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Fanfic / The Rigel Black Chronicles

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The best Potions student Hogwarts has ever seen. Image by blopoooo.
Harriett: Thanks for letting me borrow your name, Arch. I'll try not to blacken it too much in the next seven years.
Arcturus: (grinning) Do your worst.

In a World… where Tom Riddle launched a political party instead of a war, there is widespread and legally enforced discrimination against non-purebloods. Harriett Potter grew up with both of her parents and all of the Marauders alive and well, but as a half-blood, she isn't allowed to attend Hogwarts (and worse restrictions are coming). She isn't going to let that stop her from getting a world-class Potions education under Professor Snape, though, and so she plots with her pure-blooded cousin Arcturus Black to swap identities during the school year. Too bad that they didn't realise how outstanding she could really be, and how much attention "Rigel Black" would attract from those who would use or control "him" — especially Tom Riddle himself.

The Rigel Black Chronicles is a series of Harry Potter fanfiction written by murkybluematter aka "Violet Matter", drawing on elements of the Song of the Lioness:


Book five is in progress as of December 2021.

The Rigel Black Chronicles provides examples of:

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  • 11th-Hour Superpower: After months of fruitless work, Harry is trapped (due to the reveal of "Rigel's" blood status) and her desperation to get away finally enables her to shift into her Animagus form and fly away.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Marcus Flint Sr is a danger to his wife and son; Harry eventually helps them to hide from him.
    • There's no direct evidence of physical abuse in the Lestrange household, but plenty of signs of emotional abuse and neglect, from the fact that Caelum's parents have no plans to attend the open house where he'll present the results of his internship, to the way that Bellatrix congratulates "Rigel" on finding a way to make Caelum immediately walk away and wishes she knew how to do the same. And, of course, in canon she was a complete psychopath who revelled in causing pain.
  • The Ace: Leo is smart, handsome, physically fit, the best duelist in the Lower Alleys, and competent enough at brewing to be a useful assistant to Harry. Largely justified, though, because the reason he first noticed her was his position as king of the alleys, and that crown is won by beating all comers at free-dueling. And his potions talent is a result of his father being the Potions Guild aldermaster; he doesn't have the passion for it, just workmanlike skill.
  • Achilles' Heel: After the World Cup fiasco, where patrons were trapped inside the anti-apparition wards until an expert could be called in, Blaise Zabini is commissioned to design wards that are nigh-impenetrable from the outside but deliberately easy for a single caster to take down from the inside. Naturally, they're later used against Harry.
  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Not quite immunity in the sense of being unaffected, but Harry deliberately exposes herself to various poisons, under Professor Snape's supervision, so that she can practise flushing them from her system and healing herself — including dealing with their effects after first allowing them to progress. She develops enough skill to win the Fifth Task despite having been given a hallucinogen dose calibrated for a boy.
  • Action Girl:
    • Antiope comes from a girls-only school that emphasises combat skills and teaches free-dueling. She gets permission from the judges to use a sword alongside her wand in the Triwizard Tournament, and wins her first duel without casting a single spell.
    • Harry is initially very much a scholar, but gets serious about self-defence after seeing a vicious gang fight in the Lower Alleys, motivating her to get training from Remus and then from Leo. By the time she starts her fourth year of school, she's a force to be reckoned with, dominating the Duelling Club and going on to win the Triwizard duelling task.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: The Samhain flowers are an aggravation for Harry, but her friends have a good laugh. She can see the humour in it eventually, but she still plots revenge on the Weasley twins.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Harry gets along differently (usually better) with several characters, but perhaps the most notable is Professor Snape, whose personality is largely similar to canon, but who is impressed by her talent and passion for his subject. He has a hard time believing that he's taken on Sirius Black's son as a protegé (and he wouldn't be any happier if he knew she's actually James Potter's daughter), but she's just too good for him to ignore.
    The trouble was that Severus Snape had shown sympathy and even kindness for someone who was not just a student, not just a Slytherin, but a Black. A Black. He hated the Blacks. Hated the whole, diseased family. Sirius Black was a name etched with hate on Severus' every schoolyard memory, and to behave in such a way toward his son—to show kindness and go out of his way to avoid hurting the child—such a thing even Albus would have considered beyond him. Yet so it was.
  • Adaptational Villainy: As a result of the Marauders surviving, the Jordan family has been pushed out of the joke market, leading Lee Jordan to want both revenge and a chance to ensure "Rigel" can't follow in their footsteps. He later throws in his lot with the Voldemort construct.
  • Adults Are Useless: Downplayed. Harry values the support of a number of adults, but when push comes to shove, they're normally more helping with the cleanup than actually solving the crisis.
    • Professor Snape destroys the sleeping plague from students' minds, but only after Harry finds a way to get him inside.
    • All the teachers together can only get into the Chamber of Secrets once Ginny opens the door for them, although their help is then vital. Especially Fawkes' tears.
    • Adult help is crucial in rescuing Harry from Peter Pettigrew's prison, but only after Harry has already removed the threat. Her magic defeated Peter and she saw the Dominion Jewel kill him for his failure.
  • Affair? Blame the Bastard: Daphne Greengrass tearfully protests this, that she's being punished for her parents' infidelity, when she's revealed to be a half-blood and expelled from Hogwarts. She had no idea until her ancestry potion showed her true father.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength:
    • Harry's early incidents of accidental magic tended toward the destructive side, which made her fear and try to suppress them, which meant that further incidents leaned even more toward "rare, but powerful and dangerous." By the time she went to purchase a wand, she could barely get a non-violent reaction out of any of them. Eventually she learns that it first started when she accidentally erased her cousin's memory out of fear of getting in trouble, and she herself had repressed that memory.
    • Lily had it even worse, and now wears a power-suppressing bracelet full-time (engraved "Harriett" as a reminder), ever since she selfishly wished that newborn Harry looked a little more like her — and, to her horror, her magic permanently turned Harry's eyes green like hers.
  • Allohistorical Allusion: The story is packed with references to canon events, some overt and some subtle.
    • Not at Halloween, but when Archie and Hermione are stealing Polyjuice Potion. "TRROOOLLL IN THE BASEMENT! <beat> Thought you ought to know."
    • When helping Harry to learn better magical control through visualisation, Draco tells her that, "Look, just because it's in your mind doesn't mean it's not real."
    • In canon, Hermione illegally brewed Polyjuice potion from stolen ingredients in second year in order to infiltrate the Slytherin dorms. Here, Hermione steals completed Polyjuice in first year to help Harry protect her infiltration of Slytherin, and Harry illegally brews it in second year.
    • Archie later tells Harry that he had to talk Hermione out of brewing Potentialis Potion in an unused bathroom stall.
    • Draco finds the very idea of being petrified by a first-year student so ridiculous that he tells Pansy and "Rigel", if it happens, to instead tell his parents that he was mauled by a hippogriff.
      Pansy: Mauled by a what? Draco, where do you come up with these things?
    • When Harry's friends hear that Remus Lupin will be teaching at Hogwarts, Draco remarks that Dumbledore's control extends so far that he could hire an escaped Azkaban criminal if he wanted.
      Millicent: Well if anyone ever actually escapes from Azkaban, we'll know where to find them.
    • When Sirius jokes about how Harry isn't allowed to be comfortable schmoozing with politicians at Riddle's gala, Harry replies, "I'll just stand in a corner, make no noise, and pretend not to exist."
    • Sirius asserts that no one has ever escaped Azkaban, and Archie offers to use his animagus form to slip between the bars.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Lampshaded by Harry after reaching the midpoint of the first Triwizard Task (and mostly intended as a Take That! to Riddle).
    Rigel: All this way for a fancy ribbon.
  • Anger Montage:
    • Lord Riddle is not happy about what the Diary construct did and said after it left his supervision. Harry's first clue is an explosion from inside the room, followed by angry Parseltongue, and then more furniture breaking. When she finally comes inside, she's treated to the sight of him torturing a bookcase to death, not just burning it but making it twist and writhe in the flames before exploding, and she's unable to have a seat as there are no surviving chairs — although Riddle is skilled enough to quickly recreate them.
    • Harry does somewhat understand the appeal, when she needs to vent about Caelum Lestrange.
      Harry: Can you just burn that, please? I need some visceral satisfaction, but I can Vanish something into Non-Being if you'd rather.
  • Animal Stampede: The Dominion Jewel affects all the non-human creatures around Hogwarts, even sapient beings like merfolk ( and Remus Lupin near the full moon), causing them to rampage.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Pansy finds Draco moping about finding out that "Rigel Black" was a lie and sets out to snap him out of it.
    Draco: You weren't there, Pansy. I caught him erasing traces of himself in our dorm room. You didn't hear what he said—
    Pansy: Forget what he said. Honestly, Draco. You find out your best friend has lied to you for four years and then you decide to believe everything he says? Is Rigel Black a liar, or is he not?
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After their grand conspiracy to commit blood identity theft, punishable by life in Azkaban, along with academic fraud, lying to every one of their friends and family except each other, and both stealing and illegally brewing Polyjuice — Archie is horrified by the mere suggestion that they might misuse their magic to prematurely find out where their Christmas presents are hidden.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Dominion Jewel. Harry finds historical records of prior holders suddenly gaining inexplicable power and going on campaigns of conquest, only to later crash and burn. It changes Peter Pettigrew to desire power and control. In the process, it gives him the ability to subdue the wills of others, starting with weaker targets like animals and building up as far as he can achieve. However, if he fails to dominate others, the Jewel will turn on him instead and consume him.
  • Artistic License: Harry is hit with a jinx that was intended to be Jelly-Legs, but due to a miscast, is actually Jelly-Brains. However, the characters go on to talk about it in a way that's clearly using the American meaning of "jelly", ie a fruit-based spread for toast ("jam" in Britain), rather than the British meaning of "jelly", which is a gelatine-based dessert (known in America as "jello"). Specifically, the dialogue refers to grape jelly, which is widespread in America, while grape jam is not common in Britain even if the correct name were used. There are some good puns based on it, though.
  • Ascended Extra: Pansy Parkinson is a particularly notable example, with just a name and one or two lines in canon, but here fleshed out into one of Harry's best friends, generally sweet and harmless, but socially savvy and wearing so many different masks that she feels they really are her personality at this point.
  • Assimilation Backfire: The Dominion Jewel invades Harry's mind, intending to take control of her, but failed to anticipate that she had a perfect cage already prepared, an experimental magical construct chained to obey her, with no will of its own. Dominion soon finds itself enslaved and has to turn to diplomacy to regain some influence.
  • Attack Reflector: Goblins can't use wands, but they are able to forge armour and swords that will return spells to sender. (Harry also discovers that they tend to dissipate spells that don't form an actual ray and thus can't be reflected.)
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: Unlike canon, where Mrs Norris was merely petrified, here she's killed and nailed to the wall, and her six new kittens alongside her, in the shape of a smiley face, to emphasize the threatening message.
    Diarymort: Do I Have Your Attention Yet?
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment:
    • Exasperated at James and Sirius' ongoing ridicule of Severus Snape after all these years, Lily calls on Remus for his opinion. Remus agrees that there's no need to continue going on about their old rivalry.
      Remus: I'm sure by now he's washed his hair.
    • Flint lets the Beater hopefuls know that he decided not to make them try to hit Bludgers through the goal hoops, to Harry's relief, because the hoops are much smaller targets than Bludgers were designed for. Instead, he makes them hit Bludgers through hoops attached to the brooms of the Seeker candidates; either the target has nerves of steel and complete confidence in the Beater, or the hoop will be moving around too much to have a chance of hitting it.
    • Sirius offers to help Harry get drunk at the World Cup, to James and Lily's disapproval, but James doesn't have much moral standing there after their own teenage exploits. Lily, however, invites Harry to confirm that she'll have no part of it.
      Harry: I am a bit thirsty. <beat> Do you have milk at the tent, Dad?
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind:
    • Harry's battle against the sleeping sickness becomes this when she feels it entering her mind, creeping mindlessly but steadily forward to cover everything in black mist. She doesn't know how to fight it directly, but is able to get into Draco's mind and help to free him.
    • She later has to free Ginny Weasley from a mental cage that's almost impenetrable from the inside, but vulnerable from the outside.
    • The Diary-construct Voldemort tries to invade Harry's mind and take over her magic. The first time, she cuts it off from Ginny's magic and it flees, without the strength to continue. The second time, the Dominion Jewel beats it up and kicks it out.
  • Best Served Cold:
    • The Weasley Twins make "Rigel" the centerpiece of an epic prank on the school, signing her name to dozens out of the hundreds of flower messages that target students and staff with highly personalised compliments. Most of the smart people can tell she wasn't really responsible, and it's not precisely bad attention anyway, but she doesn't appreciate the spotlight — so she meticulously prepares and delivers a potion that will cause both of them to pour floods of pink goo out of every pore.
    • Harry's revenge for Valentine's Day — ambushing the Twins in a secret passage and covering them in "just desserts" — is even colder, waiting months and being set up well in advance with a Paranoia Gambit. For maximum coldness, once it's sprung, Harry turns up eating an ice cream.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Harry generally has quite good control of her temper and magic, but that makes the times that she does explode all the more violent. Aldon Rosier notes this tendency and is fascinated.
    Underneath his lifeless facial expressions and almost insulting dismissal of anything that couldn't be diced, reduced, or boiled into unappetizing slime, Rigel was one of the most volatile things Aldon had ever encountered. Rigel Black didn't care, he didn't care, and then all of a sudden he did, and Merlin help anyone standing in his way at that moment. Rigel Black had lines, and the very instant one of his lines was crossed, his demeanor went from dormant to volcanic eruption in the space between heartbeats.
  • Bewildering Punishment: Harry is at a loss to explain why someone knocked her down the stairs and tried to poison her. Even after she finds out, it still seems pretty questionable.
    Rigel: That's what this is about? The Marauders' joke line at Zonkos?
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: Harry's thirteenth birthday cake sings Happy Birthday as it's eaten, becoming increasingly frantic and high-pitched as less and less remains.
  • Blackmail:
    • Marcus Flint works out that "Rigel Black" isn't really Arcturus, but since the real Arcturus is a friend of his, he can guess why Archie is doing this, and doesn't want to just ruin it. He does, however, make Harry help with his schoolwork to earn his silence.
    • Riddle attempts to put pressure on "Rigel" by threatening to ruin Harry's career, but Rigel rejects his demands and challenges him to do his worst.
      Rigel: Do whatever you want to us. We won't be leveraged against one another. I know you don't understand. You can't imagine a bond so strong that two people would be willing to do anything for one another. Suffice to say, all your threats are meaningless. Harry would never allow herself to be used against me. She'd die first.
  • Blood Magic: Harry doesn't make a deep study of it, but she knows enough basics to ensure that, for example, any blood she spills is properly cleaned away, lest it be used against her. Her opponent in a Triwizard duel is less cautious, carelessly spitting out blood after being struck in the face, and pays for it.
  • Bookworm: Harry is quite an academic, but she still can't quite measure up to Hermione, as per canon.
    Dumbledore: Yes, Madam Pince mentioned the young American girl with rather ferocious reading habits.
    Rigel: Hermione swallows books whole before they can fight back.
  • Boring, but Practical: Harry gives the Weasley Twins a recipe for an experimental preservation oil that extends the shelf life of potions, for their birthday. It's not spectacular, but it's worth a mint to the right people.
  • Bureaucratically Arranged Marriage: Riddle's ideal marriage law outcome would have him hand-picking couples that are likely to produce magically powerful children. Because that's the kind of Control Freak and arguably Well-Intentioned Extremist he is. Harry doesn't want that for herself or for her cousin.

