Title: Jaylin, or the Secret Kidnapping
Summary: The Dark Lord was kidnapping purebloods who were against him, holding them captive, erasing their memory, and then releasing them. Little did Jaylin Potter know when she returned home for Easter that her parents would be missing and that she would be at the tender mercy of a Death Eater named Marvolo who seems more interested in courting her than holding her captive.
For: Kora! Happy Birthday, dahling!
Warnings: kidnapping, Stockholm Syndrome, reference to WWII, war related injuries, Muggle injustices
Everyone knew about Lord Voldemort. He and his gang of thugs were making their way through England, Scotland and Wales. No one was quite certain of their exact political platform or goals. However, it involved pureblood supremacy. Purebloods who fought against them were never killed. They disappeared for a long period of time and then would appear, their memories tampered with, but otherwise hale and whole.
Jaylin Potter never thought it would happen to her or her family. Of course she didn’t. It was a distant possibility. She went to Hogwarts, she flirted with her best friend Sirius Black although both of them knew it would never come to anything, and the war remained merely a polarizing issue among the students.
Then she went home for Easter break and not even the house elves were there. Jaylin shouted for her mother and her father, running up the stairs of Potter Abbey, but even the portraits were silent, as if they had been magically muted.
In the end, she flung herself at the family dining table, crying, wishing her beloved parents were there.
“What makes you cry, little bird?” a sibilant voice asked, and she looked up to see a face, half of it burnt off as if in some magical fire. “What brings you here to this empty manor?”
Jaylin instantly sat up. “Who are you?” she demanded. “What are you doing in my house?”
The wizard looked at her, caressing his wand, and then sat. “You are the little Potter,” he assumed. “Your parents will be home within a few months. We will not hurt them.”
She scoffed, not believing him. “Who are you? They say You-Know-Who is beautiful—“
“But my face is burnt.” He clicked his fingers on the table. “I’m afraid you cannot be allowed to stay here, Miss Potter. You will be taken to a safe location. The Dark Lord will ensure your safety.”
Jaylin looked at him incredulously.
“You will not be harmed,” he reiterated. “There may be a report to The Daily Prophet that you are missing and you may need tutoring to finish out your year at Hogwarts, but nothing shall befall you.”
This strange wizard held out his hand. The skin was so tight against his knuckles that she could see the individual bones. Hesitantly, she reached out and let him pull her up until she was standing. With a snap of his fingers, her trunks appeared before him and then with a whisper—something other than Apparition—they were gone.
The first thing Jaylin noticed was her wand was taken from her. She sat at her vanity with her facial creams and hairbrush, looking at her thin face, her hazel eyes that were obstructed by glasses, her fringe that her dear mama despaired over, and her long curling hair. This man, whoever he was, had seen her with her hair down, but he had not judged her harshly. When he had walked her to her new room, he had brushed away a tear and then pushed her hair behind one shoulder, telling her that dinner would arrive later on a tray.
The door wouldn’t open when she tried to escape through it. Jaylin didn’t even notice when the tray arrived. She had been in the closet, looking at her robes that had been placed on hangers by silent house elves, and she had walked out to find her dinner, a pink rose with a blue ribbon around it lying beside the plate.
Jaylin picked it up and smelled the scent, smiling a little to herself, despite her feelings of confusion. She wondered where her parents were, if they were in this building—this house—where she was being kept, or if they were somewhere else entirely. Sirius was certainly home with his parents who drove him crazy. He may have sent his first owl of frustration, but Jaylin doubted the owl would have found her yet if it even could, given the circumstances. If she had been taken by You-Know-Who, then this place was probably unplottable.
There was a note. With fondest wishes. TMR.
TMR. Jaylin didn’t know a TMR. Was he perhaps the man—?
She ate her lamb in silence and then took the note and with a pencil in her pocket she wrote on the back, Are you the wizard who escorted me here? JP.
The note was set on the tray. It remained there. When it got late, Jaylin wandered into the closet to find a nightgown, and when she wandered back the tray—and the note—were gone.
Jaylin had no more contact with anyone until a few days later she was brushing her hair for the morning. It was down as she was all alone and then she heard a door that she had assumed was purely decorative click open. Putting the brush down, she walked over to the door and carefully pushed it open. A small sitting room appeared and there, in one of the chairs, was the man, reading a book.
