Chapter 22: Time flies by
The next few days Hadrian used every afternoon to write replies to everyone who sent him a present and added a letter or a tag at least with their name on it. It took him three days to write them all but in the end he managed it even adding a heartfelt apology that should they have sent him presents before he never received them and that he didn’t reply because of this, not because he was ungrateful. His father was surprised about how adamant his son was and wondered whether he did it on purpose but probably it was simply the gratefulness of a child who never got to know kindness until lately.
About the entire thing also the press got wind proclaiming in a large article how very grateful Harry was that so many people cared about him. It also blew the entire thing out of proportion that someone obviously intercepted Harry’s entire post previously and that whoever did it better should give him back what was his. Dumbledore was quick to ensure that he never intercepted any letter to Harry though Salazar didn’t believe one word. However, he had no prove against the man hence why his hands were bound.
When Hadrian read the article, he snickered and told them that one of the presents had been form Rita Skeeter. Sirius only shook his head hearing that. The boy truly was related to Salazar with how natural it came to him manipulating everyone around him probably even without noticing it himself.
To the goblins, he went personally to thank them. They were delighted that their present was so well received and told him that should he ever need help he shouldn’t hesitate to ask.
Weeks went by and slowly autumn crept up colouring the world in its golden and red colours. It also grew colder with everyday passing.
Sylvia didn’t attempt to move back into her own house and after some time she simply forgot about it with how natural life at Slytherin household went on. Since Salazar also didn’t say anything about it, it was shoved into the back of her mind. When she remembered though and mentioned it one morning in the middle of October, Hadrian suddenly went all tense and didn’t want her to leave. He told her as much asking her to stay even going so far as to cling to her so that she wouldn’t leave. Over the last few months, he grew quite attached to Sylvia and she became some kind of mother to him. Sure, he knew that she wasn’t his real mother but that didn’t matter to him. When Sylvia looked at Salazar, the man only shrugged indicating that he didn’t mind her living in his house. To Hadrian’s delight she agreed to stay if he wished so, nonetheless when she and Salazar were alone later that day she told him that she would gladly pay him for letting her stay but he only smiled and said that her help with his son was more than enough payback. She wasn’t entirely content with it but didn’t push it any further because she knew that it would be in vain. Though she also didn’t sell her house not knowing if she would return some day and her elf would care for it.
Salazar also started to teach Neville and his son how to harness their magical abilities though he quickly got to know that with using his wand every day he was out of training when it came to wandless magic as he was teaching the children. It was the same as it was with physical training, as long as you continued your training the needed muscles stayed strong and you had no problem with using them. But as soon as you stopped training for a larger period of time these muscles deteriorated resulting in you becoming exhausted quicker when using them. It was the same with his magic, not using it for a long time properly now resulted him in getting weaker. Therefore, he was quite happy with training Hadrian and Neville because this would give him the training needed to become strong again. He also swore to himself to never again slack like this after the first lesson because he got to know just how much out of training he was being completely exhausted in the evening.
All Hallows’ Eve then Salazar, Sirius, Sylvia, James and Hadrian visited a street carnival on a plaza near Knockturn Alley. At first, Sylvia had been reluctant to go knowing the reputation Knockturn alley and its surrounding had but Salazar only laughed. He had to admit that the “shadow side” of the magical neighbourhood had its dark and dingy places but all in all it was not any different to other parts like Diagon Alley. The only real difference was that there the so called creatures also were present but the last time something more serious happened at the All Hallows’ Eve carnival, or any other festival as it was, was about twenty years ago when two drunken man got into a fight that escalated. Even some members of the well-known families went there to celebrate without having to follow the normal etiquette since everyone wore masks in order to stay anonymous. In the end, Sylvia agreed to go with them.
