Chapter One

“’Would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame!” Soon after saying her wish, the queen had a little daughter, whose skin was as white as snow, with lips as red as blood and hair as black as ebony; she was called Snow White.’”

Molly Weasley looked down at her son. Percy was leaning over the picture of the queen by the window, tracing the drawn black ebony frame.

Molly continued reading, her son looking deeply at the pictures, despite having looked upon them a thousand times before. Molly thought Percy should know every line of the pictures. Smiling softly at him, she continued. “And when the child was born, the queen died. After a year had passed the king took to himself another wife.”

“’Now Snow White grew up, and became more and more beautiful; and when she was seven years old she was as beautiful as the day and more beautiful than the Queen herself. When the Queen asked her looking glass: "Looking glass, looking glass, on the wall, who in this land is the fairest of all?" it answered: "Thou art fairer than all who are here, Lady Queen, but more beautiful by far is Snow White, I ween.’”

“She’s so pretty, mummy,” said Percy, looking at the picture of the young Snow White. He smiled at Molly. “When I grow up, I’m going to have my own princess.”

Molly smiled at her young son. “I’m sure you will, sweetie.”

After finishing the story, Molly shut the book and kissed Percy’s forehead. “Now it’s time for you to sleep. Good night, baby.”

“Good night, mummy,” said Percy sleepily.

Molly pulled the covers up over Percy and blew out the candle next to the bed, then left the room quietly with the worn book about ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ safely tucked under her arm.

The Ministry official showed Mr. and Mrs. Weasley into the small room. They all took their seats, the official behind the desk, Arthur and Molly in the two other chairs. Arthur took his wife’s hand, squeezing it lightly.

“You do understand that the boy has been abused,” said the official, looking from one to the other. “As such, he does not react to touch well, nor is he very well-developed. Getting him to trust you could pose a challenge.”

Molly nodded. “We understand and it only makes us more determined,” she said softly.

“This is all made even harder by the fact that the boy is who he is,” the Ministry official said, as though the Weasleys would have forgotten who the child was in the last five minutes.

“We don’t care about his fame,” said Arthur.

“We only want him to have a good home,” Molly finished, looking from her husband to the man behind the desk. “Please, sir, we already know everything there is to know and we know we want this boy. Please, let’s just sign the papers – I’m sure that the faster we get to him, the faster he will start trusting us.”

The Ministry official nodded. “Very well.”

He handed them a stack of parchments and told them where to sign. Molly’s hand shook as she signed her name on the last paper and handed it back.

The official looked through the papers to see that it was all in order before nodding and with a small smile, he said, “Congratulations, you are now the parents of Harry James Potter.”

The playpen at the Ministry didn’t offer much for a child to enjoy. Despite this, four-year-old Harry Potter looked as though he was in heaven. He touched the select few toys carefully, seeming afraid to break them.

Molly stood silently and watched him through the glass. Harry wasn’t aware of her eyes upon him; he started playing ever so quietly with one of the teddy bears in the room.

“Molly, dear, we should probably go inside,” said Arthur.

Molly turned to him, worried. “What if he doesn’t like us? What if we’re not good enough for him?”

Arthur kissed her forehead. “He’ll love us – how could he not love you? And I’m sure he’ll think we’re better than those Dursley-people.”

Molly’s eyes darkened at the mention of the Dursleys. “If I ever get my hands on them—” she promised, but trailed off looking back at Harry.

Arthur opened the door to the playpen and let his wife walk inside first. Harry dropped the teddy bear he held immediately and backed away, his eyes wide. He acted as though he’d done something wrong, though he most certainly hadn’t.

“Harry, it’s all right,” Molly said to him, getting down on one knee to be at his level.

Harry stood completely still a few feet away. His eyes darted from Molly to Arthur and back again.

“Come, Harry, I’m not going to hurt you, I promise,” Molly said. “You haven’t done anything wrong.”

Her tone was soft and coaxing and something in it seemed to speak to Harry. The small child walked slowly towards Molly. He sent hesitant looks at Arthur, who stayed back.

Two feet away from Molly, Harry stopped, biting his lip.

“Hi Harry,” Molly said to him. “I’m your new mum and I’ve come to take you home.”

“Home?” Harry asked worriedly, taking a quick step back.

Molly cursed the Dursleys inwardly for doing this to a child. No child should have to react to the word ‘home’ in a frightened manner. She didn’t show it to Harry though; she just said, “A new home. I’m going to be your mum. Is that okay with you?”

Harry didn’t answer. He looked confused and scared. Molly didn’t blame him; first being abused by the Dursleys for three years and then suddenly some strange people came and took him away and now she stood before him, telling him she was his new mother.

“Will you come with us, Harry?” Molly asked.

Harry looked at Arthur again, then at Molly. Finally, he gave a tiny nod. Molly smiled at him and he smiled tentatively back.

They Apparated to just outside the Burrow. Molly carried young Harry, who held onto the teddy bear he’d found in the play pen. His head was buried in Molly’s shoulder and she felt him tremble.

