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The Secret Spy

Chapter Text

Lyra shifted slightly from her position at the window. She had been watching the house down the street all day and it was getting uncomfortable. Dumbledore, she mentally sneered at the name, Dumbledore had set her to watch the Dursleys for a couple days. He didn’t know who she really was, of course. He thought she was a squib named Arabella Figg, instead of a pureblood witch named Lyra Rosier.

From what she could see, they were a horrible family, with a spoiled, bratty kid who kicked his mother and got his way in everything. She didn’t understand why he wanted her to watch them in the first place. They were just a disgusting Muggle family in the middle of a suburb.

Getting up, she walked over to the floo and went through to his office. TIme to make her report.

-

“They are horrible people, Dumbledore. I still don’t understand why you wanted me to watch them in the first place.”

“They are the Potter’s Muggle relatives and since they are in danger right now, I thought it would be best to prepare for the worst. Please continue watching them.” Dumbledore replied, twisting it enough he probably thought she wouldn’t realize what he was doing.

She mumbled a goodbye and went back through the floo, mind whirling. Dumbledore was trying to set up a home for the Potter boy when his family was still living. What did he know that she didn’t?

-

Lyra was once again watching Number 4 Privet Drive out the window the fateful evening of the Potter’s deaths. Was this the information Dumbledore had known? If so, why didn’t he try and warn the Potters?

She was startled by the sudden appearance of Minerva McGonagall and Dumbledore out on the street. They stood talking for a while before they looked up and a motorcycle screamed down to land from the sky. If they were trying to be quiet, they couldn’t have done a worse job.

Dumbledore took a small bundle from the giant man on the motorcycle and walked up to the Dursley’s house. He bent down for a second before standing up again without the bundle. Surely they couldn’t mean to leave the child alone in the cold night? He was barely a year old, for Merlin’s sake! He could freeze to death!

After the adults had left, Lyra rushed out the house she was staying in. There was no way she was leaving that boy out in the cold all night. In fact, why not bring him back to her employers? The Dark Lord was gone, so he would be able to grow up happier than if he would be at the Muggles, at least.

Lyra gathered her belongings before activating her special portkey, holding tightly to the small boy.

-

She appeared at Malfoy Manor, walking gracefully out of the landing. Hearing voices in the parlor, she went through to find Lucius, Narcissa, and their young son Draco sitting together around a fireplace. The rest of the room was filled with other Death Eaters.

When she came in, everyone went silent, surprised at their spies sudden unscheduled appearance. Lucius stood up from his chair, eyes observing the child she was holding.

“Lyra? I wasn’t expecting you for a week at least.” He said smoothly.

“Yes, but I found the need to arrive sooner than scheduled. Once you hear my report, I’m sure you’ll agree it was necessary.” Some of the other Death Eaters were ushered out, obviously not of the Inner Circle as the Malfoys and Lestranges were.

Narcissa led Lyra to a chair and she sat down gratefully, transfiguring her clothes back to the normal elegant robes they were and shredding through her glamour. Everyone looked at her expectantly, except for Draco, who had fallen asleep.

“I was watching the Muggles for Dumbledore as usual. I’d already reported to him a few days ago about how horrible they were, and he completely dismissed my concerns as if I’d never said them. He also talked about the Potters as if he knew they were going to die.” Lyra could see many questions and exclamations that the crowd surrounding her wanted to vocalize, but thankfully they waited for her to finish. “I returned to watching them for a few more days, and this evening, the Potters died and along with them, our Lord. What surprised me, however, was when Dumbledore appeared on Privet Drive and simply dumped the child on the doorstep with a blanket and left. So, I, of course, couldn’t pass up this lovely opportunity on a platter, and brought young Harry home with me.”

Rodolphus was looking thoughtfully at Lyra, Bellatrix standing clear-eyed at his side. She hadn’t forgotten her mind-calming potion today then. The poor girl had been born with maniac mood swings due to Black inbreeding and was usually in mental agony before Severus had created a potion for her.

Rabastan had moved over to her side and was watching the baby Potter sleeping with an almost longing look on his face. He’d never be able to have children, as he preferred male company to female, but he’d always wanted some and was trying to convince Severus to be willing to adopt.

Lyra lit up as an idea came to her. Maybe Bastian and Severus could take Harry in.

“Well?” Lucius asked dryly, recognising her usual brilliant idea look.

“What if we raised the Potter as a Dark child? If our Lord returns, I believe he would appreciate greatly if his supposed enemy was on his side. After all, aren’t most prophecies self-fulfilling?” She said, garnering hopeful looks from Bastian.

“I suppose we could do that, but who would raise him?” Severus asked, having appeared from his time spying on Dumbledore halfway through their conversation. Rabastan gave him a pleading look and understanding dawned on his face.

“Please, Sev? I’ve always wanted a child?” Bastian begged his husband. Many different expressions crossed his faces, including one that looked almost like fear, before Severus bowed his head. “Okay.”

Bastian cheered before whispered something in his husband’s ear that made most of the tension drain from his body.

Lyra handed the baby over to Rabastan and went to find Barty. She’d missed her husband the week she’d been away.

Chapter Text

Rabastan looked down at the baby in his lap, a blindingly happy smile on his face. Severus was fetching the blood adoption potion from his lab for them, so he was waiting with Narcissa and Rodolphus, still sitting in the same chair he’d been when Lyra had brought him to the Manor.

His husband came back into the room, holding three vials of crimson colored potion. Bastian took one and Severus kept the other two for himself and Harry. They took a hair from their head each and gently one from the small child before slicing it precisely in thirds and dropping it into their potions.

Rabastan drank his, feeling the tingle go through him before he morphed just slightly. His skin was the smallest bit darker and he saw Severus had slight curls now. Harry, however, had almost completely changed. His skin was now olive like Severus and he had chocolate hair from Rabastan. His eyes, when he opened them, were a dark forest green, several shades darker than his previous emerald.

“Awww. He looks just like he was born your son.” Narcissa cooed, joined by her sister, who was curled up with Rodolphus on the large couch.

“He also needs a new name.” Lucius said sensibly, handing Severus a stack of papers. “I can call in a few favors at the Ministry to slip this all through legally without catching Dumbledore’s attention.”

Bastian thought for a minute and said, “Severus, could we name him Harlin Alaric Lestrange-Prince?”

His husband hugged him tenderly. “Of course, love. I think it’s the perfect name.”

They filled out the legal forms and returned them to Lucius, who smiled and suggested they go back to Prince Manor and set up a room for their new child.

-

Bastian carefully went through the portkey holding Harlin while Severus steadied him as he came out. He loved their house, but they were so rarely able to spend time together here. Hopefully now they would have more time, but Severus would still be required to report to Dumbledore and teach at Hogwarts.

“Love?” Bastian was startled from his thoughts at his husband’s quiet question and realized he’d been staring off into space.

“Sorry, was lost in thought, darling.” Rabastan followed Severus through the Manor to a small room next to the Master suite that was obviously intended for children. It still had the faded decor from its previous occupant.

Bastian called a House Elf and asked them to vanish the old wallpaper and help them move the old furniture. Severus took a turn holding their new son so Bastian could whip out his wand and magically decorate the room. He had House Elves bring him some of the furniture in storage and fine-tuned it to suit his desires before creating a mural on the wall of a forest, complete with a lake and magical creatures. His husband watched his painting with admiration, always having been a fan of his art.

