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I'm Just Here For The Life Experience

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There’s a very odd feeling in my chest as I stare at the letter in my hands. Beautiful script on high quality paper - or maybe it was parchment given its’ origins. My name and address on the front; a wax seal bearing the school’s crest sealing it closed on the back.

 

Miss Hadriana Potter

Number 13 Dunwich Circle

Cokeworth

 

I’m torn between giddy and irritated. An actual real life Hogwarts letter! It’s got to be an acceptance letter otherwise why would I even receive it, yes? Although that would be hilarious if I were to open it up and it say, “Dear Miss Potter, we regret to inform you do not meet the requirements to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.” A loud snort escapes me as I envision that message being within. Well maybe a bit disappointing since it’s Hogwarts and the people who will be attending and the ones who teach there.

I idly wonder if anyone even took the time to notice I’m no longer where that old fool placed me all those years ago on that cold November night. But then I recall the event in my fourth year and then following one when I was six and well… if no one from the magical community had noticed before, why now?

Remembering what I witnessed from the first film and the cluster of owls that tended to flock outside, I open the door to check and see if the delivery owl is waiting outside. It is in fact waiting no doubt for a response. “My apologies for not having a window open, Gorgeous, but up until this point I haven’t had any other post but Muggle based and thus postal owls aren’t part of my daily routine.”

It blinks (if you will pardon the pun) owlishly at me before flapping it wings a bit. “Well I never thought I’d meet a human who spoke owl!” it said in surprise. “How interesting!”

I wasn’t about to correct it by telling it that I was gifted with the ability to converse with all beasts instead of a purely avian speaker so I just smiled. “Well I hope the surprise is pleasant. Would you mind waiting out here while I pen my reply? I’m afraid I don’t have any owl treats - previous lack of postal owl familiarity and all - but I might be able to scrounge up a mouse if that’s a good substitute?”

“Oh it’s not bother at all! A good chance to rest the wings. And a spot of meat for the old gullet would be well appreciated! I’ll just be waiting here! The weather promises to hold out and remain pleasant and the winds are moderate. A good day for delivering post!”

I went back inside the house and closed the door behind me. I tap the letter on my open palm as I wander into the kitchen, summon my breakfast from a food dimension, and then summon me a pen and paper. “Or wait it’s called a biro, isn’t it? British call them biros,” I remind myself out loud. Have to remember that if I’m ever meeting another muggle born or muggle raised. American terms are going to fly right over their heads.

I turn the letter over and am about to break the wax seal when I remember about things like compulsion spells being a regular written occurrence. Well shit. It’s not hard to imagine that would be a thing to happen despite my particular lack of a certain old man’s visible presence in my life so far. But given the events ahead and what’s to come, I should be more fucking careful. Things have veered off canon quite as it is and though there’s never been proof in the books or movies Dumbledick cast dark magic on Harry, his judgement is questionable and I don’t trust him.

He left Harry or rather ME on a doorstep in November wrapped in a blanket with a note in the care of two extremely vile and bigoted individuals who had the misfortune of breeding. People who think it’s just fine to beat a helpless child to the brink of death if they find something that doesn’t conform to their perceived ideals. That will literally throw a broken bodied child into the cupboard under the stairs and leave her for days without checking on her. Not caring if she died and something took over her body.

I have to pity Dudley. I really do.

Well, until he becomes aware enough and responsible for his own choices. Then the pity stops.

Oh right… I’ve got breakfast to eat and letter to look over. Whoops!

“Now let’s see if a certain champion of the greater good tried to mess with me, shall we?” I ask aloud.

I summon a floating bubble shield that will both contain the letter and run a diagnosis on it, slipping it inside the sphere without touching it. To be honest, I should have done this when I first spotted the letter on my doormat since I’ve not gotten any mail since I moved here - I even managed to avoid acquiring junk mail to this point. However seeing a letter - that letter in particular - had been slipped through my mail slot laying on my floor was just so weird.

I would scold myself or make a note not to touch strange objects but I’m not gonna fool myself. I’ll do it anyways.

“Preliminary scan complete. Subject status is negative for compulsion spells or other harmful magics.”

The dulcet tones of GlaDOS fill my ears because I decided to have an audio cue instead of merely a visual one to tell me when it was done. Yeah the game series won’t be made until the 2000s and may not even exist in this universe, but my little heart wants to hear that iconic voice and since I’m a god I can do that.

I hover a butterknife and send it into the bubble shield, closing it after insertion. I use it to wandlessly pry the seal free from the back of the letter, unfolding the parchment. No color change to the letter or shield so far. Promising. I take a bite of my breakfast (a tasty collection of American-styled bacon, sausage links, and pecan pancakes with sunny side up eggs) and sip my glass of grapefruit juice while I wait for results. I know I could just say, “This letter is perfectly normal” and be done with it but I rather enjoy this process. I mean sometimes there’s just no fun to be had if all you have to do is wave your hand and boom! Done.

Besides, I’m not in any rush, am I?

After I finish checking this thing, I’m gonna have to figure out which path I want to take in regards to handling this situation. I’ve got two ways I can go with this. No, wait three. Definitely three paths to choose from.

Number One: I can go the more canon route and not respond at all. Wait until Dumbledore sends Hagrid and see how that goes. After all Hagrid should be able to track me down and from what I know he’s been rather excited to see me. Or to be more precise Harry/Hadriana. Poor fella is more than likely as clueless as the rest of the wizarding world in knowing what’s happened.

Number Two: I can merely respond to the owl and go to Diagon Alley myself. I haven’t been there yet because I’ve been too into my own plans here on the Muggle side of the world. Plus even with my very impressive ability to break Gamp’s Law, I don’t know what the currency is like besides knowing what it is. I remember seeing galleons in the film but I never saw a silver piece or a knut. I don’t like to steal so never thought about heading to the Leaky Cauldron and pickpocketing anyone for a base piece. And Dumbledick has control of my vault key. I don’t know how happy the Goblins would be with me sauntering in and saying, “Hello, Ser. My name is Hadriana Potter. I’ve been living in the muggle world kept completely in the dark about the wizarding one until just now. Albus Dumbledore is the only one who has been able to access my vaults so I don’t have a key. Can you help me, please?”

