Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Two Paths, One Destiny

Chapter 05: Falling Into Christmas

by madnesspersonified 1 Reviews

AU. Harry has a twin sister and Voldemort tries to kill her after Lily's death, causing her to become the Girl-Who-Lived. How will the Wizarding World react to having a witch as their savior?

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Andromeda Tonks,Draco,Dumbledore,Ginny,Harry,Lucius - Warnings: [!!] [V] [?] - Published: 2008/09/04 - Updated: 2008/09/05 - 9253 words

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Chapter Five: Fall Into Christmas.

Time seemed to pass at an extraordinary rate at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. For the first years, class work became a bit more difficult, as they were moving beyond weeks and weeks of mind numbing theory, into more practical work now that they have gotten the bare basics of magic down. Life at Hogwarts became more interesting as October turned into November and November was slowly fading, over halfway into the month. Elizabeth sat outside, looking over a few notes she made based off of some recent Potions that she made, perhaps enjoying one of the last nice days of the year. With her friends getting some last minute homework completed, rather than be bored and wait for them to get done, it would be a good time to look and reflect on a few things on what she learned.

“I thought I would never get that done, that essay was killer, if I have to look up one more goblin rebellion, I’ll go completely mad,” muttered Harry to himself as he walked outside, looking rather tired and irritated.

“I know tell me about it, I hated that essay, if you believe Binns, nothing’s happened in magical history except for goblin rebellion after goblin rebellion,” said Elizabeth with a shake of her head.

“Oh, hi, Lizzie,” said Harry as he sat down next to her.

“The thing is that class would be loads more interesting if someone you know a bit more lively would teach the class,” responded Elizabeth as she looked over her notes, double checking something.

“Very hard considering it is a ghost,” said Harry which caused Elizabeth to snicker in amusement.

“Still seven more years of goblin rebellions and I’ll lose my mind,” said Elizabeth.

“Nah, more like five more years, I mean no one really takes the class after O.W.Ls,” corrected Harry. “They might if they taught something interesting like one of many dark lord uprising or the great house elf uprising of 1695.”

“The great house elf uprising of 1695?” asked Elizabeth in amusement. “I remember seeing that somewhere, but it never specified what happened.”

“Basically the reason why house elves are enslaved, a group of them tried to storm the Ministry of Magic and take over,” replied Harry. “It’s mentioned, but not really went into detail in the most of the textbooks, which is a bad thing considering every few years some muggleborn who thinks they’re being cute and revolutionary decides to start a movement to free the house elves that falls flat on its face and the muggleborn being blackballed from the Wizarding World. And fact that sadly to say many of the house elves aren’t treated well, they might hold a grudge if they are all freed.”

“Hmm, interesting,” said Elizabeth in an absent minded voice, as she checked her notes. “That’s about all I can do with that one I think, maybe in a couple of years I can learn more to improve on it more.”

“Mind if I have a look at your notes,” replied Harry and Elizabeth nodded, as she handed Harry the notes, as he looked over them with interest, before nodding. “Lizzie, that was some really good work on some of these, I would have never thought of that. Still for the hiccup cure potion, you might want to add a unicorn hair, to preserve it a bit longer, as while its potent, it won’t last more than a couple of weeks.”

“Really thanks Harry, that does make a lot of sense,” remarked Elizabeth as she took her notes back and make a note of Harry’s advice with her quill. “I know it does seem silly for me to be spending this much time looking at magic, especially potions, but I’ve noticed a few flaws and it just annoys me if something that can be improved on is improved on.”

“Hey, I agree with you, most magic is set in stone, you can’t really change much but for can be improved, it should be,” agreed Harry. “The problem is most people think everything’s fine the way it is, they don’t like to fix what they fell isn’t really broken.”

“Just because it works doesn’t really mean it can’t be better,” replied Elizabeth, as she looked over her notes. “I haven’t really went too far, but I’m sure there are ways to make healing potions taste better, if people could bother to look for them.”

“I and I’m sure a lot of people would hope so,” said Harry, remembering the one time where he had to take a potion to help heal his arm when he broke it, after hastily diving to the crowd after a near collision with a Muggle airplane. The foul taste lingered for quite some time. “The thing is, you might be able to privately make your own improvements, but the problem is trying to get them made officially.”

“I know, I read that, saying that it takes a lot of paperwork to get the official version of a potion or spell change,” agreed Elizabeth with a sigh. “The more I think about it, the less people want change or at least the people that matter.”

“It’s been that way for sometime, but what you’re doing is great, you should keep doing it if it’s something you enjoy,” encouraged Harry. “Who knows maybe someday you might get it through someone’s thick head that it could be change.”

Elizabeth nodded, pleased that Harry was interested in what she was doing. Granted, Lisa and Padma showed some interest, but not to the extent that she was. Outside Ravenclaw, it was hard to even get any interest, with the exception of Harry.

“Maybe,” said Elizabeth as she looked over her notes.

“So what are you doing for the holidays, Lizzie?” asked Harry suddenly causing Elizabeth’s eyes to snap up, this was a sudden and unexpected question for him to ask. Truthfully she had given it much thought, normally for Christmas, she had to slave away on the stove all day while Dudley got to enjoy his dozens of presents and then get sent to bed early. Despite it being not too much different from any other day of the year, it still seemed a bit miserable considering it was Christmas.

