A/N: Hello, people!
I don't own Harry Potter.
I have no beta.
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Harry adjusted her new glasses as she stared up at the large manor she was about to start working in. The wire frames slid back into place easily, framing her bright green eyes with long and thin rectangles that looked far better than her old glasses. The fact that people let her go that long with such ugly glasses, all because they wanted her to look like James, was bloody ridiculous. The obsession with James Potter was annoying.
On her hip was her godson Teddy, who was turning eight soon. After the war, Harry had tried to help Andromeda as much as she could in raising the boy since the Malfoys wanted nothing to do with him. Without her husband and daughter, Andy had lost her presence. According to some, she was just less joyful and almost seemed vacant most of the time.
It was a lot to take in. To lose your only family who still accepted you, to a pointless war, was a tragedy. Harry didn't blame her in the least.
Lately, she'd been slowing down a lot more, the House Elves taking on more and more responsibilities in regards to Teddy. It became very obvious that Andy was headed for her deathbed sometime soon, so Teddy came to live with Harry permanently. It was best if he wasn't around when she finally passed. Less of a chance of him finding a body this way. He didn't need to deal with that sort of trauma.
Harry hadn't been jumping to live in Grimmauld Place though. It simply reminded her too much of Sirius and of having to hide there, and then having their hideout invaded suddenly. And no matter what Kreacher did, it always felt so dreary inside, which brought the overall mood down.
Now she wasn't exactly excited to be living in a manor, since it would obviously be far too large, but with Teddy and another child, that would hopefully make things more interesting. Teddy didn't have any friends. Especially none around his age.
Having a child during the height of the Second Movement would have been a stupid idea, and it wasn't lost on Harry how incredibly foolish Tonks and Remus had been. She'd never regret Teddy's existence, but common sense would dictate to avoid child bearing altogether until things were calm once more. She thought her own parents absolutely bonkers to be having a kid whilst going out on raids to fight off Death Eaters.
In their community, only thirty-one magical children were born between the dates of 22 June 2006 and 31 August 2008. Twenty-five of those were muggleborns who were listed for Hogwarts already, because muggles didn't know about a magical war happening on their land. Essentially, it wasn't enough. Teddy's year was going to be a mix of children his own age and those up to two years older than him. There simply weren't enough children his age alone, to make up an entire Year of Hogwarts students. At most there would possibly be four new additions to each dormitory which just wasn't cutting it.
The whole problem had been worked out by McGonagall already, and it had taken her months to figure it out. Harry had been apprised of the situation so she could be ready. The age differences in Teddy's year alone were going to cause problems. Thirteen year olds being forced to take the same classes with eleven year olds would not go over well, but there was nothing they could do save for those kids beginning their school work outside of Hogwarts and testing into the appropriate year. But then they would lose the chance of a Beginner's Year where they had the chance to get used to everything new to them.
Third Years had harder and more demanding schedules than First Years. First Year was like a grace period and the free time was numerous to help the kids adapt to the life of a boarding school.
Harry felt bad that this was a problem at all. And she knew it would be difficult for Teddy. Connecting with people outside your Year wasn't easy at Hogwarts. There were tiers of a sort to the whole social realm of schooling. Forget Houses rarely intermingling, age groups rarely did either.
So there were already a limited amount of children within Teddy's age range, and none of their parents wanted their kids to associate with the boy because of the widespread fear of werewolves and the known knowledge of Remus being a werewolf.
So what if Teddy got a bit fuzzy during the full moon? That didn't make him dangerous! He'd bitten both Harry and Andy many times and nothing had happened to either of them! And if he was capable of infecting people, he'd only be dangerous one day a month, and they would take measures to help him!
"Harry," said Teddy, startling her out of her thoughts, "do I really have to wear this?"
She looked the boy up and down, finding his clothing to be perfectly acceptable. A nice button-down with a black waistcoat, and black trousers and shoes. His hair, which was black and shaggy to resemble Harry's more because Harry was his favourite person at present, had been left to its own devices. Teddy's eyes were like tiger's eye. Not exactly gold like Remus' had been. Teddy had various shades of gold and brown striations that he liked to have when he wasn't mimicking Harry's eye colour.
"I happen to think you look quite dashing," she told her godson, planting a kiss on his cheek and getting a stifled giggle for her efforts. "We want to set a good example. We can't look like vagabonds or they won't trust us alone in their house." An unfortunate truth.
"You look good too. Are you sure the muggles will be fine with you being a nanny? You don't really look old enough to be anyone's nanny."
"Mrs. Heelshire didn't sound like she minded over the phone when we spoke. If there was a problem they would have said something when I talked to them I'm certain."
Teddy fiddled with Harry's hair, which had no hope of holding any kind of style and was just left as it was, cascading down her back in long, curlyish waves. "If you say so. Do you think they'll be okay with me being here?"
"I mentioned you on the call and they didn't seem opposed. Don't worry, cub. They'll be enamoured by you. Anyone would be."
Their trunks were resting beside them and Teddy wiggled himself free so he could grab his own. Despite Harry preferring to carry him everywhere, she couldn't deny the boy his limited independence. Besides, no eight year old wanted to be coddled that much. He'd just insist that he was a 'big boy' now.
"Can I ring the doorbell?"
She waved the boy on, smiling as his enthusiasm.
The woman that answered was just a bit taller than Harry, in high class clothing with short, white/blonde hair that reminded Harry to not cut her own hair once she got too old. The society-enforced idea that older women weren't allowed to have long hair was so annoying. Harry wouldn't mind a long mane of white/silver hair.
"Hello. You are Ms. Evans I presume?"
"Yes, Mrs. Heelshire. I'm Harry and this is my godson Edward."
Teddy, overcome suddenly by his own shyness, slid a bit behind Harry's left leg and gave a wave. "Hi."