The side of his face was as horribly burnt as Jaylin remembered, but her eyes lingered on his smooth white throat and the length of his arms that were hidden by his rich robes.
“Miss Potter,” the wizard greeted, closing his book.
Jaylin immediately looked back into his red eyes and her hand went to her hair. Every pureblood girl, regardless of rank, wore her hair up except in the presence of family.
“Do not worry about your appearance,” the wizard assured her. “You are at home. These are your rooms.”
Mustering up her marauder pride, Jaylin responded, “This door opened for the first time just now. I’ve tried this handle before.”
“A bit of magic, courtesy of the Dark Lord. Forgive me. I am Marvolo, Miss Potter.”
“Just Marvolo,” she repeated, coming into the room and looking about it, at the simple yet sophisticated furnishings. It was undeniably masculine. There were no portraits, only sketches of scenes of the British coast done in charcoal. A writing desk was in the corner and, although the curtains were closed, there were windows to the outside world.
“You know I can tell you no more, Miss Potter,” he told her, offering Jaylin a seat. “I would be remiss if I allowed you to know my name after you leave the Dark Lord’s care.”
Jaylin sat down, arranging her skirts, and looked at him directly. She suddenly was very glad she wasn’t wearing jeans for some reason and also wished she wasn’t wearing glasses. “Won’t I forget all about this? I assumed you would Obliviate me.”
He smiled to himself, turning a little away from her toward the fireplace, his finger crooked at his mouth, and the sight made her heart twinge a little. “Miss Potter,” he responded, looking at her again. “You are very direct.”
She didn’t answer him, instead waiting.
Marvolo seemed to realize this and took a breath. “The Dark Lord has left it within my power for me to allow you to remember how much or how little as I desire. You may remember this exact conversation or may not remember me at all. It is yet to be decided.”
Her jaw twitched but she continued to look at him. There was a strange beauty to his skeletal hands that she could not explain, even to herself and a strange black stone glinted off one of the fingers.
After a long silence, he asked, “Are you comfortable?”
Glancing down at her knees, which was a bad habit which always came out when she was nervous, she answered, “I would like a day calendar,” she answered. “The clock allows me to know what time of day it is and when I should be awake and when I should sleep, but I’ve already started to lose track of the days.”
He nodded. “That is understandable.—The disappearance of your entire family has been reported. You were receiving letters from a schoolmate of yours before your disappearance was discovered by a band of vigilantes.”
Jaylin looked up confused.
Marvolo waved his hand in dismissal. “They are nothing for you to worry about at present, Miss Potter. The Dark Lord has ensured that your home has remained impenetrable and well cared for in your absence. We unfortunately do not have a person on the inside, but we do believe that it was this small renegade band’s intention to use your house as a kind of headquarters. It was our belief that it would be the wish of the Potter Household not to have your private rooms and relics disturbed.”
“Dad would probably think that way,” Jaylin admitted.
“The Potters are an old and proud family,” Marvolo agreed. “Excellent potioneers. The Dark Lord has the greatest respect for them. Your parents were collected as peaceably as possible as were you, Miss Potter.”
Jaylin bit her lip. “Forgive me, Marvolo, but I would rather speak of something else. If this is the only topic of discussion then I’ll go back to my room—“ She began to stand, but Marvolo’s words halted her.
“You may stay as long as you wish,” Marvolo murmured, the sheen of his hair catching her eye. His words were measured, but his red eyes showed his worry. “Would you care to dine with me tonight in this room? There is a small table.”
She looked at the table in confusion. “Who are you?” she questioned again, looking at him. “There’s tea there now, which is generally a first wizard’s date. I doubt you have my father’s permission.”
He did not answer.
“What is going on?” she asked a little hysterically, her captivity suddenly frightening her a little. “Was Sirius the one who sent me the letters?”
“There was also a Muggleborn,” Marvolo conceded. “They were read in case they contained any incendiary material. Apparently the Black heir has asked her to Hogsmeade and she is confused.”
“He didn’t,” she breathed.
