Chapter 21: It’s good to be back home again
“Uhm dad…” Hadrian drawled out. “I think we have a blind passenger” he said eyeing the kitsune warily who strode through the drawing room they landed in as if it owned the place.
Salazar however chuckled lowly. “I wondered whether this would happen or not” he knelt down and motioned the kitsune to come over to him. The kitsune however took a defensive stance his tails in the air and ready to strike if necessary. “Don’t worry I’m not going to do anything to you” this seemed to relax the kitsune a bit which strode over and sat down in front of him. “I have nothing against you staying here but you should get to know one thing…should you hurt Hadrian in any way you’ll get to know how protective I can get, understood?”
The kitsune butted his head against Salazar’s hand before replying telepathically. -I would never hurt him he is…special.-
-Yes, he is- Salazar replied on the same way chuckling.
That let the kitsune jump in surprise and shock. –You’re telepathic but you’re human…how’s that possible?- the kitsune rounded him before recognition hit it and its eyes widened. –You’re the Serpent King. It’s an honour to meet you- it added in awe.
-Please…my name is Salazar, what is yours by the way?- he asked.
-Nice to meet you, Shiyo. Please take good care of my son, will you?-
Shiyo licked over his hand before replying. –I will defend him with all I have if necessary.-
Salazar smiled at Shiyo before standing up again and addressing the others who looked at him strangely or in case of his son apprehensively. “He’ll stay and his name is Shiyo. Be nice to him” he told his son.
Hadrian replied with a hug. “Thank you for letting him stay.”
“Zoo is all I have to say to this” Sirius laughed. “If you excuse me but intercontinental portkey travel doesn’t overly agree with me. I’ll take a rest, see you three soon?” he asked the Longbottoms.
“Sure, though we’ll go back home now to. I doubt that Midnight is very fond of being confined to her transport box” Alice replied.
With that they all said goodbye the Longbottoms and Sylvia returning to their own homes. Salazar went to his study in order to check the letters he received the last fortnight while Hadrian went to his room Shiyo trailing behind him.
Upon entering he saw Hedwig sitting on her post already waiting for him. The owl had opted to stay behind in England for once because she absolutely refused to be put into a cage for as short as it may be however she also could hardly fly the entire way to China and back which would in total take over a week. Therefore she stayed in England being fed by one of the elves from the manor outside of London which came by regularly to also feed the other owls residing in the townhouses Owlery.
“Hedwig” Hadrian exclaimed running over to her. “I missed you.”
The owl hooted affectionately being stroked but instantly got wary when she saw the kitsune. She swooped down to the floor and eyed it critically.
“Ah, yes Hedwig this is Shiyo. I met him in China and he wanted to come back with me. Shiyo, this is Hedwig she is my owl. Please be nice with each other” Hadrian introduced them.
Hedwig hooted cautiously while the kitsune sat in front of her. They seemingly hold the same staring contest as Salazar had earlier with the kitsune. At one point Hedwig hooted as if to say “I tolerate your presence but don’t expect me to become friends with you” before flying back to her post and starting to clean her feathers. Shiyo meowed like he thought that Hedwig was an arrogant dame before jumping on the bed and curling up in a spot of sunlight.
Hadrian shook his head upon that but wasn’t overly concerned. As long as they got along he didn’t care whether they became friends or not.
Sylvia however was back not five minutes later.
“This is getting ridiculous. Do those stupid reporters have nothing better to do than laying siege on my house?” she growled entering the study where Salazar was.
Unbeknown to her two days earlier Dumbledore inserted an article in the Daily Prophet desperately trying to get new information about Harry’s whereabouts. This however put Sylvia on the most wanted list…again. Sure, most of the people didn’t want to sit outside her house all day so they placed charms that alerted them when someone not an elf entered the house. However it was grating on her nerves that the second she entered it dozens of people wanted to talk to her making a ruckus in the course of it that her neighbours already sent complaints to the DMLE.
“Do you want to know the reason?” Salazar who just shuffled through the post of the last two weeks including every issue of the Prophet asked holding out the issue with the article. He only knew because said issue laid on the top and the headline was so eye-catching.
Sylvia took it and read the article. “Dumbledore is getting desperate. Listen: Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts and former guardian of Harry James Potter calls out a reward of five thousand Galleons for every hint given about the location of Mr. Potter that leads him being brought back to the tender care of the Ministry” she quoted. “Five thousand Galleons is quite an amount of money no wonder that everyone wants to talk to me again” she sighed. It seems that she would never get her peace from those idiots.