True to Salazar’s word they all wore masks. He himself wore a very intricate one of a black bird but they couldn’t say what kind of bird and he wouldn’t tell. The only thing he said was that he went there every year wearing it. Hadrian wore a mask of a kitsune but he said he wanted to look there what masks were sold when his father told him about it. Sirius went with a black dog mask and Sylvia since not having one decided to wear a simple black one like James that covered the area around her eyes and she charmed her normally light brown hair black to.
They all stayed for a few hours now when Salazar suddenly spotted three people without masks he knew were Aurors obviously searching for something or someone. Snickering because he had an inkling as to why they were here he quickly cast his glamour and took down his mask before approaching them as Jack Hardinger asking what they wanted. The leader told him that they were ordered here because of a “Potter sighting” stating that the boy was running around alone. Salazar laughed informing them that this was Bones’ way of telling them to have some fun. It became some kind of reward to those who did an exceptional job sending them on those “Potter sighting” cases that were either like that one situated at a festival or otherwise public location where they then could have some free time payed by the Ministry. It seemed that there were quite a few people trying to disgrace him by reporting incidences of where John Smith was neglecting his duties and Harry running around alone or doing inappropriate things. Why those three didn’t know about it yet eluded him though. Once he made sure that they didn’t make a fool of themselves he went back to the others. It was a few hours later about ten in the evening when they finally returned back home.
With the days getting shorter and the weather worse life went onwards. Harry continued his learning and reading. He absorbed every piece of information like a sponge never fully saturated. Salazar had to admit that his son might very well end up in Ravenclaw with his learning habits but he didn’t really care as long as he didn’t get sorted into Gryffindor he thought amusedly. How would that look? Heir of Slytherin sorted into Gryffindor…he could see the headline, at least it would be fun to see what the magical world would make out of that, but no Hadrian up to now didn’t show any of the Gryffindorish stupidity. That however he would have to revise during the full moon at the beginning of December.
Sirius grew more and more worried with every day passing. He already sent two more letters to his old friend but up to now didn’t receive any answer or other sign of his friend’s wellbeing. That was also the reason why he was surprised when at the end of November Remus Lupin suddenly stood on his doorstep. Sirius fell around his friend’s neck holding him closely. What he instantly knew was that the man was far too thin and looked bad. It was as if he hadn’t slept well for quite some time.
“Remus…how good to see you. Why didn’t you answer my letters? I was so worried” he blurted out once he let go of the other man.
“I’m sorry, so, so sorry. When you got arrested…I believed them…” Remus replied ashamed of himself.
Sirius looked at his friend surprised before shaking his head. “Forget about it, actually James and I thought you were the traitor,” he admitted in a low voice. “But come in then we can talk properly. Tea? Or coffee?”
With that the two men sat down and talked the entire afternoon and until late in the night. They talked about everything that happened five years ago and since then. In the end they came to the agreement that they perhaps might not be able to forget what happened but at least to forgive. Both had made their share of mistakes after all, biggest of them trusting Dumbledore. What shocked Remus pretty much on the other hand was that the Salazar Slytherin adopted his cub not knowing what to think of it.
The next day Sirius called said man over to introduce him to Remus. This though became instantly more interesting when Salazar asked him a certain question.
“May I see your Wolfsbane potion?” he asked the other man without preamble.
Remus however looked at him dumbstruck. “How…?”
“Point one, I did my homework since I wouldn’t let just anyone enter my son’s life after all. Point two, I was the best hit wizard at the American Ministry for a few decades and you don’t become that if you can’t identify a werewolf on sight. You need to know what you’re up against. However I don’t care whether you’re a werewolf or not as long as you don’t hurt anyone” he said the last part with a shrug.
Remus blinked a few times in surprise. He was so used to people giving him a wide berth when they got to know he was a werewolf but this man acted like it was nothing to worry about, as if it was something entirely normal and to Salazar it actually was.
When he didn’t reply after a few moments Sirius nudged him to move on. “You can trust him, when he says he doesn’t care then he doesn’t. Now go on fetch the potion,” he told his old friend. Sirius knew that Remus didn’t know Salazar as he got to know him.
