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Little Big Sister
Chapter 1: Echoes in the Attic
Maria Potter was a quiet girl. Ask anyone and they would tell you that she rarely if ever said anything. Hardly a word came out of her. This wasn't because she was mute nor was it because she was stupid, no far from that. Instead, she would quietly watch and observe, taking every detail in. Why this was so, very few knew other than Maria herself.
The reason was because of her "family", in the loosest sense of the term. Quite simply, they were horrible. They treated her as little more than the filth one would find on the bottom of their shoes. Maria's relatives consisted of her uncle Vernon Dursley, her aunt Petunia, and her cousin Dudley. Vernon was an overweight, whale of a man with a short temper that caused him to change colors. He was usually complaining about something going on at his job selling drills and took his frustrations out on Maria, verbally and physically. Petunia was her mother's sister and was a thin woman with one hell of a nasty streak. She demanded total normalcy and perfection and thus added to the verbal and mental abuse heaped on by her husband. The last of the family, Dudley, was a smaller but still quite large version of Vernon that was spoiled in every way possible. He and his gang terrorized the neighborhood and Maria got the blame. Everything that Maria should've gotten went to him, even the second bedroom. She was displaced to the cupboard under the stairs.
However, Maria wasn't normal, not by anyone's standards. The young girl was smart, scarily smart. She could read and understand things well above her age. Contrary to the Dursley's ranting of her being an idiotic delinquent, she spent most of her free time in the public library reading anything she could get her hands on, usually science, math, physics books and mystery novels. As a result, she was very observant and would notice things others missed, though none really knew this.
Physically she wasn't normal either. For one thing she was really tall for her age, so much so that many thought she was older than she actually was. Also while her cousin was more or less a pig walking upright, Maria was more on the thin side. Not anorexic or malnourished, just trim and lean both from all the chores she did and from her natural shape. Oh the Dursleys had initially tried to starve the girl and dress her in Dudley's old hand-me-downs, but she had put a stop to that with logic and their own self-concern over normalcy.
A 5-year-old Maria Potter sat at the table, dressed in Dudley's oversized clothes that would be far too large on a normal person, let alone someone of her thin build. On her plate were a few measly scraps despite having cooked the dinner herself. For some time she had been thinking of a way to get some decent food and tonight was her chance. Why? Because tonight was garbage night.
Petunia glared at the thin girl before barking out orders. "Girl, go throw away the scraps and take out the trash," she said harshly.
Maria nodded and muttered just loud enough for her aunt to hear. "Hopefully the neighbors won't see me."
Petunia looked sharply at the girl when she said that. "Girl, what are you muttering about? Speak up immediately!" she barked as Vernon and Dudley watched with interest.
Maria whimpered, hoping this would work. "Well I was just wondering what the other people on the street would think at seeing all this wasted food or me in Dudley's old clothes?"
That stopped Vernon or Petunia from yelling at her immediately and started thinking. While they did hate the girl, she did have a point. "Vernon, if people see her like this they may start asking questions about where she came from. Also what if THEY are watching?" she said nervously.
Vernon however wasn't quite as afraid as his wife. "Now Pet, they haven't bothered us since we took the brat. Besides, who's going to care what the girl looks like?" he asked unconcerned.
Petunia however seemed to know better. "Vernon, just because we know the brat is a freak doesn't mean others will understand. What if they call the police? Our reputation would never recover and what if they hear about this at Grunnings? It could cost you your job. What if THEY come and find her in this state. True we've been treating her as she's deserved, but they won't believe that. Plus how will it look to the neighbors if we're wasting all this food with four people here?" she explained, fear lacing through her voice. Whether it was from the neighbors finding out, the police coming, or from this mysterious group, the girl couldn't say.
The little girl watched the conversation intently, wondering who this ominous THEY her aunt was referring too. Whoever she was talking about, they were important and her relatives were obviously scarred of them, more her aunt then her uncle for some reason. That led her to believe she knew more than her uncle. She also noted that the last time these people encountered the Dursleys was when she was dropped off here. Those thoughts were filed away for later as she watched her uncle frown in thought.
