Severus Snape sneered as he walked down Privet Drive, towards number four. Albus Dumbledore had asked him to check on Hailey Potter to make sure that she was okay after witnessing the Dark Lord’s return a month ago, and had manipulated him into agreeing. Or so the old man thought. He stopped outside of the house and sneered more, the perfect front garden with it’s perfect flowers was the same as all of the others in the street. There’s wasn’t a car in the drive way, but he knew someone was home because one of the upstairs lights were on, with it being night time and all.
He walked down the path to the front door. As he did he started hearing things from inside the house. Some noises sounded like whimpers, and there was a man shouting obscenities as well.
He unlocked the door quickly with a simple, quiet ‘alohomora’ and entered, the shouting and whimpering becoming more clear as he did so. He rushed silently up the stairs and stopped outside the door with all the locks on, which was where the sounds were coming from.
He silently opened the door and stood staring in shock at the sight in front of him.
“HOW DID YOU LOSE ME MY JOB, FREAK? TELL ME!” The walrus of a man yelled as he pounded into his almost silently crying niece.
“I didn’t do a-anything, u-uncle. I-I-I promise.” The girl whimpered.
“DON’T LIE TO ME, YOU USELESS LITTLE WHORE!” The man screamed as he slapped her face, hard, pounding into her even harder.
Severus pulled his wand out of its holster and stunned the man, causing him to fall to the floor next to the small bed that his shivering niece was on.
The girl looked shocked and stared at him in the doorway, moving fast so that she could cover herself with the thin blanket on the bed, but he saw the bruises and welts on her body, and how thin she was, he could have counted all of her ribs if he had tried to. She was still crying and shivering on the bed, he approached her, slowly so as not to scare her.
“Hailey, it’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you. I promise.” He said gently.
“Professor, what are you d-doing here?” She muttered.
“Professor Dumbledore asked me to come and check on you, to see how you were coping with what happened last year. Where are all of your things? I’ll get you out of here.”
“In the cupboard under the stairs.” She whispered.
“Okay, get dressed and I’ll be back in a few minutes.” The girl nodded and Severus left the room, levitating the walrus of a man out of the room and dropping him roughly onto the floor.
When Severus unlocked and opened the door to the cupboard he was even more shocked. There was a small drawing on the wall that read ‘Hailey’s room’, the girls’ trunk and broom were piled on top of a thin mattress that was filthy, covered in dirt, dust and blood. The walls were plattered with blood, sick, and other bodily fluids as well. There were small, broken toys on the shelves, although not many. And more spiders than he wanted to count.
He shook his head, grabbing the trunk and broomstick, shrinking them and placing them in his pocket, he shut and locked the door again, making sure that only himself or an Auror could open it. He went back upstairs and knocked on the closed door to Hailey’s room.
“C-come in.” The girl said only just loud enough so he could hear it.
He opened the door to find the girl sitting on the bed, fully dressed in oversized clothes (jeans and a long-sleeved top which were both obviously hand-me-downs), cross-legged, still crying and shivering, her arms wrapped around her stomach. He walked over to the cage where her owl was, also skinnier than is probably healthy, and paler as well. He unlocked the cage with ‘alohomora’ and the owl flew over to the girl on the bed, perching on a thin leg and pecking the girls small, pale hand gently, causing the girl to smile sadly through her tears.
“Hedwig, go to Prince Manor, we’ll be there when you get there.” Severus told the bird, opening the window for it to leave.
The bird hooted and pecked the girls’ hand one more time before flying out the window. Severus walked carefully over to Hailey, not wanting to scare her.
“Hailey, I’ll take you to Prince Manor, okay? I’ll heal you when we get there.” He said gently.
“Does anyone know where it is?” She asked quietly.
“No. No one even knows I own it.” He replied.
“Would you rather go by apparation or portkey?”
“A-apparation, p-please.” She stuttered.