Actually that may make them happy if my memories of fanfiction is anything to go by.

Number Three: I can respond by saying thanks but no thanks and see what happens. Maybe hint in a very unsubtle manner that since no one in the magical world decided to do anything for me until now, I think I’ll stay here. Return the favor of being left in the care of such a wonderful, caring family who I couldn’t bear to be parted with since they took me in off their doorstep that November. 10 years ago. After being left alone in the dark and cold with no one to make sure I would be okay! How about I add a nice little go fuck yourselves at the end?

I inhale sharply, my grip on my silverware going unbearably tight as I try to reign in my temper. The idea that it happened in the books is anger inducing enough when you don’t have a real attachment to the events outside fiction. But it’s my body, my reality, my existence now. Anger becomes rage when what was simple words you read on paper or you watched detached on the screen and they become your life. Something you experience.

I’m just glad I have my powers so I can be ready for anything this world might throw my way.

Now that I think about it, I can’t go Number One aka the canon route because I did promise the owl I would give them my response and a mouse for their trouble. It would be really rude to change my mind now. Plus the constant influx of so many owls hanging around my house and the neighborhood isn’t an appealing idea.

Idea number one is discarded.

I keep eating and turn my focus on option two. If I go on my own, I have to balance keeping my identity hidden while switching between my adult form and my biological age form. Most of the shopping can be done with A-form but with stuff like Madame Malkin’s and Twilfit and Tattings, I’d need to be in my B-form. Hidden identity can be easily done with invisibility or notice-me-not or a perception bender until I’m in a building doing business. Keep the throng’s eyes off me until necessary.

Easy enough.

My problem is Goblins. Or rather how the hell am I gonna deal with the Goblins. If this was a crack verse or I was some high level identifiable being, I could easily broach them. They’d know who I was and go out of their way to help me and make things easy. If I was say Death or Lady Magic herself then it would be easy as pie. They’d bend over backwards for me if I was secretly those two.

Instead I’m… well, me. There’s no hidden master vault filled with riches beyond compare and items of wonder waiting for me. No useful magical creatures ready to assist me on my road to life here.

“I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known,” I sing to myself. Oh good. I now have Boulevard of Broken Dreams playing in my head. It flits between the Green Day version and Utada Hikaru’s cover because of course my mind can’t distinguish which rendition it wants to listen to more so it just smushes them together in some kind of remix. It’s not bad but it is rather annoying when you want to listen to a particular one. I need to quickly get it out of me before I get more distracted.

I use my powers to crank on the different full length versions of this bothersome melody trapped in my brain, letting them play through the little cd boombox I have set up in the corner of the kitchen. The volume will be low but still loud enough not to overpower my thoughts like if it were still lingering in my brain. I know this is cheating reality alongside time and space but I need to focus.

Number two definitely feels like a Gryffindor thing to do. Would take some serious courage and iron will to pull off. Harry was Gryffindor even if the hat wanted to put him in Slytherin. But I’m not exactly Harry Potter, am I? Knowing me, I’ll end up in Hufflepuff staring at Edward Cullen’s handsome ass for the next few years until Volde-fuck gets resurrected during the TriWizard Tourney and he dies because we grabbed the cup at the same time.

Would you please focus, you stupid cunt? My inner voice shouts.

I glance up at the letter in the bubble and send it a glare. “This is your fault,” I tell it and shove a sausage link into my mouth. Even if the thing is still coming back negative for compulsion and harmful spells, I’m blaming my off track thoughts on it.

I’ll ponder branch path three since I keep losing concentration when regarding number two.

This one has the most potential to be honest. If I write back telling them no, someone is going to come and investigate why. At least I freaking hope so. Because I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t just see the response envelope and assume-

Oh god. What if they are actually that stupid to see the envelope and not read the reply letter within?

I now have the vision of me sending in my reply and no one reading it and then everyone realizes by the time school has started that Harry - sorry, Hadriana Potter isn’t to be found is because no one was paying attention or doing their damn job! People would lose their collective shit at the Sorting Ceremony when my name would be called but I’m not present. Nobody will have spotted a girl bearing a lightning bolt scar on the train because she wasn’t on the Hogwarts Express or at King’s Cross Station at Platform 9 3/4s.

I finish my breakfast very much determined to go with plan number three. I’ll have to cast a couple of charms to make sure I can show proof it was received, who handled it, and who if anyone read it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Hmmm…

Maybe I’ll put in a condition that if they wish to visit, three people of my choosing can come and speak with me to convince me to attend.

The smile on my lips is positively evil because I know exactly which three individuals I want.

After retrieving the acceptance letter from the bubble holding it, I go and read it twice over just to ensure it’s what I expect.

It is.

Right down to the supplies list and that stupid stereotypical pointed hat.

Oh this is going to be fun!

 

Dear Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall,

I regret to inform you that I will not be able to accept your offer to study at your no doubt illustrious and highly acclaimed institution. My living situation is rather complicated and up until this point I have had to follow alternative methods to educate myself. I do not feel as if Hogwarts can enhance my learning experience as up until receiving this letter I was under the impression magic did not exist. Furthermore I do not possess funds for purchasing items that will no doubt be purely obtainable in a magical forum and I highly doubt the British pound carries over into wizarding currency.

I thank you for your time.

Sincerest Regards,

H. Potter

 

“And now a word from my guardian.”

 

Dear Deputy Headmistress,

I am the current guardian of Miss Hadriana Potter and have been so since her previous living situation became unfitting. I have also provided her education since she came to live with me at six years of age. As we are both quite happy with the current arrangement, the offer to study at Hogwarts is unneeded.

If you however feel a visit to speak with us again is warranted, I expect you to do the following:

Owl me your response in no less than two weeks of receiving this letter so we may arrange a date and time convenient to discuss this situation.

Please inform me of the current whereabouts and employment of Severus Tobias Snape.

When these things have been done to my satisfaction as well as one other item, you may meet with Hadriana. I would advise you not to attempt to contact her again and send any further letters to me. Given her very unique position in the wizarding world, I must maintain constant vigilance. You understand of course.

