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Fanfic / The Odds Were Never In My Favour

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The Odds Were Never In My Favour by Antony444.

A Harry Potter AU fanfic where Neville Longbottom is the Boy-Who-Lived, his family's location betrayed by James Potter, who was thrown into Azkaban (and the picture painted for his arrest is worse than Sirius got in canon). Furious at this treachery, a mob killed Lily Potter and nearly their daughter, Alexandra Potter. Or at least that is the official version...


Now going to Hogwarts, Alexandra is the school pariah, viewed and hated as the daughter and heir of the one the whole Wizarding World regards as Voldemort's greatest lieutenant. It soon becomes clear that even just surviving Hogwarts is going to take all she has got, even as Voldemort makes his moves against Dumbledore. Only barely less a problem is how Neville Longbottom has embraced his role of The-Boy-Who-Lived at Hogwarts— and has the muscle to back it up.

Worst of all, within the shadows, an ancient organization continues its careful moves to achieve total domination...


''The Odds Were Never in My Favour" contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Alexandra for sure, but she is training up Hermione and Morag to follow suit. The Dark Queen of Durmstrang as well.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Dolores Umbridge is much the same as her canon self, with her enduring hatred of were-creatures and wielding the law as a hammer against her opponents. However, her Freudian Excuse (where family and loved ones were killed by werewolves in the last war) makes one understand where her hatred comes from and her sole appearance in the story has her oversee Alexandra's custody hearing, where she follows procedure and favors no party or person in particular (with Alexandra being satisfied with the choice of guardian, even if she would have preferred Morag's father) and later stymieing Dumbledore and Sirius' questionable methods of exerting authority. Considering how utterly despicable Dumbledore and Sirius are in this AU, Umbridge seems downright respectable in comparison.
    • Peter Pettigrew is not the cowardly traitor he was in the original. Here, he joins the Shadow Blades due to some family debt but didn't do so until after he left the Order of the Phoenix over their deplorable actions. He's ironically by far the noblest member of the Marauders, or at the very least has a conscience and self-awareness that the others distinctly lack.
    • Barty Crouch Sr. still has his flaws, but he never helped his son escape from Azkaban here, and helps cut Dumbledore down a peg or two after the chamber of secrets debacle.
    • Marcus Flint, while not exactly a progressive-minded person, is portrayed as being utterly disgusted by Voldemort's philosophies and Ax-Crazy tendencies and holds great contempt for those who hope to see him return. He also indulges Draco's antics far less and comes to despise him by the halfway point of their second year.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Fleur Delacour comes across as vicious, haughty, and ungrateful throughout her appearances so far. Deconstructed a bit though, as according to Lyre this had made her decidedly unpopular.
    • Daphne Greengrass comes across as this to the Slytherin girls at first, but seemingly mellows by third year.
    • Alexandra and Susan apparently see Lavender Brown as one, although its mostly an Informed Flaw, gossiping aside.
  • Artifact of Doom / Holy Is Not Safe: The sword Excalibur, made by Merlin, was made by fracturing off a part of the Light Powers and turning it into a sword. According to Alexandra, anyone with a magical core more powerful than a squib would be killed by wielding it, especially if they're Dark.
  • Back from the Dead: Lily Potter is resurrected as a vampire.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: Merlin and Arthur actually ruined it in order to establish the Light's hegemony. Now, the backlash from the Dark is brewing, and it promises to be nasty.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me:
    • The basis of the fierce loyalty and friendship the Exiles show one another. Each of them is the first friends they have ever had (which frankly says some sad things about the Wizarding World). Especially for Alexandra, as they are not only her only friends from her age-group, but among the bare handful of people who have ever cared about her, and shown genuine kindness.
    • Lupin's absolute loyalty to Dumbledore stems from the fact that Albus allowed him to get a proper magical education despite his lycanthropy. It even holds when it's pointed out to him that in the twenty years since, Dumbledore has never once even tried to get another werewolf into Hogwarts, despite many possible candidates.
  • Big Bad: It's hard to tell with so many possibilities, but the primary candidate seems to be The Exchequer and their King.
  • Big Eater: One description of Crabbe and Goyle includes the following:
    The topics they valued above all were food and how to obtain more of it. if there was a drop of ambition in their heads, it had to be food related.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Dumbledore openly loathes Erasmus Rincewind and makes no mystery of it. It's hard to blame him when Rincewind openly confesses he burned the city of Dresden (catching innocents in the crossfire) and feels no remorse about it. That being said, Rincewind isn't wrong when he points out that Dresden was indeed a strategic target full of Asshole Victim's due to its support of both Grindelwald's dark wizards and Hitler's Nazis, and that Dumbledore is displaying an incredible amount of self-righteousness given how he (and Magical Britain in general) spent so long doing nothing to stop Grindelwald.
  • The Butcher: Erasmus Rincewind is known to the magical world as the Butcher of Dresden.
  • The Chosen Many: There are thirteen Powers, six Light, six Dark, and Fate, which used to be the Neutral balancing power but was forced into the Light by Arthur's actions at Camlann. Each Power has a Champion. And every single one of them is a Champion or Reserve Champion in the Triwizard Tournament.