When he finished, Severus put Harlin into his new crib and tucked him in. They watched him sleeping for a moment before walking quietly out of the room and into their bedroom next door.

Once they were in bed, Rabastan cuddled up against Severus and sleepily murmured, “Our very own son, Sev. He’s all ours.” His husband stroked his hair and they fell asleep content in the knowledge that they had a life-long dream come true.

Chapter Text

Severus stared at his son’s sleeping face for a moment before waking him, appreciating once more the fact that Harlin was biologically his due to the adoption potion. He, along with Bastian, had always secretly wanted children.

Shaking himself out of his thoughts, he moved over to Harlin’s crib, gently waking his son and lifting him out the crib. He changed him into new clothes and took him downstairs to where Bastian was waiting in the kitchen. The House Elves helped them feed their son and then they got everything ready for the guests that would be coming for Harlin’s second birthday, his first with his new family. All of the Inner Circle had been invited, so that meant Bastian’s brother and Bella would be coming, along with Lucius, Draco, Narcissa, Lyra, and Barty.

The floo came to life and they all came through one at a time, with Draco being held by Narcissa. Greetings were exchanged and presents placed aside for later as the friends all caught up on what they had been doing recently. To Severus’s surprise, Bella had recently realized she was pregnant. He would have to double-check her mood stabilizing potion to make sure it was still safe for her to consume.

Then it was time for presents. Bastian opened Harlin’s presents for him, as the little boy was still too young to do so himself, making sure to thank everyone. They spent the rest of the morning socializing before the Inner Circle left and Bastian and Severus spent the rest of the day playing with Harlin.

-

6 years later:

Draco and Harlin were playing in the garden outside Malfoy Manor. Harlin went running after one of the peacocks, laughing, and Draco followed him. They soon grew bored of chasing the peacock and started running after each other. Narcissa watched them from the window, smiling, but glad she’d had the foresight to make them change into old clothes. Lucius came to stand next to her, wrapping her in a gentle hug. They wished Harlin’s parents could see this, but Severus was still spying on the old goat, so he was absent more than he’d like in his son’s life.They looked so happy and carefree together, something that would have been impossible if Lyra hadn’t rescued Harlin from where Dumbledore had abandoned him those 6 years ago.

It was only a few years until they would be going off to Hogwarts, Narcissa realized. They’d grow up so fast. It felt like it was only a year ago when her Draco was still sleeping in a crib.

-

The summer before 1st year:

“Come on, boys, one more stop and then we can go get ice cream.” The Inner Circle were all out shopping with Draco and Harlin, and Bella and Lyra both had their daughters with them. Elena and Sadira were both 9 years old, so they were both full of energy and talkative, though staying mostly in proper composure like the purebloods they were.

They went into Madame Malkins and stood carefully still while they were fitted, not wanting to get poked with any needles. While they were waiting for their finished robes, a shabby looking red haired boy burst into the shop rudely, followed by several other red haired boys, presumably brothers.

Harlin blinked, offended, when the boy suddenly looked at him and said, “Who do you think you are? Stop staring at me. I’m Ron Weasley, Harry Potter’s best friend.” He also had to hold in a ungentlemanly snort. If only the ginger knew who he was talking to, he’d faint from shock.

Draco, who had been silently sitting next to him so far, sneered at the boy. “As if we’d stare at you, Weasley. You’re not worth our time.” The Weasel’s face turned red, but before he could respond, he was pulled away by his mother to get fitted.

Narcissa took their robes to ensure they wouldn’t get rumpled and the group left to Fortescue’s for ice cream.

Chapter Text

Harlin and Draco stepped elegantly through the floo onto Platform 9¾. It was time for them to make the same journey as their parents and grandparents had before them. Harlin’s Papa was already at Hogwarts, but his Dad hugged him tightly before saying goodbye.

“Have a good year, but don’t get into trouble if you can help it. And be careful.” His Dad told him, the words filled with unspoken meaning. He had only known his true identity for a month, but it felt more like a distant thing than who he really was. Still, he had to make sure no one figured out who he really was, or they’d try and take him away from his family. Lucius had already had to Obliviate the half-giant when he tried to show up at the Dursleys, but Dumbledore wouldn’t be any the wiser that Harry wasn’t at Number 4 Privet Drive until it was far too late.

After being smothered in a hug by Bella, patted on the shoulder by Lucius, and kissed on the forehead by Lyra and Narcissa, the boys made their escape onto the train. They found a empty compartment and settled down, putting their luggage in the racks above them and strapping them down.

A few minutes later, the train began to move and the boys waved out the window to their family until the station was a speck in the distance. They had just sat back down when the door was opened quietly by a mocha-colored boy with regal features and a thin boy with pale skin and chestnut brown hair.

“Hello, I’m Draco Malfoy and this is Harlin Lestrange-Prince. And you are?” Draco said politely, recognising the posture of pureblood children.

“I’m Blaize Zambini and this is Theodore Nott Jr.” The dark-skinned boy responded. Draco nodded, before asking them, “Would you like to join us in our compartment?”

They closed the door behind them and sat down across from Draco and Harlin, the latter of whom was biting back a smile at how formal he got to be. They were the children of death eaters, but not Inner Circle, so he’d never been introduced to them before now. The rest of the train after they entered was filled with inane and polite conversation and changing into their school robes.

-

Once the train stopped and they got out at the station in Hogsmeade, Harlin and Draco claimed themselves a boat along with Blaise and Theo. One kid somehow fell out of their boat as the first years were crossing the Black Lake, and they were lifted back in by the Giant Squid.

Draco smirked confidently over at the Weasel from the robe shop as they waited to go into the Great Hall to be sorted, and the boys were both pleased to hear the ginger still proclaiming loudly that he was best friends with Harry Potter, but being unable to produce his so-called ‘best mate’ when asked where he was.

Finally, the doors to the Great Hall swung open and the two boys walked elegantly past the House tables, knowing that first impressions were important, unlike a few nervous children who were making fools of themselves.

Harlin was called a few names before Draco and was quickly sorted into Slytherin, with his friend following close behind. They sat down in the midst of the higher-ranking children, knowing they were automatically given the title of Princes of Slytherin because of the family.

During the sorting, Dumbledore’s face had been growing more and more concerned, and when Harry Potter was never called, whispers and muttering started up, since everyone had heard that he was coming to Hogwarts that year.

The old goat hurried started the feast and then rushed through a welcome speech before sending the prefects to lead the students to their dormitories. He left the Great Hall quickly, followed by the rest of the teachers, most likely off to find out that the Dursleys had never even laid eyes on Harry Potter.

Harlin raised an eyebrow and snickered at the uncoordinated stumbling of the Weasel as he almost fell several times over his too-long robes. He rose and walked leisurely back to Slytherin with Draco, the rest of their year following behind respectfully. Hierarchy was important in Slytherin.

When they made it into the Common Room, Harlin spotted his Papa lurking in the shadows and was the only one that didn’t jump when he suddenly appeared from the darkness.

“Welcome to Slytherin.” The dry voice of his Papa said, eyes looking critically over the new students before landing on Harlin and softening. “One thing you should learn now is that in this house we don’t accept anything but your best effort. We also will not tolerate public arguments or fights. If you must deal with anger or other frivolous issues teenagers will concoct, do it inside of Slytherin, not in front of the school. Slytherin already deals with enough discrimination, we don’t need to show weakness for them to exploit. We are united in public, no matter what you really feel or think for your fellow housemates. Now, go find your dorms. Your belongs will already be in the one you have been assigned.”

