There’s a very odd feeling in my chest as I stare at the letter in my hands. Beautiful script on high quality paper - or maybe it was parchment given its’ origins. My name and address on the front; a wax seal bearing the school’s crest sealing it closed on the back.
Miss Hadriana Potter
Number 13 Dunwich Circle
I’m torn between giddy and irritated. An actual real life Hogwarts letter! It’s got to be an acceptance letter otherwise why would I even receive it, yes? Although that would be hilarious if I were to open it up and it say, “Dear Miss Potter, we regret to inform you do not meet the requirements to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” A loud snort escapes me as I envision that message being within. Well maybe a bit disappointing since it’s Hogwarts and the people who will be attending and the ones who teach there.
I idly wonder if anyone even took the time to notice I’m no longer where that old fool placed me all those years ago on that cold November night. But then I recall the event in my fourth year and then following one when I was six and well… if no one from the magical community had noticed before, why now?
Remembering what I witnessed from the first film and the cluster of owls that tended to flock outside, I open the door to check and see if the delivery owl is waiting outside. It is in fact waiting no doubt for a response. “My apologies for not having a window open, Gorgeous, but up until this point I haven’t had any other post but Muggle based and thus postal owls aren’t part of my daily routine.”
It blinks (if you will pardon the pun) owlishly at me before flapping it wings a bit. “Well I never thought I’d meet a human who spoke owl!” it said in surprise. “How interesting!”
I wasn’t about to correct it by telling it that I was gifted with the ability to converse with all beasts instead of a purely avian speaker so I just smiled. “Well I hope the surprise is pleasant. Would you mind waiting out here while I pen my reply? I’m afraid I don’t have any owl treats - previous lack of postal owl familiarity and all - but I might be able to scrounge up a mouse if that’s a good substitute?”
“Oh it’s not bother at all! A good chance to rest the wings. And a spot of meat for the old gullet would be well appreciated! I’ll just be waiting here! The weather promises to hold out and remain pleasant and the winds are moderate. A good day for delivering post!”
I went back inside the house and closed the door behind me. I tap the letter on my open palm as I wander into the kitchen, summon my breakfast from a food dimension, and then summon me a pen and paper. “Or wait it’s called a biro, isn’t it? British call them biros,” I remind myself out loud. Have to remember that if I’m ever meeting another muggle born or muggle raised. American terms are going to fly right over their heads.
I turn the letter over and am about to break the wax seal when I remember about things like compulsion spells being a regular written occurrence. Well shit. It’s not hard to imagine that would be a thing to happen despite my particular lack of a certain old man’s visible presence in my life so far. But given the events ahead and what’s to come, I should be more fucking careful. Things have veered off canon quite as it is and though there’s never been proof in the books or movies Dumbledick cast dark magic on Harry, his judgement is questionable and I don’t trust him.
He left Harry or rather ME on a doorstep in November wrapped in a blanket with a note in the care of two extremely vile and bigoted individuals who had the misfortune of breeding. People who think it’s just fine to beat a helpless child to the brink of death if they find something that doesn’t conform to their perceived ideals. That will literally throw a broken bodied child into the cupboard under the stairs and leave her for days without checking on her. Not caring if she died and something took over her body.
I have to pity Dudley. I really do.
Well, until he becomes aware enough and responsible for his own choices. Then the pity stops.
Oh right… I’ve got breakfast to eat and letter to look over. Whoops!
“Now let’s see if a certain champion of the greater good tried to mess with me, shall we?” I ask aloud.
I summon a floating bubble shield that will both contain the letter and run a diagnosis on it, slipping it inside the sphere without touching it. To be honest, I should have done this when I first spotted the letter on my doormat since I’ve not gotten any mail since I moved here - I even managed to avoid acquiring junk mail to this point. However seeing a letter - that letter in particular - had been slipped through my mail slot laying on my floor was just so weird.
I would scold myself or make a note not to touch strange objects but I’m not gonna fool myself. I’ll do it anyways.
“Preliminary scan complete. Subject status is negative for compulsion spells or other harmful magics.”
The dulcet tones of GlaDOS fill my ears because I decided to have an audio cue instead of merely a visual one to tell me when it was done. Yeah the game series won’t be made until the 2000s and may not even exist in this universe, but my little heart wants to hear that iconic voice and since I’m a god I can do that.
