Pick Your Poison

Story A) James Lives Lily doesn't

Hi there so these are the Au's that I promised.

I'm Putting up the prologue and the first chapter of each Au and I want you lovely people to read them and decide which one you'd like to be continued.

Story A

Out of sight.

This is an au where Lily was killed by Voldemort while James, Sirius and Remus where away from Godric's Hollow helping Dumbledore destroy the Horcruxes.

Harmony lived but when she become older and started to resemble Lily to much for James to handle he ships her off to Beauxbatons.

It's a case of out of sight out of mind.

In 1997 the Tri-wizard tournament is held at Hogwarts giving 17 year old Harmony Potter the chance to confront the man who abandoned her and the chance to see the castle that she dreamed of as a child.

And if she happens to become intrigued by the dark brooding professor who also happens to hate James Potter as much as she does, there's no harm in that. Right?

STORY A

(Out Of Sight)

Prologue

James Potter loved Lily Evans.

It was simple, unequivocal and as damning a statement as Harmony Potter had ever heard in her seventeen years of life.

It was simple because everyone knew, that since the day that they'd first met, James Potter was besotted with Lily Evans.

It was unequivocal because saying James Potter wouldn't love Lily Evans for the rest of his natural life and probably even beyond that of the stars. Would be like trying to say that the grass wasn't green or that the sky wasn't blue.

It was damning because the grief he held, for the dead wife he still loved so desperately, would eclipse everything else in James Potters life … even the love he should've had for the daughter Lily had bore him.

Chapter One.

Back when James Potter had still been known as papa and Harmony had yet to realise his flaws as a human being. They would sit together in the shade of the large oak in their back garden and He would regale the young girl with stories of her mother. Stories that told of how beautiful, brave, brilliant and kind she'd been.

James also told her fantastical tales of princes and princesses as all decent parents do. But even these didn't escape the grip of her sainted mother.

Her mother was portrayed as the princess fair, while her papa portrayed himself as the handsome prince who'd won her heart.

When Harmony was a little older, older than four but younger than seven, the once happy, carefree tales became darker.

Her papa began to tell her tales of a rat who'd betrayed his brothers in all but blood, and of how he'd led an evil man to the princesses fortress while her prince and his two knights were away on a quest most important.

The rat had led the evil man to the princess, her papa would tell her, because the evil man had heard of a prophecy that foretold of his death at the hands of a babe born as the seventh month dies; so the evil man decided that the babe must die.

The rat, traitor that he was, readily agreed to help his master and betrayed the secret place where the fortress stood.

And so with the prince and the knights away, the evil man and his rat traitor went to the fortress on all hallows eve intending to murder the princesses babe in cold blood.

In the end the evil man was vanquished, but not by the babe. He was vanquished by a murdered mothers wish to keep her beautiful child safe from harm.

The prince and his knights returned to their fortress expecting to find the princess and the babe waiting for their return. But what they found was their fortress destroyed, their Princess dead and a squalling babe trapped in the remains of her broken crib.

The rat was soon hunted down by the prince and his knights.

A snivelling mess of a man who had no desire to face what he'd done and who'd tried to murder a village just to escape. But the prince was to fast for the rat and he'd been captured before he'd had chance to utter a single curse. In the end he was sent to a distant rock, surrounded by sea and patrolled by shadows, and the rat went slowly mad.

With the rat dealt with, the prince and his knights returned to their broken fortress and their squalling babe. Intent on rebuilding their kingdom and living as happily as they could without their princess fair.

Unfortunately for Harmony Potter however, fairytales, no matter how anchored in truth, are just that, tales; real life rarely has a truly happy ending.

As happy as her early childhood had been, the latter half held nothing but loneliness and a profound sense of grief.

Harmony could still remember a time when she'd lived for James Potter's attention and back then he'd still been more than happy to provide her with it.

But now, as she gazed up into the leaves of an alder tree outside her school in France, she couldn't honestly remember how long ago James had last sat with her and regaled her with stories of the prince and the princess.

It was well before she'd began to resemble her sainted mother of that she was quite certain. And it was certainly long before that hateful summer when James Potter had felt the need to exile his daughter to another country, just to keep his sanity; while she couldn't remember how long ago, she could still remember the little details of the last time he'd told her that story with almost perfect clarity.

She could remember it was late summer because the air had been hot and dry, and the sun had been playing hide and seek with the old oaks leaves. Casting dappled shadows on James' face as he'd absently played with her scruffy strawberry blond hair.

