i just wanted to tell you, that i /adore/ your what-if harry potter one-shots. the newest one was lovely. i know you probably have a million things you want to write (love your giantkiller series too!!) but if you're looking for prompts at all, i'd /love/ to see your take on a what if harry had been born a girl.
They told the story differently. When they spoke in hushed whispers and in exultant shouts that Halloween about the Girl Who Lived, they did not wonder how she survived. They did not ask what hidden strengths of prophecy might lie under her skin. They talked of innocence. They spoke of purity. They murmured about blessings.
Harriet Lily Potter was left on the doorstep of 4 Privet Drive. They called her ugly and gave her Dudley’s hand-me-downs. They would tell people that she went to a boarding school for troubled young women. Dudley still offered to stick her head in toilets, and she still learned to snap back, “Really, Duds? The poor toilet’s never had anything as nasty as your head down it, it might hurt it,” and run.
Harry was the kind of girl who came home with scabby knees, who snuck the kitchen shears in the dead of night to snip her dark messy hair short. She wondered, as she curled up in her cupboard, if Vernon and Petunia would have loved a niece who was pretty instead of scrappy, who had soft hands and never burned the bacon at breakfast.
The story did not go much different.
When a giant banged down the door of the little shack on the little rock in the sea, Harry stood her trembling ground. When Hagrid offered her a happy birthday, a cake, a kindness, a hand, a new life, she took it.
When Harry stepped into Madame Malkin’s, Malfoy ignored her, eyes glazing over. Hagrid bought her an owl, eleven birthdays all wrapped into one.
When Harry asked if there was room for her to sit in his compartment on the Hogwarts Express, Ron said yes. She shared her candy. She told him he had a smudge on his nose.
When the first years all lined up on the steps, waiting to be let into the Hall and the Sorting, Ron went so pale all his freckles stood out. Harry shifted next to him, and then a girl with a flat nose, a round chin, and a sure twist to her mouth stepped in front of her and stuck out one bitten-nail hand. “Parkinson,” she said. “Pansy Parkinson. What are you doing hanging out with trash like Weasley, Potter? I can show you a better class of wizard.”
Harry curled her hands softly in her robes, still feeling like she was wearing a bathrobe and not real clothes. “I think I can figure that out just fine by myself, thank you.”
The story did not go much different. When the Hat called “POTTER, HARRIET” the hall went quiet, then filled with murmurs. It offered her Slytherin, but she thought of Parkinson’s sneer, of Ron’s smudged nose on the train, the way Molly had helped her through the platform entrance, and told it no.
“Then better be GRYFFINDOR,” it said and the red and gold table burst into noise.
There were five beds in the first year girls’ dormitory in Gryffindor Tower. Parvati Patil and Lavender Brown, both from good wizarding families, bonded immediately over Lavender’s sparkly purple nail polish.
Hermione’s hair was as bushy as Harry’s was a rumpled mess. “You could keep birds in there,” Parvati giggled to Lavender.
Nevy Longbottom was short, with rounded shoulders, rounded cheeks, plain brown hair. Her grandmother expected her to be good, but not brave. When the Hat had fallen over young Miss Longbottom’s eyes, it had sat even longer on her head, arguing silently with her small clenched fists. “Hat stall,” Ron had told Harry sagely in line, just as the Hat shouted out GRYFFINDOR.
“Is your name short for something?” Hermione demanded upon first introduction, as all the first years followed Percy Weasley up to the Tower, the girls clustered in the back. “It sounds short for something.”
Nevy went a slightly miserable red. “No,” she said. When they reached the dormitory proper, the first thing Nevy did was tuck Trevor the toad’s shoebox safely under her bed.
When Draco Malfoy stole Nevy’s Rememberall, Harry hopped on a broom. When McGonagall saw her snatch the tiny, glinting ball from the air, she dragged her off not to detention but to Wood and a new era of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
Fred and George tracked her down to give her a congratulations and a pair of twinned grins, but at dinnertime the Chasers swooped down on their newest team member– Angelina Johnson, Katie Bell, and Alicia Spinnett. “Oh my god, you’re adorable,” said Alicia. “I want to ruffle your hair, can I ruffle your hair?”
“It’s not going to make it worse,” said Harry.
When Draco challenged Ron to a duel, Harry jumped in as his second as soon as someone explained the concept to her. Pansy, sneering still, always sneering, her face was gonna stick like that, cornered Draco and made him kick Crabbe out as his second and take her on instead. It was a trap, anyway, and Harry and co. just ended up running into a three-headed dog while running from Filch, but Pansy cared about the details of things.
When a troll got into the dungeons, Harry overheard Parvati and Lavender talking about Hermione crying in the bathrooms. She peeled off the back of the group to find her, Ron grumblingly and loyally at her heels.
The story did not go much different, except– when a dragon was born in Hagrid’s fireplace, it was Pansy who peeked through the windows, and Pansy who earned her own detention by catching them after hours without Harry’s Invisibility Cloak.
The story didn’t go much different, except– Hermione stayed up late studying, reading beneath the covers by light of a Lumos, chewing on the ends of the ball-point pens she had brought from home and only took out behind the closed doors of their dormitory room. Lavender curled up on Parvati’s four-poster and they painted each other’s toes. It turned out Nevy could do these tiny beautiful flowers picked out in nail polish, so they invited her up, too.
When the Yule Ball came, three years from those awkward first few weeks, Nevy wouldn’t practice her dance steps with an invisible partner. Hermione would enchant music to play and read her books while Lavender spun Nevy round and round their cluttered floor, leaping askew cauldrons and piles of scarves.
When they figured out about the Sorcerer’s Stone, they guessed wrong about Snape, they guessed wrong about Quirrell. Lavender and Parvati slept through the whispered argument Hermione and Harry had with Nevy, and the Petrificus Totalus that left her rigid in bed. They met up with Ron in the Common Roon and headed to the forbidden third floor corridor, three eleven-year-olds out to save their little part of the world.