Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Harry Potter. If I did I would be a far richer man. And I'd be a woman.
AN: This fic is partially inspired by 'You're My Density' by robst. It's a good story and while I'm using a similar plot device to initiate the action my story is going to be massively different from there. Not least of which is because in this story, Harry has a twin sister.
Some warnings before we begin: Harry is still the Boy-Who-Lived, but Rose Potter survived that night as well. Their full back-story will be explored in-story. The important thing to note is that this is a Harry/Rose/Gabrielle story – meaning twincest. I've seen a lot of twincest fics, but most of those are either unfinished or simply excuses to write lemons with little actual plot involved. While I may try to include lemons at some point they won't be the focus of this story. I also intend to portray the Harry/Rose interactions in a somewhat more realistic light than twin stories tend to use (rather unhealthy co-dependence).
Rose and Gabrielle (and Harry to a slightly lesser extent) will all be firmly Grey. Not Dark per se, but they won't shy away from extreme methods and they can be a bit bloodthirsty for a few individuals in particular.
Gabrielle's age: Gabi is going to start off one year younger than Harry and Rose. So in the Triwizard Tournament she would be 13.
Bashing: Ron and Dumbledore. Dumbledore will not be evil, but he will be a control freak who made several huge mistakes with bad consequences for all involved. I can't speak to Molly Weasley as I don't know if she'll show up in the story or not. If she does I'll update this. Ginny will be perfectly fine as will Hermione; neither will be portrayed in a bad light.
Hallows: Don't expect them to play a big role as this fic is designed to be completed sometime around the end of Fourth Year.
Updates: Somewhat erratic until 'Rune Stone Path' is finished. After that I will probably alternate between this one and 'Hourglass'.
Potters Against The World
Chapter 1: A Forgotten Past
Harry Porter Smith sat down on his front porch and sipped his pumpkin juice. His family looked at him like he was crazy when he drank that stuff, but that wasn't really anything new. They always looked at him that way even if they were kind enough to do it when they thought he wouldn't notice. He knew he was adopted. That was blindingly obvious to anyone who even looked at the rest of his family but…well it was almost like his parents had never even wanted him. Why bother adopting a kid if you didn't want one?
Harry sighed and took another drink. It was thoughts like that that took him back to his nightmares and made him want to reach for an alcoholic drink. He never did though. He stayed far away from alcohol. Why he had such a huge aversion to the stuff was another of those things that just didn't seem to have any logical reason. His parents drank every once in awhile, but they never got rowdy – they were actually rather happy drunks. It was just that for as long as he could remember he'd always hated alcohol and grimaced whenever he saw anyone drinking. University had been downright murder when it came to that aspect.
He scowled and drained his glass. It wouldn't due to keep reflecting on age old arguments. Maybe one day he'd get lucky and some fairy godmother would wave her magic wand and suddenly everything that was just so slightly off in his life would make sense.
"Sure and maybe I'll find a drop bear tomorrow too," Harry muttered shaking his head at his wild fantasies. Australia was nice, but it was more Death Land than Dream Land.
Harry popped the top on another of his pumpkin juices and had just taken a sip when the gravel on his driveway crunched and a low rumble drifted up to him. Looking over the side of the porch Harry frowned as an unfamiliar Honda came to a stop and discharged a thin, red-headed girl. She was probably about 25 like him though her small frame made it difficult to be sure. Her hair fell to just above her shoulders in silky waves and her clothes effectively hid most of her figure. They didn't quite hide it well enough to miss the lack of body fat on her or the way she looked like she could badly use someone to make her eat more.
Harry grimaced and shook his head. He wasn't really in any position to make that kind of criticism. He also found his appetite was permanently turned off. There'd never been any reason for it – just like with his other quirks – he just never liked eating. Something always felt wrong. Like he should be saving some of the meal instead of eating it all. Yet another thing that his parents had looked at him askance over.