The light breeze that had danced around the reclining pair had been perfumed by the smells of dry grass, baked earth and the numerous flowers that had run along the edge of the garden.

The one other thing that had stuck with her, from that last telling of her parents story, was that James' eyes had seemed to be looking somewhere beyond the garden and the tree. It was like he wasn't even aware he was talking to his daughter at all.

Perhaps if she'd paid more attention back then, James' later abandonment of her wouldn't have come as such a heart breaking shock.

Harmony huffed out a breath, looking down at the daisy she'd absently been playing with. She'd turned the poor thing into a bedraggled mess.

She threw the flower to the ground, disgusted with herself for letting James Potter hijack her thoughts.

She was seventeen now; dwelling on the fact that James Potter would rather live his life with memories of a dead woman, than with his living breathing daughter would do her no good.

It wasn't her fault that James depression had gotten worse the older she'd got or that she'd begun to strongly resemble the mother that she'd never known.

When she been shipped off to Beauxbatons academy at the age of eleven she been distraught. She'd expected to go to Hogwarts, just like every other Potter before her had.

But by then James' long held grief meant he'd been absent from the family home for nearly a year.

When her hair turned from it's soft strawberry blond and into a darker shade of ginger like her mothers, not long after her tenth birthday, James Potter had fled the house and sequestered himself away in the glorious castle he'd mentioned so many times in his stories.

He hadn't told her he was leaving. She'd just woke up one morning to find that the house was empty.

There hadn't even been a note.

He'd left all of her care in the hands of a single house elf, her mostly absent godfather, a werewolf who never had as much time for her as he'd like to and a few dozen portraits that tutted at her more than they ever spoke to her.

It'd been lonely, but she'd gotten by with the hope that her papa would come back home one day, instead of spending all his time at Hogwarts; when that hope inevitably waned, she turned it to hoping she could see him once she was able to attend Hogwarts.

Then that horrid day, her eleventh birthday, happened. James selfishness had been intent on ripping the rug from under her feet once more, and it'd managed it with nothing more than a piece of parchment.

Harmony frowned absently, picking up a dry blade of grass before beginning to mangle it the same as she had the poor flower, she could remember that morning so well.

She'd all but run down to breakfast. She'd expected to see a thick cream envelope and a crotchety school owl waiting for her, but she'd been sorely disappointed.

Instead of the owl and the cream envelope, there'd been a solitary dove grey letter in the middle of the kitchen table.

She could still remember the coldness that had swept through her as she'd walked towards that unassuming little letter. She'd picked it up with trembling hands, unpicked sky-blue seal on the back, and began to read.

To

Miss Harmony Jacqueline Hosta Potter.

After receiving enquires from your father we have the great pleasure of informing you that you have been accepted to Académie de Magie Beauxbâtons (Beauxbatons academy of magic). We expect to see you for the start of term on September 2nd 1991.

Please find enclosed a list of required books and equipment.

It is also recommended that international students take a portkey the day before the term is due to start to prevent tardiness.

Yours sincerely

Madame Olympe Maxime

Headmistress of Beauxbatons Academy

She hadn't noticed the letter falling to the ground, her breathing growing rapid, or that the cheery kitchen seemed to fade out of existence as she'd struggled for breath.

Right there on that sunny morning at the end of July she'd had her very first anxiety attack; it wouldn't be that last one she'd have due to James Potter's selfishness either. Not by a long shot.

When her breathing had eventually eased and the sunny kitchen had come back into focus she found that she was on the floor with her back pressed tight in to the tables legs, as she held onto the base of her legs in a white knuckled grip.

She'd had the bruises around her ankles for nearly a week after that godforsaken letter had arrived.

She'd gingerly picked the letter back up, tracing over the damning words with a trembling finger.

After receiving enquires from your father.

The letter had crumpled in her hand, as she closed her eyes against the bitter words and silently wept into her bent legs.

Eventually she'd managed to force herself off the floor, throwing the letter on the table and marching out back to the dusty broom shed.

Flying cleared her head, and without the constant presence of adults in the house during that lonely year she'd not had anyone to tell her she couldn't go as high or as fast as she wanted.

With the summer breeze swirling around her and her empty stomach swooping as she'd done another dive, she'd come to the conclusion that her papa was no longer that man who told her stories or tucked her into bed and he never would be again.

When she'd eventually forced herself to look at the supply lists for the French school nearly a week later, having finally realised that she wasn't going to have a choice in where she was sent, she'd asked herself what type of parent would do this to their child.

Who would send a child, with no usable knowledge of magic or even a basic grasp of French, to a foreign school far away from anyone who was going to have her back.