“Okay, you’re going to have to hold onto me tightly okay. It’s going to be uncomfortable and you may be sick when we get there. But don’t worry, that happens after most people’s first time apparating.” He explained.
The girl nodded and held onto Severus’ arm tightly, with both hands. He helped her stand on her shaky legs and warned her that he was going to apparate them before he did so.
When they arrived in the entrance hall of Prince Manor Hailey fell to the floor and threw up the little amount of food in her stomach. Severus knelt next to her and rubbed her back as she puked, he held her long, black hair away from her face as well.
When she was done he banished the sick on the floor and conjured a handkerchief, wiping the sick off her both gently. She then clung to him, crying, and he gently wrapped his arms around her slender body, being mindful of the wounds she bore.
Little did anyone know that the two of them didn’t hate each other. They just pretended that they did. Or, they stopped hating each other five days after Halloween the previous year. It was early in the morning of Saturday the 5th of November 1994 and Severus found a sobbing Hailey in one of the abandoned classrooms in the dungeons of Hogwarts.
Severus was stalking throught the dungeons on a cold Saturday morning when he heard what sounded like a young girl sobbing in one of the unused classrooms. He glared at the closed door to the room before opening it to find what looked to be Hailey Potter, sitting curled up in the corner of the room, her knees pulled up to her chest and her arms wrapped around them, sobbing brokenly. He closed the door behind him and stalked over to her.
“Miss Potter, can you please explain why you are in the dungeons, crying, at six o’clock in the morning on a Saturday when most children your age are in their beds, sleeping?” He asked, trying to remain stern, but when she looked up at him with her sad green eyes, Lily’s eyes, he couldn’t help but break a little, his glare lessening and his eyes softening a little bit.
“Sorry sir, I didn’t realise what time it was. I’ll go back to my dorm now.” She said, wiping her eyes with her sleeves and standing, heading to the door.
“You aren’t going anywhere, Miss Potter. You are going to stay here and tell me what has you so upset.” She looked at him, shocked. “What? Do you think me so heartless as to not care when one of my students are obviously going through some difficulties? Contrary to popular belief, I do care about my students, which is why I am so harsh in lessons, because potions can be very dangerous, and someone could be injured or killed if something were to go wrong. So, we are going to sit down, and you are going to tell me what is bothering you, and who knows, maybe I can help.” Severus explained.
The girl nodded and sat at one of the desks in the back of the room, Severus sat at the desk in front of her, turning the chair around so he could face her.
“So, why were you crying, Miss Potter?” He asked gently.
“For a lot of reasons, sir. It might take a while.” She said, looking at her hands which were clenched tightly together on the desk in between them.
“Thankfully breakfast isn’t served until eight on a Saturday, so we have time.”
“Could you just… Could you just use Legilimency on me, sir? I don’t want to talk about it just yet.”
Now it was Severus’ turn to look shocked.
“How do you know about Legilimency?” He asked.
“I read, a lot, about everything.”
“Then how do you only get average grades in all of your classes, with the exception of Defence?”
“I pretend that I’m not as clever as I actually am. I do this by dumbing down my essays, not answering questions in class, and not getting the spells or potions correct straight away. I did actually know the answers to the questions you asked me in our first class, I just didn’t want to answer because Hermione obviously knew as well, and I didn’t want to seem too clever. I also understood your hidden meaning in the first question, by the way, that you bitterly regret Lily’s death. I studied Victorian Flower Language in Primary School.”
“Why would you not do your best in school?”
