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In My Dreams

Chapter Text

Tuesday, July 31, 1980

            St. Mungo’s Maternity Ward

 

Pained Screams filled the frantic hospital room as the fiery red haired woman pushed the second child out of her womb. The first child was screaming as a medi-witch cleaned him and made sure he was healthy. All the baby wanted was to be back with his womb-mate.

Soon another, final, set of screams joined in the ordered chaos as the new mother’s own cries died. “It’s a girl!” the healer called out with a wide, happy grin on her face. She quickly cleaned the baby and did her own checks on both infants.

“What?” the mother protested, “All of the scans and tests said they were both boys!”

The healer responded as she waved her wand and the naked babies were swaddled in unimaginably soft fabric, “Muggles can make those kinds of mistakes, dear.” The unspoken words were clear to the new parents along with the delicate disdain in the young woman’s voice.

You should have come to us; your own kind.

“We didn’t even consider any girl names,” she moaned tiredly as she was handed her son and daughter. All frustrations and stress left as she gazed down on the innocent children and her heart filled with love. She looked to her son and stroked his soft cheek as he latched onto her breast and began to feed. Her husband sat down next to her and did the same to their daughter as she latched onto the remaining nipple.

Merlin, they had a daughter.

As she gazed into her son’s hazel eyes, she told him his name. Magic sealed it as she did so, and the name burrowed deep into his Core. “Harry James Potter.”

She turned her loving gaze to her daughter and thought for a moment. They had considered many names, most distinctly male, and only a few that were androgynous. They had decided on two however, and both parents had grown insanely attached to the names.

It was supposed to be Harry and Noah, together forever.

Would Norah work?

No.

Definitely not.

“James, darling, do you think Noah could be a girl’s name?”

“I don’t see as to why not,” he said after a moment of thought hazed over by the fact that his childrenhis children—were finally in the world and so close and in his arms as he held them and his wife.

“Evan can’t be her middle name though,” the mother—Lily—insisted.

“I agree.”

The two were silent as they both pondered what her name could be. Lily stared into her daughter’s now open eyes, and was shocked at the bright vibrant green color that reminded her of vibrant trees in the dead of summer. “Would Eden work?”

Yes, the eyes of the Garden of Eden.

“Noah Eden…. I like it. It’s perfect,” he added as he got a glimpse of her eyes. He pressed a kiss to the side of his wife’s head.

Lily closed her eyes for a moment as she fought off the fatigue from the long labor. They soon fluttered open and she gazed into her daughter’s viridian eyes and told her her name. Magic sealed it and it burrowed deep into her powerful Core, and would stay there until she married. “Noah Eden Potter.”

James grinned as the magical ritual finished and placed a kiss first upon his wife’s head, and then to each of his children’s heads as they finished feeding.

“Harry James Potter and Noah Eden Potter. Together forever, until the end of time.”

Chapter Text

Friday, October 31, 1981

        Potter Cottage, Godric’s Hollow

 

James and Lily collapsed heavily onto the slightly worn couch. Both were desperately exhausted from a day of caring for two twin toddlers.

While the two weren’t as difficult as many toddlers their age, there were still two of them. A single baby was hard enough for new parents, even if they were as well behaved as their two precious angels.

“Was it me, or has Noah been more fussy than usual?” James asked after a moment of much needed silence. Both of their children were quiet, and only really cried when they were either extremely tired, hungry, or happened to get injured.

“She started cutting another tooth yesterday. I think Harry is going to start cutting another one soon as well. They’re very close when it comes to things like that,” the exhausted mother explained.

James smirked and draped his arm around his wife. “You’d think they’re twins or something.”

Lily snorted and leaned into her husband and breathed in his musky scent. Oh, how she loved him. How she loved her children.

Nothing could make her love them any less.

She pressed her hand to the developing life in her abdomen and smiled at the feel of the Light Core that developed alongside her own. It was so very similar to her older siblings.

The two young adults were halfway between consciousness and unconsciousness when the front door opened with a deafening crack. The two were quickly awake and on other feet and headed towards the door. Had Sirius decided to come visit them? They paused only slightly when they saw the man standing there, tall, dark, and domineering while his robes floated around him in sinister waves. His face was covered by a hood, but they saw his eyes as they glowed red.

“Lily, go to the children, I’ll hold him off,” James insisted as his auror training kicked in.

Lily did as commanded and raced up the steps and into the twin’s nursery as her heart pounded painfully in her chest. She closed and locked the door behind her and pushed the heavy dresser in front of the door and placed a sticking charm on it. She then moved to Noah’s crib as she intended to move her into her elder brother’s crib so they could be together and try and protect each other.

And if not protect, comfort.

The door behind her was blasted open—she should have moved it with magic. The dresser splintered into a million tiny pieces as diapers, clothes, and toys flew to every corner of the room, some even landing in the cribs in front of her.

She turned and stood firmly in front of Noah’s crib and didn’t even wince when wood splinters stopped midair and cut into her face, neck, chest, and hands. She stared firmly into the red eyes as her children screamed behind her.

She would not go down without a fight.

She would not outlive her children.

 

Voldemort gazed at the woman who stood still as stone in front of one of the children’s beds. Was this the woman Severus mentally begged him to spare, but never voiced aloud? As he met the defiant eyes—which were belittled by her mouth as it trembled and tears as they pooled—he had to wonder what his Left Hand had seen in her.

“Please,” she whispered in a voice that quivered, “not them. Please, take me, but spare them.”

“Stand aside you foolish girl.” He had no time to deal with her.

“No, please. Not Harry, not Noah, not my babies. Please,” she begged again. He barely refrained from rolling his eyes.

She was pathetic.

With barely a twitch of his wand, he sent her into the wall across the room. Her body landed with a sickening crunch that sounded like the sweetest of laughter to his ears. He pushed back his hood and strode up to the cribs and stood in front of the one that the woman—Lily was her name, wasn’t it?—had been in front of. He stared down his long, aristocratic nose at the child, the delicate arch crinkling with a sneer.

Inside was a toddler who cried as she chewed on some sort of plastic ring with a blue liquid inside. The child shakily stood and held out a slobbery hand towards him once she reached the bars. Her sobs continued and her frantic chews increased in both ferocity and speed as she reached out for him through the white bars in an almost desperate fashion. He took a cautious step forward as his brow furrowed and reached out a hesitant hand.

He didn’t know what had come over him as he summoned soft fairy lights in the darkened room, the light illuminating his smooth pale skin. His fingers brushed against the soft skin of her forehead and her screams immediately ceased. She continued to chomp on the plastic ring now at a leisurely pace, but she did so silently.

Drool dripped down her chin and before he could even process the thoughts in his mind, the drool was magicked away.

Which one was she? He ran his fingers through the fine strands of hair that proved it would be quite thick when she was older. She must be Harry, because there was no way that Noah was a suitable name for a little girl.

The toddler raised her large, wide eyes to his, and his breath hitched painfully as memories of a girl he knew and loved—still loved—long ago flashed through his mind. The familiar ache that always accompanied thoughts of her bit at his hardened heart and threatened to consume him whole.

How could you…. Bastard…. Sadist…. I want to hit you…. Damn you to Hell, Tom…. I love you…. You are my soul…. Promise me….

No!

She was—is—a dream.

She is—was—nothing more than a figment of a lonely, teenaged boy’s imagination.

I love you, Tom Marvolo Riddle. Nothing will ever make me stop loving you.

Even as he repeatedly told himself that like a chant for an ancient ritual—so very similar to one he performed on her many times—his mind strayed to the vault held deep within Gringotts under his birth name that held only a few items from when he was a student in school.

He closed his eyes and embraced the ache deep within his fractured soul—echoes of his pain throughout a vault, shack, library, and school (oh how painful). He pulled his hand away from the babe and lifted his wand. Her whimpers slowly joined the howls of her brother as he whispered the words he once taught to a girl so long ago.

Oh, how he missed her.

Avada Kedavra.”

The acidic spell collided with her chest above her heart and disappeared as her screams increased. He recoiled as something deep within him stuttered to a sudden and painful halt. “What is this magic?” he hissed as something dark and heady filled the room. The girl’s screams increased until they grew deafening, and out of her eyes leaked bright green tears that forever altered her vision.

The tears, instead of rolling down her face, gathered into a small ball in front of her before they seemed to become solid and soar towards him, and exploded just as it connected with his chest.

Pain filled his soul as his body disintegrated and he turned into a wraith. He quickly fled through the shattered roof as the sounds of apparation reached his disembodied spirit.

He would be back. He would finish what he started.

The girl, Harry Potter, would die for what she had done. 

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James flinched awake and stared woozily at Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black as they hovered over him, expressions filled to the brim of worry. As he blinked away his confusion—what had happened?—the screams of his precious children reached his ears, one more heartbreaking than the other—one more full of pain than the other.

He pushed himself up and with the help of his close friends, quickly stumbled his way up the stairs and into the room with Albus following close behind the trio. The four men stopped in the doorway and stared in horror at the room.

It looked as if a muggle bomb had gone off. The walls were down to the studs, the ceiling collapsed—the stars and galaxies had no right to look so breathtaking after what had happened—and baby stuff was everywhere. There was a small fire in the far corner from where one of the candles had tipped over, and blue fairy lights floated aimlessly around the room.

The four men quickly snapped out of the shock and immediately got to work to try and get to the children who were buried under the collapsed ceiling and put the fire out. Soon the toddlers were unburied and their hearts broke as their eyes fell upon little Noah curled in a ball as she chewed on a teething ring and cried as if her heart had been broken. Blood soaked the bed where a piece of debris had cut her side. Harry was just as bad, if not worse. Not only his bed and bedding were soaked with blood, but his clothes and skin as well.

The toddlers were soon in their family’s arms as they were checked over. The adults quickly found that their magic had apparently healed them, only scars left in the wake of whatever had happened. “Noah’s fine,” James said after a moment of frantically checking his daughter for the third time, two angry scars were the only signs that she had once been injured. One on her chest in a jagged line with no discernable connection to anything and one on her hip which was less swollen and irritated.

“Harry has a cut on his forehead that didn’t heal. It’s in the shape of a lightning bolt,” Sirius explained after he finished checking over his godson for the second time.

“Let me see,” Albus demanded. Harry was handed over to the man and a few moments later, he spoke again. “Harry is the prophesied child.” The four stood in silence as the words sunk in. The only sound was the desperate sobs coming from the children cradled in protective arms.

“Lily? Where’s Lily?” James demanded. He handed his daughter to Sirius and got to work again. He quickly obliterated debris, and found her on the floor near the closet. “She needs to go to St. Mungo’s,” he declared after doing a quick check and found internal bleeding. He looked frantically between his wife and children, desperation and indecision clear on his face.

“Go on, mate,” Sirius urged as he rocked side to side with Noah on her stomach in his arms, her cries slowly quieting. “We’ve got it covered here. The three of us can watch the twins no problem.” James nodded his head and apparated away with his wife in his arms. The three men were left with the two sobbing toddlers.

Albus quickly handed Harry to Remus as he spoke. “I apologize, lads, but, I must be off. I’m sure you’ve got it covered?” Before the two men could protest, he was gone. Remus and Sirius were left clueless as to how to solve the situation. They had never been left alone with the twins before.

“What did I just sign us up for?” Sirius demanded. His head started to ache from the desperate sobs of his godchildren.

Remus chuckled as he adjusted his grip on Harry and patted his friend’s shoulder. “Think of it as an adventure…I honestly think that’s the only way that we’re going to get through this.”

Sirius groaned before he adjusted his goddaughter in his arms and began to coo at her. She giggled slightly and he quickly forgot about his frustrations in order to release his hair from her slimy grip.

Neither noticed the new brightness of her eyes, how eerily similar to the killing curse they were.

No one noticed the Dark magic oozing out of the angry red scar on her chest. 


 Monday, May 12, 1986

        Potter Manor

 

Noah ran down the long hallway as she giggled and gasped as her brother chased after her. “I’m gonna getcha, Noey!” he shouted playfully as they ran down one of the many sprawling staircases in the sprawling Victorian mansion.

“No you’re not!” she retorted with a small sneer. She giggled like mad as the rug on the fourth floor landing slipped under her feet. She reached out her small, slightly too thin hands and balanced herself on the wall quickly before she continued to run. She quickly ran to the next staircase and began down it.

The two eventually made it down to the first floor and to the sitting room that their parents were sitting on the expensive and plush couch where they sat on the couch and read large books.

Harry quickly tackled her and started to tickle her when she got distracted from their rough housing by the bright red color of her mother’s hair. How she wished her hair was red instead of the thick, sleek black curtain that currently hung around her shoulders.

“Stop!” she squealed as she swatted her brother’s hands.

“Say it!”

“Never!”

“Say it!” Her stomach started to ache, and that was the only reason that she relented.

“Fine! You’re the best brother ever, and the only friend I’ll ever need.” She sighed in relief when the tickling stopped and was able to sit up.

She shoved her larger brother off of her and stumbled her way over to her father and climbed into his lip.

(she didn’t notice how he didn’t immediately wrap his arms around her the way he did with Harry)

She sighed happily when they did eventually wrap around her and hands started to play with her hair. She snuggled into her father’s embrace—(no matter how reluctant it was)—and was almost asleep when a sharp pain started in the side of her right thigh. “Go away, Harry.” She mumbled as she snuggled closer to her father. He chuckled softly and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

“But I wanna sit there.”

“I was here first.”

“I was born first.”

“You snooze you lose.”

“I’m the Chosen One.”

“And yet, I’m still the one on daddy’s lap.

 

Her husband laughed heartily at silly argument between his children while Lily frowned. “Noah, let Harry have a turn with daddy,” she demanded after a few more minutes of arguing between the two.

It didn’t matter to her how creative her children got with their insults and comebacks, it was still nauseatingly annoying when they fought like this.

“But—”

Now, Noah.”

“Daddy?”

He sighed and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Best do as your mother says, princess.”

 

Noah groaned softly and suppressed the tears that wanted to escape before she slid off of her father’s lap. She landed on the floor with a soft thud before she moved over to the couch on the inner wall where Harry had been before he commandeered her spot.

She climbed up and turned around and once again had to fight the tears when she saw her mother coo over her brother, and her father held her brother just as tight—if not tighter—as he held her.

Why did his being the Chosen One make him any different than her? Shouldn’t her parents love her just as much as they loved him?

Noah quickly adverted her gaze and discretely wiped at the tears that managed to slip out of her eyes—she hated crying. She dropped her gaze to the ornate carpet and screamed when she saw a large spider as it quickly crawled towards her. She lifted her hands in front of her and a bright green light that matched her eyes escaped. The acidic light killed the spider and shattered a vase in the process.

“Noah Eden Potter! How dare you?” her mother shouted as she stood. Her book fell to the ground with a dull thud. She stormed across the room, and as a shock to all except—perhaps maybe—her, slapped her soundly across the cheek.

“I didn’t mean to!” Noah cried out after a moment of shock. She finally started to feel the throbbing in her numb cheek.

“That doesn’t matter!” Another blow landed against her cheek. “Clean this up, right now.”

“Lily-flower, we can just fix it with a wave of a wand.” Her father now stood with his wand in his hand.

“No. I want her to clean it up by hand.”

Noah, suddenly afraid of her mother and what she would do to her if she didn’t do as told, got down to her hands and knees and started to pick of the glass shards.

“Lily, she’ll get hurt,” her father protested as he moved towards them.

“If she does, it will just teach her that her actions have consequences.”

“But—Lily—”

“James, don’t fight me on this,” she rasped as she turned her icy glare on him.

His shoulders tensed and his Light magic flowed across the room. “This isn’t right, Lily.” He gripped his wand and marched out of the door. The distant sound of apparation soon reached their ears through the open window.

“Hurry up, Noah. I want that cleaned as soon as possible.”

“Yes, mummy.”

“Don’t you ever call me that again. You will refer to me as mother.

A tear fell onto Noah’s hand moments before a large piece of glass sliced her skin.

“Yes, mother.”

Her tears mixed with her blood as she did the task assigned. 

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Noah thought that that would be the norm for whenever something was broken on accident. She thought that their mother would hit them, and that they would be forced to clean whatever it was up by hand.

She had been wrong.

It was two weeks after her first bout of accidental magic that Harry did almost the exact same thing. They both held onto each other as they waited in anxious terror for the rage and the hit their mother would land upon his tanned skin, but it ever came.

Instead, he was praised, rewarded, and coddled. He had a party thrown in his honor.

It was after the party that Harry came to her in her locked room. He climbed into her bed and held her close while she sobbed herself to sleep; the words “it’s not fair” left her mouth over and over until she fell into blessed oblivion.

Her brother had pressed a kiss to the top of her head and quickly joined her in a land of dreams.

The next morning, their father found them, smiled, and took a picture of the two to put into a photo album he had begun to make. He left their room as he slipped the photo into his robe pocket and went down to the dining room to eat breakfast and go to work.

Later, their mother found them.

Harry was woken up, hugged, and urged to get ready for the day.

Noah was woken and hit multiple times and given a new room.

No, it wasn’t fair at all. 


T uesday, June 16, 1987

        Potter Manor

 

Noah hadn’t meant to do it.

It had just happened.

“Noah Eden Potter! What did you do?” her mother demanded as she walked into the room.

“I didn’t mean to!” she squeaked. “It just happened!”

Lily took in the mess and quickly came to the conclusion that she had had another bout of accidental magic. She sighed before she turned her bright green eyes onto her daughter.

Noah cowered under the look and tried to hide as she knew what would come next. The slap seemed to hurt more than usual.

Did she taste blood?

“Clean this up immediately.”

She most definitely tasted blood.

“Mother?” she started as she started to pick up glass shards, “why doesn’t Harry get punished for breaking things?” She figured out immediately that that was the absolute worst thing she could say to her mother at that point—probably at any point, really.

After a beating that seemed to last an eternity, she was grabbed by the collar of her shirt and drug up four flights of stairs before she was tossed into her room—the attic. “You’ll be staying in here until tomorrow.” Before she could respond or protest, the door was slammed shut and glowed a bright blue before it faded into a barely noticeable shimmer. A toilet appeared next to the door along with a small sink.

She wandered through the large stacks in her large, cluttered room for hours. Generations upon generations of items were stored in the room despite her being moved up there a year prior. She was careful not to touch anything as the warnings from her father rang loudly in her ears.

She eventually got hungry and tried to open the door; she was flung backwards and landed with a heavy and painful thud ten feet away from the large door. She lay there stunned for a while before she pulled herself up and drug herself to her bed.

Tears fell down her face as she curled into a ball on the small, lumpy bed that was really just an extremely old chaise longue that was moth eaten and covered in an old white sheet to hide the stuffing from mouse chewed holes.

She cried herself to sleep that night as she stared at the long, white keloid on the palm of her hand from her first mistake, the first proof that she was a witch.

She wished she never found out, that she was a squib.

But, she found what she really wished for was that she had a mother who didn’t hit her and a father who did more to help her. 


 Wednesday, July 17, 1991

        Potter Manor

 

Eden sat at the table in silence as she ate her breakfast next to Harry. She was halfway done with the small, bland meal when two owls arrived.

A letter was dropped in front of her, and one in front of Harry. They paused their eating and exchanged a glance before they opened the letters.

 

Miss N. E. Potter

The Attic

Potter Manor

Coventry

 

Dear Noah Potter,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…

 

Eden quickly finished reading the letter and excitement began to hesitantly bud in her bones. “We made it, Harry,” she whispered softly.

She’d finally get away from this hellhole.

Harry wrapped his arms around his little sister and placed a slobbery kiss on her cheek that had her squealing as she attempted to push him off. “Yeah, we did, didn’t we, Noah.”

She pulled away and wrinkled her nose at the name and wiped at her cheek. “Why do you feel the need to do that?”

“Because I love you,” he responded with a cheeky grin.

Eden rolled her eyes lovingly and the two continued their breakfast.

Maybe things would finally change.

 

Chapter Text

Friday, July 19, 1991

          Potter Manor 

“Noah, it’s time to go!”

The words reached Eden through the heavy door from where they echoed from the bottom of the stairs that led to the attic.

She flinched and quickly glanced in the mirror before she sighed and decided that this was the best she was going to get. She wore a pleated dark blue skirt that had a ratty hem and a white oxford shirt that was also pretty ratty and covered in wrinkles that would never come out without the use of magic. She pulled on a pair of scuffed black Mary Jane’s over the old white knee high socks she wore and ran down the stairs.

“Took you long enough, brat,” her mother sneered once she reached her on the second floor. Her heart pounded and her breath came in labored gasps from running down six staircases. “What in Merlin’s name are you wearing?”

“The nicest clothes I own,” Eden replied softly before she moved over to Harry once she reached the entry hall. He wrapped his arms around her much smaller frame and placed an affectionate kiss on her hair. Both children missed the smile on their father’s face and the grimace on their mother’s.

“Noah, wear your cloak,” Lily commanded as she threw the faded black mass of fabric at her. “Face me.” With a wave of her wand and a whispered spell, the cuts and bruises that decorated Eden’s body disappeared. She sighed before she pinched the bridge of her nose. “Just…behave today, Noah—” as if she would ever misbehave “—and remember, don’t speak of what happens at home. And please for the love of Merlin, don’t let anyone see your clothes. You already draw enough attention as it is, and we don’t need you bringing anymore.”

Eden bowed her head and played with her fingers. “Yes, mother.”

The family of four made their way to the apparation point. Harry and Eden joked and giggled with each other on the way. Even though the two weren’t able to spend as much time together as they wanted to, they were still thick as thieves when they were allowed to be in each other’s presence.

Their mother took Harry once they arrived; she placed her hand on his shoulder before they disappeared with a pop.

 

Once alone, James knelt down in front of his daughter. “I’m so sorry, my dear. I wish there was something more that I could do.”

Eden smiled and hugged him. “It’s okay, papa. You do what you can, and that’s what matters.”

He sighed before he returned the embrace. His daughter was far too old for her age, and he had been—is—part of the reason why. “It’s still not enough though, princess.”

Before she could respond, he stood up and lifted her into his arms and balanced her on his hip before he apparated away.

  

Diagon Alley

Once they arrived, he held her close and rubbed her back as the nausea he knew plagued her faded away. For some reason, Eden had never done well with magical travel. Apparation was the form that didn’t end up with her passed out for a few minutes, or vomiting out what little was in her stomach.

How he wished he could do something to help his daughter, more than just sneak her food and heal the injuries his wife inflicted upon her. Had they been in the muggle world, he would have divorced her by now and would have taken his daughter far away. Instead, due to the Bonding Ceremony that they chose, he was forced to watch the woman he loved—no matter how desperately he wished he didn’t—abuse their child.

His precious daughter.

He placed a kiss upon her silky black hair that fell down her back and to her mid-thighs and was a perfect mix of his and his wife’s. He closed his eyes and willed the tears away.

 

Once the nausea passed, Eden carefully pulled away from her dad. “You okay, princess?” he asked gently as she did so.

She nodded, her head woozy. “Yeah, just a little dizzy.”

“Do you want me to carry you?”

She was aware of the eyes that watched her, was aware of the fire that burned into her back as they stared at her. “No. I’m okay,” she said softly. She was placed on the ground and he took her hand before he led her into the Alley.

Once they crossed the border wall, they were met with a giant crowd surrounding Harry and her mother, both of whom were basking in the attention.

“Stay here,” her father insisted softly when he guided her to a corner. He pressed his hands against her shoulders and angled her face to look him in the eye. “I’m going to go get your mother and brother and then we’ll go to Madam Malkin’s and then to get your trunk, alright?”

Eden’s left brow furrowed in frustration and worry, even as she nodded. Her father pressed a kiss to her forehead and dove into the crowd. If it turned out like any of the other times that the same situation had happened before—granted, there weren’t many, but still—she would either be waiting a very long time, or she’d have to find her way around Diagon Alley to do her shopping on her own.

She’d never done that before.

After her father was out of her sharp gaze, she dropped her gaze to the ground and soon sat. She wrapped her arms around her shins and rested her head on her bony knees and counted both the pairs of shoes that passed her by, and the small pebbles on the smooth cobblestone. It was quite mesmerizing, if she were being honest with herself—she couldn’t afford to not be honest with herself (the false hope and self-delusions would kill her).

She was snapped out of her trance when three sets of shiny shoes stopped in front of her as they faced her. She quickly stood and raised her head and expected to see her family. Instead she came face to face with the Malfoy’s.

She smiled kindly at the trio and hoped the sadness in her eyes wasn’t detectable (it was). “Hello, Lord and Lady Malfoy. Hi Draco,” she said softly. Her high sweet voice gave nothing of the melancholy she felt inside away.

The two children weren’t all that close, but, with all of the balls the Potter’s and Malfoy’s were forced to attend, they had quickly come to the conclusion that the two of them were the most bearable out of all of the children to be around—especially since she was bullied. They were so intent upon this information, that—despite insisting they weren’t close at all—when they were forced to attend an event were the other’s family wasn’t in attendance, they found themselves upset.

So, in reality, they were quite close (no one knew about their friendship though—not even her parents).

“Hello, Noah,” Lady Malfoy greeted along with her husband and a kind smile.

“Please, call me Eden.”

“She prefers it because she’s always being teased by her brother’s friends over her first name,” Draco explained before his parents could even ask.

“Tell me…Eden, where is your family?” Lord Malfoy questioned softly as he gazed into her eyes.

She looked around and saw that the crowd had dispersed along with her family. They had left without her. Her eyebrows furrowed at the thought that she wasn’t as shocked as she probably should be. “I’m not…I’m not entirely sure. My father told me to wait here while he went to go get mother and Harry from the middle of a crowd.” Eden frowned and her lips pinched to side. She missed the look exchanged between the couple in front of her. “I guess they forgot about me.”

“Do you need help getting home?” Lady Malfoy questioned softly.

Eden’s left brow furrowed as she thought in silence. “I’m not sure. I need my school things, and…I doubt my mother would buy them for me if I wasn’t there…I’ve never shopped alone before, but…it shouldn’t be too hard, right?” she asked. She silently cursed the way her lips wobbled.

The two heads of the Malfoy family exchanged another look before she spoke again. “Would you like us to help you, Eden? We’re here doing school shopping for Draco, and it would be no trouble to have you join along with us.”

“Please, Eden! It’ll be fun!” Draco insisted when he saw the hesitation on her face.

She thought for a moment longer before she nodded her head in agreement. “That would be nice, thank you.” The Malfoy’s smirked victoriously and the group of four were off. “I think we need to stop by Gringotts so I can get some money,” Eden hesitantly voiced after a short while.

“Oh, don’t worry about that. You can have the stores charge your family’s Vault for you so you don’t have to carry it around.”

“Really?”

“Yes…didn’t your parents teach you that?”

She shook her head. “No. I’m usually not allowed to come with them when they go shopping. I think the only reason I was allowed this time is because it’s for school.”

“What do you do when they’re shopping?” Draco demanded with furrowed brows. Lord Malfoy looked torn between swatting the back of his head, and buying him ice cream.

“I usually stay in the attic.”

 

Narcissa looked to her husband, the Bond did all of the communication that was needed. She had answered as if that was normal. It was by no means normal. The two heads of the Malfoy Estate were both desperately concerned about little Noah—pardon, Eden—Potter.

What kind of parents left their child at home while they shopped? Especially since the other child was seen with them on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. What kind of parents didn’t teach their child the very most basic workings of their society?

What kind of life did little Eden Potter live?

It was an open secret that Lily Potter was injured while protecting her children that fateful night nearly 10 years ago, and in the process lost the child she was pregnant with, and the ability to birth more children. Did she blame her daughter for not being able to get pregnant? Did her husband blame his daughter for something a baby had no control over?

Lucius knocked her out of her thoughts when he held the door open to Madam Malkin’s and guided her in with a hand on her lower back.

 

 Madam Malkin’s 

After the two adults sent the children to get measured they stepped into a corner where they could speak privately and still keep an eye on the children.

“I worry, Lucius,” she whispered. Her voice cracked and her husband’s eyes softened as he reached up and stroked a high cheekbone.

“I know, I am as well, my love.” She leaned into his hand and placed a discrete kiss against his palm.

“What can we do? Is there anything we can do?”

Lucius shook his head sadly. “Not without bringing the wrath of the Potter Estate and most of Magical Britain down on our heads. I believe that as of right now, the only thing we can do is watch from afar, and hope that we are able to help her when the time is right.”

Narcissa closed her eyes and willed the tears away. “Why would they leave their child in the attic? They live in their Ancestral Home, do they not?”

He inclined his head. “They do.”

Her breath caught in her throat as she thought of her own attic. “Imagine all of the dangerous things that could be up there! I know they’re mostly Light oriented, but, there was once a time when the Potters were Dark oriented. How could they do such a thing?”

“I don’t know, my love.” His hand trailed down from her face to rest on her shoulder and squeezed gently. She knew that had they been alone, or even in a less public space, that he would have wrapped her in his arms and kissed away her fears.

“Mother, father, we’ve finished.” The two parents were knocked out of their world of melancholy when the two children came up to them, their bags held in one hand, and each other’s hands clasped between them.

 

“It was so cool!” Eden exclaimed. Her face lit up with the light of pure happiness that quickly had those around them holding their breath in awe. There was something about her smile that just pulled others in the moment it was released on the world. “I’ve never been fitted for clothes before, and I’ve never needed to personally pay for something before! It was amazing!”

After she exchanged a glance with her husband that was too quick for her to decipher, Lady Malfoy grinned at the small child. “I’m so glad you enjoyed it, dear.”

Lord Malfoy stood next to his wife and placed a hand on his wife’s hip. “I believe it’s time to go get your trunks, children.”

  

Juniper’s Luxury Advanced Storage Needs 

“Eden, look at this one!” Draco demanded from behind her. Said girl moved away from the small blue trunk she had been examining and stood next to her not-friend friend.

“Woah!” she gasped as she took in what she saw. The trunk itself wasn’t extraordinary. It was a plain black with silver embellishments on the side and top and had four leather buckles that would hold it closed. The inside of the trunk, however, was amazing. She stared at the ornate spiral staircase that led down deep into the well-lit trunk. “We should go in,” she said after a moment of awe filled silence between the two pre-teens.

“Do you think we’re allowed?”

“I don’t see as to why not. If we weren’t allowed why would it be open? Honestly, if they didn’t want people to get in the trunk, they would have it closed. And, this step stool wouldn’t be here either,” she added on as she kicked said object with scuffed shoes.

Draco thought for a moment before he turned around to search for his parents. They were on the other side of the store in a deep conversation with an older man. “Let’s do it.”

The two quickly climbed into the trunk—and aided each other so they didn’t fall down the stairs—and descended into its depths. They were greeted with large piles of trunks and a very eager—probably too much so—salesman. 

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“Lucius, where are Draco and Eden?” Narcissa demanded as she looked around the store and didn’t even bother to hide the frantic worry on her face.

Her husband ceased his conversation with the elderly Lord Nott and looked around, and a frown furrowed his face as he came up empty-sighted. “I thought they were over there,” he stated as he pointed to a section of the store filled with elaborate and plain trunks.

Narcissa excused herself from the two men and began to search for her child and his best friend—she and Lucius were somewhat aware of the friendship the two had going on. “Lady Malfoy,” a voice behind her started. She turned and was greeted with Silvenia Parkinson, Lady Parkinson to most. “Your son and Noah Potter went into that trunk.”

She lifted a perfectly arched brow before she thanked the woman and moved to the trunk. She leaned over the edge and immediately knew why the two children had gone inside.

“Did you find them?” Lucius questioned softly as he placed a large hand on her hip.

“Yes, they went down there.”

He was silent for a moment as he too gazed into the trunk. “Interesting. Shall we find out what they’re doing?” 

|}(){

“So, whadya say, kids?” the salesman demanded in a too bright and too happy tone after he explained the many ‘wonderful’ aspects of the many—way too many—models of the trunk they were currently in.

Since Eden was always honest with herself, she admitted that she was actually quite overwhelmed and wasn’t entirely sure what to think. The trunk came in five sizes: Petit, Small, Medium, Large, and Stupidly Big (Colassal). And each of those sizes each had five more sizes.

The Petit size didn’t interest her, not did the Small or the Medium sizes. It was the Large and Stupidly Big—Colossal—sizes that truly amazed and interested her.

The Large size had 8 compartments for storage, and each compartment was a five foot cube. It had anywhere between 4 and 9 large rooms that each had a spiral staircase that would lead down into the rooms that had 15 foot ceilings and each had over 2,000 square feet rooms that increased by 500 square feet for each room.

The Stupidly Big—Colossal (she didn’t think she’d ever be able to call it by its proper name on the first try—had 15 compartments for storage and like the Large size, each compartment were five foot cubes. It had between 7 and 12 rooms that each had a spiral staircase that would lead down into rooms that all had 25 foot ceilings. The smallest room was 4,500 square feet, and each room after that adding on an additional 2,500 square feet to the prior number until the last room—similar to the Large. She wasn’t entirely sure how much space that last room would have, but she was pretty sure it would be larger than the 10,000 square foot attic she called her bedroom.

Both of the trunks were password protected, had feather-light charms placed, were guaranteed to last at least 50 years—even with extreme wear and tear—and with the tap of your hand or wand, the trunk would follow after you as if it were a dog.

The one question that she couldn’t ask, but so desperately needed to know, was if there could be a way to hide it from her parents. If they saw her with such a nice trunk—any of them—they would surely punish her for it—she knew for sure her mother would, but she wasn’t entirely sure her father wouldn’t.

“Is there a way to shrink it, or have that put on the trunk?” There. That should sound like a normal enough question. “Without ruining the inside, or destroying the set up?”

“Why o’ course, little lady. We can do that for you. It would cost a bit extra, but, it would work, and because the charm would be placed on the trunk directly, you can’t get in trouble for using magic outside of school. OH! I almost forgot, I can’t believe I almost forgot! Inside the Colossal Trunk, you can practice magic without being caught.”

“Really?” both exclaimed in shock and slight disbelief.

While they didn’t live in the muggle world, and thus wouldn’t—couldn’t—get in trouble for using magic outside of school, it was still fascinating to hear that something like this existed. It was too bad they were so expensive though—she doubted most muggleborn’s would be able to afford such a trunk.

“Really!”

“Why?”

“Because of how much magic is inside of the trunk, it interferes with the Trace.”

Both kids looked at each other and grinned. “We’ll take one.” Eden and Draco flinched and quickly turned around to be greeted by his parents. “Draco, would you like one as well?” Lord Malfoy questioned his son.

She was confused. Wasn’t that trunk for him already? The two children exchanged bewildered glances before the boy nodded his head. “Yes, father.”

“Absolutely wonderful. What color would you like, Eden?”

Her eyes widened and she blinked multiple times as her head reared back. “What? No! They’re so expensive—I couldn’t—” Her words cut off as she covered her mouth.

“Eden, sweetie, let us do this for you,” Lady Malfoy begged gently. “It won’t hurt us financially to buy two trunks.”

“Honestly, we could buy fifty and still not make a dent in our fortune,” Lord Malfoy scoffed. “We won’t be taking no for an answer, Eden.”

Eden’s lips pursed and drew to the left as she frowned. “I guess I’d like the shiny dark gray one,” she answered after a tense stare off.

“Ah, yes!” the salesman cut in. “Gunmetal is a perfect choice, my dear. It will go beautifully with your eyes.”

Eden stepped away from the man’s smarmy grin and flinched violently when she collided with Lord Malfoy’s front. “Thank you?” A hand steadied her and she moved to stand next to Draco.

The man laughed and moved to retrieve the Trunk. “How many rooms would you like?”

“The most there is,” Lord Malfoy cut in before she could speak. “Also, a shrinking charm on both would be much appreciated.”

“You’ve got it!”

She turned back to the Malfoy’s with her eyes wet with unshed tears. “How can I ever repay you, Lord and Lady Malfoy?”

Lady Malfoy smiled softly at her. “Just say hello every time you see us dear.”

“And none of this Lord and Lady business. I’m Lucius, and she is Narcissa.”

A water smile and laugh left the girls lips as the tears burned. “Thank you…so much,” she whispered.

Narcissa wrapped her in her arms and pressed a gentle kiss to the top of her head. Eden leaned into the touch, and her body relaxed in the grasp. She hadn’t realized how much she missed the embrace of a mother until then.

She took a couple deep, fortifying breaths before she pulled away from the comforting embrace. She wiped her eyes and watched the salesman as he applied the appropriate charms and Runes to her ‘gunmetal’ Trunk and a beautiful Kelly green Trunk that would be Draco’s. “It’s hot in here,” she said after a moment.

“That’s because you’re wearing your cloak silly,” Draco teased softly.

Eden nodded and went to remove the garment and stopped with her hands on the clasp as her mother’s words came back to her. And please for the love of Merlin, don’t let anyone see your clothes. She shook her head and looked down at the ground. “I’ll be fine,” she said uncomfortably.

“Would you place cooling charms on both trunks as well?” Narcissa asked. She understood—and wished she didn’t (even though she was wrong)—why the girl didn’t remove her cloak.

“O’ course, o’ course, my Lady.” The man went about placing the requested charms before he turned to the adults. “That will be a total of 330,500 galleons, if you please.”

“Charge it to the Malfoy Vaults,” Lucius sniffed.

“Alrighty.” He wrote something down on a piece of parchment before it vanished and another appeared in front of him a few seconds later. “Now kids, once you get your wands, all you hafta do is tap the top of the Trunk and say the password that you want for the desired room or compartment. It will go from the first compartment all the way to the last room. After you do that, the passwords will be set, and if you ever feel the desire that you want to reset your chosen passwords, you’ll have to come in and get them reset, do you understand?”

“Yes, sir.”

“I have a question before we go,” Lucius stated after he shrunk the Trunks and handed them to their respective owners. “If one desired to, would food be allowed to be stored in the trunk and not have it rot?”

“O’ course! All you hafta do is place a stasis charm on the food, and it will be kept perfectly fine. As usual, before eating food with the charm, it will need to be removed—”

“Yes. Thank you for your time,” Lucius cut in before he ushered his family out of the Trunk.

Eden climbed out of the Trunk and giggled as she stumbled and fell into Lucius’ legs. He quickly righted her and made sure she was alright before Draco climbed out and proceeded to do the same thing. She breathed in the blessedly cool air and smiled at her friend. “We’ll get used to it,” she assured them both.

They had to, or their legs would constantly be covered in bruises—while that wouldn’t be anything new to her, it would be for Draco.

He nodded resolutely and his parents ushered them out of the store and towards Flourish and Blott’s where they would get their school books.

It was there, that they met up with her family.

  

Flourish and Blott’s 

The four stood in the checkout line with their school books and any other books that had interested them in baskets with extension charms on them. The Trunks were stored away in their pockets—Narcissa had placed a charm on hers to prevent it from falling out after the third time it did so—and the two children chatted animatedly while the adults watched on with extreme fondness.

Their turn eventually came up, and with a slight push from Lucius, the school books and 76 extra books that had interested her to the point of not being able to get them were rung up. “That will be 2 galleons, 16 sickles, and 28 knuts, Miss Potter.”

Eden flinched only slightly at the price before she spoke. “Could you charge that to the Potter Vault’s please?” she asked softly.

“Of course, Miss Potter. Is there anything else I can do for you today?” the young clerk asked from behind the mountain range of books.

“If you would place an extension charm on this bag, please,” Lucius said as he handed over a dark green over the shoulder book bag with silver snakes on it that slithered around. “I will be paying for it.”

“Of course, Lord Malfoy.”

After the books were in her new book bag, and the charmed bag was slung over her shoulder, the Malfoy’s things we quickly rung up and a similar bag was charmed for Draco and his things—his was silver based. The four made their way to leave the shop when they were stopped by an angry shout.

“Noah Eden Potter!” Eden froze at the harsh sound of her mother’s voice and relaxed only slightly when Draco grabbed her left hand and squeezed it. The four turned around to face her family. “Where have you been?” she demanded.

“Shopping.” She turned her gaze to her father. “You never came back for me.” His face paled before he looked away, shame clearly on his face. “Narcissa, Lucius, and Draco have been kind enough to help me purchase my school things.” She started to bounce on the balls of her feet, ignorant of those gathering around the small group. “Did you know that the Vault can be charged directly? There’s no need to carry around coin pouches! And you can have trunks shrunk down, so you don’t have to carry them!”

Murmurs broke out around them as her mother’s eyes widened in shock at the words her daughter spoke. They narrowed as anger took over once more. “That doesn’t matter. You’ll be coming with us, Noah.”

“But—I don’t want to. I’m having fun with Draco.” Her mother’s eyes somehow narrowed further, and Eden knew then that she had made a grave error. She tensed and adverted her eyes and turned her head to Draco as she awaited the painful blow, but, it never came.

“You are to be back by dinner, do you understand?” Eden nodded as her grip on Draco’s hand tightened almost painfully. Her mother turned and ushered Harry further into the store. The crowed of people dispersed slightly to follow after the Boy Who Lived.

Her father came up and knelt in front of her. “I am so sorry, my sweet. I completely for—”

“It’s fine, father.” She ignored the pain that flared in his eyes at the detached name. “I made new friends, so please don’t worry.”

He glanced at the Malfoy’s and frowned before he placed a kiss on her forehead. “Alright. Here—” he rummaged in his pocket before he pulled out a key, “go to Gringotts and pull out some money. Your mother won’t be able to track where you spend it if you do.”

Eden hesitated before she took the iron key. “How much can I take?”

He hummed before he smiled at her. “However much you want. If she notices, I’ll tell your mother that I pulled it out for investing, alright?” She nodded her head and hugged her dad. His arms were slow to wrap around her, but when they finally did, they were reluctant to let her go—nothing unusual. “Have fun and stay safe.” He stood and looked to the elder Malfoy’s. “Please…take care of my daughter,” he begged in earnest.

Narcissa gripped her husband’s arm before nodding. “We’ll look after her as if she’s our own.”

He smiled and stroked Eden’s downy soft hair. “Thank you. I’ll try and calm her down,” he whispered the last bit to her before he stood and followed his wife.

“It seems that our next stop is Gringotts.”

 

 Gringotts 

They crossed the threshold into the large building. Lucius led the group, with the children behind him, and Narcissa following up the rear. A tender smile was on her face as she stared at their clasped hands.

“Key.”

Lucius handed over to keys, one for the Malfoy Vaults, and the one for the Potter Vault. The two were soon handed back. “What is your business here today, Lord Malfoy, Miss Potter?”

“Money withdrawal from the Potter Vaults and a visit to the Main Malfoy Vault.”

“Follow me.”

The four were led to a cart and taken deep into the bank—to the bowels—before they came to a rapid and sudden halt. Eden and Draco slammed into his parents who quickly steadied them. Eden climbed out of the cart and laid on the ground for a moment as waves of nausea circled in her stomach and mind. “I never want to do that again,” she moaned before she sat up and pressed a hand to her mouth to keep from emptying her already empty stomach.

“Are you alright?” Draco questioned softly as he carefully helped her stand and steadied her small frame as she stumbled. She pressed her forehead into his neck and took deep, shuddering breaths to get her stomach back under control.

“Yeah. I get really sick whenever I travel really fast or take any type of magical transportation. I’ll be fine in a minute.”

While the two children had been talking to each other, the key to the Potter Vault—at least the one they were currently at—had been handed over before the large iron door was opened with a long series of deafening clicks. “Woah! This place is huge!” Eden exclaimed as she stepped into the Vault with Lucius who stayed at the entrance. Golden coins were piled around the walls and in the center of the room were smaller piles of gold, but all piles were still taller than Lucius.

“Why don’t you take some money, sweetie,” Narcissa urged from the doorway where she stood with her family.

“How much should I take?”

Lucius looked around as if he were assessing something before be finally spoke. “I’d say based on what your father said, you could easily take 20,000 galleons and not have it be noticed.  Might I suggest, just in case something were to happen in the future, 40 or 50 thousand?”

Eden’s eyes bulged. “That much? Really?” She knew the value of a galleon was equal to almost five hundred pounds in muggle money—her mother had that literally beaten into her head—and also knew that a single galleon could buy a lot of stuff. (Now that she thought about it, the price of her Trunk nearly made her sick).

“Yes. It won’t hurt your family. I believe it would take a few more zeros before any dent was truly made in this Vault alone.”

“How do I take that much?”

“How much would you like?”

Eden jumped and turned to the goblin the same height as she was—she really hated being 4’5”. “Uhm…” she looked towards Lucius who held up 10 fingers with a wink. “100,000?” When he nodded, she repeated the number to the goblin. The creature waved his hand, and a small, purple velvet bag floated out from seemingly nowhere and vast amounts of coins were sucked into it. It cinched closed before it floated in front of her face.

She hesitantly grabbed it and expected it to be heavy, and was pleasantly shocked when it was as light as a feather. She opened her mouth to thank the goblin, when a large hand that somehow brought immediate comfort came to wrap gently around her mouth.

“They don’t care for human platitudes. All you need to do is nod your head at them in a respectful manner.” Lucius’ hand left her mouth. She did as he said, and grinned violently when the goblin repeated the action.

“May your gold forever grow.”

Almost as if it had been drilled into her from the moment of her birth, the words slipped out of her mouth: “And may yours overflow.”

A proud squeeze on the shoulder from Lucius made her smile before they were quickly ushered back into the cart and taken even deeper into the bank before they stopped once more. Eden again stumbled out of the Metal Cart from Hell and laid on the cobbled ground while Narcissa crouched next to her and rubbed and hand up and down her back.

The large door to the Vault, which was guarded by a dragon, opened with many clicks and heavy thuds before Lucius stepped into the large Family Vault. He was in there for an agonizing five minutes before he came out with two bags identical to the one in Eden’s pocket.

He waved his ornate cane and the bags disappeared, and a satisfied smile stretched his face.

 

The four continued on with their shopping. They stopped for lunch, and over all had a very good time.

  

The Charming Demon 

Draco and Eden were so caught up in their conversation about the décor of the 5 star restaurant they were in, that they completely missed the whispered conversation between the two adults accompanying them.

“Did you do it?” Narcissa asked her husband.

“Yes. She’ll find them when she arrives home and unpacks her belongings.”

“The agreed upon amount?”

“Double.” Narcissa grabbed his hand and stroked the calloused skin from years of alchemic brewing.

“You’re a very good man, my husband,” she said. She pressed a soft kiss to his knuckles, which he quickly reciprocated. “Was it me,” she started hesitantly, “or does it seem like her father cares for here?”

“Yes. At least, it appears to be that way. He could be acting.”

“So, it’s most definitely her mother.”

“Yes.”

Narcissa shook her head, baffled at how anyone—especially a mother—could lay a hand against such an innocent child as Eden. “I love her already, Lucius.”

He pressed a gentle kiss to her cheek as he slipped his arm around her shoulders. “As do I, my love. As do I.”

The two adults turned their gaze to the children now rapidly debating the usefulness of being an animagus—both legal and illegal. Their arms flapped around wildly as they tried to get their point across, their voices never rose above a speaking volume, however.

“I believe she is the missing piece to our family, my love.”

“The gods have finally answered our prayers for another child.”

  

The Leaky Cauldron

 Eden took a deep breath before she stepped into the unlit fireplace, a pinch of floo powder clutched tightly in her hands. She waved goodbye to her new friends and clearly called out “Potter Manor” before she fell to the ground in her family’s receiving room, nauseated and in pain.

  

Potter Manor

 “You are to go to the attic immediately,” her mother stated as she stepped into the room and found her on the floor, curled into a ball as she held her stomach. She watched apathetically as she pushed herself up to her hands and knees and coughed violently as she did so.

She clutched her stomach as a wave of pain washed over her and cried out as she vomited over the plush rug. A sharp pain started on the top of her head as her mother lifted her by her long hair and roughly drug her up 7 staircases to the attic. “I’m sorry, mother,” she whispered as they were on the final staircase, and her nausea had finally abated.

“You will be. You’ll be in here for three days. No food and water.”

“Yes, mother.”

She grunted softly as she landed heavily on the warped, wooden floor and curled into a small ball. She stared at the wand as it was lifted against her, and ducked her head to protect as much skin as possible as the painful spells arced towards her. She kept her sobs and yelps to a minimum—she learnt long ago that they only made the punishment worse.

She breathed a sigh of a relief after 10 minutes when her mother left and the door glowed a familiar blue for a short moment.

After she was sure her mother was gone, she cried herself hoarse. Her magic healed the worst of the cuts, and lashed around the room—it often did that after the worst of the beatings. Eden sat up, wiped her eyes, and removed her torn and bloody clothes. She changed into a threadbare nightgown and sat on her bed.

She reached into the protected pocket of her cloak and frowned when she pulled out three velvet bags instead of one. She shook her head before she removed her trunk and other school things and placed them on the chaise longue.

She pulled out her wand and tapped the trunk, and watched in rapt fascination as it grew back to its original size. She quickly went about and set the passwords—almost all of them were just numbers in Latin—and once that was complete, turned her attention to the three velvet pouches. She opened one and saw hoard’s of gold. She opened the second and saw more gold as well. She furrowed her brow and opened the last to see a note on the top that hid the contents of the bag.

She grabbed the note and unfolded it.

 

Eden,

If you ever find yourself needing any type of assistance, you will always find it with us.

 

Take care of yourself, my dear.

     Lucius Malfoy

 

She peered into the bag and small pieces of furniture and clothing greeted her teary eyes. She hugged the three bags to her chest—she didn’t know which of the ones full of gold the Malfoy’s had given her—and cried herself to sleep, happier than she had been in a very long time.

Chapter Text

Wednesday, July 31, 1991

          Potter Manor

 

Eden was stuck.

Again.

And again, it wasn’t her fault.

Well…it depended on how you looked at it…it wasn’t her fault.

It was her birthday, and, as the norm had been for the last few years, she was locked away in her bedroom.

So really, it was her fault.

But she was so going to blame her mother for this.

Faint laughter drifted to her ears from the party that was currently taking place in the large ballroom three floors beneath her room. Harry had always insisted the day after that it was boring and that he didn’t have any fun because she wasn’t there. It was hard to believe someone when they refused to look at you, stuttered, and practically ran away after speaking.

Besides, if he wanted her to believe him, he’d have to have their parents soundproof the attic.

But, back to being stuck.

Over the last two weeks, ever since she had gotten her Stupidly Big Trunk—thank you Lucius and Narcissa—she had thrown all caution to the wind and started to explore the attic to see what she could find. She had found many things, all of which were either stacked in large piles around her bed, or put away neatly in her Trunk.

That day, to occupy her mind, she had opted to wonder again instead of putting the 200 plus items she had claimed as hers away. She had opened a seemingly innocuous trunk, and had…fallen…in?

She wasn’t entirely sure what happened, actually.

Had she been even 4—maybe even 3—inches taller, she could have jumped and grasped the ledge and eventually pull herself out. Unfortunately, she had been cursed with the plague known as Malnutrition.

As she glared around the small room, she came to the conclusion that this trunk must be one similar to her own. The space she was in didn’t have much. Either the previous owner must have not stored many things in it, or had removed most of the things that had once been in there.

She glared longingly once more at the opening of the trunk, just out of reach, and turned her attention to the few—comparatively to the size of the room—objects around her.

She was immediately in heaven.

The 27 small boxes that had been left in the trunk were all jewelry sets. Each had a necklace, a pair of earrings, a bracelet, and a ring. All appeared to be made with either silver, white gold, rose gold, platinum, or rhodium. All had some sort of precious stones: diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, opals, rubies, and one even looked like it might house a small chunk of Snowflake Obsidian.

There were 17 books in the trunk, all on a subject that she didn’t quite understand, but, if she had to take a guess, it was Dark and evil magic.

That’s all Blood Magic could be, right? Evil?

“Eden? Sweetie, where are you?”

Eden shrunk her treasures and gathered them all up—the books too—in her overly large shirt and stared up at the hole. “Uncle Sirius!”

That might be a problem.

“Eden? Where are you cub?”

“I’m in the dark pink trunk!” she called out as loud as she could, her voice extremely muffled, even to her own ears. Was there some kind of charm on the trunk? Soon, after mumblings and the opening and closing of many trunks—how hard was dark pink trunk to understand (there was only one)—three faces stared down at her. “Hi Uncle Sirius. Hi Auntie Mariea. Hi Uncle Remus!”

“What are you doing down there, cub?” Uncle Remus asked as he gazed down at her with concern.

“I fell.”

Sirius chuckled and was promptly hit by his pretty wife. “Are you alright?” she asked the young girl.

“Yeah. Just a couple of bruises, nothing I’m not used to.” The three adults frowned and with a flick of their wands, she and her treasures were levitated out of the trunk with great care.

“How did you fall down there?” Sirius demanded as he checked her over for anything more serious than a bruise.

She explained how she ended up in the trunk. “I’m not entirely sure what happened, it might have pulled me in. But, I found some really sparkly jewelry and some books that I don’t quite understand. I didn’t read any of them,” she added when they looked at her in concern.

Eden was very bright for her age, and the only things she truly didn’t quite understand were Dark in nature, and she was aware that the adults around her, who knew her, knew this fact. She led the way through the stacks and piles of old things from her ancestors, and to the little part of the attic that she had claimed as hers years ago.

She put the jewelry boxes on her bed and the books next to them. She enlarged the items and walked away from them as Uncle Remus sat down next to the books and started to look over them. Uncle Sirius grabbed her around the middle and lifted her up into a giant bear hug. “Eden, these books are very Dark. Would you mind if I took them and put them somewhere safe?”

Eden shook her head as she climbed around Uncle Sirius so she was hanging around his neck on his back. “No, I don’t mind. I’m not entirely sure why I grabbed them.”

She squealed loudly when Uncle Sirius suddenly had her in his arms before he tossed her in the air and towards Uncle Remus who just barely caught her as he lunged off the chaise longue.

“Padfoot,” he admonished softly as he hugged her close to him.

“What about me?” Aunt Mariea complained playfully after a moment. Eden climbed off of Uncle Remus’ shoulders that she had managed to climb to in the short amount of time that she had been in his possession.

Once she was on steady ground, she sped over to her aunt and wrapped her too thin arms around the older woman’s neck when she crouched down. “How’s your day been so far?” she asked as she pulled away and stroked her cheek.

Eden smiled and leaned into the touch. Aunt Mariea was unable to have children, and as she and Sirius still weren’t cleared to adopt, she had become the woman’s pseudo daughter. She didn’t mind. Their PTSD didn’t bother her much, due to her life, but, she dearly hoped that soon their therapist would clear them fit for adoption. She wanted a friend she could play with.

“It’s been okay, I guess. I’ve been exploring all day.” For the past three days, but, they didn’t need to know that.

“How long were you in that trunk for, baby?”

“Uhm…three hours? I’m not entirely sure how long I was in there for.”

“Have you eaten yet today?” The dreaded and painful question that was always asked shortly after the three adults arrived.

She shook her head and looked down. “No, but, that’s fine. I’m not hungry.” Aunt Mariea and Uncle Sirius exchanged thinly veiled looks of anger before they called for their house elf Scooby. They quickly ordered the elf to bring food. “No! You don’t have to, I’m fine, promise,” she desperately insisted.

They didn’t listen.

“Eden, we want to help you. We love you,” her godmother insisted in return as she stroked her face. Her eyes teared up and she nodded her head as her lips pinched to the side as she tried to not cry. The three adults wrapped her in their arms and held her close while she cried.

 

They exchanged looks over her head, and knew that they needed to do something about the treatment given to her. They had been discretely trying for the last four years—ever since they found out. Perhaps discretion wasn’t what was needed in this case.

They weren’t afraid of the Potter’s and what they could do to them. After all, the Blacks were far more powerful than the Potter’s could ever dream of being. Neither were they afraid of losing longtime friends. The only reason that they still came around was for Harry and Eden, and even then it was more for their goddaughter.

