New Memories of Magic
Jacob and Queenie returned to his bakery by subway just as they had traveled to Ciro’s. As they were exiting to the street Queenie held back a few steps. Jacob turned to look at her and she saw the wisp of a last memory still shrouded in mist, she said, “Yes Jacob—my beloved intended, we have much to say to each other. Let’s go now, prepare for Monday, and I will show you what I am.”
“What you are?”
Queenie only smiled as she nodded almost imperceptibly.
Together in the back room among tables and trays and mixers, Jacob with a dumbfound expression on his face and a 50 pound sack of flour on his shoulder heard Queenie say that she was a witch. He just stood there, as if he were nailed to the floor and the sack of flour was just his coat thrown over his shoulder.
“You had to know,” she said. “I didn’t know how to tell you. I tried to think of a way to tell you about us.”
“Yes, us. I could not think of a way to tell you. I feared what you might think; I feared that you would be upset, but I cannot wait any longer. If we are to help Ciro, you must know what I can do. So I screwed up my courage and just told you.”
Jacob was just beginning to understand what Queenie had said so softly. “I am not upset, Queenie. Just a bit surprised. Well, maybe more than a bit.”
He was about to put down the sack of flour when Queenie said, “No, wait. Let me show you.” She pulled her wand which was concealed in a pocket among the folds of her skirt. She lifted the 50 pound sack from his shoulder and placed it on the work table.
Queenie was in his mind and knew that he was not afraid. But there was something more. Something she had never before seen in the mind of anyone. It wasn’t that Jacob was learning something new; she had seen the excitement of learning something new many times; he was restructuring his thoughts with regard to what was possible, what existed.
“So, what we consider magic is actually real?” he asked.
Queenie nodded to affirm that he was correct.
“Well, now you must tell me what magic is real and what is not,” said Jacob. “But first, it’s time to put you to work. You have seen me work in preparation for the next day. Can you use magic to help things move a little more quickly? Then we will have more time to talk.”
Queenie joyfully agreed, thinking that this had gone much better than she had feared. Yes, it was she who was afraid.
Everything went much faster with Queenie doing all the preparing of the fruit and cheese fillings, and once she saw how Jacob prepared the dough and shaped various pastries and breads, she was able to speed that along also. Of course the cooking could not be quickened, but she was able to duplicate the wood for the stove and oven fires, and float it in so that they did not have to move it from the outside woodshed.
When they sat down to cocoa, Jacob said, “Don’t try to tell me everything. Let’s just talk about what you had in mind to help Ciro. Do you really know someone in the British Ministry? Is he some sort of a magical special agent?”
“Magical, yes but not a special agent,” said Queenie. “He works with animals that inhabit the magical world. I did not intend for him to help us. I only mentioned him to divert any suspicion from me and what I will do.
“The first thing you must know is that we in the magical world have our own government. Here in America that government is the Magical Congress of the United States of America, commonly referred to as MACUSA. In England, it is called the Ministry of Magic. Each is independent of the other just as the American government is independent of the British government. Here in America, we are forbidden to reveal ourselves to those who are not magical. We call them, you, no-majs, that is no magic. In England, you would be called a muggle. The British wizarding community considers it all right for wizards to reveal themselves to muggles in some cases although they do not encourage it.”
“Wait, wait, wait. Do you mean that you could get in trouble for telling me this?”
“Yes, but the danger is not to me,” said Queenie. “I might be fined or demoted in my position in the Wand Permit Office.”
“You do not work in accounts receivable at Woolworths?” asked Jacob.
“No, but that’s not important,” said Queenie. “Woolworths is where the MACUSA keeps its headquarters. If anyone from our world were to bring the fact that you know about us to the MACUSA, they would send someone to remove those memories—to remove the knowledge that you have of us.”
“I would not remember you?”
Queenie did not have to use Legilimency; she could see the distress on Jacob’s face. “No,” she said, “but it will not happen. I have not told anyone about you, not even my sister.”
“You have a sister?—No, no, no, this is all too much,” said Jacob. “We can talk about government restrictions later; let’s get back to what you have in mind to help Ciro. Then you can tell me about the magic you will use.”
“As you wish, beloved,” replied Queenie, very relieved at how comfortable Jacob was with this new insight into her. “Given what Ciro told us about Enrico’s family and the fact that Enrico spoke some English, I will go to his house, hand him the letter of introduction, and learn where I can locate this Boveri; find him, and cause him to forget about Mia.
“I need to work out the details of course, but that’s it in a nutshell.”
“OK, how will you get there?” asked Jacob.
