Actions

Work Header

Broken Gods

Chapter Text

Tom Riddle paced back and forth across his study at Riddle Manor as Lucius and Severus, his most loyal, watched him. It had taken a lot of work on their part to return their Lord’s looks and sanity, but it was worth it. There was far more work needed, as the Dark Lord needed to appear insane to Dumbledore, but they were finally getting somewhere in the political arena. Tom had gone nearly apoplectic when he saw the state the wizarding world was in after his absence; not as many people celebrated to Old Ways and Magic was suffering because of their negligence.

“He’s just a child! I’ve long stopped wondering why the hell I went after him, but why on Morgana’s Earth does Dumbledore, leader of the Light, want a mere child to fight me? Severus, do you have anything to report about him?”

Severus sighed and glanced at Lucius. “Yes, my Lord. It seems that the boy was...rather reluctant to reveal the details of your ritual to Dumbledore. The old man wishes for me to force the answer from him in order to gain more insight as to your current state. He is bringing the boy to Hogwarts two weeks before his fifteenth birthday to be supervised by Lucius and myself.”

Tom’s brow furrowed. “Is the child...loyal to Dumbledore?”
Severus’ eyebrows bent. “If you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you yes, unconditionally. However, in third year, I believe something occurred between Lupin’s attack and Black’s escape that disenchanted him from the headmaster. However, my...dislike if the child may have clouded my observations.”

Lucius snorted. “Dislike, Sev? The boy had points against him for being James Potter’s son, and then he wasn’t at all like Lily, the woman you thought of as a sister.”

Severus leveled a glare at his comrade. “I don’t deny it, but that it beside the point. What we need to focus on is the situation at hand.”

Tom nodded, quelling Lucius’ retort. “How does he plan on having you gain the information?”

“I am to teach the boy Occlumency, supposedly to protect his mind against you. By barging into his mind. Which is an experience I have no wish to have.”

Tom looked disgusted. “The man knows how dangerous that is!”

Severus scowled. “Yes, I am aware. I will have to be very careful with him, because I somehow doubt he has a very organized mind. However, I begin teaching him the first week of term, so maybe I can have the boy research Occlumency and meditation on his own.”

Tom slumped into his desk chair. “Damn that fool.”

 

 

 

“BOY! You better have an explanation for this!” bellowed Uncle Vernon from the sitting room. Harry Potter, the Savior of the Wizarding World, winced away from his uncle’s voice, knowing what would be coming. This summer was particularly bad, with neither Ron nor Hermione owling him and Vernon’s beatings getting more brutal.

“Yes, Uncle Vernon?” he said meekly, shuffling into the living room. The man was purple with rage, holding a letter.

“This! One of those freaks, writing me as if they’re normal as can be! What kind of name is this anyway, Albus Dumbledore?”
Petunia’s head whipped up. Her behavior hadn’t changed much – she still ignored her nephew’s existence, so her taking an interest in his affairs was a change. “Vernon, dear, give me that letter please. I’ve spoken with Headmaster Dumbledore before.”

Both Harry and Vernon looked at Petunia in shock. Vernon’s complexion faded into a face of confusion as he handed the envelope to his wife.

Petunia’s face lit up with a nasty smile. “Oh, Vernon, dear! The old man is taking the freak away early! On the fifteenth of July! Maybe we can actually go on a vacation without having to worry about not having a house to come home to.”

Vernon’s smile echoed his wife’s as he turned to Harry. “Well, boy, you’ve got three days. I want everything of yours packed and ready to leave. Maybe write back to the Headmaster and ask him to retrieve you a few days early.”

“I’ll try, Uncle. Could I please get my trunk to pack my things in?”

Vernon scowled but hauled himself up from the armchair with a groan, waddling towards the front hall. Harry pressed himself into a corner, for once glad for his small frame. Vernon undid the padlock on the cupboard door and punched his nephew in the ribs as he passed back into the sitting room.

Gasping quietly from the pain – Vernon’s ham-sized fist had managed to jar what he suspected were a few broken ribs – he dragged his trunk up the stairs quickly,. When he reached his room, he glanced around the small bedroom and sighed. Maybe he could have a good summer after all.

He opened his trunk and took everything out, throwing away the detritus from years prior. Due to his Uncle’s hatred, he had never had much time to actually clean out the trunk.

Harry stacked his textbooks on his bed by year, quills and usable parchment next to that in their case. His robes – which still fit from third year – were neatly folded next to that.

He bit his lip, sparing a glance at his textbooks. He really didn’t need all of them, but now that he would actually have a chance to study, maybe he could review all the years – Harry had never been able to concentrate in class and Ron hadn’t exactly encouraged studying. He packed his books neatly in the bottom, other than Lockheart’s, which he and several other Gryffindors had made a bonfire with at the end of second year. His Muggle clothes – what he had of them – were next. Hermione, after learning of his pitiful wardrobe, had dedicated a Hogsmeade weekend to clothing him. He had a semi-formal outfit he had never worn, a few pairs of jeans that were actually his size but he thought were tight, several t-shirts he had bargained to have only a size bigger than his normal, and a soft cashmere sweater he complained about but secretly loved.

A few of Dudley’s unworn shirts, several of his well-worn muggle books, and a Firebolt later, and he was ready to go. The last things he needed were his album, cloak, and wand, which he always carried on him anyways and wouldn’t put into the trunk.

 

 

The three days passed in slow agony, with Petunia arranging their holiday in Spain and Vernon dealing with his company. Dudley, surprisingly, wasn’t being as horrible to Harry, asking him politely to help him pack, which Harry did gladly – he may have disliked his cousin, but he would go absolutely crazy soon with Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon too busy to order him about to do the chores.

Dudley wasn’t exactly kind – he didn’t apologize for his behavior or anything, but he told Harry of his plans to lose weight and how his boxing was going. Two days passed amicably between the cousins.

On the third day, when Harry was to leave and the Dursleys were to get on a boat to France, after which they would head by train to Spain, Harry woke up far too early – his watch said that it as only five in the morning. Dumbledore hadn’t specified a time, but he hoped the man would pick him up soon.

At seven, Dudley trudged down to the kitchen and Harry began preparing him breakfast. Keeping in mind the older boy’s diet, he set a bowl of fruit and an egg and spinach omelet in front of him. He was too nervous to eat himself, however, and instead nervously cleaned the sparkling kitchen. He didn’t want there to be any excuse to not allow him to leave immediately.

It was eight o’clock when Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon came down. Harry prepared their breakfast, glad that Dudley was distracting his parents from their freak of a nephew.

Around ten, there was a knock at the door, which Aunt Petunia rushed to answer. Harry stayed back in the kitchen, in case it wasn’t the Headmaster.

“Ahh, Petunia. Is Mr. Potter ready?”

He could practically hear his aunt’s pursed lips. “Headmaster. Come in, will you? I’ll have the boy fetch his things.”

Seeing the very eccentric headmaster in his aunt’s boring, oh-so-normal hallway almost made Harry laugh. He tugged his trunk forward, patting his pocket to feel his wand and cloak.

“Hello, headmaster. How are you?” he questioned politely as the older man shrunk his trunk
“Quite well, Mr. Potter.”

As they walked down the street to leave he wards, Harry suddenly realized that he had absolutely no idea where they were going. “Um, excuse me headmaster, but where exactly am I staying for the rest of the summer?” He hoped it wasn’t at the Burrow, knowing Ron’s jealousy would soon flare up. Maybe he would let Harry stay with Sirius?
“Ah, you will be staying at Hogwarts for the remainder of the summer. I am afraid that Sirius is rather busy with the Order and the Weasleys are going to be in either Egypt or Romania for the next month and a half. Professor Snape and our new Defense professor will be watching you.”

Harry’s stomach turned at the thought of Snape, but hopefully the new professor would provide some sort of buffer – and in any case, he knew Hogwarts well enough by now to avoid being found. He nodded. “Professor, I know you don’t have much time, but would it be possible for me to do my school shopping now rather than later in the summer?”

Albus smiled genially at the boy. “Ah, yes, of course Mr. Potter. I have a meeting with a few informants of the Order at the Leaky Cauldron this afternoon. It will take me a few hours and you will be safe in Diagon Alley. You may do your shopping then. Here is your supply list.”

“Thank you, Headmaster.” They stopped in a small copse of trees at the end of Privet Drive. Dumbledore offered Harry his arm, which the boy took; he Apparated them to the Leaky Cauldron and nodded his goodbye to Harry with instructions to return by six o’clock. Harry quickly gave his assent and headed down the soon-to-be crowded street.

 

 

Gringotts, being owned by goblins, didn’t have the typical hours. They were open day and night, a fact which Harry was glad of. It meant that at this time in the morning, there weren’t many other patrons and Harry could get help immediately. He spotted a goblin he recognized and walked up to his station.

“May your vaults fill with gold and your goblet never empty, Griphook.” The goblin looked up sharply but replied accordingly.

“And may your enemies tremble and your hearth be warm, Mr. Potter. How may I help you?”

Harry looked at his feet and then around the empty bank. “Um, well, you see. My friend, Neville Longbottom mentioned that the House of Potter was Noble – or something. The thing is, no one has ever told me about this. I was wondering if possibly I could have an inheritance test done and have someone go over my accounts with me?”

Griphook leaned forward, his gaze sharp. “Do you mean to say that Albus Dumbledore has never informed you of your duties? Because if that is the case, the Goblin Nation has much to discuss with you.”

Harry was confused. What did Dumbledore have to do with this? “I...No! What would the Headmaster know of this? And he’s never told me of any duties – I didn’t know I had them.”

Griphook hurried around the high counter and pulled Harry into a back office, shoving him into an armchair. “Wait here. I must fetch Ragnold.” Before the teen could say anything, he was gone.

Ten minutes later, he stood and bowed slightly as Griphook came in with a senior goblin, repeating the greeting. They all sat, Griphook and Ragnold behind the ebony desk and Harry in his previous seat.

Leveling a look that would have terrified another man at him, Ragnold began confirming what Griphook had obviously told him. “Albus Dumbledore has never informed of your duties or inheritances?”

Harry shook his head. “No, never. We’ve never talked of my family or the ways of the magical world.”

“How did you know that greeting, then?”

“Oh, my friend Hermione – she’s brilliant. She gave me a few books about wizarding and magical traditions.”
Ragnold nodded and pulled out a sheet of parchment and a small knife. “Please, cut your palm and allow the blood to drip onto the parchment.”

Harry frowned at the goblin – he knew how important blood was in the wizarding world, and how dangerous it could be if in the wrong hands. However, not having much choice, he cut a line into his palm and allowed his blood to spill. Harry handed the knife back to Ragnold and watched as skin knit back together as though it had never been touched

Black script began flowing across the page, almost like water. The whole process may have only taken five minutes, but the results would change the course of his life.

 

 

 

Albus glared at Umbridge, no trace of the grandfatherly old man in his cold blue eyes.

“It was simple, Dolores. You were to order Dementors to Little Whinging so the brat would be discredited. But no. You couldn’t even use your vileness to your advantage and get those beasts on your side. And now I have a Boy-Who-Lived who isn’t spouting off about the Dark Lord and isn’t even attempting to fight against him. I had to order Dursley to beat him more and then come in like a guardian angel. And now due to your incompetence, I have to give up two of my most useful spies to watch the little bitch.” He shot a Crucio at the woman, reveling in her screams and whimpers of pain. Thank Merlin for silencing charms, because he still had six hours before the boy would return and he planned to use them to the best of his advantage.

 

 

 

 

Harry walked out of Gringotts angrier than he had ever been in his life. The man he had trusted, had loved, had looked up to! Betraying him like that. He had blocked his intelligence and magical core, as well as his creature inheritance. Glad for his previously latent Metamorphmagus ability, he thought over the drastic appearance change he had gone through during the unbinding ritual the Goblin Nation had performed for him. He shook his head and walked over to a small cafe tucked between an apothecary and an antique shop. Ordering a plate of fish and chips along with a glass of milk, he pulled out the results of his inheritance test and the records of his holdings and accounts at Gringotts.

 

Name: Hadrian James Potter-Black

Mother: Lily Margaret Potter nee Evans

Father: James Charlus Potter (birth)

Sirius Orion Black (Blood-adopted at birth)

 

Magical Inheritances:
Neko (Black Family)

Metamorphmagus (Black Family)

Natural Occlumens and Legilimens (Selwyn Family, Evans latent line)

Wings trait (recessive) (Potter Family)

Incubus (recessive) (Potter Family)

 

 

Magical and Mental Blocks

Parseltongue (broken 1992) (placed by Albus Dumbledore)

Metamorphmagus (broken through ritual 1995) (placed by Albus Dumbledore)

Creature Inheritances (broken through ritual 1995) (placed by Albus Dumbledore)

Intelligence/Mental Blocks (broken through ritual 1995) (placed by Albus Dumbledore)

 

Heir to Houses

Black (through both fathers)

Selwyn (through mother’s latent line, last heir)

Potter (father)

Carrow (blood-adopted father, unless direct heir produced)

Peverell (father)

Gryffindor (father)

 

He stared at the parchment in disbelief – most of it he already knew, however, seeing put down on paper like that was an entirely different thing. There was nothing he could do about it right then though, so he slipped the sheaf of papers into the protected pouch he had purchased from Gringotts. He dug into his food, savoring the grease and salt which was a far cry from the stale fare he received from the Dursleys.

Hadrian – which he infinitely preferred to Harry – thought out his day. It was only noon, and he had six hours to return to the old goat. He absolutely needed a new wardrobe, no matter how much he disliked shopping. Ragnold had spoke to him, telling about a few of the duties he had as a Lord. He couldn’t emerge into the world right now, but he did need to prepare for the eventuality. Next, he needed to make a trip down Knockturn Alley to gather a few artifacts not available in Diagon Alley. He needed knowledge and while Hogwarts was decent for practical, he could now see the huge gaps in their curriculum. Any knowledge he could acquire would help him in his revenge against the Headmaster.

Chapter Text

Hadrian finished what he could of his meal, wanting to begin his spree – there really wasn't another word for what he had planned. After tipping the waitress, he slipped off through the crowds to Knockturn. He needed a new wand – his holly worked, but no longer felt right to him. His magic felt like it would simply burst through it if he continued to use it, and he wasn’t going to Ollivander. Some whispered instinct in the back of his head warned him off from the man at the moment.

The Alley was dark, even in the middle of the day. It almost seemed as though the occupants had spelled the air so people would be warned off. He shook his head, snorting at the stray thought as he traversed the shadows in the direction of the small shop Griphook had “accidentally” mentioned in his presence. It was tucked between what appeared to be an apothecary and an animal emporium that was far darker then Eyelop’s. Ignoring both, Hadrian pushed open the splintering door. He was immediately hit with the sensation of magic – pure and unadulterated. It was Light, Neutral, and Dark all mixed up into a miasma that fascinated him.

During his internal reveling, he didn’t notice when a tiny witch emerged from what he assumed was a workroom.

“Hello, dear,” she whispered. Hadrian still jumped like a startled cat.

Embarrassed, he tucked his hair back and let out a low purr to calm himself – not that he was aware of his feline reactions. “Um, hello. I – well. I went through some...changes...and was directed to your shop. Because my wand doesn't work, you see – well, it works, but it doesn't seem to feel right to me and oh, you understand, don’t you?”
Her nutmeg eyes were crinkled at the corners and her face creased like old parchment as she grinned at him. “Well, dear, I do happen to know what you just babbled at me. My name is Adha. Now, let’s see the current wand.” He gladly handed the holly over and began looking around the plain room. There were a few holsters and wand cleaning kits, but he knew that the shop wasn’t here for casual purchases – the magic alone told him that.

“Well, I can see that this used to work for you, but it definitely won’t anymore. Come to the back – my wands are pre-made like Ollivander’s. Those are good quality, true, but they aren’t really attuned to the individual needs of the wizard or witch.”

She pulled aside the heavy curtain that partitioned the space, leading him into the cluttered back. The air was warm and smelled rather unpleasant, though the feel of magic made up for it. It swirled through the stale air, never stagnant. Gasping as it caressed him, he pushed it away. That would definitely need to be looked into – he had never reacted to the latent magic of any environment, even Hogwarts.

“You’ll start over here, love, with the wood. You may have one or two, but no more. You’ll know which ones are calling to you.”

Hesitantly, the young Neko approached the wall covered in bins full of sticks that seemed to be in no particular order. Almost absently, he chose the two woods. It was odd that he had taken so little time, when his previous wand had been a hassle and a half. He handed the slim branches to the woman and waited for her direction.

“Cores now, darling. Over there, everything but the liquids. And be careful! None of those are cheap.” Hadrian bowed his head in acknowledgment, brushing over the objects that cluttered the worktop.

It was relieving that the wood hadn’t taken much time at all, because the cores seemed determined to hide from him. Growling lowly, he set to digging carefully through the piles to what was calling to him. Deep at the bottom he found a small bottle, containing a tiny golden feather, no bigger than his pinky finger. He glared at it for a moment, unimpressed with his result, before clutching it closer and going back to the search. He plucked a dried white flower from what appeared to be a corsage and turned to Adha. He studied the two objects, uneasy. Something was missing, but there was no pull from anywhere in the shop. Twisting a loose strand of hair around his fingers, he tugged at it a bit harder that expected. The cores felt complete when the few strands joined them.

“Bastards,” he mumbled, knowing full well there was no point in it. He crossly handed over the items, glowering. “I don’t even need a wand, I can do wandless magic easily.”

The woman, though an unimpressive three inches taller than him, drew herself up and leveled him with a glare to rival Snape’s. “You think a wand is only a tool, do you? Wandless magic is all well and good, but it is draining. A wand, a true wand, connects to your core and strengthens it, multiplying your power tenfold. It is a reflection of your past, present, and future. It knows your core, your affiliation, and your goals. It is the only thing that will ever be truly loyal to you and you alone. Remember that, child.”

He felt uncomfortably warm and knew he must be red. “I’m sorry, Adha. I shouldn’t have said anything.”

She huffed, deflating. “It isn’t your fault, child. I would much rather you had said something and be set straight than gone on thinking yourself all high and mighty because of an inheritance and a power boost. Truly, while you have power, you are nothing.”

Adha then turned to her worktable, settling out the amalgamation of supplies. Hadrian stared at his feet, a feeling of tightness in his chest.

He wasn’t anything. His mother had been the one to defeat the Dark Lord. The Dursleys hadn’t given a damn about him – not that he cared - so the first time he was shown any kindness he immediately became a slave to Dumbledore. He had defeated Quirell, a Basilisk, and other dangers, but he hadn’t had a purpose. They meant nothing to him – everything in his poor excuse for a life so far was done only to survive another grueling day. His friends were fickle and he was no better, brushing off his education and his power.

“You know, child, this wand...is totally unique. Of course, no wands are totally alike, but you see a few patterns – certain cores work well with woods, woods react in certain ways to binders, and the like. But this…rowan and hazel aren’t a totally unheard of combination. They represent intelligence, an intimate connection with death and the Otherworld, a willingness to learn, and a thirst for knowledge. Valerian, the flower, represents you readiness – you are going forward, into a new world you know nothing of. Your hair – the hair of a magical creature, willingly given is rare and increases the wand’s loyalty to you as well as its strength. This feather, is extremely rare. I’ve had it for over a century. It’s a phoenix feather from the time of burning. You will rise up, child, passed everything that is thrown at you. You will see the rise and fall of those who think themselves invincible.” She cleared her throat. “Well, that will be 25 galleons. Choose a holster and a cleaning kit from the front.”

He passed over the gold and accepted the black box. “Thank you, mistress,” he murmured, slightly distracted, as he walked back into the showroom.

Adha smiled sadly. That boy was starting a new path, totally alone. Hopefully his wand would stay loyal and prove itself as more than a tool. He would need a companion.

 

 

 

His wand completed, he went to attend other business in Knockturn. If he was to embrace his heritage and his new path, he needed to investigate Dark magic. Stepping into Borgin and Burkes, he was aware of the seductive power that swirled through the musty, stale air. Eyes traveling over the collection of cursed objects and Dark artifacts, he waited for the proprietor to step into the light.

When the greasy, grizzled man limped forward into the light, Hadrian was shocked by his appearance and glad he had thought to use his Metamorphmagus powers The man, while never very attractive, was looking particularly worn down. His sallow skin had taken on a grey cast and he was balding further. Though his encounters with the man were never intimate or up close, he could tell the man was suffering.

“Mr. Borgin,” he cooed, letting his voice slip into a crazed cant. “You’re not looking well. Ill, are we? Or is the Ministry coming down on you again?”

The man glared and coughed. “Bit a both. What are you looking for, now?”
“Mmmm...just browsing. But tell me, do you have anything...particularly interesting in stock? One-of-a-kind, worth-fortunes types of goods, not your usual cursed amulets and such.”

The man looked at him suspiciously. “Well, there have been a few...interesting items to fall into my custody. However, I don’t think they’re exactly in your budget.” He gave Hadrian’s plan robes a glance.

With a wickedly sharp grin, Hadrian brushed his hair out of his face, allowing the Black lordship ring to flash in the low light. He knew that with his Bellatrix-esque features the man would come to his own conclusions. He was right – the man went from gray to the color of old parchment. “Are you sure your all right, sir? You look a bit peaky.”
The man jumped about a foot, surprising for his age. “Fine, fine. Now, about those things...Well, I have this set of books, but the language has been lost – many think its an ancient form of Mermish...” He bent down and pulled out a dust-covered box. Hadrian immediately leaned forward, his eyes widening. That was not Mermish, not by a long shot. He recognized it from the Chamber of Secrets – it was Parselscript.

“How much are you asking for these,” he asked softly, not betraying his excitement.

“Well, just by the quality and the almost pristine state, combined with the rather interesting writings...five hundred galleons for the lot.”

He nearly balked at the price, but he knew that a find like this was rare. “Have you informed any other customers of this find?”
“No, not many can afford them and I wouldn’t want it to be known I had such valuables.”

“I’ll take them – and with a twenty five galleon tip for your silence,” he hissed lowly to the man. Eyes widening, Borgin quickly wrapped and shrunk the parcel. Hadrian handed over his gold with a nod.

He left the shop unnoticed, sliding between two burly men who must have been part troll. He wondered if they were related to Crabbe or Goyle. Hadrian didn’t want to linger in Knockturn any longer than he had to – there were more chances for trouble that way, none of which he needed – at least not now.

Edging around the corner, he could see the fanciful streets of Diagon and was about to make a run for it when he heard a chillingly familiar voice. His eyes darted to the man who had just passed him, and unsurprisingly didn’t recognize him. That voice...he had heard this man at the Dark Lord’s resurrection. Rookwood, Sirius had guessed him name was after hearing Harry’s description.

“Malfoy,” the plain-looking man hissed rather loudly.

“Augustus. Fancy seeing you here,” came the dulcet tones of Lucius Malfoy. “How may I help you?”