Sincerely,

 

Oh shit. I need an alias.

Until now I’ve not needed one. I don’t pay bills. My house is hidden. Any shopping done is paid for in cash so I never have to sign anything. I don’t do anything that requires identification so I don’t have an ID with a fake name. I’ve been living unseen. A phantom of sorts.

But now I gotta figure out a name.

I twirl the biro between my fingers as I peruse my vast mental library of different names I could use. It takes me a while because I keep thinking about famous female authors or comic book characters or a few female singers I enjoyed listening to in my past life/lives.

My evil grin returns as I realize I know just the one.

 

Sincerely,

Daniella Radcliffe

 

No one will get the joke except me and I’m okay with that. Will not stop the giggles and smiles if someone calls me it.

I seal the two part reply into an envelope and then I cast a tracking spell, an ‘identify handler’ spell and a ‘who’s been reading me’ spell. I don’t know if these exist in canon or fanon so I’m just going to say they’re mine. I enchant a notepad to write who does what in regards to the letter, retrieve a mouse for the postal owl and then send it off with my best wishes.

And now I wait.

Chapter Text

You’d think I’d have mastered patience by now.

I mean I freaking have lived several lives across different universes with different life experiences so patience should be something I’ve got a decent handle on. But I’m also biologically a small child and we don’t have the greatest track record on waiting for something to happen.

Which is why I keep checking the notepad every hour for any change with what’s happening with my response letter.

The owl delivered it back to Hogwarts a few hours after I sent them off. The a couple of days of silence with no change on who’s handling it. I’m guessing it might be because Minerva as well as a few other teachers are out hand delivering to muggle born and raised students so they can converse with the parents and students in person.

As much as it doesn’t surprise me no one deemed me worthy of a hand delivered letter since I’m Hadriana Potter, it pisses me off because it shows just how much they all assume I know everything. The gross arrogance and over(under?)estimation of the situation at hand by these people really pisses me off.

And no, it doesn’t count that I actually do know canon because I’m a fucking reality hopping omnipotent being! That has no bearings on how this mess was handled and I’m praying I can keep myself from ranting or hexxing him if I ever meet Albus Dumbledore face to face!

Breathe, bitch.

In through the nose. Out through the mouth.

Ever since I gained my freedom and set up a base of operations in Cokeworth, I’ve been dabbling with the idea of finding the horcruxes. Well at least the one that resides in Little Hangleton. All the others reside in places not easily accessible to me. The diary is at Malfoy Manor. I think the necklace is currently at Grimmauld Place in Kreacher’s possession. The cup should be in the Lestrange vault. The diadem is in the Room of Requirement over at Hogwarts. Nagini isn’t a horcrux yet so I can leave her alone.

Well what about the one that was attached to Hadriana’s body, you ask? What happened to the unexpected horcrux?

Well when she died, it was no longer bound to anything. And despite what canon says, you can’t destroy the soul piece if you destroy the object it’s bound to. Apparently that one fanfic I read was right and we need to perform an exorcism ritual. Or I need to find a way to get Death to talk to me. See what he can tell me; if he can rip them into the Beyond where they belong.

Right now the rather pathetic piece of soul belonging to the man formerly known as Tom Riddle is being held inside a star shaped crystal that I have around my neck. He is barely able to function; curled up into himself as small as possible. Making the motions as if he’s breathing though he has no body that would require it.

I can’t tell if he’s in shock or just waiting and biding his time.

I know I shouldn’t but I have tried to converse with him. I called him by both the name he hates and the name he gave himself. Hell, once I called him Dark Lord and Mister Tom A Dildo Lover.

They all ended the same. Absolutely nothing.

So I’m pretty sure because it wasn’t intentionally made, this piece barely could do much outside of grant parseltongue and be used as a conduit link between Harry and Moldy-Vort. It’s pitiable. And sad.

Much of like Tom’s life before he became the monster the world helped mold him to be.

I am not a Voldemort supporter. I do not agree with what he and his followers did. I do not pity them. I do not sympathize with them. If we meet in battle, I will gladly fight them and more than likely decide to put them down like rabid dogs. Their ideology is flawed and bigoted and I’m pretty sure the fics are right and murder is the lightest of crimes they’ve committed against those they view as enemies or inferior beings.

What I am is someone who see that Tom Riddle had the odds stacked against him from the go. His conception was the result of rape by his mother to his father who she kept drugged under Amortentia. Because of the potion and coupled with damage done to his DNA due to inbreeding (because we gotta keep the bloodlines pure!), he was already slotted with a handicap. Then Merope Gaunt went and died of a broken heart because she was stupid enough to take Tom Riddle off the potion. He - like any intelligent person who has undergone horrific trauma should do - left her as fast as his legs could carry him. This ended with the baby which was Tom Marvolo Riddle with no parents, no familial ties, and no one to teach and nurture him. So again: he’s got more stuff stacked against him.

Next stop on our train of understanding is Wool's Orphanage. A place lacking in compassion and with no warmth to be had. Things got worse over the years because of the war and it wasn’t exactly nice to live in before World War Two. To say the environment and people at Wool’s promoted more negative coping and outlets for Tom’s problems is like saying blood is red. He wasn’t like all the other little boys and girls so naturally he stood out and got picked on. Which he returned tenfold. He had no one to explain what his powers were. He had no one he could confide in. He was alone.

That mountain intimidating anyone yet?

And what happens when someone finally arrives that can help him understand he’s not some freak or crazy person? Someone he hopes that because they have answers to his questions, he can be honest with and tell them he likes hurting people? He’s met with another kind of distrust and isolation. Dumbledore doesn’t think maybe he can help Tom try to find a way not to hurt people or find other things he likes to do than inflict suffering. Doesn’t try and figure out the root of why making others writhe in pain makes Tom smile. No. He becomes a poor excuse for a handler and warden, leaving a young boy once again facing a mountain of challenges and problems.

I know things were different then. You can say it until you’re blue in the face. But the fact is this: Tom Marvolo Riddle was a monster made not a monster born.

