A/N: I've spent a long time reading fics that involve Harry having a sibling of some sort, but none that really stood out to me. This fic does not follow the exact same plot line as the books, as I'm sure you have already read the books, and you've come here to read fanficiton, not to reread the Harry Potter series + bonus character.
Please tell me if Lucy ever starts to become Mary Sue like, as I tend to lean that way whenever I'm writing in my own characters. Also, quick note, I've always thought that Harry, put in a situation where he has family that loves and cares for him, would be extremely protective of them, no matter if the character was male or female. I do not believe the fact that Harry tries to take care of his sister is antifeminist, or is implying that she can't take care of herself. It's just the way that I think he would be, seeing how protective he is of his friends in the books. He tries as hard as he can to keep them out of danger, and that's just his friends. Imagine his one blood relative?
WARNINGS: Severe child abuse in this chapter. If you're sensitive to that, don't read, or skip this chapter. There will be mentions of it in later chapters, but nothing graphic.
Lucille Potter woke from a glorious dream. One that involved a cat morphing into a woman, and a giant man riding a flying motorcycle. It was rare for her to have dreams in the first place, but this one was spectacular. She wished to remember it forever, but as such with dreams, within a few minutes of waking Lucille could only remember the basic details; cat… giant… motorcycle…
Waking early was Lucille's favourite occurrence, as she got a few extra minutes to lie in bed, completely rested, and just relax before she was thrown headfirst into the day. She snuggled closer into her sleeping brother's arm, not that she could all that easily. The twin bed that was crammed into the cupboard under the stairs seemed to grow smaller each day. Lucille didn't mind much though, Harry was her best and only friend, and she found it comforting to know that he was there beside her, that he wouldn't just vanish in the middle of the night and leave her here to deal with the Dursleys alone.
At that moment, Petunia Dursley pounded one the door, screaming at the twins to get out of bed and to cook breakfast. Harry's eyes snapped open and Lucille felt his arm tighten around her. He relaxed when he realized that they were not in any danger.
"Morning Harry", Lucille yawned, "How'd you sleep?"
"Okay, I guess…" murmured Harry, feeling around the bedside table for his glasses. "What about you?"
Lucille explained what she could remember about the dream to Harry, who seemed to remember having a similar dream before.
"That's odd, might just be because we're twins though. I remember Dudley watching a show about how twins' brains can be subliminally connected or something." Harry reasoned.
"I don't know if I believe in all that wishy-washy stuff," Lucille sighed, "I think it must have just been a coincidence. Maybe we both saw a motorcycle, or a big man, or a woman who resembled a cat and our imaginations went wild…"
"Oh come on Lucy," Harry nudged her, "you've got to believe in a little bit of magic."
The twins crawled out of the tiny cupboard and took turns in the bathroom getting dressed. Their aunt and uncle never thought it was necessary to buy them their own clothing, so both wore hand-me-downs. Harry got them straight from Dudley, who was much bigger than him, and thus Harry always looked as though he were swimming in his outfits. Lucille, who was even smaller than her brother, got his clothes when he was done with them, but they looked even baggier on her than they had done on Harry.
Today was Dudley's birthday, a day that the twins dreaded annually. The twins were forced to make breakfast for the family while Dudley complained about how many presents he had received. They made doubly sure that they didn't burn anything, and they served three heaping plates of scrambled eggs to the Dursleys. They waited patiently until Aunt Petunia announced that the food was, "passable", and that they were allowed the leftovers. Harry pulled out two plates and scraped the remaining scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage on to them. He handed Lucille the plate with more food. While he was small for his age, she was even smaller, and he knew that girls were supposed to be bigger than boys until they hit puberty. He worried about her.
The Dursleys went to the living room to let Dudley open his gifts, and so the twins were left alone to eat in the kitchen. Harry eagerly devoured his plate of food, and it ended all too fast. He looked over to Lucille, who had barely taken three bites. Harry knew what was wrong, he had seen Uncle Vernon lose his temper with her last night, heard her vomiting from when he had hit her in the gut. He could see the black and blue bruises that framed her brown eyes that were red from crying herself to sleep the night before. Harry had been the one to clean her up, to wipe the puke off of her chin, to brush her hair, to dry her eyes. It had been Harry who had rocked her to sleep, who had stayed up whispering to her in the dark that she was okay. It was Harry who had made her feel safe enough to finally fall asleep, Harry who stayed up an extra hour to make sure she stayed that way.
And today, it would be Harry who took care of her again.
"Please eat, Lucy…" Harry moved his chair over so he could rub circles on her back.
"My stomach hurts, Harry, I don't want to be sick again."
"Take it slowly then, eat as much as you can, please. You need your strength."
Lucille continued to eat while Harry started on the dishes. She had just started on her sausage when the phone rang. She heard Aunt Petunia talking, sounding sympathetic, and then arguing with her husband about something, and then Dudley whining. The twins heard footsteps approaching, and Aunt Petunia leaned her head into the kitchen door.
"Mrs. Figg's broken her leg. You're going to have to come with us to the zoo. Get ready, we're leaving in ten minutes." Aunt Petunia mumbled at them.
There wasn't much room in the car. Harry ended up in the middle seat, wedged between Dudley and his friend, Piers, while Lucille had to sit on Harry's lap. The twins managed to wrap the middle lap seatbelt around both of them, but when Piers and Dudley started using their shoulders to shove them back and forth, Harry wrapped his arms around Lucille to make sure she wouldn't fly through the windshield.
