"You taught me the courage of stars before you left.

How light carries on endlessly, even after death.

With shortness of breath, you explained the infinite.

How rare and beautiful it is to even exist."- Sleeping at Last

Lord I Hope This Day is Good

In the small garden of a mundane and ordinary house in Surrey, a young boy was bent over on his knees under the blistering summer sun. He had been setting the garden to rights for the last four or five hours, making up for the time he had been away at school. Sighing as he knew asking for anything was unlikely to be pleasant. He stood to ask his aunt for a garbage bag, for all the weeds and dead plants he had pulled, his back popped and cracked and he could feel the sunburn tighten across his skin.

"Aunt Petunia may I have a garbage bag for the weeds, please?" He hated how subservient he was to his own family, but as Dumbledore refused to let him live anywhere else he had no choice.

The only response Petunia deigned to give him was an annoyed grunt as she watched one of her favorite soaps. "Thank you Aunt Petunia." No response so he grabbed what he needed and returned outside to finish his work. He finished cleaning up, watered the plants and left a note on his shopping list to buy more seeds both for planting and for the bird feeder.

"Is there anything else you need me to do before I go to the store, Aunt Petunia?"

"You finished with the yard and the fence?" Merlin her voice was shrill, he wondered if it was natural or if she did it on purpose.

"Yes." He replied. "I have to pick up new flower seeds and fertilizer, though. Do you want any specific kind?"

She narrowed her eyes trying to figure out if he was being smart with her, but she found no attitude. "Orchids." She loved picking the hardest plants to care for, so that if he failed she could follow suit with punishments for wasting her money.

"Does color matter?"

"No, and don't dawdle, dinner isn't going to cook itself!"

"No, Ma'am." He replied softly. He knew she was beginning to think they had finally broken his will, and he let them think that because it meant fewer beatings and more food in his stomach. As long as he obeyed he could scheme a way out of their house, out of the life of the Boy-Who-Lived, and into a life he actually might want to live. He knew there was little chance of him ever escaping this life, but he refused to give up dreaming of the possibility.

As he left the house with his list in his pocket, he looked up. There wasn't a cloud in sight and the sun continue to glare uninterrupted. He sighed, it was going to be a long walk.

Two grocery bags, a bag of orchid seeds, and a bag of fertilizer later Harry was trudging home. He had also got a bottle of sunscreen for his budding sunburn. He entered through the backyard gate so he could set the garden stuff down and his sunscreen in the back pocket of his trousers before going inside. Petunia having decided on chicken and potatoes with peach cobbler for dessert, he quickly got started.

After the family finished their meal Harry asked if it was satisfactory, Vernon's only reply was a grunt that he took as a yes which meant he was allowed to eat the leftovers. With his meager diner on a plate for later he started washing the dishes carefully as he didn't want a repeat of the day he got back. He had dropped a plate and his back still had the welts from Vernon's belt.

Once he was done cleaning the dining room and kitchen he took his plate upstairs to his room, and locked the door. Immediately going to Hedwig's cage and opened it so that she could have her pick of his scraps. She hopped out and sat on his leg starring at their meal in reproach. "Sorry girl it's all we have for the moment until Mrs. Weasley sends rations. Though it shouldn't be too long, and then we'll have mince pie, treacle tart, and enough food to last us till school!" While Harry had already lost weight since leaving Hogwarts, he made sure Hedwig always had enough. She was his first real friend and he refused to let her suffer because of him.

When they finished eating she went back to her cage while he got ready for bed. "Goodnight Hedwig." His head had barely touched the pillow before he was out like a light.

He was asleep one second and awake the next. Unsure what it was exactly that startled him from the first dreamless sleep he'd had in a long while he lay their listening to the early morning. He shifted slightly and realized what had woken him. His skin itched like mad. It felt like it had ants crawling all over.

Leaping from bed, he ran to the hall bathroom as quietly as possible locking the door behind him and immediately ran the shower on lukewarm. Harry climbed in with a soft moan of appreciation as the water soothed his irritated skin. Gently he used a soaped washcloth over his upper back. He felt his skin move and peel away from his body, but the feeling of the cloth against the new skin was odd. Kind of slippery, actually.

After he set the cloth down, he carefully touched the area that felt different. Scales. Scales! Scales?! He scrambled out of the shower and turned his back to the mirror. His skin was bubbling and hanging from his back in ragged strips while dark blue and gold scales lined his spine. Climbing on the edge of the tub so that he could see lower when he realized it wasn't just his back, it was everything below his belly button. As he continued to pull away dead skin more and more scales showed, and he realized they weren't just blue and gold, they were green scattered amongst the rest. He wondered if he was somehow changing into a snake, a colorful one. How can one just turn into a snake.

