Disclaimer: I still don't own Harry Potter. But I do own my OC characters and the plot/ideas.
Hope you enjoy!
Ivy had never felt more helpless than at that moment. She could feel the tears gathering as her mind registered the loss of her older sister (however abrasively Petunia stated it) yet she couldn't break down now. She had a little niece to look after. Arrie had no one left but her. And who knows what had happened to her while she was in the care of her eldest sister.
Closing the front door, Ivy headed almost automatically towards the nursery. it was stocked with fresh cloths and diapers. Thankfully she'd finished it before Halloween, though her sister would never see it. At least little Harriette would be able to be safe and comfortable.
Ivy didn't really see anything as she washed, changed and finally dress Arrie. Her eyes were blank stared off unfocused as she patted her niece's back after having feed her a bottle. What was she going to do? How could she, a young woman not even twenty take care of a baby? Let alone one as special as her niece was?
Pausing slightly Ivy bit her lip as thoughts of funerals and will readings came to mind. Goddess, she didn't even know the details of how her older sister and her husband had died. How Arrie survived whatever had happened. Was it an accident? Murder? Wizards or mundanes? Humans or magical beings?
The red head could feel the hysterics closing in on her, tears gathered at the corners of her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she pushed everything away, she wouldn't, couldn't break down now. Not with Arrie lying in her arms, staring up at her. She would be strong until everything was taken care of.
Thankfully it didn't take long for Arrie to fall asleep, allowing her aunt to place her carefully in her crib. Walking in an almost trance-like state, Ivy left the door open behind her as she picked up the dirty clothes and blankets to clean. The basket was placed in the hallway, to be later looked at to be decided if she would throw it away or use it. A few minutes later found her sitting on a couch staring down at the papers Petunia had left her. Pale hands shook as blank eyes read them. They were guardianship papers, explaining that Petunia had given up any rights to her niece (as she had received the child first) and had handed them over to her younger sister, allowing Ivy the right to take care of Harriette instead.
(it truly was the final nail that showed how much Petunia truly hated Lily and magic. At least she had made sure that Ivy got her, rather dumping the orphaned child on the steps of a church or something similar.)
All she needed to do now was sign a few of the papers and send them in to the social services office. Then she'd have guardianship rights over her niece. However, that was a lot of responsibility for her, she was barely 19yrs old, and lived in America. Ivy was terrified of making a mistake. She couldn't afford too. Harriette was too precious to leave anything to chance.
Biting her lip, Ivy took a few seconds to decide, a single choice that would change her life, the world and so much more. Already her hand was reaching for the pen, ready to sign. Simple ink strokes that would destroy an old manipulator's plans and set a new course for little Arrie. Glancing over to the hallway that led to the nursery, Ivy smiled. It was worth it, and turned back to the papers signing her name on the dotted line.
Deep in the heart of London, an enchanted quill was at work. Set in the back of a clerical office, no one noticed the newest change to the book of names. The black quill had felt the magical oath and binding contract that had been signed only minutes ago regarding the care of a newly orphaned wizarding child. Quickly it recorded the new guardian, along with the new address and name-change (Ivy having added Evans to Harriette Potter). It took a few seconds for everything to be recorded in the large book, and once finished the quill laid down until another change would call upon it's magic.
It would take over a decade before someone would notice anything and by then it would be too late, and a new path would already be set.
After signing her name, Ivy felt a slight chill that soon changed, becoming a warm feeling that filled her chest. Already the parchment that she had inked was rolling up, almost surprising her.
She thought, deciding as the 'contract' disappeared with a pop as a copy was left with her and the two others were sent off to their respective places. (i.e. Gringrotts and the Ministry), that the wand wizard's magic was too flashy.
Leaning back, she pinched her nose and let the flood gates open. Tears gathered and fell rapidly as Ivy sobbed, grieving for her lost sister, the hysterics she'd forced away coming back with a vengeance.
A few hours later found her standing over Arrie's crib, pale fingers tracing the toddler's cheek before following the strange scar on her forehead.
"Don't worry Lily, Arrie is in good hands. I'll take care of her. Nothing will ever harm your daughter."
Magic swirled around the pair, unseen by any as the words formed a new protective shield around little Harriette Potter. Ancient Magic was a very unusual thing. Words and intent were everything.
It was tough the first few months, raising Arrie in the London townhouse. Ivy couldn't leave for America just Yet. There was still so much to do. As she had no body only a letter informing her of Lily and James' deaths (it had been all bundled with the other papers she'd signed when Petunia had dropped Arrie off) Ivy couldn't organized a formal funeral. Still, she tried to find out more. However, one was looked at as crazy when one tried to chase owls and get them to take letters.
Ivy still held onto the hope that someone would show to see her niece, but as time went on she started to believe that no one was left. That only Arrie had managed to miraculously survive whatever had happened. She hated it whenever Arrie asked for Padfoot, or Daddy and Mommy. Ivy hadn't known how to handle it the first time the green-eyed girl had asked about her parents those first few awkward days together as they got comfortable with each other. She'd worried what to say, how to phrase things so that Harriette would understand.
She'd ended up explaining that they were in heaven, watching over her.
On their second week together, Ivy received her first communication from the wizarding world that wasn't a letter from Lily. It was a formal introduction letter and consolations from Gringrotts bank. Apparently the British nation bank for Wizards. As she was Arrie's new guardian, she had complete control over her niece's vaults (blood-family relations). Knowing it would be too hard to travel to 'Diagon Alley' Ivy arranged to have the accounts in a semi-frozen state. Nothing was to be taken out by any outside party without her explicit consent.
Meaning only she or Arrie would ever be able to access Lily and James' accounts. Also, the will-reading was short, she hadn't even needed to be there. Everything was left to Arrie, with some books and antiques for Ivy's collection.
With Arrie's affairs slowly being put in order (bank accounts, properties, etc.) Ivy knew it wouldn't be long before they left. She'd always disliked coming to England. It was always so depressing. Somehow something bad would always happen the longer she stayed in one place, except back in home. As Harriette neared her 2nd year; Ivy decided that it was time to head back 'home' to America. She put her affairs in order and got everything settled, leaving information specifically for 'Moony' or Padfoot (she'd never really got to know Wormtail, and had always disliked the Headmaster.) so that they could reach her via Gringrotts, or otherwise their mailing address in case they were alive and tried to contact them after the pair left the country.
As it was, everything was set up so that whenever they returned to England, or Arrie became of age; she could access her vaults and properties. Whichever event occurred first. It did take a lot of time and many letters (Stupid Owls) to get done.
Ivy had left her business for too long as it was. It was time to return home. Packing everything and along with the things they weren't taking with them away in the attic. Ivy put the white sheets up on the furniture and sent of boxes of things to America to arrive a few days after they'd come themselves.
"Alright Arrie, time to leave. Say bye-bye sweetheart. We need to get going if we're going to catch our flight."
With that Ivy picked Arrie up, placed her on her hip and left, knowing she wouldn't return for many years, her home was in America and soon so would Arrie's.
End of Chapter
A/N: So, it's a little slow now, but it'll get faster when I finish the other chapters. They'll be about Arrie's early childhood and the new adventured in America, along with learning about Ivy's book collection and the secrets that Grandmother Violet shared with her and the special books that Ivy received from Lily.