“Because it’s what I’ve always done. If I did better than my cousin at Primary School I would get punished, so I dumbed myself down and read everything I could during break time and lunch time. I never had any friends so no one looked for me in the Library, and I could be left in peace. Then, on the train here, I met Ron and he didn’t seem to have any interest in school work. He was my first friend, ever, I didn’t want to risk doing better than him and lose him because of his jealousy or something. He’s already jealous enough as it is about my fame and money. Which I hate by the way, I figured if I was just average I wouldn’t get as much attention. Contrary to popular belief I hate my fame, I don’t even understand why I’m famous, it was my mum who was the hero that night, she is the one who stood up to him and sacrificed herself so that I could survive. I mean, yes, I survived the killing curse and Voldemort disappeared but it wasn’t down to me, I was a baby, I couldn’t have done anything. Now I am famous because my parents died and I didn’t. I hate it. I hate the attention I get from the Wizarding World, one minute they love me and the next they hate me. And I became friends with Hermione who doesn’t like it when someone is better than her, so I didn’t want to do better than her either. But after I received my fathers’ invisibility cloak I started going to the Library during the night and reading whatever I could get my hands on. I go in the day sometimes as well. And sometimes I go to the Room of Requirement, or the Chamber of Secrets, to make potions, I am actually quite good at it. I just pretend not to be. I also have been studying Ancient Runes and Arithmancy on my own. The only thing people expect me to excell at is Defence, so that is the only class I let myself excell at.”
Severus was shocked.
“How were you punished if you did better than your cousin at school?”
“Use Legilimens and you will know, I don’t want to talk about it.”
He nodded, asked her if she was sure she wanted him to look into her mind, when she positively answered he slowly pointed his wand at her face, looking deep into her green eyes.
“Legilimens.” He said softly, allowing him to enter her mind.
What he saw in there both shocked and angered him. He hadn’t known that she had been left with Petunia, if he had he would have argued strongly against it. He saw the girl being beaten, verbally attacked, starved, locked in a cupboard, locked in her bedroom with bars on the windows, being raped by multiple men, being forced to do the chores and cooking in all kinds of weather with only thin, holey hand-me-downs to wear. He saw her being bullied by who he assumed was her cousin and his friends, they all hit her and called her all sorts of names. He saw her telling a teacher about the abuse and the teacher turning her away, calling her a liar. He saw her being told by Ronald and Hermione that they should save the Stone, and her not wanting to but being dragged there. He saw her wanting to talk to a teacher about the entrance to the Chamber and the monster in there, but Ronald dragging her to Lockhart and to the Chamber instead. He saw Ronald and other Gryffindors being nasty to her after her name came out of the Goblet. He then saw Ronald, Ginevra and Hermione talking with Albus Dumbledore in an unused classroom. Hailey was standing in the corner under an invisibility spell that no one can see through, watching sadly as they talked.
“I can’t believe that bitch put her name in the Goblet and didn’t tell me how to do it!” Ron yelled angrilly.
“Now, now, Ronald. You still need to be friends with her. But maybe don’t try and make up with her until after the first task, that way you have time to unleash your anger. Don’t worry, I will still pay you from the Potter vault while you aren’t friends with her.” Dumbledore replied, trying to placate the boy.
“But I don’t want to be friends with her. I just want to marry her already, so that we can have an heir, I can get her money, then we can have her killed when she’s trying to fight You-Know-Who. Then we don’t have to put up with her for so long.” Ron growled.
“We need time, Ronald. You aren’t seriously ready for a child, are you?” Hermione said jealously.
“Of course not, I don’t want the bloody brat. I just need it to secure the Potter money for the family. Then you and I can get married, when she’s dead, and we can do the bare minimum for the child, like the Dursleys are doing for her.” Severus felt the pain that Hailey felt when she heard what they wanted to do to her child if she had one with Ron.
“You know Mum and Dad would love the baby, though, right? They would raise it for you if you asked.” Ginny said.
“I know, but we can’t let them spoil the brat or it would go dark.” Hermione growled.
“We won’t let anyone be nice to the child, Ginevra. It will be treated the way Hailey is treated at the Dursleys by Ronald and Hermione and any child that they may have together. But Ronald, you can’t get her pregnant yet, with the Tournament it would be too dangerous. Maybe next year. But after the first task I need you three to be her friends again, okay? Hermione, I will get you some more books from the Potter vaults, and all three of you will get money. I know this isn’t ideal but this all should be over within the next few years and we will all be rich and famous.” Dumbledore told the trio, who nodded in response.