The Slytherins scattered, breaking off in twos and threes and going to their rooms. Harlin waited until Draco was the only other person in the Common Room before hugging his Papa tightly. “I’ve missed you since you had to leave last week. But now I’m going to miss Dad.”

His Papa smiled mysteriously. “You might see him more often than you think.”

After a moment, Harlin puzzled out his meaning. “Oh, that would be great if we could meet on the weekends sometime, then. I just don’t want to see anything!” He made a disgusted face.

“You think relationships are gross now, but not for long, my son. And then I’ll get to terrorize your boyfriend or girlfriend!” Harlin scrutinized his father’s face. His smile was practically scary this time, but he was pretty sure his Papa was sincere about scaring whoever he ended up dating.

Draco sidled over and made a few excuses before pulling Harlin away. “Come on! I want to go find our room.” He was sure they would be rooming together, Hogwarts had a habit of placing high-ranking students together, at least in Slytherin.

Chapter Text

Albus Dumbledore couldn’t help the smile from growing on his face. Finally, he would be able to start preparing his pawn to bring down Voldemort so he could reign over the Wizarding World without people trying to take away his power. Humming, he dressed in his brightest red robes and headed down to the Great Hall to await the students. He passed Minerva and Severus on the way and made sure to give them both a subtle smile. They were Order members as well, and knew the importance of the child who would be arriving today. His plan would finally go into action.

-

Dumbledore scanned the faces of the first years, looking for one that resembled James and Lily. It had been such a shame that they needed to die, they’d been such bright and competent members of the Order, but they never would’ve given their child up to do the right thing and die defeating Voldemort. He didn’t spot anyone who looked as he imagined Harry would, but dismissed the niggling feeling of worry easily. He would be there, Hagrid had taken him to Diagon Alley as planned, and the boy would jump at the chance to go somewhere other than his relatives, he was sure of it. The boy probably just looked different than he’d imagined. He did see the Malfoy heir, and inwardly sneered at him and the aristocratic boy at his side. They would be arrested as they Death Eaters they were soon.

However, as the sorting progressed, the feeling of something wrong grew. When the letter P passed without Potter, Harry being called, he felt himself paling, but assured himself that the boy had probably just missed the train. He exchanged a worried look with Minerva before rushing through a welcome speech and starting the feast.

As soon as he possibly could, Dumbledore sent the students off to their Houses and hurried out of the Great Hall, his Order members behind him. They summoned the other members available and made their way up to his office. One after the other, they flooed to Hogsmeade before Apparating with sharp cracks to Number 4 Privet Drive.

-

“What do you mean, you’ve never even seen a boy named Harry?” Molly Weasley demanded, looking down her nose at the whale of a man you’d answered the door.

“I don’t know what you freaks are talking about, but I’ve never even seen that freak son of that freak sister of my perfectly normal wife. Now get out before I call the police!” The whale slammed the door in their faces and they stood, stunned, in silence.

After a moment, it was Severus Snape who asked, “Now what?”

Dumbledore quickly asserted his authority before the Order could dissolve into a panicked mob. “We go back to headquarters and have a emergency meeting.”

A much subdued group Apparated to the Burrow, their current headquarters, and sat down around the large table in the kitchen.

“What are we going to do?”

“Where is Harry, do you think?”

“Could he be dead?”

“Maybe the Muggles killed him and lied to us?”

“We need to find Harry!”

Suddenly, everyone started talking over one another, panicking and shouting.

“SILENCE!” Dumbledore cried. Everyone shut up immediately at the sound of him yelling, which did not happen often. They looked at him expectantly.

Dumbledore took a deep breath. “The problem here that needs to be addressed first is the fact that Hagrid went shopping in Diagon with Harry to get his school supplies, but he said that he picked him up from the Dursleys. If the Dursleys never saw him, and the told the truth about never seeing him, I checked with Legilimency!” He added, seeing those who thought they had been lying about to start arguing again. “...Then where is Harry Potter and why did Hagrid think he was living with the Muggles?”

“Someone could have Obliviated him or modified his memories.” Minerva suggested.“But who?”

After hours of trying to figure out where Harry was, the Order gave up, exhausted and worried, heading back to their homes. Dumbledore went back to Hogwarts and sat in his office for a few minutes before suddenly picking up a glass paperweight from his desk and throwing it against the wall in anger. Fawkes let out a startled cry and left his perch, flying up to a safer spot in the rafters.

“I just don’t understand how this could have happened! Everything was planned out perfectly!” Dumbledore yelled, losing his temper for the second time that evening. His vision of the future was falling apart around his wrinkled, evil head.

Chapter Text

“The Weasel looks like he is trying to bore a hole through your back with his glare.” Draco drawled, lounging comfortably in his seat next to Harlin.

“Oh, really? Oh dear, I hope he doesn’t hurt himself.” Harlin said snootily in reply, getting a snort from his friend. The two amused themselves with making snide remarks about the Weasel and the annoying girl who seemed to think that she was better than everyone else until the bells rang and Harlin’s Papa came into the room, robes swirling out behind him theatrically. He had to bite back a laugh, because he’d seen him practicing his speech in the mirror a few days before.

Snape stopped at the front of the room and paused dramatically before calling out attendance, muttering, “Of course there’s another Weasley,” when he came to Ron. When he finished calling names, he started his prized speech.

"You are here to learn the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. As there is little foolish wand-waving here, many of you will hardly believe this is magic. I don't expect you will really understand the beauty of the softly simmering cauldron with its shimmering fumes, the delicate power of liquids that creep through human veins, bewitching the mind, ensnaring the senses... I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death—if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach." Many of the students were hanging on his words until the last sentence, and then most of them looked offended. Draco and Harlin exchanged a look, knowing this was positively tame compared to his usual biting retorts.

“Weasley!” Snape said suddenly, snapping everyone’s attention towards the ginger. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?"

“I don’t know.” The Weasel responded, almost stuttering at the sudden verbal assault.

“Oh dear, I guess your older brothers got the last of the brain cells.” Snape responded, almost smiling at him, but not a kind smile.

The Weasel sputtered and looked outraged for a second, but a sharp glare from the professor quelled him.

“Lets see if someone else can answer a question, shall we… Ah, Mr. Malfoy, where would you look if I told you to find me a bezoar?"

“The stomach of a goat, sir.” The blonde said smugly, winking at Harlin, who knew he’d be next to be asked a question.

“Correct, five points to Slytherin.” Snape browsed the faces of the students for a moment before stopping on Harlin. “Mr. Lestrange-Prince, what is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?"

“There is no difference, sir. They are the same plant and are also known as aconite.” Harlin grinned at his Papa for a second, happy that he’d been warned ahead of time to read his textbooks before school started.

“Another five points to Slytherin. At least some of you are not so hopeless at potions that I couldn’t even use you for potions ingredients.” Snape replied. “Well, why are you not writing these answers down?” He asked the class, who frantically started rummaging for their quills and notebooks.

Ron muttered something to his neighbor about Death Eater brats getting favoritism, and Snape smiled like he’d just been told he could give an hour long speech on how terrible all of them were at everything. “Ten points from Gryffindor, Mr. Weasley.”

