity for whales,” Tonks whispered with a wicked smile.
“You’re horrible,” Shay laughed and shook her head.
“Who’s there?” they heard the boy’s voice from the top of the stairs.
Shay stopped in her tracks and her mouth went dry. She had never heard Harry’s voice before. He not only looked like his father but also sounded remarkably like him to.
Shay could barely breathe when Harry finally came into view. This is the closest she had been near him since he was a baby before James and Lily went into hiding. She had seen him when she dropped Jayme off at Platform 9 ¾ for her first year. He was 15 years old now and becoming a man. He seemed to be taller but not as tall as James was but his hair was just as messy. His glasses were a bit askew and he seemed flustered and nervous about what was happening before him. But who wouldn’t be, Shay thought. It’s not everyday you find nine random witches and wizards in your muggle relatives’ house.
Shay was zoning out, completely fixated on Harry when she heard Remus say her fake name.
“Hestia Jones,” Remus said and nodded his head towards her.
Shay felt a bright smile appear on her face and she gave him a dumb-looking wave. Harry returned a shy one. She had the urge to correct Remus and tell Harry her real name. But that would defeat the whole purpose.
Shay noticed that Tonks and Harry had left the kitchen. She guessed that they had gone upstairs to pack.
“You can speak to him, you know,” Remus said with a warm smile.
“I don’t want him to know somebody who’s not real. Right now I’m fine with just seeing him with my own two eyes,” Shay replied.
“Do you regret taking the Polyjuice potion?” Remus asked.
Before Shay could answer, Mad-Eye jumped in.
“Of course she does. She a damn auror. She wouldn’t be one if she didn’t like risk. It’s that damn husband of hers. Unspeakables don’t know the meaning of risk and sacrifice,” he grunted out.
Shay pierced her lips and raised an eyebrow at him. He was vocally not happy about Shay disguising herself. He took at as a personal insult, feeling as if he hadn’t made her a stronger, more courageous auror. Shay didn’t take his anger personally at all. Mad-Eye was always angry about something.
“Another jab at my husband and that damn eye of yours will be stuck at the end of this,” Shay said with a smirk and held up an odd muggle tool at the old man.
Mad-Eye just grunted and took a swig from his flask. Shay laughed at him and was examining the sharp, rounded kitchen tool when Harry and Tonks reentered. This meant it was just about time to head back to Grimmauld Place. Shay watched Mad-Eye hit Harry over the head with his wand and before Shay could get another look at him, Harry had disappeared. She couldn’t help but keep the disappointment hidden from her face. She couldn’t despair though. She was sure that she was going to see a lot more of Harry Potter.
The Advanced Guard brought Harry back the headquarters without a hitch. Shay fled to the kitchen quickly when they entered the house. She knew that there were many people that Harry was close to that couldn’t wait to see the boy. She felt the need to be out of the way for that. Secondly, she was sure that the Polyjuice potion was about to come to an end and she was sure it would give a hell of a surprise to the unknowing Harry. The last thing he needed tonight was another shock.
“You’re still here?” Shay asked, surprised to see Severus in the kitchen.
“I wanted to make sure that the potion worked as it was supposed to. I’m glad to see you didn’t change mid-air,” Snape said while folding up his Daily Prophet.
Shay looked at him sideways. Severus was a potions master and she remembered from school that the Polyjuice Potion was not a very hard potion to make. She didn’t understand why he would be worried about the outcome of his creation.
“Are you going to say hello to Harry? He’s just out in the hall,” Shay asked with a teasing smile.
Severus’s lips pierced in a disapproving matter.
“Potter gets far more attention then anyone would ever need. Especially when he has your boyfriend and the wolf fawning over his every move. And don’t even get me started on Weasley’s insufferable mothering of him,” Severus drawled, his annoyance highly apparent.
“Why don’t you tell me how you really feel?” Shay continued teasing.
She let out a small chuckle at his scowl then suddenly felt her toes tingling in a familiar sensation.
“I think the potion is finally running out,” Shay said with a bit of a panic.
“You should step in that pantry over there. It will only take a minute for you to transform back. Do you have your clothes on you?” Snape asked and led her towards the pantry that was just off the kitchen.
“Yes, I shrunk them and they’re in my pocket. Thanks, Sev,” Shay said and shut the door behind her.
It didn’t take long before the transformation was complete. She barely was able to turn the light on before it was finished. Her hair was already long and blonde by then. It wasn’t until she was half way out of her now-baggy blouse when she saw a small shadow by her feet. It startled her and she fell back into the wall, knocking over a broom and a few cans fell off their shelves.
