Description: Halimah Potter is back for her second year at Hogwarts! After surviving the travails of her first year, she is even more firmly sure of who she is, but Gilderoy Lockhart and the opening of the Chamber of Secrets will surely put her mettle to the test.
Characters: No Archive Warnings ApplyHalimah Potter Harry Potter Ron Weasley Hermione Granger Vernon Dursley Petunia Evans Dursley Dudley Dursley Dobby (Harry Potter) Hedwig (Harry Potter) Fred Weasley George Weasley Molly Weasley Ginny Weasley Arthur Weasley Rubeus Hagrid Draco Malfoy Lucius Malfoy Narcissa Black Malfoy Mr Borgin (Harry Potter) Neville Longbottom Seamus Finnigan Dean Thomas Parvati Patil Lavender Brown Sally-Anne Perks Vincent Crabbe Gregory Goyle Minerva McGonagall Filius Flitwick Pomona Sprout Severus Snape Albus Dumbledore Colin Creevey Gilderoy Lockhart Tom Riddle | Voldemort Trans!HarryPotter Trans Harry Potter – Character Trans George Weasley – Character Millicent Bulstrode Blaise ZabiniLGBTQ Character LGBTQ Themes LGBTQ Character of Color Trans Female Character trans themes Trans Harry Potter
Halimah Potter is back for her second year at Hogwarts! After surviving the travails of her first year, she is even more firmly sure of who she is, but Gilderoy Lockhart and the opening of the Chamber of Secrets will surely put her mettle to the test.
CW MISGENDERING, ABUSEThe Dursleys are still really shitty, and Halimah’s gonna be A LOT more angry about how house elves are treated.
Chapter 1: Halimah’s Worst Birthday
Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive. Mr. Vernon Dursley had been woken in the early hours of the morning by a loud hooting noise from his niece Halimah¡¯s room.
¡°Third time this week!¡± he roared across the table. ¡°If you can¡¯t control that owl, it¡¯ll have to go!¡±
Halimah tried, yet again, to explain.
,¡± she said. ¡°She¡¯s used to flying around outside. If I could just let her out at night ¡ª¡±
¡°Do I look stupid?¡± snarled Uncle Vernon, a bit of fried egg dangling from his bushy mustache. ¡°I know what¡¯ll happen if that owl¡¯s let out.¡±
He exchanged dark looks with his wife, Petunia.
Halimah tried to argue back but her words were drowned by a long, loud belch from the Dursleys¡¯ son, Dudley.
¡°I want more bacon.¡±
¡°There¡¯s more in the frying pan, sweetums,¡± said Aunt Petunia, turning misty eyes on her son. ¡°We must get you all the protein we can so you can be ready for boxing next term!¡±
Dudley, whose muscles were, frankly, alarmingly large for a twelve year old¡¯s, grinned and turned to Halimah.
¡°Pass the frying pan.¡±
¡°You¡¯ve forgotten the magic word,¡± said Halimah irritably.
The effect of this simple sentence on the rest of the family was incredible: Dudley gasped and fell off his chair; Mrs. Dursley gave a small scream and clapped her hands to her mouth; Mr. Dursley jumped to his feet, veins throbbing in his temples.
¡°I meant ¡®please¡¯!¡± said Halimah quickly. ¡°I didn¡¯t mean ¡ª¡±
¡°WHAT HAVE I TOLD YOU,¡± thundered her uncle, spraying spit over the table, ¡°ABOUT SAYING THE ¡®M¡¯ WORD IN OUR HOUSE?¡±
¡°But I ¡ª¡±
¡°HOW DARE YOU THREATEN DUDLEY!¡± roared Uncle Vernon, pounding the table with his fist.
¡°I just ¡ª¡±
¡°I WARNED YOU! I WILL NOT TOLERATE MENTION OF YOUR ABNORMALITY UNDER THIS ROOF!¡±
Halimah stared from her purple-faced uncle to his pale aunt, who was trying to help Dudley to his feet.
¡°All right,¡± said Halimah, ¡°
Uncle Vernon sat back down, breathing like a winded rhinoceros and watching Halimah closely out of the corners of his small, sharp eyes.
Ever since Halimah had come home for the summer holidays, Uncle Vernon had been treating her like a bomb that might go off at any moment, because Halimah Potter wasn¡¯t a run-of-the-mill girl. As a matter of fact, she was as not run-of-the-mill as it is possible to be.
Halimah Potter was a witch ¡ª a witch fresh from her first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, during which time she had also come out as a transgender girl. And if the Dursleys were unhappy to have her back for the holidays, it was nothing to how Halimah felt.