The werewolf nodded still surprised that the man didn’t even bat an eye on what he was before leaving the room to do as he was asked.
“Those laws to control and supress the creatures really do more harm than not” Sirius growled once Remus left the room.
“I know and I already talked with Augusta about it but unfortunately changes can’t be made over night. It takes long planning and a lot of convincing to change anything. Then there is Dumbledore. He is one of the major players behind the Creature Laws and still has a lot of influence within the light and neutral Wizengamot members” Salazar sighed.
“Unfortunately” Sirius replied when Remus re-entered the room a vial in his hand, which he handed over to Salazar.
Salazar took and uncorked it before sniffing at the potion. He furrowed his brows, dipped his finger into the potion and tasted it afore grimacing. “Destroy this, it is poisoning you. I don’t know who made it but said person either has no idea what he is doing or worse is doing it on purpose. This potion has been stirred with a silver rod instead of a copper or glass one. Therefore small silver particles are imbued in the potion effectively poisoning the werewolf who drinks this,” he explained handing back over the again corked vial. “I will supply you with a properly brewed potion.”
Remus stared at the vial in his hand not knowing what to think anymore. He didn’t doubt that the man knew what he was talking about since he also had the feeling something was wrong but up to now, he couldn’t tell what, he simply wasn’t good enough in potions to tell the slight difference.
“I can’t take this offer,” he finally said, his pride demanding of him to not take the offer.
Salazar sighed. “I fear that this is not negotiable if you want to see Hadrian. I’m not going to risk his health because of something as minor as a not properly brewed potion, I’m sorry.”
Remus looked at him for a few moments before finally nodding.
Salazar then went to fetch his son in order to introduce him to Remus. While Hadrian at first was a bit apprehensive about the new and to him unknown person Remus was over the moon to finally getting to see his cub again. They sat down together and talked all afternoon getting to know each other. After some time Hadrian was completely relaxed and had to admit that he quite liked his “Uncle Remy”.
It was three weeks later when Salazar suddenly rushed out of the fireplace of Grimmauld Place 12 late in the night worry clearly written all over his face. Sirius just came into the sitting room having felt the wards announcing a visitor.
“Salazar, what’s wrong?” Sirius enquired tensely because of Salazar’s worried state.
“Is Hadrian here?” was the only thing Salazar said.
“Not that I know of” he replied but checked the wards nonetheless.
The problem was that Hadrian had Black blood running through him thanks to his paternal grandmother Dorea Potter née Black hence why the wards didn’t see him as a visitor but a family member and therefore didn’t announce him. Once Sirius was through with scanning the wards, he was pale as a sheet before turning on his heels and running down the corridor to the door that lead to the cellar. Salazar was right behind him his worry morphed into fear. He knew from a conversation with Remus that the man used the cellar to hide during full moons and today was the night of a full moon.
So both men rushed down the stairs to the cellar praying that nothing had happened though when both reached the room they both stopped in shock. In the middle of the room stood a huge cage in which Remus locked himself away until the night was over. However there wasn’t only the werewolf in the cage but together with him Hadrian both curled around each other and sleeping contently right next to them Shiyo also sleeping. Salazar wondered how his son even got in there since he could see the quite impressive protection wards. Sirius just wanted to rush forwards to get his godson out of there when he was stopped by Salazar.
“If I were you I wouldn’t try to get him out. Look how Remus is curled around him, he is protecting him. Anyone trying to get his cub out of there now would get ripped apart no matter whether you are friends or not” he explained calmly now that he knew his son wasn’t in any danger.
“But…but what if he hurts him?” Sirius questioned in fear.
“He won’t. For a werewolf there is nothing more important than the health of their cubs, they would even give their life to safe them. Combined with Hadrian’s Alpha Male trait…I wouldn’t envy anyone stupid enough to go near them” he now chuckled before turning around and leaving the cellar. “Let them sleep.”
