The next few weeks at Hogwarts were the best of Harry and Lucille's young lives. Beds were set up for them in an empty classroom, so they no longer needed to spend their nights in the hospital wing.
Lucy started to look healthier than Harry had ever seen her before. The twins had meals with Dumbledore, and were allowed to have as much of whatever they wanted as they liked. Within a few days at Hogwarts, she was no longer bony, but she was still very small. Even with Harry's effort to scrape extra food onto her plate at the Dursley's whenever he could, she still suffered from malnutrition. Madame Pomfrey told Harry, with a sad expression, that she would always be small for her age, because she had missed vital growth spurts throughout childhood.
Still, Harry was glad to see her improving. She seemed happier, less anxious, but she nevertheless had a long way to go. She was still fearful of anything bigger than her that moved. So, naturally, when Rubeus Hagrid walked into their lives for the first time, she grabbed Harry's arm in terror.
But Hagrid proved to be the most friendly person she had ever met, despite his giant demeanour. On the day after their birthday, he invited the twins over for tea in his little hut on the grounds. So at two o'clock that afternoon, Harry and Lucille knocked on Hagrid's door.
" 'Arry! Lucy! Come on in, just makin' a pot o' tea" Hagrid called from inside.
Lucy opened the door and the twins stepped inside. The hut was small, but the furniture was large, big enough to accompany a half-giant like Hagrid. The twins sat down in an armchair that was provided a comfortable amount of space for them both. Hagrid handed them each a large mug of tea, and sat down in the arm chair across from them.
"So, how are yeh enjoin' Hogwarts so far?" Hagrid asked them.
"It's excellent!" beamed Harry. It had been amazing for the twins to have free roam of the castle, to explore and figure out where everything was before their classes started. Madame Malkin had come to the school specially to have their robes fitted, and Dumbledore took the liberty of having all of their books and supplies delivered to them… They just needed one more thing…
"Well, I've got a surprise for you lot…" Hagrid seemed excited, "Dumbledore's set up the Floo to take us to Diagon Alley to get yer wands. We'll be back before the sorting ceremony tonight, so yeh can be sorted with yer classmates. We'll finish our tea and then be off."
The group finished their tea and headed up toward the castle. They reached Dumbledore's office and Hagrid muttered the password.
"Uh.. Acid Pops" he mumbled, and the gargoyles leapt aside and allowed entrance to the spiral staircase inside. They ascended the stairs and Harry knocked on the door.
"Professor Dumbledore, it's Harry and Lucille Potter, and Hagrid… We're here to use the Floo network." Harry called through the door.
"Ah, yes, come in!" came Dumbledore's voice. Harry opened the door. "I understand you're going to go get your wands, yes, very exciting. The fireplace is to your left, you should be able to Floo right into the Leaky Cauldron."
Hagrid went through the green flames first, then Harry, then Lucille. They landed in a little pub.
Harry removed his glasses to clean them, and out of nowhere came a gasp.
"It's Harry Potter! It's the Boy Who Lived!"
"He's back! I can't believe he's back!"
"Thank you Mr. Potter. Thank you."
Dozens of people came up to start shaking Harry's hand. Despite the month that they had just been through, it was the most bizarre thing that the twins had encountered.
Finally, Hagrid called out to the crowd, in his big, booming voice, "Alright, enough is enough, we got business to attend to!"
They exited The Leaky Cauldron to a alley way that looked as though it was a dead end. The twins were very confused.
"Hagrid," Harry started, "Who were all of those people back there? How did they know my name?"
"I don't think I'm the right person to tell you that, 'Arry." Hagrid looked around, nervously,and saw the twin's bewildered faces "Ah, well… You've got to understand this, both of yeh: not all wizards are good. 'Bout ten years ago, there was one that went as bad as you could go and his name was…"
Hagrid sputtered and looked around as he tried to say the name, as though he feared it would cause pain to anyone who just so happened to be walking by.
"His name was… Voldemort." Hagrid continued, "Now, don't yeh go repeating that name, either of you. Anyway, Voldemort began collecting followers, he brought them over ter the dark 've got ter understand, that in many situations it was either yeh joined him, or yeh died. Nobody lived once he decided ter kill him."
"But what does this have to do with Harry?" Lucille asked Hagrid, worried for her brother. She didn't like where this was going.
"Your parents fought against him, they did the best they could, but they died at his hands." Hargrid wiped away a tear that had started crawling toward his beard. "But something else happened that night. He tried ter kill you too, 'Arry. But the curse rebounded. Yer the only one to have survived the killing curse. That ain't no ordinary cut on yer forehead, that's the mark of a curse, and an evil curse at that."
"Voldemort tried to kill… me?" Harry whispered, "Where was Lucy in all of this?"
"I found her in the crib, hidin' behind yeh, scared out of her wits. I went and brought yeh to yer aunt and uncle, under Dumbledore's orders, of course." said Hagrid, proudly, "But that's why yer famous, Harry. Yer the Boy Who Lived."
"But what happened to Voldemort? And why did he want to kill Harry?" Lucille was extremely anxious. Why hadn't Voldemort tried to kill her as well, if he had just wanted to finish their family off? Why Harry?
"Some say he died," Hagrid continued, seriously, "codswallop in my opinion. I reckon he's still out there, too weak to carry on…"
"So you think he'll be back?" asked Harry.
"I sure hope not," Hagrid pondered, "but if he does, we best be ready."
Hagrid's story scared the twins, particularly Lucille. It seemed that everywhere she went, there were bad people who had a problem with her and her brother, and she just didn't know why. What had they ever done?
These thoughts occupied her mind as they walked along Diagon Alley. The twins were surprised as the bricks that made up the dead end of the alleyway moved and changed into an arch that led them to the busy street on the other side. They walked to the end of the street, to a tall crooked building.
"This is Gringotts, the wizard bank," Hagrid informed the twins, "ain't no safer place… 'cept perhaps Hogwarts."
When they entered Gringotts, Lucille wondered if she would fit in as a goblin. She was almost small enough, however, she was put off by their rude demeanour. They snarled and grumbled whenever they spoke to them, she couldn't tell whether she was doing anything to offend them.
Vault 687 belonged to the Potter family, and resided pretty deep into the cellars of Gringotts. When the door swung open, the twins let out simultaneous gasps.
"That's all ours?" Harry asked Hagrid in disbelief. The twins were standing in front of a mountain of gold that stood taller than both of them put together.
"You don't think yer parents would leave yeh with nothin' now?" Hagrid winked at them. Lucy just stood there in shock. She and her brother had enough money here to never have to worry, and then some. The twins gathered what they needed in order to buy wands, and got back into the cart.
The cart defended even deeper into the depths of Gringotts. They stopped at Vault 713, a high security vault. When the door opened, Lucy expected there to be piles of gold and treasures, but instead, Hagrid reached in an pulled out a very small, scruffy looking package.
"What's that, Hagrid?" she asked, curious.
"This is top secret Hogwarts business. Don't go repeatin' that yeh seen this." Hagrid's voice sounded extremely serious. Lucille wondered how she could tell people about this package when she didn't even know what it contained, but she nodded her head anyway.
Ollivander's was their final stop. Hagrid dropped them off, telling them he had one more thing to do, and the twins walked into the little shop together.
The shop was tiny, but it was crammed floor to ceiling with countless boxes of wands. It seemed to be empty, and just as Lucy was about to ring the little bell on the front counter, Mr. Ollivander appeared from behind a shelf of wands. This surprised Harry, and he jumped instinctively in front of his sister.
"Quite the brave one, aren't you Mr. Potter," smiled Mr. Ollivander, "don't you worry, I won't hurt your sister."
Harry, who hadn't even realized his actions, looked behind him at Lucy. She was giggling softly at him.
"Oh, shut up," he muttered. He'd noticed lately that as his sister became less anxiety ridden, the more nervous he got. He didn't want her to be too careful. He had promised himself that she would never get hurt again, if he could help it. Now that she was getting less careful, he would just have to make up for it.
"So, let's get started, shall we?" Mr. Ollivander started measuring them all over, from shoulder to fingertips, elbow to wrist, shoulder to feet, and between their eyes. Harry watched Ollivander carefully as he measured his sister.
Next, Ollivander went to the back of the shop and collected a pile of wands, all different sizes and colours. He had the twins wave countless different wands. Some did nothing as they were waved, others caused extreme damage to the shop, but Ollivander didn't seem to mind when this happened, he would just simply state, "Curious, very curious."
Lucille was the first to find her wand. The particular one that Ollivander handed her -rowan and unicorn hair, 11 inches, surprisingly swishy- felt warm in her hand. She waved it and a shower of gold sparks flew out of the tip and up in the air, showering her and Harry.
"That's a pure heart you've got there, Miss Potter. It is common fact that no Dark witch or wizard has ever owned a rowan wand. You're core as well -my, my- unicorn hairs are the toughest to turn to the Dark Arts. You've got a good head on your shoulders, Miss Potter." Olivander seemed amazed, but this was nothing compared to when Harry made red sparks fly out the end of the 206th wand that he tried -holly and phoenix feather, 11 inches, nice and supple.
Mr. Ollivander explained that Harry's wand, and another wand, both got their phoenix feathers from the same bird. He explained that while holly wands are traditionally considered extremely protective, it is very difficult to be paired with phoenix feather, because the wood's vitality conflicts strangely with the phoenix's detachment. He explained that the other feather that the phoenix gave, was inside a wand made of yew, and that that wand, belonged to Voldemort.
Lucy's brain flashed back to when Hagrid told them that Harry's scar was the mark of a curse. She looked at the wand in her brother's hand, and then up at his face. He was looking up at Ollivander with a very serious expression on his face.
"The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter. It's not always clear why, but let's say that we can expect great things from you. After all, he who must not be named did great things. Terrible, yes, but great."
At that instant, they heard a tapping noise on the front window of the shop. Hagrid was holding a cage with a large, snowy owl inside, smiling broadly.
"'Arry, Lucy, happy belated birthday!"
The twins and Hagrid made their way back to the Leaky Cauldron and flooed back into Dumbledore's office. They bid Hagrid farewell, thanked him once more for their new feathered friend, and headed back to their makeshift bedroom.
The room had two twin four-poster beds crammed right up against a dusty blackboard at the front wall. Desks and chairs were pushed up against the remaining walls. Harry and Lucille had been living out of their trunks for the past couple of weeks. By now, however, most of their things had been moved out. They would be sleeping with their houses tonight.
Harry placed the birdcage up on the teacher's desk that was pushed right in between the two beds. The twins stared at the white bird, and she hooted happily.
"What shall we name her?" Lucille asked, still starring dreamily at the owl. She felt as though she had never seen anything more beautiful in her life.
Harry looked around the room, thinking that maybe something in the room would spark his imagination. Then he saw the stack of schoolbooks sitting near the end of his sister's bed.
"Why don't we each flip through one of these books and take a name from there?" He suggested to her
They began to look through the books, and it didn't take very long before Harry stumbled upon the name in A History of Magic. Hedwig hooted happily at Harry's mention of the name, and the twins instantly knew it was the one.
The twins changed into their black robes early and decided to go for a walk through the grounds before the sorting ceremony begun. They were both anxious and needed some time to breathe.
Lucille was very quiet as she strode alongside her brother. She wondered what house she would be sorted into, or where her brother would be. She didn't know if she could bear being separated from him; she had only just gotten used to sleeping alone. Some nights, she would have nightmares involving Vernon, sometimes even Dudley, and would crawl in beside Harry. She knew she couldn't do that anymore, but the knowledge he was there would be at least a little reassuring.
But Lucille knew she was being crazy. Of course she and Harry would be in the same house, they were twins after all; they shared so many things already. They had the same birthday, the same little freckle behind their left knees, the same sense of humour. But most of all, they had shared the same experiences. They couldn't, wouldn't be separated.
This was the thought that kept her calm as she approached the stool later that night. She was calm as the hat slid over her eyes, blocking her view of the Gryffindor table where Harry had just sat down. She breathed deeply as the hat whispered things like, "exceptionally brave" and "honourable convictions". She was calm as the hat seemed to be making it's final decision, knowing Harry would be clapping her on the back in just a few seconds time. She was anything but nervous, anything but anxious.
But when the hat bellowed, "HUFFLEPUFF!", her now perturbed heart dropped to the pit of her butterfly-filled stomach.
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