While Vernon hated to admit it, Petunia had a few good points. He rounded on the girl staring at her with his cruel eyes. "All right girl, you will eat everything that's left over, I don't care what it is. I will not have this family's reputation ruined by your freakishness! Got it!" he demanded of her. The black-haired girl only nodded, not trusting herself to speak at this point. "Also, tomorrow you and Petunia are going shopping for some fitting clothes. They will be cheap and inexpensive so as not to burden this family any more then you already have, is that clear?" he again demanded of her.
Maria nearly snorted at the burden comment but held it back knowing that doing so now would lead to a painful end. Instead she said simply, "Yes Uncle Vernon," and then did as ordered, eating the leftovers and taking out the garbage quickly and quietly with a hidden grin on her face.
After that, she now had plenty to eat and had fitting clothes, though as her uncle had said they were cheap. There had been a similar incident in regards to her school work. Originally they had gotten angry whenever she did better than Dudley until she mentioned that he had different classes than her and that they were probably harder than hers. Plus if she did well then Petunia could brag to all the neighbors, which had been the big selling point. After that they had eased up, allowing the girl to do her work to her full ability.
In any case, it wasn't just her unusual height that made her abnormal. It was her athletic ability and her rapid healing ability. Dudley found out, much to his and his gang's displeasure, that Maria was extremely fast, agile, and had incredible endurance. More than once when they tried to bully her she had avoided them and led them on a chase. It always ended with all of them winded, sweating like they had just run a marathon while she hadn't even broken a sweat. True they weren't in the best of shape but the result was still there. Best of all they couldn't pin it as being her fault out of pride. No way would Dudley or his gang admit to being outdone by a girl.
One of the more freaky things about her was her unnatural healing. Any bruise, cut, or injury was healed within minutes, faster if she was properly fed. The Dursleys saw this as somewhat of a blessing despite the freakishness of it. It meant they could abuse her and not have to worry too much about evidence. It was a double edged sword for them as well as it meant that any injuries didn't last long and had little if any long lasting effect.
The most disturbing thing about Maria was her eyes though. Under normal circumstances they were an emerald green that would pierce your soul. However, if she got too emotional they would shift, if only for a moment. They would change from their normal green with white and to being haunting yellow all the way with no other color. It only happened in flashes, but it was enough to make everyone weary of her.
Currently the girl was cleaning out the attic for her relatives. It wasn't a bad job and it kept her away from them. During her cleaning she noticed something. It was tucked away underneath boxes of old junk. It was an old trunk with the name Eleanor Delta Sinclair printed on the face plate. 'Who's Eleanor Delta Sinclair?' The trunk had a weird lock that didn't have a key hole of any kind. Without thinking she placed her hand over it and bent to look the thing over. All of a sudden she felt a sharp prick on the palm of her hand, causing her to immediately back away. 'The thing bit me!' she thought surprised. She was even more surprised when the trunk actually opened on its own. Curious she cautiously looked inside
There were a couple of cases with a bunch of weird hypodermic needles filled with a red liquid that looked like it was glowing. Each of the needles was marked with an odd picture. The first one had a man who looked like he was concentrating and a spoon that was bending. The next had a hand with lightning bolts coming out of it. Another also had a hand but this one had what looked like icicles on it. 'What is all this?' The ten-year-old thought as she looked through the trunk. The inside was somehow larger than the outside though she didn't really notice as she looked deeper. There were papers, notes, books, and odd photographs. All of it looked like research material from a lab. She glanced up and noticed something attached to the inside of the hood of the trunk. It was a tape recorder, at least it looked like one, but the design was different from anything she had seen before. Next to it was a picture of a group of people. There were two young women, one with short black hair and another with long red hair, and a dark haired man with glasses. Picking the picture and the recorder up, Maria hit the play button, hoping to get some answers.