“What?! That’s not fair!” The Weasel yelled.

Snape almost looked bored. “Another ten for disrespecting a teacher.” Ron sputtered again, speechless, before the bushy haired girl clapped a hand over his mouth, preventing him from saying anything else. He looked mutinous but allowed himself to be silenced until the professor had swooped over to a girl on the other end of the room and started berating her for spilling her ink everywhere.

-

Later, in transfiguration, Harlin easily transformed his match into a needle and then spent the rest of the class passing notes with Draco, careful not to get caught. His Dad would not be pleased if he got in trouble on his first day and his Papa would lecture him for hours. He’d just began drawing a quite accurate caricature of Weasel when McGonagall stopped in front of his desk and asked, “Have you finished?”

“Yes, Professor.” He showed her his perfect needle and she smiled approvingly at him. Draco also displayed his needle to her and was given 5 points to Slytherin along with Harlin.

“How are you already done?!” The bushy-haired know-it-all cried. “I read my textbooks and practiced on the train and I’m only halfway there. You must be cheating!”

McGonagall along with most of the class looked horrified at her stupidity and rudeness. Ron, however, decided the hole he’d dug himself into already with Snape wasn’t quite deep enough, and said, “The slimy snakes probably did something to your match, Hermione, so they’d look good. I’m sure they’ll get in trouble for it.”

McGonagall seemed to have had enough, for she drew herself up to her very impressive full height and said, “Now listen here, these two boys have done a magnificent job for their first lesson and I will not have you accusing them of cheating when I saw them transfiguring their needles without help of any kind with my own two eyes. If you do not stop disrespecting your classmates, I shall have to take points from Gryffindor and give you detention.”

Hermione seemed to have been cowed, but the Weasel obviously didn’t get the message because he said, very rudely, “You’re wrong. They must have cheated and you just didn’t see it.”

The professor sighed. “Twenty points from Gryffindor and a detention for you, Mr. Weasley, this evening. And if you don’t show up, then I will extend your detention to a week in length.”

The rest of the Gryffindors were now glaring at the boy, angry at him for losing them forty points in only a few hours. Ron kicked his desk leg angrily and sulked for the rest of the lesson, sure he was being punished for no reason, while Draco and Harlin exchanged amused glances. At least they’d have entertainment.

Chapter Text

Dumbledore looked around the room at the Order, seemingly in better spirits than he had been since school started a week ago. Snape watched him covertly, noting that he was holding something in a small bag. Whatever it was must be the source of his good spirits.

He stood up and said, words clipped in feigned annoyance, “Everyone’s here, let’s get on with it.” Keeping his mask of irritable professor on.

“My boy, calm down, but yes, let us get started.” Dumbledore responded, trying to placate him with meaningless maneuvering, which made Snape sneer inwardly. The annoying old coot was starting to get on his nerves more.

Dumbledore raised up the bag and announced, “I have found a way to find Harry Potter.” Everyone immediately became more alert, except for Snape who was inwardly tense in worry. He didn’t think whatever it was would work, but it wasn’t a certainty.

Albus opened the bag and pulled out a small vial of blood and a mirror. “I’ve found an old ritual that lets you see where the person is. It is technically considered illegal, so I wouldn’t use it unless I was in a situation like this, where a young boy’s life depends on us.” Snape had to mentally applaud him for that, it was Master level manipulation so that his headless chickens of an Order wouldn’t be upset at him using blood magic. Not that he actually was happy about it, but you had to acknowledge the strengths of others in order to defeat them.

He opened the vial and used a finger to trace runes on the surface of the mirror, with the Order watching his every move in anticipation. When he finished, the mirror glowed briefly, but then words appeared glowing in the air above the mirror and Dumbledore dropped it in shock. The blood used does not exist.

Was emblazoned in the air in the middle of the Order, who sat there for a moment before bursting out in questions again.

Snape watched smugly, face carefully blank, as Dumbledore threw a mini tantrum before dismissing his Order members. Time to go report the situation to the rest of the Inner Circle.

-

Harlin was walking down the hallway, alone for the first time in a while, and thinking pensively about what a problem Dumbledore could end up being, when someone yelled, “Ooh, look, the mini Death Eater’s all on his lonesome.”

In the blink of an eye, he was surrounded by Gryffindor boys, of whom he recognised one of the five as the Weasel, and the others he’d never seen before.

Harlin knew he was outnumbered and tried to back up before finding he was at the top of the stairs, cornered, since he wouldn’t turn his back on the Gryffindors to go down them.

“Let’s give him something to remember next time he decides to act like a slimy Death Eater.” Ron, obviously the ringleader, said. He shoved the smaller boy, who fell down the stairs with a scream, drawing students and teachers running. The Weasel paled, obviously not realizing that the stairs were there, but it was too late now.

Harlin was lying in a growing pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs, surrounded by a crowd of students. Madame Pomfrey came running, obviously having been fetched by another student who was following her, out of breath. “Move, move, out of the way!” She cried, rushing through the students and kneeling next to Harlin and casting numerous diagnostic spells before levitating him onto a stretcher and taking him to the Hospital Wing. The remaining students and teachers all looked up to where the Weasley boy was standing at the top of the stairs, alone, as his partners in crime had all abandoned him as soon as Harlin fell down the stairs.

Suddenly, a commotion occured from a nearby hallway, and Snape came running towards where Flitwick and McGonagall stood next to the blood. “What happened?!”

“Mr. Weasley decided it would be a good idea to push Harlin Lestrange-Prince down the stairs without provocation.” McGonagall said in a clipped tone, glaring holes through the guilty-looking ginger.

The Potions professor paled dramatically before turning red with anger. “200 points from Gryffindor for attacking another student, and detention for the rest of the school year if you are still a student after your expulsion hearing with the School Board.” He bit out, before turning on his heel and leaving. It was still unknown that Harlin was his son, but he didn’t care who knew as long as Dumbledore remained unaware and unable to threaten or manipulate his family against him.

Professor McGonagall seemed to snap out of a daze and ushered the students away from the area where Filch was now attempting to clean up the area, while Quirrel had been woken up from his faint at the sight of blood. Flitwick marched up the stairs and grabbed Ron, hauling him off to where he’d be waiting until the School Board could meet.

-

Snape walked into the Hospital Wing to find Bastian already there, sitting trembling in a chair next to the bed Harlin was lying on. Madame Pomfrey was healing his broken ribs and the shifting noises were enough to turn Severus’s normally unflappable stomach. Bastian melted into his arms when he embraced his husband, pulling him close and sitting down on the chair Rabastan had previously occupied, tugging Bastian onto his lap.

Pomfrey raised an eyebrow at him, but already knew he was Harlin’s father because of his medical records. Thankfully, healers had to make a magical vow not to reveal their patients information, so she couldn’t tell Dumbledore even if she wanted to.

She bustled around Harlin, putting on bandages and administering various potions Severus had made himself. When she finished, she gave him a small nod that told him his son would be fine, before going into her office and closing the door.

After a few hours, Harlin woke up and asked, “What happened? The last thing I remember I was.. Falling…”

“The Weasel pushed you down the stairs and you were bleeding out, so you had to be rushed to the Hospital Wing.” Draco answered for Snape, having quickly walked all the way to the Hospital Wing as soon as class was over.

