Hello, this is primarily an action fic, with a sprinkling of romance. The fic stays close to the source material but should be known that I have taken liberties with my portrayal of Harry. Fem/harry, with just a bit more drive, and smarts.
Perhaps it was the food or the excitement from the opening feast, but Harriet was tossing and turning in a restless sleep. She was dreaming about the same things she always dreamed on bad nights. There were dementors and large snakes. Sometimes it was a basilisk and sometimes it was a large brown python with diamond markings. There was a man skin being burned, with faces on the back of the head. There were werewolves and dark evil wisps. There was a green light and high laughter. There was a faceless grey-cloaked figure in a white room reaching out a long-fingered hand.
She shot up from the bed, breathing hard. Her infamous lightning scar on her chest was burning. She spent a second taking large gulps of air and tried to settle her erratic heart rate. When she had settled, she turned to see if she had woken her dorm mates.
The outlines of Parvati and Lavender were just visible in the dim moonlight from the window. They still rested peacefully under their covers. She turned then to one of her best friends, Hermione. They had been close friends since she and Ron had saved her from a troll in first year, and she had been an invaluable friend since.
Thankfully she had not woken Hermione, because invaluable or not, Hermione was prone to becoming very involved in Harriet's business.
She decided to splash her face with some water and therefore got out of bed, slipped on her slippers and quietly made her way to the toilet on the other side of the room. She eased the bathroom door closed behind her. Then she turned on the sink and cupped her hands under the flow of warm water. She brought her face down and her hands up and tried to scrub away the last vestige of the dreams. When she was finished, she dried her face and let her hands rest on the rim of the sink.
The torchlight was dim, and she could just see the details of her face in the weak light. Hermione insisted that she had gotten very pretty this year. Secretly Harriet agreed. Her face was losing some of its roundness and her cheekbones were becoming more noticeable. Her lips looked poutier and pinker, and her nose lost the cute button look to be replaced with a dainty straight nose. Her eyes were still overly large, but they were framed by nice long dark lashes that made the wicked green stand out nicely. She had always liked her eyes, as they made people relate her to her mother. Unfortunately, she also had her mother's skin tone. If there was anything that she would change it would be to get a little more sun in her skin. She was pale like porcelain; the one redeeming feature was that her skin was rather blemish free for a fourteen-year-old. She had really lucked out in the acne department, according to Lavender. Even her hair had become more tameable this year. Well, she had actually started to brush the long raven mass of waves into something resembling silkiness, so she figured that had made a difference. She always had it up in a ponytail or bun anyway, so it hadn't changed her overall look much. Harriet wasn't a vain girl, but she could see that she looked pretty and was secretly happy for the fact.
Now if only her body would get the memo that it was puberty time. She had always been rather petite, mostly due to a lack of proper nourishment growing up. But she really thought that maybe once puberty hit, she would gain a few inches and some curves. She had grown some this summer, but it had been very disheartening to come back from summer vacation and see that Hermione, Lavender and Parvati had grown much more. That wasn't even taking into account the Gryffindor boys sudden giraffe status. Suffice it to say, she was feeling dwarfed.
Making her diminutive status even worse was the fact that the girls had grown in other ways she had not. They were all now wearing bras. Harry was being generous in allowing herself to wear a cotton sports bra. She was flat as a board and had curves like a bean pole, i.e. none. She had even heard Parvati and Lavender whispering earlier about their period, and while it sounded like an absolutely horrible experience in general, it did make her question why she didn't have it and if there was something wrong with her. Hermione said she was being stupid and was just a late bloomer. Hermione was right of course, she was always right anyway, and it wasn't something to get worked up over, so she let it go. There was nothing she could do about it except eat regular Hogwarts meals.
There was one part of her body that she resented, and it was now standing out against her white skin red, inflamed and angry. The lightning shaped scar started just below her left collarbone and cut down to above her heart. The scar was a remnant of a terrible curse that he had cast upon her as a child. Everyone in the wizarding world knew it was there, but few had seen it. Her dorms mates had of course, and she had spent time with Ron in the summer wearing singlets. But Hogwarts uniforms and robes didn't exactly show off the chest unless you were one of the girls who liked to strut their stuff. Harriet didn't have stuff to strut. So, the wizarding world at large had never seen the infamous scar. Those closest to her knew that the scar had another function. It burned a warning whenever a dark wizard by the name of Lord Voldemort was near to her.
