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Chapter Text

        Harry Potter was closer to his sister than most might be to their siblings. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that they had shared a cupboard as a living space for as long as they could remember. That did mean they spent a good deal of time together. People who didn’t know them wouldn’t have easily guessed that they were siblings.

        You see, Harry had messy, black hair, green eyes, and glasses, not to mention an odd, lightning-shaped scar right on his forehead. Rachel, on the other hand, had long, red hair that always seemed to do just what she wanted it to, and warm brown eyes. Anyone on the street would just think they were neighbors or friends. Not that anyone would ever see them on the street, of course. The Dursleys made it quite clear that they were not to attract any attention from the people of Little Whinging, Surrey.

        The small cupboard barely fit the two siblings nowadays. When they were younger, sharing the space held no issue, but as they grew, their living quarters seemed to shrink around them.

        At Aunt Petunia’s impatient rousing, Harry sat up, trying not to squish the sleeping Rachel as he fumbled for the light. She grumbled when the bulb flicked on, and Harry nudged her after he found his glasses.

        “Rachel, wake up,” he said.

        “I don’t want to,” she muttered into the mattress.

        “Come on,” Harry prodded, “You don’t want Duddy-kins to be the one to wake you, do you?”

        There was a pause.

        “No…” she whined.

        “Then come on…”

        Rachel sighed and sat up rubbing her eyes. Just in time, in fact, as heavy footsteps clomped up and down the stairs.

        “Wake up, cousins! We’re going to the zoo!”

        Sawdust rained down around them. Rachel squeezed her eyes shut, and Harry sighed, moving to get up. He opened the door to the cupboard, only to immediately be shoved back inside by Dudley… right on top of his sister.

        “Ouch!” she yelped.

        “Sorry,” he muttered, rubbing his head as he got up.

        Rachel clambered to her feet after him.

        “Ready for today?” she asked.

        “Sure,” Harry said, “As ready as I’ve been every other day.”

        “Maybe we’ll get some of Dudley’s broken stuff this year.”

        “Not like we have room for it anyway.”

        Rachel almost laughed at that, and Harry had to nudge her before they went through the door into the kitchen.

        Vernon and Petunia were busy fawning over Dudley, until Aunt Petunia noticed the two of them.

        “Cook breakfast,” she barked, “And try not to burn anything.”

        “Yes, Aunt Petunia,” Harry muttered.

        Rachel didn’t say anything. Their aunt much preferred it that way. While she would occasionally acknowledge Harry, on any given day, she’d much rather pretend that Rachel was invisible.

        “I want everything to be perfect for my Dudley’s special day!”

        Harry put the bacon on a plate as Uncle Vernon ordered Rachel, “Hurry up! Bring my coffee, girl.”

        “Yes, Uncle Vernon,” Rachel said tiredly, moving over to the pot.

        “Aren’t they wonderful, darling?” Harry heard Petunia asking Dudley.

        A quick glance at the enormous stack of presents told him there was an explosion coming. Sure enough, Dudley’s face morphed in confusion as he began to realize what Harry and Rachelhad already figured out.

        “How many are there?” he demanded.

        “Thirty-six,” Vernon said proudly. “Counted them myself.”

        That was the wrong thing to say.

        “Thirty-six?! But last year I had thirty-seven!” Dudley shouted.

        Harry caught his sister’s eye. The two of them had a way of knowing what the other was thinking. Nothing so ridiculous as thinking they had telepathy, of course. They simply knew each other so well that it was easy to know what the other was thinking. Growing up so closely played a big part in that.

        Uncle Vernon continued to try to persuade Dudley that this year’s presents were much better, to no avail. Finally, Aunt Petunia stepped in to soothe Dudley with the promise of even more gifts.

        This was going to be a long day.


        Ophelia held her book closer to the light. Elara made fun of her for reading their assigned books so early, but Ophelia argued it would be good to get a head start for all the full moons that would make her miss class. That shut her up for a while.

        As Ophelia tried to learn more about the basics of Transfiguration, a teasing voice came from the doorway.

        “Ophelia Diana Lupin, studying. Why am I not surprised?”

        She rolled her eyes. “Elara Lyra Lupin, bothering me while I’m studying. Why am I not surprised?”

        Ophelia looked up to see her friend was scowling. Oh, right. That was a sore point for her now.

        When Elara’s letter had arrived from Hogwarts, it was addressed to “Ms. E Black”. Remus, the man Elara had thought was truly her uncle, was forced to reveal the truth. He was her godfather. Her mother was named Lyra, and she was a hero. Her father was a traitor and a spy, and he had left her mother for dead. Remus could barely say his name.

        The two had never looked alike, really. Ophelia was a perfect combination of her mother and her father in looks: rich, shiny brown hair and curious golden eyes, while Lyra was the perfect picture of a Pureblood, with piercing silver eyes and hair so blonde it was nearly white. They never could have mistaken their supposed kinship for sisterhood, but it was still a jarring revelation, nonetheless.

        That was one of the worst weeks of Ophelia’s life. Elara had locked herself in her room the entire time, and when she finally came out, she refused to use the name Lupin and insisted that her father was innocent. Since then, she was determined to prove it so, no matter how much Remus tried to convince her of the truth.

