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Chapter Text

It is a tiny little thing, tinier than any the Ministry had once created. Mother explained it to him, years ago, back before Draco cared or had need of it. Every turn is a year, little dragon, Mother had whispered. This is our heritage, passed to the child most suited to it. She continued, talking about sisters and disappointments, about mudbloods and prisons, but Draco no longer listened.

Mother is dead now. As is Father. Voldemort is Lord of Britain and the muggles planning their vengeance, and Harry Potter failed before he ever even got the chance to try.

We prove who we are in times of adversity, someone said once. Draco cannot remember who, or when, or why. But these are the most adverse times of his life, and this is not a world he can stand to live in. No longer. What is the point of being victorious if all that’s left is an ocean of blood?

Spells to travel in time always fail. Or so the Ministry once preached, when they kept a room of time-turners and policed their use viciously. But.

Draco looks down at the bone-pale hourglass, full of dark sand, and thinks, I could go back and save them.

Spells to travel in time always fail – but how could anyone know? If things go rightly, everything changes. If things go wrongly, nothing does. So how could anyone know either way?

Father died first, executed for failing. Mother died days later, for refusing to try. And Draco ran. The Lord of Britain had more important things to worry about, and Bellatrix let Draco go, because he was the only member of her family left. If the stories are right, it is the only act of mercy Bellatrix ever showed.

Where did things go so wrong? He stares down at the inscription - be cautious, be wise, be sure, be brave, in a language he knows only because he is blood of the creator – and tries to decide when, exactly, he should travel to. How many years? What does he know for sure?

Harry Potter died in second year, when Slytherin’s Chamber of Secrets opened and the monster escaped. The Dark Lord returned.

Hogwarts is rubble, now.

So to second year? Twelve turns. Is that far enough?

No. Because looking back with adult eyes, that child in Madame Malkin’s had no idea at all. The Harry Potter he first met as an arrogant prat had no idea about magic. Harry Potter went to Hogwarts with no more knowledge than a mudblood. That Granger girl knew more than the Boy Who Lived.

So before that.

Maybe… “Be cautious,” he whispers, tracing the words. “Be wise. Be sure.” He closes his eyes, imagining how painful it must have been, when Voldemort tortured his parents to death. “Be brave.”

Draco has been cautious. But can he be wise, or sure of anything, or brave?

After Hogwarts fell, Voldemort had announced to the survivors the prophecy in full. To utterly destroy all hope, Mother said. So that everyone knew defying was pointless.

Voldemort cannot be killed. Many have tried. Many have died. The resistance crumbles more each day. If they had any chance at all, Draco might go to them.

“Twenty-four,” Draco muses. It would give him time to build a history, to lay in the foundations, to hide away supplies. Everyone knows, now, where Dumbledore hid his Chosen One. Draco knows where to wait.

Draco knows so many things he wishes he didn’t, things the savior must know to beat Voldemort. What had Dumbledore been thinking, sending that little boy from Madam Malkin’s into a war?

“Be brave,” Draco says and counts the turns.

Chapter Text

In the pre-dawn light of November 1, a man with common brown hair and common brown eyes walked calmly along Privet Drive. He paused in front of Number 4 and glanced around before slipping up the yard and taking the bundle that had been left on the front stoop.

“What sort of master plan was this, honestly?” he muttered, tucking the baby into his arms.

With one last glance around, he vanished.

When Petunia Dursley put out her milk bottles, she didn’t think about her sister or her nephew or all the odd things her husband had seen the day before. She wouldn’t think about any of that for a long time – not until Albus Dumbledore arrived to ask why Harry Potter hadn’t replied to any of his acceptance letters.

But that was a decade away and she had breakfast to prepare for her darling Diddyums.

Chapter Text

Lord Loki, this is a trickster’s gambit, he prayed every night for a year and a half. Please grant me all of a trickster’s luck.

He knew his favorite of the gods had answered his plea when he walked away with The Boy Who Lived.

Drake and Lucas Abraxley are well liked by their neighbors. Drake has Loki’s own luck, it seems; everything he tries is successful. But there’s sorrow in him, too, and he only mentions his and the boy’s past once – “There was a mess back home,” he told Peder and Nanna one night, three weeks after he moved in. They tell everyone else so that he won’t have to. “His mother didn’t make it; I barely got out of there with our lives.” He shrugged, watching his son play with a great wolf plush. “My father mentioned this place a long time ago, so it was here I came.”

Here is a tiny village called Rykene, almost equally seiðmenn and seiðkonur and non-magicals. When Lucas accidently animated his plush wolf, Sköll, their second day in Rykene, as Drake walked around the village, no one blinked.

Drake has muddy brown hair and muddy brown eyes, and he’s pale like everyone in Rykene is pale. Lucas has not-quite as muddy brown hair and his brown eyes are shot through with green. Nanna can see the flicker of an illusion around them sometimes, but never enough to mention, and if she wonders how powerful that glamour must be to never need charging, she doesn’t ask.

At first, Drake uses a translation spell as well as a potion, but he quickly picks up the languages because he has to. Lucas is babbling in the local dialect of Norse almost immediately, and even though most of the villagers are fluent in English or French (both of which Drake seems to speak perfectly, at least according to Aldvis, who spent a few semesters in Paris ages ago), Drake explains to Nanna that they must sound as if they’ve lived all their lives in Rykene. There are bad men, the worst men, seeking them.

Peder and Nanna agree, as do everyone else who meets the Abraxley boys (which, in such a small town, is everyone), that no harm shall come to them.

After a year has passed, Drake brings his son to see Edda, the oldest seiðkonur in Sørlandet. Her husband Jens had been the most powerful seiðmenn in all of Norway, but he died two weeks before Drake arrived. Edda, according to Nanna, wasn’t quite as strong as Jens had been, but she knew far more arcane magicks. “If anyone can erase that spell,” Nanna assured him, “it will be Edda.”

Edda reminds Drake of Augusta Longbottom, just a little. Lucas blinks up at her for a moment before hiding behind Drake’s legs.

“Well,” the seiðkonur says after staring at Lucas’ scar, “that is a nasty curse.”

“Can you get rid of it?” Drake asks.

She grins at him. “The seiðmenn who cursed him was powerful, yes, but he was young.” She shrugs, glancing towards a shelf. A bowl and a vial float to her, and the fireplace ignites.

Drake swallows and carefully thinks of his words before speaking. “He was born in the 20s,” he finally says. “And – he was the greatest wizard, where we come from.”

“Yes, I know,” Edda tells him, dumping the entire vial into the bowl. “Anyone at our level, that angry boy and I – curses leave marks, even if not always visible to the eye alone. That scar on your son… it as much screams who left it there, and if the Supreme Mugwump would get off his bum and look, it’d take less than a day.”

Drake steps back, grabbing for Lucas, but Edda waves a hand negligently. “The quarrels of wizards don’t concern me, boy, so long as they don’t trespass onto my land.” She laughs quietly for a few seconds before summoning a small jar of ash, which she sprinkles into her hand. “But you are here, supplicant of my aid, and that child in your care has yet to do anything unworthy of it.” She shrugs again, placing one finger in the bowl. “Yes,” she murmurs. “That’ll do.”

She hobbles to the fireplace and sets the bowl in the flames, where it floats, spinning. Edda turns to meet Drake’s eyes. “Tell me, boy, what it is you intend to do.”

Drake licks his lips, glancing down at Lucas, but Lucas is watching the bowl with wide eyes. “I’m teaching him magic,” he says. “Things he ought to know before being tossed into a war. I’m giving him a happy childhood. I’m doing what should’ve been done.”

“For whose benefit, child?” Edda asks gently. She doesn’t look away from him as she flicks her fingers, and a scale and a feather fly into the fire.

Drake almost says, My parents. He almost says, All the children who died at Hogwarts. He almost says, Everyone who suffered under the Lord of Britain.

But he finally says, kneeling down to wrap his arms around his son, “His. And mine.”

“Quite right, little dragon,” Edda says. “Now, we can start.” She plucks the bowl from the fire. “Come here and bring the boy.”

Harry Potter has a scar shaped like a lightning bolt in the middle of his forehead. Everyone knows that. Harry Potter defeated the Dark Lord when he was a little over a year old. Everyone knows that, too.

Everyone in the magical UK, anyway. In Norway, they don’t know that.

In Norway, Lucas Abraxley is four years old and he doesn’t have any scars at all.

In Risør, the most powerful seiðkonur in Sørlandet has a horcrux caged and she’s waiting for the right moment to summon the rest, to feed them all to Jörmungandr. Let the little upstart come back from that.

On his fifth birthday, Lucas is given an owl, the books he asked for, the videogames he asked for, and a training wand.

That evening, his da sits him down with Sköll, his stuffed wolf, and asks, “Lucas, do you know what today is?”

Lucas nods. “November 1. My birthday.”

Da smiles at him. “What I’m about to tell you is a secret, Lu. You can’t ever repeat it, not to Peder, not to Einar, not to Ingdora. Not even to Victory,” he adds, nodding to the owl roost.

“What about Sköll?” Lucas asks, pulling the wolf up so that he can rest his chin on its head.

“You remember the privacy spell?” Lucas nods; Da just taught it to him last week. He’s not a baby – he remembers every spell Da teaches him, and he shows them to Einar and Ingdora. He’ll be able to go to school with them soon, and they’ll learn more and more magic, and then they’ll go to the big kids school and learn all the magic ever in the world.

“If you tell Sköll, cast the spell first.” Lucas grins, but Da adds, “You can only tell him, Lucas, because he won’t repeat it. But your friends and Peder – it might put them in danger. They might not understand why it must be kept a secret.”

Da waits a moment but Lucas just stares up at him. Da nods and says, “You know that we aren’t from Rykene. Where we’re from, there is a bad man.”

Lucas listens, committing everything to memory, and after Da finally sends him to bed with a hug and a kiss, Lucas curls up with Sköll, casts the privacy spell, and works through it.

Da saved him from bad people. He was left with the bad people because of a bad man. His mama died to save him from the bad man; she used magic even Da doesn’t know and it got rid of the bad man for a long time, but the bad man is going to come back and Lucas has to be ready because a lady spoke words that the bad man believes, about Lucas being able to kill the bad man.

Lucas isn’t the name his mama gave him, but Da says he can’t know that yet, because bad people might be able to find him if he knows it.

And November 1 isn’t his birthday, but it is the day Da saved him.

After he finishes, Lucas stares into Sköll’s button eyes for a few minutes. “Right,” he says. He slides off the bed, grabs Sköll, and goes to Da’s room. Da watches him climb into the bed and under the covers but doesn’t speak. Lucas snuggles against him, putting Sköll at his back to guard them, and mutters, “Go to sleep, Da.”

Da sighs, wrapping his arms around Lucas, and murmurs, “I love you so much.”

Twenty-eight years ago, and twenty-four into the future, he never imagined he’d love the child this much. Sixteen years ago, and eight into the future, he hadn’t rejoiced, exactly, when The Boy Who Lived died in Slytherin’s chamber. But he hadn’t mourned, either.

But now. Now, with Lucas warm and fragile in his arms, trusting him and loving him – he understands why the Potters died. Why so many parents died for the children murdered moments after they fell.

There are many things Drake knows that Draco would’ve have been too cautious or arrogant to try. There are many things Drake hasn’t the first idea about (like why only the boy born as the seventh month dies could defeat Voldemort) but that doesn’t matter. Part of him wants to stay in Rykene, to continue on as an illusionist, to raise his son and watch Lucas grow, make a life far from Dumbledore and the Death Eaters.

But his parents are back in Britain. Someone has to clean up the mess. And Drake isn’t sure he believes in fate or destiny, but they believe in his son. So The Boy Who Lived might have to kill the Dark Lord, but he’s not doing it alone.

“Sleep, Da,” Lucas mutters again, thumping his head against Drake’s chest. “Can hear you thinkin’.”

“I love you,” Drake murmurs, closing his eyes and tightening his grip, just a little. Yes, he understands the Potters and his own parents so much more.

Amaya, Sahkyo, Michelle, Raissa, and Devra all stride into Edda’s home. “Welcome and well met,” she says. “What do any of you know about horcruxes?”

.

By dawn, there are six horcruxes caged in Edda’s domain and a spirit in Albania screams without knowing why.

.

In his bed at Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore dreams easily, feeling a relief he won’t understand for some time.

.

Devra is the last to leave. “When will you feed the serpent?” she asks.

Edda laughs. “When the child is old enough to witness it. I’ll mention it to his father, and I’ll call all of you.” She kisses Devra’s cheek. “Safe travels, sister.”

“You’re always such an adventure,” Devra tells her. “You make me feel like I’m merely a century old again.” She steps onto the porch and says, “Merry met and merry part, sister,” before vanishing into the pre-dawn mist.

In Surrey, Dudley Dursley is kicked out of his first primary school for being a terror. Arabella Figg dutifully reports back to Dumbledore, who continues to plot eighteen moves ahead of everyone else.

In his bed, under heavy green sheets, five year old Draco Malfoy dreams of ice and fire and his mother promising she’s always been proud of him.

In his bed, holding his son, Drake Abraxley dreams of phoenixes.

Chapter Text

On a night of no moon, Edda Lokidottir takes a skiff to the deepest part of the ocean. (She is not actually Loki’s daughter, of course. At least, she doesn’t think so. She’s fairly sure her mother would’ve mentioned it at some point.) Beside her in the skiff are six jars full of shadow.

Michelle appears next, in a kayak. Then Amaya with a sail boat not much bigger than Edda’s skiff, and Sahkyo with a canoe, and Raissa with a coracle, and finally Devra, who must always be late if only to make an entrance. She arrives riding on the back of an orca, grinning that same grin she wore as a girl and they first managed to summon a kraken from the depths.

“Sisters,” Edda calls serenely and sends them each their designated jar. “There was a man in the United Kingdom who wished to rule the world if he could.” She cradles her own jar, smirking down at the shadow swirling inside the glass. “He was quite the naughty boy.” She lifts her head to smile at her sisters. “Shall we show him what real magick looks like?”

The water churns as the great serpent rises, up and up and further still, longer than any wall, taller than any building, older than any language or land –

“Jörmungandr!” Edda shouts to the dark heavens, “I bring you an offering of magick!”

The serpent lowers his head, larger than her house, and she hears in her mind, Well?

She laughs, spinning the top off the jar and throwing the shadow out over the water. Jörmungandr snaps his jaws before wrapping around Edda’s skiff, stretching out to Amaya, and to Devra, to Michelle and Raissa, and at last Sahkyo.

Jörmungandr dives back down, leaving barely a wake behind him, and Edda sighs in satisfaction. “Why is that you’re the one who always finds the adventures?” Michelle asks after a moment. “I mean – I’ve been lookin’ for a yara-ma-yha-who for decades – decades! – but you find us a horcrux quest while just sittin’ quietly at home. Honestly, Edda.”

Edda snickers into her hand as Amaya, Raissa, and Sahkyo chime in with their own gripes, but Devra simply grins at her, shaking her head and patting the orca. “Sisters,” Devra finally calls. “We all have places to be, I’m sure. And Edda will definitely let us know if something else comes up. As I know it will.”

In but a few moments, Edda is left alone on the water. She trails her fingers through it, committing everything to her strongest memory; the Boy Who Lived (such a silly title) will want to see this, and so will his father.

“Sleep well, Jörmungandr,” she murmurs and returns home.

In the forests of Albania, a spirit screams. Birds take startled flight; prey runs further into the trees. Not even the spirit’s beloved snakes go near it for days.

In the deepest part of the ocean, the greatest of all serpents laughs, hunger sated for a little while.

Chapter Text

He opens his eyes and he’s standing by the ocean. He tucks the time-turner into his shirt, takes a breath, gathers his strength, and apparates to just outside muggle London. He transfigures his worn robes into trousers and a plain black shirt before catching a muggle cab. “The Tower,” he says, settling back to watch the city as they drive past.

