mizzy: (Default)
Addy ([personal profile] mizzy) wrote2011-10-12 09:13 am

[livejournal.com profile] leverageland (Fic & Art) Unspeakable [Leverage/Harry Potter] [T

Title: Unspeakable
Author: [livejournal.com profile] mizzy2k ([livejournal.com profile] teamgrifter)
Artist: [livejournal.com profile] lynzie914 ([livejournal.com profile] teamhitter)
Characters: Nathan Ford, Sophie Devereaux, Eliot Spencer, Percy Weasley
Rating: PG
Word Count: 4000
Summary: AU. Crossover with Harry Potter. Sophie and Eliot will do their upmost to hide from Nate that there's magic in the world. They've got his back. But when the magic can't be hidden any more, the truth that comes out is... unspeakable.
Pair-up challenge for the sublimely fun [livejournal.com profile] leverageland.
Disclaimer: Leverage and Harry Potter do not belong to us.

Alt link for the header.

They've been working so many jobs now pretending to be muggles that Sophie sometimes forgets she even can do magic.

It's got to be a good thing. Sophie's had so many warnings from the Ministry of Magic that her magical misdemeanours file has its own filing cabinet, and she's been before the Wizengamot so many times, Griselda Marchbanks still invites her for tea once a month.

Sophie's taken part in so many cons and lies and heists in her life that she knows a lie that has to be kept no matter what is best if it can remain unspoken.

Sometimes Parker, Eliot, Hardison and herself have to discuss it, but they try not to. They like living the muggle life. Ever since pulling that first Nigerian job for Nate without using an inch of magic, the four of them have been captivated by managing their amazing skills without magic at all. It's incredibly addictive.

Still, it's frustrating not to be able to use a good summoning charm or confundus every now and again, but Nate's muggle brain is a wonder. It's a shame he's not a wizard—Death Eaters would be running for the hills. Hell, Sophie suspects even Voldemort—before Harry defeated him, of course—might have even turned himself into Azkaban rather than face Nate in a wizard's duel. (All right, maybe sleeping with him has made her a little bit biased.)

They've all agreed it, though. Until a time of absolute necessity, neither Sophie, Hardison, Eliot or Parker will use magic on a job. And if necessary, they will do it when Nate isn't around. And if it's in front of Nate, it has to be save lives. Nate's brain is worth too much to them to risk spoiling it with one obliviate too many.

After Jimmy's Ford reign of running numbers across Boston came to a close, John McRory's bar became a wizard's bar, so as not to attract the wrong kind of attention again. Nate's decision to rent an apartment above it caused the magical community a little bit of disgruntled muttering, but Eliot glared at every wizard and witch in a fifty mile radius and the magical community settled down. Especially when word of their good deeds started to spread, quietly and like wildfire.

Eventually Sophie managed to convince the wizards who like McRory's Bar to keep coming—just not do or talk about magic if Nate is skulking around.

The local wizards have got the memo, but it's the tourists they have to be wary of, ones who still had outdated issues of the International Prophet's Guide to Wizard-Friendly Public Houses.

And once again, Sophie has that publication's name in her head instantly as a curse as a wizard stumbles through the door, his wand clearly in his hand.

Although the wizard has tried to blend in—he's wearing a muggle suit and Italian shoes—he's wearing a robe instead of a coat and his hat is a drenched baseball cap, barely covering the wizard's flaming red hair. It's a better attempt than most wizards who frequent McRory's at blending in, but he still stands out like a sore thumb.

Nate hasn't noticed. He's buried over a crossword and a tumbler of white rum and pineapple juice , because Sophie might have gotten a bit snitty and has been mentioning Nate's lack of eating properly to anyone who will listen, and his idea of eating properly is switching his usual neat whiskey for a cocktail. Normally she would complain at him some more, except apparently pineapple had a side-effect that was quite beneficial when they were in bed and she was in the mood to-

Eliot's eyeballing her sudden blush with an altogether too-perceptive expression, which just makes her blush more. Sophie bristles. "We've got a problem," she says, sotto voce, and Eliot immediately tenses. "Don't move too quickly," she tags on. Eliot flickers her that tell-tale 'lady, this is not my first rodeo' side glance and checks over his shoulder.