        “Right, right, sorry…”

        The two girls were quiet for a bit.

        “I know he didn’t do it, Ophelia.”

        “Elara-”

        “Please, Ophelia, just… listen to me.”

        Ophelia sighed, but nodded. She could tell this was important to her.

        “I can’t explain it. I just know my father is innocent. Uncle Remus says that’s just me wishing… but I’m going to prove it. Will you help me?”

        “Help you?” Ophelia asked, confused. “I don’t know what I can do…”

        “Something just doesn’t feel right. You’re smart… can you help me figure out what I’m missing,” Elara begged. “And I promise, Di, if what we find proves me wrong, I’ll take it.”

        Elara was the only one who called her Di. Her father always got sad when she did, and Ophelia didn’t understand why. It was just a nickname made from her middle name.

        She thought for a moment.

        “Okay, Lara… I’ll help you. But… you have to promise to go by Lupin at Hogwarts.” Elara blanched at that, but before she could protest, Ophelia continued, “Just to protect you, okay? I don’t want people to treat you different because of your dad. If we find out you’re right, then you can tell everyone… Please?”

        Elara didn’t say anything for a moment, then nodded. “Okay.”

        Ophelia nodded. “Good… We’re gonna have to stick together at school.”

        “That’s for sure,” Elara laughed. “Nobody understands us like we do.”

        The two of them both looked over at the calendar. One week left until September 1st. One week left until Hogwarts. One week until their lives would change forever.

Chapter Text

Somewhere in the wizarding world…

        Adde…custodem…..

        Ego qui…es tuum…

        …sum…animae…

        Firmabo…te…

        The voice echoed in his dreams, just like it had every night since he turned eleven. Barely half the words could be fully understood, and even then, he didn’t know what they meant. The voice seemed both familiar and foreign. It was only a faint whisper, barely discernible. He couldn’t tell if it was even a man or a woman. But, he had the strangest feeling he knew the owner of the voice. He had met them somewhere before. He just didn’t know where, or who.


        It’s funny how your life can change so quickly in so little time. Rachel and her brother had been living in a cupboard their entire lives, and suddenly, they were in a magical alley that normal people couldn’t see, surrounded by the most fantastic things she’d ever seen in her life. Some people had acted quite odd around Harry, but no one seemed to notice her. Their vault had been full of gold coins - more money than either of them had ever seen. Now, the only thing left for the two of them to get were their wands. Rachel let Harry lead the way. The crowds seemed to part like water to stare in awe at him, so it seemed a better strategy to get places faster.

        The odd shopkeeper had been much less phased by Harry than anyone they’d met so far. But the way he talked was rather unnerving. Rachel sat aside as Ollivander told Harry how his wand had a brother… another one with a phoenix core.

        Harry looked deep in thought as Rachel stood to try out wands. She didn’t take quite as long to be “chosen” by a wand.

        “Ah. yes,” Ollivander said. “Rowan wood with a unicorn hair core, 12 ¾ and supple flexibility. Just as I thought.” And that was that.

        Harry stood to hand her their little bag of money, and Rachel fished out the correct amount of coins. When she handed over the money, Ollivander looked at her sadly.

        “You do look so much like you mother, my dear,” he said.

        Rachel looked surprised. No one had ever talked about her mother. Just as she was about to ask Mister Ollivander what he meant, Hagrid knocked on the window, excitedly holding up a white snowy owl, and a black cat. The two of them looked at each other, then grinned and rushed out to thank him.

        “Happy birthday, you two!” Hagrid said.

        “Oh Hagrid,” Rachel gushed, looking at the cat happily, “He’s wonderful!”

        Harry eagerly peered into the birdcage, while Rachel fawned over the cat carrier.

        “Thank you, Hagrid,” Harry said. It was the first time either of them had ever received a real gift. They had tried to give presents to each other, of course, the problem being that neither had anything to give. Now, it looked like things were going to change.

        Now, Rachel realized, they were surrounded by shops, with a bag full of gold. For once, she could get her brother a real birthday present. When she glanced at Harry, he had the same expression on his face. They grinned at each other.

        Hagrid seemed to realize what was going on. 

        “Alright you two, I’ll keep yer pets safe til yer done.”

        The two of them thanked him, then took off through the crowd together, excited and carefree for the first time in forever.

Chapter Text

        Elara stood in front of the Hogwarts Express. It was so crowded, but she didn’t even mind. It was so wonderful to see all of the people. Some kids were already in their robes, some were in regular clothes, some were even in muggle clothes.

        “Elara, Ophelia, stay close to me,” Remus called.

        The two girls slowed their pace slightly so as not to lose him. He helped them guide their carts to the section of the train where they could unload the largest of their trunks.

        “There we are,” he said. “Now…” He turned to them both with a proud smile. “Do remember to write, my dears…”

        “We will, Dad,” Ophelia said, hugging him tightly. “I love you…”

        “I love you, darling.”

        Remus turned to Elara. He acted as though he wasn’t expecting anything from her. When she hugged him, he almost appeared surprised, then he held her close.

