Chapter 1: Prologue
It had been quite the year for Jon and Martin. Well, just over a year. They had arrived in the highlands about a year prior, but much had happened in that time. They had confessed their love to one another. They had adopted a kitten named the Cadet. Martin had successfully stopped the end of the world which led to the death of Johan Magnus. Jon had become a favorite teacher at the local highschool with his interesting history lessons and not so subtle knowledge on many topics. Things were beginning to look up for the happy couple.
They had both decided to reconnect with the Archival Staff. Basira listened quietly to their explanations; she didn’t like them, but she listened. Daisy was relatively human again. She was still an avatar, but now she was in control. After the Buried, she had loved Jon like a little brother and just wanted him to be happy (yes, she gave Martin the shovel talk). Melaine and Georgie were harder to talk to, but eventually came around.
Jon had figured out how to survive. Well he didn’t, Martin came up with the ideas offhand and Jon tried them out. Instead of statements, he read horror novels and he Asked people Questions like, “Where did you get those shoes?” or “How was this painting made?”, harmless questions that he could learn things from. Instead of being an all powerful Fear God, the Eye had become a petulant toddler vying for attention.
Outside, the October weather is getting colder everyday, and to warm up Martin is at the stove, chopping vegetables for a simple chicken rice soup. At this moment, Jon is grading essays about the Period of the Enlightenment: the causes of it and the consequences it brought. The Cadet is curled up in Jon’s lap, purring, content, as her ears are scratched absentmindedly. There is a silence in the house, but it’s warm and filled with the sound of a knife against a cutting board and the crackling of a woodfire.
Jon and Martin are a very cute couple, yes, but they are not the only important people in this story. For a few hours drive away, in Surrey England, lives an orphan by the name of Harry Potter. He is not living as comfortably as the Sims-Blackwoods, but is instead scared for his life. He talked back today. He is sitting in the dark, in the cupboard under the stairs, crying while biting his hand in order to not make a sound. He is 8 years old and already knows more fear than some adults. He was beaten within an inch of his life about an hour ago, and he knows it will hurt more tomorrow. He tries to distract himself by looking through an old book or Authurian legends he got from the friendly school librarian.
Harry is very bright, but he knows so little. He doesn’t know joy very well and the feeling of being cared for is foriegn enough that he is confused by it. He knows that his situation is not likely to change, but that isn’t actually true. That’s when he hears the knocking on the front door.
Minerva McGonagall is disgusted by the Durselys. She has been watching them for nearly 8 years as they treat Harry as an afterthought, a burden. But Albus Dumbledor had been very clear. He needed a blood relative. Well. She would find one
She found him on the first day; “Jonathan Sims (born 1987)” the book read. “Born of Eliza Potter (1959 - 1990) and Jack Sims (1956 - 1989). Raised by his grandmother (1930 - 2014)”. Minerva was intrigued. She remembered Miss Eliza Potter. A young Gyffindor who had been better suited for Ravenclaw or Slytherin. Quick witted and protective of her own. Maybe her son would be the same. So she looked closer.
Not many things surprised Minerva anymore, after having the Marauders as students she wasn’t sure what could. This idiot of a man, however, somehow surprised her. He had so many negative run-ins with the wizarding world that she wasn’t sure he would take a magic child. Nearly eaten by a cursed book, kidnapped not once or twice, but three times. Twice by werewolves and once by enchanted manikins. The poor man must have been terrified by being cursed himself; a curse of knowledge. She tried scrying to know where he was and found him in the classroom of a Scottish High School. He seemed to be in the middle of a lecture about tea and coffee being the beginning of ideas in Europe. She loved him immediately.
Professor Mcgonagall took to watching Jonathan for the next week. She found that he taught year 11 history, had a boyfriend by the name of Martin, they had a kitten named the Cadet, and that he had an affinity for questions. Once sure of Jon, Minerva watched Martin for a day. He was a poet that made excellent tea and was cursed with loneliness. She liked him too. She trusted that they would take care of Harry no matter what. Once sure of the future parents, the Professor looked for an opening. About a week later, she found it.