“I have some information our Lord may be interested in. The...thing he is seeking in the Department of Mysteries...it’s being guarded by Dumbledore’s men.”

“Thank you, Rookwood...I shall inform our Lord of your discovery.”

“I...Malfoy, when...when will the full Outer Circle be summoned? And...our members who are...incarcerated...do you know of any plans?”
Hadrian watched as Malfoy’s elegant figure shoved Rookwood against the wall. “Careful, Rookwood. While you are in a good place currently, the Dark Lord will eliminate you if you continue to question him. And yes, he shall learn of your disobedience. I am unfailingly loyal to our Lord.”

“No! Lucius, please, I didn’t mean it like that...please, Lord Malfoy, I would never question our Lord...no, not me,” the man whimpered.

“Hush now Rookwood, and return to your post. The Dark Lord shall deal with you,” the blonde spat at him, throwing the much plainer man to the ground before stalking off, his cane clicking elegantly against the cobbled street.

Circling around Rookwood and leaving Knockturn, Hadrian knew that it was time for him to leave, before he was the one encountering Death Eaters instead of Lucius Malfoy.

Chapter Text

Clutching his rather contraband purchases tightly under his cloak, Hadrian quickly walked to a trunk shop; while he wasn't a prat like Draco, he could see that his unprotected, secondhand trunk was not going to keep anything of his secret and he wasn't willing to try his hand at specialized charms right then.
The shop was just how he remembered it – there was a showroom, where most Purebloods or travelers got their trunks, and a cramped back room that held only a few varieties, mainly made for Hogwarts students. He ignored the more popular room and greeted the burly salesman with a courteous nod.
“Hello there lad. What can I help ya with?"
"Hello, sir. I find myself in need of a trunk – something more protected – more specialized than my current one. Could you show me a few of your models?"
"Of course. What kind a thing were ya thinking of?"
"Well, I need it to be more portable and have storage for a larger wardrobe, as well as books and potions."
"So, sounds like you would need something with about four compartments – potions and such, books and school stuff, clothing, and a library compartment. With shrinking and featherlight charms, as well as maybe a few security measures."
Hadrian smiled at the larger male. "That sounds exactly right, sir."
"Any particular colors, lad?"
"Well….black. Any fastenings in a bronze color. Nothing too...um, flashy, you know?"
"Good choice, good choice. Now, wait out here, lad. I've got to apply the charms fresh so they're strong and then do the colors quick. There's pretty simple instructions for care and upkeep if ya want ta take one of them parchments over there. It'll be no longer than a minute or two."
Soon enough he had his trunk and was ready to leave and get on with the less serious part of his trip, which was taking far less time than he thought. It was only around two, which gave him three hours until he had to meet the Headmaster at the Leaky Cauldron, where he presumed they would be eating.
His next stop would be Taffeta and Tails, where he could reveal his creature status and get specialty items that wouldn't impede his movements. While he would mainly just alter the regular clothing he got at Madame Malkin's, he knew it would be important to have some proper formal robes and pajamas that would accommodate his supposed natural form.
The shop wasn't overly crowded, seeing as Britain wasn't exactly the most friendly towards people who showed their creature heritage. A petite female bounced up to him, her elongated ears and gossamer wings indicating her fae status.
"Off with the glamour now, darling, I can't measure what I can't see," she chirped at Hadrian, skipping a circle around him.
He focused on his core and allowed the rather annoying ears and tail to come out. Surprisingly, they weren’t actually a dominant trait in Nekos. Most apparently didn’t have them and even if the appendages were present, natural glamours hid their presence.
She nodded and a measuring tape came to life and began snapping around his body while a quick notes quill recorded his measurements.
Rather than spending time nitpicking over color schemes  and trim, he simply told the fae to choose deep, cool greens and blacks for his dress robes – while he was unsure of the Weasleys – who were huge Dumbledore supporters – role in his betrayal, he did now by now that green suited him. The girl looked thrilled at the opportunity and he was glad to give it to her; none of the robes in the shop were overly ornate or tacky, so he knew he would be satisfied. As with the robes, he also couldn't be bothered with choosing pajamas – after all, who would see him? He soon left the shop, only a few galleons lighter.
As much as he disliked muggles with their bigotry, he did not want to wear robes his entire life. Therefore, he went to the well known shop of Madame Malkin; while he had robes suited for his natural form and Twilfitt and Tattings would ensure he could fit in to Purebloods circles, Malkin's had a rather expansive muggle section and they were fine for casual robes. Though a bit annoyed with the tedious undertaking, he went back to his faux form and went for a fitting. After a far more invested endeavor, he had several muggle suits, button ups, and slacks. Not one for formal wear, he also was fitted for some pants, mainly in black or blue denim. A pile of t shirts, a rather boisterous complaint about Purebloods from a tall man, and a flirtatious witch later, he burst into the alley, disgruntled.
"Damn women, damn headmaster, damn blood traitors,” he hissed, not noticing his watcher. He slipped into Slug and Jigger's Apothecary and began selecting Potion’s ingredients. He knew there were ready made kits for Hogwarts students, of course, but it was safer to choose your own ingredients – where that knowledge had come from, seeing his previous ineptitude in Potions, he didn’t know.

“Alright... newt's eyes, unicorn hair and horn, dragon scales...this had better be humane...acromantula venom forty galleons an ounce damn...what can you do…” he mumbled, sifting through the freestanding barrels. Behind him, unnoticed in a dark row, were three men, surprise clearly radiating from their forms.

Hadrian sighed and twisted his hair up into a bun – though he knew he should have kept it shorter this summer, he was now glad that he hadn't, as he could now easily lengthen it a few inches without any notice. It felt better when it was longer; if he had to live with his father's unmanageable mane, he may as well tame it a bit.

He felt eyes on him as he drifted to the back of the store. While making no outward signs, he made ready for an attack. Whether an enemy or an admirer, he had no desire to be cornered. Bending down to view the live ingredients, his eye was caught by a long black snake –some sort of cobra, if he had to reference muggle zoology –though he doubted any cobras had completely white eyes. It raised up, hood flaring out.

~The young one is being followed~

Lowering himself to the serpent's level, he spoke low in his throat. ~Can you see them, beautiful? Speak low~ He had always kept his ability hidden and had no desire to reveal it to his watchers. There had been a close incident in second year, but Professor Snape had kindly taken care of that problem.

Rearing up further in shock, the cobra hissed unintelligibly before calming ~Yessss speaker, three of them, two dark and one fair~

Hadrian grinned and opened the cage, reaching in to seize the reptile ~Well, darling, if I get you out of here will you protect me from them?~

~Of course master~

~Do not let them know I speak. I wish to keep it...unknown~

As he passed the place where his newly acquired pet had indicated, he sensed a hand reach out. With a hiss, the cobra lunged and attempted to bite whoever resided there. Not wanting to be mistaken for prey, he didn't interfere too closely, tugging gently at the sleek body. Taking the hint, the slender creature worked around his neck with an obviously warning hiss. Hadrian's glimpse revealed a familiar head of long platinum hair. Walking up to the front with his purchases, he wondered who Malfoy’s companions were.

“Hello, ma’am,” he spoke to the shopkeeper.

She smiled cheerily. “Hello, dearie. Find everything you needed?”

He sent a rather pretty grin in her direction, causing her to blush. “Yes, I did. I also made a selection from the live ingredients.” He set the snake on the counter for her to view. Unlike his expectations, she didn’t startle, though he noticed she was reluctant to touch the serpent.

“Well, you’re all done there, darling. That’ll be 75 galleons and two sickles, please.” Hadrian passed the money over and collected his box, settling the snake in his empty pocket.

After a small purchase at Scrivenshaft’s – where his companions didn’t follow – he made headway towards Flourish and Blott’s, where he expected the lion’s share of his money to go.

Stepping into the shop, Hadrian winced. There were several soon-to-be first years stumbling around and shouting as though they had never seen Diagon before. He would have expected Muggleborns to be the most rambunctious in such an environment, but they were mostly clinging to parents or shop attendants, mouths agape. He walked to the tired proprietor, already exhausted.

“Hello, welcome to the shop. How can I help you?” the harried man asked, clearly worn.

“As much as I like blowing my eardrums out, I sadly have other matters to attend. Does your establishment have an owl-order catalog I could purchase?”

The man perked up, a look of understanding on his face. “Oh, of course, sir. All you have to do is buy the catalog – which now updates as we get stock, neat little feature, that – and then send in your order by owl with your money. We gather up your selection and wrap it up – all the featherlight charms and such, to ensure the owl can carry it, and then you get your purchases. The catalog costs five galleons and sixteen sickles.”

Hadrian smiled disarmingly at the man and handed over even more of his money in return for a thick book bound in blue leather. Nodding, he tucked it in the pocket of his cloak next to his trunk of purchases. He would simply owl-order his schoolbooks through the forms.

He wondered if Malfoy and his companions would confront him. Deciding to give them the opportunity, he stepped into a quiet side street and made a show of straightening his cloak and checking his watch. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the three taller men, but before they could approach he heard a very familiar voice.

“Harry? Is that you?”

He looked up to see his cousin, Silenius, blocking the entrance to the alley. Silenius was Petunia’s first son, who she had left to be raised by her aunt. Silenius was magical, like Hadrian – but he wasn’t Vernon’s son and he was illegitimate. His aunt, with her views on propriety, refused to raise her child. “Yeah, Sil. But it’s Hadrian, now.” He stepped into the blonde man’s arms and kissed him straight on the mouth – unusual for them.

Silenius held him close, black eyes clouding in confusion, though he didn’t pull away. Living in a well-structured family in France, he understood Hadrian’s strange ways with touch. “What’s this about?” he asked, nuzzling against the younger boy’s face. “Why are you even here?”
Hadrian tucked himself into his cousin’s chest. “I’m being followed – they won’t approach me now because you’re here. But if they think you’re my lover rather than my family...you’re less likely to get hurt. You know...with me being the boy who lived.”

Silenius made a small moue of understanding, before kissing him full on, blocking the street’s view of him. “They’re probably going apoplectic by now, darling. And I know you’ve gone through some magical change. Write me soon. I do have to get back to the shop – as good as my assistants are, I have several potions in stasis.” Hadrian nodded but didn’t let go – he knew that the Headmaster had no knowledge of Silenius, who had attended Beauxbatons. Silenius was the only one he could trust fully. The only one who would never leave his side, no matter the public perception of him.

 

 

 

Severus and Lucius looked at their glamoured Lord. Lucius had informed him of Potter’s presence on Diagon and Tom had wanted to see the boy – see if he was a threat. Seeing Potter not even glancing towards Quality Quidditch Supplies was a shock for Severus, but all three men were almost askance as Potter stopped in an alley to meet a much taller – and seemingly older – man with platinum hair. A meeting wouldn't have been so bad, but the boy was clinging like a limpet to his chest, clearly not wanting to leave him. They could see the man smile before kissing Potter soundly again and detaching himself. Potter rearranged himself and the blonde walked towards Mortis, Gloria, et Fortuna – a rather new Potions shop that Severus had actually praised.

“Well, we clearly won’t get any answers from Potter. Let’s go for his lover.”

Severus looked to excited for his own good. “Calm down, Severus. You might have an aneurysm,” Tom drawled. Severus glared and swept forward towards the shop.

Tom and Lucius stayed behind Severus for once; this was his domain and while they were both accomplished, they nowhere neared Snape’s expertise. The dour man stalked to the counter and rang the small silver bell. A rather upset looking attendant ran forward.

“Hello, sirs, how can I help you?” she sniffled, her voice thick.

“Is there a resident potions brewer on hand? I would like to speak to one.” The girl burst out in tears.

“Only Master….Silenius….in an absolutely foul mood, he is….snappy...just because I went into the backroom..t-to see...” She shook her head and gestured towards the door she had just come from. “Second on the left…”

Severus nodded and left the girl to her tears, pushing through the shop. He knocked on the workroom door and was rewarded with a string of curses.

“Damn it Marie, if you don’t leave me alone I’ll draw and quarter you!”

“I have never been called by the name Marie and am not willing to make the change,” Severus remarked. A put-upon sigh was heard and the door swung open. The man they had seen practically molesting Potter was standing in the middle of the room, looking quite dangerous in the slightly misty air.

“Come in then, and don’t touch anything. The other Marie has already botched three potions today.”

Severus glowered but the younger man didn’t back down. He sighed and rather than arguing with the young an, attempted Occlumency. He was firmly rebuffed. The platinum blonde smirked.

“You may as well ask. No answers will be pulled from my mind,” he informed Severus delicately. Snape nodded, intrigued.

“Your...lover. Who is he?”
The man went from slightly amicable to coldly enraged in an instant. The feeling of Dark magic suddenly became thick in the air. “Get out. Now. I don’t know who you are and I don’t care. But you have absolutely no power here. Leave.”
They left. But Tom had a feeling the blonde would be seeing them again.

 

 

 

Hadrian left his cousins arms and tucked his hood up. It was nearly five and the air was chilly; it was time for him to return to his Savior persona. He focused on how he knew he was expected to look and was soon ready to play Dumbledore’s puppet.

The Leaky Cauldron was crowded, full of people hungry after a day at the shops, but the Headmaster was easy to pick out, twinkling in the corner with a pot of tea. Hadrian allowed a bright smile to cross his face and settled across from the Headmaster. He knew he had to show his devotion for the man, no matter how it turned his stomach.

“How was your day, Headmaster? I had a lot of fun – thanks for taking me with you,” he chattered.

The blue eyes twinkled at him blindingly. “Oh, my day was definitely far more boring than yours. Order your food and tell me about your adventures. Didn’t get into too much trouble, I hope?”

Hadrian smiled bashfully, wishing he could gouge the man’s eyes out with his claws. “Well…nothing I couldn’t get out of.” The old man laughed as their food was placed down. “Well, I had to go to Gringotts to get money – I swear, it’s almost not worth it because of how the Goblins are, you know.” The man nodded, digging into his potatoes. “But at least it didn’t take long, so that was nice. Then I decided to get some ice cream – Mr. Fortescue is really nice to me, but he was busy today so I didn’t get to talk to him. I stopped at that little shop next to Madame Malkin’s to get some wand-cleaning stuff. Then I got my books – it was expensive, but I think I need to try a little more this year, because of my O.W.L.s – Mione says they're important, but I'm not looking forward to them, really. Oh, I saw Malfoy, the prat.” He glanced up at the headmaster. “Oh, sorry.” The man merely smiled at him, twinkle intensifying. “Well...and I had to go to Scrivenshaft’s – boring. The apothecary was boring, too. I went to Eyelop’s to get some stuff for Hedwig...I think that’s it though.”

The old man looked at him sharply. “No Quality Quidditch Supplies, my boy?”
Hadrian but on a sad expression. “No...it reminds me of Sirius...I miss him. He got me my Firebolt, you know, and my dad played Quidditch...so I just...” Albus nodded genially, a slightly sad smile on his wrinkled face.

Hadrian fiddled with the hem of his t-shirt, glancing up through his lashes at the Headmaster. “Ummm...once, well….the war is over...do you think you could speak to the Ministry about getting Siri cleared? So we could all be a family?”
Albus sighed, knowing that he had to say this – but the boy would sulk for weeks and get angry with him. “Harry, my boy, I know how you feel about Sirius...he’s all you have left, after all. But I need you to know that...just because he wasn’t the one to betray your parents doesn't mean he was not dark. His brother was a Death Eater, after all.”

Anger welled up in the boys chest and it must have shown on his face. “NO! No, sir. Siri is a good man!” The twinkle was gone now.

 

Albus had expected anger, but not this cold fury. He reached out to pour the boy a cup of tea, slipping a loyalty potion into in. He slid it across to him and watched as the boy drank deeply. A glazed look entered Hadrian’s eyes; unknown to the Headmaster, his heir ring had just gone cold, signaling an attempted poisoning.

“Harry, my boy, Sirius comes from a Dark family – an evil family. He cannot change that fact – he may be all you have, but I think it’s time for you to let him go. Forget about him. He didn’t leave Azkaban for you, did he?”

Hadrian ducked his head, angry that the man would deign to potion him. He acted complacent as he nodded to the Headmaster’s words, wanting to kill the man even more now.

“Come now, my boy, let us take our leave.”

He gripped the Headmaster’s arm with possibly a bit more force than necessary as they Apparated to the gates of the school. After ushering him into the entrance hall, Dumbledore bid his goodbyes, leaving Hadrian to his own devices.

Chapter Text

Hadrian was glad of the Headmaster’s abrupt departure; he was in no state to continue his charade. He quickly ran up the staircase, easily hopping over the trick steps. Soon enough, the Fat Lady came into view.

“Ah, I was informed you would be here! How are you doing, Mr. Potter?”

He smiled at the plump woman. “I’m fine, Mary. How has it been with Sir Cadogan? I know he was courting you last year.”

It was amazing that the paintings could actually blush. He grinned, wiggling his eyebrows as she swung forward, spluttering about nosy boys. He laughed and gently shut the door behind him, stepping into the common room.

The normally boisterous room was a lonely sight, with none of the twins’ creations or Dean’s artwork. However, as much as he missed his friends and the joviality, he was glad to have the space. Pulling out his holly wand, he lit a fire in the hearth as well as the braziers. When he turned to the boys’ staircase, he was surprised to see that rather than the spiral that led to the dorms, there were merely a few steps leading to an oak door. Assuming this was his room, he bounded up the steps and pushed the heavy door open.

He was pleasantly surprised at the sight that greeted him – rather than the usual twin bed, there was a practically enormous four poster, covered in a deep red duvet. The walls were the same rough stone as the common room, but the ceiling was lower with dark beams running across it. A wardrobe stood open, ready to be filled and if he wasn’t mistaken, there was an en suite bath.

Grinning, he shut the door behind him and pulled out his newly acquired pet.

~Hello, darling. I hope it wasn't too uncomfortable in my pocket~

~Well, I don’t really want to repeat the experience. But I’m alive. And I happen to be male, so stop with the pet names. ~

~I apologize. No w, you were being sold as potions ingredients and I didn’t necessarily stop to see what your species was or any car e instructions. Is there anything you need or prefer? I would like to keep you by my side but that is optional~

He hissed and curled around his arm, clearly seeking warmth. Hadrian settled in front of the fire and held the unnamed serpent close to his body. ~I am a relative to the King Cobra called the Cobra Vindicta. We are mainly used for venom in potions. If we don’t kill the foolish human first.~ He allowed a hissy chuckle out. ~And for starters, I would like to be unshrunk. Then fed.~

He pulled out his holly wand, not willing to test his new one out on a living creature, and cast Finite on the serpent. Seconds later, rather than a meter long animal, he was cradling a snake that was easily four time that.

~Well, that is quite the difference.~ He said dumbly, watching the writhing black coils settle into the armchair around him. Hadrian attempted to shift under him, but he was barely over a quarter of his length and most likely too skinny to even be considered for food. ~I suppose I’ll need to rethink rats for food, won’t I...What is your name?~

~Serpents have no need for foolish things like names. And if you gave me rats I would be forced to eat you~

~I don’t think I would make a very good meal. I’m too skinny. And you can’t go around nameless or everyone will think I have no control over you. I think it should go with my owl’s name – who you’re not allowed to eat, by the way~

He hissed in displeasure. ~Fine, no eating the featherball. And you may choose my name, you strange hatchling~
~I’m not a
hatchling. I’m near fifteen, I’ll have you know.~ Hadrian stated indignantly.

~Oh, well then pardon me. I’ll not get in your way; I’m afraid that I cannot bear your fifteen years of wisdom...hatchling~

Hadrian huffed, not willing to continue bickering with a snake. ~Anyway, how about Azazel for a name? He was what Muggles call a fallen angel, so once he was cast down from heaven he took on the appearance of a winged serpent. Plus, Hedwig is the name of a saint. So it’s fitting to have a demon.~

One baleful white eye focused on him. ~It will do.~

Hadrian wiggled his way out of Azazel’s coils and cast a heating charm on the floor; he didn’t want Azazel to be contained to the hearth by the freezing stones. Leaving the snake to bask in the fire glow, Hadrian set his trunk at the end of the bed and unshrunk it with a tap of his old wand. He was getting tired of using the holly for even menial tasks, but he didn’t want to overpower his spells immediately. Using the lesser powered wand would force him to control his core until he could learn some proper techniques, he assumed.

The trunk was chock full of his purchases, something he was rather glad about. His previous trunk, which had been left at the shop, was barely ever half full. It was nice to see a fully packed trunk for once.

It was easiest to put away some of his clothes first – mainly just his everyday clothing and robes – he doubted he would be wearing formal robes anytime in the near future. All his schoolbooks were tossed onto the bed in a heap to be organized later, as well as the Flourish and Blotts catalog. The potions ingredients were delicately place on the desk – the containers were charmed to be unbreakable, but he wasn’t going to test his luck and end up covered in pickled frogs’ eyes.

He had made the investment of a large set of crystal containers, which apparently retained the natural properties of the ingredients while sealing them from external magics. Though he was pants at brewing, maybe this year would be better – he could retain the theory without Dumbledore’s magic interfering and use his knowledge to brew more efficiently and understand the interactions between ingredients. He carefully moved the rather disgusting components into their jars, labeling them with his wand as he went. When he was finally finished, he had several dozen neatly labeled and sealed jars and was covered in drippings. A shower was clearly in order.

He wandered into the en suite, expecting a scaled-down version of the dorm washroom, which had several shower stalls and a separate toilet room. It was far more similar to the prefects’ bath, with a shower cube tucked in the corner and a sunken tub in the middle of the floor. A linen shelf held several fluffy white towels and a toilet sat behind a half wall. As much as he craved a soak in the tub, he was skeptical about the depth – he was five three, and though the lighting and water may be deceiving, he wasn’t willing to test his meager swimming skills in the seemingly bottomless tub.

His cloak had been cast aside in the bedroom, leaving him in his cousin’s cast-offs. He wold never have to wear those rage again, he thought vindictively as he ripped the faded, holey hoodie over his head. Soon, he was naked, with a pile of burning rags at his feet. With his eyes fixed and his glasses off, he could already be a different person, but when his James-clone facade faded away, he was unrecognizable.

Harry might have been tan and strapping, but Hadrian wasn’t. He was three inches taller, standing at five foot five if he was being generous. All the inheritances and potions in the word couldn’t reverse the effects of fourteen years of abuse, so he was always going to be shorter. His skin was pale, with only a light golden tan dusting the bridge of his nose and a bit of his forearms. He wasn’t as muscular, more lean, and far too thin. His hair wasn’t the espresso bird’s nest his father’s had been, but it took after Sirius’s and his mother’s – it was long, just below his shoulder blades, and black. Rather than rough and straight, sticking up everywhere, he had rather riotous curls that were silky smooth.

His hands were still rough from manual labor and Quidditch, but his fingers were more delicate – his entire body was streamlined and lissome rather than lean and wiry. While his body was drastically different, his face didn’t even resemble his birth father’s.