  • The Chosen One: Neville Longbottom is the Boy-Who-Lived and eventually the Champion of Fate. Alexandra Potter is the Champion of Morrigan. Several secondary characters are the chosen Champions of assorted Light or Dark Powers.
  • Chuunibyou: Alexandra is a very mild one. Her life is plenty epic and she often finds herself in serious and dangerous situations but she feels the need to regularly make grandiose proclamations and gestures that, while generally low-key, tend to be filled with Lord of the Rings references.
  • Cooperation Gambit: Geoffrey Hopper, Ernie Macmillian, and Tasmin Apelbee (a Gryffindor and two Hufflepuffs) achieve second through fourth in the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff water preliminary by working together to make it through the obstacles, something no one else in the preliminary tries besides the Weasley Twins.
  • Create Your Own Villain: The Light does this a lot, which their more rational members are painfully aware of.
    Eleanora de Riva: Don't you think that maybe, just maybe, the Exchequer wouldn't find it so easy to recruit the champions of Darkness if you weren't trying to assassinate them before they're out of the cradle?
  • Damned by Faint Praise: Tracey Davis has this to say about Theodore Nott:
    On the plus side, the Nott heir was smarter than the only child of Lord Malfoy, not that this represented a particular achievement.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Alexandra Potter herself is a prime example of this, but the trope also applies to the Morrigan Herself (at least from what we have seen so far). When Alexandra encounters her in Pandemonium after escaping from an ambush from the Army of Light in Hogsmeade, the Morrigan is portrayed as dark and terrifying, but not fundamentally malevolent in nature. The Morrigan understands the importance of the balance between light and dark that Arthur and Merlin ruined and adopts a mostly neutral stance towards the Exchequer, giving Alexandra some information about the Exchequer and Morgana without forcing her to choose to support or oppose them. More significantly, the Morrigan also guides Alexandra to different places in the world to destroy various threats to humanity that could cause thousands of deaths if left unchecked, always giving her the option to fight or ignore them instead of coercing her as the Light would. The Death goddess even recommends to Alexandra that she spare Fleur Delacour after she tries to pursue her into Pandemonium to kill her, although admittedly this last one could fall under the purview of Pragmatic Villainy.
    The Morrigan: Death is permanent, but it is not without mercy.
  • Deadly Prank: As detailed in Gone Horribly Wrong, Ron and Leo poisoning the Ravenclaw victory feast with experimental prank products sickens several people. This time, the Board decides they went too far and crack down on the school.
  • Deceptively Silly Title: Hogwarts is one on purpose, renamed to amuse those who hear about it, and to cover up the fact that it was built on Camlann.
  • Did Not Think This Through:
    • Most of the problems at Hogwarts stem from Dumbledore never considering what his various short-sighted school policies, which are derived from his personal philosophies and political agenda, might have on its ability to function as an educational facility, or as a small, somewhat self-contained community.
    • Draco does the whole "challenge Boy-Who-Lived to a duel to get him in trouble for being out after curfew" scheme, only here it backfires: it turns out that Honor Duels are Serious Business among the traditionalist families who make up most of Slytherin, who interpret deliberately skipping out on one to be a sign that he does not respect the old traditions that are the cornerstone of their subculture. This costs him a lot of respect within his house.
  • The Dreaded: Unsurprisingly, Voldemort, the Exchequer for those who know them, the Dark Queen of Durmstrang, and Dumbledore to his enemies and those who have a better understanding of who he really is. What is a surprise, is that the Alexandra not only fits this by her second day at Hogwarts, but regards it as the reason she is still alive. On her first night, twenty older students from her own House tried to kill her for her father's crimes, and she sent 14 of them to the Infirmary before Flitwick got there. While she was hospitalized too, that act, and her subsequent feats, meant that by her second year the assassination attempts against her had largely petered out from fear of her power. By the end of her second year, when the Slytherins are given a choice between drastically scaling back their pro-Pureblood mandate, or fighting the Exiled Queen, they nearly unanimously choose the former. And those opposed to that, are too scared to handle her on her own. In a happy twist, her House is now more supportive of Alexandra too... up until James Potter escapes from Azkaban, at which point she's right back to being the school pariah.
  • The Dreaded Dreadnought: Alexandra raises a German WWI era dreadnought from Scapa Flow with the intention of eventually utilizing it as a mobile base.
  • Enemy Mine
    • Deconstructed in Alexandra's second year. After she and Morag saves a bunch of unconscious and already injured Slytherins from Neville's gang of Gryffindors, the Exiles are approached by Blaise Zabini, Daphne Greengrass, Tracey Davis, and Lyre de Male-Foi. Hermione refuses on the grounds they are Slytherins, but Alexandra lays it out that while the assembled Slytherins are not active in promoting Pureblood ideology, they still believe in it. Moreover, none of them are willing to commit to any alliance to the extent necessary for the Exiles to know they will not be betrayed the moment it becomes more profitable for the Slytherins. Alexandra and Morag only saved them out of human decency. As the crisis with the Heir of Slytherin intensifies, only Lyre helps Alexandra, earning the latter's gratitude. After Alexandra kills two Basilisks and five Slytherins, Morag informs Daphne and Blaise that the pro-Pureblood agenda is to be dropped by Slytherin...or else. Daphne uses this to become the new leader of the First and Second years, yet this only establishes what is essentially an unspoken armistice with the Exiles, not the alliance that would have so benefited everyone. Nothing yet on what will happen with Lyre.
