The Potter Twins @natenino23
The Twins

This chapter, and the chapters that followed, were content and grammar edited by one of my best friends Roanoke, for information on asking her for her cervices, PM me and i'll do what I can to get things kick started.

"He'll be fine...he'll be fine…" Lilith Rose Potter stared vacantly at the wall of the cupboard, listening to the halting breath of her brother, mumbling under her breath. Her audience was the dead still air, filled only by the sound of her steady breathing and his chaotic gasps. She ran a hand through her curly red hair and stared at her brother with mismatched eyes. He was heavily bruised up and bleeding sluggishly from the corner of his mouth.

Lilith sighed and stood up, stepping quietly so as to not make too much noise and accidentally wake up her uncle and aunt. She carefully put her hand on her brother's chest, wincing when she felt the uneven bones underneath the skin. She took a deep breath and focused, smiling when she felt a pulse of energy deep in her stomach. She concentrated and kept her hands on Harry's chest as they began to glow green. Harry let out a pained gasp as his ribs began to snap back into place, and several bruises healed themselves. Lilith stopped as he opened his eyes.

"Lils?" he questioned softly as she fell back against the door frame. "Are you alright?"

"Tired…" she mumbled, "how are you feeling brother?"

"Like I was hit by a bus...how long was I out?"

"Only a few hours since Auntie put us in here." she sighed, letting her head hang.

Harry sat up, wincing the entire time and breathing through bared teeth. "Come on, Lils, lay down." He helped her up, gently touching her shoulders and guiding her to the cot.

"One of us has to stay up," she muttered as they both laid down on the cot.

"Then I will, but you need sleep…"

"Fine...but I'm waking up in an hour, okay?"

"Okay…" Harry mumbled as she got more comfortable on the cot, leaning slightly into her brother as she fell asleep. This was how a normal night for them went: healing any wounds Harry and she had received from their relatives, and taking turns keeping watch, hoping to be able to at least warn their sibling of the coming of their walrus-like uncle. Sometimes they'd both stay up, talking in hushed whispers about how they would one day leave this house, go and live in a castle or a mansion and run around to their heart's content.

One day.

But they never tried, at least not since they were so easily found the first time they tried to run away at eight years old, being completely ignored by the police and the social worker when they tried to tell them the real reason they had run. Instead, the people meant to protect bruised and battered children listened to Uncle Vernon's version of 'these little tykes just want attention, I assure you it won't happen again'.

So the twins simply tried to keep each other safe to the best of their abilities. Harry kept Dudley and his pack off of Lilith's scent while they were at school, and Lilith kept the wrath of Aunt Petunia focused on their neighbors, always dropping a new bit of gossip anytime she went to berate Harry for missing a spot or trying to get a glass of water. Both of them did everything in their power to keep their uncle from doing anything to their sibling, for he was the man who made their lives at Number 4 Privet Drive hell, never hesitating to beat either within an inch of their lives. He did his best to encourage the bullying of them by his son, and made sure his wife only ever got them hand-me-downs that would never fit. All of this came down to a single fact, the root cause of all the abuse and negligence.

The twins were magic.

Despite the dismissive and abusive nature of their relatives when it came to their abilities, hoping that the abuse and simply just not bringing instances of magic up would never convince the two that there was no such thing as magic.

Lilith wasn't one to take anything lying down. She knew what they were, and when Lilith knew something, Harry knew something. They both knew they were magical since the first time Lilith had healed Harry's broken bones. Ever since then, they had worked to try and control it. Lilith had learned how to heal for the most part, as well as how to confuse her uncle, giving the two more freedom every once in a while.

However, Harry's magic was very accidental and he could never seem to control it, which brought the ire of both their aunt and uncle as well as Dudley, who was of the mind of doing what his parents did. While it got him out of trouble several times, it also got him into trouble more often than not, like when Aunt Petunia had sheared his hair short except his bangs to cover his scar, and the hair grew back within the hour, or when he appeared atop the school with no explanation on how he got up there except for 'I jumped'.

