Chapter 1 Changes

Disclaimer: JKR and some corporations own Harry Potter. I do not.

Minerva McGonagall was decidedly unhappy with Albus.

"You can't leave him here, they are the worst sort of muggles, I've been watching them all day. They are bigoted, mean, and small minded. Please Albus, reconsider. James and Lily were vehement that Harry not go to them, don't ignore their wishes!"

"Nevertheless Minerva, here is where he must go. It is for the best you see. I have written a letter."

"What an amazing letter Albus! I must say that I will be monitoring this situation very closely indeed and will correct any deficiencies in Harry's care." There were few who could cow the Headmaster. Minerva was one. Albus set his jaw and mind. He would have his way this day no matter her objections.

The headmaster took the small basket in hand, slipped the letter into the basket among the blankets wrapping the tiny child and quickly walked to the door of number 4 Privet Drive. Hagrid stood crying while Minerva scowled and paced like a restless cat.

She was a woman of a certain age, comfortable in herself and a powerful witch. She was nearly the equal of Albus who was widely acknowledged as the greatest magician of the age. She loved and admired the Headmaster serving as his anchor to reality. He did tend to be a bit erratic on occasion. She would ensure this occasion did not end in tragedy.

She kept watch through the night and into the dawn. When Petunia Dursley, Harry's aunt, his mothers sister, came to the door to bring in the milk and eggs Minerva was watching.

Petunia was nothing if not a model of decorum. One just didn't scream into the quiet of the November dawn. She could perhaps be forgiven her angst in that she had suffered a tremendous shock. She had a brand new baby. She bustled young Harry inside and the door closed rather firmly on the prying eyes of the neighbors.

The next several days were pandemonium at the Dursley household. Harry had to be arranged for and that involved several decisions. The Dursleys decided that they should indeed keep the little freak. What would Mrs. Number 8 say if they gave their nephew away for adoption? There was no doubt that the neighbors knew of Harry's arrival. Harry would stay with Petunia and Vernon.

This was not happy news to the natural child of the Dursleys, the baby hippo Dudley. The Dursley's thought that no finer specimen of humanity had ever existed than their Dudders. Dudley was in training to becoming a burden to society, coddled and entitled, due every comfort and whim as if by divine writ. He was adapting well to his upbringing, perhaps showing a natural proclivity to be a berk. The boys were nearly the same age but the similarities ended there. Harry had a sweet nature, happy and energetic when he arrived. At first he constantly asked where his parents were as well as Moony and Padfoot. The Dursleys thought Moony and Padfoot might have been favored toys which was not far from the truth.

The only Potter quickly learned to not ask questions. If he was quiet there was less yelling and hitting. Harry was established in the cupboard under the stairs with a bare mat and a thin blanket. Spiders were his for company and cobwebs his decoration. He had no light, no proper clothes, not enough to eat, never a hug. He did have an abundance of slaps and of being shouted at.

No one will ever understand the mysteries of the human heart. How Petunia could have Dudley and Harry side by side and not love them both was a mystery.

Petunia and Vernon would gush over the children of their betters, being the horrid climbers that they were. Often Petunia would be ecstatic over the daughter of Mrs. Number 12 when they met in the little park or in the local shops of Little Whinging.

Petunia's showy affection and care for the little girl gave rise to a grand plan in Harry's little mind. He would be exactly like little Miss Number 12 and then his Aunt would love him. Simple really.

At the end of another day of spite, short rations, and his aunts sharp tongue Harry was deposited on his little mat in the cupboard under the stairs for the night. He was locked in and left until morning just as always. Just as always he knew that should he become frightened or need care he must say nothing and do nothing. It was better to wait for morning than to be screamed at and shaken so. He learned to bear his fear and pain in silence.

But tonight would be different. Tonight he would change into a girl like the little girl in the park and his Aunt and Uncle would care for him and hug him and stop Dudley from hurting him. Harry concentrated very hard on being like the girl and wished with all his might.

In the dark Harry changed. His hair became long and lustrous, wavy, and blond like that little girl Aunt Petunia made such a fuss over. His body shape shifted, became longer, and his face was rounder - heart shaped. She fell into an exhausted sleep.

