AUTHOR'S NOTES: This story came out of a little nugget of an idea I had and with snow reaching 'Arctic Tundra' levels where I live I figured I might as well start writing the story. Usually my 'disabledHarry' stories kick off with something happening to Harry but in this story, his family and friends are trying to keep something from happening to him. Also, as far as the names of Harry's siblings, I actually went through a good few before finding names that sounded good with 'Potter'.
STORY SUMMARY: 17 years ago, Death Eaters used old magic to place a curse on James and Lily Potter. A curse that Harry longs to beat. But with his brother and sisters already affected, how long can The Boy Who Lived hold out before fate catches up with him?
AU! James and Lily are alive and Voldemort is gone for the moment. (Not sure if I'm going to write it as Voldie's REALLY dead yet.)
HARRY POTTER: The Potter Family Curse
Harry Potter groaned as he heard his brother's alarm clock go off at 9am. Opening one eye, Harry looked over at his brother, hoping he'd shut the alarm off quickly.
In the bed on the other side of the room, Dominic reached out a hand and after a moment, hit the 'off' button and slowly sat up, throwing back his blankets before getting up. Like Harry, he had black hair which stuck up in all directions like their father, James. But while Harry's eyes were a bright green like their mother's, Dom's were a cloudier green—the result of a potions accident when he was in his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry which had blinded him.
After putting on his glasses, Harry watched his brother make his way towards the bathroom and close the door before getting up himself. After using his sisters' bathroom, Harry headed downstairs and checked to what cereal his father had left for breakfast. After grabbing a box from the pantry, Harry poured himself a bowl of cereal and had just put the box away when his oldest sister and Dominic's twin, Adele, came down the stairs.
Adele also had black hair, but instead of it being unruly, it was just past shoulder-length and curly. Her brown eyes always seemed to have some sort sparkle in them and it was said that only the Weasley twins—Fred and George—were more mischievous. Three weeks ago she had been working with the twins on some new Quidditch moves and had fallen off her broom after a midair collision. Numerous attempts to heal her daughter's broken arm had been unsuccessful and Lily Potter had been forced to take Addie to a muggle hospital for treatment.
As Harry grabbed milk and a spoon, his eye was drawn to the cast on Addie's right arm that went almost up to her shoulder. Her ring and pinkie fingers were also encasted, as was her thumb and this morning Addie also had her arm in a sling. "Sleep alright?" Harry asked as Addie grabbed the bread on the counter for toast.
"Other than the throbbing, stabbing pain in my arm, yeah," Addie replied, irritably. Turning to Harry, she saw that her younger brother had lowered his head, abashed. "Sorry, Harry. What about you?"
"Slept fine," Harry replied. "Where's Mum and Dad?"
"Late night, I suppose," Addie shrugged as she grabbed her toast. "Jessica and Isabelle were still in bed, too, last I checked."
As Harry finished his breakfast, Dominic came down the stairs, holding a white cane out in front of him while he had his other hand on the banister. "Morning, Dom," Harry said, brightly.
"Morning," Dominic said in return as he made his way to the kitchen. After pulling out his wand and starting toast and tea, he turned to head towards the kitchen table.
Just as the kettle whistled, the three Potter children heard the rest of the family moving about. From the first floor bedroom, James and Lily emerged looking tired but awake. While James finished toast, eggs, and bacon for everyone, Lily finished making tea.
"Jess! Izzy! Breakfast!" Lily hollered upstairs.
"We're coming, Mum!" Jess said as she slowly made her way down the steps. Leaning on elbow crutches, Jessica wasn't usually perceived as pretty, even considering that she looked almost exactly like her mother, although her eyes were hazel instead of straight green or brown. She was tall and had what might have become a dancer's grace if not for the brace she wore on her right leg which went almost up to her hip. She'd been born with debilitating malformations of the ankle and knee and her parents had been baffled when magic had no effect. For the first 8 years of her life she'd been in and out of muggle hospitals and had endured 5 surgeries to try and fix her leg. But even now at 15 she had limited function of her right leg and it was only with the leg brace and the crutches that she was even able to walk at all.
Behind Jess, Izzy looked tired and when she said 'good morning' to her family, her voice was very soft and hoarse owing to the tracheostomy tube inserted into her lower neck. Born premature, Isabelle's throat had been prone to collapses and when she was 4 years old the trach tube had become a necessity. A few specialized charms had allowed Izzy to be able to speak but she couldn't talk very loudly and her voice was fairly hoarse.
