Chapter 1: I. Harrigan Potter
It starts with the middle child falling in love with his dead fiance. A fiance he couldn't have cared less about, but after having his brother bring her back and using the stone to grab at her soul--not hers he'd learn later--that he started to love her.
It starts that way, but death hates to be cheated and they'd been alone for so long. The new body could only hold them for so long, so they played their part. They played it so well that a child was born--Orion Black the first with hair as dark as the nothingness of death and eyes as translucent as the veil itself.
It starts with Death, and they've always liked things that come in threes. The strongest number, if anyone had the chance to ask them. It also always ends in death. Cadmus died shortly after Orion was born, and Orion died shortly after his three children who took after their grandmother. Every generation would be tried, and death would someday have their children.
Harrigan was an unusual child. Her aunt fancied her possessed, and that wasn't hard to dispute. Hari had unnaturally pale skin, green eyes that glowed in the dark, and hair that was so dark and unmanageable it was like it was made from the very fabric of time and space. And that wasn't even mentioning the oddest thing about her, that saved her from beatings and bullying at school--not passed words anyways.
You see Harrigan had a special gift, passed onto her from generations and generations of selective breeding; although she didn't yet know this. Stemming from her paternal line came the Potter's and the Blacks, both once in the Peverell line and known personally by death. Her maternal line was just as special, but that isn't important just yet.
The girl she'd been given by her paternal line wasn't so much a gift as a curse. A terrible curse that prevented her from ever feeling the warmth of a hug or a friendly pat on the back. Harrigan's curse was that of death, for everything she touched withered away right in front of her eyes.
Had Harrigan been raised by those that wanted her, her life would be different. In the magical community, the familial gift was known, although not for such a long time, and things could be done to refine it. To control it, but she was not a part of the magical community and so she did not have a basis to start her control from.
Well, not until a letter came.
Chapter 2: II. A Letter, A Trip
Harrigan receives a very odd letter from a very odd owl, and then a man shows up to take her away.
Privet Drive was a street that looked as though someone took a house and photocopied it over and over. Each house was precisely the same all the way down the road, even the gardens were perfect copies of each other. If this little community was capable of magic it would explain this bizarre occurrence, but every last resident was as muggle as one could get. The families themselves were very similar too, near perfect replicas only with different faces.
A husband, a wife, a son and a daughter. The names and faces may change but at the heart of it, every single house was the same. They had the same boring jobs, the same boring housewife life, the same boring children that got the same average grades that were bragged about by housewives at weekly barbeques and teas. It wasn’t unless you looked closely that there was one house that stood out amongst the street.
Number Four was different from the rest of the street. At first glance, it was just a generic as the rest of the street but when one looked closely they would see that the flowers seemed more alive, that the house seemed to stand straighter. The family seemed just as plain and boring, a husband that worked a higher up position in the company he worked for, a housewife that seemed absolutely perfect, and a son that seemed to be able to make friends with anyone. It was the ‘daughter’ that was set apart. Because she wasn’t a daughter but a niece.
Harrigan Potter was the true exception to Privet Drive. It could have been that it was because she was the Dursley’s niece, or that everyone knew she was trouble. It wasn’t any of those things, however, because unlike the many residents of the street Harrigan Potter was a witch and she had actual magic. It was given to her by her parents, by her ancestors, and that wasn’t the only gift she had received.
There are many gifts that magical children can receive from their ancestors, passed on through the familial magic. Some families were better at charms, or some were better at potions, but the truly lucky families had extraordinary gifts that popped up every so often. Most families don’t know where these gifts come from, but the Potter’s could trace theirs all the way back to before they were known as the Potters. Their gift was their hair, although there was more to it. And then there was the Blacks, and despite having no knowledge of being related to people she never heard of Harrigan received a gift from them too. The Blacks got their name from their gift, sucking the life from the living and leaving nothing but black ash and dust. Harrigan had several familial traits, the hair of the Potters that seemed to be made of shadow itself and the touch of the Blacks just two of gifts.
Until this fateful day on Privet Drive, the residents of Privet Drive just thought her odd, and then the Letter arrived. No one but Harrigan noticed the bird, a large owl that stared at her as she sat outside on a stone slab that she was not allowed to move from. It was a Saturday, but it was also Dudley’s birthday, which meant that the Dursley’s weren’t home. The sun was hot on Harrigan’s head but she dared not move. Her Aunt would know, the grass dying anyplace she touched it, and there would be consequences.
Hari observed the owl back, and then she was completely surprised when it swooped down to perch on the opposite side of the large slab. It dropped something and she was startled to see that it was a letter. A letter for her.