The amount of Dursley rage and fear upon opening Harry's cupboard in the morning was unbelievable. At first Aunt Petunia couldn't imagine how the daughter of Mrs. Number 12 came to be in the cupboard. When she insisted she was Harry, Aunt Petunia came absolutely unglued. Vernon was called home from work for a family emergency.

It was Vernon who broke four of the child's ribs and almost snapped her spine shaking her, demanding she change back and that such freakishness would never again be allowed again in the Dursley house. Harry was to change back IMMEDIATELY! Harry's face regained it's usual form, and her hair changed to raven black, but her body didn't change at all.

She couldn't move, her body wasn't working right, the pain from breathing was terrible. Little Harry passed out as Petunia pried the limp child away from Vernon. Petunia sent Vernon back to work to establish an alibi while she got rid of the baby.

Harry was only just 15 months old when he came to the doorstep of number 4 Privet Drive. She was only 19 months when she left for the local hospital.

Petunia knew Vernon had seriously injured the child and hurriedly took the baby to the local emergency room claiming to have found it on the sidewalk. The emergency room personnel saw enough of this type of injury that the child care services were called.

Minerva had been as good as her word. She monitored the situation very carefully, as carefully as anyone could. In fact, she spent more time by far checking on Harry than Albus would have liked had he known. The Headmaster, being a very important man, had other things to do and was very busy doing them.

Minerva was on the scene almost immediately. She looked the part of child services, being prim and proper in an almost Victorian way. Her credentials were impeccable. Minerva had Harry in the Hogwarts infirmary in moments and Madam Pomfrey was quick and thorough in her examination. The ladies discussed several strange findings concerning young Harry as Poppy worked over her.

Poppy told Minerva that Harry had four broken ribs and severely damaged spinal chord. Harry had a shockingly large magical core which had been bound. The child was malnourished and in psychological crisis after being thoroughly traumatized over a matter of months. Harry had transfigured herself from male to female at a level of detail that reached the chromosomal level. Harry had altered her DNA the previous night in her cupboard. Most amazingly, Harry also possessed more than one soul. More correctly Harry possessed the regulation one soul and a fragment of another.

Those were the facts, just the cold facts. The reality was that Harry was a startling beautiful child. Her unruly mass of raven hair, pale skin and large emerald eyes with long lustrous black lashes made her breathtakingly beautiful. James had been a handsome man and Lily had been the most beautiful witch of her generation.

Minerva and Poppy had a baby to arrange for. It was evident that Albus was of less than no use in the matter. Being women of good taste and of distinction they did as they should. They performed an end run on the Headmaster. The fact that neither had ever had a child and both mourned that emptiness daily they silently agreed to ignore. Maternal hormones were thick in the infirmary, but neither would speak of them. The ladies marshaled logic in defense of their hearts urging.

Albus had failed to provide for the child. They didn't trust anyone else to attempt the child's care. There were no Potters other than Harry. Sirius Black, the child's godfather, had betrayed Harry and her parents to their enemy and killed another of their friends, Pettigrew. Lupin was a fine man twenty-seven days out of twenty-eight. One night a month he was an unreasoning beast who would kill Harry in an instant.

Alice Longbottom, Harry's godmother, was unavailable in a most horrific way. She and her husband Frank had run afoul of the LeStranges along with Barty Crouch Jr. and had been cursed to madness.

Minerva and Poppy knew that Harry was no ordinary baby. Merlin help them if Harry decided she wanted to be a spider or a dragon. For magic to change someone at the level of DNA was something unprecedented. What if she decided she wanted to be a star? Or a cloud? And so they left her magic bound.

That day Poppy Pomfrey gained a niece. She always called her niece Harry, short for Harriet. Poppy sold her little cottage in Wales, Minerva put her London townhouse to let and the ladies bought a small Victorian townhouse in San Francisco, in the Haight - Ashbury area. Minerva and Poppy purchased a house elf, Limpy, to care for Harry while they were away for the day. One of the ladies would always try to portkey for tucking in, story time, and kisses goodnight in the evening. It was difficult for them all to be apart for so much of the day and they all missed each other terribly but it was all they could think to manage. Harry was as safe as distance and the best wards could make her. She was showered with love along with kind firm discipline.

