Title: Spying for Voldemort (A Science Other than Deduction Sequel)
Fandom(s): Harry Potter Series and BBC Sherlock
Pairing(s): (past) fem!Harry/Sherlock, (possible) au!fem!Harry/Mycroft
Summary: “Magic was Might” and Amaryllis Potter, the distant cousin and half sister of girl-who-lived Henrietta Potter, was falling into line, never mind that she was from an alternate universe. She never imagined that she would be sent to spy on the Muggle PM or that she would meet Mycroft Holmes.
genderswap (Rule 63), pacifism, canon character death, alternate dimensions, hatred
It had happened on a summer’s day. Amaryllis Rhae Potter was running toward her mother when Lily Evans Potter turned into ash, crumbled, and fell to the earth. Amy cried out and realized that she was alone in the back garden of Potter Manse where she and her parents lived.
When she found her father, he hadn’t recognized her.
“Papa,” she begged. “Mama died.” She pointed out toward the orchard and he had followed her out to the ashes. Reynard Potter bent down to look at them, his fingers hovering above them momentarily, and then he prodded them with his wand.
It took two years to sort out what had happened.
Amaryllis Potter was the daughter of Reynard Potter, son of Charlus and Dorea, and Lily Rachelle Evans—elsewhere. Here they had never met. Her father was a forty year old bachelor, Lily Evans had married out of Hogwarts to his second cousin James Potter, son of Fleamont and Euphemia, and had a daughter, Henrietta Rose.
Reynard cherished Amaryllis, a glimpse of a life never lived, and she was three years ahead of her not-sister at Hogwarts. She watched when she was sorted into Gryffindor—thank goodness! Amaryllis remembered when Draco Malfoy discovered there was a Potter in Slytherin House.
“Potter?” he asked. He had a pointed face and they both shared the gray eyes of a Black.
“Ah,” she greeted. “It seems we share a common ancestor. Mother’s side or father’s?” Amaryllis liked to put firsties on the wrong foot, just to keep things interesting. Her boyfriend, Leopold Selwyn, thought it rather funny.
“Wh-what?” he sputtered.
She rolled her eyes and turned the page of The Prophet she was reading. “Look in the mirror and then come back and talk to me.”
Of course, he never did. Not that it bothered her any. Amaryllis heard through the elven port vine that Professor Snape had taken a disliking to Henrietta, but Amaryllis never really understood any particular bias. They were both Potters. They secretly had the same mother, although everyone assumed Amaryllis was a pureblood given that her father was the son of a Black and she was in Slytherin.
Her seventh year, Henrietta ended up in the Triwizard Tournament.
This was the one and only time she spoke to her sister.
“You’re a Slytherin,” Henrietta—known as Harry to everyone and anyone—accused.
“Well spotted,” Leopold rejoined, his button shining ‘Potter stinks.’ He and Amaryllis had had a long and very public argument about the buttons and had almost broken up over them. She contested that she didn’t want her boyfriend having a flashing sign saying that she “stinks” and he maintained that it was clearly about a different Potter. As it were, he could wear it Monday through Wednesdays and every other Sunday. They made a chart that hung in the Slytherin Common Room, charmed so only they could alter it, to keep them honest and so that the entire House could bear witness to their agreement.
They had certainly provided an evening’s entertainment for everyone.
“No,” Henrietta insisted, pushing her unruly black curls out of her face. “You,” she pointed at Amaryllis, “are a Slytherin and you’re not wearing a badge.”
Leopold just looked at Henrietta. His ash blond hair was a bit long and he pushed it behind his ears. “Are you daft, Potter?”
“No, she’s not,” Amaryllis quieted. “She just doesn’t know any better. Dad never spoke to James Potter, as far as I know.” She gave Henrietta a tight smile, always hating the girl for stealing away her mother and getting her killed, and walked away. The little pest could think what she wanted. She doubted a Slytherin would ever let slip about the argument.
Lily Potter had always been happy and healthy with Amaryllis and her father. She had been a Muggle-born during a time of war, but Reynard had kept them safe. They weren’t revolutionaries, they kept their heads down. Amaryllis had a happy childhood. She was even deeply loved when she came here, but she still missed her mother and an aching hole was left in her heart that no one could fill.
No one called her “Amy” anymore.
She was working at the Ministry, which had gone a bit mad, when Henrietta went rogue. There were whispers even among the Unspeakables, and body after body was brought before her to dissect, until the assignment came.
A dossier was pushed forward. “You can learn how to type, can’t you?” her superior asked. “We need someone in the Muggle Prime Minister’s office. Someone to make sure he doesn’t secretly try to interfere with us. We have our liaison, of course, but we need someone who is there for his private meetings. Get a read on him. Flirt, if you can. You’re pretty enough, aren’t you, Potter?”
Amaryllis looked at the file and flipped it open. The man was, naturally, married.
“I don’t have to break it off with Leopold Selwyn?” she checked. “It’s just, Dad was hoping we’d get engaged soon—and I’d rather not jeopardize that.” The two of them were twenty and there were actual rumors going around their friends. His younger sister Apricot had asked her about her favorite stone and Leopold had asked to speak to her father privately later that month. Twenty was perhaps a little young to get married, but her mother had married her father right out of Hogwarts elsewhere. She and James Potter had even done the same thing here.
There was even a rumor going around that Henrietta was getting engaged and, although she had left Hogwarts, she would have been a seventh year.
At least Amaryllis wasn’t a teenager.
“No,” the woman assured her, blowing smoke out of a cigarette. “Never. We must propagate the wizarding race. A Potter and a Selwyn sounds like the perfect mating material! The right sort of Potter, of course. Not this half-blood Undesirable wandering about the country like an assassin. Who was your mother?”
That was a question she had been asked several times, and which she always had a vague answer for: “An American. Quillan, I believe. Pureblood, obviously.”
“Americans,” the witch stated vaguely. “Closest ally and all that. Shame they had to gain their independence. Off with you now. You start in the morning.”
Her life wasn’t much different. She was the daughter of Reynard and Elizabeth Potter and a graduate of Groton College, Cambridge. Apparently she had studied Maths, which she understood was a simpler form of Arithmancy, for which she had received a perfect score on her N.E.W.T. level examination.
She went to a shop for wizards looking for Muggle clothing that was somehow still in business in Diagon Alley, and bought a blue suit that didn’t clash with her hair, and mentally prepared herself.
Amaryllis didn’t buy into the claptrap that Magic was Might. She thought that wizards had an edge to Muggles, but that was about it. However, she never thought she’d find a Muggle attractive, especially since she’d been with Leopold since they were fourteen. Perhaps that was part of the problem. It had been six years and they had changed so much.
They had grown up together. It was almost as if they had grown around one another, as if they were vines, when it would have been more natural to grow apart.
He was a tall man, a bit heavier round the middle, in a sleek suit and carrying an umbrella although rain wasn’t predicted for that particular day. He wore a button hole and a handkerchief, had dark auburn hair, darker than hers, and a character forming nose. Amaryllis rather liked the look of him.
“Potter!” someone called, and she stood with a pad and paper to see how she was needed in the Prime Minister’s office. His Personal Secretary was there, and she took a seat in the corner, pencil at the ready. No one, however, said anything. Then the man walked in.
“There’s a war,” he stated quietly, his voice smooth. “My brother’s dating one of them, and there’s definitely some conflict going on among the wizards.”
Amaryllis stopped, her pencil hovering over the paper.
“Dammit, man,” the Prime Minister hissed. “I have my personal assistant here!”
The attractive one looked over to where she was sitting in a blue wrap-around dress (she rather fancied blue; it always looked good with the auburn hair she inherited from her mother), his eyes honing in on her. “I didn’t realize it was office policy to invite unvetted members of staff to personal meetings with cabinet ministers.”
“You said that I had to take note of it. Miss Potter is taking note.”
“Interesting,” the man stated, sitting. “The witch in question is named Potter.”
Amaryllis lowered her eyes and tried to count to ten in her head. He could not be speaking about Henrietta, surely. She would, of course, give out sensitive information to a Muggle, information that could get him killed, but why would she date one? Didn’t she always hang around that pathetic Weasley character? There were surely more than enough brothers to choose from!
“Miss Potter, are you quite all right?”
She turned and looked at the Private Secretary and realized all three Muggles were looking at her intently. “Sorry,” she apologized. “I just imagined for a moment that someone said ‘wizard.’ I must have heard incorrectly.” She pretended to attempt a smile and then looked down at the pencil in her hand before placing it down firmly on the paper. “Please, continue.”
The handsome one looked at her shrewdly. “As I said, there’s some internal conflict going on. My brother’s girlfriend is also an active underground agent, it would appear. I can’t quite get the long or the short of it. She’s being secretive, and he’s trying to protect her. I only just got that much out of him. You say there was a regime change recently?”
“Just between ministers,” the Prime Minister answered, taking a long disbelieving glance at Amaryllis. “He seemed to think I wasn’t worth his time, but that shouldn’t be too unusual. They have their assets, of course.”
She was, of course, taking this all down in shorthand. She was a good personal assistant. It only made sense if you knew what they were talking about.
When the meeting wrapped up, Amaryllis pushed her hair out of her eyes, and took her notepad with her out of the office. She tried not to look at anyone, going straight to her desk to type up her notes. Of course, she was aware when someone was standing right in front of her desk. However, she continued typing.
“May I help you?” she asked.
There was silence for a few moments and she just kept on typing.
“I was worried that you might be feeling faint,” the smooth voice stated and she fought not to close her eyes. She had never felt such strong attraction to someone. Amaryllis finished the sentence and looked up to see the man. “I don’t believe I introduced myself, Miss Potter.”
“I assure you it wasn’t necessary. If you see the Prime Minister often enough, I will catch your name. I’m gratified you remembered mine.” She gave him a warm smile before turning back to her notes.
“I’m Mycroft, Lord Holmes.”
She paused again. That sounded like a wizarding title. She understood that titles in the Muggle world had nothing to do with actual surnames. Unfortunately, she was confused and as still as a muskrat in front of a kneazle. “I beg pardon?” She forced herself to look up again.
“Of course,” he apologized, hooking his umbrella on his arm. “Mycroft Holmes, former member of parliament for Little Wessex.”
“Pleasure,” she greeted, taking his outstretched hand, ready to shake it in the Muggle style. However, he kissed it. This was an insult in the wizarding world where the hand was lifted to just beneath the lips to show that a wizard was not worthy to kiss a witch’s hand. If he did kiss it, it meant that she was dirt beneath his feet. Now, Amaryllis had to force herself not to grimace or grab her hand back. When she reclaimed her hand, she asked carefully, “You mentioned a Potter, Mr. Holmes?”
He seemed nonplussed that she hadn’t used a title, which she hadn’t been sure how to use. “Countess Black, yes.”
She raised an eyebrow, genuinely surprised that she had inherited the title before herself. “Countess?”
“I find myself in elevated company.” Amaryllis hoped her voice didn’t sound too dry or offended. She felt doubly insulted. Not only had Henrietta stolen her mother, but she had taken her title. She’d probably taken Grimmauld Place as well. Why did she get everything that mattered? She could take the fame and the money and the infamy, but when it came to family, she just stole it all.
A black look must have come over her face, because Mycroft asked her if she were well.
“Quite,” she replied with a smile. “I was thinking of Henrietta.” As soon as she said it, she wished she could take it back.
Mycroft had a pleased smile on his face. “You do know the Countess Black.”
She did not answer. Instead, she ran her fingers through her hair as she pushed it to the side, a trick that often distracted Leopold, looked over to her notes and began to type. The clacking was quite annoying, she preferred the scratching of quills, but this would have to do for now while she was here. She would prefer to be in the bowels of the Ministry dissecting her half-sister’s victims once they were released from the Muggle police, but she was here instead and she had accidentally said Henrietta’s name.
Amaryllis thought of her so often, that it just—she was never meant to be a spy.
Slytherin cunning should have taught her better but everyone spoke of Henrietta back in the wizarding world, that it could easily be forgiven, especially when she was brought up.
“Mr. Holmes. How may I help you?” She continued to type.
“You know the Countess Black.”
“I’ve never met anyone with that name,” she admitted freely. “You are the first person I have met with a title,” she lied, “and I’m not entirely certain what to do with it.” Amaryllis looked up at him through her eyelashes. “My grandmother came from a titled family, but she died long before I was born.”
“My great-grandfather was an Earl. Quite far away, as you can see, and Father never cared about such things. He just wanted me happy and healthy.”
“And he wanted you as the personal assistant in an office?” Mycroft Holmes, m.p. was teasing her now.
“To the Prime Minister,” she teased back, smiling at him. “We cannot all be members of parliament, at least not yet, I suppose.”
“If you have political aspirations,” he began carefully, “perhaps I can take you out to dinner and you can ask a former member of parliament about campaigning and the actual inner workings of the House of Commons.”
She paused. “You’re not in the House of Commons, not anymore.” Amaryllis was nearly certain she had it correct. He was in the House of Lords if he was a ‘lord’ of some sort himself.
“No,” he agreed, “but I’ve watched them enough, been there enough.”
She slid her hand through her hair in that gesture again. “I talk politics all day.”
“Then I’m sure we can talk of something else.” His voice was a positive purr now. “You can tell me about Henrietta Potter and I can tell you about her boyfriend. You must report to someone.” His blue eyes flashed at her. “Or you could be family trying to find her, of course. Then I could help you in that aspiration.”
The Slytherin inside her stirred. “Who are you, Mycroft Holmes?”
“I’ll pick you up from here at six,” he promised and then he strolled out of the office with a smug look on his face.
Charyl, the girl with a desk near her, looked at her and said, “I just lost the pool. I bet three years ago that he was gay.”
Amaryllis looked over at her. “Pardon?”
“We have a pool about his sexuality. The office has been trying to guess since the P.M. came to power. I swore he was gay, but he was positively undressing you with his eyes!”
He was, wasn’t he? The thought sent a thrill through Amaryllis.
Of course, neither of them spoke until they got to the restaurant and their wine was served. Amaryllis realized she should be thinking about Leopold right about now, but she wasn’t. Her entire attention was focused on Mycroft.
She took the glass between her fingers, swirled it, and then sipped it. It had a heady aroma with just a hint of fruit. Mycroft had excellent taste.
“Let’s not insult my intelligence,” Mycroft began, “you’re some sort of secret agent.”
“I thought I was a concerned family member,” she rebuffed him. “If I were a secret agent, I would have been taken into detention. You’re the one who is a bit mad and deserves to be locked up. You think there are wizards out there.—I think we also know this is your idea of foreplay.” Amaryllis smirked at him.
“Very well, my dear. It is also a given that you are not quite as good at this game as you’d like to be.”
“I have played,” she whipped back. “Tell me of Henrietta.”
“Tell me how you know her,” he bargained.
She paused and looked at him. “There are two answers to your question. I can’t decide which to give you. I’m not certain you’ve earned what the entire world does not know.” She took another sip of wine. “We went to school together. When she was in a tournament, I neither supported her nor her opponent, which surprised her. Our fathers are second cousins.”
“She doesn’t know.”
“No,” she agreed. “She doesn’t know my name. I prefer it that way. Tell me: Henrietta.”
“She’s going about killing people who are unconnected. No one can figure out how she’s doing it, not even my brother who is a consulting detective for Scotland Yard.—Sherlock Holmes. He’s a ‘Muggle.’”
“So Henrietta is dating a Muggle—is engaged to him,” Amaryllis mused. “How everyone would laugh.”
“Is it really so horrible?” he asked her sincerely. “You’re here with me, now.”
Amaryllis didn’t bother to respond. “Whom has she bothered to kill? Surely you know their names.”
“Surely your employers do as well,” he purred back, tasting his wine.
“Even if I had employers,” she bounced back, “and even if they did, wouldn’t they wish to know who you knew about and confirm those who were missing? Now: the names.” Her gray eyes smoldered at him, the candlelight playing in their depths, and he seemed to be riveted a moment too long.
Mycroft Holmes took out a piece of paper from the pocket inside his suit jacket and handed it over. She took it in her slim fingers, which she had inherited from her father, and picked it up. Opening it, she saw a list of names beginning with ‘Lady Bellatrix Lestrange.’ She was a relative through her grandmother, ‘Lady Dorea Black,’ Amaryllis believed.
“It’s nice to see she’s killing off relations,” she commented as she slipped the list into a handbag. “An equal opportunity murderess. How does it happen?”
“There’s nothing physically wrong with them. They just have a look of shock on their face.”
That confirmed her findings that it was, indeed, the Killing Curse. She had actually been the one assigned to Bellatrix Lestrange herself. She had been the first casualty that they knew of. The pattern had just begun to form.
Death Eaters. Sometimes Amaryllis couldn’t believe her immense talent was being wasted spying on Muggles to see what they knew about dead Death Eaters.
“You knew that, of course,” he speculated.
“If you say so,” she agreed.
“Then tell me about the war,” he purred, moving closer to her, pushing his wine aside. “I also know that your name isn’t quite ‘Amy Potter’.”
“It might have been,” she responded gently, pushing her wine away as well, although not leaning in toward him to create the obvious intimacy he was favoring. “No, Amy is a nickname from childhood.” Oh, how long ago that was, before her mother was dead and nothing but ash. “It’s like Henrietta. Everyone calls her ‘Harry’. I never bothered to, of course. She was a Potter. As a relative, however distant, I thought it was proper to use her name.”
“Very well, Miss Potter, if you will not give me something so simple as your name—the war.”
She ran her fingers through her hair and watched as his eyes trailed the movement. “There is no war.”
“Lady Black seems to think—“
“The Countess Black is a delusional little girl who cannot accept that a war that ended the night her parents died when she was a toddler is, in fact, at an end,” she pressed. Amaryllis neglected to mention that You Know Who had been spotted not two years previously. “There has merely been a shift in political parties that is controlling our Ministry. The previous one was more tolerant of Muggle influences. This one is not. Some believe it’s a conspiracy, which is simply not the case. This Ministry simply has different values. The Minister was appointed for his politics, his judgment, and his many years of unswerving public service. She and a few others are merely upset things aren’t going her way.” Throughout all this she kept her voice cool, concise, and kept to the party line. Amaryllis personally thought the Ministry had become a little too strict, but this was the world in which she had lived. “They have to blame someone so they blame a dead man, a dead war lord. They say he’s alive. There was every proof that he died sixteen years ago and none that he’s alive now.” That was an outright lie, but she was here for a reason, and she would remain here for that reason.
She remembered living under You Know Who and this was eerily similar. They were reaching a pinnacle point and only an uprising of Muggleborns was fighting against what was happening.
However, Reynard and Lily Potter had never fought back. Reynard was not fighting back now, nor was his daughter. Amaryllis had even turned spy.
“So our favorite Countess is a renegade?”
“It would appear so,” she concurred, “so much so that she is engaged to a Muggle, and I know they’re engaged. Everyone’s talking about it.”
Mycroft looked at her contemplatively over his glass of wine. “Why do you think we are here, my dear?”
Why did she, indeed?
She was typing just three days later when Mycroft Holmes stopped in and offered to take her to lunch.
“I don’t eat lunch,” she informed him. Amaryllis hadn’t since she was sixteen and had decided her figure was more important than food.
“A cup of tea, surely.”
Amaryllis turned and saw Dolores Umbridge, dressed in a pink tweed suit with a large pink flower pinned to it standing in front of her. Whatever was this woman doing out of the Ministry?
“Lady Black,” she rasped, addressing Amaryllis, “I’m afraid you are needed to identify the remains of your cousin, Henrietta Potter.”
The office went still and Amaryllis blinked at her. It seemed she had inherited a title and now was an official member of the Wizengamot.
“You will begin your new duties at once, of course, at the behest of Minister Scrimgeour.” The woman seemed to have no sense of preservation. Really, everyone was listening including Mycroft Holmes, who was far too clever for his own good.
“Of course, Madam Umbridge,” she stated, standing and soothing out the wrinkles in her white skirt. Amaryllis picked up her handbag and followed the woman out of the office. Her eyes cut to Mycroft and he bowed to her slightly.—“I take It the Baron Potter will be joining us?” Surely her father, Reynard, had inherited that particular title.