        “I love you, you know,” he murmured to her, “Blood family or not.”

        “I know,” she whispered back. “I love you too, Uncle Remus.”

        He stepped back and smiled at them. “I can’t wait to hear where you’re Sorted. Best get on board now, and find a compartment. You might even make some friends,” he teased.

        The two girls giggled and waved to him as they got on board. Quickly, they scrambled into an empty compartment and opened the window to wave at Remus as the train began to pull away.

        Just as the train began to move, a man caught Elara’s eye. He stood towards the back of the crowd, off by himself, but that wasn’t what drew her attention to him. His eyes were the same silver color as hers, and his hair matched the light shade of her own. He was looking right at her.

        Then, the train left the platform, and he was gone.

        Curious…


        Rachel and Harry had a bit of trouble finding the platform, true, but they made in the end, with the help of a very nice woman and her children.

        “She could be one of us, Mum,” one of the twins joked.

        “You hush, Fred,” she replied patiently, but Rachel noticed a fond look in her eyes.

        “I’m George!” the boy protested, climbing onto the train.

        Harry quickly made friends with the woman’s son, who was also a first year, when he asked to share their train compartment with them. Rachel didn’t mind, but she did feel rather like a third wheel. The two of them had hit it off, and Rachel was glad for Harry, but she wished she might have a friend of her own.

        As the two of them began to chat, Rachel thought back to what Hagrid had told them about Voldemort. Absently, she fiddled with the little necklace Harry had gotten for her. Voldemort hadn’t been able to kill her brother. Why not? She was certainly glad for it, but she still wondered what was special about him. Did that something special apply to her too? If Voldemort had gone to kill her first, would she be the one with the famous scar? Or would she have died? It all made her head hurt just a bit.

        Harry nudged her shoulder, and she looked up at him. He offered her a smile and a chocolate frog. Rachel accepted it, eagerly looking at the card.

        “It says…. Salazar Slytherin? The card says… Founder of… what’s Slytherin house?”

        Ron made a face, but before he could elaborate, his rat gave a large squeak and dove inside his nearly empty Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans box, drawing his attention.

        “This is Scabbers, by the way,” he said. “Pathetic, isn’t he?”

        “Just a little bit,” Harry offered politely.

        “Fred gave me a spell as to turn him yellow,” Ron said excitedly.

        Fred… that was one of the twins, Rachel recalled. But not the one who had joked about her being one of their siblings. That was… George? Yes, that was it. George.

        “Want to see?”

        Rachel and Harry both perked up at that. They wanted to see some magic!

        “Yeah!” they said in unison.

        Ron grabbed up his wand and cleared his throat.

        “Suns…” He just as quickly trailed off when a girl appeared in the doorway, looking exasperated.

        “Has anyone seen a toad?” she asked. “A boy named Neville’s lost one.”

        Ron, who looked quite caught off guard at being interrupted, frowned and shook his head. “No…”

        The girl looked at the wand in his hand, then back up.

        “Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see then.”

        Rachel was slightly put off by how forward the girl was, but she still wanted to see some magic, so she turned her attention back to Ron, who cleared his throat once more.

        “Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow… Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.”

        His wand sparked slightly, and Scabbers squealed in protest, but nothing else happened.

        “Are you sure that’s a real spell?” the girl said critically. “Well, it’s not very good, is it?”

        Ron gave Harry a bewildered look.

        “Of course,” the girl continued, I’ve only tried a few simple ones myself… but they’ve all worked for me.” She drew her own wand from her robes and moved to sit across from Harry, right beside Rachel who had swapped Ron for the window seat after Harry bought out the trolley.

        “For example,” she said, pointing her wand right between Harry’s eyes, “Oculus reparo.”

        Instantly, his old, broken glasses mended themselves. Rachel had to admit, she found that impressive. Ron even stopped chewing to look at the handiwork.

        “That’s better, isn’t it?” the girl asked Harry, who showed Rachel his glasses.

        Just then, something seemed to click in the girl’s mind.

        “Holy cricket,” she exclaimed, “You’re Harry Potter! I’m Hermione Granger.” She glanced at Ron. “And you are…?”

        “I’m Ron Weasley,” he said with a smile and a full mouth.

        Hermione was not impressed.

        “...Pleasure.”

        Then, her attention turned to Rachel. She glanced from Rachel, to Ron, then back again.

        “Are you two related?” she asked.

        Rachel shook her head. “Not to him,” she said, “But he’s my brother.” She nodded at Harry. “I’m Rachel Potter.”

        Hermione raised her eyebrows.

        “I never read about any sister… I wonder why the texts don’t mention you.”

        “Well, I’m not The Boy Who Lived, now, am I?” Rachel said shortly.

        She and Hermione looked at each other for a moment, then Hermione continued on as if nothing had happened.

        “You three better change into your robes. I expect we’ll be arriving soon.”

        With that, she stood and walked out of the compartment, pausing only to tell Ron his face was dirty.

        Rachel didn’t know if she could stomach going to school with someone like her, even if it was a magical school. But, that would certainly help things… She looked over at Harry, who smiled encouragingly. As long as she had her brother, things would be just fine.

