Author's Notes:

**waves cheerfully from atop her pile of unfinished WIPS**

So, how's it going?

This story is the OC/SI that, like, two other people might enjoy. It is partly a writing exercise, and partly from my personal frustration with how the adults or friends in Harry's life acted towards him.

As an aside: If OC/SI and a pseudo-realistic look into the wider world of HP is not your thing, please feel free to exit now.

Sorry to have wasted your time!

I am, in real life, the elder sibling- by six years- of a younger brother who was born with a plethora of medical disadvantages, so the idea of making a sister for Harry was something I have toyed with since I first read the books.

I also wanted the additional- challenge, I guess?- of writing a considerably older OC being reborn. I think the additional years of experience would give a rather unique perspective, as she lived long enough to realize that adulthood is mostly bullshiting one's way through life and hoping for the best. She learned a lot about picking one's battles and when to rebel and when to pretend to obey.

I think she'll be a lot of fun, really!

As a writing exercise, this is me trying to learn to make a character who has flaws and struggles and yet is still, overall, relatable and interesting. I put a fair bit of my own backstory into this, but there are enough divergences that she isn't purely SI. I also have done a ton of research into the time period, and I've tried to inject some of that into the story, so keep that in mind, if you are still planning on reading!

The overall tone of this fic is family and sarcastic humor in the face of most situations, but there is a bit of angst upon arrival. I thought about skipping that part entirely, but I think how she deals with waking up as a brat is important to her overall narrative.

There is a bit about Christianity, but after the first few chapters it is mostly an underlying theme! Faith tends to be integral to a person's sense of self, and so that's why Heather sort of uses it to patch herself up and move forward.

Please don't ask about pairings.

Shoutout to the awesome and amazing authors who sort of helped me gather up the courage to publish this.

(Like Madrigal-in-training and their fic, The Ocean's Radiance; Vixen Tail and their fic, Russian Roulette; Home with the Fairies by I-Mushi; Doodlewolf and In Search of a Queen; Gracie-luu and Fields of Gold; and Rising With The Breaking Dawn by fleeting. white. feathers. There's a host of others as well, but I really shouldn't go all Kellyanne Conway right now and just move on.)

I was already writing it, to be honest. Just not with any sort of confidence.

I'm not going to be anywhere nearly as awesome as any of them, but I hope you at least enjoy this little brainchild!


She had always been told that dreams were the realm of the broken. That the domain of dreams was the Creator's gift to those who had loved and lost; a glimpse of Glory that her mortal mind could comprehend. A sacred promise that comforted the broken in the darkest part of the night, one meant to ward off the worst of the loneliness and grief until she could be reunited with her lost loved ones.

She couldn't remember if it was her Granddad or Grandma that had told her that, but she remembered crying- the wretched tears of an inconsolable child- that Christmas afternoon when the adults in her life had finally confessed that her mother was never going to come home.

Her life and the people in it would teach her many other lessons, but that whisper had always lingered in the back of her mind. It had given her hope in her darkest moments, and would survive long after the rest of her childhood was lost to the blur of time.


She blinked her eyes open, the vestiges of deep, heavy sleep insistently tugging at her mind.

Then she just sort of stared.

She blinked again, hoping for some divine intervention or some sort of clarity to come bursting through her hazy thoughts.

Nope, still there.

She stared some more, confusion giving way to incredulity and then incredulity edging into panic.

Then she screamed.


Unknown sequences of the wake-panic-scream cycles later, she finally managed to struggle to the top of her emotional upheaval mountain and find a semblance of calm.

Not peace; the turmoil still raged, wild and fierce as ever, but it was much like being on the inside of a snow globe that was placed at the center of a blizzard. Or, perhaps a better metaphor, was being in the eye of a tornado. Helpless as a babe while everything she knew and loved was violently ripped away into a vortex of chaos and confusion, but she, herself, was sitting in an eerie moment of false serenity at its center. Hyperaware that all it would take was the slightest shift in the winds, the tiniest amount of give in one side or the other, and then she would cease to be.