    • Further Deconstructed with Neville and his band of Gryffindors allying with Alexandra to go to the Chamber of Secrets. While working together against a mutual threat, their methods are pointedly different. Moreover, except for Neville's ability to speak Parseltongue, they provide barely any aid to Alexandra, and even actively endanger her.
  • Epic Fail:
    • From Dumbledore's viewpoint, The Temple of Plants trial for potential triwizard tournament champions from all four houses doesn't provide the best exhibition for his school. Out of 66 contestants, forty-one of them don't even finish, and less than half of the students from his favored house Gryffindor complete the task, with several of the ones who do achieving some of the lowest scores. But the student he was hoping most to keep out of the tournament, Alexandra Potter, found the task so easy that she abandons her plans to employ similar plant weapons in the future.
    • The potions trial turned out even worse. Thirty-five out of 66 contestants were kicked out for failing to follow basic safety procedures, and only three of them managed to get above 50 points, and even then, the highest score was a 55. And rather suspiciously, the top three students were all in the house supervised by the school potions master, and all attempted the exact same solution in the exact same way, suggesting that they had been prepped... and still only managed to do a marginally acceptable job. Instead of making only Dumbledore's favored house look bad, this disgraces the school's entire potions program.
    • The Gryffindor/Hufflepuff Charms trial turned out bad for Dumbledore's favorite House as well. The Lion with the most potential as Champion (Angelina Johnson) came in fifth place at 56 points, mostly because they were more concerned with sabotaging each other than actually completing the trial. And apart from Cedric Diggory, both Houses didn't end up looking all that great, with only a quarter of the competitors actually making it on to the scoreboard at all.
    • The trials in general are this for various students such as Crabbe and Goyle, who score a grand total of one point apiece during all four trials.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Draco, Draco, Draco, you know you've sunk low when Crabbe and Goyle finally decide that you're a worthless idiot and turn their backs on you.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: For all its capacity for darkness and cruelty, even the Exchequer has nothing but the utmost contempt for those who attempt to achieve immortality through Horcruxes, and it is even said that those who dare to create them are "cursed by the Dark Powers for all eternity."
  • Everyone Has Standards: Despite Neville's antagonism towards Alexandra Potter, even he recognizes that Alexandra would naturally choose to rescue her own housemate over someone with who she has had an antagonistic relationship during the Quidditch match, and considers Leo's and Ron's revenge to be utterly insane and idiotic.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Considering the outright despicable behavior and actions of the Light side and Dumbledore in particular, the conflict between the faction of Light and the Exchequer could arguably qualify for this trope.
  • Expy: Nigel Wolpert is this of Neville Longbottom from canon. In canon, Nigel would still be a few years from coming to Hogwarts still. He is shy, clumsy, seen as a borderline Squib by those around him, and even he does not know why he is in the House of Courage. Yet with the Power of Friendship and the various life and death situations the Exiles get into, he is showing how he really does have courage as he sticks with Alexandra to stop the Heir of Slytherin together. Unfortunately, he is knocked out in a sneak attack.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Albus Dumbledore is seen as a Badass Bureaucrat Champion of the Light and defeater of dark wizards. Actually, he's an Obstructive Bureaucrat and arrogant politico who drags his feet about taking on (or recognizing) serious threats, abuses his authority at every turn, makes enemies easily and needlessly through his ruthless arrogance, and is willing to condone the killings of children without any remorse simply because it would benefit the Light from his point of view.
  • False Reassurance: When pressing charges against Fudge and Dumbledore for illegally suppressing the will of Cassieopia Black, which will likely benefit Dumbledore's enemies, Narcissa notes to the terrified functionary before her that the massive legal penalties for this will be waived assuming the head of the DMLE at the time of the incident testifies it was necessary, or the head of the House is able to convince a jury that it was done with proper permission. Given that the former head of the DMLE absolutely hates Dumbledore and Fudge, and the average person on the street is well aware of what a notorious oathbreaker Sirius is neither of these has much of a chance of happening, and both Narcissa and the bureaucrat know it.
  • French Jerk: Fleur Delacour, Lyre's Uncle and cousins, and Bastien de Rochefort (all fanatical Army of the Light partisans), and Exchequer member Helene de Brogile in a Magnificent Bitch kind of way. Averted (albeit sometimes after Character Development) with Lyre and her father, Henri De Conde, Madame Maxime and possibly Minister Delacour.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Blaise Zabini and his mother Stella are guardians to a magical fauna preserve.
