Chapter 1: Prologue: The End
Death's skeletal hand caught the woman as she fell, her auburn hair spilling onto the forest floor. He had stayed by her side for years, watching her age, a shadow sitting on her shoulder as she grew. He had seen her joyful smile, and kind eyes fade, to only be replaced with a cynical mind, and a paranoid gaze. The little girl was gone, and in her place, his Mistress sat.
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Mort, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
2nd of May, 1998
Death's hand curled around her own as she reached deep into her pocket, her fingers touching the golden ball. Carefully with nerveless fingers, the girl pulled the Snitch out, her green eyes hardening as she stared at the writing on the cold surface.
I open at the close.
She shivered, as the dementors came close, their grasp on the air deadly and cold. Her arms were sore, her core drained, that if it wasn't for Death standing by her side, the witch would have fallen into unconsciousness. He held her up, his ancient bones carefully holding her side as she swayed back and forth. A numbing feeling tugged at her gut as a dementor loomed unnervingly close. Her Patronus was gone, her happy memories drifting away when she saw her loved ones die. Fred…
The witch shook her head and with a hesitant breath, pressed the gold metal to her lips and whispered,
'I am about to die.'
There was a small click as the Snitch broke open. Draco's wand felt heavy in her grasp as she raised it beneath the Cloak. A cold glow burst from the tip, and in the shuddering night, the Resurrection Stone gleamed. The witch's breath caught in her throat as Death moved her hand, instructing her to take the cracked stone. She flinched as her fingertips brushed the cold surface, her bruised and swollen fingertips running along a vertical line. The Elder Wand. The witch's breath tightened as the triangle and circle appeared next. The Cloak and Stone.
'Stop it,' the witch instructed, ripping her hand from Death's clutches. 'I can do this myself,'
Death grinned, his black hood fluttering in a non-existent wind. His hand fell to his side, his pitiless sockets watching her with what the witch would have called amusement. Before she could lose her nerve, the witch plucked to stone from the Snitch and turned it over in her hand. On the third roll, the witch paused.
She felt their presence long before she opened her eyes. Their feet trod on the twig-strewn ground, and the air thickened as four figures solidified, their forms becoming whole. She opened her eyes. The shades watched her, their forms flicking between ghost and flesh, and on each face, looking alive more then dead, a warm, loving smile graced their lips.
Her father was almost the same height as her, with his black until hair, the witch finally understood why Professor Snape compared her to him. She had his face, his long nose and thin lips — a face, that could twist into a smirk and make stiff centaurs smile. His clothes were faded, the dark blue shirt contrasting with his brown eyes that peered out behind a pair of slightly lopsided squared glasses. She had inherited his sight too.
Her godfather stood beside him, his tall, handsome frame towering over the witch, and for the first time in her lie, he looked healthy — young even. Death certainly suited Sirius well, for he stood still his right hand in his pocket and his hair fell down his back in thick, black waves. His eyes were sparkling, and hanging off his left arm, her dark hair pressed into his shoulder a young witch stood.
Dorcas Meadowes grinned, her eyes as clear and bright as melted glacier water. Her purple robes hung off her strong frame, and dangling around her neck, like some sort of forbidden sign, the metallic curve of a snake sat, it's slitted eyes watching the witch with a kind gaze.
Remus was younger too, his hair thick and dark. The scars that lined his face and gone, the trace of his old life drifting down the drain as his wife stood beside him, her hair fluttering between bright pink and a calming turquoise.
The witch's mother's smile was widest of all. She tucked her long, auburn hair behind her ear as she approached her. Her green eyes, searched her face hungrily, as though she would never be able to look at her enough. Her hand reached up as if to catch her daughter's face, but before she could, she said,
'You've been so brave.'
The witch's mouth opened, her voice frozen as her eyes stared at the woman who she had never known.
'You are nearly there,' said her father, and the witch turned to face him, face pale. 'Very close. We are... so proud of you.'
'Does it hurt?' she whispered, the childish question drifting from her lips before she could stop it.
'Dying? Not at all,' he said. 'Quicker and easier than falling asleep.'
'He means it,' Dorcas said. 'The Curse is kind that way,'
'And he will want it to be quick. He wants it over,' said Remus.
The witch gripped Death's hand, as Tonks smiled at her.
'I'll watch for you,' she said.
The witch's hand curled tightly around Death's.
'I didn't want you to die,' she whispered, her voice hollow and cold. 'Any of you. I'm sorry —'
She turned to Remus, tears drifting down her face.
'— Teddy… He won't know. You've… Right after you had him. I'm sorry…'
'I am sorry too,' said Remus sadly. 'Sorry I will never know him... but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.'
Tonk's hair flitted to a deathly black as she squeezed her husband's hand.
A chill rose up the witch's back, and her heart winced as her hand shook — it was time to go.
'You'll stay with me?'
'Until the very end,' said her father.
'They won't be able to see you?' she asked, lips pursed.
Sirius shook his head.
'We are part of you,' he said. 'Invisible to anyone else.'
'And we'll watch over you,' Tonks said. 'Keep you safe.'
'Yeah,' Dorcas grinned again. 'Like we're going to ever leave you, Squeaky,'
The witch looked at her mother, her green eyes tracing her face one last time.
'Stay close to me,' she said quietly. 'And tell Fred…'
Lily Potter smiled, her eyes sad but hopeful. She nodded.
The Stone was tucked into the witch's pocket and, as if like leaves scattering across a cold ground, the ghosts followed her as she set off. She ignored the dementor's chill as she passed, the shades of her family keeping them at bay as she and Death approached her demise.
The Cloak sat around her shoulders, the folds kicking her heels as she plunged deeper and deeper into the forest. Where Voldemort was she didn't know, but judging from the Dementors and Death's tight grip on her hand, he was close. James, Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, Dorcas and Lily, walked beside her, their feet silent over the cold death and for the first time in a long while, her courage crept into her blood.
The witch paused as a thud echoed through the forest. She peered under the Clock, the shades stopping beside her.
'Someone there,' a rough voice hissed. 'The bitch's got an Invisibility Cloak. Could it be-'
Two figures emerged from behind a nearby tree: Their wands flared, and the witch's gaze hardened as Yaxley and Dolohov peered into the darkness. A grin cursed her lips as the two turned away.
'Definitely heard something,' said Yaxley. 'Animal, d'you reckon?'
'That head case Hagrid kept a whole bunch of stuff in here,' sniffed Dolohov, glancing over his shoulder. Yaxley looked down at his watch.
'Time's nearly up,' he said. 'Potter's had her hour. She's not coming.'
'Better go back,' said Yaxley. 'Find out what the plan is now.'
Yaxley and Dolohov walked away and after a moments destination, the witch followed. The lead her north, heading deeper into the forest, that as the witch crept behind the two Death Eaters she turned to her mother. The woman nodded.
And then she was standing in a clearing, Voldemort's head bowed, his fingers folded over the Elder Wand. Death uttered a silent curse, his hands tightening when he noticed the Death Stick. Swarms of Death Eaters huddled around their lord, their faces masked and heads hooded. Two giants loomed above them, and chewing his nails, Fenrir Greyback sulked. The witch shivered, her hands reaching up to trace the scars that ran down her neck. Rowle dabbed at his bleeding lip as Lucius Malfoy sat with his wife, his hands clasped in her own.
Everyone watched Voldemort, a silent question hanging in the air. Above him, in a charmed cage floating Nagini, her fangs sharp and deadly. Voldemort looked up as Dolohov and Yaxley rejoined the circle.
'No sign of her, my Lord,' said Dolohov.
Voldemort's expression was placid, but his red eyes burned. Death shifted as he raised his wand.
The witch's skin bristled as Bellatrix spoke, but before she could continue, Voldemort silenced her with his hand.
'I thought she would come,' Voldemort hissed. 'I expected her to come.'
Nobody spoke. The witch's heart was breaking her ribs, determined to escape her body. She placed her hand on her chest it, afraid that Greyback may hear. Death leant her his skull on her the back of his head, comforting her.
'I was, it seems... mistaken,' Voldemort whispered.
Anger swelled in her gut as she stared at the man, and with a shuddering breath she ripped off her Cloak, allowing her green robes to flutter in the breeze.
'You weren't!' she cried, anger dancing across her lips.
Death chuckled as she slipped the Resurrection Stone into her pocket and out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her parents, Sirius, Dorcas, Tonks and Lupin vanish as she stepped towards the firelight.
Voldemort stared at her, his red eyes tracing her gaunt frame as she strode towards him. Giants roared, Death Eaters rose and for the first time in her life, Death stayed put.
Then a voice yelled:
The witch turned, her eyes dark as she noticed Hagrid, chained to a nearby tree. The ground shook as his massive body tried to move, the swell of pride for her father figure rising in her chest. He was alive.
'NO! NO! HARRY, WHAT'RE YEH—'
'QUIET!' Rowle cried, and with a flick of his wand, Hagrid was silenced. The witch turned away, her eyes dark as she stopped in front of Voldemort.
The Death Stick pressed against her chest, its sharp point tracing the valley between her breasts with a mocking twist. Voldemort tilted his head a little to the side, considering the girl standing before him. The witch said nothing as he smiled.
'Harriet Potter,' he said very softly, almost lovingly, but the witch had learnt long ago that he was only playing with her. Testing her. His wand trailed further down her body, to where her heart lay beating in her chest. 'The Girl Who Lived.'
No one moved. Everyone waited. The witch licked her lips and thought of Fred. His warm smile — his lips on hers — his cold body decorating the floor of the Great Floor. She thought of Hermione — the years of sharing a dorm — the friend she had gained. Ron came next — his light eyes — love of food and friendship that could never run dry. Daphne — her hand into the world of the Purebloods — the Queen in the Slytherin's hall. Draco — the enemy turned friend in the final years of her life… Lastly, she thought of her mother and her final word… Always.
Voldemort's wand-hand was raised back, his head still tilted to one side, as if waiting for her to run. But she wouldn't give him the satisfaction of hunting her down… this was the end…. The end of everything…
She heard his voice before she saw the curse. Powerful but longing at the same time, as if he had waited a hundred years for this.
She saw the wand flick, a flash of green light, and everything was gone.
Death's skeletal hand caught the woman as she fell, her auburn hair spilling onto the forest floor. He ignored Voldemort's scream of pain as the Horcrux burnt away, and instead fixed his black gaze on the woman who lay before him. He had stayed by her side for years, watching her age, a shadow sitting on her shoulder as she grew. He had clapped for her when she was sorted into Slytherin house — cheered for her when she'd picked up her wand and chosen to fight.
He had seen her first kiss, and the pain it caused when the boy died. How she rebuilt herself, turning away from her Uncle's harsh words and cruel treatment. He had seen her joyful smile, and kind eyes fade, the darkness swallowing her whole as she was replaced with a cynical mind, and a paranoid gaze. The little girl he had followed was long gone, and in her place, his Mistress sat.
Death could wait a little longer for her to return.
Chapter 2: PART ONE
Death's skeletal hand caught the woman as she fell, her auburn hair spilling onto the forest floor. He had stayed by her side for years, watching her age, a shadow sitting on her shoulder as she grew. He had seen her joyful smile, and kind eyes fade, to only be replaced with a cynical mind, and a paranoid gaze. The little girl was gone, and in her place, his Mistress sat.
Chapter 3: Chapter One: The Witch
Death's skeletal hand caught the woman as she fell, her auburn hair spilling onto the forest floor. He had stayed by her side for years, watching her age, a shadow sitting on her shoulder as she grew. He had seen her joyful smile, and kind eyes fade, to only be replaced with a cynical mind, and a paranoid gaze. The little girl was gone, and in her place, his Mistress sat. Fem Harry
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Mort, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything, belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
23rd of June, 1991
Death's cold eyes stared up at the girl, the white frame encasing the black tarot card, illuminating his pointed chin and hooded head. Darkness surrounded him, the dying sunset low in the sky as his large black wings spread over the land. In his hands, sat a long scythe the sharp blade embedded in the souls of a newly deceased. A number thirteen was painted above his head, the white ink yellowed with age. He meant transformation, change, new beginnings, an end, a dramatic change and destruction.
Licking her lips, the girl placed the card down on her dirty mattress, the haunted picture of Death starting her Celtic cross. Carefully she chose another card. This time it was the Knight of Swords. Sighing, the girl placed the card on top of the Death. The knight's shining angry, face shone up at her, his body pressed up against a tree as three swords impaling his strong chest. Like the Death tarot, darkness encased the white figure and a faded three shone above his head. He symbolised a challenge. He meant conflict, destruction, domineering and loss.
For her Past, The Devil was drawn. He was a red, terrifying man with a horned head who meant anger, jealousy and resentment, self-delusion, selfishness and violence. To put it simply, someone or something in her Past was leading her towards a trap. She placed the black and white card on the right handed of Death and the Knight.
Her Future, on the other hand, looked somewhat interesting. The Moon meant carefulness, caution, confusion, delusion and risk. It could be bad or good. For the first time in her life, the girl hoped it was the latter. She put the card on the left-hand side of the Knight and Death.
The Magician was next, and he stood behind a large moon, his lean figure bent over his palm as a perfect stone floated in-between his palms as a large one stood above his head. She placed the card above Death and the Knight, her hands shaking. He meant confident, creative, important communications, skilful, talented and proficient.
The sixth card was Two of Swords, which meant balance, conflict resolution, decisions, peace of mind and prejudice. The blind man stared into the gloom, his misty eyes watching the girl with a dazed expression. Sitting in his hands two rusted swords gleamed and hanging above his head a solid two sat. She put it below the Knight and Death.
The girl was just about to pick up her next card when a loud rap on her door made her jump.
'Up! Get up! Now!' her aunt Petunia cried.
Harriet Potter's eyes widened and as quickly as she could, she snatched the cards from her bed. Quickly, she shuffled the cards into a hasty deck and stuffed the cards back under her pillow when there was another rap on the door.
'Up!' her aunt screeched. Harriet winced as her aunt stormed away, her slippers thumping against the kitchen tiles. A second later, he was putting a frying pan on the stove. Harriet breathed heavily, and quickly pulled her hair out of her face. Thankfully, she had managed to steal a hair bobble from her aunt several days earlier and she hadn't noticed… Yet…
'Are you up yet?' Petunia demanded, returning to her niece's door.
'Nearly,' Harriet said, pulling at her sleeves.
'Well, get a move on, I want you to look after the bacon. And don't you dare let it burn, I want everything perfect on Duddy's birthday.'
Harriet groaned and pressed her hands to her face.
'What did you say?' her aunt snapped through the door.
'Nothing, nothing…' the girl replied.
It was her cousin Dudley's birthday — how could she have forgotten? Although the Dursleys' may have been related to Harriet by blood, they treated her worse than dirt. Ever since she had turned up on their doorstep, ten years previously, Petunia, Vernon and their vulgar child, Dudley had forced her to do their bidding. Ever since she was four she had been forced to cook, clean, prune the garden and do anything her aunt, uncle and cousin told her to do. After pulling a spider off a pair of odd socks, the almost eleven-year-old girl quickly pulled them on, and after checking her reflection in a shard of glass she had nicked from the bathroom-incident-of-nineteen-eighty-nine she pushed open her door and stepped out of the cupboard under the stairs. She removed a wandering spider from her hair, carefully placing the little critter on her pillow before she closed the door behind her.
As she walked the short distance to the kitchen, Harriet spotted a large painting of the Dursleys. Petunia Dursley was tall, blonde, and spindly, her long neck reaching over to gently kiss her husband on the cheek. Vernon Dursley was large, beefy man with a puce face. His dark hair and bushy moustache barely covered his mean, blue eyes. His large hand was settling on his only child. Dudley was as large as a whale and as stupid as a turkey. He had inherited his mother's hair and eyes but had gained his father's size and proportions. All three smiled out of the painting as if everything was perfect.
As Harriet entered the kitchen, she almost stopped and stared at the table which was almost hidden a mountain of presents. Boxes the size of Harriet's arm and judging by the boxes, Dudley had managed to get a new computer, a second television and a racing bike — the girl had a funny feeling that everything by the end of the month would be shoved in Dudley's old bedroom, broken and forgotten. Exactly why Dudley wanted a racing bike was a mystery to Harriet, as Dudley was very fat and hated exercise — unless of course, it involved chasing someone, pinning them to a wall and punching them. When Harriet wasn't trying to figure out her tarot cards, or when Dudley wasn't watching the telly, his favourite punching bag was Harriet. But, no matter who hard he tried, he could never catch her and due her lithe form she was skinny and fast.
Unlike Dudley, who was blonde, fat and loud, Harriet was lean and skinny. She had a thin face, high cheekbones, knobbly knees, auburn hair, and bright green eyes. A pair of squared glasses sat on her face, the ancient frames almost falling off her nose. The only thing Harriet liked about her appearance was the very thin scar on her forehead. The reason? It was shaped like a lightning bolt. For as long as the girl could remember she had, had the scar. One of the first questions she had asked, was how she got it. Petunia had not been pleased.
'In the car crash when your parents died,' she had said, throwing her niece and ugly look. 'And don't ask questions.'
Don't ask questions — that was the first rule for a quiet life with the Dursleys.
Vernon entered the kitchen as Harriet was turning over the bacon.
'Comb your hair, girl!' he barked, by way of a morning greeting. Harriet rolled her eyes, and blew her fringe our of her face — it was pointless trying to tame her wild curls for they fell around her face as if someone had electrocuted her, and even with a brush, and a whole lot of screaming, there was nothing she could do.
Harriet cracked the eggs over the pan, and they were just beginning to fry when she heard the loud, thumping footsteps of her cousin. Carefully, the girl avoided the barrel of flesh that burst through the kitchen door, and after making sure that she was going to fall flat on her face, placed the pan back on the stove.
Her cousin approached his mother, hugging her small frame before shooting Harriet a nasty look as if to tease her. Harriet ignored him. Once, when Dudley was small Petunia claimed that her son looked like a baby angel — Harriet often said that Dudley looked like a pig in a wig.
Vernon snapped his fingers and Harriet quickly put the eggs and bacon onto four plates before setting them on the table, which was difficult as there wasn't much room. Dudley, meanwhile, was counting his presents. His face fell.
'Thirty-six,' he whined, looking up at his mother and father. 'That's two less than last year.'
'Darling, you haven't counted Auntie Marge's present, see, it's here under this big one from Mummy and Daddy,' said Petunia.
'All right, thirty-seven then,' said Dudley. His face turned puce and Harriet quickly began wolfing her breakfast down in case Dudley turned the table over again. The first time hadn't been pretty, and she had to clean it up.
Petunia paled, and suddenly said rather quickly,
'And we'll buy you another two presents while we're out today. How's that, popkin? Two more presents. Is that all right?'
Dudley thought for a moment. Harriet snickered into her water.
'So I'll have thirty… thirty…'
'Thirty-nine,' Harriet snapped.
Vernon glowered at her.
'Be quiet,' he said and turned towards his son and wife. Harriet raised her middle finger at his back.
'Bastard,' she whispered.
'All right then,' Dudley said and with a loud, earthshaking thump, sat down and grabbed the nearest parcel. Vernon chuckled.
'Little tyke wants his money's worth, just like his father. Atta boy, Dudley!'
He ruffled Dudley's hair. Harriet raised her eyebrows. The telephone rang and Petunia went to answer it while Harry and Vernon watched Dudley unwrap the racing bike, a video camera, a remote control aeroplane, sixteen new computer games, and a VCR. He was just ripping the paper off a gold wristwatch when Petunia came back from the telephone looking both angry and worried.
'Bad news, Vernon,' she said. 'Mrs Figg's's broken her leg. She can't take her,'
She jerked her head in Harriet's direction.
Dudley's mouth fell open in horror. Harriet's expression darkened and she gripped the kitchen table. Every year on Dudley's birthday, his parents took him and a friend out for the day, to adventure parks, hamburger restaurants, or the cinema. Every year, Harriet was left behind with Mrs Figg's, a mad old lady who lived two streets away — but a woman who at least treated her with kindness. It had been Mrs Figg who had given Harriet the cards, insisting that they were a ninth birthday present when she discovered how old she was. The old cat lady was kind and wholesome. If the Dursleys' knew how much she enjoyed it, surrounded by Mrs Figg's cats, they would never have let her back into the cabbage smelling house ever again. Harriet frowned. She was looking forward to seeing the elderly woman.
'Now what?' asked Petunia, looking furiously at Harriet as though he'd planned this. Harriet scoffed. Like it was her fault.
'We could phone Marge,' Vernon suggested.
'Don't be silly, Vernon,' Petunia insisted, 'she hates the girl!'
The Dursleys often spoke about Harriet like this, as though she wasn't there — or rather, as though she was something very nasty that couldn't understand them… like a slug.
'What about what's-her-name, your friend — Yvonne?'
'On vacation in Majorca,' snapped Petunia.
'And besides,' Harriet whispered, too quiet for anyone to hear. 'She doesn't know I exist.'
Something nudged her and Harriet turned to face her imaginary friend Mort. Mort was strange, for he was a skeleton and had followed the young girl around for as long as she could remember. His pointed features were hidden by a long cloak and his white teeth gleamed as an idea shone in his head. It was rather strange for a child's imaginary friend to be a skeleton, but Harriet suspected that she could have thought up worse things — a giant scorpion for example. Mort never talked to her, not once, but he was able to communicate through silent nods and sharp smiles. Harriet grinned and turned back to face her aunt and uncle.
'You could just leave me here,' she said. She and most would be able to watch television for a change — catch up on the latest Mr. Bean episode, and if she was lucky, sneak upstairs to Dudley's computer.
Petunia looked as though she'd just swallowed a lemon.
'And come back and find the house in ruins?' she snarled.
'I won't blow up the house,' said Harriet, but they weren't listening.
'I suppose we could take her to the zoo,' said Petunia slowly, '... and leave her in the car…'
'That car's new, she's not sitting in it alone…'
Mort rolled his eyes and sent Harriet a fierce glare. Do something, he seemed to say.
The girl cringed as Dudley began to cry loudly. He wasn't really crying, for the boy of eleven had barely cried in years. But if he screwed up his face and wailed, his mother would give him anything he wanted.
'Dinky Duddydums, don't cry, Mummy won't let her spoil your special day!' Petunia cooed, flinging her arms around him.
'I... don't... want... her... t-t-to come!' Dudley yelled between huge, pretend sobs. 'She always sp-spoils everything!'
He shot Harriet a nasty grin through the gap in his mother's arms.
However, as Dudley's 'fake' tears increased the doorbell rang, ('Oh, good Lord, they're here' said Petunia frantically) and a second later, Dudley's best friend, Piers Polkiss, stalked into the room, his rat-like face grinning wildly. Harriet groaned. She hated Polkiss, for he was the one who held people's arms behind their backs while Dudley hit them. Dudley stopped crying.
Half an hour later, tarot cards stuffed in her pocket, Harriet was sitting in the back of the Dursleys' car with Piers and Dudley, on the way to the zoo for the first time in her life. Thankfully, her aunt and uncle hadn't been able to think of anything else and with a red face, Harriet's uncle had taken her aside and pointed his keys in her face.
'I'm warning you,' he had said, putting his large purple face right up close to Harriet's, 'I'm warning you now, girl — any funny business, anything at all — and you'll be in that cupboard from now until Christmas.'
Harriet had licked her lips and pushed her glasses further up her nose.
'I'm not going to do anything,' she said flatly, 'honestly… You'd think I was a murderer or something…'
'Shut up,' Vernon hissed, pushing her head towards the open car door. 'And stay quiet.'
Stay quiet — another rule in the Dursley household Harriet had to follow. Although Harriet did stay quiet, Vernon never believed her. No one ever did. Strange things happened to her and if anything strange or abnormal made its way back to the Dursleys, Harriet would face a month in her cupboard and a beating of her life. Scars laced her back from when she was a child when strange unusual things happened all the time.
Once, when she was about two or three, she had found of Petunia's prized necklaces. From what she could remember, she had wiggled her tiny fingers and a second later, had made the string of pearls float high in the air. She began to laugh, her voice sore and broken… and then a heavy book had been thwacked across her head. She had fallen unconscious, the pearls snagging as they fell. Unsurprisingly it had been Vernon who had hit her.
Another time, Petunia had been trying to force her into a revolting old, moth-eaten dress that she had picked out from the bins. It was grubby, a ghastly shade of orange and it stank. The harder Petunia tried to pull it over her head, the smaller it seemed to become until finally, it might have fitted a puppet, but certainly, wouldn't fit Harriet. Petunia had decided it must have shrunk in the wash and, to her great relief, Harriet wasn't punished.
When she was six, she had turned her teacher's hair red. It had been an accident, (something that Harriet couldn't ever explain), but like the pearls, she had been blamed, been brutally hit before being sent to her cupboard to nurse her wounds. She hadn't been allowed out for three days.
On the other hand, she'd gotten into terrible trouble for being found on the roof of the school kitchens. Dudley's gang had been chasing her and her only friend, Hermione, around the playground. She had grabbed Hermione's hands, her green eyes wide with fright, and as much to Harriet's surprise as anyone else's, she and Hermione had ended up sitting on the school chimney. The Dursleys had received a very angry letter from Harriet's headmistress telling them that she and Miss Granger had been climbing school buildings. But all she'd tried to do, (as he shouted at Vernon through the locked door of her cupboard), was jump behind the big bins outside the kitchen doors. Harriet supposed that the wind must have caught her and Hermione in mid-jump.
Truthfully, she didn't want to be with Dudley or Polkiss, and although she liked animals, she would have rather seen Mrs Figg and asked if she was all right. A broken leg was rather painful.
Harriet pushed her scraggly hair away from her face as Vernon drove. He complained to his wife, his violent voice exploding in angry tones. He liked complaining and on the top of his list sat Harriet. That morning he was droning on about his favourite subjects: people at work, Harriet, the council, Harriet, the bank, Harriet, Mrs Figg and Harriet. This morning, motorcycles were also included in the mix.
'...roaring along like maniacs, the young hoodlums,' he said, as a motorcycle overtook them.
Harriet smiled a wide smile as the motorcycle shot by, the woman with purple hair laughing loudly as a red-haired man drove. As the two passed, the woman spotted Harriet. She waved, and the girl waved back. Something tugged at her mind. Maybe it was the woman, maybe it was the motorcycle, maybe it was Mort tugging her hair as he sat in the boot, but whatever it was, Harriet suddenly whispered,
'I had a dream about a motorcycle. It was flying.'
Harriet gasped as Vernon slammed onto the brakes. Her seatbelt constricted around her chest, digging into her small breasts as the car almost crashed into the car in front. Petunia gripped her seat as Vernon removed his hands from the steering wheel and turned to face Harriet. He grabbed her hair, pulling her auburn locks tightly in his first and with a bellowing yell he screamed,
'MOTORCYCLES DON'T FLY!'
Dudley and Piers sniggered.
'GET OFF ME!' she cried, slapping her uncle's hands. 'GET OFF!'
But Vernon's grip was too tight, that as Harriet pulled away, a large chunk of hair was ripped from her head. She screamed again, tears threatening to spill as hot, sticky blood ran down her temple.
'Bloody bitch,' Vernon grumbled, turning back to the steering wheel. 'Look what you've done. There's blood on the…'
His voice died in his throat as his eyes settled on the figure before him. Harriet looked up, pressing her jumper to her bleeding scalp, Petunia whimpered and Dudley gripped Polkiss' arm. It was the woman with purple hair, and the only reason why Harriet recognised her was due to her clothes. They were strange, and black, made out of an odd material that looked like it was made from deer leather and the scales of a snake. But her hair wasn't purple now, instead, it was bright fiery red, and pointing directly at Vernon's head, bright sparks shooting from the tip, a strange wooden stick sat in her hand.
'Get out,' the woman hissed, her voice cold and deadly. 'Get out of the fucking car, you swine,'
'How—,' Vernon stuttered, his face puce. 'How dare you— how…'
But his voice faded again as a tall, muscular man, the motorcycle's driver, stepped forward, a similar stick in his grasp. Like the woman beside him, he too had a mane of red hair, expect it hung down his back in a long ponytail and looked far less violent. His eyes were a deep blue and he too was dressed in strange, leather clothing. Tattoos lined his hands, and arms, strange symbols twisted across his body. For some strange reason, Harriet thought he was a runeologist — that is if a runeologist was cool.
'Get out of the car,' he repeated. 'All of you,'
'Don't listen to what he says,' Vernon reasoned, but it was too late, for Harriet had already un-clicked her seatbelt and climbed out of his car, Mort following behind her.
'Er,' Harriet said. 'Hi?'
The man and the woman blinked. The man lowered his wand.
'Hello,' he said, kindly. 'Are you all right. My name is Bill. This is Tonks.'
He pointed to the angry woman who was eyeing Vernon with red eyes — wait red eyes.
'You have red eyes,' Harriet gasped. The woman turned to face her, eyebrows raised.
'They're contacts,' she said and her eyes narrowed with she saw the blood. 'That looks sore.'
Harriet shrugged, wiping away her tears.
'Hurt more at the time.'
'GIRL!' Vernon screamed. 'I ORDER YOU TO GET BACK IN HERE!'
'Looks like I have to go,' she said. 'Could you let us go, we were going to the zoo.'
'I'm afraid not,' Bill replied, shaking his head. 'That man just ripped out your hair — that's abuse.'
'Not really…it was an accident.' Harriet said.
Mort looked at her as if to say, Why are you defending them?
'What's your name?' she finally asked.
'Um,' Harriet said. 'I'm Harriet. Harriet Potter — but I prefer Harry. But why does that matter? I don't know you.'
Bill's mouth dropped open. Tonks flinched, her eyes narrowing in on Dursleys and Polkiss who sat shaking in the car.
'Bill,' she said. 'Take Harry to mum. Patch her up.'
'Why?' Harriet asked, darting away from Bill's hand. 'Who are you?'
'Family,' she said.
Bill's hand wrapped around her's and before Harriet could scream or call out to Mort, they disappeared. Harriet felt her arm twist violently as Bill jerked way from her. Everything went black as she was suddenly thrown in all directions. She struggled to breathe, her chest sore and swollen. She winced as her eyeballs vibrated as if they were being forced against her sockets as her ear-drums were pushed deeper into her skull…
The two suddenly re-appeared, in the middle of a wet wood and before Harriet could realise that Mort had somehow appeared by her side, (even though he had been standing a few feet away from her moments before — then again he was her imaginary friend), or that they had teleported to somewhere cold, she threw up her breakfast. Bacon bits and egg splattered the muddy ground.