She closed her eyes and focused, putting all of her willpower into keeping her fragile sense of calm while her distressed mind tried to dredge up the most pertinent information.

The last thing she remembered….

She was in her kitchen. The taco meat was simmering away on the stove and her eldest cat was twining around her ankles whilst her youngest was doing her level best to innocently edge towards the food.

The side door opened and her husband stepped inside, lunchbox hanging off his shoulder, and an annoyed look on his face.

"One of those days, huh?" She teased him gently, a wide grin on her face, as she turned on the hot water to rinse off her spatula.

"Never a smart moment at that place." He drawled dryly as he moved past her- pressing a kiss to the side of her neck as he did so- to put his lunchbox away on the other end of the counter.

She turned around, clean spatula at the ready, fully intent to tease the details about the rest of his day from him-

And that was it. At least in terms of what she knew for certain.

Had she slipped and hit her head? Was she in a hospital? Why couldn't she move?

The next set of memories were almost like scenes from a movie. One of those low-production ones without all the sleek editing and copious post production work.

(A woman with red hair, smiling warmly down at her. "Mummy loves you, baby girl!")

Both her birth mother and her adopted mother were- naturally, at least- brunettes. Who was this woman? And why was the delusional redhead absolutely gigantic?

(A man with glasses and warm hazel eyes was playing with a baby off to her side. "And how about you, princess? Are you ever going to say 'Dada'?, hm?")

Her daddy had started shaving his head ages ago, refusing to be 'that comb over guy'. And he had a beard. A bushy, biker beard. And tattoos on his arms.

Exhausted and more than a little alarmed, she fell into a troubled sleep.


Another indeterminable amount of time later, she once again opened her eyes. Her sore, aching eyes that felt as if they had been open for days instead of resting, while some sort of off-rhythm noise felt as if it was using the bones of her skull for its percussion section to practice with.

After a few, deep breaths the noise seemed to abate a bit.

She breathed out slowly, feeling thankful.

She'd still give someone a Klondike bar for some Ibuprofen or, hell, even an Excedrin Migraine. Headaches sucked.

Then a door swung open to her right and the next thing she knew a gigantic face was peering down at her.

Quite angrily. The woman had obviously permed, but pointedly poofed up blonde hair. Not any blonde color that would be seen in public, either, but the sort of boxed blonde that was about a half a shade off from healthy and contrasted negatively with the woman's off-color, cake-like foundation. The overdone red rouge on the woman's cheeks seemed to only enhance the not-blended-properly eye-bruising cover-up and her eyeliner was both crumbly and crooked behind her clumpy mascara. Her twisted, yellowed teeth were bracketed by bright fuchsia painted lips and the makeup line on her neck seemed to be, honestly and truly, a quarter inch thick. She was also wearing a string of slightly tarnished pearls, while her pearl earrings simply had to be clip-ons, given their size and extravagant backing.

For a moment, the world was still.

Her first thought was, 'that is one unfortunate woman, maybe that apron is part of her nurses uniform?' and her second was, 'wait! How can I see her so clearly?! I never sleep with my glasses on!'.

Something on her face must have given away her need to panic, because the woman actively scowled- 'oh, I guess she just has a really bad case of resting bitchface'- and opened her mouth.

Screeching was the politest term she could dredge up for the woman's voice. Screechy with a chance of glass shattering.

The woman's babble was not as memorable as her accent.

English. British.

'What the actual fuck?'

She didn't even remember closing her eyes, that time.


Truthfully, she felt more than a little stupid with how long it took for her to realize her own, physical state of being.

In her defense, adult women did not often wake up as babies and having two sets of memories- one drastically more concrete to her than the other- was a jarring and existential-crisis worthy escapade.

It had been after a few more wake-panic-scream cycles- seriously, it should have occurred to her earlier, but alas- that she woke to find herself with a rather pressing need to use the restroom. Being an able bodied human being she went to stand up, and that was when the differences, oddities, and general 'Houston, we have a problem' tidbits refused to be pushed aside.

