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Not Light or Dark, Good or Bad, simply Shades of Grey

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22 March 1977-Hogwarts Room of Requirement

It was an unusually stormy night when the seventeen-year-old Lily Evans found herself in the room of requirement looking down upon the most beautiful mistake she’d ever made. It had happened last year. Around nine months prior she had walked in on her boyfriend of almost seven months, sleeping another witch. The witch was named Jane Jones, she was a year below them and the worst part of the whole thing was that she was a muggleborn like Lily. Lily had hoped that they could stick together but apparently not. It really shouldn’t have surprised her she supposed in retrospect. James Potter was the sole heir to an old pureblood House. What James wanted he got. And James had always been a womanizer. His first girlfriend, Liriope Mair, a pureblood Ravenclaw who had been (at least until two years ago) James’s betrothed had broken up with him and had her Father call off their betrothment after catching him ‘making out’ after hours with the Gryffindor Melinoe Vane. Melinoe had been pulled out of Hogwarts soon after due to the ‘shame’ she had brought upon her family. Last Lily had heard she had been married off to the second born son of House Golightly and was expecting their ‘second’ child together. If the first baby had hazel eyes instead of the dark brown eyes of her mother or the blue eyes of her ‘father’ well luckily for her she was born as a girl into a world dominated by men so nobody was going to question it. Well, so long as Melinoe managed to pop a couple of blonde-haired blue-eyed sons out.

Lily had found the wizarding world less overwhelming than most at first thanks to Severus. Of course, most things were still wonderous, but here she found herself not only the victim of misogyny but also of a sort of racism based off of the fact that her parents were muggles, not a witch and wizard. From what she had seen the misogyny was much worse for pureblood witches, many of her female pureblood and halfblood year mates were either betrothed or married now. Either living as house witches or preparing to. For her her parentage would undoubtably be the greater struggle. While she may have at first hoped for a wonderful future in this world of magic and beauty such dreams had been disillusioned years ago. The world of magic was no paradise. There was a civil war ongoing and even if the ‘good’ side won the best Lily could hope for as a young muggleborn witch was to work as a healer or perhaps a teaching aide. And after this, Lily knew that if anyone knew of her ’bastard’ daughter then she would move right to the very bottom of everyone’s hiring list. Honestly, how stupid was it that it was perfectly acceptable for a young pureblood wizard to go around sowing his oats and leaving a trail of ‘ruined’ women and illegitimate children behind him while a witch, pureblood or otherwise, was preferred to be ‘pure’. Ever since she started dating James Potter, she had been told how lucky she was to catch the eye of such a powerful *pureblood* wizard. She couldn’t break up with him now. Lily was seventeen and had devoted her life to her studies, her WIZARDING studies. Living outside of the wizarding world was no longer an option, not with her lack of both work experience and relevant studies. And if she broke up with the great James Potter, she could be sure that no wizard or witch in their right mind would hire her for fear of being on the bad books of House Potter.

If she had been a pureblood like Liriope she would have been able to simply break up with him for the shame he had caused her. But Lily was a muggleborn. She would be the one taking the blame. People would whisper about her not being enough for him. She knew this. It didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt.

So, she had decided on that eve that she wouldn’t talk with James about it, not even a whisper. But she had also been so upset, so angry. And she had made the same mistake as James and had fallen into bed with her old friend Severus. She hadn’t forgiven him of course, but he was the one person that she felt that she could go to. The one that she had remembered in her drunkenness and hysteria. And nine months later her beautiful mistake had been born. Thankfully Lily’s immense skill with charms had allowed her to hide her pregnancy. Lily had decided early on that while she wouldn’t, nay couldn’t, abort the baby. Instead she would give it up for adoption. But now, looking down at the babe’s wisps of red hair Lily couldn’t imagine never seeing her again. So, she decided to apparate herself and the babe, with great care, over to the muggle hospital near her childhood home. She signed in as a shocked teenage mother who begged for her parents, crying in ‘shock’. Severus had been right, she would have made a good Slytherin, if only for her acting skills. When her parents arrived, she begged them to raise her daughter for her, as a miracle baby in their older age. Thankfully they agreed. She was allowed to name her daughter before she spirited herself away, to see her again in over three months.

Her little Rose.

And with that Rosetta Evans came into the world. With hair of fire and eyes of coal. Foreboding her life, and that of her half-brother’s. They would live through hell on earth.

Chapter Text

31 October 1981

Petunia Dursley née Evans was satisfied with her life. She had a husband who was always hard at work providing from their little family, a one-year old son named Dudley who was simply the sweetest baby in the whole world, never fussing. And to complete their little family was her baby sister Rosie. Petunia had been taking care of the little one ever since their parents had died in February in a gas explosion. Rosie was so much like their other sister had been before that stuff had gotten to her it was uncanny. Of course, Petunia doted on the girl, she shone brighter than Lily ever had. Seeing Rosie and Dudders together was quite possibly the most adorable thing ever. Ever since he had learnt to crawl Dudders had followed Rosie around. Yes, Petunia, though saddened by her parent’s death, was very satisfied with her life. Currently she and Rosie were baking a rhubarb crumble together to have for pudding.

The evening proceeded as usual, Dudders had an early tea and then was put to bed. Rosie played with her favourite stuffed animals on the living room carpet in her PJs as Petunia washed up dishes in the kitchen sink, humming as she worked. As he did every night her husband came in at precisely six thirty, took his coat off, placed his hat on the hat stand and greeted her with a kiss and Rosie with a bear hug. They read Rosie her bedtime story, tucked her in and kissed her goodnight. Vernon had the leftovers of that night’s tea and they then had three or four hours to themselves before they turned in for the night. Yes, it was a perfectly normal evening for the Dursley family. Little did they know how much their satisfied suburban life was about to change.

At the eleventh hour, just as Petunia began to nod off Rosie woke up shrieking

Petunia had never run so fast in her life. That scream wasn’t just one of a child waking up from a nightmare. It was one of pure terror.

Bursting into Rosie’s bedroom Petunia and Vernon found themselves in a room of destruction. The lightbulbs were broken, draws were on the floor and children’s books and clothes were littered across the room. Rosie was hysterical. Wailing about a green light and Lila lying on the floor with blank eyes. Petunia’s heart sank. She knew in her heart of hearts that Rosie had the same freakish powers as Lily. And that Lila, otherwise known as Lily Potter was dead. Petunia might have walked out of the room that very moment had she not been such a magnanimous woman. Instead she took the traumatised child in her arms and held her tight. Surely Petunia could stop the freakish powers of the girl that had become her daughter in all but blood?

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1 November 1981

It had taken Petunia until the early hours of the morning to calm Rosie down. By two am all of them were exhausted and finally fell into a deep sleep. Once more all was well in the Dursley household. They couldn’t have known what their family would look like when they woke up. The numbers would be the same, the members different.
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore had had a terrible night, no matter how much he had expected it. The Potter’s were dead, there was a red-haired bump in their plan to deliver the young Lord Potter to the Dursley family and he was out of lemon sherbets. Albus scowled down at his strawberry sherbet. He could really use a calming draught laced lemon sherbet right now. It had been hard enough to convince the Ministry that the best place for the boy who lived, as they had started to call him, with a bunch of muggles. House Greengrass and through them their dark-leaning allies, who's part in the war could unfortunately not be proven had been particularly hard to convince, likely due to the claim that the Dowager Lady Greengrass had tried to lay to the boy. Lady Cecilia Greengrass was the grandmother of the current Head of House Greengrass and a proud pureblood witch. With her family by marriage being staunch Slytherins it had been quite easy to convince the lighter part of the Wizengamot to disregard the fact that Lady Cecilia was, by birth, a member of the Main Line of House Potter and Harry's Grand-Aunt. Mr Albert Potter, the Head of the most senior cadet branch of House Potter had also tried to lay claim to the boy. His claim was even easier to dismiss than Lady Greengrass's. Albert Potter was Harry's heir is anything should happen to him, and being so distantly removed from the main line as he was (a fifth cousin Albus believed) there were many that argued that either he, or more likely one of his nephews Richard, Edward and Michael (aged 22, 21 and 14 respectively) might do something to the boy in order to take the wealth of the main House for themselves. While after much arguing they had managed to get permission to send the young Lord Potter to the Dursley family it had been impossible to convince them to let the boy be raised alongside his bastard half-sister, regardless of the fact that she was his maternal half-sister and had no claim to the Potter estate. So here he was, having placed the young Harry Potter on the doorstep of the Dursley family with a letter telling of his circumstances with a four-year-old girl fast asleep in his arms. In the middle of his office awaiting the arrival of the man who was apparently the girl’s father, Severus Snape.

~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~

Severus had had a despicable day. He had failed to protect the love of his life. Lily-flower was dead. All because of him. Severus had already tied himself to protecting Lily’s son by the time dawn cast her rays across Britain so when Dumbledore called him to his office in the early hours of the morning, he was angry, tired and surprised. Oh, and also very, very drunk. Severus stormed to the Headmaster’s office cloak billowing behind him.

As he entered, he first saw the Headmaster, looking at him tiredly, then the little girl lying on a newly transfigured bed behind him, her long red hair splayed out behind her. Severus’s breath caught in his throat as he stared at her.

“What?” he eventually strangled out.

“After we have resolved your situation as a known Death Eater with the Ministry, she’s going to be yours to raise Severus.”

Severus’ heart rose to his throat as he whispered his question “Who is she?”

You could hear a pin drop such was the silence before the Headmaster answered Severus.

“Her name is Rosetta Evans. She’s your daughter.”

 

Severus broke down in tears.

Chapter Text

11 November 1981

Ricky was a happy boy. He was six years old, soon to be seven, and doted upon by his parents who had had eight miscarriages and stillborn children before he was born. His birth was widely celebrated amongst his parents’ family and friends. While Ricky didn’t have any siblings, he had two cousins close to his own age. Sagitta was only two years older than him and then there was the baby. Obviously, he was closest to Sagitta. Sagitta was very pretty, she looked almost identical to his Aunt, with the exception of her eyes which were black like Mummy’s. Currently Ricky was stuck in his lessons with his tutor, the positively ancient spinster witch Cousin Alexandra. Considering the fact that he was his parents’ only child and the son of the Heir Presumptive to their House Ricky had been basically been hid in his mother’s skirts his entire life. The only person he’d ever met that he wasn’t at least distantly related to was his Mummy’s friend Velmat…or something like that. Ricky was trying his hardest not to fall asleep as Cousin Alexandra went over the differing laws of succession throughout the pureblood families of the world for what seemed to be the quintillionth time!

He already had it engraved into his mind how the succession laws worked. In Britain some families, like his own, practised male primogeniture, others like House Parkinson and House Zabini practised absolute primogeniture and others still would only allow males to inherit like House Potter or the blood traitor House Weasley. Abroad the rules were mainly the same except for some houses in Europe which practised female primogeniture and those across the Middle East, Asia and Africa where the Heir to a Great House was often decided by a duel between all of the previous Head’s children. North America wasn’t that important to the World so Cousin Alexandra had largely glossed over that part.
Ricky was extremely busy doodling on his piece of paper when his mummy walked through the door, her hair surprisingly messy and less put together than usual. Her dress was torn and burnt in places as well. Cousin Alexandra curtsied “My Lady”. Mummy nodded at her in return before leaning down to hug Ricky in greeting before taking his face in her hands.

“Good morning my little crup”

“Morning Mummy”

“We are going to go on a very fun holiday today little crup. With your Aunt, Uncles and Cousins too! Won’t that be fun poppet?”

Ricky grinned happily. This was going to be wonderful! “Yes Mummy! Is it France? Are we going to see Granmama there?!”

“No little crup, not this time. This time we shall be off to Russia!”

“But isn’t Russia cold Mummy?” Ricky frowned

“Yes little crup, but we shall all be together shan’t we? Now go pack a bag for Mummy hmm? Quickly little crup!”

Ricky rushed upstairs to pack his bag full of his most favourite things. Undoubtably they would be going to one of the family’s holiday houses so he wouldn’t have to pack his clothes or robes but he did take his favourite toys, including a toy potions kit and broom. He also packed his favourite copy of ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’. It was well worn but still beautiful thanks to preservation charms. His room was the third biggest in the manor next to Mummy’s chambers and Father’s. Father’s even had a study attached to them! Thinking of Father must have caused him to appear as Ricky heard the distinctive sound of him apparating into the greeting hall. Now normally Ricky would have rushed right down to greet him, but this time he felt like he needed to continue packing. Mummy seemed to be in a rush after all.

Less than a minute later he began to hear them. Words which he knew only from the spell theory he did with Mummy. Latin echoed throughout the manor. Ricky heard tail ends of shouts “-edavra!” and flashes of all colours of light as he poked his head around the door, lay down and looked through the banister rails. There were witches and wizards in long brown robes attacking Mummy and Father. Then all of a sudden Father was on the floor entrapped in vines, roaring his rage and in a flash of red from one of the older wizards of the group Mummy was writhing in agony on the floor as she thrashed about. Ricky’s eyes grew wide and he tried to shout out, but found that Cousin Alexandra had put a silencing spell on him as she held him from behind and dragged him back into his room.

Then all was silent. Ricky knew that his parents were gone in that moment. That he would not see them again for a very long time, if ever. Uncle had probably faced the same or worse fate.

He knew that in all likelihood he was now the Head of his House. Or at the very least it’s heir.

 

So, he killed the boy Ricky, who loved his Mummy more than anything.

 

And became Lord Roderick, Head of the Most Noble House of Lestrange.

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Not all of the children of Death Eaters were so lucky as Roderick Lestrange though. Perhaps most notably, there is the sad case of the only surviving child of House Carrow in 1981. Lady Hermione Carrow, heiress presumptive to her House. Born looking almost identical to her mother with the exception of little specks of green in her eyes, not something she got from House Carrow. Alongside so many death eater children the ministry took her away from all members of her birth family and in one decision changed her status from Pureblood to Muggleborn. The young Hermione Carrow was left with a sterile couple to become their daughter, Hermione Granger.

Others were less lucky than even these children however. One such child was Marius Black, the son of Lord Sirius Black, Head of his House, and his Lady wife. An Auror knocked out the house elf of Sirius Black’s Household and made his way into the nursery of the child of the traitorous Sirius Black, unbeknownst to the babe’s Mother. He proceeded to summon all of the air from his lungs, leaving him to suffocate. Before he could do the same and worse to Lady Jane Black née Moncrieff the house elf awoke and warned her, allowing her to make a hasty escape to the Main House of House Black. Upon reaching the heavily warded and mostly unknown town house Jane fell to the floor and wailed for her lost babe. Such was her grief that even the notoriously cruel Lady Walburga Black could not help but comfort the 18-year-old former Gryffindor she had begrudgingly married her failure of an eldest son to.

Chapter Text

1 September 1988

Rosetta Evans was a bundle of nerves as she approached the Hogwarts’s Express. Dad had dropped her off outside the station with instructions on how to get to the platform. Unfortunately, the station had been busier than she had expected, teaming both with muggles and other wizarding families dropping their children off at the platform. Luckily, she had been able to drop off her kneazle Peanuts alongside her trunk just in time. Rose had had peanuts for almost as long as she could remember. He would be turning 7 this year and was one of the sweetest kneazles in the world. It made her anxious even thinking of him being away from her for such a long time. Rose had chosen a purple knitted dress and woollen tights with comfy healer-style school shoes to wear on the journey along with her plain black school robes.

Walking along the corridor of the train looking for space Rose slowly grew more and more anxious. While the population of Wizarding Britain had been drastically reduced by the war and she was a part of the small generation which had been born during the war, all of the compartments appeared to be packed. She supposed that made sense, she had been told that the Express always had exactly the right number of carriages to fit precisely the number of students which were going to be attending the school in the coming year. Rose walked past several compartments full of children wearing plain black robes before she came across one which had any space left in it. There were two girls sitting in there, one had a long mop of messy black hair and the other silky strawberry blonde hair pulled into a bun. As she entered the compartment both girls looked up at her through almost identical circular rimmed glasses and stared. Rose nodded at them.

“Hello, I was just wondering whether it would be alright for me to sit here? None of the other compartments with others our age in have space.”

The black-haired girl, who was obviously the dominant of the pair looked up and answered her grinning widely.

“Sure! My name’s Joanne, I’m a half-blood and this here is Elora, she’s a muggleborn. What about you?”

If Rose was more outgoing, she might’ve grinned back at her. However, Rose was much more like her Dad so she simply smiled at her shyly.

“My name’s Rosetta, but you can call me Rose. I’m a half-blood. My mum was muggleborn and my dad is a half-blood too” remembering her courtesy lessons she gave a little curtsy.

“Hey that’s almost like me! My mum’s a muggleborn and my Lord Father was a pureblood. You’d probably know him if I told you.” Joanne responded with a smirk.

As she sat and chatted with the outgoing Joanne and more reserved Elora Rose began to calm down and her anxiety turned to excitement over her new journey.
Everything was going well until Joanne asked what they thought their houses would be.

“I’m going to be a Gryffindor of course, just like both my parents. Don’t bother answering Elora it’s fine if you don’t know what you’ll be. I’m pretty sure you’ll end up in Hufflepuff. You too probably Rose.”

Rose was about to contradict that statement, annoyed, but was interrupted by the door opening. Three girls walked in. The leader of the trio had perfectly coiffed honey blonde hair and forest green eyes. She was flanked by two red-headed girls, one of which was highly freckled.

Honestly, green eyes was absolutely lovely, at least until she opened her mouth. It all went downhill from there.

Looking straight at Joanne she made a shooing motion and said “Well, well, well. If it isn’t the Potter bastard. Well, at least one of them.”

Freckles and no freckles giggled with their hands over their mouths.

“We’ll be having you leave this cabin now if you don’t mind bastard. I’ll allow the ginger to stay. One more couldn’t hurt to have.”

She flicked her hair and honestly, Rose wanted to hex the living daylights out of her. She half expected Joanne to go red with rage and do that for her, especially if she really was Rose’s step-sister. Dad had told her all about James Potter. Instead, Joanne surprised her and began to check out her nails nonchalantly before saying

“I shouldn’t be so quick to call me such names Mc-La-ggen” she strung out green eyes surname with a lop-sided smirk.

“After all, everyone knows that your mother looks nothing like her parents and other than you, your brother and mummy dearest. Those pretty green eyes haven’t been seen on your mum’s side since before the 1800’s.”

Rose was first impressed with Joanne. As well as really wishing she had some popcorn. But then McLaggen snarled. Like fully reverberating around the compartment, teeth bared, hair raising, snarled. Then Rose was just scared.

“Piss off Courtney. And take Weasley and Stewart with you”

McLaggen and her red headed friends turned in unison and stormed off, noses high in the sky. Of course, not before she snarled once more at them.
Still shaken Rose’s attention was turned to Jeanne as she tapped them both on the shoulder.

“Purebloods, am I right?”

Rose gave her a tight smile

“Purebloods”

Chapter Text

1 September 1988

The remainder of the train journey had been uneventful. An hour before they were due to arrive at the station one of the Hufflepuff prefects, a metamorphous named Tonks, came to their cabin alongside the Head Boy, Rolf Scamander to check that they had their robes on. They were a part of the largest ‘year’ group in Hogwarts currently. Counting in at over 50 the size of their year group was still much less than the average year size before the war, in those days there were usually between 75 and 80 incoming students a year. At first glance the number of wizards and witches in their year would be gladdening, at least until one looked again and saw that the year-group was a merger of students born from 1970-1973. The fifth, sixth and seventh years had found themselves merged into one group in order to make them a valid class-size. In reality, there were only 10 seventh years and around 20 students in fifth and sixth year respectively. Of the 51 students ranging from 15-18 only 3 were muggleborn. Such was the destruction wrought by both sides in the first years of the war.

