Disclaimer: Not the Rowling, not the Kanzaka.


Thanks once again to all who have reviewed and favourited this story. Life continues to make writing an occasional hobby at best, but at least it’s here...

“Hello.”  :  voice.
“Hello.”  :  voice over phone, radio, TV...
‹Hello.›  :  thought.
Hello.  :  spellcasting, or other invocations of power.


DOUBLED! Harry and Lina’s first hug!

“It’s here, Master Harry! Your Hogwarts letter has arrived!”

With a flourish, Mandy presented Harry with a heavy parchment envelope. Harry smiled his thanks as he took it from her, then read:

Mr Harry Potter
care of Ms Lina Inverse
The Master Bedroom
Inverse House
Canonbury Square

“Okay, even though you explained it Mandy, it’s still a bit spooky that the school knew what address to put on this.” He turned the letter over to examine the wax seal.

“It’s magic, Master Harry. Are you going to open it?” Mandy was fair bouncing on the spot with excitement.

“Of course Mandy. Hang on...” Harry broke the envelope’s seal, and unfolded the contents.

“Headmaster Albus... Dumbdoor? Order of Merlin, yadda yadda... does this bloke have enough titles yet? Anyway, Dear Mister Potter, we are pleased to inform you yadda yadda... list of all necessary books... await your owl. Yours etc.” He flipped over to the second sheet, then went on, “First year students will require... we’ve got all those, though I still think the hat is dumb... name tags? I’m eleven, not four! Copy each of the following... I think we’ve got these as well, haven’t we Mandy?”

“Not the Dark Forces book, Master Harry. And the house copy of Herbs and Fungi is probably out of date. But we have all the others.”

“Wand, cauldron — what’s next, a broom? — no wait, no broom allowed. Oh well. We’ll need to pick all that up, I think?”

“No need, Master Harry. House Inverse has all the things needed, from old times. A wand is all you’ll need to get, and a pet if you want.”

“Probably an owl,” commented Harry. “Having our own post-owl would be handy. By the way, Mandy,” he went on to the grinning house-elf, “why are you so excited?”

“Because I can feel Master Harry’s magic, and it’s excited. Also, it has been many long years since this house sent children to Hogwarts, and Mandy is so PROUD!” She wrapped her arms around Harry’s legs in a tight hug, then released him after a moment. “Mandy will go and lay out Master and Mistress’ walking-out clothes, so we can go to Diagon Alley!”



Lina took over for the trip in to the Alley, as was their habit by now. With Harry only needing to pick up two items, she sent Mandy off to get the missing books, and gave her leave to go on an expedition to find some fabric she wanted for the curtains and soft furnishings in the last couple of unfinished rooms.

Neither house-elf nor sorceress noticed a furtive figure mark their presence, and hurry off into the Leaky Cauldron.

“Right,” said Lina, glancing unimpressed at Ollivander’s dingy exterior. “One wand, coming up...” She pushed the door open, and transformed into Harry as it closed behind her.

“Now that’s an interesting disguise spell, Mister Potter,” said a voice by his ear.

Harry jumped and turned, flaring his aura defensively. The old man by the door raised his hands in a placating gesture. “Just my little joke, Mister Potter. No need to fly off the handle.”

Harry glared at him for a moment, then relaxed. “I suppose not. So, apparently I need to get a wand?”

“Indeed, let’s be about it. Which is your wand arm?”

Harry indicated his right, and Ollivander’s animated tape measure began its bizarre dance.

“All right Mister Potter,” said the wandmaker once his tape had finished, “let’s see what we have for you. Hmmm...” He rummaged among the boxes stacked against the shop wall, then pulled one out and handed the wand within to Harry. “Try this. Elm and unicorn hair. Just hold it loosely and give it a wave.”

Harry complied. Nothing happened.

“Hmm. In that case...” More rummaging, a second wand, a second attempt, and...


“How odd,” said Ollivander, obviously perplexed. “Perhaps...”