As James and Lily ate, they couldn't help thinking about their children's various disabilities. Somehow, for some reason, Dominic, Adele, Jessica, and Isabelle had all endured some sort of severe injury. Lily hoped that Adele's broken arm would heal properly but there was a part of her that wondered if Adele would end up with some sort of permanent damage.
The only one who—for the time being—had escaped the family curse was Harry. Sure, he'd had some bumps and bruises at Hogwarts but never any injuries to the degree his brother and sisters had.
Last night, James and Sirius had paid Albus Dumbledore a visit at Hogwarts, hoping to shed some light on what was happening to James' family.
The news hadn't been good. Dumbledore had consulted Severus Snape, Hogwarts' potions master, who had quickly identified the curse as a very old spell which made permanent the first severe injury someone incurred.
There was no known counter-curse and there was no way to predict what sort of injury would become permanent.
After breakfast, Harry went up to his room to finish his summer assignments while Dominic and Adele went with their parents to Diagon Alley.
Izzy and Jess had opted to go visit the Weasleys—Jess was convinced Ron had a crush on her—and since James was reluctant to leave Harry alone he had called Sirius over.
"Enjoying the quiet?" Sirius asked, popping into Harry and Dominic's room.
Harry looked up before turning back for a moment to finish the last few lines of his Herbology essay. "Sirius, where were you and Dad last night?" he asked, setting his quill down and turning to his godfather.
"Talking with Dumbledore," Sirius replied, sitting on Harry's bed. "James and I thought he might be able to help us figure out what happened to your brother and sisters."
"And?" Harry asked, eager to hear the news.
Sirius was reluctant to tell Harry but knowing that his favorite godson wouldn't like it if he lied, Sirius said, "There's an old curse that was popular amongst the Death Eaters back in the day. A dark witch or wizard would cast the spell over a pregnant woman and from that moment on, all of her children would be cursed."
"But what would the curse do?" Harry asked, thinking. "I mean, Dom, Jess, Izzy, and Addie all have different disabilities."
"That's what the curse does," Sirius explained. "The first serious injury a witch or wizard receives will result in permanent damage."
"What about Jess and Izzy?" Harry asked, wondering how the curse applied to them. "Mum said that their disabilities were congenital."
"Dumbledore still thinks they were caused by the curse," Sirius replied. "They were just affected more than they might have been otherwise." After a moment, he added, "Your father's worried about you, Harry. There's no way to tell when the curse could affect you. It could be devastating."
Harry nodded in understanding. "So whatever happens, there's no way to heal the injury?"
"Harry, I want you to take extra special care this year at Hogwarts," Sirius warned.
"I will, Sirius," Harry promised. "I always try to stay out of trouble. You know me."
September 1st was a cool, cloudy day as James and Lily bustled about trying to get everyone ready to leave. It was always something of a production getting everyone ready for the school year and Lily wanted to make certain that Izzy would be able to handle the daily care of her trach tube as it was her first year at Hogwarts.
Once they were all set and the van was loaded with various bags and trunks, James bustled everyone in and headed down the road.
Sitting next to Izzy, Harry gave her a smile. "You'll love Hogwarts, Iz," Harry assured her.
"What about spellwork?" Izzy rasped.
"Ahh, you'll just have to focus your magic a bit more," Dominic said with a shrug. "You'll be fine, sis. If I can make it to my 7th year without being able to see you should have no trouble at all."
"Are you sure?" Izzy asked, nervously. Actually, she'd been working the past few years on honing her non-verbal spells with her mother's guidance but performing the occasional spell at home was one thing. Doing magic in front of teachers who would be grading you was another.
"You'll be great, honey," Lily said from the front seat.
"Just remember," James said with a smile. "Snape's a git, History of Magic is the best class for a nap, and mouthing off in McGonagall's class is a sure-fire way to get detention."
"It'll be fine," Lily said again as she gave James a look. "And don't forget: you can owl us if there's any problems."
Once at King's Cross station, James took Izzy through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10 first while Lily followed with the trunks, Jess, and Adele. Harry and Dominic brought up the rear and once through the barrier, Dominic headed for the train while Harry looked around for his friends: Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Neville Longbottom.
"Harry!" Jess said as she turned to see Harry just standing around. "Come on!"
Harry nodded in his sister's direction and got on board the Hogwarts Express, heading down the train until he finally spotted Ron, Hermione, and Neville.
"Harry," Hermione said, happily as she jumped up from her seat and rushed forward to hug Harry.