Hadrian was far more feminine – and he didn’t know how to feel about that. On one hand, he had more of a glimpse of his mother. ON the other, he was a man and didn’t want to be thought of as weak or fragile because of his delicate appearance. He didn’t treat women any different if they had proven themselves, but he knew others tended to pander to the fairer sex. His lips were fuller and a bit pinker, and a bit pouty; his jaw, which had been full, was now narrow and his chin rounded instead of lightly clefted. His eyes were the same shape and color, but because of his narrower face and fuller lashes, they stood out far more intensely.

Shaking his head, Hadrian turned away from the mirror and turned on the shower. He collected a set of clothing while the water warmed, doing everything in his power to not look at his body. There was no point in worrying about things he could actually change if he felt the need to.

Hot water was an absolute no at the Dursleys – for him at least – so Hadrian took his sweet time in the steam, only emerging when his skin was bright pink. Thanking the house elves mentally for the cool air, he dried off and dressed. Even after the whole clusterfuck of a day, it was only eight o’clock. He couldn’t focus enough to sit down and order books, so he decided for the next best and headed to the library.

 

 

The Headmaster sat behind his grandiose desk, contemplating the future. The boy was coming along perfectly and would die in a heartbeat for any of his friends, just as Albus had planned it.

At times he felt guilty. Who was he to play the role of a god, to decide who lived and died and by whose hand they were to go on to the next great adventure? But he knew that he truly was a superior being. He had discovered the Deathly Hallows and he knew he was powerful enough to become the Master of Death. He was intelligent and had some of the most powerful positions in the world, and if he didn’t have the position, he had influence over the holders. That was not happenstance. James and Lily had trusted him with their son, and he had the right to do with the boy what he wished.

A knock of his door jostled him from his thoughts. Bringing up his slightly batty guise, he popped in a lemon drop and bade his spies to enter.

 

 

Severus felt exploited, having to deal with the machinations of the crazed old man and the vain fury of Lucius Malfoy. He only hoped he would get through this meeting alive. He knew that the headmaster’s discriminatory rants would cause the part-Veela to lose his temper; Occlumency could go only so far and he was only this good after fifteen years of dealing with the man as well as his Lord during the times of insanity.

He grabbed Lucius’s arm in a tight hold as they prepared to knock. “Bring your strongest shields up immediately. And do not. Lose. Your. Temper.” The blond glared at him and pulled away, straightening with a deep breather before knocking elegantly.

 

 

 

Lucius steeled himself, ready to act as he needed to – like one of the supposedly reformed sycophants that normally licked Dumbledore’s feet. He had been commanded by his Lord to join Severus in the role of spy and would not fail him again; he, of everyone, knew that his actions after that Halloween night did not show his faith in their cause very well. He would prove himself to his Lord or die trying.

 

 

 

Immediately as they walked in, The Headmaster was assaulting their minds, wanting information about the latest Death Eater meetings. Having steeled themselves, they quickly pushed images in front of their walls – they showed the pain of the Crucios, the snake-faced visage of their Lord, and finally a private meeting.

 

Their Lord paced in his study at Malfoy Manor, Nagini hissing ominously around his shoulders.

“The Potter boy...there is no hope for him?”

Severus was the one to speak, his voice even yet subservient. “My Lord, he is firmly in Dumbledore’s pocket. He would never turn away from his friends, even if he lost faith in the Headmaster. He doesn’t believe himself strong enough to be a leader and won’t attempt a coup with them. I am never the most optimistic, but there truly is no hope.”

 

Albus looked perturbed. “He was looking to…recruit Harry? Even with the contents of the prophecy?”

Severus nodded. “Albus, he is descending further into his insanity. He believes nothing, thinking it is all machinations on your part. Unless it is told to him by Nagini or he can verify it himself, he is doubtful. If he believes someone is lying about even the most simple of things, he will Crucio him. He barely trusts Lucius and I anymore.”

Lucius stepped forward, speaking for the first time in the meeting. “While he...distrusts us, we have an insight into him that no other can claim at this point. I think you should be worried about the Potter heir. The Dark Lord is obsessive and though Severus and I attempted to dissuade him, he will not let the matter go so easily. I wouldn’t presume to tell you what to do, but perhaps allowing the boy to see his little friends will...enchant him more to you. I know that isolation isn’t preferred by young ones.”

Albus shook his head. “No, the boy has too much on his plate already. I think a summer to fully acknowledge his duty will serve him well.”

Severus could see the barely contained anger in his old friend. A quelling look had the Malfoy patriarch calm once again. With a headache brewing, he began the ending rituals with the headmaster, which included many snide comments and several refusals of tea and sweets.

 

 

 

Hadrian gave up on his search for information. Not only was his concentration shot, he didn’t know what he was doing and he was exhausted. With Hermione always hovering, the constant adventures, and Quidditch, studying had taken a back burner and he had never truly learned how Hogwarts library worked. There was a spell you could us to search for things, but he didn’t know it and didn’t even really know what he was looking for.

Normally he loved Hogwarts, but when you had to traipse up four staircases, avoid poltergeists, and remember trick steps, he wondered who in the world had allowed the castle to house children. When he finally reached his room, he was too exhausted to care that Azazel had taken over half of the bed. He merely stripped to his y-fronts and slipped under the duvet, Azazel wrapping around his warmth. For the first time since June, he slept soundly.

Chapter Text

The next morning was peaceful; though Hadrian woke before sunrise, he was well rested. He had had no nightmares and his Uncle’s snoring hadn’t been there to rouse him. The room was perfect, due to magic, he was sure. The air was cool and the blankets thick, providing a perfect nest for him and Azazel.

Absently stroking the snake’s head, he mulled over his situation. He was here for the next seven weeks or so, which could be good. While Snape would be there, he had an entire castle to avoid the man and he could use this free time to read up on his heritage. Casting a lazy Tempus with his holly wand, he decided to get dressed. While it was only six, he assumed breakfast would still be served at quarter to seven and if he could manage to avoid Snape, all the better.

Shifting his sleepy snake into his spot, he rifled through his wardrobe and pulled out an outfit. Since he had vindictively burned his most presentable rags, he was going to have to actually choose a decent outfit. When he was wearing all shades of washed-out grey, it didn’t matter, but now he had to be a bit more careful.

Hadrian didn’t really know where to start besides his undergarments. He chose some black jeans and a grey tee after that – new clothes didn’t mean he was suddenly a fashionista. Uncomfortable with the new outfit, he pulled out an old brown corduroy jacket of Dudley’s. It wasn’t horrendously ugly or very worn, but it cover him from neck to just above his knees, which was exactly what he had been aiming for.

His hair was a second thing he was clueless about. He had dropped the appearance of James; though the Metamorph abilities were his naturally, they did put a constant strain on his magical core. He knew that his aunt used elastics to put her hair up, which seemed far easier than Bill Weasley’s method of a leather thong. Snagging a bit of left over twine from one of his parcels, he transfigured it into a hair tie.

It turned out that there was a bit more technique than he had thought. Eventually, he ended up with a passable ponytail that was a bit higher than he had intended – it turned out that long hair on your neck was just as annoying as short hair.

By now he was starving and ready for breakfast. Slinging his jacket on and putting on a pair of boots, he left Gryffindor tower and prepared to face Snape. Wrestling with self-consciousness and hair didn’t give him the luxury of a solitary meal.

The Great Hall was nearly empty, with all the house tables pushed off to the side. The smaller table that was taken out during the holidays was placed in the middle and set for three.

At the table, seated across from one another, were Severus Snape and Lucius Malfoy. Shock ran through Harry; Malfoy had been in the graveyard last month. He was known as one of the Dark Lord’s greatest supporters – why would he be here, trapped into watching him in Dumbledore’s domain?
Rather than going with his loudest instinct of an outburst, he embraced his Slytherin side, merely shut the door behind him, and walked forward to the only available seat. He wasn’t eager to sit next to the Malfoy lord, but it would be rude to purposefully move his tableware away from the man.

“Good morning, Professors,” he said, surveying the spread. While he was hungry, he couldn’t go from the Dursley’s fare to this; yesterday had been enough to make him queasy.

Snape glowered at him. “Potter. While you are here, you have rules. And you must follow them.”

Malfoy actually interrupted his dour counterpart. “Good morning to you, Mr. Potter. I trust you’ve settled in well?”

Hadrian had a difficult time containing his laughter at Snape’s death glare. “Yes, I did Professor. Thank you for asking. If I may ask, what are the rules you and Professor Snape have devised for me?”
“Eat first, then we will discuss the rules. They aren’t particularly difficult.” Hadrian nodded and poured himself a cup of tea, only adding a bit of milk to it. Spotting his favorite fruit medley, he dished up a bowl and began picking at it, trying to avoid further conversation with Malfoy. Snape wouldn’t talk to him politely if it was life or death, so it was only blond he had to worry about. Luckily, he seemed engrossed in his paper.

Hadrian could have forced himself to finish his plate, but he would have a steady supply of food here. There was no need to force himself. Sipping his tea, he waited for either of the men to finish their reading. He took the time to sense the innate magic of Hogwarts, which he had never noticed before. There was a light thrumming that went through the castle. It was exhilarating, but he somehow sensed a sadness in the castle, like it was tired and was barely breathing – which made no sense, because castles couldn’t breathe.

“Mr. Potter?”
Hadrian perked up. “Oh, sorry. Can we talk about the rules now?”

Lucius nodded and began explaining his guidelines, all the while observing the boy’s barely eaten food. “You must be in the castle by nine o’clock and in Gryffindor tower by midnight. No leaving the grounds or entering the forest. Both Severus’ and I’s private quarters are off limits to you, though you may come to us if you are in need of something you cannot acquire or don’t have. Do not do too much damage to the castle please.” With one last glance down at the boy’s plate, he added a last minute rule. “All meals are at the normal times. You must attend at least two.”
Hadrian nodded, uncomfortable with the man’s scrutiny. He really didn’t want every moment of his time here to be observed. Saying his goodbyes, he stood and hurried back to the tower, where he was safer.

 

Lucius picked up the boy’s fork and moved the remnants of his food around.

“You know there is an entire dish of that, don’t you, Lucius?” asked Severus snarkily. Lucius glared at him.

“I’m not going to eat it, bastard. It’s just...he ate too little. Draco would have eaten five times this amount.”

“Draco is also quite a bit larger than Potter.”

“Yes, and about that. I suppose he may not have had his growth spurt yet, but he’s barely bigger than a third year, he’s paler than he was even a month ago, and though he was well covered, he is too thin.”
Severus frowned. “Why are you so concerned about Potter? Our Lord ordered us to observe the boy, not mother him. He’s resourceful.” He pondered the boy a bit. “But...maybe it is something. He was more polite and reserved – he used to wear his heart on his sleeve, but today he was practically emotionless. That isn’t how Potter acts.”

“Well...as much as I hate inaction, we cannot do anything without informing our Lord first.”

 

 

Hadrian was haphazardly tossing his textbooks into a pile. Just as he was about to leave, he saw Hedwig balanced on the window sill, a letter in her beak. He immediately opened the window, letting her in

“Hey there girl. Come for a visit, have you?” he cooed, stroking her feathers while he untied the letter. She nipped his ear and was about to settle down when she spotted Azazel. With a shriek, she dive -bombed the serpent, her talons ripping at his scales. Azazel reared up and lunged, barely missing Hedwig.

~Azazel! Stop! She’s just protecting me!~

“Hedwig! He’s not harmful! Come here!” The bird looked incensed but grasped his shoulder. “I’m sorry, love, I should have told you earlier. He protected me from some men in Diagon and I agreed to buy him.” Hedwig hooted balefully but hopped down onto the sheets and began investigating Azazel. Determining him safe, she settled into his coils and went to sleep.

~I won’t have to worry about you, will I?~

~No~ he hissed sleepily. ~Let the featherball stay. She’s warm. And I’m fed. But if she attacks me again I will eat her.~

~Thanks Aza. Are you good here? I’m probably going to be gone all day, in the library.~

~Fine. Go. Leave me to sleep.~

Hadrian grinned and stuffed his books into his schoolbag, followed by the F&B catalog, Hedwig’s letter, quills, and ink. He gently set his new wand on top; he hadn’t even removed it from the box or looked at it, not wanting to draw unwanted attention.

He hadn’t expected Malfoy or Snape to be in the library, obviously, but he had never really seen it this empty during the day. Unpacking his bag onto a secluded table, he began his study session.

His first instinct was to just start pulling books down and read until his eyes fell out, but the library held thousands of books, most of which weren’t totally relevant. Instead he collapsed into the chair and unrolled a piece of parchment. His quill inked and ready, he began writing out a list of questions he needed answered.

 

What exactly is the war about? Voldemort wouldn’t have gotten so far on his anti-Muggleborn campaign

Dark? Light? AD mentioned Sirius’ family being Dark

Who fought against the death eaters? Ministry seems useless

Why is AD so powerful? Grindelwald? What is a Dark Lord? Are there Light Lords?

Why do so many dislike Muggleborns?

What has been the Potters’ stance? Pureblood, but not very traditional it seems.

 

That seemed good enough for now. He needed to learn some etiquette, he knew, but that would have to wait until he could see Neville again. Lady Longbottom seemed like the type to teach it well and Neville definitely showed it if he wanted to. Pureblood customs weren’t really written about – it was just assumed that children would learn it from their families.

He went over to Madame Pince’s desk – she wasn’t there, but he was sure that something could show him how to search for books. There wasn’t exactly a Dewey decimal system in the magical world. Shifting through some pamphlets, he soon found one labeled The Spells of Study: Magics to Aid You On Your Quest for Knowledge. He brought it over to his table and opened the parchment. There were twelve spells in total, a few of which he knew. Wingardium Leviosa was useful for carrying and returning books, Scourgify to clean the work area or any messes, Accio to summon possessions and needed items without disturbing area, Lumos to provide adequate reading light, Reparo to fix any tears, and Diffindo to easily separate parchments. The other six were unknown to him and he marked those with his quill, ready to try them.

The first one was described as a spell used to search the library for general topics. The incantation was Requaere followed by the subject. The second and third were similarly used to find keywords – Verbiere followed by the words – and to find possible related topics – Pertinere followed by the subject. A slightly less useful one was Transendum Patria, which translated any language into the language inserted after Patria. Ordinatio used keywords and context clues to organize notes into separate piles and Etserva made documents impervious to any elements.

Ready to use his new wand and figuring that the protections on the books would prevent too much damage, Hadrian opened the slim black box and laid his eyes on the wand for the first time.

It was fifteen inches long and a pale grey – he assumed that was a result of the basilisk venom, since the woods themselves had been warmer in tone. It was thinner than his holly, and straighter too. The handle was intricate, with snakes weaving around the top to create a ridge that separated the main body from the grip. The pommel bloomed into a flower – a lily if he wasn’t mistaken. Other than that, it was a very simple, yet beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

He raised it into the air, watching sunlight play off the smooth wood. There was an anticipation in the air, like the castle was waiting for him to cast.

“Requaere Grindelwald,” he breathed. A rush went through his body, hot and fast, pushing through to his wand. It wasn’t a tool – it was a part of his magic, his very bones felt the connection. A pale blue light flared along the spines of the books he would need. Lowering his wand, he gasped as the rush died down from a flood to white water; it was there still, so powerful under his skin, but faded, like it was waiting to be let loose.

An almost manic grin crossed Hadrian’s face. His magic had never responded so smoothly. Raising his wand even quicker this time, he shouted out, “Accio!” Without even stating his wants, the books that had been marked by his other spell flew from their places and stacked neatly on the table. Cackling, he rushed over to the books; they were stacked neatly and from what he could tell, were all relevant to his search for Grindelwald.

Suddenly, he remembered the letter his faithful owl had delivered. He sat once again and pulled it towards him. Flipping it over, he saw the Headmaster’s familiar purple ink. After it had been fiercely ripped open, he began to read.

 

Dear Harry,

I forgot to tell you a few things, my boy. Please forgive an old man’s brain – it simply isn’t as strong as it used to be.

I will not be residing at the castle for the remainder of the holidays; dark times are approaching and I must prepare those who will believe in me. During the last war, there was a group of individuals I led against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. They were called the Order of the Phoenix and your parents were members. I led them valiantly against the forces of evil and every single one of them was brave and good.

I am preparing the Order – both new members and those returning – for the battles that are to inevitably come. I would ask that you refrain from contacting your godfather and friends – they are being trained for the coming battles, or will be training.

Though I am apologetic, I cannot divulge the location of headquarters at this time. I ask that you mind Professors Snape and Malfoy.

Sincerely, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

 

 

Snorting, Hadrian threw the letter across the table. Of course the old man couldn’t tell him anything. And why were his friends being trained and he wasn’t? Wasn’t he their supposed Savior? At the very least, it answered the questions of who fought Voldemort.
Moving on from the man’s manipulations, he glanced at the books he had around him. Not extremely eager to begin readin after the letter, he picked up the catalog and skimmed through it. He chose a few he knew were elective textbooks, like Numerology and Grammatica, the Spellman’s Syllabary, and the rest of his textbooks for the year – he would be taking potions, DADA, Charms, Transfiguration, and Care of Magical Creatures. He had gladly dropped Divination after a horrendous first year.

It was unfortunate that he couldn’t sign up for other classes. Self-study it would be, then. Glancing at his list, he decided to just buy books he might need – he could research history and such in the library, but he couldn’t check anything out and he would use his spellbooks in the tower as well.

Lupin had covered magical creatures fairly well, but he hadn’t every mentioned anything about creature inheritances, so Hadrian selected a few books that looked promising; Nature’s Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy, The Practical Magical’s Guide to Inheritances, Nekos: Habits, Terms, and History, and Tales of the Tail: First-Hand Accounts of Being a Creature in Magical Britain. He knew that there were books in one of his vaults – he would have Griphook send some if he remembered.

Most of his other books were specialized spellbooks, so he could learn a wider variety of spells. To help with his planned self-study, he also stocked up on supplementary texts. Once that was done, he folded the order sheet in an envelope with a few galleons, and set it to the side. The next thing he did was write Griphook; he hoped the Goblin would understand his circumstances and take pity on him. He also asked to have a family tree sent to him along with any personal journals or family grimoires in his vaults.

Having ignored his original purpose for long enough, Hadrian began searching for Light and Dark, as well as the wars. By the time he was done, he was glad he hadn’t planned on reading his schoolbooks. The table had stacks of books – several on Grindelwald and Muggleborns in wizarding society, but far more on Voldemort and the wars. There was only one even mentioning affiliation and he had had to sneak into the Restricted Section to gert it.

 

 

Many hours later he was exhausted and angry. He had missed lunch and it was nearly dinner time and he had gotten through most of the books – it turned out that having correct vision and magical aid made reading and comprehension way easier.

He could understand Voldemort’s stance now. Muggleborns didn’t honor the traditions that balanced magic, which was in turn creating less powerful wizards. Purebloods, in an effort to conserve magic, were interbreeding and not getting enough new magic or blood. All the while this was going on, Dumbledore and his fanaticism was throwing the balance of magic totally off – children with Dark cores were not able to learn magic that suited them. And it turned out that while Dark magic could be very violent, so could Light. No magic was safe in the hands of those who would use it for evil.

Huffing, he packed his bags and sent the books back to their spaces. Fueled by his rage, he didn’t even notice that Snape had been in there. When he was back in the tower, he roused Hedwig and gave her the letters, then went down to dinner, where malfoy and Snape were already seated. Without a word, he served himself a small portion of the pot roast and potatoes, pouring a glass of milk into his goblet.

 

 

Lucius shot a look at Severus. While the boy had impeccable table manners and wasn’t being rude, there was a drastic difference from that morning. There was no smile or inquiring eyes, and he didn’t even bother with polite conversation. And again, he ate far too little for Lucius’s comfort. Even Severus looked a bit perturbed.

There wasn’t enough to go to their Lord, but if the boy continued like this, it wouldn’t be long. Either way, a letter would be on it’s way to Riddle Manor that night.

Chapter Text

He was gasping, shoulders and head against the mattress, his hands clutching at the headboard, while a faceless man held his hips above his head and fucked him from behind. Hadrian moaned and pushed back onto his lover, thrilled when the man moaned and started up a more vigorous rhythm. One large hand released its bruising hold on his hip and wrapped around his hard cock, providing him pleasure he currently couldn’t give himself.

The man shifted him easily, so Hadrian was sitting in his lap and riding him slowly.

“Yes, that’s it...Oh yes, Hadrian...faster, just a little...”

He immediately rode the man as he wanted, pushing his dick up into the large hand while moving his arse along the man’s length – which seemed considerable.

 

Hadrian woke up with a jerk and a moan. His sheets were sweaty and his cock hard; a bit groggy but very desperate, he pushed his pajamas down, gasping when the band of his underwear dragged over the head.

He grasped himself at the base and stroked quickly up to the tip – wrong idea. He had never been so sensitive when touching himself. Hadrian whined and loosely wrapped his hand around the middle of his shaft and rolled his hips upwards. That was perfect. Within a minute he was collapsed in his bed, cum splattered on his stomach.

Hot shame washed through his body. He had never thought about a man while touching himself...but he had never orgasmed that intensely either. No dream he had had was ever that...realistic either. He had never even been kissed, but somehow his mind could conjure up explicitly filthy images of men. He wasn’t gay.

With a huff, he cleaned his sheets and made the bed with a flick of his wand. He spent at least half an hour in the hot shower, scrubbing himself down repeatedly. He knew that what he had done was wrong. The Dursleys hadn’t liked him, but he had heard the lectures right along with Dudley. Vernon’s words rang in his ears.

 

Homosexuality is a sin; faggots are devils sent to this Earth by God to test those who would claim to be virtuous. Allowing yourself to be touched by another man is tantamount to bedding the Devil,” the man huffed, glaring at them both. “You, freak, you’re abnormal as it is, you’re more likely to fall for the temptation of lying with another man. You’ll not do anything of the sort, not under my roof, or you’ll be burned at the stake like you should already be.”

Harry shrunk away from his uncle, vowing to never contemplate another man. It would do him no good, not in this house.

 

Azazel slithered into the shower. ~Why are you ashamed? I can smell it on you~

~I...had a dream I shouldn’t have had Aza~

~I could smell your arousal, Master. But that is normal for hatchlings of your age, you know that right? Even I, who hate humans, knows this~

He couldn’t believe he was talking to a snake about this. ~I know that it’s normal but I was dreaming about another male. My relatives always told me it was a sin to think about that kind of thing~
~Under all your magics I can still smell the abuse, you know that right? Why are you judging yourself on their standards when they clearly don’t care for you?~

Hadrian sobbed. ~I mean, I know that but it still...I just feel like...dirty. What if I’m totally messed up?~

Aza’s now warm coils wrapped around him. ~Little speaker, you are a good person. You saved me from a pitiful existence, you are kind to your featherball, and you are fighting for your friends. And besides, same-sex couplings are very common in the wizarding world, even in magical animals. You will not be persecuted here – well, not by most.~

~Will you come down to the Great Hall with me?~ Hadrian asked in a small voice as he attempted to dry Aza’s body. The serpent hissed a positive and avoided the towel. Giving up, he went to choose his clothing for the day.