Very suddenly he heard the others in the house begin to move around and tried not to panic. Throwing on his clothes he rushed to clean up the evidence of his newest freakishness and make it back to his room before the others came knocking. Once in his room he searched his meager closet for something that would cover everything, finally settling on a baggy long-sleeve and sweats. After rushing down stairs, Harry started on breakfast all the while panicking despite his best efforts- not that the other noticed. He could have been on fire and the wouldn't have noticed or at least not cared.

He wasn't allowed breakfast, because he burnt some of the pancakes in the midst of his inner turmoil. Back upstairs he dug out some writing supplies, then doled out a quick request for books on creature transformations, creature inheritances, and magical diseases as soon as possible.

Once he had sent Hedwig off with a promise to sneak her some scraps, he hurried down to receive his chore list for the day.

Harry finished his chores a little after midday which left him some free time that he spent peeling off more dead skin and wiping down the sore scales with a wet washcloth. By now they were covering his hips, legs, and the back of his arms- at least a third of his body. In the afternoon light they shimmered and Harry was mesmerized despite the fact he was still freaking out on the inside.

Just then Hedwig tapped on his window and she was carrying a rather large package. He scrambled off the bed to let her in. They had to have put a feather-light charm on it as she didn't look exhausted, and she ate the scraps he saved from lunch. There were seven books: A Compendium of Magical Diseases and Illnesses, Creature Law, a huge tome that had no title but seemed to be a genealogy of all the wizarding families and if they were known to have creature blood in them, there was also a few books about creatures themselves. Harry dragged the genealogy book to him and started looking for the Potter's, but found the Malfoys first. They were apparently High Elves. He wondered how they could go around all high and mighty pretending to be "Purebloods" when they weren't.

He finally found the Potters in a roundabout way when he found the Blacks. His Dad's father married a Black who was then disowned which didn't help him since the Black's didn't have anything creature in them as far as he could tell. He spotted a Potter married into the Diggory's six generations ago, then he finally found that the Potters started where the Peverell's ended as their last generation were three daughters one of which married a muggleborn Potter. The first magical Potter's had a son who married Lorella who was a… mermaid! He had Mer in his family!

Quickly looking through the creature books he found everything pertaining to merfolk. What he found wasn't a lot as they were private and mysterious folk, but he did learn there are a many different species. There were only two instances recorded where a Mer gave up their tail to walk on land and one of them died young. The one that died young is the one that it's said the muggle story the Little Mermaid originated from. The only other known of was the one that married the second Potter. Another book said that every seven generations a Potter inherited the Mer gene.

Well, wasn't that lovely! The books also said that creature inheritances took varying lengths of time to manifest themselves fully, but always by the nearest birthday. He had four days till his birthday. Possibly four days to prepare to be a merman, possibly less. Ugh! Why did his life have to be so complicated!

After he packed his new books away and started planning how he was going to get to the ocean, because he had no doubt he was a saltwater Mer. His dreams had been of endless blue water and crashing waves lately. Getting out a muggle notebook Dudley had thrown in the bin, he began a list of things he was going to need: Money, Food, Better muggle clothes, Books on underwater magics. Once decided, he quickly packed what little he had out of his trunk, then went down to start on dinner for the family. He'd leave for Diagon Alley in the morning before the others wake up.

He woke up at five the next morning and immediately let Hedwig out to hunt while he was gone. As quietly as he could he got dressed and snuck out. Once he was a few blocks away from number 4 he held his wand out and a few seconds later there was a loud BANG! before a double-decker bus appeared in front of him.

The conductor Stanley Shunpike was just as chattery as the last time- after insisting on his opening line. He asked a few questions about Harry, to which Harry replied with lies such as he was doing his school shopping early. At his reasoning Stan just raised an eyebrow then moved on to who was likely to win the Quidditch cup and rumors about some kind of big event going on at Hogwarts this year. Harry feigned interest until they reached the Leaky Cauldron and he rushed off with only a backward wave and a promise to see him later.

Once inside he waved to Tom the barkeep, went directly to the entrance to Diagon Ally and from there straight to Gringotts for funds. The goblins- ever grumpy, fierce beings- all turned and stared at him the moment he walked in. To say he was intimidated would be an understatement. No one ever seemed to even try to understand that he did not want the attention they so readily applied to him. They just assumed he loved his fame despite the all the reasons not to.

The goblin Harry came to stand in front of actually sniffed when he approached! Harry tried to subtly smell himself and he really didn't think he smelled that bad. Dudley's hand-me-downs needed to be washed-true, but it wasn't bad enough for someone to smell from across the room!

"Is there something the matter? Do I smell or something? And why are all of you staring at me? I look no different than I usually do!" Harry tried to speak quietly so as to not draw the attention of the other wizards and witches waiting in line, some were already trying to figure out what the goblins were looking at so intensely.

