A/N: I decided to pick up one of DZ2's challenges
IMAGE NOT MINE
It belongs to Aireenscolor on DeviantArt GO SEE THE ART IT IS AMAZING AND BEAUTIFUL AND WOW
CHALLENGE: Forbidden Child Challenge
CATEGORY: HP PJO Xover
PLOT: Harry finds out some interesting things about those he called his friends, so when a voice in his head tells him to go to Long Island, he doesn't hesitate to get away from the wizarding world. he arrives just in time to see a black haired, green eyed boy stab a minotaur...
Harry is the child of a maiden goddess (Artemis, Hestia or Hera)- Must (Accepted)
Harry is accepted by his mother, and they eventually have a true mother-son relationship - (Accepted)
Harry's old friends turn against him - (Accepted: Ron & Hermione)
Evil Dumbledore - (Accepted)
Harry and Percy have a close relationship - (Accepted)
Harry/Any other than those listed below - (Accepted)
Light or Grey Harry - (Accepted: Grey)
Other Demigod children at Hogwarts (E.G. possibly Luna or the twins) - (Accepted)
Harry/any HP character
Harry/Luke (Not Homophobic, but no)
Harry's friends not abandoning him
Harry working with Dumbles or Voldemort
Harry helping Kronos
For Want of Family
Harry Potter had never felt so alone. Before Hogwarts, when it had only been him and the rumors the Dursleys, he hadn't been this alone. After all, he had no friends then, and, while he'd felt a little lonely watching the other children play, he hadn't felt so bad.
Now, though? He'd had a taste of friendship, of others caring for him, of being wanted and welcomed in a group of children his age.
All of it was gone, because of a stupid snake.
He hadn't even known he was a Parselmouth! How could he, when it sounded like English to him? But, no, it was his fault anyways.
Ron was afraid of him, not wanting to be near such a Dark Gift, especially when the other Houses were accusing him of Dark Magic and hurting other students.
Hermione thought he had lied to her, had hidden the ability, and, because every book said it was a Dark gift, and books could never be wrong, she had left him as well.
He was alone, now. The Slytherins were mocking and cruel (not that it was much different than how they were before), the Hufflepuffs were terrified, the Gryffindors were sure he had hidden the Dark Gift from them on purpose, and the Ravenclaws always looked like they were torn between forming a lynch mob and dissecting him.
So, he had hidden in an old bedroom he'd found hidden behind a portrait of a Fairy Glade, near the top of the Astronomy Tower. His belongings had somehow appeared at the end of the small bed there, and the huge fireplace was always lit.
That was were he was, curled up on the blue rug before the fireplace, staring into the flames and trying not to cry. Annoyed with himself, he snatched off his glasses and dug his palms into his eyes, trying to force the sensation away.
It was pointless, and he choked on a quickly silenced sob, as hot tears began to drip down his too-thin cheeks.
"Don't cry," a soft girl's voice spoke up suddenly from beside him, and Harry dropped his hands so fast his glasses smacked against the ground with a oft cracking sound, his eyes going wide in surprise, before small, soft hands cupped his face, gentle fingers wiping away his tears. In some bizarre rebellion, however, the soft actions made him cry more, throat tight and hurting from trying to hold back his sobs.
"Shh," the girl who had, somehow, appeared, tried to quiet him, and Harry found himself burying his face in his hands, and letting go, unable to face this girl who had been the only one to touch him in such a soft way, since he'd accidentally spoken to Malfoy's conjured snake just four weeks before.
Soft, warm arms curled around his shoulders, and he found his face pressed into her shoulder, crying harder than he ever had in his cupboard back at the Dursleys. The smell of smoke, fire, and warmth curled through his senses as he cried, dropping his hands to curl in the soft, black cloth she was wrapped in. He didn't know how long he cried on this strange girl, but it must have been a while, because, when he stopped, his head was aching fiercely, his eyes swollen, and his chest feeling hollow and cold. The girl's arms were still around him, one of her hands stroking his back gently, and another drifting through his messy dark brown hair.
Embarrassment filled him, and he quickly, but carefully, pulled away, swallowing heavily in an attempt to get rid of the lump that remained in his throat.
"Do you feel better now?" the girl asked softly; Harry hesitated, staring sightlessly down at his lap and nibbling his bottom lip.
Did he feel better? His body felt heavy and empty, and, besides his head feeling like it was stuffed too-full of cotton and his eyes hurting, he didn't feel bad, necessarily. Just...
