Soo… I should probably be writing something else but my muse remembered KHR fandom and insisted on me writing stuff here as well… Ideally one of those Harry-is-Skull fics. Even better if Skull would explode after one too many bullying session from his fellow Elements… Well. Since I still simply cannot write somehow realistic victim… I wrote this. Enjoy o/
Disclaimer: KHR belongs to Amano-sensei and her publishers. Harry Potter belongs to J. and her publishers. Idea's mine
Beta read by CrystalSeeker
√ -√v-√ -√v—
First there was Freak. A little girl sleeping in a cupboard. Hungry, dirty, and serving her… "family" when called for. Freak was small, quiet, unassuming, but Freak wasn't stupid. She was smart and determined to survive no matter what. So Freak learned. Freak learned how to do chores efficiently, and how to remain unnoticed by her "dear family". She learned to pick the lock in her cupboard and how to steal just enough food to not be noticed, and yet still enough to quench the hunger. Freak learned how to read and write and do basic equations by eavesdropping on the lessons her "aunt" gave to her "cousin". She learned how to run fast and long as to not be caught in Freak-hunting. She learned how to leave to the city unnoticed and how to find a good victim to pickpocket. Freak learned how to lie through her teeth when stopped on the street by "concerned" adults, how to steal things unnoticed, and how to buy things she could safely say were her "cousin's" old clothes. Freak learned where to buy new clothes and where to stash them safely. Oh Freak's lessons didn't come in cheaply… Freak screwed up. A lot. Freak was caught stealing, had to run from the police or just those suspicious over her presence in the area. Freak was hungry, thirsty and tired more ofeten than not. But finally Freak succeeded. Freak learned how to plan and how to survive. Then Freak went to school, and Freak became someone else.
Freak became "Miss Potter".
√ -√v-√ -√v—
Rose Potter was a schoolgirl, and yet, she was still a Freak. She still slept in her cupboard, still wore Dudley's cast offs. She still went off on weekends to steal and gather money for when she'll be free from the Dursleys.
Rose Potter was a schoolgirl, but she was still small, still unassuming, still quiet. She, however, was also a bright one. She loved learning, maybe not math and science, but any language she could find she made sure to learn as best as she could with only a library and herself. She spent hours learning everything she could with the books she got her hands on, trying to reach fluency, but how could she? Without proper teachers or someone she could practice her accents with other than the librarian and movies in different languages, it wasn't possible. She didn't let herself dwell on it, what more can you do than move forward?
Rose Potter was a sports girl. She was fast, she was durable, and she was strong. She became part of the track team, taking to gymnastics as well. All of this in secret from the Dursleys, of course. After all, even with becoming Rose Potter, she was still Freak, and Freak knew that the Dursleys would not allow her to be good at what she was doing. So, she hid it from them.
It was Rose Potter that learned why she was Freak, why she was so hated. She found a… thing. A thing that made miracles happen, but only for her. When she really, really wanted something to happen, it did. And Freak knew how needed advantages were, so Rose started to practice. She learned to do little things, like making things float or come to her. She learned how to make herself unnoticed.
And when she learned that there were people out there that would make her scream from pain just for their own amusement, Rose learned how to protect herself. How to make them forget her, how to make them jump in front of a car or from a bridge. Rose learned that they wouldn't bother her anymore.
Rose didn't learn what she was doing to them.
It was Rose Potter that managed to make her very first, although tentative, friend. Not with another child, no… with a retired soldier living two streets from Privet Drive. Colonel Flint made sure Rose Potter knew how to survive. Whether it were from the Dursleys or when she finally ran away. He even helped her make some plans. Colonel Flint was a hard man, but caring in all the ways that counted. With his help Rose stopped being Freak. With his help Rose learned how to protect herself with something more than the 'thing' that made things happen. With his help Rose learned how to use a knife and how to dodge a punch. How to escape should she be caught, and where to hit to make sure it hurt. With his help Rose learned what killing was and what it did to a person. With his help Rose learned that sometimes it was better to kill, and so Rose Potter lived her life. Doing chores at Dursley's house, going to school, training with her team, staying in the library… and running away from Dudley Dursley.
Then happened something that had never happened before, Rose Potter got a letter. She took one look at it and hid it under "her" clothes. She went through her entire routine and didn't dare take it out until she was safely tucked in her favorite corner of the library. Only then did she take her first good look at the envelope. It was an expensive thing, something that would make her… guardian, Vernon Dursley, very happy and proud to be the recipient of. Then Rose took another look at the address it was sent to and she became angry. For there, in complicated lettering, was the place she had been forced to live all her life.
Miss. Rose Potter
Privet Drive 4
Cupboard under the stairs
Someone knew… Someone knew exactly in what conditions she was living in, and rather than offer her help, they send an expensive looking envelope. That meant someone wanted her to stay that way. It meant that she had gotten her very first real enemy. An enemy she was going to out think. Someone she was going to outmaneuver and make them bow down to her. She fell back on Colonel Flint's training, squashing her anger and reading the mission briefing. Maybe it was more of a list of demands from terrorists? (Years later, the girl who was once Rose Potter would look back at that moment and laugh bitterly at how very right she was.) She opened the envelope and brought out both pages of the letter. The words were again written in elaborate lettering that could only have been made possible with years of using a quill and calligraphy.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
Dear Ms. Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find within the letter a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on the 1st of September. We await your owl by no later than 31 July.
She snorted derisively and took a look at the other page.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
First-year students will require:
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat for day wear (black)
3. One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak (black, with silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry name tags.
All students should have a copy of each of the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring, if they desire, an owl OR a cat OR a toad.
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS
ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICK
Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions
That letter was what made her think. They wanted Rose Potter. They knew Rose Potter and were sure they could win against Rose Potter. So it was time to become someone else. Someone new, but first, she needed to find out if it was true. If magical worlds were real.
She went out to the streets, asked around about strange people and strange places. She listened in to countless conversation, and just as she was ready to give up and ask the one who sent that letter, or write it all of as some kind of a prank, she found a small dirty pub that no one really paid attention to. Strangely clothed people were coming in and out of it. Rose Potter went inside and learned about magic for the first time. She managed to play herself off as a "witch" from Germany (the librarian that took care of her spoke language fluently, so she was able to pretend to be native) wanting to do some shopping and could nice 'Herr Tom' let her in?He did. And so Rose have seen Diagon Alley for the first time. The Alley was full of those small, inviting shops and boutiques, with few cafes here and there… Rose spend some time just walking around the Alley and getting a feel of it. She recognized a bank in one of the buildings (a bit hard not to, it was just that ostentatious, all white marble and gold) and went right in.
There after she had a chat with her account manager, (Rose Potter was apparently rich and famous enough to have account manager,) Rose Potter learned she had living family. There she had her first meeting with a healer (or any kind of doctor, really) and a scan on her core. Goblins of Gringotts (and isn't it interesting that Witches and Wizards allowed their entire finances to be managed by some other race?) found that her very core was bound and damaged… And that they have means to heal it (at the price of course). Rose Potter was released from bindings on her core, from a soul shard in her scar and from wards someone had put on her. Rose Potter was put to rest that day.
And Dorea Black was born.
√ -√v-√ -√v—
Dorea Black was a witch. Granddaughter of Dorea Potter nee Black and Charlus Potter, daughter of James Charlus Potter and Liliana Iris Potter nee Evans, and blood adopted daughter of Sirius Black. She had her own house since her "poor grandmother" Walburga had died a few years back.
Dorea Black was a metamorphomagus like the best of her House. She created her 'public' persona of 'Dorea Black', silver eyed, black haired, sharp boned child princess of her House with famous scar hidden away from the sigh by judiciously put make up, while still remembering to maintain her Rose Potter visage – heban-like hair, green, green, emerald even eyes and scar visible for everyone to see. She was a parselmouth, and she was smart enough to hide both her gifts so deeply that no one would ever even suspect the idea of them.