“Haven’t really thought of it, Dudley’s planning on going home, but he’s taunted me, saying that I’m not welcomed there for the holidays, I hexed him but that detention with Filch was worth it,” said Elizabeth. “Quite frankly, I don’t really want to go back there for Christmas or ever if I can help it. At least I can stay at school during Christmas, it’s just a shame that I’ll eventually have to go back there during the summer.”

“Yes,” remarked Harry as he looked off , who was not his fondest at Dumbledore, especially considering there was another attempt to the Ministry to take a closure look at Elizabeth’s living arrangements and another reply saying that they were assured that everything was fine. Quite frankly, Harry was still trying to figure out why Dumbledore’s opinion would matter, but he did know what his mother had said and quite frankly had to believe it, that the Ministry believed that Dumbledore was the authority on Elizabeth’s living arrangements. The fact that will of Lily and James was nonexistent also did not help disprove Dumbledore’s statements.

“So what are you doing, Harry?” asked Elizabeth curiously, bringing Harry out of his thoughts.

“Oh, I believe I’m going home, I’d like to get out of this school for a couple of weeks, I did hear it gets a bit boring where there are no classes and when most of everyone is away for the holidays, that’s what Dora told me anyway, she stayed to study for her N.E.W.Ts last year and the time went slow,” remarked Harry.

“Looks like everyone is going home, Lisa and Padma are going home too and I pretty much guess Draco will as well,” said Elizabeth with a nod. “Don’t really mind all that much, I’ve had to amuse myself for years, with Dudley scaring away everyone who looked like they might want to be my friend. I’ve had all sorts of practice.”

“You know, you’re welcome to visit my house during the holidays, Mum suggested to me, but I was going to invite you anyway,” replied Harry and Elizabeth jerked her head forward. “It’s Christmas, I mean you really shouldn’t be alone on the holidays.”

“I don’t know Harry, I really don’t want to intrude, I think I’ll be fine at Hogwarts,” said Elizabeth.

“I really think you should come,” said Harry. “Go somewhere other than your relatives or school for a change, it might do you some good to have a change of pace.”

“Are you sure I wouldn’t be too much trouble?” asked Elizabeth with a frown, even though she wanted to take Harry up on his offer and spend somewhere other than school and the Dursleys. It was so unfortunate that she would have to return there in the summer and half wanted to wish Harry if she could stay with his family throughout those holidays, but she did not want to intruder herself on his life too much.

“No trouble at all, Luna and Ginny should also swing by as well sometime, you’ll finally be able to meet them, they both told me they’re dying to meet you, after I’ve told them about you in our letters,” said Harry. “Lizzie, we both know that you want to come, so why not.”

“Well since you twisted my arm,” replied Elizabeth with a grin, who felt she might actually enjoy Christmas for once, considering that she would not have to slave over the stove all day for a brilliant meal that she would barely eat or see Dudley get a load of presents that he would break or get bored with after a few weeks, as she felt a chilling wind. The temperature appeared to have dropped.

“Better get inside, looks like a storm might be kicking up quickly,” remarked Harry casually and Elizabeth nodded, it was amazing how the weather could turn tide so easily as she followed Harry inside, glad that her holiday plans were something a bit more exciting than spending it wandering the school, watching the minutes tick by.

--

Dudley Dursley was far from happy right now, as he sat on the bed in the hospital wing at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The black ooze had finally stopped spurting out of his ears. He spent half of his time in the hospital wing it appeared. He thought being a wizard would make him be able to put anyone who disagreed with him in their proper place. However, it was far from the wondrous experience that Dudley had imagined. In fact, getting sorted into Slytherin caused more problems than it was worth. When he had heard the house was supposed to be for the cunning and the ambitious, Dudley was pleased. He knew he was cunning and felt that since he came from a normal background, he would be able to control the Slytherin house, like he had his neighborhood.

However, something had happened, the Slytherin house laughed and mocked Dudley. He tried to bully a first year girl who was a third of his size to show teach them a lesson, not realizing her older brother was a seventh year and a prefect. Even though the girl had hexed Dudley and caused tentacles to burst out of his head, the older Slytherins had saw to teach Dudley lessons every time he tried to take his rightful place as the leader of the Slytherin house. The prefect, obviously holding a grudge for Dudley’s attempted bullying of his younger sister, had passed off the incidents as accidents, with Dudley foolishly experimenting in magic. Snape, his head of house, believed it but even Dudley got the sense that Snape did not like him for some reason, due to the fact that the only Slytherin Snape put in detention was Dudley.

It made him almost want to write home and beg his parents to bring him back home, but Dudley saw his freak cousin, adored by all, even though not for who she was but rather what she did. How her grades seemed to only get better than his each and every day, how she was treated like a hero, even the most hardened Slytherins acknowledged her fame and thought of her to be a point of interest. Then Dudley on the other side was treated by something akin to a slug, being hexed almost daily. He would leave but he wanted to prove that he was better then his cousin in every single way. Personally Dudley blamed Black, it was all his fault, no doubt he helped spread lies about him that caused him to be the subject of ridicule. There was no way that the freak would even dare to go against Dudley, to spread such rubbish, she would be in trouble once she returned home. Once Dudley got his hands on Black, he would make him pay.

At least over Christmas, Dudley felt he could get everything he deserved, it filled Dudley with pleasure to see that his cousin had no place she was welcomed over the holidays.

--

“So it looks like I’m not going to have to stay at Hogwarts after all,” said Elizabeth in a brightened voice the next day, as she, Lisa, and Padma had returned from an eventful Defense Against the Dark Arts class, where Savannah lectured them on high powered light spells, a useful tool for weakening vampires. While there was nothing that could truly replicate sunlight, there were several that were useful with a little application and consider the recent rash of vampire attacks “Harry invited me to spend the holidays with his family.”

