Had it been any other day of the year, the power would not have been strong enough. Had it been another day, she would have felt a slight tingle, maybe a chill or a spine shiver, as though someone had walked across her grave; she would not have felt the intense tugging throughout her body, singing through her blood, ushering her and calling her to where she was needed. Had it been any other day, the ancient magic of the Family would not have been able to tell Morticia Addams that a family member was in need.
It began as the standard shiver that she felt any other time, a warning that maybe something was not quite right (and not in the good way); that maybe she should double-check on her children's whereabouts or call up a family member and ensure that everybody was healthy and happy in their appropriate houses or graves. Her children were right in front of her, little two-month-old Wednesday throwing pieces of her great-great-great-uncle Moonshine at her two-year-old brother, Pugsley, so Morticia quietly excused herself from the family celebrations and glided into the house, her tall, thin form thrown into shadow as she exited the moonlight. She quickly retrieved the family phone book from its place supporting a short chair leg and set about phoning the members of the family who would know the statuses of every other member of the family, or who could otherwise find out quickly. After eighteen separate phone calls (and two through the mirror), Morticia had verified the relative tolerable health of every family member with whom she kept in contact.
...with whom she kept in contact…
There must be someone else she wasn't thinking of, because the feeling wasn't going away. Frowning slightly, she double-checked the list of names, trying to find any unaccounted for. No, that was everyone. Why wouldn't this feeling st-
-bright red hair flying and flash of green light and a crying infant-
Morticia clutched the armrests of the chair in mild surprise as the shiver suddenly magnified, faint, blurry images flashing past her eyes. Someone of the Family had just perished, someone with a very faint connection. This was not someone who Morticia had ever seen or heard of before, but it was someone of the blood. She wondered briefly why the feelings were so oddly intense. She had felt Family members die on this day before; in fact, it was the preferred day. It had never been quite this strong, however. Something was different.
The Family likes different.
Then the feeling grew again, this time enough to make her spasm.
-more green light and a whoosh of death but a very big very large death a very powerful death and a very powerful life it's the life that matters it's the life that needs-
Morticia was quick to find the kitchen, where she knew Grandmama would be; and there she was, mixing together some pumpkin and black cat for a treat for the family. She looked up as Morticia entered and grinned, showing off her thirteen remaining teeth. She had once been the Family mother. She felt it too.
"Grandmama," she said, "the most horrible feeling has overcome me; it's wonderful." Morticia smiled a smile that was somehow both soft with love and sharp with eagerness. "I must go to England at once."
There he was, lying on the doorstep of a ghastly, cheerful house, surrounded by other ghastly, colorful houses. Morticia hadn't found him easily, as his location kept changing throughout the night, but when he was finally in this one place for over an hour, she finally determined that he was alone and that she could finally retrieve him. She walked slowly up to the cream-colored door and knelt down, smiling at the tiny bundle of blankets and black hair that was curled up in the basket on the doorstep. She picked up the bundle carefully. Her blood sang as she lowered a hand to run through his hair, and finally the feeling stopped. She was where she needed to be, and now she would take him to where he needed to be.
With her right hand (all of the Family members are left handed, and so it was that arm which held the baby) she reached down the front of her shirt and produced a fine, brown powder which she sprinkled over herself and the infant, muttering the incantation quietly so as to not awaken him. She closed her eyes and said the final two words and she opened her eyes and she was home in the exact spot she had left from, Grandmama smiling and cackling at the sight of the baby and her darling Gomez standing there as well, having noticed her absence and come in to wait for her return.
"Cara mia," he said, shocked at the sight of the boy in her arms, "another? So soon?"
Morticia smiled lightly, leaning over to kiss her husband. "A distant family member," she said in his ear, the baby cradled between them. "His parents were slaughtered mercilessly tonight."
"Lucky kids, that's the best kind of slaughtering!" her husband said, his voice excited at the very thought.
"Oh, it gets better," she said. "This little cretin overpowered the beast that slaughtered them. I felt it in my very blood," she whispered, her body shivering in pleasure from the memory. "He's part of the family, and so I retrieved him. He's ours now."
Gomez went to take him from Morticia, but stopped when he felt the faint stiffness of paper in the blanket. He pulled out a parchment envelop, frowning in slight confusion as he opened and read it.
"Harry Potter," he said, testing the name on his tongue and finding it inadequate. He held up the letter for his wife to read as well, full as her arms were with baby boy. "If he's to be an Addams, a name like that won't do at all."
"Right you are, darling," Morticia said, looking down at the now-nameless child. "It should be something unique, something suiting, something spine-singling and hair-raising…"
Gomez contemplated this for a moment before snapping his fingers. "Hysteria!"
"That's more of a female name, darling," Morticia reminded him. "I had a distant aunt with that name. In fact, I believe that's where my mother got her name, as a derivation."
"Right you are, my dear."
The two of them stood there for a few minutes, occasionally throwing names at each other. They were soon joined by Fester and the children, the former deciding that the name game was such fun as could be and delighted in throwing in the names of his favorite light bulb brands and electric companies. Morticia's suggestion of Ataxia was interrupted by a shriek from Grandmama, making the child in Morticia's arms stir a bit.
"Pugsley Addams, you put down that henbane this instant, or you'll spoil your appetite!"
Morticia and Gomez shared a knowing smile.
"It's perfect," Morticia said, looking down at the sleepy child in her arms. "Welcome to the Family, Henbane Addams."
Green eyes bore into her black eyes for a few moments, looking at her rather knowingly. Then Henbane shifted a bit and dozed off back into sleep, content with what he had seen, his tuft of black hair barely covering the lightning scar that marred his otherwise smooth skin.
Had the Dark Lord chosen any other night to kill the Potters, Morticia would have been unable to find Henbane. Had this all happened on any other night, Petunia Dursley would have woken up to a rather unpleasant surprise waiting for her on her doorstep. Harry Potter would have spent the next ten years being bullied by his cousin Dudley before being tossed into a world that he knew nothing of, surrounded by those who meant him harm with no clue of what to do, losing what little family he managed to gain and leading a confusing, miserable existence.
Several clocks struck midnight, their chimes ringing ominously throughout 0001 Cemetery Lane, marking the last few moments of the Family's favorite holiday. When the Dursleys opened their front door tomorrow morning, there would be no baby on their doorstep. Harry Potter had been lost; Henbane Addams rolled over peacefully in his sleep.
The twelfth chime rang and October 31st came to an end.