The device started and the voice of a young woman quietly entered the attic. "Hello Maria," it said surprising the girl. "If you're hearing this, it means that the time has come and the Potters have decided to tell you who and what you are." Maria started at this, wondering just what this phantom woman was talking about.
The voice sighed before speaking again. "To start with, my name is Eleanor Delta Sinclair, though my birth name was Eleanor Lamb, and … I'm your mother." Maria sat there in shock. Her mother? Her mother was Lily Potter … wasn't it? The voice, Eleanor, continued. "I know this may seem a bit of a shock but it is true. You're probably wondering what all the papers and equipment in this trunk is and why you're with the Potters in the first place."
'Actually I'm wondering why I'm with the Dursleys but I don't think that matters at the moment,' she absently thought as she continued to listen to her mother's explanation.
"Firstly, I wasn't born in any known city or country." Okay, now this was getting weird. "I was born in a city called Rapture, hidden under waves where few if any could find it. The city was originally created to be a place of freedom, a place where people could be free of oppressive governments and religion. If you wish to know more you can listen to the audio diary tapes provided in this trunk." Maria looked through as she said this and noticed some stacks of tapes in one of the corners that were bound tightly together and secured to the side of the trunk.
Eleanor sighed again before continuing. "Unfortunately, Rapture's freedom eventually became its fall. The scientific freedom allowed for the development of a chemical called Adam. This chemical could allow people to alter their bodies anyway they wished, making them faster, smarter, stronger, and even giving them god-like powers." Well, that explained the syringes somewhat. "Adam was considered a miracle drug, but it had a steep price. Overuse caused physical and mental decay, driving users insane with want for it. Even worse was the only source of Adam were Little Sisters, young girls altered to produce Adam in their bodies and to crave the leftover Adam in corpses."
Maria gulped as she listened. This was getting really creepy for her as her supposed mother continued to talk about this lost city. Where was this leading to anyway? Eleanor started listening again. "I was the first Little Sister to have a Big Daddy, a type of body guard for Little Sisters. Neither he nor I choose to be so, but we came to care about each other in that time. Eventually my biological mother Sophia Lamb found me, killed my Big Daddy, and changed me back to normal, though not because I was her daughter. Over ten years I was sedated and dosed with Adam regularly by her. She wanted me to become a servant of the people, to work for the common good and not question it. Sophia wanted me to be little more than a powerful figurehead for her beliefs."
Maria was really tempted to hit the stop button at this point. If, and this was a very BIG if, what this woman was saying was true, then what did that make her? Was she human or one of these Little Sisters? There was also the question of how she had ended up with the Potters and then the Dursleys. Deciding against stopping at this point, she continued to listen to the tape. "Her own beliefs twisted her. She had tried to basically take all of Rapture and shove them forcefully into my mind through Adam. I fought back though. I was able to bring my Big Daddy, Subject Delta, back to life and with the help of a man named Augustus Sinclair, we escaped Rapture. Unfortunately only I made it to the surface alive." A moment of silence as the implications of that statement sank in.
"I was alone, with nowhere to go and only the memories and knowledge of Rapture's greatest minds in my head and the armor on my back. I also had the rescued Little Sisters with me. Not knowing where to go, I got us all to the mainland. I eventually made contact with the local authorities and had all the girls returned to their families. They all swore never to speak of Rapture or its horrors. After that, I was … alone." Maria paused at that. The way Eleanor had said alone made it seem like it was the first time in her life. Considering the story however, that may have been true.
"I wandered the countries, trying to figure out what I should do. For the longest time, my freedom was my only goal but now that I had it, now what? I decided then that I would travel, see the world that my mother so adamantly cursed. But first I would seal any entrances to Rapture as well as gather any last bits of technology or knowledge before seeing the world. It was May 1969 when I finally set out."
There was a pause. "Over the next six years I traveled the world and saw many things. During that time, I learned more about myself. For starters, because of my extreme exposure to Adam, I didn't age as fast as normal people. I expect you may potentially have the same condition. I moved from place to place, learning different things and basically living like a drifter. In 1975 I was in London England when I discovered the magical world."