“Indeed,” Umbridge stated. “I read your last report, Lady Black. May I compliment your work at your latest assignment?” The shorter woman looked up at Amaryllis who gave her a small smile to the woman who was her boss’s boss’s boss. However, she seemed to be past all that now. She was in a different branch of government. Amaryllis no longer reported to this woman in any way.
“Thank you, Madam Umbridge. You found me prying information from a member of the House of Lords when you entered.”
“Perhaps a special dispensation will be given to complete your work,” she stated, thinking. “You have made an important inroad—“
Amaryllis didn’t bother to listen with her full attention after that.
She was taken back to the Ministry of Magic and into the first Open Chamber of the Unspeakables. Her father was already waiting, his beard clipped perfectly, his hazel eyes complimented by his deep blue vest and cravat. He was looking down onto a slab of white marble at the body of a girl with a mass of black curls, a straight nose, and pale pink lips. She was wearing black silk robes that had been torn but what seemed like tree branches, her hands bloodied and cut up, her cheeks marred with scratches.
“It’s strange to think that she’s James’s daughter.”
It was strange to think that she was Mama’s, was left unsaid. She had the same shape of the eyes, the same cheekbones that Amaryllis had never inherited.
“It’s her,” Amaryllis stated. “We went to Hogwarts together. I would know my cousin anywhere.”
“Yes, she has the look of James about her,” Reynard agreed. “If she hadn’t had her face plastered all over The Prophet, I would still have little hesitation in identifying her.”
It was done.
They took the body back to Potter Manse and buried it in a corner of the graveyard. She wasn’t given an elaborate stone, just her name and the years of her birth and death. She was placed nowhere near Mama who was under a beautiful arbor of flowers. Her birth name was never mentioned, only “beloved mother” with the years of her birth and death as they would have been elsewhere.
Amaryllis was back at the Prime Minister’s office the following Monday, typing up notes, and she wasn’t surprised to see Mycroft Holmes. “Do you not wear black?” he asked, obviously meaning wizards.
“I see no reason,” she offered. “We spoke just the once and she was a very distant cousin.” Amaryllis stood up and filed away some papers, the Prime Minister did so like his paper trail, before coming back to Mycroft Holmes. “How may I help you?”
“My brother would like to visit the Countess Black’s grave.”
“I’m afraid you’re speaking to the Countess Black.” She sat down and went back to her computer.
He sighed and leaned against his umbrella. “The late Countess Black. He’s terribly—“
“I’m afraid it’s impossible,” she told him immediately. “He won’t be able to see the property to get onto it. My father wouldn’t allow him entrance. His presence would desecrate our graveyard. So you can see, Mr. Holmes, it’s quite out of the question.”
“I’m asking to let a man pay his last respects to his fiancée.”
“I understand,” she stated coldly, “and I appreciate that. However, it’s quite impossible, as I said. She had a beautiful diamond ring on her hand. I’m presuming it was given to her by him. I’m afraid we buried her with it.”
Mycroft Holmes gave her an inscrutable expression. “I suppose that is as it should be. However, my brother would like to pay his last respects.”
“I can give him the address of the house where her parents were killed. It’s a memorial to her family,” she suggested. “It’s quite the tourist attraction. Several people lay flowers there—although he won’t be able to see them.”
“Lady Black, you are quite impossible!”
She moved her fingers through her hair. Amaryllis doubted he lost his cool very often.
Silence descended between them. She could hear the clacking of keys around her and it was really quite irritating.
“Perhaps we can come to some other arrangement,” Mycroft suggested quietly. “How does one thousand pounds sound? Two?”
Amaryllis didn’t make any sign that he had insulted her. Instead, she merely took a calming breath through her nose. “I appreciate your brother’s pain, but I’m afraid that you are speaking to a pureblood. I am not a blood traitor who would sell her family’s secrets, Mr. Holmes.”
“I’m afraid you are addressing Baron Holmes,” he stated, parroting her words.