Severus was pushed out of Hailey’s head gently, and when he looked at the small girl in front of him he saw that she had started crying again.
“When was this?” Severus asked, his voice rough with anger at the people who had hurt this small girl in front of him.
“Halloween night. I followed the three of them to their meeting, thinking it was strange that they were leaving at midnight. I couldn’t sleep so I was in the common room under the invisibility spell, reading a book, when they came downstairs and left.” She explained.
“Has Ronald done anything to try and get you pregnant? Knowing him he would go against orders just to do what he wanted, to make things go faster.” He trailed off, not wanting to ask the question he needed to ask.
“No. I’ve been avoiding them. The only people I talk to now are the twins, Lee, Neville, and Luna Lovegood. The six of us meet in the Room of Requirement and they are helping to train me, they know that I have been pretending that I am not clever, Neville has been doing the same. The twins and Lee also pretend to not care about school work but they do, and when they did, or do, their OWLs and NEWTs they’re going to do their best in those exams as they are important, but they don’t want to draw too much attention to themselves. And although Luna is the year below Neville and I she is actually very advanced for her age, she just chooses not to show it… Why would they do that to me? Why do they want to hurt my baby if they succeed in their plans?”
“I don’t know. But we need a plan. Unfortunately I won’t be able to remove you from the Dursleys, however, if you need anything just write to me and I will send it to you. Whether that be food, potions, or anything else. If it gets too bad try and write to me and I will come and get you out of there, I will take you to somewhere where no one can find you. I want you to do your best in all of your lessons from now on, I will speak to Professors Vector and Babbling about getting you the tests and homework for their classes so you can do them. You can come to my office on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, as well as Sundays, to study if you wish, and I can help you if you need help. I, unfortunately, cannot be nice to you in class. If I started to be nice to you then a number of people will get suspicious, however, I want you to know that I don’t mean anything I have said or will say from now on. But I expect you to do your best in my class from now on. Show Granger who is actually at the top of all of the classes. Okay?”
“Okay. Thank you, sir.”
“That’s okay. I will keep an eye on Dumbledore for you, and speak to the Professors about you doing the homework and exams for those classes, but I will be sure to tell them that they can’t tell anyone about it. If you need anything, come and talk to me, okay. I will help you as best as I can. Can you tell Neville to do his best in classes as well? That way I wouldn’t have to shout at him as much and Hermione would be even more annoyed.”
“That would be brilliant. Hermione’s reaction when seeing she isn’t the top of the class anymore would be priceless.” Hailey grinned, Severus grinned in return.
“Tell your friends that if they need help with anything that they can come and speak to me at any time as well. Or you can all study together on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with me, I know I said to come to my office but from there I will lead you to my private quarters so you can study in peace where no one will find you. And I will be on hand to help you at any point as well.” Severus said.
“Thank you, sir.”
“You’re welcome. Now, I suggest we go up to the Great Hall, breakfast is just about to start.” Hailey nodded in agreement and pointed her wand at her face, using a spell to make it look like she hadn’t been crying. Then they both headed to the Great Hall, deciding not to enter it together in order to not make people suspicious. Hailey sat with the twins, Lee and Neville and they all talked happily as they ate their meals.
From that moment on Severus and the six students all got on rather well in private, although had to pretend they didn’t like each other in public. The students studied in his private quarters and he was shocked at how advanced they all were, but he helped them with what they needed help with, whether it be to do with their studies or their lives outside of their studies. Severus came to care for them all a great deal more than he cared for any other student, except maybe his godson, whom he cared about equally. Severus helped Hailey through the Tournament, and after its end. Hailey had to pretend to be okay with Ronald, Hermione and Ginevra, but she still spent most of her time with her true friends and Severus. Although Hermione was thoroughly annoyed that Hailey and Neville were now the top of the year. Thankfully Ronald didn’t try anything, listening to Dumbledore’s orders.