The Dursleys had locked poor Harry into his cupboard, beaten and scared. McGonagall knew she had to act or she would never forgive herself. So she went to the Dursley house and knocked on the door. When Vernon Dursley answered she did not yell, she did not curse, she did not use magic.
She back handed him across the face, walked inside, and knocked on the cupboard door, telling Harry to pack his things and that he would be leaving with her. She turned again towards Vernon, who was now with his wife and said these words.
“You have not only failed Harry as parents, you have abused him senselessly! It is not only a horrific show of human behavior, but also illegal! I am taking Harry to his only other relatives and I KNOW he will be better than you!” Minerva McGonagall was furious. She wanted nothing more than to make them feel the pain they had induced on poor Harry, but the cupboard door was creaking open and she wished not to scare him.
Harry looked lost. Harry was lost. His whole life was flipping upside down before his eyes. This scary, Scottish woman had not only slapped Uncle Vernon, but yelled in his face about being a bad parent. No one had ever done that before. Not for Harry. He was shocked.
Harry looked at Uncle Vernon who was red in the face, but a slap mark clear on his cheek. Aunt Petunia was at his side looking scared and confused.
“He doesn’t have any other relatives. Who are you talking about?” Aunt Petunia questioned shakely. There was a glint in the Scottish woman’s eyes as if she knew something that the other woman did not. Harry has a feeling that she does.
“He does have a blood relative. One that had been too young to take Harry at the time. But he is ready now.” With that, Minerva Mcgonagall took Harry Potter’s empty hand and walked him out the door and off to his new family
Chapter 2: Chapter 1: Chicken Soup Is Good for the Soul
Jon and Martin are planning for a claim by night in when two unexpected guests show up.
“Martin! Listen to this one, ‘[Insert claim here]’ and next to it in parentheses, ‘Tea and coffee were what caused the Enlightenment. Also those crazy Americans who dumped millions of dollars worth of tea in protest to their wanker king. Long live Scotland.’” Jon read the student’s rough draft with a completely straight face, while Martin started dying of laughter after the second sentence. Soon they were both trying to catch their breath from giggles.
“Americans were fighting for their freedom, but they definitely could have spared the poor tea.” Martin comments with a wheeze. Jon wrinkles his nose at the paper then chuckles quietly.
“I can’t really say that they’re wrong, they just could word it better. They gave a cause of the Enlightenment and an event that occurred because of it.” He set the paper aside and walked into the kitchen to be with Martin. He climbed onto the counter and watched as his boyfriend swept the chopped vegetables into the soup. He placed the cutting board in the sink and sauntered back over to Jon.
“Was this supposed to be a final or a rough draft?” Martin tucked his head into the crook of Jon’s neck and hummed when Jon wrapped his arms around his waist. Jon kissed Martin’s forehead and settled in.
“Final. I’ll still take off points since it has the brackets and parentheses, but I’ll have to add a section to the rubric that talks about being offensive to other cultures. Even if they don’t agree with their decisions, they can still be respectful.” Martin giggled quietly, if a bit muffled.
“Jon, don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy a little bit of spiciness though the boring essays of 14 year olds.” With a wrinkle in his brow, Jon huffed. This made Martin snicker with victory and Jon to smile with fondness. The two of them stayed like that for a while, maybe half an hour, maybe a full hour. But they were together, and they were happy.
The wind started to pick up as Martin untangled himself to check the soup. The Cadet clawed at Jon’s leg, reminding him that she too wanted dinner. He sighed and walked over to a cupboard that held the cat food and swiftly fed her, wanting to return to his boyfriend as quickly as possible. But that wasn’t going to happen quite yet
There was a strong knock on the door. Both Martin and Jon snapped towards the door and then to each other. Martin swallowed stiffly with an alarmed look in his eyes. Jon nodded slightly and walked towards the door, silently. He looked through the side window and saw a woman and a child standing huddled in the cold. Jon opened the door slowly so as to not startle the odd pair.
“Um, hello?” Jon didn’t know what to make of the two and asking the Eye was a last resort. The woman gave a small smile to Jon’s confusion. The child stared at the floor.