  • Girliness Upgrade: After being named Alexandra's guardian, Stella Zabini buys her a full wardrobe - shoes, dresses, make-up and all. Still, the girl doesn't start to genuinely use it until her inner Hydra makes her grow more conscious of her looks and develop a desire to be beautiful.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: When Neville gets injured from him and Cho falling off their brooms during a quidditch match and Alexandra choosing to save Cho under the assumption that Dumbledore will intervene to save the life of the Boy-Who-Lived (and he does), Ron and Leo are enraged at Alexandra's perceived refusal to save Neville and attempt to retaliate with a prank. Unfortunately for them both, Ron is under the effect of a Compulsion Charm that drives him beyond the lengths he'd normally be willing to go to and the two boys poison the Ravenclaws' victory feast with experimental and untested Zonko products, causing multiple people to vomit blood and go into seizures. This ends up in the Hogwarts Board of Governors spectacularly coming down like a bag of hammers on everyone involved:
    • Ron and Leo very narrowly avoid being expelled on the spot due to the severity of the prank, coupled with their extensive history of mayhem, mitigated only by Ron not having acted under his own free will. In the end, the two get away with a long string of punishments, involving the complete loss of all extracurricular privileges for the rest of their time at Hogwarts and out-of-school suspensions for months.
    • Zonko's is shut down for inspection and Sirius, being the primary shareholder, has to pay a severe fine.
    • Even Dumbledore isn't spared: having repeatedly pardoned the boys for expulsion-worthy crimes and barely even being at school due to spending all his time playing politics at the ICW and the Wizengamot, instead delegating his school responsibilities to the teaching staff who don't have the free capacity for it next to their own duties, prompts the Board to offer him a choice between resignation from his ICW and Wizengamot positions in exchange for retaining his position as Headmaster, or getting fired for gross negligence and incompetence.
    • The only reason Neville doesn't get into any trouble over having the Potter Invisibility Cloak is because Leo falls on his sword and claims that Dumbledore gave it to him. Dumbledore gets hit with massive fines for giving the cloak away instead of returning it to its rightful owner back in 1981.
  • Good Is Not Soft: A major theme of the stories. The characters most often portrayed as truly good are the ones willing to fight (and often kill) Dark Wizards rather than merely hanging back and making tsskking noises at them.
  • Gossipy Hens: Lavender Brown's nickname is the Gossip Queen of Hogwarts, and the gathering and spreading of information is described as her one real talent. (Susan comments that she apparently gets it from her mother.) Interestingly, the first scene to actually show such Lavender gathering together a bunch of students for such a purpose shows the group intelligently pooling and discussing information fairly relevant to the coming year, rather than cattily spreading nasty rumors or trading insignificant secrets (although whether or not this is the exception or the rule to their general meetings is unclear).
  • Happily Adopted: Alexandra eventually becomes this with Stella Zabini as her magical guardian. Although she doesn't particularly trust Lady Zabini at first, being wary of her shady past and having preferred Morag's family, Lady Zabini proves to be a caring magical guardian who demonstrates repeatedly that she cares about Alexandra's well-being and is more than willing to help her fight her legal battles and deal with the problems caused by the Ministry and Dumbledore. Eventually, the two of them grow to trust each other to the point that Lady Zabini reveals her Lamia heritage to Alexandra, a well-kept family secret that she absolutely wouldn't have revealed to someone she didn't trust.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Despite her reputation, Bellatrix was never as loyal to Voldemort or his ideals as people thought. She had already removed her Dark Mark about a decade before the start of the story with the help of Lily Potter and, during the Shadow Blades' attack on Azkaban, murders all the Death Eaters on her floor.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: The only crime that there was any evidence for James Potter having committed during the war was betraying the Longbottoms (which he didn't actually do). But a decade of propaganda escalation made Britain believe that he was an inner circle member of the Death Eaters who played a part in every crime they committed not attributed to Voldemort or Bellatrix Lestrange.
  • I Owe You My Life: After Alexandra saves Neville in the Chamber of Secrets, Neville offers to repay the life debt by canceling the debt the Potters owe the Longbottoms for their betrayal. The ritual doesn't work, hinting that the Potters hadn't betrayed the Longbottoms at all.
  • Illegal Religion: Any religion worshiping the Old Ways, primarily Celtic deities like the Morrigan, as part of the Ministry's blanket ban on rituals.
  • Impostor Forgot One Detail: Quite a lot of details, actually. When Neville sends a Polyjuiced Parvati to interrogate Alex over the Chamber of Secrets, Alex quickly figures out that she's an impostor and starts listing out reasons: 1 - Hermione's bookbag is never empty. 2 - Because of that, her posture is never that straight. 3 - Hermione doesn't wear perfume. 4 - She's asking about things she should already know.
  • Informed Flaw: Alexandra and her friends like to imagine that just about everyone in Gryffindor besides the Hermione, Nigel, and the Weasley Twins are Ax-Crazy, incapable of independent thought and a bit too reverent in applying in Black-and-White Morality to her, but some chapters show that a fair portion of the house does hold some respect for her, criticize Cormac McLaggen and his friends for going after her during one of the tournament trials (getting themselves disqualified while not hindering Alexandra in the least) and don't automatically believe every string of Blatant Lies from the Light Partisans, even people she's quick to think the worst of like Dean Thomas and Lavender Brown. To be fair though, this may be the result of Character Development, even the better Gryffindors aren't flawless, and the house as a whole did give the Exiled Army plenty of reasons to feel disgruntled with them throughout the first two and a half years at Hogwarts.
