Pre Edit Count – 2,582 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Counting Stars by OneRepublic
In another part of the country, a dark shadow chuckles. “Oh yes. Things are going to change. She is back and she is no child to be intimidated. No, no one really knows her powers and soon the whole world will find out about her.”
A small smile is found on the face of shadowed person. “Bella, I wonder if you even remember me. You might not be happy with me but you will understand I have a role to play. At least, I did before now. You love to stir up trouble, darling and I fully expect that all the plans made will be falling down soon.”
A smoky haze passes between the being and the cauldron. When it passes, the smirk is clearly heard in the voice. “This has just become sooo much more entertaining. Soon my lovely Swan, soon you will know more than you ever expected.”
The chuckles that come from the room has many who overhear it looking at each other in worry.
Bella arrives in Hogwarts in true fashion. She strides through the halls and the doors open before her as she walks into the dining room.
She smiles and mutters a soft thank you to the building itself and she can feel the welcome from it. Many think that Hogwarts is a set of buildings and that is it. Bella had found that the building, maybe from all the years of magic being taught in it, was alive. While others think the moving staircases and pictures is all of it, Bella actually cultivated a friendship with the building and it serves her to this day.
She is the reason for the Marauders Map working and wonders where the thing has gotten to nowadays. None of this shows as she strides through the silent hall, her cape flowing behind her as she moves.
The whole room is mesmerized by her entrance, many plainly shocked at her being here. Then, after she is almost completely up the space between the two middle tables, she stops and looks down.
There before her is Harry. She smiles at him and asks, “Harry Potter, I presume?”
He swallows at the woman before him and nods his head.
Her smile gets bigger and she drops before him, crouching as she looks up at him. “I am so sorry to be meeting you this late but I am here now. I have some news for you and wish to speak with you after I meet with Dumbledore. If this will be okay with you?” Her eyebrow rises and she waits there for him to speak.
Harry has no idea who this woman is but something about her reminds him of the pictures in his album. He wishes he could grab it but this lady is waiting for an answer so he nods his head and says, “Yes, ma’am.”
Bella beams at him. “Great! I will be back.” With that, she rises back up and giving a look around the room, finishes her entrance to Hogwarts.
Harry watches after her and then he hears Hermione give a little squeal. “Do you have any idea who that is, Harry?”
He shakes his head no.
“That is Lady Swan!! It was thought she was dead. That she is here and wanting to speak with you-“
At that moment, Dumbledore stands up and Hermione is cut off. “Students, I wish to introduce Lady Isabella Swan, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. She is to take over from Gilderoy Lockhart who will continue with his excellent work with the Ministry and the people of our world. There is just not enough people out there willing to defend and even teach how to defend themselves from the evil out there. I am happy not to have to hold this gallant man back any longer.”
There are noises made around the room at the comments and the man himself is just staring at Bella is shock. He stands up quickly and offers her his chair. “Milady, please, let me give you my chair!”
The rooms titters as Lady Swan lifts an eyebrow to the man. “I appreciate the chivalry; it is a true honor to find that it is still around, but I will respectfully decline your offer.” With a smile she turns to Dumbledore and announces to him, “I accept the position and I also declare that I am also here for my godson, Harry Potter. Furthermore, as per the rules, I am making my declaration that Harry Potter is my heir to my title and lands as the last Swan on the earth.”
Her head is held high as the whole room explodes in questions, people amazed by the fact that a formal title of lands was announced in front of them. Others are shouting that it was only right!
Harry just sat there stunned and then Lady Swan was in front of him, her hand extended to him. “Harry?”
He looks up and extends his hand to hers. When they touch, he blinks at the sudden quiet of the room.
Bella chuckles as she moves over to the fire and sinks into the chair with a sigh. “Home sweet home!”
Harry clears his throat, “Um… where are we?”
She looks at him. “At our home, for now. These are my rooms in Hogwarts. The castle has been nice enough to provide them to me when I came here that one year and since then has kept them ready in case I ever come back or for another soul to have the issue I had.”
He shakes his head, confused to say the least. “I don’t understand.”
She chuckles. “Have a seat Harry, I will fill you in on much.”
He walked over and plopped himself in the chair across from her and stared at her, still trying to figure why she looks familiar.
Bella on the other hand is staring at the only remaining piece of her beloved sister. She sighs, then tells him, “I bet no one told you that you have godparents. Nor why you had to remain with the idiotic Dursleys.”
He shook his head, still lost.
Nodding to herself, she continues, “Well, let’s just say I am here for you. I am your godmother. Your godfather will be coming as soon as he can be freed from his unjust imprisonment. I am your mother’s cousin per the family lines, but in my heart she is my sister.”
He blinks at her shocked, then asks, “Where were you?”
She closes her eyes. “To tell you, I need to explain much to you. First, I am the last of my line and you are the last of us, period.” When she saw him open his mouth, she shakes her head at him, continuing, “I disowned Petunia. She wanted to be normal so badly that she picked that idiot Vernon, who wanted my title. So I disowned them. It would have been bad for him to be in control of the lands, you need magic for our lands.”
She smiles. “We are responsible for the owls that all the wizards and witches use. Every single one is either one we bred or descended from one of ours. To say the Wizarding World would fall apart without one of us is putting it lightly. However, I was the last and expected to do my duty and make sure the line continued. That was the plan, but life interfered.”
She looks sad as she relays to him, “I was raised alongside your mother and like I said, I felt she was my sister. I played with her and Snape and followed them here to Hogwarts when my letter came. Then the first irregular thing happened, the sorting hat refused to put me in a house. No matter who asked it, it refused to put me in one.”