Sirius even if grudgingly followed him. “How can you be so calm when your son is sleeping right next to a werewolf on a full moon?” he asked on their way to the kitchen where they both grabbed a drink and sat down.
“Because I know everything there is to know about werewolves, how they think and react to certain situations. While I have to admit that it was incredibly stupid of my son to go in there in the first place since he couldn’t know how Remus would react to him he now is perfectly safe. Though I somehow doubt that Shiyo would have let him go in there had Remus posed any threat.”
“It seems that Hadrian has some Gryffindor traits after all” Sirius chuckled.
Salazar grumbled upon that. “Though I think that Remus should meet someone. Don’t you want to meet your girlfriend again?” that earned him a surprised look from Sirius, he chuckled. “Did you think I wouldn’t notice? Your farewell to her at the end of the holidays spoke volumes.”
Sirius tried to hide his blushing by drinking some but failed miserably. “You’re right but only in the new year, I want to celebrate Christmas with everyone” he answered back.
The next day nonetheless Hadrian got an earful from Remus about what happened last night.
“What in the name of sanity did you think coming into the cage on a full moon? Merlin knows what could have happened to you. I never thought that you would be so…reckless,” the werewolf rambled on throwing his arms into the air in desperation.
Hadrian observed him in apprehension, he didn’t think that his father would allow Remus to beat him but the fear still was there. “I could feel how lonely you were and I could also feel that you wouldn’t harm me” he replied defiantly.
Remus shook his head exasperatedly. “And you” he now addressed Salazar. “How could you leave him in there? I thought you cared for him.”
Salazar started to cough because he choked on his coffee in surprise. “Did you really just suggest that I tried to separate a werewolf form its cub on a full moon?” he finally asked.
That made Remus backpedal and think over what he just said. He had been on a rant and didn’t really think over what he said, but when he became aware of it he looked at the table blushing. “No…”
“Thought as much” Salazar snickered before addressing his son. “However Remus was right, it was incredibly reckless from you to go into the cage on your own. You should at least have asked me beforehand so as a punishment no potions brewing for one week.”
Now Hadrian looked anxiously at his father, this punishment was far worse than he thought it would be. Not being able to meet with Neville or something the like he could cope with but no potions brewing was bad, really bad. “But…”
“Nothing but. I told you that your actions have consequences and that you should think about them” he looked at him sternly. Hadrian pouted and sulked for the rest of the day but Salazar couldn’t help it, his son had to learn that acting reckless wasn’t something he would support.
Salazar on the other hand told Remus what he already spoke about with Sirius. He wanted the man to meet one of the werewolves living in Shangri-La. Remus obviously needed to learn a few things about being a werewolf and Chang the alpha he wanted him to meet would be the right person to teach him. For ones it looked like Remus was fighting his wolf and that was never good as well as locking oneself away. Sirius and Remus came to the agreement that they would go right in the new year before the first full moon.
The next months and years flew by.
Remus and Sirius travelled to Shangri-La staying there several months. Sirius was happy to see the woman, Ley, he met during his first visit and they even deepened their relationship. Remus on the other hand lived with the local werewolf pack and learned quite a lot about what it meant to be a proper werewolf. It took him some time but in the end, he accepted that lycanthrope wasn’t a curse but something he could live with without any trouble. Having accepted his wolf then also showed during the full moon. Not only was the transformation nearly painless even without the potion but he also looked like a proper wolf now and not like a human/wolf crossbreed.
The two men returned in the middle of April, Sirius together with Ley. Sirius had been quite torn, for ones he wanted to be with his godson but also didn’t want to leave Ley behind again. That was until Ley suggested to come with him, they now lived contently in Sirius’ townhouse. Hadrian had a fit of giggling when learning that his godfather had a girlfriend.
