Hariel Lily Potter-Black let out a low groan and pressed her face into the pillow, praying that the fluffy surface was swallow her whole.
She could already feel the three amused presences that had popped into existence the second Hermione had left the room, but she most certainly did not want to face them. Not yet. Her mind was too busy whirling, too focused on one individual in particular.
She had no idea when he'd become such, but now, she was certain. No one else even knew of Fili, of Fili's world. And Hariel would rather like to keep it that way.
Only, that wasn't entirely accurate. To be completely precise, she'd have to say that no one alive knew of Fili. The dead on the other hand-
"Wakey wakey darling child of mine."
Groaning into the pillow, Hariel finally summoned up the courage to roll over, snatching up her glasses from the bedside table. The blurry forms were brought into a sharper focus, even if they were still somewhat fuzzy. And most certainly transparent.
Lily Potter, née Evans, stared back at her, a tender smile on her face.
Ever since that day on the bridge where Hariel had held the Elder Wand between her fingers, felt the snap as the wood splintered and then split under the force of her fingers, Hariel had known from the weight in her stomach that the tale of the Deathly Hallows was far from other.
Which was why she was only somewhat surprised when, upon waking the next morning, she'd found a not broken wand and a not lost stone wrapped upon in a fluid like cloak.
The Hallows had returned, all unharmed, and clearly no longer at the bottom of a ravine, lost in the forest floor or buried at the bottom of her trunk respectively.
Hariel had sat there for a moment, staring at the three items as if she could just have them disappear if she willed hard enough. Obviously that had not quite happened, and no matter what she'd done; thrown them in the ocean, buried them, took a portkey to a small volcanic island and dropped them into lava, they three had always turned up the next morning.
Intact and so very obviously hers.
She'd not told Hermione or Ron, the only other two alive that knew with one hundred percent certainty that the Hallows were real. They only believed the cloak remained now, a keepsake from her Father. She was in no rush to correct them.
The thing was though, the Hallows seemed to have gotten stronger now that they were all together.
The cloak, no one could sense her beneath it and it didn't come off unless she wished it. The Elder Wand, the onetime she'd used it since its return, when putting up wards around Andromeda's house, had sung poetically between her fingers. And the stone. Well, if she just wore it, she didn't need to even call the spirits.
Apparently, they were more than happy to just drop by whenever they wanted. Hence why she was currently looking at a washed out projection of her mother.
Moaning in protest, Hariel straightened the overly large shirt that she had snatched from Regulus' wardrobe, adjusting the button-down top and grimacing when she realized Kreacher would be ripping her a new one when he saw she'd torn the sleeves off one of Master Regulus' precious shirts.
Behind her mother, Sirius Black was half sat, half floating, a scowl on his face.
"It's not right, you wearing Reggie's clothes. I don't care how heroic he was in the end, it's just not right."
Her god-father squirmed slightly, and beside him, James Potter grimaced at the idea too. Apparently it didn't matter to them that Regulus had died when he was not much older than Hariel. It still clearly disturbed the both of them.
"Yeah, well if it weren't for the fact that I have spirits popping up out of nowhere every now and then, I'd be sleeping naked."
James and Sirius blushed, but her glorious mother just laughed, making a spectacle of seating herself on the bed beside Harry. She only just managed to stop her form from dropping through the mattress and Hariel once again ached to hug her mother. But spirits had no corporal form, so no matter how brilliant the stone was, she would never be granted that one wish.
She knew that it hurt her parents spirits, that it hurt Sirius to keep visiting through the stone. But they did, determined to see her and talk to her when she needed it.
"Another dream about your dwarf?"
Once again, the two males began spluttering, but Hariel and Lily ignored them with a practised ease.
Ever since that dream two weeks after the Battle of Hogwarts, ever since Fili had teasing requested a kiss and she'd granted him one, the two of them seemed to have come to a silent decision to not mention it again. And that left Hariel nervous.
She'd accepted the fact she was attracted to the strange male. With the moustache that'd once seemed funny but was now endearing, to the brilliant blue eyes that were always alight with a certain mischief about them.
Hariel hadn't even realized it until she'd been watching Fili practice with Gryffindor's sword. It'd just hit her, all at once, and then suddenly everything was wonderful.
Her mother let out a dreamy sigh, resting her head on her hand before looking over at James.
"Your prince sounds wonderful, nothing like the arrogant toe-rag that managed to trap me in a marriage."
"Hey!" James scooped up his wife with an amused grin, spinning her around and commenting on her teasing words too quietly for Hariel to hear. She wasn't sure she wanted to in all honesty.
Looking up at Sirius, who was stood beside her watching the two older Potter with a fondness in his gaze, Hariel drew her teeth across her bottom lip, frowning as she did so.