Dorea Black was resourceful. She went straight to the town house that now belonged to her, found an elf, (Blacks can't name for shit… like seriously, why would one name house elf "Kreacher"?), and immediately set it to work. The elf cleaned the house properly and brought her books on the inheritance of the House of Black. She needed to find out who was the heir at the moment, and if she could challenge it. Technically, she was the only daughter of the oldest grandchild in the male line of previous lords.
Dorea Black was cunning. She found out what she needed to do to challenge the heirship from her "dear father". It was easy to go to the Gringotts and do it. She became the heiress with access to the trust vault only for the heir's use and limited access to the family vault. Dorea also bought a wand for herself, not at much more popular Olivander of course… Blacks had longstanding patronage over a little known wand makers specialized in custom fitted wands. Dorea left 'Frump wand makers' with a fitting black wand that was a mix of Cipres and Elder wood. One wood acknowledged the need to sacrifice something, either the users themselves or others to reach the target, and the other symbolized death itself. The core was from a thestral's heart, fit for ritualistic, dark, and black magic. Ready to spring into battle and paint the world red in the sacrifices of the other side. A fitting wand for the heiress of the Most Ancient and Most Noble House of Black.
While Rose Potter could be safely called a sponge for knowledge, Dorea Black was even worse. She employed tutors for herself to learn everything an heiress of the family needed to know. She also learned anything and everything the first and second years in Hogwarts could teach her.
Dorea Black was anything but not committed. Knowing that sooner or later one or more of her tutors would start questioning why was Heiress of the House staying in what was barely a Town House, she managed to create and maintain the ruse of her coming to the Town House for her lessons while still living with a responsible adult. She learned the proper behavior and etiquette for a young lady of her statue. She did things like posture training, dance, speech and art. She of course also had magic lessons; standard coursework for transfiguration, charms and curses, potions, and herbology, but only in theoretical lessons. She learned magical defence and history, and then geared towards black magic. Battle magicks, occlumency and legilimency, (Only after making sure her teacher would never be able to use the knowledge from her mind in any way. Merlin bless magical solicitors and binding contracts). She was taught about dark magic, scrying, runes and arithmancy. Later, when she was properly emancipated, she learned warding, blood magics, invocation and necromancy.
Dorea Black had also enough foresight to know that wizarding sheep will never leave her alone. So Dorea Black hid under the guise of Rose Potter at Hogwarts. She did all that was expected from her. She got sorted into Gryffindor, (arguing with the stupid Hat was a bitch and a half), and made friends with a boy from a known light, and poor family (and by Hekate she was the happiest schoolgirl in the entire castle when Ronald finally did something stupid enough that she could ditch him with the entire castle behind her.) She started hanging out with Neville after that. He was better friend material, and hanging out with him "proved" that she didn't care about magical proves, especially after she purposely let it slip how she "just found out" they were god siblings. She also made friends with the muggleborn girl that was shunned by rest of the school for her intellect. (It made her cackle in glee at the thought of the faces of all those idiots when Hermione Granger will finally grow into herself. She'll be a force a nature, with her intellect and passion. And she'll be firmly on her side by then.)
Hermione was surprisingly loyal after getting beaten up with a hammer of "look what's wrong with this school! Whose fault do you think it is?" (Even years later, when she had shed that name and the name after that, she still cracked up at the memory of a young, and naive Hermione being more worried about being expelled than dead.) Dorea went and fought a troll to save her friend, (and blew up at McGonagall for not noticing one of her first years wasn't there during the feast). She "befriended" Hagrid, (the charming, chivalrous Girl-Who-Lived had to give a chance to the golden hearted idiot in Dumbles pocket). She even went and "saved" the Philosopher Stone or at least tried since poor thing got shattered in her struggle against Dumbledore's own defense teacher. (She stole it. Of course she stole it. There was no way she'd allow the bastard in the golden throne to keep that kind of priceless artifact.) Then she sent it back to it's owner. Acquiring a debt from Nicolas Flamel, (she later got him to agree to teach her Alchemy,) was worth more than having the stone and not being able to use it. She was a Black, Black's aren't stupid. Dorea Black killed her "teacher" as an eleven year old, (he disintegrated in purple flames under her hands) but she was just send back home like a good little girl, (she wasn't offered any help! She killed a man and she wasn't even offered a therapist! What was wrong with those people?!)
The first year in Hogwarts set the course for the rest of her "education". Holidays were spent learning what the school should be teaching her, learning information and control over the purple flame, (Goblins told her that Wizards called it Soul Fire, hers was of the amethyst variant, The Protector.) She made a few discreet trips to the muggle side or other magical enclaves, (they were a little less sheeply outside of Britain, she'll give them that), and during the school year she tried to learn more battle magics and survive the dangers that lurked in the "safest place in magical Britain".
She was fortunately smart enough to erase the black mamba that that idiotic cousin of her conjured at the so called Dueling Club, (seriously what was Draconis thinking? Summoning something more dangerous than a pixie in the middle of the Great Hall with Lockhart as a teacher?!) After that, she was the one to go and save the Weaselettes from the chamber (she liked the twins, alright?), poor Neville had to deal with that lying excuse of a teacher they had that year, (She wasn't really sure she wanted him to know she could speak parsel.) She was the one to kill the thousand years old basilisk (and later claim the corpse for her own use, goblins were most accommodating when they learned she had slayed the beast with a sword and not a wand.) She got enough skin that she could get armor from its hide for almost every phase of her growth. She was also quick to ask goblins for lessons in sword wielding just after year end, just in case.
Her third year was surprisingly tame when it came to magical surprises. Other than the news of her "dear father" escaping from the Azkaban, of course. She was able to take additional lessons in Hogwarts then, she took arithmacy, ancient runes and care of magical creatures as her electives, (first two to have a proper grounding in her summer studies, last one just for fun.) She was the only one in recorded history to learn the Patronus charm at 13 years old (who decided that putting dementors as guards around children was a good idea?) Listening to her mother's dying words was enough for her to not only to learn how to repeal the creatures with Patronus, but also how to kill them. Unfortunately killing dementors was one of the easiest spells for budding necromancers so she couldn't really flaunt that kind of knowledge in Britain (necromancy was illegal there… Why would someone outlaw branch of magic that would be so useful when finding the culprit of a murder?) She was also the first one to ever, borrow successfully something from the twins. The map she got from them was ingenious (the map showed her curiosity in the form of the name of Peter Pettingrew, which she was more than happy to point out to Aurors.) She was happy when Sirius Black was declared innocent, (it looked like something was finally going right) and she was furious when she was the one to find his kissed form when he was invited to speak with her. She destroyed Knot (stupid people shouldn't become ministers of magic) politically for allowing that to happen. After all what was a politician against national hero? She demanded to be declared emancipated after the Ministry killed her own Godfather. Her emancipation was processed in record time.
Her Fourth Year of formal education… well… the less that is spoken about that year, the better for her nerves. Dorea Black loved flying, but was honestly not interested in Quidditch. She luckily evaded all that drama at the Quidditch World Cup. She did not, however, evade being entered into Triwizard Tournament, (She made a vow in the middle of the Grand Hall that she did not enter herself, did not ask to be entered, and is generally an unwilling participant.) She lit into teachers for allowing her life to be placed in danger in their school, again, along with ostentatiously asking Madame Maxime of Beauxbatons Academy of Magic about the possibility of enrolment after the year's end. She dealt with the press that tried to get her to say something monumentally stupid, but never succeeded. (Thank Hekate for the journals of Regulus Black who wrote down how his girlfriend at the time, Rita Nuovo, became a beetle animagus and how she dangled her ability over Skeeter when she tried to write one of those famous articles about her.) In the First Task she stole a golden egg from a nesting dragon. She outflew it, and when the dragoness broke free from her binds and lunged after her, Dorea Black shed her mask a little and threw her most powerful cutting curse (magnified by her soul fire) she could achieve and beheaded the beast.