The food arrived and they again shared looks as she carefully ate the food, and only ate a too small portion of the feast that had been brought before she stated she was full and couldn’t eat anymore.

It couldn’t go on any longer. She needed freedom.

Peace. 

|}(){

Eden laid on the floor and stared up at the high, vaulted ceilings. “Do you ever wonder what it would be like to fly?” she asked suddenly. “Because I think about it all of the time.”

“It’s absolutely wonderful,” Aunt Mariea responded fondly.

“What would you do if you could fly?” Uncle Sirius asked from where he lay next to her with his arm under her head. Uncle Remus was on her other side with an arm slung around her stomach, and Aunt Mariea sat by her head and ran her fingers through the sleek black locks that reached her mid-thigh. Her hair hadn’t been cut since she was six, and she was quite fond of the length.

“I’d fly far, far away. Maybe somewhere over the rainbow,” she sighed softly as she relaxed further into their embraces.

“Can we come too?”

“I’d like that.”

The four stayed in a comfortable silence before it was broken by Mariea. “Well, gentlemen, I believe we have some presents we need to give this young lady.”

“Right you are, my dearest,” Sirius agreed in a pompous accent that had them all laughing. They sat up and moved into a circle. Two fairly large presents appeared in the center, while two—slightly smaller—presents appeared on top of the first two, while a fifth, larger than all combined appeared next to the circle of people.

“Which one should I open first?” Eden asked purposefully, as she knew exactly what would happen next. The two marauders’ quickly got into a heated argument over whose present she would open first.

Eden made eye contact with her godmother and giggled quietly when she subtly pushed one of the gifts towards her with a wink and a point at herself. She nodded and pulled it onto her lap and started to tear at the shiny blue and bronze paper. “Mariea!” Sirius and Remus complained at once. Their complaints were quickly silenced when Eden reached into the box and pulled out three very nice boxes.

“Next time,” she started with an imperious sniff, “you two will learn.”

“Bloody Ravenclaw,” they both mumbled under their breaths.

Eden opened the largest of the three boxes and grinned widely when she saw a crystal ink set with four black swan feather quills with metal tips, and two clear quills with green chips embedded inside. “They’re crystal,” Mariea explained when she lifted one of them out of their velvet casing. “And emerald chips. I thought they matched your eyes, and when I saw them, I couldn’t help but to think of you, same with the quills.”

She gently placed the crystal quill back into its snug home before she wrapped her arms around her neck. “Thank you!” she squeaked excitedly.

“The quills have numerous charms placed on them, so you can drop them and not worry about them shattering. I don’t recommend doing that often though. You know how those charms wear off after a while.”

Eden agreed with a laugh and an incline of her head. “I don’t plan on it, thank you Auntie Mariea.” At the excited gesture from the woman, she opened the next box and found a set of diamond and ruby jewelry made with black silver. She opened the last box and grinned widely at the large crystal bottle filled with a shimmery emerald green that matched her eyes perfectly. The bottle was almost as big as her head, and in the shape of a bird head.

“So you’ll always think of me when you write.”

She thanked her godmother again, and the fight for whose present she would open next began once more. She giggled at the argument between the two giant children, and once more met the older woman’s eyes and rolled her own. “Do you remember whose present I opened first last time?”

“I think Remus happened to win last time,” she answered after a moment of thought. “Oh, yes, it was. He tackled Sirius down the stairs.” The two laughed at the sudden memory.

“Then I shall open Uncle Sirius’ first.”

“Haha! Yes! In your face, sucker!” He stuck his tongue out at his dearest friend, who responded with a rude hand gesture.

“You, my dear, are a child,” Aunt Mariea stated with a sniff.

“You still love me though,” he responded as he pressed a kiss to her hand.

She smiled softly. “Unfortunately, I love you very, very madly.”

“Well, you’d have to be mad to love me.”

Eden giggled and pulled the middle sized gift of the remaining presents towards her and opened it. Inside were two more boxes, one significantly smaller and lighter than the other.

While she thought it was strange that they put all of the presents from themselves in one box, she understood—unfortunately. If her mother were to spot that they were addressed to her, they would either be given to Harry or thrown out—they had all learnt from experience.

She opened the large box first and laughed when she saw four thick books. “I never thought that you’d be the one to give me books, Padfoot,” she teased as she stared at him with a playful glint in her eyes.

The man crossed his arms and pouted. “Look at the titles before you judge, love.”

She did as told and squealed when she saw that they were four books on how to become an animagus. “Really?” she demanded with eyes that glimmered.

Padfoot grinned and ruffled her hair. “Yep. We’ll be there with you every step of the way. From the first prep steps, to getting you registered, we’ll be right there next to you.”

Eden threw herself at him and wrapped him in a big bear hug—at least, as big of one as she could give (which wasn’t that big). “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!” she squeaked as she bounced on his lap. She leapt off of him and started to run around in rapid circles as she just as rapidly theorized and babbled about her animagus: what it could be, and what she’d do with it depending on what it was.

The adults laughed at her antics before they summoned her over to finish opening her gifts. She reluctantly sat down and while she bounced in place, opened the small box to see a thick, black leather cuff that had swirls embroidered with thin silver metal. She pulled it out of its home and Uncle Sirius took it and slipped it onto her left wrist. The cuff shrank down to fit snug—yet comfortable—on her arm.

“It will protect you from most basic jinxes, hexes, and curses that students will learn at school.”

Wide, fearful, emerald eyes turned towards him. “Do you really think that I’ll need it?”

“I sure hope not. I’m just worried. My little angel is off to school where I can’t be with her whenever I want to be.”

No one voiced how he couldn’t do that while she was at home either.

“Thank you, Padfoot,” she said softly. She gave him another hug and opened the smallest of the four presents.

Inside the box was a large leather book. She lifted it out and smiled at the blank expanse of sweet smelling parchment. Uncle Remus moved to sit behind her and opened it up to the first page. On it, a note was written in shining silver ink that glowed and seemed to float off of the luxurious parchment.

 

My Dearest Eden,

      I hope that you will find your years at Hogwarts happy, eventful (but not dangerous eventful), and full of friends who love and cherish you. I give this to you for you to write down whatever you want.

     I hope you use it well and often, and cherish it as much as I cherish you.

 L ove,

        Moony

 

“This is a very special diary, Eden,” he started, his voice low and soothing. “It had many charms and spells placed on it that will allow you to never run out of pages. You can also have the book sort itself to however you want, and you can call forth any entry you want as long as it’s been labeled here.” Eden turned in his arms and hugged him tightly.

“Thank you, Moony.” He placed a gentle kiss to the top of her head and breathed in her sweet scent.

“Of course, cub. I love you.”

“I love you, too. I love all of you.”

She stayed in his arms and the largest box was opened once the touched it, and about a hundred books started to hover in front of her. “This is for your schooling and researching purposes,” Aunt Mariea explained. “They’re from all of us, and well…yeah.”

They all laughed and sat and chatted for a short while longer before the heavy thuds of footsteps on the stairs reached them. With a flick of three wands, the presents—and the unopened one—were hidden underneath her bed, and a sheet fell over to cover them. The food disappeared, and the garbage vanished. The attic door opened, and there stood her father.

 

“Lily is starting to wonder where you three are,” James said stiffly after he took in the scene in front of him.

His daughter was snuggled up against Moony, and Padfoot, and Wings were sitting either side of the two and played with her hair.

He was ashamed to admit he hadn’t seen her that content and happy in a very long time.

 

Eden tried to hold back the tears as the three adults around her sighed and stood. After a tearful goodbye, they left. They squeezed past her father and started down the steps and quietly murmured amongst themselves.

Echoes of the party reached her ears, and her heart cracked when she was able to discern Harry’s voice as he laughed and chattered happily.

Wasn’t fun my butt.

“Happy birthday, Noah,” her father said just before he closed the door.

The lonely girl sighed and once she was sure that she was going to be left alone for the retrieved the presents from under her bed. She moved her new books—even the ones from the dark pink trunk (Moony had forgotten about them when Padfoot had thrown her at him)—into her library that she made inside her trunk, in the largest room.

After that monumental task was performed, she gathered the other presents and made her way into the compartment she had dubbed her office—for now it was a study (a very, very large study).

She placed the items on her desk—thank you, Lucius—and in their proper places, and once that was done, grabbed one of the crystal quills, the diary, and the shimmering green ink, she began to write—(the unopened present with the unread tag of ‘Love, Papa’ long forgotten).

Dear Diary…

Chapter Text

Sunday, September 1, 1991

        Hogwarts, Great Hall

 

Eden gripped Harry’s left hand tightly and hid her face in his right shoulder as the stern professor neared the P’s. His right arm was wrapped tightly around her waist to hold her up, as she was still ill from the train ride—nine hours of constant magical travel was hell (and that didn’t include the 20 minute boat ride which was somehow even worse). She didn’t swear often, but, when she did, it was to make a point.

And that was a point that she felt needed to be made very clear.

As “Parkinson, Pansy” was called, her panic increased along with her nausea—whether it was from nerves or the travel, she wasn’t entirely sure (it was probably both). What she did know, however, was that there was no way she was going to be in Gryffindor—and if she wasn’t in Gryffindor, she’d be even more of a disgrace.

She wasn’t brave—she knew that, she was weak.

She wasn’t courageous—she did everything she could to hide.

Overall, she didn’t know which house she’d be in—if she even fit in to any of them—but, she knew without a shadow of a doubt, that there was no way it would be Gryffindor. She wasn’t good enough.

She was never good enough.

“Potter, Harry.”

The illness churning—roiling boiling heaving dying—in her stomach grew tenfold as she dropped her brother’s calming hand after she gave it a desperate squeeze. He returned it—not in desperation—and gave her a quick hug before he sauntered up to the hat. It was placed on his head and less than five seconds later “GRYFFINDOR” was shouted for the entire world to hear.

Eden clapped and cheered loudly for her brother, even as anxiety gripped at her throat and clogged her lungs and airways and Merlinshe couldn’t breathe.

“Potter, Noah.”

She took a shallow breath as snickers echoed throughout the hall and carefully walked up to the hat, chanting to herself to not be sick. She sat down on the old, rickety stool and the nearly dead hat was placed on her head.

All was silent for a while before a slimy voice sounded in her head, which caused her to flinch and nearly fall off of the stool.

Not good enough for Gryffindor, eh? Don’t belong in any of the Houses, hmm?

I’m not brave. I don’t know if I even belong here.

While you are not brave in the sense that is generally accepted, or even expected by the House, you are quite a brave young girl. But, you are correct in thinking that you wouldn’t be placed in Gryffindor—the environment wouldn’t be good for you. You would become stagnant, never increasing, and never decreasing. You need somewhere you can thrive. While you would do well in any of the three remaining Houses, especially Hufflepuff, I see something in you, that you probably do not even realize yourself.

What do you mean? She could hear faint whispers as they reached her mind through her ringing ears, and pounding head from underneath the old fabric.

You have a very strong ambition, child. The desire to prove that you are worth being as loved as your brother. That you are worth something more than a convenient punching bag. You want people to look at you, and see someone they would never think about hurting or mocking. You want to be protected, and you want someone to protect.

I already know most of that.

Yes, but, be that as it may, there is more to you than meets the eye. Even more than you yourself will know for a long time, if ever.

What do you—

“SLYTHERIN!”

Eden’s heart froze as the hat was removed and she was greeted with the silent hall. She looked to her brother and saw a look of pure shock on his face. Blood pounded in her ears—which brought her dangerously close to being sick—as she slowly stood from the stood and started to stumble her way to the Slytherin table.

She paused and placed her and against her mouth, the fear of being sick in front of everyone was very close to becoming a reality.

“Eden!” She looked up and met Draco’s calm, silver eyes. He stood and waved his hand rapidly over his head. “Come sit here.” She paused for a moment longer before she continued of. She was almost to the table when a whisper met her ears.—although, it didn’t seem to even attempt to be hidden.

“I feel bad for their family, mate. Having a slimy snake in the house must be sickening, her poor brother. If I were them, I’d disown her now to save the family name.”

Eden’s legs collapsed under her, and she landed hard on the ground as whispers and raucous laughter echoed around the hall. She gagged slightly, and the rustling of robes filled her ears, and suddenly three pairs of hands were on her—no sorry please no stop. They helped her up and led her to the table. The hall was silent as she sat down and was fussed over for a moment.

She lifted her head and was greeted to the sight of Professor’s Snape, McGonagall, and Quirrell. She smiled her thanks and the Sorting continued.

“Are you okay?” Draco asked when she rested her head on the table.

“No. The train ride was hell, and the boat ride even more so,” she moaned softly. He rubbed a hand across her back and soothed her with words of comfort as she discretely cried onto her plate.

Her mother would really kill her now, wouldn’t she? 

|}(){

His eyes watched as the students filed in. He noted their hair color, skin color, height, and weight. His eyes landed on one child in particular, and his interest was piqued, and not in a good way.

She was the smallest of the group by quite an alarming amount. Her hair was dark and long, her smooth skin sallow and pale, and her eyes a shockingly bright green, despite the unease she was obviously in—he vaguely registered the wonderings of if they would be even brighter when she felt well.

She held the hand of the boy next to her who had similar features, and seemed to be absolutely ill with terror. Once they stopped before the hat, and it started to sing, the boy wrapped his arm around her and practically held her up. The hands they each held shifted and she leaned into his embrace, and the pallor faded only slightly. It quickly returned however, the further in the alphabet they went, and she eventually hid her face in his shoulder.

When the boy that held her had been called, the Presence that lingered in the back of his mind came to the forefront. It didn’t completely take over, but It was still able to see what he saw. He felt what It felt: a sneering disdain for the boy which only grew when he was Sorted into Gryffindor.

Then, the girl had been called, and he only felt a burning curiosity—and so much pain and anguish and soul crushing despair—as the Presence moved even further to the forefront. He lost half of his control of his body, and his back immediately straightened as his hand came up to rub at his mouth. The hat was placed on the girl’s small head, and engulfed it completely.

He thought she would just be like her brother, Sorted in seconds to the same House, but, as the seconds ticked by, and morphed into minutes, it was obvious that that was not the case. When it became a Hatstall, it was obvious that the likelihood of her being Sorted into the House of the lions was very, very slim.

At the six minute mark she flinched violently, and nine minutes after the hat had been placed on her head, she was Sorted.

Grim satisfaction flooded his body—entirely none of his own—when Slytherin had been shouted. When she stood, it had been with obvious shock and struggle. She seemed to be incapable of anything above a shuffle, and then the whispers started as the shock wore off.

Everyone heard the statement that had caused her to fall. The Presence took complete control, and they, along with two others, ran over to her. Their hands were careful to touch only the cloth of her robes, and even then, they felt a peculiar tingling in their hands that bordered on painful.

After the Sorting continued, the Presence spoke to him.

Keep an eye on her. She will be very useful. No harm is to come to her.

Yes, Master. 

|}(){|

Eden slowly stood from the table after Headmaster Dumbledore finished his speech.

“First years, follow me!” a Slytherin Prefect called. Draco and Eden held hands as they were led out of the great hall and towards the dungeons. She still felt ill, although eating had helped a little, and was grateful for the support he willingly leant her.

“Oi, Potter!”

She stopped and turned around with Draco—and the other first years—to see Weasley, Finnigan, Thomas, and one other boy who had been sorted into Gryffindor along with her brother. “Yes?” she asked, her voice soft.

“How does it feel to be evil?”

“I always knew something was wrong with you.”

“This just proves it.”

“Is this why mummy and daddy don’t love you?”

The insults kept coming, and Eden just stood there as fat tears rolled down her cheeks. When Draco stepped forward with his wand raised, she tugged on the hand she held, unaware of her brother’s jealous gaze. “Don’t do it, Draco. There’s nothing to gain from hexing them.”

“They’re not worth our time,” Parkinson stated firmly as she came up and grabbed Eden’s other hand. The Gryffindor’s fell silent, and still Harry stared.

Her eyes shifted to her brother, and she ignored the stab of pain in her heart at the apparent apathy on his face and in his eyes. The Slytherin first years gathered around her, and even a few of the older years. The Gryffindor’s cowered back for a moment before they straightened their spines.

“Can we go to the common room?” she asked softly. Her eyes never left her twin. “I know I’m not welcome here—” her voice broke “—would I be welcome there?” she asked as more tears dripped down her face, and her voice broke again.

“With welcome arms,” a seventh year stated firmly from where he monitored the situation.

“Yes, you’ll be welcome there as if you family,” Draco insisted and squeezed her hand. She knew he meant like she was his family.

“We’ll be the most loving, and caring family you’ll ever need,” Parkinson sneered at her brother.

A smile twitched against Eden’s lips as pain—finally something—flared in Harry’s eyes.

A real family?

Was it too good to be true?

“Let us go then,” she said as she allowed herself to be turned and led away. 

|}(){

That night, as she lay in an uncomfortably comfortable bed with her three dorm mates—there were four to a dorm until fifth year when you were given your own—she had convinced herself that her Housemates had only said and did those things because of the number one rule in Slytherin: Stick Together.

She went to sleep that night with a tear stained pillow, and horrid dreams that painted her mind with despair.

 

Over the next few weeks and months, however, the Slytherin’s—especially Draco, Pansy, Daphne, Greg, Vincent, Theo, and Blaise—made sure that she knew she was one of them. Knew that she was a snake through and through. They made sure that she knew she was loved and cared for.

They made sure, that even when her own parents blatantly ignored her—and practically worshiped her brother—that she had her own family.

Especially the Malfoy’s—they quickly became closer to her than her own family—along with Uncle Sirius, Uncle Remus, and Aunt Mariea. 


 

Thursday, September 19, 1991

        Slytherin Girls First Year Dorm—2

 

Eden stretched and her back popped with loud satisfaction as she did so.

“That sounded painful,” Daphne groaned from her side of the dorm as she pulled on a silk nightgown.

“Oh no, it was very satisfying.”

The four girls giggled and quickly finished getting ready for bed. Eden pulled on a white cotton nightgown with long sleeves that were too long and covered her fingers—even though there was a wristband that bunched the fabric at her wrist. The gown was also far too long, and drug on the floor, and often tripped her. It was one of the clothing items that had been given to her by Lucius and Narcissa, and it was her one of her favorites since she arrived at Hogwarts because of how cold the dungeons were.

She climbed in her uncomfortably soft bed, and after she bid her friends a goodnight, drifted off to sleep.


 

Friday, September 19, 1991

        Transfiguration Classroom

 

Eden immediately opened her eyes and looked around as confusion clouded her mind.

Where was she? No…that wasn’t the right question. She knew where she was. She was in a classroom. The question she should be asking herself is: why?

Why was Dumbledore teaching Transfiguration?

Why was she in Transfiguration?

Why was she in the back of the classroom?

“Miss? Is everything alright?” Eden looked up and made eye contact with Dumbledore—why did he look…young…ish?

Everyone was staring at her. She started to fidget with her nightgown. She pulled the elastic bands down over her hands completely and gathered it in her hands as she pulled at the deliciously soft fabric.

She hated it when people stared at her.

“I don’t—I don’t know,” she faltered after a moment. “I think…I think I might be lost.”

“Where are you supposed to be, my dear?”

(Sleeping, a voice whispered. Was that voice right though?)

“I don’t…know,” she said softly. Her mind was foggy and she was scared. Her breathing quickened as fear took hold. Who were all of these people? What was going on? Was this a dream? She pinched her stomach through the nightgown and expertly hid a wince.

Definitely not a dream—can’t breathe help.

She flinched back violently when a hand reached out and touched her face to wipe away a tear that she hadn’t been aware of. She blinked a few times and focused on a boy a few years older than she was as he stood in front of her. He wore a Slytherin uniform and his bright blue eyes stared at her in concern.

“Come with me,” he said softly, “I’ll help you.”

Eden nodded her head and flinched once more when he wrapped his arm around her shoulders to lead her out of the classroom.

  

Transfiguration Hallway 

They walked down the hallway for a bit before her confusion won out once more, and desperate sobs tore violently out of her throat. “I don’t know what’s going on!” she wailed softly through them.

The boy seemed to hesitate before he wrapped her in his arms and pet her hair while she sobbed into his chest. “It’s alright. I’m going to help you figure out what you’re supposed to be.”

(I’m supposed to be SLEEPING, that voice stated once more.)

She slowly got a hold of herself and pulled away with gasping hiccups, and wiped at her eyes, the fabric of the nightgown soothed the burning of her tear stained cheeks. “O—okay.”

“Now, can you tell me your name?” he asked as he placed his hands on her shoulders—she flinched once more—and angled her head gently so she could look at him and not his obnoxiously shiny shoes.

Why did his eyes seem so…inviting and…soul sucking…at the same time?

“E—Eden.”

He smiled and her heart stuttered in her chest at the amount of kindness he had shown to her in that smile. “My name is Tom. Tom Riddle. Eden, can you tell me what happened to make you so upset?”

Eden looked down at the ground in between them once more—really, his shoes were way too shiny. “I don’t know what happened. My head is all foggy, and I can’t seem to remember anything.” Her breathing quickened once more as her panic took hold again.

“Hey, it’s alright, breathe, Eden. Just breathe. Good. Are you able to tell me what the last thing you remember is?”

“I was in bed after I had finished studying with my roommates, and, I fell asleep pretty quickly, but, then…I feel like I just immediately woke up here.”

He frowned and Eden shied away from him—a habit engrained into her after years of her mother. “I’m not going to hurt you.” He sounded almost offended—as if he were a saint who would never even consider hurting another living creature, let alone a sobbing girl. “Can you tell me what day it is Eden?”

“Thursday, September 19,” she answered after a moment of thought.

He frowned once more, and again she flinched away. “You got the date right. It’s Friday though.”

Eden frowned as well. “No…it’s right. I had double DADA today. I remember that because I hate Thursdays because Professor Squirrel is the worst teacher ever. Really, how did he get the job? All he ever does is stutter and talk about how he was attacked by vampires, although, you probably know that.” She looked up at him again and scanned his face and robes. “You’re in Slytherin, right?”

“Yes.” Eden ignored the slight exasperation and confusion in his tone.

“Why have I never seen you before? I’m in Slytherin too, and while admittedly I don’t know many people beyond the first years, I’ve seen a lot of the other students in the common room due to the biweekly House meetings that Professor Snape holds.”

He was silent for a moment, a pensive expression on his face. “Eden, can you tell me what year it is?”

She frowned at him, her left brow furrowed. “Uhm…. Why don’t you tell me what year it is?” It was clear in her voice that she thought he was less than sane.

Riddle’s lips pulled up into what seemed to be a very unwilling smirk. “Alright. The year is 1941.”

Eden couldn’t help the giggles that trickled out of her mouth. She stopped when she saw the look on his face. “You’re not serious, are you?”

“I’m quite serious, my dear.”

“I don’t believe you.”

Riddle reached into his pocket and pulled out his wand—she backed up into the wall with a barely there whimper. “Accio newspaper.” Eden kept her eyes on the bone-white wand.

She felt as if it called to her.

Sometimes, she felt like her mother’s wand called to her before she’d raise it against her, but, this felt different. Instead of instigating fear and pain, it brought peace and comfort.

The fluttering the papers reached her ears, and she tore her eyes away from the wand just as the newspaper came to hover in front of her face.

Friday, September 19, 1941 was written in the upper right-hand corner.

“What? How—how can—” Her head pounded and her blood gushed in her ears as she lifted her hands to her head.

What was going on?

“Eden, I need you to breathe, can you do that for me?” Slowly, Eden started breathing again and the world stopped spinning. She noticed she sat on the floor with her back pressed against the stone wall while Riddle knelt in front of her and softly stroked her hair. “What year is it for you?” he asked softly, a strange light in his eyes.

Eden shook her head. “I—I—what?” Riddle chuckled softly and stroked her hair once more. “My head hurts,” she mumbled as she rubbed it with a cloth covered hand.

“Let’s go get you a pain potion and then we can go to the common room or somewhere else to try and figure this out.”

Eden agreed and took his offered hand after a hesitated moment. He helped her to her feet, and they made their way to the hospital wing—she only tripped four times (a new record).

  

Hospital Wing 

“Mr. Riddle, is everything alright?” the young healer asked as they walked in.

“This young lady has a headache, Healer Jones. I was asked to help her.” The man nodded before he waved his wand a few times over her body and head before he nodded and went to the backroom. “So, Eden. How old are you?”

“Eleven. How old are you?” She played with her fingers, her hands joined together, which caused the sleeves to bunch above them.

“Fourteen.”

“You’re really tall,” she said after a moment of silence. She stared at her hands as she weaved her fingers together under the fabric.

“Perhaps you’re just short,” he suggested with a pointed look at her dirty hem.

Healer Jones came back at that moment and handed Eden a potion before he gestured for Riddle to follow him. He squeezed her shoulder before he followed.

 

“Is there something wrong?” Tom asked once they were out of hearing range from the girl—Eden. He watched her as she took the potion, and the cute little grimace that crossed her face after she did so.

“In my basic checks, I came across something very concerning.”

His eyes snapped to the man. “What do you mean?” Was he able to see that she wasn’t of this time?

“She has obvious signs of years of malnutrition—her height is the main one—and less obvious signs of physical abuse. I wouldn’t be shocked if there was mental abuse either.”

Tom blinked a few times. “She’s abused?” His eyes went back to the girl—Eden—as she played with her fingers once more, the sleeves still covered her hands. Pieces of her long, straight hair fell over her shoulders while the rest fell down her back in a loose braid that rested on the bed behind and next to her.

“Yes, it appears to be that way. She shows slight improvement on the nutritional size, which makes me think that she’s been able to eat properly since coming to Hogwarts.” He was silent for a moment as he too stared at the small, scared girl. “Do you know her family?”

“No. Today is the first time that we’ve spoken.”

The man nodded before he adverted his gaze back to the first year. “I’d like for you to try and figure out who her family is. If at all possible, I’d like for an investigation to be done in case she has siblings suffering the same fate as she.”

And that was why he was somewhat…fond… of Healer Jones. He always wanted to help those who needed help outside of school, but, due to his position, he wasn’t able to do much—Tom knew from experience. “I’ll do my best, sir.”

But not for you.

“Thank you, Mr. Riddle.”

 

Eden lifted her gaze from her fingers and stared at the two males when they came back to her. “How are you feeling?” Healer Jones asked.

She delicately shrugged a thin shoulder—Draco and Pansy had taken it upon themselves to teach her all of the etiquette her parents should have taught her. “My head still feels really foggy, like I’ve forgotten something super important, and it’s on the tip of my tongue, but, it no longer hurts.”

His lips pinched for a moment, and she prepared herself for the blow that was sure to come. Her arms lifted in front of her face, and she ducked her head away. “I’d like for you to take it easy for the rest of day, and then come see me again tomorrow.” Her arms lowered when she heard two pairs of footsteps take four steps back.

“Why?” Her body slowly relaxed the longer that they stayed completely loose, and relaxed, their expressions changing so rapidly, she couldn’t pinpoint an expression.

“You have some concerning signs, and I just want to make sure that they are nothing to worry about, alright?”

Eden hesitantly nodded. “Alright.”

“Come, Eden. I’ll take you to the common room,” Riddle said as he helped her off of the bed. The two made their way to the Slytherin common room—she only tripped twice (another record)—where he let them in and led her up to his dorm. He took her over to a neatly made bed and sat her down on it.

  

Slytherin Boys Fourth Year Dorm 

“Do you know why he wants to see me again tomorrow?” she asked softly as he sat down next to her.

“He told me that in his scans he found signs of abuse. He wants me to figure out who your family is so he can have an investigation done. Why…why are you crying?”

Eden sniffed and wiped at her eyes. “Because only two other people have wanted to look into my home life before. And, everyone who knows about it for sure, either can’t do anything about it, or they just don’t care.”

“Why can’t they do anything about it?”

“Because that’s how powerful my family is. No one would dare go up against them.” A yawn stretched her face and made her eyes water. “Besides, if what you and the newspaper said is true, then I am far, far away from them.”

“How far away are you, Eden?”

Eden was silent before another yawn took over. She curled up in a ball on the bed and breathed in the fresh scent of the linens, and something she couldn’t identify, but was slightly smoky. “They aren’t born yet,” she mumbled just before she fell asleep.

And just as quickly as she came, she was gone. 


 

Friday, September 20, 1991

        Great Hall

 

“M-Miss P-Potter?”

The girl flinched at his voice. Just where had she been in that beautifully vast mind of hers to not notice him? She always seemed to be able to tell when he was nearby. “I-is e-e-everything a-alright?” he questioned softly.

She rapidly nodded her head. “Yes, Professor.”

His Master took control and they sat down on the bench next to her. He noticed with interest—did his Master notice too?—that she didn’t rub her chest like she usually did when they were near her. “Would you mind explaining why you’re still sitting at the table when it’s nearly an hour after dinner is over?”

He forgot the stutter.

He always forgot the stutter.

How did he forget the stutter? It was his idea!

His Master would ruin their cover if he continued to forget the stutter.

“Dinner is over?” she asked softly.

Agony ripped through his body when she looked at them. How did this small, underfed girl evoke such emotions from his Master?

“Yes, is something the matter?”

Why did he make him come talk to her if he was just going to take over the moment they started conversing?

And without the stutter.

She shook her head slowly. “No…. I just—I didn’t sleep well last night. I had a weird dream—” the look that crossed her face told them that it was not just a dream “—and I’m worried that I’ll have it again.”

“Would you like to speak about it? I have found in my experience that talking about uncomfortable dreams tends to help us cope with them.”

Please, for the love of Merlin, STUTTER!

His Master either didn’t pay attention to his desperate please, or thought them unwarranted—which they most definitely were not.

She rapidly shook her head, her intense green eyes were wide with panic. “No. I think I’ll be going to the common room now. Thanks, Professor.”

They nodded their head and she was gone. He had never seen her run so fast before, and she always seemed to run out of his class. He was given control of his body back and he scowled at the stone wall.

You forgot the stutter.

Yes, you made sure I was well aware of that fact. I am also aware that Miss Potter didn’t notice.

He had no response to that. 


 

Slytherin Girls First Year Dorm—2

 

Eden glanced at the clock on her nightstand and sighed.

Why couldn’t it be morning by now? She had been sitting in bed for a little more than an hour as she read—attempted to do so—one of the books Uncle Sirius had gotten her. Normally she could sit down and read a book cover to cover with no problem, no matter the subject matter. Tonight, however, she could barely read a page at a time before her mind started to wander.

She climbed out of bed and went to her Trunk, her wand in one hand, and the book in the other. She tapped the holly wand to the top of her Trunk and whispered anthenaeum—the only real password on her trunk—before she lifted the lid and descended into her library.

She was soon on the cobbled stone ground of the largest room as she moved to the corner to her right. Nestled against the wall were seven tall wooden bookcases that she had shrunk—she found the spell in the family library at home—and had moved inside.

On the shelves were 307 books, all sorted by subject matter, and none placed above eye-level. Once the school year was over, her school books would join their new family—she was a little frazzled. She put the animagus book where it belonged—with its siblings (help)—and began to look to pull a book out—perhaps fiction—when her name was called.

She quickly ran up the stairs and saw Pansy leaning over the opening. “You might not want to do that. I fell into a trunk doing that at home and got stuck.”

Her friend laughed before she helped her out of her library. “Is everything alright?” she asked as the lid closed behind her and latched itself.

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve just been…I don’t know…out of it, I guess. All day long.”

“I’m fine. I just had a really weird dream last night and I don’t want to sleep.”

“Oh, okay. If you ever need me, you know I’m here, right.”

Eden nodded and hugged the taller girl. “Okay. Thank you, Pansy.”

“Of course.”

The two girls quickly went to their own beds and drew their curtain. Eden laid back and sighed.

Dang it.

She forgot a book. 


 

Saturday, September 20, 1941

        Slytherin Boys Fourth Year Dorm

 

Eden opened her eyes and scowled at the fogginess in her head.

She looked around and furrowed her brows when she saw she was in what appeared to be a dorm room, although it had far too many beds to be a Slytherin dorm room—but if that was the case, why was everything green and silver?

There was a person in the room, and he sat at a desk as he did what appeared to be his homework. The bed to the left of his desk was the only neat one in the room.

“Who are you?” she asked. She stifled a giggle when he jumped and rapidly turned to see her.

“Eden?”

“Riddle?”

“What are you doing here?”

Eden shook her head and played with her fingers. “I have no idea. I don’t really remember what happened.”

Riddle sighed and motioned to his bed. “Sit down and tell me what you do remember.” He turned his chair towards her and gave her the impression that she had his full attention.

She told him, and flinched violently when he raised his hand to run it through his hair. “Why do you flinch every time I raise my hand or touch you?” She was quiet as she chewed on her cheek. “Eden?”

“Healer Jones told you why last time.”

“Yes…. I suppose he did tell me that yesterday.”

“So, it’s been a day?”

“Almost exactly, yes. What about you?”

Her left brow furrowed as she thought. “Yeah, I think it’s been a day as well. At least, I’m pretty sure. It happened just after I thought I went to sleep both times.”

“Do you have any idea what could have caused it?”

Eden shook her head and looked away from his bright eyes and to her hands. She stroked the leather cuff that was just visible passed the edge of her charmed flannel pajamas. They had originally been red and gold—bought by her father for her birthday—but, after Pansy saw them and threw a fit, she—Pansy—took them to the seventh years and they were now silver and green with an adorable cartoon snake that slithered around the set.

“Where did you get that bracelet? It must be very special to you if you wear it while you sleep.”

Eden smiled softly, the first smile that she had given while in his presence. “My godfather…Padfoot, gave it to me. It has protection spells on it. It’s supposed to protect me from most basic spells learned at school.”

“Who names their child Padfoot?” He look appalled at the very thought.

She covered her mouth and giggled. She didn’t notice the softening in his eyes. “It’s a nickname.”

“What’s his real name?”

“Not telling.”

Tom sighed and rolled his eyes fondly. “Why did he give you such a powerful object?”

“He said he’s a worry wart and wants me to be protected because I’ll be somewhere where he can’t see me whenever he wants to. I think he either forgot or just decided to not mention the fact that he can’t do the same thing when I’m at the Manor either.”

“Why can’t be see you whenever he wants to when you’re at home?”

“Because whenever I’d have bursts of accidental magic and ended up breaking something, or did something my mother didn’t like, she’d either beat me, lock me up for days at a time, or both.” She tensed after she spoke and covered her mouth. “You can’t tell anyone!”

He smiled, and her panic calmed slightly. “Don’t worry, little one. There is no one I could tell that it would lead back to your parents.”

“But—what if you start coming to my time?” she hissed desperately. “If you do, you need to promise me that you won’t tell anyone!”

Tom frowned and stared at her for a while before he sighed. “Fine. I promise that if I come to your time, I won’t tell anyone about how your mother treats you.”

“Thank you. When’s your birthday?” she asked in an obvious attempt to change the subject.

He allowed it. “December 31, 1926. What about you?

“July 31.”

“No year?”

“No year.”

“Dammit,” he hissed under his breath. Eden giggled softly, and he had the decency to look chagrined—however slight the emotion was. “How old are your parents?”

“Older than me.”

Riddle bared his teeth at her. “You’re being obtuse on purpose.”

“No. I’m only answering your questions.”

He opened his mouth to—most likely—snap something nasty back when he paused. “You clever little witch,” he stated with awe.

Eden blushed and looked down at her fingers. “What classes are you taking?”

And so they passed the time and learned about each other’s classes—favorites and hates—their interests, and hobbies. Eden skillfully—and sometimes bluntly—steered the conversation away from her home life and the future whenever he probed—which was far more often than she would have liked.

Far sooner than either of them wanted, she fell asleep and faded from view. 


 

Saturday, September 21, 1991

        Slytherin Girls First Year Dorm—2

 

“Eden, you should go to bed,” Pansy urged from her bed to Eden’s right, her own desk between the two girls.

“Is the light keeping you up?” she asked as she gestured to the little ball of light that hung above her essay. It was a handy spell that had been taught to all of the first years by a fifth year at the beginning of the year.

“No, I’m reading,” she started as she motioned to her own ball of light, “so, it’s not bothering me. You’re just falling asleep while you work, and I just think it would be better if you got in bed before you actually fall asleep.”

“I’m almost done though,” she whined softly, careful to not wake the other two occupants on the other side of the large, square room.

“Okay. Promise you’ll go to bed once you finish that essay?”

Eden nodded. “I promise.”

It was dangerous to make one of those in this part of the castle (especially when one was older, and could use magic to Seal the deal).

Fifteen minutes later, Pansy’s attention was once again pulled from her book when a dull thud reached her ears. She smiled softly at her sleeping friend and climbed out of bed to go get an older student to help her move her into her own bed.


 

Sunday, September 21, 1941

        Slytherin Boys Fourth Year Dorm

 

Tom paused in writing his essay when a low groan reached his ears. He turned around and froze when he saw Eden standing there with her head tilted back as she rubbed her neck.

She wore what must have been part of the school uniform in her time. She had a tight white oxford shirt tucked into a short pleated black skirt that ended a few inches above her knees. The top two buttons were undone and showed her defined collarbone. She wore gray over the knee socks with a line of green and a line of silver at the tops. She had on a gray sweater with green and silver stripes at the wrists and neckline that was unbuttoned almost completely—the last two buttons were still done up—and hung off one shoulder. Her long dark hair was pulled up into a high pony tail with wisps of hair that framed her oval face.

The uniform was far more flattering in her time than it was in his, he realized as he stared at the small, pale strip of skin on her legs.

“Hi Riddle,” she said after a moment. Her hands were now on the back over her neck as she continued to rub it. Her head was tilted slightly to the side and she groaned again. “I need to listen to Pansy more. That essay isn’t due for another week. I could have finished it in the morning,” she murmured to herself.

“Are you alright? Are you injured?” Obviously he knew the answer already from what she had said, he just wanted to see if she would be honest with him.

“I don’t think so?” her voice squeaked slightly. “I fell asleep while working on a potion’s essay,” she replied as she looked at him. She tilted her head to the side. “What’s so funny?”

Damn.

Apparently biting his lips hadn’t been enough. His lips pulled down a bit before he smiled softly. “Nothing. You just have a little…something.” He motioned to her face. She started to wipe furiously at her skin. His amusement increased as he stood and walked towards her. “You’re making it worse, dear.”

She stopped in her frantic wiping. “What is it?”

“It appears to be ink.” He examined it closer, her delicate chin held softly in his hand, and he ignored the way she flinched when he grabbed her. “It’s quite a beautiful shade, it matches your eyes,” he complimented before he vanished it with a flick of his wand.

“My godmother, Wings, gave it to me.”

He frowned slightly. He again ignored her flinch. “Another nickname?”

Eden grinned. “See? You’re catching on!” she cheered. He scowled before he gently released her chin and stepped back.

“Is Eden even your real name?”

She looked slightly uncomfortable. “It’s my preferred name,” her voice rose at the end and cracked. When his left eyebrow rose, she answered, more than slightly defensive. “Look, it’s my middle name. It’s the only name you’re going to be getting out of me, so please stop asking.”

“What about Pansy?”

“Dammit,” she hissed.

“Language, Eden dear.”

She glared at him. It was on par with a cuddly teddy bear, and looked quite adorable while she did so. “Dammit, dammit, dammit, dammit.”

Cute.

He flicked his wand and she was on his bed, shrieking with laughter. “Riddle! Please stop!” she begged through gales of laughter.

“Will you watch your language?”

“Yes! I swear! I mean—no—I won’t swear!” He chuckled before he canceled the charm and sat next to her.

“I have a couple of questions for you, dear, and don’t worry, they won’t anything that can endanger the future.”

“Okie doki.”

His lips pulled into an unwilling smile. “What time was it when you fell asleep?”

“Uhm…I think it was around 11…maybe a little later. Why?”

He checked his watch. “It is 11:17 and you’ve been here for about 10 minutes.”

“Why did you want to know?”

“Well, the last thing you remember is falling asleep, correct?”

“Yes.”

“I think that every time you sleep, you come here.” He paused in thought for a moment. “Do you only sleep for two or three hours?”

She shook her head. “No. When I wake up its morning, and I’m completely refreshed.”

“So, time passes by differently here than when you’re there.”

“I guess. Do you think this will happen every time I sleep now?”

“I believe so.”

“I wonder why it’s happening so suddenly.”

“I don’t have any idea as to why, but, since it seems like when it’s night there, it’s day here, so I believe you might be appearing in my classes more often than not, so, I think we ought to try and figure out how to keep you unseen.”

“I could just pretend to be lost and leave.”

“The professors would get suspicious, besides, I’m not letting you wander around the castle without me.”

“Why not? I do it every time I’m awake.” He ignored the slight panic that statement ensued.

“Because, it’s obvious that for whatever reason you’re being sent back here, it’s connected to the two of us.” He placed a hand on her cheek. “And that makes you mine. And, I don’t like not protecting things that are mine.”

“I’m not a thing.”

Tom smiled charmingly at her. “No, little one, you’re not. But, you are still mine.” She sent that cute little glare at him to which he responded by running his hand through her hair and tugged slightly. The ponytail must be charmed to stay in place….

“Now, here are our options of keeping you hidden…” 


 

 Sunday, September 22, 1991

        Owlery

 

Dear Narcissa,

 

     Thank you for the sweets. They were absolutely delicious. Where did you get them?

     School is going well. Draco and I decided to explore each other’s Trunks yesterday and we got lost in one of the rooms in my Trunk. I was practicing a spell while in my dorm a week ago, and cast it wrong, and it ended up hitting the Trunk in the backfire. Did you know that a mispronounced Lapifors spell creates a fifteen foot tall stone labyrinth? Draco and I weren’t until yesterday. Pansy, Daphne, Flint, and Montague had to come rescue us.

     I hope I remember which room it’s in. I think it might be the eleventh room? I’m not entirely sure. I’m just grateful that I hadn’t decided on a use for the room yet, so it was empty.

     Do you think that you and Lucius might be able to find a spell that could remove it and send it to me? I’ll look in the library here, but, I’m not entirely sure what to look for. Do you think there’s a book titled How to Remove the Stone Labyrinth You Accidently Created in Your Stupidly Big Trunk? If so, it would be much appreciated to find. I might just leave it, depending on what I could do with it now that I think about it.

     The true reason of this letter, is not only a response to your last letter, but, I have a question. I was wondering if there is any way for me to buy clothes while I’m here at school. Perhaps a catalogue of some sorts? I’ve seen Pansy with one, but, I didn’t know how to go about asking about it. I’m not as comfortable with her as I am with you.

     I’ve decided that I want another set of pajamas because the pair that Pansy had the seventh years spell is wearing off and getting itchy as it’s doing so.

     I dunno… I guess I just felt awkward asking about it. You’re like the mother I wish I always had, and so, I guess I feel more comfortable asking you about things like that.

     Also, how would payment work with that? The clothing, I mean. I don’t know how I could ever repay you and Auntie Mariea for being better mothers to me than my own.

     I’m rambling.

 

With all my love,

        Eden

 

Eden looked over her letter and squashed the guilt for the lie she had to tell. While the charms on the Slytherin pajamas were indeed wearing off, it wasn’t itchy or uncomfortable. She briefly wondered if she should thank them again for everything they did for her while in Diagon Alley and decided against it. She was afraid that the threat of a howler was very real in that case.

She eventually decided that the third draft would be the final draft, and attached it to a black school owl and sent it off.

  

Slytherin Common Room 

“…Ouch.”

Those who were still in the common room just before midnight laughed at the delayed reaction of the first year.

“Are you okay?” Draco asked his friend. She yawned and nodded sleepily.

“I’m fine. Just tired.”

“You can go to bed,” he urged softly.

Eden shook her head and they played a couple more rounds of Exploding Snap before she tipped over on the floor in the middle of her turn, dead asleep.

Flint laughed softly so as to not wake her, and gently picked her up and moved her to the couch in front of the fire. A well placed glare cleared it of all other occupants—not that it was needed. A seventh year flicked her wand, and one of the pillows by her feet was transfigured into a thick, fluffy blanket, and she was tucked in by a sixth year boy who had five younger siblings.

She had quickly become the baby of Slytherin, which prompted almost all of the other students in her House to take care of her.

“She deserves to be treated like this all of the time, not just while she’s at school,” Draco stated wistfully as he stared at his best friend.

“What do you mean?”

It was clear he was uncomfortable at the questioned, but at the annoying urges of the older students, he relented and spoke. “We—my parents and I—think she might be abused at home. Quite severely. I heard my parents talked about it often after we took her shopping for her school things in Diagon. She also hates being touched, and sudden movements make her flinch. That’s just what I’ve noticed though.”

“Where was her family when you were at Diagon?”

Draco sneered. “They forgot about her. They were too busy preening in the spotlight that Potter exudes.”

The students sneered and all vowed—silently (until they got to their own dorms)—to protect her as best they could, even more than they already were.

By the next morning, word had spread to the rest of the House, and everything had changed for Eden (but she didn’t realize it). 


 

Monday, September 22, 1941

        Great Hall

 

When Eden next opened her eyes, she was in the great hall.

It seemed to be the end of a meal—lunch if what they hypothesized was correct. She leaned against the wall behind the Slytherin table and searched. When her eyes found her target, she couldn’t help but brighten slightly.

She crouched down and made her way over to him, hoping that what little control she had over her magic was at least adverting people’s eyes from her. It was similar to a notice-me-not charm and Riddle had made her practice it both with her wand and without her wand yesterday. One obviously worked better than the other.

She grabbed the edge of his robes in her hand and tugged slightly. His wand flashed and the sensation of something dripping down her head rolled over her. It made her shiver and want to vomit, and she decided then and there that whatever spell he had cast on her was a big no-no. She looked down at her hands and saw that they were invisible, with a very faint line only visible if she were really looking for it.

The Disillusionment spell sucked.

She stood and before she could take a step back to give him some space, his hand wrapped around her finger tips. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to check to make sure I have everything I need for potions,” he said to those he was eating with. He stood and pulled her close to him and led her out of the great hall and towards the dungeons. “You’re late,” he muttered so softly she could barely hear him.

“I’m sorry,” she whispered. “I was playing Exploding Snap with Dra…Dragon. I fell asleep while we were playing.”

“I was worried.”

“Why?”

He pushed her into an unused classroom and removed the Disillusionment spell. “I told you: you’re mine. I don’t want to lose you. But, now that you’re here, I can stop worrying.”

Eden glared at him. “I’m not an object to be owned.”

Riddle smiled and pulled her close. He wrapped his arms around her; her face was buried in his chest. Was he trying to suffocate her? “You’re right, little one. You’re a witch to be owned. You’re my witch to be owned.

“Ri-Riddle—can’t—breathe!” she gasped—she only exaggerated slightly. He chuckled before he pulled away enough to allow her to breathe. He bent down and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

“Come, you’ll be joining me in potions today.”

“Do I have to?”

He gently flicked her nose and caused it to twitch as she glared at him. “Of course, we already discussed this, dear.”

She remembered a lot less discussing and more informing in that conversation.

She sighed and nodded her head. “Fine. But after class you have to explain everything I don’t understand.”

Riddle smiled at her and stroked her loose hair. “I look forward to it.”

Chapter Text

Wednesday, January 21, 1942

        Slytherin Boys Fourth Year Dorm

 

Eden’s entire body ached as she sat on the floor of the dark room.

She shifted slightly and bit her lip as pain shot through her back and side. She sighed softly as she leaned her head back against the side of Tom’s bed.

No matter how many times she came at night, she didn’t think she’d ever get used to sitting in the dark while 11 boys slept around her—the four to a room rule didn’t come about until the 80’s. Sometimes she’d be able to read one of his books, but, she hurt too much to move if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

How long had she been there?

A glance at her watch—which she immediately regretted at pain rippled through her body—told her she had been there for a little over an hour. It was shaping up to be one of her longest nightly visits yet.

A shift in the bed to the right of Tom’s—to her right—had her holding her breath.

There were seven feet in between each of the beds, and it was quite dark, and she was quite small. If he didn’t light his wand, she’d remain unseen, even if he climbed out on the side she was on. But, if he lit his wand, she’d be completely screwed. The best case scenario would be that he just shifted and had gone back to bed.

Would luck finally be on her side for once?

Dammit.

Of course not.

She bit her lip until it bled and slowly climbed backwards into Tom’s bed. He’d gotten out on the opposite side, but lit his wand. While she still probably could have blended in due to her black yoga pants and long sleeved shirt—her new nightwear (they were charmed to grow with her, expensive but nice)—she couldn’t take that risk.

“Eden?” The soft murmur came as she carefully closed the hangings behind her and the light from Abraxas’—that was his name, wasn’t it?—wand faded behind the thick fabric.

“Sorry,” she whispered. “I didn’t want to be seen by your roommate.”

“What are you doing here?” he groaned, his voice thick with sleep. He sat up and pushed his hair out of his face. That was probably the one good thing that came from her sleeping during the day in her time. He proved he was human who had normal human flaws and tendencies—they just faded when he really woke up. “If you’re here at night, that means you fell asleep during the day…and it’s a…Tuesday for you.”

Eden played with her fingers and tried to push the pain to the back of her mind as he moved once more. “Would you believe me if I said I fell asleep during class?”

The look she received was answer enough.

Her heart sank as he cast a few spells in soft murmurs under his breath before he cast a lumos. He was out from under the covers and had his hand wrapped around the back of her neck faster than she could blink. “What happened?” he hissed. His face was contorted into a snarl as he scanned her face.

Wellyou see…I’m not really well liked…. I was kind of in the wrong place…at the wrong time…with the wrong people.” Really, it was she had to go to the hospital wing with Pansy—she had begged her to come, and then Madam P sent her away after Pansy was diagnosed with the flu—and a pack of Gryffindor’s found her when she was on the seventh floor a few hallways away from the hospital wing.

His eyes flashed with anger and he sneered. “Yes, I can tell.” She flinched away. He took a deep breath and the anger faded only slightly, and she relaxed only a bit. “Do you mind if I try and heal some of these?”

“Can you?”

He gently flicked her nose. “Of course I can, little one. I just wanted to make sure that it was okay with you before I did so.”

Eden scrunched her nose and nodded. “Then yes, please.” He lifted his wand and a thought occurred to her. “Can you even heal me? I mean, I’m not really here.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, my body is still in my present, so, I guess, I’m some kind of…thing here in the past.”

His brows furrowed as he thought. “I guess there’s only one way to find out.”

He started chanting words that she’d never heard before, and soon a dark red mist oozed out of the tip of his wand and wrapped around her. Panic clouded her mind and she tried to pull away—what if it hurt her? It didn’t look the same as the blue mist her mother used on her, but—

A gentle squeeze on the back of her neck had her meeting Tom’s eyes, and at the reassurance she saw in them, she knew she was safe. He would never hurt her. The mist hovered over the cuts on her face, and the injuries on her side and back.

The repeating words suddenly changed, and with them the pitch and feel of the air around them. The mist started to glow a bright red—she never looked away from his eyes (she couldn’t, lest she panic again)—before it seeped into her skin. Fire burned hot and bright in her very soul before the pain faded, and with it, the taste of blood. She collapsed forward onto Tom as he slumped backwards as he panted heavily.

She tried to move away and off of his chest, but her body felt like liquid. She tried to roll off of him, and had almost succeeded when his loose grip tightened minutely. “Stay,” he murmured softly.

“Are you okay?” she whispered.

The hand on the back of her neck stroked her skin weakly. “I’ll be fine, little one.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

He chuckled and with a wince and a grunt, pulled her closer to him. Her head now rested on his neck and she could feel his faint pulse against her lips. “I’m fine, little one. I’m just drained.”

“How?”

“You had more injuries than I anticipated,” he explained. “It’s entirely my fault. I should have checked you over completely before casting such a powerful spell.”

“What was that?”

Medela Aer. The Healing Mist. It’s a Dark healing spell, and heals most, if not all, injuries without any lasting damage.”

Eden’s left brow furrowed before she snuggled into his warm embrace. He chuckled and wrapped his arms around her as tightly as he could—which wasn’t very tight at all. “Why is it considered evil if it’s so useful?”

Tom sighed and pressed another kiss to her forehead. “Not all Dark magic is evil, Eden. Dark magic has been labeled as evil because it uses so much power to cast a simple spell. Dark magic is what it is, because only those with Dark type Cores can cast it safely, and not very many people have Dark enough Cores to do that.”

“Do you?”

“Of course I do, silly little girl,” he admonished softly. “You worry too much.”

“You’re my best friend, of course I’ll worry about you.” The two lay in silence for a while and just took in the comfort of the other’s presence while they gained back their energy. “Is there anything I can do?” she asked after 30 minutes of silence.

He pressed a soft kiss to the crown of her head. “No, little one. Just rest will help.” He pulled his blanket over the two of them and held her close as he breathed in the sweet scent of her hair. “I think you’ve gotten taller,” he muttered softly.

Eden smiled against his neck. “I’ve grown an inch since I started school. I’m surprised you noticed.”

“How tall are you now?”

“4’6.”

“You’re nearly the same height as a goblin,” he teased.

“I am not! …They’re an inch shorter than I am.”

Tom laughed and ran his hands up and down her sides softly. She yawned and curled closer into him. “I don’t want to go,” she whispered softly.

Another kiss was pressed to her hair. “I know. But, you’ll be back soon enough.” She yawned again and her eyes watered. She curled against him and as her eyes closed, she gripped the fabric over his shoulder tightly. “Sleep, my little one. Sleep, and soon you shall see me again.”

She gave into the darkness that insistently tugged at her, and he sighed as her comforting weight faded away. 


 

 Wednesday, February 12, 1992

        Hogwarts, Exact Location Unknown

 

The last thing she saw before the painful darkness took over, was the heavy classroom door as it slammed shut, and obnoxiously bright hair.


 

T hursday, February 12, 1942

        Slytherin Boys Fourth Year Dorm

 

Tom awoke to the sound of soft sniffles.

He held his breath for a short moment to see if it was his imagination. When the sound reached his ears once more, he pulled back the dark emerald hangings and frowned when his eyes fell upon Eden, curled in a ball on the floor, four feet from his bed.

He threw his covers off of him and left from the bed silently and knelt down next to her. “Eden?” he whispered desperately.

Her head turned to look at him, and when he saw the pure agony in her eyes, he swore then and there that he would kill every single person who dared to lay their hands upon her. “T-Tom,” she whimpered. “It h-hurts s-so m-much!” Fresh tears spilled down her face as she looked at him.

“I’m going to get you on my bed, but, I’ll need to cast a spell on you to do so,” he whispered. He had learnt early on that he needed her permission to do so—he hoped one day she would be able to trust him. She hesitantly nodded her head and he cast a silencing charm before he lifted her into his arms. Her mouth fell open in a silent scream and stayed open long after he put her down. Fat tears rolled down her face in thick rivers.

He carefully climbed onto the bed next to her and shut his hangings and the silencing wards activated. He removed the silencing spell on Eden, and immediately wished that he had never done something so foolish.

Her screams shattered his heart and made his head ache. “Eden, little one. I need you to look at me, Eden,” he soothed as he cupped her bloody face in his hands. Her wet eyes met his and his heart broke even more. “What happened?”

“I-I-I w-was a-a-ambush-shed,” she stuttered. “I h-hurt so m-much, T-Tom!”

Blind rage fueled by panic filled his body. “Please tell me you’re in the hospital wing, Eden.”

She barely shook her head. “I-I wa-wasn’t when I-I pa-passed out. T-They a-attacked m-me in an abandoned c-c-classroom.”

His magic filled the small space in a violent wave. “I’m going to try and heal you, Eden.”

She winced as she started to rapidly shake her head. “No!”

“Why not? Eden, you’re bleeding. I need to heal you.”

“N-Not Medela Aer.”

He frowned. “It’s the only one that I can be sure will help you.”

