A/N: Goddess, I'm so sorry it took so long to get this out. I've been focusing a bit on Elegant Embers. But Yes, this is the rewrite of Serpent's Raven. I wasn't entirely pleased with what I had been working on before. Since the original story I had been writing followed the Canon plot too closely, it didn't feel original. It didn't feel like something I had written. I felt bad it wasn't the way my mind visualized. It didn't hold the unique mannerisms of me, the writer. No, it was the same as J.K Rowling's. But I aim to rectify this; using her work as a very general base, this will become my own work. Unlike the previous version, this one will be more AU (author's universe) and Harry is (still) female. Also unlike the previous version, Ivy won't be a Veela. She will be another creature. If you figure it out, well, good for you. However, please do not spoil it!
A warning to all readers. I'm not going to put up with flaming, trolling or bullying. The whole point of revamping the whole thing was to fix it! So shut the fuck up you fucktards. If you don't like it, don't fucking read it!
As for pairings, I'm having indecisions between bunch of people including Nymphadora Tonks, Bill or Charlie Weasley, Draco Malfoy (possibly fem Malfoy), Parvati Patil, Luna Lovegood or Fleur.
Last, but not least, is the notice is that this story isn't innocent like the original series. It's rather dark, full of more than a few curse words, more blood, killing, death, and sexual relations.
Apologies for the immense author's note. I'm sure you'd all love to jump into the story now.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and it's franchise belongs to J.K Rowling. I merely own that which written by my own hands.
"You insolent, little cretin!"
Rain suicide bombed the rooftops as thunder crashed down to accompany the flashes of lightning. Several of the nasty insults had gone unheard. The skeletal woman barely held together by skin and the thinnest sinew of muscle had quite the unattractive snarl upon her visage.
The insults continued as a third shard of the broken vase was hurled toward the impossibly small young girl of ten, bordering on eleven in as few as three hours. Unlike her plain cousin, aunt and uncle, she was more exotic; her skin pale of an alabaster peach although that was more attributed to the lack of seeing the sun for long periods of time. Her hair however, was a wild mess of wavy crimson tresses that refused to be tamed. The girl had the largest, brightest emerald green eyes that anyone had seen on a creature that wasn't feline. Almond shaped, they seemed almost luminescent which was better helped by the framing thick, dark eyelashes.
Despite her natural good looks, malnutrition dulled the beauty she hid. Standing approximately at 4'8", was Ivy Lily Potter. She wore a huge, baggy t-shirt which had a huge gaping hole in its hem. It's neckline hung off her right shoulder to reveal a purple bruise that all but covered her shoulder and upper arm.
All the young girl had done was pilfer a hard boiled egg and stale bread from the metal box in the corner of the kitchen. Just enough to stay alive, but it seemed she was being denied even that.
Uncle Vernon had a smug grin on his face through the whole duration of Aunt Petunia's violent tirade and his amusement at her pain made Ivy absolutely livid. While she was grateful to have a roof over her head, she did know that her relatives were not good people. Far from it.
"How dare you?! How dare you steal food from our fridge! Freaks like my sister―like you don't get the right to eat!" During the slight pause, the girl; Ivy, was failing to fend off the flesh rending shrapnel raining down on her. Dudley and Vernon had joined in, adding other small objects to pelt at her despite her meek protests.
"P-please stop," whimpered the crimson haired girl. Tears cascaded down her discolored cheeks. Bruises were beginning to form amid the plethora of lacerations. Blood dripped from the worse of her wounds onto the floor which earned her a broken nose. Ivy's entire body ached and burned from suffering her relative's' wrath.
Screaming now, Petunia cried, "Children of whores always end up as whores. That's what my no good freak of a sister was. That's what you are! All you'll ever be is a cock sucking slut just like your bitch of a mommy."
Dimly, the pork bellied teen who was her older cousin sniggered, "Yeh, yer just a slut."
"Enough!" shrieked Ivy, absolutely sick of the abusive treatment she had been enduring for the last decade of her life. It took a lot to upset her, but it had been the punishment for the reptile house incident and the letters. This was the last straw!
A wave of agony struck the desperate eleven year old as soon as she had cried out her proclamation. Spiraling down to the hardwood floor, Ivy fell with an audible thump.
Fire swept to the four corners of the mid sized suburban home, blossoming into a roaring inferno. Tongues of flame licked and consumed the sturdy house until it was merely ashes. It dissipated just as quickly as it had come to life. Only the orange coals and smoke were among the evidence the home had been obliterated by fire.
Where the Dursley's had been moments before, now lay three crispy bodies on the blackened concrete floor. Amidst the soot, charred beams and shattered, half melted glass was the fledgeling witch, curled into the fetal position. Pristine as the day she was born and unconscious.
3AM, Minister's Office
Cornelius Fudge was a paranoid man, fearful of the slightest deviation from the norm. Right now, he was sweating bullets on his pudgy face. The obnoxious green bowler hat sat crookedly as a quill shook in his hand.
"Surrey is in an uproar. The muggles have been asking too many questions," said Amelia Bones worriedly. As head of the DMLE, this woman oversaw all incidents concerning both wizard and muggle deaths. "Fires and explosions don't just happen out of nowhere. It must have been the girl."
Another said, "Oh don't worry too much about it. It was a wee bit o' wandless magic. She ain't done nuffin wrong."
"A bit of magic? That was more magic than displayed by You-Know-Who during the war. It was Fiendfyre!" squeaked Mafalda Hopkirk. "She's a dangerous child, possibly an Obscurial! . I suggest we put her in the care of the Ministry with heavy monitoring. That or we could take precautions and prevent a second Dark Wizard/Witch rising. We could ah...euthanize her."
Fury boiled and frothed within the tawny haired man. Arthur Weasley was having difficulty in reigning his anger from his co-worker. They couldn't kill a little girl; it was inhumane!
An auror who had also been in attendance voiced himself. "No, she's not an obcurial. Not yet at least. She was close though, if this hadn't happened. Another year or so I'd imagine, this would become a situation out of our hands. Regardless of what happens, we must keep an eye on her."
"She's an underage witch! She doesn't know any better, being raised by horrible muggles," squeaked Madam Bones. "Find a guardian for her and I'll take care of the rest."
"I will take the girl in," came the suave, glib words of a man dressed in silver and black robes. This person had his chin length hair slicked back to keep it out of his face. His features were clearly of noble descent.
Frowning, Arthur Weasley replied, "Lucius, can you really expect us to believe you would adopt the Potter girl and raise her as your own? You'd try to corrupt her!"
Within the air of such accusations of being a dark wizard, Lord Malfoy replied, "You wound me, Arthur. You know I'm no longer the arrogant man I was in school. I have grown past infantile behavior. Surely you have as well. Besides, my wife Narcissa has always wanted a daughter of her own. Ivy would make an excellent addition to my family."
Suddenly the doors flew in to admit one Albus Percival Wulfric Dumbledore, Order of Merlin First Class. The wizened man's pointed hat was askew while his flyaway beard was rather frazzled. The room's occupants immediately drew their gaze to his presence.
"I received your message about what happened with the girl who lived. I apologize for my lateness; a muggle candy shop was having a sale and I absolutely had to get my hands on those delightful lemon drops," mused Albus as he fixed his askew pointy hat. "Where are we now?"
"N-no worries," said Cornelius. "We were simply discussing what to do with the child. Since she has no living relatives and her godfather is in Azkaban, she ought to go to a place where other parentless children reside."
"She just turned eleven! You cannot think of putting her in an orphanage," blurted out Minerva McGonagall, the transfiguration professor at Hogwarts. "She's a hero! You cannot be considering putting the savior of all wizards and witches in a place where she doesn't belong. She must be fostered by someone who will treat her right."
Mr. Weasley said, "Then the Burrow will be the perfect place for Miss Potter. Molly and I would be honored to raise Ivy. No, it would be the greatest honor to raise Lily and James' daughter as our own."
"If I may interject, I do not think your little rook of a home would be a suitable living environment," began the head of House Malfoy. "She is likely in a very fragile state of mind and she needs only the best a high end Wizarding family can give her."
Anger came quick, the Weasley balling his hands into fists. "How dare you think my family can't provide the tender care she deserves. It was her who destroyed He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named! Molly and I have more than enough love for Ivy."
Lucius snorted, "I am not undermining your ability to care for the girl. However, I'm putting your finances into consideration when I say you would not be a suitable guardian. This is the first time she has been exposed to magic AND been the cause of ending the life of four muggles and a dog. She will need therapy which I doubt you could afford without cutting important costs elsewhere. You have six children and a wife to support. Adding another person would not be the wisest move on your part. Suffice to say, she would fare best in the care of my wife and I."
Arthur wasn't happy, but he could see the merit in his rival's words. "Fine. I concede. But if I get words of her being mistreated or exploited in any way, I will take her away by force, laws be damned.
"Very well, you may fetch her when the Healer is done with analyzing the Potter girl's trauma she has no doubt undergone in the last forty-eight hours. For now, leave me be."
One by one, the small gathering of witches, warlocks, sorcerers and enchanters filed in an orderly line out of the Minister of Magic's office. It was going to be a long night for everyone.
Sitting in a cozy room with a fireplace, Ivy stared at the flickering flames. Warmth radiated from the hearth, bathing her and part of the room in a yellow-orange glow.
"Ivy... may I talk to you?"
She merely nodded and pulled the soft quilt closer to her malnourished form. She was nervous; in a new place she had never been before as well as having many things on her mind. She couldn't seem to shake the haunting expressions of hatred and betrayal as her abusers were incinerated by the flames of hell she had summoned to protect her.
"You're not in trouble, young one," spoke the woman the young girl didn't know. She had met many strange people people in robes or other weird clothing today. But none of them registered until now, having been just going through the motions of the last few hours. "What happened was an accidental use of underaged magic. It happens all the time when you're either quite angry or upset and even excited."
"Magic?" asked Ivy quietly.
The robed woman appeared aghast at learning the young heir to the Potters knew nothing of magic. She was angry that the truth of her people, and her parents had been obscured from her on purpose. "Before I explain, can you tell me everything the Dursley's did to you? And don't leave a single detail out. It's absolutely imperative, that is, very very important you tell us as much of what you can remember your first ten years."
Nodding timidly, the young witch answered shakily, stuttering more than a few times, "I-I can try." Ivy took a few gulps of air before continuing. "T-they barely fed me. Whenever I had the chance to steal food, I did. It was on purpose―they starved me on purpose. If I got caught taking more than what they gave me, I was punished." A sob broke out and she sniffed. "They hit me. It's always my fault if something goes wrong. I am forced to do most of the cooking and cleaning since neither my aunt or uncle would do it. When I take my shirt off in front of the mirror, I can see my ribs too easily. Often covered in bruises. A-and then...then..." She couldn't bear to keep speaking."
Bursting into a cascade of tears, Ivy wailed, "When I turned eight, things got worse. When my relatives weren't home, Dudley f-forced me to p-pleasure him. I was weak and him fat with muscles. I..." She whimpered at the thought of what had happened in the past. Her small, tiny body shook as the trauma resurfaced.
Despite she usually didn't offer reassurance in a physical manner, Yuki Fukushima wrapped her arms around the ten year old's frail, petite form.
After while of hugging, the Asian woman said in a professional manner, "Now then. I have something wonderful you must absolutely know. You my dear, are a witch!"
Ivy's eyes widened at the revelation bequeathed to her. But doubt clouded her moon of hope, bringing darkness back to her mood in foulness. "But...I'm not special. I can't do magic. I'm can't do anything right..."
"Not special? My dear girl, you are the most special girl in the Wizarding world! You, Ivy Potter, are the only person in the world to have survived a direct bit from the Killing curse. Not to mention you're the daughter of Lily and James Potter. In their generation, they were the finest magical folks. James was a damn fine Auror with his exceptional combat and transfiguration while Lily was absolutely brilliant with charms and fantastic potions."
With each word gushing from the Asian woman's mouth, Ivy devoured these words about the man who sired her and the woman who birthed her. The things her late parents had accomplished. Well, as much of what was said that made sense to her.
"Now seeing as you're horrendously underfed, I'll prescribe a prescription of a nutrition potion to take every morning and half a phial in the evening for a month. You'll be right as rain henceforth. I'm sure you're tired and you could use some real rest. Outside, a new guardian has been probably chosen for you. If you ever need to talk again, you can always ask for Ms. Fukushima. Now get outta here scamp."
"I-okay," she whispered, peering up at the kind lady one last time.
A/N: I may or may not have been a royal bitch in the note at the top of the fanfic, but it was entirely necessary. And yes, this was a short chapter. It's the pilot after all. Just a taste of what I have to offer.
/N: Damn, sorry it took so long to publish this chapter. I forgot to rectify a mistake in the first chapter. Our young MC is 7 at the time this occurred. I may eventually go back to update the file of the previous chapter. If anyone asks about this, I won't answer, because you should read the author's note before the fic.
Anyways, It seems chapter one was received rather well By the number of favorites and follows. I mean dang, I'd had 12 followers not even 10 hours after I posted the fic! Now over 100! But would it really kill y'all to leave a review? This chapter ought to be a bit longer, so enjoy.
Morning came too swiftly for Ivy's likening. But the light of dawn filtered through the dark curtains, pooling on the girl's tired features. Somewhere in the distance, songbirds warbled. Unable to ignore the obnoxious sunbeams, the tiny girl stirred.
She discovered it hadn't been a dream. She wasn't curled up on an uncomfortable mattress filled with lumpy bedding. Instead, she was lying on a soft bed with black and silver sheets. Neutral colors; she gave it a brief thought. But it didn't last and closed her eyes again.
Opulence and luxury, she had concluded as the gears of conscious cognizant thinking took over this of her subconscious. Old wizarding families were quite wealthy. She only hoped they would spoil her unlike her past. After all she had been through, it was only natural she believed she ought to be treated like a princess. However, she wouldn't put too much hope into anything. There was still an unvarying chance they would be just like Vernon and Petunia.
Speaking of her former upbringing, the young girl wasn't regretful that she had accidentally murdered her aunt, uncle and cousin. They had treated her rather foul. She still had bruises where she had been recently hit. In her mind, she believed her former relatives deserved what happened to thdm, even if it wasn't intentional. She had explained to her therapist last night that she just wanted them to stop hurting her; to be left alone. Her magic she'd been told, just acted off of her own instincts and the will to live.
She rolled onto her back and tried to remember the dream that she had been having. It had been a good one. There had been a flying motorcycle in it, but she hadn't recognized anything else since it had been dark. She had a funny feeling she'd had the same dream before, she just knew it. Clenching her fists, Ivy vowed that one day, she'd get to the bottom of what it meant.
The other recurring dream Ivy had been having for several years was of her standing on a cliff somewhere near the ocean. The wind blew while she inhaled the scent of the salty sea. But she didn't know what this could have meant. But how could she? Hardly anything was known about who her parents were or what they had been like.
Nuzzling her face back into the velour pillow, the young redhead wholeheartedly intended to fall back asleep. That was all she desired for the next thousand years. To slumber without being disturbed. No horrible aunt or uncle t9 force her up the crack of dawn to make breakfast she never got to eat. A place of dreams catered to her best fantasies of having her family back and being female.
That was, until an unnaturally high pitched voice squeaked, "Miss, you are awake?"
This caused Ivy to shoot up and sit up, hand over her chest in surprise. When she got over the initial shock, she swallowed thickly and asked, "W-what are you?"
"Why Dobby is a house elf, miss." The bat eared creature blinked and remembered the message he was supposed to deliver. "Oh yes, master wishes for you to bathe and dress in clean clothes. Master then requests you join the family at the dining table for breakfast. Today, is eggs Benedict, pumpkin juice and a slice of toast."
"O-Okay. Er...you can go now," she said slowly. After a polite bow, the bat eared creature vanished with only a loud crack to show she hadn't merely imagined it. Ivy rubbed her eyes, still in awe about this magical world she was introduced to the night before.
It took a few tries to find the bathroom. A few doors ended up being guest bedrooms or storage closets. Some were locked. After getting directions from a crank old house elf, she was able to find a few towels in a storage closet and the bathroom right around the corner.