“Here, Harry,” she said softly, “this is your new home.”

Harry lifted his head hesitantly. Tresses of ebony hair blew in the wind, revealing Harry’s famous scar. Molly stroked the child’s back, trying to appear calm. She was anything but; she was livid at You-Know-Who for taking Harry’s parents in the first place and equally angry with the Dursleys for mistreating him. On top of that, she was nervous about what her children would say about another addition to the family and about how Harry would adapt to his new life.

“Not home,” Harry said, shaking his head and frowning slightly.

Molly nodded. “Yes it is; it’s your new home.”

Just then, the front door opened and the twins rushed out. Fred and George immediately ran to their mother and looked at the child in her arms.

“Is that the new one?” Fred asked.

“He’s not as small as Ginny was when she came home,” George frowned.

“He’s big,” Fred said, nodding with his twin.

Arthur took over, pushing the two in front of him back towards the house. “This one didn’t come from mum’s belly,” Arthur started explaining to the two redheaded boys.

Harry was looking wide-eyed at the twins. He seemed unable to decide whether to be scared or bewildered with their behaviour, so he just frowned slightly.

“Those two are your new brothers, Fred and George,” Molly explained to him. “They’re quite wild, I know.”

Harry nodded, slowly.

“Let’s go inside, shall we?” Molly asked and Harry nodded once more.

Arthur met her at the door. “Everyone is in the living room, save for Percy – he’s in the loo,” he explained with a smile.

Molly smiled at her husband.

They walked together into the living room. Harry clung to Molly tightly, hiding his face in her neck again.

“Harry,” Mrs. Weasley said, stroking his back to calm him, “this is your new family.”

Harry turned around hesitantly, his hands still fisted in Molly’s robes. He looked with wide eyes at the group of red-headed children sitting around the room.

“That’s Charlie,” Molly said, pointing to her eldest son, “with little Ginny on his lap. She’s even younger than you.”

Ginny was the only one in the room who didn’t seem particularly worried about the new boy that had been introduced to the family. The other children sat quietly and watched Harry. The twins were sitting but seemed to be bouncing in their seats.

Molly presented the rest of the children to Harry.

“And everyone, this is your new brother, Harry,” Molly said.

“Harryyy,” the twins imitated, laughing between themselves. Arthur and Molly both shot them stern looks.

Molly placed Harry on the floor, letting him stand on his own. He stood completely still, watching the group of strange people carefully, almost without blinking.

Just then, another child walked into the room.

Percy rounded the corner to the living room. His father had told him to come down; something was going on – his dad never called the whole family to the living room unless it was for something special, like Christmas.

Percy stopped dead in his tracks.

Before him stood a princess – she had ebony black hair falling softly around her face, skin as white as snow and lips as red as blood. She looked just like Snow White in the book – and she’d come to him, just as he knew she would.

“Mum,” Percy said, quite ecstatic, “that’s the girl I’m going to marry – it’s my princess!”

Molly covered her mouth with her hand while Fred and George roared with laughter. Charlie and Bill both laughed as well, while Arthur chuckled.

“He’s going to marry her!” Fred yelled between fits of laughter.

“He’s going to marry the princess!” George said, giggling madly.

“Fred, George, be quiet,” Molly said, sending stern looks at Arthur and the older boys as well. She turned to Percy. “Percy, darling, this is Harry – he’s a boy.”

Percy looked from the child before him to his mother. He blinked – it couldn’t be true. She was his princess – she couldn’t be a boy!

Harry looked helplessly around the room. There were tears in his eyes – what had he done this time? Nervous, he took a step back, then another and then he turned and ran out of the room.

Percy also looked at his family, still laughing at him. His cheeks heating up and the anger building within him, he followed Harry’s example and ran out of there.

Nine years later

Percy hurried down the stairs of Hogwarts towards the Great Hall. He’d finished his homework for the next week and thus he would be able to relax some for the weekend. He might even have time for his friends; he knew he’d neglected them lately – but Head Boy business was important and took a lot of time.

He opened the doors to the Great Hall. As soon as he went inside, his eyes found the telltale ebony hair.

His princess.

He’d never lived it down, that single sentence he’d uttered on the day Harry had been brought to the Weasley family. The twins would remind him of it at every opportunity and even his parents and older siblings were more than happy to tell the story over and over again.

So the memory of calling Harry his princess, the girl he was going to marry, had stuck with him and every time Percy lay eyes on him, the thought came back to him, unbidden – ‘That’s the girl I’m going to marry.’

It didn’t matter that Harry wasn’t a girl. Percy felt a stirring in his groin as he watched Harry laugh with his friends. His skin was tan now, no longer as white as snow as it once had been. Harry’s lips were still as red as blood, though, and his hair as black as ebony.

“Percy, are you coming or not?” Penelope Clearwater looked expectantly at him.