Their year group was horrible, at least according to her father, due to the 3-year age range there were quite a number of members of the same House or even family unit in the year. Of the 52 students, 23 came from 10 Houses. Of course, the most over-represented were the Weasleys of Gryffindor (4 of them, Dad’s worst nightmare) and the Weirs of Slytherin (also 4, less terrifying than the Weasley’s though). At least her year wouldn’t have so many duplicates, though apparently, they had their year groups compulsory Weasley. At least Rose understood why Dad disliked them so much now. She disliked Freckles (who’s given name was, according to Joanne, Bertha Weasley, the eldest daughter of the current Head of House’s youngest brother) almost as much as McLaggen. Not quite as much, but almost.

Anyway, moving on from those annoying and depressing subjects, the scene that Rose was looking at now was magnificent. She’d been to the castle before of course, Dad practically lived in the place most of the time, but never in this manner. She’d always flooed to Dad’s quarters. That was routine and boring, approaching it on one of 10 floating boats was something else entirely. The sheer power radiating from it. The beauty of the magic around it making it shine brightly in the darkness of night. If she looked hard enough, she could see. See it being built up brick by brick, the original castle a fortress created to guard them from the muggles hunting them, and then the layers of beauty added to it by further generations as it was expanded on. “Oh my.”

“Agreed” Whispered Elora from where she was sat next to her. Joanne was sat on the front bench with an old friend of hers, Audrey Aiton, who had joined them later in the train ride. She had been previously sitting with McLaggen and her crew. Evidently her parents had plans to try to have her married off to one of Lord Weasley’s sons so she was under strict orders to suck up to Freckles. Rose definitely didn’t blame her for ditching them. Even if it was against her parent’s orders, those girls were horrible.

As they reached the top of the stairs leading to the castle from the boats, the groundskeeper, who’s name was Hagrid if she recalled correctly, left them with Professor McGonagall. Dad had said that McGonagall was stern but fair, unless you were a Gryffindor, then she was just a little bit stern. So, Rose gave the woman a small smile, which grew a little bit as she saw the Professor’s eyes go wide and her face pale in shock. Evidently, Rose was recognisably at least one of her parents’ daughter.

They grew quiet as the Professor stopped them before two huge doors.

 

“‘Welcome to Hogwarts,’ said Professor McGonagall. ‘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.'

‘The four houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Each house has its own 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 smarted yourselves up as much as you can while you are waiting.’
‘I will return when we are ready for you,’ said Professor McGonagall. ‘Please wait quietly.’ (Rowling, 1997)

Rose was bouncing on her tippy toes with nerves, looking around, it seemed hat the rest of them were too. Even Joanne looked nervous. Only a little bit of course, but still.

‘Move along now,’ said a sharp voice. ‘The Sorting Ceremony’s about to start.’ Professor McGonagall had returned. (Rowling, 1997)

She led them between two tables up to the front of the hall, which wasn’t as large as she had expected it to be, Rose figured that like the train it only accommodated the required number of students. They gathered in a herd in front of the steps and Rose could practically feel the entire hall’s eyes on her.

The Professor simply had to look at them sharply to gain their attention.

‘When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted,’ she said. (Rowling, 1997)

Rose gulped. To be sorted in front of everyone! She glanced over at her Dad who looked at her as softly as he was willing to in public before his eyes turned cold and wandered away. Joanne whispered in her ear that they should play a game guessing which house each person would be sorted into. It would distract her from her nerves she supposed so Rose agreed.

“Abbott, Frederick”.

A skinny blonde boy approached the stool. “Abbott’s are always Hufflepuff” Joanne whispered. Rose nodded in agreement.

*HUFFLEPUFF*

Joanne grinned at her as Frederick ran off to the Hufflepuff table which was cheering for him.

“Aiton, Audrey”.

Audrey swaggered up there and was announced as a Gryffindor before the hat even touched her head. Aud and Jeanne grinned at each other.

“Avery, Albert”.

No guesses necessary there. He was an Avery after all.

*SLYTHERIN*

The next five were the same. Bole, Bulstrode, Burke, Crabbe and Derrick. All children of Death Eaters, both arrested and accused but freed.

“Dunbar, Cian”.

A long-faced boy strolled up to the hat, all swagger.

*GRYFFINDOR*

“Dunn, Elora”.

Rose gave her new friend a smile, internally screaming, it would probably be her next. Joanne gave Elora two thumbs up and grin. As Elora walked up to the hat Rose felt her heart pounding. Then…

*HUFFLEPUFF*

Elora looked like she was about to cry. Rose wanted to comfort her but she was frozen. Luckily Joanne caught Elora by the shoulders and gave a smile before whispering something to her. Elora gave them both a watery smile so Rose could at least hope everything was ok.

“Ahem” McGonagall cleared her throat and Elora bowed her head panickingly and rushed off to her new House's table.

“Evans, Rosetta” she said light of breath.

Rose looked at Joanne once and then Dad before she made her way to the stool. The hat fell over her head and the world was covered with darkness.

*Interesting, I remember sorting your parents little one*

Rose was embarrassed to admit that she started a bit at that. It appeared that the hat was speaking to her through her mind. So she attempted to do the same to it (him?).

*Hello Sir?*

Though she couldn’t hear it Rose could feel the hat chuckling.

*Hello little one. Now which house for you*

*Well, if you’d be willing to take suggestions I’d prefer to be in either Slytherin or Gryffindor, my parents' Houses*

Rose felt the hat laughing again.

*You would fit better in Hufflepuff little one*

*I know, but I don’t want to disappoint my Dad*

*Well I can certainly understand that. Disappointing Professor Snape doesn’t usually go well*

*I don’t think he would hurt me!*

*Of course not. Well, if that’s the case it betta be…*

The mind voice cut off and was replaced by an outer one.

*GRYFFINDOR*

 

Rose heard whooping as she stood from the stool and practically skipped over to her new table to be greeted by an absolutely shocking number of red heads.

Chapter Text

27 May 1989

Rose was utterly exhausted. She’d been revising for their end of year exams on and off for the past three weeks. For two of those weeks shed also been trying, in vain, to convince her close friends Joanne and Audrey to study too. It was a waste of time. She still remembered September when she had thought that she might have found her two future Best Friends on the Express. She didn’t. While she and Joanne (and by extension Audrey) were still close friends, it was clear to see that they weren’t best friends. That honour went to Audrey of course. Furthermore, less than a month into their studies at Hogwarts she, Joanne and Elora had begun to fall apart. Elora had made new friends in her own House and was especially close to the other muggleborn in their year, Beatrice. Rose desperately wished they hadn’t, but that’s how it generally went at Hogwarts, you kept the members of your friendship group to your own House lest you be seen as an outcast.

Gideon Moncrieff, a third year, was a painful reminder of that fact. He as a pureblood Gryffindor who hailed from a long line of Gryffindor’s (surprise surprise he was another ginger) and would likely have been the second most popular/powerful third year Gryffindor (next to Lord Alexander Stewart who had been the Head of his House since his Father died in the late years of the war) as soon as he stepped foot in Hogwarts if not for the fact that his elder brother, the Heir of their staunchly Gryffindor aligned House, was a Slytherin. If that was the only thing then he likely would’ve held a powerful position in Gryffindor. Heck, it was well known that some members (not to ever be mentioned to anyone outside of the House of course) would be perfectly willing to help to ah… get rid off a Slytherin Heir to a Gryffindor House. But it was well known that Gideon loved his brother and the two were close. So, he moved from possibly becoming one of the highest status members of Gryffindor to the lowest of the low.

Lesson learned she supposed. Tick to your own house, even if they’re family. It was horrible honestly. Usually Gideon was either on his own or hanging around his brother (she had heard McLaggen twittering with Freckles and Stewart about him on a number of occasions). Rarely the two would be joined by another Slytherin boy whose name Rose didn’t know. The boy had pitch black messy hair and ice blue eyes. He was tall compared to the rest of the third years and if she was to tell the truth, the one time their eyes had met, her heart had skipped a beat. It was a silly crush of course, but he was just so cute. Probably a pureblood though so nothing would ever come of it, at 13 or 14 he was probably already betrothed.

Now Rose found herself in an awkward position. She had been beginning her long study weekend before exams next week, managing to get herself her favourite table by having breakfast at 5: 30 and arriving in the library at 6. She had to arrive so early during revision season otherwise not only would her favourite table (which could probably fit two people and their books and was tucked away in a cubby corner, comfortable and removed from any distractions) be taken almost immediately, but by 9 o’clock the Ravenclaw’s would have descended in their flock to overrun the library, dominating the larger tables and she’d be left with the small desks in front of the bookshelves. Those were terrible to have to work on. So, she came early, set herself up, and began to work diligently.

So focused was she on her revision that she never even noticed the boy with the ice blue eyes come into her hidey hole which contained the table until he sat himself down and began to spread his work out. She looked up nervously. What should she do? OH HECATE. WHAT SHOULD SHE DO. He was looking at her. Rose quickly buried her nose in her book again. Peeking over the edge of her book the 12-year-old noted that the 14-year-old seemed to be making himself comfortable, if she was going to say something, she’d have to do it now.

“Um”.

‘Oh, that was just great’ she thought. ‘UM’. At this point Rose was about ready to bury herself in a hole and throw away the spade.

The ice eyed boy looked up at her.

“All of the other tables were completely full. Ravenclaw’s. I have no intention of working next to the bookshelves” he said

That made sense.

“Already? There’s usually at least one free until quarter to 9.” She whispered in surprise.

He raised one refined eyebrow at her.

“It is the week before the younger years’ end of year exams. Furthermore, it is also the week before mock OWLs and NEWTs begin. What did you expect?” He looked down at his book.

Rose blushed. Obviously. How stupid could she be.

“My name’s Rose by the way.” Oh Hecate. He was going to kill her. She’d interrupted him. This was a very bad time for her underlying Gryffindor blood to show.

He looked up appearing amused to her relief.

“Roderick.” He nodded at her and then glanced down at his book and then back at her. “If you would not mind?”

Rose turned the colour of her namesake.

“Yes of course. Sorry.”

He smiled at her and Rose knew she was doomed.

Despite her crush on the boy with the ice blue eyes, now known as Roderick, Rose found it shockingly easy to get drawn into her studies. Before she knew it was 12 o’clock. How she’d managed to study non-stop for 4 hours Hecate knew. She still wanted to continue but she knew that the Ravenclaws would jump the table as soon as they caught wind of it being free. Looking up it appeared that Roderick wasn’t getting up. Could she ask?

“Excuse me.”

He looked up at her and it felt like a lump formed in her throat as she looked in his eyes.

“Yes?”

“Um, I was wondering if you would be going to get Lunch? Just if you’re not planning to I was wondering if you might possibly be willing to watch my stuff and save the seat?”

He appeared to think it over for a second.

“Very well. If you’re going, pick me up a sandwich or two would you?”

Rose nearly started to grin on the spot.

“Yes, of course! I’ll be back in a bit!”

He raised a hand at her as she left, returning to his books.

Rose began humming s soon as she left the library. Roderick was really nice.

Chapter Text

30 June 1989

Rose woke up at 9 o’clock completely refreshed and ready for a day filled with relaxation. It was the last day of term and all classes had been cancelled. Of course, they hadn’t been doing all that much in class anyway since the end of year exams ended in May but still. She couldn’t decide whether she was excited to go back home. While they didn’t live in that horribly smoggy town of Cokeworth anymore, they had moved to a hamlet in Wiltshire when she was 7, she had come to consider Hogwarts as her new home over the past 10 months. She’d miss it. She’d miss the food, the classes, her friends Joanne and Audrey. She’d miss Roderick as well. Even after the exam period ended for them both in May they’d continued to share the cosy table to do their homework in each other’s company. Over the past week it had mainly been him doing homework and her reading some of her favourite books but still. A couple of times Rose had been trying to understand the theory she’d need for next year and when she got very confused, he’d notice and help her. Honestly, that didn’t help her crush on him, in fact it had only seemed to get worse.

Slowly arising with a long stretch Rose went to get dressed. Looking in her trunk she found one of her casual outfits to wear. A pretty summer dress, with a cardie of course they were in Scotland after all. Most of her roommates were still asleep it seemed, including Audrey and (very unsurprisingly) Joanne. Honestly, Joanne could sleep literally anywhere, anytime. It was pretty impressive actually. Quietly picking up her shoes Rose headed down to the common room to put her shoes on and head to the Great Hall.
The walk there was so silent that the only noise in the corridors were her shoes clicking against the stone floor. It was eery really. At one-point Rose found herself lost in thought staring at the walls. She didn’t understand why. Rose often did and saw things she didn’t understand. Rose was knocked out of her day dreaming by a tap on her shoulder. Quickly pivoting Rose found herself face to face with Roderick. He was looking at her with great amusement and a small smile tugging at his lips. Of course, she turned bright scarlet at that.

“You are up early for the last day of term Rosie-Posy”

And he had taken to calling her that as well. Oh, her poor heart.

“I could say the same to you Rod”

He chuckled lightly. “You’re right. I enjoy how quiet it is at this time in the morning on the final day.”

She smiled and tucked a hair behind her ear. “Yes, it is nice isn’t it.”

He hummed affirmatively. Thinking it over for a second Rose decided she’d ask whether he wanted to walk with her to the hall. Not eat with her of course. He probably wouldn’t be seen dead with a first year Gryffindor who everyone knew wasn’t a pureblood.

“I’m just going to the Hall to get some breakfast. Do you want to walk together?” her heart pounded so heavily she was sure that he’d be able to hear it.

“Oh Rosie. You don’t want to be seen with me.”

He didn’t want to be seen with her. Sure, he said it the other way around but surely that was what he meant.

“I. Yes. Sure. I get that you don’t want to be seen with a half-blood Gryffindor almost 3 years younger than you”

His eyes widened at her. “That isn’t what I said Rosie.” He said sternly.

“Mhm” she hummed at him.

He took her hand as she turned way. “You know my surname don’t you Rosie? Then you must understand why you do NOT want us to be seen together. I will admit that your status as a half-blood factors into this decision. But it doesn’t affect our friendship.”

Oh god. Her heart. But…“I don’t” she whispered

“What?” he said

More loudly Rose answered him “I don’t know your surname Rod. You’ve never told me.”

Rod went as pale as a ghost at that. “I... see. Well then.”

He started to walk away. It was her who caught him this time.

“What is it Rod? What House are you from?”

Their eyes met and for what seemed like hours they stared at each other.

He looked down at his toes. More the image of a scared child than the proud pureblood wizard he was.

“Lestrange”

Much to her shame Rose’s mouth dropped open at that. He was a Lestrange. The relative of one of the worst death eaters ever. Bellatrix.

“My name is Roderick Lestrange and I am the Head of my House. The son of Bellatrix Lestrange and Rodolphus Lestrange.”

 

As he looked up at her, studied her face and turned to walk briskly away, she was left stunned and gaping.

Chapter Text

1 September 1989

As she looked upon the Hogwarts express once more Rose was filled with nerves. She’d gotten to the platform early this time round. Like four hours early. She wanted to quickly get herself a cabin to save seats for Joanne and Audrey. She’d exchanged letters with both of them over the holidays. That had been pleasant, though she still wished that Dad had allowed her to visit them. Explaining why he hadn’t had been very awkward. Rose was trying to stop herself from believing that they must think she disliked them. On that thought, Rose glanced down at her pocket. In it was a letter. She had written it and rewrote it over and over since the last day of term to give to Rod. She hated herself for how she had acted in response to Rod’s surname. He’d been nothing but nice to her ever since they’d met and even though he never recognised their friendship in public they were still friends and she’d done wrong by him. So, she’d drafted an apology letter.

Initially she’d intended to send it via owl over the holidays but the first few times she’d chickened out before the fourth time when she realised that he might be punished for receiving a letter from her. She was a half-blood bastard with a muggleborn surname after all. And considering who he lived with…well, she doubted that his positively ancient great-grandmother Lady Dowager Alexandra Lestrange née Rosier would be too happy with him having a half-blood as a friend.

So, she’d kept her letter to him in waiting. Knowing Rod he’d probably arrive at the station at the crack of dawn. Possibly before even the Ravenclaws turned up. She was partially wrong. He was here early. Not as early as she’d first imagined though. Turning around she saw him. He was standing next to a woman who looked almost as old as Dumbledore himself with white hair and wrinkled skin. The woman still held herself with pride though. Rod. Rod looked horrible. His face was pale and his eyes had dark circles surrounding them. If that wasn’t enough, he appeared to have lost a lot of weight over the summer and his hair had lost its sheen. As he looked over to her and met her eyes she was met with dead blue ones. While they’d always been the colour of ice only now did she see the lack of feeling in them.

Rose’s heart hurt as she was left stranded on the platform as he made his way past her and on to the train. Rose gathered her wits together after a 10 odd minutes, people walking past her and onto the train as she did. People including the Moncrieff brothers and Cygnus definitely-not-an-illegitimate-Black Fisher. Cygnus was Rod’s best friend in Slytherin though in his year-group Rod always seemed closer to Gideon Moncrieff. She wouldn’t be able to see him alone now it seemed.

Entering onto the Express Rose decided. She knew that very few people were already on the express at this hour, so she decided to risk trying to talk to Rod. She needed to let him know how little she cared that he was a Lestrange. Also, from the look of him something horrible must’ve happened over the holidays, it was worrying. Rose walked along the corridor filled with nerves. As she got closer to the fourth-year compartments where she knew that Rod would probably be sitting in with at least Gideon and Cygnus, possibly Henry Moncrieff as well, her heart beat louder and she began to rethink her decision. However, she found herself standing in front of the sole full one. Even with the door shut Rose could feel the tense atmosphere oozing out of the compartment. Opening it up and seeing the 4 boys sitting in there it got even worse. Rod was sitting in one of the window seats next to the dark haired and dark-eyed Henry Moncrieff and opposite Cygnus Fisher, who had the same hair as Rod and eyes the same colour as her own. What was most suprising about the seating arrangement however, was the fact that Rod’s closest companion Gideon was sitting as far away from him as possible, never looking Rod in the eye.
It was Henry that greeted her first.

“Good Morning Miss, what can we do for you?”

Filled with a cabin of high-class purebloods and a probable illegitimate Black Rose stuck to her manners and curtseyed.

“Good Morning Sirs. I was simply wondering if I could have a moment of Lord Lestrange’s time”

Henry looked over at Rod who had just looked up at her. Rod looked over at them and nodded. Rose didn’t know what she was expecting to happen next but it certainly wasn’t for the 3 other boys to get up and leave them alone, Gideon sneered at Rod before he left though.

“What is it Miss Evans.”

Ouch. “Rod. I…I…” she took a breath. “Rod, words cannot express how sorry I am for how I acted last year. I was rude and cruel and I understand if you can’t forgive me. It was just so surprising and I didn’t know how to deal with it and…” She felt tears begin to leak from her eyes and threw herself at him.

As she held him, she cried. “I’m so so so so sorry Rod. So sorry. I’ve ruined our friendship.”