"Hello," the girl said as she came to stop at the foot of the stairs. Her voice was soft and musical though extremely hesitant. Harry was struck by the sudden urge to run down the stairs and wrap her in his arms saying it would all be okay and whatever had her on edge he'd knock away. It took all of his willpower to suppress that; you don't just go around hugging complete strangers.
No matter how familiar they looked.
Harry shook his head trying to clear his thoughts and raised his hand in greeting. He smiled at her and met her eyes. They were hazel with large bags underneath showing a lack of sleep probably on a level slightly exceeding his own. Harry felt himself drawn into those eyes and the urge to run up to her came back with a vengeance.
He blinked and tore his gaze away glancing back at the car. He noticed a tall blonde woman who'd stayed seated on the passenger side. Well, not quite blonde, her hair was almost silver. It had to be some sort of dye, there was no way that could be natural. She also looked about Harry's age and was reading a book far too intently. He was struck with another familiar feeling seeing her and his eyes narrowed slightly trying to place where he'd seen a red-head and a silver-haired woman sitting together.
A cough from below saw Harry twisted back with a guilty expression spreading across his features. He rubbed a hand on the back on his neck and flashed an apologetic smile. "Sorry, forgot my manners for a moment. Hello. Err, are you lost? There's…well there's not really much around here actually…kinda why I chose it…I can tell you how to get back to the freeway though if that's where you're trying to get to."
The red-head laughed and her features shifted completely. Gone was the sickly, sorrowful girl. She'd been replaced by an amused, fun-loving adult with a smile that could light up the Sun itself. Her laugh had him smiling in return for what felt like the first time in years. "I'm not lost," she said starting to climb to steps. "I'm finally home. You have no idea how long it took me to find you."
Harry's smile fell somewhat as he peered closer at her. "Find me? Did we know each other from primary or something?"
A pained grimace flashed across her features so fast he almost thought he'd imagined it. But he hadn't. He'd hurt her. He didn't know how, but he'd hurt her. His stomach clenched and he had to ball his hands into fists in order to prevent himself from reaching for a nonexistent bottle of liquor.
The girl reached out and gently touched his arm. Harry felt relief flood through him at the touch and the reassurance that he'd done nothing wrong. Scowling Harry looked down at the hand on him. "I don't like people touching me. This shouldn't feel good." Looking back up, Harry met her hazel eyes with his green ones. "Who are you?"
"My name is Rose Potter, Harry. I'm your sister."
Harry could only stare at her. His vision blackened around the edges and a dim voice echoed through his mind. "Rose! Get off me! Rose!" Harry groaned and pushed a hand against his head as it started to throb. "Bloody migraines. Excuse me for a minute. I need to grab some medicine before this gets worse."
The hand on his arm quickly shifted down to clutch his fingers and hold him in place. "Don't leave. I can help. Headache right? It's a side effect. They were good, I'll grant them that. But they weren't good enough. Things leak through every once in awhile right? Hang on, Ella and I found a spell that should take some of the edge off. It's just a temporary measure until I can break the block fully, but it should work until we have a chance to finish talking."
Harry was about to comment on the absurdity of using a 'spell' to fix a coming migraine – never mind the rest of her nonsensical comment or her claim to be his sister – when she brought out an honest-to-God wand. A small, white, wooden stick about 10 inches long flipped down into her palm and she raised it to his forehead. A cream colored light flashed from the tip and before the afterimage had faded from his eyes, Harry's headache had vanished.
Again he could only gape at her. "What the bloody hell…?"
"You should probably sit down. This…this might take a while, Harry," she said wincing. Rose led him back to his chair and lightly pushed him into it. He lived alone so he only had the one on the patio. He had lifted halfway back out of the seat to grab her one from inside when she waved her magic wand again and a small wooden rocking chair was suddenly on his porch in front of him. The wand vanished back up her sleeve and Rose sat down. The entire spectacle had been performed without her hand ever having left his own.
"Fairy godmother," Harry muttered snorting ruefully at the irony of the day. "If I'm not dreaming," he stated very slowly, "then please start explaining how I seem to have stepped into a Harry Potter novel."