“I’m afraid he did.” He looked at her sympathetically.
“I just won ten galleons. Sirius never holds the door open for anyone and he held it open for her just last week!”
“Then you will not reject the idea of a courtship tea when you can walk away at the end since, as you say, your affections are not engaged elsewhere,” Marvolo gathered.
She stared at the tea set again, trying not to look at how the black velvet fell over the breadth of his shoulders. Jaylin tried to wonder at her attraction to this man. Being kept here, perhaps, was playing tricks in her head. Had it been a week? Longer, perhaps?
“It is Earl Grey,” he tried to woo her. “I spoke to your house elf before he was ordered to sleep until your return. He assured me it was your favorite.”
Her gaze snapped to him, but still she didn’t say anything.
Marvolo’s hands tightened into fists though it was barely discernible through the folds of his handsome blue robes. “Is it my face or my connection to the Dark Lord that offends you?”
“Perhaps it’s your age,” she responded flippantly, feeling a little hysterical again, wishing she could look outside or, better yet, go outside, “or the fact that you hold me captive. Perhaps I’m not a traditionalist.”
“The Potters are not wealthy,” he stated carefully. “Your home is clean but it is showing signs of neglect—I do not blame you or your family,” he stated when she made to defend herself. “However, you are wearing pureblood robes that are respectable for the upper middle class. You maybe have three pairs I would guess and one for social events. Enough to get by and not embarrass the family. You are alone in a room where no one can see you and still you wear these robes. You do not do up your hair, but that’s only natural given your living space. I would say, Miss Potter, that no matter what you may pretend to be, you are a traditionalist. My invitation stands although you do not seem to wish to take me up on my offer today.” He bowed to her formally and walked out another door.
Jaylin wasn’t quite certain where to look. After several long minutes, she tried the door but it, too, was locked. The tea was still warm so she sat down and poured herself a cup. There was milk, just the way she liked it, and her favorite biscuits. Her heart sank into her stomach. Marvolo really had tried to make this as enjoyable and comfortable experience as possible.
When she went back into her room, she left the door open. It was still like that when she went to sleep but when she awoke the next day, it was once again locked.
Hogwarts had begun again and Jaylin was still in her room. She hadn’t seen her parents, heard anyone in the hallways, and Marvolo had left her to herself. Out of curiosity, she tried the door—and it was open.
He stood with his back to her, looking out over a well kept garden. “I was wondering how long it would take you to realize that door was open,” he murmured as the wind rushed through the daffodils. “You’ve been in that room for no reason for three days.”
“Perhaps you should send a note,” she snapped, “or open it like the first time.”
“Duly noted,” he agreed, the smooth side of his face turning toward her. “When I was young, I preferred to stay in my room and lock everyone out. It’s sometimes difficult to remember that others are different.”
Jaylin didn’t at first respond to that. Instead, she said, “What does You-Know-Who make of our conversations? I can give you nothing but Hogwarts gossip.”
“I’m off duty. You’re a pureblood and I have honorable intentions. You are also of age.” He looked at her and smiled. “Although I cannot tell you my name, I assure you I am one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight.”
“I am not,” she answered.
“True,” he replied, “but we both know that your family has had nothing but purebloods in it for four generations despite your sympathies for half-bloods and the like. What is your opinion?”
Her hazel eyes flashed and she looked up at him. “Will you curse me if I say something you don’t like?”
He leaned forward and smiled. “No,” he whispered. “I do not curse young ladies, even if they deserve it. I confiscate their wardrobes instead.”
Clearly Marvolo was teasing her and Jaylin couldn’t help but laugh. When she finally stopped giggling, she looked at him, smiling. “I would marry a Muggle if I thought he truly loved me—every part of me, including my magic. I would marry the most prejudiced of purebloods for the same reason.”
“A fine answer,” he agreed. “If you ever come before the Dark Lord, however, I’d keep it to yourself, however.”
“I don’t even know what he looks like.”
“His face resembles that of an angel, most say,” Marvolo imparted. “I’ve heard both men and women say he’s the most beautiful human they’ve ever seen.”
“I’ve never seen an angel,” he replied smartly, smiling at her. “Will you take tea with me?” he finally asked.