“I thought that I would apparate,” said Queenie. “I would have to do it in separate jumps because I can’t apparate all the way to Italy in one jump.”
She saw in Jacob’s mind that he didn’t have any idea about what she was saying. “Let me show you.” She then apparated across the room and walked back.
“Hmm, I see,” said Jacob. “You could apparate up to Newfoundland, across to Greenland, then Iceland and England. Have you ever thought of apparating to about 1000 feet above the ocean and while you are falling, apparate to 1000 feet above the ocean farther on. Then you could take a great circle route to Italy and not have to worry about some eskimo in Greenland seeing you.”
Queenie was stunned at his inventiveness and amused by his humor. She had never considered this method for apparating long distances. This was entirely new to her.
“Or, is apparating great distances too exhausting?” asked Jacob, noticing her thoughtful silence.
“No, not exhausting,” said Queenie. “It’s just that I had never thought of that.”
“Is apparating something I could learn?”
With sad eyes, Queenie said no. “You have to be born a witch or wizard to be able to do magic, although there are magical instruments such as a portkey that you could activate. Of course it is forbidden for you to do so. The making of such devices is severely restricted.”
“Of course, but you do not always abide by such restrictions.”
“Not always. But I can take you,” said Queenie excitedly, wanting to cheer up Jacob, even as she realized he needed no cheering up. “Let me show you.” She took his hand and apparated across the room where she kissed him lightly. “This is going to be wonderful. We can help Enrico and have fun doing it.”
Jacob noticing the squeezing effect of apparating, embraced Queenie and said, “Do it again.” When she had, he said, “Now that’s much better. Just don’t let go when we are 1000 feet above the ocean.”
She too delighted in apparating while embraced and although she had not thought of taking Jacob until this moment, she now delighted in the thought also. She whispered in his ear, “I will never let go.”
Then on a whim, she disillusioned herself while still in his arms.
“Ah, that’s good too,” he said while he kissed her and explored her body with his hands to further assure himself that she had not let go.
“Well that’s one down,” he said. “How were you going to disguise us? And I’m quite pleased that you will never let go. Or, were you just going to make us invisible?”
Queen smiled and thought to herself: We will never let go.
“I can always disillusion us, but why would we need to disguise ourselves? We will be there and gone. It won’t matter if we are seen. No one will recognize us.”
Then in his mind she saw. “Oh, Enrico will see us and wonder how we of such modest means could travel so far so quickly. Well, I guess we could use polyjuice potion. Then we could make ourselves look exactly like some other persons.”
“OK, that’s good,” he said eagerly integrating this new knowledge into his old and new understanding of the world. “If we can look like anyone, we should look unthreatening—perhaps old and unattractive, or perhaps only you might look old and unattractive and I could go as your grandson.”
Queenie could not help but laugh at his playfulness and amaze at the ease with which he embraced this new world of magic. She thought to herself: I will have to check my library for someone appropriate.
“You said that you could make this official forget about Mia. How will you do that?”
“Remember that I said that you would have your memory of magic and of me erased if the MACUSA were to learn about you and me. I will do that to him. Only I will not be as crude as the Obliviators. I will enter his mind, locate the thoughts of Mia and her father and remove them. Then Enrico can apply for emigration in the normal way.”
“That’s very good, very elegant,” said Jacob. “We should begin a trial run as soon as possible to make sure that everything will go smoothly—that I know what to expect. First you need to make certain that you can apparate above water and apparate again.
“Wait a minute! You can be in someone’s mind and know his thoughts?”
Queenie nodded, knowing what was coming.
“Have you been doing that with me?”
Queenie nodded again.
“Are you in my mind now?”
Queenie nodded again, fearful of what he might think and relieved by what she saw.
“Well, I always thought it best to be honest in all my dealings with people, but I never imagined that I might gain my very own guardian to keep me honest.” Jacob holding Queenie close and kissing her, said, “You know that this means there will be no birthday surprises for you.”
“I’m afraid you will have to be your own guardian,” said Queenie. “I can’t be in your mind all the time. I must have time for my own thoughts.” But she had picked up on another thought: It would be difficult for her. There would be times when he was upset with her, perhaps thinking wrong or even mean thoughts; she would have to be understanding because he would not be able to shield her from those thoughts.
“OK, but ‘knock’ first when you are entering so I will know.” Then while she was pondering how she could possibly ‘knock’ when she had always worked to conceal her Legilimency, he moved on without a pause, saying, “Lake George should do, but don’t apparate too high above the water. Try to apparate as close to the water as possible without falling in. That way you will gain a good idea how far you will fall before apparating again. Now tell me more about this polyjuice potion.”