Both of the children bore the brunt of their uncle's anger. Lilith couldn't count how many times their uncle took the belt to their backs, leaving deep cuts that turned into horrible scars no matter how much healing she did. Bruises generally covered them 24/7 but never on their arms or legs, although nowhere that could be seen easily by authorities or peers, not that any of them would believe the two if they did show them the scars. The nurse who had tried to help them had been fired and blacklisted, leaving them at the mercy of their tormentors.

Today had been an exceptionally bad day, with Harry dropping a platter of food after Dudley tripped him. Uncle Vernon had wasted no time in dealing out punishment, striking him with his belt and then hurling him into the living room, where his head collided with the fireplace mantle with a sickening 'crack!'

Lilith had instantly gone to her brother's side, magic at the tips of her fingers, only to be roughly dragged away by Vernon as Aunt Petunia went to Harry, carefully picking him up and taking him to the cupboard. Lilith was tossed in shortly after.

"You keep it down, you hear me!" Vernon snarled, slamming the door shut and locking it.

It had taken Lilith several hours and several breaks to fully heal the damage done to her brother, and even then she knew that he wouldn't be able to do much the next day. She would have to find a way to keep him in the cupboard until he was fully healed.

A rough knocking made Lilith sit up, looking quickly at her brother who was barely keeping his eyes open.

"Sleep." she whispered to him before standing up and turning towards the door as Aunt Petunia opened it roughly.

"Get up," she commanded, "we need to start on breakfast."

"Harry's still sick," Lilith said, motioning to her very pale brother who looked to be asleep.

Petunia narrowed her eyes suspiciously but nodded. "Looks like you're cooking alone today," she said snidely, stepping out of the way so Lilith could step out, then slammed the door as soon as she was out.

"Hurry! Your uncle and cousin need their energy today, and I need to drop you two off at Ms. Figg's house before we take Dudley to the Zoo."

"Yes, Aunt Petunia," Lilith said quietly as she moved to the kitchen, stepping up on the small wooden stepstool to start cooking.

Within thirty minutes, Vernon and Dudley were both down at the table. Vernon grumbled for a few moments about 'lazy little freaks' before getting absorbed in the morning paper while Dudley whined about not getting enough birthday presents.

"We'll buy you two new presents," his mother simpered, running a soothing hand through her bratty son's hair.

The phone rang, distracting Dudley from his whining while his mother went to answer it. Lilith quietly gave Uncle Vernon a platter of food and his coffee before taking her usual seat in the corner of the room.

"Vernon!" Petunia said sharply, "Ms. Figg won't be able to take them today."

"What?! Why the bloody hell not?"

"She broke her leg tripping over one of her cats! She can't take them."

"I don't want them to come!" Dudley whined, giving a small shuffle of his feet. "They'll ruin everything!"

"Harry can't go," Lilith interjected, "He's sick. We can stay here and I can take care of him."

"And leave you here alone with him? No, he'll stay locked in his room, and you will come with us, but I'm warning you now, Potter, any funny business and you will wish you were never born."

"I already do," Lilith muttered under her breath. As they got ready, she dipped into the room to tell her brother was going on and dress in one of her nicer dresses before stepping out so Aunt Petunia could lock the door.

At the zoo, they took a break from walking around and looking at the different animals, and stopped for ice cream. Lilith was quick to say she didn't want anything, knowing her uncle wouldn't be too happy buying anything for her. It was a slightly enjoyable day, anyway. She got to see many animals, and even got to finish Dudley's ice cream when he didn't want to finish it. The final stop was the serpentarium.

Lilith felt bad for the boa constrictor that was trapped in captivity, having to put up with people banging on the glass and yelling at it.

"He's asleep," Lilith said when Dudley kept hitting the glass.

"He's boring," Dudley sneered, walking away, Vernon and Petunia following.

"I hate them," she muttered when she was alone, looking down at the snake, "they are inconsiderate and horrible, if I had a say…" she stopped as dark thoughts crossed her mind, then her expression softened as she looked at the snake. "I'm terribly sorry for how they acted to you. It must not be easy, all these people walking by day after day, knocking on the glass."