“I have to apologize because I underestimated the resilience of the people. It didn’t occur to me that they would be this adamant about talking to you” he looked apologetically before chuckling lowly. “However I just had a brilliant idea of how to strip Dumbledore of five thousand Galleons.”
“You don’t truly consider giving Hadrian into the custody of the Ministry?” she asked in disbelieve. “The only thing you would achieve with that is that Dumbledore gets a hold over him again.”
Salazar laughed now. “No. however what do you think would happen if the head of the DMLE, the head of the Department for Magical Child Care and the Minister herself give an official statement that John Smith and Harry Potter met with them and they decided that it would be best for Harry to stay with his momentary guardian?”
Sylvia cocked her head contemplating Salazar’s idea. “With Augusta and Ms. Bones it might work but I doubt that the Head of Magical Child Care would play along. She doesn’t know you.”
“What if she really gets to know Mr. Smith and me?” suddenly Hadrian asked from the door having entered without them noticing. “When I tell her that I like living with you and don’t want to be placed anywhere else telling her also how you saved me from my…relatives it should help.”
Salazar furrowed his brows. “While that would help it would be troublesome to meet with them. The problem is that you hardly can go through the atrium of the Ministry without at least one person reporting to Dumbledore that he saw you. He will be there with light speed and trying to get a hold over you.”
“What about this magic that lets me look different? At least until we are in a room with them” his son suggested.
“A glamour. You’re right that should work or we floo directly to Augusta’s office” he had to admit that his son’s idea had merit the longer he thought about it. “Let me think this through and talk to Augusta and Ms. Bones, okay? I’ll let you know what we will do” he replied.
“Cool, can I brew some?” Hadrian inquired.
His father started to laugh. “We are back for not even an hour and you already want to brew? Come on” he said shaking his head and picking up the letters before going through to the potions lab followed by his son and Sylvia. He wouldn’t brew himself but continue to sort through his post while having an eye on his son. Sylvia on the other hand grabbed the pile of newspapers to see whether something else interesting happened. Shiyo who also followed them into the lab curled himself up under the table and slept some.
They worked in silence when Sylvia spoke up.
“This is interesting” she suddenly exclaimed before starting to read out an article she found.
Peter Pettigrew arrested
Yesterday evening the Aurors finally arrested one of the most dangerous criminals. Peter Pettigrew, traitor and mass murder found to be hiding within a pureblood family the Weasleys. Percy Weasley (9) found out that his pet rat was in fact a wanted criminal.
In an interview with the Daily Prophet, he proudly told that at first when the article about Sirius Black’s innocence came out a week ago he did not think much of it. However, when he found his pet rat snivelling around the newspapers he grew suspicious. He showed a great amount of tactical thinking when waiting until night and the rat was asleep before calling in his father to stun it and after that the Aurors.
“I read that the man was dangerous and I feared that he might do something to mum and dad so I waited until he fell asleep,” Percy said with a worried glance at his father.
Amelia Bones personally together with no less than five of the best Aurors went to investigate this case. It turned out that the rat really was the criminal Peter Pettigrew who they arrested immediately and without a fuss thanks to the stunner, Mr. Weasley Sr. applied. In an expedited proceeding, the Wizengamot then sentenced him to a lifetime imprisonment in Azkaban.
Ms. Bones emphasised in an interview the commendable and admirable course of action Percy Weasley took. She said that for his age Mr. Weasley showed skills many adults lacked and that she would gladly support him should he decide to become an Auror later in his life.
I think I speak for most people when I say that tonight we will sleep far better with one less criminal running around and that we need more boys and girls like Percy Weasley.
For more about Peter Pettigrew and his crimes see page 2
For more about the Weasleys see page 8
For more about Amelia Bones see page 9
“Good, one less thing to worry about. This Percy Weasley seems to be an intelligent boy. Not everyone this age would have been able to suspect only from a few hints that the rat might be a criminal not to mention act as he did” Salazar replied while reading a statement from one of his business.
“You’re right but children see things in another way than adults” Sylvia mused.
“True” Salazar nodded and with that they sank into silence again.
The next days went by without anything interesting happening. Sylvia made a final check on Sirius and the Longbottoms in order to make sure that they were okay and that their healing process went on properly. True to his word Salazar prepared a schedule for his son. For now it were mostly easy things like penmanship and writing with a quill, mathematics, English, social skills as well as Old Norse and its runes most of which he would have together with Neville. Despite that they started to train his and Neville’s magic.