Queenie thought to herself that this might be a good time to show Jacob her apartment, now that he knew and Tina was visiting Newt in England. “Wait a moment; I’ll check. Then I will pop us over to my apartment.”
Jacob did not speak as he looked around Queenie’s apartment. It wasn’t that it was strange. It was quite ordinary although more decorated and cluttered than his own. It was somehow familiar.
“Yes, beloved; you have been here before.”
“It was here that we first met?” asked Jacob.
“Yes, it was here that I first saw that you were so much more than you appeared,” she said.
“Will you tell me?” he asked.
She nodded, and she did, beginning with what she saw in his mind about his experiences before she first saw him; ending with his thoughts and hers as he walked into the rain and his and her determination to begin again.
“Don’t be sad. Although I cannot put thoughts in your mind and restore your memory, at least now you know everything. Our new beginning may not have been so exciting, but it was better for that. It was just for us.”
“You said that you would be demoted or fined if the MACUSA became aware of us, but they were ready to execute Tina and Newt just because they allowed me to become aware of your magical world. They may have used the accidental escape of some of Newt’s creatures as an excuse, but what moral person in his right mind would even consider executing someone for an accident. It is not I who is in danger. I will only not remember. The true danger is to you. These are not nice people.”
For the first time she saw anger in Jacob’s mind—and—the hint of memories of a brutal horror from his time in France—his time at war. Then she saw him recover with a single thought: We know; they do not; we have the advantage. The anger was gone. The hatred for people who could do such things remained, but it was like a footnote to their character.
“So, what else do you have to show me?” he asked calmly, so calmly that had she not been a Legilimens she would have had no idea of the emotion, the intense emotion, that he held in check.
“What you see is nothing but an apartment,” she said, allowing him to change the subject as she pointed her wand to the china closet.
Jacob saw the heavy cabinet swing forward as if it was a door. Behind this china closet door he saw, not a wall, but a room as large as the dining room in which they stood—a room that seemed to extend into the apartment next door.
On a shelf behind a sliding glass cabinet door, he saw what could only be described as a miniature library with several rows of book shelves each filled with tiny books. He saw that each stack of miniature shelves was on a track; Queenie pulled one stack forward and picked out one of the tiny books.
When she had put the book on the reading stand at the end of the room, she enlarged it to its proper size.
“This book contains the instructions to make the polyjuice potion that we will use,” she said, taking him by the hand to another shelf containing bottles that seemed to be grouped by shape and color. “And these bottles contain the polyjuice base that we will use.”
Below the bottles he saw several long wooden boxes. She showed him that they contained pictures of people clipped to an envelop. The collection of pictures was in sequence by age with one collection for males and one for females.
“This envelop only has a description, no picture,” said Jacob as he flipped through the collection.
“That would have been gathered by my father,” she said. “He did not have a camera for the earlier ones.”
“I see, you have been at this for quite some time.” He smiled, then pointing to what could only be described as the clothing section of a department store only in miniature, he asked, “And these?”
“A wardrobe from which to choose clothing appropriate to the person being impersonated,” she said. “I have tried them all. I can impersonate a man or a woman.”
“Since we are here now,” he said, “we should pick the persons we will become for our Italian escapade.”
As they were picking among all the possible people to impersonate, Queenie explained that the polyjuice potion need a piece to the person into which they would change and that a sip of the potion only lasted for an hour so they would have to carry a sufficient supply for their trip. She also mentioned that as a girl she had worked secretly as a manicurist in a no-maj beauty parlor, enabling her to build a substantial supply of nail clippings as well as provide her with some of her own spending money.
“It takes a month to make the base stock, so I will brew up a new batch about three times a year.”
“Is that what’s in this very large container?” asked Jacob, pointing to a large glass container with a domed lid. It was about the size of a large, high sided frying pan. It contained what appeared to be a shimmering liquid.
“No, that is a pensieve,” she said. “I use it to save my thoughts so that I can refer back to them. It’s very useful for potions work.”
“Oh, sort of like a notebook,” said Jacob. “I have just such a notebook of my grandmother’s recipes to which I am constantly adding my own variations. I will show it to you.
“You have many bottles of varying size,” he said. “Do they also contain potions?”
“Some do, yes; most contain ingredients for making potions,” said Queenie. “I do have a veritas potion which compels the drinker to speak the truth when questioned. I have a sleeping potion, a calming draft, a potion to shield against spells and curses, a…”
“A love potion?”
“No, no love potion,” she said, smiling. “It’s not necessary.”
“No it’s not necessary and not wise.”