“You seem rather excited,” commented Padma lightly.

“Well…promise me that this won’t leave this corridor and Harry won’t find out,” responded Elizabeth looking at her two friends with a serious look on her face.

“Liz, don’t worry, we won’t breath a word to this, we’ve seen exactly how angry you can get and even if we weren’t friends, it still isn’t a good idea to get on your bad side,” said Lisa.

“Yeah, not a word to anyone,” agreed Padma as Elizabeth looked over her shoulder to ensure that no one was coming.

“Well, ever since I’ve met Harry, I can’t explain why, but some reason he seems like the brother I’ve never had and in any event, he seems to be the closest thing to family that I ever had,” replied Elizabeth as Lisa and Padma just stood, unreadable expressions on their faces. “I know, silly, I know.”

“Considering your relatives, I wouldn’t think so,” said Lisa slowly, and in fact her and Padma had considered doing something about their friend’s living situation, but Harry had discouraged them, saying that his mother was working on it and that the situation was more complex than they could ever realize. Reluctantly, they agreed and told Harry that if they could help in anyway, don’t hesitate to ask. Granted, they were a pair of first years and their opinion meant less than nothing to the Ministry but still the more voices that protested the better.

“Yeah, Liz, I would think you were related to flobberworms before you were related to Dursleys,” agreed Padma. “For a minute, I thought you were going to say you had a crush on him or something.”

Elizabeth looked sickened. Harry was like her brother, that sort of thing might have been acceptable for purebloods but it just felt odd to her.

“Of course, I can easily see now that’s not the case,” added Padma hastily, as Lisa seemed to be biting her lip, trying not to laugh at her friend’s discomfort.

“Really, he’s not that bad looking,” said Lisa with a laugh as Elizabeth just glared at her.

“Not funny, not funny at all, at least you didn’t think I had a crush on Dudley or something,” replied Elizabeth with a revolted look on her face at this thought.

“Now really, that’s going to be haunting my nightmares for years to come,” drawled the voice of Draco Malfoy as he stepped up.

“Malfoy, how much did you hear?” asked Lisa abruptly, as the trio of girls exchanged horrified looks.

“Relax, Turpin, everything, if I was a sentimental type or a girl, I’d find you thinking of Harry as a brother kind of cute,” said Draco with a smirk. “Although I do wonder what Harry would say…”

“Tell him and I’ll use your testicles for hexing practice,” said Elizabeth, her temper raising.

“Really, such language, what would the world thing if they saw their precious savior say such things,” said Draco in a bored tone of voice. “But don’t worry, I won’t tell Harry, you should, but it’s not my place to tell him.”

“Okay, Draco, it’s obvious you weren’t here for a social visit, what do you want?” asked Elizabeth who was not in a pleasant mood after Draco had eavesdropped on her conversation.

“Silencing charms, you should learn them,” commented Draco lightly before he stood up straight. “Now, yes, you’re right, Professor Snape has told me to tell you that he wants to see you in his office right now.”

“Snape, what could he want?” asked Elizabeth, trying to rack her brain for anything that might have given Snape the need to see her in a matter that seemed to be rather urgently.

“He just told me to track you down and send him to his office, I don’t make a habit of questioning Professor Snape’s decisions, I prefer to see the next day,” replied Draco. “I’ll leave to go then.”

Elizabeth nodded, as she gave her friends a quick good bye and quickly made her way towards the shortest path down towards the dungeons. As Draco had rightfully pointed out, Snape was not a man who was willing to wait. Making her way down, it took only twenty minutes to reach her destination and quickly she moved forward, raising her hand to knock on the office door of the Potions Professor.

“Enter,” said Snape from inside the office and Elizabeth obeyed, walking into the office of Snape. Much to her surprise, Neville Longbottom was sitting there, looking like he’d rather be on death row than sitting in the office. “Feel free to have a seat at anytime Miss Potter.”

Elizabeth sat down right in a chair besides Neville, who seemed to be completely ashamed at the moment.

“I will cut to the chase, as I am certain you are wondering why I had you summoned,” responded Snape crisply. “Normally, I do not take a personal matter in the performances or lack there of involving the students I teach, but this year, the Gryffindor and Slytherin Potions class includes many first year students who have very influential parents in the Ministry. Thanks to Longbottom’s Potion skills, he poses a threat and if they were to get injured, I would be held liable for it.”

“What does this have to do with me, Professor?” asked Elizabeth curiously.

“Miss Potter, if you have even more small bit of your father’s arrogance, I would think you would realize that you are one of my better students and I daresay you surpass many second years and even a few third years,” said Snape calmly. “Therefore, I am instructing you to tutor Longbottom, perhaps you could make some progress with him. I am confident that your ability may be able to raise his grade up to a solid poor level grade.”

Elizabeth had heard about Neville’s performance in potions. He seemed to cause some sort of explosion every class or melt his cauldron. It was quite lucky that there were only a few minor injuries, but as the potions got more advanced, Elizabeth could see why Snape would have a cause for concern, especially for the reasons that he mentioned.

“Mr. Longbottom it seems like you have something to say, so you better say it now,” said Snape sharply.

“Well, Professor, I mean, I’m sure that Hermione Granger would be able to help me…” stated Neville but Snape held his hand up as if to silence the timid first year boy.