She also immediately claimed the corpse, (again, goblins were most helpful.) and she survived (somehow) the Yule Ball on the arm of Viktor Krum. (It seemed being able to pierce magic resistant hide of a dragon made her the most interesting girl in the castle, she was sure that being able to challenge him on a broom didn't hurt either.) Second Task wasn't better than the first one… She had to swim through the Black Lake to release her godbrother from his binds. She even managed to accuse the organizers of kidnapping the Heir of The Ancient and Most Noble House of Longbottom, Regent Longbottom was most helpful in tearing them another one for that. Third Task… Oh well… She survived the Labyrinth and all of Hagrid's pets inside, (seriously, fuck those 'screwts'.) She stood eye to eye with old Voldy again (well… kinda? She did look at the thing that insisted to be Voldy before getting the fuck away from that place) and only took one look at the cemetery she had been deposited in with said dark lord before portkeying out with her emergency escape route, straight in the middle of London. She came back to the school with a tale about a crazy man in Death Eater robes waiting for her and attacking her the moment she landed, about her escape and that no, she doesn't know the name of the one who kidnapped her. Even with Dumbledore trying to claim that 'crazy man in Death Eater' robes was in fact 'deceased' Dark Lord Voldemort Minister didn't believe him. Neither did Wizengamot (so called the wisest wizards in Britain… One big tea party for Lords of titled houses). Nonetheless the Ministry went to arms about people trying to disrupt their peace.
Dorea Black's word was as good as gold, she did withdraw from Hogwarts when it came to light that a Death Eater was impersonating a teacher. Bartemius Crouch Jr had escaped from Auror's custody, (seriously, what the fuck, Britain?). She enrolled into Beauxbatons, (she loved the airy, bright palace the academy was in) and spent her last 3 years in the academy learning everything she could ever need. From the ways of seduction and etiquette to ward breaking and the knowledge about soul fire. Soul fire was just common enough in France for a teacher in that field of knowledge to be employed in the Academy. She did this all while working with the goblins on ridding the world of Voldemort via horcrux hunting. The goblins did most of the job, but because of all the bad blood they had with wizards and witches, they needed to have a nice, human face as to not start another war for killing "upstanding citizen". The girl called by people - Rose Potter could safely kill the Dark Lord terrorising Great Britain. They couldn't. She also learned about her ancestry, about Potter's history. She discovered the history of the Peverells and the curse they carried with the name of Deathly Hallows.
After Dumbledore's death Voldemort took control over the magical Britain and the sheep started looking for The-Girl-Who-Lived to save them again. The old coot even had the guts to send her a Resurrection Stone in ring form with his will. (Such a shame that bastard Snape killed him before she could raise the wand herself.) She almost burst out laughing after reading articles begging for help from her, (she was in the middle of raising blood wards on her sword when the post came) but she agreed. The things she could get away with as a saviour… oh well.
Dorea Black stood between Death Eaters and Hogwarts itself. With other teenagers behind her, ready to spring in action, to help the girl they remembered from school. With teachers they had all given up on, with the Order blaming her for not being there and saving Dumbledore. Hermione was on her left, reciting to her everything she knew about the situation. Neville was on her right, proud, fearless, standing next to them knowing very well that it could be their last battle together.
Dorea Black claimed Hogwarts and everyone inside as Hers, and then went and challenged Voldemort for a duel. The winner took everything.
A 17 year old girl, with messy black locks and avada green eyes stood between the "darkest lord of the century" and children believing in her. She duelled with said Dark Lord, using everything she knew about magic, every single trick her old friend Colonel Flint had taught her, every single dark spell found in the Black Library. She used necromantic spells designed to hit straight into his soul and alchemic spells, attacking him from every direction.
She was good, She was determined. She was furious… She still got hit by the Killing Curse.
Dorea Black closed her eyes when the curse landed.
√ -√v-√ -√v—
Alexis Peverell opened them not a second later and snapped the very same curse back. Then she took up his wand.
Alexis Peverell was the last of Potter's main house. The only living to be able to claim to come from Peverell's blood. A Lady of Magic in her own right, though with the mess the last Light Lord of Magic and Dark Lord of Magic left? Alexis hid it. She hid it all behind the rest of the mask of Rose Potter.
Alexis Peverell was responsible. Right after killing Voldemort she claimed all the marked Death Eaters and made sure to order them in plain sight of those watching the battle. Aurors and the ex-minister came just a "bit" too late to be in any way useful, but just in time to try and seize control over situation. Pity it didn't work… She used the Death Eaters to rebuild Magical Britain up to the standards of the Magical World. She wanted to bring back the Wizarding tradition, to re-evaluate laws and take a good look at forbidden magics, and see if they were really "evil" or if they were only banned to be banned. She wanted to educate muggleborns, to integrate them into their world. She made sure everyone that now belonged to her had a safe place to sleep and enough to eat. She took care of them before anything else.
Alexis Peverell was distrustful towards authorities. She, along with those who fought, sat council for the new ministry themselves. They went straight into Wizengamot and demanded an explanation from the magical Lords and Ladies about their inaction at the times of both British Blood Wars (no one ever said magical know how to name things). She demanded those that did nothing to step down, and they didn't dare to refuse. She had the public behind her, even with her tearing into the very same public as well.
Alexis Peverell was a ruler. She led Wizarding Britain to their golden age. Even though she needed to drag them there kicking and screaming. With the help of her council, (and the reformed Death Eaters under her orders) she reworked laws, (The ICW was more than happy to hear that Britain finally recognized their laws.) She revised the so-called banned magics. Granted, a license was needed for things really dangerous, but all kinds of elemental magics were free to be used, (Neville almost kissed her for legalizing his family magic back again.) She reformed entire school systems, practical magic was still taught to children 11 years and up, but younger children had access to school with all the "noble courses" like culture, art, dancing and history. Then there was Hogwarts, or any of the Trade Schools where magic was taught. These schools taught standard subjects like transfiguration, charms, potions and herbology, but they also started teaching may additional subjects like mathematics, biology, magical defence, just to name a few. There became many more extra courses students could take after the obligatory years, where one could find means to reach mastery in subjects.
The tax system was completely redone. It was completely inefficient to have purebloods from Noble Houses and anyone with a higher status not pay taxes. It put the funding of a country onto the poor working class. The new system granted easier taxes to titled houses, and thanks to the taxes being decided by percentage, it shut everyone complaining about the titled ones being privileged. The new founded Ministry trained and employed more Aurors and Hit Wizards. Anyone who worked in law enforcement was required to sign a contract and vow to uphold all laws of the Wizarding and Muggle Britain while employed. Social workers were actually employed and no-longer volunteer-only now and were actively checking every muggleborn from the moment they manifested their magic and abused magical children were put in orphanages. No magical child would be abused or misunderstood. (There will be no more Freaks.) A magical child that showed great potential was usually adopted straight away or raised as a Ward of titled house. They were also registering squibs existence and checking on their lives. Squibs and Hedgemagicals were mostly taken from their families so that there wouldn't be any discord in the houses from jealousy. They were brought up with chances to be lawyers, ministry workers, herbologists or potioneers. Not all of them became Masters of their arts, but they were competent enough to be able to make a living in the world they knew.
Alexis Peverell was a godmother. She was immensely surprised when somehow-friendly goblins asked if she was aware that her cousin from the bloodline of Blacks and a friend of her father made her the godmother of their child before they died, and that the guardian of that child was trying to claim the trust vault from the Most Ancient and Most Noble House of Black for the child. She was silent in her fury after learning that. The only way one could become godparent in the magical world was by blood rituals, and to know that someone who claimed the same family as her had stolen her blood… She marched straight to the Gringotts to deal with that. She was led straight into the meeting room where Andromeda Tonks nee Black was sitting with the young boy. The boy, Edward Remus Lupin, was a metamorphomagus like her and took on her hair and eyes the moment his eyes laid on her. She narrowed her eyes at the state the child was in and grabbed him from his grandmother's arms. She wrestled custody of her godson from the old witch with a threat of going public for the child. Edward was hers the moment her blood was stolen. She took the boy home, made sure Kreacher and the rest of elves knew the rules around her godson and started sharing time between different roles in her life, juggling them all to be able to achieve everything she wanted.