Rose continued to cry for almost a minute before Rod placed his arms around her and held her lightly.

“It…it is alright. I forgive you.”

Of course, that only made Rose cry harder. Once she managed to get her wits about her again she wiped her eyes and looked up at him. He still looked so sad, but at least there was a little bit of life back in his eyes. She knew that they’d just made up but she couldn’t help herself.

“Are you alright?”

He hesitated slightly before he answered.

 

 

 

“I’m fine.”

Chapter Text

1 September 1989

Roderick lied. He wasn’t fine. He was shit. Rod wasn’t even 15 yet and it seemed that his entire life was falling apart. He and Gideon had broken up soon after the holidays began. Gideon thought that he was cheating with Cygnus, which was really, really stupid. Cygnus wasn’t like Gideon or even Rod. Gideon was homosexual and Roderick was just plain weird. Rod was attracted to both boys and girls. Even before they were dating Gideon, who’d known since their second year, thought he was weird. Last year, after they’d started dating Gideon had constantly told him to just decide either way. Though Rod knew that meant just decide to be homosexual. It hurt. He couldn’t explain why. It just did. Gideon hadn’t ever really loved him. Rod knew that. It wasn’t surprising. After all, who could ever love the son of the infamous Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange? Particularly a Gryffindor.

His troubles with his love life and sexuality weren’t the only thing on his mind though. If that was it then he wouldn’t be as fucked up as he currently was. Sagitta was dead. His favourite cousin was dead. Her siblings, Draco and Cassandra, were only 9 and 5 respectively. She was barely 17. And the worst part of it? Rod couldn’t even bring himself to hate her husband and the daughter that had killed her. They were too fucking nice. Sagitta had been perfect, his first crush, beautiful and intelligent before she left after OWLs. It wasn’t fair. But then again life never was. The world was cruel and the vast majority of people, regardless of their magical orientation (dark or light), were shit.

And that brought him to his third point. He was getting married next year. To a daughter of one the Second-Class of Noble Wizarding House’s. Artoria White. The White’s were the most powerful light-oriented Pureblood Noble House in Britain, bowing only to the Royal Houses. Unlike the Black’s they didn’t even deign to grace Hogwarts with their presence. Not even the members of the lowest ranked cadet branch had ever attended. He didn’t want to marry her. She may have been beautiful with her white-blonde hair and enthralling purple eyes and as powerful as her House suggested. But she was also vain, detached and cruel. He’d been betrothed to her since the war had ended and had spent enough time with her since then to be confident in his judgement of her character.

So that’s why Rod was the exact opposite of fine right now. And do you know what really didn’t help the entire situation? The fact that they were waioting on the bloody first-years for the feast to begin. After being stuck in that bloody cabin for hours on end with one person who now hated him and two who were trying desperately to ignore the elephant in the room Rod could really do with a fucking feast of food right now. But no. We had to wait for the stupid firsties to have their dumb and lengthy boat ride to the castle and walk up the hundreds of steps to reach the castle proper. Rod felt like banging his head against the table in frustration. If he didn’t have an image to upkeep, he would’ve. His reputation as Bellatrix’s son was incredibly advantageous in Slytherin where the fear had slowly turned to respect and awe as he showed them that he had no intention of ruling over the house with an iron fist and that he hadn’t inherited his mother’s renowned madness. Not that Rod had ever seen that side of her, to him she’d always been the perfect pureblood lady, he supposed constantly performing the darkest of magic would drive anyone mad at times. While he didn’t rule over Slytherin with an iron fist he was still it’s King. No one dared debate that. Not anymore.

The rulers and future rulers of Slytherin were usually decided long in advance. When he arrived in 1986 the position of Ruler would have belonged to Lady Maud Selwyn, who’s position had been determined in September 1969. It would’ve belonged to her if the main line Selwyn’s hadn’t decided to remain neutral during the war. If she hadn’t been murdered in 1978, only 9 years old. As it was, in September 1986 the fourth surviving daughter of the notorious Cornelius Nott ruled as the Queen of Slytherin. The seventh year Cornelia Nott who shockingly made it to her seventh year of Hogwarts unmarried stood with the sixth year Caturix Greengrass as her heir. The Prince of Slytherin.
Rod was the highest ranking in almost all of Slytherin even then. Only outranked by the Queen herself, and even then, he technically could have demanded she abdicate in favour of him. As the Head of his House the only possible students of Slytherin that would outrank him would have to be Head of the House’s Black, White, one of the Hogwart’s Houses Namesakes, Malfoy or Longbottom. Of course, the Royal Houses would outrank all of them but, like House White and the namesakes they never attended Hogwarts, not anymore. He let Caturix rule in his second year purely because he felt sorry for the man who’d expected to rule eventually for years. But since last year, he’d ruled. His current heirs were Cecilia and Corra Greengrass, though that would change when Draco arrived in two years’ time.

Dragging himself out of his thoughts Rod found that the firsties had finally arrived. A lot of them this year. Maybe he should play count the Weasley’s.

Dumbeldouche drew everyone’s attention.

“Welcome to another wonderful new year at Hogwarts. As some of you may have noticed many of our First Years are young. This is because this year’s intake has been merged with next. I hope you will treat all of your soon to be Housemates well. Now, let us begin the sorting.”

Well that would explain it. It was also fucking depressing to think about the reason behind the merger. Rod zoned out again. The only notable person for Slytherin arriving this year was the Heir of House Slughorn, Harold. Other than him there was one Head and one Heir of Noble Houses; Charles Aiton and Albert Blishwick respectively as well as four other Heirs to Pureblood Houses; Edward Carmichael, Cedric Diggory, Cormac McLaggen and Cassius Warrington.

He noted one extra thing of note part way through the sorting. Something that drew the whole hall into silence. That wasn’t the branch Potters which turned up later. Something much more interesting.

 

McGonagall went almost as pale as she had on his name during his own sorting as she went to read out the name.

 

“FitzBlack, Leo”

 

 

 

*SLYTHERIN*

Chapter Text

10 July 1990

Rose was, well not excited, but a little bit eager. Today was the beginning of the final match of the World Cup and Audrey and Joanne (who were both very into quidditch, well watching it) had invited her to join them and their families in attending the final. Obviously, she had had to buy her own ticket but she’d be staying in the same tent as them for free. Convincing Dad to let her go had taken literally ages, mainly due to the fact that he was still absolute on his opinion that no one should know that Rose was his daughter so he couldn’t meet Audrey or Joanne, not outside of potions. Eventually he’d come around, though he was sending her with an emergency portkey just in case. Rose picked up her extended bag with excitement and prepared to floo to Audrey’s house, they were going with her mum after all.

“Bye Dad! I’m off now!”

Dad swished around the corner in those long black robes he liked so much

“You have your portkey?”

“Yes, Dad”

“Your wand?”

“Yes Dad”

“Enough clothes? And a toothbrush?”

Rose chuckled and rose on her tippy toes to give him a kiss goodbye.

“Don’t worry dad. I’ve got everything. Checked four times over”

“Be careful Rosetta”

Rose picked up a handful of floo powder and turned to their fireplace.

“I’ll be fine dad. Lady Aiton is going to be with us the entire time.”

“I suppose the woman is a Hufflepuff. Well. Have fun”

“Thanks Dad. Seeya soon!”

With that she flooed herself away.

She arrived gracefully in Aiton Manor (situated in Ross shire it was the nearest of them to the allocated international portkey point for the Scottish and Home Nations fans) to be greeted with an armful of exceptionally excited Audrey Aiton. Audrey’s strawberry blonde hair was bouncing wildly as was she.

“We’re going to the finals! We’re going to the finals! Scotland is in the fucking FINALS!!” she squealed very un-Audreylike. To be perfectly honest Rose only got that on the second time she said it, her highlands accent was too strong. Rose grinned at her.

The celebrations were interrupted by the clumsy arrival of a very sooty Joanne and her sister Julia. They…were not good at flooing it seemed. As if to prove Rose right Joanne coughed up a bunch of soot.

“Oh dear!” That was Lady Aiton. She was the Acting Head of House Aiton until Audrey’s little brother Charles came of age. Her blonde hair and blue eyes perfectly matched the Scottish blue dress she was wearing. The woman practically oozed nobility as she swept towards them, her dress flowing behind her. Lady Aiton performed a quick cleaning charm on the two FitzJames’s and called the one person of their party not yet present.

“CHARLES!” she hollered

A moment later a roar came from upstairs “WHAT!!??”

“WE’RE LEAVING! GET YOUR BAG!”

“COMING!”

~1 minute later~

“CHARLES JAMES AITON GET YER ARSE DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW!”

“AYE! A SAID A WAS COMIN’ MA”

Lady Aiton breathed in deeply and alongside the other girls Rose braced herself.

“NOW!”

“3”

“2”

An 11-year-old came barrelling down the staircase, his hair, same colour as Audrey’s but darker, bouncing as he rushed. At first Rose thought that the kid was in deep trouble, what with the look on Lady Aiton’s face. But then she smiled happily and said

“Now that everyone is here let’s get going, shall we?”

As they made their way to the port key point Rose overheard Joanne whisper a question to Audrey. “Is your mum alright?”

Audrey’s answer said everything really. “Mum’s always been a wee bit well, ya know. Apparently, she’s been like this since da was killed in the war. Death Eaters.”

Rose was reminded why neither of her friends could ever know about her friendship with Rod.

They’d never forgive her. She kept thinking about Rod as they walked. His hair, his eyes which always seemed brighter when she was with him. Everything about him. Rose was only started out of her daydreams by a tap on her shoulder and a portkey in front of her.

Lady Aiton drew their attention. “Now we’re going to do this all together alright? On three grab the wheel and hold on tight. One. Two. Three.”

Portkeys were almost as bad as side-long apparition. At the end when they arrived in the wild west of America where the games were to be held, she felt sick. Judging from the looks on most of her companions faces she wasn’t the only one. Looking around she was amazed by the sheer number of witches and wizards as she was dragged off to their allocated camping spot Rose couldn’t help but keep staring around. More magical folk were there than at Diagon Alley and Hogwarts combined. It was amazing. This was going to be a great trip.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

It wasn’t.

The Aitons and FitzJamess left the match five days later immensely disappointed by Scotland’s loss.

Rose walked out of there heartbroken at the sight of Rod with an ethereally beautiful girl who was, according to Lady Aiton, going to be married to him in less than a month. Rose may have only been thirteen but her heart was shattered.

 

 

Chapter Text

24 July 1991

Harry James Potter lay in his bed staring up at the spider he was currently sharing a cupboard with. You see, while Harry lived in a three-bedroom house in Little Whinging, Surrey with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and cousin Dudley the third bedroom wasn’t, and never would be, his. No, the third bedroom belonged to his Aunt Rose though she didn’t live with them. You see on the day that he came to live with his Aunt and Uncle Auntie Rose had been taken away by freaks like him. The same freaks that had dropped him off. Despite how long it had been Aunt Petunia still kept the room clean and useable in case she ever came home. It was the one room that Harry wasn’t instructed to clean. After all, it would be an insult to Aunt Rose for her room to be cleaned by the freak who caused her disappearance. Harry was always reminded by Aunt Petunia how good and lovely Aunt Rose was.

Harry was drawn out of his thoughts by Dudley barrelling downstairs as usual. He stopped over Harry’s cupboard and jumped up and down. Obviously, he was louder than usual. Dudley had been pissed off at him ever since the snake incident on his birthday. Harry hadn’t meant to get rid of the glass wall, though he’d been chatting with snakes ever since he could remember, he was a freak after all. He could do freakish things. Aunt Petunia said that he’d be going to a school for freaks like him next year and that he wouldn’t be coming back except for the summer. Harry was both excited and nervous for that. These were the same people who took his Aunt Rose away after all, and she was only four. Who knew what they’d do to him? Harry was good at surviving though, so he figured he’ be alright.

Opening his cupboard door once he was sure that Dudley had past Harry went to the door to collect the post before he made a start on breakfast. Uncle Vernon liked to read the mail before he ate. As he sorted through the mail Harry came across a most peculiar letter. It was peculiar in a number of ways. Firstly, it was addressed to him. With Harry being such an outcast there was nobody to send him any letters. Secondly, the envelope was oddly coloured, it didn’t really look like a normal envelope. Finally, there was the seal stamped on the back of the envelope, sealing it shut. The seal was no coat of arms that Harry recognised, though granted he only knew the Queen’s coat of Arms and Prince Charles’ feathers. Oh, and the French fleur-de-lis from history class.

Looking at his letter Harry made his way down the hall to the kitchen-dining room. H handed Uncle Vernon his letters and placed his own on the counter.

“That yours boy? Hm??!” Uncle Vernon said, his pig face red

“Yes Sir. It says that its from a place called Hogwarts”

Vernon went pale at that.

“Finally. Open it up after you’ve served breakfast boy.” said Aunt Petunia

“Yes Ma’am”

Harry was doing fried egg on toast with baked beans today. He was rather good at cooking if he didn’t say so himself.

Harry served breakfast up and joined the rest of the household at the table.

While Uncle Vernon and Dudley ate like the pigs they were, Aunt Petunia barely touched the small plate that Harry had dished up for her. Aunt Petunia rarely ate much, but even for her this was unusual.

“We’ll take a trip into London next Saturday before we go on our Summer Holidays. We shall need to collect your things for that place after all boy.”

Dudley screwed his nose up “I don’t have to go do I mummy? Me and the lads are gonna hang out all next week”

“Of course, not poppet. We wouldn’t want to subject you to that after all Dudders.”

This would be interesting. A day trip with Aunt Petunia. Fun.

After he washed up their dishes Harry went to open up his letter.

The letter read that he was accepted into “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”. That wasn’t even the most freakish part of the letter. It addressed him as Lord Potter and said that they awaited his owl, expecting its arrival by the 31 July at the latest. Where on earth would he get/train an owl?

“It says that they expect me to send my reply by owl by the 31st  Aunt Petunia. Where do I get one of them from? How do we send it otherwise?”

Aunt Petunia sighed long-sufferingly. “I suppose we’ll have to move up our trip to London to this Saturday. It’s rather late to be sending these out. How I’m expected to remember how to get into that freakish lane I can’t imagine. The trouble you’re causing me boy. Honestly.”

“Sorry Aunt Petunia.”

She huffed.

 

Harry went through his chores that day with a bit more of a bounce in his step. London was always pretty fun. Even if he would have to be around the people who took his Aunt away.

Chapter Text

1 September 1991

As the 14-year-old Rosetta Evans sat in her compartment on the Hogwarts express alongside Joanne and Audrey she felt an overwhelming sense of dread. Rose had a feeling that this year would be even worse than her last, and not simply due to the extra workload!

Third year had seen her grow closer with Audrey as Joanne was constantly hanging over her sister Julia, who was now a Lower Third Year, aged 12. Joanne could be a teensy bit overprotective of her. Her friendship with Rod had grown more distant, however much she had tried. The fact that Audrey had started to study with her hadn’t helped matters. She had just grown so awkward around him since learning of his now-wife. Of course, Rose had long since come to terms that their relationship would never come to anything more than friendship but it had been difficult to see the pictures of Rod’s first-born Esme. And since the distancing of them last year Rose had tried to come to terms with the fact that, like most inter-house friendships, they wouldn’t last, even as friends. To make it worse, when she had told him which courses she was going to be taking for OWLs he had laughed at her. Just because she had decided to take divination as one of her electives.

Rose had a feeling that she was going to bloody well need that course. If only to help her find a bloody partner in life. If she were ever going to get married it would have to be either a muggle or a Weasley after all. There were so few Muggleborns or Half-Bloods in Hogwarts right now after all, at this point Rose half expected she’d end up as either some Pureblood’s mistress or a spinster witch. Speaking of Half-Bloods brought her back to her sense of dread. She didn’t know quite what it was but she had a terrible feeling that it might have to do with her half-blood, half-brother. Lord Potter.

Yes, this year, Harry Potter was coming to Hogwarts.

It seemed that the entire platform had been talking about it as she had boarded almost two hours earlier, well the few that were there. Looking out of the window Rose watched the world go by. The platform was incredibly busy. Looking about she witnessed the arrival of the Malfoy family who had come with their younger daughter to see the young heir off, soon after they’d left a herd of Weasley’s arrived, she wasn’t entirely sure if they were Branch or Main at first, then she spotted the notorious twins, Fred and George Weasley. Then, right after the last Weasley child entered the platform came a black haired, emerald-eyed, young boy. Rose quickly drew herself out of sight. Looking over at Joanne and Audrey she said quietly.

“He’s here.”

Joanne’s eyes widened. “My Lordly half-brother you mean?!”

Rose was yet to tell her that Harry was her half-brother too.

“Yes. He looks…like a Potter.”

Joanne went to look through the window before Audrey pulled her back.

“Jo!” she hissed “Ya know ye can nay be seen lookin at him! Tis almost as bad as talking to him!”

Joanne looked down guiltily. Everyone knew that bastards never looked at or spoke to their trueborn siblings if they weren’t first approached by them, particularly patrilineal bastards.

“I know. It’s just. He’s still my brother you know? I’ve never met him of course. But still.”

Rose drew a deep breath before “I understand. I’m a bastard too after all. I only have one half sibling. Not being able to know them is my greatest regret in life.”

“What!!???” Jo shrieked “Why haven’t you mentioned this before!”

Rose’s nerves very nearly got the best of her before she forced herself to whisper “ It never really came up in conversation.”

“Oh Hecate Rosie. Don’t ya think this’d be somthin we’d wanna know?” Audrey said

“Not really. I’m sorry if I hurt you guys.” Rose replied

“It’s fine. Just, don’t keep any more giant secrets like that from us again. Alright?” added Jo.

Thinking of her friendship with Rod Rose channelled her inner Slytherin and attempted to ignore her Hufflepuff nature as she lied.

“Of course not.”

Knowing that Harry would’ve certainly got onto the train by now Rose returned to her people washing, guilt drenching her insides. But how could she have told them she was friends (if only distantly) with Roderick fucking Lestrange?

Chapter Text

1 September 1991

As Harry Potter made his way into King’ Cross with Aunt Petunia (who had begrudgingly decided to drop him off in lieu of darling Dudders) his nerves began to get the better of him. The station was absolutely heaving. His new owl Hedwig was completely covered by a blanket, but honestly the lack of security in the station was concerning to say the least. As they made their way through the gates and onto the platforms Harry grew absolutely bewildered as his Aunt stopped behind of a family of red-heads who appeared to be preparing to walk straight at a pillar. The plump woman at the back, who was holding the hand of a little girl turned around, as if sensing his Aunt’s glare.

The plump woman smiled and said “Oh are you for Hogwarts as well? Judging from your attire you must be muggles. Oh, how my husband will be jealous once I tell him of this. He’s quite the muggle enthusiast don’t you know? Loves studying all of your little thingy-ma-bobs. Come, I’ll aide you through to the platform hmm? Fred, George, show the lovely Lady and her son how to get through. I would ask Percy but he’s already gone through. I half expect he’s gotten himself a girlfriend don’t you know.” She laughed at the end.

Harry hadn’t imagined that the wizards and witches would be so patronising. And saying that Harry was Aunt Petunia’s son! If looks could kill. As it was they did in fact require a bit of assistance it seemed, as Aunt Petunia accepted the patronising Lady’s help. Well either that or her manners prevented her from refusing. Aunt Petunia was very on top of her manners.

