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The Emerald Terror

Chapter Text

When I was younger I once stood before the Mirror of Erised and saw my parents. But that was so long ago that it seems as if that boy were someone else, if he ever existed at all. I wonder, hiding up here among the trees as I wait for the right opportunity to strike, what I would see if I stood before it now.
I doubt it would be something as innocent as a pair of parental figures.
There's a shout followed by gunshots, and I don't turn to see who has joined the count. Greens should stay safely underground, coddled by stories of before and the empty reassurances that everything would be fine.
But instead they were up here, making the mistakes that got not only them but others killed as well. Closing my eyes I take a deep breath and jump. The world is fading and blurring into colors, sound stopping all together, and nerves go numb.
A few statistics, you ask? Sure, I'll give them to you. You probably won't like them though.
World War Two cost the United kingdom 450,700 people, 3% of these were magically capable. That would be 13,521 people without adding the reign of Gellert Grindelwald who took out another 700. Becoming more recent, and our numbers smaller, we move on to the first reign of Voldemort. In the first half of the "Blood wars" the United kingdom lost 12% of it's population, a further 10% escaping to the Continent never to return, leaving a grand total of 3,786 magically capable people behind. It may not seem as impressive as the previous numbers but remember that those are simply to put the dwindling size of our society into perspective. The second half of the Blood Wars further decreased our numbers another 40%, leaving us with a magical population of 2,271.
As of yesterday's count there are only 53 magically capable people in the UK.
Click, move, aim, pull trigger, click, aim, pull trigger, dodge. The cycle continues on, never stopping. Screams from the mundanes and greens alike fall upon deaf ears as my body moves on its own. There is no just Harry, no Hadrian James Potter, no Boy-Who-Lived, no Savior of the wizarding world. Not here. Not now.
All that is here is me.
The Emerald Terror
Click, dodge, aim, pull the trigger, reload, dodge, click, aim, pull the trigger.
Stop.
Standing amid the piles of corpses and pools of blood I take count.
Yesterday, there were 53 magically capable people in the UK. As of two seconds ago, we number 48, if no one else has been killed while we were above ground.
—— Line —-
Hermione is waiting for me when I get back, one of the only ones left to do so. Ron had once complained about her knowing everything.
Now I wish she had known more, that we all had known more. But who would have expected the mundanes to suddenly rediscover magic? We were only a year out of the second Blood War and in no condition for history to suddenly decide that the Witch Hunts needed to start repeating themselves.
And all over one four year old mundane-born's accidental magic protecting her during the armed robbery of her parents' bank.
"So the Emerald Terror has returned?" she says, her tired voice trying to lighten the mood of death in the air around us.
The woman in front of me now is no longer the woman who stood by my side at seventeen years old, nor is she even the one that nearly died there at eighteen. Brown hair finally just starting to brush against her shoulders after having been chopped off the year previous to escape the hold of a death eater, is now limp and filthy as it swings down her back in the braid most girls are now keeping their hair in. Eyes once full of life and excitement but wary of hope for a better future, are now completely disillusioned and cold. Her fingers shake, her skin is pale, and there is a trace of blood on her lips that show she has been coughing up blood again. Her 5'5" figure has a permanent slouch due leaning over both in the name of research and defeat. Her clothes, once perfectly kept even if they weren't high end, are dirty and threadbare. A pair of stained jeans and maroon sweater with a white 'R' on it that had once, years ago, belonged to Ron. She wasn't the only one who had changed though, we all had.
There was simply something about seeing a three year old lynched by their own parents that changed a person you know?
"Five more dead Hermy." She had once hated that nickname, going so far as to hex one of us when we dared to call her it. Now she doesn't even bat an eyelash at it. Simply takes the offered information with a nod. Her brown eyes are dim and hopeless, but determined about something, and I get an uneasy feeling it has to do with me.
"What's going on Mione?" I ask, trying to see around her into the room she is concealing with a combination of both the door and her body. Why in the world do I have to be the smallest, I swear at 23 years old I should be taller then 5'3" and look older then a fifteen year old. But no, my body had to freeze upon mastering death.
"The mundane killing off the magically capable," she retorts, the response having become the universal term of 'nothing' around here about five years ago thanks to Seamus. There is a shout further down the tunnel and I can see the roof is starting to give. Trying to apparate out seems to be impossible, the mundanes have put up what we have come to call 'anti-magic wards'.
We've been found.
Hermione pulls me into the room and I see strange designs, potions ingredients, and notes all over the place. Light from the sky above starts to show through as she throws something around my neck and hugs me.
"Forgive me."
The roof starts to cave in, her wand is pointed in my face, and a green light hits me.
The last words I hear are not her apologies but some mundane's sneers.
"Good riddance, Magic."

Chapter Text

"Forgive me."

The roof starts to cave in, her wand is pointed in my face, and a green light hits me.

The last words I hear are not her apologies but some mundane's sneers.

"Good riddance Magic."

--- POV Albus Dumbledore ---

 

The boy, for surly he couldn't be older then fourteen or fifteen at the most, twitches in his sleep yet again but doesn't wake up. Not that it is surprising as he has been out since appearing suddenly out of no where in the Great Hall three days ago. The staff, not to mention the ministry, was on edge waiting for him to wake up. At first we had contacted the Potters about him because he carried so many of their family's traits, and the bag he had on him held what could only be their invisibility cloak among other things. Strange things, things that brought up concern. It held the Potter Invisibility cloak, my wand, a spare change of those weird clothes, a canteen of what might of been water, some healing potions, seven unused clips of what seemed to be ammunition (With no gun), a rock with the engraving of the deathly hollows on it, a muggle first aid kit, a small blanket, and three worn muggle photos.

The first was of a man who was undoubtedly a Potter (a third reason to contact them) and a woman at a skating rink in winter. They were smiling at each other and leaning together as if they were about to kiss. The second was of four children, two of which holding a remarkable resemblance to the Weasley clan, outside in summer. A boy who looked like a short haired version of the one currently sleeping in front of me was setting a table with the Weasley looking girl. Meanwhile a bushy haired girl holding a book seemed to be lecturing them on where to put the tableware as a boy who seemed to be the first girl's brother laid sprawled out in one of the chairs complaining. Finally the third, and last, photo seemed to actually be of a mural. Faces with names printed underneath them clustered around the words "Never Forgotten" with the date October 31st written underneath the words and no year. It gives off a memorial feel to it and I recognize the faces of the two Weasley like children among the others. The girl was apparently "Ginevra 'Ginny' Molly Weasley - 17" and the boy "Ronald 'Ron' Billius Weasley - 18". There were others of course, and I knew quite a few of the family names, yet none of them had ever gone to Hogwarts. I had even gone so far as to contact families and go over the old enrollment records.

Nothing.

There was no "Luna 'Loony' Pandora Lovegood - 17", no "Draconis 'Draco' Lucius Malfoy - 18", and no "Dennis Bernard Creevey - 16". Neither "Padama Prama Patil - 18" nor "Neville Frank Longbottom - 18" exist. "Proffesor Minerva "Minnie" Matilda McGonnagal - 63", "Proffesor Filius Jarleth Flitwick - 62", and "Proffesor Pomona Phyllida Sprout - 57" weren't on any of the licence registries he could access. "Astoria Ceres Greengrass - 16", "Polaris Fabian Nott - 13", and "Holly Roslien Thorn - 15" were about as real as the Nargles that sixth year Ravenclaw kept going on about. And those were only a few of the names in the photo.

There were easily one hundred thirty-seven people depicted in there if not more.

However the Potters, as well as everyone else, had absolutely no idea who the child was and Charlus Hadrian Potter was currently in possession of the family heirloom (and my wand was currently resting in it's holster strapped to my arm).

So the question was: Who was this boy?

The child had appeared with a flash of green light in the middle of the Welcome Feast. His clothes were worn, ripped, and stained with blood and dirt. Jeans in a strange cut that hugged his legs far more then appropriate for public (or privet) wear with the ends of the pant legs tucked into a pair of old heavy duty boots that went all the way up to his mid-calf. The faded shirt (It appeared to have been green at one point) in the muggle "t-shirt" style and one of those American bomber jackets that are so popular across the pond that he had on looked as if they had been through the front lines of the muggle war and then buried underground. Finally his hands were covered in a pair of leather gloves that was missing the top half of each finger, a pair of glasses that had been mended with both spell work and tape lay a little ways away from him in front of his face, and two holsters were strapped to him. A smaller one that was for a wand (with wand present) was strapped to his right leg, and a larger empty holster was strapped to his left leg (More then likely for the gun that the spare clips were for). His black hair, so filthy and tangled that it seemed to have not been washed or combed in months, went to his waist and was tied up in a high ponytail. We had thought him dead with the amount of dirt and blood that clung to him.

Once the students had calmed down Healer Clearwater, her apprentice Ms. Pomfrey, and myself managed to get him to the hospital wing. It was both disturbing and a relief that most of the blood either wasn't his or was from old, already healed, injuries. There was no question that at least some of it could have been his. The number of scars on the boy was frightening once the two woman had peeled him out of his clothes and cleaned him off. It was as if not a single part of his body wasn't touched by the spiderweb of ugly lines. Even his face had not been spared. On his forehead was a lightning bolt and there was a thick barbed line that dragged down his face starting at his eyebrow, over his left eyelid, curved with his cheek bone, and stopped halfway through his cheek.

Then there were the tattoos.

An emerald snake with red eyes winded down his left arm. The tip of it's tail starting at his elbow and it's head resting on the back of his hand. On the back his right shoulder were the black silhouettes of a wolf, dog, and stag playing together in the light of a full moon. Hogwarts was inked beautifully and accurately over the outside of his right thigh, an owl used the head of a wolf cub as it's perch on the back of his neck, and a bat with a lilly was on his left hip. Inside his left ankle was a black knight chess piece sitting on a rather thick looking aging book with a golden snitch flying around it. Finally, over his heart were once again the words Never Forget and the year less date of October 31st.

"Mione!" The boy screams, shooting up in the bed. His right eye opens wide revealing an emerald green orb that reminds me of the killing curse but his left remains firmly shut.

Chapter Text

"Mione!" The boy screams, shooting up in the bed. His right eye opens wide revealing an emerald green orb that reminds me of the killing curse but his left remains firmly shut.

It takes me a while to calm down but before I have even accomplished that I am scanning the room to assess the situation I am in. My magic compensating for the blind spot caused by the loss my left eye five years ago.

We had lost Seamus that day, Dean following only two days after him.

It takes me a bit to realize that I'm actually in Hogwarts' Hospital wing. Hermione had been talking about going back in time but I had thought it would be the two of us together.

"Forgive me."

My hands clench and I shut my eye against the pain of having just lost my last friend. I couldn't let her down. Couldn't let any of them down.

A much younger looking Dumbledore is on my right and two witches, one old the other just past gaining her majority, are on my left. I had gone back further then planned. It was supposed to be a few days after the final battle.

"What's the year?" I ask, my voice strange as my body gets used to the cleaner environment. The mundanes had taken a liking to bombing us with those nuclear weapons of theirs a while back.

"I believe it is us who should be asking the questions my boy." Dumbledore says and I want to attack him. I wonder what he would have done if he had survived the second Blood War? Offered the gun waving mundanes with their threats of nuclear warfare a lemon drop as he silently looked down on them as if they were harmless? Yes. That's something the old fool would do.

"September 8th, 1944" A young voice that sounds painfully like Madam Pomfrey says to my left and Dumbledore glances in her direction annoyed for a brief second.

1944. I had definitely overshot my target date.

"Yes, well, could you please tell us who you are?" He asks in that tone that means it is not a request but an order. The first thing that comes to mind is Emerald Terror, but I can't use that. I might be able to get by with Potter, even if it tasted weird in my mouth now after years of being unused, but my first name had to go. What was my first name anyway? Harold, or Harley. or something like that... Harry. That's it. Harry, short for Hadrian.'

"Well my boy? It's just your name, surely that isn't to hard for you?" Dumbledore pushes condescendingly.

Hermione was the female version of Hermes. They've probably gone through my stuff so I can't use Ron or Neville in any way. Lillane was apparently the male version of Lilly. Most of the older names I can't use because they're in use or will be soon...

