The First Station Stop
Queenie was at her desk two hours before the other clerks would arrive. She was hoping that Mr. Zelos would show up today. He was not at work yesterday, a pastry day. It was not like him to miss a pastry day. It was not like him to miss any day of work. Today he was not late in arriving. He pushed his cart loaded with files for her and the others to process.
“Mr. Zelos, I missed you yesterday,” said Queenie. “I hope you were not ill.”
“No, Mistress Queenie Goldstein, Zelos not ill. Elf not get ill. Massa Mowbray take Zelos. Do Gnarlak work.”
“Mowbray? I did not know that Mr. Mowbray’s first name was Massa,” said Queenie.
“Massa not name. Massa Mowbray Magical Service Administrator. Massa Mowbray oversee elf work.”
“Oh, I see—MaSA, like MACUSA is the Magical Congress of the USA,” replied Queenie reaching into her desk. “But here Mr. Zelos. You missed my pastry day yesterday. I brought one just for you today.”
After going through their ritual of Queenie ordering Zelos to take a pastry, she asked, “Was your work for Gnarlak good?”
“Work always good. Zelos move bottles from big room to Gnarlak cellar.”
“That seems strange. Gnarlak has many who can do such work,” said Queenie, subtly inquiring about Zelos’ work for Gnarlak.
“Not elf work,” said Zelos with an air of obvious pride. “Gnarlak need fast move. Zelos move bottles from far north to Gnarlak cellar. Zelos very fast.”
“Does MaSA Mowbray often require you to do other work outside MACUSA?”
“Not often,” said Zelos. “Only special work. Only Gnarlak.”
“Some day I would like to marry and build a house,” said Queenie. “Do you think that MaSA Mowbray would let me borrow you to help build a house? Would you like that?”
“Zelos like. Massa Mowbray get much gold from Gnarlak for Zelos work.”
“Oh, I don’t have much gold Mr. Zelos,” said Queenie. “But it’s OK; I’m sure that I won’t need you for such special work for many years yet to come.”
“Zelos come when Mistress Queenie Goldstein call. Zelos have file,” said Zelos, handing Queenie a stack of file folders.
“Thank you, Mr. Zelos,” said Queenie. “You are a good friend. Is there a special lady elf in your work?”
“Zelos like Caro. Not tell Massa Mowbray. Massa Mowbray know; Massa Mowbray not let Caro, Zelos work together.”
“Do not fear, Mr. Zelos. I will always keep your secret. And does Lady Caro like to work with you Mr. Zelos?”
Zelos giggled a bit. “Caro like.”
“Then Mr. Zelos, you must introduce her to me. I would like to meet your Lady Caro.”
“Zelos does,” the elf said with a smile, beaming with pride and appreciation.
Zelos began to eat his pastry as he pushed his cart to leave work for when the other clerks would arrive. Again she saw him break the pastry and only eat half, wrapping the other half in paper. She had only once before entered the mind of an elf. Her curiosity was overwhelming. She was right. She saw in his mind that Zelos was saving the pastry for his Lady Caro.
Queenie glanced through the files and then shrunk them before slipping them into an envelope. She could not allow herself to be seen with them. She would wait until after she returned from potions with Horace. Then she and Jacob would go over them together.
Queenie sat alone in Jacob’s apartment above his shop looking over the files on Elizabeth Wohlfort while Jacob and Andrew closed for the day. With the close of the shop she would go downstairs to help him prepare for the next day, before they would go over the files together.
While they worked, she told him what Zelos had told her about Mowbray.
“This MaSA Mowbray sounds a lot like another Mr. Boveri,” said Jacob as he finished the night’s preparation. “I read in the news today that there was a shooting upstate in Poughkeepsie. Three gangsters were found murdered in an empty warehouse.”
“Do you think that Gnarlak did it?” asked Queenie.
“Probably not,” said Jacob. “It is more likely that Gnarlak had Mr. Zelos move the bootleg whisky out of the warehouse and when the gangsters found out, they killed those whom they thought were responsible.”
Finally, back in Jacob’s apartment, she waited as he read through the pages of wand examination report that began when Elizabeth left Ilvermorny.
Putting the files on the table, Jacob said, “They are only numbers. Nothing stands out. Maitland’s notes say that he only started to suspect her a year ago. Probably something in her wand examination a year ago drew his attention. Then he waits a year until her next examination. Why wait if he suspected something? Why not just go to her house and see for himself?”
“The MACUSA does not register the address of all witches and wizards,” Said Queenie. “Some keep there whereabouts secret. I am sure that Elizabeth would not have revealed where she lived.”
“But you said that they knew where she lived,” said Jacob, picking up Maitland’s notes. “Do they have some way to track you without your knowledge? They must have done something to find out where she lived so that they could spy upon her and discover her family.”