Eventually Harry would return to magical Britannia, when she reached 11 and started her magical education at Hogwarts.

The Headmaster was very disturbed to check into the situation at the Dursley residence and find out his Harry was gone, had been gone for a bit more than a year. The kerfuffle that followed was epic. Many ran to and many ran fro. Messages were sent at the highest levels in Ultra code. Frowns appeared on important faces.

Minerva watched the upset with amusement and no little sense of satisfaction. Madam Pomfrey was slightly less amused and more prone to bitterness. Their beautiful child had been so hurt when they got her. The ladies let the powers that be run on as they would. No one asked Minerva or Poppy, so they didn't say. Minerva did make sure to keep an ear out for any sign that the Dark Lord's followers were closing in on Harry. Albus was relieved to know the Death Eaters were as clueless as he was.

Perhaps the crowning achievement of Minerva's magical career was keeping the secret of the whereabouts of Harry Potter. She worked directly with Albus and was able to conceal her involvement in Harry's disappearance.

Petunia had been exhaustively questioned by the Headmaster and had told several contradictory stories. Albus was able to determine that Harry had been there for four months, and that he had been severely mistreated. The Headmaster seemed to think that someone had switched babies during Harry's last night at Privet Drive. It never occurred to him that Harry had switched gender. Under the assumption that Harry had been spirited away before that fateful morning the Headmaster concentrated his efforts on those who might have been able to pull such a switch. He stymied himself with his assumptions, as the wards on number 4 Privet Drive were indeed formidable, and none had passed them that evening. He studied Petunia's mind. She really did believe that she opened the cupboard under the stairs to a child that at first looked like a girl in the neighborhood and then morphed to look remarkably like Harry. Petunia dismissed Vernon's injuring the child as completely understandable given the unnatural freakishness displayed. The brat had gotten no more than he deserved. She had dropped the child at the local hospital and felt well shut of the whole affair. She had not been subjected to a Confundus or a Memory Charm, it really was most puzzling.

The Headmaster took the time to involve the Ministry. That the Dursleys walk away from injuring a child so terribly with no consequences was not to be borne. The Ministry altered some muggle paperwork and the Dursleys were arrested and convicted of child abuse and endangerment. They were remanded to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation of their sanity as they refused to budge concerning the unnaturalness of the missing child. It would be some years before they saw free daylight.

Harry Potter was known to be alive somewhere, the name was still on the rolls for Hogwarts. Minerva and Poppy put their heads together and tried to solve the problem of an identity for Harry. Their solution was elegant and simple. She would attend Hogwarts as Harriet Pomfrey, the magical daughter of a distant relative of both the Potters and the Pomfreys, the first magical in a long line of colonial squibs. Poppy Pomfrey had been asked to raise her as her closest magical relative. Minerva had joined in as Poppy's friend and confidant. It was much easier to slip a name into the register than to reassign Harry Potters identity. Poppy registered her distant niece from the United States for enrollment beginning September 1991.

The ladies took a long muggle fight to New Guinea and had a tribal adoption preformed by a tribe of mixed magical and muggles. The tribe's only requirements for adoption were the physical presence of the people concerned and their willingness. The adoption was legally binding in the magical and muggle worlds.

Limpy would cover herself with a glamor so that she looked human and push Harry around the neighborhood in a pram, to the park or to the store for food. Harry's scar was disguised with a simple glamor. Harry attracted a lot of attention as pretty children do. She never quite thought of the attention as her due. Love had been snatched away before, it could happen again. Slowly she quit asking for her parents, Moony, and Padfoot. She never asked for Wormy. Limpy made sure Harry was as safe as she could make an active child. Harry took her lumps from the trees she climbed and the swings and the occasional scrape with another child. Harry would seldom cause trouble, but there wasn't a bit of back down in her. She was very protective of anyone or anything being set on. Whatever the odds, whatever the fight, Harry piled in on the losing side and gave it her all. She seemed genetically programed for valor.