'It's okay,' Bill said, gently patting her back, 'get it all out.'
Harriet shrieked, and she spun around, slipping. She cringed as she fell into her own sick.
'Get away from me!' Harriet shrieked as Bill tried to help her up. 'Get away,'
Fear had crept into her bones, her eyes were wide. She raised her hands, protecting her body from the man, and before Mort or Bill could stop her, a thick, black shadow exploded from her hands. Bill swore, his grip on his stick tightening as the monster rose in the mud in a thick, swirling cloud. Something in the girl's gut suddenly strengthened, and she screamed again, allowing her tears and fear to power whatever the 'Thing' was.
The girl tore at her hair, her blood mixing with her tears and the monstrous force swelled around the malnourished child. Bill stumbled his eyes wide.
'William!' a man cried and for a split second Harriet noticed a man with fair hair bursting out of a thatched house, stick in his hands.
He paused when he saw the dark mass.
'Oh, fuck,' he whispered. 'Is that an—'
'—an Obscurus…' Bill said. 'Yes,'
'We need to calm her down,' the man said. 'Get it out of her.'
Harriet screamed again and the 'Obscurus' suddenly lunged towards Bill. The two men managed to run out of the way, the dark pass ripping through trees as Harriet's screams turned to sobs.
'HARRY!' Bill cried. 'You need to calm down.'
Harriet began to shake, her eyes wide. She was doing this, she was causing the thing to move.
'Harry,' the man tried, his voice gentler than Bill's. 'Please, we aren't here to hurt you.'
Harriet looked up at the man. The man was big-bellied, with a fair complexion and his blonde hair fell down his lined face. A small smile graced his lips, his hands open as if he were about to hug her.
'Please Harry,' he said. 'Let us explain. Just let the Obscurus go, and we can help you,'
Biting her lip, Harry turned to Mort. The skeleton sat beside her, his legs crossed as he watched Harriet scream. A vacant expression was on his bone-white skull and his eyes were cold and empty. He responded as he aways did, cold and placid, but something about his old, grumpy face, stilled Harriet's soul.
'Mort,' she whispered. 'Help.'
The skeleton didn't say anything and instead allowed her to clutch his hand. As soon as Harriet's soft skin connected with Mort's bone fingers, the air stilled, the 'Obscurus' stopping as if held up by a million drawing-pins. Then it was gone, ripping itself up into tiny pieces as Harriet calmed down. Mort squeezed her hand.
'By Hecate,' the man said, and Harriet turned to face him. However, his eyes were not on her, but rather on Mort. Bill too stood still, mouth agape. Mort quickly let go of her hand, and the two men looked around, as if trying to find him.
Reaching deep into her pocket, Harriet unsheathed her tarot cards. She shuffled them, before snatching up the first card. She started her cross but stopped at the fifth card, her fingers twitching in annoyance. Death, the Knight of Swords, the Devil, the Moon, the Magician and Two of Swords stared up at her. Quickly, she gathered them back up again, shuffled the deck and re-drew.
Death. Knight. Devil. Moon. Magician. Swords.
Every time the girl decked, the cards remained the same, and every time her hands reached for the sixth card, her fingers burned. She was crying by the time the man placed his hand on her shoulder, big, fat tears rolling down her face. She hadn't cried in years, and yet in that moment, Harriet felt like she could cry forever.
Death. Knight. Devil. Moon. Magician. Swords.
'Harry,' the man said. 'My name is Ted Tonks. Would you like to come inside?'
Death. Knight. Devil. Moon. Magician. Swords.
'Miss,' Ted said.
Death. Knight. Devil. Moon. Magician. Swords.
'Please,' said Bill.
Harriet paused. She looked up, hand hovering over her cards.
'Who are you?'
Her voice was quiet. Timid. Childlike.
'We're like you,' Bill said. 'I'm a wizard. You are a witch.'
Death. Knight. Devil, Moon. Magician. Swords.
Harriet shook her head, and before she could regather her cards, something strange tugged her gut, and she passed out. Her head slammed into the mud with a crash. Her cards flew everywhere.
Death sighed. It seemed, that after ten years, the truth was out.
Death. Knight. Devil. Moon. Magician. Swords.
Chapter 4: Chapter Two: The Tonkses
Death's skeletal hand caught the woman as she fell, her auburn hair spilling onto the forest floor. He had stayed by her side for years, watching her age, a shadow sitting on her shoulder as she grew. He had seen her joyful smile, and kind eyes fade, to only be replaced with a cynical mind, and a paranoid gaze. The little girl was gone, and in her place, his Mistress sat. Fem Harry
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Mort, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything, belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
24th of June 1991
Death watched the sleeping girl, his knife balanced above her head, the deadly tip piercing the skin between her eyebrows. Harriet lay on a sagging sofa, her tarot cards lying beside her head, as the knife slowly spun. Harriet was a rather strange human, with powers beyond her years, and although Death had kept her safe, he could not keep her from her heritage. The humans had got it wrong. It wasn't an Obscurus that had burst from her, but rather, a secret hidden deep in her past — a secret Death, unfortunately, knew about.
Harriet twitched as the knife rose from her forehead, landing in Death's hand. Slowly, she opened her eyes and turned to him, emerald eyes sullen and cold. Her auburn hair framed her gaunt face, her sunken skin clinging to her bones like wax. She licked her cracked lips, fingertips touching her stomach.
'Where am I?' she whispered, turning her head to look at her friend. 'Where am I, Mort?'
But Mort, like always, stayed quiet.
'You're in Cirre, Hampshire,' a woman said and Harriet tensed when she noticed the dark haired woman who sat in the chair opposite her.
The woman's dark hair fell down her back in soft, brown curls, her wide, dark eyes stared down at Harriet and dancing across her thin lips, a small smile lay.
'There you go,' the woman continued, handing Harriet a blue mug. 'I hope you like tea — I'm afraid Nymphadora and her friends managed to drink all the butterbeer during last year's Litha Festival. And Bill said you might need these.'
The woman handed her, her glasses. Harriet blinked as she placed them onto her face. They were cleaner, and the large crack that ran down the length of the glass was now gone, the sellotape that had held the wonky frames gone.
'Thank you,' Harriet said, cradling the mug in her hands. She took a sip. 'What does, "Litha," mean?'
The woman smiled.
'It is Midsummer's Eve,' she replied.
Harriet took another sip of her tea and the woman lowered her book. The cover was old, the leather stained a deep bronze, and written on the cover in spindly silver writing, the words, 'Herbs, Cauldrons and other Potioneer Needs, a memoir by Yosepha Liss,' decorated the strange tome.
Harriet frowned. She had never heard of that particular book before.
'Oh,' Harriet replied.
'I've never heard of Cirre before. Is it a new village?'
'No, the village itself is quiet old. But, of course, you wouldn't have heard of it,' the woman said. 'It's hidden from Muggles.'
'Muggles?' Harriet asked.
'Mundanes. Non-Magic folk. There called No-Majes in America — Muggles in Britain,' the woman replied. 'It's what we call humans, people who can't do magic.'
'Isn't that rude?'
The woman shrugged.
'Not really,' she said. 'It's just what we've called them. Muggles have come up with worse things for us. We're witches, wizards, wiccans, mages, sorcerers and yet Muggles have deemed us all to be evil enchanters who turn people into a frog, or Hags who will eat babes whole.'
'That sound awful.'
'It can be,' the woman replied, sharply. 'That's why we call them Muggles — it's the lesser of two evils.'
'Oh,' Harriet whispered again, sharing a nervous look with Mort.
'This is probably very strange for you,' the woman replied. 'Finding out who you are.'
'Yeah,' Harriet mumbled. 'It does. So… I'm a witch?'
She looked up, staring at Mort, who nodded, his neck clicking like a bug.
'That girl from earlier — she had purple hair — told me that she was related to me. How?'
The woman rolled her eyes.
'My daughter, love her I may, does love to exaggerate,' the woman sighed, placing her hand on her head. 'Technically, I am related by marriage to your father through a great aunt of his, but that was a while ago. Dorea is long dead.'
Harriet looked down at her tea.
'My name is Andromeda,' the woman said. 'Andromeda Tonks,'
'Harriet,' Harriet responded, 'Harriet Potter. But, please, just call me Harry.'
Andromeda smiled, her thin lips widening into a grin.
'It's lovely to meet you, Harry,' she said, rising to her feet, running her hands over her long, black dress. 'Now, that you're awake, I think it would be best if I got you something to eat. What would you like? We've got Pumpkin Pasties and a few Cauldron Cakes. You could also have some Toast and Porridge, considering that you haven't had breakfast yet. I think we might have some left over crumble from last night… Do you like rhubarb?'
'Um,' Harriet whispered. 'I'll have some toast, please.'
Andromeda's eyes narrowed.
'Toast it is then,'
Harriet opened her mouth and closed it again as Andromeda swept out of the room, her dark hair fluttering behind her.
'Don't mind her,' a voice said, and Harriet turned to find Bill standing in the doorway, a small smile etched on his freckled face. 'Mrs Tonks' has always tried to feed Charlie and I up when we arrived — although, with mum's cooking, I don't know if she could.'
He chuckled as if sharing a joke. A joke, that Harriet didn't understand. The girl shuffled and wriggled her toes. They were tingly and sore, as if someone had strapped her to two weights and pulled, and pulled and pulled, twisting her bones like toffee.
'You gave Mr Tonks and me quite a scare.' Bill said, 'Never thought I'd see an Obscurus in my lifetime.'
Mort bristled, his long cloak shifting over his collarbone. He seemed to stare at Harriet as if telling her that Bill was wrong. Whatever the case, Harriet opened her mouth, and before she could stop herself, began to speak.
'What's an Obscurus?'
'It's what attacked you earlier.'
Mort was shaking his head so much that his teeth began to rattle in his skull. Harriet frowned.
'Mort says it wasn't,' she's said.
Bill's eyes narrowed.
'Who's Mort?' Bill asked.
'My imaginary friend,' Harriet whispered.
'Well, then, imaginary friends aren't always right.'
'He's a skeleton,' Harriet said, 'He's always right,'
Bill's face paled.
'So,' he said, 'that's what Mr Tonks and I saw. We thought it was a reflection of the light but it must have been your magic willing your friend to life. Do you know how you did it?'
Harriet paused. She had done magic before, although looking back she hadn't called it that. Assuming that all the strange things she did were due to her magic, then did that mean that Mort was magic too? She looked at the skeleton. His head was still shaking as if he had lost control over his neck. Harriet opened her mouth. Mort shook his head harder.
The witch closed her mouth. Bill raised his eyebrows and was about to open his mouth to speak again when Tonks stumbled into the room, her bright hair sticking up in all directions.
'Well,' she said, dropping into a chair, 'that took longer than I thought it would.'
'What did?' Harriet said. Tonks grinned and lifted her legs onto the coffee table.
Her boots were made of the strongest material Harriet had ever seen. They were leathery and coarse, but also looked immensely soft as if someone had rolled them in feathers.
'I had to talk to your uncle,' she paused. 'I think I may have given his son a tail.'
'How?' she asked.
Tonks tapped the side of her nose.
'That, Harry, is a secret,' she said. 'Besides, when Mad-Eye finds out, he'll be furious.'
'Mad-Eye?' Harriet asked.
'Alastor Moody. He's an Auror — kind of like a Muggle policeman,' Tonks said, smiling at Harriet's confused expression.
'He's also her mentor,' Bill said, indicating to Tonks. 'You'll get points off for doing that.'
'Eh, the fat oaf needed to be taught a lesson. He ripped out Harry's hair,'
'It's not the worst thing he's done,' Harriet whispered.
Bill and Tonks looked at her, eyes narrowed.
'What do you mean?' Bill said.
Harriet opened her mouth, but before she could, Andromeda returned, a large tray in her hands. Harriet's eyes widened to the size of golfballs as the witch placed the tray onto her knees. Toast, porridge and something that looked vaguely like a pastie sat in front of her. A mountain of yellow scrambled eggs sat on top of the toast, and a large dollop of jam had been stirred in the porridge in thick, hungry ribbons.
'There,' Andromeda demanded, 'eat. Nymphadora, do you have any clothes for her?'
'Mum, it's Tonks,' Tonks groaned, scowling. 'How many times do I have to tell you. And yes, I do have something for her.'
'Nymphadora is a perfectly reasonable name,' Andromeda said as Harriet picked up the fork.
'Yeah,' she muttered, rising to her feet, 'for a horse,'
'I heard that young lady,' Andromeda snapped as her daughter trailed over to a small staircase that sat snugly in the corner, the wooden beams reaching up to the floor above.
'Yeah, yeah,' Tonks said waving her mother away as she disappeared up the stairs. 'Tell that to Professor Snape!'
'Who's Professor Snape?' Harriet whispered.
'You've got a lot of questions,' Bill said, grinning. 'Don't you,'
'Well,' Harriet muttered setting her tea on the tray. 'I was just introduced to a whole new world that I had no idea existed, so I'm sorry if I'm a little inquisitive.'
Her voice was hard, sarcastic. Bill's smile widened further.
'He's a teacher at the school Tonks and I used to go to,' Bill replied. 'But enough questions, if you don't eat your breakfast, Mrs Tonks will not be happy,'
Harriet smiled weakly and quickly stuffed a spoonful of the milky porridge into her mouth. It was hot, warm and creamy — far better than the horrid watery goo that Petunia made her eat.
'Good?' Bill asked.
As the witch carefully made her way through her breakfast Tonks' head appeared, a bundle of clothing in her hand. She'd lift up a handful of strange blue fabric or a yellow shirt, shake her head and then treat back up the stairs to her bedroom. By the time Harriet had just demolished her toast, Bill had picked up a strange photo album and was flicking through the yellowed pages, smiling at nearly every photograph, as if remembering a funny memory. Harriet was about to ask what was so amusing when Tonks tumbled down the staircase. Harriet winced as the witch slammed into the wall, rattling a large portrait of a stern-looking woman with blonde hair. She was tangled in a blanket of green fabric, that as she sat up, rubbing her head, Harriet realised that Bill hadn't even looked up.
'Aren't you worried that she hurt herself?' Harriet asked.
Bill shook his head, turning an album page.
'Na,' he said. 'I've known her since she was eleven — couldn't keep on her feet even then.'
'Hey,' Tonks said, smoothing her hair, 'that did hurt. Someone left a large vase at the top of the stairs again,'
'You mean the red and blue one that was a gift from your grandmother?' Bill said.
'Yes!' Tonks replied, glaring at the redhead.
'That's been there since you were fifteen,' he reminded her. 'No one left it there!'
Tonks stuck out her tongue. Bill rolled his eyes.
'Are you finished?' Tonks asked Harriet, indicating to her food.
'I think so,' Harriet replied. 'But I don't know what this is?'
She held up the pastie as if it were explosive.
'It's disgusting,' Tonks said. 'Give it to Bill, he's the only person I know who really likes pumpkin pasties.'
'Just because you prefer Muggle food,' Bill replied, excepting the napkin covered pastie Harriet pressed into his hand, 'doesn't mean you can tell others what they can and cannot like,'
'Shut it, Ginger,' Tonks replied.
She linked her hand through Harriet's arm.
'Come on, Harry,' she said. 'Let's get you in some proper clothes — you look like you're wearing a baby elephant!'
Harriet smiled as the two headed towards the staircase. The landing was rather small, with a thick, blue carpet covering the floor. Four large doors led into various rooms, and the one on Harriet's left was wide open, exposing a bright purple room, the cream walls decorated with yellow and black banners and two large posters of a strange band Harriet had never heard off. As the two witches past Tonks' room, the girl's eyes widened when she spotted that the paintings and photographs that lined the walls were moving.
'They-they're mo-moving,' Harriet stuttered.
'They sure are,' she said, reaching forward to grasp a wooden door handle.
With a small twist, she pushed the door open, revealing a white bathroom with creamy walls and a large white bath filled with steaming water.
'Right, this is the bathroom.' Harriet snorted at Tonks blunt attitude. 'You can have a bath if you want, but get changed, you look like a street urchin. I'll be out here if you need me.'
Ignoring Tonks' gruff, but somewhat friendly tone, Harriet excepted the green material that Tonks handed to her. Quickly the witch darted inside the bathroom shutting the door behind her. Breathing heavily, she turned to the mirror and peered at her pale face. A spot of dried blood had congealed in her hair, leaving her long auburn strands a dried brown mess. The witch frowned, grateful that Mort had decided to stay downstairs.
'Come on, Harry,' the witch muttered to herself. 'It will heal,'
Quickly Harriet changed, stripping out of the horrible, grey clothes her aunt had graced her with, and slipping into the warm tub. Snatching up a flannel, the witch began to scrub herself raw. She was slightly surprised when large silvery bubbles suddenly appeared on her skin, but after a moment's hesitation, Harriet decided that the cloth must be magical. Once she was clean she dried herself, patting her hair with a large towel.
The dress Tonks had found was slightly too big, and it landed on Harriet's shins, but it was possibly the most comfortable thing she had ever worn. Long sleeves smothered her milky arms, the fabric reaching her fingertips, and the neckline stopped just below her collar bone. A pair of socks had tumbled out of the messy pile when Harriet had reached for the dress, and after smiling a little at the multicoloured design imprinted on them pulled the socks on.
Tonks grinned as she stepped out of the bathroom.
'Now I can see your freckles,' she said. 'They suit you,'
'Um,' Harriet whispered, 'thanks.'
'You're welcome,' the witch responded, wrapping her strong arm around Harriet's shoulders. 'Now, I have to do something to your hair,'
'Why?' Harriet asked as she was led into Tonks' bedroom.
'Because,' the witch said, grinning, hand tapping her desk chair, 'I like you. Plus you look like you need cheering up!'
Harriet paused, eyes narrowed. People who generally took kind were fake or rather wanted something from her. Mort never said anything, and never showed any amount of happiness, while Hermione loved her books. That's why the two were friends, because to them, books were the brainpower to knowledge — and knowledge meant power.
'Come on,' Tonks said, smile failing, 'I haven't done this since I was in school,'
Harriet licked her lips, and carefully slid into the chair. Five minutes later, Harriet's long hair had been pulled into a thick plait.
'Thanks,' Harriet muttered as she hopped off the stool, turning to face the grinning witch.
'Your welcome,' Tonks replied.
'NYMPHADORA!' a voice cried and the amethyst-haired witch groaned.
Harriet's eyes widened as Tonks' hair suddenly changed to a light grey.
'What!' Harriet whispered, but Tonks ignored her, storming past the young witch and running out of her bedroom quicker than a rabbit.
Harriet followed after her, charging down the staircase was fast as she could that she almost banged straight into the older witch. But what she saw, made her pause. He stood in the middle of the living room, his body smothered in a deep brown coat. The man was tall, his terrifying face reminding Harriet of hastily carved wood. A large chunk of his nose was missing and scars swam along his pale skin and a large, wooden-claw foot stuck out from under his coat. In his hand, a long stick sat. But it was his eyes which frightened Harriet the most. One was small and dark with a strange paranoid glint, while the other was a bright, electric blue. Harriet shivered as the eye shifted to look at her.
'Who's this?' the man asked.
Tonks placed her hand on Harriet's shoulder.
'It's Harriet Potter, Mad-Eye,' she said, 'You know, your niece's goddaughter,'
Alastor Moody peered at Harriet as if trying to determine whether she was real or not. His dark eye travelled down her tiny body, as his electric one zoomed up to her forehead. It would have been funny if Harriet wasn't scared stiff. She looked at Mort. The skeleton nodded reassuringly.
'Did you check,' Mad-Eye growled.
'Yes, this is Harriet Potter,' Tonks replied, slightly offended. 'What do you take me for?'
'A trainee,' Mad-Eye snapped.
He pointed at Harriet.
'You, girl, come here!'
Harriet stared up at Tonks, wide-eyed.
'It's all right,' the witch said, giving her a gentle shove. 'He won't hurt you.'
Nodding, Harriet carefully approached the man. She stopped a foot in front of him, her fingers running through the ends of her plait. Mad-Eye grunted.
'You look like your dad,' he suddenly said. 'You've got his face. He was a bloody troublemaker — always pulling your godparents and Lupin along with him.'
Harriet's eyes widened.
'You've got your mother's eyes and hair, thought,' he smiled a crooked smile. 'Never thought I'd see those eyes again.'
'You, — you knew my parents…' Harriet whispered, mouth open. 'But my aunt and uncle told me that they were weirdos who drank themselves to death,'
Mad-Eye's normal eye narrowed while his blue whizzed in anger.
'I can tell you, Harry,' Bill said, anger slowly seeping into his voice. 'That your parents were not drunken weirdos. They were good people — two of the best of wizardkind.'
'Then why did they die in a car crash?'
The room fell silent. Tonks' breathing paused, Bill looked at the floor and for the first time since Harriet had met him, Mad-Eye's eye stopped spinning.
'A CAR CRASH!' Mad-Eye suddenly bellowed and Harriet jumped back, afraid. 'A CAR CRASH!'
'Mad-Eye...' Tonks began, but she fell silent when a bright red light shot out of the wizard's wand.
'Yes,' Harriet whispered. 'A car crash... That's what Petunia told me...'
Mad-Eye closed his eyes, and said,
'Never thought, it would come to this,'
'Come to what?' Harriet asked.
'You don't know anything about this.' Mad-Eye snapped. 'Magic! Your parents! Our world! The War!'
'Why,' Harriet asked. 'Do I need too?'
'YES!' Mad-Eye bellowed. 'You need to know!'
'Then what happened? How did my parents die?' Harriet gasped.
She was almost there. Almost ready to hear the facts. For years she'd thought what might have happened, pulled various possible scenarios from her head. Petunia's answer, although a perfectly reasonable one, did to make sense. What was the horrible smell of blood that dripped down her spine? What was the feeling of darkness weighing on her shoulders? What was the green light that plagued her nightmares?
'Your parents, Lily and James…' a voice whispered, 'were murdered...'
Harriet turned. There in the kitchen doorway was the kind man from earlier. His face was pale, his eyes sore and swollen as if he had been crying. He didn't look at her, instead, fixing his gaze on his daughter, as if she might distract him from the ghost who stood before him.
Harriet turned to Mort, eyes wide.
'What?' she said.
Death closed his eyes.
Chapter 5: Chapter Three: The Cloughtie Well
Death's skeletal hand caught the woman as she fell, her auburn hair spilling onto the forest floor. He had stayed by her side for years, watching her age, a shadow sitting on her shoulder as she grew. He had seen her joyful smile, and kind eyes fade, to only be replaced with a cynical mind, and a paranoid gaze. The little girl was gone, and in her place, his Mistress sat. Fem Harry
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Mort, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything, belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
The Cloughtie Well
14th of July 1991
Death sniffed as Harriet swung around a large gravestone, his cold hug lingered over the summer morn, his hunger drawing thin as the dawn broke. Harriet had crept out of the Tonks' house early that morning and headed towards to Cirre's large graveyard. From what the young witch had learnt, the small village also held the deceased of the neighbouring town, for there were four extra extensions added onto the existing graveyard, with over a hundred people buried underneath the soil. She had risen early, curious to discover the small town, and before Morte could stop her, she had run down the staircase and sprinted out the door towards the graves.
Cirre was a rather small village, with a tall church spire rising behind thatched roofs, which glinted in the cold morning light; to the left of the church, there was a small shop, the red paint across the door and windowpanes old and peeling against a clog of mist. But while the little village of Cirre was quaint, it was the old graveyard that truly fascinated her. The crumbling tombs showed just how old the village really was, and the people who had died there collected Cirre's history in a carving image of stone and wood.
But while Harriet liked the graveyard, she was there for another purpose. It had been three weeks since Mr Tonks had told her that her parents were murdered, and while nothing was said afterwards, the young witch couldn't help but wonder if someone from her family was buried among the flowers. Of course, it was ridiculous, because from what she had managed to smuggle out of Andromeda before she sent her to bed was that her parents were buried somewhere in the West Country, which could have been anywhere from Gloucester to Penzance. But still, the graves called to her, as if models for the real thing whenever Tonks or Bill took her to her old home — she could practice what she wanted to say, or maybe find a new friend.
Harriet finally stopped spinning, and eventually came to rest at a large, sand coloured tombstone that was larger than the Dursley's living room. The carving was old, but thankfully readable, and as Harriet peered down at the golden lettering her eyes widened with surprise.
In loving memory of Sigor Pennebrygg, the sixteenth Lord of Cirre.
August 1769 - February 1858
In loving memory of Earngith Pennebrygg, the sixteenth Mistress of Cirre.
March 1774 - December 1859
'They've got strange names,' Harriet whispered as Mort stood behind her. 'I wonder if they were teased? What do you think, Mort?'
The skeleton nodded.
'I thought so too. They must have been well liked in later life though,' Harriet murmured as she backed away. 'There are lots of flowers here,'
Harriet, was of course, right, for the entire gravestone was knotted with bright red flowers and silver bells. As she reached up to touch one of the bells, however, to gently tap the silver in the wind, a loud shout from behind her caused her to jump.
'HEY!' a voice cried and Harriet spun around to face a crooked looking man, with a long white beard, white hair, startling blue eyes and a long walking stick clutched in his bony hand.
He rushed up to Harriet with so much speed that for a brief second the young witch thought he was a young boy. But as he wrapped Harriet's hand, his eyes flashing a dark anger, the little girl suddenly grew afraid.
'Don't touch 'em bells!' the man snapped, rattling Harriet as if she were a bag of bones. 'Don't ya know there cursed!'
'I-I'm new here,' Harriet stuttered, 'I didn't know,'
The old man sniffed.
'Foolish child,' he muttered, guiding Harriet away from the Lord and Mistress' tomb, 'don't ya know Dark Magic when ya see it. What did ya parents do to ya? Stick ya under the 'auldron when ya were wee? Nah, I don't thinks so, yer got a 'ead somewhere up in that noggin o' yers, don't ya,'
He prodded Harriet's head with bony fingers.
'Listen now girlie an' listen good. Any grave, with bells 'anging 'round it, means it's cursed,' he snapped. 'Yer lucky ya didn't touch it. Ya might've died, or worse, bin possessed, like ol' Mrs Gyll boy.'
Harriet bit back a nod, and instead snapped,
'Who are you?'
The old man's eyes narrowed, and he straightened, leaning on his stick. His lips studiedly trembled into a smile, as if he'd been asked the question several times before.
'I am who I am, and I am who I was, and I am who I will always be,'
'That doesn't answer my question.' Harriet protested.
'It suits the occasion just fine,' the old man sniffed. 'Besides, I don't know yer name, so why should I give ya mine?'
Harriet smiled thinly.
'My name is Harriet,' she said.
'Potter,' Harriet replied. 'Harriet Potter.'
The old man's eyes suddenly gleamed.
'Well,' he said. 'Miss Potter, it's an honour. Bin a while since I've met ya it has,'
'You know me?' she asked.
The old man nodded, tugging on his beard.
'Aye, I knew yer parents,' said the old man. 'Strange couple them two, but they always welcoming to an ol' man and a cup o' tea. I had a lot of tea if I remember correctly, an' yer were just a wee baby. Small, an' squishy.'
His eyebrows furrowed.
'But I can tell yer now, 'arriet, that ya didn't have that skeleton when I met ya. So, who's yer friend? Are ya gonna to introduce me?'
'You can see Mort?' Harrier whispered.
'Course I can,' the old man grumbled. 'If ya look 'ard enough, everyone will. But yer lot have all forgotten to look with ya eyes, and instead 'ave grown lazy, using ya wands to find things for ya, instead of ya instincts.'
He suddenly sniffed, his eyes narrowed with suspicion.
'Why a skeleton, though? Why not a 'orse, or a dog, like most littl' girlies?' he asked.
'I don't know?' Harriet replied. 'He's been my friend as long as I can remember. It could be worse. He could be a scorpion,'
'I think I'd prefer the scorpion,' the old man mumbled.
He sighed deeply.
'Well, I best be off,' he said turning. 'Got things to do, an' lakes to watch,'
'Lakes?' Harriet asked, but the man ignored her, his lean body quickly moving towards the gate.
At the edge of the graveyard he stopped and turned back to face her.
'I'd watch out for snakes, 'arriet,' he said. 'That is if I were ya. There's a Cloughtie Well on the edge o' town. I'd go there. Ya sink o' dark magic — best wash it off before the Sìdh come lookin'.'
He never explained what he meant, and quickly left soon after that, grinning madly.
'The what?' Harriet whispered, turning to face Mort, but the skeleton was in a kind of daze, his empty sockets staring at where the old man had been as if trying to recall him from a long lost memory.
'Mort, what's wrong with you?' Harriet whispered.
She nudging the skeleton, and his face seemed to darken. Before Harriet could protest, however, Mort suddenly grabbed her hand and dragged her away from the graveyard, and down the road. By the time the two reached Hangman's Well, Mort's grip had tightly so profoundly that the young witch was certain he would snap her arm in half.
'Mort!' Harriet snapped, trying to tug away. 'Where are you taking me?'
But like always, the skeleton did not answer, and then, quite suddenly he stopped, setting his hands on Harriet's shoulders as if presenting her to someone. Glancing away fro the skeleton, Harriet faced the well. A small gasp rose from her lips when she sat the tree that hung above it.
Tonks had told her a legend about the village the night before, trying to scare her, but what the young woman told her only intrigued Harriet. Once when Muggles were hunting Wizard-kind, a group of extremely dangerous wizards had caught some Witch-finders, determined to avenge their lost loved ones who had perished in the pyres made my man.
After the Wizards had tortured information out of the young hunters, they had strung their bodies over the large tree on the hill. They hung the Witch-finders that night, slowly seeping the life out of them, as they had done to the Wizards' own kin.
As the sun fell across the small village, the youngest Witch-finder, a man by the name of Luke Burton, had shouted out with his dying breath, a curse across the land. He warned the villagers that the tree would never grow or sprout any leaves, or bud any flowers ever again, and that the blood stained on the Wizards' hands, would last until the day their children's, children's, children's descendants would come of age.
No one in village took Luke's warning literally because he was a man with no magic, but for some reason, the tree never flowered again, and whenever the children of the Wizards past the place where their fathers had killed, red stains suddenly webbed across their hands, and Luke's warning reached their ears.
The well had been added later, and at some last minute attempt to free Luke's lost spirit, the descendants of those wizards had begun to tie purified strips of cloth around the bark, and branches of the tree. Red, blue, purple and green strips hung down over the well, remaining Harriet of leaves, and flowers, as if the villagers had been trying to attempt to make Hangman's Tree, forgiving. Some of the pieces of cloth were old, and weathered, their edges frayed and their colour saturated by the sun. Others were new, and still dripping in the morning sunlight, that as Harriet approached she reached up to her hair, to where a thick ribbon tied her auburn locks in a high ponytail.