“I—don’t have all the facts,” she answered. “All I know is we disagree politically. Actually, I don’t have an opinion. I pretend I do. Sirius does, and he’s my best friend. I prank Slytherins because they’re Slytherins and not because they’re purebloods. As long as they don’t torture Muggles I don’t care what they do.”
Marvolo looked her over. “Then ask.”
“Are you from the main line of your tree?”
“This is your father asking,” he reasoned.
“I’m the Potter Heiress. We may have to be careful with our money, as you supposed, but we are leaders in our particular field. I will hold several patents.”
“Very well,” he agreed. “I am the head of my family. No one is left but me.”
“Your clothes suggest you are wealthy. You’re not one of the four—I would know if you were.”
“I am exceedingly wealthy and I am not one of the four Lords, no.”
Jaylin then took a deep breath. “What happened to your face and why is it not under a glamor?”
“It is,” he whispered. “You’re just the first person I’ve ever met who can see through it. The potion I used said that there were rare cases where a single individual might. I honestly thought it was a folktale.—And there was a fire. I was six. I didn’t get to a hospital in time.”
Her head whipped around. “I am seeing through a glamour.”
“A very powerful one,” he admitted. “It was crafted by Merlin, or so the legend goes. Some say it was Morgaine, instead, as she wished to appear youthful.”
Jaylin didn’t know what to answer to that. Instead, she did the most daring thing she could possibly do. She picked up his left hand that was so spindly, wondering if she was seeing through a glamour here as well, and took in the vine purity ring that was on his middle finger, that showed he would have no other beside his wife as long as he lived. She wore a similar ring. Sirius, however, did not.
Her hazel eyes searched his red ones, which were hard and unrepenting and then she turned, sitting down at the tea table. “I don’t want to forget my first marriage date. Make it as hazy as you like, but I don’t want to forget.”
He inclined his head in agreement and she picked up the teapot. The ritual began with tea cakes and laughter and finally a small gift that Jaylin accepted cautiously.
“You don’t wear a scent,” he explained carefully. “I do not know if it is because you are all alone in that room or because your Mama thinks you are too young. I know they are not permitted at Hogwarts, but I thought you were lovely enough to have one, even if just for special occasions such as Yule.”
She sprayed the mist on her wrists, rubbed them together and then smelled. “Jasmine and honeysuckle.”
“There’s a hint of lily and lilac,” he informed her. “I patented the scent and registered it under your name so if you like it, and only if you do, you may have it again. The card is in the box.”
“Mama would not allow me a scent until I was engaged,” she allowed. “I am happy to have one before such an event. Thank you, Marvolo. This is truly thoughtful and so—individualized—that I know you had me specifically in mind. You know, I was almost named Jasmine.”
“Yes. My name was to be James if I were a boy, so there was a bit of scrambling when I was a girl.” She smiled to herself, a sad memory. “My parents are of such advanced years that I really was their only chance for a son.”
“You were a disappointment,” Marvolo guessed. “I understand how that feels.”
“How can you?” she asked, blinking away tears.
“I—“ he halted. “My father abandoned my mother on the streets of London when he discovered she was to have a child. He never loved either of us. This is his ancestral home. I hope you don’t mind, but I brought you here instead of to headquarters. I thought you would be more at home in a furnished house. Of course, I had to magic the windows away from your bedchamber.”
Jaylin laughed a little to herself.
Soon she had a fleet of rooms at her disposal. The sitting room led to a staircase where she could go down into a morning room where any letters she received were laid out for her. The curtains were sealed shut but the light still filtered in. All the letters were opened and read and some words were blacked out. When holidays began, she was allowed to write short answers back. She could really only say that she was safe and healthy and being well treated. She had to leave them open and on the desk to be read by someone else who would later post them.
Then a strange letter came.
Some days she took dinner with Marvolo. She always wore her evening dress and had her hair on her head. A note would appear with her lunch so she would know. Jaylin would look at herself in the mirror and despair of the glasses, but there was nothing to be done. She could not afford the surgery to fix her eyes.
He gave it to her after their desert course when they were sharing a brandy together. Jaylin looked up at him in confusion and then back down at the letter. It was clearly from Sirius.