I will never support him. Unless we find ourselves in a reality where Dumbledore was the actual evil mastermind behind it all like some fics have him written. If that happens I better still have my powers because Dumbledore will wish he were dead long before I end his life.

I go and check the notepad and find nothing new has been added. No one has handled the letter nor has anyone read it. It’s apparently just sitting somewhere, waiting for someone.

A couple of days turns into a week of no change and I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’re all just really busy helping the muggleborns and raised. We never got a headcount in either books or film of how many there were that first year during Philosopher's Stone (and I will call it the Philosopher’s Stone even if I was an American in the previous life and my initial introduction was it being Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone).

I spend my days normally, with a slight retraction in my constant checking for changes. My anxiety comes back in a roaring fashion when it’s two days left for my conditions to be met and my reply is still sitting where ever it is in Hogwarts untouched.

I had anticipated them handling any responses as they arrived. Maybe even being magically separated into piles marked as rejected and accepted so the staff would know what it contained.

But this lack of action… It’s pissing me off.

Am I arrogant in thinking they should be paying more attention? Is it a sense of entitlement if I want them to respond so soon? To want them to even take note?

Oh perfect! Now I’m wallowing in self doubt because no one is paying attention to me. This is never a good thing. Wallowing in self-doubt is going to lead to another round of self-hatred and pity and mourning on what I’ll never have again. Something I’d been able to avoid since my past life where I was trapped and powerless. I don’t wanna return to that mindset. As nice as it was to learn all I could about different fandoms, I do not want to return. I had few friends, no lovers or love interests and I died a 45 year old virgin living in poverty. I consumed a vast amount of pornagraphy most of which was animated or in fanfictions and had myself for company.

I think  we all can see how I would like to avoid repeating that life if possible.

Well that snapped me out of the self doubt.

I wonder if I should go to the Leaky Cauldron and attempt to explore Diagon Alley. I won’t be shopping for school but I could visit Gringotts and see what the Goblins are like in real life. I have a good amount of muggle money and hopefully the exchange rate is decent. Three hundred pounds should be more than enough. Hopefully not too much since I don’t want to accidentally insult the Goblin Nation. Anymore than I would do canon wise.

I ignore the urge to cast a compulsion of my own making on the letter through sheer will alone and make plans if they pass the deadline and no one responds. They can try and blame me or rather my guardian if I don’t show up in September but I have copies of my rejection letter, ways to show I’m been monitoring the progress of my letter, and have more than sufficient skill to protect myself if things get aggressive. I’m covered. The staff at Hogwarts including and most certainly Albus Dumbledore isn’t.

My thoughts and preparations consume the rest of my afternoon. I give the notepad one final look before I head to bed and holy shit! Somebody finally did something while I was brooding!

Both letter handled by Filius Flitwick. Read by Filius Flitwick.

Both letters handed off to Minerva McGonagall. Read by Minerva McGonagall.

Both letters handed off to Albus Dumbledore. Read by Albus Dumbledore.

Letter by Daniella Radcliffe handed off to Severus Snape. Read by Severus Snape.

“Looks like he does exist after all,” I muse out loud. No doubt the sullen bastard is going to be confused and probably really pissed why a stranger wants to know where he is and where he’s working. But given how I found his home and the place was devoid of any sign that someone has lived there in years? I was beginning to think we were missing a crucial character. Hell the only reason I chose Cokeworth was because I knew that’s where Spinners End was! I was hoping I could track him down, maybe get him to help me out. I don’t know how he would have but it was worth a shot!

But, like I said, the house hadn’t shown signs of anyone residing there or receiving visitors in a long time. No one ever answered when I managed to get the courage and knock on the front door.

I never broke into the house either to see if I could find a clue about him even though I was freaking tempted to do so.

There was no realtor listing so I knew he hadn’t put it up for sale at least on the Muggle side.

How the hell did I miss him all this time?!

Maybe I should have composed letters and stuffed them in his mail slot.

Now my brain is all wired because of this news and I can’t bring myself to sleep. Not that my body requires slumber to recharge but dreams are fun and sleep is relaxing. I do it mostly out of habit, a little reminded that hey! You were human. Once. Gotta blend in with the natives!

I’m back to sitting on the edge emotionally, wondering what’s going to happen next. I should receive an owl tomorrow with their response.

Unless they actually accept my rejection letter and leave me alone.

I doubt they will since Hadriana is a major figure in the wizarding world and they don’t know who Daniella Radcliffe is nor what her qualifications as an educator consist of.

I really hope they don’t suddenly show up unannounced. That’d be rude. Not to mention a waste of time. I’ve got more than a few measures installed to deter uninvited guests from knocking on my door. It’s why I haven’t gotten any post before the owl came along. Animals can see and come onto the property but humans and most other species don’t have that ability. I have no clue if it works on animagus or werewolves.

Not that I can contact Remus Lupin and have him come check. Any contact info he might have left to Hadriana or in Lily and James’ things never came into the Dursley family hands. There’s also no Remus Lupin in the telephone book.

Fuck! I could have used my powers and sent him a letter, couldn’t I?

Why didn’t I do that?

Oh yeah because I found him insanely attractive in my past life with liberal splashings of erotic  fanfiction and even more xxx-rated fantasies rampaging through my hormone filled brain, that’s why. I didn’t want to make things horribly awkward.

I end up making me some hot chocolate because Remus inspires chocolate consumption. A hot carafe of the semi sweet liquid and a good book will help pass the time until I doze off.

Yes I did brew it myself without using my powers, thank you very much.

What the hell is playing on my living room sound system? My eyes focus on the object in question. Oh, another song that won’t be written and performed for a good ten, twenty years. Thank the stars I never have company. I just realized I must have left it on. Or it turned itself on when I entered the area. Yes, I bought and altered more than one music player for the house. I got a nice big set up in the living room. Nothing overly ostentatious but it’s large, has good speakers and it plays cassettes, cds, and records. There’s the CD boombox in the kitchen. Then I have a radio/cassette player in the bedroom. All three of these I fixed so that when I tune it to a certain bandwidth, it will play music from my past lives.