“No, my beloved intended, not wise,” said Queenie replying with his own thoughts, “It’s a deception. We all made love potions in Ilvermorny.—Oh, Ilvermorny is the name of the wizard school in America.—The potions master made each of us take it, one at a time, so each knew what he could make another do, but also how helpless he was when taking the love potion. And how it felt when the effects wore off, because you remembered everything. The potions master chose who would take whose potion. It was a horrible and depressing feeling after the release—a very vicious potion. I haven’t made it since and I don’t have any here.”
“Judging from the number of different bottles on your shelves, I would guess that you are a very able potions master yourself,” said Jacob, visibly impressed.
“Yes, very able,” said Queenie. “It was my best subject at school and I have worked hard on my own to become better. Most of the witches and wizards I know do not think much of potion making for themselves. It’s too easy to buy quality potions without the risk of mistake. One interesting fact about potions is that you could make a potion. You needn't have any magical abilities, just the proper ingredients and method. Of course, some of the ingredients would be impossible to obtain without magic.
“The best potion makers are paid very well. They and Legilimenses are among the highest paid; although most work in private shops and most of the Legilimenses are healers. Very few who do not choose healing as their vocation are willing to put in the work to become a Legilimens. Those who work for the MACUSA are not so good at it.”
“But you are both; yet you work as a clerk in Wand Permit Office.”
Queenie thought to herself that she was learning everything about Jacob from his mind. He could have no secrets from her; she should have no secrets from him, and he needed to know this.
“Yes, I hide my abilities. I hide my skill as a Legilimens from everyone. And, even with potions, I do not reveal my real capabilities. I keep secrets and now I have even more reason to keep secrets,” she said. “At the Wand Permit Office I get to meet almost everyone. That is what I find most satisfying—meeting the children who are just heading off to school when they first register their wands. I look forward to day I see them all grown up when they renew their registration for the first time as adults.”
“When I was very young and my father first realized that I was a natural Legilimens, he cautioned me against letting others know about this. He was a healer—both a natural legilimens as I and trained. I am very cautious about letting anyone know. I always look into a person’s mind to know his character. My father said that others would fear and detest me because I could know their innermost secrets. He said that they would try to control and suppress me. I have, ever since, kept his admonition in mind with everything I did. He let me practice on him so that I could learn and hone my skills without anyone knowing, so I was also trained, although not officially. And for the longest time I only practiced with him. Oh, sometimes I would look into Tina’s mind, but even this I kept a secret from her until our father and mother died. When I told Tina what I could do she was both shocked and amazed, but she agreed to allow me to practice with her if I told her I was doing it. I was so happy. I was afraid she would leave me when she learned and I needed her. We were both so alone.
“My father’s caution was driven home to me shortly after his death. School had been such a joy; there was always something new to learn, something new to do. I began experimenting with my potion making on my own in secret. The summer break was coming up and I realized that I would not be able to find the ingredients for my experimenting at home without a wand. Oh, I could have bought ingredients, but I didn’t have much money to buy all that I wanted. The MACUSA had taken my father’s and mother’s wand, and we were not allowed to take our wands from school. So, I decided to learn everything I could about wand making before the end of the school year.
“Well, I made the wand that summer and it worked—sort of. I was so very pleased with what I had done, I brought it to school to show my friends. This was a fortunate mistake, for once the secret was out, it was not long before a teacher learned of it.”
“I take it that the teachers were not as pleased with your accomplishment as were you,” said Jacob, smiling.
“No, not at all,” she said. “They took the wand I had made and I was given a month detention and required to write a long essay on the law that forbid students from taking their wand out of the school and why it was so dangerous. They did return the wand to me when I finished school.
“I soon realized that the summarization of the law that I found in the school library said little more than, ’student with wand outside school—bad. Student with wand inside school—good.’ Because I was assigned this essay as a punishment, I was able to get permission from the librarian to access the forbidden section of the library to research the law. My punishment seemed to act as a key that granted permission; I was being punished, so the librarian thought nothing of my request.
“I soon learned that this section of the library contained much more than esoteric legal references. The wand restrictions were part of an expansive set of restrictions on magical activities including the ban on marriage with no-majs. Oh, we all knew that magic/no-maj marriages were forbidden; what I did not know was how harsh the penalties were. Not only was the memory of the no-maj obliviated, so also was the memory of the children for the no-maj parent, unless they were very young. And if the witch or wizard did not agree to this, then his memory would be obliviated and his children taken by the MACUSA. The records were clear; they emphasized that no witch or wizard ever refused to agree to this.”