The snake's head slowly raised up and looked right at her.

"Can...can you understand me?" she asked quietly.

The snake nodded its head, slowly slithering up to the glass and causing Lilith's breath to catch in her chest, hanging on her ribs as her stomach dropped.

"Wow…" she whispered, looking to the sign, "You're from Brazil, right? Is it nice down there?"

The snake shook its head and motioned at the side again, pointing out the words BRED IN CAPTIVITY.

"I'm sorry," Lilith whispered, "perhaps one day you can go… I know I would if I had the chance." She concentrated and stared hard at the snake, smiling when a blue glow sprouted up around it. She found she could see this glow in most animals when she concentrated, even a few humans had it; what it was, she couldn't say, but it must mean something good if her relatives didn't have a spark of it.

"MUM! DAD! LOOK AT THE SNAKE!" Dudley exclaimed, roughly pushing Lilith out of the way, shaking her from her thoughts and making her stumble to the ground. She glared at him through her red bangs from the ground, keeping her green and blue eyes on him as she carefully touched on her magic. Within a second the glass had disappeared, and Dudley fell forward into the exhibit while the snake slowly slid out, it looked at her for a few seconds.

"Thanksss, amiga. You are a true friend of my kind. Anytime you need help, we will be there." The snake quickly slithered away, scaring several parents and students as Lilith smiled happily - if not a bit confused - after it.

Dudley slowly climbed to his feet and attempted to exit out of the exhibit, only for the glass barrier to have been returned. What followed was a frantic dash to get Dudley out, headed by Petunia Dursley who was screaming her head off when she realized what had happened.

Uncle Vernon had glared at her the entire time.

When they finally reached home, he wasted no time in striking her with his big meaty hand, sending her sprawling to the ground, clutching her cheek.

"You think you're so clever, don't you, girl?!" he thundered, grabbing her roughly by her long red hair and dragging her over to the cupboard, throwing her in and slamming the door. "You won't be coming out for a long time."

Lilith took a deep breath as she slowly settled against the cot. Her brother was awake and glaring at the door. "They're going to regret that one day." he muttered.

"Definitely," Lilith said darkly, then shook her head. "It was my fault, though. Dudley pushed me out of the way while I was talking with a very nice snake, so I made the glass disappear."

Harry grinned bitterly and snickered quietly. "Serves him right, the git."

Lilith smiled sadly, before responding after a moment of silence. "Harry...we should run away."

Harry sighed, helping his sister onto the cot and wrapping her up in a hug. This was a conversation the two had had several times over the years, and he had grown weary of it. "Ok, sure, and where would we go?"

"Somewhere, anywhere but here...we could go to the U.S., or the mainland...find a family that would actually like us."

"We need money for that, and we don't have it."

"We could steal, or we could get help.'

"Who's going to believe us? Everyone we talked to ended up getting fired…"

"The snake at the zoo said that he and his kind would be there when we needed them."

"Oh yes, an army of snakes, that's exactly what will help us out of this."

Lilith rolled her eyes, growing frustrated. "I'm just saying, I don't know how long we can keep this up. Uncle Vernon gets nastier by the day, and Aunt Petunia isn't doing anything to help us…"

"At least Dudley doesn't chase you down with his gang every day." Harry muttered.

"At least you don't have Pierce leering at you every time he comes over," Lilith said, shuddering slightly and making Harry chuckle.

"Think you have the worst of it. At least I can run away from those jerks, you have to play the 'proper lady.'"

Lilith snorted. "Please." The two glanced at each other, then they started giggling.

"So, we're stuck in here until probably next week." Harry sighed. "You manage to swipe a deck of cards?"

"Sadly no."

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A few weeks later.

Lilith quietly cooked breakfast Monday morning, casting sideways glances over to Harry where he was helping Aunt Petunia dye their school uniforms, then glanced over to Dudley, in his brand-new Smelting's uniform, twirling his Smelting's stick in his hands

The sound of the mail slot opening and closing made Harry and Lilith look up.

"Dudley, go get the mail." Vernon said, not even looking up from his paper.

