Part of the Willow Series
Title: Far From Heaven (Captain America Crossover)
Pairing: girl!Harry/Steve Rogers
Fandom(s): Harry Potter Series, Captain America: the First Avenger
Summary: She never thought she’d fall in love again. That was, until she met the American Steve Rogers. (written 2011)
Warnings: rule 63, no aging, death (canonical), ageism, fascism, patriotism, paternalism, virginity (if you squint), big brother is watching, romanticism, outright nostalgia
I. You Had me at “Hello”
Ivy Potter was so angry that she almost pulled her hair out of her head. She certainly had enough and it was curly so she could really get her fingers entwined. Instead, she had just stared at her great-niece by marriage, Felicia, who had just suggested marriage dates. Didn’t she realize how old Ivy really was?
Ivy really wasn’t even her real name!
She had never been married, hadn’t loved in centuries, and this horrible woman suggested her one weakness callously. She had watched Harald Potter grow up from a little boy to marry this witch.
Ivy had naturally counseled against it. Harald hadn’t listened to her. Felicia’s connections were too perfect and she was beautiful. Never mind that she had the callous personality of a Meer cat.
Now Ivy found herself in the village of Godric’s Hollow proper and was surprised by the number of people that were moving in one direction. She knew that a battalion of American soldiers was stationed nearby—all the magical households had been warned and several had been evacuated; you just couldn’t trust Muggles and their silly weapons after all—but she wondered what the attraction was. Being without a coat, she decided to stay in the warmth of the crowd and found herself standing before a stage among several soldiers, some of whom were improperly leaning up against her, but she didn’t mind. The times were liberating, unlike the Victorian era in which she had been the spinster aunt.
The staged act was comical. Girls dressed in stars and stripes and this man in a sparkling costume coming out as “Captain America.” She’d heard about him before—a mascot for those at home and abroad for America. Ivy just hadn’t thought that she’d ever see him.
She smiled slightly to herself and left the stage among the soldiers, ignoring their cat calls and their invitations for a drink at the local pub, where she was well known by the owner who didn’t quite believe that she was one generation and then the following. Most people believed she was her own daughter in the Muggle world. Just not that old barman.
Instead she wandered toward the village phone booth and sighed. Ivy stood in front of it for several minutes before finally entering. She took five pence out of her pocket and she placed it in the small slot for change.
The operator came on the line.
“London Four-Five-Seven-Three,” Ivy breathed, wondering if this call was truly a good idea.
There was a click and then she heard the ring of the phone of the other line. After three rings a woman picked up. “Aunt Ivy,” she greeted.
“Isn’t it now ‘Cousin Ivy’?” she laughed at her closest friend, Harald’s older sister, Genvieve Black.
“What has she done now?” Ah, straight to business. Of course Vivi knew. She always seemed to ever since she was a young girl. Ivy had loved her mother, a beautiful French witch named Laurette, who had died when Vivi was only three. Harald’s mother had been lovely, but not the friend Laurette had been.
“Lady Potter wishes for me to start accepting courtships. As if it isn’t a problem that I shan’t age. I miss Mother and Father sometimes.”
“Lily and James, right?”
“Yes,” she admitted. “That’s what they would be called now.”
Ivy smiled. “Any advice?”
“That woman is like a kneazle with a ball of string. I would just enjoy the presents and then refuse everyone on a technicality. Or you could marry.”
She laughed now. “And my children?”
“Perhaps they’ll live as long as you will,” Vivi suggested.
Ivy sighed sadly. She’d thought of that but she had never loved anyone enough to try it. She nearly had but never—it was too much. Could she condemn a child to this life? She was famous in the wizarding world. Everyone knew Ivy Potter and her unparalled knowledge and that no one could rival her in politics. She may be in the body of a seventeen year old, but she was the Head of the Wizengamot and had been for over a century.
She’d never been Minister of Magic though knew she could be. Many had wanted her to accept the position or to become Headmistress of Hogwarts. She honestly couldn’t bear to be near the place. Ivy could hardly become a professor there let alone the headmistress. Salazar had been too dear to her, and now he was gone.
“Ivy? Are you still there?”