She looked up at him for the barest of moments. His face was harsh, as if it had been cut from stone. “Forgive me, Lord Holmes. Thank you for the correction. As I was saying, I am not a blood traitor, unlike my cousin. You can assure your brother that she was given a burial in family grounds and not in a Muggle cemetery like her father.”
Lily Potter had been buried along with him, but Reynard Potter, at Amaryllis’s request, had been quietly removed to Potter Manse when she had gone away to Hogwarts. It was strange how no one had yet to officially notice.
“Perhaps you would like to tell him.” There was no warmth in Mycroft’s voice, and she found she did not like it.
“I find I have no need to. Henrietta was nothing to me.” She turned back to her computer. “Good day, Lord Holmes.”
She wouldn’t see him again until after He Who Must Not Be Named Was Dead.
It was simple, really. Leopold had taken her to Hogwarts to propose and it had been the very day You Know Who had decided to attack. She came across him in the forest and turned her head to look at him. “Did you kill Henrietta Potter, my lord? I’m afraid I’m the one who had to identify the remains.”
“I did not have that pleasure,” he hissed, taking her in. “You must be the other Potter girl.”
“I am,” she agreed.
It was a conversation shorter than the one she had with her half-sister, but she dreamt about it far more often. He was dead within fifteen minutes. She didn’t see it happen and she didn’t bother to read about it much in The Daily Prophet. Her life was, of course, affected. Amaryllis was taken from the Prime Minister’s office and placed back in the bowels of the Ministry, her face hidden by a dark blue hood during the work day, a gold star around her neck.
She found Mycroft Holmes in front of the Houses of Parliament two years later, a large oval filled with diamonds on her left finger. It dated back over a century, a modern ring by pureblood standards. There was no set wedding date, which was how Amaryllis liked it.
“There was a war,” she said in greeting. “Henrietta was a casualty.”
Mycroft looked at her in her deep gold overdress and black heels and crossed the road. “Countess. I don’t suppose you’ll ever tell me your name.”
“I don’t suppose I will,” she agreed. “Did your brother ever go to Godric’s Hollow?”
He twirled his umbrella and set the tip firmly on the ground. “If he did he never told me. Why are you here, Countess?”
She swallowed. “I thought you should know. Henrietta killed my mother—or as good as. We’re half-sisters. It’s why I’d never let your brother visit her grave. I’d never give her the satisfaction.”
Mycroft paused and looked at her, his expression seeming to soften. “I am so sorry for your loss.”
“She was a wonderful mother,” Amaryllis explained. “Mama died in front of my very eyes when I was nine. She just turned to ash. Magic, you see. Henrietta didn’t know about me, of course, but she still got Mama killed, took her away.”
“You’re a grown woman. Surely you still can’t hold a child responsible—“
“Can’t I?” she asked desperately. “You’ve never run toward your mother, expecting to be caught, only to have her turn to nothing but dust, Lord Holmes. It’s horrifying for a child. And all because of Henrietta. Perfect, revered Henrietta. I hate the very sound of her name.”
“It must be difficult, to hate your own sister so much.”
She didn’t realize she was so tense, as she suddenly relaxed at the sound of Mycroft’s voice. “No. She was never a sister to me. She was always a famous individual that everyone knew of and spoke of and wanted to be. She was the Girl Who Lived, the Chosen One. I believe she thought it was difficult to be seen as a god incarnate, but I was much happier being a girl growing up with a loving father.—So, I wanted Sherlock to know. It was nothing personal. It was just that his fiancée killed my mother. Father and I would never let him on our land. We did what we could for her. We would do no more.”
“And am I guilty by association?” Mycroft asked, tilting his head, and brushing her auburn hair away from her face.
Amaryllis pulled away, understanding the tension between them. “I’m a witch, Mycroft. I’m engaged.”
His eyes flicked down. “Ah, the ring. My felicitations. A wizard, I take it?”
“Henrietta and I shared little in common,” was her sly answer.
Mycroft leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “Thank you for coming and saying goodbye, even if it has been several years.”
“Goodbye, Mycroft.” She sighed out his name.
“Tell me who you are.”
“Just Amy Potter,” she replied, and then she was gone.