Poppy and Minerva were often unnerved by the topics that Harry brought up but told their truth and told it with love. No more could be asked of anyone. The Aunties questioned Limpy closely about how she was teaching Harry. Limpy stood firm. Harry would be shown the world as it was, not as Disney would have most children hope it might be if they just wished really, really, hard. Harry would have a firm grasp of reality and a firm loving family to temper that harshness. To coddle Harry was to court disaster for their world. Harry was fated to fight a being of endless malice. Disney would not prepare her for that fight.

Always Harry was apart. She had friends but none were close enough to really know her with the exception of her aunties and especially Limpy. Limpy was her constant, her companion, and her teacher of all the very most important lessons. It was Limpy that came to her in the night when the nightmares would wake her. Two dreams haunted her. One was the screaming, the green light and the chilling laughter, the red eyes. When she saw those eyes she would wake screaming. Limpy would hold her, pet her raven hair, and sing to her. She sang soft songs in a strange tongue. The other dream was of a dark space, cold, bare. She was full of the most terrible feeling of loss. A light would come there was screaming and pain finally a strange numbness. But if she waited, she saw her aunties. She woke crying from that dream. Often Limpy wouldn't hear her and she carried her pain in the darkness. Slowly as the years passed the dreams faded. She trusted Limpy and her Aunties as anchors in her life.

Harry attended Lycee Francais La Perouse, a very expensive private school in her neighborhood. Many of the children were from families that were powerful and wealthy. The sons and daughters of diplomats and the scions of finance and of illegal drugs attended. A few were magical and to them Harry was the niece of Ms. Pomfrey, a healer. To the mundane Harry was the niece of Dr. Pomfrey. The Lycee was happy to accept tuition in the form of 24 karat gold bullion.

Limpy couldn't always protect Harry. Evidently there is no power in the universe, not even a devoted house elf, that will save a child the lessons of the playground. By virtue of her solitary nature Harry was prime pickings for those who were mean and large. One such was Robert Rosen. He was a garden variety bully. His specialty was physical intimidation combined with mocking of any bit of difference he could detect. It was the standard bully curriculum, as outlined the handbook given to jerks at birth. He would corner Harry, when he could, and run his routine. Almost always she could elude him, a fact that moved her up his most wanted list. He measured success by tears. His success rate with Harry was dismal, reason enough to make her an especially juicy target. She needed to learn her lesson, and her place. It wasn't long before Rosen learned the easiest way to get Harry close was to get someone else, anyone else really, so long as they were decent and run his routine on them. Harry would usually show up and interfere.

Robert had Danny in a headlock thumping the top of his skull while demanding unconditional surrender in the form of some serious kowtowing. Danny was struggling to break the hold and starting to cry from rage and frustration more than from pain or fear. Robert was having a tremendously good time. Harry turned the corner with a pretty good idea of what to expect. The soundtrack was familiar. She slipped her bookbag off her shoulder and choked up on the strap so it was slightly clear of the floor.

"Let him go Robert."

Robert ignored she as if she wasn't there. Danny was crying fairly hard now, he was embarrassed to have Harry fight his fight and the emotional froth was to much for him.

Harry kicked the back of Roberts right knee, causing him to collapse with all his considerable weight. Robert bellowed, let go of Danny and stood to go after Harry. He was standing and turning while Harry swung her bookbag as hard as she could right for where she hoped his face would be. Her timing was exquisite. Roberts parents would be quite upset about the plastic surgeons bill for rebuilding Roberts splattered nose. Harry missed killing him by a hair. Had the angle been a bit different she would have driven the cartilage from his nose into his brain. As it was his head snapped back and he crumpled into a still heap. There was a large silence. Danny snuffled a bit.

"Wow Harry, you messed him up. Your going to be in so much trouble."

"Your welcome Danny."

"Oh, yeah, thanks Harry."

She nodded, took a step forward and poked at Robert with her foot. Nothing.

"I guess I will go get a teacher."

Harry turned and started down the hall. Behind her the crowd melted away, leaving Danny and the comatose Robert.