Carefully, she removed the ribbon, her hair falling around her face, and dipped the ribbon into the well's water. Something strange happened as she swirled the fabric in the water. One-second the birds were chirping, the air was thick with pollen and Mort was standing to the side watching her. But as soon as Harriet lifted the cloth from the well, she suddenly realised that she was not alone.
Sitting on a tree branch, watching with dark eyes, sat a boy. He was fair skinned and had blonde hair that fell down his back in uneven messy strands. He young, maybe eighteen at the most, with strong arms and broad shoulders, but it was his clothes and the fact that he was transparent, that caused Harriet to stare.
The ghost watched her, hands gripping the bark as if they were needles.
'Have you come to hang a ribbon?' he asked.
'Yes,' she said, stealing her nerve. 'I have. The old man told me to — said I sink of dark magic.'
'You do,' the man said. 'If I were alive, you'd be dead.'
Harriet licked her lips and took a step towards the tree. The man's eyes watched her as she reached up to the lowest branch and tied the ribbon around it.
'Are you Luke?' she asked.
'Aye,' Luke said, 'but it's been a while since anyone called me that.'
'Oh,' Harriet mumbled. 'Aren't you lonely then?'
'Very,' said Luke. 'Most of your kind doesn't see me, and yet, you do… Why is that?'
'I don't know,' she said. 'I'm just here because I want to get rid of the dark magic on me,'
The ghost sniffed.
'You won't get it off by tying a piece of fabric to this tree,' he said. 'It's already soaked in blood and darkness — besides, the magic on you is old… I'd say… ten years at least.'
'Don't look at me,' Luke responded, 'I'm a ghost, I just sit here all day, and all night, as I have for eight hundred years. You wizard are forgetting the Old Ways — your too stupid to see me. So I'll ask again, how can you see me?'
'And I told you, I don't know.' Harriet muttered, stepping away from the tree. 'Strange things have always happened to me — why can't seeing ghosts be added to the list?'
The ghost cocked his head, grinning.
'Even in this world, little witch,' he said, leaning forward, a nasty grin on his lips. 'Seeing ghosts is never a good thing. People will think your mad! And besides, I don't think anyone would miss you…'
The ghost suddenly lunged, his fingers reaching out to grab Harriet. The witch shrieked, stumbling backwards as Mort pulled her away his sharp teeth snapping against the ghost's fingers. The ghost of Luke Burton bellowed in rage, his face puce as his prey slipped away, the witch-girl and her imaginary friend sprinting down the street away from the ghost.
Harriet was still running by the time she reached Cauldron Lane, her eyes wide with fear. She paused outside the Tonks' house to catch her breath. Why had that old man told her to visit the well? Did he know about the ghost? Did he know what Luke would do?
It was rather silly of her talk to him, Harriet supposed. He was a Witch-finder, a man who killed her people simply because he didn't understand. But although she wasn't fond of Luke Burton, she couldn't help but feel sorry for him. He — a young man — had died at a young age, his heart tinted with the hellish things he had seen. Harriet bit her lip and leant on the Tonks' fence, her red strands falling around her hair like an electrified broomstick.
'Harriet!' a voice cried, and the witch jumped, spinning to find Mr Tonks standing behind her dressed in a clean muggle suit.
Ted Tonks was a local weatherman and talked on the television, something which had confused Harriet, for she was sure a wizard like Mr Tonks wouldn't have dabbled or bothered with a Muggle job. When she had asked him why he was a weatherman, the wizard had laughed, and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, explaining that told her that his parents were Muggles and that no matter what, he would always feel comfortable in the muggle world than the wizarding one. Harriet had frowned but had excepted Ted's answer, before being quickly swept away into Tonks' arms as she led her down the road to the swing that hung from Mrs Apples' tree.
Harriet's face must have been pale, for Ted stopped beside her, his dark eyes glazed with worry. He pressed his hands on her shoulders, kneeling down so that he could look at her.
'Are you all right?' he asked.
'Yes,' she lied. 'Just enjoying my freedom — never got much of that at the Dursleys.'
Ted frowned, wrapping a hand around Harriet's shaking shoulders.
'Let's get you inside — breakfasts already begun, I was just leaving for work,'
Nodding, Harriet followed the wizard inside and was met with a sleepy Tonks and an impatient Andromeda. Mort, on the other hand, remained outside, his head still turned in the direction the old man had wandered off to.
Death cracked his neck, his hands clenching and unclenching in anger. Ever since he had seen that old man, his bones had tingled and his teeth had snapped. He smelt the old magic that clung to the man's bones, seen past the spell that coated his body and for the first time in a long time, anger had ripped across him like a knife. He should be dead, dead and rotting, but he wasn't and that angered him. But the Goddess had spoken, and while Death was her oldest friend, he would never come in between her Emrys and his Destiny.
Death closed his eyes. At least one good thing had happened by meeting that man. Harriet's powers were beginning to unleash. Maybe he could get rid of the Horcrux quicker than he thought.
Chapter 6: Chapter Four: The Pig Lady
The Pig Lady
27th of July 1991
Death's silent laugh caused his teeth to rattle, the crooked grin widening with each laugh; Harriet laughed too, her hands pressed to her stomach as Tonks transformed her mouth and nose into various animals.
So far, the witch had managed to conjure up a pair of rabbit ears, a long monkey's tail and, (by far Harriet's favourite), a pig snout. The snout in question made Harriet think of her portly cousin, Dudley. Not that she had expressed such matters, for the young witch hoped to forget her life at the Dursleys' but still, Tonks' pig snout was uncanny.
'Stop!' Harriet gasped, clutching Tonks arm as her mouth lengthened into a yellow duck bill. 'Please, stop! If I laugh anymore I'm going to explode!'
'Well,' Tonks quacked, 'won't that be exciting. I'll finally have something to tell, Charlie.'
Harriet's eyes narrowed.
'Who's Charlie?' she asked.
But Tonks merely smiled, her hair, (which was a lovely shade of turquoise), falling around her shoulders. She winked at the witch as her mouth transferred back into human lips, before stopping at an old pine tree, and raising her head to the sky, her neck warmed against the summer breeze.
The two had decided to retreat into the great outdoors, and with Mort trailing close behind, the two witches had disappeared into the dense forest that sat behind Cirre. Black bark and green moss-smothered plants and flowers, guiding Harriet and Tonks into Nature's home.
'You remember Bill,' said the Trainee-Auror.
'Yes,' Harriet said. 'How could I forget, he introduced me to app-app… Teleportation!'
'It's called Apparition.' Tonks said. 'Well, to answer your question, Charlie is Bill's younger brother and somehow we became friends. I was in the same year as he at Hogwarts.'
'You know,' Harriet muttered. 'You've never told me what "Hogwarts" actually is,'
'Hogwarts, Harry,' grinned Tonks, 'is a school. It's a place where people like us, can learn how to use our gifts.'
'Oh,' Harriet said. 'So it's the school Bill mentioned?'
'Yup,' Tonks said.
She pressed her hand to her chest, a lean grin spreading across her lips.
'I was a proud Hufflepuff for seven years.' Tonk said. 'I drove my Head of House crazier and crazier each year! Oh, and just so you know, don't shove a couple of house-elves in a jar, they can get out of mostly anything and then you're in real trouble.'
'It's a House at Hogwarts. Hufflepuff — the House of the Loyal, Kindness and Patience,' the Trainee-Auror suddenly frowned. 'Although, Charlie did often tell me that patience was never my forte…'
'Oh well, we can't all be perfect.'
Harriet grinned and turned back to look at Mort, who was inspecting a crooked tree, his eyeless sockets staring directly at a curled up beetle. However, it was they way Harriet's imaginary friend stood, his arms crossed and back crooked, that intrigued her. Something was bothering the skeleton.
'What is it, Mort?' Harriet asked, ignoring Tonks' confused expression as she talked to her imaginary friend. 'What do you see?'
The skeleton cocked his head and raised a bony finger in-between two branches. Harriet hurried to her friend's side, peering up on her tiptoes to peer through the gap. Her eyebrows furrowed together when she spotted the large woman standing on the Tonkses' doorstep, a small clipboard clutched in her sausage-like fingers. She was wearing a long pink cardigan, which looked like someone had stolen an exotic parrot's feathers and had attached them to the vulgar jumper. Her robes were pink too, and everything from her flabby neck to her tiny wand sitting in her hands reminded the young witch of a toad. Whoever the woman was, she was having a serious argument with Mrs Tonks.
Andromeda stood on her doorstep, her pointed, yet beautiful features pulled into an expression of anger and hatred. Her thin lips were curled so tightly that Harriet thought she might have eaten them, and the whips of hair that framed Mrs Tonks' face was starting to curl, the hold on her magic wavering as she spoke to the woman. Her dress, which reached Mrs Tonks' toes was flittering in a unmoving wind and her wand, which held up the bulk of her voluminous brown curls, was starting to spark, dangerously.
'Who's that?' Harriet asked, turning back to face Tonks.
The young girl's eyebrows narrowed as she noticed the Trainee-Auror's pale face and pearl white hair. Her fingers were shaking, fear running down her spine; her was hand outstretched to Harriet as if waiting to snatch her away. Tonks licked her lips and beckoned Harriet close. But Harriet ignored her, choosing to stay by the tree, her jean covered knees resting on a branch as she climbed higher.
'That's Dolores Umbridge,' Tonks muttered, coming close to Harriet and resting her hands on the child's back in case she fell. 'She works for the Minister for Magic.'
Although Harriet's vision was obscured by leaves and branches she could make out the two witches and although Tonks had tried to obscure her hearing by placing her hands over they young witch's ears, Harriet could still hear Mrs Tonks' bellowed cry as she argued with the other woman.
'… I have told you, Miss Umbridge,' Mrs Tonks hissed, 'that under Section 1 of the Wizarding Child Protection Law of 1846, any child belonging to wizarding kind, Pureblood, Half-Blood, Muggleborn or otherwise, is allowed to stay with another wizarding family, if their previous accommodations have not been seen fit! Harry! Harriet! Miss Potter, has not been brought up in an environment her parents wished her to be. It is clearly stated in Lily and James Potter's will, that Harriet would end up with her godparents, Sirius Black and Dorcas Meadowes if something was to happen to them! Since my cousin is rotting in Azkaban — without a trial, I will add — and Miss Meadowes was murdered by he-who-must-not-be-named ten years ago, that duty falls to the next best person the Potters' thought best. She should be with Remus Lupin, and yet, because of his condition, the Ministry has failed to accommodate such an adoption because of their foolish and incompetent reasoning to allow a child to live with a man who had loved her since birth! And so, we come to the crux of the matter — the Ministry of Magic's corrupt reasoning! You say, that I have kidnapped Harriet Euphemia Potter, and yet after reading Mr and Mrs Potter's will over and over, it does not mention Mrs and Mr Dursley to be her legal guardians. The next best person to give Harriet a stable home happens to fall to me! I have done nothing illegal and yet, because of my disownment, my husband's blood, the Minister's stupidity and Dumbledore's meddling, you, Dolores Umbridge are harassing me, on my doorstep, about something that is perfectly legal!'
Harriet could feel Tonks' hands tightening on her arms as the pink, toad-like woman snorted, her wand tapping on her clipboard.
'May I remind you Mrs Tonks, the will of the Potters was never legal — they never got it signed by a goblin witness, and therefore, is invalid.'
'THEY WERE IN HIDING!' Mrs Tonks suddenly exploded, her temper gaining the better of her. 'DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY WOULD HAVE HAD TIME TO GO TO THE BANK WHEN THE DARK LORD WAS BREATHING DOWN THEIR NECKS!'
'Now, now,' Umbridge muttered, smiling sweetly. 'Do you really need to shout? This is an important matter. We do not want the "Black Madness" to come out too and for you to end up in a cell for hurting the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic.'
'I'll show her the "Black Madness" anytime she wants,' Tonks growled, her hair suddenly turning to violent red colour. 'Then she'll understand why my dear Aunty Bella ended up being he-who-must-not-be-named's whore!'
Harriet shifted uncomfortably. She knew that the Tonkses had a dark family and that Mrs Tonks had managed to escape her unfortunate marriage to Rodolphus Lestrange by marrying Edward Tonks. Although the cost of marrying a Muggleborn had made her lose her family and become an outcast among her fellow friends, Andromeda had gained a loving husband and a child who could brighten the room with just one thought.
And yet, Harriet was wary of the Black family and had learnt in the few short weeks that most, if not all, were cursed with a madness so terrifying that many people still feared those locked up in Azkaban. Harriet hadn't meant to look but she had read in Mrs Tonks' books all about Bellatrix Druella Lestrange, née Black, and the love for her parent's murderer. Although Harriet had never met the deranged witch, her name and the thought that she connected to a family as kind as the Tonkses scared her.
Andromeda's lip curled tighter so that she was biting hard on her mouth. A thin trickle of blood beaded at the corner of her lips, but from what Harriet could tell, the middle child of Druella and Cygnus Black was unaware of the red liquid that spilt from her lips.
'And this Remus Lupin you speak of,' Umbridge spat, nose recoiling in disgust, 'has never wanted the child. He's a half-breed, a creature of darkness and completely unfit to look after Miss Potter!'
'HE BEGGED THE MINISTRY FOR HER!' Andromeda cried, hands clenched. 'HE LOST COUNTLESS LEGAL BATTLES AND BILLIONS OF GALLEONS JUST TO FIND HER! HE DROVE THE LUPIN NAME INTO THE DIRT JUST TO RAISE HER! AND YET, FUDGE AND BAGNOLD THWARTED HIS EVERY MOVE! HE BROKE, Dolores! HIS FIANCÉE WAS RAPED AND KILLED! HIS BEST-FRIENDS WERE MURDERED AND THE ONE WHO HAD STUCK BY HIM THINK AND THIN WAS THROWN IN AZKABAN WITHOUT A FUCKING TRIAL ACCUSED Of TELLING LORD VOLDEMORT THAT THE POTTERS' WERE IN GODRIC'S HOLLOW!'
Andromeda suddenly drew herself up to her full height, her light eyes suddenly dark, and with a flourish of her hand, had ripped her wand from her hair. Tonks swore as her mother's magic rose from the ground as her dark hair fell down her back.
'Harriet,' Tonks whispered, 'we have to stop her,'
'Why?' the girl asked, 'she's about to do something awesome.'
'No,' Tonks cried, 'if Mum does something stupid then where all done for!'
But the two never had to move, for a hand suddenly landed on Mrs Tonks' shoulder and Edward Tonks moved his seething wife aside, so he was facing Dolores Umbridge himself. As Ted Tonks set his gaze on the toad-like witch, Harriet suddenly realised how angry he was, but unlike his wife, he was not screaming and trying to hex the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic's head off. It was is eyes that burned with a deadly fury, and Harriet shivered. Edward Tonks was furious, furious that his wife had been questioned, furious that the Ministry's presence had dared set foot in his home, and yet, his face was calm and unquestioning.
'I think it is time you leave,' Ted said. 'You're creating a ruckus and the neighbours are beginning to question why my wife is so angry. I'm sure Dolores, that they will take her side when they uncover what you're trying to do.'
It was true, for neighbours were standing on their own doorsteps, or peering out of open windows to uncover the reasoning why Mrs Tonks, the most kind and well-to-do lady in the Cirre was screaming her head of like a disturbed banshee.
'Are you threatening me?' Dolores Umbridge asked, lips tightening. 'Do you know the consequence of your actions—'
'Oh for King Arthur's sake, shut your trap!' Harriet suddenly bellowed and before Tonks could stop her the young witch had bound over the gap in the tree and was walking hands clenched in the pink-toads direction.
Dolores Umbridge turned, and her eyes widened when she spotted Harriet. Harriet didn't blame her, for her hair had unravelled from its plait, causing her auburn locks to frame her face like a wild bird. Her eyes overflowed with anger and as she walked, black streams of magic flickered from her clenched palms, the residue of non-Obscurus-don't-know-what-it-is magic bursting from within her.
The Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic took a couple of steps back as Harriet stopped in front of her, barely a nose away.
'I like it here!' she snapped, eyes wide with anger. 'For once in my life, I am not a "freak", I'm not the "Orphan" and I have a family how loves me!'
'I'm sure your Aunt and Uncle love you too,' Umbridge said sweetly.
'Hell no!' she snapped. 'To my dear Aunt and wonderful Uncle, I was someone dumped on their doorstep because my parents were too idiotic to die! To them, I was a burden, someone who willing chose to ruin their perfect lives simply because I was given to them. I was a skivvy, a slave to them, a thing who they beat if they didn't get their own way! I've been burnt, cut and have had broken bones due to my Uncle's drunken temperaments! I've been chased up a tree by my cute Uncle's sister's bulldog simply because she could! And my lovely Aunt Petunia, someone who is my own flesh and blood has ignored and called me names for years simply because I look like my mother! My cousin has loved to terrorise me and my friend Hermione, simply because we were the odd ones! So forgive me if I don't want to return to them!'
A burst of magic suddenly erupted from Harriet, and like a dangerous wave caused all the windows in the Tonkses' home to shatter. Dolores Umbridge's hand suddenly raised, and before she cloud hit Harriet, the young girl clamped her hand over her mouth and dropped to the ground. She tucked her body up against Ted's legs, shaking violently as she tried to hide from the angry witch.
Reaching into her pocket Harriet, unaware of her actions, began to deal her Tarot cards, the angry slap of the parchment slamming n the cobbled ground.
By the time she had dealt, the Death, the Knight, the Devil, the Moon, the Magician and the Swords cards four times in a row, Andromeda knelt beside her and wrapped her strong arms around Harriet's shaking older witch stroked her head, gently whispering kind words into Harriet's hair as the young girl let fat, sobs and annoying snot dribble down her face. Ted's face was ashen as if he had never understood the severity of the matter until Harriet's scream reached his ears. By this point Tonks had stumbled out of the woods, Mort striding in front of her, his face full of determination as he tried to reach his friend.
Umbrage was busy scribbling on her clipboard, a gleeful expression on her face. Harriet winced as the witch ripped a length of parchment from the board, before stuffing it into her pocket.
'Well, Miss Potter,' Umbridge said, 'I think you have proven to me that you are unstable and deliriant.'
The paused, grinning down at the girl.
'Thank you, Harriet. The Ministry is so looking forward to seeing you on the thirty-first of July.'
With that, the witch turned, striding down the path and out onto the street. Tonks purposely stepped on her toe as Umbridge past her, and Mort's teeth rattled. There was a loud crack as the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic Disapparated. Harriet jumped.
'I hate that woman,' Mrs Tonks muttered as she gently helped Harriet to her feet. 'If anyone deserves Azkaban…'
She growled, cutting herself off.
'I agree, Mum,' Tonks muttered, reaching her parents. 'She's a bitch,'
For once, Andromeda did not chastises her daughter for her language, and instead rested a gentle hand on her daughter's arm.
'Promise me, Nymphadora, that you won't purposely anger that woman. I've heard the stories of the things she can do if you annoy her.'
'Yeah,' Tonks muttered, 'I think I might have already done that. I did stamp on her left foot.'
'Nymphadora,' Mrs Tonks groaned.
Tonks grinned sheepishly, but her smile faded when she noticed a large owl flying toward them. Tonks quickly ran toward the large boulder that sat in the middle of the garden and held out her hand for the owl to land on. The grey bird landed gracefully on the witch's right forearm, and Tonks winced as it's claws curled around her. In an instant, it had dropped three letters onto Tonks' outstretched hand and before the witch could pay him had flown off; reading the addresses, Tonks' face paled.
'What does it say, Dora?' Ted asked.
But Tonks didn't say anything and instead strode towards Harriet and quickly handed her the letters. Harriet didn't really want to open the letters, but it was addressed to her in a beautiful curling hand and had the words "Confidential" and "Per Bubonem" stamped on the envelopes. Although her Latin was a little rusty, Harriet couldn't help grin when she realised that, "Per Bubonem," meant, "through owl."
Quickly she dug her nail under the fist letter's flap and ripped it open, unveiling a folded parchment. She unfolded the first letter, and after straitening her glasses began to read.
Dear Miss Potter,
We have received intelligence that you are performed underage magic at eleven minutes past ten this morning in threatening and violent way in the presence of the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic, Miss Dolores Umbridge.
The severity of this action and the breach of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery has resulted in the breaking of Section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlocks' Statute of Secrecy, and Section 746 of the Decree for the Protection of the British Ministry of Magic Employees.
As such we regret to inform you that your presence is required at a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry of Magic at 1 p.m. on the thirty-first of July.
Hoping you are well,
Improper Use of Magic Office Ministry of Magic
Harriet stared at the letter, wide-eyed, and handed Andromeda the letter.
'This is ridiculous,' Andromeda snapped, her eyes scanning over the letter with such fury that Harriet was worried her eyes might fall out. 'Dolores can't be serious. It was underage magic — she can't be charged — we live in a Wizarding village! Harriet didn't break the Stature of Secrecy… What is the world coming to… '
Harriet although she heard her, was quickly ripped one the second letter.
Dear Miss Potter,
The Ministry of Magic has also been informed that you are currently living in the residence of Mr and Mrs Edward Tonks. Under Section 2 of the Wizarding Child Protection Law of 1846, you are, therefore, unwillingly being held by the Tonkses'. Since you are underage, you are therefore unable to make your own custodial choices.
A custody hearing at the Ministry of Magic at 3 p.m on the thirty-first of July, is, therefore, being taken place, in the hopes that you will be returned to your guardians, Mr and Mrs Vernon Dursley.
Protection for Magical Children and Orphans Office Ministry of Magic
Harriet didn't know whether to laugh or cry! Two hearings in one day! The nerve! Once again she opened the third and final letter, but as she unfolded the parchment, she was supposed to discover that unlike the two letters before it, this letter was written by someone with a rather kind voice.
Dear Miss Potter,
I am Elena Rose, Head Children's Healer at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, and according to the inspection given by Dolores Umbridge you are mentally insane and are prone to violence.
However, I have known Miss Umbridge for quite a while, and usually, the 'mentally insane' nations that she sends my way, are usually people who she does not like. Unfortunately, though, I cannot delay this letter, for the Ministry is wanting a full Medical examination and mental report for the custody hearing on July the thirty-first.
If it was my choice, I would not give them the report, but alas, that decision is out of my hands. But still, I would like to do a thorough check up, as I cannot find a medical record for you anywhere, both magical or muggle. As a practised healer, his disturbs me, and unless you have had the good fortune of never been ill, then I wanted to explain the reasoning for you never turning up to the doctor with something a simple as Dragon Pox.
The Ministry has scheduled an appointment for the thirtieth of this month so that we will be pressured for time. However, why don't you come for a check up on the twenty-eighth, so that we can get your report read for the hearing, and so that you have a better chance of winning against the ministry? So come to my office at ten o'clock tomorrow and we'll fix this mess.
The ward I work in is the Harpy Ward, a name which makes many children giggle as they think it means Happy, and not a flying creature of death. It is a rather unusual name for a children's ward, but alas, we must stick with it.
If you have any questions, please do send me a letter by owl.
Hope to see you soon.
Head Healer of Harpy's Ward for Children
St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies
'I have to go for a check-up, tomorrow,' Harriet muttered, grinning. 'Apparently, the Healer doesn't like the Ministry either.'
'Oh,' Ted said, grinning. 'You got Elena — she was in the year above me at Hogwarts. Liked to wake us Hufflepuff's up with pots and pans.'
Harriet wiped away her tears and snot and raised her eyebrows.
'It looks like they're trying to prove your insane,' Tonks muttered, comparing each letter. 'That or they're hoping that one trial will run over into the other. It will take longer than two hours for the first one, and who knows how many weeks the custody battle will last. Merlin, I hate the Wizengamot.'
'Do you think we'll win?' Harriet asked.
'Of course, we will, little dragon,' Ted muttered, kneeling in front of his wife and Harriet so that he could look the young witch in the eye. 'We'll blow them all into the sky.'
Death did not.
Chapter 7: Chapter Five: The Healer
28th of July 1991
Death clung to the building's walls, the blood of thousands streaming across the hospital like a wave as they entered St. Mungo's Hospital. Harriet shivered, feeling Mort's hands digging into her shoulders as she walked towards the reception desk. Witches and Wizards in green hospital robes zoomed around the place like bees, popping out of rooms like daisies and scribbling things down on clipboards as their patients trailed behind them on flying stretchers. Harriet shivered. Although she had been immersed in the Wizarding World for almost over a month, the daughter of James Potter, couldn't help be slightly unnerved when she saw things magically rise and fall without a crane.
Andromeda stood in front of Harriet, the witch's dark hair covered by a hat, as the blood-traitor of the Black family stared down the receptionist. Tonks had jumped out of her skin earlier that morning when Mad Eye had Apparated in her bedroom, flinging curses around the room, pretending to be a Dark Wizard. What endured was a whole lot of swearing, bright green spells, and a very angry witch bellowing profusely at the Head Auror as she pulled on a robe. The two had left for an "Incredibly important mission," which from what Harriet had seen over the last few weeks, was primarily a time where Tonks got whipped into shape by her mentor as he sent spell across the room at her from various directions. He really was mad!
'How may I help you?' the Healer drawled, her eyes never leaving the thick bound book before her. Andromeda cleared her throat.
'My ward has an appointment with Healer Rose.'
The Healer looked up, her gaze settling on Harriet who was gawking at a plant that had somehow sprouted out of a man's throat. Mort elbowed her in the stomach.
'Name?' the Healer asked her, hand trailing down the register.
'Harriet Euphemia Potter,' Harriet said. The effect was almost every, for the Healer paused, her eyes widening when she raised her head again to look at the small imp-like girl. Her blue eyes glanced up to Harriet's forehead and then back to Andromeda.
'Um… Yes… Well,' the Healer stuttered, flicking faster through the thin pages. 'Ah… Here we go,'
She smoothed out the page with her wand.
'Right… Miss Potter, you are headed in the Harpy Ward on the Fourth Floor. Just pass the Janus Thickey Ward on the right, and it is right in front of you.'
'Thank you,' Andromeda said, before quickly snatching Harriet's hand and leading her up the stairs. Mort reluctantly followed.
Harriet couldn't help stare at the patients who the small group of two — well technically three but nobody could ever see Mort — passed. There was a man whose feet were trapped in two blocks of cement to stop him floating up the ceiling and a woman who couldn't stop talking in a strange chittering language, which reminded Harriet of the jingling tinkle of money. Witches and Wizards milled in and out of rooms, cluttering the hallway as floating baubles travelled above Harriet's head. Andromeda's grip in her tightened when people stopped and stared; their mouths open wide as they stared at the girl.
As the two entered the Harpy Ward, Harriet was immediately pulled over to another reception desk, and as Andromeda talked impatiently to the woman, Harriet's gaze wandered around the room. Having never stepped foot in a Muggle Hospital, let alone a Nurse's Office, the young girl had absolutely no idea what a Children's Ward was supposed to look like. It was relatively small, with light yellow and green wallpaper, which gave the room a kind of gentle feel. However, that feeling of safety was stripped away, to the horrible stench of disinfectant. Children, from around the ages of two to about sixteen, milled in and around the small room, hanging off their parents with various ailments.
The older ones stared glumly at the wall, ignoring their parent's nagging voices as they cradled a scaly hand or toad-like foot. The young children, no matter how ill they were, seemed to be determined to cause chaos wherever they went, and from the looks of things, had completely obliterated the stuffed animals and board games that littered the floor in various states of shock. Harriet winced, her hand reaching tightly to her satchel to where her cards and a thin book lay. Hopefully, she wouldn't have to interact with people; she couldn't bare the thought of having sticking fingers all over her things.
Thankfully, the receptionist of the Harpy Ward managed to find Harriet's name quickly, and after a strange look, Andromeda led the girl of eleven years to a plastic seat. The two sat very still, and as Harriet pulled out her book, she ignored the odd stare and gaping mouth that came her way. What had she done to receive such attention? It was like she was famous or something….
They didn't have to wait long, for as soon as Harriet had started to read her book, (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), a brown-haired Healer suddenly appeared by the girl's side. A thin clipboard sat in her manicured hand, and as she peered down at the young girl behind bespeckled eyes, Harriet couldn't help but shudder. Beside her, Mort watched the woman, his hand tightly wrapped around Harriet's wrist as he tried to pull his young charge into a protective hug.
'Miss Potter?' the Healer asked, checking her notes.
'Yes,' Harriet muttered, sharing a glance with Andromeda.
'Healer Rose will see you now. If you'd like to come with me,'
Rising to their feet, Andromeda, Harriet and Mort were led down a thin corridor. It seemed to take an age to reach Healer Rose's office, which by the time the two did, Harriet's legs hurt and she was beginning to get a stitch on her right side. The small group suddenly stopped outside a dark green door, and Harriet could just see, if she stood on her tippy-toes, a giant golden plaque. It sat above Andromeda's head, shining out for patients to understand.
Healer Elena Rose
Head Healer of Harpy's Ward for Children
The Healer knocked on the door, her knuckles drumming a loud, deep sound against the wood.
'Ellie.' the Healer called. 'Miss Potter's here for you,'
'Send her in,' a voice called from behind the door, and Harriet blinked, startled at the thick Glaswegian accent that drifted from underneath the door. Smiling, the Healer opened the door and extended an arm inside Elena Rose's office.
'Well, then,' she said, indicating with her head. 'Healer Rose is just in there,'
'Thanks,' Harriet muttered and pushed herself inside, Mort following close behind her.
The room was quite small for a Head of Department and was barely visible behind the array of books stacked neatly along the walls. Books suck as, 'The Growth of Wizarding Children and their Cores,' and 'The Remedied for Broken Bones, Burst Lungs and Unhinged Minds for Children,' peered out at Harriet, egging her to read the strange looking tomes. Sitting behind a curved desk, hand quickly typing on an old-fashioned typewriter, sat Healer Rose.
She was short, with a brilliant array of red curls pulled loosely out of her face in a thick ponytail. A pair of large circular glasses sat on her head, the bridge holding back a few strands of hair. Like the rest the Healers, she was dressed in a thick green robe, however, unlike the other's, a large golden insignia was stitched onto the back, her name and role displayed for everyone to see under the image of what Harriet took to be a Harpy.