“He’ll get expelled and I took 200 points from Gryffindor.” Snape grinned darkly. Bastian shook his head at his husband before kissing him briefly.

“I have to return back to the Manor now, love, but I’ll see you and Harlin again soon.” Severus nodded and reluctantly released Rabastan, who walked to the hospital floo and left.

Draco sat down on the edge of Harlin’s bed, looking very worried. “Will he be alright?”

“Yes, don’t worry, dragon. He’ll be perfectly fine, it will just take a month at the most.”

The Malfoy heir nodded, appeased, and sat there with Snape in silence for a while before he had to leave for dinner.

Chapter Text

Severus stormed into the office of the Prophet, fuming at Dumbledore’s attempt to smooth his son’s attack over as a ‘tragic accident’ and prevent them from talking about it to the press. How dare he? Stopping at the front desk, he said, “Lord Prince here to see Rita Skeeter.” The bored looking receptionist perked up considerably and almost chirped, “She’s in her office right now.”
He strode down the hallway and into her office, making himself comfortable on the sofa across from her. He’d have to make it quick, since he still needed to make stops at the Quibbler and Wizengamot today.
-
“He did what?” Augusta Longbottom asked incredulously. She was normally an avid Dumbledore supporter, but hearing that he’d been trying to pretend that a noble heir hadn’t been attacked and almost killed was too far even for her. The rest of the Wizengamot were talking over each other and it took them a while to quiet enough that he could talk again.
“I would like to request a trial for Ronald Weasley and also put Dumbledore on probation. He has far too much power that he seems to be abusing and I think it would be a good idea to watch him closer.” There was a murmur of assent from the Lords and Ladies gathered and they requested Lord Malfoy talk to the School Board about putting the Headmaster on probation.
Lady Greengrass closed the meeting and the nobles followed Lord Prince and Lord Malfoy through the Ministry to the floos and apparation points.
-
A week later, the Wizengamot convened again for the trial of Ronald Bilius Weasley. It was closed to the public because both people involved were minors. His defense lawyer was one provided to the Weasleys by Dumbledore, and therefore would try his best to make everything come out like a ‘misunderstanding’ or an ‘accident’. Severus knew this and was prepared to the fullest to take him down and get Ron expelled. He’d prepared a very detailed collection of evidence against the boy, including memories, medical documentation of Harlin’s injuries, and Veritaserum for questioning.
After the trial began, he asked the Wizengamot to view the memories and they summoned personal pensieves before viewing the copies he’d made in advance. They came out of the memories looking grim and determined, but some looked pale from all the blood. He then sent copies of Harlin’s files to each member and waited while they viewed them.
“I’m done for the moment, if you would like to have the defendant’s lawyer take his turn.” Severus raised a skeptical eyebrow at the man before taking a seat.
The other lawyer stood up and blustered for a few moments about how it had been an accident, that Ron didn’t mean to hurt him, and that it was all being made such a big deal when it wasn’t really one, before faltering at the amused and bored looks on the Lords and Ladies’ faces. He said that he was done for now and returned to his seat. Now for the fun part, the questioning.
Snape moved back to the middle of the room. “I call Ron Weasley to the witness chair. I also request the use of Veritaserum in questioning, after it is verified to be what I say it is by a Potions Master.”
“Request granted.” Lady Greengrass said, acting as head of the Wizengamot again since Dumbledore would have ‘conflict of interest’.
Ron dragged his feet and slumped defiantly in the chair, waiting for the truth serum to be administered. After it had, Severus asked him several questions to determine that it was in effect.
“What is your name?”
“Ronald Bilius Weasley.” The ginger droned in monotone.
“What year were you born?”
“1980.”
“The veritaserum is in effect.” Snape announced, repressing a smirk.
“Ron, did you intend to attack Harlin Lestrange-Prince?”
“Yes. It was what he deserved.”
“Why did you want to attack Harlin?”
“Because he is a slimy Death Eater in training. He’s a Slytherin and they’re all evil.”
A few members of the Wizengamot exchanged scandalized looks at the eleven year old’s words. Was this why Lord Prince felt the need to watch Dumbledore closer?
“That is all of my questions for Ronald Weasley.” Severus told them. “I would now like to call on Minerva McGonagall as a witness.”
He asked her to describe the scene she had arrived to and called up Flitwick to do the same before announcing he had no more witnesses to call.
The other lawyer knew he was defeated and didn’t even bother calling witnesses. The Wizengamot talked briefly behind a silencing shield before announcing their verdict.
Lady Greengrass stood up and said, “By unanimous decision, the Wizengamot finds Ronald Bilius Weasley guilty of attacking another student. He is expelled from Hogwarts henceforth and may never return. Since the attack did not kill or use magic, he will be allowed to keep his wand, but it will have heavy wards put on it to restrict him from casting a great list of spells.”
It was at this point that Molly Weasley decided it would be a good idea to scream and yell at the Wizengamot that ‘her Ronniekins was innocent’ and that ‘the Death Eater brat must be lying’. She was promptly silenced by a well aimed spell and removed from the courtroom by Aurors. Dumbledore tried to slip out of the room without being noticed, but was stopped by Lord Malfoy. “Headmaster, the School Board would like to have a word with you tomorrow. They’ll be in the Great Hall around ten.”
Dumbledore’s face relaxed, enough that it was slightly suspicious, and he twinkled at Lucius before agreeing and leaving. Clearly he thought it was some concern about school budget or something else trivial.
-
Back at the school, Flitwick hummed cheerfully as he removed 50 points from Gryffindor for each boy who was with Ron at the time of the attack and gave them detention for the rest of the year. Sprout smiled and rolled her eyes tolerantly as she went past, fully supporting him in doing so.

Chapter Text

Dumbledore walked confidently into the meeting with the School Board the next day, ready to deal with whatever insignificant problem they wanted to talk about, only to falter slightly at the looks directed at him. Pasting a smile on his face, he asked, “What did you want to talk about?”

Lucius Malfoy pinned him with a glare and said, “The School Board has made an unanimous decision to put you on probation, Dumbledore .” purposefully emphasizing the fact that Dumbledore was in fact not a Lord and had only gotten titles in the first place by defeating Grindelwald, unlike the nobility currently staring him down.

“Whyever for?!” Dumbledore tried to look surprised, but his mind was whirling through scemes, wondering which one had been discovered.

“Abuse of power and trying to cover up a student, a noble heir, being attacked in the school.” Dowager Longbottom replied.

So it was only the Harlin brat being attacked that had raised their hackles. Dumbledore inwardly sighed in relief. His other plans were safe for now.

“I understand. I’ll try to do better from now on.” He attempted to placate them with meaningless words.

“You had better.” Augusta said.

-

Harlin was lying on his bed in the Hospital Wing, enjoying the silence, when he was disturbed by the half-giant stumbling clumsily into the room and sitting down with an audible thump on the bed next to him. Madame Pomfrey rushed out of her office and asked, “What happened this time, Hagrid?”

Hagrid glanced suspiciously over at Harlin, who closed his eyes and pretended to be sleeping, before answering. “Fluffy scratched me again. I think he’s getting lonely in there, sitting on tha’ trapdoor. Cerberus’s aren’t made to be indoors, ya know.”

“Yes, I never understood why Albus brought the stone to the school in the first place, but hopefully he’ll remove it soon and then Fluffy can go live outside again.” Madame Pomfrey must have finished tending to whatever injury Hagrid had because the half-giant got up and thanked her before leaving.

