Follow TV Tropes


Fanfic / Returning

Go To

Returning is a Harry Potter Flash Forward Fic by troper GlassCatOwl. It starts pretty much the moment the Epilogue left off, only from the perspectives of Scorpius Malfoy and Rose Weasley. An incident with Rose’s cat gets the two of them off to a bad start, only made worse by the fact they’re sorted into the same house. The fic covers their first year at Hogwarts, which turns out to be rather eventful — much to their headmistress’s displeasure.


The author also started a side story, Off To Hogwarts, Dear?, but only two chapters were written as of July 2017.

Returning contains examples of:

  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Martin Samuels.
  • Absurd Phobia: Rose and the Ravenclaw boys seem to think of Scorpius’s fear of flying as one, although it would be considered fairly ordinary in the Muggle world.
  • Academic Alpha Bitch: Isobel and Rose. Edgar Young seems to be a male version of this.
  • Academic Athlete: Rose is almost as smart as her mother and loves Quidditch. Most of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team are probably this.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Canon: As usual, Professor McGonagall is still headmistress.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Chapter Twelve starts with a warning for "gratuitous use of alliteration".
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Lyra gets this a bit, being a Book Dumb Inept Mage in Ravenclaw. Played with for Scorpius — he’s friendly enough that he gets on with most people outside of his house, but the boys in his dormitory either hate him or don’t really know him. He’s also scared of flying, which earns him some ridicule.
  • Advertisement:
  • All Witches Have Cats: In addition to the canon examples, Rose has a half-kneazle cat from Mrs Figg.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Reading Gilderoy Lockhart's books long after the end of his public life, Lyra finds him an entertaining writer because she sees them more as adventure novels than textbooks.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The author’s note predicted it would become one after the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It did.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Played with, but mostly averted. Several characters are described as having brown skin without a specific ethnicity, but their surnames or relatives usually give clues. Professor Shafiq is implied by his surname to be of Middle Eastern origin, though he's also Very British. Elin Haksar can be assumed to be of Indian origin from her surname, although the early reveal that she is Cho Chang's daughter clarifies that she's Indian-Chinese.
  • Advertisement:
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: Referenced with the canon example of the Death Eaters. Lyra bluntly refers to them as “wizard nazis.”
  • Asleep in Class: Nobody will be conscious during Binns' History of Magic lessons.
  • Badass Bookworm: When the situation calls for it, Rose takes after her mother.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Scorpius does his best to infuriate Rose after she publicly reveals his fear of flying. Lyra will outright threaten anyone who hurts her friends. Kindly healer-in-training Eva Sandsgard is furious when a student abandons their injured housemate at the bottom of the hospital wing stairs so they can get back to playing Quidditch.
  • Blond, Brunette, Redhead: The main characters Scorpius, Lyra, and Rose, respectively.
  • Book Dumb: Lyra. A variation as she loves reading, but is terrible at schoolwork.
  • Brainy Brunette: Averted with Lyra – out of the Blond, Brunette, Redhead trio, she’s the least book smart and most prone to academic disaster. Straight examples would be the raven haired Isobel, Rose’s rival for Academic Alpha Bitch, and prefect Katherine Tredwell.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Flitwick sees Rupert Nichols as this. He makes no effort in Charms because he has no natural talent for it.
  • Brutal Honesty: Lyra has a habit of using this.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Professor Shafiq's extreme Englishness can be read as this. On the other hand, it is canon (via Pottermore) that the Shafiqs were a British pureblood family back in the twenties and probably a long time before that, so it makes a certain degree of sense.
  • Cats Are Mean: Charlie certainly is.
  • Chekhov's Gun: George’s run in with Dementors.
    • Chekhov’s Tense: Savvy readers will notice that whenever Lyra refers to her dad specifically rather than her parents in general, she uses the past tense.
  • The Clan: The Weasleys.
  • Cool Uncle: Off-screen, Charlie Weasley. Rose even named her vicious, bad tempered, violent cat after him.
