and the Girl from Slytherin
by Niels van Eekelen
Disclaimeris copyritus: All hail to J.K. Rowling.
Warning: Although this is a prelude to a much longer story, only the prologue has been written, as a oneshot. Still, some of may favorite fics have been short ones that sparked my imagination, so let this one do the same for yours. And if anyone wants to adopt the story, feel free.
Summary: Prophecy foretold that Harry Potter would have the power to destroy Voldemort. But another prophecy foretold that if Lily Potter-Evans stood in defense of her brat, he would surely fall. The Dark Lord had but one way out—to store his being until he could rise again, in the body of a Muggle-Born infant named in that second prophecy only he had heard.
Lily Evans-Potter saw her wand tremble in her hand, but kept it pointed at the figure in black advancing on her all the same, shielding the crib behind her with her body. In it, Harry lay whimpering, too young to understand any of what was happening, but sensing her sadness all the same.
James is dead.
Shuddering, she blinked the tears from her eyes as best she could. She couldn't afford to have her vision blurred, not now. Little Harry was counting on her to protect him from the monster that had already killed and destroyed so many. She was all Harry had now.
In her mind, she heard again the last words her husband had spoken to her, shouting at her to get upstairs, to get Harry.
"Stay away!" she yelled, barely recognising her own voice. "I'm warning you!"
And Voldemort paused. Where Lily should have felt a sense of victory, she felt instead confused.
Then Voldemort cackled. The sound of it made her skin crawl. He cackled as if she had made some hilarious joke, and looked at her as if she was as harmless to him as was an insect. Or as James had been. It was that more than anything that drove home how hopeless her situation was. There was no way she could get Harry to safety. There was no way she could take on Lord Voldemort himself.
"Please," Lily heard the words falling from her lips. "Not Harry, not Harry, please not Harry!"
"Stand aside, you silly girl," Voldemort commanded. "Stand aside, now."
The tears were running down Lily's face, but that didn't stop her glare. She stayed where she was, shielding Harry. To even allow her baby to look upon this foul creature was too cruel to contemplate.
Lily's glare had proven highly effective against James over the years. Even the rest of the Marauders had quailed before its effects. But against the self-proclaimed Dark Lord, it was about as useless as a toy wand.
Which was why, when Voldemort seemed to hesitate and his inhuman face twisted in something like a grimace, she was too stunned to try to take advantage immediately. After a moment, she quickly felt for the Anti-Apparition Ward Voldemort had thrown up over her home, but it was no use—it was still there, impenetrable.
Then, with a rush of anger, Voldemort seemed to recover himself and came forward.
"Not Harry," Lily whimpered, "please no, take me, kill me instead—"
When she spotted the figure scurrying into the room behind Voldemort's back, Lily stopped talking with a gasp. She almost wanted to call out for help as she recognised him, but no. Peter Pettigrew, childhood friend of her now-dead husband, the man they had trusted to keep their family safe, was a traitor. Magically bound, Peter was literally the only person for whom it had been possible to tell Voldemort where to find Harry. The rat ducked his head, looking at the floor, unable to face her.
For a moment, seeing the bundle in Peter's nervously shaking arms, Lily felt a terrible panic and confusion—how could Peter have Harry? Wasn't her baby safely behind her? But an instant later, her unerring maternal instincts told her that Harry was indeed just inches behind her. Whatever baby Peter was holding, it was someone else's, brought there for some unfathomable reason that Lily had no time to worry about. She could see now that this baby was bigger than Harry, months older at least—and its hair was brown to Harry's raven black, as well as longer and much… bigger.
She turned back to Voldemort, who was walking forward slowly but inexorably.
Fresh tears sprang into Lily's eyes. "Not Harry! Please… have mercy… have mercy…"
A soft gargle sounded from behind her, and Lily could tell without looking that Harry had pulled himself up to look over the side of his crib. He had stopped whimpering, though, and his gargle had sounded curiously unafraid. From the corner of her eye, Lily glimpsed the baby in Peter's arms turn its—her?—head and wave to Harry with a stubby arm, but she dare not look away.
"Last chance, Mudblood," the monster spoke in an angry, low his. "Stand aside and you may live. I care nothing for your fate. The child is mine either way."
Their eyes met, her bright green ones and his glowing red ones, and they both knew Lily would never move aside. She would die a thousand times before she allowed her little Harry to be harmed.
Their wands whipped up simultaneously. Voldemort was faster, and as he stabbed his wand at her, she already knew what spell he would send her way. "Avada…"
There was no time for a spell, no simple spell would be enough to save them anyway, so Lily simply screamed and pushed her magic out, powered by her desperate need to protect her child, by the infinite reserves of love she felt for Harry.
A rainbow of light shot out from Lily's wand, nearly blinding her. If it hadn't been for the lightning that crackled between the different magics, she would not even have noticed the green flare of Voldemort's Killing Curse as it cut through her own magic and struck her chest.
Harry, James, I love you both so much.
And Lily Evans-Potter knew no more.
Peter Pettigrew whimpered in fear, and perhaps even shame, as Lily's body fell lifelessly to the ground. She had always been kind to him. But she had gone into hiding, and Peter had had to do what he had to do to protect himself, too. The brat in his arms started crying loudly, making him cringe. Harry's cries echoed her from across the room.
The rainbow colours of Lily's final spell still hung in the air—if it wasn't Peter's imagination, because the Master stepped through them as if he didn't notice they were there. But then, his eyes were on baby Harry, his expression grim. Lord Voldemort knew what was about to happen, what it meant that Lily had stood against him, refused to stand aside and save her own skin. He had told Peter as well, but the pudgy man wouldn't go as far as to say he understood… well, any of it.