She missed Hogwarts so much it was like having a constant stomach ache. She missed the castle, with its secret passageways and ghosts, her classes (though perhaps not Snape, the Potions master), the mail arriving by owl, eating banquets in the Great Hall, sleeping in her four-poster bed in the girl¡¯s tower dormitory, visiting the gamekeeper, Hagrid, in his cabin next to the Forbidden Forest in the grounds, Quidditch, the most popular sport in the wizarding world (six tall goal posts, four flying balls, and fourteen players on broomsticks), and most of all, being able to be herself without the worry of being shouted at.
All Halimah¡¯s spellbooks, her wand, robes, girl¡¯s clothes, cauldron, and top-of-the-line Nimbus Two Thousand broomstick had been locked in the cupboard under the stairs by Uncle Vernon the instant Halimah had come home. What did the Dursleys care if Halimah lost her place on the House Quidditch team because she hadn¡¯t practiced all summer? What was it to the Dursleys if Halimah went back to school without any of her homework done? What did the Dursley¡¯s care that it cut like hot knives every time they called her ¡°Harry¡± and ¡°boy¡± and made her wear exclusively Dudley¡¯s oldest, most masculine clothes? The Dursleys were what magical folk called Muggles (not a drop of magical blood in their veins), and as far as they were concerned, having a witch in the family was even worse than having a transgender person in the family. Uncle Vernon had even padlocked Halimah¡¯s owl, Hedwig, inside her cage, to stop her from carrying messages to anyone in the wizarding world. Luckily, she had been able to smuggle out the doses of potion that kept her going on the right puberty, and kept the male puberty at bay.
Halimah looked nothing like the rest of the family. Uncle Vernon was large and neckless, with an enormous black mustache; Aunt Petunia was horse-faced and bony; Dudley was blond, pink, and muscle-bound. Halimah, on the other hand, was small and skinny, with warm brown skin, brilliant green eyes, and jet-black hair that was always untidy and had gotten a lot longer in the past year, almost down to her shoulders. She wore round glasses, and on her forehead was a thin, lightning-shaped scar.
It was this scar that made Halimah so particularly unusual, even for a witch. This scar was the only hint of Halimah¡¯s very mysterious past, of the reason she had been left on the Dursleys¡¯ doorstep eleven years before.
At the age of one year old, Halimah had somehow survived a curse from the greatest Dark wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort, whose name most witches, wizards, and sorcerers still feared to speak. Halimah¡¯s parents had died in Voldemort¡¯s attack, but Halimah had escaped with her lightning scar, and somehow ¡ª nobody understood why ¡ª Voldemort¡¯s powers had been destroyed the instant he had failed to kill Halimah.
So Halimah had been brought up by her dead mother¡¯s sister and her husband. She had spent ten years with the Dursleys, never understanding why she kept making odd things happen without meaning to, not understanding why they wouldn¡¯t believe that she was a girl, believing the Dursleys¡¯ story that she had got her scar in the car crash that had killed her parents.
And then, exactly a year ago, Hogwarts had written to Halimah (calling her by the correct name and everything), and the whole story had come out. Halimah had taken up her place at witch school, where she and her scar were famous (although there were still a few people who didn¡¯t understand her identity)…but now the school year was over, and she was back with the Dursleys for the summer, back to being treated like an irksome problem.
The Dursleys hadn¡¯t even remembered that today happened to be Halimah¡¯s twelfth birthday. Of course, her hopes hadn¡¯t been high; they¡¯d never given her a real present, let alone a cake ¡ª but to ignore it completely…
At that moment, Uncle Vernon cleared his throat importantly and said, ¡°Now, as we all know, today is a very important day.¡±
Halimah looked up, hardly daring to believe it.
¡°This could well be the day I make the biggest deal of my career,¡± said Uncle Vernon.
Halimah went back to her toast.
, she thought bitterly,
Uncle Vernon was talking about the stupid dinner party
. He¡¯d been talking of nothing else for two weeks. Some rich builder and his wife were coming to dinner and Uncle Vernon was hoping to get a huge order from him (Uncle Vernon¡¯s company made drills).
¡°I think we should run through the schedule one more time,¡± said Uncle Vernon. ¡°We should all be in position at eight o¡¯clock. Petunia, you will be ¡ª ?¡±
¡°In the lounge,¡± said Aunt Petunia promptly, ¡°waiting to welcome them graciously to our home.¡±
¡°Good, good. And Dudley?¡±
¡°I¡¯ll be waiting to open the door.¡± Dudley put on a foul, simpering smile. ¡°
May I take your coats, Mr. and Mrs. Mason?
him!¡± cried Aunt Petunia rapturously.