Oh, yes. She was speaking to Genvieve. “Sorry. I was off somewhere else.”
“Aren’t you always?” Vivi teased.
“Stop it,” Ivy laughed. “You really think I should go on marriage dates?”
“Well,” the disembodied voice of her dearest friend was strange to Ivy, “it would cause quite a stir.”
“I don’t want children.”
“Marriage is about more than children.”
“Says the woman with three beautiful wizards,” Ivy teased.
“Whom you adore as godmother. I should go.”
“Of course. Tea Tuesday?” Ivy checked.
“I’ll see you at The White Witch.”
Then the line was dead and Ivy was looking at the phone. She didn’t really care for wizards if she were honest. She’d known so many of them. None of them were like the few she had loved and Muggles—well—she didn’t have time to get to know Muggles. Perhaps she’d take a break and go to Cambridge, she thought to herself as she exited the red box, only to run into a tall Muggle with blond hair and a leather jacket.
“Oh,” she began, startled. “I do beg your pardon.”
“Not at all, ma’am,” he said in a strong American accent, intriguing Ivy. “It was my fault.”
She looked up at him and into his blue eyes. “You look familiar,” she admitted after several long seconds.
“Well, I wouldn’t know why, ma’am. You’re not an American.”
“And only Americans know you?”
The man smiled at her and bowed his head in shyness. “Steve Rogers at your service, ma’am.”
Ivy looked at the man before holding out her hand. He took it and his grip was firm and yet gentle, as if he were giving her respect and yet not wanting to hurt her. She liked it. “Ivy Potter.”
“Well, Miss Potter. May I buy you a drink? You must be cold without a coat.”
She hesitated, looking toward the pub. That barman was annoying. Then she thought of who she was and nodded her head. “I think I’d like that, Mr. Rogers. I think I would.”
II. Here’s Looking than You, Kid
The wine had gone to her head, she thought to herself. It must have gone to head. Weeks later, it was still all she could think about. The barman looking at her as if he knew her greatest secret, refusing to sell Steve wine for “that woman,” to the point where he defended her honor. The poor little man had been forced to give her a sherry and Steve had apologized for the barman.
His name was Steve. She knew that now.
Ivy’s dress had been surprisingly Muggle. She had been reading documents for the Wizengamut and had found an old skirt and a button down blouse that was just Muggle enough to annoy Felicia. She may be exactly one month from seventeen and in need of a guardian, but she was still more important than her husband could even be. What was even worse was that the Potters were the premier family because of her status in the wizarding world. The fact that she had initially been a Peverell, well … People still tried to place the Imperius Curse on her as she would not reveal the secret of the three hallows. She had been the ward of Ignotus Peverell and had seen him craft the Death Stick, but she refused to speak on the subject.
There was so much she couldn’t talk about with Steve, sitting there with that glass of sherry. Just that she was an orphan, that she lived with her older brother Harold—how he would laugh at that—and that she was hoping to do something for the war effort but had been forbidden.
“That’s how I know you. I was there to see that performance. You’re Captain—“
He’d quieted her with a warm hand on hers and she had stared at it for a long time before she had intertwined their fingers.
The wine really must have gone to her head because when they left, he had walked her home and in plain view of the windows, he had kissed her and she had let him.
“How long will you be in town, Mr. Rogers?” she asked.
“Just the one night,” he responded, toeing the ground.
She frowned at him and he must have seen because immediately amended, “I would never take advantage, Miss Potter.”
Ivy had relaxed, though she didn’t know why. “Where do you head next?”
He had named some small village forty miles away. She had smiled sweetly and, grabbing his lapels, she whispered, “See you at the phone booth,” before she had let him kiss her again.
The wine truly must have gone to her head. She hadn’t even cared when Felicia had yelled at her.
Now, weeks later, she was yelling again.
“Where have you been?” Felicia demanded, her black hair never falling out of its complicated twist.
Ivy rolled her eyes. She was sick of her continual role as child. She chafed against it when she had a guardian like Felicia. If she had been given a modicum of respect she wouldn’t go against pureblood tradition. Ivy had followed it while it developed and could live quite happily within it, but sometimes life just took her down another path. It would be forgotten in half a century, anyway.