  • Inheritance Murder:
    • Not quite a murder, as the perpetrator was unwilling to commit kinslaying (probably because doing so would automatically disinherit him), but Sirius has kept his brother Regulus trapped in a comatose state at Saint Mungo's for years under an assumed identity to keep him from being considered as a rival heir to the family title.
    • A cadet branch of the Male-Foi family convinces the Army of Light to disappear their comatose Head so they can make a play to supplant the underage Lyre in the succession and claim the family title and fortune for themselves.
    • According to James Potter, the true betrayer of the Longbottoms was a cadet member of the family hoping that Voldemort would wipe out the main branch and leave him the new Lord. This has not been confirmed, however.
  • Initiation Ceremony: The Hogwarts Sorting. Several Slytherins supporting the Heir of Slytherin in 2nd year received an imperfect version of the Dark Mark. Morag MacDougal mentions Hermione would have to undergo some if she ever wants to join the MacDougal's religious rituals worshiping the gods of magic.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: Crabbe's mother once sung him a lullaby about the armies of darkness returning with a vengeance. And she sung it when he was ten years old.
  • It's All About Me: After the disastrous prank mentioned in Gone Horribly Wrong, Dumbledore and the Blacks are more concerned about how the penalties enacted on them impact their fortunes, reputations and future plans than any regard for the people who they wronged.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Hogwarts is its own jurisdiction. The DMLE can't even enter the grounds without the Headmaster's consent, even if students or staff report a crime to them unless the Headmaster's desires are overruled by a unanimous vote of the school board. Between Dumbledore's Control Freak tendencies, his refusal to let his favorites face the consequences for their actions, and the way he doesn't care about what could happen to those who aren't his favorite, said permission is never granted, and the only time the board was been able to amass the votes to overrule Dumbledore over the course of three years of chaos was the Deadly Prank incident.
  • Karma Houdini: Dumbledore refuses to appropriately punish students for numerous expulsion-worthy events, resulting in them concluding that it's okay to give it another go. One student made multiple murder attempts on Alex and only stopped because he accidentally crossed paths with an angry troll during his third attempt and got his head smashed in. In the end, dozens of students whose actions should have resulted in expulsion if not arrest get off with only a large series of detentions.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After the Deadly Prank, the Golden Trio and Dumbledore start to truly feel the consequences of their actions. They (with the possible exception of Neville Longbottom, who isn't really involved with the worst of their actions and behaviors) still refuse to see the error of their ways.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After the potions Preliminary for the International Magic Tournament, the Gryffindors reaction to their performance can be summed up as this (which is a bit short-sighted given how they really should be considering how to improve their potions skills before the actual tournament).
    Oliver Wood: And thus it had been decided that this preliminary will from now on be referred to as "the preliminary-which-must-be-forgotten. The very memories of this disaster will be sealed out of mind and out of our hearts.
  • Light Is Not Good: For being the political and spiritual leader of the Light faction, Dumbledore is perfectly willing to engage in morally and legally dubious actions if they advance his goals, including blatant intimidation if he doesn't get what he wants right away. Starting with him being outright disappointed that Alexandra hasn't died as a child since it means she can (and does) contest his control over the Potter family's wealth and Wizengamot vote, by the third year he outright believes he should've killed her at first chance and after Stella Zabini gains Alexandra's guardianship and fleeces him of a significant part of his own personal wealth for his unlawful handling of the Potters' Invisibility Cloak, publicly humiliating him and forcing him to re-prioritize some of his future political plans, Dumbledore outright considers Make It Look Like an Accident as an option.
    • For what it's worth, though, Dumbledore's shadier actions do eventually catch up to him, losing him political support left and right. By the third year, the entire Hogwarts faculty and Board of Governors have turned against him, he lost his representative position at the ICW and was forced to resign as head of the Wizengamot as well.
    • The implementation of the Statute of Secrecy led to a steady decline of the magical world due to their sudden separation from the mundane world, the subjugation of magical creatures and the destruction of magical Lichtenstein. This was pushed by the Light faction so they could break their Dark faction rivals and enemies.
    • The Army of Light and the Champions of Light tend to care more for the destruction of anyone they see as Dark than they do anyone or anything that might get in their way.
    • Averted (so far) with The Trinity, another Light Faction, are said to focus more on the gathering of intelligence than preemptive strikes, with the one member seen so far displaying disgust at the tactics and champions of the Army of the Light. The Exchequer also implies that the Trinity and the Army of the Light are different enough that it would take the return of Merlin for them to start working together again.
      • Then somewhat Played Straight when Eleanora de Riva and Henri Conde, two of the more real reasonable champions, refer to the leadership of the Trinity as being on board with the Army of the Light, although not all of the members are.
  • Locked into Strangeness: What Sang Royal did to Ginny. Not only her body was reshaped into a beauty, she gained blond hair and purple eyes.
  • Lost Technology: There are a lot of magical arts that have been lost to time. Some of them are still known to the Exchequer. Alexandra is rather annoyed about the way that some of them have been deliberately lost due to the efforts of the Ministry, because when she tries to research ways to protect herself from them, all she can find are short entries that boil down to "this art has been forbidden by the Ministry since XXXX", without any information about countermeasures.