  • Consummate Liar: Merva and co.; Martin Samuels. Also Lyra, with regards to her dad’s death, but she’s partly in denial.
  • Continuity Nod: Scorpius recalls his father disappearing off to the Apothecary when he was getting his wand. Obviously Draco wasn’t keen to encounter Mr Ollivander, seeing as the last time they met, the Malfoys had him kidnapped and tortured.
  • Covert Group: Working to unravel the mysteries of the Resurrection Stone.
  • Curse Cut Short: Dorian begins to (jokingly) tell Dom where she can shove her Gryffindor pride, but Bonnie closes the door before the first years can hear him.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Defied and played with. As explained by Professor Bones, ‘Dark’ in this context literally means something intended to harm or cause suffering; Dark creatures have to harm others to survive. On the other hand, Slytherin House is treated more sympathetically. While Liana Flint and Jasper Parkinson are Slytherins, so are Eleanor Bones and Millie Tirnblüd. Head of House Professor Shafiq shares McGonagall’s strict but fair tendencies and never tolerates bigotry.
  • Dead Guy Junior: As in canon, Albus Severus Potter and his older brother James Sirius Potter, along with George's son Fred. Their cousin Molly is named after their grandmother, but her namesake is still alive. Neville and Hannah name their twin daughters after their mothers, Alice Longbottom (tortured to insanity) and Abigail Abbott (killed by Death Eaters).
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Astoria mentions one of her workmates’ son was receiving letters from a family friend who’d been dead for several years.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Discussed. When Rose is worrying that Albus will be sorted into Slytherin, she thinks of Snape as an example of a good Slytherin, but one who had to die in order to be good.
  • Deep Cover Agent: Martin Samuels.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Lyra is too ashamed and frightened of the ensuing pity to tell anyone, even Scorpius, that she can no longer hear the Ravenclaw riddles to get into the common room, particularly as she believes it's a sign of her being unworthy. It turns out that she has been jinxed by another Ravenclaw.
  • Double-Meaning Title: References the Weasley-Potter clan's return to Hogwarts, the return of the Resurrection Stone, the resulting temporary return of several dead characters from the afterlife, and the prophecy quoted below under Title Drop.
  • Education Mama: Isobel is implied to have these for parents, leading to her Insufferable Genius and The B Grade-fearing tendencies.
  • Enemy Mine: The title of Chapter Twelve, in which Rose and Scorpius team up to track down a common enemy.
  • Feuding Families: Scorpius hasn't even met them before, but James and Dominique are already convinced that he's a bad kid by virtue of being a Malfoy.
  • Five-Man Band: James, Dominique, and their friends:
  • Forged Message: Isobel sends an insulting one pretending to be Scorpius. Rose doesn’t believe it for a minute.
  • Former Friend of the Academic Alpha Bitch: Albus starts to feel like this after Rose is sorted into Ravenclaw. Rose herself ends up being this to Isobel, who does not take kindly to her befriending underachiever Lyra and Death Eater descendent Scorpius.
  • French Jerk: Genevieve, according to Elin. Her younger sister Aimée can be unkind, particularly under the influence of Isobel.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Scorpius, partially due to his mother Astoria being deeply interested in Magizoology, is very fond and protective of magical creatures. His soft spot for ordinary animals shows up when he rescues a rabbit from an Acromantula web, which proves to be a very bad idea.
  • Gen Fic
  • Genius Bruiser: Most of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team to an extent, but in particular Imogen Leist, who’s a Transfiguration whiz and one of the most dangerous (and effective) Beaters in the whole school.
  • Genius Ditz: Both fifth year prefects are implied to be this. Katherine, the sixth year prefect, suggests that "unless you’re asking about Transfiguration or how to tell the future through animal byproducts", the first years should probably seek help elsewhere.
  • Gentleman and a Scholar / Gentleman Wizard: Professor Shafiq has shades of this.
  • Good Parents: Scorpius, Rose, and Lyra all have them. One of Lyra’s is dead, though, and the surviving one is grieving.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Well, seven-eighths human, but Dominique still has traces of veela man-enthralling powers.