“More blood traitors…mudbloods and blood traitors in mistress’s house,” Shay heard a mumbling from under the bottom shelf.
She put her own shirt on before crouching down, wand in hand, to identify the intruder. In the shadows lurked one of the ugliest house elves she had ever seen. Kreacher. Of course she remembered that blasted elf.
“Creep,” Shay said under her breath and opened the door to escape.
“What happened in there? There seemed to be some sort of commotion,” Molly asked as she was pouring tea for herself, Arthur and a few other Order members.
“Kreacher,” Shay explained with a grimace and everyone seemed to groan.
“Honestly, Sirius. Just give the damn thing a sock or handkerchief. He’s the most miserable creature I’ve ever seen,” Shay suggested and sat at the table, gladly excepting a cup of tea from Molly.
“Don’t you think I want him gone?” Sirius snapped, “He knows too much. He’s a damn nuisance but as long he is under my house’s service, he cannot speak a word of what goes on here.”
Shay was confused by Sirius’s tone towards her but carried on.
“Why don’t you just stick him in the room with that hippogriff?” Shay recommended humorously.
“Merlin, Shay. He’s still a living creature,” Emmeline piped up.
“Settle, Em. It was just a joke,” Shay explained and waved her off.
“Are you going to stay for dinner?” Molly asked politely as she took a seat next to Arthur.
“No thank you. I promised Jude and Jayme that I would be home for dinner tonight. As my fellow aurors know, the lengths of our workdays are growing by the week. Jude and I are just trying to make sure that at least one of use is there to have dinner with Jayme.”
“So you just leave her alone on the nights you both have to work?” Sirius asked with concern but there was also an underhanded insulting tone to the question.
“She has never been left without supervision in her life. Not until she is a year or two older. I have worked very hard to make sure that she has never felt abandoned. Remus can attest to that. I’m a good mother, Sirius. If you think otherwise, then that is something we can discuss in private,” Shay explained sternly.
Sirius opened his mouth to speak again but suddenly decided against it.
“I really must run. Thank you for the tea Molly. I will see you all soon,” Shay bid her farewell with a kind smile.
“It’s no trouble at all. We all hope to see you around here a bit more often,” Molly offered a smile back.
“You know I’ll try my best.”
“How did everything go?” Jude asked Shay as they were both settling into bed.
“Everything went as planned. Harry was a tad confused when he found the nine of us in his home but he seemed happy to be reunited with the Weasleys and Sirius. The boy has a lot to confront though. Fudge is still trying to expel him from Hogwarts,” Shay explained with a small shake of her head.
“The man is a fool. He’s trying to turn that poor boy into a villain,” Jude said and pushed a piece of hair out of Shay’s face.
She gave him a thankful smile.
“Harry will never be the villain. There are too many people with right minds. However, I do fear that he will one day become a martyr. I wish I could help him more,” Shay explained sadly and turned off her light.
“How was it? Seeing him again? I know how much he means to you. How dear his parents were to your heart,” Jude asked and laid next to Shay, wrapping an arm around her.
“I wish he could have met me and not Hestia Jones, whoever that is.”
“Would you like him to meet the real you?” Jude asked quietly.
“Of course. I was supposed to be his godmother, you know. But when he was born they all presumed I was dead. I’d like to think that I would have had a big part in his life. However, if meeting him would endanger our family or him meeting me doing the same, then I can just push my own desires out of mind.”
The darkness made their silence all the more consuming. Shay had thought that Jude had fallen asleep mid-conversation.
“From now on, if you want to participate in the Order as yourself, you have my blessing,” Jude said and planted a soft kiss on her neck.
Shay rolled over and looked her husband in the eyes. She loved him very much at that moment. He always had a keen ability to surprise her with kind actions.
“Not if it will put us in danger,” Shay stated and lightly grazed his lips with her own.
Jude offered a sleepy smile to her and kissed her on the forehead before shutting his eyes.
Shay couldn’t sleep. Not after the conversation she had with Jude. Definitely not after everything that had happened that day. She had left her bed hours before, not wanting her tossing and turning to disturb her husband. And now, she had found herself back at Grimmauld Place. The house was silent. It was well past midnight so she hadn’t expected anything different. She wasn’t really sure of what to so with herself in the large, sleeping house. She could barely recall why she came. But she made her way up the stairs anyway.