  • Calling the Old Man Out: Archie gives a loving but firm chastisement to James, about how his disapproval of Harry's potions interest has pushed her away. At the same time, he does understand why James acted as he did.
    James: It was for her own good. Every kid I ever knew who was too into potions had a miserable life. I didn't want her to be the weird smelly kid at school, all right? I didn't want her to be picked on, laughed at. Not my sweet girl.
    Archie: I know. I think you underestimated Harry's strength of character, though, and overestimated your ability to change her. Harry would never let anyone bully her, not even you.
  • Cassandra Truth: Harry is stunned to learn that witches and wizards don't create magic, they just absorb it from the environment — meaning that it doesn't belong to them, they're not stewards over it, they're just leeching it. However, she also realises that despite the importance of this discovery, and its potential to open new fields of research, she can't just go around telling people, because it flies in the face of what many powerful and influential people believe; naive disclosure would invite severe retaliation without achieving anything.
  • Caught Coming Home Late: Harry is grounded after getting caught in the middle of a gang brawl in the Lower Alleys and taking refuge at a shelter causes her to arrive home far past curfew. It doesn't help that the identity swap means she's not very good at answering security questions.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: A crowd of students arrives in response to Harry's scream, just a little too late for her confrontation with Lee Jordan.
  • Challenging the Chief:
    • The Rogue's position is based on this, being won in single "open" combat. Notably, it's not meant to be a Klingon Promotion; subterfuge and other such methods are forbidden. Leo remarks to Harry that it's a rather poor deal for the king, who doesn't get any kind of reward for winning.
      Harry: You get to stay King.
      Leo: I'd get that if Marek didn't challenge me. For a lot less trouble.
    • It's also the eventual solution to Marcus Flint's situation. Marcus beats his father in a duel and becomes the new Lord Flint, allowing him to deny his father the resources to hunt Merriam down.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • When assigned to choose a potion ingredient and write an essay about its uses and dangers, Harry chooses Nimue's Breath, which is used to conceal poisons. Some time later, she spots a drink spiked with it, and saves the drink's owner.
    • As of the end of book four, the watch that Archie gives her, which looks like it opens but she couldn't figure out how, has not been fired.
  • Childhood Friends: Harry and Archie are officially second cousins, refer to each other as cousins because their fathers act like brothers, but grew up together like siblings. Despite having very different personalities, they get along well and are deeply loyal to each other. Archie values Harry's safety too much to risk telling even Hermione about the ruse, and Harry's backup cover story — that she's been living in the alleys alone for years just so Archie could follow his dreams — is premised on how devoted they are to each other. Everyone buys it.
  • Claustrophobia: Originally, Harry quite liked enclosed spaces, but after spending two weeks imprisoned underground, one of those weeks without enough room to stand upright, she prefers to be outdoors.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Defied by Harry — although it's actually a hot-blooded kind. She flatly refuses to brew, even for purely academic reasons, a batch of "Coquere Cerebrum", a torture potion that steadily raises the drinker's body temperature until it scrambles their brains.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • The "free dueling" tournaments of the Lower Alley do have rules, but they are far looser than traditional combat sports, and allow all manner of dirty tactics; it's perfectly acceptable to throw sand in your opponent's face, release nerve gas, and then kick him where it hurts. They're illegal because there's so much potential for permanent injury or accidental death, but still occur in the Alleys, because they're used to choose a leader who can defend his people in a real fight.
    • Subverted in Harry's aiming practice when she gets tired of missing the skeet, and succeeds by firing three shots instead of one. Remus calls that cheating, but Harry claims it would work against a real enemy and winning is what counts — so Remus launches three targets at once, and of course she can't hit them all.
      Remus: So it seems a 33% success rate is only a problem when there are multiple enemies. Ah, well, that probably won't happen.
      Harry: Point taken. Let it fly, Remus.
  • Complexity Addiction: As part of her internship, Harry has to brew Jourdain's Amalgamation, a horrendously complex potion that does nothing at all if made properly. She doesn't carry the majority of the (dozens of) ingredients in her Potions kit, because they're useless for making anything else, and the fact that the cauldron has to be treated with snake oil may be a joke by the author.
    It was extraordinarily complicated simply for the sake of being complicated. It was created by some sadistic individual to test how well aspiring brewers could follow directions and successfully complete a potion they were unfamiliar with.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After the ruse is blown, Sirius amuses himself by imposing arbitrary rules on Archie as punishment — such as making him go an entire day without using any form of the verb "to be".
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Harry has the foresight to ask her family not to come to the Triwizard tasks after the first one, knowing that her dueling skills will raise too many questions — especially from Remus, who has tutored both Harry and Archie and has seen Harry free-duel over the summer. They do attend the last Task, and both Remus and Sirius can tell that something's not right when they see "Rigel" out-duel an Auror (albeit not fighting lethally) and a Sphinx. But it becomes moot a few minutes later when Voldemort makes his move.
  • Covered in Gunge: After the Weasley Twins give the school the impression that Rigel is a softhearted "puddle of goo", she decides to turn the tables. The envelopes that explode glitter all over them seem amateurish, but once she persuades them to accept an "apology" bag of sweets, her revenge is completed, as liquid oozes from their every pore and orifice to combine with the glitter and cover them in pink goo.
  • Crossover: The world is distinctly Harry Potter, but many plot elements are recognisable from the Song of the Lioness, from the gender and identity swap, to the back alleys ruled by the Court of the Rogue, the sleeping plague, and the Dominion Jewel.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Aldon Rosier decides that "Rigel" is too reserved, and takes it upon himself to break him out of his comfort zone, by deliberately making him uncomfortable and provoking emotional reactions.
  • Cry into Chest:
    • Draco is very surprised to be on the receiving end of this from "Rigel", but in fairness, Harry had just been through the Chamber of Secrets, watched one horrible death and almost suffered another — or, alternatively, nearly became a puppet to infiltrate and destroy her friends and family. Tears are quite understandable.
    • Harry properly breaks down sobbing into Leo's chest when he reveals that he knows she's Rigel.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • A mugger goes after Harry and finds himself tangling with Leo, who regularly free-duels all challengers to keep his crown. The attacker doesn't literally bite curb, but he gets a broken wrist.
    • Harry's mind is remarkably well defended by the Dominion Jewel. Voldemort's presence gets beaten up, set on fire, and kicked out, leaving him spasming on the ground.
  • Curse: Something done by his mother has left Regulus Black barren, even many years later, which complicates the continuation of the family.
  • Cynical Mentor: Master Thompson initially appears to be this, mentoring Harry because the Potions Guild assigned him there, but bored by it and with very low expectations for what Harry can actually achieve. When he observes Harry's shaped imbuing technique, however, he regains a spark of real interest.
    Thompson: Why can't you pick something easy? Study…I don't know, the effects of different soil compositions on limbus grass or something.
    Harry: Everyone knows the effect of soil compositions on limbus grass. DeBlanc did an extensive survey on the subject a few decades ago.
    Thompson: No one expects you to come up with original research. It's an internship. You just have to do something not-wrong, and the Guild will publish your project in the newsletter, and the PR will be good all around. Your actual topic doesn't matter that much.
    Harry: It matters to me. I'm not here to waste my time.
    Thompson: Just mine, apparently.
  • Dead Animal Warning: Canonically, Mrs Norris was merely petrified and hung up on a sconce as a warning, to be eventually revived. Here, she's killed and nailed to the wall. Along with her six newborn kittens. In the shape of a smiley face.
    Written on the wall in blood: Do I Have Your Attention Yet?
  • Deadly Prank: The Jordan family came up with a number of prank items a good deal more dangerous than the Weasley Twins' usual fare, such as tablets that transform a drink into a completely different substance while maintaining the same appearance, and a scorpion-like creature that causes permanent nerve damage and wipes the victim's memory of being bitten. Harry narrowly escapes being on the receiving end.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Harry's sense of humor tends to this, probably as a self-defence mechanism from growing up in a family of Marauders.
      George: Rigel, Rigel, Rigel. What is the fastest way to a man's heart?
      Rigel: Between the fourth and fifth ribs.

