All spells, enchantments, and curses have a point where they can be twisted, perverted, broken, or just plain co-opted. This is especially true when fae or old gods are involved. For the enchantment that an old man, with too many jobs and not enough time to think, placed on one Harry Potter and Petunia Dursley, linking them together until Harry's 17th birthday, it was November 2nd, 1982, at 8:30 am when this point arrived. This was precisely a year and a day after one Petunia Dursley found her nephew, Harry Potter, on her doorstep in a Moses basket, with naught but his baby blanket and a letter. Since then, Harry's learnt that crying brought no comfort, relief, or anything really. Three times a day he'd be fed and have his nappy changed. Outside of that he'd either be stuck in a playpen with the slightly older Dudley, or in the cupboard under the stairs for his naps/night-time sleep. As an up-and-coming salesman for Grunning's Drills, Vernon Dursley is sent all over the UK and Ireland for demonstrations and face to face sales. As both a successful salesman and a father with a [two] toddler[s], the company had no qualms about allowing him to take his family with him occasionally. After all, not only did it leave Vernon more loyal to the company, it was also good PR with their customers.
At this time the Dursley family were staying in a small holiday home in Cappeen West in County Cork, Ireland for a fortnight so that Vernon could do a tour of the nearby industrial areas, dentists, and a few other interested companies. The only reason they have a house rather than a room in the nearby town of Bandon is the fact that Grunning's was able to rent the property for a month at the same price as a single room in the only hotel in Bandon.
As she has done for the last year since having the children, Petunia leaves the front door of the home open while she kisses Vernon goodbye for the day. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem, as both boys have only just learnt to walk. Additionally, Vernon normally leaves during breakfast. However, here in Ireland, Vernon is able to leave that little bit later, and so for the last few days he's helped with feeding the children before he leaves. There is a glint of golden light behind Vernon's car, a glint that darts backward and forwards.
Harry giggles softly when he sees the light and pushes himself to his feet with the sofa. Arms outstretched he runs out of the house, as he does the golden light darts from behind the car off to one side and down the road. As he disappears around the corner, Dudley starts to cry, prompting Petunia to give Vernon one more kiss before she goes in to deal with Dudley. It would be half an hour before Petunia notices that Harry was missing, as Dudley took priority and was a messy eater.
Harry runs across the road with his hands outstretched as the golden glow darts through a hedgerow into the fallow field beyond it. When he slips in the mud the first time, the glow seems to pause as he pulls himself to his feet silently and carries on running. When he slips the second time the glow makes a sound like tinkling bells and he giggles audibly. As he slips, slithers, and crawls his way across the field his laughter became freer and louder as does his fascination with the golden glow that sounds like bells. The light leads him on a merry chase into the nearby wood, where his clothing catches on brambles and branches. Instead of stopping, he just wiggles his way out of the offending garment and carries on.
By the time the light leads him out of the woods and into another field, he is as naked as the day he was born. Over the next several minutes the light dances this way and that towards an old fairy fort that has been there longer than the village. Just before sunrise, the light finally enters the fairy fort, Cahervagliar. Right behind it, Harry runs in covered in mud and grass, the chill air and lack of clothing making him shiver, though he is having far too much fun to notice. As the golden light reaches the centre of the fort, it disappears as though it just stepped around a corner. Normally, this is where a normal toddler would have stopped in the centre looking confused. On any other day, this would have been true of Harry too, however, it is a year and a day to the minute since he was taken in by Petunia, and they were both ensnared by the enchantment. On this day, at this time, Harry runs into the centre of the fort and, just before the first rays of sunlight touch the courtyard, he follows the light around that corner and into a the clearing of a primeval forest.
There the golden light turns into a tiny person with butterfly wings as it stops and giggles. Harry being a toddler, does what many toddlers do when they seem something pretty, he laughs and tries to catch it.
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Ephis laughs to herself as it's been decades since she's had so much fun with a mortal. Most of them are no longer captivated by glowing lights, or they have someone looking over them. It's a shame this one is so young, it will probably die before someone finds it given the frost on the ground. The sound of human laughter is all the warning she gets before the mortal tries to catch her.
As she flitters up out of reach of the giggling child, Ephis mutters to herself, "Well that's different."
Turning around she tries to return to the fort, but at that moment the first rays of sunlight land on the centre of the fort, closing the entrance to her for a day.
"Oh bother, what am I going to do with you?"
Harry just giggles in response and tries to catch her. Sighing, she continues to lead the child on a merry dance around the clearing as the temperature warms and dappled sunlight fills the glade. Eventually, Harry gets too tired to continue chasing the fairy and plonks backwards onto his bum before lying down to nap. As she hovers over the sleeping toddler, Ephis comes to a decision and starts to sing and dance in the air. As she does, vines and leaves make their way out of the forest to form a basket with a leaf blanket. Once the basket is finished, it floats up off the ground and starts to bob gently along after the singing sylph. After a short time and many miles, Ephis approaches the abode of Mórrígan, and pauses as a red cap regards her while licking its lips.
"Begone foul creature, I am here to see the Lady with urgent business."
"I smell human child, you may enter if you leave the morsel behind."
"Nay, the child is the business, and that business is with the Lady not with you."
Grumbling the red cap steps to one side, "Very well, though the Lady has been in a mood recently."