She made sure Edward (Teddy, as she started calling him when one night then 3 years old crawled into her bed and she needed to calm him down) had everything she could give him. Toys, teachers, playmates and as much of her attention as she could give him. She taught him how to control his abilities, how to lock his body into one form so he wouldn't revert when asleep or unconscious. It didn't matter how different from their natural form it was. When Edward was old enough, Alexis taught him about the names and their power. She taught him that humans could be anyone they wanted, as long as they had enough blood to claim a name for themselves. She told him about being Rose Potter, she told him about being Dorea Black and she introduced herself to him as Alexis Peverell. And then she asked.
Alexis Peverell was the mother of Edward Marius Black, son of her blood, her soul and her magic if not of her body. Being a mother wasn't so very different from being a godmother in her eyes as she was doing the exact same things. After adopting the boy she nominated him as her heir and gleefully shoved him into intense courses of proper behavior for young heirs led by Narcissa Malfoy nee Black. She threw herself into work, into placing better, stronger, more vicious wards around the home to keep him safe. When he then became of proper age she taught him the Black family magics, Blood Magic that came with being a Black, runes and astronomy. Battle Magics. She gave him a sword and made sure he damn well knew how to swing it to kill whatever it was that dared to attack him. She taught him how to protect himself, and one day she told him a secret.
Alexis Peverell was Mistress of the Hallows. She owned the Cloak even Death themselves couldn't see through, coming from Potters blood and tradition; the Stone that called forth shades of people she wished to see (fuck Dumbledore sideways for the sheer gall of willing the thing to her!); and the Wand that took every single spell she cast and put "a little extra" into it. She was a Mistress of Death. She would not die, she would not age… and unless some miracle happened she would never give him a father or siblings. She explained to the young teenager that that is the only thing she couldn't give to him. Otherwise? The world is big and she's really good at what she's doing.
Alexis Peverell was a scholar. She threw herself into the new education system along Edward. She made sure that the child she claimed as her own would have the best education possible and corrected her own lack of knowledge whenever she needed. After dealing with the worst of the mess the Ministry was, she cheerfully left it in Hermione's hands and threw herself into learning new stuff. Rituals, Old Magics, religion, myths and fairy tales she could later tell to Edward. She didn't leave out her muggle education either. She passed her GCSEs and got A levels. She learned about muggle technology, how to use a computer, how to build a computer, how to program it. She was not a hacker, but generally after getting into the system, she could find what she needed and mask her tracks. She also immersed herself in muggle literature. From 'How to …' series through Freud's research up to muggle fiction and their look on magic. Then she experimented trying to recreate muggle ideas with either her Magic or her Soul Fire.
Alexis Peverell was the Lord of the Most Ancient and Most Noble House of Peverell, Lord of the Most Ancient and Most Noble House of Black, Lord of the Most Ancient and Most Noble House of Slytherin by the right of conquest. To claim the House permanently she'd need to prove her right by the use of parseltongue, and that was a gift british wizards believed to be something only available to that one family line. She was a Lady of Ancient and Most Noble House of Potter. She had to attend both teas with other Ladies of titled houses and billiard meetings with Lords. As a Lady with the backing of most powerful houses she was required to be one of those to dictate new fashion trends, in fact if not for the help of Cousin Narcissa, she'd need to be the sole person to do so. At least Narcissa, as a daughter of the House of Black could take care of that for her. She was dutifully leading her Houses and while both Houses of Peverell and Slytherin were reduced to just her, she still needed to deal with all their assets and investments. The House of Potter still had a few members that technically were her responsibility (and who were delighted to be able to claim to belong to the House led by the Woman-Who-Conquered). They quickly learned that she'll demand perfection or at least as close to perfection as it was possible for them (including proper marriage contracts so that House of Potter could be rebuilt). Then there were the Blacks. While it was only Narcissa, Draconis, Edward and Bartemius (her ex-Death Eater Defence Professor was grandson of Charis Black and Caspar Crouch which was enough for him to be able to ask to be brought to the Black family) as her direct responsibility, there was still Andromeda that needed to be dealt with (Bellatrix fortunately didn't make it from the constant fights while at War) and Alexis upheld her disownement since she did break direct wishes of the previous Head of the House, but she was allowed access to the trust vault that was created for her at birth. There were also the Weasleys, (Cedrella Black married Septimus Weasley (with primacy of House of Black over House of Weasley of course) and gave birth to Arthur, who had 7 children) but William took over as the new head of the Ancient and Noble House of Weasley so he took care of most things. He did honour his grandmother's contract and fell in line with her own politics. Noble House of Prewitt, after absolute refusal of Charles Weasley to take care of it (Dragon Tamers did not make good Lords) fell onto the Percival, who tended to fall in line with the Blacks' politics.
Alexis Peverell was still a fighter. Although she rarely found time to spend time practicing with her swords, she still made sure to stretch and run every morning. She practised duelling against either her family members or one of the few friends she actually trusted with information about Elder Wand and it's curse (even immortal from Deathly Hallows the wand would not allow itself to be beaten so to ensure there would be no… drastic happenstances Alexis couldn't allow herself to start losing. Ever). She was almost always learning or practising something.
Alexis Peverell was a Master Necromancer, she was the one called to deal with the Dementors and Lethifolds whenever they were spotted outside of their official habitats. She was also the one called to help with harder murder cases by calling down shades of victims, or whenever there were succession problems and no one knew who should inherit. She was called to help the ghosts pass when their decision to stay was found to be a bad one and they manage to irritate the people in charge enough to ask her for help. She was the one so called 'Creatures of Death' gravitated to for help, whether it was because they were hurt or something was wrong with their habitats, she was the one to help them. As just a Master Necromancer, she sometimes took on students to teach them something, but she was also The Master Necromancer of Magical Britain and so she was the one to deal with their exams and live lessons on death creatures.
Alexis Peverell was an Invocation Mistress, sometimes she straight out cheated and summoned a babysitter for Teddy, or a playmate when he was young and everyone was more concerned about who his guardian was than who he could become. She was summoning creatures from other planes to find out new information about or to just cuddle a Grim (she blamed it on half-remembered memories of Sirius' animagus form). Sometimes she summoned demons just to have conversation with someone who didn't care about her noble titles or her achievements. Those were surprisingly relaxing moments. Besides, demons were excellent strategists and lawyers, she learned more about proper wording thanks to those she summoned than in any lessons she took.
Alexis Peverell was an alchemist. Granted, she never reached the level of Nicolas Flamel or Talbot, (his focus rings were fascinating) and she could not create another Philosopher Stone, (one overpowered stone with big lettered names was more than enough anyway.) She could create gold out of other metals, something she never admitted to the goblins, (she wanted to stay in good relations with them, thank you very much) and she could use alchemy to fight with. (She was awesome like that).
Alexis Peverell was tired. Of politics, of the Wizarding Sheep that never left her alone, of the expectations and pleas for help. She was bored of the stability she built. Needed that thrill her entire "education" the Wizarding Britain gave her. So when her son was finally old enough to start his schooling, (in Beauxbatons, there was no way she'd send her child to Hogwarts after everything she lived through in that school) she went to the muggle world for it. She found the so called "world's best thief" and with a mix of compulsions, bribery and honest manipulation became his student. She put Alexis Peverell to rest, and took up new name.
√ -√v-√ -√v—
Noir was a thief. A student of the world's greatest thief. His apprentice and heiress. His legacy.
Noir was a woman, she wanted to look beautiful, she wanted to be sexy, to be desirable. She didn't need to look cute like Rose Potter did, didn't need to look dangerous like Dorea Black did, didn't need to look dignified like Alexis Peverell did. She could look however the hell she wanted. So she played with her metamorphomagus abilities. She made herself look lean, elfin almost. She tamed her wild raven curls into soft heban waves, morphed her avada green eyes into chocolate brown, changed her snowy, noble skin into soft mocha coloured one. Noir made herself anew and she liked that new version of her.