Nothing with the third wand. Nor the fourth, fifth, nor any other for another fifteen.

“I wonder...” said Ollivander, then went further back into his shop and pulled out an older-looking box. “Holly and phoenix feather...”

Now rather bored with the entire proceedings, Harry took the wand and waved it.

Nothing happened.

“Mister Potter... Mister Potter, are you quite sure you are a wizard?”

Lighting. Pretty sure.”

“Indeed... Mister Potter, when I ask a normal young wizard or witch to wave one of my wands, they invariably let some of their magic leak. This leakage interacts with the wand, and tells me if the match is good.” Ollivander leaned on his shop counter, bringing his silver eyes on a level with Harry’s green ones. “Might I suggest that you relax your formidable control over your magic, so that we may proceed?”

Harry rolled his eyes. “Sorry, force of habit.”

“So. Elm and unicorn hair?”



The wand’s shaft burst open, splinters spreading out from the handle like very thin petals, and a silvery-grey strand of hair swung limply for a moment before crumbling into dust.

“Mister Potter!”



Ten minutes, thirty Galleons, and five more destroyed wands later, Harry managed to work out how much magic he could safely push into one of Ollivander’s wands, and Mr. Ollivander finally managed to locate a wand that matched Harry well enough to have a good chance of survival in case of accidents (”Oak, from a tree that survived three lightning strikes, and a heartstring from a particularly large and indomitable Hungarian Horntail”).

Harry released control to Lina as they passed back out the door, which was somewhat unfair, as she still needed a good minute to finish laughing. Her cackles and inability to stand straight drew a fair bit of attention. Several rumours about the cause of this hilarity, many relating to wand size, made the rounds of the Alley over the next few days.

Once Lina was able to walk, she headed down the Alley to Eelyop’s, and once again let Harry take over inside — after all, it was his owl they were getting.

The shop was incredibly dingy inside, and smelled as if it had not been cleaned for years. Loose down and thick dust covered every flat surface. Fortunately the cages looked clean enough, and their inhabitants appeared healthy, if rather listless.

Except for one. At the very back of the shop, a large owl, white with dense black chevrons over wings and breast, was bobbing up and down on its perch. As soon as Harry’s gaze alighted on it, it called hoo-ah, hoo-ah a few times, then sat back and waited, expectantly.

Harry went over to the cage and examined the owl. It returned his gaze, then blinked slowly and yawned, revealing that the petite beak normally visible was only the tip of an enormous raptor’s maw, concealed by the facial feathers.

“Snowy owl,” said the shop assistant, coming to stand beside Harry. “Don’t often get them here, but she’s been stuck here for a while. Doesn’t like many people, but she seems to have taken a shine to you.” As if to back up his claims, the owl snapped her beak at the shop assistant twice, then went back to examining Harry.

“Can I see her out, please?” asked Harry.

“Suppose so,” said the assistant, and unlocked the cage, then stepped back smartly as the owl snapped her beak at him again.

Harry eased the door open and, pulling the sleeve of his robe down over his hand, presented it to the owl. She hopped to the edge of the cage, then lunged out, opening her wings more than four feet before getting her balance and folding them again.

“She’s a big bird,” said Harry in awe.

“Heavy, too,” commented the assistant. The owl barked at him.

“I don’t think she likes being insulted,” commented Harry. “May I?” He held his free hand out to the owl’s breast, not quite touching her. When the owl didn’t object, he ran his fingers gently down her feathers, from the smooth covering on her breast to the downy tufts around her legs.

“So soft... and so quiet...” whispered Harry. “Muon to Yuki...” The owl dipped her head twice at the words.

“What’s that?” asked the assistant.

“Muon to Yuki,” repeated Harry.

“What kind of language is that?”

“Japanese,” said Harry distractedly. “I can’t speak it, but I picked up a few words from a friend. If I’m remembering right, it means ‘silence and snow’.”