I hover a butterknife and send it into the bubble shield, closing it after insertion. I use it to wandlessly pry the seal free from the back of the letter, unfolding the parchment. No color change to the letter or shield so far. Promising. I take a bite of my breakfast (a tasty collection of American-styled bacon, sausage links, and pecan pancakes with sunny side up eggs) and sip my glass of grapefruit juice while I wait for results. I know I could just say, “This letter is perfectly normal” and be done with it but I rather enjoy this process. I mean sometimes there’s just no fun to be had if all you have to do is wave your hand and boom! Done.
Besides, I’m not in any rush, am I?
After I finish checking this thing, I’m gonna have to figure out which path I want to take in regards to handling this situation. I’ve got two ways I can go with this. No, wait three. Definitely three paths to choose from.
Number One: I can go the more canon route and not respond at all. Wait until Dumbledore sends Hagrid and see how that goes. After all Hagrid should be able to track me down and from what I know he’s been rather excited to see me. Or to be more precise Harry/Hadriana. Poor fella is more than likely as clueless as the rest of the wizarding world in knowing what’s happened.
Number Two: I can merely respond to the owl and go to Diagon Alley myself. I haven’t been there yet because I’ve been too into my own plans here on the Muggle side of the world. Plus even with my very impressive ability to break Gamp’s Law, I don’t know what the currency is like besides knowing what it is. I remember seeing galleons in the film but I never saw a silver piece or a knut. I don’t like to steal so never thought about heading to the Leaky Cauldron and pickpocketing anyone for a base piece. And Dumbledick has control of my vault key. I don’t know how happy the Goblins would be with me sauntering in and saying, “Hello, Ser. My name is Hadriana Potter. I’ve been living in the muggle world kept completely in the dark about the wizarding one until just now. Albus Dumbledore is the only one who has been able to access my vaults so I don’t have a key. Can you help me, please?”
Actually that may make them happy if my memories of fanfiction is anything to go by.
Number Three: I can respond by saying thanks but no thanks and see what happens. Maybe hint in a very unsubtle manner that since no one in the magical world decided to do anything for me until now, I think I’ll stay here. Return the favor of being left in the care of such a wonderful, caring family who I couldn’t bear to be parted with since they took me in off their doorstep that November. 10 years ago. After being left alone in the dark and cold with no one to make sure I would be okay! How about I add a nice little go fuck yourselves at the end?
I inhale sharply, my grip on my silverware going unbearably tight as I try to reign in my temper. The idea that it happened in the books is anger inducing enough when you don’t have a real attachment to the events outside fiction. But it’s my body, my reality, my existence now. Anger becomes rage when what was simple words you read on paper or you watched detached on the screen and they become your life. Something you experience.
I’m just glad I have my powers so I can be ready for anything this world might throw my way.
Now that I think about it, I can’t go Number One aka the canon route because I did promise the owl I would give them my response and a mouse for their trouble. It would be really rude to change my mind now. Plus the constant influx of so many owls hanging around my house and the neighborhood isn’t an appealing idea.
Idea number one is discarded.
I keep eating and turn my focus on option two. If I go on my own, I have to balance keeping my identity hidden while switching between my adult form and my biological age form. Most of the shopping can be done with A-form but with stuff like Madame Malkin’s and Twilfit and Tattings, I’d need to be in my B-form. Hidden identity can be easily done with invisibility or notice-me-not or a perception bender until I’m in a building doing business. Keep the throng’s eyes off me until necessary.
My problem is Goblins. Or rather how the hell am I gonna deal with the Goblins. If this was a crack verse or I was some high level identifiable being, I could easily broach them. They’d know who I was and go out of their way to help me and make things easy. If I was say Death or Lady Magic herself then it would be easy as pie. They’d bend over backwards for me if I was secretly those two.
Instead I’m… well, me. There’s no hidden master vault filled with riches beyond compare and items of wonder waiting for me. No useful magical creatures ready to assist me on my road to life here.
“I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known,” I sing to myself. Oh good. I now have Boulevard of Broken Dreams playing in my head. It flits between the Green Day version and Utada Hikaru’s cover because of course my mind can’t distinguish which rendition it wants to listen to more so it just smushes them together in some kind of remix. It’s not bad but it is rather annoying when you want to listen to a particular one. I need to quickly get it out of me before I get more distracted.
I use my powers to crank on the different full length versions of this bothersome melody trapped in my brain, letting them play through the little cd boombox I have set up in the corner of the kitchen. The volume will be low but still loud enough not to overpower my thoughts like if it were still lingering in my brain. I know this is cheating reality alongside time and space but I need to focus.
Number two definitely feels like a Gryffindor thing to do. Would take some serious courage and iron will to pull off. Harry was Gryffindor even if the hat wanted to put him in Slytherin. But I’m not exactly Harry Potter, am I? Knowing me, I’ll end up in Hufflepuff staring at Edward Cullen’s handsome ass for the next few years until Volde-fuck gets resurrected during the TriWizard Tourney and he dies because we grabbed the cup at the same time.
Would you please focus, you stupid cunt? My inner voice shouts.
I glance up at the letter in the bubble and send it a glare. “This is your fault,” I tell it and shove a sausage link into my mouth. Even if the thing is still coming back negative for compulsion and harmful spells, I’m blaming my off track thoughts on it.
I’ll ponder branch path three since I keep losing concentration when regarding number two.
This one has the most potential to be honest. If I write back telling them no, someone is going to come and investigate why. At least I freaking hope so. Because I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t just see the response envelope and assume-
Oh god. What if they are actually that stupid to see the envelope and not read the reply letter within?
I now have the vision of me sending in my reply and no one reading it and then everyone realizes by the time school has started that Harry - sorry, Hadriana Potter isn’t to be found is because no one was paying attention or doing their damn job! People would lose their collective shit at the Sorting Ceremony when my name would be called but I’m not present. Nobody will have spotted a girl bearing a lightning bolt scar on the train because she wasn’t on the Hogwarts Express or at King’s Cross Station at Platform 9 3/4s.
I finish my breakfast very much determined to go with plan number three. I’ll have to cast a couple of charms to make sure I can show proof it was received, who handled it, and who if anyone read it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Maybe I’ll put in a condition that if they wish to visit, three people of my choosing can come and speak with me to convince me to attend.
The smile on my lips is positively evil because I know exactly which three individuals I want.
After retrieving the acceptance letter from the bubble holding it, I go and read it twice over just to ensure it’s what I expect.
Right down to the supplies list and that stupid stereotypical pointed hat.
Oh this is going to be fun!
Dear Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall,
I regret to inform you that I will not be able to accept your offer to study at your no doubt illustrious and highly acclaimed institution. My living situation is rather complicated and up until this point I have had to follow alternative methods to educate myself. I do not feel as if Hogwarts can enhance my learning experience as up until receiving this letter I was under the impression magic did not exist. Furthermore I do not possess funds for purchasing items that will no doubt be purely obtainable in a magical forum and I highly doubt the British pound carries over into wizarding currency.
I thank you for your time.
“And now a word from my guardian.”
Dear Deputy Headmistress,
I am the current guardian of Miss Hadriana Potter and have been so since her previous living situation became unfitting. I have also provided her education since she came to live with me at six years of age. As we are both quite happy with the current arrangement, the offer to study at Hogwarts is unneeded.
If you however feel a visit to speak with us again is warranted, I expect you to do the following:
Owl me your response in no less than two weeks of receiving this letter so we may arrange a date and time convenient to discuss this situation.
Please inform me of the current whereabouts and employment of Severus Tobias Snape.
When these things have been done to my satisfaction as well as one other item, you may meet with Hadriana. I would advise you not to attempt to contact her again and send any further letters to me. Given her very unique position in the wizarding world, I must maintain constant vigilance. You understand of course.
Oh shit. I need an alias.
Until now I’ve not needed one. I don’t pay bills. My house is hidden. Any shopping done is paid for in cash so I never have to sign anything. I don’t do anything that requires identification so I don’t have an ID with a fake name. I’ve been living unseen. A phantom of sorts.
But now I gotta figure out a name.
I twirl the biro between my fingers as I peruse my vast mental library of different names I could use. It takes me a while because I keep thinking about famous female authors or comic book characters or a few female singers I enjoyed listening to in my past life/lives.
My evil grin returns as I realize I know just the one.
No one will get the joke except me and I’m okay with that. Will not stop the giggles and smiles if someone calls me it.
I seal the two part reply into an envelope and then I cast a tracking spell, an ‘identify handler’ spell and a ‘who’s been reading me’ spell. I don’t know if these exist in canon or fanon so I’m just going to say they’re mine. I enchant a notepad to write who does what in regards to the letter, retrieve a mouse for the postal owl and then send it off with my best wishes.
And now I wait.