 

Eden grappled for his hand and held it tightly once she had it in her grasp. Her pain faded slightly as their magic started to naturally mingle—she didn’t know that was the reason though. “There are too many injuries for you to use it safely.”

He waved his wand over her and he sighed at whatever information he was given on the parchment that appeared next to his head. “I’m going to kill whoever did this to you.”

“Heal first, kill later,” she bit out.

Tom chuckled and started healing her. After what felt like an agonizing eternity later, he stopped. "I can't do anything about the bones,” he said after a moment of staring at her. Agony was clear in his voice and eyes. “If you’ll let—”

“No! I don’t want to do that to you again. It took you three days to heal completely from that,” she insisted through the pain.

Hard emeralds met icy diamonds before the ice melted and left a violently thrashing ocean in its wake. Tom sighed and laid down and gently pulled her close to him. She cried out and sobbed into his chest as he slowly wrapped her in his arms and started to speak to her.

She didn’t understand what he said to her. She could barely hear his smooth voice over the anguish that pounded in her ears in time with her heart. Soon, however, the pain faded just a little…just enough so that she was able to hear his voice as he spoke. She couldn’t understand the words, and was only able to hear the cadences of his soothing murmurs.

His hand was on the back of her neck. His fingers rubbed soothing shapes—she was sure that in some part of her mind that they were healing runes of some sort—that slowly led her into a state of relaxation. She then fell into a natural trance where she wasn’t quite awake, but not yet quite asleep either. “Little one?” Her eyebrows twitched in acknowledgement, but her eyes stayed closed as she relaxed even further into his comforting embrace.

He took a deep breath, murmured something under his breath—it sounded similar to how he apologized (why would he apologize?)—and pulled her close to him. She cried out, and due to the pain and tears that dripped out of her closed eyes, was oblivious to when he started the rhythmic chanting. Was blinded to the red fog that slowly wrapped around her arms, ribs, and legs. Remained ignorant to the flash of red. Her eyes snapped open and widened as familiar fire ate away at her soul before it faded away along with the pain.

Tom lay next to her and panted harshly as her body became numb and liquid. “How could you?” she demanded softly into his chest.

“How could I not?” 


 

Thursday, June 4, 1992

        Hogwarts, Exact Location Unknown

 

Fire.

Pain.

Burning flesh.

Nothing.


 

Thursday, June 4, 1942

        Slytherin Boy’s Fourth Year Dorm

 

Eden stumbled as muffled and frantic shouts reached her ringing ears.

She pressed her aching hands to them and crouched down and rocked back and forth on her heels.

Why?

Why couldn’t she remember?

What had she been doing before?

Where was she?

“Eden. Eden, come on, little one. Look at me.” Distraught words slowly reached her hazy mind and she looked up and came face to face with Tom. Horrifying, truth defying memories came soaring back, and then they disappeared as quickly as they came and left her empty and bereft. “What’s wrong?” he demanded once she dropped her hands.

“I don’t remember.”

His eyes widened almost comically. “Eden, what do you not remember?” The panic he felt was clear on his face.

“What was I doing before I came here?”

This hadn’t happened since early October. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

She closed her eyes and thought long and hard, her left eyebrow furrowed as she did so. Her lips pulled to the left in a pinched frown. “I was in the library, but, that doesn’t sound right.” She put the backs of her aching hands against her forehead and moaned. “I know I wasn’t in the library before.”

“Eden!” his voice was panicked. “Why are your hands burnt? Answer me, Eden!”

She looked at her charred hands and frowned, and again, the blurred memories that changed everything she thought she knew flashed before her mind before they faded away once more. “I don’t remember, Tom. I don’t remember.” She cast her gaze around and saw that they were alone in his dorm room. “What time is it?”

“Just after 8 in the morning.”

Faint images blurred across her vision once more.

…oh, the plans…

They made no sense.

Why did they make no sense?

She wanted to scream at the world and destroy everything in her path until she understood what had happened, and what those blank images in her mind meant.

“Eden, come back to me, please.”

Hands were in her short hair; ran up and down her back; cupped her cheeks; stroked her arms; held her hands. Fingers wiped away tears that burned; massaged her neck; intertwined with her own.

“Three headed dog. A Cerberus, I think.”

“I’m going to need a little more context, little one.”

She shook her head and squeezed her eyes closed. Me too, buddy, me too. “I was with Bunny and two of his friends—”

“I thought they hated you.”

“So did I…. I’m not entirely sure why I was following them, but, they found me in the library and Bunny practically forced me to go with him. The last thing I clearly remember is a Cerberus in the forbidden—why were we in the corridor that’s blocked to students?”

Tom laughed softly and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I have no idea. Are you injured anywhere else, my dear?” She shook her head, and, despite her adamant protests, and lunges for his wand, he healed her with Medela Aer after he spelled her to the closed door.

After the fire faded and her arms became numb from the elbow down, she expected to see him panting on the ground, but instead only saw him as a little paler than usual as he smiled down at her. “I’m not sure if I should be insulted that you thought I would be weakened by that, or preening like Abraxas at the impressed gaze in your eyes,” he stated joyfully, and only a little breathless.

“How about both. Did your Core have another Growth Spurt again?”

His Core was almost always growing—like all witches and wizards (his just grew at a faster pace)—and every once in a while—every two months about—it would spike to exponential proportions. She had decided to name them, and the name bothered him, so it stuck. He told her that she had Growth Spurts too, but, she didn’t believe him. She knew—thought—her Core was just like everyone else’s.

He rolled his eyes with an incline of his head. “Yes, it did. But you also had significantly less injuries than usual, so, not as much magic was used. Smile, little one. I’m fine, and you’re fine, and that’s all that matters in this world.”

“What about power?”

“And power. We definitely can’t forget power. Now smile before I make you.”

She scowled at him before she relented when his lips twitched and his left eyebrow rose. “So, what classes are we attending today?”

“What do you mean?” Normally, if she fell asleep before 9 and it wasn’t planned, she just stayed in his room while he went to class because she typically didn’t stay long.

“Well, I have no idea how long I’ll be here for, it’s obviously morning, and it’s a…Thursday? The leap year is throwing me off, man.”

“Correct.” He tapped his wand on the top of her head when her own spell failed. “We need to start working on that,” he said with a click of his tongue. “Do you practice at all when you’re awake?”

She shook her head (she momentarily forgot he couldn’t see her). “No. I have homework, and, I’ve been looking into other forms of invisibility in my free time. Forms that don’t involve me wanting to vomit or gouge your eyes out.”

They had tried that spell once, and had never looked back.

He shivered as he chuckled softly. He led her out of the room and to the great hall so he could eat. “What have you been looking into?”

“Invisibility Runes,” she stated, and then hesitated.

“What else, Eden?” Why did he know her so well? “What was that? I couldn’t hear you.”

She pulled him to a stop and whispered in his ear. “Blood Magic.”

He straightened and whistled low. “Impressive. During break we’ll talk about what you’ve researched.”

After you explain the things I don’t understand.” She grabbed onto the right sleeve of his robes as they entered the great hall.

“Deal.”

He sat down at the table and Eden moved her hands to rest on his shoulders while he ate and spoke with his housemates, the memories long forgotten, buried deep in her subconscious.

She was perhaps only truly happy when she was with Tom.


 

Tuesday, June 30, 1942

        Slytherin Boys Fourth Year Dorm

 

Before Eden could open her eyes, she was wrapped in a familiar embrace. She welcomed the warmth he brought and returned the hug with equal fervor. “Are you alright?” he demanded as he pulled away from her and started to check her over for injuries.

Eden laughed and nodded as she swatted his hands away. “I’m fine. I just had some trouble sleeping is all.”

This didn’t seem to reassure him and he continued his search for injuries despite her many protests. “Why couldn’t you sleep? Are you hurt? What’s wrong?”

She shook her head with a fond smile. “No. Nothing like that. I’m just scared.”

Blue diamonds met green emeralds in understanding. “Of going home?”

“Yeah. I’m more scared that this has all been a dream though…. That I made you up, and that I won’t ever see you again.” He pulled his wand and sent a shocking hex at her, and when her bracelet absorbed it, pinched her. “What the bloody hell was that for?” she demanded as he grinned.

He was entirely too proud in her opinion.

“Just proving to you that this isn’t a dream, little one.” He pinched her again.

She glared and swatted at him and smirked victoriously when he rubbed his hand. “What was that for?”

“Language,” he replied simply.

He had to be joking.

His language was worse than her language—because of him, she swore more. She scowled at him, opened her mouth, and out streamed a long, vile recitation of the seventh years’ favorite words. She yelped when she was suddenly picked up, thrown over his shoulder, and then tossed onto his bed where he hovered over her and started to tickle her mercilessly.

“Stop!” she shrieked through her maniacal giggles.

“Never!”

The refusal to stop tickling her let to a very intense tickle war between the eleven year old and fifteen year old. “Stop, Tom! Please!” she wailed, her words slurred with laughter.

“Will you stop swearing?” he demanded through his own laughter. He finally pinned her hands above her head in one of his own, and continued his assault on her sides. She thrashed wildly to try and offset him by kicking him, but ultimately failed.

“Yes!”

“Forever?”

Cheeky bastard.

“You know I can’t promise that!” Tears streamed down her face, and her stomach spasmed as laughter shook her small frame.

Tom ceased his tickling and stared down at her, a fond smile on his face as he tucked a lock of short hair behind her ear. “I guess that’s the best I’ll get out of you, isn’t it.”

Eden smiled up at him as she panted heavily and the occasional giggle left her mouth. “Yeah, it is. Besides, your world would become dull if I curbed my tongue. I mean, if I did, you’d never get to hear me call Abraxas a ‘Peacock Bastard’ again.” The name had come about when Tom implied that Abraxas had at least one peacock for a parent—she knew he didn’t because she had met him in her time (and she whole-heartedly agreed with the assessment he had made).

He groaned and collapsed on the bed next to her and pulled her into his arms. “As much as it pains me to admit it, you’re right.”

She couldn’t help the giggle that puffed out of her lips. “Wow. Tom Marvolo Riddle, admitting someone else is right. The world must be coming to an end,” she teased and poked his cheek.

He playfully bit the tip of her finger, and when she pulled that away, the tip of her small nose. He earned a squeak from her throat as she pulled back and the scrape of his teeth against her skin caused her eyes to water. He soothed the skin with a soft kiss. “No, little one. Not the world, only the school year.”

With those words, the sadness that permeated their meeting returned from the always visible shadows. “Do you think I could just fall into a coma and stay here forever?” she asked softly. She pushed him over so he was on his back and curled up into a ball. Her head rested on his chest, while her hand rested over his steady heart. She pushed down firmly and let the rhythm ease the tightness in her shoulders.

Tom kissed her forehead and placed a hand on her own, and ran the ringers of his right hand through her hair. “I don’t think so, little one.”

“Why not?”

“Because your body needs nutrients that you’re unable to get here, you can’t eat or drink while you’re here, remember? Besides, we don’t even know if you’d be here if you were in a coma.”

Eden curled further into his embrace. “I just don’t want to leave you. I don’t want you to be part of my imagination.”

The winter break had been long enough without Tom. Her parents had forced her to come home, and that was the first time that she wished her family celebrated Yule instead of Christmas. At least then 12 of the days would be filled with various rituals, celebrations, and balls instead of just one.

She could barely handle the four weeks without him, locked in the attic with nothing to do but explore and think of him, and manically wonder if he was real or not. She didn’t think she could handle two months without him.

“You’ll be back, my little one,” he whispered softly.

Even though the words had gone unspoken, the two children heard them perfectly clear, for they were both thinking similar things.

You have to come back.

Chapter Text

July 5—11, 1992

        Potter Manor

 

The first time that her father hit her, Eden was too shocked to do anything other than stand there and stare at him with wide eyes that quickly filled with tears.

She had been asking him if she could go spend some time with Pansy and Draco in Diagon Alley with some other Slytherin’s. He had become tense, and before she could stop speaking and retract what she had said, the familiar pain had blossomed on her cheek.

Only…somehow…it hurt far more than any of her mother’s blows or curses ever could. It hurt far deeper, and the blow seemed to reach her very soul.

The first time that her father hit her, was the first time that Eden locked herself in her room.

  

Potter Manor, Attic

She had been sorting through books she had found in a trunk in the back of the attic when she heard faint tapping on the window above her bed. She stood from the dusty, book covered floor and ran over to the noise. She climbed onto the chaise longue and forced the rusty window open.

A beautiful gray owl soared into the room and flew around the high rafters for a moment before it came to land on the edge of her bed. She crouched from her perch on the arm rest and took the offered letter from its extended leg.

Dearest Eden,

     How has your summer been so far? I hope it has been well.

     We would like to invite you over for dinner soon. Perhaps we could also go shopping that day as well. I have always wanted a daughter to take shopping. We could make it a day event. You and I, how does that sound, Eden?

     I hope to hear back soon,

     With love,

          Narcissa

Eden wiped at the tears that stubbornly refused to stay in her eyes and smiled. She quickly got off of the furniture and ran over to her Trunk, and into her office. The owl followed after her and perched on the back of her chair before she reached the bottom of the steps.

She sat down at her desk, careful to not jostle the owl, and pulled out parchment, a crystal quill, and the bottle of emerald ink that Aunt Mariea had given her. Once all her supplies were gathered, and the owl peered over her shoulder, she began to write back to Narcissa.

Dear Narcissa,

     My summer has had a few surprises, but, other than that, it’s nothing I wasn’t expecting, unfortunately.

     Dinner and shopping would be absolutely lovely. I’ll have to see when I can get out of the house though.

     Do you think we could perhaps stop by Flourish and Blott’s if we are able to go shopping? There are a couple of subjects that I desperately want and need to research, but, I seem to be unable to find anything useful in the Potter Manor or Hogwarts Library.

     I hope to hear back soon, and I hope to have an answer for you as well.

     Love,

          Eden

Eden waved her wand over the parchment, and the ink dried in silence. She smiled at the small success—she had started to practice during the Yule holiday’s to do it non-verbally (she hoped to be able to do it wandless by the same time next year)—and quickly put it in an envelope before the owl guided her out of the Trunk.

“I’m sorry that I don’t have any treats for you,” she apologized as she pet the soft breast feathers. The creature cooed under her touch and she smiled softly—it seemed almost as if her cheeks had forgotten how (it was the first she had smiled since she got back from school). She ignored the dull pain in her left cheek at the movement, and giggled when the owl nipped her fingers affectionately. She tied the envelope onto its leg and spoke, “Can you take this to Narcissa?”

The owl cooed once more before it took off through the open window. Eden closed the opening and hesitantly made her way down to her father’s study.

  

Study

She knocked softly on the door and entered when allowed. “Hi…dad.”

“Noah.” He put down his papers and stared at her. His eyes were no longer filled with the familiar warmth and care that used to gaze at her, instead guilt and apathy were there. “What do you want?” Gone as well was the warmth and soothing cadences of his voice. She flinched slightly and closed her eyes for a moment before she gathered up what little courage she possessed and spoke.

“I, uh—I was wondering if…maybe…. Maybe I could go spend some time with some friends…sometime this next week,” she asked, careful to not mention any names. The dark bruise on her cheek was a sharp reminder that names were a very, Very Bad thing.

“What would you be doing?”

This was good. He seemed to be at least open to the idea of her spending time with people outside of the house.

“We’d go shopping, and then I’d have dinner with them.”

His shoulders slumped. “I don’t know, Noah. Who are they?”

“Some friends from school. They’re a very respectable family.” Their definitions of respectable differed greatly in this sense. He opened his mouth to protest, and she forced her eyes to fill with tears as she dug a nail into one of the welts on her back—a welcome home gift from mother. “Please, papa,” his eyes filled with slight warmth, “Harry’s been with his friends every day this summer. I’m just asking for one day.”

He sighed and the warmth faded slightly. “You realize you’d have to floo, correct?”

Eden paled, but nodded. “I can do that.” She didn’t want to do it, but, she could if that was a requirement, and it seemed that it was—flooing was the second worst method of travel for her (the boats being a first, and was closely followed by broom).

His eyes widened slightly. “You’re really that desperate to spend time with your friend?”

“Yes, papa. It gets lonely up in the attic.”

Heartstrings pulled? Come on…come on…. Yes! Success.

He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Do you still have money left over from when you went school shopping last year?”

She inclined her head. “Yes, some of it.” Most of it. She had only spent 15 more galleons of the 100,000 she had withdrawn.

He waved his wand and his papers put themselves away as he stood. “Come. We’re going to get you some more.” Eden blinked rapidly at this change of events, but shrugged with a twitch of her lips once his back was turned and followed after him.

He led her out of the house and to the apparation point just beyond the wrought iron gates. He concealed the bruise on her cheek and lifted her into his arms, and with a loud pop, the two were gone.

 

 Diagon Alley

Her father didn’t pause like he normally did after they apparated—didn’t give her time to decide if she needed to be sick or not—nor did he soothe her back like usual. As soon as they landed, he immediately carried her to Gringotts, and put her down when they were inside the lobby. She wobbled and he quickly pulled her to one of the counters, and she turned away from him and crossed her arms over her stomach.

As he dealt with the goblin, Eden stared around the lobby and smiled and waved to those who she knew from school. “Little Eden,” Montague said fondly as he walked up to her and ruffled her shoulder-length hair.

“Hey! Monty!” she whined softly as she patted her hair down. “That’s mine.”

He took the silky locks into his Quidditch calloused fingers. “But, it’s so fun to play with.”

Not anymore it’s not, she thought viciously. Instead of voicing her thoughts, she giggled and the two chatted for a few minutes before a heavy hand landed on her shoulder. She flinched and closed her eyes and awaited the blows that were sure to follow. “Noah. Do you know this…boy?”

She bit her lip as she looked at Monty before she adverted her gaze to the ground. “Yes, father. He’s a friend from school.”

The hand tightened painfully for a short moment before her father extended his other hand to her classmate. Her eyes shot up to watch the exchange. “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” he said stiffly. The tightness of the hand on her shoulder and the sneer in his voice assured the two snakes that it most definitely was not a pleasure.

Monty smiled—was it just her, or did he seem abnormally tense?—and returned the grip. He seemed to squeeze just as tightly as her father. “The pleasure is all mine, sir—” at least he made it believable “—your daughter is a joy to be around. In fact, she’s got all of us wrapped around her little fingers, and I doubt she even knows it.”

“No I don’t,” she protested softly which both males ignored—was this some kind of…pissing? contest over her?

The hand tightened and she couldn’t help the small whimper that left her throat. Monty’s eyes immediately shot to first her face and then the hand, and his eyes narrowed slightly before his Mask was put back into place. “She is, isn’t she?” Her father didn’t seem to notice the slip. “Come, Noah, we have business to take care of.”

There was most definitely going to be a bruise there later, if there wasn’t already one. “Yes, father. Bye, Monty, I’ll see you later.”

“Bye, Little Eden. Don’t forget to write.”

Before she could respond, her father drug her away harshly. She bit her lips to hide the whimpers. “He’s in your…House yes?”

She looked down—for some reason beyond her understanding—ashamed. “Yes.”

His nails dug into her shoulder and she couldn’t hold back the whimper that leaked out of her lips—her father was much stronger than her mother, she started to realize. They arrived at the carts, and he turned her around harshly—she yelped loudly (would she get punished for that—what were the new rules?)—and opened his mouth to speak when someone beat him to it.

“Potter,” A familiar voice sneered. Eden had to fight to keep the tears of happiness from falling as she met gray eyes filled with unfathomable anger as they flickered between the hands on her person, her face, and her father.

“Malfoy,” her father spit out. He pushed her away, and it was only due to the goblin next to her when he caught her that she didn’t fall onto the tracks—she nodded her head in thanks and whispered the same exchange that happened the last time she was at the bank.

Her father opened his mouth to say something nasty—to her or Lucius she wasn’t entirely sure—but paused when she tugged on his arm—much to the goblin’s quiet consternation. “What, Noah?” he snarled. She immediately pulled away from him and curled in on herself; she lifted her arms to cover her face and cried out involuntarily.

No one was aware of the multiple pairs of eyes that watched from the shadows that belonged to classmates and Lords alike.

She took a deep breath and straightened slightly—she just wanted to go home where she could hide (safety please safe sorry stop safe). “D-Don’t we ha-have b-business to t-take care of?” His hand clenched at his side before he took a deep breath and ruffled her hair—she had tried to pull away, but he caught her too soon.

“You’re right. Of course. I nearly forgot.”

Eden turned to Lucius—safe help safe—and smiled softly at his worried eyes and shook her head discretely. He wouldn’t be able to help her without drawing the Potter Estate’s wrath—another Very Bad thing.

“It appears that the carts are all full,” one of the two present goblins stated—the one who caught her. The other looked confused for a moment before it agreed after he received a rather tense look and bark in gobbledygook.

“I don’t mind sharing a cart if you don’t, Potter,” Lucius sneered—she saw the worry in his Mask.

“I don’t mind either,” Eden interjected quickly. When the hand in her hair pulled, her face morphed into pain, and she quickly spoke, her voice higher than usual as she tilted her head back to try and ease the pain. “Papa, mother doesn’t know we’ve left,” she gasped desperately—let go please sorry stop sorry help.

Her words and the use of the name had the desired effect and soon the three were on their way down to the Vaults. She was curled on her father’s lap and held onto him with one arm, while she held Lucius’ hand behind his tense back. The rapid twists and turns ate at her soul, and she thought she was going to die any minute. They eventually—after ten eternities—came to a stop, and she was set harshly on the bench while her father got out.

“How is your summer so far, Eden?” Lucius asked the moment her father disappeared into the Vault. His Mask broke, and he looked as if he wanted to pull her into his own arms, but refrained from doing so.

She gave a tired smile and blinked away the tears that begged to fall—and swiped at the ones that managed. She knew that he knew she was abused. He just saw a small, relatively painless version of what happens when she’s at the Manor. “Painful,” was all she answered. “We’re here because he’s getting me some money so I can go shopping with Narcissa soon.”

Lucius smiled fondly at her, and his hand twitched as if he wanted to stroke her hair or face. “Yes, she is quite looking forward to the day you two are able to do that. Does the wild monkey you call father know that it’s Narcissa you’ll be with?”

She looked at him with a comical aghast expression on her face as she desperately tried to not laugh. “I’m insulted that you think I’m a rash and stupid Gryffindor, Uncle Lucy. I’m a Slytherin, and very proud of it.” The man laughed and gazed at her with fond eyes.

“I apologize, my lady,” he said in an overly pompous tone with a fake bow. Eden giggled, and her nose wrinkled slightly as she did so—it was something new that started to happen. “She’s been very worried about you. All of us have been.”

“I know. I received her letter this morning.”

Their conversation was quickly cut short when her father returned and dropped a purple velvet bag into her lap. “150,000 galleons.”

“Are you sure?”

She was confused. He just abused her, in public and he was giving her that much money?

He ruffled her hair, and she flinched as he did so. “Of course, I wouldn’t have pulled that much out if I wasn’t sure.”

“What about mother?”

“Let me deal with her.” She was quickly pulled back onto his lap, and her confusion was swallowed by nausea, this time worse than the last.

The cart stopped and she stayed nestled against her father for a while before Lucius came back out, a velvet pouch and a leather bound book in his hands. He sat down in the cart, and again they were off.

She was dead convinced that burning in the Eternal Fires of Hell would be more comfortable than ever going down to the Vaults again—there was a new number one.

Soon—although it took far longer than she wanted—she was back on solid ground and propped against her father. “Papa,” she started as the three walked towards the entrance.

“Yes, Noah.”

“When can I go shopping?” Lucius hid a smirk behind his Mask—apparently he knew all of her secrets now (granted his son was teaching her…).

“You’d have to check with your friend, but, any day would be fine.”

Eden looked to Lucius. “Tomorrow?” When he nodded she finished speaking. “They said tomorrow would be best for them.”

Her father sighed and lifted her into his arms as they reached the apparation point. “Tomorrow will be fine, I guess.”

Eden smiled softly, and before they left, waved at Lucius who smiled and nodded.

  

Potter Manor, Attic

That night, Eden stared at the two velvet pouches on her bed while she fingered her holly wand, and the little note that came in one. She put the little note on the pouch on the left and went into her library and retrieved a book off of one of the shelves. She went back to the attic and got comfortable on the chaise longue, and searched for the spell she had read about months prior.

With a flick of her wand and a clearly stated spell—Granger would be so proud—the pouch with the note turned a dark green with a bright silver snake on the front of it.

She placed the two pouches in the compartment that she had deemed her Money Room and laid down, a smile on her face and words whispered on her lips in the pale moonlight.

“Thank you, Lucius. I love you, too.”

 

 Flourish and Blott’s

Eden grinned widely when she and Narcissa stepped into the bookstore. They had been shopping all day, and her right pocket was weighed down with bags full of clothing, shoes, and jewelry; some purchased by her, and some for her. Her left pocket held her Trunk—Narcissa had owled her late the night before demanding that she bring it—and furniture order slips. Narcissa had taken it upon herself to decorate Eden’s new bedroom after Draco had informed her that it was just a lumpy old bed that she had found in the attic one day.

Her skin itched from the poorly applied concealment charms—she had to apply them herself that day—but, other than that, she was the happiest she had been since school had let out nearly two weeks ago.

“So, my dear, what are the subjects you’ve been wanting to research” Narcissa asked as she led the way deeper into the store where books on beauty charms, spells, and potions were.

Eden had made a comment in passing about doing things with her hair—ever since it had been decimated by a poorly executed prank by a pair of redheaded twins in April (they had apologized profusely and had even given her a hair regrowth potion) she had no idea what to do with the now short length—and had unintentionally lit a fire in Narcissa to get her all of the beauty books, supplies, and needs that she could ever want or need.

She stepped closer to the woman and spoke softly. “Blood Magic, Runes, invisibility, and…Dark Magic.”

Eden was instantly jealous of the woman’s Mask as she spoke. “Ah, well,” Narcissa hid her surprise well as she piled nearly all of the books on hair charms offered into the magically altered bag she carried. She moved on to makeup next, and cleared out an entire shelf.

Mordred.

What had she gotten herself into?

“We can get you books on Runes and invisibility here, but, we’ll need to go elsewhere for the other two subjects, is that alright?” she asked as she looked up from a book on skincare charms.

A breathtakingly happy grin spread across the child’s face. “Yes!”

The book was placed back on the shelf after a faint grimace broke through the woman’s Mask.

Two hours later, 235 books, 17 galleons later—and that was just what Eden bought (Narcissa purchased 596 books and spent just under 30 galleons—and they were all for Eden)—Narcissa led Eden by the hand down into Knockturn Alley.

Both were unaware of the hard emerald eyes that watched them.

  

Kodiack Tomes

They entered the dark and dusty bookstore, the door creaking loudly behind them as it shut softly. Eden tightened her grip on Narcissa’s hand, and took comfort when her arm settled around her shoulders in front of her neck in an awkward hug for a moment.

“Ah, Lady Malfoy, how may I be a service today?” A fairly attractive middle aged man asked as he stepped out of the backroom. He had long dark hair and firm, dark skin.

“Hello, Kodiack, we were wondering if you have any…useful material on Blood Magic and Dark Magic.”

The man’s—Kodiack’s—thin lips stretched into a wide grin that, along with the glimmer in his dark eyes, made Eden feel slightly slimy. “I have plenty of those here. Were there any specific area’s you wanted to look into?”

Narcissa looked to the girl that now stood half behind her. “Blood Magic’s interaction with Runes—invisibility Runes in particular; and I don’t particularly mind what Dark Magic subjects—perhaps something for beginners?”

His shiny, dark beady eyes fell on her and she repressed the burning urge to hide completely behind Narcissa. “You are very young to be studying that type of magic,” he said softly, a strange light entered his eyes that vaguely reminded her of Tom.

Eden shrugged delicately. “No magic is inherently evil. It’s the intent behind the spell that makes it good or evil. There is only power, and those too weak to seek it—” She was unaware of the intense looks both adults train on her at those words. “—besides, I think it unwise to not study as much as I can—no matter the subjects legality. It also helps that it’s information that I need.”

Kodiack’s shocked cackle seemed to shake the foundation of the building. “You have found yourself a lovely little thing, haven’t you, Narcissa.”

The woman pulled Eden out from behind her and rubbed a thumb lovingly over one of Eden’s cheeks. “Yes, I have. I absolutely adore her. She is like a daughter to me. Now, the books?”

Eden’s heart pounded with hesitant and joyous warmth at the words the woman spoke, and the next hour and a half was spent looking at books around the store. Complicated theories were explained to her as best as the two adults could. At one point, a man came in and joined in on the fun, and another hour was spent with him suggesting books, and explaining more complex theories that Kodiack and Narcissa didn’t understand.

After 127 books were purchased, another hour was spent placing wards and spells on the books, curtesy of the stranger—only she and those she allowed could see their true names and open them (and anyone who tried to touch them would be confounded into thinking they were holding a snake or spider—or whatever they feared the most).

Over 3,000 galleons were spent at the store, and not all of the books were on the two subjects requested, but all were books that either she thought would be useful at a future date, or were entirely to interesting to not get. After the books were sent into the library to be sorted later (along with the other 831 books), she and Narcissa left the store, with wave’s goodbye and promises to return.

As the squeaky door shut softly behind them, Eden’s eyes were pulled to the front window of the store across the street. She tugged Narcissa over to it, and stared at the beautiful ivory bag with pearls, diamonds, and sea glass spelled to the front. “It’s so pretty!” she cooed softly as she touched the window.

“Would you like to see it up closer?”

Eden nodded her head and her eyes never left the bag.

  

Borgin and Burke’s

“What can I do for you two ladies?” an older man with long, stringy hair that dripped with grease demanded kindly as they stepped into the store.

Eden hid slightly behind Narcissa again as a pungent odor seeped into her nose from the direction of the back of the store. “The bag in the window, the ivory one, we want to have a closer look at it.” Narcissa demanded in a haughty tone—Eden wasn’t entirely sure why, but, as she scanned the man again, she thought she began to understand.

“Ah, the Ivory and Pearl Handbag. It’s not as Dark as we usually sell, but, it’s still illegal, and always seems to somehow make its way back here,” he explained as he carefully spelled it to float in front of their eyes.

“What does it do?” Eden demanded. “Why is it illegal?”

“Once the bag is being worn, only the person wearing it can see it, and take it off. Nothing will fall out of it, and an undetectable extension charm has been added, although not much can fit in it.” It almost seemed like he left something out.

Eden’s brows furrowed as she moved from her hiding place. “That seems to be quite useful. People are dense if they think that’s evil and made it illegal.” She frowned and reached out a hand, and was about to touch it—almost against her will (was it calling to her?)—before she pulled it back. “Where did you find it?”

“One of our shop boys, in the mid-forties found it for us, actually. His name was Tom Riddle—” She froze—could it be her Tom? “—the boy was genius at finding rare artifacts and even more amazing at getting a good price for them. He almost seemed to obsessively search for this, and seemed quite pleased with himself when he found it. I had only seen him that pleased once he located the Locket of Slytherin…he was never able to procure it, sadly, but—oh well.”

“How much is it?”

The man looked between her and Narcissa. “I believe she asked you a question, Borgin,” Narcissa hissed with a vile sneer.

He sighed. “For you…500 galleons.”

She pulled out the purple velvet pouch her father gave to her the day before. “I’ll take it.”

“Eden, dear, let me buy it for you,” Narcissa begged gently as she placed her hands on her shoulders.

She shook her head. “No, you bought all of the books a Kodiack’s, it’s my turn to buy something. Please?”

Narcissa sighed before she waved her wand and the asked for amount of money spilled out of the bag and landed on the counter in neat stacks. The handbag floated down into Eden’s outstretched hands, and felt as if something familiar settled deep inside her. She slung the bag over her left shoulder and adjusted it so it rested against her right hip. She grinned at Narcissa, who smiled and stroked her cheek.

“Thank you, Mr. Borgin,” Eden said with a kind smile.

“O-Of course, dear. Come again soon.”

The two women walked out of the store and started towards the apparation point at the back of Knockturn Alley, and often got distracted. After 5,000 more galleons were spent with bags going to both of their pockets, they made it to their original destination after Kodiack’s.

Narcissa held her close and apparated the two of them to Malfoy Manor, where an anti-nausea potion was waiting for her, along with warm hugs from Lucius and Draco.

The four had a lovely dinner with Snakey-Snape, and after dinner, sat in the drawing room and chatted for a while about anything and everything before Eden caught sight of the clock and paled. “I should probably head home now,” she stated softly.

Her four companions frowned before they nodded.

Narcissa summoned her new green crushed velvet cloak that she had purchased for her as an early birthday present earlier that day. “Do you have all of your things? Your Trunk?”

Eden nodded and patted the pearl bag on her hip. “Yes. I had a wonderful time today, Narcissa, thank you so much.”

The woman placed a kiss on the young girl’s head and escorted her to the floo, along with her family. “Don’t forget to write, okay?” Draco reminded as he hugged her softly, careful of the bruises decorating her back—he hadn’t seen them, but he had watched her enough during school that he knew she was hurt somewhere around there.

“I’ll do my best to write as often as possible. I don’t have an owl of my own, so…” the rest of the words went unsaid, but they were well understood—even by the potion’s professor (word traveled fast in the pureblood circles—especially when it involved one of their own).

Narcissa wrapped her in her arms and pressed a kiss to the top of her head, along with Lucius, and Snakey-Snape spared a deep nod towards her which she returned with a big hug.

She stood in the large fireplace, the floo powder clutched tightly in her hand. “I’m scared,” she whispered.

Narcissa smiled encouragingly at her, the expression marred by the sadness and worry in her eyes. “Don’t worry, dear. We’ll get you out of there soon.”

Eden gave a sad smile in return and dropped down the powder. “Potter Manor.”

Oh how she wished she hadn’t. 


 

July 19—July 25, 1992

        Potter Manor, Attic

 

It had been two long weeks since Eden had been let out of the attic.

When she had gotten home from the shopping trip with Narcissa, her mother had been waiting, along with her father. Together they had given her the worst beating she had ever received—if it wasn’t for her magic, she’d be dead.

After the beating she had been immediately thrown into the attic when she denied having actually bought anything for herself, and was brought food every other day, and a small glass of water every morning.

It had quickly become clear, that she wouldn’t be leaving the attic anytime soon.

A week after the beating, her injuries had finally healed—thanks to magic—to the point that she could move without tearing the welts in her back or stomach. She had left the window open since Narcissa had written to her, and throughout that week, all of the furniture for her new room had been delivered and piled on the end of her bed.

She spent the following days after being able to move doing many things. She reorganized her library; moved the shrunken down pieces of furniture into her room (she left them that way because she had no idea how to decorate); sorted through the attic; and wrote in her diary.

On her 16th Day of Banishment, Eden had been deep in her library researching when an odd, faint tapping sound reached her ears. She put the books and her parchments off to the side of where she was laying on the floor, and quickly ran up the steps and turned towards the window. She grinned when her eyes fell upon a familiar gray owl that hooted at her from its perch on the window sill.

After she stepped out of the Trunk, the owl soared around the large room for a moment before it landed on the armrest of the chaise longue. She took the offered letter and smiled softly as she stroked the bird.

Dearest Eden,

     We are worried about you. How are you? What can we do to help you?

          Narcissa, Lucius, and Draco

Eden led the owl down into her office/study and sat at her desk with the things necessary to reply and quickly wrote out a response.

Dear Narcissa, Lucius, and Draco

     I will be honest and say that I have not been doing well since we’ve last spoken. Despite my pride, what little of it I have left, I am forced to admit that a healer would be much appreciated, and, if not a healer, potions. I don’t know how you’d be able to get those to me though…. I haven’t seen anyone since I last saw you three.

     My mother saw us go to Knockturn Alley. It was only thanks to the bag that I bought at Borgin and Burke’s that I was able to keep the things that we purchased that day. I lied and told her that you said there was a fireplace that would help with the nausea that I feel when flooing.

     I don’t know if she believed me, but, she seemed to believe that I didn’t buy anything while we were down there. I’ve been locked in the attic since.

     I miss you three.

     With all my love,

          Eden

She sat at her desk for a while after she dried the letter, and pondered if she should even sent it. As she sat there, tears fell out of her eyes and smeared one of the letters once she realized that she was finally being forced to ask for help—even she knew her magic couldn’t heal everything, and the pain got worse every day.

Her mother hadn’t been on her side—and thus no help—in nearly seven years. Her father was no longer on her side—and how that stung burned ached—and even if Harry was—she had her doubts on whose side he was on since she was Sorted—there was nothing that he could do without their wrath being brought down onto him. He might not love her, but she still loved him, and wanted him to be healthy and happy.

A gentle cooing from her side had her petting the owl before it snatched up the letter and flew out of the Trunk. She chased after it and just barely saw it fade into the distance when she reached the window.

Damn bird.

She was going to send it.

Maybe.

Probably.

(thank you) 


 

 August 1—August 8, 1992

        Potter Manor, Attic

 

The day after her 12th birthday found Eden in the back of the attic.

Stuck—again.

Inside a trunk—again.

But, unlike the year prior, she happened to fall into a very potentially useful trunk. The space she was in—five feet deep and 10 feet by 10 feet—was full of books.

And not only that, all were on some form of illegal—Dark—magic.

Now, Eden very well knew that she could just stack the books and climb out of the trunk, but, she found that if she were to do this, she would never be able to get the books out due to the stubborn sticking charm on the trunk—she had tried about five hours ago.

So, for the last several—four and a half—hours, Eden had been slowly levitating books out of the trunk and to safety—hopefully. There were so many other open trunks around that she could just be putting the books into those instead.

She had been levitating a large tome on Soul Magic that was the size of her torso, and thicker than her head, over her head and out of the trunk when a fond hooting reached her ears. She startled, and lost control of the spell. The book fell onto her head, and she cried out as she fell and curled into a ball as she gripped her aching head.

A gentle pecking on her fingers had her look up before she jumped backwards into a pile of books—which then tumbled onto her, and caused her to swear violently (Tom really was a poor influence).

It was laughing at her.

The bloody peacock was laughing at her.

“Stop laughing!” she whined. “It really hurts!” The purple-y white bird seemed to clear its throat before it nodded its head. “You can understand me?” Another nod. “Either I’m going crazy from lack of human contact, or you’re an animagus.”

The half-albino bird preened slightly before it stuck out its leg where a pouch was carefully clutched in the talons. She grabbed the pouch, and the second it was safely in her hands, the bird started to shift and grow taller. “Lucius!” she squeaked excitedly. She unburied herself—with help and ignoring the pain that blossomed as she did so—from the books and launched herself towards the man, and her arms wrapped around his waist.

He crouched down and gently wrapped her in his long arms. “Hello, Eden. How are you?” he asked as he pulled back and scanned her face.

Tears burned her eyes, but she pushed them back. “I really want to be able to say that I’m okay, but, I’m not really entirely sure.”

“Let’s get out and have your injuries looked over, alright?”

“What about the books?”

The blonde chuckled and ruffled her hair fondly. “We’ll get them out.” Within a few seconds, Eden and Lucius were out of the trunk and she was leading him over to the chaise longue that acted as her bed. “Open it,” he said as he gestured to the pouch in her hands.

Eden opened it and tipped out a familiar dark green Trunk that had been shrunk. She squinted her eyes, and looked to Lucius, and when he nodded his head, she put it on the ground. She pulled out her holly wand and tapped it to the top of the Trunk. He went to the now normal sized object and opened it, and out climbed two blondes, a brunette, and a raven haired man. “Narcissa! Draco! Professor Snape!” she squealed.

The three wrapped her in gentle hugs that had her quietly whimpering in pain before they were all ushered out of the way by the older woman. “Hello, Eden. My name is Healer Jacobs, I work for the Malfoy’s. They’ve asked me to check over you, is that alright with you?”

Eden swallowed thickly as she held onto Narcissa’s hand before she nodded her head. The woman quickly got to work, and after fifteen minutes, she pulled away fuming as she stared at the parchment that had appeared next to her at the start. “This is absolutely horrifying!” she exclaimed loudly. “Multiple improperly healed breaks, multiple lacerations that are very, very close to being infected, one that is infected; years of malnutrition—dehydration. It’s a miracle that this girl is alive!”

She pulled a large bag out of the Trunk, and with Snakey-Snape’s help, pulled out potions, creams, and enough bandages to make a small army of mummies. “First things first, we need to get you some food. Where’s the kitchen?” she demanded as she stormed towards the door.

“No! Don’t!” Eden shouted and ran after her. She swatted at the hands that tried to hold her back. She was too late, and the woman touched the door knob and was thrown back ten feet into a large pile of pillows that she had placed years ago—she sometimes wondered if the blockage on the door had been removed while she was exploring or sleeping and would check.

“I’m sorry!” she cried. She held her hands over her mouth as the woman glared at her and Narcissa pulled her into a hug. Tears burned in her eyes as Snakey-Snape, Lucius, and Draco all placed their hands on her.

“How long has this—” she gestured angrily at the door “—been going on?”

Eden toed the ground. “About six years,” she mumbled softly. She was released and she continued to stare at the dark wood below her feet. “But, it’s fine. I’m used to it now. I can go a couple days without eating and feeling the effects of it now…. It’s water that I struggle to do without.”

A muffled sob sounded behind her and she turned to find Narcissa with her head buried in Lucius’ chest and Snakey-Snape hold back an irate Draco.

“Dobby!”

A timid house elf appeared in the attic and bowed to Lucius. “Yes, Master?”

“Bring us food and water. A lot of it.”

“Yes, Master.”

The elf left and Snakey-Snape started to shove potions down her throat while Healer Jacobs started to smear creams on her skin and remove the infection from her blood. The Malfoy’s were kind enough—despite her insisting—to either start getting the books out of the trunk, or decorating her bedroom in her Trunk—surprisingly, it was Draco who was doing the decorating.

A short while later, the elf returned. “Here, Master.” A large feast of food was soon spread out on a conjured table and large goblets of water were floating around it.

“Eden, whenever you find yourself getting hungry, call for Dobby, do you understand?” Lucius demanded with a certain glint in his eyes that dared her to defy him. When she simply nodded her head while biting her lips, he turned to the elf. “Dobby, you are to obey Eden as if she were one of us, do you understand?”

“Yes, Master.” The elf looked at her and bowed low. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mistress Eden.”

Eden nodded her head. “It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, Dobby.” The elf teared up and Eden panicked. “Oh no! Please, no. Please don’t cry, I’m sorry!”

“You are dismissed, Dobby,” Lucius stated firmly. The crying elf bowed and nodded his head before he disappeared.

“What did I do?” she asked just before another potion was shoved down her throat. Snakey-Snape clamped his hand down around her mouth when she started to gag, and gently rubbed at her throat to force her to swallow it. “That was vile!” she groaned when he let her go and rubbed her shoulder gently.

“You showed him kindness,” Narcissa said after a moment, an odd tone to her voice.

Eden’s head tilted to the side while her left brow furrowed. “Is that not normal? I’m not allowed around our house elves, so, I don’t know…”

The family looked chagrined. “Not normally, no. But, I guess that’s going to change from now on,” she said.  Her husband and child nodded at her silent command.

The six sat down to eat, and as they ate, Eden realized that she had made her own family. She didn’t need her blood family. She had her own quirky, strange, and loving family.

Huh.

The muggles had it right.

The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb. 


 

Wednesday, September 2, 1992

        Slytherin Girls Second Year Dorm—2

 

“I just don’t understand why you’re so fixated on him, Daphne,” Pansy stated from the dark oak wardrobe next to her bed, a dark green nightgown held in her hands.

“It’s just…. I honestly don’t know why either. He’s so…nice, I guess.”

“Nice is good,” Millicent said, “but so are looks.”

Eden giggled. “Imagine if you found a nice guy with good looks,” she stated from her own wardrobe to the left of her bed. Her desk was on the right, also made of dark oak wood.

Her friends all paused in their nightly routines before they burst into giggles. “I don’t think that’s possible,” Pansy stated after a moment.

Eden laughed and thought of Tom, and the laugh quickly became fake. He had been a dream, she needed to remember that. She hadn’t seen him last night when she slept, and her heart sorrowed for the loss of one of her dearest friends—imaginary he may be, she still missed him.

She slipped the green silk nightgown with black trim lace that had ended a few inches above her knees over her head. Mariea had smuggled it to her for her birthday, and Eden had been wearing it every night since—except for the night prior. While the slightly too low cut neckline—compared to what she was used to—and thin straps had made her uncomfortable at first, she had grown used to it.

“No, I guess it’s not,” Eden agreed softly as she climbed into her bed. It was no longer uncomfortable, thanks to the bed Narcissa had gotten her when they went shopping and Lucius setting her chaise longue on fire.

Yeah…they didn’t like that.

“I guess they’re only real in our dreams,” she continued on. The four girls giggled and continued talking for a while longer before they all slowly drifted off to sleep.

Eden was the last to sleep, and her pillow was wet with tears.


 

Wednesday, September 2, 1942

        Prefect Tom M. Riddle’s Dorm

 

When her eyes immediately opened, she thought she was dreaming.

She was in a large square room with a single double bed with green silk hangings and snakes carved into the dark wood. She turned in a circle and a wide grin split her face as her eyes came to land on someone.

“Tom!” she squealed. The boy jumped high in his chair and turned around. His eyes widened for a moment before she threw herself at him. “I thought it was just a dream!” she sobbed. “When I didn’t see you last night, I was so scared—” Her words cut off as sobs started to roll through her body.

Tom ran his fingers through her mid-back length hair. “Shh, little one. You’re alright. It wasn’t a dream.” A kiss was pressed to the top of her forehead. “You’re here.” She cried for a little bit longer before she pulled away from him. He wiped her eyes before she could even think about doing so herself. “Well, now, let me look at you. My, it seems you’ve grown, my little one. You need to stop that.”

Eden grinned and poked his cheek. “So have you. How was your summer?”

“Boring, as usual. I was able to go to Diagon a few times though, so, not as boring as it could have been, but, still entirely uninteresting. How was yours?”

“Fantastically awful,” she said cheerfully. She continued on to explain her summer and the treatment of her family towards her. “So, after Dragon’s family started letting me use Dobby, I was able to sneak out and be with my friends. Sometimes I’d get caught, punished, and locked back up again, but, with Dobby, I didn’t go hungry again, and I even got healing potions in time.”

“I will come to your future, find out who your family is, and I promise I will kill them all,” he hissed as he nuzzled her hair.

“When you do, can I watch?”

Tom stared at her for a moment before a disbelieving laugh left his mouth. “You truly are one of a kind, aren’t you, my dear.”

Eden smiled at him and hugged him once more before she slipped off his lap and started to look around. “By the way, congratulations on becoming Prefect,” she idly mentioned as she trailed a finger across the spines of his books. She looked over her shoulder and smiled at him.

Tom paused, his mouth open. “I’m not wearing my badge.”

She turned and grinned at him. “So? That doesn’t mean I don’t know that fact.”

He flicked his wrist and Eden flew across the room and landed with a loud thump on the large squishy bed. He hovered over her moments later, and had her hands pinned above her head in his own. “What else do you happen to know, little one?”

She smiled. “I know lots of things. For example, a crocodile can’t stick its tongue out.”

He opened his mouth to respond, and then apparently thought better of it. He shook his head with a fond smile at his lips. “I meant, what do you know about me?”

“Your name is Tom Marvolo Riddle, you’re a fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you can talk to snakes, you’re a Prefect—”

“I mean future me, Eden dear.”

“Why would I tell you?”

“Because we’re best friends and you adore me?” he asked with a raised brow. His face was contoured into a hopeful look that usually got him what he wanted.

It hadn’t worked on her since February.

“Where would the fun be in that?”

He bore his straight teeth at her, and ran his fingers up and down her sides as he tickled her, to which she responded in kind.

“You are a pest,” he stated breathlessly after their impromptu tickle war.

Eden smiled and yawned deeply. Her eyes watered and he wiped away the unwilling tears before he moved to lay on his back with his arms wrapped around her. “Yes, but, I’m your pest.”

Tom pressed a kiss to her forehead as she curled up against his side with her head on his chest. “Hmm…. I’m not entirely sure that I want you to be my pest,” he stated fondly.

“Oh come on, Tom,” she started through a yawn, “You don’t mean that.”

Her eyes closed and another kiss was pressed to her forehead. “You’re right. I don’t. You’re all mine.”

Chapter Text

Saturday, September 2, 1944

        Head Dorms

 

Eden laughed manically when Tom flinched as her arms wrapped tightly around his neck. “Congratulations!” she said gleefully into his ear.

He sighed somewhat fondly before he turned around in his chair to pull her into his lap and hold her tightly. “I missed you,” he whispered into her long hair. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head as she relaxed in his arms. “How long have you known?”

“Oh, I think since about a month after I started to come visit you,” she replied airily. Tom pouted against the soft skin of her neck. “Oh, no mister!” She turned in his lap so she was straddling him and wagged her finger in his face. “You don’t get to make me feel bad for protecting the future.”

Tom smirked and rested his hands on her hips. “I don’t think telling me that I’d become Head Boy would change the future that much.”

She raised her hands and held them palm out. “Hey, you never know.” She crossed her arms over her chest and stared daringly into his eyes. “It could have gone to your head, you wouldn’t have gotten it, and then somehow demonic ducks would be ruling the world.”

Tom was silent as he stared at his best friend with slightly narrowed eyes. His mouth was open and his tongue pressed against his right cheek, his teeth slightly gnawing it. “I want to ask questions,” he started hesitantly, “but, for some reason, and rightly so, I believe, I’m afraid of the answers I’ll get.”

She cackled and leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Honesty, I’m afraid of the answers I’ll give.”

“I’ll have lunch brought up, and then we can talk about our summers.” Before she could respond, he had her sitting on his bed and a house elf summoned. Within minutes, a tray of more than enough food for two people rested on the coffee table.

“So, what did you do for your first summer away from the orphanage?” she demanded as he started eating.

He wiped his mouth as he swallowed. “I got a part time job working at Flourish and Blott’s and rented a room at the Leaky Cauldron. I researched a lot and spent time with Abraxas and his family as well.” He continued to explain the ‘awful’ balls he went to with the Malfoy’s of his time, and all of the ‘dreadfully boring women’ he had to ‘woo and charm’.

“You’re making it sound like you’d rather bed dead than have to talk to any of those women again,” Eden commented idly as she ran her fingers across his black leather diary.

She knew what the object was, due to having actually helped him create it. She always seemed to find herself touching it whenever they were together like this, him doing one thing, and her another while they chatted—especially after summer breaks.

It always brought her comfort and calmed her.

It also helped that whenever Tom wasn’t around, she taught the horcrux as many excruciatingly painful jokes as she could. She very much looked forward to the next time he updated the object.

She might be dead by the end of it, but still.

“Honestly, I think being banished to an eternal existence as a wraith would be much more preferable than having to charm another woman, ever again.”

Eden laughed and hugged the diary close to her chest, and the horcrux warmed as she did so. “Well then,” she sniffed. “I’ll just make sure that you’ll never have to charm me ‘ever again’.”

She desperately bit her lips to hide her grin as he scrambled. “That’s not—I mean—you’re different—you little witch,” he growled when she lost her composure and started to laugh. He crossed his arms over his chest, leaned back in his chair, and glared at her.

“You know you absolutely adore me,” Tom.

“I’m not entirely sure that’s true.”

“If it wasn’t true, you’d have either found a way to stop me from visiting, or would have killed me by now.”

His scowl deepened. “You are entirely too smart for your own good.”

“It’s only because of you dear,” she teased with a wink.

His glower cracked and he smiled fondly at her. “You make my life far too interesting to ever risk losing you, love.”

Eden flushed a delicate pink, and he smirked victoriously.

It was an ongoing game between the two of them that had started in the middle of her second year: Who could make the other blush the most, also known as the Blushing Game.

So far, Tom was winning. By a lot. As in, she had never successfully made him blush by comments made—the horcrux might help in that matter though. Actions, however…

Actions have been somewhat…successful. To a point. A very, very fine point.

“Anyways, enough about my summer, how was yours, little one?”

Eden smiled softly. “It was actually kind of nice. I was able to spend most of it with Dragon and Pansy—” she still cursed the day she let her name slip “—it was almost as if my family didn’t care what I did anymore. They even let me live with the Dragon and his family after my birthday. Oh! Bunny has finally picked a side.”

“Oh, and what side as he decided to grace with his boundless loyalty?”

Eden raised an unimpressed brow. “Guess.”

“The graceless baboons you call parents?”

She laughed and nodded her head. “Good one. Anyway, Cissica and the Albino Peacock took me shopping a lot. I now have over 10,000 books in my library, which they had renovated into a two level masterpiece for my birthday, and because of this, I have a surprise for you.”

“Oh?” She could see how desperately he tried to remain nonchalant. She stood off of the bed and walked towards him with her hand out. She wandless and non-verbally transfigured her thumbnail into a knife point. “Impressive,” he complemented dryly. She knew him well enough to see the pride in his eyes.

“Shut up, prat, I’m not done,” she hissed. She pressed the small blade into the side of her pointer finger. The blood quickly welled up and dripped off of the appendage as she transfigured her nail back to normal. She wiped her finger on the ring on her thumb and twisted the metal to make sure that all of it got coated with her blood.

He stood and frantically started looking around when she suddenly disappeared. “Eden?” he demanded, his voice firm—mostly. He walked towards where she stood and she silently moved away from him. “Eden?” he demanded once more. She stood behind him and climbed onto the coffee table. She launched herself at him and wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs tightly around his waist. “Dammit Eden! You scared me!”

“Language,” she whispered in his ear.

“Oh don’t you give me that shit, Eden. I thought something had happened,” he snarled as he gently pulled her around so she was hanging on his front instead of his back.

“I’m sorry for scaring you,” she whispered as she rested her head in the crook of his neck. She felt the rapid pounding of his heart against her lips and fought to keep the guilt from devouring her.

He sat down on the arm chair he had previously sat in and held her close. Their torsos touched as he buried his head in her invisible hair and pulled her even closer. “I know I’m holding you, but, I need to see you,” he whispered after a few minutes. His heartrate still pounded, so she agreed.

She pulled away as much as he allowed her and wandlessly conjured a goblet of water. She dipped her thumb into it and watched as the crystal clear water turned pink as the ring was cleaned and she appeared before his eyes again. He pulled her back into his arms after he vanished the goblet and reburied his face in her hip-length dark hair.

“A warning would have been nice,” he said after his heart had calmed.

“I’m sorry.” She really was, too.

“So, you finally finished it over the summer?”

She snorted softly. “Obviously. I had help from the Albino Peacock and Snakey-Snape.”

“How did your potion’s professor help you?”

“He created a potion that made it so it would hold the blood and keep it wet as long as needed, and that would also make cleaning it and becoming visible again quite easy. I wish I had figured it out last year…. That would have been really good.” It had taken them both quite a while to get used to his NEWT level classes and the hectic schedule that came with them.

Tom laughed and agreed with her. “It truly would have made life much easier.”

They stayed snuggled for a while longer before she spoke again. “What time should I sleep at?”

“I don’t have my schedule yet, but, I assume midnight should still be fine. What days do you have Astronomy?”

“Fridays, so if I go to sleep later this year, it won’t really matter to my roommates.”

Tom nodded and pressed a kiss to her forehead. He pulled away and frowned. “You grew again. I thought I told you to stop that.”

She laughed. “I recall telling you to do the same thing, yet, here we are, with you growing. Again.” He was wrong, she hadn’t grown since February.

“How tall are you now?” he pouted.

“5’1,” she answered proudly. She could now get out of trunks she fell into easily—it was probably something she shouldn’t be proud of, but, it was.

“6’0.”

Eden whistled long and low, only for it to be interrupted with a yawn. “No!” she whined. “I want to stay longer,” she moaned as she held out the words.

 

Tom pressed a kiss to her forehead and wrapped her tightly in his arms. “I know, my dear. I know.” This was his least favorite part of the day.