Chapter Text

        It was dark when the train slowed to a stop. Elara excitedly dragged Ophelia off the train.

        “What are you so excited for?” Ophelia grumbled. “You hate Dad’s homeschooling, this is just that times ten.”

        “I’m excited for the Sorting, silly,” Elara said, following the voice calling for the first years to follow. “I have a few questions for that hat.”

        “Like what?”

        Elara glanced around at the crowd. “Like… what house my parents were in. Uncle Remus never said.”

        “You could just write him,” Ophelia suggested.

        “No…” Elara said. “He gets all sad when I ask anything about mum. He wouldn’t even tell me my dad’s name.”

        Ophelia didn’t say anything, and Elara worried she’d said something to upset her.

        “Di?” But when she turned to her cousin- technically not cousin… oops - Ophelia was focused on something else.

        “Elara,” she whispered, “That boy over there looks like you…”

        Instantly, Elara craned her neck to try to see who Ophelia was looking at, but just then, a huge man stepped into her field of vision.

        “Alright firs’ years, this way to the boats! Follow me, now!”

        “You’ll have to show me later,” she said apologetically to Ophelia, who nodded in response.

        As it turned out, these boats rowed themselves, which Elara found quite fascinating. When the castle came into view, Elara heard Ophelia gasp softly beside her.

        “It’s even more beautiful than Dad said it would be…” she whispered.

        “I bet it’s even better inside,” Elara encouraged.

        “I sure hope so…”

        Once they got off the boats, the first years were all herded along winding hallways and torchlit corridors until they came to a stop in front of a set of doors. In front of the doors stood a stern woman, whose spectacles perched properly on the end of her nose. Her hands were clasped properly in front of her. The woman gave a little smile, which was surprisingly warm.

        “Welcome to Hogwarts,” she said. “Now, in a few moments, you will pass through these doors, and join your classmates. But, before you can take your seats, you must be Sorted into your Houses. They are Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw… and Slytherin.”

        Elara couldn’t help but notice that the woman glanced over at a specific student when she said the last house. She couldn’t quite see who it was.

        “Now, while you’re here,” the woman continued, “Your house will be like your family. Your triumphs will earn you points… any rule-breaking, and you will lose points.”

        When she said that, Elara was surprised to be on the receiving end of a look, as well as Ophelia, and a couple of other students, a boy with black hair and glasses, and a girl with bright red hair. That was odd…

        The woman kept speaking, but Elara was distracted by an odd noise. It wasn’t quite a squeak, but…

        “Trevor!” a boy cried, diving forward. He landed at the woman’s feet, snatching up what looked to be a toad. Some of the other kids laughed as the woman turned her stern gaze on the boy. “Sorry,” he murmured, disappearing back into the crowd.

        “The Sorting Ceremony will begin momentarily.” With that, the woman walked away, leaving the group unattended for a moment.

        “It’s true then,” a voice rang out. “What they were saying on the train…”

        Elara looked up, trying to find the source of the voice.

        “Harry Potter has come to Hogwarts.”

        Ophelia gasped softly. “Harry Potter?” she whispered excitedly.

        “Calm down, Di, I’m sure we’ll meet him sometime this year…” Elara murmured back, trying to hear what the boy was saying. Finally, he stepped forward into her field of vision, and Ophelia began tugging at her sleeve.

        “That’s the boy I was telling you about!”

        “...and I’m Malfoy,” she heard him say.

        Ophelia had certainly been right. That man Elara had noticed at the platform was likely this boy’s father. He shared the same trademark eyes, and hair.

        “Draco Malfoy.”

        Malfoy… Why was that name so familiar?

        When she focused back on what was happening, Draco was busy insulting a redheaded boy.

        “You must be a Weasley.”

        “Making assumptions, are we?” sassed the redhead who had gotten a look from the woman earlier.

        Draco seemed caught off guard by her, but he scowled and moved on.

        “You’ll soon find out that some wizarding families are better than others, Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.”

        Elara had to roll her eyes. In honesty, she felt a bit bad for Harry Potter. This boy would be the first of many trying to use him for his fame.

        “I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself, thanks,” Potter said. Now that made Elara grin.

        Just then, an odd little creature appeared out of nowhere, cackling like mad as it floated right over the heads of the group.

        “Ooh, look at all the bitty itty first years! So many for good old Peevsie to poke and prod…”

        “What is that?” Elara said, louder than she meant to. All eyes locked on her, including Draco Malfoy, whose expression turned to confusion, and the little gremlin thing.

        “That’s a Poltergeist, Elara, didn’t Dad teach you anything?” Ophelia hissed.

        The Poltergeist gasped, almost mockingly. “Little Lady Lyra, back from the dead! I did miss her so…”

        “Lyra?” Elara asked. “You knew my mother?”

        Draco’s face held mixed reactions now.

        “Oh yes, Miss Malfoy was so good to poor old Peevsie…” the creature lamented in its strange, shrieking way, “She helped to play pranks!”

        Elara’s jaw dropped. “Malfoy?”

        “Ooh, but not for long! Not for long, til she was Lyra Black!” he cackled. “You must be the bitty baby Black! Poor old Peeves, got no invitation to the wedding…”

        The other students were murmuring amongst themselves now. It seemed the cat was out of the bag.