It had been hurting all summer and it had worried her to no end. She wasn't a stupid girl, she could read the signs. And the signs were all pointing into the darkness. She didn't want to worry her friends but perhaps she would send another letter to her godfather Sirius.
She was still standing at the sink and finally felt the wave of exhaustion she had been waiting for. After the adrenaline from her nightmare had subsided, she was finally drained and ready for a couple hours more sleep. She knew she was already going to be tired tomorrow and she would need all the energy she could get. With her luck, she would have double potions with Slytherin tomorrow morning.
She often did wonder if the universe thought of her like a mouse on a string, which it could bat around like some great cosmic cat. These morose thoughts were brought on by the timetable that had just been handed to her by the ever-strict Professor McGonagall. First period, double potions with the Slytherins. Just great. Perhaps she shouldn't have dropped divination with Hermione, because she seemed to have a knack for predicting terrible comings.
But the thought of Trelawny's bug eyes and the remembrance of last years prediction from the divination professor made she think that yes, she had done the right thing.
She had left that class with Hermione, choosing to instead focus on her other electives, care of magical creatures and Arithmancy. She always did care for Maths in primary school. And as spells got harder in her other classes, she was happy for a way to deconstruct them and it allowed her to get the spell down a bit faster. Just a bit mind, she wasn't Hermione, and really the key to magic was confidence and practice. Care of Magical creatures was fun with Hagrid, and he really did know his stuff, unlike other professors. Well, it wasn't entirely fair to say that Trelawny didn't know her stuff, she had made a true prediction to Harriet in the corridor on her last day of exams. It just upset Harriet to think that Trelawney's doom and gloom may have had some merit.
"Ugh, this is just horrible," Ron said from beside her, looking at his timetable as well. Her faithful friend echoed her sentiment exactly.
"I don't know what I did in a past life to deserve such treatment, but it must have been something pretty horrible," she added.
"You probably were a serial puppy tormenter. Next time try not to place your misfortunes from past lives upon us as well," Ron snorted.
"Stop being so melodramatic you two, it's just potions," Hermione added.
"Potions with Snape and Slytherins on Monday morning," Harriet corrected, like that proved her point. Hermione just gave her a no-nonsense look.
"It's not like this Triwizard Tournament, which is truly horrible! People have died you know!" Hermione added.
Dumbledore had announced last night that the Triwizard Tournament was to take place this year at Hogwarts. Three students, from three different schools, would take part in three death-defying tasks, for the honour of eternal glory… and a thousand galleons. The school was buzzing with the news, and already predictions were being flung about.
"Are you kidding Hermione! This is going to be the greatest thing ever! And I totally want to enter," Ron stared at Hermione in surprise. "You agree right Harry?"
Harriet had thought a bit about the Triwizard Tournament last night before bed. The idea of adventure was exciting, but in the kind of way, an adventure novel was exciting. Harriet had been on too many adventures herself and knew that the idea was better than living the event.
"I don't know Ron, I am kind of with Hermione on this one. It sounds like a bit more than I am would take on willingly. Eternal glory is great and all that, but I prefer my limbs where they are thanks. I am mostly disappointed that there is no Quidditch this year." Harriet added with a sigh.
Ron just looked at her gobsmacked. "So, you aren't going to try and enter?" he asked.
"Of course, she isn't! And neither are you. You have to be seventeen to compete." Hermione added with a smug look at Ron. Ron just groaned and Harriet shrugged.
"Honestly it would be nice to have a quiet uneventful year, where I get to watch other people go through the death-defying stunts," Harriet threw in with a laugh. Her propensity for trouble was well known. "Well, we better go up and get our books for potions if we don't want to be late."
They made it to the potions room with time to spare. And they made their way to stand over next to their fellow Gryffindors. The Slytherins were a little way down the hall in their own group. She was leaning against to wall listening, but not participating, in the conversation amongst the Gryffindor's about the Triwizard Tournament. Then Hermione lent over to whisper in her ear.
"Malfoy is glaring at you."