Jacob began to think out loud as he read over Maitland’s notes. “It had to have been after her latest wand examination, otherwise he would have picked her up earlier. She would have to come here to re-register her wand. He was waiting for her. Maybe her latest wand examination would have confirmed his suspicions—it wouldn’t matter if he tracked her.
”Beloved, are there magical tracking devices?”
“Almost anything can be spelled to make it a tracking device,” said Queenie. “A tracking potion could be spilled on her clothes. I cautioned her about the possibility of a tracking potion and a tracking device. She would probably not notice it, but that is not how I would do it. I would put it into something she ate or drank. It’s not harmful; it is not digested; it is tasteless. It wouldn’t last as long as a tracking potion put on her clothing, but it would stay in her until it passed through. Even if she suspected, she could do nothing—well, perhaps a strong laxative would speed things along.”
“Would the Aurors know about this potion?”
“This potion is not taught in school,” replied Queenie. “But I had copies of all the forbidden books of magic at the school. I experimented at school by feeding it to a squirrel and watching the trail it left on the parchment that had been painted with the companion potion that recorded where the squirrel was at any given moment until it was no longer in the squirrel. Yes, the Aurors would certainly know about it.”
“So, if the Aurors suspect you of something, there is no way to stop them from snatching you other than staying away,” said Jacob. “And wand registration insures that you can’t stay away. But what alerted Maitland to look at Elizabeth? Something in the…”
Jacob stopped. “Queenie, you must only eat and drink what you have brought from home—only what you or I have prepared. And you must never apparate directly here. You must always apparate home first, disappear all the clothing you are wearing and duplicate new before apparating here.”
“I will,” said Queenie, reveling in Jacob’s concern and protection. “What we need now is to put the numbers for each spell in a line stretching from the first year to the last. We will easily see any change in the number of times a spell was used. Then if Elizabeth started using a spell she hadn’t used before or used more often, we will see it.”
Queenie began by laying down across the bottom of a sheet of paper each year going back 19 years, from Elizabeth’s first wand registration after leaving school to the present. She did this for each separate spell in the file. As she did, she lay down the number for the spell above it’s year. The numbers moved up and down so that they would not go off the sheet of paper. She successfully graphed each spell used for all examinations.
Neither expect to find what they saw. It wasn’t the use of any spell that alerted Maitland. It was when Elizabeth stopped using cleaning spells that Maitland became suspicious. It must have been when she got the electric clothes washer.
“Now we know how to arrange what magic is done with your registered wand,” said Jacob. “To maintain the deception that you are a single witch, you must use your official wand for the things you would do for yourself as an unmarried witch. Every bit of magic you do for me, for us, you must do with one of your own wands.”
“That should work for every ordinary circumstance except a pregnant Queenie,” she said.
“The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that we will never be safe here,” said Jacob. “The MACUSA will continue to hunt for people like us. We can never be certain that we know everything that they are doing. We need to make England our home. We should find land where we can build a home.”
“I know, I agree, but I cannot leave my job at the Wand Permit Office,” she said. “I must be there to know what they will do.”
“I know, but we can overlap our efforts,” he said. “We can acquire the land and build our house all while you keep working here. You should probably keep your apartment in any case, just to facilitate portkey travel back and forth.”
“What about your pastry shop?”
“I will have to hire some people and put Andrew in charge,” he said. “This is getting complicated. I need to establish myself in England first. I need…wait a minute. That’s what we need to do for Bill Wohlfort. We need to get him established in England first, well before the end of the school year when Maitland plans to wipe George and Annie’s memories of their father being a no-mag.
“Has Maitland stopped watching him?”
“Yes, they only watched him for a few days to assure themselves that he was behaving—‘normally.’
“Getting to England is no problem; he can portkey.”
“But he must also be here,” said Jacob. “If he is building a new life in England, he won’t be able to continue here as he is. Even with the time difference he can’t work two jobs. He…”
Jacob stopped. He looked at Queenie and smiled.
“Oh, I see,” was all that she said.
“When you return from England tomorrow, see Bill Wohlfort when he leaves his work,” he said. “Tell him. Prepare him.”
Queenie prepared the polyjuice potion so that she would appear to be the same handsome middle-aged man she was when she first met William Wohlfort. She waited for him across the street from the entrance to the Westinghouse plant. When she saw him come through the gate, she mixed with others leaving and followed him. But he was not going to his home. She saw him enter a bar not far from the plant. This was not good. He needed a clear mind if she was to restore his memories from the pensieve. She entered the bar and sat next to him. He was just staring into his beer.