Now Maria was really intrigued. The Dursleys disliked anything not considered "normal" but absolutely loathed magic or anything to do with it. Even saying the word magic was forbidden in this house. The girl had always wondered why and now she might get an answer. "I had found it by accident when men in black robes wearing pale masks and wielding sticks attacked where I was staying at the time. At first I thought them to be escaped mutants from Rapture given the energies they threw around. I quickly realized they were not. They were too organized, too efficient, too sane to be Splicers from Rapture. I realized that these weren't Rapture escapees but something else entirely. I donned my Big Sister suit in order to face them."
Big Sister suit? Wasn't she a Little Sister? "A Big Sister is what a Little Sister becomes when they grow up if they aren't changed back into a normal girl. Like Big Daddies they are guardians of Little Sisters and kept Rapture in balance. But while Big Daddies were the front-line soldiers, Big Sisters were assassins." Maria shivered at the tone Eleanor used, cold, serious, simple fact. "They did not know what hit them as I slaughtered them with no remorse. These were murders and terrorists and deserved no mercy for what they were doing. They never expected someone to fight back, let alone outmatch and kill them. In little time, they were dead."
"After taking down the last one, I wondered who or what these people were. A few had fled when they realized there was no hope against me. I heard people coming and quickly disappeared and hid to see what happened next. More people in robes with sticks appeared, but these were dress in uniforms with badges, similar to police. I watched as they picked apart the area like a crime scene, though in an odd and poor manner in my opinion," she said with a chuckle.
"I overheard them talking, mentioning the Leaky Cauldron. Deciding to investigate, I looked for the place and eventually found it in London. From there I entered the magical world. I learned a war was going on. A madman by the name of Voldemort was waging a terrorist campaign to wipe out all those who weren't directly descended from other magic users. I had seen things like this before and decided to help out. For the next five years I waged my own guerrilla war against the Death Eaters, Voldemort's followers. They were scared to death of me," Eleanor said with a chuckle. Maria had to smile at that. If what she was hearing was true, then she bet they were scared.
"I gained quite a few nicknames over the years. Black Death, Red Eye, the Ghost, Banshee, the One-Eyed Demon, Big Sister. During that time I also got to know the wizards and witches fighting against Voldemort as well. While they did not trust me completely as they didn't know who or what I was, we had a professional relationship. The leader of the Light Albus Dumbledore however hated me. He saw me as a monster due to my lethal methods and the fact that I didn't follow him blindly like everyone else. Despite his grandfatherly appearance, I considered him little different than Voldemort or Sophia Lamb. Turns out my suspicions were right." Maria narrowed her eyes as she listened to the story. This Dumbledore character sounded important … and dangerous.
"However, things changed drastically for in September 1979. There was a battle at the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic. The Aurors (magical police), a secret group called the Order of the Phoenix led by Dumbledore, and myself battled against the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters. Apparently he had wanted to raid the place for dark artifacts of power. While the Death Eaters were throwing lethal spells, it seemed I was the only one moving to kill the enemy. Everyone else on the Light side were using stunning spells due to Dumbledore's and the Ministry's orders." The black-haired girl snorted at that. Had they actually expected to win fighting that way? She was now starting to wonder at the common sense the Light wizards had.
"As the battle raged I was covered in the blood of those I had killed and injured as well as those injured that I had saved. During the fight, I was hit by a powerful blasting spell and knocked into a room full of strange potions. I moved to get out of there as I knew better than most how dangerous chemicals could be, magical or mundane. Before I could move, more spells were fired and I was drenched with the strange potions. At the time I didn't think anything happened, so I continued to fight. Once the battle was over, I went to my home to rest, not knowing at the time what those potions combined with all that blood did to me."