Sure enough, when she looked up Malfoy was staring at her rather frostily. He was surrounded by the Slytherins and Pansy looked like she was holding court as she was the only one talking. Probably handing out royal decrees that she expected everyone to follow, the bossy b—witch. No one was really listening and least of all Malfoy. She was upset to note that he had also sprouted this summer. This was going to make glaring at him all the much harder as she probably just reached his nose. She sent her best scowl regardless, but he just smirked back. She decided not to waste her time and turned back to Hermione.
"You don't think he's got some plan to sabotage our potion, do you?" she asked.
"Hmmm, well we will keep watch," Hermione said with her own scowl. Hermione her faithful potions partner would not let her down. Let Malfoy try to come between Hermione and an Outstanding.
Soon after the door to the lab creaked open and the ominous voice of Professor Snape called from inside, "enter."
They filed in with Hermione and Harriet at the back of the Gryffindor pack. The set their stuff on one of the benches in the middle on the Gryffindor side of the room. To their surprise, it was Malfoy that sat at the bench next to hers. It was strange because he usually sat at the back. She was beside him with the alley separating them. Hermione and Harriet shared a glance and then sent a glare to Malfoy.
"All right, Potter? I see you grew all of a centimetre this summer," Malfoy the smarmy bastard smirked.
Harriet ground her teeth, he did have a talent for finding her soft spots and then grinding salt into them.
"Why Malfoy thanks for noticing, tis an improvement if I say so myself. Of course, if you too eat your vegetables you can improve as well, might I recommend you focus on the face area, always room for development." She ground back sweetly.
Zabini beside Malfoy let out a snort, and Malfoy directed the glare he was levelling at her back towards his partner.
"Like your one to talk Potter," Pansy shrill voice broke in from behind and to the right, she was on the bench directly behind Malfoy. "You wouldn't know pretty if it hit you with a stick!"
"Is that how you learned Pansy? By getting hit with a stick? Well, now it all makes sense." Harriet smirked while indicating at Pansy face. Pansy turned red and the Gryffindor's who had caught the verbal back and forth choked down their laughter.
"What do you know Potter? I'm gorgeous inside and out," Pansy sassed back, still red in her pug face.
"Your colons on the inside too, and that's also full of shit!" Harriet snapped back.
The Gryffindors couldn't hold it in anymore and burst into laughter, she even caught a couple Slytherins duck their heads, including Zabini and Malfoy.
"ENOUGH!" Snape's voice cut through the laughter. "Settle down now! I should have expected this Miss Potter, five minutes back and already disrupting the class. Five points from Gryffindor!" Snape called as he glared at her.
She lifted her chin and met his gaze, her righteous feelings straightening her backbone under his glare. She wouldn't be intimidated. She watched as under her stare his face went carefully blank for just one moment. Then he spun with his robes billowing and flicked his wand at the board. Instructions began to appear on the board.
"Let's see if you dunderheads did your summer homework properly. You should now know all about the brewing and uses of shrinking potions. Get to work, and hand your summer homework in as you come up to get your ingredients." Snape called.
"I'll set up," Hermione said to Harriet as she rummaged through her bag, all business despite mirth still in her eyes at Harriet's put-downs.
"Can you hand mine in too?" Hermione held out her homework for her to take.
She grabbed the parchment and her own and made her way to the front. She joined the queue and placed the essays down in front of a scowling Snape. She met his eye confidently. Her essay was good, she knew he wouldn't find fault. Despite Snape's verbal jibes at her intelligence, she was actually quite good at potions. And while she didn't write with Hermione's' perfectly paraphrased, respectably referenced, and excellently eloquent prose, she did her work and it showed.
Snape's glare followed her to the ingredient's cupboard. There were just a few ingredients needed for the potion that didn't come in a standard potions kit. Knarl quills, Jobbernowl feather, and Billywig juice. She grabbed the first two, then saw that the few vials left of Billywig juice were on the top shelf. She stretched up and onto her tiptoes to reach the top shelf, straining but only able to brush her fingertip against the glass. A pale hand reached past her and grabbed the vial, bringing it to her hand. She grasped it and turned to face who helped her. She found herself face to face and much too close to Malfoy.
She stepped back and narrowed her eyes. He only offered her a slightly cocky smirk.
"Thanks," she grumbled and moved past heading to her desk.
She may be avoiding the dangers of the Triwizard Tournament at all costs, but between Malfoy being weird, Pansy's attitude, Snape's malice and no Quidditch. It was going to be a long year.