Noir was determined, she spent agonizing weeks slaving around the house, cleaning and cooking until her "Master" was satisfied. (She did later notice that cleaning the house made her more attentive to details she could use for the heist, but it was still annoying as hell. She thought she left her cleaning days behind together with the Dursleys.) Cleaning and all that cooking allowed her to easily erase her tracks and to detect and inject sedatives. Eventually, she learned about poisons for when she finally needed to take that step as well. She spent just as many weeks learning about the most popular or most secure systems her future victims could install, (a few months later when she learned she got the wrong information about security when she was already at the vault with her prize, she blessed the man for his insistence on that kind of training.)
Noir was cunning, she could find out ways to slip into locked buildings by finding the breaches in security. She could find weak links in both: systems and human forces and exploit their weaknesses. She could slip by mind defences of humans and create a weakness for her to exploit herself. And exploit them she did.
Noir was ruthless. She was everything Dorea Black wanted to be openly but couldn't afford to be while wearing the mask of Rose Potter in Hogwarts or Beauxbatons. Everything Alexis couldn't be while ruling the country. She could and would use every single opportunity she saw. She would slip by into someone's mind, (using mostly muggle methods, cheating with magic would be admitting she was not good enough) and manipulate them, bend and break them. When she needed to she left only scorched ground and broken minds behind her. No one to compromise her. Freak laughed happily whenever Noir left utter destruction in her wake, proud that soon no one would be brave enough to actually harm them. Never, ever again.
Noir was shameless. Any shyness she had earned as Rose Potter or any scruples she had as Alexis Peverell died a tragic death when she trained to be able hide weapons and lifted objects no matter how little she wore at the moment. She flirted her way into more than just one mansion, either targeting the mansion owner, their family, workers or security.
Noir was flexible, both in body and mind. Even before taking on that name she spent years doing stretches and taking on poses straight from advanced yoga courses. She also loved puzzles. Her favorite past time while still training to be a thief was to sit down with one of those crazy goblin-made spheres that had to be cracked open by using different codes and combinations. They were mechanical, so she wasn't breaking the Statue even when master thief could still catch her unaware of his presence. It was relaxing and she loved the feeling of accomplishment after successfully cracking the thing in the promised 100 different ways. The best thing was that it was training! Her teacher couldn't even complain as her fiddling with those codes was excellent training for cracking different passwords and safe codes. Even years after starting her training, after already earning her title as the best, Noir in her disguise as Alexis would still be seen going to Gringotts and coming out of there with different puzzle spheres every time.
Noir was patient. That was a trait shared with every previous name as well. They always had to be patient, and most of the times they used that patience to steal or plot something out. Whether it was just to steal a wallet for food money, some pretty trinket she really wanted to have, or to get access to Diagon Alley, she always succeeded. She did it to get the education she wanted and should get, rather than the substandard thing Dumbledore wanted his sacrificial pawn to have. Destroying Tommy-boy and his little slaves, rebuilding the reputation of her Houses, rebuilding the British Wizarding World from the ashes and putting it back on the level of rest of the rest of Wizarding Europe. She used that patience in everything. To get free from the constant expectation. Hell, even her being there and learning how to become The Best thief was the cause of patient plotting, (and a little spell work, but shh...)
Noir was Flame Active. The second she noticed the faint indigo flames on her tutor's hand she flared her own a little. Just for him to notice and teach her about it. Noir was a little too experienced with wizarding bullshit to believe everything she read in their books. There had to be more, and so her dear, dear tutor taught her. About the mafia (revolutionaries once, now the most bloody business anyone have seen), their structures (Famiglias, Yakuza, Triads, Bratva), most important Famiglias (yes, her tutor was partial to italian side of the Underworld) and their characteristics.
(The Familia Vongola is the big evil of the mafia world, they started as revolutionaries under Giotto Vongola, but after a while fell into the hands of the bloodthirsty Ricardo Vongola. They're currently in the hands of Vongola Ottava, with rumors about Daniela making moves towards passing reigns towards her son Timoteo. They're rich beyond measure, but a little stiff when it comes to their Elements' roles. Gathers different in House organizations - the most notable - CEDEF and VARIA are definitely not worth trying to steal from. VARIA more than CEDEF. Rumoured to have extremely focused Intuition - extremely risky target; Familia Giglio Nero - only matriarchal Famiglia in Italy, 4 out of 8 bosses wore the title of Sky Arcobaleno, manipulative, insisting on being the best and knowing the most. Rumored to have seer abilities. Not worth angering without a cause and means to end them quickly; Giegue Brat', are traditionally ruled by 3 of the best assassins in Russia. Surprisingly, none of the current "Grave Diggers", (as the ruling 3 are called) drink anything other than their own favorite brand of chai fighting with oh-so-popular stereotype with Russians and vodka; Unlike Arbakov Mafiya (also Russia) that is mostly known for their Flame spiked alcohol and weaponry - really tight security. Could almost be called the definition of big risks, big reward target; Then there is the Famiglia Chiavarone - a prominent famiglia dealing with horses and horse racing. After almost getting bankrupt by Vongola Primo thanks to his famed intuition, they became allied with them in a bid to rescue their finances. Not like it seemed to help them since there were already whispers about the future Chiavarone Nono being an avid gambler. Still mostly worth a hit, they're a high risk, high reward job; The Famiglia Bertesca are isolationists that were allied to Vongola at the very start but something unkonwn happened and now they keep mostly to their own island. The Catafalco. Not really worth robbing; Cerrico Cartel in Mexico - like to flaunt their 'excellent' security but most of the time just pretend to sell goods 'appropriated' from them. Drug dealing, human trafficking… Awful guys. Easy target; Wo Triads in China - specialized in enforcers and trackers when it comes to their members, especially those Flame Active. One does not want to get caught trying to steal from them. Really, really does not…)
Her tutor told her about Omerta, (Don't use Flames on civilians. Don't use Flames close to civilians. Don't take government office. Keep Governments away from knowledge about Flames… He would go on and on about it)and Vindice (strange, black flames; bandages; ability to spring from the shadows; flame resistant; don't piss off!). She was taught Old Code of Underworld (No human trafficking. No forced prostitution. No drug trafficking. No organs dealing). She was told about the unnatural things considered normal in the mafia like the Arcobaleno (adults in bodies of babies, one of every Flame type, popping out, living for far longer than it should be possible and disappearing without trace), moving man-made island called Mafia Land (neutral ground available for every mafioso keeping to old code, with great amusement park. Available either with invitation or after taking the test), Flame animals (normal looking animals living close to big gatherings of Flames of their favored kind, getting the character traits of that Flame type or after a lot of time being able to use Flame attribute. Tranquility puppies or kittens were very popular pet types), animal partners (magical familiars… should she tell him about Ares and Athena? Naah), Flame focuses (things mafioso with weak Flames use to materialize their Flames to fight. Rings, guns, bracelets etc), Flame bonds between types (by her tutor's words she was ridiculously lucky to have such pure flame or she would find herself in someone's clutches already), and finally Flame types themselves, their attributes, their traditional roles in the set, their influence on someone's character, flame purity and polarizations. Noir herself added fitting people she knew to the Elements
(A Sky - Harmony. Ruler, glue that keeps Elements together, rare and precious. Skies were meant to be accepting and understanding, sometimes to the point of it being completely ridiculous. The higher purity of the Sky, the easier the Sky could manipulate people and events towards their likings. Dangerous. Classic Skies were meant to be something akin to doormat or princess in a tower - letting others do their dirty deeds and never asking for details… Just 'forgiving' and giving 'second chances'. (Dumbledore.) Inverted Skies on the other hand were said to be cruel, reveling in violence and expecting the world to bow down to their wishes or else… (Tommy-boy);
A Sun - Activation. Stimulating and augmenting. Healer, last line of defense. Suns were expected to be cheerful, protective and always energetic, helping others bloom. The purer they were the easier time they had while trying to heal someone or help them achieve their full potential. Traditionally preferred tutors for mafioso' heirs. Classic Sun is meant to be cheerful idiot with too much energy. Always trying to absorb bodily harm that went towards their famiglia. (Hannah) Inverted Suns on the other hand were focused, with the mindset that they can't help if they're dead, devoted into bettering themselves. (Draconis)
A Cloud - Propagation. Multiplication and growth. Protectors. Clouds were meant to be free and aloof, always drifting, finding dangers from afar. The purer they were the easier they noticed the signs that something wasn't right, that something was dangerous to what they considered Theirs. Classic Clouds were just like that - loners, territorial, protective and possessive. (Snape.) Inverted Clouds though were meant to need human contact, they were meant to be easy going, to the point of giving up without a fight. (Remus)
A Storm - Disintegration. Attackers. Storms were… explosive, most of the times with self-worth problems, needing reassurance and their loyalty when earned was absolute. Their purity decided on their responses to perceived danger, the purer the flame the easier it was to keep their head somewhat leveled and destroy only the danger. And not everything around them. Classic Storms were loud, chaotic and more than ready to spring violence at every perceived slight against them or their famiglia. (Ronald. Sirius. Maybe even Lily?) Inverted Storms were… terrifying. They weren't full of loud roars and posturing like the Classic ones. Inverted Storms were like Eye of the Mother-of-Storms. Completely calm even while destroying every single of their enemies. (Narcissa.)