The cab driver prattles on but he cannot look away from the crowds, from the buildings standing tall, the life -

Yes, he has gone back, but he doesn’t know yet if he’s gone back far enough. “Hey, mate,” he says as the cab pulls over, “What’s the date, do you know?”

“June 5,” the muggle says, and he confounds the man as he slides out of the cab.

June 5. And the newspapers on the stands show the year – 1980.

Yes. “Twenty-four years,” he murmurs. He gazes up at the Tower in wonder, remembering how it smoldered.

Today is his birthday. He has a year and five months.

With one last glance at the Tower, he hurries into muggle London.

The first thing to do is change his appearance. His cousin had been – still is! She’s alive here! – a metamorphmagus, but that isn’t an ability, unfortunately, that he’d inherited. He’s obviously a Malfoy and that must change. Potions wear off, and spells fade, so…

Severus had told him, once, about a witch who anchored spells so strongly they lasted for years. She was in high demand in Asia; the Lord of Britain had sent envoys to her twice. Both times, they failed to return. “Ito,” he mutters, ducking into an alley. “Something Ito. Or Ito something?” He leans against the wall, wishing for a moment that he could risk a pensieve. And he can’t just apparate to Japan and ask around for the anchoring spell witch – that’d be far too noticeable.

“It started with an A, didn’t it?” he muses.

No matter what, he can’t stay in the UK until his appearance has changed. He glances around London one last time and apparates to the Apparition Terminal of the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

.

He has no papers, no ID, nothing but the clothes on his back and utter determination. The War in England never made it across the Atlantic, and so he slips away from the American aurors easily. Many things are for sale in New York but he still has no money. He can’t access the Malfoy vaults because his father would trace it, and there’s already a Draco Malfoy in this time (maybe he should’ve have gone back to an earlier time? He taps at the time-turner underneath his shirt and considers it for half a second before deciding that, no, maybe going back to before he existed is a bad idea).

He should also probably find a new wand. But he can’t do that until he has money, and he can’t get money until he has an ID… can he?

Sirens begin to shriek somewhere and he smirks. Of course he can get money. He once broke into the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix – how hard can a muggle bank be?

.

He prays every night, wherever he lays his head (if he goes to sleep). His father’s patron had been Janus, and his mother favored Áine. But he has always had a soft spot for Loki. And so he takes a few seconds each night and he thinks, Lord Loki, this is a trickster’s gambit. Please grant me all of a trickster’s luck.

It can’t hurt, and maybe a dash of luck is all he needs.

.

A month in, he has a transitory identity (Rome Talbot) and well over $500,000. He’s stolen it in pieces from each of the 50 states and put it into separate banks under different names, each charmed so that the muggles don’t look closely or think too hard. Gringotts has a single counterpart in the States, and he avoids it, but he finally transfers all of his funds to JP Morgan Chase & Co, a bank highly respected in both worlds.

With his finances as secure as he can make them, he turns his focus to finding a new wand, one that’ll be untraceable back home. He checks every wand shop in New York but nothing suits him. He then visits each of the major cities that have magical districts, but it’s not until he gets to New Orleans that he finds it: seven inches, thunderbird feather core, and made of blackthorn. It only costs $17, the shop keeper tells him bemusedly, because the wandmaker has held onto it for nearly a hundred years and nobody’s ever connected with it.

He leaves New Orleans with a wand that suits him far more than the one his mother bought him at Ollivander’s a dozen years ago and a lifetime into the future.

.

So he now has money and a wand, but he still doesn’t have an identity that he’d feel comfortable raising the Boy Who Lived under, and his appearance has been hidden with Polyjuice and glamours. It’s while he’s brewing the latest batch that he drops the fluxweed in too soon because “Amaya Ito!” He quickly puts the stopper back in the jar and empties the cauldron, dresses in his most professional attire, and apparates to the most respectable private detective in New York City.

.

“How can I help you, Mr. Talbot?” Elijah Newton asks him, and the way the man stresses Talbot, it’s obvious he knows the identity is fake.

Well, that can’t be helped. “I need to know everything about a witch named Amaya Ito,” he says. “She’s Japanese, I think. I need to know as soon as possible.” His father would be horrified at how desperate he seems; his mother would cluck her tongue and shake her head. Malfoys should always appear in control of the situation.

His parents died, and he can’t be a Malfoy anymore. He needs the witch Severus told him about.

“A hundred up-front,” Newton says. “Two hundred if I find anything worthwhile.”

“Fine,” he says.

.

Half a month passes. He researches in public libraries, makes contacts via floo and owl, and decides on where he’ll take Potter after he finally has the boy. (Four months are gone.)

Newton sends word that he has something worthwhile, so he stops by just after sunset. “Ito Amaya,” Newton says. “Graduated with honors from the Imperial Academy of Magical Arts in Kyoto. She holds a Mastery in spellcrafting and her illusions are some of the best in the world. There’s a waitlist two years long to see her and the only way to get on the list is to go in person. Here,” Newton adds, holding out a large envelope. “Everything I found is in here. That’ll be two hundred even.”

He hands over the bills and takes the envelope back to his apartment, where he spreads the sheets of paper out.

Ito Amaya is nearly three centuries old. Her lineage (on both sides) stretches back almost as far as Japan’s. She’d outlived a husband and three of her children and he wouldn’t be able to get in to see her until 1983 at the latest.

He taps the time-turner around his neck and nods decisively. “Very well then,” he mutters.

.

“This is quite a lot of work just to see me,” Ito Amaya says in crisp English, her dark eyes sharp.

“I apologize,” he says quietly. “But time is of the essence.”

“Of that, I’m aware,” she tells him. “Now, stand up straight. This might sting.”

“What – ” he starts to ask, but then the magic bites into his blood and he can’t even suck in enough air to scream.

.

It does hurt.

But when it’s over, he has muddy brown hair and muddy brown eyes and skin that tans instead of burning. No one, even his parents, would look at him and think Malfoy.

“Be cautious, child,” Mistress Ito says. “Be wise, be sure, and be brave.”

He doesn’t touch the time-turner, as ever around his neck, but he can’t control his reaction beyond that. She smiles at him and turns back to her desk. He waits a moment before heading for the door, and she calls, “Bring the boy once you’ve got him.”

He leaves without a word, heart in his throat, and doesn’t calm down until he’s back in his apartment clutching his blackthorn wand.

.

Funds. A wand. A different face.

He still needs a name.

.

Draco Malfoy. Pureblood. Son of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy. Death eater. All around prat, really. He’s just an infant though. Barely begun to crawl.

He’s answered to Draco for 24 years, so he keeps Drake, and Abraxley for his grandfather Abraxas. He’ll change Potter’s name to Lucas – he likes the way it sounds, really, though it is also comfortingly close to Father’s name.

.

Everything is set. He’s as prepared as he can be. He spends the last two months writing out everything he needs to teach Potter - Lucas. History. Spells, charms, curses, potions. Etiquette. Traditions. Self-confidence. Studious habits.

Everything a pureblood would grow up knowing, and the muggle things, too, because they were almost as dangerous as the Lord of Britain towards the end. He may not like them but Drake Abraxley isn’t a bigoted idiot, and his son will understand the world around him – both worlds. (Can the strongest shield stop one of those nuclear bombs the newspaper mentioned? Drake has no idea and it terrifies him.)

.

Halloween, 1981. Drake apparates in three blocks away from Privet Drive, disillusions himself, settles onto the grass on the edge of a park, and waits.

He feels when Dumbledore appears on Privet Drive, but he still waits until the early morning before rising to his feet and slowly walking to Number 4. His mind clears as he stares down at the sleeping toddler.

Yes. All of his hard work has been for this moment. And he must have The Trickster’s own luck for how well everything has gone.

But he still shakes his head in disgust as he picks up The Boy Who Lived To Be His Son and mutters, “What sort of master plan was this, honestly?” because if this was the best Dumbledore could think up, the man had to be not only mad but stupid as well.

He apparates them back to his apartment. He needs a nap before taking Lucas to Mistress Ito, and then it’ll be on to Rykene.

Thank you, Lord Loki, he prays. Thank you.

Chapter Text

“Albus,” Minerva pronounces as she stalks into the Headmaster’s office, “Harry Potter has not owled his acceptance.”

He blinks at her over those ridiculous spectacles and then gestures towards one of those ridiculous devices; even she has not been made privy to which is charmed to Harry Potter. Many dreadful things have proven that not a one of them had paranoia enough to be of use.

“He is healthy,” Albus finally says, glancing up at her. “Send Hagrid to fetch him.”

Hagrid, Albus,” she grits out, because she remembers Lily’s stories, and that horrible day she watched Lily’s sister and nephew. The worst sort of muggles, and Lily and James’ son left like the daily post on that stoop!

“Yes, my dear,” Albus says serenely, placidly staring up at her. “Hagrid.”

.

But Hagrid returns without Harry Potter because, “’e weren’t there, Headmaster! Never was!”

Oh, but Minerva could just take Albus Dumbledore’s face off with her claws, she really could.

.

Albus – wisely, perhaps – does not take Minerva with him to visit the Dursleys. She is busy with the first years, the muggleborns, the Board of Governors raising a fuss about quidditch. Filius approaches her with concerns about Quirinus, newly returned from a sabbatical and taking up the Defense post instead of Muggle Studies like he had last year, but Albus has already signed off on it.

Something is different about Quirinus, but Minerva doesn’t see that it warrants taking Albus’ attention away from the search for Harry Potter.

.

“Where could the poor boy be?” Poppy asks as they drink their nightly cup of tea ensconced in Minerva’s private office, where not even Albus dares disturb her.

Minerva sighs. “Lily’s sister never even saw him,” she says. “Arabella Figg’s been reporting on that dreadful cousin of his all this time. Ten years, Poppy!” She slams her teacup down. “How could I have never checked? I saw the kind of people they were!”

That’s the worst of it, really – though she wants to blame Albus, only four people knew the location of the Boy Who Lived, one of them a half-giant and one of them a squib. She’s as culpable as Albus now that he’s gone missing.

There’s nothing to be done about it now, though; the term starts in three days and all of the children – save that very special one - have owled in their acceptances. All that’s left to do is wait, and hope, and maybe send up a prayer or two to Bast.

Poppy pats her on the hand and says, “Come now, Minerva. Let’s talk of brighter things.”

“Aye,” Minerva sighs again. “Let’s do.”

.

“Abbot, Hannah!” Minerva calls, glancing up from the scroll to watch a nervous girl make her way to the stool. The girl is quickly sorted into Hufflepuff, so Minerva calls the next name: “Abraxley, Lucas!”

She’s unfamiliar with this boy’s family, but he doesn’t look like much as he hurries toward her. He sits under the Hat for a good two minutes before “Ravenclaw!” rings out.

“Bones, Susan!” is next and the Sorting continues.

Minerva’s last hope fades away when Harry Potter doesn’t mysteriously arrive by the time Albus dismisses everyone for the night.

But all she can do is care for her Gryffindors first, then the school; and so, that is what she does.

Chapter Text

“Shh,” Mistress Ito croons to Lucas. Drake winces, remembering how much it hurt when her spell latched onto his blood, but the baby just laughs. “Up until their third year,” Mistress Ito says without glancing away from Lucas’ eyes, “children are malleable; anything at all can be done to their magic.” She smiles down at Lucas and then holds him out to Drake.

Lucas’ hair is almost as dark brown as Drake’s, and his eyes are the same shade of brown – except for the streaks of green shot through them. Green as the killing curse. Drake’s breath catches in his throat because that’s the shade of Harry Potter’s eyes. He looks at Mistress Ito but she simply raises an eyebrow. “It’s done,” she says. “Any test at all will show only that he is your son.” She pauses, following Drake’s gaze to the lightning bolt scar. “That, I cannot touch.”

She adds, “You have chosen a very difficult path, dragonling,” turning to walk to the window. Lucas babbles something indecipherable and Drake adjusts his hold on the boy. “But you are being cautious, and wise for your age, and you are quite sure?” She glances over her shoulder and he nods, so she smiles and finishes, “Then all that is left is to be courageous.”

“Yes,” he murmurs, looking down at Lucas. “That’s all.”

.

He takes a series of connecting flights to Oslo and from there he catches a cab. The house is already bought, paid for, and furnished, so he goes to bed immediately after arriving.

Lucas has a tight grip on the simple wolf plush Drake picked up for him at the airport in Tokyo. Drake spent most of the first flight telling Lucas all the stories he knew about wolves, and Lucas chose Sköll as his wolf’s name. Drake was just relieved he didn’t choose Fenrir.

Rykene has a population smaller than Hogwarts’, and most of them are older muggles living out their retirement or magicals doing the same. There are only a few children and Drake visits with those families; his son must have playmate, hopefully friends.

Lucas is such a happy child. He’s curious and sweet, and the neighbors, an elderly magical couple, take to him like another grandchild because their own children and grandchildren are spread all over the world. Lucas’ accidental magic is always an adventure (especially when he animates Sköll) and Nanna offers Drake advice that he sorely needs.

“You know, don’t you, that there’s something nasty in your boy’s scar?” Peder asks him one night after dinner, while Nanna is setting up Lucas with one of those Star Wars movies that the muggles love so much. (Drake fully understands the appeal, after his months in New York.)

“Yes,” he answers quietly, glancing towards the den. “I’m still working on it.”

“Nanna knows more about such things than I do,” Peder says with a small smile. “She stayed here for me. We’ll find you some help, don’t fret.”

.

Nanna finds him Edda, the uncontested Mage of Norway. Edda is terrifying in a way the Lord of Britain never had been. But she is gentle with Lucas, patient with Drake, and helps Drake begin tutoring a toddler in Occlumency.

One such evening, not long after Lucas’ fourth birthday, Edda asks, "Do you know what decides how powerful we are?"

Drake says, "Our magical cores."

"Yes and no," Edda replies. "We are born with all the power we will ever have, but our first three years of life decide how much of that power we will keep." She smiles at Lucas and he grins widely back. “Your son went from one happy childhood to another. All of his potential will be realized - this life.”

Because he has no idea how to reply, Drake doesn’t. He just congratulates Lucas on completing the meditation and acquiesces when Edda invites them to stay for dinner.

.

That night, Drake dreams of how Harry Potter died in the Chamber. He still doesn’t know for sure, but he knows what was found there. He wakes with screams echoing in his ears and hurries to his son’s room, where he wraps himself around Lucas and doesn’t sleep again until dawn.

.

"I just wanted to ask..." Drake hesitates, watching Lucas tentatively offer Sköll to one of Edda's neighbor's children. It has been three years since Nanna introduced him to Edda, and he doesn’t doubt the binding between him and Lucas, or the power of the spell that forever altered their appearances, but…

"Yes?" Edda just waits and waits, while Lucas and the boy run around, Skoll nipping at their heels.

"Any test that could be done - will it reveal the truth?" Drake can’t bring himself to look away from the boys.

"Of course not, dragon," Edda says. "Ito Amaya anchored the spell in your and your son's magic - you are each other's magic, each other's blood, now. Any test, any spell, any potion... it will all come back the same: you are that boy's father and that boy is your son. No one in the world can undo what Amaya has done."

Drake exhales a sigh of relief and doesn’t pull away when Edda pats his hand.
.
On his sixth birthday, Lucas asks about his birth family and the bad man. Drake promises to tell him when his mind is as deep and dark as the ocean. Occlumency is a difficult art even for grown wizards; expecting a boy to master it is a bit much. But every night before bed, Lucas delves deep into himself and practices.

On his seven birthday, Lucas’ mind is smooth and ordered. On his eighth, it takes Drake nearly ten minutes to find the thing he told Lucas to hide. On his ninth, there are caverns and trenches, and serpents of all sizes to protect Lucas’ secrets. On his tenth, Drake smiles in satisfaction at the representation of Jörmungandr that consumes him while he searches his son’s mind.
“You’re ready, Lucas,” he says. “But I’ll ask you once more: are you absolutely certain you want to know?”