“Longbottom, if I thought you could be helped by reading book after book, I would have just ordered you to do so, but you need someone who is a bit less restricted of what they can do if you have a hope to be helped,” said Snape as Neville backed down. “And yes, an older student is a possibility, but I am confident in Miss Potter’s abilities and do hope they will be sufficient to make progress against you.”

“I’m do what I can, Professor,” said Elizabeth, knowing that Snape did not offer her an option of doing this or not.

“I’m certain,” said Snape. “And Mr. Longbottom, I expect you to put in some progress and not waste Miss Potter’s time or there will be consequences.”

Neville nodded fearfully, looking up at Snape with widened eyes as Elizabeth just sighed.

“I shall give you permission to use an unused area of dungeons off to the side,” said Snape calmly. “You are both dismissed.”

Elizabeth stepped back and allowed Neville to walk from the office. It seemed to be the valiant thing to do, considering he looked wanting to get away from Snape. Quickly, Elizabeth left, something about Snape’s office seemed a bit foreboding to her as well.

“So what do you suppose we will do with this tutoring thing?” asked Neville, as he looked over his shoulder.

“On the weekends, on noon at both Saturday and Sunday for two or three hours on both days, that seems about right to me,” replied Elizabeth without really thinking about it.

“Right, fine, I guess I’ll see you there then,” answered Neville as the two first years went their separate ways, moving down the hallway.

--

In a smoky pool hall, a pair of hooded figures appeared, moving towards the back. The patrons seemed to not care or were too drunk to take notice to these figures. Quickly, a pair of them removed their hoods and entered the back room of the bar, where Eskara was sitting in a pitch black, cold room, with a thick book in front of her that she was thumbing through.

“Report to me your findings,” replied Eskara swiftly.

“Mistress, vampire hunters, they took out the other three of our group, they might have tailed us here for all I know,” said one of the vampires in softly and Eskara sat up straight, her eyes widening in absolutely hatred at the thought that someone had might have discovered her current location.

“Fools, you were to lead them off of a cliff or something, not here,” said Eskara as her two minions cowered in the back. “Return to the bar and divert their attention while I set out and return to another base of operation, I will send word to you if you do not fail.”

Eskara’s minions wasted little time, as Eskara scooped up the book she was studying, along with the artifacts she had acquired. She had nearly unlocked the secrets for the artifacts, but it would take time to properly utilize them and now since she had to move them, time would set back even more. Quickly but carefully, she placed all of her equipment in a bottomless bag and twisted, before she made her leave, just as she heard explosions in the bar, no doubt signaling the arrival of her enemies.

The two vampires stood, as the patrons of the bar seemed to know enough to get going, as a surly looking middle aged gentleman dropped down, pointing his wand.

“Freeze, you blood sucking skum!” rasped the vampire hunter but one of the vampires rushed forward, fangs bared. The hunter was careful not to look the vampire in the eye and quickly he threw a sphere shaped object to the crowd. It exploded, releasing a cloud of garlic, stunning the vampire. The vampire shrieked as the wooden stake was impaled right into its chest through its heart, before it dropped to the ground. The other vampire grabbed the hunter from behind but the hunter released another garlic bomb. An explosion echoed, the garlic weakening the vampire even more, before a quick binding had put the arms and legs of vampires together with ropes coated in garlic. “Okay, vampire, you have answers, I have questions, spill it, where is Eskara.”

“I’d rather perish than betray the Mistress,” responded the vampire in a defiant voice but the vampire hunter removed a red orb, before turning it towards the dark creature. A light shined right in the vampire’s face, causing him great discomfort.

“Rethink your stance on cooperating with me, vampire,” growled the hunter, as the vampire’s skin appeared to blister under the light and he screamed. It would be several hours before it could destroy him, but until that time, the pain was inhumane. “Well, the information, give it to me.”

“She was here, left right when you came, I don’t know what she might be up to, I am merely a lowly servant,” said the vampire, as the light blistered his face, the hunter just gritted his teeth, with a sneer. “Please, believe me, I have no other information for you, please, you have to believe me…”

The hunter dropped the vampire down to the ground, as he was wrapped in the garlic ropes. Pulling out of his wand and a yellow disc, the hunter tapped his wand to the disc, before placing it right inside the vampire’s mouth. Trench coat behind him, the vampire hunter departed, as a magically simulated and amplified light filled the bar, causing the dark creature to burst to dust. Even though he was under strict watch and restricted to leave the school thanks to Dumbledore, Savannah would still have liked to know that Eskara had been sighted in the area. Quickly, the wizened hunter left, leaving the destroyed beasts. Aurors would be by soon to clean up the pieces and given the fact that this particular hunter had been fined several times previously, it would be a bad idea for him to stick around.

--

In the dungeons, Elizabeth look on with a sigh, as Neville arrived for that blasted tutoring that Snape had basically forced on her. Neville looked around, seeming a bit more relaxed then she heard he was from Draco in Potions class.

“Alright, we’re going to be here for a couple of hours, so I think the best thing to do was to find out what you do and don’t know,” responded Elizabeth as she looked at Neville.

“I know it fine, the properties of plants, but it just seems like I make mistakes and misread the quantity of ingredients beyond what the instructions say,” said Neville in a hopeless voice. “It’s just when I get into that class, I fall apart and…”

“Hmm, I can see what your problem might be, you are terrified of Professor Snape,” said Elizabeth and Neville paled, shaking his head. “Some Gryffindor you are, the most cowardly thing is not admitting when you have a fear of someone, I wonder how you even got sorted in that house.”