Again, he wore the jacket – not just as comfort, but to allow Aza something to curl into. It wasn’t easy, carrying twenty feet of snake, but he had cast a featherlight charm. With his book bag over his shoulder, he went down to the Great Hall.

If he could have taken a picture of the professors’ faces when he walked in wrapped in a snake, he would have. Snape forgot to glare as his coal-black eyes widened in shock. Malfoy dropped his fork back onto his plate and gulped, appearing sick. Hadrian, rather than laughing, merely sat next to Lucius and chose some toast and porridge, offering bacon to Aza, who ate it happily.

Malfoy cleared his throat and went back to his food. Hadrian looked up with a blank smile as Hedwig fluttered down and settled on his shoulder – well, more accurately Azazel’s coils. He relieved her of her shrunken burden and tucked it into his bag. He fed her more of the bacon, alternating between her and Aza.

By the time he was done with his meal, Snape almost looked like he had worked up the nerve to talk to him politely. Before that could happen, he cheerily waved. “I’ll be in the library all day mostly – don’t worry, Azazel and Hedwig are house-trained.” He got a hiss and a nip for that comment but laughed it off.

It was time to finally read up on his heritage.

 

 

Right after Potter had left, the mark burned on their forearms. With an undignified clatter, they rushed to Severus’s chambers, which were closest. It was easier to Floo into the manor than leave the grounds to use Apparition. They were soon in their Lord’s study.

Tom looked irritated. “The Potter boy. Have you gotten any more insight into him?”

Lucius nodded. “Yes, my Lord. He...is far more polite than he has ever been – quiet, too. From what I can recall from the past year, he has gone through a dramatic appearance change.”
“I would have to agree with Lucius, my Lord,” Severus drawled. “In June, he was only five two or five three – he’s at least five five now. His hair is much longer now and where he used to be tan from that infernal sport, he is pale. He resembles Sirius Black more than he does James Potter.”

Tom looked a bit confused. “Five five? Isn’t that a bit...short?”
Lucius nodded. “And he’s extremely thin – it doesn’t help that he doesn’t eat, either.”

“He eats, just not much. And his appetite seems to have increased.”

Lucius snorted. “He spent more time feeding that snake than he did eating.”
Tom’s head shot up. “Snake?”
Severus rubbed his forehead. “Yes, snake. A Cobra Vindicta, though I’ve never seen one so large. It is at least twenty feet – I don't know how the boy keeps a hold of it or where he got it.”

“The apothecary yesterday. They usually keep large animals – especially snakes – shrunken to reduce the damage they can cause if freed,” Tom murmured. “Has he been...speaking to either of you?”

“No. And it’s not surprising. Neither of us are on particularly good terms with the boy.”

Tom sat in his chair; it seemed that the boy would remain an enigma. Minutes passed as he thought over the boy who was apparently his equal in power. He had recently stopped acting on the prophecy – after all, that was what would complete it. But he payed attention when it declared Potter his equal.

“Lucius,” he stated, startling his followers. “Bring me your son. Now.” A flash of fear crossed the blond’s face, but he dutifully left, returning with his son.

“Severus, Lucius, leave us. I promise that no harm shall come to the boy.” He could see the men’s reluctance – after all, this was their son and godson. And he wasn’t known to be tolerant of children. However, they left, leaving the boy with him.

He didn’t seem to be afraid – wary and careful, yes, but not afraid. He looked remarkably like Lucius – other than his mother’s chin and soft eyes. Draco bowed slightly to him, bringing him back to the present.

“Draco. Please, sit.” He summoned an elf, ordering tea. “It is difficult to believe that you are already fifteen – turning sixteen in November, yes?”
“Yes, my Lord,” he said evenly, pouring his tea with no sign of shaking.

“You will not be marked until you are at least seventeen – and even then, it will be at your own discretion,” he clarified, assuming his reason for wariness. He was correct; the tension released from his shoulders was obvious. “However, I do have a task I wish for you to complete.”

Draco looked curious. “What is it?”
Tom smiled slightly, sipping his tea. “Harry Potter. He is in your year, isn’t he?”

A sneer darkened the boy’s face. “Yes.”
“You have problems with him?”

A look of contemplation crossed his face. “I mean...I want to say yes, because Potter and I somehow always end up fighting...but no, not really. It’s his friend, Weasley. The youngest. He’s a blood-traitor, like his parents, and thinks all Slytherins are evil or some codswallop. He insults us and obviously we retaliate. Potter steps in when it gets too bad. But really, Potter himself is decent. He doesn’t sabotage anyone’s work and he’ll help younger Slytherins if they need it – especially the Muggleborns or half-bloods, since they don’t know the school as well. And to be honest, I don’t think cares for Weasley after he abandoned him last year. But they stay friends – I think – mainly because Potter knows how bad he would be if there was no one to curb him.”
Tom nodded. “Potter has changed. However, neither Severus nor Lucius are exactly in his good graces. I want you to make peace with Potter; find out what happened and if possible, his view of the Light side.”

Draco shifted in his seat. This could be good. Potter was powerful, and should the Dark Lord ever go insane again, he would be friendly enough to get his mother and himself safe. “I’ll do it, my Lord.”
Tom nodded and dismissed the boy. It was time for Potter’s secrets to be revealed.

 

 

 

It was nearly eleven when Hadrian was finally disturbed. Looking up, he saw a blonde reading his notes of Grindelwald. However, it wasn’t Lucius. It was Draco Malfoy. Ignoring his first instinct to draw his wand, he cleared his throat.

“Hello, Malfoy. Did you need anything or are you just trying to decipher my notes?”
“Did you never learn how to write with a quill, Potter? This is atrocious,” he drawled, a hint of teasing in his voice.

“No, actually. It’s been trial and error since I got to Hogwarts. That’s the best I’ve managed as of yet.”

A frown rumpled Malfoy’s forehead. “What? I mean, what did you write with?”

“Muggles have these things called pens. Or pencils. They just have the ink in them and it flows out through the tip as you write. Pencils are sticks with bits of this mineral in the middle – it’s called graphite. It leaves marks on the paper.”

“Muggles?”

Hadrian grimaced and pushed out a chair. Malfoy sat. “I grew up with my mother’s sister. Obviously she’s not magical. She...well, she disliked my Mum and didn’t want me to go to Hogwarts. She hid it from me for a long while.”
“Wait, how did you find out then?”

“Oh, the….headmaster,” he said, a bitter look crossing his face. “Sent Hagrid with my letter. He told me about the Dark Lord and how my parents had died.”

“WHAT! That...that…he’s not even a real wizard! He couldn't have know anything useful!”
Hadrian laughed, though it was not a joyous sound. “Oh, but he could indoctrinate me to the fact that all Slytherins are evil and how Gryffindor was the only place to produce real wizards.”

“Potter, if you grew up with muggles...then...do you know about your family? Your standing?”

Hadrian looked into Malfoy’s face. He didn’t exactly know why he was trusting him, but some instinct was telling him that Malfoy was safe. “I just found out a few days ago, when I went to Gringotts. I suppose it’s good that my parents locked down all vaults but my trust in their will, otherwise I don’t think Dumbledore could have kept his paws out of my fortune,” he whispered, tapping his quill against the table. “That’s what this is all about. I need to learn about the world I have power in. The Weasleys are obviously no help and it’s not like Ron or Ginny have bothered to write me.”

Draco didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure why Potter was trusting him, but he could tell that it was the truth. Not knowing what to say, he simply pulled out the chair next to him. “Come over to my side. Being able to write properly will help you.” He watched the thin face light up in a dimpled grin as Potter shifted his quill and parchment over.

Extending the offer on a whim, Hadrian put his small hand out to Draco. “Call me Hadrian, please.”

Draco grinned and took his hand. “Draco, then.”

Hadrian laughed. “It’s only four years too late, right, Draco?”
Dinner that night was a rather amusing affair. Hadrian took his customary seat next to Lucius and Draco sat across from him. When they had walked in with Aza in Draco’s arms and Hedwig balanced on Hadrian’s head, both Lucius and Snape had looked shocked. When they had chattered easily throughout dinner, the older men looked almost sick.

Hadrian truly enjoyed Draco’s company. He was smart, but was willing to explain things rather than point him to a book, like Hermione was wont to do. He could have talked to Draco for hours, but an uncomfortable-looking Lucius informed them it was nearly curfew and Draco needed to leave.

 

 

 

Hadrian once again took up residence in the library; it was surprisingly lonely without Draco. Rather than continuing his increasingly upsetting search into Grindelwald, Dumbledore, and the wars, he was reading one of the books Griphook had provided from his family vault.

 

One of the many creature inheritances, Neko are rather rarer than several of their counterparts. There are only a few families that have this inheritance and only one in Europe: the Potter Family.

The Potters, like many of the Ancient Purebloods families, interbred with creatures many centuries ago, when it was a source of pride to have creature blood in one’s family. Andrew Potter I, born in 1530, married Himari Akiyama after she fled Japan following the massacre of many wizarding families. Her brothers remained in Japan and are the ancestors of the two families that carry the Neko gene in Japan. Following their marriage, they had a son and a daughter, who died in infancy. Their son, Hiro, did not present any characteristics of the Neko heritage. From then until 1953, there were only four who appeared.

 

The Akiyama families of Japan kept their main features of a tail and ears – they are visible at all times and require specialized glamours to hide. Due to the persecution in Britain, the Potter inheritance has adapted so that the appendages are recessive – there in an extreme instinct to hide them and they can only be brought forward when the Neko feels safe – usually around close family and friends.

 

One of the most interesting features of Neko are their reproductive habits. They have no allure, like those of Veela or Sirens, and choose their mate themselves. There is an intense interest in those powerful enough to protect them, but the Neko must feel safe emotionally as well as physically to choose a mate.

Males who come into this inheritance lose their ability to father a child, but instead their magic creates a womb so they may carry and nurture their own. Pregnancies last nine months and most symptoms are the same of a naturally pregnant woman. The births are more delicate, but mainly because the Neko will only want their mate attending the birth and may become upset at the presence of a healer.

 

 

When Draco walked in, Hadrian’s face was flushed pink.

“What’s wrong, Hadrian?”

As the raven looked up, his mouth opened and he licked his lower lip. “Oh, it’s nothing Draco. Really!” he insisted at the Malfoy heir’s look.

Draco sprawled next to him and tried to take the book. Hadrian hid it, blushing even harder. His over-large shirt had slipped off his shoulder. As Draco reached across his body with a grin, they suddenly found themselves in a compromising situation.

Hadrian gasped as the length of Draco’s torso pressed against his own, warm breath fanning over his lips.

Draco was having a hard time controlling himself – his Veela inheritance was urging him to explore the boy’s body, even though Draco himself wasn’t interested in men. Unable to hold back any longer, he delicately kissed Hadrian’s pink lips. The boy immediately moaned a little bit, which went straight to Draco’s cock. In an attempt to curb his instincts, he pulled Hadrian up into his lap, so the boy was kneeling over his hips; he was so much shorter that with every movement he was practically grinding against Draco’s erection.

His dominant Veela perked up when Hadrian opened his mouth a bit and one small hand captured the back of his head. He reciprocated by tasting Hadrian’s mouth and rolling his hips hard up against the smaller boy, who whimpered and responded tentatively. His Veela was purring with happiness that his lover seemed so submissive. He pulled away, moving to the pale neck in front of him. Hadrian’s head lay on his shoulder and the boy kept up a constant stream of moans and pleas as he rocked his hips and clung to Draco.

“Oh, please….yes, more,” he cooed, spurring Draco into taking his loose shirt off. He keened when Draco’s mouth descended on his sensitive nipple; the other nub being stimulated by agile fingers. He couldn’t do much more than focus the rolling of his hips right up against where he could feel Draco’s hardness. Soon enough they were gasping against one another as they came in their pants.

Hadrian’s blush just increased as Draco, fully dressed and looking sated, took in his post-orgasmic bliss. Draco grinned at him.

Chapter Text

Draco sat nervously in the Dark Lord’s study. The man was finishing paperwork and had asked Draco to wait for him – of course, he was going to, one didn’t refuse the debatably sane.

It would have been different if he had just talked to Potter and helped him with his penmanship and research. But no, he had snogged him within an inch of his life, and very explicitly appreciated the other male’s debauched looks. And then, rather than leaving it at that, he explained his Veela side. And gotten the boy off again, this time undoing his pants while Hadrian’s pert arse had frotted insistently against his own erection.

He twitched when the Dark Lord sat back, finished with the reports.

“So, Draco. How have these past two days gone? Lucius informs me that you spent the majority of your time with Potter and seemed friendly with him.”

Draco composed himself. “Yes, my Lord. I believe everything went….well. I found out some very surprising things about Potter. I think that maybe it would be easier if you use Legilimency?...it’s a long list and mother wanted me home for tea.” Not to mention he could hide the memories of Hadrian behind his Occlumency shields without having explicitly lied to the Dark Lord.

Surprised, but not angered, Tom met the boy’s eyes. While he didn’t need to use the incantation, he did so anyway, hoping to relieve some of his obvious anxiety. “Legilimens.”

He was in the Hogwarts library. Draco approached Potter and said something teasing about his handwriting. Potter’s response was calm, if a bit defensive. There was a confused question from Draco..

 

The memory plays on

 

Trying to control his anger, Tom was about to leave when he sensed another memory – it was hidden, and Draco did not want it to be seen. His anger getting the best of him, he dove into the boy’s mind, easily bypassing his shield. This memory was unlike the other – it was far more emotional and from Draco’s view rather than as a third person.

 

Potter was under him, holding a book out of his reach. Suddenly, they were kissing. A moan from Hadrian shot to his groin. He was above Tom now, lithe hips pressed tightly to him. His mouth was open now and he could taste the warm, sweetness that was Hadrian. He moved from mouth to neck, intent on leaving a mark on the exposed collarbone. Hadrian begged him for more and then the smaller male’s shirt was off; Tom moved down to his nipple and appreciated how the boy gasped and pushed down harder on his erection.

Hadrian was half naked in his lap, light marks blooming on his chest and his lips swollen. His pants were wet, but it wasn’t unpleasant, not with the view. He cleaned them both with a flick of his wand…

 

The scene changes…

 

It couldn’t have been much longer – Hadrian was still blushing. As he reached up to grab a book, Tom pulled him close, making sure he could feel his erection. Hadrian glanced back, his blush intensifying. He whimpered as Tom’s hand undid his belt, pretty green eyes glazing over.

Tom continued to jerk off the boy and they were both nearing completion when Lucius’s voice called out for them. Rather than stopping, Tom’s hand moved faster as Hadrian bit his lip and rolled his arse harder against him…

 

His first instinct was to Crucio the blushing child in front of him, but he calmed himself. “I don’t recall asking you to molest the boy, Draco,” he said mildly.

He enjoyed watching the blond stutter for a while before dismissing him. “I don’t care, you learned what I needed. Leave, and send your father and Severus to me. You have permission to go to Malfoy Manor.” Draco couldn’t help but notice he didn’t say anything about returning to Hogwarts.

 

 

“Did either of you know this?” Tom raged at his most loyal.

While both were pale, he had never seen such a sickly color on either countenance. “No, my lord,” replied Severus faintly. “If I had...you know of my oath. I would have protected the boy. Done something. Even now, I can feel the bond straining.”

Lucius nodded. “We now know how far the headmaster has gone to keep him in the dark. But...Severus, Lily’s sister. I know she disliked magic and Lily...the boy is small and skinny, neither of which were Lily and James...do you think?” He didn’t want to voice it – none of them did.

Severus went grey. “Merlin, no...” he breathed, horror crossing his face. There was no way...the brat might be insufferable, but no child deserved that.

Tom was frozen. Was it possible that the boy had been abused? It would have made him malleable – he was kind, not cold like Tom. “Leave. Severus, I want you to prepare potions in the event that the child might need them. Lucius, if you can find any sort of records – medical, Ministry, I don’t care – I want them. Now leave.” They bowed and quickly exited. It was clear they had a lot to make up for.

Tom blocked his Floo and locked the door. He didn’t need anyone bursting in right then, not when he was so tense. He was angry and frustrated and still hard from the memories Draco had provided. Deciding to take care of the easiest problem first, he undid his belt and pulled his cock out. He was unbelievably hard – jerking off wasn’t exactly the first thing on his mind while planning world domination.

His head hit the back of the chair as his hand moved roughly along his shaft – there was no time for technique right then. Calling up the images of Hadrian, wanton and debauched, he was climaxing in less than a minute. Sprawled in his chair, gasping, he realized that he had just masturbated to a fourteen-year-old boy.

 

 

Hadrian was playing chess by himself – the pieces were good enough to play independently – when a nondescript owl fluttered through one of the open tower windows. Untying the parcel, he was going to get it a treat – but apparently it had no desire to stay. With a shrug he made a move and pulled the note off.

It was from Sirius.

Pup, I’m currently out of the country, doing some work for the order. I wasn’t sure when I would get the chance to send you your birthday gift, so I’m going to do it now. The headmaster doesn’t seem to think it’s okay for me to write you and Molly agrees, so this has to stay a secret. I love you. Stay safe and don’t reply. Snuffles.

His chess game didn’t seem so interesting now. He turned his attention to the box. It was smooth ebony, and only about the size of his palm. He undid the catch and opened the box.

It was a locket. The silver seemed to be a bit tarnished, but it was in wonderful shape otherwise. It was large and heavy, with Parselscript writing on the edges – he could make out something about ‘founders’ but it was blackened too much. Small rectangular emeralds adorned the front, forming as ‘S’ shape. Looking more closely, it was a snake. He picked up his wand and used Scourgify to clean the metal. Once all the tarnish was off, it was a slightly dulled silver metal, causing the emeralds to stand out even more. He clasped it around his neck and tucked it into his shirt. It was time for dinner so he would wait to examine it more closely.

Dinner was slightly less tense than their previous meals. He had left all animals in the tower and was chatting with Lucius about transfiguration when Snape surprisingly joined in. Hadrian had been wondering whether Transfigured potions ingredients would have the same properties as naturally harvested ones.

“I doubt it, Mr. Potter. A transfiguration can fail, after all.”

Hadrian nodded after a surprised pause. “Well, that and a transfiguration doesn’t fully change an item, right? I’ve been reading – I know, a surprise – and several books state that a transfiguration will only work on objects that have not been enchanted previously. So technically, it’s not changing any inherent magical properties the components of a potion would have. It changes the shape, the physical use. So – I mean, I'm terrible at potions but – wouldn’t the magical field a potion produces naturally reverse the transfiguration and just leave you with a mess?”
Snape nodded thoughtfully. “Yes, in theory it would just reverse the transfiguration. But I would not recommend attempting any such experiments. Without the transfigured ingredient – which, I assume, would temporarily work in the early stages – several other components would be able to react directly. You would most likely end up with an explosion the likes of which even the Weasley twins and Mr. Finnegan could not create.”

Hadrian grinned playfully. “Maybe if they were working together,” he suggested. Snape shuddered delicately.

“You seem far more invested in your studies that previous years, Potter.”
He could tell it was a fish for information but decided to humor the dour man. “Yeah, I...never really bothered with school, even in year one. Dudley didn’t like me to do better than him. And when I came Hogwarts...well, I didn’t know about magic til I was eleven. Plus it hasn’t been the greatest learning environment so far.” He rolled his eyes after that statement. Clearly, that was an understatement.

“Well, it seems to be taking. If I may suggest an area of study?”
What was his deal? Snape was being practically nice, which wasn’t exactly standard operating procedure for him. Hesitantly, he nodded.

“Occlumency and Legilimency. They are the arts of the mind – they help retain knowledge.” It sounded a bit boring, but if Snape was making the effort, then so would he.

“Are there any books you would recommend?”

A Beginner’s Guide to Occlumency and A Guide to Advanced Occlumency. Both are by Maxwell Barnett. They are both in the library. I would assume you can figure out the order in which to red them.” Hadrian nodded and continued to eat. The meal finished in a companionable silence, Severus and Lucius shooting furtive glances at the boy, trying to make sure he was eating enough. Though he cleared his plate, he hadn’t put a lot on it anyway.

Hadrian pushed his chair back, feeling unsettled by their watching. He didn’t know why Snape was suddenly being polite, or why they were watching him, but he didn’t like it. It felt like the calm before the storm.

Little did he know how accurate his senses were.

 

 

He was back in Gryffindor tower by nine, with the books Snape had suggested. After the strange dinner, he couldn’t read in the library without feeling jumpy. Following a quick shower, he settled in his bed next to Azazel with his newly acquired book. Opening it, he was soon pulled into the description of Occlumency and its counterpart, Legilimency.

Snape had an extraordinary talent for understatement. Yes, it would help him concentrate, but he would be able to control his emotions better and manipulate others if it came to it, without the use of any Unforgivables. He could build a safe place inside his head and destroy those who would attack him, something he wasn’t always capable of in the physical world.

Excited to begin, he marked his place and settled into the bed for the first step. You were supposed to calm your heart and clear your head – not think any conscious thoughts. When you entered your mindscape, it would usually be either completely dark or completely white. After that, you were to keep practicing until you could sink into your mind within a minute. He would then begin building a fortress of sorts – where he could store emotions, memories, and hide from attacks.

It took him several hours and many frustrated attempts to finally sink into his mind. Pushing his excitement to the background, he felt his heart stutter and slow down. He opened his eyes, expecting blackness.

He was in his cupboard. A perfect replica, other than the door. There was no door. He clambered out and looked around. The Dursleys’ attic was just as it was in real life – dusty and dark, other than a thin shaft of sunlight than poured in through a dormer. Tentatively, Hadrian walked over to the window.

No. This couldn’t be. It wasn’t possible. There were no cookie cutter houses out there, but ramshackle cottages. Brown leaves across cobblestones danced as children swung pumpkin buckets in their hands, running up to doors and accepting gifts of candy and chocolate. The sun was going down on Halloween night.

His heart seizing, he had an inkling of where he was. There were several pictures of the wreckage at Godric’s Hollow, and he could just see the corner of a blue shed off to the right….the same blue shed he had spotted in The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts.

He darted over to where the trapdoor was supposed to be, relieved that the location hadn’t changed. The hall he landed in was nothing like the Dursley home.

The floors were worn smooth by many feet, and padded by a thick red runner. Pictures in mismatched frames lined the walls. Rather than the family pictures he had expected, there were photos of Hermione, Ron, Neville…. Hadrian grinned when he saw a small snapshot of Fleur kissing his cheek by the Black Lake. They had become fast friends after that event – he also suspected she was using him to get relief from the males that fell head over heels because of her allure. Tucking it back into the frame, he wandered slowly down the stairs, noting how threadbare the runner was. It looked lived in, far more than the Dursleys’ home.