Severus had managed to warn the other teachers of Dumbledore’s plans and what he had already done by showing them the memories he witnessed in Hailey’s mind, with her permission of course, he also showed Remus, Sirius and the Weasley parents as well as the two older Weasley children so that they had some support and more people to watch out for what Dumbledore was doing. Severus agreed to take her to Gringotts over the summer to sort out her accounts, but they didn’t want Dumbledore or anyone getting suspicious about not getting anything else before they were prepared so they decided to wait and make Dumbledore and the trio believe that Hailey didn’t know the truth, yet. And when the summer holidays came Severus gave Hailey a box of potions she may need as well as some food that was left under a preservation charm.
Severus looked down at the crying girl in his arms sadly, rubbing her arms comfortingly.
“Let’s get you upstairs and into a bedroom so I can heal you, okay.” He said gently.
The girl nodded and he helped her up from the floor and up the stairs, leading her to the bedroom next to his. He helped her onto the bed so that she was sitting against some pillows which he rested against the headboard and he sat next to her, on the edge of the bed, facing her as he summoned his healing bag.
“Why didn’t you write to me?” He asked.
“I wanted to, but I couldn’t open Hedwig’s cage and they locked all of my things in the cupboard under the stairs as soon as we got back, then they locked me in Dudley’s second bedroom and I was only allowed to leave there once a day to go to the bathroom. Even that was only for five minutes. Although, I was allowed to be in the bathroom for ten minutes once every week to have a quick shower with cold water.”
“Okay. I’m going to run a full diagnostic scan to show me your entire medical history if you don’t mind. Then I can see what I can heal.” She nodded in agreement and he ran the test. He grew angrier than he had ever been at how long the parchment with the results grew, never seeing it grow so long before for someone of her age.
When the parchment stopped growing he plucked it out of the air and looked at the top of it, blanching at the name, parents names, and birthdate it listed, as well as at what apparently happened to the child.
“What is it? Why are you looking at it like that?” Hailey asked worriedly.
He stared at her for a few minutes, not knowing how to tell her what is on the parchment.
“I’m sorry, but it would seem that you are not who you think you are.” He said, as gently as he could.
“What do you mean?” She questioned, confused.
“When you run a full diagnostic scan on somebody it shows their name, date and time of birth, and their parents names, all of which are based on who magic recognises the person by. Everyone has their own magical core that is different to everyone elses, even the magical cores of identical twins or triplets is subtly different so that magic can recognise each person as their own person. It also says what happened to the child, so if a child is adopted it lists both sets of parents, and what happened for the child to become adopted. But your name isn’t listed as Hailey Lily Potter, you date of birth isn’t the thirty first of July nineteen eighty, and your parents aren’t listed as Lily and James Potter.” Severus explained.
“Then who am I?” She asked, not wanting to believe that her whole life had been a lie.
“According to magic you are Lyra Narcissa Malfoy, you were born on the thirtieth of July nineteen eighty one, your parents are Narcissa and Lucius Malfoy, your older brother being Draco Malfoy, and you were kidnapped by Albus Dumbledore, James Potter, and Lily Evans Potter after the real Hailey Potter died, and you were placed under a very strong glamour charm to make you look like Hailey Potter.” Severus said, his voice rough with the emotions he was feeling. He had finally found his lost goddaughter, and she had been kidnapped by his best friend, her husband, and a man he used to believe was the Leader of the Light.
Hailey started sobbing again, knowing now that she had a family out there all this time and she didn’t know about it. She wasn’t even related to the Dursleys but she was sent back there, year after year because of ‘blood wards’ which must be nonexistant.
Severus wrapped his arms around her, comforting her as much as he could.
“Can you take the glamour off?” She whispered through her tears.
“Yes, it might be easier for me to heal you that way. Are you sure that you want this though?”
