Summary: Scarlett Potter vanquished Voldemort and won the war, but felt dead inside ever since. After being murdered by muggles, she finds out what the title of Mistress of Death really means and uncovers the many benefits that come with it. Starting again in a Universe where Grindelwald is the Dark Lord that killed her parents, what will Scarlett do differently?
Disclaimer: I don't own anything. Some scenes were inspired by other fanfiction writers... if anything has been done before I most likely have gotten my ideas from there.
Warning: Some blood and violence.
A/N: Sorry about the delay in getting this out to you. I wrote and rewrote the ending to this chapter and now I'm finally sort of satisfied with it. Thank you for all the reviews and the favouriting and following! I hope you enjoy this!
Now on with the story:
Part 1 - Chapter 7
Scarlett tuned Hermione out as she rambled on about flying tips that she'd read in Quidditch Through the Ages. The girl was extremely nervous about their first flying lesson that afternoon and was getting Neville panicked about the whole thing as well. He was much more confident thanks to Scarlett's tutelage but he was still timid and unsure of himself. Scarlett knew that he'd grow out of it eventually, but it was still a problem in situations such as this one. Ron also wasn't helping matters, boasting about his escapades on Charlie's old broom to anyone who would listen to him, smugly prattling on about natural talent and the art of flying.
Scarlett simply chose to ignore them all. She was looking forward to flying again even though she knew it wouldn't be the same on the school's ancient broomsticks, but she would make do. She couldn't wait to feel the wind on her face as she soared into the air. Who knows, maybe if she was impressive enough she'd manage to get back on the Gryffindor team again.
So, at exactly three-thirty that afternoon, it was an enthusiastic Scarlett, an almost skipping Ron and a glum Neville and Hermione that headed outside for their first flying lesson. The Slytherins and their other fellow Gryffindors were already there and so were the broomsticks lying in neat rows on the ground. Scarlett looked at the latter sadly, they really were in bad conditions. It was probably for the best that she couldn't pick up too much speed so that she wasn't tempted to do any overly dangerous stunts during her 'first' time on a broom.
As soon as they reached their classmates, Hooch immediately ordered them to stand by a broomstick and to stop wasting time. The woman was as pleasant as Scarlett remembered.
As her friends rushed to find a broom, Scarlett walked calmly to the one nearest to her, noting mournfully that it was one of the older models. Some of its twigs were sticking out at odd angles and the handle looked like it hadn't been polished in over a decade.
"Stick out your right hand over your broom and say 'Up!'" Hooch instructed from the front.
Shouts of 'UP' started to be heard, but most people seemed to be having trouble with the seemingly simple instruction. Scarlett grinned and held her hand over her broom, causing it to fly into her waiting palm like an eager puppy. She hadn't needed to say a word. It was all in the intent behind the command after all.
"Very good Miss Potter!" Hooch praised. "What is everyone else waiting for? Chop chop!"
Scarlett smiled shyly and observed everyone else's progress. Hermione's broom had barely twitched and Neville's hadn't moved at all. Scarlett couldn't contain a laugh when, after a particularly angry cry from Ron, his broom whacked him in the face and then fell straight back to the ground. Ron glared at everyone and manually picked up the broom muttering angrily to himself the whole time.
Draco seemed to be trying to contain himself from snickering at the spectacle and settled for looking smugly around the field, clutching his broom that had responded to his first command. Scarlett winked at him, causing him to blush and almost drop the acquired broomstick. At Scarlett's laugh Draco's blush became even stronger and he settled for glaring at Daphne Greengrass who had been sharing an amused smirk with the Girl-Who-Lived.
Draco had been the one to introduce Scarlett to Daphne and he seemed to have been regretting it ever since. The two girls had hit it off straight away and they had become fast friends taking a sadistic pleasure in making fun of Draco whenever they could.
Scarlett never would have thought that she'd become such good friends with Slytherins but there you go. However, Draco and Daphne were the exception as most Slytherins strongly disliked her, mostly due to her perceived Lightness. Her number one nonfan was Pansy Parkinson who had developed an intense hatred for Scarlett from the moment she'd seen her talking to Draco. Scarlett just assumed that she was jealous of her friendship with the boy. It was clear that Pansy fancied Draco and didn't like his closeness with Scarlett. Pansy would sneer and scowl whenever she saw the Girl-Who-Lived and a few times she'd even tried hexing her to no avail. And sure enough, Scarlett could feel Pansy's glare now as she watched their interactions. Scarlett just smiled, which seemed to anger the other girl even more.