      Rigel: <looks at nose after surviving dragon fire with an Unfinished, Untested, Used Anyway absorption spray> Does this look sunburned to you?
    • Sirius sees his estranged brother at Draco's birthday party.
      Sirius: Reggie! How nice to…well, you're here.
  • Death Course: The obstacle course for Quidditch tryouts in second year rapidly intimidates many hopefuls into walking away, although it wouldn't actually kill you. Probably. No doubt someone would step in to provide medical attention if you crashed into the invisible ceiling and landed on the swinging blade, caught fire after being struck by artificial lightning, or slipped off a rain-slick broom upon being attacked by six Bludgers at once.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Sort of. After Harry overpowers Peter Pettigrew, with the Dominion Jewel devouring him and moving into Harry's head, they eventually develop a relationship of arm's-length trust, since she's apparently proved her worthiness (not that she wanted to). It's unclear just how far the friendship extends, but since the Jewel is inside her head, she really needs to be able to trust it to some degree. It does do an admirable job of protecting her mind from intrusion, even trouncing an attempt by Voldemort himself.
  • Demonic Possession: In canon, the Diary was able to possess Ginny after she'd spent a long time writing to Tom, pouring her soul into it. Here, it's able to jump hosts with a Legilimency assault, and even animate the dead body of the basilisk.
  • Destroy the Evidence: Harry burns or Vanishes all of her own possessions from her Hogwarts dormitory, so that she can't be tracked. Once she gets to safety, she even Vanishes her beloved, but recognisable, boots.
  • Did I Say That Out Loud: Harry didn't intend for anyone to hear her internally deride the idea that she was lucky to go to Slytherin. Pansy is initially offended, but Harry is quickly able to explain that the reason for her reaction is that it wasn't a matter of luck; she deliberately chose it.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Harry pioneers the idea of imbuing potions with magic that is already shaped into a spell, but not actually cast. When she tries to teach others, she finds that only a very few potioneers can replicate her method, as it requires not only a good grasp of wandless magic (which is already unfortunately rare, despite its usefulness for true mastery of brewing), but also sufficient Occlumency skill to monitor one's own magical core and separate magic shaping from casting. Successfully learning the technique, however, allows the brewer to embed a spell in a potion, making it far more enduring, independent of the drinker's own skill or magical reserves, and harder to dispel — thus opening up entirely new avenues of usefulness for potions.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • A magical dodgeball game where the teacher has already established that the ball won't actually hurt if it hits you is pretty minor. However, Harry is so naturally paranoid and living on a hair-trigger that when she realises she won't be able to block it in time, she subconsciously uses a shield that disintegrates anything on contact, instantly vaporising the ball. Draco gets quite upset that she overreacted like that.
    • Alastor Moody is underwhelmed by the severity of a child attending a school under a false name and dismissive toward the level of response it's getting.
      Moody: I have real Dark Wizards to hunt.
  • Don't Do Anything I Wouldn't Do: In both James' and Sirius' company, Lily has to pause for a moment before choosing an appropriate role model to suggest to Harry, but settles on Remus.
  • Don't Think, Feel: Remus explicitly encourages this when teaching Harry to dodge spells, until she's repeating it as a mantra in her head as she throws herself around the mats; she has to develop dodging into an automatic behaviour rather than a conscious one if she wants it to be usable. It's a long, sweaty and painful learning process, but she does improve.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Caelum Lestrange is furious about Harry vouching for him and getting his credit approved when his Guild research allowance doesn't quite cover the ingredients he needs. He can't really afford to turn down her help, though, unless he instead wants to ask for money from his psychotic sadistic mother.
  • Doorstopper: Not only is the series over 1.3 million words and counting, but individual chapters tend to be extremely large, and growing longer as the series progresses. Book 4 averages over 30000 words per chapter (33000 if you don't count the 500-word epilogue).
  • Doppelgänger Gets Same Sentiment: Defied. Harry quickly decides that the teenage Voldemort from the Diary is very different from the Tom Riddle who leads the SOW party.
  • Double Entendre: Quite a lot of these go over Harry's head — which makes sense at her age, even if she does have some amount of sex education.
    • After her first time playing on the Quidditch team, the older team members are chatting.
      Bletchley: Man, did you see Wood's face when he figured out the whistling thing on that opening chaser play? That ought to keep Flint in visual ammunition for at least a month.
    • After Aldon Rosier gets tipsy at the New Year's Eve gala and kisses his friend Edmund Rookwood on the cheek, Rookwood gently knocks him out and asks "Rigel" to watch him until he wakes up.
      Rigel: I do owe you a favor. But I am somewhat concerned about what this will look like once you leave.
      Rookwood: I doubt anyone would think that about a boy your age.
      Rigel: I don't think age has much to do with it, if you've got a wand.note 
    • Alesana Selwyn chastises Harry for lack of situational awareness when she doesn't even instantly know which pocket her wand is in.
      Rosier: Thank you, Alice. I'm sure Rigel understands your meaning perfectly. He won't forget anymore, will you Rigel? I'll help Rigel practice stowing his wand right now, in fact—
    • On Rigel's first visit to the Burrow, Ginny asks whether she couldn't get out of coming, which Mrs Weasley chastises her for.
      Rigel: It's quite all right, Mrs Weasley. I like Ginny rude.
    • James is already suspicious about Harry planning to spend an entire day brewing in the basement with an older boy, and then, as he's leaving for work, she reassures him with, "You can check in when you get home from work—I don't doubt we'll still be at it."
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • The identity swap leads to many darkly amusing lines.
      Snape: Go to breakfast, Mr. Black, and if I ever catch you entering a women's bathroom again, with or without a teacher, I will excommunicate you from Slytherin House faster than you can say Salazar.

      Regulus: Do you think if you look and act like the Black Heir society will really see you as interchangeable? Do be sensible, girl. No matter that you were raised together, you ought to have been told by now that your place and my nephew's are worlds apart.

      Snape: The two are closer than most siblings. Black would no sooner relinquish Harriett Potter than he would give up studying Potions.
      Riddle: You will persuade him otherwise. Rigel Black is to be the perfect poster-boy for Pureblood preeminence. He cannot be so closely connected to a Halfblood.
    • In her first few days at Hogwarts, Harry tries to avoid Draco Malfoy, on the basis that she can't afford attention from the wrong kind of people, and "if Malfoy didn't qualify as wrong, she'd eat her Potions ingredients." When she's trapped by Peter Pettigrew, forced to eat and drink the contents of her Potions kit to survive, she's rescued by Professor Snape because Draco had been paying attention to her movements, and had placed a tracker on her boots in order to work out where she was going all the time.