Salazar was adamant about the language since the wand movements were based on the runes and rune based magic could come in handy because only very few could cancel or counter it. Potions he didn’t make a lesson because they brewed regularly and Salazar would make sure that his son knew everything about it then if he didn’t already read about it himself. Neville though came by from time to time to learn it to.
However his son was unwavering when it came to his decision to learn Chinese. He said that he would even sacrifice an afternoon than not learning it. In the end Salazar gave in and added it to the schedule.
Salazar also talked to Augusta and Amelia about his idea to get back at Dumbledore by striping him of the five thousand Galleons. They were instantly in with it because the man was grating on their nerves with his constant questions and requests so everything to bring him down a peg or two was very welcome. Amelia also complained that ever since the article the claims of “Potter sightings” went through the roof and it was her duty to follow up all of them.
In the end they set up a meeting in Augusta’s office with the Head of Magical Child Care to which Salazar and Hadrian flooed directly to. Salazar wore a glamour to represent John Smith while Hadrian was his own.
To say the woman form Child Care was hooked with Hadrian would be an understatement. She fell head long with the sweet and well behaved child he was. Hadrian nevertheless true to his idea told his heart-breaking story about how his new father John saved him from his abusive relatives, healed him and even took him on a holiday…his first ever. He even clutched to Salazar as if he never wanted to let go again. In the end the woman cried her eyes out over the story and gave a statement that Harry couldn’t have found a better father than John Smith and that no one should dare parting them. Salazar didn’t doubt that she would have done everything for his son should he have asked. Dumbledore however was furious that he had to give the reward to the very man he wanted to get rid of. Amelia Bones on the other hand made it clear to him that Mr. Smith fulfilled the criteria by bringing Harry to the Ministry only to get the custody back. Salazar then donated those Galleons to the Department of Magical Child Care under the condition that it would be used to give magical orphans a home to live which only cemented the woman’s opinion of John Smith.
What amused them nonetheless was the article published a day later. It went together with an oversized photo of how “John Smith” escorted an overly happy Harry Potter out of the Ministry on the front page. Salazar had staged it the way that right when they left the Ministry through the front door so to speak a reporter of the Daily Prophet was in the entrance hall. Then out of sheer luck said reporter overheard how he called him Harry, or so said woman might think. One photo session and a flash mob later they apparated back to the townhouse. Hadrian found all that very interesting and amusing filing it under how to manipulate the media in your favour for later use.
John Smith – Ministry approved guardian of Harry Potter
The news around Harry Potter do not seem to stop. You remember the announcement from Albus Dumbledore that everyone giving a hint about the whereabouts of Harry Potter that would lead to said boy being brought back under the care of the Ministry would be rewarded fife thousand Galleons. So was it that this devoted journalist met said boy yesterday personally in the entrance hall of the Ministry of Magic nonetheless. His guardian John Smith accompanied him. Both were coming from a meeting with Augusta Longbottom – Minister of Magic, Amelia Bones – Head of the DMLE and Reese Cunningham – Head of the Department for Magical Child Care.
All three gave an official statement that day that John Smith voluntarily came to them to dissipate any concerns whether he is an appropriate guardian for the Boy-who-lived or not. Ms. Cunningham also said, “Harry Potter is very content with his momentary guardian and it would be a monumental mistake to part those two”. She also reported that Harry Potter told her everything about his life with his relatives, what she heard left her beyond shocked. So it seems that the relatives under which Harry Potter spent four and a half year did not only not care for him properly but also abused him badly.
“From what the boy told me he was treated worse than the lowest house elf,” Ms. Cunningham told in an interview tears welling in her eyes over the injustice that happened to Harry Potter.
The question now is, was that everything or has there perhaps happened more the boy did not want to talk about yet? I for my part think that the Dursleys who vanished about three weeks ago got what they deserved.
One thing is for sure however. Harry Potter loves his new guardian and seemingly, there is no love lost between the boy and Dumbledore. “I don’t know about Dumbly…he never once looked for me” he told this devoted journalist with tears in his eyes before starting to smile a bright smile. “But daddy…daddy is so cool he even took me on a holiday. I love him” the last part was said with so much fondness that it warmed the heart of everyone around them before John Smith embraced him in a tender hug and apparated them both away.