"It's ok if you don't remember dear. There have been potions to clear amnesia around for the last five years or so." A voice I don't recognize attempts to console me but behind his mask Dumbledore looks pissed.

"It's Heath Hermes Potter." I say, managing to put no doubt into my voice. The woman, a tall white haired nurse that looks about ready to retire, smiles and nods. Coming around the bed so that I could see both her and Dumbledore at the same time. Also, it kind of makes sense that Madam Pomfrey was a red head when she was younger. She had the scary, do as I tell you, vibe of a Scott down rather to well in the future. Not that it had stopped me from at least trying to escape her domain several times. I wish I hadn't after her death, every second I had spent in her presence suddenly becoming precious.

"Are you sure my boy?" Dumbledore asks, not seeming to like my answer, "The Potters have already claimed you aren't theirs." I blink, forcing myself to look confused (Of course they aren't going to. I don't exist in this time line yet), before answering him.

"What are you talking about? My parents have been dead for years." Now that threw him off.

"Where are you from?"

"Where am I?"

"You shouldn't answer other people's questions with a question my boy."

"I want to know where I am, surely that isn't to hard for you?" The fool looks about ready to murder me behind that mask of his. I hadn't been able to spot it in the past (or was it future?) but after having worked so close with hundreds of the same kind of masks you can see through them rather easily.

"Of course not my boy. You are at Hogwarts, you've obviously heard of it considering the image on your thigh." He says the last part with a tone of distaste. As if he was disgusted by the very idea of my tattoos. Doesn't matter to me, my decision to write my story on my body wasn't very accepted until after the Witch Hunts had started and a lot of the survivors (if you could call us that) got the memorial inked onto us somewhere. Mine is over my heart, Hermione went for down her right arm, George had mimicked the Dark mark in a failed attempt at humor, Seamus had gotten a permanent choker and Dean went for the bracelet type look. Of course, I still had a few more then they did and had been planning on more but after the Hunts had started such a thing became impossible. Mundane tattoo artists were far better then their (few in number) magically capable counterparts and had stopped inking all but a few of their own designs that held absolutely nothing magical about them.

"Actually, I have not. What's Hogwarts, and who are you?" Dumbledore looks at me in disbelief and Madam Pomfrey looks about ready to burst out laughing.

"I am Professor Albus Dumbledore, Transfiguration teacher, Deputy headmaster, and head of Gryffendor house. Surly you have heard of me? I've been leadig the recent influx of reforms in the ministry." My look of 'go on' obviously wasn't what he was expecting my response to be. At the beginning we had reviewed old battle strategies and out of all of them I had found Dumbledore's approach to be one of the most disturbing. Who waits until the absolute last minute to save the day as they sacrifice their own people left and right without remorse?

Apparently Albus Dumbledore.

"Hogwarts is a school for the magically inclined." Madam Pomfrey says and I look at her expectantly which makes her blush, "Apprentice Healer Poppy Pomfrey. But you can call me Poppy, most do."

"Hello Magic." I say with a smile and a nod before realizing, by her strange look, that people of this time don't use most of the speech patterns that had been formed over the past (future?) six years.

Chapter Text

"Hello Magic." I say with a smile and a nod before realizing, by her strange look, that people of this time don't use most of the speech patterns that had been formed over the past (future?) six years.

 

"Well yes, I am so inclined." She says awkwardly and I mentally slap myself for my slip up.

"Where are you from Mr.Potter?" Dumbledore asks again, and I know just how to answer that. Originally I was supposed to claim to be from Bermuda's third island Atlantis if we were sent back to far. That way my story matched Hermione's and we didn't have to worry about the smaller slip ups and acting as if we didn't know each other. In truth no one knows what's in the Bermuda Triangle. It's said though that magically inclined people fled there during one of the first Witch Hunts and that they put up wards that made Hogwarts and Grangotts combined look like first year work in order to keep out everyone else no matter their inclination.

But Hermione wasn't here.

"No clue, my parents died in a smash up when I was a baby so my Aunt's family had to take me in. Ran soon as I was old enough and never looked back. Was caught a few years ago though and sent out on the lines." They looked at a loss for words. That had been my idea but Hermione had shot it down because it left to many variations of the story that could go wrong. My significant look at her when she came up with Atlantis had went ignored, as usual.

"But you can't be older then fifteen!" The woman exclaimed and mentally I cringe. I was twenty-three. Twenty-three! Not fifteen! That's an eight year difference lady! Of course, I don't actually say any of that, and they more then likely wouldn't believe me anyway, so now I'll have to pretend to be a student. Joy! As if the first time through wasn't bad enough! At least I don't have to fully change my story (not as if I could now anyway). There's a prodding at my mental shields and I know that Dumbledore is trying to validate my story. I make my shields look as if they have easily folded and show him some pictures of the Dursley's earlier abuse tangled with some scenes of Hermione, Ron, and I "camping" and an image from the Witch Hunts every now and then. It will be better for my story if he believes he has been told the truth and my strong defiance so far appears to simply be a defence mechanism with no true power to back it up. As predicted Dumbledore backs off quickly, especially after I show him Ron's death. He never was one for pain, preferring to sit back and turn a blind eye as others did his dirty work for him.

"So? The war isn't going to fight itself Ma'am." I say as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. I should probably not feel as comfortable as I do about saying that but it's true. Having been through two wars now I can honestly say that they don't end (nor start) by themselves. That's what makes this story so much easier to follow then Hermione's lost island plan.

"Of course it's not my boy! But most people prefer to believe that the muggles wouldn't give a child a man's job." Dumbledore remarks, cutting off the healer. I can't help my mind's thought of 'What? Like you did?', I really can't. He goes to say something more but is interrupted by the entrance of a man older then Dumbledore had been back in my actual time, followed by a proud looking boy that could only be a seventeen year old Tom Riddle.

That's right. 1944, wasn't that was the year after he first opened the chamber of secrets? I think so.

"So our visitor has decided to wake up it seems?" He asks, sending a pointed look at Dumbledore who obviously had been asked to immediately tell him upon my return to consciousness.

"Yes Armando, may I introduce you to Heath Hermes Potter." Dumbledore says as if I couldn't have introduced myself.

"Potter? Are you by any chance related to Charlus Hadrian Potter?" Dumbledore goes to answer for me but I cut him off, much to the teen Riddle's suppressed amusement. Glad to be of service Voldemort.

"I wouldn't know sir. My parents died when I was a baby so my mundane relatives tried their hand at raising me." Riddle raises an eyebrow at that, I can tell that though my wording was completely lost on the rest of the room it wasn't on him. I then stand and turn to Riddle as I grab my wand off the nightstand, wanting to make my slip up with Mada- er, Poppy... seem normal to at least me.

"Hello magic, I'm called Heath." I say as I present my wand pointed towards me, ignoring the standard Hospital Wing pajama pants that I am currently wearing. In response the other would have presented their own wand likewise and given a short bow. Replying with the words "Well met Magic, I'm called" Then insert who they were. It wasn't always a name. For instance, I usually presented myself as Emerald Terror. Obviously though, That wasn't how Riddle responded. In the background I could hear Dumbledore whispering to the old man about me. Everyone in the room is staring but I'm used to that from being the savior of the wizarding world; Poppy looks ready to have a fit while the head nurse seems simply bewildered that I am able to stand on my own yet. You learn how to keep going despite the amount of pain you're in after growing up with the Dursleys. Usually I can't even tell if I'm injured until Mione calls me out on it. Dumbledore is looking at my ink with disgust as the man next to him looks taken aback at the state of my body. Riddle though, doesn't seem fazed in the least. A raised eyebrow and a smirk was how I was received. Our eyes met and I could feel the old connection he had with the horcrux snap back to life even if he couldn't.

"Head boy Tom Marvello Riddle." He says without so much as a nod. I have to remind myself that he isn't actually dismissing custom as my actions aren't yet custom around here.

"So Mr. Potter, would you care to answer a few questions I have?" The old man asks and I smile at him, trying to portray an innocent child. From the confused way the man glances at Dumbledore I know I've succeeded. By the end of my time here I want to either completely discredit Dumbledore and disillusion people about Riddle or secure myself as harmlessly insane (I don't plan on having to break out of Saint Mungos).

Chapter Text

"So Mr. Potter, would you care to answer a few questions I have?" The old man asks and I smile at him, trying to portray an innocent child. From the confused way the man glances at Dumbledore I know I've succeeded. By the end of my time here I want to either completely discredit Dumbledore and disillusion people about Riddle or secure myself as harmlessly insane (I don't plan on having to break out of Saint Mungos).

"Heath please, Ask away, Mr...?" I reply, sitting down on the edge of my bed before a certain red head can come over and spell me back into it. Horrible experience that.

"Headmaster Dippet, Heath." He says, taking the seat by my bed. Dumbledore and the Healer conjure chairs for the others and I groan mentally. Why do I have to tell four people? It isn't anyone's business but my own and the Headmaster's. Riddle actually foregoes the chair and sits beside me on the bed, much to Dippet's amusement and Dumbledore's annoyance.

"How old are you Heath?"

Twenty-three "I don't really know Headmaster, she," I nod towards the Healer, "thinks I'm about fifteen."

"Her name is Healer Clearwater Heath. Why don't you know how old you are?"

I do know. "There isn't really a need for that kind of knowledge on the street Headmaster." I retort dryly before looking at Healer Clearwater. Now that it had been brought up I can see quite a bit of resemblance between her and the Ravenclaw Percy used to date. We nod hello to each other, my own accompanied by a 'Well met' that has her smiling sadly.

"How long were you on the street then?

Depends on what you would consider 'on the street'. "A few years I guess. Military didn't really care and my relatives didn't particularly want to have me back. Not enough to report me missing in any case."

"You mentioned the military. Why?"

So that I can sell you this story. Bunch of sadistic bastards they are though. Don't care how old you are if your magically capable. "A few years ago my friends and I were rounded up by the Yard and thrown out onto the front lines."

"Who are the people in this photo?" Dumbledore cuts in. Presenting my photo of the mural Dean had painted on a piece of Hogwarts' ruins. The Headmaster glares at Dumbledore but the man doesn't back down.

Everyone who died when the mundanes suddenly attacked Hogsmead and started bombing the castle. Merlin, how do I get out of this one? "They're dead." Hopefully the Headmaster will make him drop the subject. At least until I can think of a good excuse.

"That may-" "Albus" Thank you Headmaster. However, everyone now looks interested in the answer...

Mind your own business. "They sent us out with only the instructions to 'clear the way'. Those are the ones who didn't make it back." The Headmaster glares while Dumbledore looks annoyingly proud of himself. Healer Clearwater is crying, saddened by the implications of my words while Poppy sits there horrified and Tom watches me. I can't tell the full extent of his reaction though since he has sat himself directly in my blind spot.

"So I take it October 31st was the day this... assignment was given to you?" Dumbledore pushes and I close my good eye before clenching my hands into fists and staring down into my lap.

No, it was the day the Witch Hunts officially began. Among other things... "It was, among other things, the day we were ordered to stop looking for them."

"Amo-" "That's enough Albus. I'm the one asking the questions." Thank you Headmaster.

"Do you mind expanding on that Heath?" He continues and I smile at him, all of this smiling is making my cheeks hurt.

Yes, I don't want to talk about any of this. "It's my birthday Headmaster."

"You're birthday? I thought you didn't know how old you were."

"I don't. A lot of stuff happened on October 31st so my friends decided that it was my birthday so that I had something truly happy to say about it."

"Stuff like?"

"My parents died and I was left with my relatives. Stuff like that."

"When was your birthday really?"

July 31st, 1980 "I don't know Headmaster. My relatives didn't really celebrate it." I look over at Dumbledore. "Can I have my photos back please?" He doesn't look happy about it but I get them back all the same.

"Where are you living now Heath?"

No where "Well, I was back on the lines before I woke up here so..." I trail off, obviously uneasy.

"Would you like to stay here?" This brought Dumbledore's protests but they were ignored.

Yes. "Is that OK Headmaster? I don't want to trouble you."