'Ah,' the witch said, turning to face Harriet and Andromeda as the door closed behind them. 'You must be Mrs Tonks and Harriet, please take a seat,'
Carefully, Harriet did as she was told, and slipped onto the stool in front of Healer Rose. Mort rested behind her, a skeletal hand pressing against her shoulder. Harriet smiled softly, catching her friend's creepy grin in the corner of her eye.
'Now,' the Healer responded, placing her glasses on her noes. 'When were you born?'
'Ninety-eighty,' Harriet said, and the girl heard the faint scratch of a quill as the Healer scribbled something down.
'Can I have the date and month, please?' Healer Rose asked, her glasses moving to reveal her eyes.
'The thirty-first of July,' Harriet muttered, her hand fisting her jumper.
Healer Rose suddenly paused, her back tightening. Mort's grip on Harriet's shoulder tightened slightly, and before Mrs Tonks could ask the teacher what was wrong, the Healer turned back to Harriet, a warm smile on her lips, quill and parchment in hand.
'July, the thirty-first, nineteen-ninety-eight, right.' Healer Rose paused, her quill balancing in her hand as she leant forward so that her eyes fixed on Harriet. 'Well, isn't that a coincidence - you'll be in my nephew's year. If you're looking for a friend, seek out Ciaran Rose, we're a large Clan, but not many of us are Wizards.'
'Oh,' Harriet said. She didn't really know what to say.
'Now, when was your last medical examination,' the Healer asked, hands clasped.
'Probably, before I went the Dursleys,' Harriet answered, truthfully. 'One of my teachers suggested I go to the opticians years ago, but I never went.'
'Really?' Healer Rose mused eyes narrowed. 'Well, then, I best start with that. Can you please come here,'
Hesitantly, Harriet approached the Healer, her eyes never leaving the thin wand that sat on the Witch's knee.
'Now, if you could just stand there, and remove your glasses, that would be great,' the Healer instructed, grabbing Harriet's arm and pulling her over to her left.
The Healer raised her wand as Harriet removed her spectacles, stuffing them into her pocket.
'I'm now going to shine a bright light into your eyes,' the Healer responded. 'It shouldn't hurt, but if it does, just tell me. All right?'
'What's going to happen?' Harriet asked.
'Well, a little number will appear above my wand,' Healer Rose smiled. 'It will range from one to ten, and depending on how high the scale is; I will be able to determine what type of lenses you need.'
'What if nothing comes up?' the girl asked, her eyes flickering to the wobbly image of Mort.
'Then you won't need glasses at all,' the Healer responded. 'Now, are you ready?'
The Witch sighed. It was a little strange to have someone poking around her eyes, but she assumed it was for a good cause, and after a moment's hesitation, she nodded.
'Good,' the Healer said, touching her wand to Harriet's temple. 'Now, the light will come on three. Okay? Right then - one, two, three.'
A bright light erupted around Harriet's vision, encasing her eyeballs in a sheen of white. Stunned more than afraid, Harriet stumbled back slightly, Healer Rose's grip the only thing holding her steady as she studded her eyes. It was strange, for Harriet could still see, but her vision was obstructed by a white blanket as if she saw everything in black and white. A faint flicker caused Harriet to look upwards, her gaze landing on a bright purple nine that floated right above her eyebrows.
'Well, Harriet,' Healer Rose said, dismissing the spell with a single flick, 'it looks like you're going to have wear glasses all the time. Can you pass me your old glasses, I want to see what prescription they are. I have a feeling they might be wrong; you're right eyes a little squint.'
'Is it?' Harriet asked, suddenly subconscious of her eye as she handed over her glasses.
'Not by much,' Healer Rose said, 'but don't worry, its something that can be fixed with glasses.'
The inspection seemed to take, and age and Harriet was beginning to wonder what was wrong, when the Healer turned around, a frown on her lips.
'What is it?' Andromeda asked.
'These glasses don't even have a prescription in them,' the Healer responded. 'They're plastic!'
She tapped them on the table, accidentally snapping them in half.
'No,' she breathed shaking herself slightly as she tossed the broken remains of Harriet's glasses into the bin. 'Those will never do.'
She rummaged around in her desk for a few minutes, taking her time to pull out various spectacles. Eventually, after what seemed like forever, Healer Rose lifted up a pair of rectangular lenses. She held them up, judging what they'd look like on Harriet's face. She grinned. After tapping them with her wand, and allowing the right prescription to drift into the glass, she handed the new and improved spectacles to Harriet.
'Try those,' she said, as Harriet slipped the black legs onto her ears. 'I think they'll suit you just fine.'
She felt the Healer's grip on her arm as she lead her to what Harriet assumed was a mirror. Elena Rose was right; the glasses did suit her. They framed her cheekbones, smoothing out her pointed face so that it looked more oval than diamond. Her eyes shined, and everything was clearer, much clearer, as if someone had smoothed the world and let everything gleam.
'Thanks,' Harriet breathed, but Healer Rose was already onto her next task. She waved her wand, and for a brief second Harriet's skin glowed a faint blue.
A strange holographic image of what Harriet assumed was her skeleton, was pulled up in front of her, and Healer Rose flicked her glasses down onto the bridge of her nose, peering at the image with thin eyes. Several bones were glowing a faint orange, and as Healer Rose inspected it, she hummed and tutted.
'Do you many bones have you broken?' she asked, pulling away. Harriet shrugged.
'Well,' Healer Rose said, 'according to this, at least nine. Some haven't healed properly, and they've set in odd angles.'
She breathed sharply through her nose.
'I don't like this, Miss Potter, not at all,'
Harriet suddenly felt small, and she curled her back, expecting a hit. But the thwack never came, and Harriet looked up, eyes watching Healer Rose who was staring at her with a worried look cast on her face. She knelt down, hands gently taking Harriet's palms.
'I'm not going to hurt you,' she breathed, eyes soft. 'I'm not even angry at you. I just feet awful that you've been hurt.'
She paused, eyes flickering back to the floating image.
'So,' she breathed, as Andromeda moved forward in her chair, suddenly interested, 'who abused you?'
The question was so brash, so blunt that she barely had time to conceal her emotions. She cringed, wishing she could take the sound back. It was apparent now, far more than she would have liked to have told anybody.
'My uncle, he was the one who broke my bones,' she breathed, turning away as Mort set his large, bony hand on her shoulder. Healer Rose frowned.
'And,' she breathed. Harriet began to tremble.
'My aunt - she liked to starve me. Said it would starve the freakiness out of me.'
Healer Rose took a sudden breath, and her eyes flickered to Andromeda who's eyes were burning. Her hands clenched and unclenched, gathering the folds of her bright green dress in her grip as she began to breathe deeply.
'Thank you,' Healer Rose said, giving Harriet's hands a squeeze. 'Thank you,'
She rose, heading back to her desk. Andromeda appeared behind Harriet.
'You never said,' the woman muttered, 'or at least not to the full extent.'
'I'm used to people not caring,' she whispered. 'I guess I thought you wouldn't either… So I didn't tell you,'
'Oh, Harry,' Andromeda breathed, wrapping her arms tightly around Harriet's shoulders and giving her a warm hug. 'Neither, I nor Ted, or even Nymphadora, would ever stop caring. It might have been a few weeks, but you, missy, are well ingrained into our family, and our hearts. You can tell us anything.'
Harriet closed her eyes, suddenly grateful that Mort's hand was on her. She could trust him; he would never leave her.
Healer Rose looked up, bottles in hand.
'Now, Mrs Tonks,' she said, and Andromeda looked up, quickly wiping away the tears that had fallen down her face. 'These are two very important potions. One is for malnourishment,'
She shook the bottle in her right hand, and Harriet cringed when it glowed a sickly green.
'The other is for strengthening her bones,' she shook that one too, and it glowed blue in her left hand. 'I have written a prescription, and you must hand it into reception on your way out. They will give you the necessary dosage.'
She pressed the bottles into Andromeda's hands.
'They must be taken at every meal, three times a day, and in order. So that's the green bottle and then the blue one.' she looked to Harriet, giving her a small smile. 'Once your prescription, is up, then see me again. I'm afraid there isn't much time to look over the rest of your ailments, past or otherwise.'
She gave Harriet a small wink, and the girl giggled. She looked back at Andromeda, face serious.
'Feed her light things, such as toast and soups, until she can eat richer things. Wait about three weeks before giving her a roast,' Andromeda nodded. 'Oh, and another thing, I would like to monitor Harriet for the next few years, just to check everything is going all right,'
'Is that okay with you Mrs Tonks?'
'How do you know I won't be sent back to the Dursleys,' Harriet said, blushing fiercely when the Healer fixed her eyes on her. Healer Rose smiled again and pushed her glasses back onto her head.
'I have a feeling, that once the Wizengamot sees my report, the Dursleys' will be locked up for a very, very long time,'
Harriet paused, wondering to smile. She sure hoped so. Mort's hand curled around her, his long fingers digging tightly into her neck. Mort kept his hold on the little witch right up until they left St. Mungo's, his desperation to leave strong against the wind.
Death closed his eyes. Hopefully the Wizengamot would be kind — hopefully, Albus Dumbledore wouldn't twist Harriet's words. He grinned as Andromeda and Harriet walked ahead, a little thought piercing his mind with clarity. Maybe it would be a good idea to give Albus Dumbledore a short visit. He grinned, his mind flickering to the body of a young, silvery-haired girl — a girl, he had helped guide to the Underworld many, many years before.
Death drew up his scythe, lifting the long instrument so that it leant on his collarbone and before Harriet could turn around, disappeared in a cloud of black shadows.
Chapter 8: Chapter Six: The Trial of Harriet Euphemia Potter
The Trial of Harriet Euphemia Potter
31st of July 1991
Death was nervous. His teeth chattered loudly, keeping Harriet awake, and his skeletal fingers twisted and flexed in a strange way that made the witch's skin crawl. The day of Harriet's trial had come quicker than either would have liked to admit, that even before the sun rose over Cirre, the young witch was awake, walking around her bedroom, trying to find the right dress and cloak to wear.
Usually, Harriet didn't care for clothes, choosing to dress in a pair of ratty overalls and a loose shirt before slipping on a pair of old trainers, but having read many accounts of Witches and Wizards being forcibly turned away because they refused to wear smart clothing, the witch was a little nervous.
'But what if I can't find anything?' she asked Mort, spinning around to face him. 'I'll get kicked out! Literally!'
Mort, who was just as worried as his friend, tried to lighten the mood by taking off his head and holding it high about his shoulders. He suddenly began to run around the room, his teeth cackling wildly as he ran. Harriet scowled, arms folding as she gave him a look.
'Don't do that,' Harriet said, striding towards the skeleton and reaching up on her tip-toes to pluck his skull from his hands. 'The last time you did that I had to put all your teeth back into your skull. You had tooth-ache for weeks.'
Mort looked sheepish, that is if a skeleton could even look sheepish. There was a faint knock at the door, and Harriet jumped, almost dropping Mort's head as Andromeda pushed opened the door, a brown paper package in her girl.
After setting Mort's head back on his shoulders, (and receiving a slightly confused look from her guardian), she approached Andromeda, hands in her pockets.
'What's is it?' Harriet asked, looking at the brown paper package, eyebrows raised. Andromeda smiled.
'This,' she said, handing the package to Harriet, 'is the dress you will wear at the trials. It might be a little out of date, but it will suffice.'
'Where did you get it?' Harriet asked, setting the package on her bed. 'I never saw you buy something like this.'
Mrs Tonks sighed, fingers curling into her skirts as Harriet opened the bag. Like Mort, she too was nervous - very nervous.
'It belonged to your mother,' she said, as Harriet pulled back the paper, revealing an emerald green dress. 'I contacted an old friend of your mother's and had it sent. From what I understand, she wore it for her father's funeral when she was around your age.'
'Its green,' Harriet muttered, eyebrows raised. 'Shouldn't she have worn black?'
'Perhaps her father thought otherwise,' Mrs Tonks said. Suddenly she clapped her hands, drawing up to her full height. 'Now, come on, get dressed. We're leaving in five minutes. The shoes are by the door.'
Once Andromeda had left, Harriet turned to look at Mort.
'Don't you dare look,' she snapped, as the skeleton turned around, sitting on the floor as he stared out of the window.
Once she was changed and had somehow pulled her wild hair into a long plait, Harriet raised down the stares, Mort following pursuit. She barely had time to pull on her shoes, (a pair of leather pumps that made her feel even more clumsier than Tonks), before Andromeda had grabbed her by the arm, and was dragging her towards the fireplace.
Over the last few days, Harriet has seen some witches and wizards appear and disappear by green-flames, and although at the time, she had sworn never to do it herself, a bubble of excitement clouded in her gut when she realised what Andromeda wanted her to do. Reaching up, the elder witch brought down a small pot, quickly pressing it into Harriet's hand.
'Now,' the witch instructed, lips tight. 'Take a good amount of the Floo Powder, and throw it into the fire. Then, when the flame turns green step inside and shout, very loud and very clear where you want to go. Have you got that?'
'I hope so,' Andromeda said as Harriet took a handful of the powder. 'The first time Nymphadora tried to use Floo she ended up in Aberdeen.'
Shaking her head, Andromeda helped Harriet throw the powder into the fire. A brilliant roar of emerald burst from the red flames, and as the green grew, spreading wildly, Harriet smiled brightly, her eyes flickering to Mort, who suddenly looked surprisingly calm.
Extending her hand, the witch snatched Mort's hand, dragging her Imaginary-Friend into the flames. A part of her mind expected the fire to be hot, and she squeezed her eyes tight as the skeleton wrapped his long arms around her shoulders, holding her tight against him.
'Now remember,' Andromeda said, 'The Atrium; the Ministry of Magic,'
Harriet licked her lips and opened her eyes.
'The Atrium!' she called, voice hardening with each word. 'The Ministry of Magic,'
A small cry left her lips as she was thrown upwards, the Floor sucking her away before she could blunt. Mort's grip tightened as the two spun around, their backs banging into the backs of other people's fireplaces and they rattled through the system. Every so often, Harriet could hear a muffled voice, or a tinkle of china, or a radio, before she was encased in rushing wind and swirling soot.
Never once did she open her eyes, her arms and legs clamped so tightly together, that when she was spat out, half spiking like a drunken loon, she barely had time to stop before Mort caught her. She had just managed to stop her head from spinning, when Andromeda appeared a second later, a strand of her long hair falling in front of her face.
'Well,' the witch said, stepping from the fireplace and smoothing her skirt down. 'You did well,'
However, Harriet didn't hear her, for she was far too busy gaping at the Atrium. She stood in a very long and magnificent hall, the dark, polished floor gleaming beneath Harriet's feet. The peacock-blue ceiling twinkled with golden symbols, which Harriet realised had to be protective runes, and among them, flickering in and out of existence like some demented butterfly, bits of flying paper flew. The panelled walls were littered with fireplaces, the green flames brightening as witches or wizards left or entered the Atrium with a quick yell and a loud whoosh.
Right in the middle stood the larges fountain Harriet had ever seen. Far grander than any Muggle Fountain, hundreds of giant, golden statues stood in the middle of a large pool. A wizard rose above the rest, his wand high in the sky, and a witch and a centaur stood by his side. Two other ugly creatures were there too, but Harriet had no ideas what they could be? They looked a little bit like creepy animals.
Loud bellowing cracks echoed through the room, signalling someone's arrival or dis-arrival by Apparition, as people scurried down the hall, heading for their destinations. Harriet shivered. It reminded her of the London Underground - that is, if the Tube had been decorated by George the Fourth and was on steroids.
'Come on!' Andromeda said, grabbing Harriet by the arm and leading her down the hall, and into a room, which Harriet took to be a waiting room. It was magnificent, and much like the hall, gilded. A blonde haired woman, in a blue robe, sat behind a desk, under a huge sign that said, "SECURITY" and after a moment's hesitation, Andromeda, Harriet and Mort joined the sue.
It took a long while before the two (technically three) were seen, as there seemed to be an incident with a man and a plant. It was a bit like a Muggle-Airport, Harriet assumed, because the man was being patted down, a security wizard's wand running up and over his clothes as the plant was prodded with a pair of what she assumed were magical-tongs. There was a loud yelp as the man's skin glowed a red hot, and a second later he was tackled to the floor, the security-wizard screaming in his ear. Eventually, the man and the security-wizard moved on, the pot floating high above their heads.
'I'm escorting a visitor,' said Andromeda, gesturing towards Harriet as she looked at the blonde. 'We're here for a trial. We shall also need name badges.'
'Step over here,' said the witch, voice cold and bored.
Mort poked Harriet's back, edging her closer to the witch as she held up a long goldenrod, and ran it up and down her front and back.
'Do you have a wand?' the security-witch asked; Harriet blinked nervously.
She shook her head.
The witch raised her eyebrows.
'Then what trial are you here for - I thought you were at least twelve?'
'I'm eleven,' Harriet said profusely. 'And I'm here for two hearings.'
'Really,' the security-witch said, eyebrows raised as if this was most interesting piece of news she had heard all day. 'What are they?'
'Sandra!' a mother security-wizard cried, and Harriet turned, eyes wide as a man in a long purple robe, approached the two, his wand extended.
With his dark skin and bald head, the wizard remanned Harriet of a king, or maybe even a god from ancient Africa. His black eyes seemed to stare into the woman's soul, the earring that hung form his ear sharp and deadly.
Sandra lowered the rod, eyebrows raised.
'Shacklebolt?' she asked, as the man stopped beside Harriet, mars crossed. 'What are you doing here?'
'I'm here to collect the girl,' the man said, pointing at Harriet. 'Her trial was moved forward.'
'Was it?' she asked, stepping forward. 'I didn't get the owl?'
The wizard shrugged.
'Supposedly the decided that two hours between trials wasn't exactly a good idea, especially if one bled into each other,' he gave Harriet a wink. 'Don't worry, Miss Potter, Adéle's fair.'
'You mean Adéle is going to be the mediator?' Andromeda asked, eyebrows raised. 'I thought your wife had retired!'
The wizard grinned.
'She decided to come back for this trial - something about beating Dolores at her own game,' the wizard laughed, his eyes twinkling. 'Trust Adéle to do something this rash. Sandra, can we have the name-badged please,'
He turned toward Harriet, extending his hand as Sandra backed off, her eyes trained on her desk and the long, eagle quill that lay there.
'Kingsley Shacklebolt,' the wizard said, as Harriet excepted his large hand. 'Deputy Head Auror,'
'Harriet Potter,' Harriet said. 'Witch,'
Shacklebolt raised his eyebrows, a thin smile on his lips.
'It's a pleasure to meet you Harriet - a Sandra, the badges.'
He quickly handed Harriet and Andromeda their badges, and as the two pinned the golden pins to their clothes, Shacklebolt promptly led them away until they arrived at a golden lift. From what Harriet could tell, whoever had built the Ministry of Magic had vertically been flamboyant.
Just as the lift doors were closing, an ebony-skinned woman, dressed in a long grey robe pushed her way inside, her hands pressing tightly against her chest as the door closed. The first thing that Harriet noticed was that like Shacklebolt, her right ear was pierced, and a long dangling earring dangled down her neck, showing off her long neck and queenly bone-structure. Harriet suddenly realised her frizzy black hair was pulled back into a low turban, the fabric filled with shimmering stars. She was in her early twenties, her hands decorated with golden rings, that as she turned around, eyes round, a wide grin suddenly spread across her lips.
'Hello!' the woman cried, gently pressing a quick kiss to Shacklebolt's cheek as she entered the lift.
She had a faint French accent, but it was mingled and distorted as if she had spent several years elsewhere.
'Off to work?'
'Not yet,' Shacklebolt replied, as his daughter closed the gate, closing the lift. 'I'm escorting Madam Tonks and Harriet to a trial,'
The witch frowned, her gaze settling on the girl who stood before her. For a brief second her eyes trailed up to Harriet's scar before the witch looked into her eyes. She extended her hand, and as Harriet took it, she realised that she must have been Shacklebolt's daughter.
'I'm Jack,' the girl said, grinning widely. 'Hit-Witch.'
'Harry,' Harriet responding, biting back a laugh as she suddenly realised that she didn't know what a "Hit-Witch" was.
'Jacqueline Shacklebolt,' Andromeda breathed, a small smile gracing her lips. 'Last I heard you were in Bulgaria. How are you?'
The witch grinned, giving Andromeda a small salute.
'Madam Tonks,' Jacqueline said, grinning. 'It's been a while. I'm fine.'
'But what are you doing here? Did Tonks do something stupid again?'
Andromeda shook her head.
'No, no,' she said, gripping Harriet's shoulder. 'Dolores is trying to damn my name again - not that she's succeeded but still, she's trying,'
Jack's eyebrows narrowed.
'Hang on,' she said, pointing at Harriet. 'Are you the kid that shouted at the Toad?'
Nodding meekly, Harriet looked up at the woman. A strange, squeaking sound left Jack's lips as the doors opened again, allowing a group of witches and wizards into the lift, nearly squishing the two Shacklebolts, Andromeda and Harriet to the wall. Yes, - the Ministry was precisely like the Tube!
'Ha! That was ingenious!' Jack grinned, once the other witches and wizards had left. 'You are defiantly the highlight in the D.M.L.E, Harry.'
'Mum is so going to love you!'
The doors opened, and a tinny voice said,
'Level Two, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, including the Improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters, and Wizengamot Administration Services.'
Jack grinned and smoothed down her robes.
'I guess that's me,' she said, stepping out into the hallway. 'See ya soon Andromeda; Papa, Mum, say's hi, oh and Harriet, bonne chance!'
With that, the doors closed, leaving the three (technically four) in the empty compartment. Harriet frowned and looked up at Mort who was staring blankly at the wall, eyes dark.
'What does "bonne chance" mean?' Harriet asked.
'It roughly translates to "good luck,"' he shook his head. 'My daughter has always liked speaking French - just like my wife.'
Harriet didn't know what to say after that, and as they descended, the minutes ticking by, she began to grow bored. Just as she was contemplating ripping Mort's head off to see if anyone would notice, the doors opened. Unlike the tannoy who had spoken beforehand, no voice echoed around the room and as Harriet and Andromeda, and by extension Mort, were led by Shacklebolt out of the lift and into a dark corridor, Harriet's hackles began to rise.
The stopped out a large door with a massive golden lock, and as Harriet placed her hand on the door, Shacklebolt stopped.
'Good luck, Miss Potter,' he said, stepping back into the darkness. 'I hope my wife will be kind.'
Nodding, Harriet smiled rightly at the Auror, before pushing open the door, Mort helping her all the way as she stepped courtroom. Her eyes widened as they fixed on the cold, stone walls, the dimly lit room revealing full benches with shadowy figures all dressed in deep plum robes. As the door closed, clanging loudly behind Harriet and Andromeda, a tall woman in a red robe rose to her feet. It took Harriet a little longer then she would have liked to admit, but as Healer Rose walked towards her, the girl almost had a heart attack.
Her bouncy hair was pulled tightly out of her face, making her look a little bit like a fire dragon, and in her hand a large book sat, the folds digging into her breast as she stalked towards the girl. A girl expression danced across her lips as she stopped in front of the girl, he back shaking.
'Thank goodness your head,' Healer Rose breathed, her Glaswegian accent thickening as she took Harriet's hand gently leading her towards a stand. 'I was beginning to think you'd never come - Adéle didn't know how much longer she could put off Umbridge.'
Nodding in the direction of the benches, Harriet picked out a dark-skinned woman, her black hair cropped against her skull. She looked like the type of woman Harriet saw on TV, a hardened lawyer with the knowledge and wisdom of a thousand prophets. Her plum robe sat tightly around her neck, her wedding ring the only piece of jewellery she owned as she stared at Harriet behind a pair of black glasses. A small smile drifted across the woman's lips before she turned to face Dolores Umbridge, a bored expression on her pretty face. Harriet took this woman to be the famous Adéle.
'Now,' Healer Rose said, sitting next to Harriet and pointing to a chair in the middle of the room. 'I'm afraid you will have to sit in that ghastly chair - but don't worry, they won't enact the chains unless they feel unsafe.'
A glugg of fear rattled down Harriet's spine when she looked at the large chair, her eyes fixing on the chains. She ignored Healer Rose's words after that, the woman's voice turning to mush in her head as she explained what was going to happen. Harriet looked back at the Wizengamot. She had a funny feeling that they would tie her up.
Eventually, after what seems like an age, Adéle waved Dolores away and rose to her feet, silencing the Wizengamot's whispering with one raised hand. Harriet noticed that her nails were painted a dark red, and she suddenly realised, that out of all the other Wizengamot members, that Adéle seemed to be the only one wearing a grey suit underneath her robes.
'Miss Potter,' the woman called her accented accent heavy with a french grander that Harriet knew she could never achieve. 'If you could sit in the chair, then we can start the trial,'
Bowing her head, Harriet smiled weakly at Andromeda before she moved toward the seat, gently collapsing into the hard chair. As soon as her feet touched the floor, the chains rose around her, and just like she had thought, clamped tightly around her legs, body and arms. A pair of gasps left Healer Rose and Andromeda's mouths as they turned to stare at Adéle. Steeling her fear, Harriet looked at Mort, who pressed a measuring hand on her shoulder. It seemed that no matter whether innocent or guilty, dangerous or gentle Adéle would chain the accused.
Sitting down, Adéle looked at her notes, brown eyes swimming the parchment.
'Disciplinary hearing of the thirty-first of July,' Adéle said, her voice running around the court. 'Into offences committed under the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, the International Statute of Secrecy, and the Decree for the Protection of the British Ministry of Magic Employees by Harriet Euphemia Potter, resident at number four, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.'
'Cirre, actually,' Harriet suddenly blurted out. 'I live at number twelve, Cauldron Lane, Cirre, in Hampshire. I haven't lived with the Dursley's since the twenty-third of June.'
Adéle raised her eyebrows, eyes fixing on a Wizengamot Member who sat behind her.
'Lord Daubernoun, why wasn't I informed of this?' she asked, looking at the grey-haired man.
The Wizengamot Member blushed, suddenly ashamed.
'I'm afraid, Madam Shacklebolt, which I was unaware that Miss Potter's home had changed.'
'Then change it,' Adéle snapped, eyes narrowing. 'We cannot have this in the reports.'
'Yes, ma'am,' Lord Daubernoun said.
Harriet smirked. She was sure - she liked Adéle Shacklebolt. Turning back, Adéle continued her introduction.
'Interrogators; Adéle Camille Shacklebolt, Former Head of the Magical Law Enforcement Squad; Rune Howe, Head for the Institution of Orphaned Magical Children; Ignatius Prewett, Wizengamot Member and Representative for the Prewett and Black seats. Court Scribe: Rebekah Ainsworth and Witness for the Defence: Elena Lesley Rose, Head Healer of the Harpy Ward in the Children's Sector in St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.'
Adéle's glasses seemed to shimmer as she looked at the red-haired healer, a look of thin supers passing across her face. Apparently, a Defence Minister wasn't ubiquitous.
'The charges against the accused are:' Adéle continued extricating a piece of parchment for her large pile. 'That she did knowingly, deliberately and in full awareness of the illegality of her actions, produce an Obscurial in a Muggle-inhabited area, on the twenty-seventh July at eleven-minuets past ten, which constitutes an offence under Paragraph A of the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, 1875, and also under Section 13 of the International Confederation of Warlocks' Statute of Secrecy. In doing so, the accused also threatened a Ministry Employee, specifically Dolores Umbridge, Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, thus breaching the Section 746 of the Decree for the Protection of the British Ministry of Magic Employees, 1901.'
Adéle raised her eyebrows at this, her gaze softening ever so slightly when she mentioned an Obscurial.
'You are Harriet Euphemia Potter, of number twelve, Cauldron Lane, Cirre, Hampshire?'
'Yes,' Harriet replied, suddenly aware how quiet her voice was.
'And you received two letters of warning from the Ministry for using illegal magic?' a silvery-haired man suddenly said, and Harriet realised that this must be Rune Howe.
'And yet you continued to threaten Madam Umbridge even after those letters arrived?' Howe asked.
'No,' said Harriet, 'they-'
'You deny threatening Madam Umbridge then?' Howe asked.
'So then you admit that you were in the wrong?' Howe questioned, his voice piercing the air like glass. 'Knowing that you were in an area with Muggles?'
'No I - and Cirre is-'
'Fully aware that you were near a Muggle at the time?'
'No - but-' said Harriet angrily, '-but I only used it because she was trying-'
A wizard with long red hair suddenly leaned forward; his blue eyes fixed on the girl.
'You managed to conjure an Obscurus?' he asked, his voice loud and energetic.
Harriet took him to be Ignatius Prewett.
'No,' said Harriet, 'it wasn't-'
'A real Obscurus?' Howe gasped. 'They haven't been seen since the Dark Ages.'
There was hubbub of chatter as the Wizengamot agreed with Howe, their eyes fixed on Harriet.
'It wasn't a-'
'But the "dark whips of light", as Madam Umbridge put it is very similar to an Obscurus,'
'Just what is an Obscurus?' Harriet asked, finally having enough.
'An Obscurus is a manifestation of suppressed, dark energy.' Adéle said, having spoken for what felt like the first time in a long while. 'It occurs when a child's magic is oppressed. Has your magic ever been oppressed, Miss Potter,'
'Yes,' Harriet said before she could stop herself.
'Really?' it was Howe again, and he was leaning forward on his chin, eyes narrow. 'Have you produced it before?'
'Yes,' Harriet said. 'But it's not-'
'And you are what, ten years old?'
'Eleven,' Harriet spat out, 'I turn eleven today,'
'Eleven?' Prewett said. 'That's a dangerous age.'
'Is it?' Harriet asked, suddenly weary.
'Yes,' Prewett said, and he was about to continue when Howe raised his hand.
'How long has the Obscurus been around?'
'Ten years,' Harriet said. 'And it's not a-'
Some of the wizards and witches around her were muttering again; although most looked disgusted.
'It's not a question of how repressed her magic is,' said Howe, suddenly angry. 'In fact, it is proof that Miss Potter would have been mentally insane enough to do magic in front of a Muggle!'
Those who had been frowning now murmured in agreement.
'I ONLY DID IT BECAUSE SHE WAS BEING HORRID AND THREATENING THE TONKSES!' Harriet yelled, looking right at Umbridge. 'AND IT'S NOT AN OBSCURES! IT'S SOMETHING ELSE!'
Silence fell across the court.
'Something else?' Adéle asked, lips pursed. 'What kind of something else?'
'I don't know,' Harriet admitted. 'But it's not evil… It's a part of me… Whatever it is…. And where's this Muggle you keep referring to? Cirre is Wizard-kind only!'