"Please come with me young master." The quiet, gravelly voice came from a few feet to his left and when he located the person the voice belonged to he found a richly dressed goblin starring just as intensely as the others.

"Have I done something wrong?" Harry started to feel fear crawl up his spine, but tried not to show it because if he did it could be used against him.

"Not at all, the Director requests your presence immediately. He wishes to discuss some business with you."

He could see no way out, no reason to refuse, so he took a deep breath, dug into that Gryffindor courage of his, and followed the goblin to meet his boss. For a second he panicked thinking perhaps something was wrong with his account. Maybe there wasn't any more gold left in his vault. Had he accidently over spent on something- the books? He was led not through the door to where the rail tracks that would take him to his vault were, but instead to an ordinary door that was almost hidden in the shadows behind the clerk desks. It was almost as if they didn't want people to notice that it was there.

Down corridor after corridor they went, and after a few turns he knew that if he were left alone or accidently wandered off he would never find his way out. On the walls were torches that burned with an eerie blue light that made the shadows seem deeper and darker than they should. It was like the walls were farther away when he knew they really weren't, and it really threw off his depth perception.

Finally they came to a set of double doors over which was a plaque with writing in another language. The goblin rapped on the door twice, waited a moment then opened the door. Turning to Harry he said "Enter!"

Standing in the Head Goblin's office Harry had to suppress the urge to gawk at the weapons crowding the far wall or at the tables scattered with jewels awaiting inspection. He made himself focus on the wizened old goblin seated behind an simple and small desk in front of him. The goblin had long white hair and his eyes were hidden behind folds of wrinkled skin rather like a bloodhound. He imagined the small being having to pry the skin apart in order to see and had to stomp down the urge to laugh.

As he wasn't sure why he was there and didn't know the protocols for this situation he just stood there like a prat waiting to be acknowledged. When it came he was so startled he jumped and stumbled backwards. His face glowed red with embarrassment as he tried to get a hold of himself. The Head Goblin had only cleared his throat but sounded like a canon booming in the awkward silence.

"Mr. Potter we have several things we need to discuss!"

"Have I done something wrong, sir?" Harry wasn't sure he'd ever been so nervous before- not even when Vernon was drunk.

"We have been trying to contact you for a few years now and you haven't replied. Depending on the reason this could be seen as a serious insult." The goblin might have been sneering at him, but he wasn't quite sure. "Well… what is your response Mr. Potter?"

"I'm sorry, sir, but I'm not sure what you mean."

"We have sent an owl to you every month since you re-entered the magical world and we have yet to get a reply."

"Sir, I haven't had mail from anyone apart from my friends and Hogwarts." Harry was very confused as to how so much mail could disappear.

"I see…" the Head Goblin grumbled something under his breath and a few seconds later an irritated goblin came through the double doors.

"Gaptooth here is your account manager. He has reported several discrepancies in your file." Harry wasn't sure what a discrepancy was but it didn't sound good.

"Mr. Potter so good to finally be able to speak with you!" This goblin was definitely sneering. "I have with me your account records. There are have been several hundred thousand galleons transferred to other accounts and no confirmation of your approval. We require explanation!"

"I'm sorry, sirs, but I don't have one. I haven't given anyone anything and I was not even aware I had that much money, just what is in my trust." Someone had been stealing from him? Who? From the sound of it he was rich or at least had been. His trust was supposed to last him through school and maybe a little after, but several hundred thousand could have lasted him decades if he was careful. "Does my not giving confirmation mean someone's been stealing from me?"

"It seems so."

"Do you have any idea of who it is? Is it possible to get it returned?"

"We do know who it is and it will be returned. You will have to fill out some paperwork before you leave though."

"Oh, alright. Thank you, Gaptooth, I really do appreciate this." Both goblins look surprised for some reason, but Harry wasn't sure why. "So who is it that was taking my money?" He asked quietly, unsure whether he said something wrong.


"Dumbledore what?" What did the Headmaster have to do with it?

"Dumbledore is the one stealing from you." Gaptooth growled and if that wasn't a scary thing to witness!

"Why would my Headmaster steal from me?! That is ridiculous! And why would he need the money? He's rich and famous on his own!" None of this was making sense. All of a sudden Harry was having a hard time standing still. The previously spacious office suddenly seemed as small as a cupboard. His breathing became erratic and panicky, he felt rather light-headed and dizzy.

"…ter! Calm down Mr. Potter! Take a deep breath, we will sort this out!" Since when had the small being been so close? How long had he been talking? It took a few moments until Harry was calm enough to talk, though he still felt light headed. He wondered where the chair he was suddenly sitting in came from.

"Professor Dumbledore is the leader of the light! Leaders don't steal and he is supposed to be trustworthy!" Taking a deep breath he mumbled "...this is making my head hurt." He leaned forward to put his head on his knees and slowly the world righted itself. Why did everything have to be so confusing and complicated?