  • Embarrassing Nickname: Members of the "Save Our World" party pronounce SOW like sowing seeds. Its detractors, though, pronounce it like a female pig. It doesn't help that the previous incarnation was named "Cure Our World". Hermione genuinely doesn't realise that it's intended as an insult until Archie explains.
  • The Empath: Draco Malfoy, starting in third year. Harry feels both guilty and worried when she finds out, because she brewed the Potentialis Potion that unlocked his gift, and it might blow her cover.
  • Enemy Mine: Harry and Riddle are opposed in many things, but have common ground against the Diary-construct styling itself Voldemort.
  • Engineered Heroics: The Diary-construct tells the basilisk to kill itself with the intent of taking credit for it upon stealing "Rigel's" body. For extra evil points, the plan included accusing Dumbledore of similarly engineering it for his own benefit.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Harry's friends come to various wrong conclusions about Rigel after the ruse breaks, because they still accept the lie that Rigel was a third party. For example, since Harry has to hide her wand and just uses wandless magic, they assume that that was the reason that Rigel's wand didn't originally work right; he was using Harry's. And Draco assumes that Rigel seemed androgynous in order to let Harry take his place sometimes, when really Harry was making her body as masculine as she safely could.
  • Epic Fail: Tom Riddle organises the "True Triwizard Tournament" as a ploy to convince the public that pure-blood magic is superior to half-blood or muggle-born, and sets out to recruit the talented and powerful Rigel Black as the pure-blood champion. When it's all over, a half-blood has convincingly won the Tournament, swinging public opinion firmly against Riddle and defeating his marriage law, plus he's bound by an Unbreakable Vow never to introduce or support another one, and that means he has lost his leverage on Severus Snape, and senior party members like Lucius Malfoy have seen the physical resemblance between Riddle and Voldemort and heard that Voldemort is a half-blood.
  • Evil Mentor: Once he starts paying serious attention to "Rigel", Tom Riddle decides to take him in and train him as a symbol of pureblood superiority and power. Harry steadfastly refuses, but Riddle has a habit of using any means necessary to get what he wants.
  • Exact Words:
    • Archie needs Hermione's help in procuring Polyjuice Potion for himself and Harry to switch back for Christmas, but she's suspicious of his motives.
      Arcturus: Look—I solemnly swear that I am not planning on ruining anyone's grade, test score, or academic career.
      Hermione: I—really, Harry? Because you seemed awfully interested in that boy once you heard he was brewing Polyjuice.
      Arcturus: I would never steal someone's Polyjuice potion before it was graded, Hermione, honestly, I thought you knew me.
      Hermione: Oh. Okay then, I thought—wait. Oh, no.note 
    • He later solemnly affirms that he didn't ask about "Rigel's" blood status. Which is true, since he knew perfectly well that Harry is a half-blood without asking.
  • Explosive Results:
    • Occurs as a result of sabotage when Harry follows an unfamiliar recipe for a love potion to sell to the Serpent's Storeroom.
    • Repeatedly defied during Harry's free-brewing lessons, to Professor Snape's mild consternation at her unblemished apron — "If ever your effects hang in the National Potions Archive, no one will ever believe their authenticity." It's not that she makes no mistakes, far from it, rather that her magic rapidly responds to any destabilisation and suppresses the rogue reaction. As the year progresses, she's so on edge that her magic even suppresses Exploding Snap cards and ruins the game.
  • Face Your Fears: The boggart in Remus' defence class is canon, but in canon it was mostly focused on being able to defend yourself if you encounter a boggart. In this story, the lesson is broader, using the boggart as a tool to understand your own fears, your mental and physiological responses to them, in order to be better prepared for any dangerous situation.
    Professor Lupin: This class is called Defense Against the Dark Arts, but the defender who is controlled by fear is as much a danger as the thing he or she is defending against. Before I teach you how to combat the Dark Arts, then, I am going to teach you how to overcome fear. Only when you can act in the face of terror, in the midst of surprise and uncertainty, only then can you defend yourself against anything, much less the darkest of our magical arts.
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • Blaise wins two sickles by betting that as soon as someone actually tells Rigel about their study group, he'll be happy to join in. Theo took the bet because he couldn't believe that Rigel hadn't already noticed them meeting in the common room every school night for the past month and a half.
    • Harry remains quite unaware of the first Hogsmeade weekend in third year, until she asks at breakfast what all the fuss is about.
      Theo: You're kidding, right?
      Millicent: You know he isn't.
    • After the second Triwizard task, Harry marches into Professor Snape's lab to demand that he honour their agreement to start teaching her free-brewing, "or I will transfer to Durmstrang and take up an apprenticeship with Master Montmorency." He snidely responds that Master Montmorency would never take an apprentice who could not use his eyes (and notice the cauldron and ingredients made ready) before speaking.
  • Fantastic Racism: As per canon, many witches and wizards of long magical ancestry consider themselves to be inherently superior to first- and second-generation magic. However, here it's been accepted so widely for so long that rather than being driven by violent terrorists, it's simply normal and assumed among otherwise friendly and affable members of society. Furthermore, it's misguided but not entirely meaningless; there are differences between newer and older magic, but they're a matter of order vs chaos, not good vs evil.
  • Fantastic Terrorists: The Death Eaters first appear at the Quidditch World Cup, where they cause severe structural damage to the Top Box, broadcast an anti-Muggleborn message, and leaflet-drop the Stadium.
  • Fatal Fireworks:
    • The Twins supply Harry with one of George's inventions for the first Triwizard Task: a palm-sized grey disk enchanted with the equivalent of several crates of fireworks. It's meant to be either a distraction to help get through the task, or else a celebration afterward, and it packs enough of a punch to scare off a dragon.
    • Harry later sets off a second one in an enclosed space, disabling two attackers so badly that they couldn't apparate away.
  • Fight Clubbing: Free-duelling is a common sport in the Lower Alleys, and the tournaments are a significant fundraiser for the Court of the Rogue. Unlike the Trope Namer, however, it's not bare-knuckled; dual-wielding a wand and a knife is typical. Harry takes the opportunity to learn the skills from Leo, as it's a very practical form of self-defence, and he encourages her to compete. She makes it through her first two brackets, and puts up a good showing in the third.
  • First-Name Basis: Tom Riddle likes drama and grandstanding, so Professor Dumbledore regularly refers to him by his first name to undermine it.
  • Flight:
    • This is Draco's preferred superpower, so Harry invents a potion to let him fly for for up to an hour, by modifying a weight-altering potion, and thus accidentally invents "shaped imbuing".
    • At the World Cup, Harry's family and friends pair up Weightless Draughts with imbued Levitation Charms to let pairs of people make emergency semi-controlled flights down from the Top Box.
  • Flower Motifs: Margo has firm opinions about the suitability of various flowers for different occasions, and naturally, she knows what she's talking about.
    Margo: Aren't you glad you didn't go for carnations?
  • Foodfight!: With a difference. After the Chamber of Secrets, someone reenacts the scene (with artistic licence) by animating half of dinner in the Great Hall to form giant golems. A Rigel made of brown food (bread, meat, potatoes) battles a basilisk made of green food (lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, with pea-pod teeth and apple eyes), using a sword made of red food (capsicum, carrots, tomatoes). Rigolem is swallowed by the snake but then cuts his way out from the inside. Harry knows it's not accurate, but isn't publishing the true details to everyone.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • When the poisoning of Rigel's drink causes a prank war between Gryffindor and Slytherin, Draco is bitten by a large tarantula left in his belongings. Canon mentions that Lee Jordan had a tarantula on the Hogwarts Express, and sure enough, Lee turns out to be the culprit behind the attack on Rigel.
    • Harry watches the Marauder's Map and notices Pettigrew repeatedly leaving school grounds, wondering if he's torturing some poor creature with the Dominion Jewel. It later turns out that he was torturing her, trying to steal her magic with the Jewel after kidnapping her through time.
  • For Want of a Nail: Theoretically the divergence point for the whole story is Tom Riddle setting out to achieve his goals through different means. He stepped back after creating the Diary and killing Myrtle Warren, deciding not to give up part of his soul to turn the Diary into a Horcrux. Instead he felt remorse for her death, reintegrating his soul, and went into politics.
    • Many characters who died in canon (or were crippled, like the Longbottoms) are alive and well, including Harry's parents and Riddle himself, and a number of them have additional children as a result (eg Sirius' son Archie).
    • Riddle isn't trying to bring himself back to life, he's trying to politically discredit Dumbledore in order to further his own legislative agenda.
  • A Friend in Need:
    • Harry's first meeting with Hermione (who thinks she's been Harry's friend for years) goes unexpectedly, since Harry needs to deliver an illegal potion. She tells Hermione that she has an errand that involves breaking a law, and Hermione can meet up later if she doesn't want to know. Hermione is having none of that.
      Hermione: I certainly won't look the other way, you idiot! If I'm not looking, I can't help you. I can't promise to keep my mouth shut if I disagree with you, Harry, but I will never betray you. If you do something you think is morally questionable I want to know about it, so I can help you figure out another way, if there is one, or support you, if there isn't. Now stop being dramatic and just tell me what's going on.
    • Leo makes Harry promise to come to him if she gets in over her head and needs help. When the ruse blows up and he works out that she's Rigel, he makes sure that the Alley residents support her claim to have lived there for years.
    • Harry is able to comfort and reassure Draco when his newfound empathy is overwhelming him and slowly driving him mad. Knowing that she's there for him lets him face down his boggart that shows him fallen to madness; he counters it with the image of Rigel coming to help.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: The two vampire covens living in the Lower Alleys are not especially friendly, but they coexist mostly peacefully — albeit usually at arm's length — with their neighbours. The Alleys' medical clinic even runs a regular blood drive to help support them.
    Harry: People donate blood to vampires?
    Leo: The vampires pay a handsome tithe. Their privacy and safety during the day is valuable to their way of life. This money goes to feeding and housing those who fall on hard times in the alleys. It goes to infrastructure such as waste removal, public Floo facilities, and wards for privacy and protection around businesses of a less than strictly legal nature. It benefits the community at large to have rich covens in our alleys, and as long as they don't cause trouble, they're welcome.
  • Gender Flip: "Harry" is actually Harriett. Not only does this match the Song of the Lioness crossover, it also explains how she doesn't have any trouble living in the boys' dorm at Hogwarts; attempting the reverse is canonically shown to have unpleasant results.
  • Gone Horribly Right:
    • Harry brews a "Potentialis Potion" intended to reveal magical aptitudes and gifts, but her potion seems to also unlock magical gifts. Which is fine for Archie, who gets an easily controlled power, but Draco gets an uncontrolled emotion sense.
    • Sixteen-year-old Tom Riddle created the magical consciousness in the Diary as a safeguard against becoming complacent and comfortable. So, naturally, when he grows up a bit more, and decides to change the world nonviolently, his construct doesn't agree, and as soon as it's reactivated, it opens the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Good Parents:
    • James and Lily have their faults, but they are supportive of Harriett's interests and goals (albeit not always comprehending them), interested in her life and concerned about her wellbeing. (There have been less-supportive incidents in the past, but James really is trying to let her do what she loves.) She still doesn't dare tell them about the identity swap.
    • Sirius struggles with the distance that grows between himself and "Rigel"; Harry can try to mimic Archie's personality in her letters, but she just doesn't have the same closeness and trust, leading to several cases where Sirius is disappointed at not being entrusted with things. He still goes out of his way to make things easier for "Rigel" (including smoothing the way for friendships with prominent SOW party families), defends and trusts "him", and tries to be as supportive as he can.
  • Groin Attack: Attempted on Harry in the free-duelling tournament, but of course it isn't as crippling as expected. She's sore later, but is able to finish the fight.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: After the Carpathians help Voldemort to possess one of the Strigoi vampires, Kasten informs Harry that it "cannot be borne", and that soon there will be only one coven in the Alleys.