Rose's face lit up with another smile and she nodded hurriedly. "Oh you read those? Good. That makes this a lot easier actually."
"If you're about to tell me magic is real I think I got that part down," Harry muttered weakly.
"Well, yeah, I kinda figured," Rose said chuckling. "It is by the way. You can do it to. Sorta. Not yet at least. Once I finish getting the block off your memories you should be able to at least. We think. Ella says the theory is sound but…well it's not like we've gone looking for other test cases to make sure."
Harry scowled and narrowed his eyes. "Rose, you are not making any sense at all. Beginning please."
Rose winced again she shifted back ever so slightly. Harry felt his stomach clench again but this time he was the one to squeeze her hand in reassurance. "Sorry," he said. "Can you start with how you're my sister? I know I'm adopted so I suppose I might be able to see that but…well my parents were always very clear that I was an only child."
A dark scowl flitted across Rose's face before she schooled it back to neutrality. "No, you're not an only child. We grew up together, Harry. We were together for almost fifteen years. They took you! They mind raped you! They tried to essentially kill you! I've been looked for you ever since. It's taken me almost ten years, but I finally found you!"
Harry opened his mouth to try and respond to that but finding nothing suitable was forced to close it. His nightmare sprang to the surface again, a stone circular room with figures cloaked in black arrayed all around him, as a pink toad and a green hat laughed at him. "Rose! Get off me! Rose!" His head twinged, but thankfully it didn't get any worse. "Can you try to expand a bit? Please?"
"Ugh, Morgana I'm making a mess of this," Rose muttered. "I'm sorry, Harry. I've practiced this speech a thousand, thousand times, but when I saw you I just forgot everything and now I'm making this so much worse for you than it has to be…Alright, let's try this again." She paused and took a deep breath. "Do you remember in the fifth Harry Potter book how there was a trial for the hero with a corrupt court system?"
He nodded. "Of course. Minister Dodge and Madame Tart led the charge."
Rose smirked. "You know I always did love how that woman butchered the names trying to keep the theme. Their real names were Minister Fudge and Madame Umbridge. Or as Ella calls her, The Pink Toad also known as Umbitch also known as Centaur Plaything. Well developed sense of revenge that girl has. It was a bit difficult to get Bane to slow down enough that we could question Umbitch again about where you were but – ah shite, I'm doing it again. You were always the one to stop me when I started going off on tangents."
Rose shook her head while Harry just stared in confusion. "Okay look, long story short, you were the Harry Potter from the story. Except lots of stuff got changed after I sent Rowling my notes. The biggest and most important thing to us is that you lost that trial, Harry. You lost and they exiled you from the Wizarding World. But that wasn't good enough for the bastards," she snarled, clutching his hands like a lifeline. Harry frowned deeper and rubbed one thumb over the back of her hand as more desperate cries threatened to intrude on his mind again.
"How does one get exiled from magic?" he asked.
"They obliviated you," Rose said tears falling from the corners of her eyes. "They wiped your mind, sealing anything having to do with magic behind a giant mental wall. At our age, if you can't remember magic, you can't do magic. If it was just that it, it wouldn't have been so bad. We grew up Muggle so I would've been able to track you easily enough. But no, that bitch had to go even further! She thought it wasn't good enough that Harry Potter, Public Hero Number One, was convicted of a felony and exiled. No, Merlin forbid somebody wanted to search for him and try to bring him back! What if someone wanted to use him as a figurehead to overthrow her precious Cornelius!" Rose had to stop for a moment as she tried to slow her breathing and quiet her voice.
Harry just kept rubbing circles on her hand and reached up his free hand to wipe away some of her tears. "It's okay, Rose. Can you keep going?"
She smiled a watery grin at him and nodded. "Sorry, when I think of Umbitch I just want to kill her all over again. The point is, she didn't have the bollocks to kill you outright – thank Morgana for that! But she did need to ensure you were gone where no one could ever use you against the administration. So she had false memories implanted into you and she dumped you with some family she picked up off the street, mind raped them too so that they thought they'd adopted you as a baby and sent all three of you off to the arse-end of the world." Rose scowled again. "She was smart about it too. She had the one guy who actually dropped you off killed and obliviated the rest, including herself. Her spell was patchy though. Gabrielle and I eventually managed to get the names of who she'd used after Bane broke her mind."
