The Dark Orphan
An ancestry potion in Snape’s class turns a second year Hufflepuff orphan’s life on it’s head. She figures out who her parents are and suddenly the whole school turns against her, even the teachers. Only the Slytherin’s and Professor Snape do not. Suddenly, Slytherin isn’t sticking up only for their own, but for the one lone Hufflepuff who never knew what it was like to have a family. After all, she was the goddaughter to the two most powerful people on the dark side; Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange.
They even ate a small meal together. Snape had to leave early on to continue teaching his classes. He promised to be back for her.
They finally settled in the sitting room where Mia had sat next to Narcissa.
“I will petition to get custody,” Lucius promised her. “And I will not stop until you are safe here with us. Do not worry.”
“Do I go by Lyra now?” Mia questioned quietly, wiggling into Narcissa’s side. “At least at school?”
“It is safer for you to still be…” Lucius paused, unsure of her name that the firehouse gave her.
“Mia. Mia Aspen,” Mia replied, resting her head onto Narcissa’s shoulder. The woman was just so warm and comforting.
“Mia Aspen,” Lucius repeats after her with a small nod.
The floo lights up and Snape steps out, looking totally done with dealing with children.
“It is time to go back,” Snape gently breaks the news. “It is past curfew.”
Mia’s eyes darted to look at the grandfather clock in the corner and was startled to see that it was nearing eleven at night.
Mia didn’t even realize it until she got up but she had slowly shifted over the hours until she was cuddled up in Narcissa’s lap.
These people were practically strangers but Mia was touch-starved. Trusting these people went against everything that Mia had taught herself to survive in foster care. Yet, she can’t keep herself away.
Mia reluctantly pulls herself away from Narcissa, standing and moving to stand next to Snape.
“Write to us,” Narcissa stands, also reluctant to let Mia go. “Keep in touch. Come to stay with us during Yule.”
Mia had stayed at Hogwarts during her first Yule and made acquaintances with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, two others who had stayed in the handful that hadn’t gone home. They weren’t friends per say but they acknowledged each other in the hallway. It was the first holiday that she had properly celebrated. Before that, she was lucky to celebrate Christmas at her foster homes.
“Okay,” Mia whispered and Narcissa didn’t hesitate to pull her into a tight hug, pressing a kiss to her forehead.
“Work hard,” Lucius tells her, pulling her into a side hug when Narcissa lets her go. “Keep safe. Have fun.”
Mia nods and pulls away, moving to stand next to the floo with Snape. He goes through first to catch her when she comes out. Mia accepts the handful of floo powder and steps into the fireplace. She tries to soak up the smiles that the Malfoy’s send her before she throws the powder down, shouting out her location and watching the warm smiles melt away in flames of green.
She is spat out of the fireplace and tumbled into the arms of Snape, who helped her stay upright.
“Come. I will walk you back,” Snape passes her the satchel that she left behind on the chair. Mia follows behind him, a warm feeling in her stomach. It was much better than the pit that had once been in her stomach much earlier in the day.
They stop in front of the Hufflepuff common room and Mia moves to enter the password when she hesitates. Before Snape can question her, she whirls around and throws her arms around his waist. He freezes before he hesitantly rests his hands onto her back.
“Thank you,” Mia whispered gratefully into his robe.
“Think nothing of it. I will be here for whenever you need me. Off you go now,” Snape waited until she let go and watched her tap the password before entering, the door swinging shut behind her.
Mia slept well that night, too tired to change out of her robes and flopping onto the bed.
Her happiness ends the next morning when she wakes up to hell. It turns out that her Ravenclaw partner snitched about her results and word spread fast.
Everybody knew who her parents were.
Mia tried to sneak out of the common room but she was stopped by three Hufflepuff boys, two sixth and one seventh year. They pinned her against the wall, two holding her wrists while the other drew on her face with his quill ink. They stuck her to the wall with a sticking charm, charming the ink to stay on her face, before they headed to breakfast.
Nobody bothered to help her. In the house of the most loyal, everyone abandoned her.
Her tears smeared with the ink and dripped the ink into her white uniform, dying her collar a spotty black.
Mia got so worked up that she couldn’t breathe. An uncommon bout of accidental magic unstuck her from the wall. She fell to her knees sobbing as she reached up to furiously scrub at her face. But she couldn’t undo the charm work of much older students.
Mia pulled herself together enough to yank the robe hood over her head and shuffled towards the only teacher that she trusted at the moment.
On the way through the dungeon, she bumped into a sixth year Slytherin who had a free period.
A wand was in her face and Mia cowered back before the wand was dropped.
“Oh, it’s you,” The Slytherin, which Mia recognized as Gemma Farley, frowned. “What happened? Who did this?”
Mia sniffled, ducking her head. She was unsure of why the Slytherin was being so nice.
“Let’s see if I can’t do something about this,” Gemma brandished her wand again but Mia shrank against the wall, sliding down to her butt so that she could cover her face with her hands.
She hears a sigh and feels a slender hand rest on her head. She flinched under the touch but Gemma did nothing more than rest their hand there.
“I’m not going to hex you,” Gemma told her after a few moments. “A lot of people may be against you right now but I’m not one of them.”
“Can you get Professor Snape?” Mia’s voice was tiny and pleading. Something she never wanted to expose to a Slytherin. But she was too tired emotionally and physically to put up a mask.