Another proof for the man’s caring nature is that Ms. Cunningham reported that Mr. Smith donated the reward of five thousand Galleons to her Department in order to open the first magical orphanage in Britain. Ms. Cunningham told in the interview that Mr. Smith exclaimed that he was well off to care for the Boy-who-lived properly but that not every child had the fortune to find caring parents after being orphaned during either the last war or other circumstances.
I think that we can all agree that John Smith is the guardian and father Harry Potter deserves and that Ms. Cunningham is right with her assessment that it would be a huge mistake to part those two.
For more about Potter’s adoption see page 2
For more about Reese Cunningham see page 9
For more about the plans for a magical orphanage see page 10
After that life at the townhouse found some kind of a routine. In the morning Hadrian had his lessons mostly together with Neville while in the afternoon he either brew, played with Neville or went on short trips.
Salazar in the meantime when he wasn’t busy with teaching his son those lessons James didn’t teach which were Chinese, Old Norse and magic he either managed his business or helped Amelia with revising the cases from those convicted to Azkaban without a trial. Amelia had sorted the cases while Salazar was on vacation and now they looked into them together. To say that the results were disconcerting would be putting it mildly. Up to now they found already two case which were wobbly at best and they were into it only for a few days now.
Dumbledore however had a hard time to salvage what remained from his once impeccable reputation. Now he was under close scrutiny by everyone and only was able to keep his positions thanks to his connections. It seems that the man decided to lay a low profile for now so that not another blow would come his way.
The routine in the Slytherin household only was interrupted when Sirius about two weeks after they returned decided that it was time to pay the Black townhouse a visit. He didn’t want to rely on Salazar’s hospitality forever after all. So Sirius, Salazar and Hadrian went over only to find a house layered in dust.
Originally Sirius didn’t want to take Hadrian with them because there were quite a few dangerous objects in the house but Hadrian promised to not touch anything. He argued that this would be an interesting field trip and that he could learn a lot from it. In the end they agreed as long as he would stay near them and not touched anything without their consent.
Now they stood in the dark and dusty entrance hall of the townhouse. They sat into motion to walk into the sitting room when suddenly a woman shouted from the entrance hall. Hadrian who was still in the hallway because he would only enter a room when his father said it was safe turned around and found the picture of an older looking stern woman.
“Good afternoon, ma’am” he greeted her bowing his head curtly.
This however stunned the woman in the picture and let her instantly stop shouting profanities. “Hello boy. Finally someone with manners graces this house again. May I inquire your name?” she said.
“Hadrian Slytherin, ma’am, and yours?” he replied.
“A Slytherin. I’m mostly delighted to make your acquaintance. My name is Walburga Black mother of Sirius Black this good-for-nothing of a son” she shouted the last part which let Hadrian put his fingers in his ears.
“Ma’am, would you please stop shouting? It is giving me a headache.”
“Oh, I’m sorry Mr. Slytherin but he always enrages me ever since he turned his back on his family only to become a blood-traitor” she sighed.
“She has a point there, Sirius. I also never understood why you turned your back on your family only to pretend to be light” Salazar suddenly added from inside the sitting room. “It definitely wasn’t because your family is dark that’s for sure.”
Sirius sighed. “I didn’t leave because my family was dark I left because of their preaching about blood purity. `Toujours pur´ is the family motto but all this inbreeding to keep the blood pure is a loads of bullshit” he growled.
“Sirius Orion Black, mind your language and we have to keep our blood pure. Otherwise we’ll lose our strength and after that even our magic” Walburga argued.
“Ah yes? If this is true then answer me one question. Why was every single one of the most powerful wizards and witches of the last centuries either a half-blood or someone with parents not related to each other?” Salazar questioned finally coming out of the sitting room and back into the atrium.
This silenced Walburga at first until she snapped back. “You have no evidence for this theory.”
“I’ll give you a few examples. Albus Dumbledore, Merlin Emrys, Morgan le Fay, Hadrian Potter-Slytherin” upon that the woman’s head snapped to Hadrian. “Tom Marvolo Riddle. Every single one a half-blood and one of the most powerful wizards and witches of their time.”
“Who is Tom Marvolo Riddle?” Walburga now looked a bit confused since she never heard of him.
“I think you know him under a different name, Lord Voldemort” Salazar grinned upon the shocked face of one Walburga Black.
“This is…” for the first time in her life she didn’t know what to say.
