Posted in Harry Potter, Rule 63, Short Fiction

tBS: Alchemy

The Big Short

Title: Alchemy
Author: darkseraphina
Prompt: Original Male Character
Characters/Pairings: female Harry Potter (Ianthe), OMC, OFC, Dursleys
Genre: drama, genderbent
Word Count: 2000
Warnings: . . . no canon, no beta, no fucks
Author’s Note: Nicolas Flamel is actually a character in something I’m working on, so I wanted to play with him to cement his character in my head. Technically, you could argue that he isn’t an original character but we never actually saw him or learned anything about his character. So, you know, fuck the rules.

Synopsis: The confrontation over the Philosopher’s Stone had repercussions that Dumbledore never imagined. Ianthe Potter isn’t quite sure what’s happening, but that’s not new when it comes to magic.

 

Four days after her first year at Hogwarts ended, Ianthe Potter ducked in the kitchen door of Number 4. Her time at the Dreadful Dursleys had, thus far, been painless — as much as living with people who wished you’d been drowned at birth could be. Fortunately, her relatives had decided to ignore Ianthe’s existence except to assign chores and glower ineffectively.

Ianthe aided by vanishing from breakfast until it was time to make supper. A school bag of books, homework and sandwiches meant she could wander Surrey for a good six hours a day, contentedly away from her relations. She’d always been self-sufficient and nine months at school with few adults and little supervision had only made her more so.

Oddly, Aunt Petunia wasn’t in the kitchen, ready to glare and snap instructions for supper. The clock assured her she wasn’t late. So where . . .?

Cautiously, Ianthe poked her head into the front room. If the Dursleys had company, they wouldn’t want her to be seen, and her curiosity wasn’t worth the vicious scold and lack of dinner it would earn her.

There was a guest in the living room; a man lounged casually in an armchair across from where the Dursleys sat in a row on the sofa. A man wearing smart, boldly coloured robes.

That explained Aunt Petunia’s sour face, Daisy’s pouty glower, and why Vernon looked like he’d been frozen in place, mid shout.

“Ah, mes enfant, there you are,” the wizard said cheerfully, without looking at her. “Come in, come in. You wish for tea? I know you English are most fond — myself, I prefer wine, but an afternoon snack is most civilized, yes?”

Wishing fiercely she was permitted to carry her wand, Ianthe edged forward. Sure enough, a lavish tea setting was laid out on the coffee table; Ianthe had washed every dish in the house at least twice and didn’t recognize the service. That and Daisy’s look of fearful longing, made her suspect it had been magicked up.

“Excuse me, sir, but . . . who are you?”

He turned to face her, and a little of Ianthe’s wariness faded; dark eyes laughed in a face neither old nor young, beautiful or plain. His mouth quirked in a cheeky little grin, he spoke in a cheerful French accent: “My wife despairs of my manners — I am Flamel. Nicolas Flamel, mes enfant.”

She gaped at the wizard. Ianthe had pictured Flamel as an old man, aged and learned like the headmaster; not this seemingly middle aged wizard with laughing eyes. “But — the stone was destroyed! The headmaster said you were going to die!”

“I see young Albus still excels at a lie made of half-truths. Come and sit, enfant, do not hover! Have a cake, yes? Good,” he seemed satisfied as she obeyed, still stuck on the thought of Albus Dumbledore as young. “I shall explain, yes? It is true that the stone you retrieved — most bravely, enfant, I commend you! — was destroyed.”

“But then —”

“No, no, enfant, eat your treat.” A cup of milky tea was pressed on her as she took a bite of lemon cake. Daisy stared piteously and was ignored. “It is also true that the stone you saw was the one which Albus had his man remove from Gringotts. However,” he smiled over his own cup, “the stone was not my Philosopher’s Stone — but a decoy.”

“A fake?”

“Yes indeed, a most clever fake! One of many, in fact.” He chuckled, pleased. “The goblins, you see; such craftsmen!”