"Have Lilith go get it."

"Lilith, go get the mail."

"Make Dudley get it."

"Dudley, hit her with your Smelting's stick."

Instantly Lilith was moving to the door, dodging a swipe from Dudley as she went into the hallway and over to the front door. She picked up the stack and narrowed her eyes when she saw two letters for her and Harry. She looked behind her for a second to make sure no one was paying attention to her before slipping the letters into her old dress and walking back into the kitchen, handing the mail to Uncle Vernon.

Later that night.

Harry sat up to look at his sister, who was staring intently at the letters she had brought in with her. Carefully, he crawled down next to her where she was sitting next to the door.

"But who would send letters to us?" he asked her quietly.

"I don't know," she whispered back, slowly opening her envelope, using the limited light from under the door to read.

"Dear, Ms. Potter," she read quietly, "we are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. We await your answer no less than July 31. Yours sincerely, Professor McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress." she looked at her brother with wide, shining eyes. "A school for wizards and witches!"

"It sounds fake," Harry muttered, peering at the letter cautiously.

"But what if it isn't?" she asked, "what if this is where we're actually meant to be? Learning how to hone our powers!"

"And what if it's just a joke by Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia to hurt us?"

"And what if it isn't? Harry, we might be able to get out of here."

Harry hesitated, then checked the letter again, "Well...how are we going to give them an answer before July 31? That's next week…"

"I can swipe some paper from the kitchen in the morning, and you can nick a pen out of Dudley's room. He's supposed to go spend the night with Pierce tomorrow."

"And then what?"

"And then we mail it," she said, voice rising slightly in excitement. "Obviously, we just hand it to the mailman and hope it gets to them in time."

"Okay...okay, let's try."

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It had almost worked.

They had managed to get a piece of paper, and even nick a pen out of Dudley's room, but it had all gone south when Harry tried to run out to hand the letter off to the mailman. Just before he could open the door, Petunia had jerked him back roughly.

"What do you think you are doing?!" she had shrieked, "what is that in your hand!?"

"Nothing!" Harry said, trying to hide the letter behind his back, but Aunt petunia was quick. She snatched the paper away from him and looked at it, eyes narrowing as she opened the letter, then widening in horror when she realized what it was.

"How do you know of this place?" she asked, voice barely above a whisper.

Harry stayed silent, while Lilith began backing up to their cupboard, intent on burning the letters before her aunt could read them.

"I, um...we...read it in a book."

"A book?" she asked dangerously. "What book?" Her eyes darted from her to Lilith, who was up against the wall, staring at her aunt.

"A book from school," Lilith lied, "it was about witches and wizards and talked about a school. Me and Harry thought it would be funny to try and send a letter to them."

Petunia narrowed her eyes. "Both of you, in your cupboard," she hissed, letting go of Harry's arm and ripping the letter apart as the two children darted into their cupboard. Petunia slammed the door and locked it before stomping off into the kitchen.

"So close." Harry sighed, looking at Lilith. "Good thinking, blaming it on a book."

"I'm surprised she believed it," she muttered, "and there goes our last chance to get out of here. Uncle Vernon will probably keep us in here until we're 18, then kick us out."

"Probably…" Harry agreed, looking at the door, wheels turning. "What time does Uncle Vernon get here?"

"Around six tonight, why?"

"I think you're right...we should run."

"But...but you said-"

"-I know...but what do you think Uncle Vernon will do when Aunt Petunia tells him we were trying to write a wizard school that actually exists? He's gonna leave us in here for a week, and then he's going to beat us within an inch of our lives and throw us back in here."

Lilith nodded contemplatively. "Okay...as soon as they go to sleep, we run."

The two quickly gathered their meager belongings, packing a couple of changes of clothes in Harry's grubby patchwork rucksack. They sat back to back, looking down at their bed.

"What if they send someone?" Lilith asked suddenly, making Harry look back at his sister.

"What?"

"What if they send someone?" she asked again. "What if the school doesn't get our reply and sends someone to check on us?"