As she slipped into the tub, the young redhead couldn't remember the last time she felt so relaxed. She hadn't been allowed to take long baths when she had been with the Dursley's. Petunia had declared they shouldn't waste precious water for the freak. Only once a week was she allowed to take a short shower to scrape the half fortnight of grime.
Once she deemed herself clean enough, Ivy slipped out of the massive bathtub. She imagined it could be transformed into a shower like there had been at the Dursleys. She could probably talk to Lucius about it. If there was a spell for that anyways.
Tying a white towel around her torso, the little redhead tried to ignore the numerous scars and healed burn marks on her body. It had been difficult just applying soap to the highly marred sections of her being.
Sitting on a stool by a late mirror, she stared blankly. It had been a long time since she had seen a mirror she was allowed to use that wasn't cracked or hopelessly smudged to the point of being useless. She admired the silver mirror a bit longer before taking the brass handled brush with nubs. She took that to attack her unruly mane.
"No-no, let me get that."
She squeaked and froze, mid stroke. The young witch looked to the door to see Narcissa standing in the doorway. "I'll teach you the proper way to brush your hair. Please sit on the stool and face the mirror."
"O-okay," she mewled meekly.
Her little fingers were prised from the brush which was set down on the marble counter. A different brush was picked up which made the young girl wonder why. Did different brushes do different things? She didn't know. All she had ever gotten was the rusty iron comb that her aunt had used on her since she'd been a toddler.
When the brush closed in on her skull, Ivy flinched. Instinctively, she raised her arms over her head. Expecting a smack, a whip or even a thump, nothing came. Opening her eyes, she looked questioningly at the older woman.
"No need to be afraid dear. It's just a brush to detangle this mane of yours." A gentle hand tousled her dripping locks. A soft touch in which she leaned into, trying to soak up as much affection the small action would generate.
With a terse nod, Ivy sat still and allowed the brush to approach once more, eyes tracing the marble floor's serpentine pattern. Her cheeks flushed when she realized how pathetic she must be for enjoying her stepmother's head pat.
Said woman mourned internally as she saw first-hand firsthand how attention starved this young girl seemed to be. Her new daughter had been deprived of a true mother's touch, the feeling of a mother's love and undying will to protect their child. He she even ever known love?
Gladly not lingering on depressing thoughts, the middle aged pure blood witch gently began swiping the ends of Ivy's hair. "Always start at the tips of your hair and work up. It causes less pain and doesn't damage your hair as bad as the way you first approached your hair. Hang, on I found a nasty knot. This is gonna pinch dear. Brace yourself."
Each time one of her horribly tangled areas was combated, she whimpered and winced. There had been six in total. Both ladies have a sigh of relief when the last one caved to the separating power of the brush. At least the worst of the tedious task had been fulfilled.
Switching to a small boar bristle brush, Narcissa smiled to Ivy in the mirror as she made small arcing sweeps. She mentioned the different uses certain brushes had; some were for detangling unruly hair, others to add softness and shine while a few others were for styling. With a soft sigh, the elder witch mused, "You have such soft, beautiful hair. I'll admit I'm a tad jealous."
The young girl smiled, but remained reticent. The repetitive motion persists for a few more moments in silence. Then her stepmother spoke, "There we go. Absolutely gorgeous. Don't forget the tips I told you. There are charms to make magic brush and style your hair, but I like detangling with my own hands. Now go get dressed. We don't want you to miss breakfast."
Nodding, the young girl wrapped her little torso in her towel (which had fallen off during her attempt to brush her hair) and scurried off to the room she was to call her bedroom from the day thereof.
An outfit was already laid out on her already neatly made bed. Ivy suspected it was magic and the culprit was that house elf whom had startled her earlier in the morning.
The dress itself seemed tailored to her exact measurements. Dark forest green spanned through the majority of the dress length, only parting the peninsula of the occasional black rifts. Below the waist, the fabric fell into three tiers. The first wefted into black spider webbing lace. Following that to the later betwixt the first and third. This middle was fairly plain, but hosted a semi-opaque teal bunches ribbons folded upon themselves. The final tier was garnered into sequined ruffles.
Just looking at it, she could it cost more than a pretty penny. If she'd had anything else, she'd have worn it instead. But everything she had owned before had been turned to ash in the magical fire she had unwittingly conjured.
After she managed how to put on the garment, she surveyed the room she had slept in.
It was huge and beyond perfect. There was a large soft bed, a walnut dresser and a cherry wood desk, bookcases lining the walls. There were two interior doors, one door opened into a closet big enough to walk in, one door to a full bathroom with a giant sunken tub and a separate shower. The carpet was soft, thick and gray, the walls a restful burgundy. The trim was painted a brilliant white, paintings hung on the walls. The paintings were luminous, glowing with light and possibly with magic. French doors opened on a small balcony, just large enough for a small table and a pair of chairs. The balcony overlooked the wilderness of the backyard, massive trees screened them from the neighbors view. A fire rustled and popped in the white marble fireplace. It was altogether grand and very much too much for a girl from the cupboard beneath the stairs.
Yet, it was now all hers.
From the top of the stairs, the budding witch caught the tail end of a conversation. One about her. Sitting on the steps where the banister began and just out of sight, she strained her ears and listened.
This time, her new stepmother spoke, "It appears she had a fitful slumber last night when I brought her back. While she fell asleep in my arms, she whimpered a little as I put her in her new room. When I turned out the light, she thrashed a little. I saw scars on her back, legs and thighs. Even you, dear husband could not ever be so cold to think she can get over what happened to her overnight. I'll give it my best to see to it that she has a normal childhood."
Lucius smiled. "Even though we had an arranged marriage, I could not be happier to have you as my other half. You are the heart I wish I could show to the world. But sadly, like doesn't run on kindness and compassion. Whilst I hold my seat on the Wizengamot and my career at the Ministry, you keep me saner than any politician ought to be."
With no small amount of trepidation, the girl tiptoed silently down the steps. Even with the velvet runner woven in silver and green, she made almost no sound at all.
She peered up at the two adults whom had adopted her the same night she had incinerated her relatives.
Narcissa was a svelte woman like herself, but not unhealthily so. She was a bit thicker than a twig and slightly bong while still pulling off motherly curves. Her waist length hair was primarily a raven blue-black with a stark stripe of white down the length of her locks as a good imitation of a skunk. It was a look she pulled off well, in Ivy's opinion at least.
Like his wife, Lucius was a slim wizard and well dressed. His once white gold hair was peppered with gray that came with stress and age. His finely crafted dress robes clung to his body, but not unflatteringly so.
"Good morning, Sunshine!" cooed Narcissa cheerfully, even if she had seen the girl less than half an hour ago. "You look beautiful in that dress."
Lucius was less willing to demonstrate affection to his newest daughter. Nonetheless, he held a friendly smile; something he rarely did with even his colleagues. Placing a hand on the shoulder of a boy whom was no older than the girl herself, the dark haired man said in a welcoming tone, "Girl, this is my son, Draco. He is my first and only birthed child. But do not be dissuaded that we won't show you the same courtesy of love as we do him." To the platinum blonde boy, he said, "Draco, this young lady is your little sister, Ivy Potter. We adopted her early this morning."
"What happened to Harry Potter? Aren't you him? I heard the others were killed off. He was the last Potter for the last five or so years. It's said he had black hair. You-"
She froze mid-step.
Lucius smacked the young heir upside the head, "Don't be droll, Draco. She explicitly stated to be female. You will respect your sister as she is."
"Apologies father," muttered the blonde.
With a frown, he snorted, "I'm not the one you offended. Make good with your sister."
Draco shifted uncomfortably in his seat at the chastisement. He grumbled, "Sorry for being an ass. Forgive me?"
The redhead slowly put tush down into a chair and set her hands in her lap. "N-no worries. Y-you didn't know. I-I'm not very girly y-yet. I-I need to work on that."
Both children had fallen into an awkward silence.
"When is your birthday, my dear girl?" queried Lucius, quickly changing the subject to one less touchy. But as he asked, he was minutely surprised to see the tiny girl flinch at the last word of his inquiry. He would investigate this at a later date.
Mumbling, Ivy replied as she recovered, "O-oh...it's um...July 31st. I wish I was born in December though." At first, she wanted to say October, but the knowledge of her parents untimely demise upon Halloween swayed her otherwise. She'd always adored the fall, even if she didn't care for the cold that came in November. Regardless, the change of summer to autumn always garnered her attention. Especially when she had been forced to do outdoor chores.
"Tis august second! This won't do. This won't do at all. My dear girl, you must have a proper celebration for a girl of your status. Once I return from the Ministry, we will have a party this evening to celebrate. How does that sound."
With a meek nod, she whispered, "O-okay."
Lucius grabbed a pinch of a dark green powder as he stepped into the unlit hearth. Tossing it into where logs would normally sit, he courtly said in a most clear and concise manner, "Ministry of Magic." Emerald
"W-What was that?!" exclaimed Ivy, having nearly snorted milk out of her nose.
Draco snorted in amusement. Ivy shot him a nasty glare.
Narcissa giggled softly and stroked her newest daughter's hair. "That is one of the methods witches and wizards use to get around. It's by far the safest. Other people like to travel by broom, apparating or magical creatures. We'll have lessons about the magical world later."
After breakfast, her stepmother said she was allowed to explore, but to not go into any rooms with black door knobs. At fifteen after eleven, she was to report to the foyer.
The first set of lessons her new mother figure had planned out for her was the basic nature of magic as well as introductions to each different school of magic.
According to her stepmother, Ivy was informed there were two ways to categorize magic: the first was most common in Europe; they split it into Charms, the Dark Arts such as curses and hexes, Potions, Herbology, Magizoology, Divinations, Medical magics, Mind magic, Transfiguration and Astronomy. And that was only the tip of the iceberg.
The other was moreso used in ocean locked territories and northern countries which classified their magic into Destruction, Alteration, Enchanting, Conjuration, Restoration, Illusion and Runes. Only Alchemy was equal in both.
Lunch had been nice although Ivy didn't eat more than a small bowl of the Soup de jour, a few crackers with some sort of fancy topping and a few veggies. Both the house elf and her foster mother insisted she eat something more filling.
Once the spindly girl had stumbled across the library which housed an impressive array of books, both magical and general, she had quickly absorbed herself into learning as much as her stunted little mind could process. Even the rest of the family had a spot of difficulty dragging her away to dinner.
Albus Dumbledore was pissed.
First, the home of the Boy-Who-Lived was incinerated by the child, along with its inhabitants save for the boy. Then, he hadn't made it in time to persuade Fudge to let him raise Harry
"I must get the boy under my control once more!" he groused, his age showing for once.
As right as rain, an epiphany exploded into his mind and he began scribbling into a journal. Yes, he might not be able to influence the Chosen One at home with the Malfoy's, but he could define the puppet's life when they came to Hogwarts. He could shape the boy known as Harry Potter as she saw fit.
Fawkes groused upon his perch, disliking the scheme of his owner. He hadn't liked another feather of his being ripped from his chest to suit the schemes of a mad old man.
The next morning after she had consumed breakfast, Ivy
Curled up on her bed, the young transgendered orphan sniffed.
Upon waking up in some stranger's arms, the child the freaked
Apparently she was injury free
"No! Not Harry!" cried the young redhead in a strangled yelp.
The lady who didn't seem to belong in Britain cocked her head inquisitively, peering at the tiny child laying on the long chair.
It had been a difficult conversation to have. Yet Narcissa and her husband accepted her as the awkward girl she was, assigned male at birth. She'd been raised muggle for her entire life, and she wonders if the magical community was more open to transgender folk and possibly same sex relationships.
It physically hurt to not be in the right body, the correct visage to match her mind...
Ivy's moping was interrupted when the blonde head of her stepbrother poked his head in through the slightly opened door. He scoffed in that pompous tons that gave away his nobility. "Hey quit crying and go outside with me. I'm bored."
Wiping her eyes, she gave a fake smile and said, "I-I'll be right out after I change into something suitable for playing outside."
Malfoy found this acceptable, closing the door to give his sister privacy. When she returned five minutes later, she came out wearing a dark blue tank top over a teal short sleeve shirt and a pair of black shorts.
The goal of the game was to see how many of the peacocks each of them could round up. Whomever had the most after fifteen minutes would be declared the winner.
Having been forced to run for her life since she'd been four to avoid Dudley and his gang, Ivy discovered she was not only agile, but quite fast and that was helping her herd the snippity flightless birds to one spot of the courtyard.
Both children had whooped several times to show they were having fun. And for Ivy, it was the first time playing with someone who wasn't going to beat her up.
This continued until half past 3 in the afternoon did something go wrong.
A bloodcurdling shriek rang out like a cannon shot into a platoon of of armored infantry. Local fauna scattered into a nearby wooded area where even the flora seemed a little distraught at the girlish scream.
The Malfoy matriarch cannonballed out of the back door to where her children were only to find her new daughter laying in a shallow pool of her own blood. The unconscious girl was clutching her chest. The sibling stood over said girl, panicking.
"What happened?!" cried Narcissa, scooping Ivy into her arms. It bothered her. She repeated, "Draco, what happened?"
Shaking a little bit, the blonde heir replied, "I-I don't know mum. One moment I was by the hedge, playing with Ivy, then something attacked us. I think it was a rabid kneazle or-or something! It was really big and had claws."
His mother ordered him to staunch the blood with something cloth while she whipped her wand out to force the peacocks into their pens despite the avian creature's ire.
Draco applied pressure to the wound with a handkerchief, trying to minimize the bleeding. A moment ago, the girl had regained consciousness. It was expected the child would begin crying from excruciating pain Yet, the young girl did little more than wince throughout the loss of blood and agony she was surely experiencing which set off red flags. How bad had the abuse been?
After grabbing her wand and a small coin purse, the Malfoy matriarch grabbed her children and immediately apparated to St Mungo's main lobby.
"...Spell damage, third floor. Next?"
"Help. My daughter was attacked by something and needs immediate attention," whined Narcissa in exasperation. "Then I want her to have a physical."
She beamed at Ivy and Narcissa, "Of course ma'am. Second floor, Pediatrics."
They entered a waiting room decorated in cheerful pastels. It was nearly full and very lively with children darting back and forth playing tag, children crying, parents chasing children, parents comforting children.
The middle aged woman yearned for a firewhiskey and a gin & tonic to wash it down.
The only seats together were next to a trio of gingers, a plump worried woman, an addled boy, and a bright and restless little girl. Narcissa parked her children next to them and went off
to register. The woman rocked nervously and fussed at her children while she kept a close eye on the door to the treatment area. Why was it taking so long to get a dying girl into critical care?
A Healer stuck her head through the door, "Mz Malfoy? Mister Potter? This way please." Ivy gave an uncomfortable twitch at the wrong pronoun title which wasn't missed by her mother.
The examination room was painted that eerie white that only hospitals have. "I am Healer Smith. I understand you are here for a physical? Are you having any health problems Mister Potter?"
Ivy looked up to see mom was watching her. Narcissa mouthed 'I love you'. She nodded and gathered her courage.
"Er.. Yeah? My body isn't right for me. I mean besides the whole giant gash in my chest."
Healer Smith's wand slowed it's hurried waving. The flesh wove itself back together while the nurse herself applied some ointment and gauze to the lacerations. She turned her attention more fully to her patient. "In what way?"
"Well.. I think there was a mistake? I should have a girls body?"
Healer Smith's wand stopped moving. "I see. Why do you say that?"
The redhead quivered, "Um... I don't know why? It's just always been this way for me. I've never fit."
She nodded. "Well.. Harry. Is Harry alright or would you prefer another name?"
She fidgeted, her other choices had been boy or freak, so.. "Ivy."
The woman waffled a bit, "I'm not a Mind Healer kiddo. I think it would be best for you to talk to one. I'll contact the on duty Mind Healer and we can get on with your physical and I'll patch this up good as new."
She bustled over to a miniature fireplace set at head level and made a quick floo call before resuming her wand waving.
A scroll of parchment inched under a frantically dashing quill recording the numbers and symbols flashing and fading around Ivy. More often as time went on her wand work concentrated on her forehead.
"Does your wound ever bother you young lady?"
"Well, it's ugly if that's what you mean? And people stare at it. Can you fix it?"