When he finally looked up his account manager was holding a glass of water for him with a genuine expression of concern. "Oh, thank you! I'm sorry for losing it. My life is already the very definition of chaos and now this. Not that I don't appreciated you telling me, because I do." He realized he had started to ramble and his jaw snapped shut, and duck his head to hide his face once again red with embarrassment.

Gaptooth snorted at the apparent fact that the savior of the wizarding world could be this shy. Quietly so as to not upset the young creature further he explained that the supposed leader of the light had spent the greater majority of his fortune on funding a mysterious organization. They were also positive the Potter fortune was not the only one he had siphoned from.

A thought popped into Harry's head rather suddenly but he didn't want to interrupt when they were being so patient with his ignorance. The Head Goblin noticed he wanted to say something and when he raised his hand for silence the other goblin complied immediately. "Mr. Potter?"

"I… uh, I was just wondering where the money went to?" He gulped.

"Yes, we do." Replied Gaptooth, no sneer in sight. "A thousand galleon went yearly to the Dursley family since 1981." He paused only a second to observe the blood rising in his clients cheeks before continuing. "3,000 went to the Weasley matriarch since your first year at Hogwarts, and about 4,000 went to various high standing families. 284,000 total went to Dumbledore himself." The child's face steadily became darker as facts were revealed.

"The Weasley's were being bribed." Harry stated. "The Dursley's were being paid for my upkeep. They lied." They had always said they let him stay their out of the good of their hearts (he always knew otherwise, knew they hated him), but to actually get paid and still treat him like they did! "They always said they never got anything from him being there. They were being paid and they still treated me like a slave!" That last part was barely a whisper to himself but the goblins had better hearing than humans and so heard.

Suspicions confirmed the Head Goblin asked with his quiet yet gravely voice, "Mr. Potter, I must ask if you would submit to a physical exam to determine the state of your health." Despite his facial skin folds, he saw quite easily as the young man stiffened ever so subtly.

"Why?" The suspicion in his voice obvious as he swallowed thickly.

"You are one of our wealthiest clients, it is our duty and privilege to ensure your status is not impeded by unfortunate things such as doubt about you continuing health." It was a stuffy but reasonable answer.

"Uh, okay. When will it happen? I still have to do some shopping and if I'm too late my relatives will get angrier than they probably already are.?

"Mr. Potter, by the time we're done here, I sincerely doubt you will ever return to those humans." Replied Gaptooth with no small amount of derision.

"I still have to return to get my things."

"They will be retrieved for you while you're being examined." Ensured the Head Goblin.

"Oh." How was he supposed to say he had to leave for the ocean as soon as possible? His final change was coming closer, and he couldn't be having all these delays in the way. It made him panicky again at the thought of being on land when it happened.

"Before you go see a healer you should do an inheritance test." When Harry only tilted his head in confusion Gaptooth continued, "If things turn out like we think it will, we will prepare the necessary elements in advance. This way is more efficient." That last bit seemed to be thrown in to assure him it was for their convenience rather than his. It did reassure him, though he wondered what those 'elements' were.

Gaptooth handed him a wicked looking dagger and held a piece of parchment in front of him. Harry looked confused yet again and the goblin as if reading his mind said "Prick a finger and let three drops of blood fall on the parchment." Harry made an understanding noise and quickly obeyed, but before he could see the results it was snatched away to be shown to the Head Goblin. A lot of Mm's and oh's could be heard from across the room.

He was about to ask what it showed when the Head cleared his throat and announced the arrival of two goblins (which appeared out of nowhere causing him to nearly jump out of his skin- again!) that would take him to the healing room for his examination. Figuring arguing would just waste precious time he didn't have to ask about what they would tell him when they were ready anyways, he just went with it. The two new goblins lightly gripped his wrists, as if afraid he would flee if given the chance (he might have!), and led him out of the office down the corridor opposite of the way he had come, down two flights of stairs until the finally reached a wide arched door. One of the goblins knocked once then opened the door and led him in.

It was as big as the Great Hall at Hogwarts. There was a large stone alter at the far end, several empty beds along the left wall while the right wall was covered in packed bookshelves, and in the middle there was a pool. The pool was at least ten feet across and glowed with an iridescent light that Harry fell rather calming.

"Mr. Potter we've being expecting you!" Suddenly there was another ancient goblin staring up at him as though to judge him for some unknown reason. The goblin carried a staff as tall as himself with a glowing green stone set in the top. Harry was unsure as to what he was supposed to do, so he just stared back dumbly. "I will cast a comprehensive diagnostic spell to ensure everything is as it should be. Is that alright Mr. Potter?"

Harry just nodded a bit jerkily.