  • Heroic Sacrifice: Harry chooses to poison herself with a basilisk fang rather than risk being used against her friends and family.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Caelum Lestrange makes Harry meet him at an expensive restaurant and foot the bill, instead of the cheap place she suggested, then presents her with a menu in French, and pretends to go through quite a lot of expensive wine (which he isn't actually drinking). She retaliates by instructing the waiter, in French, to water down his next bottle, correctly guessing that Caelum doesn't actually speak French and merely memorised what he wanted.
    Harry: I suspect he will be a tedious drunk. Don't worry about irritating him—he won't even notice, and I'll pay for the whole bottle regardless.
    Waiter: Yes, Madam. That is no problem. What shall we do with the wine we remove?
    Harry: Sell it by the glass.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Peter Pettigrew is ultimately killed by the Dominion Jewel.
  • Home-Early Surprise: Harry and Caelum Lestrange spend three hours at his house, practising difficult potion brewing — and then his parents unexpectedly arrive home early, forcing her to flee out the back of the property. (Since he had to disable blood wards that would have fried Harry to ashes, before she could enter, it's pretty clear that they would not have reacted well to her presence.)
  • Honor Among Thieves: Once it's established that Aldon Rosier is Harry's friend, Leo hands him a money pouch — which Aldon then realises was pickpocketed from him earlier without him noticing.
  • Honorary Uncle: James, Sirius and Remus (but not Peter, who's estranged) consider each other to be brothers, and Harry and Archie call each other cousins. Sirius actually is related to the Potters, albeit a bit more distantly, but Remus isn't; still, he's "Uncle Remus" to both children.
  • I Know You Know I Know:
    • Harry pulls something similar at breakfast.
      George: Clearly we need to talk about your pathological acting skills, little pup.
      Rigel: I employ them mainly in self-defense.
      Draco: I'm sorry. What?
      Rigel: I do. It's not my fault I'm surrounded by aggressively nosy people who also happen to be incredibly gullible.
      Pansy: You're aware that you shouldn't have said that out loud, right?
      Rigel: You're aware that that's only what I want you to think, right?
      George: I'm not sure that makes any sense.
      Fred: I'm not sure that anything makes sense, anymore.
      Rigel: As long as no one is certain of anything we can all go about our lives in peace.
    • Marcus Flint gives a more straightforward example, assuring Harry that he knows the teachers know he's having someone else complete his homework, and they know that he knows they know — but they can't make a move without proof.
  • I Lied: Harry's family, except Archie, has no idea how many lies she tells, but she's honest about that with her friends.
    Caelum: You lied. You said you were already planning on getting food out.
    Harry: Yes, I lied to you. I lie a lot, actually. You should get used to it if we're going to be friends.
  • I Owe You My Life:
    • The Malfoys make "Rigel" an honorary member of their family after she saves Draco from the sleeping plague before his body starves. She calls it in to stop him trying to track "Rigel" down after the Triwizard Tournament.
    • Tiberius Ogden makes a similar declaration of indebtedness after Harry identifies that his drink has been poisoned.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Harry is quite surprised to learn how revolutionary her "shaped imbuing" technique is. After all, anyone who learns to cast spells without a wand, can consciously imbue potions with magic, has enough Occlumency skill to monitor their own mind and magical core, and can isolate the process of forming a spell from actually casting it, should be able to learn shaped imbuing...
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The title of each book is "The X Y"; X and Y start with the same letter, and for the first four books, this letter comes from one of the words in the equivalent canon title (eg "The Serpentine Subterfuge" copies the S from "Chamber of Secrets"). The Malignant Masquerade had to halt the previous pattern of copying canon, but is alliterative anyway.
  • Imperfect Ritual: Voldemort's attempt to steal Harry's magic trips up twice, first because she's not closely related to Tonks, and secondly because she's not Pureblood. Unfortunately, that publicly exposes "Rigel".
  • In Medias Res: Harry returns from a fairly normal day out at the end of one chapter, then starts the next chapter with her father confronting her at wand-point as she steps out of the fireplace — and then the narrative reveals that it's actually a different day, where all kinds of things happened and led to her coming home long after curfew.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Harry is still a Parselmouth, but it's hereditary rather than coming from a soul shard. Everyone still finds out about it at Lockhart's dueling club, even though Draco's her friend.
    • Ginny is not isolated or shy, but still shows signs of the Diary finding a way into her head. She's paranoid about mental invasion after hearing about the Sleeping Sickness, and Tom persuades her that the best defence is to have him inside her mind guarding it.
    • Despite Riddle behaving quite differently, Defence Against the Dark Arts still has a new teacher every year.
  • In the Back:
    • Lee Jordan hits Harry from behind with a trip jinx while going down a flight of stairs, causing her to fall and break her wrist.
    • Leo stabs a challenger in the back when defending his title — but it was simply a clever tactic (wordlessly summoning his thrown knife, like a boomerang) in a formal duel, not a sneak attack. And it wasn't fatal, just meant to teach a painful lesson.
  • Inane Blabbering: The jelly-brains jinx causes Harry to speak nonsense for several minutes, somewhat like being drunk, and then develop a headache afterwards.
    Pansy: Jelly-brains! You turned his brains to jelly?
    Rigel: Pan, it's okay. The sky is going to rain honey for me tomorrow, and if we have jelly too then everyone can have toast.
  • Internal Reveal: Different people find out pieces of Harry and Archie's true identities at different times.
    • Marcus Flint is a friend of Arcturus and knows that "Rigel" isn't him, but can guess why Archie would do that and doesn't immediately expose them. He also doesn't realise just who is pretending to be Archie; he assumes it's a random half-blood (and doesn't much care).
    • Leo realises that Harry is a girl as soon as he hears her surname.
    • Leo's mother knows Harry is a girl immediately, and has a lie detection ability that lets her see right through Harry's story about studying in America, but she doesn't push it. (She's rather confused when Hermione turns up with Harry, talking honestly about their time in America together.)
    • Subverted with Marek, who learns from Leo that Harry is actually a girl, but is convinced by Archie that Leo was pulling his leg.
    • Feeling guilty about all the lies, Harry tells Draco and Pansy that she's a Parselmouth. Technically it's not a part of their subterfuge, but since Archie can't speak to snakes, it increases the risk of being caught out at some point, especially during summer when they're switched back.
    • Professor Snape finds out about "Harry" and "Rigel" keeping up with each other's coursework, including mixed-but-true reasons why "Rigel" didn't just go to America: Sirius wanted Arcturus to stay in Britain (Archie's reason for having a place at Hogwarts), and the American Institute of Magic lacks a good potions program (Harry's reason for taking that place).
    • Hermione does some research and works out that Harry Potter was definitely born female. Rather than expose Harry to danger, Archie convinces Hermione that he identifies as male.
    • After the sixth Triwizard Task, the public finds out that "Rigel" is half-blood and unrelated to Nymphadora Tonks.
    • Leo recognises the knife Harry used against Barty Crouch, and one of his subjects sees her in the Alleys just after the task, letting him work out that she was Rigel.
  • It's All My Fault: Lily feels responsible for Harry's horrible thirteenth birthday experience, even though she couldn't have done anything about it.
  • It's Not You, It's Me: Harry's reaction to Draco admitting he's attracted to Rigel.
    Harry: We would never work together. My goals preclude it. Really, though, that's a good thing. You're going to end up with someone a lot less crazy than me. Someone communicative and honest.
  • Jaw Drop: James Potter's mouth hangs open (partially chewed food forgotten) for several seconds after Harry tells him that she's inviting Caelum Lestrange to their house to brew potions together.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Severus Snape is still a hard and sharp man, but he has a little less self-loathing in this story than in canon (especially with Lily alive and well), and Harry's combination of skill and true passion for brewing (and desire to learn from him) brings out his better traits. He becomes genuinely concerned for "Rigel's" wellbeing and invested in him both professionally and emotionally.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: In order to combat the sleeping plague, Harry has to bypass an impenetrable mind shield. So, she goes into her own mindscape, enters the representation of her magical core, uses that to connect to the magical core of the victim, then sends her consciousness along the connection and passes through the other person's core to use its backdoor to their mind. Once there, she can use her magic and the other person's to fight back. Draco's mind is a land of ice with a pool of water representing his magical core, Pansy's is a forest, other students vary from tornadoes to volcanoes to lightning bolts.
  • Just Between You and Me: Harry tries to encourage this when kidnapped into the Chamber of Secrets by Ginny, with reasonable success. Possibly justified since Ginny was being possessed by the teenage, immature version of Tom Riddle, and moreover they were in a quite secure location.
  • Just Friends: Harry insists to Draco, after he tells her that he's never met anyone like her that she'll be a friend as long as she can, but that more than that wouldn't work.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Owens has effectively won his duel with Hermione, who can no longer stand and can barely raise a wand. Then he finishes the fight — not with a simple Disarming Charm, but with a Knockback Jinx at point blank range, resulting in a crushed ribcage. It's not fatal, but the other champions are furious with him.
  • Kill It Through Its Stomach: The Animators reinterpret Harry's confrontation with the basilisk in this way. She knows it's way off, but doesn't want to tell everyone what really happened.
  • Killed By The Adaptation: Arabella Figg is killed by Death Eaters.
  • Knife Nut: Knives are the most common off-hand weapon in free-dueling, though by no means the only choice. Leo has a special crystal knife for serious fights, which can fit his wand inside. When teaching Harry, though, he emphasises that her primary weapon is her wand, and the knife is mostly to hold off an enemy while she casts spells.
  • Knockout Gas: Harry encounters this in the free-dueling tournament, from an opponent who has trained himself to resist it. She actually gets her magic to flush most of it out of her system by the time he manages to capitalise on the distraction and finish her off.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: After Harry's disappointing first meeting with her Guild mentor, Caelum Lestrange laughs at her misfortune and gloats about how he'll be studying Wolfsbane — which he knows interests her — with his own mentor. Then, at the end of the summer, shortly before they present their research findings, Professor Snape publishes his revolutionary research into Wolfsbane, rendering Lestrange's work largely obsolete. For bonus points, Harry (as Rigel) provided Professor Snape with invaluable brewing assistance that allowed him to complete his research in a timely manner.
  • Laughing Mad: Draco's boggart shows him reduced to hysterical mindless laughing and rocking from his overwhelming empathic sense breaking his mind. He eventually overcomes it through his assurance that Rigel would come for him and help him recover.
  • Like Father, Unlike Son: It doesn't take long for the Hogwarts staff to recognise that "Rigel Black" is quite different from Sirius Black. Professor Snape particularly struggles; he intends to develop "Rigel's" potential as a potions prodigy, but his hatred of the Marauders is simmering under the surface. (He's skeptical all over again when he meets Harry under her own name, but by then it's more "how can there be two of them in one family?")
  • Literal-Minded: Vampires come across this way, which might be a side effect of their separation from human culture.
    Kasten: Your inquiry is met, as always, with pleasant surprise and a modicum of polite puzzlement. Grandfather asks, and I hesitantly relay the question: what is the manner of assistance you offer? ... If, as I suspect, your offer to help was a verbal display of support of the kind one friend may extend another, then I thank you, and we shall say no more of it.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • Harry and Riddle exchange Unbreakable Vows about her participation in the Triwizard Tournament, but she didn't consider the possibility that he would push his marriage restriction law through the Wizengamot before she could win the Tournament and activate his Vow.
    • Harry is quite put out to find that the illusion of an Egyptian-style society in her mind has slaves, and complains about it — so the Jewel creates some illusory coins and tosses them to the nearby illusory man.
    Dominion Jewel: There. Now he's a servant. Happy?
  • Love Confession:
    • Before the start of Harry's fourth year, Leo tells her that he's serious about her. It's not entirely a surprise, but it still takes her off guard and has her grappling with her own feelings.
    • Later the same year, Draco admits his feelings to Rigel and kisses her, but she turns him down and insists he deserves better.
  • Lured into a Trap: Double-subverted. Canonically, the Triwizard Cup was a Portkey to kidnap Harry away to Voldemort. Here, when it's mentioned that the Cup is a Portkey to take the winner to the podium, it looks like a setup to have the same thing happen. However, the Cup instead works exactly as intended, with Harry appearing in front of everyone. And then the trap springs after all, with concealed wizards at the corners of the podium raising a powerful ward to keep everyone out while Voldemort steals her magic in front of the whole audience.