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With some level of caution, Ephis flitters into the round house and pauses just inside the entrance. The makeshift basket bobbing behind her, occasionally bumping into her as if it's mirroring her nervousness. As her eyes adjust to the gloom of the interior she is able to make out the skins and cloths that provide decoration and furnishings. The dull red glow of the banked fire in the centre of the house provides almost as much light as the smoke hole in the roof. Out of place in the building, a richly appointed divan sofa on the far side of the fire pulls the eye, shortly followed by the occupant, a tall woman with red hair and short nails. She's wearing a dark linen shift and is reading a paperback book, beside her a clay vessel filled with sweet meats sits, and she idly reaches down to snag a bit of meat before turning the page and chewing on the treat.
The sound of Harry turning over in the basket draws the woman's attention like a gunshot at the far end of an alleyway and her head jerks around suddenly as she flows to her feet, a spear materialising in her hands ready to strike.
"Who dares disrupt my reading time?"
Ephis ducks in the air, "Forgive my intrusion Mórrígan, this sylph has a matter most vexing that must be brought to your attention."
"Speak, and remember I'm not as forgiving as Brighid."
Ephis swallows, "I was playing in the dawn light this morning and I caught the attention of a human child. I led it on a merry chase and brought amusement to both of us."
Using her spear to point, Mórrígan says, "You are bothering me with this why?"
Ephis backs up against the basket and squeaks, "It followed me through the ringfort and then it was sunrise so I couldn't get it back."
Putting the butt of her spear on the floor and leaning on it, Mórrígan says more gently, "Repeat that again, slowly."
"I led the child on a merry chase and returned to the ringfort just before the local sunrise. When I returned here, it followed me. I tried to get it back, but the gate closed."
"I see, show me the child."
With a gesture, the basket moves from behind Ephis and over to the Mórrígan. When it arrives, she reaches through the leaves and lifts Harry out. Sleepily, he wakes up and grasps her braid while saying, "Ma ma", before falling asleep again. Wards created by love, sacrifice, and wild magic; perverted though forbidden blood magic; and anchored to a squib and a baby; move on this most special of days and settle on the one Harry just called mother.
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In a castle tower in Scotland, a silver device that's puffing grey smoke with red streaks hiccoughs and briefly expels a stream of green smoke before starting to puff grey smoke with little autumn-coloured ravens in it.
In a holiday home in Ireland, an irate Petunia straightens up as if a weight was lifted from her shoulders before turning to the phone and calling the police. It won't be long before the police start a manhunt in the area before finding Harry's clothes and tracks. A few weeks later they will come to the conclusion that he fell into a hole in the wood and succumbed to hyperthermia.
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Mórrígan looks down at the toddler in her arms as the weight of the wards settle on her shoulders, implicit with that event is a duty to raise the child and protect him. Compared to her other obligations the weight of this one is a negligible, but still noticeable, drain on her reserves. "Well, it's been a few centuries since we last had a changeling" she murmurs before baring a breast and drawing a dagger. With a brief effort of will, the breast starts to lactate. Then, with a slight tightening of her eyes, she draws the dagger across the top of her areole just above the nipple. Jiggling the child, she wakes him up enough to latch onto the nipple and start to suckle on the mixture of milk and blood. As Harry feeds she cleans off her dagger before pointing it at the sylph that's edging closer to the door.
"You, sylph. You will swear your name to this child, to be his companion and teacher in our ways while he grows as my son." – As the sylph looks to be ready to bolt, she adds – "Or I can bind your blood instead in payment for the debt you have incurred in saddling me with him."
Ephis swallows hard before flying over to the suckling child, the audible buzz indicating her irritation and fear. Leaning in to the childs ear, she whispers, "I, Ephis, sylph of the spring court, grant you my name and promise to be your companion until you are grown." She shudders as she can feel her true name settle into the mind of the young child.
Harry opens his eyes and looks at her with his killing curse green eyes, as he does a ring appears around the outside of his iris the colour of fresh arterial blood. Another, unnoticed ring, also appears around the pupil, the colour of a ravens feather.
With the proof that the blood has taken hold looking up at her, Mórrígan puts some of her magic and authority in her voice, "I Morrígu, The Mórrígan of the Tuath Dé name you Yvor and take you as my son."
The only sign of discomfort that Harry makes is tears forming in his eyes, Ephis is not so lucky as she collapses to the floor under the terrible weight of The Mórrígans voice.
"Rise Ephis, at dusk you will return to the human realm and place a simulacrum hidden in the forest. You will then find where the child came from and claim anything that belongs to my son. When you return, we will visit my husband as my son has the smell of fate around him."
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Petunia paced around the living room, distraught, at the thought that her nephew was missing. Without the pressure that had been pressing down on her, or the twinges of pain and fatigue she was inflicted with whenever Harry tried to do some minor accidental magic, she was able to think clearly. What she knew is that her nephew's disappearance had something to do with her feeling better, which made her feel worse. Now he was missing, and she'd been so weighed down it was all she could do to look after Dudley.
There was a police car outside the house, and they had been so understanding even though she felt like it was her fault for not noticing that Harry had run out. A knock on the door startles her, and she rushes to answer it. Almost blotting out the sky, a giant of a policeman stands in the doorway holding a cheap pair of blue polyester trousers.
"Mrs Dursley, one of our men just found this in the wood. Do you recognise them?"
She sags against the wall, tears of hope and dread fill her eyes, "Yes, they're Harry's. When Dudley was born we were gifted with enough clothes to keep him clothed for a couple of years, but he's bigger than Harry, and also harder on his clothes. I picked those up cheap in C&A."
"Thank you for confirming this, it's not too late we might still find him."
"No, thank you for looking. I'm sorry it took me so long to pick up the phone. I was sure he was in the house somewhere just hiding from us. He's done it before at home."
"No, I understand. My sister has a little one, and he went missing once and they looked all over the flat. Eventually they found him asleep on top of the wardrobe."