The ancient goblin immediately began muttering something as he(he?) slowly waved his staff down his front. Harry eyed the jewel as it started to glow faintly for a moment before the muttering stopped. The goblin frowned in thought before he pointed his staff at the glowing pool, told Harry to strip and get in.

Harry thought he might have turned as red as Ron's hair. He hesitated for only a moment before the goblin glared him into obedience. Quickly he stripped to his boxers, but again hesitated and asked timidly "Could you turn around?" All goblins present sneered and though he felt his blush deepen till they turned away so he could keep his modesty and climb in.

At first when his toes first touched the glowing water he thought it was bone-numbingly cold and his breath caught in his throat, but as he let more of his body in he thought it to be scalding hot. Maybe the temperature was fluctuating? Once he was fully in he cleared his throat to get the attention of the healer.

"Let go of the side and fully submerge, Mr. Potter."

"I can't swim! I'll drown!" He honestly tried not to panic.

"You can cannot drown in this pool, Mr. Potter."

"Oh." Harry was still doubtful and definitely nervous, but he didn't think the goblins would let one of their "wealthiest clients" drown on their watch. He set his glasses on the edge then let go and went under.

He sank like a rock and he started to panic in earnest, began to thrash and try to reach the surface again. When he opened his eyes all he saw was white. He twisted his body looking for something anything to focus on as the water continued to go from blazing hot to ice cold. After what felt like several minutes but in reality was only one, he hit the bottom. Using the leverage he successfully turned his body around.

Up and up and up he looked. It seemed like he was on the wrong end of a telescope. In the distance there was a spot of smudged darkness no bigger than his palm. I must be really deep.

All of a sudden it occurred to him to wonder why he wasn't suffocating and then he realized he had inhaled on instinct. He knew he was underwater, but it seemed that breathing came easier than before. Since he really wasn't going to drown he let himself relax as he wondered how he was supposed to know when he was done, when to surface, as well as how to get back to the surface since he still didn't know how to swim.

A few minutes went by before an inch began at his tailbone. It was a tiny bearable itch at first, but then it spread to his arse too. And then it began to spread like wild fire down his legs to feet- then the itch moved up to his chest and head so that pretty soon he wanted to rip his skin off and claw out his eyes just to make it stop. The burning started soon after making him writhe in agony. He closed his eyes and clenched his teeth, certain he was dying but unwilling to let out the scream that was building inside him. He started to struggle to breathe.

Harry wasn't sure when the pain lessened or when he started to breathe normal again, but slowly he opened his eyes to see himself in a small cloud of crimson blood. He hurriedly covered his mouth and nose with both hands so as to not inhale it. Pushing himself out of the cloud and against the wall of the pool to see where he'd been hurt. Looking down there were several quickly healing gouges in his chest, but there was something odd about his chest. There was something different about it. When he realized what it was he looked away quickly and prayed it was just hallucinations due to the healing process. Taking several deep breaths looked back down and immediately started shrieking despite his best efforts to not freak out. By the time he was calmed down he(she?!) figured he(she) would be tomato red for the rest of his life. Covering his(he was a boy dammit!) new chest with his arms and examined the rest of his body.

He had fully transformed.

He had a tail. It was rather beautiful- a mixture of deep blues and greens with a bit of gold scattered around. His gossamer white fin started where his ankles had been, fanning out around where his feet were supposed to be and there was a smaller fin on each hip that were twice the length of one of his hands. His scales shimmered blue and green with a gold smattering. Beautiful. He wondered if he would blend in the ocean or stick out, and hoped he would blend.

Then he realized he wasn't anywhere near the ocean.

How was he supposed to get to the ocean when he didn't have legs. He was landlocked. Never before had he hated a word like he now did "landlocked", not even when Hermione was called Mudblood. Noticing the wounds on his chest had healed he figured it was time to surface.

Which meant time to learn to swim.


Letting out a heavy sigh he gathered his tail underneath him and pushed off. It took him several tries towork out how to move before he got any momentum. The pool he was in turned out to be a well as it was deeper than he had guessed. Once his head broke the surface he made his way to the side where the Head Goblin was seated in a chair. Quickly covering his chest again he asked softly in a much higher voice than he was used to, "Would you happened to have something I could cover up with?"

The corner of the goblins mouth twitched, but banged an ornate staff he didn't have before. The healer from before appeared on the right of the Head Goblins chair holding a green cloth band with complicated looking straps. He was sure they could have fried an egg on his face it felt so hot. He accepted help putting it on without a word. Once the band was secured the straps criss-crossed in the back.

"How am I supposed to take it off to wash?" Harry asked with trepidation.

"That will not be necessary. It is made with magic to stay clean and to keep you clean." The goblin sneered in a way that would have said 'duh!' if a sneer were verbal.