“I am head of the Wizengamut,” she reminded Felicia. “Perhaps I was there.”
“Dressed in Muggle clothes with smudged red lipstick?”
Oh. There was that. Steve had rather passionately kissed her that night and she had begun to experiment with the Muggle invention of lipstick instead of charming her lips red. There was a different look to it, and she didn’t quite like it. Ivy was surprised, however, that Felicia knew the word.
“Perhaps I mean to marry.” It was, actually, what Felicia wanted her to do. She was going on those stupid marriage dates, after all.
“That does not mean a Muggle is a suitable choice.” She threw her head back.
Ivy turned abruptly and if her hair had been down, it would have whipped around quickly and probably hit her in the face. “How do you know it’s a Muggle apart from my attire?”
Felicia was silent.
Thought not. “Goodnight, Cousin Felicia.” She took the stairs at a stately pace and began to think of Steve again. It was Scotland in a week and, well, Ivy had just enough time to sit during a session of the Wizengamut and then make it up to see him.
It was another case of Muggle baiting, rather surprisingly like the Dumbledore one. It broke Ivy’s heart and she was rather conservative on such matters. She sided with the defendant, though she ended up going to Azkaban for the rest of her life.
Taking off her black over robe and wig, Ivy checked the time and gasped. Without having time to change, she spun in place and looked about for the phone booth. She couldn’t help but smile when she saw Steve already waiting.
She greeted him with a kiss, her lips pink and bare. It wasn’t the fashion currently in wizarding society to paint one’s lips.
“How do you always get here?” he murmured, leading her to the local pub.
“How could I not?” she said back.
“You live in Cornwall, ma’am. This is Scotland,” Steve pointed out.
“I’ll have you know, Captain, that there are mysteries that are best left—mysterious.”
They laughed together before he turned to her robes. “What exactly are those?”
Ivy glanced down and hummed. Steve was too perceptive. “Fancy dress?”
III. May the Force Be With You
She was unmarried, but Ivy didn’t care. “You’re leaving me,” she murmured as she tried to lead Steve to a small cottage the Potters owned in Yorkshire.
“I’m not leaving you. I’m going on a mission,” Steve reasoned.
Ivy sighed at him. “It’s the same thing to me,” she murmured, leaning up and kissing him slowly. “You can’t fault me for feeling abandoned and jealous given all the women you’re around and that one who kissed you.”
Steve genuinely frowned. “I’m afraid I don’t have much experience,” he admitted. “Before you…” He sighed. “I didn’t enjoy it.”
“Thank you,” she whispered, still holding him in her arms. “Soldiers can be fickle and I’m not the girl back home.”
“No,” he agreed. “You’re the girl I found when I was away.” Steve held her closely in the spring warmth. “You’re so much more special.”
Ivy almost laughed. So many people had called her special for the fact she couldn’t die. She couldn’t give that curse to anyone and yet here she was, in the arms of this man. “Just for tea,” she whispered as she moved out of his arms and through the front gate. Ivy held on to him so that he would be allowed into the wards. He startled for a minute but then followed her willingly and through the front door.
“There must be a tea set somewhere,” she called from the kitchen while she watched the house elves making tea and biscuits.
“Can I help, ma’am?” Steve asked and she immediately met him at the door.
“Let a girl show a little hospitality,” she chided, pushing him backwards.
Soon they were sitting with each other, warm tea left untouched in their hands. Ivy just kept on stealing glances at Steve who looked at her so earnestly. His hair was perfectly combed and his muscles always seemed a bit much for his military issued shirts, as if his superior officers wanted him to never escape the title of “Captain America.”
“I have something to tell you,” she finally murmured.
Steve remained quiet and waited, ever respectful.
Ivy couldn’t bear to look at him. “I’m older than I look. They don’t know why I can’t age—“
She didn’t want him going off and not knowing. She had fallen in love with him. That was this tight feeling in her heart, the fact that she could barely breathe when he was here and yet her stomach was full of golden snitches.
A teacup was placed heavily on the table, and Ivy looked up fearfully. “I’m a government experiment. I was hardly taller than five feet and couldn’t pass an exam to enlist.”
Ivy’s jaw dropped. “Some experiment. How many—?”