“I suspect that seeing no other recourse, the witch or wizard would be terrified into submission, not wanting his children to suffer the fate of his wife or husband. It does not speak well for your MACUSA. Some of these United States have anti-miscegenation laws such as yours which forbid marriage between people of different races,” said Jacob. “But nothing as harsh as you describe, no matter what individual people thought of such marriages.”
“Yes, harsh, and wrong. However, we must know where evil exists, so, no sadness,” she admonished lightly. “My punishment was serendipitous.”
“I quickly finished my essay, careful to not write about the marriage ban; I began looking at other books of restricted magic. I knew that I would not get another chance to spend a month in this place to study that magic that was forbidden to us. What I needed was to get the books out; and, with the help of a sleeping potion added to the librarian’s tea, I did; they are all here,” she said pointing at the miniature library in her cabinet.
“The first thing I studied while there was how to copy books. When I could duplicate a book properly, I settled down to learning how to shrink those books so I could smuggle them out. I had yet to learn how to expand the inside of an enclosed space.”
She was about to go on when she saw that Jacob could not get his mind off the thoughts of the two of them not having any memory of the other.
She told him of the witch she sought out that following summer. One of the forbidden manuscripts she had discovered identified those witches and wizards, and those children who suffered at the hands of MACUSA officials. He did not need to know of her disgust at what she discovered. He did not need to know her sadness—nor the hatred she felt towards those who had so horribly persecuted this witch. A hatred that matched his own.—Not now. But he did need to know everything she had discovered.
“We will work it out,” she said gently. “And we will not embark on a campaign to correct these wrongs. We will hide our love as I have hidden my ability and accomplishments.”
After a thoughtful pause which she followed without interruption, he asked. “Did you excel in endeavors other than Legilimency and potions?”
“Yes, I excel in many areas of magic,” she said, smiling infectiously.
Seeing his anxiety melt away at her pride and happiness—she saw a thought in his mind. “Sun Tzu—The Art of War?”
“An ancient Chinese general who wrote about dealing with the enemy,” he replied. “I will show you. I have always had a fascination with history—it was my best subject in school, and I continue to read and study it. History often is a tale of war, and concealment is crucial to winning a war.”
She nodded and slid aside another glass door, “Look here; these two are portkeys that you could use. I used them to pop out of and back into school. I created them in my last year. An interesting thing about these portkeys is that they had to be created on the school grounds. The protections in place at Ilvermorny will prevent a portkey made outside those protections from working to portkey in or out. I have no need for them, now that I can apparate, although I can’t apparate within the Ilvermorny grounds.—Yes, you can handle them. Just don’t insert the key and turn it.”
Jacob pick up one and turning it over, said, “It looks like an ordinary padlock—larger then normal with an oversized shackle.”
“It is meant to,” said Queenie. “And it functions like a normal padlock when opened by the normal key, the one with the round bow. Only the key with the clover shaped bow will activate the portkey. I made it with the large shackle so that several people can use it at the same time.”
“I was wondering how I might activate a portkey without magic,” he said excitedly. “You’ve solved the problem of using a key as a mechanism to activate the portkey. Now it’s only the problem of having multiple destinations to choose from.”
Queenie was much relieved by Jacob’s excitement as she thought about what was needed to have a portkey that enabled one to choose destinations. She let him explore and handle various magical items in the cabinet. When she explained the omnioculars as not just being able to see things at a distance, but also record and play back what was recorded, he mentioned that they might be of use on their trip to Naples.
She showed him various wands that she had made, including one that was a gold diadem, a single flat band, decorated with a Greek Key pattern, that wrapped the wearers head with a kneeling silver unicorn in high relief, centered on the forehead.
“The diadem is not actually gold and silver,” She explained. “It is only gilded. The wand must be wood, but it does not have to be straight. It’s just made so for the purpose of pointing when casting a spell. All that I did for pointing was to have the short straight section of the unicorn’s horn point forward. I would only have to look at my target to use the wand. I did this for fun. It’s too fancy to wear every day, but it is my best wand. I found that the added length was critical in making the wand more powerful. The wand core is almost two feet long. A normal wand is around one foot long.”
Jacob thought that a hidden wand should be something commonplace like the portkeys she had made, a piece of jewelry. Hmm, maybe it’s not too fancy. He did not speak; she knew.
She knew that the problems they would face in a forbidden marriage would not depress him. He was just too excited about life and too focused on how to live for him to worry much about those who thought they could treat him as a farm animal—that is what he thought of those who thought they knew better than he how he should live his life. Everything new that he saw presented him with new opportunities for building that life and armoring the two of them against any MACUSA assault.
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