"One of the British Weasley wizards," Eliot says, looking back at her. Sophie glances over and furrows her brow, trying to discern how Eliot figured that much out. "He's got his muggle passport sticking out of his right pocket."

"I clocked that. I was wondering how you knew his surname," Sophie says, casually smoothing down her dress as she rose to her feet.

"The hair color. It's a very distinctive shade of red."

Sophie thinks back to the society pages of WitchElle and remembers the up-do Ginevra Weasley wore to her wedding to Harry Potter before she remembers the rich auburn shade. She vaguely recalls one of the side panels—five red-headed brothers.

"We need to stage an intervention before he tries to order a butterbeer," Sophie mutters, tossing her hair back and scurrying over to where the Weasley wizard is shaking his umbrella against one of the stools, splashing water across the ground.

She pushes in front of him, leaning on the bar, blocking his way and blocking him from Nate's sight. "Hi there."

The redhead blinks through his thick-rimmed glasses like he has no idea how to speak to people. He must be from the Ministry. Sophie adjusts her approach—flirting will do no good. Ministry wizards don't even notice flirting if it's delivered as a Howler tuned to its highest volume. Perhaps antagonism will be more efficient.

"This place is muggle-friendly, Weasley," Sophie hisses, trying to keep her voice as low as possible, panic trying its best to thwart her intention with every syllable.

Weasley's red eyebrows bunch together. "How did you-"

"Your hair," Sophie says. "Sheath your wand. Now."

"But," Weasley says loudly, "there's only wizards in this bar." His face looks blank, disingenuous; he clearly thinks he's right and she's crazy. Sophie comes across a lot of that in her Grifting work. Normally she's pleased—it makes it easier to work them without magic—but there are a thousand situations it's not so great, and this is one of them.

"I'm not beyond using Eliot to shut you up," Sophie says, feeling Eliot move up behind her, silent as a Lethifold and twice as deadly.

"What's an... Eliot?" Weasley says, much too-loudly. Sophie winces, because they're not magical words, but they're words that will draw Nate's attention—and they have. She can see him in the reflection in the window, putting down his drink curiously and pushing his stool back.

Sophie looks to Eliot for help, who's surreptitiously bringing out his wand, sliding it out of the denim sleeve of his jacket. An obliviate should do it, but she doesn't want to. Someone with a mind as sharp as Nate's would unravel with too many forgetting spells, and his mind is damaged enough.

Eliot's wand—pear, ten inches, dragonstring core—is out now, resting against the seam of his pants; his fingers are loose around the end. He's ready to fire it. The jut of his teeth proves he knows how dangerous it is, yet he's going to do it anyway.

He's right. Nate knowing is more dangerous. They can't risk him knowing about magic. They can't risk the Ministry barrelling in here, and wiping Nate's mind, because they would be less kind about it than any of them would be.

"Nate," Sophie starts, her hand moving to his elbow—he flinches away, aware of her techniques for making men believe her lies. She opens her mouth to lie regardless, but Nate's words shut her up far more effectively than a silencing spell ever could.

"Hello, Percy," Nate says, brushing past her to stand opposite the redheaded wizard. "Long time no see."

Weasley—so this one is Percy, huh—almost snaps to attention, his back straightening, a hand thrusting it out automatically for a formal handshake.

"Agent Ford," Percy says, in a high-strung tone.

"It's nice to see you again. Still causing trouble?"

"Uh, no sir."

"No more art theft at the office you work at?"

Sophie tries not to be too visibly relieved. Eliot's grip tightens on his wand—ironically, this is a sign he's less tense about the situation. It's when she sees him playing with it, loose around his fingers, that Sophie feels tension and worry—because that's when Eliot's ready to grab it and go wild.