A Rain - Tranquillity. Appeasement and dulling. Peacekeepers and Negotiators. Rains were calming presence so needed in mafia. The purer - the easier it is to not only keep calm but also to make sure those close to them kept it. Classic Rains were the ones to always keep calm even in the face of impossible odds, Classic Rains of high purity should with just their presence keep temperaments from snapping. (Lucius. Neville.) Inverted Rains were… Aggressive… Washing away their bonded problems, mostly by removing said problem. Loud, brash… With tempers flying… But when shit went down? Down to earth, focused, dedicated. (George.)
A Lightning - Hardening. Shields of the family. Lightnings were… troubleshooters, a little obsessive in their version of protecting. The purer their flames the worse their obsessions were. There were even rumors that Vincent van Gogh was in fact a Lightning… well everyone knew exactly how that ended. Classic Lightnings were expected by their Famiglies to bring the damage to themselves rather than allow it to hurt their Famiglies. Ideally in the ways of bodily harms. From what Noir heard most of the Classic Lighnings were closer to magical Thralls than humans with how Underworld trained them. Yuck. (That was what Dumbledore wanted Rose to become.) Inverted Lightnings on the other hand were… smart in their obsessions. They were the ones to find problems in their bonded reasonings, they were the ones to find a way to deal with problem without fighting about that. Inverted Lightnings were thinkers. And they thought fast and good. (Hermione.)
A Mist - Construction. Spies and Thieves of the famiglia. Mists were… secretive, they were expected to be a bit unhinged and most of the times even their own Famiglias expected them to stab them in their backs. Mists of the purest flames could create a constructs that were just as real as anything else one could see or feel. Sometimes even more. They could create things, not just an illusions. Classic Mists were sharp and yet… misty. Like they were walking on completely another plane, speaking in riddles and allowing undercurrents to carry most of the conversations. (Luna.) Inverted mists on the other hand were very straightforward and honest, if not a bit of oblivious towards the Game played by those around them. (Lavender.) )
Noir was a Cloudy Sky. (She blamed Rose Potter for the Sky part of her… and partially Alexis…) When she connected the dots she was mostly cursing though, she just found a completely new world for her, and here they try to label her by her flame colors… Cloudy Sky… a loner but encompassing, not allowing herself to be caged, (at least there's that) protective towards those of hers and ignoring the rest of the world. Because she's a Sky she'll be expected to lead, to find her Elements, (as strong and pure as possible) fund or join a famiglia and stay in this world… While dealing with delusional old men that think their family having 200 years of documented history was impressive… amateurs. Because she was a Cloud she was expected to be a total loner, detached from her so called Famiglia and keeping them safe, most of the time at her own cost. She was also expected to have… "territory", which if then attacked would be the best way to push all her buttons and make her batshit insane. Yeah… No. She survived as Freak whose most important concern was actually getting enough food to not collapse somewhere, she survived as a Rose Potter who was more concerned with learning than anything else, she lived as a Dorea Black who played the Wizarding World to her tune, she ruled as Alexis Peverell who destroyed the Magical Britain and rebuilt it in the manner she wanted it to be… She never broke down, never allowed someone's expectation to shape her, she did not bend, she did not bow, and she will not start doing it now.
Noir was innovative, she wasn't satisfied with just the conventional use of her Flames, she was experimenting with it. Traditionally Flames as they were, were used to pack more of a punch when in fight and to shield the user from damage. Additionally, a Sky's attribute in Harmony was used to lessen the blows of their opponent and to make sure that the Sky's Elements wouldn't hurt each other while in a fight. Mafia considered their so-called leaders as exactly those kinds of princesses… There was the notable exception of Vongola Primo who fought on the frontlines with the rest of his Guardians, but that was the only one she knew of that did that. A Cloud's propagation traditionally was used as a way to duplicate projectiles and so on… boooring…
While experimenting she learned that not only can she use her Harmony as a way to convince her opponents that everything in the room is as should be, (useful for when she was almost caught as a rookie mafia thief) or to check for poisons and other serums, (definitely more useful than muttering long incantations and waving wands over the meal… especially when complimented by a Lord Rings that were destroying poisons by itself.) She could find out what kind of the security systems she there was at her target location (best laser detector ever) and she could detect a lie, but only if the person hadn't trained themselves to instinctively lie to others. She could easily find plants, spies, assassins and other thieves with similar targets (nothing mucks up the harmony of the party more than an assassin after the host or one of the guests). Her favorite ability was being able to manipulate the Harmony of gravity enabling her to fly, (who needs a broom?) and to stick to ceilings or other objects. It was a great way to deal with those pesky pressure detectors, or to go above the guards… After all no one checked the ceiling.
Propagation on the other hand… Noir's favorite trick was being able to 'propagate' her aura when angry to cow her opponents, and unsurprisingly most of her opponents were prone to backing down when she portrayed a furious Cloud at them. When needed she could propagate her pheromones and trustworthiness to seduce the information out of the target (she could become a Veela with only a thought!). If her flexibility with her own considerable skill just didn't cut it anymore, she could propagate that too... (why the hell would Don Carcassa put so many lasers around that diamond? They were like 30cm away from each other!) She still used old, boring propagation of her strength even with a the new skills she came up with when she actually needed to hit something, and of course the not-so-old trick with propaging her own healing, (she just knew that with her luck she'd need that boost of healing.)
Noir was magical, she was not afraid of mixing magic and flames, and the results were awe-inspiring… or a total disaster. She learned, the hard way, that even the weakest possible spells could explode on her the second she allowed her Cloud Flame to bleed through. One day in a fit of anger she let go of her trusty Cypris-Elder wand and took on the Elder one in her holster… and it worked. Of course using the most powerful wand in the world allowed her to combine Flames and magic. Why could nothing ever be so simple? When Noir reached back towards the first task of Triwizard Tournament and remembered how she managed to propagate her cutting hex when it flew towards the dragon she started thinking… What if she was mixing it wrong? What if she just needed to propagate spells after they left her wand, not before? She experimented, she practiced and it worked! (She was so high on her success she almost died stealing diamonds from one of freshly found egyptian tombs. That brutally brought her back to earth.)