“Just me,” he replied, looking down. That explained his shyness. Ivy reached out tentatively and curled her fingers around his. “Quite a pair we make, ma’am.”
“Quite the pair.”
“I take it you’re older than my mother,” he began cautiously.
She nodded, biting her lower lip.
“Well, that might be a tad awkward as I was going to ask you to be Mrs. Stephen Rogers before you wanted to tell me something.”
“I wanted to take you upstairs,” she admitted, blushing.
“How many?” he asked tentatively.
“I’ve been in love three times,” she admitted, “before this. Never married. Never loved.”
“I’m sorry, Ivy,” he stated before coming around and holding her. “But we can’t.”
She closed her eyes, trying to hold back the tears. “I’m not Mrs. Rogers, yet.”
“Not yet, ma’am, no.”
“Are you ever going to stop calling me ‘ma’am’? I’m not the queen.”
“Just being polite. You haven’t said yes, yet.” Ivy just knew he was blushing. She always did.
“How many girls for you? You’re gorgeous, by the way. I know there was that secretary that kissed you.”
“There was a superior officer who seemed interested,” he admitted. “Remember when I asked you for your picture?”
Ivy remembered the day well. Felicia had nearly had a heart attack when she had followed her. “How could I forget? There were so many other girls getting theirs taken for their men going abroad.”
She pushed her face into his jacket and took a deep breath. She hadn’t regretted that decision and she decided she never would. It was strange trying to decide what to wear and actually standing in front of such a strange contraption, but it had made Steve smile.
“Well, she saw it and appeared…”
“Less than pleased?” she inquired, and laughed when he didn’t respond. “I have a few extra if you need them.”
“Keep them for me for when I get home,” and then he was kissing her again, pulling her closer, and slipping a simple gold ring onto her finger. She admired it later but rather wanted to kiss him at that particular moment as he was deploying later that day.
When they finally cleaned up and left, they were holding each other hand in hand. “I listed you as a person of interest,” he admitted, “since we’re getting married. You’ll know if anything—“
“I wish I could give you my life,” she admitted. They both looked at the other solemnly. “It hasn’t seemed to be good for much of anything, but it could be good for this. I never seem to be able to die.”
“Have people tried, Ivy?”
“You’d be surprised,” she admitted with a smile on her face. Ivy had had so many hexes hit her over the years, body parts severed that sometimes she wondered how she continued to live. It had been this way since she fell from a tree at the age of six and then, a month before her seventeenth birthday, she had been pushed down a rounding flight of stone steps in a castle. Ivy had bled out and declared dead until five days later, she took a breath from within her coffin.
She’d been immortal ever since. And now she was watching the man she loved go off to war.
IV. All By Myself
It was fifty years later and Ivy’s guardians were an orphan named Harry, his wife Ginny, and their three children. She didn’t mind the children. Once again, she minded the wife. Ginny, in exploring the house, had gone into her room and remarked on her now vintage print of Captain America. Naturally, she had commented on it as well as the engagement ring that Ivy had never taken off her finger.
“How old is that ring?” Ginny asked. Her hair was annoyingly ginger, not the beautiful deep red Lily’s had been. Sometimes Ivy thought she was seeing what her life would have been if she had been born in the modern era. There was a Lily and James Potter. They had a son named Harry, which was close to what she might have been called if she had been born a boy. The difference, though, was that Lily had been Muggleborn. Ivy tried to get rid of her prejudices and nearly had with Steve, but she wasn’t continuing on the Potter line, so it was a little different.
Steve had been different. Steve had been hers, all courtesy and soft manners and milder speech and yet ever so strong. She never for once thought that he didn’t love her. She could feel it in his kisses. It was there that first night, as if he couldn’t quite believe that a beautiful woman would go to a pub with him, talk with him as if he were a man, and let him kiss her goodnight.
That wonder had been there from beginning, and whenever she looked at her engagement ring, she would feel a shadow of it.
Ivy sighed, coming back to the conversation from her mental musings, which always happened. “As old as the love is when it was given to me.”
Ginny hummed at the back of her throat. “That could be eons for you.”