Adéle's lips seemed to thin after that, and she turned around to face Umbridge.
'Yes, Dolores,' she said, voice sickly and cruel. 'Just where is this Muggle of yours, hmmm?'
Umbridge smiled sweetly, her brown eyes darkening as she looked at the door.
'I call my first witness,' she said. 'Luke Burton!'
Harriet's eyes widened, as Luke's ghost walked into the room, his eyes flickering around the room. A wild squeak left Harriet's lips, and the Wizengamot turned to face her. Luke grinned, a malicious, ugly grin, and as he knelt in front of the Wizengamot, his arms and legs were suddenly bound.
'Name?' Prewett asked, eyebrows raised.
'Luke Edward Burton - born in ten-seventy - I died in ten-eight-eight. Witch-finder.'
A quiet rumble fell around the court, their fear rising as the ghost-man stared at them, lips curling.
'A Witch-finder?' Adéle asked, suddenly horrified. 'Dolores, you bring a Witch-finder into his court - a dead one at that? How is he Muggle?'
'Ah but I am, misses,' Luke said, grinning wickedly. 'I don't have a single drop of magical blood in my body - this form is simply a punishment from Death because I killed a few of his creations.'
The Witch-finder laughed darkly.
'How does your story connect with the accused?' Howe asked, suddenly interested.
Luke looked at Harriet.
'She was hanging around the grave of some nobleman,' the ghost said. 'She was talking to herself, blubbering absolute pigs-shit. I watched her for some time, and during that time, she seemed to be talking to someone else. Me being a ghost, an all, I thought at first she was talking to one of my kind, but as I watched closer, I realised that she was talking to air - nothing was there. It was then that she came over to my tree.'
Harriet's heart dropped. She hadn't been talking to air! She had been speaking to the old man. She frowned. Then again…he had, had a strange aura around him.
'She began talking to me, and I told her to stay away.' Luke shrugged, nose twitching. 'She wanted to know who to wipe the "dark magic" off of her. I told her she couldn't - that it was old. She began to talk to herself after that, and walked off, like an utter loon.'
If Harriet could have touched him, she would have strangled the ghost. That was not how it happened! It wasn't. Beside her, Mort looked like he wanted to murder the ghost, his hands flexing and un-flexing ever time he looked at him.
'He doesn't even live in Cirre.' Harriet hissed, to herself. 'He's a bloody ghost!'
'Thank you, Mr Burton,' Howe said. 'Your testimony has been most kind.'
Harriet felt her heart fall as the man looked towards her. A strange gleam filled his eye, and Harriet suddenly realised, that for whatever reason, this man loathed her - but for what, she didn't know.
Healer Rose's hand was up before the chains were off Luke.
'The Chair recognises Healer Rose,' Adéle said. 'What is it that you would like to say.'
'I have a full mental analysis of Harriet's mind,' the Healer said, stepping forward, a bundle of letters and parchment in her hands. 'And I can safely say that the black light is not an Obscurus.'
A roar of anger rose from the Wizengamot; some, Harriet guessed, were angry because they wanted it to be true, while others were just plain confused. To be perfectly honest, so was she. Did the Healer know what the black mist was?
'When I examined Harriet a few days ago, I noticed after she had left that were as a strange, and unusual pattern in her DNA - a different cell or strand, you might say. As you all know, those born from Wizarding-kind have a slightly different DNA string compared to a normal Muggle. However, when I looked into Harriet's, I found something else - something older,'
Healer Rose took a breath, straightening her glasses.
'What I found, surprised and enthralled me - for I can say with must confidence that the black mist, is nothing but hereditary. It's Familial Magic,'
'Familial Magic?' Lord Howe gasped. 'THere's no such thing!'
'I will remind you, Lord Howe,' Healer Rose said, looking up at the Lord with a cool expression. 'That familial powers can pass down bloodlines, and no matter how faint, Harriet Potter's ancestors were two of the Peverell brothers - otherwise known as Ignotus and Cadmus, masters and creators of the Cloak of Invisibility and the Resurrection Stone - two parts of the Deathly Hallows.'
She paused letting the information sink in.
'As we all know, Azrael D'Ark, the brother's father, was an Alchemist - an Alchemist I will add who dabbled a fair bit with the affairs of death.' Healer Rose looked at her notes, stealing her nerve. 'It is one of the reasons why the god went after the Three Brothers in the first place, to collect the toll their father had left behind.'
Harriet's eyes widened. Her ancestor had done what? With who?
'It has come to my attention, that just as he-who-must-not-be-named could talk to snakes, Harriet has come into D'Ark's powers by being his sole-living descendent.' Healer Rose glanced at Harriet, lips thin. 'She is a Necromancer; a commander of Death himself; the true owner of the Deathly Hallows. She is not an Obscurial and is anything but. I gather, that if put to the test, I can safely say that Miss Potter will have the capability and knowledge to control her gift by the time she reaches seventeen when her core finally settles. To be frank, I think Harriet will become a wonderful, powerful witch, with all the complications and honour that her ancestors upheld. That, Madam Umbridge, is my report.'
With that, Healer Rose bowed and sat back down, face grim.
'You mean to question years of history?' Howe snarled, leaning forth in his chair. 'You dare to say that the Deathly Hallows even exist? You stupid woman! They're legends! Myths! They don't even exist!'
'And yet, Lord Howe,' Adéle said, giving him a look. 'It is a theory worth looking into - Healer Rose makes a valid point. Is it a bad thing to hold a familial power, especially when you do not know, or understanding, or even control on how you received or understand it. It is not our fault what our ancestors did; we can nearly shape what they have left behind.'
'But if not trained, aren't they dangerous,' Umbridge said, eyes thinning. 'Those, like Miss Potter, should be kept a close eye on, maybe even examined just to be sure.'
Harriet suddenly had a funny feeling that Umbridge didn't mean examined, and more meant, extermination. Adéle's lips thinned.
'No,' she eventually said, leaning back in her chair. 'That would be a terrible idea. Think about what that would do - should we start "examining" Metamorphmagi or Animagus merely because they have a magical talent that others do not? There would be chaos.'
For a long while, Dolores Umbridge and Adéle Shacklebolt stared at each other, their eyes thinning, and Harriet suddenly got the impression that this as a conversation the two had, had many times before, and that the trial about her mental health was well and truly.
Eventually, Adéle turned back to Harriet.
'Those in favour of clearing the witness of all charges?' she said, her voice radiating around the room.
Harriet looked at the hands that shot up into the air, and her heart leapt when she noticed that more when half had voted.
'And those in favour of conviction?'
Umbridge and a few others raised their hands. Even Luke, although he quickly put his down when Mort glared at him.
A slight grin spread across Adéle's lips, and Harriet suddenly realised it wasn't about her, but instead because the wife of Kingsley Shacklebolt had won against Umbridge. She turned to face the horrible woman, her red nails tapping her chin.
'Cleared of all charges.'
Adéle smiled and looked at Harriet, and with a wave of her wand, the chains fell off Harriet.
'Out next trial will begin in four hours time!' Adéle snapped, lips thin as she sent a short look towards Dolores Umbridge, her hatred spinning wildly around the room.
Healer Rose smiled, rushing towards Harriet as the girl rose from the chair.
'Well done,' Healer Rose gasped, suddenly pulling Harriet into a warm hug. 'Well done, my dear girl!'
Harriet, who was feeling just a little bit uncomfortable, smiled. However, it was as Healer Rose moved away, flittering through the open door, that Harriet noticed Mort. He stood next to the Luke, staring directly at him. The ghost in question was shivering, his face pale as ever. It seems the rest of the Wizengamot could no longer see him, and a few members were looking around trying to find him. Harriet blinked, and the ghost was gone, Mort standing next to her once more. What had just happened? Mort took her hand.
Death's hands tightened around Harriet's, his bony fingers squeezing her own until they turned blue. His thoughts suddenly turned to his past, to the three boys he had once called sons, and as the realisation of what was about to come, settled deep into his bones, Lord Death suddenly began to feel something he hadn't felt in aeons - fear.
'Mort,' Harriet breathed, turning to her Imaginary-Friend. 'Are you all right?'
Stilling his fear, the God of Death nodded, his grip loosening as the court returned, their long robes spinning in the wind as people mulled back into the hall. Now, whether he liked it or not, he would have to wait for the second trial - a trial, Death realised would be physically exhausting, and if Harriet was able to get her way, incredibly damning to the Dursleys. Whether for better or worse, Death suddenly felt a whole lot better, and in the darkness, Death smiled.
Death grinned, a bubble of invisible, silent laughed escaping from his mouth.
Chapter 9: Chapter Seven: The Diabolical Reveal - Part 1
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Mort, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
The Diabolical Reveal - Part 1
31st of July 1991
Death grinned as he and Harriet entered the courtroom, his hollow eyes staring up at Petunia and Vernon Dursley as they passed. He and Harriet had spent that last four hours of annoying the Hit-Witches and Wizards in their most unimpressive office, and while they were slightly exhausted by the number of questions Jack had asked, he couldn't help smile when he saw them.
Petunia looked like a horse dressed in satin, while Vernon was a walrus in tweed, and Harriet found the entire situation incredibly funny. They shifted in their seats, fear decorating their pale faces as they stared at the witches and wizards who surrounded them, their Defence Minister, who by the plaque that sat beneath her, was a woman called Iona Firman. The witch in question was grey-haired, and grey eyes, and looked like a bug. She was large and fair-haired, dressed in a beetle-blue robe the hardly did anything to compliment her appearance. She was, however, giving anyone a thin look whenever a curious onlooker approached, and Harriet didn't know whether to feel happy or slightly fearful as the witch glared at both Wizengamotian and reporters alike.
As Harriet sat in her assigned seat, her uncle gave her a withering look, as if this entire situation was entirely her fault. Surprisingly, it was her aunt who grabbed Vernon's hand, pulling him away from his estranged niece. Harriet was a little bit supposed to see that Andromeda sat in the middle of the room, body chained to a chair. It was in that second, as Harriet took her place beside Bill Weasley, (who gently squeezed her hand as she stared in horror at the woman who had looked after her) that the Tonks family were on the other side of the room.
Tonks wore her best black robes, her hair dulled to a neural blonde, while her father, dressed in a dark blue robe, wrapped his arm tightly around her. Mad-Eye must have been somewhere close by, because Tonks, although fearful, (judging by her hair colour), was relaxed and calm. Just as Harriet was about to wave, the aside door opened, and the short, stubby figure of the Minister for Magic entered the room. Or at least, Harriet assumed that was who he was.
Unlike the other members of the Wizengamot, Cornelius Fudge looked a little out of place. Dressed in beautiful robes, his greying hair showed not only his age but the stress of his job too. He was a large, porky man, with thin eyes hidden behind a pair of spectacles and an ugly expression. He scowled at the court before him, as if he couldn't quite believe he had to conduct the Wizengamot before he took his seat, mallet in hand.
Lifting his head, the Minister for Magic stared down at Harriet, his watery eyes widening when they landed on her scar before they flickered to the Dursleys. A thin snarl lifted his lips, and Harriet couldn't tell if it was because her aunt and uncle were muggles, or it was because of her before he picked up a large stack of papers.
'Custodial hearing of the thirty-first of July, into the adoption of Harriet Euphemia Potter and offences committed under section two of the Wizarding Child Protection Law of eighteen-forty-six. It has been accused that Mrs Andromeda Druella Tonks stole Harriet Euphemia Potter on the twenty-third of June. This hearing is being led by Mrs Andromeda Druella Tonks, resident of number twelve, Cauldron Lane, Cirre, Hampshire, and Mrs Petunia Dursley, resident of number four, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surry. The end restful of such a hearing will end in Harriet Potter being placed in the care of one of the families.'
He paused, looking over his speckles, before continuing.
'Interrogators: Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Minister for Magic,' the Minister for Magic's voice echoed loudly around the room, vibrating loudly as he guided the Wizengamot with a simple raise of his voice. 'Amelia Susan Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Dolores Jane Umbridge, Senior Undersecretary to the Minister; Court Scribe, Sebastian Marcus; Witness for the Defence: Iona Firman—'
'Witness for the Accused: Clara Erma Moore, member of the European Vampiric Court,' a voice cried, interrupting the Minister of Magic.
Heads turned, as a woman clothed in black clothes entered the room. Fudge raised his eyes, lips curled.
'The Roma, Clara Moore died fifty-four years ago, in a Muggle automobile accident along with her fiancée John Reed,' a Wizengamot Member suddenly said, his eyes glancing down at a report he had hurriedly found it under a mountain of papers.
The woman's fingers clenched, her cloaked body shuddering in anger.
'I'm afraid, good sir, that you are wrong,' she said, in an accent that Harriet realised was slightly foreign - Romanian maybe? 'If you check those papers of yours, you'll find a report, printed at least three days ago, from the Irish Minister for Magic, informing the Wizengamot, that on the thirty-first of December, nineteen-thirty-four, I was turned into a vampire by Wilhelmina Dracul, Countess of Walhalla, and High-Lady of the European Vampiric Court, and not crushed by a car.'
'And for the record, John Reed was not my fiancée - I ended the relationship when he found out I was a Witch, which proceeded in him trying to kill me,' she laughed. 'Safe to say that Muggle got what he deserved.'
In an instant, she was striding towards Andromeda, her body blurring as she appeared by the woman's side. Andromeda didn't even jump as the woman looked down at her, and from her seat, Harriet caught sight of a pair of glowing red eyes, and a leather jumpsuit.
'And if that doesn't stratify you,' the woman said, as several documents were passed hastily to Fudge. 'Maybe this will,'
Raising her hand, the woman lowered her hood, and a hollow gasp left the Wizengamot lips. If Harriet had known better, she might have said the woman was an older version of herself, or rather, a dark-haired version. The woman was in her late twenties, with almond-shaped eyes, high cheekbones, and thin lips, however, that was where the similarities between Harriet and Clara ended.
Dressed in a blood red jumpsuit, and with a long sword curved down the woman's back, she looked warlike and deadly, and her wild hair was tied out of her face in a long ponytail so that she looked a little bit like a wolf, more than a vampire. Red eyes, made from the darkness rubies, glittered darkly in the woman's pretty face, and shining brightly under red painted lips, were a pair of fangs.
Her entire body seemed to have been stretched, so that she towered over Harriet, settling somewhere at six feet nine. Her bones jutted out from her tight clothing like fishbones, as if she had not eaten in aeons, and tattooed into her neck, like some ugly brand, was a muggle coat of arms. The moon and sun glittering against a blue background, the red and golden stripes burning into Harriet's eyes like fire.
'Oh Merlin,' a woman breathed, 'it's Vasilică, the Count's Executioner,'
Rippled voices rose and fell across the Wizengamot, like a tidal wave, fear crushing people's thoughts as they all stared at the vampire who stood by Andromeda's side. Glancing up at Mort, Harriet studied her friend's face. Unlike the rest of the Wizengamot, Mort was oddly calm, his empty eyes staring at Clara as if studying her, working out how much she was worth. It was a little eerie.
'Yes,' Clara said, her eyes darkening to an empty, twisting blackness. 'I am Vladimir Dracul's Executioner, but for now, I am Mrs Tonks' Defence Team.'
She winked at Andromeda, before turning and zooming over to Harriet. Bill jumped, as the vampire extended her hand.
'Greetings, Harriet — I'm your great-great aunt.'
Harriet blinked, taking the vampire's hand. The woman's manicured hand clutched tightly around Harriet's fingers, as she leaned forward, mouth right above the girl's ear.
'Don't worry,' she breathed as Fudge sat up. 'I'll keep you save, little deer.'
'And just what makes you worthy of the job?' Fudge suddenly snarled, spittle dripping from his lips.
From beneath a thin smile, Clara laughed.
'Why, Minister, isn't that an excellent question?' the vampiress asked, her voice clear and cold as she turned towards him. 'Firstly, I was trained by one of the greatest minds the vampiric and muggle world has to offer…. You may have heard of him… his name is Cicero,'
She paused, a thin smile on her lips.
'… And secondly,' she continued, reaching into her cloak pocket and unveiling a thick roll of yellow parchment. 'I have a will,'
She tapped the parchment on Harriet's head, gently ruffling the girl's head, and for a brief second, the witch noticed a black crest, a white stag adorning the wax.
'A will, that I will point out, that was signed by a goblin, and is therefore valid.'
'And just exactly whose will have you got there?' the minister snarled.
Clara looked at it the roll of parchment, eyes narrowing as she broke the seal.
'How about James Fleamont, the fiftieth Earl of the Potter Clan?'
An explosion of chittering and not so chittering voices filled the room. Harriet quickly clamped her hands over her ears as Vernon roared, spit flying from his lips, as his Lawyer struggled to hold him back. The Wizengamot wasn't much help either. A few younger member had fainted, their fear and terror rising with each breath, while the elders screamed at Clara, spreading complex words and sentences filled with "treason" and "blasphemy" that only later Harriet would fully understand. Dolores Umbridge looked as if she were about to explode, and as Clara grinned, her hands tapping the seal, Cornelius slammed his mallet hard again his table.
His big voice filled the air, his lips quivering with each breath, and if Harriet looked closely, she swore that even the dust had stopped dancing.
'Marcus,' the Minister for Magic suddenly called, eyes drawing away from Clara, and a court scribe stood up, face pale. 'Where were we?'
The boy licked his lips and glanced at the parchment before him.
'You were about to start court, sir,' Marcus said. 'Just about to read off why we are here. To tell us about the—'
'Yes, yes,' Fudge said, saying Marcus away. 'I remember. The charges,'
He glared at Clara once more, as she walked over to Andromeda, before looking at his parchment.
'That the accused willingly and intentionally kidnap Harriet Euphemia Potter from her aunt and uncle, on the twenty-third of June, nineteen-ninety-one, and in doing so, triggering the kidnapping to the Hit Wizards to search for Miss Potter, and also breaking section two of the Wizarding Child Protection Law of eighteen-forty-six.'
Fudge licked his lips and looked at Andromeda.
'Are you Andromeda Druella Tonks, of number twelve, Cauldron Lane, Cirre, Hampshire?'
To everyone in the room, Andromeda looked like a meek, terrified middle-aged witch, and while the woman in question, was trembling in her boots, Harriet suddenly noticed something that she had never seen before. Anger. Downright anger, and whether the Wizengamot knew it or not, Andromeda Tonks, was going to win.
For a short while, Andromeda said nothing, before she looked up at the Minister. She seemed to be looking at him, directly in the eye. Fudge shuddered.
'Yes,' the witch finally said.
'And you received an official warning from the Ministry?'
Andromeda shrugged, licking her lips.
'I didn't, but for some odd reason, Harriet did.'
'Harriet?' a woman said, and Harriet turned to see a square-jawed woman with a monocle looking down at Andromeda with a worried expression. 'Why was a child given the letter?'
'I am not sure, Madam Bones,' Andromeda responded. 'Perhaps the Ministry made a mistake. It was addressed to her after all.'
There was a loud scoff, and heads turned to Dolores Umbridge. Her face reddened when she realised that people were staring at her.
'A mistake?' Madam Bones asked, leaning back in her chair, but not before Harriet noticed the thin look she sent Umbridge's way. 'Really? We will have to look into that.'
Fudge's face darkened.
'Amelia,' he called, catching the woman's attention. 'This is not a hearing to discuss why Mrs Tonks did not receive her letter.'
Madam Bones looked like she wanted to protest, but before she could Fudge, asked Andromeda a question.
'Were you aware in that kidnapping Miss Potter, that you were breaking section two of the Wizarding Child Protection Law of eighteen-forty-six?'
'No,' Andromeda said, but before she could continue, Fudge pounced on her again.
'So you admit to kidnapping?'
Andromeda raised her eyebrows.
'I don't know what you think you're doing, Cornelius Fudge, but remember that I studied wizarding law under my father, Cygnus Black, for almost nineteen years, and from what I can understand, the interrogator must allow the speaker to finish,' she paused, eyes darkening, and then continued. 'To answer your question, I do not admit to kidnapping Harriet Potter, because I did not kidnap her, to begin with. According to the Wizarding Child Protection Law of eighteen-forty-six, the first rule states, that any child with magical properties is allowed to gather sanctuary with another wizarding family if their previous family or institution is considered abusive… and I can tell you right now that the Dursleys were abusive.'
Fudge's eyes were so wide that they looked like they were about to explode out of his head. Harriet chuckled to herself. Why Clara was Andromeda defence, Harriet didn't know, because from what she could see, Andromeda Tonks could take the Wizengamot her own.
'This is not a question about whether you know the law!' Fudge sneered. 'This is a question about Harriet's safety. You stole her, Mrs Tonks, form the care of her aunt and uncle - a place which Miss Potter's parents chose for the state to place her in if—'
'On the contrary, Minister,' Clara said, her voice travelling around the room like ice, 'this is about knowing the law, and by the way, the Potter's didn't.'
The vampiress had situated herself behind Andromeda and had been fiddling with the will for quite a long time. Harriet leaned forward. Was this the time? Was Clara about to read her father's will.
The vampires walked forward so that she was directly in front of the Minister.
'I wish to call forth my first witness,' the woman suddenly said, raising her hand and will, ignoring the thin look Fudge gave her. 'The voice of James Fleamont Potter,'
There was a slight pause as the scroll was unrolled, the long length resting on the floor as a soft, slightly proud voice rose from the scroll's page. Harriet shivered, suddenly realising this must be the voice of her father.
'In the name of the Old Religion, so mote be it. On the thirtieth of October in the year nineteen-eighty-one, I, James Fleamont Potter, of Godric's Hollow of Wales, being in perfect health presented by the Triple Goddess, do make this my last will and testament. On the time of my death, I commit my body to the Goddess and for my body to be buried in Godric's Hollow churchyard, alongside my wife, with my wand and wedding ring removed and placed into the family vaults upon the hour of my death.
As forthwith I do give Sirius Orion Black, the necessary assists of seven billion galleons to raise and care for his goddaughter, Harriet Euphemia Potter until her eighteenth birthday. I bequeath to you the wisdom and knowledge that will be needed in the coming years, and kindness that will. I officially make you a member of the Potter family, as the Gods know you need it. Good luck, my friend, and keep my child safe.
Next, I do give Remus John Lupin, the necessary assets of seven billion galleons, to pick yourself off the ground and create a better life for yourself. If there is a chance that Sirius cannot care for Harriet, then I leave the duty to you. Keep safe my old friend, and make sure that my daughter learns about our, and your past.
Under the guidance of my wife, I leave Dorcas Emilie Meadowes, my daughter, if Sirius Black or Remus Lupin is unable to do so. I bequeath to you the sum of seven billion galleons to raise my daughter, and for your personal use. Although my the rate you and Sirius are going, you'll be married by next year. Keep my daughter safe, Dor. Keep your goddaughter safe; I'm counting on you.
To my dear friend, Andromeda Druella Tonks, if Sirius Black, Dorcas Meadowes or Remus Lupin is unable to take care of Harriet Euphemia, the duty falls to you. I leave you seven billion galleons to raise my child, and care for your godchild, Harriet, until her eighteenth birthday. Keep your family close, Andy, and protect them with all the cursed magic the Blacks taught you. I wish you well.
To Clara Erma Moore, I return to you the wand that was taken, and although I must admit that I was somewhat surprised when you turned up at my door all those years ago, I am grateful that I have the knowledge that you shall be my heir's protector throughout the years. This duty will end on her eighteenth birthday when she leaves Hogwarts, and while I know your responsibilities to the European Court must be obtained, I wish for you to accept this role considering Lily and I, are now dead.
To my daughter, and heir, Harriet Euphemia Potter, I bequeath all my personal belongings, my familial and individual properties; all my worldly, and not so worldly possessions; my wands, variously they may be; my wedding ring; the Potter, D'Ark and Peverell rings; my personal assets; my familial inheritance from the Potter, D'Ark and Peverell vaults; my Earlship to the Peverell, Potter and D'Ark families, including their ancestral Wizengamot seats; I leave to you my two house-elves, Tippy and Dusty; the keys and various instructions to over twenty tenants in Diagon Alley, along with the two extra from Knockturn Alley, and the five in Hogsmeade.
I bequeath you your mother, Lily Clara Potter's assets; her familial rings of Slytherin, and Moore, along with the Wizengamot Seats; I leave you the titles of the Lady of Slytherin and Moore, and present you with the familial homes of both houses; I bequeath you, your mother's wand, and her wedding ring, along with the Moore Caravan in Ireland.
I leave you her possessions, along with your grandmother, Euphemia Potter's pearls. All of this you will receive on your seventeenth birthday, at the time of your Earlship, and Lordship when you ascend to the Wizengamot seats of Slytherin, Potter, Peverell, D'Ark and Moore. Finally, I bequeath my Invisibility Cloak, to you Harriet, my dearest child, hoping that you can use it as well as Ignatius' Cloak has helped me. Mischief Managed my little girl and keep safe. Per, James Fleamont Potter, fifteenth Earl of Potter; signed and legalised by Guggor, Head of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.'
Clara looked up, a thin smile dancing across her lips as James' voice fell. However, unbeknownst to everyone but Harriet, his voice was ringing loud and clear in her head, an omens reminder of who she was.
Harriet gulped — she had titles — oh Merlin.
'As you can see, Minister, the Potters wanted anyone but the Dursleys to take care of their daughter, and from hearing this will, Andromeda Tonks does have the right to care for her goddaughter.' Clara breathed leaning forward, so that her black hair fell across her face, as her teeth sharpening into deadly lengths as she looked up at the Minister for Magic. 'Your move, Minster — your move!'
Fudge's face was a dark red, his lips thinning, as he sent a worried gaze in Dumbledore's direction. Having never met the man, Harriet could only assume that it was Dumbledore, for it was a name that well suited the man. He had a long, long beard; the silver ends tucked into a large belt what was wrapped around his waist. A bright purple robe fell to his polished boots, and in his hands, twisting and turning like a bright light, sat his wand. She suddenly felt Mort shift beside her, his black eyes staring at the magical stick as if it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen.
Suddenly aware that Dumbledore was staring, Harriet turned away, the man's blue eyes bearing down at her. Shifting in her chair, she noticed that Umbridge was snarling, her lips rolling with each breath. Harriet suddenly wondered if she was the opposition.
'Mrs Dursley,' Fudge said quite suddenly. 'If you would, please come to the stand.'
For a split second, Harriet assumed that Fudge had misspoken, but as her aunt stood, smoothing down her shirt, the girl saw a flicker of fear in the woman's eyes. A second chair appeared by Andromeda's side, and as Petunia sat down, chains bounder her. She squeezed loudly, eyes widening as her defence walked down so that she stood next to her.
'Are you Petunia Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surry?'
Petunia stiffed in her seat and tried to raise her hands.
'Yes,' she said. 'Although my husband, son and I did have to leave when the letters arrived. They flooded our house.'
'What letters?' Umbridge asked.
Harriet jumped. She had almost forgotten that the pink-loving-evil-witch was there, but as soon as her sickly voice reached Harriet's ears, her stomach turned to mush. Of course, the woman had to speak. Of course, she did.
'Lily got them,' Petunia answered, truthfully, eyes flickering up to meet Umbridge. 'I'd remember the seal anywhere,'
'And do you live at the house now?' Madam Bones asked.
Petunia nodded, and the witch leaned back in her seat, monocle shining.
'Well, then,' she said. 'Carry on Cornelius,'
Apparently, all too happy to do so, Fudge asked Petunia questions about why Harriet had left, which the woman responded with a lie so terrible it made Clara scowl.
'What do you mean you thought your niece had run away?' Clara asked, looking at the woman. 'And don't lie, you're Rosie's granddaughter, and trust me, I knew my sister's lying face better them most — and you Petunia, look almost like her.'
It unnerved Harriet just a little bit that Clara was her great-great aunt, and it wasn't just because the woman looked like her. There was something fundamentally unnatural to learn that your great-great aunt, and women by all accounts who was supposed to be dead, was alive and wandering around the world as an executioner for the Vampire of all Vampires. Harriet wasn't stupid, she's read a lot in the Tonkses household, and wasn't that surprised when she discovered that Could Dracula existed. Besides, she had always been morbidly fascinated with Vlad the Impaler — so why couldn't he be undead as well?
Petunia blinked and stared at Dumbledore. A flicker of fear rose, and Iona stepped forward.
'Your questions are frightening my client, Miss Moore,' the witch said, adjusting her robes. 'I think your question is irrelevant, and that you should back off.'
Fudge grunted, banning his mallet.
'I agree. The question is invalid,' he said, and Harriet saw Clara's lips pursed. 'Do you have any other witness to call upon?'
Iona nodded and looked at her notes.
'Yes,' she said. 'I call up Vernon Dursley as my first witness,'
There was a long pause as Vernon struggled to get down to the witness chair, and at one point, his tweed jacket tore on a pew seat. Harriet smiled to herself, and she heard Bill snort, as her uncle cursed. Eventually, he left the jacket handing on the pew's arm, before strolling down to the witness box. He slowly moved to sit inside and jumped as it expanded to fix his enormous belly.
'May I have your full name, please?' Madam Bones asked.
Vernon's licked his lips and leaned forward so that he could look up at Madam Bones.
'Vernon Charles Dursley,' he responded, a slight tremor in his voice.
'And how are you related to Miss Potter?' Madam Bones asked, eyes cold as she stared at the man.
Vernon suddenly looked uncomfortable.
'I am her uncle,' Vernon said.
Madam Bones leaned back in her chair.
'And what is your story?'
Vernon's chest seemed to puff up at this, and his eyes twinkled wickedly. Harriet couldn't help but groan. This was going to go terribly. The suddenly hoped that the Wizengamot was as hopeless as some of the witches and wizards were a Cirre in understanding the muggle world.
'It was my son, Dudley's eleventh birthday,' the man said, tapping his knee, 'and Petunia and I had decided to take him to the zoo to celebrate. Harriet wasn't feeling very well, but the babysitter we had arranged to take care of her, had broken her leg, so we took the girl with us.'
Harriet's eyes widened, and she turned to Bill, face reddening.
'That is so not true!' she hissed, as the man looked at her. 'Well, I mean Mrs Figg breaking her leg, yes, but I wasn't ill — and it was Dudley who made her worse! The nerve of that man — oh I want to hex him,'
'It was as we were driving to the zoo, that we suddenly were caught up in traffic.' Vernon continued, sounded very confident at this point as if he had rehearsed everything he wished to say in front of a mirror. 'We were waiting for the lights to change when two hooligans raised out onto the road on a motorbike!'