"I'm not here for small talk, Ford." Percy clears his throat. "I'm here under the 7th Amendment of the 44th paragraph of the new post-war suspect retrieval by-laws. Your collusion to restrain Death Eater Damien Moreau in a country that clearly does not adhere to the European High Wizengamot's Extradition laws errrrk!"

Legalese makes no sense to Sophie at the best of times, but thankfully even Percy Weasley can translate Eliot's intention. Eliot's wand is dug painfully into Percy's pale white throat.

"Moreau was a Death Eater?" Sophie asks, appalled, and then shakes herself. The words Percy has been using... Wizengamot, Death Eater...

This isn't one she's going to be able to whitewash Nate with as easily as the time they broke into a Mark's safe and found 1000 large Galleon coins in there. (Eliot told Nate they were a special currency used only in Wales.)

Eliot's wand, well. Maybe Nate will believe that Eliot has taken up hitting people with tiny sticks as a way to challenge himself?

No, it's going to mean an Obliviate spell for sure, and Sophie can't muster up a convincing neutral expression.

And then Nate's hand grabs hold of her wrist and the bar vanishes.

It's been a long time since someone has disapparated Sophie without her permission, and longer without any sort of forewarning; when her stomach stops doing somersaults in her gut, she glares at Eliot before taking in the scenery around them.

She's pissed off. The amount of whammy they'll have to put on Nate to cover up apparating is a larger spell than she wanted to have to pull on him. Sophie has apparated with Eliot before, but he's apparently improved—last time she could have sworn she was a millimetre from being splinched across Boston. This time she barely even feels queasy.

Except... instead of looking contrite, like he usually does when Sophie's caught him out, Eliot's looking back at her, just as pissed off.

"What did you do?" Eliot hisses. His wand is still outstretched into mid-air, and he looks tense and unhappy, and Sophie stares back at him densely for just long enough for them both to be smacked in the face with the clue bus.

By that time, Nate's already a few paces behind them, staring at a large shiny brown door that doesn't have a handle, and randomly tapping on it. She opens her mouth to say something, but can't find a word that isn't a swear word, and the Ministry of Magic has spells to stop those coming out in the building.

Because that's where they definitely are. The black, shiny floors are—in Eliot's vernacular—very distinctive. Sophie's walked them many times, sneaking glimpses down into the Department of Mysteries as she's been escorted into the Wizengamot chambers. Sophie's done a thousand things illegal by muggle standards, and a fair few by wizarding laws, but she's never been into the Department of Mysteries.

She would bet half the money in her Gringotts' account that the Department of Mysteries is where they are.

Obviously Eliot's brain has scurried to the same conclusion, sans the swearing, because he says, in a slightly awed voice to the back of Nate's head, "You're an Unspeakable."

"Retired," Nate says, with a clear amusement in his voice that Sophie hasn't heard since he admitted the truth of the Dagger of Aqu'abi incident. "It's amazing how easily art thieves believe IYS as a cover."

"Why- We've been tiptoeing around you for years," Sophie splutters. "Why didn't you say you were a wizard?"

"I haven't used wand magic since I retired," Nate says, still tapping at odd sections of the door. "You, uh."

Nate coughs oddly. Sophie looks at the back of his head and the ripple of tension across his shoulders, and feels bereft, like she's missing something huge. Something bigger than Nate is a wizard after all.

"Maggie confiscated it after Sam d- Anyway, she thought I'd do someone a harm with it. Honestly, I hadn't really used my wand in years. So many better things to use..."

Nate finishes his odd tapping with a full palm slap in the centre of the door, and Sophie's questions fall away in lieu of glee. The Department of Mysteries has been this huge, unspoken thing between herself, Eliot, Hardison and Parker—the place for them to break into when they couldn't work with Nate any more. The big shiny Holy Grail of all thieves with magic—stealing the secrets from the Department of Mysteries.

And now one of the doors is going to open in front of them, and it's not so impossible after all, and-

The door slides open like a lift door might, and a very recognisable figure steps out.

