When James and Sirius broke into the room, having heard from a reliable source that the Death Eaters were planning to use a ritual that involved a true innocent, nothing could have prepared them for the sight of the crying child in the center of the ritual circle.
James carefully cradled the infant, who couldn't be more than a day or two old at best, while Sirius took out all the Death Eaters in the room. Most of them were magically exhausted, so they were barely able to put up a proper fight.
Any thoughts of simply handing her over to a nice wizarding family died the second the child opened their eyes.
They were green, just like his wife Lily's only so much more bright and vibrant. The silvery hair could easily be changed... not only was the coloration far too Slytherin for his tastes (likely why the child had been summoned), but it would make it easier to hide the fact she wasn't his.
A few rituals could fix that, and Lily had been wanting to have kids. Unfortunately the last few months were far too busy for them to really have much interest in that sort of thing.
Sirius looked at the little one in James' arms, then at his brother in all but blood.
"James?" he questioned.
"I'm going to discuss it with Lily," he said quietly.
To no one's surprise, Lily agreed to the idea almost immediately once she saw the little girl.
Their new daughter was named Serenity Banora Potter, and thanks to a few rituals (some of them borderline dark) no one would know she wasn't a Potter by blood. With how good Lily was at charms, everyone assumed she hid the pregnacy to avoid being put higher on Voldemort's list.
Serenity would remain heiress Potter until she came of age...or until Lily bore James a son. In order to further solidify the ruse, Sirius promptly named her his heir as well, since she was technically a Black through James. Since they had tested the rituals via a few minor artifacts that would leave a nasty, but immediate surprise on anyone who wasn't a Black on little Serenity and she had come out unharmed (unlike Lily, but they had known she wasn't a Black and had the counterspells already prepped in case Serenity had a backlash) the goblins didn't raise a fuss.
As far anyone was concerned, Lily had given birth to their daughter roughly fifteen minutes before midnight on July thirty-first, after eight hours of labor through a midwife since they wanted to keep the birth quiet in case someone tried to take out both mother and child.
Everything was filled properly with the right sources, so no one questioned Serenity's existence.
And for a full year, everything seemed perfect. Sure it was difficult adjusting to having a newborn in the house.
Then they learned of the prophecy, though Sirius was the only one to realize Dumbledore was putting them in needless danger...after all, there wasn't any way to know for sure if little Serenity actually was born "as the seventh month dies".
In the end it didn't matter. For whatever reason, Serenity survived the attack by Voldemort at the tender age of fifteen months...and was left orphaned in more ways than one.
She would never know until much later the truth about her origins.
Fourteen years later...
Rena watched in absolute horror as Sirius fell through the Veil.
The last person to give an actual damn about her opinion and what she wanted to do with HER life, dead because of his insane cousin.
Rena's blood was boiling. It was like her entire body was on fire, and it was made worse the closer to the archway she got. She couldn't hear Bellatrix's insane cackling. She couldn't see the battle around her. All she could feel was the fire.
She couldn't take the raging heat. There was only one thing she could think of doing, and her mind threw caution to the wind.
She yanked on the source of the heat, and felt Life itself flow through her body. Her eyes, once a verdant green began to glow from an internal light.
Inside her body, she could feel something rearranging itself to an unseen template. Muscles became stronger, senses heightened, power flowed into her very core.
Without knowing how or why, she cast her left hand out...and a massive sword appeared. It was long and thin, and looked vaguely Japanese in origin. She wanted to frown...it felt right in her hand, but at the same time it felt vaguely wrong.
Like she was meant to have a sword, just not this one.
However the long sword would do for the moment.
She couldn't really remember what happened after she summoned it to her hand. Just that every Death Eater that came near her ended up very dead in short order, Bellatrix included.
It felt so bloody satisfying that she almost ignored the expression on Dumbledore's face...or the fact that her hair had mysteriously gone from pitch black to a pale silver the color of moonlight.
The pulsing sensation in her body grew stronger, and to the complete shock of everyone left alive in the room, a green mist the same shade as her eyes began pouring out of the Veil of Death.
Most of them wisely fled from it, as there was no telling what it was (outside of being very bad for your health considering it's origin)...except for her.
She glared death at Dumbledore, for his incompetence had allowed this to happen. If he had simply gotten off his ass and dealt with Voldemort or even started taking a proper stand against his forces, then maybe Sirius would be alive.
The mist began to pool around her as a circle began to form underneath.
The last thing Serenity would recall, blood dripping from her new sword was someone crying out her name before she blacked out completely.