"Tired," he whispered, voice hoarse; the girl made a low, humming sound of agreement, and Harry blinked, startled, as small fingers placed his unbroken glasses on his face.
"That makes sense," the girl told him kindly; Harry hesitantly looked at her, now that he was able to see. He dreaded finding one of his classmates staring back at him, already regretting breaking down when it would, no doubt, be used against him, as every sign of weakness seemed to be in the Wizarding World.
The girl looked to be his age, with long, smooth brown hair tied back with an orange-red ribbon, the messy, curling ends draped over the opposite shoulder he'd cried on. Her face was kind, her skin pale, and the clothing wrapped about her looking strangely like a toga, only crossing both shoulders instead of clinging to one, and ending with a hood which lay on her back.
It was her eyes, however, which mesmerized the twelve-year-old Gryffindor.
They were the color of the flames next to them, flickering and warm, and drew Harry in.
This girl... She felt like home, more than Hogwarts ever had.
"Who are you?" he whispered; the girl smiled, gentle and warm, and something in Harry's chest, something that still hurt from his friends abandonment, warmed and felt better.
"My name is Hesita," she told him softly, reaching forward and settling her hand, almost hesitantly, against his cheek. "And I have a story to tell you." Harry, eyes wide, watched as the strange girl-Hestia, he corrected himself-reached directly into the fire next to them, and gently shifted some of the logs, making the fire burn brighter and warmer, before she pulled her hand back out, unburned and soot-free. She smiled, amused, at his gaping, and he shut his mouth with a click.
"How? What?" He stuttered; she laughed softly, and continued to smile at him.
"The fire of the hearth can do me no harm," she informed him gently. "For the hearth is my own, and my being gives it strength." Harry blinked at her, confused, and she turned to face him completely. "Let me begin my story, with a proper introduction," she offered; hesitantly, he nodded, and turned to face her as well.
"My full name and title," she began, "is Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth, Home, and Family, Guardian of Elpis, The Last Olympian," she said, and the fire blazed brighter in the hearth, the room grew warmer, and felt more welcoming. Harry felt himself once-more gaping at her,bright green eyes huge and stunned.
She was a Goddess?!
He had cried on a Goddess?!
"Calm down, Harry," she scolded playfully, laughing softly as he visibly scrambled to obey, cheeks flaring with red. Her hands, just as soft and gentle as before, stopped him from bowing or doing much more than beginning to rise to his knees, and she gently, but firmly made him sit back down.
"Please, be still," she told him softly; Harry obeyed, freezing, feeling overwhelmed. This was a Goddess, right here, in the flesh, talking to him. Talking to him! The little freak-boy who could talk to snakes. He had cried on her, and she was still here, and still talking to him!
"I am not sure if I should continue, now," she murmured, amused even while she watched him with some concern. "You are reacting far more strongly just to my name, than I would have thought you would..."
"Please, don't stop!" He blurted, and blushed again. "I-I mean, it's just, well," he flailed his hands a bit, completely unsure of how to explain his actions, but felt himself calming as Hestia smiled at him with fondness. "Don't stop," he whispered, softly, and hesitantly reached out to let his hand hover over hers, unwilling to touch without permission. "I would like to hear the story, if you want," he murmured; she turned her hand over, and took his, placing her other hand over the top and stroking the skin delicately. Warmth filled him, and he instinctively found himself scooting closer, until they were sitting knee-to-knee, her hands holding his.
"I made an Oath centuries ago," she began, voice soft in the warm atmosphere of the darkened room, "that I would never bear a child. I had no desire for one, had no want for one. I am not my Mother, and I do not long to carry many children and watch them all grow. So, I made my Vow, to remain a Virgin Goddess for all eternity..." she trailed off, and, for a few moments, as the fires shadow danced over her face, she looked guilty and sad and wistful, all together, and Harry found himself curling his free hand around hers, so they held one anothers hands. She looked up at him, fire-filled eyes warm and soft and kinder than any eyes that had ever looked upon him, and his breath caught in his chest, which burned.
"I was content," she whispered softly. "My siblings and family, even with their feuds, loved me. They sought me by the hearth when they needed someone who would listen and not judge, when they were stressed and angry and needed rest. My brothers, Zeus and Poseidon, and my nephew, Apollo, all vowed to punish any who attempted to make me break my Vow. Centuries, millenia, passed, and I was content." She fell silent, and looked back down at his hands, shifting them until she held both of his in hers, and Harry tightened his fingers automatically around hers.
"I was content," she whispered, and closed her eyes. "But I was not truly happy." She sighed heavily, and turned her gaze towards the fire, watching as the logs crackled and embers popped, the flames dancing before the bricks that made up the fireplace.
