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Lucretia Director and the Denizens of Azkaban

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The Starblaster was enroute for Hogwarts, having just left Hawaii after a summer spent on the beaches.  The seven of them explored the island, and did their best not to get caught by the local authorities for being seven children without a proper guardian.  But summer ended, as all summers do, and soon they were flying back over a stratosphere dotted white with scattered clouds.

 

The night was dark, and Lucretia sat on the deck, looking up at the stars.  They were beautiful in this plane, or so she assumed. She did not remember the other planes.


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Cycle 70, Year 3, August 30

 

My name is Lucretia Director.  I know very few things about myself.  I am ninety-five. I am also thirteen.  I was obliviated by Gilderoy Lockhart last spring.  I killed Gilderoy Lockhart. My name is Lucretia, and I got revenge, but now I do not know what to do.

 

Lup suggested this journal.  (Lup is brilliant.) She tells me that I used to be the record keeper on their mission.  That I would write in one journal with each hand. That I used to be shy like I am now, but spent a year on my own in hell and came out... different.

 

I am no longer different.

 

Anyway, Lup suggested that I write in order to try to figure out who I am again.  I don’t think I’m the same shy Lucretia that the rest of the IPRE left Tosun V with seventy-three years ago.  I don’t think that she would have killed a man. I didn’t think I would have, either, until I did.


The cool breeze ruffled the pages of her journal.  Every few minutes, Davenport glanced over to where she sat. As though he was reassuring himself that she was still there.


It’s strange, being the odd one out.  (In some ways, it feels like I always have been.)  I am the only one out of seven who got hit with a curse.  I am the one who cannot remember this marvelous, miraculous journey that my old journals tell me about.  I’m the one who doesn’t get the inside jokes.

 

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“--cretia, you should go to bed, it’s getting late.”

 

“I’m fine, Captain.  Thank you, though.”

 

“Are you sure?”  His voice is worried, almost, like that of a parent.

 

“Yes.”  

 

“We’re going to be there early, tomorrow--”

 

“I’m just looking at the stars for a little bit.  And journaling.”

 

“Alright, then. I just...”

 

“Hm?”

 

“I just want everyone to be okay.”

 

“Me too.”

 

Lucretia’s not sure what she wants, not anymore.  It was strange, having to redefine every belief and value she’d ever had.  It felt easier, though. She’d read journals and talked to the crew and done everything she could to figure out who she used to be.


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The stars are bright and clear.  I can see why I agreed to fly into them so long ago.


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Davenport landed the Starblaster in a new clearing as directed by Headmaster Dumbledore.  This one was much further away from Hogwarts. This was a necessary safety feature, because dementors had been brought to guard the school.

 

Lucretia could tell that the crew didn’t think this was a good idea.  She didn’t, either. A dementor-- a creature that guards prisons and can suck out a person’s soul-- shouldn’t be anywhere near a school for children.

 

(Lucretia didn’t want to know what the dementors did with the soul.  That was necromancy, and more of Barry’s wheelhouse than hers.)

 

They’d been brought to Hogwarts because a mass murderer broke out of the wizarding prison, Azkaban.  His name was Sirius Black, and he killed thirteen people with one curse.

 

(Lucretia found it strange, how this plane reacted over only thirteen people dead.  According to her journals, she’d watched the deaths of millions and billions of lives.)

 

Because of the dementors on the grounds, they will not be able to visit the Starblaster without a Professor with us.  And because only Headmaster Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, and Professor Snape knew that they were interplanar travellers, it would have to be one of them.

 

They hiked out of the woods and up to the front gate of Hogwarts, Headmaster Dumbledore in tow.  Magnus’s animosity was palpable. He spent the whole time avoiding talking to him, while glaring at the man continuously.  He thinks he is doing a bad job protecting the student body.

 

The others don’t seem to trust him, either, so Lucretia didn’t trust him.  Her memory was stolen, and the six of them were the only ones who did anything about it.  No matter what their pasts were, it was only logical to put her lot in with theirs.


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Cycle 70, Year 3, August 31

 

The dementors in person are worse than they are in Headmaster Dumbledore’s explanation.  The others say they remember horrible things, dying over and over again and being turned to stone and dozens of planes consumed by the Hunger.