An undetermined time later...
Whatever the green pool was, it felt like she was submerged in a massive bush of stinging nettles. However she had been through so much crap in her life that she was able to ignore it in order to get out...but not before her foot foot something smooth and round at the bottom of the pool.
Once she was out properly, she reached in with her right hand and pulled it out. The stinging sensation was unpleasant, but otherwise easy to ignore.
It was a marble? A very strange colored marble, but still a marble of sorts. It almost matched the color of the pool. For some reason she kept getting the feeling of 'healing' from it. Very strange.
Something in the back of her mind said that this was "cure", though she couldn't explain what made her think such a strange thing.
A cure for what, exactly?
It took her several long moments to register certain facts. One, her wand was missing as was the long sword. Strangely she didn't feel all that bad about losing her wand...it had felt wrong in her hand for reasons she couldn't explain all year. Like what had once been an adequate fit was now barely subpar. It only responded out of loyalty and habit. Two, her hair was now slightly longer than she remembered, and for some unfathomable reason, had turned a bright silver that seemed to shine under the sun.
When she found a stream...mostly to wash off the worst of that strange green liquid she had woken up in...she found other changes.
For one thing, she was taller. Her limbs had been stunted from malnutruition and neglect had suddenly become muscled and far more gangly. She had despaired of reaching past five and a half, but now she was bordering six feet, easily. Like she had a sudden massive growth spurt in the span of seconds. More to the point her body had filled out considerably... her bust must have grown at least two cup sizes if not more. It took her several long moments to realize she wasn't wearing her usual glasses, and yet she could see better than she had in her entire life.
Her eyes reminded her of the pool she had left, combined with the general shape of a cat. Or possibly a snake. Her skin, which was naturally pale from living in England her entire life now sported a slight tan, though it was still quite pale.
A quick test revealed her strength had increased to almost the same levels as Hagrid, and her magic thrummed inside her core almost begging to be let loose.
It was all very strange, and she wondered how she was able to analyze all this with such calm detachment. She didn't even care that for some bizarre reason she was completely starkers!
Well, since her magic wanted to be used...
Rena visualized a really cute outfit she had seen once in one of Lavender's muggle fashion magazines, and then aimed her hand at a branch she picked up.
Her magic surged with glee, turning the branch into the dress... and it was her size too. Which was a good thing, because it could have become unspeakably awkward if she had to resize it after making it.
Now the really awkward part...she made a pair of shorts that would hide the fact she wasn't wearing any underwear. The dress she chose had a corset that tightened in the front to take the place of a bra.
A good thing, since she had no idea what her cup size was anymore.
Once she was properly clothed, even if she had no shoes to speak of, she had to decide on what direction to start walking in.
Since she had absolutely no idea where she was or what was going on, she spun around twice before walking in the first direction she was pointed. With any luck she would hit civilization eventually.
Rena was very good at lying with a straight face. She had far too much practice.
Considering the monsters she ran into...and disposed of...on the way here, the sob story she came up with that all of her things had been completely ruined save for the clothes on her back and a single 'materia' (which seemed to be a strange focus with a single spell set contained within) was eaten up by the innkeeper's wife.
The fact that the local monsters dropped what appeared to be currency and items she had never seen before was beyond strange, but she wasn't about to question her fortune. She would have had to resort to theft and possibly gambling otherwise.
Not that she wasn't planning to gamble...she would need money to survive and monster hunting got old fast. Not to mention it would only take one bad move and she would be dead.
By now the odd zen state she had been in when she woke up had dissipated. Mostly from the good night's rest she had while sleeping up in the trees. After the number of times she was ambushed, sleeping on a tree branch was only sensible.
She did have to wonder why people kept staring at her though.
At least she was able to leave the small town with some information...and a some new materia and clothes. She wasn't sure if she could summon the sword again, mostly because she had no idea how she summoned it to her in the first place.
She had no bloody idea how to weild a sword, and the one she used before was a beast of a thing. The length alone would give her no end of difficulty! And the Sword of Gryffindor had always felt... clunky...to her.
However she trusted herself with the guns available even less, and the daggers looked even more flimsy than the blades she used for potions. Considering the headaches she had killing the monsters before, she would stick with something that she could reasonably figure out how to use in a short amount of time. Besides, they didn't sell any archery equipment, much to her dismay.
Which meant she would have to stick with swords. That she could at least figure out by trial and error if nothing else and swords were easily replaced. The fact it would give her a minor bit of distance from her opponent was a bonus.