The Aunts had to attend a rather grim conference with the principal over the flattening of the sacred Rosen nose. They were not pleased to have to do so. They took part in some really rather relentless questioning of Harry and Limpy. Once they had a better idea of the situation they enrolled Harry in a martial arts program. Harry found her first passions. She loved tai chi and swordsmanship. Her teacher was talented at both and happy to have such a dedicated pupil.

Harry asked Limpy about the poor people who littered the Haight smashed under their addictions shortly after the Robert incident. They had been a constant fact of life for her. She wasn't sure how to respond to their constant pleas for help. She was little and didn't have any of the things they seemed to need. Still it felt wrong to just ignore those people, surely someone should help them?

Limpy helped Harry learn the hard lessons of compassion and it's limits, of freedom of choice and the two edged sword that it is. Limpy took Harry out in the late night and they walked in Golden Gate Park. Harry saw the needle and the damage done. Limpy showed Harry the cops shaking down the druggies and the druggies fighting for a fix and the rich walking by it all as if it wasn't there. Limpy also showed Harry the people who helped. The street priest feeding addicts Limpy and Harry would help. They would talk to that priest, and to the aid workers, and the cops who threw everyone in jail so they would be warm on a cold night no matter the paperwork. The people they talked with never seemed to remember Harry and Limpy but would feel nourished and stronger after zoning out for a bit, almost like magic.

Harry met Toledo Tommy on one of those walks. He was maybe fourteen, a skinny street rat. He was kind to her, gentle and funny. He would tell long impossible tales of his travels. He loved his skateboard and his cocaine. She struggled to help him, feeding him, trying to keep him safe and warm. He died one evening of septicemia while she held his hand. Harry was nine. Limpy would rock Harry to sleep night after night following Tommy's death. Limpy had no answers, only comfort. There really weren't any answers.

Most evenings after Tommy died Limpy and Harry would pop to the park and leave a bit of food for those who hadn't managed to feed themselves that day. Sometimes they called for the police, or on the cold days and the bad days, the coroner.

Harry had street credentials. Muggles couldn't see Limpy, except for a few who were so tripped out on mushrooms they would sense magic. Harry was an street legend. Her soft hand could still a bad trip or could ease the shakes, a smushed peanutbutter sandwich. And don't ever, but ever, try to hurt her. Bad things happened fast to people who messed with the little green eyed angel. Harry's beauty had attracted a lot of the wrong kind of attention. Limpy was extremely abrupt with the bare ass under the trench coat crowd. Word got around.

During the holidays the ladies explored the Bay area and the mountains, the Sierra's and the Rockies. Harry learned to ski at Squaw and Heavenly Valley with her school. Skiing quickly became another passion. She would often travel with her school to the resorts for the weekend. She preferred traditional skis to snowboarding. Skis seemed elegant if a bit more difficult to manage. She adored steep and deep and hated the pointless jarring of moguls. Above all she adored speed, cracking the edges and being launched into the air by her speed to flip the skis to the other side and slam the edges again on a slope that came as close as possible to vertical and still hold snow.

Harry grew up being loved and happy. She grew up training for combat like a figure skater trains for the Olympics. She was built of stainless steel cable on a titanium frame. She knew that a heart of darkness didn't require a dark mark on the arm. She had made and failed the choice between what is right and what is easy and had chosen again as we all do every day. She learned to play well with others as well as to read quietly. She was an excellent student. Her Aunts and Limpy were all in agreement that academics were first. Both Harry and Limpy knew French, Limpy had an excellent education, as she had stayed close to the Lycee to protect Harry should she need it. Limpy lost the simple patois that so many house elves spoke. She used clear and complete sentences in both French and English. She and Harry did their assignments together, arguing companionably over answers.

Harry worked hard at mind magic to shield her mind from other magicals, the meditative aspects helped her in her martial arts as well. She hated her glasses and insisted on contacts from the moment she knew of them. Her aunts were amused to learn that it had NOTHING to do with looks and EVERYTHING to do with peripheral vision.

