A Snake in the Lion's Den

What if James Potter had a twin sister?
Valena Potter's parents often told her that they couldn't wait to hear how she liked being Gryffindor. They would tell her that every Potter that attended Hogwarts was a Gryffindor. That was no problem for James, the epitome of Gryffindor. It was, however, a problem for Valena. What would she do if they ever found out that she was a Slytherin to the core?


1. Owls, Wands and the Sorting Hat

"Lena!" James Potter shrieked at the top of his lungs.

Upstairs a young girl nearly jumped ten feet in the air at the sound of her name. Putting away the book she had immersed herself in, Valena Potter made it down in time to stop her twin brother's next scream with a quick silencing spell.

"Really, James? Did you have to scream at me? You could have actually walked up the stairs," Valena chided her obnoxious twin. 

Valena cancelled the spell, "Sorry, Lena. Mother said that our Hogwarts letters came today."

She nodded and followed James to the sitting room where their parents waited with their letters.

"Valena, James, there you are. You shouldn't have kept us waiting," Euphemia Potter said to her twin children. She had marveled at them when they were born. They looked so much alike despite the gender difference. Her son had the same unruly black hair as their father, Fleamont Potter, and her own chocolate brown eyes. His sister was the same except her hair was tamer with its length, the tips brushing against her waist in a curtain of raven locks.

"Your Hogwarts letters arrived this morning and as such we will be traveling to Diagon Alley tomorrow," Fleamont told them. 

"Of course, Father. What time shall we depart?" Valena fell back into the formal Pureblood way of speaking that their father enforced.

If Fleamont was pleased with his daughter's formality he didn't show it, "We shall leave at precisely nine in the morning. You are both to be up and ready by eight. When you travel to Ollivander's I must leave for a meeting with Lord Malfoy. You are to be on your best behavior for your mother, understood?"

"We understand, sir," the twins chorused.

Valena watched as her father and mother left for the study. Valena didn't really consider Fleamont and Euphemia Potter her parents. They were never around and James and herself had been raised by House Elves. Valena pushed her thoughts aside and headed outside to the stables. She had discovered long ago that she loved to ride the Abraxans that had been on her family's estate for generations. There was one Abraxan she loved the most. He was one of the three male Abraxans in their herd and was black with silver tipped feathers, mane and tail. His name was Kronan on account of his color. Everyone, except Valena treated Kronan as if he would break and were afraid of his temper.

Valena knew the truth. Kronan was lonely and hurt that the other Abraxans avoided him, because of his color. Valena was the only one that can come close to him without him battering them with his wings and hooves.

"Kronan!" Valena called out when she reached the paddock. A sharp whinny answered her and she followed it to the black and silver beast.

"Hi, my old friend, I have to tell you something. I received my letter to Hogwarts today and will be leaving in two weeks for school," Kronan gave a short snort and bumped his head to her shoulder as she said this. Valena swung herself up onto his back and they spent the next few hour before dinner in the air. 

Later after a very tense and silent dinner, when everyone else was heading to bed, Valena crept to the Potter Library. The library was supposed to be warded against all except Lord Potter and the House Elves, but when you're eight years old and beyond bored, because your parents don't pay attention and your brother is spending the night at the Longbottom's, you tend to think of ways to occupy yourself. Valena did just that when she tampered with the wards to let her inside. That had been the night that she realized that she was not quite like the rest of her family. She had realized that she had all of the traits to make a perfect Slytherin. She was cunning,ambitious and very resourceful.

Valena was so caught up in the book that she was reading that she hadn't known that it was very late when she checked the time. She hurried to her room, she had plans for tomorrow. With that she let sleep take her.

The next day after trips to Madame Malkin's, Flourish and Blotts, and Potage's Cauldron Shop they arrived at Magical Menagerie. The twins picked their owls, James getting an Eurasian Eagle owl he named Shadow and Valena buying a Burrowing owl named Gaea. Their father left for his meeting after that.

The final stop was Ollivander's Wand Shop. Their mother sent them on their way inside and told the twins to meet her at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Shop. 

"Welcome, welcome! You will be needing wands, then? Let's start with the lad," a frizzy white haired man easily recognizable as Ollivander said.

The first wand he handed James pleased the old man, "Ah, yes! A perfect fit the first time. Mahogany and Dragon Heartstring, very good for transfiguration. Pliable, too! An excellent wand; it will serve you well."

James paid, thanked the man and then left to find Euphemia.

Ollivander turned to the young Peverell heiress, "Now for you, Miss Potter."

Finding a wand to suit Valena was extremely hard and ended with a lot of explosions. Ollivander was about to give up when he remembered a wand that hadn't chosen an owner in the 37 years it had been around. Setting the picky wand in front of the girl he watched in amusement as it chose her before she even touched it.