        “Away with you, Peeves, it’s time for the Sorting Ceremony,” came the stern voice of the woman.

        Peeves cackled and zipped away, calling as he went, “Have fun with Mini Miss Malfoy, Minnie! Here’s hoping she’ll be just as much trouble!”

        The woman scowled after the Poltergeist, then turned back to the students.

        “We’re ready for you now. Follow me.”

        The group of first years paraded into the main hall. Elara marched along with them, but she didn’t quite understand what she was feeling. She couldn’t bring herself to admire the candles that floated all around, nor the enchanted ceiling that looked like the night sky. Ophelia had wanted her to keep her parentage a secret… there was no hope for that now.

        After Professor Dumbledore gave his speech (which Elara barely heard any of), it was finally time to be sorted.

        “When I call your name,” said the woman they now knew to be Professor McGonnagall, “You will come forth. I shall place the Sorting Hat on your head…” Here, she picked up a battered looking hat. “And you will be Sorted into your houses.”

        So she was going to call their names out in front of the entire school? That meant if Peeves hadn’t spilled the beans, Elara’s family would be no secret anyway. Still… not everyone in the school knew yet, and all eyes would be on her… She took a deep breath.

        “Abbott, Hannah,” was up first. Not long after, “Black, Elara!”

        Someone in the back gasped, and shocked whispers sparked through the Hall.

        Elara stepped past the other first years and paused to face the crow before she sat on the stool. The whispers intensified when they got a good look at her, but abruptly stopped when McGonnagall cleared her throat.

        “Sit down, dear,” she murmured.

        Elara nodded and hopped up onto the stool. The professor placed the large hat on her head, and she nearly jumped out of her skin when it spoke in her mind.

        Hm… if it isn’t Elara Black… Who would’ve thought the Malfoy and Black bloodlines would merge at long last… And for the sake of love over an arrangement, no less.

        You Sorted my parents? Elara thought back eagerly. What were they?

        The Hat practically chuckled. Curios, aren’t we? Your father was a Gryffindor… and your mother was in Slytherin.

        Elara paused at that.

        I see… the Hat continued. You believe your father to be innocent, do you? Yes, and you will seek to prove this by any means… You’re a girl who knows what she wants. I know where you’ll do best.

        “SLYTHERIN!” the Hat shouted for all the hall to hear.

        There was a pause, then, a smattering of applause from the Slytherin table blossomed into cheers.

        Elara got down from the stool and slowly walked over to the section of the table reserved for first years. She could feel everyone’s eyes on her, even as the next student’s name was called. An older student wearing a badge that read “PREFECT” welcomed her to Slytherin. He seemed friendly  enough, though others still stared. Even amongst her new housemates, Elara could tell that the name Black wasn’t quite welcome.


        Ophelia watched as Elara made her way to the silver-and-green draped table. A sinking feeling began to form in the pit of her stomach. She certainly didn’t know where she’d be placed for sure, but she had a sneaking suspicion that she wasn’t Slytherin material…

        “Lupin, Ophelia!”

        She slipped through the crowd and sat down. The Hat was placed on her head for only a moment when…

        “GRYFFINDOR!”

        That was it? No long deliberation or even a hesitation?

        The red and gold table burst into raucous applause, and Ophelia slowly headed to take her place.

        A redheaded boy wearing a badge shook her hand. “Welcome, welcome to Gryffindor!”

        Ophelia politely smiled back, but inside, she didn’t feel  as happy as she thought she would.

        Why had the Hat placed her so quickly?


        The further down the alphabetical list they got, the more nervous Rachel got. What if she and Harry got put in different houses? They’d never been separated like that before… What if it made them grow apart?

        “Ah!” Harry hissed, pressing a hand to his scar.

        Rachel was about to as him what was wrong, but Ron beat her to it.

        “Harry, what is it?”

        “Nothing…” Harry said, though Rachel knew him well enough to tell he was lying. “Nothing, I’m fine…”

        She followed his gaze to the teacher’s table to see a man clad in all black staring right at the two of them, with an unreadable expression. How odd…

        “Potter, Harry!”

        The students in the hall whispered, even more than they had whispered about that silver-haired girl. When Professor McGonnagall set the Hat on his head, however, they all went silent. Rachel swore you could’ve heard a pin drop. For a long moment, the Hat deliberated… then…

        “GRYFFINDOR!”

        It seemed like the Gryffindor table had exploded with how loudly they cheered at that announcement.

        Rachel smiled encouragingly at Harry as he went past her to the table, then she took a deep breath. It was her turn next.

        “Potter, Rachel!”

        She hadn’t really expected anyone to talk about her, but they did.

        “I didn’t know he had a sister,” someone said, none too quietly as she sat down to be Sorted.

        “I bet she’ll go to Gryffindor too,” said someone else.

        The Hat was placed on her head. It was rather odd that it could speak in her mind.

        The other Potter, eh?

        Don’t call me that, Rachel thought back in irritation.

        Oho! said the Hat, You think you want Gryffindor? You want to be close to your brother, but there, you would only be his shadow… You want more than that.