“I’ll be going to Hogwarts soon,” Lucas says. The streaks of green in his eyes look especially brilliant today.

“Yes, you are,” Drake murmurs, sighing. “It’s a long story; let’s sit down to dinner and I’ll tell you.”

Lucas goes to bed early and gently pulls his old plush wolf Sköll down from his place of honor on the shelf above the bed. He sets up the privacy spell Da taught him half a lifetime ago and whispers to the wolf everything Da just told him.

His name was Harry Potter. He was born as the seventh month died and a madman with delusions of grandeur (and the magic to back it up) believed that meant Harry Potter was prophesied to kill him. The entirety of magical Britain believed it, too.

Harry Potter died at twelve years old, and Da traveled back in time to keep it from happening again.

Da doesn’t believe in prophecies, but he knows that Voldemort does, and if Voldemort comes back again, there won’t be anyone able to kill him if Harry Potter isn’t there. Self-fulfilling prophecies are the worst.

“But Harry Potter is just as dead now as he was then, Sköll,” he whispers, arms tight around the wolf. “I’m Lucas Abraxley.”

He knows, deep in his heart, that Da is worried Lucas might hate him now. But how could he? There are so many other ways Da could have raised him – it didn’t have to be as Da’s son. It could’ve been as a soldier, or as a weapon.

But Da has taught him so many things, and none of it has been a chore. And Da loves him. And he loves Da.

So he looks down at Sköll’s button eyes, nods decisively, leaves him on the pillow, and goes to see Da, still sitting at the dinner table, head in his hands.

“You’ll be coming with me?” he asks, wishing his voice was stronger, surer. But he knows he can’t do this, can’t walk into the place where he died (two years in the future and thirty-four years ago) if Da isn’t with him.

“Of course,” Da says, raising his head, hope lighting his face. “I’ve already bought a flat in Hogsmeade.”

“Good,” Lucas says firmly and throws his arms around his father.

Chapter Text

While Lucas played with Ingdora and Einar, watched over by Ingdora's seiðkonur grandmother and retired muggle soldier grandfather, Drake apparated to Edda. Lucas knew, of course, that bad men sought them; he even knew, a little bit, that Drake once – a very long time ago – had worked with the bad men. And he knew that Drake realized what a mistake that was, that Drake left, that Drake saved him.

But he didn’t know that Drake still bore the worst man’s brand on his arm. Mistress Ito had hidden the brand but she could not erase it any more than she could deal with Lucas’ curse scar.

Edda, however – Edda had gotten rid of the curse scar, so Drake thought she might even be able to deal with Voldemort’s Dark Mark.

.

“Well, child, show me your arm,” Edda ordered, reaching out to touch his skin with a single finger. “You have a very strong will, little dragon,” she murmured, “to have defied him. This is the worst sort of binding compulsion.”

He didn’t reply. She glanced at him but said nothing else, turning that frightening gaze onto Voldemort’s invisible brand.

Drake hadn’t seen it in six years, but he’d never stopped feeling it.

“I’ll need – hmm, yes, that would work,” Edda muttered. “And, of course, oh yes, definitely. I wonder… no, I think the last died, quite unfortunate that.”

With his eyes closed, Drake found her prattle almost soothing.

Finally, she patted his hand. “Very well, dear,” she said. “Removing that will be even more painful than placing it. If you’re quite sure?”

He nodded firmly. She patted his hand again. “We’ll need a moonless night and a sacrifice.”

“What?” he demanded, pulling his arm away. “A sacrifice of what?”

“Equal to the cost of the brand,” she said. “What did you do to earn that one’s mark?”

Drake swallowed. “I – I killed an innocent,” he whispered, dropping his gaze.

“Then, to counteract that initial sacrifice, you must?” she asked, reminding him so strongly of Professor McGonagall that he had to chuckle a little bitterly. McGonagall died at Hogwarts, and all of the children she died for died mere minutes later.

“Kill a non-innocent?” he guessed.

“Quite right.” She nodded. “What are you teaching your son about death?”

He tapped his fingers onto his thighs, glancing back up at her. “I’m raising him to fight a war. He’ll be shown no mercy by his enemies, and so he’ll show them none. Better a dead enemy at your back than a stunned one.”

Maybe, he thought, if Dumbledore had believed that, the Lord of Britain might never have risen the second time.

“Good,” Edda said. “We have three weeks until the correct night. Bring with you the sacrifice.”

“Thank you,” he told her, apparating back to Lucas.

Draco Malfoy killed four people before fleeing Voldemort, and two to stay free. So far, Drake Abraxley hadn’t killed anyone.

Watching his son dodge away from Ingdora, laughing, he knew that would change.

.

To earn his Dark Mark, Draco Malfoy used magic to steal a life. To escape his Dark Mark, Drake Abraxley used a knife. Edda didn’t ask what the man had done, so Drake didn’t tell her. He’d prefer to never think of it again.

He bit through his lip as the Dark Mark burned away, but he never made a sound.

Chapter Text

After the prefects welcome them to Ravenclaw and show them their rooms, the first years are left alone. Lucas’ roommates are Terry Boot, Michael Corner, Stephen Cornfoot, Kevin Entwhistle, and Anthony Goldstein. Lucas claims the bed closest to the window and sends one of his thought-serpents to Da, announcing his House.

Ravenclaw? Da sends back with a thought-dragon. Better than Gryffindor.

Lucas snorts, pulling out his nightclothes and toiletries. This has been one of the longest days of his life (and, quite possibly, the most terrifying) but he knows he won’t be able to sleep until he feels clean.

I am so proud of you, Da lets him know, the thought-dragon suffusing him with a bolt of warmth.

He smiles as he turns on the water.

Yes, there is much to do. Yes, there is much neither of them knows. But they have the Tricksters’ own luck, with both Loki and Anansi watching them play a prank on an entire country, and at the moment, Lucas is feeling pretty good.

.

“There is a spell,” Da told him, the morning after Lucas learned Harry Potter’s name, “that allows our kind to send messages from far away. There’s enchanted mirrors and the floo; you already know owls. But all of those can be intercepted.”

Da said, “There are things we can never mention aloud now that you know. We cannot be in the habit of speaking of it once you go to Hogwarts.” He waited, but Lucas just nodded. So Da smiled. “Your mind protects you with serpents. Mine protects me with dragons. And we can use that.”

Edda taught Da the spell, of course. She said that Sahkyo Hashke’s ancestors had created it, though it was a distant cousin to the Patronus, and Sahkyo had taught it to Edda. “They don’t have dementors in the Americas,” Da said Edda had said. “But they have things just as foul.”

When the conquerors went to the Americas, there wasn’t an organized resistance, as such, but magic finds ways to survive. Being able to communicate across the breadth of a continent, in a way that no one could listen to or even know about it –

“That sounds amazing,” Lucas said. “Teach me, teach me, teach me!”

Da had laughed. “It’s very difficult, and only works on those whose minds are completely shielded. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work at first.”

Lucas nodded.

Of course it didn’t work the first time. But they had a year to practice and perfect, and by the time Lucas’ Hogwarts letter arrived, he could reliably send one of his Occlumency protections out of his own mind and into his father’s.

Lucas used serpents of all sizes as his guardians of the mind, with Jörmungandr as the very last resort. Da used dragons. The fact that the two were so compatible, Da explained, was part of why they could so easily use Sahkyo’s spell.

(Da didn’t mention that Mistress Ito’s magic had connected them, too, but Lucas figured it out for himself.)

.

In the morning, Lucas is the first to wake. He dresses, puts all of his books into the tote bag Da had charmed for him, and heads to the Great Hall for breakfast. He’s among the first down there and sits at the end of the Ravenclaw table, helping himself to a few different foods that he’s never seen before.

He watches everyone who enters, students and professors both, and knows Da was right. A few days before Harry Potter’s eleventh birthday, Lucas had asked Da, “Who were you, before you came back?”

Da had just looked at him for a long time. Finally, he said, “I’ve never lied to you, Lucas, and I never will. But I need you to trust me when I tell you there are some things you can’t know yet. If you knew – you’d treat him differently. Even if you tried as hard you could, something would be given away. Believe me when I promise to tell you someday.”

Lucas nodded, disappointed. But he knew then that his da’s previous self was at Hogwarts. So he watches them now, sipping his water and waiting for a prefect to give him his schedule. He watches, filing away as much as he can.

.

After his letter came, addressed to Mr. L. Abraxley, The Morningside Room, 17 Lyveien, Rykene, Sørlandet, Da took a deep breath, held it for a moment, exhaled, and then fixed firm gaze on Lucas.

“I need to tell you about Hogwarts,” he said, and Lucas settled in for a long morning.

“Don’t draw attention to yourself,” Da cautioned. “Whichever House you’re Sorted into, you’ll be a first year of no political importance. Don’t be noticed, not by dragging your feet (which I doubt you’ll do) or by being too advanced. Yes, you already know most of the magic they’ll teach you - don’t let any of them know that.”

Da chewed on his lip for a moment. “I’m tempted to not let you go there.” He sighed. “But I have no way of tracking Voldemort before he appears, and I know Dumbledore is searching with all his power. You have to go.” Da shook his head. “No matter.”

“Which House should I go into?” Lucas asked.

Da scoffed. “It doesn’t matter, honestly. They all have their problems. Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, though, are the Houses where you’re most likely to be overlooked.” His gaze sharpened. “There will most likely be a mystery, unless Harry Potter’s disappearance changed a great many of Dumbledore’s machinations. Lucas, I know you like solving puzzles, but stay away from it. I’m still not sure of what all happened in Harry Potter’s first year; I know only that he spent days in the infirmary and it involved Voldemort.”

He reached out to clasp Lucas’ shoulder. “Don’t go looking for trouble, Lu. I swear to you, it’ll find you soon enough.”

Lucas snickered because that sounded about right.

“And don’t forget,” Da added as Lucas got up to head to Einar’s house, “I’ll have a flat in Hogsmeade. I’ll only be a thought away.”

“Thanks, Da,” he called over his shoulder.

.

The mystery Da mentioned must involve the corridor on the third floor and a painful death; Lucas has no problem not exploring that. He’s here only to learn anything Da hasn’t taught him and to make connections with those in magical Britain who might prove useful against Voldemort.

Victory swoops in as one of the prefects, Bradley, hands out the first year schedules. “Oh!” one of the first year girls (Granger?) gasps when Victory lands on Lucas’ shoulder. “He’s gorgeous,” she breathes as the student next to him scoots over a bit. Victory nibbles at his hair before taking off again, heading for either the owlry or Da’s flat.

“He was just saying hello,” Lucas told those around him. “Letting me know he made it.” He finishes off his last bit of toast and stands. The first class is Potions and Da had warned him about Professor Snape.
None of the students in his House have caught his attention in any particular way. But it is only the first day. He still has plenty of time.

Chapter Text

Drake Abraxley is the homeschooled only child of a squib and a muggleborn. His mother was Georgette Holmes, only daughter of two muggleborns and without any magic of her own. His father was Colin Abraxley, a muggleborn who moved to London for a job in the muggle world right as the war against Voldemort was heating up. (If he’d known… well, who can say what he would’ve done?)

Colin Abraxley had spent his youth in Rykene, though his mother’s family hailed from Sweden and his father was born in Iceland. Georgette Holmes met him one day at the grocer’s. It was love, as the story goes, at first sight.

Colin and Georgette were content to live their lives as muggles until their little darling had his first incident of accidental magic. Neither of them trusted the magical community in the UK, and neither would risk their son at Hogwarts, so they hired Drake tutors and he soaked up the lessons, mastering everything easier than Roger Xerxes had ever seen.

When Drake was eighteen, his parents were killed by Death Eaters. His tutor died a month later in a potions mishap.

When Drake was twenty, he met Jane Yelana. She was a muggle. After she conceived Drake’s child, he both proposed and told her about magic. They were married in August and their son Lucas born on November 1, 1980.

Almost a year later, Jane died in a skirmish between the Order of the Phoenix, aurors, and Death Eaters. Only Lucas’ accidental magic saved him. Drake could not stand staying in the country that killed the majority of his family, so he returned to his father’s childhood town with his son.

No one in the magical UK remembers the Abraxleys. Drake holds no respect for any of the prominent families, wizards, or witches. But his son received an owl, and unlike his parents, he is curious. So he will give the country that killed his family one more chance.

Just one.

.

“You need a wand,” Drake says. “Any wandmaker in the UK will place tracking charms for the ministry. In a few weeks, you and I will make a trip to the States.” He takes a sip of his Coke, a drink he’d developed a liking to while in New York, and watches Lucas bounce in his seat. “We’ll spend the remainder of the summer there and then it’ll be time for Hogwarts.”

“Can we bring Ingdora and Einar?” Lucas asks, still bouncing. He’s been wanting to take a trip somewhere for a while, Drake knows. He, Ingdora, and Einar have planned nearly a dozen of them, to places like Australia and the Amazon Rainforest, to the wilds of Alaska and the Serengeti of Africa. Ingdora pushed for a visit to the Coliseum and Einar wanted to see the Kremlin. Lucas changes his mind every time they have the discussion.

“They could maybe visit for a week or two while we spend time in Florida,” Drake says. “I thought you might like to go to Disney World.”

Lucas’ eyes widens. “I’ve seen that on the television!”

Drake chuckles. “I’m sure you have.”

.

There are five months until September 1. They start in New York and work their way west.

.

Once Lucas has trailed his fingers in the Pacific, they turn southeast.

.

In New Orleans, a wizened dark-skinned crone smirks at Drake and drawls, “So, boyo, you’re the one who finally took that wand.”

“Yes, ma’am, I am,” he drawls right back with his best Malfoy smirk.

She laughs, gaze turning to Lucas. “Well, c’mon, boy. Let’s find you a wand.”

The fifth wand he picks up shoots out sparks as green as the streaks in his eyes and Drake’s breath catches; Lucas has never seen the killing curse, but the wandmaker’s gaze goes to Drake for just a moment.

“Oh, my,” Lucas whispers, fingers clutching the wand.

“Blackthorn, eight inches, two thestral mane hairs – a dam and a foal.” The wandmaker’s tone is firm, no-nonsense. “That’ll be $18, Mister Wizard,” she tells Drake, “because the mare took a bite out of my son.”

“Of course,” Drake murmurs, handing the money over.

Thunder crashes somewhere over the city. “There’s a storm coming,” the wandmaker says, gesturing towards the ceiling. “Take your boy back to your rooms. It’s just a summer shower.”

“Thank you,” Drake says, shepherding Lucas to the door. Lucas slips his wand into his wrist holster, unable to hide his wide grin.

Threstral hair. Voldemort’s second wand, the one he took from Dumbledore’s corpse, had threstal hair as its core – Severus had said so, once.

“I have a wand, Da!” Lucas crows as it starts to rain.

“So you do,” Drake says.

.

Two weeks are spent at Disney World, one of them with Ingdora and Einar. Ingdora’s parents and little brother come, too, and Einar’s mother. Lucas has the time of his life, and Drake rides Splash Mountain a dozen times before getting tired of it.

.

With but a week left, Drake spends a day preparing the Hogsmeade flat. Lucas stays with Peder and Nanna back in Rykene. He and his friends go around to visit all their old haunts, and Edda even stops in for a moment to say goodbye and check both of their Occlumency shields one last time. “Seamless,” she pronounces. “I daresay even the Supreme Mugwump would lose his footing if he stumbled into one of your minds.” Her smile is positively wicked.

.

Drake and Lucas fly to London from Oslo and take a cab to King’s Cross. They stride onto Platform 9¾, just another nobody and his nobody son, and Drake blinks away a few tears at seeing the Hogwarts Express brilliant and whole.