Once everyone had finally managed to pick up their brooms and mount them correctly, Hooch instructed them to hover above the ground for a few seconds and then return straight back down. She blew her whistle and everyone slowly rose into the air, everyone aside from Neville. Having been exceptionally nervous and worried that he wouldn't actually lift up into the air, he had pushed off extremely hard as soon as the whistle sounded and skyrocketed into the sky.
"Come back down this instant!" Hooch shouted, not actually doing anything useful to help the poor boy.
As the rest of the class landed safely back on the ground, Neville kept rising straight up, going higher and higher. Scarlett could see his pale face looking down at the ground as it got further and further away. Their eyes met and she saw a plea in them, he was looking to her to save him. So, instead of angling her broom downwards, Scarlett acted like the rash Gryffindor that she was supposed to be and raced after her terrified friend. She could catch a snitch, so why not a boy?
"Potter, what do you think you're doing?"
Scarlett ignored Hooch's angry shout and flew faster and faster towards Neville. She reached him in no time, but just as she grabbed his broom to try and steady him, the clumsy boy upset his balance and slipped off.
Tom was sat at his desk, marking homework, when he happened to glance outside his window. He did a double take when he saw the Longbottom Heir flying higher and higher, looking extremely panicked. Tom wandered over to the window to see how Rolanda would handle the situation, he was sure that she wouldn't be quick enough to stop his fall.
He hadn't been prepared to see Scarlett Potter rashly racing after the idiot boy. What did the girl think she was doing? She'd never even ridden a broom before! Just as Potter reached Longbottom, making Tom believe for a split second that her hare-brained rescue attempt would actually be successful, the boy slipped off his broom and started falling.
Instead of giving up, like any normal person would have done, Potter only seemed even more determined. The stupid girl angled her broom to the ground and flew after the idiot boy as fast as she could. Tom was sure that both children would shortly be admitted to the Hospital Wing, potentially dead. Tom felt a small pang in his chest at the thought that Potter was about to die.
It must be relief.
Miraculously however, the girl managed to somehow reach Longbottom in time and catch him around the waist just seconds before he crashed to the ground. In an impressive show of strength or perhaps an impressive wandless and wordless lightening charm, Potter pulled the boy onto the back of her broom as she skimmed the grass with the tip of her toes and flew back up into the air, laughing victoriously.
Tom was furious. He'd never seen anyone be so stupidly reckless! She was so close to dying! Tom stopped to analyse his feelings. Yes, he must be so angry because she didn't actually die and therefore she would still be his problem to deal with. He hadn't been worried. Not at all.
Scarlett Potter had to die after all.
McGonagall was running towards them looking enraged.
Scarlett gulped and gently lowered herself and Neville back to the ground. As soon as his feet touched the grass, Neville took a few shaky steps, trembling from head to toe and promptly threw up his lunch. Scarlett grimaced. At least he hadn't been sick on her.
"How dare you! You could have broken your neck! Both your necks!"
McGonagall's angry words distracted her from poor Neville who would definitely be needing a calming potion.
"I'm sorry Professor," Scarlett tried to look abashed. "Neville is one of my best friends and when I saw him in danger… I just reacted, I didn't think. I'm sorry for worrying you. I just didn't want him to get hurt."
Scarlett had needed quite a bit of wandless magic to slow Neville's descent and then lighten him enough to be able to lift him onto her broom. In retrospect, it would have probably been easier if she simply cushioned his fall, but she sometimes still forgot to think before rushing into action and she'd already been on her broom…
"I had the situation completely under control," Hooch interjected. Scarlett had to refrain from sneering at her. She was utterly useless. Scarlett wouldn't have been surprised if the Flying teacher was actually a squib. In fact, she'd never seen her perform any kind of magic and she'd definitely not helped Neville in her other life.
McGonagall seemed to share her opinion because she actually did sneer and completely ignored her colleague.
