Title: A Rose by Any Other Name
Warnings: fem!Harry; mentions of sexuality
Notes: Based off of the amazing ficlet in "If Wishes Were Thestrals" by Kamerreon. Used with her permission.
Summary: She did not have a name. Not yet. One had to be given to her. But once, not too long ago, she had been Harry Potter . . .
A Rose By Any Other Name
Part of the Enchantment Series
She did not have a name. Not yet. One had not been given to her.
As the young woman who had once been Harry Potter awoke, she thought of all the ways her life had changed. Snape's proposition, her escape, her bowing, chained before the Dark Lord . . . Voldemort . . . Lord Slytherin . . .
He had called her his Lady Slytherin. She shut her eyes, nameless, friendless and parentless as she was.
She had been chained, she had exchanged the prophecy for protection and then had been transformed into what she was now . . . what she would always be.
Then there had been Voldemort's declaration, his soft kiss, and now her she slept in what appeared to be his bed, in transfigured clothes that were not suitable for ladies. Well, Ginny had worn something similar once . . . but that was a lifetime ago.
A gentle knock sounded at the door and she—whoever she was—got up slowly and brushed her long hair out of her face. "One moment," she called, not wanting whoever was on the other side of the door to see her in bed. She had showed enough weakness, and though she was tired, so tired, she still had her pride.
Walking out of the main bedchamber, she came into the anteroom and headed to the door. Straightening her shirt that now fit her but still felt strange over her chest, she opened the door to see Snape on the other side.
"Professor," she greeted with a weary smile. She held out the door. "How long have I slept?"
"Three or four hours," he answered curtly. It was his way. "I hope I did not wake you."
"No. I was just thinking." A piece of long, curling, black hair fell into her eyes and she tucked in behind one ear. "I realized I don't have a name, not anymore. Harry Potter is gone."
"Indeed," Snape agreed, taking a seat on one of the couches as she slumped across from him. He had seen her in much worse shape and she was so exhausted . . .
"Perhaps," Snape began, looking at her hesitantly. "You might consider honoring your mother by taking the name of a flower. I remember her once mentioning her love for a particular one . . ." His voice trailed off suggestively and whoever-she-was looked at him sharply.
"You knew my mother?" She had suspected as much, but had never had much confirmation.
"Yes," Snape carefully confirmed. "We were friends before Hogwarts."
She hummed. "The flower?"
"Ivy," Snape answered, a hint of wistfulness in his voice. "She said she liked watching it crawl up the sides of buildings, never giving up, and so beautiful."
"The Holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown," she quoted, thinking over the name. "Ivy Potter." She hesitated, thinking back to Voldemort. "Would it pass as a pureblood name?"
"Undoubtedly," Snape answered, "especially if paired with a Latin middle name. Ivy Hadriana perhaps?"
She pondered it for a moment. "Ivy Hadriana Potter." It was no more than a whisper. "I believe it will suit."
"Our Lord will be happy to hear it," Snape agreed. "I was sent to see if you required dinner, Lady Ivy."
The form of address startled her, but she let it pass. "Yes, perhaps," she agreed.
"Then our Lord shall join you within the next half hour," Snape stated before sweeping to her feet. At Ivy's uncomfortable expression he leaned down and squeezed her shoulder. "I promised he would keep you safe, and he gave his wizard's oath."
Ivy nodded carefully. "He wants to marry me," she confessed.
"It would secure the vow," Snape answered, his face a careful mask. "Our Lord swore to take care of you."
"Yes," Ivy answered absently, not looking at him. "Yes, I suppose he did."
"You no longer must carry any burden. He will carry it for you."
Her shoulders slumped and she didn't answer. Her mind was too tired after the months and months of torture at the hands of the Order. Ivy was too tired to even hate them.
She didn't realize that Snape had left or that she had fallen asleep until she woke up, cradled in strong arms. Ivy looked up to see Tom Riddle's face and let herself fall back into slumber.
The next time she awoke she was curled in his arms, wearing the same torn jeans and t-shirt she had earlier that day. His chest was bare and she pressed her hand carefully against it, wondering at the beating heart beneath her fingers. He was real. He was human.
Then she was awakened when she was lifted carefully into strong arms, her back pressed against a now clothed chest, and a hand carefully feeding her warm chicken soup, the type of soup that Ivy used to imagine her mother making for her. . . if she had ever had a mother.
"Ivy Hadriana is a beautiful name," Voldemort finally remarked.
"I wonder what my mother would have named me," she murmured in response between spoons of soup.
"Something pedestrian perhaps," Voldemort mused. "My mother named me something pedestrian."
"Tom," she murmured, turning to look at him. She hadn't realized her eyes had closed as his lips brushed hers for the first time.