Harry frowned at that. He should probably feel some sort of sorrow or disappointment at the seemingly casual mention of torture and murder from his supposed sister, yet…all he could feel was pride that the girl in front of him had stood up for herself – and him apparently – and took care of the problem in front of her. "Why am I not chastising you over this?" Harry murmured.
Rose shook her head with a small smile. "Because you love me and this is the first time I was able to fight back without you there beside me." Harry had meant the question rhetorically, but…that sounded right. He shuddered slightly at the incongruity of that feeling. Rose quickly moved on before he could ask anything else. "Anyway, breaking through the blocks on the minions was easy enough. Ella broke through one with her Allure while I got the other with an overpowered Legilimency probe. From there we had a name and a country. It took us another year to find you after that. Australia is…big. Really freaking big. Do you have any idea of just how many Harry P. Smiths there are in this place? 10,652; you're number 6,285."
Harry's mouth dropped open. "God…"
"Yeah. That was fun. But…I found you," Rose's voice dropped into a wondrous tone. "I really found you! Harry!" Rose lost all of her composure and jumped forward wrapping her arms around him. "Don't ever leave me again, Harry," he heard her murmur into his chest as her tears seeped into his shirt. "Don't ever leave me again."
Harry could only wrap his arms around her in a protective cocoon. For the first time that he could remember…he felt whole. "I'm not going anywhere, Rosy."
Harry leaned against the counter in his kitchen with his arms crossed as he stared at Rose sitting across from him and eating a sandwich. "So…why isn't Gabrielle coming inside?" he asked nodding towards the door.
"She wanted to let us have our space," Rose answered between bites. "This is really good. Did you cook this?"
"Always cook my own food," he nodded.
She smiled and dug back in swallowing for continuing. "Ella's almost more nervous than I was. You two only really got to interact for a few months and she still looked like a nine year old back then. We weren't even sure if you'd remember her to be honest."
"I don't know if I remember you," he stated bluntly.
Rose smirked and stood up enough to pat his hand before dropping back into her seat. "You remember me. Otherwise you'd be freaking out. Anyway, Ella was a huge help after the trial when they…when they took you. I fell apart. I always fell apart when you were gone. I've gotten a bit better, but it's still a struggle."
Harry frowned. "That's why you look so thin…"
"Yeah," Rose said wincing. "It's hard to justify eating sometimes. Ella makes sure I get enough to keep from getting sick though. She found me after the trial and started helping me to look for you. She was the only one who seemed to even care that you were gone. Dumbledore made lots of speeches, but when Voldemort popped back up and started making a mess of things he had bigger concerns. Tonks tried to help for a bit. She sent some leads to me which was honestly a lot more than I had expected. After Greyback started going after kids though, she switched to tracking him down. I couldn't really blame her as much as I wanted to. Sirius was going to help until Kreacher got him killed. Don't worry, Ella and I took care of the little traitor."
Rose stopped to finish her sandwich and lick her fingers clean. "Nobody else really cared. Weasley rubbed it in my face for a few weeks until I snapped. He was in the hospital wing for a month; git was lucky I missed with the last spell…Hermione was sympathetic, but she was too worried about getting her family out of the country to waste time looking for a dead man. Her words not mine. She was convinced Umbitch had killed you. We stopped talking before I found out for sure you were alive. Last I heard she had a nice little business set up in the States."
Rose leaned back and cast an appreciative smile towards the door and the car outside. "Ella on the other hand…well Ella never gave up hope. When I could barely get dressed she kept pushing me on. She made sure that we never lost focus. We dropped out of school and finished our studies on our own while we kept searching. It was hard, but it was infinitely better than the alternative."