As the twins, Fred and George Harry assumed, prepared to run at the wall with their trolley’s like madmen the youngest boy approached Harry.

“Hi! My names Ronald. Ronald Weasley. You can call be Ron though. I’m an incoming first year too.” He held out his hand.

Harry took it “Henry. Henry Potter. Everyone calls me Harry though.”

“Henry Potter?! The Lord Potter?”

“Yes I suppose so. What of it?”

“It’s an honour Lord Potter. If ya don’t mind me askin’… have ya really got the…ya know.” He gestured towards his head.

Harry lifted up his bangs to display his odd birthmark. “This?”

“Cool.” Ron said in an odd tone of amazement. To be perfectly honest Harry had no clue why he was so amazed by some birthmark. Must be a wizarding thing.

Ron’s Mum called out then from the incredibly awkward conversation she was having with Aunt Petunia if his Aunt’s tight-lipped smile was anything to go by.

“Come along now boys, we must get going!”

“Coming Mum!”

Walking through a solid brick wall was an experience in and of itself. Seeing all of the witches and wizards around him and the massive steam engine was something else entirely.

As Aunt Petunia sent him on his way with little fanfare, Ron was hugged goodbye by his mum. If Harry still had a mum, he wouldn’t have squirmed and complained so much. At least he hoped he wouldn’t.

He and Ron then got onto the train and began to search for a compartment. Eventually near the end of the first year’s carriage they found an empty one. After getting themselves settled they got to chatting. They chatted about all sorts of things before the trolley lady turned up with her cart-load of sweets. Mainly they focused on Hogwarts and magic. Harry learnt about how different Houses were sorted and how some were, apparently, better than others. AAs they dug into the mound of chocolate and sweets that Harry had bought using the money that he’d gotten from his trust fund in the Wizarding bank, harry decided that he had to ask the question that had been dwelling on his mind since before they even entered the platform. He wasn’t sure how much he’d regret it but Harry found that he had to ask.

“Hey Ron.”

Ron answered with a mouthful of Jam sandwiches. “Yeah?” (Or a noise which vaguely resembled the word)

“Why were you so amazed by my birthmark?”

Ron thankfully gulped the remainder of the sandwich down before he answered.

“Birthmark? That ain’t no birthmark Harry. It’s a scar. You know, from the night your parents died and you defeated You-Know-Who?”

Well that was a terrible mixture of shocking revelations which of course brought new questions.

“It is? Who’s ‘You-Know-Who’?”

“You mean you don’t know?”

Harry shook his head.

“You-Know-Who was this super evil wizard, a Slytherin of course, who initiated a civil war against the ministry with his Death eaters. They killed so many people. Especially Half-Bloods and Muggleborns. They only thought that Purebloods were worth anything. It was messed up!”

“What was his name?”

“Nobody says it. Apparently during the war, he placed a Taboo on it so that if anyone uttered it, he and his followers would immediately know where they were.”

“Oh. That makes sense.”

Well those were some revelations.

Chapter Text

1 September 1991

Hermione Granger had never fit in. Ever since she was a little girl, she had been different from all her nursery and class mates. The nerd, the one with the untameable curls and buck teeth. The freak. She didn’t fit in and never thought that she ever would. So, when Professor McGonagall came to her house in late July bringing news of her being a witch Hermione was over the moon. That very night after the professor left, she had come up with so many questions that she wished to ask the woman when she returned for their trip to the Wizarding part of the UK that she had filled up over 6 pages of A4. Finally, she had had the hope that she would finally fit in somewhere. Maybe she would even make a friend or two. Hermione had never had a proper friend before.

When they made the short trek into the heart of London on the 1st of August to get her supplies with the Professor Hermione had bombarded the woman with said questions before falling silent upon seeing the wall move before her to reveal Diagon Alley. If Hermione remembered correctly, she had squealed. Stepping foot into the magical world for the first time had felt akin to a homecoming, like magic itself was welcoming her with open arms.

~Flashback 1 August 1991~

Diagon Alley was amazing, there were so many wizarding shops selling strange and wonderful things. There were over 100 witches and wizards (mainly witches) moving about doing their shopping, many accompanied by teenagers and children of all ages. The shops had moving signs and all seemed to be overloaded in colour. It was amazing. After stopping off at Gringotts Wizarding Bank to exchange their sterling for wizarding money (they even had different money!) the Professor took them all about the alley to pick up her school supplies. Hermione ended up with a 10¾" vine wood wand with a dragon heartstring core alongside her other supplies. She had to be physically dragged out of the bookshop by her parents though, but only with the promise that they would come back later in the week. Their last stop was at Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions where she had to receive a fitting! Hermione had never been fitted for clothes before. While she tried to hold herself still for the Witch’s instruments to magically measure, she looked over to the other boy who was in the shop currently. He was obviously from a wizarding family and the clothes that he was currently wearing looked terribly posh. He seemed to be her age and had silver-blonde hair to go along with silver eyes. Hermione saw this as her chance. Maybe this would be her first friend! Boys had always been nicer to her than other girls. Girls were absolutely malicious.

“Good Day! My name’s Hermione. I’m going to be a first year in September. Are you as well?”

The boy looked over at her and answered with an odd smile-smirk.

“I am indeed. The name’s Malfoy. Draco Lucius Malfoy. You have a very pretty name Miss.”

Hermione blushed. Miss. It seemed that wizarding society was terribly polite.

“Thank you, Mister Malfoy. Your name is very nice as well. After the constellation?”

“Indeed, it is a tradition of my Lady Mother’s family to name their children in the ways of the heavens”

My God this boy is posh.

“That’s such a lovely tradition. My family tends to favour classical Greek names.”

“That’s rather normal. Which House do you expect to be sorted into? I, obviously, will be a Slytherin. Like my Father, and his Father and all Malfoys that came before them.”

Oh dear. Hermione didn’t know terribly much about the Houses. Professor McGonagall was a Gryffindor and she was rather nice so maybe that? How she wished that she’d had time to read her new Hogwarts, a History book.

“I’m not too sure really.”

“Hmm. Well if you turn out to be a Slytherin you are welcome to join us, even if you are from an ordinary wizarding family.”

Ah. So not if she was a muggleborn then. Professor McGonagall had briefly told her about such wizards. Pureblood supremacists she called them.

“I’ll take that into consideration. Thank you.”

He nodded at her “Where are you going to after this then?”

“Well I have finished all of my required shopping so my family and I were planning on going to the ice cream shop before maybe going back to Flourish and Blotts. I so love books you see.”

He chuckled “You already have an owl then? Or cat I suppose.”

“Goodness no. I shan’t have the time with how busy I’ll be.”

Madam Malkin came up to Draco then. “We’re all done now Young Master Malfoy. Lady Malfoy is here to pick you up now.”

Draco nodded at the older witch before turning back to Hermione.

“Well it was pleasant meeting you Miss Hermione. If you ask me, you’ll be a Ravenclaw. I suppose I shall see you on the train. That or at Hogwarts.”

“Yes! I shall see you then!” He walked away. Poshly.

If Hermione hadn’t been almost certain that her status as a Muggleborn would’ve changed the way he viewed her, she would’ve thought that she might’ve found a friend.

 

~back to the future~

 

Thinking of Draco brought her back to the current moment. She had bumped into him on the train, sitting with two…heavy boys their own age. He had invited her in and she had spent the first part of the ride sitting with them. The two other boys were rather stupid but Draco was intelligent and lovely. Well, at least until he had realised that she’d never told him her surname. After finding it out he had kicked her out of their compartment unceremoniously with a horrified face. He had called her a mudblood as well. Hermione wasn’t sure what the word meant but she figured that it couldn’t be anything good. Hermione had wandered into another compartment with tears in her eyes. One of the boys in there, a plump boy named Neville had invited her in while the only girl in the cabin (named Kellah Shacklebolt) consoled her. She was sitting with them now.

All of a sudden Neville let out a horrified gasp

“Oh no!”

Immediately worried Hermione asked

“What’s the matter!?”

 

 

“I’ve lost Trevor! My toad!”

 

….you had to be kidding.

Chapter Text

31 October 1991

Halloween was never enjoyable for Rose. It was when her mother had died after all. This year would likely prove to be no different. Looking about the spookily decorated Great Hall Rose spotted a number of familiar faces either enjoying the feast or looking just as sullen as she was. Roderick along with a number of the other elder Slytherin’s looked miserable. Considering the number whose families had been ruined by the Dark Lords demise that made sense. Thinking of Roderick drove her into a more saddened state. They hadn’t talked since coming back for the new year.

Moving on, Jo and Julia looked slightly less morose but still rather down, their father had died tonight of course. Jo still had some vague memories of James Potter’s visits to her mother apparently. Harry looked relatively happy all things considered. Of course, he wouldn’t remember either of his parents. So, Harry sat there in relative ease next to the youngest boy of the Main Line Weasleys, Ronald. They’d become fast friends over the past couple of months, cemented by Harry’s new position as a seeker (something that NONE of his half-sisters approved of it should be noted). All of the first years appeared to have settled in quite nicely, well, with the exception of the muggleborn girl ‘Granger’. Judging from the odd way Dad looked at the girl Rose suspected that her parentage wasn’t as muggle nor as light as was claimed. Her bookish nature and immense respect for authority didn’t do the poor girl any favours when it came to interacting with her classmates. Speaking of Granger, she didn’t appear to be at the table today.

Rose heard a high-pitched scream.

She snapped to attention but looking around no one else seemed to be concerned so she returned to her meal, nerves on edge.

Less than 5 minutes later it seemed that her fears had been validated as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, Quirrell, a man who set all sorts of bad feelings off in her, came running into the Great Hall, doors banging behind him. Stopping just before the teacher’s table he looked almost straight at the Headmaster and said

 

"'Troll – in the dungeons – thought you ought to know.'" The so-called Defence Professor then proceeded to faint.

The Great Hall was then thrown into absolute madness. Younger years, as well as some 4th 5th and 6th years began screaming in terror.

The Headmaster stood up set a number of firecrackers off from his wand to gain their attention.

“Prefects,” he rumbled “lead your Houses back to the dormitories immediately!”

An elder Weasley, she believed this one was Percival, called them all to attention and began to herd them all, particularly the little firsties out of the hall. Looking around Rose saw that the same thing was occurring on both the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables. However, none of the Slytherins, however pale they were, moved a muscle. Rose’s eyes widened. That’s right. The Slytherin dormitories were located in the Dungeons. It appeared that Dumbledore was trying to command the House to go and that they weren’t listening. Rose fell to the back of the line so that she might overhear more.

Though quiet she managed to overhear Roderick’s words as he stood up and walked over from his seat near the middle of the table to face Dumbledore. Even at less than 17 years old Roderick managed to match the Headmaster’s 6 ft 0.

“While you may not like it Headmaster. I see no reason to lead my House into the very place where the danger apparently lies. House Slytherin will remain in the easy to defend Great Hall. We shan’t risk any traveling.”

Damn Roderick. NO. Bad crush. Stop it.

Rose had the overwhelming urge to bite her lip. Why was he so cool? Her poor heart.

Turning back to follow her housemates back to Gryffindor dorms Rose noticed something. Harry wasn’t there. Neither was the young Weasley.

Oh Hecate.

Rose thanked the gods and goddesses above that she was able to track Harry.

Yes, she might have placed a tracking charm on Harry. Shut up.

….. where in Hogwarts was he going???

Wherever her stupid little brother was heading it certainly wasn’t Gryffindor Tower.

Looking around for the teachers unfortunately Rose couldn’t see any, they must’ve all headed off to the dungeons already.

….

She was going to have to go after him, alone wasn’t she?

Bloody hell

Rose then proceeded to do the stupidest thing she’d ever done. She snuck away from the group during a crisis and followed the tracking spell she’d put on Harry. It may or may not have been a bit of Dark Blood Magic, only used by close relatives. She would neither confirm nor deny that.

As she found herself on the corridor leading to the girl’s toilet Rose grew more and more confused.

Well. At least until she heard the shriek. It was the same as earlier and the ensuing crashes turned her blood cold.

Rose ran towards the danger in a very Gryffindor way but for very Hufflepuff reasons, her wand drawn and braced for a fight with a probable troll. A fight she wouldn’t be able to win with her average magical core and limited spells.

Rose didn’t hesitate though and burst through the girl’s bathroom to a scene of complete chaos. Her little brother was standing in front of the Granger girl, trying to pull the poor girl who appeared to be frozen in terror up. The Weasley right in front of her by the door trying to distract a medium sized mountain troll. Rose thanked her lucky stars for the fifth-year jinx that Roderick had taught her last year during their increasingly rare study sessions.

“EBUBLIO!” A very large unpoppable bubble emerged from her wand. Now she just had to hold it long enough for them all to get away. OK. She could do that. Definitely. -She couldn’t-

“GO! Now! Get a Professor or another member of staff! Heck even a Sixth or Seventh Year would do!!”

The little ones looked at her gratefully and rushed out of there.

Harry looked back once before he ran from the room “We’ll get help Miss. Don’t worry!”

As she heard them running away Rose smiled. Her brother had just spoken to her for the first time.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Harry ran as fast as he could scanning the corridors for professors or prefects as he went. The girl that had saved them was in danger and Harry could not let her get hurt, or worse die. Not for him. Not for them. Harry had a feeling that he, Ron and Hermione would be fast friends after this experience. As they grew closer and closer to the Great Hall, they had ended up running towards Harry slowly grew more panicked. They had seen no one thus far. He was terrified for the Gryffindor girl who seemed to be only a few years older than him. Maybe 14 or 15.

They burst into the Great Hall breathing heavily. No professors. Oh God no.

But there was the entirety of Slytherin House standing staring at them, wands aimed at the door still. Harry swallowed his pride. She did say any Sixth or Seventh Year, right?

“There’s a fourth year stuck in the girl’s bathroom with the troll in a charm! Please. I don’t think she can hold it much longer. She saved us. PLEASE. I know that our Houses are rivals but she might die!”

Harry took in the silence in horror. Please. They had to help.

A tall boy with curly black hair and ice blue eyes stepped forward.

“I’ll sort this out.” He turned back to the rest of Slytherin “Continue guarding the hall”

“Show me there.” He said sternly to Harry.

“Thank you. Yes. Follow me.”

Harry started running. To his surprise Ron and Hermione (still in shock) ran after them. Harry supposed that Ron wouldn’t like to be left alone with the entirety of Slytherin House.

As they reached the doorway the Slytherin told them to stay back and alert any teachers they saw to the situation.

Harry didn’t hear what happened next but when the teachers arrived and Harry followed them into the bathroom. Well. The troll was dead, decapacitated even, the Gryffindor girl lay on the ground fainted from magical exhaustion. And perhaps most confusingly, the Slytherin was nowhere to be seen. The amount of points he, Ron and Hermione lost were nothing on what they, and particularly the older Gryffindor whose name was apparently Rose, gained for their heroics. Though they did each receive a week’s detention (with the exception of Hermione who hadn’t explicitly disobeyed the rules).

Chapter Text

4 November 1991

When Rose had woken up after the troll incident, she could hardly believe that she was alright. Dad had even hugged her in front of Madame Pomphrey he was so relieved. Of course, he obliviated the poor woman soon after but Rose hadn’t expected anything else. The last thing she remembered was fainting after hearing someone step back into the girl’s bathroom. That must have been wrong though since when Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall arrived at the scene, she was the only one there and the dim-witted mountain troll had been killed quite brutally. The running theory was that in her desperation she had released a burst of accidental magic.

Rose wasn’t entirely sure it was true, but who was she to question it? Rose had had quite a few visitors over the past two days (magical exhaustion was taken very seriously after all so even after she’d woken up on the 2nd they’d kept her in for observation, she was going back to the dorms tomorrow though) as well as Dad’s visits in the evening after classes had finished, Jo and Audrey had come to see her twice and her baby brother and his two friends had come to thank and check on her once. Perhaps most shockingly were the early morning visits from Rod. Talking to him again gave her a sense of relief she couldn’t quite understand.

The first time he came he had simply said “I heard to took on a mountain troll” and she was just like “Yup”. It had been a rather awkward introduction but they’d quickly fallen into a comfortable silence as he gave her a book to read and started on his own textbooks. It was just as it used to be.

Although she’d quite enjoyed her time in the hospital wing, she couldn’t wait to be out of there.

She had dreams where she was sleeping in the bed forever.

The door to the hospital wing groaned open and the Granger girl, Hermione, walked in carrying a pile of books topped with some sweets. Rose was immediately suspicious. Even their apology hadn’t included sweets.

She sat them down on Rose’s bedside table before.

“Hello Rose! How are you? Will you be out soon?”

“Miss Granger. I’m alright. You? And yes, I’m leaving tomorrow morning.”

“Oh that’s wonderful. I’m fine thanks to you! Also, I have a quick question for you if you don’t mind.”

…and there it was.

“Fine. What is it?” she’d been stuck in bed for two days (and the www hadn’t been invented yet) she was a little grouchy.

Hermione looked a little nervous.

“I was just wondering if you knew anything about a man named Nicolas Flamel?”

Rose’s eyes widened in confusion. Why on earth were they looking into information about Nicolas Flamel of all people?

“You’re interested in alchemy? It’s a bit of an early start isn’t it?”

“He’s an alchemist!?”

“Of course. Most famous, or infamous one ever. Created an object that gives him and his wife immortality but refuses to share its recipe. Why do you ask?”

She hesitated before answering. Luckily Hermione Granger was an absolute goodie-two-shoes.

“Well, I overheard the name when I first went to Diagon Alley and was curious. He was made to sound rather important.”

Huh. Interesting.

“Well now you know.”

“Yes, if you’d excuse me? I have to chat with Harry and Ron.”

“Alright. Give them my best, would you?”

Hermione was already rushing out of the door.

Honestly had she been that odd when she was a first year? Strange girl.

 

 

 

Why did Rose have a sinking feeling.

Chapter Text

24 December 1991

 It was Christmas. It was Christmas and Harry wasn’t cooking. Harry grinned. His time in Hogwarts had been amazing so far. He had proper friends for the first time ever in Ron and Hermione, and to some extent the older Gryffindor girl Rose (She was a bit odd though, she acted more like how Harry imagined an elder sister or mum would act than a friend). Though there were a couple of downsides, mainly Draco and his gang and the fact that they suspected that one of the professor’s; probably the Bat of the Dungeon, Snape, was trying to steal an artefact created by a one Nicolas Flamel. Said artefact could give one eternal life! That was a thing here!

Yes, wizarding Britain was very cool. Harry yawned and rose up in his bed. He and Ron had the Dorm to themselves with almost all of the Hogwarts population returning to their home’s for Christmas. The Weasleys were staying as their Mum and Dad were going with their little sister to visit one of their older brothers in Romania. Harry was incredibly surprised when he saw what lay at the foot of his bed. A pile of presents! Harry counted them as Dudley always had done. 1..2…3…8! Harry had 8 presents! He could hardly believe it. He’d never gotten any proper presents before, and certainly not this many!

“Happy Christmas," said Ron sleepily as Harry scrambled out of bed and pulled on his dressing gown.

"You, too," Harry replied. "Will you look at this? I've got some presents!” he said excitedly.

"What did you expect, turnips?" said Ron, turning to his own pile, which was a fair bit bigger than Harry's. Considering the size of even his immediate family that was easily explainable.

Harry picked up the top parcel. It was wrapped in thick brown paper and scrawled across it was To Harry, from Hagrid. Inside was a roughly cut wooden flute. Hagrid had obviously whittled it himself. Harry blew it - it sounded a bit like an owl.