“Hello, Mr. Sims. My name is Minerva McGonagall. I would like to speak with you and your partner.” The woman, a Miss McGonagall, gave a subtle smile. Jon looked to the boy again and found him staring up at Jon with both suspicion and wonder. He tried to give a reassuring smile in response, but with the way the child shied away, it probably fell flat.
“Well Martin and I were about to sit down for dinner. Why don’t you both join us?” Jon looked over his shoulder and made eye contact with Martin. He mouthed ‘not an avatar’ and watched his boyfriend nod and breathe out the tension from his shoulders. He turned back to the door as the woman began to speak.
“I have already eaten, but Harry has not. If you have tea, I will take some.” Jon allowed them inside and quietly asked for them to take off their shoes and coats. Jon had noticed that Harry had an extremely thin jacket and tennis shoes wore through by the toes. Something was wrong with this picture, Jon just couldn’t figure out what.
“Martin! We have two more people joining us for dinner.” Martin turned around from his place at the stove to size up the new company. Being greeted with a trembling child and stern-faced woman confused him for a second, but he trusted Jon enough not to ask. Jon had grabbed tableware for two more places. The woman followed Jon and Martin was left with the shaking child.
“Do you want a blanket? You’re shaking like a leaf.” Martin spoke softly as to not startle the poor boy. The boy still jumped, and shook his head mumbling something softly. Martin hummed in question.
“I don’t want to be a bother.” The words were spoken soft enough that Martin barely heard it. But as soon as he did, Martin stopped laddeling the soup and turned slowly. He walked quietly and crouched in front of the child.
“I’m going to tell you something important that I didn’t learn for quite a bit. You are not a burden. You are important. Now I am going to go and grab you a blanket.” Martin got up and walked to a closet down the hall. He took out the softest, heaviest blanket he could find and placed it gently around the boy’s shoulders.
Martin walked over and grabbed the bowls of soup from the counter and gestured for Harry to follow him. Jon and McGonagall were engaged in quiet conversation when they came to the table. Jon looked up at Martin with a small smile that warmed his heart with fondness.
“Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Sims. I came here tonight to speak to you about adopting young Harry.” Martin’s jaw dropped and Jon just nodded. Harry played with his soup and stayed quiet. Jon and Martin shared a look.
“Why us? I mean we will definitely take him if he needs a home, but why is in particular?” Martin looked at the woman’s face. She had a small pleased smile that, in Martin’s opinion, made her look like a cat that got the cream.
“Well. I’m his last non abusives blood relative. It’s the least we can do for a magical child.” Jon looked at Martin with a small smile.
Chapter 3: Chapter 2: A Small Family is Born
Dinner is getting a little tense with the mention of magic
“Like an Avatar? Like a child. Avatar?” Martin was tired and shocked. When did the Fears start targeting children! That just wasn’t right. They should be able to make life changing decisions at a later date! Seeing his internal panic, Jon spoke up.
“No! Not like that. The Fears aren’t actual magic. They’re more of a parasite. They feed off muggles or humans who don’t have magic. Wizards and witches are real and they’re born with their abilities. In their mythology, an Avatar is a cursed muggle. They have powers, yes, but they also are being devoured. These curses can be broken or even changed. Like how we handled the Eye. I feed it yes, but in a way that does not cost others or myself anything. In return, I can compel people and know things.” Jon rushed through the complicated ins and outs of this new explanation, trying to reassure Martin that they were both safe.
“That is mostly correct, but you are also missing key parts. You, Mr. Sims, are a squib. A non magic child born of a magic parent. The Fears, as you call them, were originally designed to help squibs gain magic. They were thought to be a gift of sorts, from parent to child. Eventually they were banned due to cruelty and abuse. Squibs normally would learn to control these powers by themselves due to a natural affinity. However, muggles started to be experimented on as well. These powers were outlawed among wizard kind, but were relatively unknown by muggles.” McGonagall added. Martin was taking a minute to process, but seemed far more at ease. Harry, however, seemed more tense than when he came into the house.