  • Magic Eater: Voldemort procures a substance that absorbs magic in order to help him capture Harry. It doesn't cause direct harm, but any magic that leaves the skin is quickly drained away.
  • Magically Binding Contract:
    • Harry and Riddle use the Unbreakable Vow to ensure that their deals are kept. It's actually possible to break the vow, but fatal.
      Snape: An alliance with a halfblood or muggleborn in this task does not impact your odds of being chosen the pureblood champion and advancing in the tournament. Such a move may in fact increase your odds of succeeding. That said, it may be prudent to have an alternate plan, should your blood begin to boil.
    • Harry uses a sealing curse to ensure that Marcus Flint Jr can't back out at all (and has Plausible Deniability to go along with it).
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A Wailing Charm is one of the few attack modes that has an effect on an adolescent dragon. The backlash bursts Harry's own eardrums, though.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Harry is uncomfortable enough at overhearing a dispute between the Lestranges at the New Year's gala, but then Bellatrix decides to win the fight by distracting her husband from his complaints about her behaviour. Fortunately, Aldon is with Harry and knows silencing charms.
  • Marriage of Convenience: Or, at least, an engagement of convenience is suggested to Harry and Arcturus as a protection if certain aspects of the SOW party's marriage legislation might pass. Not only would it protect Harry from being forced to accept another offer, it also gives her some of the legal status advantages of a pure-blood (though not the right to attend Hogwarts).
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: The ruse really comes between Archie and Hermione, particularly when he claims to be biologically female and identifying as male, to protect Harry. He hopes to patch things up after the swap is exposed.
  • Mentor in Sour Armor: Professor Snape never really stops berating Harry for foolishness or impetuousness, but he does really want a protege who's truly talented and passionate about brewing, and so he ends up being deeply invested in "Rigel", professionally and emotionally.
    Rigel: Thank you, Professor Snape. I'm so honored that you'd include me in—
    Snape: You will stop that this instant, Mr. Black. I detest flattery of any kind. All I require from you is an extra pair of hands this month. If you perform adequately…I shall consider allowing you to assist with other projects in the future.
    Rigel: What time?
    Snape: Every afternoon between your last class and dinner. With an additional three hours after dinner on the evenings you do not have Quidditch practice. Too much?
    Rigel: Definitely not.
    Snape: Get out of my sight. Your happiness sickens me.
    Rigel: I look forward to working with you as well, sir.
    Snape: Cheeky brat.
  • Metaphorically True: Harry does have to tell a lot of Blatant Lies to her family and friends, and her friends know that she lies to them (though her family doesn't), but she prefers to give technically-true answers when possible.
    • "Oh, well, Archie and I have it all worked out. We're going to try and fulfill each other's dreams." — Yes, they are, but not by swapping just class notes, they're actually giving each other their places in their respective schools.
    • "I have a physiological condition that makes it difficult for me to let others touch me," namely, she's a girl, and is worried that as she goes through puberty her anatomy may be noticed if people hug her.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Leo has a crystal knife in the shape of a triangular prism on a handle, instead of a flat blade, with a hollow inside for his wand — thus allowing him to fight with a knife in each hand and cast spells. The crystal is also magically reinforced so his wand is protected from breaking. However, fighting with such an unusually shaped knife is a skill of its own; Harry notices him frequently shifting his grip on it to move its three edges around.
    Marek: He only uses that knife when he's fighting seriously, and he only conceals his wand inside it when he's fighting very seriously.
  • Motivated by Fear: Marcus Flint's pre-Quidditch match speech promises the team that they'll win, "because if we don't I'll have you practicing in sandstorms for a week straight, complete with blistering heat and swarms of sand fleas. Any questions?"
  • Multilayer Façade: Harry puts as much concealment as possible around the most dangerous truth: Harriett Potter has committed "blood identity theft". She lets people in the Lower Alleys think she's a boy, if they don't know better; she keeps a largely unused apartment to give an alternative explanation for her absence from America if Archie is exposed (though Leo sees through that); and they swap back every summer, allowing them to lay a false trail of events and actions as themselves. It works to keep Harry from being immediately arrested when Rigel is exposed as a half-blood; amongst all the confessions of what they've been hiding for years, their parents and interrogators accept the remaining lie that Rigel was a third party.
  • Mutual Masquerade: Harry's parents head out, purportedly to a game night at Longbottom Manor, giving Harry the opportunity to sneak out as Rigel and meet with Professor Dumbledore. Who takes her to a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix at Longbottom Manor...
    Archie: They were never at the Longbottoms', were they?
    Harry: Technically, we all were.
  • Mystical Plague: In Harry's first year, students start falling into comas, needing a constant potion regimen to keep them alive, but having no apparent way to wake them. It turns out to be a deliberate creation that traps the children inside their own minds and then jumps to their friends' minds, sent in an attempt to discredit Dumbledore and pave the way for the SOW party's marriage legislation. And then later, in fourth year, Harry realises that the origin of the plague appears to be the Rod of Zuriel that Riddle is offering as a prize to the Triwizard Tournament winner.
  • The Nose Knows: Werewolves have an unusually acute sense of smell, even in human form, which is a cause for Harry and Archie to worry when Remus is going to start teaching at Hogwarts; he can tell them apart by scent. Harry ends up making a perfume from Archie's sweat, which she uses before Defence lessons.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Professor Lockhart catches Harry leaving a girls' bathroom where she has hidden an "elf on the shelf", and is about to escort her inside to check her handiwork, when Professor Snape comes across them. For bonus points, she was disguised as a girl at the time.
      Snape: Pray tell, Professor Lockhart, just what you intend to do after manhandling that student into the female lavatory?
    • Harry is found alone at the scene of a petrification several times, one of them with her hand covered in the blood that was used to write a threatening message on the wall. Her friends stand by her, but Daphne Greengrass is convinced she's responsible.
  • Oblivious to Love: Cho Chang appears to have at least a mild crush on Rigel, who remains entirely unaware of it. Draco, however, notices, and is annoyed by Cho's presence.
  • Odd Friendship: Harry and Caelum constantly snipe at each other, and she sometimes wonders why she bothers with him, but they keep hanging around each other anyway. Mostly it's because they respect each other's brewing ability, but she might actually be a good influence on him, which he sorely needs.
    Harry: Oh, enough about me. Let's talk about you. No, really. How's your life other than the upcoming intern—ah, apprenticeship?
    Caelum: Fine. Why? How's your life?
    Harry: Fine.
    Caelum: Let's not do that again.
    Harry: Right. Back to the internship.
  • On Second Thought: Adrien Pucey's snake is frantic to get away and taste the huge platter of meat upstairs — until Harry tells it that the meat is for the basilisk, at which point it freezes and calmly returns to its owner.
  • Only One Me Allowed Right Now: Actually, a Time Turner allows a moment to be safely repeated up to six times, but if there are seven copies of the same person at once, their magical cores destructively resonate with each other and kill one of them. Harry faces this after Pettigrew kidnaps her back in time, but is able to survive it by letting the Dominion Jewel take temporary possession of her magic, which presents a different signature and avoids the resonance.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: Rosier and Rookwood are protective of Pansy Parkinson, and know that "Rigel" is keeping secrets (though they don't know what), so they give her a challenging task to complete as a precondition of keeping Pansy's friendship.
    Rosier: Yes, tested! If we're to approve your friendship with Pansy, you must be worthy in some way, and since it is obvious you aren't trustworthy, we'll just have to see if you're another kind of worthy.
  • OOC Is Serious Business:
    • Sirius becomes quite upset that "Rigel" didn't tell him about the Sleeping Sickness until afterward. When she realises her mistake, Harry feels terrible; it's both dangerous to the ruse and harmful to Archie's relationship with his dad.
    • It's clear that Hermione is truly obsessed with curing the Fade when she stops doing extra credit homework assignments.
  • Ordered to Die: Voldemort gets rid of the basilisk by making it bite itself repeatedly, as part of his plan to permanently possess "Rigel" and claim to have defeated it so as to increase his political influence.
  • Ostentatious Secret: Harry is pretty up-front with her friends about the fact that she tells lies and keeps secrets from them. It's not considered all that odd in Slytherin House, and she tries to use it to persuade them that they should keep their distance from her, but to no avail.
  • Otaku:
    • Harry is only going to Hogwarts for the potions class, and it shows when she performs very erratically in spellcasting due to a lack of strong desire to see the spells work. In her first potions class, though, she quite legitimately knows all the answers to Professor Snape's questions, because she's studied and experimented with potions as much as she possibly could all her life. Commercial potion brewers and the son of the Potions Guild aldermaster consider her to be too obsessed with brewing. She does eventually learn about other topics, out of necessity, but not out of passion (except alchemy, which she quite likes, because it feels similar to brewing).
    • It's mostly off-screen, and he gives a more balanced outward impression, but Archie is likewise dedicated to healing. In his case, it's not just what he enjoys, but an obsession ever since his mother died of a disease with no known cure.
    • Kasten has spent ten years as a human, and then 50 years as a vampire, studying "essences" — distilling and separating substances in an effort to collect the essence of every substance on Earth. He appears to have no other hobbies or goals.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Harry is pretty sure that if her family sees her fight in the Triwizard tasks, they'll know she isn't Archie. She's right; Sirius and Remus watch her beat Auror Dawlish and know something's off.
  • Overprotective Dad: James bristles and reaches for the nearest weapon, though it be only a butter knife, at the mere mention of Harry having male friends. He's especially perturbed when she wants to spend hours alone "brewing" with Leo or Caelum. Funnily enough, they really do just brew potions, but if he were paying a little less attention to the fact that she's alone with a boy, and a little more attention to what they're actually doing, perhaps he would have noticed, for example, that brewing Seifer's Solution without a licence is illegal, and they made it in his basement. And he's the Head Auror.
  • Paranoia Gambit: Harry uses this as her opening salvo of revenge for Valentine's Day. It's particularly effective since she uses a gift of untainted fudge and candy as the hook, after having previously used tainted sweets to prank them.
  • Plausible Deniability: Harry comes up with the idea of arranging correspondence schooling, a rented (empty) apartment, and a part-time job for herself, giving the idea that she's been living entirely independently throughout the year, so that if Archie's presence in America is discovered, it might still be possible to hide that Harry Potter has illegally been at Hogwarts — and just as importantly, protect their families from being accused of collusion. It pays off when "Rigel" is exposed as a half-blood; Harry is able to reach the apartment in time to be discovered there, as if she'd been living there for years.
  • Plot Allergy: A magical coma is unfortunate enough, but then it turns out that Draco is allergic to an ingredient in the potions used to keep coma patients alive and stable, prompting drastic measures.
  • Poor Communication Kills: When they first meet, Draco attempts to get "Rigel's" attention by repeatedly casting glances at him from across the room. It's possible that an actual pure-blood, particularly one who thought the Malfoys were important, would have recognised his hint to come and introduce oneself. However, Harry is just creeped out by the staring and tries to ignore Draco as a result.
  • Power Incontinence:
    • From the beginning, Harry feels like her magic has a mind of its own, but after she turns thirteen and her magical core matures, it becomes completely unmanageable. She resorts to jewelry enchanted to suppress most of her power, but that has serious side effects.
    • Draco develops an emotion sense that he can't turn off, as a result of Harry's Potentialis Potion, and spends months regularly taking magic-suppressing potions just to cope with the flood of input. He does eventually grow accustomed to it and finds it useful, but crowds are still quite unpleasant.
  • Power Limiter: Items can be enchanted to suppress magical power for those who have trouble controlling it, but experts agree that it isn't healthy to stunt one's own magic that way.
    • Lily has worn a power-suppressing bracelet ever since she accidentally gave baby Harriett green eyes like her own. She takes it off when she goes to fight Death Eaters and protect the Weasleys at the Quidditch World Cup.
    • Harry commissions a ring after her thirteenth birthday, when her magical core matures and becomes too great for her to properly control. However, Severus Snape strenuously objects to limiting her potential, as does Tom Riddle. Eventually Peter Pettigrew destroys the ring, and she has to come to terms with her unleashed magic.
  • The Power of Friendship: Invoked by "Rigel" when standing up to Riddle's attempt to control her by threatening Harry.
  • The Power of Trust: Slytherin Quidditch tryouts for the Beaters involve hitting Bludgers through hoops attached to brooms flown by the Seeker hopefuls. Harry and Draco put on quite an effective showing together, but she feels very humbled by how steadfastly Draco remains still and on-target while she's smacking a large iron ball at him — and very guilty, too, because she knows just how much she's lying to him, and yet he has such trust in her.
  • Power Parasite:
    • Peter Pettigrew tries to use the Dominion Jewel to steal Harry's magic, but it's too wild, continuing to defend her and attack him without her conscious direction, even while she's asleep.
    • Voldemort tries to misuse a ritual intended to pass on Pureblood family gifts, to steal all of Harry's magic since possessing her failed. Too bad she's not a Pureblood.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Theodore Nott is well known in Harry's circle of friends for being paranoid, and makes no apology for it. It does help him to notice and quickly adapt to situations like Riddle paying attention to "Rigel" at Draco's birthday party, or "Rigel" being exposed as a half-blood.
    • Harry collects and labels hair samples from herself and the people around her whenever she can. Not only does that help her to brew Draco's Potentialis Potion as a surprise, it becomes critically important when she needs to brew a fresh batch of Modified Polyjuice Potion with the same appearance used in the original one.
      Rigel: This is why Theo is right and paranoia pays.
    • Dom admits to Harry that he initially thought she was too paranoid, but with Draco sensing emotions continually she probably has the right amount of fear.
    • When a Triwizard task requires blood to pass, Harry uses a sample of Archie's blood instead of her own, in case it's used to identify her. It turns out that Barty Crouch Jr misappropriated it for Voldemort's incarnation ritual, and the fact that the blood doesn't match her own is enough to stop the ritual from stealing Harry's magic.
  • The Prophecy:
    • Averted. Harry has no scar and there is no prophecy.
    • A Centaur makes a minor prophecy about the Dominion Jewel. Harry puzzles out some of its meaning, but isn't sure what to make of it or what to do about it.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Used when Harry breaks out of Voldemort's cage.
    With a groan, the wards rippled and strained, but they. Gave. Way.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes:
    • Arcturus and Harry have practised a facial expression that she refers to as The Look, designed to evoke the instinctive reactions associated with babies and puppies, and which she uses without compunction to get her way. Her first few victims are left dazed for several minutes.
    • She later gets some actual training from Leo's cousin, including more mature sultry/winsome/helpless faces.