“Snape is well, well, there’s something about him,” stammered Neville and Elizabeth sighed.

“Longbottom calm yourself down and repeat after me,” said Elizabeth, fixing a firm look upon the first year Gryffindor. “There is no reason for me to be afraid of Professor Snape, he isn’t going to chop me up and use me as Potions ingredients.”

“There is no reason for me to be afraid of Professor Snape, he isn’t going to chop me up and use me as Potions ingredients,” muttered Neville.

“That’s nice, it would be even nicer if I could bloody hear what you’re saying!” shouted Elizabeth, causing Neville to nearly fall out of his chair in terror. “You should be in Slytherin with the rest of the cowards.’

Elizabeth obviously did not think of Slytherins as cowards, well unless you counted Dudley, but she knew exactly what the consensus of the Gryffindor house was against Slytherin and fully intended to exploit it.

“Now wait a minute, just because you’re tutoring me in Potions, doesn’t give you the right to insult me,” said Neville in a firm voice.

“Really, prove me wrong, excel in Potions or fall flat on your face, I don’t really care, but if you continue to let your fear of Professor Snape dictate your performance in class, you won’t prove me wrong” replied Elizabeth in a firm voice. “Don’t be scared of Snape, as long as you don’t cause trouble in his class, there will be no reason for you to fear him, unless you are spineless coward, a disappointment.”

Neville paled, even though she did not know it, Elizabeth had struck a nerve. There were times where his grandmother had told him that he should do everything to live up to the reputation of his parents. In fact, it took in nearly a year later than the average to show signs of magic and he had overheard his grandmother calling him a disappointment, due to the fact they thought he was a squib. Obviously, she never berated him in front of his face and fact had been overjoyed once he had finally showed his first signs of magic.

“I’m not a disappointment,” argued Neville and Elizabeth just remained standing, finally he was showing a bit of confidence and that was one of the most important elements in concocting Potions, confidence in one’s skills.

“Now, you shouldn’t give Snape any cheek, even I wouldn’t do that, but don’t fear him,” said Elizabeth. “Each and every Potion that’s been taught so far, you’re going to do them again and again, until they are completely perfect. Once you have perfected them and once you can function in a Potions class without going to pieces at the mere mention of Snape. Is that understood, Longbottom?”

“Fine, I understand,” said Neville firmly, trying not to show any fear of facing his fears and had a feeling that Elizabeth Potter might be right up there with Professor Snape.

“Good, with each Potion, you will read the recipe over twice, making sure you missed nothing and don’t get distracted, that is where you will fail,” said Elizabeth and she began to get Neville working on the first potion they had ever learned, giving help when it was necessary but mostly allowing Neville to work. A couple more tries had lead to a slight improvement, as Neville’s confidence in his own ability began to rise. There was still much work to be done, but there was some small improvements slowly working there way into the Potions he was completing.

--

The weeks wound by and it was the day before the Christmas holidays. A handful of people were staying at Hogwarts for the holidays, but Elizabeth was not one of them. Harry had confirmed that she was going to spend the holidays at his house and would be taking the Floo Network straight from the train to that destination.

Elizabeth lost her footing as she came out of the Floo Network and it was only through a bit of luck that she did not land flat on her face when she had came out of the fireplace. Thankfully, Harry did not laugh at her, in fact he looked at her with a real sympathetic look on his face.

“It takes some getting used to, Floo Travel, I’ve only really mastered it in the last couple of years, the trick is trying to stay still when you are travelling,” advised Harry.

“Kind of hard to stay still when your head is spinning and you feel like you’re going to throw up,” said Elizabeth as she gave her head a shook, trying to stead herself, as Harry grabbed her arm, before guiding her to a chair off to the side of the fireplace.

“Well yeah, it kind of is,” agreed Harry as Elizabeth got her bearings. “The Floo Network is not used by most, Apparation is a bit straight forward, but underage people do not have the magical experience to pull it out most of the time. So until them, the Floo, of course some people use broomsticks, but it could take a lot longer to get to where you’re going.”

“Not to mention that it is much easier to be seen by Muggles on broomsticks, while Floo and Apparation are much more security,” said Andromeda as she walked into the room. “Nice to see you again Elizabeth, hello Harry, welcome home. I’m sorry that I could not have met either of you at the train station, I was expecting Nymphadora to come home for her break today and you know how draining Auror training can be. She just arrived about a minute before you did and she looks dead on her feet. She’s in the kitchen right now recovering; lunch is in there too if you two want it.”

“I think that would be good, how about you Lizzie?” asked Harry.

“Yes, Harry that would be fine with me, I didn’t eat much breakfast today, too busy packing,” replied Elizabeth as she followed Harry into the kitchen, with Andromeda following closely behind them as Harry looked at Nymphadora who was sitting at the table with a glazed and tired look on her eyes. Even her Metamorphmagus abilities were not sufficient to disguise how tired she was.

“Oh, hi Harry, Mum,” said Nymphadora in a tired voice as she shook her head before seeing the new addition. “And you must be Elizabeth Potter, Harry’s told me so much about you in the letters I could leave.”

“Harry has to me as well, is it true that you once hung a boy by his ankles from the dungeon when he called you your first name?’ asked Elizabeth.

“No, it was actually the Astronomy Tower,” replied Nymphadora with a sigh.