“Did the Headmaster know?”

“Oh yes; he also knew the stone was trapped to kill any who tried to steal it.” All humour vanished. “You are very lucky, mes enfant, to have survived Albus’ gauntlet and the thief and the fake.”

“Then,” Ianthe said slowly, “then — I ruined your plans. Voldemort was supposed to take the fake and use it! I —”

“Were very strong and brave, enfant; it does Albus good to have his plans overturned, yes? Or he begins to think he is as wise as others believe.” Once again cheerful, Flamel refilled her cup.

“The headmaster’s plan? Not yours?”

“Oh, no, never would I agree to use the stone to bait a trap in a school. I am most put out with my old student. But! Now we come to matters most important, yes? I am sent by Ragnok, you see.”

Some of the information Hermione had crammed in her head had stuck; she knew that name. “The Goblin Chieftain?”

“You know of him, excellent!. You were hurt, you see, protecting an object made by goblin magic.”

“Am I in trouble? Because it was destroyed?”

Flamel chuckled. “No, enfant. So many thoughts and questions you have! Good, one must always question or one is little better than a patch of moss, growing but not thinking. No, young Albus will be the one to explain the removal and destruction of the stone. I would not care to guess at the fines that shall occur. No, you are owed a weregild.”

“A debt? But — why?”

“Because you are a child, and you were injured — nearly died, in fact — protecting what you believed was an object of great power. You also kept a goblin-made treasure from a thief and prevented that wretched —” he growled something in French “ — from returning. There is no getting out of it, I fear. Goblin’s take such things very seriously.”

“A debt?” Petunia asked warily. “They want to give us money?”

Ianthe’s jaw dropped at the transformation her words wrought on Flamel. Gone was the cheery Frenchman offering sweets and in his place was a wizard of great power and age. His face went to stone, his brow lowered, and his voice grew deeper and echoed as if it came from the bottom of a well.

“No, Petunia Evans, the goblins would have none to do with you. You would best be grateful that they know nothing of you, for there is nothing a goblin hates so much as one who betray family, shuns kin, or hurts a child. You and this —” he waved a hand at Vernon, “ — have had all you ever will your sister’s child.”

Aunt Petunia pressed herself back against the sofa and Daisy abandoned her longing stare at food in favour of ducking behind the sofa and her mother.

“Now, mes enfant, what do you know of weregild?”

“Um, it’s a debt of honour.” A little dazed from Flamel’s abrupt transformation, Ianthe struggled a moment to recall more. Hermione had been firm on researching the differences between muggle and magical society and, considering what they’d found, that was a good thing. It had also been useful in using their own customs against the pureblood bigots at Hogwarts. “Gold is often, but not always, the method of payment. They’re most often declared by the Horde, but the Noble Houses also call weregild under certain circumstances.”

“Most excellent! I am pleased to see you so clever!”

Ianthe shook her head. “I’m curious — it’s my friend Hermione who’s clever. And she and Ron and Neville were there that night, too.”

The immortal chuckled. “How clever of you to make such a clever friend, then. And yes, anyone involved your attempt to protect the fake is also owed a debt, though not a weregild. Your friends shall be rewarded for their bravery, though I imagine they shall be paid from the many fines Albus will be made to pay. But they have parents and guardians to see to such things on their behalf, mes enfant.” Ianthe looked towards the Dursleys, noting that even under a freezing charm, Vernon had managed to go puce with ire and insult. “Ah, your relations — they do not count.”

“Why, I never —!”

“Cared a jot for your sister’s child? Yes, that is most clear.” Flamel rose and clapped his hands together. “Now, you have eaten your cake? Excellent, then we go!”

“Wait — go where?”

“Nicolas, what have you told her? All this time and still you have not explained properly?”

A witch walked in the room — she could only be a witch, as her hat was blooming with living flowers with butterflies flitting between blooms — and like Flamel, appeared ageless. She was also milk pale and . . . sharp, Ianthe decided, the way her cheeks angled and her chin came to a point. Her violet eyes didn’t laugh as Flamel’s did, but there was a smile lingering around her mouth.

“Ah, my wife — she does like to scold me, enfant.”

“You must have a good scolding every hour, husband, or nothing would get done and you would waste away watching the world go by.” One long slim hand waved dismissively. “Bah, I despair of you, Nicolas; introduce me to the child.”

Mes enfant, this vision of loveliness is my Perenelle. My beloved wife, this clever fille is Ianthe Potter, Viscountess Glamorgan.”

“Hello, ma’am — wait, viscountess?”

Daisy snorted. “Wot, her.”

Petunia paled. “Stop! You’ll not tell her such — such —” Vernon grew even purpler.

“Nicolas, parchment. I shall write Albus my opinion of his guardianship. C’est vous plait, husband.”

“Ah, mon coeur —”

“Now, Nicolas.” Flamel immediately dug into a pocket — Ianthe blinked as his arm vanished to the elbow. “Now, dear one, you are Lady Potter, Viscountess Glamorgan.” Perenelle examined Ianthe closely, then nodded. “Bien, you will do very well. In Paris we shall shop for things more fitting to a lovely young witch. My hairdresser shall do wonders with your hair, you cannot imagine, and we shall then see how badly your education has been neglected, and correct, yes? Ah, bien, Nicolas — I write, you explain.”

Feeling a little like she’d swallowed a snitch again, she blinked up at Flamel’s sympathetic face. “Um?”

“I would say one grows accustomed to her, but lying is tedious, yes? But always she means well.”

“Is she going to send the headmaster a Howler?” she wondered, remembering an older student caught in a broom cupboard getting a loud and explosive letter.

“He should only wish such; the Howler spell is a pale imitation of Perenelle’s methods. Ah, mon coeur? Perhaps you might wait until later? Ragnok does expect us.”

The witch paused and frowned at him over her quill. “Are you trying to distract me?”

“Would I —?” she glared. “Yes. But I am also right.”

“Rarely,” she huffed, tucking parchment and quill away. “Fine, it will wait. Dear one, have you any belongings but those in your room and cupboard?”

“My bookbag.”

Bien, you shall retrieve it; I have the rest of your belongings.”

“You —” Ianthe curled in on herself, thinking of the locked door and room full of broken castoffs. “Why . . . wait — Paris? Why am I going to Paris?”

Flamel laid a hand on the back of her head. “Enfant, the only shame here is not yours to bear. As to Paris — well, we cannot leave you here, yes? So, we go to the Goblins for the weregild, and I shall pay my debt in guardianship.”

“But . . . you don’t have to.”

Perenelle huffed. “Child, no one has made us do what we do not wish to in five centuries. We would do as we choose and what is right. This is both. Fetch your bag, yes?”

Ianthe looked up at Flamel; his dark eyes gleamed. “So clever a witch is not so foolish as to deny a debt of honour owed to her, refuse help offered with good intentions — or turn aside potential lessons from ones with so much knowledge and experience, yes?”

The Flamels were over six hundred years old, masters of arcane magic. Ianthe imagined what they had to teach — and imagined Hermione’s reaction to her refusing this offer. “I’ll just — get my bag?”

“Very wise, young one.”


Nicolas Flamel, Perenelle Flamel, Ianthe Potter

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Author:

I have spent more time in fandom than in real life in the last decade. I'd offer cookies and a speech about joining the dark side, but if you found me here you've probably drunk the kool-aid already.

5 thoughts on “tBS: Alchemy

  1. ah… love it! I am always intrigued by fics that involve the Flamels. This was delightful. And I love that it was Hermione and Ianthe who research the differences between muggle and magic society. Such a good idea!

  2. That was bloody brilliant! Why, oh *why* couldn’t Rowling have written it this way?!

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