  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Magical power coefficients are measured using a color scale, with black as the minimum (and thus strongest) of 1.0, but Dumbledore's coefficient is 0.97. Apparently it took a lot of trial and error to calculate.
  • The Reveal: A standard lesson for the fourth years is an ancestry-revealing potion, which exposes Daphne Greengrass' half-blood status. Even she didn't know about it.note 
  • Revenge Myopia: Lee Jordan attempted to cripple Harry for petty and misguided reasons, and she fought back. Then, when Voldemort brings him along to the ritual meant to drain "Rigel's" magic, Lee states that he wants to watch it happen.
    Lee Jordan: I asked to be here. I want to look into your eyes when the magic drains out of you.
  • A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside an Enigma: Several of "Rigel's" friends, notably Draco and Snape, are baffled by the quirks and contradictions they see. Interestingly enough, though, it's in Harry's true identity that Snape thinks this phrase about her.
    The last time Severus Snape had seen Harriet Potter, the stubborn girl had been an enigma wrapped in a mystery, covered again in a glaringly obvious white sheet.
  • Riddling Sphinx:
    • Harry and Hermione face one together in the first Triwizard Task; Harry lets Hermione answer for both of them, knowing that she's better at word games.
    • Harry later has to face one alone in the final task, and finds it more difficult.
  • Rigged Contest: The Triwizard Tournament isn't really a fair and impartial test of skill.
    • It isn't properly advertised internationally.
    • Several contestants are hand-picked by the SOW party.
    • At least one muggle-born contestant was deliberately planted to be overly ruthless and obnoxious, but skilled, allowing him to generate lots of bad press.
    • The Tasks, rules, and scoring metrics are designed to cater to "Rigel's" strengths.
      Krum: Strange tournament ven I come back second and place fourth, no?
  • Right Behind Me: Sirius is dismissing chemistry as boring and soulless, attracting only the most repressed and critical people. "Rather like potion-mak-" and then he sees Harry's reflection.
    Sirius: Harry! We were just talking about you—no, I mean, we were talking about…um…
  • Royal Inbreeding:
    • The idea of keeping bloodlines "pure" (ie all-magical) was already present in canon, but it's greatly increased by the divergence; without a war, many more families have survived, and with only purebloods permitted at Hogwarts, it's become culturally normal for the majority of people in Britain to be pureblood. The inbreeding is creating a looming fertility/population crisis, however, with overly pure children at risk of being born with a magical defect that quickly exhausts and kills them. Most students at Hogwarts have lost siblings or are close to someone who has.
      Adrian Pucey: Purebloods and lesser bloods simply don't belong together. I mean, do you breed roses with wildflowers?
      Hermione: What does that have to do with anything?
      Pucey: A garden must be weeded for the plants that belong to grow healthy and tall. Let the weeds grow in the wild if they must, but they ought not be brought in to infect the garden.
      Rigel: A lot of extremely useful plants grow in the wild, you know. At first sight they don't appear as valuable as common herbs and florae, but in fact the wild ones are much hardier, more likely to cure diseases, and by crossbreeding garden plants with wild ones more variety is achieved, and therefore greater usefulness is gleaned from plants as a whole.
    • The canonical term "blood traitor" is elaborated on, indicating that it's a family technically defined as pureblood (four magical grandparents) but with a habit of regularly bringing in fresh blood by marrying muggle-borns. It's no coincidence that the Weasleys have seven healthy children while hyper-pure families can often only manage one.
  • Rugged Scar: Marek is momentarily disappointed when Harry heals his shoulder so neatly that it won't scar. With the number of times he's failed to beat Leo, he might as well get something impressive out of it, after all.
  • Running Gag: On multiple occasions, disparate groups of people will try to come up with an alliterative name for a phenomenon, each attempting to outdo the others. Bonus points because the book names follow the same pattern.
    Draco: It's no wonder they call us the Sneaky Snakes.
    Pansy: Wasn't it the Slimy Snakes?
    Rigel: The Surreptitious Snakes, for certain.
    Draco: The Sly Snakes.
    Pansy: The Scheming Snakes.
    Rigel: The Stealthy Snakes.
    Draco: The Secretive Snakes.
    Pansy: The Shifty Snakes.
    Rigel: The...Shady Snakes? I should have said Suspicious Snakes.
    Draco: Too late, your lame answer shall live forever in infamy.
  • Sabotage to Discredit: Harry's attempt to brew Jourdain's Amalgamation for her Guild internship runs into trouble when another student "helpfully" hands her an ingredient that turns out to be the wrong one, then takes all of the real ingredient when her back is turned. She compensates for the swap and completes the potion anyway, receiving praise from the supervisor for her adaptability.
  • Sarcastic Confession: When Draco is surprised by Harry making a joke about the life debts owed to her, she tells him that, "I'm an imposter. I've hidden the real Rigel Black in a closet and taken over his life."
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Subverted by Hermione, who confronts her friend "Harry" (actually Archie) to tell him that she's known for months that he's a girl. He's both amused by her mistake and dismayed that she's found out that much about their deception, but doesn't tell her the truth.
  • Secret Stab Wound:
    • Harry tries to prevent anyone, even her close friends, from discovering that she has a broken wrist, primarily because she doesn't want to risk Madam Pomfrey noticing that she's a girl. She even goes through Quidditch practice, as a Beater, without telling Draco why she's doing everything one-handed.
    • Leo, after his tournament match, doesn't let the stab wound to his abdomen show, nor the even more serious wound to his back, as he needs to put on a strong appearance to his subjects. He does, however, let Harry provide surreptitious first aid.
  • Shield Bash: Harry's "Bubble of Doom" dueling technique involves casting a Fortis shield around herself and charging at her opponent. Using it in both the Alley free-dueling tournament, and the Triwizard Tournament, puts her in an awkward spot, though, when people recognise it.
  • Shoot the Messenger: Lucius Malfoy relies on this being inverted when "Rigel" asks him to deliver a message to Tom Riddle; Riddle doesn't, as a rule, harm messengers.
  • Shout-Out: The Ambiguous Artifice chapter 5 has a shout-out to the author:
    It was a funny bit of magic that allowed them to walk through the fish tank. It wasn't as instantaneous as the barrier that protected Platform 9 ¾, so there was a confused moment when all they could see was murky blue matter before they emerged on the other side.
  • Sins of Our Fathers: Harry loves her family very much, but being a child of one Marauder and pretending to be the child of another definitely causes her problems at times.
    • Madam Pince bans her from the Hogwarts library, because Sirius Black once set fire to some aisles of priceless Divination books. Harry goes to the library in disguise for over a year before Professor Snape finally learns about it and gets her access restored.
    • Defied or downplayed through gritted teeth and great willpower by Professor Snape. He struggles at first to balance his desire to look after all his Slytherin students with his loathing of Sirius Black. Harry sees a glimpse of what he's dealing with when she has a positive meeting with him, finding that he's impressed by her talent and passion for Potions and wants to help her develop it, but then she makes the mistake of offering to pay for some materials she accidentally damaged, and he explodes at the idea of taking Sirius Black's money before recollecting himself and apologising. Even after he reaches a state of equilibrium regarding Rigel and Sirius, he still speaks the name "Potter" with venom.
  • Skewed Priorities: Despite a life-threatening Triwizard task looming, Harry is more concerned about her Potions lessons.
    Snape: If you die in this task it won't matter if I teach you to freebrew.
    Rigel: If I die without learning to freebrew I shall haunt you without mercy.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Bellatrix Lestrange's son is not pleased to see Sirius and "Rigel" attend the New Year's gala, but Harry is a match for him.
    Caelum: Well met at last, Cousin. I greatly admire your uncle, Regulus, and your father…well, I suppose it really isn't your fault.
    Rigel: It says much of your generosity that you are able to let go the sins of the father in the case of the son, Lestrange. I can only attempt to afford you the same courtesy.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: It's not really surprising that Caelum Lestrange turned out this way from being raised by psychotic sadist Bellatrix Lestrange. He considers himself to be doing a public service by puncturing unwarranted optimism wherever he goes, and finds Harry's cheerful outlook to be nauseating — but he can't just walk away from her revolutionary new imbuing technique, and she's willing to teach him. Plus, he's rather short on friends who really understand potion brewing. He stays caustic, but also stays in touch.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: With no actual war against Voldemort, James and Lily Potter and all the Marauders are alive and well. Until Peter falls prey to the Dominion Jewel. Many other characters are alive and/or unharmed, too, both Light (eg Frank and Alice Longbottom) and Dark (Rosier and Rookwood).
  • Spit Take: Harry manages to provoke this reaction from the Dominion Jewel, of all people, when she tells him that the prize for the Triwizard Tournament is the Rod of Zuriel.
  • Stepping Out for a Quick Cup of Coffee: When Madam Pomfrey suggests prematurely purging the Draught of Delirium, Fleur frowns and asks if that's actually allowed.
    The Mediwitch raised her eyebrows and looked pointedly around the tent. She conjured a bucket and set it on the floor beside the girl before moving to the entrance to 'check the weather.'
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Harry gets a lot of mileage out of letting people come up with their own plausible yet incorrect explanations for Rigel's many oddities, such as Draco thinking that her hair-trigger response to danger is the result of her (fictitious) hypersensitive skin, instead of realizing that her whole life at school is a deception that leaves her on edge, having to scrutinize her every word and action. She's actually a bit disturbed by how well it works.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver:
    • Played with for Arcturus, who doesn't actually conceal his gender at the American Institute of Magic, since he's under less scrutiny than at Hogwarts; he just calls himself "Harry" and claims there was a transcription error. The trouble is that Hermione does some investigation and finds out that Harriett Potter was definitely born female. Rather than reveal the switch and endanger the real Harry, Arcturus claims to identify as male — which satisfies Hermione's curiosity, but leaves her quite confused about her feelings for him.
    • Played straight with Draco Malfoy being attracted to "Rigel" — although the existence of specialised fertility potions means that same-sex attraction has gained a lot of acceptance anyway.
  • Sword and Gun: Free-duelling allows any combination of weapons, but the standard combination is a wand in one hand and a knife in the other. When training Harry, Leo emphasises that the wand is her primary weapon, since she's physically weaker but magically stronger than most opponents. The knife is just to hold them off if they close the distance.
  • Symbiotic Possession: The Dominion Jewel strengthens its wielder but requires them to embrace dominion. Under its influence, Peter Pettigrew becomes a psychopath consumed with greed, and is devoured by the Jewel when he fails. However, the Jewel decides that Harry, who only wants self-mastery, is a more worthy bearer, and so it's genuinely — if sometimes obnoxiously — helpful to her.