“I’ll see you in two days’ time, Lucas,” Drake tells him softly. “Victory will join you tomorrow morning.” He smiles down at his son; Lucas throws his arms around Drake’s middle.

“Everything’ll be fine, Da,” Lucas promises, squeezing him tight. I’ll do you proud, he adds, tilting his head back to meet Drake’s eyes.

I know you will, Drake says. I love you.

Lucas smiles up at him and boards the train.

Drake stays on the platform until the train pulls away.

.

From his flat in Hogsmeade, Drake can see Hogwarts. He spends hours staring at the castle. Everyone he knew there died, either at the castle or later because of the Lord of Britain.

Finally, he pulls away from the window. It is Lucas’ first day of classes, and Drake’s first day working at Tomes and Scrolls.

“Good morning, Ms. Hawke,” he calls to Juno Hawk, the proprietress. He greets her sister Ceres with a smile.

“Morning, Mr. Abraxley,” Ms. Hawke says. “Start with the potions shelves, please; they haven’t been sorted in some time.”

It’s soothing work and almost takes his mind off the thought of his son alone in Hogwarts, the place where he died two years in the future and forty years ago.

“Drake!” he hears and turns to watch Ceres wave at him. “Take a breather, man; you’ve been at it for over five hours. Lunch time!”

He laughs. “Thank you, Ms. Hawke! I was completely ensnared.” He tracks down Juno to tell her, “I’m taking at quick lunch at the Three Broomsticks, miss. I’ve yet to buy enough groceries to make lunch. I’ll be back shortly.”

“Ach, take your time, dear,” she orders him.

“Thank you,” he says with a smile.

.

At the Three Broomsticks, Madame Rosmerta welcomes him with a big grin and he orders a hearty lunch. They chat about nothing; it’s a little late for the lunch crowd, so he’s one of few customers and the only one, apparently, that Madame Rosmerta doesn’t know.

When he goes back to work, the Hawkes send him to the other side of the store, to work on the creatures shelves. The boy he once was would be horrified at such menial labor for the scion of House Malfoy.

The boy he once was died screaming. And he was such a fool.

Forgive me, he thinks to his parents, to his childhood friends and foes, to Harry Potter. I’m doing my best. He sighs. It’s all I can do.

Chapter Text

Da’s warnings didn’t quite do Professor Snape justice, Lucas thought, neatly dicing his gillyweed. Granger, his partner due to seating arrangements, carefully stirred the liquid in the cauldron seven times counterclockwise and then once the opposite before Lucas dropped the gillyweed in, a single teaspoon at a time.

“Bottle a sample of the potion and put them on the front desk,” Professor Snape barked. “Read the entire text for the next class.”

On their way out of the dungeon, Boot and Turpin suggested forming a study group for all of the first years in Ravenclaw. “My sister has a collection of potions texts,” Goldstein offered. “She’s said it explains why certain things must done exactly so, like the difference between dicing and mincing, or the direction of stirring.”

“That sounds wonderful,” Granger exclaimed. “I have so many questions – none of the books I got at Flourish and Blotts mentioned any of it!”

“That wasn’t even teaching!” Brocklehurst added vehemently. “A few questions off the OWLs and then orders on the board. How can – ”

“I will definitely be writing to my aunt,” one of the Hufflepuffs trailing along behind them said. “Can I join the study group?”

“Of course!” Cornfoot said. “How about if we all meet in the library tomorrow after the last class? By then, everyone will have attended every subject.”

No one had any other suggestion, so the Hufflepuffs broke off as the Ravenclaws hurried to Charms.

Professor Flitwick, Lucas thought as the professor welcomed them to the class, was much more pleasant than Professor Snape.

.

At lunch, while his yearmates compared professors, Lucas wrote letters for Einar, Ingdora, and Nanna. After he finished, he summoned Victory and sent him off, then studied the Gryffindors whose faces he could see, checking people off his mental list of Could Be Da.

When lunch was over, Lucas and his yearmates went to Greenhouse 1 for their first Herbology lesson. Lucas had memorized the textbook already, since Nanna held a Mastery in Herbology and had made sure all of the neighborhood children understood both its dangers and uses.

“There are seven greenhouses for this course,” Professor Sprout told them. “For your first year, all of you will only set foot in this one. As you progress through your schooling, you’ll be introduced to more dangerous plants. Now, who can tell me what the most deadly plant in the world is?”

Everyone raised their hand; Professor Sprout nodded to one of the girls. “Yes, you, Miss…?”

“MacDougal, Professor Sprout. It’s either the Invisible Duskblooming Chokevine or the Triffid,” the girl said.

“Quite right, Miss MacDougal. A point to Ravenclaw.” She smiled. “Can any of you tell me a difference between those two plants?” Again, everyone raised a hand and Professor Sprout nodded to one of the boys. “Yes, Mr…?”

“Corner, ma’am,” he said. “The chokevine has no poison.”

“That is correct. Another point to Ravenclaw.” She glanced around at the circle of first years. “Because you are Ravenclaws, I assume each and every one of you read the textbook before even setting foot on the Hogwarts Express?”

They all nodded, of course. She smiled again and flicked her wand. A sheet of paper appeared, floating before each of their faces. “This is a start-of-term quiz. Once you have finished, you may turn them in and have the hour for yourselves until your next class. For next time, I’d like you to think up one question you have that One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi does not answer.”

She turned away, so Lucas sat at the end of the closest table and started the quiz.

.

Lucas stared at Professor Quirrell, with his ridiculous turban and obviously fake stutter.

This, then, with that forbidden corridor, must be the mystery Da told him to stay away from.

“Cl-cl-class,” Proffessor Quirrell finally got out. “Y-y-you,” he said, pointing at Lucas. “Read p-pa-page f-f-f-five.”

Lucas nodded, flipped to the page, and read aloud the Introduction to The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection for the rest of class.

.

“I think he might even be worse than Snape!” Entwhistle hissed as they left DADA. “At least Snape clearly knows his subject!”

No one disagreed. In fact, they all complained about it on the way to the common room, where all twelve first years spread out amongst the tables. Granger and Li immediately bent over a notebook and began sketching out a lesson plan for the next day’s meeting, while Lucas’ dorm mates began recopying the day’s notes. Lucas himself went over to see what the other girls were doing: Turpin and MacDougal were making detailed notes on the professors’ teaching methods, and Patil and Brocklehurst were getting started on their homework.

Lucas hadn’t learned anything new, but Da had mentioned that he probably wouldn’t, at least not for the first few weeks. But he was curious about the Herbology assignment, so he settled down next to Patil and pulled out the textbook.

.

At the beginning of dinner, Professor McGonagall approached him and said, “Come to my office after you finish eating, Mr. Abraxley.”

“Yes, Professor,” he replied.

He ate swiftly and hurried from the Hall. Unfortunately, he hadn’t had time to memorize the castle yet, so he got lost. After a few moments, he asked the portrait of a lady in purple for directions to Professor McGonagall’s office.

“Come in, Mr. Abraxley,” she called when he rapped his knuckles on the side of the door. “Please, have a seat.”

“Have I broken a rule, Professor?” he asked. He didn’t see how he could have.

“No, Mr. Abraxley.” She fixed him with a stern gaze. “Your father has written to me of your family’s difficulties. A weekly meeting between the two of you was actually a condition he made for your attendance; were you aware of that?”

“No, ma’am,” he said, shaking his head. “I mean, I know he moved to Hogsmeade and promised I’d be able to see him, but not that he might not let me come if he couldn’t.”

Professor McGonagall pursed her lips. “I have agreed to allow your father to come to the school on Tuesdays. The two of you will meet in a small room just off the Great Hall an hour after dinner. You will have until curfew.”

“Thank you so much!” Lucas told her, smiling. “Thank you!”

Professor McGonagall smiled at him. “Your family has been through much, Mr. Abraxley. You have my sympathy.”

Lucas nodded, sighing. “Da – I’m all he has, ma’am. And I couldn’t – I’m not sure I could stand being alone here.” He shuddered at the thought. He’d probably go mad if Da weren’t just down the hill, a mere thought away.

Concern filled Professor McGonagall’s expression, and she said, “I will, of course, inform your Head of House. You may be required to see Madame Pomfrey or a Mind Healer, child.”

Lucas shrugged. “If you think it necessary, Professor.”

“I may,” she said. “Return to your common room; Professor Flitwick always has a nice demonstration of his Mastery prepared for the first night of classes.”

“Yes, Professor. Thank you, again!” Lucas gave her one more bright smile before darting out of her office.

.

The common room was quiet until Professor Flitwick strolled in. “House!” he called. The students already in their dorms hurried down the stairs. Lucas scooted over on the sofa to make more room; all of the sofas and chairs were full, and a few students sat on the floor.

Professor Flitwick clapped his hands. “Welcome, first years! Welcome back, returning students!” Bright, multicolored eagles appeared above his head and began wheeling around the room. “I will be meeting with every student in the coming weeks. Your house is your home-away-from-home. If you have any problems adjusting or difficulties with coursework, please come see me before things get out of hand.”

One of the eagles alighted on a seventh year’s shoulders and preened at her hair before letting out a screech and launching back into the air.

Continuing, Professor Flitwick said, “All of the Hogwarts rules are in the packet you received in the mail. Do not raise a wand against a fellow student unless in self-defense. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Respect your fellow housemates’ belongings and persons. Also, at curfew, everyone must be in their dorm. Light’s out will be at eleven, no matter your year. A good night’s rest is vital for studies!”

He clapped his hands again and the eagles exploded into light. “Now,” Professor Flitwick announced, “on to the show!”

.

On Tuesday morning, Lucas was once again the first one up and down to the Great Hall. This time, he requested of the elves what he and Da usually had at home for breakfast. As he ate, he read another chapter of History of the Last Century, a self-updating book that informed the reader about whichever country they requested. It was his most recent birthday gift from Edda, who said her friend Devra Aron had spelled it.

Lucas had asked Da, “Have you noticed that all of her friends are just as awesome as she is?”

Da had nodded. “And as terrifying, too.”

Shaking his head, Lucas had snickered. He wasn’t at all afraid of Edda. In fact, she and Nanna were the closest thing to a grandmother he had.

“What are you reading?” Granger asked, sitting beside him.

“A history book,” he replied, setting it aside. “I’ve heard that Binns leaves much to be desired.” He shrugged.

Granger looked horrified. “No! We’ve already had two subpar teachers!”

“Abraxley’s right,” Goldstein said, sitting across from them. “My sister told me about him, too.”

“But – ” Granger started, glaring down at her plate. “This is the best school in Europe!”

Lucas couldn’t help himself. “Is it? How many do you know of?”

Goldstein and Granger both looked at him as the students streamed in. “Three,” Goldstein said after a moment. “Hogwarts, Durmstrang, and Beauxbatons.”

Lucas tapped the shoulder of the seventh year beside him. “Excuse me, miss,” he said. When she glanced at him, he asked, “How many magical schools are there in Europe?”

“Seventeen,” she said bemusedly.

“Thank you,” he told her, turning back to Goldstein and Granger. “We’re Ravenclaws, aren’t we?” he asked rhetorically. “Do your research.”

He finished off his milk, picked up his book and bag, and walked out.

.

The History of Magic class defied description. Professor Binns droned on and on and on and Lucas watched his classmates fade away one by one. Finally, the only one left was Granger, and it seemed to be through sheer determination.

But she finally succumbed with a half hour left.

Does Binns ever get better? he asked Da as they finally escaped.

Not in the seven years I was there, Lu, Da said. Complain to me tonight and I might be able to finally rectify that mistake.

“How – ” Granger said. “Why?

Brocklehurst patted her on the shoulder. “Don’t worry, Hermione,” she said. “Those of us with magical backgrounds will bring our knowledge to the study group.”

Granger shuddered, but most of their yearmates nodded.

“C’mon,” Boot said, “Transfiguration’s on the other side of the castle and my mother said McGonagall takes points for tardiness.”

.

Professor McGonagall turned her desk into a pig and back, something that impressed nearly every student in the class. Despite having seen Edda do things far more impressive, Lucas reacted like the awed eleven year old he might have been, had his name still been Harry Potter and if he were still the child that hadn’t the first clue about magic.

After Professor McGonagall set them to work on turning matchsticks into needles, Lucas waited until half the class had managed it before succeeding, as well. Granger got it first, of course, and then most everyone else within ten minutes.

“Well done,” Professor McGonagall said once Boot and Entwhistle had a silver needle in front of each of them. “This is what I expect from Ravenclaws. Three points to each of you.” She gazed around the room before saying, “Now, transfigure the needle into a fork. Thirty points to anyone who manages it.”

Granger, of course, did by the end of class. As did Cornfoot and MacDougal. Lucas only managed a spork, which he then had to explain to the purebloods. Professor McGonagall gave him fifteen points for it.

.

“So,” Patil announced at lunch, “there are three competent teachers and three incompetent teachers.”

Boot nodded, adding, “We’ll have our work cut for us with the study group.”

“Hopefully,” Corner said, “Professor Sinistra is competent.”

“Hopefully,” Granger muttered, attacking her lunch petulantly.

.

The good news, for Lucas, was that Professor Sinistra was competent. The even better news was that Peder and Da had already taught Lucas everything on the first year syllabus.

“Well, that is a pleasant discovery,” Li said. “I suppose we should go wait for the Hufflepuffs.”

The first year Ravenclaws claimed half a dozen tables in the library, breaking off into the same groups as the night before. As the Hufflepuffs arrived, they broke off into groups, as well, and after everyone introduced themselves, got to work.

.

The yearmates studied together until dinner, when they all walked to Great Hall. Granger had taken control of Transfiguration with everyone’s blessing, while Cornfoot and Patil had History of Magic. Perks, one of the Hufflepuffs, seemed to have a talent with Herbology, and she said that one of her friends in Gryffindor might actually be a prodigy, and that she’d try to bring him along on Thursday. Another Hufflepuff, Hopkins, said he’d been studying astronomy for as long as he could remember, so he’d be more than happy to lead that session. Li offered to lead the potions session because her grandmother was a Potions Mistress in Shanghai, and she’d actually seen two of her grandmother’s books on Snape’s shelf in the classroom.

They all agreed that Charms wouldn’t be a problem so long as everyone practiced the day’s lesson for half an hour every evening, but if anybody had difficulty, they should ask any of the yearmates.

That left only Defense Against the Dark Arts. “Let’s wait until Saturday,” Bones, one of the Hufflepuffs, suggested. “That’s when I’m sending my letter to Aunt Amelia. I was just going to give a formal complaint about a few of the teachers, but if Quirrell hasn’t gotten any better, I’ll also ask her for a few books that might help.”

They all agreed, and that’s when it was time for dinner.

Granger once again sat beside Lucas, but she and Li kept up their discussion about Li’s grandmother, who had once been the Royal Mage for the Empress of China – at least, until she retired to write potions’ texts. The discussion was actually interesting, so Lucas listened. Once, he almost asked if Li had ever met Mistress Ito, but stopped himself because Lucas Abraxley had no reason to even know that name.

After dinner, according to the prefects, Ravenclaws had time for whatever they liked. Most, of course, would continue studying. Until it was time to meet Da, Lucas sat in the corner of the common room and studied his housemates. All of them were checked off the list of Could Be Da.

By the time Professor Flitwick came to fetch him, Lucas was involved in an argument between two fourth years (Janison and Whitby) and Granger about aeroplanes.

“Mr. Abraxley,” Professor Flitwick said, “if I can tear you away from this scintillating discussion?”

“Yes, sir!” Lucas rushed to him, knowing that his smile was too big and that it caught attention – he’d been the quietest, most contained student of the first years, but he’d missed Da. Even when he’d spent the night with Einar or Ingdora, he’d always seen Da first thing in the morning, and when Da had stocked the Hogsmeade flat, he’d apparated home for dinner.