I have yet to buy a television set and I don’t know when I will if at all.

It’s not because they can be large and cumbersome. Or depending on the one I wanted I would have to have someone deliver it to the house. I would very much like to watch the telly and see the British comedies I grew up with in my past life on public television in America airing for the first time or see Doctor Who coming to me from the real actual BBC.

No, it has to do with one of the reasons the Dursley family doesn’t live in the United Kingdom anymore.

The carafe is half finished and there are some really depressing songs playing on my radio. I look over at the radio as it begins the opening guitar chords for Brad Paisley’s Whiskey Lullaby after deciding to play Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now on repeat twice without me telling it to. “Uh uh! You are not playing that shit tonight,” I command. “I do not need tears, depression, and loneliness right now! You can play Katy Perry’s Wide Awake or turn off.”

Radio was not in the mood for the sweet vocals of Miss Perry, apparently.

Yes, I do talk to my appliances like they are sentient and don’t give a shit if anyone cares.

Chapter Text

Around noon, a new letter arrives for Daniella Radcliffe bearing the Hogwarts seal. I did not expect that. The official Hogwarts seal, I mean.

I remember my thoughts from the first time I got a letter and am not going to be picking it up with my bare hands again. I summon the bubble diagnostic shield and put it in there. Then the pair of us head into the living room where I put away last night’s book. I have a lot of books, most of them hardback because they stack and stand so pretty. You never know how limited your choices of activities are when you’re living in a pre-internet world.

This is another reason why I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t end up in Gryffindor. I am not a brave person. I find me a safe place and stay there. I’m a creature of reflex and reaction. Very chill; not daring. I think I very much am a Hufflepuff.

I am still surprised I even went out of my way to attempt to locate Snape when I moved to Cokeworth. I have slight anxiety attacks when I flash back to me approaching his door and knocking on it. I’m partially glad I never met him because what was my plan? “Excuse me, Ser? Is your name Severus Snape? I’m trying to find the man who was a friend of my mother because she told me to find him for help.”

My plan was to convince him I had at one point spoken with my dead mother, apparently, and she said go find Snape. If or when he would ask why, my answer would be simple: Because Albus Dumbledore wasn’t to be trusted with my safety. Then I’d show him.

I may have two different bodies I walk around in: the child one and the adult one. But there’s what we gamers would call a hidden costume skin.

It’s the way Hadriana looked when I took over all those years ago in that dark cupboard under the stairs. Besides the lightning bolt scar on her forehead she has a burn covering the opposite side of her face reminiscent of Todoroki from My Hero Academia. Directly over her eye. Her ear on that side of her head is mangled and there are ugly burns from where oil splattered on her lower arms.

It’s not pretty.

It is horrible.

Everytime I look at that form, I see necrotic holes where bone can be seen from the rot. As you can imagine I don’t look at it too often because the sight is painful. Only when I feel the need to remind myself this is who I took over do I look. This is - was the Girl-Who-Lived. The Saviour of the Wizarding World. Their hero they toast drinks to in the pubs. The one where fandom says they wrote adventure books about and canon says she’s listed in their history books.

I’m now her because no one gave a shit to make sure she was safe all these years. Because Albus fuckwad Dumbledore placed trust in the blood wards but didn’t give a thought that the monsters living in the house wouldn’t hurt Hadriana, even when McGonagall warned him they were some of the worst Muggles she’d ever watched.

I have had to craft a new body by using the old one because it is too horrifying to show people.

I keep the memory of the body as a hidden skin to remind myself of this.

I need to hit something. Or someone.

The letter is free of spells and compulsions and I read the words within.

 

Dear Miss Radcliffe,

Very rarely does a student reject admittance to Hogwarts, so Miss Potter’s response was rather attention grabbing

 

“Yeah it had y’all’s attention so much nobody noticed it existed for almost two weeks,” I comment.

 

We at Hogwarts take our students safety and education quite seriously

 

“Bullshit, because while there’s obviously muggle studies as a subject what do the muggle born and raised kids have to help them learn about the wizarding world? Let’s throw them head first into the water and hope they don’t drown!”

 

and as someone who had at one point was close with Hadriana’s parents, the knowledge that she is living with someone outside of her relatives and her previous situation became unfit is concerning for me.

 

“It should be.”

 

I would be very open to meeting with both you and Hadriana to discuss her rescinding her rejection as well as learning more about what has happened since last she was seen.

 

Well shit. I should have realized that might be an option but I was prepared to meet them in the room as either Haddy or Daniella. Meeting as two separate bodies in the same room might be hard to do. I can’t split myself in two. Well maybe I can? Do some kind of Shadow Clone Jutsu when they come visit. Might work.

 

I can visit you within the second week of August so please owl me with the time that is most convenient for you so we may get things squared away. I hope I can convince you both that attending Hogwarts is very important and crucial to Hadriana’s future.

 

Oh I have no doubt it is important but not in the way they think it is.

 

As to your inquiries of one Severus Tobias Snape. The name isn’t very common and there is a man working here as a teacher in charge of Potions who goes by that name. I do not know if he is the one you are inquiring after though so I am not comfortable in relaying his private information to you, especially without his permission. Perhaps if you can explain why you need to know of this man and how you have come to know his name, I can assist you in discovering if he is the one you seek.

 

You pretty much did just confirm that he’s the one I’m looking for, I scoff inwardly. It’s like whoever is writing thinks that information is a juicy apple and I’m starving. I wonder if that is exactly the situation.

 

Please owl me back as soon as possible so that a visit may be arranged.

Sincerest respects,

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

 

I sit there blinking, ignoring the parts at the bottom where he lists all his titles. Likely added there as a some form of making Daniella intimidated. So the headmaster himself decided to reply instead of Minerva, hmm? I guess I got their attention.

Not like I didn’t want it after all so I’m not worried.

I will need to make sure he knows I will only meet with him if he brings Minerva and Snape with him for the visit. I’m not meeting him in my headquarters alone. That would be like Superman letting Lex Luthor into the Fortress of Solitude.

I hope there was never a moment in comic history where he willingly just let that happen otherwise that comparison just went to shit.