Harry raised an eyebrow. "She'd do all that for a guy she knew for a few months? Seems a little unrealistic."
Rose shrugged. "She said you were her hero. Saving her from the lake make a huge impression and she decided right then and there that she would do whatever it took to make sure you were happy. Veela are like that it seems. There's more to it but we can get into that later."
Rose paused and bit her lip as she stared up at Harry. Slowly she clasped her hands in front of her on the table. "Harry, you do you believe all this right?"
"I…I want to," he murmured. "Who doesn't want to believe they actually live in a fantasy world right? But…well it's a bit much. I mean…magic? Harry Potter? Mind wipes? It's just…"
"I understand," Rose whispered. She sighed. "So what makes you hesitant to dismiss me as crazy?"
"Well you don't sound crazy for one," he said snorting in amusement. "You sound perfectly lucid and you definitely believe everything you're saying."
"So the whole conjuring a chair out of air has nothing to do with it," she commented with a rueful grin.
Harry groaned. "Well, that's certainly a point in your favor. I'm no magician, but I think that's a feat that would have David Blaine green with envy. Another thing is that you sorta look like a girl I see in my nightmares sometimes. And I have a lot of…quirks," Harry said grimacing. "Quirks that make a bit more sense in the context of what you're saying."
"And…" she prompted.
Harry shrugged rubbing the back of his neck. "And I don't mind you touching me," he admitted. "I stiffen when my parents hug me and have to force myself to shake people's hands yet you I seem to have no issues with. That's probably the single best thing going for your story right now."
Rose laughed. "You have it easy. I don't mind people touching me, but I can't even think about sex. Hell I've only gotten laid twice since you were taken and poor Ella wasn't exactly left satisfied either time."
Harry started to roll his eyes before the implications of that statement worked into him and he froze. "Wait. I thought you said we were twins."
"But, you just implied…you and me?" The look of fright that passed through her face was enough to confirm it for him. "Oh bloody hell! What kind of monster was I…why would you even want to come and look for – " he cut off as a red blur slammed into his chest and wrapped her arms around him.
"Stop," she commanded. "You were not a monster, Harry. You protected me from the monsters. You almost killed Vernon once to protect me and I've lost count of the amount of times that he almost killed you. That's not even bothering to count the times with Draco or Crabbe or Flint. I'll explain everything to you if I have to but can we put this conversation off until later? Please? It's…it sounds bad even in the Wizarding World and I want you to remember how we grew up before trying to justify it. I don't want you to look at me and be disgusted…Please just…just wait okay? Please?"
Harry knew he should feel even worse with the way she was clinging to him yet every fiber of his being was claiming that this was the way things were always supposed to be. There was a very real possibility of his body mutinying if he tried to do anything beside nod and hold her tighter. "Okay, Rose. I'm sorry for upsetting you. Can we get back to the story then instead?"
She nodded into his chest though before she could do anything else the front door opened and Gabrielle walked in. Her silver hair streamed down to the middle of her back and her clothes were form fitting, showing off a toned, athletic figure. Her blue eyes met Harry's and she briefly smiled shyly before looking down to Rose. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but, Rose, they're in the city. Celeste just spotted them portkeying in."
Rose pulled back from Harry cursing. His eyebrows rose at her colorful language and he made note of some of the choicer phrases to use later. "So much for having a day's head start. How long you figure, Ella?"
"Two hours tops," the other girl said grimacing. "If you're going to do the ritual then it's going to take almost half that to set up. I'm sorry…"
Rose scowled again and turned to eye Harry. He shifted his weight uncomfortably and asked, "Who's coming? The Minister's people?"
Rose sighed and shook her head. "After a fashion, but no, not really. Voldemort was content to leave me alone for years. He probably thought – correctly – that I would manage to track you down if left to my own devices. He wasn't the one to kidnap you after all. Now that I actually did find you though he can't just leave you alive. Unfortunately he's also the legitimate government in Britain now so his minions have diplomatic immunity here.