“I still don’t know why you don’t like your name, Nymphadora, it’s a lovely name,” said Andromeda.

“Yes Mum and we wonder why people think the Black family has a history of mental instability,” said Nymphadora with a roll of her eyes, as she pulled out a thick tome from her bag that looked to have an endless amount of pages. “But I’ve got to eat quickly, because I still have work to do.”

“I thought you were supposed to on vacation,” said Elizabeth suddenly.

“For me this is a vacation,” replied Nymphadora as she held up the book, that actually required a slight levitating charm. “Have to read this, all about combat spells and situations where they are ethnical to use by Ministry standard.”

“And leave it to the Ministry of Magic to have an entire book that size of a cinderblock that detailed this,” replied Harry with a slight nod. “Now let me guess, you can’t do a stunning spell on a sixth generation pure blood from a seventy two degree angle while a nun is watching on the third Tuesday of the month or something like that.”

“If only it were that simple,” said Nymphadora. “First year, you’d be surprised how many people would drop after the few weeks but if you survive the first year, it’s likely you’d survive the entire experience. The horror stories and the strict requirements do scare people off. So, I just got to hang in there, five months down, only seven months ago.”

“Nice positive spin on things if I may say so,” replied Harry.

“I’m actually glad I’m just training, this entire mess with vampires, at least it’s out of my hands,” said Nymphadora in a grateful voice, as she looked at the book. “This entire book, in the ten days that I have off.”

‘And it’s only a thousand pages,” said Harry.

“A thousand and seventy two actually, but why get hung up on minor details like that,” said Nymphadora as she hastily finished her lunch, as Elizabeth and Harry both helping themselves to some. “Bye you two, I hope I can see you again in the next couple of months and yes Mum, I’ll try to get some sleep, if my schedule ever leaves room for it.”

Nymphadora walked up to her room, the book hanging right by her, as Harry and Elizabeth remained at the table, eating and talking about the first few months of Hogwarts.

--

Ginny had half of a mind to hex Ron, as he went on and on about Harry, how he was a bad influence on both her and Elizabeth Potter.

“She’s being corrupted by him,” insisted Ron as they were at the Burrow the day after her brothers returned to Hogwarts. “Ginny, he’s scheming, he and Malfoy are friends, Malfoy’s a Slytherin, and he’s the reason why she did not get into Gryffindor like she was supposed to. She won’t even talk to me, she thinks I’m less than a slug.”

“Jeez, Ron, I wonder what gave her that impression,” said Ginny dryly, as Harry had written to her, telling her how Elizabeth was frustrated on how Ron had followed her around like a lost puppy dog, how she finally lost her temper and hexed Ron. Harry seemed proud that his sister could pull off the full body bind so soon and Ron had been shaken up. Unfortunately, he had not given the hint.

“Black’s been feeding her lies,” protested Ron and Ginny sighed, Ron could be petty sometimes.

“Or maybe, just maybe, she’s made her own opinion on you and doesn’t really like you, did that thought ever cross your mind Ron?” asked Ginny and Ron looked at Ginny like she had grown two heads. She pitied any girl who would be foolish enough to put up with Ron, jumping to conclusions without thinking, running his mouth without engaging his brain.

“Ginny, you’re supposed to be my sister, offer me some bloody support,” said Ron. “What should I do to get her to notice me?”

“You won’t, let’s face it, you’ve made a bad impression on her just like you did with Harry,” said Ginny. “Stay away from her or you could get yourself hurt. You did say she has a temper.”

“Yes and it is kind of amusing when it is directed towards Hermione Granger, the know it all bookworm deserves it,” said Ron in a fond tone of voice that gave Ginny the strong urge to vomit. “You have to help me Ginny, what I am doing wrong?”

“Look Ron, even if I did want to help you, I can’t work miracles,” said Ginny and Ron opened his mouth, but Ginny decided to cut this conversation short. “Look I could have sworn that Mum told you to get done with your homework.”

“Snape shouldn’t have given us that essay, I mean it’s Christmas,” replied Ron sullenly. “It’s all Dursley’s fault, slimy Slytherin, if he wouldn’t have talked back to Snape, all of us wouldn’t have got punished. Now five feet on the properties of the body parts of the unicorn and how they’re used in Potions, it’s insane, Snape’s trying to kill us.”

“Well, the sooner you get it done, the sooner you don’t have to worry about it anymore,” replied Ginny. “Plus, I’ll tell Mum that you’ve been begging me on ways to harass Elizabeth Potter.”

Ron just walked off in a huff, muttering under his breath. She was supposed to be a hero, in Gryffindor, but she was a Ravenclaw and could care less about her fame. If Ron had her fame and her wealth, he would rub it in the face of everyone else in the world at every chance he got.

Ginny sighed. Ron was gone, Fred and George had gone off to Merlin only knows where, Percy was upstairs, no doubt polishing his prefect badge, Bill and Charlie were both at their jobs, her father was at the Ministry, and her mother was in the kitchen.

“Mum, I’m going to Luna’s!” called Ginny.

“Alright dear, but do wear a sweater, it’s dreadfully cold out there and make sure you come back by dinner,” responded Molly Weasley from the kitchen and Ginny nodded, she was going to Luna’s and then they were heading straight to Harry’s, unknown to her mother of course.