        “SLYTHERIN!”

        The crowd gasped and murmured, some at the red and gold table even glaring at her. The green and silver table cheered, and she headed over to them, catching Harry’s eye. His face said he was upset, but not at her. Just that they couldn’t be in the same house. She told him with her eyes that she was sad too.

        Not to mention, what Ron had said to Harry after Malfoy’s sorting wasn’t helping.

        “There’s not a witch or wizard who went bad that wasn’t in Slytherin.”

        What did that say about her?

Chapter Text

        Elara scooted to the side to let the newest Slytherin sit beside her at the table. Rachel, was her name. Nobody knew that Harry Potter had a sister. Even Ophelia had never known, and she was obsessed with all things Wizarding War. Not in an odd way… just in the sort of way that she wanted to know what had taken her mother from her. Elara felt bad for Rachel Potter. Nobody knew who she was, and now they’d only ever talk about her as “Harry Potter’s sister”. Now that was something she could relate to… she had a feeling people would be chatting all over the place about “Sirius Black’s daughter”.

        Maybe the two of them should stick together…

        She looked over at Rachel and offered her hand.

        “I’m Elara Black.”

        Rachel seemed caught off guard, as if she hadn’t expected anyone to speak to her, but once the realization sank in, she smiled softly and shook her hand.

        “Rachel Potter.”

        “So I heard,” Elara teased, drawing a smile from the other girl.

        “I had no idea the Harry Potter had a sister,” came a voice from across the table. It was that Malfoy. Elara still hadn’t quite figured out how they were related, but it was odd to realize she had family she never knew about. But, to her, it didn’t matter whether they were blood or not, he was a little jerk. Though she’d only just introduced herself to Rachel, Elara bristled at the thought of Malfoy going after her.

        “Malfoy, isn’t it?” Elara asked. “Draco?”

        He looked over at her, his expression hard to read.

        “Elara Black,” he said.

        “That’s right. And apparently my mother was a Malfoy… Do you happen to know anything about her?”

        Draco sneered. “Why would I? If I don’t know anything about your mother, she was probably a filthy Blood Traitor.”

        Elara rolled her eyes. “Or you’re just scared to admit that there’s something you don’t know.”

        That shut him up.

        Just then, Professor McGonnagall tapped a spoon against her glass.

        “Your attention please!” she called.

        Professor Dumbledore stood.

        “Let the feast… begin!” he announced.

        Food appeared on the tables, and everyone began to dig in, except for Rachel, Elara noticed. She was looking at everything with wide eyes.

        “What’s wrong? It’s just magic.”

        “It’s just… I’ve never seen anything like it before,” she replied, finally reaching for things to fill her plate with.

        “Really?” Elara asked incredulously. “But… I know you’re not a Muggleborn, how haven’t you seen magic before?”

        Rachel glanced around, dropping her voice.

        “Harry and I were raised by Muggles… so… I know we’re supposed to be from this grand wizarding family, but the truth is, neither of us know anything about magic…”

        Elara nodded. “Oh, I see.”

        Once everyone had eaten their fill, the boy and the girl with the prefect badges stood and turned to the new Slytherins.

        “Alright, first years,” said the boy, “We’ll be showing you the way to our Common Room now. Be sure to stick close, and pay attention!”

        The two Prefects began to lead the way. The first years all grouped together and followed closely as they were led down into the dungeons. The Hufflepuff group was also headed the same way, but they split off and went their own way after a bit. Once they arrived at a specific patch of wall, the girl Prefect told them the password and escorted them inside.

        Elara checked the dorm assignments, then grinned at Rachel.

        “Looks like we’ll be rooming together.”

        Rachel peeked at the list too and grinned. “At least I’ll know someone.”

        The two of them headed up to settle in, both nearly glowing with excitement. The year was off to a good start.

        Or so it seemed.


        Rachel found she couldn’t sleep that night. It felt wrong not to have her brother close by. He wasn’t even in the same dormitory. He was in Gryffindor, and she was in Slytherin. Would they have many classes together? She hoped so.

        “Psst…”

        It was her new friend, Elara.

        “Psst, Rachel!”

        “Yeah?”

        “You okay?”

        She thought about lying, but…

        “No. I miss my brother…”

        Elara nodded.

        “I understand. My… well… she’s technically not actually my cousin, Uncle Remus is my godfather, not my actual uncle, but-”

        Rachel could tell this girl liked to ramble.

        “So anyways, Ophelia’s basically been my sister all these years… and she went to Gryffindor.”

        “Maybe she’ll make friends with Harry,” Rachel joked.

        Elara laughed, quieting down when one of the other girls in the room shushed her.

        “She’d be too starstruck to even talk to him.”

        Rachel giggled softly so as not to irritate the other roommates again.

        “Well she shouldn’t be… Harry’s just a big dork.”

        They both laughed at that.

        “Well…” Elara said at last. “We have potions with Gryffindor first thing tomorrow, so we’ll see them then… We should try to get some rest.”

        Rachel nodded. “Goodnight, Elara.”

        “Night, Rachel.”