She worked a bit as a babysitter or doing chores for neighbors to supplement her allowance so that she could have a special thing or pay for a present for Limpy on her own. She was a young lady of honor and distinction. She was pursued because of her beauty, but never really believed in it, the Dursleys had not let her go unscathed. She vastly distrusted unthinking admiration, correctly assuming it had nothing to do with her.

And the summer of her eleventh year came around and it was time for the Talk.

Minerva and Poppy enlisted Limpy's considerable help to smooth the discussion. Harry knew she would be attending Hogwarts in Scotland come September and that her aunties worked there. She knew better than to expect preferential treatment by her aunties. She knew that her parents had been murdered by a madman. She understood that some of his followers might wish her harm and that was why she trained so hard in self defense, escape, and mind magic. She had to protect her secrets. Now she needed to know how it all fit together.

"Harry dear, please sit down, Aunt Poppy and I have a lot to talk to you about this evening, some of it very difficult."

Harry cut her eyes to Limpy. Limpy's ears were lowered but not flattened. Things were serious but not immediately critical. Harry nodded and sat.

"In a few weeks you will be leaving for Hogwarts. Your formal magical education will begin. The central reason you are attending Hogwarts is that it is the safest place in the world for you to learn magic. Your safety from Voldemort requires you to be near Albus Dumbledore as you learn."

"As you know Voldemort is the madman who killed your parents. We have told you he killed them because they were attempting to protect their child. Voldemort judged Harry Potter to be the subject of a prophecy that stated Harry could defeat him. Voldemort does not know the complete prophecy but acted on what he did know. Harry Potter survived his killing curse, something no one has ever done. The killing curse rebound and destroyed the body of Voldemort leaving Harry with a scar on his forehead."

Harry put a hand to her forehead tracing her scar, something definitely didn't add up here.

"The Headmaster thinks that Voldemort has not passed from this world and will, in time, return to a physical form. It is a good assumption that Harry Potter would be in great danger should he return to the magical world. So far as the world knows Harry James Potter disappeared while living with his only relatives, the Dursleys, and hasn't been seen since."

"Many people will suspect you of being Harry Potter with your looks and scar. You do look remarkably like your father except for your eyes."

"We must stick to our story; that you are the child born to a distant mundane relative of the Potters, also related to the Pomfreys. Your parents were unable to deal with such a powerfully magical child and gave you up to be adopted and raised by Poppy and I. Harriet Pomfrey, the daughter of a distant squib relative of the Potters, will attend Hogwarts. Should that ruse be penetrated you are the twin sister of Harry Potter, kept secret from everyone since the moment of your birth and adopted and raised by Poppy and I."

"We must keep these secrets as long as we can. We hope to keep them until Voldemort is finally defeated. This is a defeat that you might have a part in my dear. We were at a loss to explain your scar, however our beautiful city has given us the perfect answer. You had the scar done to yourself to commemorate your lost brother, whom you presume the forces of Voldemort to have taken. The forces of dark have indeed taken Harry Potter just as the forces of light have given us a beautiful niece. Do you have any questions Harry?"

Limpy's ears were back and down, eyes half shut. She waited for the explosion.

"But I've always had my scar. What are you saying?"

Harry had always thought of her Auntie's cover story as her reality. She was Harriet, the hidden twin of Harry Potter. Even as she asked she felt the truth of it. Her nightmares, the sense of difference, they made sense now. She finally understood the underlying unease she always felt. She felt numb, everything echoed and seemed odd, out of step, like a movie with the soundtrack running behind the action.

Poppy answered in her soft voice.

"You were born Harry James Potter, the son of Lily and James Potter. We are telling you now as it is likely that your identity will be revealed, at least to you, during your sorting. A powerful magical artifact, the Sorting Hat, is used to place students in their Houses. The hat will know your true heritage, that you were born Harry James Potter. We did not tell you before in order to protect you. We lied to you to keep you safe. We have always told you that you were Harry's twin. Should you have encountered someone with mind powers, they might have noticed your resemblance to your father and probed your mind. Do you ever recall a tickling sensation in your mind? Have you ever thought something outside yourself was making you recall your earliest memories?"

"A few times, yes. I made it stop. Limpy helped."