“I’ve known him since I was eleven,” she stated, “but I can barely read a word of this. His handwriting is atrocious.”
Marvolo clenched his jaw and he took it carefully from her hand. “Darling Jae, I have been a fool. You are the only girl for me. Evans means nothing. Marry me as soon as you are free—we can even elope.” He handed it back.
“His mother’s been at him again,” she explained as she tossed it aside. “Every holiday I get about two or three just as things start to settle. I usually throw them in the fire before Mama can read them.”
His eyes glinting red, Marvolo looked at her. “You mean this marriage proposal is a prank.”
“It’s not a prank, exactly,” she tried to explain. “It’s an act of desperation. He knows I’ll never agree to it. We’d murder each other by the end of our honeymoon.” Jaylin looked up at him. “How are my parents?”
“They’re returning home soon, actually. They won’t remember anything. They’ll be told you’re safe and in the Dark Lord’s custody. A student should be bringing you class notes within the next week or so.”
“I’m to stay here,” she checked.
He paused. “I would be pleased if you did.”
Jaylin looked at him. “I can’t play Lady of the Manor indefinitely,” she whispered. “I don’t have full access to the house. I don’t know who you are. I may be comfortable and content—but this is not a life, Marvolo. I don’t know much about the Dark Lord, but would he really allow you to keep another pureblood as your pet?”
“You’re not a pet,” he argued, looking away.
“Then what am I?” she persisted.
“Hopefully the girl I’m going to marry,” he admitted angrily. “I was going to ask you on Midsummer’s Eve when the magic was strongest.”
“Without a name, without a face—“
“Only you can see my true face,” he argued back.
“I don’t know what other people see,” she responded, just as heatedly. “Loving you isn’t enough. I’m your prisoner!”
The room suddenly stilled. He looked at her in astonishment and, after a moment, reached out to touch her cheek. However, she shied away and ran toward the door and back to her room, crying as she went.
She didn’t answer his offers of tea or dinner, instead staying in her own little area of the manor. A news clipping appeared showing that her parents had been recovered but that she was still missing.
“I’ve come to take you home,” a voice whispered where she was sitting and staring at the empty fire grate. Jaylin looked up and saw Marvolo, dressed all in black. He was holding a picture and she stood up, walking so close that she was almost pressed against him, and she took it. In it she saw a man in a Muggle suit. He was handsome—like an angel almost—
“My father,” he told her. “You may keep it. It is said we look like twins.”
“I don’t want a picture of your father, you idiot,” she replied boldly. “If I am to leave, I want a picture of you, if you will let me remember any of this at all.”
“You are to remember every last detail,” he responded, his red eyes shining in pain. “Even if you only think you love me, I would not take such a thing away from a young lady, her first love.”
She grabbed his arm. “Come and meet Mama and Papa,” she begged. “No one knows who the followers of You-Know-Who are. You could take me out to tea properly and—“
He leaned in and his lips gently met hers. Breathing out he pulled away. He slipped a ring on her finger. “This has been in my mother’s family for generations,” he explained.
“Are you—?” she asked.
“I’ll disappear for a week and then come. We can say we were prisoners together.”
“But you haven’t given me a name,” she whispered.
“Marvolo Gaunt,” he answered.
“That does not match your initials,” she said in confusion.
“I only use that name for signing official documents and I suppose for a ceremony,” he teased, caressing her face. “I didn’t mean to fall in love with you. The potion suggested that the woman who saw through the glamor would be the love of my life, but I didn’t believe it.”
“I should warn you,” she answered. “If my friends are over when you stop by, I might be wearing jeans.”
“What horrible friends,” he commented, as he took her hand and led her through a corridor she had never seen before.
“They’re all boys,” she told him. “It’s the only way I can keep up without falling over my heels and ripping my robes.”
They whispered away when they were in the front hall, her trunks beside her, and they ended down a pathway into the forest at the back of the Abbey. He kissed her lightly on the head, and then whispered in her ear, “Say as little as possible unless it directly relates to our romance—though I’d be vague given the fact that two prisoners wouldn’t have teas.”
She laughed and nodded, kissing his nose before running down the lane. Jaylin turned back once and waved, only to then see him melt into the tree line.