"It'll be no trouble. We'll just need to have you take a placement test to see what year you're in and have you sorted,"

"Of course Headmaster."

"Also I think you should meet the Potters. They're great people you know. You're probably related to them somehow, I'll recommend a trip to Grangotts."

"On that note why do you have a copy of their family cloak?" Dumbledore demands, obviously not happy with how this was being handled. But, unlike Dumbledore it seems, I knew what Dippet was attempting to do in offering me sanctuary.

"Come Albus, there are similarities of course but there is more then one invisibility cloak in this world, even if they are rare. His looks to be a lot older then the one the Potters own. Headmaster Dippet replies as he stands, obviously ending the conversation. Dumbledore reluctantly follows him out the door leaving behind my backpack.

"Oh, Tom?"

"Yes Headmaster?"

"I would appreciate it if you caught Heath up to speed on Hogwarts and England's wizarding world." So Dippet believed that I had been introduced to magic else where.... perfect.

"Of course Headmaster."

They leave and Healer Clearwater makes Riddle sit in Dippet's chair so that I can lay down on the bed. She runs another scan over me and starts fussing.

Half an hour and three dozen potions later I remember why I disliked the hospital wing when I was younger. Riddle stays there reading a book from his bag throughout the whole thing but at least I can fully see him again. It must be the potions talking because the thought that he was actually rather attractive before seven horcruxes and at least one illegal dark ritual wont leave my mind. Eventually the women are satisfied and leave me alone with the order not to get out of bed.

Chapter Text

Half an hour and three dozen potions later I remember why I disliked the hospital wing when I was younger. Riddle stays there reading a book from his bag throughout the whole thing but at least I can fully see him again. It must be the potions talking because the thought that he was actually rather attractive before seven horcruxes and at least one illegal dark ritual won't leave my mind. Eventually the women are satisfied and leave me alone with the order not to get out of bed.
--- POV Tom Riddle ---

A month has gone by since that strange boy had woken up and truthfully no one knows what to make of him.

With injuries like the ones he had he should still be in the Hospital Wing but he managed to escaped both Healer Clearwater and that annoying apprentice of her's after only two days. How he had managed it no one knows. Another mystery is how he managed to actually keep his past a secret at Hogwarts. Anyone who has ever been here knows that the gossip vine literally has an ear on every wall, and yet Heath has managed to keep everything mear speculation about him. Even the teachers and the Ministry are clueless about anything he doesn't want them to know. The current favorite is that Potter's dad had a squib for a brother and Heath is this mysterious sibling's descendant. Being proven to be completely false sure, but it's better then the love child idea that came before it. And then there's the fact that the hat seems to have gone completely senile.

Heath Potter is no Slytherin.

Slytherins are powerful, cunning, ambitious, clever, traditional, and think only of themselves. They lead the wizarding world with the resourcefulness and determination to back them.

However, Heath Potter isn't a single one of those things. It's actually rather disappointing since when I first met him I had thought he would be interesting, and don't get me wrong he is, but a different kind of interesting. Abraxas was talking about doing a Samhain ritual this year in the common room and on the eighth I had wondered if it would actually be OK for a name to appear before me. Now I'm back to insisting that I don't need to have someone by my side to rule.

Heath Potter wasn't a Slytherin. He was beyond the comprehension of Hufflepuffs, not bookish enough for Ravenclaw, and didn't quite fit with the Gryffendors. He treated the house elves as if they were his friends, talked of magic as if it was it's own entity, and never actually looked at anyone. He refused to wear the robe that was part of the uniform, seemed physically unable to follow the hierarchy, visibly checked his food and drink for tampering before he consumed it, talked in riddles on the rare occasions he talked at all, wouldn't glamour any part of his body himself, nor would he let anyone else do it for him, and seemed to struggle in most of his classes. In short, he didn't belong here.

And Slytherin made sure he knew that.

I don't know where he sleeps now but after two nights he packed his things and walked out of the dormitories. Since then the only times he had been seen is at lessons and the occasional meal. Why should I care though? He hasn't lost the house any points he himself hasn't regained at a latter point, snitched on anyone to a teacher, or caused any actual trouble what so ever. So why does that knowing emerald eye seem to haunt me?

It wasn't like Dumbledore's. His gaze was judgmental and hypocritical. Everything about him screaming that he had decided everything I would become before I had even opened that first letter when I was eleven. It infuriated me as did everything else he did and allowed to happen. But Heath's gaze was cold and piercing. As if he saw through every one of my masks to the person beneath but rather then be surprised or disgusted he simply didn't care. Then I would turn to look at him and it would disappear as if I was imagining it, replaced by a happy go lucky idiot that didn't line up at all with the story he had feed us in the hospital wing that day. Healer Clearwater said he had probably repressed most of those memories but I can't help but believe differently.

It wasn't his expressions, mannerisms, or speech patterns. It wasn't any one interaction with the people around him, that day in the hospital wing, or the fact he seemed to prefer creatures to humans. It wasn't any one item from the long list that one of the Slytherin fourth year had decided to compile of things that were wrong with him.

It was his eye.

No matter how cheerful and unfocused it seemed there was always that one emotion there, burried under the illusion but clear as day to me. After all, I was no stranger to concealed hate. But Heath Potter didn't hate.

He loathed.

And not just a few. Not just Dumbledore's little pet Gryffendors or the harsher pureblood Slytherins that had attacked him for his blood. Not just the snootiest of the Ravenclaws or the more opinionated Hufflepuffs who hated him for simply being a snake. It wasn't even simply a whole house. No.

Heath Potter loathed every one of us equally.

He was great at hiding it. Actually, I hadn't figured it out until yesterday. We all knew that Heath went into the Forbidden Forrest at times. It was simply a fact that everyone knew but no one could prove. Well, Care of Magical Creatures had just ended and I was taking a short cut to Herbology when I had spotted him just on the edge traveling further in. Dumbledore would have had a field day, he seemed to have it out for Heath almost as badly as he did for me. Not that I can truly say mine is undeserved anymore after last year.

Following him in I came upon the most strange and breath taking sight I ever saw.

Heath was bare foot and shirtless, pant legs rolled up to his knees, as he knelt on the ground. His hair, which the professors had made him wear down to hide the tattoos he refused to cover with a glamour, was up revealing the owl and wolf cub on the back of his neck. Bangs naturally hid the scars on his face without being clipped out of the way for potions, and his small calloused hands stroked the mane of a Thestral who lay with it's head resting in his lap.

I noticed a few things in observing this scene. Some I wish I had't.

Like the fact that on his right wrist was a tattoo that looked disturbingly like a bar code. It wasn't as clean and clearly done as the others. It gave the impression that he fought as it was being branded (not inked) onto him and been restrained. Or the fact that there were scars on the soles of his feet as if someone had slit his tendons. Not only once either, but over and over again. Then there was the fact that Heath could clearly see the skeletal creature and had been around them enough that he not only wasn't repulsed by them but felt more comfortable out here around them then with the human witches and wizards inside the castle.

There was that eye again, seeming to pull me in and drown me in a bottomless sea of emerald. But It was far from piercing and cold or cheerful and unfocused. No. It was sad and full of that equal hate for everyone. Nothing I could think of backed up the feeling and yet it wouldn't go away.

The feeling that Heath Hermes Potter wasn't going to be here for much longer.

Chapter Text

Chapter Six: Planning Magic

There was that eye again, seeming to pull me in and drown me in a bottomless sea of emerald. But It was far from piercing and cold or cheerful and unfocused. No. It was sad and full of that equal hate for everyone. Nothing I could think of backed up the feeling and yet it wouldn't go away.

The feeling that Heath Hermes Potter wasn't going to be here for much longer.

--- POV Heath Potter ---

"What's going on over there mate?" Ron asks and Hermione turns from her work on the wall opposite us to lecture him when light flashes outside the corridor windows and the castle shakes.

"Bloo-" Ron's swear is cut off by another, much closer, shake that throws me into him sending us to the floor. Hermione pales drastically as McGonnigal's voice is heard throughout the partially reconstructed but still in use school.

"Hogsmead is under attack. First through sixth years please proceed to the dungeons and follow the directions of Mr.Filtch and the Ghosts once there. All seventh years and up either follow or meet out by the path to the village. Thank you." A third rocking produces a scream further down the corridor and I'm off Ron heading towards it only to stop dead.

A huge chunk of the castle was gone, a hole and ruins where a nearly complete hallway once stood.

"They're bombing us." Hermione gasps out. Not much was able to surprise us anymore but this... no one could say this was expected.

Heath sits up in bed and the lights immediately turn on as he huddles into himself. Tears he hadn't known he was still capable of stream down his face as he rocks back and forth not knowing what to do. It had been so long since he'd had to deal with this alone and he didn't think his regimine of dreamless sleep potions and staying up all night practicing how to get the spells wrong was going to last much longer. Which was why he had tried sleeping normally, an obvious failure. He wanted Hermione...no... he wanted RON. Ron may have, as Hermione put it, possessed the emotional range of a teaspoon but he knew how to calm the brunette down after a particularly bad nightmare.

The red head actually knew how to do a lot that no one had ever given him credit for until he was no longer around to do it.

It had been particularly evident in the care of the surviving two-thirds of the Golden Trio. Well, in the care of HARRY anyway. It was Ron that had dealt with the nightmares both during and after the Second Blood War. Ron that had forgone Mione's simple ranting lecture and sat him down at the mercy of the kitchen elves when he stopped eating, Ron that truly helped Harry through his struggle with sexuality (He was actually better with it then Hermione, something about a gay uncle and the assurance that Harry didn't like redheads...), and it was Ron that had 'fixed' Harry's wardrobe. Hermione had been there to, but despite the abandonment and the fighting it was Ron who usually dealt with everything not related to books.

He'd been Harry's first friend, the one that knew more about the wizarding world than either mundane-raised teens of their group could ever hope to, and the one who didn't turn to books for all the answers. They'd taken down a troll, saved Ginny from a horcrux, broken Harry out of his relatives' house, attempted to end SPEW, driven a car to Hogwarts, faced an Ancromantula nest, destroyed horcruxes, survived the Womping Willow, found ball dates, and suffered through years of dorming together. Hermione had died without ever truly knowing Harry's sexuality (after her reaction to his brake-up with Ginny and the hypothetical idea he'd given to her there was no way he could tell her), she'd never woken up in the same bed as him because they'd found he slept better when in someone's arms, walking in on one of them masturbating was definitely not checked off on their list, quidditch wasn't a topic that could be bretched, and the girl would never be able to shop for his clothes without him and find the perfect outfits. In short Hermione Granger was his best friend and she was great and all...

... But she wasn't his mate.

Harry starts regulating his breathing like the redhead used to tell him to as arms would surround him, pressing him into a strong yet soft chest. But without the assurance of someone there it was hard.

Finally calming down Heath sighs and gets out of bed. Crossing the Room of Requirement he enters the bathroom and turns on the shower head, he'd been unable to take a bath since arriving to late to save a six year old boy from drowning.

Due to being sorted into Slytherin, apparently the hat only gives you one free choice, his plans had nosedived. The other houses and teachers weren't going to listen to his warnings and the Slytherins disliked him due to his blood. The Potters hadn't taken him to Grangotts, refusing to so much as entertain the idea that he was one of them. Charlus wasn't that bad actually, apparently he had always wanted an older brother, and even after Heath had been sorted the fourteen-year-old Gryffendor liked to hang around him. But his parents didn't want to sully their name for a Slytherin descendant of some squib at least three generations ago.

But that was fine, he was used to being unwanted and he'd thrown away his foolish wish for a family years ago. Watching Tom had made him realize that he couldn't really do much yet. What good would stopping everything be if the people he was doing it for were never even born? Even if his nightmares had made it their mission to remind him that he would never truly regain what he had once possessed.

So he made a new plan.

He'd lie low, make as little waves as possible without having to throw everything he was away, and when the time came he'd leave Hogwarts. Get a shop in Knockturn where Dumbledore wasn't watching him like a hawk, Tom wasn't making it near impossible to stay away, Headmaster Dippet wasn't off handily trying to get more information out of him, and he could be alone. About four hours into this 'new life' Heath had decided he hated humanity.