“What? Outrageous? A scandal? Never the less it is the cold hard truth. The very man you declared your leader is exactly what you detest, a half-blood. However if you thought that shocking you didn’t know the best…”
“What could possibly be worse than this lying hypocritical bastard?” Ms. Black fumed.
“You’re right he is the bastard son of a squib of the Gaunt line and a mundane and in no way related to the Slytherin line by the way” she now looked like she would faint her luck that she was only a painting. “But that was not what I wanted to say…”
Walburga took a deep breath before she interrupted Salazar for the second time now. “So you want to tell me that the Dark Lord not only is the bastards son of a squib not to mention that he in no way is the heir of Slytherin and to top it off this isn’t even the worst?” she didn’t know what to think anymore. This man in front of her brought her entire view of the world upside down in mere minutes and he was hinting that it would only become worse? Who was he anyway?
“Yes, the worst in this entire we keep our blood pure thing is that you are responsible for the existence of the so called muggle-born. Okay, not you in particular but people like you who cast family members out because they show no magic” Salazar growled.
“How is that?”
“Those muggle-born as you define them, a magical child born from two mundane people, doesn’t exist. They are direct descendants of those very squibs your ancestors cast out. Because you cast them out and no other magical person cares for them they have to live in the mundane world. There they marry and get children. The magic might not reappear in the first generation but somewhere down the line it will resurface when all the damage your inbreeding inflicted is diluted enough” Salazar explained heatedly.
“You have no proof for this” Walburga now shouted.
“Are you sure? I did voluntary ancestry tests with nearly every muggle-born I employ which are quite a lot. Most of them are the descendant of a squib from a well-known pureblood family with a few exceptions who are descendants of other less known lines. However not even a single one is not the descendant of a magical line” he explained.
“How did you come to this? I mean you don’t research something like this out of the blue” Sirius who listened interestedly piped in.
“My son. When I got to know that he is related to the Slytherin line through his mother who was a known muggle-born I grew curious. I have to admit that up to then I never would have assumed that they were descendants of squibs thinking that the already weak magic in them would be even weaker in a child between them and a mundane person until it vanishes completely” he shrugged helplessly. “I was obviously wrong. Though of what I’m sure is that squibs are mostly the result of the inbreeding. In countries like China or America for example where blood purity isn’t even a concept are much less squibs then here in England hence why they are thriving while here they can be thankful to at least have one child that hopefully is not a squib. Did you really think families like the Malfoys only have one child because they actively decided on it?” Salazar shook his head while going back into the sitting room.
“Who is he?” Walburga asked curious.
“The momentary Lord Slytherin” Sirius simply stated before following him.
Since Walburga had a lot to think about and therefore was silenced they continued to walk through the house. Once they reached the library Hadrian however stopped following them more content with staying there reading. Sirius at first didn’t agree because he knew that his family had books about pretty dark magic but Salazar simply stated that he didn’t distinguish between light and dark magic because it only mattered how you use the magic and so as long as the books weren’t cursed his son could read them all he liked. He however made it very adamant that should he feel magic coming from a book he would have to call him and not touch it. So now Hadrian sat there reading a book about potions – what else – while the others continued to look through the house.
It was about two hours later that Sirius suddenly called for Salazar having found something.
“Look what I found. I don’t know what it is even doing here or how it got in the drawing room” he hold up a golden locket with an emerald S on the front attached to a large gold chain.
“My locket. I got it from my son but it got stolen a long time ago” he went over to pick it up only to let it fall to the floor like he burned himself. “This…this…” he didn’t know what to say because there was simply no word fitting enough for what he was thinking right now. “Should I ever get my fingers on him….”
Sirius shivered. Someone managed to royally screw up with Salazar and while he didn’t really want to know who he had to ask anyway. “What’s wrong? Who do you mean?”
“Riddle…he violated MY property by making this” he pointed at the locket. “One of his Horcruxes” he growled while taking out his wand. “Avada…” he didn’t get further because Sirius interrupted him by grabbing his wand arm.
“Salazar, I know how you feel but stop and start thinking. Okay, I can’t even start to fathom how you’re feeling but killing that thing would be a monumentally mistake at least at the moment” Sirius gulped when the other man’s gaze fell upon him but he didn’t waver in his decision. “We don’t know enough about these things. What if the main piece feels it when we destroy one of the other pieces and he starts to create even more? Despite that we may be able to use this one to locate the others” he let out a sigh of relieve when Salazar finally took his arm down. “And here I thought only Gryffindor’s act hot headedly” Sirius snickered.