"Hiya, Harry," Ron said, grinning. "We were wondering where you'd got to."
"Mum was going over some stuff with Izzy," Harry explained as he put his bag in the overhead storage. "How was your summer?"
"Gran and I spent the summer in Spain," Neville replied, grinning. "It was great. Ron's summer was quiet, though."
"Until Fred and George got caught flying Dad's car back from London," Ron said with a laugh. "Not sure who Mum was more mad at: The twins or Dad."
"How was your summer, Harry?" Hermione asked.
Harry looked at his friends for a moment and then closed the compartment door before telling the others about what Sirius had said about the 'Potter family curse' just as the train started pulling away from the station.
"So Sirius thinks you're next for this curse?" Neville asked, looking slightly afraid.
"That's rotten luck, mate," Ron said, frowning.
"Ron, it doesn't mean something's going to happen to Harry right away," Hermione said, trying to put a positive spin on the situation. Turning her attention to Harry, she added, "You said Adele only got hurt this summer, right?"
"Yeah, and she just turned 17," Harry said, cheering up.
"Harry, all you have to do is just be a bit more careful this year," Hermione advised.
"Oh, is that all?" Ron asked with a wry laugh. "Come on, Hermione."
"I'm serious, Ron," Hermione insisted. "If Harry can get through this year—"
"And what about next year?" Neville asked. "Hermione, the kind of curse Harry's talking about isn't something you can beat. It'll find him eventually."
"Maybe it already has," Ron said, hopefully as he thought of something. When Harry looked confused, Ron pointed at Harry's forehead. "Your scar, Harry!"
"You're right, Ron," Neville agreed, brightening up. "Harry's the only one to survive the Killing Curse."
Harry's hand went to the lightning shaped scar on his forehead—the result of a failed curse when the dark wizard, Voldemort, had tried to kill him when he was barely two years old. For some unknown reason, Voldemort had only been after him, rendering his parents unconscious before attempting to kill him.
The next morning, when James and Lily had discovered what had happened, they had quickly taken their children to the old summer house in Potters Bar in London where James' parents had taken him every year.
No amount of spells or potions had ever completely healed Harry's scar and as Harry now thought about it, he wondered if the scar was what injury he would always carry with him.
The sun was starting to set as the train drew closer to Hogsmeade station and the last rays of sun had vanished by the time Harry and his friends emerged from their compartment dressed in their school uniforms. Looking around, Harry found his brother and sisters and after they were all in one of the open carriages they finally headed towards Hogwarts Castle.
While Izzy went to join the other 1st years, Harry, his friends, and his siblings headed for the Great Hall and found seats at the Gryffindor table.
Once the rest of the students were seated, everyone turned their attention to the front of the room where an old, patched hat sat upon a small wooden stool.
Turning her attention to the first year students, Professor Minerva McGonagall withdrew a roll of parchment and said, "When I call your name, you will sit on the stool and place the Sorting Hat on your head. The Hat will call out the name of the House you will be sorted into." Looking at the list, she read off the first name. "Parker Abrams."
The list went alphabetically and after what felt like ages, the Potters all leaned forward as McGonagall called, "Isabelle Potter."
Dominic tensed, waiting to hear where his little sister would be sorted. He imagined Harry, Jess, and Adele looking to see if they could make out what the hat was saying or if Izzy was whispering something. He regretted that he had never seen any of his siblings' Sortings but he knew that there was nothing to be done about it.
Finally, the Sorting Hat called out, "GRYFFINDOR!" prompting cheers from the Gryffindor table.
Once Izzy had sat down between Ron and Harry, she smiled as the others congratulated her.
When the Sorting was completed, Dumbledore stood to address the students. "Welcome, one and all, to another year at Hogwarts. First of all, I would like to introduce Gilderoy Lockhart who will be taking the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts."
Harry groaned when he saw the so-called 'famous' wizard. Lockhart was rumored to have defeated numerous foes but Harry doubted very much that any of the tripe written in his books was true. The man looked like he'd never spent a day doing any hard work in his life.
But Hermione, Ginny, and many of the other girls at the table were sighing dreamily as they stared up at him.
When the feast began, Harry grabbed a bowl of his favorite potatoes and started to fill his plate with food. But while everyone dug into their plates and chatted with friends, Harry was preoccupied with his own thoughts and he unconsciously rubbed his scar again. Something felt amiss this year and he couldn't put his finger on what it was.
A/N: Potters Bar is the name of a real town in London. I thought it sounded fitting.