John thought he must be dreaming and remembering at the same time, because it seemed like some of these things he had never really experienced before. Simple things, like playing with Harriet out on the moor and being called in to the house by Mum, band saying he would come right back out but he never did. But that’s probably why they called it obliviation. Last night….last night he and Harriet were slinking along a corridor on the third floor. It was after dinner, after Lily and Harriet had had their row. He gripped Harriet’s hand tightly, because they kept slipping apart because of all the moisture collecting between their palms.
“We’re going to get into trouble!” he had hissed.
“It’s an Order meeting,” Harriet had hissed back. “The most trouble we’ll get into is being sent back to bed. And besides, you’re the boy-who-lived and Voldemort just got resurrected. You’re a little different from the unusual under agers who try and sneak in. Come on, this way.” She was leading them to a lesser known entrance of the library John had never been to, but with as much time as Harriet spent in the Potter Manor Library, John assumed Harriet must have known every route there. They slopped open a door that over looked the main floor.
The main floor was lit with shadows crawling from the fireplace crackling in the wall and multitudes of candles floating in the air. Harriet snorted about showing off, because the library never needed floating candles to be lit, not even at night time, but John shushed her.
“James,” Dumbledore had been saying. “I am merely asking you to consider the possibility—”
“The possibility of what, Albus?” James exclaimed. “The possibility that my daughter is evil? That for some reason apparently unknown to you and the rest of the world, she decided one morning over breakfast that she would join the forces of darkness.” The light and the shadow of the fire highlighted the lines of James face, making him look forbidding and quite a bit older than he was. “And when you make this accusation, you expect me to simply accept it, like it’s nothing. Well, I won’t Albus, not everything you think up is right, you’ve said so yourself!”
“James!” Lily protested. “You must admit, Harriet is odd and reclusive.”
“Lily if every person who was odd and reclusive were evil, half of the Order wouldn’t be here!” James exclaimed.
“He has a point,” Sirius said. “Dumbledore, you lock yourself away for days on end when studying something new, don’t you? Even if you are the headmaster of a school.”
“I’m just saying,” Lily continued. “That we have no idea what Harriet does or where she goes sometimes. She knows things too. All of her teachers say she barely tries in school, but gets straight O’s and still has time to devote to personal projects she never lets anyone see. I don’t think Harriet has turned dark, but she’s exactly the sort of person the Death Eaters try and manipulate. And of course she has always been jealous of the attention John gets.”
“I’ve never noticed her being jealous of John’s accomplishments,” Remus said. “She’s usually fairly happy to be recognized for her own work, and part in things.”
“Remus, you are only her godfather, you aren’t everywhere around her,” Lily said. “You know, last summer, she actually snapped at John for no good reason! He had just been inviting her to spend time with his friends, because she doesn’t have any of her own.”
“Lily, you do not know the circumstance of that conversation at all,” Remus said.
“And we made up, didn’t she notice?” John whispered. Harriet did not answer as her eyes never left Remus as he continued speaking,
“And Harriet has plenty of friends. You never see them, Hell; you never see anything good about your daughter because you do not want to. That girl is a veritable genius, but you do not wish to acknowledge it because the day you got her from Petunia’s she didn’t run into your arms thanking you for saving her from a normal existence. I dare say she gave you the frosty reception you deserved after abandoning her for seven years, and you never tried to make it right with her. It doesn’t work that way, Lily.”
“She isn’t your child, Remus!” Lily spat.
“No, but she is mine,” James said. “She’s mine, and she’s always been mine, unless you have something you wish to share with all of us here, Lily.” Lily colored and fumed, but before she had a chance to say anything further, James kept talking, “I have watched my daughter from nearly her eighth birthday. I wish I could say it was longer, but I can’t. But I have watched her grow into the magnificent young woman she is today, and I watched as she strained to help her brother through this past year, when everyone turned against him. And I watched her as she stood up to the minister for magic to prove that Voldemort had resurfaced. She is one of the strongest individuals I know, and there is a snow ball’s chance in the lake of fire that she would ever work for the man who tried to pull this family apart. She is not dark. She will never be dark, and she would die before she became a Death Eater. End of discussion. We will not talk about wiping her memory or sending her away or whatever plans you may have had for her Albus. Because I abandoned her once on your advice, and I certainly shall not do it again.”
“Perhaps you are over thinking things, James,” Albus said. “Even the strongest of souls can be tempted by evil.”
“Like you were with Gellert Grindelwald?” James asked, the German name rolling off of his tongue without thought making the headmaster turn an ashy color. “But, then again, not many people knew what you and he did behind closed doors, now did they?”
“I do not see why you would bring such a thing up, my boy,” Albus said. “After all, it is in the past.”
“But you were tempted, and you survived temptation, if only just barely if my father and grandfather’s words are to be believed,” James said.
“I have kept an eye on you since you were a young man, James Potter,” Albus said, “for the very same reason those who can remember the old stories have watched the House of Potter for a long time. This used to be a great house—”
“Before people started killing us,” James said. “I know the old stories, Albus; I know the history of my house. We were powerful once, great and knowledgeable. People are afraid of powerful people, paranoid about them, and so the people of my house went into hiding after people started killing us off, one by one for knowing more and achieving greater things. We weren’t the only ones, but there were just so many of us. Had our house been dark, I’m not sure the world would have known what to do with itself. But we were good, always had been, and so we decided not to fight back. Instead, we chose to hide, and stopped being great, stopped sharing great things with the world. I think because people have been watching us that they forget that we watch the world. My house has been waiting, Albus.”