Joker being welcomed into the Batcave, maybe?

I need to focus.

I go to where my desk is and get out some paper and a biro and write down my response.

 

Dear Headmaster Dumbledore,

Thank you for taking time out of your no doubt busy schedule to pen a reply to my letter. Obviously a man of such impressive titles is very busy with not only running a school but also a high ranking official in the wizarding world. You must be quite an impressive man to have garnered such status.

That must make the fact of Hadriana’s relocation and care even more concerning for you as you yourself claim to have been close with her parents.

It’s sad how things can slip through the cracks, isn’t it? Children are often the biggest victims of negligence and it is heartbreaking when we find ourselves having been ignorant of strife when we had thought ourselves in a position to know.

 

Okay, dial it down, sweetheart. You sound like you’re trying to insult him and it’s coming off pompous and ill worded. Although technically I am trying to insult him in the most sophisticated words I have.

 

Monday August 5th around ten am would work for both Hadriana and I. You obviously have our address so there’s no need to write it down. However we insist that Deputy Headmistress McGonagall as well as Professor Snape accompany you to our meeting. Otherwise I will not be removing the protections on our house and allowing you entry. You may not know who I am, Sir, but your reputation precedes you even without the listing of your awards.

Speaking of Professor Snape, I am more than adequately convinced that the man in your employ is the one I am looking for. It is actually for Hadriana that I am making the inquiries to find him. Hadriana was informed that her mother once had a very dear friend named Severus Snape who grew up with her here in Cokeworth that she cared for very much and although they grew apart, she still thought of him fondly.

 

I really shouldn’t say that. I don’t know if Lily still thought fondly of him and it would be cruel for me to make him assume as much. Yes, some sources say Rowling said Lily had been pregnant and had convinced James to bury the hatchet with Snape but that's post books and movies and I don't know this world. Personally I hate that bit because it makes things worse. I remove that last bit after the dear friend who lived in Cokeworth and continue.

 

I hope that bit of information I have given you on the reason I am searching for Mister Snape is enough to aid us in our search.

Sincerely,

Daniella Radcliffe

 

I put the pen down, cast a spell to have the penmanship match the previous letter written by my guardian and then send the letter off with the postal owl.

Time to wait again.

 

~OoOoOoO~

 

In the evening during dinner another letter free of compulsions and dangerous magic arrives. It’s from Dumbldick and he agrees to the time and date I specified. He also seems intrigued that it is Hadriana who asked about Snape and confirms that the professor in his employ is the same one we’ve been seeking.

Good.

Unless something kicks the world state in its head, I should be fine with what I know. Let’s just hope I can handle things in person just as smoothly as I envision me doing it.

He mentions that although McGonagall is usually quite busy both she and Snape will agree to attend our meeting. I didn’t think it would be that easy but okay! Good.

I send back a letter stating I look forward to meeting them and I will see them at 10 am on August 5th.

This gives me about a week and half to see if I can properly Shadow Clone Jutsu and see how long it will last.

Once again, I know I’m a freaking omnipotent being with unlimited power but I need to test these things. And things get very boring sometimes. Besides I am bound to this body. There have to be some kind of physical restraints on it.

It can’t all be that easy.

Actually it can, I just don’t want to accept it.

What was I doing again? Oh yeah, planning on introducing Naruto ninja skills into Harry Potterverse like a fucking crazy person.

“Eh, what the fuck. Let’s do it!”

Time to get to work.

Chapter Text

Technically learning Shadow Clone Jutsu wasn’t difficult.

Technically.

I mean it was easy given what I have the capacity to do.

It’s just… It was so weird seeing another me. Standing across from me.

Looking at me.

That I could touch.

Then the second one of me was transformed into the adult body of me and let me tell you: I am one sexy bitch as a grown up. Definitely got the good genetics with this life!

In case anyone is like, well why were you so impressed? Well because there’s seeing yourself in the mirror and then there’s seeing a one hundred percent living flesh and blood version of yourself in all your glory.

No, I was not naked!

Get your heads out of the gutter!

It’s also very disconcerting because I can feel a kind of connection with my clone but it’s not like telepathic or a sharing of the senses. It’s hard to explain.

A part of me thought I was gonna have trouble and like smash heads with myself. But Clone me is actually rather chill. We definitely know which of us is the original when I perform the spell. The sense of self is there but it’s more like I’ve kind of sectioned a part off?

Does this make sense?

Anyways it works like in Naruto and that’s a big success I think.

Unfortunately time felt like it moved forward much faster than I was comfortable with and that dreaded day has arrived.

I get both of us dressed and after a paper rock scissors match between the pair of us, I got to be the grown up. Which I’m actually more comfortable with kind of during this meeting. Although if someone gets it in their head to attack me and grab Hadriana, they’re gonna be in for a rude surprise. Situation isn’t that dire but I still have lingering paranoia.

I have a list of questions I actually wrote down. Some of them were relocated to a different list because I don’t think asking if there’s a secondary gender like Alpha/Beta/Omega would be appropriate at this point. Maybe a Goblin inheritance test could answer that.

Yes I did read those types of fics in my last life. And I loved them!

I lowered the protection wards against magical snoopers thirty minutes before their timed arrival so they were able to enter my property without problems. The doorbell is rung and I (Daniella) answer it while Hadriana waits upstairs. I told her she could go sit in the kitchen but bedroom apparently felt safer and easier to curb the anxiety. Not that I was going to argue. I think we’re both more than a little on edge.

Breathe in deep. Exhale.

I open the door.

All three of them are there. Dumbledore is standing in front with McGonagall and Severus behind him at his sides. They appear almost exactly like movie version them. Snape’s hair is pulled back in a ponytail being the only difference I can see. Oh and Maggie Smith looks a little younger.

I take comfort in the way they appear. Probably more than I should.

“Ah, Ms. Radcliffe, I presume?”

“You presume correctly,” I reply to Dumbledore. He smiles and it could easily be called grandfatherly. Unfortunately I am not easily taken in.

“I am Headmaster Dumbledore. These are my colleagues, Professor Minerva McGonagall.” We exchange hellos and nods of greeting. “And this is Professor Severus Snape.”