 

I don’t remember horrible things.  I remember static.


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The sorting feast went unappreciated at the Ravenclaw table.  Yes, they clapped and cheered for their new housemates, but all anyone really cared to talk about was what exactly happened on the train.  For every story Lucretia heard about dementors boarding, there was another one where it was stopped by giant spiders on the tracks. It wasn’t until that evening’s house meeting that the air was cleared.

 

They’d all gathered in the Common Room, lined with bookshelves and topped with stars.  One of the prefects-- Lucretia couldn’t remember her name-- stood on a dias in front of the house.

 

“I’m here to let you all know what happened today,” she said, and the room fell silent.  “Dementors boarded the Hogwarts Express. For those of you who don’t know, they are here for our protection, guarding us from Sirius Black.  They cannot be tricked or snuck past. If you value your souls, I sincerely entreat you to just not try .”

 

Someone wolf whistled.  Someone else clapped. The prefect smiled wanly, did a dramatic bow, and sat down.  A string quartet rose to take her place, four sixth year students who wanted a performance venue.  The rest of Ravenclaw was happy to take advantage of their study music, even if they were fond of playing the theme song from some moving scroll franchise called Star Wars.


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Cycle 70, Year 3, September 2

 

I rather like writing what is happening while it’s happening.  That way I don’t forget the details. But some of the teachers don’t like it, and sometimes I have to use both my hands for Herbology or eating or petty things like that.  But I can write in the evening, like I am now. That’ll have to do.

 

I had Ancient Runes today.  The Professor-- Professor Babbling, which is an interesting name-- is very good, and they seem very engaged in their topic.  Lup and Barry are taking it with me. Lup seemed disappointed that we weren’t starting to learn runes yet. Barry seemed almost eerily excited.

 

Something odd about Barry, though.  He hurried off after class, down towards the Great Hall.  A few minutes later, though, he came sprinting back up, and gave some excuse about seeing the Hufflepuff prefect.  

 

Maybe he was telling the truth, though.  I couldn’t quite tell, but he seems like he’d be a bad liar.

 

Have I mentioned that that’s something else I don’t like?  They know all my little quirks, how I lick my lips when I’m thinking and look to the left when I lie, but I don’t know any of that for them.  I didn’t think to write it down in the seventy years that I knew them.


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Lucretia was in the library between classes, selecting books for a Transfiguration essay, when the librarian approached her.  She had a distinct feeling that she should remember the woman’s name, and was immensely thankful that Madam Pince wore a name tag.

 

“Hello, Ms. Director,” she said in a whisper appropriate of the setting.  “Would you be interested in helping me in the library again this year?”

 

“I’d love to,” Lucretia replied, because the library felt like home.  “I’m sorry, though, I don’t, um, remember helping you before?”

 

Her face softened, and she smiled gently.  “I heard you got obliviated. You’re a strong girl.”

 

“Thank you.”  She didn’t know what else to say.

 

“You helped me shelf and repair books,” Madam Pince continued after a moment of hesitation.  “I also helped you... modify some spells. The spells we use to work with the books are so gentle that they have to be changed, so it’s in my wheelhouse.”

 

Lucretia didn’t know much about herself.  All she’d learned was what her journals had written and what her friends had told her.  But she figured that there was no better person to model herself after than, well-- herself.

 

So if old Lucretia thought it was worth doing, she supposed that new Lucretia did, too.

 

She agreed, and spent the next hour relearning the spell to restore a book’s binding.  There was a different pronunciation for each type of binding, and a different stressed syllable for the century the book was written in.  Lucretia found it fascinating, learning how to modify spells.

 

Perhaps she might learn enough to change Obliviate into something that can restore memories.

 

One could only hope.


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Cycle 70, Year 3, September 4

 

My first Muggle Studies class was today.  Magnus is in there, and I don’t think I’ve told him, but I’m very grateful that he’s taking it with me.  It’s so nice to have someone to save you a seat, to grin at you when you walk in.


My old journals describe the seven of us as a “highly unconventional family.”  I can see why. Something about being with them feels... right .