She shook her head, "No we can't fix it, it's the result of a curse. I'm happy I got to examine you. Everyone says you survived the Killing Curse, but the Killing Curse doesn't cause a wound and no one else has survived it. I've always wondered if it was really a Killing Curse. Unfortunately, after all this time it's impossible to say what happened. Do you know if you were seen by a Healer afterward?"
Ivy gulped, "I.. No, I don't remember anything about that. I was barely a year old."
Narcissa huffed, growled out, "As far as I know, it was that buffoon Dumbledore who took her from the ruins of her parent's home. Anything more than that, I am unaware. The information on that night has been very tight lipped."
She nodded and continued to concentrate her work on Ivy's forehead while talking to the mother.
"Most likely Pomfrey saw her. She's excellent. Not a specialist in dark curse damage, but a very competent school nurse. I'm getting some anomalous results..." She tapped her wand on her pursed lips, staring at the young girl's scar. "Quite puzzling..."
The door to the examination room opened and Healer Crenshaw stepped through. "Cissa!"
The man and woman grinned at one another and shook hands, Crenshaw booming out, "Good to see you milady!"
Narcissa looped an arm around her daughter and tousled her hair. She was obviously very proud of her adopted daughter as he introduced him, "Ivy, my newest addition. Lucius and I were more than happy to bring her into the family."
Her mother hooked a thumb at Crenshaw, "Jasper Crenshaw. Asshole and best friend."
Ivy smiled and nodded. Jasper nodded back, "Nice to meet you Ivy. Excuse me while Healer Smith brings me up to speed."
The two Healers huddled in a corner. Crenshaw got increasingly grim as they talked and Ivy got increasingly nervous. The Malfoy matriarch rubbed Ivy's back and contemplated how tough a gig this parent stuff actually was. One child practically took care of himself, but this young girl was another thing.
The two Healers rejoined the mother daughter duo and stood staring at the redhead's scar, frowning. Narcissa's voice sounded quite shrill when she barked, "What?"
Crenshaw jumped a bit but answered easily enough, "There are some serious questions about Ms Potter's wound. I will need a full medical history before recommending any treatment. You say Dumbledore cared for her after.. that night?"
She shrugged, "Perhaps? Maybe Poppy?"
Crenshaw looked a bit disturbed, "Brilliant man and a great wizard. Not a Healer." He nodded to Healer Smith who bustled out of the room. "Healer Smith is contacting Hogwarts for the details."
Crenshaw cleared his throat and looked a bit uncomfortable, "In the meantime... There is some gender discomfort?"
Ivy shuffled her feet, staring at the floor. Her mother's soft pat on her shoulder was enough to give Ivy the courage to speak, "Yes sir? I guess so? I've never been right. I don't... fit myself."
Healer Crenshaw sat in one of the chairs and waved for the orphaned girl to another. "It happens Ivy. Not often, but it does happen. Our preliminary scans support your feelings. There is an underlying ongoing pathology that could be explained by such a thing. Nothing to worry about. The poor muggles have a hellish time with gender, we magicals have a much easier go of it. I will be casting a diagnostic spell on you to get a baseline of your health. The spell will record your mental state; how happy you are, how energetic, how content, things like that. After I have a good idea of how you are now I will give you a potion and assess how you become. The potion will change your body to female. If the treatment is helpful, if you adapt well and flourish, you may decide to take another potion, a fixative, that locks you in your new form. I want you to wait until you're an adult to take the fixative. People change a lot between ten and seventeen."
Crenshaw fiddled with his robes before catching Ivy's eyes. "I must warn you that how you end up won't be how you are. This is not just shifting the naughty bits about and adjusting the plumbing. The potion causes a total scramble of your genetic makeup. You may be taller or shorter, brighter or dimmer, more or less magical, you can have any characteristic possible to your genetic material. The worst case is you lose your magic. If you lose your magic, you will be stuck, you won't be able to change back. I don't think that will happen. I believe your parents were both strongly magical?"
Narcissa snorted at the understatement and nodded. James had been a destructive powerhouse while Lily had excelled in the finer arts such as charms.
Crenshaw nodded as well and resumed his lecture, "That's the scary part." Ivy scoffed and Crenshaw gave her a little seated bow in response as he continued talking. "It's the scary part to me and I imagine to your mother. If you retain your magic you can change back to male should it be necessary. If you change back it will be another grab bag, you won't return to your current form. Your soul; your memories, how you think, what makes you Ivy, will stay the same through the transformations. That covers the medical portion. Any questions?" Crenshaw was clearly asking both Ivy and Narcissa.
The former Black woman nodded, "Is it necessary? That she could have to change back?"
"If the treatment manifests a life threatening condition I will force its reversal."
Frowning even more, she asked for her daughter, "Are there any serious side effects we ought to know?"
"Insanity, suicidal ideation, life threatening medical conditions. If the treatment proves an immediate threat to Ivy's life, I will reverse it. It is very unlikely."
The mother nodded and looked scared.
"Now the social portion. People aren't very accepting of this sort of thing."
Ivy grimaced, thinking of just how unacceptable the Dursleys found her, thinking of the miracle of the Malfoys accepting her as she was.
"I'm sure you can tell I'm a bit uncomfortable with it. Narcissa is worried as well. That's the best you can hope for I'm afraid. You can expect everyone who knows to have an opinion
and the vast majority of those opinions will be negative. We can try to keep this a secret but you're Harry Potter. If you decide this is what you want, you will have to endure being The Boy Who Lived To Become A Girl. You need to take time to think about it. You must both agree to this treatment before we proceed."
"She...could lose her magic?" Narcissa looked appalled.
Ivy shrugged, "Magic is wonderful but.. Can I try?"
The elder witch stood quietly for a minute then looked at Crenshaw, "Would she...be able to have children in the future?"
Crenshaw flinched, "Your child will be able to have children as either gender."
Narcissa took Ivy's hand, "She is the very last of the Potters."
The girl huffed, "My children will be mine no matter if I'm their mother or their father."
The pureblood witch knelt next to her, eyes soft, "Could she take a husband?"
Ivy flinched and groaned, "That's so not nice mum!"
Crenshaw shrugged, "That's the reality Ivy. Are you attracted to men?"
She shuddered, "I'm SEVEN! I'm not attracted to anyone! Especially men!"
Crenshaw watched her closely, "You need to think about that Ivy, you and your family both need to think about it."
Ivy was quite happy to push the whole mess away, "That's extra, that's later. I don't fit now. For now, I want this over with. I need to be a girl." Crenshaw looked to Ivy with a lifted brow. With exasperation, she asked, "Now please?"
Crenshaw shook his head no, "Now isn't possible, for one thing this isn't a stock potion, it will be several days before the lab has it made up. For another this isn't a decision to rush into. You and your family need to think about this, talk about it." Ivy grumped, looking ready to kick things as Crenshaw walked over to the miniature fireplace and placed the order for the potion with the lab.
Healer Smith knocked and entered, she told them, "I spoke to Pomfrey, she did treat young Ivy that night. Reduction of the wound was unsuccessful, she was able to stop the bleeding but no more than that. That isn't surprising given the nature of the wound. No other treatment was given. She noted a large amount of residual dark magic centered on the wound but was kept from attempting anything other than palliative treatment of the actual cut by Dumbledore. She hasn't seen her since."
Narcissa seethed, "DUMBLEDORE!"
"Walk with me Cissa?" Crenshaw yanked Sirius towards the door of the examination room while speaking to Healer Smith over his shoulder, "We will be getting a spot of tea Maggie, back in a moment."
Crenshaw studied the fuming witch as they walked, "Alright Narcissa?"
Said woman nodded, her face lined with worry. She shrugged and nodded again, "Yeah. Alright. But I'm worried about my daughter she hasn't been sleeping well."
Crenshaw nodded and muttered, "Nightmares?"
Narcissa nodded again.
"I wish there were more I could about her sleep. Have you considered the muggle sleep therapist I recommended?"
Cissa centered on Crenshaw, putting aside thoughts of Dumbledore, a sly grin lurked in the corner of her mouth as he nodded, "Yes, considered."
Crenshaw elbowed him, "Considered for all of a second and summarily rejected you mean."
She tried for an air of offended innocence then gave up when Crenshaw scoffed. Narcissa huffed. "You know how us purebloods feel about muggles. Relying on them is practically against the family code."
"Then fucking break the code. She's worth it."
The aging witch winced and slapped at him, "Git!"
"OI! Careful there! I'm a Healer! I have potions!"
Worry crept back over Narcissa, "Her scar?"
"Yes, that damn scar. As I said, there is a lot, and I mean a whole lot, of dark magic bound up in that scar. It has to be affecting her. How is she? With that much darkness bound to her I would expect her to be extremely unpleasant to be around but she seems quite nice. A bit shy maybe?"
Flinching, she sighed, "It's not just the scar Jasper. Trauma is around her like flies a heap of rancid manticore dung. She has signs of physical abuse as well. I'll try to get photos for you. She hates showing anyone her back. I'm just worried for her."
"Very well. I'll forward them to any counselor you take her to."
They got their tea to go, and a cup each for Healer Smith and Harry. Sirius wasn't any happier with Dumbledore by the time they returned to the exam room, but he was less demonstrative. Smith was arranging a small mound of potions and talking to Harry as they entered the treatment room.
"The potions will help correct some of the damage done by malnutrition. I managed a quick consult with a curse specialist after talking to Pomfrey. He suggested you try to remove your scar by muggle means, there has been some success with those methods." She shuddered as she continued, nodding her thanks for the tea, "They sound horrid to me but if it's important to you it is worth trying. The muggles make something called contact lenses, they actually fit directly on your eyes and correct your vision. You have lovely eyes, it's a shame they are hidden behind glasses."
Crenshaw's wand traced a precise pattern as he chanted a long string of Latin, casting the monitoring charm, Ivy's first step. Narcissa loaded a sack with the potions and they finally finished. Crenshaw walked them to the lobby.
"I want see you when Healer Smith has you back next month Harry. We can discuss my findings then."
She grumped, delayed gratification wasn't her long suit, "Three whole weeks?"
"Yes Ivy, three whole weeks."
"Y-yes Cissa?" squeaked the scrawny redhead. The query had come suddenly while the family was in line to Floo back to the manor.
"Ivy is a unique name, but in high society class, a simple name like that is unacceptable. It can be the base for a longer name such as Ivette or Ivelin. Also, a middle name would also support your femininity."
Nodding, the young girl gave some thought lasting under sixty seconds. Then she grinned. "Ivyssaria Cassiopeia Malfoy nee Potter, at your service."
A bright smirk shewn itself along the creases of the Malfoy matriarch's lips. "You're quite the clever little witch, aren't you? I just know you'll grow up to be a fantastic witch.
"It just feels right, mum," she replied mysteriously.
St. Mungo's Hospital, September 10th
Healer Crenshaw beamed at Ivy and her mum. He briefly noted that the girl was wearing an even more feminine outfit today; a teal blouse with a dark blue knee length skirt and black tights. Her. Jasper was proud at how great she was looking this time. The girl had a little more meat on her bones which meant she was eating a little more and the potions had done wonders for the young girl.
"Hello you two! It's good to see you both," he began. "Healer Smith tells me that you are on track as far as your overall health Ivy. She is arranging a consultation with an expert on curse damage to assess what can be done for your wound. I have been keeping track of the monitoring charm. Ivy, how would you say you are mentally?"
She blinked at the unexpected question, "I'm alright I reckon. Better. Much better really. Living with Luci and Cissa is brilliant." She gave a girlish giggle, "Draco is a weirdo though. Have you ever treated him? That boy seems to have a god complex."
Draco wanted to open his mouth and yell, but the look his father gave him told him to keep his trap shut.
Ivy fought to keep the laugh inside. Crenshaw grinned at her, "None of that Ivy. We aren't here for your brother. What you say confirms my findings. Let's hope our work together
helps you even more. Are you ready?"
Ivy was nearly vibrating with excitement. "YES!"
"The transformation is quite painful. To help you through that I will give you a dreamless sleep potion. You can expect to have the same mass although it may be arranged
There was a chime and a panel across the room glowed blue. Crenshaw slid it open and took two vials from it.
"Cissa, if you could arrange the privacy screen? And Ivy, if you would put on the hospital fashion disaster?" Crenshaw handed the girl a blue backless hospital gown. "Hop on the
exam table when you're changed and give us a yell."
The adults heard frantic bumping and hurried rustling. "Ready!"
Crenshaw moved closer to the transgendered youth. "Ivy, potions taste horrid so it's best to drink them as quickly as you can. Do you both agree that we should proceed?"
Ivy nodded wildly, while her mother nodded much more cautiously. Crenshaw flipped the top off of the first vial then plucked a hair from the girl's ginger mop of hair."OI!"
"No pain, no gain lassy."
The Healer dropped the hair slivers into the potion, covered the opening with his thumb and shook it vigorously. He handed the vial to Ivy who chugged it and gagged. The men smiled, it was always funny to watch someone else taking potions. Crenshaw handed Ivy the second potion and she chugged it as well. Crenshaw murmured, "Four.. Three.. Two.. One.."
Her eyes rolled up as she slumped back, asleep.
They watched as Ivy's tiny form melted and reformed. It wasn't dissimilar to Polyjuice but much slower, taking place over tens of minutes rather than seconds. Crenshaw studied the scroll
of parchment the recording quill was filling. The Healer sighed in relief.
"She will have magic, Cissa. Nothing to worry about."
Narcissa's slender shoulders lost some of their tension. "Good! How long will she stay asleep?"
"At least another hour."
Ivy groaned and twisted, her face slowly morphing a bit rounder. There were no truly startling changes, she was young enough that the differences between boys and girls
hadn't been exacerbated by hormones. Her brother snorted, "Same damn hair." He shook his head in mock sorrow, "Tragedy. Could do a spot with hair like mine. Could've been twins."
Crenshaw disagreed, "It may grow in differently, that's one of the changes that will take time to show."
She was no longer Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. No, she was now Ivyssaria Cassiopeia Malfoy, ordinary future witch.
Hogwarts September 1989
It had seemed like a good idea at the time, slingshots and dungbombs, a single volley of artillery targeting Slytherins on their way to dinner. They had set their ambush with great
care, their cover was excellent, their escape routes ready to hand.
But they hadn't allowed for the damn cat.
Fred flicked a glance at George then returned to glaring at Mrs. Norris. She had tracked them, yowling the while, until her wretched master had cornered them. Now they were
stuck in Filch's office listening to his sadistic fantasies. Fred gave up on feline intimidation and tuned in to the caretaker for a minute.
Really, he thought, this man is badly warped, what are they thinking allowing him near children?
Filch leered at the twins as he ran a grimy finger over a set of manacles. "I keep all the implements of discipline ready for instant use." Argus admired the oily sheen of the cold iron.
"You should have behaved. You should have been good children. Thought you could befoul the castle did you? Thought you could throw dung around and just waltz away!"
He snatched up a cat o nine tails from the rack by the door and swung hard. The twins jerked away from the crack of the whip on the desk. They were as brave as any two eleven year old boys could be but there were limits and a sadist with a cat of nine was well past them. Filch sneered, his eyes were hot, his breathing uneven. Fred twitched his head towards the office door and George gave a little nod. As Filch turned to put the whip back in the rack George pelted out of the office screaming blue murder.
"After him!" Filch roared at Mrs. Norris and the dust colored cat zoomed out of the office in hot pursuit.
Filch's got nose to nose with Fred, who cowered away from him, trembling in fear, lower lip quivering, eyes wet with tears."You will stay here and you will stay quiet!"
The caretaker slammed and locked his office door then thundered after Mrs. Norris and George.
Fred muttered, "Stupid Git!" as he crammed their satchels full of delicious contraband riffled from a file cabinet labeled 'Confiscated and Dangerous'.
Percy was, of course, insufferably condescending.
"Have you no regard for others? Must you play your stupid games? You lost fifty points you morons!"
Charlie was, of course, more laid back about it all.
"Percy, give them a break will you lad? Filch gets everyone sooner or later." Charlie gave the twins the beady eye, "Now you two know to keep an eye for the damn cat."
Percy puffed himself, "Filch has never gotten me!"
Fred snorted, "Well of course not you. You are perfect."