Harry sat in the room, reading the Daily Prophet, as Elizabeth was reading a book that she had found on the bookshelf on advanced defensive magic. It was obvious that Elizabeth was getting a bit more out of her reading experience than Harry was his. The Ministry appeared to be cutting back funding on the Auror department and education and was spending more to enforce werewolf legislation which was a bit troubling considering vampires appeared to be a more dangerous threat than werewolves. In fact, unless it was a full moon, they were more than harmless. As Remus Lupin had told him once, on the rare occasions he was able to visit, this anti-werewolf legislation did more to encourage werewolf attacks than discourage them.

A pair of figures emerged from the Floo network, and Harry looked up, a smile on his face that put the disturbing news he had read in the Daily Profit out of his mind.

“Ginny, Luna!” yelled Harry. “Come in. Your journey was good I take it.”

“Yes, Harry, good, the Floo managed to dry my clothes, that storm out there, I should have took the Floo there, but Dad’s adamant we don’t take any unnecessary Floo trips,” said Ginny.

“Well he’s right, the cost of Floo powder has gone through the roof late,” added Luna. “That’s why Dad makes his own but of course, it took some time to perfect and he would have not let us use it if it was not perfectly safe. The time he ended up in China when he was trying Floo to Diagon Alley was kind of funny but he fixed it in the end.”

“I remember that, that was a huge miscalculation,” replied Ginny with a smile.

“Elizabeth these are my friends Ginny Weasley and Luna Lovegood, girls, this is Elizabeth Potter,” said Harry.

“Nice to meet you Elizabeth,” said Ginny, shaking her hand.

“Same with me,” added Luna, as she shook Elizabeth’s hand.

“I’ve been looking forward to seeing you, Harry’s told me a lot about the both of you,” responded Elizabeth, she was confident she would like both of these girls, she trusted Harry’s judgment. She found it hard to believe that Ginny was Ron’s sister, other than the red hair and the freckles, there seemed to be no evidence. Then again, she was related to Dudley.

“Nothing too incriminating I hope,” replied Ginny.

“Come on Ginny, I would never say anything bad about either of you,” said Harry.

“No, I know you wouldn’t Harry,” answered

“I’m sure you have a lot to talk about that you could not just talk about in the letters,” said Luna and Harry nodded, she was perspective as always.

“Believe me, we do, shall we go upstairs then,” said Harry but Harry paused. “By the way, before I forget, Draco said he might try and stop by today, but his father has his time booked up.”

“Yeah, the few times he remembered to write, he did mention that Lucius was keeping a shorter leash on him than ever before, especially all the banquets and fundraisers that the Malfoys have to attend on behalf of the Minister of Magic over the holidays” said Ginny. “If not, we’ll see him over the summer or Hogwarts next year.”

Several hours later, Ginny and Harry had entered the attic. Currently, Luna and Elizabeth were engrossed in talking about potential modifications in Potions and low level spells, it was mostly rehashed from what Harry and Elizabeth talked about at Hogwarts. Ginny thought it sounded interesting, but she felt that she did not have the patience for experimenting.

“She’s going to figure it out sooner or later you know,” replied Harry with a sigh. “She’s smart, if she ever finds out she had a twin brother, named Harry, that was presumed dead, born around the same time she’ll put the pieces together. This is one time where I’m glad Dumbledore managed to stick his nose somewhere and get my name erased.”

“Tell her then,” said Ginny and Harry just crossed his arms, not saying anything. “You’re going to be stubborn about this, aren’t you?”

“You know me too well, Ginny,” said Harry with a smirk. “After what I’ve learned what she’s been through at the Dursleys, I both want to tell her and don’t want to tell her. That makes sense doesn’t it?”

“For you it does,” said Ginny.

“The twin bond is still there, faint, but still there, once the blood adoption ritual happened, it blocked most of it out, but it’s powerful magic that can’t be blocked,” said Harry. “She’ll never forgive me, for thinking that the Dursleys were her only family and were her only options for life.”

“She won’t be too happy if she finds out that you’ve been keeping this from you,” countered Ginny. “And Dumbledore was the one that arranged for her to place her there, not you.”

“I know, my parents’ will lost or never made, no one seems to know, so Dumbledore did what he thought was right and I’m sure he actually does mean well, but time has passed him by and he’s woefully ” replied Harry with a sigh. “I wish Mum would have figured out a way to get someone who didn’t consider Dumbledore’s word the gospel truth.”

“If you had solid proof other that could prove Dumbledore’s word wrong, you might be able to get her away,” suggested Ginny with a shrug.

“Lizzie’s word I have but that might not be good enough, I’m sure Dumbledore isn’t the only one who was in favor of her being at the Dursleys, but others might have reasons that are a bit less benevolent than keeping her safe,” said Harry.

“True,” agreed Ginny. “I can’t or won’t make you do anything, but tell her who you really are.”

‘When the time is right, I will,” responded Harry, as him and Ginny walked downstairs. It felt liberating to have someone in on his secret close to his age. It offered him a different perspective from his adoptive mother or sister.

--

The holidays moved along rather quickly, too quickly for Elizabeth’s liking. As much as she liked school, it was nice to be happy for once outside of it. It was with a heavy heart that she wondered what would happen if she tried to stay somewhere other than the Dursleys for the summer. She wanted to ask Andromeda if she could stay there, but a part of her felt guilty of intruding on their hospitality for too long. Her other friends were possibilities as well, but the same reason.

“WAKE UP, IT’S CHRISTMAS!” shouted Harry from outside the door on Christmas day. “Come on Lizzie, you can sleep in any other day of the year, right now it’s Christmas, up time to get up.”

“So,” replied Elizabeth groaning, as she looked at the clock, it was five o’clock in the morning.