The second parcel he picked up was medium sized and said that it was From Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia. Harry wasn’t particularly hopeful about this one. However, as he opened it Harry was incredibly surprised to find a box which had inside of it cling film wrapped bunch of gingerbread men as well as possibly the most amazing photo Harry had ever seen. On the back of the photo was the label Christmas 1980. And on it Harry saw 9 people, including 2 babies and a toddler. Harry recognised Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon right away, though Aunt Petunia looked much healthier in this photo. The other 4 adults included two old people and a young man and woman. The woman’s hair was bright red and her eyes green. Harry knew. That was his Mum. Which meant that the baby in the other man’s arms, his Dad’s arms, was him. Harry couldn’t stop staring at them. His family. His Mum was so beautiful holding the little girl who looked so much like her, Harry suspected that that was Aunt Rose. Harry had to stop himself from crying.

“Nice photo, why isn’t it moving? What else do you have?” Ron said

Harry gathered himself together. “Muggle photos don’t move” pocketing it tenderly Harry moved on to the next present. Ron said that the one he picked up was a presen from him and his family as well as another. They were a hand-knitted sweater in emerald green and a large box of homemade fudge. Harry grinned. Lady Weasley had made these especially for him.

"Every year she makes us a sweater," said Ron, unwrapping his own, "and mine's always maroon."

"That's really nice of her," said Harry, trying the fudge, which was very tasty. His next present also contained sweets - a large box of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione. Then there was 3 left. Harry opened the rectangular one first, it was from Rose E. S.. In it were two books, a potions one and one called The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Rose was such a bookworm. No wonder Hermione liked her so much. To be fair Harry definitely needed all the help he could get in potions. He’d have to thank her the next time he saw her.

Harry’s next to last present was from two girls called Joanne and Julia FJ. They’d sent him some broom polish and sugar quill. Harry decided not to eat the quills considering the fact he had no idea who the girls were.

There was only one parcel left. Harry picked it up and felt it. It was very light. He unwrapped it. Something fluid and silvery grey went slithering to the floor where it lay in gleaming folds.

Ron gasped. "I've heard of those," he said in a hushed voice, dropping the box of Every Flavour Beans he'd gotten from Hermione. "If that's what I think it is - they're really rare, and really valuable."

"What is it?" Harry picked the shining, silvery cloth off the floor. It was strange to the touch, like water woven into material.”

"It's an invisibility cloak," said Ron, a look of awe on his face.

"I'm sure it is - try it on!" Harry threw the cloak around his shoulders and Ron gave a yell. "It is! Look down!" Harry looked down at his feet, but they were gone. He dashed to the mirror. Sure enough, his reflection looked back at him, just his head suspended in mid-air, his body completely invisible. He pulled the cloak over his head and his reflection vanished completely.

"There's a note!" said Ron suddenly. "A note fell out of it!"

Harry pulled off the cloak and seized the letter. Written in narrow, loopy writing he had never seen before were the following words: Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well. A Very Happy Christmas to you.

There was no signature. As Harry was staring at the note Ron was preoccupied by the cloak.

"I'd give anything for one of these," he said. "Anything. What's the matter?"

"Nothing," said Harry. He felt very strange, who had sent the cloak? Had it really once belonged to his father? Before he could say or think anything else, the dormitory door was flung open and Fred and George Weasley bounded in. They went to the Christmas feast together. Honestly it was the most spectacular thing he’d ever seen or eaten.

Harry then proceeded to have the happiest Christmas ever. When evening came a thought came over him. They should really try to find out more about Flamel. See what other things he created. And what better way to do that than to sneak into the restricted section with his new cloak?

As Harry was rushing away from Filch around an hour later the thought crossed his mind that Hermione and Rose were going to kill him. Viciously.

Harry managed to get away from Filch and Snape by ducking into a narrow corridor and then into a room. Looking around it seemed that the room was an unused classroom. The dark shapes of desks and chairs were piled against the walls, and there was an upturned paper bin -but propped against the wall facing him was something that didn't look as if it belonged there, something that looked as if someone had just put it there to keep it out of the way. It was a magnificent mirror, as high as the ceiling, with an ornate gold frame, standing on two clawed feet. There was an inscription carved around the top: Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

His panic fading now that there was no sound of Filch and Snape, Harry moved nearer to the mirror, wanting to look at himself but see no reflection again. He stepped in front of it. He had to clap his hands to his mouth to stop himself from screaming. He whirled around. His heart was pounding far more furiously than when the book had screamed - for he had seen not only himself in the mirror, but a whole crowd of people standing right behind him.

But the room was empty. Breathing very fast, he turned slowly back to the mirror. There he was, reflected in it, white and scared-looking, and there, reflected behind him, were at least ten others. Harry looked over his shoulder -- but still, no one was there. Or were they all invisible, too? Was he in fact in a room full of invisible people and this mirror's trick was that it reflected them, invisible or not? He looked in the mirror again. A woman standing right behind his reflection was smiling at him and waving. It was the same woman in Aunt Petunia photo. His Mum. They were his family. Harry stared enraptured. He didn’t know why he could see them in this mirror and honestly, he didn’t care. In fact, Harry only had one major question.

 

 

 

Why was Rose in there?

Chapter Text

25 May 1992

It was 1 am and Roderick was still reading. Roderick was not even a full year into his NEWTs and he already felt like he was a dead man walking. The stress of the NEWTs was not even the worst part though, Roderick could easily live off of his House’s money alone after all, with no need for a job. Outside House Lestrange’s seat on the Wizengamot and in the Lords. Roderick’s Uncle Lucius’ refusal to sit in the Lord’s honestly bemused him. Of course, taking up such a seat would require accepting muggles as equals in voting, something his Uncle had always disagreed with, Roderick was often inclined to believe the same. However, a seat in the Lords afforded an increase in both prestige and more importantly power. To refuse to take it was un-Slytherinlke. That being said, the Noble House’s seats in the House of Lords had appeared to have been forgotten over time. While all 50 Noble Wizarding Houses were allocated a seat in the Lords, as far as Roderick knew less than half actually took those seats.

Honestly. They were all governed by the same Government. They all were subjects of The Light Queen, though only wizards were also subject to her counterpart The Dark King. As absentee as they both were in the world, not even intervening during the Voldemort’s War. Wizards needed to move for better representation in the House of Commons if they wanted the Ministry of Magic to improve.  For Roderick this was a fact as immoveable as the loyalty he felt to his King. He had met him over the summer last year, in attendance of his wedding. His attendance had shocked everyone. The man hadn’t been seen or heard of since Grindelwald’s rising. The man was…he oozed power. More power than Dumbledore and all the other professors combined. Roderick couldn’t imagine why anyone would even think to betray him. It would be suicide, he was sure.

His family would kill him if they ever found out he held such views, such was their loyalty to Dark Lord Voldemort. That was what had him stressed. Soon he would have to hide his looming comings and goings to and from the Palace of Westminster. A place overrun with muggles. His family would ostracise him if he wasn’t clever about it. And that wasn’t even taking into account his…feelings… for Rosie. A half-blood. Nor the inevitable rebirth of Voldemort. He would return. All of the Dark Lord’s followers knew it. And feared it. Unless they resided in Azkaban of course. And Roderick would not be one of his sheep. Unlike his family.

The door to the common room swung open.

Speaking of family

Draco ran in. The fear on his cousin’s face was incredibly concerning. Roderick stood prepared. Only to be barrelled into by his distressed baby cousin. Blubbering incoherently. It was so out of character for him. Roderick hugged him tight before crouching down to the kid’s level. Draco continued his incoherent cries.

“Breathe Dray. In and out.” Gods above Roderick was out of his comfort zone.

Slowly Draco began to calm down

“We..Detention…Forest…THING!!”

Eh?

“Sentences please Draco.”

“We were in the forbidden forest for detention.”

The forbidden fucking forest!? What the fuck was wrong with this school??! They were fucking 11-year olds!!

“And me and Potter”

“Lord Potter and I.”

Draco rolled his eyes “Lord Potter and I came across this…thing”

Roderick raised an eyebrow in question.

“I was a dark figure and it…it was drinking a unicorn’s blood.”

Fuck. That couldn’t be good.

“Assuming you ran,” Draco nodded “what happened to Lord Potter.”

Draco wailed. “I left him behind!!! I killed Harry Potter!!!”

Draco fell to his knees a blubbering mess.

Well. Hopefully that little bit wasn’t true. They’d have more than a little mess to clean up if it was.

After Draco fainted in exhaustion Roderick took him to his bed and tucked him in, being careful not to wake his dormmates. Roderick found no sleep that night, lying awake in bed worrying.

Chapter Text

5 July 1992

When news had broken earlier that morning of her little brother’s escapades alongside his friends and the death of Professor Quirrell Rose hadn’t believed it. No, not until she saw her baby brother lying unconscious along with his Weasley friend had she believed it. Rose had spent hours sitting by his bedside with Hermione before being summoned away by Dad under the guise of a detention.

Being away from him only made Rose worry more though, instead of focusing looking for signs he was going to wake up her mind was able to wander onto greater worries. Not only was she thinking about the fact that her baby brother lay unmoving in the hospital wing. No, now she was also considering the broader implications. How Voldemort’s spirit had managed to get into the school undetected for instance, or even worse, why he was allowed to remain if the Headmaster new about him. In the long run though, the most concerning thing for Rose was the fact that Harry was very obviously a Gryffindor. And one that got himself into horrible situation.

 

Rose had a sinking feeling that those situations might get progressively worse.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

7 July 1992

Only two days later the young Lord Potter awoke to a school even more polarised in their opinion of him than it had been before.

This situation only got worse during the End-of-term feast, when the Headmaster decided, after awarding the House Cup to Slytherin, to award numerous last-minute points to Harry, Ron, Hermione and the young Longbottom Heir.

Slytherin was rightfully outraged and on could almost feel their disdain for the recognised Leader of the Light-side grow exponentially.

 

 

 

 

Rose was almost overcome with dread for the years to come.

 

Meanwhile, Roderick Lestrange sneered in disdain and Harry Potter cheered alongside almost all of Gryffindor, supported by many students from Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw.

Rose Evans, Percival Weasley and a number of the seventh years were the sole exceptions to this.

The 1991-1992 school year had ended with the most blatant display of Anti-Slytherin sentiment seen since the wartime years.

Chapter Text

1 August 1992

Roderick stared at himself in the mirror making minor adjustments to his robes and grooming his hair to perfection. Of course, he wasn’t going to see anyone he needed to impress, it was simply a family dinner with his close relatives. But Roderick was the Lord of a noble pureblood house, he couldn’t very well leave his room looking anything less than perfect.

“Are you quite done with your preening?” Artoria said.

“Yes, yes. I’m coming darling.”

Artoria’s nose crinkled in distaste at the term of endearment.

He offered his wife his arm.

“You tidied up quite nicely wife.” She was wearing a purple dress matching her eyes, embellished with golden threads. Around her neck was her ‘informal’ amethyst necklace.

“Of course, I do.”

They walked in silence for a moment before one of his House-elves, Jospy, appeared in front of them. The House-Elf bowed deeply.

“Jospy. What is it?”

“Jospy was wondering if Master be wanting the little mistress to be going with Master and Mistress.”

Esme was a bright light in Roderick’s home life, between his stern and naggy great-grandmother and uptight and haughty wife. She looked nigh identical to his wife, save for her blue eyes and was a bubbly baby. Roderick was reluctant to think of Artoria as his daughter’s mother, considering the fact that he was quite sure that she hadn’t laid eyes on Esme since birthing the girl, even going so far as to prefer to leave breast milk in stasis for the House Elves to feed Esme than feeding her herself. Roderick dreaded the day later this year when his great-grandmother would undoubtably start ordering him to knock the bloody woman up again. House Lestrange’s continued existence was hanging on by a tether after all. At least she was hot.

“Yes. I think that should be most acceptable. Jospy, you will come with us to attend to Esme.”

“Yes Master!” Jospy jumped up and down on her tips of her toes

“Well, go and get her then!”

“Yes, Master Lestrange.”

Jospy clicked herself away and Artoria turned to him. “Really? A babe?”

“I do not see why you should be so bothered by it dear wife. Besides, she should substantially lessen any tension. You know how my Uncle is.”

Artoria rolled her eyes and sighed. “Yes I suppose so. Father always said that cousin Lucius had a bad habit of stirring up tensions, and of having opinions disagreeable to House White.” She looked at him pointedly and Roderick couldn’t help but snort in amusement.

“Yes, I do not suppose that Uncle ever did hold many opinions agreeable to House White.”

They had a laugh together as they occasionally did. The image of the extremely light aligned Lord White growing up with his opposite in all but looks Lord Malfoy was just too good. Good gods, the chaos that must have occurred at family gatherings. At times like this Roderick held onto the hope that they could develop an amicable if not loving marriage.

They found the Lady Dowager Alexandra Lestrange waiting by the fireplace to floo to Malfoy Manor. Great-grandmother much preferred flooing to the sickening feeling of apparition.

“Great-Grandmama.” He kissed her cheeks in greeting. “You are well?” despite living in the same house these days Roderick rarely saw her. Cousin Alexandra raised him more than his legal guardian, Great-Grandmother Alexandra. Alexandra was a popular name in their family. Cousin Alexandra had been sent away after Great-Grandmama had found out that she was teaching him about tolerating the presence of mudbloods and blood traitors. When she died Roderick would certainly search for cousin Alexandra.

“I am quite well Lord Lestrange. Now, shall we be off? We should not like to be late.” She tutted and Roderick restrained himself from rolling his eyes.

“Esme shall be coming with us, she is yet to truly meet her cousins I believe.”

“A babe?! Honestly Roderick! What are you thinking! A dinner is not a proper place for a babe!”

“Do not worry Great-Grandmama, Jopsy shall be in attendance to care for her. She shan’t make a fuss I am sure.”

Alexandra Lestrange huffed. “If that is your wish Lord Lestrange.”

Roderick nodded and made his way to the fireplace.

“Malfoy Manor, Wiltshire”

As he stepped into the reception room of Malfoy Manor he was greeted by his Aunt Lady Narcissa Malfoy alongside his remaining cousins, Draco and little Cassandra.

“Roderick!!!!” Roderick was bombarded with an armful of blond haired terrors.

“Hello!” he hugged them tightly. “How are you two doing today then my little crups!”

“Roderick!!!” Draco moaned and tried to get away. “Don’t call me that!”

Roderick grinned and lifted the kid up, with more difficulty than he used to. “Who’s a cute little crup. Who’s a cute little crup. You are, yes you are” Narcissa and Cassandra laughed daintily. As he heard the rest of his family come through the fireplace Roderick could almost feel Artoria’s palm on her face and Great-Grandmama’s look of disappointment. Needless to say, he twirled Draco around recklessly before placing him down and lifting Cassandra up. He grinned as she squealed in joy.

Then Lucius Malfoy walked in.

“What on earth are you doing Roderick? You are Head of one of the greatest noble Houses? Do you think that this behaviour is befitting someone of your station?”

“My apologies Uncle. I simply missed you all. I lost control.” Most of them jumped as Lucius hit his cane on the ground. He had never been light with it throughout Roderick’s childhood, likely worse with Draco. Cassandra was her mother’s responsibility thankfully.

Aunt Narcissa fell in love with Esme as soon as she saw her. As did Draco and Cassandra. As expected, Uncle Lucius was less than impressed. Dinner went rather well though. Well, at least until the after drinks, while Draco remained in the room unseen to sneak a glass of wine, Cassandra was sent to bed and Artoria left to put Esme to bed. Personally, Roderick thought that she just didn’t want to be in the presence of her cousin Lucius anymore. He was a bit much for her light aligning opinions to deal with.

As soon as the children and light sympathisers went to bed. Lucius got much darker. Talking about mudbloods and blood traitors, Dumbeldouche and The Dark Lord. Eventually he got onto the accusations against House Slytherin (the family itself) and the Dark King. Of their traitorous behaviour, lack of presence and involvement with muggles. This of course led him to the plan. Concocted by Voldemort’s own spirit. Somehow, n a means known only to Lucius, the Dark Lord would reopen the chamber of secrets and use the basilisk inside to kill off all of Hogwarts’s mudbloods. Roderick sat horrified. He could feel the terror in the room. For Draco to have to overhear this as well.

 

Dear gods.

 

A Basilisk.

Chapter Text

2 August 1992

Summer this year had been one of Harry’s best ever, at least when it came to his home life and relationship with his cousins. Aunt Petunia had picked him up from the platform with her normal tight-lipped smile. Though if Harry remembered correctly, she hadn’t met his eyes, instead scanning the crowds on Platform 9¾ as if she was searching for someone. The car ride back to Privet Drive had been awkward to say the least. There had been little conversation. When they arrived, Harry had carried his luggage in and prepared to unpack into his cupboard. Aunt Petunia had interrupted him before he could even begin.

Indeed, over the summer Harry had been staying in his Aunt Rose’s room. It had brought her back to the forefront of his mind. Harry had been so preoccupied by Nicolas Flamel and the Philosopher’s stone over the past year that he had completely forgotten about the mystery of what wizard kind had done with his Aunt Rose. Harry had been dwelling on it over the past month or so. How could he have enjoyed the wizarding world so much with what they might have done to her? Well, that had been his train of thought before he finally had his revelation while working on the garden a few days ago. Harry had been going over his time at Hogwarts, trying to see if there were any indications that Ron and Hermione didn’t actually like him, since they hadn’t sent him any letters all summer, when he recalled what he saw in the mirror of Erised. That for some reason his older Gryffindor friend Rose had been in there alongside his parents and other relatives. Rose. It had made him think. What if him Mum hadn’t been the only Evans sister to be a witch? Of course, he didn’t dare ask Aunt Petunia, she could be very sensitive when it came to Aunt Rose. But by this point Harry was convinced that Rose the Gryffindor was the same person as his Aunt Rose.

Of course, this meant that Harry had to confront her about it at some point, somehow. Honestly, knowing that she was ok was a relief in and of itself. Thinking of his friend-turned-Aunt Rose, brought him back to the topic of his so-called friends. They had written no letters to him over the entire month. They had promised! He felt so alone. And betrayed. That brought him to now, he was flipping through his photo album with all of its photos. Hedwig was making a fuss since Uncle Vernon wouldn’t allow Harry to let her out for a fly.

“I can’t let you out Hedwig! I’m not allowed to use magic outside of school. Besides if Uncle Vernon were…” Before Harry was even able to finish his sentence, Uncle Vernon screamed his name as if he’d been summoned. Harry quickly (but not too quickly) made his way downstairs, finding Aunt Petunia in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on a delicious looking pudding meringue, heaped with cream and sugarded violets humming as she went. If not for his Uncle and cousin Harry might have hoped for leftovers.

Aunt Petunia looked up at Harry and calmly directed him to the ajoining living room.

Uncle Vernon, not much improved by Harry’s absence over the past year turned to him from fixing Dudley’s bow tie.

“I’m warning you Harry. If you can’t control that bloody bird it’ll have to go.” He did seem much calmer than before though.

“But she’s bored. If I could only let her out for an hour or two.”

“Puh! So you can send messages to your freaky little friends?! No sir.”

Harry almost teared up as he answered “But I haven’t had any messages, from any of my friends. Not one. All summer.”

There was silence before Dudley said. “Who’d want to be friends with you?”