Percy shook himself out of his reverie and sat down next to her. They were just friends now; they’d tried being together but he’d finally broken up with her – he loved someone else. She’d been surprisingly understanding; perhaps she too was in love with someone else, though she hadn’t gotten together with anyone yet.

Percy ate quietly, watching Harry out of the corner of his eye. He knew he had to make his move soon, before someone else got to Harry. The boy was only thirteen years old, but Percy had heard from his younger brother Ron about Harry’s crush on Cho Chang. Percy couldn’t see what was attractive about the girl – she seemed more occupied with herself than anyone else, but then he wasn’t interested in girls much at all.

“You’ve got to eat something, Percy,” Penelope said. “You’ll be a walking skeleton before the year is over otherwise.”

Percy shrugged. He wasn’t particularly hungry.

Percy graduated from Hogwarts that spring. He had mixed feelings about it; he’d been offered a job at the Ministry which he’d already said yes to, so his income was secured. He’d be able to get an apartment in London, which meant that the luxury of having a place that was his own, something he’d gotten used to during his seventh year because of his status as Head Boy, would continue.

Still, thinking about living on his own and working in a new place made him nervous. On top of that, he would no longer be able to see Harry on a daily basis, which he’d also gotten used to in the last three years.

His parents picked him, the twins, Ron, Ginny and Harry up at the train station. Harry was unusually quiet. Percy had found out from Ron that Harry had found out about his crazy godfather, though it seemed something else had happened just before school ended.

Percy Apparated home while his parents used the Floo with his siblings. Apparition was an art Percy had mastered surprisingly easy. It was a freedom to be able to go anywhere he pleased.

He brought his trunk to his room and hesitated before he unpacked. This was likely to be his last time unpacking here; the next time, he would be unpacking in an apartment of his own.

He heard the family arrive downstairs and he thought for a second about going down. A moment later he heard Ron and Harry rush up the stairs towards their respective rooms. A short surge of familiar jealousy shot through him as he heard Ron and Harry talk loudly to each other. The two were of the same age, yet Percy still wondered what it was that had made Ron Harry’s best friend. Why couldn’t he, Percy, have been four years younger? It would have been so much easier.

Harry sat at the window, watching the dark night sky. Stars seemed sprinkled across the black velvet and the half-moon shone. Harry wondered where Professor Lupin was now – and where Sirius had escaped to. He hoped they were both all right.

There was a hesitant knock on the door.

“Come in,” Harry said, careful to keep his voice only just loud enough for the person outside to hear him. He didn’t want to wake the rest of the house.

Percy stood in the doorway. He was dressed in pyjamas, just as Harry was.

“Hey Percy,” Harry said, looking over at the older boy, slightly puzzled.

Percy looked fidgety and Harry wondered what he could possibly want at one in the morning.

“You can come in if you’d like,” Harry said, motioning towards the old, cushioned chair that stood below the window. Harry used it when he read and studied during the summer.

Percy nodded briefly, crossed the room and sat down on the chair. He didn’t look very comfortable; Harry wondered why. Then again, Percy had never been particularly comfortable around him. Of all the Weasleys, Percy had always seemed to be the one to dislike him. He kept his distance and rarely talked to Harry. So what was he doing in Harry’s room now, on the day before he moved to his own apartment?

“Did you want something?” Harry asked, looking out the window again. The light from the stars and the moon illuminated the grounds around the Burrow in soft silver light.

“I just—” Percy hesitated. “I don’t know. It’s— no, I should go.”

He stood up and walked towards the door. Before he reached it, however, Harry had caught up with him, grabbed his arm and turned Percy to face him.

“Percy? Is something wrong?”

Percy’s lips quirked into an almost-smile. His eyes darted nervously from the window to Harry. “I just—” he repeated once more. “I’m just going to miss you. When I move, I mean.”

Harry smiled at him. “You came in here to tell me that at one in the morning?”

“I, uh—” Percy stammered, “I didn’t think I’d have the chance tomorrow.”

“Probably not, what with the general chaos that seems to ensue whenever something big is happening,” Harry said, smiling slightly.

A lock of black hair fell into Harry’s eyes and Percy lifted his hand to tuck it behind his ear. The gesture was oddly intimate and Harry gazed at Percy. He didn’t say anything; this midnight meeting seemed to fill all the requirements for being called strange already.

Percy’s hand dropped to his side. “I— I should go,” he said, taking a step back. When Harry didn’t protest, Percy turned around and headed for the door.

Just as he was about to walk out, Harry said softly, “I’ll miss you too.”

Percy looked back to see Harry standing there, the soft moon light dancing across his face and Percy’s breath caught. He knew Harry was only thirteen, soon to be fourteen years old, and it was quite sick to think of him the way Percy was thinking of him – yet in his mind, he heard the words yet again.

“That’s the girl I’m going to marry – it’s my princess!”

The words fell away, one by one. “My princess.”

“My prince.”



Frightened by the intensity of his own feelings, Percy fled the room.

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