"Sterling," Eliot hisses, his wand immediately dropping loosely into his fingers, and Sophie winces.

Sterling rolls his eyes and sighs audibly. He doesn't even bother glancing at Sophie and Eliot; all his attention is on Ford. "Again?" Sterling says, incomprehensibly.

"I need a circumvention for Damien Moreau, too."

"Seriously?" Sterling reaches behind the door and passes Nate a small piece of paper. "We need a full team repeal or just these two?"

Nate shrugs. "These two."

"How did it happen this time?"

"One of the Weasley boys," Nate says, as Sterling's head ducks behind the door again. He's rummaging for something. Sophie can't see anything. It's terribly frustrating. "I told you we should spay Arthur Weasley back in the eighties, but nooo, you had to keep them reproducing. And you still owe me for that thing with the Golden Snitch and the Veela in Belgrade, so get me a good one."

Sterling reappears and throws something at Nate, and Sophie catches a glimpse of a small sphere - the hint of a rainbow, a flash of silver, a glimpse of glittering light - before Nate carefully pockets it.

"You could let them keep their memories this time," Sterling says, and Sophie feels tense. She feels like she had been imagining Nate had felt hearing all those strange words about magic, and it's awful, it's far worse than she had pictured. She feels disconnected, like her body doesn't belong to her.

"I tried once," Nate says, in the oddest, most regretful tone Sophie's ever heard him use, and once she had heard him say no, I can't; I love you, but I can't. I wish we could, but no- "Ian dealt with that one. You were on vacation."

"Right," Sterling says. "Well, call me if you need me to pose as Interpol again. I like a good excuse for an office excursion."

Nate salutes, and Sterling steps back, the doors sliding closed. Sophie's still frozen, but Eliot's not—he's backing up, backing along the corridor that's a good escape, and Nate just looks at him impassively. Sadly.

Eliot turns, and runs straight into an invisible barrier. Falls to his knees. Gets up again, and tries. He rams his body into it several times before he brings his wand up to try magic, and the spark he unleashes from the tip of his wand rebounds, smacking him in the palm, making him drop his wand to the reflective black flooring. Eliot doesn't bend down to pick it up, he just stares at it.

Nate bends down to retrieve it and puts it into his pocket. He glances at Sophie sideways. "I'll get it back to him at the bar," Nate says, not explaining a single thing.

"Nate," Sophie says, letting all the hurt and confusion she's feeling wash into her tone. "What-"

"Every time." Nate's voice is taut, almost broken, and just so, so sad. Deeply sad. The saddest voice she's ever heard. It rings a note in the back of her mind, like she's heard this sadness before. "Every time, you get so confused. You don't remember, Sophie. I can't let you remember. Not for long. The Repealer will make you remember for a second, and then you'll be begging me to take it all away again. Just like you do every time."

"The Repealer," Sophie says, and remembers the beautiful sphere in Nate's pocket.

"You'll remember," Nate repeats, moving over to where Eliot's still standing, staring at the floor. He puts his right hand on Eliot's shoulder and Eliot barely reacts. "Both of you," he adds, holding out his hand towards hers. It sounds like he's genuinely sorry, so very earnest that Sophie lifts her hand, touches her fingertips to his, and the world swirls away again.

Percy Weasley is hunched over the bar when Nate, Sophie and Eliot apparate back into the middle of the floor.

"Thank Merlin," Percy breathes, and then freezes. Sophie knows why he's pausing. Nate's face is twisted up into the most horrible expression. It hurts to look at it, but only because it's so obvious he's hurting.

Nate passes Percy the small piece of paper first. Percy rolls his eyes, huffs loudly, but pockets the paper. "That should cover it."

"I suppose," Percy says, and then his eyes widen almost comically behind his thick lenses when Nate pulls out the sphere—the Repealer—from his pocket. "I say," Percy adds, rather sharply, "is there any need for that?"

"It's not for you," Nate says. It would be a comforting tone if he didn't still look so torn up.