  • The Mole: James Potter wasn't a traitor, just an incompetent would-be double agent who never shared his plans with anyone, so his botched infiltration of the Death Eaters got him branded a traitor.
    • Lyre de Male-Foi joins the Exiled but opts to stay in Slytherin House to be this for them.
  • Mooks: Dudley's gang is this to the Exiled after Dudley himself is kidnapped by the Shadow Blades.
  • Motive Rant: Horace Slughorn gets one when asked by Alexandra why he sees the Exchequer as a good option.
  • Never My Fault: An inability to even consider the possibility that they might have done something wrong seems to be a common trait in the hardcore light followers.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Ultimately, it's revealed the current situation was caused by Merlin and Arthur's desire to permanently crush the Dark in order to let the Light reign forever. It would be a laudable goal if only the Light didn't need a break once upon a time. Now, the Dark is ginormously powerful from a millennia of repression, while the Light is barely able to muster its forces which gradually depleted from their incapacity to be repleted.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Gilderoy Lockhart. He still acts like canon Lockhart. Only, he's secretly a spy for the magical American government, and he acts like a Ditz to throw off suspicion.
    • Subverted with Crabbe and Goyle. The rest of Slytherin initially thought they might merely be posing as dumb brutes but have long since abandoned this theory.
  • One Judge to Rule Them All: Dumbledore does the last-minute points awarding as he does in canon, but it isn't as well-received - between the fact that a horrifically out of control prank war caused everyone to know that Gryffindor earned their place at the bottom of the House points competition and only a handful of people knowing what the last-minute point awards are actually for, it's seen as blatant favoritism.
  • One-Winged Angel: Champions naturally have this when they become Animagi, as their gods give them powerful and unique forms.
    • Alexandra has begun her training to unlock the ability to become a Lernaean Hydra.
    • The Dark Queen of Durmstrang has the Animagus form of Fenrir. According to Lily, Loki only gives Fenrir, Jorgunmandr, and Hel as Animagus forms to his champions.
  • Only Sane Man: After the deadly prank that nearly gets Ron and Leo expelled, Neville is slowly starting to become this at least in comparison to the other two. Unlike them, he doesn't blindly despise Alexandra Potter, and he understands that she was not responsible for failing to catch him at the Quidditch match when she was logically trying to save her own housemate first. He also has a much better understanding of how badly things have been going, has all but stopped playing pranks and started hanging out with other more reasonable Gryffindors over Leo and Ron, and seems to be the only Gryffindor who suspects that an unknown enemy is pulling the strings behind Ron's compulsions.
    • Henri de Conde, at least so far, is presented as the only Light Champion who ISN'T an arrogant, self-righteous, and potentially murderous fanatic. He has nothing but contempt for Fleur Delacour and possibly the Army of the Light as a whole, content merely with gathering intelligence on Alexandra Potter instead of confronting her directly and knowing full well that Alexandra would destroy both him and Fleur if the two were to fight each other. He even goes so far as to ignore orders that are implied to have been sent from the Army of the Light and/or The Trinity, showing loyalty only to his parents and to Horus, and is overall infinitely more reasonable compared to Dumbledore and anyone associated with the Army of the Light.
    • Eleanora de Riva joins Henri de Conde as another reasonable Light champion, who similarly has nothing but contempt for the violent methods of the Army of the Light and prefers peaceful and non-violent methods instead, something that actually puts her at odds with more radical Light champions. She's also the only Light champion who actually has anything resembling a functional relationship with a Dark champion (Lucrezia de Sforza), although the actions of the Army of the Light have strained that friendship permanently.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Glamdring, aka Fragarach, aka Clarent, aka The Answerer the sword that killed King Arthur, may only be wielded by the Morrigan's Champion, in this case Alexandra Potter.
  • The Peter Principle: The Ministry of Magic, unsurprisingly, given how Fudge doesn't come across any better than his canon counterpart at leading the nation.
    Scrimgeour was honestly wondering why the standards for the Auror Corps were so high when it was blatantly obvious the post of Minister could be seized by the first moron.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Dumbledore's three jobs ensure that he spends more time out of the castle attending to the Wizengamot and the IWC rather than actually running Hogwarts (in Year One he spent fifty-three days out of a ten month school year actually at the school). This causes a lot of his responsibilities at the school to devolve to the heads of houses, which means that they don't have time to do their jobs and keep the student body in line.
  • Prison Dimension: Nidhogg, First and Last of the Elder Dragons, is held in one of these connected to the wardstone of Hogwarts, which inflicts Mana Drain in order to weaken the dragon and empower the wards and magic inside the school.
  • Promotion, Not Punishment: After the Chamber of Secrets debacle, the Ministry of Magic has Lucius Malfoy is unceremoniously dismissed from the Hogwarts Board of Governors for his abuses of power and suspected role in the whole affair. Then they turn around and give him Dumbledore's job as Britain's ICW delegate due to being far more pissed off with Dumbledore than they are Lucius, and feeling that for all of his flaws, he does have the skills needed for the role.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Professor Snape when Cormac McLaggen complains following an army of Gryffindors ambushing a group of Slytherins.
    Snape: "McLaggen, if you weren't such a dunderhead, you would shut. Your. Mouth. NOW!"