He looks like this is the last place he wants to be and if I have and grasp of his character, it probably is. Still he gives a curt nod in welcome.

“It’s nice to meet you all,” I greet and step aside, motioning them to come in. Dumbledore leads and once they cross the threshold, I close the door. Great. They’re in my house.

Why did I think this was a good idea?!

I wave my hand in the direction of the living room. “If you’ll all just have a seat on the couch in the living room, make yourselves comfortable?” I do not know how my voice is staying even because the longer I’m standing in proximity of Snape (and yes it’s definitely him because fucking Alan Rickman) I want to bolt.

Here’s a secret. In my past life I didn’t find a lot of people attractive. Or rather I wasn’t really around a lot of people I thought of as extremely attractive. Like I said, I was pretty much confined to a solitary life. One day I did end up interacting with someone I was attracted to. He also happened to be a very well known voice actor who played on one of my favorite television series. I became terrified and wanted to run away. I didn’t though because I was stuck in my chair. He found it funny when one of my companions told him about it.

I don’t think Severus Snape would find it amusing that strange rando woman finds him highly attractive and wants to run away because of it. Or maybe he would. I hear he is a bit twisted.

We all went into the living room and all three sat down on the couch. I’m debating whether or not I should lay some ground rules.

Fuck it.

They do something, I’ll deal with it as it happens.

“Would anyone like something to drink before I get Hadriana? I can make some tea, coffee or ice water?” Because lord knows I’m going to need something to occupy my mouth while I find my words.

“A pot of tea would be lovely, thank you, Ms. Radcliff,” Dumbledore affirms. McGonagall nods in agreement while Snape slowly glances about the room, taking it in. I look at him for a few seconds before Minerva whispers his name.

“Tea will be acceptable.”

Right. “I’ll be back in a few then.”

One english tea coming up. I summon a silver tea set and brew some Earl Grey while I arrange some cucumber sandwiches cut into fours on a plate. I didn’t eat a large breakfast this morning and shadow clone jutsu burns a lot of energy. I think it’s the introduction of the foreign magic into this universe that causes it to be slightly more taxing than my regular castings because making the tea and sandwiches feels like nothing.

“Let’s hope no one slips anything into the tea while I go collect myself,” I murmur and carry the tray out into the living room. I place it on the coffee table and McGonagall and Dumbledore compliment how it looks as I pour like a good hostess. Dumbledore takes his tea with four sugars. McGonagall likes hers with milk and one scoop of sugar. Professor Snape takes his straight. No sugar, cream, or anything.

I idly wonder if he does it as a protection mechanism. Wouldn’t surprise me.

I don’t pour me a cup yet because fucking christ you don’t leave unattended drinks around strangers and head upstairs to collect Hadriana.

“We’re attracted to Severus Snape, aren’t we?” she asks me and I exhale with a nod. “Oh god!” She flops herself face down on the bed and whimpers in distress through the duvet.

“It’ll be fine,” I say even though I don’t feel like it might be. “Nothing is gonna happen! The man’s too focused on other things and he’s hung up on Lilly. Seriously the odds are against us. Now let’s go downstairs before they can slip something in the pot.”

She nods and we go to our company.

“Ah, Hadriana! How lovely to see you, my dear!” Dumbledore greets kid me as all three of them stand when we enter the room. Child me smiles nervously with a nod but her eyes end up being transfixed on Snape and I have to nudge her towards her seat. She walks to sit at the chair close to the window but stops and instead drags the padded ottoman next to my seat. The need to be close by is very much in effect.

I make Hadriana and me our own cups of tea and a pair of sandwich quarters on the plates. Naturally our tea is similar in make so all I need to do is double portion it all. The room is quiet except for the clink of china and I sit back in my chair. “So,” I start. “Where do we begin?”

“Well I suppose the most simple way would be to ask: How much do you know about magic, Hadriana?”

As an opener to the conversation, it a good start. I think.

“I know enough. It protects the house from people who might hurt us,” she tells him. “And it lets me do things other children wouldn’t be able to.”

Good. let’s keep it vague.

The following conversation is boring and I don’t want to repeat it. Needless to say they gave the whole spiel and shebang about how Hogwarts was one of the top wizarding schools and it had a long and illustrious history and blah blah blah blah blah.

To be fair it was a decent sales pitch; I just wasn’t interested in the speech since I knew all about the place.

“This is all well and good and I’m glad the school has such a profound effect and all,” Hadriana finally said. “But I would actually like my questions answered more than anything. It’s all good what you’re saying, very informative. But it’s the standard home visit speech, isn’t it? You’d give this to all the muggle born and raised kids if you showed up with their Hogwarts letter. The only thing you haven’t done is tried to perform a spell or two.”

McGonagall flushes with what I think is embarrassment while Dumbledore looks at kid me. Snape is still a hard man to read.

“Ah yes,” Albus agrees. “I believe you might be right. So what questions do you have?”

I pull out the list we wrote down. “Well the first one is: how many students currently attend Hogwarts?”

“I don’t have the exact numbers but about six hundred, perhaps.”

We nod and I write that down. “What’s the curriculum? What kind of classes would we be expecting her to take?”

“The core classes which are taught to all students for the next seven years of attendance are: Astronomy, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic, Transfiguration, and Potions. For first years we have a flying class so that students will become verse by travelling on broom.”

“I teach Transfigurations and have done so for a good forty years,” McGonagall says proudly. “And Professor Snape teaches Potions. He is one of the Youngest Masters on record. He’s highly acclaimed. You’ll find most of the staff are.”

I scribble down the classes listed. “And the school has all the safety equipment like helmets, pads, and the like ready in case of accidents?”

“Oh yes! You’ll find all our equipment up to date,” Dumbledore says. My knowledge from the films say otherwise but without actually going to Hogwarts and taking inventory, I won’t know.

“That’s good. I can’t imagine how bad it would be if a student, especially a first year had a panic attack and fell off their broom without head protection.”

“Our hospital wing is fully stocked and staffed with medi-witches who have years of experience and if something should fall outside their purview, they have easy access to St. Mungo’s in case of emergency,” Dumbledore assured me.