Uncle Vernon vividly expressed how grateful he should be. Bringing up how Rose had been taken by his kind and yet they still let Harry sleep in her bedroom. Harry decided that this would most certainly not be the best moment to reveal his new theory regarding Aunt Rose. As he was doing so Dudley, being the greedy little piggy he was made his way over to try and get some of Aunt Petunia’s pudding. Aunt Petunia pushed him away lightly. Impressing upon him that it was for when their visitors, the Masons arrived.

Uncle Vernon cheered up at that.

Of course, Harry was quickly sent upstairs to pretend that he didn’t exist.

Opening his door Harry was incredibly surprised to find some sort of creature jumping on his bed.

“Lord Potter! Such an honour it is.”

Harry quickly shut the door behind him.

“Who are you?” Harry asked anxiously.

“Dobby sir, Dobby the House-Elf”

“Not to be rude or anything but this isn’t a great time for me to have a House Elf in my bedroom.”

“Oh yes Sir! Dobby understands. It’s just that Dobby has come to tell you…it is difficult sir. Dobby wonders where to begin.”

The House-Elf called Dobby began to wail as Harry offered it a seat. Harry panicked. Uncle Vernon could undoubtably hear it!

“Offend Dobby! Dobby has heard of your greatness sir. But never has he been asked to sit down by a wizard. Like an equal.”

“You can’t have met many decent wizards then”

Dobby agreed. And then began to bash his head into the furniture. Harry panicked. He was dead. Uncle Vernon was going to kill him for certain now. Apparently, Dobby had to punish himself for speaking ill of the family he served. Whoever they were, Harry reckoned that they couldn’t have been terribly nice. They didn’t want him to be here evidently. Though likely not as much as Dobby didn’t want Harry to return to Hogwarts. Evidently there was some horrible plot which was going to go down at Hogwarts this year, though Dobby wouldn’t say much else regarding that. He must have been rather desperate. Considering the fact that he had been taking all of the letters his friends had sent to him. Of course Harry had demanded them back but the bloody house elf had run out of the door and down the stairs with them. Harry realised with horror what he was about to do moments after Dobby planned it.

“Dobby, get back here.”

Dobby snapped his fingers and Aunt Petunia’s masterpiece began to float

“Dobby please, no.”

“Lord Potter must say he’s not going back to school.”

“I can’t. Hogwarts is my home.”

“Then Dobby must do it Sir. For Lord Potter’s own good.”

As the pudding dropped onto Mrs. Mason Harry practically saw his life falling apart at the seams. Uncle Vernon made the excuse that Harry was disturbed.

The next day Harry found bars on his windows curtesy of Uncle Vernon, along with the promise that he would never be returning to Hogwarts ever again.

Thankfully. Later that night Harry was rescued by Fred, George and Ron in a flying car of all things. They escaped just in time to Uncle Vernon’s enraged screams of “Potter!!!” alongside a shrill shriek of “Rosie!!” from Aunt Petunia. Somehow Harry knew that she wasn’t all there that night. He almost felt guilty.

 

The following morning Harry found himself quietly sneaking into the well lived in house of the Weasley family. Seeing his first magical house was amazing. The dishes were washing themselves; the knitted needles were knitting something all by themselves and there was a clock with the family’s faces on it!

“It’s not much. But it’s home.” Said Ron

Harry replied “I think it’s brilliant.”

At that a plump red-headed woman ran down some stairs and rounded the corner.

“Where HAVE you been!!?” she said shrilly before softening her voice to greet him.

“Beds empty. No note. Car gone. You could have died! You could have been seen!” She said loudly and sternly to the Weasley brothers.

Before again softly “Of course I don’t blame you Harry dear.”

“They were starving him mum, they put bars on his window!” Ron said

“Well you best hope I don’t put bars on your window Ronald Weasley.”

Harry then was quite stuffed by Lady Weasley. As the rest of the Weasley family slowly filed in to join them. Firstly, was Ron’s older brother Percy, who greeted Harry with a nod before settling down to breakfast. Then his little sister Ginny. She was a bit odd. Finally, Lord Arthur Weasley stepped into the house. He still thought that muggles were ‘fascinating’ evidently.

Harry lost a lot of faith in wizard kind when he asked the function of a rubber duck.

But all in all. This had indeed been Harry’s best summer. Hopefully Dobby had been misinformed about the so-called plot.

Chapter Text

19 August 1992

The two weeks that Harry had spent at the Burrow had been better than even Hogwarts. Lady Weasley seemed to have taken it upon herself to adopt Harry into her family, stuffing him full at any occasion and asking him to help out with chores on the second week in. His only complaint was how unorganised it all was. Unlike Privet Drive, where Aunt Petunia kept everything in order, the Burrow was complete chaos. It wasn’t that Harry didn’t enjoy the change; it was just a bit too much.

This morning though, was more chaotic than usual. The Weasley family was preparing to go to Diagon Alley for school supplies. They’d also agreed to meet up with Hermione and her parents there. Of course, organising 5 Weasley children for travel was a headache. Well, except for Percy who was, of course, ready hours before anyone else.

Eventually, Molly and Arthur (as they’d insisted he call them) successfully gathered them all, fully dressed in their travelling robes in front of the fireplace. Molly picked up a pot from beside the hearth and told him to go first.

“But Harry’s never travelled by floo power before mum!” said Ron

“Floo powder?” Harry questioned

“Oh well you go first Ron so Harry can se how it’s done” Molly replied quickly

Ron stepped into the fireplace itself, taking a handful of the powder in the pot.

“Diagon Alley” he said loudly before disappearing in a bunch of green flames. Harry’s eyes widened before he went himself.

“Diagon Illey”… oh no.

Instead of finding himself in the warm Diagon Alley Harry instead came out on the other side covered in soot in a very dark shop surrounded by unnerving artefacts, including a hand which grabbed his own. Following that nightmarish experience Harry made his way out of the shop very quickly indeed. He found himself on a gloomy but bustling alley. It was quiet considering the number of people and Harry felt very nervous indeed.

A crone grabbed his arm “Not lost are you, my dear”. While it was a nice sentiment it was said in such a way that Harry knew that she was dangerous.

“I’m fine, thank you” Aunt Petunia would kill him if she knew that he forgot his manners after all.

Suddenly Harry found himself surrounded. “Come with us. We’ll help you find your way back.”

Just as Harry was about to panic a voice intervened. It was somewhat familiar and as Harry turned towards it he recognised the face of the young man.

“I’m afraid that the young Lord Potter got separated from me as I was showing him where to buy some more interesting books.” The Slytherin that aided them last year placed a hand protectively on his shoulder “Come along Young Lord Potter. What did I say about wandering off?”

Harry breathed a sigh of relief. While of course he didn’t trust the Slytherin, he was certainly more trustworthy than any of the other witches and wizards along this alleyway. “Not to Sir”. Harry didn’t know what position the Slytherin held so he figured that Sir was a safe bet.

The fear in the crone and her acquaintances eyes told him enough.

“My apologies Lord Lestrange. We was just keeping him out of harms way we was.”

The newly named Lord Lestrange raised a delicate eyebrow and at that the others all scattered and made way for them as he led Harry away. Once they reached the exit Lord Lestrange turned to him

“Knockturn alley is not the sort of place you would be welcome Lord Potter. I would suggest that you refrain from entering again unless absolutely necessary.”

“I understand Lord Lestrange.”

Harry wasn’t sure what would happen next, nor it appeared was Lord Lestrange. Luckily before they were forced to decide there came a shout of relief.

“Harry!” it was Hermione. Harry noticed Lord Lestrange tense next to him.

Hermione grinned at him “It’s so good to see you!”

“It’s great to see you too.” Harry replied

“What did you do to your glasses?” Hermione sighed. “Occulus Reparo”

Harry’s cracked glasses were fixed. “I definitely need to remember that one.”

Hermione’s parents approached from behind and Lord Lestrange went tenser than before if it was even possible.

“Harry this is my mum and dad”, Hermione said “Mum, Dad, this is Harry and um. Actually, I’m not sure who he is.”

Lord Lestrange made an expression similar to one smelling something rotten.

“Lord Roderick Lestrange. I was simply escorting Lord Potter out of an untoward situation.”

“Oh Harry! Thank you my Lord, Harry gets into so much trouble, honestly. He was lucky you were there.”

Lord Lestrange simply hmmd.

“Well you can leave him with us now my Lord. Everybody has been rather worried about him.” Said Mrs Granger.

Hermione then began to go on a tirade of how they were to meet in the bookshop. Harry hoped that it was busy enough that Hermione wouldn’t be tempted to stay in there for too long.

“I suppose it would be silly for me not to accompany you then if that is your next destination. I am to meet up with my extended family there after all.” Lord Lestrange said as he continued ahead, obviously expecting them all to follow him.

They followed him.

Flourish and Botts was completely and utterly packed. They soon discovered that that was due to book signing by renowned wizard, Gilderoy Lockhart. That was such a joy to have to sit through.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

When Roderick had come across the young Lord Potter in Knockturn Alley after finishing some of his less…. Light…shopping he was surprised to say the least. The little lord’s glasses were cracked and he was covered head to toe in soot. Roderick was half tempted to leave him to the consequences of his obvious mistake… Rosie would kill him if he left Gryffindor’s golden boy for dead though, of that he was sure. So, Roderick intervened and hoped that the boy would not act against his own good. Thankfully he had followed Roderick’s lead easily and with obvious relief. Unfortunately following their entrance into the main alley, they had been accosted by the little lord’s mudblood friend and her muggle parents. Just because Roderick could tolerate their kind and saw their purpose in the world most certainly did not mean he wished to associate himself with them. Actually meeting a muggle showed him exactly how much work the Lords would be. He’d have to school his features more.

Regrettably, it turned out that their destinations were the same so Roderick’s manners demanded that he accompany them. For muggles they did not seem too savage or dangerous. Upon reaching Flourish and Botts Roderick had to steel himself. The man he was looking at was simultaneously the handsomest (other than the King himself) and the most unlikeable man Roderick had ever met. Gilderoy Lockhart. Roderick took a deep breath as he melted into the crowd, away from the mudblood and Lord Potter. It turned out that Lockhart was more obnoxious than Roderick had previously thought. Roderick rolled his eyes as the man tugged Lord Potter to his side. Then he smiled and gods be damned Roderick would definitely still fuck him if he was given the chance. Roderick was thankfully distracted from that particular train of thought by a hand around his neck as his Uncle inquired as to their less common purchases.

As he glanced around Roderick caught Draco tearing a page out of a book before putting the now damaged book back. Interesting. That was very uncharacteristic of him, particularly in the way that he pocketed the page. Draco barrelled down the stairs and Roderick saw him approach Lord Potter.

“Bet you loved that, didn’t you Potter?” Draco said with a sneer. “Famous Harry Potter. Can’t even go into a bookshop without making the front page.”

The Weasley girl faced him “Leave him alone”

“Oh look Potter, you’ve got yourself a girlfriend.”

Roderick sighed. “Draco. Do try to be to be polite. At least to the Young Lord.”

Draco turned to him. “Yes, cousin.”

Though Roderick had gotten the situation under control Uncle Lucius still felt the need to thump Draco rather hard on the shoulder.

“Indeed. Play nicely Draco.” Uncle Lucius’ attention was quickly taken by the young Lord. Roderick drew Draco away and held him to his side protectively.

“Lord Potter.” He paused for a second “Lord Lucius Malfoy. We meet at last.” Uncle drew Lord Potter close using his hand and as his can caressed Harry’s hair Roderick’s blood ran cold. “Forgive me. Your scar is legend. As of course is the wizard who gave it to you.” Roderick flinched at the blatant insult to the memory of the late Lord and Lady Potter.

“Voldemort killed my parents. He was nothing more than a murderer.”

Uncle cocked his head. “Hmm. You must be very brave. To mention his name. Or really foolish.” Uncle smirked.

The mudblood who was standing closer to them than to Lucius, sensible thing, raised her own opinion on that matter. “Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself.” Clever little mudblood. Roderick was almost concerned by how impressed Draco looked at her words.

“And you must be…” Uncle looked to Draco for confirmation. “Miss Granger. Yes, Draco’s told me all about you. And your parents.”

Uncle and he followed the mudbloods glance over to where her probable parents stood talking to Lord Weasley. Well, as much of a Lord as he could be called. She didn’t look very much like them Roderick noted absently.

“Muggles, aren’t they?” Uncle said before turning his attention to the Weasleys

“Let me see. Red hair, vacant expressions…” he picked a book out of the Weasley girl’s cauldron “Tatty, second hand book. You must be the Weasleys”

At that Lord Weasley appeared to attempt to ferry them away. Much to Roderick’s embarrassment Uncle did not let him, instead insulting Lord Weasley. Of course, being a Gryffindor, Lord Weasley could not help himself but retaliate. Uncle Lucius dropped the books back into the Weasley’s cauldron and with a final insult and “I’ll see you at work” Uncle prowled out.

Draco followed him with a “See you at School.”

Roderic followed them both. “Lord Weasley. Lord Potter.” He said with a nod.

“We don’t associate ourselves with your family Lestrange.” said the so-called Lord Weasley.

Roderick tempered his expression before holding his head high and turning his back on them and leaving. He wondered how many of those he saw today would be dead by the end of the school year. Preferably not all of the mudbloods would perish, but a Basilisk was impossible to stop. It was likely why Slytherin chose the monster. Roderick had long since come to terms with the fact hat attempting to stop the thing was suicidal.

 

He wasn’t even going to try.

Chapter Text

1 September 1992

 

The traumatic disaster that was their failed journey to Hogwarts ended in a very embarrassing scolding by a multitude of professors. Thankfully they weren’t Slytherins else the result of their adventure would have been undoubtably worse. They were sent to the Great Hall after it.

When Harry and Ron finally made it to the great hall the sorting ceremony appeared to be almost finished already, a pretty blonde new ravenclaw running to take her seat at the Ravenclaw table. The next one to be called up, Fabiana Moncrieff, a red-head, was unsurprisingly sorted into Gryffindor just as Harry and Ron took their seats. Hermione, of course, was immediately on their case.

“Harry! Ron! Where have you been!”

“It’s a long story honestly Mione. We’ll tell you after the sorting. Don’t wanna miss Ginny” said Ron in reply. Harry nodded.

Mione still glared at them

Professor McGonagall called the next name and another red-headed girl stepped forward

“Moncrieff, Juliana”

The hat was quick in it’s judgement of her, like it had been of her relative.

“Gryffindor!”

The next name called by the Professor threw Harry for a spin.

“Potter, Victoria!”

He quickly turned to Ron. “I have a cousin here?”

“Well yeah. But she’s a branch Potter. Think they’re something like your fifth or sixth cousins. Hardly related really. You’ve more in common with your half-sisters and they’re bastards innit?”

And Harry was gobsmacked. Honestly, there were no words. He had sisters. SISTERS!!

“My what?”

“You don’t know about them? I thought everyone did.” Ron said

“Maybe everyone who grew up in the wizarding world does but I don’t. Ron I can’t believe you never thought I’d like to know this.”

“Well why would you? They’re just bastards. It’s not like they’re your real siblings.”

“Ron! They’re his sisters. Being born out of wedlock doesn’t stop that!” Hermione stated firmly.

“Yeah it does. At least here. You should learn more about our culture Mione. We’re not like muggles.”

Hermione looked so affronted Harry half expected her to burst into flames.

He noted that as they’d been speaking his cousin had been sorted into Gryffindor after a hatstall and the next person was being called up.

“We’re talking about this later Ron.” Harry said just as the Professor went

“Prewett, Liriope”

“Oh no.” said Ron.

“What?” Harry whispered

“That’s my cousin. It’s really embarrassing. The Prewetts were proud Gryffindors until her Father got sorted into Slytherin. Now he’s Lord Prewett. Honestly terrible.”

Hermione just seemed to get angrier at that.

“Slytherin!”

Ron shuddered once at that and then again as the next name was called.

“Rosier, Francis”

The hat barely touched the dark-haired boys head before it called out “Slytherin!”

He was followed by his twin sister Rosamund, also a Slytherin and then two Rowle girls who were sorted into Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff respectively and then a golden-haired boy who was sorted into Hufflepuff. The Gryffindor got another girl in the form of Vivian Spinnet and Hufflepuff another blond-haired girl. Then a boy was sorted into Gryffindor, James Stewart and surprisingly what seemed to be a muggleborn into Slytherin.

“I didn’t realise that Slytherin took Muggleborns.” Harry said to Ron and Hermione.

“She’s probably a half blood if her name is Cedrella.” Hermione said

“Nah. I think she’s one of the freed.” Said Ron.

“The what?” He and Hemione said in unison.

“The freed. Kid’s who were freed from the clutches of their deatheater parents at the end of the war.”

Hermione seemed very conflicted at that. “I suppose they were criminals.”

After a few more name finally Ginny Weasley’s name was called and they stopped paying attention completely as she made her way to the Gryffindor table after an easy sorting.

There was a lot of talking done later that night and both Harry and Hermione were made to truly realise how different the wizarding world was to the rest of the UK.

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

7 September 1992

 

Nothing particularly interesting had happened over the first week of term. Well, with the exception of the sorting of that Potter cousin and her incessant flirty behaviour around Rose’s oblivious little brother. It was obvious what the girl’s father had ordered her to do. Rose supposed it made a lot of sense that the distant but sole branch line of House Potter wanted to reassert their ties with the Main Line. Of course, the best way to do that was through marriage. What was surprising was that they were getting so desperate that they were now willing to marry the only surviving child of the current family head to a Half-blood. Would wonders never cease.

Luckily for Rose, or unluckily in certain instances, she was about to have a rather interesting day. It began at breakfast first with the little Creevey boy accosting Harry for pictures (the look on his face!) and followed by the Howler from Ronald Weasley’s mother, of course that in and of itself was preceded by the Weasley owl crashing into a plate of food. My gosh. If Rose hadn’t known that her Harry had been with the youngest Weasley brother at the time of the incident in question then she would have laughed her head off.

Unfortunately, that pleasant morning was rather ruined by the realisation of exactly how incompetent their DADA professor would be this year. For her OWLs as well! Rose had a felling she’d be spending a lot of time this year sucking up to Rod for some chance of success. The wizard literally began his lesson with a speech about himself, not to mention the way he spoke to and looked at some of the girls in her class, herself included. Of course, a fair number of those girls simply blushed and giggled. But Rose. Rose was incredibly unnerved by the man, no matter how incompetent he appeared to be, even going so far as to let over 10 snakes slither around the classroom as he ‘taught’ about them. Well not so much as taught as told them to disable the ones which were poisonous.

Worryingly however, Lockhart’s ineptitude and predatory behaviour were not the most concerning things to come out of his class. It seemed that either Lily Evans Potter wasn’t as much of a muggleborn as was claimed or her father had more Slytherin blood in him than he knew. Because for whatever reason, Rosetta Evans-Snape was a parselmouth.

Chapter Text

31 October 1992

On that dark night few remained in the corridors. The feast was long finished and those who remained out and about were restricted to those in the library such as the multitude of Ravenclaws and Roderick Lestrange and Rosetta Evans whom were studying together as well as those such as Harry Potter who were serving detentions. All in all, it was exceptionally quiet, with most students enjoying All Hallows' Eve parties in their respective common rooms.

That was what made the voice all the clearer to those few who heard it. It started off with a much less threatening sentence

“Come to me……Come to me….”