And it only got worse the longer he was here.

He wasn't some naive child anymore, if the Dursley's had ever let him truly be one in the first place, and he wasn't born for peace only war. So going from lonesome soldier 'Emerald Terror' to outcast but still constantly surrounded 'Heath Hermes Potter' wasn't proving very effective. The same animosity rose in him towards the students that Hermione had once accused him of having towards the Greens and every time a Professor brushed off the current time's war his hands itched for the gun he felt naked without. It was lucky he hadn't attacked anyone yet, at least in his mind, especially since they kept attacking him.

So he'd leave, get a place at Knockturn, and wait for a time when the world really did need him. And when Magic told him she was ready...

... Then he would do whatever needed to be done regardless of the flimsy morals and beliefs that embodied the wizarding world before the Witch hunts had brought a rather painful reality check upon it.

--- Time skip ---

The soon to be Metus Smaragdus Peverell looks around the small shop a little ways from the entrance into Knockturn from Diagon ally. No idea of the chaos that will be happening in only a few hours back at Hogwarts crossed his mind and, depending on who was asked, he was either ignorantly lucky or simply carrying on "Potter's Law" (Everything that can go wrong will in the worst way possible. However, no matter what happens the Potter will survive and escape, most likely through doing something so dangerous and stupid that no one else would have even thought to try it) that the blood changes he had undergone at Grangotts took twenty-four hours to magically register.

The shop was small, dust covering every available surface, but adequate for his needs and contained an upstairs apartment so that he would never have to leave this place once he had set it up. It was narrow but long with the expansion charms cast on the inside that allowed for a decent amount of space between the four rows of shelving with a larger gap between the two inside rows to make a path directly from the door to the counter. The rows went six selves deep and the selves were five layers high. The floor was wood and the walls made of stone. Also, two dark green curtains were hung to make another wall behind the counter and split the bottom floor into a shop and a lab area.

He had set up the lab as close to the conditions he was used to working in as possible, not wanting to find out if the modifications his hands now automatically made to the potions affected the outcome negatively when used under 'normal' conditions. Due to this it was as if the curtain were actually a portal into a totally different building. The atmosphere of the lab was dark and slightly damp, the floor changing abruptly from wooden planks to dirt. Ingredients stored in jars that were spelled to be airtight were pilled in boxes next to a long five layered shelf. Once they were prepared in exact amounts he would label and store them on it in a system that followed alphabetical order, way prepared, and the amount inside. Completing the length of the wall was a thinner shelve that would hold the incoming, unprepared ingredients once his assembly line was up and running. In the center of the room was a circle of lab benches that someone could stand inside of and simply turn around to be in front of which ever potion they desired (or needed) to work on at that moment. It was funny how Metus seemed to be able to maintain five potions at once far better then he had ever been overseeing only one cauldron at a time. Finally, on the far wall was a door that lead to the upstairs apartment.

He had left Hogwarts, as planed, on October 31st, 1944. While everyone else attended the feast he was at Grangotts seeing if he would be able to legally take a name that wasn't Potter. There had been a few, apparently his blood had stayed true to it's future ties, but Peverell had been the only one that came with both a hefty inheritance that would definitely last until he managed to build a name for himself and no Family Lord that would immediately have to be notified of his presence in their family. Also, he wanted a complete and absolute closure with his old life. That wasn't going to happen by simply becoming Heath Hermes Potter-Black. Plus it was only fitting that he should take the name of the very people who began his curse. He was the Master of Death after all.

When he left he had taken very little of his already small list of things. The three Deathly Hallows and his photographs. the only things he hadn't left behind besides the set of clothing he had on. He had actually gotten into a fight with Healer Clearwater and a few of the House elves about them. Sure they were bloodstained and ripped but they were clean. No he didn't care that they were apparently inappropriate to wear in this society, they were his clothes and they had already burned the set he had arrived in. Finally he had won with the omission that one of the house elves would be allowed to patch up the rips and try to clean them as much as possible without altering or destroying the outfit.

Checking the contents of the boxes at his feet he levitated them to different parts of the shop needing to do this quickly before he was bedridden with pain in about half an hour. (Changing your blood was apparently a long, excruciating process.) Most of the ingredients went to the right while the vials and other supplies went to the left. A few of them joined the others in the lab to be used for his own brewing before being sold pre-made. He actually hadn't wanted to do potions for a living, not when he was younger during the Blood Wars nor afterwards in that one year gap before the Witch Hunts. At fifteen he had wished to be an auror, more due to others' expectations then anything else, and at eighteen he had discovered a desire to use his knack at healing charms for others. (He'd certainly spent enough time in the Hospital Wing for it after all.) Neither had happened, though in a way both had at the same time. At twenty-three he had been a soldier above ground and a medic under it.

Potions may not have been his strong suit in school due to various influences (Professor Snape, Ron, Draco, ect...) but under the pressure of the Hunts he had drastically improved. Before she had died in a raid of one of the tunnels Madam Pomfrey had actually said that his potions were becoming on par with what Snape used to give her: So that's what he was going to do.

Of course he would have to specialize in healing potions to begin with but he was already studying how to make other high demand types of potions.

Loading the shelves with their wares he wonders when everyone would notice the disappearance of Heath Hermes Potter. Hopefully the search wouldn't last too long, he didn't really want to live under glamours, taking appearance altering potions every two months for the rest of his life because even with the blood change he would probably still look too "Potter-like" and he couldn't always use a hood to hide his features...

Maybe he could.

This was Knockturn Alley after all.

Chapter Text

Loading the shelves with their wares he wonders when everyone would notice the disappearance of Heath Hermes Potter. Hopefully the search wouldn't last to long, he didn't really want to live under glamours taking appearance altering potions every two months for the rest of his life because even with the blood change he would probably still look too "Potter-like" and he couldn't always use a hood to hide his features...

 

Maybe he could.

 

This was Knockturn Alley after all.

 

We all stood in a circle as the ritual hit its peak. Abraxus Malfoy was to my left and Lucien Nott to my right. Eileen Prince stood next to Abraxius followed by Orion Black, who was already engaged to his four year elder cousin Walberga, and Antoine Greengrass. Winky Crocket stood next to her third year successor Neil Lament, though I don't know why he was here since we usually only allowed seventh years and the occasional sixth year to participate. The Moon twins Isabel and Rune, a perfect example of the occasional sixth year rule, stood on either side of their older brother Able. Finally, Ronald McGonagall, Walter Crabbe, and Hunter Goyle complete the loop back to Lucien. Normally Eileen would have stood to my right, being the queen of Slytherin House that is where the hierarchy places her. However, she had chosen instead to stand next to the man her father was preparing her a marriage contract to. The man was obviously blind and uneducated when it came to his only heir and daughter. Everyone else knew that, regardless of the existence of a contract between them, Eileen would sooner marry a muggle and thus be disowned by her family than marry her soon to be intended. This action left her usual spot noticeably open, more than likely the others had talked behind my back and wanted it that way so that if whoever came up was among them they could take their 'rightful place' by my side immediately. They were so excited about discovering who would, apparently, rule over them by my side that I couldn't bring myself to tell them it wouldn't happen. After all, I was obviously going to be a blank.

 

Dark Lords rule alone.

 

Abraxus is the first to receive his name, which brought a look of sad disappointment to his face but a look of victory on Elieen's. Not due to order, that was already determined, but because of the blood red elegant cursive that appeared under the image of a sixteen year old French girl. The curly haired blond held remarkable resemblance to a porcelain doll and consequently looked nothing like the tall female Prince who was the embodiment of England's pureblood definition of beauty. Regardless of their contract he would be blood bound to one Gabriel Caterine Abailard. Eileen frowns however when a messy, uneducated, black scrawl appears for her under the image of a man as ugly as she is beautiful. Confusion showing slightly through her mask as to why she would choose to create no deeper a bond with this Tobias Mathias Snape then that of a legal marriage. Not only that but the idea of running the risk her children would inherit that nose was beyond the seventh year potions prodigy. Orion however, is able to sigh in relief at the sight of his intended's image. Her name written out in the traditional gold of the Black's usual magic bond. Antoine Greengrass smirks across the circle at Isabella Astoria Moon (I hadn't known that was her full name) who rolls her blue eyes and sighs in submission to her fate. They would apparently be blood bonded in the future, much to her annoyance. It had actually been entertaining seeing Greengrass try everything short of an official courting to get her attention these past few years. Or rather, it had been fun seeing the different jinxes, curses, and spells she came up with to rebuff his advances. Winky Crocket, unsurprisingly, nods approval to the image of nineteen year old Briar Rabastion Lestrange, Neil Lament smiles at brunette second year Ravenclaw Ofelia Ceil Goldstein, Isabel shakes her head at the confirmation of Antoine and her brother looks skeptically at a thirteen year old oriental named Rin Ichigo Honda but quickly goes to comfort Rune when the ritual seems to pause for a second before moving on to Ronald without showing her anything. Said seventh year looks scandalized at the blue writing that condemned him to be with a ten year old Minerva Matilda Gold who was obviously at least part muggle. Abraxious calms him down by reminding him of the fact her name was in blue, therefore they had blood adopted the girl beforehand and thus made her muggle root irrelevant. Scandalized immediately turns to disappointment at this since he won't be able to know what type of bond they would actually share. Sometimes, not often mind, but sometimes I'm actually glad I'm not a pureblood. They can be exceedingly bazaar at times. Walter looks apologetically at Hunter when Hunter's nine month old sister Margaret Deloris appears to him but Hunter simply nods his head in blessing. Yes, a six year age gap to a half blood gets more of a reaction then an age gap of sixteen years. (Please review previous comment about purebloods.) Hunter smiles at fifteen year old German Elenore Kimanna Abbing, who he had been talking about meeting recently over the summer. Not a very attractive looking girl, way to short and on the chubby side in my opinion, but if just seeing their future blood bond together makes him this happy then good for him. Convenience marriages can sometimes end up worse then those filled with even just a touch of that vile emotion. Speaking of convenience marriages and the emotion which ruins everything, Lucien apparently has to stand Talitha Vega Carrow enough to magically tie the knot with her (pun intended). However it is common knowledge that they hate each other in addition to the fact that it is her younger sister Lyra Mimosa that he is pining after.

 

Finally it was my turn. Everyone watches as the ritual seems to pause like it did for Rune and I am relieved to think that I was right. Quickly I move to go on and end the ritual before magic can throw some type of curve ball at me with this only for both Abraxas and Lucien to put their hand on my shoulder as an image slowly starts to appear before me.

 

Everyone is staring, not at me but at the image of a sane, quite Slytherin looking, Heath Hermes Potter.

 

The image was obviously of him before Healer Clearwater and her apprentice had cleaned and bandaged him up in the hospital wing. His dark brown nearly black hair appearing pitch black as it tumbled down his shoulder tangled and trapped rather comfortably in a high ponytail, bangs hiding his scars the way I had seen them do so in the Forbidden Forrest. His visible right eye is narrowed in a deadly emerald glare at something bellow him as he leans casually against the trunk of the tree that has, willingly or not, allowed him to use one of its branches as a perch. Plump red lips, chapped and abused, are pressed into a small frown reminiscent of a rather cute pout. Heath was wearing a clothing similar to what he had worn before the professors threatened to take points for not wearing uniform (not that he truly did after that since he refused to wear the outer robe). Pant legs of a pair of tight jeans that seemed to be molded to his body were tucked into those mid-calf high boots of his. Wand and gun holster were strapped to their respective thighs and a second wand rested in a holster on his right forearm, the end of the bar code tattoo just barely covered by the leather carrier. The snake inked onto his left arm was also mostly visible, the head concealed with the pair of fingerless gloves that the professors grudgingly let him wear to hide that very same tattoo. The t-shirt he is wearing obviously styled to form to his body shape in much the same way his pants do and its sleeves end rather close to his shoulders (Think a baby-doll cut). Over it is a sleeveless vest the same material as his pants and ammunition clips for his gun rest in belts that are slung around him, backpack innocently riding on his back. The way he holds himself, the blank borderline bored expression on his face, and the look in his eye are so different that even if we had seen Heath wearing clothing like this when he arrived there was just no way that it was actually him. And it wasn't.