“That’s the regional medical center specializing in magical maladies?”

“It is,” McGonagall piped in. “Largest one in Britain. Young Hadriana was born there.”

“Would I go there or the Ministry of Magic to get a copy of her birth certificate? The Dursley family had no papers to help identify Haddy when she was given to them. It’s a miracle she was allowed to attend any kind of school,” I reminisce. “It’s one of the reasons I’ve been place in the role of educator.”

“Whoever left me on that doorstep didn’t leave me much of anything,” Hadriana commented. “All I knew for the longest time was my parents were drunks and died in a car crash.”

“A car crash?!” Minerva is livid. “James and Lily Potter would never have-”

“Calm yourself, Minerva,” Dumbledore soothed. “I’m sure it’s a misunderstanding.”

“No, the Dursley were very insistent that’s what happened. Said it was where I got my scar,” child self says. “But Daniella helped me figure out that was a lie. Daniella’s done a lot for me when no one else cared.”

Okay don’t lay it on so thick.

I pet her hair with a fond smile on my face. It’s not fake or acting, I genuinely do care about Hadriana Potter. Even if she’s me and I’m her, I honestly would have gone and rescued her should things have been different and I had the power. No child should suffer like she did. I look back at Dumbledore. “So birth certificate?”

“The Ministry of Magic is where you would go for such an item. However it shouldn’t be needed should young Hadriana attends Hogwarts.”

“Actually I would still need it if she went. I’m pretty sure if she ever plans on having a passport or having an ID card, she’d need it. Non-magicals tend to be sticklers for that sort of thing.”

“I suppose you have a point,” Dumbledore sighs. “However I’m sure she won’t be leaving the country anytime soon so getting her birth certificate isn’t a priority. Did you have any more questions?”

“Do you teach every student through all levels or are they split up where one teacher is in charge of a different grade level?” I look at Snape curiously. He looks back at me with our eyes meeting just a moment. I swear I did not blush! “It’s just that if those classes listed are in fact core ones that will be attended throughout 7 years and you have at least six hundred students, the amount of work that would take… Plus what about if a student has needs for remedial classes or questions about their work?”

“The students are all taught by the same instructor to help promote consistency with their education,” Dumbledore stated.

“And none of them have burned out due to over work?” I ask in shock. I know there were several unidentified teachers in the films and that might have provided some easing of the workload. I mean this is reality! You can’t expect six hundred plus students to be adequately taught by a handful of teachers. And it was in fact a very uneven teacher to student ratio when you consider everything.

If anyone wonders why Snape was as cuddly as a poison spined cactus, there’s your answer! The poor bastard is insanely over worked.

“Now I owe you a serious apology, Professor Snape,” I declare. “I ended up insisting you come for this visit so I - we could meet you face to face!” His face twitches just a touch at my words. “If I’d known you were shouldering that much on your own, I wouldn’t have been so pushy. I’m so, so sorry.”

“I’ll try and make sure I don’t give you any trouble during my school year, Sir,” Hadriana adds and I mean it.

“I doubt you will be able to keep that promise, Miss Potter,” he remarks. “Your father was particularly adept at getting into trouble.”

“Hadriana is not her father.” I’m quick to point out. “Neither is she her mother.” I’m not going to let him pull that shit. James Potter and friends bullied the hell out of him and no doubt a whole bunch of other kids. Emotional scars are hard to heal and at least fanon Snape had a lot of trouble healing. But I’m not going to let him judge me on my biological body’s DNA donators.

“So I take it you will be attending Hogwarts come September?” Dumbledore looks at Hadriana who turns to look at me.

“What do you think?”

“Well you do need to learn how to interact with people your own age,” I say with a shrug. “You’d definitely learn new things and you can’t stay in this place for the rest of your life.”

“Actually I could. It would be very easy to pull off.”

“Yes but it would get so boring.” I roll my eyes dramatically. I glance at the three adults sitting on my couch. “I suppose you’ll see Hadriana Potter at Hogwarts on September first then.”

“Splendid!” Dumbledore exclaims, his eyes twinkling as he put his tea cup on the coffee table. He got to his feet; we all doing the same.

“Will you be needing any help or instructions on where to go pick up Hadriana’s supplies?” Minerva asks as we head towards the door.

“To be honest I know how to get them in theory but we’re not exactly familiar with the magical areas like Diagon Alley,” I admit. “I suppose we’ll just wander around London see if we can find the Leaky Cauldron and go from there. Be nice to visit London.”

“Nonsense, my dear,” Dumbledore stated. “I have someone who I believe would be glad to help you with your shopping. I’ll owl you after I speak with him.”

Oh I bet you do. Also if you send Hagrid with me it removes the opportunity to get myself an inheritance test and null any access you might have to any vaults belonging to Hadriana. This means I’m going to have to plan another trip to London and Gringotts on my own.

“Well if it’s not too much trouble, I won’t say no.”

“Good! Hagrid’s been excited to meet Hadriana and I’m sure you’ll find him a delightful guide.”

We say our farewells and I shake each of their hands as they leave. Snape’s though. Snape’s is lingering for just a few seconds longer than than the other two and we look into each other’s eyes briefly again. I swear to god the man better not be trying to use Legilimency on me. Can’t think of another reason why he paused though.

I clear my throat. “Well have a lovely day and I’ll see you in September,” I say and shut the door. It’s now me and my clone who disappears with a pop back, magic retreating back into me. “God that man is intense.”

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I go back into the living room to eat the rest of the sandwiches and drink the leftover tea before I banish the set. I read my question list, glad to know I got some answers. I didn’t get to ask about what Hogwarts did if a student had some kind of mobility issue or how they handled students with a disability like deaf or blindness. Didn’t get to ask the question about familiars. Or if there was a specific dress code manual. I wanted to know that one because I plan on wearing bowties instead of regular ties with my uniform.

Why?

Because bowties are cool. Fezzes are also cool but I don’t plan on switching the my pointy hat for one, despite the fact I’d rather not wear a pointy hat at all.

So… shopping with Hagrid. That should be an adventure.