With Salazar’s help the DMLE managed to get a few criminals pinned down, which they were after for years now. They also finished their work on the trials that occurred at the end and right after the war. It was disconcerting what went on at that time. Five of the cases they went through were innocent but thrown into prison because someone profited from it. Those were release instantly and compensated. Then there were three more, who were not innocent but got a sentence far higher than deserved by law. These also were release as long as they served the standard time for their crime. The only upside was that they also found cases where people didn’t get a sentence for every crime they committed which also was corrected quickly. In the end, everyone got the punishment they deserved and everything was in order again. Though Salazar found so much fun in working together with the DMLE that he continued working for the Ministry even after his contract would have expired. That way he could not only make sure that no one was thrown into Azkaban because of personal interests but also had a close eye on what was going on without it being obvious. Despite that was Amelia quite glad that he wanted to stay since he proved to be quite an asset for her department.
Salazar similarly hold many conversations with Augusta exchanging ideas of how to change certain laws and to convince the other members of the Wizengamot to pass those changes. After a lot of time and even more meetings, they at least were able to cancel the bill that prevented the “creatures” from getting proper jobs or places to live at. It was Salazar’s idea to raise a fund out of which the Ministry would not only finance warded areas where werewolves could roam on full moons but also other unavoidable necessities for certain creatures combined with a speech about casting them out being more dangerous than integrating them into society that the bill was cancelled. Dumbledore even if not showing it was furious about it. This also resulted in Remus getting a proper job as the estate manager of the Potter estates. That way the werewolf wouldn’t see it as charity but also had his own piece of land to roam in after Salazar warded one of the estates in exchange for lifting some workload of him.
The Longbottom and Slytherin families grew closer and Hadrian and Neville became over time brothers in all but blood. It was only when they had different lessons or slept that they parted from each other but despite that, they were always together.
To support their son in his talents the Longbottoms got a huge greenhouse built at their countryside estate. It was quickly filled with various plants of different rarity. Hadrian often visited Neville there helping him carrying things even if he wasn’t allowed to touch the plants. To Hadrian’s amusement his father wasn’t even allowed anywhere near the greenhouse. Neville was of the firm opinion that Salazar had the gaze of a Basilisk in regards to plants; he could obviously kill even the sturdiest plant with only looking at it. Not much later they got to know that Helga used to tease him that what nowadays is called Herbology didn’t even show up in the man’s results of the Ritual of Insight. However, Neville quickly assured him that he would gladly supply him as well as Hadrian with fresh potion ingredients if needed.
Neville soon also got drawing lessons when his mother saw him scribbling away on a piece of parchment and she became aware that he was quite good at it. Hadrian on the other hand when encouraged by Neville to try it to quickly got to know that he had no talent in drawing whatsoever. He on the other hand showed a talent in playing instruments but he decided to stick with the violin. He only needed to play a new piece once to know the notes by heart and a few lessons and hours of practise to play it flawlessly. What made Salazar laugh though was that when his son came back from a mundane rock concert he went to with Sirius he decided to play this music instead of all those classic music he played until then. Salazar had to admit that things like AC/DC played on a violin didn’t sound that bad, it gave the music a nice touch.
Another thing that highly amused Sirius was that when they went on a trip to America when Hadrian was nearly eight he was able to gain another familiar. This time it was a recently hatched snake, a black coloured Eastern Brown Snake. Sylvia was pretty shocked about this since the Eastern Brown Snake, or also known as Common Brown Snake, is the second most venomous land snake known (that is if you don’t count the Basilisk since it is thought extinct) especially if bonded to a magical person. The bonding not only would result in the snake to grow larger than normal but also the venom becomes more potent. She was quick to gather a few vials of the snake’s venom to stock up on antivenin in case the snake bites someone even if only out of a defensive reflex.
This entire thing also revealed another feature of the goblins gift. The day they returned from their trip Hadrian found a new addition to the statue, next to the already existing snakes was a third black one coiled up laying at the foot of the column though he could clearly distinguish it from the one that symbolled his father since it had amber coloured eyes like Meiren his snake.