“So, what do you mean so, it’s Christmas!” shouted Harry. “Presents!”

“Yeah right, like someone would give me presents,” muttered Elizabeth in a sleepy voice. She got Harry something and her friends as well, but she far from expected that she would get anything.

“Then I guess all of those presents that say to Elizabeth underneath the tree must be an illusion,” said Harry. “Trust me, I think a few people would have given you presents, including me, so up young lady, before I use a tickling charm on your feet.”

“If you’re pulling my leg, I’ll hex you into oblivion,” said Elizabeth, who was not a morning person.

“I’d never do anything like that to you,” said Harry as he stepped back. “Get dressed but if you’re not down in ten minutes, I’ll be back for you.”

“Good, go, I’ll be down,” said Elizabeth with a yawn. She truly considered Harry to be the closest thing to a brother she ever had, as he both supported her and annoyed her at the same time. Quickly she managed to put on some clothes, they did not match, but she never really fussed off of things like that.

Almost an hour later, Elizabeth had joined Andromeda, Harry, and Nymphadora downstairs.

“Finally,” replied Harry.

“I told him he would grow out of this when he got older,” remarked Andromeda. “Biggest mistake I’ve ever made.”

“Well, that’s what you get Mum,” responded Nymphadora. “So should we get on with it before Harry pops.”

“Very funny, Nymphadora,’ said Harry sarcastically shaking his head as she glared at him for the use of her full name, as quickly presents were passed around. Elizabeth’s eyes widened as she saw she had a respectable pile of presents. It was nowhere near what Dudley got but it was the thought that counted.

“I actually have presents,” muttered Elizabeth but Harry heard her and wanted to set the Weasley Twins on the Dursleys. Those barbarians had deprived his sister of presents on Christmas day, really a lesser crime when put in perspective, but still it bordered on absurd. In fact, Harry met his wand, his broomstick, and all the gold in his Gringotts vault that Dudley got a huge pile of presents.

“Go ahead then,” prompted Harry encouraging voice and Elizabeth eagerly began to open her gifts.

“Those books are rare and a bit advanced, but after what Harry told me, I thought you might like them,” said Andromeda as Elizabeth opened the presents, referring to the books from the Black family library that she inherited through Sirius’s will. They were duplicate copies and had valuable information.

“I can use these, they should give me some more ideas on a project of mine,” said Elizabeth gratefully, as she opened up a gift from Draco that contained a few of the rarer Potions ingredients that were strictly regulated by the Ministry. His note indicated that he used his father’s connections to get them for Elizabeth. Moving over, she opened the presents from Ginny and Luna. She received a variety of Wizarding sweets from Ginny and trial three months subscription to the Quibbler from Luna. Based on what Luna said, Elizabeth felt she would enjoy the paper. She always had a soft spot in her heart for odd things, mostly because it was opposite to normal life the Dursleys liked to live.

“Wait a minute, they actually got you something,” said Harry in a bit of astonishment as he saw that the next gift was the Dursleys. It appeared to be a small box and Elizabeth was a bit surprised but as she opened the gift.

“Wicked, it’s a paper clip, just what I’ve always wanted!” cried Elizabeth sarcastically before she moved towards the next gift, which was from both Harry and Nymphadora. “A wand holster, hmm, that could be of use.”

“Yes, it’s to protect your wand from being summoned from others and besides, after Moody lectured us for two hours on Elementary wand safety when he visited Auror training, I thought it might be a good gift,” said Nymphadora. “Harry agreed to chip in.”

“Thanks Harry, Dora,” said Elizabeth as she moved through her other gifts, from Padma and Lisa which were more candy and books. Thumbing through the books, Elizabeth felt they would be of some use. She had some notes to write, thanking her friends for the gifts she received.

After dinner, Harry had called her into the hallway to talk to her privately. He had another parcel in his hand.

“The wand hostler was only part of my gift, but it was more of a gift from Dora than from me, said Harry as he handed it to Elizabeth.

“Really Harry, being friends with you is more than enough for me,” said Elizabeth but she opened the gift and looked over it with interest. The initials L.E. were on the cover, Elizabeth wondered what the significance was of it was.

“Mum inherited all of the Black family possessions, when Sirius Black, the former head of the Black family, died, he was your godfather you know,” said Harry causing Elizabeth to look up in astonishment.

“I had a godfather,” replied Elizabeth in confusion. “What happened to him?”

“He was killed by a follower of Lord Voldemort the day after the incident happened,” said Harry. “Considering his mother was judged mentally incompetent by the Wizengamot several months earlier, Sirius was given status as head of the Black family because of being the oldest living male. So his will said that the possessions would go to the next oldest family member, which was Mum. Apparently, this was among them, this is the diary that Lily Evans kept during her time at Hogwarts.”

Elizabeth held the diary, like it was a long lost friend. Was this really her mother’s diary?

“I took a look at it,” said Harry, which was a lie, he had read the diary from back to front several times already, but felt Elizabeth would have more use for it than he would. “It was amazing how much she was like you.”

“Thanks Harry,” said Elizabeth, turning so Harry could not see the tears forming in her eyes. It was nice to finally have something of her parents, no matter their questionable decision in sending her to live with the Dursleys.

“Merry Christmas, Lizzie,” said Harry, as he left his twin sister alone with the diary.

That chapter was longer than I expected. Next chapter would be a transition chapter walking us through winter and early spring that will lead to the big climax of the first year.
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