  • Refuge in Audacity: Bellatrix Lestrange outright walked into the ICW's headquarters at Geneva to claim her innocence from all her accusations of terrorism and ask for a fair trial, while she was hunted as a Dark Witch. She wins, leaving Dumbledore frothing at the mouth.
  • Refusal of the Call: A villainous version; the Exchequer mentions that out of the four Dark Champions they've approached, two (implied to be two named Alari and Malastri in a later chapter) showed no interest in joining them (although both are planning to compete in the Triwizard tournament). Alexandra (who they have not made overtures to) is also determined to resist the Exchequer and their plans, feeling that being a champion of Morrigan isn't inherently evil unless you choose to use if that way.
  • Religion Is Magic: The worshipers of the Old Ways are basically worshiping magic itself, and all the religious celebrations have magical effects on the surroundings and the participants.
  • Ritual Magic: Benign ones like Beltane and other holiday celebrations, horrific ones like Sang Royal which permanently warps and rebuilds a person's personality, appearance and magic and the ritual to give Diary Tom Riddle a new body. Also, presumably the Salamander a gigantic monster of fire and shadow was the result of a summoning ritual. Alexandra also uses a simple ritual to magically claim the corpses of the basilisks she killed.
    • Human Sacrifice: Sang Royal to turn Ginny Weasley into a dark witch and Voldemort supporter and involving the murder of multiple non-magicals. Also The ritual to give Diary Tom Riddle a new body, which involved the sacrifice of an adult witch.
    • Summoning Ritual: The Salamander a gigantic monster of fire and shadow was presumably the result of one. While we are not shown the ritual, it is referred to as a Summon, and The member of the Exchequer responsible is codenamed Knight Summoner.
  • Rules Lawyer: Dumbledore, Alexandra Potter, Lucius Malfoy, Neville Longbottom, pretty much every major player in this story, good or bad, needs a firm grounding in the law to keep from getting screwed (or screwing others).
    • Read the Fine Print: Dumbledore uses an obscure law to deny Alexandra access to the money from harvesting the basilisk corpses until she marries. Alexandra uses the fine print from the same law to force Dumbledore to compensate her. The compensation is a tiny fraction of what the basilisks are worth, but better than nothing.
    • Stella Zabini also spectacularly knocks Dumbledore down a peg when she shows up with half a dozen lawyers in tow to demand why he not only held onto James' Invisibility Cloak for twelve years with evidently no intention of ever returning it to Alexandra, but actually gave it away to Neville despite its status as a Potter family heirloom. In the end, Dumbledore is forced to pay a significant portion of his personal wealth to Alexandra as compensation - and that's before Zabini points out that he'd better go fetch the Pensieve he also 'borrowed' from James because she'd hate to make him shell out an even bigger fine next year for that!
    • Narcissa hits Dumbledore with another one over the will of Cassiopeia Black, which he had sealed because he feared she would leave substantial bequests to his enemies. It turns out that the Chief Warlock doesn't have the authority to arbitrarily seal wills indefinitely without grounds, and when the discretionary time period expires without him either unsealing the will or providing grounds for the Wizengamot to confirm his actions in a formally introduced and passed bill, Narcissa sues him.
  • Sadistic Choice: When the third year's Gryffindor-Ravenclaw quidditch match gets interrupted by Dementors, both sides' Seekers fall off their brooms. Alexandra is the only one close enough to intervene, but she only has time to catch one of them. She chooses Cho over Neville, knowing that Neville would be saved by Dumbledore. Although Neville survives the fall, Ron Weasley and Leo Black are enraged by her choice and attempt to prank her in retaliation, which ends with very nasty repercussions for not only the boys, but Dumbledore as well.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Mordred was a female, and the previous Champion to the Morrigan who was intended to succeed Morgan only for Arthur to kill her and ruin the balance.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Dumbledore, Fudge, and to a lesser extent the Malfoys.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Pretty much everyone in the wizarding world that have enough money, although the Malfoys stand out.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Pretty much everyone in the wizarding world that has the right connections, although Dumbledore and the Malfoys stand out.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The worshipers of the Old Ways, The Exchequer, The Shadow Blades, Death Eaters, generic Dark Magic cults... really, in this story you could chuck a rock and randomly hit a cultist. Not all are evil, but all of them involve invoking powers beyond mortal ken. The protagonist Alexandra Potter is not only a member but a champion of one of the deities worshiped by her particular cult.
  • Serious Business: The Malfoys were willing to spend political capital so that their son could become the leader of the Slytherin underclassmen at Hogwarts (a position he quickly lost due to his inability to use that status effectively). Other, unspecified houses were willing to sell political capital to Dumbledore in exchange for him rigging the House Cup in Gryffindor's favor.
  • Shout-Out: Erasmus Rincewind wears a pointy hat with "WIZZARD" embroidered on the rim, his Animagus transformation is a huge orang-utan and he uses a legged, carnivorous luggage for a lesson. Now, I've already seen that somewhere...
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Alexandra and Susan. The Exiles around them are ready to gag whenever the two get flirty.