“But … magic isn’t real. It can’t be … can it?” It’s at this moment that the Cadet decided to make her presence known. She jumped into Harry’s lap and curled up in contentment. Jon smiled softly at the kitten and tried to think of a way to explain to Harry what this wacky world was like. Martin beat him to it.
“Well,” he spoke lowly, the same way he had spoken to Jon during his panic attacks after the Circus Kidapping, “I’m just as lost as you. But let me say this Harry, the three of us, four if Ms. McGonagall would like to stay,” she nodded with a light in her eyes, “will be with you every step of the way. We’re not leaving you just because we don’t understand an important part of you. We will work it out all together.”
Harry had started crying quietly by the end. He looked at Martin first, then McGonagall, and finally Jon, like he was trying to search for a lie.
“You really mean it? You’ll keep me even if I’m … different.” Harry sniffed, trying to keep it together, but not doing it well. Jon smirked.
“Well I’m quite different, so I don’t think we’ll have a problem.” The small family chuckled together and the night continued comfortably. Jon refused to let their guests help clean up. So as Jon, Minerva, and Martin made small talk over tea, Harry sat and played with the Cadet. He’d already finished his delightful mug and had never played with a kitten before, but found himself quickly growing attached.
“Would you like to see your new room?” Harry’s head shot up, eyes wide in shock. The Cadet pawed at his now still hand and Jon grinned.
“I get a whole room? To myself?” The thought was foreign to him. Only important people in the family get their own room! Heck, only members of the family!
“Well of course! You’re living with us now. So what do you say?” Harry nodded with enthusiasm and Jon grinned wider. He offered Harry a hand and led him up the stairs to a small hallway.
“Well there’s two rooms you can choose from. This one is closer to the stairs and the bathroom,” he opens a door to a small room. It has a couple desks and a bed in it. There’s a couple windows that show that backyard. They leave the room again.
“Or you can choose this one.” They walked down a little farther to another room. It was the same size with a small bed and a bookshelf. There was a wide window with a seat looking out over the road and pastures. Harry had never felt so lucky.
“It’s closer to mine and Martin’s room and farther than the bathroom, but the view is quite ni-“ Harry wasn’t one for affection, he didn’t grow up with it. But at this moment, he had the urge to throw his arms around his new dad and hold him as tightly as possible.
“Thank you. Thank you so much” Harry was crying now, and Jon was internally panicking. He followed his instincts and wrapped one arm around Harry and the other hand running through his hair.
“It’s going to be alright, Harry. I promise.” After another moment, Jon started humming a song that he found comforting. Soon, Harry was dead on his feet and Jon guided him gently into the bed. All tucked in, Harry fell into a comfortable sleep for the first time in many years.
The song Jon is humming is totally NOT “Elysian Fields” by the Mechs. It’s totally up to reader interpretation.
Anyways, I’m trying to post everyday. I really like this so far, but i don’t have a set time for posting. School is wacky and writing is therapy.
Chapter 4: Chapter 3: The Shovel Talk
While Jon puts Harry to bed, Minerva decides that she needs to ensure Harry’s safety.
As Jon and Harry went up the stairs, McGonagall looked at Martin. Her face was now stern and protective. It felt like the room had turned ten degrees colder. The pressure of McGonagall’s gaze could easily rival that of Johan Magnus’s.
“Martin. The first thing I want to say is that I do trust you, however, that child means very much to me and many others in the wizarding world.” McGonagall had a dangerous glint in her eyes. Martin’s hands gripped his mug and he gulped nervously. He nodded slowly, trying to tell her to go on.
“Not only is Harry important, but so is Jonathan. Well, he’s more important to me. I’ve grown fond. As for Harry, not all magic is good. Not all people are good. Do you want to know why Harry is an orphan? It’s because of a dark wizard. I understand that you may think you have met some of the worst people in the world, but that is simply not true. Harry survived a curse, the killing curse. And that is impossible.” Minerva was staring into Martin. It was the most intimidated Martin had ever been, and that. That was saying something.
“Harry’s parents were a couple of my favorite students. A couple of the most brilliant young people I have ever met, and I will be damned if something bad ever comes to Harry. I will fight tooth and nail to make him safe and happy.” Martin knew she wasn’t finished, but it made her think. ‘What does she mean by students?’