  • Tactical Withdrawal: When Lily's ire is turned away from the Prewett brothers, they're quick to execute an "attack in the opposite direction" and leave the conversation.
  • Take That!: There are a few aimed at canon.
    • When Harry goes to see Hagrid and find out what he knows about the local wildlife, she is hesitant about investigating the petrifications, but reassures herself that, "She wasn't going to go gallivanting through the woods chasing crazy and possibly dangerous leads without supervision. Really, it wasn't a big deal."
    • When she tells Professor Snape about her deduction that the monster petrifying students is a basilisk, he commends her on coming to him. She can't understand why he thinks there would be any doubt.
      Honestly, what else was she supposed to have done? Keep it to herself?
  • Tampering with Food and Drink:
    • Harry is narrowly saved from a drink spiked with a powerful acid, when someone knocks the goblet over. It still splashes and burns her arm, but that's easily fixed.
    • She later saves Tiberius Ogden from a drink laced with nightshade concealed in Nimue's Breath.
    • Before the final match of the freeduelling tournament, Leo's fake rum is drugged to make him actually intoxicated. Harry is only able to partially counteract it with a Sobering Potion before he has to fight.
    • Less drastically, Harry gives the Weasley Twins a bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans that causes them to ooze pink goo from their pores.
  • Tempting Fate: Discussed many times.
    • Sirius claims that Blacks are above fate, but Harry believes that naming Arcturus after a star (two stars, actually) was begging for fate to get involved.
    • When the Diary-possessed Ginny declares that it doesn't matter how long she keeps talking, no one will come to the rescue, Harry is bemused.
      Rigel wasn't sure if the universe was testing her or not. It seemed too much like an ironic taunt from Fate. Surely no one in the world was so arrogant, so ridiculously confident, as to spit in the face of Fate so blatantly. It wasn't asking to eat your own words. It was handing the universe the ingredients and then giving Fate a recipe for your own disaster.
  • There Can Be Only One: The seventeen-year-old Tom Riddle from the Diary decides that his original self has lost direction and gone soft, bringing them into conflict when the Diary wants to take direct and violent action against muggle-borns.
  • Thieves' Guild: Not everyone on the Lower Alleys is a thief, of course, but their code of honor is officially the "thief's Code" and their leader the King of Thieves. Overall, it's less about committing crime or protecting a particular business, more about providing a government system to those who don't trust the Ministry of Magic to do the job.
  • Throwing the Fight:
    • Defied when Harry is forced to face Draco at Professor Lockhart's dueling club. She intends to let him win immediately so that she can fake an injury and do something more productive with her time, but Draco guesses her plan and forces her to make a half-hearted effort by threatening to arrange extra Quidditch practice if she does that.
    • Downplayed when Harry makes a deal with Fleur Delacour. Harry offers valuable information about an upcoming Task, in exchange for a promise that if the outcome is a toss-up between them, Fleur will let Rigel win — but otherwise Fleur doesn't have to hold back. Fleur makes good on it when they're both trapped by vines within sight of the Cup, casting a spell to cut Harry loose.
    Fleur: A pox on zis tournament. Tell me what you want for ze information. I am not dying for zis.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Harry's baby sister always recognises her, even when she's being Rigel.
    Addy: Hawee.
    Rigel: No, Addy, it's Archie. Ar-chie.
    Addy: Hawee!
  • Tracking Device:
    • The Marauders start selling "Teacher Trackers", which are simple homing beacons meant to be stuck to someone's clothing. Draco uses one to investigate why "Rigel" keeps mysteriously disappearing for a minute or two, but he is confused by the results, which show multiple trackers at once due to Harry's use of a Time Turner.
    • Tom Riddle wants to be able to sense Rigel's presence, but Harry instinctively suppresses the usual magical aura, making her hard to sense. So he manufactures an opportunity to weave a small portion of his own magic into Harry's. Fortunately, Dom helps Harry to filter out the contamination — then dumps it on the Voldemort-construct.
  • Training from Hell: Flint's Quidditch practices are not for the faint of heart. However, at tryouts, the team members deliberately talk them up in order to weed out the less-than-fully-committed hopefuls (who are also competition, incidentally). Still, the practices are genuinely challenging enough that Draco, after a year of them, is able to smoothly navigate his way through the Death Course qualifying round for the privilege of trying out.
    Draco: Well, Flint likes to keep us on his toes. One time he made us practice with deafening spells over our ears, so we had to hone our situational awareness with sight only, and once he cast Hampering Charms on our brooms to make them move slower, but then charmed the bludgers a little bit faster, so that we'd learn to react faster to make up for the lack of mobility. Most of us ended up in the Hospital Wing, but it was an enriching experience.
    Rigel: So Weather Charms are common, too?
    Draco: Oh, yeah. We've practiced in all sorts of conditions. You'd think the icy rain and snow would be the worst, but sometimes we practice in fog so thick you can't see the end of your broomstick, much less a bludger coming straight at you. Then there are the days Flint cranks up the localized heating charms in the stadium to desert levels, and won't let us rehydrate until we get to 100 points. The worst, though, was definitely the plague of locusts.
  • Trauma Button: Harry has difficulty returning to the Forbidden Forest after spending two weeks buried alive and slowly starving underneath it.
  • Twin Switch: Harry and Arcturus aren't actually twins, but they're close enough to pull it off at school where no one previously knew them — and they do all they can to maximize the resemblance, in order to make it easier to swap back and forth over summer, including cutting both their hair short, stealing Polyjuice potion for their initial departure, brewing a long-term variant on Polyjuice potion with blended DNA to help each one better match the other's appearance, and even concealing Metamorphmagus abilities.
  • Unishment: Defied, with difficulty, by Professor Snape, who has to put more than the usual amount of thought into punishing Harry for any misbehavior.
    Rigel: Who is my detention with on Friday?
    Snape: Me. We might as well make use of the time, and I have a vague suspicion that you wouldn't respond to normal disciplinary actions even if I were to set you to clean cauldrons all night.
    Rigel: I like cleaning cauldrons.

    Snape: What am I to do with you, Mr Black?
    Rigel: You could give me extra potions homework over the break.
    Snape: I believe punishments are meant to be unpleasant, Mr Black.
    Rigel: You could give me an essay on...bubotuber pus.
    Snape: You write so many essays, Mr Black. Perhaps a practical lesson on that subject instead?
  • Up to Eleven:
    • After lashing out with her wild magic and knocking out Lee Jordan, Harry finds that it's not yet satisfied, so to avoid killing anyone, she focuses it on the task of untying her ropes. When she turns her attention back to the ropes later, she finds them not just unravelled into single fibres, but un-transfigured back into hemp stalks.
    • Professor Snape gives Harry the task of making as many Sweat Inducers as she can, without overworking herself or neglecting her studies, in two weeks, so he can gauge her production level. He takes pains to emphasise that quality is better than quantity; "better three satisfactory potions than a dozen useless ones." However, what neither of them realise is that Harry has unusually large magical reserves, and he checks after two weeks to find that "as many as she could brew" means she's filled a room with 33 crates containing hundreds of bottles (over 2000 individual doses).
  • Villain Has a Point: Harry is shaken after she realises what Riddle is really after: forcing purebloods to intermarry with half-bloods in order to prevent the toxic effects of excessive inbreeding.
    What if he's right and wrong?
  • Was It All a Lie?: Harry tries to persuade Draco that their whole friendship was a lie, because she doesn't want Draco to miss "Rigel" or look for "him".
    Draco: No, Rigel. We'll figure something out—
    Harry: Don't you get it? That's not even my name.
  • Weaponized Teleportation: An important element of Harry's mental defences is the ability to switch mindscape layers, concealing her true mind from others. When Voldemort invades her mind, it turns out that it can also be used offensively, to bruise and disorient an intruder.
    "Agh!" The enemy construct slammed into a wall and reared back, finding itself suddenly in a crumbling tomb. It took a step back and—
    Fell off the top of the mountain. Before it could re-orient itself, it slammed into the side of a pyramid and—
    Bam, into one of the tunnels beneath the mountain and—
    Splash, into the Nile. It came up wet and spluttering and found itself buried to the neck in the burning sand.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Mixed with a considerable amount of genuinely bad intentions. Tom Riddle's restrictions on half-blood marriage, which will ban half-bloods from marrying muggle-born wizards but reward them for marrying purebloods, are meant to introduce fresh blood into the pureblood lines and thus prevent a lethal magical disorder caused by inbreeding. But at the same time, they're meant to isolate first-generation wizards and witches from magical society and prevent them from inheriting wealth or influence.
    Rigel: Tell me you aren't trying to preserve your twisted party ideals and stop the rate of population decline.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Harry is not happy about the first Triwizard task including centaurs and a werewolf alongside the acromantulas and trolls and manticores.
  • Wicked Cultured: Without the violence and insanity of canon, Tom Riddle is a man of high society, clever wordplay, and intricate schemes — though with plenty of ruthlessness attached, such as afflicting the entirety of Hogwarts' first and second years with magical comas in order to politically discredit Dumbledore. Harry first meets him at the Malfoys' garden party.
  • Wild Magic:
    • Harry often feels that her magic is partially sentient, and works best by asking it to do things rather than simply trying to control it. This is especially apparent when her unleashed magic rampages around Pettigrew's prison and attempts to kill him.
    • Research has established that first-generation magic is wilder and closer to nature than pure-blood magic, typically harder to control (but also fresh and healthy, not inbred and stale).
  • With Due Respect: Harry bullies Professor Snape into accepting half the harvested basilisk parts for research purposes, with phrases like "stubbornly pigheaded" and "owning up to your ability", then sees the look on his face, coughs, and adds, "Sir."
  • Wizard Duel: One of the tasks of the Triwizard Tournament is a bracketed duelling tournament, abounding with conjuration, blasting curses, fire, ice, and even swordplay. It's not conducted very fairly; Harry notes systematic biases against the muggle-born contestants, and ends up having to fight more times than anyone else.
  • Workaholic:
    • Harry has a natural inclination to overload herself, and the many extra tasks needed to maintain her cover — plus the extra potions study that she's really doing this for — escalate that. She actually feels more relaxed with a Time Turner, because she can reliably exercise every day and get enough sleep.
      Rigel nodded and agreed, but the look Snape gave her said clearly what they both understood. She would pretend to give her normal second-year classes her priority, but she would get the extra potions work done, or collapse trying. Not that she was terribly worried. Adults always seemed to think things took longer than they did...If anything, Rigel imagined everyone who didn't have her workload must be terribly bored all day. She had plenty of time for her homework, Flint's homework, extra brewing, studying Healing, Occlumency, and now French, her new exercise regimen, and hanging out with her friends.
    • Binny the house elf is happy to tutor Harry in French, because it will interfere with the free time that Dumbledore insists on giving the elves.
  • Working Out Their Emotions: Lycanthropy is hard on the body, but especially on the mind; many sufferers break or surrender to the wolf within a few years. Remus keeps extensive gym equipment and maintains a superb level of fitness in order to help him cope. Naturally, when Harry wants to get in shape and learn self-defence, she turns to him.
  • You Are Grounded!:
    • Harry is Caught Coming Home Late from unexpected hold-ups in the alleys, and confined to the house for a week.
    • Both Archie and Harry are hit with this after the ruse is half-busted, with Archie discovered to have been in America and Harry claiming to have been homeschooling herself. They get to have half an hour outside per day.
  • You Have Failed Me: The Dominion Jewel allows its wielder to grow stronger very quickly, but if they are unsuccessful in using that strength to dominate, it will take everything back with interest. After Peter Pettigrew fails to steal Harry's magic, he's sucked dry and left as a desiccated corpse.
  • You Owe Me: Besides the life debts that Harry keeps collecting, she herself owes a Vow of Undisclosed Debt to Marcus Flint Jr in exchange for letting her seal away the knowledge of her secret. He calls it in when his mother needs to escape an abusive home situation; Harry hides her in the Lower Alleys until he's graduated and able to look after her himself.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Harry's leashed and unpredictable magic flares up when she gives rein to her emotions, such as when she's cornered and mad.
    • Lee Jordan survives, but is repeatedly flung into a wall, breaking bones and being knocked out.
    • Peter Pettigrew is all but crushed into the ground, despite his shields.
  • Younger Mentor, Older Disciple: After Harry accidentally invents "shaped imbuing", she finds that not many people have the prerequisite skills to learn it. Her first students are Caelum Lestrange, several years older than her, because he's properly motivated to learn such a cutting-edge technique, and Professor Snape, who doesn't permit laziness in himself on such matters (he didn't need very much instruction from Harry, either, since he was unknowingly the one who taught her most of those prerequisite skills).
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame:
    • Harry is less than thrilled to have her actions complimented by the Dominion Jewel.
      Dominion: Oh, and to think I assumed you were a goodie-goodie. You have ambition, girl, and I love it. Subtleties aren't usually my style, but this kind of elaborate scheme is so—so—what's the word? Satisfying? It's electrifying. I'm not even you and yet I feel so alive. I would not have guessed you had it in you, but you have been a very bad girl, Miss Potter.
      Harry: Don't call me that.
    • She's later even more upset by a polite and respectful article by Caelum Lestrange about Shaped Imbuing, crediting her as the inventor and quoting from her tutoring. It's hard to say how much of it is because she believes it's insincere, vs how much is because she doesn't like to hear him talking her up after he collaborated with Voldemort and used her techniques to invent the potion that incarnated Voldemort into a new body.

Even if this blows up in our face and they kick me out before the first wick check, I'm saying right now: I don't regret anything.

Alternative Title(s): The Pureblood Pretense