"...Your mother," she began slowly, quietly, "was a wonderful woman. She was bright and fierce and intelligent, and she loved her family with the strength of a lioness." Harry felt his breath catch, and leaned forward, eyes bright and hopeful to hear more of his mother. Most poeple, they mentioned his father, but never his mother, not really. He waited hungrily for more. "She was the type of mortal I liked the best, and I found myself watching over her through her school days. In winter, I made the fires she sat beside warmer and brighter, I made sure she always had a nice place to sit before the flames, so she could read her books or work on her homework, and no one would bother her." Hestia smiled slightly, before her face softened with sorrow.
"When she married your father," she told him, "she was so happy. Her spirit was brighter than I'd yet seen, and she was overjoyed, even in those dark times. But..." Hestia sighed, and her small shoulders slumped. Harry scooted a bit, until they were side-by-side, and leaned against the young-looking Goddess, who smiled weakly at him, looking guilty and sad and wistful once more, one hand reached up and brushing some of his messy hair behind his ear.
"After trying and trying to have a baby, your parents went to a Healer," she told him quietly, "and it was discovered that Lily couldn't have children." Harry blinked, and his brow furrowed, confused.
"But, how was I born, then?" He asked her; she looked down, and smoothed out the non-existing wrinkles in her strange toga, frowning slightly, before the cloth rippled, and changed into a chocolate-colored dress with cream lace flame-like patterns along the hem. Harry tried not to gape (was he a Wizard or not?! Magically changing clothes shouldn't surprise him, after two years in the Wizarding World!), and Hestia continued.
"Your mother," she began, smiling wistfully, "was very intelligent. She was heart-broken when the Healers told her she was barren, but she did not let the grief consume her. She was strong, like that," the Goddess sighed, eyes closing as she smiled. "She was so strong, and smart, and her laughter so bright and warm. I..." She faltered, and her mouth tightened, her eyes squeezed shut as she pressed her fingers firmly to her thighs.
"I could not bear to witness her heart breaking," she whispered, and opened her eyes, the fire in them hot and wild with pain and guilt. Harry felt something ominous settle into his chest, an almost dread-like feeling of knowing but not knowing. Like he knew where this tale would end, but didn't wish to know it.
"There was a ritual, Lily found, with help from dreams I sent her," the Goddess said slowly, holding Harry's bright green eyes with hers seriously, earnestly. "It was a ritual based solely on the desire for family, for blood of her own. All that was required, was for the father and mother to be present within the circle, the candles lit, and the wish sent out, and the magic would do the rest." Hestia hesitated, and looked away from Harry, eyes returning to the crackling fire.
"...I never approved of James," the Goddess admitted quietly. "His early years were spent as a spoiled child, who gained entertainment through the misery of others. He was a bully, and, though he changed in his last two years of schooling, I still never wished for sweet Lily to marry him."
Harry couldn't breath. His chest was tight and his heart squeezed tighter.
His Dad was, was a bully, was Dudley, and everything was a lie and he just-!
Hestia's arms came around him, pulled him down, and he found himself lying on the floor, head buried in her lap as he once more sobbed, hands fisted in the smoke-scented fabric of her dress, as she curled her arms around him as best as she could while he wept over the broken dreams he'd created of his father.
They stayed like that for a while, until Harry was once again exhausted, and no more tears came. They stayed like that for a while longer, until Harry managed a weak sigh.
"What happened?" He asked her softly, unwilling to move from the young-appearing Goddess' comforting hold. Hestia dragged her small fingers gently through his hair.
"When your mother and father called upon the Τελετουργικό της Οικογένειας-that is to say, the Ritual of Family," she translated, though, strangely, Harry had understood what she had said, despite having never heard the strange language before. "I answered the plea. The Gods..." she trailed off, uncertain about how to explain what, exactly, had happened. "The Gods are... Fluid, shall we say, when it comes to their magic. For example, Harry, I am not really a child," she gestured to herself, as Harry slowly rolled over to squint up at her with red-rimmed eyes. "I usually prefer to wear the body of a child, because, as a Virgin Goddess, I do not wish to be harassed by the libido-driven forms of men and Gods alike. I appear much less sexually appealing as a child, and so, am not harassed." Harry nodded slowly, as that made sense.
"The Gods are shape-shifters, all together," she continued, absently stroking the hair away from his forehead. "Be it a human form, our Godly forms, or even the shape of an animal, we can shift into them with ease... We can also, given incentive, possess the bodies of mortal men and women..." She seemed to hesitate again, and sighed.