Harry sounded dazed. Limpy slid an arm around her and hummed softly, a song she had sung Harry to sleep with for years. Harry eased a bit, less tense.

Limpy had hoped to stay out of this discussion, but it looked like she would have her innings.

"There was a man who was visiting one of Harry's skiing friends. He was English and seemed very interested in Harry. I put a protection spell on Harry. There were some other times we had to do the same thing. He was the only one who felt truly evil. Harry is very beautiful, some bad people have tried to get near her. They won't act that way again."

Harry and Limpy shared a look and a snicker. The Aunties decided the less they knew the better. Harry took a deep breath and dove in.

"You are telling me I am Harry Potter and a boy?"

"No dear, we are telling you that you were born Harry Potter, a boy. You changed yourself to a girl when you were about 19 months old. Harry, that was extraordinary magic, something no one else has ever managed. We think very soon after you became a girl Vernon Dursley, your uncle, hurt you very badly. Aunt Minerva took you from your relatives at the hospital and I healed your injuries. We decided that we would see to your future as the Headmaster had failed rather spectacularly. We grew to love you very much, you have been the central joy of our lives since you came to us. Please forgive us the deception we used in order to keep you safe. We believed it necessary."

Harry doubted everything at the moment. Everything except his Aunt's love, and the love of Limpy. She nodded, stiff and wide eyed.

"What of the prophecy? What does it say?"

"Only the headmaster knows the full prophecy my dear. He has told no one that I know of."

"Will he tell me?"

"I very much doubt it Harry. He doesn't like to tell people things, he likes to be told things."

Harry was thinking of some things to tell him.

"Do you think I should know?"

Her aunts were silent for a moment.

"Perhaps not dear. You are training as hard as you can to survive. You are less able to defend yourself than you will be as you train more. Your not having the information may keep you safe. Should Voldemort capture you he may hesitate to kill you for fear that killing you would bring about his own end. He is trapped not knowing the full prophecy and, we imagine, quite reluctant to try to kill you again as he so nearly died himself on his last attempt. Once you can keep the information safe from him I think you should know. He is very skilled at mind magics and can use his power against all but the very best to learn what he wants from them."

"He is just a spirit now?"

"So the Headmaster believes."

"Is the Headmaster trying to finish him right now? Is anyone?"

Limpy's ears were full up and forward, Harry was asking the right questions now.

Poppy and Minerva sat flummoxed.

"Why no dear, I don't believe anyone is. I will see to it. The obvious always seems so obvious once it's pointed out doesn't it Poppy?"

"There are two more things Harry dear. When you were a newborn your magic was bound. This is often done to magically powerful children to help control bouts of accidental magic. I think this was an especially good choice for you, as your magic is very strong even bound. Tonight we will unbind your magic. Tonight is the summer solstice and an especially powerful night for this type of ritual."

"The last thing you should know is that in his attempt to kill you Voldemort somehow linked the two of you. You have a bit of his soul embedded in you. Poppy was aware of it from the first time she examined you. We have looked for years for a method to remove the vestige of Voldemort. We have yet to find a way to rid your body of his bit of soul that doesn't kill you."

Harry sat quivering. She didn't know quite what she was feeling, so many different emotions washed over her.

"Your sure that is all of it. This is all the news right?"

Limpy was taking a quick scan for breakables. Harry didn't go off often but it could be spectacular when she did. Her aunts nodded.

"So a maniac killed my parents, tried to kill me, didn't kill me but infected me with a bit of his putrid soul, killed himself except he didn't die all the way, and my magic is tied up to protect me."

Her Aunts nodded cautiously. Harry took a breath and continued.

"The Headmaster, who knows the most about all of this, the only one Voldemort fears, has done nothing for over 10 years and won't tell anyone anything so they can try to do something. The Headmaster gave me to people who hated me to keep me safe. Those people hurt me badly enough that you rescued me. The Headmaster never knew that. And you two want me to go to his school. So he can keep me safe. As safe as at the Dursleys I assume. Is that right?"

Limpy spoke into the silence.

"Mistresses should listen to Miss Harry. Something sounds stupid to Limpy."