Chapter Text

        Ophelia eagerly made her way to the Potions classroom with her new friend, Hermione. Perhaps it was a bit soon to say friend, but the two of them had introduced themselves to each other last night, and Ophelia liked her well enough so far. They picked a seat beside Harry Potter, whose sister sat on his other side. Beside her, Elara grinned at Ophelia.

        “How’d you sleep, Di?”

        “Well enough,” Ophelia replied. “And you?”

        But before she could reply, the door slammed open and a man clad in all black stormed to the front. Professor Snape, she recalled.

        “There will be no foolish wand-waving… or silly incantations in this class…” he announced. “As such, I don’t expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making. However…” Here, he let his gaze fall on several students, including, Ophelia noticed, Elara, Potter’s sister, and Draco Malfoy. For some reason, Snape’s expression went funny when he looked at the Potter girl. Ophelia still couldn’t recall her name… “For those select few… who possess… the predisposition…”Snape drew his cloak around himself. “I can teach you… how to bewitch the mind… and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame… brew glory, and even… put a stopper… in death.”

        His gaze fixed on Harry Potter, who was looking down and writing notes, and Ophelia got a bad feeling as his eyes narrowed.

        “Then again… maybe some of you have come to Hogwarts in possession of abilities so formidable that you feel confident enough… to not pay attention.”

        Hermione elbowed Harry, and he looked up. The whole class watched as Professor Snape stalked over to stand in front of him.

        “Mister Potter… Our… new… celebrity. Tell me, what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

        Hermione’s hand shot into the air. Curiously enough, Potter’s sister (Rachel, that was her name!) also raised her hand. That made Snape pause, but only for a moment as Harry shook his head.

        “You don’t know? Well, let’s try again… Where, Mister Potter, would you look if I asked you to find me a bezoar?”

        Up went the two girls’ hands again.

        “I- I don’t know, sir…” Harry said. Ophelia felt quite bad for him. She didn’t understand why Snape felt the need to pick on him.

        “And what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?”

        Hermione’s hand rose ever higher still, but Rachel’s expression had gone dark, though her hand was still raised.

        “I don’t know, sir,” Harry said again.

        Snape looked down at him and hmphed.

        “Pity.”

        But he didn’t sound very sorry at all.

        “Clearly, fame isn’t everyth-”

        “Powdered root of asphodel mixed with an infusion of wormwood gives you a Draught of Living Death. When mixed with other ingredients, of course”

        Everyone turned to look at Rachel Potter. She had put her hand down now, and was fiddling with the locket around her neck. Her expression was neutral, but her eyes held a thinly veiled rage.

        “And a bezoar is a stone found in the stomach of a goat. That last one is a trick question, because it’s two names for the same thing. And anyways, this is all sixth year material. I wouldn’t have known this stuff if I hadn’t gotten an extra book at Flourish and Blotts, I don’t see why you feel the need to-”

        Snape, who had been oddly frozen thus far, finally cut her off.

        “Thank you, Miss Potter, for demonstrating how studying and working hard is what will bring success in my classroom… not merit of name alone. Isn’t that right, Mister Potter?”

        Rachel glared harder, but sank back in her chair.

        Ophelia was left bewildered by what had just transpired. Snape was rumored to be the toughest teacher, and his behaviour towards Harry Potter certainly showed that to be true… yet, at the same time… why hadn’t he been just as cruel to Rachel? The people at Hogwarts made no sense at all.


        Rachel stormed out of Potions, fuming.

        “I can’t believe that Professor Snape! Why on earth would he be asking any first year those questions?”

        Harry chased after her.

        “Calm down, Rachel… He just doesn’t like me because everyone is talking about me. He must think it’s going to my head.”

        “That didn’t mean he needed to humiliate you in front of the entire class!” It was one thing when Dudley bullied them back home. He tormented them both equally, and they turned to each other for protection. Now, in this place that was meant to be their escape, another bully rose up, this time with power over them.

        “He seemed to like you well enough,” Harry grumbled.

        Rachel sighed, calming slightly.

        “Yeah, and I’ve no idea why…”

        Hermione bounced up to her just then.

        “That was absolutely brilliant! I didn’t think anybody else would have read up about advanced subjects!”

        Rachel smiled just a bit.

        “Well… we were in the bookstore and some of the advanced potions books caught my eye… So Harry got them for me for our birthday. And this, too,” she said, showing Hermione the necklace.

        Harry smiled fondly at her. “The things you got me were great too, Rachel.”

        Rachel grinned back at him.

        Hermione looked between them.

        “I think it’s wonderful how close you are to each other,” she said. “I’ve heard that siblings only ever fight.”

        “You can’t have met many siblings, then,” Rachel said with a laugh.

        Hermione shook her head. “I haven’t.”

        “Say,” Rachel said, “I just have the one advanced book, do you happen to have any others I could borrow?”

        Hermione’s face lit up.

        “Oh, do I! If you’ve got time after lunch, we could meet in the library and I’ll show you some really interesting bits from Hogwarts: A History.”

        “Now there’s two of them,” Rachel heard Elara whisper to Ophelia, who giggled a bit, good naturedly, and she couldn’t help but laugh a little bit too.