George eyed his pompous brother with deep suspicion, "Been up to anything old Filchy wouldn't approve of Percival?"
Percy smirked, he was far from perfect and very very adept at avoiding notice.
Fred laid a tender hand on Percy's brow and frowned in worry. "You do have a pulse don't you? Adopted do you think Charles? George?"
That wound Percy up good and tight, he ranted on for another full ten minutes which helped make the whole thing worthwhile, at least in the twins opinion.
A few days later the twins were stumped and in need of expert and discrete advice.
George grinned at his older brother. "Er.. Could you give us a hand?"
Charlie raised an eyebrow and asked, "What's this about then?"
"Well.. When we had that spot of bother with Filch we managed to liberate some goods and err.. we aren't entirely sure what all of it does?"
Charlie hid a grin behind a hand and tried very hard to look serious. "Do you mean to tell me that you raided his office?" They beamed at him, puffed their chests and buffed their
nails, "Actually that would be bragging.. and not discrete."
He snorted, "Let's see what you have then.."
Charlie wasn't an intellectual powerhouse like Bill or Percy but he was no slouch. He had picked up a bit from Bill the cursebreaker. Living with the twins made learning diagnostic
spells a priority, they were insufferable when they succeed in a prank.
The twin's booty made an impressive pile and the brothers enjoyed rummaging through the plunder. Fred and George worked to learn the detection charms Charlie used, but it was advanced magic, it would take more than an afternoon to master the spells. One item Charlie commandeered despite protest.
"OI! We did the detentions Charlie!"
Charlie shrugged as he tucked a fanged frisbee into his book bag, saying only, "Mine to begin with little bro, consider it tuition for the advanced charms lesson."
They grumbled, but he had the right of it.
Finally they were left with a very rude bit of parchment that nearly glowed with magic as it insulted them.
The Marauders were number one on the pranking leader board, even years after they had left Hogwarts. The twins dearest ambition was to supplant them. Charlie frowned at the parchment, "I don't know what it is, but it's magical as hell and locked up tight. You could mail it to Bill? He might be able to work it out."
"Thanks Charlie! You're the best, even Nymphadora says so!"
"You know not to call her that. And never mind about Tonks!"
It was nearly a month later, early October, when the twins got mail from Bill. He had returned their bit of parchment with a note.
Dear Trouble Twins:
I have solved the security on the parchment. I hope you solve it as well. I swear you would find your mischief easier to manage. Let me know how you get on.
Love and kisses from
There was no joy in Mudville. Charlie grinned as he listened to his brothers complain.
"How could he be such a bloody minded git?"
"It's tragic, just tragic."
The twins worried at the secret of the parchment but it was an exercise in frustration for them. They agreed that Bill was terrible and should suffer horribly the next time he was in
range. Charlie was keeping Bill informed, every time the twins gave up Bill would write and ask them how it was going. He wouldn't give them a hint, the git, he just poked at
them. It was not to be borne.
One evening in early November Charlie joined the twins on a couch in the common room, "You idiots ever figure out that parchment?" he asked. Normally extremely jovial, they
glowered at him and groaned, "No."
Someone came thundering down the boys staircase behind them, howling, "FRED! GEORGE! I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!"
The twins brightened immediately. Charlie grinned at them and lifted an eyebrow, muttering, "Incoming."
George tilted his head back, sneered and lifted a trembling hand to point at the charging Percy, "J'accuse!" he intoned.
Percy only growled and snatched up George's book bag only to dump the contents on the table and scrabble through the mess.
"Where is it? You gits have gone to far this time! I'll tell mum!"
Fred recoiled in horror, "Tell mum? You beast! How could you!"
Percy only snarled at Fred and dumped Fred's book bag as well. He rummaged through that pile but didn't find what he was looking for which only made him angrier. Fred and
George drew their wands, slowly, carefully, watching Percy closely. Percy's ears were flushing red, a sure sign he was combat ready. He could be quite fierce when truly angry and
he was really, truly, angry. Percy shot to his feet with an inarticulate roar, the wand in his hand sparking as he glared at the twins.
"Easy now Weasleys. No blood on the floor. You know mum hates that." Charlie was very strong, always had been, and he easily forced the twins wands down to the table. Percy won't curse them, Charlie thought, Probably. If they don't provoke him any more.
The twins were so rattled that they messed up their twin speak, talking over one another.
George said, "I solemnly swear that we.." just as Fred asked, "You think we are up to no good?"
George goggled as the bit of parchment that had tortured them for so many days revealed its secret. He launched himself into Percy's arms, crying hysterically, "I'm so sorry!
What can I do to make it up to you?"
While Percy thrashed about trying to get free of George, Fred hid the Marauders Map. Charlie just shook his head, muttering, "Luck. Pure blind dumb luck."
It took a while to settle Percy. They had to return his diary, err.. journal... and still he only let up after he confirmed that it hadn't been broken into.
As soon as they could manage it the twins were shuffling towards the Fat Lady and some privacy, hoping to explore their newly unlocked treasure.
Charlie's meaty hands landed on their shoulders, "Lads? Going somewhere?"
"Just an evening constitutional dear brother, nothing to worry about."
"Excellent, I'll be joining you."
It wasn't a question. Arthur always told them not to trust anything that could think for itself if you couldn't see where it kept it's brains. Charlie wasn't about to leave them alone with the parchment.
Soon the three of them were tucked into an empty classroom with the Marauders Map before them.
"This is amazing! How did they ever make this?"
Charlie shook his head, "It took a full team of curse breakers three weeks to break the security. You twin gits just wanked your way into it. Unbelievable."
Fred recoiled from studying their new treasure, "EWWW!"
"What?" asked George.
Fred pointed at the third year Gryffindor dorm, "Look at that. Did you know?"
Two names intermingled on what could only be Percy's bed, Percy Weasley and Peter Pettigrew.
Charlie gagged, "Mum will kill him. Intervention time Weasleys! Mount up!"
Fred gagged in turn and began hitting Charlie, "You didn't say that! No mounting!"
George grabbed their arms, "Wait a minute! Pettigrew? Isn't that..."
Charlie shook his head, murmuring, "But he's dead, Peter Pettigrew is dead. Black killed him."
He looked at his brothers, "The map must be broken but.. At any rate let's go see Percy and his.. squeeze." The twins resumed battering him.
Percy was comfortably ensconced in his four poster bed, Scabbers napping on his stomach, he had a book in hand and he was quite pleased with himself. The protections on his ..
journal.. had held against the worst the twins could do, no small accomplishment. He jumped, surprised and very suspicious when George yanked his curtains open. Fred and
Charlie were with George; Fred staring at a scrap of parchment, and Charlie with his wand drawn. They all were looking quite unsettled.
"What do you gits want then? Can't a man have a bit of privacy?"
George rolled his eyes, "Well a man could have, a boy on the other hand.." Charlie plucked Scabbers from Percy's stomach.
"OI! Put him down!" Percy yelled as he wrestled to get free of his covers.
Charlie backed away from Percy's bed, looking at Fred. Fred shook his head, telling Charlie, "The map must be broken, it still says Pettigrew."
Scabbers gave a shriek and went from a passive lump dangling from Charlie's hand, to a thrashing, biting menace.
Charlie Weasley would never be even a tiny bit afraid of a rat. He gave it a good shake,
"Stop it! Stop it or I snap your spine!"
That only increased the rat's frenzy. When the rat managed to sink his sharp yellow fangs into Charlie's hand, Charlie had enough and hurled it at the stone wall of the dorm room,
hard enough to kill it if it had struck the wall. There was a flare of magic and a fat ugly little man slammed into the wall with a horrific crunch, slid to the floor, and scrabbled
feebly towards the doorway. A very startled Charlie stunned him.
"Get McGonagall! Now!"
Percy struggled to catch up, "Wha... Who..? WHERE IS SCABBERS?"
"Looks like Scabbers is Peter Pettigrew Percy."
Percy blinked as he tried to catch up, "Scabbers is Pettigrew? How could Scabbers be Pettigrew?"
"How? Animagus obviously. Why is the real question and I don't think we'll like the answer."
They waited only minutes before the twins and McGonagall marched into Percy's dorm room.
"You Weasleys had better have a very good reason to …"
She trailed off into silence, staring at Pettigrew.
"How in the world?"
Charlie nodded a welcome to her then yelled "STUPEFY!" putting all he had into the hex. He watched in satisfaction as Pettigrew bounced a couple of feet into the air from the
impact of the curse.
McGonagall screeched, "Mister Weasley!"
Charlie ducked his head, "Sorry ma'am. Just a mo.. STUPIFY!"
Pettigrew flopped again and the twins saluted Charlie, as McGonagall deducted points, as Percy snarled at the very stunned man and edged closer to him.
McGonagall had to admit she was curious, "Why Mister Weasley?"
Charlie shrugged and pointed at Percy who snapped a rib shattering kick into his former pet.
"Two reasons Professor. One, Percy hates being made a fool of. Two, Percy hates any smudge on his reputation."
McGonagall nodded. She looked like she might like a few kicks herself but she pulled Percy away from Pettigrew though she was in no hurry whatsoever to tend to Pettigrew's
injuries. She knelt by Pettigrew, her wand flicking, assessing the very stunned man's condition.
"There will be no need to injure Pettigrew further Weasleys. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."
She cleared away the onlookers before levitating Pettigrew and marching off towards the Infirmary.
Poppy used up a good bit of her ready supply of Skele-Grow on Pettigrew while Minerva contacted the DMLE and the Headmaster.
Dumbledore was trying to reduce the mountain of paperwork his various positions generated. The task was a never ending, a chore he hated. He had long ago learned that he was more productive if he took little breaks every so often. The timer had just dinged and he had just kicked off for a spirited twirl in his very sumptuous Corinthian Leather Executive
Office Chair when McGonagall's message patronus hopped onto his desk.
"Infirmary. Pettigrew captured."
The Supreme Mugwump was so startled he barked his shins quite badly stopping his spin. The Sorting Hat roared with laughter, it was a big fan of physical humor.
Fawkes gave a low questioning sort of note but fluttered over to him. They vanished in a ball of flame.
Dumbledore arrived in a ball of flame, twinkled happily at the crowd of Gryffindor's before telling them, "Off you go students, chop chop!"
The twins were carried away on the tide and clearly unhappy about it. Percy and Charlie stayed by Pettigrew's bedside. "Misters Weasley?"
Charlie answered for them, "Pettigrew was Percy's pet for years, we need to know if we are in danger. My mum should be home if you prefer?"
Dumbledore closed his eyes imagining Molly's reaction. Whatever she would do it wouldn't be quiet.
"Quite. Well then. Please tell me what happened."
Dumbledore was very impressed as he examined the Marauders Map. He got a bit carried away trying to work out the charms involved and it took several increasingly vigorous
throat clearings by McGonagall to get him back on track. Dumbledore beamed at his Deputy, "Fascinating. They were extraordinary." He was about to return to his investigation of
the map when McGonagall plucked it from his hands. Charlie tried to liberate it in turn, but she had years of experience on him and it went into her pocket.
"Shall we attend to Pettigrew gentlemen? I have taken the liberty of contacting DMLE Headmaster, Aurors are en route."
Dumbledore winced. McGonagall raised an eyebrow and he nodded. She had only done what was required and logical after all.
When Pettigrew rejoined the land of the living he knew instantly where he was, Hogwarts infirmary. He'd been here enough as a Marauder to have a very clear memory of
This is not good.
He kept his eyes closed to bare slits and inhaled through his nose, gathering information. He wasn't alone, McGonagall, Pomfrey, Charlie, Percy, and worst of all; Dumbledore.
There were some new scents as well, people he didn't recognize. He tried to shift to his rat form.
"That won't work Mister Pettigrew."
Dumbledore's voice, Pettigrew thought. His heart beat like a trip hammer and he brushed at his eyes, the very picture of confused innocence."Where am I? What happened?"
He opened his eyes fully, blinking rapidly. It was easy to make his voice weak and thready, to sound meek and beaten, to wait for his chance.
They watched him closely, giving nothing up. A tall sturdy witch, gray and hard, dressed in Auror's robes, took a vial offered to her and approached him. Her voice was cold, pitiless as the sun.
"Open your mouth."
She drew three drops from the bottle into a pipette. Peter groaned and clamped his mouth closed. Madam Bones pinched his nostrils shut, forcing him to open his mouth for air
and giving her the opportunity to dose him. She waited a few minutes for the potion to take effect then began to question him.
"Who betrayed James and Lily Potter?"
"Did Sirius Black actually kill thirteen muggles when he confronted you in Manchester?"
"My slicing curse burst a gas line and caused an explosion."
"Who betrayed the Longbottoms?"
"I don't know."
"Are the Weasleys in danger?"
"Who endangers the Weasleys?"
"The servants of the Dark Lord."
"Is there a current plan to harm the Weasleys?"
"Not that I know of."
Amelia raised an eyebrow to Charlie and Percy who nodded back and left the Infirmary after thanking Amelia. She resumed questioning Pettigrew. "Name all the Death Eaters you know."
That took a while. A good rat could get nearly anywhere and Peter was a very good rat.
"What crimes are you guilty of?"
That took even longer. At the end of his recitation Amelia was taking deep full breaths to control her rage. This offal has escaped justice for years because those responsible found
the law inconvenient. She stood at the traitor's bedside, glaring at Dumbledore.
"Dumbledore, a portkey to DMLE if you please."
The Headmaster nodded, drew his wand then picked up an empty flask of Skele-Grow and cast the Portus spell on it. Amelia turned to her quartet of Aurors. "Shack, Dawlish, portkey with Pettigrew and lock him up so tight you have to pipe him air. Stay with him. I'm putting Moody in charge of his security so expect Alastor to join you. Confirm Moody's identity."
Shack dropped the portkey on their prisoners chest and took one of the rat's arms. Dawlish moved to the other side and took Pettigrew's other arm. The two Aurors and Pettigrew
disappeared in a swirl of color.
"Shall we adjourn to my office Amelia?" Dumbledore asked.
They were silent the whole way.
With a casual gesture Dumbledore created a plush chintz armchair before his desk and waved Madam Bones into it. The Headmaster took a calming breath and began the ritual he
used for visitors, "Lemon drop?" he asked. She levitated a candy into an evidence bag which she quickly labeled and tucked away.
Not a good sign, not a good sign at all, he mused.
He rose from his desk and strolled to a cabinet near the window where he picked up two heavy crystal glasses in one hand and a bottle of Ogden's in the other. He returned to his
desk, sat himself and poured them a healthy dollop. They each took a good belt of their booze and sighed. They sat back and studied one another. Dumbledore began the dance.
"You must believe me when I say that great care need be taken to avoid making matters worse. It may not be the wise to try Pettigrew."
She snorted, "Like Hell."
Albus twinkled at her, "As I am sure you know, there is a good chance Voldemort didn't die that night."
Amelia nodded. A very interesting briefing with an Unspeakable when she was appointed head of DMLE had pointed in that direction. While she had no proof that Voldemort
somehow survived his Halloween battle with the Potters, she had a strong inferences.
She shrugged, "Voldemort doesn't matter. For centuries it has been a steady parade of one Dark Lord after another. What matters is the rule of law, something we must have if we
are to stop this endless parade of Dark Lords. Pettigrew and Black getting the justice they deserve is a fine place to start. No member of the Light could want anything else."
Albus frowned as he sat back, he had to convince her.
"Voldemort is the greatest danger the world has ever faced. How can you deny this Amelia?"
She shrugged again, "Saying that doesn't make it true Dumbledore. Voldemort isn't much. Any competent muggle head of state can muster a larger force and arguably do more
damage. What are you doing to end him?"
Dumbledore blinked at her, thrown off stride, "What do you mean?"
She lost her patience, "Damn it Dumbledore! You've just said he is alive! There are any number of wizards who can lead the ICW or the Wizengamot. McGonagall would be a
stunning Headmistress. If you think he is the greatest danger in the world what are you doing to end him?"
"I'm afraid I can't divulge my plans to you."
She stared at him as the odds and ends of the whole mess whirled about in her mind then clicked into a new shape.
"The boy. Clearly it's something to do with the boy. Pettigrew frees Black, Black gets the boy..."