The kitchen was mostly Muggle – there wasn’t anything overtly magical, at least. Spying a cold chest in the corner, he opened it. The smell of rotten meat hit him and he gagged, slamming it shut. He realized they they were his memories of starvation and abuse; the books explanation was making more sense. The pictures were what he liked, what he wanted to be know. Other things were hidden, tucked innocuously away.

In his mindscape, when he though of questions, the answers – if he knew any – immediately came to him. Wondering about his seemingly finished mindscape, he recalled his inheritance test. He was a natural Occlumens and Legilimens; he wondered how he had not accidentally used the latter ability.

Stuffed full of comfy leather couches and knickknacks, the living room reminded him of Gryffindor tower. There was a framed picture over the mantle, one he recognized from his photo album.

Lily was sitting in the hospital bed, James squeezed in next to her, gazing adoringly down at a bundle of blankets – him. Remus perched by her knees and Padfoot was nosing the bottom of the bundle. Sirius had told him about the picture – Lily’s labor had been a bit difficult so she was in a smaller ward, where only one visitor was allowed. Remus, ever the Marauder, had convinced the mediwitch he needed Snuffles for emotional support. Peter hadn’t shown up – he was supposedly doing something for the Order.

Turning away from that image, he went back up the stairs. It was strange – the only memory he had of this path was through Voldemort’s eyes.

The door to his nursery wasn’t white like the others that lined the hall. It was bare wood, weathered like it had been outdoors for years. The knob was missing; there was only a lock plate that was far too ornate to be set on such a door. Gathering up his Gryffindor courage, he grabbed the gaping hole where the knob should have been and pulled.

Nothing happened.

Again, he tried it. Still, there were no results. Angry now, he huffed and stepped back. Should he go to Snape? The man might help him.

But did he truly want the professor in his head? Nope, not in this life time, especially considering what Hadrian had done with his godson. Which, to his embarrassment, was portrayed by a large framed picture in the center of the hall.

Determined to get through the damned door, he willfully grasped the door, braced both his feet, and pulled.

It shook, groaning against rusty hinges, but it opened. His hands were bloody from the sharp metal, and whatever was in the room seemed upset. He slowly looked up, fear traveling his body.

Hadrian James Potter-Black had never, in his life, seen such a thing. He fell forward, not catching himself. His world went black.

Chapter Text

Sirius Black was earnestly wondering whether his brother had had the right idea. Death Eaters, while having an astronomically stupid name, were never mucking around in haunted Albanian forests for jewelry.

Well, maybe they were. He didn’t fucking know. But it didn’t seem like a Death Eater-y thing to do.

Buckbeak – well, Witherwings, he supposed – shrieked behind him, clearly disgusted with their means of travel. Sirius glared. “Oh, shut it, will you? We can’t fly, we are searching a bedamned forest for a comparatively small object.” The hippogriff glared even more fiercely.

He enjoyed the beast’s company, he really did. But to be truthful, they both knew the Hagrid was the one he wanted. But the headmaster, rather than having a groundskeeper maintain the castle, was sending him off to the giants. Brilliant. Hagrid might be half-giant, but he didn’t have proper training or even a real wand. Sending him off to one of the most violent and brutal populations the magical world had to offer didn’t seem to be a wise decision.

Most of all, beyond terrifying forests, disgruntled hippogriffs, and meddling headmasters, he missed Harry. The only person he felt he had left. The boy had written him, his letters becoming increasingly more desperate as the summer dragged on. He could have dealt with that, if the headmaster was telling the truth when it came to keeping Harry’s location secret, but he was beginning to suspect that wasn’t the case. Why would keeping the boy away from the Wizarding World, where he could access his magic without Ministry involvement?

It wasn’t adding up. Dumbledore would repeatedly claim that he was the last link to Lily and James that Harry had, encouraging his support of his godson. The next day, he would turn around and sympathetically twinkle at him, stating, “My boy, twelve years in the presence of Dementors affects the mind in such terrible, vicious ways...I don’t think you are fit to be around him. Maybe when you are cleared a Mind healer can help you.”

‘When you are cleared’, his arse. He didn’t think that Dumblefuck had any intention of clearing him. Otherwise, he could have easily proved his innocence. Dumbledore had cast the Fidelus with him, yes, but he had also switched the Secret Keeper to Peter months before that fateful Halloween night. Even without that evidence, Albus had fingers in so many pies Sirius couldn’t count. He could have easily done something before he was even take to the Ministry.

Buckbeak’s head nudged him, drawing him out of his thoughts. Stroking the animal, he decided to sit for a minute. Pulling out an owl from it’s travel cage, he attached a shrunken parcel to it’s leg. Screw the headmaster, he was going to send his godson a birthday gift, never-mind that he was twelve days early. It was a locket that he had found in Regulus’s room while sorting through his brother’s things. He was supposed to be a parent figure for the pup, he knew, but with his slightly curly hair and green eyes, all he could remember was his little brother. It was almost like a second chance with Reg. He didn’t know what it was, but he had tested it for Dark magic, and while there were traces, he wasn’t worried. Everything in the house had traces of Dark magic. He threw the owl up, hoping the gift would cheer his godson.

 

 

Marvolo was confused. He knew the plans for the locket – create the horcrux and place it behind protections in the cave. So why on Merlin’s great earth was he feeling as though he was near another horcrux? It couldn’t be, however, because the horcruxes could communicate with each other when they were close enough and he couldn’t even make the slightest bit of contact.

Maybe it was one of the Inferi. Either way, there was nothing to be done. He sighed and settled back down.

 

Something was still bothering Tom. After his resurrection, he had created a horcrux in Nagini, just to ensure his continuation. It was his seventh time performing a rather unknown ritual, and that bothered him – something that had never occurred in this situation. So, he did what he did best (or one of the things he did best) and researched. It had taken a sojourn to Germany and a few Imperios, but he finally had gotten one of the only books written exclusively on Horcruxes.

And it was disturbing, to say the least.

Some symptoms of just one were insanity, chaotic magic, paranoia. Psychosis. Physical deformities. The list went on in a similar fashion.

He recalled how he was before his defeat in 1981. He had lost most of his hair, his facial features had become less pronounced. His followers were gained through fear or naivete. He didn’t lead raids any longer and they became senseless. His right hand was held in disregard and a madwoman had taken his place. He truly regretted pushing Abraxas away – the man had been one of his most prominent supporters, and had even been a friend. His son took up the mantle well, but Lucius had been raised fearing him. Abraxas had grown up with him in Hogwarts, had watched every moment of his rise and fall.

Severus and Lucius had worked tirelessly, but he knew that there was nothing that could have truly fixed him. He wouldn’t have even been open to the prodding if his soul was truly less than half of what it was supposed to be.

He needed the answer to this. To be sane as he was, he should have at least half a soul or thereabouts. It was time to figure this out.

He sprawled back into his bed, absently locking down his wards. With a deep breath, he descended into his mind.

It was bare bones, rather sparse after his destroying of his soul, but still detailed. It was like a cross between Hogwarts and Riddle Manor – where it was grand as the Manor, it held an ancient feeling of magic. He ascended the stairs and went to the curio cabinet in the library – there actually was one in the manor.

Residing in there were the physical manifestations of his horcruxes. He would be able to tell which had been compromised and which had been untouched. Theoretically, he should also be able to see which had been reabsorbed.

A small basilisk figuring represented Nagini. It warmed under his touch, indicating its safety. He got a small glimpse through his familiar’s eyes before moving on. The next he selected was the diadem. It was safe and clearly unmoved – though it didn’t seem to be happy. He might have to remedy that.

The ring was damp, unhappy, and safe. He hadn’t realized that they would actually care about their environment.

Cup was safe and warm, surrounded by gold. Annoyingly, it was rather mellow – something Tom Riddle had never been, even as a baby. He accredited that to the Hufflepuff residue. He didn’t need to worry – the Lestrange vault had been untouched since their trial. That only left two – Diary and Locket.

He reached for the Diary, alarmed at the black, smoking hole in the center. As he touched it, a wraith-like image of his sixteen year old self appeared next to him, looking annoyed.

“I’m here with you. You’ve been ignoring me since your ritual. You can thank me later for returning you to sanity.”

Well, he was always arrogant. “Thanking myself would be rather foolish. What I want to know is why you are here. You should still be in Abraxas’s hidden room.”
His faced softened a bit. “Abraxas? He’s still alive?”

Tom shook his head. “No, Lucius took over. His son. I was there when he was born.”

Diary looked a bit sad, but not overly so. “Oh. Well, I’ve been out of there for almost three years. I don’t think Lucian or whatever realized what I was. I know there were Ministry crackdowns. I possessed some blood-traitor girl and almost got a corporeal form but a child found me. And that Phoenix of Dumbledore’s killed our basilisk,” he complained.

“Potter.”

Diary lit up. “Oh, yes. The girl who I was draining was absolutely obsessed with him. She was afraid he would never notice her. I don’t think she ought to have worried, he came and saved her.”

“No, he’s like that for everyone.”
“Well, anyway. Potter had gotten bitten by the basilisk and was dying but I guess he’s not stupid because he stabbed me with the fang. But I think the phoenix tears running through both Potter and the basilisk counteracted something, because I was just weakened. All the energy I’ve been gathering since you made me was stripped and I decided to move into the very convenient new scar on Potter. During the ritual the arm was cut and the magic allowed me to come back to you.”
It made sense. With a nod, Tom reached for the last item – the locket. It was unlike any of the others – it had been moved, very soon after he had placed it. And abandoned in a place full of Dark magic. Throughout the years, there had been many failed attempts to destroy it, but eventually it had been place in a box, left to tarnish.

Except recently, the locket had been subjected to much movement and a cleaning charm. Currently it felt content and a bit horny – it was pressed up against a warm chest, a heartbeat moving it’s sold metal walls. Little moans could be heard from his wearer – whether of pain or pleasure, it didn’t know or care. It just want to be inside the power that the male exuded. Tom could feel its restlessness. Within moments it noticed him.

“He’s ours...” Locket hissed, nearly slipping into Parseltongue. “Ours…I want him. Get me out of here...he’s ours. Ours, Tom.” Locket was frenzied, eager to use whatever means he had to get closer to the male wearing him.

Tom was alarmed; they weren’t supposed to have this much independent thought. “Calm down.”

Anger spiked through Tom’s mindscape. “NOOO….he’s ours. We will have him. He’s powerful and beautiful.” The images that flashed through Tom and Diary’s mind were somehow vague yet sensual. Expanses of smooth skin – the male was too thin, but beautiful. A soft pink nipple. Warm firelight. The slight snuffles of sleep. The tip of a thumb tucked between rosy lips. Tom agreed with Locket, but he couldn’t allow his horcrux to take over the boy – he knew Locket was impulsive and would destroy the boy’s mind in his quest for domination.

There were only two ways to recall a horcrux: feel remorse for killing, or to destroy the connection, forcing the soul piece back. He plucked the locket from its shelf, intending to destroy it with basilisk venom. Locket could sense his intentions, but no matter his struggles, Tom was the one with power. He placed two drops of venom on to the smooth surface, watching the silver melt and bubble, dark smoke creeping across the desk. Soon there was nothing left and Tom was facing a very angry Locket.

“You had no right,” spat Locket, trembling. He looked insane.

“I didn’t? Hmm, it’s almost as though I am the main soul piece and control all of you.”

“He is MINE,” shrieked the Locket, clearly insane. Tom wondered if that was how he had been before his downfall. “OURS, if you insist, but I want him.”

Diary, who had been perched on the sideboard, nodded. “He is beautiful. And the power...yes, Tom, he’s ours. You’ll get him for us, yes?” the younger version inquired, as though he was speaking of an interesting book.

Tom was speechless. What were his horcruxes doing, claiming a boy they had barely brushed with? “I cannot go around acquiring boys, you know.”

Diary and Locket looked at him, askance. “Seduce him,” they said in unison. Tom was offended. He hadn’t seduced anyone since Hepzibah Smith, and he had killed her afterwards.

“Excuse me!?!” he spluttered, his mouth finally catching up with his brain. “You don’t even know what his face looks like, either of you. And I don’t seduce, I am a Dark Lord.”
“Did becoming a Dark Lord make you a prude?” Diary asked bluntly. “Or was it the horcruxes? You have more than half a soul now, you should be able to get it up.”

“I can ‘get it up’ perfectly fine, thank you.” Locket looked contemplative.

“Are you sure?” He looked ready to start researching virility potions.

He needed to stop this. “Yes, of course I am sure. Get out of here,” he snapped.

“You will get him for us or we’ll defect,” Diary threatened emptily. They couldn’t leave Tom’s body and stay alive. Before he could retort, both wraith-like horcruxes were gone.

What was his life at this point?

 

 

Hadrian groaned, sore in the worst way. He was at eye level with the baseboard, his cheek pressed into the carpet. The door to the nursery was open, allowing grayish light to penetrate the buttery warmth of the hallway.

He pushed himself up and faced the room once again, bile blazing an acid trail up his throat.

Rather than the pristine, if worn, appearance of the rest of the house, this room didn’t even look like it had ever been a part of the house. The walls were paneled in splintering, weather-beaten wood. The furniture was sparse, only a broken wardrobe and the shards of what had once been a crib. The stench of rot wafted out, filling the house. Despair exuded from the room.

Gingerly, he stepped in, expecting the floor to break. Though it creaked and whinged, the boards held. He took a second, slightly more confident step in.

“Hello?” he called hesitantly, hoping beyond hope that there wouldn’t be a reply. Of course, there was one. It wasn’t verbal, merely a snuffling from a pile of trash in the corner, but it was enough to set Hadrian on edge. “Who’s there?”

Again, no words. But the shuffling noises increased and he reluctantly stepped towards the pile. He really did not want to dig through this. Steeling himself, he began pulling away wet, crumbling wood. His fingers met something wrapped in cloth, something warm and squirming. Gauging the size, he quickly went to make a larger hole.

Pulling the active bundle out, Hadrian’s eyes widened and he gasped. It was a baby. Damp and shivering, big eyes wet with tears. It’s hair and skin were pale, from what he could see. Dirt and muck covered the child from head to foot. Not caring about his clothes, he tucked he child close to his chest, hoping to generate some body heat. He needed to get it clean.

The bathroom was generous and clearly wizarding. Unfortunately, that meant he had no idea what products to use. Muggle packaging was fairly simple, but wizards tended to just use a classic apothecary bottle. Going with his best bet, he plucked a matte white bottle from the rack and sniffed it. It smelled...babyish. He plugged the tub and poured a small amount into the pool.

While the tub filled, he started the task of undressing the baby. Removing the saturated blanket, the child wore a ragged shirt and diaper. Pulling of the tatty cloth, he noticed how cold the baby was. Tugging the diaper off revealed the child as a boy – how old, he couldn’t tell. He didn’t know much about children. He assumed he wasn’t a newborn, because he wasn’t pink and he could hold his head up a bit.

Dunking the child in didn’t seem to be a good idea, nor did leaving him unattended. But the sides of the tub were too high for him to kneel over and he wasn’t going to stand. With a sigh, he stripped his socks off and hiked up his lounge pants, before picking up the baby once more. He settled the child by his feet, reaching for a flannel.

The child clearly was intrigued by the water, which was good for Hadrian, who was struggling to pour the soap out and keep him alive. Taking a few seconds to lather up the cloth, he then began with the child’s feet – he was glad to feel the warmth returning to the little appendages.

He was uncomfortable with washing the child’s bum and related areas, but he knew it was something that was done. Unfortunately, the baby didn’t seem to agree, shrieking his discontent as he was scrubbed and rinsed. Glad that was over, Hadrian was soon faced with the challenge of cleaning the child’s face; he was no happier about that ordeal that the other. Decided it was best to get all in one, he cleansed the boy’s hair. Dumping water over him seemed the best way to get it over with, so he dumped the toothbrushes out of the cup and scooped the bathwater up.

Pulling a spluttering but clean baby from the tub, he sat the child on a towel, pulled the plug, and gathered up the warm, squirmy bundle.

Hadrian wasn’t sure of where to go from there – obviously, there wasn’t a nursery and there hadn’t been any baby things in the bathroom.

But this was his mindscape, right? He hadn’t gotten too far into the book, but hadn’t it said something like...Anything that you would need for yourself can, in a fully formed mindscape, be summoned at will.

That was disconcerting, the knowledge just flying at him like that. But it was worth a go.

Closing his eyes, he focused on changing one of the spare – or he assumed to be spare – rooms into a nursery with all the things he would need. Hopefully his mind had more of an idea than he did.

He jumped as the door in front of him creaked open, jostling the sleepy boy in his arms. Shushing him, he walked into the powder-blue room. Spotting the diapers on the shelf of some sort of padded table, he put the baby down on it.

There was a pot holding some sort of poultice. Figuring he might need it, he grabbed that and a diaper. Surprisingly, there were directions, sparse as they were. “Apply to reddened areas on the bum and genital area. Helpful.”

Pulling the child’s legs apart, he poked around, looking for any redness. There was a bit – it looked like a rash on his bum cheeks. Figuring that’s what it meant, he smeared a thick layer of the cream onto him, putting a bit where the diaper had rubbed by his bellybutton.

The diaper wasn’t all that complicated. Hadrian just had to stick it under him and undo the sticky bits to hold it together. He felt a bit bad, using the kid’s rash as a guideline, but he didn’t really know where to put it and that seemed as good as any.

Figuring he should dry him, he tried to get the child’s hands to cooperate with him. He seemed to enjoy flailing. Hadrian rubbed the boy’s white hair – it was as white as an old man’s – and used a little brush to push it away from his face. The only clothing he could figure out was one of those footie pajama things. Worried about the temperature, he bundled him up in a few blankets – they seemed a bit thin and he couldn’t quite get the tiny feet covered.

Following some trial and error, he was seated in a rocking chair, giving the baby his bottle, and wondering why the bloody hell there was a baby in his head.

Chapter Text

Hadrian was blinded by tears when he finally awake; panic gripped him. He wanted to be back in the boy-man’s arms, cradled in a way that hadn’t happened in all the time he had been in the room…

The child. He was projecting. There was nothing in his head that could hurt the baby but there was still an urge to go calm the boy he had dubbed Iso.

There wasn’t time for that. Hadrian needed to figure out why there was a baby in his bloody head. He stumbled out of bed, opening the doors for Azazel to get out and hunt – the reptile had managed to get out of the castle before, so Hadrian assumed he could do it a second time.

His shower was quick and hot. As he stood in front of the sink brushing his teeth, he noticed the purple circles under his eyes had gotten worse. Apparently meditating the entire night instead of sleeping had it’s effects on his physical body.

With breakfast with Snape and Malfoy to look forward to, he wasn’t exactly eager to go down. However, he was starving and maybe he could ask Snape a few vague questions.

 

 

Lucius was almost out of the third floor when Potter wandered around the corner, seemingly lost in his own thoughts. The boy seemed to be having a surprising amount of those. Maybe he was being harsh.

“Mr. Potter. Would you mind if I accompanied you to the Great Hall?” The boy looked a bit surprised. Then again, so was Lucius. The offer had come out of no where.

“Oh, not at all, Professor Malfoy,” the child replied politely as Lucius fell into step with him. He had to shorten his strides quite a bit – he easily stood a head over the boy. Not much had changed since his second year, then.

They strolled in companionable silence, only interrupted by Peeves, who Potter shot with a neat hex. Lucius commended him, “Nicely done, Mr. Potter.” His eyes trailed along the boy’s grey wand. “Your wand...the holly. What happened to it?”

“Oh, I….” They were seated by now, with Severus nodding a greeting to them before returning to his tea.

 

Hadrian wasn’t sure what to say – the only option seemed to be the truth. There really wasn’t much Malfoy could do with general information like that. “I came into my inheritance last month. My magic shifted enough that my holly wand no longer channels it properly.”

Malfoy nodded, taking in the information. While interesting, it wasn’t exactly useful.

“May I inquire after the core and wood? I’ve never seen such a color.”

“Er, phoenix feather and Valerian flower are the cores. The wood is a mix of hazel and rowan, bound by basilisk venom.

Snape’s head shot up. “That obviously isn’t one of Ollivander’s wands, then. He uses neutral binders and basilisk venom is as dark as they get.”

Hadrian nodded. “No, it’s custom. A friend directed me to Adha.”

Lucius nodded, taking note of the name. He had never heard of the woman, but his lord may know of her.

“Professor Snape? Could I ask you a question about Occlumency?”

Severus glanced up – surprisingly, without a glare. He nodded for the child to continue.

Hadrian cleared his throat. “Through my paternal grandmother, I have the inheritance of natural Occlumency and Legilimency. Basically I don’t have to create a mindscape, but to benefit from it, I must maintain it and arrange it as I want. However, other than some fairly basic things – like pictures as memories and a place of safety as the base – there were some odd...additions.”
Snape looked curious. “Like what?”

Hadrian was unsure if he could continue. “There’s another person in my mindscape.” Snape jerked up in shock.

“Unless a Legilimens has broken past your barriers, you should be the only other person there. Did you recognize them?”

“I don’t think it was another Legilimens….he’s a baby. My mindscape took the form of Godric’s Hollow and everything was as it was supposed to be – from what I can gather, at least. But the nursery looks like it did after the Dark Lord was...subdued. The baby was in there. He doesn’t look like me or anything.”

“Is there anything else?”
Hadrian hesitated – he knew that abuse would show through a few physical things in a mindscape. Rot was a very common one. “No, sir. That was it.” Neither man believed him, but pushed it to the side.

“I cannot give you an answer. Any unplanned physical objects in an organized mindscape are directly related to the Occlumens.” Hadrian had expected that much. He nodded and turned to his food. After quickly wolfing down his food, he headed to the library. At this rate, he may as well change his name to Granger.

There were several books that might help him – most relied on symbolism and weren’t specifically for Occlumency, but he read through them either way. Cracking open Divinity and the Natural World: Clues the Other Side is Leaving You, he began to read.

 

The appearance of children in popular culture can mean many things. They can represent fertility and abundant resources. On the other had, they are often show to portray war, famine, and peril at it’s worst. They are as close to innocence as many societies get.

A child in Divination or other mystical arts can hint at a pregnancy, the want of a child, or a growing community.

 

Well, that wasn’t helpful. He wasn’t pregnant – Draco was as far as he had ever gone. War – kind of, it wasn’t like he had ever seen a lot of active combat. Battles, sure, but for the most part his life was rather smooth sailing in that department. The others were a contender, but they were mainly referring to those ads about starving tribes in the third world, right? They wasn’t about the child whereas Iso was obviously the main focus in his head. He didn’t really want a child – well, not right now. In the future, with a good mate, maybe. And a growing community? With the balance of magic so off, he doubted that would occur until Dumbledore was gone.

He lazily waved his wand, causing the books to fly back to their shelves. There wasn’t really any use in continuing – Iso wasn’t a symbol of anything, he could feel it. He just was there, so Hadrian would maintain him as he would any other aspect of his mind.