"Come on sis, why would they send someone to find us? Doubt a school actually cares that much about us."

"Maybe this school's different…"

"Well, if they do come by here, then they'll find an empty cupboard and Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia will have to explain it."

Lilith's reply was cut off as the front door opened, then slammed, her aunt's voice sounded just outside the door.

"Vernon, did you get my message.

"Yes, I got it," their Uncle harrumphed, "how did they find out-"

"I don't know," Petunia said, voice anxious. "They should have never been able to find out unless...unless they got a letter-"

"But how in the blazes would they have gotten a letter?!"

"I don't know! But if they know-"

"-will anyone come looking for them?"

"No, not unless they send a letter."

"Well, then, we keep the two locked up tight. Any more letters we get, we burn."

"Okay…"

"They won't find us. I have a plan."

Within a few hours, the cupboard door opened again, with Vernon standing there with what he probably thought was a pleasant smile.

"Hey there, kiddos," he said, looking between the two. "You know, me and your auntie were just thinking. You know, you two have gotten much too big for this cupboard. I think it's time to move you both up to the spare bedroom."

The twins looked at each other anxiously. "We're...not in trouble?"

Vernon grimaced, then said. "Of course not! Now gather your things and head upstairs!"

Harry and Lilith quickly gathered their meager belongings and scampered up the stairs, both stopped shortly when they saw the new locks on the door as well as the cat flap.

"In you go," Vernon growled, practically throwing them into the room and slamming the door shut.

Instantly, Harry ran to the window, grimacing as he saw the iron bars on the other side.

"Out of one prison and into another," Lilith muttered, looking at the small bedroom, she slowly walked over to the bed and sat down. "At least the mattress is clean…"

"One good thing," Harry said dryly, sitting down next to her.

"You think they'll let us out anytime soon?"

Harry sighed, "I don't know." he admitted quietly, "there's a cat flap in the door, so they'll probably start pushing food through there…"

Lilith sighed, then laid down. "You take the first watch?" she asked, looking more drawn out and tired then she ever had before.

"Yeah, wake you up here in a bit."

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The next day

Harry woke up to the sound of harsh coughing. "Lils?" he asked blearily as he sat up and rubbed sleep from his eyes, looking at the fuzzy form of his sister sitting on an old dresser.

"It's still early," she said hoarsely, "Go back to sleep."

"You don't sound too good," he said, putting his glasses on. "You don't look too good either!"

"What a charmer," she said with a feeble smile, but it was true. She was deathly pale, and her entire frame was shaking, her teeth chattering together every now and then. Her eyes were bloodshot, whether from lack of sleep or from illness was hard to tell.

"You're sick!" Harry exclaimed, quickly running over to his sister, placing a hand against her forehead. "This isn't good, you're burning up."

"I'm fine," she said fiercely, trying to push her brother away, only to be hit with a dizzy spell that sent her falling forward.

Harry quickly caught her and led her to the bed. "You're not well." She practically flopped on the mattress, coughing into the pillow. He sighed and covered her with the blankets.

"Just rest." He sat down by her bed, thinking what he could do to help his sister.

He couldn't heal her. He was never good with healing like she was, and he knew that attempting to tell Aunt Petunia or Uncle Vernon that they were sick would just paint a larger target on their backs. So, recognizing that he couldn't help, Harry sat down with his back against the bed, listening to the uneven breathing of his sister. When their food was brought, it was a thin broth that was still in the can, barely enough to feed one of them, let alone both, so Harry let Lilith have it, lying to her about having already eaten his portion just to get something into her system. He grimaced as he sat down against the bed.

"We'll get out of here Lils...I know we will."

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One week later

Hagrid grumbled as he and Professor McGonagall slowly walked up to Number 4 Privet Drive.

"...Coulda done this by meself…."

"Oh, hush, Hagrid, this may take some finessing that you may not be capable of." McGonagall shushed him. "Just stay behind me."

"Yeah, yeah…"

McGonagall knocked on the door and took a step back, raising an eyebrow when the door was practically thrown open to reveal an overweight purple-faced man, who paled considerably upon seeing them, going from violet to lavender.