Dumbledore's voice was soft, "I will require an Unbreakable Vow of silence before you leave this office."
She will make a fine addition to the Order.
Madam Bones quickly dashed his hopes, "You will give me your vow to tell the whole and complete truth, no evasions, nothing left out."
They stared at one another. The Headmaster thought her very impertinent.
Madam Amelia Bones was not a soft woman, not a meek woman, and not easily rattled but she had been sickened by the confession of Pettigrew. She glowered at the Headmaster
"You've done nothing for years and you still want control? The torch passed when you dropped it Dumbledore. Who told you that you're a genius? Why did you believe them
despite all the evidence to the contrary?"
While the portraits yelled, while the Hat laughed, while Dumbledore sputtered, Madam Bones moved over to the fire and tossed in some floo powder. The fire flared green and she
stuck her head in. "Override Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! Azkaban Prison, Wardens Office!"
Warden McNulty's office spun into view before her. He was napping with his feet on his desk and the Daily Prophet over his face.
He jerked upright, nearly falling out of his chair. "Madam Bones! What can I do for you?"
"Release Sirius Black into the custody of two Aurors. Have him brought to St. Mungo's secure ward immediately. Tell no one."
McNulty rose to his feet and straightened his tunic while staring very hard at a spot just over her left eye.
"I have special orders concerning Black ma'am. He is not to be moved. I am to alert Crouch, Dumbledore and Fudge of any attempt to move him."
"You will do as I have ordered and only as I have ordered."
Her warden shifted uncomfortably and repeated himself, "I have orders ma'am."
"McNulty, you trouble me. You will obey my orders or I will see you in Black's cell. Am I clear Warden?"
"Ma'am, yes Ma'am!"
The Aurors made their way to Black's cell where a huge black dog shivered in it's sleep. The dog slept as much as it could, sleep was the easiest way to pass time when in the
company of Dementors. The Dementors moved away from the cell to make way for the approaching guards and the dog sighed in relief. The rattle of keys woke Padfoot, he had
only just transitioned to Sirius when the jailer threw open his cell door. "On your feet Black!"
There were three of them, the warden and two others."What?"
His voice was a growl, almost not language. He had been the dog for a long time.
"You're off to St. Mungo's. On your feet. Move it!"
Sirius was sure he wouldn't live out the next ten minutes and wasn't sure he cared. He struggled to his feet and lumbered out of his cell. They marched him off and they didn't hit
him which was a blessing, they didn't even call him traitor, another blessing. He was sure it was the end.
A few cells away Bellatrix screamed at things only she could see.
St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries
The brilliantly white hospital walls were giving Sirius a hellish headache, a headache that wasn't helped by everyone bustling about much too quickly. They talked to him, they
talked to each other, they talked to no one.
They always were talking.
He tried to reason out his new circumstances but reason, rusty from long disuse, failed him and he batted them away from him with sudden furious strength then cowered in a
corner, shivering, and shifted to the dog again. The dog knew what to do, bristle and growl, snap and snarl. The dog wasn't so afraid.
Madam Bones had just arrived at St. Mungo's and was listening to the treating healer when the Minister rammed through the doors of the secure ward and hove to before Amelia.
"Bones, what is the meaning of this! I left orders regarding Black! Aurors, secure Black, he's going back to Azkaban!"
Amelia watched Fudge closely as she dropped her bombshell.
"Pettigrew was found alive today."
Fudge blinked, "Who? Pettigrew? Are you mad?"
He looks surprised, Amelia thought, but he is a politician, lying is natural to him. She itched for a dose of Veritaserum. "Pettigrew is in custody right now. He is an unregistered
animagus, a rat, and has been living as the pet of Arthur Weasley's son Percy since November of 81. He has confessed that he was the Potter's secret keeper and that he killed
those muggles in Manchester."
Fudge ground his teeth and wrenched savagely at his bowler hat, "Blast! This is a disaster!"
Bones murmured to him, "Black was jailed by Bagnold, not you. Crouch was head of DMLE. Previous administration."
The Minister's eyes narrowed as he calculated the probable shifts in public opinion. He stroked his chin, muttering "...previous administration... no idea... full investigation... yes
that might..." She nodded, and pitched her voice for his ears only.
"Minister, we should deal with this expeditiously, will you call for the trial tomorrow or shall I?"
Fudge was never one to miss an opportunity to arrange events in his favor. "Now Amelia, your part is done. I'll see to scheduling a trial! I want a total news blackout in the meantime. Any leak will cost someone a job and possibly prison time! Very well, carry on here!"
Fudge blustered his way out of the ward. Her Auror's were professionals. Not a one got caught rolling their eyes.
Healer Crenshaw, the Mind Healer on duty, was edging toward the ward doors when Amelia snagged him.
"Healer Crenshaw you will stand watch with me. Until the situation stabilizes only you will treat Black. You will stay with him at all times. I will have your vow that you will do all in
your power to protect and heal him."
Crenshaw sighed. It was never good to get tangled up in politics but here he was, well and truly tangled.
Madam Bones settled in for the rest of her very good day while Healer Crenshaw sat with the shivering dog.
Black is not doing well,, not well at all he thought, I might as well be a veterinarian. Most of the day passed before Sirius allowed Crenshaw close enough to rub his ears.
Crenshaw finally convinced Sirius to transform by pushing Padfoot into a tub and telling him that hands were excellent for washing, paws not so much, and would Sirius prefer a
nice beefy orderly to bathe him? A long time later a very clean and very wet dog crowded against the laughing healer and shook all the water possible onto him. It was the
beginning of a lasting friendship.
The Burrow Christmas Holiday
Charlie pushed back from his mother's table, ridiculously full from her welcome home dinner.
"Mum, that was amazing, thanks."
Molly smiled and nodded, "It's so good to have my chickens home to roost. How is school boys?"
Percy frowned and poked at the last of his cherry pie, "Mostly fine mother. That mess with Pettigrew.."
Percy shook his head, glowering. One of the twins chucked him under the chin and chirped, "Not to worry Percy. Bit unlucky that your rat was a .. well..."
Percy groaned, "A traitorous bastard?"
Molly exploded "Percy Ignatius Weasley! I will not have such language in my house!"
"Mum that thing slept with me!"
Everyone at the table gave full body shudders. Percy looked close to tears, "Has dad heard anything? It's been weeks!"
The Ministry had made no announcement of Pettigrew's capture, the Daily Prophet had carried no headline. It was as if nothing had happened, as if Pettigrew didn't exist. Molly
rose from the table and fussed at her stove. Arthur was very uneasy about the news blackout, he had grumbled about it last night.
"Your father promised he would look into it today."
They made their way to the sitting room after dinner. Percy was being decimated by Ron at chess, the twins were playing exploding snap with Charlie, while Ginny sat curled in a
chair reading one of her Boy Who Lived books as Molly knitted and beamed at them. The fireplace flared green and a rumpled and tired Arthur stepped through with a cheerful
shout of, "Evening Weasleys!"
Molly bustled over to him and vanished the soot from his robes before giving him a quick peck on the cheek.
"I'll have your dinner ready in just a minute Arthur."
"Thank you dear. How are you all this fine evening?"
Arthur wound his way around the room dispensing hugs and hair ruffles as he went. This was his favorite time of day. The peaceful, if not quiet, hours after work that he spent with his brood as they huddled close to the fire exchanging their news of the day. He scooped Ginny up into his arms, ignoring her huffs and squirming.
"And how is the most amazing Weasley ever?"
She gave up pretending disgust to hug him and giggle into the crook of his neck, "I'm fine Papa."
He carried her into the kitchen with the rest of his family following. He took his place at the head of the table and tucked into Molly's excellent beef stew.
Percy cleared his throat, "Dad? What's going on with Pettigrew?"
"Ah, that's a very interesting bit of news. Nothing is going on. I asked around this morning and no one had a clue what I was on about. When I came back from lunch Fudge had me in his office to say that he was reviewing my position and that he hoped I was loyal to the Ministry."
Molly peered at her husband, "Reviewing Arthur? What exactly does that mean?"
"It means that the Minister is burying the news about Pettigrew."
Molly poured Arthur a cup of tea, "But why dear?"
Arthur patted her hand in appreciation as he stirred in a light dollop of milk, "Malfoy has been oozing about the building."
Molly groaned. Arthur was a good man, Molly thought he was a great man. He was honest, loving, kind and generous. He was a wonderful husband and father. He was implacably
opposed to Lucius Malfoy and all his works. If Arthur could be said to hate anyone, he hated Lucius Malfoy. They had been enemies since they started Hogwarts, oil and water the
two of them.
"Arthur! What have you done?"
"Nothing yet dear."
"Can't you leave it Arthur?"
He set his tea cup down and said firmly, "No. No, I can't. Not only because Malfoy is corrupting the Minister with his filthy money. Not only because I dislike the slimy git. But
because silence will hold Sirius Black prisoner just as surely as his cell in Azkaban."
Percy asked, "How can news like this be held quiet though? The Headmaster was there. Madam Bones was there. Most of Gryffindor saw the rat! Madame Pomfrey, the Aurors...
How can it be kept quiet?"
Arthur nodded to his son. "Very good points Percy. The Gryffindors only saw someone levitated to the Infirmary and have heard only Weasleys say he was Pettigrew. It's rather a lot for some to believe on just our word."
The Weasley patriarch took another sip of his tea and continued. "For some reason the Headmaster is complicit in the silence, at least for now. He is holding the staff of Hogwarts quiet. As for Fudge, it's clear he takes his orders from Malfoy's vault. Madame Bones is a good woman but she and her Aurors take their orders from Fudge. Malfoy may be holding the Prophet in check as well, I don't know for certain. St. Mungo's acknowledges Black is in their care but will give no details. Malfoy's motivation is clear, at least part of it is. Black will inherit his family's fortune if he is cleared as healthy and innocent. If Black isn't declared fit and innocent, Malfoy's son Draco will inherit. I'm sure of Fudges motivation, Malfoy's millions, but I don't understand the Headmaster's inertia at all."
Molly put a hand on Arthur's shoulder, "What will you do dear?"
"I'll do what is right Molly. I must. I have you lot watching over me after all. Would you floo Xenophilius please dear? I think it's time he had a conversation with unnamed Ministry
The Ministry of Magic January
Despite Fudge's best efforts the Quibbler special edition gained enough traction to break the Pettigrew scandal wide open. Over the holiday reporters swarmed over the Burrow,
over Hogwarts, through the Ministry. Fudge put up a credible defense but in the end had to bow to the inevitable. Pettigrew was scheduled for trial the day the students returned
Amelia had called every living Auror to the courtroom, including any retired Aurors that could still hold a wand. She would always believed that their suffocating presence
prevented any violence. As Chief Warlock, Dumbledore presided over Pettigrew's trial and Madam Bones stood for the prosecution. Fudge was present but quiet, he had no dog in
the fight and the chance of collateral damage was high. He thought it better to keep his head down during the trial and see what opportunities became available as a result. After
all, the Black fortune was rumored to be vast and a grateful Sirius could be disposed to generosity.
Madam Bones gave a signal to Moody and ward after ward settled over the courtroom ending any chance of either apparition or portkeys working. She administered Veritaserum to
Pettigrew and began the questioning.
She led Pettigrew through the betrayal of the Potters and the confrontation with Black. It wasn't long before she faced the Wizengamot.
"Witches and wizards of the Wizengamot, the prosecution has presented all pertinent testimony regarding the betrayal of the Potter family to Lord Voldemort. Let us now decide Mister Pettigrew's guilt or innocence in two charges of accessory to murder and one charge of accessory to attempted murder."
They found him guilty without exception.
"In the matter of the murder of thirteen muggles on November 1st, 1981 taking place in Manchester the prosecution has presented all pertinent testimony. Let us now decide Mister Pettigrew's guilt or innocence in thirteen counts of murder."
Again the vote was against Pettigrew without exception.
"We now move to the sentencing portion of this trial. The state will accept either the death penalty or life imprisonment. May I see a show of wands for life imprisonment?"
They wanted blood, blood and silence. Pettigrew was quickly sentenced to death. Amelia faced the defendant.
"Peter Pettigrew you have been found guilty of thirteen counts of murder, two counts of accessory to murder and one count of accessory to attempted murder. You have been
sentenced to death. You will be held for questioning until you have surrendered all knowledge of criminal activity then you will suffer the Dementor's Kiss."
"We now turn to the matter of Sirius Black."
Malfoy glanced around at the massive Auror presence and held his silence.
"I am ashamed to say that Mister Black has never been tried. Mister Black has spent nine years in Azkaban for the crimes Mister Pettigrew has just been found guilty of committing. Let us vote now to offer Mister Black a formal apology and declaration of innocence. Let us vote to release him from Azkaban, and to offer him any care he may require at the expense of the Ministry."
Madam Bones won those votes easily as well.
Minutes later Lucius stormed from the green fire of the floo into the entrance hall of Malfoy Manor. Narcissa was waiting for him. They exchanged a look.
"I heard," she said, "The complete session was broadcast on the Wireless."
Lucius only snarled and stomped off to his study looking for the comfort of firewhiskey and to begin planning his revenge.
Draco tugged at his mum's robes.
"Mum? What happened?"
Mind Healer Jasper Crenshaw sat back in his chair and studied Sirius Black. Black was both better off than he should be and worse. Black was sane. He was frightened, maladjusted and in poor physical condition, but he was sane. He shouldn't be. The dog had saved him at the same time as the dog had hurt him. Sirius retained his higher intellectual functions, his ability to reason was unimpaired. He understood reality in roughly the same way as most others. His ability to communicate verbally had been badly damaged. Sirius could write in full complete sentences, form complex thoughts logically, but when it came to speaking he was reduced to nouns and verbs, all the interesting connecting bits got blocked. His words were barked, growled, whined. His impulse control had been damaged, he reacted without thinking things through. His impulse control showed signs of improvement, his language difficulties hadn't improved at all.
"Sirius, Pettigrew was tried today. He was found guilty and sentenced to the Kiss."
Sirius growled, "GOOD!"
Crenshaw nodded and continued, "You were declared innocent. Once I clear you as fit, you will be free to go."
Black grinned at him and flexed a flaccid bicep.
Crenshaw shook his head, "I haven't said but several people have been trying to see you since the story broke. Remus Lupin, Andromeda Tonks, Dumbledore and McGonagall, Moody."
Sirius growled softly, "Moony?"
"Yes. I think you are ready to meet with him. Do you agree?"
"I'll arrange it for tomorrow then."
The next day a tall man, slightly stooped, showing a bit of premature grey at the temples and wearing rather battered robes approached the nurses station.
"Where can I find Sirius Black please? Remus Lupin to see him."
The nurse smiled at him, "Mister Lupin, you're expected, right this way."
She bustled from behind the counter, all starched green robes and squeaking nurse shoes, and led him through the halls to a closed door guarded by an Auror. "Remus Lupin for Mister Black" she announced.
The Auror nodded and she bustled away.
"Good morning Mister Lupin. I'll need a vow on your life that you mean Mister Black no harm and are under no compulsion or influence."
Remus lifted an eyebrow but drew his wand and spoke after a second's thought.
"I swear on my life and magic that I currently mean no harm to Sirius Black and that I am under no influence or compulsion."
"Currently Mister Lupin?"
"He's a prankster. He can be annoying."
The poor Auror had suffered through some of Sirius' attempts to lighten things up. "Yes! I.. I know what you mean."
He looks terrible was Remus' first thought. He's pale, so pale, and so thin, wasted. But his smile was pure Padfoot, full of joy and mischief.
They hugged and didn't mention the terrible dust allergy each had suddenly developed. Crenshaw was sitting to the side at a small table, watching them. The Marauders got their
company manners out and joined the Healer.
"I'm so glad to see you Padfoot."
Sirius nodded happily and punched Remus in the shoulder, then asked softly, "Ivy?"
Remus took a deep breath, "Living with Petunia. Last I heard anyways."
"PETUNIA?! NO!" Sirius shot to his feet, body rigid, fists clenched.
"Easy Padfoot, easy" Remus said, "I tried to get him but the Ministry wasn't about to let me have him were they? Dumbledore says that it's dangerous to contact him and Petunia won't allow contact with the magical world. He says it's safest to leave him be."
