The Trunk

Title: The Trunk
Author: Keira Marcos
Prompt: Thursday Vignettes (The Big Short on Facebook)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Relationships: Gen
Word Count: 800 (complete)
Warnings: Reference to child neglect/abuse
Summary: Someone special follows Harry home from Diagon Alley.

* * * *

Harry had honestly expected to be shoved back into the cupboard under the stairs. Well, he’d actually thought he’d have to sleep in the garden at least until Aunt Petunia started to worry about the neighbors. It had been such a concern on his part that he’d snuck a nice blanket into his purchases when Hagrid hadn’t been looking. A magical blanket with environmental charms so he’d never get cold or too hot again.

But his aunt had opened the door, let him inside, and ordered him to go upstairs to Dudley’s second bedroom. Vernon was waiting for him at the top of the stairs, and Harry couldn’t help but flinch at the man’s darkened complexion. He looked furious.

“Get in there,” Vernon snapped and motioned toward the room. “Stay out of our way!”

Harry hurried into the room and just huffed a little when the door was pulled shut. He glanced around the room and dropped his trunk in shock. “What are you?”

The creature sitting on the bed slipped down to her feet and put her hands on her hips. “I’m the Potter house elf. My name is Star. I take care of you from now on.”

“I…hmmm…” He looked at the owl who was staring at the creature passively. “What?”

“I be a magical servant bound to the House of Potter,” the elf explained patiently. “I look for you for ages Master Harry, but stupid old wizard hid you from me. I place charms all over Diagon Alley to tell me when you come to shop. I sneak and look at your letter so I could come here and fix everything.” She motioned around the room. “Bring you nice furniture from the Potter vault, so you be comfortable.”

“Bound? Are you a slave? I don’t want a slave,” Harry said urgently. “I—”

“Not slave,” Star interrupted. “House elf and wizard have symbiotic relationship. I serve, and you give me magic connection, so I’m safe.”

“Safe from what?”

“Unbonded elves go crazy,” Star said grimly. “Turn into gremlins. Wreck havoc and die.”

“Gremlins are real?”

“Very real,” Star said. “You read in your books.” She plucked up his trunk and placed it on a small luggage rack at the end of his bed.

“The room looks bigger.”

“Expansion charm.”

“The Dursleys will get mad…”

“Mean Muggles not see anything but what I want them to see. I spell them to leave you alone. I see into their small, ugly minds with elf magic. They not hurt my Master Harry ever again.” Star took the owl cage from him and put it on the table by the window. “Hungry?”

“I…yes…but I’m not supposed to leave the room.” He glanced toward the door.

Star snapped her fingers, and a large oak trunk appeared and tucked itself against the door. “They not welcome in this room while you stay here. I lay down law with Petunia.” She opened the trunk and light spilled out of it. “This be my home.”

“You live in a trunk?”

Harry walked hesitantly across the room to join her. He peered down into the trunk. “Wow. It’s a room.”

“It’s a whole flat made just for me,” Star said proudly. “Your mum built it for me when I came to live with the family in Godric’s Hollow. I sorry I not be there, Master Harry, when the bad man came. Mistress Lily had sent me to Paris to find a book for her.”

“It’s okay,” Harry whispered. “I’m glad you weren’t hurt.” He patted her shoulder carefully when fat tears welled up and spilled down her cheeks. “Will you come with me to Hogwarts?”

“I stay with you always, Master Harry. I not let anyone hide you away ever again! You get comfortable and rest—look at your school books while I cook dinner.” She started to climb down into the trunk.

“Will you leave the lid open?” Harry questioned.

“Of course,” Star said with a bright smile. “But now that we’re together again you can always call for me, and I will hear you no matter where I am.”


Harry hesitated briefly but then went to his trunk to pick out a book to read. He grabbed the History of Magic. It seemed like a good place to start. His owl barked at him. “Maybe I’ll find you a name in here.”