“I suppose it’s as good a name as any,” said the assistant grudgingly. “She seems to like it, anyway.”

“How much? And what will I need, to take care of her properly?” The shop door opened, and Mandy let herself in, waving to Harry.

“Like I said, we don’t get snowys here very often. Forty Galleons.”

“And I thought you were having trouble getting rid of her?” said Harry, gesturing to the sales board, where the highest price was fifteen Galleons. “Hello Mandy, did you get everything you needed?”

“All right, tell you what... thirty-five Galleons, and I’ll throw in the cage and a perch, plus some owl treats and our care handbook.”

Mandy beckoned Harry over, and whispered in his ear.

“Thirty, and make it two perches. We’ve a big house.”



“Thanks Mandy,” said Harry as they reappeared in Inverse House’s main hall. “Could you set up Muon’s things in our bedroom once you’re finished unpacking?”

“Of course, Master Harry,” said Mandy, then popped off with her bags of fabric.

“All right, Muon,” Harry went on, “through here is the living room. I suppose this is the best place for your other perch.” He pushed the door open and went in, Muon taking wing and gliding across the room as he did.

Suddenly, a shrill female voice from behind the door snapped “Petrificus Totalus!”, and Harry toppled over as his arms and legs snapped together. Muon barked loudly several times from her perch on a chair back. Then something prodded Harry in the shoulder, and the woman said, “No, you’re not the one I want. Where is she, boy?”

“Right behind you, old woman,” came Lina’s voice. “Now, release him!”

“You can’t just order me around,” said the woman, her voice rising. “Do you know who I am?”

“I don’t care,” said Lina in a sing-song voice. “Release him!”

“Aaah! All right, all right! Finite!

Mobility restored, Harry rolled to his feet, then gawked in amazement. There was his erstwhile captor, an extremely short and dumpy older woman dressed in pink robes. Behind her was Lina, looking just as Harry saw her in the mirror from behind her eyes, holding her sword to the woman’s back. Judging by their poses, Lina had just let the woman feel the tip of her blade in her flesh.

Lina winked at Harry, then raised a hand and called “Laphas Seed!” Magical ropes sprang into being around the woman, and wrapped around her, restraining her completely. “That should hold her for a while,” she said, sheathing her sword, then held her arms open to Harry. “How about a hug, little brother?”

The Lina inside Harry seemed to give an unconcerned shrug. Harry shook himself, then leapt into Lina’s embrace, wrapping his arms around her. Tears ran down his cheeks, wetting her hair as he whispered, “Big sis, big sis, is it really you?”

“It’s really me, Harry. Well, as much as possible anyway.”

“Huh? How?” Harry pulled away slightly, and looked her in the eyes, which were themselves suspiciously moist.

Lina giggled. “I’m really tempted to say ‘himitsu desu’ right now, but you actually need to know.” She turned her head towards the door. “Mandy, it’s safe to come in now.”

The house-elf walked cautiously into the room, then straightened up when she saw the woman on the floor, and went to stand in front of her proudly.

“Mandy,” snapped the woman. “That little chit murdered my cousins, your masters! Restrain her and the boy, and release me!”

Mandy just folded her arms.

“Mandy you worthless little piece of filth! Do as I say!” The woman’s leg twitched slightly, as if she was used to backing up such commands with a stamp of her foot.

Mandy turned to Lina and Harry. “Mistress Lina, Master Harry, this is Dolores Umbridge, cousin to Morsus and Turpis Umbridge, who you slew in lawful combat,” she stressed, turning back to the woman. “Magic has declared Mistress Lina to be your Head of House. You have attacked one who is under her protection, and are hoping to attack her too. Do you think your magic will allow you to get away with that?”

Dolores looked frightened, then confused. “But... how?” She rallied herself again. “How can she possibly be the head of House Umbridge, you stupid creature?”

Harry growled at that, and Lina prodded Dolores with a foot. “Stop calling Mandy names. She’s a valued member of House Inverse, which is more than we can say about you, at the moment.”