Now also Salazar had to smile. “You’ll find that everyone has the qualities of all the houses within him. Loyalty and protectiveness to those you love, hard working to achieve what you want, a healthy tendency to learn new things and a certain amount of sneakiness and wish to survive. It is only what is more prominent that defines your belonging to the different houses. However it wasn’t what we looked for when founding Hogwarts” Sirius looked a bit confused. “We sorted the students due to their magical abilities than their personality. I told you that we used the Ritual of Insight to determine what a student is more inclined to? Students with tendencies to potions, alchemy and rituals were sorted into my house while those who were more towards earth magic, creature care and magical building techniques went to Helga. The ones with abilities in spell work, transfiguration and enchantments became Rowena’s students and last the ones more inclined towards offensive/defensive magic as well as other battle magic went to Godric. Despite that Rowena also took the seers, Helga the healer and I those who were warding naturals but all those were very rare. Sure they also learned the other branches of magic but we did this mainly so that those with the same talents were together and not only could learn from us but also from each other. This way we also could watch them more closely.”
“This actually makes more sense than sorting them depending on their character. I mean children are in development and what today might be someone fiercely loyal is tomorrow a bookworm due to circumstances” Sirius mused upon which Salazar nodded.
After that they continued their sorting through the house. Once they were finished Salazar called a few of his elves over to help cleaning up the house. For the poor Black elf Kreacher it was too much to do it all alone. A week and some cleaning and renovations later then moved Sirius into Grimmauld Place. It also seemed that Walburga who first screamed bloody murder now had a different view after a few more long talks with Salazar. She now tolerated Sirius what also resulted in an improvement in Kreacher’s behaviour who didn’t mutter profanities under his breath anymore. All in all a situation that made Sirius more comfortable living in the house.
The pendant however they brought to Amelia. She instantly redirected it to the Unspeakables who were glad to have one of Voldemort’s soul pieces to play with. They managed to transfer the piece into another object so that Salazar could get back his pendant. At the moment they were trying to find out whether it would be usable to trace the others.
Without anyone noticing weeks went by and Hadrian’s and Neville’s birthdays approached quickly. They decided to have a small birthday party on the 30th for both together with family and good friends and on the 31st they then would all together go out visiting the mundane zoo. Hadrian wore a glamor to the party since some attended that weren’t in the know like Susan Bones who came together with her aunt Amelia. This however didn’t dampen his mood in the slightest.
What left everyone baffled on the other hand was what happened in the morning of the 31st, Hadrian’s birthday.
Salazar entered the kitchen to get some coffee when he saw that everywhere piled presents and even some owls were still there with more presents tied to them. James was busy untying an especially large present from an owl.
“What in Merlin’s name is going on here?” he asked confused.
“Good morning, Sir. It seems that quite a lot of people sent birthday presents for Hadrian” James who just finished untying the present replied while the owl swooped out through the owl-window.
“A few okay but so much? I think we have to test them upon spells and charms that are out of place before Hadrian gets harmed” Salazar mused when he remembered something and snickered. It didn’t take long before he was laughing like there was no tomorrow.
Just at that moment his son entered the kitchen confused on the one hand by the piles of presents and on the other by his father laughing like a loon. Even James looked strangely at the other man.
“Dad? Is everything alright?” he hesitantly asked.
Salazar needed a few more moments to calm down again and while whipping a tear from his eye he replied. “Yes everything it all right. I just remembered something” upon seeing the confused looks he explained. “We have a ward, the so called Tracking Redirection Ward. It is meant for the case that someone tries to track someone through an owl. The ward now redirects the tracking charm to a place I can dictate. So for example someone sends an owl here, Phoenix St. 6, but the ward now would redirect the charm so that it won’t give away our address anymore but for example Diagon Alley 7.”
“I understand that but what is so funny about it?” Hadrian still didn’t think it so funny that he would laugh like a lunatic.
“Sure that in itself isn’t so funny. Why I laughed is because out of a bout of anger I set the ward to Downing Street No. 10” Salazar snickered. A few weeks before shortly after the holidays he tried to get the authorization to open a new mundane factory that would have secured many jobs but that was declined by the respective department because of some bureaucratic nonsense. When he then got to know that the Prime Minister had a hand in this because of some personal interests…well this was the result.