 

 

 

Draco kissed his mother’s cheek, hoping his act had been enough. He had said he was going to Pansy’s, but he was going to Hogwarts. His Veela side was very protective over Hadrian, even though the smaller male wasn’t exactly mate material. Still, Draco was fifteen. There was no harm in playing.

He Flooed to McGonagall’s office, knowing she wasn’t there and students usually used that one. He was relieved when no wards went off; hopefully he could get to the library without running into his father or Snape. He shouldn’t, because over breaks they took breakfast until nine and it was only eight thirty, but there was always the chance that they would change their routine. Unlikely, but it was there.

Hadrian startled when Draco walked in. With a small smile and a large blush, he pushed out a chair.

“No, let’s find a table more out of the way. My father and Severus don’t know I’m here.”

Hadrian stood. “Why, you’re becoming quite an adventurer; what will it be next, sneaking through your own manor?”
“Shut up, Potter,” he growled, slumping down onto one of the couches in the back. Hadrian collapsed next to him.

“What is it, Drake?”

“Don’t call me that. And it’s nothing I can tell you.”
“The Dark Lord?” Draco shot a worried look. “Well, that confirms it. Don’t bother, I’d rather be in the dark that have you in any danger.”

“Thanks,” Draco whispered, pulling Hadrian close. “I want to ask you for a favor.”

Hadrian twisted around so he was half laying in Draco’s lap, with a clear view of his face. “What’s that?”

Draco took in a deep breath. “How’s your Occlumency?”
“I have natural barriers. I’m working on it – Snape suggested it to me. The natural barriers will hold anyone out if I want them to.” Hadrian raised his wand. “Muffliato. There. We can talk freely without eavesdroppers.”

“The Dark Lord…he’s not...insane any more. I know you probably doubt it, because of the graveyard, but it’s true. I’ve talked to him. But...I’m afraid he’ll go back to the way he was before his downfall. I’m worried for my mother – she’s not marked, she was pulled in by my father and my Aunt Bella.” Hadrian leaned his head into Draco’s stomach, waiting for him to continue. “I want...will you protect my mother and I if he becomes violent? My father can’t do anything. He’s in the Dark Lord’s service.”

“Of course. I have a duty to your mother, after all.”

“What do you mean?”

“Her cousin, Sirius Black. He’s my godfather and he blood adopted me at birth. So therefore I am the Black lord – his convict status making him ineligible. Though technically all the Black Lord’s responsibility to outlying branches is void at marriage, I can still intervene on my cousin’s behalf – my cousin being your mother. However, I will want payment.”

Draco looked apprehensive as Hadrian grinned dangerously up at him. “And that would be?”

The raven sat up, moving so that he was in Draco’s lap. He pulled the blond down to his level, hoping this went over well. “Kiss me?”
Of course, Draco complied. Hadrian moaned, immediately coming alive under Draco’s touch. He gasped when the larger male flipped him onto his back, pressing him into the cushions. “You know, I think I can manage such payment,” he mumbled into Hadrian’s neck, before biting rather possessively. Apparently, his partner liked that, mewling and squirming under him, his breath coming in little pants. When Draco switched to sucking on the tender spot, he almost went crazy. His hands, though small, tangled tightly in Draco’s hair.

Draco was shocked when one hand left his hair and slipped down to his belt, but not adverse to the attention. Hadrian wriggled and Draco let him up, speechless when the boy dropped to his knees in front of him.

“Hadrian...what are you doing?”

He suddenly wasn’t sure of himself, his hands stilling at Draco’s undone belt. “I...can I?”

Draco had an idea of what the boy wanted to do, and was not adverse to it. He leaned back and moved his hands away, allowing the younger full access to his body. “Go ahead,” he said encouragingly.

So clearly Draco was into it. He undid his pants and pulled them down over his bulge. He was blushing by the time his hands had traveled back to Draco’s waist – the other was not hesitant to let him know how pleasurable he found Hadrian’s touch. Nervously, he slipped a hand into Draco’s boxers and pulled him out.

Draco tried to keep back an unmanly whine when his cock was finally free, but it was futile.

Hadrian could feel his own cock pressing against his jeans and rocked his hips a bit, trying to get some friction. Returning his attention to the organ in his hands, he contemplated how to do this. He hadn’t ever actually seen another aroused male before and he had clearly underestimated Draco’s size. However, he was a Potter, a Black, a Gryffindor, and a Slytherin – not a quitter. Slowly, he tightened his grip and jacked Draco off, figuring that was as good a place as any to start. If he was judging by the growls, it was.

He was extremely hesitant to actually put his mouth on Draco – what if he didn’t like it? But there was no other way to find out, so he kitten licked the top. It wasn’t bad, and the warmth and weight was actually quite nice. More eager now, he took the entire head, his hand working in tandem with his mouth.

“Hadrian...oh, Merlin...look at me.” The raven was confused, but glanced up. Unable to actually speak, he hummed his acknowledgment, unwilling to stop his ministrations. According to Draco’s face, that felt good. Keeping eye contact, he slowly took more, enjoying the blush that was creeping down the blond’s neck.

He had maybe a third of Draco’s cock in before he decided that was enough. He backed off enough to swallow and figured that was a good strategy – move his head in sync with his hand. Occasionally, he would use his tongue and hum a bit, but mainly he focused on his movements and not choking.

His jaw was aching by the time Draco finally came. He wasn’t sure what exactly to do with the salty liquid in his mouth, so he just swallowed, a bit spilling out onto his lip. Draco pulled him up and kissed him.

“Drake!” he squawked, as the boy kissed him. Hadrian didn’t know if Draco knew that there was still cum on and in his mouth. He was surprised when Draco licked up the spillage.

“Don’t call me Drake,” the blonde murmured, leaving more marks on his neck. “Did you cum?”

Another indignant noise from Hadrian. For a boy that had just willingly gotten down on his knees, he was unusually prudish. Unfortunately for him, Draco’s Veela side really liked that. Draco hastened to slide his hand into the others jeans. “Mmmm, Hadri, you’re still hard,” he cooed. “Want me to repay the favor?”

Hadrian had no idea where this slightly wanton version of himself had come from, but he really did want to feel Draco’s mouth. The problem was, that the blond seemed intent on absolutely ruining any cognitive ability. He just hoped his moans would be enough to tell what he wanted

And they were.

 

Once both of them were sated, Hadrian made himself at home in Draco’s lap, which worried him. Hadrian knew he was a Veela, but that didn’t mean he knew anything about how they chose mates. One thing was for sure, Hadrian wasn’t a contender. It wasn’t that he was uninteresting or unappealing, but the other male was technically a threat to him – most Veela engaged in heterosexual relationships for that reason, though some took on lovers of the same sex.

“Drake...um, you know how you’re a Veela?” So maybe Hadrian did know. That was a relief. Of course, Hadrian was second guessing his decision to tell Draco, but there was no going back now. “When I got all the blocks and such removed, I came into my creature inheritance – technically that should have happened when I was eleven, but it’s whatever...um, I’m a Neko.” Draco laughed.

“A cat person? Can I see?”
Hadrian huffed and sat back. “I actually had a point to this conversation, you know. But yes. The traits aren’t dominant and I have to focus to bring them out.” His brow crumpled and soon enough, a fluffy black tail and a pair of sleek ears were adorning is body. He grabbed his tail and offered it to Draco.

“You’re soft,” the blond said, stroking the appendage before moving to his ears. Hadrian started purring against his will.

“Alright, stop, I’ll fall asleep I you keep doing that, you creep,” said Hadrian crossly. He didn’t bother bringing up the glamour, hoping that a physical reminder would help. “What I as going to say is about mates since you make me jump you every time you’re around.” Draco froze. “You’re not mine, dork. See, I can’t tell you everything because it’s very secretive and such, but the basics are that Neko don’t have predestined mates like some do – we have some partners that are compatible – well, for me, they would be able to father my children, obviously be gay, have similar power levels, and provide accurate protection for me. I’m sure you can see the issue with us.”
Draco nodded. “Merlin, I thought I was going to have to break your heart or something because of my inheritance.”
“Don’t think so highly of yourself, idiot.”
“Is this your version of foreplay, Potter? Because I could go another round.”

Hadrian grinned, his ears perking up and tail lashing. “Maybe it is, Malfoy.”

 

 

Sirius peered around the door of the library for the fourth time in fifteen minutes. Moony was still reading. He slid back down the wall and poked his head around again. Sipping tea this time.

“Padfoot, what do you want?” Sirius guiltily slunk around the corner, collapsing in the chair across from Moony.

“I didn’t want to interrupt your reading.”

“It’s not an issue. I was just brushing up on theoretical disease-based transformations.”

Sirius screwed up his face in distaste. “Will it help if I helped?”

“No, Sirius, having you pulling out your hair would not help me at all. Now, what do you need?”

“Well...” he hedged. “Hey, let’s have Kreacher bring us some tea! Kreacher!” The elf popped in with a glower.

“Blood-traitor Master called for Kreacher, did he?”

“Could you bring us some tea, thanks.” He didn’t like being nice to the elf, but he wanted to show Dumbleduck that he was capable of positive interaction – maybe then he would be able to visit Harry at Hogwarts. Without another word, tea was placed before them and the elf left.

Remus fixed himself a new cup and sat back, putting his book to the side. Sirius shifted and threw up some wards he had learned with the Aurors. The headmaster was in the house, but he couldn’t hear them or get though without either of them knowing.

“He won’t let me see Harry. Or write him. He’s my kid, Remus, Albus has no right!”
Remus’s eyebrows shot up. He had never heard Padfoot claim to be Harry’s dad; of course, he knew of the blood adoption, but he always thought of Harry as his godson instead. “Technically, Pads, he does. He would be Harry’s magical guardian.”

Sirius shook his head. “Not after the Tournament. The rules were you had to be of age, so therefore when Barty Crouch entered him, he was declared of age by magic. I mean, there’s some paperwork and stuff that needs to be filled, but I don’t think Harry knows about it.”
Remus sighed and plucked at a loose thread on his robes. He wasn’t very close to Harry himself, but he knew how much it meant to Padfoot. And, if he was to be honest, he was rather...unhappy with the Headmaster. He was a Dark creature, but that did not make him evil. Snide comments and discrimination when it came to missions showed the headmaster’s true bigotry. “Sirius...how do you really feel about Albus? Truly, beyond what he is doing to Harry?”

“I hate him. He...Moony, I think he was the one to turn Lils and Prongs away from you. And he’s messing with Harry and telling me all these things and keeping me here...And he could have gotten me out of Azkaban.”

“He does the same with me, making it clear he doesn’t trust me because of my status, and….Padfoot, I want to leave the Order. It’s no longer what it started as, a genuine force against evil. I’m not saying I want to become a Death Eater, but imagine it.” He leaned forward in his chair, whispering despite the wards, eager to go on another adventure with the Marauders. “We know how to get into Hogwarts. We sneak in, get Harry, and then go to Gringotts – they don’t give a damn about their clients, guilty or not – and get access to one of those haunted shacks your family calls houses. We can teach Harry the things he really needs, especially now that the Dark and Light are both interested in him.”
Sirius looked hopeful, joy shining out of his eyes as he plotted with Remus once again. “But how will we get out? He has control of the wards.”

Remus grinned rather evilly at him. “Well, my dear Padfoot, there is that handy elf of yours, if you can stomach being kind to him. Besides, you know Harry wouldn’t like how you treat him.” Sirius grumbled, but called the infernal elf.

“The blood traitor master is calling Kreacher again.”

“Kreacher...I quite honestly dislike you. And I’m sure the feeling is mutual. But I think we both have a grudge against the headmaster.”
Kreacher glared a bit but hesitantly nodded. “The old man brings filth into the honorable house of Black and dismisses the disgrace of a master. The no-good Muggle lover who discredits our heritage.”
Remus cleared his throat, hoping to stop the elf’s rant before it got too inflammatory and ruined their chances. Kreacher quieted. Sirius once again spoke. “Well, the point is, Remus and I want to defect. But with the headmaster in control of the wards and me not being the Black Lord – my son is, you haven’t met him – we need your help.”
Kreacher looked a bit gleeful, which unnerved them, but they both waited for the elf’s answer. “Kreacher will help the disgraces but they must get rid of the blood traitors and bring back the heirlooms.”
Sirius blushed and shifted, looking like nothing more than a schoolboy who had been caught. “Um. Well, those are actually in father’s study. He had blood wards up that won’t let anyone not directly related to him enter. I mean, Harry might want some of the stuff – I don’t know what he likes. So...I’d leave them for now, because I can’t kick the others out. We have to wait until I can get to Harry and he claims the lordship – then he can take over the wards.”

Kreacher didn’t look happy. “Kreacher must suffer the shrieks of the harpy and the clumsy one for longer, he says.”

“Well, yes that’s what I’m saying. I can’t really do anything about it,” said Sirius, clearly frustrated with the elf’s fixation on his own situation. Remus quickly mediated.

“Kreacher, I am well aware that the Order look down on you – I, as a werewolf, know that better than most – however, your remaining here can be beneficial to their downfall. You cannot lie to your lord, which I’m sure Harry knows. So when we get to him and he demands proof of our claims, we can call you and you can report your findings to him. He will then remove them from the House of Black.”

The wizened elf looked gleeful at the opportunity to help destroy the people who had invaded his house. With a rather terrifying and feral grin, he turned to Sirius. “Kreacher will do as the blood traitor and the wolf ask. Tonight, so they don’t have a chance of seeing your plots.”
Sirius bounded up, manic glee lighting his too-thin face. He grabbed Remus and disabled the wards. “Come on, Moony! Let’s go!”

Chapter Text

Dinner with Potter had been interesting. He seemed unable to look at either of them and was clearly covering up something on chest. A rather intricate and old locket hung around his neck and the boy often plucked it off and rubbed the emeralds set in the front. Dark magic was clearly embedded deeply into its structure, something Severus had brought to his attention by a sharp kick to his shin halfway through the silent meal. The man was childish at times. Lucius would have noticed given a few moments.

Hadrian, on the other hand, was cursing Draco for leaving hickeys up and down his neck – some were easily covered up, but he couldn’t put up a large glamour without the professors noticing. To distract himself, he played with the locket – Slytherin's locket, according to Draco. And the strange inscription confirmed it. Draco had said it looked like little scratches, but they formed words in the raven’s eyes. Slytherin, Greatest of the Hogwarts Four, it read. A bit conceited, but the statement had its merits. Slytherin had basically created Potion-making and had risen to power beyond the persecution of Muggles around him.

The child had left abruptly, with a mumbled salutation, leaving Severus and Lucius to...well, they weren't gossiping, no matter what it had looked like.

“Severus, he was hiding something,” the blonde insisted, leaning over his plate.

“They were bruises! And they were on his chest, so not Quidditch related – besides, our monitoring charms would have gone off if he had left the castle.”

Lucius was horrified. “Do you think…? I know we had speculated, but if you saw proof, that’s different.”

“It could have been his cousin, I suppose,” he remarked hopefully, if not convincingly.

“Even if it was so, it they are playing rough enough that Potter still has bruises a week later, that’s an issue. And the other one is Muggle, no? They are remarkably brutish.” Severus knew that better than anyone, with his mother dead at his father’s hands. But he had always had Lily, until the last two years. Potter didn’t seem to have anyone – his friends weren’t writing, at least from what they could tell. He seemed closest to his snake and owl, though Draco had gotten through to him with remarkable ease.

“Well, I suppose there’s only one way to determine if our suspicions are correct,” Severus decided, standing elegantly. Lucius stepped to his side as they left the hall. “We are going to break into the hospital wing records – they keep them for students while attending Hogwarts. I have access to the supplies but not Poppy’s office.”
“Severus! This isn’t a good idea; Albus may have connection to the wards.”
“As a Potions Master, I have had to have medical training. Therefore, I am aware that the wards in any hospital must be connected to a certified mediwitch or wizard. The Goblins do them and they tie me into some of the wards in our hospital wing – Albus has no power over them.”

Lucius sighed. “You really want to mess with Goblin magic?”

“I am already woven into them. It should be easy to slip by the others with a little manipulation – it isn’t as though I am tearing them down.”
The long room was bare of everything but the bed frames – everything else had to be cleaned with specially-made potions to bring the infirmary up to standard. Poppy was volunteering at a children’s hospital in Germany, leaving the wing open to their prowling.

Poppy was an accomplished witch – she was a pioneer in her field who truly had passion for healing. But her wards were mediocre at best and Severus had them down in minutes. The real challenge would be the Goblin-crafted ones; the ward stone was unprotected – there was no need when the enchantments were unbreakable.

“Should I help you?” Lucius queried.

“No. While added power might help, I don't want to take the chance that it would recognize you and alert Poppy.” He set the rough black stone on the scarred desk and drew his wand, preparing himself for the onslaught of foreign magic that was to come.

The wards accepted him – he was a frequent visitor and always had been. Taking their leniency as a good sign, he maneuvered through the complex strands that blocked his access to the records. Hours would pass before they would give.

 

 

The purpose of the terms ‘Light’, ‘Dark’, and ‘Grey’ are two-fold. The first has been historically unimportant but has become far more prolific since the rise of Grindelwald – it describes the affiliation of a person.

 

The second, which is far more relevant, refers to the balance of magic. Both will be discussed in depth in this book.

 

Firstly, the affiliation of a person determines nothing of their character or morals. Light magic is not inherently good just as Dark is not evil. It has never been the conversation piece that it is in this millennium – mainly due to the influence of those such as Albus Dumbledore and his associates who fought against Grindelwald. In the 1940’s, Grindelwald and his followers were key pieces in removing Magicals stranded by the restrictions of the Muggle dictator Hitler. However, they would rather spill Muggle blood than wizarding, which the famous Albus Dumbledore deplored. Therefore, it was thought that anyone with a Dark core followed Grindelwald and his loose policies, whereas if they were Light they supported Dumbledore. Many with a neutral or Grey core were shoved to the side, and the current feud began.

 

To fully understand the warring sides, we must step back to the creation of magic.

 

As the story goes, during the creation of the world, there were gods and goddesses who ruled over humans and all other beings – no human had magic, though several creatures were blessed (see Chapter Five: Creature Inheritances and Affiliation).

The deities were good to their charges and kind. But the all-mighty power they had went to their heads and they began to abuse those that relied on them. Humans were cursed with plagues and famine, all for the gods’ amusement. During this dark time, two of the most powerful beings in the pantheon had a child – a girl. As she grew, she saw her family destroying their own creation – only four humans remained and they were being hunted by the great beasts commanded by the gods.

In an effort to help them, she split her soul in two and placed it into two of the humans. With the soul of a goddess, they were impervious to the bite of the beasts and could hide themselves away to rebuild their people.

Cold and soulless, the girl returned to the cathedral of her people with man’s greatest gift; fire. Her anger seeped through the coals and when she released it onto her mistaken family, the fire took the shape of terrifying beasts that chased the stricken gods to the ends of the Earth until she was the only one remaining. The fire returned to her, smelling of burned flesh and betrayal. Filled with the agony of her forebears, she allowed the rage-fueled fire to consume her, ushering in the age of man. Those with the soul of the goddess sought out the other survivors and as their children grew, they realized that both of them retained the powers they themselves had been gifted.

The woman who had received a soul fragment birthed twins; alike as night and day. The first child was loud and boisterous; his fair hair glowed and he could make the animals and plants do his bidding. His brother, though equally beautiful, had hair like midnight and was quiet. When he was angered, the sky would darken and animals would hide. He was most at home on the vast, endless plains.

Brothers they were, however, and the land and people flourished under their dual rule. As they grew old and the land thrived, they passed their crowns on to their own sons and the balance was continued. Death claimed them both at once, allowing the world to transition into the next era.

 

The story’s purpose is to tell the importance of keeping the balance of Light and Dark magics. Even after kings and such were abolished, there remains the positions of Light and Dark Lords, chosen by magic to work side by side.

 

Albus Dumbledore came to power as the Light lord and immediately had a large following – he came from a Pureblood family, he was intelligent, and he had already proven himself as a teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Gellert Grindelwald was revealed as the Dark Lord soon after, and that is where tensions began to rise. While normally the Lords get along amicably, Gellert and Albus had a rather tragic history. Dumbledore, unwilling to share his following, began to turn Britain away from the Dark Lord, forcing Grindelwald to move operations to a war-torn Europe to preserve magic. He did not have any close allies and was shooting in the unknown trying to save magicals and the balance. Eventually, the famous duel took place, leaving only the Light lord. Soon enough, the vilification increased and many Dark witches and wizards fled to places like Bulgaria and Scandinavia that are more open towards Dark.

 

The difference between Light and Dark magic is very simple, but has been distorted by propaganda. Light magic is simpler and depends on wand movements and incantations. Spells that are Light can be performed by anyone – remember, the affiliation only determines what magic you are able to learn easiest.

Dark magic, on the other hand, relies on emotion, sacrifice, and intent – much accidental magic is technically Dark because it relies on the want for something to occur. The Patronus Charm is Dark magic – you have to sacrifice a happy memory. Many are not aware of this.

Though in old magical families affiliation may be determined – the Black family is almost always Dark and the Malfoy family is always Light, for example – most children are born truly neutral. Thus, many choose to follow the Lord that they believe will support them best – affiliation does not determine alliance.

 

It was too much to take in right then. Throwing the book to the floor, Hadrian snuggled into Azazel’s coils and pushed Hedwig over to the other side of his pillow. With a sleepy hiss, he was soon returned to his mindscape and Iso.

 

 

Lucius quickly revived his friend – he had been working at the ward stone for an hour before he had gasped and fainted. As Severus came around, he slowly blinked. The man looked terrible – his skin was waxy and he was even more pallid than normal.

“Did it work, Sev?” Lucius inquired, still a bit skeptical.

“I’m not sixteen anymore, Luke. And yes, it did.” He stood slowly and swept to the cupboard. After a moment, the doors opened. Smirking victoriously, he shuffled through the dozens of files until he found Potter’s.

It was far thicker than any of the others, which immediately put both on edge. Settling the thick leather folder down, they began to shuffle through it.

“First year?”

“Let’s see...extreme malnutrition, stunted growth, bad vision...”
Lucius looked sick. “It gets worse, Lucius. Bruises and contusions on the back and hands. Several burns. Fractured bones. Bones that healed improperly. Thankfully it was all fixed, though Poppy made a note that she wasn’t supposed to, on orders from the child’s unknown magical guardian.”

“That bastard! Not only letting a child, a magical child, be abused, but to not have him healed! I think it’s clear that our suspicions are correct.”
“Yes...it seems to get better from here on out...of course, the effects of the injures remained, but there aren’t any broken bones outside of what he received from Quidditch. Several injuries were redacted, however.”

Lucius stood, his temper beyond lost. It was apparent by the fact that small white feathers were falling from his silky mane. “We’re going to the Dark Lord. Albus isn’t here and while it wasn’t intended it needs to happen.”
Severus knew there was no point in arguing. Veela tended to be protective of children and submissives – it could be a product of the abuse, but Potter did have a more feminine, petite look that wasn’t usually present in dominant creatures. “I agree. But if you transform in here I will send Fiendfyre at you.”