"Where we go from here follows one of three paths, Harry. I had hoped to have a bit more time before this all came up so that you could have all the information before choosing…"
"What are the options?" Harry asked casting his eyes around the room looking for anything that might be useful if it came to a fight. He had a rifle in the den, but would that even work against wizards?
Rose winced and said slowly, "Well the first choice is for me and Ella to leave. I'd adjust your memory so that you had no idea we existed. The upside is that you get to live a normal life. You'd get to continue on and – "
"Next," Harry said curtly utterly dismissing such a choice.
Gabrielle chuckled and waggled her eyebrows. "Told you he'd think that was crazy. Just because he can't remember you doesn't mean he's going to abandon you, Rosy."
Rose's cheeks were blazing red as she nodded mutely. "Option 2 is to try and remove the block on your memories and then fight. We might have to go back to Britain and kill the man himself in order to make sure it actually ends…those odds of success are rather low. Like I said, he is Britain now and has been for years."
Harry nodded. "Okay, what's the third choice?"
"Um…well, it starts off similar to Option 2 but…well I think I have a ritual that we could use to bounce us back to our fourteenth birthday. It's a risk, but the theory is sound. Any further back and we could damage the timestream too much or worse, get ourselves killed trying to save Sirius. Even if your memories are still locked I think I could reasonably finish taking care of most of the major problems during that summer. We might have to wait until the end of the Tournament to officially clear Sirius, but that's relatively easy going in knowing what to expect. If – Morgana forbid – we can't get you any magic at all, well I'll just polyjuice into you for the Tasks."
Harry stared blankly at her. "Time travel. You can time travel."
Gabrielle winced. "More like time throw really. It's just a consciousness thing. Your memories would be tossed back along a closed timelike curve. I, uh, kinda melded magic and physics and got something rather unholy in the mashup. The downside is that if I did the calculation wrong, well you could create a micro black hole that destroys a large chunk of the planet before eating itself into nonexistence."
Harry's mouth dropped open and he was speechless for a few moments as he processed that. "That a pretty big 'risk'," he said weakly. The lack of alcohol seriously seemed like a poor life choice at the moment.
"She's selling herself short," Rose said shrugging. "Ella is basically a genius. Half the spells I use these days are ones that she invented combining Muggle and Magical stuff. It'll work."
Harry shifted his gaze between the two. Finally after several long seconds he sighed. "Screw it, in for a penny in for a pound. Let's go with the unholy magitech time throw option."
Rose was busy painting a series of runic symbols onto his naked torso half an hour later when Harry thought to ask another question about their soon to be executed 'plan'. "Rose, if you can throw your consciousness back in time already why haven't you done it yet?"
"What do you mean?" she asked dabbing a dot onto his side and shifting to the left slightly.
"You've been looking for me for ten years right? So if this time leap thing is so safe why exactly haven't you already jumped back instead of waiting to find me?"
Rose's brush stopped for just long enough that Harry took notice and Gabrielle scrutinized her papers much closer than a moment earlier. "Rose…"
"Okay, so maybe the chances of this working correctly are closer to 60/40 than 99/1," she murmured. "I was perfectly willing to get my revenge, let Britain bend themselves over, find you and live out the rest of our lives here on a farm or something. I had zero issues with that. If Voldemort was willing to just leave us the hell alone he could do whatever he bloody well pleases to Britain. It's not like it's my home or anything. You're my home. I didn't want to risk using the ritual and potentially having it go wrong and killing you when there was a still good chance that we could just have a nice peaceful life after I eventually found you."
Harry looked to Gabrielle and raised his eyebrows in a silent question. She sighed and nodded. "What she said. I was never particularly interesting in going on this trip to begin with. I always made the calculations for two minds but it was always intended for her and you. I'm not particularly useful in a nine year old body. I hate being Veela sometimes…Plus if we went back, you'd be a 14 year old in a 14 year old body while we'd be 20-something in 14 year old bodies. That's not exactly a balanced relationship no matter how you swing it."