  • Happily Married: Draco and Astoria Malfoy, in an Odd Couple sort of way.
  • Haunted Castle: As in canon; inverted after the incident at Halloween sends the ghosts into hiding — Rose notes that the atmosphere becomes more ominous due to the lack of ghosts around every corner.
  • Inept Mage: Played for Drama with Lyra.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Despite the fic being written and partially posted before the release of Cursed Child and the different houses of the characters, this Rose’s behaviour is mirrors her canon self’s in that she rejects Scorpius because of his family and becomes estranged from Albus after they are Sorted into different houses.
    • For Want of a Nail: However, being placed in the same house as Scorpius leads Rose to become less prejudiced and eventually repair her friendship with Albus.
  • Insufferable Genius: Rose, at times, and Isobel.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Inverted. Lyra gets excluded and looked down on for not being smart enough — intelligence tends to attract friendship.
  • Irony: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child involves Albus Potter being sorted into the same house (Slytherin) as Scorpius Malfoy and becoming friends with him, while his cousin Rose is sorted into Gryffindor and shuns them. This fic, written before the release of Cursed Child, involves Rose being sorted into the same house (Ravenclaw) as Scorpius and eventually becoming friends with him, while her cousin Albus is sorted into Gryffindor and falls out with Rose.
  • The Klutz: Lyra. If there’s a spell she can’t mess up, they haven’t invented it yet, and she has a tendency to knock things over — especially explosive things.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Katherine’s speciality. She can actually remove a memory from someone’s mind, as opposed to suppressing it.
  • Lies to Children: Apprentice Healer Samuels in many ways.
  • Lighter and Softer: Starts out this way, but a lot of darkness from the war and other sources still lingers.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: As of chapter two, seems to be heading this way. Scorpius Malfoy, Lyra Jones, James Sirius Potter, Dominique Wealey, Rose Weasley, Elin Haksar, Albus Severus Potter, Dorian, Bonnie, and several Hogwarts professors are all introduced in the first two chapters — and those are the ones who have lines.
  • Lovable Jock: Many of the Quidditch players, particularly on the Gryffindor team.
  • Malicious Slander: Side-fic Off To Hogwarts, Dear? suggests Rita Skeeter is still at it, claiming that Susan Bones's daughter Eleanor is Harry's secret love child, among others.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: The Weasleys, as in canon, resulting in Massive Numbered Cousins. Counting just first cousins, Rose has ten, and it's implied that there are other Weasley cousins currently attending Hogwarts.
  • Meaningful Name: Discussed in the first chapter, where Lyra and Scorpius talk about their names both being constellations and how it’s a family thing for Scorpius. It foreshadows their eventual Like Brother and Sister status.
  • Messy Hair: Scorpius tends to get this, which is one of the few visual differences between himself and his father at that age. Rose has very frizzy hair, like her mother.
  • Missing Time / What Did I Do Last Night?: Lyra wakes up covered in cuts with no knowledge of what happened or how she got to bed. The teachers confirm that her memory has been tampered with.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Elin, the daughter of a British Indian Muggle father and a Scottish Chinese witch. Sisters Genevieve and Aimée are French-English. Fred Lee Weasley is the son of Angelina (Black British) and George (White British). In magical terms, Bill and Fleur's children are all part Veela, while Slytherin Orpheus Lloyd has siren blood.
  • More Than Mind Control: The Obsession Elixir. It feeds on existing feelings of ambition, dread, and loss and makes people lose perspective about their lives, leaving them open to manipulation.
  • Multilayer Façade: Martin Samuels: Initial façade - kindly healer-in-training; underneath - sadistic healer-in-training who skipped the Hippocratic Oath; reality - Deep Cover Agent manipulating a vulnerable student.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Lyra is not only a Muggleborn, she’s immediately confronted with the family tensions between the Malfoys and the Weasleys.
    Lyra: [to Scorpius] “What is it with people and your last name?”
  • Nap-Inducing Speak: As always, Professor Binns.
  • Necromancer: Rose suspects one is on the loose after the incident at Hallowe'en. They're using the Resurrection Stone.