After being forced to confront the plethora of inconsistences- physical, emotional, mental, and freaking metaphysical- she just sort of sat there and stared at the horrid wallpaper that she could see beyond the bars of her prison- crib?- for a long moment.

'Maybe I'm having a strange reaction to heatstroke?' She considered weakly. The room was positively stifling, after all and she had always been warm blooded. The walls she was staring at held a horrid half-wallpaper, half-painted scheme- overdone pastel flowers and an off beat cream, respectively- that wouldn't have been out of place in some sort of retro '80s bed and breakfast place.

Her headache began to crescendo again, as her mind broke through her feeble sense of calm in order to cheerfully attempt drown her in casual observations and sensory input.

As she timidly brought one of her hands- suspiciously baby sized compared to the stuffed animal next to her, she noted distantly- up to her face, a horrible, creeping sensation began to worm its way into her chest. Her eyes burned, but for the first time in what felt like forever her mind was startlingly clear.

'Breathe.' She ordered herself firmly, her once-upon-a-time job training as a Dispatcher tumbling to the forefront of her mind. 'Ok. Work from the information provided. What do I know for certain?'

Fact: she had not seen hide nor hair of her husband since she had woken up. Not at all. He would never not be there if she had gotten hurt! Never ever. He'd been enough of a worrywart when she'd gotten her impacted wisdom teeth removed, and that had been an outpatient procedure! He wasn't overbearing, just sort of fussy. And if he wasn't here, then someone else should be- goodness knows her Grandma would bring a tent and actually use it if the hospital tried to send her away!

A horrible, cold sensation began to creep up her spine. Foreboding, dark, and sinister in its intent.

She, somewhat desperately, pushed it away and forged ahead.

Fact: this was obviously not a hospital, despite that rather clinical feel to the- admittedly gaudy- room.

While the room was stifling and smelt of cleaning chemicals, pee, and air freshener than needed a new line of work, there was no medical equipment. Not even a basic heart monitor thing.

And more to the point-

Fact: she didn't actually know anyone who spoke with an across-the-pond accent. The nurse might be from one of the city hospitals- which might explain the accent- but she doubted she had been moved that far since her neither her family members nor any signs of their presence- cards, flowers, a blanket from home- were nearby. Additionally, all the well-equipped hospitals were at least two hours away from her in any given direction, meaning that someone or at least the signs of them, should be around here somewhere.

She double checked the walls for artwork from her nieces and nephews.

Nope. Nothing.

Fact: her hands were far too small to be her expected age. And it was her hand, as it had properly hurt when she bit into it with her teeth. Speaking of which, she didn't seem to have the full complement of those, either.

It felt strange, when she really concentrated. Her teeth had never closed together neatly; she'd had an overbite- where the top teeth overlap the bottom ones- for as long as she could remember!

Fact: she was wearing what felt to be the world's most uncomfortable pair of Depends- there were a couple of truly awful menstrual cycles back in her early teens years- and was dressed in a frilly, foufy monstrosity that had snaps just about everywhere. It itched uncomfortably and she did not have the finger dexterity needed to undo the blasted snaps herself.

She had tried. She lamented whoever had invented doily lace.

Panic began to edge at her mind, as the icy feeling from her spine spread throughout her extremities and cold, visceral terror gripped her soul.

She swallowed thickly and looked around for her cats. Her furbabies. For any signs of them at all. The white one tended to shed faster than she could vacuum, and the little orange one-

Shock, panic, and anxiety swelled inside her and this time she was helpless against the tempest.

It felt as if her mind was breaking and the edges of reality were becoming blurred, blending in a manner that spelled doom for her mental stability. Of the years, she had toed the line between 'holding on' and 'losing it' enough times to notice when she was nearing the edge of her tolerance, inching a bit too close to the rocky cliffs that ran along the spine of The Point Of No Return.

This…wasn't even close to those moments.