“Oh.” She said in surprise and reached carefully for the letter. The owl hooted at her softly and retreated to the shade near the window where Dudley had left the hose on. He’d so generously sprayed her with water before leaving, soaking her down so she wouldn’t ‘dry out like a mummy’ while the Dursleys were at the Zoo. Harry had wanted to go too, but she knew she’d never be allowed. Too many people. Too many lives.
Shaking her head she removed the thoughts of the Zoo from her mind, carefully reading over the Envelope. Lady Harrigan Potter, Cupboard Under the Stairs, Number 4 Privet Drive, Surrey . Was printed so gracefully on the front that Hari was sad when it tore as she opened it. Inside was the most bizarre letter she’d ever received, although she’d never received one before so perhaps it was the best letter she had ever received. Later she’d decided it was the latter, but this was not later.
“Lady Harrigan Potter, We are pleased to inform you of your acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins September 1st, we await your owl no later than July 31. Yours Sincerely, Minerva McGonagall. Deputy Headmistress.” She read out to no one at all. Await her owl?
“Are you meant to take a message back?” she asks and the owl hoots softly at her again. She blinks and worries her lip. She doesn’t have a pen, but there is a jagged edge on the side of the rock she could use. Mind made up she wrote a short missive asking for more information on the back of her letter. She set it on the edge of the rock slab as far away from her as she could, and scrambled back to the other side as the owl swooped down to snatch the folded letter up in its beak. The owl seemed to be gone between one moment and the next.
Hari was beginning to wonder if she was going to die of thirst out in the yard a few hours later when the sun was highest in the sky. Her throat was parched, her stomach clenched painfully as it ate itself after a few days without food, and the burning rays of the sun didn’t help any as she was laying out on her back on her slab of rock. Once when she was young she had a crayon she found in her cupboard, presumably from Dudley throwing it in a tantrum while the door was opened, that she’d used to draw a picture of herself on the rock. It was a horrible drawing but in times like these where she felt like a slowly dying victorian child from one of her novels, she was prone to tracing it with her finger.
She traced the stick figure over and over again, it was strangely unfaded from time and watched the clouds overhead. It was why she immediately noticed the shadow that fell on her, and she realized she’d droned out as she looked up at the sky because a man was in the yard cursing with words she’d never have even imagined before. She startled, sitting up in a rush and felt the dizziness from the action immediately. She swayed for a second, but then the man came into focus.
“You’re not dead, at least.” The man spat angrily, looking at the slab of plain grey rock Uncle Vernon had procured from a job site his drilling company was working at. It matched the one that sat in her cupboard and both prevented the unfortunate wear and tear that immediately started when she touched the grass or the wood. There was also a metal ladder that she had to carefully walk across back into the house, but it was leaning against the shed far away on the other side of the yard.
“Severus Snape, Potions Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” He said curtly and raked her form up and down with a look of distaste. “You asked for more information?”
“Uh…” She blinked at him for a long moment, and his glare seemed to become more intense. “Sorry, I just didn’t expect a response. I thought the letter was a joke, I’ve never had a letter before.” She tries to explain and his eyes are now narrowed as well as glaring at her.
“I see.” the man says and glances around. “Move to the other end.” He orders and she confusedly does as he says. He pulls out a stick, and Hari watches in surprise as he waves it and a light is produced. The rock slab cracks at the end, and she watches in bewilderment and fascination as it forms a band around his arm. “Do you have any things you want from the house?”
“Not really,” She says and then frowns. “Wait, why?”
“You’re not coming back.” He states gruffly and offers his arm. She stares at it and he huffs out in exasperation. “Grab the stone band I’ve created, I’m apparating us. I won’t risk harm on public transportation.” That both made sense and absolutely none at the same time.
“Ok.” She says slowly and grabs onto the stone band. There’s a twist of his foot and suddenly a feeling that she’s always assumed liquid going up a straw feels like and then she’s face planting in the middle of a street that isn’t very crowded luckily. “Ow.” She groans and the man, Severus Snape she reminds herself, orders her to follow him. She rushes after him, careful not to run into anyone, and enters a large white building.
“Lady Potter needs to see her account manager.” Severus Snape says, and Hari wonders what she should call him. Severus seems too informal if he’s going to be a teacher, but Snape seems rather...weird. She’s never called anyone but her one tutor (horrible what happened but her Aunt had warned the woman) by their last name.
“Wait here.” The funny looking creature says and Hari frowns at herself. That isn’t polite in the slightest, is rather cruel and she mentally decides to try and do better. Many people looked different, she knew that because on Privet Drive a place she’s never left until now, she looked rather different from everyone.