"Oh." While Harry was trying to decide on which of his other questions ask first the Head Goblin spoke first.

"I'm sure you are wondering how someone can be male one moment the female the next, correct?" Harry just nodded in relief.

The Goblin pulled a parchment out of his robes and held it so that Harry could read it without getting it wet. He stared trying to figure out what he was slow to understand.

Calla-Lilly Potter (Harry James Potter)

Gender: Born Female, made male by A. B. W. P. Dumbledore

Born: July 31st, 1980

Mother: Lily J. Potter (née Evans)

Father: James Fleamont Potter

He had been born a she. They didn't want a girl. They wanted a boy. She (because was a she and would think as such from now on) hadn't been good enough.

The Head cleared his throat, "Switching someone's gender is illegal, at least until their of age and willing. It is extremely dangerous to use such rituals on children that haven't been through puberty, so it is no small miracle you survived it."

"They were so desperate for an heir they were willing to take the chance it would kill me?" Ha- Calla viciously shoved down the heartbreak welling inside of her.

"You will have to ask those that were close to them, but for now perhaps it is best you continue reading."

Sneaking a peak at the wizened old face he then did what asked and got more and more angry.

Inherited Estates:

Slytherin Estates(by right of conquest)- Gaunt Shack; Slytherin Manor; vaults 3,76, 102

Gryffindor Estates- Godric's Hollow; Gryffindor Manor; vaults 2, 113, 437, 604

Perevell Estates- Perevell Cottage; Green Valley Reserve; vaults 89, 215

Evans Estates- #23 Pudding Lane, vault #729

Potter Estates- Manor by the Sea, Forrest Manor, London House, Manor on the steps(Spain), Manor on the Canal(Venice, Italy), vaults 394,621, 652

Heir to Black Estates

Magic Inheritances:

Magical Core(80% blocked by A. B. W. P. Dumbledore)

Creature Languages(blocked by A. B. W. P. Dumbledore)


Magical Bonds and Spells:

Compulsory Hatred of Severus Snape

Compulsory Loyalty to A. B. W. P. Dumbledore

Compulsory Obedience to A. B. W. P. Dumbledore

Dumbledore had a lot to answer for, Calla was rather annoyed h- she wouldn't be able to be there to see it done. She said as much to the Head Goblin who laughed and assured her that they would show her the memories whenever she came back.

That last bit made her look at him doubtfully and ask, "How could I ever come back? I'm a mermaid, wizard magic doesn't work the same underwater, and even if it did- will my magic be the same on ground? Not that I'm at all good at transfiguration."

"There isn't much known about the merfolk even to those allied with them so I can't fault you for not knowing. After enough practice a Mer can temporarily gain legs, though that isn't to say it is done at all often. In fact they rarely feel the need or desire to surface." Calla snorted suddenly causing the Head to raise one really wrinkled eyebrow in silent query.

"It's just that I play the Gryffindor seeker and the thought that I'll be able to fly again seemed really funny, cause you know- a mermaid in the sky!" She tried to contain her snickering and failed epically.

The Head Goblins mouth twitched but contained whatever mirth he felt. "That would be ironic. Now back to business. Would you like to accept you Head of House duties and all that come with them?"

The snickering and snorting died down though she kept the grin. "Yes, I think so. Though I'm not sure what good it can do as I'll be somewhere in the middle of the ocean and unable to act on them."

"Be that as it may, you never really know what good accepting something can do until the effects are already upon you." She shrugged and asked what she needed to do.

She would have thought that being so far underground, with so little covering her still wet skin that she would be freezing or at least cold. Instead it was comfortable. Still sitting on the edge of the healing pool with her tail in the water Calla accepted another scary looking dagger and waited to be told what to do.

"Slice your palm and hold it out." She turned a bit so that her hand wouldn't bleed into the water. "State that you, Calla Lilly Potter, accept all familial responsibilities that come with being head of house. You will do everything possible to maintain the honor, respect, and fortune afforded to your family. You will protect any and all family to the best of your abilities, you will be just in meeting out any necessary judgement and punishment. So be it!" She adjusted the wording a bit as she repeated with as much dignity she could muster. On the last words there was a blinding flash of light and a warm breeze blew through the hall.

When her sight returned she looked down her hand was healed and in it sat five jeweled pendants in different metals. There was a gold gryphon with sapphire eyes, a coiled silver snake with emerald eyes, a rearing white gold unicorn with closed eyes, an odd looking triangular silver eye, and a black seahorse twisted around lopsided silver cross with its head resting on one side, eyes closed with white wings folded across its back.

Once she was finished investigating the pendants she realized she had forgotten the Head Goblin was still sitting there waiting on her. She also she didn't know his name and didn't want to keep thinking of him as just "the Head Goblin". "Sir, what is your name? I mean if it's not rude of me to ask."