Peter only knew that it meant Lord Voldemort wanted him to be here at Godric's Hollow with this dratted child squirming in his arms. How the Dark Lord knew she was a Mudblood rather than a simple Muggle as her parents had been—he flinched, remembering the girl's parents, dispatched even quicker and more carelessly than James and Lily, without any magic or clue of who had come for them—he had no idea. All that mattered was that his Master had determined that this was the girl that would help tip the balance of the prophecy and that if he dropped her on her head, he would wish for a quick Killing Curse. Quickly, Peter rearranged the girl in his arms before she managed to pry herself loose.
With a distasteful snarl, the Dark Lord pointed his wand at baby Harry, and spoke the words.
Peter squealed and squeezed shut his eyes. The green light of the Killing Curse had leapt from his Master's wand as normal, but when it struck Harry, it exploded backwards in a rainbow of a thousand different colours, a thousand times as bright. He couldn't look. He wished he couldn't hear.
And yet he dare not fail his Master in this, either. There were a hundred degrees of fear, and Peter Pettigrew was intimately familiar with them all. He squinted with one eye, to watch while seeing as little as possible. Lord Voldemort and baby Harry were screaming together in obvious pain, but the effects the curse had on the two of them could not be different.
Harry had blood on his forehead where the curse had hit him—more than the bloodless Killing Curse was supposed to make him bleed, but altogether not that much.
Lord Voldemort, on the other hand, was… wilting. He looked like he was shrivelling up. And then he flattened, as if suddenly two-dimensional, before his flat form shattered into nothingness. No, not nothingness—a smokelike darkness drifted in the air. When it drifted too close to Harry's crib, a dome of rainbow-coloured light lit up, blocking it out.
His Master's wand clattered to the floor with an ungodly noise in the sudden silence, and Peter realised that he had only been watching for less than a second. Although his limbs were trembling, he rushed forward. Shifting the brat to one arm, he crouched down and felt around on the ground for his Master's wand with his other hand, keeping his face turned away so that he wouldn't breathe in any of the Dark Lord's essence. The girl wasn't so lucky, and she coughed pitifully.
Then Peter's fingers closed over the yew wood, and he breathed a sigh of relief. Holding the girl out in front of him, he tapped the tip of the wand on the back of her head. His arm trembled—babies were a lot heavier than they looked, and the way she shook as she tried to cough the black smoke out of her tiny lungs did not help.
"I-in… In the home of the adversary, forcefully breached," he intoned, as he had been commanded. He waved the wand in a wide circle.
"Spirit of the fallen, preserved… p-p-preserved by darkest will." A swish of the wand, and the smokelike darkness gathered together in a funnel, its narrow end flowing towards the girl.
"Flesh of the servant, bonded to the adversary as the fallen is to him, you will house our Master." And with that, Peter gave the girl a hard knock on the back of the head with the wand.
She shrieked in fear and pain, and as her mouth opened wide, the stormclouds of purest darkness shot forward and entered her. The brat, the vessel, struggled mightily and tried to close her mouth. But Peter held on to her firmly, and the darkness kept her mouth forced open, until, finally…
…it was all gone.
Almost dropping her in his hurry, Peter put the infant down and took safe distance, hiding behind a toppled chair.
After a moment, the girl gasped, breathing in deeply. She blinked her eyes, and when they opened again, they shone with a red light. Looking down, the girl curled and uncurled her stubby fingers as if testing them out for the first time. Her head turned, and she looked straight at Peter.
"Wormtail." Although it was a high, little girl's voice, it was still unquestionably Lord Voldemort's.
"M-m-m-m-m-master?" Peter slowly came forward from his hiding place, and fell to his knees just to be on the safe side, pressing his forehead to the ground. One did not look down on the Dark Lord. "It worked?"
"Yes, it appears even you weren't able to muck this spell up, Wormtail." He was still testing out the range of movements of the young body he possessed. He didn't seem to be trying to stand up, though—the Dark Lord did not suffer the indignity of tumbling over.
"And the girl's body is yours entirely? Do you… do you possess the full might of your magic?"
"No." Lord Voldemort did not sound pleased. "I do not believe I'll even be able to hold on to full control for much longer. Ending the girl's spirit will have to wait, probably at least until her magic manifests, perhaps until she has learned proper control. Yes. It will be interesting to return to Hogwarts, and as a fresh-faced, unsuspected student no less."
He turned back to Peter. "Carry me out of here, Wormtail. And don't forget my wand—I'll use it on the Potter brat yet." Peter did as he was told, and they quickly fled the scene, leaving Harry James Potter bleeding and crying, but alive.
Outside, Lord Voldemort asked, "What was the child's name again?"
"Um, Granger, I believe, my Lord. Hermione Granger."
"In ten years time, Hermione Granger will attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Then I shall have my revenge, on Potter and Dumbledore and all those Muggle-loving fools.
"Until then, I will be no more than a voice in the back of this Mudblood's head. Still, it's a small price to pay, or the Evans Mudblood's wild magic would have left me without a body at all. It will be easy enough to make this girl pass on my instructions to you. She'll know her place."
Out of breath and only halfway to the Apparition barrier, Peter rested a moment. It was as if the infant had become even heavier now, filled with his Master's essence. "Master," he puffed, "what of the intervening years? Will you shelter with the Malfoys, or the LeStranges?"
"I think not. They are loyal, but the fewer who see me in this body, the better. Besides, my vessel will have to be able to pass for the Muggle-Born that she is." He turned to Peter again, with a very Slytherin smirk on that no longer innocent face that gave Peter the shivers. "Congratulations, Wormtail," Lord Voldemort said, "you've just become a father."
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