Professor Flitwick smiled at him and said, “Come along, Mr. Abraxley.”

.

Da was sitting on a bench, leaning back against the stone wall, when Professor Flitwick entered the little room, Lucas on his heels. “Da!” he said, and Da was immediately on his feet, meeting Lucas halfway.

“Hey, Lu,” Da murmured, arms tight around him. “I hadn’t realized it would this hard.” He didn’t let go of Lucas, and Lucas didn’t look up from where he’d buried his head in Da’s chest, but Da said, “Thank you, sir. I’ll summon an elf when it’s time for Lucas to return.”

“Of course, Mr. Abraxley. I’ll see you later, young Mr. Abraxley.”

Lucas still didn’t raise his head, so it was muffled when he said, “Of course, Professor.”

Da chuckled. “I’ve turned that uncomfortable bench into a large, squishy chair. Shall we sit?”

“Yes, Da,” Lucas mumbled, but he made Da carry him the few scant steps over.

“Tell me about your first classes,” Da said. “I want to know everything.”

So Lucas told him, and then Da talked about his new job, and they got sidetracked by what might be going on in Rykene without them, and how to deal with incompetent teachers that should’ve been sacked ages ago, and then it was curfew.

Da kissed him on the top of his head and said, I am so proud of you, son of mine. Aloud he said, “I need a Hogwarts elf, please.”

An elf popped in and asked, “Hows can Lolly be helping masters?”

“My son needs to be escorted back to the Ravenclaw dorms, Mistress Elf,” Da said regally. “Please, see that it is done. If Professor Flitwick is not in the common room, let him know that Lucas has been returned safely.”

“Yes, masters!” the elf exclaimed. “Comes along, Young Master!”

“Bye, Da,” Lucas said, throwing his arms around Da once more.

“I’ll see you soon, Lu,” Da told him.

Lucas looked back at the first turn, and Da smiled at him and said, There are secret passages out, you know.

When Lucas, following Lolly up a set of stairs, demanded, What?!, Da only laughed.

.

Vercado, the Head Girl, was waiting in the common room. “Head on up to bed, Mr. Abraxley,” she said. To the elf, she added, “Please let Professor Flitwick know that the last student is now accounted for.”

“Yes, Mistress Head Girl!” Lolly said.

“Lolly!” Lucas called from midway up the stairs. “Thank you!”

The elf beamed at him and curtsied messily before popping out.

Lucas continued up the stairs, took a quick shower, grabbed another of Devra Aron’s books (this one about ancient magick), and tucked himself into bed.

Chapter Text

“Da,” Lucas asks, watching Ingdora and her mother walk down the drive, “is it ever okay to hurt people?”

Drake puts a hand on his son’s shoulder. “What are the rules for killing?”

Lucas swallows noisily. “Do it quietly, do it neatly, do it completely – and do it before they kill you.”

“Exactly, son,” he says, pulling Lucas back into the house. “Hurting people is the same. But it’s best to do either only if you must.”

.

“Da,” Lucas asks as Nanna and Peder head to the den and the kitchen respectively, Nanna humming and Peder muttering about cookies, “when is it okay to lie to someone?”

Drake slides down the sofa to sit beside his son on the floor. “If you can get away with it,” he says softly. “Try not to lie to your friends and allies, though; they may find out and become your enemy for it.”

Lucas leans into him, resting his forehead on Drake’s arm. “I don’t mind lying to Einar and Ingdora,” he whispers, “but I can’t stand the thought of lying to Nanna... or to you.”

Drake glances at the door; he can hear Nanna singing to herself as she sets up the VCR with the next movie she wants to show Lucas.

“She knows we’re lying to her, Lu,” he tells his son. “Because she knows, it is not a lie. And I’ll always know, too.”

“Are you sure?” Lucas demands, sitting up excitedly, face brightening.

“Of course I am,” Drake says firmly. “Lucas – I will never lie to you.”

.

“Da,” Lucas asks as the first snow of the season falls, “how do you know if something is the right thing to do?”

“That’s a difficult question,” Drake says, silently guiding their breakfast dishes to the sink, where Lucas squints his eyes at the faucet. “Imagine what you want,” Drake tells him gently. “Visualize the faucet on and order your magic.”

“Turn on,” Lucas says loudly. Nothing happens; Drake bites back a smile at the determined expression on Lucas’ face.

“Now!” Lucas shouts.

The faucet explodes but Drake slams a shield between them and the water and metal remnants.

“Oops,” Lucas says, peering from behind Drake, who instantly gets rid of the mess.

Drake carefully examines the hole where the faucet used to be. A quick reparo might fix it, but he wants to understand the contraption. His father – no, the man who was his father in another life – would be horrified. “Come watch, Lucas,” Drake calls. “When this happens again, you’ll do this yourself.”

“Yes, Da,” Lucas says, dutifully stepping up next to him.

Later, while Sköll chases Victory around the house, Lucas settles beside Drake on the sofa. “Da,” he says, “you never answered my question.”

Drake grins at him. “Refresh my mind.”

Lucas pokes him in the arm. “C’mon, Da. I’m serious.”

“How to know what is right?” Drake sighs. “That’s a very difficult question, Lucas.”

Victory swoops down at Sköll, talons ready to rip into him, and Drake shouts, “No!” Both of them freeze for a moment, Victory swiftly gliding to the seat of the armchair. “Victory, to your perch,” Drake says. He sends a glare at Sköll, de-animating the wolf, which Lucas quickly summons to his arms with a muttered, “Sorry, Da.”

Drake stares down at him, considering for just a moment. The right thing? “You know,” he begins, “that once upon a time, you grew up elsewhere, with non-magical folk who could not teach you the necessary things.”

Lucas nods, peering up at him through his brown fringe, which is getting long again. The green swirls in his eyes look exceptionally like the killing curse today.

“That was not right, Lucas,” Drake says. “You should never have been left there.” He shrugs. “I, personally, chose to change that. On that – ” (and maybe that alone, he acknowledges, remembering Crucio’s thrown left and right, remembering mad laughter and blood-red eyes, remembering the way an innocent and his parents and Hogwarts all fell) “—my conscience is clear.” He pauses but Lucas just continues to look at him.

“There is the easy thing,” he says, “and the right thing. Many will tell you what the right thing is, but only you – and you alone, Lucas – can decide what the right thing is.”

Lucas bites at his lip, letting his chin drop down to rest on Sköll’s head.

“Did that at all help?” Drake asks, pulling Lucas to his side and listening to the snow fall.

Lucas nods. “Yes,” he mumbles. Drake isn’t entirely sure he believes the boy, but not even he can tell Lucas what will be right in the future. All he can do is his best.

.

“Da,” Lucas whispers one night, crawling into Drake’s bed. Drake rolls over to see Lucas curled up around Sköll, clutching the plush close.

“Lucas,” Drake says, sitting up. “What’s wrong?”

Lucas shakes his head, tears leaking out of his eyes, and he asks, voice choked up, “Is killing hard?”

Drake sits up and pulls Lucas into his lap as his son starts crying in earnest, gasping about his nightmare, about having to choose between a shadowy man hurting his da and the entirety of Rykene. “I killed them,” Lucas sobs, “I killed them all and I wasn’t sorry!”

Drake just holds him, rocking back and forth, until Lucas finally quiets.

“Killing can be hard,” Drake finally says. “I’ve killed seven people in my entire life, Lucas, and it was hard, every time.” But, he thinks, squeezing Lucas just a little bit more tightly, it might not be hard anymore.

“Never hesitate,” Drake says. “If you have to kill, do it quietly, do it neatly, do it completely – and do it before they kill you. But if it comes down to it, don’t hesitate.”

“Okay, Da,” Lucas whispers. Eventually, they both fall back asleep.

Drake dreams of the Lord of Britain using magic to slice Lucas to pieces while Albus Dumbledore bleats about the Greater Good and sacrifices. In the dream, he pulls out a muggle firearm and shoots them both between the eyes. He wakes up and wonders if that might work in real life.

Chapter Text

Draco Malfoy’s patronus had been a bald eagle. He learned that when the dementors joined the Dark Lord, before he became the Lord of Britain. Mother had taught him the Patronus Charm and he used his first time on broom to power it.

Drake Abraxley’s patronus is an eight-legged stallion more massive than even abraxans. He murmurs the charm, remembering the first time Lucas had called him Da, laughing up at him. The patronus explodes out of his wand and he respectfully inclines his head. “Well met, Sleipnir,” he murmurs, and Sleipnir tosses his head before vanishing again.

.

Had Harry Potter lived long enough to learn his patronus, it would’ve been a stag.

Lucas Abraxley’s patronus, which he learns at an impossibly young age because Edda Lokidottir assures both him and his father he will need to know fairly soon, is a giant serpent, larger than any basilisk on record. Drake’s eyes widen and Edda laughs, loud and long. “Well met, Jörmungandr!” she shouts, and Lucas jumps up and down in his excitement, saying, “Da, do you see? Da!”

The patronus twines around Lucas, shrinking down to a more acceptable size before vanishing.

“What in Merlin’s name were you thinking about?” Drake asks Lucas.

Lucas glances from him to Edda and shrugs. “My last birthday party.”

Of course he was.

.

The parents are not informed when the Ministry of Magic posts dementors around Hogwarts. The residents of Hogsmeade, however, are.

Drake spends a week weighing the pros and cons of sending Lucas to the siedr academy in Oslo.

Lucas finally throws himself into the chair across from Drake and says, “Da, I know the patronus. I promise to not sneak out of the castle this year. The only cool thing in Hogsmeade is our flat, anyway.”

Drake sighs. “Please stay away from the dementors. They’re horrible things.” He shudders.

Lucas nods, expression entirely serious.

.

Not expecting it to do anything, Drake sends owls to the parents of everyone in his son’s year. None of them, it seems, have received word from their children about the dementors. Lord Malfoy is particularly vocal in his ire – not only because of the danger to his only child, but also because Minister Fudge didn’t consult him before placing the dementors.

Drake laughs when the Daily Prophet reports that Lord Malfoy had shouted, “Black already got past the dementors once! How do you expect them to stop him now?”

“That is a very good point,” Drake chuckles. It’s exactly what he said in his letter to his fellow parents.

.

The dementors are recalled on the third day of classes, after the parents threaten to pull their children from the school. Drake is relieved that Lucas never had the occasion to use his patronus. He also gets over 500 letters of thanks from grateful parents.

He doesn’t remember anything happening in his third year; Sirius Black certainly didn’t escape Azkaban. The entire magical community of the UK spent over thirteen months mourning for their lost savior, and then whispers began of the Dark Lord returning.

But here, there is no Harry Potter. So why Sirius Black would have been muttering about Hogwarts, Drake doesn’t know. He doesn’t really care, either; it’s not like Black is actually guilty of anything beyond being stupid.

But the dementors are gone, so Lucas’ soul is safe, and that is what matters.

Chapter Text

Minerva McGonagall is not a fearful woman. No one could call her that. She is proud and she is brave, and she is among the greatest transfiguration masters in the world. Many have written to her, young witches and wizards, or their parents, from every corner of the Earth, asking for an apprenticeship. She always respectfully declines.

She stays at Hogwarts for Albus. It is not love, not the way she loved her husband. But she respects him; she is loyal. For a long time, that loyalty blinded her, just a bit. But she is not blind now.

Albus may very well be the most powerful wizard in Britain. But Voldemort – yes, Voldemort, no lioness fears a mere name, and she’s been fluent in French since her girlhood – was not Albus’ equal till near the end. Maybe in raw power, but not in knowledge, not in experience. So why –

Minerva hates prophecies. She went to the Dursleys at Albus’ request nearly a week before Sirius Black found Peter Pettigrew. And while she is still so furious at that charming knave who used to grin at her as he mastered spells years ahead of his classmates, she has had a decade now to consider that horrible time.

There was no trial. She has asked Albus, as both the Chief Warlock and the Supreme Mugwump, as her friend, as her one-time mentor – and she can no longer let herself be placated like a child. She is decades out of girlhood and she will stand the silence no longer.

If Sirius Black were guilty, then no one would deny him a trial. And Albus is the most powerful man in Europe, both magically and politically. Minerva is not as cunning as a Slytherin, but she saw the people Albus left Harry Potter with, despite her protests. A week before everyone saw how unfit Harry’s rightful guardian was, Albus left him with the worst sort of muggles. But with the godfather in prison and the godmother – oh, poor, dear Alice – in St. Mungo’s…

Who could demand custody of the Boy Who Lived and actually receive it?

And now, Sirius Black has escaped. Minerva no longer believes he could be guilty – he loved James too much, and what is the use of a Secret Keeper the whole world knows the identity of? Twelve years in Azkaban without a trial. How could he possibly not be mad? And who could he possibly be after at Hogwarts? Not Harry Potter. Harry Potter is still missing – and most people, though Minerva still refuses to, believe him dead.

Eyes closed, Minerva tilts her head, listening to something scurry along the floor. Ms. Norris isn’t enough cat to catch every vermin –

Vermin.

Sirius Black was a transfiguration prodigy, and James Potter not too far behind him. That they believed she didn’t know of their animagus studies showed a startling lack of thought. She smelled it on them – woodsy prey on James, dog on Sirius, and rat on Peter. And all they ever found of Peter was a finger.

Minerva hisses, turning to glare towards Gryffindor Tower.

Every student must register their familiar or pet. Ron Weasley’s pet is the same as his brother Percy’s: a rat. But not even magical rats can survive a decade without becoming too feeble to move.

And Scabbers, as his identifying feature, is recorded as missing a toe on his left front paw.

She wants to scream, to tear everything in sight to pieces – but she is no longer a little girl. She is a renowned Transfiguration Mistress, a respected professor, the Head of Gryffindor, the Deputy Headmistress. She will set a trap to catch a rat.

Minerva takes a deep, steadying breath. She is a lioness and she has a school to protect. So she rises to her feet.

It is time to inspect all of the pets in her House. Never know what nasty diseases animals might carry.

.

PETTIGREW ALIVE! every headline in the UK shouts. Minerva smiles down at the picture of the shabby little man blinking stupidly at the cuffs on his hands. Magical bindings to stop animagi were invented well before her time, but she did tweak these a bit. Even after they’ve been removed, the magic will stay on his traitorous skin for a full seven days. The spell will also transfer to the bars of whatever cell they put him in.

No scurrying away for that vermin.

.

BLACK INNOCENT! every headline shouts the next day. To her discerning eye, after decades of knowing the man, Albus is not as happy as he should be that a once-favored student has been vindicated.

Oh, Albus, she thinks ruefully, watching the students buzz with the news. She still loves the man, but her respect… she has stayed for him. She is not a teacher, not like Filius and Pomona. She’d prefer to work with older students, one-on-one. An apprenticeship, not a classroom. But he asked her, in the earliest days of Voldemort’s rise, to come to Hogwarts to help guard the students from danger.

She doesn’t trust prophecies. She never has. If the great Albus Dumbledore could not defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort, a babe-in-mother’s arms surely couldn’t. And now, as Albus closes his paper, eyes not twinkling at all, Minerva wonders, Did you ever try to beat him?

Minerva sighs, eyes drawn to her Gryffindors. All of the Weasleys are gone for the week; Ron and Percy were both wrecks, and she had never seen the twins so serious. All of Ron’s dorm mates are confused, but the full details have yet to come out.

Sirius Black is still being sought, but the kill-on-sight order has been rescinded. He’ll definitely need aid of some kind, so she hopes he turns himself in soon. Severus scowls down at the paper; Remus has looked gobsmacked since yesterday morning.

It will be a wonderful day, Minerva thinks, rising to her feet. She claps her hands together, catching everyone’s attention. “Breakfast is done,” she announces. “Make your way to your first class. There will be a five minute grace period. If you are tardy despite that, it will be a point a minute. Off you go!”