“If anyone, Jonathan and yourself included, hurt Harry again, I will make your life a living hell. I will learn everything you have tried to hide and every type of magically torture at my disposal to make you regret ever bringing harm to Harry Potter.” There was a minute of silence, until anyone spoke again.
“Miss. McGonagall. I have no idea how to raise a child, neither does Jon. But there is one thing for sure. Harry will not be harmed while living in this house. Jon and I have … personal experience with abuse and manipulation. We wouldn’t do that to Harry.” The tension had faded a little and disappeared completely when a small smile graced Minerva’s face. She nodded.
“I do trust you. And thank you for allowing me to help raise Harry. I know I don’t have much to worry about with you and Jon, but I still needed to be sure. I understand if you have questions.” She was sitting again, looking at Martin with concern.
“Well, you were talking about students. Are you a teacher?”
“Yes,” she answered with a smile. “I am a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It’s a school that teaches young witches and wizards to control their natural gifts. It is one of the safest places in the wizarding world.”
“Will Harry be attending or accepted at all?”
“Once he is 11, he will be able to attend. It is a boarding school, but technically it’s quite close. Within an hour's drive from this cottage”
“Ok, I will ask for more details later when Jon is around, but I have to ask about that dark wizard. Also why a blood relative?” McGonagall continued to explain everything. From Harry’s scar to the dark wizard known as Voldemort (terrible name in Martin’s opinion) to the blood relative protection. She also mentioned that other wizards may try to kidnapped the poor kid. Jon had walked down halfway through the conversation and had questions of his own.
“So Harry will still be guarded by this protection even though I’m on his father’s side?”
“Luckily, yes. Now it is getting late, so I should be leaving. I have patrol duty with Severus tonight and he always gets uptight if I’m late.” They showed her the door and said the polite goodbyes, making plans to have tea in a couple days.
Jon and Martin headed up the stairs and started to get ready for bed. Martin asked Jon if he needed to be filled in with the conversation while he was gone.
“Don’t worry, Martin. I Saw the whole thing. It was quite the, um, she seems quite protective of Harry.” Jon rubbed the back of his neck with a nervous chuckle.
“Yeah. She seemed to trust us for some reason. I really don’t know why.” They started getting ready for bed with Martin stepping into the shower and Jon grabbing their pajamas. He set Martin’s in the bathroom and took to putting his set on. After doing so, he got settled in with his newest snack, an internet creepy pasta called “The Red Man”.
“Eating before bed isn’t a great habit, you know.” Jon looked up to find Martin smirking in the doorway. His curls were wet, but somehow still all over. He was just an inch shorter than Jon, but looking at him from the bed made him seem a little taller.
“Well I used to have worse habits and anyways I have more to tell you about our visitors today.” Martin’s eyes lit up as he climbed under the covers. Immediately, Jon was on, spread out like a starfish, head tucked under Martin’s chin. Martin wrapped his arms around Jon’s waist and tangled their legs, holding the Archivist away from the rest of the world.
“Yes, the Professor and I had a lovely conversation while you got our new child a blanket. She told me about my mother. Apparently she was much like me and had wanted to be a teacher at Hogwarts. Minerva also told me that she had been watching the two of us for a couple weeks to see if we were suitable.”
“So in other words, we better not screw this up.”
“Exactly.” There was a comfortable silence for another couple seconds.
“I love you, Jon.”
“I love you too, Martin.”
“Alright, dearest. You too.”
This took a bit more effort to write since I have never witnessed, given, or gotten a shovel talk. I’m honestly better at just fluff. I might be posting earlier tomorrow, but I won’t promise anything. Thank you guys!
Also I’m thinking of writing a oneshot of the patrol night and the conversation on why Professor McGonagall was late for the first time in her entire teaching career. Would anyone be interested in that or just me?
Chapter 5: A New Day
It’s the start of a new life for Harry Potter. He’s not ready, but he cannot wait.
As the sun peaked in through Harry’s window, the child slowly awoke. It was startling to be woken up by dawn as opposed to the rapping of an angry fist against his door. There was a warm weight curled into his chest and a sense of calm that Harry had never felt before. The light on his eyelids felt welcoming, and his eyes slowly fluttered open.