The reactions were similar for Harry and Rose. Looking around in confusion and mild concern. The other one who heard it simply lowered their head and fought back a flinch. While Harry questioned Lockhart about what he heard and was very concerned when the man didn’t appear to have heard it, Rose did not bring it up to her companion, only telling him that she thought she might retire to bed now, while in reality she intended to go and search out the whereabouts of the voice. The last time she had heard something others didn’t was that incident with the troll last year after all. It surprised her that Rod appeared to be incredibly keen to accompany her right back to the Gryffindor dormitory. He’d not done such a thing before; their friendship was still very much a secret.

It was as the three traversed the halls, all with the same destination that the words got deadly.

“Blood…I smell blood…let me rip you…. let me kill you….kill…kill…kill!”

To those who heard it the voice was undoubtably dangerous, but to Rose…Rose could hear something else in that voice. Suffering…as if it didn’t want to be doing what it was doing.

Rose began to follow the voice in the walls at a fast pace, Roderick following her hesitantly. Meanwhile, Harry who was being picked up from his detention by his friends began to follow it after its final looming words of

“It’s time”

Neither of his friends appeared to be able to hear the voice. They came across a line of spiders running out of a window. Before they turned a corner and saw it. There, painted in what seemed to be blood were the words:

“The Great Houses have abandoned us. The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the True Heir, Beware”

With Mrs Norris there, hanging limp off of a candle holder. Unfortunately for the three, where Mrs. Norris is, Filch is never far behind. It was the poor man’s agonised shouts which drew the crowd of people to the scene. With many professors and students soon looking on in either horror or forced glee in the case of a number of the Slytherins.

 

Rose and Roderick never made it to the scene however. For Roderick snapped after the final words of the Basilisk. Roderick knew what was in there. Hidden in the walls of the castle. And Rosie. Rosie was a half-blood. Undoubtably a potential target of the Dark Lord. Roderick had always been a parselmouth. A gift from the Dark Lord to his most loyal follower, Roderick’s mother, so said his Uncle Lucius. Part of the Dark Lord’s own magical core was instilled in him when he was barely out of nappies. It had the side effect of him being able to speak parseltongue, as such abilities were carried not through blood itself, but through magic. To have such abilities one had to have the right sort of magic. Even if one did have the correct magic, only extended exposure to the magic of another with the same magical ability could activate it. Roderick’s own ability was not his own, but the Dark Lord’s through the magical core he had instilled in him.

Anyway. It was obvious that Roderick had to stop Rosie from going any further before she met the wrong creature’s eyes. So, he did the rational thing. He pinned her to the corridor wall.

Rose let out an eep before she asked “What are you doing Rod?”

Obviously, Roderick couldn’t let her know exactly how much danger she was in. But what he should say. Or do. He didn’t know. Honestly Roderick had just wanted to stop her from going any further into the danger. So, he just stood there. Awkwardly.

“Ahh…I’m…..”

Though she was still blushing Rose looked away and huffed.

“Rod. I have to go. This may sound silly, or even insane. But I heard something in the walls. It sounded threatening. We have to find it. No one will believe me if I just said that I was hearing things!”

Well shit. Roderick reaffirmed his position with one hand place on the wall as his other hand went up and drew Rose to face him. “You didn’t hear anything Rose. Understand?”

“You heard it too didn’t you? You did!”

Roderick pressed his face closer to hers before saying “No. I didn’t. Neither of us heard anything. Nothing at all.”

“What is it that it has even you frightened Roderick.” Rosie said as she met his eyes firmly, before they dashed away glancing around before settling on his lips. Roderick realised exactly how close the two of them were. He licked his lips. Seemingly instantaneously their lips met. She tasted sweet he noted, floral even. Roderick drew away as if he’d been burnt.

“This never happened.” He turned away and walked off quickly. Before turning back to her as she remained standing against the wall.

 

“Don’t ever go towards that voice again Rosetta.”

Chapter Text

15 November 1992

A week ago, a student had been petrified. It had been a Gryffindor mudblood from what Draco knew. Honestly it was amazing to him that the basilisk hadn’t killed yet. He still kept the piece of paper with the information on the basilisk in his trunk, which was of course protected under a wade of charms and curses. Draco didn’t yet know exactly what he could do. All he knew was that he didn’t really want the mudbloods to all die. Though he said otherwise. His cousin Rod sad that though they shouldn’t me married or mixed with mudbloods were still core members of wizarding society. Barely more important than house elves but still a bit more than that.

Draco had felt guilty that he’d left Potter to the wraith last year so he’d told Dobby, one of their house elves, to keep Potter away from Hogwarts. Obviously, the stupid creature couldn’t even manage that though. What does a second year do to take on a Basilisk? Very little in Draco’s opinion.

But anyway, the first attack on a student brought Draco to today. For today the Lord Slytherin was visiting/inspecting Hogwarts. The entire school populace was waiting in the courtyard to welcome him. The energy and excitement were palpable among especially Slytherin House. Not even Draco had ever seen Lord Slytherin. No one had to the best of his knowledge. That was what made this so exciting.

A crack was all that alerted them to the arrival of the young Lord, who had succeeded his father during the latter part of the war. The Dark Lord himself had duelled and killed the late Lord Slytherin. According to Rod who had been 6 at the time, the duel had exhausted the Dark Lord so much that he’d slept for weeks at Lestrange Manor as Draco’s Aunt Bellatrix had nursed the Dark Lord back to health. Lord Slytherin was tall Draco noted. He had very short black hair and fern green eyes. The man had a serious face befitting of the reason why he was here, his roman nose accentuating the severity of his features.

“Headmaster Dumbledore. I would say it’s a pleasure, save for the fact that it isn’t particularly.” Lord Slytherin said

“Indeed, my Lord. The situation in which we find ourselves could not be more severe, nor more unpleasurable” the Headmaster said. Ignoring the Lord’s blatant slight.

The Lord in question raised an eyebrow before saying “I assure you. It could be much worse. There are none dead yet are there?”

Lord Slytherin then began to walk through the courtyard and into the castle, the headmaster forced into following him. He was powerful. Draco could tell. And he was the true Heir of Slytherin through the founder’s younger brother’s line. If anyone could sort the Basilisk out it would be him.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Silvanus Slytherin couldn’t say that he’d expected to be spammed with mail by the current headmaster of Hogwarts’s, the renowned Albus Dumbledore, begging him to come to Hogwarts to sort out a case of multiple petrifications. Evidently, they thought that the culprit was the ‘monster’ of Slytherin. Which was a theory that personally Silvanus thought to be completely idiotic for two reasons. Firstly, there was the most obvious fact. The so called ‘monster’ of Slytherin was a basilisk. House Slytherin knew this. Basilisks didn’t petrify. They killed. Secondly. The Basilisk was meant to protect Hogwarts from invasion, either by muggles or by the Nordic wizards. She would never attack a student. Not without reason.

Of course, he said as much to the council of Professors he was faced with. When they told him of the writing on the wall everything made sense. It was simply someone going about with a petrification charm, someone who was offended by the lack of presence that the Great Houses now had among common wizarding folk. As if they had any right. They understood nothing of what they were struggling against. Idiots. Silvanus glowered. Stopping the King from offing himself and doing damage control on him and his family was a full time job.

Beside him his mistress Helena Hufflepuff looked over at him.

“What’s the matter my love?” her long golden locks fell around her face beautifully as she looked up.

“Nothing much. Simply thinking of my unpleasant discussion with the great professors of Hogwarts.” He kissed her forehead.

“Well. I can think of much pleasanter things that we could be thinking of. That we could be doing.”

As she sat atop him Silvanus knew why he loved this woman so much better than his wife.

 

 

 

 

As the danger grew in Hogwarts Lord Slytherin fell back into his silken sheets, gasping in pleasure.

Chapter Text

17 December 1992

A duelling club. It should come as no surprise that both Joanne and Audrey were immediately up for such a club. Of course, that meant that Rose found herself here. In a class led by her most hated professor and assisted by her dad. It should be practically joyous. As she always did Rose looked around to check if Roderick was anywhere to be seen. Of course, he wasn’t. He was a seventh year who would be turning 18 in a few days. He had much better things to do than be in this probable farce of a club.

There had been an elevated level of tenseness between them ever since what happened in October. She hadn’t brought up the kiss and neither had she. It was hard to go on as normal with him though, what with that at the back of her mind. Rose had heard the voice again a month ago, she hadn’t followed it though. In fact, she went in the exact opposite direction. Hearing what had happened to that little firstie, Rose decided that she’d made a good choice.

Rose was brought back to the present as Lockhart began to speak.

“Gather round! Gather round. Can everybody see me? Can you all hear me?”

With no shouts to the negative Lockhart continued

“In light of the dark events of recent weeks, Professor Dumbledore has granted me permission to start this little duelling club. To train you all up! In case you ever need to defend yourselves. As I myself have done on countless occasions. For full details see my published works.”

Lockhart proceeded to wink at them (most of the fourth- and fifth-year girls were standing together) and tossed his cape at them to catch. Thankfully she didn’t do so. Instead it was a few other Gryffindor girls and a Hufflepuff in her year, Rose believed her name was Virginia Vallance.

“Let me introduce my assistant, Professor Snape.”

As her dad approached Rose could practically feel his annoyance radiating off of him.

“He has sportingly agreed to help me with a short demonstration. Now I don’t want any of you youngsters to worry. You’ll still have your Potions Master when I’m through with him. Never fear.”

Honestly, Rose didn’t think that anyone was concerned that her dad would lose. Lockhart really should have been more concerned about himself if Rose was being honest. They bowed to one another and Lockhart was quickly disposed of with a quick and simple Expelliarmus. Rose couldn’t help her snigger.

“An excellent idea to show them that Professor Snape but if you don’t mind me saying it was pretty obvious what you were about to do. And if I had wanted to stop you, it would have been only to easy”

Of course, it would have. Rose rolled her eyes and tried to contain herself as she heard dad’s answer to the dim-witted creep.

“Perhaps it would be prudent to first teach the students to block unfriendly spells, Professor.”

“An excellent suggestion! Professor Snape. Ah..let’s have a volunteer pair. Potter! Weasley! How about you?”

“Weasley’s want causes devastation with the simplest spells. You’ll be sending Potter to the hospital wing in a matchbox. Might I suggest someone from my own house? Malfoy, perhaps” he said gesturing the boy in question up sarcastically.

If what dad was saying was true than Rose certainly supported such a thing. Her baby brother was exceptionally accident prone as it was. Rose’s relief was quickly replaced with nerves at the two boys’ words

“Scared Potter?”

“You wish”

Oh gods. This wasn’t going to be great was it. Harry glanced over at Joanne for support, they’d started talking recently, though it was strained. He’d kept glancing at Rose herself in odd ways, she thought that perhaps Petunia might have told him about her. As the duel commenced it quickly became violent, Dad appeared to even encourage it. Rose sent her waves of concern at him, to which he responded.

They need training flower. You know the Defence Teacher this year don’t you?

While he was right that didn’t mean Rose had to like it.

And then there was a snake. Not an intelligent one but still one. Dad immediately stepped forward but unfortunately the dim-witted creep beat him to the mark. Harry of course, being the Gryffindor he was, then tried to tell the snake to go away. It was only when Rose looked and Joanne and Audrey that she realised that perhaps it wasn’t English that she was hearing her brother speak.

 

She heard the voice again not much later. It was pained, as it had been the past couple of times, she’d heard it, only this time Rose was able to distinguish it a bit more. It sounded female. Rose felt horrible. The poor creature. Being forced to petrify people.

 

Chapter Text

14 February 1993

It was valentine’s day. What was often a depressing day for Rose was in fact a welcome break this year from recent events. More petrifications had occurred and her brother had become the subject of incessant bullying. So, when she walked into the Great Hall alongside Joanne and Audrey for breakfast, they were all rather pleasantly surprised by the large, lurid pink flowers covering the walls. And there were heart-shaped confetti falling from the pale blue ceiling. It was actually pretty uplifting. Even more entertaining were the reactions of most of the professors to the change in décor. Lockhart was the exception. Dressed in bright pink robes he appeared to be feeling particularly jolly.

When the grumpy dwarfs wearing wings and carrying harps walked in Rose almost couldn’t help herself. Joanne and Audrey couldn’t, they burst out laughing. It really was rather funny. Lockhart’s speech just made the whole ordeal more hilarious. Particularly when one included the other professors’ reactions.

“My friendly, card-carrying cupids!” beamed Lockhart. “They will be roving around the school today delivering your valentines! And the fun doesn't stop here! I'm sure my colleagues will want to enter into the spirit of the occasion! Why not ask Professor Snape to show you how to whip up a Love Potion! And while you're at it, Professor Flitwick knows more about Entrancing Enchantments than any wizard I've ever met, the sly old dog.”

Of course, then began the arrival of Valentine’s cards. Always a sombre occasion for Rose. Half-bloods were almost always second choice to purebloods after all. But the way in which they were delivered this year at least made the entire day much more entertaining. All throughout the day the dwarfs, sorry cupids, barged their way into lessons to deliver them in rough accents. When dinner finally came Rose was feeling much more upbeat than she had previously. Despite the fact that, like always, she hadn’t received any cards.

Few were delivered during dinner. So, you can imagine how surprised Rose was when a cupid barged up to her.

“Rosie Posy Evans?”

Rosie Posy! Only one person called her that! No way. No way! Rose slowly began to grin.

“Yes, that’s me.”

Joanne elbowed her and Audrey began to grin wildly holding her girlfriend’s hand. Harry looked over along with his friends and Julia.

“Open it up then!”

“Yeah. Who’s it from Rosie-Posy” Joanne giggled

Rose blushed wildly and looked over to the Slytherin table. Roderick met her eyes and gave her a little smile. Rose could have squealed. As it was, she grinned back at him and held the valentine to her heart. Promising that she’d open it in private.

“Shut up. I’ll open it later”

Rose finished her supper quickly and made her way back to the dorms, Joanne and Audrey hooting behind her.

Rose ducked her head blushing.

She should not be so happy to get a valentine from a married man. Especially one who was already expecting his second child.

Chapter Text

8 May 1993

Rose was chatting with Joanne and Audrey in the common room when their Head of House burst in calling for their attention. New rules were to be put into place for the foreseeable future. Rather severe ones at that. There was to be a curfew of 6pm and students were to be escorted to class by a teacher or another member of staff. While of course with the petrifications it made sense, but it meant that in all likelihood she wouldn’t be seeing Roderick again, at least not until after the end of term. She’d miss him terribly Rose was sure. Since Valentine’s day they’d been much closer and if Rose was being honest with herself it appeared that she was well on her way to becoming his mistress. She didn’t quite know how to think about that. She’d always disapproved of such things, though she herself was the product of an affair. While Roderick was very vocal with her about the fact that he held little fondness and certainly no love for his wife, she was still his wife.

Their relationship would never be allowed to be openly known and though Rose had spent all of her life as a secret deep down she had always hoped. That maybe, one day, she could be true to who she was, to her parentage and family. If not that, then she had hoped for a marriage to someone she could love openly. That would never be Roderick. Rose knew that. But she could not picture a life with anyone else.

Rose was drawn out of her thoughts by Harry approaching the three of them, likely to speak to Joanne.

“Hi”

“Hello Harry. How are you feeling? I know that being put under quarantine must be scary. But don’t you worry. Me and Julia will look out for you.” Joanne flicked her messy hair behind her ear and gave Harry a thumbs up.

“Thanks Jo. I was actually wondering if I could talk to Rose? It won’t take long.”

Rose started “Of course.”

Harry led her off to a sparsely populated corner of the room

“It’s Hermione. She’s been petrified.”

Rose gasped “Oh that’s terrible. How are you coping?”

“Alright I guees. It has put a lot of things into perspective though. And…I need to ask you something Rose.”

Oh dear. Rose’s heart beat with nervousness.

“What is it Harry?”

Harry moving from foot to foot anxiously before asking

“Who are your parents Rose?”

Rose had feared this would be his question. She froze. She’d absolutely never said the names of either of her parents out loud to another person. She definitely couldn’t say her father’s name. But maybe she could say mum’s?

“Maybe we should sit down somewhere private for this conversation.” She led him to the window seat on the stairs before placing a silencing spell around them.

“You know my full name don’t you Harry?”

“No, not really.”

“Ah. Well my name is Rosetta Jane Evans.”

Harry’s eyes widened and he looked to be about to say something before Rose interrupted him.

“You know how Joanne and Julia are your illegitimate half-sisters by your dad?”

“Yeah”

“Well I’m the same. But by your mum. Our Aunt raised me for around a year before I was given to my Dad. He’s a very private man so I shan’t say who he is.”

Harry’s mouth was wide open in shock, he spluttered a bit before saying

“I thought you were my Aunt. But your’re my sister.” He began to laugh in shock.

Rose smiled nervously at him.

“Yes. I understand that this might take some time to come to terms with. I understand.”

Harry just threw himself at her for a hug.

Rose was a little overwhelmed.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

23 May 1993

 

Draco was out of bed and in the hospital wing long after curfew. He stared down at Granger. She was frozen, her eyes wide and dead. Of course, she wasn’t dead. By some miracle none were yet. It was odd seeing her there. She in and of herself was odd. She was smart and polite (most of the time), everything that every pureblood lady was. And yet. Hermione Granger was a mudblood. It didn’t make sense. She went against everything that he’d ever been led to believe about mudbloods. About their inferiority. Of course she was inferior though. Elsewise she wouldn’t be lying there static. Draco subscribed to his cousin Roderick’s ideals. Not his Father’s. Mudbloods were inferior but useful. It made little sense to exterminate them. Even if they were vermin.

 

 

He couldn’t do anything magic wise to stop the basilisk from killing them all, eventually. And he most certainly couldn’t tell any Professor what the creature was. That would either implicate him and his family or, in the case of Uncle Severus, mark Draco as a blood traitor. Draco glanced at the piece of paper in his hand. No, he couldn’t be seen to have any knowledge of the basilisk.

But Granger could.

Draco scrunched up the piece of paper containing the information about the basilisk and squished it into Granger’s frozen hand.

He looked at her for a few moments more before making his way quickly and silently back to the Slytherin dormitories.

He’d done all he could reasonably do.

 

Chapter Text

29 May 1993

Ever since the new restriction on their movement had been put into place over a fortnight ago Rose hadn’t been able to meet with Roderick save for a couple of minutes every few days, hidden in spare rooms. Tonight, they had decided to do something rather silly. Though, since the both of them could actually hear the creature in the walls they were much safer than anyone else would have been.  Rose giggled. The danger was giving her a high of some sort. Maybe Gryffindor was starting to rub off on her. Roderick shut her up quickly with his lips pressed against her own. Gods Rose had missed him. They had not even begun to chat yet. No, instead they had spent Athena-knows how long kissing in an empty classroom on the second floor.

It was wonderful. Rose moaned against Rod’s lips as he opened her mouth up with his tongue, drawing her even closer. His hands appeared to be going even lower down, eventually pulling at her skirt.

A sharp pain hit her head. Rose grunted. It did not stop. It felt like an extremely forceful Legilimens pushing against her mind. It felt somewhat familiar. To her embarrassment as much as Rose tried. Drawing herself away from her boyfriend and clutching her head, she could not fight it off. Rose was overcome with distress and agony. It was the creature. Oh gods. What had happened to cause a reaction like this?