Eventually, another little creature comes up to them, leading them through the buildings many, many hallways to an office. Hari knows she’ll never be able to retrace their steps on her own, but hopefully, she won’t have to. Another creature sits inside behind a desk and the one that has to lead them disappears out the door again, closing it as they went.
“Hm.” The creature says as they peer at her. They place a very sharp looking dagger on the desk and a piece of parchment. “Three drops.” They state and Hari stares back at them in confusion.
“Of blood, Potter.” Severus Snape intones and she swallows as she reaches for the knife. It isn’t like she’s never purposefully hurt herself, after all, there had been this morning when she had to write that message without leaving her rock slab. She touches the point just hard enough to pierce her skin and let’s three drops fall on the piece of parchment as directed.
The creature grabs the parchment and makes some clicking noises before pressing it into a drawer in a wooden filing cabinet behind them. “Now,” The creature says. “Lady Potter, why have you never responded to our correspondence.”
“Um...I’ve never received your um...correspondence.” she shifted in the chair she’d been pointed into. “Sir.”
“Unfortunate.” The creature grins wickedly at her and she doesn’t know what to do with that. “You’re saying you’ve never withdrawn anything from your vaults, nor have you given permission for anyone else to remove anything?”
“How exciting.” The creature grins impossibly wider. “We’ll begin an inquiry into your accounts immediately . You will be billed afterward.”
“I…” What could she really do? She didn't understand what was happening, or where she was for that matter.
“Lady Potter is thankful for the actions of the Goblin Nation, and would appreciate a quiet inquiry on her behalf.” Severus Snape says when she fails to say anything. “She requires a limitless Purse for her gold and a new key.”
“Right away.” The creature, a goblin?, agrees with a smile that’s more teeth than anything. It pulls a drawer open on the desk out of her sight, and then he’s handing over a little change purse that looks like black silk with the same symbol that was on the building outside, a double G that overlaps each other in gold. “This Limitless Purse is only hooked up to your Potter trust vault after the inquiry come back in to have it linked to any other vaults. Only monies can be retrieved from this purse.”
“Okay.” She said and looked to Severus Snape for more information. He wasn’t forthcoming, but he took the key from the goblin and clipped it onto the purse she was given. They left after that, and he took her to a mostly deserted book store.
“We are fortunate that most families with students do their shopping later in the summer,” He tells her as they stalk across the street. “Flourish and Blotts is mostly deserted at this time of year because of it.”
“That’s good.” Less likely she’ll accidentally run into someone. “What are we...are we getting the books I’ll need?”
“Plus a few others.” He told her and stalked around the shelves. She followed close enough not to lose him, and then took whatever books he dropped into her arms as they went. Eventually, she couldn’t see above, so she had to be very careful not to hit him as she followed. After what seemed like forever he led her to the front and took half the stack to drop on the counter. She pushed the rest in her arms up and then the man across the counter blinked in astonishment at her.
“Why, Harrigan Potter in my store.” The man said in delight. “It’s an honour to meet you, my Lady.” The man said with a large sincere smile. “Going to Hogwarts in the fall then?”
“Yes, sir.” She said quietly and the man grinned widely at her.
“Of course.” The man grinned. He talked to Severus Snape for a minute as he rang everything through, and then Severus Snape was looking at her and she realized she needed to pass over some money.
“Fifteen gold pieces and one silver.” Severus Snape instructed and she dug into the purse she’d been given. To her surprise money actually came out and she handed over the amount needed.
Severus gave the man a curt nod, so she did the same, and he had her grab the stone band again. She didn’t face plant this time, but it was a close thing and he pointed her immediately into a chair. The kitchen looked worn and old, but Hari supposed that it must just be an old house they were in. She was proven correct when she asked.
“You seem to be taking this rather well.” He says and she worries her lip.
“Well,” She says and reflects that technically this man had kidnapped her and she hadn’t even questioned it. Had questioned anything really. “There’s not a lot a person can do to me, so.” She shrugs.
“There is a lot that magic can do to you, especially when you get trained up a little.” He states and goes towards the fridge. “Do you like toast?”
“Toast is fine,” she says and he raises a brow at her.
“You have absolutely no self-preservation.” He sniffed and turned to start making toast.
“My relatives tried what they could to get rid of me,” She shrugged and thought better of her statement when he turned to her. “I just mean…”
“I’m aware of what you mean.” He said angrily and a minute later set a plate of toast in front of her. “Tomorrow we will begin your lessons, I have things to attend to. Do not leave this house, your room will be on the first on the right going up the stairs.”
It seemed that was that as he turned out of the kitchen and out the door.