Lucius ignored him and grasped the file, striding towards his quarters. While unplanned, he was ready to take down Dumbledore for good.

 

 

Tom was yet again trying to work and thinking about Hadrian Potter when his Floo flared to life. Allowing Severus and Lucius to pass through, he was immediately on edge when he saw the feathers floating to the ground.

“What is it?” he demanded.

A file was tossed atop his paperwork. “Potter was being abused.”

Tom was out of his seat before he had even glanced at the file. He trusted the two men. “Dumbledore?”
“At Headquarters – he hasn’t been in the castle since he dropped Potter off a week ago.”
Tom swung a cloak around his shoulders and gestured for Lucius to open the connection. It was early, but he would be coming into the arena now, damn the consequences.

 

 

The castle was humming. Humming.

“Castles don’t hum, Potter,” Hadrian mumbled to himself, rolling over in his bed. He had barely gotten Iso to sleep so it couldn’t be too long since he had put his book aside.

But the castle was still humming. Maybe Snape was playing a prank. It didn’t seem to be his style, but it the shoe fits…

It simply wouldn’t stop. With an irritated huff, he rolled out of the bed and pulled a pair of socks on. He didn’t care that all he wore was an over-sized t-shirt and a pair of y-fronts. He was going to curse someone. Wand in hand, he stumbled down to the Great Hall where the vibrations seemed to be the strongest.

The scene he walked into was a strange one and he doubted that his half-dressed presence helped any.

One of the largest flagstones in the hall was glowing a pale blue color, with runes etched in a variety of different colors. The most prolific were navy, emerald, burgundy, and gold – this was obviously the ward stone the Founders had placed. He would assume that the smaller amounts of colored light were where wards had been added on through the centuries.

There was a flash of white light and loud cursing before the Hall was dimly lit by torches once again.

Well, he was partially right. Snape was there, with Malfoy and another obnoxiously tall man. The new one turned towards him and Hadrian was glad his Occlumency was progressing so well. Because Tom Riddle was standing in the middle of the Great Hall.

After successfully fielding the motions from his face, he scowled at them. “You couldn’t have waited to work on the wards until morning? I was trying to sleep. And just so you know, it’s obvious you would need more than one heir to block out the headmaster. It’s in Hogwarts: A History.” Well. Apparently Hermione spouting the book every ten seconds did help.

Tom was shocked by the boy. He was doing a remarkable impression of Bellatrix, with his hair in wild curls around his narrow face and a dangerous scowl on his pretty mouth. However, Bellatrix had never talked to him like that or made his trousers tighten.

“I can help, you know. The Potters are descendants of Gryffindor.”
“If you wouldn’t mind,” Tom stated, his mouth a few steps before his mind. As the child stepped into the light, he noticed that he wasn’t wearing trousers. Just a t-shirt that hung to his knees and slipped off his bony shoulder, revealing love bites ranging from pink to dark purple that trailed down below his collarbone. Before he could contemplate the merits of killing the Malfoy spawn, the child had taken his cloak from a chair and plopped down onto it. His slim hands reached for the ward stone and he looked expectantly at Tom.

“I want to get back to my bed – Aza can only keep it warm for so long. So if you would hurry up, that would be great.”

Tom lowered himself beside the child and they began working in tandem. While it was clear the younger had little experience with wards, he could follow Tom’s lead.

They were lost together in a miasma of color and blinding light. It was a relatively easy task if they could stay focused – only one strand connected to the headmaster and they had to sever it, indicating that he was no longer welcome in the castle. The innate magic and wards would take care of the rest.

 

 

A late meeting was occurring at Grimmauld when Albus felt it. The wards of Hogwarts had fallen from his grasp – the tenuous hold he had had was gone. With an enraged snarl, he Apparated out of the house, leaving a shrieking Molly Weasley and several shouts of confusion.

It was the perfect opportunity for Sirius and Remus. They slipped into the pantry where Kreacher waited for them with cloaks. Their wands and shrunken bags in their pockets, they each took one of the elf’s wrinkled hands and were out of the House of Black.

Chapter Text

“THAT DAMN ELF!” Sirius shrieked as he fell over into a swamp. Remus being far more sensible, remained on his dry tussock.

“Padfoot, really, it isn’t the time to be playing around.” Leaving his friend to splutter indignantly, he tiptoed towards what looked like a more stable area. “Come along, now. And clean yourself up, you are a wizard.”
His canine hearing could pick up a muttered Scourgify and he grinned. Padfoot had always had a propensity for messes.

With a gasp. Sirius dramatically threw himself down on the relatively solid ground before them. Remus, on the other hand, pulled out his rucksack and started on the tent he had found in a musty corner of the Black’s basement. With it’s built-in wards, he could make himself a cuppa and deal with Sirius’s dramatics.

“Please tell me there’s a shower in that thing, Moony,” whined Sirius.

“Yes. And you can use it while I make us some dinner. With Molly’s rambling and Albus’s departure we didn’t have time to scrounge the cupboards for food.”

Sirius hauled his body up dramatically – Sirius didn’t have many other modes other than dramatic and manic – and walked into the tent. It didn’t smell to bad and while sparse, most of the furniture was serviceable.

“Incendio,” Remus canted, the hearth and stove lighting at his behest. Sirius bee-lined towards the bathroom as Remus pulled out the food he had packed.

With the wireless playing in the background, food cooking, and a fire crackling while Sirius caterwauled in the shower, it almost felt like the old days at Godric’s Hollow before Dumbledore had pulled apart his pack.

There was many a day when Lily would Floo him, asking him to watch Harry while she made some great breakthrough in her charms work. James and Sirius would stumble in from their jobs at the DMLE just as Lily was nursing Harry. Sirius would peck Prongslet and Lily on the forehead and leave the couple while Remus put dinner on.

There was always a round of pass-the-baby over dinner – they all wanted to get their hands on Prongslet, even after spending the whole day with him like Lily and Remus had.

He was pulled out of his reminiscing by Sirius; the man could always ruin a mood, even when it was between one person and their thoughts.

“Dinner?”
“Yes, that would be the last meal of the day, Pads. Set the table, you wanker.”

“What crawled up your tail, Moony? Lady problems? Some pretty little thing come on to you last full moon?”

“Only you, Pads. Just trying to figure out how to confess my undying love without sounding like a twat. You know, how you act every day.” If he rolled his eyes any harder, they might fall out of his head.

Silence filled the space between them as Remus served the rather basic fry-up he had put together and Sirius poured pumpkin juice. “What are we going to do now, Rem?”
“Eat. Sleep. We can’t go into this half-cocked, Sirius, which means we have to be well-fed and well-rested. Neither of which you’ve been ever since moving back into your parents’ place.”

 

Morning was quiet, filled with the sounds of clinking cutlery and birds chirping. Light filtered softly through the canvas, leaving the tent looking shabby and warm – the hilarious opposite of the name Black.

Sirius was stretched out on the bowed sofa, warm rays enhancing the peaceful look on his normally haunted face. Remus watched him carefully as the other man simply lay there, studying their current home with casual interest. Natural light and no meddling people were already doing him good, that much was obvious. Grey eyes met his own and a shadow of the mischievous smile ran across the once handsome face. Remus returned it. Everything would be okay once they got Harry back.

“We ought to head out soon, Pads. Better get dressed.”
“Where exactly are we heading?”

“Well, I figure the best option as any is to go to Greyback. He’s a bastard, but he’ll keep us hidden, seeing as we’re truthful.”

“Yeah, but how are you supposed to get to him?”

“Werewolves and any other magical pack animals can travel to their Alpha or leader no matter where they are. Unfortunately, we can’t just Apparate directly. I’ll get a general direction and if I know something in that path I can Apparate there and hope I’ve not gotten too far. But mainly we’ll have to move physically.”

“Wait, that sounds like the Dark Mark,” Sirius said, struggling into his shirt.

“Well, it’s sort of like that. But not really. That uses the Protean charm and a few curses from my understanding.”
“It’s close enough for me, Moony. I’m not in school anymore.”

“Obviously. You put some effort in then.”

“Well, twelve years in Azkaban really just takes it out of you.”

“Go pack your things, Pads.”
Once the tent was packed away, Remus offered his arm to Padfoot. He could sense a general direction of his Alpha – somewhere north. “He’s somewhere in the north. Any suggestions?”
“Hogsmeade? Diagon is to the south.”
“It’s as good as any. I suppose there are a lot of forests there anyhow.” He focus and pulled Sirius into a spin, popping to the Shrieking Shack. Coughing from the dust, he quickly went to the backdoor.

The cobbled streets of Hogsmeade were empty at such an early hour. Sirius sprawled out on the grass, clearly intent on not putting any effort in. Remus, on the other hand, tried to calm his mind and sense his Alpha.

He was here. Well, not exactly right there on the edge of Hogsmeade, but close.

“Pads, he’s close. In the Forbidden Forest somewhere.” The other man jumped up, clearly excited.

“You know, the Blacks have a bit of Seer blood way back.”

“Yes, because your knowledge of the most famous Wizarding settlements in the world is definitely prophetic. What I’m worried about is that he might have access to the castle.”
“No, the wards only extend into the forest for a few meters. So most of the forest isn’t technically Hogwarts grounds.”

“Yes, but I know for a fact that Harry has left the wards multiple times through the forest.”

Sirius froze, but was surprisingly focused. “We need to get moving, Moony.”

 

 

Albus stood outside the gates of the castle, testing the wards. They were impenetrable. He Apparated to Grimmauld Place; the others were gong to have to help him.

 

 

Hadrian stroked Aza’s head, wondering how the fuck his supposed-to-be-great summer had lead to this. First he found out about the Headmaster’s manipulations. Then he had to spend his time with Malfoy and Snape – though that wasn’t to bad, he mused, rubbing the marks on his throat. And thirdly, the place he considered his true home had been infiltrated by a supposedly sane Dark Lord. Actually, there was a fourth point. He had been half-naked in front of Snape, Lucius, and Voldemort.

Pushing an upset Aza off, he screamed into his pillow.

~Stop your shrieking! I was asleep ~

~You were not. And my life is collapsing, you could have a bit of sympathy.~

~Brat, you don’t need sympathy, you need to get out of bed~

~Do you want outside?~

~If you spent any time at all with me, you would know that I don’t need to eat that often~
~Thought you hated me~

~Your featherball is boring.~

~Do you wish to come downstairs with me? There’s another human. He came last night~

~Yes. But first I want to go into the indoor rainfall. You must accompany me and get this itchy bit of skin off my tail~

Hadrian huffed and swung his feet off the bed, reaching over to scratch Hedwig’s feathers. She hooted sleepily and nipped him, tucking her head back under her wing. He undressed and walked naked into the bathroom, Aza beside him.

The warm water made him moan and Aza hiss in pleasure – he didn’t think he would ever get bored of warmth. He kneeled down to remove the stubborn skin and banished it, before returning to his washing. The longer he spent in the shower, the less time he had to spend with the three men who were most likely awaiting his appearance.

~Get out, Hadrian~

~Fuck off~ he snapped, though he did turn off the water and step out, wrapping up in the towel. ~Do you want the bath filled for you?~

~Yessssss, and one of those drying charms on the edge of the tub so I do not get the nest wet~. Leaving his snake to enjoy the filling bath and later his bed, Hadrian was faced with the conundrum of what to wear. With just Snape and Lucius there, it didn’t really matter. But he didn’t want the Dark Lord of all people see him wearing rags – then again, the man had pretty much seen him at his worst. Feeling vindictive, he pulled on a pair of leather pants that he hated but Sirius had bought him, Dudley’s old AC/DC shirt, and his beaten boots. It really couldn’t get more Muggle than that.

Wait. Yes it could. Grinning, he pulled the corduroy jacket on and dried his hair, letting it do it’s best Bellatrix Lestrange impression. Surveying himself, he realized that he looked like Sirius, only with a more delicate face and better eyes.

 

 

Tom Riddle had played with the most powerful and beautiful people in the world ever since he was fifteen. But none of their coiffed elegance could have prepared him for when Hadrian Potter pushed open the doors to the Great Hall looking like sex.

His trousers were tight, showcasing his legs in the best possible way while an over-sized Muggle shirt revealed more of his skin than should be legal. His hair wasn’t as wild as it had been last night, though it still looked like he had been shagged within an inch of his life. Predictably, his face looked even more ethereal in the light of day. He didn’t look like his father had – rather, he had soft, curly hair that was more like Evans’. His bone structure was elegant and clearly Pureblood. Again, he was shocked by the boy’s resemblance to Bellatrix. While he had the color of his mother’s eyes, they were the same shape as Lestrange’s and his high cheekbones forced a hollow look to his face just as hers did. His mouth looked absolutely sinful – Tom could imagine doing several things to it, none of them polite.

“Good morning, professors,” Hadrian said before directing his attention towards Riddle, eager to see how the man covered up his existence. Of course, no one but Dumbledore knew that Hadrian was aware of the Dark Lord’s past.

“Good morning, Mr. Potter,” Lucius cut in smoothly, trying not to worry. His Lord was looking rather...lustfully at the child, which the Veela wasn’t comfortable with. “May I introduce you to Lord Marvolo Slytherin, an associate of mine.”

“It is my pleasure, Lord Slytherin,” Hadrian practically cooed. His Neko side was definitely not adverse to the man in front of them. Pushing that down, he nodded politely to the man. “Lord Hadrian Potter-Black.” It might not have been the best to reveal his status, but he wanted to prove that he was very capable of etiquette, thank you.

He kept his own face blank of any emotion while Malfoy tried to get himself under control. Marvolo, on the other hand, replied smoothly. “I apologize for not properly introducing myself last night. As you are aware, it was rather hectic.”

“Mm, yes that would be a word for it,” he remarked in a noncommittal tone while pouring his tea. He wasn’t going to show anything on his face other than politeness. “May I ask why you why you severed Dumbledore’s connection to the castle?”
“It was time.”
“I suppose it was.” Hadrian was actually in agreement with Voldemort of all people. Now he could revel in the fact that the former headmaster was banished form his domain where he had been corrupting the young for decades. “I should hope that you have plans to change the wildly inadequate curriculum?”

Tom honestly hadn’t though of it. “It wasn’t exactly a thought out decision.”

“You don’t seem the type to go in unprepared, though I suppose the fact that appearances can be deceiving was shown yesterday evening.” He kind of liked the thinly veiled insults he could throw at the man. “Well, you have two teachers and a library at your disposal – it cannot be too difficult. Finding teachers, on the other hand may be an issue. Hogwarts isn’t a desirable place of employment. Where exactly did you attend school? There hasn’t been a proven Heir of Slytherin since Marvolo Gaunt in oh, 1897?”
Why was the boy so knowledgeable? He kept pushing Marvolo into a corner. “I attended Beauxbatons. With Britain so war-torn in the past decades it was the safest solution in the eyes of my guardians.”
“Understandable.”
“You were mentioning the curriculum. Severus, Lucius, and I will be preoccupied with dealing with the fallout of this. Would you be willing to assist with alterations to the curriculum?”
Hadrian was definitely not doing shit for Riddle. “I don’t think my straight ‘Acceptables’ and ‘Poors’ are exactly going to be of much use,” he deadpanned. Maybe his abysmal grades would actually be useful.

Snape cleared his throat. “I would have to agree. You are unsatisfactory in everything you do.”
Hadrian shrugged. “Yeah, that’s accurate.”

“One would think you would put more stock into your education,” commented Lucius.

“Eh, why bother? We aren’t actually allowed to learn anything applicable in the real world which leads to the entire magical community of Britain being a laughingstock. The Ministry has everything in a choke hold and they aren’t exactly the pinnacle of competence.” He finished his tea and left, not wanting to actually have a conversation with Lucius Malfoy and Severus Snape of all people.

For the most part of the next two days, he was left alone – mainly because he took his meals in the kitchen and hid in Gryffindor Tower with his animal companions. Sure, one of his rules had been to attend meals, but he did send a note with a house elf. It could be ignored that he had written said note five times until his hand cramped and his writing was as elegant as Draco had taught him.

 

 

Tom was becoming irritated. Two days had passed without seeing the vixen. He had taken over one of the spare teachers suites that remained from one of the dropped classes and spent the majority of his time reworking the wards and reworking the entire curriculum.

“I’m going to find him,” he stated, leaving the Great Hall before Lucius or Severus could say anything. From his days as a Prefect and Head Boy, he knew where all the common rooms were and immediately headed towards Gryffindor Tower.

“Password,” the imposing woman demanded imperiously. Tom hadn’t thought of that. Before he could demand entrance, the woman giggled. “Oh, dearie, you definitely aren’t one of my Lions. There isn’t a password during the summer and they can all tell when I’m joking. Here’s a tip – lighten up a tad, darling.” With that, she swung forward and revealed the common room. He had difficulty not destroying the portrait but he doubted Hadrian would be very receptive if he attacked the clearly affectionate portrait.

It was very different than Slytherin grounds. The stone floor was smothered with thick woven carpets in shades of auburn. The couches and chairs were overstuffed and slouchy, mainly in red. Large windows let in beams of natural light that graced tapestries ans posters. Rather than having two passage that led to dorms, there was only the barest excuse for a staircase.

Just as he was about to cross the room, the heavy oak door swung out and he saw Potter in all his half-naked glory. Yet again, he was wearing just a t-shirt and from what Tom could see, not much else.

“What are you doing here?” Hadrian asked politely, if a bit shortly.

“You have been in this tower for two days.”

“Yes, and I’ve been taking my meals and such here. I sent the professors a note. Was there something you needed? I need to get back to my studies.”

“I thought you didn’t care.”
“Well, the difference between classes and self-study is that he latter actually teaches me something useful.” Hadrian was irritated; he was reading up on Neko mating habits when the man had interrupted and he wasn’t eager to entertain a bored Dark Lord.

“May I remain here and work on the curriculum?” Tom asked, raising the portfolio he had brought as a cover; he had come with the intention of getting Potter to speak with him, not work, but if it was the only way the boy would speak, then so be it.

Was he for real? Repressing an irritated sigh, he waved at the tables. “Make yourself comfortable.. I’ll join you in a minute.”
Shocked that the younger had acquiesced so easily, Tom settled himself and spread out his work.

 

It was irritating how organized the Dark Lord was. Hadrian dragged out a tonne of parchment and half a library of books, whereas the other was all neat with his leather folders. And he had had to put on pants. In the comfort of his own tower.

Tom was disappointed when the boy came back wearing jeans. Hadrian threw a huge amount of parchments at the table and plopped down inelegantly next to Tom on the sofa.

“What exactly are you researching?”

There really wasn’t too much of a risk in telling the Dark Lord his plans. Riddle couldn’t say anything and have people believe him; Marvolo Slytherin was an outsider in more ways than one – he was new to Britain, not a member of the political arena yet, and a Slytherin. “Not research, per se. I’m trying to fix my messed up accounts. Dumbledore was my magical guardian and event though my vaults were locked down he still mucked with my affairs. I have to fix it.”
“Perhaps I could be of service,” the man offered. Hadrian didn’t want to take him up on the offer, he really didn’t. But he had power and couldn’t actually do anything with anything he might learn.

“Would you mind?” Hadrian asked in a small voice. He really could use the help. “It’s just that he couldn’t withdraw money but he could transfer it to other accounts under the Potter name and I have the list of transactions that was supposed to take place according to my parents’ will. None of them were ever done and Griphook says I’m the one that has to go and reverse all the stuff and redo it...”

Tom could see Hadrian getting flustered, his delicate hands waving agitatedly. “May I see your statements?”
“I have them all from November 1981 to July 1995. Do you want all the individual ones or just the full statement that Griphook gave me?”
“The full statement will be fine – if you’ve cross-checked them with the full, it’s best to burn them. Do you have the list of requirements that should have happened?”

“Um, let me get this stuff organized,” muttered the boy. He pulled a rather large scroll with the Gringotts seal and handed it to Tom. “That’s the full one – yeah, I checked them and so did Griphook, so they should be good.” Tom took the scroll and continued to watch the boy. He was throwing the majority of the pile into the fireplace before finally reaching a second, smaller scroll. “And this is what was supposed to happen.”
The table mostly clear now, Tom moved his things to the side and untied both rolls of parchment.

“So, from what I can see, all the transfers from 1981 were required – 10,000 galleons to your trust vault with 1,000 to be added annually from 1991 to 1997. There was a sum of 5,000 sent to the vault named Moony, as well as an emergency portkey and a letter sent to a London apartment – the vault hasn’t been touched.”

“ARE YOU SHITTING ME, MARVOLO?”

Tom jumped as Hadrian overturned his chair and jumped to his feet, face flushing tomato red. “Excuse me?”
“That little bitch! He would have known, too! You know what, I’m going to give him a piece of my mind, the cretin!” Tom was halfway out of his seat when the boy pulled out his wand and stomped towards the portrait hole in the midst of a temper tantrum that could have rivaled Walburga Black.

“Sit down,” he barked.

Hadrian spun around, ready to use a rather Dark curse of the Dark Lord. “Arus-”
Tom acted on instinct when he felt the Dark magic gathering, casting a nonverbal Expelliarmus. Rather than causing his wand to fly out of his hand, the spell merely diffused. “You can’t leave, Potter.”
“It’s Potter-Black, thank you, and you cannot stop me.”
“Listen to me. By now Dumbledore will know that he no longer has control and you will be a target of his and the Order.”

Hadrian wasn’t listening. He had just realized that Remus must be part of the Order, and so must Sirius; the man had often reminisced about going on missions with his father and Remus. Hadrian had always assumed he had meant the Aurors, but Remus couldn’t have gotten into the program.

~I can smell Master’s upset~ Hadrian looked up as Aza slipped through the portrait hole.

“I’m fine,” he said hollowly, picking up his serpent and settling into his coils. Aza wouldn’t betray him. He collapsed in his previous seat, allowing the animal to cover his body.

~No, hatchling, you are upset.~ He raised his head inquisitively towards a confused Tom. ~Has this one upset you? I can bite him, though it will take me some days to fully digest him~

~No, Aza, leave him be.~ Hadrian mumbled, slipping into Parseltongue, not caring that Voldemort was right there. Let the man hear him. He didn’t care if he died – Sirius and Remus were on Dumbledore’s side. Ron and Hermione were being trained by him. He had no one left – everyone else had always turned away from him when

~Then you have chosen a mate? He is old enough to father your hatchlings, though I think he ought to court you a bit more.~

~I have no need for a mate and he isn’t a suitable one as it is. This place isn’t our nest, so he can be here if he wishes and I cannot stop him~

~Let us go to our nest then, Hadrian, so you can get comfortable and bring a mate back~

~You’re a Parselmouth~ Voldemort interrupted, watching the child.