Continuing their lessons in magic both children soon also got lessons in duelling. While Neville was more on the defensive, blocking and redirecting spells Hadrian went more towards attacking. This again showed how well they complemented each other. True, both were powerful on their own but together they were a force not be trifled with especially once fully trained. For now though they only started learning the basics, how to block certain spells as well as stunner and a few minor hexes. Hadrian though quickly adapted a quite unique duelling style. During their magic lessons they were likewise taught a few useful household charms like banishing something but Hadrian started to use those spells also during his duels and Salazar had to admit that this style had potential.
One memorable duelling lesson Salazar suddenly stood there completely naked because his son found it a good idea to banish his clothes. Sirius who observed the lesson howled with laugher and only stopped when Salazar started to curse him having to protect himself. Soon it became a full wizarding duel, which Hadrian and Neville closely observed.
“Never ever do this again,” Salazar grumbled at his son once finished with duelling Sirius, shaking the other man’s hand as the proper etiquette demanded.
“Why?” Hadrian asked innocently. “No one said I couldn’t do this and it quite effectively distracted you from your original goal” he smirked. “Despite that it resulted in an interesting to watch duel between you and my godfather from which we could learn a lot.”
Salazar grudgingly had to admit that his son was right. “In a battle I would agree that it is a very effective way of distracting an opponent but in a proper duel you shouldn’t use such means. The etiquette should be conserved and therefore no spells used that embarrasses your opponent in such a way.”
Hadrian nodded consensual, his father also taught him about the etiquette and rules in official duels and actions like banishing someone’s clothes was highly frowned upon.
With time going on Hadrian also became more and more proficient with brewing resulting in a very interesting discussion with his father shortly before his 9th birthday. Thanks to the countless very well documented experiments he conducted, he improved just another potion in a significant and until then unknown way, his fourth now, when his father came up with it.
“Have you ever thought of patenting your improved potions?” he asked his son.
Hadrian on the other hand blinked owlishly not knowing what his father meant. “Patenting them?” he heard the term before and had a rudimentary idea of what it entailed but this knowledge was shaky at best.
Salazar chuckled. It was true that his son knew a lot but as it seemed not everything. “That way you would either gain a lot of money selling the right to brew the potion to other Potions Masters or people and hospitals would pay you for brewing it for them,” he explained.
“Huh, I doubt anyone would believe that the work of a nine years old would be worth anything” he sighed.
“Who said anything about you having to tell them that you’re only nine?”
Hadrian thought about it. He already learned a lot about how things worked and thanks to his uncle, he also knew some about companies. This thought had merit, founding a company under which name he then could both patent his recipes and also might be able to sell some of his potions. At the moment he didn’t do much with them except taking a sample and then often banishing the rest since he had no use for it. This way on the other hand the good and working potions wouldn’t be wasted and could be put to use. The longer he thought about it the better he found it; however, it would also be complicated for him as a not even nine-year-old child to open up a company not to mention manage it.
Perhaps he could get a bargain with the goblins. They were always open to the prospect of gaining more money. Hadrian got to know them quite well by now and even learned a bit of their language recently, being it his fourth after Old Norse, Chinese and German which he now spoke nearly fluently except German he also just picked up. Ever since he received his present on his 6th birthday they had a good relationship, not that it was a bad one before but it became even better going so far as that the goblins lend him some of their books about potions and other subjects he wanted to study.
So deciding that this would be a good course of action, he sat in Griphook’s office the next day alone. His father outright declined to come with him stating that this was his own business.
Salazar didn’t do this because he didn’t support his son but because Hadrian needed to learn how things worked on his own and should he go with him he was quite sure that Griphook would act out of his way in order to not anger him. This was also, what he told his son, though he doubted that the goblins would try to rip him off so this would be a good lesson without having to fear that it ends badly.
Yes, Salazar made everything he could a lesson for his son, may it be something as simple as buying a few ingredients for potions up to big things like incorporating his own business. Sure, he always would make sure that he didn’t come to harm but despite that his son was on his own and Hadrian didn’t mind, he even loved the challenge of trying to get the best deal possible. He didn’t even stop short of using his age to charm a cashier to give him a discount.