 

My minds shuts down immediately as it tries to come to terms with what it is being shown. Refusing to process the very idea that no only would I get married to someone but through a soul bond. And if the silver border around the white letters scrawled there were true I was definitely missing some pretty valuable memories of my life.

 

Apparently I was already married to one Lord Hadrian James Potter-Black

 

Everyone is shocked and it shows as we end the ritual, the images disappearing one by one starting with my... husband... and going in reverse. The entire thing ended about half an hour after midnight. Most of us go off to our dorms to make a plan using this new information, sending me looks that tell me I haven't lost their support over this. Good. I would hate for all of my planning to have to go to waste because of this... new obstacle. Lucien and Abraxius stay down with me though, looking worried but calculating.

 

"We'll have to track down our Potter." Lucien says after the common room has emptied of all but us, going to sit in one of the armchairs by a fireplace. "Perhaps he can shed some light on this." Abraxious and I join him in the chairs and I hold my face in my hands.

 

"How could I be bonded already without knowing it?" I ask, suddenly tired. The two pure bloods look significantly uncomfortable with my question.

 

"There are two ways for this that I know of. First, it's not really unheard of for a family to marry their child to another when they are young and the parents believe there is danger. The practice is usually only used during war and while the Potters aren't exactly light they aren't historically the type to do such a thing even when pushed. Also, it's usually to someone," Abraxious pauses here, trying to think of a way to continue without insulting me, "older and of the same rank as them." Well, he's said worse in the past, "The idea is that should the parent die the child would become the ward of either their spouse who has already reached majority or their spouse's family. However, growing up with the child in that situation the two tend to become either more like parent and child or like siblings. So when it comes time to consummate the marriage things get decidedly... uncomfortable. The second way is through a previous marriage agreement. I advise you take it up with Gringotts because that's most likely what it is. Though why this boy and not say, Gryffendor's Potter, I don't know. Usually a prearranged contract has a single loop hole that allows for either party to simply scoff at it and pass it down the line."

 

"Would explain why the Potters always marry so young though. Of course, most pure bloods have a contract by the end of their schooling, but for the Potters who are decidedly against such arrangements to always be at least engaged by their graduation... that does seem like they're avoiding something." Lucien cuts inn an amused smirk playing on his lips. "I'd say somewhere along the line a Potter promised their child to one of your blood before finding someone they considered better and used the loop to get out of it." He laughs and I can't help but smile. Lucien had a twisted sense of humor when it came to things like this.

 

Well, it looks like I'll have to use the next Hogsmead weekend to visit Gringotts. And in the meantime trap Heath Potter so that he can tell me who this "Hadrian" is, I get the feeling Charlus Potter won't know.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eight: Forgetting Dirty Magic

Well, it looks like I'll have to use the next Hogsmead weekend to visit Gringotts. And in the mean time trap Heath Potter so that he can tell me who this "Hadrian" is, I get the felling Charlus Potter won't know.

Metus looks at the front page of the Prophet, closed his eyes, then opened them again expecting the front page article to change. For obvious reasons, it didn't.

It had only taken them a week to realize that he wasn't there.

The man sitting on top of the counter in his shop, Peverell's Potions (Not very creative but it did the trick), appeared to look nothing like the thirteen year old (would the Prophet ever get his age right?) girl (and now they couldn't even have the decency to get his gender correct, wonderful!) in the photo printed there. He had kept his green eyes, as looking in the mirror and seeing the brown ones he had glamoured onto himself had been unnerving, but chose to once again start hiding them behind a large pair of frames. He missed his contacts already, it was annoying having to push them back up his nose all the time while attempting to complete a potion. He had cut his hair since now that he actually had to take care of it the length was annoying and he had assumed that it would make brewing easier in much the same way that his contacts had.

It hadn't.

Sure, with the blood change his hair had darkened to truly being black and the weight of it had worked well to hide any other changes, but without that weight it was easy to see that his 'Potter head" had only gotten worse. Not only that but he hadn't had a haircut since a week before Bill's wedding to Fluer when Mrs. Weasley had all but spelled him to one of her kitchen chairs and attacked it herself. That was around seven years of him getting used to and having that hair. His wrist felt weird without the two or three elastics that he usually kept there, he kept moving to take down or otherwise style his hair, his movement ticks were well thrown out of whack, he found that instead of hiding the parts he didn't like about his face the length now highlighted them, and the glamoured blonde color just didn't go well with it for some reason. So it was no wonder that he lasted only a day before he was in the lab brewing a potion that would regrow his hair back to it's usual waist length.

The bell rings and he looks up to see a man whose face was covered by the hood of his cloak. Though the sneer on his face at the sight of Metus hung in the air between them.

"Welcome to Peverell's Potions, my name is Metus Peverell, how may I help you?" Metus asks, setting aside the article he had been torn between being furious or amused with. He can almost physically feel the guy decide he was, to be with the time period, mudblood scum. However, even now it almost physically hurt to keep from adding 'his insanity ticks' (as one of the Slytherin's had called them) to his greeting. They, in combination with his obviously mundane clothes, would probably see to him being hexed.

"I'm not here for any of your filthy potions mudblood." The man snarls, approaching the seemingly 5'9" counter sitter. "What gives you the right to even be here let alone to use such a name!" Ah, so he was ticked that a seemingly obtuse mundane born had claimed to be a Peverell.

"The fact that I own this shop and that Peverell is my family name." Metus says, flicking his wrist slightly to draw his wand from the holster hidden under his jacket.

"Little mudblood scum, I'll tea-" He didn't get to finish because as soon as he had leveled his wand at Metus, said man has tossed him out using a pretty nasty knee-reversal hex followed almost instantly by a bombarda and warded the door against the re-entrance of man screaming murder at him on the street.

"What's the commotion Lord Prince?" A suspiciously Malfoy sounding voice cuts off the raging man trying to get through the wards and one newly named Lord Prince (this was Snape's grandfather? Metus suddenly felt very disappointed about the man's inability to be like his daughter and future grandson.) turns to a man the spitting image of Draco's father.

"That little shit dared to not only disgrace the Peverell name but disrespected and attacked me without warning!" He really wasn't like Snape, or Eileen for that matter, there's no way the dungeon bat would whine like a spoiled child.

"You put your wand in my face, what was I supposed to do? Sit there quietly and allow you to Avada me? Besides, if anyone is a disgrace to their bloodline it would be you Mr. Prince." Metus really couldn't help himself, he was fed up and done with this shit. "Now if you'll excuse me Lord Malfoy, I have a potion that needs to be checked on."

"You mudblood filth! Don't you da-" Metus spun back around, walked right through the wards Lord Prince had been struggling with so much (no wonder Eileen had married a muggle! The Prince line was close to squibbing out of existence! Eileen only got her place as Queen due to her beauty, potion expertise, and being of the oldest, most inter-bred, pureblood house there. Now that Metus thought about it didn't Eileen say something about her parents having been siblings?) and held the now stammering lord at wand point.

"Call me a mudblood one more time you interbred filth! See how long you bloody last!" Lord Malfoy clears his throat, wand drawn.

"I'm afraid I can't let you do any further harm to my friend here, if you would kindly let him go Mr..."

"Metus Smaragdus Peverell." Not moving to back down so much as a centimeter.

"Mr. Peverell, If you would please lower your wand. You have my word th-"

"What power do your words have over his actions?!" The true blond looks a little taken aback by that, "And I'm not some savage animal." He starts laughing, dignifiedly mind you.

"You're an interesting one Mr. Peverell. How's this, if he goes to attack you again I'll nullify the marriage contract between my family and his." The Malfoy Lord knew that his son wouldn't be very happy with this agreement should he find out about it but really Eileen Prince was little more then a squib anyway. His wife had a friend or two back in France with daughters much more powerful and they were Malfoys. Eileen's only real use was the Wizingamont votes that her husband would hold once her parents died. After all, a lady of her station shouldn't spend any more time around a cauldron then necessary for her classes. Metus looked between the to Lords skeptically then nodded.

"I would like a wizard's oath on that Lord Malfoy, I'm no fool after all." His captive regains his voice and starts insulting him again, though it was clear that he held Malfoy's threat seriously and wouldn't attack the man who still held him at wand point.

"I, Lord Perseus Corvus Malfoy of the Noble house of Malfoy, swear upon my magic that should Lord Polaris Salazar Prince of the Ancient and Noble house of Prince attack Mr. Metus Smaragdus Peverell once again I shall end the marriage agreement between our houses of one Eileen Victoria Prince and my son Abraxius Perseus Malfoy. So mote it be." With that mouthful out of the way Lord Malfoy is surrounded by a golden thread of light that comes out of his wand before it disappears.

"Now I do believe that we have business to attend to, Lord Prince?" With a nod to Metus he turns around and starts walking away, the Prince Lord following him as soon as Metus lowers his wand.

"I'll get you back for this Mudblood, just you wait." He hisses but is met with disappointment when the man does nothing but retreat back into his shop in response to the threat.

Eileen could do better then the heir to a Noble house anyway. After all, Abraxious Malfoy was bellow her station.

----- Scene change ---

Tom Marvello Riddle sits there staring numbly at the piece of parchment in front of him, his previous anger at being unable to locate a certain brunette at the very least momentarily forgotten. A marriage agreement from centuries ago between one Marcus Salazar Gaunt and one Arturious Godric Peverell promising the Peverell's three year old daughter Judith to the Gaunt's seven year old heir Agustus should she not find and be at least engaged to someone else by her seventeenth birthday.

It was a well written piece of work. Lucien was amazed at the air tightness of the piece. Most contracts could be over written by a new one to a different bloodline after going unfulfilled for so many generations but this one clearly stated that it would be in affect until the marriage of either the named individuals or a pair of their descendents united the two lines. Making it impossible for Judith Ireene Potter nee Peverell or any one of her descendents to promise their children to anyone else through a contract. It bound both female and male children, why Tom now found himself with a husband not a wife, and should either line have only one child then the only loop-hole in the contract would narrow to allowing that child to either marry the other person (or one of the other people if they managed to have siblings) eligible in the contract or someone without any magical parents (Why James married Lilly Evans, though he did love her anyway).

And thus the contract came back into play on December 21st of last year when Tom had turned seventeen, marrying him off to the only of age Potter not promised to anyone else.

Lord Hadrian James Potter-Black.

"Is it possible to ignore this and live out my life without my husband? Of course, I wouldn't be able to get married." He asks and the goblin smirks as both Lucien and Abraxius look at him scandalized. To be married to someone you had never met and then refuse to so much as attempt to contact them about the bond was completely against what pure blood society (or any society really) thought proper! Not to mention the fact that apparently their lord and this Hadrian had a soul bond together!

"As no bonding licence was ever officially signed and brought here to Gringotts I could of course forget to inform the Potter family that the contract has been completed. Of course the records are already shelved at the ministry, but it's their own fault for not checking over them every so often No?" The goblin complies amused. At Gringotts how you treated the people dealing with your affairs truly did matter, to bad not many wizards actually realized that until something like this occurred.

"Thank you Reginald. May your enemies bow powerless at your feet. We should probably be getting back to school now before we are missed."

The three students stood up and Lucien bowed to the goblin as Abraxius wished for it's gold to always flow before they took their leave.

Time passed them gradually. Albus Dumbledore gained power after his defeat of the current Dark Lord. Tom Riddle went out and made more horcruxes before beginning to build a strong power base after his attempts to enter the political arena were all sufficiently blocked by the Transfiguration Professor turned Headmaster. Abraxius ended up marrying Gabriel Caterine Abailard, much to his dismay, after Eileen's father attacked some mudblood in Knockturn Alley triggering a wizard's oath his father had made. Eileen disappeared soon after and the only thing heard of her since then was that her father had disowned her for some reason or another (no one truly knew why, they just liked to pretend they did, thus there were around thirty different stories about it and only one of them actually even close to being correct). Rune Garnett Moon died at the age of eighteen, murdered by her betrothed Alphard Black the night before their bonding, of course no proof that it was him could be "reliably located" as the Moons were lower in status then the Blacks.

