Aurelia Potter's P.O.V
If anyone knew what it was to be hated by your family, and to similarly hate in response, it was Aurelia Potter. That should have been her first clue. How much he loathed her, and how much she loathed him. Aurelia hated Vernon Dursley, detested aunt Petunia, disliked Dudley, so, of course she would bloody despise her father.
Even when she did not know exactly that the great big bat was her dear old dad.
What could she say? Snapes loved profoundly, so deep and hard and true it often scarred them for life, but they reviled just as passionately, so much so it was often impossible to tell which side you fell on when it came to a Snape.
Nevertheless, family was an intangible concept to the twelve-year-old girl. An obscure idea that strained and stretched from the misty dreams of a ginger haired woman to the cruel certainty of Uncle Vernon's knuckles. And somewhere, rather suddenly and surprisingly, amidst that vague miasma, loomed one Severus Snape where James Potter once stood.
Yet, that came later, after the calamity of the Polyjuice Potion.
Truly, the tragedy to come began in Headmaster Dumbledore's office one late Tuesday evening.
It was a beautiful room, Aurelia thought. Great and rounded, it was bursting with amusing little noises. A little house mouse squeaked somewhere by the bookshelves. Several curiously hoary devices, frail legged, whirred away on tables. The portraits of old and forgotten Headmasters and Headmistresses snoozed away gently in their gilt frames.
It was a symphony for the senses, each one more delightful then the next.
At the heart stood a vast claw-footed desk, and, Aurelia could peek, sitting behind said desk was a shelf with a certain shabby, tattered wizarding cap.
The Sorting Hat.
Aurelia faltered at the desk, casting a wary eye to the slumbering witches and wizards on the walls. Dumbledore had said he would be back any minute now. To sit and wait for him… But, surely it wouldn't hurt? Just one peak? Just one little slip? No one would see…
What could go wrong with putting the hat on again?
Aurelia only wanted to see if it would change its mind. See that she really was her mother and father's daughter, that, despite the green and silver on her breast, a great shock to all last year, she should be in red and gold.
No Potter had ever been in Slytherin. Or so Malfoy goaded her by declaring. Repeatedly. Not a single one, from Linfred to James, every Potter had sported the red and gold. Until her.
Here she was, Aurelia Potter: Second year Slytherin. The Girl Who Lived to be in the same Hogwarts House that had spawned her parents murderer. Who knocked elbows at the dinner table with the likes of Malfoy and Parkinson and Zabini. Who was likewise skilled at charms as she was at brewing potions, dangerously so, in spite of Professor Snape having an ostensibly arbitrary dislike for her, he could never attack her potion work.
It was near on perfect.
Still, she couldn't help but feel that all of this, everything, was so terribly, terribly wrong.
Aurelia blamed that very hat before her now. She had been so close, a hair breadth away, from convincing the bloody menace to put her in Gryffindor, when it had, unexpectedly, professed her House to the crowd of the Great Hall aptly listening.
Aurelia would always remember how the Gryffindor's had cheered so brightly before the House name called actually registered.
What a joke. It wasn't like she made a very good Slytherin, either. Aurelia was friends with Hermione Granger and-
Well, just Hermione, but that in and of itself didn't seem to be a very Slytherin thing to do, to be friends with a Gryffindor, a muggleborn Gryffindor. Aurelia didn't make friends easily, too prickly people said, too frowny and glaring Hermione told her one day, intimidating, but Hermione was a Gryffindor. She was brave, and smart, and… And it wasn't fair.
That could have been her. Aurelia with the laughing Housemates and the warm fires in the tower and the… The happiness. Instead, she got a Head of House who scorned even the paltry sight of her, Housemates who were snared between admiring her, fearing her, or trying to use her for the Potter name, and yet another dank room in the bloody dungeons which might as well have been under the stairs.
Aurelia did not plot, or plan, or conspire, it was purely being prepared for possible opportunities. She had never thrown a dark curse in her life, and those instances with Dudley did not count on the grounds of accidental magic. Neither was she cunning, or use any means to achieve her ends.
Clearly, the Sorting Hat had made a horrendous blunder. However, if she could convince the Sorting Hat of admitting that it had, in fact, goofed, then maybe, just maybe, Dumbledore could fix this mess and put her where she evidently belonged.
Aurelia skulked around Dumbledore's desk, sparing one last cautionary glance behind her to ensure she was truly alone, careful in not kicking up the ornate rug and showing she had been sneaking and snuffling through the Headmaster's things, she stretched up and snatched the hat from the shelf.
Even a year later, the hat was still much too large for her head, and it slipped crookedly down heavy over her eyes, just as it had the first time she had worn the damned thing.
"Bee in your bonnet, little Aurelia?"
She jolted slightly at the voice in her mind, and then irritation flared fiercely in her gut from the jaunty tone it used.
"Yes. I wanted to ask you whether-"
"You've been wondering whether I put you in the right House?"
The jaunty tone was gone, supplanted by something tart and bitter like unripe lemons. As sour as clothe could sound, Aurelia supposed. The Sorting Hat seemed, well, it seemed insulted. Aurelia had not meant to insult the hat, she swore. She was merely… Questioning its methods.
How clever could it really be if it didn't even have a brain?
"Smarter than you think, girl. Yes, I remember now. You were particularly difficult to place. You have your mothers heart… Her temper too. But, I stand by what I said before."
Her heart leapt in her chest, and that irritation in her gut rolled to something that scorched her, something squirming and boiling and burning.
"You belong in Slytherin, like your fath-"
Aurelia regretted the fury that swept through her, especially when she ripped the pointed hat straight off her head and let it dangle limply in her hand, grubby and worn and voiceless, and one of the oldest magical objects in the whole of Hogwarts.
This obviously proved her point once more.
The Hat was bloody senile.
You belong in Slytherin, like your father before you.
That was precisely what the Sorting Hat had told her earlier, last year, before, to the shock of the teachers watching, it had dumped her in Slytherin. Aurelia had told no one what it had said to her, afraid she would not be believed. She was never believed.
However, the fact remained the same. Her father was James Potter, and he had, by his Quidditch pictures still hanging on the pitch, been a Gryffindor, not a Slytherin, and the Sorting Hat had obviously lost the plot.
Thrusting the Sorting Hat back onto the shelf, Aurelia felt sick, and a little petty, wishing it would fall down the crack in the back of the shelf and never see sunlight again.
She said aloud to the still and silent Hat.
A.N: Here's a little taster of the fic I've had bubbling on my cauldron for a while now. I hope you all enjoyed it and look forward to more. Did you know Aurelia is of Latin/Roman origin and translates to The Golden One? I thought it fit rather well, if I'm honest, in keeping with Severus's name and Harry as a character. As for the romance of this story, Fem!Harry/Antonin Dolohov, this doesn't start for a long, long, long while yet (When Aurelia is well above the age of consent), and for a majority of this fic the focus will be on Severus's and Aurelia's relationship as father/daughter and how that grows and changes. So romance is coming, but in the far distant future. This fic will also contain a strong Draco/Aurelia/Nott friendship theme too. If that's your cup of tea, welcome to this disaster, and I hope you will enjoy the ride!
As always, if you have a spare moment, don't forget to drop a review, and I will hopefully see you all very soon.