His wrinkly eyebrows rose in surprise and he hesitated a moment before answering, "Not many witches or wizards have cared to ask a goblin for their name. Thank you for your consideration. Kipbold. My name is Kipbold"

"Mr. Kipbold, thank you, not many have had a life like me either." He tilted his head in a thoughtful way before nodding. "So what now?"

"Now we get you as comfortable as possible until your friends arrive." That said a redheaded man and a blond woman walked up floating a large tank of clear water. Calla just starred at it nervously as the redhaired man knelt next to her with his hands out in a friendly way.

"Hello, I am Bill Weasley. It is a pleasure to meet you."

"Weasley?! Your Ron's oldest brother aren't you?"

"Er… yeah. Do you know him then?" He looked curious as to how his brother knew a north-atlantic mermaid.

"Oh! My name used to be Harry Potter." She laughed when he looked like he thought her barmier than Dumbledore. "No, really. Apparently I was born a girl but Dumbledore made me a boy for an unknown reason. I came here to get some money, the Goblins insisted I let them heal me and voila! I'm a girl again! And my name is now Calla Lily Potter." As she spoke his eyebrows climbed higher and higher as his frown grew. "Calla Potter… Call a Potter, well that's a weird sounding name... call me Callie instead!"

"Today has been a day of revelations for you, hasn't it?" He huffed and sounded a fair bit upset at her situation.

"Oh you have no idea." She looked down at the pendants still clutched in her hand. Holding them out to him, "I'm going to need a chain to put these on, do you think there might be one in one of my vaults?"

He blinked in shock at the several house pendants in her hand. "M-most likely." He turned to the blonde woman and whispered to her for a moment.

"Sooo… the tank?"

"Oh, right. It's so that we can transport you to your vaults and where else might need to go. So may I pick you up?" She hesitated only a second before she raised her arms to show her consent. He didn't seem to struggle at all with her weight and instead of using a stool to drop her through top like she thought he would, he walked right up to the long side of the tank and pushed her straight through the glass. She gasped in surprise when breathing the cool salt water brought an unexpected relief to her lungs. Seems like she could be out of the water for long periods but it was uncomfortable. After a few moments she pushed to the top so that she could ask Bill if he ever dealt with Ginny's hair. Having her hair float around was going to get annoying fast, not to mention when it came time to brush it. Another thing on her list to get… a hair brush.

"I can do a simple braid." he replied thoughtfully.

"Can you teach me?"

"Come down to the bottom of the tank and stick your head out of the glass." She let herself float down to the bottom so that she was looking at the ceiling when she poked her head out.

"I don't have a brush."

"That's alright I sent for somethings I thought you might like to have." While they waited she ran a hand across her stomach. The scars from when she wasn't fast enough with her chores received Vernon's various and creative punishments. He liked to make sure he left proof of any inadequacy no matter how small. All her scars were gone. Even the curse scar. She was free of her past in physically every way . She smiled in contentment.

"My companion found suitable chain and a brush that's charmed to untangle your hair with little fuss!" Bill said cheerily. Cally's wide startled eyes peered at him upside down when her tank began moving up. "Relax, I'm just raising you so that your hair isn't touching the ground."

"Oh." He started with the end of her tangled mass and worked his way up as gently as he could. It didn't take nearly as long as she thought it would, only ten minutes then he had her sitting up so that only the back of her head poked through magic tank. It seemed that nothing- not even a much heavier weight- could completely tame Potter hair. Bill explained how to do a simple braid along with showing her once he got far enough for her to see and twin braids in theory. It didn't seem too complicated but she was sure that when she went to do it herself she would feel differently. He tied her braid with a dark blue ribbon then stepped back. He then handed her the brush along with a small satchel with a few more ribbons, hair do-bobs, and other things she'd investigate later.

"How come I can hear you just fine even through the water and glass? Shouldn't your voice be muffled or something?"

"Magic of course! The glass is spelled not to be a sound barrier, both inside and out." He chuckled.

"Oh." Suddenly she was trying not to panic as a thought occurred to her. "Mr. Kipbold said we were waiting for my friends. Which friends did he mean?" If it was Dumbledore she was worried what he would do, but then again she thought they had established that he wasn't a friend in any way so she calmed a little.

"Your school friends I think, Mr. Black and Mr. Lupin, and maybe a few others." At mention of Sirius her head whipped around with enough force he thought her in danger of whiplash. "You know Sirius?!"

"Yes, he came to the bank a few weeks ago about his inheritance. You don't have to worry that he'll be turned in- the goblins owe no loyalty to the Ministry. We also know he's innocent due to your parents will."

"Before I forget can you put the chain on me?" She strung the pendants through the silver chain and held it out to him. He quickly complied.