Every day Ivy got a little bit stronger, and every night she lay in Tom's arms. She was certain it was not at all—well, that it was rather singular, but she felt safe in his arms. His vow held strong, and he would never harm her.
When, after two months, Narcissa Malfoy came to her door, Ivy was surprised. She was wearing simple house robes that had appeared on one side of the closet sometime during the first week. There were finer robes, but Ivy rarely left her rooms except with either Tom or Snape, and then only to visit the library. She took all of her meals in their rooms—hers and Tom's.
"Mrs. Malfoy?" she questioned, her voice firm and strong.
"Lady Ivy." Narcissa sank into a full curtsy and stayed there until, after several awkward moment,s Ivy murmured, "Please, rise."
"Thank you, my lady," Narcissa responded. Her eyes roamed over Ivy's frame. "Our Lord wishes for you to receive some lessons on comportment."
Of course he did, Ivy thought. He also hadn't told her. It was the same with the clothes and jewelry that appeared on the dresser, along with the combs that house elves used to place her hair up. She even had her own personal house elf, a sweet creature named Minky.
At first she and Narcissa only had tea, and Ivy was instructed how to sit, how to hold out her hand, how to pour a proper cup.
It was less than a week later, that Ivy greeted Tom in slightly less casual robes although her hair hung loose and free, with a tea set steaming and prepared. He looked pleased as she silently offered him his seat before making up his cup as he required.
He took a sip and smiled.
"You are a treasure, Ivy," he complimented, and she couldn't help but smile at this small accomplishment. Tom wanted nothing from her. He did not hurt her. He simply took pleasure in the small niceties she would give and offered her quiet affection in this place, which had somehow become her home.
"How goes the war?" she asked carefully, uncertain if she would upset him.
"Well," he responded as he set his cup within its saucer, looking at her in inquiry, as if he wanted to know if she wished for more of an explanation.
She inclined her head.
"The Ministry is within our control," he answered. "There are, of course, renegades."
"Potterwatch?" she asked carefully, and he nodded.
"They—" she paused, and swallowed, knowing she had already made her decision. "They offer the new password at the end of each program. They're names of Order members."
Tom nodded sagely and smiled at her. "Thank you, Ivy."
They returned to their tea in silence.
It was a fortnight after that that Tom made careful love to her in the darkness. "But—" Ivy began to protest, thinking of her lessons with Narcissa, before she was cut off with a kiss.
"Let me love you," Tom murmured against her lips. "I will not hurt you."
"You'll break my heart," Ivy moaned as he pulled her even closer. Her thin summer shift was nothing compared to the heat radiating from his bare chest.
"You wear my ring. All that a marriage requires is consummation."
"But Bill and Fleur—"
"A blood traitor and a half-breed. I cannot help that they had a ridiculous Muggle ceremony."
Then he was kissing her again and again and somehow, Ivy found that she was trusting him, allowing him to carefully undress her, to kiss the hollow of her throat, to join with her in first discomfort and then pleasure. Afterward, his hand rested on her abdomen, as if hoping that a child was already growing there.
"Lady Slytherin," he murmured.
She fell asleep in his arms, a half smile on her lips.
Ivy stepped out of their chambers two weeks later to much cheers and applause, a crown of laurel on her brow and dressed in robes of white. Her hand was held carefully by her husband. She barely noticed the flash of cameras, but a day later a copy of the Prophet was served with their breakfast, proclaiming their marriage.
Ivy was not quite surprised to find her green eyes shining with cautious joy.
Later she found the short paragraph, stating that she was the former wizarding savior, who had bravely broken an enslaving prophecy that would have both herself and Tom dead at the hands of one another. The story was a love story. She was the brave lady who was worthy of the most powerful wizard alive. He had kept her safe from her abusers and loved her.
Strangely, she reflected, it was all true.
Still, the war continued, and she remained within her ivory tower, her knight with her. Within a year of their marriage, she found herself round with child, and wondered how her parents would feel. Narcissa taught her how to knit magically and she oversaw the decoration of the nursery that was next to the master bedroom. Nothing but the best for her little boy or girl.
It was not until Holly Victoria was three that Ivy found herself with child again and the war was finally over completely. She stood proudly on the Dias when her husband was proclaimed Minister for Magic, although she was quickly beckoned to take a seat.
In the dead of night she sometimes wondered what had happened to her once friends, but found that in the comfort of her family, she was truly happy for the first time in her life. Tom worked long hours, but still he would wake her when he returned to their bed, kissing her gently and softly and making slow love to her in the darkness.
Their second child was a son—Marvolo James Riddle.
The rest of the fortress was opened up and soon Ivy was planning balls and hosting tea parties for the wives of influential men. It was a quiet life, but one that was all hers.
She was safe, protected, and cherished.
Harry Potter had died so long ago. Sometimes she barely remembered him at all.