Harlin waited a few minutes before opening his eyes again and sighed. It was getting boring in here, but he still needed to heal. Thankfully, he was saved from his boredom by his Papa, who came in soon after to visit him.

“How are you doing, Harlin? Are you still in pain? It’s only been a week since the attack, so you might be in here for three more weeks.” He asked.

“I’m okay, Papa, but I’m getting a little bored. Could Draco come visit sometime?” Harlin replied.

“I’m sure he’d love to. Next time I see him, I will tell him you’re asking for him.” His Papa replied. “Now, where is Pomfrey? I’d like to talk to her about how you’re healing.”

“Oh!” Harlin exclaimed, remembering the conversation he’d overheard. “I heard Hagrid and Madame Pomfrey talking about a Cerberus named Fluffy and some stone!’

His Papa’s face shifted to alarm in an instant. “What did they say?”

“Just that it was getting lonely. It scratched the half-giant when he went to visit.”

“Okay, thank you, Harlin. I’ve got to go now, but I won’t forget to send Draco to visit.” Papa bent down and hugged him carefully before walking out of the Hospital Wing, having forgotten to ask Madame Pomfrey about Harlin’s injuries.

-

Draco was walking around in bored circles in the Common Room when Snape came in. He looked over hopefully when he walked towards where Draco was now standing.

“Professor?”

“Harlin is feeling lonely and asked me about three times in ten minutes to tell you to visit him.” Snape smirked at him, having delivered his message, and turned to go before stopping. “Oh, and Dragon? You might want to tell him what you’ve been doing in class when you go.”

Draco rushed out the Common Room, barely stopping to acknowledge the prefect that told him to slow down as he almost ran all the way to the Hospital Wing. Harlin was sitting up watching him with an amused expression when he arrived.

“Where’s the fire, Draco?” he joked.

“Sorry, I’ve just missed you, Harlin. I’ve not had time to visit you all week and your papa said you missed me too, so don’t be so haughty.” Draco smirked back at his friend. “He also wanted me to tell you all the schoolwork you’ve missed, and it is a pretty long list.”

“I’m going to suffocate!” Harlin cried dramatically.

“Don’t worry, I’ll help you. I mean, you can’t really write at the moment, so who’s to know if I slip in some extra help.” Draco winked, before sitting down carefully next to his best friend on the bed.

There was silence for a moment and then Harlin made grabby hands until Draco hugged him. “It’s nice to see you again. Papa was going to ask Pomfrey how much longer I had to be in here, but she wasn’t here.”

They settled down and Draco started explaining the homework assignments first and then covering the material Harlin was confused on or hadn’t learned. The only thing he wouldn’t need help on was Potions, seeing as Snape had taught him how to brew when he was young and Harlin was well on his way to being an advanced student. Now he just had to get out of the Hospital Wing.

Chapter Text

After another week and a half in the hospital wing, Harlin was finally released and he was welcomed back by his friends happily, especially by Draco, who’d missed him a lot even with his occasional visits on the weekend. He was sitting with his Papa in the Potions classroom helping him get ready to brew some Pepperup Potion to restock Madam Pomfrey’s stock when Professor Quirrel came in, walking with more confidence than usual.

“Hello, Quirrel.” Papa nodded at the other professor and returned to getting out his crushed bicorn horn and mandrake root.

“Hello, Severus. Someone would like to have a conversation with you and your son.” Quirrel unwrapped his turban and turned around, showing the head on the back of his own.

Harlin wrinkled his nose at the ugly looking face now staring at him, but kept silent, glancing at his Papa. He’d gone slightly pale but also looked… glad? Relieved? Harlin couldn’t decide.

“My Lord, I can’t start to express how happy I am to see you back.” Papa replied, bowing his head briefly.

“Ohhhhh. That’s who you are.” Harlin said before he realized he’d said something and quickly closed his mouth. He didn’t want to get in trouble with the Dark Lord, especially seeing who he truly was. Thankfully, the Dark Lord looked amused, not angry.

“Harlin, please don’t.” Papa sighed and gave Harlin a bemused look.

“I will forgive him this time.” The Dark Lord replied.

“My Lord, I have news that is important to us and the cause. Dumbledore was manipulating you into attacking the Potters by misinforming our agents all those years ago. The prophecy was self-fulfilling, so it wouldn’t have come true if you didn’t attack them. However, now it will not come true either way.”

“Is that so?” Voldemort raised a almost non-existent eyebrow.

“Harry Potter is on the side of the Dark.”

Quirrelmort almost fell over in shock. “What did you just say?!”

“Harry Potter is on our side.”

“How did this happen?” The Dark Lord questioned.

Harlin exchanged a glance with his Papa and stepped forward. “When Harry Potter was orphaned, Dumbledore took him and left him outside in the cold on a doorstep of a Muggle family that hated magic. He was rescued by a Dark spy and taken back to the Death Eaters. He grew up not knowing who he truly was and just found out at the beginning of the school year.”

The Dark Lord’s crimson eyes narrowed. “You. You are the Potter boy.”

“I am Harlin Lestrange-Prince, but yes, I am also Harry Potter.”

Voldemort considered this for a moment and then nodded. “You will not oppose me?”

“No, but for now I wish to remain neutral.”

“Very well.” Quirrelmort put their turban back on and Harlin left to go find Draco, not hearing his Papa start to tell the Dark Lord about the Stone.

-

He was about halfway to the Slytherin common room when he suddenly found a grinning redhead walking on either side of him. “Hey, Harlin. Just wanted to see if you were okay after our idiot brother attacked you.” They said at the same time.

“Fred… and George, right?” Harlin asked, vaguely remembering hearing about them from Draco on one of his monologues about the horror that was the Weasley family.

“That’s us!”

“Yes, I’m feeling much better. Thank you for asking. What do you want?” He replied bluntly.

“Just to let you know that the Weasley twins wish to be your secret allies and partners in pranking crime, that is, if you’ll have us.” They told him, winking playfully.

“Sure. I think a good first pranking priority could be Dumbledore. Something creative.”

Fred or George gasped in fake shock. “He doubts our creativity!” They cried, turning to their brother and wiping mock tears away.

Harlin rolled his eyes. “Have fun, boys.” He left them standing in the corridor whispering and hurried the rest of the way back to his dorm, eager to spend some time with his best friend.

Chapter Text

On the morning of Halloween, Harlin and Draco were joined at the Slytherin table by two grinning Weasley twins, both wearing disguises. “I hope you like our prank, little Harlikins.”  

Scowling at the nickname, Harlin nonetheless turned his attention avidly to the entrance of the Great Hall, as Dumbledore had yet to come in. Draco, quick to catch on since he’d been filled in by his best friend, smirked and followed suit.

They didn’t have to wait long before a almost bald, scowling Dumbledore rushed into the Great Hall as if being pursued. A second later, a swarm of lemon drops shaped like darts followed him, pelting him and leaving bleeding scratches. The students burst out laughing and some of the staff also muffled laughs.

“Charmed some lemon drops to cut off his beard and hair in his sleep and switched them out for the ones in his rooms. They won’t stop until they’ve made him completely bald. We even tested them on shields and tweaked them so that literally nothing can stop them except for that.” The twins whispered, cackling evilly.