“Yes. Come. I can’t leave you alone in the halls like this,” Gemma helped Mia to her feet and wrapped an arm around her shoulder, tucking the shivering twelve-year-old under her arm. They head towards the potions classroom, Gemma steering her out of the way of obstacles as Mia kept her head ducked down to hide her face.
When they are a few yards from the door, Gemma lets her go. Mia resumes her position on the floor, sliding against the wall and curling up to tuck her face into her knees again as Gemma knocks briskly on the potions door, entering and the door swings shut behind her.
Mia felt so alone at the moment. Sure, people had jinked and hexed her but they had never fully humiliated her like this before.
Gemma exits a moment later, Snape trailing behind her.
Snape kneels next to Mia, grasping her chin to pull her face up. His eyes soaked up the words scrawled on her skin that Mia hadn’t had the courage to even read. She was too afraid.
“Farley, take her to the infirmary--” Snape started to instruct the Slytherin when Mia jerks forward.
“No!” Mia was too scared to go anywhere without someone she trusted and at that moment, Snape was the only person in the school. “Please, don’t make me!”
“Madame Pomfrey will protect you,” Snape tried to soothe her. “She cares not about who your parents are.”
“Please, no!” Mia started to panic again and Snape squeezed his eyes shut briefly. “Can’t you help me? Please?”
“I have class to teach,” Snape started, regret in his tone as Mia’s stomach dropped. “But I will open my floo and send you to Narcissa. She is a healer and will help you. Do you trust her to help you?” Snape questioned her. Mia jerked her head in a nod and Snape helped her up before turning to Gemma. “Thank you, Farley.”
Gemma understands the dismissal and nods at him, leaving as Snape leads Mia into his office. He stuck his head into the fireplace and spoke briefly to Narcissa about the situation before he gave Mia a pinch of floo powder and sent Mia through.
Mia collided with Lucius as she tumbled out of the fireplace. He catches her and helps her steady herself. Much like Snape, Lucius grasped her chin and pulled her face up to see the evidence for himself. His lips thinned as he inspected the words that marred her tear-stained face.
“Oh darling, come,” Narcissa ushered Mia further into the house, back to the sitting room where they had spent hours just the previous night. “Sit. Let me see.”
Mia takes a seat and hesitates. Narcissa waits patiently until Mia finally pulls her hood back to reveal her wild curly mess of red hair and the full extent of the damage that the boys did to her.
Narcissa waves her wand and it was quiet as she slowly undid the charmwork.
“Alright,” Narcissa finally moves back to check her work. “Let us go to wash your face.”
Narcissa helped Mia up and led her to the bathroom where for the first time, Mia saw her face.
The words were faded but still there. Mia felt her breath catch at the sight of them.
DARK LORD’S WHORE
DEATH EATER BITCH
Those were the words repeated from her face and down her neck to just the top of her ink-stained collar.
“Don’t cry,” Narcissa runs the water and wets a flannel cloth down. “You are stronger than those who hurt you.”
Mia leans into the touch as Narcissa washed her face.
“You can borrow one of Draco’s shirts,” Narcissa summoned a house elf to fetch one of Draco’s shirts. “You’ll feel better clean.”
Mia accepts the shirt. Narcissa turns around as Mia changed out of her stained shirt and into the slightly large button-up that hung off of her frame.
Washed and changed, Mia did feel better. Narcissa runs her fingers through Mia’s short red hair and the girl melts into the kind touch.
“Do you know what I see in the mirror?” Narcissa comments, straightening the collar around Mia’s neck as the young girl glanced up at the taller witch. “I see a young, beautiful witch with the prettiest red curls and crystal blue eyes.”
“I’m not pretty,” The words come out of Mia’s mouth before she can stop them. She had not meant to blurt it out.
Her self-esteem was wrecked from years of foster care.
“No,” Narcissa’s voice was firm but not unkind as she shakes her head. “I don’t ever want to hear those words come out of your mouth.”
“But I’m not,” Mia lightly protested.
“What makes you think that? Did someone tell you?” Narcissa coaxed but Mia kept quiet. “You listen to me. Nobody can tell you how you should feel about yourself. Nobody is perfect and everybody is unique. You are worthy, and pretty, and loved.”
Mia jerked at the last word, having never had it directed at her. She looked up at Narcissa with wide eyes.
“I knew you since you were a baby. You had play-dates with Draco and we even joked that you were like brother and sister. I’ve loved you since before you could walk,” Narcissa promised, eyes suspiciously wet. “I was devastated when you disappeared. Draco couldn’t be calmed. He kept asking to see ‘Ly’.”
“You loved Lyra,” Mia started. “I’m Mia.”
“You may be Mia, but you are the same person as Lyra. Mia. Lyra. It doesn’t matter. You can be whoever you want to be,” Narcissa combed her fingers through Mia’s curly hair, smoothing it out of her face. “If you want to be Mia then you be Mia.”
The young girl hesitates, looking at her portrait in the mirror. “And… what if I want to be Lyra?”
“Then you will be loved all the same,” Narcissa promised as she pressed a kiss to the top of Mia’s head. Mia wiggled under the positive attention.
Lyra wasn’t a bad person to be.
Mia Aspen was an unloved, neglected orphan. Lyra Selwyn was a missing, beloved daughter with people who were devastated at her disappearance.
“What is my middle name?” Mia looked up at Narcissa.
“Anastasia. After your mother,” Narcisssa replied gently.
Lyra Anastasia Selwyn was her name.
Now, standing in front of the mirror, she knew who she was.
Her name was Lyra. And that is who she would be.