The Muggle and the Magic Man

BY : Audrey_Maxwell
Category: HP Canon Characters paired with Original Characters > Het - Male/Female
Dragon prints: 149
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

 

** Day 43 **

Audrey was walking down Grimmauld Place to her usual bench. It was a month and a half since she started coming here, spending a couple hours every day on that bench. She told her roommate about the strange houses a few weeks ago. How people disappear there, and how number 12 is missing. At first, she thought Audrey went crazy. But now she was sure Audrey has a secret, the current theory is that she’s a drug dealer. Who would go stare at a boring house every day for a month?!

She wasn’t sure what would make her give up on her pursuit. It will probably happen when classes resumed. If big fat nothing is going to keep happening, she’ll just wave it off as ‘that summer I spent staring at houses’ and leave it at that.

She hoped something would happen though. She was sure something strange is going on. She felt it in the bottom of her stomach. She might have been a very logical person, but she put great weight on her instincts. Any logical person that comprehended how little it is we actually know about the human brain, would not dismiss such strong instincts. They were there for a reason.

Today something did happen. Someone was sitting on her bench.

That someone was a black-haired man, dressed in what Audrey would describe as exactly what men should be dressed in. He looked like he was taken out of some old movie. He leaned on an arm perched on the armrest and was staring straight at her. She did not recognize him at all, his features were completely foreign to her. But in the pit of her stomach she felt like she knew him. It was the strangest feeling she had ever experienced; she felt the urge to run over and throw herself in his arms, but she had no idea who that man was.

“Hello Audrey,” the man said in a baritone voice that sent shivers down her spine, “care to join me?”

So, the man knew her, but she didn’t know him. Or did she? What was that feeling in her gut? She started to think she was losing her mind. “Do I know you?” she asked.

“Do you?” he asked back curiously.

“You’re the magic man,” the words left her mouth before they were properly processed in her brain. “How do I know that?” she asked a little frightened. “Are you the magic man?” she has never been so confused in her life. “Is that what a stroke feels like?” she mused aloud to herself.

“Hardly,” the man replied with half a smile. “Why don’t you sit down?”

Audrey set on the bench cautiously. Her mind was full of blinking red alarm lights and was bravely fighting her hands that felt as if they were pulled by a huge magnet towards the strange man. If she could just stroke his face everything would be ok. Or will it?

“I am indeed the magic man,” the man said, “My name is Severus.” His eyes were pitch black, and she thought she saw in them the same brave fight she was dealing with. “We have met numerous times before, but you do not remember,” he continued. She opened her mouth to ask something, but he silenced her with one raised finger. “Please take out the SD card that you have in your pouch and plug it in your phone.” She was starting to protest, how did he know about her spare SD card, or her tampon pouch for that matter, but the man, Severus, continued quickly before she could say anything. “You told me about the SD card in one of our previous encounters. You had to explain to me how it works, and how one can store information of various types in it. I asked you to store several photos on it and keep it on your person so you would know it was not tempered with.”

This was turning out to be very James Bond. Audrey took the SD card and was searching for a pin to open the phone’s slot with. Severus handed her one. “You also gave this to me,” he explained. Audrey eyed him suspiciously and opened the slot. She handed the pin back. “Keep it,” Severus said, “the only purpose it serves is to open your phone, and this will be the last encounter in which I need to prove to you the existence of our previous ones.”

What the fuck was going on? Who was that man? Do they actually know each other? He was at least a decade older than her, if not more, and wasn’t pretty in any conventional sense. So why was she so drawn to him? She checked the SD card’s menu and saw all she expected to see. Mainly scanned lecture notes and exams. She clicked the folder called ‘Magic Man’, and her eyes opened as the photos started loading. Photo after photo of her with this man, Severus, all seems to have been taken in different days, judging by her clothes.  

“Open one,” Severus said, “and check the description”

Audrey opened the first photo. She recognized the shirt and earrings she had on yesterday. Severus’ arm was around her as he held the phone for a selfie, and she was smiling broadly. If it wasn’t herself in the photo, she would have guessed it was a random couple. She checked the photo notes. There was a link to an online photo album. This album seemed to hold all the photos in the card. She spent a minute browsing the photos. Each of them had an upload date in a different day in the last month and a half. The first one was a few days after she started coming here. Audrey was the one who took that one, and it resembled a photo taken with a coworker more then a romantic partner.