"Granger take Longbottom to the infirmary, he needs a calming potion at the very least," she said. "Potter, follow me."
Scarlett trailed after her Head of House with a worried expression on her face. She was only partially acting. She hoped that she would be made seeker again, but there was a possibility that she was actually in trouble. What she'd done had been incredibly dangerous after all and if she hadn't been able to perform those wandless charms her and Neville would probably be dead now. Well, just Neville as she couldn't actually die, but still.
DO NOT OPEN THE PARCEL AT THE TABLE!
It contains your new Nimbus Two Thousand, but I don't want everybody knowing you've got a broomstick or they'll all want one. Oliver Wood will meet you tonight on the Quidditch field at seven o' clock for your first training session.
Scarlett read over the note in amusement before handing it over to her friends who were looking at her curiously. They'd all been extremely worried that she was going to be expelled for her little stunt and had been completely shocked to find out that she would be the new Gryffindor seeker.
"But first years never get on the team…"
"You must be the youngest house player in forever…"
"You didn't even lose any house points?"
Ron, Neville and Hermione had all started speaking at the same time.
Scarlett had simply wiggled her eyebrows mischievously and shrugged nonchalantly.
"McGonagall felt that I'd performed an act of heroism so no punishment was required, plus apparently Gryffindor was in dire need of a good seeker and she felt that I would perfect for it. And don't be silly Neville I'll only be the youngest house player in about a century," she smirked at their gobsmacked faces. "McGonagall told me."
Neville, Ron and Hermione had all just sat and gaped at her. Scarlett had chuckled in amusement at their expressions, but she couldn't help but detect the jealousy that Ron had been trying to hide. She wondered if it had been there the first-time round and she simply hadn't picked up on it or if this Ron was different from her own. She could almost taste his bitterness now as he looked at her parcel containing the latest broom model.
"I wonder what could be in this broomstick shaped package?" Scarlett asked her friends, laughing.
Ron tried to hide a scowl whilst Neville and Hermione just shook their heads at her antics.
"Is that a broomstick?" Draco asked wide eyed as he ran into Scarlett, her friends and the Bloody Baron, on their way back to the Gryffindor tower. He was accompanied by Daphne and Parkinson. The latter was glaring at Scarlett as usual but seemed too intimidated by her House ghost to do anything else.
"It's not just any old broomstick Malfoy," Ron couldn't resist the chance for a jibe. "It's a Nimbus Two Thousand. What did you say you had? A Comet Two Sixty? Not really in the same league, is it?"
"Nice Scarlett! Not bad!" Draco smiled warmly at her before turning his gaze towards Ron and sneering. "A Comet Two Sixty is much better than anything you could afford Weasley. What do you have? A couple of twigs tied together with a bit of rope? Or is that out of your price range as well?"
Scarlett sighed, waiting for the explosion and sure enough Ron lunged forwards and tried to punch Draco in the face. Scarlett was mildly impressed when Draco elegantly sidestepped the attack making Ron fall to the floor in an undignified heap. Thankfully, before things could escalate further, a teacher appeared around the corner. Perhaps not so thankfully, that teacher was Snape.
"What is going on here?" He sneered, surveying the situation. "Ten points from Gryffindor Potter for starting fights in the corridor."
Scarlett didn't react to the comment, by now used to his bias towards her. Her friends on the other hand, were not at all happy with the unfair situation. Whilst Parkinson smirked smugly to herself, Hermione stared at their professor in disbelief, Ron and Neville bristled and Draco actually glared rather menacingly. However, it was the Bloody Baron that had the best reaction: the air around him became frosty, almost as if a dementor had been nearby, and his chains rattled ominously.
"Severus," he said in a chilling tone, causing the Potions Master to pale slightly. "I witnessed the whole incident and Scarlett did absolutely nothing. It was Mister Weasley and Mister Malfoy that were involved in the confrontation, something that should have been obvious since they are the ones you caught fighting. I suggest that next time you assess the situation properly before handing out biased, unfair punishments to innocent students."
Scarlett would forever treasure Snape's gobsmacked expression.