She yawned again and faded from view.

He leaned back against the chair. His head rested on the backrest, his neck craned almost painfully at its new position. He waved his hand and his empty dishes were sent down to the kitchens. He rubbed his hand against his aching heart and wondered in passing why it hurt as he stood and moved to his desk to resume the plans he had been working on before his precious Eden came to visit him.


Friday, September 8, 1944

        Head Dorms

 

“We learned about the Unforgivable’s today,” Eden said after she opened her eyes. She grinned maliciously when Tom flinched and spilt water down his front.

“You’re late,” he responded icily. Eden turned and sat on the edge of his bed while he cleaned himself up.

“I am sorry about that…. Pansy insisted on doing my nails and she kept messing up on the charm. By the time she finished it was ten, and I had an essay that I needed to finish and another I needed to check over before I could sleep. Besides, I’m not as late as I could have been, all things considered.”

Tom sighed. “You’re right. I just…worry…about you, when you’re not here.”

Eden smiled and desperately tried to hide her blush behind her loose hair. “Technically speaking, I’m never here.”

Tom hissed at her. “Quiet or I’ll bite you.”

Is that a promise?” she questioned with a playful wink.

He chuckled softly and shook his head. “You know, I forget you’re a Parselmouth.”

Tom had found out during her second year with all of the Heir of Slytherin stuff going on. It stopped at the end of the year with a final message, and the only thing that people know is that Ginevra Weasley died down there. The Chamber was never opened again, and she never heard the hissing voice that begged to eat again.

“I’m not sure if I should be offended or flattered that you forget that about me.”

He pretended to think for a minute. “Let’s be safe and say both.”

“Alright then. I’m offendedly flattered.”

“I don’t think that’s a word,” he said offhandedly before he took a sip of water.

“I don’t think you’re a word.”

Tom snickered. “Of course I’m not a word. I’m the greatest wizard to have ever lived.” He leaned back and crossed his arms over his chest, his face smug for a moment before he faltered. “Right?”

A secretive smile crossed Eden’s lips. “I wouldn’t know, now would I? In my very humble and very unimportant opinion, yes, you are.”

He sneered at her and picked his goblet of water up once more. “So, you mentioned you learned about the Unforgivable’s today, is that so? What is your opinion on them?”

He waved his hand and the lunch tray disappeared. She fought to hide the glee she felt at seeing him do wandless and non-verbal magic at the same time, but, if she were to go by the smug gleam in his eyes, and the smirk at his lips, she failed.

Eden looked away and down at her fingers. “I feel that…” she trailed off slowly. She paused to roll the words around in her mouth before she finally allowed them to slip out of their confines and into the open air. “I feel that in the right situation, and used in the correct ways, that all three of the curses could be very useful.”

She looked up at the harsh sound of his chair as it scraped across the floor and barely had time to process that he rapidly moved towards her before his lips were on hers. She froze for moment, and before she could even begin to examine the situation and figure out how to best move forwards, he pulled away from her. His large hands cupped the back of her neck and his forehead pressed against her own. “Have I ever told you how perfect you are?” he demanded softly as he gazed into her eyes.

Eden froze, her eyes wide and her mind blank. “Uhm, what?”

He chuckled and pressed his lips against her own once more, and again pulled away before she could react. “You’re perfect, Eden. Absolutely perfect.”


Friday, September 30, 1994

        Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom

 

Eden collapsed against Draco as her stomach ached and tears streamed down her face.

He weakly wrapped his arms around her, as he was in a similar position as she was. All of the fourth year Slytherin’s were, in fact.

They had watched as Ronald Weasley proposed to Harry Potter, who had said yes, and now did a tango around the room while they sand the school song at the top of their lungs. The Gryffindor’s looked more than slightly uncomfortable, while most of the Slytherin’s were on the floor as they laughed themselves into an early grave.

“Potter! Since you find this so amusing, let’s have you give it a try!” Moody shouted as he lifted the curse on the two boys who immediately moved to opposite sides of the room. Eden slowly straightened from Draco’s side and smoothly made her way to the front of the classroom. The Slytherin’s had all fallen silent, and the Gryffindor’s looked on with a certain light in their eyes that made her more than slightly uncomfortable.

Looks like they’re going to be getting some new ‘material’ to abuse her with.

She stood in front of Moody with her hands clasped behind her back, and her feet slightly spread, back straight, and head held high. If she was going down, she was going to go down on her terms. “Imperio.”

The silent classroom erupted into murmurs as she continued to stand there, the picture of Slytherin Pride. She turned to Draco and furrowed her brows at him. He shrugged his shoulders in response to her unasked question. She turned back to Moody, Mask in place with her head tilted to the side and her eyes opened in wide innocence.

“Sir, isn’t—isn’t something supposed to happen now?” Her fellow classmates either smothered laughter into their robes or glared angrily at her. It depended on the color of their robes.

The man scowled at her and recast the spell, and once more, nothing happened. “Malfoy. Get over here. Now. Potter, stay,” he snapped. Draco stood next to her and the two squeezed each other’s hands as the wand point changed to him. “Imperio.”

Immediately, Draco had her in his arms and attempted to pull her around the classroom with him in the Viennese Waltz. After a few seconds she gave into the insistent tugs of her best friend—of this time—and the two danced around the room gracefully. “My, Draco,” she started, “I wasn’t aware that you knew how to do the Viennese. The Imperius really does do wonders. Perhaps I’ll pass the information on to Cissica and Lucy.”

Her comment was rewarded with two reactions; the first was the Slytherin’s positively died with laughter. The second was a scream from Moody and he tried to get Draco to try and kiss her. After about a minute of struggling with the cursed teen, she was finally able to get to her wand and had Draco unconscious in three seconds.

“I need to shower now,” she whined as she wiped at her slobbered face.

The room was silenced as Moody spoke. “Well, Miss Potter. It seems you are somehow…immune…to the Imperius Curse.”


 

Saturday, September 30, 1944

        Head Dorms

 

“You’re oddly quiet today. Is something wrong?” Tom asked from the couch he sat on.

She had been there for fifteen minutes, and had immediately moved to sit in one of the armchairs around the coffee table. She had asked him how his day was and that was that. She had obviously listened with half an ear, and made sounds when needed, but, other than that she was silent.

(And we’re complaining? Shut up, he told the part of his brain that seemed to always pop up at inopportune times.)

“Eden?”

 

Eden’s head snapped up and she looked at Tom. “What?”

“Come here.” He put his book on the table and spread his arms wide. Not one to start to make a habit of rejecting a ‘Tom Bear Hug’—that’s what she started to call them years ago—she got off of her chair and moved to sit next to him. He wrapped her in his arms and pulled her into his lap and rested his head on top of hers as he tucked her face into his neck.

Ah.

A Super Tom Bear Hug.

She must be emoting worse than she thought.

“What’s wrong, little one?”

Yep. Too much emoting. Must stop.

She took a deep breath and breathed in his calming scent of spearmint, rain, and parchment, along with something slightly smoky. “Crazy Face cast the Imperius on the class today,” she started. His arms tightened around her until she cried out with pain.

He loosened his grip only slightly and pressed an apologetic kiss to her forehead. “What did the bastard make you do?”

“Nothing.”

“Eden,” he warned.

“I mean it. He made me do absolutely nothing. He couldn’t cast it on me. After he cast it on Dragon and spent five minutes trying to cast it on me, and making Dragon try and kiss me—he still won’t talk to me he’s so embarrassed about it—Crazy Face declared that I was immune to the Curse.”

Tom pulled away from her long enough to look her in the eyes. “You’re telling the truth.”

“Of course I am, Tom. Why would I lie about something like that? It’s just given the overgrown housecats more reasons to hurt me.”

He growled and nuzzled her neck. “How I wish I were there so I could put everyone in their place.”

Eden pulled away and stroked his cheek and placed a kiss on the opposite. “I know.” He pressed his forehead against her own and they stayed like that for a good ten minutes before he spoke again.

“Would you mind if I try?”

“Try what?”

“To cast the Imperius on you. I won’t make you do anything awful.” She nodded her head and he had his wand pointed steadily at her face. “Imperio,” he whispered.

She stayed on his lap, looked around and then shook her head.

“I’ve got nothing. Zip. Nada. Zilch. Nulla. Absolutely nothing.”

He chuckled and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “As do I.” The two were silent for a moment while he thought and she listened to his slightly faster than usual heartrate—was he okay? “I might have an idea as to why you’re able to resist the Imperius.”

“What is it?”

“Have you ever heard of Occlumency?”

Eden thought for a moment before she shook her head. “No. What is it?”

“It’s a form of Mind Magic—” he rubbed the grimace out of her forehead “—that shields your mind from intruders. It’s like forming a wall around your mind.”

“Okay, so…that would protect me from the Imperius?”

“Not necessarily. If you used it, and were a Master of Occlumency, it could aid you in resisting it…. Do you mind if I try and see into your mind?” When her eyes widened, he was quick to placate her. “I’ll just be in and out, I won’t go snooping or anything.”

She thought for a moment. “I trust you, Tom. Don’t make me regret that…. What do I need to do?”

 

Tom swallowed the sudden lump in his throat before he spoke. “All you need to do is make eye contact, and then I’ll do the rest.”

Her molten emerald eyes met his own and he ignored the way his heart stuttered painfully in his chest.

He really needed to get that checked out.

Legilimens. His brow furrowed when he couldn’t even get into her mind. He cast the spell a few more times and each time was just as unsuccessful as the first.

He stopped trying to get into her mind when small, cool hands cupped the sides of his face. “Tom,” she whispered, “it’s okay.”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re getting frustrated. It’s not something to worry about.”

“You don’t understand, Eden. I’m a master Legilimens, and I can’t even get in to your mind. Normally there would be some type of resistance going up against a Master, or someone who knew what they were doing, but, with you, there’s nothing. It’s like there’s a shield around you preventing me from getting in. That’s never happened before. Are you sure you’ve never heard of Occlumency before?”

“I’m absolutely sure. The very idea of Mind Magic makes my stomach curl and chest ache.”

“Why?”

“Because…well…I read in one of the books I found in the attic that Mind Magic can damage your mind beyond repair, and, I didn’t—don’t—want to risk doing that to myself or someone else, so, I just…I’ve stayed away from it. If something mentioned Mind Magic, I just skipped over it.”

He stroked her cheek, and his heart warmed and stuttered in his chest when she leaned into his touch, and her eyes closed with content. “If you have the right teacher, you can learn it and be find,” he reassured gently. He had been his own teacher, and due to this fact, he felt he could be a good teacher for her if she ever desired to learn Mind Magic.

She nodded her head and surged forwards so her head rested in the crook of his neck. His heart acted up again and he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her as close to him as he could get her.

He wanted—no, needed—her closer.

“I think you might be a natural Occlumens, my little one,” he said after a while of thought.

“Is that even possible?”

“I’ve only read about it. It’s very rare, but, it is possible. You aren’t born a natural Occlumens. A natural is created at a usually very young age when something traumatic happens to a witch or wizard. I assume that the attack on your family by that wizard forced your magic to protect yourself that way.”

“But, he attacked Bunny…. Shouldn’t he be the natural Occlumens?”

“Magic works in strange ways, dear. Besides, there were only three witnesses to what happened that night, and one of them is dead, and the other two were too young to remember. We will never truly know what happened that night.”

Eden yawned softly. “So…it’s just another reason as to why I’m a freak then,” she murmured softly as she cuddled into him.

His heart froze and he squeezed her tightly. “You are not a freak, Eden. You are special,” he insisted.

She yawned once more and cuddled closer to him. “If you say so.”

“Eden, my dear, I will spend the rest of my existence proving to you just how special and beautiful you really are.”

She smiled against his neck before she faded away into nothing.

Tom groaned and placed his hand over his rapidly beating heart. He really needed to talk to someone about that.

 

Chapter Text

Wednesday, October 5, 1994

        Slytherin Girls Fourth Year Dorm—2 

“Who do you think would be a good Champion for the Triwizard Tournament?” Millicent questioned from her desk as she paused in writing her Divination essay.

“From Slytherin, or anywhere?” Daphne asked as she paused in her spell practice.

“Anywhere.”

Eden paused in her Ancient Runes essay and looked up at the ceiling in thought. “From Slytherin I’d have to say Urquhart, Selwyn, or Locks,” she said after a moment of thought.

“Gordonson, from Ravenclaw, would be good too,” Pansy added, a slightly dreamy tone in her voice.

Eden scoffed. “He’s a total waste of space and you know it,” she countered the suggestion. He’s blown up cauldrons just by looking at them. “You’re only saying he would be good because he’s attractive.”

Pansy giggled. “You know me so well, dear Eden.”

“Jones would be pretty good as well,” Daphne said softly.

“The Head Boy? Is he Gryffindor? I can’t remember…”

“Yes to both.”

“Honestly,” Eden started, “any of the Gryffindor’s or Ravenclaw’s would make great Champions.”

“Anyone would be good.”

“Except for Gordonson.”

The room erupted into giggles. “Except for Gordonson,” Pansy agreed, the dreamy tone still in her voice.


Thursday, October 5, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“Have you heard of the Triwizard Tournament?” Eden asked when she looked up from Magick Moste Evile.

Tom thought for a moment. “I think I have. Isn’t that where Beauxbatons, Durmstrang, and Hogwarts have a contest of sorts to see who’s best?”

“Essentially, yes.”

“Why do you ask?”

“Because Hogwarts is hosting it this year.”

Tom smirked. “I’m surprised you’re telling me this.”

“Oh, please. It’s not like the Triwizard Tournament being held in my time is going to affect anything here.”

“I could find out when you’re from.”

“Yes, when it’s happening, not now.”

Tom opened his mouth to respond and then paused. “Dammit.”

“Language, dear Tom,” she taunted. He bore his teeth at her and sent a shocking hex at her. “Merlin dammit, Tom! How did you do that?” she demanded as she rubbed the red spot on her shoulder.

“It’s one of my own creation. Not taught in school, thus not protected by your bracelet,” he explained as he gestured to the cuff.

She glared at him. “Impressive. I hate it, but, it’s impressive. Unfortunately.”

He smiled and winked at her. “So, back to the Tournament, are you planning on participating?”

“Circe, no. Even if I were old enough, I wouldn’t participate.”

“What do you mean, ‘old enough’?”

“There’s an age restriction placed on it. You need to be of age in order to even put your name in the Goblet of Fire. If the age parameter didn’t exist, I wouldn’t participate because I’m only 14. I don’t know enough spells or have enough skills to survive such a dangerous Tournament.”

He nodded his head as he approved of her thinking. “If you did participate, you know I wouldn’t let you go in unprepared, right?”

Eden grinned and nodded her head. “Yes, I know.” She got off of her armchair and moved to the couch where he was currently reading his school books and laid down her head in his lap and continued to read.

A while later she spoke again. “You know, this book truly is full of evil magic. I keep trying to think of ways that the subjects in this book couldn’t be construed as evil, and the only thing that I can think of is the Horcruxes, and even then those are pretty disgusting.” She shivered at the memory of the creation of the diary.

So much blood.

She could only be grateful that she wasn’t there for the creation of the ring.

Tom chuckled and ran his fingers through her smooth hair. “You’re right, my dear. I can get you another book if you’d prefer.”

She shook her head with a pout as she met his eyes. “No. I started it, therefore I must finish it.” She adverted her gaze back to the worn pages.

A soft chuckle reached her ears and the two continued to read in a comfortable silence.


Monday, October 15, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“I have a question for you.”

Eden flinched at Tom’s sudden voice in the silence. She looked up from the Defense essay that she was fixing—she was adding in Tom’s inputs and suggestions—and stared at him for a moment with slightly narrowed eyes.

“Well, you’re in luck, I just happen to be in the mood to answer your question.”

He bore his teeth at her. “Pest.”

“You love me.”

“Unfortunately.”

“Don’t be like that, dear.”

“I will hex you.”

“You couldn’t.”

“Try me.”

“Okay, go for it.”

“Gryffindor.”

“Coward. Ouch! Son of banshee! Tom!”

“You were saying?”

“You were asking?” she sneered.

“If you could be stuck at any age, what age would it be?”

“I’m not entirely sure I’m in the mood to answer your question now.”

She squealed as he lunged at her. The chair she was in tipped over and spilled the two of them onto the floor in a painful heap. His hand was the only thing that kept her head from being cracked open on the hard, marble floor. “Answer the question, pest,” he hissed.

What will happen if I don’t?” She still had issues switching between the two languages. She was getting better though.

“I swear to Merlin, Morgana, Circe, and Mordred, Eden, that if you don’t answer the question, so help me—” he cut off, the threat clear in his voice.

Eden sighed dramatically and desperately suppressed giggles when he bore his teeth at her once more. “I guess if I had to choose an age to be stuck at for the rest of my life, it would be 21.”

Tom leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss to her forehead. “Thank you.”

“Why do you ask? Does it have something to do with the aging potions you’re taking?”

He had stopped aging after he made his first Horcrux, and they spent a good two months trying to find something to keep him aging, just long enough for him to avoid suspicion. She was only less than slightly ashamed to say that the potions he took were invented in the late 70’s and aged him 24 hours with each dose.

He smiled charmingly down at her and softly stroked her cheek, and her eyes fluttered slightly at the gentle touch as she had to remind herself that it was Tom. She still wasn’t used to gentle touches, and it was always worse for the first couple months after school started back up.

“Soon you’ll know, my dear.”


Friday, October 27, 1944

        Great Hall 

Eden leaned against the stone wall of the great hall and cut her finger.

She smeared the blood on her ring and disappeared from view (much to the confusion of a first year Ravenclaw who had been staring at the wall next to her while he daydreamed). She made her way over to Tom and skillfully dodged frantic students and made sure she didn’t fall.

It had happened before and it would happen again.

It was the curse of not being able to see her feet.

Once she reached her target, she tugged slightly on his hair before she wrapped her arms around his neck like she usually did when they were in the great hall. “You’re late,” he hissed softly as he slightly leaned into her embrace.

“Sorry,” she whispered into his ear and noted with no small amount of confusion the way he shivered slightly. “My roommates wouldn’t stop talking about how we’ll be receiving our guests on the thirtieth.”

“You should just ignore them,” he grumbled, as he always did whenever they caused her to be late.

Eden placed a soft kiss on his cheek before she pulled away and ran her fingers through his soft hair. She did so carefully so no one would notice it. He leaned once more into her touch and seemed to relax slightly as she did so. She giggled softly and massaged his neck with her thumbs as she ran her fingers through his hair.

She was content.


Sunday, October 30, 1994

        Slytherin Girls Fourth Year Dorm—2 

Pansy awoke to the horrid sounds of violent retching in the bathroom.

She quickly threw the covers off of her legs and jumped out of bed. She stopped in the doorway of the bathroom when she saw Eden bent over the porcelain bowl as she vomited something dark in color up. “Daphne! Millicent!” she shrieked. “Get up!” She ran into the bathroom and wrapped her arms around Eden once she finished and pitched forward. She pulled her friend back so she was propped against her chest.

“What’s wrong?” the two girls demanded as they entered, blurry-eyed and half awake. They looked into the toilet and quickly understood.

“Hospital wing,” Daphne insisted after a moment, her skin green with worry.

The three worked together, and they slowly made their way up to the hospital wing on the seventh floor. Eden was practically unconscious in their arms, her face contorted into a look of pain.

  

Hospital Wing

“What’s going on?” Madam P demanded the moment the four girls entered with three of them screaming bloody murder. The woman paused and took in the scene in front of her and quickly pulled Eden away from her friends.

She wrapped her arms tightly around her aching stomach and curled into a ball after she was aided onto a bed.

“She was vomiting blood,” Pansy hesitantly answered.

The medi-witch frowned before she began to run her wand up and down Eden’s convulsing body. She paled at whatever results she was given before she flicked her wand and parchment and a self-inking quill came out. She quickly wrote something down before she waved her wand again and the note flew out of the crack of the closed double doors. She turned to the girls with a fierce expression on her face. “Do you know how long she’s been like this?”

They shook their heads. “No. She was fine before bed, and then she was vomiting. Madam, what’s wrong with her?”

“Is she going to be alright?” Millie demanded as she sat down on the edge of the bed and began to rub her back. While the churning in her stomach didn’t lessen, it brought some sort of comfort to have proof that someone was there with her. Pansy and Daphne quickly joined Millie on the bed and either ran their fingers through her hair or rubbed her back.

“She’s been given a potion that makes the consumer very ill. It’s called Aegrotus Venenum. The potion has the potential to kill if the consumer, Miss Potter in this case, is not given the antidote in time.”

“So, she’ll live? You sent for the antidote, right?” Pansy begged. When the woman didn’t respond, Daphne repeated the question, and the girls continued to demand an answer, steadily growing more desperate the longer the witch remained silent.

“I am not entirely sure. She was given a very large dose, especially for her size. We can only hope that we get it to her in time,” she eventually answered.

Eden’s stomach churned painfully, and she groaned before she heaved and vomited more blood, this time on her friends. Their painful cries echoed around the wing as Madam P ushered them away and cleaned up the bloody vomit.

“You three need to go to the showers now. The potion is in her blood, and you three could very well absorb some of it. Go on, now. Hurry.”

Just as the bathroom door in the corner of the room opened, the large double doors slammed open and Snakey-Snape ran in with potion bottles clinking around his head. He spotted the three girls by the bathroom and paled. “Wash. Hurry.”

 

The three fourth years quickly entered the bathroom and quickly started to wash off the poison while Poppy and Severus quickly got to work on saving the dying girl.


Monday, October 30, 1944

        Potions Classroom 

To say Tom was frantic would be an understatement.

He and Eden had been debating about the usefulness of using fear to lead people—“I don’t care what you say, Tom, fear is never a good way to lead”—when suddenly Eden had paled, put her hand on her stomach, stated she was going to be sick, and then faded from view faster than he had ever seen her do before.

That was nearly two hours ago.

As he finely chopped the hellbore, he debated on the usefulness of pretending he was sick to ditch the rest of potions class. There was still over an hour left, and he could barely concentrate.

Eden had never been sick like that before. In times past, when she had the flu, she’d be lethargic—she was lethargic earlier too, how had he not noticed?—and would sniffle and cough, but it would never affect her to the point where she’d wake up as suddenly as she did.

A familiar tug on the back of his robes caused him to force the knife to slip and slice the tip of his finger. He hissed—that hurt more than it was supposed to—and when Abraxas—bless his little peacock soul—threw a fit, he was ordered to go to the hospital wing.

He, of course, put up a very weak argument—he had an image to protect after all—but, because he was ‘quite pale’, he needed to go to the hospital wing, get his finger healed, and then go rest for the rest of the day.

They were on the first floor, away from the classrooms when his hand was taken into a pair of small, cold, invisible hands and the cut healed. The only evidence of there once having been a cut previously on his finger was the blood on his hand.

He clutched her hand in his own and led her to the head dorms where he then proceeded to check over her with an efficiency and accuracy that would make Healer Jones proud. She was pale and gaunt, her bright eyes, dull. “What’s wrong?” he demanded as he sat down and pulled her into his lap.

Apparently I was drugged,” she murmured bitterly into his neck as she tucked her face into his skin. His heartrate pick up both at her actions and in fear.

“What do you mean ‘drugged’?”

“Poisoned.”

His grip tightened until she quietly whimpered, and he loosened it just enough so it wouldn’t hurt her. His vision tinged red as he spoke. “By what?” The tone he used was one he only ever used on his Knights, and she had only heard it a handful of times—whenever she appeared during a meeting (which wasn’t often, but always pissed him off whenever she did because it meant someone had hurt her).

Everyone knew that when that voice was used, they needed to run as far, and as fast as they could before he caught them.

And he would catch them.

Aegrotus Venenum,” she whispered.

His magic tore at the room as he lost control, his vision blurred with the thick color of blood as he held her close to him. His heart pounded painfully in his chest, and the anger of lost and damned souls shrieked in his ears.

He was going to find a way to get to her time, and he was going to maim and torture every single person who had ever even thought about hurting her.

She was his.

You didn’t touchlook at, lust after, speak to—what belonged to him.

“Tom! Tom!” Slowly her voice reached him through his rage and he looked at her, her pale skin covered in a haze of red. “Come back to me, Tom.”

He pressed his forehead against her own and loosened his steel tight grip on her. “Please tell me you’re going to live,” he begged as his voice cracked.

“Madam P and Snakey-Snape think so. I was given a pretty large dose for my size. I’m banished to the hospital wing for the foreseeable future. I can’t even pee without Madam P following me like a hawk. I wouldn’t be surprised if she cast some sort of spy charms on the bathroom while I was in there.”

Tom chuckled and nuzzled her neck. “I assume you’re going to be in and out for a while then.”

“I guess so. They’re going to be giving me more potions throughout the day. I’m just glad it’s Sunday, so I’m not missing a whole lot of classes.”

“I’ll tutor you,” he offered.

She laughed and pushed closer to him, and his heart stuttered. “With all of the time I spent in your classes in my first year, I think I’m good, but, I will gladly take whatever wisdom you decide to impart upon me.”

He laughed and pressed a kiss to her soft skin—the more he did it, the more he needed it. “I’m going to see if Medela Aer will work.”

She shook her head. “Please don’t, we don’t know how it will affect you.”

“I’m much stronger than I was last year,” he soothed as he thought about the last time he had to cast it. It was at the end of the school year, and she had had most of the bones in her body broken—apparently it was some type of sick going away gift from some seventh years—and after he healed her, he spent nearly two weeks recovering from the magical strain.

“I know. We still don’t know how it will affect you, though. We also don’t know if it will react with the poison in a negative way. You said it’s typically only used for injuries.”

Tom sighed at her logic. Why did she have to be logical? Why couldn’t she be that shy, but impulsive little kid he knew back in fourth year?

(Because we trained it out of her, a voice—the voice—whispered in the back of his mind.)

Why did he have to be so impulsive to train such a horrendous trait out of her when it would have obviously been useful at a future date?

He needed to think things through better.

The two stayed snuggled together in peaceful silence before Eden yawned. “If I’m asleep when you get back, wake me up,” he instructed as she yawned again.

“Okie doki, Tommywommy.”

She faded from view and he stared at the spot she had been before an incredulous laugh escaped him.

That needed to be put to an end.

Immediately.

By any means necessary.


Tuesday, October 31, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“What are you not understanding?” Tom exploded as they sat doing homework.

Well, they had been doing homework. But, that was before they got sidetracked. “I’m not understanding why someone would even want to fly, let alone without the use of a broom. It sounds like the 12th layer of Hell to me.”

He took a deep breath before he stood and offered her his hand. Eden stared at it in apprehension before she took it. He pulled her up and pinned her to his chest. “This, my dear Eden, is why.”

“No! Hey! Put me down!” Nausea filled her bones. “I’m gonna be sick all over you if you don’t stop!” she squealed as her feet lifted off of the floor and the two started to soar ten feet in the air. Her arms were wrapped tightly around his neck, and she shook like a leaf as the nausea slowly increased. One of his arms left her waist, and she responded by wrapping her legs around his waist tightly. The nausea took over completely and she moaned into his neck. “Please, put me down, Tom.”

“Or what?”

I’ll bite you,” she hissed. Or puke on you. Whichever comes first, she wasn’t picky in this case.

Is that a promise, dearest?” he returned. Eden hid her face in his chest as it flushed deeply and clashed with the green of her skin.

“Please, Tom. I’m feeling really sick. You know I don’t do well with magical travel,” she begged.

And then, something amazing happened.

The nausea faded away, and she was left feeling complete and whole. “What? How did you do that?”

“It’s a secret,” he whispered and pressed a kiss to her head. “Open your eyes, dear.”

Eden hesitantly lifted her head and gasped as she did so. Tom had made it appear like they were on some kind of beach with rocky outcroppings, black sand, and an amazing view of a setting sun.

“How did you do this?” she asked as her shaky death grip on his neck loosened to the point where he could breathe easily once more.

“It’s an illusion. We’re about three feet above it, any lower and we’ll break it.”

“You know, I don’t think I’ll ever get over how amazing you are, Tom,” she stated in awe as she gazed at the scene around them. “This is the first time I’ve ever been able to fly without wanting to die of being sick.”

He chuckled as the hidden grandfather clock chimed seven. He waved his hand and slow classical waltz music started to play. “May I have this dance?” he asked softly as he stared into her eyes.

“You may,” she giggled with a faint blush.

The two got into position and started to dance as if their feet were on the ground. They chatted and laughed as if nothing was wrong in the world, and for that moment in time, nothing was.

Everything was perfect.

They danced to two more songs, and in the middle of the fourth song, Eden blinked from view as she laughed maniacally at a story Tom told her. There was no warning yawn, no fading away. It was as if she had apparated.

The illusion was broken.

For nothing could be perfect, without the two of them together.


Monday, October 31, 1994

        Hospital Wing 

Eden’s eyes suddenly opened as she felt the sensation as if she were falling—falling, falling, falling from eternity—and in some strange form of self-preservation, she sat up. Her vision was blurry, and strange shapes hovered around her. Her head pounded, and she felt as if it were full of stuffing.

“Miss Potter, can you hear me?” She shook her head and squeezed her eyes closed. The heels of her hands dug into them until she saw silvery ripples in the blackness. She opened her eyes and blinked in rapid succession, and slowly, the form of Headmaster Dumbledore came into her vision.

“H-Headmaster?” she mumbled out. She looked around and saw more blurry shapes that no amount of blinking would clear up.

What happened?

Where was she?

What was going on?

Where’s Tom?

“Wha’s goin’ on?” she slurred as she dropped back to her pillow and once more pressed against her eyes.

“Did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?” he demanded stiffly.

“Wha’? No…. Not allowed.” She sounded as if she had drunk fire-whiskey. Her voice was gravelly, her words slurred, and her head ached enough that this is what she imagined a hangover felt like.

“Did you ask another student to put your name into the Goblet of Fire?”

She shook her head and moaned as she curled into a ball. “I don’t feel good,” she whined softly. She started coughing, and did so until her stomach heaved, and pale red bile landed on the floor next to her bed.

“Albus, perhaps you should let her wake up a little before her start demanding questions of her. Oh dear,” Madam P sighed. She waved her wand and the bile disappeared. She handed her a goblet of ice water, and a small bottle with the antidote for Aegrotus Venenum. She took the vile potion under the watchful eye of the matron, and then practically poured the water down her throat.

The woman waved her wand and sighed with a furrowed brow. “It seems to be getting better, but, it’s going at a much slower pace than needed,” she muttered to herself. “Perhaps we should up the dose of the antidote…”

Nope. Not going to happen. She would die before she took any more of that disgusting potion at once.

“Poppy, how long has Miss Potter been here?”

“Ever since the middle of the night yesterday. She ingested a poison that’s made her quite ill, and she’s not taking as well to the antidote as anticipated. She’s only been allowed out of bed to use the restroom, and even then she’s not alone.”

Hah! She knew it!

“Has she had any visitors?”

“Only her friends in the same year as her. They brought her her homework and spent time doing it with her friends before she fell asleep. I assure you, there was no talk about the cup beyond speculating who the Champions could be.”

Eden curled into a ball and rubbed at her foggy head. “Miss Potter, can you look at me please?” She sat up and did as asked and was even more confused when he frowned a few minutes later. “Miss Potter, have you ever heard of Occlumency?”

Eden shook her head as she rubbed at it. She hadn’t felt this way since the first couple weeks she went back to the past, and even then it wasn’t this bad.

“No—” she started, and then stopped as she lifted her head from her hands, her left brow slightly furrowed. Something tickled at the back of her mind, before a recent—but very faint—memory came forward. “Wait—isn’t that…when you’re able to…hide—is that the word?—your…head from other people?” her voice was a sluggish as her mind. “My mind is so foggy,” she whispered as her head went back to her hands.

The medi-witch waved her wand a few times before she insisted that everything was okay.

Just what spell had they used to wake her up?

“Well, Miss Potter, this seems to be a problem.”

Eden scoffed and shook her head before she lifted it and met the dark eyes of the headmaster. She still wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. “If you don’t believe me,” she started viciously, “I’ll take Veritaserum.”

Everyone who was in the room—she could finally make out the shapes and saw many people whom she had never seen before—broke out into shocked whispers. It was very rare for someone to offer to take the potion, especially someone of her age.

“I’ll have to contact your parents to make sure it’s alright with them, as you are still a minor.”

“Okay, you go do that.” She laid down and whispered to herself, “I don’t feel too good.”

She curled into another ball and quickly fell into a weird state of consciousness where she wasn’t asleep—unfortunately, Tom would be able to tell her what was going on (her head was too foggy for her to figure it out on her own)—and she wasn’t awake. She was brought back to reality when someone lightly touched her shoulder.

She flinched and sat up quickly. Her hands instinctively came up to cover her face as a light whimper escaped her throat. After a few moments, she lowered her hands and came face to face with Snakey-Snape—the one person in the room whom she actually trusted. She threw her arms around his neck and cried softly into his shoulder. “I don’t know what’s going on!” she whispered.

He patted the back of her head. “Your parents agreed to have you testify under the truth serum.”

Eden nodded and pulled away from the man who was one of four father figures to her. She held out her tongue and he put three drops onto it. She met Dumbledore’s eyes with her own foggy emeralds.

“What is your full name?”

“Noah Eden Potter.”

“Are you a fourth year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry?”

“Yes.”

“Do you have a twin sister?”

“No.”

Eden was concerned.

The words just tumbled out of her mouth before she could even fully process what the question was. It was jarring, disconcerting, and terrifying. If he asked her about her home life, she would tell them everything, and then she’d be tortured and starved for the entirety of the summer, despite her having access to Dobby—who had grown comfortable enough around her to start voicing the many ways he wanted to ‘help’ her (AKA kill her family—he was really quite creative when you thought about it).

“We’ll begin with the real questions now—” she was so grateful she had self-control because the comment she wanted to make surely would have given her detention “—did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire?”

“No.”

Would she get used to the words just ripping out of her mouth like that?

Probably not.

“Did you ask an older student put your name into the Goblet of Fire?”

“No.”

It was kind of nice, now that she thought about it, as Snakey-Snape squeezed her shoulder while the room around her exploded into murmurs. She could let the groggy feelings consume her whole and still have an honest to Merlin conversation.

She probably shouldn’t though…

Dumbles seemed to be at a loss for words for a moment before an idea seemed to come to him—at the same time things finally started to click for her as her head started to clear. “Did you want to participate in the Triwizard Tournament?”

“No.”

“Why ever not?” This came from a thin man with a mustache. He sounded as if the very idea of someone not wanting to participate was preposterous.

“I’m fourteen,” she started with a glance at the man through the corner of her eye. “Even if the age parameters allowed me to participate, I wouldn’t do so because I know I don’t know enough to survive such a dangerous competition. Why would I risk my life for a silly title? It’s unwise, and it’s stupid. There are many other ways to gain prestige, fame, wealth, and glory without the risk of life.”

“Spoken like a true Slytherin,” Snakey-Snape praised.

“You may give her the reversal, Severus,” Dumbles sounded like he had the weight of the world pressed upon his shoulders. After she drank the goblet of cool water, he spoke again. “Due to the rules of the Tournament, I am sorry to say that even though you are not of age, you will still have to participate.”

“What?” Two shocked voices rang out in the sudden silence of the wing.

“I apologize, but, those were the rules set in place and bound by Magic. The second your name was drawn from the Goblet—”

“But I didn’t put my damn name in it!” she shouted, her Mask completely shattered as she ignored the glare leveled at her by the bespectacled man.

“The second your name was drawn from the Goblet,” he continued, “the Magic was bound to you, despite you not placing your name in. I apologize my dear child, but you will have to participate. There is nothing I can do.”

Rage clouded Eden’s mind, and those in the room watched as her Mask was put back into place. Eden spoke, she didn’t think or care about the things she said, and was equally as unconcerned with the way her magic tore into the room and people around her. “Damn you. Damn you, Albus Dumbledore. You are a coward. A damn coward. You only do things when they fit into your plans, and I hate you. I wonder how people can follow a man as convoluted, and prejudiced as you. You disgust me.”

She moved so she lay on her side and pulled the pillow onto her head to block out the voices of those in the room as they filed out. She reluctantly shrugged off the familiar and comforting hand of Snakey-Snape, ignored his sigh, and held her breath until her lungs started to burn.

She let it out with a harsh gasp that scorched her throat, before she cried herself to sleep, hours later.

Chapter Text

Wednesday, November 1, 1944

        Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom

When Eden heard the voices, she immediately activated her ring.

Once that was done and with the familiar throbbing in her pointer finger—it was almost comforting now—started on the most important task of this visit. She wiped at the invisible tears that streamed down her invisible face, and held in her desperate—unfortunately not invisible—sobs as she searched the backs of the heads of the students in front of her.

She quickly found Tom, and carefully made her way to him. She passed by empty desks, and was grateful that the class was finishing up by watching two random students duel, and that one of them wasn’t Tom. She stepped up behind him and wrapped her arms tightly around his waist and buried her face into his back, and finally allowed the shuddering cries to leave her in barely discernable gasps.

He twitched his wand, and she felt the familiar magic of the small silencing ward that would surround only the two of them as it fell into place. She took gasping breaths and her soul shattering cries sounded around the two of them. He crossed his arms in front of his stomach to hide his hands as he slowly squeezed her arms in an attempt to calm her down.

She felt his worry as his back slowly tensed more and more, and she tried to rein in her sadness, only to fail and clutch tighter to him. She knew he wanted to demand that she tell him what was wrong then and there, but didn’t.

She couldn’t even if he did. She needed him to be able to comfort her while she relived the awful events she just went through by telling him what had happened.

“Class is dismissed, don’t forget your five foot essay on different types of shielding charms is due on Monday!” Professor Merrythought called out to the students as they practically ran from the room.

Eden bit back her sobs again, and Tom dropped the ward. He cast a strong notice-me-not charm on himself and quickly drug her away.

  

Head Dorms

“What the bloody hell happened? Why did you just disappear like that?” he demanded as soon as his door was closed.

Eden appeared in front of his eyes, and his anger paused for just a brief moment. She was still pale and gaunt from the poison, but her eyes were now swollen and bloodshot, and thick red lines from her soul-crippling tears covered her cheeks.

 

Eden’s face and heart crumbled at the horror in his eyes that matched her own acute horror. Fresh tears fell down her face, and he gathered her into his arms and slowly rocked them side to side. He didn’t push her to speak, evidently he knew that she needed to be able to do it on her own time.

 “T-T-Triwizard T-Tournament!” she was finally able to gasp out.

“Did one of your friends get chosen?” he ask, confusion clear in his voice, even as he held her tighter.

“No. I did!”

What then proceeded to happen was a 45 minute angry tirade by the Head Boy of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry of 1944-45 while his best friend had the worst break down of her life.

Once everything in the room had been destroyed, and then fixed—repeat five times—Tom was finally past the point of infuriating rage, to a cold anger that could hold his friend without crushing her under its fury.

Eden curled into his embrace when he picked her up from the center of the rug in the room, where she had clutched the diary as if it were her only lifeline. The object was hot, as if it could sense her panic and needed to find out what was wrong.

He carried her to the couch where he settled her onto his lap in a Super Tom Bear Hug. “How the bloody hell did your name get drawn?” he demanded, his voice a quiet murmur that carried the anger of wrongly damned souls from time past.

She had heard it only a few times before, and had seen it bring grown men to their knees, with their pants pissed, their faces white with fear, and wet with horror.

“I don’t know. Someone—they don’t know who—put my name in it, and they were able to somehow trick the Goblet into drawing my name.”

His magic flared once more, and again many objects were destroyed before they were fixed, and her ears bled with the vile colors of his vocabulary. “I’m going to kill whoever put your name into that damned cup.”

“Good luck with that,” she whispered, “we don’t know who did it,” she repeated.

The two were silent for a while before Tom broke it. “Right, well, first things first is to do research on past Tournaments and figure out what the First Task could be. Then, we’ll get started on training.”

Eden lifted her head from his neck and gazed at him with watery eyes before she pressed a kiss to his cheek. “Thank you, Tom.”

“I promised you, didn’t I? I’m not letting you go into this unprepared. I need you, Eden. Now, I don’t care what you say, I’m healing you.”

 

She sighed and smiled fondly at Tom. “I’m surprised it took you this long before you insisted. Truly, I was honestly starting to think that you were the one who was poisoned.”

He really wished that he hadn’t trained the impulsiveness out of her, and instead trained the sheer cheek out instead.

Granted, she probably picked it up from him…she was too shy as a kid to have had it naturally.

Whoops.


Tuesday, November 1, 1994

        Headmasters Office 

Magic ate at the walls of the office as he clenched his fists.

“What do you mean it’s not possible?” he hissed.

“I’m saying it would be impossible for us to find out whoever did it. There are too many persons in this castle to be able to track them down.”

Severus took a deep breath. “If you were to get permission from the Ministry, or even the school board, I’m sure it would be more than possible to find just who attempted to kill Miss Potter.”

He had never wanted to kill someone more than in the moment that Albus Dumbledore sent him a placating smile. “I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be like that, Severus, my boy. I’m sure it was just a prank gone wrong.”

“Prank…gone…wrong?” he hissed slowly, his magic saturating the air thicken exponentially. “In large quantities, that is one of the most dangerous substances in the world, Albus,” he snarled. “In small, carefully supervised, doses it mimics the stomach flu, but in large doses, it kills, Albus. And there’s no set dose, because it’s based on the size of the consumer! Aegrotus Venenum is never used as some form of prank.”

The old man’s head tilted to the side as his blue eyes twinkled in a manner that was supposed to be reassuring. It was most certainly not reassuring, and couldn’t be misconstrued as reassuring, unless you were in the deepest pits of Hell—and even then he doubted it would be taken that way.

“Do you teach about this…potion in your class?”

“It’s a poison, and no. I don’t. It is too dangerous and tempting for the students to risk teaching about it.”

He had…once upon a time.

After a student had been sent to St. Mungo’s he wiped the students’ minds and never mentioned it within his classes ever again—he tried to remove all mentions of it from the library, but he was only one man, and there were thousands of books in that room.

“Tempting? How so?”

If his head tilted anymore it was going to fall off.

(he couldn’t bring himself to particularly care at the moment)

“Like I said before, in very small, carefully measured doses, it mimics the stomach flu,” he bit out. Surely it was obvious as to why it was so tempting. When his head tilted even more—Merlin, just fall off already!—he explained. “Students take it to get out of class, Albus.”

His head nodded in understanding. “Ah well, I’m sure it was just meant to be harmless fun. Anyways, I believe you should just let it go and go about your day as usual, my boy.”

His jaw clenched along with his fists and when his nails pierced the skin, he wondered if his teeth would shatter. “What about the Tournament?”

“What about it?”

“Are you going to try and find out who put her name into it?”

He smiled at him, his eyes twinkling once more, and he thought that they would look much better dull and lifeless as his blood oozed down the walls around them while the old man’s intestines curled around his fingers. “No. It’s useless. What’s done is done.”

The Mark on his arm throbbed as he withheld the urge to make his fantasies become reality. “If she dies, either from the Tournament, or the poison, it’s on your head, Albus. And everyone will know. I Promise you that.” Magic tightened in the air, and he was pleased to see at least some sort of real emotion cross his eternally fake façade.

He swept out of the room and quickly made his way to his office, spitting out detentions left and right and docking house points as if they were bitter candy that he couldn't wait to get rid of. When the door to his office slammed shut with a deafening thud that seemed to shake the entirety of the castle, he sat down at his desk.

  

Severus Snape’s Office

He breathed for just a moment before he reached into the bottom drawer and pulled out a black sphere the size of a large apple and set it on his desk. He closed his eyes, took another deep breath, and Unbound his furious and violent Dark magic. His magic flapped around the room wildly for a brief moment before it began to attack the innocent sphere on his desk.

The sphere eagerly ate up the magic before it could be detected by or damage any of the volatile potions in the room, or destroy the carefully placed pictures and knickknacks given to him by those closest to him.

Once he felt calm again, an excruciatingly long time later, he restrained his magic and carefully put away the Containment Orb for its future use. He breathed for a moment longer before he pulled out quill and parchment and got to work.

Lucius,

     Our favorite little hellion has been poisoned and the illustrious, watchful, and caring Headmaster refuses to allow me to do anything about it. In fact, he doesn’t seem to care that it happened, and even thinks it was a damn prank that went wrong.

     She almost died before Poppy and I were able to stabilize her the night before last. She seems to react better to Dark and Gray type healing spells, rather than the Light that have been used on her.

     I find myself curious as to which Core type she has. Are you?

     But, I also find that I’ll kill her parents with my bare hands if they have done anything so horrific to her as to have changed her Core type from what it was when she was born. Did you know she was born a Light Core? Not just a Light type, but a mere step down from a Pure type Core.

     Also, I feel I should mention that he refuses to do anything to try and find out just who put her name into the Tournament.

     I am loathe to admit it, but I find myself helpless here with my hands tied as they are.

     Do something, Lucius.  

          Severus 

He quickly made his way to the Owlery and sent the letter off with his black barn owl, Artemis. He would save her.

Even if it was the last thing he did.

Even if he had to sell his soul to the devil to do it.


Wednesday, November 2, 1994

        Hospital Wing

When Eden awoke, she was startled to see all of the fourth year Slytherin’s and all of the Slytherin prefects standing around her hospital bed. “What’s going on?” she demanded softly as she sat up.

“You’re being released today!” Pansy squealed.

About time. Tom had healed her the day before and she was still stuck in the hospital wing. “Really?”

“Yep! Madam Pomphrey decided in the middle of the night that you were fine enough to leave. You still need to take it easy though.”

Eden narrowed her eyes and looked at the fourteen fourth years and the six prefects who had their wands drawn. “Why do I have an armed entourage to be released?”

They all exchanged looks. “Well,” Selwyn started, “the entire school is kind of pissed at you. They don’t believe that you testified under Veritaserum. They think you just lied your way out of trouble.

“Do…do you guys believe me?” No one but Tom and Harry had heard her sound so vulnerable before. She didn’t think she’d be able to make it through the day if her House was against her too.

“Most of the upper year Slytherin’s were in the hospital wing under disillusionment charms. The rest of us were outside of the wing. The Gryffindor’s were absolutely pissed,” Daphne explained as she shifted side to side. Her wand twirled in her hand.

She was nervous.

“We were trying to provide a barrier between you and them.”

“Ever since your name was drawn, at least five Slytherin’s have been standing outside the hospital wing. No one can get in unless they have a broken bone, and even then they’re escorted in and out by a Slytherin.”

To say she was shocked would be an understatement. “Really?” She had spent most of her time asleep, as she usually did when she was stuck in the hospital wing.

They all nodded. “Go get dressed, and then we’re going to breakfast.”

“Under no circumstances are you to be alone. You will always have at least four people—Slytherin’s—with you at all times. And if you can’t be with four, you need to either be with Professor Snape, or in the common room. Do you understand?” Selwyn informed her.

It was clear that snakes didn’t trust anyone else in the school.

“Yessir!” She did a two finger salute and sent her magic into the tips of her fingers with a spell of her own making so it appeared like green and silver glitter was shooting out of the tips of them—she had been practicing on how to do that since she saw Marcus Flint do something similar when she was a second year.

“Go change,” Draco said with a fond smile as he ruffled her hair.

Pansy handed Eden her clothes, and she did as commanded, and soon the group of 21 were on their way to the great hall with Eden in the dead center. As they walked down the halls, other Slytherin’s that happened to see them—they had to be on some sort of strange patrol thing (there was no other reason as to why Slytherin’s would be out of the dungeons this early and not in the great hall)—joined in until their group had more than tripled in size—definitely patrols.

  

Great Hall

When the large group stepped into the great hall, the room fell silent. Eden looked down and squeezed Draco’s and Pansy’s hands that were suddenly in her own. She was ushered to the table, her back to the wall, and the Slytherin’s piled in around her and her friends, the oldest and most skilled around them. As students—Slytherin’s—finished their breakfast, they would come and stand against the wall behind her.

It was only later, when she was escorted to class by Selwyn—the King of Slytherin—that she realized that she had sat across from him, in the place that the Queen of Slytherin usually sat while she sat next to the King.

She didn’t know what to do with that information.


Thursday, November 2, 1944

        Head Dorms

“I have had 17 attempts on my life today.”

Tom glared at Eden. “That is not the best thing to open up with, dearest,” he scowled, “are you alright?”

“Yes, I’m perfectly fine. Well, except for a cut I got while looking through books in the library, but, that’s beside the point. I have a very clingy House protecting me, and they almost went on a witch hunt to find someone to blame for my papercut.”

Tom chuckled. “Good. Very good. Why did they try and attack you?”

“Because they don’t believe that I didn’t put my name in the Goblet. So, I guess they think that murder is an appropriate solution.”

He growled and glared at the space in front of him. “Utter fools. Do they not know you testified under truth serum?”

“They don’t believe that I did. They think it’s just a rumor that’s been spread by my House. All of the Slytherin’s were either in or around the hospital wing when I testified.”

“Why were they there? Not at dinner, I mean?”

“Apparently the second that the fact my name had been drawn was processed, the entire House, almost as one, stood and ran towards the hospital wing. The upper years went under disillusionment charms, and were inside, while those who couldn’t cast them stayed outside as a barricade between me and the rest of the schools’.”

“I am glad to see that loyalty to our own has not change in…how many years?”

“More than one.”

Tom hissed and bore his teeth at her. “Why can’t you just tell me what year you were born? Or even what your first name is?”

Eden looked at him with exasperated fondness. “I have to protect the timeline, and you know I despise my first name.”

“Isn’t there a chance that you’ve already changed it?” he demanded softly as he wrapped his arms around her and dropped a kiss to her head.

“That’s a possibility, but, I can’t in good consciousness actually do something to directly put the timeline in danger, Tom.”

He sighed and pulled her over to the couch with him where he placed her on his lap. It wasn’t a Super Tom Bear Hug, but it was close. “I found a potion that will force you to sleep for an entire sleep cycle. The only way to wake you up while it’s in your system is rennervate.”

She nodded her head before she tilted it to the side. “A sleep cycle is only 90 minutes though.”

“Which is why you’ll take six swallows every night at 8 so we can train.”

“What about Astronomy?”

“You’ll just have to sleep in on Saturday’s,” he explained. He handed her a bottle with a dark blue liquid inside of it and a piece of parchment. “The bottle is the potion, and the paper is just in case the potion won’t transfer over.” It would be the first time they tried to move something other than parchment from past to present.

She took the offered objects. “Won’t people get worried if I’m going to sleep at 8? I’ve never gone to sleep that early before—at least, not since I was a baby.”

“Possibly. Just, make up some lie about why you’re sleeping so early, and if that doesn’t work, compulsion charms are wonderful things.”

She put the bottle in her ivory pearl purse that she wore everywhere—especially when sleeping—and grinned at Tom. He knew she had some type of bag on her, he just didn’t know what it was because it was invisible. She also couldn’t let him see it because he was apparently the one who found it.

Why will I be sleeping every night at eight?”

“Because it will give us three hours to train you and prepare you for the Tournament, and still allow you time to do school work.”

Eden stared at him with wide eyes. “You’re psychotic, aren’t you?”

He just grinned, winked, and placed a kiss on her cheek—a little closer to her mouth than usual. “I have some books on past Tournaments and we’ll be researching those to try and figure out what the first challenge will be.”

“All I was told is that the challenge is designed to test my daring.”

He nodded thoughtfully and waved his hand. Two large books flew towards them at high speeds before they landed gently in her lap.

“It’s time to read, dear,” he urged as he grabbed the largest.

She climbed off his lap and together the two read until she fell asleep on his shoulder.


Thursday, November 3, 1994

        Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom

 “Miss Potter, stay behind please,” Moody called as class ended.

The 15 Slytherin’s finished packing up their things before they all made their way to the front of the classroom with Eden in the middle of the group. “The rest of you are dismissed.” They all shifted uncomfortably. “If you feel the need to protect Miss Potter, you can stand right outside the door. I won’t hurt her, I promise.”

Fifteen sets of eyes sharpened at the last two words. Draco nodded his head, and Magic grew tight in the air as he Sealed it. The professor’s eyes widened slightly before Eden nodded and her friends. “I’ll be fine, guys. Go wait outside.”

“If you need help…scream,” Theo commanded as they all filtered out of the room. The door closed on his robes, and she giggled as she heard his muffled swearing.

They really were taking this seriously…perhaps too seriously, she thought as she thought of the Sealed promise. She didn’t blame them though, not really. Ever since she had been released from the hospital wing, there had been over thirty attempts to hex her, just from the Hogwarts students. She assumed something had been said to the other two schools because they didn’t attack her. They didn’t help, but, she wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

“Have I done something wrong, sir?” she asked after a moment of silence.

“I wanted to see how you were doing.”

“Pardon?”

He growled low and licked his lips. “How are you coping with being a Champion?”

“Oh! Uhm…honestly sir, not well.”

“Why?”

She toed the ground with her foot as she stared at the space just beyond his head—it was the only crack in her Mask. “I didn’t want to participate, at all, and now I’m forced to do it, and I’m scared because I don’t know enough to survive.” She turned her gaze to him. “I have mere weeks left to live, and I get to spend the last of my life being abused by classmates. So no, professor, I’m not doing well at all.”

He was silent for a moment, and if she had kept her gaze on his eyes instead of adverting it, she would have seen a flash of guilt. “If you ever need help, I’m here.”

Eden stiffly nodded her head. “Thank you, sir.” She only answered to be polite.

There was a reason she called him Crazy Face.

“You are dismissed.”

She hitched her bag higher on her shoulder and quickly left the room. She bumped into Theo as she did so, and the two fell over as the door slammed on the back of her heels. The group—of which three seventh years had joined—exploded into hysterical laughter, including the two children on the floor.

Theo’s hands were on her waist as her head rested on his heaving chest. The two could barely breathe they laughed so hard. The three seventh years moved forward and quickly untangled the two fourth years.

“Have a little harem now, do you?”

Great. A weasel infestation.

The Slytherin’s all moved as one, as if they were all puppets controlled by the same master. The fourth years surrounded Eden while two of the seventh years—Selwyn and Locks—moved in front of them and one—Gilson—stayed behind her as she maneuvered her so her back was against the wall before she moved to stand with her fellow year mates.

“Move along, Weasley, Longbottom, Granger, Potter,” Selwyn demanded in a soft voice. The fourth years all tensed as they recognized the tone from whenever a battle of wills happened in the common room, which was often—every three weeks or so. It was usually him breaking up the fights, and that voice usually spelt trouble for all involved.

There was a reason he was the King two years running.

“Can’t I talk to my baby sister?”

There was a muffled ‘Harry’ from Granger as everyone hesitated.

“No, you can’t,” she spoke up from the back of the group.

She caught a glance of her brother and saw Granger trying to pull him away. Granger was alright. She didn’t like when Harry attacked her verbally, and had tried to keep him away from her, and others away from her—especially since Harry had finally chosen a side.

But, Granger could only do so much when faced with such intense foolishness.

“You never wanted to talk to me at school before, and you never want to talk to me when we’re at home, so, no. You can’t talk to me now that I’m sentenced to death. You ignored my pleas for help too many times to make up for it now.”

“Move along,” Selwyn repeated in the sickeningly soft voice.

If they didn’t move, someone was going to be hexed, and it wasn’t going to be a snake.

“Let’s just go,” Eden urged. “We’re late for lunch.”

The group moved and they stepped around Harry and his friends, and stopped when he spoke again. “You’re a coward, sister. You always have been, and you always will be.”

He never knew when to stop and it seemed his time in his pretty little tower hadn’t helped.