She stopped at the open doorway of Harry’s room. He looked younger while he slept but she guessed that’s how most people were. Humans are at their most innocent while their minds are shut to the evils of the world their bodies live in.
She crept in further towards Harry’s bed. He was sharing his room with his friend. Shay believed it was Molly and Arthur’s youngest son, Ron. She was able to sit on the edge of Harry’s bed without disturbing either of the boys. The last thing she wanted was to give the two a heart attack.
While Shay quietly examined the sleeping boy, she felt the need to heal the scar that marred his forehead. She knew that it was impossible but it was such a painful scar. Not just physically as she had heard the scar gave Harry searing pain at moments but the emotional pain seemed to be so much worse. She couldn’t imagine how Harry felt having to see the scar that represented his parents’ death everyday. All she wanted was to take that away from him.
She loved the boy. She loved him as if he was her own. Yet, she had never even had a conversation with him. She remembered the first time she held him. It was after see came back from the grasp of Lord Voldemort and she had no memory of the ones she loved. But she didn’t have to remember Harry; he had been new and innocent to all the evil things that had been placed against him even before birth. And now she sat beside him, lightly stroking his hair, hoping that he didn’t wake. It wasn’t time for them to meet.
It all started to become too much for Shay. She felt her eyes well up and she ushered herself out of the room before she could be anymore of a disturbance. She looked back for one last glance before descending back down the stairs.
“Late night visit? It’s been a while since you’ve done one of those here,” Shay heard Sirius say from the corner of the dark living room.
Her breath hitched and she placed her hand over her heart before recollecting herself. She hadn’t expected anyone to be up at this hour.
“I’m sorry if I woke you. I just couldn’t sleep…” Shay trailed off.
She was still trying to relax from the shock she just received.
“You didn’t. I couldn’t sleep tonight either. Not with Harry here now,” Sirius admitted and stepped into the light a bit.
“Would you like a cup of tea? It seems like you’re a bit upset,” Sirius asked after he saw her watery eyes.
“I just wish some things could have been different,” Shay said with a shrug.
“But they’re not. You can get to know him Shay. He’d love to hear about his parents from you. I also think that if you share your experiences with You-Know-Who, that it would be a great help to him as well,” Sirius shared and offered her a smile.
“Your mood towards me has changed quite a bit from this evening. Maybe we should only speak during the wee hours of the night,” Shay joked with a smirk.
“I’m sorry. Some times I just let this house get the best of me,” Sirius said and leaned on the wall next to her.
“I imagine it must be tough. But this is the safest place for you. You’ve always have been good at placing yourself in danger. I would like you to get to know our daughter a bit more. So please, Sirius, be safe,” Shay said and affectionately patted his chest.
Sirius returned a warm smile.
“Right back at you. I think you’re brave for rejoining the Order. I know I’ve given you a hard time about it, but I understood your reluctance at first.”
“I suppose you’ll be the first to know this. I won’t be taking another Polyjuice Potion,” Shay confessed and looked for his reaction.
He seemed a bit surprised.
“Did you just decide this?” he asked quietly.
“Jude suggested it tonight. He knows how much it killed me to be someone else today. In my mind, it’s a bit of a cowardly thing to do.”
“He’s very kind to you. I can tell that he loves you a lot.”
“And I love him. He’s always been supportive,” Shay explained and ended with an awkward silence.
It was just a conversation the two of them couldn’t have.
“I should get going now. I want to get back before Jude notices that I’m gone,” Shay said quickly and turned to face Sirius.
“We’re having a birthday party for Jayme on Saturday. We’ll have defense charms guarding the house so I believe it will be safe you to come. We would really love to see you there. Jayme asked specifically if you would be attending,” Shay grinned at the last part.
“Of course I’ll come. Tell her to expect a wonderful birthday present from me,” Sirius expressed, his eyes wild with excitement.
“Nothing that will get her into trouble, Sirius,” Shay warned but smirked at him.
“I’ll do my best,” Sirius said and jokingly gave her a small bow.
“I’ll see you on Saturday,” Shay said and suddenly decided to give him a hug.
She wished she hadn’t. It felt forced and disconnected. She wondered if he was too shocked by the sudden contact. Shay hadn’t felt so embarrassed in a long time.
“See you on Saturday,” Sirius said slowly, feeling quite awkward himself.
He wasn’t too happy with how he handled that situation. She apparated quickly and left the house silent once again. All Sirius could think about was how to get things back to way they used to be. Or at least he thought that’s what he wanted. He was barely sure of himself in these times, for nothing was certain anymore.
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