"When your mother and father pled for a child, and I answered, I possessed your mothers willing body. Because of this, when the magic of the Ritual reacted, your mother and I were One, for it's duration. The magic, ah, encouraged your father's libido and, well, you were conceived," she said, sounding faintly awkward, more because she did not know how, exactly, to explain ritualistic sex to a twelve-year-old, than from the act of said sex itself. Harry stared up at her, eyes wide and mouth open a bit, stunned and vaguely horrified.
"S-so, you, a-and my Mum and Dad, d-did, erm, that?!" he stuttered; Hestia nodded, and then stared at him with mild amusement as the boy shuddered, and looked vaguely green.
"Well, we shall pass that part of the story, shall we," she offered, and laughed softly as Harry rapidly nodded, setting her hands on his head to still the almost-violent action. "Well, with Lily barren, but myself possessing her body, I was able to transfer you directly into her womb from mine... It is very confusing subject for mortals," she added, when he stared at her, looking both astonished and horribly lost. "Think of it like this: during the Ritual, your father impregnated me. As I am a Virgin Goddess, however, my Vow kept my body from being, ah, breached, shall we say. Instead, the egg which was fertilized, was done so through your mother, and I was able to move said egg through me and into your mothers womb, as it was her own eggs which were dead, and not the womb itself. Thus, your father impregnated me, and I impregnated your mother... Does that make sense, Harry?" She asked; Harry looked torn once more, between horror and shock.
"So... You got my Mum pregnant?" He asked uncertainly, sounding faint; Hestia blinked, and pursed her lips a bit, looking amused.
"Yes... I suppose so," she admitted; shock seemed to be overwhelming horror, now that the details were being thrust from Harry's mind.
"So...I have... Two Mums?" He asked, bewildered and confused. "O-or do I have two Dads?!" Hestia blinked at him.
"Ah," she started, and frowned a bit, thinking it over. "I would say, that you have two mothers... If I had possessed James, then you would have two fathers."
"Oh," the twelve-year-old whispered, and Hestia (his mother!), smiled lovingly down at him with her fire-filled eyes.
"I have never wanted a child," the Hearth Goddess whispered to him softly, as she tenderly stroked his hair. "I made my Vows so long ago, and never regretted them. Now, though I have not truly broke them, I have bent them aside so badly for the sake of a single, fire-haired mortal woman, and I cannot regret it. When your mother died, I could not look upon you," she admitted, and closed her eyes in pain. "I could not even look upon the mortals for the decade that passed. My heart, for the first time, was grieving, so I buried myself within the flames of the sacred Hearth of Olympus, and I flew from the grief." She sighed, and leaned down, placing her forehead against the wide-eyed, uncertain Harry's, and smiled weakly when the twelve-year-old lifted tentative fingers to lightly brush her cheek.
"I regret not watching over you, my child, my Firstborn," she whispered to him, pained. "I regret not protecting you, not keeping you warm with my fire, not making sure you knew just how loved you are," she continued fiercely, the fire roaring higher in the fireplace. "I will never make such a mistake again, my son. I vow it upon the River Styx!" the air grew unnaturally heavy and still, for a moment, before an even more unnatural wind blew the heaviness away. The room seemed to relax, a log in the fire popping as it shifted, and Harry found himself mesmerized, once more, by the Goddesses eyes.
"...May I," he started, and faltered, swallowing heavily and licking his lips, filled wih such a longing that he didn't know what to do with it. "May I call you Mum?" he whispered, and sucked in a sharp breath at the bright, delighted smile that lit Hestia's youthful face, as she pressed a kiss to his brow.
"Always, my Harry, my son," she whispered, and Harry turned, and wrapped his arms around his only living parent, closing his eyes as he pressed his face against her stomach, breathing in her fire-side scent, and smiling widely against the cloth of her dress as she hugged him back, just as tightly.
He wasn't alone anymore!
He would never be alone again.
A/N: Er, ta-da? How did I do? I wanted a bit of a twist on this challenge, and I wanted a Goddess to love Lily, even if she didn't really know it was love until Lily had died...
Hestia is the shit, by the way, she's fucking awesome. I don't know if I got her quite right in this, I wanted to show how compassionate, loving, and kind she was, while also showing that, despite her child-body, she was a full-grown adult Goddess. And also, I made her slightly awkward when dealing with mortals. She's a Goddess after all, and she doesn't really know how to deal with mortal children.
Anyways, please send me your thoughts/suggestions/criticisms!