He opened her cage, and she hopped out to perch on his headboard, so Harry climbed up into the nicest bed he’d ever seen and settled down amongst the pillows to read.

The End

Author’s Note:
The Big Short is a short-form writing challenge hosted on Rough Trade’s forum and our group on Facebook, The Writer’s Table. Each is a stand-alone piece with no potential for expansion unless otherwise specified.
These short works are NOT prompts! These are my responses to the forum prompts. No, you cannot use them as prompts. No, you cannot continue my short work with a longer work or write a sequel. For fuck’s sake.

Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.


  1. I love it! Star is such a badass!

  2. Oh I love this! Star will protect Harry so he won’t be so desperate for whatever measly affection he gets from some manipulative wizards.

  3. OMG!! I love Star, she’s my fave of the elves after Emmie (spelling). I loved this snippet.

  4. I love it!

  5. Charming!

  6. What a nice little treat!

  7. Yay! Star is everything that boy needs. It’s great to see her in a new story. Thanks Keira!

  8. Wonderful. I love star. She is one of your best original characters.

  9. Cute! love that will have someone someone to protect him and to talk to.
    Thank you for this pick me up, i needed it today but all your work makes me smile.

  10. Thank you for your short story. It was very concise and I would love to read more about Harry’s new house elf.

  11. So much love for this!

  12. Star is my favorite. Okay, Armand, Star and Jonah McGregor, possibly in that order. Sorry for butchering Jonah’s last name. I am ashamed.

  13. I love love love your Star! I’m glad she’s there to help Harry out!

  14. Can house elves run for President? Star and Emmie or Emmie and Star would make a fantastic ticket. I figure House Elves are from wherever they want to be.

  15. Thank you for making me smile with this lovely work, I absolutely adore Star.

  16. I just fell in love with Star. It is nice that Harry has a guardian who cares only for him. Mean juggles indeed with small ugly minds! Go Star.

  17. This is so lovely!

  18. I love the character Star .. she is just like her name .. a total badass.. .!!!

  19. Oh, I love this! Star is one of my faves!

  20. What a shame that didn’t happen in canon!!

  21. What a lovely little story. I actually got tears on my eyes I was so happy for Harry. And with Star telling him what”s what, the Mean Old Wizard (and possibly the Lazy Weazy Git) won’t stand a chance 😀 Thanks for sharing!

  22. OMFT! You made me cry! It was a good cry, and obviously needed but still! LOVE THIS!!! 🙂

  23. Oh, I love Star being there for Harry… always. Honestly, your version of the magical world Harry lives in is so much better than Rowlings’.

  24. When Star said she laid down the law with Petunia, does that mean she actually talked to her?? Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that conversation!! Bahahaha! And it makes me happy to know that the Dursley’s won’t be able to mistreat him anymore!

  25. This is great. The implications for future entertaining events between Star and Dursley’s or Star and Dumbledore, etc. are fun just to ponder even if they never get written. You do have a way with turning 800 words into much, much more.

  26. Loretta Mammarella

    Lovely Iadore a smart sassy Star. Thank you for sharing!

  27. Oooh, Star! Love it!

  28. Star is a badass! Thanks for writing her again.

  29. This made me inordinately happy.

  30. Oh, I think Star is my new favourite non-canon character – you draw her (metaphorically speaking) so well in so few lines! And the idea that non-bound house elves become gremlins is just perfect. I love it so much more than the standard “oh they die of heartbreak/loss of magic” fanon.

  31. once again you provide yet another wonderful story

  32. Love it!!!! Thank you.

  33. I love it

  34. Lovely vignette. Your writing styles lets your stories flow so smoothly, that it is alays a bit of a shock to realize I am at the end of the story.
    I suspect that is why readers ask for more than you want to share.
    Thanks for sharing again; it is appreciated.

  35. Loved the story and the personality of Star.

  36. I love this!! Poor Star though, no family around her for 10 years

  37. I just finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Soulmate Bond for the umpteenth time, and this was exactly what I needed to fill that emotional let down that one gets when they close the book (or tab in this case). Cute, lovely, and sweet. I can only picture how she continues to nurture Harry as he grows.