“That’s great! You’re hired!” Harlin replied, acting formal for a second before bursting out laughing.

Dumbledore was now running in circles in front of the Staff Table, being pursued by the lemon drops. He finally was pinned in the corner and with almost painstaking care, the knifes hovered close to him so he couldn’t move at all, before slowing shaving him bald. The laughing from the students had reached epic proportions and Flitwick lost his battle and burst out laughing as well.

With their job done, the lemon drops fell to the floor, no longer mobile. Dumbledore seemed to be in shock and stood there for a second before he scrambled away from the deadly sweets and collapsed into his chair at the Staff Table.

The twins winked at Harlin and Draco before slipping off into the crowd, taking their disguises off, and returning to the Gryffindor table.

-

That evening, Harlin and Draco were enjoying some sweets from the Feast when the doors of the Great Hall opened suddenly, causing everyone to fall silent and turn. Quirrelmort ran into the room, acting terrified, and stammered that there was a troll in the dungeon before fake fainting.

Students started freaking out, yelling and screaming until Dumbledore, having been restored his hair by Madam Pomfrey, cried out for silence. He directed the students to go to their common rooms, conveniently forgetting that the Slytherins lived in the dungeon. Thankfully, his Papa told the Slytherins to go to the library instead, and instructed the prefects quickly before rushing off with the other teachers to go find the troll.

Neither Harlin or Snape was worried about the troll, having known it was going to happen beforehand. Quirrelmort had told them in advance, since he was using it as a distraction to get to the Stone, and was well-aware firsthand at how little Dumbledore cared about Slytherins, so he’d warned Snape to get the Slytherins to the library instead.

Once they made it to the library, Draco grabbed some books from the new shelf, and the two boys settled down at a table to read. It was a rather anticlimactic hour or so before Snape returned to the library to collect them. He was looking solemn and they learned why once they made it back to the common room. Apparently, a Gryffindor girl had been crying in a bathroom during the feast and was tragically killed by the troll before the teachers could stop it. Her name, of course, was Hermione Granger. The school was going to be holding a funeral and obliviating her parents, as per regulations of the Statute of Secrecy.

The slight tilt to his Papa’s lips told Harlin that he was rather pleased that it had been the know-it-all bushy-haired Gryffindor rather than any other student, even though he still had to be upset publicly at a student’s death.

He dismissed the Slytherins off to their dorms and took Harlin and Draco with him into his office, making them all a cup of tea.

“I’m truly relieved that I took the Slytherins to the library, otherwise it might have been one of you instead.” He said heavily, eyes warning Harlin to be careful about how much he said in the presence of Draco. He may be his best friend and support the Dark Lord, but they were not to tell anyone unless the Dark Lord allowed them.

They talked for a while before he sent them off to sleep, trying to fall asleep soon after himself. It would be a exhausting and stressful next day, so he needed to make sure he was well-rested.

Chapter Text

The day of Hermione’s funeral dawned overcast and cloudy. Dumbledore led the students outside after breakfast and to the area set up by the lake. The girl wouldn’t actually be buried at the school, but there was no way the entire school could be transported to the cemetery and so they held the ceremony at Hogwarts instead.

Draco nudged Harlin and muttered, “I’m just relieved she didn’t stick around as a ghost. It would have made the next 7 years absolute torture with her hovering around and nagging people to do their homework.” Harlin had to cover a laugh with a cough as he followed the student in front of him slowly down the row of chairs until they reached their seats.

“Oh, that would’ve been horrible, at least until we found a way to exorcise her.” He exchanged an amused look with his best friend as they sat down.

They fell silent as Dumbledore started speaking again, but their sharp eyes caught the fact that not many people were crying or looked upset. Most merely looked solemn or pensive at the fact that a student had died in a place they should have been safe and what that meant for the rest of them.

The other staff took turns talking about her, with several, including Snape, having what looked like a bit of trouble coming up with anything good about her.

By the time the funeral ended, the sky had cleared and most students retreated quickly into the castle. They had been given the day off school because of Hermione’s death and most of them had plans to make the most of it, including Draco and Harry.

The blonde dragged his friend out past the Herbology greenhouses and to a small, hidden clearing nearby. He released Harlin’s hand and fell into the soft grass, more relaxed than he would ever dare in public. Harlin lay down next to him, feeling sleepy as the sun warmed his face. Half-closing his eyes, he shifted closer to Draco until they were laying against each other. They didn’t feel like talking, so instead they simply lay there and watched the clouds roll slowly past.

“Hey, that one looks like you!” Harlin said suddenly, laughing as he pointed out a cloud that did indeed resemble a over-gelled hairdo Draco had been known to sport on occasion when he was younger.

“Meanie!” Draco poked him and rolled away, leaving Harlin missing his warmth.

“Noo, come back.” He made grabby hands until the blonde rolled his eyes, muttering about best friends, and came back to lean his head on Harlin’s shoulder. They stayed there for a while longer before Snape came to find them and made them go back inside for lunch.

After they ate, the boys spent the rest of the day playing chess and exploding snap in the common room until dinner. The rest of the school had returned to almost normal at this point and even Dumbledore didn’t seem to be upset anymore. He was probably trying to plan another scheme with the Order of the Phoenix Harlin’s Papa had told him about or something.

Chapter Text

The weather had grown colder and snow covered the ground. It was mid-December and students were getting ready for winter break. Most were returning home, but some unfortunate children had to stay, including the Weasley children. Harlin and Snape were going to the Malfoy Manor for Yule itself, but had to stay the rest of break as teachers were required to and Rabastan was abroad for work currently. Harlin was currently sitting in the Slytherin Common room next his friend, listening to him complain about not seeing him for two weeks. He consoled him by promising to write every day and they settled down to play a game of Wizard’s Chess by the fire.

-

Harlin stood on the train station platform in Hogsmeade bundled up in his winter coat, a green and silver scarf, and a matching hat, waving farewell to Draco as the train pulled out of the station, heading back to Platform 9 ¾ where his parents would take him back to the Manor. He watched for a moment until Draco ducked his head back into the train, before turning and meandering his way back to the castle, accompanied by no one but his own thoughts. His Papa was back up at the castle brewing potions to restock the Hospital Wing, which was running low due to all of the colds and other minor illnesses and injuries caused by the ice and cold.

He was joined by Theo, whose grandfather only allowed him home in the summer, as he passed the doors of the Great Hall, and they became closer as they passed the break together with board games and chatter, since all of the others that the two Slytherins spent time with were gone, so they had only each other to occupy themselves with if they didn’t want to spend break alone. They spent the first week of break like this before Harlin had to leave with his Papa for Yule, leaving Theo alone.

-

Harlin relaxed as soon as they arrived in the Manor, running to hug Draco and greet Narcissa and Lucius. Severus followed close behind, carrying their bags full of the gifts they would give their friends. After much begging from Draco, the Lord and Lady Malfoy relented and allowed the boys to open one gift each that day and the rest on Yule as they were supposed. Draco opened one of the gifts from Harlin and immediately grinned as he found a delicately carved dragon for his collection of dragons, which already included several of the stuffed and toy variety. Harlin opened one of his gifts from Rabastan and wrapped the warm blanket around himself, breathing in the comforting scent of his dad in. He’d missed him a lot during the year, not used to being away from him as much as from his Papa, who was gone every year teaching at Hogwarts.