“You didn’t really do that did you? Who am I talking to…surely you did” James replied indignantly.
“Wait a moment…Downing Street, I know that. Isn’t that the address where the mundane Prime Minister has his office?” Hadrian who now understood why his father laughed mused.
“That’s it. I don’t doubt that quite a few of the owls where tracked in order to find out where you live. So it is very likely that the Prime Minister soon has a lot of visitors.”
In the meantime at Downing Street No. 10
“I wonder what it is today. I don’t know how many of these strange looking people who seem to come from a medieval carnival already came here asking for some Harry Potter” one of the secretaries complained. “Who is this Harry Potter anyway?”
“Who knows but he seems to be very popular if the number of people asking for him is anything to go by” another secretary shook his head.
To their ignorance right at that moment the Prime Minister had a heated discussion with the Minister of Magic about just that topic.
“But what are all those parcels and presents?” Hadrian asked confused. “They can’t be all for me…”
“You remember I told you that you’re famous?” Salazar asked upon which his son nodded. “Well, many people are grateful for what you did even if you might not remember it and so they send you presents. Some even feel sorry for what happened before you came to me” he carefully added not wanting to ruin his son’s mood.
“So you mean they…care?” Hadrian felt warm inside. For so long he had been alone but now all those people he didn’t even knew cared and sent him presents. “But I never received presents before. Why now?” he frowned.
“I think you know why…” his father replied. He didn’t tell his son that some only sent presents in order to find him and do Merlin knows what.
“Dumbledore…can I open them?” he asked eagerly jumping up and down in anticipation.
Salazar shortly thought about it before coming to a decision. “You can open them but” he added sternly making sure that his son got the message. “Before you open a present I want you to check it whether it radiates magic, understood?” his son nodded eagerly. “Should you find magic on it I would like you to give it to me so that I can make sure that it doesn’t harm you.”
He had already explained him some time ago that he should always be careful with things that had magic on them and with which he didn’t know whether it could be harmful or not. The problem is that it quite often happened that people tried to target the heir of a family or other influential people through post. With Hadrian he was mostly concerned about former Death Eaters who wanted retribution for defeating their Lord. Sure, he had wards that prevented the really dangerous things from even getting into the house but sometimes just a small compulsion charm woven into the parchment was enough to get someone to do something suicidal or such and better being precautious than having a disaster in the end.
So together Salazar, James and Hadrian worked themselves through the massive amount of presents. Hadrian did as he was told and every time he found one that radiated magic he gave it to his father to check it further. However most of the time it was only the normal magic that was inherent to the object and belonged there. Though this exercise was also a good practise for Hadrian and in the end he could distinguish between some of the different spells an object could have and thus even could guess what a gift contained from time to time.
Despite the normal spells they found some compulsion or loyalty charms but nothing serious. Salazar quickly cancelled those before giving the presents to his son. They even found one gift – chocolate – that was laced with a love potion which went straight into the bin. Why someone would try to get a six years old ingest a love potion was everyone’s guess.
One present however alarmed Salazar. It was over and over laced with compulsion, loyalty and even a very well hidden strange version of the Imperious Curse that triggered only under certain circumstance though which that were they couldn’t determine. Since that present also didn’t have a tag Salazar put it somewhere safe. He would give it to Amelia the next day so that the DMLE could investigate it.
Once every present was unpacked James banished the paper and helped Hadrian packing everything away. Salazar snickered. They definitely wouldn’t have to buy any sweets in the foreseeable future. Most of the gifts contained either sweets, books, vouchers for certain shops or money. The sweets went into a cupboard in the kitchen while the books were sorted into the bookshelf in Hadrian’s room with those that he got twice sorted into a box to either store or donate them later depending on their value. For the money Salazar used an ornate box Hadrian also got. Despite all that he also got several board games, two toy brooms and several other toys.
However the most intricate gift was a statue. An onyx and a jade snake coiled around a pillar. On said pillar a white marble owl sat with spread wings making it look much like the caduceus the staff carried by Hermes in mundane mythology. In reality though it was a Symbol for health and healing which nowadays only the Americans use it that way anymore. At its base lay an onyx dog and what seemed to be a transformed Werewolf made out of red-brown marble. In front of that was a beige alabaster kitsune and an onyx cat curled around a black panther. Behind all that stood a large brown marble stag with a white marble dove sitting on one of the antlers ends. The entire thing was highly detailed and ornamented with gold and gems like the emeralds for the black snake’s eyes.