"Nate," Sophie says, "please." She doesn't know what she's saying please for. It feels like she's said it before.

"Can't. I need to take your memories away and this is the kindest way," Nate says, reaching over and sliding Eliot's wand into his pocket. The Hitter looks at him dully, and Sophie looks between them. It's like Eliot's already starting to remember something absolutely terrible, and Sophie feels scared, so scared. She doesn't move, because it feels- oh, it feels like she's tried it a thousand times before.

The melancholy on Nate's face is almost proof she has.

"All the times I've never taken your memories away," Sophie says, "Nate, all the times I could have-"

"You misunderstand me," Nate says, and rubs the pad of his thumb over the Repealer. All of an instant a thousand galaxies appear in the heart of it, dancing and sparkly, and it's beautiful. "It's not can't. It's won't."

Sophie opens her mouth to protest, and her cry for help turns into a scream, because she remembers, she remembers. Seduced by a Death Eater when she was a young student in Beauxbatons, and rampaging through Europe, beautiful and terrifying. She was caught a few times—the memories of the Wizengamot are almost as she remembers, although her crimes are a thousand times more awful.

She remembers being married for a while, to someone that the Dark Lord told her to. She spied on him, but she was happy for a while. But her memories race on, churning and making her feel queasy, and those happy memories are as difficult to catch as smoke.

She did bad things again. A lot of horrible things. And then, after a long and dizzying chase, someone caught her for good—an Unspeakable with terrible blue eyes and a grim set to his mouth—and flung her into Azkaban as if it hurt him more than her. And then there was nothing but darkness, and pain, and hollowness, and screaming, and no joy, nothing, nothingness forever, and she's screaming it all out, screaming everything, and the world is cold and black, and the Unspeakable is looking at her with cold, dead blue eyes through the bars of her prison cell.

There were many months of that, years. Then, later: the same Unspeakable, the same blue eyes, but there's warmth there in her memories now, and he's speaking, something about constructing a life and keeping a certain amount of the bad in order to do good things and you won't ever be yourself, again. You'll be someone new. Someone good. And I'll take care of you. I'll take care of you all.

It's all spinning in her head, wild and frenzied, and it's like she's back in Azkaban with her soul being sucked out of her head, the Dementor's fingertip on her forehead, its mouth open in a garish howl.

Will you still love me? She'd asked that of the Unspeakable with the blue eyes. Nate. Will you still love me when I'm different?

You killed our son, the Unspeakable had said back, and his voice was sad, so sad, worse than Azkaban, worse than a pack of Dementors. You killed our Sam.

The worst pause in the world. But yes. I will always love you, Maggie.

Sophie's eyes widen, and that's the truth, that's the horrible truth Nate's erasing. Sophie Devereaux, a constructed personality, designed to permanently cover the real Maggie Collins. Sophie Devereaux, the constructed personality, designed to cover up a Death Eater who sacrificed her son to a cause she can't ever remember following.

She looks over to Eliot, who's in as bad a state, covering his ears and shrieking. She remembers a day, running across a bridge to attack a school, Eliot by her side, and Parker, and Hardison, and a vicious feeling of glee bubbling underneath, and then bodies, so many bodies, twisting and falling and Sophie's sobbing too when she manages to look at Nate, the Unspeakable with the blue eyes, the husband she lost amongst the madness, and she says, "Take it away. Please."

"And every time, you ask." Nate's eyes, still so blue, shining with tears she'll not understand when the memories go.

"I still love you," Sophie- Maggie- whoever she is says. In amongst the pain, it's true, and Nate looks at her then as if it's the only thing in the world that matters.

Then he drops the Repealer, and it smashes on the ground, and-

"We need to stage an intervention before he tries to order a butterbeer," Sophie mutters, tossing her hair back and scurrying over to where the Weasley wizard is shaking his umbrella against one of the stools, splashing water across the ground. She pushes in front of him, leaning on the bar, blocking his way and blocking him from Nate's sight. "Hi there."