“If I’m a coward, then you’re a disloyal chicken, brother,” she sneered. She pushed passed her Housemates despite their protests and rubbed her cuff behind her back, which calmed them only slightly. “You could never have survived what I have been through since I was five. You stood back and watched as mother dearest, and father—” her voice cracked (oh, how it still burned) “—dearest beat me with their fists and whipped me with their magic. You’ve stood back and watched as students—your friends—hexed, cursed, and hospitalized me.”

Eden ignored the other students from other Houses as they gathered around them. “And yet, here I am, standing tall—” she ignored the snickers “—happy, and powerful.” She let her magic crackle in the air around her and smiled harshly when he flinched slightly. “So brother, if that makes me a coward, then all of you lions are chickens, and we snakes are the true leaders of the Pride. Merlin knows we have more pride than you lot anyway.”

She ignored the cheers of Slytherin’s as she turned from her brother, and fought to wrestle her heartbreak back down to the abyss where it belonged.


Friday, November 3, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“You’re early.”

“Yes, well, when your brother tries to kill you first with magic, and then with his fists, you tend to be able to bow out of homework for the rest of the night. Besides, I figured it would be ideal for our first training session to be longer than the others,” she explained.

She smiled with fond exasperation when he started to thoroughly check her over, and when that revealed nothing, started to chant. She grabbed his wand in one hand and his face in the other. “Tom, I’m fine.” She stroked his cheek. “The spells didn’t go anywhere do to the cuff, and before Bunny could even touch me, Selwyn had him on the ground with some curse he learned. I think he mentioned that his dad taught it to him…” Her eyes widened when she saw his wolfish grin. “Could you please perhaps maybe do me a favor and forget that?”

He wrapped his arms tightly around her waist and pulled her close. “Not a chance in Hell, my dear,” he said as he pressed a kiss to her hair. “I’ll have to reward Androtheny and his kin now.”

“Who names their kind Androtheny?”

“Androtheny’s parents.”

Eden smiled unwillingly against his chest. “You don’t have to reward him. I doubt Selwyn’s father has even been born yet.”

“Still, I must teach all of my Knight’s that loyalty to one’s own is more important than taking the easy way out. Besides, if I train them now, their descendants will protect you better in the future.”

Eden sighed and shook her head. “I adore you, yet sometimes I want to hit you over the head with a large, heavy object. I often feel it is vital to my health to do so, actually.” Tom laughed deeply.

“Oh, my dearest, after today, I will be shocked if you don’t at least try to do so. But first, how long will you be here?”

“You are stuck with my glorious presence until 11,” she said as she rest her chin on his chest and looked up at him. She frowned as she finally got a good look at him. “Why do you have dark circles?”

“I spent most of the night getting ready.”

Her eyes narrowed. “What did you do?”

He smirked. “I’ll show you.”

He took her hand and pulled her to a trunk that looked eerily similar to the one that sat at the foot of her bed. Instead of gray—‘gunmetal’—it was black and had no special adornments to make it worth looking at.

He pulled out his bone-white wand and drew a straight vertical line on the top. He opened the trunk and gestured for her to go first. She looked down at the spiral staircase with narrowed eyes and looked at him.

“If there is anything with more than four legs down there, I’m hexing you.”

He smirked and gestured once more. “After you, dear.”

Eden groaned before she climbed into the trunk and descended the stairs into a large room. “Woah!” she cooed when she got to the bottom; her voice echoed slightly. “This is bigger than my library!” It was almost twice the size, and double the height.

“Do you like it?” he asked from the top of the stairs; she didn’t notice the slight apprehension in his voice.

“What is it supposed to be?”

It was a stone room that was teeming with magic. In one corner sat a large pile of pillows—did he really need that many? (the pile was taller than both him and her combined and the base was wider than the Slytherin and Ravenclaw table width combined). Along one wall were mannequins that were terrifyingly life-like spaced every ten feet. There was a wooden obstacle course to the left of the stairs that took up half of the space, and many more…things that she couldn’t even begin to name.

“It’s an area to safely practice spells.”

Eden looked around again in awe. “You did all of this for me?”

He smiled with genuine happiness, and his eyes lit up as he did so. “That’s not all, come.”

She quickly ascended the stairs and was panting by the time she reached the top. “There really needs to be a better way to get up those stairs,” she gulped.

“You’ll figure it out, dear. You always do.”

Oh, how she wanted to hit him.

He took her hand and helped her out of the trunk—it wasn’t needed, three years of her own Trunk had made her quite agile (it was appreciated though). He closed the lid and drew a 2 on top. He opened it and hot air hit her in the face. She leaned over and nearly lost her balance. “Let me go first,” he said gently. His arms were wrapped tightly around her waist from when she stumbled and his heart pounded erratically against her ear.

He entered the trunk and helped her onto the narrow step—it was 10 inches wide, but, for what she could see, it was far too narrow. He carefully guided her shaking body down the narrow staircase—why did he think the stairs needed to be see through?—and onto the attached metal platform ten feet below the opening.

“You’re mental, Tom,” she hissed as she took in the giant room.

They were about five hundred feet in the air, and the room was significantly larger than the last. The walls were a light blue with fluffy white clouds charmed to float about as if wind blew on them. There were even clouds actually in the room, not just on the walls and ceiling. The ground was—probably—charmed to have soft viridian grass and fragrant dirt. The ceiling gave off a slightly unpleasant heat, and she was soon sweating in her long sleeved shirt and yoga pants.

“Why is it so hot?”

“Because the ceiling has been spelled to act like the sun.”

“You mean this entire ceiling, with thousands of square feet, is charmed to act like the bloody sun?”

“It’s 4 and a half million, but, essentially, yes.”

Eden’s legs gave out on her, and he once again scrambled to catch her before she plummeted to her death. “Why?”

“Because it’s a flying course, dear—”

“Magical Motion Sickness ring any bells?”

He ignored her and continued on. “—you’ll be training with a broom in here. There are spells, traps, and wards set up to teach you to fly better in case you need it, and, when you’re able to, you’ll practice flying without a broom. The sun gives energy, so you’ll be getting energy while you’re in here.”

Eden shook her head incredulously. “You’re utterly mad, aren’t you?” It was more of a statement than a question.

He gave a Cheshire grin and winked. “All the best people are. Come, there’s more to see.”

He pulled her up the stairs and closed the lid once they were both safely out. “Where did you even get this idea?”

“From your own trunk. It’s just…significantly…larger than yours.”

“I can tell. How big is the smallest room?”

“About 50,000 square feet.”

“And the biggest?” She was afraid of the answer.

“Fifteen million.”

Her eyes widened and she blinked three times as she processed the information. “I knew it.” She blinked some more and shook her head slightly. “You belong in Bedlam.” Tom scowled, and her heart sank. She hit a nerve, and it was one she never wanted to hit—she hit it once when she was a first year, and she had tried to stay away from it since. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“No. You shouldn’t have,” he said eventually, his tone icy. He drew a 3 on the lid. “But, it’s only because you’re you that I’m forgiving you and not hexing you to the ends of the earth.”

He opened the lid and she wrapped her arms tightly around his waist from behind. She ignored the frozen air that attacked her left side. “I’m sorry,” she whispered again.

 

Tom sighed and turned in her arms before he pressed a kiss to her head as he finally returned her embrace. “I know you are, it’s just….”

“The orphanage, I get it. I really do. If it wouldn’t risk changing my world,” she started, “they’d all be dead by my hands.”

He ran his hand up and down her back, only slightly—okay, very—concerned about the warmth in his chest. He pressed another kiss to her head and breathed in her sweet scent before he pulled away.

He stepped into the trunk before he helped her in. “Do you think you could open another room while someone is in here?” she asked as they descended the stairs—it was the only thing he hadn’t covered in some form of ice (he refused to risk her slipping and breaking her neck).

“I don’t know. If we try it, we’re going to try it on poor, unsuspecting Hogwarts students who we will then obliviate.” His heart lifted at her snort of laughter.

“You are completely wicked, aren’t you?” she teased as a shiver shook her entire body. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her close. “What’s the p-point of this r-room?” she asked, no doubt confused about the icy tundra.

“Survival skills. Lighting fires without having access to ideal supplies; warming charms, things like that. I was reading more after you left, and you’re not allowed to have any magical things that can do that for you while you’re competing.

“I don’t think they’re going to send me to the North Pole, Tom.”

He stood behind her and wrapped his body around her and tried to give her even a fraction of his warmth—a part of him viciously sang an ancient and primal lullaby at their close proximity. “They’re still necessary skills to learn. You never know what they’re going to put you up against.”

“I don’t think freezing me to death is meant to ‘test my daring’. Now, can we get out of here? I’m freezing.”

Tom chuckled and pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Hold on tight, love.”

 

Eden turned in his grasp and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck and ignored the way her heart sped and thumped painfully in her chest at the endearment. Their feet left the ground, the nausea sunk deep into her bones.

Soon her feet were back on solid ground, and the lid closed with a soft thud. He pulled her to his chest and started to rub his hands roughly up and down her arms to bring back her warmth. She rested her head against his chest and took deep breaths to try and quell the urge to vomit.

That was probably even worse than the boat ride in first year—it was definitely worse than flying a broom.

“How are you so warm?” she mumbled as she slid her arms around his waist.

“I cast a warming charm before going in.”

“Why didn’t you cast one on me?” she whined.

“Where would the fun be in that?”

“Sadist.”

He laughed deeply and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Are you ready to move on?”

“If it’s another frozen wasteland then no.”

“It’s much warmer than that, I promise.”

“What’s the temperature?”

“67 degrees.”

“And the last one?”

“Negative 30.”

“Super Sadist. That’s what your name should be. Not whatever it is you have planned.” He refused to tell her what his Dark Lord name would be. He said that she would only ever be allowed to call him ‘Tom’. Something about him liking the way she said his name.

She didn’t really understand it.

“I don’t think Lord Super Sadist would strike fear into people’s hearts.”

“I think you don’t know people as well as you think you do if you think that.”

He pulled away from her and ignored her as she whined and tugged on him to get him back and drew a four. She gave up on forcing cuddles out of him and climbed into the trunk with a glare leveled at her best friend. She stopped seven steps down and stared in confusion. “Tom?”

“Yes, dear?”

“Why do you have a giant…knot…of stone pathways?” she asked the man as he came to stand right behind her.

That was truly the only way to describe what she currently saw. The stone pathways were about five feet in width and honestly looked like someone had taken them and tangled them all together before they dropped them and left them. Some were parallel to the ground, others to the walls, and some were even upside down, the bottom of the paths covered in thick dirt. Some went straight up or straight down and very few were flat.

The walls and ceilings were charmed to look like a bright sunny day, and it was a fairly pleasant temperature—definitely better than the last two.

“It’s to practice running and sticking charms.”

“That would require me to constantly place and remove them in order to actually move forward.”

“Exactly. You’ll eventually get to the point where your magic will do it as automatically as your body breathes.”

“Really?”

“I think so…” he hesitated. “I’ve read about things like that. Where if you practice something so many times like this, eventually it will be done automatically.”

“So…not only is this training to prevent my death, it’s for your experimentation.”

“Pretty much. Although, you won’t be dying. Not if I have any say in the matter, and, because it’s you, I do have a say in the matter.”

She rolled her eyes fondly. “You’re doing this with me.”

“Agreed.”

In room five was a giant forest full of poisonous plants and creatures. Why he thought it necessary, she would never know, because ‘it’s to practice dealing with dangerous things’ would never be a good enough answer for her.

Really, it was like he was trying to kill her.

Number six was her least favorite, by far. She would never know how, but he had somehow grown a volcano in a trunk. It was like some sick game of the floor is lava, only instead of the ground being something innocent like grass or carpet, it was actual lava.

“You’re trying to kill me, aren’t you?” she demanded once they were out of the too hot room. They were both wiping sweat off of their faces. They hadn’t even descended the stairs past where they could actually see into the room, and the heat was unbearable.

“I’m helping you.”

“Tell that to the magma and lava in that room!” she snarled.

He gave a knowing smirk. “Do you trust me?”

“Unfortunately.”

“Then trust me that you will be fine. I would never intentionally put you in the path of certain—or even uncertain—death, alright?”

She stared at him for a moment. “I’m going to assume for what little of my sanity remains, that there are safety spells in place to keep me from dying.”

He didn’t respond. He drew a seven on the lid and opened it. The first thing that reached Eden’s nose from the room was the smell of brine. “Please tell me you didn’t put a bloody ocean in this.”

“Go and see.”

She jumped into the trunk, and low and behold, there was a large mass of water that took up 95% of the floor. The water was a crystal clear blue and rippled gently as a breeze blew across the water.

“Do you like it?”

“You’re absolutely mental. Brilliant, but mental,” she said fondly as she stared at the charmed walls to appear as if they were on the black sand beaches of Iceland.

“I’m glad you like it.” He checked his watch. “Come, we have more to see and not enough time before I have to start getting ready for class.”

“You need to eat,” she insisted as he drew an eight on the lid.

“And I will, when I’ve finished showing you what I spent most of yesterday and all of last night doing.”

She sighed in resigned acceptance as he opened the trunk and gestured for her to go first. She walked down ten steps before she looked up and froze. “Holy Morgana that’s a dragon!” she shrieked as it flew towards her. She scrambled up the metal staircase and out of the trunk, and just barely slammed it closed in time to avoid the flames. “Why the bloody hell is there a bloody dragon in your trunk?”

“Because I conjured it. It’s stronger than a normal dragon, so, if you can defeat it, you can defeat anything.”

Eden sat on the trunk and pressed a shaky hand against her heart as it pounded in her chest. “You’re crazy. Utterly, without question, crazy.”

He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Only for you, love. Now stand, we have two more rooms.”

“Two?” she whined.

“Up.” She groaned loudly as she did as demanded, and once the lid was open, insisted that he went first. “This is the room that I suspect you will be spending the most time in for the first challenge,” he explained as he helped her in. He led her down the steps and they stared out at the cold, dry wasteland that covered the biggest room she had seen so far.

There were dead trees, bushes, and what looked to be like a dried out river, and even a deep canyon or two. There was a brown, rocky mountain with jagged spikes against the farthest wall that appeared to have a building of some sort on it.

As she stared at the dusty room, about a mile above the somewhat flat ground, sorrow filled her. “It’s sad, you know. Knowing that there are places like this that actually exist in my time. Places that once thrived, and is now nothing but dust. I always imagined that they’d be a little more…living, I guess. Not this dead…but now I understand the term barren wasteland.”

Tom rubbed her back, and the two left the room.

“The next one is the largest, and inarguably the most dangerous. You won’t be coming in here without me, ever. Do you understand?”

“Yessir!” she saluted, and green and silver magical sparks left the tips of her fingers.

He smiled at her fondly. “I’m glad that you’ve finally figured out how to do that. But now, you need to be very serious for this next part, alright?” She bit her lip and nodded—still very grateful that she had some self-control (if what he said was true, if she was Sirius for this next part, she’d be dead)—and the lid was opened after a large 10 was drawn on it.

They entered the compartment and Eden froze on the steps as a loud, vicious roar penetrated through the largest room. “What was that?”

“That was most likely Abyss.”

“Excuse me? What?”

“He’s a Hellhound.”

“You named a Hellhound?” she shrieked. In response, more horrifying roars sounded.

“Well, he’s conjured, so, he’s not really real.” A large black bird—was that a raven?—flew towards them and he shot a bright blue spell at it and it flew away.

“No. Not a chance in Hell, Tom. I’m not going down there.” She stated as she stared out at the dark labyrinth. This entire thing covered fifteen million square feet? She could barely see the other wall.

“Remember what I said? You’re not coming in her without me, ever. And, I will know if you even try to, alright?”

Eden nodded, and when another horrifying roar echoed around the large space, she sprinted up the stairs and stumbled out of the trunk and landed hard on her knees.

Hands were quickly on her and helped her up. “I’m sorry,” he whispered as he healed her knees. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“What’s in there Tom, and how much of it is conjured?”

“A majority of it is conjured. It’s a mixture of magical and non-magical creatures. There are twenty different creatures, and each, baring the Hellhound, and five of them.”

“And how many Hellhounds are there?”

“It’s just Abyss.”

“What’s not conjured?”

“Two of the five Hippogriff’s, the bogarts, and one of the griffins.”

“How did you get a griffin in a day?”

“I have connections, as you well know.”

She couldn’t help the fond smile that spread across her face. “Yes, I know. Now, I do believe it is time for you to eat.” 

|}(){|

Eden sat on the floor after she finished the stretches she had been commanded to do by Tom. “So, which level of Hell am I going to be in today?” she asked in an overly perky voice.

He smiled at her and fondly rolled his eyes. “You’ll be in the Training Arena today. Once you’re in there, I will instruct you on what you’ll be doing.”

She nodded her head before she stood, drew a one on the trunk, and climbed inside.

  

Compartment 1—Training Arena 

She started down the steps and expected Tom to be right behind her. Once at the bottom, she turned around and frowned when she saw she was alone. “Tom?” she shouted. “Where are you?”

“There is no need to shout dear, I can hear you just fine.”

Eden flinched and looked around. “Where are you?” His voice had sounded like it had come from everywhere at once.

“I am currently sitting on the sofa reading a book while sipping at my morning tea. Now, go over to one of the training dummies, it doesn’t matter which one.” She did as instructed and once she was in front of one, he spoke again, and she flinched once more. “Now, I want you to send a cutting hex towards it.”

She stared at the life-like dummy and frowned. “Why does it look so real?”

“It’s to allow you to get used to attacking people. We need to prepare for everything. Now attack.”

She sighed and with a swish of her wand and a muttered spell, a light pink light left her wand and landed in the torso of the dummy. It split open, and what appeared to be thick blood oozed out. “Tom!” she wailed as she adverted her gaze.

“Pay attention!” he hissed.

She groaned, but returned her gaze to the object and her eyes widened. “Protego!” The blue shield rose just in time to block the diffindo that had been returned towards her. “Tom!” she shrieked again.

“Duel.”

And that was how she spent the next three hours: battling against a dummy that bled and returned her spells at the same strength, speed, and velocity that she used against it. As her frustrations grew, her spells increased in strength until she was sent into the air and into a soft pile of fluffy pillows that had moved as one to catch her. “Dammit Tom!” she hissed as she rubbed her aching butt.

“Language, darling dearest.”

“Screw you, Tom.” She lifted herself off of the pillow pile and groaned as she stretched and her back popped painfully. “I hate you.”

“If you hated me, you would take dreamless sleep potion,” he informed her, his voice far too perky for her liking.

“Don’t tempt me.”

His warm chuckle echoed around her. “Admit it, love, you need me.”

She sent a volley of spells towards the dummy. “I honestly think I’d have a better time learning on my own than being attacked—” she squealed and jumped to the side as spells shot towards her “—by a possessed dummy that bleeds!”

“It’s not possessed. It’s just spelled.”

“That’s the same thing—dammit!” she hissed as she clutched her bleeding arm. “I’m done for today.”

“I agree. In the corner by the stairs, you’ll find a small cupboard in the wall. Inside is a cream that will heal you.”

The dummy moved back to its spot along the wall and began to ‘heal’ as she smeared the cream on her bleeding arm through her torn up shirt. “Note to self—pack athletic clothes.” She put the jar of cream back and slowly pulled herself up the stairs.

Merlin she was exhausted. It wasn’t the kind of exhaustion that sent her back to her time. It was the bone deep exhaustion; the one that turned your limbs to jelly and your insides to fire.

She sat down on the steps about halfway up and put her head between her legs. “Are you alright?” he asked gently.

“Just worn out.”

“Rest, love.”

She nodded her head and allowed her eyes to drift closed. “What time is it?” she asked softly.

“Almost eleven.”

She nodded her head once more. A yawn stretched her mouth wide and caused her eyes to water. “I’ll see you later,” she said through another yawn.

“Have a good day, little one.”

“You too.”

She faded away.

 

Chapter Text

Friday, November 4, 1994

        Slytherin Girls Fourth Year Dorm—2 

Eden had just finished tying her tie when her roommates began to wake up.

She had laid in bed for a couple hours and read before she got up and ready for the day—she was sore.

“How are you doing?” Pansy asked softly after she yawned.

Sucky.

“I’m okay.”

“You slept like a baby all night long. Are you sure you’re fine?”

She smiled softly at her best female friend. “Positive. Don’t worry, alright?”

“I’m your best friend—despite what Draco says. It’s my job to worry.” 

|}(){| 

HEADMASTER OF OUR ILLUSTRIOUS HOGWARTS UNCARING?  

     My dear readers, it has been brought to my rapt attention that the esteemed Headmaster of our very own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has allowed the poisoning of one of our dear students—our children—under his ‘watchful’ gaze.

     From what I understand from my contact—who wishes to remain anonymous at this time—and what little research have been able to do since the Incident, the Head of House for the student—who shall remain anonymous at this time as she is still a minor—has been begging the Headmaster to allow him to look for those who committed such a heinous act, but has been denied due to the man thinking it was just a prank gone wrong.

     What I am allowed to say on the poisoning, is that it was Aegrotus Venenum that was used (for more information see page 4). Other than the poison used, I know not the circumstances or the specifics, only that the student is currently alive. I assure you, my dear readers, that Me, Myself, and I fully intend to find out.

      Faithfully yours,

          Rita Skeeter.  

Green eyes watched the Headmaster, and was displeased to see his eyes continue to sparkle as if nothing was wrong.

One day he would fall. And on that happy day, she would have a hand in making it happen.

She Promised that.


Saturday, November 4, 1944

        Compartment 1—Training Arena 

Eden screeched as the bright pink spell hurtled towards her at a shocking speed.

She dodged to the side and was just able to put up a weak shield to block it when it suddenly turned around to hit her. “What was that?” she demanded as she panted heavily after she got her breath back from the spell that shattered her shield and sent her to the ground.

Diffindo mixed with the boomerang charm.”

“That’s positively evil!” she hissed. She stood and groaned as her body reacted negatively to the movement. “Teach me.”

“As you wish, love,” he replied with a wink.

She blushed and adverted her eyes. He had been strangely…flirty these last few weeks. She was unsure if it was for the Blushing Game, or if he was genuinely flirting with her.

She didn’t know how to feel about either answer.

He came up behind her and guided her hand in the movements, and then taught her the words. When she cast the spell and it worked on the seventh try, she jumped on him and hugged him tightly. “It worked!” she giggled.

His arms went around her and caged her to him. “Well done, my darling dearest. Now, let’s have you practice it and the other three spells against the dummy.”

“Why can’t I practice against you?” she moaned against his chest.

“Because I don’t make it a habit of holding back, and this way you’re always training with something the same skill level as you.” He placed a soft kiss on her furrowed brow and retreated five steps to watch.

She fought with the dummy for an hour as Tom continually pushed her harder and harder until, finally fed up with both the doll and Tom, she shot a curse at the dummy and sent it back fifteen feet. It stood up, its head tilted at a disgusting angle and only held on with a thin strip of…flesh? The next thing she knew, she was against the stone wall 30 feet behind her before she fell 10 feet to the floor on a singular pillow that had been faster than the rest.

The rest decided that they wanted to be helpful and buried her.

“Why is it so much stronger than me?” she moaned as Tom quickly flew over to her and unburied her from the murder attempt of approximately 150 pillows.

“Because you sent a powerful spell at it, it responded with the same amount of power. It’s not stronger than you, little one, you just merely aren’t used to deflecting such strong magic,” he explained, laughter evident in his voice.

“You’re just a garden variety sadist, aren’t you?” Eden panted as she spit blood out of her mouth.

“Oh no, my dear, never garden variety.”

“You’re still a sadist.”

“I never denied that, my love. Now, let me heal you.”

“Not with—”

“If you deny me Medela Aer, one more time, I swear I will stun you and heal you with it anyway.”

Eden scowled before she lost all fight and slumped. “Fine.”

“Why do you hate it so much? Other than how Draining it can be.”

“That’s the only reason. I hate how the only spells that are capable of healing me while I’m here are super Draining on you.”

“My darling, the spells I use to heal you are Dark spells because I can’t cast the Light versions of them. And—”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Dark magic as a whole is stronger than Light magic, and even Neutral magic. But, why do the Dark spells work on me?”

“I assume you have a Neutral type Core. Perhaps even nearing on a Dark type core. Neutral Cores are the only Cores that are capable of casting all magic and are able to be healed by all magic. They just aren’t necessarily safe from the Dark Addiction that kills so many people after turning them insane. In fact, the only ones who are actually immune to the Dark Addiction is Pure Dark Cores, Dark Cores, and Dark Gray Cores. Dark Neutral Cores are more likely to be able to fight the Addiction, along with Dark Light Gray Cores, but anything above a Dark Gray Core is in danger of the Addiction.”

“Wait, okay…back to the healing aspect of that Fountain of Words…so, someone with a Dark type Core can’t be healed with Light magic?”

“They can be. It just takes much, much, much longer than if they were to be healed with Dark magic and vice versa. What’s wrong?”

“Why don’t they teach us this in school?”

“Because people are scared of power. Remember, Eden, there is no good and evil, only power and those too weak to seek it.”


Sunday, November 6, 1994

        Slytherin Girls Fourth Year Dorm—2 

Eden sat in bed, the bottle held tightly in her hands.

She’d only have a couple minutes to put it down before she’d be asleep once she took it. She checked her back one last time for her new clothes before she stowed her wand in it.

“Eden?”

She shoved the bottle under her emerald green bedding just before Pansy poked her head between her hangings. “Yes?”

“Are you alright?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’ve just…. You’ve just been sleeping a lot lately.” Pansy sat on the edge of her bed.

Eden smiled and forced a yawn. “I’m fine. I’ve just been super stressed with the Tournament.”

“If you ever need to talk, I’m here for you, okay”

Eden gave a genuine smiled and wrapped her arms around the girl who immediately wrapped her own back—it was rare when Eden initiated contact. “I know. Thanks, Pans.” Her friend got off her bed and the curtains shut, and she took the potion.

She fell asleep the moment her hand let go of the stoppered bottle.


Monday, November 6, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“Today you’ll be in the wasteland—”

“Which one?”

“Dead. Now stay quiet. Before you go in, while I eat, you’re going to stretch and I’ll tell you about the research that I’ve done.” Eden nodded her head, and with a wave of her wand, her clothes were changed magically so she was wearing a different pair of yoga pants—these ones had snakes charmed all over them that danced—and a green sports bra, also charmed to have moving snakes—for as much as wizards claimed to hate muggles, they did seem to like stealing their clothing designs (or could it be the other way around?).

She sat down on the floor and began to stretch. “Now, in my studies—what are you wearing?” She almost lost her composure and started laughing at the scandalized tone.

“Clothes.”

He sighed. “Why is your stomach showing?” His voice was deep and husky as she moved to do a table top stretch. Her back arched into a perfect upside down ‘U’—Narcissa was quite fond of yoga and often forced Eden to do it with her whenever she was within the vicinity.

“This is common workout attire in my time.”

He cleared his throat and the sound of shuffled papers reached her ears. She looked at him and saw a pink stain on his cheeks.

Was he blushing?

She mentally shook her head. She was probably just imagining things.

“Well, I have decided that the first challenge will most likely have something to do with magical creatures.”

She shifted into splits and leaned forward so she held the arch of her foot. “What makes you say that?”

“All of the other first challenges had something to do with some sort of dangerous magical creature.”

“Huh.” She was silent as she once again shifted her position. “Lovely.”

“We’ll begin training with spells that work on most magical creatures.”

“But…I thought that most magical creatures were impervious to magic.”

“That’s true. It’s not true for all of them though. And besides, there’s a branch of magic that’s almost guaranteed to work against most magical creatures. However, you will have to check the legality of it in your time though.”

“What is it?” She pulled out a piece of parchment from her bag and wrote it down, along with a book that would tell her its status. “I will get back to you on that tomorrow. What spells am I going to be working on today?”

“None. Today you’ll be climbing.”

She paused as she thought of all of the rooms. “Wait—I have to climb the mountain?”

“Yes.”

“Will you be dropping me off at the base?”

That smirk should be illegal. “No. You’ll need to get to it on your own.”

He just earned another painful joke in the horcrux.

“You—you—you—How?” she demanded in a hiss.

I’m sure you’ll figure it out, love. Now, into the trunk with you.”

Eden finished her stretched and stood before she glared at him. “Dictator.”

“You adore me,” he replied as she opened the trunk.

“That is a very debatable statement.” 

 

Compartment 9—Barren Wasteland 

“Stop laughing at me you bastard!” Eden shrieked as she hung upside down. “You’re supposed to be paying attention in class!” she continued.

She had been in the trunk for a little over an hour. She had gotten down the stupid amount of stairs—she started counting around a fourth of the way down and got to 1,000 before she lost count and proceeded to slide down the railing (that had induced a couple heart attacks—10/10 would not recommend sliding down a tight spiral staircase that was over a mile in length—depth?)—ten minutes prior, and was nowhere near the mountain.

She prayed to Morgana that she’d start where she left off the next time he decided to do this, although not exactly where she was at that moment.

“You will find that I am a very capable person, my dearest, little one. It is quite simple to pay attention to class when I have already taught myself what they are currently learning, and still be able to watch over you effectively while you train.” She could hear the laughter in his voice.

She could feel the laughter.

“It’s not funny!” she desperately shrieked.

“Oh, my dearest, that’s where you’re wrong. It is quite hilarious, quite possibly one of the most funny things I have ever seen, in fact. It is extremely difficult to not laugh out loud,” he informed her joyfully.

“Oh, I’m so sorry that my pain is causing you to struggle. Your sadism is causing me to struggle!” It was silent. “Tom! Get me out of here!” she screamed after a moment.

She blamed it on the blood that rushed to her head.

She tried to lift herself out of the two rocks she had fallen between and tried to ignore the way blood dripped up—down?—her leg from her broken—probably mutilated never to be used again—ankle. She grabbed for an outcropping of rock two feet to her left and six inches above—down from—her head. She lifted her right leg from its bent position against her chest and pressed her bare foot flat against one of her two captors. She began pushing on the rock while she pulled on her left leg in an attempt to get it out. She twisted her hips and gripped at the rock above her head and cried out as she felt the flesh tear and stone grind against her bone.

The only reward she got for her pain was a pop before she slid down two inches, which resulted in complete loss of feeling in the appendage.

“If I need a peg leg after this, Tom, I will forever torture you with pirate puns. I’ll make as many Horcruxes as needed to make sure you suffer for all of eternity too!”

Five minutes later full of threats, vile, and not so vile curses—“I promise I’ll learn how to cast the Cruciatus and use it on you like it’s a tickling charm and then get something to excrete on you, I swear to Merlin, Tom!”—there were hands on her legs as they freed her—quite painfully—from her predicament and lifted her out of the gap. “You’re supposed to be in class,” she said as she rubbed her head; it throbbed with the pain of blood rushing out of it as her vision spun.

“Actually, darling,” he started with a chuckle as he examined the mess that was her ankle, “I’m supposed to be in the hospital wing.”

Her eyes widened as worry gripped her head. “What? Why? What happened? Are you alright—that hurt, dammit! Are you hurt?” Tom looked up from her freshly healed ankle and grinned at her, his short straight brown hair fell into his eyes, and her heart thumped. His eyes were black along with his lips, and she knew he used the Cure of Obsidian—she knew his hands would be black and as hard as stone for quite a while longer as well. The odd coloring on his face quickly faded, and her Tom was back.

“I’m supposed to be there because I had an uncontrollable coughing fit, and I was dismissed to the hospital wing so I could get healed. I wasn’t able to make it, however, because along the way, I had another fit. Quite a few, actually.”

Eden tilted her head to the side with her left brow furrowed before realization struck and lashed out and kicked his firm thigh. “You laughed at me during class?”

He pulled her violently kicking and scratching body close and pressed a kiss against her forehead that calmed her inner beast instantly. “Yes, I did. And it was entirely your fault as well.”

“Sadist,” she grumbled after a moment, reluctant fondness clear in the insult. She settled further into his embrace and relaxed as his arms wrapped more tightly around her and held her tight against his firm chest.

He placed a kiss to the top of her head and started rocking them softly side to side. “My lovely little masochist.”


Friday, November 10, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“Eden.”

She looked up from her stretches and met Tom’s fond gaze. “Yessums?”

“I need to check your Core.”

“What do you mean? Why?”

“Because there are some spells that I want to teach you that would be very useful against creatures with skin that’s resistant to most magic, but those spells can only be safely performed by those with a Dark type Core.”

She frowned, her lips canted to the left as she did so. “Oh, well, I don’t think I’ll be able to safely cast them. My entire family is entirely Light. Have been for generations. It’s actually nauseating how Light they are. I was told I was born with a Light Core, now that I think about it…”

Tom smirked as if he knew something she didn’t—a common occurrence (but there were also things that she knew and he didn’t—and didn’t that piss him off). “Will you humor me?”

Eden fondly rolled her eyes and sighed dramatically, but allowed him to check. Shock pulsed heavily in her head and heart when the large sphere in front of her indicated a Pure Dark Core. “How?” she sputtered.

“It appears that your family’s abuse of you has altered what your Core would naturally be. Don’t worry, my dear, that’s perfectly normal. And, you can thank your family for the abuse.”

“Why the bloody hell would I thank them for that?” she asked appalled.

“Because,” he started as he moved to her and wrapped her in his arms, “they have made you so much stronger than you would be without it.” They stood like that for a while longer. Neither felt the need to break the moment for the time being. “Now,” he started as he pulled away, “these are the spells I want you to read on, and then once you’ve finished reading, it’s into the trunk with you.”

She took the book with stiff bookmarks that stuck out of it. “Which room?”

“Training Arena. One.” He pressed a kiss to her forehead and left for class as she settled down to read while she stretched her legs.


Friday, November 11, 1944

        Great Hall 

Even though Eden had never taken part of an intervention, nor have anyone intervene with her life in quite that manner, she knew that what was happening was, in fact, an intervention.

Ever since she had been chosen as a Champion, she had developed a new schedule for her days. She’d wake up at 5 after the potion wore off, and she’d get dressed and sneak up to the kitchens for a small breakfast before she’d then sneak into the library with her Ring. She’d then spend an hour in the Restricted Section reading up on spells, and then an hour in the main library, doing the same, only with slightly more legal spells.

She’d make copies of the spells she wanted to learn, and shoved the parchments into the diary that Uncle Moony had given her, which would then be placed into an empty Gringotts pouch—holy mother of Merlin that took a lot of time to do so—which would then be shoved into her pearl bag. She’d then go to the great hall with her friends to grab a second breakfast for her ravenous stomach—who knew training while you were asleep would make you stupidly hungry (to her real body it was 9 hours of constant exercise)—and then she’d switch from Champion Mode to Student Mode and go to classes and wouldn’t think about the Tournament until she held the dark blue potion in her hands.

Today, however, she was ambushed at breakfast—did it count as an ambush if she was already there with them?

“We’re worried about you,” Theo started from across from her. They no longer sat in the middle of the table where the Royalty sat, but they still sat fairly close to it—if they didn’t they were pulled (pushed) to sit next to them.

“Why?” she asked after she swallowed her oatmeal.

“Because you’re not training,” Pansy said in a ‘duh’ tone.

Eden snorted. “Don’t worry about me, I promise I’m training.”

The bell rang and saved her from the need to make up lies to her closest friends. “This isn’t over, Eden,” Draco hissed as they made their way to class.

“I know.”

But how she wished it was.


Thursday, November 23, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“Do you know how vile it is to force yourself to be sick in public?”

Eden hadn’t even opened her eyes yet, and she could already tell this visit was going to be an interesting one. “Uh, no…. But, I’m guessing that you’re about to tell me.”

He did.

And Merlin was it vile what he did. “Why did you do that?” she asked as he finished off another cleansing charm to his mouth. She felt a little sick herself as her face contorted into a small grimace.

“So we could train together, and so I can help you calm down.”

“I am calm.” She ignored the nervous jittering of her hands.

“Eden,” he admonished softly, “I know you. You’ve been scared out of your mind since you were put into this Tournament. I’m going to stay with you today.”

Eden graced him with a wobbly smile and hugged him tightly. “Thank you, Tom.”

After a brutal training session which required them to stop so he could heal her four times and once so she could heal him—it was a total fluke too (the shield she used against the dummy acted like a boomerang and Tom wasn’t paying as much attention as he should have been)—the two climbed out of the trunk, sweaty, covered in blood, and exhausted.

They collapsed on the couch and she curled up on his lap in a Super Tom Bear Hug. “I’m scared,” she admitted out loud for the first time. Her voice was soft and shaky.

“I know. And as much as I wish I could tell you that you have no reason to be, I can’t. I don’t lie to you—I can’t lie to you. Especially about something this big. All I can say, is that you’ve trained your butt off these last three weeks, and that you can do it. You have power on your side, Eden, and as long as you remember your training, you’ll do wondrous.”

A big yawn left her mouth. “Thank you, Tom.”

 

Tom pressed a kiss to her forehead—how he prayed it wouldn’t be the last. “Come back alive, Eden. I mean it.”

She nodded her head and pressed a kiss against his cheek—how his heart warmed in his chest. “I will.”

She was gone, and he prayed to Merlin, Circe, Morgana, Mordred, and the Olde gods that she would come back to him.

Alive.

Chapter Text

Thursday, November 24, 1994

        Slytherin Girls Fourth Year Dorm—2 

Eden kept her eyes closed and hoped against the far too real reality that she could just go back to sleep and hide in Tom’s warm—secure snug reliable safe—arms until the end of time.

It wasn’t fair.

Nothing about this was fair.

She was sure—would bet vast amounts of money—that had it been Harry—perfect, sniveling, little brat (oh how jealously clouded the mind)—whose name had been drawn, Old Dumbles wouldn’t have hesitated to break the very most basic laws of magic to get him out of the Tournament.

Harry wouldn’t have been put under the truth serum because he’s the bloody Boy Who Lived, the Savior of the Wizarding World, and he could do absolutely nothing wrong because of it.

It honestly made her sick.

That wasn’t the first time that she had had those soul-crippling thoughts. Nor was it the first time that she allowed herself to be filled with indignant anger at the situation once it had settled in a couple days after her name had been drawn. In fact, it had come in quite handy while she was training, especially the last week leading up to the Task.

It was, however, the first time that she didn’t keep a tight grip on her anger, and allowed it to flow through her veins. Allowed the hatred of all those who were supposed to love—cherish treasure protect shield—her and care about her consume—burn eat destroy kill—her whole.

She opened her eyes and barely registered the faint green glow (that came from her eyes) that filled the enclosed space as she reined in her angry magic, but not her anger.

She slipped out of bed and moved to her tall—way too tall—wardrobe and pulled out a black Acromantula silk robe lined with soft emerald green lace before she made her way to the common room, unaware of the eyes that watched her. 

 

Slytherin Common Room

She looked around the large room and took in the surroundings that had become home.

The large, floor to ceiling glass windows on the far wall between the two hallways that led off into the dormitories and showed the depths of the Black Lake—which was illuminated by spells placed by Salazar Slytherin himself.

The low ceilings—they were actually ten feet tall but compared to the rest of the castle, they were low—were draped with thin green and silver fabric woven with Magic that kept the large room from echoing too horribly.

The columns etched with Runes of multiple Magical origins, snakes, and home to many scars from violent duels over the centuries.

The warm, cloth covered settees, couches, and arm chairs dotted around the large room, and grouped together with end tables and coffee tables to make it feel not crowded, but also not bare.

The soft white fairy lights that lazily drifted around the room, and grouped around students when they were studying, reading, or playing games that required light.

There were bookshelves lining the right side—the ‘girls’ side—of the room, and all of the books had been donated by past students over the years and couldn’t be found in the main Library. It was a resource that had been quickly exhausted within the first four days of research due to Selwyn and the other seventh years doing their own research—using their contacts in the Ministry—and quickly realized the same thing that she and Tom had—sadly, most of the books were more than useless when it came to fighting magical creatures.

On the left side of the room was a large 35 foot long fireplace that crackled high, and warmed the entire dungeon living quarters—along with the fireplaces in the dorm rooms.

Doors were dotted on the remaining wall, and on either side of the massive fireplace—which she now stood in front of—that lead to private study rooms, and group study rooms. One of the doors also lead to Snakey-Snape’s office, and she stared at that door for a long moment before she turned her full—agitated furious hectic terrified—attention to the orange and yellow flames.

She briefly wondered what it would feel like to be burned alive.

When one of the doors that lead to the main room opened behind her, she did nothing more than tilt and turn her head slightly, as if she were a dog who was trying to hear better. When the door closed, and she heard multiple pairs of footsteps, she realized just which door had opened.

She reluctantly turned and came face to face with Snakey-Snape and all of the fourth year Slytherin’s—not just him and her roommates like she had assumed. How they got to his office without her knowing, she would never know.

“I feel like you have all conspired against me,” she said as a reluctant smile spread across her full lips. They all grinned and guiltlessly nodded—except for Snakey-Snape, his lips twitched (score!).

“We wanted to make sure everything was alright. That you are alright.”

“Your magic was pretty violent when you woke up…”

Eden ignored Daphne’s tired comment, and spoke to the group. “I’ve already told you guys—especially you, Pans and Dray—to not worry about it. I’m as prepared as I can be with all things considering.”

The girl’s eyes narrowed into dangerous slits, that, had Eden been a lesser person, would have sent her running for the hills. “What does that mean?” she demanded in a deadly hiss as she crossed her arms over her chest and put her weight on one leg.

Eden’s heart thudded in her chest, and she felt like she would die with the sudden rush—fire heat flare light—of affection she felt for her sister in everything but blood.

She smiled softly at her before she spoke. “I have absolutely no clue what the challenge is going to be. All I was told was that it was going to ‘test my daring’. In my research—” Tom’s research “—I have come to the conclusion that it might have something to do with magical creatures, so, I’ve been studying and practicing spells that will work against most creatures.”

“Wait—so you have been practicing?” Draco demanded, his gray eyes alight with a crippling inferno.

“Of course I have,” she stated in a slightly shocked, and a more than slightly ‘duh’ tone. “Do you think I’m stupid?”

When do you practice?”

“All you do is school work and sleep!”

“I get up at five every morning, when do you think I do things for the Tournament?”

Understanding crossed their faces. So that was why she had suddenly started to go to sleep so early.

“Wait—” Vincent cut in, “—so you only practice in the mornings?”

“Pretty much. Despite being a Champion, I still want to do well in school. I may be dismissed from our final exams, but, I’m not in my final year. I need to stay caught up. That’s why I focus on school during the day and evenings, and the Tournament in the mornings.” And nights. Most definitely couldn’t forget the nights.

Merlin, Tom would kill her if she forgot about their nights. Days?

Time travel was confusing.

After she continued to explain that she practiced in the Room of Requirement on the seventh floor, she was able to finally convince them that she was fine, would remain to be fine, and that they could go back to sleep for a short while longer.

 

 Room of Requirement

 Once that monumental task was done—who knew Snakey-Snape could be so stubborn—she quickly left to go practice on her own. She knew that even though she had practiced with Tom, his Demonic Puppets, and his Obstacle Course from Hell a mere hour and a half prior, she was still extraordinarily panicked about the Task, despite what he had told her just before she woke up.

She knew herself. She knew that she would panic and as a result of that, forget.

She knew her chance of survival against whatever creature they deemed acceptable to go up against children wouldn’t be high due to that innate character flaw.

  

Slytherin Girls Fourth Year Dorm—2

She practiced hard until a half hour before lunch—she had permission to miss classes on the days of the Tasks—after which she went and got changed into the clothes that she would hopefully be wearing during the actual performing of the Task and covered them with a too long robe.

After that was done, she loitered around her room, wrote in her diary, and then made her way up to the great hall after she had removed all of her jewelry—most of which had some sort of protection aspect—and her pearl bag—how parting is such a sweet sorrow (or something like that)—which she tucked under the pillow after she carefully placed her jewelry in it.

  

Great Hall

Her legs gave out on her as she sat in the middle of the long table, across from Selwyn and the Queen whose name she still didn’t know.

Her friends—Pansy and Draco—immediately started to pile food high on her plate. All of it was high in nutrition and magical benefits, and most tasted absolutely bland. Her hands shook violently as Draco shoved food into her mouth—almost literally…he was nice about it…kind of—because she couldn’t hold anything long enough to be able to feed herself.

She missed the shared glance between godfather and godson.

  

Forbidden Forest

“I can’t do this,” she breathed as they trekked across the uneven terrain to get to the Task’s location. The reality of what she was about to do had suddenly kicked in, and to say she was panicked would be a vast understatement. “I’m going to die. I need to go back and write a will, I—” She turned around to head back to the castle as she continued to babble before her words and frantic motions were stopped suddenly when Draco slapped her hard across the face. She closed her stinging eyes and took a deep breath as a natural tear fell out of one. “Thank you,” she breathed, “I needed that.”

Her magic caressed her face, and she knew no bruise would show. The guilty expression left his face, and the Slytherin’s surrounding the two—even their close friends—relaxed and put away their wands.

It was no secret that she was abused—most Slytherin’s were, unfortunately (some physically, most mentally)—and for some reason, everyone, ever since her first year, had been insanely over protective—even more so since her name was drawn.

“You’re welcome. Now, you’re going to breathe,” He placed his hands on her shoulders, “and you are going to do your best, do you understand, Eden?”

She lifted her chin and sniffed. “I’m insulted that you think I wouldn’t do my best,” she huffed only semi-playfully. The effect, however, was ruined by the way her voice shook and her lips trembled. “My pride could never take it if I did that. I’d rather be Kissed by a Dementor than not give it my all in this endeavor.”

The large group of Slytherin’s—the entire House—continued on their way to the Arena in a tight knit group, talking quietly amongst themselves, none of them able to force a cheer that no one felt.

Once at the Arena, she made her way to the tent where she was handed a bundle of fabric by Snakey-Snape and shoved behind a thin curtain to change. She unfolded the fabric and nearly cried when she saw the small bottle of Calming Draught—just enough to get her to stop shaking uncontrollably (and probably then some—but not much more).

She quickly downed the potion and removed her outer robe before she turned her attention to the clothing that had been handed to her. She held up the stiff robes with steady hands and wrinkled her small nose at them.

These would not do, at all.

She stuck her head out of the curtain and spoke to the dour potions professor who stood outside of her little cubical like a knight in bat’s clothing. “Do I really have to wear these?”

He turned and looked down at her with a lifted brow. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, it’s like a baggy…muggle…tracksuit—is that the word? I don’t know. But, while I’m sure these will allow flexibility, I’m also pretty sure it’s not good for the spells that I plan on casting,” she explained as she fingered the small—but still far too large—metal fastenings and button holes.

“And what spells do you anticipate needing?” She looked around at the other Champions who all seemed to be lost in their own worlds of fear before she yanked him behind the curtain and quickly and silently lifted a multitude of privacy wards around them.

“In my studies,” she started hesitantly, knowing that what she was about to say could very well change the opinion the man in front of her held for her into something negative. “I realized that while magical creatures are typically impervious to magic…they aren’t necessarily immune to…the uh…the weather.” Her eyes trailed down from his all-seeing gaze and focused on the small black buttons at the neck of his robes.

Unlike normal buttons instead of four holes, they had seven, and they were sewn with a black thread that glowed with magic and—

Her gaze was drawn back up as he gasped in realization and she knew she didn’t have to explain further—but really those buttons were a piece of work; they must have multitudes of protection—

“You are aware of how dangerous those spells are, correct? Both politically and magically?”

He grabbed her face with both hands before she could move onto another object to hyper-focus on—he knew her too well. She nodded, grateful for the action of her confidante. “Yes. That’s why I’m wearing what I am. It won’t hinder me, kill me, or help me with any of the restrictions placed on the Champions.”

He looked at the tight yoga pants and equally tight open-back black halter tank top—Narcissa had introduced the brand to her when she started doing yoga with her a couple years ago, and Eden had decided to purchase a new pair for the Task.

Both articles of clothing were black and made of a soft, moisture absorbing—and evaporating—magical cotton, and the tank top showed her shoulders, but also covered the entirety of her chest until the hollow of her throat. She wore black socks made of the same cotton that the rest of her clothes were and were charmed to look like shoes—she most definitely did not want to risk losing House points on the day that might very well be her death day.

Snakey-Snape cast a spell at the clothes, and a light appeared on the tip of his wand, and nodded his head. With a few more flicks of his wand, the clothes had lightened to a dark green and had silver stripes on the sides while the charm on the socks had been dropped. They were now a gorgeous Slytherin green and had dark green and bright silver stripes that shimmered slightly at the toe and heel.

“Be wise, Eden. I know you. You have fifteen plans for one simple scenario. If you can’t cast it safely don’t risk casting it at all. Please.”

Eden smiled at him despite the unease—fear anxiety turmoil help—oozing in her stomach. Was the potion wearing off? It couldn’t be. “I promise, Snakey-Snape.”

He groaned and turned his eyes to the heavens—most likely muttering a prayer to the Olde gods. She was right when she assumed—a dangerous past-time—that the use of the name would prevent him from Sealing the promise. He opened the curtain with an agitated flick and the two stepped out and ignored the looks the other Champions sent their way when they saw her clothing.

“I curse the day you figured out that nickname.”

Sometime in 1941.

“What about the day I started calling you it to your face?”

Summer of 1993.

He gave her a dry look out the corner of his eyes as a smirk—barely there—pulled at his lips. “By that point it was far too late to have regrets.”

Eden laughed joyfully, even as her hands began to shake once more, and started to joke around with him—much to the other Champion’s shock (they were all sick to their stomachs with fright)—until Rita Skeeter and her photographer swept into the tent with an obnoxious flourish.

As much as she was grateful to the woman for calling Dumbles out on his poor actions on Halloween, she still disliked the reporter, and the feeling was more than mutual.

Snakey-Snape stood behind her with his hand on her shoulder as Rita poked and prodded the four Champions in their pre-Task group interview—something that had been joyfully approved by Dumbles last minute (something that made the ire within her burn just a little bit brighter).

He defended her whenever the blonde said something particularly scathing to her, and subtly insulted the two foreign Champions when they did the same—Cedric, she was confused (and pleased) to note did the same as the professor.

The potion’s Master stood behind her as the challenge was explained—which, admittedly, she should have paid just a titch more attention to—and he stood behind her as the anger at the indignity—injustice outrage irritation unfairness—of the situation grew to new heights at the probing of the horrid woman.

He stood behind her, ever supportive, as she finally let her Dark, angry—furious bitter resentful hateful—magic explode out from her in subtle waves.

“Alright, ladies first. You’ll reach in, grab one, and keep your hand closed until everyone has done so.”

The two girls looked at each other, and when Fleur gestured to her, she shook her head emphatically, widened her eyes, and made her cheeks go pink with a nifty little spell. “I could never be so disrespectful of someone of your status.”

She smirked inwardly at the look on the blondes face, and the congratulating squeeze on her shoulder, and the knowing look sent by a schoolmate as she removed the blushing spell. Eden watched as the blonde reached in and pulled out an unknown object.

The bag was held out to her, and she took a deep breath before she reached in. She grabbed one of the wriggling objects that would be her doom, and pulled it out with her hand clutched loosely around it. She yelped softly when she felt a shock run up her arms and fought to keep her hand closed around the wriggling creature without squishing it.

She was so busy trying to keep her hand closed and her yelps quiet, that it was only when Snakey-Snape nudged her and told her to open her hand that she realized everyone had their eyes fixed on her. A true blush coated her cheeks and she opened her hand. Gasps came from all around the small space as they stared at the miniature dragon in her hand.

Hey, Tom?

Yes, dear?

Don’t you think that because the First Task is going to be something with a magical creature…that we should maybe practice with the dragon?

They’re not so foolish as to pit a bunch of children up against a dragon.

Then…why did you make it?

To prove that I could do it.

Well…what about Abyss?

You honestly think they’ll put children up against a hellhound?

Right…so uh…dummies?

Dummies.

Her executioner was black with light blue squiggles all around it like a large, forked bolt of lightning with the wings a nearly translucent pale blue. It’s tail—holy Merlin—was twice as long as it’s already long body, and was tipped with two long, thin spikes at the end. Lightning danced between the spikes as the miniature roared and lightning shot out of its mouth. On its side was a charred number 4.

“The Lightning Wyvern.”

She was totally, utterly, without question, screwed.

“The number on the side of the dragon indicates who will be going first. You will be allowed to start at the sound of the canon when it is your turn.”

Eden numbly listened—does it count as listening if she can’t recall a single thing said?—to the rest of the man’s speech before he left and she moved to a different part of the tent and crouched down and wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her head on her knees. Snakey-Snape crouched down next to her and placed a gentle hand on her shoulder.

“I’m going to die,” she whispered, her voice wet with unshed tears as she leaned into the familiar and comforting touch.

“No you’re not,” his voice cracked. “It is serendipitous that you have learned some of the only spells that work against the Wyvern.”

“But…it’s so sensitive to magic…and hates witches and wizards.” Tom had made her read up on all sorts of creatures, including dragons despite his insistence that they wouldn’t choose dragons. “It especially hates Dark type witches and wizards.”

“You’re over-reacting,” he admonished softly as he ran his hand along the seven long, Dutch braids her hair had been magicked into.

She looked at him with eyes that shined. “I’m really not.” A couple tears finally slipped out of her eyes as her voice cracked. “I scanned my Core about two weeks ago to practice some spells. It’s a Pure Dark Core.”

His brows furrowed before he waved his wand and got the same result that Tom had—only it seemed that the sphere was slightly larger in shape (it was probably just her imagination). Pure, unadulterated, rage filled his eyes as his magic snapped around the room for a brief moment. “Oh.”

“Yeah, ‘oh’.”

She was unaware of how long they sat like that, with their magic’s occasionally lashing out, and her anxiety occasionally breaking through the Calming Draught. But eventually, she was called, and she haltingly moved to the large wooden door to await for the canon that would seal her fate and death.

She gave Snakey-Snape a quick hug and bit her tongue to keep herself from launching herself at him as he was forced to walk away. A heavy hand landed on her shoulder and she flinched before she turned.

“Stay strong, lass,” Crazy Face encouraged before he too left.

She blinked multiple times as she turned back to the door, and she began to scan the grain of the door, and tried to find shapes in the wood. That one kind of looked like a bunny…oh look, a dragon

The canon sounded, and the heavy doors creaked open, and she took a deep breath to clear her mind before she hesitantly stepped into her grave.

She stood just inside the doors and stared at the rocky terrain and had to fight the terror that ate at her and briefly thought about Tom and whatever he’d say to her whenever she was scared and in vast amounts of pain.

Just breathe, little one. Breathe, and soon it will all be fine once more. Breathe….

She followed his advice before she stepped fully into the Arena and quickly blocked out the wordless cheers that greeted her ears. She crept up to the rocks, and crouched behind it as she looked for the egg, and carefully made a plan that she knew wouldn’t last long, but it made her feel better to have something.

She moved carefully, quietly, and lithely—thank you for your sadism, Tom—along the mountainous terrain before she crouched behind a rock that stood directly in front of the beast.

 

The Lightning Wyvern is very sensitive to Magic, and thus is always aware of a witch or wizard when they are near. It is not quite known why, but due to their sensitivity, Magic users like witches or wizards, especially Dark and Pure types, cause the species great pain by being in the same vicinity.

 

She could assume by the sheer fact that the rock she hid behind hadn’t yet been destroyed, and that she was alive, that the dragon was overwhelmed with all of the people in attendance. She felt her eyes start to lift to the spectators, and pinched herself to prevent her from doing so.

She leaned against the rock for a moment longer, allowed herself to be overwhelmed for just a second. She took another deep breath and slowly released it.

She tightened her grip on her wand before she faced the rock and slowly lifted herself and stared at the large beast in front of her. She lifted a shaking hand—come on Calming Draught, please don’t fail now—and whispered a spell as she waved it in a complex motion and a Dark—was it illegal in this time? (she couldn’t remember)—cutting hex towards the equally overwhelmed beast curled around the eggs.