"You should go for it. I know that look in your eyes. Look for a way to go to him. You've done enough for this place," Sirius gestured around room, but Hariel knew he was really talking about the British wizarding community, "so you should do something for yourself."
"Remus would want you to chase what you want. Teddy has his grandmother, and you can always take one of the Black family communication mirrors with you and leave the other with him. Moony would tell you himself if he wasn't so busy looking over his little cub."
Drumming her fingers against her thigh, Hariel let out a low sigh before getting to her feet.
"I'll think about it." Taking the ring off of her finger after the entourage of spirits offered her a goodbye, she threaded the ring back onto the necklace Fili had given her, where she kept it every day. She'd already bought a wand holster, invisible, to store the Elder Wand in. So that if she decided to crash at another person's house for a bit, they wouldn't freak out about the most powerful wand in existence following Hariel around like a stray puppy.
"Harry?! Are you ready yet? Mrs Weasley said lunch would be ready in twenty minutes!" Hermione -who'd insisted on staying in Grimmauld Place with her best friend so she wasn't on her own- called through the door and Hariel couldn't quite stop the fond smile that appeared on her mouth.
"Give me a minute!"
Lunch at the Weasleys was brilliant. It'd been a while since Mrs Weasley had felt the urge to cook, since before the Battle of Hogwarts, that was for sure. But it appeared to have struck with a vengeance, for there was a spread upon the table that would no doubt be capable of feeding a small army.
Hariel ate her fill and conversed easily with all the Weasley's around her that wished to speak. She'd tried being polite, but at some point, her eyes drifted over to look at Ron and Hermione, Neville and Ginny.
They looked so happy with each other, so full of life.
Hermione was gesturing wildly about something, hands flying through the air as she tried to explain whatever concept she was talking about to Ron. Ron, who was just sat with a fond smile on his face, watching Hermione like nothing else mattered. Ginny and Neville, who'd retreated to the living room but Harry could still see them around the doorframe, curled up into one another on the couch and reading the newspaper.
They all looked so in love and Hariel felt a pang shoot through her heart at her next thought. Would she ever find anything like that?
Almost instantly Fili sprung to mind and Hariel tried to push him back, to ignore the fact that when she wished for something like Hermione had with Ron, that it was the dwarven prince that sprung to mind. Fili, with his ridiculous facial hair and grinning face and his playful attitude.
Something must have shown on her face, she was almost certain. Because Mrs Weasley has a knowing smile on her face. That alone made Hariel nervous.
Three months had passed since the Battle of Hogwarts, and no one was quite the same. This was probably why Hariel didn't know quite what to make of Mrs Weasley's current expression. Likely why it made her so uneasy.
"So, what's his name then?"
"Pardon?" Tilting her head to a side, Hariel watching the middle-aged witch scoff, rolling her brown eyes and cutting up a large treacle tart, presenting her with a slice and keeping one for herself.
"You have the same look on your face that Hermione and Ginny get dear. Only I don't see you bringing home a young man." The tone was almost scolding and Harry had to hide her smile behind her fork, shoving a mouthful of delicious tart into her mouth.
"He's not after you fame or money, is he?"
"What? No!" Only after the words were out of her mouth did she notice her slip, only made more obvious by the smile on Mrs Weasley face.
"So there is a boy."
And she couldn't help it, Hariel spilled everything.
There was something nice about telling a living person about Fili. She'd kept it to herself, because in a world of magic, even this seemed unbelievable. But it had happened.
She'd show Mrs Weasley the necklace -the Peverell Ring carefully disillusioned- and then the latest hunting knife that Fili had provided her with. Mrs Weasley had clicked tongue in disapproval at the knife, smiled at the fact Fili had comforted her after the battle and the advice he'd given her.
The only thing that didn't get mentioned was the little kiss on the cheek, and the full meaning behind her braid. She'd just told Mrs Weasley that it was a mark of bravery amongst his race. Close enough.
The two of them had sat in silence for a bit, the only ones in the kitchen since Hariel had started explaining everything.
Finally, Mrs Weasley gave a low sigh, a smile on her face.
"He sounds lovely Harry dear. Dreams are a tricky thing in our world. I could probably tell you more if I'd done divination, but it never interested me. You've give us so much, you should really go chasing after what you want. If this Prince boy is what you want, then go for it. You deserve to be happy after everything you've been through."
Brushing her bangs back from her face, Hariel was grateful that Mrs Weasley seemed happy enough to ignore the small tear that'd escaped from the corner of her eye.
"A-Are you sure? You won't hate me?"
"Harry, me and Arthur have considered you one of our own for a while. At one point I was hoping you'd marry one of the boys and make it official on paper. We just want you to be happy."
Nodding, Hariel took a shaky breath before getting to her feet, brushing down the crumbles that'd fallen into her lap.
"Right... It looks like I'll need Hermione's help with research then."