There was a child in the house. There hadn't been a child in the house since Brahms was a child himself and had gotten burned. Over twenty years, and yet his new nanny… had a child.
His nanny was a young woman. Brahms hadn't been told about a new nanny coming along. He'd apparently been sleeping when the call had been made and the directions set in place, so he didn't get to listen in on the conversation. Did his parents think a surprise nanny would last compared to the numerous women who failed? That maybe he couldn't build up any preconceived notions of a surprise nanny?
He'd heard the ringing of the bell, and that was what alerted him that there was a visitor. One that hadn't been expected. His parents had been keeping secrets. Not even telling the precious doll of theirs about their plan.
They'd lead the new nanny and the child, into his old room, which was now the doll's room, and that was when Brahms got his first real look at the woman, who was most definitely a woman.
Perfect skin was what popped out the most about the stranger. It was pale and smooth. Her face looked more flawless and porcelain than the doll Brahms' parents had replaced him with. She was also quite short. Shorter than Brahms' mother was even. Her trousers were suitable for the workplace, but loose enough for movement. She was wearing shiny, black flats.
The next detail to stand out were the eyes, which were a shade of green he'd never seen on a person before. And they were noticeable even from across the room and through a two-way mirror. Though the spectacles did seem to magnify them a bit. Contrasting the eyes and the skin, was the blacker than black hair that seemed a cross between shaggy and curly, stretching far behind her and reminding Brahms of his own hair, but much cleaner and longer.
He wanted to touch it.
Beside the nanny was a boy the same size Brahms had been when he'd gotten burned. His hair was the same as the nanny's, but his eyes seemed more like golden topaz than anything remotely green. His skin was also deeply tanned compared to his guardian, making Brahms wonder if they were even related at all.
He was well-behaved for a child though, merely bouncing in place as he watched the adults around him interact. Looked endlessly curious about everything too.
The look that came over his face when he saw the Brahms doll had been… amusing? There was a bit of confusion as he looked to his guardian for an explanation. Even to Brahms, the idea of doting on a doll for years was a bit ridiculous, all because they couldn't bear to look at him after his accident and the things he'd done that they had been perfectly complicit in, he felt compelled to add.
"This is our son, Brahms."
Mummy was describing his daily schedule in detail.
Never Leave Brahms Alone.
Save Meals in the Freezer.
Never Cover Brahms' Face.
Read a Bedtime Story.
Play Music Loud.
Clean the Traps.
Only Malcolm Brings Deliveries.
Brahms is Never to Leave.
The clipboard beside the doll had the basics of the rules written out for both newcomers to see in case they needed a refresher. The nanny looked contemplative, the child looked mollified.
"Ms. Evans, if you'll follow me, I'll show you the rest of the house," mummy said, taking up the doll and urging the nanny and her charge to follow her.
Brahms followed as well, endlessly curious about the woman and the child and wanting to know more about them and why they'd come all the way to the countryside.
"Now, Ms. Evans, you said you were looking for privacy in this job?" mummy asked as she set the doll down in the kitchen. Brahms was watching, once again, behind another mirror.
Ms. Evans hummed and ran a hand through her charge's hair and gestured to the back door for him to go outside. The boy practically lunged for the door, an excited grin on his face.
"Evans was my mother's maiden name. My true name is Hariel Jamie Potter-Black. The Potter and Black families are very old and very wealthy, and within certain circles I am quite well-known and desired. Mostly for status and wealth, but also fame by association. I've been getting harassed lately, so I decided to pull away for a time, under a change of name, to avoid some people, at least until they deem me too old for them, which will be in the next four years or so. Anyone around here will know me as Harry Evans, which makes me sound like a man, which is fine with me. Makes me harder to track."
Both mummy and Brahms were a bit gobsmacked at that sudden revelation.
"Have you told anyone where you are?" mummy asked. Brahms was curious to know too. Would people notice if she went missing permanently should things not work out with her as a nanny?
"I told my two best friends. They've had my back through some terrible things and might drop by occasionally to catch me up to date on information. We don't use the internet and letters can be traced to an extent. I hope that isn't a problem?" Hariel aimed a very sweet, beautiful, charming, dazzling, and many other words that his brain couldn't think up on the spot, smile at mummy.
The old woman stuttered for a moment, before nodding a bit. "I'm sure Brahms won't mind so long as you follow the schedule and be good to him. If you are good to him, he is good to you."
Not that anyone managed to do that as of yet, sadly. But maybe Hariel would be the change. She already had a charge and how different could their daily schedules be? The chances of her following the schedule were very high already.
"Of course it's up to dear Brahms to choose whether he wants you as his nanny, dear. He can be very fussy you see, but none of the other nannies were as lovely as you are."
No they were not.
Brahms wanted this one, even if he had to deal with sudden visitors from time to time. She said at least four years away from them, and that was enough time, if she managed to do her job well, to get her to want to stay.
The boy came back inside following daddy. He was wearing gloves and was holding up a dead rat as long as his forearm. He presented the rat to his guardian, a wide grin on his face. "Harry, look at how big they get!" And she did not flinch even a centimeter as a dead rodent was practically shoved in her face.
"Might need something specifically for killing vermin. I could acquire some heavy duty poison. In a week, no rodents will want to come anywhere near this house, don't worry." She looked so sure as she was saying it and her smile unnerved even Brahms.
She had lovely teeth and a pretty mouth, but something about this grin made the hair on his arms raise a bit. As if she was planning a mass-scale murder.
Brahms followed along as she was given the rest of the tour, going through the motions of what was expected of her in taking care of the doll. The nightly routine, the stories, and the goodnight kiss. And the small span of time where his parents locked her out of his old bedroom so they may ask him through the mirror if he was fine with her.
A/N: Another is done!
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