¡°Excellent, Dudley,¡± said Uncle Vernon. Then he rounded on Halimah. ¡°And you?¡±
¡°I¡¯ll be in my bedroom, making no noise and pretending I¡¯m not there,¡± said Halimah tonelessly.
¡°Exactly,¡± said Uncle Vernon nastily. ¡°I will lead them into the lounge, introduce you, Petunia, and pour them drinks. At eight-fifteen ¡ª¡±
¡°I¡¯ll announce dinner,¡± said Aunt Petunia.
¡°And, Dudley, you¡¯ll say ¡ª¡±
¡°May I take you through to the dining room, Mrs. Mason?¡± said Dudley, offering his arm to an invisible woman.
¡°My perfect little gentleman!¡± sniffed Aunt Petunia.
¡°And you?¡± said Uncle Vernon viciously to Halimah.
¡°I¡¯ll be in my room, making no noise and pretending I¡¯m not there,¡± said Halimah dully.
¡°Precisely. Now, we should aim to get in a few good compliments at dinner. Petunia, any ideas?¡±
¡°Vernon tells me you¡¯re a wonderful golfer, Mr. Mason…Do tell me where you bought your dress, Mrs. Mason…¡±
¡°How about ¡ª ¡®We had to write an essay about our hero at school, Mr. Mason, and I wrote about you.¡¯ ¡±
This was too much for both Aunt Petunia and Halimah. Aunt Petunia burst into tears and hugged her son, while Halimah ducked under the table so they wouldn¡¯t see her laughing.
Halimah glared at him and fought to keep her face straight as she emerged.
¡°I¡¯ll be in my room, making no noise and pretending I¡¯m not there,¡± she said, an edge to her voice.
¡°Too right, you will,¡± said Uncle Vernon forcefully. ¡°The Masons don¡¯t know anything about you and it¡¯s going to stay that way. When dinner¡¯s over, you take Mrs. Mason back to the lounge for coffee, Petunia, and I¡¯ll bring the subject around to drills. With any luck, I¡¯ll have the deal signed and sealed before the news at ten. We¡¯ll be shopping for a vacation home in Majorca this time tomorrow.¡±
Halimah couldn¡¯t feel too excited about this. She didn¡¯t think the Dursleys would like her any better in Majorca than they did on Privet Drive.
¡°Right ¡ª I¡¯m off into town to pick up the dinner jackets for Dudley and me. And you,¡± he snarled at Halimah. ¡°You stay out of your aunt¡¯s way while she¡¯s cleaning.¡±
Halimah left through the back door. It was a brilliant, sunny day. She crossed the lawn, slumped down on the garden bench, and sang under her breath:
¡°Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to me…¡±
No cards, no presents, and she would be spending the evening pretending not to exist. As if that was anything new to her; it was how she had spent her first ten years under the Dursleys thumbs. She gazed miserably into the hedge. She had never felt so lonely. More than anything else at Hogwarts, more even than playing Quidditch and being able to visibly be herself, Halimah missed her best friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. They, however, didn¡¯t seem to be missing her at all. Neither of them had written to her all summer, even though Ron had said he was going to ask Halimah to come and stay.
Countless times, Halimah had been on the point of unlocking Hedwig¡¯s cage by magic and sending her to Hermione and Ron with a letter, but it wasn¡¯t worth the risk. Underage witches weren¡¯t allowed to use magic outside of school. Halimah hadn¡¯t told the Dursleys this; she knew it was only their terror that she might turn them all into dung beetles that stopped them from locking her in the cupboard under the stairs with her wand and broomstick and clothes. For the first couple of weeks back, Halimah had enjoyed muttering nonsense words under her breath and watching Dudley tearing out of the room as fast as his legs would carry him. But the long silence from Hermione and Ron had made Halimah feel so cut off from the magical world that even taunting Dudley had lost its appeal ¡ª and now Hermione and Ron had forgotten her birthday.