The redhead blinks through his thick-rimmed glasses like he has no idea how to speak to people. He must be from the Ministry. Sophie adjusts her approach—flirting will do no good. Ministry wizards don't even notice flirting if it's delivered as a Howler tuned to its highest volume. Perhaps antagonism will be more efficient.

"This place is muggle-friendly, Weasley," Sophie hisses, trying to keep her voice as low as possible, panic trying its best to thwart her intention with every syllable.

Weasley's red eyebrows bunch together. He looks at her, opens his mouth to say something, and then glances past her to where Nate's hunched over at the bar. Weasley looks upset for the briefest second, like he's seen something terribly sad, and he shakes himself and looks Sophie directly in the eye. "I'm sorry. I'll go elsewhere."

"Huh," Eliot says, moving to her side. "That was easy."

"Yeah," Sophie says. She looks back at Nate, and feels an odd twinge in her stomach. "Even if it wasn't, I'd do anything to protect him."

Eliot pats her on the shoulder. "We all would. We've got his back."

"And he's got ours," Sophie says, vaguely, automatically, not knowing exactly why she's so very sure of it, why she's trusted it as fact since meeting Nate for the first time, at the beginning of their terribly romantic chase across Europe. She just does.

Nate looks up at her then, and his eyelids are a little swollen, and Sophie rolls her eyes and moves back to sit with Eliot at their favorite booth as Nate turns back to his drink instead of coming to sit with them.

She'll have a word about him drinking too much again later. It's ridiculous. There's no truth so unspeakable to require that much alcohol-induced oblivion.

No truth so unspeakable in the world.

[identity profile] bexta1989.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 09:02 am (UTC)(link)
Um...can I just say....WOW.

I'll be honest, I haven't read a fic in forever, haven't felt the mood, but the summary of this one sucked me in and I read every word. That was unreal.
ext_27036: (Chris Halliwell 3)

[identity profile] mizzy2k.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 10:25 am (UTC)(link)
Hee, thanks. <3 The banner is a nice shiny lure as well, I think. The little door in the background that doesn't make sense until it does make sense; I loooove it. *twirls [livejournal.com profile] lynzie914 around the room*

[identity profile] lmx-v3point3.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 09:40 am (UTC)(link)
For a fic that might have been cracky, this is... terrifying/horrifying/phenomenal. Holy shit. Awesome, awesome construction.
ext_27036: (leverage: sophie nate)

[identity profile] mizzy2k.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 10:28 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you. :) I think my brain is thankfully trying to compensate for the truly awful amount of crack I've produced this year.

[identity profile] jesco0307.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 10:54 am (UTC)(link)
I started reading this expecting crack of some kind (sorry!!!), but this? It hurts, it's painful and horrifying but fantastic at the same time. It leaves me bowing to your talent!

Love the art as well, by the way!

[identity profile] telaryn.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 11:21 am (UTC)(link)

This is brilliant, sweetheart. This? Proves that you have to have incredible amounts of skill and talent to produce the types of stories you do. To go from your BBJ and muppets to this?


[identity profile] midnighthour.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 11:44 am (UTC)(link)
Oh wow, I'm amazed at how a ridiculous set up like that can make so much SENSE. You really know how to work that crazy brain of yours lol

[identity profile] pierhias.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 12:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, what a gut-punching twist. It started out really funny too, lol.
Great job, and gorgeous art too!

[identity profile] errant-evermore.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 01:19 pm (UTC)(link)
This is my new head canon. Foreverrrrr. I would demand more in this vein, but if we had more in this vein I think it would spoil things. But this is reallyreally amazing.

[identity profile] heidi8.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 04:52 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh my GOD this is amazing. It's brilliantly constructed and perfect and there is STERLING and Death Eaters and Nate is horrible and perfect and they're all...

Amazing, amazing fic.

[identity profile] scout-lover.livejournal.com 2011-10-12 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, this is just incredible! And heartbreaking and painful and horrifying and gorgeous.

Just … wow.