So after about two hours of bargaining with Griphook Hadrian was the proud new owner of his own business “H.S. Solutions”. He opted to use his initials so that the company could be connected to him without outright telling who the owner is. Griphook would manage the business looking out for potential customers for both the potions as well as the recipes. He would also see that Hadrian would get the best deal since it was in his own interests to do so because he would get a certain percentage as payment, Hadrian however would always have the last say. Hadrian also got a seal he could use to send crates with potions to Gringotts to sell them. He however would have to add a separate vial for them to test the potion on functionality and quality because otherwise they would refuse to sell any of it. Gringotts had a very good reputation that everything they sold met a quite high standard and they didn’t want to lose that because they sold some substandard potion or the like.
After that, life went on until three month later Hadrian sat again in Griphook’s office this time together with Neville. Hadrian told Neville about his little business which went surprisingly well and already accumulated quite an amount of money, though most of it went into more potion ingredients and equipment. Neville seeing that thought about selling some of his plants he grew with huge success in his greenhouses (he got two more over time because the first one became too small and it also was too difficult to maintain the different climates for certain plants within one greenhouse). Some of those were quite rare and he didn’t doubt that sold as either ingredients or a cutting would be profitable.
Talking to Griphook they came to the conclusion that founding another company would be to expensive so Hadrian proposed to use his company. In the end Neville got half the shares of H.S Solutions. They also made it that way that the company owned two vaults instead of one as it was at the moment. To one vault would go the income from the potions and recipes which stood under Hadrian’s control and the second vault would hold the income from what Neville would sell being under his control. That way they could distinguish which money belonged to whom without having to found a new business. Hadrian also wanted to rename it into “H.S. & N.L. Solutions” but Neville declined, he was content with how it was.
It was about half a year after their 10th birthday when Hadrian and Neville suddenly stood in Salazar’s study door with quite a stack of parchment in the hand and an uncertain look on their face. Especially that made him curious about what they want since both normally confidently said what they wanted and didn’t squirm around as they did at the moment.
“Uhm dad? Can we talk to you for a moment, please?” Hadrian finally spoke up.
“You know that I always have time for you so what is it?” the last time his son acted that way he went against one of his `orders´ and it didn’t end well so he now was understandably worried.
“There is something we worked on for quite some time now and we would ask you to have a look into it” he walked over to his father and gave him the pack he had in his hand.
Salazar looked at his son a bit confused. This was everything? That he took a look into quite an amount of text as it seemed and for that they acted like they were expecting his ire or something the like? He turned towards his desk while Hadrian and Neville sat down on the other side observing him apprehensively.
Starting to read the first pages he quickly realised what was lying before him. This was not a simple essay but a potions book obviously written by his son and Neville but it didn’t end at that. Skimming through it, he saw that the first chapters were mostly about brewing equipment, techniques of preparing the ingredients and the differences in the brewing processes. After that followed about ten different potion recipes combined with a detailed description of every ingredient and plant. Accompanied was that by well-done pictures and even a few tips of how to grow certain plants. He could clearly see which part was contributed by Hadrian and which by Neville. On top of that it seemed to be written in a way that wasn’t childish like you would expect from ten years old children but also not the complicated way an adult would write. He would have to read the entire thing but he didn’t doubt that this could become the new beginner’s potions book should they decide to get it printed.
“I…I actually don’t know what to say” he saw out of the corner of his eye that Neville looked worriedly at Hadrian. So that was why they acted so out of their character. They were worried that he would dismiss it as child’s work and won’t take it seriously. “At the moment I can’t tell you much for that I would have to read it thoroughly and completely but from what I saw in this short amount of time it is very well thought through. May I ask what prompted this?”