Aza reared in shock, baring his fangs at the man. ~He speaks! He could be a good mate – only the worthy use the serpent tongue~

Hadrian snorted, not bothering to reply. “Obviously, Tom,” he slipped.

Tom stood, his wand pointed at his nemesis. “You know who I am.”
His heart was beating faster than a hummingbird’s. “I….obviously,” he choked out, trying to sound glib.

He suddenly had the other’s wand at his throat, his head tilted back against the wooden casing of the portrait hole. “How do you know that name, Hadrian?”

Chapter Text

He could barely breathe. Mentally, he was terrified. Physically – well, his creature must be taking over, because the older man was eliciting reactions from his body that not even Draco could have gotten – at least not this quickly. “The Diary. In second year, when it tried to open the Chamber. I was down there with it.”

Tom was furious. Of course he had known that Lucius must have done something with it, but knowing that his younger self had returned to Hogwarts…. Hadrian was trying to control himself – he could feel the man’s thigh, hovering just a few inches away from where Hadrian would love it.

He was watching Hadrian almost absentmindedly when the boy let out a little huff of breath and a nearly inaudible whine. Hadrian licked his lips and admired the admittedly attractive Dark Lord as his clear green eyes went glassy. Was the boy seriously aroused by being held at wand point against a wall? He slid his hand up to his throat, tossing his wand aside as he replaced it with his hand.

Hadrian could not believe he was actually hard and leaking because the Dark Lord was touching him in a threatening manner. But he was slowly being swayed to his Neko’s insistence on begging the man to touch him. He compromised. He wasn’t going to ask the man.

He slanted his mouth across the older man’s, pressing his throat into the restraining hand. Tom slammed the boy back into the wall, causing his Neko to moan at his perceived dominance. “More,” he cooed, his face flushing. He was acting like a whore, and if Voldemort – well, Tom – had access to Draco’s mind, then he would know the he was really putting himself out there. But he couldn’t stop himself and even as his blush rose, his cock twitched.

“What are you doing, Hadrian?” He couldn’t even reply, his Neko side reveling in the magic of his potential mate. He instead tried to reach Tom’s mouth.

“Please,” he begged when the hand didn’t budge. Tom’s mind finally seemed to catch up and a dangerous grin spread across his face.

He contemplated making the insolent child beg more, tell him exactly what he wanted. However, two days of waiting for him was not doing any favors for his dick, and he wasn’t going to turn him down. Slowly, keeping his hold, he pressed his thigh between Hadrian’s.

Oh Merlin, it was better than he could have ever imagined. His Neko side, wanting to let his lover know, moaned his approval as he tentatively rubbed his sensitive groin against the firmness between his legs. He kept the gyrating twitches up, and was so close to coming when the other man pulled away.

“No,” Hadrian whimpered, clinging to the man’s wrist. The hold was firm, but not unpleasantly so – just a bit controlling, though he could escape if he wished to. “Please, Tom, let me...”

Tom wasn’t ready to let the boy peak; he knew that afterwards, Hadrian would run – or at the least return to ignoring him. “No, darling, I don’t think you’ve earned the right to cum. You threatened me, and then tried to use nasty Dark curses on me. Even though you begged so pretty, you’ve done nothing for me.” He had expected the boy to unbutton his trousers and rub him, so the teen’s next actions shocked him.

Hadrian looked up at Tom as his knees hit the floor, seeing if it was acceptable. Tom looked surprised. He was almost hoping the elder would deny him – he was so short that it would be a strain if the man’s dick curved up any.

While he was thrilled to see that pretty mouth so close to him, he knew there was no way Hadrian could do anything vastly pleasurable. Rather than allowing him to stand, he wandlessly moved a chair close enough for him to sit. It was thankfully a decent height.

Hadrian was glad the man had thought of a chair – as...slutty as it was, he wanted to compare him to Draco. It wasn’t much to work with – sexually, he had only ever seen himself and Draco – and neither of them were full-grown men. With excited anticipation, he moved forward between Tom’s spread legs.

Tom watched with interest – he would be the first one inside the Savior’s mouth. His tongue was peeking out in concentration as he undid the belt and made room for himself between Tom’s legs.

Hadrian could already feel the difference, just in the temperature. Tom was hot. He worried that his perpetually cold hands would kill the mood, but he was truly too far gone to care.

Tom, like Draco, seemed to prefer silk boxers. Hadrian wondered if it was softer against their privates, or if it was just a Pureblood thing. Figuring it would be close enough, he licked the spot of precum off the deep gray fabric. He supposed it felt nice, though he noticed that he preferred the flavor to Draco – it wasn’t as bitter. Maybe that was all in his head, he mused, suckling on his lover. Remembering that he was supposed to be proving himself as a pleasing mate, he tugged the waistband down. Get it together Potter, you are not going to have the Dark Lord as a life partner.

Tom was barely keeping it together. First the boy had kitten licked him through his boxers, then he had pulled the down and seemed to be thinking. His small hands, almost unbearably cool, were slowly, tortuously, working his shaft. He wanted the boy to at least run his thumb over his slit, but he seemed to be preoccupied. When Hadrian finally moved his head forwards, Tom braced himself to feel that mouth on his head, but the infernal teen only licked a languid stripe up his shaft.

Hadrian decided that if he had to die proving himself able to take at least some of the Dark Lord’s cock, then he would have to bite the bullet and do it. However, he was going to torture this man. He wasn’t sure it would work, but he knew the Draco had been very sensitive on the tip and preferred him to focus there rather than anywhere else. Right now, he had control of the Dark Lord and wouldn’t be relinquishing it any time soon – it wasn’t like he was going to complain. Lazily, he glanced up at Tom’s slightly flushed face and licked him firmly, cutting himself off before even getting close to his slit.

Tom was ready to Crucio the teen – he knew what he was doing, torturing him like that. He almost whined when that little pink tongue poked out again and teased just under his head. Hadrian actually had the audacity to grin at him, his breath ghosting teasingly over his head, before lightly taking him into his mouth. Tom wasn’t a stingy lover; he was perfectly fine with letting out a moan to show his satisfaction with his little lover.

When Voldemort’s head hit the back of the chair and that breathy little noise made itself known, Hadrian couldn’t stop himself from sucking just a little harder and bobbing his head. He liked seeing his current...lover like that. He hummed and took him a bit into his throat – it wasn’t too difficult when he made some noise, he had found out. From the way his hips twitched forward involuntarily, he definitely liked that. Hadrian liked this much more that Draco – the blond seemed to think that letting Hadrian know what he liked was unmanly, which didn’t make sense. Wouldn’t it be worse to just settle for something you didn’t even really like?

He couldn’t be the first one who the minx had taken – there was no way. The boy knew too well what he was doing; Tom was a little jealous, but he had to admit that it was nice to not worry about the Lion choking or vomiting on him.

He could watch the little expressions cross Tom’s face all day; while in his meager experience the man was normally closed off, he had little twitches and movements that were only there for moments. Hadrian hummed, sucking a bit harder – that got his favorite reaction of all. Tom’s head would drop a little and tilt to the right, and he would watch Hadrian with a low moan. Feeling that the older man was about to come, he released his suction with a pop and used his saliva as lubricant. Before he could finish him, Tom batted his hand away.

“Why’d you stop me?” Hadrian pouted, his hand rubbing back up Tom’s thigh. He still hadn’t proven himself as a good mate. Shut the fuck up, you horny cat.

“Get up here.” Hadrian scrambled, wincing as his jeans chafed against his cock. He yelped in surprise when Tom vanished his briefs and jeans, leaving him to tent out his over-sized tee. He was not okay with that – those jeans had been very comfortable.

Tom, on the other hand, was perfectly content. As nice as the clothes had looked, he definitely preferred just the shirt – this way, there was only the illusion of privacy and his whole body was easily accessible. He pulled Hadrian close – close enough that he was breathing on Tom’s neck. He knew this position was awkward for the shorter, but it wouldn’t be held for long. Sliding his hand up under Hadrian's bum and ignoring the angered squawk, he settled the teen just in front of his cock, so he could get a hand round them both.

This was pure pleasure. He was pressed up against a firm chest and all he had to do was roll his hips and moan his approval for the large hand holding him to move a little more.

Tom languidly licked their mixed cum from his hand, glad to just hold Hadrian. He nearly had a heart attack when his partner’s tongue licked at the cum too; apparently the savior was more kinky than anyone knew.

 

 

 

Days went by in a similar fashion. Hadrian returned to meals in the Great Hall and gave suggestions to the men working on the curriculum. Once Narcissa and Draco joined them, which had led to a rather awkward situation.

Tom had had Hadrian up against a wall and was leaving his mark on the man’s neck when Draco had wandered through in search for his summer lover. He had not expected to find his new companion moaning wantonly as the Dark Lord practically bled him from the throat. And while Hadrian was too far gone to notice, the Dark Lord’s wine-red eyes bore into his as he made their mutual lover squirm and whimper. Draco got the message. He wasn’t to touch the other any more – he doubted he would even be allowed near the raven anytime soon.

Tom and Hadrian, when not working through his vaults or frotting against one another, were reworking the wards entirely. They had just been added onto since the days of the Founders and the stress of so many magical signatures was causing some of the original wards to crack or dim – tunnels which had been previously blocked by magic, had been collapsed or hidden in the castle’s effort to protect itself in the absence of wards. The forest, which had originally been fully protected as a haven for magical creatures, was now easily accessible by the general population and Muggles – though the fearsome reputation of the populations in there discouraged most.

They were sitting atop the ward stone, charging the wards with their magic, when Hadrian’s resolve to stay uninvolved broke. “You can’t set Hogwarts up as your base of operations.”
Tom froze, not liking that the child would dare speak against him. “And why is that?”
“You don’t get it! Hogwarts is home for so many of us. I mean, it’s the first place I ever felt like I belonged. And my friend Hermione, her parents ignore the fact that she’s magical. Neville can finally focus on his strengths rather than his legacy. Bringing your psychotic, Crucio-happy followers into this place that’s a haven for all of us wouldn’t gain you anything. They would just fear you and come to resent you. If you want to take over, okay, it’s not my prerogative to stop you, but it’s the youth that will fight you. You’ve already had the majority of Pureblood families for years and they trust you. But what about their children, who only ever heard their parents’ hero-worship and Dumbledore’s propaganda? They would have these conflicting ideas and then you taking over the only place of escape they have? You would just be creating followers for him.” He was out of breath and almost crying.

Tom could see his point and was worried the boy would lead a revolt if he couldn’t see what he was trying to do. “You make good points, Hadrian. I had planned on having some sort of base here, but I think you are right. The youth will not see me in a very good light and it is not up to me to decide their affiliation at this point in their lives.”

Hadrian couldn’t help himself. He threw himself into Tom’s lap and kissed him soundly, tasting the Dark Lord’s mouth. He could do this forever. But he remembered how he had been talking about his friends and while he had tried to keep them safe, maybe it was better if he did it himself. Tom was a Slytherin; if it would suit him to lie, then he would.

 

 

 

Tom was sprawled in his bed, Hedwig grooming his immaculate hair. Hadrian couldn’t believe that he had allowed the man to get so close so quickly. He checked his pocket surreptitiously, making sure his trunk and wand were still there. It had been difficult, packing with Tom always coming to the tower, but when he had finally burst and sent the man away, Tom had been fine with it, only returning when Hadrian gave his blessing after dinner. It was unusual for him. Hermione tended to be well-meaning but overbearing, and Ron had no boundaries due to growing up with five brothers. The Dursleys had never given a damn about what he wanted.

Tom actually listened to him. Or at least pretended he did. Before the lump in his throat could turn to tears, he sprung of the bed and away from Tom.

“I’m going to the kitchens.”

Tom was concerned about the boy; earlier he had been secretive and now he was going to the kitchens when he had just eaten moments ago. However, it wasn’t a terrible thing – he was too skinny. “Alright. Could you bring me tea?”
“Um, yeah, sure.” He left the tower and pulled his invisibility cloak on. As he descended the marble staircase leading to the Entrance Hall, he glanced at the dungeon stairwell. He could just go see Dobby, get food, and spend the rest of the night with Tom….it wouldn’t be too difficult, he could just write his friends…

No. He wouldn’t put it past Dumbledore to hold his friends hostage if he suspected Hadrian was involved with the Dark Lord. And he doubted that Tom actually cared about him enough to rescue his friends who might not be loyal to him. He was just a young lay for the man.

The doors seemed far heavier than any other time. Sobbing, he slammed them shut and darted towards the forest. He couldn’t look back – this was the last time he would see his home, and his last memories were of Voldemort smiling softly and asking for tea. Fumbling with his wand and shrunken broom, he mounted the Firebolt, his entire body shaking with the force of his crying. He was trying to be silent – he could hear something moving in the bushes only a few feet away from him.

 

 

Sirius was brought up short by Remus as a rustling was heard behind the brush wall they were facing. A loud sound – almost like a child crying – echoed through the night. Sirius wanted to go around and check, but stopped when the noise rose up into the trees.

“You’re the magical creatures expert, Moon. What the ever-living fuck was that?”

“I couldn’t tell you, Padfoot. Any number of things mimic the cries of young to lure in prey. And I think we’re going the wrong way – I can’t feel Greyback. Let’s turn around.”

 

 

 

He could feel the wards of the ramshackle house in front of him. Before he placed a foot over them, a wand was at his throat. He looked up into the soft blue eyes of Bill Weasley.

“Who are – Harry?”
“Bill? I thought you were still in Egypt.”
“No, Charlie and I came back to…say, what are you doing here?”
Hadrian knew that the eldest Weasley had often disagreed with his parents’ closeness to the Headmaster, and he really didn’t have many choices here. If he lied and just said he wanted to come and visit, Molly and Arthur would notify Dumbledore. “I...it’s the headmaster. Um, I went to Gringotts a bit over a week ago. The Goblins said that Dumbledore was my magical guardian. But he never cared! You know how the Dursleys treated me. And he was blocking my magic and my creature inheritance.”

“WHAT?” Came the hysterical whisper of Charlie from behind them. Hadrian jumped and hissed at him, warning him off. Charlie, remembering that he was dealing with a creature, raised his hands and let the tiny male calm down.

“My creature inheritance. I should have had the beginning part when I turned eleven and the remainder of the inheritance last summer. Dumbledore blocked it so Griphook had to arrange a ritual for it all to be done at once.”
“He’s an accomplished wizard and a Pureblood! He would have known how dangerous that is.”

“I don’t think he cares.”

Charlie pulled him in for a hug and the Neko side of him liked that. He twined himself around the stocky Weasley and let out a low purr. Bill laughed at him. “Mum and Dad are expecting me. How about I send the twins to you and they can help you scheme.” Hadrian merely wrapped his legs around Charlie’s waist and nodded, basking in the scents of the man. He smelled warm – like kin, not people. You’re thinking of dragons as kin now, Potter. You really need help.

“Let me guess, Neko?” Hadrian nodded, his purring intensifying. He allowed his ears and tail out for the magizoologist’s inspection. Charlie was nice. His hands were gentle and warm and he wasn’t pulling at his fur in any way. He was almost asleep on the dragon tamer when dual cracks echoed through the air. Having prepared himself, he merely clung a little harder and rumbled a bit in his chest – he didn’t want Charlie to experience the full brunt of his claws.

He grinned at the twins. “Should we leave you two alone?” Fred cackled.

“Or would you like us to watch?”
“Oh, fuck off,” Hadrian laughed, not letting go of Charlie.

“Bill told us,” George stated, suddenly going solemn. “We just want you to know -”

“- that we never supported the Headmaster. Not with Mum -”
“- spouting his propaganda all the time.”
“So we are at your service!” Charlie set him down with a few pets to the ears and stepped across the wards.

“Where to first, Harrykins?”
Hadrian giggled as they frog-marched him to a little copse of trees. “Did you know that my actual name is Hadrian?”

“Well, then, Hadrian darling, where shall we take you?”
Out of breathe after being dragged, he gasped out, “Gringotts, you demons.”
The lobby was empty – though it wasn’t too late, it was common knowledge that shady dealings often occurred after eight. The twins by his side, he waited for the goblin to look up at him.

“Business?”
“Hadrian Potter to see Griphook, please.”

“Go to his office. You know where it is, I presume?”
Hadrian wanted to snap at the taciturn creature. Of course he would know; Griphook was his account manager. “Yes. Thank you for your time.”
“Well, he was a sweet treat -”
“Oh, an absolute delight,” cackled George.

“Well, as annoying as his bad attitude was, I can sort of understand it. I mean, the Parkinsons and Goyles use this branch. I hear that goblins don’t get on well with trolls and harpies.”
“You heard correctly, Mr. Potter.”
“Hello, Griphook,” Hadrian smiled delicately, still tentative about his place with the Goblins. “These are my friends, Fred and George. The two I’m investing in.”
“It’s my pleasure. Now, what has spurred this visit?” Griphook responded kindly. He had a soft spot for the little creature – while he was submissive, he had a warrior’s spirit and a kind heart.

Hadrian shifted. “The Headmaster has been ousted – a bit of a secret coup on behalf of the Heir of Slytherin and a bit of help from me. I need a place to go. A place that will be able to house my friends and serve as a sanctuary of sorts. I know that the Blacks have a townhouse in London, and I wondered if there were any other properties.”
Griphook bared his teeth in a feral smile. “This is...auspicious news, Hadrian. Removing him from power is quite a step in the right direction for you, I daresay. Now, let us look at what is available to you.” From a drawer, he pulled out a thick stack of parchments. “You will need a rather large space, if I am guessing correctly?”

“Yes.”
“Alright, then I will remove the smaller properties and the ones with less protection – that eliminates most of the Potter houses, I am afraid.”

“Wait, can anyone access the Black properties then?”
“No. The townhouse has been compromised, but the other wards have locked down. Seeing as they are blood wards tied to the head of House Black, you need not worry.”

Hadrian nodded, settling back into his chair. If he truly was going to go through with this, he was doing it right. He wouldn’t compromise his friends’ safety for his own qualms.

“Now then, there are a few properties available after the requirements you had. Chateau Blanc in France, Black Manor in Wales, and a hunting lodge in Germany. All the wards are in good shape and they have a cadre of elves in each residence.”
“I think that I would prefer to stay in the UK – so Black Manor. I will need portkeys – take the money from the Black Vault.”
“Of course. While I have those crafted, please feel free to edit any of the wards you feel the need to. If not, just accept the key and you will be able to access it at any time.”

 

 

“Back to the Burrow now, darling?”

“No, and stop calling me that! We need to get Luna – she lives across the village from the Burrow, right?”
“Yeah. But why? It’s not like you’re friends with her.”
Hadrian shuffled. “I mean...I feel bad, because she’s always there to help me – I swear, she’s psychic – but...I don’t really know her. It’s more like confused appreciation. But I think Dumbledore might know that she’s...special in some way. I don’t want him to hurt her.”

The twins were somber – a look that didn’t suit them at all. “You think he would hurt a little girl to get back at you?”
“Well...he hasn’t done anything to prove that he wouldn’t.”

 

 

Luna’s house was fitting for the dreamy blonde. Made of grey stone, flowers and moss twisted up the towering walls. The path was lighted in every color under the sun, illuminating a miasma of flora.

Nervously, Hadrian knocked on the door. What if she was totally against the idea?
“Oh, hello, Hadrian. The Nargles told me you would be here.”

“Hello Luna. Mind if we come in?”
She smiled at him, pushing the door wider. “Oh, not at all. Would you like some tea? Daddy got me some really nice varieties from India – that’s where he is right now.”
“You’re alone?” he questioned, askance. She was barely fourteen, she shouldn’t be left alone for that long!

Not bothering to answer the question, she drifted back into the warm tower. Hadrian sneezed repeatedly – there was some sort of incense in the air, and it was bothering his nose. Reaching the kitchen, he found Luna setting a kettle on. “Do you like cream?”
“Yes,” chorused the twins, settling at the table.

“No. Luna, we need to talk.”
“Is that what you’re here for? I was ever so curious.” She sat at the table and focused her large eyes on him.

Hadrian was uncomfortable – Luna could probably see into his soul if she wanted. “Er, yeah. It's just...Dumbledore has done a lot of things – not just to me – that make me want to defect, for lack of a better word. Hogwarts had been taken, but I don’t want to trust anyone with the safety of my friends. I want you to come with me – well, use a portkey to leave here and stay there while I get the rest of us.”

Luna tilted her head. “You would normally forgive him...he must have done something unforgivable.”

Looking away, he picked at the table. “It’s been building for years...I was always quick to forgive him...but he blocked my creature inheritance. I could have dealt with that on it’s own, but...I can’t continue like this anymore. I feel like I’m a puppet, like my strings are being pulled this way and that and my mouth has been sewn shut so no one believes me anymore.” He glanced up as Luna stood, leaving the room. “Wait, Luna, where are you going?”

“To pack, of course.” He smiled at the blonde.

 

 

 

Fred and George Apparated him back to the copse they had originally left from. “Let us go first, okay?”

Hadrian was about to reply when he saw a familiar figure leaving the gate of the Burrow. “Dumbledore!” he hissed, crouching low.

“Hide, we’ll try to distract him,” George ordered, pulling fireworks from his pockets while Hadrian wiggled under a large patch of brush.

“What are you two doing?” came Charlie’s upset voice. “Mum’s been looking for you everywhere – and put those crackers away, the woods are dry.”
“Ah, Charles, leave the youth to their games,” the headmaster said jovially. Hadrian would bet that he was twinkling too. “But Charles is right, you two. Your delightful mother is very worried for your safety, you ought to go.” Panic welled in Hadrian's throat – he didn’t want to be out here, one person away from being alone with the headmaster.

“Go back to Mum, you two,” ordered Charlie, wanting his twin brothers to be away from this conversation. Without arguing – surprisingly – the twins left.

“Charles, thank you. Now, how is the recruitment for the order going in Romania?”
“Not well – most I have contact with aren’t political at all – they just want to save the dragons from persecution.”
A tired, gusty sigh signaled Dumbledore’s displeasure. “Ah, in these dark times I wish I had the luxury of being neutral. However, keep trying – come to Black’s house if you learn anything. We are close to establishing it as headquarters.”
NO. Not Sirius. Another Black, obviously. He’s the only one left, Potter. He’s betrayed you and himself.

Chapter Text

So. I haven't posted in way too long. I have an explanation or two for you all though. 

I live in a place where seven out of twelve months are winter. Combine that with my depression, I suffer from seasonal depression (yeah it's a fairly common thing where I live) and can barely go through with school. It's also my senior year which is even more stressful. So March comes around and I'm gearing up for spring break, hoping to get my write on. 

The week before spring break, my dad passed away really unexpectedly. I had talked to him just a few days before. He had a heart attack and I was numb for the next month and a half. There was no way I could even think about writing. 

 But I've made it and graduated. I now have the entire summer to work on my writing and hopefully please you guys. I haven't even read any fanfiction but hopefully I'll get back into the groove. 

I hope to have a chapter up in the next two weeks. 

Thanks, caaarl