When a small line appeared in the thick, dark scales, she smiled and then jumped to the side with a shriek of terror as a blinding bolt of lightning forked towards her. Once she was out of range of the continuous bolt of white, she sent a few more of the cutting hexes mixed with the boomerang charm to distract it so she’d have enough time—hopefully (dear Mother Magic, let her have time)—to cast the only spell that had the potential to save her life.

She quickly fell into the proper position, and started the casting of the spell. As she chanted, she held her left hand next to her face, and with her right hand, she spun her holly wand in a gradually growing spiral, a ball of blue-white energy channeling in the center of the spiral. She pulled her arm back, stabbed it into the center of the ball, and her wand connected with the energy like it had so many times before.

She pulled her arm back once more, and touched the tip of her wand to the palm of her left hand, and snapped her arm out towards the dragon. White light shot out from seemingly every single pore as the energy ball pulled harshly on her Core and the troposphere before it exploded.

Thunder cracked in the Arena and she had to duck to hide her eyes as the screech of the dragon—which sounded like a metallic thunderbolt—told her that her aim had hit its mark. After the spell ran its course, she stood once more and sent five different—stronger (illegal? probably)—cutting hexes at its now exposed soft belly before she made her way to the golden egg.

The beast stomped slightly away from the nest, and she saw her chance, abandoned her plans, and dove out of hiding and ran for the now unguarded nest.

Screams of terror from the audience she had long since blocked, sounded behind her, and as she turned, she was greeted with the dragon’s sharp tail just as it impaled her stomach. She felt every inch of each spike as it cut through organs, skin, and shattered fragile bones. Blood sprayed against the stone in front and behind her and against her face, and she wanted to die.

She gagged, and as she dry heaved through the pain, quickly cast a nonverbal spell that Tom had taught—demanded insisted asserted forced—her when she demanded that he teach her the Lightning spell. The Immunity spell she cast was very illegal in both times, and she could only hope that the circumstances would allow her to go unpunished.

The spell draped over her, and almost immediately her mind and body went blissfully numb as the lines on the dragon’s body glowed and lightning filled her body and flowed through it as if it were her own blood. The Immunity spell immediately reacted, and as soon as the lightning reached her Core—just before it reached her heart—it was sent out of her body and into the sky. Clouds—huh, that was new—rapidly appeared around the bright bolt and—Merlin was it painful, she couldn’t think (please, Mother).

The world around her started to ring and blur, and she knew that the Immunity spell wouldn’t last much longer against a Lightning Wyvern, unlike it did with a 17 year old wizard.

She gagged again, and lifted her blood covered wand and cast another very illegal curse—she threw as much of her magic into it as she could and still be able to finish the challenge—and was able to sever the tail just enough that the lightning stopped seconds before the Immunity spell failed.

She took a deep, sobbing breath and stepped away from the spikes—white hot pain help—and made her way to the egg as fast as she could. She stumbled multiple times, and blood ran down her legs, onto her sock covered feet and bloody footprints were left behind her. She tripped over a small rock and fell to the ground just as the tail swung over her head, right where she had been. The dragon shot lightning into the air and stomped towards her.

She clawed her way up to her hands and knees, and then to her feet. The Arena was deathly silent—she suspected that her ears had been damaged at some point. Despite the fact that she couldn’t hear, she swore she could make out the quiet sounds of drops of liquid falling into a large pool of liquid and echoed as she reached the small—comparatively—pile of rocks that had the nest on top and began to climb.

Mind numb, ears dead, nerves frayed, she made it to the large nest and carefully rolled inside before she stood and quickly moved to the egg. Just as she picked it up—and felt Magic tighten in her Core, signaling she was done—something hard slammed into her back, and she was sent flying towards the barrier wall on the other side of the Arena.

She could do nothing as the egg slipped out of her hands along with her wand—no, come back—and she was left utterly defenseless with the dragon who hated those of her kind. She faintly registered glowing spells behind her as the wall approached.

The sharp impact against the smooth stone was dulled as her eyes closed and she appeared in Tom’s room. It was dark, and in her suddenly hazy mind, it registered as night.

How strange.

Wasn’t it just day?

Her legs lost all feeling and she fell to the ground with a heavy thud. “Eden? Circe, what happened to you?” he demanded as he ran forward and crouched next to her.

Apparently her hearing wasn’t damaged.

She looked up at her best friend and smiled softly as peace settled in her heart. “Tom…” she whispered hoarsely. The peace quickly made way for pain as she coughed, and when she opened her eyes, she saw faint specs of blood splattered against his face. Her eyes fluttered slightly and her heart slowed.

Oh.

She coughed again, and more blood splattered against his face and a pleasant numbness climbed up from her legs and to her mid back. “I think I’m dying, Tom.” Tears leaked out of her eyes as fear slowly evicted pain.

She didn’t want to die.

His look of pure horror was the last thing she saw before her eyes closed and everything faded away.

Chapter Text

Thursday, November 24, 1994

        Forbidden Forest

A horrible, acute sense of terror had filled Severus Snape since he had scanned Eden Potter’s Core nearly an hour prior. Had she been going up against any of the other dragons, he felt that the horror wouldn’t be so visceral.

Like the other Mentor’s, when it was her turn, he had gone up to the stands to watch as she had made her way to the Arena entrance. He sat next to the Malfoy’s, who sat next to Sirius and Mariea Black, and Remus Lupin, and had eagerly accepted his godson’s trembling hand when she finally appeared.

Merlin, had she always been that small? Had she always looked so frail?

Yes…he supposed she did.

Her personality had more than made up for it though. It often made those around her forget how under developed she was—and always would be—due to her family’s treatment of her.

She had gained the respect and fierce care of her Housemates. She also had gained the respect of most of Hufflepuff—those who weren’t terrified by green and silver—and a large amount of Ravenclaw—those who weren’t sickeningly jealous of her mind—before the whole Tournament debacle had begun nearly a month ago.

Circe.

Why did her personality have to be so overwhelming and deceiving?

His eyes were glued to her small form as she moved about the Arena as if she had been climbing her entire life—he knew she hadn't. They stayed on her as she waved her wand and sent a Dark spell that he had never seen before at the dragon and his breath left him when the spell not only made contact with the highly agile beast, but actually managed to injure it. She shot another series of spells that he had never seen around the dragon, completely missing it, and even sent one straight into the sky.

To say that he was confused would be an understatement.

Eden had some of the best aim in her year and was second only to Granger, and only marginally more successful than her disgusting twin who was tied with his godson.

When the girl fell into an abnormal position—her legs spread considerably, knees bent, and back ramrod straight with her hand by her face—he knew immediately that the missed spells were mere distractions—this was further affirmed when the spells curved back and hit the dragon—so she could cast a Weather spell.

Probably the Weather spell if he knew her well enough—her ambition and pride were dangerous things alone, but when they were mixed together…the world needed to quake at the lengths she would go to achieve her goals.

Weather Magic was an obscure and rare enough branch of Neutral type Magic that it wasn’t legal, but it also wasn’t illegal. It was difficult for even the strongest of wizards to cast any of the spells—even the ones to summon Cirrus clouds—in the branch of Magic.

The one Weather spell that actually was illegal—the circumstances of the use of it determined the penalty, be it a slap on the wrist or a stint in Azkaban—appeared to be the one she was casting. Coincidently, it was also the hardest to cast, and the backlash of the complex spell often killed the castor in the attempt to do so.

“No, you foolish girl,” he hissed as he squeezed Draco’s hand just a little bit more—neither male noticed the pain of the other’s grip.

When the lightning shot across the Arena and towards the dragon with a painful rumble of thunder that shook the ground, and a blinding white light that made his eyes water and burn—he refused to look away for even a second—her power was proven when she remained standing after the spell had run its course—which was an agonizing fifteen seconds.

Her power was especially proven with the ease in which she cast the spell, and the fact that she didn’t even appear to be even slightly Drained from it.

Was there a chance that she could be…?

No. He couldn’t think like that. Albus couldn’t—wouldn’t—have made a mistake about something so very important.

He relaxed slightly as he believed she had everything under control with the way the dragon was currently stunned, bleeding, and blinking its large oval eyes as if it were shocked that it had just been hit with lightning from a human. He relaxed his grip on Draco for just a moment and breathed a sigh of relief as she shot five more spells at it, injured it once more, and continued on and hid behind rocks as she made her way to her final destination.

He shared a relieved glance and nudge with Lucius. A movement out of the corner of his eyes as he did this, had him standing on his feet and bellowing her name as Sirius and Lucius held their wives back from jumping down into the Arena. He soon found himself doing the same thing with his godson as Eden turned, and his world seemed to stop as the deadly tip of the tail embedded itself into her stomach.

Almost in slow motion, he watched with abject horror as the lines on the dragon almost immediately started to glow white hot, and then the pain—oh, the pain, Merlin have mercy—on her face as the lightning left the top of her head into the quickly darkening sky.

It had to end.

Now.

He handed his godson over to Diana Nuvoue who was busy along with the other seventh years trying to keep the fourth years from jumping into the Arena. As he moved along, he noticed that the other older Slytherin’s occupied themselves with the younger Slytherin’s—either preventing them from skydiving or comforting them (he had a feeling he would be erasing a lot of memories for his students that night—he made a mental note to brew a lot of Dreamless Sleep).

He—along with the other Mentors, Heads, her godparents (and the Malfoy’s)—made his way to the entrance of the Arena. He was about to cross over, and therefore negate the challenge—as her Mentor, only he could cross over while the Task was activated—when the deafening thunder suddenly ended with a dark green spell that he recognized.

It had once been the inspiration for one of his own creations while he himself was a student and toiling under the oppression of the other students and his home life.

Eden somehow made her way to the egg, and his world stopped once more when she was sent flying towards the barrier wall 200 feet away from the nest after the dragon tamers had gone in to subdue the beast.

After she had the egg.

After she had completed the damned challenge.

Careless of the seething dragon now surrounded by 15 tamers, he ran into the Arena and practically flew to her crumbled body—he was vaguely aware that others were following behind him.

He knelt down beside her and pulled his wand and was stopped momentarily by Albus—maybe he would decorate his office with his insides…yes, that sounded nice. “Severus, allow the healers to do it. I doubt there is much you can do for her anyway.”

Severus snarled at the man and barely restrained from killing the man as he shook the gnarled hand off of his shoulder and began to cast minor diagnostic spells while he spoke—he didn’t really need to, as he already had a clear point of interest. “None of the healers you hired have a Dark or Gray type Core. They won’t be able to heal her effectively enough for her to live. If you’ve hired a Neutral type Core healer, then they might have a slightly higher chance of being useful.”

“My dear boy,” the old man started shocked, a little too loud for comfort, “she doesn’t need a Dark type or a Gray type healer. She was born a Light Core.”

Her blood family stood behind the headmaster, and didn’t look particularly worried—actually…the brat looked worried. It was obvious, however, that her parents were only there for the press.

Bastards.

Sirius, Mariea, and Remus, however…they were currently being held back by other staff members from all three schools as they screamed and shouted, and Narcissa and Lucius held onto each other as tears streamed from their cracked Masks.

“You’re wrong, Albus. She now has a Pure Dark Core.” Rage, undiluted, and unholy filled him as he knew—he relished in the horrified gasps of her blood family and he immediately fell back onto his Occlumency to be able to focus. “Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to heal her before she dies.” He turned to Eden and touched his wand to one of the gaping holes in her torso. “Vulnera sanentur.” The gaping wounds slowly—too slowly—began to heal and he continued to mutter the spell in a ritualistic fashion.

In the background he vaguely registered someone taking her frantic godparents away along with the Malfoy’s.

“Let me help,” Poppy begged as she came over to him, her face wet with tears. “I can see what injuries she has, and I can cast only some Neutral spells, but, they might help.” He nodded his head and never ceased his mutterings, and the two adults worked in semi-silence before she spoke again. “She has extreme internal bleeding, a severed Thoracic Spinal cord, and multiple shattered bones in her legs, hips, and torso, and not to mention the holes left from the tail. Her magic seems to be attempting to heal the worst of the injuries—mainly her spine and the holes—but isn’t doing much as it’s trying to stabilize two very extreme injuries,” her voice caught when she continued to speak in the silence of the Arena, “she won’t make it, Severus.”

That was completely unacceptable.

“She will with Blood Magic.”

Albus spoke loudly and startled those around them. “What do you mean, Severus? That’s far too Dark and deadly! Not to mention illegal!”

He rolled his eyes at the willful ignorance of the man. “There is a legal Dark healing spell classified as Blood Magic known as Medela Aer. It heals everything completely; there is no lingering pain, no scars, and no physical trauma. Like with all Dark type healing spells, it takes an extreme amount of magic. Only those with a Dark, Pure Dark, or a Dark Gray Core are able to cast it, and it can only be used on those with a Dark type Core or they react adversely to it and typically die due to the injuries worsening.”

Poppy spoke before the old coot could—bless her soul. “Do you know how to cast this Medela Aer?” The two adults were busy trying to heal what they could, but, as typical with healing someone with the opposite spells to their Core type—especially a Pure Core type—she seemed almost immune to the attempts made by the matron.

“Yes. I can’t heal everything though. It would kill me.” While he would willingly die for her, so she could live, he didn’t have any doubts that she would learn Necromancy just to bring him back to life and kill him again. Multiple times, most likely.

“Would you be able to heal her partially now and then again later?” One of the healers from St. Mungo’s asked from next to him.

Severus hadn’t even noticed him.

(a quick scan revealed he had a Neutral Light Gray Core—he only did it as he had started healing her)

“If it would allow her to live long enough to try, it’s worth a shot.”

In the distance, he heard the desperate cries of Mariea Black and Narcissa Malfoy as they plead with the Olde gods to let their daughter live.

A soft, yet frantic, chanting from the stands had him glancing over his shoulder and biting his lip as he saw almost every single Slytherin performing an Ancient Prayer Ceremony as well as they could, begging Mother Magic to let Eden live. He met the bloodshot eyes of his godson, nodded, and turned back to his student.

He took a deep breath and began to chant, and allowed three fourths of his Core to fill the fine red mist that gathered in front of him. He directed it to gather in and around the large holes in her torn up torso. Once the haze had settled in, he altered the words he spoke, and all watched—student, teacher, and guests (and the Praying Slytherin’s)—as the mist flashed a bright red. Her torso slowly reknit together until it had two deep gouges instead of gaping holes.

“It wasn’t enough,” he whispered as his head pounded and he fell to side as exhaustion quickly grabbed hold of him.

The last thing he saw before he fell asleep due to Drainage, was her body fully incased in the same blinding red light he had cast only moments before, only brighter and more painful as those around her were tossed back and away, and her screams echoed for all to hear as the light turned purple.


Friday, November 24, 1944

        Head Dorms

The first thing that Tom had thought after he saw Eden covered in, and coughing up blood, was not her. Anyone else, but not her.

The only thing that he thought after she announced that she thought she was dying, was to find the person who forced her into the Tournament, and slowly skin him alive, and then heal him, and then repeat the process for as long as the poor bastard managed to live.

Merely a second after her eyes closed, he summoned his wand and began to cast Medela Aer Grandis. It was similar to Medela Aer, only this one, instead of using only Blood Magic, used Dark Magic, Blood Magic, and Aether Magic.

The spell, rather than using the finite magic of the castor, drew from the power of the Aether, which was all around the universe in a truly infinite amount. Only extremely powerful witches and wizards can sense it, and only the most powerful of those had the ability to harness it.

(it was theorized by early witches and wizards that the Aether had created the universe, and continued to create more and more every second of every day)

He began by waving his wand in complicated motions, and started to chant in the Tongue of the Ancients—he had never been more thankful that a book was read to him like a bloody Howler. When dark blue mist poured out of his bone white wand, he felt the achingly familiar pull on his magic, but didn’t feel the typical Drainage.

When the blue haze had surrounded all of her injuries—most from her waist down (what the bloody hell happened?)—he started to chant in the Tongue of the Aspects—again, grateful for the self-reading book. When the haze turned purple and sunk into her injuries, he started to chant in Olde Latin—a language dead even to wizarding-kind (and required another self-reading book to learn). The mist turned a dark red before it began to glow a dull red.

(his frantic thoughts didn’t even register the bright red light that came with the use of Medela Aer)

A dark blue fog, and a purple haze came from seemingly nowhere and wrapped around her body and lifted her up, and held her in the air seven feet above the ground—exactly in the middle of the room, as seven feet were above her head as well. He chanted the last few lines of the spell—this time in Latin (and the last couple lines of Medela Aer)—and was promptly thrown back into the wall as a blinding red light encircled her body and shifted to purple; all of the objects in his room were destroyed, except for his bed.

Her horrible screams echoed around the room, and shattered his heart.

Once the light in the room faded, Eden still hovered in the same place in the air, the red, purple, and blue clouds held her protectively. She was placed gently—almost lovingly—on his bed.

At least that was explained.

The nebula turned to him and took a vaguely human shape. “It has been quite some time since my power, my Aether, has been used for as pure a purpose as this, my child, Tom Marvolo Riddle. In reward, I will offer you some advice, my son. Care for Eden, and love her, for you do not have much time with her as you are now.”

The humanoid bowed to him before it faded away, and took the light and oppressive—yet achingly beautiful—magic of the Aether away with it.

The objects in his room began to repair themselves, and his room quickly went back to how it was before he—apparently (the books hadn’t said a damn thing about this)—summoned the Aether.

Tom sat in shocked silence for a moment before he stumbled to his feet and ran to his bed—to his Eden. He hovered over her, and was pleased to see that not a single scar was on the skin that he could see, not even from when her disgusting parents abused her. He mended the rips in her clothes before he wrapped his body around her to tell himself that she was here, and breathing.

She took a deep breath and shook her head slightly. “Tom?” she murmured. “What happened?”

He laughed and pressed a shaking kiss to her forehead. “You’re alright,” he breathed.

“What happened?” she demanded once more. Her voice was clear along with her eyes, which showed frustration at the lack of answers.

At least he was positive that there was no brain damage.

(How unfortunate, a snarky part of his brain that was still somehow functioning in the aftermath whispered.)

“I healed you,” he eventually answered.

She narrowed her eyes and scanned his face. “What did you use?”

“What do you mean?”

“Most spells you use to heal me have you at least a little exhausted, or leave some kind of trace. You look perfectly fine. Expect…except you’re crying. Why are you crying, Tom?”

He was crying?

Dammit.

“I thought I was going to lose you, Eden.” Double dammit. His voice quivered (his mind shuddered in disgust). “I can’t lose you, ever.” She wiped away his tears and he couldn’t help but lean into her soft touch.

“I’m not going anywhere, Tom.”

(How unfortunate. Joy. The part had grown. Was it possible to remove it without killing himself?)

He laid down beside her and held her tight in his arms as he tried to fight the anxiety that still ate at his heart.

(Awe…we have a heart. It must be pretty crunchy, with it being frozen and all. Just die dammit!)

She was there, she was safe, and she was alive.

He didn’t know how long he laid there in her arms as he tried to force himself to stay awake, but soon—due to the delicious fingers that ran through his hair—he fell asleep.

The worry that had gnawed at him since the last time he had seen her, and the pure panic he had just experienced faded away, along with wizened words spoken by Father Magic.

 

Chapter Text

Friday, November 24, 1944

        Head Dorms 

Eden opened her eyes when his fingers brushed against her cheek later that morning, about six hours after he had fallen asleep.

“You’re still here,” he whispered, his voice, face, and eyes filled with awe.

She nodded her head. “I’m not tired. I haven’t been tired since you healed me.”

“Were you tired before I healed you?

She thought for a moment and sorted through her more than slightly jumbled memories. “I’m not sure. I just remember darkness and a voice…. I couldn’t understand what they were saying though, I remember that much. It was also comforting, somehow…somehow it almost felt like coming home after a long, hard day.”

“What happened, Eden? What did that to you?” She looked down from his icy blue eyes and ran her fingers along the collar of his shirt. “Eden?”

“It was a Lightning Wyvern.”

His grip tightened until she thought she’d snap in half. “What?”

And so she told him exactly what happened, from waking up, preparing—and the panic attack that came with that—and the actual fighting of the dragon. “I don’t really remember much of what happened after it decided to shoot me up with lightning, but, I do remember something hitting my back, and then hitting something hard, and then nothing.”

He frowned as he paused for a moment and thought. “If you weren’t a natural Occlumens I would just peak in and see what happened, even the parts you don’t remember clearly. Your consciousness is just trying to protect you from a traumatic event, similar to what happened in your first year. I’m sure that if we had a pensieve I could pull it out—both memories—and we can see what happened.”

“I don’t really care about what happened in first year to be honest,” she said with a shrug after a moment. As far as she could tell, there was no lasting effect from it, so, she really didn’t want to go drag up whatever traumatic event her mind blocked for her. “I do, however, want to know what happened during the Tournament and what I did wrong. If I had my bag on me, I could order one.”

“How?”

“Cissica and the Albino Peacock give me a monthly allowance of sickening proportions. And, I just end up shoving the pouches with the money into my bag. I move them into my Trunk every couple of months….” She trailed off as she muttered to herself, unaware of the fond smile that was sent at her.

“Might I ask how much?”

“I’m not entirely sure. They refuse to tell me and have charmed the bags to make it impossible to tell how much is in there without pulling it all out and counting it by hand. Dragon says his is 10,000 galleons, but, he also says he’s sure mine is more than that.”

“Why would they give you more money than their own son?” he asked in the uniquely blunt way of his.

“I guess they’re trying to take care of me the only way that they know they can, and that’s by setting me up with enough money to be able to get away from my family as soon as I can. I’ve tried to give it back to them, but when they found out, they started charming the bags so only I could open them, and that the money would go into a vault they opened for me if I tried to send it back to Gringotts. I wasn’t pleased when I found out.”

Tom kissed her forehead. “You are far too nice, my darling.”

“I don’t know about that. Sometimes I think I protest because I feel like that’s the right thing to do, and other times it’s really because I feel guilty. I mean, they don’t have to take care of me. And I know they aren’t being hurt by helping me this way, I just…. I don’t want to be in their debt, you know?”

“You, Miss Eden, are the most Hufflepuff Slytherin I have ever met.”

She scrunched her nose at him and stuck her tongue out. “Don’t call me that,” she whined.

He laughed and pressed another gentle kiss to her forehead. “How are you feeling, darling?”

She desperately fought the butterflies that fluttered around her stomach in sickening—nauseating trembling quivering fluttering—gales. “I feel good. I mean, my legs are slightly numb, but, other than that, I feel great. A little weak, but great.”

He sat up and ran diagnostic spells on her body. “When you arrived, most of your lower body was extremely injured. I wouldn’t be surprised if something important had broken and is taking longer to heal than everything else.” He started to poke and prod at her uncovered legs. “Can you feel this?”

“Yeah, it’s dull, like you’re poking me through a large pile of thick blankets, but, I can still feel it.”

He climbed out of the bed and lifted her up and held her close to his chest. “Let’s see if you can walk.” He placed her feet gently on the ground and held her hips and kept most of her weight off of her feet before he slowly lowered her down, ready to catch her if her legs gave out. “I’m going to take a step back, and you’re going to walk with me.”

“Okie.” He slowly took a step back, and she copied him. She could move her legs just fine, but when she put all of her weight on one, she crumbled into him. “That feels weird!” she giggled against his chest.

“Weird how?”

“You know when you’ve been running for a long time, or exercising your legs a lot and they’re tired and feel like jelly? That’s what it feels like.” Tom nodded and lifted her into his arms before he carried her over to the couch. He sat down and pulled her into his lap in a Super Tom Bear Hug—although she felt this one was more for him than her. “You’re clingy. Are you alright?”

“I thought you were going to die in my arms, Eden. Of course I’m not alright. I couldn’t protect you, and…” he trailed off, his frustration and anger at himself clear in his tone.

She leaned up and pressed a kiss to the underside of his clenched jaw. “You did save me, Tom. No one could have protected me better than you have. Had I not been trained by you, I’d be dead. Tom, I fell asleep here, and for the first time, I stayed here. I was probably a breath away from Death’s door, and you saved me.”

He buried his face in her neck and she reached up and ran her fingers through his soft hair. He slowly relaxed, and his breathing became less ragged. Eventually his arms were slung loosely around her waist, and his breath was even. “I never want to let you go again,” he murmured softly.

Eden flushed and tried to slow her erratically beating heart down by sheer will—it didn’t work. “I don’t want you to,” she admitted just as softly.

It wasn’t until after he finished breakfast that he spoke again. “I’ll get a pensieve from Abraxas, and then we’ll analyze the Task and see how you could have done better. Then, when you have full feeling back in your legs again, we’ll begin training. We don’t know how long you’ll be here, but we can’t afford to waste any time.”

Eden pressed a kiss against his skin. “Alright.”


Sunday, November 26, 1944

        Compartment 1—Training Arena 

Eden and Tom were three quarters of the way done with the Obstacle Course from Hell on the Second Layer—level 2 (cry)—when she suddenly stopped, her head tilted to the right.

How is she?

Still sleeping.

Her injuries?

They’re perfectly healed, although we’ve yet to figure out what that bright red and purple light was. Her spine finished healing a few days ago, thanks to your Blood Magic.

Why isn’t she awake?

I don’t know, Severus. I don’t know, and I pray to the Olde gods that someone does.

She recognized the voices. What was going on? Why did Snakey-Snape sound so lost? She had never heard his voice crack like that before.

“Eden! Move dammit!” She came back to her current present at Tom’s frightening bellow and scrambled forward as a blast of boiling flames scorched where she had just been standing. “What the bloody hell were you thinking?” Tom demanded from the platform five feet away that she was supposed to be on with him.

“I heard someone talking.”

“No one was talking, dear,” he gibed as he scowled at her.

“I know. It was people talking in my time.”

He straightened, waved his hand, and the Obstacle Course from Hell shut down and the platforms they were on lowered back to the ground. “What do you mean?”

“Madam P and Snakey-Snape were talking about me.”

“What did they say?” he demanded as he walked over to her to check her over.

“They said I’m perfectly healed and that my spine finished healing a few days ago due to Snakey-Snape using Blood Magic, and they have no idea as to why I’m still asleep.”

He decided she was fine and looked into her eyes. “Anything else?”

“Apparently there was a red light at some point. Did you use Medela Aer?” At his uncomfortable and slightly confused look, she repeated the question, and his confusion seemed to fade.

He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. “No. I—I used Medela Aer Grandis.”

“What’s the difference?”

“It uses three branches of magic instead of just one.”

“And they are?”

“Considered evil. Mostly.”

She pulled away enough to give him an unimpressed look. “I want to know what the three branches of Magic that the ritual uses, Tom. No beating around the bush, no cleaver or sweet talking your way out of it. What are they?”

“I trained you too well.”

“Answer the question. And, I’m not a pet.” She pulled away from him and crossed her arms in front of her chest and leveled him with her best glare—she would forever ignore the fact that he called it her Teddy Bear Glare.

“You’re my—”

“Answer the damn question!” Her magic crackled around her and caused her hair to float slightly.

What the….

What’s wrong?

Her magic is flaring up.

Why?

I don’t know. I’ll run some tests now.

Eden ignored the voices.

“Dark Magic, Blood Magic, and…”

She lifted an unimpressed brow. “And?” It was almost like he knew his answer would get him into deep trouble.

“Aether Magic.”

Huh. Maybe not.

“What’s Aether Magic?”

“A very rare, very old, very…obscure branch of Magic. Some consider the Aether to be Father Magic, the companion to Mother Magic.”

Yep. He was in so much trouble. “What was the Price?”

He looked away, clearly uncomfortable. “I don’t know what you mean.”

She had never wanted to hit him more in her life—which was saying something. “You told me yourself,” she started in a deadly hiss so very close to Parseltongue, “that Olde Magick always has a Price. What’s the Price of Medela Aer Grandis?”

He sighed and pulled her back to his chest. “I really need to stop teaching you,” he grumbled as he buried his face in hair which was in a bun on top of her head. “I honestly don’t know what the Price was. There was no Debt called, no permanent effect on my magic. Nothing.” His brows furrowed for a moment in confusion before the expression cleared with a soft shake of his head.

“Huh…”

The two stood silent for a while before they finished the Obstacle Course from Hell in silence. 

 

Bathroom 

Tom stood under the hot water as it cascaded down his skin. His hands were pressed up against the shower wall, and water dripped from the tips of his hair, nose and eyelashes as he stared at the water as it swirled down the drain.

He didn’t know what to do.

He was pretty sure he knew what the Price of Medela Aer Grandis was, and if that truly was it….

He didn’t know what he’d do if that truly was the Price of the Olde Magik. 

 

Head Dorms 

It wasn’t until after Tom had showered and had sat down to study, that she spoke again.

“Promise me you’ll never use it again.”

“What?”

Medela Aer Grandis. Promise you won’t use it again.

“I can’t do that.”

“Tom, we can’t risk a Debt being placed on you, or a permanent effect on your magic. Please, Tom, Promise me.”

He opened his arms with a sigh and she immediately moved to sit in his lap. “Fine. I, Tom Marvolo Riddle, Promise to never use Medela Aer Grandis ever again. So I say it, so mote it be.” There was a heavy snap of Magic in the air as the Vow took hold.

“Thank you,” she whispered as she placed a kiss on his cheek.

“I hope you know that this means more training,” he grumbled into her neck.

“I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t.” 

|}(){

It was later that night, as Tom dressed for bed while she read an obscure treatise on what was commonly referred to as the Dark Patronus, when she felt a sharp sting in her right arm. She yelped, slapped her arm, and threw the book across the bed. It fell off with a light thud as Tom tripped over the dressing screen he had conjured.

“What’s wrong? What is it?” he demanded as he rushed over half dressed.

“Something bit me,” she hissed as she rubbed her arm. She lifted to appendage to her face and scanned her inner elbow, and in the crease, right on top of a thin blue vein, was a small red dot. Tom gently pulled her arm away from her face and scanned it himself. He ran his thumb gently over the mark, and her heart pounded in her chest at the comfort the action brought.

He murmured a healing spell, and the blemish glowed a bright blue for a few moments before it faded away.

What the…

What’s wrong? Eden’s head tilted to the left and her left eyebrow furrowed.

Has something happened?

“What is it?’

“Shushy!”

Where I gave the injection—Eden’s eyes widened—just glowed and healed itself.

What did you give her?

Wide-Eye Potion.

Why?

She hasn’t woken up yet. I’ve been conferring with some colleagues at St. Mungo’s and we are all of the opinion that it might help wake her up. I’m also going to start giving her three nutritional potions and a hydrating potion this way too. She doesn’t seem to take well to taking the potions orally. More pricks followed this statement, and Tom healed them as they appeared. That is so strange.... Madam P murmured.

Do you think she can hear us?

I don’t know. It’s worth a try. I’ll give you three sometime alone with her.

“Eden, what’s going on?”

“People are talking again.”

Hey pup, Uncle Sirius started with a thick voice, I just wanted to let you know how proud I am of you, and how much I love and miss you. I don’t know if you can hear me, but, if you can, know that you’re missed and loved, and that we don’t care what Core type you have.

When you wake up, I’ll take you shopping, okay, sweetie? Just…please wake up, baby, Aunt Mariea begged softly, her voice wet.

I’ll get you all of the books you could ever want, cub, just…. Uncle Remus trailed off with a choked sound.

We’ll come visit you when we can. It’s hard to sneak in, but, we’ll do it every day until you wake up.

The voices stopped and she jumped when Tom wiped at her face. “What is it, love?”

“Moony, Padfoot, and Wings miss me. They came to visit. Apparently they’re sneaking into Hogwarts to see me. They also said that they accept me for my Core type. I don’t know how they found out though.”

Tom pulled her into his arms and ran his hand soothingly up and down her back. “You sustained a substantial amount of injuries. They probably scanned your Core to find a way to heal you faster. Not that you needed them,” he added on slyly. She rolled her eyes and pinched him, to which he responded in kind. “What about the dots?”

“They’re injecting potions into me directly.” She explained what they were and why they were doing it.

Tom pressed a kiss to her forehead and pulled away from her. He quickly finished dressing for bed, and handed her the book she had been reading. He laid down on the bed next to her and wrestled her into laying down next to him. He wrapped her in his arms, and soon drifted off to sleep—similar to how he had done it the night before.

Really, couldn’t he have just asked her? She was more than willing to cuddle.

 

Unlike its cousin, the Patronus Charm, the Salvator Spell does not rely on a happy memory to summon a Spirit Guardian (more commonly known as a Patronus).

As most Dark type Witches and Wizards in our current times do not have sufficient happy memories, due to the circumstances surrounding them, and the way that they are treated by most of society, they often feel that they do not have happy enough memories, or are not ‘pure’ enough, when in fact that is not the case. But, because of this belief, they are destined to fail.

In order to counteract this misconception, and to add protection for all, a group of Dark type Witches and Wizards gathered together to create a spell that they felt anyone could cast, no matter their Core type. Thanks to this group, headed by Jameson Salvator, the Salvator Spell was created.

Similar to the Patronus Charm the Spell requires a memory, only instead of the happiest of memories, a memory of great sadness or a life changing event will suffice.

 

Eden looked up from the faintly glowing pages of the book and pulled out Tom’s wand and fingered it slightly with her left hand—she could cast with her left hand, but she was better with her right (Tom insisted on making her ambidextrous with her casting just like him—it was slow going as they had been at it for four years). “A life altering or sad memory, huh? What about both?”

She allowed the too-often thought of memory of when her father first hit her to fill her mind, and moved the wand in the required movement as she whispered the spell so as to not wake Tom. “Salvatorem Expectamus.”

A bright white mist spilled out of the wand and slowly took the form of a phoenix. A hand wrapped around the wand and the spell was whispered behind her, and a small magpie joined her phoenix.

The two birds flew around the room in a beautiful dance to some ethereal music that only they could hear, and lulled Tom back to sleep, and Eden into a state of half-consciousness.


Monday, November 27, 1945

        Head Dorms  

I miss you, Eden.

School isn’t the same without you. Neither is the common room, or meal times, or even arguing with Pansy.

We—the Slytherin’s—have been doing Ancient Prayer Ceremonies to Mother Magic and Lady Brigid in the Ceremony Room that’s hidden deep in the dungeons, but…you’re not waking up.

You’re not dying either.

So, I guess we could kind of say that it’s working?

Uncle Severus has been acting strange. It’s hard to put in to words, but, if I had to try, I’d say it’s almost like he’s in some kind of catatonic state. He barely eats, barely teaches—we’ve just been reading in the textbook since he’s healed from the Strain since the Task.

He spends a lot of time next to you.

We all do, to be honest.

Potty also seems to be in a strange state as well. I don’t understand him.

He claims to hate you, and verbally abuses you, but somehow…. Somehow he misses you. Probably as much as I miss you. A few days ago, his mudblood Granger came up to us and asked us how you were doing. I don’t know if your brother sent her, but, she seemed genuinely worried.

Weasel is still as obnoxious as ever.

Uhm…what else is going on…?

OH! Skeeter is writing some pretty amazing stuff against Professor Dumbledore. One day I’ll have to bring one of her articles and read it to you. She’s mainly writing about how he tried to prevent you from getting the care that you needed to be healed.

I’m sorry to say but…she leaked your Core type.

Surprisingly, though, it’s not getting any hate towards you like most people would get.

In the same article that she released your Core type, she mentioned that you had been born a Light Core, and that you now have a Pure Dark Core. She did some pretty in depth research and even got some experts on the subject to comment. It was explained that the only way that a Core Change of that magnitude can come around is from traumatic experiences like severe child abuse, as the only time that a Core Change can happen is within the first 10 years of life—it apparently solidifies after you get your wand.

I don’t know if mother and father will be able to adopt you because of the articles, but, I really hope that they can. You’re my sister in everything but blood.

But, I also think that Uncle Sirius will be the one to adopt you if you are freed from the monkey’s guardianship. I don’t care. As long as you’re away from them, happy and healthy, I’d be happy for you.

Hell, if the Dark Lord were still living, you could marry him and I’d be happy as long as he kept you away from them, and happy and healthy.

Pansy wanted me to tell you that she misses you. She’s currently in class, or else she’d be here too. Normally I wouldn’t help her win brownie points like that, but…I’m hoping that maybe knowing that you’re missed…maybe you’ll finally wake up.

Ouch! Dammit!

I just want to hold your hand, Eden.

I want you to wake up.

Please wake up, sister.

I need you. 

Eden curled into a tight ball after Draco fell silent and cried. She didn’t care if she woke Tom up with her tears.

She missed her brother. 

Madam Pomfrey! Madam Pomfrey! Come quickly!

What? What is it? What’s wrong?

Look!

What? She’s—she’s—she’s—

She’s crying.


Tuesday, November 28, 1944

        Head Dorms 

“I have been moved to St. Mungo’s and I have been pricked four, technically twenty, more times, and have been declared to be in a Magical Coma,” Eden informed Tom from her spot on the ground in front of the trunk when he arrived back from lunch.

“Is that why the Course ate you up and spat you back out?” he questioned slyly as he sat next to her and wrapped his arms around her.

“I was going easy on it.”

He hummed and kissed the side of her neck. “Sure you were.”

She took a deep breath and ignored the pounding in her chest and pushed her way out of his arms and stood. “How was class?” She yelped when his hands found their way back around her and pulled her back to him. She landed with a dull groan when he pulled her a little too hard.

“It was good. Bloody hard not to laugh when you were being tossed around like a ragdoll, but, alas, somehow I made it through.”

Eden pouted and tried to bite him.

“Sadist,” she grumbled after many failed attempts and surrender. She yelped and rubbed her aching nose with a glare at him.

He bit too hard.

“Masochist.” 

 

Compartment 9—Barren Wasteland 

Eden swore loudly and violently when she slipped five feet. When her feet landed on the outcropping she had been trying to leave for the last five minutes, she leaned against the face of the mountain and swore even more.

“Eden dear, I don’t think that swearing at the mountain is going to get you anywhere,” Tom idly commented from where he was most-likely lounging on the couch reading a good book.

“I’d like to see you try and do this,” she gasped through a burning—raging hurting dying boiling—throat. Her lungs were also on fire, and she knew that water would help.

Now, if only she could drink water.

Almost as if it had a mind of its own, her magic summoned a clear goblet of water, and unable to resist, she grabbed it. She hesitated for only a moment before she pressed the rim against her lips, and titled her head back, and began to drink.

Unlike when they had tested what she could and couldn’t do while she was with Tom in the past, the water actually passed her lips, trailed a soothing path down her parched and burning throat, before it oozed down her esophagus and pooled in her stomach. It was quite possibly one of the best things she had ever experienced.

Until it disappeared.

She gagged at the strange feeling, but the goblet was full once more, and she still burned, so she drank.

“Eden?”

“Yes?”

“Are you…drinking?”

“I think so. I could be hallucinating though,” she answered after she finished the goblet and gagged again when it disappeared once more.

“How are you able to drink?”

“I have no clue.”

“Okay.” She could tell that it pained him to say this.

She drank some more, and a prick in her elbow had the water sloshing out of her cup and against her skin. “Hey, do you think that one of the potions could be the cause as to why I can drink now?”

“Depends. What are they giving you?”

“Wide-Eye, three nutritional, and a hydrating potion.”

“It could be the hydrating potion is causing you to be able to drink, as you’re exercising without water, and you’re dehydrating yourself. I really have no clue.”

“How that must ache.”

“Keep climbing, witch.”

“Bastard.”

“Language.”

“Sadist.”

“Masochist.”


Saturday, December 2, 1944

        Head Dorms 

Is everything alright, Healer Michaels?

Eden sat up from where her head had been resting on Tom’s legs as they read and tilted her head to the side as her book fell to the floor with a heavy thud.

Was something wrong?

Healer Michaels, was—as she gathered—her main healer, and was trained in both muggle and magical medicine. She didn’t hear him often, but, whenever she did, it was usually him informing her visitors—the Malfoy’s, Sirius, Remus, and Mariea (and whichever student decided to risk detention and House-points at that moment in time)—that she was fine, only in a Magical Coma, and that if she were ever to awaken, she would do so on her own terms.

“What is it, darling?” Tom asked.

“Shh. Healer Michaels.”

Everything is nearly perfect, which is why I’m confused.

What do you mean?

Typically, people, when on prolonged bedrest or in a vegetative state like Miss Potter, their bodies and magic start to deteriorate.

What do you mean?

They lose muscle, fat, weight. Their magic starts to decrease; they become nothing more than skin and bones. Miss Potter, however, seems to not only be losing the fat on her body—and even then it’s at a much more rapid pace than any others I’ve seen—she also seems to be gaining muscle. Her magic flares at the most random of times. She sweats at the most random of times. Sometimes I swear that I see cuts or injuries on her, but when I move to get a closer look, they’re gone. I’ve done countless tests. I’ve had others test her, I’ve even debated on letting muggles have a go, but, they would use machines and those can never be trusted when it comes to a Magical being, and even if it could be, because of the Magical Coma, they wouldn’t be able to touch her to do tests.

So…she’s healthier than she should be?

Yes.

…And you’re worried?

Yes.

It was silent for a moment.

Have you heard about her healing directly after the Task?

The glowing red and purple light?

Yes. Do you think that could have something to do with it?

Silence.

Perhaps.

Healer Michaels, if I may, I think you should stop worrying unless she takes a turn for the worst. She’s fine, in a Magical Coma, but other than that, fine.

You’re right, Healer Johnson. I’m just confused.

“You and me both, buddy,” Eden whispered.

“What’s going on?” Tom asked after her head straightened—a sign that the talking on her side was finished (or at least done listening).

“Our plan is working—the one to keep me healthy. The exercise we’re doing here is affecting my body there,” she explained.

“Even though we aren’t seeing any visible changes here?’

“Evidently so.”

The two were silent as they both contemplated the information received. “I really wish we knew what was going on,” she said after a moment. “Or at least had something to compare it to.”

He sighed and gently pulled her head back into his lap and ran his fingers through her hair. “So do I, little one, so do I.”


Tuesday, December 5, 1944

        Transfiguration Classroom 

Something was wrong with Tom.

At least, according to Eden there was. She currently stood behind him in his Transfiguration class under a disillusionment spell—this one was slightly altered to make it more pleasant—with her hand on his shoulder. While it wasn’t a strange occurrence for her to attend classes with him—up until November, that was basically all they did—this was the first time that she’d attended with him since the Task nearly 2 weeks ago. She supposed that that fact and his stubborn clinginess could explain his current behavior—but she didn’t think that truly got it right.

What was strange about this class—and his behavior (she was sure it would last for the next two classes as well)—was that he absolutely refused to let her walk around the classroom.

It wasn’t uncommon for her to walk around with play with things the professors had in the rooms whenever she got bored. She did it in all of his classes, but her favorites were Transfiguration—because of Ol’ Dumbles—and History of Magic because duh.

In those two classes, it wasn’t uncommon to have objects suddenly be in the air and tossed around before being caught and put back just as the professor turned around to find out why the class was laughing during their Very Boring Lecture.

The students in all of his classes—but mainly those two—had come to the collective—if not incompletely correct—conclusion that one of the students in the class was practicing nonverbal and wandless magic.

Eden had already tried three times to start playing with Dumbles new pet—a phoenix (how ironic)—only to be spelled in place by Tom. She would spend the next three minutes getting out of the spell and then she’d wait patiently—okay, impatiently—for another four minutes before she attempted to go again.

When the current four minutes were up, she dropped her hand off of his shoulder and waited for another minute to see if he would spell her in place again. When his magic didn’t touch her, she took a silent step back and had to hide a cry of joy when again, he didn’t spell her.

She made it to the side of his desk before her feet were spelled to the floor.

She didn’t bother to hide her angry grumbles—although they were silent enough that those still practicing the assignment didn’t hear her. She crossed her arms over her chest and scowled at him.

His lips twitched as if he could see her doing so before he performed the spell perfectly. Her scowl deepened and she stole his wand—and turned it invisible—just as Dumbles walked up. “Well done Tom—what?”

Eden had exacted Revenge.

She had waved Tom’s wand and transfigured Tom’s finger tips into knife points and Dumbles beard into a nest of snakes. Unable to hide her laughter, Eden snorted and covered her mouth as he turned to her. “It seems that one of you has deemed it fit to practice body transfiguration on a classmate and me today. Who did it?”

Eden easily broke out of the spell—thank you, wand—and ran up to stand behind the phoenix. “I did,” she called out softly. She reached out a gentle hand and pet the bird softly on its head. It cooed gently and leaned into her touch as it turned its head slightly and looked straight into her eyes.

Could phoenixes see through magic?

“Fawkes?”

She successfully hid a snort and swore she saw amusement in the bird’s eyes. “That’s not my name, but yes, ‘twas I, ‘twas I,” she responded flippantly.

If birds could laugh, the phoenix would be doing so, if the trills were anything to go by.

“But—” Before he could finish, the bell rang and only Tom had managed to complete the assignment.

Tom summoned his wand and pulled her to him with a tight rope of magic. Her elbow jabbed into Dumbles stomach as Tom’s bag packed itself. He put a magical leash on her and pulled her out of the classroom behind him. His magic swirled around him in an angry haze. “Abraxas, please inform Professor Merrythought that I won’t be able to attend class today.”

“Of course, Tom.”

He pulled her into an unused classroom and after he locked the doors and put up wards, dropped the spells from Eden. “Fix it,” he hissed as he held out his hands to her. Eden giggled and did as ordered. She twirled his wand through her fingers before she handed it back. “I’m torn between punishing you and rewarding you,” he said thoughtfully a moment later.

Eden sat on a desk and swung her legs back and forth. “Explain your reasoning for both.”

“I want to reward you for the beard and pretending to be his pet and sending him into a midlife crisis. I want to punish you for transfiguring my fingers. How do you stand doing that with your Ring?” he demanded as he flexed the appendages.

“I only do my fingernail, and it’s only long enough to cut my finger. As to your reasoning, they are both valid reasons. Might I suggest doing both as you seem so torn?”

He rose a brow as his lips quirked. “You’re willing to be punished?”

She scoffed slightly. “Knowing you, it’s going to be the Obstacle Course From Hell set to the Ninth Layer setting.”

The grin she received in reply should be highly illegal; punishable by Azkaban, in fact. 

 

Compartment 10—Labyrinth 

“Remind me to never encourage you to punish me again!” she shrieked into his back as a large bird flew over their heads twenty minutes later.

Tom laughed and shot a blue spell at it. “You know, I don’t think I will.”

A roar sounded behind her and she turned to come face to face with Abyss. The rotting flesh on his face almost caused her to gag—really, compared to the Horcruxes though, that was nothing (it was only this thought that allowed her to not dry heave).

“Alright, I’ve been punished enough,” she whined, near tears as she pushed into his back in a weak attempt to get away from the Hellhound. “Please can we go now?” She climbed on top of him as Abyss took a step closer to her. The Hellhound roared and flesh-eating saliva shot towards the two.

Tom laughed and the two flew out of the trunk, the saliva missing them by millimeters. 

 

Head Dorms 

He placed her on the couch and knelt in front of her shaking form. “Are you alright?” he asked softly as his hands rubbed up and down her arms and stroked her hands. His heart broke whenever he saw her like this, and it seemed to shatter whenever he was the cause.

She swallowed and nodded. “Yeah. Please don’t make me go in there again,” she whispered. Somehow, his heart broke even more when he saw the tears begin to pool in her eyes.

He moved his hands to hold her face. He ran his thumbs along the bottom of her eyes, and the tears that had pooled spilled out at the motion. “I won’t make you go in there unless you ask to, my love.” He leaned forward and kissed away her tears and wrapped her tightly in his arms. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

She returned his embrace, and his heart slowly started to mend itself as she curled into him. “I know.” 

 

Ancient Runes Classroom 

It was during the last class of the day that Eden decided that Tom was either ill, dying, or certifiable.

Possibly all three.

She was spelled to the floor underneath his desk—he probably did it in an attempt to prevent another transfiguration of body parts (if she were truly motivated, however, the spell wouldn’t stop her)—while he worked on an assignment that she didn’t quite understand, mainly because she hadn’t been paying attention to the professor when she assigned it.

She flinched and banged her knee against the edge of the desk and slapped her hands over her mouth to keep from making a sound when his hand found its way into her hair. She heard his deep chuckle as the ward to allow them to speak to each other lifted around them.

“You’re a bastard,” she teased as she rubbed her knee.

He chuckled once more and ran his fingers through her hair again. “You love me,” he insisted.

“Hmm, not so sure I do,” she replied softly. He tensed and the fingers in her hair stopped their movements. Had she done something wrong? They always teased each other like this. “Tom?” she whispered, “did I say something wrong?”

She heard him take a shaky breath before his hand moved to rest on top of his desk. “I’m fine.”

The ward dropped and they spoke no more until the class neared its end when she wrapped her small hand around his ankle. The ward quickly formed around them. “I do care about you, Tom. You’re my closest friend, and you know me better than I know myself, sometimes. I need you in my life. I say the wrong things, and I don’t think, and, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you think that I don’t like you.”

His hand landed back on her head with a bit of groping and he again gently ran his fingers through her hair once more. “I forgive you.”

She smiled and nuzzled her nose against his knee. “Good.”

He chuckled once more, and fire raced through the very foundation of her most basic genetic makeup as it echoed in her ears. He dropped the ward, and the two remained in companionable silence, with her fingers around his ankle, and his in her hair. 

 

Head Dorms 

“Remind me why we’re doing this again?” she demanded as they climbed out of the Running Track room.

“To keep you healthy,” he panted from behind her.

She collapsed to the floor, her legs jelly, her stomach aching, and her lungs burning. “Wrong. You’re trying to kill me. That’s why we’re doing this.”

He laid down next to her and wrapped his arms around her, despite how terribly they both sweated. As she lay panting, she heard the faint sound of drops as their bodies tried to cool down. “I’m trying to keep you alive.”

“You could do it a better way,” she gasped. She grimaced as she felt the sweat drip down their bodies and onto the stone floor.

He placed a kiss on her sweaty cheek. “You know…I don’t think I could.”

“Bastard.”

“Language, darling.”

“Sadistic bastard.” He smirked against her cheek.

“Masochist.”

“Unfortunately.”

“W-What?” He drew away from her at stared at her with wide eyes.

“What?” she asked in a naïve voice.

Chapter Text

Saturday, December 9, 1944

        Head Dorms

“Eden, for the love of Mordred, I swear if you don’t get up right now, I’m going to hex you to the moon and back!” he snarled as he yanked the blanket off of her for the third time. Instead of leaving it within semi-easy reach like he had before, he pulled it off of the bed completely and threw it to the side.

“Why?” she whined before she pushed her head under her pillow, her book all but forgotten as it fell to the floor with a dull thud. She squinted with a vile hiss when that was yanked away from her too. She grabbed his pillow—that still smelled like him—and soon the bed was bare of everything except for Eden and the spelled sheets—she had no doubt that were they not spelled to stay on the bed, they would be gone as well.

“Because I said so.”

Why? It’s Saturday,” she moaned. He sat down on the bed with a deep sigh and pulled harshly on her hand and yanked her into his chest. She fought him and he quickly wrapped his arms around her, so she was more sushi roll than human. “You said I could have today off!” She tried to pull out of his embrace and failed once more.

She was so sore. She had been looking forward to finally having a day where she could do whatever she wanted, whether that was read anything she could get her hands on, or annoy the absolute hell out of Tom—she wasn’t picky, as long as she didn’t have to go into the bloody trunk, she was good.

“Yes, that is true. The reason I gave you today off from your training, is because I’m taking you on a date,” he explained as he started to run his fingers through her hair, his magic easing out the tangles from a night of him cuddling her while she read.

She tried to pull away once more. “Why the bloody hell are you taking me on a date?” she demanded over his grunts from her elbowing him in the stomach. “I don’t exist here! Have you forgotten that crucial teeny tiny insignificant little fact?” She accidently kicked him in the crotch. While he writhed in agony, she quickly saved the fluffy blanket from Eternal Doom and curled up like a potato on the bed as far away as she could get from Tom. “Oh, wait!” she started, “I—ouch, bloody hell that hurt! I know! You’re going to be holding hands with an invisible girl so your friends will all make fun of you,” she snipped over his groans of pain.

She rubbed at her arm where five red dots were now bleeding lightly—it seemed that the longer she was in the Coma, the more her not-physical(?) body reacted to the things that affected her real body in her time. She healed the dots and giggled at a particularly explicit hiss from Tom. She rolled just enough so she could stare at him comfortably, and when she giggled again, he glared at her.

“I’m starting to believe that you’re the sadist, my dear,” he groaned. He quickly recovered—she suspected he cast some sort of pain-relief spell—and once again doomed her to a cold rest—that is, if he’d let her rest. They both had extraordinary levels of stubbornness that would one day either get them killed—by the other—or living happily ever after—it depended on the day (sometimes even the time of day) for which one she hoped for.

“No,” she started as she curled into a ball once more, “maybe…. It’s only part-time,” she decided. “You’re a full-time sadist; I’m a part-time sadist, and a full-time masochist.”

Tom ceased in his trying to get her off the bed for a moment as he groaned. “Please stop saying that.”

Her left brow furrowed in confusion. “But why?”

He paused once more in trying to pull her off by her ankle—it kind of hurt, to be honest. “Do you even know what those two words mean?”

Yes. A sadist is someone who enjoys inflicting pain upon another person, and a masochist is someone who finds gratification in pain.”

“So, can you see as to why it would make me uncomfortable to have you say that?”

“No.” He started to protest. “You don’t gain anything worthwhile without pain. I don’t know if it’s a saying in this time, but, no pain, no gain is very popular in my time.”

He gave one last hard tug on her ankle and maneuvered her so she sat on the bed to face him. He placed his hands on either side of her neck and tilted her head back to look her in the eyes. “You really are innocent, aren’t you, my little one,” he said in awe.

“What are you talking about?” He blushed and adverted his gaze. “Why are you blushing, Tom?”

“It’s nothing.”

He refused to look at her.

“It most certainly is not nothing. This is the most you’ve blushed since I got here when you were in the showers in first year. Tell! Me!”

Tom sighed after three minutes of incessant prodding and sat down on the bed next to her—he seemed to make sure that there was some space between them—a very stark contrast to the last few weeks, when if they were in the same room, and not training, they needed to be touching. “Fine, you mangy pest. Usually…when someone refers to themselves as a masochist…they mean it in a…uh…sexual connotation.”

Eden flushed a brilliant red, and she swore that her face melted as he continued to refuse to look at her. “Oh, uh…I…. Uh—”

She stood and ran to his bathroom; after she closed and locked the door, she hid in the large clawfoot tub with her arms wrapped tightly around her shins and her chin propped on her bony knees.

A soft knock echoed on the door.

“Eden?” When she didn’t respond to her name, or the various other names that he called her, he just unlocked the door and stepped into the room.

He stood in the doorway for a moment and stared at her before a soft smile spread across his lips. He climbed in to the tub and wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her into his side. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and pressed his cheek against it. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.

“No, I’m sorry. I should have realized that I was making you uncomfortable every time I said it,” she paused as she thought of all the times she had agreed or implied that she was a masochist after that first time. She hadn’t put much thought into it, but now that she realized it, she realized that she had agreed because it got some reaction out of Tom—a reaction she rarely saw. “But, Tom…. If you knew what it meant…in all connotations…why—why did you start calling me it?”

He looked away. “Because I was…” he sighed, “you had called me a sadist, and I just figured that it was true—I find great pleasure in causing others pain, as you well know…and I just thought…I don’t know. I guess since it appeared that you didn’t mind, I just—”

“It was a joke and not meant to be used in that way, and when I started to agree with you, you misunderstood me,” she explained for him to save them both from his babbling. At any given time, Tom was usually the most eloquent person in the universe, however, when he got blindsided, he got babbly—and it was a bad babbly.