"I must admit you surprise me, Miss Potter. Of all the wands in my shop it is that one that chose you. That wand was one of the first I ever made and is the most powerful wand in this shop. It is made from the finest Japanese Cherry wood, hand carved, eleven inches. The core, however, is what makes it so special. The core is a tail feather from a Thunderbird, but not just any Thunderbird. The Thunderbird to provide the core was the king," Ollivander told the wide-eyed Potter girl.

Valena took hold of the beautifully carved, cherry wand. It wasn't the normal red color of other cherry wands; this one was a brown so dark it was almost black. Valena knew a lot about wands and wand lore since she wanted to be a wand maker after she was done with Hogwarts.

"Thank you, Mr. Ollivander. I will need a wrist and thigh holster for it," Ollivander pointed to a section of holsters before she even finished speaking.

Walking over she browsed a little before she ran across a matching set designed for girls. She fell in love with them. They were black and had silver silk linings. She took them to Mr. Ollivander and set them on the counter.

"Can you put the standard security charms on them and embroider my initials in green?" Valena looked up at the smiling wand maker.

"Of course. They will be done in two hours, if you will come back then," Valena nodded, paid and turned to leave, but stopped.

"Mr. Ollivander, what is the likelihood of you taking on an apprentice when they finish school?" she asked.

Ollivander raised an eyebrow at the question, "Since their aren't many who want to study Wand Making and Lore, then the likelihood is very good. Why do you ask?"

Valena smiled and said as she walked out, "Just curious."

Ollivander gazed after the girl, she would make a very good apprentice if she kept going like that.

When Valena met up with her mother and brother she was quite happy, until her mother told them that they would leave in a half hour. Wanting to get her holsters before school started and knowing that her parents wouldn't permit another trip until after it started, Valena let out her inner Slytherin. As she walked with her family, her father having rejoined them shortly after leaving the ice cream shop, she thought of way to get them.

They were about ready to leave when Valena came up with a solution. She took out a piece of parchment and a quill, quickly penning a message:

Mr. Ollivander,

I am afraid that my parents are taking James and I home sooner than expected and I won't be able to pick up my holsters personally. You can, however, send them with Gaea. Gaea is the owl that delivered this message. I have a feeling that I will be visiting again soon, but until then I bid you ado.


Valena Potter 

Valena let Gaea out of her cage and gave her the message, "Take this to Mr. Ollivander, please, Gaea."

Gaea gave Valena an affectionate nip and soft hoot before flying off to Ollivander's. Valena continued to follow her family to the apparition point. They weren't far from it when something from a street merchant caught her eye. Picking it up she saw that it was an Abraxan whistle.

"Hello, little lady," the merchant who was tending the shop said to her, "That there's an Abraxan whistle, but it doesn't work if the Abraxan doesn't know you."

Valena looked up at him, "How much is it?"

"Look, girlie, I don't know who you are, but that whistle costs more that you have. Give it to me and leave," the man sneered.

"You're right, you don't know me. I am Valena Potter, daughter of Lord and Lady Fleamont and Euphemia Potter, heiress to the House of Peverell. Now, you are going to sell me this whistle. How much?" Valena's Slytherin side came out to play. She didn't like dropping names and titles weren't important to her, but she really wanted that whistle. She didn't particularly care for the man's attitude, either.

"Of course, Miss Potter. Forgive me, Miss Potter, my mouth ran away from me. The whistle costs 67 galleons," the merchant stuttered as Valena handed over the money, "Thank you, Miss Potter."

Valena nodded and walked away, stuffing the whistle in the pocket of her robe. She hid it when she got home. She would smuggle it to Hogwarts, so that Kronan wasn't totally alone until summer. Later when Gaea arrived back, Valena hid her holsters as well. They would stay there until she was safely aboard the Hogwarts Express, away from the prying eyes of her family and the eavesdropping of the hidden House Elves.

In Valena's opinion the day to leave for Hogwarts couldn't come fast enough, but it was finally here. The twins waved at their parents as they boarded the Hogwarts Express. Once inside they split up. They didn't want to spend all of their time together. They might be twins, but they had their own lives. James headed to the front of the train, Gryffindor territory, while Valena went to the back, Slytherin territory. She had someone to see.

As she walked Valena looked through the open doors, but couldn't find him. She was about to turn back when someone grabbed her from behind, one hand on her waist and the other on her mouth. Valena growled and squirmed, but stopped when she heard a chuckle. She spun around.

"Lucius!" she exclaimed. She had considered Lucius Malfoy a brother ever since he had stayed with her family while Lady Malfoy was sick. He was older than her by two years.

Lucius scooped up the girl that was the closest thing to a sibling he had and swung her around, "Hello again, Lena. I've missed you."

"I missed you, too, onii," Lucius smiled at the use of the nickname that Valena had picked up when her family went to visit Japan for a meeting with one of their Muggle companies. It meant big brother and Lucius felt honored that she thought so highly of him. Valena had also confided in him that she was a Slytherin.