Rose tore herself out of Rod’s concerned clutches and began to fast-walk towards the distress beacon that was pounding in her head. She had to hang onto the wall occasion but she kept going single-minded, she could here Roderick following her. She thought that he might even have been saying something. Suddenly the footsteps following her stopped and she heard a sudden inhalation. Concerned for him Rose turned. Only to see his eyes turned toward the wall in horror. There written in blood was her answer as to what had happened.

 “Her skeleton will lie in the chamber forever”

She stood alongside him staring in horror.

This lasted only a few moments before she heard more footsteps, likely a professor, coming from the direction they had just come from.

They needed to go.

Now.

Following her instincts and the beacon that still pounded in her skull Rose started to run. She turned a corner but before she could get much farther a hand grabbed her arm.

Rod stood looking at her, a distressed, almost pleading expression on his face.

Before he could speak they heard a loud, echoing voice surrounding them and the entirety of Hogwarts.

 “All students are to return to their dormitories at once. All teachers to the second-floor corridor immediately”

Immediately afterwards Roderick spoke up. “What are you doing Rose? Please. Do not let it be what I fear it indeed is.”

“I have to save her Roderick.”

“No Rosy. You cannot. Not even if you tried. You don’t know what you’re walking into. What she is.”

Rose tugged her arm from his grasp and took his hands in her own

“She’s suffering Rod. That’s all I need to know. Not to mention that poor girl. I have to follow my instincts and my heart Rod. I couldn’t forgive myself. Not ever. If I did nothing. I’m going to go to the Chamber, I’ll find a way. Even if it means leaving you behind.”

She leaned up and kissed him firmly on the lips before running in the direction her gut and her pounding head told her to go.

After a moment Rose was shocked to find that she could hear footsteps following her. She smiled.

They ran for what seemed to be hours, but was likely less than 3 minutes, before finding themselves in the girl’s bathroom of the second floor. While neither of them could see an obvious opening to the chamber it must have been there. Elsewise why would they have been led to the place?

Well. If an opening were to be found it would have to be opened via parseltongue wouldn’t it?

Rose took a chance.

“Open”

The sink gave way to a giant hole. Rose knew what she had to do.

She looked over at Roderick.

“Well. Here we go then. Wands at the ready.”

She sat on the edge of the pipe and slid down, not before hearing Rod’s words though.

 “I cannot believe that I am about to do this.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The place that they found themselves in was unsurprisingly disgusting. It was Hogwarts’ sewer system after all. Looking around there appeared to be a multitude of large corridors/pipes leading off of the ‘room’ they were in from every direction. Roderick looked up at her with a face scrunched up in disgust. Had the situation not been so serious Rose would've laughed.

"If we survive this. Mark my words I shall be fucking you for days for putting me through this hell."

Rose rolled her eyes. "You did not have to accompany me. Besides that's hardly a threat. I'd enjoy it after all."

"Who said it was a threat my Rose petal?"

Rose was incredibly grateful then that she still had the beacon pulsing in her head. It acted as a great distraction from more...lustful feelings as well as a beacon. It grew louder as they neared the place of origin, as they neared the creature. They stopped at a metal door, covered in snakes. Rose decided that she would do the same thing that she’d done to open the sink.

“Open”

It worked. The door unlocked itself and swung open revealing a massive room, covered in water there was a path, framed by snake heads, leading to a ginormous human head which covered an entire wall. Lying motionless before it was the only daughter of Lord Weasley by his second wife, clutching at a diary. Rose rushed towards the girl, praying to all the gods above that she wasn’t dead. Roderick did not follow her.

“Miss Weasley.” She shook the girl again. “You must wake up now Miss Weasley.” If only she could remember the girl’s name.

“She won’t wake.” Rose started; her wand immediately drawn. Before her stood a handsome boy, around Rod’s age. He had hair almost as dark as his eyes and a Slytherin tie around his neck.

“You are not who I was expecting. I had thought the Harry boy would come, if any.”

“Harry is not here.”

“Yes. That does seem to be the case.”

Rose had the feeling that the diary that the Weasley girl was holding should not be so near them. Reaching over with one hand she threw it in the other direction, towards where Roderick was hiding behind one of the snake heads. The boy appeared affronted by her actions, but in the same manner as Rod, simply raising an eyebrow and sneering.

“You do not seem to be a Slytherin. Nor a Gaunt. It makes me question how you have come to be here.”

“I’m afraid I haven’t the slightest idea how I speak parseltongue.” Rose stood, placing herself between the boy and Miss Weasley.

He stepped towards her and a barely-there hand caressed her face. Rose shivered.

“Then I suppose we have a lot to discuss for now.”

Rose did not understand what was happening. Nor what the creature before her, for he was certainly not human, was. All she knew was that until Roderick could figure out how to get them all out of here, preferably alive and likely with a spell much darker than any she knew, she would have to keep the thing distracted.

Rose smiled at it.

“Yes. I suppose we do.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Harry’s realisation about moaning Myrtle and the possible entrance to the chamber led him, Ron, and unfortunately Lockhart to the second floor girl’s bathroom. Upon reaching the bathroom they were quickly greeted by the ghost who haunted it.

“Hello Harry.”

“Hello Myrtle.” Before Harry could ask her his question Myrtle replied.

 “Are you going after those two?”

“Which two Myrtle?” Harry said, surprised.

“I don’t know. The Slytherin boy and the Gryffindor Girl. Dark hair and red hair. They were both very pretty.” Myrtle moaned.

“Ginny and the True Heir of Slytherin Harry!” Ron stage whispered to him

Harry nodded.

“Yes actually Myrtle. If you wouldn’t mind, how did they open the chamber?”

“I don’t know. One of them said something in a funny language, the sink vanished and then they went down.”

“I bet it was something in parseltongue.” Ron nodded.

“Thanks Myrtle.”

After having opened the chamber and getting the bloody coward to…test it…. Harry and Ron prepared to follow him down into the abyss.

“Oh Harry.” Myrtle said. “If you die down there, you’re welcome to share my toilet.”

At the thought of his death Harry admitted that it was a bit hard to maintain his manners, thus his thank you was a tad awkward.

The sewers were so disgusting.

It came as a surprise to neither he nor Ron when Lockhart betrayed them, attempting to obliviate the two. Thank God for Ron’s broken wand, elsewise they all would’ve been toast. Though, that being said, Harry was not terribly glad that he had been separated from Ron.

Turning into one of the few remaining open pipes Harry found himself faced with a wide-open door. Looking into the chamber it led into Harry could see four people at least from his vantage point. Harry could just make out who three of them were, but the fourth was a mystery. Hidden behind one of the many snake heads was Lord Lestrange, his wand pointed seemingly at the other three. Then there were two red-headed girls, one of which, the one laying seemingly dead on the floor, was Ginny. The other, the other appeared to be Rose to Harry’s horror. He now did not have a clue which dark haired Slytherin boy and ginger haired Gryffindor girl Myrtle had seen entering. Harry gulped as he saw the other boy, the one he did not recognise, grasp his sisters face. What was she doing?

Harry finally gave into his instincts and ran towards the scene.

As he ran closer and closer, almost tripping over a book at one-point Harry was finally able to recognise the other boy. It was Tom Riddle.

“Rose, Tom, why aren’t you getting Ginny out of here? Why aren’t you saving her? We’ve got to save her.”

Rose looked over Harry’s shoulder, in the direction of Lord Lestrange and so it was Tom who answered his question.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that Harry. You see, as poor Ginny grows weaker, I grow stronger. And this pretty little thing. Well. She knows that she cannot defeat me. Not even in my current state. She may have come here with the intention of saving dear Ginny. But she cannot. As you cannot either.  Now. I am afraid that I must have you killed now Harry, unless you join me that is.”

“Never.”

“Are you sure? I could give you great power. Or are you one of the Light King’s pets?* or the Dark King’s I suppose. They don’t care about us you know, not really. They are much more concerned about the muggles. About the Empire.” Tom tutted in dismay “It truly is a pity, that you both must die. Ginny in particular was most useful to me. Opening the chamber. Setting my new pet free. Speaking of it. Let’s finish this shall we?”

Harry eyes widened as he took in this revelation and the mouth of the statue opened its maw.

“Close your eyes Harry! She can’t help herself!”

Harry closed his eyes “What do you mean Rose? It’s a basilisk! A monster!”

Rose. “She’s suffering Harry! Can’t you hear her?”

“Of course, I can. ‘She’ wants to kill!”

“No. Listen to her. He has her trapped. He’s controlling her. Forcing her to kill those she was born to protect. She’s been trying to fight it don’t you see? We have to help her!”

Harry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. That this beast might be under some sort of mind control was almost too much for him. Just as he lifted his wand up in the direction that he could hear the snake coming from however, it seemed that Lord Lestrange had formed an alternative plan.

Harry did not hear the spell itself, but he felt the immense heat, even though as it turned out, he was facing away from the direction of the flames.

Tom Riddle shrieked in horror. “I am Lord Voldermort! You cannot! You cannot do this to me! Nooo!”

All of a sudden, his screams were silent.

The heat faded away in a split second and Harry nearly opened his eyes.

A loud sigh escaped someone. Harry wasn’t to know that it was the basilisk. Who, finally free, closed one of her sets of eyelids in order to protect her newfound allies.

 “Thank you, little ones. That unholy abomination had me under its spell. The same sort of spell that it placed on me while it was human.” A serpentine voice said.

They all opened their eyes at that

“You are most welcome ancient one. I think that I have been calling you the Creature for much too long. If I might know. What is your name?” Rose said

“It is all right hatchling. I have been more of a creature than an ally over these past few moons after all. My dear Vava, Salazar, he gave me the name of Seraphina, after his younger brother Seraphinus, from whom the current line of House Slytherin descends. I must apologise to them, I think. For my recent actions.”

“We wish you well Great Seraphina” said Lord Lestrange.

The Basilisk nodded her gigantic head towards him before slithering off down one of the many pipes which fed into the room.

Harry was preoccupied with Ginny, who appeared to be on the verge of awakening. As such he did not notice the silent conversation going on behind him.

“Congratulations for freeing Seraphina Harry.” Harry was startled from his concern by his sister’s words.

“But I didn’t do anything? It was all you and Lord Lestrange really.”

“Yes. But while that might be true. Nobody should ever know it. Rod…well. It would not go down well with his family.”

“Indeed. Though I do apologise Lord Potter.”

“For what?”

The other Lord gave Harry a small smile before pointing his wand at him.

“Obliviate.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

When Harry awoke moments later it was to the face of a weakened Ginevra Weasley and a phoenix who sat beside her. Looking at the ashes that were once Tom Riddle’s diary Harry was once again amazed at what magic could do. To think that even accidental magic could destroy such a horrible thing. In his memories Harry could see the book go up in flames and with it the spectre that was Tom Riddle, or Lord Voldemort even. Looking over at the two Harry grinned. All was well with the world again.

Chapter Text

30 July 1993

Sirius had not been sane in many a year. He could readily admit that to himself. Not that there was anyone else to admit it too. Not here. In the worst prison in the entire cosmos. Azkaban. Sirius still managed to count the days, keeping himself as sane as possible with the thought of his godson. But he heard the voices. He had for years now. James. Remus. Lily. Jane. Even his brother, Regulus. On the most unfortunate days his mother Walburga screamed at him. But it had always been only that. Voices echoing around him. It was why he was so surprised to see another person standing outside his cell. It was not yet time for his daily 'meal' he did not think. And this person was leaning casually against the bars of his cell, a flame lit in one of his hands.

“Hello Sirius.”

Sirius tried to make his eyes focus in on the man in front of him. Due to his malnutrition and the voices, these days it was hard to focus on anything. Not that there was ever much reason to. Sirius managed to though. And what he saw shook him to his very core. Both in fear and in rage. It was him. Sirius had only ever met the man a handful of times. Twice during his childhood and once more after he inherited his father’s title. The King stood before him. Relaxed and uncaring as ever, a fag hanging out of his mouth. The man was dressed in muggle clothes, a union jack t-shirt and leather trousers clung to his frame, long blonde hair tied up in a ponytail. His eyes glowed like Sirius remembered. Green as the grass and the trees. Green as an Avada. The King who had long ago abandoned them.

As Sirius’s eyes narrowed into a glare The King’s eyes widened and his mouth grew into a grin, displaying long fangs.

You. What are you doing here? You bloody bastard!” Sirius roared.

The King raised a hand to his chest in mock offence and gasped, first spitting the cigarette out.

“Why Sirius how could you say such a thing. I’m here to break you out of course!”

“After 12 years?!”

“My my. Has it truly been that long? One does tend to lose track of time.”

“It has. I have been stuck here for 12 fucking years! Where were you?!”

“Well…funny story actually.”

“And not just that! Where were you when Voldemort was terrorising this country! Your country! Thousands died! Where were you when the Dark aligned decided to follow a new Lord!!??”

The King blinked, apparently bemused.

“Honestly… I haven’t the slightest. To be perfectly honest I’ve spent the past few decades trying to off myself, finally. Of course, that included many an overdose. And that required being high almost all the time. Honestly been a bit of a blur. I actually just recently remembered you existed!” the King laughed nigh hysterically, his hands gesturing this way and that.

It seemed to Sirius that he might actually be the sane one in this conversation.

“You just remembered that we existed.” He said deadpan.

“Oh no I remembered that my witches and wizards existed, I was referring to you and yours in particular.”

Sirius twitched. “Then why didn’t you intervene?”

“With the war against what’s his name? You overestimate how much I care about your kind my lovey. Besides, that Dumble-guy promised that he would never bother me again after I dealt with his little boyfriend for him!”

Before Sirius could answer that particular revelation, the King clapped his hands together.

“Now then! Before we let you out…I want you to give your blood to me. Ensure your loyalty to me and mine own. You understand?”

“I am not dark. Even if I was, I would never swear my allegiance to something as uncaring and monstrous as you.”

“Is that right?” The King raised an eyebrow. “Not even if I said that there is a rat lurking in the Lion’s House?”

Sirius froze. Pettigrew. No…. Harry. He had no choice…but before he agreed, he had to know why.

“Why now? Why are you suddenly interested in us again?”

The King grinned. His sharp fangs glinting in the fire that he’d created.

“I felt like playing around a bit before I die.” His eyes flashed in evident madness.

”And when is it you plan to fucking abandon us again?”

”Oh Sirius, that all depends on how entertaining I find you” he smirked

Sirius gulped before stepping towards the bars and offering up his arm. Even if Harry hadn’t been in danger Sirius wasn’t sure that he’d have been able to bring himself to refuse The King’s offer. Azkaban was hell on earth. He apologised in his mind to his old friends, James and Remus. They’d be so disappointed in him. But he couldn’t stay here any longer. Not when there was a way out.

The King released his claws and opened up Sirius’s arm before sending binding magic into his very blood. Sirius winced in pain.

The King closed up his wound and raised a hand, claws retracted, to Sirius’s face.

“Good lad. Off you go then!”

Sirius was enveloped in the man’s magic and in a second Sirius found himself in London. It was dark and the street lights provided little light. Sirius only recognised where his was because he stood right outside House Black’s formal Town House. It was not the cottage that he’d lived in with Jane and Marius. Nor the family estate up in Lancashire. No. This was the preferred residence his Mother and Father, the House was unknown to anyone not born a Black. Sirius of course wanted to immediately try to get to Harry, and then to Hogwarts to hunt down that despicable rat. But looking at himself, Sirius decided that it might be a good idea to clean himself up a little.

So, he walked up to the two houses which existed either side of it and asked the House to let him in. As it made itself clear to him Sirius slowly began walking up the steps to the House where his dreadful childhood had occurred. As he opened the door, he even imagined that he could still hear his mother’s shrieks.

 

~~~~~

 

It was late at night when Leo heard the door to their home open. He had woken up after a nightmare and had felt a bit peckish, so he’d asked one of their 3 house elves for a snack. That was what he was eating in the dining room when the door opened. Leo immediately regretted the fact that he had not brought his wand down with him. Even more so when he saw who was walking in the hallway. Ragged and decrepit the barely recognisable man was dressed in a faded and dirty prison uniform. It was Leo’s uncle. Lord Sirius Black. The same Lord who not even his Aunt Jane, who was hovering close to madness at this point, knew the magical orientation of.

No-one truly knew where Sirius Black’s loyalties lay. Leo only hoped that he, his Aunt Jane and his cousin Turais would be safe from the Azkaban escapee.

Lord Black’s eyes met his and Leo FitzBlack cowered.

“Regulus?”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Jane was tired. Jane was always tired. Her nightmares and frantic fear kept her awake throughout the night. She was still being hunted. Even 12 years later, after her son was murdered, after her Lord husband was sent to Azkaban. They still hunted her. The Ministry and the Light for her husband’s supposed part in the death of the Late Lord and Lady Potter. And the Dark for her husband’s supposed support of the light. The light side believed him to be a death eater, the dark side believed him to be an Auror pig. Both sides wanted her dead or behind bars. Cousin Narcissa told her so whenever she visited. It was why her second son Turais would not be going to Hogwarts any time soon and her bastard nephew Leo was forbidden from talking of them.

If Jane had been alone since Walburga’s death almost a decade ago she was quite sure that she would have either gone mad by now or given up on life completely. She had isolated herself from her maternal family since the end of the war. She had first attempted to return to them before she had learnt of her second pregnancy. When she had written to her father, he had returned to he a package containing an abortion potion. Lord Moncrieff had not told any other member of her family of their letters which had included preparations for her return to Moncrieff Manor in Perthshire. She had stopped responding to his letters after that. How could she conceivably return to a house whose Lord wanted her baby dead?

No. She would not abandon her baby. Not again. She had failed to protect little Marius. Turais would not receive the same fate. Even if it killed her. Perhaps she had gone a little mad. Her protective maternal instincts seemed to have even extended to a bastard. Anyway. Jane would have certainly been worse off mentally if she had not had her Turais, who was now 11, and if her husband was free, would have been attending Hogwarts this coming year. Leo also might have helped her remain as happy as a hunted woman who feared for her baby’s life could be. Her bastard nephew was almost 14 now. A Slytherin like so many of his family had been before him. If she did not know him to be a good boy, she would have likely feared what he might do to her Turais. As it was, she had raised the boy herself, and knew him to be loyal. As loyal as a Slytherin could be that is.

At first Jane had blamed her tiredness on the noise that she heard coming from downstairs, the front door seemed to have been opened. It was impossible for such a thing to have happened, she reasoned. Only a member of House Black could know the location of Grimauld Place. And the only Black around today with the ability to enter the house was Narcissa, with Uncle Cygnus and Aunt Cassiopeia dying last year (though they had preferred to live in the Manor).

Narcissa would not have entered the House at such an unseemly hour. At least she wouldn’t have willingly or without good reason. Then Jane heard a voice she barely recognised and her blood ran cold. Sirius. She could not judge what he would do. Particularly if the one he saw first in this House was Leo. Not even she knew which side Sirius supported. The man was always fonder of his friends than her, throughout their short-married life. Jane reached for her wand and rushed downstairs as silently as she was able to. Her heart was pounding and she prayed that he had remained the Gryffindor he had claimed to have been. That he had not given into his naturally dark magical core.

Sirius was not looking at her when she saw him for the first time in 12 years. Instead he was staring wide eyed into the dining room. Jane raised her wand at the bedraggled man. She knew that even if he looked it, he was not defenceless. Before he did anything, good or bad, she had to act first.

“Petrificus Totalus!”