She wanted to snap that she hadn’t been alive for eons, but she bit her tongue. Harry was her closest friend this time around and he loved this woman, though for the life of her Ivy didn’t know why. She remembered the romance. She had visitation rights after the Potters died, put a stop to the blatant neglect of the Dursleys, had him placed with a soon after freed Sirius Black, and the rest was that.
Ivy had been Harry’s confidante and now that he was older, he had become hers. He didn’t know the mysterious man she still loved, he never pried, but he knew more about Steve than anyone still living. He hadn’t bothered to tell Ginny to shut up, though.
“I suppose it could be,” she finally answered. “Still, it’s not time yet to take it off.” It would never be time, she realized to herself. That’s what real love meant. She wouldn’t trade the few kisses, the holding of Steve’s arm, that awkward tea for a full life with another man even if she got to die at the end of it.
“It seems a strange thing to do,” Ginny said, bringing out tea made from an electrical kettle. “Wearing an engagement ring for someone who is dead.”
“Would you take yours off if Harry died?” Ivy snapped. She already knew the answer. Of course the little witch would. She was power hungry and she would use being the widow of the great Champion to her advantage and take off the ring when it best suited her.
Ginny’s mouth hung open. Ivy wanted to throw a biscuit into it. Instead, she simply said, “You seem to understand, then.” Ivy took a sip of her weak tea and wondered again why Harry loved her.
Well, she knew why. It made perfect sense. Looked like his Mum. Gave him the family he always wanted. Played Quidditch and didn’t act very feminine—he always said he could only stand it in her. It made sense, yet it didn’t mean that Ivy couldn’t hate it quietly.
“But you’re all alone,” Ginny whined.
Well, she wasn’t even seventeen, so she could never be that. “I have Harry and you and the children.” She turned her mind to James Sirius, the eldest, and how the eight year old would one day be her guardian. She hated the endless cycle. Treasure as a child, love as a friend, and then watch them leave you behind as they age and finally die. That was the good scenario.
Ivy wasn’t certain how she felt about James. His prankster tendencies reminded her too much of Sirius Black who was the late James’ best friend. Both had a streak for cruel pranks. She also didn’t much care for Sirius.
The wizard had also tried to court her.
“We’re not a replacement for a family of your own,” Ginny said, sipping her tea and then dunking a shortbread in it.
“I can’t have one. I’m too young,” she reminded Ginny.
“I’m sure as Head of the Wizengamut you could wave that.”
Well, she certainly could. She only hummed in her throat. It was neither an agreement nor a disagreement.
“You need to take off that ring first.”
“You know,” Ivy began, “I remember Felicia Potter, Harry’s great-aunt. I must admit I never cared for her but she made me go on marriage dates during the Muggles’ Second World War. I disliked her before that, of course, but it all came to naught.”
“Were you wearing the ring?” Ginny asked hopefully, as if she loved gossip.
“Not on the marriage dates,” Ivy answered. It was technically true. “I’ve met few exceptional wizards and all of them are dead.”
“Harry’s exceptional,” Ginny argued.
Of course she would say that. He was also wealthy, coveted, famous, and handsome. The woman really was rather transparent. “Yes, but he’s my great-nephew.” Several times removed. She had never once had designs on any of her brother’s descendants. That would be crass and—strange. She would have known them when they were children.
“Surely someone at all those galas has caught your eye.”
The antique telephone fortunately rang at that moment. Ginny visibly startled. “What’s that?”
“The way I communicate,” was all Ivy said as she got up gracefully and picked up the dusty handle. “Hello?”
“Can I speak to an Ivy Potter?” an American voice asked and Ivy had to brace herself.
“Speaking,” she responded and turned away from Ginny who was craning her neck over the back of the sofa.
“Well, you’re listed as the Emergency Contact of one Captain Rogers. Ma’am, we just found his body and, well, he’s alive.”
Ivy’s entire world struck a chord and she pushed her shoulder farther into the wall for support. “Alive how?”
“As if he had never left for that mission in January.”
Ivy dropped the receiver.
V. As You Wish
They had her dressed as a nurse of all the stupid things. A nurse from the nineteen forties. “It will be easier this way,” some stupid American had told her and as soon as his eye was turned, she transfigured the horrible uniform into the outfit she had carefully chosen. It was a modern dress that had thin white lines running horizontal to it. She looked beautiful and desirable in it, she knew. Ginny also absolutely hated that dress.