He shook his head, as if remembering the memory, although Harriet had no idea if he was annoyed at Tonks or Bill or the bike or the fact that the traffic lights had been red. Her uncle was indeed a mystery when it came to those sorts of things. She wouldn't even have been surprised if it was all of the above.
'There was a red-haired man, and a pink haired girl, and as I turned around to talk to Harriet, the pink haired one got off the bike and pointed her stick-thing at us! She called me a "swine" and the next thing I knew, Harriet was climbing out of the car. She had a funning look on her face, and then, she grabbed onto the red-haired man, and they disappeared!'
Madam Bone's face had paled so that her skin was a flat white, and as she looked around the room, her eye caught Tonks and Bill. She understood muggle terminology very well — that or she understood the gist of it.
'If you were to see the two — uhh — hooligan, as you described them, again, would you be able to tell this court,'
'Yes,' he said, grinning maliciously. 'Yes, I could never forget it.'
Beside her, Bill tensed, and Harriet saw his jaw clench.
'Fucking bastard,' he breathed, not caring if Harriet heard. 'I agree with you, Harry. Hexing him sounds like a good idea.'
Madam Bone's lips curled.
'If could, Curse Breaker William Weasley and Auror Nymphadora Tonks could come forward that would be appreciated.'
Harriet squeezed Bill's hand, and as the twenty-something stood up, Vernon looked at him. It correctly didn't help that Bill was dressed in traditional curse breaking clothes — a grubby white shirt and trousers — because Vernon smiled. His eyes flickered to Tonks, who out of defiance, was purposely choosing to brighten her hair an acid green, and his smile flickered. It was as Bill and Tonks were approaching, however, that Vernon suddenly realised the gravity of the situation and his face turned blue. If he had been lying, which Harriet knew he had, then everything that would come out of Tonks and Bill's mouths would set him back to stone-age.
'Are these the witch and wizard who — umm — attacked you?' Madam Bones asked, struggling to find the right words, as Tonks swung back and forth on her heels fiddling with her bright hair.
Vernon licked his lips.
'Yes,' he said, catching his breath. 'Yes, that's the frea— I mean, yes, that's them,'
His almost mess up of the word "freaks" hadn't gone unnoticed by Madam Bones, but before the witch could ask him any questions, Fudge raised his mallet.
'Shacklebolt - Muller - Detain them,'
For a split second, Harriet wondered if Kingsley was about to leap from the crowd, or if Adéle was going to talk them down, but then she remembered Jack. Just as she thought, the dark-skinned woman with the starry turban and a man with black hair stepped forward. As Jack placed her hands on Bill, a thin look of sympathy crossed her lips as she pulled disarms behind him.
'Enough,' Clara roared, stepping in between Jack and the Hit Wizard. 'Minister, you cannot equip people just on hearsay. Hit Wizards, please release Miss Tonks and Mr Weasley, you will not be needed right now,'
A wide grin reached, Jack's lips and she stepped away, pulling the other Hit Wizard by her arm. She winked at Bill as she left, and the redhead rolled his eyes. Harriet blinked. What was that about?
'Please return you your seats,' Clara said, nodding to Tonks and Bill. 'If you are needed again, I will call on you. Mr Dursley, you may go.'
They two nodded and hurried back up to the stands. Harriet smiled weakly at Bill as he sat down next to her, and she noticed, with a worried gaze, that her friend was rubbing his wrists. Bill smiled at her, resting a hand on Harriet's shoulder. Vernon, on the other hand, carefully returned to his seat, ripping off his jacket on the way up so that there was a massive hold it the breast-pocket. Harriet grinned. Karma!
'Don't worry,' he whispered. 'Jackie's done worse during Quidditch — she has a mean right hook, and was and pretty good Beater for Ravenclaw.'
That didn't make Harriet feel any better.
Clara seemed to be commanding the trial now, and she turned to look at those around her before she reached into her pocket and drew a scrap of parchment. Carefully she read the note, and after a short while, looked up, lips drawn. Harriet suddenly wondered how prepared the woman was.
'I call my second witness to the chair,' Clara breathed, stepping back from Harriet's chair, eyes dark and poised for action. 'Hermione Jean Granger - Muggleborn-Witch, and descendant of Potioneer Hector Dagworth-Granger and Curse-Breaker, Juniper Grail, and friend of Harriet Potter,'
The air from Harriet's lungs left her, as her bushy-haired friend stood up, and walked towards the chair which Vernon had been in. Hermione — how could she have forgotten about her… and how on earth was Hermione a witch? When did she find out?
Her friend was dressed in her best blouse and skirt, the grey fabric a startling contrast against her dark skin, and black, frizzy hair. Licking her lips, Hermione walked up to the chair, and with a slightly frazzled look in her friend's direction, sat down.
'Miss Granger,' Fudge said, looking at his notes as if Hermione was the most uninteresting thing on earth. 'How are you connected to the accused.'
The girl's face, hardened.
'I'm Harry's friend — her best friend,' she responded, folding her arms. 'We both went to the same primary school.'
Fudge raised an eyebrow at this and scribbled something in his notes.
'And did you ever notice any evidence of Miss Potter's supposed abuse?' Madam Bones asked.
Hermione shrugged and pushed a strand of her black hair behind her ear.
'Yeah,' she said, chin on palm. 'Considering she was covered in bruises, cuts and severely malnourished, then yeah I'd say she was abused.'
Madam Bone's eyes narrowed.
'And how did you discover this?' she asked, lips thin.
'We had PE — Physically Education — twice a week, and nearly all the class saw the scars that ran up Harry's body. Besides I'm her best friend, she tells me almost everything.' Hermione's black eyes darkened as she sat up, her hair poofing up, even more, so she looked like a very pissed off cat. 'I can tell you right now about the time her uncle smashed an empty wineglass against her leg when she was three because she was hungry. I can tell you the story of how she "fell" down a flight of stairs and almost broke her neck. I can tell you how Harry dislocated her shoulder and had me pop it back into place because she was too afraid to face her aunt and uncle. I can tell you all this, and more, and yet, knowing this court, you wouldn't believe a word that I bloody well said, because no matter how hard my family tried, no matter how hard I tried to procure evidence, something was always standing in our way. Documentation was threaded, photos burned, and it wasn't until I got my letter, it wasn't until I almost set Dudley Dursley on fire with accidental magic, and when my Hogwarts letter finally arrived, did I find out who.'
For a brief second, Hermione glared in Dumbledore's direction, her hands gripping tightly on the chair as she looked at the man. Hardly anyone spoke after her outburst, and after a moment's hesitation, Fudge cleared his throat.
'Thank you, Miss Granger,' he said, looking ever so slightly terrified. 'You may return to your seat.'
With a withering glare, Hermione rose and hurried over to her parents. For a split second, she stopped beside Andromeda, and looked her up and down. There seemed to be a questioning look in her eyes as if she were jousting whether Andromeda was kind enough to take care of her friend. She must have passed, as Hermione walked away, poking back down next to her parents, soon after.
Harriet smiled. That was her Mione.
Fudge, on the other hand, looked like he didn't know what to believe, while Madam Bones' face was ash grey. It seemed to shift as she studied the information in her mind, that for a split second, Harriet wondered if the woman was going to evaporate. After a long while, Madam Bones looked up and stared softly at Harriet. The girl cocked her head. Did that mean she had an ally in this little battle? She wanted to grin — how interesting.
'Mrs Firman,' Fudge said. 'Looking down at his papers. Do you have anyone else to call up?'
Iona shook her head, studying her notes.
'I'm afraid not, Minister.'
Fudge sighed, and open his mouth, but before he could, Clara jumped up from her seat, lips pulled into a wide grin. Harriet blinked. She had almost forgotten the vampire was there.
'I do!' Clara bellowed, and everyone jumped at the vampiress' perky tone. 'I've got a witness. My third witness is—'
'That is enough, Miss Moore, I'm afraid we do not have enough time or resources to continue this investigation further — we will remain on the twenty ninety of Sept-'
'No, Minister,' Clara intuited suddenly appearing in front of Fudge, teeth bared, and eyes glittering. 'This is not the end. I have one more person — a man who has stayed by Harriet's side since her parent's murder — a man who can tell you what has been going on, long before any of you witnesses knew about magic, or even her abuse — a man, by the most peculiar of names,'
Clara turned, eyes hardening as they fixed on Mort. The skeleton stiffened and cocked his head.
'Mort, if you would kindly step up to the chair, I think its time you're told your story,'
Death blinked, and then grinned
What did I tell you about trials? Huh-huh! They're hard, aren't they? The next chapter is part 2 of this chapter. I have never been to court before, so I have no idea what it is like. I have used many tv-shows, the scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and my own intuition to figure it out. So I hope this is okay, and not as rushed as I thought it might be.
Also trying to write a will, gees, no wonder their hard. I had to search through the 18th century and 19th-century wills just to find something that I liked. Trust me, it's really hard to read cursive if you have dyslexia - not fun guys! Not fun! Also for those of you who are interested, the beginning of the will is written as if the old gods are still around. She when I mean the goddess, I mean the ones found in Pagan and Neo-Pagan and Modern Pagan religions.
And yes, Clara Erma Moore is finally introduced! If anyone has come from my "The Moore Vampire" story, (only on fan fictio.net), you will understand who this character is. Now that I've introduced her, I might, (if I have time), start writing her story. Tell me in the reviews if you would like that. Also, you now get to see the power that is Mort? What do you think? To melodramatic?
Anyway, I hope to hear your amazing reviews in the review thing below.
Jesus! I've just looked at the word count and this is almost 10,000 words! (That includes this bit!) Crikey! Well, I wanted it to be good. Hope this isn't crazy, I've just come back from work.
You'll hear from me soon!
Chapter 10: Chapter Eight: The Diabolical Reveal - Part 2
Death's skeletal hand caught the woman as she fell, her auburn hair spilling onto the forest floor. He had stayed by her side for years, watching her age, a shadow sitting on her shoulder as she grew. He had seen her joyful smile, and kind eyes fade, to only be replaced with a cynical mind, and a paranoid gaze. The little girl was gone, and in her place, his Mistress sat.
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Mort, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
The Diabolical Reveal - Part 2
31st of July 1991
Death stared at the Witenagemot for a short while, as Harriet held her breath.
Clara wanted Mort to do what? Mort couldn't even talk! For a long while, the skeleton watched Clara; his head cocked, teeth chittering loudly as he decided what to do. Harriet, suddenly having enough of the situation around her, turned to confront the vampires.
'Um, Miss Moore,' Harriet whispered, rising to her feet, hands shaking as everyone's gaze flickered towards her. 'He's imaginary - I can't make him solid unless I'm afraid. Besides, he can't talk.'
Clara grinned a wide, lazy smile.
'Oh, my dear child, your friend is far from imaginary,' she smiled sweetly at her, before turning to glare at the skeleton. 'Mort! Move!'
A wicked smile spread across Mort's fleshless lips, and before Harriet could grab him, and pull him back, he was walking towards the chair. To everyone else, they thought Clara, (and to an extension Harriet), had gone insane, but for Bill, and the Tonks family, they were sitting on the edge of their seats, eyes trained on the Witness Chair, hearts pounding, waiting for the skeleton to arrive. Eventually, after what seemed like an age, Fudge leaned forward, a broad grin on his lips.
'Well,' he cried, folding his arms as if this was the end of the whole trial, 'it would seem that Miss Potter had lost-'
'Do not assume things, Cornelius Fudge,' a voice suddenly said, silencing the Minister for Magic in a heartbeat. 'For just because you cannot see me, does not mean that I am not here,'
Harriet's heart flickered as Mort sat down on the guided chair, legs crossed. His voice — it was as if someone had mixed a Mediterranean-Greek accent and silk, blending it to become a beautiful sound of hope, kindness and hard cruelty. There was a faint glow of light as Mort flexed his skeletal hands, his empty sockets trained on the Minister for Magic. There was a tremendous rumble as the ground beneath began to shake, as the grey light webbed across the floor, Mort's magic allegiances spread across the room. As the light reached Harriet's chair, the grey beams began to curl up around the chair's legs, wrapping tightly around her limbs, pinning her in place.
To her right, Harriet heard Bill gasp as the first grainy ghost appeared by her side. The first thing Harriet noticed was that the man wore a pair of glasses, the squared outline harsh against his diamond face. As he filled out, body transforming into a tall figure in a long, tailored suit and black robes, Harriet realised with horrible realisation, that she was staring at the ghostly form of her father. For a brief second, James Potter stared at his daughter, his soul-less hazel eyes tearing into her mind, before he extended his arm.
The hand came first, the soft fingers clenching around James' side as a woman materialised beside him, her long auburn hair flickering in the dark light. She looked like a flame, her hair spitting dangerously as her body warped in and out of existence, her long, green dress spinning in the dark, like a bright light. Harriet's heart leapt as the woman turned to face her, her emerald eyes glittering lovingly. It was her mother, - Lily.
Next came a man who looked eerily like James. With his messy hair, and terrible eyesight, Harriet assumed, at first, that the ghost was a morbid version of who her father could have become, but as the man's body hardened, becoming whole, Harriet realised that the man standing behind James couldn't be her father. For one, his face was longer, his black hair greyer, and glasses, (which were a pair of ornately carved pince-nez), were altogether different. He wore, or at least what Harriet assumed to be, a dark red robe, and his shoes were polished.
Another woman arrived, her dark black hair pulled tightly out of her face in a full bun. Unlike her husband, (or the man Harriet assumed to be her husband) her eyes were blue, and judging from the tightly corseted dress, and a slight scowl that rested on her thin lips, she had a rather stern personality. A long, thin wand danced in her grip, her wedding ring flashing brightly in the cold light, and through the flickering gloom, Harriet took the two to be her grandparents.
The ghosts continued, right up until a group of three men, all similar in looks appeared before Mort, their eyes glittering a cold gold. They wore medieval garb, hair pulled back and hidden behind hats and cloaks; however, it was the objects that sat in their hands that unnerved Harriet.
The eldest, or at least, the man Harriet took to be the eldest, was broad and gleeful, a wicked expression cast on his handsome face as he raised the blurred outline of a magnificent wand high above his head. Next, to him, a thin man, with shoulder-length black hair stood curved in the limelight of his elder brother, his hands rolling over a carved, black stone. Unlike his brother, who exuberated confidence he was shy, and fearful, his eyes wishfully holding the rock as if it was the greatest treasure he had ever received.
However it was the youngest man, a man Harriet took to be in his early to late twenties, who intrigued her the most because out of all three brothers, he had an expression of absolute disdain cast on his handsome face. He held out a long shimmering cloak, his golden eyes inspecting the fabric as if something horrible lay behind it, completely ignoring the solum gaze that Mort gave the three.
For a brief second silence filled the Wizengamot, and just as Cornelius was about to open his mouth, the light retracted, the ghosts unravelling like ripped fabric as they shot backwards. For a fleeting second, the skeleton flickered, his body revealing itself and in a beautiful display of magic and skill, Mort caught the greyness, and transformed. The effect was eerily terrifying, and as the skeleton grew skin, the pale-witness transforming before the Wizengamot's eyes, Harriet could help but grin at the horrified gazes of those who surrounded her.
Hair followed, and Harriet was a little surprised when dark, auburn locks sprouted from the skeleton's head, his hair falling down his back in curled waves as it grew. His clothes came. Next, the proud, tailored suit folding up and around his muscular body, the fabrics curving up to his neck in black and grey silks. His shoes clipped the floor, the dragon-hide fabric glittering; however, it was his eyes, all golden and empty, that caused Harriet to wonder if Mort was altogether a creation from her head.
She had never seen him look like his before, never seen him in a humanoid form, and although he was her imaginary friend, a strange bubble of betrayal coursed down her spine. He looked to be in his late twenties or early thirties, face as proud and sharp as a Greek statue and as the now, not-skeleton turned towards the Wizengamot, Harriet's heart leapt. He was gorgeous.
'Good afternoon, Minster,' Mort said, leaning back in the chair and arched his fingers, pressing the tips underneath his chin, a wicked, deadly grin pressed tightly against his lips. 'My name is Mort - Harriet's imaginary friend, and I have something to say about the Dursleys.'
And that was when everything exploded. People rose from their seats, screaming and shouting, their spit flying across the room as if it were bullets. Others sat in shock, mouths slack, faces pale, while people like Hermione, just laughed. However, it was the couple in the tweed and satin, that made Harriet smile. Her aunt and uncle's faces were red as fire, their eyes wide with unimaginable fear as they breathed shaking gasps of air. Harriet suddenly wondered if they knew they were about to be crushed.
Fudge was even too afraid to calm everyone, so in the end, it was Madam Bones, (who had sat in her seat with a raised eyebrow as if this were the most uninteresting thing that had happened in her entire carrier).
'Enough!' the witch bellowed, the mullet slamming hard against the table, as she reached across Fudge's desk. 'Enough!'
She swallowed hard, her lips quivering as the court-room fell quiet. She straightened her robes and looked at Mort.
'Name?' she asked.
The not-skeleton looked at her, golden eyes studying the woman's face.
'Mort,' he answered.
A thin smirk rising to his lips as his voice echoed around the room. There was a whimper, and a "hush" as someone behind Harriet was silenced. Madam Bones' face paled.
'And-and how do you know, Miss Potter?'
Mort sat back in the chair and sniffed.
'Considering I was around when he-who-must-not-be-named chose to murder Lily and James, I'd say…. Almost ten years…'
'Ten years?' Madam Bones breathed, eyes widening. 'And what have you done in those ten years?'
Mort raised an eyebrow.
'Other than binding, Harriet's powers so they wouldn't explode just as her mother asked me to do — I was keeping Harriet safe.'
'Safe how?' Fudge asked, finally finding his voice.
Mort glared at him, before speaking.
'Consider the options before you, Madam Bones,' he said, cocking his head like he always did. 'From the testimony given to you by Mrs Tonks, and Miss Granger, about abuse, I would say that is the most likely option. I picked up Harriet when she couldn't move; I held her when she cried; I listened to every thought and emotion that she told me about; I let her have a friend when no one else did. However, I also watched.'
His gaze flickered to the Dursleys, the golden orbs darkening as he stared.
'I watched as the tortured the magic out of her. I watched as they beat the precious gifts she had inherited from the D'Ark Clan, into nothing. I watched as they starved her, locked her in a cupboard. I watched as things were thrown at her, and watched when they purposely let her burn herself. I watched her dear aunt and lovely uncle obliterate the childhood that should have been given to her, and watched as a part of my friend died.'
Mort's eyes were as dark as golden-thunder, and yet his voice was still soft, and gently, which somehow made the situation even more terrifying.
'I was created in Harriet's darkness moments when her mother begged Lord Voldemort not to kill her, and I've stayed by her side ever since,' the skeleton said. 'I've been there since the very beginning since Harriet Potter summonsed me to protect her that night. I stood up against Lord Voldemort when her mother was killed! I deflected the Avada Kadavra when everything else could not, and I watched as my Harriet, the very being I was told to protect, became something else, the sweet child I had watched grow in those few hours, being transformed into a shell by the very people who were supposed to protect her!'
Mort's jaw clenched, and although Harriet had no idea what the hell he was talking about, a clench of hear rose in her heart. Her parents had been murdered…. By someone named Lord Voldemort. She had heard of the Dark Lord, of course, she had, but still, a cloud of dread suddenly ran along with her bones, and her heart began to beat faster. She had survived — she had lived against the evilest person on the planet…. She was the girl-who-lived… the one in Tonks' storybooks… the one who had taken down Lord Voldemort.
'If you think I won't show you anything from those days,' Mort suddenly threatened, hand poised as grey mist drifted in his hand. 'Then you are surely mistaken — I can show you every memory, every desire, fear, and thought that came from Harriet's head.'
'I don't think—'
Mort's power exploded.
Visions suddenly threw themselves around the room, rising and falling with each scene. Harriet buried her head in Bill's shoulder, shutting her eyes tight as the screams of her childhood erupted around the room. It was like reliving her worst nightmares all over again, except unlike this time, where there was only Mort to listen, the whole room could see them too. She didn't even have to look, to realise what was going on, and as each memory intensified, and grew, revealing themselves to the world.
As the final scene dimmed, the images of her uncle ripping out her hair fading, the Wizengamot was met with stunned silence. Bill was shaking, his hands wrapping tightly around Harriet's shoulders, and as the girl looked up, she saw that Andromeda's face was a deathly grey. And as for Mort?
Well… He was nowhere to be seen.
It was Madam Bones who eventually broke the silence. She turned to look at her fellow Wizengamotians, lips pale.
'Those in favour of clearing the accused of all charges?' she croaked and raised her hand.
Nearly everyone, surprisingly including Fudge, raised their hands. Harriet's most dried. Did it mean that she could… No… She had to be dreaming….
'And those in favour of conviction?'
Dolores and Dumbledore raised their hands.
Madam Bones mouth settling into a small smile, as she turned to look at Andromeda.
'Mrs Tonks,' she said, 'congratulations - you have full custody of your goddaughter — Clara Moore, well done,'
A loud bellowing scream rose from Hermione's lips, and a second later, Harriet found her best friend's arms wrapping tightly around her. A few other's clapped, and Harriet was faintly aware of Andromeda being unchained, as Petunia and Vernon were hauled away by Jack and Muller.
It was as Tonks was helping her mother to the stands, that Harriet noticed that someone was watching her. Turning Harriet saw Dumbledore, his eyes darkening as he pulled her over. Something told her that she had just made an enemy.
'That was terrifying,' Hermione breathed, as Harriet turned to her friend. 'I thought — well, I didn't know what to thing but — why didn't you tell me about Mort?'
'After all the things I told you - you were worried about Mort? Mione? You never told me about you being a witch!'
Hermione rolled her eyes.
'Well I would have liked to know that you're imaginary-friend was hot!' Harriet shuddered. 'And I only found out last week. They were having trouble with my owl — so a teacher had to come and give it to me!'
'About that,' Harriet said, turning to Bill. 'Where's my letter?'
Just before Bill was about to open his mouth, there was a small "ah hem". Harriet turned to find Madam Bones looking at her. Her face had softened, her hands shaking as she took Harriet's fists in her own.
'I apologise for not knowing sooner,' she said, squeezing Harriet's hands. 'We've just been informed that your parent's will was hidden in the familial vaults. Since Miss Moore is your great-great aunt, she was able to acquire them, but still — we should have done more.'
Harriet's said nothing, and after a while, she said.
'You weren't to know,'
Madam Bones, sensing that this was all she was going to get out of Harriet, nodded and walked away, her shoulders shuddering as she accident walked through an invisible Mort.
It was rather strange to see the vampire and the imaginary friend talking; however, as Clara talked, her hands moving as she spoke, Harriet noticed that the now-skeletal-form of Mort suddenly looked older. Buts of him were falling off so that he had to hold his mouth as he signed with one hand. Harriet had no idea what language he was using, but from the way his hands moved, and the knowledge she had picked up by reading BSL books as a child, he wasn't signing in English.
As if sensing her, Mort turned and winked. Harriet, stupidly, winked back. She listened to Hermione for another few minutes, that was until Fudge's mallet thwacked against his desk. He seemed to have received a bit, for his face no longer looked as fearful. He licked his lips.
'Now, Miss Potter,' he said, leaning forward, 'do you have anything to say?'
Harriet took a breath, nerves suddenly clouding her mind. Something had bugged her since the will. Unlike Jack, who had been asking her questioned for almost four hours, Harriet, who between listening to the Hit Witch and watching Mort pull funny faces, had been reading. She had discovered a book, a book on the Sacred Twenty-Eight and had come across something exciting — a curiosity which and only been strengthened when the will spoke.
If she was correct, then the statement she was about to say could — no, would, throw the Wizarding World into absolute chaos. She fiddled with her cards, Mort standing close to her, as Clara stared blankly at her. She looked up at Mort, her gaze hardening as she and her imaginary-friend shared a silent conversation, about the information both she and him and uncovered hours before. If she were right, then the information they had discovered would be damming to the highest degree.
Lips thinning, Harriet turned to look up at Fudge, her back straightening as she looked him dead in the eye. An air of confidante seemed to swill around the Minister; his face pulled into a thick smirk as he waited, for what he supposed, was a small question. Harriet smirked — oh how she was going to prove him wrong.
'I would like my godfather, Sirius Orion Black, Lord and Earl to the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, to stand finally for his trial. A trial that has been delayed for almost ten years, a trial for the suspected murders of Peter Pettigrew, Dorcas Meadowes and fifteen other Order of the Phoenix Member; and the suspected betray of Lily and James Potter to the Dark Lord,' the witch breathed, her smirk widening as Fudge's face paled considerably. 'That, Minister, is what I wish to say — and under the laws of the Sacred-Twenty Eight, and the decrees set down by Merlin himself, and as a distant family member to that man who you hold captive, I demand that you hold trial!'
Death couldn't help but laugh as the Wizengamot fell quiet, their mutterings ceasing, as Harriet sat down, jaw set, Slytherin-green eyes ready to tear anyone who dared oppose her, to shreds; Azrael D'Ark's descendant had undoubtedly spoken.
Death couldn't have been more proud.
Chapter 11: Chapter Nine: The Alley
15th of August 1991
Death never liked crystals; not that anyone ever asked him. He found them powerful, unnerving and ever so slightly intriguing, not that he'd admit that to his fellow gods. So when Harriet bounded over to him, with several amethysts and topaz eggs in her pockets, Death was a little uncomfortable.
'Look what I found!' Harriet grinned, reaching deep into her pockets to show the eggs to Mort. 'I found them in my vault — aren't they wonderful.'
Mort nodded, stepping away as the smell of something ugly pierced his spine. Harriet, who was completely oblivious to her friend's fear. Tonks stood a little bit away from her, head bent in a thick tomb, that from what Harriet could understand, was essential for being an Auror. Personally, she couldn't understand how a book entirely on mathematical equations could help, but according to Tonks, (and the loud voice of Mad-Eye once as he bellowed at her through the fireplace earlier that morning), it helped in taking out the, quote on quote, "bad guys" as one had to calculate the correct angle to tackle someone.
Standing next to Tonks, who had quiet literally just crawled out of a fireplace, (apparently floo was bias), was Jack, her dark skin blotchy with soot. However, even though her sparkly blue leggings, and deep green tunic were black, and messy, her headscarf was almost impossibly neat. Once Harriet had asked why she wore it, Jack explained that it was for cultural and religious reasons, and had left it at that, and as the witch studied the forest-coloured fabric, she guessed this was the only answer she would ever receive.
Jack, smoothed down her robes, and turned to Harriet, grinning wickedly.
'So,' she said, as she walked across to meet Harriet, half dragging, half guiding Tonks. 'What's on your list? Do they still insist that you can't own a broom in your first year?'
Before Harriet could answer, Tonks suddenly looked up, thumb on book.
'That was your father's fault you know,' she said, smiling weakly at Harriet. 'Well, he and my cousin.'
Harriet looked down, suddenly feeling awful. Even though she had demanded Sirius' trial almost sixteen days ago, the Ministry was pulling out every trick they knew to delay it. Defenders and high ranking officials had intervened and cancelled every meeting, and subpoenaed every trial, due to "incomplete evidence." They'd even come up with some half-ass law stopping anyone from bringing a "mass-murderers" trial too justice. It was beginning to get ridiculous.
'Was it?' Harriet eventually asked. 'Well, that sucks,'
She frowned, and pulled out her letter. Whether it was because someone had realised that she hadn't received her Hogwarts Letter, or if because she had wined until Andromeda's head fell off, Harriet wasn't sure, but whatever the case, it had arrived — a few months late mind you.
She hadn't bothered with the acceptance letter, quickly skimming it, before tearing open what she would call, "The Good Stuff!". It took three sheets of parchment to finally explain what she needed for Hogwarts, and while the letter was interesting, it wasn't nearly as interesting as the things she could buy. With the money Andromeda had received from James Potter's will, she had set about magically building a new bedroom for Harriet, as well as sending the girl off with a bag of gold, (as long as Tonks, Jack and Mort came with), to buy her school things.
The first thing on the list were clothes, which Harriet boredly collected, along with a few extra comfortable robes, and a dragon-hide coat. Next were the books, which took Harriet almost an hour, as she insisted on buy books other then the restricted curriculum — a decision with both amused and annoyed Tonks, especially when Harriet had an argument with the book owner about whether she was "old" enough to by books on Rune Magic, and Necromancy.
It was around lunch time when Harriet rushed into the Apothecary, leaving Tonks and Jack to sit outside in the warming heat. Even before she entered the shop, it smelt horrible, as if someone had fused rotten eggs and cabbaged together to create a wonderful aroma of disgusting. If it wasn't for Mort, then she would fallen face first into a barrel full of green sap. The shop was dark, the walls lined with jars filled with powders and root; dried herbs hung from the ceiling, along with fangs and claws, and, (as Harriet noted with a little bit too much joy), feathers. A small grin rose to her lips as she charged forward, slipping around cutovers and bubbling cauldrons, as she reached further and further into the shop, until her nose touched a large jar.
She peered inside, her grin widening even further and she spun around to Mort, eyes sparkling.
'This is amazing,' she whispered, before spinning back around.
After checking and double checking her list, she eventually gathered up her supplied, before decided that she could spend a few extra minuets looking at the oingreeidants. She had barely taken a step towards the shelves, when a voice suddenly said,
Harriet turned. She had been examining a jar full of, (and she could only tell by the label mind you), leaches, and was still holding it when her green eyes fixed on the man. He was tall, far taller then Mort, with a hooked nose, and hair so black it could have been ink. It was greasy too, the shop's fumes increasing the slickness to it looked like the man's hair was going to fall off.
Black robes fell to the ground, the hems embroidered with grey thread, but it was his eyes, and the almost fearful gaze that met her's that really made her curious. It was like looking into a deep well, his thoughts and expressions hidden by a wall of swirling water, and magic. She smiled slightly, and stepped forward, contour that those black eyes were boring into her.
'I'm afraid you must have me confused,' Harriet breathed, placing the jar of leaches on the table. 'I'm Harriet, Harriet Potter,'
As soon as her name left her lips, the man's expression changed. His eyes hardened, and his lips curled, the confused expression vanishing in a split second to be replaced with underlying hatred. Before Harriet could open her mouth, the door swung open, and Tonks' loud voice broke the silence.
'Harry!' she bellowed, and Harriet saw her pushing through the maze of people and ingredients. 'Where are you?'
Harriet turned, ready to ask the man his name, but when she spun back around, he was gone. Sighing deeply, Harriet took Mort's hand and walked to the counter. She paid for her things, (including the jar of leaches) and put Tonks out of her misery.