She had learned long ago to stop him in his tracks whenever he started towards the Path of Tom-Babbling.

“Yes, exactly.”

They sat in uncomfortable silence as they basked in each other’s warmth and company.

“So, uh…. Date?” she asked when the tension became too much.

“Yes. Hogsmeade. And you’re going to be visible.”

“If you take me to Madam Puddifoot’s, I’m destroying the diary, the ring, and I am ending you.”

She, Pansy, Daphne, Millicent, Tracy, Ambrosia, Blaire, and Janice had all gone their third year as a bonding thing between the Slytherin girls in their year, just to see what all of the fuss was about.

Eden had never been back.

“Where?” he asked as he helped her out of her self-imposed prison and started to transfigure her clothes into something more appropriate than a halter tank-top, yoga pants, and a pair of socks she stole from Tom—hers had been destroyed beyond repair during the Task (she only had one on when she had fallen asleep).

“Oh, thank Morgana!” she gasped dramatically as she placed her hand over her heart. “Do you think that demonic ducks would overrule the future if I prevented that horrible, horrible, place from ever being built?”

Tom laughed deeply and lead her out of the bathroom. “I’m not entirely sure, but, considering the fact that you didn’t tell me that I’d become Head Boy for the exact same reason, I assume it’s a very high possibility considering how much of an affect it has had on you.”

Why didn’t he even bother to try to hide his amusement?

“Dammit.”

“Language.”

She lifted a brow—that was how she always admitted to being a masochist. “Do you really want to get into this again?”

He opened his mouth and then immediately snapped it shut as he realized what she had. “You’re right.”

“I thought you were right.”

“I am right.”

“Does that mean I’m left?

“What?”

“You need help.”

“I am absolutely positive, that out of the two of us, it is you who needs the help, my darling.”

Eden paused in her examination of her new clothes—they were apparently the height of pureblood fashion and (terribly itchy)—and looked at him with a critical eye. “Perhaps we both need help.”

 

Hogsmeade Path

Eden snickered softly as Orion Black tripped again due to the tripling jinx sent his way by Tom’s wand, wielded by her. Tom squeezed her hand in warning, and her response—really, he should have expected this—was to send one at Abraxas Malfoy. She had finally learned all of his roommates’ names—although Abraxas was by far the easiest because Lucius was practically a carbon copy of him, and she had met him in her time.

If you don’t stop,” he hissed softly, “then I will make you regret it.”

Oh, come on! You’re enjoying it as much as I am, if not more, you fricken sadist.”

His grip tightened on her hand, and he didn’t respond, which told her she was right in her statement—both of them—and had to desperately hide the snicker that so badly wanted to leave her lips.

 

Hogsmeade

After they reached the small village, the two branched off from his ‘friends’, and he pulled her into the tree line. Once they were surrounded by snow covered trees, he removed the disillusionment spell from her skin. She shivered at the feeling of the spell sliding off of her, and smiled at him. He offered her his arm, and once she took it, pulled her slightly closer and placed a kiss on her forehead—she wondered why a basilisk had grown in her stomach.

“Shall we, my lady?”

She giggled and nodded her head. “We shall.”

He put a spell on the trees and tugged her out from the grove of trees, and led her down the snow-covered pathway and in the direction of the pub filled with students. “Has it changed much from your time?” he asked softly as she huddled closer to him.

The stares the two of them received reminded her too much of the own she got in her time, and even though they weren’t hostile—mostly—she was strangely uncomfortable with them.

“Not really. There are some places here that are in my time,” she switched to Parseltongue as a group of girls started to walk uncomfortably close to them. She fought the urge to hex them as they pointed and giggled at Tom while they tried to flirt with him—bless his fractured soul, he didn’t even look at them.

And there are some places in my time that aren’t here; restaurants, stores, homes, and buildings are some of the main things that I don’t see, and there are even some places here that aren’t in my time.”

He nodded thoughtfully, tugged her closer once more, and opened the door to the bustling pub.

 

The Three Broomsticks

“What’s wrong?” he asked after he led her inside the pub, and she tightened her already tight hold on him.

“They’re staring,” she whispered, “I don’t like being stared at.” The sweet smell of ozone permeated the air for a moment, and then his comforting magic caressed her as it washed over her. A breath born of pure relief slipped through her lips when the stares were adverted. “Thank you.”

He pressed a kiss to the top of her head. “Of course.”

He easily led her through the packed pub and to the bar where he dropped the notice-me-not charm. “Two butterbeer’s please.” His hand moved down to rest on her left hip as he adjusted her so she stood in front of him, with her back pressed against his chest. He held her waist possessively with his right arm, and rested his chin on the top of her head, much to her consternation.

She felt his chest rumble, as if he were growling, and pulled her eyes away from examining the differences between her time and this time. She tilted her head back, which forced him to lift his head, and rested the crown of her head against his sternum. “What’s wrong?”

“They’re staring at you with lust,” he muttered in a hiss that was almost parseltongue. He turned his gaze down to her, and she recognized the burning fires of anger deep in his hardened icy orbs. She lifted her hand and awkwardly stroked his cheek. The hellfire in his eyes quickly died down and he turned his head enough to press a kiss to the palm of her right hand.

“I’m with you,” she whispered softly, “not them, you.”

“You’re right,” he sighed, “I’m just used to being the only one who can see you at any given time.”

Her eyes widened in realization. “That’s how you knew where I was and what I was doing that day in Transfiguration!”

He grinned and dropped a kiss to the top of her head. “Of course, I’m not going to risk losing you, especially since you don’t know how to drop the spell on your own.”

Supposedly it was just like dropping the disillusionment charm, but, she had yet to figure out how to drop it. “It’s not that I don’t know how…it’s just that I don’t have my wand.”

He rolled his eyes. “Our wands are brother’s, dearest. They’ll work for both of us, just as if they were our own.”

Their drinks were placed on the counter in front of them, and with a thank you, he led her over to a suddenly free table in the back corner next to a window and the two sat and drank their butterbeer’s and chatted and ignored the jealous and lustful stares sent their way.

“Alright, I’ve got one.” Tom was on his third glass of butterbeer, while she still had a bit left in her first glass, and they had been playing a game as they drank. “Would you rather do a sexy tango with a hippogriff or a mountain troll?”

Tom snorted into his drink and wiped at his mouth with a napkin that appeared on their table. “Sometimes I worry where you get your ideas, dear.”

As did she.

“Answer the question, Riddle.”

He smirked at the name. “I guess if I really had to, I’d do the hippogriff.”

Her lips twitched. Monty had corrupted her. “Why?”

“Once I earn its respect, it’s less likely to try and kill me.” Eden laughed and took a sip. “Would you rather date a Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff?”

“Oh, Hufflepuff by far,” she answered instantly.

“Would you rather…” she trailed off as she thought. “I’ve got nothing.” She slumped forward and her chin rested on the rim of her newly empty glass.

Tom smiled softly at her. “That’s fine. It appears we are both done, so, if you’d like, we could go elsewhere.” Eden nodded her assent and the two left the pub, a notice-me-not charm back in place. “Where would you like to go?” Eden smiled and took his hand in hers and pulled him after her.

She glanced behind her and smiled at him, and her heart fluttered at his return smile.

 

Hogwarts Property—Exact Location Unknown

They were among the last of the students to make their way up to the castle. The sun had set long ago, and the temperatures had dropped drastically. Tom had his arms wrapped tightly around Eden—he practically carried her—as they made their way slowly, but surely, back home.

After the Three Broomsticks, they had gone to Tomes and Scrolls and spent a majority of the day there reading various texts, and debating topics with their vast viewpoints—his from his personal experience, and her from the research that had been done in her time (she was careful to not give too many things away, though).

After that, they went to a jewelry store that didn’t exist in her time where she ogled at the sparkly items for probably much longer than she should have—Tom was truly a saint. And then about an hour prior, she had watched Tom obliviate and confund his ‘friends’ when they ran into each other and had started teasing the two.

“Did you have fun?” Tom asked after a moment. They were the only two on the tree-lined path, and it was dark and quiet, which made it seem like they were the only two people in the world.

“I did, thank you. I can’t imagine a better date.” She smiled at him, grateful that she didn’t wear the modified disillusionment charm.

“So…I did better than someone in your own time?”

Why did he sound so nervous?

“I assume so. I’ve never been on one before, but, from what Pansy, Senny, and Nee-Nee have told me, you did exponentially better than their dates.”

Draco, Blaise, and Theo really needed to take lessons from Tom.

He paused and turned her towards him. “This was your first date?”

Eden flushed and looked down and nodded. “Yeah.”

“Do you have any special customs in your time that you wished we had done?” She fought the blush that battled to rise to her cheeks and wasn’t sure if she succeeded or not. She quickly shook her head. “Are there any that we haven’t done that you don’t care about doing?”

Dammit.

“Well, I wouldn’t say that I don’t care about doing it.” She refused to look at his gloating eyes.

“And what would this custom be?” She flushed again and kept her eyes firmly adverted. She no longer knew if he was teasing her because he knew exactly what it was, or if he was genuinely curious (she didn’t know it, but it was the latter).

“Typically,” she started slowly, “theguykissesthegirlatthecommonroomentrance,” she said so fast and mumbled that his head reared back and his eyes widened.

“Pardon?”

“Theguykissesthegirlatthecommonroomentrance.”

“Eden, sweetie, could you say that a little bit louder and slower?” He forced her to look at him and her brows furrowed in distress.

She glared at him and adverted her eyes to his shoulder. “Typically…the guy…” she cut off and buried her face in her hands.

“You really want this, don’t you?” he teased softly—she didn’t see the understanding or want begin to light in his eyes.

“If you keep teasing me I won’t tell you!”

He pulled her head so she was again looking at him. “I apologize. Please, continue.”

She adverted her eyes and stared at the moon as it rose just behind his head. “Typically the guy…and the girl…at the common room…entrance…” She took a deep breath. Just say it, Eden! “Kiss.”

She startled when he stroked her cheek. She turned her eyes to him and blushed at the warmth in his eyes. “Well then,” he whispered and tightened his hold on her waist. “I wouldn’t want to disappoint you.”

“That’s not necessary!” she squeaked and tried to pull away, but the arm on her back prevented her.

“I believe that it is.” He bent his head down and paused just as his nose brushed hers.

Their friendship—

“Tom,” she whispered, desperate to get the words out, to deny herself this guilty pleasure she had been thinking about on and off for the last year—especially since he kissed her back in September. Her heart pounded so hard she was sure he could feel it against his own chest. She knew he felt her quaking hands, for they clutched onto the edge of his cloak and robes as if they were the only things that held her above a churning and dangerous ocean of horrifying emotions she didn’t quite understand.

He nudged slightly closer, and their breath mingled even more. “Tell me you don’t want this,” he demanded as they stared into each other’s eyes. She fell into the ocean of blue, and her heart increased its frantic dance.

What if they—

Tom,” she whispered once more, desperate to push all her thoughts and feelings into that one word—into him.

“Close your eyes.”

She did as told, and his nose pulled away from the skin of her cheek and bumped her own once…twice…and then his lips were pressed against hers. All thoughts of protest faded away into the deepest depths of her mind at the gentle, barely-there press of lips.

He pulled away and her eyes fluttered open and met his own oceanic eyes. He stared into the most private reaches of her soul for a moment before his thumb moved and stroked over her left eye, and once her eyes were closed after she obeyed the silent command, his lips were back on hers, more insistent this time.

His lips pressed firmly to her own, and the hand on her back pulled her closer—somehow—and the hand on her face moved to rest against her neck. His thumb pressed slightly against the hollow of her throat as his lips moved gently and slowly against her own.

He pulled away after a minute of languid kissing, with her bottom lip between both of his. He pecked her lips three times before he rested his forehead against her own. Her hands moved from the death grip around his robes, and her arms wrapped loosely around his waist.

“When you kiss me,” she whispered, “I feel like I’m being shocked by the Wyvern again. Only, I like the way it feels when you kiss me. I definitely wouldn’t want to be kissed by the dragon…”

He chuckled deeply before his nose bumped her own twice again, and then she was floating on clouds of moonlit euphoria. She became lost to the world around her, and her entire world became Tom: where his hands held her, where his lips touched her own, where his teeth nipped, where his hair brushed against her forehead. She was absolutely convinced that there was no way that it could get any better until it did.

His tongue startled her at first, caused her to gasp, allowed it to enter her mouth, and then she was led in an intoxicating dance that she never wanted to end. Her hands slid up his chest and caused a deep groan to resonate as they did so slowly. They wrapped around his neck and her hands burrowed into his hair and pulled slightly.

A growl left his throat, and the kiss deepened, and his grip tightened almost painfully. His hand tightened around her throat for a moment before he let go and gathered the hair at the base of her head and pulled harshly. He tilted her head into the perfect position so he could deepen the kiss once more.

Liquid fire raced through her veins before it pooled low in her stomach. She felt like she was falling, tumbling, flying, and soaring all at once. Her head spun, and she no longer knew if she was among the living.

It was heaven.

Tom was her Heaven.

What little breath she had been able to gain from the little gasps she was able to grab in between kisses was knocked out of her as she was pushed harshly against the thick trunk of a tree—she hadn’t even been aware they were moving. The bark cut through her thin clothing, and that combined with the pulling on her hair, and the pressure of feeling him pressed entirely against her had a breathy moan spilling out of her mouth and into his.

He ripped his lips away suddenly, and rested his forehead against her own as he held her off of the ground. “Eden,” he sighed softly through deep, gasping breaths.

“Tom,” she responded the same way. He pushed her further into the tree and her eyes closed at his closeness. “Don’t let go, Tom.”

He pressed his lips against hers once more in a soft kiss—at least, compared to the last however many. She sighed into his mouth when his tongue wrapped around her own. He chuckled as he pulled away. “I’m never letting you go,” he whispered before he pressed his lips against her neck in an open-mouthed kiss. “You’re mine, Eden.”

“I’m yours, just as you are mine,” she whispered, her eyes fluttered closed as they sealed their vows with another kiss that tore apart the universe and rebuilt it with the two of them wholly intertwined at the center.

 

As Tom held her against the tree and devoured her mouth, words echoed in his mind before they faded into oblivion forever.

Love her…you do not have much time…

Chapter Text

 

Sunday, December 10, 1944

        Head Dorms

Eden smiled against Tom’s lips when he kissed her after he woke up.

“Good morning,” she whispered once he pulled away. She closed the book on Tree Magic she had been reading and set it to the side.

He smiled—her heart stopped—and pressed his lips against hers again in a deep kiss. “Good morning,” he cooed after he finished kissing her senseless.

She ran her fingers through his mussed up hair from sleeping and the kissing session they had just had. “How did you sleep?” she asked softly—it was something she asked every time he woke up.

“Quite well. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep without you again,” he whispered against her lips and kissed her once more—that was a new answer. “Or ever stop tasting you.” His tongue slipped into her mouth and she held onto him, for she feared that if she let go, she’d fall into the vast cosmos and never return.

Once he seemed to have his fill of kissing her, her lips were sore and her lungs were burning. “How can you go so long without air?” she panted softly.

He smiled sown at her and stroked the velvety soft skin of her cheek. “I’m bigger than you are, love.”

Eden pointedly looked at his body which pressed fully against her. “Clearly.”

He laughed and rolled off of her. “Today we’re going to be working on wandless magic.”

She groaned before she covered her head with a pillow. “Do we have to?” She groaned again when the fluff was taken away from her.

“Yes. It’s a useful skill to have, and the earlier you learn wandless magic, the easier it will be to manipulate your magic without needing to rely on spells.”

“That’s possible?”

“Yes, it’s like your glitter sparks, dear. Spells make it easier to control your magic and get the desired result more effectively, but, it is possible to use your magic without them. What do you think accidental magic is?”

“I use a spell for the sparks—I made it, but still…” she answered absently as she thought. “So…you can turn accidental magic into…purposeful magic?”

He pecked her nose and smiled at the little twitch it gave. “10 points to Slytherin. Now, get up, stretch, and after I eat, it’s into the trunk.”

 

Compartment 1—Training Arena

“It’s not possible, Tom,” Eden snapped after the 189th failed try. She wasn’t counting—truly, she wasn’t (she was).

He placed his hand on her shoulders and tilted her head back so she would still look him in the eyes. “It is possible, love. It took me years of study and practice to do this. I don’t expect you to get it down today. I just want you to get used to feeling your magic, and then feeling the Magic in the air around you. And, if you feel you can do it, I want you to try, okay? I’m going to walk you through it a little differently this time, alright?”

Eden huffed, closed her eyes, and nodded. “Alright.”

 

Tom bumped her nose with his before he moved to stand behind her. His hands moved down her arms before they snaked and curled around her front and rested on her stomach, a little bellow her navel. He pressed down gently, and started to speak. “As you know, this is where your Core is most concentrated, where the heart—if you will—of it is. Your magic starts here, and moves out to every part of your body, and even beyond it, especially when you are in danger, or your emotions are heightened. What we’re going to do right now, all I want you to focus on, is to start feeling your magic in the air around you.”

“I’m not emotional.”

Stellar.

How she was among the top students in her year—probably would be the top if she didn’t hold back—he would never know.

(he knew, he was just being spiteful)

“True, but the more powerful you are, the more your magic is out of your body and surrounding you. I’ve sensed your magic swirling around you since the day we met, Eden. You are very powerful, and you have a lot of magic surrounding you. So, close your eyes, and just focus. Breathe in, breathe out…in…out…in…out…”

 

As she followed his guidance, Eden reached out and slowly began to feel for her magic, and found it very quickly—much faster than she anticipated she would. It mixed almost perfectly with Tom’s, and as he continued to aid her, she was able to wrap her magic around her feet and lift herself a little off of the ground.

Her concentration was immediately broken when his lips pressed against hers, his hands tangled in her hair, and pressed against her back. Gravity wrapped back around her like an unwanted heavy blanket, and she wrapped her legs around his waist to keep herself in his grip.

His mouth moved from hers and to the right side of her neck where he proceeded to bite, suck, lick, and kiss until she was a gooey, sighing mess in his arms.

“I told you, you could do it,” he breathed sometime later. They were now on the couch, and she was in his lap, straddling him. Her lips were swollen and her heart pounded painfully in her chest.

She could only smile and kiss him again.


Monday, December 11, 1944

        Head Dorms

Please wake up, Eden.

Please…I need you.

We need you.

I need her more than you do!

She’s my sister!

She’s my sister, too!

I can’t believe you!

I can’t believe you!

Eden snorted at the bickering between Pansy and Draco and shook her head when Tom looked at her questioningly as he looked up from his Ancient Runes homework.

As she listened to the semi-rehearsed argument between her pseudo-siblings, she couldn’t help but notice how stilted and…dare she say it…uninteresting the argument was. Normally when the two argued, there would be sparks flying as words soaked in acid that oozed acrimonious vitriol colored the very air that they needed to breathe to survive.

Listening to the two now, however…. It almost broke her heart. It didn’t feel as if they were actually into the argument; it felt as if they were doing it because it was expected of them, not because they wanted to argue about who she loved more, or who loved her more.

“Love?”

She looked up and smiled at Tom who sat on the other side of the room. “Yes?”

“Is everything alright?”

“Pansy and Dragon are arguing.” She snorted at a particularly creative insult from Pansy, but quickly sobered as the bluntness of the way it was said wore off—also the comments from Ambrosia and Blaise didn’t help with the humor. “They sound different though.”

“You’ve been unconscious for three weeks, love. They’re most likely just worried about you, and trying to convince you to come out of the Coma with their subpar arguing.” He stood from his place in the armchair and moved to sit next to her on the couch.

She nodded and leaned into him when the two teenagers were kicked out of the room along with her other visitors—she wasn’t entirely sure, but she thought that they might have been accompanied by the 17 first year Slytherin’s, and only 7 of the 15 fourth years (the rest were serving detention). He wrapped his arm around her neck and pressed a kiss to her lips.

“Hey, Tom?”

“Yes, love?” he nuzzled her neck and latched onto a spot behind her right ear, and she turned to goop. She lost all brain function until he released her skin and repeated his question.

“Do you think that we could do a Ritual together?”

He sighed and nuzzled her neck once more. “I don’t know, love. They take days of prep, sometimes even weeks.”

She pouted. “Well, if we go by my energy levels, I’d say we have weeks to prep for one. Please, Tom? I really want to do one with you. I want to see how different it will be to do one with you, than with Cissica, the Albino Peacock, Dragon, Wings, Padfoot, and Moony.”

He sighed. “I’ll see if I can find one that will be beneficial for you, a cleansing Ritual, perhaps.”

She grinned and kissed his cheek. She giggled when a silly smile crossed his face. “Thank you, Tom.”

He pressed a kiss to her lips, and she was in bliss.


Tuesday, December 12, 1944

        Defense Against the Dark Arts Classroom

How is she today?

The tired voice of Healer Michaels filtered into Eden’s head while she leaned against Tom’s legs. The floor really was shockingly comfortable, and she wondered in some distant part of her mind if Tom had placed a cushioning charm on the ground below her.

She’s the same, no changes. But…sir…

Yes?

We were washing her body—Eden shivered and gagged to which Tom pet her hair in an attempt to sooth her—and we found something. Eden straightened and tilted her head to the right as if that would help her hear better. Tom scraped his nails gently against her scalp and she relaxed only slightly.

What did you find?

We aren’t entirely sure. It’s definitely a bruise, but, we have no idea how it got there.

Where is it? It was silent a moment before the healer spoke again. Run some tests on it. I’ll go do some more research on Magical Coma’s to see if this has happened before. Also, try and touch her with your hands again. Perhaps one of her visitors accidentally gave it to her. But, if that’s the case, then we’ve gone into completely unknown territory with the Coma.

Yes, Healer Michaels.

Eden tensed and wrapped her fingers around Tom’s ankle. What was wrong with her? Was she dying? What was so special about a Magical Coma opposed to a normal coma?

She knew she didn’t have any bruises on her body because Tom was very resolute in healing every injury she got with Medela Aer—even paper cuts (she was starting to think it was just to flaunt his power in front of her). They weren’t sure how it affected her ‘real’ body, and they didn’t want to take any risks.

A slight movement by her right thigh had her tensing even more before she realized once she realized that Tom was trying to calm her down by stroking her with his foot—that sounded so weird (even in her head). She leaned against his legs and nuzzled his knee with her nose. She took a deep breath and relaxed even more when his hand stroked her hair once more.

Have you figured anything out?

Healer Michaels must be back.

Nothing other than it’s probably just a bruise. I couldn’t find any reason or past instances on it appearing on others in a Magical Coma. Did you find anything? What about touching her?

No. No one can touch her yet, so one of her visitors didn’t give it to her. Besides, have you seen the way they act around her? I don’t think they’d even accidently give her a bruise. As for the tests, they all confirmed once more that it is just a bruise.

She really needed to stop tuning the healer’s voices out whenever they spoke to each other around her. Perhaps she wouldn’t be as surprised when things like this happened—she had stopped listening because she didn’t want to know about their dating lives (she nearly had Tom obliviate her after one of the medi-wizards gave her her potions—she kept the memory, just so she would wait for both the right time, and man).

May I take a look? It was a woman’s voice that Eden had never heard before.

Of course, Healer Jones. Could she be related to the Healer Jones at Hogwarts during Tom’s time? A granddaughter or daughter? It was silent for a moment before the woman spoke again. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was a hickey.

Huh. You’re right. It still leaves the question as to how it could have gotten there though.

Eden tensed, dug her nails into Tom’s ankle, and stopped listening to the conversation. Shock, embarrassment, and rage filled her bones with a burning, icy flush with a strength that rivaled a hurricane. Without thinking, she opened her mouth.

“You gave me a hickey?” she shrieked. Due to the spell on her, her voice sounded slightly distorted. Tom jumped along with everyone else in the classroom. Professor Merrythought stopped teaching as she continued on, and hideous mortification fueled her tirade. “How could you give me a hickey and not get rid of it? Why did you give me a hickey? How could you!?”

She suddenly realized that she was in fact not alone with Tom, and slapped her hands over her mouth. She started to scoot away from him, but he quickly caught her and pulled her back to him with a rope of magic. Soon, one of the shocked students snorted, and the classroom was filled with laughter.

Frenzied indignation filled her as she felt Tom shake with laughter.

“Alright, alright! Settle down class! I hope that young couple—whoever they are—figures it out. Now, as I was saying…”

Dammit.

Eden was so getting punished for that. She could feel it deep within her soul.

 

Head Dorms

Eden decided that she quite liked Tom’s new form of punishment.

She was pressed harshly against the back of the dark oak door that separated Tom’s room from the rest of the vast Head Dorms. He held her up with pressure as his hands curled gently around her neck, and her legs wrapped around his waist as his lips, teeth and tongue brutally punished her.

As his tongue twined insistently with her own, she sighed and buried her fingers in his hair and pulled. A low moan rumbled from his throat and into her mouth. The kiss deepened even more—she was unsure as to how—and she was no longer able to take small gasps of air to lengthen the kiss.

Once the burning in her lungs got to be too much, she tried to pull away, only to fail. His hands around her neck tightened slightly—not enough to make her worry about him strangling her. Fire burned through her veins with a painful intensity and a desperate moan fell into his mouth as it pooled in her stomach.

As much as she’d love to die this way, she didn’t want to die at 14.

One of her hands trailed down from his hair and to his throat where her thumb soon found his Adam’s apple and pushed slightly. When that didn’t work, she increased the pressure until he pulled away and stared at her with dilated eyes.

“I think you just tried to kill me,” she panted through gasps.

The smile she received shouldn’t be legal. “No. I was simply…punishing you.” She pressed against his throat and received another smirk.

“I have to say,” she started demurely with adverted eyes and a pretty pink blush dusted her nose and cheeks, “I think I like this way of punishment much more than the other ways you’ve come up with so far.”

 He nuzzled her nose with his own. “As do I, love.”


Wednesday, December 13, 1944

        Head Dorms

“Love?”

Eden looked up from the book on Ancient Battle Magick theory and smiled at Tom. “Yes?”

He smiled gently at her, his eyes narrowed slightly with the action, and a basilisk hatched in her stomach and squirmed around. “I found a Ritual that we can do together that will be beneficial for you. Its main purpose is to Cleanse the Core from unnatural stresses. It takes anywhere from fifteen minutes to twelve hours to perform. But, despite that, it will only require about four days of prep since all we have to do is Charge the Crystals.”

A smile stretched her lips. “That seems like it could be very useful. When will we be doing it?”

“After everyone leaves for Yule holidays.”


Thursday, December 14, 1944

        Head Dorms

“Tom?”

“Yes?” His voice wasn’t as tired as hers, as he’d just finished studying a few minutes ago. Her eyes were closed and her head rested on his chest.

Every night before he fell asleep they snuggled, and she allowed herself to fall into a state of half-consciousness until he was in a deep sleep, and then she’d get up and read—now if only she could turn her brain off, everything would be perfect.

“How long do you think I’ve been here? I mean—how much time do you think has passed in my time?”

He was silent for so long, she began to think that he’d fallen asleep. “I don’t know, love,” he pulled her close and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “Why do you ask?”

She shook her head. “Just curious. What are we going to do now that we have the whole castle to ourselves?”

He placed a kiss against the side of her nose. “Well, we have to share it with seven other students and four professors. I haven’t really thought about it yet other than the Ritual.”

Eden placed a kiss against his mouth. “M’kay,” she whispered.

She pulled away, only to have him bring her back and kiss her again. He licked his way into her mouth and wrapped his tongue around hers. He eased it into his mouth and sucked on it before he nipped the tip, wrapped his tongue around the ache, and then repeated the action a few more times. Fire flooded her veins, and when his hand landed on the skin just below her right breast, she reluctantly—but quickly—pulled away.

He immediately removed his hand and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “I apologize,” he whispered desperately.

She pressed a kiss to his cloth covered collar bone and pressed her head above his beating heart and listened to the rapid pace that matched her own. “It’s alright,” she whispered. “Sleep.”

“Only if you stay.”

“I’m staying.”


Friday, December 15, 1944

        Head Dorms

Eden wrestled her way out of his grasp.

She had long since come to the Very Correct Conclusion—in her opinion—that Tom Marvolo Riddle was just a very bossy and sadistic koala bear in disguise. Once free, and sure that he wouldn’t wake, she quietly moved to the couch where she proceeded to summon his fourth year potions book—it was different from the one they used in her time.

When a familiar pain blossomed in her right elbow, she looked up at the clock and noted with disinterest that it was right on time at 2:18 AM. The other four injections quickly followed, and once the medi-wizard’s light—and slightly off-key—humming faded away, healed the lightly bleeding wounds.

She had learned early on that if she healed the injection sites immediately—while whoever had administered the potions was there in the room—more tests would be done. And those tests usually involved her blood being drawn so they could examine her Core that way—why they didn’t just Scan it was beyond her. With the blood being drawn, that meant more pain, and despite what Tom constantly—well, no longer constantly—inferred, she was most definitely not a fan of pain, thank you very much.

She stared at her elbow for a moment longer before she turned back to the book and continued to read about the Elixir of Death—it was similar to the Draught of the Living Death, only it wore off on its own (if one was familiar with Potion’s History, they would know that the Elixir of Death actually was the predecessor of the Draught of the Living Death). There were theories that it was the potion that Juliet took in the biography Romeo and Juliet written by a half-blood wizard by the name of William Shakespeare.

She was pulled out the fascinating biography that she had summoned immediately after reading about the Elixir—it was written like poetry, something she hadn’t expected at all—when pain bloomed in her right wrist.

Her heart pounded as her mind swam in a suffocating sea of violent confusion as she looked to the clock and just barely registered that it was 3:39 AM—the time was almost as concerning as the location of the injection that she was receiving.

The pain lasted longer than the usual injection, and the hole that the potion—whatever it was—entered her was larger too.

She tried not to panic when blood started to well on her small wrist.

She clenched the book in her hands and wrinkled the parchment when the blood started to drip to the left.

She bit her tongue when it dripped off of her wrist and onto her thigh.

She stopped trying to fight the crippling panic that begged to choke her when an unpleasant heat started to spread in her veins. As the heat grew painful, her magic ripped out of its confines and started to snap around her in a painful haze.

The pain quickly grew to be unbearable as the blood that dripped off of her wrist increased in frequency and began to thin.

Just as she was about to cry out for Tom, the pain ended.

Her body spasmed.

Her head lulled back against the couch.

The book slipped out of her hands and onto the carpet with a quiet thud.

Her ears rang.

Her teeth bit her tongue as she tried to cry out for help.

Something hot trailed down her cheek, and in some distant part of her mind, she realized it was a tear.

I’m so sorry, my daughter…my princess. But, it’s for your own good.

Her eyes slipped closed.

She knew nothing but inky black sleep.


Saturday, December 16, 1944

        Black Lake

“What was that?”

She turned on her transfigured socks—they were now ice skates—and looked at Tom. Her left brow was furrowed and her head was tilted slightly as she skated backwards—Merlin, she was beautiful. “What was what?”

He surged forward and placed his hands on her hips and pulled her close. She smiled sleepily at him and yawned. “That.”

“What?”

“You just yawned.”

“I did?”

“Yes. You just did it again. Are you alright?”

She blinked a few times and rubbed one of her eyes, as if she were trying to wake up, or keep herself from falling asleep before she smiled brightly at him. Worry ate at him when he saw the artificial tint to it.

“I’m fine. I’m just…a little…worn out, I guess. I haven’t really slept since the Task. I guess it’s just finally catching up to me.”

He heard the desperation—they both felt the lie.

It smelt like fire, tasted like ash, and touched his heart with molten pricks of pain.

“Besides,” she continued in an artificial bright tone, “we’ve done a lot of stuff today. Let’s not worry about it, it’s probably nothing. I’ll get my energy back soon.”

He didn’t think she would. For the last few days she’s been more lethargic, got hit more during training, and dazed out more. Something was happening, and he didn’t know what, and it terrified the bloody bits of Hell out of him—it was part of the reason he had delayed the Ritual. He didn’t know how it would affect her with her suddenly like this, and he refused to take any chances.

 

Eden took one of his tense hands in her own and pulled him into a large, spinning loop that had the two of them laughing almost maniacally—both were trying to erase the facts that were clearly being laid out in front of them (and the fact that she lied to him).

They skated for quite a while longer and the cloudy sky slowly darkened until heavy snowflakes finally drifted around them. “Tom!” she squealed as she pulled him to a stop. “Can we do something disgustingly cliché?”

He smiled charmingly down at her. “It depends on both what it is, and how disgustingly cliché it is.”

“Kiss me.”

He lifted an amused brow. “How is that cliché?”

“It’s kind of a big romantic thing to kiss when it’s raining, or snowing, and…” she trailed off and her cheeks and nose flushed a deeper red than they already were. “I’ve kind of always wanted to do it.”

He smiled and his eyes warmed. “Well then,” he grabbed her hand and pulled her close and wrapped his arm around her waist. “All you had to do was ask.”

He tilted his head down, bumped her nose twice, and pressed his lips against hers in a soft kiss that made her want to weep.

When they pulled away and nuzzled each other’s noses, Eden realized she was falling just as fast for Tom as the snowflakes fell from the sky around them. Only, she felt she was tumbling through space at unimaginable speeds, rocketing towards a small target.

She only hoped that he would be there to catch her.


Sunday, December 17, 1944

        Head Dorms

 

Eden blinked and desperately tried to keep from yawning as Tom nuzzled her neck in his sleep.

Healer Michaels! Healer Michaels!

What? What is it?

The Magical Coma—it’s Deteriorating!

What!?

It was silent before she suddenly heard multiple pairs of frantic footsteps run around the room her body was in.

Run tests. As many as you can!

Hurry!

There were voices she had never heard before, and she yawned.

…not much time…too fast.

… shit…run the tests…immediately.

Quickly!

Move!

Now, dammit!

There were so many voices that she hadn’t heard before, and it seemed like multiple people were in charge.

Understood, Healers.

I…results!

What…

The Coma…Deteriorating, but…magic...failing...

What is it? …it out, dammit!

…unknown…days.

…call the…

It was silent for a few minutes.

We don’t know…shield…Deteriorating.

no one…woken…

…about to die…shield…breaks.

Healer…

…no more…time…know…soon.

…potion…fatal?

…fatal…

No! Not my cub!

Not my pup—

No!

…survive…

Not likely…

 

Tom woke when arms wrapped tightly around him. She was curled around him and desperately tried to keep her eyes open—they’d close for a few seconds, and then she’d jerk before they opened again.

“I don’t want to wake up,” she whispered fearfully. His heart throbbed and he ran his fingers through her hair.

“You need to though,” he urged, just as desperate. He had seen the grayness her skin had taken on after they finished skating. “Those potions won’t keep you alive for much longer, Eden. Please…you’ll see me again soon. You always do.”

“What if they keep me at St. Mungo’s, and then send me home? What if they won’t let me go back to Hogwarts?”

They had been over this before, but, it seemed like she used it to hide something. “They have to, love. The Tournament, remember?”

It was the first and probably only time that he would ever be grateful for the event.

Her eyes fluttered closed before she forced them open with a jerk once more. “Don’t make me go, Tom,” she begged, clearly close to tears.

He pressed a kiss to her lips and then to each eye—he ignored the salt on his lips. “I’m not making you go, little one. But, if you must go, remember that you will see me again in a few short days if they do keep you over night.”

She sleepily nodded her head and gazed at him with drugged eyes. “Tom…” she whispered just after her eyes slid closed.

“My Eden.”

She faded away slower than she ever had before.

Chapter Text

Tuesday, January 31, 1995

        Healer Ezera Michaels Office

Ezera Michaels stared at the data sheets in front of him, and not for the first time, wondered why he had been given Noah Potter as a patient.

In some distant—okay, not so distant—part of his mind palace, he knew it was due to his training under multiple muggle Neurologists, surgeons, and an Intensivist doctor who inspired his want to be a healer in the first place—his mother. All of that didn’t include all of his Magical training, which was just as impressive as his muggle training.

He was 49 years old, and he had seen a lot of shit in his life, both in the muggle hospitals he was occasionally call in to help at, and his main job, St. Mungo’s—seriously, what did some of those auror’s do? But…despite everything he had seen under his wand or knife…nothing could have prepared him for the absolute destruction he had witnessed that horrible day in November.

He had always seen the aftermath of a dragon attack.

Never had he actually seen a dragon attack.

He was lucky on multiple accounts. The first was that he had a Neutral Light Gray Core. While Neutral Magic and Gray Magic were essentially the same things, Neutral spells could be cast on all Core types, and Gray spells could only be cast on those that fit the spectrum of the Gray type. For example, Dark Gray types could cast on Dark type Cores. The same went for Light Gray types.

The second reason he was lucky was the fact that Albus Dumbledore had allowed outside spectators—who either didn’t have someone competing or a student at Hogwarts—to be at the First Task.

Not many of his co-workers knew he was there, as they had all thought—like they always did when he wasn’t at St. Mungo’s—that he was either at home or a muggle hospital. The second that he had seen people flooding the Arena and the girl, he had summoned his healer robes and had fought his way in—his fellow healers aiding him.

Perhaps that was why she was made his patient.

He looked at the numbers and words written in obscure Latin phrases once more before he groaned as he pushed his hands into his eyes.

It made no sense.

Time and time again, Noah had defied all logic, all research, and all of the basic laws of nature. At this point in the Magical Coma, she should be a sack of skin and bones, and possess barely more magic than a squib—although, if he considered the size of her Core before she fell in to the Coma, at this point in time, she should be equal to that of a first year Core.

Instead, since that day nine weeks ago, her Core had almost doubled in size, her body had grown muscles that came from specialized workouts—mainly intense dueling (which he did two hours of every morning) and climbing (which his muggle nephew did for a living)—and while she was a little too thin, she was healthy.

He looked to the books piled high on the desk that had been brought in a month ago due to the lack of space, and scowled at the answers they contained that either didn’t apply to Noah, or didn’t apply to the situation.

Honestly, if he didn’t need them—because despite being mostly useless with Noah, they were useful for some other things—he’d light them on fire, and perform a Prayer Ceremony to Lord Erif.

“Ezera?”

His glare softened, and smiled tiredly at his wife who stood in the doorway. “Yes, love?”

“I found something that might explain Miss Potter’s situation.”

He pushed away from his desk, opened his arms, and she immediately moved to sit in his lap. He pressed a kiss first to the Mark behind ear, and then the one on her neck, and then to her cloth-covered shoulder. “It’s not going to break any of your Vows, is it?”

She smiled softly at him and shook her head before she placed a soft, tired kiss to his lips. It appeared his wife had had as much sleep as he had—which was absolutely none in the last 48 hours (Magical Coffee was his friend—cue mental and more than slightly psychotic smile). “No, I did this outside of the Department.” She handed the book to him and his head tilted to the side as he read the title.

Ancient Healing Magick’s? I don’t think this will help the Coma—”

She cut him off with another kiss. “Just read it. I’d explain more, but I just stopped by before work.”

He frowned. “You don’t typically work in the Dream Chamber.”

They had approached dangerous territory.

“You’re right, I don’t. Something came up and I have to go in.” Her speech was slow as she thought about what she could say, and every few words she’d pause as the black choker around her neck would tighten and flash warningly at her—it was meant to protect and keep Unspeakable’s from saying things that would end up with their Vows literally strangling them to death before any Secrets got out.

He didn’t know what she did at the Department of Mysteries, which was fine. She didn’t understand most of what he did. All she knew was that he helped people, and all he knew was that she researched Magic.

It was good enough for them.

“Stay safe.”

“You too.” He pressed a quick, but deep, kiss to her lips before she ran out of his office in a whirlwind of perfume and magic.

He laughed softly before he turned to the tome she had brought him. Halfway through the large, and decrepit book was a torn piece of parchment, and he opened it up to that page and began to read.

Medela Aer Grandis

Class: Pure Neutral

Magic’s Used: Dark Magick, Blood Magick, Aether Magic(k)

He whistled low.

Core Types Able to Cast Safely—Pure Neutral, Dark Light Gray, Dark Neutral, Dark Gray, Dark, and Pure Dark.

Languages Used: Tongue of the Ancients, Tongue of the Aspects, Olde Latin, Latin.

He whistled again.

Characteristics—

“Healer Michaels! Healer Michaels!”

He flinched, dropped the book open on his desk, and ran across the hall.

 

Room 2201 Intensive Care Patient: Noah E. Potter

He slid on the polished marble floor and grabbed onto the door frame and stared at the first-year healer—he cursed the fact that he was terrible with names.

“What? What is it?”

The man gestured wildly to the girl on the bed with the syringe full of Wide-Eye Potion and a three-foot-long needle.

Ezera immediately saw the cause of concern.

“The Magical Coma—it’s Deteriorating!”

Indeed, it was.

For the last eight weeks, Noah had been surrounded by a thick, semi-opaque shield made of her own magic that rejected anything Magical from crossing it—thus the reason for the long needles, and the fact that fifteen witches and wizards needed to be taught how to give a shot (that had been a Fun day—he still had nightmares).

But now…. Now there were holes in the shield.

“What!?” Behind him, parchments fluttered to the floor as a medi stepped into the room with four more syringes in her hands, and the needles in a sterile bubble above her head—it often took two, sometimes three, people to get the Magically altered needles through the shield (it had been a happy day when they figured out how to Mask the Magical Signature on the metal—needles were easier than Elemental Magick anyways—and they were guaranteed to work in the shield).

He lifted his wand, and the spells linked to the room and the other healers who had been called in from around the world—those who had experience with a Magical Coma—and the medies who had been assigned to Noah’s day-to-day care that week, flashed a bright blue and purple before they settled into a deep, blood red.

The sound of Emergency Apparation filtered into the room from his office. He poked at the solid portions of the shield and was shocked, like usual, but it didn’t leave his entire body numb like usual—it was just his finger, and it was already fading (not usual). Footsteps quickly thundered into the room, and as the healers and medies crossed the Quarantine Ward, the blood red tone their skin had taken on faded.

The woman who had classified what a Magical Coma was, Clarrisse Selwyn, stepped forward and stood next to him, and poked at one of the holes. She made it an inch into the shield before black magic cracked at her finger like a forked lightning bolt.

She turned to the seven medies in the room as the three other healers stood behind her waiting for instruction—as soon as she gave the initial command, the rest of them could figure out what to do.

“Run tests. As many as you can.”

She stepped back and gave him control—as he was the main healer. He stepped into the center of the circle and looked at the medies. It was game time. “Run the tests that you’ve done before.”

No one moved, and then the healers behind him snapped.

“Hurry!”

“Move dammit!”

“Now!”

They assumed the medies understood commands, and Clarrisse pulled Ezera and the two other healers to the side—why was he so bad with names?

“Call her family. The Potters. They need to prepare for a funeral.”

“Are you sure?” the young, third-year healer asked—he thought her name might be something like Emily.

He looked up at the silence, and glared at all of the medies who had stilled upon the suggestion. “What the hell are you doing? Run the tests!”

“But—the—”

“There’s not enough time! It’s Deteriorating too fast!”

Rage fueled him and he stepped towards them as his magic cracked slightly. “I don’t give a shit. You will run the tests, and you will give us the results, immediately.”

They were frozen.

“Quickly!”

“Now, dammit!” the usually very calm Clarrisse snapped.

They were all sufficiently cowed “Yes, healers.”

They moved back into their circle. “Are you sure that that’s the only possible solution?”

Clarrisse frowned for a moment. “Until we get the results back, yes. Nothing good ever happens from the shield Deteriorating.”

“I’ve got the results!”

“What are they?”

“The Coma is indeed Deteriorating, but, her magic levels are staying strong and not failing—”

“They’re growing!” a young witch exclaimed as she pulled her wand back after a yelp—looks like they still couldn’t touch their wands to any part of the shield.

“But sir,” another medi started. He trailed off and shuffled his feet as shame crossed his face as he looked at the parchment in his hands once more. The other medies crowded around him, and the same look crossed their own faces.

“What? What is it?”

“Spit it out!”

“Look, I know you’re all scared,” Clarrisse started softly, “we are too; but we need to know what results that parchment has on it if we’re going to be able to save Miss Potter’s life.”

One of the medies lips wobbled and she stepped away as she covered her mouth. Her shoulders started to shake as she began to softly cry—she had gone to school with Noah, if he remembered correctly…Anna, right? After a moment of silence, she turned back and spoke. “There’s…. There’s an unknown potion Attached to her Core. From…from…. From the results…it’s been there for days.”

Clarrisse and Ezera took deep breaths as the meaning crashed down upon them. He turned to the other healers in the room behind him. “Summon Master Snape. While you’re at it call the Malfoy’s, Blacks, and Lupin.”

“What about the Potters?” Clarrisse hissed softly.

He shook his head. “They could be one of the ones who gave it to her. They’re the only ones other than me to have access to apparate directly into this room, while the others don’t. You know very well how the Potter’s feel about Dark Magic…besides, that’s all without considering the Core Change that she had.”

The woman’s eyes tightened, and she nodded her head. A few minutes later, Lord and Lady Malfoy, Lord and Lady Black, Remus Lupin, and Master Severus Snape were allowed into the room as a smaller Quarantine Shield bubbled around them.

“What’s going on?” Lord Black demanded softly after he looked to his goddaughter.

He took a deep breath. This was one of his least favorite parts of the job. “The Magical Coma is Deteriorating,” he said softly. He glanced over his shoulder and was pleased to see that the seven medies were running tests with the help of the other two healers while he and Clarrisse informed her family.

“What do you mean ‘Deteriorating’?” Lord Malfoy snarled, “you told us that no one has ever woken up from a Magical Coma before.”

Clarrisse spoke up. “That is true. As you know, I am the most knowledgeable on the subject of Magical Coma’s. Before I tell you this, you need to know that I would never do anything to hurt someone my son cares so deeply about.” They nodded. “Despite me having more knowledge than most, not much is truly known about them. One thing that is known for sure, is that when a witch or wizard who is in a Magical Coma is about to die…the shield around them breaks because their magic had depleted, can no longer support it, and can no longer Replenish itself.”

Lady’s Black and Malfoy’s faces crumpled before they wrapped their arms around each other and held tightly as sobs shook their bodies.

“So…she’s dying?” Lupin whispered.

“We don’t know. What we do know is that someone gave her a potion. We don’t know the effects of it, the origin, or the purpose of it. All that is known about it at the moment is that it’s been Attached to her Core for days,” she explained bluntly.

“For now, the only thing that we can be sure of is that the shield in Deteriorating.”

“Healer Michaels.”

He turned and a parchment was shoved into his hands by a red-eyed medi.

72% Deteriorated. Expected 20 minutes.

His eyes rapidly scanned the Latin a few more times before he handed it to Clarrisse. “I apologize, but there can be no more visitors. We don’t have time to explain what we’re going to be doing, or keep you updated on whatever is going on with Miss Potter. What I can say, is that we will know if she will wake up soon. Master Snape, I ask that when she is awake, that you examine the potion.”

He bowed his head. “With pleasure,” he sneered.

The medies began to usher them out of the room, and Mariea Black stopped in  the doorway, her dark, caramel skin wet with tears. “Wait! The potion…is it fatal?”

The medi in charge of getting them out shook her head. “We don’t know if it’s fatal or not. I apologize, but you really must leave now.

Ezera tugged on the Magic in the room, and the Quarantine Ward shoved the six guests out fully.

He heard their wails from outside, but paid no mind to the pleading to the Olde gods as he began to run his own tests with Clarrisse and the other healers while the medies stood by.


Wednesday, February 1, 1995

        Room 2201 Intensive Care Patient: Noah E. Potter

“Healer Michaels?”

Anna-Maria swallowed and bit back her tears. She needed to know, as much as she didn’t want to know.

“Yes?”

“Is…Is there a chance that she won’t survive?”

The man looked up from the parchments he and Healer Selwyn had been scanning for the last five minutes with a small smile. The woman next to him shook her head. “That’s not likely.”

A soft pop of Magic, and the shield was gone.

“It appears she’s waking up.”           

|}(){|

Jordan Stone was a first year medi-witch, and she both loved and hated her job.

It was in that moment, that she couldn’t decide what she felt about it. Her hands ached as she rung her fingers together and gnawed on her cheek.

Please wake up, she mentally chanted.

It was 12:42 AM, and the shield had been gone for the last 35 minutes. They had all decided to leave her be, and let Noah Potter wake up on her own—that is, if she would wake up.

She exchanged a worried glance with Hector Smith and gnawed on her lip as she saw the same worry reflected in his eyes. The Quarantine Ward cast a disgusting light on everything in the room, and made Hector’s teeth appear red as he tried to smile reassuringly at her.

Her fingers caught on her engagement ring, and nearly broke her finger when she flinched at a soft sigh behind her. She quickly turned and took a step towards the teenager as something Dark and tight in the air threatened to choke them all, and light the world on fire. She took another step forward, and just barely heard the murmured ‘Tom’ before emerald green eyes were opened.

Healer’s Michaels, Selwyn, Jones, and Zepherson crowded around the other side of the bed as her fellow medies stood next to and behind her.

“You’re awake,” Jordan whispered in awe.

Confusion ate at her soul when Magical Tears crowded the teen’s eyes—a clear sign of a Core Expansion (her Core had grown and her body had Adjusted to it while in the Coma, but it was clear that her mind had not Adjusted yet)—and then fell down her face, a thick black trail left in their wake—yes, her mind was overwhelmed.

Jordan’s confusion only grew when the Tears continued to fall, and grow clearer with every drop as her vast amounts of magic began to snap around the room. A choked sob left the girls lips as she lifted shaky hands and pressed them to her eyes.

Cuts appeared on everyone’s skin, even Noah’s, as her magic grew more and more erratic.

“I don’t want to be,” she eventually gasped out as her small body shook from the Strain as her mind tried to Adjust to her new Core.

And then, Noah Potter’s Core exploded, and everything went dark when her head hit the wall ten feet behind her.

Chapter Text

Wednesday, February 1, 195

        Hallway of St. Mungo’s  

“I thought she was in a different room.”

“She was.”

“What happened?”

“Her Core exploded.”

“What? That can happen?”

“Unfortunately.”

“How does it happen? Why does it happen?”

“It happens whenever someone’s Core grew so much, that their mind could no longer control it when they are in a heightened state of emotion. She had just woken up from the Coma, had admitted that she didn’t want to be awake, when it exploded. I hear that there were clear signs of an eminent Lash-Back, yet no one in the room did anything.”

“Why not?”

Anna-Maria stepped out from around the corner. “You need to understand, that we were all prepared to bury her this morning before her Core exploded. It was quite the shock to see her awake and alive.” She leaned against the wall and continued to listen to the conversation. “Well, go on. I’ll help straighten some things out.”

“You’re injured.”

“Yes. Please, continue with your prior conversation.”

“Is it true that all of the medies assigned were injured?”

“Yes. The only people in fact who weren’t injured was Healer Selwyn and Healer Michaels. Next.”

 “Did her Core exploding really destroy the room?”

“Yes, that’s why she’s in this room.”

“Is she alright?”

Anna-Maria smiled—the first in a long time. “Yes. She’s fine, mostly. After her mind Adjusted to her new Core size, everything normalized. When a Core explodes, its not really that dangerous to the witch or wizard who it belongs to. It’s just an extreme way to Recognize and Adjust to a Core size, but it’s also the quickest way.”

“What about Containment Orbs?”

“It doesn’t allow for the mind to Recognize the Core size, only Adjust and Control.”

She pushed off the wall and opened the door. She gestured for the medies to be quiet and ignored the four healers currently grilling Little Eden on every little thing. “Woah,” one whispered, “that’s a huge Containment Orb.”

Anna-Maria closed the door. “Yes, it’s to help her Core Stabilize without exploding again.”

“I thought she had Stabilized.”

“No, she had Adjusted. They’re not the same thing. It’s still in a very heightened state of emotion.”

“Is it too big?”

“We think so. We figured bigger was better in this case.”

“What do you mean?”

“We’d rather Drain her slightly than have her explode again.”

“I hope she’ll be alright.”

“Me too.” 

 

Room 2204 Intensive Care Patient: Noah E. Potter

Eden was unaware of how long she laid there and stared at the ceiling while countless tests were done.

Apparently she could be touched now—for some reason, they couldn’t touch her while she was in the Coma, and they refused to even tell her what the difference between a Magical Coma and a non-Magical Coma was (from what she could gather, it wasn’t an unnatural Coma either)—and that meant tests.

Lots, and lots of tests.

She knew her family had been called because she could her the frantic shouts of Sirius, Remus, and Mariea as they tried to get into the room. Sometimes she swore she could hear Snakey-Snape in the background as he told them to be quiet, and even rarer did she hear Narcissa and Lucius. She wasn’t entirely sure of exactly who was there.

After hours of tests, and a couple more hours of isolation—she could feel a spell on the far wall though (she knew she was being observed)—Healer Michaels stepped into the room. He was younger than he sounded, and was extremely fit—he probably either played Quidditch or was in one of the dueling clubs that had recently become popular.

“Hello, Noah—Eden, I apologize. How are you feeling?” he asked softly after he sat on a twisting stool that she desperately wanted to sit and spin on.

“I’m okay, actually. I’m a little tired, but, other than that I feel fine. Is everything alright? What’s the difference between a coma and a Magical Coma?”

“Oh yes, yes, you’re perfectly healthy. Although, while you made a fantastic recovery something…odd…happened while you were asleep.”

She wanted to hex him for ignoring her question and her magic ate at a large black sphere in the corner of the room. And then the words registered. Her magic thickened in the air and continued its feast—the man didn’t look particularly concerned (in fact, he looked quite pleased).

“What do you mean?”

Please don’t bring up the hickey. Please, please, please, don’t bring up the hickey.

“Well, when most people fall into a coma—Magical and non-Magical—their body starts to deteriorate along with their magic. You, however, not only lost all of the fat on your body—you gained the lost weight, and then some back, due to muscle growth. Your magic also increased while you were in the Coma—” he paused, as if he wanted to say something before he decided against it. “Your magic, as you can feel, is going over to that sphere. When the Coma broke, it had some…effects that we didn’t consider. That is there to prevent any more injuries.”

“What—”

“Anyways, I’d say that you are healthier now than you were before you fell into the Coma. It’s a miracle, and completely unheard of. I have no idea as to how it happened.”

Eden looked down and lifted her arms to indeed see muscles that certainly weren’t there before she had woken up. “May I go to the bathroom?” she asked softly. Her hands pressed against her now firm stomach. The healer nodded with understanding in his eyes and faster than she thought she should have been able to, made her way to the bathroom.

Once the door was closed and locked, she tore off the hideous hospital clothes and stared at her nude body. The first thing she noticed besides the long, jagged scar—that was permanently irritated—that she’s had for forever on her chest, were the six, small, defined planes on her stomach. They were noticeable, but they didn’t look out of place or too masculine.

What little curves on her hips that she had started to gain since the start of puberty were gone, and she could see each of her ribs poking out from under her slightly loose skin—not much of a difference from before, but they were definitely more noticeable.

Her arms and legs both had lines of muscle along them that were new, but yet again, didn’t look too muscly or masculine. When she turned and pulled her greasy hair that had grown three inches while she was in the Coma—surprise, surprise (it touched her butt now—squeal!)—to the side, her shoulder blades were sharply defined along with other muscles in her back.

She turned and looked at herself from the side and she was disappointed to see that what little breast tissue she had had before, was almost practically gone—at least she didn’t have to wear a bra anymore (she probably would though—if she found one that fit (did they even make bras that small?)).

She looked like a twelve year old.

She scowled at her chest and butt, disappointed that they had shrunk, but overall pleased with how she looked everywhere else. She was sure once she was able to put on a little more weight—be it muscle or fat (those ribs needed to go)—she would be the happiest with her body that she had ever been.