Crenshaw cleared his throat, "What is the problem gentlemen?"
Remus fussed with his cup of tea, "This must all be kept very quiet Healer. Can you promise us that you will keep this secret?"
"I can. I am sworn to hold the everything about Mister Black's treatment secret."
Remus nodded but began to talk only after Sirius nodded as well.
"Sirius is Ivy Potter's godfather and would have raised him but for being in prison. For some reason, when James and Lily died Dumbledore gave Ivy to Petunia, Lily's sister. Petunia hates magic, she hates magical people and always has but Dumbledore says it's the only place for him."
Sirius was pacing and growling.
Crenshaw raised an eyebrow. "Sirius? I take it that you would like to assume the care of Ivy?"
The Healer nodded. "Well, the first step toward that will be to get you cleared medically won't it?"
Sirius glowered at Crenshaw and answered "Yes."
"So glad you agree old chap, I'll just leave you two to catch up shall I? I'll be back this afternoon Sirius so we can continue therapy."
Crenshaw struggled with Sirius for months. Black was easily the most difficult case of the Healer's career. He had taken so much damage over so long a time that the usual methods were ineffective. They made a breakthrough when they began erase memories. Crenshaw pulled strand after strand of memory, day after day of Azkaban, and discarded it. What was the point of keeping the memory of years of torture? Any given day with the Dementors was like any other. The loss of the memory of thousands of days in Azkaban
brought other feelings to the fore, made room for hope.
"You need something to do Sirius."
Crenshaw watched his patient. Black was pacing back and forth in front of Crenshaw, he nodded in agreement with the Healer.
"You're not ready for Ivy. You need a goal, something to put your mind to. What are your plans for Ivy? Will you leave her with Petunia?"
"Dumbledore believes it's the best place for him."
Sirius snarled and thumped into the chair across from Crenshaw, snatched up parchment and quill then dashed off a few lines.
Dumbledore left me in Azkaban. James and Lily would never want little Ivy with her.
"So you will take Harry from them because you feel Dumbledore betrayed you?"
He makes mistakes. This is one. Petunia isn't good to Harry. You know what Moony said.
The Marauders had accepted they couldn't stand watch over Ivy since their constant presence might lead an enemy to her. Remus had visited Privet Drive for a few hours and
hadn't been at all happy with what he saw. This had been a year ago.
Ivy was tiny, clearly unhappy, dressed poorly and always working. She was often screeched at by Petunia, often taunted by Dudley, always bellowed at by Vernon.
Sirius scribbled again.
If it really is the safest place and they really are treating her well then Ivy stays there. If they are treating her as poorly as we suspect, she lives with us. I have a house with
every possible protection.
Crenshaw lifted an eyebrow.
"Your mother's house? You hate that place. Sirius nodded and looked all kinds of disgusted at the thought of Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
"Didn't you say it was a very dark place?"
Again a nod.
"There is your goal. Make it someplace suitable for Ivy." Jasper didn't want to yet reveal Ivy was getting treatment to be a girl and was currently cared by Lucius and Narcissa. So he'd play along for now.
A/N: Yes, Ivy is trans! Okay, for the pairing, should it be Ivy x Hermione, Ivy x Nymphadora Tonks or Ivy x Fleur? Lemme know in the reviews!
A/N: Hot DAMN! I'm getting quite a bit of love on this fic. I really do appreciate the feedback. I love this support!
Sorry for the time it took to get this chapter out. Work was rough lately and I spent my days off dicking around in Skyrim or sleeping. I didn't have a whole lot of motivation during the whole back to college stuff going on at work. Fucking walmart...
If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask! You can leave a review or PM me at your own discretion.
So far, people mainly want the pairing to be Ivy x Fleur or Ivy x Nymphadora. Of course it's still too early to manifest anything in the ways of romance. It's leave a terrible stipulation on my role as an author and as a woman. Anyways, buckle up kiddos, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!
Several years had passed since the Malfoy's had inducted Ivy into their fold, as their own daughter. The ever obnoxious Draco had warmed up considerably since the day she first moved in. They truly acted as brother and sister of blood than a boy and his awkward step sister. That included pranking each other and getting revenge.
Since the day of being liberated from the now deceased Dursleys, the quality of life severely rose. An entire one hundred eighty degrees, even. Ivy was no longer the scrawny, awkward transgender girl. Now, she had become a young woman. Eleven yes, but she had hit puberty rather early despite her status as transgender. She was already budding rather quickly.
Still only at four feet eight inches tall, the redhead seemed to be brimming with an unmatched vivacity for life. The absence of her oppressors did her an exponential goodness in growth. Gaunt cheeks restored to a full heart shaped face. The once dull curse green eyes now burgeoned with a formerly hidden personality. Bony outlines vanished as she gained weight, but still remaining slim for a girl her age. Her hair practically glowed in the sunlight with blood red hues. With being taken care of so well, it managed to fall down to the small of her back. It wouldn't be much longer before it reached down to her rump.
Even the ugly lightning bolt shaped scar that marred her forehead was mostly gone; the curse damage had been removed by the goblins and some muggles had applied plastic surgery to make it the least bit visible. All that remained was a slight depression of skin that marked she'd had a little work done. Now nobody could gawk at that unsightly abomination. And ever since, less people were able to recognize her.
Unfortunately, the public somehow got wind of her transition and it had been an article about her written by one Rita Skeeter not even six months after she'd left St Mungo's new person. The headliner had been 'Boy Who Lived to be an Abomination' which had pissed her parents off greatly. The story itself went on to elaborate how she had transitioned and the terrible words at how it was the biggest mistake she had ever made.
Immediately following aforementioned slander, she had received a few Howlers from people who viciously attacked her with hurtful words saying she should have remained a boy. Her stepmother helped burn the offensive mail. Other letters were actually fan mail saying they were glad she was following her heart.
Through the following years up to her eleventh birthday, both positive and negative fanmail eventually died down and allowed Ivy to adjust to the magical world in peace. She still found it odd that witches and wizards primarily used owls to deliver the post. In fact the world of magic never seemed to cease to amaze her.
One evening after dinner (which had consisted of a seared filet mignon with a rich viscous merlot glaze), Narcissa called the two children down to the sitting room adjoined the dining room. This was where Lucius often entertained guests.
Each child took a seat in one of the comfortable leather lined lounge chairs and gazed expectantly up at their mother.
"Yes, Cissa―er mum?" Ivy was having difficulty addressing the svelte middle aged woman as her mother. In time, maybe she would get used to it, even after three and a half years.
"Firstly, have you been keeping up with your studies in French?"
"Oui, ma mère, je pratique beaucoup tous les jours," spoke the young redhead in a slightly accented voice.
Her brother was ahead of her in both French, Latin and Greek. But suffice to say, she had a smoother voice and the foreign languages always seemed to flow from her tongue with the silken weave of an aristocratic native. His was a staccato, even with correct pronunciations.
A smile graced Narcissa's lips. "Fantastic Ivy. Now the other thing I wanted to say. Yours and Draco's letters came today. They came at lunch. Are you both excited to start learning?"
The blonde boy of the two Malfoy children began rapidly expressing his desire to become a popular, loved student and to learn powerful magic. He proclaimed that he'd be the top wizard that ever existed. Better than any at Durmstrang or even Beauxbatons.
His sister on the other note, was disinclined to reveal her feelings. Not that she was the type to open up. And that her focus was centered on the object quivering in her hands. Ivy peered at the yellowed envelope.
Harry James Potter-Malfoy
2nd Bedroom, West Wing
It had been addressed to her and contained the message;
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Half of the titles made absolutely no sense to the young girl. She knew typical words mentioned, but some of the more bizarre words confused her. Still, she continued reading.
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, with silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry name tags.
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1)
by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic
by Bathilda Bagshot
by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration
by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi
by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions
by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection
by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Additionally all students are allowed to bring a familiar with them. Owls, cats, toads, non-venomous snakes and rats are among the acceptable animals. Prohibited animals such as abraxans, thestrals, acromantula or other dangerous magical creatures. Failure to abide to school rules will result in immediate expulsion.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICK
Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions
Her heart sank when she saw the letter addressed to her as a boy she had been assigned than the girl. Her eyes welled with salty tears and gave a strangled whimper. She was burgeoning with despair in those lipid emerald pools that threatened to burst.
Narcissa gently took the letter from her daughter and scanned it briefly to discover the cause of the redhead's distress. It was quickly spotted and she took a piece of parchment as she said, "Don't worry sweetie, I'll clear this up with the Headmaster and Deputy Headmistress. You are a girl and only you can choose to be who you want be." She and Lucius had gone two years ago to legally change their daughter's name at Gringotts, so this was an occurrence of negligence that she would have some VERY angry words to the leader of Britain's institution of education.
"You're the best, Cissa," mewled the fledgling magus as she wiped her eyes. As a girl entering puberty, the young girl found herself far more emotional than she had been a year ago.
While Narcissa scrawled a letter post haste, speaking as her hand looped and arced on the parchment, "Both of you ought to hurry off to bed. We have a busy morning tomorrow to purchase your school supplies."
"Yes mum," the two eleven year olds chimed. They high fived before heading off to their respective rooms.
The next morning, Ivy woke early. Before the sun had rose even. As her consciousness returned to her, she could feel how well rested she was. Not including the grogginess from twelve consecutive hours of uninterrupted slumber. That had not been a luxury under the tyranny of her aunt and uncle.
Since they were only going to shop, she threw on a muggle styled outfit and a light material dark green robe which she refused to button up despite her mother's insistence. She liked it when the tail of her robes billowed out behind her. Lucius himself had smirked a little when she had elaborated her reasoning of not looking entirely proper.
Whilst getting ready in front of the silver lined vanity, something had caught her eye. Not any of the bottles or jewelry she had been gifted by her family, she decided to take a closer look at the source of the glint.
A crystal phial was tucked away in the bottom of the jewelry ossuary box she had gotten for her latest birthday from Lucius. Inside the gleaming container was a sickly green liquid that gave a slow slosh when tilted a little. The toxic bubbles were so mesmerizing as they hissed when they popped.
While rotating it in her palm, a little white label written in dark green ink came into view. The script had a flowing twist to each letter than the normal rigid system. An elegant cursive to name. It read,
"Come on Ivy, we'll be late!"
The voice snapped her out of her trance, but an odd kleptomaniacal symptom plagued the soon to be first year apprentice witch: she pocketed the odd vial of the violently venomous viscous liquid. Not exactly a random compulsion, rather she wanted to study it further.
She hurried down the steps to the den where Lucius, Narcissa and Draco were impatiently waiting. She blustered a quick apology.
"Are we going all the way into London?"
Shaking her head, Narcissa replied, "No sweetie. You know how my husband feels about using muggle services. It is an undignified method to travel when floo cool is so much quicker. You know what to do Ivy."
Grabbing a pinch of the dark green powder from the decorative dish, Ivy tossed it to her feet and quipped, "Diagon Alley." The familiar rush of emerald fire flared around her.
It wasn't her first time in Diagon Alley however, it was still her first time travelling by floo. She had rarely been allowed outside of the manor and its property. So to be out in Diagon Alley and soon off to a boarding school was quite a treat
She gave a little grunt when she tumbled on the dusty floor of the Leaky Cauldron. 'I need to get better at my landings,' she muttered to herself inaudibly.
Draco was already waiting for her and helped dust the soot off of her robes while jeering at her poor floo skills.
"Where first?" drawled Lucius in the most bored tone he could manage. Shopping was an activity he found no pleasure in. He only attended because it was the first time his children were heading off on their own a boarding school out in Scotland. It would be another 10 or so months until he would have them for the summer.
"Um...I need to go buy proper knickers and stuff," muttered Ivy, a little pink in the face. "I grew some more."
Narcissa furrowed her brow. "Not today dear. I can pick those up before you leave for Hogwarts on September first. I know your size sweetie and yes, I know your favorite color."
Ivy just pouted, crossing her arms.
Draco piped up, "We could grab our potion ingredients first or our books for the year."
"Very well," spoke the Malfoy matriarch.
It was an easy affair to slip into Flourish and Blotts to buy the textbooks they'd need. Being the bookworm she was, Ivy insisted on buying first editions of hers as well as a few additional books on magic that weren't quite on topic of any classes she might have for the primary year.
"Hey doll, fancy getting a piercing or some ink?" asked a woman with an unlit cigarette sitting between her lips. She was leaning against the brick wall next to the entrance to Nocturne Alley.
Said person in question wore what appeared to be leather or Dragon leather trousers, a tank top under an open sleeveless robe. Her arms had been exposed to the elements to reveal two full arms adorned in various inked drawings. Even some of them moved like in the animated cartoons in the Daily Prophet. The nearest one was a spider web with a widow skittering along along the crosshatched scene. The lady had also magicked her hair to be jet black with purple highlights to who made Ivy green with envy. To complete the anarchist look, the woman also had a few facial piercings not limited to a septum, her eyebrow and several labrets Ivy knew to be a Medusa and Angel Bites.
Ivy looked up questioningly, as if begging. Ever since she had seen people with piercings and tattoos one summer at the beach, she had been intrigued―nay obsessed. The fact that it made the person stand out wasn't her thing. No, what she loved about them, was the freedom to express yourself. It opened an entirely new path to accessorize.
Narcissa hadn't the heart to deny her adopted daughter her desire. She had read the psychological evaluation from the Mind Healer when the girl had been found. Eleven years of starvation, abuse and being broken; there was so much damage to reverse. Not even 3 years of attempted spoilage. Ivy had been to resistant-too modest.
"Fine. No bizarre or unladylike jewelry. Normal lobes will be mandatory. Subtle ears," sniffed Mrs Malfoy. Then she added, "And this you're paying for. And for the love of Merlin, don't get anything inappropriate or I'll make you clean the larder after you take it out."
"Jeez, okay. Noble families are so strict!" complained the eleven year old, shuddering. The cellar beneath the manor was full of spiders and earwigs which terrified the young redhead.
The chick who hadn't needed to try hard at all to convince the witch finished her smoke real quick before stamping it out on the cobble underneath soon led Ivy inside while Narcissa waited outside after signing a few parental consent forms. Draco and their father went off to do their shopping instead of waiting for the girls to finish their business.
When the piercer had set up her studio cubicle, she called the young girl to come over and take a seat. She helped the young girl hop up on the chair and slipped on a pair of sterile latex gloves.
"Open your mouth wide, good, hold it just like that," she said as she instructed the girl.
Using a wad of cotton to absorb the moisture, the woman then opened a fresh stainless steel needle from a plastic packet She pulled the girl's tongue out and told Ivy to stay like that. Avoiding any veins, the pierced impaled the wet muscle. It had barely been a pinch. She only winced when the hands tightened the jewelry.
"Couldn't you use magic to do the piercing? It seems like it would be so much easier," reasoned the eleven year old with curious eyes.
The the proud artist replied as she tossed the used needle into a bin for hazardous waste, "I could, but it takes very precise wand work and not everyone has that. So it's safer to do it the old fashioned way. Plus, the process doesn't take too long. "
"Ah," hummed Ivy.
"Episkey," yawned the heavily tattooed woman, instantly reversing the damage. Soft flesh knitted together and around the new metal accessory.
Impressed, Ivy rolled the 14mm barbell around. It hadn't even itched from the rapid healing. "It's really handy to have a magic spell like that. I'll have to learn that once I get to Hogwarts."
"If it ever starts to hurt and feel like it's sinking into your tongue, just stop by and we'll exchange it for a higher gauge for a nicer fit. Now, you said you wanted a tattoo as well?"
The tattooing process was only forty-five minutes considering the delicate work. Ivy had no trouble sitting still as the artist worked her metaphorical magic on the girl's arm.
When Ivy left the piercing and tattoo parlor, she came out with five new piercings and a small rose inked on the inside of her right wrist.
Her tongue barbell was rose gold while the balls capping each end were a vibrant purple. Anodizing in the magical world was done at a different way than the methods muggles used. Apparently it was a form of simple transfiguration.
The other four piercings remained a hypoallergenic sterling silver placed at her regular lobes, a j-curve navel stud, and a lower right labret.