The twins had a nice time at the zoo. Dudley and Piers went off to their own devices, and left them alone for the most part. Aunt Petunia had done her best to cover Lucille's bruises with makeup, so people wouldn't ask questions, but she still kept the hood of her sweatshirt up to hide it. She wore this sweatshirt every time Uncle Vernon did this to her. It was long sleeved, and went right down past her hands so nobody would see the bruises and welts all up and down her skinny arms. The hood did well to hide her face when she didn't want anyone to see it. It was big and soft, and although it used to be Dudley's, Harry had worn it enough before she'd gotten it that the smell of it was her brother, not her cousin, and it made her feel safer, more secure.
The day took a turn for the worse when they went to the reptile house. Dudley and Piers were instantly attracted to the Burmese Python, which was lying in its enclosure, fast asleep. Unable to wake it, the boys eventually lost interest. Lucille and Harry stayed by the enclosure, leaning on the railing. Suddenly, the snake seemed to rise, and look at them. That's when Lucille realized that Harry was hissing quietly at the snake, and it seemed to be responding.
"Harry… " Lucille started, but Dudley came bounding toward them, pushing both twins out of the way.
"Mummy!" Dudley shouted, "Come here! You won't believe what this snake is doing!"
Lucille looked over at her brother, who was concentrating hard on their cousin. She heard a splash as the glass of the enclosure seemed to vanish, and Dudley fell right in to the water. Dudley was screaming, and Aunt Petunia came running, but when she reached her son, the glass had reappeared, and she was unable to get to him. Lucille noticed the python slither by her, and hiss at Harry, to which he hissed back. She could have sworn she saw it wink too, but it had to be her imagination.
They dropped Piers off at his house, but Lucille did not want to get off of her brother's lap. She was horrified at what would happen back home. She knew she would be beaten, which usually served punishment for both of them. The Dursleys knew that Harry saw himself as older. Although they didn't know exactly who was born first, Harry had always taken care of her because she was smaller. The Dursleys always gave her less to eat, and she wasn't allowed to drink milk, even at school, where they told the teachers she had an allergy. They did their best to ensure that she was as fragile as possible and to ensure that Harry's big brother instinct wouldn't go anywhere. When the twins needed punishing, they would lock Harry in the cupboard and force him to listen to his sister's screams as she was beaten by their uncle, sometimes with the help of their cousin. Harry was then the one to look after her until she got better.
That night was the worst. Her screams echoed around the small, dark cupboard, and Harry knew that it was all his fault. It had been him who had talked to the snake, and him who had made the glass vanish. He didn't know how he'd done it, but he had. Harry didn't know how much time had passed since he first heard his sister's strangled cries and pleas, but it seemed like forever. Finally, the cupboard door was unlocked and her limp body was thrown inside. Harry caught her, and she reeked of alcohol and vomit. They had forced her to drink and then beat her. He heard the Dursleys go upstairs, and he helped his sister to the washroom. She stumbled and she was crying and she didn't know what had happened.
Harry sat her by the toilet and let her empty the rest of her stomach. This had happened a couple of times before, and it usually did when something strange happened to one of them. When Harry had ended up on the school roof, for instance, or when Lucille's hair had grown back to its usual waist length after a particularly bad haircut from Aunt Petunia.
When Lucille stopped throwing up and started dry heaving, Harry started the shower for her.
"Are you okay to shower by yourself, Lucy?" He asked her gently.
Lucille nodded and stood up slowly. Harry brought her one of his t-shirts to wear, which he knew would fall down to her knees. He waited outside the door while she showered, calling in to her every so often to make sure she was alright. After he heard the water turn off, he waited a few minutes and came in. She was wrapped in his t-shirt, and her soaking hair looked more brown than its usual red. She had bruises even worse than the night before, and was so thin… She had thrown up her whole stomach twice in the past two days, which wasn't saying much considering how little she got to eat. Harry put his arm around her to support her as he led her back to the cupboard. He sat her on the bed and brushed the knots out of her wet hair. She had taken off her favourite hooded sweatshirt before Uncle Vernon had gotten to her, so he wrapped that around her as well. He tucked them both into bed and held her tightly, trying to keep her warm. He could feel her sobbing in his arms. He knew she was scared that Uncle Vernon would come take her away again. He knew that she knew that he could do nothing to keep her safe if that happened. It was hard to reassure her that she was safe now, because they both knew she wasn't. All he could do was hug her closer.
"Shh… Lucy, everything's okay, I've got you. You're safe for now, it's all done. He's gone to bed…" Harry cooed to her.
Eventually, Lucille calmed down, and her strangled sobs became soft hiccups. Every time she inhaled, it was her Harry. She was wearing his t-shirt and his sweater, she was in his arms, wrapped in their thin blanket. Harry was her safe haven; he was her brother, the only real family she had, her best friend. She knew he was only a child, just as she was, but he was bigger than her. He could hurt her, if he wanted to, but she knew he never would. She trusted him, more than anyone else. Her eyelids were starting to feel heavy, and Harry's whispers and soft stroking of her hair let her fall into a deep sleep.
Harry felt her breathing slow and her face burrow closer to his chest. He wished so desperately that he could get them out of here. He wished he was older so he would be strong enough to defend his little sister, or better yet, that someone could come take them away, so that they could just be children in peace. Little did he know, as he rested his chin on top of his sleeping sister's head, that a tabby cat had been peering in the window that very day, and was reporting to the headmaster of Hogwarts as Harry brushed his Lucy's matted hair.
He heard a pop from outside, and not a second later did the doorbell ring.
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