Queenie carefully took her wand of her own making from her vest pocket, a very short wand no longer than a fountain pen, and created a shower of sparks from the ceiling. As everyone turned to look up, she grabbed William’s wrist and apparated. She had stood to apparate, but he was still sitting. Now sitting on the floor of his own living room, he was disoriented but strangely not confused or fearful.
Looking up at a well dressed man, he ask, “Who are you? What is this about?”
Standing up, he walked into the kitchen.
“Who I am does not matter,” said Queenie. “You will understand everything very soon. And you need to remain clear headed.”
She pointed her wand at the bottle he was taking from the kitchen cabinet, pulled it out of his hand and placed it back in the cabinet. He showed no surprise at this.
“Let me ask you a question,” Queenie said. “Do you have dreams about a woman whom you do not know or perhaps about children you do not know?”
“How did you know?” he asked.
“It’s residual memory that sometimes manifests itself when obliviation is done too quickly,” she answered. “What you have seen me do just now would normally engender feelings of confusion and fear. You exhibited no such feelings.
“I am here to restore your actual memories, memories that others had erased, memories that I saved before those others erased them from your mind,” said Queenie. “It is best if you are willing. May I proceed with your cooperation?”
“Oh, why not,” he said. “I’m about to be fired anyway.”
“Excellent,” said Queenie.
“Excellent that I will cooperate or excellent that I am about to be fired?”
“Both,” said Queenie, smiling, as she took the pensieve from her briefcase. “Sit, I will begin. It won’t take long, but I must caution you that you may experience strong feelings of anger and hatred when you realize what was taken from you.”
Stirring the pensieve with her wand, Queenie directed a fountain of memories to flow into the mind of William.
With all memories back in their proper place, William sat still, staring at the man sitting next to him. “I know you. You’re the Legilimens who preserved my memories.”
“Yes, your memory of me and all of your memories before your obliviation will be clear, as they were before,” said Queenie as she entered William’s mind. “You will feel no discomfort from remembering. But there is a conflict that you must face. You have lived the last week without those memories. You remember that week also and what you have done because of what others did to you. You must reconcile these most recent memories of your life of the past week with your real memories that were taken from you—your memories of the life you lived with Elizabeth.”
William’s eyes went wide; he went quickly to the sink and vomited; grasping the edge of the sink, his whole body began to tremble; grabbing a knife, he plunged it into the cutting board.
Queenie saw that he was about to collapse and slid a chair to him so that when he did, he simply sat down. She then moved him back to the kitchen table and summoned a glass into which she poured water from her wand and add a six drops of calming potion. “Drink this. It will help you to relax and we will talk.”
When she saw in his mind that he was calmer, she said, “Your anger, your hatred is natural, rational, proper. Your physical reaction at the sink came when you when you saw your helplessness in the face of an evil you could not comprehend, even though Elizabeth explained what could happen. You had never actually dealt with the evil. You never saw what it actually was. Now you have.
“Your anger and hatred are instantaneous signals that you are faced with a monstrous evil, but you must not let your feelings of anger and hatred direct your actions. Be calm; be deliberate; be rational—not emotional.”
William nodded and said, “You have been here before, haven’t you?”
“Yes,” replied Queenie. “I haven’t had to confront what you are confronting. I have never had my memories erased, but yes I have been here before. A good friend, a no-mag like yourself, once pointed out what I have just told you when I was feeling such strong anger and hatred. He allowed me to enter deep into his mind. I saw his memories and feelings when he fought in the no-mags’ great war. I saw his anger and hatred, and I saw how he realized that the feelings were only signals, not a blueprint for action. The blueprint for action comes from thought, deliberate, calculating, rational thought. That is what we must do now.”
“You have a plan?” asked William.
“I have a sketch of a plan,” replied Queenie. “I need your help to fill in the details.
“First, you will not be safe here. I believe that England will be the best choice for you. Of course Australia or New Zealand also do not ban mag/no-mag marriages. This is where I need your help. I do not know anything about your work. I do not know where you could begin again doing what you do now.”
“I see,” William said. “I don’t think that I would like to start over as a sheep farmer. Metrovick, Metropolitan-Vickers used to be British Westinghouse. I met one of their engineers here. We worked together on a turbine design for two months.”
“Then England it is,” said Queenie. “The basic plan is that you get yourself fired for drunkenness. You have already made a good start on that. You will need a new name. With your help, I will modify your records at the company to reflect your work under this new name. I will create all the identification papers you need to emigrate to England under this new name.
“I will need to impersonate you to check in to a residence hotel. You will need an address to get a passport under your new name. This address will also be the one used by Elizabeth and your children for their passports under your new name. You must not go there. You will be in England under your new name. I will check on all mail. It’s important to keep you and Elizabeth apart during these coming months. It is especially important that your children not see you—not know that you are alive.
