A/N: I haven't abandoned my other fics, but this idea wouldn't leave me alone... Anyway, takes place during Harry's 3rd year, starting in January. This hasn't been beta-ed, so any mistakes are mine!

That said, enjoy! And review if you want me to update this.

Chapter 1

Everyone was enjoying their dinner in the Great Hall on a normal Saturday afternoon in January, when life at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was very suddenly, and very loudly, interrupted.

A loud bang sounded from the entrance hall as the entrance doors where knocked against the wall. The noise was so abrupt, and so loud, that every other sound in the Great hall was cut short. Every student held their breath and looked at the door, through which a woman now stepped.

She had black curly hair, that cascaded down her back, and was in disarray, almost as if she'd just stepped off a broom after a Quidditch match. She wore plain blue jeans and a green long-sleeved t-shirt. She was short, not incredibly so, but definitely not bigger than 5'2.

"You!" she shouted, looking towards the teacher's table, and strode forwards, completely ignoring the two hundred students and 9 teachers, staring at her, nonplussed. "You meddling, old goat! Sirius Black escapes and you don't even think to send me postcard?!" she shouted angrily, still advancing on – what had now become clear – the headmaster. "Hello, how's the weather on the other side of the pond? Same as always here. Love, Albus Dumbledore. PS; the man who MURDERED YOUR BROTHER ESCAPED FROM ASKABAN!" she finished, coming to a stop in front of said man. "And don't even get me started on H-"

"Emma!" Dumbledore shouted, to the extreme surprise of most of the occupants of the Hall.

The dark-haired woman snapped her mouth shut, but continued to glare at the headmaster. Lupin was gaping open-mouthed at the girl, disbelief written all over his usually composed face. McGonagall, on the other hand, was staring at the woman with strangely teary eyes.

"Shall we continue this in my office?"

Jaw still clenched, the woman- now identified as 'Emma' – nodded, and followed the headmaster out of the hall.

Two hundred and nine eyes followed them as they advanced through the room, utter silence the most obvious sign of their shock.

Just as the duo was about the exit, Dumbledore turned around and addressed his students. "Please, continue with your meal and then return to your common rooms. Good evening." And with that, he left, taking the stranger with him.


While they walked through the Entrance Hall, Dumbledore pulled her inside one of the unused classrooms. "First things first: what would Lily have named Harry if he'd been born a girl?" Ah, there it was.

"Rose, she wanted to keep the flower tradition from her family alive," I replied, and Dumbledore nodded, now knowing I was indeed who I said to be.

"Follow me, please," he said and walked out the door, not waiting for my reply. He set off in the direction I had anticipated; to borrow some words from Tolkien: 'up, up, up the stairs we go'. As they walked up the marble staircase, the woman relaxed somewhat.

"Did you deliberately use my first name to shock me, or simply because you don't want Harry to know who I am yet?"

He looked at me from the corner of his eye, but continued on walking. "A little bit of both, but as it is, Harry has an extremely intelligent and perceptive friend, who has no doubt already figured it out."

They walked on in silence for a few minutes, before Emma felt the need to speak again. "I'm sorry for barging in like that, I should've gone to your office and not bothered your students. I was just so angry…" she trailed off, keeping her eyes on the floor in front of her feet.

"Quite alright, my dear, you know how gossip deprived my teachers and students can be, they need something to talk about."

"Yeah, talk it to death. By morning, I'll be your long-lost daughter, and Sirius Black will have five more victims on his list," she joked, hoping to lighten the mood. She glanced sidelong at him, and saw the tell-tale twinkle in his eyes that indicated his amusement.

"So Harry's alive then?" she asked in a little more timid voice. They were on the fourth floor now, she noted dimly.

"Yes, I'm sure you would've heard about it had you stayed in one place long enough. And now that we're on the topic, where did you go?" he asked curiously.

Emma just shrugged. "Here and there. I started out in America, lay low for a couple years and lived like a muggle. Then I visited some of their magical institutes, like Salem and Vancouver."

"That's Canada, dear," he replied, the corner of his lips twitching upward.

"Whatever, same continent, besides, you can just walk over the border, it's almost like it's the same country anyway. After that I came back to England for a while, lived a little South of London, with an alias, but I didn't stay too long. I was afraid you'd find me."

"I though you had died, Emma, like everyone else did," he said evenly.

She snorted. "Oh please, you knew I hadn't died the mument you set foot in my apartment. And if you didn't, you've lost your touch," she said a little venomously.

This time, he stopped walking and turned to face her fully. "I never investigated, like I never investigated James and Lily's house."

She frowned up at him. "Why not?"

Dumbledore averted his gaze. "I was too painful. You and James were very close friends of mine, and when Alastor told me what he'd found… I didn't doubt him, I simply figured you another casualty of the war."

"You thought I'd really killed myself?" she asked, clearly shocked. Dumbledore didn't respond, but started up the stairs again.

An awkward silence prevailed as they reached the headmaster's office. "I'm sorry," she whispered. "I thought you knew…"

"All in the past now, my dear," he said after he gave the gargoyle the password.

"Oh that reminds me," she said and pulled something out of her purse. It was a pink candy bag, about the size of her hand.

"Watermelons?" Dumbledore read off the packet in astonishment.

"I remembered you liked lemon drops, but these are my favourite. I picked them up during my time in Arkansas, in the States. "

He smiled warmly at her as he entered his office. Gesturing for her to pick a seat, he sat down behind his huge desk himself and helped himself to some of the pink, watermelon slice-shaped candy. "So where did you go after London?"

Emma picked the most floral and comfortable-looking chair in the office and smiled when she got it right: those where the most comfortable.

"Australia, for about five years, and I was almost persuaded to stay there, it's a marvellous country, professor, you'd love it if you didn't sweat to death in your robes first," she joked. "I travelled some in Europe after that, and then back to the States last year, and here we are."

"Here we are, indeed," the professor murmured, almost inaudibly.

They sat in a comfortable silence for about two minutes before Emma got restless. She got up and perused his bookshelf, but got bored with that fairly soon too. She turned to the headmaster, about to ask a question, when she noticed he wasn't behind his desk anymore.

He had made his way over to his fireplace and was now having a conversation Emma could only hear one half of. "Minerva, be so kind as to locate Mr Potter and ask him to come to my office?" he asked. "No, I don't think that will be necessary." He waited for another second and then gave a reply. "Yes, Minerva, it's really her, and no, she was never dead. It seems she fooled everyone."

Another reply from McGonagall that I couldn't hear later, and Dumbledore pulled his head out of the fire. "And now, my dear, I believe you wanted to know why I told you Harry had died with his parents?"

Emma sat up a little straighter in her chair and faced the older man with a determined expression.

A/N: Tell me what you think! Btw, I made Harry a little more playful, and Sirius will definitely be playing a bigger role in the story, if I decide to continue this.