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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...

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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...


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''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.
    • 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.
  • Badass Gay: Alexandra is quickly growing into The Dreaded for Wizarding Britain at large. She's also dating Susan Bones.
  • 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.
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  • Big Bad: It's hard to tell with so many possibilities, but the primary candidate seems to be The Exchequer and their King.
  • Big Damn Villains: Alexandra is saved from an assassination attempt by the Army of Light by the Knight Priest of the Exchequer.
  • The Butcher: Erasmus Rincewind is known to the magical world as the Butcher of Dresden.
  • The Chosen One: Neville Longbottom is the Boy-Who-Lived. Alexandra Potter is the Champion of Morrigan.
  • 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, tends to be filled with Lord of the Rings references.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 who she has had an antagonistic relationship with 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • I Owe You My Life: After Alexandra saves Neville in the Chamber of Secrets, Neville offers to repay the life debt by cancelling 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass Has 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 and feels no remorse about it.
  • 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 still refuse to see the error of their ways.
  • 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 third year, the entire Hogwarts faculty and Board of Governors has 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 millenia 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.
  • One Judge to Rule Them All: Dumbledore does the last minute points awarding like 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.
  • 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 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. 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 job and keep the student body in line.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Professor Snape when Cormacc Mclagenn 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.
  • 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!
  • 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 have 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.
  • 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.
  • Vain Sorceress: Stella Zabini thinks a witch needs two luggages when traveling, only for her wardrobe. And that's magical luggage.
  • 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 Summoner.
  • 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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