She glances at Albus. He meets her eyes and – for the first time – looks every one of his years. “Minerva,” he says, “I have been summoned by both the ICW and the Wizengamut. I must leave the school in your hands for a few days.”

“Of course, Albus,” she says. “Give your duties all of your attention.” She turns; the Hall is empty of students. Only Sibyll is still at the Head Table. “I must go,” she says. “Good luck.” As she steps off the dais, she glances back. He looks so weary, this man she once so admired.

For the first time, as she pads as silently as a cat from the Great Hall, she thinks, It might be time for him to step down. They’ll speak on that when he returns.

Chapter Text

Since Drake never attended Hogwarts, he approaches Professor Flitwick, Lucas’ Head of House. He sends an owl asking for an appointment, and Professor Flitwick is more than happy to meet with him the very next Monday.

For the meeting, Drake prepares a list. Most it comes from the steady stream of complaints Lucas has made through his thought-snakes, which Drake made sure to compile into a series of letters. But that’s supplemented by what Draco experienced. So far (though it’s barely two weeks into the term), what Lucas has reported is exactly what Draco went through. The only difference is that Lucas has yet to see the Slytherin vs Gryffindor rivalry, which – as an adult who suffered under the Lord of Britain – is a pointless, divisive thing.

From what Drake can see, with the benefit of time travel and hindsight, the things that originally led to Lord Voldemort have not been addressed at all. So even if Lucas kills the bastard, another will rise in his place.

But that is not Drake’s problem. There is an entire society of adults who surely see the same things Drake has, and Drake’s duty is to his son, who is currently experiencing a sub-standard education for an exorbitant price, and that will not be allowed.

So he walks to Hogwarts mid-morning on the second Monday of the term with a list of concerns. He is determined to get rid of Binns at the very least because he learned nothing of history in seven years and that - well, between Severus and Binns, Drake is almost inclined to believe that Hogwarts is deliberately sabotaging the future, and that is a thought he does not like.

He watches first years dart down the corridor. He recognizes them but he cannot remember their names – and a lifetime ago, he saw them dead on the ground, mangled and broken. They look so young, now. And he feels so old.

He takes a deep breath, steels himself, and strides to Ravenclaw Tower. He smiles at those who acknowledge him, asks a prefect to double-check his directions, and freezes at the final turn before Flitwick’s office because he sees himself - no, he sees the boy he was before everything went so wrong.

He was so small. How could he have ever been so small? The boy is sneering at a group of Gryffindors as they all hurry somewhere, Crabbe and Goyle hulking at his shoulders (and they look so small, too, smaller than they ever have before), and Drake wants to grab him, shake him, demand, Think about what your father is saying. Actually think about it! Think for yourself before it’s too late!

But the boy is gone with the group. Drake sags against the wall to regain control and wishes there were someone somewhere he could seek comfort from, could ask, Please tell me I’m doing the right thing.

What’s wrong, Da? Lucas asks suddenly.

Nothing, Lu he replies, pushing off the stone. Focus on your class. Potions is not a subject to be careless in.

He can feel Lucas’ brief pout before he knocks on Professor Flitwick’s door. “Come in!” Professor Flitwick calls. A bolt of grief shoots through Drake but he pushes past it as he opens the door. Draco Malfoy would’ve said Severus was his favorite teacher; the truth is that Flitwick always held a soft spot in his heart.

A lifetime ago, Draco Malfoy watched Fenrir Greyback tear Filius Flitwick apart while a dozen first years screamed.

“Mr. Abraxley, welcome!” Professor Flitwick exclaims. “Please, have a seat!”

With a smile, Drake shifts a stack of books from the chair closest to the desk. “Thank you for meeting with me.”

“Oh, it’s no problem at all, Mr. Abraxley!” Professor Flitwick assures him. “We have about an hour before I must go to class – your son’s class, in fact! – but if need be, since you live so close, we can resume at a later date.”

“That’ll be fine, thank you,” Drake says.

Professor Flitwick sets aside the parchment in front of him and gives Drake all of his attention. “Now, Mr. Abraxley, how can I be of help?”

Drake smiles at him. “As you know, sir, I never attended Hogwarts. I was assured, however, that it would be the best school for my son. He attended an afternoon magical class back home, taught by Margrete Abelson; most of the children of Rykene were taught by her.” He shrugs. “Rykene isn’t much bigger than Hogsmeade, all told.” Sighing, he says, “All of the children attend barneskole, where they learn non-magical things. Lucas’ friends are spending two more years with Margrete and finishing out barneskole before going to ungdomsskole – you’d call it the magical academy, but it’s for younger teenagers, thirteen to sixteen.”

Professor Flitwick nods when Drake pauses, so he continues, “All of the first and second year material taught at Hogwarts, the children of Rykene already know.” And more besides, he doesn’t say, but he’s pretty sure Flitwick suspects that. “Lucas also brought the non-magical texts to keep up with those studies. At sixteen, he and his peers would floo to Oslo’s seidr university and begin thinking on which mastery they’d like to attain in future.”

He pauses again, but Flitwick still has no questions. “My concern, sir,” he says carefully, “is that the amount of money I am paying for my son to attend Hogwarts is not worth the education he is receiving here.”

Professor Flitwick blinks at him. “Beg pardon?” he asks after a moment.

“I mean no offense,” Drake says. “But based on the letters he’s sent me – and it only being the second week of class.” He spreads his hands to indicate his helplessness. “My parents didn’t trust England – with good reason, since it killed them both – but I thought to give Hogwarts a fair chance.”

“Please,” Professor Flitwick says, leaning forward, “your son is very bright, and I expect good things from him. Tell me his complaints.”

For this meeting, Drake only focuses on Binns. By the end, Flitwick is furious and Drake keeps all of his satisfaction and amusement locked away. He is only a concerned (and annoyed) parent, ensuring his son gets the best education available. A ghost has no part in that.

When a small chime fills the air, Professor Flitwick says, “I’ll speak to my students and then the Headmaster,” he says, stilling the quill that has been keeping notes of their conversation. “Let us meet again next Monday; I’ll have information for you then.”

“Thank you, Professor,” Drake says, standing and holding a hand across the desk. Professor Flitwick shakes his hand most heartily and then Drake departs.

As he walks down the corridor, he reaches out to trail his fingers along the ancient stone. If Lucas had never been Harry Potter, he acknowledges, he would not send his son to this school. But this is something he will never tell anyone.

For now, he will let Professor Flitwick gather information. Ravenclaws will not hold back when asked their honest opinion of a teacher none of them have ever learned anything from. If Binns has not been replaced by the end of the year, then Drake will go to the parents.

.

Professor Flitwick and Drake meet twice more before the end of term. During the break, Drake and Lucas return to Rykene; Margrete and Nanna quiz Lucas, but he kept up with all his magical and non-magical studies. Drake takes Lucas to see Edda right before the year turns; she checks both of their shields and pronounces them as strong as ever.

Lucas spends most of the holiday with Einar and Ingdora, as they compare their lessons. Drake spends it compiling a list of everything he’d like to change at Hogwarts during Lucas’ seven years.

.

“Do you want to take the Express back?” Drake asks their final night in Rykene. “Or I could apparate us to the flat and then walk you to the school.”

“The second,” Lucas decides.

.

On the holiday’s final morning, Drake receives an owl from Proffesor Flitwick. As he reads the letter, he smiles a slow, satisfied smile.

“What is it, Da?” Lucas asks as he carries his trunk towards the door.

“Binns has finally moved on to the next great adventure,” Drake says. “The new history teacher will be a witch from the continent with a mastery in the subject.”

Lucas cheers; Drake chuckles and sends back a quick thank you note. The first obstacle has been overcome, and there’s seven years’ worth of plans yet to implement.

Chapter Text

When Headmaster Dumbledore says, “Professor Binns decided to move on,” the entirety of Ravenclaw breaks out into cheers. The pretty blonde woman sitting next to a smiling Professor Flitwick covers her mouth with her hands and her shoulders shake, so it’s obvious she’s laughing.

Headmaster Dumbledore waits for Ravenclaw to quiet with a frown. He gestures to the blonde. “Professor Moreau will be taking over the History of Magic post for this term and, if all goes well, she will remain on staff.” His face is solemn as he says, “You are dismissed.”

“What is his problem?” Entwhistle asks MacDougal. “We might have an actual teacher now. How is that a bad thing?”

MacDougal shrugs. “Maybe he and Binns were friends?”

“Yeah, maybe,” Entwhistle mutters.

Most of the House stays in the common room, frantically searching through their books for the questions they’ve always wondered about but never bothered to ask Binns.

Lucas only has two: What and where is the Chamber of Secrets? and Historically, where did Dark and Light magic branch away from each other?

.

As they suffer through Potions and DADA (and enjoy Charms and Herbology), the excitement to see Professor Moreau builds. The fifth years have her first, and then the second years, and then the seventh years as the final class of Monday.

“She gave us a test,” Vercado announces at dinner. The fifth and second years nod their agreement.

“She was horrified!” Smith, one of the fifth year prefects, says. “She actually muttered profanity in French.” Smith’s smile is a little bloodthirsty as she adds, “If Binns hadn’t already moved on, I think Professor Moreau would’ve helped him on!”

“After the test, though,” Chang, one of the second years assured the first years closest to her, “she asked for questions. Since we were running out of time, she requested that we write them down and she’ll go over them at the start of the next class.”

“Oh, she sounds wonderful,” Granger murmurs.

Corner mutters, “I just hope she’s not too good to be true.”

.

As it turns out, Professor Moreau is not too good to be true.

“Hello!” she says at the beginning of class. “I am Marguerite Moreau and I attained my Historical Mastery at Université de Rouen. Now, please read over this examination and answer what you know.” She smiles. “Do not be afraid to guess! Quite often, you know more than you realize. This exam will be the roll-call for the day.” She settles behind the desk with a book that Lucas recognizes – Devra Aron’s Magicks of the Ancients - and reads until the last student has set their paper in front of her. There’s more than half of the class period left.

Professor Moreau smiles at them again. “Well! How many of you knew the answer to every single question?”

None of them raise their hands.

Her smile doesn’t dim but something flashes in her eyes. “As I suspected,” she says. “I will use these – along with the other first years’ exams – to create a study guide of the basics. By the end of this term, you should have the beginnings of an understanding in where magic came from.” She flicks her wand to a stack of books in the corner, which begin floating to the students. “This will be your new text.”

She waits until everyone has received the book - The Creation of Magic by Naomi Aron (Devra’s daughter or granddaughter? Lucas wonders) – before asking, “Now, have any of you prepared questions?”

Everyone’s hand goes up. She laughs, leaning back in her chair. She points to Turpin, in the desk at the front of the farthest-right row. “Let’s go in order,” Professor Moreau says. “What’s your first question?”

.

“Oh, she’s wonderful!” Granger exclaims, the new book clutched to her chest. “Why on Earth did they keep Binns so long if they could’ve had her?”

They discuss Professor Moreau and their new expectations for History of Magic all the way to Transfiguration.

Lucas gives Professor McGonagall his less-than-full attention because he keeps thinking about the answer to his question:

Ah, yes, dark and light magic, she murmured, tilting her head as she stared at him. That is no easy question, and it varies from country to country and history to history. In France, all that differs is intent. Cannot a simple cutting charm do as much harm as the Death Curse? Yes, a cutting charm can be blocked with a simple shield spell – but not everyone can master a shield spell. She paused, finally glancing away from Lucas, and addressed all of the students. This course will not be the History of English Magic. It will be the History of Magic. She’d paused again, glancing back at Lucas. Naomi Aron’s next book, The Separation of Dark and Light, is one you might be interested in.

“Mr. Abraxley!” Professor McGonagall calls, and he blinks, jerking his head upright.

“Sorry, Professor,” he says.

She frowns at him but says nothing else, so he focuses on turning his rock into a teacup. He’s the last to do so, and he knows it must be because he can’t fully concentrate.

He has to ask Da if Professor Moreau was right. Da has never really gone into the three kinds of magic; he’d said once that it was a British thing, and Edda had only scoffed the one time he’d asked her, dismissing it all as a foolish conceit. She’d said only that magic was magic, neither inherently good nor bad.

“C’mon!” Granger says, tugging at Lucas’ arm. “It’s time for lunch.”

.

Lucas hurries into the small chamber where he always meets Da. “I need Naomi Aron’s Separation of Dark and Light,” he says in a rush.

Hogwarts is Light, Da says. Lucas feels the privacy ward go up. “If you maintain excellent grades,” he continues aloud, “you can have that book on the first day of the summer holiday.”

You can read everything the library has on the differences between magic, he says, but if you begin drawing attention, divert it. Being a Ravenclaw will go a long way in that.

“Now,” Da says, “tell me about your new history teacher!”

Lucas nods, and grins, and babbles about how wonderful Professor Moreau is.

He doesn’t mention the Chamber of Secrets to his father.

Chapter Text

2 - April 23

Five months in Rykene pass before Drake even notices. He and Lucas eat with Nanna and Peder most nights; the couple have adopted them since their own family (a son and two daughters, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, so far) has spread out over the world. Rykene is an insular place and the adoption has smoothed over any troubles strangers appearing might cause.

No one questions Drake’s past. Memories are long, yes, but most of them remember that quiet boy who lived with Yolanda Frigg for most of his childhood. Those who knew him well have all moved away, but he was kind, they think, for a boy who’d been uprooted and left with a near-stranger. That his son has chosen to come here fills some of them with a small sense of pride.

Rykene is, after all, home.

Lucas is a happy child. Thankfully, the only of his toys he ever animates is the wolf, and he greets everyone he meets cheerfully. In fact, the only person he ever seems to regard with something approaching wariness is Drake, but only in the privacy of their home.

He must remember something, Drake thinks. Lucas toddles around, babbling in half-complete words, and sometimes, he calls “Ma! Ma!” He tangles his fingers in Nanna’s mostly white hair, tugging on the long strands, and once he accidently turns it into a bright red.

Nanna only laughs and lets it stay like that for the rest of their visit, but Drake cannot control his reaction and he knows that they think Lucas’ mother must have had red hair.

They’re right, of course, but they never ask. That night, the nightmares are fierce.

One morning, half a year after Drake and Lucas moved to Rykene, Drake wakes to a toddler and a wolf cub in his bed. Lucas’ eyes are more green than brown, hands shoving Sköll at Drake’s chest. Drake takes the living toy gently, rubbing between Sköll’s ears.

“Yes, Lucas?” he asks.

“Da!” Lucas shouts. “Brayfest, Da!”

Drake can’t contain his smile.

 

3 - June 24

“Oops,” Lucas says, ducking behind Da’s chair. He hears Da sigh as Da sets down his lunch.

“Lucas,” Da asks, “what, exactly, are you hiding from?”

Lucas giggles a little bit. “I colored!”

Da sighs again. “Shall I go investigate what you animated this time?” He carefully pushes back his chair, giving Lucas plenty of time to get out of the way, and then walks into the den.

“Of course,” he hears Da say. “Of course.”

Lucas’ snickers turn into full blown laughter.

 

4 - February 25

“Mama, Mama!” Einar says, not quite shouting, pushing at Liv’s shoulder. Thankfully, she hadn’t fully fallen asleep yet.

“What?” Audun mutters beside her.

“Shush, love,” Liv says, leaning down to pull Einar into her arms as she stands. “I’ll see what’s wrong; you go back to sleep.”

Einar’s arms are tight around her neck as she walks into to the hall, closing the bedroom door behind her. “Now, sweet, tell me what’s wrong,” she says.

“Lucas is crying in his sleep, and he won’t wake up,” Einar tells her, mumbling into her throat. “He wants his da, but I thought my mama might work.”

Liv squeezes Einar just a little tighter and hurries to his room, where Lucas is curled up under the covers, tears on his cheeks. She sets Einar next to him, begins humming her favorite lullaby, and gently rubs her hand along the poor boy’s spine.