What wouldn¡¯t she give now for a message from Hogwarts? From any witch, wizard, or sorcerer? She¡¯d almost be glad of a sight of her arch-enemy, Draco Malfoy, just to be sure it hadn¡¯t all been a dream…
Not that her whole year at Hogwarts had been fun. At the very end of last term, Halimah had come face-to-face with none other than Lord Voldemort himself. Voldemort might be a ruin of his former self, but he was still terrifying, still cunning, still determined to regain power. Halimah had slipped through Voldemort¡¯s clutches for a second time, but it had been a narrow escape, and even now, weeks later, Halimah kept waking in the night, drenched in cold sweat, wondering where Voldemort was now, remembering how he had hissed out hateful words, his livid face, his wide, mad eyes ¡ª
Halimah suddenly sat bolt upright on the garden bench. She had been staring absent-mindedly into the hedge ¡ª and the hedge was staring back. Two enormous green eyes had appeared among the leaves.
Halimah jumped to her feet just as a jeering voice floated across the lawn.
¡°I know what day it is,¡± sang Dudley, walking toward her.
The huge eyes blinked and vanished.
¡°What?¡± said Halimah, not taking her eyes off the spot where they had been.
¡°I know what day it is,¡± Dudley repeated, coming right up to her.
¡°Well done,¡± said Halimah in a bored voice. ¡°So you¡¯ve finally learned the days of the week.¡±
¡°Today¡¯s your birthday,¡± sneered Dudley. ¡°How come you haven¡¯t got any cards? Haven¡¯t you even got any freak friends at that freak place? Or do they all think you¡¯re gross for pretending to be a girl, too?¡±
¡°Better not let your mum hear you talking about my school.¡± said Halimah coolly.
Dudley glared at her.
¡°Why¡¯re you staring at the hedge?¡± he said suspiciously.
¡°I¡¯m trying to decide what would be the best spell to set it on fire,¡± said Halimah.
Dudley stumbled backward at once, a look of panic on his face.
¡°You c-can¡¯t ¡ª Dad told you you¡¯re not to do m-magic ¡ª he said he¡¯ll chuck you out of the house ¡ª and you haven¡¯t got anywhere else to go ¡ª you haven¡¯t got any friends to take you ¡ª¡±
¡°Jiggery pokery!¡± said Halimah in a fierce voice. ¡°Hocus pocus ¡ª squiggly wiggly ¡ª¡±
¡°MUUUUUUM!¡± howled Dudley, tripping over his feet as he dashed back toward the house. ¡°MUUUUM! He¡¯s doing you know what!¡±
Halimah paid dearly for her moment of fun. As neither Dudley nor the hedge was in any way hurt, Aunt Petunia knew she hadn¡¯t really done magic, but she still had to duck as she aimed a heavy blow at her head with the soapy frying pan.Then she gave her work to do, with the promise she wouldn¡¯t eat again until she¡¯d finished. She was reduced to cleaning and flinching at sudden movements all afternoon, her face burning, hating how much she feared them all.
While Dudley lolled around watching and eating ice cream, Halimah cleaned the windows, washed the car, mowed the lawn, trimmed the flowerbeds, pruned and watered the roses, and repainted the garden bench. The sun blazed overhead, burning the back of her neck. Halimah knew she shouldn¡¯t have risen to Dudley¡¯s bait, but Dudley had said the very thing Halimah had been thinking herself…maybe she didn¡¯t have any friends at Hogwarts…maybe they all thought she was a freak, too…
Wish they could see famous Halimah Potter now
, she thought savagely as she spread manure on the flower beds, his back aching, sweat running down her face. At least her hair was long enough now to pull back into a short braid.
It was half past seven in the evening when at last, exhausted, she heard Aunt Petunia calling her.
¡°Get in here! And walk on the newspaper!¡±
Halimah moved gladly into the shade of the gleaming kitchen. On top of the fridge stood tonight¡¯s pudding: a huge mound of whipped cream and sugared violets. A loin of roast pork was sizzling in the oven.
¡°Eat quickly! The Masons will be here soon!¡± snapped Aunt Petunia, pointing to two slices of bread and a lump of cheese on the kitchen table. She was already wearing a salmon-pink cocktail dress.
Halimah washed her hands and bolted down her pitiful supper. The moment she had finished, Aunt Petunia whisked away her plate.
As she passed the door to the living room, Halimah caught a glimpse of Uncle Vernon and Dudley in bow ties and dinner jackets. She had only just reached the upstairs landing when the doorbell rang and Uncle Vernon¡¯s furious face appeared at the foot of the stairs.
¡ª one sound ¡ª¡±
Halimah gave a rude hand gesture to the back of her uncle¡¯s head as he turned around, crossed to her bedroom on tiptoe, slipped inside, closed the door, and turned to collapse on her bed.
The trouble was, there was already someone sitting on it.