All in all it was a masterpiece and a sight to behold with its four feet height.
“It is beautiful” Hadrian said in awe not able to look away from it. He traced it carefully with his fingers when he came to a rune imbedded in the socket. “What is this?” he asked his father pointing at the rune.
Salazar looked at it tracing it with his index finger when he started to smile. Carefully pushing some magic into it the entire statue suddenly came to life. The stag shook his head which let the dove fly off its place and chirp indignantly. The dog yawned before placing its head on its paws and sleep while the snakes started to converse excitedly. On its base the kitsune started to poke the cat playfully upon which the panther rolled its eyes before observing the going-on critically growling lowly when it grew too exuberant. The werewolf observed it more amusedly and the owl hooted softly watching over everything.
Now Salazar was baffled. This thing was not only priceless it was one of a kind that no gold on this planet could pay for. Curiously he picked the tag up that went with the parcel and snickered.
Just at that moment Sylvia came in and looked strangely at the statue. “Wow, who sends such a present?” she asked watching as Hadrian talked with the snakes.
“It is from the goblins” he replied when he heard his son laughing over something.
“The black snake is much like you, dad” he snickered.
That let his father sit up and look at the statue. He scanned it carefully with his magic only to laugh. “It seems that they used the magical imprints they store to give the animals the personality of those people and creatures they represent.”
“They represent people? But who? I mean the black snake as well as the owl and the kitsune are obvious but the rest…” Hadrian cocked his head confused.
“The Stag is your father. With the dove I have to guess but I think it is your mother while the black dog is your godfather Sirius. As you said the black snake is obviously me. However who the green snake, the cat, the panther and the werewolf are I have no idea” he stroked his chin thoughtfully. “Perhaps the werewolf is Remus Lupin. He was a good friend of your parents and Sirius but that’s also only a guess.”
“Remus? What is with him?” an overly hyper Sirius asked who entered the kitchen.
“My son received a statue from the goblins with the animagus forms of people close to him as well as Shiyo and Hedwig. I was wondering who the werewolf might be” Salazar replied.
“Statue?” Sirius asked confused before he rounded them and saw what they were talking about. He stared at that thing with wide eyes. “Even James and Lily….”
“You said the goblins used the magical imprint but how do they get it?” Sylvia was a bit confused and concerned about it.
“The very first time you enter Gringotts and want to do business with the goblins you’re required to do a blood test you remember?” Sylvia nodded. “Right at that time they take an imprint of your magical aura and personality and store it. This works as a base so that they can confirm that you’re you and act on your own free will and not for example under the imperious curse. Normally those imprints are stored in the possibly safest place on this planet to which only very few goblins have access to. However one can request that an imprint is used to for example create a magical painting of a deceased one even after the death of said person but the fee for this is exceptionally high to prevent abuse.”
“I didn’t know about that. Why don’t they inform the people about it I mean what if someone doesn’t want this?” she exclaimed.
Salazar only started to laugh about that. “Oh, they inform you about it but most wizards never read what they sign. The very document you sign and which they use to store the imprint tells you clearly what they do. It is not their fault if no one reads it.”
Upon that Sylvia blushed heavily. “So that’s how they knew….”
“Knew what?” Salazar asked curiously.
“Well…the green garden snake is my animagus form” she now blushed even more.
“That solves that riddle but who the cat and the panther are we still don’t know” Salazar said looking back at the statue.
“Perhaps Alice and Frank?” Hadrian piped in. “Hmm, but then where is Neville?”
Hearing that the kitsune suddenly vanished behind the pillar to shoo out two squirrels out of their hiding place. Both cheeped at the kitsune which let Hadrian snicker.
“I think we just found Alice and Frank” his father added. “Maybe Neville is either the cat or the panther but I tend more towards the cat.”
When he heard his son’s stomach rumble he started to laugh. Because of all that chaos with the presents they totally forgot about breakfast. Luckily for them James wasn’t as forgetful and already prepared it. So a minute later they sat together each with his breakfast in front of them though Hadrian was more enamoured with the statue so that his father had to remember him a few times to eat his breakfast.
Half an hour later the Longbottoms arrived and they all together went to the zoo. Sylvia extra took a day off to go with them after Hadrian asked her to do so. It had surprised her but she didn’t want to deny the boy his wish especially on his birthday. Hadrian and Neville both loved it and even the adults had their fun. All in all both children thought this their best birthday they had so far.