As the years went by Tom Riddle and all those who had been there that night in 1944 forgot about the marriage between him and the unknown Potter. In fact, very few even remembered Heath Hermes Potter at all after a few years. Dorea Potter nee Black bore Charlus Potter an heir despite her (older) age, thus making Harry's birth in the future a possibility, the family still none the wiser to the fact that their contract to the Gaunts had been fulfilled. Charlus' younger sister dying at the age of sixteen when a family member of someone her father put in Azkaban decided to get revenge.

The next generation started at Hogwarts. Lucius Abraxius Malfoy, Severus Tobias Snape, the Black sisters, and Regulus Arcturus Black, among others, being sorted into Slytherin. Amelia Susan Bones and her Brother Edgar Lewis, Cornelius Oswald Fudge, Nathan Raginald Tate, and Ronald Samual Yaxley became Hufflepuffs. Pandora Garnett Lestrange, Xenophilius Aron Lovegood, Edward Timothy Tonks, and Cassandra Irma Malfoy went into Ravenclaw. Twins Gideon Charles and Fabion Orion Prewett followed their older sister Molly Lucidea into Gryffendor along with Frank Neville Longbottom, Sirius Orion Black, Alice Katilynn Burke, Remus John Lupin, Johnathan Tobias Smith, Peter Judus Petigrew, James Charlus Potter, and Henrietta Penelope Clearwater. Life moved on undisturbed, history seeming determined not to be derailed from it's set path.

And then sixteen year old Severus Tobias Snape ran into a little shop just on the corner of Diagon and Knockturn Alley as he attempted to hide from Marauders James Charlus Potter and Sirius Orion Black.

Chapter Text

Life moved on undisturbed, history seeming determined not to be derailed from it's set path.

And then sixteen year old Severus Tobias Snape ran into a little shop just on the corner of Diagon and Knockturn Alley as he attempted to hide from Marauders James Charlus Potter and Sirius Orion Black.

--- POV Severus Snape ---
Severus looks around the shop in amazement of all the different potion related items it had on display. Slipping further in his onyx eyes quickly scan the room for another person but see no one else there. Sighing he decides to wait here for a bit in hopes that Potter and Black would finish their shopping and go home. Meanwhile, it couldn't hurt to explore this potions' sanctuary could it?

He's near a second row self when the sudden opening of the shop door causes him to dive for cover.

Potter looks slightly nervous as he tries to convince Black that they should go back. After all, this was way to close to Knockturn for his parents to allow and he didn't want them to make the mutt go home if they were caught. Black rolled his eyes at this and stepped into the shop. Unshakable in his knowledge that the muggleborn, he refused to call them anything else since that incident with Lilly last year, who ran this place wouldn't do anything to them. Potter didn't look very consoled by this, he seemed to have heard stories about "Knockturn Alley's Mudblood" from his parents that Black insisted were simply tales to stop kids from wandering past the shop and thus into the "dark" alley.

The teen had heard a few of the stories as well. Of course he didn't really know what to believe about them between Lucius' strict disbelief that a 'mudblood' was capable of all those things and his father's wholeheart-ed belief that the person was the reason Mother had married Tobias instead of himself. Not only that but Lilly was a muggleborn as well and she was probably capable of a lot of the things Lucius said weren't possible due to the shop owner's dirty blood. Merlin he had seen her easily do half the tasks on the blonde's list himself.

"James Potter and Sirius Black Right? Shouldn't you two be in Diagon Alley?" A voice asks, sounding about as old as Lucius if not even younger. Black and Potter turn sharply towards the source as Severus ducks farther behind the shelf, moving along it so that onyx orbs could see who was speaking without being seen by the two boys.

Lets just say he wasn't anything like the three had expected.

He stood at about average height for his apparent 23 to 25 years, far younger then any child had been lead to believe by the stories (Even if Severus could make out the shimmering of glamours when he tried hard enough, they still should have been brighter then they were if he was actually anywhere near that old), and he wasn't wearing wizarding robes but a pair of muggle jeans with no shirt. His blond hair fell to his waist in a thick braid down his back, a pair of glasses obscuring green eyes that remind the future spy painfully of Lilly from view, bangs covering the left side of his face hiding it as well. His rather femininely built yet unquestionably strong body was covered in scars overlaid with stationary tattoos that were probably muggle, even if most of the images were definitely from the wizarding world.

The tail of an emerald snake began at his left elbow, body winding itself down his arm until it disappeared under a finger-less glove. Above the snake was a phoenix, wings spread wide in flight, wrapping itself around his upper arm. On his right wrist was what looked to be a slightly sloppy bar code and the top of what looked like a bat poked out of the top of his jeans on his left hip. Finally, over his heart were the words Never Forget and the year less date of October 31st.

"How do you know our names?!" Potter demanded, Black to scared to speak now that he was actually faced with the person he had only moments ago discredited all the stories about.

"I make it my business to know the identities of everyone who steps into my shop Mr. Potter. Now if you would please take your friend with you and go back to where you belong."

"You can't tell us what to do!"

"I do believe that I can Mr. Black. This is, after all, my shop. Or are you going to be like your mother and declare that I have no right to my own property? I assure you that you can take that up with the goblins at Gringotts if you wish. This place is under my name entirely and legally." He seemed bored when he gave that reply. As if it were the same answer to the same accusations made by almost every one of his customers.

"Tha-That's not what I meant!"

"Then what, dear magic, did you mean?"

"We should go, sorry for interrupting you." Potter cuts in before Black can make an even bigger fool of himself then he already has. The two leave quickly, muttering to each other about where their prospective victim had probably run off to. His eyes follow them out for a moment, pained longing flickering in the aged pools that just seemed to know. Seer eyes, Mother always called them, though before now the Halfblood Prince had never seen a pair himself. She'd said that she once went to school with a boy who had seer eyes, but that he had died only a month or two after he came.

"You can come out now Mr. Snape. I didn't think I'd be seeing you for a few more years however." He says, those seer eyes gazing expectantly in the boy's direction. Caught, the teen move away from from his hiding place not really knowing what to do.

"Thank you." The words feel wrong on his tongue, not having said them to anyone in so long that he'd almost forgotten how to.

"For what? This is a Potions shop, I doubt those two understand much past the foolish wand waving part when it comes to our dear magic. It's even more questionable if they 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 and ensnaring the senses." Snape's eyes widen, someone other then his Mother finally understood! Even better, he had been able to put into words what neither one of them could even begin to describe.

"You however, Mr. Snape, are different in that respect. Magic has certainly bestowed upon you a gift, I beg of you to use it well." He talks strange, though I think I've heard the stiff sentence structure somewhere before, and for some reason I don't think it is truly his own. Parts of it are don't get me wrong, but he sounds like I do when Lady Malfoy decides to acknowledge my presence. Face blank enough to make Lucius want to use it to show his father what a Slytherin should look like (Something about how his father is far to personal with the Dark Lord, I usually tune that rant of his out though. It doesn't help that Lucius apparently has Lady Malfoy on his side of the matter so he goes off into how his father is obviously getting old and should step down as head of the family. Only, then he turns around and berates himself for such a comment since he basically just said he thinks the man should die.), he turns to go back through the curtain revealing an even heavier scarred back with more tattoos. On his right shoulder the black silhouettes of a wolf, dog, and stag played together in the light of a full moon over what I believe is a Mimbulus Mimbletonia plant growing in a pot on the back of his arm. On the opposite shoulder was a Hungarian horntail dragon chomping down viciously on a broomstick. Further down a thestral and a unicorn played together in the middle of his back and, due to his braid, I could just make out an owl using the head of a wolf cub as a perch on the back of his neck.

"Have a look around, I'll answer any of your questions when I come back."

"Can I go back there?" I tense as soon as the question leaves my mouth, I wasn't even supposed to be here yet I'm imposing my presence onto him. Has mearly one successful escape turned me into a Gryffendore? I hope not! I go to assure him that it wasn't necessary but first to my surprise and then to my anger he laughs at my request.

"Forgive me, dear Magic. It's simply that you are the last person I would suspect to want their presence around one of my cauldrons."

"Why?" The smile that seems to take years off what is visible of his face disappears and those eyes are on me once more. They are sad, regretful even, but unlike other eyes in the past that have reflected the same emotions I see neither pity nor hope in them.

"No reason, young master."

.

Chapter Text

Chapter Ten: Seeking Magic

"Forgive me, dear Magic. It's simply that you are the last person I would suspect to want their presence around one of my cauldrons."

"Why?" The smile that seems to take years off what is visible of his face disappears and those eyes are on me once more. They are sad, regretful even, but unlike other eyes in the past that have reflected the same emotions I see neither pity nor hope in them.

"No reason, young master."

--- POV Tom Riddle ---

The former Tom Marvello Riddle sits in the dinning room of, rather well kept, Riddle Manor. Red eyes watching in veiled amusement as young Lucius Malfoy glares disdainfully at his father who had dared not only to sit down immediately, but without invitation and on my left hand. It never ceased to amaze him that Abraxas had failed so much with his heir. After 17 years you would think that the blond would realize that his father's actions were allowed. Thank goodness the boy'd never seen how Lucien treated his lord when he did decide to grace the manor with his presence.

The trio believe it to be the fault of that French woman.

The dolt couldn't understand the diversity in how Voldemort treated the people in his ranks on top of having the audacity to believe herself to be in the same rank as Abraxas simply due to some marriage bond. Abraxas, Lucien, and the Mudblood of Knockturn Alley would always hold the highest place but never my mark for they weren't my followers. Merlin, the Mudblood didn't even know he served me! But then again he might know but not care with the reputation he's made for himself.

"How is the boy Lucius? Eileen's child I believe?" Abraxas flinches behind what little mask he has up; Severus would have been, and should be, his but I have to keep him with that horrible muggle just a bit longer because of that meddling old coot and the obnoxious Lady Malfoy.

"He met your mudblood yesterday my Lord. Severus believes him to be strange but knowledgeable." The way the young Malfoy says the Prince heir's name gives me hope that his mother hadn't ruined him beyond repair. Contrary to what the old fool has been spreading about me I don't want the annihilation of muggles and the few magical offspring they produce. I want the complete separation of muggle and magical.

And I was getting somewhere with it to, Until Dumbledore stuck his nose in and undid all my accomplishments.

But that's beside the point, I want to know more about this strange muggleborn from a source that wont degrade his talent due to his blood status and tell me of nothing else. So I sit back in my chair and actually look at the teen.

"How is he strange?" I demand and received a shocked look, if that throws him off I fear for the future.

"His speech my Lord. He knew not only the Potter and Black heirs on sight but Severus as well, though he only referred to him by name once. Otherwise he called him either young master of little professor without prompting, though Severus did put up a fight against such titles. However, most disconcerting was his talk of magic my Lord." I nod him forward, so far all I have out of this is a suspected seer but the feeling of dread shouldn't be this strong if that is the case. A seer who is willingly staying out of things can and should be left alone. I don't want him telling the old fool what he knows of the future simply because I miscalled something.

"He talks of magic not only as if it is something that should be respected and revered, an attitude lost on the average mudblood today, but as if magic were a living breathing person." A face comes to mind, one that I admit to having forgotten long ago. Abraxas' eyes blue orbs shine in a way that tells me he has the same thoughts and we share a look with the final words to leave his son'e mouth, to lost in memory to respond.

"He also claimed that 'there is no good or evil, only power and those to weak to seek it."

--- Flashback ---

"Isn't that book a bit too advanced for you Potter? You can barely cast a Lumos." Sneers seventh year Alexander Flint as he snatches an old, rather questionable, book from said fifth year. Normally I would have helped the boy since we were in the library and this behavior wasn't condoned outside of the common rooms. But I was still sore about having been so wrong about him and thought he might do something in retaliation that would prove me right after all.

He didn't.

"Give it here Flint." Narrowed eyes and a threat in his voice, but without his gun he apparently holds no ability to back it up so Flint pays the warning signs no mind.