Eleanor sighed as the tape continued, getting closer to the end from the look of it. "It was shortly after that I found out what had happened. The potions combined with all that blood had seeped through my suit and when combined with my unique genetic structure, caused a reaction. In short, I was pregnant." Maria sat there stunned in a moment of silence before the recording continued. "I went back and found the potions I had been drenched with were for blood adoption rituals and fertility and pregnancy potions since witches conceive a lot less than non-magical women. That combined with the gene altering properties of the Adam in my system, caused me to get pregnant with you."
"As a result, I lessened my attacks to the point where I had become a rumor. Even with all of Rapture's medical knowledge in my head I was still worried to death about losing you. I didn't think I was able to have children after what my mother put me through," she said in a wistful tone before continuing. "You were born July 31, 1980. I couldn't stop crying as I held you. You were so cute and even then I couldn't believe it." Maria could practically hear the tears coming down her mother's eyes.
Eleanor's tone however changed to something more sorrowful now. "However, it was not to be. Shortly after I had you, I went on another mission, leaving you with the Potters as they were some of the few that truly trusted me. No one else knew of my friendship with them as I had them swear a magical oath of silence. The mission I went on was to infiltrate a Death Eater stronghold and retrieve some artifact called a horcrux. It was supposedly important to Voldemort. It was the last mission I ever went on." Maria's eyes widened as her mother's tone became even more morose. "At that point in the war, Voldemort was desperate to kill me as I was his biggest threat, even more then Dumbledore, simply because I was willing to kill while other fighters for the Light were not. Voldemort had set a trap for me. He ambushed me with a group of Death Eaters and while they kept me busy, one of his elite readied a secret weapon. It was a gas distilled and modified from the venom of a Basilisk, extremely lethal and toxic, able to burn through most materials including my suit. They didn't care about their comrades who died being burned inside and out from the stuff, as long as it killed me. Since I was so busy dealing with them it burned through my helmet and I inhaled some of it before I got away."
There was some coughing now as Maria's mother's voice started to sound weaker then when it started the story. "I got back to the Potters, barely, and told them what happened. That was five hours ago." Another cough. "They tried to get Dumbledore's phoenix to give some tears as that was the only thing known to counter basilisk venom but the old man forbade it when he learned who it was for. He would not let a "heartless killer" get out of what they deserved. Hypocritical bastard," Eleanor sneered in her voice. Maria silently agreed. "Now I sit here recording this after gathering everything from Rapture I could and putting it in this trunk for you. The Adam in my body is trying to fight off the basilisk venom gas but it can't for long. Inside the trunk you'll find a number of plasmids and tonics, all labeled and will grant you their abilities without you having to worry about side-effects due to the Adam your system naturally produces. The plasmid with the triangle symbol, the symbol of Delta, is unique. It contains all the memories and minds of Rapture including mine and my father's. Please know daughter that I love you and that this trunk is my final gift to you. Use what is in here if you need to." She stopped as she had a coughing fit. "Once you do there is no going back. What you do with the power they grant is up to you. My only request is that you do not hate the Potters for none of this is their fault and they will take care of you after I am gone. Stay safe my little Maria and know that I love you." The tape then ended just as another coughing fit hit her.
Maria sat in silence as she tried to process what she had just listened to. Cities under the ocean? Controlled genetic mutation? Wizards and witches? Either her mother had been completely insane or Maria had stepped into the Twilight Zone. There was also the slim possibility that the voice really had been her mother and that everything she had said was true. The ten-year old looked down at the syringes and found the one with the triangle on it, the symbol for Delta. If her mother was telling the truth, then this one contained all of Rapture's memories, including her mother's. She picked it and looked at the red, glowing liquid inside the thing. Best case scenario this was all true and this would grant her the minds and memories of the best minds of Rapture at the time along with her mother's memories. Worst case it was a poison and she would die. Was the gain worth the risk? 'Better question is what, do I really have to lose?' she asked herself as she thought of her life with the Dursleys. She looked at the syringe and pierced her skin with the needle. Gritting her teeth and closing her eyes, she pulled the trigger and injected the red substance into her blood stream. Immediately her body was racked with pain as her world went black.