  • Smug Snake: Dumbledore, to sociopathic degrees. He's constantly over-estimating his political capital and squandering it on petty, self-centered matters. He completely (and regularly) ignores good advice from Flitwick and Snape warning him about mistakes he's making, or how he's misjudging the student body. He's remained painfully oblivious towards major threats such as the Exchequer. He treats any defiance against his authority with an It's All About Me attitude. He makes deals with dangerous factions while remaining dismissive of the potential blowback and blind to any evidence of their instability or evil nature simply because they're "Light" factions. By the winter break of Alexandra's third year, most of the characters agree that he's setting himself up for a hard fall, and are patiently (and often eagerly) waiting for it, while Dumbledore himself remains utterly confident of his own righteousness and invincibility.
  • Straw Misogynist: Dumbledore's inner narration has shades of this, particularly when he's thinking about Stella Zabini.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Puberty has been very generous with Susan Bones and Alex has had to keep her eyes from straying more than once.
  • These Hands Have Killed: While Alexandra strongly believes in meeting lethal force with lethal force, and refuses to risk living enemies at her back, she does strongly regret killing anyone. When discussing with Hermione about killing Assistant Professor Davin in self-defense, she corrects her friend to say she did not "kill" the person, but "murdered" him. Unfortunately, Alexandra tends to repress such concerns during times of crises, and only opens up with her most trusted friends about this, which means nearly everyone else —particularly Dumbledore and all of Slytherin —assumes she is a psychopath who has no qualms of killing even more. Still, the Exiles are willing to use that reputation if necessary; see The Dreaded above.
    • According to the author, one of the reasons Annabeth Blackford is being left alone is because Alexandra is tired of killing, and believes a life sentence to Azkaban to be too harsh.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Even after being told that his life literally depends on acquiring Alexandra's goodwill, James still refuses to apologize for any of the actions he took that resulted in her early life being a misery, or even consider that he might have been wrong to do them in the first place.
    • After being hit by a Dark Ritual whose effects accelerate the more magic he uses, Sirius declines to seek medical attention, instead trying to kill the party responsible in the belief that this would break the spell. And then goes after the first suspect that comes to mind without seeking to confirm that said person was actually responsible, causing him to burn out his magic and life trying to kill the wrong person.
    • Thanks to his incredible ability to offend virtually everyone outside of Gryffindor every time he opens his mouth, the odds of Leo making a deadly enemy out of some of the powerhouses competing in the Triwizard from other school are pretty high, but despite being informed this by his own acting head of house, he shows no signs of wising up.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • For the first two and a half years of the story Leo Black often came across as more restrained and a better student than his two companions (not that this is saying much), but has grown into a borderline Hate Sink since the events leading up to and following his suspension.
    • Percy Weasley goes from being a somewhat Reasonable Authority Figure who's cordial towards Alexandra and is considered as a possible recruit for the Exiled Army to letting his ambition consume him (even worse than in canon) and achieving a 0% Approval Rating at Hogwarts.
  • Trapped by Gambling Debts: Ludo Bagman, unsurprisingly.
  • Unfit for Greatness: Some of the Magical Champions are viewed this way, such as Fleur Delacour and two Durmstrang champions - one light and one dark - who are far behind in the preliminaries.
  • Uriah Gambit: The moderates of House Slytherin encourage junior Death Eater Warrington and other (largely talentless) undesirables who've been dragging the house down to sign up for the Triwizard tournament out of the hopes that they won't come home from it.
  • Vain Sorceress: Albeit a more benign (and humorous) example than most. Stella Zabini thinks a witch needs two luggages when traveling, only for her wardrobe. And that's magical luggage.
  • Villainous Rescue: Alexandra is saved from an assassination attempt by the Army of Light by the Knight Priest of the Exchequer.
  • Wham Episode: In Chapter 53 Alexandra learns that her inner animal is a Lernaean Hydra, yes like the one that Hercules had to fight.
    • In chapter 47, Bellatrix implies that Lily Potter is possibly alive. In chapter 56, we learn that she is also part of yet another conspiracy that helped Bellatrix with her Dark Mark and is currently angling to get back at her husband.
      • The end of chapter 57 and 58 shows us that Morgana Le Fay is alive, is the Queen of the Exchequer and was the former champion of Morrigan. She has also been disfigured by taking Excalibur in the face.
    • At the end of chapter 55, we learn that Ariana Dumbledore is alive and in the Exchequer's ranks as the Knight Necromancer.
    • At the end of chapter 64, we learn that the wards of Hogwarts are powered by the magic given off by an ancient and extremely powerful dark dragon kept prisoner beneath the castle... and that the spells keeping him captive are failing.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: After Nigel (along with Crabbe and Ernie) hear Trelawney make the very ominous Prophecy of Camlann, Alexandra flat-out says that they shouldn't do anything to stop it (instead focusing on mentally preparing for it to come true and increasing the castle's physical defenses), pointing out that historical attempts to prevent prophecies tend to have an even worse endgame than the prophesied one, something which plays a large role in the backstory, with Arthur and Merlin being the prophecy-tamperers
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Light doesn't care if a Dark mage is underage, they must be eradicated.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The reason why the Exchequer sends Grindelwald to fight a second duel with Dumbledore — his expertise has run its course and his health is failing.


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