"Getting rather dark there Potter, 'Ancient Blood Runes of the 15th Century'? Isn't that family of your's of the opinion that dark arts are evil?" He taunts but the reaction he wants does not surface.

"I wouldn't know as they aren't my family but I was under the impression that there was no good and evil." Flint blinks a bit as he does a disturbingly excellent impression of a fish out of water, taken aback by the unexpected counter and Lucien goes up behind them. Cutting off their verbal spar with a light cough.

"If I may Potter?" He asks, and receiving a nod continues, ignoring Flint's stammers as Abraxas relieves said Quidditch player of the stolen book.

" If what you say is true, and good and evil don't actually exist, then what does?" The brunet smirks and looks past Lucien to me as he answers, meeting my eyes for the first time since that brief moment in the hospital wing.

"Power and those to weak to seek it, or so I've been told."

--- End ---

"My Lord?" Lucius asks, bringing me back to the present, concern shining through under his well structured but rather thin mask.

"Have your friend continue to visit the shop, actually, get him an apprenticeship there..."

There was no possibility that this Peverell was Potter...

... Right?

--- Metus Peverell ---

Spells and bullets race around me as bombs rain down from above. Even with all the training practice I had in dodging it was hard to navigate the thick crossfire, until I wasn't... Blood pours from my arms as Luna falls to my left and the world slows. Rapid spell fire shoots from my wand without registering in my brain, feet moving on their own as they dance around the dead and wounded.

We win this battle, just barely, but we win it all the same. However, the feeling of victory in the afterwards is much like it had been after the Battle for Hogwarts that ended the Second Blood War.

Non-existent

Most of the seventh and eighth years are dead, Hogsmead is in ruins, and Hogwarts no longer holds a chance at being rebuilt. Astoria Celes Greengrass had become the first casualty of the Hunts simply by being late for class. Hermione was found fallen due to a hit in her leg and my heart stops...

... In her arms lies who could only be Ronald Billius Weasley.

Emerald obs snap open as Metus curls into a ball once more wishing for comforting arms and , though the emotion evades him right now out of need, he will be filled with self-loathing when his calm mind once again realizes that it's not Ron his body is crying out for but Tom. It was ridiculous really, but since leaving Hogwarts twenty years ago the pull he'd felt to the Slytherin heir had only gotten worse. His sleep, when not plagued with war, was full of the kind of dreams expected of an elder teen not the 48 year old he should be. But try telling that to the Deathly Hallows.

He could hear Death laughing at him even now.

And for some reason three days ago it got worse. As if the appearance of Severus, Sirius, and James in his shop had been Magic's way of saying he couldn't hide forever. It had been rather satisfying past twenty years. Amusing too, considering that the very same witches and wizards who labeled him a mudblood and cursed his very existence turned around and trusted him to brew their most difficult or most dark potions for them. He had nearly certified, and now knew more then most qualified, as a healer but pulled out when it came time to swear their oath. Without the need to focus on failing he had learned far more then he'd ever thought himself capable of.

He had prepared himself, now it was time to put that preparation into play.

------

I should have known Severus would return, and by the presence of who could only be Lucius Malfoy I know why.

"I'm afraid that I don't take apprentices and all your bribery and threats will not convince me otherwize Heir Malfoy." I say, not even bothering to turn around. Severus' magic slumps a bit in the resigned defeat that it finds itself in way to often while Lucius' flares up in anger. I can almost hear the words coming from his mouth before those lips so much as twitch. Of course the voice I hear is long gone, but he had to learn it from somewhere and it most certainly wasn't from Abraxas or Narcissa.

"My father-" "Is none of my concern." I cut him off, I have to or I just know I'll be having visions of Draco haunting me yet again.

"Who do you think you are you filthy Mu-"

"Do forgive my manners Heir Malfoy, Hello Magic, I'm called Metus Smaragdus Peverell." I cut him off once more, presenting my wand. Even if I am doing it in sarcasm it still feels amazing to be once again following the customs my heart and core believes in. Severus gives a light snort and Lucius, poor brat, looks lost before he takes it as the slight I had somewhat meant it to be, getting even angrier. I hope he quickly matures into the man who had managed to weasel his way out of Azkaban yet again and died protecting his wife a full month after the blow of losing his son. Though I would prefer him faster progress and less severe needs to get there then he had in my own time line.

"I know who you are you scum, not that you deserve it. Now Lo-" "The Princess failed again didn't she?" I ask Severus, completely ignoring the blond waste of gifts in favor of confirming my suspicions. The black haired boy's next words would decide if I save him from his masters, Eileen probably hadn't taken my warnings into account until it was to late for her anyway. Confusion fills those onyx orbs that had pinned me in place so often once upon a time even if the face they belong to remains blank and seemingly unaffected.

"The Princess? Bloody hell are you talking about?" That surprises me, I had thought Lucius believed swearing to be bellow his status as a pureblood of a noble house, but it isn't him the message is for anyway so his questions remain irrelevant. Smiling at the innocent confusion I nod towards my real priority as I use my magic to gently guide them out of the shop.

"If you ever need help little Prince, you are welcome to come here." The invitation sparks recognition in those black pools while Malfoy is becoming more and more of a disgrace I hadn't thought Abraxas capable of producing. "Remember, you are never truly alone in any experience."

With that the doors close and the lock snaps into place. I may not agree with or wish to aide either of the existing sides in the pointless bloodshed that is approaching...

... But Magic have mercy on me if I'll let a child waste their gifts simply due to paying the price for their elders' failures.

Chapter Text

"If you ever need help little Prince, you are welcome to come here." The invitation sparks recognition in those black pools while Malfoy is becoming more and more of a disgrace I hadn't thought Abraxas capable of producing. "Remember, you are never truly alone in any experience."

With that the doors close and the lock snaps into place. I may not agree with or wish to aide either of the existing sides in the pointless bloodshed that is approaching...

... But Magic have mercy on me if I'll let a child waste their gifts simply due to paying the price for their elders' failures.

--- Metus Peverell ---

Ignoring the tug in my mind that was my wards telling me that someone had just entered my shop I continue to cough up blood into my toilet. My throat feels raw and if I had the energy to feel worried I would have but I had give up on finding the cause two years ago or so. Me. Give up on something? Impossible!

Complain to me after spending three years trying to find out why you are coughing up your insides frequently and discover nothing but dead ends.

After a few more lung-fulls I'm able to wipe my mouth off and get into a fight with my glamour in an effort to make it stay up. Throwing on yet another layer I grab my elderwand from next to the blueprints of the Potter wards and head down the stairs, today was obviously going to be one of my bad days and I wasn't looking forward to it.

What meets me in my store front both confirms my suspicions and sends shivers through my body despite the many layers I currently have on.

Rushing to the seventeen year old's side I don't realize the fact that my glamour has fallen again nor do I notice the innocently insane chocolate orbs that run off quickly afterwards. All I see is the fallen injured boy lying in a pool of blood, my body moving in automatic practiced movements born from years of experience.

Finally I am sitting in the chair next to my bed, my hands shaking as they hold my head up, memories and emotions battling for prominence in my brain. A groan calls my attention back to the present situation and I look up, emerald meeting obsidian.

--- Tom Riddle ---

Lucien's laughter rings out around the room, clearly amused by his young namesake. I could see why obviously, Lucius had a problem with how Abraxas acted around me so it wasn't far reaching for Nott to throw him for a loop. The man's action's made all the worse due to the blond's low exposure to him and the fact Lucien acted like this about 95 percent of the time.

Marriage had killed most of the characteristics in him that the boy's mother emphasized on.

"Are you quite finished?" I ask, refusing to direct anymore attention then I already had to the ex-Slytherin currently occupying my lap. All my trouble earned me was a kiss on the cheek and a smirk which was but a pale shadow of the one in my memories.

"Marvolo will like what Lucy has." was whispered into my ear before, much to my annoyance, he nips at my earlobe. The scream from Little Bella that he is fishing for finally manages to surface from her throat and his Godson looks about ready to faint. Had it been anyone else (Besides Abraxas... maybe...) they would have been on the floor the minute they had burst into my office uninvited let alone touched me, but this wasn't anyone else and despite how utterly wrong it felt to have any type of human contact on my skin I don't push the man off of me.

"I'm glad Lucien, please move to your own seat before you give my Death Eaters a heart attack." Frowning the brunet relents, moving instead to sit on my desk. Let's just say that Lucien Nott was my reason for limiting my torture curses to the Cruciatus.

If only that wife of his had been so considerate.

Improper scene over, Lucius clears his throat in an attempt to regain some dignity. Only managing to make more of a fool of himself and conjure my ire with the pure disgust he sends Lucien's way. The blond was lucky Abraxas was his father, he'd have been dead a long time ago otherwise.

"Leave, come back tomorrow around two." Little Bella looks like she is about to protest, seeming to have decided that my present company was a threat to my virtue (and her, non-existent, claim on it), but is dragged out of the room with a Lestrange on each arm. The door closes softly behind the quite shaken group and Nott starts laughing again.

"Lucy feels sorry for Roddy, putting up with that one. Apparently he was engaged to that Black boy who recently defected but dear Walberga would hear nothing of it."

"Loose lips sink ships." My words, as was the case with most of my muggle sayings, simply put a look of confusion on the pureblood's face before being tossed aside half hazardly.

"Pity really, Siri was actually half decent before she decided to end that arrangement. Orion lost a lot of respect for that to."

"Your report Lucien?" It was hard, seeing this over excited blunt child who learned everything he could in a quest for approval infront of me and remembering the proud sadistic young man who had once held the ability to twist even a Goblin into a legal nott. All because Tabitha needed someone to place the blame of her son being a bastard onto I had lost one of my best (and only) friends.

"Muddy looked sad about who placed the potions order this month, but we already knew he would be right Marvolo?" At my nod he continues, making people run in circles around him seemed to be one of the only joys that woman couldn't rob from him, that and little Theodore. Entertaining his outlandish idea's about Knockturn Alley's Mudblood was a small price to pay for him to have it, and it got me the info on the blond I wanted from him easier.

"But Marvolo doesn't know that Muddy wears another appearance." The proud declaration snaps every bit of my attention onto him. Metus Smaragdus Peverell wore a glamour? He did look young but Lucien, even now with his current state of mind, would not have mentioned to me something so common as using glamours to appear younger. Magicals, specifically pureblood witches, were particularly fickle about their appearance. So maybe polyjuice, no, there were to many complications with that and despite everything I don't think he's capable of keeping a live prisoner for so long.

"He's wearing a glamour?" My question receives a rather enthusiastic confirmation before the blond suddenly looks confused.

"Why is Muddy younger then Sevvy Marvolo? Muddy should be around Lucy''s age right?" Younger then the Prince boy? It should be the other way around right? People use glamours to appear younger then they truly are, not older.

"What does he look like? Under the glamour of course." This was why I had sent Lucien to find out about the mudblood after Lucius had failed, no matter how dull his brain his eyes remain sharp.

And with his rather childish description I know...

....It's about time I place our potions order myself.