Potions she was a bit leery of, as she had no idea what their effects were but paid for most of the 'basics'.
The biggest relief however came when she was able to get some clothes. Most of her money was spent on traveling gear (except a tent...there was no way she was going to pay money for disposable lodging!), but she was still able to get a few outfits. And, much to her relief, some underthings. Much to her mortification she really had grown in the chest, by at least three cup sizes! She had been a mid C before, but now her chest was a low D.
The one thing that did bug the hell out of her was that everyone kept comparing her to someone called Sephiroth. If not for the fact she was clearly a woman, she had the sneaking suspicion she would have had to deal with stalkers.
Thoughts of Colin Creevey made her shudder in disgust. The last thing she needed was fan boys or fan girls that were obsessed with someone else and took mistaken identity way too far.
It wasn't until she found a picture of the man that she saw why people kept asking her if she knew or was related to "the great Sephiroth".
Honestly, even if she had known who the man was she would have felt a great deal of pity for him. Dealing with this many "fans" (more like sycophants) over what he did during a ridiculous war... though she found it telling that the majority of them were women and he was something of a looker...had to be rather tiring. The boys all suffered a rather vexing case of hero-worship.
If she ever ran into this Sephiroth, she would offer him her sincere and open condolences with having to deal with the utter idiocy that was the "Silver Elite". The poor man likely needed a sympathetic ear that wasn't out to get into his pants.
Rena was completely unaware of the rumors she had accidentally spawned in her way of a "materia accident" that had left the great general Sephiroth a woman. Or the sheer amount of ribbing he would receive from his friends when they heard about it.
So far it was rather small, but it wouldn't be long before Sephiroth started looking for answers.
Rena was about ten seconds away from bitch-slapping someone. In her defense, she hadn't thought this...Silver Elite...would be quite so rabid.
It was like dealing with Colin Creevey ramped up to a hundred times worse combined with Skeeter's incessant need to spread gossip and lies. Her empathy for Sephiroth grew to even greater heights with every town she visited.
It was that bad.
Hearing someone ask if "Sephiroth" had somehow gotten hit with a materia to switch genders, her limited patience for idiots snapped like a brittle twig.
'I swear to Morgana, Merlin and Maeve that the next person to call me Sephiroth or mistake me for him is going to get slapped.'
Fate, it seemed, hated her. But she already knew that so she didn't make a note of it.
"Seph?" said a confused and somewhat bewildered male voice. One that was too old to be a teenager.
"My name," she hissed with absolute irritation and feminine fury, "Is Serenity. Not Sephiroth. If I hear one more bastard call me by that name I will start using the so called 'Silver Elite' as target practice, laws be damned!"
The bewildered and somewhat shocked man wearing quite a bit of red with hair to put a Weasley at least has the decency to look embarrassed.
"Sorry...it's just you look almost exactly like him, save for the fact you have breasts," he said apologetically.
"So I've been told. Repeatedly. By his so-called fans. If I ever meet this Sephiroth I am going to offer my sincere condolences for having to put up with such complete and utter idiocy on a daily basis."
"What about the other fanclubs?" he asked, curious.
"What other fan clubs?" she asked baffled.
"Red Poet and Keepers of Honor," he replied.
"...I swear fans have the worst habit of losing their brain cells when it comes to objects of their affection. I mean those names sound completely and utterly ridiculous and make it clear that the entire group is full of idiots without brain between them all too eager to invade someone's privacy for the sake of their own obsession."
He stared at her, an insane glimmer of hope in his eyes.
"So you're not an obsessed member of the Silver Elite?"
"Have you ever had to dodge a fireball aimed at you before?" she growled.
He laughed, though she detected a hint of desperation in his voice.
She eyed him for a moment. He wore a lot of red...and a sneaking suspicion came to mind.
"You're the one that the 'Red Poets' are obsessed with, aren't you?"
"Guilty. Genesis Rhapsodos at your service."
"You poor bastard. Why poet though?"
"I have a tendency to recite Loveless when I'm nervous."
The look on his face when she said that resembled the same expression Ron had when she asked what Quidditch was. It made the Weasley comparison almost impossible to ignore.
On an unrelated note, after hearing a fraction of the incomplete play Rena went and bought a copy. It reminded her of Shakespeare almost, and gave her something to do when she was traveling between towns.
(It also sparked another rumor among the Silver Elite that Sephiroth had been converted to Loveless by Genesis at long last. He was not pleased, especially when the red head started laughing his ass off when he found out what happened.)