Through the Looking Glass, Darkly @esm3rald
Chapter 1

Here you go, new chapter. A little short, I know but this is just to set the scenes so to say. I'm going to do some time skips every now and again because I want to reach Harry's first year at Hogwarts, which is when the real fun will began. Though some important things will happen before that. I hope you like this chapter anyway, tell me what you think!

Chapter 1

Alya knocked on the door of number 4, Privet Drive and waited. She didn't have to wait long. When Petunia opened the door, Alya sent her a chilly smile and said, "Hello, Mrs. Dursley. My name is Alya Potter. I'm James Potter's cousin and I'm here to talk about your nephew, Harry Potter. I'm here to adopt him."

Petunia paled and turned her long neck around this way and that, probably checking that her neighbors weren't around to witness the whole thing.

"Well, come in then." Petunia said hastily, leading her to the kitchen. Petunia leaned out the window to call out, "boy! Come inside and go freshen up then come in the kitchen!"

"Yes, aunt Petunia!" was heard from somewhere out back. The kitchen garden, Alya remembered. It was one of the few chores she enjoyed doing, looking after the garden. And it had even turned out useful at Hogwarts, what with Herbology and to recognize some ingredients for Potions.

"So, you say you're here to adopt my nephew. I didn't know my sister's husband had other relatives." She looked too calm for someone who hated even mentioning her sister, let alone having one of 'her kind' in her own house. But Alya knew what was going on. Petunia was a lot of things but she wasn't stupid. She had latched on to the sentence 'I'm here to adopt him'. Everything to get rid of her unwanted nephew, even having to put up with one of 'them'.

"Well, my parents and I lived in America you see. I moved to England just a few days ago specially for Harry. I'm one of the few relatives he has left and he's one of the few relatives I have left. And, regarding my intentions to adopt your nephew, I'm sure you're doing what you can for him but I imagine it must be difficult, taking care of a magical child. And I'm sure it would be better for him to grow up in the world he does really belong to, wouldn't you agree?"

Petunia's eyes sparkled in greed. "Of course. However, I have to know that my nephew will be well taken care of. I can't just leave him with the first person who shows an interest in him. You do understand, I'm sure? And, well, you have to know, Harry was left here by Professor Dumbledore, he specifically asked me and my husband to take care of him. I'm not sure he would agree to someone else stepping in for Harry's sake. From what I understand, my nephew's own life might be in danger."

"Naturally. I understand you perfectly. Your concern on his behalf does you credit. However, I would be more than able to protect him, should Harry find himself in danger while you…forgive me but it would put your own family in danger if those after Harry were to find out where you live. And, while I'm not aware of your financial situation, I'm sure two children to take care of can put a strain to any normal family's coffers. Like I said, I'm sure you did what you could but I don't see why you would have to continue caring for a child that isn't yours if a different solution can be found. And I wouldn't be averse to repay you for all these years of kindness towards my nephew. It's only fair, I believe."

The greed in Petunia's eyes grew and she puffed up her flat chest in misplaced pride. "Yes, I believe it would be fair."

"Perfect. How does a check of 120'000 pounds sound like?"

Petunia couldn't completely hide her excitement at the sum offered when she said, "I believe it would be adequate, yes."

"Fantastic. Then all there is needed is your signature to transfer Harry's guardianship to me." Alya took the Gringotts papers and a muggle ballpoint pen out of her muggle leather jacket, before offering both to Petunia. Petunia signed quickly, barely glancing at the words on them. Alya then proceeded to write Petunia the check promised before giving it to her. Alya shuddered in disgust at the idea of Petunia gaining anything from her but a well place torture curse but needs must and all that.

"Perhaps, Mrs. Dursleys, it would be best for all parties involved if Professor Dumbledore is not informed about this new development. He could decide to interfere, thinking he knows what's best for Harry. But I'm sure you and I know what's best for Harry better than someone so wholly unconnected to him." She gave Petunia a sharp, threatening grin.

"Oh, but of course. You're absolutely right. I assure you, if Dumbledore would find out about Harry's adoption, it won't be from you. Well, I suppose you'll want to see Harry, now? Are you going to be leaving with him today?"

"Yes, that was the idea. If that is okay for you, naturally."

"Oh, yes, it is perfectly fine. Harry! Come downstairs and in the kitchen. There's someone here to meet you!"

A few seconds later a light pair of feet could be heard descending the stairs. And then, a mop of dark, messy hair appeared through the kitchen threshold and then Harry Potter stood before her, short, thin and wearing big, round glasses kept together with tape that covered half his face, and the famous scar hidden by bangs. Her own scar, which had once been identical to Harry's, had since disappeared. It had started fading once the horcrux contained in it had been destroyed and then Harry had invented the Scar Vanishing Potion that she had used on all her scars – well, all the ones that reminded her of bad things that had happened in her life (the one on her hand from Umbridge, the one on her forearm when Voldemort had been resurrected, the round one on her chest thanks to the Locket).

It was amazing how much she had improved on Potions since she had gotten her hand on the Half-Blood Prince book. And after the war, perhaps because of Snape's death and all the complicated feelings about it and him, she had started to become much more interested in the subject that she had ever been, enough to be able to not only brew even the most difficult potions like Wolfsbane but also improve on existing ones. And she had managed to invent a few potions of her own, like, as mentioned, the Scar Vanishing Potion, capable of making disappear even the oldest, ugliest ones – even the curse scars. It was more than just about esthetics, it was more about having a clean slate. Making external scars disappear didn't mean the internal ones did, but it gave the illusion that you could start over without being marked by your past, becoming whoever you want to be without scars to remind you of who you used to be or how you got hurt in the past.

Perhaps she could think about gaining a Master in Potions as well, just for the hell of it, and publish her own inventions. If she was deep down hoping Snape might take notice of her for it, she dispelled the thought quickly. She hadn't come into this new reality to seduce Severus Snape. Certainly, the idea of seeing him alive and well once again was more than a little thrilling, but Alya reminded herself that nothing would ever happen between them for a lot of reasons, but especially because Snape was still and always will be in love with her mother.

Alya returned to the present and reminded herself of why she was here. Harry was looking at his shoelaces, not meeting either hers or Aunt Petunia's gaze. He was probably convinced he was about to get punished for some made-up offense he hadn't been aware of. Alya would have reacted the same way. The only times anyone of the Dursleys had paid attention to her had been to punish her, belittle her or humiliate her. Nothing good had ever come out of it.

"Hello Harry." Alya said and Harry snapped his head up to look at her.

"I'll leave you two alone to get acquainted." Petunia said before leaving the kitchen and the two of them alone.

"Hello." Harry answered in a whisper after watching Petunia leave.

"My name is Alya Potter. I'm…well, I was…your father's cousin."

Harry's eyes widened. "Oh."

"And I thought, since neither of us has much of a family left, we could become a family to each other."

"A f-family…?" It seemed that all the poor kid could manage at the moment was to repeat what she was saying.

"Yes. I brought adoption papers for your aunt to sign which she did."

"Adoption?"

"Yes, I adopted you. I'm officially your new guardian. I don't except you to consider me a mother but perhaps a cool aunt, hum? What do you think?"

"Will I really get to live with you? Leaving the Dursleys?" Harry's eyes became bright with tears but he didn't cry.

"Yes, that's the idea. Only if you want to, of course. I promise you I'll take good care of you."

Harry didn't answer with words. Instead, he jumped into her arms, hugging her tightly and whispering over and over 'thank you, thank you, thank you…'. Alya's own eyes filled with tears and a few fell over her cheeks.

"It's going to be alright Harry, I promise you."

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