She tried to think of all the ways these photos could be forged. They were on her phone, and it was protected with two-factor-authentication. It was not stolen, lost, or misplaced in the last two months. The online album was from a known company, and she trusted the timestamps of the uploads there. The photos were of her, and these were the clothes she wore in the last month, at least to her recollection.

“Ok,” she said, putting aside her phone and looking at Severus, “I might find the loophole later, but for now let’s say I believe that we’ve met before. Why can’t I remember?”

“Because I erased your memory,” Severus replied.

“How and Why?” she asked. Both questions were equally pressing and important.

“I am the magic man,” he said, and seemed to be very amused at the situation.

“Now you listen here mister!” Audrey started to get annoyed. “This is super creepy, and frightening, and you will start to answer my questions properly before I –“

“I apologize,” Severus said raising his arms in surrender. “We have had this type of conversation multiple times in the past few weeks, so I’ve grown accustomed to it. I should be more sensitive to the fact that for you it feels like the first time. I am a wizard,” he stated, “that means that I can perform magic. Not slight of hand tricks, actual magic. Magic is, in your words Audrey, the ability to manipulate certain aspects of nature in a way that is yet unknown to science. That is how I erased your memory. One can only be born with this ability, it cannot be taught. We call those who possess this ability Wizards and Witches. People who are not magical are called Muggles by the magical community. We have our own world and society completely hidden from your kind, from Muggles.” Audrey was looking at him intently, taking in every word. That definition did sound like something she would say. “One of the most important laws that we have is the Statue of Secrecy,” Severus continued. “It is strictly forbidden to disclose our existence to Muggles. I had to erase your memory after our encounters, since our open discussions would have been considered a criminal offence otherwise.”

“Why did you talk to me about the magical world?” Audrey asked

“I will answer all three questions,” Severus said

“I only asked one,” Audrey pointed out

“But you were thinking three. Your next question after that initial summary is always one of three, and I’m paraphrasing; why am I talking to you at all, how many times I have erased your memory, and how do memory charms work.” Audrey fell silent. She was at a huge disadvantage here. Seems like this man knew what’s on her mind before she even thought it. “This is our 43rd meeting,” Severus said, “so I have erased your memory 42 times. Yes, I did it after every time we met. No, there are no long-term side affects that I am aware of. Yes, I would have been aware of them would they’ve been common.

“I cannot explain exactly how the charm is functioning. That is the ‘magic’ of it. From the charm caster’s perspective, if there is precise knowledge of the exact memory to be erased, it can be done cleanly, without harming any other memories. Should the caster be unfamiliar with the details of the memory, he or she might remove more, or less, then the intended memory. It is much easier to remove a recent memory then an old one. We’ve had this discussion before, and you very helpfully explained about brain neurons and the connections between them. The current conclusion we reached is that the memory charm is able to remove connections between neurons in some fashion.

“As to why I talk to you at all,” Severus said, his voice becoming softer, “you are a very unique woman Audrey Maxwell. I find myself enjoying our conversations more then any I have had in decades. Your pull on me was quite immediate on our first encounter, and I was very keen not to miss the opportunity to get to know you better.”

Audrey was baffled. This was completely overwhelming, and she wasn’t sure how to take it from here. She could find no argument to dispute anything the man had just told her, but it was completely crazy. She would let it sink in a bit. “So, where’s number 12?” she asked.

** Day 1 **

‘Severus, a word?’
The robes of Severus Snape spun heavily as he reluctantly turned and stepped into the small room the older man was pointing at. He loathed the idea of staying in this damned house a minute longer then absolutely necessary and hoped that Dumbledore would do him the curtesy of being concise. It was the same conversation they seemed to have repeated every few months. The old man would require some words of reassurance that Severus’ heart was still functional and is in the ‘right place’. He would ask some questions regarding Severus’ planes in regards to the Dark Lord and would then attempt, and fail, at piercing the defenses of the younger man.

Severus did not feel especially forthcoming today, so he simply blocked his mind completely, as opposed to the mundane memories he would sometimes allow Dumbledore to see. 