“House Inverse? What nonsense is that? And don’t you take that tone with me, you little—”

Shut up,” said Lina forcefully. Dolores’ mouth clamped itself closed, much to her surprise and consternation.

Now do you believe she’s your head of house?” said Mandy, smirking. “That was the Head’s Command, right there.”

“So, who exactly is this... Dolores?” asked Lina.

Mandy nodded. “Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic, Mistress. It’s a position of extreme trust and responsibility—”

“Sort of like you, Mandy,” interjected Harry.

Mandy blushed and went on, “Except she got her position by ruthlessly cutting down her co-workers and bribing her superiors, when she couldn’t blackmail them. Her father Orford was the black sheep of the family; he married a muggle and even after she left him he couldn’t get a decent position. Dolores forced him out of his menial job at the Ministry so she could claim to be a pure-blood. It’s the only way she could rise as high as she did, given the current social climate.”

“So...” said Lina, smirking. “You have a secret. And you seem to be perfectly aware of how helpful people can be when they have secrets...” Dolores managed to combine fear, apprehension, and anger into one facial expression.

“What was she doing here?” asked Harry.

“Good question, Harry,” said Lina. “What was your plan?”

Free to talk, Dolores said, “I had an agent watch for you in Diagon Alley. When he reported your presence, I came here and waited for you. If I could dispose of you quietly, I would be given control of House Umbridge.”

“I thought the house head needed to be male?” said Lina, then added, “Before I changed the rules, obviously.”

“I would be regent, until I could bear a son and he came of age. Most of the political power would still be mine, and I would have nearly unrestricted access to the family vaults.”

“But surely you wouldn’t have been given the position if you were in prison for murder?” asked Harry.

“You mean like she was?” spat Dolores.

Mandy cleared her throat, and said, “Mistress Lina was kidnapped by your cousins, who used an Unforgivable on her, and intended to do her permanent harm. The House magic, and that of the Gringotts vault, was satisfied that she acted in self-defence, and the Goblins made a deposition to Magical Law Enforcement to that effect. Mistress Lina was informed three weeks ago that her right of conquest would stand, and no charges would be forthcoming.” She grinned at Dolores, who snarled back.

“And what have you done with that creature, anyway,” she said. “Speaking out of turn, and talking as if it was a proper wizard?”

It was Harry that ‘poked’ Dolores with a foot this time. “Mandy is not ‘that creature’! She’s really kind and helpful, and she’s our friend!” Muon winged over from her perch to land on Harry’s shoulder, and rubbed her head against his. Harry let go of his sudden anger and scratched the back of her head, murmuring “thanks” to her.

While Muon was calming Harry down, Lina explained, “House elves are surprisingly adaptable, you know; whatever you project onto them, you get back. Your cousins needed a servile creature they could push around, so that’s what they saw. Harry and I need a helpful, intelligent friend, so that’s what Mandy has become for us.”

“It helps that Mistress and Master have far more magic than your cousins could ever dream of,” interjected Mandy.

“Hang on though,” said Harry, responding to a mental prod from his Inner Lina. “We’re getting distracted here. How could she,” gesturing to Dolores, “expect to get away with ‘disposing of you’?”

Dolores squirmed slightly.

“Well?” asked Other Lina. “Answer him!

Dolores tried to resist, then screwed her face up in pain, and the words tumbled out in a rush. “I appropriated a Time Turner from the Department of Mysteries! I spent the afternoon and early evening working with the Minister, then Turned myself back to deal with you!”

“Let’s see it then,” said Harry. Dolores nodded pointedly at the ropes restraining her, then glared at Lina.

Harry asked Lina, “Should we trust her?”

“No, but I think she understands how badly it could go for her if she decided to be naughty,” Lina replied, then gestured, causing the ropes to vanish. “Go on then, hand it over.”