Apparently, Harriet needed to get to Ollivanders before he closed, and with a tight hand around her arm, Tonks dragged her out of the shop, and down the road. Jack trailed behind, laughing to herself, as Tonks pushed the girl inside a worn looking wand shop, with a peeling sign over the door, that read: Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.
Unlike the Apothecary, or Flourish and Blotts, the shop was nearly empty, except for a small, spindly chair, and the walls surrounding it. Thousands of narrow boxes protruded from the shelves, dust accumulating on the survives to the point where Jack began to sneeze.
'Alhamdulillah!' a voice suddenly proclaimed, once Jack had stopped sneezing, and the three, (or four), turned to see a young man standing on a rolling ladder.
He was prepare in his late twenties, his eyes shockingly silvery against his deep brown hair. He was dressed in a red-muggle jumper and blue jeans, and looked completely out of place among the rows of wands.
Jack smiled, and waved at him.
'Thanks, Ger,' she breathed, as the man walked over.
She turned to Harriet.
'Harry, this is Gerard Ollivander. Ger, this is Harriet Potter,'
Harriet was released when Ger didn't look at her head, and instead, smiled brightly at her. He held out his hand, and as Harriet shook it, she noticed that this fingers were callused, and were nicked.
'What happened?' she asked, as Ger smiled at her. He looked at his hands, suddenly surprised as if he hadn't noticed that he'd hurt himself.
'Wood splinters,' he finally said, 'I'm a wandmaker, like my father — that reminds me — Dad, you have a customer!'
'There's no need to shout,' a soft voice said, and Harriet jumped as a man stepped out of the shadows.
He was old, far older then any man Harriet had seen yet, and his hair was white as silk, but it was his eyes, as pale as moons, that really unnerved her.
'Hello,' said Harriet breathed, pressing a hand to her chest as Mort's teeth chittered.
The man rushed forward, eyes sparkling as he looked her over.
'Ah yes,' Gerald's father said, 'Yes, yes. I thought I'd be seeing you soon. Harriet Potter.'
Harriet smiled weakly.
'You have your mother's eyes,' he suddenly announced, and Harriet stared at him. 'It seems only yesterday she was in here herself, buying her first wand. Ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work.'
Harriet wished the man would blink, for his eyes were beginning to be a little creepy. Mort shuffled and rested his hands on her shoulder, in a protective manner. Eventually, the wandmaker did blink, but he didn't turn away.
'Your father, on the other hand, favoured a mahogany wand. Eleven inches. Pliable. A little more power and excellent for transfiguration. Well, I say your father favoured it — it's really the wand that chooses the wizard, of course.'
Ollivander was now right up in Harriet's face, so that his nose almost touched hers. He raised his hand and began to trace the scar on her forehead. The girl shuddered, and clutched Mort's arm, shaking.
'And that's where…' Ollivander shook his head. 'I'm sorry to say I sold the wand that did it. Thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Powerful wand, very powerful, and in the wrong hands... well, if I'd known what that wand was going out into the world to do…"
Sensing that his dad might be going a little loopy, Ger placed a hand on his shoulder.
'Dad,' he said, and the man snapped out of it, but not before his eyes settled on Tonks.
'Nymphadora Tonks! How nice to see you again…' Harriet suddenly wondered how much energy it took for Tonks not to blast Ollivander to smithereens. Jack and Ger must have been thinking it too, for they shared a worried expression. 'Laurel, twelve inches, dragon heartstring — although from what I recall, you broke that one in your fifth year.'
Tonks grimaced at the memory.
'You didn't buy from me again,' the old wizard said, eying the wand holster that was tied to Tonk's right arm. 'Who's the maker?'
'Jimmy Kiddell,' Tonks finally said, but before she could explain, Ollivander had turned on Jack.
'Jacqueline Shacklebolt,' he breathed, 'you took a long time, if I recall. Fir, twelve inches, pliable — have you served it well?'
To prove a point, Jack raised her wand.
'Yes she has,'
It was a little weird to hear someone call a wand a "she" but Harriet brushed it aside, especially when Ollivander looked at her again.
'Which is your wand arm?'
The question was so abrupt, so unusual that Harriet couldn't help but blink at him for a few seconds.
'Um… I'm left handed,' she said, and Ollivander took her hand, a measuring tape appearing in his own, as he measured her arm, from shoulder to index finger. He explained wand lore as he worked, the tape measure whipping around unmanned as the old man walked away. Ger smiled warmly at her, as he was sent off to look for a wand, and a second later he came back, a few stacked up in his arms per to his father's instructions.
'Right then,' Ollivander said, selecting a box that was in his son's arms. 'Miss Potter. Try this one. Beechwood and dragon heartstring. Nine inches. Nice and flexible. Just take it and give it a wave.'
Harriet was handed the wand, and gave it a sharp flick, however, before she could even finish the movement, Ollivander snatched it away.
'Maple and phoenix feather,' he cried,' Seven inches. Quite whippy. Try—'
Just like the time before, as soon as Harriet raised it, Ollivander took it away, and thrust another into her hand.
'Ebony and unicorn hair, eight and a half inches, springy. Go on, go on, try it out.'
This continued for quite a while, to the point that Ger was beginning to become breathless at the amount of times he ran up and down the shop, that his face had turned red. Ollivander on the other hand, was eerily happy, and smiled wildly.
'Tricky customer, eh? Not to worry, we'll find the perfect match here somewhere —I wonder, now — yes, why not,' he exclaimed, and turned to look at his son. 'Gerald, can you look for number five-hundred and three, please,'
Looking ever so slightly sick, Gerald nodded and hurried off, returning a second later with a long box. Carefully he handed it to his father, who removed the wand from it's casing.
'Unusual combination — Elder and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple.' Ollivander explained, and beside her Mort shuffled.
He handed it to Harriet.
As soon as the witch's fingers curled around the wood, a warmth reached her fingertip, a fiery breathing sort of warmth that suddenly made her realise that the wand was well and truly alive. Raising, a warm smile reached her lips as a stream of red and gold sparks shot from the end, exploding in the air like a firework. Tonks cheered, whooping, while Jack momentarily forgot how to speak English and began speaking rather fast in both Arabic and French, until Ger placed his hand on her shoulder.
'Oh, bravo!' Ollivander cried, smiling brightly. 'Yes, indeed, oh, very good. Well, well, well... how curious... how very curious… Curious... curious…'
Harriet looked at him, eyebrows furrowed.
'What's curious?' she asked, as she put the wand in the box.
Ollivanders stared at Harriet with his unusual eyes.
'I remember every wand I've ever sold, Miss Potter. Every single wand.' Ollivander breathed. 'It so happens that the phoenix whose tail feather is in your wand, gave another feather — just one other. It is very curious indeed that you should be destined for this wand when its brother — why, its brother gave you that scar.'
Harriet gulped, and behind her, she felt Mort tremble, but whether it was with anger or rage, she didn't know. Ollivander nodded, darkly.
'Yes, thirteen-and-a-half inches. Yew. Curious indeed how these things happen. The wand chooses the wizard, remember... I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter... After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things — terrible, yes, but great.'
'That'll be seven galleons,' he said.
Quickly, Harriet handed over the money, and left the shop, but she, Tonks and Mort had to wait for Jack, who was saying goodbye to Ger. From the small kiss she gave him, and the red face that bloomed on Ger's cheeks when his father laughed, Harriet guessed they were dating. She came out, ignoring Tonks' smirking face, and hurried off.
The four departed at the Leaky Cauldron, and soon Tonks, Mort and Harriet were back home, arms full with featherlight charmed bags.
Ted sat in a deep chair, cup of tea in his hand, and he looked up once the three floo-ed in, eyebrows raising ever so slightly at the amount of bags that Harriet had.
'So,' he said. 'Your back. What's your wand then?'
Harriet wondered if knowing one's wand was going to be a common thing.
'Elder, phoenix feather, eleven inches,' Harriet drummed off, as she helped Tonks to her feet, (she had tripped over the carpet as she was thrown through the fireplace).
Ted's eyebrows raised.
'Phoenix feather,' he breathed, and whistled low.
He smiled brightly and got to his feet, helping Tonks and Harriet carry her things up the stairs. Mort stubbornly chose not to carry a single thing. After placing the bags in Harriet's new room, Tonks and Ted left her to her own devices.
The room wasn't large, but it was certainly bigger than the sliver of a room that had been the cupboard under the stairs. A bed and a chest of draws lay on the west wall, a small desk tucked away opposite, and that was it. Simple, but efficient, and defiantly the best belated birthday present Harriet had ever received.
She grinned, and reached into her pocket, placing the crystals on the table; they shone in the light, catching in the dusty air and send flickers across the wall. She grinned; they were beautiful.
'Harry!' Mrs Tonks voice called from the down the stair. 'Lunch!'
That called her, and a few moments later, Harriet was sitting at the table devoruring a mushroom pie, and laughing brightly as Tonks transformed her features. Mort, on the other hand, stayed in the room.
Death approached the crystals, eyes darkening as he stared at them, and with a tentative hand, reached out. He jumped back, air whistling thought his teeth as the stone burnt him, his bony hand throbbing, even thought there were no tenants to burn. Shuddering slightly, Death peered in to he reflective surfaces, and what he saw, made his invisible heart drop.
Three ugly faces peered out, the woman's features merging into one middle aged woman with stringy hair. Her eyes were silver and gold, and flicked between the two, until Death's head spun.
She's mind! they seem to say, And nothing you do, can stop that.
Death growled, and stood a step back; he'd forgotten how much he hated the Fates.
So, after the last chapter, I suspected you'd think I'd write a long chapter - nope, this one is short as hell, and I have no apologies. First of, for people confused, yes I have changed my timetable, mostly because I realised that I could not write over thirteen fan-fictions and have a perfectly sane mind. Please check out my timetable on my profile if you wish to find out when this story will next be updated.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed, and now onto the review section:
Bookdragonslayer: Thank you, trust me, like I said, I struggled to write that will - I'm glad I made an impact. And yes, the ancestor! Woop! Yes, and someone spotted Hermione, although my biggest worry about that, was that people were going to berate me because I picture her in my head with dark skin.
Hope to hear your thoughts in the reviews,
Chapter 12: Chapter Ten: The Hat
1st of September, 1991
Death knew that something was wrong with the train, but he couldn't quite put his bony thumb on it. It glowed, and not in a good way. Red steam curled off the metal, making his teeth hurt, and hipbones twist, that as he stood behind Harriet, hands on her shoulders, he heard her wince.
'Mort,' Harriet hissed, pushing her imaginary friend away. 'That hurt,'
Andromeda, who was standing next to her, raised an eyebrow. They had already put Harriet's brunch in the luggage compartment, and while the girl was a little saddened that she hadn't bought an owl or a cat to accompany her on the long journey ahead, she was grateful for Mort. She was always appreciative.
'Everything will be fine, Harriet,' she assured the girl, eyes trailing around the platform as if she was trying to find Mort. 'Now, Mort... Wherever you are, keep her safe.'
Mort nodded, although it was pointless because Andromeda couldn't see her. Andromeda turned, breathing heavily, and before she could open her mouth to wish Harriet luck, a voice roared over the crowd,
The girl called Harriet turned, half expecting a nosy-so-and-so wanting her autograph, (and annoying interaction that had, unfortunately, hadn't stopped since her trial), and instead found herself staring into the deep, red eyes of her great-great aunt. Andromeda smiled softly, and turned away, suddenly interested in staring at the train, as if it were the most important thing ever.
'Clara!' Harriet breathed, lunging towards the vampiress with surprising speed and wrapping her arms around her. 'I thought you were someone else?'
'Pish-posh, Harry,' Clara replied, pulling away, her hands slipping up and around the girl's face as she studied her. 'Now let me look at you?'
She hummed, cocking her head, and then as if remembering something, she grinned, a god-awful shit-eating grin.
'Yup, you look like dad!'
It wasn't a statement, and Harriet frowned.
'I'm always told I look like my mum?'
Clara hummed and tapped her nose.
'Of course, you do, but you've got Moore blood,' she paused, thinking. 'Well, except for your nose, and maybe your chin, that's all Potter. Nevertheless, its still kind of scary how much you look like Jacob Moore,'
Suddenly wishing that Harriet wasn't having a family lecture from a vampire, she quickly looked at Mort. The skeleton in question was leaning against a pillar, his hands covering his always grinning mouth as if trying to stop a laugh.
'And don't you dare make fun of me, Mort,' Clara suddenly snapped, whirling around to face the skeleton with such speed that Harriet thought her great-great aunt was going to snap in half. 'Don't think I don't remember you! Remember our first meeting?'
Mort lowered his hands, and if looks could kill, (that is if the skeleton had eyeballs), the Clara Moore would be head. Shaking her head the executioner of Vladimir Dracula, turned back to Harriet and smiled.
'I never went to Hogwarts, but my mother did,' the vampire suddenly announced, looking at the train. 'Romani weren't excepted back then, so my father's family just never went. We're not excepted that much now either, but still, have fun.'
The sad expression passed, and Clara grabbed Harriet's hand and pressed a brown package into her hand.
'Here,' she said. 'Take this.'
Harriet frowned and was about to pull on the cord when Clara stopped her.
'Why don't you do that at Hogwarts,' she said, winking. 'There are some out there who won't be too thrilled with the thing I'm about to give you.'
Harriet's eyebrows raised.
'What is it?'
'It belonged to a dear friend of mine; well, cousin. She died a long time ago, but still, I think she would want a member of her family to take it.' Clara's shoulders slumped. 'She was like that... Driven by her family... But also bloody mental! It's a basilisk egg. I have no idea what preservation spells she put on it, but I can tell you know if they've lasted this long, then the rumours about her being a squib, where downright false.'
Harriet nodded, but on the inside, she felt like her brain was going to explode. What on earth was Clara talking about? A Squib? A Basilisk? What were they?
Harriet, along with Andromeda, jumped as a high strung whistle blew across the station, and soon, she found herself being pushed onto the train. Andromeda quickly kissed her cheek, gave her a tight hug, and then she was gone, Clara quickly pulling her away as the train moved on.
Quickly, and much to the annoyance of Mort who tried to pull her hands away, Harriet pulled down the sash window, and stuck her head out. Smoke and ash suddenly clouded her vision, and the acrid smell of burning coal blew itself down her lungs, but even in the fog, and steam, she could still see Clara's glowing eyes. Harriet waved once, and in the gloom, she swore, Clara waved back.
Mort's grip was painfully sore now, so out of comfort more then anything else, Harriet sat back down, closing the window with the help of a leather strap, and she watched with a faint fascination as the shutter clicked into place. Mort let go, his bone hands flexing and un-flexing as he gave her, what Harriet assumed, the look.
'What?' she asked, plonking down, as the train picked up speed. 'I'm not dead!'
Her words seemed only to infuriate Mort even further, however before she could sulk, the compartment door opened, and Hermione stumbled through. Although it had been a few weeks, Hermione Jean Granger, was frazzled, her hair poofy and black exploding around her and as she sat down, her eyes whizzed around the place, as if she were waiting for something to blow.
Harriet raised her eyebrows.
'Humm?' Hermione looked up, breaking out of her fear. 'Oh, yes — I don't like trains. How are you?'
Harriet grinned, and instantly the two friends were discussing their holidays as if forgetting entirely that they had both attended a hearing, seen an invisible skeleton turn into a man, and learnt that they were both witches. To others, the conversation might have been considered a tennis match, (or maybe Quidditch) and it was only when the compartment door opened, that the two looked up.
A young boy, around their age, stood before them, his blonde hair sticking up in all directions. In his hands, he held an empty toad cage.
'Hi,' the boy said, wincing as if the very thought of interrupting the two girls was the worst thing ever. 'Can you help me find my toad? His names Trevor.'
For a short while Harriet stared at him, eyes narrowing, and then she smiled.
'Sure - you coming, Mione?'
Together, the two witches left the carriage, Mort following behind. The three (or four), started in the corridor, running up and down the aisle searching for a toad named Trevor. When it became apparent that no such toad was going to be found, they started on the compartments. Hermione and Neville and gone off to look together, leaving Harriet all on her own. Well, not all on her own. Mort followed her like a shadow, his head cocking as Harriet opened a compartment.
Three boys, all at least two years older, looked up. Two of them were identical, red-haired, brown-eyed and mischievous as hell. They were tall and stingy, like stretched pieces of rope, and their robes hung off their gangly frames. Sitting in between them sat a boy with a tranquil in his dreadlocked hair, the little creature crawling all over the black locks as if trying to find it's way out of a maze.
The twins laughter cut short as Harriet opened the door.
'Hi,' she breathed, smiling slightly, as the dark-skinned boy picked the tarantula off his head. 'Have you seen a toad? It's about the side of a small cauldron apparently?'
One of the twins shrugged and looked at his counterpart.
'You seen one, Gred?' he asked.
'Nope, Forge. Have you seen a toad, Lee?'
Harriet raised an eyebrow, a small smile on her lips.
'I'm Lee Jordan,' the one with the tarantula stated, ignoring the twins. 'This is Fred and George Weasely,'
He pointed at the twins, who scowled.
'I'm Fred,' the one-called-George cried, shaking his head and pointing at his twin. 'That's George!'
Lee closed his eyes.
'Sure thing, George,' he muttered. 'Sure thing.'
'I'm Harry,' Harriet said, choosing to break the silence. 'Anyway, thanks - I better go,'
Just as she was about to leave, however, a hand grabbed her. Turning to look behind, Harriet found herself face to face with the twin-called-Fred. He was studying her, eyes fixed directly on her forehead.
'You're Harriet Potter, aren't you.'
Harriet raised an eyebrow and folded her arms.
'Yes,' she said. 'I am, is this going to be a problem,'
'Of course not,' he said, sitting back down. 'Good luck finding your toad.'
Harriet raised an eyebrow and walked away. Eventually, Harriet made it back to her compartment. She spent the better half of the journey reading, and even when Hermione and Neville came back (without a toad mind you), she was engrossed. It wasn't until Mort tapped her head that she looked up. Hermione was pulling her robes out of a backpack, and Nevile was gone. Raising an eyebrow at the skeleton, Harriet opened the door for him, letting him out. After she was changed into her deep black robes, she let him back in. Hermione left her soon after that to buy something from the trolly witch, and Harriet went back to reading her book.
It was fantasy, about King Arthur, and his wizard, Merlin — although looking back on it, Harriet decided that it might not be fiction after all. Just as she was getting to the part where Arthur dies, his body lying on the ground, Mordred's sword in his side, Hermione came back.
'I got a chocolate frog,' she said, chucking one to Harriet. 'Looked interesting,'
Harriet inspected the cardboard shell, and after reading the label, poked it.
'Do you think it moves?' she asked as Hermione began to crack hers open. The girl shrugged.
'Only one way to find out,'
The frog did jump, if fact it jumped straight onto the floor, wriggled once, and then fell flat. Hermione sighed and picked it up.
'Well,' she said, biting into the frog's chocolate head, 'that was disappointing,'
Nodding, Harriet opened hers, and after trapping it in the box with her hand, bit the chocolate head off. She winced slightly as the legs wiggles, taking a split second longer to stop moving. Swallowing, she looked down at the box.
'Hey, look I've got a card,'
She picked it up, turning the shimmering portrait in her hand.
'I got Dumbledore,' Hermione said, frowning sticking it under Harriet's nose before she could see her own. 'Great!
Hermione by this point had taken back the card and was reading the back of it allowed.
'Albus Dumbledore, current Headmaster of Hogwarts. Considered by many the greatest wizard of modern times, Professor Dumbledore is particularly famous for his defeat of the dark wizard Grindelwald in 1945m for the discoverers of the twelve uses of dragon's blood and his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel. Professor Dumbledore enjoys chamber music and tenpin bowling,'
'Seriously? Tenpin bowling?' she muttered to herself, before looking at Harriet. 'Who'd you get?'
Harriet looked at her card.
The woman who stared up at her was thin and dressed in a long medieval peasant dress. It was a deep, browny red, which highlighted her tanned skin and jet black hair. Her eyes were a deep hazel, and a wicked smile danced across her lips. In her hand, she held a golden apple. Like Dumbledore she moved, winking at Harriet.
'Um, it says here I've got Ambrose Peverell,' Harriet replied, turning over the card. 'Ambrose Peverell, Runeologist. Recorded as the first person to crack Rune-Magic, Madam Peverell exceeded all expectations by inventing many of the runes we use today, including most of the runes used in Curse-Breaking and Wards. She was burned at the stake in the late thirteenth century aged ninety-six. Madam Ambrose enjoyed reading and potion making.'
'Well...' she muttered. 'That's... Grim.'
Harriet nodded, but her eyes narrowed as they fixed on Mort. He was sitting next to her, back straight and stiff, skeletal hands clenched into tight fists. He was fuming, and even without skin, looked ready to rip something to shreds. However, before Harriet could open her mouth, the train stopped.
Rising, Harriet stuffed the chocolate-frog card into her robe pocket and tied her hair into a ponytail. She smiled brightly at Hermione, and after a moment's hesitation, the two girls left the carriage. Mort followed behind, still fuming.
A massive giant of a man rose out of the students' his big beard covering half of his face. He seems friendly enough, and as Harriet walked down the platform, his voice rang out like a gong.
'Firs' years!' He bellowed. 'Firs' years over here!'
Harriet grabbed Hermione's arm.
'Who's that?' She breathed.
Hermione beamed suddenly grateful to sprout her never-ending knowledge.
'He's the gamekeeper, Hagrid. He took my parents and me to Diagon Alley. He's rather nice.'
She raised an arm.
The giant named Hagrid smiled at her, before looking at the rest of the students.
'C'mon, follow me — any more firs' years?' He asked. 'Mind yer step, now! Firs' years follow me!'
Sliding and plumbing, and with far too much robe tripping then were seemingly possible, Harriet and Hermione, (along with the rest of the First Years) followed. They soon caught up with Neville, who looked downright upset.
'Yeh'll get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec,' Hagrid cried, 'jus' round this bend here.'
There was collective gasp as the clearing broker, revealing a vast black loch and a gigantic white castle. It gleamed under the start, turrets rising impossibly high, and as Harriet stared, she smiled. So this was Hogwarts. Tonks was right: it was wicked.
'No more'n four to a boat!' Hagrid instructed, indicating to a small army of rowboats. Gingerly, Harriet, Hermione, Neville and some pompous prat by the name of Draco Malfoy saw down. Once Hagrid had checked that everyone was in, they set off — by themselves!
Harriet laughed, a wide grin on her lips as the boat moved across the lake, heading towards the castle. There were a few moments where they had to duck, and Hagrid shouted out when appropriate. Eventually, they came to the shore, and after patting her robe down, Harriet helped Hermione to her feet.
'Oy, you there!' Hagrid yelled. 'Is this your toad?'
Neveil moved as fast as a rocket. He scooped up Trevor with such a wild grin, Harriet wondered how he could have lost the damn thing. It was old — ancient!
'He's my dad's,' Neville explained as they claimed the steps to the school. 'I promised Nan I'd look after him,'
Smiling Harriet nodded, and then all of a sudden, they were in the school. She wasn't sure when the fierce woman with green eyes opened the door, but as soon as she did, Harriet felt guilty. She was bold, in a type of way that was only honed through years of teaching. She paused her lips, drawing her emerald green robe up around herself before fixing her eyes on Hagrid.
'Thank you, Hagrid.' She said, voice soft, but stern. 'I will take them from here."
She pulled the doors open further, and the students were soon climbing the steps. Marble and wood surrounded Harriet whenever she turned, and it was only when she banged into Neville that she realised they had stopped outside a grand set of doors.
'Welcome to Hogwarts,' said the witch. 'The start-of-term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your house will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your house, sleep in your house dormitory, and spend free time in your house common room.'
She paused, surveying the students.
'The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each house has its noble history, and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your house points, while any rule-breaking will lose house points. At the end of the year, the house with the most points is awarded the house cup, a great honour. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever house becomes yours. The Sorting Ceremony will take place in a few minutes in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting.'
Her eyes seemed to linger on Neville for a split second, before drawing on Harriet. For a single second, her eyes widened, similarity lining those hardened eyes before she turned back around, lips taut.
'I shall return when we are ready for you,' the witch informed, leaving the chamber. 'Please wait quietly.'
And they did, right up until the ghosts appeared. Everyone but Harriet screamed or made a noise, and as they mulled over them, talking among themselves, the witch turns to Mort. He seemed to have calmed down and was watching the ghosts with empty eyes. They passed him with ease, ignoring the skeleton and talking among themselves.
'Move along now,' a voice said, snapping Harriet out of her daze. 'The Sorting Ceremony's about to start. Now, form a line, and follow me.'
The witch had arrived again and was looking at Harriet with a raised eyebrow. Smiling lamely, Harriet fell into line behind Harriet and with bated breath, entered the hall.
It was grand and big and packed with children. Four long tables ran down the length of the hall, coated in strange coats of arms, and candles flew in the air. Plates and boletes made of gold ran along each surface, empty at the moment, and looking down on the students, both new and old, high up on a dais, was Albus Dumbledore.
He leaned forward in his chair as the students approached, and Harriet felt Mort's hands on her shoulders, as he guided her towards the front. Sitting on a stool, there was a hat. Harriet blinked. A hat? And then, the thing began to sing:
"Oh, you may not think I'm pretty,
But don't judge on what you see,
I'll eat myself if you can find
A smarter hat than me.
You can keep your bowlers black,
Your top hats sleek and tall,
For I'm the Hogwarts Sorting Hat
And I can cap them all.
There's nothing hidden in your head
The Sorting Hat can't see,
So try me on, and I will tell you
Where you ought to be.
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart;
You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil;
Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind;
Or perhaps in Slytherin
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means
To achieve their ends.
So put me on! Don't be afraid!
And don't get in a flap!
You're in safe hands (though I have none)
For I'm a Thinking Cap!'
As the hall burned in applause, Harriet stared at it, eyebrows raised. What the hell?
The green-robed witch walked to the top of the dais, picked up the hat and raised a long scroll of parchment.
'When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted,' she instructed, glancing at the parchment. 'Abbott, Hannah!"
A blonde haired girl walked up, tumbling on the steps and plotted down, cheeks blushing red. There was a pause, and then —
'HUFFLEPUFF!' shouted the hat, as the table decorated in the yellow emblems yelled.
'RAVENCLAW!' the hat yellowed, and people dressed in purple robes stood up, clapping and cheering as Terry sat down.
This continued for some time, going through the B's and the C's and all manner of surnames, and just as Harriet was beginning to feel twitchy, she heard Hermione's name being called. Smiling brightly, Harriet gently pushed Hermione forward.
With a deep breath, the black haired girl took a nervous step, her wild hair curling tighter with every step until her afro looked like it was about to explode. The hat was placed on her head.
She'd heard the stories from Tonks, how some Slytherins could be horrible if they wanted to, and with Hermione being a muggleborn, that might not be a good thing. Overseeing her friend, she smiled slightly as Hermione shook off the silence, and shocked looked. She plonked down next to a girl with silvery hair, head held high.
Harriet smiled: that was her girl.
The sorting carried on again, Neville ending up in Gryffindor. Draco Malfoy from the boat swaggered up to the steps, and had barely sat down when the hat yelled, "SLYTHERIN!" He grinned, and walked off, joining his friends.
There were hardly any people left now, just a few scattered between them. Lily Moon, Pansy Parkinson and Theodore Nott all went to Slytherin. Surprisingly twins were split up, Padma Patil ending up in Ravenclaw, while her sister Parvati went to Gryffindor. Sally-Anne went to Hufflepuff, and then, finally, it was Harriet.
As Harriet stepped forward, her breath held tightly in her breath, she looked up, to Mort, who was now sitting on top of the rafters. He nodded, and with a small smile, she nodded back.
'Potter, did she say?'
'The Harriet Potter?'
Then the Hat was covering her eyes, the ancient leather drowning her ears as the Hat thought; and then, before Harriet could ask it questions, before she could have even the slightest hint of a telepathic conversation, the Hat's voice yelled around the Great Hall, stunning everyone with its answer in a mocking cry filled with amusement and fire.
Death's invisible laugh ran around that candlelit room, his shoulders shaking as Dumbledore's face paled, the student's mutterings falling to deathly silence as they all stared. Death paused, catching an invisible breath; another descendant of Azrael D'Ark had entered the school's hallowed halls, and just like the robes of a certain half-blooded boy who had entered Hogwarts nearly fifty years ago, the robes of Harriet Euphemia Potter turned a deep, emerald green.
Death closed his eyes as the Headmaster took a nervous breath; Morgana help them all.
Thank you all so much for your patience, and those of you who were wondering, I have not been very well, both mentally and physically. I fell into a round of depression again after years of battling it, as work was crushing my soul and making me feel like shit. I have finished that job on the 25th, but I am now at uni and have been battling to get wifi, so I have no idea when I will next upload. But this story, I can promise, will continue.
Secondly, if you could all go to my profile, and look at the companion piece to this story. It is called 'Death's Friend' and is a story told from Clara's point of view, both before and after she became a vampire, and it is a story that I hope to continue.
But before I end, there is something I must address. While it has only been a few of you, I must remind you that Harriet is not Harry. She is different, both physically and mentally, and while their situations are similar, their personalities are not. As you have learnt, she is not a Gryffindor, and while right now she is naïve, this is mostly because she has not gone through the same things that will eventually define her. This story will be darker, will be twisted, and will stretch my moral compass beyond repair, so before I get another comment saying, "but in the books/films, Harry did this...", I will remind you for the last time, Harriet is not Harry Potter's carbon copy!
In the next chapter, I will be skipping forward a couple of years, just because I have never liked writing the first few years of Hogwarts. I will begin at the end of the Triwizard Tournament.
Chapter 13: Chapter Eleven: The Regret
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Morte, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
4th of September, 1991
Death looked over the Black Lake, the quiet lull slapping against the window doing little to calm his nerves. The crystals sat on the floor beside him, the ghostly image of the Fates rising out of the stones, their heterochromia eyes watching him. They'd talked of course, in a language long forgotten, that was mostly made up of Death's chattering teeth and their own drowning gasps, but still, the conversation had been there. They had wanted to talk, their command over the future firm in their grasp, and Death had listened, hating each word that came from their mouth.
They had said nothing of Harriet and instead had talked of someone else, someone he hadn't thought about in a long, long time. Although a distant memory, Death still remembered her, the smile that caressed her lips, the brown hair, and the fire which had burned her, her earth-splitting screams crushing his heart. She was his, and his alone, the golden light in his perpetual darkness. With her, he'd sired three children — sons who'd gone on to ruin the world.