“Yes. I never liked being Hailey Potter. Now that I know I’m not actually her and can live my own life, that is what I want to do. I want a family, my family, not one who is abusing me despite the fact that they aren’t actually my family. A family is all I ever wanted.”
“Don’t worry. You’ll have it. Narcissa, Lucius and myself never stopped looking for you. Draco’s been looking all around the school, hoping you were there. They all love you so much, I do too. You are my goddaughter after all.”
She looked up at him with a small smile on her face.
“Really?” She asked.
“Really. You will have that family you always wanted. I promise.”
“Thank you. I love you, too.”
“That is music to my ears. Now, let’s get you healed as best as I can, then after a good nights’ sleep I will contact your parents. Do you want me to tell them about who you were before?”
“Can you tell them everything? About who I was, about what I heard Dumbledore and the others say, about what happens at the Dursleys. I don’t want to tell them. I don’t like talking about it.”
“Okay, I’ll tell them everything. Now, let’s remove the glamour and get you healed.”
Lyra nodded and leaned back against the pillows, wiping her cheeks with the backs of her hands. Severus pointed his wand at her and muttered the counter to the glamour spell the diagnostic parchment said she was wearing. He watched as she transformed before his eyes.
Her hair changed from black to the typical Malfoy platinum white-blonde, and it became long and wavy, like Narcissa’s. Her eyes changed from Lily’s green to the light blue of Narcissa’s eyes. Her face became more pointed, but had Narcissa’s softness as well, instead of the full Malfoy pointedness which Lucius and Draco held. She stayed small, due to the malnutrition most likely, but that could be fixed over time. Her lightning bolt scar remained on her forehead, though.
“How do I look?” She asked nervously.
“Beautiful.” He replied as he conjured a small mirror and gave it to her so she could see what she looked like now. She smiled slightly at her new look. “I reckon your father, brother and I will have a hard time chasing away all of the boys.” He said, laughing slightly when she blushed.
He got to work on healing her. Giving her a potion that would mend all cuts/welts/tears, although some of which would leave scars depending on how deep they were, and all of the scars that had been on her for more than a year would never completely heal. He gave her a pain potion before re-breaking and mending all of the broken bones that were never treated or healed correctly. He gave her a bruise balm to put on all of her bruises until they healed. He gave her a potion that would repair the slight damage that had been done to her lungs over the years from various chokings, drownings and broken ribs.
He then summoned a pair of his own pyjamas; a dark grey t-shirt and some black shorts, shrinking them so that they would fit her.
“That is all I can do for you, for now. Everything else will need some time to heal on it’s own. I will give you some dreamless sleep potion so that you can actually get some sleep tonight. But, unfortunately you can’t have it every night because people can get addicted to it. We can start you on nutrient potions tomorrow, you will have to take one with every meal until you are at a healthy weight. Change into these pyjamas and I will be back in a few minutes to say goodnight.” Severus said, waiting for her to nod before leaving the room to change into his own pyjamas.
When he entered his goddaughters room again, after knocking and hearing her say that he could come in, he found her lying in the large, comfortable bed, wearing the pyjamas he had given her, and covered with the thin duvet. He went over to the bed and sat next to her, smiling down at her. He picked a vial of dreamless sleep potion out of his healing bag and held it out for her to take. She drank it, giving him the glass vial and layed back down tiredly.
“Goodnight, Lyra, I love you.”
“Goodnight, love you, too.” She muttered before falling asleep.
He leant down and placed a gentle kiss on her forehead before leaving the room and walking to his own bedroom. He climbed into his bed and lied there, staring at the ceiling of the room. He hoped things would change from now on, that things would get better. That they could stop Dumbledore, and that the Dark Lord wouldn’t want to continue trying to kill Lyra. He didn’t understand why Lily would ever want to kidnap c baby, the Lily he thought he knew would never do such a thing. But he obviously didn’t know her, or he didn’t know her as well as he thought he did.
He fell asleep hoping that everything would be okay.