In the end the answer had been simple, a parent wouldn't. But James Potter would.

She never called him papa again after that, not even in the privacy of her own head, she simply hadn't thought he deserved the title anymore

Harmony was pulled from her less than pleasant thoughts about her late childhood by the loud thump of half a dozen books hitting the dry ground next to her.

Releasing the mangled blade of grass, she Shielded her eyes against the late summer sun and smiled at the bushy haired witch that was about to join her under the shade of the alder tree.

"Hi Hermione, been raiding the library again?"

Her friend gave her an arch look.

"Of course I have. You've got this insane idea into your head to enter that blasted tournament, forgive me for wanting to be prepared just in case you do get picked by whoever this impartial judge is."

Harmony smiled. "Don't worry so much Mione', whoever they are they're unlikely to pick Beauxbatons rebel child."

Hermione huffed out a breath before picking up a book that was so old it looked like it's bindings were about to fall off.

"Whatever, if you truly believe that, then why put your name forwards in the first place?"

Harmony pursed her lips. "I put my name forwards because this might be my only chance of ever seeing Hogwarts. Merlin knows James is never willingly going to let me near the place."

Hermione settled the open book in her lap and looked over at her friend, worry etched around her eyes.

"Please tell me your not going to risk entering a magically binding contract just to get one over on your father".

Harmony scowled. "That man is not my father, he's the man who provided my genetic material, nothing else".

Hermione scowled back.

"Ok, fine. Please tell me that you're not risking being entered into a magical tournament, that could get you killed for Merlin's sake! Just so that you can get one over on James Potter".

Harmony looked away from her friend and began playing with a lock of her violently coloured hair.

"Fine I won't"

"Harmony!".

Harmony stopped fiddling with her hair and looked at her distraught friend. Even if she hadn't heard the undertones of it in her voice, she certainly wouldn't of missed the anxiety in her friends brown eyes.

With a sigh Harmony ran a hand through her long scruffy hair.

"Look I know it seems a stupid idea, even in my own head I'm having some serious misgivings … but you just wouldn't get this need Mione'. You didn't know about Hogwarts until you were more or less being pushed onto the train. But I grew up with stories of that castle; James robbed me of what should've been the best time of my life and instead I was left struggling in a school where I didn't know the language and was completely friendless … at least until you turned up anyway".

Hermione reached out a hand a rubbed at her friends shoulder comfortingly.

"I do get that Harmony, but the castle isn't anything special.. not really. It's certainly awe-inspiring when you first get there. But very quickly I learned it's a castle full of bullies and bigots and teachers who don't seem to be able to see past the end of their own noses. Why do you think I begged to be transferred? It wasn't just because my parents moved their practice to France, it was because I didn't want to remain in a school that saw me as nothing because I was too much of a know it all… or … not pure enough for their standards"

Harmony heard her friends voice catch and she leaned forwards to give her a hug.

"I get that Mione', I really do and if I ever come face to face with the wankers who called you those names they'll feel the end of my wand. But I want to go there. I think I need to prove to myself that my life wouldn't have been better if I'd been able to go to the magical castle that used to haunt my dreams and I think I still need to prove to myself that, that selfish man didn't fuck me up beyond repair."

Hermione's voice was slightly muffled when she answered because her head was still buried in her friends shoulder, but Harmony heard her well enough anyway.

"I'm not going to be able to talk you out of this am I?"

"Nope". Hermione pulled back and shook her head.

"Ok, fine. I won't ask again. But I swear to merlin Harmony Potter, if you get yourself killed during this hair brained plan, I will personally bring you back from the dead and kill you myself".

Harmony smiled. "Really feeling the love here Mione'".

Hermione sniffed before picking her book up off her lap and burying her head in it. "Well you should. Especially since I asked Madame Maxime to put my name down on the list of students who want to go".

Harmony's smile dropped. "You can't be serious! If you get picked you could get killed!".

Hermione didn't look up from her yellowing book, but Harmony heard the steel in her voice all the same.

"I'm taking the same risks you are, so you've no right to object. Besides if you thought for one second that I was going to let you go all the way to England without me, then you're seriously delusional".

She didn't really know what to say to that, so instead of saying anything she tackled her friend into a bone crushing hug that sent Hermione's book flying, and caused Harmony's glasses to squish into her face.

"I'm really glad you transferred from Hogwarts you know".

Harmony heard something that sounded suspiciously like a sniff from her friend, "Me to."

Clearing her throat Hermione pulled back form Harmony and picked up her book.