Finally, she raised her eyes to her face, and physically drew back, and almost tripped over her own two feet and into the shower. All of the puppy fat that had clung to her face—which wasn’t much, admittedly, but still—had indeed disappeared. Gone were the chubby cheeks, and in their place were high, sharp cheekbones with slight hollows, and a sharp jawline that ended in a delicate, and slightly pointed chin. Her nose had stayed thin with a slight upturn, and her lips were the same fullness as before.

While her body looked like it belonged to a first year, her face belonged to someone who had just finished their schooling.

She stepped numbly into the shower—the first she’s taken/been given (evidently sponge-baths were a thing) since the Task (apparently, that was over 2 months ago). She stood underneath the tepid water with her head tilted up to allow the cool warmth to cascade over her face and down her body—her new body.

She thoroughly washed when things appeared on the shelves in the shower, and after washing for nearly an hour—she wanted to be sure she was clean—she cast a wandless drying charm on her hair and body. She pulled on a new set of awful and itchy hospital robes and stepped out of the bathroom.

Only to be tackled to the floor by Padfoot and the Albino Peacock.

She endured the rapid licking, wagging of the dog’s entire body, desperate whines, squawks, and pecking of her hair and fingers for exactly 2 minutes and 37 seconds before she pushed the large dog off and the bird away and sat up. Sirius immediately had her in his arms, and Lucius quickly stole her and carried her to the bed where he, Sirius, Mariea, Narcissa, and Remus proceeded to smother her in snuggles in the far too small hospital bed.

“Sev said sorry that he couldn’t be here, but, he had to go back to teach class. He’ll come as soon as he can though,” Uncle Remus informed her before he began to smother her once more.

About fifteen minutes after the five frantic adults had settled down—and that took at least thirty minutes—and as Eden asked about things that she had heard about in the Coma, her birth family walked in.

“So, you’re awake,” Lily stated coolly. Her arms were crossed over her chest as her eyes stared at her with barely restrained hatred and disappointment.

“Nope. This is your imagination. You are having the most pleasant of dreams.”

She scoffed and finally looked away. “More like a nightmare.”

Sirius and Remus both growled and Lily only stayed alive due to Eden and Mariea—and they only did it so the two men wouldn’t get tossed into Azkaban. Lucius and Narcissa stared at her birth mother with their Masks perfectly in place, but Eden could see in that in their eyes, Lily would soon pay for that comment.

Eden finally turned her gaze to her twin, and faltered when she saw the relief and indecision in his eyes—he’d go back to hating her when the week was up (oh how that knowledge ached).

“The three of you can leave now,” she said through a strangely tight throat. “You’ve made your appearance, the tabloids have been sated, now I want you to leave. I’d like to spend time with my real family without…you intruding on us.” She refused to look at her brother as she spoke.

The three stared at her—Harry’s scorched the most—before they turned on their heels and walked out.

Snakey-Snape arrived an hour later, and the smothering began once more.

|}(){|

Later that night, after Eden fell asleep, she was disappointed to see nothing of worth as she slept.

 

Location Undisclosed

He took a deep breath before he pushed the creaky door open and stepped slowly into the room. “Ah, welcome back, my friend,” a sibilant voice hissed from the armchair in front of the roaring fire,

He bit his tongue to prevent the sneer from showing as he knelt in front of the once-man and kissed the edge of the blanket. “My Lord,” he said softly, nothing of his inner turmoil given away.

“Tell me, did the potion work?”

“Yes. She’s awake and healthy, just as you Promised she would be.” His hands shook as he sat in the armchair across from him. “Thank you,” he said it partially because it was expected, but mostly because he truly was grateful to the man-thing in front of him.

Why was he here again?

“You’re welcome. I am glad it worked.” There was something akin to relief in his voice.

It made him worry.

He had been Promised that the potion would save her, but he had been skeptical because he had no idea if it had been brewed on instructions that were based on theory alone, or if it had been tested before.

The emotion in the typically annoyed or frustrated voice didn’t make him feel better, or give him more knowledge on if he illegally tested a potion on her.

“Anyways…you will keep your side of the bargain, yes?”

He swallowed. “Of course. I am a man of my word.”

“I’m sure you are…. Now, here is what you must do…”

Later, when he left, he was stopped at the door. “Remember, my friend, your daughter’s life is at stake here. Her life is your incentive chip, and my leverage if you do not keep your end of the bargain.”

His throat tightened.  

“I am very well aware of that fact, my Lord.” He barely kept himself from hissing, and left as quickly as he could.

 

Room 2204 Intensive Care Patient: Noah E. Potter

He snuck into the hospital, nodding to the medi-witches and wizards he came across, and then slipped into her room, unnoticed by her. He conjured a chair, and sat next to her bed and held her small hand as she slept.

Guilt burrowed deep into his consciousness as he rubbed a thumb across the scar left from the potion that forced her out of the Magical Coma.

It was all for her.

It’s all done for her.

His daughter.

His precious little princess.


Thursday, February 2, 1995

        Room 2204 Intensive Care Patient: Noah E. Potter

Eden was saved from Eternal Boredom when the hospital door opened behind her.

“Finally! Someone to talk to!” She rolled over and sat up and stopped short when she saw Harry in the doorway, a bundle of clothing in his arms and her pearl bag, wand, and the golden egg on top. “Harry,” she greeted, perplexed.

“Hi, Noah.”

“What—what are you doing here?”

He jostled his burden. “Can I come in?”

She blinked multiple times. This is the nicest he had been to her in months. “Uh—sure.” He came in and put the bundle on the bedside table. She immediately reached out for her wand, and tears spilled down her face at finally having her wand. While Tom’s would work for her, it wasn’t hers.

She flinched when arms wrapped around her and a weight settled on the bed next to her. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, “for everything.” She sniffled and wrapped her arms around his waist loosely. “What have the healers said?”

“Everything’s fine. They’re keeping me for observation. I could go back into the Magical Coma, and they want to keep me in a safe place if that happens.”

“Why?”

“I’m not entirely sure, but, apparently they can’t touch me or something…? I don’t know…the information that I got while in the Coma was sketchy at best.” She pulled away from him and grabbed her pearl bag and began to go through it to make sure everything was where she had left it.

Harry nodded. “So…you could hear while you were asleep?”

“Yes.”

“Everything?”

“As far as I know, if someone was talking normally around me, I could hear them.” She looked up at him from the bag, her arm elbow deep. “I know you didn’t visit.”

And how that burned.

Her own brother—her twin—didn’t come to visit her, and he had permission. Draco and Pansy visited her. They snuck out of school to visit her. They got detention to visit her. First year Slytherin’s she didn’t even know all that well snuck in to visit her with other Slytherin’s. Her House had lost over 500 points in order to come visit her—she was sure Snakey-Snape helped them quickly gain all of that back though, or else they’d surely be in the negatives.

And her own brother…

He looked to the ground and toed it with his shoe. “I—”

Please, Harry. Don’t lie to me. I know you chose Lily and Pa—James over me. I expected it, to be honest. I still love you,” she added when he looked up at her. She slipped on her Ring. “I just—I miss you. You’re my big brother. You were always there to comfort me after a beating, and always managed to sneak some food up to me during the lockdowns. It’s been hard…to have you suddenly ignore me, and not help me at school, and all because I’m a Slytherin.”

He shook his head. “I’ve been foolish. That doesn’t matter. You’re my sister first, and a Slytherin second.”

Was that sneer genetic? She sincerely hoped it wasn’t…. How would she look if she looked like she smelt something bad every time she said ‘Slytherin’?

She gave him a tight smile as her heart broke once more—crippled ruptured severed fractured.

The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.”

“What does that mean?”

He brushed away the tear before she could.

“Let me know when you figure it out.”

He recognized the dismissal and left after he placed a kiss on her forehead.

She knew he wouldn’t be back.

(she was right)


Saturday, February 4, 1995

        Room 2204 Intensive Care Patient: Noah E. Potter

Healer Emma Jones stepped into the room and immediately paused when she saw the Containment Orb shattered on the ground in the far corner, and something thick, heady, and horrifyingly familiar filled the air.

In a panic, she searched the room, and paused again when she saw Eden Potter. She sat—hovered—2 feet above her bed—in some meditative state if her magic was anything to go by—while she read a large book. If she had to guess, she’d say it was one of the teen’s school books—her professors had been in and out quite a bit since she had woken up.

She wore her own clothing; a deep emerald green short sleeved shirt, that floated around her and showed her stomach, and tight black slacks that at one time must have hugged her thighs in an almost obscene way before they flared slightly at knees—now they were just kind of limp.

Her wand hovered in the air next to her, and she wore many rings, bracelets, and necklaces. When she looked closer, she could see a slight bunching in the girl’s shirt which indicated that she had something on her shoulder that couldn’t be seen.

“Miss Potter.”

Her head snapped up before she smiled brightly at her. “Healer Jones! How are you today?”

“I am doing well, thank you. I’ve come to release you.” The girl perked up and her steady floating became slightly less steady as she started to rise and fall quickly. Her excitement was obvious in the movements and the way the air thickened with her magic—what was she doing with it unBound like that? Did her unBinding it…break the Containment Orb?

No. That’s not possible. She must have done something to it.

(a part of her—her magic—viciously rejected the idea)

“I’m going back to Hogwarts?”

She smiled and nodded her head. “Yes, I believe that you will be kept there in the hospital wing for a few more days just as a precaution—to make sure that you aren’t being pushed too much too soon—before you’re able to attend your classes once more.”

“But—I’m perfectly healthy—see!” She grabbed her wand—oh, how the magic in the room sang and swelled—and did a little lightshow with some type of glowing glitter before she rose and fell at a faster pace—obviously intentionally—before she stood and walked five feet in the air as her head brushed the ceiling.

Wow.

She was only fourteen?

“While that is very impressive, Madam Pomfrey has been very concerned.”

The girl deflated before she landed gently on the ground as if she had just descended the last step on a staircase instead of having just free-fallen straight down from her own height. “Fine.”

Healer Jones smiled before she gestured for the girl to follow her.

 

Hospital Wing

After several hours of more tests, had completely unnecessary potions shoved down her throat every five minutes, and a light dinner of broth with some uncomfortably mushy vegetables—they had to work back up to solid foods (apparently that’s what happened when you slept for over nine weeks—Merlin, had it really been nine?)—Eden was finally allowed to sleep.

Until her friends decided that they needed to crush all of her hopes and dreams and broke into the hospital wing minutes after she finished eating her food—they had just come from dinner where it had been announced that she was back.

They talked and laughed for hours before Madam P kicked them out with a note two hours after curfew had begun, and gave Eden a potion to help her sleep—not dreamless sleep, thankfully.

She curled on her side and stared at the golden egg—flecked with blood—that sat on the table next to her bed and pondered it as her eyes slowly closed.

It had been four days since she had last seen Tom.

Yet, it felt like a million eternities.


Sunday, February 4, 1945

        Great Hall

The familiar sounds of cutlery and the loud chatter of hundreds of students assaulted her ears the moment she fell asleep.

She quickly made herself invisible before she walked up to Tom and gently tugged on his robes. She ran her hand up his back and into his hair. He tensed and dropped his fork with a loud clatter.

Her hands moved down to his shoulders and gently rubbed them. She slid her hands back up his neck and pulled slightly on his hair as she ran her fingers through it and kneaded and the tense skin under her thumbs.

Why was he so tense all of the sudden?

“Tom, are you alright?” Abraxas questioned from his right—she had never noticed that he held the position of Prince before (although it made sense since Tom was the King).

The boy—man—in front of her blinked rapidly and shook his head. “I’m suddenly feeling unwell. If you’ll excuse me.” He stood and she felt his magic wrap tightly—painfully—around her as he quickly made his way from the great hall as the leash made of Pure Magic yanked her along with him.

She caught up to him and grabbed his hand and winced when he grabbed it tightly and felt the bones grind together and his magic wrapped more firmly around her.

 

Head Dorms

The portrait slammed behind them, and they marched towards his room. They both ignored the concerned calls of the Head Girl as his door flung open.

His door slammed shut and silencing wards were put into place. He turned towards her now visible form and rapidly scanned her face. There were too many emotions in his eyes for her to decipher before he pulled her close with a painful grip and captured her lips in a burning kiss.

Her mind went blank as his tongue immediately forced its way into her mouth and started a tantalizing dance that had liquid fire racing in her veins and pooling low in her stomach.

His rough hands trailed down from her back and hair and landed on her butt. She squeaked but followed the silent command and easily wrapped her legs around his waist. He pressed her against the wall and his hands were again on her side and in her hair and pulled painfully as he deepened the kiss to a brutal and painful level.

She tore her lips from his own and gasps left her heaving lungs as his mouth latched onto the skin behind her right ear, the icy nips painful, and the burning licks soothing. He trailed his lips down to her jugular and bit, sucked, licked, and kissed until she was afraid he would break the skin and start sucking her blood.

“Tom,” she moaned.

His lips were back on hers. His teeth bit her lips. His lips sucked on her tongue. His tongue swept every corner of her mouth. Her jaw began to ache and she dug her fingers into his thick brown hair and tugged harshly. He growled and deepened the kiss—it was like he was a starving man, and she was the first meal he had seen in a long time.

She pulled again, and he pressed her into the wall, and she moaned at the feel of him pressed so completely against her. It was only the third time that she pulled on his hair that he finally pulled away. “Tom,” she gasped, “what’s wrong?”

The kisses they had just shared were usually only given in punishment.

“I missed you,” he huffed out. His nose bumped against hers, and he pressed his lips to hers in a gentle kiss that had tears gathered in the corner of her eyes when he pulled away to rest his forehead against hers. “I missed you, so damn much.”

“I was gone only four days,” she said softly and pressed a kiss to the tip of his nose; his eyes closed and he nuzzled her cheek for a moment before he pulled away.

He stared into her eyes as if he were desperately looking for something. “No, Eden. You were gone for seven weeks.”

She felt as if her stomach had dropped to the deepest part of space. “What?”

“You fell asleep December 17, love. It’s February 4.”

Her eyes widened and she was grateful that Tom still had her pressed against the wall. “The dates line up. I mean we always guessed and assumed—” She met his eyes with her own wide eyes. “I woke up on the first, and they kept me at St. Mungo’s. Today was the first day that they let me back at Hogwarts.”

 

“I thought something had happened, and you weren’t coming back.” Tom pressed his forehead back against hers.

I thought a Price had been Paid.

“I’m so sorry,” she whispered.

He adjusted his hold on her and carried her over to his bed where they spent the next hour snuggling, kissing, and talking about what had happened since they had last seen each other.

When the first yawn of the day penetrated their happy bubble nearly four hours after she arrived, they tightened their hold on one another as if that would keep her from leaving. “I don’t want to,” she whispered.

“You have to. Now that you’re back at Hogwarts, you’ll see me every time you sleep again.”

She closed her eyes and he kissed the tear that leaked out before he pressed his lips to hers in a parting kiss.

He sighed when her familiar and comforting weight disappeared, and fought the familiar fear that threatened to overtake him—it had nearly driven him insane in the last seven weeks. She would be back.

She had to come back.

He placed his hand over his heart and sighed once more.

“I love you, Eden.”

Chapter Text

Monday, February 6, 1995

        Great Hall

Eden fought to stand up straight as she laughed loudly and the sound echoed slightly.

She had been let out of the hospital wing mere minutes before and had decided that it would be Great Fun to scare her friends. So she did. She had activated her Ring and quickly made her way to the great hall where she proceeded to scare the living daylights out of them.

“Morgana, you guys should see your faces!” she cackled as she was guided into her seat between Draco and Pansy.

“I thought you weren’t getting out until tomorrow!” Pansy berated her as a bowl of light porridge—more like thin soup (gag)—appeared in front of her.

“Well, when you spend the entire morning with your magic unBound, practicing, running up and down the hospital wing, thus proving that nothing is wrong with yourself, and making a complete and general nuisance of yourself, you tend to get released. Besides, it got so boring. I had nothing to do because I got caught up with the homework too fast. I don’t know why I did that. I should have saved the essays for later…”

“How did you do that?”

“You missed two months of school!”

“Well, I could hear you guys in the Coma. Whenever you’d come complain about class and tell me what you learned, I filed that away. Then, when I was stuck in the hospital with nothing else to do, and then the hospital wing with nothing better to do, and being ahead before I fell into the Coma, and the teachers greatly reduced the required amount of assignments…yeah…. Because of all of that, it was quite easy to catch up.”

Her friends stared at her with wide eyes before they started to laugh loudly, their tones bright and happy. It was almost as if they could all forget that one of their closest friends had been in the hospital for over two months.


Tuesday, February 6, 1945

        Compartment 9—Barren Wasteland

Eden placed her hand on a rock two feet above her head and pulled herself up.

Her feet quickly found purchase against the smooth rock of the mountain she climbed. The room was set to its usual temperature of 72 degrees, and she wore her usual workout clothes now that she was back at school—kind of.

Narcissa and Mariea had smuggled her out of school on Sunday to take her shopping. They had only gotten the bare necessities—five sets of school robes, and two sets of exercise clothes. While her yoga pants kind of fit, her sports bras most definitely did not fit, and she wasn’t going to risk anything happening while working out with Tom.

Most of her clothes had fit, but, she didn’t like baggy clothes. She felt restricted in them, and feeling restricted while Adjusting to a new Core Size wasn’t the brightest idea—that was the excuse she used when McGonagall had caught them sneaking out and had recognized the animagus on her shoulder (Narcissa had been under an invisibility cloak)

Overall, Eden was quite looking forward to the next Hogsmeade weekend so she’d be able to get some casual clothes, and wouldn’t have to borrow from the hatchlings—first years—anymore.

Sweat dripped down her stomach, and her hair that was pulled into a high ponytail stuck to her back, and no amount shaking her head would dislodge it.

She pulled herself up onto a small ledge, and took a breather. She was grateful that her throat didn’t burn—her lungs burned, but that was normal—and that she could no longer drink because it was too weird to have everything disappear.

“Do I really have to make it to the top?” she asked after a minute of staring at the building currently 1,300 feet above her head—it had taken her nearly two months to get to the point she was at now.

“Yes, love.”

She sighed and lowered her eyes to scan the rock in front of her. She noted with absolutely no amount of happiness that the nearest hand/foot hold was ten feet out of her reach. “I have to use sticking charms to get up there now, don’t I?”

“You’ve grown wise in your old age.”

She snorted—she couldn’t help it. “If I’m old, you’re ancient.”

“Being 36 years old is not ancient!” he quipped defensively. He had started guessing his age in her time a few days ago, and had so far had failed miserably. Even if he did guess correctly, she wasn’t sure she would tell him if he was right or not.

She snorted once more and pressed her hands together; the seam glowed white for a moment before she separated them and placed her hands on the mountain as high as she could reach and pulled herself up. Her toes stuck to the mountain as they touched it—thank you Spaghetti Course (Tom’s research was right, you do it enough, it becomes as natural as breathing)—and she quickly made it to the small hand hold.

“You’re right.” She dropped the sticking charm on her right hand and reached up. “36 isn’t ancient compared to 14.” Her fingers wrapped around the rock, and a sticking charm was placed on her hand once more as the one on her left dropped. She pressed her knees into the mountain in preparation to pull herself up. “Your age, however, is.”

He started to sputter, and she lifted herself up.

She was immediately grateful that the charm on her feet had become a natural occurrence, because she now hung upside down with the soles of her feet being the only things that kept her neck from being broken. “Tom!” she howled as she thrashed around.

Laughter.

He was laughing at her.

“Merlin dammit, Tom! Help me!” She looked up—down?—and stared at her sock covered feet.

“Do a sit up,” he stuttered through his laughter.

“I want to see you do a sit up like this, you sadistic bastard!” she shouted and thrashed around once more. But, even as his laughter continued—she couldn’t help but wonder if he was laughing out loud in front of Dumbles (probably not—if he was it would be ‘coughing’)—she did as suggested.

Her stomach burned along with her thighs and shins, and just as she was about to touch the wall and apply a sticking charm to her hand, severe cramps formed in her legs, hips, and stomach. She gasped at the sudden pain and fell back. Her back slammed into the wall and knocked the breath out of her lungs. She cried out and squirmed to try and get the cramp to stop, only to fail.

The laughter immediately ceased. “Are you alright?”

“No!” she sobbed. She clutched at her burning stomach and thighs—and would have clutched at her shins if she could have—and sobbed loudly. “It hurts! It hurts so much!”

Almost immediately she was off of the mountain and laying on the smooth rock at the base of it. She curled into a ball and desperately tried to stretch herself out—that only made it worse, but she hurt too much to straighten out.

“Eden, what’s wrong?” Her heart warmed slightly at the terror in his voice.

“Cramps,” she gasped.

He muttered a spell she had never heard before—not a rare occurrence—and her muscles instantly relaxed, and continued to relax until she felt like a melted puddle of goo. “Are you alright now?”

“Yeah. How did I get down here?”

“It was something I put in after you got stuck in the canyon.”

“Which time?”

“The fifth time you threatened pirate puns.”

Why the hell hadn’t he used it? She had gotten stuck at least twenty more times after that—granted, she hadn’t gotten in the situation where she had to threaten pirate puns again.

“Oh come now, me hearty, you would have liked it and you know it.” She began to feel solid again.

“Do that again and we’re going into the Labyrinth and you’re having an official introduction to Abyss.”

Clearly, someone was not amused.

“My heart! You wound me!” she gasped and clutched at her heart with her hands. “But, on a more serious note, thank you.”

“Of course. I can’t bear the thought of spending an eternity listening to pirate puns.” He was silent for a moment. “I also can’t stand to see you hurt.”

“Lies!” she howled. Apparently the little part of her that was Pure Drama had come out to say hello. “You sir, are a sadist! You laugh in the face of my pain!”

She could practically feel him roll his eyes. “I may laugh, but I do not find enjoyment in it. Also, did you notice how as soon as I realized you were in actual pain that I helped you?”

She nodded and stared at the charmed ceiling. “I l—” she cut of her words. It was too soon. “I can’t bear to see you hurt either.” They stayed in a comfortable silence until she felt she could sit up and did so. “Should I keep going?”

“If you’re up to it, yes.”

She nodded her head and was back on the small ledge with her head spinning slightly the next moment. Even though that happened every time she stepped into the trunk, she still hadn’t gotten used to it. “That is so weird,” she giggled as she held a hand to her head. She shook it, stood, and began to climb again. This time she put sticking charms on her knees as well and didn’t remove any of the charms until she was sure that whatever she held onto was stable.

If it wasn’t about ten-times harder, she would have just foregone the handholds and would have stuck to the sticking charms. Maybe one day.

“Have you figured anything out about the egg yet?” he asked 300 feet later.

“No,” she sighed and paused. She wiped the sweat out of her face and stared up at the remaining 1,000 or so feet. “Nothing other than the fact that it’s an annoying piece of shit. Every time I open it, I feel like my ears are going to bleed, and it has these strange markings on it that I don’t understand and, bleh—” She put her hands on her thighs and her forehead against the mountain face. She straightened after a moment, and then continued to climb.

“Perhaps we could put a memory of it in the pensieve and look at it together.”

Eden yawned as she nodded her head and pulled herself up again. “Sounds good. But, we’re going to have to do it tomorrow. I think I’m about to wake up.”

“Alright. I’m proud of how far you got today, my love.”

She grinned and fought desperately to hide her blush. “Thanks.” She quickly climbed another 15 feet to the next ledge. She pulled herself onto it and sat down as she leaned against the base of the mountain.

She closed her eyes, and her body faded from view.


Tuesday, February 7, 1995

        Slytherin Girls, Fourth Year Dorm—2

Eden slowly sat up from her bed and rubbed at her aching neck.

She quickly decided that a nice, long, bath was in order due to her burning muscles, and that research could wait a little while—until the next morning, in fact. She opened the hangings and quickly gathered the things she needed out of her Trunk before she closed it and reopened it to the first room.

She straddled the Trunk and was about to climb in when her eyes fell on the egg. Her eyes narrowed before she climbed out of it, grabbed the still slightly bloody egg—she couldn’t wash the blood off (it was almost like it refused to come off)—and descended into the depths of the first room.

 

Trunk Bedroom—Bathroom

After she got only mildly distracted by the huge crystal chandeliers that hung in the bedroom at regular intervals, Eden made her way into the large—maybe too large (definitely too large)—bathroom. While all of the rooms in her Trunk, bar the library had a full bathroom—it had a toilet and sink—she enjoyed the one in her bedroom the most—even though it also confused her.

Inside the bathroom was a large shower area, a deep sunken bathtub in the floor that could easily fit five people and still allow them to float with space between them to the right of the shower, a toilet, a vanity with a fancy chair, and even a couch.

Don’t ask her.

Ask Narcissa and Draco.

She flicked her wand at the tub and twenty of the thirty faucets turned on and started to fill the tub with her preferred temperature of water. She put her change of clothes on the couch—the only thing she used it for (Pansy, Daphne, and Millie all used it for some reason when they were in there—she assumed it was some Pureblood thing)—and quickly stripped out of her long-sleeved boat-necked shirt and yoga pants.

She placed the egg on the floor next to the tub, quickly showered, and took a moment to stare at her body in the floor to ceiling mirror that took up an entire wall before she got into the bath.

She didn’t think she’d ever get used to seeing so many muscles on her body—and only have one scar (opposed to the hundreds that covered her before). Well, two if you counted the small one on her wrist—she preferred not to think about that one though.

She was by no means overweight or even chubby before the Coma—in fact, she was still suffering from years of malnourishment (but she also suspected that Tom cast a spell to halt her height growth after she had grown two inches between the summer of second and third year, because no amount of nutrition potions helped her grow). Nonetheless, she also didn’t have a completely flat stomach—once she was allowed to have meals with the Malfoy’s more than once a week, she had started to look normal in that respect—and she didn’t have the chiseled facial features that she now had. She hadn’t been as defined as she was now.

She sometimes—often—felt like she had gone from a stick figure to a portrait overnight, even though she knew it was over two months in reality.

She shook her head and took a deep breath before she climbed into the deep, tepid water that now filled the large bath to the brim—the faucets shut off when it’s full. She sunk down until she lay flat on her back and started to float. As she relaxed, she couldn’t help but let her mind wander to the suggestion Snakey-Snape had given her the prior day.

He had suggested that she Lock a portion of her Core away so she could learn to control it faster since it was taking longer than anticipated for her mind to completely Adjust. It had Adjusted to the point that she wasn’t a danger to herself, or anyone else, but her mind hadn’t Adjusted enough to not lash out when she was scared or in danger.

She had so far sent two Gryffindors, a Hufflepuff first year, two Ravenclaw third years, and seventeen Slytherin’s of varying years to the hospital wing because they’d startled her.

She had read up on Locking her Core away and saw the benefits, but she also saw the drawbacks. The benefits of doing so would increase her control, and she could even take it down to the size it was before the Coma, and it would even increase her aptitude for certain things. It would also not only give her greater control over her magic, but her emotions as well.

However, the main drawbacks to expanding her Core were almost enough to cause her to forgo the entire idea of it.

The first was that it took a lot of magic to Lock even a small percentage of the Core away, and would take days to recover—and she needed to Lock a little over half of it away to get it to the point it was before the Coma (she had had a Natural Expansion since she woke up). If she was honest with herself—which she always was—she was quite terrified at how quickly her Core was growing. She had already hurt people she loved. She didn’t want to hurt anymore.

The second drawback was that she’d only have access to the portion that was unLocked—at the moment, she couldn’t really see that as a con, however. The last was that it was a lengthy process to unLock her Core, and if she was in a dangerous situation and needed more magic, there was a very high chance that she couldn’t be able to unLock it in time.

While those were pretty big drawbacks, she had read in another book—and pure logic supported the idea—that she could practice Locking and unLocking her Core to the point where it would be fast and beneficial to her to keep her Core locked as it would cause those she fought to underestimate her.

Perhaps she would talk to Tom about it. He always knew what was best for her.

She lay in the comfortable warmth for over an hour, debating pros and cons and reviewing spells, and curses, before she sighed and swam back to the edge. She summoned her wand and the bath emptied a bit before all thirty faucets turned back on, only this time, ten of them added bubbles. Once there was a sufficient amount of bubbles, she grabbed the egg.

She held it in front of her face, and slowly turned it around. She made sure she got a clear look at all of the markings on the egg, and even looked over them twice to make sure she didn’t miss anything; Tom would be using the memory to help her figure it out. She scratched at the dried blood, and frowned when it still wouldn’t come off.

After an unknown amount of time, she decided to open the egg. She also decided to ignore the definition of insanity for now—doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result (she was clearly insane).

She twisted open the top, and even though she was expecting it, flinched when it started to screech loudly around the large bathroom. The egg slipped out of her hands, and the screaming stopped while it rolled to the deepest part of the tub in the center.

She shook her head and decided that the ringing in her ears was the echo of the egg in the room. She took a deep breath and dove under the water to grab the egg, and immediately wished she could go back to sleep.


Wednesday, February 7, 1945

        Head Dorms

“We’re taking a bath together.”

Eden couldn’t help the maniacal laughter that shook her body when Tom choked on the food he ate. She flicked her wand and his throat cleared.

“Pardon?” he asked after he took deep breaths and drank water.

“A bath. You. Me. Water. Now.”

He flushed a deep red—SUCCESS!—and looked away from her. “I thought you wanted to wait until marriage…” he trailed off, clearly uncomfortable as he crossed one leg over the other.

She laughed in mortification. “Merlin—Mordred—no! Not that way, you perv! We’ll be wearing clothes. See?” She concentrated and waved her wand and she was in a black halter bikini top and black swim shorts that ended just below her butt. Tom wore a pair of dark green swim shorts that had silver snakes embroidered on them—they also didn’t fit. “I stole those from Dragon. You’ll have to alter them yourself to make them fit.”

Eden was oblivious to the hungry look in his eyes as she dug around in her pearl bag to pull out the egg. “I thought we agreed that that stayed in the future.” His voice was deep and husky, and when she looked up at him, her face flushed a delicate pink when she finally saw the look on his face.

“We did…but then I discovered something. I wrote it all down just in case that this got broken during the time traveling, or whatever happens. I also have memories of it.”

She put a blood glamor on the bag and took it off and placed it on his bed. She turned around and gasped when she found him standing right behind her.

His hands landed on her hips and pulled her close as his head lowered to whisper in her ear. “You have no idea what you’re doing to me,” he hissed softly. His tongue flicked out to taste the shell of her ear, and she shivered and pushed closer to him. “No…damn…idea.”

He bumped his nose against hers twice and pulled her into a gentle kiss—just a press of the lips—while his hands gripped tightly—almost painfully—at her sides. She was sure that if she bruised easily, or even somewhat normally, bruises would be there when she woke up.

He pulled away and nuzzled her nose. “I think I might have a slight idea,” she hissed before she hastily turned around and made her way into the bathroom and into the large tub while her heart stuttered, and her blood burned.

As she leaned over to turn on the water and adjusted the temperature that was comfortable for her—she hated hot water (it always made her sick)—she desperately tried to think about something other than Tom’s chiseled stomach.

She had seen it before, but this was the first time that it had really clicked that he was hers.

It was also the first time that something about his appearance other than his smile and eyes affected her. She sat on the edge of the tub and put her head in her hands as she thought.

She always knew that Tom was attractive—in a clinical sense, that is. She’d have to be blind to not see it. It was just the first time that she was attracted to him. For his looks, at least.

She had been attracted to his mind since sometime in her third year when she started to notice boys.

She had been attracted to his eyes since she figured out that they were the key to his emotions when she was in her second year—but it wasn’t in an ‘I love you’ kind of attracted. It was more of an ‘that’s really interesting’ type of attraction.

She had been attracted to his smile since the first time they met and he comforted her—but it wasn’t in a way that made her heart do uncomfortable flips in her chest, and made snakes coil in her stomach. It was in a way that made her soul warm and her mind finally—finally—whisper the words I’m safe. Although, when she was in the Coma—especially after they started dating—she had noticed that another thought was added, so now her mind and heart whispered I’m safe, and I’m loved.

But just now…when she had seen Tom’s chiseled abdominal, pectoral, oblique, and deltoid muscles, she swore that her heart decided to stop, her basilisk grew wings in her stomach, her blood became fire, and her brain became mush.

She heard distant footsteps and took a couple of deep breaths before she stood. She squeaked when she saw Tom—and his delicious abdomen (oh, Merlin, help her)—standing right in front of her—again—with the egg in his hand.

She stumbled backwards and fell into the large tub and just barely missed hitting her head on the porcelain edge when he grabbed her ankle and yanked her forward.

She pulled her foot out of his grasp and sat up as she sputtered slightly. She pushed wet hair out of her face and grinned at him and kept her eyes firmly on his face—he had delectable leg muscles too (Morgana and Circe, what was wrong with her?)—and his soul warming smile.

“Well, come on. What are you waiting for?” She moved to the side of the tub closest to the faucet—she would be the one in charge of that, thank you very much. “Bring the egg,” she added before she dipped her head just enough under the water so only her nose and eyes were showing.

“Clothes,” he scoffed slightly under his breath before he stepped into the water, the egg held tightly in his hand. “You are a freak,” he hissed once the temperature registered. She knew he absolutely adored hot—hot hot hot hot—water.

She grinned widely under the water before she nodded. He groaned before he sat down and once seated, she took the egg from him. “Take a deep breath and duck under.”

He rolled his eyes fondly before he did as commanded. Once both were under, she opened the egg, and together they listened to the song.

They came up with a gasp and both wiped the hair out of their faces as Tom stared at her.

“Underwater. You’ll be going underwater.” She grinned and launched herself at him and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. Her face warmed, her heart thumped, and her basilisk flew—she was going to call him Sebastian, she decided after a moment (he was around often enough that he deserved a name).

“That’s what I was thinking too, but, I just wanted to be sure.”

He threaded his fingers through the hair at the base of her neck and pulled her face back just enough so he could press a light kiss against her lips—she could feel the trembles as he held himself back. “How did you figure it out?” he asked once he pulled away.

She got out of his embrace before she did something that they both—if not him, she—would regret and pulled the drain. She climbed out of the tub and cast a drying charm on herself. “Honestly, it wasn’t even something that occurred to me. I was taking a bath and decided to bring it with me.”

She explained what had happened, and by the time she was finished, they were both properly dressed—they had both gotten very good at conjuring changing screens over the years (she didn’t dare use magic to put her clothes back on as a mistake that happened in second year—when he taught her the spell—had her taking dreamless sleep potion for a week due to the embarrassment).

“You’re absolutely ridiculous,” he said as he fondly stroked her hair. She wrinkled her nose at him before she reached out and tied his tie for him.

“Only because of you.”

He wrapped his arms around her tightly and laughed softly in her ears. “Good. Now, today it’s into the Water Course with you.”

“But—I just got dressed!”

He gave a vicious smirk. “Well then, you’ll just have to get undressed. If you like I could help.”

“Perv,” she muttered as she stepped out of his arms. She conjured another changing screen and quickly changed back into her swimsuit.

As soon as the screen was banished, arms were immediately wrapped around her bare waist. “You don’t even know the half of it,” he hissed softly into her right ear. His tongue flicked out and licked a way down from the shell of her ear and to her neck. Her head tilted back and her eyes closed as he bit, sucked, licked, and kissed the right side of her neck.

His hands trailed so his left was on her lower hip, and his right scorched the skin just below the fabric of her swim top. She snapped to attention when a finger slipped under the waistband of her shorts—it went no further—and fought her way out of his arms and practically dove into the seventh compartment.

His beautiful laughter greeted her.

Words more colorful than a double rainbow greeted him.


Wednesday, February 8, 1995

        Location Undisclosed

The clock chimed midnight.

He sighed and rubbed at his aching eyes with one hand and waved his free hand, and a glass of fire whiskey was poured, and floated over to him. He knocked the entire glass back, and poured himself another and dropped his quill. He finished the second glass, poured a third, and rubbed his hands across his face.

He sipped at his drink before he ran his work-hardened fingers against the tight muscles of the back of his neck. He took another sip, and groaned as he tried to soothe the perpetual ache that had begun to pound a violent and unrelenting tattoo since he had gone to the Dark Lord for help a little over a month ago.

He groaned and sat back in his chair, and finished the third glass. He felt the alcohol start to ooze through his blood, and against his better judgement, poured himself another glass. His mind began to fog, and he opened the warded bottom drawer of his desk and pulled out a picture of his daughter.

He felt near to tears.

It was his favorite picture of her.

The two stood next to each other and King’s Cross Station, and the reason it was his favorite was because it was candid.

The loop restarted, and he watched fondly when she accidentally dropped her trunk onto her toes and started to hop around on one foot. She hopped for a moment before she crashed into his side, and he wrapped an arm around her to steady her.

She grinned at him, and her eyes shined with the kind of love that a daughter held for her father. He ruffled her hair, shrunk her Trunk, and she shoved it into the pocket of her silk-lined robes before she hugged him again.

The loop ended with her taking her Trunk out of her pocket and resizing it, and it started once more.

It had been taken years ago when he had a charade that he needed to keep up, and it was one of the few pictures that he had of her.

He stroked the young face of his daughter, and wondered if she would hate him if she ever learned of what he had done.

He had, after all, put her life into the hands of a man who had tried to end it, and had failed only due to her brother saving her.

He loved her, and she loved him.

For now.

Chapter Text

Wednesday, February 8, 1995

        Potions Classroom

“Are you okay?”

Eden paused the humming she had been doing under her breath and looked up at Pansy. “Yeah, why?” Draco and Theo turned around from their table in front of them while Daphne and Millicent carefully leaned forward over their potions. Blaise and Tracy completely walked away from their potions and stood next to her.

Was this another ‘intervention’?

“You just seem . . . a little . . . ” She was clearly uncomfortable and glared at Draco—he obviously put her up to doing this, and Eden’s interest was piqued (it was always entertaining to see them try and outdo one another and sabotage the other at the same time). He sighed and returned the glare in kind before he turned to her.

“Perky,” he started dully, “you’re perky and you need to stop it. Now. It’s weird.” Eden laughed loudly and received a fond smile from Snakey-Snape as he walked by their potions. She shook her head and added the next ingredient.

“I figured out what the Second Task is going to be,” she whispered to her friends. She was very aware of the glares sent to her by the Gryffindor’s—she had been correct in her assessment that Harry would run back to their parents as soon as she returned to school (she desperately wished she had been wrong).

“Really?” Daphne squealed.

“Yeah.”

“…you still need to stop being perky, it’s weird,” Draco insisted.

“You’re weird.”

“You’re perky.”

“You’re mopey.” She was only vaguely aware that the rest of the class had paused to listen to their argument as the eight continued to work on their potions.

“I hate you.”

“Why? I’m lovely.”

She looked up when she heard him snort. “Dammit, Eden! I hate you!” he barely bit out from his repressed laughter.

“You love me.”

“I’m pretty sure I don’t.”

“I’m pretty sure you do.” Pansy started to choke as she bit her tongue to keep from laughing along with the other Slytherin’s who weren’t involved in the conversation.

“I will hex you.”

“Please,” she scoffed, “you couldn’t hex me.”

She heard a snort from the lion’s den and looked up and saw Granger biting her lip as she stole glances at the two. She smiled at the girl and received a hesitant smile in return.

“And why can’t I hex you?”

“You hex her,” Theo started slowly as if he were attempting to explain something to a child, “and the entirety of our House will be out for your blood, Draco, including the firsties.”

“Hatchlings,” Eden absently mumbled.

“Awe! They’re our little hatchlings!” Daphne squealed softly.

The entirety of the Slytherin’s—including Snakey-Snape—exchanged a look.

“What have I done?” Eden said in mock horror, and the classroom was filled with laughter from sixteen snakes as the lions glared.

 

Severus Snape’s Office

Severus looked up from the dreadful assignments he was grading when a knock echoed on his door. “Come in.”

Eden stepped into the room, and he couldn’t help the smile that crossed his face. “Hi, Snakey-Snape.” His smile immediately fell, and he was left to scowl.

“I hate that name.”

She smirked. “If you truly hated it, you wouldn’t respond to it.”

His scowl deepened, and he knew that he had aged ten years within the five seconds she had been in his office. “What do you need, pest?”

She grinned. “I want you to teach me.”

A brow lifted. “I thought that’s what I do. Am I not doing an adequate enough job with your classmates?”

She snorted. “Not potions. I want you to teach me to Lock a portion of my Core away.”

All amusement left. “You do realize that this will take weeks to heal from?”

She nodded. “Which is why we’ll only Lock a small portion of it away every morning before the Task.”

“Are you sure?”

Her eyes narrowed. “What are you thinking?”

“I’m thinking that I know how dangerous the First Task was, and that the Tasks have been designed to get more and more difficult as the Tournament progresses. I worry that with your Core Locked before the Task, and it still healing from the Locking of it . . . . I fear you will not be strong enough.” Her jaw set. “Just think about it for a couple of days.”

She pouted for a few more minutes before she agreed.

The second his office door closed, he wrote to Lucius.


Thursday, February 8, 1945

        Head Dorms

“Today, while I eat, we’re going to read these books, and while I’m in class, you’ll be in the Water Course practicing swimming,” Tom said from where he sat on the edge of his bed with his tie slung around his neck, not yet tied.

Eden sat up from her stretches and did a two fingered Glitter Salute. “Aye, aye, Captain!”

He glared at her and stopped messing with his tie. “One more pun—”

“That wasn’t a pun!” she interrupted.

“How was that not a pun!?”

“Because it wasn’t meant to be a pun.”

Tom scowled at her. “You know, I’m not entirely sure I believe you.”

“Oh, come off it, Tom!” She stood and walked over to him and stood in between his slightly spread legs. She grabbed the silk green and silver fabric around his neck and swiftly tied it for him. “I’m sorry I made an accidental pun.” She curled her arms around his neck and pressed a kiss to the tip of his nose.

His scowl broke and he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her close. “I forgive you.” He pressed a kiss to her lips and gently squeezed her hips before he pulled away. She blushed at the warmth in his eyes as he gazed on her as if she were the most precious of jewels.

“Thank you. Now, where are the books you want me to start reading?” She started to pull away, but was stopped by the tightening of his grip.

“Later.”

He curled his fingers into the hair at the base of her head and pulled her closer once more and pressed a kiss against her lips. His lips moved slow and gently along her own; both were content to keep it slow and enjoy the Magic that crackled around them every time their lips met.

Eventually, his tongue stroked the seam of her mouth, and it fell open. His hand in her hair and the hand on her waist tightened as he adjusted their positions just enough so he could deepen the kiss. A soft sigh left her mouth as she curled her fingers in his hair as he started to devour her.

The kiss remained unhurried, but there was an intensity in it that hadn’t been there before.


Thursday, February 9, 1995

        Slytherin Common Room

“Is that a hickey?”

Eden flushed a delicate pink as she immediately regretted pulling her hair up into a high ponytail. They had been on their way back from dinner, and had just entered the common room, and those nearest the door had fallen silent as they stared at the group of five. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She was going to end Tom.

“Lies!” Pansy crowed.

She broke into a run. “Eden! Get back here!” Draco demanded as he too, started to run.

“Never!” She leapt over a coffee table and nearly tripped when Blaise ran into it and fell when he tried to copy her.

“Noah Eden Potter! Get back  here this instant!” he shouted between his groans.

At this point, the entire common room was silent as they watched the five fourth years.

“No way in Hell! You’ll have to Imperius me first!” Growls of rage from her friends echoed in the silent common room, and she ran and jumped up onto the back of an arm chair, and just barely caught her balance.

“Antony! Help us!”

The King smirked. “Why should I?” He sat in the chair across from the one she currently used as a perch, and seemed quite entertained.

“She has a hickey!”

The amusement fell off of his face in an instant. He stood and slowly approached the chair. “Hey! No, stay away! I’m warning you. Ah!” He charged the chair and she was pinned to the floor underneath the tall seventh year. “Get off of me, you big lug!” He pressed her further into the ground. “Please, Selwyn?”

He smiled charmingly down at her. “Oh, come now, darling, surely we’re closer than that.” He tilted her head to the side and clucked in the back of his tongue when he saw the hickey that was under her right ear. “Perhaps even close enough for you to tell me who would be giving you a hickey.”

She flushed a deep red again. “Antony, you damn son of a banshee! Get off of me!”

“Or what?”

Rainbows were very jealous that day when she described exactly what she would do to him in extreme and vile detail.


Friday, February 9, 1945

        Head Dorms  

“Hey, Tom?”

“Yes, love?”

“Before you go to class, can I ask you something?”

“Of course. What is it?” He stood in front of her, and she automatically reached out and tied his tie for him.

“What’s your opinion on Locking a portion of my Core away instead of just Binding it really, really tight?”

He was silent for a moment. He wrapped his arms around her and led her to the couch and sat her down on his lap. “In order for you to understand my opinion, you need to fully understand the vast differences between the two. When you Bind your Core, all you’re really doing is just coiling it very close to your body for better control. It’s actually very natural to Bind your Core; in fact, most witches and wizards do it subconsciously.

“When you Lock your Core, you are essentially removing a part of your very being for a set amount of time, whether it’s temporary or permanent. With Locking your Core comes many, many dangers, but it also removes another factor. You see, when most people are forced to Lock their Core, they’re doing it because their magic has become a danger to themselves and others. If you Lock a small portion of your Core away, it’s safe, but, if you Lock too much away, it can be fatal.

“UnBinding a Core is simple and often thoughtless. UnLocking a Locked Core is time consuming and often dangerous depending on how it’s been Locked away. Why do you ask?”

“I’m struggling to control my magic when I’m awake . . . I’ve sent quite a few people to the hospital wing. Snakey-Snape has suggested that I Lock a portion of it away, so I have control of it again.”

Tom immediately started to shake his head. “No. Don’t do it.”

“But, Tom. What if I hurt someone?”

“Then do it after the Task, not before. I refuse to allow you to do something so foolish as to Lock your Core so close to the Task.”

She pouted and her left brow furrowed. He kissed her brow, and then he kissed away her pout. “Have I ever hurt you before Eden?” She shook her head and he kissed her again. “Trust me. I will never hurt you. I Promise.”

Something tightened in the air, and it didn’t feel like Magic.

It felt almost like . . . .

She smiled tightly and kissed him, and tried to push the sensation of being choked to the back of her mind.

So much rage.


Monday, February 12, 1945

        Seventh Compartment—Water Course  

She couldn’t breathe.

Eden lay on the gritty, conjured black sand of the compartment as she coughed up salt water out of her lungs, and multiple spells wrapped around her and sunk into her skin. Her body was numb and sore from the giant whirlpool mere feet away that had just tried to eat her whole.

It was the first time that the failsafe spells had been activated in any of the compartments, as it had been the first time that her life had truly been in danger.

She ignored Tom’s frantic voice begging her if she was okay, in favor of dying. “Eden, I swear, if you need me to, I’ll be there in two minutes at most.”

Another spell—one of the failsafe spells—painfully slammed into her chest again. She coughed up more salt water, and shook her head as her lungs finally relaxed and she could breathe again. She flopped onto her back and took deep, gasping breaths as the spells continued to hover over her body. She didn’t know how long they’d stay, but they were pretty to look at, even if one would threaten to hit her if she took slightly too long to inhale.

“I’m fine.” She coughed a bit more, and she had to quickly roll back onto her side as bile came out, and another spell hit her. She groaned and rolled back onto her back. “Do you want to know what would be awesome?” she demanded. Her voice was raw and husky from the water she just tried to breathe.

“What?” Tom sounded only slightly relieved at the fact that she could breathe once more.

“If lungs could be permanently altered to be able to breathe both air and water simultaneously if needed.” She coughed once more, and bile gagged her again. “I’m fine, I’m fine. But, just a little suggestion, maybe you should lessen the strength of the water.”

Immediately the ear crushing volume of water lessened as the whirlpool slowed. “Duly noted. Any other suggestions you’d like to add?” he sounded thoughtful, and slightly distracted.

“I’d rather drown than ever eat gillyweed ever again.”

He sighed in exasperation, but she could hear the fondness and amusement in the sound. “So you’ve said before.”

She had tried it four days ago.

It wasn’t fun.

“Hey, until I can get that vile memory out of my head, I will complain all that I want about it.”

Another sigh. “If you’re fine, get back into the water.”

The spells hovered for a few more minutes before they dissipated, and she sat for about ten minutes longer before she slipped back into the water.


Wednesday, February 14, 1945

        Head Dorms

“You’re early,” Tom stated slowly when he woke up when Eden decided it would be a wonderful idea to straddle his stomach.

Sometimes—most times—he doubted how innocent she actually was.

She grinned and leaned down and pressed a kiss to his lips, and he near about died at the fire that coursed through him with an icy flush. “Yep.”

She nuzzled his neck.

Really, she couldn’t be that innocent that she had no idea what she was doing to him. Perhaps she was a siren in disguise…

No.

He had heard her sing, and while she had a decent voice, she was no siren.

He groaned when her tongue flicked against the skin of his neck and he wanted to devour—

No.

Don’t think about it.

He groaned again and pulled her off of him. “Why are you early?” He wrapped his arms around her waist and tucked her head underneath his chin and breathed in the sweet scent of her hair. He ran his fingers up and down her back and nearly fell back to sleep when she started to run her fingers through his hair.

“It’s Valentine’s day. I pretended to be sick, so that’s why I’m here at six in the morning.”

He smiled slowly against her soft hair. “How long are you staying?”

“The usual time.”

He nodded his head and pulled her closer to him. Merlin, he didn’t think he’d ever get tired of having her in his arms. It was near painful to sleep without her in his bed. “I guess I should probably get up then.”

She rapidly shook her head. “No, you don’t have to. I’m find spending the day right here.”

Control. Must—have—control.

But damn was she making it hard.

 

Eden curled in closer to him and a certain calmness filled her soul that could only be found when she was in his arms. She craved the feelings of safeness that he brought to her just by smiling at her, or holding her in his arms. She needed it like she needed water.

He groaned slightly before he chuckled and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “As tempting as that thought is, we only have ten days until the Task.”

She groaned and tried to get impossibly closer to him. She needed the comfort that only his arms could bring.  “I knew you were going to say something about that,” she sighed. “I spent almost all of today in the Restricted Section trying to find things on breathing underwater, but, I only found things that we’ve already read or tried. Snakey-Snape and Crazy Face had to bail me out of missing classes when Dumblebutt found out that I had been there all day. I know why Snakey did it, but Crazy leaves me a bit confused.”

He laughed and pressed another kiss to her skin. “Speaking of that, I may have found and or created something. I definitely found something, and I may have created something new. I’m not sure if it’s been done before, but, all of the theory behind it works out.”

“What is it?”

“Have you ever read the tale of the Little Mermaid?”

She thought for a moment. “Isn’t that a muggle fairy tale?” She remembered from when she was a little, little kid, whenever she and Harry would have nightmares, their mother would put them in the same bed and read to them from a story book she grew up with.

“It wasn’t originally. It was originally a biography written by a witch who had met a mermaid who became human in the 16th century The mermaid only told her story because the witch spoke Mermish, and it kind of got out of hand in the 19th century when the Grimm brothers decided to share wizarding stories and tales with the muggles. Most were forgotten—and that’s not important. What is important is that there were two rituals used to turn the mermaid human—well, as human as she could get.

“One was similar to the animagus ritual, but instead of becoming an animal, it gave her a human half that became dominant. The other ritual was used to make it so she could breathe air, and only air. They might have done another one to get rid of her merfolk side, but nothing was mentioned about it.

“Anyway, I found these rituals shortly after we started our research, and I decided that they were completely useless until a couple days ago. I’ve altered it to allow you to breathe both water and air until you die.”

“How does that work?”

“Your lungs will develop something similar to gills.”

“How . . . how do we know it will work?”

“Well, you see . . . .” His throat bobbed as he swallowed, and she pressed a kiss to his Adam’s apple. When he spoke, his voice was more gravelly than usual and his hands trembled. “First years.”

She blinked her eyes four times. “Pardon?”

“We’ll test it on first years, and then we’ll obliviate them.”

“Tom! We can’t do that!”

“Why not?”

She closed her eyes and prayed to the Olde gods for strength. “Two reasons. The first is that it’s highly illegal—”

“Dear, the spells we use on a daily basis are highly illegal.”

She whacked him and continued on. “Second, they could drown.”

“We’ll be careful.”

“Tom—”

He groaned and rolled over so he pinned her to the bed with his body. “I’m not losing you, Eden. Please. I promise they won’t get hurt.”

Eden groaned before she nodded and Sealed the promise. His eyes widened. “Fine. But, I’m telling you now, the Price if they get hurt is…. I’m going to start taking dreamless sleep potion.” It pained her beyond reality to Seal it, and even more to put a Price on it, but, he needed to know she wouldn’t support all of his idea’s wholeheartedly.

Horcruxes and power were one thing. Children, however, were a completely different thing.

Tom paled and pressed closer to her. They both stared at each other in pain. “Have I ever broken a promise to you, Eden? Sealed or not?”

“No.”

He pressed a kiss to her lips. “Then trust me, Eden. No one will get hurt, and if they do, it will be something we can fix with magic. I promise.”

She didn’t dare Seal it. She saw the relief in his eyes. “Alright. I trust you, Tom. I trust you with my life.”

And my heart.


Wednesday, February 15, 1995

        Location Undisclosed

He stared at the grain of the wooden door and tightly clenched his fists.

As blood pooled in his grasp, he pictured his daughter’s beautiful face. It was for her. It was all for her.

He just needed to remind himself of that, and everything would be fine. He would persevere as long as he remembered his daughter.

He flicked his wrist and the door swung open, and he stepped into the damned room. “So, the traitor has finally returned.”

His lips curled into a snarl. “Shut it, Wormtail.”

“It’s true, isn’t it?”

He stormed over to the man and got close into his face, and held him by the collar of his shirt with his left hand, while he fumbled for his wand with his right. “If I’m a traitor,” he hissed as he finally grabbed his wand and pressed it into the man’s ample stomach, “than you’re nothing but a hypocrite.”

A bone-tired sigh was the only warning he had before both he and the rat were hit with a small dose of the Cruciatus. “Now, now, my friends. I will not tolerate fighting among us in such a . . . delicate time.”

He glared at the sniveling man next to him before he knelt at the Dark Lord’s feet. “Of course, my Lord.” He ignored the slight trembling of his hands as the aftershocks from the Curse ate at him.

It was for Eden.

“I am glad . . . that you could come on such short notice. I know you are a very busy man.”

“That’s fine, my Lord. I . . . I live to serve you.”

“Do you really?” His Master was amused. This was dangerous territory. How did one deal with an amused madman who was trapped in a less-than-ideal body?

He was about to learn.

“Does that mean your daughter doesn’t matter to you?”

“What?” He physically drew back and fell onto his butt as he stared at the Dark Lord in terror. “No! Of course, she matters to me!”

“Oh yes, I nearly forgot. She’s the whole reason you’re here, isn’t she?” the tone was bitter, and it was the amused twinkle in bright-red eyes that told him what he needed to know.

His Master was toying with him.

He swallowed through a suddenly tight throat. “Yes, my Lord.”

“No need to be so nervous, my friend,” he said in a slow, bright tone, that was meant to disarm. But underneath the brightness, was a mocking interlining, and he suspected under that lining, was a backing of sarcasm with an overlay of sadism. “As long as you do as your told,” he continued in the same tone, “she will live a long, happy life.”

“Promise?” The word ripped out of him before he could stop it. He was so desperate to secure her safety, he feared he was just putting her in the way of an oncoming Death Spell.

“I make no promises.” His body shook with unimaginable pain once more.

“Of course, my Lord. I apologize, my Lord.”

“Do you really?” he repeated, in the same, innocently curious tone he had previously asked the question. Before he could answer, the mutated man continued. “No matter. I need you to do some things for me.”

He smiled tightly, and pictured bright green eyes as they smiled at him with a daughter’s love.

“Of course, my Lord.”