Gabrielle shuddered a bit and continued. "And what if you went off the rails too early? What if you didn't believe us? Going back by ourselves was a backup plan sure but it was never a primary option. I feel a bit bad for the innocents that Voldemort hurt which is why I'm not actually arguing against using this ritual, but I'm also not in any huge hurry to roll this particular set of dice. The odds of it working without a hitch kind of suck. And from what Rose has told me, your luck tends to make these sorts of things go worse rather than better. These English enfoirés coming after us are rather forcing our hand."
"Suddenly I'm liking Option 2 better…" Harry muttered. Rose smiled up and patted his cheek.
"Too late," she said standing to review her work. Nodding appreciatively she smiled. "Done. And we can't easily get away by this point. They'll be watching the ways out of the country now, both magical and mundane. Buck up, Ella's a genius, it'll work!"
Gabrielle glared darkly at the red-head. "Says the girl who doesn't care if she destroys the world as long as she dies with her brother."
Harry glanced between the two. "Can we try to restore my memories please before I start having even more second thoughts about this?"
Rose nodded. "Sure. I'll start in on it while Ella does my runes. You remember Legilimency from the books? JK made it a bit more sensational, but the fundamentals are the same. I'm going to dive into your mind and tear down the wall the Obliviations built up. Are you ready, Harry?"
He sat down cross-legged and nodded. "Go ahead."
Rose knelt in front of him and stared into his eyes. Harry felt himself falling and a blur of images passed across his vision. His familiar nightmare with the pink toad and the green hat came into focus, the toad resolving into a short woman who still looked remarkably like an amphibian and the hat morphed into a portly, officious man sneering at him. The two swirled away into the abyss of his mind and a giant black void loomed ahead. Harry's nerves lighted on fire and his migraine flared to life stronger than ever before. He fell towards the void, crying and screaming carried by the wind whipping past his ears too fast for him to make out the words.
Just when he felt he couldn't take any more, the blackness he fell through was split with cracks of white light. The cracks spread and as they did part of the pain in his head receded. A leering, fat face flew up out of one of the lighted areas. The face had a bulging purple vein on the temple and spittle flew from its mouth. Harry felt rage and fear clench around his heart and he screamed.
His cry cut off as his head banged onto the floor behind him. "Ow…"
A groan from Rose had him rolling over to peer across at her. Her shirt was off and there were red runes painted all over her body with a few looping up under her bra and continuing on. She was rubbing her head and Gabrielle was looking at both of them with a frown on her face. "That didn't sound good."
Rose shook her head, wincing. "It's fine. I got at the core of the spell remnants before we were kicked out. Fuck. I forgot how much I hate that man."
"That face…that was…that was, Vernon? Right? Our…Uncle? Ow, my head is killing me." Harry froze and sat up straight his eyes widening. "Rosy?"
A wide, pearly smile split her lips and Rose nodded. "You back brother?"
"Somewhat…I'm not sure…I believe you completely now by the way," he finished with a small answering smile of his own.
Rose reached out to grasp his hand reassuringly. "Don't worry, Harry. The cracks will spread and when you go to sleep it should shatter completely. By this time tomo-by this time August 1st 1994, you should have most of your memories back."
He nodded smiling. For the first time he could remember, the prospect of sleeping was something to look forward to instead of dread.
"Guys, we have to start this thing," Gabrielle said standing. "You were in there a lot longer than we'd planned for. We should hurry."
Rose hurriedly stood up and held out her hand to pull Harry up. As he got to his feet, he stopped to just look her. Disjointed memories flowed through his mind and Rose Lily Potter was always at the center of them. He may not remember exactly who he was, but he remembered standing next to his sister through it all. "Thanks for coming for me, Rosy."
"Always, Harry. Always." She leaned forward just enough to lightly brush his lips with her own. "Come on."
He followed Rose and Gabrielle out into his backyard and momentarily scowled in annoyance. Every one of the stones ringing his garden had been scavenged and moved into a runic circle a few feet behind the house. "I spent ages getting that garden landscaped. You couldn't have brought your own rocks?"