        Maybe Hermione Granger wasn’t as bad as she’d first thought.

Chapter Text

        The next morning, Ophelia sat with Hermione at breakfast. She rather admired her love for knowledge, though she did have to wonder why the girl hadn’t been put in Ravenclaw. Seamus’ drink suddenly exploded, making both of them jump.

        “Not again,” Ophelia sighed.

        Hermione wrinkled her nose and attempted to wave away the acrid smell.

        “It’s really advanced transfiguration, I don’t know why he bothers…” she muttered.

        Ophelia shrugged. “He really wants rum…”

        Just then, the students in the Great Hall began to chatter excitedly as the mail started to arrive. Many students received little packages or letters from home, but, Ophelia noticed, Harry got nothing.

        A little, red owl dropped a small parcel in front of Ophelia, and she could see another mail owl delivering a similar one to Elara. It had to be from Dad. Sure enough, when she opened it, she found some chocolate from Honeydukes, and a little note from her father.

        “Look, Neville’s got a Remembrall!” Dean announced to the whole table.

        Hermione perked up. “I’ve read about those!” she said excitedly. “When the smoke turns red, it means you’ve forgotten something.”

        Neville nodded. “The only problem is, I can’t remember what I’ve forgotten!”

        “Somebody broke into Gringotts,” Ophelia heard Harry murmur. That drew her attention.

        “Listen: Believed to be the work of dark wizards or witches unknown, Grintgotts goblins, while acknowledging the breach, insist nothing was taken. The vault in question, number 713, had in fact been emptied earlier that very same day. That’s odd,” he said as he finished reading. He looked up, as if to turn to someone in particular, but then he seemed to realize that person wasn’t there.

        Oh… his sister.

        “That’s the vault Rachel and I went to with Hagrid…” he continued, with a little less spirit in his tone.

        Everyone shared a look at that. What did it all mean?


        Harry had just been made Gryffindor’s youngest Seeker in a century, and Rachel didn’t know how to feel about it. On one hand, at least he was making a name for himself that didn’t involve his title as The Boy Who Lived, but on the other hand, it was just more attention thrown his way. Not that Rachel wanted the attention on her, mind you, but it was just another reason for people to overlook her. She wasn’t terribly coordinated herself, and she’d only been mediocre in flying class, so following in her father’s footsteps to become a Quidditch star was out of the question - not that she’d want to do everything that Harry does anyway.

        Right now, the fact that she’d gone to Slytherin while Harry went to Gryffindor was the only thing that gave her a name for herself. The Slytherin sister is what they called her behind her back. “They” being anyone and everyone from other houses. Funnily enough, her most loyal friends were turning out to be the supposedly “evil” students of Slytherin House.

        Even Draco Malfoy wasn’t half bad, when he wasn’t trying to show off in front of his friends by being cruel. He and Elara had a rather odd relationship. They bickered in that way that only family can, where the insults seem scathing, but in reality, they regarded each other fondly.

        Rachel sat under a tree by the Black Lake, reading one of the books Hermione had lent her, half distracted by her racing thoughts.

        “Well well well,” came a voice. “What are you up to, Potter?”

        She looked up to see Draco Malfoy.

        “Just reading…” she replied. It wasn’t clear if he was being genuine or trying to irritate her, so she thought it best to be polite. “What brings you here?”

        Draco tilted his head a little, as if he’d been expecting a hostile reaction. He paused for a second, then, “I like to sit by the Black Lake… The water is calming.” For a moment, he seemed uncomfortable with himself for having shared that about himself.

        Rachel smiled a bit.

        “I know what you mean. That’s why I like to study in the Common Room when it’s raining… If I can’t be outside by the water, it’s nice to see it through the glass.”

        Draco nodded a bit, shifting awkwardly for a moment before he seemed to come to a decision. He sat down beside her.

        “So… What are you reading?”

        “Just some potions books… Hermione lent them to me.”

        Draco scoffed and rolled his eyes. “That know-it-all?”

        Rachel scowled a bit. “Don’t be an ass.”

        He blinked in surprise, evidently not used to being talked back to.

        The two of them sat in silence for a bit, then Rachel couldn’t help but ask, “Why don’t you hate me?”

        “What?” Draco looked at her oddly.

        “I mean, you hate my brother… It only makes sense that you wouldn’t want anything to do with me,” she said.

        Draco shrugged noncommittally

        “You’re not like him.”

        Rachel rolled her eyes.

        “Not famous, you mean.”

        “Exactly,” he said, “But I don’t mean it the way you think.”

        “Then how do you mean it?”

        “I can’t explain it,” he said, a bit irritably.

        “Whatever you say, Malfoy,” she said.

        Just then, the bell rang, drawing both of their attention towards the castle.

        “We’d better go,” Draco said, standing.

        Rachel nodded, and moved to get up, when he offered her his hand. She hesitated for a second, then accepted.

        “Thanks…” she murmured, adjusting the strap of her book bag.

        He nodded once. “Don’t mention it.”

        They headed to the castle together, but went their separate ways as soon as they were inside. In their next class, the two of them continued on, as if the odd incident had never happened.