Noir knew weapons were important, she couldn't and wouldn't deal with everything with either magic or flames. She did know how to use a sword (once again, bless the goblins) and she was kind of proficient with the daggers she always kept on herself… just in case. Lately however, with all that sneaking around she needed to do as a thief, she found herself hoping to do something flashy, with wide arcs, graceful and eye-catching. And efficient as hell. One day when she was looking around an old armory in the castle she was stealing secrets from, (when gathering blackmail or stealing documents she always took something else, just in case her target found out about her visit before the material could be used efficiently) when she found It… and immediately fell in love. She picked elaborate scythe (seriously who gilds a scythe?!) with carvings to deal with blood splatter at the blade, and decided - she was going to learn how to fight with a scythe! (Her teacher wasn't happy with her, but he still put her through to one of the weapons master that actually could help her with learning the basics of welding and making one herself. It was absolutely unsuitable for a thief that she was, completely flashy and when combined with flames it was a weapon of mass destruction. With Sky Flames destroying harmony in the bodies of everything the blade touched and Cloud Flames propagating injuries of those that were cut, (later she just poisoned the blade and propagated deadliness of the substance the second it met her opponent's body) She absolutely loved it. She was a Witch before becoming Flame Active, she had missed colourful spells flying around.)
Noir was efficient. Whenever she was paid to steal something (around 60% of her jobs? The rest was just for fun or because she heard a rumor about something pretty that just waited for her… Like seriously it was years since the start of her thieving career and she still didn't get caught, why would someone flaunt around their weight and pretty things?), she was quick. Go in, get the thing and get out. 100% of success even when idiots put obvious (or a little less obvious) traps for her specifically (she may have cheated with magic and flames for those. Propagating importance of that little sound on the other side of corridor, convincing the guards there is nothing out of place on the site of crime with a bit of harmony… and discreet confundo to make sure no one will ever pick up on the fact she's a Cloudy Sky… Sometimes simply she used Invisibility Cloak… but that was only when the traps were completely unimagitave).
She was a ghost. A phantom around the mafia world. One day there was a match on impossible steal in China, the other in Kenya, just to have another match few hours later in Canada… No one knew how she looked like, no one knew exactly where she'd hit next. And everyone wanted something stolen tried to contact her first. She had few drop points where she picked up request of thievery, which she later decided what to do about. She made a point to pick the requests up under disillusionment or at least morphing into different person every time (note to herself: morphing into a small child hurts like hell, let's not do it again). She also made a point to track down the one to actually put the request down and not one of the middle-men. She really liked to deliver agreement to take the job (and stolen goods later) straight to the office (or bedroom in case manor security was actually a challenge to get by) of the commissioner. Most of the time she also get away with a nice something from the manor or just money and left the note that she helped herself to her payment already and that they don't need to worry about that.
Noir was sought after. Even with all the quirks, the frustration she brought to her clientele and sometimes long deadlines she worked under, people wanted her to be the one to… acquire the goods they ordered. They were ready to wait, deal with her sense of humour whenever she randomly broke in to the most secured room in their manors or picked up something shiny when delivering goods. A lot of regulars or those with good information started leaving shiny, expensive things for her to choose from, knowing that should she want anything from their manor she'd take it anyway, so why bother with securing it? That way she even considered the shinies as part of her payment. Even with her presence in the mafia bringing more than just one famiglia to full state of paranoia when she dropped off a birthday gift or something like that in their offices, kids bedrooms or other impossibly secured rooms, (She was a Lord of her Houses, she was well aware that giving birthday or christmas presents and the like was important to her hosts Even when they didn't know she was there at all… that and she simply adored the chaos that unfolded every time her gift was discovered. She also made a point to pay them a… visit after all security upgrades were installed. Little notes with messages like 'love the temperature detectors. N.' or 'the laser trap around the windows are a nice touch. N') She was after all more than just a good thief.
Noir was the world's Greatest Thief. The title connected to the name she used in the Underworld was whispered for a while before she acted up to claim it. As per tradition, every time the title of The Greatest was starting to get connected to a person, that person had to officially claim it. Do something so outrageous no one would even dare to dispute their rights for the title. She planned her crowning job carefully, diligently choosing her target so that the job would be widely acknowledged by mafia and mafia only. Killing off civilians (worse, muggle civilians) always left a bad taste in her mouth and she refused to suffer the indignity of being chased by them. Not after she got crowned. Finally she decided to steal the one thing that everyone knew was impossible to get - Vongola Heir rings. But she could do so only after Daniela di Vongola passed them onto young Timoteo, she needed him to be seen with them as to not bring the entire Famiglia on her head for her little stunt. As amusing foiling Famiglias plans to catch her was, she didn't want to deal with the so-called 'The most powerful Famiglia' breathing down her neck.
She did the job. Sneaked into the heir's chambers, (pumping just enough Harmony into the detectors around his windows was a bitch and a half to do) and pilfered around for his Sky Ring before moving onto his Guardians. Unsurprisingly, robbing the Cloud - Visconti, was the hardest of them all. The bastard actually propagated every single security measure around his room… but didn't do shit around the rooms of his Sky. Great Guardian. She got the full set of Rings, escaped through the Sky's window, and then observed with not the least amount of amusement as the two weeks before the Inheritance Ceremony the entire Vongola Famiglia hurried to find the rings. After they finally connected the dots that they had been stolen (so sure in their security measures, huh?) the Famiglia commissioned the job of getting them back to someone that definitely piqued her interest. A hitman that was on the right track to claim the title of The Greatest as well. Noir was sure she'd have a lot of fun playing with the Hitman, but… that wasn't what it was about. She didn't want the Rings, that was only for the crowning. So she stayed away from the hitman (dangerous, predator) and patiently waited for the Inheritance Ceremony. The box with the rings and her note was put discreetly along with other gifts from the mafia bosses. Noir waited to the very second Ottava would need to give her son her own rings to secure his succession before she pressed the button… and observed chaos. For the box she prepared with a bit of magic unwrapped itself, with sparks in different colours of rainbow before presenting to every single guest in there (it seems like self unpacking gifts were really good in gathering attention) the Vongola Heir Rings. The hitman that had tried to catch her the last two weeks came closer to the box and picked up her note. "Let this be known as me laying claim to my title and crowning as The Greatest in my field. N. The World's Greatest Thief". After that stunt, demand for her services only rose.
Years after her crowning Noir started to get bored, nothing really was a challenge anymore. Granted - the level of security systems only rose but so did her skill. Most of the Underworld site didn't even really bother anymore, they just accepted that there is a Thief that'll do whatever the hell they want in their own homes… One day after another successful heist she wandered over to the arena with something called a stunt show… She went inside, took in the roar of the motors and cheering crowd, the sight of flames and ramps, bikers and their tricks, and felt her heartbeat get faster, her adrenalin pumping from just the sight of the show and she felt familiar lust within her. The need for adventure, adrenalin, danger. The need of having the feeling of Death's breath on her neck. To taunt them, flaunt the fact that even without that part of her that holds the title of Death's Mistress, she's too fast to catch, too flexible for them to swipe her... The need to feel alive again!
The second Noir bought a new motorcycle, she felt a new part of herself rear its head. She smiled toothily and named that part of herself. Her last and constant 'fuck you' towards the men that tried to use and destroy her.
√ -√v-√ -√v—
Skull de Mort was a stunt woman. She played her part by doing so called 'dangerous' parts of movie scenes. She was the one that was acting out fighting scenes so the actors wouldn't break anything, (Skull was more than happy to learn new styles and then later incorporate them with everything she had learnt in her previous iterations) she was the one doing jumps no one else would do, acting like she was being thrown away from fire and big booms. (The explosions in the movies were definitely worth being called 'big booms'. Rather than being destructive, they were meant to be flashy and spectacular… and so they were. And so was she.) Skull was one of the few stunt actors that banded together to start their own stunt show. With fire, ramps and all the posturing. There were heart stopping moments where they just jumped through things no one else would dare to and baited Death in every minute of their shows.