After the boys opened their present each, the small group had dinner and then played holiday games and opened crackers. The other guests would arrive the next morning, so they remained informal and relaxed until it became late. The boys were sent off to bed and the adults talked of politics and Dumbledore for a while more before they headed off to sleep themselves.

Chapter Text

Early the next morning, after hesitating for a moment, Harlin asked Lord Malfoy if Theo could come over as well for the day. Lucius agreed immediately and sent Draco and Harlin to go get him with Snape. What Dumbledore didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him, so if them taking Theo out without permission from his family was against the rules, none of them cared.

The look on Theo’s face more than made everything worth it. He lit up the room with a brilliant smile and caused Narcissa to fuss over him a little, trying to disguise it as being polite to a guest, but everyone knew the truth.

They had a late breakfast together before the rest of the guests arrived. The total guest list was fairly small, only family members, friends, and few other people, which made it easy for everyone to gather in the formal sitting room. The Malfoys had a Yule log burning in the fireplace and there were decorated pine trees with presents around them.

They spent most of the morning doing presents and then had a three-course dinner together in the main dining hall, which had also been decorated by the house elves. Harlin and Draco walked around with Theo after they were allowed to leave to go outside and they spent a peaceful afternoon getting to know each other.

Regretfully, Theo had to go back to Hogwarts before supper so he wouldn’t be caught missing from the the school’s Yule feast for all students who stayed over the holidays. The rest of the guests feasted on the delicious meal and then they all took a candle from the table standing by the garden door and filed outside.

Lucius walked slowly around the rough circle they formed, chanting a prayer to Lady Magic while he lit each candle with a larger one that he was holding. Once every candle was lit, the participants of the ritual carefully sat down on one of the ritual stones, evenly spaced so they wouldn’t disrupt the energy of the magic regenerating celebration. Every person had also been given a small silver knife, which they used to carve the yule symbol before whispering their own personal prayer of thanks.

Lucius stood up once more from his place and went back to the middle. He said one more prayer to Lady Magic before slashing through the flame once with his knife and blowing it out. The other participants blew their candles out and placed them on the ground in front of their feet, leaving them there as they went back inside.

Harlin felt a little strange, but in a good way. His head was empty of thoughts, but he felt a warmth in his magic core and knew that he’d been blessed by Lady Magic for the year to come. He got ready for bed and crawled into bed, asleep as soon as he closed his eyes.

Chapter Text

Back at school, the rest of the year passed quickly with few notable events except for continuing pranks on Dumbledore by the twins and end of year tests. Harlin and Draco both easily passed theirs and settled down to enjoy the rest of the school year before summer. Harlin was in his Papa’s office reading a book when Quirrelmort came in.

“Severus, I will be acquiring the stone this weekend while Dumbledore is away at the Ministry after I have Lucius summon him. Prepare for the ritual as best you can before we go to Malfoy Manor and complete it.” The Dark Lord swept back out of the room without waiting for a response. Harlin shrugged and went back to reading.

 

-

That weekend, Neville Longbottom finally figured out the clues from the heavy hints Dumbledore had been shoving at him and decided he had to stop Snape from stealing the stone. Why Snape? Because Neville was terrified of the man and so it wasn’t a long stretch in his mind for him to be the one after it. He ran straight to the third floor corridor and went into the room with Fluffy in it only to find him asleep with a harp playing music nearby.

Summoning his courage, the boy dropped through the trapdoor and faced the Devil’s Snare, recognizing it easily with his love of Herbology. Fueled by desperation and a few compulsion spells, Neville shakily managed to fly up and grab the right key, but not without injury. He landed awkwardly on his arm and sprained his wrist along with a lot of scratches from the other flying keys.

Dumbledore’s most complex spell then took place and he somehow managed to fly over the chessboard without a broom. Later, he would not have any memory of the occurrence. The potions riddle was entirely ignored as purple flames can’t burn you, they are only an illusion when cast magically. Thus, impossibly, Neville managed to make it through all of the tasks into the final room.

He ran through the entryway of the room only to stop when he was not met with the black robes and hair of Snape, but rather the turbaned Professor Quirrel.

“But.. Snape…” He stammered.

Quirrelmort ignored him, taking his wand with a quick Expelliarmus before dragging him over to the mirror and forcing him to remove the stone. He knew how to retrieve it because of Snape’s helpful information. As soon as he had retrieved it, he obliviated him and changed his memories with a quick flick of his wand before knocking him out. Then, he changed the room slightly to make it look like there had been a scuffle before duplicating his robes and covering them in dust. He created a fake stone and put it back in the mirror. There, that should be enough to fool the old coot.

-

When Dumbledore returned, he investigated what had happened and was convinced that Neville had stopped Voldemort from returning and so proclaimed Neville as a hero, subtly beginning to groom him to replace Harry in case he was unable to find his pawn.

At the end of year feast, he awarded Gryffindor an insane amount of points in Neville’s name, allowing them to steal the House Cup from the rightful winners of Slytherin. Draco scowled, but Harlin rolled his eyes and even stopped Draco from jinxing the other boy. It wasn’t the poor boy’s fault he didn’t realize he was being manipulated by Dumbledore, so unless he became a threat, Harlin would leave him alone.

Theo and Blaize made the boys promise to write and then the four engaged in a heated tournament of Wizard Chess in the common room, laughing when they actually attracted a large audience watching them compete.

The train ride back home was uneventful and soon they were getting off the train, back at Platform 9 ¾. Harlin saw his family and walked towards them as fast as he could without embarrassing himself. First his Dad, then Bella smothered him in a hug before they asked how the train ride was. Then the Malfoys and Lestranges vanished through the floo, leaving to Malfoy Manor where they would be staying for a few days until they completed the ritual.

-

Lucius Malfoy finished the last few words of the chant, out of breath as he’d been chanting for over a minute without stopping. They dropped the stone into the ritual circle along with Quirrelmort and the rune stones and there was a bright flash before Quirrel doubled over in pain and the Dark Lord was standing next to him in his true body, looking around 30. He waited until Quirrel was able to stand before saying, “You have been very loyal, Quirrel, and for your service I will give you a favor. However, there are conditions. Nothing that affects me, my cause, or any other of my followers negatively and you must use it now.”

“Thank you, my lord.” Quirrel seemed to think for a moment. “If I may, I think I would like to retire from teaching and move somewhere away from Dumbledore.”

“Oh?”

“If you are willing, I would like to set up a small book shop in one of the magical alleys. It would also be a good place to meet if needed.”

“Favor granted. I will acquire you a shop, but you must pay for everything except the building itself.”

“Thank you.” Quirrel bowed again before leaving, cueing the others present to do the same, leaving the Dark Lord to look contemplatively out the window before leaving to find his familiar Nagini.

Chapter Text

So concludes year one of the Secret Spy! Much thanks to everyone who commented @Chris52_lane @Saturnblue @CarolsSister @DarkAphrodite @mauralee88 @Miaow @LeticiaAssuncao @Gwynie @Pseudo @Juszaawi @asternut @JustAnotherMarvelFangirl881 @hikkira (really hope I didn’t forget anyone, if I did sorry) and I hope to see you commenting on year two! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave comments and kudos, you helped keep me motivated and inspired to write more <3

 

As a lil gift, here's a family tree I made:

https://i.postimg.cc/ThMyM56F/The-secret-spy-family-tree.png