  38. Lovely!
    I can just imagine Star smaking fouls right and left (LOL)

  39. The thought of Star looking for Harry for years makes me weepy. Star’s trunk is great. Of course, Star, 8n whatever iteration is elfin perf3ction. (I love when you have dimensional trunks in your stories!) This is a wonderful little piece. Thank you!

  40. One big awwww…..

  41. Oh wow! This was incredible I loved it a lot!!! This begs to have a sequel/continuation. I love your Star! *runs off to read it again as it’s AMAZING* Thanks for the great story!

  42. How wonderful! I love Star, she’s the best. Also, totally need me one of those trunks. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Greywolf the Wanderer

    awwww… *smooshes wee Harry*

    a lovely little amuse-bouche for the brain — thankee, sai! always a pleasure.

  44. Greywolf the Wanderer

    dunno what happened, no worries. really enjoyable little story, thankee, sai!

  45. That was adorable, I love Star!

  46. Aww, Star was great. Thanks for sharing.

  47. CNi join the star andemefan clu love your Harry he’s brill.

  48. This is absolutely brilliant. I love Star’s ingenuity in putting charms over Diagon Alley. I like to think that Star fixes everything in his life, not just his room. Look out Hogwarts, its a new dynamic duo… Harry and Star.

    Thank you for sharing.

  49. Oh, this was lovely . Just think how different the wizarding world will be for
    Harry when he always has someone he can trust in his corner. This was just wonderful. I love Star. Thank you for sharing!

  50. Such a ‘simple’ idea that packs so much of a punch. Thanks for sharing.

  51. Love it. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  52. Star giving Petunia a talk. Nah it’s Star laying down the LAW!!! She is such a badass.

  53. Star is, of course, a total badass. Potter elves for the win!

    Thank you so much for creating the Potter elves and completely changing my head cannon (again!), for house elves (again!)

  54. Thank you for this little treat. I love Star and I am so glad you created her.

  55. Star is made of awesome!

  56. <3 Just what I needed to re-read on a cruddy Friday! Star is the best!

  57. I love the way you write House Elves. You’ve brought them much more into a believable way of life than they received in canon. Thank you for exposing me to your art and your cult. Damn glad to be here.
    I am always in awe of how much you can say with so few words.

  58. I love Star so much! I can see her stealing baby Harry away and raising her himself rather than letting Dumbledore have anything to do with him 😛

  59. Love seeing that there was a Potter elf who found Harry! Go, Star! What a fantastic idea. Thank you for this. 🙂

  60. Star – the power he knows not. Thus begins the downfall of Voldemort 😀

  61. Thatperfectsomeone

    I love this loads!! Your were recommended to me.

  62. I loved this. Their interaction has a real subtlety that I missed the first time through. Thanks!

  63. Star rocks!

  64. I adore stories like this when Harry is finally taken care of by someone who cares. Absolutely love any of your stories, be it long or short.

  65. So adorable! You just have a way with your elves, and your hobbits, and your dwarves, that make them all both come alive on the page, and endear us to them immediately. For beings less than three feet tall they have attitude that’s sky high. It’s so much fun to read about these little heros that fix broken people and things! I want a Star of my own. Thanks for this.

  66. I love this fic. The way that you pack so much into your short stories is wonderful. The sense of hope at the end of this is just beautiful.
    Also, I like to imagine this version of Star’s reaction to canon events and then just *insert evil laugh*. And it is awesome. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  67. I loved it, short and sweet!

  68. The way it should have been. Thanks for writing!

  69. Oh, I love it! And I believe it! for Harry! ❤

  70. I love Star. She’s so bossy and loyal, exactly what Harry needs in his life. Thank you so much for writing this!

  71. Just found your site and this was the first thing I read.
    Very much enjoyed this little piece. I adore bad-ass house elf characters!

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