Chapter Text

Finally I am sitting in the chair next to my bed, my hands shaking as they hold my head up, memories and emotions battling for prominence in my brain. A groan calls my attention back to the present situation, and I look up, emerald meeting obsidian.
-- POV Metus Peverell --
I freeze, the face reflected in those confused orbs is too young. My glamour had obviously fallen and if those eyes pinning me in place had anything to say about it, then escape was impossible. My only saving grace was that the sixteen year old hasn't mastered the death stare of knowledge quite yet. Though he was definitely working towards it.
"Potter? No, who are you?" Severus asks and my mouth goes dry, twenty-seven years and still those eyes strike at my emotions.
"Look...at...me..." he whispers.
The green eyes found the black, but after a second, something in the depths of the dark pair seemed to vanish, leaving them fixed, blank, and empty. The hand holding Harry thudded to the floor, and Snape moved no more.
My smile feels just plain wrong on my face but I paste it on anyway, pushing past the memories of a Severus Tobias Snape that will never exist if I have anything to say about it. This Snape had yet to accept the courtship of a Dark Lord after almost being were-food, let alone betraying the man. Sourceless satisfaction rises in me remembering the story I would be stopping. One that I had obsessed in piecing together during the gap year between the Blood Wars and the Witch Hunts, even continuing my research into the first half of that year from Hell. Those expressive eyes narrow in annoyance and I can see what had drawn Tom to this boy; slight hatred surfaced from somewhere inside me for a moment before I manage to will it down once more.
"You're Mr Peverell," he accuses, eyes resting on the snake head poking out of my sleeve, voice slipping into the Cockney accent his Mother had never truly bothered to fix, and Lucius himself had sworn to rid him of. For the most part, the blonde Slytherin had succeeded...almost.
-- POV Severus Snape --
"Brew with me."
I look at the obviously underweight teen, man, in front of me like he was insane. Not only had I just said he was a supposedly 25 year old muggleborn, but he looked in no condition to be out of bed himself, let alone to be trusted around a cauldron. If it weren't for the tattoos I doubt I would have recognised who he was. And it wasn't simply his age or the fact he was no longer blonde.
Proud eyes, that only a few weeks ago were angry and sad at the world - as they portrayed knowledge they could not have possessed - are reduced to one dim emerald pool that knows too much; struggling to separate the now from whatever it is in the past that haunts him. Scars mar a face two years into my past, yet there is just enough other influence that it's blatantly obvious he isn't James Potter if you actually take the time to look at him. Fear echoes from him unconsciously, not in a cowardly way, but as if he were a soldier still on edge after the war had ended. Shoulders hunch forward reflecting his need to curl up somewhere safe, and let someone else deal with the problem, despite lack of both haven and saviour. And what skin left bare, in spite of his overabundance of layers, shows an unhealthy pale tone as if the outside world was but a mere memory.
Peverell sighs as he slowly moves to stand, his left leg giving out for a bit at the beginning. He seems so tired yet there is something about him, and no it's not the dark circles under his eyes, that lets me know he still refuses to submit to whatever it is he is fighting.
"Alright then little Prince, I need your oath that none of what you learn here, leaves here," he says with more surety then I had heard from him in our last two encounters.
That unwillingness to fold becoming a strength that had probably carried him through hell if the scars that mar his face and body told even half the story I could read from them.
And all I could see was his face, neck, and hands.
Regardless of all I wasn't some dimwitted Gryffindor, and whatever was going on with him was obviously dangerous; not to mention the Dark Lord's recent infatuation with him, or the fact those horror stories had to have some fragment of truth in them, wive's tales or not.
"What's in this for me?"
Inwardly flinching at my brashness - but there isn't really any way around it - amusement flickers in that eye of his but dies out quickly.
"I'll protect you."
My confusion and offense must show through, despite the fact I know that my mask is firmly in place, because he continues before I can voice anything.
"The Marauders, Rosier, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Tobias... You protect my secret and I'll protect you."
How does he know about all of that? Sure he seems to have seer eyes, well eye, but Rosier? No one knows about Rosier? And why were Voldemort or Dumbledore on his list of evidence against my cut off claim of self-reliance? Not to mention that he had included both.
The look in his eye tells me that he means it. That he would go so far as to sacrifice himself for me to be safe. Something in the back of my mind tells me that I would have, and in fact had, done so for him at one time in my life.
Studying the teen for only a second more I make my decision.
-- POV Tom Riddle --
"You do realise that is a house elf, right Potter?" a fourth year Gryffindor laughs at Heath.
Flames lick inside an emerald pool as the idiot continues on, smacking the tray out of the creature's hands. The Slytherins look in disgust as the raven haired boy actually bends down to help clean up the mess of books that had resulted in the drop; Abraxas getting into an argument with Lucien over the action.
"That's right snake, bow! The dirt's the only place for filth like you."
Murmurs ripple through the crowd as Potter calmly hands the books back to the distraught elf, and turns to the fourteen year old.
"What's the matter filth? Realize that the elf was your superior?"
His laugh is cut off by the arrival of a Professor, and a rather impressive right hook.
"Fear the spited hand that cares," he hisses, as Slytherin loses twenty points.
Opening my eyes it takes a while to fathom why I'm staring up at the ceiling in my living room. Sitting up straight I hear a squeak of alarm off to my right near the fireplace, and focus on a small form half covered in shadow.
Slippery.
Thinking of the Prophet article the other day of the house elf that had apparently murdered her Master, I can't help but laugh at the irony.
"Fear the spited hand that cares."
Why hadn't I remembered? Joshua Romulus Vane had been that fourth year Heath Potter had warned. A warning that had obviously fallen on deaf ears.
"Would Master like some tea?" Slippery asks, voice shaking.
I look at her, truly look at her, for the first time, trying to see in her what Potter would have.
Bandaged hands wring the long ears that had earned her name. Large scared brown eyes refuse to meet my gaze yet sparkle with something that belays the knowledge she has undoubtedly picked up from being the head house elf of Riddle Manor for so long. Her dress is a ragged pillow case with the Slytherin crest embroidered on it. Had she been human there was no way it would have been classified as decent for any status to have worn, but above all, there is just something about her presence that reminds me of Abraxas and Lucien. That part of them that tells me that though they have seen me at my worst, they remain loyal.
And yet one day, just like with Vane, that loyalty she shows me may just disappear.
"Yes Slippery, thank you."
Her eyes widen in shock and a grin crosses her face that belays true delight as she pops away.
Soon my tea has been delivered, and for some reason it tastes better then any cup that's been served here before. Sitting with it alone in my living room, though, I can't help but think...That he wasn't just speaking of house elves when he said that.

Chapter Text

The look in his eye tells me that he means it. That he would go so far as to sacrifice himself for me to be safe. Something in the back of my mind tells me that I would have, and in fact had, done so for him at one time in my life.
Studying the teen for only a second more I make my decision.
—- Metus Peverell —-
"Are you sure about this Harry?" asks Seamus, not out of fear or doubt, but out of the need for confirmation that yes, we were going to get them back.
"We can't leave them in there," I say in return, knowing that my answer isn't truly satisfactory.
Looking over the small crowd I sigh. Only a year. It had only been one year. So why did we all look so worse for wear? Why did it seem like there would never be an end? A scream ripping through the air from the building we are so rounding rips me from my harsh musings. Seamus tensing as anger and dread fills him.
Dean
"We'll get him out. We'll get them all out," I assure him before shouting my orders to a crowd that already knew them.
Go in
Save who you can
Get out
Don't be seen
Seeing the otter Patronus approaching me I nod and it turns back to give the confirmation to Hermione. Casting the Tempus charm I feel the same dread that followed me to the Department of Mysteries my true fifth year. 23:59:58
Raising my hand I turn towards the laboratory, sorry, the "United Haven for the Unusually Gifted".
Another scream marks the arrival of midnight.
My hand drops.
We charge.
My eyes shoot open as I sit up in bed shaking. Why had we gone? No, that specific operation had been one of our most successful...
Why had I gone?
Images flood my mind everywhere I look in the room I had just moved into under my store. Luckily I know how to deal with this at least.
The door becomes the reinforced jail cell entrance with no doorknob and the soul window in the space. A second later I turn it into the door of my old cupboard. The bookshelves along one side become the bars of the holding cells we had taken the scared hostages from before I invasion the Hogwarts Library as it was in my second time as a fifth year. My side table is the cart I had been brought down by until I will it into Molly Weasley's kitchen counter.
Then the bed becomes the examination table.
Ghostly hands grip onto me, forcing me down as the restraints are snapped shut around my flailing limbs. Think of something positive...something positive... Men are all around me, forcing me down as they shout at each other, one whispering sweetly in my ear that I needed to be good and stop resisting. The light is too bright. Something positive... My desperate lunge for Madam Pomphry's hospital wing is shattered before it can truly form. The smell of hot metal comes closer, laughter fills my ears fighting for dominance with that sickening voice, so reminiscent of a certain pink toad, whispering that it will be all over soon and I need to stop struggling.
What's he doing?
No! Stop. Let me go. Please! DON'T!
Pain and the smell of burning flesh.
I scream.
—- Severus Snape —-
The inhuman pained shriek shakes me to my very core as I shoot up in bed wand out. Looking around I quickly relax as I realize I am in Peverell's, no my, bedroom. Hopefully this wouldn't become a habit but it had been even worse yesterday night when the man (teen?) had used a silencing spell on himself before bed.
Waking up to Metus writhing on the floor trapped in his nightmares had not been pleasant by any means.
The screaming continues and I leave the bed traveling down to the "bedroom" that Metus had added when he had officially dubbed the pre-existing room "Sevvy's domain".
The stairs retreat and the trap door closes as I remove myself from the last step. Loud screams, having turned to whimpers at the sound of my decent into the space, becoming pleas of good behavior and begging for an end.
The face I hadn't known was scarred until recently turns in my direction as I approach but it's obvious he isn't seeing me.
"No more, please!" he begs desperately, brokenly, curled up in the far corner holding his wrist protectively.
"I'm not going to hurt you." I stop, kneeling down onto the dirt floor despite the state it will leave my clothes, "I promise I'm not going to hurt you Peverell." The name confuses him but he isn't distracted for long.
"Liar. All Liars. Why Magic? Haven't I done enough? Why does your wrath continuously fall upon your Harry?" he rambles, reminding me of some deranged house elf actually. Wait, Harry? Isn't his name Metus? This would be discussed later.
There would be no more distractions as there had been the past two days.
"Harry your safe now. All right? I'm not going to hurt you."
The rambling continues, though it's less persistent now and he doesn't flinch when I move to stand up once more.
"Harry, I'm not going to hurt you. Look at me."
—- Metus Peverell —-
"Harry your safe now. All right? I'm not going to hurt you," a voice says, I know that voice.
No, it's to young to be Snape. But there's another reason right? The Liar is moving towards me slowly now. I can't remember why it can't be Snape, but I do know that it's impossible. How'd he get in here anyway? Was this another test of some sort? Another experiment? Have they figured out who I actually am? No, it's to soon for that right? Hermione erased me from the Muggle world like she had herself two years ago. Was it two years ago? What day is it? How long have I been here?
The Not-Snape takes another step towards me and I push myself as far into my corner as possible, curling up into a ball. What does he want? Why is he here? I should be strapped back down on that table over there again by now. Are they trying to make me feel safe? I'm not an idiot. It's been years since Uncle has managed to pull one of those tricks on me... Uncle?
Who is that?
"Harry, I'm not going to hurt you. Look at me."
I freeze.
It's a lie and I know it but those words... why are those words so familiar?
The Liar is closer now, within reaching distance, but all he does is sit down in front of me. What is he doing? No! Don't look up! Don't encourage them!
Pain from the fresh brand on my wrist spikes and I focus on it. It's not a good pain. Not like what I experience after a trying Quidditch session or what I used to do when everything got to be to much. Ron didn't like it so I stopped... Ron!
Where is he? Is he here? Did they get to him?
No. Ron... Ron's gone... Ron's... Ron's...
dead.
"Ron."
My cheeks feel wet and I tense as familiar fingers gently brush them dry. They go to take hold of my chin but I turn my face away, the contact feels wrong. Turning away causes the Not-Snape to sigh and pleading apologies fill the room. Who's apologizing? It won't do any good.
The screaming from down the hall simply acts to punctuate my point even is the Liar acts as if he can't hear it.
Arms try to wrap themselves around me and I fight them. Apologies turning into protests despite the calm reassurances in that voice.
Not you. Don't want you. Want Ron.
No, not Ron.
Someone else. Someone older, someone also gone...
The arms win, the few experiments I've been through already have stolen most of my strength, leaving those pills to take the rest.
My head is resting on a chest that is to thin, the arms may be stronger then me at the moment but they still aren't strong enough. This isn't him. This isn't even Ron. When a vial is pressed to my lips I drink it without a thought, even if this is the wrong person.
They used nothing but needles to give me bad things. Vials were magical. Safe.
I start calming down immediately, my mind slowing down and my body beginning to feel heavy.
Someone is rocking me back and forth while singing a lullaby and I feel the most content I have been since Ron died. No. Since I defeated Voldemort. But even once I have succumbed to the Dreamless Sleep Potion that sense that something is missing stays.
That sense that someone else should be here with me instead.