“That’s it in a nutshell. There is more; I will have to obliviate your name from the memory of those with whom you work. They will remember you and all the work you did; they just won’t remember your name. I will have to impersonate one of them to suggest that the man they worked with was you by your new name and that you went to work for Metrovick.”
“You can do that? You can put a thought in their minds?”
“No, not by magic,” said Queenie. “I can remove their memory of your name, but I will have to actually confront them in conversation to suggest your new name to them as it relates to their memory of your face, your work, your person. Once your new name is associated with your face and characteristics for one thing, it will cascade through their minds, carried along by their memory of you.
“Records are easy to modify with magic, but you will have to actually point out each individual so I can modify his memory.”
“Does Lizzy know what you are doing, that you are restoring my memories?” he asked.
“No, she is under close observation,” said Queenie. “She thinks that you are alive and well with no memory of her or your children. She does not know how depressed you were. None of us knew. She will be questioned weekly under veritas serum. She cannot know what we are planning. We will inform her at the very last moment, just before the children’s school year ends when we will take her to join you.
“During the time leading up to this, you must establish yourself at Metrovick while at the same time you are here establishing yourself as a drunk. The time difference between here and England will help with the deception. Depending on when your work day begins at Metrovick, you can portkey to England at 2:00am, arriving at 7:00am England time. If you work eight hours to 5:00pm, you can easily be back here by 1:00pm our time and sleep until 9:00pm when you will begin making the rounds of bars and establishing in the minds of everyone that you are a drunk. Or, you can sleep at your new home in England and portkey back to begin your round of drunkenness.
”Here, you will need this.” Queenie reached into the briefcase. “This potion will neutralize the alcohol in your drink—one dropper full per drink. It is absolutely critical that you are always clear headed while letting others think that you are a depressed staggering drunk.”
“That is all very good, but how is that going to help?” said William. “When Lizzy goes to England, the MACUSA will look for her and find her there. It won’t matter what I do.”
“It will matter,” said Queenie. “Your part is crucial to getting Elizabeth out safely. I will explain later, but first we need to work on identifying what I must alter in the records and whose memories I must obliviate.”
Finally, after having fortified herself twice with polyjuice potion, Queenie rose from the table. “I will prepare the two portkeys you will need to travel back and forth from here to England. Are you ready to do what you have to do tomorrow?”
“I’m ready, but I will hate doing it,” he said. “I know I need to be fired, but the people I will offend and insult are good friends, good people.”
“I can see no other way,” said Queenie. “These MACUSA agents of ‘moral rectitude’ cause real harm in their quest for the greater good. I can rescue you and your family, but I can’t undo the harm that they have done. I can, however, remove from them the memory of your foul behavior when I suggest your new name to them.”
“I know,” he said. “I think that my hatred of the MACUSA will continue to burn long after we have rid ourselves of these people.
“I have a name—Amos Royer—a long ago ancestor on my mother’s side.”
“I will begin altering the Westinghouse records as soon as you are fired. Good bye for now. I will see you tomorrow evening at 5:00pm. I will apparate into this kitchen.”
Taking a scissor from her case she said, “One more thing; I will need a snip of your hair for the polyjuice potion so that I can impersonate you.”
Queenie apparated to her apartment, put the pensieve away and considered waiting for the polyjuice potion to wear off, when on a whim she decided she would surprise Jacob. She grabbed some of her clothes and apparated to Jacob’s apartment where he waited for her.
She had entered Jacob’s mind before she left so that she could see the moment of his surprise. She was able to enter Jacob’s mind from anywhere now. The shock was also visible on his face.
“No, No, It’s me, your Queenie,” she said, speaking quickly. “We have not been found out. Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize. See, this is the short wand that I took when I went to see William Wohlfort.”
Jacob took the wand she handed him and turned it over in his hands before setting it on the table. “And I can’t even surprise you for your birthday while you can practically give me a heart attack. I guess you will just have to make up the surprises for the both of us.
“So, I will see you change back to my Queenie?”
“If you want,” she said.
“I want, but remain clothed until just before you are about to change,” he replied. “You can tell me how thing went with William while we wait for you to change back.”
So Queenie told him about William and that when the personnel department was closed, she would alter the records to add a false report for William Wohlfort and alter his own records to have the name of Amos Royer.
It was then that Queenie stood and removed her clothes, and Jacob saw her as a middle aged male gradually change back to his Queenie.
“Much better, I much prefer this Queenie,” he said. “Hmm…”
Queenie blushed slightly at his thoughts before she repeated his last thought to him, “It would seem that you are able to surprise me, but yes there is no reason to dress right away. I will happily yield to your wishes.”
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