Slowly, Lucas’ sobs fade, his body uncoils, and whatever nightmare had such a strong hold on him lets go.

Whether or not he remembers this in the morning (and she fiercely hopes he doesn’t), she will be sure to tell his father; no one is entirely sure what they left behind when they came to Rykene, but Nanna’s suppositions fill Liv with horror, and so does her own imagination. “You did well, my sweet,” she whispers to Einar, tucking him back in beside Lucas.

 

5 - October 26

“Da,” Lucas asks, trumping into the den with Sköll bounding at his heels, “can you tell me a wolf story?”

“Of course,” Drake says, tapping on the page of The Darkest Artes to mark it before sending the book to the bookshelf. “Come here.”

Lucas climbs into his lap, pulling Sköll up with him. Drake waits until they’re both settled and then conjures up a snowy forest scene with a wolf pack loping through it.

The people of Rykene pay Drake good money to entertain them with the illusions that he learned from the Dark Lord, in those few years between his rise and becoming the Lord of Britain. At the time, Draco hadn’t yet realized that the Dark Lord was a terrible monster. He’d still believed Father’s stories of the purebloods’ hero and rise back their proper position of power.

Using things taught to him by Voldemort to bring joy is but one way of achieving vengeance.

“Once,” he says, “there was a family of wolves who ever sought the sun.” The sun peeks through the trees; one of the wolves howls and takes off toward it, the rest following. “They believed that by speaking to the sun, they could learn magick, like the odd two-legged things they had seen encroaching on their land.”

By the end of the story, Lucas is mostly asleep and Sköll has become a plush again. Drake carries them both to Lucas’ bed, returns to his chair, and summons The Darkest Artes to keep researching.

 

6 - May 27

Margrete and Nanna arrange a day-trip to Sørlandet for the Magical Zoo of Southern Norway (as Lucas and Einar call it). Two dozen children sixteen or younger attend; even the ones who have ‘graduated’ to ungdomsskole enjoy the visit to the zoo, so they have gained permission from the headmistress and their parents. Besides Margrete and Nanna, three more parents accompany the children: Drake, Liv Jensen (Einar’s mother), and Erik Larson (his daughter Helga is ten and a prodigy with charms).

At the reptile room, while most of the children are captivated by the Amazonian Wyvern, a miniature dragon that snorts fire at the fireproof glass, Drake follows Lucas, Ingdora, and Einar to the North American Cottonmouth enclosure. The serpent is restless, smoothly sliding from the pool and back again, but he pauses to hiss at the children.

“Do you know what he’s saying, Lu?” Drake asks softly.

Lucas shakes his head, inching closer, putting his face right up to the glass. “Should I?”

Drake is absolutely dumbfounded. Harry Potter was most definitely a parselmouth – Draco himself had witnessed it, during that ridiculous dueling club. So why isn’t Lucas?

“Mr. Abraxley,” Ingdora says, “I want to go see the chimera!”

Einar turns, too, nodding fervently. “Please!”

Drake catches Margrete’s attention and says, “I’m about to take them to the chimera. Does anyone else want to go?”

Over half the group does, so Liv decides to keep Drake company. Lucas finally drags himself away from the cottonmouth in time to join them.

Drake considers asking Edda why such a thing would be different but by the time they leave the zoo, it’s slipped his mind.

 

7 - January 28

“I hate him!” Lucas shouts, storming into the house, the door slamming behind him.

Drake watches him from the table. “Who do we hate?” he asks. “And why?”

“Lars,” Lucas snarls (as much as a child can). “He told me magic isn’t real and wouldn’t believe me, and then he went crying to the teacher!”

“Oh, no,” Drake murmurs before raising his voice. “What did you do that sent him crying to a teacher, Lucas?”

Lucas drops his gaze to the tops of his shoes. “He was holding one of those superhero dolls. From America. I woke it up like I do Sköll, sometimes.”

Drake rubs his hand down his face. “Lucas.”

“He just made me so angry, Da!” Lucas tries to explain, running over to Drake. “Because magic – ”

Drake gently grabs Lucas’ shoulders. “You go to a non-magical school, Lucas. Yes, many of the students know the truth – but many of them don’t.” Lucas still looks angry, so Drake sighs and continues, “The children of four towns go to your school, Lucas. All of the children from Rykene know of magic. But what of this Lars’ town? You terrified the child because you disagreed with him.” Drake raises an eyebrow, lifting Lucas’ chin with a finger. “Is that how I raised you?”

Lucas shakes his head. “I shoulda waited ‘til later,” he mutters petulantly. “So nobody would know it was me.”

“Yes,” Drake says, pulling him in for a hug. “Now, go to your room and do your homework. Your punishment is to think of three other ways the situation could’ve been resolved without making the boy cry so obviously.”

“Yes, Da,” Lucas murmurs, going to his room.

Drake watches him and shakes his head. Thankfully, Lucas’ teacher does have a teenaged witch for a daughter, so when she calls later that evening to ask about Lucas’ ‘accidental’ magic, Drake is able to smooth the whole thing over.

 

8 - August 29

Draco Malfoy hadn’t ridden a broom after he left Hogwarts. Drake Abraxley never had until he came to Rykene.

Margrete’s son Harald taught a small class every Thursday, for the children between eight and ten. Drake had asked if he could be present for Lucas’ first lesson because he remembered how natural Harry Potter was with a broom. But he was also curious because the parseltongue hadn’t traveled lives.

Five children were present for the lesson. Drake stood ready with his wand just in case Lucas panicked (or one of the other children, of course).

But he didn’t need to worry at all. Lucas flew as easily as he breathed and it was beautiful to watch. He performed maneuvers that would have professional quidditch players weeping in fear, and he laughed all the while.

“Here,” Harald said, shoving a broom at him. “Fly with your boy.”

Drake grinned and lunged into the air with joy.

 

9 – November 30

When he was young, Draco’s mother used to tell him stories of the old gods. Most witches and wizards, she had said, who knew the old ways, chose one god to be their very own, to dedicate their lives to. She had chosen Áine as a girl, goddess of sovereignty. “She could make a man a king,” Mother explained with a smile. “And then, just as easily, unmake him.”

Father had chosen Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings. “It is a private thing, Draco,” Father said. “Do not speak of your god to anyone until it comes time for your children to learn.”

Draco had nodded and listened and read all of the mythology books in his family’s library. Mother’s god was Irish and Father’s Roman, and for a time, all the way up until just before Hogwarts, Draco thought he would choose Tlaloc of the Americas.

But the night before he rode on the Hogwarts Express for the first time, he dreamed of a giant serpent swimming beside him, and an eight-legged horse galloping down a bloody road, and wolves ran behind, howling.

He turned to see a woman, even more beautiful than Mother, in a dress of starlight and tears. Be cautious, little dragon, she said. Be wise, be sure, and be brave.

Yes, my lady, he replied. May I ask your name, so that I know who to dedicate my life to?

She laughed and her face began to wither. Oh, none of your folk would ever choose me, and I am glad of it. My father is the one you want, child. You’ll have need of him before the end.

The stallion and the wolves circled them before settling next to the woman, and the serpent twined around them all.

Draco woke with Loki’s names on his lips.

So when Lucas is nine, Drake asks him, “Which god will you choose?” Drake has told him all the same stories he learned as a child, and whenever Lucas didn’t ask for a wolf tale, he’d usually choose the spider of Africa.

“Do I have to pick right now?” Lucas asks.

“No,” Drake says. “But soon.”

That night, a laughing dark-skinned man lounging in the middle of a spider’s web tells Lucas, When you’ve all the facts, little one, you’ll choose me. Cunning’s what you’ll need, and the wisdom of two tricksters? He spreads his hands, smile widening. Doesn’t get much more cunning than that, hey?

In the morning, Lucas only remembers the giant spider-web.

 

10 - December 31

“Da,” Lucas says, soaking up the last of the broth with a piece of bread, “can you tell me about my first family?”

“The Potters?” Drake asks. “Or those muggles?”

“All of them,” he says. “I must… is there someone missing me somewhere?”

“Your birth father was an only child, as were both of his parents,” Drake says, shoving his plate aside to rest his elbows on the table. “Your mother had one sibling, your aunt; both of her parents were only children, as well.” He watches Lucas for just a moment before continuing, “You have various cousins throughout the purebloods of England.” He smiles briefly. “I, actually, was one of them.”

Lucas looks down at his plate, at the small chunk of bread still sitting on it. “Is there any test that will show who I – who I was?”

Drake shakes his head. “I asked Edda years ago. She said that what Mistress Ito did could never be undone. You are mine as surely as if I sired you.”

“Good,” Lucas says.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter is staring down at London, a giant mirror across the room and a giant window in front of his face.

Let it burn, Draco Malfoy says. You’re not their sacrifice, not their scapegoat, not their anything at all. It’s up to them to save themselves.

Can I do that? Harry Potter asks. I’m… I’m the chosen one. The Boy Who Lived.

Of course you can do that! Draco shouts. Yes, a long time ago, you were The Boy Who Lived. He reaches out, grabs Harry’s hand, and squeezes hard. But now, you silly lout, you’re The Boy Who Lived To Be My Son.

Harry blinks those killing-curse-green at him. I’m what?

Draco laughs, glancing across the room at the mirror. He has his father’s bone structure again, his mother’s eyes, the Malfoy hair. He looks all of twelve again. And Harry looks like that ragamuffin child he was in another life. It’s not up to you, Harry, to save a whole society. The society has to want to be saved.

But… Voldemort? Harry asks, stepping next to Draco to look into the mirror, still holding his hand.

Draco smiles at him. Whether or not you have to kill him, you’re not doing it alone. And you’re not doing for them.

Outside, London begins to burn. Draco can hear the Lord of Britain’s laughter rolling over the city.

You’re just a child, Harry, Draco tells him. It’s not your duty to save the world. He leans over to press a kiss to Harry’s forehead and wakes up.

Drake takes deep, slow breaths, staring up at the ceiling. Lucas is at Hogwarts; Drake is in the Hogsmeade flat. Draco Malfoy is also at Hogwarts, and no one knows what happened to Harry Potter.

“Lord Loki,” he whispers, “thank you for the vision.” He doesn’t sleep again that night.

Chapter Text

“The not-dog is back,” Ceres calls to her sister. It’s Friday, Drake’s day off, so Ceres and Juno are alone in the shop as closing nears.

“All of the animagi are accounted for,” Juno says, “which means a stranger has been creeping ‘round.”

Ceres watches the dog prowl along the path behind Tomes and Scrolls: he’s a big thing, though all of his ribs are visible, and his fur matted horribly. She also thinks she can see some blood on him.

So, all in all – “Well, at least we know he isn’t guilty,” she murmurs as she triggers one of the guard charms. A stunner hits the dog and he collapses.

Juno floos the aurors while Ceres, wand at the ready, checks on the dog. He’s unhurt, the cuts on his back completely scabbed over, so she casts the animagus-reveal spell

Of course, the dog turns into an emaciated escapee from Azkaban. She sighs and gently strokes her fingers through his filthy hair. The poor boy.

But then the aurors are there, so Ceres quickly gets out of their way.

“No,” her sister says flatly, after the aurors and Sirius Black are gone.

“No what?” Ceres asks, smiling innocently.

“No more strays,” Juno orders severely. “Now, come help me close for the evening; you know that Vesta hates waiting.”

.

Vesta is their elder sister; Juno claims to be next, but their parents never told them if Juno or Ceres came first, only that it was a hard birth and their mother could never again carry a child. Just the first of many disappointments.

Tomes and Scrolls has always been Juno’s dream and twenty-five years of hard work has gone into it. She actually attended muggle university for a Mastery of Library Science and Information while Ceres worked at Flourish and Blotts; Ceres could never imagine a life away from her twin, and so she has diligently worked towards Juno’s goal for her entire life. Vesta pursued a double Mastery in Astronomy and Herbology and teaches at Université Nice Sophia-Antipolis, though she’s currently on sabbatical in order to research the effect of starlight on invisible dusk-blooming chokevines.

Juno and Ceres have their shop without any help from their parents, and it is more fun than their mother with her scoffing and their father with his scorn could ever fathom.

Vesta, at least, has never doubted them. So they get together twice a month, Juno and Ceres and Vesta and Vesta’s lover of the time. This time, it is Khora Navreen, a dragon researcher. They have a lovely meal; Vesta and Khora are suitably impressed when Ceres relates the harrowing capture of Sirius Black (though, Khora isn’t quite sure who he is, as she spends most of her time in Greece, and Vesta scolds Ceres and Juno both because she thinks five years is a big enough gap to act motherly).

“Do you think Khora will stick around?” Ceres asks when they’re back at their flat. “I quite like her.”

“I hope so,” Juno answers. “She’s by far my favorite in a long while.”

.

In the morning, the headlines scream that Sirius Black had been found and was currently at St. Mungos. How he came to be caught, no one knows. Theories abound, of course.

Drake opens the shop on Saturdays, and his son, Lucas, often hangs around. On this Saturday, there’s a run on the shop’s copies of The Daily Prophet, since only they and the post office carry any of the newspapers. By lunch, both have completely sold out.

“Take the afternoon,” Juno tells Drake. “I know you planned for a quiet morning with your boy.” Often, Lucas asked Drake for help with his outside studies, which there’d been no time for since the entirety of Hogsmeade and most of Hogwarts had flooded the shop.

“I’ll not leave you short-staffed,” Drake protests while Lucas tries to drag him to lunch.

Ceres laughs. “Go, you silly man,” she orders. “I assure you, my sister and I shall be fine.”

Drake hesitates for another moment but then lets his son pull him out the door.

Juno shakes her head. “That man would work himself to death if we let him,” she grumbles fondly, heading over to straighten the non-fiction section.

“Then it’s a good thing he works here,” Ceres says. “We won’t let him.”

.

Three months later, a bouquet of white bell flowers and a single pink rose is delivered to the shop, along with a simple note of thanks.

Ceres tucks the note into the newspaper she’d saved in her box of miscellanea and spreads the flowers around the shop.

Chapter Text

Year 1

Dark Lord Voldemort looks into the Mirror of Erised and sees himself as the uncontested emperor of a world without muggle filth.

“But where is the Stone?” he demands. “I must have the Stone!”

“Master!” Quirrell snivels, “Dumbledore surely knows we’re here!”

Voldemort snarls, fingers helplessly clawing at the glass. The horcrux he hid in the Come and Go Room is gone. There is no time to find a way into this thrice-cursed Mirror, and he is no match for Dumbledore in this form; he must visit the rest of his horcruxes.

He turns away from the Mirror.

Year 2

Ginny writes and writes and writes, all of her frustrations at being the coddled daughter, at being just another Gryffindor, at her dream of meeting Harry Potter and running off to save the world with him being unfulfilled, at Ron’s stupidity and Percy’s unthinking cruelty.

She writes and writes and writes, and finally, Fred sneaks into her dorm and sets his hand on hers, stilling her quill, and he says softly, “Tell me what’s the matter, Gin-Gin.”

She just wants someone to listen. To act like she matters.

So Ginny blinks up at him, drops the quill, and throws herself into his arms, sobbing.

Ginny spends that evening ensconced with Fred and George, planning her first Hogwarts prank.

Year 3

“You’re taking too many classes, Hermione,” Neville tells her softly as Hermione cries into her Herbology notebook. (Ravenclaws, she had explained the first time he asked her why she used notebooks instead of scrolls, realize the importance of neat notes. She then taught him to use a muggle pen, which he writes with for everything except homework and exams.)

“I know!” she wails. “But there’s so much to learn!”

Padma and Sally come over; Padma sits on Hermione’s other side and puts her arm around Hermione’s shoulder while Sally crouches in front of her. “Hermione,” she says, “we all know you hate Divination. Drop it and use that time for naps. Else, we’ll tell Professor McGonagall that you’re harming yourself.”