Her homecoming was joyful, but soon the aurors were called and Jaylin was questioned. “I was in this house,” she began slowly, as if trying to remember. “It’s all a bit of a blur. I remember dressing every day in front of a mirror. There was this man and we would talk. He was in the next room but it was easy to hear each other through the door. We met and we—“ She blushed. “He was so handsome, and he was trapped like I was, and whenever we were out of our rooms he would make sure I wasn’t scared. He asked me to marry him and gave me this ring,” she told them, holding up her hand to show off the strange stone. “His name is Marvolo Gaunt and he said it’s been in his family for generations. We promised to find each other when we got free.”
Everyone was surprised but they just asked their questions about whether she was hurt, who was there, what did she see out the window. It was all rather tedious.
Then, a week and a half later, she read it. A man had been Apparated into the atrium of Gringotts with a blow to the head and he said his name was “Marvolo Gaunt.” And it was him, but it wasn’t. The left side of his face was the same, but the right wasn’t burnt.
It took him only half a day to find her and when Jaylin saw him through the window, she ran out to meet him. “It is you,” she cried. “Your photograph was so different that I wasn’t quite sure.”
“Those aurors were something. They didn’t know what to make of our engagement although I heard them say it confirmed your story.”
Taking his arm, she led him to the house.
The strangest thing, however, happened just that night. Jaylin had a visitor in Headmaster Albus Dumbledore. “Marvolo Gaunt,” he said. “Did he ever tell you what his real name is?”
Jaylin sat there in a pink dress, her hair down, and she adjusted her glasses. “Are you calling him a liar?”
“Marvolo Gaunt was his grandfather on his mother’s side. His father was Tom Riddle, Sr., a common Muggle. He left his mother Merope when he learned she was a witch.”
“I don’t need to hear any more of this,” Jaylin said coolly. “I know exactly the character of the man I am marrying. I don’t care if you invent a hundred cruel Muggles in his past.”
“He murdered his grandfather and his father and his Muggle grandparents,” Dumbledore continued, puffing at his pipe. “That’s how he got Riddle House.”
“Merlin’s hat!” Jaylin exclaimed. “Don’t tell me. He’s You-Know-Who.”
Dumbledore just looked at her.
“Get. Out,” she demanded. “I don’t want to see your face until September. I passed my exams, by the way.”
“Yes. Top of your class. You’re to be made Head Girl. Congratulations.”
Jaylin didn’t listen. Instead, she waited until a house elf showed him out before going up the stairs to her room. She looked into the mirror and stared at herself.
When Marvolo next arrived, she was in the meadow, playing with the grasses.
“I heard Dumbledore was here.”
“With his pack of lies,” she responded. “I don’t care if your father was a Muggle.”
He paused and then sat down. “I know, Jaylin. It’s one of the things I love about you.”
“And did he really leave your mother because she was a witch?” she clarified.
He didn’t answer, which was answer enough.
“I don’t like murder,” she then said carefully. “If you have a tendency to murder your relations, would you promise me not to murder mine? I love them very much, you see—“
“I’m not going to murder your parents,” he stated with an off-hand grace. “Why would I kill people you love unless it were a man whom you allowed to take my place in our bed?”
“I would never—“
“Of course you wouldn’t,” he responded, kissing her hand. “That’s the only instance where I would even think of doing such a thing to you.” He then asked the horrible question. “Anything else?”
“He.” She gulped. “You-Know-Who,” she finally got out.
“They say I have the face of an angel.” His red eyes laughed at her.
“But clearly you do not.”
“Bomb,” he answered. “Second World War. I grew up in a Muggle orphanage. It’s the primary reason I hate the filth so much. They refused to get me to a doctor because of the expense. St. Mungo’s could do nothing. I could no longer be Tom Riddle when I became the Dark Lord because Tom is a deformed thing that no one would think to follow.”
Silence spread between them for ten minutes as he played with her fingers and she just studied his face. “Papa wants to put the announcement into The Prophet on Friday. Maximum impact and all.”
“Perfect,” he declared. “My followers should then meet their new Dark Lady.”
“Heavens,” she stated. “That shall certainly be something.”
“It certainly shall.”