When Severus and Albus returned to the Black family drawing room, the remaining order members were staring intently from the large windows at the street below.

“Surely they could not have gotten here so fast!” Minerva claimed.

“They could not have gotten here at all,” Arthur shook his head, “We have taken every precaution possible”

“She doesn’t really look like a Death Eater,” Emmeline said with narrowed eyes.

“Minerva?”

The witch turned to look at the headmaster, “there is a young lady sitting on a bench right across the house,” She explained. “She does not seem to have any business here and seems to be staring right at us.”

The small crowd parted to let Dumbledore and Snape witness the strange sight. “Do you recognize her?” Dumbledore asked. Severus shook his head. She was barely a woman, if she had attended Hogwarts, she would have been his student in very recent years. There weren’t many home-schooled magical children in Britain, especially not in London, but it could be possible. Could she be a foreigner?

Without a word Severus took his wizard’s robes off. His attire underneath could be considered old fashioned for Muggle London this day and age, but at least it would not turn too many a head. “Molly, if you please?” He handed his robes to the short redhead, “I would rather my belongings would have as little contact as possible with this infested,” there was a short pause in which Severus stared at black “house.” Molly took the robes with a mumbled “sure”, and Severus left the room.

Seconds later he stood on the top step at the house entrance, staring straight at the girl. She did not give any indication she saw the door opened and the man stepping out. Severus apparated a short distance down the street and walked towards the bench.

“May I sit?”

The girl turned her head quickly at the sound of the man. She was so busy staring at the line of houses she did not notice him approaching. Severus assessed her surprise to be genuine. She was either a very good actor, or wasn’t, evidently, a spy.

She seemed to be quite intrigued, taking in his appearance. A white collared shirt with a dark heavy waistcoat on top was exactly the way men were meant to dress, she thought to herself, and motioned him to sit next to her. The men sat quietly and said nothing. She stared at him for a few seconds, while he stared ahead at the row of houses that she herself was so intent on seconds before. The curtains of his black hair nearly hiding his face completely from view.

“This is a very strange place to just sit at,” she finally said, in an accent that was very much local.

“Indeed, it is,” he agreed, and turned his gaze to her. She was slightly taken aback by his eyes. They were so black. She assumed he had something to do with the strange phenomena around these houses, why else would he sit exactly here. To hit on her maybe?

“Do you know anything about these houses?” she asked bluntly. It couldn’t hurt to ask.

“Is there something particularly interesting to know about them?”

The girl straightened on the bench and a mischievous smile on her face. She wasn’t sure the man was trustworthy yet, but he intrigued her. And she was bursting to talk to someone about these strange houses for days. He may know all about them, but wanted to see how much she knew before disclosing anything. “Very strange things are happening here”.

“Really?” the man was studying her face intently, “what strange things?”

 “I know it will sound crazy,” she said a bit apologetically, “but a few days ago when I walked here, I was sure I saw a man go up the front steps of one of the houses here, and simply disappear. I remember he caught my eye since he was wearing a costume or something. And I think I saw two more people disappear the same way in the last few days. But I really can’t be sure.” She paused to assess her listener, he did not laugh or dismiss her, in fact he seemed to have no reaction at all. “I checked a few houses here,” she continued and pointed a few houses down the row, “that’s number 14, 13, 11, 10, 9. Where is 12?” she raised her hands and opened her mouth in mock surprise. “I asked some guy walking down the street and he said there was never a number 12. Very suspicious I say. And besides,” she lowered her voice, “when I sat down here today, I suddenly had the craziest feeling that I left the stove on at my place. But I didn’t bake anything today! I actually woke up my roommate so she can check. It was like my mind didn’t want me to sit here. Did you also feel something weird?”

At that point the man’s eyes were narrowed, and he was staring a hole in her eyes. “You think I’m crazy,” she said with an awkward smile, his eyes were so intense it was a bit alarming. She broke eye contact and went back to staring at the houses.

“What’s your name?” he asked

“Audrey,” she replied a bit suspiciously, “what’s yours?”

The man relaxed a bit, “I’m the magic man,” he said with half a smile.

“So, this is a house of magicians? Is this why all the strange things are happening?”