The tattoo she had received was needled into her with magical ink which in turn, acted as a mood meter. The rose would normally be red being neutral. Green of jealousy; orange for anger; black for depression, blue for sadness, pride yellowed, pink for lust and brown for hatred. Or so she had been told. And surprisingly, it had only cost her ten galleons, twenty sickles and four knuts.
Last on the list was to get their wands.
Unlike the rest of newer shops, the building of the wandmaker was anything but resplendent. Instead, it was partially dilapidated. Paint from the wooden sign was peeling. She could barely read the words 'Ollivander's Wands and wand accessories'. Once upon a time, the gilded paint had truly been a sight to behold.
"Ah, Miss Ivy Potter... I knew I'd be seeing you sometime soon. It feels like just yesterday your parents were buying their first wands. James had a , great for . Now Lily, she had a difficult time getting one to bond to her magic. In the end, it was . Perfect for charm work."
The young girl smiled sadly. 'My parents wands...I would have liked to have them. I only wish people wouldn't have hid so much from me.' She she had been gravely aware how not only her step parents but also other adults would why shy away from the mysterious circumstances of their deaths.
"How do I know which wand is right for me?" she asked, outing those dark thoughts behind her.
A creepy smile slipped onto the man's face. "The wand chooses the wizard Mz Potter."
Ollivander plucked a worn box from the nearest stack and opened it. "Try this, ash and unicorn hair, 9 inches exact."
Before Ivy had a chance to wave it, the wand was rudely snatched from her hand. She gave a huff.
The next one she tried was willow and Dragon dragon heartstring which ended up sputtering out. Following that was beech wood and unicorn hair. Not that it had much effect of a match.
After trying nearly a hundred wands or so, the creepy old man muttered disdainfully about how picky this girl's magic was and disappeared into the back.
"Hurry up already! I'm tired of waiting," grumbled the blonde as he crossed his arms as he sat in the uncomfortable spindly chair by the window.
"Do be nice, Draco," scolded their mother, herself sitting beside her son. Lucius had opted to stand.
When he returned, he said wearily, "Ivory shell, with dragon heartstring 11 5/8th. Give it a wave."
"Bugger! I thought that might work! I wonder..."
The elderly man took a very dusty box from the top shelf. "Holly and Phoenix feather, 11 1/2 inches. It's been sitting in this shop for a very long time. Maybe this one will be it."
Ivy took the dark auburn wand. As soon as she had picked it up, a breath of warmth flowed down her limbs. She could feel the magic running down her arm.
At the same time Ivy was experiencing the bonding of witch and wand, wilted or dead plants flourished back to life more vibrant than ever. But it was more than just that: once the flora had been rejuvenated, it crystallized into a variety of precious stones and gems.
"Curious. Most curious," murmured the elderly man.
Both Narcissa and Lucius were rather surprised at the consequence of their adopted daughter's bonding to her wand. The former had been worried Ivy would fail to get a magical conductor whilst the latter expected swirling darkness or flames rather than rapid plant growth.
Average witches and wizards had very little reactions. Perhaps a minor glow or a spout of sparks. Few of the naturally inclined had flames, water or the occasional conjuration of little critters.
Abruptly before anyone could squeeze in a comment, the thin strip of wood in Ivy's hand released a mournful shriek as a crack spiderwebbed down the wand's length. With one last shrill cry, the Holly and Phoenix feather conductor shattered into seven fragments. Each piece of inert shrapnel was embedded into the wall, the window or the ceiling.
"In all my life..."
Feeling bad, the young witch retrieved as many of the splinters as possible.
The elderly man had stopped mid sentence when something seemed to catch his attention. "That's Basilisk venom isn't it?" She nodded nervously and fished it out of her pocket. He plucked it out of her hand and hummed, "I wonder..."
Both Narcissa and Lucius tensed at hearing the old wandmaker's query. How had their quiet daughter found such a thing?
Ollivander bustled into the back of the store and came back with a very small set of what appeared to be scales. "A little blood if you please, Miss Potter."
Warily, Ivy extended her hand. Ollivander pricked her delicate finger and squeezed hard until a single drop fell into one of the tiny silver bowls. Setting it down he unscrewed the vial and very carefully poured a single drop of the venom onto the other side.
"The basilisk's poison will not be an easy thing to use as a wand core, Ms Potter." Ollivander stared piercingly at the drop on the scales. "The venom consumes all that is alive, even the strongest wand woods, but there are ways to counter its burn. Alchemy is an essential subject for a wand-maker."
Ivy watched with some trepidation as the silver-haired wand crafter hovered over the small set of scales, tapping his long, thin, pale wand against them as he murmured beneath his breath.
"Blood is a very potent magical medium, as all wizards know. It is easy to check whether your magic is strongly aligned to the substance." Ollivander tucked his wand away. "The brighter the blue, the better the match."
"I was hoping," Ivy smiled a little sadly, "that I might not have to have a completely new wand. I was starting to get attached to it." She gestured at the pieces strewn across the table, "I gathered every splinter."
The scales glowed and emitted a very vibrant, bright, blue light.
"Miss Potter," Ollivander looked speechless for a brief instant, "if I did not know better, I would assume you to be competition for my role as Britain's premier wand-maker."
Ivy raised a carefully trimmed eyebrow, now utterly lost altogether.
"Don't be modest, my girl," the wand-maker smiled. "Your wit is as sharp as they come. We both know basilisk venom dissolves organic substances completely. You cannot wander into my shop with such a substance to request a new wand that is not entirely new and expect me not to realise your solution." He very carefully scraped the pieces of Ivy's almost first wand off the table into his hand. "Perhaps this is not so much the destruction of your almost partnered wand as it is its rebirth. How very appropriate for a phoenix feather wand core."
Ollivander placed one hand firmly on Ivy's shoulder and ushered her into the back of the store, past towering shelves of wand boxes to a small crafting area. "I shall, of course, carry out your idea, ingenious that it is. I have heard Gregorovitch once attempted something similar. His effort failed, but I feel this will work, and when it comes to wands, my girl, feelings are everything."
Ivy watched, still rather mystified, as Ollivander extracted every piece of her wand's broken core under the assistance of a large magnifying lens and added them, shard by shard into the vial of venom. They dissolved one after the other into the vial in tiny streams of silver bubbles.
"Your finger, Miss Potter," Ollivander requested again, holding the same set of silver scales. Another prick and the silver and green was marred once again by crimson. He dripped a drop of the venom that now contained the old wand core onto the scales and peered at them with all the energy of a man possessed.
It flared an even brighter blue than before and Ivy twitched in discomfort at the sudden light.
"Perfect," the silver-haired wand-maker whispered. "Your magic seems to respond especially well to a fluid core, my girl, it flows within you. The effects of certain misunderstood rituals, perhaps?"
Ivy eyed him coolly, wondering what he meant.
"Don't fear, Ms Potter, the Ministry disapproves of many things it feels might not suit its purposes or propaganda. I have no such interests. The only question I have for you is what wood should your wand be?"
He carefully cleaned the silver scales and placed them to one side, then reached around the young witch to grasp a piece of parchment covered in thin slivers of wood.
"Holly, again, perhaps," Ollivander mused. "A third time, Miss Potter," he asked looking at Ivy's hand. "No need for blood now. You will feel warmth from the wood that best suits you."
He took her hand in his own and pressed his forefinger against a sliver of wood Ivy assumed was Holly. Ollivander's skin was cool, soft and papery. It reminded Ivy oddly of the very worn pages of some of her incredibly old books.
She couldn't feel the same warmth she remembered from the first wand she had thought was it, though there was some.
"If you are unsure, then it cannot be holly." The silver eyes of the wand-maker trailed down the piece of parchment. "Perhaps this one," he whispered, pressing Ivy's finger against a wood much darker than all the others. She flinched away at the sudden rush of heat and Ollivander smiled triumphantly. "Ebony, Mz Potter, not such a far cry from holly, you know. They are both woods that symbolise protection, but where holly represents protection by sacrifice, ebony denotes protection by power."
The tape measures Ivy remembered from before swept around the bookcase to envelop her within their grasp. They measured almost every length of her body, including, somewhat perplexingly, the extent of her nose.
"Ten and a third," Ollivander decided. "Best to be as precise and thorough as possible with a wand of such potential," he added, explaining the enthusiasm of the measuring.
Ivy gave him a grateful smile, which the man returned wholeheartedly.
"This part, my dear girl, you cannot witness, despite the ingenuity of your idea. All wand-makers must have some secrets." He snatched up the vial and vanished off among the shelves, muttering excitedly.
'I have just witnessed something almost no other person to come here has seen,' she realised with a small thrill.
Ivy was waiting for some time, several hours at least, and she began to fear that something might have gone wrong with the venom. Some of the darker texts spoke of how corrosive the substance was.
"I took my time," Ollivander whispered, appearing from behind a stack of wand boxes with all the warning of a particularly stealthy ghost. It was quite unnerving. "I could never rush a wand, let alone one like this."
He presented the young redhead with a thin, long box just as he had over the course of his career to countless witches and wizards all over the population of Magical Britain.
Slowly, the prepubescent girl opened it, pulling the long, dark length of wood from the box with as much trepidation as anticipation. There was a rush of warmth that ran from her palm to her shoulder.
"Go on," Ollivander whispered, "give it a wave."
She could detect the ever so hidden quiver of excitement in his voice. So Ivy twirled it in small circle in the space between the two of them.
With a half hearted flourish, a rush of adrenaline envenomed her veins from the sheer amount of power coursing its way inside her. There was no visible reaction, but a wave warmth ran over her from head to toe and she shivered with pleasure, bursting into a reverent smile at the skill of the wand-maker.
"The rebirth of a wand, Miss Potter," Ollivander said softly. "A beautiful thing and something I never thought I would witness. I daresay I won't make a wand quite like it again."
"I can not give you enough to compensate for this, Mr Ollivander," Ivy said softly, finding her tongue at last.
"My wands cost seven galleons, my dear girl, no more, no less. I would give you this for free if ebony were not so dear. The venom you supplied would have bought you every wand in this shop."
Ivy fished in her robes for the correct number of coins.
"I have not sullied this wand by adding the Ministry's trace to it; you understand what I am saying, Mz Potter."
"I do," Ivy nodded. "Thank you." There would be no restrictions on her magic use this summer. It was a great blessing, because she knew there would be more to learn than merely what teachers taught. Plus, she could be sneaky when she wants to.
That had been that last item to purchase on their list of school supplies. Everything else had been purchased by Lucius prior to the children trying for their wands. While Ivy had a unique wand, Draco had ended up with a hawthorn and unicorn hair.
An exhausting day to say the least. The family had departed from Diagon Alley; tired, but in good spirits. They had successfully finished their shopping; found all their books, ingredients and tools. Draco and Ivy had also been bought new owls. The blonde boy had gotten a regal hawk owl while a snowy barn owl named Hedwig became the redhead witch's familiar.
As the end of August approached, both young magical children were startled from their mid morning reading by a few raps on the door. Who would be by the manor this early in the morning?
When Draco had answered the door, a very grizzled man stood at the threshold with both hands in the pockets of his trousers. His leather blazer looked to have been repaired many times with different patches of leather. It was the same story with the wizard's calf length boots.
"Is ol' Luci around? An who's this little morsel?"
"Father isn't home. He said he'd be home late from work. Uncle Fenrir, this is my new sister, Ivyssaria." Draco piped up to introduce his sibling. "She prefers Ivy. Me, I call her a bookworm."
The large man gave a sniff. "Half blood it seems, but filled to the brim with magic. Hahaha, Luci got lucky to adopt you."
Shrinking at the sight of the massive, intimidating and broad shouldered man, the short redhead tried to manage a timid hello. But the only thing that accomplished was another slight chuckle from the man.
"No need to be afraid." He said as he scratched the stubble on his chin. "I know my presence is a bit unnerving with me being a werewolf an all. But I won't hurt a cutie. But do stay away during the full moon. Not entirely myself then. Think of me as an uncle if you will."
"O-Okay. Sorry for staring. Mum and dad kept me sheltered from the think I'll get snatched away by some Dark Lord," scoffed Ivy disdainfully. Ever since she's had her scars discovered, her step parents intended to keep her from doing anything remotely dangerous. All she's had were her books.
A deep rumbling sound emanates from the grizzled man's chest - it was laughter. "Hahaha, spunky. I like ya kiddo. Here, I got something for ya. The lady I was going to propose to snubbed me. Bitch yelled at me for going out wit a couple blokes of mine. But here, you can have this since I don't need it anymore. "
In the thin gray velvet box lie a ebony velvet choker. The top and bottom half was a dark blue lace. A raven carved from onyx with an amethyst for The visible eye. But something was clutched by the black bird. The small teardrop gem sitting in a mithril setting of the corvid's beak sparkled with a black opal with splashes of radiant purple and indigo that reminded her of the nebulous scenes of the distant void beyond the skies on the clearest nights in August. To finish the masterpiece, the closing latch was a stylized lobster clasp hewn from possibly fourteen carat gold.
Shaking her head, Ivy gasped, "I-I cannot accept this sir. It's too much!"
Removing the accessory from it's prison, Fenrir swept the girl's hair out of the way and clasped around her neck. At first it was a mite too big, but it seemed to magically resize to adapt to Ivy's petite throat.
Looking into the reflective surface of the silver lamp post, Ivy felt beautiful. The jeweled accessory fit so well with her svelte build, giving her an extremely delicate appearance. She was certainly looking like a proper lady.
"You look downright like a doll innit," grinned Fenrir as he slicked back his graying black hair. "Don't worry bout paying me back for it. Just seeing you wear it is precious enough." Looking around, he then said, "Since papa Malfoy ain't here, I'll get going. Cissy don't like me round these parts. Toodles, kiddos." He gave a raspy chuckle and disapparated.
After the grizzled werewolf left, Draco huffed, "Lucky bint. Uncle Greyback has never given me a present like that for no reason. It's only ever a few measly galleons and a card. Even on my birthday."
Ivy was in a daze, not even having heard her brother's jealous rant.
Getting to Platform 9 3/4 was easy. It was a simple floo trip to a rest stop for wizards and witches. It was a small complex disillusioned to appear as an apartment building. Rather than rooms, it had alcoves with fireplaces for transportation. It was also where students picked up their tickets to ride the train to school.
There was still an hour and a half until the train was designated to depart from King's Cross. While her step brother lagged behind, Ivy had no intention for a sappy goodbye and knowing Narcissa, that was precisely what would have happened.
As soon as she boarded the iron horse, she found out it wasn't much different than a normal one. Granted it did look bigger on the inside, it wasn't even furnished with luxury.
Finally discovering an empty compartment, Ivy sighed in relief. Putting trunk into the overhead storage, she sat down and closed her eyes. This was all still so surreal.
So Ivy had found an unoccupied compartment to sit in. and pulled out one of the advanced books her stepmother had bought for her, Moste Potente Potions.
The young witch was reading the recipe for the drought of living death when the compartment door opened and a girl with bushy brown hair asked, "May I join you?"
Opening her eyes, Ivy smiled. "Of course, here, let me help you with that trunk."
"You don't look very strong. I've got it."
"Appearances can be deceiving," she twittered softly. With a burst of strength from her lean arms, the young redhead shoved the wooden chest. When it sat there without falling, a swell of pride rose in the young girl. Ivy left hers on the floor by the window.
After the two girls had lifted the trunk up into the storage rack, the tawny haired girl introduced herself. "I'm Hermione Granger by the way," she said, holding out her hand.
Ivy wasn't much of a person fond of physical contact. Years of abuse had seen to that. She gave a shrug said, "Ivy Potter."
Hermione's eyes drooped at the lack of a handshake, but then widened, "Are you really? You're in several history books."
"Don't believe them," the redhead witch assured her. "I promise you that for the most part, they are completely false." She pointed to her head, where the lightning bolt scar used to be. Narcissa had taught her well to be able to hide it with a quick disillusionment charm. At least the indent left from the surgery anyways. "See, no scar. And I'm obviously a girl."
"Why are you changing already? We have hours before we get to Hogwarts," asked the brainy girl as she watched the other witch shucking off her muggle clothes. Thankfully there was a lock on the sliding door and a screen for privacy.
"Robes are comfier than muggle threads," Ivy replied simply. "I like a nice healthy breeze between my privates."