  • Nepotism: Rose suggests this is an explanation for why James and Dominique made the Gryffindor Quidditch team. The team in Returning is over 50% Weasleys, if you count James as one. The real reason appears to be a lack of other candidates.
  • Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: A lot of the Ravenclaws do. On the other hand, it’s magic schoolwork, so that might explain it.
  • Noodle Incident: McGonagall warns older students off "any dangerous forms of ‘initiation’", i.e. hazing, on penalty of expulsion. One of the Ravenclaw prefects assures the first years that such things aren't normal — "There was just an incident a few years back and Professor McGonagall’s never forgiven them."
  • Not Brainwashed: Merva.
  • Original Character: Lyra Jones is the first one introduced, but far from the last. See Loads and Loads of Characters.
  • Original Flavor
  • Parental Abandonment: The Smith twins were left at a children’s home by their dad after their mum’s death.
  • Parental Neglect: Implied to be the case with Millie Tirnblüd. She’s worried that they won’t show up at King’s Cross, and her sister Jai seems to have been Promoted to Parent when it comes to her sister’s emotional wellbeing.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Rose, like her aunt in canon. Victoire and Dominique are also implied to be this, as they play for the Gryffindor Quidditch team.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Unbeknownst to the main cast, the death of Merva and Cassian’s mother.
  • Plucky Girl: Depending on your interpretation, Lyra. The other interpretation is that she's a Stepford Smiler in the wake of her father's death.
  • Posthumous Character: Lyra’s dad.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Merva has this, a preference of her late mother.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: Implied to be the case with the Malfoys.
  • Rotating Protagonist / Switching P.O.V.: The third-person limited omniscience initially alternates between Scorpius and Rose's stories and inner thoughts every chapter, adding Lyra to the rotation later on.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: Strongly averted — Lyra is clearly a wreck after less than two months at Hogwarts being sneered at, excluded, and locked out of her own dormitory. In particular the fic targets the assumption that it’s the stupid kids who bully the academic achievers — the Ravenclaws have a serious bullying problem when it comes to smarter students harassing their less successful peers for ‘letting their house down’.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Potter Puppet Pals — the contents of Scorpius's pockets are "nine Sickles and a Dungbomb."
    • To The Flash — The red-haired Ravenclaw prefect is called Jay West, a combination of Jay Garrick and Wally West, and plays Seeker, a position requiring quick reflexes and speed.
    • To The Lord of the Rings — there's a student with the surname Mirkwood, and The Hobbit book is mentioned.
    • To QI — Gryffindor Davy Andrews and Ravenclaw Steve Fry are described similarly to younger versions of Alan Davies and Stephen Fry, respectively.
    • Scorpius's gluttonous Whiskered Screech owl is called Ezyl, while Lyra named her Tawny owl Marple.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Scorpius to the rest of the Malfoys, as in canon. Not all of the Weasley grandkids are redheads, but they can usually be counted on to at least have freckles.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: Some actions look more or less justified depending on whether the chapter is from Scorpius or Rose's perspective. An early example is Scorpius laughing in relief when a strange noise turns out to be Rose wrestling with her runaway cat — Rose thinks he's laughing at her.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: How Merva convinced others to go along with her plan: she mixed the butterbeer she brought to meetings with a potion that made them more susceptible to persuasion.
  • Title Drop: "They are returning. When the first house of Slytherin burns, they will find the weapon they seek."
  • Vagueness Is Coming: See Title Drop above.
  • We Do Not Know Each Other: Off-screen, Merva and Martin.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Rose's cat is named Charlie, after her uncle.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lyra to Rose, in Chapter Nine.
    Lyra: [to Rose] Yeah, Scorpius's family is pureblood. But you know who gives me a hard time about being Muggleborn? About not knowing how magical things work? Isobel and Rupert and you!...So don't you dare go throwing 'he's a pureblood' around like it makes you better than him! He's not a Death Eater and you're not a hero!
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Scorpius is deeply acrophobic, to the point where he passes out from fear in midair. He’s also at a school where Flying Lessons are mandatory.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: