I do not own Harry Potter or any of its affiliated properties. This is a work of fiction written with no intents for profit in any monetary sense.
While the actual knowledge that their father was dead downstairs and their mother had just joined him wasn't completely understood by the two, Harry and Aster both understood enough to be supremely upset. Between the panicked hollering of their father a minute ago and their mother's screaming, pleading, and crying shortly thereafter, the two were worked up to the point of wailing as distressed children are wont to do.
At one and a half years old neither of the babies cut a very imposing figure. This didn't stop Tom Riddle, self-dubbed Lord Voldemort, from shivering at the sight of them. As a man with an unhealthy obsession for power, he was uniquely suited for recognizing the potential in these children.
Regardless of what they may have one day become, at the present moment they were about as dangerous as earthworms. Smirking at the comparison, Voldemort took a large step forward, over the cooling body of the now late Mrs. Potter. Peering at the two from over their pale wooden crib, Voldemort idly pondered over the prophecy which had brought him here. He wondered, was their potential power natural, which had led to the prophecy's telling, or did the prophecy itself empower those who met its prerequisites? Would every baby born near the end of July to meddlesome parents suddenly become more powerful? Interesting…
Shaking off these thoughts, he raised his wand back up and began to speak. "Hello young Potters. So sorry for your loss. Fortunately, the two of you will be joining them momentarily. While it pains me to end two purebloods with as much potential as yourselves, sometimes sacrifices must be made."
Training his wand on the pair who were holding one another for comfort, Voldemort couldn't quite keep the victorious sneer off of his face. With a shiver of excitement traveling down his spine, Voldemort took a deep breath and yelled out the killing words,
The green orb connected with the boy's forehead for just a split second.
And then bounced right back at him. The normally painless curse sloppily tore his soul from his body, drawing a horrible screech from the man. Back in the crib Harry too was screaming, from the pain the cut on his forehead brought him; though luckily none his pain was soul related. In the next instant, the most feared man in Magical Britain was disintegrated, leaving behind a few scraps of cloth and a pile of ashes.
Minutes later, when a distraught Sirius Black made his way over to the twin's shared crib, he barely took notice of the madman's remains. Lifting the two up in a practiced motion with shaky hands, the twin's heads both resting in opposite crooks of his shoulders; he numbly made his way back downstairs and out of the house. Shortly thereafter, and after a brief argument with the half-giant Hagrid, his mind finally connected all of the dots and he realized who was responsible for this whole mess. He handed the twins over, the fifteen-month-olds fitting into the giant's hands with space to spare, and left with single-minded determination. Sirius Orion Black didn't spare a look at the two remaining Potters as he began his hunt, tears in his eyes and red-hot rage in his heart.
He would not see either of them again for many years to come.
The Fifth of September, 1989
Cupboard Under the Stairs
"Aster its ok, it doesn't even hurt. You're great!" Harry whispered to his twin sister from within the confines of their shared cupboard.
"Liar!" she whispered back, with both a frown on her face and tears in her eyes. "It's still bruised like crazy! I know it hurts! Don't lie to me Harry James… you already do enough as it is," she said, the tears finally falling.
For what must have been the millionth time since he'd learned what it meant, Harry mentally whished his uncle would just fucking die. Even when the fat bastard was busy sawing logs upstairs, he still managed to make his sister cry. Aster was just shy of bawling at the state of his back, the black and blue spotted mess that it was.
Harry remembered the first time his uncle had seriously hit him. While true that he'd been smacked around since his second birthday, matter of fact they both had, he'd never really felt one the next day until his uncle started drinking two years ago. Luckily, as far as Harry was concerned at least, his sister had only been hit in such a manner once; afterwards she was never hit again in any manner. While the thrashing he'd received for it took weeks to recover from, he was still proud of the threat he'd delivered unto his uncle.
He'd said, at the tender age of seven, "If you ever touch my sister again I'll go straight to the cops and have you arrested! And if they don't get rid of you, I WILL!" And every piece of porcelain, glass, and crystal in the entire house shattered into tiny shards in perfect synchronization with his shout. It was the first time Harry had ever seen fear enter his uncle's eyes. Of course, he'd immediately been beaten black and blue and stuffed into the cupboard after his outburst, but the fact remained that Aster was never touched by his relatives again.
Shaking away his ruminations and refocusing on the current situation, Harry decided to pull out the big-guns to quell his sister's tears; the Dursley's would be up soon and there'd be hell to pay if any noise was coming from their 'room'. Pulling the young girl into his lap, Harry began humming little made-up tunes and rubbing Aster's back until her shoulders stopped shaking. Gently pushing a now significantly calmer Aster out of his lap, Harry put his shirt back on while trying to assure Aster that he was fine.
"Sissy, you know I'll be okay. You healed a ton! You remember how tore-up I was last night, compared to that I'm perfect! Thank you, Aster. I can always count on you to make me better."
While he'd started upbeat and speaking with false cheer, by the end of his mini-speech Harry's voice was barely a whisper and his lips had found his twin's forehead.
Aster closed her eyes and gave a small nod to show she'd heard him. The two sat in silence and near-complete darkness for a while, just thinking. It was quiet times like this that allowed Harry and Aster to think about the future and what it held for them. Harry wanted with all he was to find or make a better life for him and his sister. He dreamed of riches and comfort and happiness and power for the two of them. He wanted a life that was different from the one they currently had in every possible way.
All Aster really wanted was for her brother to be happy. That's not to say she didn't want happiness for herself, exactly. She wanted that too, but her desire for her brother's happiness above her own stemmed from how much he'd done for her. Every time she used her powers to heal his split and bruised skin, her eyes prickled with tears of gratitude and sadness in equal amounts. She sometimes wished her brother had let her be hit right along with him, as his physical pain appeared to be much less than her emotional pain, if his and her reactions were anything to go by. Then she'd feel ungrateful, and remember that if they were both injured that she'd be unable to fix him up as much, and that he used to react to the pain much worse when they were younger; even though his injuries were much less severe back then. Eventually she realized that he'd gotten used to the pain, and then she cried even more.
Stomping on the stairs brought them both out of thought. It also had them scrambling to lie down on their shared cot. The only time they'd been caught staying up all night their aunt and uncle had muttered all morning about scheming and plotting. That had been a horrible day for both of the twins. Now, they made sure they always appeared to be asleep once their relatives awoke.
Like clockwork, their aunt Petunia banged on their door and slid open the lock, as pointless as it had been for a year since they'd learned to pop, and yelled for them to start on breakfast. She then headed back upstairs for her morning soak. By the time she finished in the tub all three Dursleys would be awake and ready for breakfast. This allowed the twins to scarf some toast or even a strip of bacon down before the three came downstairs.
Twenty minutes later and the Dursleys were stuffing their faces in the dining room while the Potters got ready for school in the bathroom.
"I'm good in the back, right Aster? Nothing's gonna show?" Harry asked as he lathered shampoo into his hair.
"T-there's actually a little bruise showing on your neck… do you want me to try and fix it?" Aster said, her voice wobbling slightly at first. She swapped spots from behind Harry, stepping into the shower's spray while waiting for Harry's response.
Harry thought about it. Aster's healing touch was excellent at what it did, and quite fast too. It was draining, however. Between getting no sleep and healing his face and back all night on and off, Aster would be exhausted enough as it was. He didn't want his sister to sleep through school, so he responded with a simple, "No, thanks though. I'll just throw on my turtleneck."
He wore said turtleneck to school more often than he didn't. The Dursleys had bought it for him to hide his bruises, but he enjoyed wearing the black long sleeve sweater simply because everything else he owned used to be Dudley's. Luckily, with no-one's clothes to be passed down, Aster was allowed her own clothes, though they were all bought from secondhand shops. The children's poor wardrobe subtracted little from the two's looks, however.
Harry, and Aster too for that matter, were both attractive children. Harry had large, green, almond shaped eyes that popped against his black hair and signature black turtleneck. He was tan from all of the yard work he was tasked with every weekend. Between their small breakfast, school lunch, and whatever dinner they could sneak past the Dursley's, neither of the Potters were malnourished, though they were both very skinny for sure.
Only slightly shorter than her brother, Aster was a beauty herself. While they looked almost eerily similar, Aster's face was feminine for sure. Her eyes were the same color and shape as her brother's (and mother's, though neither knew that piece of trivia). The rest of her face was all girl though. Slightly pouty lips and delicate cheekbones made sure Aster was never confused with her brother. Her hair, as opposed to her brother's jaw length mess, was relatively straight and reached just below her shoulders, with her bangs brushed to the side. It was the exact same shade though, an ink-black that reflected little light. She was also paler than her brother, if only a little.
Once the twins were finished showering, dressing, and brushing their teeth and hair they headed out the door and straight for school.
St. Grogory's Primary School was a neutral ground as far as the Potters were concerned. The teachers paid them a little attention and the kids didn't make too much fun of them, but on the other hand none of the teachers noticed the poor condition Harry would sometimes come to school in and neither of the twins had any friends. It probably would have been unbearable if they didn't have each other for company or if Dudley went there too. Luckily for them, Dudley went to a private Christian school, sparing them his company.
The twin's day at school progressed like any other, with them being significantly ahead of the class in everything, but at the bottom of the grade-book due to their inability to do any homework or projects that required effort at home.