The muggleborn gave the redhead an odd look, but said nothing.
Several minutes of unnerving silence drew between the two while waiting for the train to leave. A spork; a plastic spork could be used to sever the tension born of a weird comment.
Eventually, the two girls began to talk and get to know one another. Ivy of course left out the fact that she was an orphan and had been adopted by a Pure-Blood family. But the two girls found that they both had a love of books, especially Norse and Greek stories. The redhead herself also loved Ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian mythology and history.
The train had started lurching forward, and the two girls had been discussing the origins of the sirens from the Odyssey as being veela, when the compartment door opened again. A skinny red-haired boy stood in the doorway. He peered furtively at the two girls, especially their foreheads, before saying, "Sorry, wrong compartment," and leaving the two girls alone.
Halfway through the train ride, a pudgy, nervous boy, who introduced himself as Neville Longbottom, asked if they'd seen a toad. They hadn't, but the two girls agreed to help him search. They found the toad half-an-hour later in the girls lavatory. They invited Neville to join them, and the boy had shyly agreed.
It turned out that Neville was a pure-blooded wizard, and knew an awful lot about plants. The two girls eagerly began a discussion with him on various magical flora, and his shyness gradually faded as he discussed something he seemed to genuinely know and care about.
"Dearest sister, I hope you make better friends than a mudblood and a fatty," came her brother's sneering voice as he opened the sliding door to her compartment.
Ivy scowled at Draco, hand immediately going to her wand. "I'll hex you in the gonads if you don't stop believing those asinine blood purists that father invites to keep them placated. You know father believes more in power and intelligence than purity. How about I lock you in a room with Uncle Fenrir an hour before the full moon? Or do I have to tell mum you harassed me an my new friends?"
"Fine. Sorry Granger. It was insensitive of me. Please accept my apologies. " With his apology spoken, the blonde gave his sister a quick, discreet hug and left the compartment with his cheeks slightly pink.
Hermione's face drained of all color then returned linked than her normal tone. Those had been colorful insults. "He's your...brother? You two look nothing alike!"
"Stepbrother," Ivy corrected with a sigh. "His parents adopted me almost four years ago. They're good people, but their friends leave much to be desired. Except Uncle Greyback. He's the best. He gave me this. Just because he thought I'd look pretty in it." she gestured to the expensive choker.
Hermione gave a little smile, "It's very pretty."
After the little debacle, both women fell into silence and began to lose themselves in their respective books.
The countryside now flying past the window was becoming wilder. The neat fields had gone. Now there were woods, twisting rivers, and dark green hills.
Ivy peered out of the window. It was getting dark. She could see mountains and forests under a deep purple sky. The train did seem to be slowing down.
Half an hour later, the train docked at the station in a quaint little Scottish village a sign had said 'Hogsmeade'. As they disembarked, the conductor had said over the loudspeaker that their trunks would be taken to the castle.
"Firs' years! Firs' years over here! Alright there, lil lady? Mind yeh toes." Hagrid's big hairy face beamed over the sea of heads. This giant of a man, was the academy's ground's keeper, or so she'd been told. "C'mon, follow me - any more firs' years? Mind yer step, now! Firs' years follow me!"
Slipping and stumbling, they followed Hagrid down what seemed to be a steep, narrow path. It was so dark on either side of them that Ivy thought there must be thick trees there. Nobody spoke much. Neville, the boy who kept losing his toad, sniffed once or twice.
"Ye' all get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," Hagrid called over his shoulder, "jus' round this bend here."
There was a loud "Oooooh!"
The narrow path had opened suddenly onto the edge of a great black lake. Perched atop a high mountain on the other side, its windows sparkling in the starry sky, was a vast castle with many turrets and towers.
"No more'n four to a boat!" Hagrid called, pointing to a fleet of little boats sitting in the water by the shore. Ivy and some red haired boy with freckles were followed into their boat by a chubby, round faced kid and Hermione. "Everyone in?" shouted Hagrid, who had a boat to himself. "Right then - FORWARD!"
And the fleet of little vessels moved off all at once, gliding across the lake, which was as smooth as glass. The tiny boats rounded a point of land to show Hogwarts. Everyone was silent, staring up at the great castle overhead. It towered over them as they sailed nearer and nearer to the cliff on which it stood.
Huge, an enormous pile of dove gray stone, it's hundreds of windows filled with warm light, it's turrets raking the stars, it's pennants fluttering in the night air, massively magical, the castle perched atop a lakeside cliff. Harriet felt something, something wonderful, something like the feeling she had when her wand picked her. Magic filled her, warm in her heart, tingling in her fingers. Beside her Hermione gasped, "Did you feel that?" Ivy nodded, smiling.
"Heads down!" yelled Hagrid as the first boats reached the cliff; they all bent their heads and the little boats carried them through a curtain of Ivy that hid a wide opening in the cliff face. They were carried along a dark tunnel, which seemed to be taking them right underneath the castle, until they reached a kind of underground harbor, where they clambered out onto rocks and pebbles.
"Oy, you there! Is this your toad?" said Hagrid, who was checking the boats as people climbed out of them.
"Trevor!" cried Neville blissfully, holding out his hands. It seemed that the rebellious amphibian would rather seek respite in the mud than with the round faced boy.
Then they clambered up a passageway in the rock after Hagrid's lamp, coming out at last onto smooth, damp grass right in the shadow of the castle.
They walked up a flight of stone steps and crowded around the huge, Oak front door.
"Everyone here? You there, still got yer toad?" The pudgy faced kid nodded.
Hagrid raised a gigantic fist and knocked three times on the castle door.
Standing on the threshold was a brief moment. The door swung open at once. A tall, black-haired witch in emerald-green robes stood there. She had a very stern face and Ivy's first thought was that this was not someone to cross.
"The firs' years, Professor McGonagall," said Hagrid in a way too proud tone.
"Thank you, Hagrid. I will take them from here." She pulled the door wide. The entrance hall was so big you could have fit the whole of the Dursleys' house in it and then some. The stone walls were lit with flaming torches like the ones at Gringotts, the ceiling was too high to make out, and a magnificent marble staircase facing them led to the upper floors.
They followed Professor McGonagall across the flagged stone floor. Ivy could hear the drone of hundreds of voices from a doorway to the right -the rest of the school must already be here - but Professor McGonagall showed the first years into a small, empty chamber off the hall. They crowded in, standing rather closer together than they would usually have done, peering about nervously.
"Welcome to Hogwarts," said Professor McGonagall. "The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room." She paused for a moment before continuing: "The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours. The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting."
Her eyes lingered for a moment on Neville's cloak, which was fastened under his left ear, and on Ron's smudged nose. Ivy nervously tried to sweep her hair under control from it's normally wild waviness.
"I shall return when we are ready for you," said Professor McGonagall. "Please wait quietly."
She left the chamber. Ivy swallowed.
A few soon to be students chattered whilst they waited. She had no such intention and pretended to be interested in the rough hewn masonry.
"Move along now," said a sharp voice. "The Sorting Ceremony is about to start." Professor McGonagall had returned. One by one, the ghosts floated away through the opposite wall. "Now, form a line," Professor McGonagall told the first years, "and follow me."
Feeling oddly as though her legs had turned to lead, Ivy got into line behind a boy with sandy hair, with the redheaded boy behind her, and they walked out of the chamber, back across the hall, and through a pair of double doors into the Great Hall.
Ivy had never even imagined such a strange and splendid place. It was lit by thousands and thousands of candles that were floating in midair over four long tables, where the rest of the students were sitting. These tables were laid with glittering golden plates and goblets. At the top of the hall was another long table where the teachers were sitting. Professor McGonagall led the first years up here, so that they came to a halt in a line facing the other students, with the teachers behind them. The hundreds of faces staring at them looked like pale lanterns in the flickering candlelight. Dotted here and there among the students, the ghosts shone misty silver. Mainly to avoid all the staring eyes, Ivy looked upward and saw a velvety black ceiling dotted with stars.
It was hard to believe there was a ceiling there at all, and that the Great Hall didn't simply open into the heavens.
Ivy quickly looked down again as Professor McGonagall silently placed a four-legged stool in front of the first years.
The plain, little stool beckoned her attention. On top of the stool she put a pointed wizard's hat. This hat was patched and frayed and extremely dirty. Aunt Petunia nor Narcissa wouldn't have let it in the house. Upon the surface, sat a ragged hat obnoxious in fashion like the costumes muggles wore to go trick or treating. A rip near the brim opened wide and it...began to sing!
'Oh you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!'
With a silent deadpan, the young orphaned witch thought, 'That was the shittiest, most out of tune song I have ever heard. The Headmaster must be delusional to have this on the day we arrive. What kind of impression does he think it'll give us? It better not become an annual thing.'
Ivy's mental beration was interrupted as the first adult witch she met in the institution spoke again.
"When I call your name, step forward to the stage and place the Sorting Hat upon your head to be sorted into either of the following houses: Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin," spoke the matronly woman with obvious authority. "Abbott, Hannah."
A pink-faced girl with blonde pigtails stumbled out of line, put on the hat, which fell right down over her eyes, and sat down. A moments pause -
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat.
The table on the right cheered and clapped as Hannah went to sit down at the Hufflepuff table. Ivy saw the ghost of the Fat Friar waving merrily at her.
"HUFFLEPUFF!" shouted the hat again, and Susan scuttled off to sit next to Hannah.
The table second from the left clapped this time; several Ravenclaws stood up to shake hands with Terry as he joined them.
" Brocklehurst, Mandy" went to Ravenclaw too, but "Brown, Lavender" became the first new Gryffindor, and the table on the far left exploded with cheers; Ivy could see what was probably the red headed boys's twin brothers catcalling.
"Bulstrode, Millicent" then became a Slytherin. Perhaps it was Ivy's imagination, after all she'd heard about Slytherin, but she thought they looked like an unpleasant lot. The poor frail girl was starting to feel definitely sick now. She remembered being picked for teams during gym at her old school. She had always been last to be chosen, not because she was no good, but because no one wanted Dudley to think they liked her.
Sometimes, Ivy noticed, the hat shouted out the house at once, but at others it took a little while to decide. "Finnigan, Seamus," the sandy-haired boy next to Ivy in the line, sat on the stool for almost a whole minute before the talking cap finally declared him a Gryffindor.
Hermione almost ran to the stool and jammed the hat eagerly on her head.
"GRYFFINDOR!" shouted the hat. A redheaded boy groaned.
A horrible thought struck Ivy, as horrible thoughts always do when you're very nervous. What if she wasn't chosen at all? What if she just sat there with the hat over her eyes for ages, until Professor McGonagall jerked it off her head and said there had obviously been a mistake and she'd better get back on the train?
When Neville Longbottom, the boy who kept losing his toad, was called, he fell over on his way to the stool. The hat took a long time to decide with Neville. When it finally shouted, "GRYFFINDOR," Neville ran off still wearing it, and had to jog back amid gales of laughter to give it to "MacDougal, Morag."
Malfoy swaggered forward when his name was called and got his wish at once: the hat had barely touched his head when it screamed, "SLYTHERIN!" Malfoy went to join his friends Crabbe and Goyle, looking pleased with himself. Ivy honestly didn't expect anything else from the slippery ferret that was her step brother. Their entire family on both sides minus a few anomalies had been Slytherins.
There weren't many people left now. "Moon" "Nott" "Parkinson" then a pair of twin girls, "Patil" and "Patil" then "Perks, Sally-Anne" and then, at last - "Potter, Ivyssaria!"
As Ivy stepped forward, whispers suddenly broke out like little hissing fires all over the hall. Of course this was bound to happen. Even the mere mention of her name in a dirty pub had scores of people shaking her hand. She hoped that these kids wouldn't have the nerve to bother her.
"Potter, did she say?"
"The Ivy Potter? That can't be right... I thought Potter was a boy," someone said from the audience. "Where's Harry?"
The last thing Ivy saw before the hat dropped over her eyes was the hall full of people craning to get a good look at her. Great. Next second she was looking at the black inside of the hat. She waited.
'Ahh, the famous Ivy Potter', drawled the animate rag of a hat. A creepy whisper in her ear. So much potential in this one. Hmm. Difficult. Very difficult one, aren't you?' queried the hat rhetorically. Plenty of courage, I see. Not a bad mind either. There's talent, oh my goodness, yes — and a nice thirst to prove yourself, now that's interesting... So where shall I put you?"
"Not Slytherin. Please not Slytherin. Not Slytherin!" whispered the young witch as she clenched her eyes shut, hoping with her heart. It's not that she didn't like the house her brother had been sorted into, but it was the house her parents murderer had been in and she wanted no relation.
"Not Slytherin, eh? Are you sure? You could be great, you know, it's all here in your head, and Slytherin will help you on the way to greatness, no doubt about that — no?
'Hm...you possess a great thirst for knowledge which earns you the potential to be an eagle bronzed in wealth of not gold, but of information. Ravenclaw would make your intelligence rise to sate your curiosity-Plus, your heritage helps quite a bit. But your courage is intense and your sense of what is just is nigh. Gryffindor would be a great place to herald your strength."
Ivy wondered how the ragged wizard hat had known her secret, but chose not to respond to that. Instead, she shot back, 'The Gryffindor would only want me because I'm the Girl-who-lived. I don't want my education experience to revolve around my stupid scar!' They only want me because I had my parents murdered!'
'Hmm...very well,' began the Sorting Hat. "If you're so insistent, you must be a Ravenclaw!" proclaimed the the Sorting Hat in a rather boisterous bray.
The entire Great Hall was silent and all eyes were on her.
After she joined the blue clad table and found an empty seat, the sorting resumed for a bit longer.
When dinner was over and the Headmaster's speech about the third floor corridor, the forbidden forest as well as banned items had concluded, she was told to find one of the older students and head up to the tower with her other housemates.
The Ravenclaw prefect had lead the new first years to the the towers where the students of knowledge slept and lived their lives while they learned magic.
"To get into the common room, you must answer a riddle in the most logical manner. Sometimes the door will make you try a few times if you fail the first one. Like this," said the prefect, a fifth year named Penelope Clearwater using the knocker to rap upon the great mahogany door.
The bronzed eagle above the door spoke with a cold, calculated voice as it posed it's query, "What becomes wetter the more it dries?"
Suddenly Ivy, giggled and whispered, "A towel."
Upon hearing the answer, the knocker flapped its bronze wings and the door swung inward to admit the waiting students.
"As you can see, it has a penchant for puns. Although, I'll warn you now, there's no use writing the answers down on a piece of parchment. Questions can change by the minute to the hour, so keep your minds sharp." Penelope guided them to the center and said, "This is the Ravenclaw common room. Here, you will be able to spend your free time to work on homework, spend time with the friends you make. Just don't get too loud. If you have questions relating to do the school or personal, don't be afraid to chat up our head of House, Professor Flitwick.
As they ascended a spiral staircase of Ravenclaw Tower to the next level, the dark haired prefect spoke, "Dorms are separated by year. Boys on the right and girls to the left. Rules are clearly posted in the common room.
It turned out her room was at the very top of the tower and she shared it with several other girls. Melissa Sunseeker was a waifish girl with slightly pointed ears while Talinda Ginsberg was a normal looking Irish girl, being a mousy brown haired child with pale, freckled skin. Jae-hwa Lee happened to be a Korean-English girl who had really good control over her accent. Two identical Indian girls were named Parvati and Padma Patil. Lastly, Ivy's final roommate took the form of a caramel skinned girl with mahogany hued hair. She was called Arria Appletin and while she had a chilly demeanor, she liked being affectionate. This, Ivy would later discover this came to the habit of her hugging her in private.
A four poster bed with blue silken sheets and a bronzed frame awaited the young witch as she entered her pod.
Pulling the canopy curtains shut for privacy, Ivy smiled to herself as she change into a purple paisley nightgown that reached her shins. She had become a witch and Hogwarts was more than willing to give it her all.
In this world, she was not a freak. She would show her dedication to her studies and make people know she would become a formidable woman. It was on this thought the young girl allowed the spirits of the sands to whisk her off to dreamland.
A/N: There we go, another chapter done.
If any of you know French, I apologize if I screwed up any phrases throughout the fanfic. I'm still quite new at the language.