Skull de Mort was an adrenaline junkie. She was the one that created the most outrageous stunts their no-longer-so-little stunt show was presenting, that came with the little side-effect of her being the only one actually good and brave enough to perform them. She loved performing all those heart-stopping, life-shaving stunts… Flying through the rings of fire while doing stand-stills, or just simply flying right above her own motorcycle. Lighting up those rings herself. Riding over the rope, skipping on it… Riding ideally between all the saws they prepared to go off at different times or having life show at the field with known geysers explosions so that every single stunt would be original, unforgettable and unrepeatable.
Skull de Mort was a woman in the world of men. She wanted to work? She needed to be better, faster, stronger… work harder and do the most ridiculous stunts just to make sure no one in the business even dared to ignore her when looking for professional. To even try and dismiss her to find a "nice young man and settle down". She needed to stand at the front of the pack and be the best to get her dose of adrenaline outside of their stunt show. Women weren't popular when it came to doing stunt jobs after all, It was just the fact that she was literally the very best that kept producers and directors from pulling her out and getting someone else - someone male to do the job. That, and the fact that her dear colleagues were usually scared of the risks she was willing to take. More than once they thought she had died in an explosion or bad landing, for her to just roll over and laugh out loud or to jump up, whoop with glee and demand to do it again.
Skull de Mort was a star, she was captivating. Her personality, loud, brave, to the point of being almost suicidal. Her behavior eye-catching, demanding attention and respect. Making people watch her. Even her looks drew people in, with her lean but curvy, and muscled body, that was mostly clad in black leather. With her purple eyes and purple hair, pale skin littered with piercings in her ears and lower lip and eye-catching scenic make up. She made sure she would never be ignored. Not when she didn't want to. She knew how to play the crowds, she learned that lifetimes ago and put it to great use when on scene.
Skull de Mort was then named The Immortal Skull. The one Death itself hates! (Ha! If only they knew.)
Skull de Mort was different type of fighter, rather than learn how to duck or block and hit back, she learned how to take the hit. How to make it look showy and how to not have even a bruise to show for it. How to roll with it and how to make sure her own moves looked flashy and final and yet they were leaving her opponent without a bruise or scar to show for. She learned… Oh she was more than pleased to learn…
But the most important thing Skull de Mort learned was how to act. How to find and stifle every single unconscious signal her brain could send while she was lying like a dog. How to spot those signals in others. How to kill off her instinctive reactions towards the noise and fire and shrapnel going on around her… Skull de Mort learned about her body, and she earned full control over it.
Skull de Mort was a day personality, at night she woke up Noir and allowed her to bleed over. To take control over the body and to go and defend her Crown. To operate somewhere far, far away from the place Skull was supposed to be and find the shinies that took her fancy, or the fancy of those willing to pay the World's Greatest Thief to acquire it for them. After the job Noir gets them back to where the set is and goes to sleep herself. Leaving the body resting before the next day. Sometimes she even managed to catch the trail of someone interesting, some trap to break, a laboratory to destroy… after borrowing their research of course. (Hermione, her dear, dear Hermione stopped asking about the legalities of the researches they were sending her a long time ago) Sometimes Noir even found out that her personal little stalker had managed to find her trail, (it seemed like that teenage hitman that Vongola had commissioned took the hit to his pride very personally when she did her little stunt. He was dead set on catching her, or at least sighting her… Whoops?)
Skull de Mort was a Cloud. She could not, she would not, let anyone take even a whiff of her Sky. (They'd try to cage her! Make her responsible for something! She escaped from that! She's free… She won't be trapped again!) She hid that part of her under her magic. She could keep the illusion of her being only a Cloud, a strong one by mafia standards as was proven by the ever increasing number of representatives from different Famiglias asking her to join them. Trying to tempt her into weak Skies on their leashes, trying to trap her, trying to coerce her… and when all failed, trying to intimidate her into doing their bidding. The Famiglias tried that only once… the ones responsible… disappeared from the Earth after that. Empty buildings, no blood, no bodies, nothing… (All hail Arresto Momentum)
Skull de Mort met a Man. He set off every single instinct in her. Predator of higher order… not human. Something else. More dangerous than a witch or wizard, (more dangerous than the Mistress of Death?) A tall, blond man in a grey, pristine suit, with an overcoat, a cane with a diamond, a very stiff hat that seemed to be made out of metal and a mask. He had a chequered tattoo (or make up, she was no better herself, no judgement). A man offered her a job with others who were the Greatest, (she did NOT snarl at that show of knowledge, but it was a close call). He called these people Il Prescelti Sette. The man promised her a family, with as much talent as she had… and with as much raw skill she had. With as pure flames. The man promised her a Sky, (like she'd ever allow some other Sky to lord over her!) and Skull agreed. It was safer that way, spring the trap, be prepared… save others… No. She did not have saving people thing! That was Dorea's characteristic under Rose's charade.
Skull de Mort maybe wouldn't have seen the layered trap in the Man's invitation for what it was if she'd been alone in her soul. Skull was not alone. Skull de Mort was never alone. Noir immediately pointed out that it had to mean mafia, that it meant flames and that 'the strongest' would not respect Skull as she portrayed herself now. Alexis reminded that as a Cloud, Skull would be expected by the others to play a certain role in the team, because if someone grabs seven strongest they expect them to form a team, and that Skull needed to choose. Clouds are protectors, would she protect them from afar? Never actually being there but dealing with the threats? Or would she step up into the role Alexis played before? Protecting and leading them to safety? Or… Would she make them deal with entire thing themselves? Portray herself as a dead-weight? Allow herself to not earn any respect? Could she even do that? Dorea pointed out that being The Greatest Thief was nice and dandy, but when teamed with hitmen and assassins… well they would not respect that, she needed to be able to fight as well. A weapon fighter ideally. Alexis idly cut in reminding Skull to put out enough clues so someone from that team could feel oh so accomplished for connecting Skull de Mort and Noir. Or telling them outright. Freak demanded that Skull make sure their 'team' will never be able to hurt them, that they'd be taught that Skull could and would kill them all if only they'd dare to try. And when Rose, sweet civilian Rose pointed out that they were meant to be a team for missions, possibly a family, Dorea snorted and reminded Rose what kind of people their last 'family' was. Noir refused to call those without proper bonds a family. She could settle for those in her Sky, even if she'd rather use Family Magic as a marker.
Skull de Mort was adaptable, in the week between getting noticed and the first meeting, she meshed herself with other parts of their soul, adapted to using a wider spectrum of their skills and personalities than before… and got ready for her new entry into the world...
And now Skull, (was she even still Skull? Or should she rename herself again?) was standing and looking down at the mansion she knew the rest of her "team" was in. She took a deep breath and went over how she was presenting herself this time. She had porcelain skin with a Noir-like silhouette. She had the average height for a European woman, and was lean and subtly muscled. She was wearing a skin fitting bodysuit made of black dragon hide, (Auror class, even if she couldn't die, getting shot hurt like hell.) She wore battle boots and fighter gloves from the same material. She kept her purple eyes and hair, though she let it grow out and braided the right part of it in thin, little braids which kept it in place and outside of her face. Her makeup was a little less eye catching than when she was performing, with no purple tears on her face and no chain connecting her ear and lip, (it would just ask to be pulled on in the fight,) there was still a dark outline that bought attention to her eyes, a smoky eye with purple accents, letting a devilish smirk pulling on her lips to be noticed just that one second too late. She had her focus ring, (thank you Master Talbot!) daggers with an easy access and her flame weapon - a scythe. (Yes, she liked that cliché, If she called herself Skull de Mort she would use "Death's weapon". The fact that the scythe was formed from a discreet bracelet she could safely keep on her right wrist was also worth mentioning. Possibly as much as the fact that the scythe was absolutely breathtaking, what with the handle being modelled after a human chest and skull.) Both her wands were hidden on her person with easy access if needed. She smirked, clasped her helmet and started the engine.
They were waiting for her. Five other predators and a s¨Sky that was meant to hold them, (Ha! As if anyone would be able to hold her) and reel them in. She wished them good luck with that. Alexis was the ruler of an entire nation, and Skull both was and wasn't Alexis. Well then...