"Good evening," she greeted cordially. "My name is Professor Minerva McGonagall, Deputy-headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With me is Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. We are here to speak with you about the Potter Twins."

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Harry sighed as he paced back and forth in their room, kicking over an empty can of soup in both anger and hunger. It had been nothing but sparse meals for the last week, and it had gotten to where it was hard for either of them to think of anything but the hunger stabbing their stomachs. For Lilith, this only made her sickness worse.

"What do you think we'll get for dinner?" Lilith asked quietly. She was curled up on the bed, still looking sickly and pale, letting out harsh coughs every now and then.

"I don't know...hopefully some soup, even if it's cold we can heat it up for you.'

"You need to eat too…"

"I'll survive," Harry dismissed, worriedly putting a hand on his sister's forehead and grimacing at how it burned. "We need to worry more about you."

"It's cold," she complained, shivering as Harry grabbed another threadbare blanket to put over her.

"Hopefully that helps…" Harry said, walking over to the window and looking out. His eyes widened when he saw two strange people standing on the lawn, appearing to be in the midst of an argument with Uncle Vernon. "Lils...Lils, they came!"

"Wha?"

"They came! They came!" he started pounding on the glass, "hey! We're up here! Help!"

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"-and we will not allow them to go to some crackpot school!"

"Now you listen here, Mr. Dursley, " Professor McGonagall said sharply. "You have no say in what those children want to do. If they want to go to Hogwarts, then they will! Absolutely nothing you say can-" She stopped as she heard a loud thumping. Together, all three adults looked up at the only barred window at the house, where Harry was frantically pounding away, his shouts muffled.

"What in blazes-" McGonagall started a few seconds before Vernon retreated inside and slammed the door.

"Those no good-" Hagrid rumbled angrily, striding forward and slamming his hand into the door, making it fall over.

"Call the aurors!" Hagrid called back to Minerva as he entered the house, letting out a grunt as a blast from Vernon's shotgun hit him in the chest, much of the buckshot bouncing off his thick skin, with a few pellets digging into his shoulder. With a forceful yank, the giant man pulled the gun from prey's hand and tied it into a knot, before throwing Vernon down the hall like a toy, where he crashed into a table and lay still. Hagrid continued up the stairs, his weight making them creak and groan in protest.

"-help! Help! We're in here!" the sound of Harry shouting made Hagrid hurry down the hall, scowling at the amount of locks on the door.

"Get back from the door! I'm bustin' it in!" Hagrid thundered, throwing himself shoulder-first into the door and sending it crashing to the ground. He looked about the room and almost swore at the haggard looking children on the bed, both looked underfed and unhealthy, but the girl - Lilith, he remembered - looked sick, very sick.

"She passed out a few moments ago," Harry said sadly, holding his sister's hand. Her breathing was shallow, and her eyes moved frantically from behind her closed eyelids.

"She needs a healer," Hagrid said, walking forward. "We need ta get her out of here, understand?"

Harry nodded mutely and carefully moved out of the way so Hagrid could pick his sister up. He did so easily, gently cradling her in one arm. "Alrigh' now, let's get outside, Professor McGonagall has probably called the aurors."

Harry followed the large man out of the room and down the stairs, both stopping when they found Uncle Vernon standing in their way, a kitchen knife in his hand. "Those freaks aren't going anywhere!" he snarled.

"Stupefy!"

The spell hit Vernon in the back and sent him tumbling down the stairs, landing at the feet of a pink haired girl in red robes. "Wotcher?" she asked the trio, tilting her head slightly. "The kids okay?"

"Little Dora Tonks!" Hagrid said jovially, despite the situation. "Didn't know you completed yer trainin'!"

"Hey! Watch the little Dora! It's Tonks, and technically I haven't, was just in the neighborhood when the call came out, now come on! Mad-eye's outside and he's throwin' a fit!"

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Harry sat next to his sister's bed, watching her carefully as the healer gave her a couple of potions.

"Very bad case of Pneumonia." the healer mumbled, "along with severe bronchitis; luckily, we caught it now, otherwise her lungs would have been damaged severely."