The two children looked at each other again some of their tenseness falling of them before Hadrian started to speak. “It actually began a few years ago when I started to rewrite the recipes for Neville” Neville blushed upon that. Salazar knew that tidbit and he already told them both that it was nothing to be ashamed of or worry about because everyone had his own way of understanding and learning things and while one was good with his way it might be completely improper for another person. “I thought that if Neville had problems with the instructions in the common books he might not be the only one, especially children. Then about half a year ago I complained to him that in the normal books you have either the recipe of a potion or the magical properties of the ingredients. He jokingly said that I perhaps should write my own book then and well…” he shrugged helplessly.
“That at least explains why you hid all afternoon in your room for the last months” his father chuckled. No one had been able to get them out and it went even so far that they charmed the door with prank spells Sirius taught them so that they would be left alone. He already thought about dragging them out but up to now didn’t want to resort to such means. “I promise to you both that I will read this and once I’m through with it I’ll tell you what I think, okay? But please don’t expect me to be done tomorrow this might take a few days.”
Both beamed at him. “Thank you” Hadrian jumped up and went around the table to hug his father. Neville on the other hand seemed to be a bit uncertain of what to do so Salazar motioned him to come over and hugged him to.
“I’m proud of you two I hope you know that” he told them.
It took him a few days but finally he was through the entire manuscript. He had to admit that it was even better than he first thought. The entire thing was very detailed without getting lost in unnecessary information, leading a novice in the art of brewing through every step on the way from proper preparation to the brewing itself. Also the information given about the ingredients and plants were informative and detailed without being excessive stating where to find, when to best gather and how to properly store them. Added to that were information on the plants for those who wanted to grow them. The drawings accompanying it were obviously done by Neville since the best his son could do in that area was a stickman while the writing style he recognised as his son’s.
Now he was sitting together with the two authors in his study.
“I made a few advices of improvement but all in all this is a very good work. If you want you can ask either the goblins or some other publisher whether they would print and distribute it” he was adamant that they did such things on their own. Sure, he would guide them so that they got what they deserved and not some bad deal but most of it was their own work. Only that way they would learn how the world worked. Would he do everything they would rely on him every time because they didn’t know what to do and that was nothing he wanted.
“Perhaps we should talk to Griphook then, what do you think?” Hadrian asked his friend musing about their options. “We can use H.S. Solutions for it and distribute the income between the two vaults.”
Neville hummed upon that thinking it through. “I think you’re right. We can ask another publisher should he refuse” he nodded in agreement.
Salazar smiled fondly at them. They were nothing but determined when they wanted something. He knew that quite a few people thought that Hadrian was spoiled but they couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes he bought him everything he wanted when it came to books, potion ingredients or other things to support him in his desire to learn but everything else he wanted? That he worked for all by himself. Half a year ago, he remembered his son wanted to have a ring he saw at a shop that cost about one hundred Galleons. He only told him that if he wanted it he would have to save money and buy it himself. It took Hadrian all of two month to save enough to buy it by selling potions as well as saving what he gained through the patents on the recipes of his improved potions.
He was extremely proud of both Hadrian and Neville. They both came a very long way since they first met over four years ago. Both were confident young boys now who knew how to survive the manipulations of Dumbledore and others. Though Neville was most of the time content with letting Hadrian handle things and supported him whenever possible. However, one shouldn’t think that Neville couldn’t hold his own if necessary. He once gave a botanist from whom he wanted to buy a new plant for his greenhouses a run for his money when the man thought that he could get the better of him only because he was nine at that time.
Doing as they said they approached Griphook with the matter and the goblin gladly helped them getting the book “Beginners guide to Potions” on the market the author stated as “H.S. & N.L.”. For the first edition there would be three hundred copies with more printed should the need arise. Two months later then the first edition was sent to the stores and to their surprise another three months later more copies had to be printed. The book was a full success especially for teaching children how to brew but was also good for adults who wanted to learn the art of brewing.
Soon their 11th birthday approached together with the eagerly awaited but at the same time dreaded letter inviting them to attend Hogwarts.