From behind them a goblin coughed to get their attention, "Lady Potter, Director Kipbold suggests you investigate your vaults to see if you can find anything useful for your journey."

"How am I supposed to get down there when I'm stuck in a tank?"

"I will float you to where you need to go." Bill chipped in.

"Oh." He chuckled at her waved his wand and she was floating down corridors, and two flights of stairs until they reached a door that let out into where the vaults were. She floated a few moments more before the reached the Evans vaults as it was the newest. Inside was mostly just gold though there was a trunk in the far corner that turned out to be her mothers' school trunk. Having dragged it over to her Bill started digging in it as he told her the contents: old robes, textbooks, brewing tools, and her mother's diaries.

"Can the diaries be protected from the water- at least temporarily until I find a suitable place to hide my human things?" She asked eagerly.

"I believe so." He stashed the diaries in the satchel on his shoulder. She grinned. "On to the Potter vaults."

The first one only had gold… a mountain of gold! "If I was still able to live on land I don't think I would have ever had to work a day in my life." Her voice was barely a whisper, but then she shook herself free of the bitter melancholy that had begun to take root in her heart. "On to the next one!" She announced with more enthusiasm than she felt.

Her companion just nodded and if she had been looking she would have seen the sorrow in his eyes. Instead she looked straight ahead determined not to regret the life that could never be hers.

Vault 621 had no gold, but was crammed full of furniture, trunks full of clothes and shoes, and bookcases overflowing with books and scrolls. "Could you see if any of the books have anything on water-magics or anything water-related?" He nodded, stepped up to the first case, waved his wand a couple of times and three of the tomes glowed. He pulled them off and levitated them to the ground next to her tank. He repeated the sequence five more times and they ended up with seventeen dusty tomes and eight fragile looking scrolls.

Moving onto the trunks of clothes he raised an eyebrow at her with a quirk to his mouth. "What am I to do with human clothes and shoes? Never mind their probably ancient! I wonder if there's somewhere I could donate them to? A museum perhaps?"

"You could donate them to the second hand store. The wizarding world doesn't have any museums." He suggested.

"Right! Let's do that then."

It took him forty-five minutes to sort the twelve trunks at which point she realized something both devastatingly important and humiliating: she had to relieve herself and didn't know how to ask about it. She couldn't ask Bill as he was a guy! After several minutes of frantic thinking she blurted, "I need to see a female healer immediately!" He looked at her in concern but asked no questions.

The vault was sealed and she was being floated back to the healers hall and once there she asked Bill to give her some privacy. What followed was just about the most embarrassing conversation she had EVER and would likely ever have. Female things…

Afterwards she didn't feel up to more vault raiding and asked if there was a pool bigger than her tank that she could sleep in. She was taken down several more levels to a room where she could hear water moving against stone in the pitch blackness. Several goblins came in after them carrying a glowing stones in each hand that were spelled to float into the distance then were lowered into the water revealing a massive lake.

As Bill lowered her into the water she shivered against the icy coldness. She had hoped he wouldn't notice, as she didn't want them going even more out of the way for, but he did. He briefly spoke to one of the goblins who the disappeared through the door they had come in.

"The meeting with your friends will be rescheduled for tomorrow." said one of the goblins. She noticed the goblins around her now didn't have their usual sneer in place. Instead there was a stiff curiosity about them and she wondered why.

Presently the goblin that had left came back lugging a cart from which levitated many glowing red rocks that sunk to the bottom of the lake. When they touched the water a hissing steam rose which fast became a heavy fog until it felt like a sauna as the heat spread fast. As the final rocks settled on the bottom she turned to thank Bill and the goblins but only Bill was standing there. "Thank you for all of your help and please thank the goblins for me as well!"

"You are very welcome. I have some food for you and then I'll leave you to rest." he said as he pulled a small sack out of a robe pocket and handed it to her.

"What is it?" He looked unsure for a moment looking down at her eager and trusting eyes. "It was specially made to provide all the nutrients required for you to stay healthy." He was going to warn her that it probably wouldn't taste spectacular but before he could she had pulled out a strip and tore into it not caring a bit about the flavor.

"Thanks! I was getting soo hungry, too!" she said with much enthusiasm to which he nodded in amusement.

"Have a good night Bill!" he waved as he passed through the door and with his exit all she could hear was the water against walls.

So quiet.

When she got restless she decided to explore her new environment. The lake really was vast in every sense of the word. Plenty of space to test her new tail. It took her over an hour to find the source of the water in wide water fall on the far side while the outlet seemed to be many tiny holes no bigger than her palm on the bottom.

She found a smallish cave just big enough for her with a bit of wiggle room a few feet from the surface and several feet to the left of the platform out of sight of curious eyes. This is where she spent the night trying for that elusive thing called sleep.