Harry was met with the sight of a sparse bedroom that he had fallen asleep in the night before. He was wrapped in a soft quilt that he hadn’t seen the night before with the Cadet curled into his stomach. He smiled slowly and scritched her behind the ears, earning a thunderous purr from the little kitten. He stayed like that until drifting into the grasp of sleep once again.
When he awoke a second time, Harry was greeted with the sweet smell of pancakes and bacon. His door was just ajar, enough that someone could peak in and for a kitten to saunter out. Reaching for his glasses, Harry’s hand brushed against a small post-it-note on his side table.
‘I heard the Cadet scratching at the door and let her out. Breakfast will be ready in half an hour. You don’t have to join us if you’re overwhelmed, but know that you are welcome. - Jon’ The note was again reassurance that this life would be better. An unconscious smile spread across his face as Harry read the note twice over. He got out of the bed and spread the quilt over the bare bed. After making sure there were no wrinkles, he walked into the hallway and down to join breakfast.
Martin was standing by the stove laughing at something Jon had said. Jon was setting the table for three while talking emphatically about something.
“All I’m saying is that these teenagers are too interested! There is no way that they ALL knew what was on that quiz! They just couldn’t have!” Jon seemed almost frustrated while Martin just chuckled at his vexation.
“You’re just mad that their first question was whether or not you were the Jon that Mels ripped apart during the last episode of What the Ghost.” Harry decided to sit in the stairs with the Cadet and watch as Jon lost his mind over a class of 15 year olds being nosy.
“Exactly Martin! They know too much! I don’t know what to teach them next! Not only that, but the next thing you know, they are going to ask whether I’ve proposed or not. They became infatuated after you came to my class once with my forgotten lunch. Said that I needed someone to watch me with, and I quote, ‘How much I forgot to act like an adult’. It is not only insane, but immensely degrading! Do you have any idea- oh don’t give me that look.” They burst into laughter together making Harry smile at his new parents. He decided then would be a good time to descend the rest of the stairs and join them. With the Cadet in his arms and a good feeling in his chest, Harry walked down the rest of the stairs.
“Oh! Good morning, Harry.” Martin greeted with a smile.
“I hope you slept alright.” Jon added, grinning as well. The smiles were infectsise, one spreading on Harry’s face the farther he stepped into the kitchen.
“I don’t think I’ve slept that well ever. I … thank you for taking me” All his previous courage leaked out of him and was replaced by the sense of gratefulness and freedom. The new senses brought tears to his eyes as Harry did everything to not fall down sobbing with releaf. Instantly, the faces of his new family turned from an easy happiness to a parental worry. Jon placed a light hand on his shoulder and Harry threw himself around Jon yet again.
“It’s alright, Harry. The worst has passed. You are alright.” Martin had walked over and was also wrapping himself around them both. He may have been a smidge shorter than Jon, but he made up for it with a firm figure to hold the three of them together. They stayed like this for a good while, until Harry was no longer crying, but just sniffling into Jon’s jumper. Eventually they separated after a burning smell wafted from the stove.
“The bacon!” Martin jumped back to his position and tried desperately to salvage the burnt meat while Jon chuckled and Harry giggled between hiccups. He eventually gave up, already having enough for a breakfast of three.
Breakfast was a delight with fluffy pancakes and unburnt bacon. It also included good company and some of the best tea Harry had ever had. They discussed plans for the day; a trip to the small village to get Harry some real clothes in addition to their normal groceries and bookstore adventures. A new haircut was also discussed, but after Harry’s shy mention that it would grow back overnight, the subject was dropped.
The table was cleared and the small group migrated into the living room, hiding from the chill under blankets and tight hugs. It was a new day for the small family and they knew this would change a lot. None of them were ready, but they were all eager for the start of a new life. Together.
This will be the last chapter of this work, but I will be adding one shots for the next week or so that take place between the end of this fic and Harry’s first year. If you have any suggestions for these one shots, I’d be happy to write some. Anyways, thank you for reading!