Harmony had the good grace not to draw attention to the fact that her friend discreetly wiped at her eyes as she picked her book back up.

As Hermione began to read once more, Harmony let the rustle of the alders leaves and the sound of old parchment being turned lull her into a state of semi relaxation against the trunk of the tree at her back. She could just feel herself being pulled into a light doze when a sudden exclamation from Hermione made her bolt upright and look over at her friend.

"What!".

"Nothing, I just remembered that Madame Maxime gave me a note for you when I went to her office to sign up for the tournament.. er, hang on I think I put it in one of the books so I didn't loose it".

A small smile tugged at Harmony's lips as she watched her friend start leafing through her various books and becoming more frantic when she couldn't find it.

"Oh, were has that blasted thing gone!.. I could've sworn I put it in this ... oh ... actually didn't I put it in ...".

Hermione abandoned her books and dug around in her bag for a few seconds; She came back with a triumphant smile and a small folded square of dove grey paper with a light blue seal.

"This is it. I remember now I was going to put it inside the books but I worried that the fresh wax might damage them so I put it in my bag instead".

Hermione sat there proudly for a few seconds holding the found parchment; She seemed to have quite forgotten that Harmony actually needed to be given it in order to read it.

"So … Are you going to let me read the note or do you want us to try our hand at divination again?".

Hermione flushed pink and handed the note over. "Don't even, taking that blasted class for one term was bad enough".

Harmony held back a snigger. It was well known amongst Beauxbatons students that Hermione Granger was a swot, but it was also well known that Hermione never gave up on something she felt was worthwhile. So her walking out of divinations had caused quite the stir. Because If Hermione Granger, future intellectual extraordinaire, refused to continue learning something then you knew it was a waste of time.

The classes attendance had dropped significantly after Hermione's walk out.

Poor Professor Prichard had been left with a very small flock of sheep to continue teaching the workings of the inner eye to.

Hermione made herself busy rearranging her books into two neat piles, while Harmony opened her note.

Honestly she wasn't expecting much, this was likely another summons for one infarction or another, Maxime had never really seemed to truly like her and she was forever berating her for one thing or another. The headmistress had looked like she'd sucked a particularly sour lemon when she'd asked Maxime to put her on the tournament list. She hadn't been able to refuse of course, but she'd looked like she'd wanted to.

Reading through the note Harmony let out a short bark of laughter.

"What?" asked Hermione.

"Oh nothing, Maxime was just trying to remind me that it would be quite 'improper', if I was to turn up at Hogwarts with, 'unnatural hair choices' and 'clothing only fit for a gang', and that she wouldn't hesitate in leaving me here to, 'think about my inappropriate life choices'. So in other words I have to turn up looking suitably Fleur-ish, if I don't want to be left behind."

Hermione looked at her friends abundance of brightly coloured hair critically.

"Do you want me to help you dye it? I know we have a free weekend before we leave, we could pick up a hair dye on the way to mum and dads".

Harmony shook her head sending her scruffy purple and black curls bouncing around her face.

"Nah, Don't worry about it. I'll put a colour charm on it just before we're due to leave. It'll last long enough that it'll be to late to send me back by the time it wears off".

Harmony felt a rather evil grin take over her face as a thought came to her, James was going to hate seeing her whatever she did so she might as well rub some salt in the wound while she was at it.

"Besides". Said Harmony as she lent back into the tree and crossed her legs at the ankles, her patent combat boots catching the summer sun as she did so. "I think the host school would appreciate me showing them some solidarity, don't you think?".

Hermione looked at her friend warily. "I know that look, what are you up to Harm?".

"Don't worry about it Mione', I think James Potter will love it".

With that she closed her eyes and let the sounds of late summer carry her away. She heard Hermione huff once more before resuming her book.

As she began to drift she had the idle thought that she would miss Beauxbatons.

Ironic really considering that she'd never wanted to be in this school in the first place. But it'd become her home, she hadn't been back to England for more than a few weeks every summer since she'd started here and she'd not seen James at all since the summer just before her second year.

She'd been with Sirius and Remus in Diagon alley enjoying an ice cream, when James had come out of Flourish and Blotts.

They'd all frozen like rabbits caught in a strong Lumos, but he'd recovered quicker than they had and after a terse nod at her godfather and his husband. James had briskly walked in the opposite direction of the trio and out of sight.

He hadn't looked at her once, it was like she no longer existed for James Potter.

Well. Thought Harmony as a slow smile spread over her lips. The times come for James Potter to realise you can't abandon a child without consequences.

I can't wait to see his face when he realises that I've invaded his precious haven.