Ginny had tried to make it so she couldn’t go alone and she could put her prying nose into what had caused her to faint, but Harry had fortunately put his foot down as her guardian.
So here she was. Seated next to her Steve who hadn’t aged a day. He still looked five and twenty—wrong century. Twenty-five. Sometimes she had to remember things like that.
Her hair was loose about her shoulders but she had done nothing else with her appearance. She hadn’t painted her face in the least, though it was hardly the fashion. She just wanted to look like herself and show him how much had changed without him being frightened.
Steve. Her Steve.
No one else’s.
The small diamond on her left hand glittered and she kissed his unresponsive lips knowing that he was asleep. However, a hand came up and gently pressed into her hair, as if feeling for something that was familiar.
“Ivy,” Steve whispered, their lips a breath apart, his eyes still closed.
“Steve,” she answered. “I waited for you.”
Slowly his eyes fluttered open and he looked around at the set up that seemed to resemble the Second World War. He then took her in: her falling hair, her dress, her flat shoes.
“You look different, ma’am.”
She laughed at the formality. “I thought since we were engaged, you promised not to call me that.”
A small smile flitted across his pink lips. “That wasn’t a dream?”
She fluttered the fingers of her left hand between them. “Unless you would rather—“
“No,” he argued, taking her hand and threading their fingers together. “No. I still want you to be my wife. To take you home to Mom.”
Something must have shown on her face, because he searched his eyes. “Your dress would be considered indecent,” he basically asked.
“Now it is something I would wear to work,” she began, coming to sit down on his bed. “A lot has changed, Steve, while you were sleeping.”
He sighed. “Mom’s gone and Pop, I assume.”
She nodded her head. “That officer, Agent Carter, is a grandmother,” she began and he sucked in a breath. “Hitler was defeated in 1944 and America dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan to end the war.”
Steve looked like she had told him Santa Claus wasn’t real.
“There was a Cold War with Russia, where you both had nuclear weapons no one, thankfully, fired on each other.”
“What war is there now?” he asked, a determined look on his face.
“There is the War on Terror,” she whispered. “It’s controversial.”
His jaw set, Steve nodded stoically. After several long minutes spent in silence, he asked, “And you?”
Ivy laughed again and started crying. “Oh, Steve. There’s so much you don’t know past what I told you, and I can’t say a word here.” She glanced at a camera in the corner of the room.
Steve seemed to notice the line of her gaze and nodded. Slowly, he pulled her into his arms until they were lying next to each other.
“Are we allowed to do this now?”
“We’re allowed to do this even more.”
With Harry’s permission, Ivy moved to New York and within a day of her turning legally eighteen (which was only three months after Steve woke up), she married Steve Rogers and couldn’t believe that she had actually gone through with it. She had never even contemplated it with any of her former loves but Steve—Steve was everything. When he looked at her, she could see that she was his entire world.
And he was hers.
Until the day when they took him back again. Steve had gone off to the gym again, but had promised that he would try a small bistro she had discovered.
“It’s all too different,” he admitted to her as she lay in his arms. “I don’t recognize this world.”
“I know,” she would whisper and kiss him. “I’ve felt that for far too long.”
He came to the bistro and sat opposite her and smiled stiffly. “They want me back.”
She looked up at him, startled. “The military?”
Steve shrugged. “Some branch of it. I think it’s a way to serve my nation.”
Ivy had yet to become a citizen. She couldn’t. She had permission to stay for fifty years before she had to return to Britain and her life there. Ivy would move heaven and earth to transfer her family there, although she meant it to only be Steve. She knew he wanted kids but they hadn’t talked about it yet. Hopefully he wouldn’t mind the idea of adoption.
“When your nation calls, you answer,” she sighed unhappily, trying to smile. “When do you leave?”
“After lunch,” he answered.
She closed her eyes in pain. When she opened them up she saw the picture she had taken back in the forties, as pristine as ever, next to her salad.
“I’ll keep it over my heart,” Steve promised, and Ivy knew that he would.