The four of them sat at the kitchen table and began to discuss options. They would have to move the Headmaster from the center of his web, and get him into motion. His sitting and waiting was worse than pointless.

At midnight on midsummer's eve Harry's magic was unbound in a ritual that took place atop Mt. Tamalpias. She was asleep for 13 hours after the ceremony.

Once she was awake and having eaten a gargantuan pile of calories for breakfast the Aunties and Harry went shopping. There was a store that rented theater props on Market Street that had a special door. That door could only be seen by magical people. Through that door was the largest magical shopping area between Seattle and Los Angles. Harry got robes and potions ingredients, she got a cauldron and a telescope. She got a ton (by weight - after all her guardians were a teacher and a healer) of books. She got a witches hat that she swore would never, ever, be on her head so long as her head was attached to her body.

She got a pet. Limpy picked her out, a snowy owl. Poor Hedwig was reluctant to assume the position until she learned that transatlantic flights would not be necessary. She was a magnificent bird, very beautiful and knew it. Hedwig and Harry together admiring one another was quite a sight. Harry had clothes she liked, jeans and tshirts, sweaters and jackets. She bulked up on her winter clothes, winter in Scotland was a long season. For the first time Harry worried about dress clothes. Skirts and pretty blouses and maybe jewelry and other girlie accouterments. Her aunts let her pick her way. Harry had always been comfortable living in the middle, a very tomboyish tomboy. She seemed to be ready to branch out a bit now.

Finally they went shopping for a wand. This was the height of the trip so far as Harry was concerned. She actually had galleons enough to get a spare and every intention of getting one. It was basic self defense.

The four of them trooped tiredly into Ollivander's Wandporioum, LLC and got to looking. The young Mr. Ollivander measured and poked Harry. Harry swished dozens of wands before one liked her. A holly and phoenix feather wand chose her with a fountain of red and gold sparks. Mr. Ollivander was more than a little relieved as a good portion of his stock had been sorted through. The good man was quite startled when Harry asked for another just like it.

"Miss Pomfrey the wand chooses the witch. Your wand has chosen you. Are you not satisfied with the wand?"

"So far sir it seems wonderful. I think we will be great friends. I would like an additional friend as well. Please may I have another?"

It wasn't a request ever made so far as young Mr. Ollivander knew, but he was in the business of selling wands. They swished for several more minutes when there was another success. This wand announced it had chosen Harry with a brilliant beam of light, scarlet screaming red light that shot out of it scorching the ceiling.

Harry grinned like mad. "I would like this one as well sir!"

The group left the store with Harry's two wands, two holsters complete with anti summoning charm and invisibility charm and a mental release that shot the wand into Harry's hand at her thought. Harry asked how the holsters were programed but Mr. Ollivander was not muggle wise so the question was gibberish to him.

Once they were home Auntie Minerva took the tracking charms off Harry's wands and began her lessons. She learned the paint ball charm and started target practice as well as getting used to her holsters. It was an undeniably butch evening.

Harry was holding the fire beam wand and imagining a light saber. She had loved the Star Wars movies the instant she had seen them. Part of her still wanted to fly an X wing against the Empire. She moved through her Tai Chi moves imagining the snap hiss of a saber lighting off. She moved to her sword blocks and slashes. She concentrated on the feel of the saber, how the light blade would fight movement and the inertia of the gyroscopic force of the blade. She imagined the switch under her thumb and flicked it on.

She promptly dropped the only real light saber on Earth. She managed to twitch her foot away from the blade as it cut into the concrete of the basement floor. She sat heavily. Very carefully she reached out and flipped the switch. The blade snapped and hissed out of existence. She turned it on again and the blade hissed into existence. She began her moves again, very slowly. It wouldn't do to cut through the plumbing or the floor joists.

As she moved with total concentration a part of her wondered if magic could take humanity to the stars. Was magic the force? But that would make some wine guy in Napa Valley the greatest Seer of history. Still, where did the things that are vanished go? How did apparition really work?

Harry was pretty sure if Minerva saw the light saber she would take it away. But maybe not. Harry had been in martial arts training for years now. Harry made her way upstairs for an intense conversation. After all a sword by any other name still cuts things.