Hermione nods.

“She’ll be in her office,” Lucas says. Neville jumps; he’d forgotten Lucas was there, reading a seventh-year text and ignoring Hermione’s tears.

“Come on, get up,” Sally says, tugging at Hermione’s hands. Neville and Padma stand with her, and all four of them go to Professor McGonagall’s office with her, leaving Lucas to his book.

Year 4

The entirety of Hogwarts throws itself behind Cedric Diggory as Champion. When Megan writes complaints to the Ministry about the mistreatment of dragons, Lucas joins her but no one else cares and nothing comes of it. Seeing the poor nesting mothers so angry and terrified – it awakens something in Megan that she’d not known about before, despite a year already of Care of Magical Creatures.

While Hogwarts and the visiting schools focus on the Tournament, Megan researches. Every now and then she’ll ask Lucas about borrowing one of his books, and he orders anything she asks from Tomes and Scrolls, which has a far larger selection than Flourish and Blotts on the ‘questionable’ texts.

Fleur Delacour wins the Tournament; Megan neither notices nor cares, neck deep in centuries-old records. Roger tells her, “You’re setting yourself up for disappointment, you know.”

“And how is that?” she asks, glancing up from her book.

“We’re muggleborns,” he says, like that explains anything.

Megan narrows her eyes at him. “I’ll not listen to your impossibles,” she says and turns back to the first edition of Magical Creatures of Darkness.

Year 5

“Can anyone tell me,” Professor Lupin asks, “which is the most dangerous part of the Dark Arts?”

Most of the students raise their hands. “Miss Li,” Professor Lupin says.

Sue folds her hands together and tries not to remember her uncle’s face, the way his entire body shook and shuddered as her father and grandmother tried to pull him back from the edge. “It is addictive, Professor,” she answers.

“Correct,” Professor Lupin says. “Not the magic itself; all magic is the same.” He shifts his gaze from Sue to glance around at everyone. “But the power of the Dark Arts comes from what they accomplish, and the ease of it.”

Everyone is silent. But then Lucas raises his hand.

“Yes, Mr. Abraxley?” Professor Lupin says.

“If all magic is the same, sir,” Lucas asks, “then how are the Dark Arts any more addictive than the Light or Neutral Arts?”

Sue looks at him, sitting two seats over, closest to the wall. His voice was utterly respectful, and so is his expression – but, like always, something in his eyes is laughing at Professor Lupin, at the Ravenclaws, at Hogwarts itself.

Professor Lupin hesitates. “You’ve read The Separation of Dark and Light,” he says flatly.

Lucas inclines his head. “And The Neutrality of Magick, her most recent text.”

“Those are dangerous books, Mr. Abraxley,” Professor Lupin says.

Lucas doesn’t really smile or smirk when he says, “I’m a Ravenclaw, Professor. I only want to learn,” but Sue still gets the impression he’s laughing at them all.

“Please, Professor,” Mandy says. “What is the difference?”

Professor Lupin looks away from Lucas. Lucas flicks his gaze at Sue with a small smile before looking back down at his desk.

They are Ravenclaws. Learning is the most important thing.

That night, she dreams of her uncle and how he died, and can’t look at Lucas in the morning.

Year 6

“Hello, Malfoy,” one of the Ravenclaws says, sitting next to Draco in the library. Draco barely glances at him – one of the mudbloods.

Crabbe and Goyle are in Professor Snape’s remedial potions lesson (only for Slytherins), and the rest of Draco’s usual crowd are at dinner, but Draco hasn’t felt like eating for weeks.

“Go away,” he commands, glaring down at his mother’s letter.

Something is going on at home, but Mother refuses to give him enough hints to figure it out or just tell him outright. Something to do with Father’s Mark darkening, not that Draco has let on to either of his parents he knows about that.

“You should ask your godfather about Tom Riddle,” the Ravenclaw says.

“Who?” Draco mutters, folding the letter.

“And pray to Loki for guidance – you’re a Slytherin, surely you’re a bit more clever than your dorm-mates.”

Draco looks up to meet the Ravenclaw’s smirk. “What do you know?” he demands.

The Ravenclaw’s smirk widens. “Also, tell your godfather that prophecies are open to interpretation.” He smoothly rises to his feet and walks out of the library.

Draco stares after him for a few minutes before gathering up Mother’s letter and hurrying to Severus’ office.

Year 7

“I can’t believe we did it!” Hermione shrieks, jumping up and down in a circle with the rest of the girls in their year. Kevin himself can’t stop laughing, even when Anthony throws himself into Kevin’s arms and kisses him for all he’s worth.

“Half of the Charms’ Masters wrote back acceptances!” Hermione shouts, and then the rest of them all begin shouting about their own plans, but it’s nothing new. All of seventh year was a preparation for this.

“What about you?” Morag asks Lucas, slightly away from their yearmates’ celebration.

Lucas shrugs. Morag has never known what to make of him; he acts more like a Slytherin than any Slytherin she or her twin Isobel know, but all of the professors adore him. The rest of their study group are easy to read, always had been, but Lucas -

“I suppose I’ll be going back to Rykene,” he says. “Apprentice to Edda Lokidottir.”

Morag stares at him. “You know Edda Lokidottir?” she asks. Her mother had every single Transfiguration text and hex encyclopedia, and even the Guide to the Darkest Arts written by Edda in her very early years as an apprentice herself.

“She’s one of my grandmothers,” Lucas says with a soft smile, one Morag hasn’t seen from him before.

She can’t think of a thing to say. Half their year thinks Lucas is going to become a dark lord; the other half thinks he’s going to vanish into the muggle world, never to be seen again.

Morag thinks he’d never do anything expected of him, so she simply says, “Well, good luck, Abraxley,” and nods when he replies, “You, too.”

Chapter Text

“Let me tell you a story,” Lucas said softly. It was their last night at Hogwarts and the original study group met for the final time. Only those from the first meeting spread out at their tables in the library.

“It began long ago,” Lucas continued, serious as always. Kevin couldn’t help the thread of worry that shivered down his spine, or the way that his hand found its way to Anthony’s, sitting beside him. “Long before we or our parents or our parents’ parents were born,” Lucas said. His gaze traveled along the group, meeting each of their eyes.

Lucas had always been odd, from the Hogwarts Express to the NEWTs. He kept himself apart but was perfectly friendly, helped with studying but had an air about it – like he was doing a favor and expected to be repaid someday. Except he never called in the favor.

(Yet, Kevin thought.)

“Once,” Lucas said, “there was a witch who fell in love with a man. The man wasn’t a wizard – there was no magic in his blood at all, not back for fifteen generations on both sides.” Lucas smiled, a little sharply. “But the witch loved him ever so much, and she wanted to escape her family. The man knew of her – their whole town did – those nasty Gaunts, inbred and foul.”

“Gaunts?” Anthony asked, eyebrow raised. “As in –”

“Yes,” Lucas said. “The last descendants of Slytherin.” He paused, as if waiting, but no one else spoke, so he continued, “The witch gave the man a love potion because her only grace was a gift for brewing. And so she ran away with the man she loved and conceived a child by him.”

Lucas paused again, and Hermione said, “But love potions wear off.” When he tilted his head, still smiling, she said, “An immunity builds up. For the potion to stay effective, you have to increase the dosage but eventually, it does stop working.”

“Yes,” Lucas said simply. “But the witch believed the man had finally come to love her as she loved him.”

“Oh, no,” Kevin heard Sally murmur. Everyone else was silent but Lucas barely inclined his head.

“The witch stopped feeding her husband the potion. Does anyone care to guess what happened next?”

They all glanced at each other for a moment before Hermione said hesitantly, “He left her.”

Lucas’ smile chilled. “Of course he did. He returned to his family, but the witch didn’t dare. Her father would punish her for her desertion, or her brother would resume using her for his pleasure.”

Kevin felt a little sick, but he couldn’t bear to leave or interrupt the story. This was the most any of them had ever heard Lucas speak in seven years, even his dorm-mates.

“So the witch, on the verge of going into labor, found her way to an orphanage,” Lucas said.

This time when he paused, Mandy burst out, “Oh, do get on with it!”

Lucas laughed softly. “The witch gave birth, named him for the father that hated the very thought of him, and died of a broken heart.” He shrugged at their horrified expressions. “What else could the good nuns do but keep the poor child?”

“Nuns?” Susan asked.

“But of course,” Lucas said, sounding just a little angry. “There are no magical orphanages in the entirety of the UK. The child was raised by Catholics, and, oh, how they feared him.”

“Gaunt,” Hermione murmured. “Descendants of Slytherin…” Kevin looked at her – her expression was the one she always wore when she made an unforeseen connection. “The child was Voldemort.”

Most of them gasped. Lucas smirked. “Well done, Hermione.”

“How could you possibly know that?” Hannah demanded while Susan nodded beside her.

Lucas shrugged again. “I research. Knowledge is everything.”

Hermione shook her head. “The library couldn’t have all that information.”

Lucas only smirked. “I never said I researched at the library.” He glanced around the room again, meeting all of their gazes. Kevin shivered when their eyes met. Lucas had always been so odd, and his father odder still. Who else had their parents come to the school once a week? Everyone was away from their families – why did Lucas warrant special permission? Kevin himself had gone to Professor Flitwick in first year and been denied. And as soon as they were third years and could go to Hogsmeade on the weekends, Lucas started sleeping in the village, at his dad’s flat, instead of in the dorms. Kevin had almost reported him a hundred times, but always stopped himself.

“I’ve told you the beginning,” Lucas said. “Now, tell me the end. Surely you all know it.”

“The child became Voldemort,” Hermione said with a toss of her hair. “And he attacked the Potters after a long bout of terrorism.” She took a deep breath and then said firmly, “And he died at the Potters’.”

Lucas nodded. “But do you know,” he asked, “any of you – who was he before he became Voldemort?”

Kevin shook his head, as did most of the others. “And your research, I suppose,” Sue said, “told you that?”

But Lucas just smiled that damned smile again. “The Chamber of Secrets,” he said. “Follow the history of you’ll learn all sorts of things.”

“These things, should we learn them? Or will we regret it?” Kevin asked.

Lucas laughed. “One can never know too much.” He stood and stretched. “But that is enough, I think.” His smile softened a little. “Good luck to all of you,” he said, and he seemed sincere. “You’ve made my time at Hogwarts just a bit fun.” He inclined his head and then strode from the library.

They all sat in stunned silence. Finally, Leanne asked, “What just happened?”

“I think he said goodbye,” Hermione murmured. Louder, she added, “I’m going to begin researching the Chamber of Secrets immediately.”

Kevin shook his head. Whatever Lucas was involved in, however he knew things he shouldn’t know, Kevin wanted no part in it.

“I’ll join you,” Megan said to Hermione.

Most of the group followed Kevin to the combined end of the year party their Houses were throwing, but a few remained in the library. “What do you think?” Anthony asked him, pulling him into the corner.

“I think our lives are just beginning,” Kevin said. “And whatever Lucas Abraxley is tangled up with – I don’t want to be anywhere near it.”

Anthony smiled at him. “I agree,” he said. “Shall we go to the dorm?”

Kevin nodded, laughing.

Was that wise? Da whispered from the Hogsmeade flat after the thought-snake shared the memory of all their faces with him.

Lucas shrugged. They need to start thinking for themselves. I’m not staying to hold anyone’s hand after Tom Riddle Jr dies.

Da sighed. Well, at least you waited until the very last night.

Chapter Text

The first time the older girls take her things, Luna pays it no mind. Small items always go missing - nargles take them to line their nests. It's no matter, really.

The second time, she sees the outline of her mother's charm bracelet on a fifth year's wrist. Her gaze goes from it to the girl's face, and she politely asks for it back. The only response is a laugh.

The third time, she doesn't bother asking; she simply takes her things back.

After that, they get more creative.

.

It never occurs to Luna to ask Professor Flitwick for help, or her yearmates (of course not; they're in on it), or her father. She might’ve gone to her mother –

She is silently crying in an out-of-the-way alcove when the boy finds her. Her head is buried in her arms, which are crossed over her knees, and she is crying because her stuffed crumple-horned snorkack is the most recent thing to go missing. It is the last her mother gave her – she named it Amportentia and whispered all her secrets to it, and now it is gone.

She only knows the boy has knelt next to her when he asks, “What’s wrong?”

Luna flinches back into the alcove, curling up even further; she still has bruises on her wrists from when she tried to take back Amportentia.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” the boy says softly. “My name’s Lucas Abraxley.”

That is a lie and yet not; she hears another name underneath it, very faintly. So she lifts her head to give him a quick glance, and there’s another face, very faded, underneath his.

A face with a lightning bolt scar outlined in blood.

She does not say the name that goes with that face because Hogwarts always listens. Instead, she says, “My things keep being taken.”

Lucas Abraxley gives her a very long look and then he says firmly, “Then let’s take them back.”

.
Lucas casts a protection charm on every single belonging Luna brought to Hogwarts. He teaches it to her, but cautions her about using it too often; it’s powerful, he says. He learned it from the Mage of Norway. He then casts a summoning spell that’s a bit trickier, and says he’s not sure where his da picked it up, but it’s even harder to use. However, everything that Luna brought to the castle appears out of thin air, exactly where she left it in the dorm.

Luna throws herself onto Amportentia and very nearly starts crying again.

She gives Lucas a hug, too, and mumbles her gratitude into his chest. He carefully wraps his arms around her and waits until she lets go.

As she pulls away, Lucas says, “We should tell Professor Flitwick. It’s not right, this happening to you.”

Luna shrugs. “D’you really think it matters?”

Lucas looks her right in the eye. “I do.”

.

Professor Flitwick is shaking with rage by the time Lucas finishes his concise explanation. Luna looks down at her hands.

She remembers being so much braver, before Mum –

“Thank you for bringing this to my attention, Mr. Abraxley,” Professor Flitwick finally says. “Miss Lovegood, I am so very sorry for how your housemates have treated you.”

“I’ll be looking out for her, sir,” Lucas says after a moment.

“Good,” Professor Flitwick says firmly.

.

No one bothers Luna after that. She sticks close to Lucas whenever not in class; he even brings her to his year’s study group meeting with Hufflepuff and she’s soon at the top of her class because of it.

She doesn’t ask about his other name or his other face, or the fact that underneath his da’s face is one of the Slytherin boys. There is a great deal she never tells anyone.
.

After Lucas graduates, he and his da return home. She writes Lucas long, meandering letters, and she studies very hard. She also sends one letter to Edda Lokidottir.

There have been whispers about a dark lord rising. There is a prophecy that Professor Trelawney doesn’t remember speaking, but Luna listens to the shadows. She sends a note to Neville Longbottom and smiles when the newspapers (including The Quibbler) report that he was nearly snatched from Diagon Alley but fought off the attackers, who were dressed in Death Eater robes. All of them were captured.

Lucas writes back to her and she knows that her seventh year will last forever. But when it’s done – oh, the adventure that awaits her!

She hugs Amportentia and knows that Mum would be so proud.

Chapter Text

As much as I love this 'verse, I feel very confident when I say it will never be finished. If you'd like to know what happens in general or to anyone in particular, please do ask - I know, though I'll never be able to write it all down, alas.

I do have this snippet, and it is the last thing I've written for this fic:

 

“Four wizards dressed as Death Eaters attempted to kidnap Neville Longbottom from Diagon Alley this morning,” Da says.

“They were unsuccessful?” Lucas looks up from The Quibbler; Da’s smiling, so the Death Eaters must have been quite stupid.

“In the moment it took him to understand what was going on,” Da says, sounding absolutely satisfied, “he activated a charm your friend Granger created: an anti-apparition medallion that worked perfectly.” Da laughs, sounding just a little amazed. “She truly is the brightest witch of the age, isn’t she?”