This was strapping a jet pack on and plummeting, Wil E. Coyote style, off the edge of the Cliffside.

Without style. No controlled dive. No trampoline at the bottom. No last minute shenanigans.

Just her and the seething misery of utter hysteria. Or more correctly, Hysteria.

It was too much-

(too much, too little, generous, inadequate, overstuffed, underwhelmed, overclocked, desolate, bursting, cruel, kind-)

She did the only thing she could manage- she squeezed her eyes shut and prayed with all of her might.


'Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.' She recited to herself a few days later, her breaths hitching as she perma-cried. 'Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.'

She could tell the passage of time thanks to the mostly-covered window and her recent acquisition of grief-induced insomnia.

The insomnia had, at least, helped her fill in a few pieces of information. It gave her plenty of time to explore her thoughts.

Her deduction?

Her life had somehow ended and the strange movie-memories were, in fact, her own.

From this new life.

In her somewhat less depressing moments, she wondered if President McCheetoface- or Lord Dampnut- had actually managed to destroy the world. It would certainly explain her missing that important 'ah-ha! So that's how I died!' moment.

Given the man's general bumbling oafishness, they'd probably gotten nuked by Canada.

If that was the case, she sincerely hoped that Mexico had gotten ahold of Lord Dampnut and served him only tacos for the rest of his days.

Tacos and Montezuma's Revenge. Preferably served by the most outrageous Drag Queens to ever dress in drag. In a prison staffed solely with solidly average looking, intelligent, take-no-shit women over the age of forty- bonus points if they wore shorts and didn't shave their legs.


She tried to hold on to her feelings of anger and amused disgruntlement. Humor was all that was standing between her and yet another plunge into the Chasm of Hysteria, after all.

The loss of her life- of her husband and home and family- were still too much to even consider.

Let alone truly process. She just….couldn't.

So she was doing her best to hold onto those memories while also letting herself grieve. The torrent of tears and soundless wailing were, strangely, a relief, despite the fact she usually went entirely numb in the face of loss. It had taken nearly a week for her to be able to cry by the time Granny had passed away.

Since her plunge into Hysteria, she spent most of her time dredging up any and all memories she could metaphorically grasp before very carefully and extremely purposefully, engraving them into her heart; praying with each one she forcefully willed herself to always remember that the Creator would let her keep them close to her in this manner.

(Them. Her entire life that had somehow abruptly vanished. )

Her vision wavered and she had to forcefully pull herself away from the Edge. It took concentrated effort- who knew madness was so magnetic?- but after several agonizing minutes she managed to pull far enough away she only felt half insane

What had she ever done to deserve this sort of agony?

'The Father will never give you more than you can handle, baby girl.' Her Grandad had told her that, ten years to the day after her mother's funeral, when they had buried the kitty he had gotten for her in the aftermath of her mother's- her only parents- death. 'Just you wait. You'll be able to see your Mama and Snowflake again one day. I promise. Just have faith.'

So, then what the hell was this?

She had been reborn. She was a baby.

Her life- her family, her friends, her home, her identity- had been erased. The person she would be from this point forward would be different.

She'd be greatly influenced by who she'd been, of course, but the grown woman she had fought so hard to become had disappeared.

The woman still technically existed inside her mind, but she wouldn't look at her hands and see the scar from when she'd gotten into a fight with someone who had called her brother a 'retard' in middle school. Her left leg wouldn't be scarred from surgery and her right arm wouldn't have those scars on her forearm as testament to that time she had learned the 'fresh gravel, meet bike tires' lesson.

And that was just the beginning, she had lost so much more than a body or a handful of humans who would remember her existence.

She wouldn't ever wake up to her eldest cat's nose about two inches from her face first thing in the morning. She wouldn't ever fall asleep to her husband's warm, familiar arm draped over her side at the end of a trying day. She'd never-

'Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.' She chanted inside her mind, reminding her that there was a plan. A way through the darkness that felt like it would drown her if her internal fortitude altered for a single second. 'Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.'


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