"Soeur," he used his own endearment for her in the form of the french word for sister, "Are you going to join me in Slytherin?"

Valena shook her head sadly, "I can't, Mother and Father would most likely make me re-sort if I did. That's if they don't do something worse."

Valena felt like she was going to cry. She had really missed Lucius and had felt alone after he returned home.

"Shh, soeur," he hugged her tight to his chest, "Don't cry. Even if you are in Gryffindor all you have to do is come to me. My roommates, Rabastan Lestrange and Theodore Nott, won't say anything to Professor Slughorn. We will, however, have a first year roommate this year, but I will make sure he knows not to tell anyone."

Valena nodded, "Thank you, onii."

The long haired platinum blond smiled down at her, "How about we find Theo and Rabastan, so we can enjoy the rest of the ride to Hogwarts."

The smile he received was enough of an answer. Lucius led the way to the compartment his friends were in. When they entered both boys turned to them.

"Hey Luc, you seem to have a shadow," the one with dark brown hair sneered.

Lucius whirled around to face him, "Shut it, Rabastan."

He was going to say more, but Valena grabbed his sleeve, "It's fine, onii. If they want to insult people without first learning who they are then that will be their lesson to learn," she looked at Theodore and Rabastan and flicked her wrist. Her wand was immediately in her behind her back.

"Cantis," she said softly and smiled in triumph when Rabastan started singing.

Lucius tried to hold in his laughter, but it was too much in the end, "Lena, just when I thought that I couldn't love you anymore!"

His outburst got the attention of Theodore, "I'm going to assume that she is the girl you said would come over."

"Forgive me," Lucius said, "This is Valena Potter, my sister in all, but blood."

The sandy haired boy stood up, "I'm Theodore Nott, but call me Theo."

Valena took his outstretched hand, "Valena Potter, call me Lena."

Valena cancelled the spell on Rabastan, "I already know who you are Rabastan Lestrange."

They sat down and settled in for the rest of the ride to Hogwarts. They were about to change into their school robes when Theodore opened his mouth to speak.

"I though all Potters were Gryffindors. Why are you hanging out in the heart of Slytherin, besides seeing Lucius?" he asked.

"I'm a Slytherin at heart, but if I'm not sorted into Gryffindor then my parents are likely to disown me before tarnishing the Potter name," Valena had taken on an emotionless tone and blank stare.

Lucius wrapped him arms around Valena and pulled her close, "Like I said, Lena, you are welcome in my dorm."

The Peverell Heiress nodded and gave a faint smile. She knew that she could always count on her onii. 

They started changing, just finishing when the train stopped at Hogsmeade Station. Lucius kissed her head before following Theodore and Rabastan to the carriages. Valena and the other first years followed a huge man with a bushy beard and thick accent.

When they separated to get onto the boats, Valena found one with a muggleborn with flaming red hair, a reserved halfblood who seemed to want to be anywhere else and Alice Prewett. 

The red haired girl spoke first, "Hi, I'm Lily Evans and this is my friend, Severus Snape."

"Hello, I'm Alice Prewett." Alice smiled warmly at the two. She already knew Valena through their family's business with each other.

Lily looked at Valena and held out her hand, "You are?"

"My name's Valena Potter, but you can call me Lena," Valena shook Lily's hand and reached out to do the same to Severus.

The black haired boy seemed surprised at the gesture, but took it nevertheless, "Hello."

Valena gave a small smile and sat back as they approached the castle that was Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

They entered the castle and Valena held back a laugh at Lily and Severus' surprise. Professor McGonagall made them wait outside the doors to the Great Hall, before allowing them inside to be sorted.

The professor called off names in a seemingly random order until, "Evans, Lily!"

McGonagall sat the old hat on her head. A few seconds past before the hat called out Gryffindor. Alice was next and ended up in Hufflepuff.

"Lupin, Remus!" a sandy haired boy with a scar on his cheek walked up.

He was put into Gryffindor and was soon followed by Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew. Severus was called next and placed into Slytherin.

"Potter, James!" Valena's twin walked up to the sorting hat and it had barely touched his head before shouting Gryffindor.

McGonagall checked her parchment again, "Potter, Valena!"

Valena walked up to the stool and allowed the professor to set the hat on her head, "Hmm, what have we here? Ah, yes, the loyalty of a Hufflepuff, but the wisdom of a Ravenclaw. However, you would do very well in Slytherin and it appears that you know this as well. Your family adores Gryffindor and will not like it if I were to place you into the house of snakes. It shall be Gryffindor!"

Valena let out a sigh of relief at the pronouncement. She was safe, for now anyway. She joined her house, sitting next to Lily, and watched the rest of the Sorting. She already knew her way around the castle because of her father's place on the School Board, so she would go with Lucius tonight after seeing her dorm and roommates. It was going to be an interesting year.

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