“Waiting for what, James?” Albus asked.
“You believe in prophecies, don’t you, Albus?” James asked. “After all, we wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. The gift of sight used to run in my family, like many things that are now gone due to the fear of man. But when Charlotte Potter chose to hide this house with humility rather than magic or violence, one of her cousins predicted that with the eleventh generation after her would come a new tide of power, one the world would accept, and no longer fear.”
“James!” Lily gasped. “You never told me that John would lead the House of Potter to greatness!”
“It’s because John isn’t the one who will,” James said with a shrug. “Harriet will.” That caused a murmur from the Order members scattered throughout the library. “After all, my family never cared for sex, or even much for birth order, but Harriet is the eldest of the twins and she is High Lady of this House. The eleventh since Charlotte Potter and she will lead this house to greatness, I am sure of it.”
“He’s believed in me,” Harriet whispered. “All this time, he knew what I was doing, and he believed in me.”
“James,” Dumbledore replied wearily. “I am sorry it had to come to this. But the Order had already discussed this matter before we brought it to you. Originally I had only intended to send Harriet away and retrieve her after the war. But if she is as powerful as you say she is, her power must be bound and her memory erased, for we do not know what lengths Voldemort will go to get at her.”
“Haven’t you been listening, Albus?” James asked. “She would never betray us!”
“You may think that,” Lily said, rising and drawing her wand. “But I will not let her hurt John. I will not even let a chance of her hurting John exist in this world. You are so blind James. She’s going to betray us, maybe she already has. But she was always your baby girl, so I don’t blame you for not seeing the darkness in her soul.”
An expelliarmus flew from Sirius’ wand, knocking Lily’s willow wand out of her hand.
“Don’t even—” He never finished his sentence as a stunner hit him in the back, two more quickly hitting Remus, and then one from Dumbledore hitting James between the eyes.
“Severus, Lily, I must ask you to obliviate them, just to this conversation. We would not want them to be so suspicious,” Dumbledore said.
“And what about the girl?” Severus Snape asked. “Should we go and fetch her now?”
“In the morning,” Albus said. “We must not make it look suspicious to James or John considering how much they love her. We will have to make it look like she ran away.”
John felt himself being pulled up and Harriet was racing with him down the halls back towards their rooms. She flung open the door to hers and without pausing for breath grabbed a carpet bag from her closet and began flinging her papers and books and all of her clothes inside.
“They just!” John exclaimed. “They just! To Dad! And Remus and Sirius and Mum was in on it Greeny!” Harriet stopped flinging things into her carpet bag and took John’s face in her hands.
“Do not worry, John, they won’t hurt you. They won’t hurt Dad, Remus, or Sirius either, all right? They’re just after me, and where I’m going they aren’t going to find me.”
“And where are you going?” John asked.
“I can’t tell you,” Harriet replied, turning back toward her packing, stacking books and papers together before dropping them into the bag. “The less you know, the less they’ll think I’ve corrupted you or something. Dumbledore is a master legimens after all. Bugger it all!” Harriet raised her wand and waved it around, causing all of the papers to pile together and land in the bag, followed by the books, then her clothes, folding themselves as they went. Only at a few things did she reach out her hand and stop them from entering the back. One was a green leather book, embossed with golden writing, the other a more plan, black book, and a large letter that had been on the focus of her desk when Harriet had cast the spell. As the bag finished packing itself, Harriet pressed them into his hands. “When you are safe, and you are sure Dumbledore does not suspect you, look at these, and they will tell you how to get to me, and everything else you need to know for that matter.”
“What are they?” he asked.
“One is called a ghost book,” she said. “I was planning on giving this one to you anyway, for our birthday. But it allows you to look at any book we have catalogued in any Potter library anywhere. It will only work for you once you prick your finger on the spine. The letter is a story I’ve meant to tell you and dad for a while now, especially with what happened in the tournament. And the third… the third will tell you where I’m going and how I’m going to get there, so you can follow me when you need to.”
John took them in for a moment, before he pressed them back into her hands.
“I can’t have these, not now, you need to hide them or Dumbledore will find them. Hide them somewhere we both know, or leave a riddle only I will figure out.”
“No, you have to take them, John!” Harriet said. “I can’t risk all of this getting lost.”
“You’re going to have to,” John said. “Like you said, Dumbledore is a master legimens, and if he finds out I know everything I know, including the where abouts of your plan, then it will all have been for nothing.” He looked her in the eye, grey meeting green, and Harriet jerked away.
“I see that look in your eye, John Michael Potter! And I won’t do it!” John grabbed her by the wrists, dropping the books to hold her firm.
“Greeny you have to. It doesn’t have to be permanent or anything, or a strong memory spell.” It was only when he saw the tears rolling down her face that he realized he was crying as well. Chocking on a sob, she pulled him into an embrace, and they gripped each other so tightly John thought they both might explode from the pressure. But they pulled away, and Harriet raised her wand.
“Obliviate,” she said.
John woke up.