While very accomplished in all of their core subjects, the two young Potters proved especially talented in the arts. Aster was very skilled with both brush and pencil, while Harry already knew how to play intermediate songs on the violin and piano. Unfortunately, like in their regular schoolwork, the youngling's potential in the arts was stifled and held back by their poor home-life. Two hours a week was not a lot of time for the two to develop their skills in their chosen crafts, and though they'd been offered extra lessons multiple times, they'd declined them all. Taking home a permission-slip was a bad idea, as the two had learned years ago.
Aster was exhausted by the time the final bell rang, and Harry wasn't much better. He knew though, that while both of them had stayed up all night, it was Aster who really needed to rest. Using all of that energy and focus healing and then not getting any sleep was bad for his sister's health. He resolved to do her share of chores once they got home to let her take a nap. He felt it was the least he could do for his darling sister.
Once they'd arrived home and her brother had managed to convince her to lie down, Aster found herself dreaming. While she couldn't actually consciously remember what life with her parents had been like, she often dreamed of them, just holding her or taking her and Harry to the park or any number of different familial things that'd never happened.
One of her dreams started to change though, going from her and her brother and parents having a picnic to her parents yelling at her. Her father started screaming at her and calling her boy, and there was a terrible thumping noise, like a brick hitting a wall. Her mother was screaming in the background, she was upset over someone getting blood on her tile…
As the noises grew louder, Aster opened her eyes blearily. She was just in time to see her brother come stumbling into their room backwards before he fell on his butt as the door slammed shut. It clicked a half-second later, letting the two know they were now locked in from the outside.
Harry's face was a mess; both his top and bottom lips split open. His left cheek was already swollen and red, though Aster knew from experience that it would settle into a deep blue-black before long. The most alarming injury he had though was not readily visible, save for the way his hair was matted in the back. Hands already at her mouth in horror, Aster let out a half-shriek/half-sob at the blood draining from a cut on the back of his head. She detachedly figured that his head hitting the ground was the sound she'd heard in her dream and it also must have been what split the skin.
Without saying a word Aster quickly knelt by her twin and put her hands on the back of his head. She hated the feel of blood on her skin, but skin to skin contact was the only way for her to heal him, and she had to thread her fingers through his hair to make sure the ink-black tresses didn't interfere with her work.
Pushing the sick creeping up her throat back down, Aster asked Harry, "What happened," in a quiet, toneless whisper.
"Uncle Vernon took off of work early to hit a pub. He was gone by the time he got home; caved in the garage door cause he didn't break in time. He blamed it on me. Aunt Petunia knew he was wrong, but she looked really scared when he started yelling so she yelled at me too. He got me twice in the face. I don't know what happened, but after the second punch I was suddenly on the floor and couldn't think very clearly. I still can't, not really anyway." As Harry was talking Aster was steadily healing his split (and concussed though neither knew what that was) head. The wound had stopped bleeding and was slowly closing up, not that Aster could see it through Harry's hair and the blood.
"You know," Harry said out of nowhere, "I really love you."
Aster was momentarily taken aback, though she figured his head injury that made thinking harder was also loosening his tongue, though that's not to say he was ever stingy with his affections towards her. She mumbled that she loved him back, but didn't think he really heard her since he started again the second the words had left her lips.
"I mean I really do love you Aster, more than anything in the whole wide world," he made a grand gesture with his arms, holding them apart as if to show her how much he loved her. He suddenly changed directions, and quickly began talking again, sounding sad.
"Why do you think mom and dad left us, Sissy? What'd we do to them, huh? Fer some reason, I don't think they really died in a car crash, but why else would we be sent here? I hate it here. I hate our evil uncle and our spineless aunt and our fat cousin. But I looove you! Yes I do! Hey, that rhymes! I looove you! Yes I do!" Harry was giggling by the end, though he'd been crying at the start.
As Harry sung his new song to his sister in his head-trauma induced loopy state, Aster cried her eyes out. Looking at what her uncle and the rest of them had done to her brother, Aster sent prayers to everyone/thing she could think of, asking them to save them. The twins spent the rest of the night that way, Aster healing her poor brother, and Harry humming his little tune under his breath until he finally fell asleep around one o' clock. It'd be another long night for Aster, but she'd do everything she could to help her precious brother.
After all he'd done for her; she felt it was the least she could do.
Author's Note: Please Fav and Review. Really helps get the story out there. And also, a quick rundown of the differences between my blood-status categorizing and canon's; in this story, a witch or wizard is categorized into one of a three blood-ratings based on parentage.
If both of their parents are magical, they are a Pure-blood.
If only one of their parents is magical, they are a Half-blood.
If neither of their parents is magical, they are a Muggle-born.
Other classifications are used when creature heritage is a factor.