The Fates liked to torment, remind him of the mortal he had loved, and the various paths that she could have had, the life she would have led if she had never set eyes on him. But now they were silent, watching mermaids and grindylows as if they were pets, mind churning as they changed, flickering between crone, woman and child, knitting basket on the ground between them. Dawn rose over the grounds, turning the murky black water, a shifting study green, the algae flickering in the current, that as the light slowly broke through, the girls woke.
Harriet was the first, her hair wild and untamed in that darkly lit stone dorm, that as she fumbled for her glasses, she thought she could see Mort sitting next to someone. She blinked, rubbed her eyes and put on her glasses. But the person was gone if they were ever there, to begin with, and instead, Mort sat by her crystals, the stones glowing with moonlight energy.
He sat in the bay window, skeletal finger tracing the fish that swam up towards him, head on the glass. He had wrapped a long black cloak around himself, probably to keen[p himself warm, (although why Harriet thought the skeleton would be cold, she had no idea), the edge torn and ragged as if someone had ripped it long ago. He fiddled with a long staff, the end cut short, and around his neck, and empty silver chain hung. She had never seen these things, never in all her years of knowing him, and as she sat up, intrigued, Mort turned.
Golden light glittered from behind eyeless sockets, his mindless mind a working cog in the cold morn. As soon as he saw her, the light died, and the cloak he wore disappeared, along with the staff and the chain. Suddenly he was a skeleton again, and Harriet wondered whether she had made the whole thing up.
She smiled at her friend, waving slightly, before reaching for her clothes, and changing. By the time Hermione rose from her bed, black hair poofing up around her like a halo, Harriet was changed and was heading for the bathrooms. When she returned, the girl who'd announced herself as Daphne was running along comb through her hair, whispering with Lily Moon, Pansy Parkinson and Millicent Bulstrode staring daggers at her as she talked. As soon as she returned, Daphne and Lily stopped their conversation, and all eyes settled on her. Harriet looked down, suddenly wondering if the ground would swallow her hole.
Her musings were interrupted by a delicate hand interrupting her thoughts. Glancing up, the hand connected to Daphne, her ocean-blue eyes watching Harriet with a slightly curious expression. She was beautiful, with honey hair, and soft skin, and yet, an ugly tattoo marred her shoulder, cutting through the princess-like-image. It was black, gaudy even, and yet, throbbed with power. It was a pearl, a pearl surrounded by a two-headed snake, otherwise known as the Greengrass Crest. She was a member of the Sacred Twenty-Eight.
Harriet took her hand.
'Harriet Potter,' Harriet greeted, having picked at least something up from Andromeda's lessons. She cocked her head, lifting her hair to reveal the mark which had revealed itself days ago. It was huge, spanning the length and width of Harriet's bony neck like a glove, wrapping around her throat, that if it weren't for the high-necked blouses she'd chosen to wear, then it would be revealed to the whole world.
The main centrepiece was a large stag; it's horns large and magnificent, the Potter crest adorning the side of her neck. A basilisk, Slytherin's familial crest, rested calmly on top of the creature's head, staring out at Daphne with thin eyes. Decorating the sides, a Thestral, the symbol of Moore reared its head, and on the right a tree bearing golden apples the Peverell's guarded her voice box. However, it was the D'Art symbol, a skull, decorated the area in-between her neck and collarbone, which made Daphne's eyes raise.
'So,' she said, nodding once. 'You are a D'Ark.'
A wicked smile suddenly rose to Daphne's lips, and her eyes sparkled.
'Honour to your house, Necromancer.'
Even though it had been a couple of days since their sorting, none of the girls, except for Hermione, had dared to introduce themselves, let alone look at Harriet. They all judged her, as much as they ruled each other, and as such, from her bed, Pansy chocked, eyes widening as she stared.
Harriet smiled, taking a step back — an alliance had been formed.
'You can't do that,' Pansy said, rising, 'she's a half-blood — a half-blood!'
But Daphne ignored her, turning back to Lily, who'd eyes were wide. It was Hermione who eventually drew Harriet's away. She had scraped her hair into a ponytail and was looking vaguely pale.
'Come on,' Hermione said, taking Harriet's hand 'let's go to breakfast.'
Mort followed behind them, watching their backs as if waiting for Pansy to hex them. But nothing happened, or rather, nothing extraordinary. As soon as Harriet and Hermione walked into the Great Hall, they were met with familiar stares; stares and muttering.
'Next to the girl with the afro!'
'Wearing the glasses?'
'Did you see her face?'
'How is she a Slytherin?'
'Did you see her scar?'
The whispering continued right through breakfast, carrying up the stairs and spinning around the school grounds like they were on fire. Portraits knew by the time she and Hermione left the Great Hall, that by the time the two girls walked into the potions department, the-supposed-girl-who-lived was furious. Some gave her judging looks, especially those from her own house, as if she were breaking some code of conduct — it's not like she wanted her parents to be murdered.
So far, Harriet liked Hogwarts. She found the portraits rather rude — especially the one who had started screaming at her about someone named Prongs. Some staircases moved much to Mort's amusement and Hermione's fear. The ghosts were intriguing, although Harriet tended to stay away, as they liked to swarm, and Peeves the Poltergeist was down right irritable. There was Argus Filch, the Caretaker, and his demon cat, along with numerous house-elves who occasionally popped, and de-popped out of existence.
Classes were by far Harriet's most enjoyable part.
Her first few lessons were in Herbology, where she'd accidentally caused a scene. Three times a week, the First Years met in the greenhouses and were taught by Professor Sprout. A lovely witch, with a kind manner, had quickly frowned when most of the plants around Harriet all withered up and died. She'd muttered something about being her father's child, and instead instructed her to look over some books. Then there was Professor Binns, who, while very much dead, told the most enthralling fo tales. While to some, the old man was droning on and on about absolutely nothing, speaking only drivel, Hermione and Harriet soaked up the history like sponges. However by far, the most interesting of all was Transfiguration.
Professor McGonagall started off her class by giving them a talking-to, her cleverness and intelligence coming through with every word.
'Transfiguration,' she had said, watching them with a thin gaze, 'is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts. Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned.'
And then, without warning, she transformed her desk into a pig.
Quirrell was to say, odd. While it was clear he knew his Dark Arts; he wasn't the best at the Defence side of things. His room was stuffed to the brim with garlic to ward off a vampire from Romania (Harriet suddenly wondered if it was her great-aunt whom he was afraid of), and his turban was supposedly from an African Prince. Not that anyone believed him.
The lesson, however, that Harriet hadn't had was potions, and so, as she and Hermione left the Great Hall, she wondered why Professor Snape hated her. It was rather strange to find one's Head of House utterly hating one's guts. Daphne had told her to ignore it, Hermione had said to see his good side, and Mort had glared. Oh, how Mort had glared — to the point where Harriet assumed his head would pop right off.
Professor Snape was a man whom not even a mother could love and was vile. With his dark hair, black eyes, hooked nose, and long robes, it was no wonder that everyone named him the 'Bat of the Dungeons.' He sat on his desk, scroll in hand, his eyes skimming over names, and placing a small tick beside their name when a student called back. Behind his head, watching them, were a series of off, picked things, that made Harriet's stomach squirm.
When he finally came to Harriet's name he paused, and then looked up. For a flicker of a second, the witch noticed something flickering behind the man's never-ending eyes, before he glanced back down, striking a firm tick next to her name. Once he was done, he leaned back on his desk, surveying them with a solum glumness that could only stem from hatred.
'You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making,' he breathed, so quiet, and yet somehow everyone could hear. 'As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses… I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death – if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach.'
His speech was met with cold, terrified silence, and from the corner of her eye, Harriet spotted a redhead boy share a look with Neville. She, on the other hand, grinned along with Mort. Oh, this was going to be fun. The skeleton in question sat behind her, cross-legged on the floor, an invisible barrier between Harriet and the table behind her.
'Potter!' said Professor Snape, founding on Harriet. He must have caught her smile. 'What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?'
She frowned, dry quill tapping against the page. What had he just said? No, it couldn't be… A few seats away she heard Draco laugh. Hermione stuck her hand up.
'The Draft of Living Death,' Harriet answered stilling Malfoy's instant cackling. 'A deadly sleeping potion.'
Professor Snape ever so slightly cocked his head, black eyes eerily thin. To her right, Hermione's hand was waving around like a flag.
'Where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?' He asked again, crossing his arms, pulling his weight from the desk. As he moved, Harriet was suddenly struck by how young he was — too young.
'If you wanted one right now, I'd look on Madam Pomfrey's shelves in the Hospital Wing,' Harriet implied. 'But if you wish to obtain it from the natural source well then you would look inside the stomach of a goat.'
She grinned, a memory suddenly dawning. Hermione began waving her hand more wildly.
'Or, if you were archaeologically minded, then you would dig one up — they are extinct after all.'
Professor Snape hummed, his eyes settling on Hermione. He took in her green robes and frowned.
'What is the difference, Potter, between monkshood and wolfsbane?'
'Neither,' Harriet said, leaning forward, resting her chin on her hand in a lazy tone as Hermione stood up. 'They're the same plant; it also goes by Aconite,'
'Smart-ass,' a voice hissed, and Harriet turned, eyes settling on the redhead. He was lanky, freaky and glaring daggers. She smiled mockingly.
'Miss Granger, sit down,' Professor Snape said, drawing Harriet back around as her friend slumped. 'Mr Weasley, twelve points from Gryffindor.'
He turned back to his desk, sitting down in the chair, eyes flickering between them. He scowled, eyebrows furrowing.
'Well. Why aren't you all copying everything down?'
Harriet grinned, as there was suddenly a mad scrabble for quills, and parchment. There was the opening of ink-wells, and over the noise, Professor Snape began to put them into pairs. Hermione went with a girl named Lavender, Mr Weasley when with another Gryffindor, and Harriet ended up, by chance, by herself. That, she decided was perfectly acceptable.
The rest of the lesson carried on smoothly, and apart from Professor Snape walking between the rows, inspecting each student like a rat, Harriet was able t complete her potion. True, it wasn't as perfect as Hermione's, but it was adequate. Near the end of the lesson, however, Neville somehow managed to burn a large hole through his cauldron.
Idiot boy!' hissed Professor Snape, snatching up Neville's arm before the potion could burn through his skin. With a wave of the Professor's wand, the potion disappeared. 'I suppose you added the porcupine quills before taking the cauldron off the fire?'
Neville shrank back, trying to pull his arm away as boils began to form and pop over his nose. Professor Snape sighed, closing his eyes before looking at Neville's companion.
'Take him up to the hospital wing,' he said, glaring.
It was as Neville was led away by his friend that Death looked over his friend's shoulder. He rested his skull on her neck, peering down at her parchment with a curious expression. But it wasn't the potions that intrigued him, for he understood the component way before Hogwarts was created, but instead, he was looking down at the small note that Harriet had taken at the beginning of the lesson. If he had eyebrows, Death knew he would have raised them.
Root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood.
And then underneath that, underlined in black ink were the words:
I bitterly regret Lily's death.
Death looked up at Professor Snape, watching the man with empty eyes; so it was him.
Ok, so you know how I said I'd write this chapter from the end of the Triwizard Tournament? Yeah, I lied and changed my mind, so yeah, turns out I'll be writing this tournament will be later. I will be writing through ALL the years.
I don't know about anyone else, but I've always hated the beginning of chapter eight in the book, the whispering always made my teeth on edge. Maybe it's because I hate attention.
I apologise for taking so long. Last time I updated this, it was — let me check — oh Christ, the 25th of November 2018. Sorry, I think it's safe to say that Christmas wiped me out. Anyway, hopefully, I'll be able to write this without going mad. Wish me luck.
I have written a timetable, but I might not be able to stick to it all the time, as I'm still at uni, so yeah, that'll do it. As ever, I'm utterly gobsmacked at how many of you are reading this story — like really shocked.
Also sorry for how short this chapter is - I had writer's block and assignments up to my eyeballs.
Desolate_noir: Thank you so much!
AgitatedDog: Thank you so much. And yeah, those 13 have now moved up to 17. I think I'm trying to kill myself. Technically it's 19 if I could my own books. And yeah, managing them is gone now. I'm just uploading when I'm motivated. I'm trying to figure out a timetable but every time I do so, I die. Uhhhhh.
Bookdragonslayer: Thank you so much, and yeah, I wanted her to have a different wand. She's a femHarry, but not his carbon copy.
Hope to see you soon, the timetable is up on my profile.
Chapter 14: Chapter Twelve: The Duel
Disclaimer: I only own Death, Morte, Harriet Potter, and any other characters that are not created by J. K. Rowling. Everything belongs to J. K. Rowling. Enjoy.
12th of September, 1991
Death never liked newspapers. In his day, there would be spies running around the city, or slaves running all over the place, words on their lips, and hundreds of years later, Death missed it. He missed the waiting, the bated breath, as words waited on lips, and the news would spread slowly. Now, it was everywhere, and by lunchtime, everyone knew that someone had broken into Gringotts.
The paper was wrapped up in Harriet’s fish and chips, open in front of him, and as the witch, Harriet tucked into her lunch, a cup of steaming tea next to that, Mort read the extract. It was published a few months earlier, and it had somehow ended up being wrapped around Harriet’s haddock. Death noted that the witch hadn’t seen the scrap of paper yet, so he took her hand, squeezing it tight.
Harriet looked up, frowning.
‘What is it, Mort?’ she hissed under her breath, and across the table, Hermione looked up from her book. Mort pointed at the piece of newspaper.
GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST
Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringotts on 15 August,
widely believed to be the work of Dark wizards or witches unknown.
Gringotts goblins today insisted that nothing had been taken.
The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied the same day.
"But we're not telling you what was in there, so keep your noses out if you know what's good for you,"
said a Gringotts spokesgoblin this afternoon.
Harriet chocked on her fish, gasping as she hunched over, placing a napkin to her mouth. She spat, catching the half-chewed fish, and looked up at Mort. Hermione handed her a cup of water.
‘What’s wrong?’ Hermione asked as she leaned over her Shepard’s Pie.
Her eyes widened when she saw the newspaper.
‘Christ — didn’t you go to Gringotts that day,’
‘Yeah, I did, but I didn’t steal anything,’
‘It’s probably a coincidence,’ Hermione said, scooping up a mouthful of mash and mince.
Harriet scowled and sipped at her tea.
‘There’s no such thing as coincidences,’ she muttered.
By Thursday, Harriet was readily choosing her weapons — which consisted of Mort, her wand, and a butter knife she’d once stolen from the Dursley’s — and every single way that she could possibly murder Draco Malfoy without ever being caught. So far, he’d taken her food, — not even Hermione, stole Harriet’s food — tripped her over with various spells, talked not stop about being the best flyer in human history, and cackled when he deliberately jinks-ed Tonks’ owl to crash into the table.
Oh yes, Harriet Euphemia Potter was out for blood.
Draco Malfoy was the Heir to Malfoy Industries, and his father was so high up in the Ministry, that even the Minister bowed down. However, according to Andromeda, and a book Harriet had picked up in the Tonkses library, “Bloodlines for the Purest,” she’d been even more disgusted to learn that the blond-haired brat was distantly related to her.
“We’re all related, being Members of the Sacred Twenty-Eight and all,” Daphne said one morning, as she brushed her silky hair. “I feel sorry for my sister. Astoria’s been betrothed to him since she was five.’
She’d turned around to face her friend, a worried look on her lips when Harriet had made her protests.
“You’re on that list too,” Daphne said, blinking. “We all are,”
Unfortunately, Daphne couldn’t remember who Harriet was betrothed too, only that she was engaged to Blaise Zabini. “Bloodlines for the Purest” didn't tell Harriet anything about Betrothals, other than they were usually made between families or bloodlines when children were very young. She wasn’t allowed in the restricted section, where all the books on bloodlines seemed to be, and so she’d carried on, determined to get a hold of a book at Christmas in Knockturn Alley.
However, the one book she did find was her Grandmother’s Grimoire. After researching for potions in the library, Harriet had come across a book tucked deep in between several pages. It was around the size of her right arm, thick and oh so deadly. It had tried to bite her arm off the first time she’d touched it, and it wasn’t until a drop of her blood landed on the cover did it stop attacking. Harriet’s fear had melted away when she opened the book and found someone had penned a name in spindly handwriting on the inside cover.
EUPHEMIA GERTRUDE YAXLEY
And then in brackets:
IF THIS IS CORBAN OR LYSANDRA, FUCK OFF YOU BLOODY TWATS, OR I’LL CURSE YOU BOTH INTO NEXT WEEK.
Harriet had no idea who Corban or Lysandra were, however, she knew exactly who the book belonged to. Euphemia Yaxley, dullest, and wife to Fleamont Potter: In other words, her grandmother. She’d read the book from cover to cover, learnt that her grandmother was, a Ravenclaw, albeit a deadly one, and the best dullest Britain had ever had. A few days after discovering the book, a notice had been put up in the common room earlier in the week, proclaiming that Slytherins and Gryffindors would have flying lessons together on the twelfth. It was now Thursday, and Harriet was sharpening her mind. Draco Malfoy, if it were possible, was worse then Dudley Dursley.
The two houses converged on the grounds, the Slytherins arriving early, so that by the time the Gryffindors slowly wondered down, Harriet, and Hermione had two of the best booms. Draco glared at them, as Madam Hooch, arrived, her hawk-like eyes never leaving the children’s faces, and she surveyed them with equal annoyance. She sighed, pulled a face, and clapped her hands together.
‘Well, what are you all waiting for?’ she snapped, making everyone jump. ‘Everyone stand by a broomstick. Come on, hurry up.’
Harriet looked down at her broom as everyone else rushed to find a good one. It wasn’t nearly as good as Tonks’ purply Comet 260 or Bill’s fancy Egyptian one with gold trim.
‘Stick out your right hand over your broom,’ Madam Hooch instructed, standing next to her own, more luxurious broom, ‘and say “UP!”’
Everyone did so, and a second later, Harriet’s broom leapt up to her hand. Hermione’s was rolling around the place, and Neville’s was refusing to move at all. Hermione’s scowl deemed, and she shouted ”UP” again, and this time, it rose aggressively. Daphne wasn’t having much luck either, and in the end, she huffed, and picked it up, glaring at anyone who said otherwise. Harriet knew that if anyone said anything, they'd have a rather well aimed, and nasty curse thrown at them several months later. From what she could tell, Daphne liked to wait, and study her opponent before striking.
When everyone had their brooms, Madam Hooch taught everyone how to get on the broom. According to Hermione, until the late nineteenth century, witches were instructed to sit on brooms sideways, like a horse, until a rather well to do pureblood, and member of the Sacred Twenty-Eight fell off and died. The Wizengamot hadn’t been too pleased after that, and the law changed.
‘Now, when I blow my whistle,’ Madam Hooch instructed, looking sharply at everyone around her, ‘you kick off from the ground, hard. Keep your brooms steady, rise a few feet, and then come straight back down by leaning forward slightly.’
She lifted the whistle to her lips.
‘On my whistle — three — two — '
Even before the whistle could touch Madam Hooch’s lips, Neville was off the ground. Hermione swore under her breath, and reached up, catching his robe, but it tore. She swore again, as the Longbottom Heir rose into the air. Almost immediately, Madam Hooch’s eyes widened.
‘Come back, boy!’ she yelled, but it was too late.
Neville rose into the sky, broom speeding a hundred million miles an hour so that she barely caught his bone-white face. However, Mort saw. Quickly, and much to Harriet’s surprise, the skeleton, lifted her arm, the wand sliding from her holster, and landing in her left hand. A bright blue sleep exploded from the tip, catching Neville in a silvery white bubble. The boy fell, caught in the protective net, eyes closed. He blinked, hard, as if not quite believing what was happening, and sat up.
The bubble popped, and he smashed on the ground.
Hermione winces, rushing over to Neville’s side, as he sat, doubled over, clutching his arm. However, she was pushed away as Madam Hooch appeared by his side.
‘Ah,’ the witch said, tutting to herself, as helped Neville to her feet. ‘A sprained wrist,’
She turned to the rest of the class, fixing her eyes on Harriet.
‘None of you is to move while I take this boy to the hospital wing! You leave those brooms where they are, or you'll be out of Hogwarts before you can say “Quidditch.” Come on, dear,’ as they moved away, Neville cheeks streaming with hot tears, Madam Hooch paused in front of Harriet. “Good thinking, Potter. Euphemia would have been proud.'
She walked away, arm around Neville. Harriet turned to glare at Mort, who was suddenly studying a section of Wild-Flowers, with curious interest.
‘Bloody skeleton,’ she muttered to herself, as Hermione came over to her side. ‘Can’t stay still — ’
She was interrupted by Malfoy, who was learning over the place where Neville fell.
‘Did you see his face, the great lump?’
A few other Slytherins, particularly Pansy Parkinson, laughed.
‘Shut up, Malfoy,’ snapped Parvati Patil, eyes flaming as she took a step forward.
‘Ooh, sticking up for Longbottom?’ Pansy leered, snickering as she gasped in fake horror. ‘Never thought you'd like fat little crybabies, Parvati.’
‘Look!’ Malfoy said, and a second later he was picking up a glass ball, the sun catching it, and spiralling a thousand rainbows in the midday sun. ‘It's that stupid thing Longbottom's gran sent him.’
Daphne raised an eyebrow and snatched it from Draco’s unsuspecting hand.
‘Well considering that it was your grandfather, Cygnus Black who invented Remembrall’s to help your Aunt find her socks, I’d say otherwise,’ she turned, smiling. ‘What would your mother say?’
Malfoy snatched it back, red-faced.
‘Shut it, Greengrass,’ he hissed, teeth clenched.
He turned back to his audience, a small smile on his lips.
‘I think I'll leave it somewhere for Longbottom to find — how about — up a tree?’
Before he could even take a step, however, the Remembrall vanished from his hand. It zoomed across the field, landing in Harriet’s palm, her face stony. Malfoy turned around, wand extended.
‘Give it here, Potter,’ he snapped, as she looked it over, catching the Longbottom Seal.
Harriet’s eyes widened. This wasn’t just a gift; it was a family heirloom. If read wrong, Draco Malfoy’s act of stealing might be considered an act of war. Carefully she tucked it into her pocket. She was sure Narcissa Malfoy wouldn’t like to fight Augusta Longbottom, no matter how powerful she was rumoured to be.
‘Thank you,’ Harriet said, grinning slightly.
She turned, to walk up the hill to the Hospice Wing, but before she could, she caught Mort’s expression. Even though he was a skeleton, Harriet had learnt over the years to read his "watch-out" expression from the number of times Vernon had hit her with something. As such, she spun around so fact, enacting a shield with a flick of her wand, that Malfoy’s spell exploded. The burnt spell sparked, smouldering to dust and even before Malfoy could enact his shield, Harriet’s instincts kicked in, and she was duelling.
Spell after spell, deadly curse after deadly curse, and every jinks she found in her Grandmother Euphemia’s grimoire erupted. Her blood was boiling, and it wasn’t because Malfoy had taken Neville’s Remembrall. Something darker, older, burned in her mouth, a feeling of anger that certainly didn’t belong to Harriet Potter. Malfoy tried his best, but with Euphemia's spells on her lips, he was no match against Harriet. He was lying on his back, shield flickering dangerously, as students took cover, by the time Professor Tothyll appeared at the top of the hill. Harriet's throat burned as if someone was crawling up it. This wasn’t her, Harriet realised, this wasn’t her magic.
Mort, who had only just managed to break his way through the students, wrapped his arms around Harriet’s middle, as the chaos died. Harriet jumped, turning to look at the Professor as she matched over to her. Black hair fell in front of the Duellist Professors' face, grey eyes burning, as she shook her head.
‘Never, — not since, — for the Goddess’ Sake, — ' she broke herself off, speechless, as her hands shaking furiously, ‘— how dare you, — you might have died, — or killed, — '
She threw up her hands, exasperated.
‘It wasn't her fault, Professor, she was just, — ’
‘Be quiet, Miss Patil, — '
‘But Malfoy, — '
‘That's enough, Miss Granger. Potter, follow me now.'
Harriet swallowed hard. This was it; she was going to be expelled. Mort followed slowly behind her, holding her hand tightly as the two followed Professor Tothyll, struggling to keep up with her fast stride. As she passed Crabbe and Goyle, a flash of guilt rose in her stomach, when she noticed that Draco’s face was bruised and red. Ah yes, she had probably started a war.
Professor Tothyll was the current Duelling Professor, and although there had been some controversy when the ex-Unspeakable had arrived seven years previously, encouraging or maybe forcing, Dumbledore to restart a club. She was said to have demanded that a Duelling Club would, “burn off all the testosterone and bitching,” And it worked, from the third year upwards, there was less duelling in the halls, and Hogwarts was doing well in the Inter-School dulling compositions. But now Harriet, who had been looking forward to taking the elective, was terrified of the Professor. Professor Tothyll was young, long-nosed, olive-skinned, dark-haired, tall and robust, with horrific burns that ran across her face, and seemed to constantly live in dark purple robes; the colours of an Unspeakable.
As they entered the castle, Professor Tothyll’s pace increased, her head held high, and she wasn’t looking at Harriet. They marched up a marble staircase and stopped outside a classroom. Professor Tothyll gave Harriet a look, told her to wait, and opened the door. Twenty-seven older teenagers turned to look at the Dulling Professor; the witch looked back at the class with a thin line.
‘Excuse me, Professor Flitwick, could I borrow Knox for a moment?"
Knox? Harriet thought, eyes widening, was that some strange name for a cane?
Thankfully, Knox was not a cane, in fact, Knox turned out to be a fifth-boy, who slowly came out of Charms, a look of bewilderment on his face. He wore a Slytherin badge on his robe, hair pulled back, and was dressed in fine clothes. A Pureblood then. However, it was his arms and the ugly burns and muscles that made Harriet take a step back. Was he going to beat her? Surely not.
‘Follow me, you two,’ Professor Tothyll said, marching on.
Knox and Harriet shared a curious glance but followed. Opening an empty classroom, Professor McGonagall ushered the two inside.
The room was empty, except of course for Peeves, who as soon as he saw Mort, paled.
‘Out, Peeves!’ Tothyll barked, and the Poltergeist left, the door slamming behind him.
The Duelling Professor turned to look at Harriet and Knox.
‘Potter, this is Morgan Knox. Knox — I've found you a dueller. "
Knox's eyebrows rose, but his expression was mostly neutral.
‘Are you serious, Professor?’ he asked, giving Harriet a look. ‘Is she, well, good?’
‘Absolutely,’ Tothyll said sharply. ‘The girl's a natural. The only other person I've seen who was that powerful at her age was William Weasley. Was that your first time in a duel, Potter?’
Harriet blinked, mouth opening.
What the hell was going on?
Where was her expulsion?
‘Uh, sort of,’ she said, looking back and forth between Tothyll and Knox. ‘Tonks and Ted sort of taught me the basics. The rest, well I just... Read it in a book,’
‘In a book?’ Knox asked, eyebrows raised. ‘Which book,’
Harriet fell silent, looking between the two again. Could she trust them?
‘Euphemia Yaxley’s Grimoire,’
Knox’s mouth fell open.
‘You mean the Euphemia Yaxley?’ he breathed, voice quiet. ‘Four times champion of the Inter-Wizarding-School Duelling Competition and Head of the All-England Wizarding Duelling Competition?’
He looked like he was about to fly away.
‘She had Draco Malfoy flat on his back after he shot a spell at her back,’ Professor Tothyll explained, ignoring Knox’s expression. ‘Didn't even flinch. William Weasley couldn't have done it.’
Knox swelled and looked at Harriet carefully, taking in her features, most likely connecting her appearance to Euphemia’s. His jaw clenched, and then he asked sincerely.
‘Have you ever watched a duel, Potter?’
Harriet shook her head.
‘Knox’s captain of the Slytherin Duelling Team," Professor Tothyll said as Harriet’s head began to spin.
‘She’s small enough for a dueller,’ Knox said, walking around Harriet, inspecting her. ‘Light — speedy — quick — have you got a decent wand?’
He picked up her arm, inspecting the wand that was still in her grip.
‘She’ll have to get a second wand and two holsters,’ he continued, as Harriet watched him like a hawk, ‘and we’ll have to get her some decent robes, Professor — dragon hide, or maybe troll skin, I'd say.’
‘Yes, I think that appropriate, I shall have to speak with Professor Dumbledore. Even if I had to bend his arm, I will ask him to drop the third year rule. I’ve been trying to get him to do it for years. Goddess knows we need a better team than last year. We were almost destroyed by Ilvermorny,’
She shook her head and looked at Harriet with a hard expression.
‘You better train hard, Potter or I will change my mind, and you will be off the Hogwarts team before you can speak. Do you understand?;’
And then she suddenly clapped Harriet on the back.
‘Your grandmother and great-grandfather would have been proud,’ she said. ‘Henry and Euphemia Potter were fantastic duellers. From what I can remember, Henry even threatened to blow Archer Evermonde up if he didn’t allow them to fight in the First World War,’
She huffed, as Harriet’s eyebrows raised.
Tothyll smiled thinly.
‘Yes, well... Knox, why don’t you explain the rules of duelling to Potter, I must go and catch Malfoy and explain your side of the story,’ she sighed. ‘I do not need another Pureblood War - Goddess knows we’ve had enough,’
She strode away before Harriet could breathe. Knox smiled.
‘Don’t worry,’ he said, sitting on a bench Harriet had sat down on the second Professor Tothyll walked away. ‘Old Tothyll isn’t as sharp as she likes to pretend,’
He held out his hand.
Harriet took his hand, shaking it firmly, feeling the muscles bend in Morgan’s hand.
‘Oh, that I know,’
Death sat down next to Harriet, as Morgan began to explain the details of the Inter-Wizarding-School Duelling Competition; so this is what Ambrose's legacy was going to be. Death nodded; that wasn’t so bad.
So yes, sorry for taking so long. Please don’t kill me for Harriet not being a Quidditch Player, I’ve just never thought she’d ever be a Seeker. She’s not Harry so yeah, however, that doesn’t mean she hates Quidditch.
Anyway, onto the reviews part:
raven91596: Thank you so much for your lovely review! It made my day and made me smile. I love Mort too, and don't worry, he'll start teaching her things soon.
braelynnxmarie: So here's your new update! Wooh! Yes, the tattoos are important and affect things in ways that you will alter find out. And yes, the Fates did have a helping hand in the card. Harriet is yet to find out why.