Oliver Wood walked towards the Quidditch pitch at a measured pace. McGonagall had saddled him with a first year as a seeker. Apparently, the Girl-Who-Lived had performed a fifty-foot dive to save her friend that had fallen off his broom. Oliver was sceptical. He'd told McGonagall that he'd give her a try but that she'd be booted off the team immediately if she wasn't up to his standards. He didn't care about her fame, he was only interested in her supposed talents. According to McGonagall the girl was a natural.
The truth was that the Gryffindor team desperately needed a good seeker otherwise they'd stand no chance in the upcoming matches. It made no difference if the rest of the team was in top shape if one of the key team members sucked.
As he neared the pitch, Oliver spied a small figure zooming around at incredible speed. 'That must be Potter,' he thought. 'Not bad.' Suddenly the girl started flying vertically towards the ground at breakneck speed, not stopping until she was inches from the ground, at which point she elegantly pulled up with a joyful whoop and flew up into the air again. She'd just executed a perfect Wronski Feint and she was only eleven.
To say that Oliver was ecstatic would be a sever understatement.
He clapped enthusiastically and Potter immediately noticed him. She twirled in the air and gave a mocking bow before flying over to him.
"Very nice," he said to her. "I can see why McGonagall wanted you on the team. Now let's see what else you can do."
Oliver waved a huge bag of golf balls in the air and smirked at Potter. She smiled back and proceeded to catch every single one of them. Oliver was on cloud nine. They would definitely win the Quidditch Cup this year!
Neither of them noticed unfathomable black eyes watching the entire practice session from the Defence classroom window.
The days passed quickly at Hogwarts and Scarlett had easily settled into a pleasant routine, juggling classes, Quidditch, homework and friends. It certainly helped that she knew all of the material already and had the time to explore the Hogwarts library to inform herself on new subjects such as healing and alchemy.
The one class that she anticipated every week was DADA as it was completely different to any other Defence class she had had in her previous life. The material was still extremely easy for her but she loved watching Riddle teach and feeling his dark, Dark magic as it flowed around the classroom.
Scarlett had also grown extremely fond of Nagini who would curl herself around her and her chair so that she could pet her during lessons. It was extremely amusing to listen to Riddle's attempts at getting his familiar to leave the Girl-Who-Lived alone only to be completely ignored by the giant reptile, who would just tighten her hold on Scarlett and demand that Riddle remind her to go visit her outside of classes from time to time. Needless to say, Riddle never heeded Nagini's requests.
Scarlett had come very close to revealing her Parseltongue abilities quite a few times, mostly by accident as she still struggled to control when she switched between the two, but luckily there hadn't been any major slip ups and she had managed to keep her secret for the time being. Scarlett wanted to be able to talk to Nagini and she worried that the snake would be angry with her for having kept her noble gift a secret, but she wasn't ready to reveal her abilities to the Dark Lord quite yet so she waited and hoped that the snake would eventually forgive her.
Meanwhile, outside of classes, the ghosts had finally gotten used to her other strange ability of being able to touch them and didn't insist on accompanying her everywhere anymore; although, she could still sometimes be found enjoying a stroll through the ancient castle with the Bloody Baron or having a cup of tea with Sir Nicholas, or Barry and Nick as she'd fondly nicknamed them.
Nick had been extremely upset when she'd declined his invitation to his annual Deathday party; however, she'd appeased him by explaining that she didn't want to miss the first big celebration after the opening feast and promising to attend the following year instead.
In truth, Scarlett couldn't care less about the festivities, especially since Dumbledore had replaced the traditional Samhain celebrations with the muggle tradition of Halloween. Disgusting. As if children needed more reasons to gorge themselves on sweets. Anyway, the real reason why Scarlett wanted to be in the Great Hall on that particular day was that she wanted to see if Quirrellwald would do anything. She hoped he would, it would make the whole evening much more exciting.
Scarlett was not disappointed. Half way through the feast, Quirrell burst through the doors looking absolutely terrified.
"TROLL! Troll in the dungeons! Thought you ought to know..." he shrieked as he fell to the floor in a dead faint. Scarlett had to admit that he was a good actor, although he had forgotten to stutter...
The hall fell into a shocked silence for a second and then the screaming started. It was a complete pandemonium.