"She'll be okay...right?"

"She won't be up and moving any time soon, but she'll be okay." he said, giving the young boy a soft smile.

Harry let out a sigh of relief, looking at his sister, who was now sleeping much more comfortable in the hospital bed.

"I'll leave you two alone for now," the healer said, walking towards the door, closing it quietly.

As soon as the door clicked shut, Lilith opened her eyes. "Do I really have to just lie here?" she mumbled out,

"Until you're better," Harry said quietly.

"I can barely feel my magic…" she grumbled as she slowly sat up.

"I'm sure it's temporary," Harry said, tensing up when the door opened, and the large man came in again.

"Got ye all situated here?" he asked gently, stopping short when he saw the apprehensive looks on the twos faces. "Oh, I'm not here te harm ye none, just wanted to check up on ye."

"We're fine…" Lilith muttered, looking away from the large man.

Harry looked at his sister, then turned back to the man. "Thank you, for helping us," he said timidly, "if you hadn't come...well...I don't know what we would have done…"

"'T'wasn't nothin'," he said, sitting down noisily on another chair. "glad Professor McGonagall was there, got a message t'the aurors just in time."

"Can you thank her for us?" Harry asked.

"You should be able to thank her on your own, she said she'd be up here momentarily," Hagrid said with a comforting smile as he pulled a half-finished sweater from his pocket, attached to a ball of yarn. Soon he was knitting quietly while Harry and Lilith looked on, at least until Lilith started giggling.

"Wha?" he asked, looking at the girl in confusion.

"S-sorry.." she apologized, "it's just...you look so funny! Trying to work knitting needles that look like sewing needles in your hand."

Hagrid chuckled, "Yer righ', they're pretty small for me, but I've had years of practice." He held the sweater up and hummed. "Needs ta be a bit longer for ye, but I'm sure I'll get it before school starts."

Lilith's eyes widened in surprise, "that's...for me?" she asked quietly.

Hagrid nodded. "Brought ye both a cake too, seein' as how yer birthday passed durin' all this ruckus, but it may 'ave been blown apart from that gun yer uncle used."

"You got us cake?" Lilith whispered,

"Of course!" Hagrid said with a big smile. "You only turn eleven once righ'?"

Lilith nodded mutely at this, looking down at her hands, "Thank you, mister..?"

"Hagrid, Rubeus Hagrid." he greeted, "Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts."

"So it really is real?" Harry questioned.

"Well, of course it's real!" he said in amusement, "Best school of sorcery in the world! Though I hear Ilvermorny is pretty good as well, but nothin' beats Hogwarts."

"Right you are, Hagrid," the new voice made both Harry and Lilith jump as they looked at the door, where a severe woman stood, her hands clasped in front of her. "Mr. and Ms. Potter," she greeted, "it is an honor to meet the both of you, though I wish that it would have been under better circumstances. I am Professor McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry."

"You're the one who sent us our letters," Lilith mumbled.

McGonagall nodded slightly. "That I am," she said, conjuring a chair and sitting down. "I'm very sorry that today took such a dreadful turn, never in all my years have I seen anyone, magical or muggle, act like that."

"That's Uncle Vernon for you," Lilith muttered darkly.

"Well, in any case, your uncle is in the custody of the Aurors, and your Aunt has been taken in for questioning, as well as being placed on house arrest pending an investigation."

"Will we have to go back?" harry asked quietly.

McGonagall shook her head, "No. After what we found in the house, we have decided that it would be better for the both of you to be placed elsewhere. Where that will be has yet to be decided."

Harry nodded mutely, "so...what about Hogwarts? Will we still be allowed to go?"

"Of course yer allowed te go," Hagrid said in confusion, "why wouldn't you be?"

"We're not exactly in the best of health," Lilith said quietly, "I can't even feel my magic anymore."

"Feel your magic?" McGonagall questioned, "whatever do you mean."