Dolores reluctantly pulled a small golden pendant from around her neck and passed it to Harry, pulling her hand back quickly as Muon snapped at her. “How does it work?” Harry asked.

“Turn the casing once for each hour you want to go back — no more than six,” said Dolores, grudgingly, “then spin the hourglass to set it going.”

“Cool!” said Harry, then had to bite his tongue to stop from blurting out his sudden epiphany as to where the spare Lina had come from. Outer Lina gave him a confirming wink, while a warm rush from inside him attested to Inner Lina’s realisation of the potential.

“You can’t have it, you know,” said Dolores, sweetly. “I have to return it to the Department of Mysteries tonight.” Her smile grew in response to Harry’s crestfallen look. “Even I wouldn’t be able to cover it up, if it were to go missing.”

Outer Lina came over and gave him a one-armed hug, keeping Dolores covered with her sword. “Don’t worry Harry, we’ll work something out.” With Harry’s body obscuring Dolores’ line of sight, she wrapped his hand closed around the Time Turner, then pulled its later instance from her tunic. Stepping past Harry, she bent and handed it back to Dolores.

“Well,” said Lina, “it’s been nice having you visit, Dolores, but I suppose an important woman like you has to be on her way. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you hear about something we should know about, and make sure you don’t do anything that might work against us.” She glared at Dolores, letting her magic flare briefly. “Those are orders, by the way. Mandy, if you could show our guest out?”

Mandy nodded and gestured at the door, causing it to open. Dolores huffed, but at a frown from Lina she gathered herself together and left, followed by Mandy.

Lina relaxed and sheathed her sword. “Gods, I hate putting on those airs and graces for self-important gits like her.” She pulled Harry another proper hug, displacing Muon, who returned to her perch and snapped her beak once at Lina. “I’m sorry we couldn’t keep it. Like I said though, we’ll work something out.” Letting Harry go, she stood at arm’s length and examined him properly for the first time. “By my reckoning we’ve got five and a half hours before you need to go back and rescue yourself. Any ideas what we could do?”

Harry shrugged. “I don’t know...”

“I’ll cook a feast to celebrate you getting to see each other,” called Mandy as she passed along the hall.

“I suppose...” said Harry, despondently.

“What’s up?” asked Lina.

“Well... that, basically! You already know what I’m going to say; it’s not like we can have a proper conversation or anything. At first I though being able to talk to you and stuff would be amazing, but now...” Inner Lina tried to give him comforting feelings, but hers were tinged with sadness too.

“Actually, I have a way round that,” grinned Outer Lina. “Could you let the earlier me take over for a moment? And get ready to take back control as soon as you can.”

Confused, but trusting Lina completely, Harry nodded, and relaxed, allowing the earlier version of Lina to take over. His form shifted into a duplicate of the later Lina already there, who giggled as she looked over her earlier self.

“Well, this isn’t weird in any way,” commented the earlier version.

“Yeah... look, I remember not wanting to have this chance to spend time with Harry just be like watching a repeat on his teevee thing. So, please don’t resist?” Earlier Lina gave a sudden grin of understanding, and nodded, opening her arms in a ‘come at me’ gesture. Later Lina leaned forward and said Sleeping, tapping Earlier Lina gently on the head. She started to fall, but Harry took over almost immediately, and caught himself with Later Lina’s help. “Okay, then. The next thing I remember after going to sleep there is being woken up by myself, just before I went back in time to rescue you. So, everything we do until then will be a complete surprise.”

Harry threw himself into her arms again, crying. Lina rocked him until his tears subsided, then helped him dry his eyes.

“What do you want to do then?” said Harry.

“Well, given how soppy and emotional you’ve been, I though we could start off with a tickle fight!” said Lina, jumping at her little brother.



Although they played a few games, and enjoyed Mandy’s feast greatly, Harry and Lina spent most of the evening deep in conversation, discussing the things they’d seen over the last few weeks, and making plans for the future. By mutual consent they avoided talking about their impending reduction into one body again, or any means by which they could resume their independent existences. Finally Mandy reminded them that the time had come for Earlier Lina to leave to deal with Dolores, and they hugged again.