Bella smiles. “Between you and me, the hat told me that I would be great for any house, but because of that and since I was the first, I didn’t know what house I wanted; I was put into all of them. I was allowed to sit where I wanted, since no one ever had this happen before.”
Harry grins at the tone of voice in his aunt. The pure mischief in her voice tells him how much fun she really had with it all.
Bella chuckles. “Technically per Hogwarts, there is a fifth house, but the Headmasters don’t want to acknowledge it.”
He lifts his eyebrow. “Hogwarts?”
She nods. “It’s alive and it talks. It likes me, so it tells me things. From what I am hearing, I will be spending a day in bed as it tells me everything that has happened. Just think, Harry, of all the years it has had magic worked in it. This building is steeped in magic.”
He smiles. “No one talks to me like this.”
Rolling her eyes, Bella informs him, “Get used to it. Now… this is my house area. The House of Swan. The sorting hat will be shifting people here soon and it will be making a stink. I need to have Hogwarts talk to it since last time it tried to do that, it would have ruined a lot of plans. I don’t think it will be any happier now, but it is what it is.”
Loving her modern turn of talking, he asks, “Why did you leave?”
Sighing, Bella leans back in the chair. “Because of the Ministry of Magic requested my father and I to head to the Americas. Voldemort had damaged the owls’ lines there and we were needed there desperately. They had the owls needed but not the knowledge to train them. It was meant to be temporary but ended up being my seven years. I ended up going to the Salem School of Witchcraft. Which is a misnomer, there were more than girls there. I graduated early and came back here once we had cleared the issue. My father was killed when he stepped foot on English ground by a curse specifically left to kill him.” Bella’s voice had turned hard.
Harry blinked. “Your father was killed?”
She nods. “And I became the Lady of the Swans. It also became my goal to take down my father’s killers. I worked actively behind the scenes to fight the war, but I will admit to you, I fought both sides. I did not agree with the ideas behind either of the two major forces. But we can get into that soon enough.” She gives him a look telling him that they really will talk about it later.
“The group was a wide selection of people you would be shocked to learn about and we will work on that. But all in all, we were achieving our goals. Then came the day after you were born and I was cleaning up some ugly spellwork from an old battle. A Death Eater attacked me. In the same area was another individual who was doing the same thing, a common occurrence to make sure the muggles didn’t accidentally stumble into an old spell. Neither of us were known to each other, since we both had our hoods up. Unfortunately, my identity became known cause my hood flew back from the curse thrown.”
Bella takes a deep breath, saying, “I had managed to see the spell as it was cast and though I had no idea the spell, I managed to cast a counter-curse that somewhat worked.”
Harry looks at her concerned. “Somewhat worked?”
She nods, looking at the fire. “The spell was to cause pain forever. The person would be cursed to live forever in pain. Somehow, I managed to eliminate the pain part, but I was still cursed.”
Harry stares at her, and asks, “What was cursed then?”
She looks at him. “The one thing that old Voldy wanted. Immortality.”
Harry shakes his head. “How is that a curse?”
Sighing, she tells him gently, “Harry, there might be one other person who will live as long as I do. I have no idea who that person is. I know that they lived. But for me, I can’t have children. If I fall in love, I will have to watch that person eventually leave me. I will watch everyone around me die, no one to walk the times with me. The closest immortals to me are the vampires and even they can be killed. I cannot be killed. I will watch you and everyone around me die, and I will keep on going. When this earth crumbles into nothing, I am not sure if I will end up floating among the stars. This is not a blessing, but truly a curse.”
Looking shocked, Harry asks, “Why did you make me your heir then?”
She grins. “Because you deserve it. The Swan name carries a lot with it, as much as the Potter name.” Then she shakes her head. “Enough about that. I ended up being sent away while the counter-curse worked through. It was the fact I gained what Voldy wanted more than anything that was the reason. I served the King of the Vampires for 10 years of forced labor to them. The four of us worked together and we managed to get through the ten years with me learning much about them as well as they about us. I gained a favor of them.”
Harry’s eyes widen; Hermione had told him about favors. They were magical binds on the creature who gave the favor to follow through. His aunt had received the magical bonds of the kings, which meant the whole race would be enslaved to her.
Bella nods. “I see you are learning about our world. There is not much more. I found out yesterday that my beloved sister died and that you had been given to the family that I disowned. I went to the Ministry of Magic to force them to give me some information and then led a group of witnesses to the Dursleys. I performed a spell I learned during my time away and we witnessed what they did to you.”
Harry looks up at her, and his eyes, ones that mirror his mother’s, widen as he sees the darkness in the eyes above him.
Bella moves and is crouching before him. “Harry, I am so sorry. What they did was not fair to a pet, much less you! I have claimed my right to you and you are now mine. I am also a female of your maternal side, and besides that, you have a high Priestess of Avalon and an Adept to protect you. Unless you wish to go back to the Dursleys, there is no reason for you to go back.”
Harry blinks at her, and he asks, his voice trembling, “I-I can s—stay?”
She nods, watching him. “It’s up to you. You will become Master Potter and be my son as well as my godson. I will teach here and be with you at all times, supporting you. I will stand by your side in any endeavor you wish to do, lend my talents to you. I will be your parent, your sister, your best friend, and your child. But you are the one who will decide this, not me.”
Harry stares at her, his mind twisting with the information as he tries to get a handle on it. After a little while, he closes his eyes and tells her, “Yes.”
Final count: 2,614