"I mean, I can't feel my magic," she said in frustration. "Usually, I can feel it at the tips of my fingers, but right now, I can't even seem to find and it-it-" she trailed off as she began to cough harshly. Harry was quickly at her side once more, coaxing her to lie down.

"You'll feel better once you get some actual food in you." harry told her gently.

"I hope you're right," she mumbled wearily.

McGonagall slowly stood and walked over. "Have you...noticed your magic before?" she asked.

Lilith nodded. "All the time. I'm almost always connected with it." She carefully raised her hand and looked at it. "I can even see it when I use it...but now…" Tears began to well up in her eyes, making her angrily wipe them away. "I hate this feeling."

"Just sleep," Harry practically begged her. "Sleep and I know you'll feel better in the morning."

"Your brother's righ'." Hagrid piped up, making both McGonagall and Harry look at him, "When yer this sick, yer magic would be working overtime to help ya fight it off. Once you start feeling better then your magic will return to normal."

McGonagall nodded. "I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, you both should go to sleep. It's been quite a long day."

"I'm not leaving Lilith," Harry said stubbornly.

"I'm sure the healers wouldn't get you in trouble for sleeping alongside her," McGonagall said gently, waving her hand to expand the bed just a bit. "We can talk more about what's to come in the morning, but for now, you need your rest."

Harry sighed and nodded, climbing into bed next to his sister, whose eyes were already closing. "Wake me up at midnight?"

"I'll take first watch," Harry confirmed, leaning back against the headboard as his sister fell asleep.

McGonagall's' heart broke as she realized what Harry was doing. "Mr. Potter, you don't need to keep watch," she said gently.

Harry shook his head vehemently. "Last time we didn't keep watch, Uncle Vernon hurt Lilith." His face hardened. "It will not happen again…"

"I'll be here all nigh' Harry." Hagrid said, making the boy look at him, "an' I won' let anyone hurt either of ye...so get some sleep alrigh'?"

Harry hesitated, then nodded slightly. "I'm trusting you, Hagrid." he said, much more seriously than any eleven-year-old had a right to be.

"I won't let ye down, Harry," Hagrid said sincerely as Harry laid down and closed his eyes, falling into an uneasy sleep.

When McGonagall was sure they were completely asleep, she turned to Hagrid, voice low. "How could anyone be so...cruel to children like this?"

"They'd have ta be evil ta do it," Hagrid muttered quietly, "I saw the room they were stayin' in. Barely any blankets for the both of them, smelt, like they wasn't lettin' them take baths, six different locks on the door…" His voice trailed off and he shook his head. "If little Dora hadn't'a stunned the bellend, I probably woulda killed him."

"I think many of the Aurors who responded were of the same thought," McGonagall said, "I know that Alastor was already threatening Petunia with his walking stick - not wand, walking stick."

Hagrid snorted. "Woulda been great ta see that."

McGonagall sighed and leaned back in her chair. "Albus was very distraught upon learning how badly the two were treated. He was almost inconsolable. He didn't know that the Dursleys would...well you know."

Hagrid nodded sagely. "Great man, Dumbledore...but I guess even someone like him can make mistakes."

"Indeed," came the dry response.

"...how many are linin' up to take them in?"

"Surprisingly not many, I know Lucius Malfoy has already stepped forward, but Madam Bones refuses to even acknowledge it...the Weasleys were willing but they don't have enough room for two more mouths to feed...the best prospect so far is Andromeda and Ted Tonks."

"Really?" Hagrid asked in interest.

"Yes, really. Andromeda said that with Nymphadora moving out, the house was too quiet, and she wouldn't mind having two young children to keep her company while Ted was working. And Ted...well he could never say no to Andromeda, could he?"

"They're good people." Hagrid said, "though the connection with Black might make things worse."

"I doubt Andromeda would talk about that man, to be honest," McGonagall said with a frown, "but you may be right...well, enough of this talk. All of it is hearsay until a decision has been reached."

"Yer right," he put his knitting down and yawned. "Ye think ye can go get me a cuppa from the cafeteria? Need to stay awake."

"You're really going to stay up all night?"

"I gave 'im my word. I'll be damned if I fail 'im."

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