Not for the last time,” said Lina positively. “We’ll find a way to get me my own body eventually. And maybe we’ll be able to borrow a Time Turner again, now and then. Until then, I’ll always be with you, little brother.”

“Thanks big sis... look, can you put me to sleep for the rest of the time, please?” asked Harry. “I’d rather have that time be really just you, without me watching from behind your eyes.”

“Of course,” said Lina. “Let me wake Earlier Me up, then I’ll put you down for the night.” She reached out a hand to Harry, but he raised his to stop her.

“Hang on, she— you— just woke up. I’ll catch you later, all right?”

“Night night, Harry. Sleeping

Earlier Lina took over as Harry started to slump over, and caught herself. “Still weird. Will I have a good time?”

“Of course,” said Later Lina. “Off you go then.”

Earlier Lina flashed her a grin as she span the Time Turner and vanished. Now-the-only Lina smiled to herself, yawned, and went up to bed.



A few hours previously, Professor Dumbledore had had his dinner interrupted by the arrival of a barn owl, bearing a letter from an old associate. Absently dismissing the courier, he glanced over the contents, then folded it and gestured to Professors Snape and McGonagall to draw near. The pair leant in from either side, raising their eyebrows questioningly.

“Garrick Ollivander has just let me know that Harry Potter came to buy his wand today. Apparently he is in good health, physically and mentally, and did not appear to be to be under any stress or duress. More than that, he was unable to discover.”

“Well, that’s something at least,” commented McGonagall, ignoring Snape’s sneer. “If you can’t find the boy, he must be somewhere safe.”

“The goblins know something, I’m sure,” replied Dumbledore. “But they’re keeping as tight-lipped about the whole thing as you would expect. Somewhat vexing, to say the least...”

‹And he didn’t get the wand...› mused the ancient headmaster. ‹What does this bode?›



The next day saw the start of a modified routine for Harry and Lina. In addition to their regular exercises, Harry began practising simple spells with his wand — Lumos first, because he was already familiar with the Lighting spell, which made it easier to judge how much power to use, then (once he was confident that he could keep the wand from exploding) he tried his hand at the matchstick-to-needle Transfiguration exercise, mainly because it was completely unlike any spell that Lina or he already knew.

They also devoted a hour or so each night attempting to improve communication between the ‘front’ and ‘back’ person, as they came to refer to themselves. Actual speech appeared to be beyond them, for the moment at least, but strong emotions came across quite well, although it could be quite draining to project them deliberately.

Harry made sure to spend time with Muon at various points each day, taking her out to fly in the park across from the house in the dusk each night. Lina spent some time with her as well, but it was very apparent that Muon really only put up with her for Harry’s sake, and far preferred to be with him.

Along with their previous studies, exercises, and projects, they kept themselves quite busy during the remaining weeks of summer, until the First of September finally came.

To be continued...

Oh dear... Lina has gained a toady, but will it turn out to be a viper in her bosom?

What no-one involved in the incident at Ollivander’s realised is that Harry is a sorcerer, not a wizard. He doesn’t just push magic out of his core, he channels it from his surroundings. Wands are amplifying and focussing devices; they don’t stand up well when fed an already-amplified input.

And of course Muon is Hedwig’s analogue. This Harry isn’t in the same mindset as the modal ones, so he came up with a suitable name himself instead of searching for it in a history book. (Plus, I’m hoping that if she’s named something different, she won’t die in such a disappointingly meaningless way.)

Hedwig, though a girl owl, is played by boy owls in the films. Girl snowy owls are substantially larger than the boys, and usually have bold, regular black chevrons on their feathers where the boys only have a light scattering. I haven’t been able to find a contradicting description in the books, which means that most people’s mental pictures of Hedwig are based on the film version, and hence are probably quite wrong.