“Would you like to see some magic?” he asked, ignoring her question, “I can read your mind”

“Sure,” she said. This could be fun. She assumed that if the man wanted to attack her, he would already have done that. And he did seem like a magician. Besides, it was the middle of the day, people were walking by constantly.

“Think of a number”

“like from 1 to 20?”

“any number. It could be 31,587 for all the good it would do you. Just make sure to think about it very clearly, and look me in the eye”

Audrey very deliberately avoided thinking about ‘31’ or ‘87’, she knew how these suggestive technics should work. She thought of her address, her house and apartment number, 22-14. She concentrated on the number and stared into the man’s eyes. Suddenly something changed in her head. She wasn’t just seeing 2214 anymore, she saw the sign of her street, and the entrance to her building, she could see the elevator, and her apartment door. Images of the kitchen, living room and her bedroom were flashing in her mind. She could see her roommate in her room, she could see herself with her modern physics textbook on her bed and watching a lecture on her laptop. Then she saw the last family dinner she had with her parents and brother, and flashes of a fight she had with him a few weeks ago about his excessive (in her opinion) drug use. She saw all the first dates she had lately, with that crazy guy with the bike, with the boring ginger and the grim one with her classmate that she now had to avoid. She saw the four dates she had with David last year, and his bedroom where two of them ended. She could see herself crying when she realized that he was perfect for her, and she meant nothing to him. She could see a trip she took to Euro Disney a few years ago, and the people she saw disappear up the stairs of these houses, and that strange purple bus that nearly ran her and half the street over. And then the flashes stopped. She gasped for breath, like she just came up from a long dive, and came back to those black black eyes.

“22 Leather Lane, apartment 14,” the man said.

“What was that?” she asked, absolutely terrified.

“The number you were thinking about, 22-14” he replied, not releasing his gaze on her. “Tell me about that purple bus.” It was a command, but not a rude one.

“Did you just actually read my mind?” she demanded, ignoring his request.

“As I said I would,” he calmly stated, “and you have agreed.”

“How the hell did you do that?”

“I told you, I’m magic”

“I’m sorry,” she said with a nervous laugh. She shook the initial shock of the flashes and her curiosity took charge, “but this is not satisfactory. How did you read my mind? Did you actually see all the images I saw?”

“I did,” he said. He was quite impressed with her speedy recovery from having been legilimenced for the first time. “I will tell you how I did it, if you tell me about the purple bus.”

Audrey assessed the exchange to be a fair one. “I only saw if for a few seconds. I was crossing the street, the road was completely empty, and then I saw it driving straight at me at crazy speed. It was huge, I think it had three decks, and I have no idea how come I didn’t see it when I started crossing. It was so colorful and big, hard to miss really. I was sure I was going to die, but the bus just swerved to the other lane about to hit all the people on the other side. But it didn’t touch the sidewalk. It seemed to shrink a bit, or that somehow the pavement moved over to give it more room or something. But it was gone in 3 seconds, so I can’t really be sure.” After a quick glance at the black-eyed magic man she added, “but of course buses don’t shrink, and sidewalks don’t move. I’m not completely crazy.” Audrey finished her enticing tail and folded her arms, “now you tell me how you read my mind.”

The man drew a wooden stick from his sleeve and showed it to her. “This is a wand,” he said, “and held in the right hand it can do real magic.” He extended his hand and let Audrey touch his wand with her finger. Nothing at all happened. He was pretty sure no magic was flowing in her veins. “Would you like to see some more?”

Audrey nodded her head. The man could actually read minds. This was no smoke and mirrors trick. He probably also knew what was the deal with these houses, and she will get to the bottom of this. This is turning out to be the best day ever.

The man pointed his wand at her and quietly said “Obliviate.”

***

“She is very impressive,” Snape said while putting his robes back on.

“You are not an easy man to impress, Severus,” Dumbledore said with a big smile. Snape scowled at the old man. “She is either the most perceptive Muggle I have ever met, or a better Occlumens then I.” Snape shot a last glance out the window, the girls resumed her intent staring at the house. “And note that the stairs to the house are not covered by the charm. She already saw five of you coming in. the last step seems to be hidden well enough though.”

And without another word Severus Snape left number 12 Grimmauld Place, with clear intensions to return a lot sooner than his original plans.



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