Scarlett simply sat back and smiled. She loved chaos.
Tom noticed the tinge of aquamarine blue in Quirrell's eyes just before he 'fainted'. He couldn't believe the idiot. Grindelwald had come to Hogwarts. Tom jumped over the table and leaned into Quirrell pretending to check his pulse.
"You moron! What are you doing possessing Quirrell right under Dumbledore's nose? Do you want to be caught?"
Tom couldn't believe Grindelwald had pulled such a stunt, all because he was too impatient to wait for him to steal the stone. He'd probably just wanted to see Dumbledore again. Tom shuddered. How Grindelwald could still be pining after his old lover he would never understand.
Not getting a response from the Dark Lord in disguise, Tom left him on the floor and walked quickly to the doors to try and stop the troll before it destroyed half of Hogwarts. As he passed Scarlett, he caught her eye and she smirked knowingly at him. Tom's step faltered slightly. Why was she looking at him like that? Why wasn't she screaming like the others? She seemed to be enjoying the mass hysteria...
He was snapped out of his thoughts as Dumbledore let off several purple firecrackers from the end of his wand to regain silence. He'd worry about Potter later, he thought as he rushed out the room.
Neville, Ron, Hermione and Scarlett followed diligently behind Percy as he led all the Gryffindor first years back to their dormitory. Groups of terrified students were running in all directions like headless chickens and Scarlett mentally rolled her eyes at their childish behaviour. It was only a troll!
Suddenly a group of Ravenclaws ran past them, knocking Scarlett off her feet. As luck would have it the stairs chose that moment to move causing her to go tumbling down three flights of stairs, her fall going unnoticed in all the commotion. Scarlett heard a deafening crack as she landed on her wand arm, her head hitting the floor soon after. Her vision blurred and she blacked out completely.
Tom rounded a corner, following the troll's stench. He had gone to the dungeons but the troll had since moved from there and it had taken Tom a while to track it down again. A loud pained scream made him hurry along but he froze when he realised exactly who had been screaming.
Potter was lying in a pool of blood that seemed to have come from her head, her wand arm was bent at a completely unnatural angle and she was wheezing. Tom deduced that the troll must have gotten her in the stomach with his club, that didn't explain her other injuries though.
The idiotic girl had decided to go after the troll on her own. How stupidly Gryffindor. Tom must have overestimated her abilities since a measly troll had managed to reduce her to this. How weak. She was going to be killed by one of the least intelligent beasts on the planet.
Tom felt an uncomfortable pang in his chest as he realised that this was the moment when the Girl-Who-Lived would die. She was helpless against the troll and Tom would not be helping her because she was his enemy.
Scarlett Potter has to die, he reminded himself.
The troll swung his club again and Potter tried to duck out of the way, but her movements were sluggish, most likely due to a concussion. She managed to avoid a hit to the head but the troll got her right shoulder instead, bending that arm even more out of shape. Tom's magic surged forward of its own accord to try and help the petite girl but he pulled it back at the last minute. He clenched his fists. He would have no weaknesses.
Scarlett Potter had to die.
At the surge of his magic Potter's eyes had snapped up and met his. He saw the moment that she realised that he was willing to let her die. Her eyes widened but she didn't seem overly surprised, as though she had expected him to leave her to her death. She laid back suddenly and took a deep breath as if resigned to her fate. Her eyes never left his and she looked so vulnerable in that moment that Tom barely managed to restrain himself from ripping the stupid troll to shreds. He realised in that moment that perhaps he was starting to grow attached to the little puzzle with so many secrets. It was probably for the best that she would die tonight or he'd risk being negatively affected by her death in the future due to the soulbond.
The troll raised his club again and Potter was still staring straight into his eyes.
He didn't care, Tom told himself. She has to die, he reminded himself yet again.
The club rained down and Potter's eyes flashed Avada Kedavra green.
Tom didn't move. She had to die. He repeated it like a mantra in his head.
Scarlett Potter had to die.
A/N: What did you guys think? Things are finally moving along and it seems that Scarlett's ability to survive death is about to be put to the test. Or is it? :P Leave a review if you can :D
Coming up: is Death's Mistress really going to be beaten by a troll?