Gabrielle blushed and mumbled, "Sorry, I didn't really expect this house to be the right one so I didn't pack them…thought it was too remote."
"Harry, they're all going to be gone in a few minutes anyway. Whether we wind up back in Surrey or whether we die via black hole, the garden isn't going to matter," Rose said chuckling.
Harry scowled deeper and stepped over the improvised runes. "It's the principal of the matter. How do we do this thing?"
Rose gently moved him into a smaller circle inscribed in the dirt and then shifted to another next to him. "Just stand there. Ella, whenever you're ready."
"Do me a favor and make sure the younger me stops fangirling?" Gabrielle asked with a grin. For the first time, Harry noticed that it didn't quite reach her eyes. "And remember, I may look nine, but I'm actually 13 so please, whatever you do, don't treat me like a kid."
Harry saw Rose frown and he wasn't surprised to find himself doing the same. "Rose, can we…"
"Bloody hell, why not?" she stated nodding. "Ella get – " A series of pops from the front yard had her cutting off. "Bastards! Two minutes! Two fucking minutes!"
"Charging!" Gabrielle started chanting and Rose quickly joined in. Harry saw the outer circle start to brighten as he heard a muffled explosion from the front and a plume of smoke drifted up over the roof from the driveway. The inner circles started to illuminate and a crash from inside the house rang out. The chanting reverberated through the air and Harry suddenly found it hard to breathe. The space around him seemed to distort and curve, only Rose remaining in focus. The back door exploded outward as Rose and Gabrielle reached the final verse in their ritual.
Cutting off the last note, Rose's hand shot out and grabbed Gabrielle yanking the Veela into the inner circle just as the entire world dropped into oblivion.
Harry opened his eyes taking in a gulp of air and nearly choking as liquid rushing into his mouth. His first thought was that something had gone horribly wrong and he'd landed in the ocean and was about to drown. His second thought was confusion on how he could still breathe despite gulping down water with each breath. His third thought was Lake.
Something had gone wrong, but he wasn't in the Atlantic or the Channel. He was in the Black Lake floating in front of his sister tied to a pillar and surrounded by Merpeople. Gillyweed. Second Task. Scattered memories flew together as he remembered eating the magical plant prior to starting this insane Task for the Tournament. He tried to take a moment to orient himself and glanced back at Rose.
That was when he saw her eyes flutter open and her mouth clamp shut in shock and terror. Rose was a hundred feet underwater and awake.
He didn't pause. His wand jerked up and a wave of energy lashed out from the tip. He couldn't remember the name of spell he'd used, but whatever it was had worked. The kelp ropes tying Rose to the pillar floated away and he reached out for her arm. Twisting Harry looked for Gabrielle worried that with Rose waking up Ella would be –
Gabrielle was one pillar over and struggling against the ropes. Two Merpeople looked at each other in confusion before starting to swim forward to help. Harry beat them both there. His wand slashed out again and the ropes tying Gabrielle were gone. Pocketing his wand, Harry grabbed one girl in each arm and started kicking towards the surface. Thankfully neither was dead weight and both swam along with him easing the burden on his sore muscles. It seemed to take forever, though the swim couldn't have taken more than two minutes. Finally, just as his gills and webbed fins started to vanish, Harry broke the surface.
Gasping for air Rose and Gabrielle's heads popped up immediately after. "Mon dieu, why would you do zat?! All of ze calculations were for only two not zree! I didn't even 'ave a circle! You could 'ave blown up ze Earth!" Gabrielle gasped clutching Harry's neck to keep afloat and glaring at Rose.
Rose did her best to shrug nonchalantly while treading water. "You stuck with my crazy arse for ten years. I couldn't just abandon you in the last ten minutes. Sucks about the disrupted timing though. Guess we'll have to sneak away from the castle now to finish things off."
"Argue later," Harry said breathing hard. "Swim now. This water is freezing! Ella hold on tight."
"I hate being small!" she growled into his ear clutching to him tighter.
AN: Much thanks to my betas Thundramon and JordanMathias.